Thursday, January 24, 2013

Life With Rio: *Almost* Four Months

So I have FOUR of these types of posts drafted but have never posted them and I'm not sure why.   That's  a lie.  I have some ideas why.  For one, I don't want to inundate this space with baby posts and two, there's just TOO much to say about life with Rio!  But I'm going to give it a whirl every once in a while so here we go :)
Little Rio will be four months old on February 1st but it feels like she's been here all along.  For the first month, she slept on my chest at night in bed.  It was sweet, bonding and it worked for a while but after she became a bit more active, I was ready for her to sleep elsewhere so into a swing she went where she would sleep for up to TEN hours straight.  We were so, SO spoiled by that.  Then one night when I walked by her room, the swing wasn't swinging.  The motor had gone kaput.  It was a sad, sad day ;)  Since then, she's been sleeping in a 'pack n play' bassinet in our room and wakes up two-three times a night which isn't that bad but when you're spoiled with those epic sleeps early on, well, it feels like she's always up!  I realize that our 'bad' nights are others good nights!  Soon, we're going to start making the move to the crib which I'm looking forward to so we don't have to tip toe to go to bed!

She's a pretty solid napper, usually taking at least one two-three hour nap mid day.  At this point, it seems she's a one-nap-a-day kid but I'm sure that will change eventually!  (and as I write this, she's already woken up twice from her nap so not all days are perfect!)
I honestly had my reservations about breastfeeding.  I wasn't sure that I wanted to be completely and truly responsible for feeding someone, for being a food source but I decided to give it a try and see how it went before I threw in the towel.  I was lucky in the fact that she had a good latch and had no issues with supply but man, oh man, did it hurt for a few months!  It felt like two hours would pass in five minutes before it was time to feed again and then all of the sudden, it didn't hurt and it quickly became second nature.  I'm glad now that I decided to give it a go and that it's worked out.  I'm not sure how long we'll keep it up for but for now, it's working :)
Personality-wise, this kid is pretty entertaining.  From her gigantic smiles to her frequent squeals and coos, she makes her presence known, in a good way.  She definitely knows who her mom and dad are and already has us wrapped around her little fingers.  Speaking of her dad, he's awesome with her.  I can't even express what a joy it is to watch them together.  She rolled over from front to back quite some time ago and it seems that she's thisclose to rolling from back to front.  God help us all.  She's started mimicking this tongue thing I do and can even make the sound but by moving her tongue differently, if any of that even makes sense.  Her hands serve her more everyday as she figures out how they work.  She drools if she's chewing on her hand or giraffe but I don't *think* that's she's teething yet.  She's just really started taking notice of the animals when they are around and seems to really enjoy the feel of Vera's hair, which Vera equally enjoys.  
  I can't believe she's already had a chance to grow out of clothes and graduate to larger sized diapers!  She hangs out by herself much more too which is awesome (hello free arms!) but is sad because she's one step closer to not being a baby anymore!  She seems to like watching us go about our routines around the house in the mornings and evenings.  Last week we put together her high chair where she actually sits and hangs out with us at the dinner table while we eat.  Her eyes never leave us.  It'd be creepy if it weren't our kid ;)

It sounds so cliche to say but time really is flying by and she's changing in front of our eyes!  Already 1/3 of a year old.  Crazy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One Of Those Outfits: The First Day. Again.

I'm back!  Classes started back up for me today and I'm quite excited to be back :)  If you remember, I'm only teaching one class this semester to get myself back in the game.  For a speaking class, I've got a pretty full class with 13 students but I think it's a nice bunch and should be a good time!

What makes this semester different is that it's my first with a kid, of course!  My mom is watching Rio while I'm teaching so I feed her right before I leave and right after I return.  What that means is that not only do I need to wear teaching appropriate clothes, I have to wear breastfeeding appropriate clothing as well.  Easier said than done.
I'm going to give documenting teaching outfits this semester another go but no promises.  I'm pretty sure I can easily get a photo each day BUT I can't promise that there won't be spit up or an accidental unbuttoning that slips by so, like I said, I'll try :)

You would think with as obsessed with scarves as I am that I would have figured out fancy scarf knotting before now but I hadn't until this past week!  This should be motivation enough to get me through the rest of these wretched cold months of winter ;) 

I must say, I'm having tons of fun dressing this little one every day!  There are some days that I'll change her clothes more times than I'll change my own!  I'm sure she loves that.  All of the sudden, she's chunked up and it cracks me up.  Chubbo Tubbo.

