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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Now that I’m a mommy, I sometimes wish that I had lived a more exciting life in my pre-mommy days. You know, now that it’s incredibly difficult even to leave the house to go to the grocery store. Sometimes I wish that Spencer and I had spent a year living in southern France like our friends Jay and Holly, or a year backpacking around the world like our friends Ted and Bethany.

But then I thought, I actually have had quite a few adventures in my day. I have:

Been booed off a karaoke stage in Ghana. My first time attempting public karaoke, and I was booed off. I didn’t even know this was possible! Apparently, people take their karaoke quite seriously in Ghana. Who knew? I felt like Simon Cowell was in the audience. If you have a trip to Ghana in your future, and you want to get your karaoke on, be sure to practice the song beforehand.

Climbed 10, 358 foot South Sister. The peak (ha!) of my mountain climbing career so far, I summited South Sister when I was just seven years old. I carried my stuffed kitty, Jennifer Snowball Husk, in my pink backpack. It was a slow climb, and when we reached the top, the late afternoon storm clouds were rolling in. Yes, we reached the top just in time for a lightning storm! After spending some time wedged under a giant boulder with my mom huddled against me to act as a human shield against the lightning, we eventually ran down the mountain, only to find our sleeping bags soaking wet because my parents had neglected to put up the rain fly. Exhausted, but glad to have survived, we packed up our gear and began the late drive across the Cascades, homeward to Eugene.

Swam with dolphins in the wild. Despite the fact that I’m not a great swimmer and I have an extreme phobia of sharks (stemming from too many childhood viewings of Jaws), I swam halfway across a Hawaiian bay to be in the midst of a dolphin pod. I had heard that dolphins sometimes protect people from sharks, so I decided I had nothing to fear. Watching the dolphins swim around me and hearing them talk to each other underwater was an amazing experience.

Appeared on a poster alongside Slick Rick. Need I say more? Okay, I was in a theater troupe in high school; we both had upcoming shows at the WOW Hall in Eugene.

Landed a double salchow. Perhaps the weirdest named of any figure skating jump, I nailed it the summer of 1998, before I quite skating. Fourteen years later, I still dream often of flying through the air above the ice.
So yes, I’ve had some adventures. And there are many more to come, now with my sweet Baby Bear in tow.

A few more memories:

Camping in the San Juan Islands.

Me (on the right) at Buckingham Palace.

With Spencer at the Dave Matthews Band concert in the Gorge.

Having the first dance with Spencer. (photo by TJ Cameron)

Saturday is Baby Bear’s three-month birthday! Oh my goodness! What a whirlwind these past three months have been.

One of Baby Bear’s favorite things to do is sit on the couch and stare at the elephant mobile that hangs from our ceiling. I hold her and her eyes lock onto the elephants, and she immediately gets a huge smile and starts saying “Ooo!”

I imagine she is saying, “Hello elephant friends! I love watching you dance in the air.”

One of her other favorite things right now is trying to stand up. She will straighten her legs, and then I will hold her up and help her balance. She’s strong! I guess the joke will be on me when she starts walking.

Spencer started walking at 9 months. His mom said that one day he just stood up in the middle of the room and started walking. I also started walking around 9 months, but with assistance. My parents would take me on walks in the stroller and I would get out and push the stroller.

It’s been amazing watching the changes in her over the past few months, from sleepy newborn to smiling, giggly three-month old. I’m looking forward to watching her continue to grow and change.

On Sunday we had her baby dedication service at church. We wanted to have her wear a beautiful christening gown and hat that her great-grandmother had lovingly knit for her. But it was about 90 degrees that day, and the church doesn’t have air conditioning. Not only that, but for some reason the heat was on in the church and no one knew how to turn it off! So, it was too hot to wear the long-sleeved, wool christening gown. She wore a lovely floral dress instead.

All of her grandparents and one great-grandmother came for the service. I love how the baby brings everyone together, and how she is starting out her life with so many people loving her already. Our good friends Jay and Holly, and Bob, came as well — we’ve decided they have honorary aunt and uncle status, since Spencer and I don’t have siblings.

For the dedication, we went up on stage and Spencer prayed for her, and then our pastor prayed for all three of us. When I was pregnant, I had already prayed for her that her life would be dedicated to God. But I felt it was also important to do so publicly. I believe that her life is a gift from God, and I always want to remember that. She is God’s child even more than she is mine.

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Blessing babies is important in many religious traditions. My denomination holds dedication services, some hold christenings and others perform infant baptisms. Are are any of these rituals important to you? Why or why not?

I know I’m very lucky. Baby Bear is quite an easy baby, who loves to smile. Last night I went to bed at 10 and didn’t wake up until 4:45 a.m.! She was still asleep, but I woke her up to feed her anyway. She’s only 11 weeks and is still supposed to eat at least every 6 hours at night. Then, she went right back to sleep after that and slept until 8 a.m.

I’m so thankful that she’s such a great nighttime sleeper, because I really cannot function without good sleep. I’ve never been one to stay up all night cramming for an exam or writing a paper. I always figured that staying up all night to study for a test does more harm than good.

One thing that is a little difficult with Baby Bear is the frequency of diaper changes. Last night, I took her with me to a baby shower. I only stayed for about an hour, and I had to change her diaper three times! After three diaper changes, I figure it’s probably time to go home. They were all just pee diapers. Every time she pees while awake, she gets fussy and demands a diaper change. So I frequently change her diaper three or more times in an hour. Probably adds up to 15-20 diapers a day. This is expensive and quite exhausting. Many parents seem surprised by this, so I’m assuming that a lot of babies either don’t complain when they have a wet diaper, or just don’t pee as frequently. The upside is that I assume she will be potty trained at an early age. I’m hoping by age 2 — fingers crossed.

In her early weeks of life, we also had the occasional projectile poop during changing. Once I was changing her diaper and she let out a projectile poop that flew across the changing table and hit the door a few feet away. Wow! Quite impressive. Sometimes she also has fountains of pee while I’m changing her, that spray all over herself. I’m just glad Baby Bear is not a boy!

The best is when is when I’m changing her poopy diaper, then she pees all over the changing pad, and then spits up all over herself. The trifecta. She used to spit up frequently during changing. Now she doesn’t spit up as often, probably because her stomach is bigger, and I have also been more vigilant about burping her.

This is the life of a new mom. Cleaning up poop, pee and throw up 20 percent of the day, and breastfeeding the other 80 percent of the day. Reminding yourself to take time to shower, brush your teeth and eat three meals daily. But when I look at my beautiful little girl, it’s all worth it.