Northern BC

Hey, so I went up to the deepest wilds of Northern BC for work recently.  First time being away from the baby, which was kind of weird but 100% fine.  It helped that we had out last nursing session 3 days earlier (the milk dried up, and she was cool with it, reaching for a sippy cup when she found nothing else to drink).  But really, it was bizarrely, totally fine to be away from the kid and the husband for 4 full days.  It was a worthwhile trip, too.  It’s one thing to learn about jointed tubing, and it’s another thing to stand on a drill floor 30 meters above the ground and see what the kelly floor looks like, and how the tubing gets there, you know?

It’s also just nice to get our of town for a few days.  We flew up in a small commercial plane – small enough that there were propellers, and at row 5, I was halfway to the back of the plane. Nice smooth ride up – just bunnyhopping north and westwards.

Whee!

Whee!

Then the three of us (I was traveling with two coworkers) got to ride in a 4 seater chopper, and because I begged, I got to sit in the front with the super hot Australian pilot.  (For some reason, in the bush, all the pilots are young Australian men?  No complaints.)

DOUBLE WHEE!

DOUBLE WHEE!

I wanted to be in the front for the views – the cute pilot was just a bonus.  It’s just so vast and empty, I can’t even tell you.  There are occasional thin strands of “roads”, trails at best, made by energy companies, used by 4x4s, and quickly reclaimed by nature.  Random rivers and lakes and creeks and oxbows and it’s like a geography lesson from above.

I was reading the most recent Game of Thrones book, and these isolated strands of white trees made me think of Godswoods and being north of the Wall. I am a nerd.

I was reading the most recent Game of Thrones book, and these isolated strands of white trees made me think of Godswoods and being north of the Wall. I am a nerd.

It’s really, really far north.  Camp’s about 58 degrees north, and the Arctic Circle starts at 66 degrees.  I was there a week before Solstice.  The sun officially set around 11:30, and rose again around 3:30.  It barely got dark.  I found it hard to sleep, because at 12:30, it was still almost bright enough out to read by.

This picture was taken around 11:30 at night.

This picture was taken around 11:30 at night.

It also screwed up my schedule, because when someone said “Let’s go bear hunting”, it made sense to go, because it looked like 7pm brightness out all evening.  Of course, it was actually 10 pm, but whatever, there were bears!

Baby bear!  Mama's hiding in the bushes.

Baby bear! Mama’s hiding in the bushes.

"Bear hunting" is when you slowly drive the 22 km to the main highway and count all the bears you see, from the safety of your pickup truck.

“Bear hunting” is when you slowly drive the 20 km to the main highway and count all the bears you see, from the safety of your pickup truck.  (This photo was taken at 11 pm.)

I saw 7 bears, and was thoroughly delighted.  I’ve seen bears many times before, but it’s still a novelty.  Even after taking the Bear Awareness course at work, and seeing videos of bears climbing trees and polar bear cubs covered in seal blood.  Bears are still neat!  (If, you know, super dangerous wild animals who under no circumstances ever should you attempt to pet.)

Just call me Brian, in my super hot borrowed coveralls.

Just call me Brian, in my super hot borrowed coveralls.

Seeing the site was great, getting to walk around unescorted was nice, getting the various companies to explain their processes to me was really helpful (and understanding at least 70% of what they were saying was even better!)…  The food was excellent, as is always the case in dry, remote camps.  (12 hour shifts, no booze, nothing to do but sleep and workout when not on site…  the food HAS to be good to keep people happy.)

Flying home was a clusterfuck of epic proportions, but at least I was on a mostly empty 737, and so got my own row for all three hops.  We were unfortunately grounded in Edmonton, due to lighting and tornadoes and shit.  By grounded, I mean trapped in a plane for three fucking hours, while the plane was pulled in to the hanger.  It was terrible.  The 6 of us left on the plane could have rented a car and driven home faster, especially once they found a mechanical problem, and then had to wait for 15 other planes to take off in front of us.  I was fine being away from the baby until then, and then I got twitchy and frustrated and really wanted to be home.  (I should have beaten D and J home from work, not got there just before bedtime.)  On the upside, I got to read 650 of the Dances with Dragons book, so that was nice.

It's a good thing I'm not a nervous flier, because the landing was like an intense roller coaster ride of bouncing and tilting.

It’s a good thing I’m not a nervous flier, because the landing was like an intense roller coaster ride of bouncing and tilting.

