Thursday, February 18, 2010

It’s My Birthday, I Must Say!

“It’s my birthday, I must say!” That’s a quote from an Ed Grimley skit from Saturday Night Live, circa 1985. That quote still makes me laugh. In fact, every February 18, I hear Martin Short’s voice in my head and smile. (I hear his voice more often than that, but perhaps that isn’t something I should share with everyone.)

Anyway, I'm forty today, and I have a newborn. God’s ways are quite amusing sometimes.

It’s been a good day so far. I got an e-card from our realtor, of all people. I was serenaded with a lovely rendition of “Happy Birthday” by my friend and co-worker Robin. Everyone at work seems to remember my birthday, probably thanks to our unofficial social secretary, Miranda.

Miss Anne slept another seven and a half hours last night, which was a nice birthday gift in itself. I hated to wake her up this morning, as she was sleeping so peacefully, but I got her out of her crib, did the saline-and-bulb thing to de-boogerize her nose, changed her, and nursed her. Then I brought her to help wake up her Daddy, and he snuggled with her while I fixed breakfast.

On the way to the sitter’s, Anne and I sang along to tunes from The Sound of Music. After I dropped her off, I put gas in my car and headed to work. Yes, quite the exciting birthday so far!

However ...

February 18 isn't just a big and exciting day for me, y'all. It's a special day for a lot of people. And an ex-planet. And a whole country!

(Drumroll, please)

Happy birthday also to Kim at The Upward Call, John Travolta, my old flame Matt Dillon, Molly Ringwald, Yoko Ono, Jack Palance, Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), Vanna White, Milos Forman (director of my favorite movie, Amadeus), Toni Morrison, Helen Gurley Brown, Dr. Dre, Juice Newton, Andres Segovia, Boris Pasternak, Dennis DeYoung, Irma Thomas, Cybill Shepherd, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (first published on this day in 1885), and the dwarf planet Pluto (discovered on this day by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 at Lowell Observatory).

And a very happy Independence Day to the fine folks of The Gambia!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mother Wakes Newborn in Morning!

Anne went to sleep last night at 11:00. When the alarm clock buzzed at 5:45 this morning, I panicked. Thanks to Anne, I always wake up before the alarm clock! Something must be wrong!

I raced to Anne’s room. She was fine. Sleeping soundly, thumb in mouth. She’d slept for almost seven hours. I was shocked.

But wait! There’s more!

I hated to wake her up, so I decided to get a shower and wash and dry my hair. Then I checked my e-mail. Then I cleaned the litter boxes. All while Anne slept.

Finally, at 6:45, I woke her up. I feel like this should be a headline in a major publication: “Mother Wakes Newborn in Morning!” It seems as backward to me as “Man Bites Dog.”

So, at nine and a half weeks of age, my baby slept for almost eight hours.* Hallelujah!

Life feels just a little bit easier today.

*At least I think she slept that long. There is a chance that she woke up at her usual 5:00 a.m. and cried, and then went back to sleep when we didn't hear or respond. I really hope that didn't happen, though.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back in Training!

I managed to run 1.75 miles last night. That's the most I've run in a single session since last May, when first-trimester fatigue prevented me from realizing my goal of "running through the pregnancy." Ha. Now that was an unrealistic goal if I've ever had one. But I'm back.

Over the next few months, my friend Janet and I are going to be training for the Flying Pig Half-Marathon, which is scheduled for early May in Cincinnati. We were both training for this same race last year at this time. Janet went on to run it in two and a quarter hours. I saw her off at the starting line and got to see her finish the race--her first half-marathon. This year, I hope to run it with her, or at least start the race with her. Something tells me she'll cross the finish line a lot sooner than I do.

Janet and I are tossing around the idea of starting a training blog similar to last year's, where we record our progress, our thoughts on running, our gear recommendations, etc. If we do start one, I'll provide a link here.

I'm so happy to be running again. My biggest challenge right now is to keep from pushing myself too hard. Aerobically, I feel like I can run much farther than 1.75 miles; physically, I know it would be stupid to do such a thing. The last thing I want is a knee, ankle, or groin injury.

I've recorded my first few workout sessions at Buckeye Outdoors.

Now it's time for me to start catching up on Phedippidations, my favorite running podcast. I have a lot to catch up on--I haven't listened to "Steve Runner" since last April!

This Morning

This morning, I drove through blowing snow, over winding country roads, past brown fields dusted white, to the little house hidden on a dirt road where Anne will be spending her days.

D. is both a grandmotherly type and a grandmother. She has eight kids, twenty-eight grandchildren, and nearly as many great-grandchildren. She has white hair and a sweet face, and she loves to knit ... or crochet. (I never could remember the difference between the two, as both seem equally unappealing to me.) She has birds in a cage and a tiny dog (not in a cage), and she loves to clean house. She loves all things baby--holding babies, playing with babies, talking to babies--and has loved babysitting all her life.

