Saturday, April 30, 2005


is one of the most awe inspiring things I've ever tried to think about. Seriously. Just try to wrap your mind completely around the fact that one tiny little cell (one cell!) turns into a little but perfect human being. It's beyond imagining. Who could ever come up with it on their own? And yet we take it completely for granted - of course humans have human babies.

If you have your own baby, go take some time and look at him or her. If you don't have your own, find someone who does and offer to babysit. And look and really see - let your mind reel in the knowledge of such an impossible miracle that you are holding in your arms. Look at his mouth that knows how to suck without ever being taught. Look at his eyes that are made up of so many cells, all working together so that he can actually look back at you. Look at his fingers that can hold onto yours, and his ears that can hear you sing to him. Look at him. He is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Bath time!

Last Wednesday morning Libby came over to help out and hold Jonathan. She’s been doing that lately, and it’s great! Well, this particular morning I had decided that it was high time Jonathan had a bath. His cord had fallen off and he was starting to smell like spit up. So, Libby and I set out all our bath-time equipment. She filled up the baby tub in the sink while I got Jonathan’s diaper off and cleaned him up, then wrapped him in a towel and carried him into the kitchen. Only to find that, between the changing table and the bathtub, Jonathan had pooped in the towel. Well. I cleaned him up with the clean part of the towel, and placed him in the bath sling while Libby went to the bedroom to retrieve another towel. (I now understand why everyone tells you to get more than one of everything.) Jonathan wasn’t quite sure what to make of the bath sling, initially. He sat there and looked very worried, but didn’t cry, at least for the first few minutes as I started washing him off. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long, and I suddenly discovered that the reason for his silence was because he was pooping. In the bath sling. Well. This was a problem. Libby and I did the best we could to clean up with paper towels, and then drained the water in the tub. You can’t give the baby a bath with poop in the water! Of course, Jonathan was now quite upset, because he was no longer sitting in warm water, but very cold air. I got him mostly washed while the tub was filling up again, and had just started rinsing him off when we realized that he was pooping. Again. So, Libby drained the bath tub yet again while I cleaned up with paper towels (you really have to imagine a squalling baby in the background as you read this, to get the full effect.) We didn’t even try to re-fill the bathtub again, this time, just got water from the faucet and did our best to rinse Jonathan as fast as possible. Then lifted him out of the tub, wrapped him in his second towel, took a picture, and headed in to the changing table to put his diaper on. Where we discovered that he had pooped in his towel.

And they say that some people give their babies baths every day!!


There is something indescribably perfect about holding your little boy in your arms as he falls asleep.

I realized this morning that I’m really glad I’m staying at home with Jonathan. Yes, there are many times when I wish for my students, wish for work, wish for people who could talk back! But if I were working, I would miss out on so much! I wouldn’t have the pleasure of learning Jonathan’s sleeping/waking patterns…I wouldn’t have the satisfaction of knowing that he is fussy right now because he is tired and needs to be rocked to sleep, and the enjoyment of cuddling him until he does drop off into dreamland. I like getting to know him as he changes, and I wouldn’t be able to do that nearly as well if I only got to be with him for the few evening hours each day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


How much are you supposed to talk to a baby? When people come over to see Jonathan, I’ve noticed that they usually keep up a steady babble of commentary directed toward him (and usually in a voice much higher than normal). Of course, they’re only here for a few minutes, or maybe an hour at most. Could they keep up such a running stream of words if they cared for him for all the hours in the day? And is that important? It seems like talking to Jonathan is really important – after all, he’s learning about language and his world and how much he is loved from me, for most hours of the day. Yet I find that I just run out of words. What do you talk to a two-week-old about? I’m often simply at a loss. I sing him songs, and play good classical music for him, and sometimes we dance, and sometimes I read my books out loud to him while we nurse. And when he’s awake and happy it is usually easier and more fun to talk to him, because he’ll look at me and sometimes smile. But is that enough? How do I know if I’m interacting with him enough? Sometimes I really wish babies came with an instruction manual. I’d like an answer that is quantifiable!

By the way, what are your favorite childrens' songs and lullabies? I'm trying to develop my collection a bit. :) Post 'em in the comments!

