Of Awe And The Mundane

So one year ago today, right about this time, I’d just been relieved of some 18 eggs and H had liberated a couple million swimmers, and our gametes were getting all cozy with one another in a petri dish across town, courtesy of ICSI.  And now, those gametes are grunting and slurping and playing with each others’ hands while nursing on my lap. 

It’s enough to make a girl misty.  Oh, Science.  You silly old so-and-so.  I love ya. 

Speaking of misty, I don’t know if parenthood has turned me into a softy, or if the hormones are just still settling out, but I find myself easily moved to tears these days.  I don’t mean that I feel generally sad or anything– just that things that intend to provoke emotion are finding an easy target in me.  I sobbed through this week’s episode of Glee.  And I really need to stop reading blogs that deal with loss.  I can’t handle it right now.  (And I hate that I say that, because obviously the person who writes about loss has it a lot worse than I do, and can’t just click away from their tragedy.  How rude for me to say that I can’t handle someone else’s very real pain.)

Anyway, I’m just a touch sentimental these days.  I know how lucky we are to have had such relative ease in our family-building process and in our life now.  And yes, I got a little teary when I found out that Dr. Edwards had won the Nobel Prize, finally, after all these years.  Because without him (and his partner), these two infants, these people, two humans, would not exist.  And that’s a powerful thing. 

I’m not a religious sort, but seeing the sorts of things that great minds can accomplish, the impact they can have, the wonderful acheivements we humans are capable of– well, that’s about the closest I come to a feeling of spiritual awe.  It’s easy to talk about the inspiration for these acheivements coming from some Grand Being, his hand directing thei movements and thoughts, but to me, it almost insultingly discounts the very real and very hard work being done by these great minds.  When we enter into the realm of this sort of science, the sentimental sort, the wonderful world of dimpled knees and button noses and rubber-band wrists, it’s natural to want to feel that sense of awe, perhaps moreso than when dealing with more abstract scientific acheivements like mapping the human genome, etc.  I mean, creating humans is amazingly intricate work–surely the divine is at play, right? 

Think that if you will, if it’s part of your code, if religion is part of your understanding of the world, but as for me, while feeling no less wonder at the amazing process of creating life, I have to say that my awe lies with the superb minds like Dr. Edwards who worked incredibly hard to figure out how to make it possible for two people like H and I to have a family. 
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All that serious stuff aside, I’m thrilled that I finally got a new power cord in the mail for my netbook.  Back to your regularly scheduled blogging and commenting!

Here’s what’s been going on in the last week:

I went ahead and started the bathroom mini-reno project last weekend.  I pulled out the old vanity (which was stuuuuupidly hard, because like almost everything else in this house, it was done with the intention of never being UN-done.  Grr.) on Sunday, and got the new one installed on Monday.  There’s still some work to do (trim carpentry.  My FAVORITE. Ugh.), but as of right now, at least the sink is once again useable (and much nicer looking than our previous sink).  We hired a sitter to come to the house for a few hours this weekend to watch the boys while we take out the wallpaper and get a little painting done in there.  Then, there’ll be a little floor repair, and then the installation of the quarter-round on the baseboards (more trim carpentry!  fun!), some touch-up paint on the trim-work, and then we’ll be done with any of the work we are able to do.  We’ll still need to eventually hire someone to come in and run a shower line and put tile in the tub surround, but cosmetically, it’ll be done.  I know three hours on a Saturday won’t be enough time to do all of that, but it will be enough time to at least get the wallpaper down and get started painting.  The rest is stuff that I can do in bits and pieces as H watches the boys. 

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So, I don’t remember if I mentioned it here, but I was super excited about going to Stroll.er Str.ength class on Tuesday morning.  And I’m glad I went.  But sadly, I don’t think it’s the right fit for me.  It wasn’t at all what I was expecting.  I don’t know what led me to expect things the way I did, but I admit that I was disappointed (though through no fault of the group organizer… just my own expectations that weren’t met).  I think I expected that it would be light-to-moderate exercise involving the strollers and some weights, etc.  Instead, it was parking the strollers at one end of the tennis courts or soccer fields and then running ‘suicides’, with different activities at each ‘suicide’ point. 

