Saturday, January 18, 2014

Brimming with Life

It’s been almost a month since I updated this blog. That makes me sad because I really like blogging and I feel like it’s not fitting into my life the way it used to before Owen was born. I know that I could say the reason for that is just being “too busy with a baby,” and that is true – oh, so true! – but if I’m honest I suppose the other reason is because blogging served a different purpose before. I started this blog a little over a year ago to document getting pregnant and then the pregnancy itself. Mostly, I used the blog as an outlet to share the inane details of that journey that people in my life didn't really care about (I mean, who cares about your basal temperature or way too many bump pictures?). Also, looking back, I think I was a bit lonely pre-baby. I had started a new job where I didn’t have any friends and a lot of my LA friends had moved away, leaving me alone with my thoughts and plans.

Now? Well, first of all, everyone cares more about inane baby-details (i.e., how many hours he slept last night) than they did about TTC or pregnancy details. Secondly, I seem to have more new friends lately. I had no idea that having a baby was the perfect way to meet new friends, but I feel like I have fallen into an entirely new community of women. Hello, new mothers! And finally? Well, my life just seems so full now. And I don’t mean that in a sense of being “too busy.” I’m sure I could find the time to update this blog more if I felt the burning need to do so. But really, I have never been more content or in the moment than I am now. I mentioned this before, but I realized that I am perfectly content to sit and watch my baby rest his fist on my breast while he snuggles in to feed and I don’t need to do anything else to fill my mind. As someone who has been extremely distractible and impatient most of her life, this is amazing.

So, what am I saying? Is this a goodbye to blogging? No, by no means. I still read your blogs in the middle of the night. It’s just that I have become one of those silent readers that you always wonder about. As, in who is this person who reads but doesn’t comment? Well, for now, one of those people is me. I read, I smile, I tear up, I gasp, I react…but I just don’t comment. I intend to get back into it, but for now, just know that I am following you and I am connecting silently to what you are sharing. That’s all I have.

And on my end? The writing end? I compose entire blog posts to you in my mind. Posts about gender roles in parenthood, the ongoing recovery from what I have labeled my “traumatic birth story,” and my plans for returning to work. But they don’t get written. When I do find the time and urge to write, I want to use this space to document Owen’s development. Because, I started this blog with no readers – just for myself to pour out my thoughts – and I wrote what I wanted. And right now, I want to have written evidence of how he is changing. I want to be able to look back and remember.

So, I guess what I’m saying is I hope that this will transform back into what it was, but for now, this is just…what it is.

Ok. That may have been the longest intro to an actual blog post ever written. Because yes, I am still going to write a post about my baby, because if I don’t take advantage of this quiet moment while he plays happily on his activity mat and practices grabbing his jungle toys, I may not write again for another month!

So, without further ado….how is Owen doing? He is 11 weeks now and such a different baby. I can believe the “4th trimester” theory because he truly seems to be emerging out of that stage into such a different little being. Since I updated this blog last, he has had so many experiences and we have had so many “firsts” with him and I just feel we have really begun to enjoy life with a baby. Let me share some examples. In the last month, Owen has….

- Spent a lot of time in his Beco and Moby carriers. He has graduated to legs-hanging positions and he absolutely loves it. I am tempted to try the forward-facing position in the Beco now because I think he will be enthralled, but have read mixed reviews about its impact on hips and pelvis. Thoughts?

- Traveled to many local tourist spots with his family: Abbot Kinney in Venice, Redondo Beach Pier, Venice Boardwalk, Manhattan Beach, The Grove…

- Went wine tasting (no wine for baby!!) with the grownups. This was a big deal for me. Those of you who know how much I love wine will appreciate how happy I was to get this back into my life.

- Had his first overnight trip! We spent two nights in a hotel in San Diego and he was a dream!

- Begun sleeping longer at night. Sleep warrants its own entire post because, apparently, your baby’s sleep patterns are as unique and intricate as your own political views. Everyone has an opinion and everyone feels strongly about it. But, for us, I am happy that he has begun sleeping for 5-6 hour stretches for his first stretch of the night. Feels like a dream.

- Become so much more social. He has always been an “alert” and engaging baby. He smiled early, right around one month, but now he is ALL smiles. When I lean down to pick him up in the morning he greets me with a huge grin. When daddy walks in from work he smiles at him from across the room (regardless of whether he was screaming 2 minutes before). When strangers ooh and aah over him he smiles like a little flirt. Basically, his “go to” is happy. Yes, he does get fussy and upset (I mean, he IS a baby), but he seems to have an easy-going, happy temperament. We are lucky.

- Improved on his fine and gross motor skills. He is doing better at tummy time. Instead of just screaming, he lifts up his head and chest and looks around and laughs. And then screams. He is also working on inching forward and squirming to the side. He seems to be working on rolling from back to front and has rolled from front to back once. Also, he is learning to grab things. It is amazing to watch. He slowly and deliberately touches his hanging toys and you can visibly see his brain working as he tries to extend his fingers and then close them around the toy. Once he has a hold, he grabs and shakes it with pride. So fun to watch the changes happen.

