Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grabbing at Our Hearts

The LFM just reached for his froggie toy and grabbed it and played with it! Like a big boy baby not a newborn baby. Wow, he's growing up so fast, next year he'll be off to college. It seems like just yesterday he was destined to go on his first date with a wobbly head while projectile spitting up and now he's sitting on his Daddy's chest playing with a toy. A toy that he reached for and grabbed with his hands. What a talented boy we have! He's also laughing these days and scooting around when he's on his back- he'll start off on his play mat in one position and turn himself 180 degrees just by scooting. He doesn't move so much when he's on his tummy though, so clearly he's destined to crabwalk and then moonwalk instead of crawl and then walk. That's cool with us unless he starts getting skin lightening treatments and plastic surgery..I love his nose too much for him to change it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The LFM Supports the Arts, Do You?

At his first Passover seder. dressed up as one of the plagues in his froggie shortsuit.

Attempting the Four Questions in hebrew?

With his adoptive Grandmother Mim
Showing his bad ass nature in his Kiss onesie with Aunt Mica

At our birthing class reunion class (although the Mamas and Babies have gotten together every week since the babies were born), The LFM is about 2 months younger than all the other boys, and clearly unfazed by the gravitational challenges he seems to be facing.

Chillin with his peeps

Sorry I haven't updated in a while...grief has really been kicking my ass lately, and I just haven't felt up to it at all. Emotional turmoil should make me want to write to express those feelings, but no, really it just makes me want to eat doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts. Which is not good when you already feel depressed about how fat you are. Its also not good when its Passover and you can't eat doughnuts. Damn you, Passover. Pass the chocolate, please.

The LFM has been busy supporting the arts, even at such a young age. He went to his first art show last Friday at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School to check out the awesome work that Charles Benoit's students had done. Then tonight, the LFM went to see his first play ever! At only 3 months of age, our little monkey not only attended the opening of Peter Pan, but he also attended the opening night reception afterwards. What a crazy party monkey he is. He seemed to really enjoy the play and made it through the first two acts before finally falling asleep during Act III. I'm not entirely sure if he was fascinated by the play or by the back of Holly's head, but either way he was quiet and his parents enjoyed the play and well, now we can boast that he saw his first play at 3 months old. Saw is a relative term right? Hey. we gotta boast about something besides his ability to projectile vomit all over his Mama. Next week is Chuck's art opening, which he's greatly looking forward to. Chuck is The LFM's favorite artist, mostly because of his smiley silly faces, but hey we all get fans however we can...what matters is the love, man. That and projectile vomiting. Its an underrated skill.

It was both nice and weird to be out and about tonight. Weird identity issues cont...episode 3 thousand. I do feel like my conversation skills don't really extend beyond poop these days, and aside from the other Mamas in my playgroup I have a really hard time speaking to people for more than about 2 minutes. I just don't have all that much to talk about besides the LFM, and while he's absolutely fascinating to us, I'm not sure everyone cares to hear about how unbelievably fast his fingernails and toenails grow (its clip them and 5 seconds later they need to be clipped again, which is a feat akin to open heart surgery). Then again, I'm speaking to the wrong crowd here...presumably you are interested in how fast his nails grow, otherwise why would you even bother to read my ramblings? Oh yeah, its all about seeing the cute pics, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Bit of Honesty

Its the middle of the night, the LFM is sleeping soundly, WB is snoring away in the next room and its ideal sleeping situation for me...but I can't sleep. The injustice of what I just typed is overwhelming. So instead, I will enjoy the freedom of typing with two hands, and delve into a little bit of new motherhood honesty.

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis these days. I can't seem to find or recognize myself at all. I know its completely normal..I mean, hell, any number of the major life changes of the past 9 months alone would probably cause an identity crisis of sorts, much less all at once. But here you have it- at moments I feel utterly lost, to myself especially. I know who I am as the LFM's mother, as WB's partner...but who am I now as a person, in addition to those things? Right now I just feel lost. Lost and incredibly boring. I used to be interesting and funny with a quirky edge, and now I am just fat, tired, and incredibly boring.

One thing that may be a difficult factor is that I'm not acting or pursuing acting at the moment, and that's always defined so much of who I am. I feel disconnected from the theatre community here these days, and considering I just left the LFM alone with WB for the first time ever last Saturday, it may be a while before I can even think about doing a show here. I received a phone call yesterday from a casting director in New York, whom I had taken a commercial acting class with several years ago (and who had called me in for a national spot shortly after the class had finished because he liked my work). He was calling to ask me to come in to audition for a commercial, and I had to tell him that I was not currently living in the city. So he asked if I was gone permanently, and I had no idea how to answer that one (especially to a casting director), so I explained that for the moment I was gone because I just had a baby. He congratulated me and said "If you get back in the game, let me know". Ouch! I know I'm no longer in the game, but to hear it spoken out loud crushed a little something in my soul. I'm no longer in the game!

Okay, so then where am I? Where do I even want to be? I've been pining for New York a lot lately, but is that where I really want to be with a child? Or am I pining just a little bit for the life that was?

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be a mother, I adore motherhood, and I love the LFM with a fierceness I never knew was possible. I would not trade motherhood for all the national spots in the world and I knew the moment I saw that little plus sign that the world was going to be a very different place for me. Its just that I'm still not sure what that place is for me and where I fit in with regards to this new world and the remnants of the old world. WB best summed it up tonight at dinner when he said that between cancer and the move from NYC and death and birth and postpartum difficulties, its like we were picked up by this gigantic tornado and torn from everything we knew and transplanted into an entirely new terrain and we're still standing there dizzy and reeling and asking "What the fuck just happened?".

