Six Months of Mamahood

Miles is six months old.  I’ve been a Mama for six whole months, and I still sneak into his room at night sometimes to watch him sleeping.  He’s turning into such a little man and if I stop to think about it too much, I inevitably cry.  He eats real food now, just picks up chunks of banana or mango like it’s no big thing and puts them squarely in his mouth.  He makes hugely loud sounds that I call his Dino Roars.  He does it to get reactions out of people, and it works.  (Ask anyone in line at Starbucks this morning!) He is just so freaking funny!

He is mobile now.  Army crawling across the floor to poke Daddy in the face.  Diaper changes have turned into a wrestling match because AS SOON as you put him on his back he has flipped over so he can get his hands on ALL THE THINGS in the diaper changing bin.  He’ll go from cuddly to on-the-move in .3 seconds.  He belly laughs and flirts, flashing his dimple to unsuspecting women in the checkout aisle.

He is in the 90th percentile in height, 60th for weight.  Our chunk of  baby is turning into a long and lean little dude, but still doesn’t have a single tooth.

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Being a mama has changed me.  (Duh?)  I knew it would, but I didn’t know how exactly.  My heart feels bigger and more fragile now that he’s here.  My world is smaller but a zillion times more beautiful.

I am enjoying simultaneously loving the age he is at, mourning the things he’s already left behind, and looking forward to everything that he will grow and do.  He already has SUCH a personality.  I want everyone to come and spend time with him so they can experience the glory of this happy, light-filled, boy.

Don’t even get me STARTED on how he lights up when Mike walks into the room.  His entire face.  Utter joy.

This little man made me a Mama.  I LOVE being a mama.  Every single thing about it.

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When Amy was here for our race last weekend we talked about how I feel the urge to be Super Mom, Super Wife, and Super Employee at all times.  She helped me get to the point where I am okay with not having the time or (to be honest) the desire to start regularly working out right now.  The time will come for that, but right now I don’t want to miss time with Miles.  I can’t imagine being off running in the morning and missing his sweet baby snuggles.  So for now, we go for walks every day and I will practice some self-love until I really feel “in shape” again.

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My first Mother’s Day was perfect.  I ran off with a girlfriend for a pedicure and then the family went out to the park for a picnic that Mike had planned.  The park we go to is super close to our house and is full of neighborhood families being adorable.  Miles is obsessed with going high on the swings and he laughs the higher he goes.

While we were sitting on our blanket I said to Mike that it was crazy to think about Miles one day being old enough to swing by himself and I’ll have to eventually trust that he won’t let go of the swing and fall.  Mike’s response: “And I am going to have to trust one day he will let go at the right time to do kick ass tricks.”

New Things!

Today is my last Monday at this job.  I have been here for almost 3 years and most of the time I have absolutely loved it, but then things started changing.  I work at a non-profit and every six months there were layoffs and budgets crises.  There was no where to be promoted to and there was no funding for anything even looking like a performance based raise.  But I got pregnant, so I knew that I had to stay put.  So I commuted the 1.5-2 hours every day while I was pregnant.  I tried to make the best of it and took the train, trying to convince myself that the train was a blast!

I came back to work part-time.  Still commuting.  Still stagnant career-wise.  So I started applying for new jobs in January.  After three rounds of maybe’s and interviews with companies that didn’t work out, one finally came through.  Proving right the thing I kept telling myself “The right job will work out.  If this one doesn’t work out, it wasn’t the right one for me.”

A week from today I start a new job.  Full-time, but only 8 minutes from my house.  The pay is significantly better, the perks boggle my mind, and I am pumped.  I will be doing Marketing Operations for a team that is part of Boston Scientific.  Miles will stay in the day care he is at now until summer comes, then Mike gets to spend the summer 1-on-1 with Miles.  In the fall we’ll be able to afford to send him to the best damn day care I could find.  It’s so nice that when I saw pictures online and thought to myself “Miles could really go here”, I cried.  This job is huge for our family.  A career change with so much room for growth and promotions.  I am so excited and nervous and mostly pinching myself that it’s happening.

Mike and I have been saying that AS SOON as I get a new job we wanted to turn a corner of our living room into a space for Miles.  His things have been haphazardly hanging out all over the apartment, mostly in the way.  So we celebrated the new job this past weekend by moving my desk and computer out of the living room and getting a few things to make the corner “Bubs Corner” (We call Miles Bubs, I’ve mentioned that right?).  When I got back from the store with the supplies Miles was napping so we got to set it all up without him knowing about it.

