Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Night Music

When I arrived home from work tonight (late, as usual) Christian and James were outside on the front porch listening to the sounds of the bands playing outside of Tip's. I love that there is so much wonderful music in this city and that, on a random Monday evening (okay, I know, it is Jazz Fest, but still), La Luz might be compelled to put on her 'dancing' shoes.

Here we are, just a few hours ago:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Happens When You Have Way Too Many T.V. Channels

On a gray Saturday afternoon you can always find this on the t.v.

and that means everyone will be captivated

and I will go flip the laundry and empty the dishwasher. Because I happen to believe that you actually can see The Empire Strikes Back too many times.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Result

Well, he woke up at 10:30, ate, played and chilled with me until around midnight. I did the usual nighttime routine and it worked perfectly. He woke up around 7:30. I still swaddle him every night with the aden and anais blanket Sarah sent when he was born. He is really starting to get to be too big and active to be swaddled, but I know it helps him sleep. The breastfeeding has almost completely tapered off since my last bout of mastitis. I am possibly the worst milk producer ever and now it is even more pathetic. I am able to pump about 2.5 ounces a day and breastfeed in the early morning and at night before James falls asleep for about 15 minutes (on a good day). I need to start implementing a new bedtime routine soon because I know that the milk supply is not going to last much longer and I want something in place that is a fool-proof way to get James to fall asleep.

In other interesting news, my new nano arrived yesterday and Christian very kindly stayed up until 2 a.m. to load it up and get it ready. It is about the size of a pack of gum and is 8 gigs, bigger than our first computer. Unreal. It is, I think, the 5th ipod we have owned since 2004 - 5 ipods in 5 years, not a very good track record. Did I mention Christian lost his, the main one, somewhere between NOLA and Detroit. And, yeah, it was newish (purchased within the last year).

I am watching Twilight right now because Christian is chaperoning prom. It is entertaining, but I am not obsessed with Edward like every other 30 something lady who has been exposed to the books and movie. In fact, I don't find him appealing at all, he looks very pasty (which stands to reason since he is a vampire) and very young (which also stands to reason since he is supposed to be 17 years old), but I am enjoying the movie. I am curious though, what is it about the guy that turns old ladies into Mrs. Robinson.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Would You Do?

This is what James looks like right now:

He has been this way since around 4:30 when Christian picked him up from Mom's house. He apparently did not sleep much all day and finally decided to check out this afternoon. It is after 9 and he is sound asleep. I have made as much noise as possible to wake him up and nothing works. So, here's the I wake him up? Normally he has had another bottle, played, had a bath, been rocked and put to sleep for the night not to be heard from again until 7 or 8. Obviously that is not going to happen tonight. But, will he sleep much longer in his carrier? Do I wake him and try to work the normal routine? Some of the best advice I received as a new mother is not to wake a sleeping baby, and I generally live by that rule, but I am starting to panic about spending the hours between 1 and 4 am with James on my lap!

I will let you know how it goes...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009, White Plantation

It was a skeleton crew out at White Plantation to celebrate Easter this past weekend so I found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic and missing Josh and Molly and the cousins. We are usually a big group, but this year we fit neatly at two picnic tables for Good Friday crawfish and at one big table for Easter brunch. Even with so many missing it was still a lovely weekend.
The weather was perfect on Friday and Saturday so we spent as much time as possible outside wandering around and hanging out on the porch. James took a few very long naps on the porch listening to the sounds of the farm that used to sedate La Luz when she was a little baby and we lived out there after the hurricane. La Luz particularly enjoyed testing out the tractor and driving around in the golf cart. She also had fun playing t-ball and trying to figure out how to juggle after watching Richmond. I tried to explain to her that until she can actually throw and catch just one ball at a time, juggling isn't going to happen. We set up an early-morning Easter egg hunt in an attempt to beat some supposedly terrible weather that never really arrived. Other than some pretty intense wind and ominous looking clouds, the weather wasn't really all that bad today - not the sunny kind of Easter Sunday you imagine - but not terrible either.