I'm also realizing that I do get a little bit lonely during the day, even though I try to leave the house at least for a little bit every day. Sometimes the interaction with the cashier at the store just isn't quite enough, and while I do love conversing with the LFM all day, his grasp of sarcasm still leaves something to be desired. Yet somehow our days seem so full that to fit in a little extra socializing seems difficult. How can this be? And why is it that the days seem so much easier when we are out and about all day than when we are just at home most of the day?

I know these are all normal new mama feelings that everyone goes through, yet I somehow feel so pathetic for feeling them. That and the fact that I am by far the fattest I've ever been in my life (all those comfort sweets in this difficult postpartum period have not helped, I'm sure) are just plain depressing.

And then I look over at the bed to my sweet boy and everything softens. None of this is permanent. I just keep telling myself that. These are the growing pains of life, and I will find my way again. This is just one of many moments...and I should be enjoying them.

Actually, what I should be doing is sleeping. Grrrrr.....

Monday, April 7, 2008

Living In These Glorious Moments

The LFM Masquerading as a Penguin

Sitting on the Bench in the Children's Section of the Botanical Gardens That is Dedicated to Mimi, my Brother, and my Grandmother, With My Mother's Oldest Friend, the LFM's MamyOuich

The View From the Bench...Right by a Monkey Statue!

Today is going to be one of those slow days in which very little gets done besides feeding. The LFM is taking forever to finish his breakfast...starting and stopping and dozing. I'm trying to learn to let go and just enjoy these moments. So what that the house is a mess and I have a to-do list? Isn't nurturing and loving my baby always on the top of that list? So I say fuck it, and I cuddle and coo and love and nurse and at the end of the day I may not be able to say I crossed a lot off my list, but I will always be able to say I accomplished a lot. Its just a matter of reorganizing my of the millions of little adjustments into motherhood. The LFM makes me live more in the moment than I ever have, and that's such a gift to me.

My favorite time of day is morning. We have these lazy mornings, where we take our time waking up. I usually wake up just a few minutes before the LFM, with enough time to go to the bathroom and come back just in time for him to start opening his eyes. That's when the magic begins. When he sees me its like the most miraculous thing in the world has occurred to him...that lady, the one with the boobs and the smiles, she's here!! Never mind that he's been cuddling with me all night, nestled against the security of my warm body, nursing on and off through the night...its still as if he isn't quite sure what he'll find when he opens his eyes and he thinks he's hit the jackpot yet again when I'm there. I can't describe to you how wonderful that feeling is. I must be doing something right to be greeted that way each morning.

From there we spend a lazy 15 or 20 minutes just hanging out and talking and smiling. The LFM is becoming more and more talkative every day, though whether he coos in English, Spanish, or French we have no idea. He seems to like being spoken to in French and Spanish better than English, but maybe that's because they are more melodic languages. What's interesting is that I've noticed that he speaks differently to WB than he does to me, like he's already developing his own different way of interacting with his father. Then yesterday at brunch with Mim, Charles Benoit, and Uncle Noah, I noticed he spoke the same way to Charles Benoit and Uncle Noah. Its like this louder more insistent voice he uses when talking to other guys. Its so interesting to me to see this socialization occurring so early!

Our little monkey has also found his hands. We're not sure when exactly this occurred, as it was a quiet natural affair with little pomp and circumstance, but somewhere along the way he just kind of started regularly putting his fist in his mouth instead of accidentally. He still sometimes seems like he's flailing around with no control over his arms, but then he'll just pop that hand right into his mouth with perfect aim whenever he wants to, so I'm positive he's got some serious motor skills, he's just like his father in that he's quiet and modest about these things.

As much as I'm enjoying gushing, I'm going to go do some more cuddling and cooing now- he's done eating and it won't be long before he reaches the days where he doesn't want to cuddle anymore so I'm shelving the other responsibilities for the day and enjoying these moments while I can.

As I typed that, I got an enormous smile from the LFM, so clearly, he agrees.

very important side note: its also our anniversary today....2 years, though they have been so full and rich and together we've faced many challenges so it seems much more like 20 years. WB, you are my joy, my breath, my spine, mi alma. I cannot imagine a life without you by my side, and am ever thankful to the universe that we found our way here.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Updating On the Fly

My New Favorite Picture

As I write this, our little funky monkey is talking up a storm with his father, shouting aaaaggggrrrgggg joyously. Whatever it is he's saying, he's certainly adamant about it!

Our monkey has just burst into this wonderful phase of activity where he's super responsive and vocal and interactive..its incredibly fun! He's now 11 pounds and a whopping 24 inches long! This means he's incredibly tall and lanky...with his deep dark soulful eyes, this boy is destined to break some major hearts along the way.

We are settling in to life a little more, and able to go out and about a lot more now that we're only pumping once or twice a day. He's eating about 1/2 breastmilk, 1/2 formula which is more than we even thought we'd be able to get to, so that's great.

And today, for the very first time ever, I left our LFM with WB and ran to the post office all by myself. What a big girl I am! Actually it was a pretty big milestone and I'm totally drunk on the momentary 1/2 hour's worth of freedom. Maybe we'll eventually be able to work ourselves up to the present goal of a haircut.

And now my sweet boy is calling for me, but hey, at least I got 5 minutes, right?