11 August 2007

Guess what? Em can smile:

And because I can't help but be excited by a smiling baby, another one:

Is that great? Or is it just me?

My BFF of many years (15 this year!) came out for 11 days to stay with me. You know the type of friend where you don't have to entertain, you just exist in each other's company? That was the kind of wonderful we had. We went on a tour of half of New England, including SIX farm & factory tours in Vermont. Her visit came at just the right time, too, as I was starting to feel a little edgy. Getting out with her made me realize that while the first two weeks may be the hardest, the six week mark has a sort of endless quality to it.

Ben & Jerry's, of course, was quite the highlight of our Vermont tour:

What's not to love?

While driving nearly the length Vermont with a baby with a deep and abiding hatred for his carseat, I had some time to think. I put down my knitting (yes, knitting. I completed a whopping four rows on a sock for me) and stared out the window. I was trying to compose a blog post about this, about traveling with a baby, about all the stuff that accumulates with them, about staring strangers, and about the stress of it all. I kept rejecting thoughts and opening sentences because they weren't what I would like to read about. They weren't that funny/reflective that captivate so many people. Mostly, they had the sound of that high-pitch nervous giggle that you give right before succumbing to hysteria. While that is far closer to my day-to-day emotional state than funny/reflective, it isn't what I want to be. It certainly isn't what I want to blog about.

So, I did some more thinking. I though more about it while we were riding through Vermont (while staring at a baby who, despite a full tummy, a clean diaper and every trick we could think of, still insisted on screaming his frustration at the safety of a five-point harness). I've been thinking of it every day since. I don't know why I can't find the funny. There is certainly something essay-worthy about waking up next to your adorable infant (whom you swore would never sleep in your bed) and realizing that you're covered in his poop.

Maybe it's perspective I need.

I realize those thougths don't sound great, but I don't mean it that way. He's a damn cute baby and I really do wake up every morning amazed at his little self and totally in love with the way he insists on curling up his little body into my chest. Even on the days I have to wash the poo off me.

I have been knitting here and there. Sometimes it's just a few rows on the Baby Bolero I'm way overdue on gifting, but I am knitting. It feels good to go at it again, and as we fiddle with some form of a schedule for the boy I think there may be more time for me in the near future. Lisa and I are even talking about Rhinebeck: Revisited this year. I got my Ravelry invite yesterday, too, so diving back into my fiber obsession seems probable again.

I would like your help, though. I spend a lot of time (still) nursing this little boy. Once he closes his eyes, I like to pop open the laptop and read some blogs. My Bloglines was always pretty sparse, holding just enough feeds for me to be able to sneak a peek at when I was at work. Now that I have oodles of (kinda) free time, I'd like to read more. I don't get to comment much (or return emails), as may be obvious, but I'd like to read more. Please, suggest some of your favorite reads. (Even yourself, if you're not listed over there.)

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At 8:27 PM, Blogger Katy said...

Love those smiles! And yes, it's normal to still be in a fog much of the time and to not have any perspective. ;)
Some of my regular faves: martinimade; dooce; Looky, Daddy!; what housework?; sheepgal; and crazy aunt purl. Oh, and "go fug yourself"--b/c even though I don't know half of the celebrities, and I know nothing about fashion, the commentaries are hilarious. And "bake and shake" is great too!

At 12:38 AM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said...

The smiles are so great!!

Welcome to being a new mommy. It sure isn't easy and sometimes if not most you have to laugh or you will cry. I remember those days all too well.

I have a list of only about 98 of them. Send me an email thegraves AT seidata DOT com and I will send you a list with links.

At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Kelly said...

He is adorable. Love his Ben and Jerry's outfit.

Those first few months with your baby is often difficult. I remember that's all my oldest son would do was cry so I spent all day rocking him in the rocking chair. I think that was more for my sanity than his. Don't worry every mother goes through this wether they admit it or not. Things will get easier little by little. I'm glad you've been able to find a little time for yourself.

