Wednesday, December 2, 2009

newest cool Janey stuff...

cool new stuff from jane:

1. She loves to call for Duke, the cat. She LOVES the cats. Can't get enough of them. They hate her petting (aka grabbing) but she loves them. if you ask her to help call for Duke she sings out a sweet little "dooo?" over and over again. One day last week he meowed outside her door when she was waking up, and I heard her over the monitor, "doo?"

2. Looks like a 4th tooth is coming in!

3. She's standing on her own for a few seconds at a time these days. And, loves to walk assisted.

4. Still loving the itsy bitsy spider, and she's getting even better at the hand motions!

5. this morning she was doing the cutest thing. We have this adorable little stuffed rag doll kitty that Sarah sent, and Jane is becoming more and more enamored. This morning I was playing with her, and cuddled the kitty to me. She reached out, I gave it to her, and she mimicked the cuddling! She loved that game.

6. She says no, all the time! When she means no, she says no. When she means yes, she says no. When she means blablabla, she says no. And, really cute singsong voice. love it.

7. she's trying to mimic the words "thank you." dear god, I hope I have a polite child!!

that's it for now. Feeling in a very I-Love-Janey mood today. she's great.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First day of December...

how is it even possible? Just 6 short weeks until we celebrate a full year of Janey. it's nearly impossible to believe. But, enough of that--I'm in denial that my little one is so close to one. Here's what we've been up to:

Janey's first thanksgiving! As expected, Janey *thrived* with all of the love and attention from Ted, Maggie, Amy and Tammy--maybe too much: she turned into an insomniac and was up much of the night both nights. Some teeth coming in, unusual environment, napping schedule off-kilter....everything came together for a perfect storm of limited sleep. But, it was great to be with the family. Uncle Ted seemed particularly charmed by Miss Jane--must find more frequent opportunities to get together with the Roanoke clan. We're already talking the next visit with the Michiganders. what a wonderful addition to our life they are!

Janey seemed nonplussed by much of the Thanksgiving food--I think her teeth were keeping her from eating well, but she did love gravy! (but really, who doesn't??)

Back home by around 4:30 on Saturday, and Sunday was full of church, errands, and nice hang out with Auntie Sam. We're now in the midst of trying to prep for Janey's dedication (UU approach to baptism) on Sunday, followed by a casual lunch at our know, for EIGHTEEN! crazy, but fun. I have some crazy work stuff this week, which means Mere is on the hook for nighttime duty, but she's stepped up as usual.

I think I see our next milestone in sight: walking. Janey has been doing more unassisted standing, and she's ready to keep moving. gah. she just keeps getting faster! And, cuter. It seems impossible, but true.

We are headed to the white house on Thursday for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony (hooray!), and NYC next weekend to hang with Isa, Kevin, Sarah, Donovan, et al, and see Rockefeller Center and perhaps Santa Land. can't wait.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ruminations on juggling it all...

so, I'm pretty sure my harpyness (?) is directly correlated to sleep deprivation and work overload. Not a shocking observation, but I came to the conclusion last night that I just need to take a deep breath before reacting in exasperation. Am I really annoyed with the person I'm about to snap at? (usually, sadly for her, Meredith) Or, am I just annoyed or overtired in general? Hoping to rein in the unnecessary crankiness. Mere asked if I thought I needed to go see a therapist. I'm not opposed to the idea of therapy (good thing, since it's one of my prospective long term career goals!) I just don't know that I need it right now. What I need is a baby who sleeps, and some relief at work at times....last week I was logging on from work every night, sometimes until midnight. I know that's a regular occurence for some folks, but not for me, and, frankly, I don't get paid enough for it to be a regular occurence for me. So, needless to say, I'm feeling much better this week. Only two meetings on my calendar, and I am knocking stuff off my to-do list like it's going out of style. And, today's already the last day of the work week.

