Ways My Baby is Like Having a Cat

When Alice was just shy of being a month old, we stopped by my friend, The Pastor’s Wife’s, house to drop of a couple things. I went around lunch time, and when I popped in, The Pastor (our pastor, actually) was sitting at the counter eating his lunch–a bowl of sugary cereal.

“Where’s Alice?” he quickly asked. The Pastor is known for his love of babies.

I laughed. “She is in her car seat. No one was supposed to be home; I was just popping in for a sec.”

He put his bowl in the sink and followed me out to the car to sneak a peak of Alice before walking back to church for the afternoon. He asked if she was sleeping, and he made this gesture that was supposed to represent a sleeping baby, but it looked like he was a cat with its paws up by its face.

I laughed again. “She’s a baby, not a cat!”

I’ve been thinking about that interaction, and you know what? After thinking about my now-deceased cat, Louis, I realized she may as well be a cat! Her behavior and mannerisms are not that unlike a feline.

babycat

She likes to be warm.
Alice could live in a sunbeam. She much prefers warm spots and extra layers to even the hint of being chilly. When she was still tiny, I could place her Rock n Play near the window where she could feel the warm sun. She loved it! Louis always did the same thing. Our house faces south with a very large picture window in the living room. Louis used to actually move with the sunbeam in the afternoon.

She prefers to be held.
I know most babies love to be held, but she would rather sleep on one of us than anywhere else. Anyone who has ever met a cat knows that they prefer to be on a lap…especially the laps of people who do not love cats.

She has the most energy after she poops.
We always knew when Louis had used the litter box for poops because he would come tearing up the stairs and jump all over the furniture so fast we thought he had snorted something. Alice is maybe not quite as manic, but she is definitely most energetic after a BM–all happy and wiggly and kicky.

She bats at things you hold in front of her face.
This is the newest trick up her sleeve, but if you hold something in front of her, she will reach for it. If it’s something with a rattle, she will keep batting at it. Then she will ignore it for a minute, and then go right back to batting it. Seriously, I think if she could, she would bat it and chase it around the floor.

She cries for food.
I mean, duh, right? But in case you don’t know cats…or at least my cat…Louis was a Siamese. He cried about everything–especially food. He also cried if you were behind a closed door–also something Alice does. He cried if he was bored–also something Alice has been known to do. So I guess it’s better to say she is about as needy as a Siamese. Or maybe Siamese are as needy as babies. Because babies are supposed to be needy…they are babies. Seventeen year-old cats are just ornery and stuck in their ways.

I am not one to call pets “my babies,” but Louis was the first creature that was my responsibility. He has been gone for about three-and-a-half years now, and I miss having a little creature curl up on me. Maybe that is part of why I love the baby stage so much; they are completely dependent on you. Alice finds her comfort and joy in my arms.

I will miss that as she grows up and gains independence from needing to be held all the time.

And Cortney says no more cats.

But since we can’t have anymore babies, maybe he will give in to the cat thing…eventually.

She Laughs…or Rather Cries…at My Routine

My day starts sometime after 7am. Light is just starting to find it’s way through our larger, south-facing front window into our living room which is generally littered with small cars, stuffed animals leftover from before-school morning cuddles, and the occasional chocolate milk sippy that wasn’t put away before leaving.

Sometimes there are Legos that get stepped on. Those mornings are sweary.

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I don’t ease quietly and serenely into my day. No, I wake up to a hungry and angry baby girl shout-crying into my face via the monitor on my night stand. As I blink away the sleep, she gets crabbier.

I mutter something like, “I’m coming, Alice,” as if she can hear me…or would care if she could. You know what? It’s hard to pee when you’re trying to convince your brain you are indeed awake and not still dreaming all while trying to hurry because the boss has not gone from crying to some sort of shrill wail that makes it sound like feral cats are about to attack her.

Once I get my bathrobe on, the coffee going, the Today show on, and the bottle in the baby’s mouth, I can say the day has begun.

This has been our only consistent routine since the little lady joined our household seven weeks ago. Every other attempt I have made to find some sort of schedule or regularity in our days is thwarted by Little Miss Alice.

