remember the post about how parenting is all questions? i've found some answers.
www.babycenter.com - this is the most comprehensive pregnancy/baby/child related website ever. if you are a regular reader here, you may remember me saying that i would get weekly emails during my pregnancy that would remind me how many weeks preggers i was as well as give me some facts about my child's development in the womb. well now they send me weekly emails about my baby's development. you can type something into their search engine and something related comes up - it's amazing. although i typed in "too much swing" and it was just a chat wall thing with other moms asking the same question.
what to expect the first year - i just got this book from my friend, jen, last week and i have been reading it nonstop since. very informative in a question and answer format. but it told me how much swing time there should be: 30minutes twice a day. oops.
so even though you may not care because you don't want these answers (i know - i felt the same way), i thought maybe someone out there, 2 - 3 years from now (wink, wink), will think back to this post and wonder, "i wonder if rebecca would lend me that book?" and the answer to that...is yes.
it's shocking at 7pm to find yourself unshowered and still wearing the tank top that you slept in. you wonder where the day went...
each day, i hang out with my baby. our lives are spent in 2 hour increments...from bottle to bottle. so i'm feeding ben at 11am watching ellen and then he lays beside me making faces and smiles until partway through people's court and then he gets a little tired of me. and i'm hungry for lunch. so into the swing ben goes and i go and make a sandwich. when i'm done eating, people's court is over and ben is crying, making little sucking motions with his mouth. and it's 1pm. bottle time. a half hour later, he's finished his bottle. i'm feeling like i should do something productive but for some reason, my baby is unhappy after his bottle so i spend the next half hour walking and bouncing with him. ben will fall asleep for 5 - 10 minutes but only if i hold him. but when he wakes up from his catnap, he's feeling a little happier. i spend some time talking to him and sit on the deck for 20 minutes or so. and then he starts to cry again. the soother gets pushed back out when he realizes it's not food and his little lips are going. arms and legs are going wild. and i realize it's 3pm. bottle time. half an hour later, i think, "maybe we'll go for a walk." but i look down and ben's fast asleep. hmm...do i want to wake him up to put him in his carseat? nah...i'll just watch what not to wear and i'll go for a walk when he wakes up. but after wntw is over, ben's still not awake. i should probably get some things done. so i wash all the bottles, unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, eat a snack, and throw in some laundry. ben begins to wake up, gurgles around for a bit with me, and then it's 5pm. he's ready to eat. this time, he eats an ounce or two but falls asleep when i'm burping him. i try to wake him but he's out. we sit on the couch for awhile, ben sleeping and then 20 minutes later, he wakes up and i continue feeding him. but he falls asleep again. we sit and sit, ben sleeping. this goes on for an hour or so. he never does finish the bottle. tim gets home from work and holds ben for awhile. i mess around in the kitchen and come up with something to eat. we put ben in the swing while we eat. he swings but he doesn't look happy about it. when he begins to cry in the swing, i realize it's already 7pm. bottle time. and i haven't showered and i'm still wearing the tank top i slept in.
disclaimer: not everyday is like this. many days i shower, go out, see friends, get things done. but many a day has been similar to this one and it's always a suprise when it's time to go to bed and i don't have to change. :)
pre-benjamin, i thought that i would try to limit the baby-ness of my blog - posting things that didn't relate to him so that people wouldn't get tired of hearing mom related thoughts. post-benjamin, nothing in my life doesn't relate to him. unless you want more posts about price is right...and so the blog has become a blog on motherhood.
so it's pretty easy to find development milestones for babies but not for moms. i'm making my own list here.
a one month mother...
hears the slightest movement in the crib a room away in the middle of the night.
has learned that sometimes the baby will fuss in the night but then fall back asleep so not to go and get him immediately.
no longer is brought to tears by every little thing.
can speed change a dirty diaper with less wipes than previously.
is building up her arm muscles by carrying the baby around as well as the baby IN the carseat.
has embraced the power of the swing.
can walk much farther with the stroller and should be trying to walk more often now.
tells stories to people about her baby of no interest to them. (oops)
sings the price is right and ellen theme songs to soothe her crying baby.
this world of parenting is full of questions. do you think he's too warm? too cold? is he hungry? gassy? why is ben crying? are we talking to him enough? should we be cuddling more? how do i cut his nails? what makes us "bonded" and are we? will he really stop eating when he's full because he seems to eat as much as we'll put in his bottle. but here is the latest question: is there such thing as too much swing?
today we discovered that the swing that we borrowed from our friends is a fantastic, fantastic device. it doesn't matter how upset ben is when we put him in it, he will be calm and content within moments. so today, we put him in the swing...umm...5 times. oh dear. i kept saying to tim, "we can't put him in the swing again! what if we can never get him to sleep without the swing?" tim looks at me as though i am crazy because why wouldn't we put him in our surefire sleep maker? am i crazy? should swing time be limited? if i put him in the swing too often, will it make some kind of bad habit of needing the swing?
