"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On the Job

So technically this is my first week at my new job: staying home with the munchkin while Daddy brings home the bacon. It is amazing the difference I'm noticing between being in charge of Geneva while there are other people within shouting distance and being home alone with her all day! For the first time I'm really starting to feel the lack of sleep catching up with me. Also, there have been a couple of times where she manages to get worked up into a complete lather over something and it truly is a mystery to me why she's crying. I know this is what newborns DO, but I got spoiled these last few weeks by the fact that she only really fussed when she was hungry or wet or hot. The mystery shrieking really does a number on my patience-- not so much with her, but with other people. Fortunately it hasn't happened too much.

Mostly it has been wonderful to get to hang out with my girl all day! We don't really have a routine down yet, but I imagine that will come with time. I have decided that for this first week I won't try to accomplish more than three things each day (not counting meals and dishes) unless I happen to have an unforseen abundance of time and energy. Three errands/chores/activities is plenty to keep Geneva and me occupied during the brief interludes between feeding, diapering, changing in to non-spit covered clothes (that goes for both of us), etc. Yesterday we did laundry, planned the weekly menu and took a trip to Baron Farm near Harrah. So far today we have gone grocery shopping and worked on birth announcements. After dinner I'll be making brownies! It sure is a change of pace from my previous job, where I taught seven different groups of ELL kids each day. We just kind of go with the flow now, and spend lots of time cuddling and singing. No lesson plans! Of course, at my previous job I never had to pick poo out from under my fingernails at 2:30 in the morning, so it's a trade-off.

Geneva just keeps growing right before our very eyes. Everyone said she would, but it's one thing to know it and quite another to live it. When did three weeks become so grown up? And when did my helpless newborn child start doing things like swatting her toys with her hands, holding her whole torso up off of my chest and smiling? Today I tried to dress her in the outfit she wore at the hospital and-- gasp-- it didn't fit anymore. If I ever wonder if I made the right decision, staying home to take care of Geneva instead of going back to work, all I'll have to do is remember the day she grew out of her newborn onesie. I seriously wouldn't miss this for anything in the wide world.

And now for everyone's favorite part of the blog: pictures!

Picnic at Gasworks Park in celebration of Auntie Lex's participation in the Seattle Rock 'n Roll Marathon!

Thinking about smiling... maybe...

Playing with Mommy.

Visiting Jared and Leah in Seattle.

Geneva Lynn

Monday, June 15, 2009

The first week of the rest of our lives...

As of tomorrow, our little baby Geneva will be a week old. I'm already finding it difficult to remember what life was like before she was here! What did I do with my time before I had this beautiful creature to stare at, to feed and to cuddle? She has been so sweet and lovable, not fussy or nervous or anything. We're still getting to know her, but so far she loves sucking on her hands, reading stories with Daddy in the rocking chair, and listening to Bruce Springsteen. She hated her first bath but kind of liked her second. She can fit into her cloth diapers but not her diaper covers, so she only gets to wear those when she's home and we can keep an eye on any leaky situations. She sleeps most in the early hours of the morning, right about the time the birds start chirping, so that's when I get most of my sleep too. She makes a really spectacular grumpy face, but she's still the most gorgeous little girl I have ever, ever seen, and I love her to pieces.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

4 days old - time to see the world (or at least the front yard)

Geneva has started exploring the world, but we're taking baby steps. Which is appropriate, seeing as she is in fact a baby. To get started, she got to hang out in her bouncy seat while Mom and Dad (with lots of help from Nana) got caught up on some yard work that piled up due to the whole '9 months pregnant' thing we had going lately. Jamaica loved being able to work in the yard again, I loved being able to tinker with the lawn mower and bounc
e my girl at the same time, and Ginny basked in the shade and had a ball. And by 'ball' I mostly mean 'nap', but she loved it all the same.


I'd also like to share a couple of random thoughts (and photos!) from the past few days of new fatherhood:

1) If your wife happens to have a surprisingly short labor, especially the actual delivery, be very careful not to tell anyone that she 'ripped right through it'. That's not a euphemism in this case, and she really won't find your inadvertant pun funny in any way.

2) Watching other families like my cousins, I always wondered how parents with young children just seemed to know things; now I know that it's because they had a great incentive. Sleep.

3) I never thought I'd actually enjoy changing diapers.

4) While we were at the hospital, Geneva had to be sucking on something (or screaming, but sucking was better). Since Mommy didn't much like to be a human pacifier 24/7, I let her suck on my finger. That was my primary fatherly function for the first 48 hours of her life. Then when we left they gave us a pacifier and suddenly my entire skillbase as a parent had been rendered obsolete by a few pennies worth of plastic. I think that's why I like changing diapers - it became the new thing I could do.

Now, I'll stop writing and post pictures which is both easier and more interesting!

Just like her Mommy! (Jamaica was also 6lb, 15 oz)

Geneva taking her first nap in the crib

Happy Grandpa!

Nana loves Ginny!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 9, 2009 - Hello Geneva Lynn!

