12.24.2014

Merry F*€#ing Christmas

Traveling by air during the holidays is one of life's greatest annoyances. Traveling with a spirited toddler, anytime, is one of life's greatest challenges. Yesterday, for us, combining the two has led to my vow of never going anywhere ever again, until Katherine is old enough to sit and read Harry Potter for 3 hours straight. 

I am so traumatized by yesterday's flight from LaGuardia to Charlotte and I can't seem to get past it. Time heals all wounds, blah blah blah, but our flight back to NYC is 4 days away, and that is simply not enough time for these wounds. Yeah, I know I just said I wasn't going anywhere ever again, but I say lots of things I don't mean. 

I have flown with Katherine so many times that I have a pretty decent routine and a few tricks up my sleeve to keep her occupied and happy. Try to schedule the flight to be during a nap time. Fresh diaper right before boarding. Wait until everyone else has boarded so you can be the last people to get on, thus minimizing the amount of time actually spent on the plane. iPad apps. iPhone home videos. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. 

Unfortunately, trying to beat the holiday rush meant waking Katherine up at 5 AM to make an 8 AM flight, and this proved to be detrimental. (Should we have scheduled a later flight and risked the delays? We will never know!). She was squirmy and happy and normal, and we walked up and down the aisles a few times when she lost interest in staying in our seats. When we started to descend, it was time to sit back down, and Katherine decided she was going to completely fucking lose her shit. She was exhausted, and I couldn't console her. (I know you're thinking her ears were bothering her, and maybe they were, but they never have before. The loss of sleep was the real issue). I'm talking out-of-control, throw-herself-on-the-ground, screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs, flailing-like-a-feral-cat tantrum.

Enter the passenger seated behind us: a drunk 60-something hag in a peacock cardigan. The guy sitting next to her later told us she had pounded 5 drinks in the first 30 minutes of our 8 AM flight. She rattled her almost-empty glass of her vodka martini on the rocks and offered it to us to give our toddler. "Haha, no thanks!" We get it, haha, alcohol for the baby will help! Let's all laugh about it.

It turns out she wasn't joking. She kept shoving her drink through the crack between the seats, begging us to take the vodka as Katherine continued to scream. "Please take the vodka! I need to you to take it! For me! It's for ME!" Because the happiness of the woman trying to give alcohol to my toddler was a real priority for me. "STOP SCREAMING!!!! STOP SCREAMING!!! She kept yelling as Katherine kept screaming. It was mayhem.

Derrick finally turned around and yelled, "Ma'am, we're doing the best that we FUCKING CAN!" I thought this was the most polite thing he could've said. I wanted to tell her to eat shit or go fuck herself, or that Santa was still watching her in spite of her being a drunk old hag, etc.
 
Shortly before landing, Katherine collapsed in a heap on my shoulder and didn't wake up again until we left baggage claim.

Look, I get it. It serves me right, yeah? There is no greater annoyance on this earth than being stuck on an airplane with a toddler having a tantrum. It's too bad we were packed like sardines in a metal tube instead of a restaurant or a mall or somewhere where we could just leave and not have to annoy others with emotional development. But children exist. There's another one born every second! Sometimes they have to go places. Sometimes by airplane. Sometimes kids have tantrums, and sometimes they don't. All of those kids have parents that are, to paraphrase my husband, trying their fucking best. It's life, and life doesn't last forever. Just like a flight from NYC to Charlotte.

I also got my lip busted by a baby with an iPad:




10.15.2014

Navigating Playground Politics

Completely ignoring my desperate pleas, Katherine is currently transitioning from two naps per day to just one, causing me to scramble trying to figure out how to entertain her for HOURS AND HOURS with no nap.

Today I Pinterested "Halloween crafts for toddlers," and eliminated anything with choking hazards, paint, glue, or the use of intermediate motor skills. This only left making spiders out of pipe cleaners. I created them with great enthusiasm, and they amused Katherine for approximately 30 seconds accompanied by a loud "Itsy Bitsy Spider" rendition with lots of gesticulation, but that would have been exactly the same amount of A.T. (Amusement Time) with or without the pipe cleaner spiders. So.

