he cut a tooth!!!!

today! after a particularly grueling day of biting things, one tiny rice grain of a bottom tooth has raised its head above the gumline.

it's sharp, too! i know because he still soothes his sore gums on our fingers, chins, and noses. ouch.


stomping the yard

do they make baby pedometers? this child spends so much time stomping, marching, and flailing his feet that you would think that (a.) he was upright, and (b.) he had someplace extremely pressing to be.



i am starting to have a complex. no matter if i am standing him on my lap to have a heart-to-heart conversation, sitting him on the kitchen counter in his little baby chair, or even nursing... there is always, ALWAYS something more vitally important and fascinating just out of sight over one of his shoulders. such that, he must twist and turn and squeal and reach and thrash and squirm to get it.

i suppose this is the price one pays when one's baby starts to figure out you're not the only thing of interest in the world. i support and encourage this knowledge, and welcome the proof of the development of his ever-wrinkling little brain. i just wish this discovery didn't hurt my wrists so much!


my days are numbered

...my easy-naptime swaddling days, that is. went to do my "bolero" mini-swaddle for a morning nap, and baby boy wriggled out of it like the younger brother in The Last Dragon.

had to pull out the big guns (the full-sized lappa) but it looks like the halcyon days are coming to a close.


two inch fists

i remember how exciting it was when he first began to use his hands. he'd be nursing, and would just put up his little fists, open them slightly, and lay them on me gently, as if to frame his food. so sophisticated, compared to the baby bird mouth, eyes shut tight, with which he'd previously rooted for his meals.

now, of course, at nearly five months, he is a master manipulator - not only can he bring his hands to his mouth to chew, but no longer has to suck on the entire fist~ he can separate the fingers and hook one thumb deep into his cheek, or suck on only two or three fingers at a time. he can hold a rattle, toy, pacifier with his hands, and pass an object from one hand to the other. he can use his hands to cram THINGS into his mouth, not just the hands themselves. hard wooden rattly things, soft chewy silicone pacifier things, tough nubbly teething ring things, soft fuzzy fleece toy things.

he can reach for me.


the tongue - it moves!

so, he's discovered his tongue. it happened quite suddenly yesterday, and has been constantly in play since.

he must have had a board meeting wherein was discussed the need to get MORE drool out of the mouth-factory and into the WORLD. enough of this passive, namby-pamby, gravity-dependent drooling! what we need is a delivery system! a TOOL of some sort, which would propel an efficient, prompt, and renewable stream of drool down the chin and onto the shirt. why, we were only getting soaked to the sternum before! that would never do, we've got a 3rd quarter growth projection of wetness from shoulder to shoulder and down to the belly button. there are stockholders to answer to. we've got stacks of bibs to get through, and that'll never happen unless we get a...

ah. the tongue. now we're talkin...


what's behind his shoulder?

it's obviously something way WAY more important and interesting than whatever is in front of his face. this child has suddenly become a squirmy wormy little creature~ twisting around constantly, leaning way over out of my arms. what the heck is lurking in his peripheral vision?


falling in love

when he was just brand new, it was probably mostly an intense feeling of protection i felt. i wanted to enfold him in my care and never, ever see him hurt. when he was a few days old and had to get his heel pricked at the pediatrician (he was kind of jaundicey) and he was just squalling in his strong, tiny little voice, i sat there bawling, milk leaking down my shirt.

i thought, 'what have i gotten myself into?'

how could i handle the enormity of these feelings?

and i thought that was something.

time passed, he's three and a half months now. his face changes every day and becomes more and more beautiful (more and more human... let's face it, he looked slightly turtle-ish at first, LOL), his personality emerges little by little and i enjoy the blissed-out, happy, exploratory, mellow baby he is becoming. all we have to do is catch his eye and smile and he gives a wide gummy grin that warms me like sunshine. when he wakes up and stretches like a little cat i want to simultaneously laugh and give him a thousand kisses. his little warm body, his chubby fingers, his huge little cheeks like ripe peaches, his head full of coily anime hair... he's the most beautiful thing in the world, and he looks at me (ME!!) with the purest most complete trust and love i've ever seen.

