Archives for the month of: March, 2013

IMG_4933PART ONE – Catherine at 9 Months

I’m a few days late on the 9 months post (but dating it on the correct day just to keep things organized).  A few things Catherine is doing differently at 9 months.

1. She is on the MOVE.  Crawls everywhere, gets into everything.  It’s a whole new ballgame now!  I have to watch her like a hawk.

2. Trying to stand up.  She has learned to pull up and we can tell she likes being on her feet and wants to walk.

3. Throwing tantrums every time she doesn’t get her way.  She screams, arches her back, and kicks at the drop of a hat – just because we weren’t fast enough handing over the keys or paper or keycard or whatever she’s decided she wants.  Then, just like that, as soon as you hand over the prize she’s all smiles.

4. She’s a complete snuggle bug (thank goodness!! I am one myself). She loves rolling around giving hugs and Mmmah or Pfffff kisses over and over again in bed.  She likes being read to.  She likes knocking down the blocks I build, dropping her food over the side of the highchair to Meeks below, pulling my hair violently, and clapping.  She charms strangers by smiling at them, then growling.

At her nine-month doctor’s appointment, he said:

1. Her iron level is excellent.  He seems almost surprised when he came in with that information so I know her iron was particularly good.  I don’t know why, whether it is related to breastfeeding, and/or the solid food I’m feeding her, or if it’s just some other reason that has nothing to do with food.

2. She has an ear infection – which we knew going in.  We are on antibiotic #2 and I’m still seeing her grab her ears, which worries me so we may be back in this week.

3. I should stop feeding her at 4:00am when she wakes up.  Try telling her that.

4. She is 50th percentile for height, and 30th percentile for weight.  Chris is very fixated on these numbers and asks me why she’s 30th percentile for weight.  I tell him because she is a dainty girl, that’s why, and what does he want her to be, 90th percentile?  And anyway, she has monstrous thighs so I’m not too worried about her percentile.

PART TWO – Me at 9 months postpartum.

I’m back in shape and am back down to pre-pregnancy weight but there’s still loose skin that will take time to shrink back.  It doesn’t bother me too much though.

I’ve been getting very frustrated with trying to get anything done besides being Mom.  At work I can of course, but wedding planning makes me feel like I have my hands tied behind my back, since computer tasks simply can’t be done while Catherine is awake.  What happens is, I try in vain to get something accomplished, don’t (of course), and in the process miss out on having fun with my baby – so it’s a double loss.  I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to do anything on the computer while I’m home with Catherine is a big waste of time and a mistake.  Instead I need to just do my #1 job and be mom and enjoy it.  The other stuff will either get done at night (another problem – I am NOT a night owl. So yeah.) or not at all (more likely).  But the wedding stuff…sigh…many a bride has said this before the wedding, and I’m no exception – if I had it to do over again we would have eloped.  The fact is, I’m never happy when I’m over booked outside of work that is – I enjoy a fast-paced workday – but outside of work, I need lots of free time to spontaneously fill up with happy, productive activities.  That’s the way I’m going to live my life whenever possible, even though it may mean saying no to a lot of activities.

Work is going well, the days I’m there, but I miss being super involved in projects, and to do that I’d need to work full time.  Then again, I’m SO not ready to give up those two days home with C.  Again, I am just torn and there’s no good answer.  Time will tell though.

One last thing before I go – at 9 months, as it has always been, nursing is on my mind – things like when to quit… or more like, how long can we do this before it ends because we love it.  The more I think about it objectively, the more convinced I become that our society has some very strange views about breastfeeding.  I feel like breasts were intended to nurture children.  And the fact that so many people act shocked about that fact and try to put strict limits on when is the “appropriate” time to stop is very backwards somehow.  Now, I’m in the throws of breastfeeding and so maybe I’m a little biased about that.  Here’s what I love about it though, personally.  As someone who really thinks about the food I’m putting in my baby’s body and works really, really hard to make sure it’s only the best, breastfeeding is an EASY way to know I’m giving her the absolute best food I can give her.  Read – EASY.  After the time and effort I’ve spent preparing all this damn healthy baby food I appreciate that breastfeeding is easy.  Yes, I admit it.  Making your own baby food is hard.  It’s time consuming.  I take back what I said months ago about it not being difficult.  Also, it’s hard when your baby won’t allow herself to be fed and wants to feed herself, yet only has 3 and a half teeth.  So I must find food that is healthy, soft, easy for little hands to hold, tastes delicious, and of course packs well for Nanny Days.  I do all this only to have most of it thrown on the floor.  But there ARE good rewarding days when Catherine stuffs her face with peas, roasted veggie sticks, and almond butter toast.  Anyway, back to breastfeeding…

