Baby clothes

I’m trying to keep myself in check when it comes to buying baby clothes. I have a few friends with kids slightly older than Arya so I have a ton of hand me downs which are more than enough to sustain us.

But, I can’t resist buying a few things. Especially because Target has the cutest baby clothes ever and it’s just too easy to throw something in the cart when I’m buying stuff we actually need. For example this ridiculous hat:

And these rompers:

As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of ” traditional” girls clothes. I do like some of them, but I just don’t think my daughter needs to be wearing pink, bows, or ruffles 24/7. Also, in my search for baby clothes, I’ve stumbled on some really gross examples of “sexy” baby clothes- like this:

And this:

In addition to all of the ” princess” and ” cute” slogans everywhere, I hate the stuff about how dads have to ” protect” their daughters from boys:

It’s never too early to start on girls on hating their bodies:

And I’m not sure what to even say about this:

I know it will be impossible to insulate her from a lot of these things but you please keep your gross gender stereotypes away from my kid for a little while?

Eye color

Since Arya was born I’ve been a bit obsessed over what her eye color will eventually be. As with most white babies, she was born with blue eyes. They are a pretty dark blue though so they could turn green or more likely brown at anytime.

I guess my obsession stems from me and my family all having blue eyes. I always said I didn’t care but deep down I really want her to look like me. She has most of my facial features already so blue eyes or not it will be obvious she is mine.

I really wanted to choose a donor with blue eyes but it seemed so unimportant when it came down to choosing. Especially considering that his health history was so great and he seemed like a pretty great human all around. I just read an article that said a baby’s eyes can change until they are three so I guess I have to be patient.

Families Belong Together

While I’m happy to hear our disgusting president signed an executive order to address family separation the fight is far from over.

(reposted from Carwil Bjork James) The order is not a solution, and it makes some things worse:

Here’s what it actually does…

1. Codifies Jeff Sessions’ “zero tolerance” directive until new immigration legislation is passed.

2. Limits the definition of family to parent-child pairs. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. are excluded.

3. Puts families under Homeland Security custody during criminal, immigration cases. Previously, children and detained families had to be held in facilities contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

3c. Authorizes the military to build new prisons for migrant families.

3d. Allows all Federal departments to offer their buildings as prisons.

3e. Authorizes the DOJ to try to wriggle out of the Flores Agreement.

4. Orders parents to be prosecuted first in immigration courts

Text of EO: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-opportunity-address-family-separation/

Diblings!

Arya has four siblings that I know of. The sperm bank I used has their own sibling registry and I finally got around to registering us. Three of the babies are boy triplets. I really hope that the parents of these kids want to connect. I write a message a few weeks ago and haven’t heard anything back yet. But the messages are housed on a private bulletin board that doesn’t give notifications that someone has posted. So, I’m hoping they will still contact me.

Also, I talked to Arya’s daycare and she starts September 1st. This made me a lot sadder than I expected to be. I always predicted I would be super ready to go back to work but I wish I had six more months. I’m also having strong urges to have another baby. ( more on that later).

Figuring out what hands are for

Scheming for world domination?

The Bay Area in June.

New Mexico!

I’m so so blessed to be on maternity leave for six months so I decided to take a small vacation while I have the time. My friend and I had been talking about going to Santa Fe to see the Meow Wolf exhibit so I convinced her to take a week off to explore Northern New Mexico with me and Arya. Luckily, she loves babies, so unlike most people she was excited about traveling with a three month old.

It’s shocking how much crap you need to travel with an infant. I was adamant that we would be bringing our beloved rock and play along- because Arya sleeps so well in it. After several foiled attempts at ordering one delivered to the local Target so we could use it for a week and then return it ( sorry not sorry ) I realized I could take it apart and put it in the suitcase. In the end we had one huge suitcase, one small suitcase, the stroller/car seat, and a diaper bag. Not too bad but it sure looks like a lot more when all together:

We stayed at an air bnb with a nice but very strange couple. The husband told my friend that he is 400 years old from not drinking flouride ( ummm..).

We spent the first day at Meow Wolf and it far exceeded our expectations! It’s very hard to describe but basically, it’s an all immersive art exhibit with a sci-fi backstory. The exhibit has several different ” worlds” and is a collaboration of tons of artists and it is constantly changing. I can’t recommend it enough. We stayed for four hours but could have happily spent another day. When Arya was actually awake, she loved looking at everything.

The next day we hiked around Bandelier National Monument where you can hike around and explore well preserved pueblos in this beautiful canyon. People thought we were crazy hiking in the desert with a three month old but she did great.

The next day was my 40th birthday! We are tons of great food and I got a massage. We splurged on a fancy dinner but our much less expensive breakfast was the big highlight- blue corn cakes with mole, syrup, and red chile sauces:

I thought I would be more freaked out about turning 40 but I feel pretty great about it. The issue that would give me the most pause when getting older was always my worry about running out of time to have a baby. I also have an awesome community of friends, my relationship with my family has never been better, I have a good career and I’ve certainly taken advantage of my first 40 years by living life by my own rules and traveling extensively. So yeah 40 is feeling pretty good!

