Sunday, June 28, 2009

4 Months of Charlie

4 months old?? Really?

I can't be 4 months old. I'm just a little tiny baby. Ask my mom, she'll tell you.

Wow, you're serious aren't you? 4 months old, huh..Dude.

DUDE!!!

Well I guess I'll just hang out here and wait for football season to start. 

What do you mean it doesn't look good for the Hogs this year???

This month at Bad Poodles, since we are still trying to figure out how to work the new camera, are going for quantity instead of quality in the photos. The thought being that if I throw enough pictures at you, you will not notice they are all substandard in quality. Or perhaps you will just notice the cute little whale bubble he has on that matches his nursery! Woohoo!

So much as changed since Charlie turned 3 months old that it feels like a lifetime ago. He has definitely gone (at least in my mind) from newborn to infant. He is getting easier to take care of - the colic is infrequent now and he does soooo much better when we are out in public. It's not terrifying to take him places since he doesn't scream the whole time. That makes such a difference when you're out and about, no? We've even ventured out to dinner a few more times. We still usually have to trade off during dinner and one of us hold him while the other eats, but he's not throwing the royal fits of yester-month.

The most fun part about him getting older is how he talks all the time and interacts with us. He giggles and smiles and plays. I don't blame Angelina Jolie for calling Shiloh a blob when she was tiny - they really are blobs for a while until this phase hits. That being said, I do miss my blob and have started feeling sad as we progress through the stages of babyhood. Moving to size 2 diapers was a lot harder then I thought it should be. I have pulled the newborn clothes out of the drawers and felt so sad folding them up, never to be worn by him again. I can't bear to put away the tiny little shirt he wore in the hospital. That stays tucked away in a drawer and I pull it out and smell it every once in a while. It just smells like delicious yummy baby. 

We find out tomorrow at his 4 month appointment how much he weighs, but it should be around 14 pounds I think. He also has to get more shots, which I hate. At his 3 month he was crying and colicky and the doctor (not our normal doctor) came in to check him out and said 'Well why don't you calm him down before we start?' like maybe that thought just didn't occur to me. Or maybe it was just more fun and less effort to hear him scream. Ugh, wanted to smack him with a poopy diaper. I feel fairly certain we won't have that problem tomorrow. Again, what a difference a month makes. 

Charlie is sleeping through the night beautifully - usually 10 hours, give or take. He's not a huge napper. Sometimes on the weekend we can get a couple short naps out of him. Daycare wears him out and they can only get a few short naps out of him too. They write down every nap he takes and the other day his sheet said he slept from 11:57 to 12. Niiiice. That's my boy! No sleep necessary when there are exciting things going on!

Some of you may notice Charlie's hair has lightened up a lot and is more blond or light brown now. His eyes are still a beautiful blue, though not quite as vivid and bright as they were at birth. I guess we'll know here in a few months if they'll stick and he'll have blue eyes like his daddy. Speaking of the baby daddy, Charlie loves loves loves his daddy. If Brad is in the room, Charlie is watching him. If Brad is talking to him, Charlie is smiling. If Brad is moving his arms in a certain way, Charlie imitates him. It is so cute. Brad has also taught Charlie how to grab on to his hair and pull. I love that new activity. Guess whose hair is even easier to grab and pull then Daddy's??? Mommy's!!!

Charlie is also starting to notice the dogs. They have noticed him for some time - mostly that he tastes pretty good and it is fun to lick him. But now Charlie watches when they play and even gets a little irritated if they lick his feet for too long. Mostly he is fascinated by watching them them. I can relate - they are completely unpredictable these days. I'm pretty fascinated myself at some of what I see. I blame it on the post-baby doggie depression. We need a doggie shrink and some puppy prozac, stat!

Charlie still loves to be on his changing table, talking and playing. We have plenty of video logged to attest to that. He has a new fascination with his mobile and other things hanging over his head. It's a shame we don't have any ceiling fans in our house because he loves to watch those too. I think I read he can now see things 3 dimensional. He loves music and so we get him lots of little toys that play songs and those are his favorite. The teachers at daycare have written us about how much he loves the days when the music teacher comes. Of course, he can't really do anything but watch the other kids but I think he likes all the sounds. And the exersaucer with all it's musical variety (14 batteries worth) is still the favorite toy at home. 

