Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Is This Real Life?" And Other First Time Mom Thoughts

      "Is this real life?"

       Sometimes, (when I have a split second) I think this very thought. I have mentioned many times that my life is a constant string of surreal moments; in a good way! Really, in a very good way.  A lot has happened: I got married, became pregnant, moved to a new state, moved to a new country, had a baby, became a single parent, (temporarily) and more--all in a very short time. Having Ava has definitely been the MOST surreal, and rewarding, event of all.

I didn't know what to write for this, but a post seemed appropriate. I thought I'd share some, "Often Thoughts." And we begin:

1.(After she has just simultaneously pooped--and vomited all over me) "Where does it all come from?"


2. "If my life were a sitcom, filmed-in-front-of-a-live-studio-audience, this is where they would start laughing..."


3. "The laundry isn't going to stop...it's never going to get better--it's only going to get worse! Whoa."


4. "Recycling seems less worth it when you have a baby."


5. "Why is she doing that?" 


6. "Is that sound she's making normal?"


7. "I wonder if there is a world record for how many medical questions a mom can Google ?"


8. "This outfit is cute....too bad she is going to throw up all over it."


9. "I like these jeans I'm wearing...too bad she is going to throw up all over them."


10. "She is so cute....I can't believe I'm going to ground her someday."


11. "I hope I never get called, 'the cool mom.'"


12. "Speaking of grounding her....I wonder what "cool" item I'll be revoking in 10 or 15 years? A hover craft? The 'iHover?'"


13. "I can't believe one day I'm going to have THIS conversation with her on a regular basis:
            Me: Ava, how was school today?
            Ava: Fine.
            Me: What did you learn?
            Ava: I don't know? Stuff..."


These are just some of the billions of thoughts I have. Right now a lot of "those people" keep reminding me, in that "unsolicited" way of theirs that we hate-- that I need to enjoy this time with her because she's only going to get bigger, and louder, and needier. But I don't care. I do really enjoy her. And even when I feel like I'm going to tear my hair out, or leap from the balcony (it's not that high up) she goes and does something that totally redeems the situation, like smile, or just be really, really chubby! :)

FAQ


I haven't had as many FAQ's since my last post, (because it was so informative, right?) but I do get asked this pretty regularly:

What does your day look like with her now? 

I'm pretty sure you're referring to her, "schedule." I feel pretty lucky that she is indeed on what seems like a "schedule," at least 80% of the time anyway. She's not too needy these days. She doesn't get very fussy; but she does eat ALL THE TIME.

She sleeps from about 8:00 to 5:00 a.m. (though sometimes she will wake up as early at 4:00, or as late as 6:00).  So at 5:00 I wake up and diaper/feed her. If it's 5:00 a.m. or earlier we go back to sleep till about 7:00, and if it's 6:00 a.m. or later, we stay awake.

At this point Ava usually gives me about 20 minutes to be out of her line of sight without freaking out--this is where I take a shower, put on the absolute basics of makeup, ( I miss you eyeliner!) get dressed and brush my teeth. Then I take Ava into the kitchen where we make breakfast, (Ava helps make breakfast by not crying) and I Facebook, and practice my RosettaStone.

Around 7:00 a.m. feed/diaper. Then at this point she can get a little fussy, which is when our morning dance routine usually comes in. She loves to dance, (or to be danced with I guess I should say) it's the movement. This is also where I get to live out my childhood fantasy of becoming a professional singer! Ava is a big fan.

Around 9:00 a.m. Ava will generally take a nap. This is when I do laundry, clean, grab things from the car, sort recycling, etc. You know--all the things that are easy tasks--but difficult to do when she's awake.

She wakes up around 9:30 or 10:00 and she eats, and I diaper her again. At this point we go for a walk, or run errands. There are ALWAYS errands to run. Always. This is largely because I am never able to actually complete a to-do list for errands. I'm still nursing Ava, and she eats whenever she feels like it. Sometimes that can range anywhere from every hour, to every 3 hours. For five minutes at a time, to forty minutes at a time. She has no "schedule" there, and it's just more comfortable to feed her at home, on the couch, or chair, then to find a nearby park bench, or customer service area, or cafe, (where I'll just end up eating a croissant) or even a chair for that matter.

Assuming we get home between 12:00 and 2:00, I usually try to make lunch. Ava is not nearly as cooperative with lunch as she is with breakfast. Lunch takes a good hour or so; lots of "stops and starts," (Soothing, or feeding, or diapering, soothing, or feeding, or diapering) in the preparation and eating process.  Then the rest of the afternoon we play a little, and attempt "tummy time," (which she TOTALLY hates) go for walks, and finish the laundry or the cleaning that we started in the morning.

Around 5:30/6:00 I usually start dinner. But due to the stops and starts of soothing/feeding/diapering, I don't normally eat the dinner until after Ava has gone to sleep--it's just easier to enjoy the meal that way. So, I make a snack and usually Facebook, and Skype between 5:30-7:30.

A little before 8:00 p.m., Ava gets pretty upset (it's like she's saying, "Hey I'd really like to go to bed") so I take her in to the bathroom, for what we fondly refer to as, "Baby Spa Time." I would really like to foster a positive attitude towards bath time, and I think--for Ava--it's working. The moment I lay her on the fluffy bath mat, dim the lights, (sometimes I even light a few candles--I really do) and turn on the tub---sobbing ceases. It's like magic--every--single---time. So bath time is the best. It's relaxing for her, (I think anyway) but really it's tremendously relaxing for me.  Then after the bath I feed her again, and sometimes read her a story, if she is alert enough. So by 8:30 or so she is asleep. And then we start the whole process over again at 5:00/6:00 a.m.


But I love that I can count on that sleep from her. Sometimes my friend Emily comes over for dinner, and after Ava is asleep we can enjoy a glass of wine, and dinner, and sometimes a movie.

So it's not rocket surgery, or brain science [ ;) ] but it keeps me busy.