A picture better be worth a thousand words, because I have at least a few thousand to offer on this subject:

Friday, June 5, 2009

This will probably seem funny later

I'm writing this at about noon on Friday, still in my sweatpants because to be quite honest I only woke up about an hour ago. Normally that's not something I would do, much less admit to, but today I have an excuse: last night was awful.

Now, yesterday itself was not so bad. I had a nice afternoon and spent most of my time puttering around and being domestic. I got some chores done and was feeling good but very, very tired. When Avery got home he helped me finish cleaning the back porch and then I decided I had to lie down. I was dozing when the first contraction hit, and it woke me right up. Having contractions is nothing new, as I've had a handful of false starts already, but I still get excited each time. So I checked the clock and went back to sleep hoping that this time would be "it." I woke back up ten minutes later with another one, and then again ten minutes after that. I gave up on sleeping and got in the shower while Avery prepared dinner. Usually getting in the shower will slow or stop my contractions altogether, but this time they kept going, much to my discomfort and delight! In fact, they kept on going for the next few hours, right through dinner and a phone conversation with my mom. Gradually they increased from every ten minutes to every five minutes, and by 10:30 I was too excited to just sit and watch TV. Avery and I headed out the door for a walk around the neighborhood, and as we left I caught myself believing that this-- THIS-- could be my last pre-baby walk.

The streets were extremely dark, but there weren't many cars to dodge. We crept along at a snail's pace, stopping every five minutes so that I could lean on Avery through a contraction. As we walked we peeked into peoples' yards and watched the lightning overhead. There were booms and flashes coming from every direction! It was very dramatic, and seemed to fit the mood of nervous anticipation. After walking for almost an hour we decided to head back toward home, and thought it would be a good idea to stop off at the hospital on our way to fill out any necessary paperwork while I was still able to carry on a conversation. Plus, we reasoned, a hospital is filled with doctors and nurses. Surely someone there could tell us whether this was truly early labor or just another false alarm. It had been nearly five hours at this point and we desperately wanted permission to get excited.

Of course, at 11:30 the main entrance to the hospital is closed, so we came in through the E.R. and explained that we just wanted to pre-register and maybe ask one of the nurses if this could possibly be The Real Thing. Looking back, I'm not sure how articulate I was about this, considering I was kind of out of it. We were escorted to a side room to fill out some paperwork and then asked to follow a nurse upstairs to Maternity. We were told, "they want to check you." Okay, so we were going to be checked. That must be a good sign! Up we went.

That's when things started to get weird. I was immediately ushered into a small exam room with two beds and was told to pee in a cup and change into a gown. That in itself didn't seem too strange, but there was no other explanation given. In fact, the nurse quite nearly left the room without telling me what it was she wanted me to do! I used the restroom and changed out of my clothes, then perched on one of the beds. The nurse came back and performed an internal exam, where I learned that I had dilated to........ ONE! One centimeter after five hours of contractions. I was not the most pleased I've ever been, but the nurse seemed very cheerful and reminded me that this meant my contractions were doing something productive, even if it didn't seem like much. Then she told me to lie flat on my back and, without further explanation, started strapping me to an external fetal monitor. I happen to know what these look like, having worked in a nursing lab, but I don't think Avery had a clue what was going on and I was too groggy to protest. I meant to say something like "can you tell me why I need continuous fetal monitoring?" or maybe "I would prefer not to be lying flat on my back" but all that came out was "Ummm" as the straps dug into my sore belly. The nurse straightened up and said "make yourselves comfortable. I'll be back to check on you in a while." My brain screamed "WHAT?" and I had the presence of mind to ask "what's 'a while'?"

"An hour and a half."

And so we waited there, Avery in his hard little chair and me flat on my back, watching the baby kick the monitoring device and listening to her little heartbeat as my contractions, which had been going strong for over five hours, slowly stopped. I remember watching the clock, knowing somehow that the next contraction wasn't coming, and thinking what a horrible idea it was to hang a clock right over someone's hospital bed. At that point I started to cry. I had been so sure that we would finally be meeting our daughter soon, and instead we were sitting alone in a tiny hospital room, both of us uncomfortable and exhausted and wanting nothing more than to just go home. It was too much, and I couldn't even stop crying when Avery brought the nurse back in, hoping she would let us go. She was very kind, but kept us for a bit longer to monitor the baby. Avery was mad, and I was drifting in and out of sleep so that nothing seemed entirely real. At some point another girl was brought to the bed next to mine, and I was grateful that everyone was whispering for my benefit. Finally, around 1:30 we were released. I didn't have to sign anything; we just hobbled back down the hall and out the door into the night. The storm that had been threatening must have broken while we were upstairs, and the rain was coming down in sheets. At least I had a sweatshirt-- poor Avery was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and sandals. We walked slowly home, soaked to the skin and not saying much. Like before, the weather seemed appropriate to the circumstances.

I know I shouldn't complain. My baby is healthy, I am healthy, and whatever happens I know she'll be born soon. This whole thing will probably seem funny later, but right now I just feel frustrated and disappointed, and don't have the emotional stamina required to put this in perspective. My daughter was supposed to be here today and instead I'm sitting on the couch in my sweats writing a serious downer of a blog post. Not exactly what I had in mind.