He also likes the other little kids. I have noticed it quite a bit when I've gone to pick him up. His favorite spot in the room is in this swing by the back door that leads out to the play area. He loves to watch everyone come and go. Once when I went to pick him up, he was in that swing wearing this little outfit that has these little animals on it that you can pull on and this little girl pulled herself up on the swing and started to play with them. He was THRILLED she was paying attention to him! I don't blame him - she's a pretty cute little girl. Aw! Charlie has a crush!

We are starting to settle into what I like to think of as 'real life' with a baby. We take him places. We leave the house. I'm back at work. Part of this is good because it feels nice to be normal and see friends and do things we enjoy. Part of this is also sad because it was so exciting (though completely exhausting) when he was brand new and I loved my time at home with him where all I could focus solely on him. I will always feel nostalgic for those days, even though they were hard. 

If the past 4 months have taught me anything it's how quickly life changes and moves. I try to hold on to every moment but I can't stop time and once a phase of life is over, it's gone but for the memories. It's the most bittersweet aspect of life I think - the progression of one phase of life to the next. It goes particularly quick for a baby which is probably why I've been thinking about it. I now understand why my dad used to tell me when I was little that I wasn't allowed to grow up. I said the same thing to Charlie tonight before I put him to bed. =)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bad Mommy Syndrome

I've realized this week that the trip from good mommy-land to bad mommy-land takes about 10 minutes. I am in the middle of a week of enlightenment where one finds out one is doing several things wrong with regards to their baby. 

I got a call from daycare on Tuesday that Charlie had thrown up his second bottle of the day. This was not terribly alarming since bodily fluid is constantly on its way out of Charlie and she (one of the two main caregivers in the infant room) said he was quite cheerful afterwards. She kept talking about the incident and would periodically pause for a response. What I finally figured out is that it should go without saying that I need to go pick him up. I finally figure this out and said so and she sounded much relieved that I'd bought a clue.

Once I got him home I scheduled an appointment with the pediatrician for 30 minutes later. I found it was a mistake being happy about this as the particular pediatrician in the group that has availability in 30 minutes is generally one of the ones you'd rather not see. I get there and do my obligatory haggling with the guy at the front desk over my insurance card and we go back so I can begin answering every question the pediatrician asks with a wrong answer. Questions like 'how much are you feeding him?', 'how long has he had this drainage?' and 'have you made any recent changes in his diet?' are all met with knowing nods of disapproval as I answer them. Diagnosis for upchuck: overfeeding.

Yes, I gave my kid too much food and he threw up. I believe 'projectile vomit' was the term they used. You can please set my mother of year award over here. Daycare kept telling me he was draining his bottles and please send more food. And that he's in a growth spurt. So I really should be giving daycare's requests a little more scrutiny. Long story short, my milk supply is tanking now that I'm back at work and Charlie is trying to adjust by overcompensating when he eats during the day. Hungry Baby Eats Richmond.

Lest I forget to mention, the night before this episode I had Charlie out in the backyard with me while I threw the ball for the poodles to chase. By the time we were in the doctors' office there was a giant red bug bite on Charlie's forehead. It looked hideous! Like maybe something bigger then a bug bit him.  The doctor kept eyeing it and then murmured disapprovingly, 'little mosquito bite there.'  Two mother of the year awards!?!? I don't know if I have the shelf space!

To continue the fun, today I did a very quick drop off at daycare this morning where I barely even said good bye to Charlie because I was late for my super-important-nobody-is-late 9am meeting (which I was late for anyways) and then arrived to pick him up at 5:30 to find Charlie is the *last* baby in the room waiting for his mommy - and then I was just done. Full blown bad mommy syndrome. I felt so low the whole way home. He is still too new for me to let him down and be able to justify any of it - even if I know rationally that all of this is understandable. All in all, my first week of flying solo with Charlie and working was kind of rough. Mostly for Charlie.

I'm hoping to catch Excellent Mommy Syndrome this weekend when Charlie does something s brilliant and cute when I take him to the mall. If he chooses instead to projectile vomit, well, we can just switch malls.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pinehurst 2009 - Charlie's First Vacation

Every summer for the past 4 years we have gone with Brad's dad, stepmom and sister to Pinehurst, NC for a long weekend. Golf (which I haven't played since I got a D when I took it in college) is the big draw around there. I think Pinehurst has more golf courses per capita than anywhere else or something like that. The US Open has been held there on Pinehurst #2 - the repeat program on the hotel tv has taught me that much! The resort has a few properties and we have always stayed at the Carolina, which is this beautiful old hotel that has long porches with rocking chairs and tea in the lobby every afternoon. They used to have a bagpiper come play out front every evening at 6, but he's graduated high school (!) and is going off to college so doesn't come anymore.