We now visit the local playgrounds more than ever. In New York City, if it is remotely temperate, they are jam-packed with jerks, and I don't necessarily mean the parents. 

Overheard being said to/about my curious baby: "She can't have this!" "She can't come up here!" "I hate babies!" "Go away!" She has also been purposefully pushed to the ground - a one-year old! - and had sand thrown in her face.

Children are so adorable. 

YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US.

Yesterday Katherine was intrigued by an older girl and her sandbox toys - which in all likelihood belonged to the sandbox and not to her personally - and the girl could not have been more rude about Katherine's proximity to her precious plastic treasures. I am troubled by how to properly respond when a caretaker is not intervening (or even paying much attention) when rude behavior arises. I tried to see how things played out but it was pretty clear they wouldn't improve on their own, so I tried several times to distract Katherine and had no success. One last ugly look from the Sand Queen and I grabbed Katherine, who screamed like she was being axe-murdered (and why not?  She had no idea what she had done wrong).  And we left in a huff. 

This same scenario has played out multiple times lately. It's too bad common decency prevents me from telling strangers' kids that they really should share with other strangers' kids.

I am fascinated by the fact that sharing seems to be the most unnatural concept on earth, as "everything I touch is mine" manifests as early as a few months old. Children are truly like animals, and I honestly wonder whose idea it was to share shit to begin wth. Jesus', probably. 

I hope Katherine is nice to babies when she's a little older, unless it's this particular girl's younger siblings. Jesus would have had the same wishful thoughts, right?



9.10.2014

Ghost Mom

Lately all of my Manhattan mom friends have been moving out of the city.  I am shamelessly and openly jealous of them for making a break for it, yet I must press on here without them, and I'm trying to pick up new women left and right.

I sometimes go to mom meet-ups, but Katherine is interested neither in sitting in her stroller while I chat, nor in sitting really anywhere while I chat.  So I spend most of the time chasing her around, which I can do on my own, anywhere.

We go to baby classes and I am acquainted with and chat with a few other moms, but I often think of a recent groundbreaking study, probably something I saw on the Today Show, that revealed that social media has made us less social in reality.  They say it's because you always have your nose in your smartphone and don't interact with strangers and neighbors, which I'm sure is a huge part, but no one mentions another reason: that since it is so easy to keep up with old friends, there is no real need to make new ones.

"You want to hang out IRL?  You must be a loser with not enough Facebook friends."

A couple of weeks ago I got overly excited to discover a new mom in my building with a 9-month-old son.  I saw them a few times and once bumped into them at the grocery store across the street and walked back to the building with them, enjoying a friendly chat.  She said they were only in temporary housing for a couple of weeks and then moving away (of course), but I decided to try to get in touch with her anyway if she wanted to kill some time together in Central Park before they moved away.  Look at me, being friendly!

I wrote a note and asked one of our doormen to help me since I didn't know her last name or her apartment number, only her first name and the floor she lived on.  He showed me a list of everyone who was moving in / out over the past few months and neither her nor her husband's name was on it.

The only logical explanation is that she and her son are ghosts.  I haven't seen them since and can only assume they have moved away at this point or have vanished into thin air, as ghosts tend to do.  If we looked back at surveillance footage of the day we walked back together from the store, it would probably show me walking alone with Katherine.

You couldn't have spoken with her ... She died ... 50 years ago ... TONIGHT.


6.30.2014

Boozy Baby

I reached two new mom milestones last week:

1. I bought frozen chicken nuggets and tater tots for the first time.  Although the nuggets are actually called "chik'n" so I should probably check to see if there is any real food in them.  If not, I'll just eat them myself, obviously.

Katherine's solid food feedings aren't going very well.  She screams like a banshee when I try to offer her anything in any form.  Except Puffs.  She will cut you for some Gerber Puffs.  Put some Puffs in front of her and all is right with the world.  But any kind of fruit, vegetable, meat, bread, squeeze pouch, jar, finger food, processed food, organic food, homemade food, store-made food, etc., and she will scream, cry, and throw the food at you (which Violet loves, if it lands near her).  It is terribly stressful and makes me want wine.  Mmmm, wine.  Wine wine wine.

