buddyphoto“You don’t just love
your children… you fall in
love with them.”

to steal a quote from one of my favorite fictional characters, dr. frasier crane. i feel like one of the reasons new moms feel so unprepared for their role is because a) it is one of those life experiences that is really hard to explain and so no one thought to tell you that a freight train was headed in your direction b) it is different for almost every one, and when combining that with how unique every personality is, it’s very hard to find someone going through exactly what you are experiencing and also someone who would react the same way you would in any given situation.

i worried so much at first about what kind of mom I was going to be, what with all the crying, and it was scary looking down at this little thing and thinking “i’m in charge of keeping you alive for the next 18 years. in the beginning you are bursting with so many emotions it’s hard to even think straight. i wish i would have just relaxed, it would have saved me so much stress. because as soon as newborn jameson stopped hating the world around her because it was nothing like the nice cozy womb she’d been living in for the past nine months, baby jameson turned out to be this awesome person who i love spending the day with and hate putting down to bed at night because it means i won’t see her for the next 12 hours.

she is not perfect, but she is so many other things. she is funny and loud and loving and curious. she adores her papa (mostly because of his facial hair and how well it fits into her tiny fingers, giving her just enough grip to pull as hard as she can). and she saves some of her best smiles for her mom, just when she seems to need them most.

Advertisements

4when i look at this photo, i feel like someone has pushed a fast-forward button and suddenly we’ve been married for two years now. i love this moment because while your wedding day is a merry-go-round of non-stop interactions with all the people you love, this was just between us. it almost looks like we’re preparing ourselves for what we’re about to face in those first few years of marriage, job changes, a cross-country move, a new addition to our family. i say a quiet thank you to God for charlie all the time, because i’m constantly finding reasons why he was the perfect partner for me in this life.

 

this falls into the category of first-world problems, but i was having a hard time finding sandals for baby james. i swear the people who make infant clothing just slap hot pink on everything for girls, and if it’s not hot pink, it’s just not really my style (and until she starts talking, it’s my style we’re working with).

i give you, exhibit a.
shoes i didn’t take a picture of the ones i bought but i found an image of them on ebay (where these cheaply manufactured cuties can be yours for the low, low price of $2.49. thanks china!)

ANYWAYS, i liked the gold and thought it would be cute for summer, but what happened with the flowers? did they think “girls, hmmm, pink, no, purple. no, both!” (pick a color scheme people). you might ask, why don’t you stop complaining and just go to another store? the truth is, we had a gift card to this particular store  (it rhymes with “schmarget”) and i didn’t want to put too much effort into something baby james is going to wear for a couple months tops. so, next best thing, making your own.

shoe1i bought some hair clips with these little stars on them and thought they would work, but after i got them on, i decided they were a little too patriotic looking (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but i didn’t want the sandals to look like they were leftovers from the fourth of july bin at old navy.

so, onward.

shoe2these were my favorite, and they made the shoes look so pretty and delicate. again, this is a ridiculous amount of thought for something she’ll barely wear (her reaction to sandals can be likened to how buddy felt when we first introduced him to the so-called “boots for dogs” we bought at rei. he basically kicked and flung his feet until they came flying off) but who cares. it was a fun, easy project and there was something really empowering about making you sorta-can-stand into something you love.

jameson1 (2)coming up for air. the last three months have been a strange whirlwind of changing diapers, breastfeeding, mopping up spit-up and trying to get the haunting chimes of baby toy music out of my head. and yes, there’s also been a lot of gazing lovingly at this little creature who has interrupted everything we know to be normal. i tried to post something at 2 months but i just didn’t know where to start. i find the whole blogging-while-parenting thing to be this strange dance where you tip-toe around trying to be positive but also truthful without feeling sorry for yourself. those first few months are brutal, and it’s hard not to make it sound like you’re going through the worst thing ever because the world as you know it has disappeared. even social media is tricky. you post a hundred cute pictures of your baby in those first few months, but do you give any indication of how you really feel? do you tell all those “friends” on facebook the cute picture of your daughter snoring was made possible only because she didn’t sleep at all the night before? do you tell them about week 2 where after a particularly bad night you tearfully told your husband you just wanted “to go asleep and not wake up”? probably not.

when i first started this site i had fallen in love with this blog, i loved the photos and how this woman made it seem like all she did was dance around barefoot with her kids all day. i later found this one and loved her style too. and now? i sort of can’t stand them. there’s something about these for-profit parenting blogs (they make money by touting certain products) that rings false, and i know both of these women have dedicated part of their “about me” sections to talking about how “my life’s not perfect” and “i only share the good stuff” but i look at some of their posts of early morning donut runs and trips to the park and now they just make me kind of angry. i think to myself “you lied to me!!!!”

but here’s the thing. when jameson started sleeping better a few weeks ago, i remember telling my best friend how life was getting a little more “doable” because the baby was less like the spawn of satan fussy and talia sounded surprised. she said: “all we saw were adorable pictures…”

so there you go, i’m guilty of it too. and you know what? when jameson gets a little older and we decide to run out for donuts one morning, and i look at her adorable face smeared in whatever icing covered confection she’s chosen, who says i’m not going to want to blog about it? and i don’t want to judge the women referenced above, i don’t know them personally so i really have no idea about what their lives are like. i will say i have since found other blogs that depict what i feel is a more realistic view of parenting, this one was recommended by another new mom (thank you stacey) and is one of my favorites.

