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Posts Tagged ‘parenthood’

“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. 🙂

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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

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…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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We are thrilled to announce that our Joey was born 9/3 at 8:34 AM. She weighed a whopping 8 pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 inches in length!! She is here! We are in love, ecstatic, and exhausted–which is why we are very tardy to announce our fantastic news with you, our supportive blog pals!

Hours after delivery…still staring at baby

Daddy and Joey

Just arrived!

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A friend of the blog and soon-to-be eccentric Swiss baroness recently said to me: “I was a much better mother before I had children.”

This made me think, because I am a really, really awesome dad now that I don’t have children. I’m a playful, loving, fun, and wise father for these future offspring. But is that because I don’t, well, actually have them yet?

Granted, I do actually have 7 nieces and nephews, and I am an awesome *actual* uncle to them. But it’s a lot different being an uncle than a father. (For one thing, there are no givebacks.) They all turned out great, but I may have to acknowledge that their actual parents had something to do with that.

But what will I be like when I’m tired, or trying to juggle home, work, and parenting responsibilities? Sometimes I worry – okay, worry is my natural state of existence, so most of the time I worry – that I will struggle to find the balance. And I do wonder if my friend is right, and it will all be uphill from here.

So, let me ask you, readers of the blog, what are your secrets? How does one find the energy, the patience, and the perseverance to be a good parent – actual or imagined?

Will I wield a Jello Pudding Pop or Red Light Saber?

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Dear Future Baby,

Lulu experiences The Bad Beginning

Boy (or girl), are you in luck! Your future mama and daddy have found a place you are surely going to love – merely one of the coolest places in the world. This place, dear baby, is our small town library, where they will loan you a ukulele if you ask. But the real treasure lies on the shelves – the many, many shelves, all lined with fabulous books! (Just don’t ask your mama where the card catalogue is unless you want to see her laugh.)

You’re going to learn quickly that your mama and daddy love to read. You’ll soon notice the stacks of books lying around your home. (In fact, little bookworm, I suspect that we will need to keep them out of the way until you’re old enough to know that books are for reading, not for eating.)

From Seuss to Zeus, there will be stories to tell. We’ll show you Where the Wild Things Are and Where the Sidewalk Ends. We’ll introduce you to a curious monkey named George and a Very Hungry Caterpillar. As you grow older, we’ll feed you a Giant Peach and take you on a tour of a Chocolate Factory. You’ll learn what lies inside an unusual Wardrobe, and how to make the best out of a Series of Unfortunate Events. You’ll be educated at Hogwarts, go There and Back Again (meeting a furry-footed friend along the way), and learn what Hugo Cabret invented.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! And in A Wrinkle in Time, you’ll be one of the most well-traveled children in this great big world!

Love,

Your globe-trotting, time-traveling daddy

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We were watching Mildred Pierce this weekend, and young Veda terrified us. She was precocious. But not in that adorable, cute way. Veda was snobby, cruel, evil, awful, and quite frankly frightening. We were scared. Will that happen to us? It can’t happen to us! We won’t make it!

So for our Hump Day Blog, we ask: What child personality is most terrifying to you? Feel free to add your own fear in the Comments section (alliteration optional)!

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