Archive for family

Is This a Boobie Which I See Before Me? (Month One)

In the first month of Vivian’s life, she astonished us with a multitude of things:

1)  Her ability to projectile spit up

2)  Her ability to pack on the pounds (one pound a week for the first 2 months roughly)

3)  Her ability to get right back on the boob, with gusto, right after emptying the contents of her stomach

4)  Her ability to wrap us around her tiny, delicate, sharply nailed little fingers

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Hello again, friend (In the Beginning)

Has it really been almost 6 months since I last posted?  Woops.  Well, settle in for a long catching up post, friends!

I was talking to my sister this morning and marveling over the fact that the 5 months since Viv was born seem simultaneously like a lifetime, as I suppose they have been for one little mite, and like the blink of an eye.  Is she really wearing 12 month clothing already?  How is it that she just rolled and wiggled and kicked herself from one side of her playmat to the other to retrieve an errant toy?  Wasn’t it just yesterday that my husband held her on an early, gray, drizzly spring day: swaddled and on his chest, while classical music played in the background and I meandered about, setting our home to rights by picking up the detritus of a newborn- a blanket here, soiled diapers there, burp cloths draped on every chair and sofa arm to catch the frequent spit up.  Did that ever really happen? She has a beautiful, sweet, curious soul that grows warmer with every day.  Lately, she has become (in her pediatrician’s words) “flirtatious.”  Oh, is she.  She will stare down new people, contemplate for a minute, and then crack an enormous smile.  Not daring enough to actively seek out new people and more of an observer, she is a more than willing recipient of anybody’s attention.  Oh, friends.  She is a delight.  My mom told me in those early days that she was an easy happy baby.  That was sometimes hard for me to believe, having little to compare her to.  She could scream (and often did for what seemed like hours but was more like 20-30 minutes a night) and was fully capable of covering absolutely everything nearby in spit up.  But she truly was and is easy.  We are so incredibly lucky and undeserving of this beam of light.  Read the rest of this entry »

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My shower was now a month ago.

Please forgive my tardiness in writing about it.  I was so overwhelmed by all of the generosity and love shown by our friends and families!  My friend Heather threw the shower at our church, and a lot of wonderful people showed up.  These were people from every facet of my life- my childhood, college, adulthood, family.  Even those who couldn’t come due to time or travel difficulties were there in spirit.  Stowaway truly was showered with so much love (not to mention gifts!).

In fact, the registries are now basically empty.  That’s a pretty good feeling.  I went out a couple weeks ago and purchased the rest of the cloth diaper supplies from Diaper Lab, a local cloth diaper store.  Then, that evening I went to choir only to be surprised by a small shower.  They had taken up a collection and purchased most of the same items I had bought earlier in the day!  So, I was able to return my items and save a bunch of money.  I guess that’s what I get for jumping the gun.  🙂  Okay.  You have to see these adorable diaper covers we got:

And, if Stowaway turns out to be of the female persuasion, I may be forced, kicking and screaming, to purchase this insanely cute one too:

This baby is going to have a very fashionable butt. 

What was I saying?  Oh yeah.  Shower.  So, my shower was exactly what I imagined it to be.  It was laid back and fun, there was a lot of good food, and everyone seemed to have a good time.  Heather brought a couple of lasagnas and several other friends also brought things.  My friends are great cooks!  I have never felt so completely supported and surrounded by love as I have during this pregnancy.

After the shower, my mom (who flew in from AK for this!) came back to my house with two of her dear friends (women I’ve known since I was a very small child).  I still remember fondly sleepovers and parties with these ladies and their children.  We sat in Stowaway’s room for a good portion of the evening admiring all the gifts I’d received, putting some stuff away, and generally starting to get the room in better order.  They stayed late, until husbands started calling and the drive back to their respective homes (in NH and ME) started to seem long for such a late hour. 

All in all, a great day.  Mr. Cookie and I feel truly lucky to have such a strong support network.  Stowaway is incredibly lucky too, because one day s/he will look on many of these same friends the way I see my mom’s friends.  All of you are treasures to me.  Thank you for being so giving of yourselves.  I am in your debt.