Can't wait to see Janey at her first thanksgiving tomorrow! happy turkey day to all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday morning regrets

so, I think I have officially turned into a harpy. This weekend was hard for me for some reason. I felt really tired and worn out, and kept taking it out on Meredith. snapping about really stupid crap that had NOTHING to do with how I was really feeling. Which is, frankly, that I don't ALWAYS want to hang with Jane. I feel like that means I'm a terrible mom, but it's true. I know other moms who seem to be constantly over the moon about their kids, and I think I must be a terrible person because sometimes I just want to have a day to myself. Even if that day is spent cooking and cleaning and doing laundry, etc.....I feel like I am better at that stuff than chasing after Jane a lot of the time. I love her, she's my light and she's lots of fun, etc. But, on Saturday afternoons when she's driving me crazy instead of taking her nap and giving me some downtime, I feel like I'm going to lose it. Thankfully, I have a wonderful partner who sees that and takes Jane for a 3 hour adventure, but am I the only one who feels this way? I can't be the only one, but I feel like it.

Are there other people like me out there? I sure as hell hope so, or maybe I'm headed to the loony bin. It's just that everything seems harder than it should right now. Jane's sleeping is a bit off again, but I shouldn't be thrown for such a loop about it, I think. I don't know. It was probably more acute this weekend because I just came off of one of my hardest weeks at work in a while. Constantly ON, running, racing to meet deadlines, trying to connect with important folks, and worrying that I was leaving to much of the actual parenting to Meredith. And, often, if I'm going to be honest about it, happy that I could leave much of the parenting time to Meredith. which, again, starts the cycle of feeling like a terrible mom.

But, we've talked about how I can be less harpy. I do take on a lot of Jane care and house care during the week, so we're going to try setting up a schedule over the weekend where I am NOT always expected to be the first responder for Jane's needs. Let me sleep in a little later, or maybe linger in a shower and feel like a human being for a little while. I hope it helps. I don't want to build resentment and let it all out at an inopportune time and on the wrong person.

just, feeling overwhelmed by needing to be constantly ON, and worried that I'm not always as excited about motherhood as other people seem to be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Miss Jane....

is just astonishing these days! she LOVES to dance and shake her head to music, she is SLEEPING (waking up at 5:30 for a bottle, and then back to bed until 7:30 this week! awesome--I can get stuff done!), and I swear, she tries to do the motions for the itsy bitsy spider. She raises her hands up, she washes the spider out, and she claps at the end of the song. She also had a major giggle fest this morning during breakfast. I love it. And, will post video of the dancing soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

holy crap...

one-click ordering with Amazon Prime is a dangerous thing...


and, I fear I have not gotten nearly enough done and it's already 4:00. I'm having some writer's block, and feel a bit swamped by everything to get done. no good.

but, in other news: had a great, but really busy weekend. Lots of fun times with Miss jane, Mere, and friends. Baby Loves Disco is definitely not really for babies. More like Kid Loves Disco, but we'll check it out again when Jane's older. Had a really wonderful night of delicious food, wine, and good friends at my friend J's fabulous new apartment on Saturday, and then Sunday was: volunteering at church for lunch prep (SO fun), brunch with Janey's uncle R., errands, and then a housewarming party for friends who just moved close by. Festive and fun weekend, but a bit tiring. SO happy when Jane fell asleep early and STAYED asleep! (I was getting close to the end of my sleep rope, and am afraid I was a little negative on the whole thing on Saturday...when I was hanging out with a group of non-mom friends...think I might have scared some of them!)

I'm also trying to babyproof a little bit more at a time. took more stuff off of the shelves in the living room, tried to install a gate for the steps without any luck....need to work on the basement and our room next. Jane likes to Get Around. fun, but tiring, especially when I'm always worried she'll get into stuff she shouldn't, like cat treats and iPods. sigh. But, I love it when our living room is straightened up. It makes me happy!

