Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Three things

1. Jimmy Fallon continues to dominate; The Boss continues to rock; Chris Christie continues to fail; I continue to be amused.

2. These 1920s mug shots are… hot. What's going on here? Whatever it is, I'm a buyer.

3. Babies in letter sweaters are as cute as you might have suspected. Even better, this one is 30 years old. T was a proud dad at the Yale-Harvard game at Madison Square Garden. Baby H getting in her first hockey game at eight weeks… yeah, he's a proud dad.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Recent favorites

Some favorites boppin' around my world lately:

This song. I could listen to it endlessly. It's been months, and it's still on heavy rotation over here.

This show. 

Man, am I hooked. I started Season 1 Episode 1 while nursing H one day, thinking it'd be a casual fling I'd have over maternity leave. By Episode 3 I was calling in T so he could join the fun. Marathons being what they are, we finished the entire series a week ago. So there we were, halfway through Season 3, ready for new January episodes… and it's not coming back until the end of February?! What are two hopeless addicts to do?

(Answer: House of Cards, Season 2, starting February 1.)

This sketch. Because there's simply nothing funnier on the internet to me right now, weeks after my original guffaw. (Confession: this ditty actually gets stuck in my head worse than the aforementioned actual song that I love.)

This photo. There's not a shot in the world that's ever made me happier… and the competition is pretty fierce.

In the morning we're heading up to New York to meet T's family for a big hockey game. My baby daddy's excitement at taking H to her first college hockey game is adorable - a tiny letter sweater is involved. There will be photos. 

On Monday I'm back at the office, and I feel good about that. I miss work. I know I'm heading back earlier than a lot of people do, and I'm partially complicit in that, thanks to the demands of my pet project. The other part of it is, you know, this. I'm nervous only about how well daytime pumping will go and if I can keep with her. The rest is, well, the stuff of life. I'm sort of ready to get that going already, you know? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Six weeks of wonder

In the blink of an eye, Hazel is six weeks old, Christmas is behind us, and it's already 2014. It's hard to believe how quickly the days are moving by, and yet I can hardly remember life before her. She's... awesome. Obviously I find everything she does to be miraculous. Every day I look at her and marvel that T and I (with the help of some awesome science-doctors, of course) created something so amazing. I can't wait to see what she becomes.

My favorite thing in the early days was feeling like somehow I already knew her. Maybe that's just what happens when you bring someone who's half you into the world. She was born and entirely new, and somehow instantly familiar, like she'd been with me all along.

Most people think she looks like me, but I do think she has her dad's expressions, and his legs. So far it appears that we lucked out in the lottery of baby temperament. She's almost always pretty mellow and happy. At first all she wanted to do was snuggle. These days she enjoys sitting upright and looking around the room, especially at sunshine. And her newest trick is seeing not just the morning sun, but us. When her big eyes actually lock with ours, I melt in a major way. And don't even get me started on her smiles... I'm sure she already thinks we're pretty lame, the way we embarrassingly fawn over her.

When she's not mellow and happy, we call her Hazel the Hippo - a fiery beast who demands food at any cost. The hippo gets what the hippo wants. (And hey, I get hangry, too, so I can't blame her.) She loves baths, which makes me hopeful for a future water girl. She runs hot like her mom, waking up at night sweaty and wanting to shed layers. Speaking of nighttime, at six weeks she's normally waking up once a night at 3 or 4 in the morning. Usually ten minutes of milk and she's back to sleep until a reasonable hour. There are certainly bad nights here and there (and a few in a row when she had her first cold, poor thing), but we really do feel lucky with our mellow babe. Her parents are pretty mellow too, so her attitude fits right in. She's a huge eater, also like her parents. Her birth weight was 8 lbs 2 oz, and on Christmas Eve she was already up to 10 lbs 10 oz. My body's keeping up with her, which I'm so happy about. Keeping a little one nourished and full is no small task.

Staying home with her has been both rewarding and challenging. By the time I was feeling strong again and was home alone, I began to feel like I wasn't doing enough during the day. As we know, I tend to have a few too many pots on the stove at once, so having just one task in front of me was new. So there I was, stalking my work twitter feed in between feedings and going through work emails. Although the job in front of me is arguably the most important there is, the feeling that I wasn't contributing to society was hard to handle. T would remind me that my contribution at home those first weeks was even bigger, but working solo for my person instead of the people are two very different things. The timing of my maternity leave was sort of a professional nightmare due to the timing of a large project milestone at work, and until we reached our goal I wasn't able to let go very well. I couldn't stay away, didn't want to. The last two years of my professional life led to a single night in December, and I had to be part of it. Baby H was part of the festivities too, of course. She's our project's Infant Ambassador - lots of important duties with that title!

Once my project's year-end milestone passed, I was able to relax and let go of work a little more. I decorated for Christmas without many email checks, and went home for the holidays without "work brain" for the first time in ages. H met her crazy crew of cousins - she is number five - and we all spoiled each other. Good stuff, all of it.

Now here we are, in a new year. Our dear friends and their two-year-old traveled here to usher it in with us. I go back to work in two weeks… time is flying. I want H to grow up knowing that her mom is doing work that fulfills her and that she thinks is important - not going back to work wasn't a consideration for me. I think the best example I can make for her is to do work that means something to me. We're all happier when I feel like I'm contributing toward something bigger than myself.

The hippo is starting to come out beside me, so there's time for just two more photos. Here's H's birth announcement:

I adore her serious, thoughtful eyes in this photo (we had a mother-daughter photo shoot one afternoon on the sheepskin rug). But because she's already changed so much since that photo - and learned to smile since then! - let's end with a happy little lady in her purple leisure suit:

Wow she is cute.
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