Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Separation Anxiety

And it's all me :)

I forgot to mention that on Sunday I had my first 'Panera Sunday'. The idea was for me to head to the gym and then to Panera where I'd get some breakfast on my own, read, sit, eat my toast.. all without a baby. The only place I've been without Raf is to the gym or for a walk. So I was excited at the prospect of spending a little bit of time on my own. But as I left the gym I was already feeling as though I was missing something. I called Rich and said 'hey, why don;t you just meet me there now?'. Rich was quite firm and said that I should have the time. And so I did. I enjoyed my toast (and half of Rich's bagel I'd ordered for him) and read my book 'Why Love Matters', and every two minutes I checked my phone to see what the time was :) When I saw Rich carrying Rich in his carseat towards the door I felt so supremely relieved and happy to see Rafi (and Rich, of course).

I have to admit that I really enjoyed the time, but it was a sort of anxious, sad-tinged time.

So it's hard being away from the little fella. Our new babysitter/nanny was supposed to come around this week, but I couldn't even begin to think about leaving him, and so I'm wondering how I ever will. I know that I have to, and I should start soon, but, oh, geesh, I just don't want to. I don't even like to be in a different room to him.

It's no wonder I get nothing done.

Which makes me wonder how anyone gets anything done at all with a baby. I had some work to do this week and it was just impossible to get anything done without Rich around. Even then it was hard. I'm curious how people manage it. I feel pretty awful when I put Raf in his swing, even if he seems perfectly contented. If I'm not holding him or interacting with him I feel as though it might be analogous to abuse. I'm only half joking, too. I know he has to explore his own world without me being too intrusive, but it's difficult to do that when I think that if he's not attached to my hip that I'm resigning him to an orphanage type life.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Busy Week

Has it been a week? It almost feels as though one day merges into the next without me even noticing. So what have we been up to? Raf is currently going through a growth spurt (I think! as he is eating and eating and eating. He's waking up multiple times throughout the night to eat and basically eats all day. Plenty of couch time for us then!

And here we are:

What else?

We're going to Spain in about 10 days. Raf's passport arrives yesterday, and it's very odd that he has different citizenship to us. Melissa, Sam, Freya and Rory will also be visiting and we just learned today that Rich's dad and stepmum will be in Spain, too! We'll only cross paths for one day but its a funny coincidence and great that Rafi will get to meet all his grandparents. We're all hoping that Lou can come across, too... so many people to meet!

What else? Raf rattled his rattle for the first time. I managed to catch it on film, too, so look out for that. He also had his three month jabs. We're following the Sears' schedule so it was Hib vaccination. He did very well. I nursed him immediately afterwards and he was right as rain. Much better than last time around. We asked the nurse to weigh and measure him and the Chunky Monkey is 13 pounds 7 oz and 23.5 inches long. What a big boy.

I also interviewed a potential nanny. She is really lovely. A midwifery student who wants to attend home births, with lots and lots of nannying experience. She seems very closely aligned to our own parenting philosophy and she's the first person I've met, outside friends, who I could imagine leaving with Raf. Hopefully I'll be able to share her with Kate so that it's more affordable.

In other news, Rafi got to meet his friend Gianna on Friday. When I was pregnant I joined a few online message boards. In one group we had a July 16th due date thread and I got to know some women online quite well. When we went to Florida in March we met up with one of them, Angie, and her husband Dennis. Their sweet little Gianna was born one week after Rafi. They spend some of their time in Boston and this past Friday they came up to see us. We had a lovely time at Flatbread Pizza. They had very kindly bought Raf a lovely outfit, and since Gianna doesn't like her Baby Amby hammock they bought it up for Raf.

Here we all are:

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's been a very mixed weekend. It didn't start well. Rafi has been changing his routine lately, which makes sleep a challenge. it used to be that he'd go to sleep around 9 or 10pm, sleep for a significant time, get up around 3 or 4 and then snooze in his swing for another few hours. I'd go to bed with him, taking advantage of his long sleep, and then I'd head to the gym after feeding him and settling him back down around 4am. Well, he's slowly been going to bed much earlier. By 7pm he is ready to hit the sack but my 12 or 1am he is ready for some food and some playtime. If I get back to sleep I'm up again around 3 or 4 and if I want to take advantage of the very small window of time I have to head to the gym I have to forego a lot of sleep. For the past couple of weeks Ive been operating on very little sleep.. maybe 4 hours a night.

