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Mixing Paint Colors

“Are you OK,” Patrick asked as I buckled Joey into her car seat.

“Yeah, it didn’t bother me at all. I would have wondered the same thing. It made me smile, actually,” I responded with a laugh, more out of relief than anything. It finally had happened. I had wondered how I would react…

You guys, after 9 months of watching TV and staring down other mixed-race families, in a game called “Guess Which Shade of Tan Our Baby Will Be,” we have a baby that is a shade of white a bit more milky and porcelain than Patrick’s skin. We had not anticipated that…at all. During our pregnancy, Patrick kept reminding me that we weren’t mixing paint, there were a variety of possibilities. But, even “anything is possible” Patrick admits being more than a little surprised by our baby’s skin tone and overall strong likeness to her dad.

Cuddles!

I may have mentioned that I am biracial and adopted in a previous post or two. Even though I was adopted into a mixed-racial home, my skin tone is noticeably darker than the varied tones of my immediate family. It is safe to say at this point, I have never experienced bearing any resemblance to my family.

That being said… While I was pregnant, did a part of me revel in the thought that I would have a family member that looked like me? Yes, definitely. Was I anticipating a little girl with tan skin and wild curly hair like her mama? Yes, indeed-y. Did Patrick and I excitedly hold our collective breaths, expecting an olive complexion to make its way to the surface as our newborn daughter went from white, to yellow (thanks, jaundice), and…back to white again? Yup! Did we expect Joey’s eyes to turn brown by now? Oh, yes. Do we think our daughter is perfect and the most beautiful girl, exactly the way she is. Undoubtably!

Day-to-day, minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, I do not notice my daughter’s skin, unless  a rash turns up. (Reoccurring belly rash is no match for me!) I’m used to being in a family that is bound by…whatever it is that links a family–love, sense of “us,” same detergent smell–that is not genetics or looks. So this isn’t exactly new territory. But I always wondered if other people could shake my confidence and my strong sense of family-connectedness now that I’m a *mom* to a baby that does not, at first glance, look like me. Turns out, not so much.

Mirroring Surprise

As we were gathering all of our belongings to leave a restaurant–coats, diaper bag, toys, baby–I overheard a girl say to her friend, “I’m trying to figure out if she is the baby’s mom…” She said more, but I didn’t catch it. I smiled as I thought, “Yes, I am the mom! Lucky me!” And that was it. As Patrick and I walked to the car, I told him what I had overheard and he asked me if I was OK.

Am I OK? I have a healthy and beautiful baby girl; a loving, supportive, and present husband; and the best job ever–a full-time nanny to my own daughter. Yeah, I’d say I’m more than OK! But thanks for asking. :)

Becoming a Mom

Today I’m I’m guest blogging at Sippy Cup Chronicles. I wanted to start by thanking Jenny for asking me to guest blog! I had nearly forgotten I had a blog of my own and that I enjoy writing. I had been so busy joining the walking dead becoming a mom that I just haven’t had the time and/or brain power to keep up with it. So thank you so much, Jenny, for giving me that spark to write again. And also thanks to Jenny for being kind about deadlines – it took me a while to get this post together.

My first and only child, Joey, is now 6 months, but it is only recently that I feel like a mom. At first, I just felt insane, tired, and like I lived in an alternate universe. I was just trying to survive on little sleep and figure out what on earth this cute little baby wanted…

Read the rest of my guest post and see cute Joey pics by clicking here!

Back before September 2012, when I was more rotund and breathing for two, I had a tendency to compare my pregnancy experience with that of a dog’s.

“I hope all goes well during delivery and we can have immediate skin-to-skin contact, you know, like the way dogs lick the goo off their pups after they are born. Or is that horses?”

“I feel like it is unnatural to only have one baby. Dogs know how to do it — tons of immediate siblings.”

Patrick would nod at these comments. He knows who he married and at this point he is more unflappable than ever. My mom was sweet about it. She kindly reminded me that I wasn’t a dog and empathized with the fact that I didn’t have personal experience to draw from. After my human baby was born, it continued:

“Why is breastfeeding so difficult for us? Puppies don’t have latch problems! Mom dogs don’t have supply issues, do they?”

“If we were dogs, the baby would be up and about by now. It’s been 2 months, for crying out loud, and she can’t even wobble-walk around! Human babies need to take a lesson or two from puppies.”

Patrick continued to nod. But at some point my mom pleaded, “Will you please stop comparing my granddaughter to a dog? She is a human!” Her voice was high-pitched and sort of desperate, so I stopped making these inane comparisons…aloud.

Well, joke is on you, mom! Your granddaughter is a puppy and I have proof!! (Sidetrack: If puppies that are loved as much as human babies are called “fur babies,” then what are babies who are loved as much as puppies called? Skin puppies? Gross.)

Proof That My Daughter Is a Puppy

Exhibit A: Chews On Slippers

Who needs toys?

“Meh eatz this.”

My little pup can be surrounded by toys, but will  traverse the wide expanse (4 feet) of the big blue mat to get to our slippers.

Exhibit B: She Eats Her Vomit

"Meh lurves dessert."

“Meh lurves dessert.”