Now, keep in mind that pre-pregnancy, I was a pretty avid runner, and that post-pregnancy, I’ve taken several runs, where I spent 30-60 minutes moving at a fairly brisk pace (yes, my mile time SUCKS now, but my point is that I’m able to move continuously at a decent pace without stopping for anywhere from 30-60 minutes).  Despite platitudes from many of the class participants (‘Oh, I’m so out of shape!’ ‘I’ll never be able to keep up!’, etc.), I finished LAST, every single set.  EVERY. SINGLE. SET.  I mean, I’m not in great shape, but my gosh!  If I can’t even sort of keep up, then who are these women???  Where does their energy come from?  Sigh. 

Anyhow, the other issue I had with the class was that I really thought that the stroller (thus the babies) would actually be involved.  One of the reasons I haven’t run more often is that I don’t feel comfortable parking the boys in a chair and leaving them to sit for an hour while I work out.  I mean, if I wanted to park the stroller and run across a field, I could do that at home.  It also made me very uncomfortable that several of the moms there were happy to leave their babies to cry for extended amounts of time.  The class instructor was very clear that she thought we should respond to our babies however we normally would, so if you are the type who responds to your baby’s cries, then you should feel free to stop and tend to them.  But the instructor also said (and I think this might have led to some difficult situations for some of the moms) that you shouldn’t feel pressured to keep your baby from crying because we’re all moms, etc.  And I get what she meant by that, which is that you don’t need to worry about leaving if your kid is crying, because we’ve all heard the cries before, etc., but what it did (along with her instruction to “keep moving!”) was I think pressure some of the women into not tending to their crying children or to feel guilty for doing so.  There was one woman who kept telling me that her baby was so tired, that she didn’t know why he didn’t just go to sleep already, etc., and I know that every mother knows her own baby’s cries, but what I heard wasn’t a tired or hungry cry, it was a hysterical “WHAT THE FUGH IS GOING ON???” cry.  And yeah, one baby would start and it would just spread. 

And yet, I was one of the only ones who stopped to comfort my boys when they cried (which might be why I finished every set last, because I never got into any sort of rhythm and because I was also paying very close attention to them).  And that fact made me uncomfortable, that I felt like I stuck out for stopping to care for the boys.  It was just a weird way to feel amongst a group of moms. 

Additionally, I’m still nursing and finding it difficult to get 3200 quality calories in during the day, and I’m not really looking to burn too many extra calories right now.  I was really mostly looking to get out and move and get back in the habit of regular exercise and finding a way to do so with the boys, and I think this class is geared towards people who are trying to build a hard body.  And that will be great for me, eventually, but for now, my reasons for exercising (stress relief, flexibility, habit, better sleep, etc.) aren’t met with what the class offers. 

Anyhow, so now, I’m thinking that I need to start my own meet-up of women who want to get together and walk a couple of miles at medium pace with strollers.  That’s really what I’d like, to meet up with other moms and walk and chat. 

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It’s really started to cool off here in the last week.  It’s been in the 40s in the morning, and so I’ve been trying to dress the boys accordingly when we leave the house.  Of course, I have no idea how that is- I mean, what do you dress babies in during the winter-time?  I know that the general rule is one extra layer beyond what you are wearing, but how do you comprise those layers?  We have lots of long-sleeved onesies and pants, and a couple of jackets, but I wonder if that’s enough.  Any advice? 

Additionally, what do babies wear on their feet?  Socks, I presume, but anything else?  Is this what infant shoes are for, keeping feet warm in the winter?  And MAN, does anyone know of baby socks that actually stay on their feet?  Henry doesn’t seem to care about socks one way or the other, but Jack is our little kicky-houdini, and we cannot keep socks on him for the life of us!  It’s a game we play every morning, ‘Where Did Jack’s Socks End Up Last Night?’  We’ve started using footed sleepers, now that H has decided that they’re not as hard to use as he thought they were (though the boys are less floppy than they were the last time he tried to put one on them), but on nights when they wear something else, Jack’s socks get pushed off his feet in no time at all.  Sigh. 

———————

Speaking of Mister Kicky Houdini Jack, he’s almost figured out how to flip from stomach to back as well.  He figured out how to climb out of the Bumbo when we’d only begun to let him use it a couple of weeks ago.  I’m suddenly very leery of leaving him unattended for even a few seconds, unless he’s strapped in!

