Sunday, May 27, 2012

Across State Lines

We made our first trip out of MI with Z yesterday. I texted my cousin Manda and was like - "haven't seen you since March, am I coming down to you or are you coming up to us?"

And so, we packed up all the things and headed off on a five hour drive. Now that she can crawl and get around all by herself, she helped me do some of the packing.It was awful. If Z wasn't screaming, she was screaming louder. She only slept for an hour of the drive and that just about drove me crazy sitting in the backseat. I fed her via lean-over boob popout, but she wasn't happy about that either. I hate driving with this child. Impossible.

Once we arrived in Indy, we got a chance to do some super fun stuff. Played some D3, and went to the children's museum with Zelda.

And this is all my stuff.
It's been fun having a bunch of other caregivers around for her. More adults to take the strain off of me and Sean. And to give us some time to just play together. My Aunt Meg was super sceptical about Z crawling, and just laughed when we put her down on a quilt and said just wait. Right on cue, Z jumped forward and started after her.

My Uncle Linus made a great comment about babies, that they are like role-playing characters. They start out with base stats, like movement, attention and sleep, and level up whatever skill they are always using. Hence, Z doesn't sleep through the night, but she does crawl. Oh well. Can't win it all right?

Zelda love her great aunt and uncle, and she loved the museum! It took us super long to get there, an hour drive because we were in downtown Indy 500 parade traffic. But Zelda did ok on that drive.
Stuck in traffic - but happy!

Riding the horse with Daddy.
Z was freaking out at the museum. There were so many new things to see, played in some water, mirrors with blacklights, and a little place for 2 years and under to play with a bunch of toys and another little boy. Z didn't play to well though, reached out and tried to gouge the kids eye out - she's fast, and I felt bad for the other family. She just wanted to play, I think. Or I have a demon baby. I think the best part was watching her figure out that her actions can cause things. There was a button that she could press, and it started up a wind thing with stuff inside, and it scared the crap out of her.

Then we got a chance to come home have some nice dinner and play a few board games. First we played Arkham Horror (and kicked some serious Lovecraftian monster ass), then Forbidden Isle (which was hard) and then started on the Game of Thrones game - but gave up and played Shadows over Camelot (and lost to Sean who betrayed the Knights of the Round Table, what a jerk).

That's partly my favorite reason to visit Indy - the board games. They are always super obscure, and take a lot of brain power and co-op features. I also enjoyed being able to have my partner join in with us, since we never play board games besides D&D. I'm sad to pack up and go, but we have work tomorrow (time and a half, be jealous). So another five hour journey back to MI. Yay, not.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Halfy Birthday

Because I had a summer birthday, I never got to celebrate at school. So, I always brought in a birthday snack on my half-birthday, which was in February. Today is Zelda's half-birthday, six months old. She's a whopping fifteen pounds, says dada, and scoots around. She doesn't quite crawl, but does this leap froggy hop thing where she's in a crawling position and then gets on her toes and jumps forward.

Also, she goes after the weirdest things. Not her toys or anything that is for her to play with, but cords. Computer cords, mouse cords, the nunchuck into the wiimote cord, it's just weird. She has plenty of toys and such, but whatever. We rearranged the pack-and-play to take out the napping station and make it into a baby cage (because Z likes to move and get into things). Our next project is baby proofing everything, moving books, putting foam barriers on our corners, etc.

The past six months have been such a roller coaster. And I used to think of myself as a by the book parent, but I'm just becoming way more go with the flow. Z doesn't have a schedule or routine, we eat on demand, sleep on demand, play when it's a good time to play, and when its comes to solid food, we have no idea what we are doing. Z grabs our food sucks on it, then throws it. She smashes avocados, bananas, and won't take food off a spoon for me. She would rather come to the breast than anything else, and has a thing for bread. Bread of all things she actually salivas up and eats.
Waffles are delicious.

Because she's such a stinker, I just let her grab whatever solid food she wants and just have it. If she eats it, fantastic, if not, oh well. She doesn't have teeth so I just watch her carefully when she takes my food.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My First Mother's Day

I had a pretty interesting weekend that goes along with my first mother's day as more than just a pregnant lady. I got two nights in a row just with Sean, and we got the chance to have a long talk.

But first, I get to list my presents. My partner helped me buy a new computer and Diablo III for my gift. We aren't well off enough to have him just spoil me and get me all the fancy things, but I do now have a machine that can run Skryim on High, Diablo III, Fallout, and several other games. Also, it's faster than the tablet I had been using, and much faster than my old Dell. :) It's refurbished, but I like it. Portable Skyrim is way worth it.

