Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blue and the Y chromosome

Jack and Lily have now become pals. They play together pretty well which is a change from the days when Lily constantly harassed Jack. She could do it because her motor skills were (and still are) way ahead of Jack's. She walks, waves, claps and does sign language. I mentioned this to our doctor who said "girls are more advanced." I assume she means at this age but when does that difference end and why? What is it about the double X that makes girls advance more quickly? The Y is pretty puny .. but I don't get it. I am sure there is a book on it somewhere but I don't have time to read it.

Watching Jack and Lily makes me think a lot about the characteristics we assign to each gender. I never want Jack to feel he has to be a certain way -- aggressive or stoic or whatever - just because he is a boy. I thought I would just try to avoid owning the stereotypical boy things. I always said I wouldn't put Jack in all blue - we didn't find out his gender so we would get gender-neutral gifts... but then I thought, what does color have to do with gender? If Jack wears pink every day of his life, will he be sensitive? Highly unlikely yet I don't dress him in pink. I feel strange about it so clearly we have assigned some meaning to color in relationship to gender.

Lily has many fabulous girl clothes including this gold jacket. I think Jack looks happy in the coat.. Would my dad agree? No.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It is an absolutely beautiful day in Seattle today. I went to a yoga class this morning and had time to reflect on the many things in my life for which I am very grateful: Our community of friends and family who have made our transition to parenthood possible, our health, and our little guy who almost always emanates joy.

Also a better pic from halloween.. Bridget had jack and lily just hanging out in their halloween costumes. Lily was a dinosaur.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


We had a little party for Jack. I secretly hoped he wouldn't like the cake as I have seen a few babies his age do. But, alas, that did not happen.

Happy Birthday to Jack

It was a beautiful day -- on the day you were born. That is what Bridget and Heather's grandmother said every time she called her grandchildren on their birthdays. When I heard that, I wondered what I would say to Jack. On the day you were born I had no idea what the weather was like because I was so overwhelmed that I never thought to look out the window? No. I won't say that because I imagine that my narrative of my first few days and months with Jack will fade and instead be replaced with my feelings for him now. It is impossible to summarize this year. Certainly, it has been the hardest of my life but not the worst. I have made a lot of sacrifices but for a worthy exchange.

If I were to convey anything to Jack about his birthday I think I would steal the sentiments from the last few pages of the lovely children's book 'On the Day You Were Born.'

On the day you were born
the Earth turned, the moon pulled, the sun flared
and then, with a push, you slipped out of the dark quiet
where suddenly you could hear ...

a circle of people singing with voices familiar and clear

welcome to the spinning world the people sang
as they washed your tiny hands

welcome to the green earth, the people sang
as they wrapped your wet, slippery body

And as they held you close
they whispered into your open, curving ear
We are so glad you've come

Saturday, November 17, 2007

12 hours later

So here I am 12 hours after my labor technically started.. I was having regular contractions but nothing very strong. Since my water had broken 12 hours earlier, the midwife insisted I check into the hospital. The strange thing about remembering this time is realizing that I was in denial about having a baby. I suppose it was a coping mechanism for something that was too overwhelming to even imagine.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last year at this time

If you asked me what I was doing on August 12 or May 23 of last year or any specific day of most years of my life, I would have no idea. But I do remember November 16, 2006. I woke up, walked to my chemistry class, had lunch at a little cafe by school, then I went to my chemistry lab where I stood for 5! hours working on the most tedious lab of my entire year of chemistry. A former chemistry professor saw me and mentioned he didn't think I was going to make it until the end of the quarter based on the size of my stomach. I really didn't think I looked that big. I got home around 5 .. I don't remember what happened until 11:30 when I felt a weird snap and suspected that my water had broken.

Here is what I looked like:

(we actually took this on the morning of 11/17. i had sort of slept that night .. but not really)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Photo shoot

I recently decided that we should have professional family photos taken.. I wanted to celebrate the end of Jack's first year. I am also aware that I am not a great photographer so I wanted some good shots. A dear friend of mine took the photos (samples of her work) at the arboretum. Here are a few of our favorites:

It's kind of weird having a family photo taken. (We do have shots of the three of us but I don't have the images yet) This used to mean a picture with my siblings and parents. But now I have a family of my own. I feel very grown-up. I suppose it's time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Halloween

A little late.

The latest news is that I started a babysitting co-op in my neighborhood. We have 6 families participating -- kids range in age from 4 months to 7. It's a pretty simple arrangement. Everyone gets 15 poker chips. Each hour "costs" one chip and the only way you get chips is to watch someone else's child(ren). Ryan and I are going out tonight (woo-hoo!) and I am watching 2 kids tomorrow night. I actually like children now whereas before I had a child, I thought they were kind of boring. So, I am looking forward to getting to know the kids in my neighborhood.

Also, Jack has mastered getting up and down from a standing position so he is much happier. He is also feeding himself and displaying preferences for food as he eats. While this is a totally mundane thing that everyone you know does, it's crazy to see it displayed for the first time in another person. Yesterday I gave him a plate of eggs, toast, avocado and cheese (all sliced into small pieces). He ate the toast first and when it was gone went for the cheese, then the avocado, and finally the eggs -- although he mostly threw those on the floor. When I tried to feed him avocado first, he shook his head no and pushed my hand away.

What I love about child-raising is how thrilling it makes the average daily event. My lunch description sounds very dull, I am sure but to me, I was completely amazed by the whole event.

I couldn't get a great shot of Jack in his monkey costume. Ryan looks a little crazy but this is the best I could do.