Frankly Ive been on the edge of sanity all week.

Yesterday I was slightly maniacal after another terrible night, with Rich not really stepping up to the nighttime parenting plate. I missed the exercise classes I'd been coveting all week, and I was so tired the idea of the gym was laughable. Missing out on my time to head out on my bike, go to gym, etc, is really challenging. It's a complete reset as UI get to experience my body in familiar ways. If I drive to the gym I get to listen to my audible book, I chat to other people, and I don't have to worry about Rich coming in with Rafi if he's having trouble consoling him.

Missing that, on top of the sleep deprivation, for sure brought me close to the edge of reason. In fact I was pretty much fuming at Rich yesterday....

Today, though, was a lovely day. I headed to the gym on very little sleep, and then I met Rich and Raf at Panera. Rich ran a 10K in Portland this morning and I took Raf to watch him. Before Rich turned up, though, I enjoyed a blissful 20 mins on my own, eating toast, reading a book. This is the first time I've been away from Raf without being at the gym. Boy, did I take things for granted pre-Rafi.

We had a lovely morning in the Autumn sun. I met my friend Mary and we walked a bit of the course. it was a lot of fun and Raf was happy as could be in his carrier. This afternoon I was going to head out on my bike (to make up for yesterday's debacle), but I was having a fine old time with the boy and instead we all took the boys out for a walk.

A busy weekend, fraught with fatigue and tension and craziness, but a lovely weekend, too. Oh, the ups and downs of parenthood :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Busy, family, and the 4pm blues

We've had a busy few days. Unfortunately Rich's only surviving grandparent passed away a couple of days ago so Rich had a couple of days from work. Rafi doesn't have any great grandparents at all now, which is really quite sad. Growing up, Rich spent a lot of time with his grandparents - mostly on his mum's side - and I know it means a lot to him that Raf won't know them. More sad is that Raf won't ever know his grandmother, Richard's mum, who passed away at an extremely young age 15 years ago. It's very sad indeed. I didn't really have much to do with my grandparents growing up, except my sweet, sweet grandpa who died at 89 when I was just 11, but it is important to both of us that Rafi has a connection with his remaining grandparents, as well as my sisters and Rich's brother and sister and their families. Being in the US doesn't make this in the least bit easy, and as Rafi gets older (10 weeks yesterday) I feel more struck that Raf hasn't actually met anyone in either of our families.

Thus we're off to Spain in a few weeks to see my parents and my sister, melissa, who is renting a villa with her husband and new baby, Rory, and their sweet little 2.5 year old, Freya. It will be great to see everyone and for the cousins to meet. Unfortunately we're not able to get to the UK on this visit to Europe so it'll be a while before we see my other sisters and Rich's family. I don't think anyone is coming over here to visit Raf anytime soon.

Every day around 4pm I experience the 4pm blues.. where i wistfully think about moving to the UK, being surrounded by helpful, loving family and feel sad that whilst our friends are amazing, we don't have any family on the continent. Then I remember that it probably wouldn't be that wistful; that my parents live in Spain, I rarely talk to two of my sisters (i haven't spoken to one at all since I was 10 weeks pregnant), and most of our great friends are in Maine...Indeed the people who show much of an interest in Raf are in Maine (though thank you Alice for reading this blog, as you might be the only family to do so!!)

Still, almost every late afternoon I feel as though I might just burst into tears, no matter how lovely the day has been (which they invariably are). Indeed today was great. Raf and I got up at 3am, I thought so I could feed him, but when I popped him in his swing so I could rustle up a drink he'd fallen asleep. I spent a nice hour or two, wide awake, watching the little sleepy seal, feeling like the luckiest person alive. I had a great time at the gym chatting with other women, taking a group weightlifting class that always kills me, and Rich dropped Raf off and we came home, had lunch, played, ate, napped (not me!) and I even managed a walk with Raf and the puppies all on my own.

What a lovely day.. but still the melancholy around 4pm. I'm sure, too, that some of this is provoked by all my old school friends on FB who I am in a lot of contact with again. It's that familiar, easy sort of interaction, probably the kind I crave right now (and thus mummy and me groups don't quite meet these needs).