2. I called the poison control center after Katherine discovered some pina colada-scented hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works in a cute turtle holder attached to our diaper bag.

It turns out the only real toxin in hand sanitizer is alcohol.  Shockingly, not even those little beady things are really toxic.  When the nice lady told me to look out for general drunkenness in my baby's behavior (stumbling around more than usual, slur-shouting to her sorority sisters, "NO, I love YOU!"), I thought, "Pshhh."  Katherine is already a champion drinker.  When she reached 9 months old, I finally bought those alcohol testing strips for breast milk and as it turns out, my milk has a much lower tolerance than I realized.  Oops!  I reassured myself that any of Katherine's previous microscopic alcohol consumption couldn't have affected her development that deeply as she began walking on her own at 8.5 months.  A friend said, "Imagine how much earlier she would have started if she had been sober."


So now I wait until after my late-night pump to imbibe, but by then, what's the point?  I'm exhausted, full, and the stress of Katherine's 6 PM solid food dinner time is long gone.  Maybe she will really like tater tots and chik'n this week and her feedings won't be so stressful anymore?  I can only hope.


4.07.2014

Stroller Anxiety

Occasionally, I have to leave my neighborhood.  Why?  I'm not sure.  There are at least 5 wine stores within 2 blocks of my apartment, so why would I ever need to go farther than that?

But sometimes when I simply must go beyond my 20-block limit, I spend hours, sometimes days, worrying about how I'm going to get there, becoming filled with stroller anxiety.

For a while, I could just stick Katherine in the baby carrier and clomp around the city wherever I wanted to go.  Union Square?  Chelsea?  Upper West Side?  No problem!  I laughed in the face of the city's narrow aisles and heavy doors and steep stairs.  Now Katherine has passed the 17-lb mark and the last time I carried her on the subway and around the city for four hours I almost passed out.  The 14th Street freaks became even freakier when I started hallucinating by the Whole Foods.  Plus with no car seat, you remove the option for the luxurious relief of a cab.

Segue to the cab option: cabs are expensive if you can even find one, pending weather and time of day.  Moving on.

The stroller on the subway is economical, and the likelihood of passing out is low, so it is now the best option. Having done this several times now on my own, I have made two discoveries:

1. Manhattanites are content to watch you struggle up 3 flights of stairs with your heavy baby, diaper bag, car seat and stroller base and not offer to help you.  While shuffling upstairs once carrying all these things, one helpful fellow told me I needed to be carrying even weight on both sides.  Thanks, that's very helpful.  Next time I'll bring a suitcase full of rocks - or just leave the baby behind!  You are more likely to get help from the Brooklynites, but even that is no guarantee.

2. New York City is disgracefully, completely inaccessible to folks who need wheels, and I don't just mean the stroller set.  Most subway stations don't have elevators and if they do, even the most meticulous minder of gaps will still get those wheels caught between the platform and the train, and get them out before the doors slam shut on you - although sometimes not.

So now I take the stroller and wear the baby carrier, and stick Katherine in the carrier to get up or down the steps while carrying the stroller and wearing the backpack.  While visiting a childhood friend and her newborn in Brooklyn, we stood outside the stairs for the F train for at least 20 minutes while the two of us tried to readjust my carrier that had just been mangled by my stroller on the sidewalk.  We laughed about the state of our lives - that this is what it now takes to walk down one goddamn flight of stairs.  For me, I'll still take it over Mississippi.

My friend Anna lives in North Carolina and says she gets stroller anxiety just going into Target.  I told her that sounded like a vacation.

Any other moms out there get stroller anxiety?

3.24.2014

Fantasies

We are slowly (quickly) outgrowing our Manhattan apartment.  After all, there are 5 of us living in what is technically a one-bedroom apartment: Mom, Dad, Baby, Cat, Dog.  Katherine does have her own little room that is a cutout of our large but awkwardly-shaped living room.  While the city has its perks, like almost everyone else here, we do fantasize about being suburban homeowners someday - or drastically altering our lives so we are no longer attempting to live like the urban rednecks we truly are.

