Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday To You: Everley Edition: 4 Months Old

Dear Everley,

Oh HI!

On Monday January 21 you turned four months old. There's been a lot going on this past month for you and we've been keeping super busy. In fact, I'm super busy right now preparing for your sister's fifth birthday party. Did you hear that? That loud boom? That was my head exploding into five million pieces, one million for every year that your sister has now been alive.


But this is about you, so in a very rushed and lazy fashion, here's your four month round up:

I'ma take some notes - hit me with it.

This month you:
  • Celebrated your first Christmas. Major cuteness ensued.
  • Rolled over for the first time. Front to back. So agile! 
  • Started teething. Pretty sure. Mucho drooling and finger chomping (your own, or any other finger that finds itself near your face). No teeth yet.
  • Have really fallen head over heels for your big sister. You will crane your head 'til it just about falls off when you hear her voice and LOVE when she reads to you, plays with you, mauls you like a lion. 
  • Fattened waaaaay up. New nickname: ChubbChubb. 15 lbs, 12oz at your four month check up.
  • Four month sleep regression? Check. You still go to bed very late, between 10pm - 12am but you are no longer sleeping 10 hours straight. You're more likely to put in about 9 hours with at least one wake up sometime early in the morning. 
  • Naps? Sporadic at best. Zero schedule. 
  • You love being outside and in the stroller or car seat in general. 
  • You love baths.
  • You continue to barf on me about three thousand times a day. 
  • You are a happy, smilely, giggly baby as long as someone is paying attention to you. You are so adorable. 
  • God forbid we stop looking at you or put you down for five minutes. You are a monster. 
  • You are Active with a capital A. Always squirming, always wanting to stand up, kicks, punches and other sweet baby martial arts manuevers. 
  • This month you also started to grab at things. Like my hair, my face, my necklaces, my shirt, my hair, did I mention my hair?
  • You still hate soothers, all soothers, STOP TRYING TO GIVE ME SOOTHERS, MOTHER. 
And what about you Mom, how are you?

OH and me? Well I'm just great, thank you for asking. I have about 5 lbs of baby weight left to lose. Okay, fine it's just plain old weight, nothing baby about it. I ate a LOT of ice cream this summer. A LOT. I wish I'd gotten it all off in time for our vacation to Mexico next week, but I am proud of myself for losing almost 40 lbs in four months. And that includes the holidays. Pretty sure I'll drop at least another pound in hair alone because I am currently going bald. Thanks a lot estrogen depletion.

I think that I have finally gotten through the mild to moderate baby blues and postpartum anxiety that I definitely suffered from this time around. I almost never cry myself to sleep anymore! No but seriously, that sucked. Generally I feel pretty great. Getting out and about helps a lot. I adore hanging with my peeps who are also on mat leave this year. I'm so blessed to have such lovely women and babies to surround myself with.

Is she still going on about herself right now? Let's bring it back to me...

Most of all, I have fallen for you hard Everley Read. I have fallen for you really hard. You are such a sparkle, such a light, such a glowing little package of wonder and love. I'm honoured and thrilled to be your right-hand this year as you are learning life. Life! It's an amazing thing to see someone learn how to do it. I hope one day you'll read this and understand that you are teaching me every bit as much as I am you.

Um? Kind of over it, can we wrap?

I love you,


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday To You: Everley Edition: 3 Months Old

Dear Everley, 

Being three months old is serious business.

On December 21 you turned three months old. I realize that, yes, two days ago you turned four months old and I am a full month behind on this post. You want to know why? Your fault, end of story.

The good news is we have both survived the dreaded 100 Days of Hell - or the first 12 weeks or so of life with a newborn. In fact, as I write this we have successfully survived almost 18 weeks! And you know what? It wasn't perfect but it sure as hell could have been worse. In celebration of reaching this mythical three month milestone (I say mythical because though I am guilty of telling people that 100 Days of Hell is real and that things do get way easier when they are over - this is actually bullshit and I'm an asshole) I would like to take this opportunity to debunk for you three prevalent parenting myths so that one day, when you grow up and contemplate children of your own, you will read them and know better. You can thank me later.

I smile all the time now and this month I started to giggle too. Because my mom is hilarious, obvs.

Myth #1 : The Oft Touted 'Sleep When Baby Sleeps' Advice

Anyone who tells you to do this either does not have a baby at home right now, has never had children of their own and therefore should shut the fuck up, or does have kids and is just a dick head. Perhaps for the first week of life with a newborn some lucky parents can sneak in a quick nap while their baby is asleep. That's because *most* newborn babies sleep all the fucking time. And because usually when you have just squeezed a human being out of your body, people are willing to forgive you for your disgusting house, dirty shirt and smelly armpits for a couple of weeks MAX. But once your baby is around two weeks old or so two things simultaneously happen:

1. Your baby wakes up! Sad to tell you this but babies do not actually sleep 20 hours a day. Some only sleep around 12 (I'm looking at you, Everley Read) and only fall asleep the minute you are trying to get something accomplished (again, looking right at you, kid).
2. Your life turns back on and you actually do need to get things accomplished. Things like laundry and showers and feeding yourself.

Now let me give it to you straight, neither of the two situations above allow for lying down to take a bloody nap when your baby is asleep, assuming you are even lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps during the day. God forbid you have another child at home that's demanding your attention or, you know, needs to be fed and bathed? UGH. Hearing someone say, "sleep when the baby sleeps" will make you want to punch them immediately in their face.

It would appear that I've started teething. And drooling is part of that game, leave me alone.

Myth #2 : "You Should Read BLAHBLAHBLAH Baby Guru's Parenting Guide"

If you only take one piece of advice from me let it be this: NEVER READ THE FUCKING BOOKS. The books will do nothing but confuse the hell out of you and make you feel like the shittiest parent on earth. I have lived my entire life by my instincts. Did I always make the right decisions? Nope. Did I turn out okay? Yes, I think I did. Your heart (that fickle bitch) may lead you astray sometimes, it's true, but your instincts, deep down in your gut, they are always telling the truth. So forget the 'professionals' and the magazines and the books and listen to your gut. Listen to it closely and you will be okay.

And what if your gut is telling you that you need some outside help? Talk to your pediatrician, whom you should like and trust, or talk to family members and friends who have successfully raised humans that you like. Chances are, if they raised a good one, they know what they are talking about.

No seriously, I'm listening... but something over there is distracting me... can't... look... away...

Myth #3 : The 100 Days of Hell and other Stupid Bullshit

Parenting is hard. It's hard on day one and it's hard on day 101. In fact, it'll be hard until the day you drop dead. But you know what else? It's also delightful, rewarding, awe-inspiring and beautiful. And that's the truth. There will be moments where you will soar to the highest of highs. And then there will be moments when you hate it. You'll fuck it up constantly. You'll scream, you'll cry and you'll want to give up. But at the end of the day (just remember that with a newborn your days don't actually 'end' for a number of months) you will be full of the most powerful, profound love. You can't imagine it. I certainly can't describe it.

Big sister photo-bomb and resulting painful love explosion!

As I wrote in this post, when your sister was around your age, there are several words we often use as parents that need to be re-invented. Our language is simply not complex enough to convey what it feels like to raise babies or what it does to your heart to watch them grow. So here's another word to add to the list for reinvention - we need a new word for love.

I "love" you,