Thursday, August 15, 2013

The fog has lifted.

The baby fog that is. That I have been in for the past 7 months. And it took a good girls weekend away to break it.

A close friend in college got married last weekend and I had originally planned (back in February) to bring my mother along with my husband, baby and me to watch over Henry as we attended wedding festivities. Then, the husbands of my friends dropped out one by one. So I decided to drop mine too and leave him and the babe home alone - to figure it out. This was daunting to me.

Up until this point, I had not left my little one for longer than a 6-7 hour stretch. Not on purpose really, but I have just always taken him everywhere with me. The result of having a pretty easy baby, no nanny, and no family close by.

I was PANICKING. Not because I was unsure my husband was fit to care for him. Or because he had not been left with Henry for longer than a 5-6 hour stretch AWAKE. Ever... But mostly because I was afraid of how I might feel without him. What if something happened? What if he needed me? What if he missed me terribly? What if I missed him terribly?? How could I get home? It was a flight and a 3 hour drive away....

I also decided the morning before I left would be the last time I nursed him. Double whammy.

I kissed my baby one zillion times while he slept in his crib the night before I left and the morning I was leaving - careful not to wake him. And I cried. THE WHOLE WAY to the airport.

I kept telling myself this was good for Daddy and good for Henry. And healthy for me, even if I wasn't feeling a need to get away or take a break. It was needed. And I texted my bestie Alsty whom I was meeting at the airport for a pep talk. She text counseled me through it ;)

 The weekend was a BLAST. Fifteen girls cackling away, catching up, and drinking wine. I didn't feel the need to call or check in constantly and I let Chris do his thing without critiquing his every decision. He sent me pics and videos and that was just enough to sustain me for the three days away.

I have to hand it to the hubs, he made it so easy for me to leave. He did not freak out, he did not call and ask me where things were or what to do now or how to do this or that. He just.....did it. I almost forgot I had a baby. Almost ;) Henry has been an extension of my arm for 7 months - it was nice to remember who I was before him. And a nice break for my back!

Sure we talked about our babies/children/husbands/boyfriends a bit. But mostly we just caught up, drank up and danced the nights away. We curled each others hair, borrowed each others makeup, and swapped earrings. We shared snacks and beds and stories.

It was needed. For all of us I think. I left refreshed and hungover (oxymoron?) and planning our next girls get together.

Austin, Texas????

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weaning Weenie.

I am a wreck. Is this normal? Henry is coming up on six months of age and at six months was when I was supposed to stop breast feeding. That was my goal. Six months. Done. 

But now I'm not so sure.... Every time I think about it, I cry. Weep, actually. It's nuts!! Hormones?!? 

I know it's time. My body is giving me hints. I am not quite producing enough anymore. I've started supplementing with formula (which is SO EXPENSIVE!!!). He likes it. Drinks it down. He's gaining weight more quickly. Dare I say it's been better for him?? Who truly knows. I will just die if he starts thriving better on formula than he did on his own mother's perfect concoction for him. But it could be true. He had fallen off the charts for weight/height/head circumference recently. Basically, he wasn't growing. I started pumping exclusively. Monitoring and recording every ounce into his tiny body. Added formula. He's getting back on track. 

I think it's more about my sweet baby boy growing up. He's growing up and there is nothing I can do to slow it down. And would I want to? Every day is a new day with him. He managed to get a toe in his mouth yesterday. How cute is that?? New trick! The day before he could not do this. 

It is so much fun to watch him discover and learn and grow and attempt new things. I feel saddened on the days I go through his closet and take the clothes off the hangers that have become to small, fold them, and put them in a box in the bottom of his closet. But I also can't WAIT till he discovers the next trick, or sit up, or eat a mushed up banana! It's weird. And I suspect every mother feels the same way. 

"If I stop nursing, he won't need me anymore," I said to my husband through crocodile tears. He almost laughed saying back to me, "He'll always need you. He's a tiny baby." But behind these horrendous hormones I know that anyone will now be able to feed him with a bottle. Which will be GREAT!!! But also I lose this bond with him. Forever. These quiet sweet moments of cuddling, where just I will do. 

I've decided to back away from the pump and just nurse my baby until I feel truly ready to wean. Until it slowly ends. I'll supplement with formula and slowly work up to just that. But will try and enjoy these last few weeks with him. And also try to embrace and look forward to what's ahead for both of us. 

Henry, 5 months

Monday, May 13, 2013

An Outlet.

Baby Boy, hour one of life.