During week six, I thought we finally had it. Every day she was taking a lengthy snooze in her rock n play in the morning while I cleaned or baked or wrote or read or also snoozed. The afternoons were lazy. Since I was so accomplished in the morning, we usually cuddled together on the couch for some Netflix or History channel or Tiger ball game or just silence. Sometimes I read my book while she was curled up in my arm, sometimes I slept.

On the days Eddie doesn’t go to the after school program, we would go pick him up then come home to start dinner while Eddie entertained Alice.

Things were breezy, man. Totally breezy. I even made a laundry schedule and a “chore” list for each day (example: Mondays = groceries, and doing Alice’s laundry along with a load of our laundry…the darks, yo).

Then week seven happened.

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And I remembered that babies are on their own schedules, and sometimes that means lengthy fussy times because OMG LEARNING ALL THE THINGS AND GROWING IS SO VERY HARD AND EXHAUSTING AND I JUST NEED TO CRY ABOUT IT, MOMMA.

I showered less last week. I slept less (exhibit A = the giant bags under my eyes in that picture up there). I got WAY less done. I said, “Oh, Baby Girl!” a LOT. But by Thursday we were finding our way again.

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She was still a mad head and didn’t want me to put her down, but dude. Life needs to continue. So the Moby wrap was taken out of the car (I use it for shopping with her), and I threw her in it while I made dinner. She still fussed a bit, but it worked well enough until her daddy came home and could properly hold her and whisper in her ear that she was pretty.  Which she likes, of course.

The week wasn’t all bad, after all. She cried a LOT, but she also laughed for the first time. I was singing “Three is the Magic Number” and “I Love Rock n Roll”.  I am telling myself that she laughed out of pleasure and not because my singing was so bad.

Alice has begun to coo constantly at me and Cortney and her brothers. She definitely recognizes me and Cortney when other people are around, and seeing her brothers after they’ve been gone all day is sure to elicit smiles.

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I also read that she can now appreciate colors and textures, so I busted out the activity mat…or the gym, as we call it. She found herself in the mirror and smiled immediately, which is funny because neither of the boys ever cared one speck for that mirror. Of course my baby girl would find it and love it.*

All the new stuff made her tired and cranky though, as I said. So the week had highs and lows. I spent a lot of the time holding the baby.

With Eddie this would have sent me into a rage-filled spiral. With Charlie I learned that the bathroom filth will be there tomorrow. With Alice I am practicing what I learned. I didn’t even worry about the bathroom or the dusting. It never crossed my mind to worry about it not getting done.

I just scooped her up and patted her butt until she fell asleep in my arms.  Then I dozed off too. Or read a book. Or watched some TV. Because I knew she would wake up sad if I put her down.

So I just didn’t put her down.

I don’t know what week eight will bring this week, but I am sure not going to count on anything other than a baby who will eat, sleep, poop, and cry…but not in that order. At least not in that order every time.

 

 

*Fun fact: to get me to stop crying as a baby/toddler, my parents would plop me in front of a mirror. I would sit and smile at myself forever.

monday odds and ends

ok, so I left you all hanging yesterday by telling you we went to a gender reveal party that we guessed BOY for.  We were wrong.  Cort’s brother and his wife are having a baby GIRL!  Lilliana Marie.  She is due in November at Thanksgiving.  The first girl on the Sluiter side after four boys.

Yeah, Cort’s mom is pretty excited.

Speaking of baby girls, my brother and his wife are having their second child, a girl named Maria Mae, at the beginning of November.  This will be the first girl on my side of the family after three boys, so MY mom is excited too.

I might be bursting about throwing TWO girly baby showers.

Maybe.

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Because I am still feeling random, and because this weekend was so busy, I was of COURSE playing on pinterest and looking at pictures.

Because how else do you avoid being productive?

Here…look what I found in the “vintage eddie” files:

Daddy and Eddie: fall 2009

Eddie was in the saucer by 4 months. WHAT?

Eddie was eating rice cereal at 4 months. we may skip this altogether with Charlie.

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These pictures made me all “OH!  A boy and his daddy!”  So I took these pictures:

we call this: Pig Pile Daddy

oh my heart.

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Ok before I sign off, I have ANOTHER giveaway going on!  This one is to Papersalt. Enter NOW!

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