Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Teacher's Life for Me

Before I begin, let's get one thing straight: I am so glad that I get to stay home every day with my baby boy.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

But I left a really awesome job to stay home with Jack.  One that I like to think I was pretty good at.  And out of the 180 school days in a year, I miss being a teacher on exactly 176 of them.

Of the four days that I don't miss being a teacher, two of them are happening this week.  On these days all the good little girls and boys that teach elementary school in Alpine School District are participating in Parent Teacher Conferences.

The reason I dislike Parent Teacher Conferences Day is not because I disliked communicating with my students' parents.  On the contrary, I felt like I had a pretty good rapport with my students' parents and our conferences were largely positive.  I loved telling them about all the awesome things their kids were doing in school.  Plus the PTA provided phenomenal dinners on those nights, complete with bouquets of fruit.  FRUIT!

No, I didn't like Parent Teacher Conferences Day because it didn't end until eight o'clock.  At night!  And it's a two-day ordeal.  You finally get some rest and you have to do it all again the next day.  Plus teach all day both days too.  It's exhausting!

But because one of us has to bring home some bacon, Lewis is making his way through his Parent Teacher Conferences as I type.  Poor dear.  I brought him some cupcakes to help him get through the night, cause I'm a good wife.

And I get it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'll Never Be a Model

If there is anything that having a baby has taught me, it's this: I suck at walking.

I sort of already knew that, in so much that I am really clumsy.  One need only look at the bruises that currently adorn both my shins to understand that.  I've been fortunate that I haven't maimed or otherwise injured my child due to my penchant for the klutz.  Yet.

But it goes beyond that.  Overall, I'm just bad at walking.  Maybe I missed a lesson in my toddler years or something.

I realized this last night when I was trying to put Jack to bed.  We are still working on the whole self-soothe-fall-asleep-on-your-own deal.  It's not going well.  So most nights he falls asleep while I'm feeding him or holding him and then I will ever so carefully gather him into my arms, creep over to his room, and deposit him in his crib.  Sometimes we only have to do this once.  Sometimes this process repeats itself.  Several times.

Last night as I was carrying him to bed, I noticed that every time I stepped with my right foot, it jiggled him.  I totally step on it weird and it jostles whatever cargo is on my person.  This is super awesome at two in the morning when I'm trying to put my little pip into his bed.  Not.

Lewis has mentioned before that I have a somewhat heavy gait.  I wasn't sure what to think of that.  All I knew was that it didn't seem very feminine or wifely.  But it's true!  I walk like I weigh 300 pounds!  And Jack's sleep (and mine, for that matter) has suffered the consequences.

I never thought that was something I needed to fix.  But here we are.  No wonder Jack never seems to get enough sleep.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's the Big Deal?

Last night Lewis came bursting in the house with a look of excitement on his face.  It was January 18th and it was finally snowing.  Jack HAD to come and see.  I had thought Jack's first snow would be when he was much younger, so it was actually pretty great that it waited this long to snow.  Jack is old enough to notice the flakes falling and he might even think it's cool.

So everyone got bundled up and we trooped outside with our camera, ready to document this momentous occasion.  It was beautiful.  Fat, fluffy flakes were falling gently.  They were the kind that would catch in your hair and stay there without melting immediately.  The snow was accompanied by that gentle silence that blankets the world as it gracefully accumulates.  Lewis and I both turned to look at Jack, confident we would see the look of wonder and amazement that was sure to be on his precious face:

He was unimpressed.

It was like he knew that the promise of four inches was bunk and that this would only produce a slight dusting and that my worry about Lewis making it to school safely this morning was all for naught cause the roads weren't slick in the least.

Clever boy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This is Just a Tribute

I don't know if you know this, but I've got a seriously amazing husband.  Seriously.  I don't think I express to him enough how so very awesome he is, so here goes - mommy-blog style.

The Top Whatever Number I Get to Before I Stop Reasons My Husband is Cooler than Yours

1.  He teaches fourth grade.

I think Lewis is the merriest every month.
Not only does he teach it, but he kicks bums (mommy blog, 'member?) at teaching it.  Right now his class is studying puns.  Puns!  Did you ever study puns in fourth grade?  Nope, cause you didn't have Lewis as your teacher.

2. He provides nighttime entertainment by talking in his sleep.

Since I have such difficulty in falling asleep, Lewis nearly always goes to sleep before me.  And he will often express very real concerns to me in his sleep.  Like how we could go about building a bomb (his solution was to ask his sister for help since she teaches science.  The science she teaches is biology, but still...).  Or if I can feel his arm, since he couldn't (he had fallen asleep on top of it) (this happened last night).  I just wish he talked more often in his sleep when I am up feeding Jack.  That would be lots of fun.

