Monday, December 31, 2007

December 31st, 2007

And so here it is, the last day of the year. What a year it has been. Garrett is changing so much every day. He just started being able to grab things. He'll lie on his back on his play mat, with all these little animals hanging down, and he struggles and twitches and kicks and pounds the mat with his hands but he doesn't give up. And then, for one brief shining moment, he holds the leg of a stuffed giraffe in his hands, victorious!

He's also been going to bed brilliantly. We put him in his crib, he flails and sucks his hands and turns himself around 180 degrees. And then he falls asleep with one arm slung over his eyes. I hope he continues to be able to fall asleep like that, on his own, self-pacifying. I think it'll lead to a very independent future.

I'll leave you with this lesson my dog Bogie taught me yesterday:
I was giving him snacks and he would choke down each one, barely chewing, knowing that I had another one in my hand to give him. He didn't enjoy any of them... Just waited for the next one to be delivered. I realized that we all do that. We fail to enjoy the here and now because we're so busy thinking about or worrying about or excited about what's coming next.

My resolution for 2008 is to savor each "snack". I want to live inside every moment, and let myself be surprised by what's around the corner. We only have so many "here and nows". I plan on savoring each one.

May your New Year be filled with great joy. I look forward to sharing more with you throughout the year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17th

Right after I got married, I noticed any woman with a wedding ring and French-tipped nails. If I ever had the occasion to approach one I'd say, "Did you just get married?", and they would light up and squeal, "Yes!" Then we'd both go on with our day, knowing we had that in common and that we were probably the luckiest girls in the world.

Now I notice any woman with a slight gut, a haggard expression, dark circles, and a stroller. If we're not feeling too exhausted to speak, one of us will start: "How old is yours?" "Where did you give birth?" "Are you breastfeeding?" "Is she sleeping through the night yet?" "Can you believe how much they cry?" "Do you ever think about suicide?" Then we both go on with our day, knowing we have that in common and that we're absolutely the luckiest girls in the world.

Garrett and Russ are still sleeping. I should say Russ is still sleeping, and Garrett is once again sleeping after our nightly feedings and changings. They're down to two now for the most part! He goes to bed between 11:00 and 12:00, wakes up between 5:00 and 6:00, and again around 8:00. Then he sleeps about another hour or two. I swear I could watch him sleep for hours. It's the most peaceful, beautiful sleep. Russ calls it "the sleep of no financial worries". I usually try to snag some extra sleep with him, but this morning I was dying to get up and finish organizing my cook book cabinet in the kitchen.

I am not a very organized woman. I try to be, I really do. But I fail miserably over and over again. Now I'm looking around my house and picturing a crawling child and I shiver with anxiety. Garrett will soon be making his way all over this messy abode and I can't bear to think of the things he could pick up and put in his mouth, or put somewhere else never to be found again! So I have committed to myself that I will get this place in order over the next three months. By the time Garrett is crawling, I will always know where my keys are, I will have thrown away bags of things I haven't used in years, and I will have given a huge amount of mid-90's clothing to Goodwill. For some reason I started with my cook book cabinet. But it's a start.

Bogie's been a little depressed lately. I might be reading into it, but he seems depressed to me. It's impossible to give him the amount of attention he used to get, but we still give him a ton. He loves Garrett. He licks him all the time and wags his tail whenever he sees him. But there's an underscore of, "Things were different before you got here, kid." I feel bad. I think he'll adjust to it more and more the older Garrett gets. I think as soon as he gets some of the love back from the kid he's giving it to, all will be well. In the meantime, we go on a lot of family walks and I make sure to tell Bogie at least once a day that he's still the best dog in the whole world and I love him as much as I always did. Plus, Russ plays with him a ton. I'm reading into it, right? It's just like a woman to mistake her dog's normal expression for a deep emotion. He's fine!

Garrett is stirring. I'm gonna go get him and "accidentally" wake up Russ. This will be fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December 11th

I am 133.8 pounds. That's only 3.8 pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight. Yay, me! Butt, (yes, I meant to spell it that way), I took a good look at my ass profile yesterday and was not pleased. My butt used to be perky. It used to be round. It was pretty darn cute. Now it's flat and sad and pathetic. So, although my weight is worthy of celebration, my ass is in desperate need of some lunges and squats. And my stomach is in dire need of crunches. There you have it. I'll keep you abreast of my physique's progress. Speaking of breasts... They're the only thing looking really good and that's just because they're filled with milk! Yes, I'll be breast feeding until Garrett is 20.

So, my sister-in-law gave me a book by Anne Lamott called "Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son's First Year". I've been reading it for a few days and it is INSANELY similar to my blog. Since it was written in 1989, I now feel like a cheap imitation. Miss Lamott is a wonderful writer and I've already cried several times because of her lovely way of describing things. She and I are very similar. At the time she wrote the book, she was 35 years old with a newborn. She's a single mom, a recovering addict, very religious with a deep love for Christ, and she lives in a tiny apartment in Northern California. Fine. So the only things we have in common are age and motherhood. But, that's enough. The way she describes the love and awe she has for her son makes me feel like we are the same.

I know how stupid this is going to sound, but it makes perfect sense in my head. There is something very reassuring about this book. She describes several things about her son Sam that are exactly what Garrett does. Yesterday she was talking about this cough he has that she calls his "fake cough". Whenever Garrett coughs I say, "You're faking!", because it seriously sounds like he's putting it on for attention. She describes things he does while breast feeding that are exactly the same. What I'm getting at is this, and please bear with me. It's comforting to think that with all the changes in the world, with all the craziness and technology, with all the anger and terrorism, with all the sickness and sadness... It's comforting to know that kids were the same in 1989 as they are in 2007. The template hasn't changed. That makes me feel good for some reason.

She also describes all of her fears and thoughts in such a way that makes me glad to know that my fears and trepidations are probably felt by mothers everywhere, and always have been.

Garrett is three months old today and he is truly magnificent. He smiles so much and each time I feel like he hands me a treasure chest filled with diamonds. I still stare at him in complete amazement, unable to figure out how he got here. Russ and I both feel so lucky to have him as a son.

He's big. Bigger than 90% of kids his age. That makes sense considering Russ is incredibly tall, and so are all the men in my family. His little hands look like they're going to be giant, as do the rest of his appendages. Every time we bathe him he acts like he's getting a spa treatment. When we change his diaper he looks at us with an incredibly amused expression, like he's in on a joke that he won't tell us. And he talks a lot! Seriously! He's constantly cooing and saying things like, "Ah Goo!" We have entire conversations and they're fascinating.. To us. I know he's going to be sitting up soon, and then crawling and moving too fast for me to catch up with. That's why I'm trying to live inside of every moment with him. And every moment, no matter what is happening, good or bad, is perfect.

It's also my mom's 67th birthday today. She and my dad are living in a condo at the hospital where my father had his treatment. That way he can be close to the doctors he needs to see several times a week. She's working hard to take care of him, and I hope she's enjoying her birthday.