I have so many favorite blogs but a few are Zeneedle,Wendy knits,boogaj,and Zknitsandsews.

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous jessie said...

I think you're probably feeling exactly the way you should right now. Your world has just changed dramatically, never to be the same again!

I have a link to my bloglines reads on the left side of my blog. But since that's a looong list, I'll just think of a few random ones: Habetrot (great old photos of knitting and spinning), the Panopticon (which you must already be reading, Franklin is too funny), and Obsidian Kitten, because she has farm animals like me. I'm also a sucker for celeb trash blogs like Conversations about Famous People. Totally mindless, esp. since I don't recognize most of the people on it.

I won't bring up the subject of your visit to Vermont and why I didn't see you.... :-)

At 10:03 AM, Blogger NeedleTart said...

Yay! You left the house! I remember what a big step that seemed liked. Just a thought, is there something in the carseat that irritates Em's tender skin? We had to line Elder Son's with a sheepskin until he got a little older.
As for what I read, bellsknits, and diary of a mad, mad housewife are fun and will lead you to some others. Enjoy.

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Chris H said...

The only thing better than baby grins are the baby giggles...I LOVED those! And knowing that they were coming at *some* point is what got me through many days. My younger son was often difficult to console as and infant, but I discoverd he REALLY liked the computer - especially anything scrolling/moving. Any blog or even a random chat room seemed to calm him until he was able to fall asleep. Go figure....

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Leigh said...

Absolutely adorable! Don't worry about blogs and blogging. We'll still be here long after Em is all grown up and off on his own. Cherish the time while you have it!

At 11:08 AM, Blogger swan/dragon said...

Your state of mind is familiar to me. You sound like you have fallen in love again... which, of course, you have. Indulge, because this is truly the love that lasts a lifetime. Who knew he'd be so short?
I am not really a blog reader, so I am no help to you there. But have you considered audio books? Best multi-tasking tool ever. I used to spend days on the couch, not getting the house work done, not even getting a shower if it was a really good part, just becuase I couldn't put my book down. Audiobooks satisfied my need for story while giving me room to dust and do the dishes. You can download them to an iPod and not wake up Em, and feel like you are absorbing literary culture while folding his laundry. Feels like me-time while you are sterilizing bottles, I tell ya. Of course, while putting things on the iPod, you can get some podcasts, too.
Do you even have an iPod? I forget...

At 4:11 PM, Blogger herself75 said...

what a sweet smile!!!
you are always welcome at my blog!

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous JessaLu said...

Cute baby! :o) If it makes you feel any better, I remember (vaguely) when Dobby was 4 days old my ex did one of the few nice things he has ever done in this life. He came home from work and found both myself and the baby crying in sheer frustration - in my 17-year-old ignorance I thought it would be easiest to breastfeed and could not manage it in my youth and impatience. He decided right then that bottles were fine and that was the route we were going to go (unfortunately, my milk had come in so his decision forced me down a very painful path of drying up my milk with no meds since it was too late...it made his kidney stones a very happy event for me). No more crying wife and screaming baby...at least, not from starvation ;o) Anyway, there will be good days and bad days and days he doesn't want to be in the damned car seat but you'll both be fine in the end, I promise. I mean, I haven't killed Dobby yet and if I can do it, anybody can do it ;o)

As for blogs...you are welcome to peruse my bloglines:


At 8:21 PM, Blogger Devorah said...

Little Squid was also a car seat hater. For months our daily commute involved him screaming. Then I discovered the power of music. Started with Rafi, moved on to Sesame Street cds and then gradually switched over to my music (lots of show tunes and Billy Joel). Keep in mind that we did not get a car until he was 6 months old so this may not work (yet) for you.

As for blogs ... I second Panicopiton -- he is so funny! And you are always welcome over at Squid Knits!

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Devorah said...

Oh ... and treasure those nursing moments. I think snuggling with a babe at breast is the only thing I miss from those days. I also spent a lot of time in front of the computer while feeding -- it was just easier then trying to prop a book open.


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