———————

And it also appears that the bassinet is now 100% done.  We’ve been using the twin bassinet pack n play in our room for a while now, but last night, Henry decided he was done, done, done.  He gave us one extra week with it, but now, we really need to move one of the cribs in here to use for their first segment of sleep each night (after that, once we come to bed, they co-sleep).  The last few nights, we’ve been putting Jack down to sleep in the center of our queen bed (which makes me slightly nervous, but in the end, my need for decompress-time overcomes my concerns about Mister Flippy-Rolly) and last night, Henry joined him.  We’re hoping that a crib will give them the space they need to stretch out a bit, and that they might sleep a few extra segments in there instead of in our bed.  I actually like co-sleeping with them, but I also like stretching out myself, which is difficult to do in a queen-size bed with two grown-ups and two little snuzzle-dumplings. 

———————-

Is that all?  I think that’s all for now.  I’ll post pics of the bathroom redo after I’m done. 

OH!  Wait!  That’s not all!!

The NC Bloggers are meeting up again this fall, and I’m hosting it at my house this time!  If you are an NC blogger and you’re interested in meeting up with other bloggers, join our google group and come to the meet-up on Oct 30th!Or, you know, if you’re a blogger from elsewhere and you just want to pop on down for the weekend to say ‘hello’, please feel free to join us, too. 

And now, that’s really all.  Feel free to advise me on winter baby clothing, if you have any input in that arena…

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12 Responses to Of Awe And The Mundane

  1. Tara says:

    Snuzzle-dumplings might just be my new favorite word!

    Happy to hear your bathroom remodel is coming along. I’d gladly come over and help with the trim carpentry. It’s my favorite part! I’ll leave the painting to you.

    That stroller class sounds ridiculous. Leave your baby and run around alone. What does that even have to do with strollers and strength? I can’t believe some of the other mothers let their babies cry. I’m with you, last place would be fine if the boys are happy.

    Last winter we did pants, long sleeve onesies and socks for indoors. Hats are a must outdoors. We usually just added a blanket or two but they were small and stayed tucked in the infant carriers so their outdoor time was mostly confined to getting in and out of the car and an occasional walk. Now we’ll add jackets. We have tons of fleece and zip up sweat shirts with hoods. For socks we got lucky with the longer athletic type in 12-month size when they were 5m or less. The bigger socks stayed on better. Now they can just pull them off. Shoes for infants are just for show. Personally they don’t seem to offer anything. We only just started putting soft soled shoes on the boys but only when out in public where they will crawl/cruise around (Tiny Tales, friends houses). At our house they stay in socks. It’s better for their feet to learn how to walk without the cumbersome shoes getting in the way.

    We still use zip-up footed sleepers (almost since day one, even through the summer). Easy to work for middle of the night changes. It’s starting to get cold during the nights here so we retired the few pjs that didn’t have feet.

  2. Serah says:

    I’ve found two sock brands that stay on. 1) Trumpettes — they’re ridiculously expensive (and I do mean RIDICULOUS) but it’s almost worth it since you don’t lose half of them and they’re cute as hell. I’m partial to the argyle: http://www.trumpette.com/peewee.html/ 2) Baby Soy – they don’t stay put quite as effectively as Trumpettes, but they’re good. Not cheaper though: http://www.diapers.com/product/productdetail.aspx?productid=23396

    Also if you put a pair of soft-soled Robeez (also ridiculously expensive but way cute) over the socks, they’ll stay on: http://robeez.com/Soft-Sole-Robeez-baby-shoes/Department.aspx?DeptID=303&PriceCat=2&Lang=EN-US

    I love all you had to say about science and gratitude and awe…I’m going to start working on a blog post of my own on the subject.

  3. Samantha says:

    That exercise class just sounded weird to me. I wouldn’t be comfortable running around while my baby cried either. I hope you can start a walking group.

    Clothes: socks, try Hanna Andersen baby socks. Yes, they are ridiculously expensive, but they stay on and have a nice soft terry weave and are warm inside. Perfect for winter. I’m a big fan of footed sleepers, although when my son was really little, I liked the snap versions best because then I didn’t have to unzip all the way for middle-of-the-night changes. I also liked the sleep sacks, although if you’re cosleeping, they might not need to be as bundled up as they would otherwise. For going out, blankets, hats, buntings are all good to wrap up your little ones. What we also loved to do was use a carrier and put him in the carrier underneath our coat. Then everyone was warm and we really didn’t need any special gear beyond a hat (obviously we left his face free for breathing). That won’t really be possible if you’re going out by yourself with both of them, but maybe if you and H want to go for a walk, you each could take a kid.

