One Month

In true new-mama style, I wrote most of this post on the appropriate day, and then got interrupted by a hungry baby.  So this post is actually posted the day after the fact, but the sentiment remains the same!

Today we are wishing our wee girl a happy one month “birthday”.  And already we can see just how much she has changed.  She has grown weight (from 4.43 kg at birth to 5.25 kg a week ago) and height (from 54 cm at birth to 60 cm today).  But the biggest change is in her personality.  She has gone from a little sleepy newborn to a slightly bigger, more active newborn.  That doesn’t sound dramatic, but believe me, it is.  Especially because of the smiles.  Nothing beats the smile of a baby (especially your baby)!

It’s hard to know what to say about the last month.

One month ago I was in the delivery room, in a world of pain.  I couldn’t focus on anything but the pain.  It was constant, with no respite at all, and I was doubting my ability to cope.  What I didn’t realise was that I was only an hour and a half away from meeting our baby.  That hour and a half positively flew by (well, I can’t remember most of it) and before I knew it, they were telling me “it’s a girl” and a squirming crying little blob was being placed on my chest.  It was the most intense experience of my life so far, and one that I don’t think I can possibly explain.  Probably because I can’t even quite process it.

But I do know that it was, quite literally, life changing.

Because a month ago I hadn’t even met our daughter, and today she is the major driver of my entire life.  My decisions, my actions, my day to day everything is based on her wants/needs.  Right now she is napping in a wrap on my chest.  I am grateful that she seems to be through her latest growth spurt, or is less tired, or whatever means that she is fairly happy and sleepy (so far) today.  I am grateful that she is here, and real.  I am grateful that I get to know and encourage this little lady, and that I get to do it with The Engineer.

But as much as it was life changing, I am currently sitting at the computer, blogging, listening to podcasts, and drinking decaf coffee.  And this morning I ran some errands, watched a bit of TV, went for a walk, and checked out Facebook.  So in a lot of ways my life is pretty similar to before.  I am still a lady of leisure in many ways.  I just live my life of leisure with a small person strapped to my front (which makes it all a little bit more difficult and exhausting and also a little more interesting).

So there you have it.  My life is just the same and totally different.  I would say more, but honestly, my brain and ability to write have both kinda disappeared at this point.  So I’ll leave you with a picture of a one month old girl and her moose. It pretty much says it all.

One month old

 (though I suppose it would say it better with a bit more baby spew…)

Consumed

I wouldn’t call our little koala baby particularly difficult. But she is a newborn, and thus makes it difficult to get much else done.

PicsPlay_1406434494770

I am now fully into the “stay at home mother” role, with my Mum back in New Zealand and The Engineer back at work. And honestly, I just don’t know where the days go. I sometimes have a couple of naps with the wee one. But mostly I am just feeding, settling, and holding her while she sleeps (or cries).  Sometimes I manage to feed myself as well. It doesn’t sound too intense, but it is.

PicsPlay_1406708392350

I expected physical tiredness. But because I am a good day napper, and I have an amah and a very helpful husband, I actually don’t get too much of that. The thing that really surprised me is the overwhelming emotional tiredness. Every waking moment, and most of the sleeping ones too, is consumed by this darling wee creature. Every moment that she cries gets to me deeply.  I am holding her almost all the time in my arms or in a wrap. And so by the end of a day, I am pretty darn exhausted (despite the fact that I have had some sleep, and haven’t “done anything”).

PicsPlay_1407463807018

I want to talk about and think about other things. I want to get back to yoga and writing and creativity. But right now I just can’t.

I am consumed.

PicsPlay_1407108434096

And it’s wonderful.

Happy Birthday to The Engineer!

Sometimes I sit back and look at what I am doing, and I am just amazed that this is really my life.  For example, last week I was sitting in a comfortable black leather chair while someone massaged my swollen feet and gave me a pedicure.  While I did this, someone else was at my house cleaning.  On this particular day I didn’t, but I could have followed the pedicure with a leisurely swim and a coffee with a friend.  It is really quite perfect for this late stage of pregnancy, and the reason I can be doing this is all thanks to this guy:

My Engineer

The Engineer is pretty much the raddest dude I know, and today is his 31st birthday.  So I’m going to make it all about him.  Even today, he is at work while I coffee with friends, and cruise around (although I did get up bright and early to make him breakfast, and plan to make him dinner AND dessert later).

But it’s not just the fact that he goes out to bring home the bacon while I live a life of leisure that I appreciate, far from it.  In fact, that’s one of the least important things to me.  The reason I am really thankful for him is that this guy is a great supporter/team mate/life partner.  He is helpful, understanding, and always willing to go the extra mile.  Nothing is too much trouble.

