Simon’s First Birthday

For Simon’s birthday (and my birthday) my sister Kimberly came and stayed a WHOLE WEEK with us! I took off Wednesday through Friday (and had the weekend off) and we had such a great time. Kim got to play with and watch Simon on Monday and Tuesday while Gabe and I were at work. Since she lives in Boston right now (booooooo) she hadn’t seen Simon since he was 5 months old so she had a lot of catching up to do. I think they bonded pretty well. She quickly learned how fast he is, how stubborn he is, and how sweet he is.

Tuesday was my birthday, but I worked so not much to report there. Gabe got me some sweet presents though: a laptop fan cooling thingamabob, a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond, a book “What to Expect in the Toddler Years”, and he had a bunch of photos printed of us and Simon. And he framed three of them in a pretty frame that says “Family…all because two people fell in love.” It was really sweet.

Then Wednesday was THE. BIG. DAY. Simon turned one. ONE. 1! How is that possible?! I watch him toddle around and obviously it’s very possible and it has happened. Yet, I sometimes don’t feel quite “qualified” to be his parent still. Isn’t that weird? I mean, obviously we’re doing alright- and I’m loving every minute- but it’s just gone by so fast.

So Wednesday we woke up and opened some presents,

Fun Presents first thing in the morning!

then went to First Watch for pancakes. Yum! Then home to have Simon take a nap, while we all got ready for the day and for COSI. Within the first 3 minutes of us being through the doors at COSI, I lost my camera and found it at the Lost and Found. Then we walked around some of the exhibits for a while with Simon in the stroller. He just watched everything with wide eyes. There were A LOT of people there because the weather was so hot. (We originally were going to go to the zoo but 95 degree heat and a 50% chance of thunderstorms changed that plan.) Simon just stared at all the kids, and really liked the ocean room with all the water. After we got our fill of walking around (and we knew Simon wouldn’t last in the stroller much longer) we headed up to KidSpace, which is an awesome baby-friendly area with tons of stuff to crawl on (and drool on, barf on, poop on, peep on…I’m sure). We let him loose in there and OH MY GOODNESS he didn’t know where to start and stop. He just went full throttle towards EVERYTHING. Particularly he enjoyed climbing FAST up these cushion-y step things that led up to a jungle gym type area that was baby/toddler safe. He laughed and laughed as he crawled as fast as he could up these, and then at the top would turn around and attempt to crawl just as fast DOWN the steps. He still hasn’t figured out the whole gravity thing. We’re working on it.

There was also another little boy there who was also celebrating his first birthday. Simon pretty much ran circles around him.

He also just loved this water table. Each time we go to COSI it gets more and more fun. It also gets more and more nerve wracking but I think that’s just the way things are going to go anymore…right? While we were in COSI a HUGE thunderstorm hit and cleared up by the time we walked out. And the temperature dropped to 78 degrees, which was SO NICE after having the most humid morning/early afternoon ever. So we got in the car and drove to a local bakery to pick up some cupcakes for Simon’s birthday night after dinner.

When we got home, Simon’s birthday gift to ME was not taking an afternoon nap. Nope, not having it. It’s possible that he was overly tired or just too wound-up from COSI, I’m not sure. So we had dinner kind of early and opened more presents.

And after dinner of course….CUPCAKES and birthday singing. He really liked us singing Happy Birthday to him.

Simon was a happy kid all hopped up on sugar. He definitely liked the icing more than the cake. Gabe ate the leftover pieces since it was a pretty expensive fancy cupcake. Ha. (Gabe always says “it’s a sin to waste food”.)

After all of that excitement, there were still MORE gifts to open. And balloons to play with…

And then finally the day was over and it was bedtime for Simon AND me. (After having a few adult beverages with my sista on the front porch.) He didn’t even make it until his “true” birthday, which was 8:25pm. But without an afternoon nap, and all that excitement, I can’t say that I blame him. We had a great day and it was just the beginning of a great week visiting with friends, family and celebrating our birthdays.


I’m 31.

I am 31 years old today. And I definitely feel like it. Last year I said, “I don’t feel 30 at all!” and this year I’m saying, “I feel FORTY-ONE.” Of course, I’m uber pregnant so that’s going to make a person feel older, slower, bigger and dumber. So I suppose it comes with the territory.

Though I have pretty low expectations for a prego-friendly birthday being all that fun, so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised with what’s gone on….

Aside from the near complete lack of sleep last night due to discomfort in general:

  • I woke up to Gabe making me a special breakfast – blueberry pancakes and watermelon and he even bought healthy sausage..
  • He also got me a card that I swear was WRITTEN FOR ME and said a bunch of sweet things in it, too- including that I get to go out to fancy dinner tonight wherever I want to go…
  • And $60 in iTunes — that’s like 60 new songs to download!!!
  • And the movie Baby Mama, which I really love and am exicted to watch for the 4th time or something…
  • Then at work people made sweets for me too- coffee cake and chocolately cookie things and muffins and a veggie tray…
  • And I got an email gift confirmation that my dad got me subscriptions to both Cooking Light and Real Simple magazines (love that!)…
  • And I’ve been having odd long lasting though not painful contractions all morning- which I think may be directly correlated to all of the sugar I’ve ingested before noon…

I’ve also gotten some lovely gifts from Gabe’s family and my mom gave me some $$ that will likely go towards a new iPod…which I’ll need when I finally start running again…!? In like 2 months!

