Necessities for Baby

It’s getting close to the time in my gestational cycle where I start to panic. Because I have done the preparation equivalency of studying for my SATs when I was in high school. Which for the record was nada. When I was in high school, I oped for sleeping in and eating a Jack N’ the Box chicken sandwich for lunch instead of taking my SATs. And then at graduation when all my friends proclaimed that they were going to a prestigious state school or mega private university, I burped ranch dressing essence in their faces and stuttered that I was joining the loadies at community college.

And look at me now! I have a world famous blog (and by world famous, I mean, that at least 7 people a month read my blog in Tarlac City in the Philippines). Sure it’s probably just one person who doesn’t know how to use the internet, but still, it makes me feel like a world wide sensation. And I’m pretty sure that if I took that standardized test when I was 18 instead of sleeping until noon on a Saturday, then writing in my diary about how much I love my cat, and then eating fast food, I wouldn’t be the mega star that I am today. So suck it SATs, I didn’t have time for you because I was too busy building character. Ya, that’s what I’m going to call it…

Anyways…

Character building aside, I still have to prepare for a brand new life that will completely rely on my arms and my boobs, and I’ve have to nest, and feverishly clean my house, and do weird chores like clean the air ducts, and spackle things, as I wear a maternity support belt and compression stockings all while contemplating a nose piercing. Because I totally pulled it off in my early 20s and I want to feel young and relevant again. I could totally pull it off, right?

RIGHT??!

Well no. I can’t. Plus I remember it would always get crusty with make-up and snot, and that’s not really a cute look. I had allergies. I was very boogery. Thus the snot. Don’t judge.

So a thought occurred to me the other day, while I was frantically bleaching the baseboards with a rhinestone taped to my nose: I have almost everything for the baby, crib, stroller, baby sling, breast pump, swing, blankets, etc… I still need a few new things.

So I’ve curated a list of essentials that I need:

Newborn Baby Essentials

 

1.The good guide rated Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Bar Soap among the best around based on health, environment, and the company’s social policies, so sure, I think I’d like to give it a whirl.

2. A wooden baby teething toy made by my pal over at Little Alouette, because all the toys at my house are covered in dog saliva and goldfish cracker crumbs.

3. The Natursutten natural pacifier, all my babies thus far love to suck, and I’m sure this little nugget is no exception.

4. Cloth diapers were my jam with Hudson, and I think I’ll give it a go again with this peanut. These ones by Soft Bums can fit from 5 pounds to 30.

5. A Belly Bandit to girdle my floppy loins.

6. We’re painting the nursery gray, so this gray mobile would be perfectly adorable dangling above the baby’s crib.

7. The Puj Tub is a foldable soft tub that can fit in your bathroom sink. I hate those clunky plastic jobs that take up a ton of space. This tub stores flat and looks super cool.

8. For those times when I need a break and need to get out of the house, Pump and Save Bags by Medela are fantastic.

9. and 10. I’ll lump these bottles together, because I’ll probably only need two anyways. The yellow one is glass by Life Factory, and the blue one is stainless steel by Pura.

11. Because cloth diapers piss my mom off, I’ll need to get some disposables. The Honest Company makes adorable ones and they’re somewhat ecologically responsible. I say somewhat, because they still take 500 years to decompose, and they’ll probably end up in an ocean somewhere where a beluga whale will chomp on my infant’s watery poop.

12. Lily Padz nursing pads are fun because they stick to your ta-tas, and I imagine it looking similar to shoving your face against a window, plus there’s no wasteful disposable pads to deal with.

13. Adorable baby hat.

14. And lastly, I’ll need some lip gloss. Because my face will look gnarly, and people will come over and want to squeeze my precious newborn, and they sure as hell need to be redirected from the giant circles under my eyes, and spit up all over my arms, and what better than a shiny coat of lip gloss to distract them?

Learning to Walk

You can do it! Be strong. Have confidence

has become the mantra that I tell Berlyn every morning.

Because I want her to be effervescent, and impact people with positive light, and be the tiny human that she is at home, which is funny, creative, and amazing.

But at school she is different. She becomes ambivalent, and clingy when I drop her off, she waits for a friend or teacher to grab her and pull her in, because she’s afraid to pull herself.

Kindergarten is new, and sure, she’s adjusting, but she’s done this before. I’ve seen this at preschool. When it was time to line up, she would bumble around until she was the last one in line. Even if she knew the correct answer, her hand would stay neatly folded in her lap. She would never volunteer herself, or say, “ME! ME! ME! And that’s when I noticed that she was not like the other kids. The other kids who would race around the room, and say unfiltered things to tall people and short people alike, who shout because it feels good, and who dance for an invisible audience. It’s because those kids have been in daycare since they were very small, and have learned to be comfortable in this environment, I would tell myself. It’s because their parents let them scream at home, it’s because they have a lot of siblings…

But the reality is: Berlyn is shy.

::GULP::

What have I done? I can’t help feel like I am to blame. How have I raised a shy child? I am not shy. So how could this have happened?

She’s calculated, thoughtful, and observant. Her being observant makes her shy. When she enters a room full of children, she looks around first, and thinks, and listens, and waits. While most children just react, and buzz, she watching and figuring. I recognize this, because this is what I do. BUT I’M AN ADULT. Go. Explore. Play! I tell her, but she likes to wait, and see, and slowly, slowly, she’ll unravel, and she’ll warm up, and then she’ll play.