It’s relaxing and comforting for both of us.  It literally produces feel-good chemicals in both our bodies that soothe and make us happy.  It’s truly an amazing thing we can do for ourselves.  So why are we in a hurry to end that good – free – thing we have going for us?  Who knows, at 1 or 2 years Catherine may self-wean and the decision will be made, but if she doesn’t, I don’t want to succumb to pressures of others; I want to do what’s best for us.  And I guess what I have to remember is that I’m mom and she’s baby and it’s really between us and our decision.

I really need to get started on some wedding stuff.  Thanks for listening to my late night rambling!


With the start of work I’m finding myself slowly coming out of the tunnel I was in.  That tunnel being: New Mommyhood, in which I felt ZERO desire or calling to do anything but focus on my new baby.  SHE was my new identity and that was the way I wanted it.  Everything else came second if at all.

But as I said, I’m coming out of that tunnel vision very slowly, and finding myself wanting an identity in addition to Mommy.  That role will ALWAYS come first, and I treasure every moment spent just being with Catherine.  And she will definitely be a part of my new “ventures.”  What I’m saying is I want more depth as a person.  I want to get back into running, mostly with the stroller but sometimes without since Catherine doesn’t have the patience for really long runs.  I want to do a marathon!  Maybe this summer or fall?

Regarding work – I wish I could be there more so that I could really absorb myself in projects, but I am not yet willing to give up that mommy-daughter time.  Eventually, though.

Friends.  I want a richer social life – with Catherine and Chris!  This is ESPECIALLY crucial for several reasons.  1) One of my big goals for being the kind of mother I want to be is giving Catherine the gift of a rich social network (the REAL kind, not the online kind).  I know the benefits: confidence, a support system, connections that lead to open doors, and happiness overall!  Currently, I’m not giving her that to the extent I’d like.  We spend too much time alone, I think.  2) Chris hasn’t been home much these days and I need company.  I’d love to find other moms whose husbands travel for work, or activities I can do that Catherine fits into.  3) Let’s not forget – my own health and happiness.  I know myself, and I know that when I’ve got a good healthy social life, with lots of time outdoors with friends, I am a happier, more confident person – and that means I’ll be a better mommy to Catherine and partner to Chris.  This is long, long overdue, and I’ve got to take the steps towards this goal.   Spring is just around the corner – perfect timing I think.

Reading and writing.  At the end of the day, I do look forward to sitting down for an hour or so of reality tv before bed.  But it’s time to put that precious time to better use.  The realty shows are a quick fix, but they don’t leave my soul happier.  What is a comparable, relaxing evening activity that does?  Reading.  I feel smarter, calmer, and happier when I take the time to read.  My hope is that eventually I’ll start incorporating writing into this time, too.  It’s more daunting, when my brain just wants to relax.  But it’s who I am, and I can’t keep ignoring it because it’s “hard.”  If I can begin to put those couple of hours of downtime in the evening before bed to good use, I know I could eventually write something good, worthy of publication.  I don’t know what, and I don’t know when, but I know I could do it if I make it a goal and take action.  If I don’t – if I put it off until “after Catherine is grown” it won’t ever happen. All the people I can think of who did big things creatively began when they were young.

So…there you have it – the ways I want to get back in touch with HELEN.  Why do I want to do this?  Because I have always believed that the very best gift I could give to Catherine is to be the kind of person I want her to be – 100% herself and deeply fulfilled.  To lead by example.   I want to be a better example than a realty-tv show watching, smart phone addict.  We can live a more adventurous life than that!