When I finally got home, I had D bring J up to the main floor so that she could see me walk back in the front door, after watching me leave a few days earlier.  She saw me coming up the walk and got frantic with excitement, and was pawing at the door while D unlocked it.  I scooped her up in a hug and she nuzzled right in, for a second.  And then refused to even so much as glance at me for the next thirty minutes.  Wouldn’t let go of me, but was so clearly, adorably punishing me for leaving by purposefully refusing to look at me.  It was cute.  We cuddled and talked and then I read her a few books and then she was fine.

I’m glad I went, I was glad to come home.  Which is all I ask of any trip ever, basically.  Just nice that this one didn’t, you know, cost me cash dollars like all my other trips do.  Also, bears!

Dallas

Dallas is pretty

Dallas is pretty

Oh, hey, I went to Dallas a while ago.  I think I forgot to mention that.

We got to walk on the field during out personal tour

We got to walk on the field during out personal tour

It was lovely.  A very, very relaxed week, where we had many naps and saw a bunch of things and mainly just enjoyed hanging out together, 24/10.  We had a nice hotel suite with a separate bedroom and living room, so David and I could hang out and drink and talk and play games and watch shows after J went to bed.  We went to: the zoo, the aquarium, the JFK site, the Sixth Floor Museum, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Doctor Pepper museum, a mammoth burial site, the Cowboys stadium, the Rangers field, a Stars-Flames game, an outlet mall, and the awesome Perot Museum of Nature and Science.  Which sounds like a lot, but that was spread over 10 days.  We also ate a bunch of good food, and had a long chatty lunch with Alyssa.  We enjoyed the hell out of the fact that you can buy booze in grocery stores and that fancy gastropubs have high chairs.  We also had many naps.  It was great.  (We’ll overlook the norovirus and subsequent puking in the parking lot of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.)  But all in all, a great relaxing trip.

JFK Memorial is lame

JFK Memorial is lame

PENGUINS!

PENGUINS!

SHARKS!

SHARKS!

There was an entire room of old Dr Pepper vending machines - surprisingly interesting

There was an entire room of old Dr Pepper vending machines – surprisingly interesting

Drinking Dr Pepper made by a soda jerk

Drinking Dr Pepper made by a soda jerk

Baby's first NHL game

Baby’s first NHL game

Baby lost interest in the 3rd period

Baby lost interest in the 3rd period

Cowboys Stadium is freaking massive

Cowboys Stadium is freaking massive

Happy baby loves barbeque

Happy baby loves barbeque

Mammoth burial site!  Nerdcation.

Mammoth burial site! We like to take nerd-cations.

Dinosaurs, oh my!

Dinosaurs, oh my!

Christmas

A little on the late side, but here we go.

Christmas was lovely.  The relativity short family time windows were relaxed and pleasant.  The gifts were generous.  The baby was adorable.  It was a lovely holiday.

Portrait of young girl with tree

Portrait of young girl with tree

New traditions were explored.  I personally like the Santa myth, so we’re going to push it a little, and we totally used this year as a practice run.  For example: all the presents from us were wrapped in white and silver wrapping paper (Ikea makes the best Christmas paper) and everything from Santa was in bright garish paper.  Jess “opened” a present on Christmas Eve – something I always loved doing as a kid.  But this year, it was festive pjs, and as a friend of mine pointed out, the problem with doing that is that they get them near the end of the festive season, not at the beginning, where you’d get more use out of them.  So next year, Jess will get cute Christmas pjs on the 1st of December (all other organizational skills being equal…).  David and I did advent calendars again – lego and playmobile.   My inner six year old loves them.

Christmas imp in new pjs

Christmas imp in new pjs

One of the big things that my family always did differently, growing up, was to spread the present opening out.  On Christmas Eve, you got a present.  (The compromise from my father’s German upbringing when everything was opened on the Eve.)  Christmas Morning you got stockings, and Christmas afternoon you got to open a few presents, and the rest of the day was spent eating and playing games and going to family dinners.  Boxing Day you’d open another presents, and then maybe 2 days later you’d open another one, and it finally wrapped up by New Year’s Eve, at the latest.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Now, that makes it sound like there was a ton of presents, but really, there wasn’t – it was just spread out more so that it felt like more.  The anticipation of opening gifts was often more exciting that the gifts themselves.  (So many socks.)   It was great in many ways, because the holiday felt longer, and richer, and the anticipation went on.  My mom’s birthday is mid-December, and the house rule was that you couldn’t start any form of Christmas decorations or celebrations until December 14th, so we couldn’t stretch the holiday out earlier in the month.

