Sunday, September 23, 2012

Me and my shadow

I love it when Genevieve and I match. I think it's partly because she looks so much like Andrew and my mom, it's nice to have our outfits say, "Hey, we're together!" (It also cuts down on people asking if she is mine.)

It's one thing to spend all of our time together; it's entirely another thing to do it in style.

Matching sweaters!
Wearing our matching Mondo Cable Cardigans at the wool auction
We may have bought an outfit for Genevieve *because* I have a dress just like it. (Also, my mom has a serious Thing for polka dots.)

Polka dots are the new black, you know.
Genevieve is getting older, and Andrew and I were talking about Stitches, and the possibility of my taking classes this year. She'll be more than a year old by then, and Andrew is nothing if not supportive.

"We need to practice having you away from her," he pointed out, logically. "Now that she's not exclusively breastfeeding, we can do that."

To that end, on Saturday, once she had been nursed and put down for her afternoon nap, Mom and I made plans to go to our knitting group. I took the extra ten minutes to put on makeup, high heels, and my good pearls. I carried a tiny, cute purse. Despite the superficial things that normally make me feel fab-U-lous, I felt sick to my stomach.

I can honestly say that leaving Genevieve at home with her incredibly capable, loving, and involved father was one of the most painful things I have done (to date) as her mother.

I stood on the stoop next to mom, holding my keys. I considered skipping going to knitting altogether and just sitting on the stoop- just in case she needed me. Instead, I pulled myself together, took a giant step for Momkind, and went to knitting at Laura's.

I took a lot of deep breaths, talked through my anxiety and guilt (oh, the guilt!) with Mom. I watched my cell phone like a hawk the whole time, so that I could be in the car and home in 10 minutes if I was needed.

I didn't cry, even if I did tear up a few times because OHMIGOD, I'm a terrible mother for leaving my baby to go have fun with my friends. (See?! THE GUILT.)

My phone didn't ring, chirp, or buzz the whole two-and-a-half hours I was there. When I got home, everyone was as cheerful as could be, and Genevieve was SO happy to see me. The feeling was mutual as I swept her up in my arms and gave her the kiss attack of her life.

Sharing the teething bling
They did *just* fine without me. It turns out, it was only tough for me. This "growing up" thing is hard to do. Especially when it's your baby doing it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Queen, again

"Another one bites the dust" comes on Pandora
Me:Hey! This song is by Queen!
Andrew: You mean that one-hit-wonder band? laughs
Me: This is NOT how sweaters get finished!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beauty sleep

We're up to four official teeth, and while they are *completely* adorable, teething remains a miserable process for my sweet, cheerful kid. We can see more teeth cutting through, both on the top and the bottom, which means that the only thing Genevieve *can't* cut is a break from teething.
Talkative, smiley, pensive, and of course, Le Tigre.
 We're back to only napping if she's being held, or snuggled closely. Of course, it's taken me three days of unsuccessfully trying to set her down in the crib, only for her to wake up and REFUSE to nap, no matter what I do.

Without her sleep, DangerMouse loses some of her sparkle and is not usually her charming self. (This she gets from me.)

I am not one to keep trying something that doesn't work over and over and over and OVER again, so we are back to a do-whatever-needs-doing nap policy with her. We play hard, and we nap hard.

Instagram 09/01
Play hard, nap hard
When I'm holding her, yes, I'm a little frustrated that we did a whole week of crib naps, and now we're right back where we were before. On the flip side, I look at her while she sleeps in my arms, all rosy cheeks and long eyelashes, and I remember that these days are few and dwindling.

As it is, the more active and mobile she is, the less she wants to be held and snuggled. She wants to crawl, climb, chew, touch, and give commentary. She wants to be independent, but - thankfully, for my ego - she wants to know that I'm still there.

In truth, I love the snuggles, because when she wakes up, she's all smiles and charm.

Kiss attack!

...and there's nothing better than that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

For Irene

A few weeks ago, one of my friends from high school lost his mother. We attended her service, and we mourned- not for her, necessarily, but for her two kids. Yes, they're adults, but their mother will miss major milestones in their lives. Buying a home, baking the perfect soufflé, promotions at work, getting married, having children, and so many more life events.

