Archive for August, 2008
more firsts

Holden continues to eat and eat!  I’ve discovered that feeding him constantly is made bearable by having company with whom to spend time.  Last week we had our first mini playdate with my friend Debbie and her beautiful children, Eva & Chester.  Here is my impossibly gorgeous friend Debbie with 8-month old Chester:

And 4-year old Eva admiring Holden:

Later in the week, I visited the second-hand children’s store in town and purchased a baby swing.  We decided early on that we would buy toys on an as-needed basis.  Plus, we didn’t want to get in the habit of having a toy substitute for being held or talked to.  Nevertheless, I quickly discovered that the only way to eat a meal or use the bathroom without a lot of complaining from Holden was to stick him in his swing.  He LOVES it!  It has a mirror attached to it, and he just cracks up looking at himself as he swings away.  Only $25 bought me peace and quiet, 15 minutes at a time.  I may even take the swing downstairs while I use the treadmill.  Here he is enjoying his swing for the first time:

We had an action-packed weekend as well.  Oma, Uncle Joe, & cousin Colby came to visit.  We went blueberry picking and visited the animals at Sam Mazza’s, followed by a trip to our very own garden for some harvesting.

Colby picks blueberries:

and feeds the animals:

Holden was oblivious–he ate and slept most of the time we were out:

On Sunday, wetook Holden on his very first hike.  We went to Mt. Philo State Park, the same place we went sledding all winter.  I’ve decided it’s easier to hike without snow on the ground and when you’re no longer pregnant!  We hiked up the road because Holden and I were not ready for anything terribly challenging.  That said, it felt so good to finally get a little exercise in.  

Papa carried Holden in our new backpack:

We reached the top:

and took our first family self-portrait:

This coming week is full of errands and feedings.  And I’m FINALLY starting on that manuscript.  Writing a paper is hard to do when you are holding an infant, but I suppose I’ll get better at it.  One paragraph down….countless paragraphs to go….

so much going on…

There are so many things happening right now.  Yesterday I went for my 6-week postpartum check-up.  I’m down 4 pounds from where I was when Holden was 2 weeks old.  So, I am losing about a pound a week, which is a pretty healthy way to lose the weight.  Only 18 more pounds to go!  Which means (if I maintain this rate of weight loss) I will be at my pre-pregnancy weight by December.  I am starting to be able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy pants, which is a huge relief.  I mention this part about weight loss only because there is so much bullshit out there about celebrities who lose the pregnancy weight in less than a week, etc.  No woman should feel bad about taking a year to lose the weight.  I mean, it took a year to gain it, after all.

The part about my appointment that made me sad is that the area where I tore from delivery is still very, very sore.  I’ve healed up pretty well, but apparently 3rd degree tears take many months to completely heal.  The midwife gave me the green light to start exercising again, but told me to just take it slow.  I plan on taking Holden for a hike this weekend (the first hike I’ve been on since I was almost 6 months pregnant).  We’re going to do an easy trail and really take our time with it.  I’m really looking forward to getting out and breathing the fresh air!  I’m also going to start doing yoga again, but I’ll probably practice yoga at home to save $$$, rather than go to the yoga studio.