and i think: 'what have i gotten myself into?'

how can i handle the enormity of these feelings?

last night, we came home really late, and he woke up slightly when we put him into his car seat. i gave him his pacifier to help him go back to sleep, and when i placed it into his mouth, he grabbed my hand by my bracelets and held it there, up to his mouth. his chest was warm under my palm and his little hands were holding tight to my bangles and he seemed so small and at the same time so strong and determined and my insides just melted.

and i thought, 'what have i gotten myself into?'


paper or plastic? ... the diaper answer

so, it boils down to we're basically doing cloth at home/at night and paper on the road/at work

i had gotten a bunch of different wraps to test out, some snappis and such. favorite situation by far is this brand of wraps called 'thirsties' - simple, well made, the extra smalls are small enough for him but have lots of room to grow, and they are quick to dry when wet and super easy to clean if soiled. folding the diapers into thirds and leaving a stack of pre-loaded wraps in the co-sleeper is the bomb, particularly for late-night changes when i don't want to get out of the bed, or really wake all the way up.

incidentally, why has the co-sleeper turned into a midnight changing table? lol.

ETA: dh's pre-baby diaper jitters? totally gone. in fact, all the stuff he anticipated not being able to deal with - seeing the birth, umbilical stump, particularly messy diapers - he is so doing without even being phased. although he definitely prefers the paper diapers to the cloth on GP (hanging onto a pail full of dirty diapers goes against his grain big time, lol) so i think particularly once the baby starts eating food and sh!tting like a man, the cloth days will be way over. these little innocuous EBF poops are quite easy to live with in a closed & deodorized diaper pail. actual food-based crap? i am not so sure.


busy busy busy...

... doing all the new parent things like spending corny amounts of time staring into his little face, inhaling his sweet breath, putting his feet in our mouths, etc. he is just a little wonder and we are super thankful.




54 hours into motherhood

54 hours into motherhood, i am most stunned by the intense, almost debilitating physical impact of birth. i had a 2nd degree tear and feel like i am heading toward engorgement. i know it could be a lot worse, and i am grateful to my birth team and to my son for their skill and gentleness, respectively. but the latching is still painful as heck, it's annoying not to be able to go downstairs, it's humbling how long it takes me to sit down, to get up, to roll over, etc., and it's bizarre that the high pleasure point of my day physically is a sitz bath.

emotionally i'm skating. the baby is great and i just can't stop looking at his chewy little face. DH and i are in pure babymoonland. we had GREAT help immediately after the birth, which was 100% unexpected - DH's brother, SIL, and 1yr old baby had planned a visit and ended up arriving just in time to pick up our keys at the hospital and hang out at our house while we labored! so what did they do? cleaned the house top to bottom - i'm talking that scrub-the-floor-behind-the-toilet, walls&windowsills kind of cleaning to which i only even aspire once a season, and usually only achieve three times a year. (sigh.) they also did all the laundry in the house, cooked pots of food, and assembled and organized all remaining baby clothes & furniture. their being here was a huge blessing, and perfectly filled in the gap until our mothers make it (DH's on monday - she was at a conference one state over and will stop by on her way home - and mine on tuesday to stay for a few weeks. after which i think MIL is coming back)

i am only concerned about work, since we were only like 4 days out from completing our masterplan prep-for-postpartum strategy and now have to reconfigure all our plans with one less person and 80% less sleep


kaiju is earthside!

vital stats:
born 12:39am on april 18th. just half an ounce shy of 8 pounds, 20 inches long. of course given his sasquatch parents he was born with a full head of hair - as well as sideburns and that baby-hair on his arms and upper back. but get this - he has a fully defined DIMPLE in his CHIN!! (i have one too, get it from my grandfather) the nurses were sweating him big time.