this thing we’re doing? it’s hard. (although you wouldn’t know it to ask my very-german mother, who raised 15 children and after hearing me gripe over the phone about how no one adequately prepared me for the horrors difficulties of breastfeeding simply responded: “Women complain a lot these days, they didn’t complain as much in my day.”) but i also find that in my worst moments, there is help, often help i’ve prayed for while falling asleep-slash-crying, but still, help. a lot of times it’s come in the form of another mom who was kind enough to share some wisdom gleaned from her hardest moments.

“Sleep deprivation is not a joke. They use it to torture people, it is an actual method of torture.”
friend Kelsey, another new mom

“I seriously held both my boys all day every day until they were about 4 months old.”
friend Kate, mother of two

“A breastfeeding baby will take everything you have, they will suck the life right out of you.”
sister Billi, mother of five

“Your baby will fall off something, probably a couch, they just will. And they’ll be fine.”
former co-worker Becky, mother of two

even now, as i talk about how hard it is, jameson surprised us all this morning when she took her nap without the usual swaddling-shushing-lumineers pandora station combination we use to get her down. she just fell asleep, right on her playmat, with me staring dumbfounded. that was another piece of advice i’ve held onto, just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they switch it up on you.

in the self-help world, they tell you to “speak your truth,” which i take to mean “be authentic.” so here it is, here’s my truth. things are pretty good. we had a baby and the world did not end. with some coordination, we have slowly been able to get some of our former lives back, including long runs for charlie and long bike rides for me. our home is filled with lots of music and entertainment and happiness.  and yes at times there is frustration as we work to figure out what exactly baby james is trying to tell us, and it’s going to be that way for a while, but it’s good.

collage

our daughter is finally here! (as made pretty clear in the video below, but seriously, this is the first time in the two weeks since she was born that i’ve had a chance to blog about it, so stay with me).

we named her jameson, which is a name that kept coming up over the course of the pregnancy and it just seemed to fit when we saw her for the first time (even though we took a good two days before filling out the paperwork in the hospital just to make sure we weren’t screwing her up for life).

we considered so many different options over the past nine months, but ultimately we wanted her to have something uniquely hers. we never really hear the name jameson and i love that it could go either way, since both charlie and i also have unisex names (i shared my name with two boys in my class while growing up and it seems like the name “charlie” for girls is really growing in popularity) … now, i’m not going to say i didn’t freak out and second guess ourselves when picking up some medicine for the baby and the pharmacist asked if “he” had any allergies and then spelled her name “jamison” on the bottle … but that probably had more to do with hormones and the fact that jameson was screaming at the time.

as for the middle name, lucia, it almost was her first, but we decided it was way too girly for her after she glared at us for the first time when her feeding was cut short (this girl is serious about her eating, she’s only two and a half weeks old and already weighs more than a pound over her birth weight). lucia is not a very common name in the states and since we’ve heard it pronounced a couple different ways (loo-CHEE-uh and loo-SHA) which are the italian and english versions, we just wanted to clarify it’s pronounced as the latin american version, (loo-SEE-ah) and means “light.”

so, much more to come, though at this point i’m not sure how much i’ll be able to post. becoming a parent is really intense and wonderful and overwhelming and everything that people wait to tell you until you actually have kids because they don’t want to freak you out. it is hard, but charlie and i, who were already freakishly close, are only becoming closer as we try to figure it out, tag-teaming each other just to get a few hours of sleep, slipping each other food and coffee while taking turns rocking begging our daughter to sleep. i’m just so thankful to have such an incredible partner in all of this, and one who takes such amazing pictures of jameson, catching so many of her different looks and expressions.

charlie also made the video i posted below in an effort to share some of our experience with close friends and family. we set out to take a belly photo every day, and while we didn’t exactly hit our target throughout the pregnancy, we came pretty close (or more accurately, we squeezed in as many as we could in between the restless nights and raging heartburn…)jessie8878i will say that one of the toughest parts in all of this has been not being able to really share it with my mom. i know i’ve previously talked about being from a family of 15 kids, but only after having a baby do i realize just what an extraordinary woman she is. i asked my brother a few months ago to send me some photos of her while she was pregnant but he couldn’t really find any (which is crazy considering she was pregnant over the course of three decades but not so crazy if you know how much she hated having her picture taken) this was among the ones he did send me, and i love how tired/happy she looks. MOMFINALwithout her guidance, i find myself asking my siblings (and frankly any parent willing to listen) as many questions as i can, praying constantly, and trying to remind myself the baby will eventually sleep through the night. so stay tuned for more stories about the girl we’ve nicknamed “baby james,” details on all our first-time parenting mistakes, and the exciting conclusion to the following dilemma: does it matter that our pediatrician has never had a baby herself and is so young she makes doogie howser look “mature”?

talk amongst yourselves.