Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Keep Moving


Eric just got out of bed and looked down and realized there was a bunch of baby poop covering his t-shirt. A t-shirt he had just slept in. In our (previously) clean bed (if you don't count all the milk stains!) Ahhh.. more things to clean. Our house has become a mini disaster -- bottles, blankets, dishes, papers, dog hair, milk stains, boxes (the UPS man and the FedEx man both seem to come at least once a day... my addiction to online shopping has reached new heights) are everywhere. Abby also decided to make a contribution to the mess this morning... there's a big pile of cat puke on the rug in Kai's room. We're way behind on the laundry (and we should probably start with the bedsheets at this point). But, at least the birth announcements are out (priorities, rights?).

When Kai was in the NICU, all I wanted to do was get her home so we could hold her non-stop. And, for the last four weeks, that's practically what we've done. We have arranged our schedules for around-the-clock care. Although she has spent some time in the co-sleeper, it hasn't amounted to much time (probably 15 hours in the last 4 weeks), and while it has been wonderful to cuddle with Kai nonstop, our house has suffered. Dearly. And, given my need to have things in their proper places, my sanity is also suffering.

But, we are finally both on leave for a couple of weeks (until now, Eric has been working at least part-time), and, being the party animals that we are, we've decided to devote the time to house projects and developing some strategies to better balance our baby, household and work duties.

We're moving forward with the house, and moving every which way at all other times of the day and night with the baby (bouncing, swaying, walking, driving, rocking). Kai loves to be cuddled and held, but if she can't be cuddled or held, she wants to be moving - she likes to swing. She does not enjoy lying in a motionless bed. Of course, her need for movement really involves holding her or putting her in her carseat and swinging her to and fro because we don't have a mechanical device that will swing her for us. But, of course, Kai's need for constant movement is not peculiar to her and the wise people who have studied baby behavior have solved that problem, creating just such a wonder. However, they created only monstrous plastic things that would take up half of our living room and just contribute to the mess that is already driving me batty. Why do swings have to be so big? And plastic? And hideous? So, we have a delimea... buy something hideous that will take up an inordinate amount of space, but would also enable us to put her down from time to time, thus accomplishing other chores. We could potentially eat at the same time (or shower, start a load of laundry, unload or load the dishwasher, type with two hands... the possibilities are endless). Or, we forego the monstrous, hideous plastic crap and only be able to accomplish tasks in 10 minute increments (the amount of time between us putting her down and her waking up, alarmed and bewildered, howling about being abandoned). We'll probably buy a swing. No need to give Kai a complex at such a young age. There's plenty of time for that later.

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I started this post yesterday - and as of today, the house is much cleaner. It really doesn't take that long to straighten things a bit (well, that, and I get a little demanding once the clutter reaches a certain level). Eric miracuously got Kai to stay in the co-sleeper for a couple of hours last night (something I have yet to be able to accomplish), and, rather than crawling into bed to crash out, he dug out the Pledge. That is love.

We spent this morning at IKEA (aka hell on earth... there is no store I hate more than IKEA. Talk about plastic crap. And cheap crap. Evil, I tell you. But, they do have things to help organize a small kitchen, so off we went. Twice, actually. In two days. Because the first time we didn't get things in the right size. ARGH.) Anyway, after braving hell, we had planned on going several other places, but Kai woke up when we were lost in the maze and was none to happy about it, and so we decided to hightail it home. Kai does great in the car, as long as we never, ever stop moving (are you sensing a theme here?) Of course, Bay Area traffic isn't necessairly conducive to that mentality. Another conundrum... dart through traffic like a maniac in order to try to keep the car moving and maintain peace or drive sensibly while listening to a howling baby. Safety first, we know... but, let me just say I can see the temptation. We've made a game of it. When the car stops, we start counting down from 10. She's like a little alarm clock.

We visited our friends Sarah and Doug this weekend. Their daughter Penny (age 2) is adorable, and we let her hold Kai a bit. Ok, really, I asked her if she wanted to hold Kai because I wanted the adorable picture that I knew would ensue. We told her to be very still, and she followed instructions perfectly, refusing to move anything but her eyes (ever so slightly). The cuteness slays me. A few pictures:




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