During the first trimester of my pregnancy, he did almost all the cooking, more than half the chores, and still went to work.  I did… nothing! But even so, he never once made me feel bad for that.  He just saw that he needed to help out, and he did.  No fuss, no drama.  (I may or may not have created some drama, but I wouldn’t want to lay the blame anywhere near him for that.  Pregnancy hormones are a much more appropriate direction to point that finger.)

DSC_0146

And on top of that, he’s funny and fun, and just a great person to live with.  I should know, I’ve been doing it for ten years now!  He is relaxed and easygoing, and is always willing to give new things a try.  He takes a while to get to know, but I’ve crossed that bridge, and I know for sure that he’s going to be a wonderful dad.  I am excited to share the next ten years with him and see where they take us.

(In case anyone thinks this is getting a bit sappy:  Firstly, you’re right, but at least I don’t do it too often… right? Secondly, I am not pretending that he’s a paragon of perfection.  He has been known to let off some noxious gases, occasionally even in bed. And he takes about five times as long as the normal person to eat a meal (unless he’s really hungry, in which case it’s gone in seconds).  But really, I can promise you that the above is not a lie or an exaggeration.  Far from it.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So today I want to say a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favourite of gentlemen and wish him all the best as he learns to deal with a new baby and a somewhat crazy wife in the coming weeks and months. It’s going to be an adventure, but I can’t imagine anyone better to go on that adventure with.

I love you, dude.

Happy Birthday.

 

Happy Anniversary

Image

Today marks three years since I became The Engineer’s Wife.  Three years of adventure, and fun, and team work.  Three great years.

Happy anniversary Engineer – I couldn’t imagine a better team mate.

I never would have dreamed that this anniversary would be spent in Brunei, but it feels perfect.  It seems like just the place we need to be right now, and it is great.

Let’s hope the next three are just as exciting.

Decluttering: The sentimental stuff

Part of packing up and moving overseas is decluttering.  Large scale, hard core decluttering.  I have slight hoarder tendencies, but in most areas I find it pretty easy to get rid of the crap.  It might take me a couple of sort-throughs, but I’ll get there.

My achilles heel of clutter is the sentimental stuff.  I have an entire cupboard filled with cards, notes, letters, ticket stubs, photos, and random other souvenirs.  Or actually, I should say I HAD an entire cupboard.  Because as of this afternoon, I have started decluttering the nostalgia.

And seriously, it was HARD.

As I read letters from my high school friends about our teenage dramas, lovely cards from lovely people, letters from my boyfriend (now husband) about how maybe we should break up, notes from grandmothers who are no longer with us, and a vast assortment of notes and gifts, I felt overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with memories, with embarrassment about the teenager I was, with sadness about throwing these things out, with nostalgia for the effort I used to make for my friends (and vice versa) when it wasn’t as easy as sending a quick email, with wondering what my future will hold.

It was not a bad kind of overwhelmed, but it was certainly BIG.  After three hours, I was exhausted, and I couldn’t look at it anymore. Fortunately, three hours coincided with the engineer getting home.  He helped me out by being the one to physically collect it all up and dispose of it.  Now, we’ve gone from three large shoe boxes to a small pile of only the most meaningful.  And it feels good (well mostly good…)

During the process, I found that a few things helped me:

  • Getting rid of the things that remind you of what you’d rather not remember
    (for me it was letters from an ex-boyfriend, not too happy letters from my engineer, teen drama letters from a very intense friend).
  • Taking photos of things that are easily photographed, and meaningful
    (I now have a file of photos of things that I love, and want to look at again, but don’t need to physically hold onto, this was particularly great for little keepsakes).
  • Discarding cards with no message
    (As much as I like to remember the occasions and the people who have sent me things, these cards don’t really spark great memories for me, so I decided they didn’t need to stay).
  • Considering what I’d want to show my kids
    (This meant the birthday poems from my Mum stayed, as did special cards and letters).
  • Limiting the amount of stuff I could keep
    (I considered how much I realistically wanted to store up, and tried to stay within this amount).
  • Realising that if I didn’t have this stuff now, I wouldn’t miss it
    (As much as it was kinda fun to go through the boxes, a lot of the things I had kept I NEVER would have remembered if I’d chucked them years ago.  And I wouldn’t have missed them.  Which means I won’t miss them in a few more years!)

These things meant that I could get rid of what I needed to, and free myself from clutter, without later regretting it (well, I hope I won’t regret it!)

Now, I still have a large stack of photos to get through, which I can’t imagine will be too easy either.  But my confidence is up from completing this process.  And the looking through to declutter is certainly going to be interesting!