Still... mostly everyday is lovely and serene and as I type Raf has passed out on my lap having nursed for a long while. Rich is home, Netflix have sent another series of Cheers (yes, that's right!), and yesterday we got Rafi's passport application completed and sent. It was quite the experience getting his photos taken in a way that made them acceptable for the passport application :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We've been lying like this for much of the day. It's how we're lying now as I type, except he's sleeping :)

fussy days

This past 24 hours has been really hard. Raf won't be put down, he's very fussy, and every chore I've tried to run has ended without it being done, I ate cereal for dinner and have piles of laundry everywhere waiting to be sorted out. Rich was out all day and evening, and while he was up with Raf a bit in the night he's out until quite late today. I was clock-watching most of yesterday, willing Rich to come home. I missed the exercise class that I'd been looking to this morning (in fact thoughts of the 5:30am group power class had helped me get through the worst of Raf's witching hour yesterday) and I'm a bit anxious about how today will progress. I know this won't last forever but, geesh, today may feel like forever.

It's moments like this when the idiom 'it takes a village to raise a child' makes a lot of sense.

Oh goodness, it's only 7am.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where have we been?


We've had a really fun few days. The long holiday weekend was gloriously warm and sunny. The end of last week was less fun, though, when Raf had his 2 month appointment. We're loosely following Sears' vaccination schedule. We'll end up with all the traditional vax, but they're spaced out differently. Raf was a trooper though he was extremely grouchy in the late afternoon/evening. He was screaming at one point, something he rarely does. I even called the nurse and emailed Deb to see if this was normal.. Apparently it is. I ended up giving Raf some Tylenol (which obviously caused me some anxiety!) and he did much better.

At the appointment we also learned that Rafi is quite the chunky monkey. At just over 8 weeks he weighed in at 12 pounds 10 oz, which puts him in the 75th percentile (his birth weight was the 25th). He isn't that tall, though, so he's quite the chubber. I just love his little belly, and I could eat those chunky legs and arms!

Rich fortunately had that day off work so he was there to help with the boy. The night before we'd been to college for a faculty picnic. Raf met lots of new people and had a fine old time. Saturday was a day of movement! I went to the gym in the early morning and after my usual workout on the elliptical I took a centergy class...cross between yoga and pilates. Rich brought Raf to the gym and after I finished my workout I took Raf to Whole Foods whilst Rich worked out. How much things have changed!! Since it was a beautiful day I also managed to get out on my bike for a long afternoon ride whilst Rich enjoyed some Rafi time. It felt really lovely to be out for such a long ride, but I really missed the boy.

Sunday I could barely move my legs, somewhat inevitably, and so we headed to an arts show in Portland. Our friend Maggie was showing her beautiful paintings and jewelry, and the location couldn't have been more perfect. Here we are at Fort Williams, in Cape Elizabeth.

Monday we did another gyn morning, It feels really good to feel a little autonomous and to use my body differently. I did a weight lifting class, which was great fun. I happened to be working out with the Dean of the college next to me, so that kept me extra motivated :) We did the quick gym-Rafi change over, and when we were all home I booked some flights to Spain! We go in October. My parents live there and one of my sister's will be visiting with her little bambino Rory and my sweet niece Freya. It will be lots of fun!

Alas, the weekend went all too quickly.

Raf is beginning to wake up a bit more in the night now so even after the lovely weekend I'm feeling pretty tired. Rich has been practicing with the bottle some nights and it's been going okay. He prefers the source, though :) This morning Raf and I went back to bed for an hour when Rich had left for the day, which was such a nice thing, and then we headed to Maggie's new Nia baby class. It was so much fun! It was the first class and there were only a couple of other kiddos. A 7 month old, Max, who we met on Sunday, and another little girl. I danced in the Baby Bjorn and Rafi fell asleep. I'm hoping we can go regularly. We'll make a dancer out of Raf, I hope!

Here are some more snapshots of the weekend

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some Firsts: Smiling

Rafi is eight weeks today! Last night he slept for close to eight hours, which was a lovely thing. I awoke to him, though, taking up almost the entire bed. His head was by Rich and his feet, lying traverse, were by me. It was incredibly sweet. I have to admit that co-sleeping is one of my favourite things.

Another favourite is when Rafi smiles. He has been doing gassy smiles in his sleep for a long while, but he had his first 'social smile' a couple of weeks ago. On August 15th, around 10:30am, we were picking out photos from our newborn photo session when he formed a sweet, sweet smile as he looked at Rich. Since then the smiling has been sporadic, though he loves to smile at new faces. Lately the smiling has increased and today I managed to capture a grin during tummy time, The quality isn't wonderful as I took it on my blackberry, but it's a lovely image, nonetheless!