Sleep. It is one of those things, like water and oxygen, that a person needs to exist. I have always been a "good" sleeper, able to enjoy the confines of a cozy bed until noon on a Saturday, prone to dozing on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, easily lulled like a baby when in a moving train, plane or automobile. Then of course there were my college days, when I could sleep for 18 hours straight after finishing a paper-writing all-nighter marathon (ed's note: these were aided only by the sugar and caffeine provided by gallons of Moutain Dew and the fear and anxiety of flunking out of the new home that I loved so much). As I got older, the Saturday morning lie-ins became far less frequent, since Matt is a much earlier riser than I am and we always seemed to have stuff to do in our flat and other household/life chores to fit into the 2 measly days provided by the weekend. No amount of practicing at getting up early, however, could have prepared me for the last 3 months. By my count, Blake has been with us now for 94 days, 94 days where he has provided us endless joy as we've watched his magical little eyes become brighter and more alert, his weightless limbs become stronger and more aware of how they exist within space and can manipulate objects, and his mouth go from a barracuda-like milk junkie's to a smiling and laughing feature of his gorgeous face. That said, those 94 days translate to 93 really horrible broken nights of sleep, of looking at the glowing green of the clockface in the dark and wondering "Why oh why must our dear sweet boy need to be up at 2:31 and then 3:47, etc?!" I will say that I am exhausted. Of course if you've seen me recently, you will already know this, as it's now my opening line:
Other Person (whether friend, fellow mother, bus driver, whoever): "Hi"
Me: "I'm SO sleep-deprived."
Other Person: "Oh..."
For the first time in a very long time, this week I experienced the feeling of actually not wanting to turn in at around 11:00 p.m. because I knew that I would have to wake up not that long after. (I went to sleep, of course, but it just wasn't with my usual glee).
Then there's this notion of "napping when the baby naps". What about personal hygiene, feeding oneself, trying to ensure that the home you live in does not become condemnable?! Blake is a fantastic sleeper in his pram, less so fantastic when he's in his cot in his room. He can fall asleep there, but he just doesn't stay asleep there for long! Whereas in his pram, he seems to be able to sleep for hours (I type as I look out the window to see Matt walking by our door, probably not ready to end his walk since B is totally conked out). I know that this little moment in our lives will pass soon enough, and that once Blake sleeps through the night the memory of this period will fade over time, but right now I'd be happy to fund some research into a sleep bank - being able to build up credit to be used at a later point when one is sleep-deprived. I can't believe nobody's figured that out yet. Like every devoted parent, I imagine we can soon start teaching Blake the alphabet, but I'm going to start with "Z" first to see if it inspires him to get more of them in the night.
I guess for now I should sign off, because as you can imagine, I should be napping....
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Congrats to Lela and LT who welcomed a son into the world on Tuesday. Henry weighed in at 7 lbs, 15 oz and looks a very handsome chap! We are so excited that Blake will have a boy playmate in the Thompson household!! I haven't heard how labor went but Lela looks pretty darn good in this photo so I hope it was easy as she makes it look like it was!
What better way to celebrate my re-entry into social life than by going to see the premiere of Sex and the City with the girls. I began the night with a glass of champagne (to celebrate getting out of the flat on time and not covered in spit up!), and then Diane, Anna, Lucy, Becks, Georgia, and I headed to the much-anticipated first night of SatC. Since unusually we have it here in the UK before it shows in the US, I will refrain from a true review and simply say that it didn't disappoint! Matt did a brilliant job with Blake who evidently went to bed after a bottle and without too much resistance. That was kind of him to be nice to his Daddy!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Good weather on Saturday and Sunday, rotten rain on Monday! We went down to see Blake's cousin Emma (8 mos) and they had a good time playing with each other (playing=lying on the floor next to each other, Emma with an actual toy in her hands, and Blake gazing in wonder at her toy and then deciding he wanted it too). She kept poking him in the face which was pretty funny.
I am off for my first evening out tomorrow - to see Sex and the City with the girls. Matt is doing babysitting duty. Let's hope it goes well!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
We've had a busy couple of days, with our first playmates - twins Charlotte and Henry (Blake was a bit of a bully - using Henry to pull on to roll himself over)! Then off to John Lewis today to get foot and handprints done. All of this with a 5:40 a.m. wakeup in the middle...what I would give for a full night's sleep!!!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Blake is 12 weeks old today - it is unbelievable how much we have all grown and changed in those 3 months. Blake has put on over 5 pounds since birth and now weighs 13lbs, 3 oz as of Tuesday. Here are a few recent shots. He is now grabbing his toes and prefers to be sitting up as opposed to lying down.
We are still pretty busy during the days, and I am more relaxed than I was in the early days about making friends and keeping us busy. Some aspects of motherhood still confuse me: how to work out a semblance of a routine that sticks given how every day is different; how to get Blake to nap when I *know* that he is a very tired baby, but he wants to think differently; how breastfeeding can possibly be so un-glamourous; how people handle more than one child at a time, etc.
We watched the Champions League final last night which was fun until fireworks woke up our sleeping baby...fortunately he went back to sleep and I got 4.5 unbroken hours! Hoorah! Right, off to tend to a gurgling Blake who has decided he just really does not want a nap right now!
