Rock 'N' Stroll.

Yesterday I discovered that Noah Finn does not share his mother's affinity for public radio. Classic rock it seems, is more his thing. While driving the short distance between Target, the park for a playdate, and our home, there was no classical station to be found and I had left all of the classical compilation cds that daddy had made for Noah at home. The only thing found on the radio dial to soothe the screaming beast in the backseat was Led Zeppelin--nada to mariachi, nada to alternative rock, nada to slow jams. Only the rockin' rhythms of Bob Seger and Fleetwood Mac calmed my mighty car seat crooner. I truly don't mind a nostalgic trip down bygone decades' memory lane, but several stoplights of The Eagles while I could be indulging in the stimulating intellectual acrobatics that only accompanies a good dose of "All Things Considered" seems detrimental to my mental health--but then again, so does a screaming baby. So, Ms. Stevie Nicks, we welcome you with open arms to the Surette-Nelson mobile.

In other Noah news, Noah Finn is making more friends than Mr. Rogers due to the rigorous social calendar that we have been keeping. Really, it's no more than an outing or so a day that has us meeting and mingling with other "grown-up talk" deprived mommies and their little spawns. The L.A. M.I.L.K.s. has turned out to be a great group of moms. Last weekend I ventured out for my first "mommy's night out". Despite mediocre Chinese food at an even more questionable dining establishment in Chinatown, pumping a bottle of breast milk for Dean and Noah while I indulged in some mommy-to-mommy face time amidst sweet and sour soup and stale cookies of fortune was just what the Dr. ordered. Weekly walks, playdates and other pint-sized adventures have forced us to practice getting out of the house at a specific time--which is harder than it sounds for those who have never had to do it.

So, if it seems that all things in babyland lately are sunny and splendid, well they are. For the most part, we have moseyed on by the dark days of blog postings past. Dean and I have been continuing to experiment in an effort to find what's right for us and little Noah Finn. I guess it's just a matter of getting over mental hurdles--the hurdle that makes it difficult to accept that you are on your little one's schedule or "not-schedule" now--your time is no longer your own. Once that revelation is realized and embraced, life with baby it seems is sweet.


Friday the 13th, Indeed.

As you all know, last week was mine and Noah Finn's first week home all alone and as I reported half way through the week, all was rosy and fun. That is until Friday, Friday the 13th, and the last day of the first week. Perhaps this is not new news for more experienced mommies, but eating and sleeping for Noah has not followed any kind of predictable pattern so far. As soon as we think that we have figured something out--oh, he eats every two hours--or--oh, he goes to sleep every three hours--he changes it on us without warning. And last Friday was an exercise of mommy's patience for change.

He woke up from "night sleep" at about 10:45 a.m. and, of course, ate. We played, changed diaper(s), played some more and began winding down for nap time (Drs. recommend that babies until 6 months of age nap every two to three hours). Sometimes Noah goes a little past the recommended two to three hours, so when he appeared not sleepy, we continued to play, giggle, change and feed until about 3:00 p.m. Still displaying no signs of weary eyes, I tried to put him down to sleep nonetheless--after all, it had been over four hours now.

Sleep for him and a break for me, however, were not in the cards for either of us. Nope--Mr. Bright Eyes and Bushy Tail woke up after five minutes. I tried several times again immediately--swaddling, white noise, shushing, rocking--same result--sleep was on vacation and it wasn't visiting L.A.

So, we read and rocked, ate and sang, danced and gooed until he began to doze in my arms while feeding and the clock struck 5:00 p.m. My arms ached--I was growing weary and ever so slightly frustrated--I couldn't put him down for longer than 15 minutes or else monumental meltdowns would occur. Again, I tried to put him down to sleep several times with no success.

So, we swung and bounced, bathed and massaged until the clock was ticking towards 8:00 p.m. Yet gain, I tried to put him down to sleep several times with no success. . . . And, then, I began to cry--uncontrollably--sobbing. I called Dean several times at work. He desperately tried to do what he could over the phone--begged me to come to the studio so that he could give me a break. But it was raining, cold and blustery outside--I was still in my P.J's and looked as if I had been caring for an infant that hadn't slept at any point in the last nine hours.

So, I paced from room to room rocking the baby with no eye lids from side-to-side as I cried--from exhaustion, frustration and defeat.

11:30 p.m. approached and Dean came home from work and took over "Operation Infant Insomniac". By midnight, the little monkey was asleep--over 13 hours later.

How did he sleep during the day on Saturday and Sunday while Dean was at home, you ask? Like a baby.


First Week Flying Solo.

