Friday, May 15, 2009

Adventures in Solids

The boy eats solids now.

It seemed like a fun new thing at first. But now, it has turned into a royal pain in the arse. Some days, he opens his mouth right away and on others, he acts like he has never done it before. The latter happens with much more regularity than the former. He clamps his mouth and shakes his head back and forth. On really great days, he raspberry's the food so it splatters all over everything. Ugh. I'm starting to think he may drag his bottle behind him to prom as he is pulled on his guerney.

Today, I asked J to try to see if he could encourage him to eat because I was quickly turning into that mom who force feeds her screaming child against his will. Eating should be fun and I didn't want to screw him up any more than I already have done.

After 20 minutes of singing, cheering, and fake eating, this is what we got. A messy boy and happy parents.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Seven Months

You are seven months this week, little one. Where has the time gone? This time last year, you were nothing more than a little raspberry in my stomach and now you are growing into a sweet little man. In these last seven months, you have proven that we are definitely your parents.

You are charming and easy going like Daddy. You love the ladies and will smile easily at the most inappropriate people at the inappropriate times. On Easter, in fact, you were so flirtatious with the women sitting behind us at church that it was suggested to me that there was a nursery--ya, know--if I needed it! Having lost your audience, you promptly proceeded to wail like a demon for the next 45 minutes. Hmm, I wonder why we haven't been back since?

You love to eat, like Mom, and are eating solids once a day. Your favorites seem to be parsnips and pears. You hate carrots, as does now Mom, cause they stain like a beast! Sigh. Your clothes will never be the same again.

But don't even suggest that you try cauliflower, thank you very much. Like Daddy, once you are done, you're done. And why, oh, why must they smell like dirty socks??

Another trait you inherited from Dad is knack for falling asleep mid-sentence. I suppose you, too, are a bit of a narcalept. In this picture, you and Dad were supposed to be discussing your views on the world economic crisis. Dad nodded off first after detailing the most recent AIG scandals and just as you were about to interject you realized you were speaking to yourself. Sitting up, you decided to just close your eyes for a minute, too. You needed a moment to gather your thoughts.

As much as I joke about it, you do have one milestone under your belt--sitting up. You can do this with your pacifier in your mouth, as well, you little Talent.

You have so many cute little quirks like the way you squeeze your eyes shut when I comb your hair or use your gift of the raspberry to express all your emotions. You are happy and giggly and joy to be around. I love you and can't wait to see what the next seven months have in store for you.

Love, Your Female Caretaker

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This would be charming....

...if you were a tourist strolling down the Ku'Damm on a warm spring afternoon. "How nice of them," you'd think, "everyday in Europe must be like this." It would make you feel down right festive to see three musicians playing a tune in the middle of a sunny day.

...if you were just waking up from a full night of blissful sleep. "How refreshing," you'd remark, "this beats getting up to an alarm." It would put the day off to a good start.

...if you were sitting outside on your sunny Berlin terrace reading a book and sipping a cup of coffee. "How charming," you'd sigh, "this is the reason why I love living in the city. This is the reason why spring is so wonderful in this place."

But, if you had just spent the last 20 minutes rocking, shhing, and bribing your wee spawn into a two-blink slumber only to hear that DAMN trio of merry men making a ruckus at TEN O'CLOCK in the freakin' morning, you would spit, curse, and regret the day you ever chose to live in this first floor walk-up. Where on earth do they find these people? And why must they always find you before you've had your coffee??

If that were you, and I'm sure you're glad it wasn't, you would not find this charming. Not. One. Bit.

Friday, March 20, 2009

He did it!

Wouldn't ya know that the moment I had given into the notion that we would have to wheel him into prom on a guerney, he decides to surprise me? It's unnatural for someone to be so proud of something so basic.

I need to get out more, ya'll.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dear Blog: it's me, Margaret.

Dear Blog:

So sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. It's been over two months and I have totally and completely neglected you. I have left you hanging regarding what life is like with a three and four month old. I haven't posted any pithy musings about how GREAT the weather has been here lately (ha!) or what it was like when we traveled to the states for 5 weeks. We haven't bitched about sleepless nights or spit up or how utterly uninterested my child is in rolling over. No, I have been a bad girl. A very bad girl.

And I want you to know that I feel guilty about that. Really, I do. I've neglected you and my two loyal readers (hi mom and shea!). I've let you, myself, and the American people down. I should be ashamed of myself and I am.

You see, I'm not the usually type to start something and give up on it half way--well, that is to say I wasn't previous to October 12th at 7pm. Since then, I have half-way feberized my son (that is until I realized how close his nursery is to my neighbors living room). I have taught him how to spend just enough time on his tummy for a great picture and then collapse in weak frustration (see allusion to not rolling over above). I have introduced him to half of my friends here and then gave up when I realized that I was the only one who really cared (surprisingly, he is only my first child, not the world's). I have learned to sleep just enough to function in the morning but not soundly enoughly to miss every cough and sniffle he makes in the next room. And I have been reduced to using the news breaks tickers that scroll on the screen in between my soap opera as my prime source of world news updates. Basically, I have become that person I swore I wouldn't and find myself unmotivated to do anything well if it doesn't involve managing the monkey's life. Yes, it's pathetic but sadly true .