The other very frustrating thing that has been happening lately is that my eye problem from several months ago has never really gone away.  I went to the eye doctor 3 weeks ago because I was having severe eye pain in the middle of the night.  I would wake up with a stabbing pain in my right eye, and then my eye would water for about an hour.  The doc couldn’t prescribe antibiotics because I am nursing, but instructed me to use my over-the-counter eyedrops religiously throughout the day and to use the liqui-gel at night before bed.  He said that it would be good to keep my eyes shut all night so the liqui-gel could work.  Well, I think we all know that my eyes don’t stay shut all night.  Even though Holden is good at night, I still end up being awake for a few hours to feed him, change him, drink water, feed the cat, empty the tray of water from the air conditioner, etc.  The consequence of this is that the dry eye condition that I have in that eye is getting worse and worse.  My eye is now hurting pretty much all the time.  I had tears streaming out of my right eye all morning because it was so irritated.  And light makes it hurt like you wouldn’t believe.  I put in a call to the doc this morning to see what the next step is.  I obviously don’t want to take antibiotics, but I also can’t really function like this.  The cause of this eye problem is anybody’s guess.  The doc asked if I’d ever gotten metal stuck in that eye.  Oddly, in 1996, my right eye had an unfortunate encounter with a metal birdcage that was sticking precariously out of a display in a southern MD Wal-Mart.  I cut my eye bad enough that I actually complained to the management at the Wal-Mart.  I never went to the eye doctor for it because I didn’t have insurance.  My current doc says that the symptoms I am having are consistent with having an injury involving metal.  He says there is no way to tell if that particular incident in 1996 is causing the symptoms I am having now.  I haven’t had problems for all these years, but I imagine being up half the night with eyes open is not helping the situation.  I hope there is something that can be done about it because I am pretty miserable:(

As for the job situation, I’ve begun updating my CV in preparation for applying for work!  I haven’t come across any suitable jobs just yet, but I’m sure I will eventually.  I was also contacted recently by a former mentor to get a particular manuscript wrapped up and submitted so that my name is still out there and I’m still “in the game.”  Rob and I have worked out a schedule so that I can get some writing/research done a few days a week.  I still haven’t done anything with it yet; as much as I know I need to get another paper out to remain competitive, I also feel resentful about having to continue to work and not get paid.  Especially when it means sacrificing time with the boy and straining the limits of our already jam-packed days.

Other than that, things are going along at a pace here.  Holden’s eating and sleeping (habits?) change daily.  Some days all he does is eat and I can’t leave the house.  Other days there is sometimes an hour between feedings and I am able to take him to the garden or just simply walk with him around town.  He is getting so big and so interactive!  He loves to be talked to, and will smile and “talk” back when he is in a good mood.  He has always made good eye contact.  He seems to be interested in everything going on around him.  He especially loves the high contrast (black and white) artwork we have hanging on the walls.  He will stare and stare at it.   We’re always testing his strength to see what he can do—we often will hold him up and see if he can support his weight with his legs.  He does pretty well.  His little legs support his weight for a bit, then buckle underneath him.  But he gets stronger by the day.

Time flies

Holden is now 6 weeks old.  And I turned 30 this week.  My dad left me a very endearing voice message on my birthday—he remarked that when he turned 30 he thought he was getting old….but that was 31 years ago, so 30 isn’t actually all that old (relatively speaking).  He has a point.  

By this logic, Holden is decidedly not old.  At 5 weeks old, he took his first trip out of state.  We braved the 5.5 hour car ride to Maine, and Holden did wonderfully.  We stopped once to nurse and change his diaper.  He only fussed for about 15 or 20 minutes of the whole drive.  Not bad!  We did lots of exciting things once we got to Maine.

Holden saw the ocean for the first time:

Holden met his cousins, Colby and Dylan.  Here he is with Colby, who upon meeting him, remarked “I like my cousin Holden.”

Holden met his uncles on the Friesel side.  Here is Holden with Uncle Joe (and an affectionate Colby):

And Holden with Uncle Steve:

I have so many things to say about Holden, but they might have to wait.  I’m too tired to really do it justice. He is changing so rapidly that it’s really hard to document all of his little quirks and idiosyncrasies.  And just when you think he’s in a pattern, he changes it up and starts doing things differently.  Every day ends up being a new adventure.  Last week he was eating constantly (about every 15 minutes for days on end).  This week he has been taking real naps (and I get sometimes an hour break in between feedings).  He’s grown out of his 0-3 month clothes already.  In fact, at this very moment he is comfortably wearing a 6-9 month onesie.  He’s done a lot of growing in a short time!  This Momma is off to get some shut-eye with her not-so-little guy.  Stay tuned for more updates!