Also on the list of things that make me happy: Jane's giggle, smoked gouda cheese, N's toffee chocolate chip cookies, catching up on all of the million shows on my DVR, and hanging with Mere. oh, and our cats. gotta love the cats.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

one of those days...

ugh. Jane was up from 3:30 to 5:30 and by then there was no more hope of sleep for us. after caving and giving her a bottle she was out until 7:15. wish I could say the same for me!

i had an 8:30 meeting which meant I had to ask to drop her off early at daycare and rush downtown, and feel like I've lost my whole days to meetings and feeling exhausted. and, to top it off, I have to go to an event that is supposed to last until 9:30. we'll see how long I last. thankfully it's just a few blocks from the office so hopefully I can get some work done.

if I can stop typing here.

on a good note: had delicious sushi monthly lunch with C.

on another good note: Mere won tickets to the white house christmas tree lighting ceremony for us! what a great first Christmas miss jane is going to have!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

other milestones...

jane is definitely saying "ditty" when looking at (or for!) the cats. she's also slept through the night twice (hallelujah!) and is now climbing stairs. LOTS of them. all the way up a long flight if you'll let her. we have to stay behind her, of course, because sometimes she likes to sit back suddenly, or look back at how far she's come and seems to get freaked out by it. ;)

in other news, we both seem to have skirted last week's flirtation with sickness pretty well. Jane's runny nose cleared up eventually, and I felt great the next day (probably something to do with her sleeping through the night after the h1n1 vaccine!). now I am battling an upset tummy but she seems to be doing well.

we are gettign more and more excited for Janey's first thanksgiving--heading to spend the holiday with Mere's family in Roanoke as usual...T and M haven't seen Jane since she was a baby :) and A and T are always anxious to see her! And then, before we know it, Janey's first Christmas. It's amazing....this first year is going by so quickly! My little peanut is going to be 10 months old in just a few days. sigh. I really don't know where the months have gone.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


so, it's finally happened: jane and I seem to be falling sick at the same time. so far, she's just got a runny nose so there is a possibility that it could be teething-related, but the poor beast isn't sleeping well due to the congestion. I knew she was feeling lousy last night--she started crying again at 8:30, after being asleep for a couple of hours. I went in to check and could hear she was struggling a little bit with her stuffiness. I scooped her up, and she fell asleep immediately curled against my chest. she is usually NOT a snuggly baby at all--too busy!--so I took full advantage of the situation and rocked with her for a long time just reveling in the cozy time.

Mere was up with her for two hours later on (!) but thankfully let me sleep through it since I wasn't feeling so hot.

now, I'm waiting to hear if it will be okay for her to get the H1N1 vaccine if she's feeling a bit off. I hope so! Can't stand the idea of her getting really sick again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Coming Up Taller

A huge day at work: one of our scholars and Lynsey went to the White House and received the Coming Up Taller award from Michelle Obama! This is HUGE. A national award recognizing our organization as one of the best 15 orgs like it in the country. hooray!!

and, I can't stop being happy for our scholar. He's worked so hard at Higher Achievement, he's a tremendous leader, and his family is going through a really hard time. This will be a moment he can remember happily for the rest of his life. In fact, he was so excited, he ran across the stage and gave Michelle a big hug rather than the staid walk and handshake that he was supposed to do. She asked him "what are you thinking?" and he said, "I'm so happy. Just so happy." makes me cry everytime I think about it.

Janey's latest milestones and tricks....