Sandy H. visited recently and we usually have the TV on HGTV while she's here because it is the only channel we can all seem to agree is bearable.  Sandy does have her complaints about the Property Brothers (but I love them!), but somehow she plows through.  We like to make fun of all the people who demand "open-concept floorplans" and "good-sized" something or others.  What does "good-sized" mean to you, exactly?  I'll also never stop making fun of the one guy on House Hunters who said, "I don't know, the staircase just isn't grand enough."

I have a few things I need in my own future home.

I demand a front porch of some sort.  It doesn't have to be big; I just need somewhere to put a jack-o-lantern in October so both squirrels and neighbors alike can enjoy it.  And somewhere to put my mums ... like a welcome center for trick-or-treaters.  A lot of my housing fantasies revolve around Halloween.

I need a fenced-in back yard.  The quality of our lives would be drastically improved if we could let Violet out instead of having to take her out.  In the winter, it takes me a good 15 minutes to bundle Katherine up, only to take Violet outside for approximately 5 seconds.  I have on occasion let Katherine continue to nap while I did the 5-second pee trip with Violet, but a friend reminded me of Maddie McCann and now I can never leave Katherine alone, ever.

While scrolling through Trulia.com the other day, I stumbled upon a house that had one random large room with a TV, an old elliptical machine, and a little play area for young children.  If I had seen this room five years ago, I would have thought, "What in the hell is wrong with these people?  Pull yourselves together!" But looking at it at this stage of my life, I think it is the most brilliant goddamn room I have ever seen.  How great would it be to be able to work out and keep an eye on your kiddos at the same time?  How great would it be to be able to work out at all?  Bravo, house sellers!  I will take it, all of it, and please don't change a thing about this place.


Absolute and total perfection.

3.10.2014

Turbulence

Always eager to cross something masochistic off my bucket list, I took Katherine by plane on my own to visit family in North Carolina last week.  It was sort of like knowing you have to get a root canal at your next dental appointment: the anticipation is probably worse than the event itself, but unfortunately there were no pain meds involved in this case.

Getting to the airport, checking in, and going through security with an infant was surprisingly pain-free.  Curiously, staff at LaGuardia were much more helpful and friendly than at the Charlotte airport, where Southern hospitality failed me.  Don't be fooled: New Yorkers are actually a very friendly people.  Just don't cross them.

The painful parts of infant airline travel are really centralized on the plane itself.  Katherine, for those of you who don't know her, abhors being held by someone who is sitting still.  And really, besides hijacking, what is there to do on a plane other than be required to sit still for the duration?  She wanted to stand on my bladder, lean this way, lean that way, turn upside down, look over there, smile at that stranger, and eventually, get angry that she was sitting still.  

She eventually fell asleep in my arms, and I wanted to keep her sleeping there until we landed, but the urge to pee became more overwhelming with every passing minute, thanks to Katherine's earlier bladder stomping.  "Are we descending?  I can wait.  Maybe I can't.  If I move she will wake up.  Did I just feel us start to descend?  No, maybe not.  Why didn't I look into getting those astronaut diapers for myself, like that crazy lady who drove non-stop for hours to stalk that one guy... no, I can hold it.  No I can't.  But I can't move... Okay, I'm doing it."

Naturally, as soon as I stood up, the plane started shaking and I swayed around like the drunk sorority girl I once was.  I figured it would pass quickly so I didn't sit back down.  The plane shook violently the whole time I was in the bathroom, changing Katherine carefully, praying she didn't hit her head on the wall.  I also can't tell you how many times during a regular day I tell myself, "Thank God I'm wearing yoga pants right now," but this was definitely one of those times, because I managed to successfully pee while holding an infant in a violently shaking airplane bathroom and hike up my yoga pants without the hassle of zippers and buttons.  

When we finally emerged, both of us dry and injury-free, I expected a vigilant flight attendant to rush over with a drink, a smile, a warm towelette, a pat on the back and a hand to carry something.  What I actually really wanted was a Cool Runnings-level slow clap from the other passengers, but unfortunately, I could only cheer for myself in my head, and head to the finish line.