3. He goes along with my crazy ideas.

Jack in a cloth diaper.  He's skinny.
Like putting our baby in cloth diapers.  Or making my own taco seasoning.  It helps that most of these ideas have turned out good.

4.  He has perfected the homemade pizza.

I want some right now.
We got a pizza stone for our wedding and have been trying to make pizza on it ever since.  The crust was always too puffy or too caky or too soggy.  The sauce was always too runny or too bland or too gross.  We finally found one crust recipe we liked, but it took forever to make.  Not to be deterred, Lewis kept working until he found a quick, but delicious crust recipe.  Then he located a suitable sauce recipe that he tweaked to perfection.  Now all we need is to make our own mozzarella cheese!  (No we don't.)

5. He singled-handedly brings home the bacon so I can stay home with Jack.

His new school.
6. Speaking of bacon, he likes his cooked the same way I do (extra-extra crispy) so that's never a brunchtime conflict.

We usually eat bacon when we go to Park City.
At least he says he does.

7. We can get excited about things together and not think the other is too dorky.

Lewis at Disneyland is like Lewis in a candy shop.
Like Disneyland and Christmas and camping and Jack pooping.

8. He loves his son so much.

I love watching the two of them play.  Lewis adores Jack and Jack... well, he used to just tolerate him, but he's warming up to him.  In a few months, I know Jack will be following him around wherever he goes and Dad coming home from work will be the best part of his day.

9. He always puts Jack in his car seat so I don't have to.

I don't have one of Jack in his car seat, so here's just a picture I love of the two of them.

Jack HATES his car seat, in spite of our efforts to make him like it by saying, "Yay!" very enthusiastically whenever we talk about it.  And I hate putting him in.  Lewis is always willing to bite the bullet and put him in when we go places together.

10. He likes me.  He really likes me.

I know most married couples love each other, but I'm not sure that all of them LIKE each other.  But I know that Lewis likes me, and I like him.  Saturday night comes around, and we are just fine sitting at home, catching up on all the movies we missed seeing in theaters the past few months cause we had Jack and cause they are all at the Redbox now.  And we love it.

Ten is a nice round number, so I'm going to stop there.  Plus Jack keeps trying to hit the keys and he's a crafty one, so it's getting harder and harder to stop him.  I'll just end with this: I love Lewis.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nap Trap

I'm trapped on my couch right now.

We've finally been succeeding at getting Jack to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Three cheers, right?  Wrong.  Because he's been going to bed so early, he's also been getting up early - at about 5:30.  In my last post I mentioned that as if it was a one-time thing.  Well, now it's turned into a three-time thing.

Jack waking up early means Alyssa has to get up early too.  And since I don't fall asleep quickly at night, and since Jack usually wakes up at some point in the middle of the night to eat, I'm not getting much sleep. Last night I fell asleep at about midnight.  Then Jack woke up at to eat at 2.

I fed him, put him back in bed, and went back to my own bed.  But he was still awake.  So I got up, rocked him a bit until he fell asleep, put him back down and went back to my own bed.  And he woke up again.  Repeat process.  Then repeat it again.  It was now 3 o'clock and I was so desperately exhausted I finally just let him sleep on my chest.  Which he did.  Rubbing his head back and forth and moaning for the next two and a half hours until Lewis' alarm went off at 5:30.  As soon as the alarm sounded, Jack's eyes flew open and he was ready to be up for the day.

I was a zombie.

To fix this super fun 5 AM wake-up call, I want to keep Jack up later than usual tonight.  But he's a baby and babies tend to be difficult to wake up (only when you want them awake; when you want them asleep, it's a piece of cake to wake them up) so I need him to sleep as long as possible during his naps.

Like the one he is taking right now.  On the couch, right next to me.  He fell asleep while he was eating and I didn't want to try and put him in his crib only to have him wake right up,  so I just laid him down right there.  And due to the shape of our couch, I would have to climb over him to get up, possibly waking him, and I don't want to take that risk.  So I'm trapped on my couch.

Which is too bad cause I really have to pee.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creepy Sounds in the Night

When you hear unusual sounds in your house in the middle of the night it can be unsettling.  This is particularly true if you hear them over your child's baby monitor and when you are already worried about his well-being when he is so far away from you, they can be downright alarming.

This morning Jack and his dad woke up at about the same time.  Lewis gets up at about 5:30 every day to go to school.  Usually I will wake up long enough to wake him up and then I will go back to sleep because Jack has only slept through the night once (which is once more than he had when I wrote the last post) and I'm tired at 5:30 in the morning.  Usually, if Jack wakes up at this time, I will feed him and put him back to sleep.  And when I say usually, I mean every time until today.