James, having a laugh:

La Luz, Easter Sunday:

Dyed eggs & fingers:

On the John Deere:

I actually feel well-rested going into the work week. I didn't sleep late or even manage any naps but I had tons of help with James and La Luz and the extra sets of hands come in handy. I read about 8 magazines, had time for 2 (somewhat short) runs, dyed Easter eggs, sorted all of the clothes (and put them away), and even got through some work (ok, mostly administrative stuff, but still). I was much more productive than I had anticipated so I am not feeling completely frazzled going into the work week. Christian and La Luz have three more days of holidays so I know when I am up and getting dressed tomorrow morning and they are lounging around on the sofa with James it is going to break my heart to walk out of the door.

Us, Easter Sunday, how long does it take to get a decent family picture:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

3 Months

It is hard to believe I have been back at work for a month. Being back at work only makes the time go by faster and I am committed to savoring every tiny bit of James' first year. I was so distracted by Katrina and not knowing what I was doing and waiting to figure it all out during La Luz's first year that I missed out on the moments and wasted my time worrying about what was next. Unfortunately, being back at work makes that a little tricky. I hate to even add up the hours of the day that I am with James. I guess I don't have to because you can imagine, a few hours in the morning if I am lucky and he wakes up early and a few hours in the evening if I am lucky and he is awake. If I am really lucky (or unlucky) he wakes up in the middle of the night and we have a few quiet minutes together rocking in the chair. But the weekends, well, those are different and treasured. It is a huge consolation that he is spending his days in mom-mom's loving care at least for a little while longer.

Being back at work has been extremely challenging not only emotionally but physically. I came down with the flu after a week back and I am sure it is because I was exhausted. Earlier this week I came down with my second round of incredibly painful mastitis. Fortunately, this time around I only had one day of the wretched fever and chills because I started an antibiotic immediately. The pain and inflammation, however, has only just started to subside. I am not dreaming, I know I can't do it all and I have clearly failed at trying to continue breastfeeding while working. The doctor knew it and she flat at told me that unless I would be fully committed to pumping diligently I needed to consider weaning or else I would run the risk of another infection. She is right. I get distracted or stuck on the phone or in a meeting and pumping just gets put off and then 8 hours later I am engorged. Not a good idea. So, once the infection clears I am going to start to fully wean James. I am not thrilled about it but it is the only logical choice at this point.

Notwithstanding the challenges, I am actually hanging in there. I couldn't do it without the flexibility of Christian's schedule, flexibility at work, and a ton of help from my family. I don't know what I would do if not for those things.

Now, on to the important three months James is starting to actually look and act more like a baby and less like a newborn. He is chattering away, laughing (only occasionally), starting to be interested in toys, beginning to grab at things and put them in his mouth, learning to hold his own bottle (I hope he masters this skill first), following us around with his eyes, and (finally) focusing better on people and things. Much like his big sister, he enjoys television. I realize this is terrible but, honestly, when we are all trying to get ready in the morning it is miserable to listen to him fuss. A simple solution is to put him on his play mat in front of the tv. It is usually something harmless like Mickey Mouse or Curious George. Please don't judge. I only do it out of necessity.

We are all gearing up for a nice three day weekend. Christian will be coaching all weekend and I am heading to sugar cane country. I don't even care if it rains the entire time. My only goal is to spend lots of time doing things with James and La Luz and maybe fitting in time for a run or a few long walks.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

All Talk

We had a great weekend and I promise to let you know what has been going on around here soon. I just need to find about 45 minutes of free time and a little energy. Maybe that will happen some time in 2010. In the meantime, here is a quick video of James babbling to Christian. He has plenty of stories to tell. In addition to the storytelling, James is now laughing these incredible, hearty, from-the-gut laughs. I promise we will capture it eventually for those of you who are far away and miss that lovely sound.

James, Chatterbox from Julie Vaicius on Vimeo.