December 29, 2013

James' First Christmas

So, I wrote us a pass this year. We moved in late October, and barely dug out enough from boxes to get a cheap card table/dining table by Thanksgiving. There was no way we were going to dig all of our Christmas stuff out of storage in enough time to decorate without giving me an ulcer first. So... we opted out of any frenzy, decorated the fireplace mantel (fireplace! mantel!) with a lit garland and our holiday cards from friends and family, and called it good. The other plus? Not having to turn around and put everything away.

Our holiday was a bit untraditional this year, since we were far from our family and being as frugal as possible. We had a little present-opening session (but our biggest gift this year was a contribution into James' 529) on the living room floor on Christmas Eve. Kudos to Dad for manning the camera!

James was a bit stunned throughout the process, but Zoey made sure to get involved and show him how it's done. <3

Christmas morning, we ate breakfast and geared up to go explore our beautiful new CO mountains. Alan recently visited Mt. Herman in Monument, so we went there. What a gorgeous hike! Beautiful trees, a touch of snow, and water! Just laying on the ground! Running in a stream! These Coloradans don't know how good they have it. :) James was warmly bundled in the carrier with dad, and Zoey probably ran 3 miles for every mile we hiked (back and forth between us, over and over). We loved it.

While it might not have been the most traditional holiday, we're so glad we had the chance to get out! I'll call James' first Christmas a success.

December 22, 2013

Hey! I'm here!

Well, there’s no way to begin again than to just jump in. I could brood and stew over the fact that I said I’d keep this blog updated and then I didn’t… but I won’t. I’m here now, and that’s all that matters.

It does make me chuckle a bit, though. When I think about myself and all my assumptions back before James arrived. Why, I’ll have plenty of time to blog/read/think/work on my photography/practice basic hygiene while the baby is sleeping/gently cooing/amusing himself. It turns out that real life is a bit different than my initial expectations. Turns out there’s a pretty stark hierarchy of needs… and everything nonessential gets pushed to the back. Some things that get pushed shouldn’t – like generally keeping in contact with family and friends. (Sorry, guys.) Some things that get pushed are no brainers – who the heck cares about a pedicure when I’m trying to help my wee one navigate the awesome yet terrible process of renegotiating cognitive schema while stuck in diapers and teething. (Don’t get me wrong, I still care about the pedicure. In fact, I dwell on my lack of pedicure about once a day. I’m not sure why, it’s just THE ONE THING that I want so bad and haven’t been able to get… so I think that’s why I’m stuck on it.)

The other thing that gave me a bit of a nostalgic, wistful feeling: the snacks that I stocked our freezer with pre-baby. Don’t get me wrong, the suggestion was golden – make sure you have ready-to-eat snacks and food, because you’ll be up with baby in the middle of the night for feedings and YOU will be hungry and tired. Fool proof it. So we had a pile of frozen burritos, single serving pizzas and hot pockets. Psh. Are you kidding me? Yes, I was starving and usually parched. But I had barely enough energy to lug kid from bassinet-next-to-the-bed to in-the-bed to feed him, then plop him back in bassinet-next-to-the-bed. Much less get up, travel to kitchen, MICROWAVE something, eat it and go back to bed. If I did that, by the time I got back to bed, kiddo would be up again. I learned what worked for me pretty quickly. I cleared out that top nightstand drawer and stocked it with raisins, granola bars, hand fruit, and Gatorade. Our general system (to be fair, Sarah’s system that worked LIKE A CHARM) involved me feeding James on one side, having Alan get up and change him (while I wolfed food/chugged Gatorade) then bring him back to finish nursing.  Then pass back out. And repeat ad nauseum.

Now, maybe moving to a new state right after expending massive third-trimester energy on painting a nursery has jaded me a bit, but guess what I totally could care less about? A matching, coordinated nursery theme. I’m not knocking nesting (because Lord knows that’s real), but I could really give a damn what sort of paint-colors-match-with-linens-connected to stuffed animals. If I’m in the nursery, it’s usually to soothe a crying baby, or feed a crying baby, or change a crying baby… you get the idea. Yes, I’d like the basic nursery items, but for the next kiddo I think I’ll have a much more realistic idea of what to focus on and what works for us.