Friday, July 30, 2010

Working Mother Morning Dance

Of the crazy things I thought would happen when I became a working mother, a ever growing list, I really did think that things would get easier with time. Chalk up another, "What the heck were you thinking!". Because even though things have changed. They have not gotten easier, in fact in some ways they have gotten even more challenging.

Originally when I started back to work full time Kate was just past her due date, she mostly slept. I was exhausted from getting up constantly. I was stressed because I was not used to being away from her for more than a few hours. I was scrambling to remember all my things I needed to get for pumping. The highlights of this phase was that she could be a swing, or a bouncy chair. I also really mastered multi-tasking with pumping and feeding, and pumping and driving and pumping and getting ready.

Next came my favorite stage, the sitting up but not moving stage. This was great, she was a little more interactive without mobility. In this stage between stressful, frantic pumping and packing up lunches I would get cute little smiles and banging on toys. I could set her up with a small army of toys on the bathroom rug and get ready. She was happy and contained. I was feeling like I was starting to get this working mother gig down.

Several more months and we were starting to crawl a bit. No more contained happiness. But now we are really in the next phase, Kate explores everything. Kate is not walking but she has mastered crawling, and is now working on cruising and climbing. She is faster than you would ever believe. Her eye is always up, on bigger, shinier and more fun things. This week, its the ever dangerous toilet and toilet paper.

Notice, how she has dropped her cell phone in attempts to grab some of that glorious paper.
I was meanwhile trying to tame my crazy hair.

I can sometimes contain her for a few minutes in the pack n' play. In general though I have just mastered the dance between trying to do task, brush my teeth, trying to keep Kate safe, remove the toilet paper from mouth, and enjoy these moments. Its a dance that somedays is a beautiful waltz, where we get ready and are enjoying each other. Other days it is a tango, I am grabbing, Kate is surging forward. You can't tell if we are enjoying each other or somewhat struggling with an edge of tension. Finally there are the mosh pit days, but really those need no explanation and happen rarely.

Easy it is not. A crazy silly dance it is. This goofy face makes it all worth it morning after morning. I just can hardly imagine what will come next, and at least I know that I will need to be on my toes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Listen to the Mustn'ts

Listen to the MUSTN'TS child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.

--Shel Silverstien

Monday, July 19, 2010

Trips, family and fun

Thought it was cute she was as big as her suitcase!
She was all packed and ready to hit the road.

July has been a blur! We went over to Eastern Washington at the end of June, to see family. That was our first overnight trip with Kate and we had a great time celebrating with everyone. Kate acting as if she travels everyday. We lost a bottle, and somehow stole a new born babies book (which I mailed back). The following week after the 4th of July, we left for a week of vacation in Lake Chelan. Of course between all that there is a bunch of work, doctors appointments and all the other things that make up summer days.

"Mom, really you want us to wear silly hats on our trip?"

"This is what I think of your hat!"

I was really worried that after keeping Kate away from pretty much everybody for 11 months that she would be really shy. I swear, I look for ways to make myself worry and feel responsible. In my mind, as I sat around our house bored this winter I also thought that I was stunting my my daughters social development because she wasn't going anywhere.

Thus, on these first little trips where she was in front of big groups and hanging out with kids I really didn't know how she would handle it. Of course she handled it Kate style. First, there is the staring phase. Deep concentrated staring with her big brown eyes. To the point, that people will ask me if she blinks. Then depending on how fun she decides you are she will shake her little head, maybe stomp her little foot with a crazy little smile on her face and crawl on over to pull, poke or giggle at them.
Uncles are great from smacking around, and sitting on.

And cousins turned out to to be super fun!

Lesson learned, or taught again, by Kate. Don't worry about it mom! I am much stronger than you ever think, and of course I will grow and develop just fine. It was pretty obvious right off the bat that vacation was going to be fun for all of us. And it really was. Days of just hanging out, sitting by the pool in the sun and relaxing. It took me a few days to remember what that was like ,to relax, as its been two years since I've taken vacation.

I am already looking forward to more travels and more vacations. Hats, suitcases and giggles all the way!

Crazy dog days of summer.

TERRIER: noun derived from the French 'terre', meaning earth.

Any of several dog breeds developed, mostly in England, to find and kill vermin and for use in the sports of foxhunting and dog fighting. Bred to fight and kill, they often were pugnacious but are now bred for a friendlier temperament. Because terriers had to fit in rodent burrows, most breeds are small and lean and have a rough, wiry coat that requires little maintenance. They have a long head, square jaw, and deep-set eyes. All terriers are vocal and inclined to chase and confront. Most breeds were named for the place where they were developed.

Petey: Local Alley or Bar Terrier

Oh, yes this is the definition that fits Petey perfectly, minus the bred for friendlier temperament. Petey recently went to the kennel while we were on vacation. Somehow he got out of his kennel and into the kennel of another dog. A confrontation followed, where Petey was removed from the kennel with a metal pole. Extremely loyal and loving to myself and husband, and a few others Petey is one of a kind. If it wasn't for my ridiculous ability to attract and keep strange animals in our lives, Petey would most likely not currently be alive.

Long live the terrier.