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Holiday Happiness

When you join forces with another person, there are so many logistics to figure out.  Who will we visit for this holiday?  How do you prefer laundry to be done (a good answer to this one is “however you would like, since you’re nice enough to do it”)? How should we decorate our living space?  This will, inevitably, lead to many fights or, at a minimum, disagreements.  Until you stumble on the things that you can wholeheartedly agree on.  Like that Crest paste is great toothpaste.  Or that the right side of the bed really can be mine.  Or that Christmas decorating needs to happen the day after Thanksgiving.

In Mr. Cookie’s house, this was always the way.  In our family, we waited an agonizing two weeks (at least) before Christmas came to our home.  The first year we lived together, I met Mr. Cookie’s suggestion to decorate the Friday after Thanksgiving with some trepidation.  Since then, there is no turning back.  It is such a nice tradition, and such a great way to prolong the togetherness that Thanksgiving brings.  So, yesterday, without fail, Mr. Cookie headed off to the hardware store to purchase lights and other decorations for the outside of our house.  He hung one string (and then rehung it because it was backwards) only to decide that he didn’t like how it didn’t match the icicle lights he’d gotten for the side porch.  Here he is working hard hanging the lights the first time (the ones we wound up later exchanging):

Off to exchange the icicle lights for ones that would hopefully match. When that failed to work, he went back to the store for a third and final time to exchange the lights in front for more icicles.  It was a little more expensive but so worth it!  I went with him on one of his three trips to the store and we picked out a snowman, a wreath, a kissing ball, and some other things to supplement the garland he had purchased earlier.

Here is the result (finished around 10:15 last night):

There is still a little work to be done (namely, we need candles for the windows), but I am really excited to be the first on our block to have our lights up and I just know that there is a kid somewhere who is looking at our  house and starting to pester stubborn parents about decorating early.  🙂  Next weekend:  REAL tree (finally- one of those things we couldn’t agree on at first) and decorating the inside.

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Thanksgiving for the Mr.

Mr. Cookie puts up with a lot.  Frequent emails within which I moan about my newest symptom.  Constant bellyaching about how huge I feel (I’ve heard some nasty rumors that I’m supposed to get bigger?).  Whiny requests to go get that thing that I forgot, inevitably on another floor of the house. 

Whenever I throw something negative at him, he’s standing there, at the ready with something positive.  What’s that?  I was just woken up by my wife at 4 in the morning because her ribs were really painful?  No prob.  I’ll just suggest that she start getting more frequent massages.  My wife just complained for the 50th time today that she was pretty sure I’d never find her attractive again?  Let me rub her belly and kiss her and tell her how excited I am that she’s growing our family. 

He really is the best.  The other day, I announced that the baby is a sweet potato this week (a sweet potato!  That’s, like, so big!!) and instead of rolling his eyes that I was on that stupid pregnancy app again, he came over and started gobbling my stomach (what can I say?  The man is a fiend for sweet potatoes).  This morning, when I emptied the contents of my stomach (a very nice broccoli and cheese omelette he’d just made me) into the toilet, he looked at it and, instead of showing me how sad he must have been that I hadn’t kept his delicious food down, offered that maybe I’d like some crackers instead.

All this to say that I and Stowaway are incredibly lucky people.  I am lucky because he stands with me so firmly in this pregnancy.  I always used to think it was so weird when I’d hear people say “we’re pregnant” about their partner and themself but now it makes so much sense.  Mr. Cookie really does carry a share of this pregnancy because he remembers to take care of me when I forget to.  He’s one step ahead of me when I have a problem.

I looked back to last November in my archives to see if I’d posted about Thanksgiving last year and, of course, I had not.  I was too silly and caught up in problems at work and body image shit to see how good life was right then.  Life is so insanely good!  It was then, too, but maybe I hadn’t had enough hard stuff to make me appreciate the good. 