birth story:

midwife's appt wednesday 2pm. got checked and she mentioned it might bring on some light spotting/cramps, i had started thinning, but was only 1cm dilated so 'chances are this baby's not coming tomorrow, ha ha.' so when i started getting spotty/crampy that night at about 10pm-ish, i didn't think much of it. until it got stronger and worked its way up to 5-6 minutes apart. we went to hospital to meet midwives 10am ish. i was 90% effaced and 3cm dilated.

the room was large and comfortable, there was a birth ball, a glider, a transformer bed w/lots of positions, a nice deep tub. DH was amazing. we spent the whole day just us in the room, doing all the stuff we'd learned in childbirth class. he was super responsive, complimentary, supportive, reverential. at about 3pm i wondered how things were going, and asked to be checked to see if i had enough time to take something for the pain - i had this idea i wanted it to wear off in time for me to push - b/c i needed to sleep. (we hadn't slept since tuesday night) dilation was 4cm after all day laboring! talked to the midwife and decided to break my water to help get his head banging down on the cervix and speed up the dilation. after that, things progressed faster - 6cm two hours later - and the ctx were super strong.

entering transition, the ctx were NO JOKE. i started to feel like i didn't think i could do it. after trying the tub, which felt great but didn't really help with the pain of the ctx, i talked to DH about asking for an epidural so that i could relax and hopefully let things move faster. and SLEEP!! (again, no sleep since tuesday)

so we do the epidural around 7pm or so... 20 hrs into labor. the anesthesiologist effed-it up at first, i felt all sorts of needle-sticking and screamed. didn't look at DH b/c i knew he must have been going THROUGH it to see that, but the nurses got to experience him entering a towering rage, and encouraged him to not be the support person holding my hands for this particular thing, but instead to sit out of sight and try to relax. 2nd try was fine though, and a few minutes later i had to feel my belly to know the ctx were coming and breathe deeply into them to help them along. i got lots of catnaps during the next few hours! yum. i'm really glad i got to spend the day laboring naturally and experience all the labor toys, but i was SO grateful i also got to take a break.

when it was time to push, about 10:30 or 11 at night, that's when the epidural hurt me - i had to spend some time figuring out how exactly to push b/c all i could feel was the pressure moving down. i pushed with each ctx for almost 2 hours! finally out he came. . . what a moment! i had a 2nd degree tear, i dunno how many stitches, with NO NUMBING. (!!!) and naturally the epidural didn't help numb that area, no no no. so that was yet another in the series of excrutiation. but i was holding kaiju at that time so it was all good.

he was a little distracted when nursing - i think we waited too long while stitching and he had discovered his hands were suckable, lol - but tried his best and worked both sides. DH is with him now as he gets his first bath and tests done, and then it'll be time to try again.

funny thing: DH used to hum 'a love supreme' to my belly all the time when i was PG. now, if he puts kaiju on his chest and hums it, the baby calms right down and will sleep.

another funny thing: we've been calling him kaiju all pregnancy long, as a nickname. it's the japanese word for movie monsters like godzilla, rodan, etc. why was 'king kong' playing this evening while we took our epidural-naps?


bla, blabla

sciatic pain flared up something FIERCE on thursday; ever since i've been limping around like fred g. sanford. and the g stands for 'good lord, am i STILL pregnant??' this only happened once before and after a few days he must've moved off the nerve b/c it just went away. i'm feeling bulging in different places now and think he might be flipping. let's hope he hits the magic 'ease mommy's pain' spot soon and settles in there.