Rio wore a (9 month) sweater from Target, pants from Kumquat courtesy of my sister, hand-me-down socks and a handmade onesie that says 'i wuv mondo' from my dear sugarbread.  And yes, that is THE beast on it.  So much awesome.

I wore a clearance dress from Anthropologie, hand-me-down jacket, old tights, booties from Sears, gifted scarf and gifted handmade green amber earrings.  Can't go wrong with black and green in my book.

In other news, I'm in desperate need of a haircut.  I'm getting the itch to chop it ALL off.  Like short short short.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Fake Golden Rule

When I was a kid, I would often go to work with my parents,  just as Rio is doing with me (to the same place!).  Most of the time, I stayed in the office with my mom, stamping stuff, sometimes actually help sort through papers, rolling chairs in the shop and sometimes stapling my fingers (that's another story).  Periodically though, I would go out in the field with my dad.  This would include visits to job sites, runs to supply houses, lots of conversation and 'learning moments' on our drives.

On one of these drives with my dad at work, my dad decided to teach me about the Golden Rule and thought it would be entertaining to teach me that it was "Time is Money."  We'd go into supply houses that day and he would have me tell the workers there what I learned.  Time is money.  They'd get a good laugh and I'd enjoy being the center of attention for a bit.
A short while later while in Sunday School (back in the day when we went to church), we began discussing the Golden Rule and when our teacher asked if anyone knew what it was, I quickly and excitedly raised my hand.  When my teacher called on me, I proudly shared the Golden Rule:  Time is Money.  I was shocked to learn in that class that that wasn't actually it.  I don't think my dad thought his 'teaching' would stick like it did.  After class, my Sunday School teacher had a word with us.  We still laugh about it all today.

Early on in my teaching, I remember another teacher sharing with us some cultural perceptions that people from other countries have of the United States.  One of those perceptions was my fake golden rule, time is money.  There it was again.

I'm a workaholic.  Even in my downtime, I HAVE to be productive.  I can't watch TV, ride passenger in the car, lay in the hammock without feeling like I'm getting something done.  If my hands aren't busy, I feel like I'm wasting time.  It's a good problem to have but sometimes I think it's to the point of being obsessive.  It makes me wonder how much of that fake Golden Rule rings true in my subconscious.  Is it cultural?  Is it my upbringing?

I do think there is something to learn from that fake golden rule though.  Time is valuable.  Ridiculously valuable and precious.  My dad would also say to my sister and I (when we wouldn't get our bums out of bed in the morning), 'You're Burning Daylight'!  Basically through that and the fake golden rule, he's taught us to get up, get going and make the most of your day, however you may.

One of the beauties of having a baby is being forced to slow this train down.  A few times a day, I am forced to stop, sit and feed which makes me stop, think and breathe.  At night I'm forced to stop, lean back and help a baby go to sleep.  These pauses have taken a bit of time to get used to but I now find that I welcome them.  I'm not sure I would have found this room to breathe without a baby.

With this new aspect of life now, baby Rio, I want to make sure that I don't work too much and that I replace some of my need to be productive with a need to creative positive, special memories with our family.  At the same time, I want to teach her the joy I find in productivity and that having a child won't make her put the brakes on her hopes and dreams.  I want to teach her to make the most of each day while being present in the day.  It's a careful balance.

I do know one thing though, I'll be teaching her the real Golden Rule :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tiny Sewing Projects

The two weeks leading up to going back to work were filled with cleaning, organizing and maniacal sewing. I guess I felt like I'd never have time to sew again once I went back to work! 

When I was about halfway through my pregnancy, I bought a Groupon for a book closeout website. One of the books I picked out was Handmade Beginnings, a sewing book involving all things baby (and mom!) that got pretty good reviews. I browsed through it and put it on the shelf once it arrived and there it sat until a few weeks ago. Then the day after Christmas I went buckwild tracing patterns and cutting fabrics! 

 So far I've made three projects from the book - Baby In The Hood Jacket, Cute As A Button Booties and Pretty As A Picture Dress. I'm absolutely MAD over the jacket and totally want a big person one for myself! I found the vintage fabrics for the jacket and shoes during my Kanokla trip.   The dress fabric was a birthday gift from the mister and is randomly the exact same fabric that covers the baby book my mom bought me!  I made everything a few months larger than she is right now so they will be seasonally appropriate so I've only tried the shoes on her...and they were adorable!

