Saturday, May 31, 2008

I don't think so, Tim.

I read this article yesterday on People.com, which reveals that Jennifer Lopez does not have a nanny for her twins. Hmm . . . Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins the same day that I gave birth to one and she looks loads better than I do. There is no way someone with 3 month old twins looks that good WITHOUT help.

Okay, so maybe she does not have a nanny, but she probably has a cook, a driver, a cleaning lady, etc. If I did not have to do laundry, clean the house, weed the garden, cook, etc. and all I had to do was watch the baby, then I might look that great, too. Also, having someone come to your house and do your hair is probably also a plus. Me, I am happy when I get to have a shower and hit (as my friend and new mom Jessica says), "all the important parts."

Today we are taking the Dude to our nanny, the World's Best Mother-in-Law, for an overnight stay. The Dude has created night terror for the last two days, ("No sweetheart, you can not play with mommy at 3:00am."), and I am looking forward to a night off.

The Dude cried for his pacifier every half-hour between 2am and 4am last night. Then at 4:30am he decided it was time to eat. After finishing his bottle and falling back asleep we put him back in his crib. He woke up and wanted to play. Hmm . . . Clean diaper, fed, sleepy. No, honey, it is time for bed. We left him in his room and let him cry. It was hard but 20 minutes later he stopped and fell asleep until 7am. I had no idea that a battle of wills would be begin this early in his life. The Dude looks a lot like me, and it will be interesting to see who is the strongest. For now though, he can go practice the pacifier game with Oma.

(PS 5 Dollars says that he sleeps through the night tonight!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And the beat goes on . . .

The Dude certainly does keep us on our toes . . .

Things had settled down for awhile when Christopher went and changed his schedule on us. After weeks of sleeping from 9pm to 5am, last Thursday he woke up in the middle of the night and would not go back to sleep. After a few rounds of pass the crying baby (a fun game that I recommend for everyone at 1am), the German suggested a bottle. We gave the Dude his first midnight feeding in almost two months. The next day he ate and ate and ate. Then over the weekend, almost none of his clothes fit. Hmm . . . we have figured out that it his three month growth spurt. We is sleeping again at night, but I keep one eye opened convinced that something is going to happen.

It did yesterday. We took in the Dude for his 3 month check-up. He clocked in at 14.3 pounds and 25 inches. Then the doctor took an ultrasound of his hips. This is standard in Germany, especially at the first few check-ups. At his first appointment in March the doctor discovered a small blockage in his ureter between his kidney and bladder. "Nothing to worry about. We'll keep an eye on it." Yesterday the blockage had gotten bigger and the doctor was a bit more concerned.

It seems that some newborns have a small defect which can hinder the movement of urine into the bladder. If it is too bad then urine backs up into the kidneys creating kidney problems. Most babies tend to "out grow" of the problem. However, our doctor is sending us to a specialist next week to get better pictures of the kidneys in order to judge the extent of the problem. Yikes.

However, to top off an oh-so-special day, the Dude also got his second round of shots. He actually takes them quite well. Unfortunately, today he has developed a small fever and does not want to seem to eat. Poor Dude. I gave him a pill for his fever and pain. He whimpered this morning and I held him in my arms until he went back to sleep.

As I was attempting to sleep last night, all I could think of was my Little Dude. Over the past month I have really mourned the passing of my "old life." I felt out of sorts and could not get my feet on the ground, but when I considered the thought of something happening to my Little Dude . . . well, let's just say that I don't want to think about it.

But the beat goes on around here. On June 8 Christopher is being baptized. The German and I are excited because my Big Dad is coming over from Mo' Town. Also, Ch-ard is also making a return appearance. We asked him to be the Dude's Godfather. We could not imagine anyone else who could bring moral guidance and fashion sense to our little one. Although I am thrilled to have my family coming, I am fearing the implications for the Dude's sleeping habits, which are in direct proportion to MY sleeping habits.

Oh, and there is so much more to tell about The Job and of course Wildeshausen's Gildesfest. But right now I am going to rock my baby so I will leave you with a picture to contemplate. (The German is the Guy in the middle.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Where in the world is Claire?

I have asked myself that same question several times over that past few weeks . . .

Yes, it has been ages since I posted, and no one has died, but it has taken me longer than I thought to get back on my feet.

The first week I was home, everything was such a blur and I was so tired, that I just tried to get though it one day at a time. Then the German was off for two weeks for Easter and I was not home alone. That was lovely . . . then the German went back to work. The first few weeks of April (which is when I stopped writing) I got a little post-partum-ish.

Those days were long and seemed like they would never end. Life was a boring hum of feedings and diaper changes. All of my concentration was focused on the Dude, which was not necessarily a good thing. I started to loose contact with the outside world. Some days I would start crying and wonder if I really had gone to university for so long and worked so hard just to become a professional diaper changer. Then there were the days that I would not talk to another person except for the German. One Thursday afternoon he called at 4pm to tell me he was on his way home. I wailed into the phone, "You are the first person I have talked to all day." It was hard. I started walking up to the supermarket every day just so that I could be around people. The worst part was sometimes looking in the mirror and not knowing who I was. I would stare and think, "I am a Mom." I like to say that the Dude sent an earthquake through my reality and I still have not fully recovered.

Things have gotten better over the past few weeks. I joined a couple of Mommy-and-Me classes. The Dude likes the contact with other people, but I think I enjoy it more. I also started teaching some evening classes and gradually going out more. However, my days always end early. I put the Dude to bed around 8:30pm and I am in bed by 10pm. I usually have to get up a few times in the night to give him his pacifier and he gets a bottle at 5am, so I try to get as much sleep as possible.

Unfortunately for financial reasons, I am going to have to quit my business. I will still teach in the evenings, but child care is just too expensive to work full-time. This has also been a hard pill to swallow.

Sleep is something I obsess about most these days; even more than poop. Is he sleeping enough? Why doesn't he take regular naps? Do I keep him up too long? Seriously, the kid is 12 weeks old, I should probably give him a break and just go with the flow. Yeah . . . go with the flow . . . that was never something I was good at.

Yesterday was a pivotal moment. The Dude spent the night at his Grandparents house for the first time! Watching him drive away was hard! Then I went into the house and did not know what to do with myself. Some friends invited us out to dinner. When I actually got to the restaurant and had a glass of wine, I started to relax. However, I did call the in-laws twice to make sure that he was okay. At 11:30pm, I said to the German that I wanted to go home and get some sleep. Everyone else was moving on to the local festival. "Just half an hour," he said. We got home at 2am. We are both pretty slow moving today.

I want to go get my son. I have stopped worrying about him . . . now I miss him. I want to see his smile and smell his head (seriously, when he isn't pooping, he smells heavenly). And with a face like this, who could blame me.