Monday, April 25, 2005


A few days ago Gabe was playing with Jonathan, zooming him around the house on his arm. It was very cute and funny, as Jonathan would fling his arms out to the sides, and did indeed look very much like he was flying. I watched this in some slight trepidation, knowing that the flung out arms were a startle reflex and that Jonathan probably wasn't having nearly as much fun as his dad. I decided not to say anything about it, though. Well, the next evening we were sitting eating dinner, and Gabe shifted Jonathan to a new position. Jonathan startled, and the following conversation ensued:

Gabe: "Why does he do that?"
Emily: "It's a startle reflex...he does it when he doesn't feel secure. Like he's going to fall or something."
Gabe: "Oh. So that's why he had his arms out when I was flying him? I thought he was being Superman."

Jonathan has a bellybutton now!

Today was Jonathan's first check-up, and he is coming along swimmingly! He's actually gained a whole pound, as well as making up the weight he lost at the beginning. I'm so glad to know that he's eating's silly, perhaps, but since I don't have the nice neat numbers of ounces in bottles to depend on, I worried a bit whether I was feeding him enough or if he was nursing properly. It's nice to know that all is well and he's growing strong and healthy.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Happiness is...

singing and dancing to the Beach Boys with your new baby. :)

I'm joining the blogging world because I want a place to write down all the little random motherhood happenings that occur in my new world. And yes, it really does consist mostly of laundry and lullabies at the moment. And diaper changing and 2am feedings. But I'm finding that the mundane chores are full of a rich goodness that I can see, if I remember to look for it. And in between there are the funny moments and the heartbreakingly beautiful ones...and I want to remember all of them.

Besides, I'm sure if you're reading this, you want to know all about Jonathan's new life with us too! So, read on for updates, pictures, anecdotes, and musings!

This first post will be rather lengthy, as I have to catch up with all the little notes I've written to myself since we came home from the hospital.

The first week:

"Oh my goodness!!!" - Gabe's reaction to green poop. :) The same reaction was elicited when Jonathan peed during a diaper change - all over his own face and everything else within range. Please notice that my wonderful husband is changing diapers.

I've noticed that Jonathan is calmer, and often settles himself to sleep with classical music playing. I mentioned this to Gabe and opined that perhaps he'd be a musician when he grew up. Gabe's response: "I'm not sure the fact that he falls asleep bodes will for his musicianship." Touché. Well, I can dream, right?

Gabe is reading Beowulf to Jonathan in the evenings when he gets home from work.

Jonathan is finding his hands, occasionally, and enjoying sucking on them when he does. It's fun to watch him discover his world. I wonder if he knows that his hands are HIS hands yet?

Last night I was feeling insecure about being a mom...not for any particular reason; I think it was mostly just because I was tired. I told Gabe, when we'd gone to bed, that I thought I was going to need to be told, (often!), that he loved me and that I was a good mother. He was loving and reassuring, and I went to sleep comforted. Today at lunchtime the phone rang. It was Gabe, calling to say "I love you, and you're a great mom!" :) I have a wonderful husband.

Jonathan has been working on holding up his head. Last night he looked around for a good five seconds before flopping back against my shoulder. And this morning he did even better. I wonder how much he can see, now. He gives the impression that he really wants to look around at the world. His eyes are so bright and innocent.

Hiccups are a daily (or twice or thrice daily) occurrence for Jonathan. He hiccuped a lot inside me, too, so I guess I shouldn't surprised. HE is sure surprised, though - he looks at me in puzzlement like he'd like to say "Mommy, what did you DO to me???"

I was sort of expecting to have to pep talk myself out of being irritated with the state of my figure post-delivery. Strangely enough, that hasn't happened. I'm twenty pounds heavier than normal, and I've never felt prettier. I look in the mirror and am happy with what I see...who knew giving birth could give me such a new view of myself?

They say babies don't smile before six weeks. But Jonathan smiles - he DOES - he looks at me and grins. I think it’s a happy/content reflex, at the least. And it’s beautiful and makes me want to kiss him and maybe cry a little. He's perfect, and he's OURS.

Jonathan rolled from his back to his side today. He couldn't move from his side, once there, but he was content for a good twenty minutes. Go Jonathan!