okay, so Miss Jane has been VERY busy racing through some milestones over the last months. Because I still don't have a baby book for her (i'm a bad mama!) I'll record them here:
  • okay, so she was sitting at 5 months--all that junk in the trunk really helped with that
  • eating cereal at 4 months, and over the last 5 months has advanced to the point that she pretty much rejects all baby food in preference for people food. she has stolen her daycare colleagues' lunches, including cubes of tofu, and is loving stuff like spaghetti, soup, yogurt, avocado, turkey, pears, pineapple, muffins, mandarin oranges...basically, we have yet to find something that she doesn't LOVE. I can't wait to see her go crazy at Thanksgiving--all good baby friendly foods there.
  • she has a crazy fun peg leg crawl, just like her cousin Callum--sticks one leg out to the side and hops along with the other one bent under her.
  • she is constantly pulling herself to standing over the last two months, and is starting to cruise, god help us.
  • she got her first tooth August 16th, second tooth August 26, third tooth October 28, and is either working on a fourth, or alternatively getting a cold.
  • she had her first ear and upper respiratory infection in the beginning of October. I consider it a major win that she was in daycare for 5 months before getting sick, but I know it's just begun!
  • she talks. BOY does she talk. constant babbling, blowing raspberries, and squealing with glee. still trying to get her to say mama, but she says "uh oh" all the time, esp after she purposefully throws something on the floor. hmmm. not exactly right, but we'll get there. trying to get her to say Obama--I think we're getting close.
  • she's started to do more hugs, which is just heart wrenchingly awesome. esp if she's tired, she'll just lay her little noggin against your shoulder and smile a little happy smile. I love it. just thinking about it makes me want to cry. she's usually too busy for cuddles, but when she wants it, it's awesome.
  • in addition to knocking down towers of blocks, she's just started trying to figure out how to build them. it's freaking awesome.

just in general, Jane is sort of a brute when compared to other babies and kids. she rules the roost at daycare--the only girl, she has the other boy babies and the boy toddlers wrapped around her finger. and, if she doesn't, they at least acquiesce. she has a tendency to try to meet other babies by going for the eyes, something I really hope she gets over soon. :)

ooo, fancy!

last night, at a work-related event, I met Ed Norton, Kal Penn, and Alfre Woodard! I was probably most excited about Ms. Woodard, though she seems to the person that fewest people know. weird. It was super-exciting, though, and totally worth the fact that my feet started to ache halfway through the reception. dang sassy heels!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

um, yeah....

so, this blogging thing hasn't really been happening. but, a lot of other things have been. like, teeth, and peg leg crawling, and jabbering on and on and on, and saying "uh-oh" and maybe saying "duke" or "kitty cat". dressing up like a peanut for first Halloween. oh, but, those are all things that have happened to Jane.

what are the things that have happened to me outside of being Jane's mama? It's kind of hard to think about that. I often feel like I don't know what I'm doing aside from being a mama. trying to help friends through some stressful situations. refocusing at work. (it's amazing what a cleaned off desk and re-filed paperwork can do in that regard). trying to focus on a relationship with Mere that is separate from being mamas. seeing my sister move off to WV (only 1 1/2 hours away, but it makes a difference!). trying to support the bff as she takes brave leaps to a new chapter in her life. Daydreaming about a trip to Napa. Looking forward to my college reunion next spring. subscribing to life as a caffeinated individual again after 10 years. joining a church that I really love.

I guess most people go through this when they are parents. Have I lost my identity as myself now that I'm so focused on her? and, how do I get it back? She's already almost 10 months old. 2009 has been flying past, but I feel like I don't know where it went. It went to diaper changes and playtime and trying to get sleep and feeling icky about my postpartum body (but not enough to really do anything about it, apparently) and trying to stay on top of what she'll eat or not eat, say or not say, do or not do. but, not so sure about what I'm all about these days.

but, I know I'm about having a cute-ass kid who makes me laugh until I can't catch my breath, and who tries to steal jewelry when I wear it, so I have to hide it in my purse until I get to work, and who is the biggest brute at daycare, but the two year old boys love her and let her climb all over them, and who still wakes up overnight, but when I snuggle her in the rocking chair in her dark room and her fleecy jammies keep me warm, too, sometimes I don't mind at all, and who is constantly amazed by the sheer existence of our cats, and who does a happy dance when she sees me come in after a long day at work, and maybe that's enough right now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

oh, jane. why don't you sleep through the night??

it's been a LONG almost-six months in that regard. But, we're trying. Reading books, asking for advice, and hoping for the best. But, it's hard. Mere and I seem to be on slightly different pages--I'm more willing to try the tough love approach, while she resists. I understand it. I do. It's really hard to hear her crying. But, it's also really hard when none of us get enough sleep. We think it comes from her first month being so disrupted in the hospital, but maybe it has nothing to do with that. some kids are just lousy sleepers.

