Thursday, October 26, 2006

10/26/06 The 5:00 Horrors

I remember fretting during pregnancy: "What if we have a colicky baby this time?!" I'd heard such awful stories about that. Especially after the luxury of Julian the Angel Baby, I felt ill-prepared.

Well, we might actually have one on our hands. I don't know if it's true clinical "colic," the definition of which is controversial, but there's a definite pattern developing of evening crying for no apparent reason. Last evening, Katrina cried on and off pretty much from 5:00 until 10:00, making a nice visit from Aunt Laura (in town for management training for eBay) impossible to truly enjoy (though Gabriel had a lot to do with that too, and we've long since given up finding an explanation for him!).

But, when Katrina finally did settle down, she'd wiped herself out enough that she only woke up once last night, around 4am, and went right back to sleep after nursing. I can live with that.

Or can I? More of the same tonight, starting at Jake's Pizza after the Pumpkin Patch. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Our Pumpkin Patch outing with my 2002 Las Madres group is one of my favorite days of the year, and one that gives me a necessary deadline and kick in the pants to finish the boys' costumes. Gabriel and Julian were adorable as Mars and Saturn, and I even dressed myself and Katrina in Halloween-themed black-and-orange. I took some great shots of the boys and their baby sister together before leaving, and then more in the pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.

The boys had a great time at the pumpkin patch, riding the train, running through the hay maze, climbing haybales, looking at the animals (Julian) and the train tracks (Gabriel). I hope they enjoyed it, because this is this particular pumpkin patch's last year (something about the farmers not renewing their lease). Katrina obligingly slept through the whole pumpkin patch experience.

But -- camera crisis! Somehow, in the space of 5 seconds, I misplaced my camera. I could swear I stuck it in the stroller, then moments later went to pull it out, and it wasn't there. All I can think is that I stuck it in someone else's stroller, though now I wonder if I did stick it in my stroller earlier than I remembered, and it bounced out as we crossed the train tracks.

I am SO bummed -- the pre-patch costume shots are some of my favorites, the culmination of all the costume work, the costumes are clean and fresh and the boys willing to pose. And even Katrina was awake and happy for once! I don't care about losing the camera, but I'm SO sad about losing those pictures in particular. Halloween and costumes is my favorite time of year for photos, and looking at these photos when the kids are asleep and angelic and I've forgotten the day's annoyances is my reward. And getting all three of them to cooperate for a photo session again will be a real feat! I'm actually dismayed at myself at how upset I am about those pictures. Why can't I enjoy the moment like my friend Heike, who shrugged and said, "I didn't even bring a camera, I really should get one one of these days!" She's way more level-headed than I am, even when I'm not particularly frantic as I have been lately.

Thankfully, Stacey sent a few photos she got of the boys. Julian's sporting his Mars costume (those are Martians peeking out from a canyon on the back), and Gabriel had already given up wearing his Saturn.

Anyway, at Jake's Pizza, I had so many kind offers from help from my mom friends, and their nannies and husbands too. I really have to learn to stand on my own, but Danielle holding Katrina while I took Julian to the bathroom was a big help, then Benny getting our pizza and Vic getting Gabriel's lemonade, plus the moral support from Kristi, Stacey, Carmelita, Lisa, Betsy (who offered the apropos term "5:00 Horrors"), and lots of other moms my addled brain can't think of at the moment, made it all possible and worthwhile.

Good thing, because Katrina woke up while at Jake's Pizza and was in full form. I nursed her, changed her, held her, rocked her, tried to entertain her, but it was WAH-WAH-WAH for half the time there...then all the way home.

Still upset about the camera loss, I resurrected my now-ancient Canon Powershot, just to take a few photos of my Halloween outfit. Though my old Canon is slower and clunkier, I'd forgotten that I always liked it better than my Olympus. If my Olympus doesn't turn up at the pumpkin patch tomorrow, I may buy another Canon tomorrow. Halloween is not the season to be without a camera, and my old one won't cut it, as it really needs new (expensive) batteries. These self-time shots are pretty bad, but I had to do something while attempting to calm Katrina, though it was futile.

She cried pretty much up until 10:30pm or so, including through a "warm soothing" bath and a walk around the block. Finally, I think she just wore herself out, and relaxed when I lay down with her and gave her a pacifier. But after half an hour of lying with her, she was calm, but still awake, so I put her in the bassinet, with regret. I love lying with her when she's calm, babies smell so nice and are so soft, but I absolutely HAD to finish cleaning up and get the boys' clothes set out and write checks for daycare and ten other things. Incredibly, she fell asleep in the bassinet, pacifier in mouth, where she still is after over an hour. Whew.

I got so, so many comments today about how I look, including a telling one from Heike who observed that I look more slender now than I did before I got pregnant. So I took a good look at myself when I got home today, and indeed it does appear I'm in an unexpected skinny phase, three weeks after having a baby and after having been positively enormous in pregnancy. Indeed, yesterday at my first postpartum OB appointment, I weighed in at 4 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight (though there's still a big ring of flub around my middle, which experience says will never entirely disappear). I've done nothing differently than with the first two; it's just how my body is responding this time. I doubt this will last long, given my indulgent eating habits and aging metabolism.

Katrina is starting to lose her hair already; her forehead gets bigger every day. That means my hair loss isn't far behind either...I dread that! Months of hair falling out, then years of growing out dorky little fringe bangs.

Why, when I have so much to do, and am so behind on writing thank-yous to the many kind, wonderful and talented moms who've been taking care of us with meals, do I blog like this at night? It seems silly, or like misplaced priorities -- especially when my fussy baby is actually asleep. Shouldn't I be sleeping too? But it's almost essential to unwinding and spinning down my mind. It just can't handle too much information, especially now, and writing seems to flush it out.

I think it's also a sign I need to exercise regularly again, as I worked through a lot while swimming (though I definitely got my best thinking done on long rides, I do miss that). My commitment to exercise has always been about managing my tenuous hold on sanity, not so much my body. Writing, even inanely, or to no one in particular, is another way. I can't imagine what it'd be like to be a normal person who isn't compelled to put it all down on paper (well, e-paper).

Let's hope this long note gives me enough buffer to deal with another evening of baby fuss tomorrow. And here I thought that before junior high, girls were supposed to be easier than boys! (I can feel the whoosh from the collective "yeah RIGHT" nod of girl-moms out there...)


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