Next door to the Carolina is the Pinehurst Spa, which if it had pearly gates in front I'd be pretty convinced it was heaven. I got a couple of treatments during the visit and it is just so relaxing to be in there. I take a book, get my little smoothie and just hang out by the indoor pool afterwards. I've been reading Wicked, which is a very enjoyable book if you're looking for something to read. And if you ever get a chance to visit the Pinehurst Spa - run, don't walk.

The other big draw is tennis, though I did not get a chance to play this year because I was pretty busy with Charlie in the morning while Brad played golf and it was just too hot to play in the afternoon. We love one of the pros there so it's always fun to see him. My sister-in-law plays almost non-stop. It's neat to watch her - she is 18 and very good at tennis. I find myself wondering how such a little person can hit the ball that hard!

This was our first visit there with Charlie. We had an awesome time and Charlie for the most part was cooperative. He was going through a growth spurt while we were there and wanted to eat about every 30 minutes. Always during dinner. He ate 12 oz one night! Hollow legs, I tell you what. Walking around the hotel with Charlie was like being famous - people would stop and talk to whoever was holding him and then come up whenever they'd see Charlie again. The front desk staff would wave and say Hi Charlie! every time we walked by. It was crazy, but fun to meet so many people this time. He did a great job of sleeping at night and enjoyed some long walks around the town. Napping - not so much.

We celebrated Father's Day when we were there and Charlie (who has quite a budget for a kid his age) got Brad a new camera. Unfortunately, Brad and I didn't learn how to work it just right while we were there and so there are no good pictures from it. In fact, I don't think there is a single picture from any of our trips there. For some reason, we just don't take pictures when we go! But it's an awesome time - can't wait for 2010! Charlie will be able to go to the pool and do more things. And we should definitely have the new camera figured out by then!
Update: I neglected to mention that I also got to celebrate my birthday at Pinehurst. How I blocked out getting another year older, I'm not quite sure! But I had a wonderful birthday - took Charlie on a long walk, hit the spa and had an incredible dinner. One of the servers, who has an incredible voice, sang me happy birthday and Charlie found it mesmerizing! He was sitting on my lap at the time. My famous-baby-ultimate-bday-gift. =)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mom's Visit

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted! Things have been so busy the days have flown by. My mom was here until the 17th, which was so much fun. Of course, I had to work, which was fine (I wouldn't describe it as so much fun) but we made dinner at night and played with Charlie and watched reality tv. 

Mom treated me to a massage on Sunday as an early birthday present, which was heavenly, as massages tend to be. She also picked me out the cutest dress and little cardigan from Banana Republic for my bday. They don't have it online or I'd post it. I wore it this past weekend in Pinehurst after buying some Spanx! Yes, I own Spanx now. And they do NOT disappoint!

Saturday I took Brad out for his birthday to the Black Sheep and then to Buddy's for drinks. We were going to go to the movies but decided to just go somewhere and talk since we don't do that too often. We sat near this strange guy who had just bought a wolf as a pet. For $3K. Odd. 

Anyways, it was so fun having my mom visit and I got all panicky again when she was about to leave thinking about juggling daycare and work on my own. Today was the first day and it wasn't terribly bad. I really have to be organized the night before though to make it happen though and so I am not getting a whole bunch of sleep. Or time to call people - if I owe you a phone call I promise you will hear from me soon!!

Here are a couple more cutie patootie pics of C-man that my mom took:


Also while my mom was here we went and got Charlie a new exersaucer, which is a gift from my Aunt Judy. This thing is like Charlie's all time favorite toy and only took Brad and me an hour to put together! First of many toy assembly efforts involving 67 brightly colored plastic parts I'm sure.

He is fascinated by it! There are so many little things to play with and sounds that it makes - the thing requires like 14 batteries or something insane like that. He's getting pretty good at pushing the buttons. I took this video when he was in it for the first time and just wide eyed with glee!

video

I know I have more to write about and I can't think of it because I'm sleepy! Will do a catch up post tomorrow. Sweet dreams!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm FAMOUS

I've been meaning to post about this For-EVUH. Because I'm like totally a contributing writer to Glamour magazine now. Well. That's probably a stretch. Let me back up.