Just know that it's not you. It's me. I still think of you fondly and how well you have served as a cathartic outlet when we moved here. You have been constant and steadfast and I have been flakey and unfocused. The truth is that I am a bit overwhelmed by my responsibilities right now and can't give you the attention you deserve. Please be assured, though, that this, too, will pass and that before you know it I will typy-typerton reporting back to duty. Until then, hang tight and please accept the attached picture as my olive branch...a peace offering of sorts. In no time at all, you will be restored to your former--if rather lackluster--glory. I'm certain that by the time the Bear chooses a mate in, I don't know, 40 or 50 years, I'll have plenty of time to rekindle our fire. Who knows? I just might surprise you with how soon I might be up and running again. Weren't we taught that true love waits? Let's hope so.

With Warmest Personal Regards,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Note to Self

Mark my words: We will never spend another New Year's Eve in our apartment ever, ever again. Amen.

To be fair, we were warned that things would be bad. That it would loud and chaotic and festive. That people would be out in the streets until all hours of the night and that we should be prepared for lots of firecrackers. I guess we should have seen it coming when we were told to lock Josie in an interior room and to pump up the white noise machine in the baby's room. But nothing could have prepared us for the what we experienced last night.

From 5pm to 5am, we were beseiged by what sounded like missile fire outside our apartment. I'm not talking about a little light display here or there and some cutesy sparklers. I mean, real deal explosives that shake the house and fog the windows. The kind that whizz and whirl and shoot straight up in the air for minutes at a time. The kind that make you nervous when they get too close to trees and cars. The kind that make you curse out of sheer shock and awe at the breadth of the display. Ya know, the kind that only professionals should be working with....or 8 year olds, if you are a Berliner. Like, J said , it was like we survived the first night of conflict during the Gulf War.

The same city that prohibit's barbequing on your apartment terrace apparently allows bottle rockets and amateur fireworkers to set off pyrotechnics to their hearts content. I was so fearful that something was going to hit the house that I wavered from hiding under the covers in the darkened bedroom to pacing back and forth to the nursery to make sure the baby was still okay. And I was right to be scared because it is thanks to this same city and these same pyromaniacs that we now have a whole the size of a frizbee in the outer pane of our double paned window. Yes, we, too got to share in the excitement when a errant missile shot into our living room window. Oh, the joys of the holidays!

The one glimmer of cheer that we can attribute to last night was our super baby. Little bugger slept through the whole damn thing.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Motherhood Defined

Yes, we are still here....just moving a little slow lately. The Monkey is boss so we've not had time to breathe, let alone blog. Living on bite sized increments of sleep doesn't do much to inspire me to write either.

We are in survival mode these days. In spite of what "the books" say is normal, my 11 weeker has yet to sleep through the night so we're basically left to live on 3 hour naps at a time. I wish "the books" would just take a breather and stop guessimating on what is normal. It could very well drive you crazy. According to lore, besides sleeping 20 hours straight at night, he should be also be well on his way to walking, talking, and reading Tennyson. His growth has been seriously stunted unless profusively drooling and crafting strung out sentences that begin with "gah" and end with "ah-goo" count.

I've gotten lots of questions about what motherhood has been like for me after wanting to be one for so long. I'll say this: Motherhood is awesome but the most challenging, scaryist thing I have ever done. It's really, really hard and kind of depressing right now, to be honest. Tiny babies rule your life at this stage and it is hard to reconcile your old self--independent, mobile, and confident--with your mommy self--insecure, unstable, unbalanced. I mean, it is my highest dream to be a mom so I am very grateful to be here but it is still 12 times tougher than I ever thought it would be. And, boy, I can be a beast without sleep! Poor J.

But,oh, I'd trade a thousand sleepless nights for this little miracle. I doubt there has ever been a child who has been so barraged by kisses than ours. Those fluffly cheeks have been kissed so many times poor Gavin is exhausted by it, I'm sure. I swear they have some sort of magnetic power. I can't keep my lips off of him. You can't be prepared to have a child that reminds you of yourself, your brother, your husband, and your mother-in-law simulataneously. It is an out of body experience. I still can't believe he is fact, on some mornings, I wake up and for a split second forget that I am a mom. And then, when I remember and see that sweet little face, my heart explodes. He is perfection personified. I know where sunshine comes from now.

I guess the best word to describe motherhood for me, 11 weeks in, is everything. I have been swallowed up by the motherhood vaccuum and every emotion, facet, and everything else in my life as been subsumed and colored by the addition of this little boy. I am still myself but a new version of her. Life will never be the same again....thank God.