Dec 28, and still a few more presents to go

Dec 28, and still a few more presents to go

I think this is actually a great tradition, but it does mean that I am super, super uncomfortable around people who just like, dive in and are done opening things by 10 am on Christmas Morning.  In part because I just don’t get it, and in part because opening that much stuff – that much conspicuous consumption all at one – makes me squirm.   It seems harder to enjoy each present because you’re so overwhelmed by ALL THE STUFF.   Harder to be genuinely excited by each gift.  Harder to remember all that you received.  Harder to teach the baby about gratitude and appreciation and leisurely holidays.  I’m not saying that everyone else is doing it wrong or anything – just that it’s wrong for me, and I like the way we do it.  It won’t surprise you, I’m sure, to learn that growing up only one person opened a gift at a time, and it was then passed around and duly admired before the next person took their turn.  Luckily David is willing to go with my delayed gift opening, even if he doesn’t fully understand why opening a pile of presents all at once makes me squirm.

Dec 31 and Jess finally figured out how to rip wrapping paper

Jan 2 and Jess finally figured out how to rip wrapping paper

One nice perk for this is that by the end of the week, Jess finally figured out the hows and whys of ripping wrapping paper.  That picture is of the very last present that she opened, and it was the first one where she did much of the paper removal.  She was really, really excited to have figured it out, and it was adorable.

It was a lovely week.  David was home, and we had very little to do and just hung out and played games and snuggled the baby and opened presents and ate food and watched shows and drank drinks and generally enjoyed the hell out of each other’s company.  Just lovely.

Our Christmas tree, and all our gifts, including the best one - the one in the Tigger shirt

Our Christmas tree, and all our gifts, including the best one – the one in the Tigger shirt

Vacation

So I feel that there’s a few posts I should write, but let’s start with this one, about our trip to Mexico in November.

David’s little sister met a local several years ago while on vacation with a girlfriend, and it was love.  Before too long, she’d quit her job and sublet her apartment, and moved to Cancun.  4 years after they met, they got married, and we went down to be at the wedding.  (I’m calling it a destination wedding, because every person but the bride, groom and best man had to travel to a resort in Mexico.  The groom’s family live in the D.F. and San Luis Potosí, the bride’s family in Alberta.  My mother in law argued the term, but I’m going with it.)

It wasn’t the best trip we’ve ever taken.

I’m going to sound really spoiled here, but I’ve, um, got used to staying at nicer places.  4 star resorts in Mexico, minimum.  Usually higher, if we can get a good sale.  And once at a “six star” resort in Oman that did it’s best to spoil me forever.  But still, a 3 star Mexican resort wasn’t… awesome.  Nothing terrible – and no one got sick from the food more than twice – but not great.  The food was institutional, the rooms small, the drinks weak, the pool freezing.  We spent as much on this trip than we did to a substantially nicer place in Cabo 10 months earlier, because my mother in law wanted to book it really early.   Jess didn’t do that well with naps or bed times.  Oh, and everyone but me spent the week falling down drunk, so I had full baby responsibility, all the time.

Not the best trip we’ve ever taken.

But that’s the bad stuff.   The good stuff was lovely.  Jess was an ace traveler.  Like, so ace that she didn’t cry at all on the flight down there – she yelled once, but that’s because the baby being held beside of wasn’t looking at her, and Jess wants to communicate with all the other babies.  As soon as the little girl looked over, Jess was happy.  She slept on the planes, and on the bus to the hotel, and in her stroller on walks around Cancun.  Jess loved the ocean, and the pool.

Baby's first ocean

Baby’s first ocean

My mother in law looked after Jess for a day so that David and his father and I could go to Chitzen Itza.  I have a degree that part-focused on Latin America, and so I’ve taken Mesoamerican archeology classes.  I’ve been to this part of Mexico twice, but had never managed to actual see this great UNESCO site.

Chitzen Itza

Chitzen Itza

It was totally wonderful.  We had a good tour guide and I learned a lot.

At the ruins

At the ruins

We also got to swim an a 150 feet deep cenote – a limestone pool that’s part of the underground river system.  It was full of blind fish.  Floating on my back with a huge depth below me and 100 feet of cave walls above me, and watching the sun light up the tree above?  Amazing.  Coolest swim I’ve ever had.

