Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day in the Life

For anyone who thinks maternity leave is a luxury, let me give you the real scoop.

Here's my day:

5-5:30am - Feeding

6-8am - Baby sleeps and/or lightly squawks in crib. I do exciting stuff including: brush teeth, pick up house, unload dishwasher and take some Excedrin. (Husband commented life with a newborn includes a constant, low-grade headache, so we're both hitting the Excedrin extra-hard.) This time may include eating breakfast, if I'm lucky. (Today includes blogging.)

8:30am - Baby up for another feeding.

9am - Diaper change. (She dislikes this.) Clothing change. (She dislikes this, too.) A rousing game of peek-a-boo while she's on the changing table. (This is a whole new level of dislike - maybe even hate. But my face super-up-close scares me, too, so I can't blame her.)

9:30-10:30am - Carry Baby around seeing what I can accomplish one-handed. Maybe walk around yard to get her some Vitamin D. Have Baby do "tummy time" which is when she lays on her stomach and practices lifting her head. (She doesn't like this either.)

10:30am-Noon - Baby naps. I pump (TMI, I know), try to get on the elliptical for 45 minutes and shower.

Noon-1:30pm - Repeat activities from 8:30-10am.

Here it becomes less structured. If someone comes by, she naps. If not, she's awake. We may throw in a bath, multiple diaper changes and a brief squawking session.

2pm - Take Baby and Trudy for a walk.

3pm - Feeding.

3:30pm - Diapers, diapers, diapers. This is her high-poop time.

4pm - Husband is usually home. Thank God.

4:30pm - Put her in the swing, leave Husband with a bottle and get the hell out of the house. Yesterday was a riveting run to CVS (my new favorite place) which I wrapped up by eating a Heath candy bar in the car in the parking lot and taking my sweet time getting home.

5:30pm - Follow-up feeding. Pass baby back and forth while the other person gets to do stuff like make dinner or possibly shower.

6pm - Back in swing so we can eat.

7-8pm - Family walk time with Baby and Trudy.

8-9pm - Witching hour usually accompanied by hiccups.

9pm - Feeding.

9:30pm - Put Baby down and keep fingers crossed she won't get back up.

10pm - Write at least two thank you notes for all the kind things friends have done for us in the last month.

No witty wrap up and it's 8:29am and motherhood calls. I love Charley, but miss my adult people. A lot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nothing A Chicken Bone Can't Fix

Last night, Husband, Charley, Trudy and I ventured out for a family walk. This wasn't the first family walk that we've taken. However, it was the first walk where Trudy has been, well, Trudy.

Bringing Charley home and combining baby with an overprotective dog gave me pause. Fortunately, things have gone well. We've been consistent with T's walk schedule and she gives Charley lots of sniffs and licks. T has taken to napping under the crib, which is quite endearing. But now I'm getting off track.

As we're finishing the walk, Husband makes the mistake of unclipping the leash before getting in the house. That one nanosecond was all it took. T pulled her fake out move and was in the neighbor's yard in a blink. She paused, looked back at us with the distinctive "eff you" expression and took off.

Baby was hungry, so I was off the hook for chasing, which left Husband. I settled on the couch to watch whatever Gordon Ramsey show is on at 8pm. (The man is on some channel every hour of the day.) At 8:45pm, Husband and dog return.

Trudy had decided to go on an adventure, which included crossing over Paseo and frolicking through the neighborhood on the east side. According to Husband, the chase provided quite the entertainment. He estimated 15 people came out on their porches to watch him try to catch Trudy. One woman pulled over in her car and started calling people, which Husband suspected was how more and more people knew to come outside.

The audience provided helpful guidance such as:

"That dog don't want no part of you!" (No kidding.)

"You think that dog gonna mind you when you call?" (Clearly not.)

"That dog must be part fox!" (We don't know if this is even possible, but we hear it a lot.)

Finally, a kind man pulled up along side Husband with a chicken bone and offered to help corner Trudy. The chicken bone worked and man gave both Husband and T a ride home. However, as punishment Trudy did not receive her nightly popcorn allocation. Sadly, I don't think she cared.

Friday, August 10, 2012

One Thing At A Time

A week before Charley arrived, a kind man at Latte Land dispersed some baby wisdom my way. (Pretty much everyone in the eighth month did this, but this fellow -- Bob -- made more sense than many others.) He said, "A baby takes away everything that was important before and gives those things slowly back, one at a time."

Here's what I've received back this week:

1. The ability to run to Walgreen's and buy hydrogen peroxide.

2. A drive through the ATM.

3. A short walk with Trudy.

4. A quick trip to the grocery store where I still forgot butter.

5. The purchase of a bottle of wine. (That's kind of cheating since it's really due to not being pregnant anymore. Same situation with the ankle bones.) Note I haven't actually had any wine to drink, but it's nice knowing it's in the fridge.

6. And the big attempted finale... a pedicure. I didn't really get this back, but I did go by Oak Nails to see what the wait time was, which they said 10-15 minutes. This is a big, fat lie. There were 34 people ahead of me so I left. That's what allowed for #4.

That's it for today. Time for the witching hour.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Charley and the Sleepless Factory

Well, I have about eighteen topics that are worthy of a blog entry and six minutes to write. So what does that get you? A modified top ten list covering the first nine days of motherhood.

1. I'm not going to horrify any new moms-to-be with a delivery horror story. Mine was actually okay. Not fun, mind you. Not painless. But if you told me I had to do it again next week, I could manage. (After a fair amount of complaining.) Labor lasted 24 hours. An epidural is a tiny gift from God. I pushed through five contractions and there she was - Charlotte Elizabeth Saab.

2. It is quite all right to have the nurses put the baby in the nursery at night. I enjoyed those few hours of stress-free sleep. They may have been my last.

3. If a tan, cologne-wearing security guard knocks on your hospital door and asks if there are any weapons in the room, it's a safe bet my husband will suspect he's a stripper. This scenario was made better by the fact that friends were there to witness it and there was filet knife with an eight inch blade hidden under the mattress. Thanks to the previous tenant for leaving this behind, thus providing a great laugh and good story.

4. There's a moment as you pull away from the hospital with your first child in the backseat and think, holy crap, who agreed to let us do this? Do they know us? Are they insane? Someone has made a horrible mistake.

5. Breastfeeding is really, really hard. And those strange women in the La Leche League, while very nice, can drive you nuts with the skin-on-skin concept. I needed a straight-talking, no-nonsense nurse to just tell it to me straight. Thanks, Julia.

6. Yeah, I'm going to go there and mention what you're not supposed to. Bringing home a newborn is difficult. So. Stinking. Hard. While I knew it was going to be a struggle, it's beyond my comprehension. Every night I have a witching hour - not the baby. I cry and sob and guiltily miss the freedom of my old life. I cry for the dog. I cry for a complete night's sleep. I cry because it is a wall of emotion that makes it impossible not to. Then it eventually subsides and I have a popsicle and tell myself this part is only temporary.

7. Husband changes diapers better than I do.

8. A complete to-do list for the day might be "shave legs." And that's okay.

Well, the Squack Box is awake so a top eight list will have to do.

Okay, 9. There are some moments that are incredibly sweet. Like when she's swaddled in her crib first thing in the morning. Everything is quiet, the sun is coming through the blinds and she opens her eyes and looks so peaceful. Those are pretty amazing.