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The Best Laid Plans

September 21, 2016
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How we spent the majority of her first party.

Before having Welles I made a lot of decisions and plans that I thought would help ease the transition for Eli. I signed up for two classes, made a regular schedule of library Mondays and museum Thursdays, and figured Cyrus would just keep it all rolling.

The first chance we had to try it out was last Friday. Welles had a doctor appointment that timingwise butted right up against Eli’s class. It seemed perfect. We would take two cars to the appointment and then Cyrus would take Eli to class while I went back home. Eli did not think this was perfect. He was devastated. Baby Welles had taken his car (my car). He decided he hated daddy’s car and that he didn’t want to go anywhere but home. His new motto is “all or none.” And so it’s been.

This weekend we went to a birthday party for a fellow 2 year old, back to the doctor, and patted ourselves on the backs for surviving. Today we all suited up and went to class. (Where we met snakes, which was super cool.) It was a lot, but so worth it. Eli was tired, but much more himself. And I felt more myself, especially at the end when Cyrus took Welles and I got to sing the last couple of songs with Eli on my lap. Familiar and grounding, new and old, it was what we all needed.

 

Tandem

September 20, 2016

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I’m so tired. I feel like I stayed up all night drinking and smoking. My throat is even a bit scratchy. But I can’t take a nap, as much as I want to, because it’s just so nice right here.

I nursed my babies to sleep at the same time and now they’re both on either arm breathing sleepy breath.

I see Eli struggling to adjust. His hasn’t manifested in anything too outwardly challenging, but as his mom I can see the toll. He’s tired a lot of the time. He’s a little stumbly. I think this time together helps that. He even requests that baby Welles come to bed with us. Today he reached out and put his hand on her shoulder across my chest. It was pretty magical.

But it’s not just for him. I need this, too. The familiar weight and heat of his little body next to mine grounds me in the midst of all this newness.

Transitions are hard.

September 18, 2016

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This is my favorite labor picture ever. You’d almost never guess that one blink after taking it I would be in the world’s shortest transition and pushing out a baby.

 

September 17, 2016

I was going to write about these “baby blues” and how this is the third day that has ended in floods of regretful, guilty tears. I was going to write how I’ve become afraid of the night because it means getting even less sleep than in the day. Instead, I’m just going to work backward. 

Gilligan (see banner photo above) was being weird. He tried to bite me this morning and wouldn’t let me come near him. I thought it was the baby adjustment. He hid under the bed and I let it go. Everyone has their own process, right? 

We went to a 2 year old’s birthday party and came home to find Gilly shaky and twitching in the bathroom. The twitches seemed related to blinking so I thought it could be something in his eye. I decided to check. 

Cue Cujo. Snarling and snapping. And no, he’s not *that* kind of chihuahua, thank you very much. 

Cyrus and our friend Tony took him to the emergency vet. 

Where they ran tests. 

And a blood screen. 

To find. 

That my tiny dog. 

Was high. 

HIGH. 

On thc and pcp. 

He’s fine. We don’t know how he could have gotten it, but haven’t had a chance to inspect the yard in the daylight yet. 

Of course I cried Claire Dane in My So Called Life sobs. I don’t know who I am without that damn dog. 

And then I nursed both my kids at the same time and thought, maybe things are better than I know. 

I’m getting there, y’all. 

3.

September 16, 2016

Day 3. Pediatrician. Lactation consultant. Sore or tender nipples? No. Madeleine outside the hospital. Raisin box shooter.

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Foot or hand?

This is Day Two

September 15, 2016
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This is a photo from day one. Don’t be jealous of my airbrushing skillz.

My daughter is two days old. It’s our first full day at home with her.

We’re transitioning from three to four, from being parents of one to two, and from being the only to the oldest. It’s hard. Transitions have always been hard for me so you can imagine what a bucket of hormones adds to the mix.

This afternoon I was feeling a sadness fueled by guilt and holding to what was. I worried about Eli and the shifts that are taking place. I worried about Welles and that she’s not getting the same kind of attention and attachment that he got.

But I know that, in some ways she’s getting more than he got. She has a brother who loves her and parents with enough experience to take a breath before googling. (And enough sense to know that sometimes it’s okay to put her down if it’s what’s best for everyone.)

With that I got myself up, took off our clothes, and wrapped her up close. I nursed her and drank my current favorite tea. (Red raspberry leaf, in case you’re wondering. It’s delicious.) And it’s all okay. Better than okay. I know that could change in the next second, and that’s okay, too.

 

The Ramblers: an emotional non-review

February 3, 2016
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Photo snagged from Indie Bound

I have this book, The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelly Rowley, that I haven’t finished yet, but I feel okay to write a blog post about it because it’s not really about the finished book, though it is. It’s about the physical book itself and what it has meant to me.

Is this weird? Maybe. Sentimental? Definitely.

Being a new parent is hard. It’s hard in a way that is indescribable until you’re in it. It’s like having a new puppy, but not at all. The stakes are higher.

There are so many nights when you are up every few hours to feed or hold or comfort your child. Those nights can be especially dark. In my case, our son wouldn’t take a bottle so it was all me, all the time. I would watch my husband snoring peacefully and want to dump a bucket of ice water on his face, how dare he dream.

I know people will frown, but truthfully, many of these late night feeding sessions involved sliding through social media to stay awake. We do what we must. Usually around 1 or 2 a.m. I’d be on instagram and a picture would pop up. Always a coffee, a computer, and words. Sometimes a candle, sometimes a window. I came to rely on that little light of consistency to get me through the longest, darkest hours.

I was fully aware of what it meant to me in those moments, but was still surprised by the lurch in my heart when I saw that those words, collected had become a real life, tangible book so many months later.

I’m not generally a pre-orderer, I’m impatient, and I like going to the bookstore when new books come out, but this time I had to. I needed to know that the second it became available it would be in my mailbox. And so it will.

BUT

I got an early copy! It arrived in my mailbox two days ago and as I ripped off the envelope there were tears in my eyes. This “thing”, this object that represented so much was in my hands.

Then I panicked. What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t like anything? I haven’t been able to get into a book since the beginning of January, maybe I should wait. Yes. I better wait. But I can’t.

And so I didn’t.

As soon as Eli was asleep I settled myself on the couch and cracked the book and read. And read. Andreadandreadandreadandread. I was able to invest. I was in it. IN. IT. It was glorious and oh so necessary. I don’t do well when I’m not invested in a book, it’s not good for me. This was a godsend.

I had to post on twitter because it was 100% true:

When you start reading a book and you have to put it down to say “holy fucking shit I needed this” out loud.

Today is wednesday. I had to fast all night and go in for a three hour test this morning. I brought my usual: journal, homemade planner, and current book. I planned to break it up and spend an hour with each.

I started with The Ramblers and didn’t pick up anything else I brought. I spent three what could have been painful and boring hours immersed in this world. I could breathe.

For me, personally, this is an important book. I may even become superstitious about carrying it everywhere. From its inception it has been exactly what I needed when I needed it.

Also, so far, it’s a really really great book. I keep forgetting that the characters are not real people* and that this all came from someone’s brain. Masterful, I tell ya. Get it, read it, tell me your thoughts.

*Especially Smith, because I know a girl named Smith who looks nothing like the character but it throws me a little anyway. 🙂

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