We also spent some time in Taos where I saw an old friend ( who is also a single mom), saw some absolutely spectacular nature, and ate our way through Northern New Mexico. I’m already daydreaming about taking Arya on our next adventure.

I have a secret…

Well I guess it’s not a huge secret now that I’m writing about it on the internet ( but who knows how many people actually read this). The reason it’s a secret is that I’ve been told that this is a taboo topic amongst parents,  So here it is….

…..Arya has been sleeping through the night for the past month!

Yes, she is only 10 weeks old.

No, haven’t been doing some sort of torturous sleep training- or any type of sleep training.

No, this didn’t result from my amazing parenting skills-she just naturally sleeps for long stretches.

Yes, I have been loosely following the advice from ” the Happiest Baby on the Block” and I swear by this swaddle but generally I think I just got lucky.

I’m thinking maybe the people in my family are just good sleepers. My mom was insistent that both my sister and I slept through the night as infants. I thought she was exaggerating because this couldn’t possibly be true. Also, when I told my sister about it she told me that my nephew also slept through the night as a newborn.

I get why I shouldn’t be rubbing this in the face of all of my other parent-friends.  Sleep deprivation sucks and is arguably the hardest part of parenting.  But, I still want to shout it from the rooftops.  So, I’ve been confiding in my non-parent friends to get it out of my system.  But even when I tell them I find myself qualifying it with “well she is doing this for now but who knows what will happen in the future..”  I do this because I feel a bit ashamed for talking about it-which is ridiculous.

I think this “shame” comes from a conversation I had with the doctor who did Arya’s two month check-up (he was filling in for our regular pediatrician).  I told him about her sleep because I was happy but also because I wanted to gauge how normal this was and the chances that this would continue.  After giving me his opinion (you never know) he said twice “don’t brag about it.” I thought maybe he was joking but he didn’t say this with a smile-just very matter of fact.  So thanks for raining on our parade Mr. buzzkill pediatrician!

And, here are a few baby pictures because why not?

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The First Month

I was worried about feeling alone and not having enough help but between my family ( my sister and dad were here a week and my mom a month!) and the amazing number of friends coming by-i felt so loved and supported.  As you can imagine, the first few weeks was a blur of sleep deprivation and figuring things out.  Due to Arya’s tiny size, I was breastfeeding and supplementing with formula every 2-3 hours and pumping 6 times every 24 hours.  I was beyond exhausted. Also, it was painful to abide by her doctor’s instructions to wake Arya to eat but she needed the calories.  On top of this, I was having a hard time getting the hang of breastfeeding.  Arya seemed super frustrated every time and she would just conk out after a minute or two.

Despite all of this hard work, she lost almost a pound by her first checkup. The pediatrician asked me to increase the feedings even more and she immediately brought us to a lactation consultant.  They assured me that my milk would come in soon because ( at that point) I was only producing a tiny amount.  The nurses encouraged me to increase her formula and gave me reassurances that should would be fine.

Unfortunately, my milk never really came in.  After pumping 6 times a day, I was only producing about 1-2 ounces- but Arya needed about 15-20 to continue growing. It was so frustrating and was breaking my heart.  I was so excited to breastfeed and accepting that it wasn’t working out was bringing me to tears. A friend of mine offered me pumped milk and to occasionally breastfeed her for me and I became irrationally upset. Not at her ( she was trying to help) but the thought of someone else having the bond of breastfeeding that I was unable to have just killed me. I did happily accept the frozen breast milk and feel really lucky to have an awesome friend willing to share it.

After a month with no increase in my supply, I made the decision to throw in the towel ( or the breast pump). It was tough at first but soon I felt so much better. And my amazing girl is healthy and growing! She gained almost a pound at her next checkup.

While I feel exponentially blessed that my mom came to help us for a month, I was worried it might cause more stress. Shockingly, we got along incredibly well. With no prodding, she took care of all the cleaning and cooking so I could take care of Arya. She also would take her in the morning so I could get a few hours of sleep which helped me feel a little less crazy from sleep deprivation. We had a few small hiccups ( she has very traditional views on what girls should wear and thinks you can ” spoil ” a newborn). But generally, the focus was on the baby and not on my various shortcomings, so we got along great for the most part. Also I think it set her at ease to witness the immense amount of support I have from my community here. I seriously didn’t want her to go home. If you had told me this a year ago, I would never have believed it but the baby really did transform our relationship. We talk nearly every day now.

One of my favorite mom moments happened when I was driving her to the airport. She said ” I have to tell you something..” I immediately thought her cancer had come back or something equally horrible. Then she blurted out ” I secretly baptized Arya while you and dad were at Target!” She then went on to explain that she tried to bring holy water with her but that her church was out. But the nuns told her she could use regular water instead. I guess she did it in the sink. She said it made her feel better because she truly believes unbaptized babies go to hell.

I think she thought I would be mad but I thought it was hilarious. I laughed so hard I was crying. Such a classic mom move.

Here are some pictures from Arya’s first month: