A Year Ago Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I don’t think I will ever feel as strongly, strangely nostalgic for “a year ago today” as I do right now. See, in a few days, my first baby turns one. A year ago, he was still part of me. And after his first birthday? Well, a year ago from then, every day moving forward for the rest of his life, he will have been his own little awesome person. You follow me on that one? Good.

Stats have been taken! Now the kid just needs to turn one.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? I mean, there are anniversaries, of course. This past September 7, I certainly reminisced fondly about a year prior, when I got to marry my love, my best friend, and one all-around awesome, standup dude.

But, just as all the Bradley classes and relaxation techniques in the world could not possibly prepare me for how painful labor was, I also couldn’t begin to fathom how completely life would change once Willem joined us. I read up on every possible thing I could before Willem was born: labor, caring for a newborn, baby sleep, cloth diapering, hospital packing lists, stroller reviews, etc. etc. etc. I read until I could read no more… and then I rallied and read some more.

None of those things could ever prepare me for life as it is today. It sounds so cliche, and I can’t even quite describe it. The closest I can come, though, is thinking about where I was a year ago. I remember how excited I was, how ready I felt, how impatient… and I laugh at myself for how completely unprepared I really was. 

So where was I a year ago? A year ago yesterday, 2/15, was my due date. Chris and I celebrated by getting splurge yarn at Mass Ave. Knit Shop and eating delicious Mexican food at La Margarita in Fountain Square.

Splurge yarn:
Hearts.

BELLY:
20140215. Hello, due date!

A year ago today, 2/16, Chris, Birdie, and I tromped through over a foot of snow at Holliday Park, determined to walk this baby out of me.

Birdie and the Sleepies

A year ago tomorrow, 2/17, was my first day of maternity leave. I visited the midwife in the morning, bought some photo frames, and made it home in front of an ice storm. I framed a bunch of our wedding photos, got the diaper changing area ready… and as I walked out of the nursery, my water broke.

I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. Up to that point, it was all theoretical, the whole “having a baby” thing. Once your water breaks, you realize, OH HOLY CRAP, child birth is imminent. Like, it is ON, people. You also quickly realize that you are both the train conductor and passenger on this ride and at a level of intensity you might never experience again. This is actually happening to you – you’re the only one who can actually do this whole child birth thing – and, at the same time, you are totally just along for the ride. Oh holy shitsnacks.

And then a year ago the day after all that? Well, on 2/18, Willem was here.

Baby K has arrived.

Baby K has arrived.

Baby K has arrived.

Baby K has arrived.

And nothing will ever be the same again. What a lovely life.
20150127. Sickie kid.

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How Has It Been Almost a Year?

The baby’s-first-year-on-the-planet time warp is REAL, folks. How is it that our son is almost one? Well, really, he’s almost 11 months old, but since I’ve begun planning his first birthday party, it feels like his first trip around the sun is really almost here.

It simultaneously feels like the longest year of my life AND like he just arrived yesterday. Kind of for the same reasons, actually – Willem has changed SO MUCH in the last 11 months (and so have I), and the changes are happening faster and faster every day, it seems. Suddenly, we have a waving, giggling, steady on his feet (at least when standing), sweet little guy with his own PERSONALITY and stuff. Oh, and he can say “mama,” which is about the cutest thing ever.

And to think: a year ago, he was still IN MAH BELLY. Totally crazy.

20140112. 35 weeks.

One year ago today.

Anyway, I’m getting pretty excited for his birthday. The kid has so many toys already, so we are definitely not getting him much in the way of “stuff.” Instead, on the actual big day, Chris will take off work so we can go do something fun as a family – I’m thinking we’ll go to the Children’s Museum. Then we’re having a small party of family and friends to help celebrate.

I am ALL OVER Pinterest these days re: party decor. See Exhibit A:

First birthday crafting.

Willem loves reading, so the big “thing” he’ll get from us is something along the lines of this:

Chris is going to build the tent frame, and I just ordered this fabric for the tent sides. I am probably, definitely a little WAY TOO EXCITED about it. I think we’ll really enjoy reading together, lying in our tent:

I’m also putting together some fun little camping supplies to round out the whole tent gift idea. Like… have you ever knitted a log? Because I am currently knitting a log! (I mean, I don’t have a LOG….)

Any other ideas to add to the tent/camping gift? I need to go thrifting and see if I can find some fun metal cooking camp pots, maybe a metal mug. A fake/wooden Coleman lamp? Or, heck, a REAL (but baby-friendly) lamp of some sort?

I’m Running for President

May 18 was my 35th birthday. I can now run for president! What do you think? Would you vote for me? Normally, I hate my birthday. I usually try to flee town, if not the country. Seriously, I’ve spent my birthday in Kentucky, Spain, Chicago, California, on the way to Europe… I’m not sure why. I think I don’t like the pressure of having to plan/do something awesome. And then feeling disappointed if it’s not birthday-caliber-awesome.

This year, though, my birthday was awesome. Willem turned three months old on May 18, and we took a trip up to Chicago to visit my parents and go to a show in Chicago. Our first date post-Willem, and Willem’s first real trip!

Three months!
20140518. 3 months!

20140518. 3 months!

My parents fed us insanely well, there was amazing beer and two birthday cakes, and I got framed photos of my babe, socks with hipster cats on them, a salad spinner, a rain barrel, more delicious beer, jewelry and clothes, and (best of all) fantastic company. Willem did terrific with the traveling, slept well, was generally a pretty charming little dude, and only really melted down about 40 minutes outside of Indy on our way back.