On a kind of bad-news-front, my Pap fell last night and is currently getting checked out at the hospital to make sure he didn’t break anything. The guy refuses to use a walker and will only use a cane. I am contemplating decorating a walker with conservative bumper stickers and other such nonsense and seeing if that would entice him to use it.

So I have to think of somewhere good to go for dinner tonight- even though I’m not hungry at all due to the constant snacking I’ve been doing all morning…

More later…

It’s Saturday and I have a few moments.

Well I’m at the point in the pregnancy where everyone says, “It drags but it flies at the same time.” When I can stop for a minute and appreciate the silence in my house, I do. I think about it when I leave the house and already have my hands full and realize that they’ll only get fuller from here on out…I do all of those things. I’m appreciating and loathing every last minute of the pregnancy because “he’s a lot easier to take care of in there” just like people say.

But my fuse is increasingly shorter each day. I hate my clothes, I hate my body and the way it’s hanging onto water like I’m some sort of camel. I hate the days I have to work, but don’t really love the days I have off either since there’s really not much I”m motivated to do at this point. I’m just…meh- let’s get onto the next step already.

Though, I am not working until this evening for an event, and I’ve enjoyed the morning I’ve had even though I’ve done little to nothing productive aside from bathe myself, put away some dishes and pay bills. I’m just glad to not be at work right now because I”m tired of the comments from strangers. Some of them are nice, I get it people are trying to be sweet. But henceforth I will not ask heavily pregnant women questions about their babies. I get it- you’re done hearing about it.

I know that people typically lose their previous identities once babies are born. You’re no longer just Mandy, you’re Mandy+1 or Mom or the-one-who-cleans-up-all-bodily-fluids. I have always known that being a mom would be the best thing I ever do, if I ever chose to finally do it. It’s not that I don’t understand what comes along with mothering– I think I do understand too much. And I want to hold on to the parts of me that make me feel like ME- I don’t want for every conversation I have to be about baby shit and pediatricians. I want to have my single friends and my child-less friends over and I’d like to talk about other things. I want to make a concerted effort to still seek out new music, play volleyball and do other things that make me feel normal. I know I’ll be sacrificing a lot and likely I won’t mind so much once the little bundle is here- but I want to put it out there that it’s a major concern of mine that I just sink into the background of my kid- I don’t want to do that. I don’t think it’s healthy for me, for the kid, and certainly wouldn’t be for me and Gabe. I mean- I’m still trying to figure out how that is all going to work.

I don’t want to forget that someday I will: move south (Carolinas or Georgia),  go back to England with people I love and show them everything I love about it, write a book (how that will happen I have no idea), contribute something really cool to the library community- do something that matters and gets noticed, etc. I just don’t want these things to fall by the wayside because I”m too busy sitting Thumbkin on the toilet backwards so he learns to aim properly when he’s peeing, or milking myself over a toilet in a public restroom. I want to find a balance between myself and my kid. I know most people try to do this- or the ones that don’t, hell maybe they’re better moms than I will be. I just want to make sure that I don’t lose myself completely. I need to hang onto something. I feel like I lived my life this long to determine and better understand who I am, and if I lost it completely or redefined it as only being Mom, well I’ll just be back at square 1 all confused and sad when the kid turns 18 and moves out.

So that’s something I’ve also been thinking about lately- when I’m not crying over nothing. I’ve been feeling that icky depression feeling again- the same feeling that I had at the beginning of this pregnancy. It’s the stuff that makes me NOT want to talk to anyone, NOT want to try to explain how I feel to anyone, and basically I just want to be left alone. Thoug I’m not completely freaked about postpartum depression-  I have to say I get where those people are at mentally. Because even now (and back in the first trimester) when I would start to get that blackhole feeling as I stared into space, I would think about how much better exercise would make me feel, or how I KNEW in the moment that I wasn’t being rational in my thought process. I think the biggest thing that makes me feel the depression yuck thoughts is the lack of control I have over anything in my life right now- my body, etc. I keep telling myself it’ll all pass and get better (which is true). It’s kind of like when you start to freak out and have to reign yourself back in and say, “It’s just the hormones talking…” or “It’s just the booze talking…” and convince yourself to go back to sleep before making a bigger idiot out of yourself. But I’m very cognizant of depression and what it looks and feels like- so I’m glad to know at least I won’t be completely psyched out if I start to have yuck-thoughts after the baby’s here.  I think I’m fairly good at retaining logic when it comes to being really sad about shit that I can’t control.

I turn 31 on Monday. It doesn’t feel like my birthday at all. For the first time in my life I really don’t care. I can’t really think of anything I need right now that I don’t already have (aside from all the money to pay off my student loans… and maybe a new tire for my car). Either way, I’ve had 30 really fun birthdays before this one that involved everything from balloon filled bedrooms, ballet slipper cakes, pool parties, bottles of really good gin, camping/canoeing parties, and getting wasted on a London pub crawl to celebrate. So I have had my fair share of birthday extravaganzas. This year I would like my belated birthday present to be an uncomplicated delivery with minimal tearing of the taint area and a beautiful baby boy who is healthy and miraculously learns to nurse and sleep through the night early. I know that’s asking for a lot, but it’s all I’m asking for this year.

Next year I want jewelry or an adults only vacation. Someone let Gabe know.