All it took was a mat and a mirror.

And Miles loved it.

 

Miles Right Now.

366 days ago I found out I was pregnant.  Exactly one year ago, we decided we would have this baby and be a family.  (Mike celebrated by immediately going to buy me prenatal vitamin.)

Crazy.  Crazy to think for one second that Miles may not be here.  All the cliches you have heard about motherhood and all the love you feel are real. So often life changes slowly and gradually, parenthood is big and drastic and scary and awesome.

He is now 19 weeks old, 4 1/2 months old.  Those first couple of months were incredibly strange.  We celebrated every single milestone, but I was incredibly anxious.  I couldn’t guarantee Miles wouldn’t end up screaming 20 seconds in, and we would have to bail.

Right when he turned 4 months I could feel this gigantic shift happen.  We’re not in survival mode anymore.  Most of our days are incredibly predictable, except when Miles is having a Fuss Bucket Day… but those are few and far between.  We’re able to venture out and I know that I can handle anything Miles throws at me.  (We can.  Have I mentioned how damn lucky I am to have a real partner in all of this?  My husband is a champion baby whisper.)

Four months marked a lot of fun new things.  We got the okay to start solid foods.  He has been eating sweet potatoes and apple like crazy.  He gags when you give him peas.  But he really loves food that’s for sure, little Chub Bubs.

We have a ton of nicknames for him, none of which we thought of until he was here.  We call hims Bubs and The Bubs primarily.  Then we throw in Chub Bubs, Chub Bubblin’, and James Q. Wiggler.  We’re not sure he knows his real name.

He’ll sit in your lap while you read him stories.

He started rolling over on purpose (instead of accidentally).  Of course he chose to exercise his new skill while hanging out on the couch, and he ended up on the floor.  He was totally fine, more startled than anything, but now he is banished to the floor until further notice.

He has a regular sleep schedule, he sleeps from 6:30-6:30 and naps at 10am and 2pm.  More than anything Miles is just a TON of fun now.  He plays.  He laughs.  He twists his body around to see what you’re looking at. He is incredibly curious and observant.  He is all full of noises at home, but as soon as we’re out he tends to clam up because he’s so busy taking it all in.  We switched him over to his “big boy” forward facing stroller because he really wanted to see all that was going on around him.

He even has a Bestie.  Mason is 3 months older than Miles, but his Mom and I are becoming fast and fierce friends so the boys don’t really have much of a choice.  They will be friends and THEY WILL LIKE IT.

My favorite thing I want to remember about this age is how he wakes up.  In the morning we can hear him talking and playing in his crib, so we tip toe into his room.  When the lights are on and we peak over his crib and say “Good Morning!” he is all smiles.  So we pick him up talk to him while he grins and giggles.  If he sees himself in the mirror he’ll grin and turn to bury his head in my chest.  He’ll just snuggle for as long as you let him.  He’ll tell you stories.  Blow raspberries and laugh.  It’s the best.  I hope he always wants to snuggle me in the morning.

He changes so much all the time. He’s getting so big so quickly.   He used to be just a little peanut…

 

Holding My Breath

I have been feeling like I am in the weeds lately.

I don’t even want to acknowledge that I took pictures of Miles for his 3 month-a-versary-of-life and then didn’t post them.  Little dude is now 4.5 months old.  (Which means I also have his 4 month pictures on my camera.)  You see, he got sick around 3 months, and I went back to work.  That was a lot to deal with.  I’ve been back at work now for almost 2 months, and the adjustment has been hard.  Not because work is hard, being away from Miles is hard, which duh.  When I get home I want to smother him in kisses and then I generally collapse on the couch and try to snuggle my husband because I HEAR THAT’S IMPORTANT and then we’re asleep by 9pm.

Miles is amazing, by the way.  His new thing is rolling on purpose and blowing raspberries.  Very cool.

Every part of me loves being a mom and wife, it’s challenging and rewarding and so much fun.  Now I just need to figure out what the hell I am doing professionally.

And while I am waiting, trying to figure out the details I am having a really hard time writing.. or really talking/doing things.  I am constantly perusing job listings, applying, waiting, interviewing, waiting, not getting jobs, crying, drinking champagne in a bathtub and feeling sad, applying some more.  Something needs to change and move.  I just don’t know what or when it will happen and the waiting thing has never been my strong suit.  Rejection is also not super high on my list of “Things I am Good At”.

So, I have momentary tunnel vision until I get this all sorted out.