BHing like crazy, particularly in the mornings. together with the sharp pain in one buttock i am quite the chipper cheery one to wake up next to! DH is a champ though, walking around like my human crutch and doing all my lifting.

on a much brighter note, spring has sprung. it's been super warm and beautiful. i had a prenatal massage on friday. yum! it was lovely. also walked around a little, window shopping, and cherry blossoms fell into my hair.


home stretch: part deux

20 days to EDD

i feel simultaneously ready and totally totally not. i can't wait to meet this kid, and i will be so tickled to get some very basic body functions back. like, running. or, bending over, say, like to tie a shoe. LOL! but there's also like SO much that we are trying to get ready - mainly, trying to complete a major move to the warehouse before he gets here. (oh snap - did i mention we got a warehouse for the biz?) so in addition to regular nestish things like washing a bunch of baby clothes and signing up for a diaper service and assembling a glider chair and such, we're also trying to find a good deal on a commercial sink and talking with a contractor and visiting the architectural salvage places trying to find cheap linoleum and carpeting and such. HA! so yeah. i hope kaiju stays put until his EDD. not much longer! we've spoken. i've given him about a one-week window of possibility and i THINK we understand each other. LOL!

i still feel pretty good, although i'm definitely beginning to slow down. there was a bellydancing circle @ the shower, which devolved into a general dance circle with me and dh uprocking in the middle of it. that's how spry and mobile i felt up until that moment... but all that action must've shaken kaiju down a little, b/c since then i've felt him lower than ever and am starting to display that preggo-lady sexy waddle, LOL! we'll be walking and i have to remind pete to slow down a little b/c the baby is bouncing on my bladder!

i'm not complaining too much though, b/c this pregnancy has been so smooth. sleeping through the night, no health issues or extreme morning sickness or anything-- i have been totally blessed and i am going to try to deal graciously with a little end-of-the-road discomfort. i do hope he comes more or less on time, though. i can totally see how being pregnant for up to 42 weeks as they baby just keeps on growing and growing, would be no fun at all! maybe that's how our bodies get us ready for labor. make the end of pregnancy near-excruciating, so that labor is almost a reprieve!


... so we had a shower

and it was fabulous! we moved a couple of states away a couple of years ago, and the majority of our friends still live 3-4 hours away. so i hadn't been expecting much in the way of showerdom, but boy did they rally! the couple who threw it for us did an absolutely AMAZING job. we've been calling the baby "kaiju" as his utero nickname, so the whole party was "movie monster" themed - the invite was made from an old godzilla poster, the decorations and prizes were all about classy floating eyeball candles, 'screaming b-movie victims' action figures, baby dinosaur bubble blowers, etc. it was co-ed for husbands, lots of kids were there playing with the hula hoops, bubbles, and monster-toes-mini-stilts in the yard - in the house of course they romped on the birth ball. the games were uncorny, and the evening ended with a huge playstation 'rock band' tournament.

the games and moments of blessing were so heartwarming and touching. the main one was when a plate was passed with honey, salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon - me and DH each tasted, and each elder in attendance described a parenting lesson associated with one of the spices. my mom (who lives across the country and is saving up her vacation time for when baby gets here) did hers on videochat via the laptop, and stayed around knitting on vidcam while we played 'baby/monster charades.'

the gifts were great - creative and useful and fun! my mom had knitted a few jacket-hat-blanket sets. the tiniest set was made from yarn my baby sister had spun from local wool!!!! a friend who makes jewelry actually MADE him a silver baby bangle! which is great b/c i hadn't figured out where i was going to find one for him. a designer friend did this amazing lacquered box out of recycled tin ceiling tiles like the ones you see in old houses and restaurants - as a keepsake box for the good wishes everybody wrote down and shared for us and the babe.

i am just... wow. really happy about it. one thing that it brought home to me is how much of a difference it makes when people are in your face - we are notorious hermits, but there are a lot of people in this world who we sit around loving from a distance. having some of them here was a beautiful experience.

also. the webcam situation was the hotness! LOL. my mom said she wants to go to all her parties like that from now on.


this body, this body

i remember feeling all expectant and excited in the beginning, reveling in every change, being impatient to show a bump. and then around the middle, being like, 'i am so pregnant and SO hot! look at me go!' now i'm definitely moving toward feeling like a bit of a sideshow freak - come on, are you STILL growing?? this is getting ridiculous. not yet at the 'beached whale' feeling, b/c i'm still mostly mobile, but i can definitely see those feelings and limitations looming on the horizon.

