Friday, April 30, 2010

French kissing baby

A few things about today stand out. First of all, we had an unusual start to the day. In the middle of the night, Natalie whimpered in her sleep a couple times. We really thought she was going to start crying, but there was about an hour in between each one. But then at just about 6, after Mike's alarm had already started going off, she did start crying. So, I got up and she nursed forever, then fell back to sleep. I managed to get comfy and sleep some, too. But around 9, I just couldn't sit there anymore, so I woke her up when trying to put her into the crib. She protested at first, but when I picked her up for a little snuggle, she woke up and we were okay. However, that left us with 45 minutes to get ready before we had to leave for the library for story time. That's only 45 minutes for me to have breakfast, get dressed and washed up, pump, make cereal and feed it to Natalie, and get her dressed including a diaper change. We were only a couple minutes late.

In our area with have two big libraries that are linked together. We can take books out of either one, but we go to story time at the one in our town. We went to both of them, and I like the librarian at ours better, even though I like the children's room better at the other library. We've gone to story time almost every week since Natalie was three weeks old. At that first visit, I got her a library card of her own. We don't use it though because my library card is on my keys and hers is in my wallet, which is far less convenient when you're trying to rush out of a library with a crying baby. Even though we have tons of books here for Natalie, we usually take out one or two for her each week. We have a lot of books for Natalie for when she is older or for us to read aloud to her. There are fewer books that are board books for her to play with. We don't have many picture books that are more age appropriate for us to read together, so those are the kind of books I try to borrow.

Story time is usually a lot of songs and rhymes, complete with hand gestures or bouncing on laps, and three stories. I like our librarian because she just has a great personality and does great inflection in her reading, as well as voices when appropriate. Her underwater fish voice is awesome. She does a lot of other activities with the stories, too, like asking the kids questions or tying a book and song together. She also knows all the regular kids' names. And there are regulars. I've learned that one of my neighbors goes because she saw Natalie and I passing her house on walks. We usually stay and talk and let our little girls have a good look at each other. I've started talking with a couple of the other moms, too, now that Natalie is old enough to look around and not need to rush home to eat or sleep. I look forward to story time every week, and I'm pretty sure Natalie likes it, too. Though, I think she likes looking at all the other kids more than she does the songs and stories at this point.

Today, Natalie fell asleep on the way home. The car puts her to sleep a lot, but it wasn't surprising in this case because she's been up for about two hours. That's usually all Natalie can take before she starts to show signs of being tired. I wonder sometimes if this is normal or not because I keep hearing about babies dropping the morning nap. For that to work for us, Natalie would have to be able to go from 645 to 1045, not including if she is awake before Mike goes in to get her. She sometimes goes four hours in the evening, but its not pretty. Sometimes I wonder if she can't make it that long because she is so active and alert. She does watch TV while she plays often, but we is always playing with a toy, chewing or kicking. And people are always saying how alert she is.

While Natalie was sleeping in the car seat on the kitchen table, one of our neighbors came by to give Natalie a gift. We first met this woman a few years ago when she was raising money for her sick brother and we had a refrigerator to give away. Then when it warmed up and I started taking Natalie out for walks, she was outside a few times and we got to talking. I usually see her about once a week, if not more. Somedays, I deliberately go by her house to chat and others, like today, I chose not since we'd already seen her. Its nice having a little chat in the afternoon and getting to know the neighbors better. She knows a lot about the other people in the neighborhood, so I'm learning from talking with her. She's offered to come over and watch Natalie so that I can go swimming. I don't know if I'll ever take her up on that though because in four summers living here I've probably been in the pool less than 20 times, and that was without the baby. Instead, I see myself sitting in the wading pool with Natalie. But, we figure that if she will do this, we can probably ask her to babysit for us. Its good to know that in a pinch, we have someone close by to ask. I know a teacher a few streets away and we do now know that woman from story time, but both of these women have busy lives with work and children, unlike Meme on the corner who is retired.

I guess I don't have too much else to say about today. The afternoon went smoothly: Natalie playing on the floor and me playing with her when she wanted attention, a walk, a nursing, some TV. Mike got home on time even though he went to the auto parts store. We made dinner. We grilled tonight, so I was watching Natalie more than usual, but he fed her. She started to get cranky during dinner, so I sat on the floor with her. All she was really interested in was trying to the food off of my plate. After dinner, Mike played with her some and brought her outside, including around to the window behind me. She wanted to be with me though. She led Mike over to me on the couch, but then got upset when she had to be on the floor next to me, so we put her on my chest. Mike had the idea to put a receiving blanket in between us like a curtain and we played peekaboo that way. What was really cute is that she knew I was there and was touching my face through the blanket. She also has started doing what I can only think is kissing because she's putting her mouth on my mouth. Sadly, though, its like french kissing! Tonight, she like licked my teeth! Its more funny than gross, and its actually pretty sweet if she thinks she is kissing. She put my chin in her mouth yesterday.

While trying to think of a title for this post, I did get thinking about how our adventures at the library and with our neighbor are starting to make it feel like we are more part of a community. I guess overall my relationships with people are changing. I focus so much of my time on Natalie, that I don't spend much time talking to friends. Before, I was always so tired or busy or afraid I'd wake Natalie. Now, its more of a problem that when I'm able to talk, everyone I know is working. Then in the evenings, I like to do things I can't do during the day. I feel my relationship with Mike is different, too, because most of what we talk about is Natalie. I kind of wonder what we talked about before. I guess I told him a lot about work. I feel we don't spend a lot of time together because we want to do different things in the evening, and he has things he has to get done on weekends. We haven't gone out alone together since early February when we had a babysitting disaster. Also, recently, I've been trying to get some time to myself when I can. Only once have I been able to go back to bed after Natalie's had breakfast. During Mike's vacation, I had one outing out and one period of time alone in the house, the first since Natalie's arrival. It was nice to be alone in the house for a little while. I feel a little bad, like I'm trying to push Natalie away on to him, like she is a chore, but at the same time, sometimes I need to push to get what I need. I enjoy being with Natalie most of the time, especially since she is so well behaved, but caring for her is restricting, and I need to just not worry about being in charge sometimes, and making dinner or doing other chores doesn't count.

Well, I'm just about out of things to say anyway, but Natalie just woke up crying. I went in and picked her up because I didn't really know how else I was going to flip her over with her arms stretched out. I guess I could have let her cry for a few mintues, but it came on so strong I don't think it was worth it. She cried when I put her back down, but at least she was on her back where she is most happy. Mike is supposed to be in charge of wakings until bed time, but he was in the bathroom. When I dashed in there asking if he was going to get her, he looks up at me brushing his teeth, squatting on the floor with Hazel on his knees. He obviously was not going to be getting her.

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