Today Jack woke up and squawked.  So I went to check on him.  When I poked my head in, he appeared to still be sleeping, so I went back to my own bed.  A few minutes later I heard a really odd sound coming through the baby monitor.  I don't really know how to describe it, but it sounded creepy and it was clearly coming from my child's room.

Oh, how long our hallway seemed as I raced down it towards Jack's nursery.  I was ready to lay the smack down.  The crazy ax-murderer that I was sure was hunched over my baby's crib had picked the wrong mother bear to threaten.

Of course there was no crazy ax-murderer.  Everything was exactly as it appeared to be the last time I looked in here, mere minutes before.  But I heard the sound nonetheless so I walked to the center of the room to investigate.

In the darkness I spotted Jack's bright eyes peering up at me from his mattress.  He was wide awake with his left arm curled around the crib slats, and his little hand was tapping away at one of them.  This was the source of the exceedingly creepy noise.

As I picked him up, Jack gave me a huge smile.  I had no problem sacrificing a few minutes sleep for my little monkey, so I took him back to my room and fed him, expecting him to fall back asleep right away.  Except he didn't.  Lewis got to play with him a little bit before leaving for work, though, so... yay.

And now I'm really tired.  But at least there's no crazy ax-murderer in my house.

Jack and I played with Photo Booth today.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Separation Anxiety

I may have mentioned this before, but I'm a worrier.  I worry.  I can't really help it - it's in my genes.  My dear mother is also a worrier.  Whenever we were to do something mildly dangerous/not at all dangerous but far from where we were living at the time, she didn't want to hear about it until after it was over because she would worry too much.  It doesn't help that she has lived overseas for the majority of the time that her four older kids have been out of the house.

In any case, I worry too.  I worried plenty about Lewis/my siblings/my parents/everyone else I know before I had a baby.  But now that Jack is here... hoo boy.

Let's just say that it's no wonder I have more than my fair share of gray hairs at my plucky age of 25.

At his two-month appointment, Jack's doctor told me not to be in a hurry to kick him out of our room.  He recommended waiting until about four months to start that process.  That was fine by me.  It's a heck of a lot easier to check on your infant son's breathing if he is at the foot of your bed.  Plus he had yet to sleep through the night (more on that later), so having him in our room still was no burden whatsoever.

Jack turned four months yesterday.  At his appointment his doctor told me to go ahead and start the moving out process, but don't force it if he wasn't ready.  I smiled and nodded, confident that Jack wouldn't be ready.

He was ready.

True, it took him a while to fall asleep last night (we are trying, so far wildly unsuccessfully, to get Jack to fall asleep on his own), but once he was asleep in his own room, he was asleep for the night.  He slept peacefully until after six in the morning.  When he did wake up, he was as happy as a clam and just cooed in his bed until I went and got him.

And after four months of getting up at least once a night to tend to his needs (not to mention the last five months of my pregnancy when I was up several nights to pee), I finally got a good night's rest.

Jack doesn't sleep here anymore.
Oh wait, that definitely didn't happen.  I worry, remember.  Not only did it take me about a bajilion hours to fall asleep, I was up every so often, creeping into Jack's room to make sure all was well.  There was one tense moment when he rolled over just as I put my hand on his trunk and then I ran into his door on my way out, but he didn't wake up even then.

So thanks a lot, Mom, for the awesome genes.  Gosh!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas and Torturing Children

Well readers, 2012 is here and I'm pleased to say that after a brief hiatus to enjoy as much time as possible with the two most important men in my life, Extra-Strength Awesome is back.

Please, hold your applause until the end.

Back before Christmas 2011, Lewis and I discussed how much fun we will have when our kids are old enough to appreciate Christmas morning.  Actually, mostly just I talked about how hilarious it will be when they are jumping on our bed in excitement, poking and prodding us to get us to wake up while we snicker with our eyes closed, pretend to be asleep, and then sluggishly wake up.  Lewis listened to all of this with a look of incredulity on his face because, well, in the three Christmases we had so far (at the point of this conversation) shared as a pair, I had acted exactly like I described our kids would act, while Lewis pretended to stay asleep.

I love Christmas.

This past Christmas, however, I had every right to get Lewis to wake up in the wee hours of the early morn.  Christmas was on a Sunday and we had church at nine AM.  Between presents for three, Christmas breakfast, and getting Jack fed and presentable, we needed ample time.  In your face, Lewis.

Jack slept through the beginning of Christmas.
I would share with you all about how different it will be when Jack is bigger, how I will play possum like the best of 'em, but we all know I can't keep that promise.  I will be on board, though, for torturing our kids and making them wait upstairs until we're ready and calling them down one at a time, excruciatingly slowly.

They're going to hate it.

Yep.  Christmas is the best.
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