3.03.2014

10 Musings on Breast Feeding

It tickles me to death when I post something on CiB and a portion of my 15 readers squee with excitement, "She's back!" It warms my cold, black heart with sunshine!

Please know that this blog will never really go away.  I'm like herpes.  I may go dormant for a couple of weeks, or months, or years (hopefully never that long again), but I'm always here ... under your skin, waiting for 20 minutes of free time to present you with my next cold sore.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the next!

Franco is more interesting than boobs.

Franco licking himself is definitely more interesting than boobs.

My male readership is pretty limited so I don't even feel remotely bad about dedicating a post to breast feeding and pumping.  This is my life now.  And no judgment here if any men want to keep reading.  After all, Derrick is the one who sterilized and assembled the parts of my pump and even read all the instructions and then showed me how to use it.  I was far too out of it early on in Katherine's life to accomplish that on my own.  Or maybe he was just already bored during his paternity leave and looking for a project of any kind.  Either way, I am grateful for his support.

I was so aloof about all of this while I was pregnant, and stupidly didn't take any classes, and only skimmed a Dr. Sears book.  Really, the Sears family lost me when the mother bragged that she had breast fed her adopted child - a remarkable accomplishment, indeed - but then basically labeled all formula-feeders as an army of child-haters.  I tossed it aside and shrugged, "I'll give it a go, and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, or if I hate it, I'll quit." And I just couldn't believe breast feeding classes existed at all.  I thought it was just something you did.  Like the cave ladies and their cave babies.

We did take a childbirth class, which was enlightening in some ways, but sometimes the universe has its own plan for you and before you know it, everything you took from childbirth class goes out the window as you're being rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section.  Childbirth is just one day.  Breast feeding is all day, every day after for as long as you can handle it, and there is no epidural option equivalent.

After I actually gave breast feeding a try, I struggled to put weight on Katherine on my own.  It devastated me.  I knew this in no way determined my ability to function as a woman or a mother, but I still surprised myself by being completely determined to succeed at it.  Thankfully, I had so much support from Derrick, friends near and far, a fantastic lactation consultant, and a stash of Similac to take the edge off the debilitating pressure to perform.  I'm still going 5 months in, but I never feel like I'm "going strong," more like I'm just still ... going.  Sometimes I think about those idiots on 16 and Pregnant and know that if they can do it, surely I can too.  You have to find your motivation where you can find it!

I'd like to present my own experiences below of things I wish I had known.  I hope this is enlightening for my pregnant friends who also might choose to "wing it" with breast feeding.  And thanks to Buzzfeed, it appears many people only like to read things in list form now.

10 Musings on Breast Feeding

1. Breast feeding is the most challenging thing I have ever done.  More challenging than getting into college, succeeding in the workplace, and getting through that emergency C-section without vomiting.

2. Cluster feeding needs to be a priority.  Google it and do it as much as possible.  I had no clue what this was.  The first time I heard someone say it I thought she meant to say clusterf**k.  Life post-childbirth was a very confusing time for me.

3. Clogged ducts can happen, they're terrible, and they will make you want to quit. Those leftover body-numbing Percocets will come in handy when no number of hours or even days of lava-hot showers, scorching hot compresses, pumping, feeding, and knuckleballing yourself will do any good.  I only have 3 pills left so I can only afford to have this happen 3 more times.  Another fun part about this: when you successfully go a few days with free-flowing ducts, you get to say sexy things to your husband like, "I really think wearing these comfy sleep bras all the time is really helping to prevent my ducts from clogging!" Husband: "Umm, great?"

4. You will feel elation and inadequacy, relaxation and frustration, confusion and physical pain, sometimes in the course of 2 or 3 minutes.

5. When your baby is about 3.5 months old, she will become more interested in watching the cat lick himself than in emptying your boob.  She'll be interested in anything that isn't your boob.  Her toys, her dad, anything with a screen - your iPhone, her monitor, and the TV.  God, what fun is breast feeding if you can't watch Real Housewives or text your friends while you do it?