It will all work out.  It will be worth it.  That’s what I keep telling myself.  I will find the perfect situation for me and then I will continue coming home to this little face BUT hopefully by then I will also be able to write again.

Mama Needs a Brand New Wardrobe

Until my clothes fit again I have been trying to selectively pick out some super awesome tops that I can wear to work that are forgiving on my middle region.

I had heard about Stylemint, but was kind of apprehensive because the shirts are designed by Mary Kate and Ashley.. and I do not even kind of look like them…and sometimes I think they (or one of them?) looks a little homeless.  No offense.

BUT the cool thing about Stylemint is that you answer questions about your style then YOU get to browse through shirts that fit your style.  Everything is 29.99.

After you order your first one, you’ll get an email every month with new style suggestions.  You can either pick one, or decide not to get a shirt that month.   It’s like a shirt birchbox that you get complete control of.  Then you get some styling pointers and you are off!

This is the shirt I picked out for myself:

What do you think?

 

Laughing and laughing…

It’s Monday.

Some people don’t like Monday’s that much.  I am not one of those people most of the time because Monday’s are the day I get to buy a latte on my way in to work.  It is also the night after Once is on TV, which means it’s on Hulu right now.  That makes me happy.

But I digress.

For those of you who are not really Monday people I came across this last night and laughed so hard I just had to share.

Happy Monday.

Skeet Skeet guys. Skeet. Skeet.

Found on smartphOWNED.com

 

Kissaversary

This past weekend was the first anniversary of ALL THE THINGS beginning with Mr. A.

A year ago I went to a party at a friend’s house and he walked in and we were like magnets.  Even though we had met each other before, something was different that night.  Everything was different that night.  We talked for hours.  At one point I told him that my earrings were too heavy, so he took them out and kissed my earlobes.  (I mean, seriously.)  A year later we have a 3 month old.  MAY THIS BE A LESSON TO YOU ALL.  Letting a boy kiss your earlobes can totally get you pregnant.  You’re welcome.

I think the most common thing married people say about marriage is that it so hard.  You have to work at it EVERY day, they say.  The first year is the hardest and you’ll fight all the time, they warn.  Blah blah blah.  When I was preparing to get married my best friend had opposing advice.  She told me that marriage was THE BEST thing ever.  She admitted that she and her husband loved it more and more every day and that being married was so much cooler than dating or even just living together.  It just keeps getting better she told me.

Well, I’m going to just say it, being married to Mr. A has been easy and lovely and I love it more with every single passing day.

From the beginning things were just easy.  We never played games.  He always wanted to know when he was going to see me next and he was very, very up front with how much he liked me.  I have always felt incredibly secure in our relationship, something that was completely uncharted territory for me.  It’s given me the confidence to be my most authentic self, and I give him all the support I can muster so that he can be exactly who he is (Someone who I think is incredibly cool, BTW).  Most of all, we like each other.  We’re solidly the best of friends; giggling together as we tip-toe into Miles’ nursery to look at his cherub face one more time before bed.

A year later we still have huge crushes on each other, and we tease each other for it.  Last night I was sitting on the couch after a shower with wet, ratty hair and no make-up casually licking the sugar and cinnamon off the bottom of the chex mix bowl with my finger when he came up and looked at me with shmoopy eyes and told me he loved me.  I laughed and said he was crazy, but over the past year it’s really started to sink in.  I believe him.  He loves me, and I love him back.

Best year EVER.

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Tuesday

I am currently snuggled on the couch with Miles snoring on me.  It feels like a good recovery day from our first day away from each other yesterday.

So, yesterday. I dropped Miles off at day care and I didn’t cry.  That’s good right? I kept thinking to myself that Miles is a really happy, easy, well-adjusted baby so he would do just fine.  And he did.  He was great.  They love him and his dimpled grins, and apart coming home smelling like old lady he appears to be unharmed from spending 6.5 hours away from his mama.

Being back at work was interesting.  While I was gone there were massive lay offs, it seems so quiet now.  There are a ton of things that weren’t done while I was on maternity leave that need to get done, so I’ll be busy for a while.  I work at a non-profit with constantly diminishing funding.  I like that right now I can ease back into working part-time, but I am not sure how long I can remain at a job 30 minutes away that doesn’t offer any career advancement.

Mr. A and I have been laughing at everything constantly.  Before bed we have been in fits of giggles over the absolute dumbest things.  I love that guy.  I am so very grateful that I don’t have a husband that adds to me stress.  He is so incredibly thoughtful and proactive.  This weekend will be the anniversary of our first kiss.  That weekend is still so very vivid in my head.  In the first few months of our relationship whenever I couldn’t go to sleep I would replay that weekend over in my head and I would drift off happily.