In other words, she is nothing like me. :) Anyway ...

The cold was biting this morning, and as I drove to D.'s, I wondered if I should have checked the weather first. I had no clue whether the snow would get worse, or if it would even get above freezing today. (The snow is supposed to taper off. The high today is supposed to be 28.) Anne slept in her car seat, all bundled up in her warm hat and blanket, peacefully oblivious to the cold, or to her mommy's concerns about the day.

It's so weird to think of myself as "Mommy" to anything other than cats. It's really, really weird.

I was right on time. If I get to D.'s house at 8:00, I have time to nurse Anne, cuddle with her a little bit, and shoot the breeze with D. for a few minutes before heading in to work. I yawned. I'd been up for several hours already. Anne goes to sleep around 11:00 each night (last night, it was 11:20) and wakes up around 5:00 each morning (this morning it was 4:45). She'd taken a short nap around 7 a.m., allowing me to sit in my rocker and write a bit before putting her in the car seat and hitting the road. My writing was barely legible and consisted of bulleted points and incomplete sentences, mostly on today's schedule, Anne's lovable-ness, what I would have for dinner, and such. Nothing requiring much thought.

"This is my life," I thought to myself as I neared D.'s house. It still feels strange to realize that my life has changed forever, that I've taken a drastic turn on life's highway that I'd never imagined taking. It feels strange to realize that, no, this isn't a dream. It feels strange, but not bad-strange. Just strange.

Other features of this new life: Using my work breaks to pump milk. Racing to D.'s during my lunch hour to nurse Anne. Leaving work at a specified time, rather than just working until "just whenever." Somehow managing to squeeze in a million activities (dinner, laundry, piano, running, preparing bottles, spending time with Hubster, bathing Anne, getting my own shower, etc.) between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Here's a big one: Forgetting that Jack Bauer is on TV because Anne is batting at the toys dangling from her bouncy seat. Yes, it happened.

I'm really liking this life so far, strange as it feels. I'm feeling really thankful for D., and for the fact that she's going to love and spoil Anne every day while I'm at work. Come to think of it, she's a big reason I'm able to love my life so much right now.

Wow. That just hit me in a big "This woman is a gift from God" way.

9:00. Time to punch in and get some work done. Life is good.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Second Post of 2010

I'm wondering, does anyone even check this blog anymore?

My maternity leave is over. I go back to work on Monday. I have mixed feelings about it all. On one hand, I'm ready for the mental stimulation and social interaction that work provides. (Yes, even an introvert starts to crave social interaction after a while.) On the other, I'm going to miss my baby. I left her with her new sitter on Thursday for a few hours while I ran some errands, and I missed her so much it was like I had a hole in my heart the entire time. When I finally reunited with her, she was all smiles and I wanted to cry--tears of joy for seeing her again, and tears of sadness for leaving her in the first place.

I guess that is typical mom stuff.

Anne is now two months old. Nine weeks ago today, I was in labor at the hospital. Today I'm at home, looking at the snow and drinking tea while Anne takes her morning nap.

Two weeks ago, Anne and I went to Louisiana to visit her grandparents (GG and Paw Paw) and meet her grand aunt Joyce, her cousins, and many of my Louisiana friends. My mom hosted a "sip and see" for Miss Anne, for which we bought her a sweet purple dress:

The week before, we took her to Myrtle Beach (her first trip outside North Carolina!) to meet her "Uncle" Pat and "Aunt" Analisa; on the way back, we stopped in Rock Hill to meet "Uncle" John and "Aunt" Kim.

The quotes above are to indicate that these are friends of ours and not technically Anne's aunts and uncles. The whole idea of calling non-relatives "aunt" and "uncle" is a little strange to me, but I'm getting used to it. For Anne, people we introduce as "aunt" and "uncle" will be people she knows she can trust.

I still want to introduce adults as "Mr." and "Miss," for example, "Mr. Pat" and "Miss Analisa." That's how I grew up. (No one was Mrs., much less Ms., in my childhood world. All females, married or not, were "Miss." They still are. Which I'm pretty sure is a southern thing.)

Anne got her first set of vaccinations this week. That was stressful for both of us. She also got her two-month "well check." She's now 23 inches long and weighs eleven and a half pounds. Her little tuft of hair on the top of her head curls naturally if we don't brush it. It's unbelievably cute. She's a bright-eyed, alert little thing.

Well, there she goes. Making noise on the baby monitor. I guess her nap is over, which means I guess this blog post is over. I don't know if I'll be posting any more often in the coming months, as Anne pretty much takes up all of my attention and I never feel like blogging anyway and I won't be able to blog from work.

My writing, by the way, has suffered. I'm not nearly as good of a writer when I'm 70% asleep, which is almost always. (Right now I'm about 80% asleep.)

Time to go check on Miss Anne!

Blogging Elsewhere

Hi, Strangers! I've been blogging with my friend Anh over at Then a Gentle Whisper . Check it out!