Making Dinner

I have to say that I feel unusually lucky with the way things are going thus far.

Tonight, we hosted Jon’s Mom, Dad, brother and (almost) sister-in-law (technicalities at this point, really) for dinner. Jon’s Dad is heading in for surgery on Thursday and the week is full of preparation for the procedure. I wanted to be sure we had a nice dinner before that happened, so I offered yesterday to have dinner over here tonight.

I will say this, it’s not as easy as I make it out to be in my head, hosting a dinner ‘party’. But, I felt like I was pretty close to being both me and Elle’s Mom all at the same time tonight and I felt good about that.

I made a chicken parmesan that is DELICIOUS, potatoes, noodles, green beans, beets and set what I believe to be a beautiful table. (If I had more than eight seconds to write this post before our Minnie calls, I’d post the pics of the table that I took).

The last two days have reaffirmed why this house, in this place, at this time, is the right place for us to be. Yesterday I had a friend from college over, a friend’s husband and older son over to watch football, Jon’s brother to watch football, then Andrea and Drew came over too. It was a full house and a fun day and it was so lovely to feel our house come alive. It was everything I envisioned for myself and our little family — and more. And while there are pieces of furniture that I want and things I desire to add to my home, yesterday and today made me…well, frankly…happy. I feel so fulfilled. This is what I wanted my life to be like right now. What a nice realization to come to on a Sunday evening, after a glass of wine with some jazz playing in the background (I shit you not, I turned on the jazz channel in our music-on-demand…seemed like the right thing to do).

I wore an apron and Jon wore a sweater and we used a tablecloth and my nice, matching dishes and the not-plastic salt and pepper. What can I say – it was a great weekend for us.

Now, as for Elle, she rocks. She fusses a bit here and there (why not?!) but she’s great. She’s my girl. She’s sleeping in about three hour stretches…and I can’t complain about that (though you might catch me complaining). She seems overwhelmingly, exceptionally normal (the exceptional part is where I’m placing the emphasis) which makes me very, very happy.

I also want to enter into the record the fact that Jon is awesome – he’s seriously a wonderful, engaged, doting, caring father and it’s more than I knew to expect from him. He loves his daughter so much and it makes my heart swell that both of them are — for brief flashes in time — mine.

As an oh-by-the-way I’ve ended my time with the breastfeeding exercise and am feeling only slight guilt over this choice. And, do I have stories to tell about hemorrhoids…

But not tonight, because tonight, I’m only talking about the things that make me exceedingly happy. And Elle and Jon are it – so I’m headed their way.

L

 

Day 18…in the life of Elle

It’s been 18 days, can you believe it?

I know there is a lot to catch up on, for sure, but I think instead of feeling intimidated and overwhelmed in catching up, I’m just going to update you on where we are NOW.

Elle is 18 days old! Can you believe it?

I remember writing (or at the very least commenting to others) about blogs I read where the women just had babies and I was disappointed that it took them so long after having the baby to write again. Well, now I get it. If I had the time/energy/resources in the right place at the right time I’d have written a lot. In my head, I’ve been writing lots of blog posts. The problem with that is that I most certainly remember less now that I have at any time in my life, so…those blog posts are gone with the fleeting memory that created them.

Not that those of you reading at home will notice, but I was just gone on a 20 minute hiatus due to a second-in-as-many-days diaper blowout. Poop? Yes. And to think I was worried that she hadn’t pooped in her first few days at home!

I went for a nice, long 2 mile walk today with the sun shining and a cool breeze…we don’t have many days left like this in Michigan this year, so I’m taking them for all they are worth.

I don’t know where I stand in post-partum weight loss, because I haven’t necessarily stepped on a scale that I trust. My pre-preggo pants do not yet fit, but I have to say that I think I’m pretty close…I figure I’ve still been a little bit swollen, but in the whole scheme of things, I feel pretty good about how my body feels and looks right now, for 18 days out of delivering out sweet baby girl.

I have been thinking a lot of how to describe loving our baby…and for a few days it was all so surreal and unreal that I don’t think that I was doing a good job visualizing how I felt about her or how her arrival impacted my life. But, the other night it came to me…it’s like my whole heart and all the things I’ve loved and cared about are still in the same place and still occupy the same space in my life and consciousness…but she outlines all of it. Seriously, loving Elle is like having my heart outlined with thoughts of her, dreams for her, fears for her and a fierce sense of protecting her.

I also have these weird moments where I’m terrified about her safety – like what if this slippery, clean baby slips out of my cautious hands? So then I’m even MORE cautious so that I have a good hold, that I know that I have her. It’s like I have to take an extra beat in the things that I do to make sure that her safety is first. Like, coming to a four way stop. I feel like I took those a lot less seriously 19 days ago. I would always assume the other cars were stopping, too. But now, I wait. I have the time. I will wait to make sure that those other cars on the roadway stop at the stop sign. Even if she’s not in the car. Because I want to be there for her.

It’s amazing, really, to understand how quickly your world goes from revolving around yourself to revolving around someone else.

In this, Elle’s third week of life, she’s beginning to have better control of her arms and hands and fingers (Jon swears that she is intentionally clawing his face this week!). She is awake for longer stretches at a time (somehow, though, not at the moments when her grandparents stop over…she seems content to sleep through the visits of most people).

Jon got laid off from the power plant job the first week we were home, which has worked out well. He and I have had a chance to get to know Elle together, separately and to work at being parents together, too. And I feel like somehow, at least right now, we are really firing on all cylinders when it comes to being parents together. And I feel like our relationship is healthy, too. I think we’re both respecting each other’s need for sleep to the point that neither one of us feels too sleep-deprived.

All in all, we’re all happy and healthy at our house.

To end my ‘I-hope-I’m-back-in-the-swing-of-things-and-post-more-often’ first post, here’s some Halloween shots of Elle.

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