Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Day I Knew Would Come

Liam and I visit his day care center tomorrow. Thursday, I drop him off and go to school to bring the last of my school supplies there before Monday. Monday I drop Liam off for my first day of school. I have no worries about Liam. He is so social, friendly, and playful. He loves to explore and interact. His bag of supplies is packed and his clothes are all labeled "LD."

These days are dwindling:
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I keep saying I am ready to go back. But, like every other event that has happened this summer, I am saying what I feel I am supposed to say. When my basement flooded, I lost "things:" my junior high school year books, my journal I kept throughout my pregnancy, the last Christmas card my grandmother sent me fourteen years ago, lesson plans, books. Other people lost their homes. Who am I to complain? But as I began to regroup the basement and collect my school supplies, I realize how much these "things" meant to me. I have no right to complain, but I really want to anyway. I am supposed to say I am relieved that Mom is not suffering anymore but I miss her. It sucks that I will never get to call her and tell her about Liam's tooth or how much he loves avocado. She won't be able to tell me everything will be fine when I drop Liam off Monday morning.

The bulk of my problem lies in being a control freak. I have to control every situation and not appear weak. If I had to have a pregnancy complication, diabetes was a great one for me because I could so research and control it. I never complained about carpel tunnel so bad that Mike washed my hair for me. When Braxton Hicks decided to wake (and keep) me up at 2am, I still went to work. I endured eighteen hours of labor without a single tear or cry. God forbid I appear weak.

Thinking about the events of the past few months. I put on such a front that I guess people believe I am as strong as I pretend to be. It sucks and I don't know how to admit to others that I do sometimes need help and support.

I guess what I am getting at is that I have barely been able to juggle everything these last seven months and I have not even been working. Going back to work does not scare me. I've been teaching for six years. Mike keeps telling me that it does not matter if laundry gets backed up or the house looks less than perfect. What scares me is feeling the need to keep up pretending I have it all figured out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Also Not for Babies:

We are taking Danielle out for a "last hurrah" Saturday. No body shots or wooing, but a nice evening out. I did want to get her something to send her into marriage. Awhile ago, I could have sworn I saw a book titled "The Husband Instruction Manual" and decided this would be a perfect gift. Liam and I pack up and head to Garden City. After keeping him in his stroller, I decide to carry him as I just run in and grab the book. Well, the book doesn't exist. It was "The GROOM Instruction Manual." They'll be married in two weeks. This won't help. So I head to the next best thing, erotic literature.

Erotic Literature is an embarrassing enough section. Sitting in front of it is even classier holding a six month old child. He decides he wants to eat the books and starts to fuss when his evil mother won't let him. I give him my purse to play with and sit him on the floor. Within two minutes, he has the zipper open and is tossing my credit and store reawrds cards over the floor. I find "The Sex Instruction Manual," a bright pink book with two people ready to have sex on the cover, and call it good.

I get into line. There's a police officer ahead of me. Liam starts screaming because he just realized he is hungry. I find a nonchalant place to store the book for a moment, run to the car, and make Liam a bottle. I return to the store managing to hold a feeding baby in my arms, grab my hidden purchase, and resume my spot in line. Now ahead of me is a sweet old ladt who wants to compare Liam's impressive stats to those of her 15 month old grand daughter. I hide the cover of my book under my arm.

We are next in line. Liam grabs at the Nintendo game display, spilling one shelf of games to the floor. As I go to put games back, I become the classy mother feeding a mess making baby while attempting to buy a sex book. Just give me the mother of the year application now.

When I got to Shaw's I also discovered that Laim managed to break my Origins compact and flesh colored powder is in every crack of my Kate Spade purse. Yeah.

Rites of Passage

Yesterday, we took Liam to the Washington County Fair. The fair was one of mine and Mike's first dates so it has become tradition that we go each year. Last year, I was 15 week pregnant and couldn't ride the rides but could eat my weight in corn dogs. This year, Liam was on the outside of my belly and I still couldn't ride the rides. I did still enjoy a corn dog and corn fritters. Watching Mike gnaw on a turkey leg always has a certain sexy manliness about it. Next year, Liam will be able to take a bite. For now, he has to admire its awesomeness.

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Liam did awesome. He had his six month vaccines the day before and was fussy all afternoon. The pedi felt a tooth coming through so that added to his clinginess and being hard to please. Once we got there, Liam was in awe. He loved the lights, people, and rides. His favorite part of the fair was watching Jess scoop popcorn. He was fascinated by it. He loved watching the rides. At first, Liam liked looking at the 4H animals so Mike put him almost face to face with a sheep. The sheep let out a giant "Baaaa" and Liam was done with farm animals. I tried to get a picture but decided instead to sooth the baby.

As always, the fair was a great place to play "They have sex," a game in which you find couples consisting of nasty, ugly people and remind your friends that those two get it on. Mike discovered the most ironic placement of booths:

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Yes, that is the SPCA next to the sportsman's club.

