Friday, October 23, 2009

Here, breathe into this paper bag

In six short weeks, my baby will be a full year old.

I will not have a baby anymore. I will have a toddler. Well, I mean, I'm not sure she'll be walking, which makes the title seem wrong somehow, but she'll definitely be cruising, and anyway, the other day I didn't have to carry her into the kitchen because she crawled there herself and also besides that YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

I am not sure how this happened.

Yesterday, Stephen and I were watching her sleep on our spy-cam, and he asked if my dad had fed her some mysterious potion that made her grow a foot in one day. Because, seriously, she's a big kid now. I looked through all our old pictures, trying to see if I could tell when it happened. Even looking at all of them in one fell swoop, I can't tell you. It's not like one day she was a baby and the next day she wasn't, but you look at the beginning, and you see a baby, and you look at her now, and you don't exactly see a big kid, but she's definitely not a baby.

It's more than just the milestone of being a year old, though. For all our drama in the beginning, we have settled into such a sweet, perfect little nursing routine. I am not nursing her past a year. There are many different reasons for this, some good and some dubious, but the bottom line is, this is the right decision for us. In spite of that, the other day I realized that I had just six short weeks left in this relationship, and my hands went clammy. It makes me so sad to think of that being gone forever. Also, in true Gracie fashion, she's become quite the fan of this activity herself, just in time for us to be getting ready to quit. I'm not sure what I'm more anxious about, how much I'll miss it, or how she'll react. There's also the minor fact that she refuses to sleep past 4:30 in the morning, but I can at least get her to hang out in bed with me for awhile if she's nursing. When that's gone, I am good and hosed.

I'm trying to just stay in the moment. It would be typical of me to spend the next six weeks freaking out over her first birthday, and then wonder just what the heck happened during those six weeks, when I was busy obsessing over what was coming. I'm also reminding myself how looong her first six weeks were, but then, if the next weeks weeks are that hard, then we've got bigger problems.

Just gonna do my best to enjoy the ride.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Marathon Thoughts

The similarities between running a marathon and having a baby don't seem to end, I'm noticing. First there are the months of training (pregnancy). Then the big day comes, and you're scared and nervous and don't really know what to expect. And even though you knew it would hurt, not like this OH MY GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Then the crushing nausea and the random chills. Also the subtle fear, through the whole thing, that you really might die. I mean, people DO die doing this! Then it's over and you can't stop processing the whole thing.

I've been reading more about post-marathon recovery, and the physiologic impact of running 26.2 miles. I had learned a lot of it before, but I didn't really KNOW it until now. First and foremost, running a marathon isn't a show of strength and fitness. It's a stunt. It's not as foolhardy as climbing Everest, and it takes a good degree more dedication and hard work than bungee jumping, but it's still a stunt. Aside from the risk of sudden cardiac death, it is not good for your body. Cardiac function takes over a week to return to normal, and in that time, people are still at increased risk of dying- DYING!! wtf?! You're pretty much guaranteed to get sick within a week of race day. And let's not even talk about the weird aches and pains that crop up. All week long, I've felt like I had the flu. Just, achey and tired (soooo tired...) and foggy.

Oh yeah, and the other way that running a marathon is just like having a baby? You spend the whole process swearing you'll never do it again, but then the days (or weeks or months) pass, and you totally forget how much it sucks (suuuucks!), and wonder not if you'll do it again, but when.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I always say my friend Katie convinced me to run the marathon. That's mostly true, but not 100%. I was out running when I was about four or five months pregnant, and as motivation, thinking about running the marathon. I thought it would be so, so cool to bring my daughter (and at that point, I was sure she was a girl) down to the marathon to watch her mommy run.

I want her to know that when you work hard, you can do things you never thought you were capable of doing. I want her to know that, just when you think you're done, you can dig deep instead of giving up. Most of all, I want her to know that hard and sometimes unpleasant things are really, really worth doing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ten months?! Whaaa...?

As I know I've already covered, ad infinitum, Gracie's early months were, um, less than easy. Every month that passed, every milestone she reached, she got a little easier. I was never sad that she was a month older.

...until now. I have a ten-month-old?! WTF?? She's almost a year old! When the hell did that happen?