 I'm not sure which project I'll tackle next but I'm excited to do so when that time comes! I've also been dreaming up making another quilt with fabric scraps... :)





Not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud of myself :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

One of Those Outfits: The End of Leave

Well, it had to happen sooner or later.  I went back to work today. Or maybe I should say WE went back to work as I had my mini sidekick in tow.

Today was my first day back at my parents' shop for the first time in almost four months.  I don't think I have EVER taken a break from any type of work for that long before.  Granted, motherhood IS work and I also worked on the show but it was truly a big change for me.  Maternity leave took me a bit to get used to, honestly.  I had a hard time NOT doing anything; NOT working.  After a while and after Rio started to get a bit more interactive did I start to find my rhythm at home.  Now, we're going to have to find our rhythm together at work.

There are lots of benefits to working with your folks, bringing your baby to work with you being a HUGE one.  Sure there are days I'm sure we all want to pull each others' hair out but all in all, working with family has been a very positive experience for me.  And I have no doubt that my parents are excited about being around Rio more :)  My sister and I both grew up at the shop and we turned out alright so it only makes sense for Rio to spend her young days there as well!

I don't go back to teaching until the end of the month so this will be a nice transition into a full work day for me before that rolls around.  I'll only be teaching one class and it's a class that I've taught (and LOVE to teach - Speaking) many times so I'm hoping that the first semester with baby will be a smooth one.  While I am in the classroom, my mom will watch Rio at the shop for me which I couldn't be more thankful for.  We have a back office at the shop that is barely used so we've pretty much turned it into a nursery!  Ha!  I'm hoping she'll find herself comfortable in there quickly.  Fingers crossed!

When I work at the shop, I can pretty much wear whatever I want but since it was my first day back, I wanted to dress up just a *little* so I put this odd and colorful number on :)  I picked up this 70s Bill Blass tunic during the last Kanokla.  When I pulled it out of my bag to show the mister, he blurted out something to the effect of, 'I know, you love this one' and I surely do.  The zipper makes it easy for quick feedings and I love that I can wear it as a dress or with jeans.  It was well worth the $3 I spent on it ;)  Nothing else is really notable about the ensemble except for the wonderful beast who I already miss not spending all day with!

I think the biggest immediate transition will be getting used to waking up early again!  This kid and I like to sleep :)  I also know I'll miss the animals, especially spending everyday with Pimmy who isn't doing the best.  She's still awfully cute though.  It's good for me to get my mind off of these things so work is probably a quiet blessing.  Wish us all luck that the rest of the first week goes well!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy Flu Year!

Remember when I said that I've learned that you can plan as much as you want but sometimes things don't go according to plan?  Well, that was my New Year's Eve!  

The mister and I had planned to leave Rio with my parents for the night and we were going to go out and do something, anything!  Well, New Year's Eve day started off with dropping the kid off at my folks and then spending some quality time at Urgent Care as Brent had come down with the flu.  Awesome.  The place was absolutely packed and slow moving (and everyone was wearing masks) so after staying there for quite some time, we decided to head on out and get him back in bed. 

With him in sick bay, I packed up myself, the mutt and the kid and headed to my parents' house for the next 48 hours so we wouldn't come down with the crud.  I went back a few times to check on him, grab things and tend to our ailing cat but other than that, we were outta there.  

Since our New Year's plans were thrown out the window, I just planned on hanging at my folks and having some quality time with the hot tub.  No big deal.  But my dad had other plans.  He talked me into attending what he referred to as a 'Sock Hop'.  You may recall that my dad is a dancer.  Er, he REALLY likes to dance, especially West Coast Swing which I have learned some of over the years as his occasional partner.  This event was more of traditional swing dancing and was pretty fun! 

They had a live band (The Zuits) and lots of impressive dancing to watch.  I did dance a little and at one point, was the partner of one of those show-stopper dancers which was pretty dizzy-ing ;) 

Being that the event was held in a church gym, there was nothing more than water to drink and honestly, being without baby on New Years, well, I wanted to have a drink!  

(that would be my dad below pointing at me :)

We headed to Brookside and stopped at a random bar to have a drink until the Party Bus made a stop.  Amateurs ;)  We then made our way home where ol' pops fell asleep early on the couch, Rio woke up and my mom and I toasted the New Year with some champagne and countdowning. 

It wasn't the New Year's Eve I had imagined but it was certainly memorable and enjoyable!  It was also Rio's passage to being a three-month old!  Maybe next New Year's Eve we'll get to go out :)
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