Posts Tagged ‘ visitors ’

Why This Was The Best Xmas Ever

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Revelation: Christmas is best with no company!

Revelation: I’m a homebody.

Revelation: I generally don’t like people staying with us…especially over Christmas.

If you didn’t notice, I totally checked out. Why? Because I was having the most enjoyable time with Phil, Emmett and Fia. I just decided to disappear. Poof.

This year I wasn’t pregnant, we didn’t have a newborn, we weren’t traveling, and we didn’t invite anyone to visit. And guess what? It was, hands-down, the most enjoyable Christmas to date. It may even trump our Christmas adventure pre-kids to Mali, West Africa in 2007.

Yes, the extreme adventure-travel girl, people-person and people-pleaser in me just took a massive break. It was our first “staycation” and I gotta say, it was amazing.

Phil and I both realized what it means to have our own family, our own tradition, and to frankly be selfish about it.

It’s not that we don’t love our families, but just having an entire week where each day we’d wake up with the kids and say, “What should we do today?” was simply blissful. To not be mopping and sweeping up after company or planning meals or dealing with drama–that inevitably comes with family–was relaxing beyond belief.

We went on glorious hikes, we took family naps, we went to the beach and the desert. We saw friends. We watched movies.  I now understand why the word  ”family tradition” was invented.  We now have ours.

Some highlights:

Em on his new trike. His feet don’t quite reach, but he loves it anyway! A good gift to grow into.

Fia’s grandpa made her a beautiful doll bed. Santa brought her favorite friend, Olivia. Between the two gifts, she has been entertaining herself for days. I love to watch.

Olivia needs lots and lots and lots of naps. Even though Fia doesn’t want to take them herself. (BTW–this is the only picture where I think she actually looks like me. Fia, not the pig.)

A-Wayne in a Manger. (get it? The cat? He’s in the manger?)

Christmas dinner, and drinking wine from my friend Kerstin Walz, who launched her own wine label this year, Stark Wine. It is delicious. I sent it out as Xmas presents to those in my life who appreciate good wine.

Having dinner with good friend Jenn Lee. Phil is there too, but he is taking the picture. Obviously. Goal: try not to over-explain in the New Year. Like I just did.

Nothing better on a Christmas day hike than your baby falling asleep on your back. Delicious.

This may be one of my favorite pictures of Fia to date. Notice the rodent hat and the sparkly shoes. Phil graduated from Madison, so naturally he was hoping for a Badgers win in the Rose Bowl. Didn’t happen, but at least he had his best cheerleader with him.

Okay, so below is when things got really adventurous. Mid-week we decided on a whim to go to Death Valley. That blog is coming tomorrow, so check back. Here’s a sneak peek:

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Company=Chaos=Low Milk Supply

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A Rare Moment of Quiet

I got up a few nights ago to pump (Phil does the late night feed). Nothing came out. I was alarmed. I can typically get 5 oz in a matter of minutes. But I knew deep down what was happening. My body was giving me an ultimatum. Slow down or else…

For weeks I’ve been running myself ragged.  Actually, ever since before Emmett was born.  I’ve been catering to company and overbooking everything from play dates to mom dates.

I woke up today and realized Emmett is almost three months old. He’s my last baby. I want to enjoy him, to soak in and savor his existence.

I’ve been so concerned with Fia not feeling my attention shift and so overwhelmed by the constant stream of guests, that I haven’t been taking proper care of myself–mentally, emotionally, or physically. Or him. I have missed feeds (he is given a bottle if I’m not around) and it doesn’t help that I hate pumping–partially due to my boob wound. It tends to open back up if I’m on the pump too long.

What it comes down to is this: I have basically blown off the most basic needs of my newborn and put everyone else–including myself–ahead of him. I’m not proud.

It’s tricky because on the one hand, you love your friends and family. I want them to meet the babes and I want to spend quality time with them. But let’s face it, even if people are here to “help,” there is a level of “entertaining” involved: cooking meals, cleaning up, showing the sights, etc.  I want to be a gracious host. But at what expense? With a new baby, I can barely pull off a routine as it is.

I know a lot of life is running errands, grocery shopping, and yes, having loved ones visit. But when our last round of visitors left, I exhaled for the first time in ages. Company=work.  No matter who it is. Inevitably any semblance of a schedule goes out the window.

Tell me I’m not alone in this quandary.

Looking back at the past 6 months, I also realize how exhausted I am from moving our family across the country when hugely pregnant and setting up a life for us in LA– also when hugely pregnant. Then…I had a baby. Yes, a baby! That small, earth-shattering event that rocks your world.

Oh, and it was a C-section, with some recovery involved–but I blew that off too. I was dust-busting my floors two days out of the hospital because I couldn’t take the mess. As a result, I kept bleeding. A friend finally gave me a similar ultimatum that my boobs did: if you don’t stay off your feet, you will not heal. It’s that simple. I finally listened.

Now I’m listening again. And luckily, the body forgives.

For the past two days I have relaxed, meditated and breathed. I have been drinking Mother’s Milk tea constantly. I’ve gotten our feedings back on track and have spent some serene, quiet moments with my sweet son. I have kissed, smelled and nuzzled him like a mama cat.

As I type, he is sleeping next to me. He peeps and coos and smiles as he dreams. He is joy.

Forgive me baby boy. I’m back now. And our “Inn” on Ames Street is CLOSED until further notice.

 

 

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Post-Maternity Shopping

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Suzy and Jill

Illustration courtesy of Suzy Ultman

My best friend from 9th grade came into town this weekend. She left last night. Whenever I have visitors, everything else, including the small routine I’ve started to establish, goes out the window. It drives me a little crazy, but on the other hand, it’s important for me to connect with my friends. Because Suzy and I are so close, she knows all this and I’m not hurting her feelings. So my blog and bills sat still. We, on the other hand, ran all over town shopping, having playdates, etc.

She’s a graphic designer/illustrator and has a good eye for a lot of things, including clothes. My sad wardrobe consists of sweat pants, old tank tops, and overly worn maternity clothes. Needless to say, I haven’t felt attractive in a long time. The thing is, I hate shopping. Despise it actually. Until I get there and start trying things on. Then, when clothes start to work, and do their magic, I get into it. Sort of.

Suzy dragged me to The Grove here in LA. I didn’t want to spend a whole day away from Emmett, but I did. He survived. As did I. My boobs on the other hand were quite difficult.

As we shopped they got bigger and bigger. So the clothes got smaller and smaller. I had a hand pump with me, but I only wanted to use it once. (More on why in this post here). I over-explained to every clerk why something was too tight. As if they care. At one store I walked out to show Suzy and the dude my jeans. She pointed out that my shirt was hiked up over my bra and my boob was inching out. Somehow things go array in my frantic and frenzied state these days.

“Oh, sorry,” I said, still not pulling my shirt down, as Suzy pointed out later. “I have a baby, so modesty has been thrown out. I don’t care what the world sees. What do you guys think of the jeans?” Luckily he had a 3-year old and understood.

Over lunch we laughed at how, despite 30 years of knowing each other, not much has changed. Except instead of using our mom’s credit cards, we now have to use our own. And instead of putting on makeup in the bathroom, I’m pumping.

At the end of the day I had a new spring/summer wardrobe, mostly things found on sale, as I think the sizes are still a bit transitional, depending on how my body bounces back. I’m sure my boobs will shrink to nearly nothing when breastfeeding is over. Sigh.

We hurried home at 4; I fed Em and fell asleep with him in my arms. Happy, and now, if not attractive, at least getting there.

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