She's really changed a lot this month. I've been waiting, with serious apprehension, for her to hit That Age. You know, the one where you can't look away from them for three seconds or they'll pull the chandelier out of the ceiling and onto their heads, eat the broken glass, then lick their fingers and grab the exposed wires in the ceiling? I was starting to think we might skip it, because I'm used to it coming around eight or nine months. Maybe since she's a girl, it wouldn't be like that? Um. NO. That Age has arrived.

Her favorite food is Science Diet. Her favorite toy is anything with a cord. Her favorite activity is pulling herself up on the tub while I'm in the shower. Oh, and if I open a drawer in her presence, all of the clothes are immediately on the floor.

Her sleep is totally unpredictable. She still sometimes wakes up at 3:30, and it usually takes her at least an hour to get back to sleep. The other day she never really went back to sleep, so my day started at 3:30. The next night, she went to bed at 7:30 and slept straight through until 6:30 (a work day, obviously, so I couldn't enjoy the sleep). She's acting like she's trying to get down to one nap, but she hasn't figured out quite how to do that, so she's been taking late afternoon naps and going to bed a bit later, too. Sleep is just this kid's Achilles' heel.

She's still an eater, though. And honestly, I'm starting to think it might be easier to have an eater than a sleeper. She's also very good about sharing.

The biggest change this month, though, is the way I feel about her being a month older. I'm kinda sad. I mean, no. She has more personality every single second, and it's so exciting to think about all the new things she's doing, and the things we can start doing now that she's such a big girl. It's just bittersweet. (but omigosh who would've ever thought I'd be sad about my baby getting bigger awwww look at how things have chaaaaaaangggedddd...)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thank Heaven

One of my friends found out today that she's having a baby girl in March. I am so excited for her, I can hardly contain myself.

I unequivocally, unapologetically wanted a girl when I was pregnant with Grace. I also knew she was a girl from the minute the second line turned pink. No, before that. I knew that if I was pregnant, I was going to have a girl. Then I started carrying her like a basketball stuffed into my shirt, and I thought, eeep, this might be a boy! And the whole world told me I was surely having a boy. And, I mean, I wouldn't have been disappointed, but...ohhh, I wanted a girl.

And let me just tell you, it is every bit as awesome as I knew it would be. I know lots of people want boys because of that whole adolescence thing. And probably, if I'm blogging in fifteen years, I will be writing about how very, very stupid I was to sing the praises of little girls, in light of the surly, tempestuous changeling charging her way through the house. (I will also be listening to her say, "I seriously cannot believe you still BLOG, you are such a loser, why don't you get out your TiVo and your iPod while you're at it, GOD.")

But you know what? The teenage years are just a blip on the radar. We lived through colic, we can live through hormones and mom-hating.

And, in case you were wondering, no, this really doesn't help with the baby fever. At ALL.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Math is Hard!

I bought Grace a new toy this week, the vtech Learn and Discover Driver (I think that's what it's called. I'm too lazy to get up and look). I chose it very scientifically, by holding out a few different options and watching to see which one she seemed to like the most.

I guess I should've chosen another way, because I accidentally bought her a boy's toy! I guess little girls don't like to play with steering wheel toys, because when you push the police car button, it plays a siren and says, "slow down little fella!!"

Little. FELLA.

Look. I try not to overthink these things. Really. When people would tell us not to worry, that surely our next child would be a boy, it irritated me, but I thought, well, maybe they mean we'll have one of each (no, that's not what they meant, but whatever). But "fella"??? There's nothing remotely gender-neutral about that. They could've said kiddo. They could've said buddy. They didn't. They said fella. They assume only little boys will play with their stupidass toy.

Next chance I get, I promise I'm going back out to Target and getting her a more gender-appropriate toy, like a vacuum cleaner. I can't have Grace thinking she can do bold, nonconformist things like, you know, driving.

Mixed Emotions

I really, really did not want Chicago to get the Olympics, for a wide variety of reasons.

Sooo, I'm glad we won't be getting them. But? Eliminated in the FIRST ROUND?

I didn't want that. I don't want all those other cities thinking they're better than us. Because they're NOT.

So y'all can have your Olympics, but don't be jealous, cause Chicago is still awesomer than you, CityThatWinsThisBid.