I worry that any efforts we make over the next few nights will be erased when we head out of town for the weekend, but I think we still need to try. right?

she's a wonderful baby aside from all of this, though. last week she really started sitting up, and is going gang busters! we now love squash, and reading books is getting more and more interesting. we also think she's starting to teethe--sometimes only a teether out of the fridge will do, and tylenole. but NOT baby orajel. apparently it tastes AWFUL. she looked at me like I was torturing her when I put it on her gums the other night!

I'm hoping this rough spot of sleep will resolve itself soon enough. It was kind of nice last night when she was asleep by 8. Mere and I actually relaxed! watched TV, talked, read, etc. of course, Janey was up at 11, but those three hours were great.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

me, michelle, and 5 months ago

so, you might have heard: I shook Michelle Obama's hand yesterday!

She's wonderful. I love her. Now, if only her husband would get on the stick and do away with Don't Ask, Don't Tell. yes, I'm happy that he wants to push partner benefits for federal employees, but he can't just do one without the other and expect us all to be happy.

but, back to Michelle. I kind of want to be her when I grow up, but I don't want to go to the gym at 4:30 am every day. let's face it, I don't want to go to the gym at all! but, I love how she is really connecting with our community. the previous administration barely even acknowledged that they were in DC, but she's been speaking to students, grabbing BBQ and burgers, and engaging our philanthropic sector. all while being a mom to two kids who seem pretty cool and grounded.

It makes me happy to know that Janey will have role models like Michelle Obama. I know it sounds cliched, and I know that we will be her main role models, but I'm glad we can all look towards this new first family. I remember when Mere and I were lying on our bed, with new little 5 day old Janey in between us, listening to the inauguration speeches, and crying. here we were with this new little wonder, and we were able to feel pretty damn confident that she was entering a world that would be getting better and better each day for her. Knowing that she could look at the president and his family, and see people who looked like her. Here was a president who was a child of an inter-racial relationship....maybe 40 years from now we'll have a president who is a child of an inter-racial gay relationship? you never know. this little miss seems like quite the smarty pants to me. not that I'm biased.

I've been thinking a lot about where we were 5 months ago.
it's been 5 months since we brought her home, snuggled with her in our bed for the first time, realized how many diapers one 8 pound being can go through.
it's been 5 months since I admitted I was having trouble nursing, and since we realized she had only had one wet diaper in a day--not a good sign.
5 months since I first hooked myself up to a breast pump, and 5 months since I first cried about it.
5 months since I realized that not everything was going to go the way I thought it would--
5 months since we first gave her a bottle of formula.

and, 5 months ago, we had no idea she would get sick.

5 months ago, we thought we had a low-key, easy-going baby who hardly cried and liked to sleep. we didn't know she was sick, we didn't know the next month would turn our world upside-down, living in a hospital room in the PICU, meeting other families who might be worse off than us, but at the time, nothing could seem any worse than the hell we were going through.

5 months since we realized who was there for us, and who became a gaping disappointment.

over the past 5 months I've been constantly amazed by this little being, and by how mere and I have stepped up as moms. there's so much more to say about the past 5 months, but this is just the beginning...

first post

So, I've been thinking about this for a while....Janey's already 5 months old, and I've never even really written about what it's like to have her in my life, how I'm trying to handle the other aspects of my life--work, friends, and, oh yeah, my relationship with her other mom?!

that's what this space will hopefully become. a place to house all of those thoughts, especially about miss janey, and a place to share the latest with you all.

for now, it's back to work, but hopefully I can figure this out soon and keep posting.

in the meantime, janey's pretty excited about it.