A rose and tulip from my family. 
I also got to judge a skating competition yesterday in Holland. Not my most favorite thing, but free food all day and a gas card wasn't too bad. Got to see my sister compete, it was interesting to be on the judging side after skating for so many years. 

Aunt Mona, Donnie and Z waiting for breakfast.
We went to breakfast with my family this morning, and IHOP was crowded as all get out. We waited for 45 minutes, I ate in less than five and it was back to Midland with the fam and off to work with Sean. I have been doing laundry all day and playing with Z. Good Mother's Day.

My partner and I had a few long nights talking about our relationship. Basically it has come to the point where we don't feel like we are dating anymore. And really when you think about it, we aren't. We had always leaned towards the 'friends with benefits' rather than 'boyfriend/girlfriend.' Now it's just we are two really good friends that share a bed, had a baby, and live together.

I can't help wondering if this is what love is supposed to feel like. It's mature, it's slow, it's borderline boring. It's not that we aren't intimate anymore, we still are, but it's infrequent. Our relationship is no longer new and exciting. We aren't sneaking around to see each other anymore. It's not wildly passionate, we hardly fight and when we do - we actually communicate and talk about what the problem is. I have a hard time with exposing Z to solid foods, and Sean is all about giving her whatever. I was afraid to expose her (and myself) to chlorine since I have an allergy. Well, I managed to get the stuff off my skin fast enough to keep me from seriously breaking out, and Z was just a little bit red.

He gives me structure when I need it, a kick in the pants when I want to make stupid decisions. Sean has toned down my crazy, and deals with my extremely blunt people skills.

Sean isn't Mr. Right, and I'm not his Mrs. Right. We may not be meant to be together.

But we are. I love him, I care for him, I do his laundry, I bore his child, I make meals (any anyone able to at least look at my cooking without retching deserves a fucking medal), I invest in our future, and I am his friend.

Is that all we need? Just a friendship and occasional sex when the baby finally decides to sleep?

Is this true love?

I can't help thinking that we never had grand romantic gestures, no carriage rides, no flowers being delivered to the door. Really we've had our love story already, just with other people. He had Emily, I had Elle. I feel as though I have no more to give in that way. All I have to give is stability, and the promise that I can be there for him and our child.

Do I need to be single? Or do I already have everything I want?

I love my family. Is that enough?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Do. Not. Panic.

I have become such a worrier when it comes to being a mom. I'm really go with the flow when I have Z with me - aka forget when naps and feedings happen, just let her sleep when tired feed when hungry. And I was a part of a mom's group on facebook, where mothers come together to get support about anything.

Well, here are a few types of posts that kind of tick me off.

"My baby won't take a bottle!"

"My baby isn't doing [blank]!"


I say take a chill pill. Quit comparing. Don't stop breastfeeding for the love of the uppers!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Why I need a break.

I decided to call in for yesterday for work, so I am on day four of a six day stretch without going to work. It has been super nice for my stay-cation. And I thought I would take the time to update from a few weeks ago when I had the day off from being 'mom' and was 'Kal' again.

It started when I had a freudian slip, calling Z my little sister's name. From that day, I felt like Z wasn't my daughter anymore. That was the scariest feeling. For three days I carried around this baby, feeding her, changing her and not feeling like I had anything to do with her. It was so strange, and I still have weird waves of it during my days alone with her.

So my first step was to have a day away from Sean and Z. We had to take Z to the doctor for her four month appointment, she screamed with all the needles getting stuck in her, and I felt super bad. Watching her scream and getting upset makes me feel really awful. My partner took her with him to work, and I took a nap, a shower, and played some Mass Effect. So I had seven hours away from anyone and got to just be me.

Then it was off to start doing some research into counseling for some post partem issues. I had one of my support people help me make the calls to get the pre-authorization, and got an appointment set up. Personally I think most of it is not getting enough sleep and not getting enough time as myself and too much time as mom/cleaning machine.

The reason why it made me so angry that I was feeling disconnected was because I have done everything in my power to be bonded to this baby. I am not the only person that felt like I wasn't going to act like a good mom and be attached to the baby. I did the skin to skin right after giving birth, blood and guts and all everything, I breastfeed, I baby wear, I pick her up every time she cries, and now I was feeling like she wasn't my baby. I was mad because I do so much to protect myself from the post partem depression, and I felt like it wasn't enough.

I had failed as a mother.

Naturally I decided to seek professional help. I've now met with her twice, and a treatment plan is all ready to go. I'm going to try to decrease my anxiety when it comes to Z, improve the quality of our interactions and to generally decrease my depression levels. I also wrote a crisis plan, so I am all set to go in case I take  a quick trip to crazyland.