My baby is growing up. And Fast.

This evening, he sat in his highchair between us at the dinner table and ate his first bites of solid food. Rice cereal. Just about a tablespoon full. As I raised the spoon, he leaned toward the food and opened his mouth, then he ate like he had been doing so for years. He didn't grimace, didn't turn away, didn't blink. He just ate. Like there was nothing to it. What's the big deal, he probably thinks everytime we break out the videocam. It was amazing to watch him.

He is such a confident child already. His personality is solid, and comes through more and more each day. He is amazing. He knows who he is, and doesn't waver. I wish I could be as fearless and confident as he is, my four month old baby boy. There are lessons for us in each learning experience for him. I believe our children are the ones who teach us about living.

As we three ate dinner together, one happy family, the first presidential debate raged on the television in the background. I hope that for my child's sake, the public will watch these debates closely and make the only logical decision, and that is to vote for John Kerry and the Democrats come November 2nd. We're in a war that we should never have entered. We have a deficit where just four years ago we had a surpus. We have a terrible economy while too many jobs are being outsourced outside of our country. We're faced with the horrible, frightening possibility of losing our right to choose. We are governed by an administration that sacrifices our environment in order to fatten its incestuous, greedy wallet. We are governed by an administration that doesn't believe in family values for all families, whose prejudice against other religions threatens the very freedom Americans value, an administration that attempts pathetically to mask its evil, greed and malice behind God and the Flag, and turns a blind eye to the millions of hungry, struggling, overworked families while they ensure only their own are taken care of.

This is not the America my parents wanted me to grow up in. This is not the America I want my child to grow up in. What I want for my child is to experience freedom in its truest sense, to be able to love fiercely, to breathe fresh, less-polluted air, to grow up in a country that respects and appreciates the environment and understand its limits, to have every opportunity for a fulfilling career in a field he is passionate about, to feel safe and secure in this world we live in. It is time for change, to move forward before we find that we have fallen too far, far back, into a time when the very freedoms we cherish today did not exist.

I watch my child grow up, and I wish to God my country would grow up too.


Everybody Loves to Buy Baby Gifts

It's true: everybody really does like to buy baby gifts. Perhaps we are drawn in by the tiny sizes, the adorable prints that we can no longer wear as adults, or the cute, cute cuteness of it all. But despite the cute baby items out there, some of the greatest gifts A and I received as we prepared for E's birth and after were items that were not the typical cute baby outfits (although we LOVED those too!). Even my friends that never want to have kids seemed to enjoy the challenge of finding baby gifts that weren't too "baby."

Since so many people it seems are expecting in the next year, here are some unique gift ideas your expecting friends or friends who have recently given birth will love:
  • Basket of organic fruits delivered to new parents' door (thanks ML & CL!). New parents don't have time to cook, much less eat anything that requires even being taken out of a box that needs to be opened. Having fresh organic fruits in the fridge which newbie parents can just grab and eat is a godsend.
  • Wine of the month clubs (thanks EG!). This is truly a great gift for the newbie parents. We loved getting two new bottles of wine in the mail each month, because honestly, we never had time to go to the store and when we did, we definitely did not have time to even look at more than one wine label to make any sort of decision about which wine to get. Which brings me to...
  • Grocery delivery service or personally buying groceries for newbie parents (thanks mom & dad!). Trips to the grocery store take on a whole new meaning with a baby, especially in those first couple of months. No matter how prepared new parents are, they will always need more... more diapers, receiving blankets, wipes, food, etc.
  • Receiving blankets. Newborns need tons of them in which to be swaddled (unless the newborn doesn't like to be swaddled).
  • Frozen homemade meals, take out meals brought in to newbie parents, any meals at all. Again, new parents need to eat (especially nursing moms!) and won't have time to even think about it. Get together with friends and start a rotations list to last the first couple of weeks...or better yet, a month!
  • Diapers and wipes, or a diaper service for cloth diaper folks. New parents need several boxes of both Newborn sized diapers and Size 1 diapers. Several packages/boxes.
  • Photo albums (thanks AS & ES, MS & CS!). Newbie parents will need a lot of them.
  • Baby Journal/Time Tracker (thanks JQ!). I'm talking about the kind where new parents can keep track of exactly when their newborn eats, has a wet or poopy diaper, and naps/sleeps. This was a great gift - so much so that after we ran out of pages at 3 months we bought another. This helped us so much to learn about E's habits, and to also see in the early days why he may have been fussy and if he was getting enough to eat (is it time again to eat? when was his last nap? did he have enough wet/poopy diapers today?)

Perhaps the greatest gift we received is the gift of ultimate friendship and family. Even with nine (ten! It's really ten!) months to prepare, new parents enter a very strange new world very suddenly and they need to be able to talk about it with other new parents (is this normal? how often and how long does your baby cry?) and also with parents who've been there (when does this weird cradle cap stuff end? what bedtime routine worked best for you?). Even if you can't relate, just allowing a new parent or expecting parent to talk openly and honestly is a great gift.

Just know that whatever gift you give, new parents will appreciate it. We tend to have a new appreciation for everything in life now. Especially for the little things :)


Starting Fresh

I suppose a blog would have been more appropriate than the website I created to follow my pregnancy. Well, here it is. Starting fresh. With new thoughts in a new format. The website could only hold so much text and I've got a lot to say :)

Motherhood really is a whole new world. It changes everything. It strengthens one's life. It is something that I now understand I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about before I actually became a mom. One of my co-workers said to me after I went back to work, "Congratulations! Welcome to the club!" I almost hate to say it, because I never would have understood it before, but it really is like belonging to a club. With secret passwords and handshakes, a totally new vocabulary, rearranging priorities, and sharing the ultimate happiness you now find in life's smallest moments that others can't understand (he found his hands! he rolled over!). I think most parents don't mean to be exclusive, but the lifestyle almost demands it.

For me, it's difficult to be one of the first of my close friends to have a baby. My relationships with friends who have recently had babies have strengthened, and I only wish we all lived close to each other so we could share walks and play dates in addition to the emails, phone calls and e-photos. I've tried to maintain my relationships with friends who don't have babies, and some remain very strong while others -particularly the casual friendships - have been a challenge. I can't go to happy hour at the drop of a hat, or to three parties in one night, or even spend a few hours at a friend's house. Those days are definitely behind me, and I really don't mind it one bit. Most of my friends seem to understand. Some don't, and I've learned that's ok too.

So here I am starting fresh with a blog devoted to my experiences as a new mom, a working mom, a nursing mom, a m-o-m Mom. The challenges, the absolute bliss, the madness of it all.

It's 9:00pm and I'm ill today and it's my bedtime. Welcome to motherhood. It really is the best adventure a person can ever embark upon.

Good night!

PS - thanks to KM and also to blogging moms for inspiring me to start my own blog.


Baby Love