The view from my parents family room:
Happy birthday to me! My morning view at the parents' pad.

20140517. Willem and Grandma Deb.

20140518. My birthday buddy.

20140519. Willem playing peek-a-boo with Grandpa Steve.

The most amazing birthday cake I’ve ever received:
20140518. The most amazing cake I've ever received.

And oh lordy… these two…
20140518. I look up, and this is what I see. Lord help me.

The show, Elbow at House of Blues, was Chris’ early birthday present, so it was kind of a party weekend all around. The very last song they played was our wedding recessional song, and it was beautiful. Best of all? I put Willem down before we left at 7 pm, and he didn’t wake up until 2 am, well after we had gotten back home. Whew! No screaming babies for grandma and grandpa.

Here it is – well done, boys, well done!

In other news… sometimes it’s hard to make our bed.
20140516. Sometimes it's hard to make my bed.

40 Weeks, 3 Days (and Two Weeks Later)!

It’s been quiet around these parts. And by “these parts,” I mean this blog, because it certainly hasn’t been quiet around the house. No, I am not sitting here, massively overdue and still pregnant. Instead, I type this with a sweet little boy sleeping in his wrap across my chest.

That’s right: on February 18 at 5:35 am, we welcomed yet another little beastie to our menagerie, this time in the form of an 8 lb., 13 oz., 21.5 inch long baby boy named Willem Altair! On Sunday, 2/16, we took a nice walk with Birdie through snowy Holliday Park. Seriously, the snow was up to her chest, and I was wishing I had snowshoes at one point! The first day of my maternity leave was Monday, 2/17, and at my morning appointment with the midwife, she scheduled a workup for us on Thursday. But she said as she left the room, “I really don’t think you’ll make it until then.”

Three hours later, I had finished setting up the changing area in the nursery, and my water broke as I walked out of the nursery. Labor was totally surreal, raw, and intense. Most of the time, I had no clue what was going on around me or who was in the room with us. Chris did amazingly well, and we had some fantastic nurses coaching me along. Although we wanted to go non-medicated, I did end up getting an epidural right towards the end, and it seriously saved me. I have no regrets about the epidural, let me tell you.

If the lateness of this blog post is any indication of our experience with new parenthood, Willem will be two weeks old tomorrow. I’m not sure where those two weeks have gone or what we’ve been doing, other than a lot of feeding the baby, changing the baby, rocking the baby, napping, etc. It’s amazing how much time and energy these things require. I finally managed to pay a couple of bills today, which I consider a great success. I might even make it out to the grocery store! Hey, it’s the little things.

Chris has taken such good care of me, Willem, the house, and all our animals the past two weeks. It’s going to be a little rough when he goes back to work next week, but luckily my parents will be coming for most of that week to help out and meet their newest grandson.

My guys, day one:
Baby K has arrived.

Me and my babe:
Baby K has arrived.

Family photo (Birdie photobomb!):
Family photo!

Long story short, we are happy, exhausted, and figuring things out still. Breastfeeding in particular has been a challenge, but I’m really hoping we are on the upswing with that. Raising a newborn is a lot of work!

Merry Birthday Eve to All, and to All a Good Night!

Hey, y’all, it’s my birthday eve! My MO for birthdays is to get the heck out of town. Most of the drive for that is because I *hate* my birthday. I hate the planning, the party, the fear that NO ONE WILL SHOW, etc. Even if by “party,” I mean, “meeting people for drinks.” I’d just rather avoid the entire situation and all the uncomfortable, unwanted attention by hopping on a plane to Barcelona or jumping in a car bound for the whiskey distilleries of Kentucky.

So like I said: I normally loathe my birthday, but this year I’m weirdly excited about it. My co-worker asked me if I had anything fun planned, and when I listed out my plan (which I am very excited about and think sounds like the MOST fun), I realized how super-lame it might sound to others.

The Most Epic Birthday Plan of All Plans:

  • Morning bike ride with Chris down a new-to-us trail
  • Build a garden bed and plant my peppers, squash, and last tomato plants
  • Hopefully drink a delicious bevvie in the sunshine somewhere
  • Prezzies? Maybe I’ll get prezzies!
  • And maybe go see the new Star Trek movie. Or not! You know why? Because it’s MY BIRTHDAY, and I DO WHAT I WANT!

Whatever. This weekend, I march to the beat of my own lame birthday drum.

I got my early birthday present from Chris a few days ago (because, really, you can’t take my bike away from me for very long): bike upgrades out the yin-yang, as well as a much-needed tune-up. It feels like I’m riding a new bike, and I love it.

20130514. Early birthday present: major bike upgrades!

“Hey, girl, get out of the way so I can take a closer look at that SEXY BIKE, will ya?”

In other news, the garden continues to grow. We have a bit of a lettuce problem

20130517. We have a lettuce problem.

And a slug problem

20130517. Bitch-ass slug, eating on my artichokes.And sweet potatoes that need to get in the ground… Remember that time I worried that they wouldn’t sprout? Yeah…

201305117. Remember that time I worried the sweet potatoes wouldn't grow?

And front landscaping that I hope will turn into an edible wonderland of chard, beets, kale, and cabbage.

20130517. Front landscaping = future food.

Merry Birthday Eve to me! 33 was mostly pretty darn charmed, all things considered. 34 will be another good year, I think.

20130517. Birthday eve!