The only picture we have of the cenote - we were too busy swimming to remember pictures

The only picture we have of the cenote – we were too busy swimming to remember pictures

The wedding was … memorable, and the party that followed pretty epic.

The wedding party was a PARTY

The wedding party was a PARTY, and what’s a party without funny hats?

The tiredest, saddest, partied out baby

The tiredest, saddest, partied out baby

We left the resort five times – once for Chitzen Itza, once to go to a grocery store (my favourite thing to do on vacation, seriously), once to go to a newly opened Yucatan history museum (a busy place that only had 6 other north american types), once to go find better food for lunch, and one night David’s sister and husband took us to their favourite street side taco stand.   It was so, SO good.  Calgary has no Mexican food to speak of, so I rarely get it, but I do love it so.

It was a great test run for future trips.  We brought WAY more than we needed, to the point we had to send stuff home with David’s cousin because we were so over our baggage allowance.  We learned that we need a better umbrella stroller – our second hand one was so bad we abandoned it there.  We learned we needed new luggage – that we can no longer get away with a couple of large carry on bags.  (Disposable diapers, man.  You need so many and they take up so much room!)

We learned that we like to travel with out favourite little person, and that we take so, so many pictures of her adorable little face.

Cute baby

Cute baby

It wasn’t the best trip we’ve ever taken, but a underwhelming week at a resort in Mexico beats the hell out of a week in wintery Calgary, every single time.  Good enough!

A Merry Christmas Evening

Our work Christmas parties were, same as last year, on the same night in the same building.  Opposite ends of a very large conference centre.  Last year we went to mine and stopped in at his, this year we went to his and stopped in at mine. It worked out really well  – we had a sit down dinner at David’s, sitting with one of his best friends and his lovely wife, and then we eventually ducked over to mine to drink our free drinks, talk to a few people and debate eating from the poutine bar.  (Alas, too full from dinner, but cute concept.)  I also got a job offer, which was great, and sure, my boss has already approved my in-group transfer, so it’s a sure thing, but it’s nice to be wanted no matter what.  Plus, I’ll be reporting directly to a woman I quite like, instead of a nice man who runs meetings in a Dilbertish fashion.  So 4 drinks, a job offer, and a great photo?  Glad we walked over there.

DSC_0562 rotated

Because they were free, we had our picture taken everywhere.  (Including three photobooth&costume photo sets, because I am powerless to not wear a viking hat if there is one one offer.)  And re: the last post, maybe there’s something to be said for just figuring out my angles and finding what’s flattering.  Instead of staring unhappily at pictures of myself, I just need to find better pictures, better poses?  Not that the family portraits we had done with Jess were bad!  They were great.  But they were in full daylight and in jeans.  Maybe the secret is in a short sassy little black dress and flattering poses.  Because, damn, do I like this photo.

work christmas

I think I look great.  (David always looks great in a suit.  Yum.)  Open mouth laughter suits me, and the set’s great, and it totally avoids showing the areas of my body I’m self conscious about.  (We’ll pretend the photo where I’m sitting on his lap didn’t happen, because that one is terribly unflattering.)

Okay, a great photo or two may not cure my body angst, but it sure doesn’t hurt – how can I feel too bad about myself, when I can look at that picture and be all, “YES”?  I can’t.  I felt great, in a short black dress that flattered the hell out of my curves.  I’d had a few (ahem) drinks and had a handsome man and the pictures look great.  Done.

Post Partum Body

So the baby is 9.5 months old now, which is crazy.  We just had some nice family portraits done a few months ago, and I’m having a hard time making the critical self conscious voice in my head to shut up.  Because my post partum body is still not where I want it to be, and I feel bad because I feel self conscious about it.  (I feel bad about feeling bad!  Welcome to my brain.)   So, inspired by Meghan, here’s my journey with the body post baby.

I have never been thin, and my stomach has always been large and jiggly, even when I was a teenager swimming 6-8 times a week.  It’s just what my body looks like.

Here I am at 4 weeks pregnant, or, more accurately: just peed on a stick, went for a walk to celebrate.  I was at my heaviest weight in my entire life at this point – the summer had already involved a miscarriage and a flooded basement, and that had resulted in a summer of crappy eating and a lot of rum.  I weighed, shall we say, X pounds.