So, we've survived, Noah and I, the absence of Daddy. He of course calls several times a day to both hear Noah coo and make sure Mommy isn't spouting baby gibberish from our apartment building's rooftop--but, nope, no signs of new mommy insanity in sight--it's been smooth sailing so far. One of the many good things about living in the city is the many walkable outings that are possible--grocery stores, outdoor shopping malls, farmer's markets, restaurants, parks . . . not such slim pickin's for cabin fevered families! And despite the rainy cold weather as of late, we've even managed to begin to get into some semblance of a routine and it's only day three. Forbearing no major munchkin mishaps or meltdowns, Mr. Noah Finn gets a baby massage in the sunshine that comes through our bedroom window and a bath every other morning, a mid-morning walk to the Tar Pit Park and afternoon walk to the Pan Pacific Park every day, and a sponge bath every night. In between all of that, we spend our time singing, reading, talking, sunning, gazing at our spacemat mobile, chillin' in our bouncer chair, pooping, peeing, eating and napping.

And for those of you who were wondering, yes, we made all three mommy group's "final cuts"--but now we've decided to make a few cuts of our own. "The No Drama Mamas" it turns out, were everything but "low key"--the group leader seemed to be something of a diaper dictator and required attendance from moms at least several times a month along with other obligatory silliness. It was my intention to meet other moms for leisurely park strolls and have a real tangible reason to spend three hours preparing to leave the confines of the home via a vehicle for playdates once in a while--not feeling guilty for not making a meetup if Noah and I feel like sleeping in and ditch a date because we want to stay in our jammies all day. The "Stroller Striders", too, were nixed from our list. They require an $80.00 a month "membership fee". I don't know about other new mommies out there, but cloth diapers, enough clothes to keep up with weekly growth spurts, and other "necessary" baby baubles and gadgets have drastically curtailed our expendable income. Which brings us to the last mommy group that we applied to--"The LA M.I.L.K.s." (The Los Angeles Moms I'd Like to Know)--no fee required and no rigid obligations--just other mamas looking for fun, friendship and support. Our first meetup will be tomorrow at a park just a few blocks away. It's at 9:00 a.m. which may pose a slight problem for us because of our nighttime nursing schedule, but the promise of our first mommy & me friendships will hopefully be enough to pull us out from beneath our snugly covers. So, wish us luck--the idea of adding regular mommy group playdates to our new schedule is simply thrilling!

Before we close, a quick breakdown of Noah's current daily friends and foes--and luckily there are more loves than not:
  • loves bathtime
  • hates getting dressed--particularly the putting the shirt over the head part
  • (still) loves watching the ceiling fan go round and round
  • hates tummy time
  • loves being on his changing table
  • hates his swing--sorry Grandma and Grandpa Surette--this could change . . .?)
  • loves being naked--particularly without a diaper
  • hates the feeling of wind on his face--he wrinkles his nose, clenches his eyes shut, and gasps for air
  • loves his spacemat mobile
  • hates sleeping without being swaddled
  • loves sleeping in his Baby Bjorn carrier
  • loves his "white noise" machine
  • loves dancing around the living room with mommy
  • loves classical music
  • loves getting his baby massage
  • loves sunning on the sand at the beach
  • loves breastfeeding every minute of every day even when he's not hungry
  • loves sucking on his fist (his hand is a newly discovered body part)
  • loves sticking out his tongue and licking his lips (a newly discovered skill)
  • loves cooing, gooing and giggling at mommy and daddy instead of taking naps


O Mothers, Where Art Thou?

Yesterday signaled great things--I cut my nails and pushed back my cuticles. Yes, this rather mundane and routine grooming ritual is probably something you take for granted--something you may do after you get out the shower while getting ready for work in the morning or something you might do while simultaneously brushing your teeth and having a conversation with your spouse before bed at night. But not me, nope. This marks for me a crowning clipping achievement--the first indulgence in any kind of self-beautification that I have taken in the last 6 weeks--and Dean, I think, is ecstatic.

This small leap back in among the more productive living is moving me one small step closer towards preparedness for Dean's departure from our current den o' baby with two parents full-time, to just one. Though he has been working from home this week in an effort to help ease the transition, we've sort of been pretending he's not home as a test of my ability to fare diaper explosions, cooking lunch one-handed and mitigating nap time breakdowns solo. Whether he's actually gotten much work done is up for debate--he, rather, may be the better one to ask as I feel that my ice cold stares as I purposefully pace by his work area with the crying baby has everything but not distract him.

Nevertheless, I really am trying to use this time to ready myself for the inevitable. And that's why yesterday I embarked on a quest for other mothers. You know, a collection of clucking, cluttering and clacking postpartum mamas whose solemn goal each morning is to make it out of the house at least once a day a little further distance than it takes to check the mail. After two days of desperately combing the world wide web for groups of mommies with a similar mission, I stumbled across three prospective winners: "The No Drama Mamas", "The Stroller Striders" and "The LA M.I.L.K.s." (which stands for "The LA Moms I Want To Meet"). After filling out applications and answering profile questions that were eerily reminiscent of a college or first job application, I now sit in eager anticipation to be one of the "chosen ones"--a member of the "in crowd"--admitted into the the "inner circle" of breast pump pilates and diaper bag debates. As I wait while constantly refreshing my e-mail inbox in search of those three letters of acrimonious acceptance, I am reminded of the time I tried out for the cheerleading squad in the 10th grade. I didn't make the team then--let's hope I fare better this time--for Noah's sake, at least.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin