Things are going well.  Really really well.  So well that if I talk about going back to work, I might cry.  So well that if I talk about how well things are going, I might cry in a better way. 

Nicholas is an eater.  A grower.  At one day short of seven weeks old, he is wearing size 3-6 month clothes.  When I brought him home, I had to roll up the sleeves on the newborn and preemie sizes.  Not bad for a kid who was born nearly a month early.  Not bad for any kid.  He keeps me up a whole lot at night, but I don't mind.  He's such a good eater that I can lean back and fall asleep while he nurses.  And he's so strong that when he's done, he usually climbs up and nuzzles his head under my chin.  Sometimes I keep him there and sometimes I put him in the bassinet.  He prefers the former.  Me too. 

Most days are spent the same way, but on the couch rather than up in bed.  We get out sometimes.  Sometimes not.  People come over.  I ask them to excuse the mess.  It's not terrible, just enough to make me wonder what the hell I do all day that it doesn't get done. 

Jacob is a dream these days, despite a tiny dip in his grades as shown in the test folder he brought home last week.  I expected it.  He still hasn't gotten anything lower than an 88%, but he's been warned that it can't continue or I'll... I'll... I'll tell you what I'm going to do.  Um...  No television on weekends and he'll do worksheets on Saturdays and Sundays.  I secretly cut television out of most weekdays. I don't think he noticed.  Not that there is time anyway.
I really should have thought out that repercussion before telling him that the grades slipping can't continue.  I hesitated, but I think he was so nervous about it that he appreciated the hesitation.  That's what I'll tell myself.

I haven't watched more than a couple hours of television since my maternity leave began.  It's freeing.  I read more now.  I'm finally getting to Bossypants and I most recently finished Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot.  I loved his Middlesex more, and The Virgin Suicides less.  But I love all three books.  I guess I should say that Bossypants is written by Tina Fey.  It's good.  Ish.  I'm not one for autobiographies and memoirs. 

I like that it's a local book, and I know the places she speaks of.

Sentences ending in prepositions are so gross.
Places of which she speaks.

Back when I took maternity leave for Jacob I couldn't do much reading.  Back in the olden days we had real live bound books and you sort of needed two hands for them.  With my Nook and iPad an smartphone, both which have Nooks loaded into them, I can read for as long as the battery stays charged.  Which is pretty much how long Nicholas eats anyway, so it all works out. 

I've been working on teaching him how to use a bottle, which totally blows.  I hate bottle feeding.  I hate bottle washing.  I hate bottle buying.  Figuring out which bottle nipple works best.  Bottles that only get half finished.  Bottles bottles bottles.  The word looks so effing stupid when you type it that many times in a row.  Bottle feeding is so much work.  People think that bottle feeding a baby is an easy way out when it comes to baby feeding.  There is nothing easy about it.  Make the bottle/warm the bottle/give the bottle/wash the bottle/repeat.  So much work.  Nursing?  Flip out a tit and put the kid on.  You usually have a free hand and you can walk around and do things while the kid eats.  Like eat something yourself.  Or go to the bathroom.  Read.  Pet the cat.  Pick up the house a tiny bit.  It's easy, provided you and the baby are both able and figure out how to do it early on.  I give mad props to the energy levels of bottlefeeding mothers.  You must be exhausted.  Nicholas gets one or two a day and it's all I can do to not lose my mind sitting there on the corner of the couch.  Both hands unfree and trying not to cry or milk all over myself.

I'm not crying a lot. 
Hardly at all, really.
Despite the fact I've mentioned at least three times in the above text.

I did cry when my mom left.
And again when my dad left.
Another time when Jake's jealousy and attention seeking behavior just became Way Too Much.
And twice while giving Nicholas a bottle.
I think that's it.

I haven't been on a real computer much.  My phone is hardly a phone, but not really a computer either.  iPads are not real computers.  I don't get what there is to do with them, but I'm not under 12, over 65, or much of an iPerson.  I'm not the target audience, I just happen to have one for work.  Not that it's compatible with anything I do for work.  Sigh.  White People Problems.

I look at a lot of Twitter and Instagram.  I'm @loraneely on both.
I like to think I'm funny and witty and sharing pictures that people would like to see, but I'm probably failing miserably at all those things.  Unless you like pictures of babies and cats.  Which are surprisingly popular on the internet, but pretty boring on social media feeds. 
I am hundreds of emails behind. 
Tens of thank you cards behind.
Dozens of phone calls behind.

All that stuff just sort of fades into the ether these days.

I meant to do Christmas cards, and didn't.  Then New Years cards, but no.  Maybe Valentines.