Miles and I were both sick last week.  That’s the worst.  Miles had the most pathetic sounding cough and sneeze.  It is funny to us that baby coughs and sneezes sounds like real person coughs and sneezes.  It’s like he’s a real person now.
Now that we’ve passed the 12 week markers, Miles has developed a personality ovenight.  He is super vocal and smiley.  My favorite thing is that he will find Daddy in the room and follow him around.  There is no doubt that the little Bubs loves his Dad.

Miles loves Baby Einstein videos.  I am not expecting them to make him smarter or anything but I have really loved the opportunity to quickly brush my teeth and put on clothes knowing he is totally entertained in his chair sucking on his hand.

And now I leave you with video of Miles this morning.

Back to Work

In a week, I am scheduled to return to work.

Cue freak out tears.

I am only going back part-time, and even that is temporary as living in the bay area is just too expensive to not have two full incomes.  Miles will be in day care three days a week for six hours each day.  We found a great daycare right across the street from Mr. A’s school.  The day care provider is an older lady who is really excited about having a little one to snuggle with.  There are four other children who attend, and they seem great.  They get to play outside and eat homemade vegetable soup for lunch.  The house is full of little kid noises.  It is completely affordable and I am sure Miles will get a ton of love there.  At least, these are the things I remind myself at 2am when I start panicking over the thought of not being with my little boy all day anymore.

Miles and I have developed a routine.  We know each other perfectly.  I know his different cries, which one means he is tired and which one means he is just being a fuss-bucket.  I am afraid that this lady won’t know all of his rhythms.  She won’t know that he likes to sleep on your chest with a pinky in his mouth until he’s soothed enough and fast asleep. She won’t know what faces to make at him to make him giggle. And then soon enough she will know all about him; maybe that’s what is freaking me out the most.  He will spend most of the day with someone who is not me and I am going to miss  things.  He’s going to start crawling and talking and being a person so soon and I am so sad I have to share that with anyone.

I also know that I will probably really like being back to work, in a way.  I really like routine and meetings and having lunch with adults every day.  I feel so very conflicted about the whole thing.

The fact is that I had all these ideas and plans for work once Miles was here, and now that he is here everything is different.  If we can’t have me home with him all day then I want to have the best possible job so I can send Miles to the best possible day care while I am away from him.

Maybe I can convince my Mom to move here to take care of Miles during the day?

 

 

Two Months.

It’s crazy insane to think about how much this little guy changes in a month.  He has gone from a sleeping newborn to a smiley little baby.  He’s interactive now!

He had his 8 week check up yesterday and he is currently weighing in at 13.5 lbs and is 24 inches long.  He also managed to pee AND spit up on my while we were in the doctors office (take THAT teenage Miles, I am documenting all of your moments for posterity.  Welcome to your baby book.)

The first time Miles smiled at me on purpose I was sitting with him in my lap making absolutely silly faces and sounds at him.  When he broke into his dimpled grin I burst into tears while still making my silly faces at him.  He knows who I am.  He loves his Daddy.  The yellow dangly toy in his car seat is his new best friend; he will stare at that little thing forever.

Things Miles think are A-Ok:

– Bathtime!  Water!  Kicking his feet!

-Tummy time.  Getting ripped in while playing (ok, staring) at his activity gym.

-Being help high enough to see over your shoulder.  He is no longer amused staring at the wall, he wants us up and moving around so he has things to look at.

-Sucking on pinkies and his own hand.  He still hasn’t figured out how to keep a soothie in his mouth for any real period of time, so I’m stoked he’s found his hand.

-Sade II.  His seahorse still helps him get to sleep… the original Sade jumped out of my arms yesterday and committed sea horse suicide.  Poor girl sounded all minor-chord and slow.  Kind of creepy.  Mom had to go get a new Sade.

-Miles is finally getting on board with riding in his car seat, largely in part to the drive to and from San Diego for Christmas.  I think he’s just more at home there. Today we took a 4 mile walk and he was a pleasant companion the whole time.

Things Miles Could Live Without:

– Shots.  He got his first shots yesterday and has been a little whimpery and fever-y.  Poor little guy.

-Hats.  Always.  Make.  Him.  Cry.

 

Here is a little comparison of Miles each month with Monk Monk.

 

Lastly, this past week I started my gig as the new parenting writer for the website Twenties Hacker. It’s going to be a ton of fun to write, and I in the company of some of my favorite twentysomething writers.