- Begun interacting with toys. He has two stuffed animals that he loves – a monkey and a little horsie blanket. He will hug them and suck on them and use them to make himself feel better. He also realized that there is a purpose for his carseat toys instead of just getting in mommy’s way. Oh, and chewing. He has started chewing. He can hold on to Sophie and – sometimes – get her into his own mouth. It’s mostly trial and error, but oh so cute.

- Found his voice. He is cooing and making more and more noises everyday. I absolutely love it. I can’t wait until he can tell me what he’s thinking.

- Grown! I think he is around 15 lbs now. He is in a size 2 diaper and fits in some 3-6 month clothes. I packed up his newborn clothes and took the inserts out of his Mamaroo and carseat. My boy is BIG.

Annnnd that is about enough of this for now. Although I did warn you I was going to use this as a baby book/mental diary, I suppose I should cut myself off before I start writing about his pooping habits (no problems there!). I do hope to get this blog back to something different, and I fully understand if comments plummet in the interim due to my own lack of commenting and the sheer boredom of reading about my son’s fine motor skills, but it is what it is.

I am going to leave you with some questions for other moms and other bloggers. And, as always, I will drop a few photos.

Parenting question – What is the deal with this sleep issue? Why are we so heated about it? What works best for YOU?

Blogging question – Have you ever reached a stage where you are less interested in blogging? Do you think you write your blog for yourself or for your readers?


  1. I am melting from his adorableness!!! To answer your first question: Seriously--WTH is with the militant sleep advice I've been getting lately!!?? I believe you should simply do what works for you and your child. Just because I don't let her CIO will not make her needy and unable to self soothe at 5 years old. At least, that's what I think. Some nights are better than others. Lately, she goes down at 7 and gets up to eat once around 9PM. Then, up at 3AM where we feed her again, and up for the day at 7AM. It's not 12 hours straight, but it's working for us. Oh, and lately she will only nap in her car seat. :/ As for Question #2: When I was going through IF and trying to get pregnant, my blog was a life line. I got through some seriously hard shit and made such a community of friends. Once she was born, and I was dealing with an entirely different existence, my blogging took (and is still taking) a back seat. I'm realizing I blogged more to deal with the difficulties of IF, and less about wanting to make it into a baby journal. I feel like if/when I try for #2, I will blog again to gain community support.

  2. Glad to hear everything is going well! As much as I'd like to stretch out M's night feeds, she's such a light eater during the day that I don't want to rob her of the calories. So she's usually up every three hours still. I think that will change when her body is ready.

    I've realized I blog less when I just don't have as much to share and/or get feedback on. It makes sense that when everybody in your real life is asking for details, you won't need the outlet of the blog. I always wind up regretting the times when I haven't written as much, because then it's not there to look back at!

  3. Everything seems heated in the land of parenting. I have mostly stayed out of it. I don't have time to read parenting books so we are just winging it. Somehow, I have so far avoided intense parenting philosophy debates. So, the girls sleep from about midnight to 7 and I really think we just got lucky. They slept a lot as preemies and continue to do so. They might sleep longer of we didn't wake them up to feed them at 11:30pm, but I think they still need the calories at this point. I'm trying toget them on more of a consistent nap schedule but that's still a work in progress. I'm sure we are doing something wrong. We don't have a bedtime routine and we don't actually put them to bed until midnight. I'm sure that will change soon, but for now it works. I can't complain about 7 continuos hours of sleep.
    As for blogging, I did it to find a connection with others dealing with the same thing as me. I have always been bad about posting as often as I would like. I constantly write posts in my head that never get written down. But, I still read and keep up with others. I don't know what will happen to my blog, honestly. I am in a different place than when I started it so I don't need it in the same way, but I'm also not ready to leave it behind.

  4. Omg... THIS POST! I am feeling the EXACT same way; haven't updated my blog in over a month and just don't know what to say. I want to write about everything... and yet nothing. So stuck. Also totally relate to all your Owen updates -- Max is at the exact same milestones and developmental stages, holding onto and *just about* getting Sophie into his mouth, into the size 2 diapers, smiling and "talking" a whole lot, etc. And I was having the same thoughts re: fourth trimester -- we really hit a turning point as of 3 months, when it went from "Try not to let this thing die" to "Oh hai, thing! You're great!"

    I will for sure keep reading, even if you only update sporadically... :)

  5. First of all, as always I love the pictures of Owen, especially the one in the wrap :)

    I started blogging because I knew the adoption process was going to take a million years and it helped me feel like it was really going to happen when I was able to connect with other prospective adoptive parents. When we switched to IVF, I kept blogging because I found I loved the writing process and the women I "met" and didn't want to leave.

    Now that I am pregnant, I don't feel the strong desire to write as I did before. I considered giving up blogging but I don't want to do that either because I know I would miss it. I do feel badly when I don't update as often as I used to and I would like to write about other things besides pregnancy but those posts usually stay in my drafts folder. It seems like these days writing is my only artistic outlet and I need that.

    I'm sure once baby girl is born I will post even less, but I hope to continue writing. I will keep reading your posts for as long as you are here too :)

  6. Please write more about Owen! Izzy is only a few weeks behind him and it's fun to know what skills are coming up for her!


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