parenting is questions... and i'm betting the questions will never end... :)
this is a nice concept...to sleep when the baby is sleeping. but during the night, i spend a lot of time listening for the baby. and during the day, if i sleep, it means nothing else gets done. i also need to shower and eat meals when the baby is sleeping. and i need to wash bottles and get laundry done when the baby is sleeping. so some days i sleep and other days things (including myself) get cleaned. we're working on the balance. so far, i don't have it.
i wonder how long tuesdays will have such significance to me. because three weeks ago today, i had just had a baby and i was having visitors at the hospital. ben's face was swollen and he was wearing a funny little blue hat. today he's bigger, he holds his head up much better, and sometimes he smiles at me. he doesn't yet mind being passed from person to person. he has spent time in white rock, langley, and even made a trip to hope this weekend for tim's aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary party. we spend all day together on the couch and i take pictures of ben sleeping. he likes bathtime and having his diaper changed. sometimes when he's crying and i can't figure out what to do, i put him on the changetable and we just hang out there for awhile simply for some peace. we're figuring out how to lessen the gas build up so that there seems to be less fussy times. but of course because i have the guts to say that we're "figuring" something out, it will change tomorrow. :) that seems to be how babies work. ben and i had our first outing today to starbucks to hang out with my friend sally and it worked out great. maybe we'll go out again sometime.
something i didn't know pre-ben was that there is a public health unit in my town and yours. there are clinics there that teach you things, a nurse to ask questions to, and other great things. a public health nurse stopped by our house a few days after ben was born, weighed him, gave us info and answered our questions. she told us that anytime we had questions or wanted to see if ben was gaining weight, we could stop by the unit. so today i did.
now, i have to say that i've been a little hermited by the babe since he was born. tim and i have gone out and done things together with ben and i did take him to the doctor's office by myself but so far, when alone, i do not venture out. there are too many unknowns...mostly, "what if he starts crying in the store and i can't get him to stop but i have to stand in line and buy my stuff?" i know that i'll get over this but today i tried to convince tim that he should come with me to the public health unit and he didn't think he needed to. "you'll do fine." sigh. and off i went alone.
of course, i was fine. ben slept in his carseat until someone came out to the waiting room to help me. then i woke him up while stripping him down to be put on the scale naked. and he weighs a whopping 9lbs. 3oz! then i asked the nurse some questions about bowel movements and gas and formula and fussiness (all ben's...not mine) but not without some tears. if you've spent any time with me ever in life, you know i cry easily. multiply that by birthing a child and in the last two weeks, you have for sure seen me cry. perhaps multiple times. oh brother. of course the nurse is careful to inform me about "the baby blues" and how if i'm still crying a lot in the next week or two that i should see me doctor etc etc. i made a few jokes but then stopped because i thought maybe that was making me look like i was hiding something. haha. but she gave me about 5 ideas for helping ben with gas and fussiness and she was wonderful and informative.
i knew that life changes when you have a baby. but here's one way that hadn't occured to me: watching movies. i had imagined watching lots of movies with tim when ben came along because we wouldn't be going out that much. i had pictured laying on the couch with my sleeping baby next to me...or in his crib...but it was definitely a sleeping baby. we have watched 3 movies since ben was born and never was he sleeping. evening seems to be a tougher time for little benjamin and he wants to be rocked to sleep. if you stop, he cries his little eyes out. and sometimes even the rocking takes awhile to help him calm down. so we watch movies with the pause button nearby. then, if he gets into a deeper sleep and we put him in his crib, we think, we should just go to bed before he wakes up again to feed. and the movie gets paused until morning. don't worry - we won't invite you over for a movie anytime soon. :) but a movie that was well worth all the pausing and waiting until morning to finish: one week.
12 minutes into the movie, i said, "this is my new favourite movie". and my opinion didn't waver. it came out only in select theatres which for us meant vancouver. we didn't make it out there to see it before it was out of theatres but now it is on dvd. it stars joshua jackson as a guy who is told that he has cancer and he decided to take a road trip across canada to ponder life. it is narrated. i adore narrated movies. i love joshua jackson. and i love canada. there are many "world's biggest ..." things along the way and a number of tim horton's coffees. when he's riding in bc, you think to yourself, "i think i've been there!" even if you haven't. so good.
when i'm watching a movie that i am really loving, i begin to get a little nervous as it's coming to a close that the ending isn't going to live up to the rest of the movie. and this movie has a couple spots that you think is the end. each time i thought, "yeah, that's an okay ending." and then it would keep going and i'd be more nervous. but this one ends pretty well.
now i know that movies are filmed through someone's worldview...and i usually can't tell what it is so i just enjoy movies at face value and don't think too hard about them after they're over. then i tell my dad about loving a movie and he tells me that he thinks the underlying meaning was this and the message that the director was trying to get across was that and i'm sitting there with a blank stare. (one might call it the macdonald stare...) so for those of you who watch movies like that - i should warn you, i think there's an underlying meaning and message through some specific worldview...but i don't know what they are. i just enjoyed the movie at face value. it was thoughtful and beautiful and i loved it.