We stayed until about 8:30. I would have liked to see The Marvelettes but Liam had other plans. As always, he did amazingly well. We put him in his PJs before putting him in his car seat for the ride home. I can not wait to see how he'll react to the fair next year.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Camping is Not for Babies

When Mike and I made the decision to begin trying to get pregnant, we had several "Are we sure we're ready?" conversations. We discussed our situations in regards to finances, deciding we were as ready as we would ever be. If everyone waited until they could 100% afford a child, none of us would have been born. We were as ready as we'd ever be. We discussed what it would to to our relationship. Since all of our parents lived out of state, we knew having a baby would change our lifestyle more than it would a typical couple because we would have no access to babysitters or helpers. This meant our life of trips to Fenway and random nights out would end. We worried about how our friends would react to adding a new member to our circles of friends and about or social lives.

Liam keeps us so happy and busy that I barely have time to miss our former life. Mike and I went to Fenway once this year. I can't tell you anything about the Sox record this year besides "third place," "plagued by unjuries," and "suck." He and I have been out three times in six months without the baby. We're happier sitting around the fire in our backyard after Liam goes to bed. Although we worried about our relationship, I feel we are stronger because we make time for us. After Liam goes down for the night, we turn off the TV and talk. Although we don't get to go out on dates, we make our marriage a priority and it is working for us.

I knew our relationship would change after the baby. I knew motherhood would change my body. I am surprised at how much it changed me as a person. Maybe this is in combination with the events of the last few months as well. One will never know how much of this change is the result of Liam alone and how much is the result of Liam, the flood, and my mom. My "old" house used to be so clean that I could put it on the market any given day and have it show room ready in less than an hour. Now, I have baby centers around the house. These pretty baskets have wipes, burp clothes, toys, and other things I may need at a second's notice. Because we eat dinner outside most evenings, allowing Liam to play or simply enjoy watching the trees dance, I noticed that our dining room table had dust on it.

Mike and I worried about how Liam would handle his first camping trip. With the exception of dreading "jokes" about Mike being a pussy for not drinking as much as he used to, we weren't worried about us. (For the record, he's not a pussy, he's a dad who went on a diet.) We spent the bulk of the trip watching our friends read. They even used lights to keep reading after the sun set. We were not expecting this. Since our tent was farthest away so Liam could sleep and nap in a quiet environment, I had to walk sixty feet every time I needed to change a diaper or make a bottle. My new found messiness did not impress others nearly as much as it did my husband and I felt awful that people kept cleaning up after me. At home, I can leave a cup of coffee out for a little bit if Liam decides he is hungry or leave wipes next to my chair so I don't have to get up every ten minutes because Liam drools like a basset hound. (Mike may be the only husband who smiles when he comes home to find dishes in the sink, an unfolded basket of laundry in the living room, and Liam and I playing outside.) There was a menu that was discussed before we left. Mike reached for a bagel on Sunday afternoon and was reminded that they were for breakfast tomorrow. We've become scavengers at times, eating whatever without worry that it is for a specific meal. After Liam had a terrible meltdown due to being overtired, I was left to eat dinner alone watching everyone read. Given a choice between watching everyone's head in a book and watching my son, I took my burger to the tent. I took many walks with Liam. It was not a bad trip, but it was very clear that Mike and I had changed in the past year. Reading was not an option when you have a six month old. It was a crash course to teach us how much our lives had changed inthe past year.

It is funny that we were worried about Liam and he did better than we did. I am not at all angry at my friends. That was their perfect, relaxing camping trip and they are more than entitled to it. It is by no means their job to entertain us. Mike and I learned that camping with a baby is a lot of work. We have a grill and a firepit in our backyard. We are more than happy to spend an eveing enjoying those things and sleep in our own comfy beds. Mike and I can go to George Washington park for the day for $2 and enjoy hiking, walking on the beach, and a picnic lunch without having to worry about packing two carloads of supplies for ourselves and baby. We won't have to worry about keeping his quiet for three hours if we wakes up at 5am.

It is ironic that Mike and I worried about how parenthood would change our bank accounts, nightlife, house, body (only me on that one), and relationship. We never wondered how it would change us as people. I have been worrying less and less about the house being picture perfect and prefering to spend times swinging with Liam or playing "mama gym" and letting him climb over me. I don't worry about having nice clothes. I rotate three pairs of shorts and two pairs of jeans, one pair of shorts being a comfy maternity pair from last summer. I don't worry about going out to dinner and making fancy meals. We prefer enjoying time with my family and then making omlettes, putting a lunch meat sundwich together, or inhaling cereal when we finally realize we're hungry.

I wouldn't change it for anything. It's been quite a journey.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Six Months

I need to get better at writing our daily occurances. They can seem simple at the time, but it is so important to have a record of all the people we used to me. Mike and I watched old videos of Liam last night. It is amazing how much he has changed and how excited we got over the littlest things. I remember being so excited the first time he reached for a hanging toy on his playmat. Now, we can barely keep him on the mat at all He rolls and inches all over the place.

He had his first haircut last night. He had no clue what was going on and just seemed happy that a pretty girl was playing with him. I'm sure when he gets older, it will create a challenge.

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I have been trying hard to learn to use the camera Mike got me for Mother's Day. I need to sit down and really learn it instead of playing with it until it does what I want. I can create pretty good pictures, but I have no clue why they're coming out the way they do It is sort of like experimenting in the kitchen. You can play around and make something delicious then have no clue how to do it again. Here are a few of my favorites:

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