the hubster has been soooo in love with my body at every stage... nowadays i'm feeling like a science fair exhibit or something, and thinking, what a weirdo! but now and then i catch a glimpse of myself and can see the intense fertile beauty he sees. it's sexy and goddessly and amazing!

then i try and tie my shoes and get the basketball compressing my lungs and it's gone. LOL!


paper or plastic? ... aka the diaper question

we are some moderately crunchy folks - extremely crunchy black folks - up in this house. cloth grocery totes, compact flourescent light bulbs, lots of walking and bikes, heck we work at home so that's zero commute... and we only got drivers' licenses last month (b/c there's no newborn seat for a bike, and who's to say the cab home from hospital wd have the LATCH system? ;o) so that's more than 65 combined years of mass transit, ride sharing, and a SERIOUSLY reduced carbon footprint. i am second generation granola - was raised in a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, food-co-op belonging, natural hair wearing, handmade clothes wearing, cloudy apple juice drinking, dr. bronner's soap using house.

still, i haven't bought any cloth dipes supplies yet, b/c i'm not fully committed to the idea. i LOVE windowshopping the cool pocket and fitted cloth dipes systems and covers... but seriously - looking at our lifestyle, i don't know if a diaper choice that depends on us doing laundry is a smart move. LOL!

there is also th fact that dh feels utterly turned off by the 'storing dirty diapers in a bucket all week' concept... and i'll be darned if i'm going to be doing more than my share of changing duty b/c dh is uncomfortable with the tools. i'm 80% certain that once baby is here, he'll be fine with it - i don't think he understands the character and innocuousness of the poop of an exclusively breastfed newborn - but really do want him to feel as comfortable with all aspects of the hands on parenting duties as possible. i've seen/changed cloth diapers before so i know that it's no big deal, plus that you get a bit of a 'grace period' before things get really serious in the texture/smell department.

still, eventually there will be food in the mix, and then all bets are off. they have these liners that are supposed to catch the solids and be flushable, which ... ok that's great. it's still a little more intimate than even i might be willing to get with that particular end of the business. i've seen side by side comparisons of the ecological/energy impact of cloth diapering vs disposable and each has its benefits http://www.ilea.org/lcas/franklin1992.html so i guess it'll come down to preference and convenience. we'll probably sign up for a service and get some 7th gens unbleached disposables, and then we can try out both for a few weeks and see if a preference emerges. if one or the other is more comfortable, less leaks, less rashes, etc, we'd let the baby's bootie make the choice.


entering the home stretch

32 weeks. started taking our childbirth class last week, which is kind of corny but yields good jokes. it's just us and the teacher and one other couple. the teacher makes banana bread.

up until this moment i was kind of reluctant/superstitious about buying anything. we actually just broke down and started getting prepared a little on the 'stuff' front.

a friend who was also due in april had her baby last week by emergency c, brought on by a fall! scary situation - everybody's fine and healthy and beautiful! - but it definitely lit a fire under us as far as our lassaiz-faire (sp) attitude about the *stuff* aspect of preparation.

just learned last week that there will be a shower, but it's not for another month and we don't want to count on the shower for our bare necessities, so we went out today and got our barebones emergency kit: whatever we imagined we would need for the first few days if baby decided to pop up early.

a carseat
pack of short sleeve onesies
pack of side snap shirts
package of newborn 7th gen diapers & wipes
couple of going out outfits - the sets w/the onesie, pants, and shirt
couple of hats
couple of sleepers and sleep sacks
pair of soft felt shoes (dh insisted, LOL)
pack of receiving blankets... & a swaddler cheater in case we can't figure that out, lol
pack of cloth diapers for burp cloths
pack of bibs
one of those health kits with thermometer, nail clipper, medicine dropper, aspirater. and some hand sanitizer.