4 weeks pregnant

I got pretty big during my pregnancy, but I put on very little weight at all. I actually lost 5 pounds in the first trimester – stepped on the scale to see that the very day I popped my first stretch mark.  I take no real credit for what my body did during the pregnancy – I had terrible heartburn that meant even eating a muffin was a set up for 18 hours of unrelenting burning pain.  The only foods that I could really eat in the second trimester were Lucky Charms and ice cream.  (Being pregnant meant I suddenly became lactose tolerant, which was awesome.)  So I didn’t eat much, but what I ate was really calorie rich.  I got big in the belly, and fast, but I didn’t get big all over.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the rest of me lost some fat.  (I had some to spare.)  I also lost muscle mass when I had to stop working out around 28 weeks pregnant, because of some pelvic floor issues I was having.  Okay, yes, I still walked and did yoga, but that’s totally not the same as 4 day a week fitness classes with weights.

28 weeks pregnant

After I discovered Zantac, I could eat again, but still didn’t gain much weight.  During the whole pregnancy, I put on 12 pounds, or, X+12.  I’m short, and carried it all out front, so I looked like I gained a lot more.

38 week pregnant, after my water broke

I gained 12 pounds (X+12), gave birth to an an 8 pound baby (X+4), and a week after she was born was down to X-7 pounds.

1 week post partum

I bounced up to X-3 pretty quickly, as my body tried to adjust to the baby and the Breastfeeding Hunger, and all the rest.

2 weeks post partum

I fit back in to my jeans by the time Jess was a month old. Which was nice, but I again can’t take any credit.  The c-section recovery was really, really hard on me, and at a month post partum, I still couldn’t lift her in the car seat, let alone exercise.

At 12 weeks, I took a lame mommies and babies yoga class.  (I don’t like singing much.  I like yoga.  This class was way too much of  the former and far too little of the latter.)  At that point, I couldn’t even lay down from a sitting position because of the internal adhesions and resulting pain.

4 months post partum

Around the 4 month mark, I started taking more intensive fitness classes – starting with strollercize twice a week.  By the end of November (9 months post partum) I was up to 4 classes a week – a deep water running class, two areobics/weight classes and a pilates class.  My weight has been pretty stable for a couple of months at X-5, and while ideally I’d like to hit X-8 and stay there, I’m not unhappy about my weight.

7 months after Jess was born

7 months post partum

I finally bought new jeans, in time for our family photos, and found that I’d dropped a pant size from my pre-pregnancy jeans.  (My chest size, however, is still a few sizes up.  Breastfeeding!)  My hips, ass and thighs are the same size or smaller than they were pre-baby.  Thanks to all the fitness classes and squats, I had not developed mom-butt and I still like my ass.  (I first learned to love my butt when I took pole dancing classes.  I liked the way I looked in short-shorts!)

Baby's first ocean, at 8 months old

Baby’s first ocean, at 8 months old

But I am unhappy about my stomach, and it shames me that my belly is the first thing I see when I look at the family portraits.  I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to be the woman hiding from the camera, or the one who looks at herself with shame.  Because life is too short to fixate, or so I keep telling myself. The conflicting messages in my brain (be happy!  you’re too big!) are annoying, but I’m feeling them, so here we are.

The thing is, I’m DOING THE WORK, and it’s not making the kind of difference I wish it would.  I work out a lot, I eat mostly sensibly, and I have a big belly and my core strength just is not back yet, 9 months after the c-section.  When I started doing the fitness classes at 4 months, I couldn’t even get in to a plank position, because something internally caused screaming pain if I tried.  Hell, the first time I tried to do a crunch, 3 months after the birth, I couldn’t lift my head more than a half inch of the ground, and 5 of those made me hurt for 3 days afterwards.  (C-SECTIONS ARE NOT THE EASY BIRTH ANSWER.)  Things are better – because I’ve worked very, very hard – but still not great.  I still can’t, for example “access my transverse abdominals” at pilates, or hold a plank for 60 seconds.  I’m getting closer, but I don’t have the strength that I’m used to, or the sensations I remember.

I guess, really, that it upsets me on both fronts – the loss of tone and the loss of strength.  I’m trying hard to be kind to myself, and to keep going to the classes and to generally not think about it to much, but it’s hard. I’m mostly happy with my body – as much as I ever am – but this one thing upsets me, and then I’m upset that I’m upset.  Blerg.

Being a woman in the 21st century: self-esteem is a minefield.