My sister Meredith, who lives in Brooklyn, has fascinating friends who do fascinating things. One such fascinating friend is Jess, who works for Glamour.com (the web site for Glamour magazine), my #2 choice to read while getting a pedicure (after US Weekly). She was doing a Mother's Day piece where a bunch of people write about the best relationship advice they received from their mothers and asked Meredith to ask me if I had any ideas.

To be honest, I was pretty tired at the time and not feeling particularly creative, so I thought a lot of my ideas were lame. I kept thinking I know my mom has had a ton of good advice I'm not remembering that would be so cute for this and THINK Kara THINK. But the brain did not really cooperate. So I emailed Meredith and said I can't think of a whole bunch, just these two ideas.

Meredith sent them to Jess, who actually liked one of them (yay!) and she sent me some follow-up questions. I answered them and then Jess took all of it and compiled it and made it sound similar in style to the other entries - 'Glamourized' it, if you will. She emailed me one more time with the final and I liked it so I told her and it was ready to go.

And that, children, is how I became PUBLISHED. Sort of.

Here's the link: http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/2009/04/the-best-dating-advice-from-moms-everywhere#slide=7

P.S. That is not Brad and me in the picture frolicking on the beach in our wedding best. Oddly, we were not asked to model for this! I think the bags under my eyes alone would have taken up the whole screen.

Back at Work

I started back at work on Monday and so far I am so exhausted by the time Charlie goes to bed that blog updates have eluded me. Even this one is going to be at a 50% effort level since I have no new pictures or video of Charlie to decorate the entry with. There's a cute video on my mom's Flip of Charlie rolling over in his crib but I'm having technical difficulties getting it on my laptop. But just think - something to look forward to!!

Overall work has been fine so far. In my usual fashion I got all my stress and worry about coming back done well ahead of time, so by Monday morning I was practically skipping in from the parking lot all excited to see my friends. It was just like visiting! I caught up with people, showed them baby pictures and just generally hung out all day. By Tuesday I realized I actually work here and they are going to expect me to think and work and attend meetings and all that jazz. At least we have a starbucks on the first floor of my building or coherent thought would not be possible. The true test of my sanity will be when I'm taking care of Charlie on my own and working too - I have my mom here as a buffer this week.

She is visiting this week and half of next just hanging out with Charlie. They seem to be having a great time. She is probably wondering what I'm talking about when I say he rarely naps since he has been consistently napping for her. I'm starting to think maybe I am like human caffeine to babies - just too stimulating to allow them to nap. I've had to consciously restrain myself from being too loud and excited when I go in to get Charlie out of his crib because I've startled him a couple of times - I just MISS HIM when he's sleeping and can't wait for him to wake up.

It's been really fun having her here. We've cooked some yummy dinners and had wine and reality TV each night. It's made going back to work so much easier because there has been a fun element to the week as well. This weekend I think we're going to take Charlie up to one of the outdoor malls or something like that.

Tuesday was Brad's birthday but he's in Dallas this week so it was pretty low key. Since we have my mom taking care of Charlie I think I'm going to take him out Saturday for dinner and a movie. Or whatever else he wants to do sans-baby. It is a lame year for Spooner birthdays - we are even picking out our own gifts, which I hate. I love surprises and picking out gifts for each other. But Brad wants new clothes for work and I wanted clothes that actually fit, so we are just picking out some things and Happy Birthday to Us. My birthday is a pretty special day now though since last year it was the day I found out I was pregnant!

One last thing - I am now on Twitter. I'm not sure what that means yet, but my mom and sisters twitter so I was feeling really un-hip not doing it. So far it feels like a lot of Facebook statuses. In fact, I'm wondering if there's a way to link the two. You can also follow news, magazines, celebrities, blogs, etc. Now I don't have to actually go to Perez Hilton's site to find out what's going on. How convenient!! Anyways, if you tweet perhaps we can follow each other. I think it's like being facebook friends without quite the level of commitment.

Well I must run as it is time to pump. My forward-thinking employer who does not give anyone offices has been kind enough to set up a 'mother's room' where returning to work mommies can go to .... take care of things. It's quite nice. I brought a magazine to flip through while I'm in there, though yesterday this one woman did a conference call. Extra credit to her for multi-tasking.

Hope all you Dallas folks survived the storm!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Bird in my Bedroom

I was running around the house today while Charlie was at daycare, cleaning up and doing laundry and that sort of thing. I went to go put something in my bathroom and when I walked out a bird flew at my head. AT my head; not towards it or past me or around me. Like, I'm a mad bird and you will pay human. Of course I screamed and ran out of the room and shut the door. He came in through the chimney, which our inspector told us was not capped 2 1/2 years ago when we bought the house. For once, procrastination does not pay off. 