we didn't do any furniture, or any of the bigger 'gear' items besides the carseat... that can probably wait until after showertime. but the point is, i suddenly feel like if there was a surprise we wouldn't have to wrap him up in dishtowels while waiting for basics to arrive from amazon.com. (i've been making dishtowels jokes for months but when my friend's baby was born two months early, it seemed slightly less funny all of a sudden...) and then yesterday the midwife was like, yeah homie. anytime after week 36 you are full term. you know that's only 4 weeks away, right?


i don't mention this or bring up my friend's situation to indicate that i am shook - i'm actually not scared about going into labor early at all. i told kaiju he already missed the aquarian cutoff so he might as well just stay his little butt in there until he bakes a little more, LOL. it was more like, my friend's experience was just a reminder that the baby will come when the baby is ready, so we might as well do our parts to get prepared or at least meet him halfway. it's not like we have an appointment on april 24th and he's guaranteed to arrive on that date like FedEx, so we can wait until the 23rd to get a car seat. LOL!

so yeah. i can no longer count myself among the UTTERLY unprepared. now we're only UNDERprepared. ;o)


like, totally heavy stuff, man

you know how there are those three archetypes for like, the manifestation of the feminine divine: maiden/mother/crone? with each element/stage of life representing particular powers?

when i let myself sink down into the body-conscious, metaphysical/spiritual awareness of it all (which is not constant b/c i am a heathen, but does happen, because i am a hippie, LOL) i am able to sense myself moving from one realm to the next. i will see pictures of myself from a year ago and am like, dang look at those BONES! i'm not mad at my former body, it was strong and wonderful and i was comfortable in it. but it's so different from this ripe to bursting, power-to-nurture situation i've got going on now. i mean, these breasts, dang!! it's like a physical manifestation of the new role & responsibility i'm taking on, different shape for a different role. wild stuff.


at least you've got a plan...

the hubster is so happy/scared/excited he doesn't know what to do with himself. we saw a new baby @ the hospital nursery tour last nite and he said that made it even more real. he anticipates not sleeping for a few days, just staring at the kid like crazy trying to learn things like how he sleeps, the sounds he makes, etc. he says he'll just be crazy worried and will hover over the baby like a crazy person.

i was like, well at least you've got a plan! lol.

a friend reminded me today of something dh said years ago, that if we ever had children, he would just cover the floor in plastic and let the baby run around diaperless. that doesn't sound like a half bad idea! with the extra added bonus that the next time someone asks about the 'theme' for the 'nursery,' we can just say we're going with floor to ceiling plastic sheeting!


news from the neighborhood

so the the word is out about the pregnancy among the neighborhood kids.

it started a couple of weeks ago, when we were going out and like 4 kids were sitting on the porch swing across the street - this is the two little homeschooled glasses-wearing nerds (a boy who is maybe 8, a girl who is 10 or 11) and a couple of 7 or 8 yr old girls from down the street. the occasional 4 yr old tagalong baby sibling might have been there too, but i'm not sure. i waved and they waved back, and then in a sudden burst, one of them called out 'are you pregnant?' - and then i looked, and they were all scandalized and shushing the one who had said it. LOL! so i told them yes, and then they were like, 'see i told you' and stuff, to each other. they asked was it twins, was it a boy or a girl, etc.

yesterday they were outside when we were leaving and they asked where we were going. 'just to the store.' they said 'all three of you?' just too enthused about their own cleverness. and i said 'all two and a half of us' and they cracked up.

hee hee. i can't wait till they're babysitting age.


thankful to be a heavy sleeper

so, we're heading into month 7 now, right? the little monster has either suddenly become much more active, bigger, and/or stronger: the kicks are becoming really hard core. the other night i was sitting and could actually see the kicks from the outside of my belly for the first time. i mean, at previous times the hubster has gotten kicked in the head if he put his face to the belly to talk to the bun, so we know he's been manifesting to the outside world for a little while now. but to actually SEE it like see the bump come to the surface and move across like the loch ness monster?? talk about a weird sci-fi moment!!