Weighty Issues

Jess got her 2 month shots recently, and while we were at the public health nurse, they also weighed and measured and assessed all sorts of things.  (See, me crying in a medical office while discussing my feelings, AGAIN, ugh.)  She took her shots like a champ.  There were three of them in quick succession (and having got my own booster shot 1 minute earlier, I was extra sympathetic about how much they hurt).  Jess was screaming away as I tried to latch her on the boob, but she was screaming too much to focus.  So the nurse rang a bell, loudly and constantly.  I actually laughed at my poor baby who was so entranced by the sound of the bell that she stopped crying completely and then latched on.  (She ate for 2 minutes, then fell right asleep, and slept for most of the rest of the afternoon.)  The nurse told me that the bell doesn’t normally work on 2 month old babies – usually not until they are older.  I was like, yup, my baby is amazing!

However.  They also, as I said, weigh and measure the baby.  Her head was in the 97th percentile (might explain that c-section…).  Her length was about 55th percentile.  And her weight?  97th percentile.  Which on the weight to height chart put her right off of it, in the what the hell range.  Sure, if your baby is at the top range for weight AND height, that you clearly just have a big healthy baby.  But 55th and 97th?  That’s, well, that said to me that my baby is short and fat and oh god what I am doing wrong to have cause my little girl to be so out of proportionality oversized already panic flail guilt.

Then we had a doctor’s appointment 5 days later, and they weighed her WITHOUT a damp cloth diaper and got her age in weeks correct, and she went to 55th percentile in length and 70th percentile in weight – a much more normal proportion for a little baby.

And I was relieved.

And then I felt kind of shitty, both at my reaction and more so about my relief.

I mean, I’m short and heavy myself.  And I’m pretty okay with that.  I mean, I’ve been this height since like 14, so I’ve had time to get used to the fact that I’m the shortest in all of my extended family.  (My sister is 6 inches taller than me, and my cousins are mostly taller than her.)    My weight’s been pretty stable since I started working 8 years ago.  My natural weight range is small.  Hell, compare my lowest weight in high school while I was on the cabbage soup diet (UGH) and my highest weight pre-pregnancy is only 23 pounds. It’s very hard for me to move outside that range, compared to my sister or cousin whose ranges are much bigger (30 and 50 pounds, respectively).  I have long made my peace with my weight, as much is probably possible in our media driven world.  I know that I would rather lift weights than run, and that my body muscles easily and holds on to my belly fat, and than it would be so very, very difficult for me to move and then stay bellow my natural range.  (Hey, if healthy eating and swimming competitively at least 6 times a week as a teenager didn’t make me slim, there’s not much I can do now at 30 to change that.)  Sure, I can be healthier and I do prefer to stay near the low middle of my range instead of the top, but still, I’m okay with my body and myself.  (Although one post pregnancy note – c-sections are terrible on your endurance and stomach.  I tried crunches yesterday, and managed a measly TEN without even managing to lift my shoulder blades off the ground.  And it hurt.  My fitness classes a few months ago would often have at least 10 minutes of serious ab work, and now I can’t do 30 seconds of weak work.  Sigh.  THAT upsets me, and I will be working hard to get my core strength back.)

So, back to the baby.  I’m okay with my body and my short and heavy proportions.  Why on earth would this cause me to react so strongly about my baby?  My breastfed on demand baby?  Babies cannot eat more than they are hungry for – their stomach can’t expand and if they eat too much it comes back out.  You can’t overfeed a breastfed on demand baby, I’m told by the doctor, the nurse, the internet.  And yet, I felt like I was already failing her.

Clearly, I have work to do.  My mother had a ton of body issues that she projected on me, and she’s already starting on Jess.  (She accused me of letting a 9 week old baby of eating from boredom, not hunger, “like we both do, right?”.  Thanks mom.)   And I want to break that pattern.  I don’t know how yet, but I will work on it.  I’ll also tell my daughter that she’s beautiful more often than my mother did to me.  (Which is easy.  We’ve already surpasses the number zero.)  But look that that smile and those chubbly wubbly cheeks.

Smiles

How can I not want to protect my little girl from my issues?  I owe it to her to get over my reaction to the initial news, even if it was incorrect.  Because there is a good chance that she will to grow up to be built like the women in my family – short and chesty and muscular and chubby.  I owe it to her to make her feel like I always have her back, yes?  To make her believe that someone will always find her beautiful and smart and strong.  Growing up with that security is something I never had, and really want to be able to give to my baby.  So that’s my work, I think.

Cute AND smart