Yes, that there is her vomit. And yes, I took a picture before removing her from the situation and cleaning up the mess…the rest of the mess…that she didn’t already lap up…because I took a picture first…then went on an app to make a collage of the vomit pics…to share with you…you are welcome.

Exhibit C: She Hates When Her Humans Dress Her In Costume

"This is so lame."

“Meh hat ewe.”

Read that face: disgust, embarrassment, menacing promise of retaliation, despair.

Exhibit D: Moves Around On All Fours

"Meh canz move."

“Huh? Meh notz a baby?”

Knock, Knock

Helloooooo, blog friends! Are you still there? Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m really awful without sleep and babies are awful about sleeping. So these past months have not been my most eloquent or awake ones. But here we are, 6 months into things, and Joey is sitting and playing on her own, sleeping at night, and taking two naps. So guess who has a bit more brainpower and time? I have no idea. Un-relatedly, I’m going to try to blog again. Going to take it slow with the goal to write 1/week.

Let’s catch you up to speed on where we are… I’m now admitting to be a SAHM. I am in mommy-baby groups that meet multiple days a week (!). We are starting solids. We are moving soon! Patrick is still not proficient at putting a onesie on a baby or changing a poo diaper by himself, but I suspect he is just feigning clumsiness so as to spend more quality time with me. Also, I talk about poo now. Clearly, I have a lot to write about these days, so why not do it here with you?

To reward those of you who are still with us, and because Angie requested…

Sitting pretty

Sitting pretty

Happy!

Face Time

Eating My Words… Again

I love being a mom!! It is usually a joy, sometimes frustrating, and it gives me even more opportunities to pronounce preferences/opinions with conviction, only to be proven wrong.

Pacifiers, the little plugs I swore “I’d never,” are in full rotation here. We even have a pacifier with a dragon toy on the end! And I love it. I love watching my little girl manipulate the toy and sometimes, with a lot of effort and a bit of luck, she can put the pacifier back in her own mouth. This was also the first toy she grabbed, so I’m obsessed with it!

Dragon wrestling

Dragon kiss!

Co-sleeping? Um, do I look like a hippie? I must, because we did. This week we are transitioning to sleeping in the crib in her room. So far, the “transition” has resulted in the baby sleeping in the crib just fine while I try to fall asleep without my little girl beside me. This is a pic of the baby “adjusting” (not shown – a hippie mom tossing and turning):

Look at that crib-hater

Sleeping dragon

But of all the “That won’t happen to us!” squawking I did, I NEVER thought I’d be wrong on this. I wrote a snarky post last year (read Judging Books By Their Covers here) about all of the white babies on the covers of baby books. On behalf of our future brown baby, we were offended by the implication that all babies are white. I wrote sarcastically:

So if I am to judge books by their covers (admittedly, at a seriously picked-over out-of-business sale), it looks like my baby will be white…

Well, guess what? She is! I’m going to print this out so I can eat my words.

Yes, sir, that’s my baby!

Sticking To My Guns

Our baby is five weeks old!! Do you recall my post outlining my stubborn refusal to buy certain mommy/baby “necessities?” Well, I thought it would be fun to share with you what “I’d never” items have made it into our household already…

Baby Monitor: So far, we haven’t had the need for one. Little Joey has a set of strong lungs on her and she is never too far away from one or both of us.

Breast Pump and Bottles: Honestly, I bought a manual pump and bottles right after I published that post. Good thing I did. We had latch issues at first. We met with a lactation consultant who discouraged bottle use but suggested I pump and use a syringe to encourage latch. Thanks to the consultant’s guidance we were syringe and pump free within 2.5 days. Recently I have been using the pump again to have some bottles on hand to bring to appointments or have on an occasion that I want a beer in the evening.  

Infant Car Seat: It has not been a problem to take baby from our convertible car seat to baby carrier during outings. Joey is not bothered moving from one to the other. We do not regret foregoing the infant seat.

Happy in her convertible car seat…Content with her paci

Two Car Seats: So far, the station wagon has been working for us as the designated child transport vehicle. This may change later on, but I suspect a second seat for our second car will be a distant future need.

Multiple Strollers: We have barely used our City Mini. For now, we’re all loving the baby sling and Baby Bjorn for our fall walks, but we can’t wait to break out the stroller next spring.

Additional baby items I thought I’d never see in my house, but are here and in use:

Pacifier

Disposable diapers

And for fun, parenting behaviors I thought weren’t for me, but turns out they are:

Co-sleeping

Toys in my living room 

Stepping over a baby gym to get to the couch, using a paci when we go for a walk, pumping in the afternoon to have a glass of wine with dinner… These changes of directions keep this tired family happy. And as they say, a happy family is…a happy family!

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil

So Much Is Happening…

…every day. We are starting to get into a new rhythm. We are diaper changing pros. We have resumed cooking. Patrick has returned to work. We are getting a bit more sleep…if we nap when she naps. We are totally thrilled to be parents to this growing girl!

But enough about us…our baby girl is 1 month young today! What has she been up to?

1 month, 1 million snuggles

She’s been on many walks…

…without using her own feet…

…she has parents to walk for her

She has slept…

…but not in her crib

She has cheered for her favorite sports team…

…and has shown outrage when they lost

She has hung out with Lulu…

…and learned a naughty gesture

She eats, and poops, and cries…

…and we love her up every day

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