She won't be there. She's just... gone.

Justin, her son and my friend, gave a touching, funny, and appropriate eulogy. There were pictures of his mother throughout her life, well before the advent of digital cameras, and her vigor and vitality shone in them. He did remarkably well under devastating circumstances. His mother would have been proud- but would have expected no less of him.

The rest of the day, Mom and I talked through our grief. I wept and wept at the idea of leaving my baby behind, because let's face it, no matter how old you are, you always want to be there for your kids. Forever and ever my baby you'll be, and whatnot.

I've been thinking about Genevieve; sure, if something were to happen to me, she could listen to the podcast and hear my voice. She could read my blog (when she's old enough to read) and see what was important to me, how I relate to my family.

But there aren't very many pictures of me on here, mostly because I'm behind the camera. There are literally *thousands* of pictures of Genevieve on my computer, but very few of us together. I'm not wearing makeup with any sort of frequency anymore and I feel I look like the cryptkeeper.

It bothers me that I'm not bouncing around in my fitted, pre-pregnancy wardrobe and spike heels. Even if it's not practical to wear the heels, I want to *choose* sneakers over pumps. I want Genevieve to look back and see her mom fabulous, put-together, and getting things done. Vain, vain, vain.

Here's the thing: I'd rather dress to comfortably play on the floor with her than to try to impress who? The neighbors? I'd rather do a million other things *with* Genevieve than *for* anybody else.

I want her to look back on the pictures and see who I am; her mom who loves her like crazy.

I love you, so I made you a sweater.
From now on, I'm going to be in the pictures. Just the way I am.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I love snuggling with Genevieve, but she's a kid who gets warm when she naps. I don't need to brag about my bumper crop of tomatoes for you to know it's been a hot summer.

"I'm a monster!" I told Mom. "I want her to nap in her crib during the day."

After assuring me that I am *not* a monster, Mom pointed out that if I want Genevieve to nap in her crib, I need to put her in the crib to nap. Sounds simple enough, right?

Sleep collage
A mouse at rest... will wake up sooner than expected.

I had a lot of trouble getting her from sleeping in my arms to staying asleep during the arms-to-crib transfer. This was further complicated by the necessity of lowering her crib ALL the way down, since Genevieve is (a) pulling herself to standing and (b) extra tall.

If you will recall, I am not extra tall, which was part of the problem.

I took my problem to Facebook and Twitter, clarifying that I needed help but wasn't looking for cry-it-out solutions.

My friends, readers, and podcast listeners; you all came to my aid, and for that, I am grateful. What is working for us (about 80% of the time) is nursing to sleep, then CAREFULLY moving her to the crib, shushing the whole time. If she starts to fuss as she goes in, I shush and put my hand on her belly, applying just enough pressure for her to know I'm there.

Once I'm sure she's soundly (and comfortably) asleep, I tiptoe out, close the door, and do a victory dance in the hallway.

Sure, the victory dance startles the dogs, but when Genevieve naps in the crib it's better than winning the lottery.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Foggy with a chance of exhausted

The other night, I dreamt that we had another baby. Not that I was actively *having* it, but that - boom! - we had a second baby.**

I woke up, looked around, saw Genevieve, but not the other baby. I panicked.

"Andrew," I whispered, so as not to wake Genevieve, "Andrew!"

"What? Is she wet?" he asked, only partly awake.

"Where is the baby?" I asked, insistently. When he looked at Genevieve, I hissed, panicking, "The OTHER baby."

Andrew looked around, worried, then got up and started pulling the sheets off of the bed, looking for the missing baby as if it had slithered to the bottom of the bed like an errant sock.

After the bed was thoroughly checked, Andrew looked at me.

"Wait," I said, "I think we have just the one baby. We just have one baby, right?"

Andrew paused for a moment. "Yeah."

"Ok." I sighed, relieved, and we went back to bed.

Sleeping mouse
Just the one baby.
The best part of this? Genevieve stayed asleep through the WHOLE thing.

**KidBrother Sam pointed out that this would be quite a feat, considering that Genevieve just turned eight months old on Monday.