Pregnancy is hard.  Anyone who says differently may be considered as a surrogate for my next child.  But, no matter what, at the end of the day, I am so excited (and feel so lucky) to have a child.  On the days I forget that, I’m glad that my husband remembers.  He’s going to be a great dad.

I had a dream the other night (my first baby dream) that our child (a son) had been born.  I won’t tell you about the parts where the baby could talk and was very vocal about his feelings regarding breastfeeding (let’s just say he was very opinionated and felt I was not sating him) but I will tell you about the part where Mr. Cookie and his dad took him to a football game and I started sobbing, not because I was sad they were leaving but because they were such a tight little group and I knew that our child was incredibly blessed to have that.  Girl or boy, I know this child will have a special bond with his or her dad (and grandparents). 

18 weeks down.  I am so thankful for those weeks, hard as they may have been.  More importantly, I am so thankful for my husband, who made them easier.  Love you, Daddy-to-be.

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Sometimes if I’m not careful, my thoughts get away from me.  Lately, they’ve been getting away from me in the form of our decision to stay in one place.  Would it shock you to know that of all the places I’ve lived, I’ve been in and around Boston the longest?  Growing up, we were constantly moving thanks to the military.  As a really young child it was fine.  Then, as we got older it became tougher.  I started to notice other kids who had known the same groups since kindergarten.  I realized that I would never have the history or the importance of friendships that had lasted since grade school.  It also meant that I avoided problem solving because, after all, why mend a friendship when I would just be moving soon anyway?  I believe this has made it difficult for me as an adult to maintain friendships.  I am bad at the whole longevity thing which makes me sad.  It’s one area of my life where I am really bad at examining my behaviors for weak areas and fixing them.  Normally, one of my strongest abilities is that of analyzing myself for improvement.

But then, there are the incredible benefits of being a military kid.  I got to see the world.  I feel like I got to meet a whole range of people that most kids wouldn’t ever get to.  At the age of 10 I’d been all over Europe and the United States.  That was an incredible feeling.  Our family photo albums were littered with the kinds of backdrops you would normally find in small sections of albums reserved for a summer vacation.  I won’t lie, it’s pretty amazing to be able to say I’ve been to all the places I have.

Still, as I contemplate this enormous purchase we’re about to make, I think more about setting down our roots in this community.  Just around the corner is the Boys and Girls Club where our future kids will likely learn to swim one day.  Just down the street is the church (meeting house?) that Mr. Cookie and I have started attending (It’s a Unitarian Church and we love it for the intellectual stimulation and the sense of community).  Across Mass Ave is a bike path where we will have (and have had) many runs, walks, and bike rides.  Up the hill is the little elementary school where maybe I’ll cry as my children go to their first day of kindergarten and then again when they graduate into middle school.  It’s so exciting to think of settling down in one place for longer than a few years.

I wonder though, will our kids resent staying in one place as teenage me sometimes resented all the moving?  Will they wish we had taken them to see the world?  Will they grow tired of our bustling hamlet?  I hope not, but I feel like they might.  Perhaps that is part of being a teen- hating whatever your parents’ biggest choices were.  For those of you who stayed in one place as a kid, what was it like?

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The Best of Times: House

Has it really been three months since my last post?  My, how time flies when… well, when life gets tough.  I guess I stopped posting because for a little while there, with Mr. Cookie still looking for work and dealing with the frustrations of that, life just piled up.

Then, he got a job and things started looking up but I was out of the habit of blogging.  Sorry, guys.  I started this blog with the tagline “the best of times.”  And really, brief periods of down aside, this last year has been pretty great for us.  Even with the short dance with unemployment, we were able to tighten our belts, live mostly on my salary, and eat into our savings very little.  Which means, now that Mr. Cookie has been back to work for awhile, we have some news!

You guys, after a rather nasty and frustrating house search, I think we have found the home we will call our own.  It’s in a suburb of Boston that has the best of both worlds.  Quiet neighborhoods with incredible schools.  Easy access to public transit.  Proximity to a lot of our friends.  Biking paths, playing fields, and water.  Our offer has been accepted and now we’re just waiting on the inspection.  Here she is, folks:

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