Long time readers may remember that I used to take pictures of Jacob in Dave's New Year's bloomers from his Mummer's costumes.  He won't let me do that anymore, but Nicholas doesn't have words to say no.
Maybe this will be the week he starts smiling all the time.  He's got a nice one that he brings out from time to time.  Because who doesn't need a little bit of positive reinforcement?
Parenting/ Early Childhood 101: Many people say that new babies only smile if they have gas, but that has pretty much been debunked.  All babies (even blind babies) are born with a distinct smile- I think it's called an "innate smile".  I forget.  My brain capacity is limited these days.  New babies smile when they feel really good; like when they are eating, dreaming lovely things, falling asleep, and yes, passing gas.  Sometime in the second month of life babies begin picking up social cues and imitating caregivers and they start to smile socially.  The "social smile".  So while tiny babies may not be smiling directly at you, rest assured that if your little one is smiling now and again he or she is content and happy and you are doing a really good job.


Rinny said...


charlottemedia said...

Such a cute baby! Glad you are all doing well. I am with you regarding bottles. Now I get to be annoyed by sippy cups. But I did just read your post and type this message (twice) while nursing my 20 month old

RuthWells said...

What a delicous little morsel. You do make gorgeous babies, my friend! xoxo

daisyfae said...

beautiful baby! i always thought that babies start smiling as a survival thing - about the 7-8th week, a parent can get stressed and tired. they get cute and we keep them around, instead of forgetting them at the airport. Darwin. he knew something...

Bekah said...

ugh. that baby. he looks soft and snuggly. what i wouldn't give for a dose of that. we make them boney and squirmy. :) i know you say you aren't much for memoirs, but have you read Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson? pretty darn funny.

noexcuses said...

You are an amazing mom! Let the world stress on without you for awhile. I cried when my mom left, too! The bloomers look great on this one!

Avitable said...

Crying isn't always a bad thing. And that baby is adorable. WANT ONE.

SM said...

He's beautiful!

I'm happy things are going well! It's the idea that the 2nd time around might be better for us that keeps my baby fever from being completely squelched. Maybe someday!

Good luck with Jake and his grades. I'm sure they will be fine and he is probably more worried about it than you are!

I haven't read Bossypants yet. I love Tina Fey but the last season of 30 Rock upset me so much that I'm now also upset with her and can't read her book. Seriously, it was that bad - she should be ashamed to have her name linked to it.

Happy New Year!

Mommy Lisa said...

WOW - I was not prepared for that GORGEOUS HANDSOME BABY!!! Wow. Congratulations!

Heather-Anne said...

I was just thinking that reading while nursing would be so much easier had I a Nook or Kindle... holding a hard back and nursing 7 week old, is tricky. I can only do it in a certain chair.
I am reading Gone Girl, and it is quite good.

Heather-Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Atomic Lola said...

Same page for all of this. Except that I Kindle instead of Nook.

I found the lack of real computer time to be as freeing as your lack of television during maternity leave. It's hard to do everything you want to do on a handheld, but social media helped me feel connected to the outside world while I nursed 24/7.

Bottles totally suck. I only let other people bottle the babe, I'm boob only.

As for Instagram, I used to try to only post artsy pics and would only hit the like button if it was a really impressive pic, but now it's all friend ridden and so babies and cats it is. And I love it.

I truly enjoyed Bossypants. I passed it on to my sister-in-law. Yes, I did that because of the line about receiving the book from your sister-in-law. I thought it should be true for someone.

And scene.

Brenda said...

Hey girlie,
You have been in my thoughts.
New motherhood, exciting, exhausting, and entertaining especially when you have a big brother to include.

Love the picture. He is adorable.

Good job with the breastfeeding. I agree. It is easy.
Best thing my husband ever brought into my life. I never gave it thought when I was pregnant until my husband bought me this book, Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I know weird title, but I read it to humor him and I loved it.

Nursed all three children. No bottles, but I had the luxury (sacrified some financial things to do it) but I nursed all of them until they were almost two. I feel like Mother Earth typing that.

anyway, glad you are doing well, and that Nicholas and Jacob are too.

this weekend, my Jacob Nicholas, is coming to visit. I haven't seen him in a while, so I am sure he is going to be delightful.

Best Wishes to you!

Brenda said...

I loved your comment. White people problems.
Well, so true. I am glad you haven't lost your perspective.

Cara said...

We started bottle feeding this week during the day, you are so right, it's a ton of work. Plus I have to pump as well, yet again more work :-) Hope you and all your boys are well!

Jenny Grace said...

Jacob gets awfully specific grades for first grade. Gabriel just either has, or has not yet, reached the standard proficiency in X for his grade level (of course he HAS hit the year-end proficiencies for all the things for first grade because he knows how to read and that's pretty much the main THING of first grade).
Still. 88%. I don't think I even got LETTERS until 4th grade.

Amber Star said...

Your little Nicholas is such a cutie. Smiling babies are so sweet anytime they smile. The smiling and passing gas will later be considered to be hilarious. At least that is the way it was and still is around here. I have some weirdo kids...who are starting to hit 50. Oh my...they have given me so much to smile about in the time we have been together. :)

vitaminhound said...

I have lots to say, but I will just stick with oh gosh Nicholas is BEAUTIFUL.


Holli said...

what a perfect photo... he's a cutie Lora!