Wednesday, May 25, 2011

good things

It's Wednesday and I'm very much looking forward to this holiday weekend and a whole list of good things happening ...

 - Suzanne is coming into town and we have dinner (at a "charming" restaurant according to S) and Moroccan pedis scheduled. No idea what makes them Moroccan, but they sound 100% fantastic.

- Chung-laws are coming. I cannot wait for them to see Baby J. They haven't seen her since Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law is going to go bananas when she sees how big Baby J has gotten and how absolutely adorable she is motoring around the house and smiling all the time.

- We've got touristy things planned for the in-laws - Desert Botanical Gardens, Fountain Park, a hike at South Mountain, lots of delicious Korean food and probably some New Mexican or Mexican fare, as well.

- And the best part? Not only do I have Monday off for Memorial Day, but I will also have the following Friday off, which means only a three day work week! I switched to a work schedule where I will have every other Friday off and I'm so looking forward to it!

Here's to hoping that Thursday and Friday fly by because this Hump Day is dragging.

Monday, May 23, 2011

E&J play date

Over the past year, several of my friends had babies and many of those babies were sweet little baby girls. Two of my college friends, Carrie and Kristen, each had baby girls in the two months before Baby J came along. Carrie, Kristen, and I swam together at Carleton and with three little girls we've almost got enough for a baby relay!

Carrie was in Phoenix visiting her family a few weekends ago and we were able to get E and Baby J together for a little play date.Since Baby J doesn't attend daycare (yet) she does not have that much interaction with other little ones so it was fun to see how she did around another baby. They even got in the pool for a little splash time. E is two months older than Baby J and was already crawling. She must have taught Baby J some tricks because a few days after our play date, Baby J was motoring around the apartment.

 It was fun to catch up with Carrie and I'm glad our little ones had a chance to meet. I hope we'll be able to see Kristen and mighty Zoe sometime too!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

finally there

During the first few weeks of Baby J's life when there were stitches in places you don't want stitches, the most cankle-y cankles you have ever witnessed, and no matter what you were NEVER going to get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time - those were the days when Baby J would only sleep if one of us was holding her. Mr. Chunglund used to have to sleep most nights in one of the most uncomfortable chairs ever created while holding her. When it was my shift, I would at least try to get her downstairs to the couch to make myself a bit more comfortable. I probably complained about Baby J's codependent sleeping habits to anyone and everyone that would listen. Most of the time their response was - "enjoy it while it lasts because some day they won't want you to hold them." I would nod my head in agreement, while thinking to myself how I couldn't wait for the day that Baby J didn't need to be held 24/7.

This morning at 4 a.m., while snuggled up with Baby J on the couch as she fell back asleep, I was fighting the urge to disturb her by hugging and kissing her because she is so crazy adorable. It was this morning when I could finally envision a day when I would tell her, in that overly enthusiastic mom type way, how much I loved holding her, rocking her to sleep, and having her snuggled up right next to me. I will tell her how much I miss having my little baby and or course Baby J will give me one of those "my mom is a little (or a lot) bit crazy looks" and Mr. Chunglund will feel the need to remind me how I couldn't wait until she was a more independent sleeper.

Gone are the days where I feel like I am being held hostage on the couch by a newborn. When my friend, Stacey, who is a new mom herself, asked how long it was until we got over the "holding her all the time" phase, I honestly don't even recall when it was. But I am finally there - in that place where all moms get to, where I can finally see myself missing the snuggly baby stage. If only they could be born at 6-7 months old ...maybe I'd consider having another. For those of you who know me, you know that I say this in only partial jest.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

dear mom

Dear Mom,
I miss you each and every single day. It's my first Mother's Day as a mom and I wish you could see Baby J. Her middle name is "Jean," in honor of you. She was born on the anniversary of your death - October 9th. You would absolutely adore her. She's a smiley, happy, beautiful baby and I often tell her about you. I tell her how much you would have loved meeting her, holding her, hugging her. I tell her that you were the most wonderful mom. Baby J looks and acts so much like me that Gus often comments on how ridiculous it is. I love her more than I ever thought possible and I wish you were here to share in how wonderful she is.

Mom, I want to be like you. You were the best. I wonder what kind of advice you would give me as a parent. I'd like you to tell me how you did everything! I would like to be able to call you and share my joy or my frustration. I wish you would call me so I could tell you about how Baby J is rolling over and sitting up by herself. Just the other night I noticed her first two little teeth poking out of her pink little gums! She is amazing and I am so sorry you aren't here to see how beautiful she is. I tell her that you are her angel and that you are watching over her.

Mom, words cannot express how much I miss you and wish you were still with us. I hope you are proud of what I have become. I love you always. Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

power of the headband

Pretty much every time we leave the house someone either refers to Baby J as a "he" or asks whether "it" is a boy or a girl. Really? I dress her in pink all.of.the.time. The best is the look you get when someone asks you what his name is and you reply, "Juliet." Instead of putting two and two together and realizing that they have mistaken her for a boy, they look at you like you must be a weirdo for naming what is clearly a baby boy such a traditionally female name. However, you slap one of those headbands on and what have you got? You've got yourself a baby that everyone automatically identifies as a girl. For example -

From androgynous Baby J to ...

Most definitely a little girl

It's the power of the headband. Simply magical! *sarcasm font*

Monday, May 2, 2011

rockstar mama

With my first Mother's Day as a mom approaching, I've been thinking about the last (almost) 7 months - how steep the learning curve has been and how much my confidence as a mama has grown. I often compare myself to my other rockstar mama friends, who change diapers with one hand, carry kids on the backs, fronts, hips, heads, and swing their kids in and out of car seats like it is second nature and find myself lacking. Before Baby J came along, I had never so much as changed a diaper and I much preferred that you held your own child rather than asking me to do it. But as a capable, intelligent woman, I thought to myself that if those 16 and pregnant girls on MTV could do it then obviously so could I. I'd manage to figure it out, right?

When Baby J was born, it became clear that Mr. Chunglund had better maternal instincts than me. He was changing diapers, soothing the screams, and swaddling her like a pro. My confidence that I would ever be able to handle her that easily was pretty low. I was terrified of being home alone with her. But as my body healed and I became more mobile, I began slowly testing the waters.  Little outings here and there - sushi lunch with Jenn, a trip to Target, a couple hours at home with her on my own.

Baby J is my biggest challenge. She is not, nor has she ever been, one of those babies that will sit in a bouncer chair or lie contently in a crib. She is helping me to learn flexibility, patience, and selflessness - characteristics which I have never fully embraced. I still have some level of anxiety when we are on our own, but I think I'm getting better. The pièce de résistance was yesterday's solo trip to the grocery store where I strapped Baby J on and managed to get a full week's worth of grocery shopping done. It's the small things that instill confidence in me as a mom. And while I probably will never be the one who will know how to comfort your kids, I'm Baby J's rockstar mom and that is enough.