6. You will be hungrier than you ever imagined and you can eat whatever, whenever, and it's awesome.  I'm wolfing down Michael Phelps-level calories and still managing to drop pounds.  When I was pregnant, my doctor said sternly, "You aren't eating for two, you're eating for one." And then after giving birth, "Okay, now you're eating for two, so go ahead, put butterscotch chips in everything!"  I may have imagined that last part.

7.  It is a bigger time commitment than you thought it would be.  Not just that collectively the act itself takes up several hours out of your day, but that you'll only get a break from it for a few hours at the most when your baby is older.  Even if you have help and have the opportunity to sleep longer than 6 hours in a row, your boobs probably won't allow it.  And here you thought that once your baby arrived, you'd have to feed her, sure, but you just didn't realize how much.  Katherine is the first baby I've ever been around so I'm really flying by the seat of my pants here.

8. You might fall asleep occasionally and then wake up freaking out that you fell asleep while holding your baby and what would have happened if you hadn't woken up at that moment!?  Then those feelings will manifest as night terrors where you wake up not knowing if you fell asleep intentionally or not, and you'll search frantically for your baby in your covers, wondering how long she has been buried under there, when actually she is right where she belongs, safely asleep in her own bed.  I would actually think to myself, "I see that baby lying in the crib ... what am I going to do with the other baby when I find Katherine in these covers?  I can't put two babies in one crib.  Where is the other baby going to go, and how many more minutes of sleep will I lose while I'm figuring that out???"  I felt like a lunatic and Derrick thought I had officially lost it, but so many other mothers and fathers have told me they did, or still do, the same thing.  Always helpful, Sandy H. even shipped a less-fluffy quilt for our bed so that it might help me return to reality faster when I woke up freaking out, but it didn't help and we were so cold, so we went back to the fluffier, warmer baby suffocator.

9. People to whom you never intended to show your boobs will probably see your boobs.  In-laws, building maintenance men, dog walkers.  If you thought your modesty could be regained after birth, you were so, so wrong.  I spent my birthday breast feeding in the backseat of our car in front of a BBQ joint in Queens.  On a birthday fun scale of zero to roller skating party, I'd put this at about a 2.

10. You will both look and feel completely ridiculous and bovine the first time you pump.  No - every time.  I had been doing it for several weeks before I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror while pumping, and when Derrick got home, I asked how he had refrained from cracking any jokes that whole time.  He said, "Well, you always looked like you were concentrating so hard, I felt bad for wanting to laugh at you." I think that for as long as I pump, through this child and any potential future children, the most embarrassing moment of my life hasn't happened yet as of this writing.

Gotta wrap this up and go feed someone.




2.17.2014

Crafts with Katherine

Before you go thinking that I actually seem like I have my s*** together if I am able to pull this off while caring for a high maintenance infant, note that it didn't occur to me to do this until the day before Valentine's Day, and I didn't make most of them until the day after.  I thought about making Easter eggs instead and just being really ahead of the game, but I chose instead to be behind the game for Valentine's Day!

It occurred to me that since Katherine was born, we don't have any hand prints or foot prints of hers of any kind, neither ink nor fossil, and I truly regret that we don't have anything like that from her newborn days.  So I decided I needed to commemorate their current size as soon as possible because they will never be this small again.  I also just really love handmade gifts for Valentine's Day, and am always searching for my next potential Pinterest fail.  

I used a tried-and-true recipe for keepsake dough, although I felt like I just personally discovered fire: equal parts flour and salt, mix in water until it's a workable dough.  1 cup of flour + 1 cup of salt + 2/3 cup water made enough for 3 hearts.

Shape the dough into your desired holiday representative object, and mash your baby's hand right in there.  This was the hardest part and I have no photo evidence of it happening because it was hard enough with one person, more doable with two people but we would need a third person to photograph it.  This took a few tries when I was on my own because if I could get Katherine's hand relaxed and flat, I could mash it into the dough but then she wanted to feel it and squish it all up.  It felt like squishy fun, so who can blame her?  So I had to start over a few times.