we were sleeping face to face last night, or perhaps i should say *i* was sleeping last night. dh said he could feel the baby's kicks pummeling HIS stomach, and it was keeping him awake! he had to finally roll over so he could get some sleep! LOL.


preggeritis symptom #4,080: wacko dreams

okey doke, had my first wacko pregnancy dream last night. at first, it was a wacko dream like my dreams are often wacko - some storage place we'd had things stored at went out of business and came in the dead of night and deposited like a whole houseful of stuff on our front lawn... old furniture, boxes, armoires full of historical costumery, knicknacks galore. we woke up astonished and eventually decided to just stick a 'yard sale' sign up in front of it and go with the flow. there was also some lovely sex stuff which happened, which was nice, since my bladder-sitting baby has been conspiring to keep me from getting any lately. at least my subconscious is getting off.

so then, in the dream there we are sitting on the lawn amid a bunch of old furniture, and also cooking out for some reason. this play-cousin of mine who recently had a baby in september comes up, holding her naked baby out in front of her in a big, translucent, exterior womb. the baby's skin is like translucent whitish, and s/he's shivering. she woman goes on to explain that when the baby was born, the skin wasn't strong enough, so they had to like create this psuedo womb (or surgically move her womb outside her body, the method wasn't entirely clear, even though i kept on asking incredulous questions throughout the dream) so that the baby's skin could keep on growing and getting stronger. there was fluid sloshing around in there between two layers, but it wasn't fully surrounding the baby, it was more like s/he was sitting in a puddle.

i could feel my dream-face scrunched up in disgust and disbelief, and kept asking her things like, 'they didn't have a NICU or something?' 'why can't you just take her out and put her in a bubble' and 'could you put a blanket around that? s/he looks freezing' and 'how do you shower with that thing attached to you?' but she and her mother were in placid denial that anything out of the ordinary was happening.



it's hard out here for a hermit

been talking to my family more than i think i ever have in my whole life entire.

we did a lot of video chatting over xmas, wherein i showcased the belly on pixelated videocams for roomsfull of people we love who we did not travel out of state to go see. hooray! for high technology keeping yr nerdy a$$ at home.

been thinking lately abt the kids thing, namely how many? are we committed to having? it took us 9 yrs together to have kid the first... and i've always thought i would have zero, or two. 'tawk amongst yahselves' is my motto. LOL! maybe we'll get away with one, like if kaiju turns out to be a really self-amusing kid who learns to read at 3 and/or spends his time playing outside in the yard with other neighborhood kids. but i've never thought i'd have the attention span for one child.

at the same time, i can totally see the benefits of a larger family. i am one of four, and i HEART my sibs to death. it was a lot of fun growing up in our house. plus, since the little ones are 7 and 10 yrs younger than me, i got a chance to babysit, read stories, learn responsibility and participate in their upbringing a little. we weren't primary caretakers by any means, but i did get a chance to see how our age spread made it possible for my mom to put some kid-sustained systems in place that helped things run more smoothly.

also in preparing for our child to enter the world, be are becoming even more cognizant that we're building and adding onto longer-standing and extended structures when we procreate and move and marry and make life decisions like that. me and the hubster tend to isolate ourselves, but with a bun coming we're thinking about it in a different way. how far do we live from the rest of the extended fam? how often are the cousins going to see each other? dh only has one brother, but they were raised really close to their 4 cousins; now they are all adults and it's really cute to see how important they are in each others' lives, even tho they're spread out over the NY tri-state area. there were four of us siblings but we were isolated from extended family and only saw any given set of cousins like once a year when we made holiday-related road trips. now we're adults and only just now getting back into sporadic email contact.

kaiju will have a 1st cousin almost exactly 1 yr older than him; a 2nd cousin the same exact age. they will all live in 3 different states... LI, NJ, and we're the farflung ones in MD. what will their relationships be like? it's sobering to know that that's entirely up to us.