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At school some boys she sits next to started picking on her. My heart breaks into tiny bleeding pieces as I write that sentence. No parent wants to hear that someone picks on their child. But they do. Two boys–they take her water bottle at lunch time and stuff it into their shirts, and they’ve pulled her bow out out her hair. And she doesn’t do anything, she just lets it happen, and when I ask her how her day was when I pick her up, she says, “not good.” And that’s when the world needs to stop turning so I can hold her in my arms forever and protect her from ever having a bad thing happen to her again.

I’ve spoken to the teacher, and the boys’ parents have been notified.

Part of me thinks, this is her journey. And that she needs to walk on this road to get stronger, and to find her voice.

And she will.

She will rise above this. Her sensitive, fragile heart will bear band-aids and bruises, but she will recover and become amazing.

Even more amazing than she already is.

The Name Game

We’re due in two and a half months, which isn’t a good realization for me, because the reality that I prefer to live in is one where I’m looking forward to a pain-free birth, a ton more time to prepare, and a Cap’n Crunch-sized treasure chest filled with a combination of Cap’n Crunch cereal and gold bars to finish start working on the nursery.

There’s actually a reason we haven’t started on the nursery, and that reason is called madness. Instead of starting on the baby’s room, we decided to move Berlyn’s room into our old office, which would give her more space and coincidentally give me a stress migraine. Cheers! But it’s actually kinda awesome, because we’ve just painted the walls deep velvety plum, and left one wall blank so that we can wallpaper it with old book pages. There’s talk of hanging a gold chandelier, putting down a luxe shag rug, and there’s also mention of painting her furniture a deep plum color. Um, it’s going to be amazing.

Now for the baby’s room (Berlyn’s old room) we have no such direction. We’re just bumbling around hoping that some piece of inspiration will stick. Plus, we spent all our time and cash on Berlyn’s room, so we officially have zero time or resources left to do anything awesome. Crap. Sorry baby. We still love you. It’s just that instead of drawers, we’ll extract your clothing out of plastic storage bins and you’ll be sleeping on a crib mattress butted up against bare walls for the next year or so…don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. And it will prepare you for college living.

I think maybe this whole sense of unpreparedness stems from not knowing if the tiny human I’m growing has a penis or a vagina. The idea of suspense is thrilling, but it’s also making me very unmotivated. I’ve done zero shopping for this baby, I haven’t gone spelunking in the garage yet to pull out old baby apparatuses, and if this baby was born tomorrow it’s name would be “Baby,” which worked in Dirty Dancing, but I’m assuming it would have a hard time past preschool with that moniker.

So I need your help. Help name my baby for me! Just give me some good ideas, so I can have the sense that I’ve regained a tiny bit of control.

Here are some front runners, and you tell me what you think, or add some spicy ones of your own. It’s really the only way I’m going to ward off this pending stress migraine.

baby names hippobrigade.com

Kindergarten

There goes my heart, wrapped in blue plaid and trying to look tall, and unaffected, and big; like a kindergartner. She has missing teeth, and heavy shoes, and her eyes are wide with new.

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I helped her get dressed this morning, I helped her with the buttons so small. Her eager hands flew up and finished the row, because she knew how, and I knew that she knew how, but I needed to help her. Because somehow in that moment, I was taken to 20 years from now when I’ll help her get dressed for her wedding day, and the floor shifted under me, and my life became a puddle. A puddle of thoughts colliding with memories of buttons and first day jitters.

And there I was standing in the middle of that memory and it was so brilliant and sunny, with the colors vivid and strong.

And SNAP!

Just like that, she’s grown up.

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Her life has been dotted with these moments of growing, first sleeping through the night, first foods, first trip to the park, first airplane ride, first stitches, first day of preschool…But this one, this marker, forces me to stop, reflect, and not take any of it for granted.

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She’s big now. Not too big, but big enough. And she’s strong, and smart, oh my gosh, is she smart. And now I have to stay back, let her go, and pray that I’ve done all I can to prepare her for this part.

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Happy first day of Kindergarten, Berlyn! You’re going to crush it.

 

Last Day

Last day.

Right here.

Here it is.

Dangling in front of me, burning with possibilities, hoping for fantastic, but because we don’t have plans, and everyone else is at the beach sweating next to strangers, and my husband is working, it will probably end up being mediocre.

Kindergarten starts tomorrow.

My days will shift from being listless to busy. No more aimlessly wandering around the house, scratching our unwashed selves and perfecting the art of lazy, and no more floating in the community pool for so long that we’ve all collectively urinated in it 34 times.

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It dawned on us that our days are getting shorter, and that this whole summer thing was coming to an end, so we decided we were in need of an adventure, and we took a quick trip down to San Diego.

Where our hotel room was steps away from this:

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My husband couldn’t resist a stop at Coronado Brewing Company.

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And finally we ended up at Sea World, where my kids were so-so about the notion.

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I, however…was way more excited, and had a hard time containing myself.

Pinnipeds, penguins, and sea otters!?

Yeeep.

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And I wept the entire Shamu show.

No joke, there were actual tears coming out of my eyes.

Something might be wrong with me.

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We had a fun time, summer and I, but now our romance is over, and while Berlyn is off learning lots of important things, I’ll be here, at my computer, searching for youtube videos of the Shamu show, and pretending that instead of being a mom of a kindergarter, I’m actually a dolphin trainer.