I'm jumping back in! Well....when I have a spare moment. I don't think my dear husband is so keen on listening to all my rantings, discoveries, and emotional highs and lows. I actually believe he tunes me out when I start talking about sleep schedules, spit-up, or milk supply. I need an outlet. Writing is it! And, it gives me a nice "journal" to go back to when I have forgotten these sweet moments and unnecessary worries.

We have a beautiful, happy baby boy whom we call Henry Padgett Hansen. He's a dream. And I could not feel more blessed to be his mommy. He's so sweet! Motherhood has been way better than I had anticipated. I know that might sound a bit strange.... But I had fully expected: exhaustion, loss of self, loss of any sort of "normal" life, loss of body, loss of peace, loss of spontaneity, loss of youth, etc., etc.

Loss of sleep? SURE. An exhaustion? Yes. But I have gained PURE JOY. Which overrides anything else (almost) every day.

First Mother's Day, 2013

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can we have both?

This past weekend I spent down South at Watercolor Resort in Florida. This area is my absolute favorite place on Earth and always has been. I am immediately blissful upon arriving and always in constant awe. I've been here many many times in my lifetime. I grew up only a half hours drive from Seaside (the original quintessential town) and my family would take day trips frequently. But I still get giddy when visiting. 

Back in New York last night Chris and I plop down in bed after dinner and I ramble on and on about how lovely the weekend was and how amazing the house we stayed in was and how magical it all felt and how homesick I am now. I talk about wanting a beach cottage there one day (this had been a dream of mine FOREVER and a conversation we have frequently). He responds frankly and not in a mean way with, "You always want what you can't have." 

But that's not it at all. 

I took the train back to CT very early this morning in order to let our poor pup out of her crate before it hit the 13th hour mark. I had coffee and read my book during the commute thinking about how different life is out here, but how I also love it. I take Dixie for a quick walk before work and notice all the new buds on the trees!! Spring has sprung ;) I say hello to all my neighbors and their dogs also taking a walk on this lovely morning. Once back, I dress for work and glance out the window to high-tide and a glassy reflective water. I love it here. I do. But I miss home. 

It's not that I want what I can't have. It's that I want it all. (I don't know what's worse.) 

I want my children to grow up here for the culture and the diversity and the amazing public school system and the train and the City and in our beautiful and idyllic neighborhood. For the opportunities they will have, for the smart, open-minded, interesting and important people they will meet. For feeling challenged!

But I want them to also grow up in the South for the sweet, kind, and outgoing people. For their accents. For the hugs. For the slower pace. For the sun and humidity. For the beach. The REAL beach. Where the water is warm and the sand is sugary white. I want them to be close to their Southern grandparents Sue Sue and Pop and grow up playing with their redheaded Southern accented cousins Avery and McCarver. I want them to wear smocked monogrammed dresses and bubbles and HUGE bows in their hair. I want them to run around Seaside and Watercolor barefoot with salty skin and snowcones in their hands. 

I want them to be Yankee/Southern hybrid children. 

And I want to be bi-coastal. I don't want to just visit. I want to live near the Gulf and the Atlantic. Chris wants this too, I know it. He tells me we can work towards it and save for it. I just have to be patient. (I have a really hard time with patience. I'm working on it though....) 

In the meantime, we have booked another trip down to Watercolor for my 30th birthday and our first anniversary. I am counting down the days.....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sweet Silence

It's 8:00AM and I'm curled up in our big red chair in my sunroom, with my laptop, and the view of high tide. Dixie is curled up at my feet, being such a good and chill dog ;) Oh! We got a puppy, from Alabama. Will post about her SOON! 

I'm not feeling so hot this AM, so decided to work from home till lunch. Oh! I now work full time at Serendipity magazine! I am an Ad Sales Executive and this morning I landed my first meeting!! Maybe I should work from home more often ;)

There is just such a sweet silence this morning out here in the burbs. The construction crew has arrived at the house down the street and their hammers and staple guns are out! The moms and kids are jumping into their cars to head to school - they usually walk - but it's 16 degrees out this morning. And Dixie is now chewing on a stick she brought in last night. 

I should try and get some work done before she needs a walk! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goals. NOT Resolutions.

I had 9 measly goals set for the month of December. Of those 9, I accomplished 3. Pathetic. 

Now, I could blame it on the dog. Seriously, she's still a puppy and a serious time-suck. It's kind of like having a 2 year old. You have to watch every move they make. They put EVERYTHING in their mouths. They teethe. They eat a lot. They are not quite potty-trained, but learning. It's exhausting. 

But if I'm honest with myself, it's not really (ALL) the dog's fault. I am just SUCH a procrastinator. 