Friday, May 16, 2008
On Wednesday we were at the US Embassy bright and early to register Blake's birth, and fortunately they agreed that he is indeed a US citizen (in addition to being a British one). Whether or not he is considered a "natural born citizen", and therefore eligble to be president, is up for debate. Does one have to be born within the 50 states to occupy the Oval Office? It's an interesting question, and one which John McCain faces, although his situation is a bit different having been born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was on military duty.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/politics/28mccain.html (ed's note: this is based on my 5-second Google research into the question and may have already been resolved by time of this post!).
At any rate, Blake has at yet shown no political aspirations and would seem more inclined at this point to be a professional food taster ("the fare might seem boring at first glance of the menu, but upon tasting there was a delightful range of flavors, and I was able to eat until I thought my walnut-sized stomach might burst, pausing only for a mighty belch"), or a gymnast (if they let them do floor routines lying on their backs). However it is nice to keep his options open. Later that day he posed for a profile shot that I could just about see on the front of a nickel or dime.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
These days it seems they have every possible activity or event for either a new mother or new baby. On Tuesdays in Queen's Park, I am a "pushy mother", but this is not just a walk in the park! 16 mothers, babies, and prams, and one fun but firm instructor...with the aim of getting rid of the excess "baby fat" we put on during 9 months of pregnancy! I have not worked this hard since getting ready for our wedding!! I made sure to ask the instructor and the other girls if they minded using their images on the blog (they were happy for me to!). Blake has a much easier time during the class than I do, and usually conks out like he did today. We enjoyed some more sunny weather and went back to the park later for a more relaxing time in the shade.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
We spent a lovely weekend watering the plants at Granny Lyons' house. It was nice to be out of the city, and Matt had long been wanting to do a "bluebell walk" in the country. They were indeed pretty. I discovered the continuous shooting mode on my camera, which resulted in an insane number of photos while Blake was kicking and punching while lying on his blanket. I have spared you all of them but have picked a few choice ones. I had to laugh at the way he stuck out his tongue when putting on his determined "I will kick and punch the air as hard and as fast as I can" face.
It was in the low 80's today and hopefully the good weather will continue.
Today is actually my 2nd Mother's Day - the UK celebrates in March and that was the day we came home from the hospital! Happy Mother's Day to Granny Karla and Happy Retirement to Grandpa John, who finished up his school year on Friday! We are looking forward to seeing you in June and are off to the Embassy on Wednesday to get Blake's US passport.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend,
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Just understood that Madge's upcoming tour will be the "Sweet and Sticky" tour and tickets will go on sale on Friday, May 16. Anyone interested? It's Thursday, Sept 11 at Wembley Stadium. If you're not interested in joining me, would you like to babysit a handsome and cheerful little boy?! Ha ha ha...
I was walking through the park a few weeks ago and almost had to stop myself when a certain thought passed through my head: "Blake probably won't like Madonna." Namely I guess because he's a boy and also because she'll qualify for senior citizen benefits by the time he is a teenager. Nonetheless, I can try to instill a love of her excellent music in him - he seems happy here!
In fact this post is more of a plea from me. If you're on this site you'll know of my love of the material girl. On the news this weekend was a clip about the fans in NY who paid up to $1000 to see Madge do a preview of her new tour. Me: "What tour?" Matt: "Oh, the one for her new album." Me: "What new album?" Matt: "I think it's called Hard Candy." Me: "I didn't know she had a new album." Matt: "Didn't you? I thought everyone knew that." Hmm, no. I guess it may be because I don't ever read a paper, or read entertainment sites online, or listen much to the radio or tv for that matter, but yes, I didn't know she had a new album. Matt tells me he's not sure I'd like it though...one of those ones that seems a far cry from Papa Don't Preach and La Isla Bonita. I'm already confused because of the Timbaland/Justin Timberlake thing.
Anyway, apparently Mrs. Ritchie will be playing Wembley Stadium (Stadium, not Arena where I last saw her) in September, so if anyone hears of when tickets might go on sale I would love to know. Then I could decide how many lattes I would have to give up on my walks out with Blake to save those pennies instead for a live showing of my entertainment icon...
Monday, May 05, 2008
We've had a lovely weekend weather-wise...some nice sunshine but not too hot, but warm enough to make us think that maybe winter is finally making way for spring! Let's hope this summer is nothing like last year's summer of perpetual dark rain clouds and downpours.
Happy birthdays this week to Granny Lyons and Chris!
Blake is nearly outgrowing all his yellow, green and generally gender-neutral colored 0-3 mth clothing, so we're lining up some blue things for the warmer weather. We have also enjoyed a baby massage class with only two "fountain" incidents in 1.5 hours. Impressive bladder control from the little guy.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I'm not sure about those books that recommend an evening bath for a baby - we seem to have to give Blake a bath following a "nature call" (we moved up a diaper size today; perhaps this will help?!). Anyway, Blake seems to be quite happy after a bath. I wasn't going to post the photo taken accidentally with flash, because I am not sure that it looks all that much like him, but it is pretty cute so I thought I would post it anyway.