Monday and 172 days of life

Things are basically normal. I’m back at work for the third consecutive month since Veronica was born. I’m not dead yet, and neither is she. Days have taken on a familiar shape.

It’s funny how my daughter can fill up all the spaces in my life. I’ve always been good at getting things done in the margins. There were the big things that filled the day, but there was all this white space too. Quite frankly, I have seldom been asked to use full capacity.

But this baby oozes into the spaces. I have to look hard for the spaces to fit the other things into. I’m beginning to find them.

For example, I’m learning to cook super fast while Veronica entertains herself in a bouncy chair. And I keep up with the laundry by never missing an opportunity to chip away at it.

60 seconds? Monuments can be built in that span.

I would not say it’s easy. But I can say it’s possible. And I can believe it would be possible to have more than one. Now I just have to convince Chris.

And if anybody wants recipes for superquick prepare-ahead-for-the-week meals, I got ’em.

Independence Day

What a great day this has been! I slept in, my baby took several mini-naps before we were going anywhere. I got laundry dishes AND a few extra things done. Yay.

Then I dressed her in her 4th of July outfit to go meet with friends:

My muffin loves socializing. She was tired, but she was quiet and cheerful with all the new people who wished to hold and admire her. There were a lot of kids running around, and it was a lot of fun to hang out and visit.

Having a child does seem to narrow my world.  And this is a holiday to celebrate independence, right? But pure independence is not possible in this life. I depend on a lot of things. And now, my baby depends entirely on me.

That’s the flip side of independence you know. Not just that I need others than myself, but that I am utterly needed. I have a dependent now. I guess I’ll have to have independence with this little one hanging on.

5 months of motherhood


She’s doing good, and I have survived. I have been surprised at what it means to be a mother, and wondering where I fit in my own life now.

Five months seems like a long time, until I look at how very little my baby is. She’s so much bigger than she was, but she still needs me for everything.


I think about things I would like to be making progress on, but they are way out of reach right now.  And it doesn’t even bother me–too much.

It’s the new normal.


While clearing out spam comments, I accidentally deleted some comments from my *real* readers.

I’m sorry. I love to get comments, so, please, comment away.


since she arrived, V was given a pacifier on a ribbon. The ribbon has a clip to keep it within reach. Naturally, the ribbon has recieved love and attention from little V. She often holds it out to address the pacifier on the end, now that she can talk AND grab things.


It’s Shakesperean:


the answer is: there is no answer

After studying and reading like a fiend, I came up with a very carefully crafted system and schedule to starve my baby.

We just got out of the hospital where they put Veronica for “Failure to Thrive”. She was *supposed* to weigh 16 pounds by now. She actually weighed barely 10.

So, there’s nothing wrong with her that a little (read: a LOT) of extra feeding won’t cure. But I’ve kind of lost trust in all the expert now. I could feel very guilty that this happened, but I’m choosing not to. I’m just so tired of being stressed out and overwhelmed, I think I’ll stop.

We’ll see if that works

15 weeks and counting

She is 15 weeks old today. In two more weeks, she’ll be 4 months old.

I think the clock got unstoppered this week, for me anyway. It’s progressing. One more day and the full first week back at work will be unwrapped and all the things it held will be revealed. We’ll know what we were waiting to know.

Chris did the first change to the schedule that I had established today. But I guess that’s okay. We’ll survive it, and maybe it’s an improvement after all.

Not about me

I made it through the first day back at work. Four months ago, actually 137 days ago, I left work a swollen person, but I was recognizable to myself.

In the ensuing days between I went through permanent and profound changes. When Veronica came out of me, she had her little fingers spread out (in a way that has become familiar to us now) and she was looking hard at her hands. It’s as if she was thinking “That’s what these are! That’s what they look like! That’s who I am!”

I’ve found myself saying similar things to myself. That’s what this is? That is who I am? This is what it feels like? When Veronica was born into a new life, so was I. It was unfamiliar and terrifying. Also, it was featureless; the landmarks I had learned to use in my life up to then were nowhere to be found and I was completely lost.

I was desperate to find my way from one hour to the next–from one second to the next! I was in so much pain and so exhausted and none of that mattered at ALL because I had a very big 8 pound 10 ounce load of responsibility to carry and it was heavier than the whole world.

As a matter of fact, the world had disappeared and I was afraid I had disappeared along with it. I was ALONE.

But then people reached out to me. I was in deep dark water, but like pings to a submarine in the dark, people reached out to me and gave me reassurance. There were emails and texts and lots of phone calls when I breathlessly told all about what was going on and what I was learning and trying to do. I was trying to say how things were going to be okay, and if I said it enough times I might learn to believe it.

People who loved me listened to me and told me that it would be okay. I was lifted up by a multitude of hands and carried out to when it finally was okay. I was so needy and people gave me what I needed.

A lot of what I learned is to get past what I needed. My daughter needs me and she can’t wait for me to get around to her. I have to get over myself and what I think I need. Even what I really think I really need. Sleep? I need that. But I’ll have to not need it for a while. Food? Going to the bathroom? I need those, but they come second. Because it’s not about me.

It was SO HARD. It was so relentless.

And now, it’s not that it’s over, but I’m at work and I get a break. An 8 hour break where the need relents.

It’s Daddy’s turn now. Mommy is at work.

And I want to tell him all about how to do it right. I’ve spent so much time with her and HE HASN”T. I know how this works and I know what she needs and there was been a PLAN and things are going WELL according to the plan. I have all this hard-earned experience and skill now and he needs to hear it.

Not only hear it but APPRECIATE all I’ve learned and appreciate ME. Because I need to be appreciated.

only…i just learned that it’s not all about me. and it’s not about what i need. i don’t necessarily need what i think i need.

What I need to do is find the answer that is not about me. When Chris tells me “She cried unless I walked around holding her while we listened to the annoying nursery rhyme CD!” I don’t need to say WHAT DO YOU THINK I’VE BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN CENTURIES?!

I don’t need to say “If you just held her in this one way while showing her this particular toy and …and…she would stop crying!”

I need to find the answer that’s not about me.

falling into place

She is 9 weeks old today.

I cannot believe how very mature this baby is compared to when I first brought her home. She holds her head up and looks around. We have conversations, her part consisting of smiles and coos but she means them whole heartedly.

She has also learned to interact with her toys some. She had already been interacting with rattles and things. The dog knows that all stuffed noise-making objects in the house belong to her, and she finds it really confusing that she can’t have them. Of course, the cat had no interest.

One floor toy was given to us, and I despaired that she would ever use it. But now she is old enough to be interested in Fisher Price’s Ocean Wonderland (or whatever they call it):

THIS one, that cat understands. It is a cat pagoda:
Of course it’s for him. What’s wrong with that?

The question is, who is sharing? Him or Her?