Baked hand prints!

Using a silicone baking sheet liner was a good call for this project, although I have to wonder why Crate & Barrel's silicone liners don't fit perfectly with their own cookie sheets?  Fail.

I baked them at 200 for 4 hours and let them cool, then painted with acrylic paint and voila!  Happy Valentine's Day, Dad!

I used Chanel suit colors instead of traditional Valentine's colors.

Derrick says he's putting it on his desk at work, and even if that means IN his desk at work, I am still really touched.  

Grands and Great-Grands, you'll get yours ... soon.  Happy Belated Valentine's Day!






2.10.2014

Feeling All of the Things

Katherine Mae Preston was born on Friday the 13th of September, 2013 at 4:34 PM, weighing 6 lbs, 11 oz, measuring 19.5 inches long, and she is the single greatest human being ever to have existed.

The many faces of Katherine Preston.

The first of many pictures together.


I had no idea it was possible to love another person this much.  Don't get me wrong, I love Derrick and all, but I don't spend time worrying about him ever being lonely, or getting his feelings hurt one day, or waking up at all hours, worried, wondering whether or not he's breathing at night (because I hear him loud and clear).

I didn't feel this way at first.  I loved Katherine as soon as she made her appearance, of course, but it was more of a carnal "I must take care of you and keep you alive" love, but many notches above a house plant.  When she turned three months old, I finally felt all the cupcakes and rainbows and puppy dogs and ice creams about her, but didn't even realize I felt it until she turned four months old.  Maybe it has something to do with sleep deprivation over the course of the first 12 weeks of a baby's life - I managed to sleep, on average, for two non-consecutive hours per day, sometimes only getting 20 minutes of sleep in 24 hours.  I don't think I was capable of feeling anything towards anyone during that time.  Especially because of the full-body-numbing Percocets.

My previous post was written the day before I was induced.  We took a cab up to Mt. Sinai in the middle of the night, checked in, got a wonderful room with a wonderful nurse, and 15 hours later, I was being rushed into the OR for an emergency C-section.  I made peace with it on the ride in.  It really was a fine experience because all I had to do was lie there and look up at the dreamy Mt. Sinai anesthesiologist, and try to keep down all the apple juice I had guzzled during my labor.  I don't know what my deal was; my doctor said I could drink apple juice during labor and I thought, apple juice sounds so refreshing and delicious!  So I drank tons of it and why not?  FYI: the catheter is the best part of the whole deal.  More on this at a later date.  (The delivery story, not the catheter.  I pretty much wrote all there is to write about that).

We named Katherine after my great-grandmother, Catherine, and her middle name comes from Derrick's great-grandmother.  I switched the C to a K because KMP was a better monogram than CMP.  Yes, I'm serious.  We loved the idea of using family names, but there is a real dearth of usable girl names on both our sides (sorry, family members no longer with us, looking down from heaven and reading my blog: Bertha, Samanther, Dixie Lee, etc.).  We love the name Katherine and we didn't know we would be calling her by the full formal name until it was revealed that Derrick is a Kit and Kat person, I'm a Kate and Katie person.  When her face started fattening up, Derrick started calling her "Potato Head" which evolved into "Tater Head," and now she also goes by "Tater."

The past (almost) 5 months have flown by, but I do feel like I was in the hospital eons ago.

I have three New Year's resolutions:

1. Now that I have figured Katherine out a little more, I want to get her out and about, doing fun things every week like music class and baby yoga (go ahead, take your "SMH, NYC" moment here). Check, done!

2. I want to attempt to do my own housekeeping.  Check-ish - depends on what your standards are.

3. To update CiB with any sort of frequency.  I have so many thoughts on pumping/breastfeeding, because little did I know, those things have consumed my entire life, and other such topics, and I just never feel like I can really go there on Facebook.  A couple days ago I was harping on people who write status updates about potty training their kids and how completely terrible I think that is, and I'm sure no one on Facebook wants to read about my adventures in pumping.  Unless you're one of my loyal followers, in which case, I'm 100% sure you do.

My special snowflake on January 13, 2014.