  4. Esperanza says:

    I also went to a stroller fitness class where the babies just were left on the sidewalk. It was not what I expected. Unfortunately it was the last class as not enough people were coming.

    I also am trying to just do some walking with other moms. I have been thinking about getting a running stroller but I don’t know where I’d put it in my house. And I worry about my lady parts being a little sore while running. I got a pretty hefty tear and it still seems to get sore when I run. I’m going to think about it some more before I jump in and buy a running stroller.

    As far as socks that stay on – I have no idea. Under the Nile makes footy pants that are nice. That way you can still have onsies on them, but their feet will always be covered. The 3-6 months pants are actually quite big and long. They are big on Isa while most 3-6 month stuff barely fits her.

    Nice to hear from you again!

  5. KK says:

    Gap athletic socks actually stay on Logan’s feet.
    The only other socks that stay on his feet are some random crew style socks that we were gifted by my MILs neighbor. They are completely utilitarian and not at all baby cute, but they stay on his feet so they are my favorite anyway.

    Sorry the exercise class was not as you had hoped!

  6. TRACY MILLER says:

    Agreed about GAP (and also Old Navy) socks. They stuck on, and E&R were quite determined.

    As far as attire, I dressed in layers, and pretty closely to what we were wearing. We always kept blankets in the car in case we needed additional warmth.

    You know I am a practicer of CIO, so fwiw, Rowan OFTEN cried in such a manner that any passerby would assume there was something wrong, when really I KNEW she just needed sleep. Moms know their own babies’ cries I often joked that the girl was born pissed (you wouldn’t know it to know her now, though.) It’s so easy to judge other moms and how they do things; while it may not gel with my way of doing it, I try to assume that other moms are doing the best as they know how for their children. And that is hard to do…I OFTEN catch myself saying (to myself,) “now why would they do that? Don’t they know that…….?” It’s easy to do.

  7. Jen w. says:

    We got the robeez socks which are cute and gathered at the ankles. Even crawling around they stay on. When we go out and about we have socks and shoes. (robeez also) mostly to keep them on.
    My twins were born in November so we dealt with Chicago winter the first 6-7 months. We used blankets, layers of onesies and lined pants, fleece outer snowsuit thingies that were warm but not too bulky to fit in the car seat (carters) and we stayed in a lot because when it was below zero it just wasn’t worth taking them out unless absolutely necessary.
    We survived. This winter though there will be 1-year-old toddlers trapped in my house. Heartier but into everything. Yikes.

  8. JJ says:

    Ok, you and I need to find a place half way between the 2 of us so we can do some walking! I am training for a 5K in G’boro in November–so Id LOVE to have a walking/jog/run/ chat buddy 🙂
    Cant wait to see you all on the 30th!
    We kept Oman in socks and Robeez (or the Target brand) last fall/winter–helped him keep the socks on! And lots of footie PJ’s 🙂

  9. Sue says:

    I second that socks from the Gap or Old Navy stay on. Also, once they can pull their socks off, Robeez or Zutano booties over the socks work well.

    Hmmm….I think exercising without your children is the ideal option. Good alone time for you and good male bonding time for H and the boys. I can’t imagine taking my child to a class and then ignoring him if I wanted to actually get any exercise. A moms walking group would definitely be a good alternative as well.

  10. We hated the Target/Circo socks and had much better luck with Old Navy as well. They are the only ones I will buy now!

    I wish I had a solution for your exercise woes, but I agree that tending to crying boys always takes precedence over finishing not-last!

  11. strongblonde says:

    i don’t have time for a proper comment right now 😦 but i wanted to make sure i told you that we used to have two adults and two babies in a FULL bed, lol. i still don’t know how we did it.

    i bought 12-24 month socks and those seemed to stay on better.

    hopefully more later 🙂

    xx

  12. Photogrl says:

    I would be annoyed with the stroller class, too. Props to you for finding time to try and work out! I’m still working on that.

    Infant shoes are the only way I can keep socks on Pretty Girls toes. As it’s starting to cool down up here, I’m becoming partial to footed sleepers, especially for hanging around the house.

    Every day I stare at the twins in wonder that a year ago, they were just a dream. Aren’t we lucky?

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