So. These are my goals for 2012. And let's be honest who really stays true to resolutions anyway? Maybe if I put them out there, I'll at least feel more obligated to check them off the list! 

  • Finish writing Thank You Notes by end of January (this was a December goal....).
  • Learn French by September 1st, using the Rosetta Stone Chris gave me for my birthday 2 years ago. 
  • Write a REAL Business Plan by April 3oth. Or else I am not to speak of this dream any longer. It's a waste of time. 
  • Establish a routine for me and the dog by mid-February. 
  • Establish an exercise routine, and get my husband on board too. 
  • Organize the basement and set up a little laundry room (also on December's list...) 
  • Organize the garage...and figure out what to do with it. 
  • Hook up my new insanely expensive printer that's been sitting in the box since July. 
  • Have a photography show at Arcadia by June. 
  • Find a church I like. 
  • Make two headboards. 
  • Change my last name. 
  • Hang blinds/curtains all over house.
  • Take up yoga....again. 
  • Oh, and commit to writing on this blog that I created ;) 
Happy New Year!! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roger That

We've been SO busy unpacking and trying to get settled, there's no time to write!

Here is a little story about our most recent sailing excursion......

A few hours into the first day of our ten day sail I said to Chris, “How long before we’re there?” To which he replied, “ Leigh, we ARE there. This is where we want to be. Sailing on the open waters, sun shining, sipping cocktails.”

I laughed and rolled my eyes. But he was right. And those words will forever ring clear in such moments moving forward.

We ate and drank and swam and rode bikes and sailed and sunned and discovered new coastal towns. Just the two of us. In a way, it was kind of like another honeymoon. Until Hurricane Irene threatened to send us sailing all the way back to Connecticut on day four. Over wine and a gorgeous sunset off the back of the boat in the middle of the Edgartown Harbor in Martha’s Vineyard, we decided to take our chances and continue on the with the trip. We assured ourselves this was the best option considering heading back to where the storm was surely going to hit was not a safe bet for the boat or for us. We would ride the storm out in Nantucket! Perfect.

The sail to Nantucket was absolutely beautiful. Perfect amount of wind and we practically flew there. The harbor was packed but when we arrived they had a mooring ball waiting for us. The harbor master pulled up, helped us with our lines, and handed over a booklet of information on the island. So cute!

We walked around the crowded town a bit and then headed back to the boat to nap shower and get ready for the evening. A friend from CT was vacationing on the island and she had invited us to dinner at The Galley. We happy hour’d on the boat and then dined with our toes in the sand near the crashing waves of the ocean.

The next morning…..we got kicked of the island. They were going to evacuate the harbor and we had to go. But go WHERE??? We can’t go back to CT. We’ll never make it in time and the storm would be WAY worse down there! We quickly decided to go back to Martha’s and started the sail back.

RIDICULOUS wind gusts and seriously tall waves did not make for a pretty commute back. In fact, the head sail completely snapped out of it’s tight closure and spun all the way out loudly flapping in the wind. Chris and I looked at each other stunned. What the hell where we supposed to do now?? We both just sat there for what seemed like ages staring at the beautiful sail flap hysterically. It was painful to watch. I knew it was just being beat to death and not only that-the lines of the gorgeous cloth were beating the deck to death busting out lights and nailing the port hole windows. Chris was frozen and panicked. And I shouted at him to “do something!!” “I’m thinking! I’m going back to sailing 101,” he replied to no one. It was too windy. We couldn’t tighten the lines. And we couldn’t just keep going this way. How was I to grab the mooring when we arrived? The sail would either pitch me over or beat me to death. “We have to get it down,” he finally stated solemnly.

I asked if he had a life line. We hooked it onto his life jacket and then to the boat. He would manually pull the sail down and stuff it into the captain’s quarters at the bow of the boat. He handed me a knife and told me to cut the lines if he couldn’t pull it close enough to him. Then he told me how to turn the boat around if he fell off.

I was FREAKING out. I had completely forgotten how to use the radio? “What button do I push to call the coastguard? Sit on your bottom and scoot out there. Can we just turn the boat off? Let’s turn the engine off! BE CAREFUL!!” I shouted to him as he walked up.

I frantically watched on as he tried with all this might to get the thing down. He was hidden now, standing in the porthole and buried beneath sailcloth. My heart pounding, I watched for an arm to reach out and grasp at yet another bunch. After a time had passed without seeing anything, I was convinced he was suffocating under all the material and I scooted up to the bow. Without a lifeline. Stupid. I know. I then tried with all my might to help him get the last bit down. He was in pain and exhausted with scratches all over his arms and back. But he did it…

It was over.

What if I had lost him?