Since the poodles looooooove a good bird play session (they have caught a few in our sun porch) I put them both outside. Then I called Brad in a panic - he's in Dallas today. He thought the entire situation was hilarious and suggested I open the windows and then put bread on the windowsills. Yeah. That sounds great. Go in the room, put myself between the bird and the windows he's trying to get too and come bearing treats. Brilliant. Brad thinks my apprehension at doing this means I'm scared of birds. But I am just scared of MAD birds.

Anyways, I did go in holding a broom in case the bird tried any funny business and couldn't get a single window open. They are original windows and are all painted shut. Luckily I have a nice neighbor who came over and got one of the windows open after some work on the dried paint. At that point the bird was in the closet and I shut the door to trap him. With one window open I opened the closet door to let him back out and fortunately he flew out in about 10 minutes. Either that or he died in the closet. Whatever happened, he is not flying around my bedroom anymore. 

What a day. I feel so tired. It's definitely time to go back to work! 

In cuter news, this morning I heard Charlie babbling in his crib so I went down to the nursery to get him. He sleeps on his tummy so usually when he wakes up he's just looking around and making noises. This morning though he had rolled over on his back and was talking to his mobile! It was so cute. Still working on getting the giggle on film. Maybe my mom can - she gets here Sunday to spend a week and a half with Charlie! And maybe us too a little - ha!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Musings

Some days I don't have anything interesting going on for a blog entry but I think of little things that are not long enough to be worthy of their own post. Today is one of those days. In fact, the last few days have been one of those days so this post is just kind of the dumping ground I guess.

This is my last week of maternity leave. Just typing that gives me an irregular heartbeat and shallow breathing. I'm not sure why. Fear of the unknown I guess. The unanswered questions: Will I be spending enough time with him? Am I read to have work stress and mommy stress all crammed into the same week? Can I make it through the day without him? Can I do all of this on my own with Brad out of town? I guess we'll see. I really hope it doesn't suck. 

To prepare, I've been trying to get lots of stuff done - house semi-organized, dentist, car inspection, finding clothes that actually fit..... I'm in this strange place with clothes. Maternity clothes: too big. Regular clothes: too small. Employer: expecting me to show up not naked. I've found a few things and am a few more things away from not wearing the same thing more then once a week. Shopping is not so much fun with the extra weight. I have had to come to peace with the fact that a chunk of it is just going to hold on for dear life until I'm done breastfeeding.

Changing topics: Anyone else see the New Moon clip from the MTV awards? Each time I think I can not possibly be a bigger loser with no life for being so interested in all of this, I get drawn in again. I actually did not stay up to watch it last night but promptly googled when I got up this morning. It was on Stephanie Meyer's web site, which is where I discovered all sorts of other goodies. Deleted portions of the first 2 books, FAQ's, the story behind each of the books, etc. Read it all today, mostly while feeding Charlie.

To me, the most interesting stuff on her site was about how she wrote the books and how she got published. It is almost unsettling reading about the creation of her characters because she sounds a little bit nuts. It's like they are real people that she knows as well as herself. She wrote about how upset she was that Edward was going to leave Bella in her second book and that she tried to talk him out of it but couldn't.  And how Bella and Edward had conversations in her head when she was trying to sleep so she kept a notepad by her bed so she wouldn't forget any of them. In the FAQ's someone asks who this one character's father is and her response is along the lines of I don't know, I haven't asked him that yet. I'd never really thought about how intimately a writer knows their characters. Where does that depth come from? The imagination? I'm not sure. JK Rowling talks about her characters in the same way. Twilight was inspired by a dream and from the night of the dream to the day she signed her book deal was six months. SIX MONTHS. That is so short. I guess she got lucky with all of it but six months doesn't even sound that long to write a book. Especially one that is 500 pages.

But anyways back to the clip - it appears there is an actual special effects budget this time! Yay! I was a little worried there were going to be visible stunt wires with wolves attached. Or something like that. And Jacob. Wow. What a difference a year makes. How old is he again? Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

Well I think that's all I got. The eyelids are getting heavy. Charlie fell asleep super early tonight, all worn out from daycare this afternoon. He's still going partial days to get him used to it. I can't bring myself to do a full day yet because in my head I keep thinking this is my time with him! I just want to be with him during the day while I can. Not sure if I'll be saying that if he wakes up super early tomorrow morning though - ha!