Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baby's First Christmas

In our five years together, I think Scott and I have actually celebrated Christmas exactly once; after our first, we gave up on formalities and just started giving each other gifts in November. We'd drink to the holiday, and did not a lot else. I think we stayed awake long enough to toast the new year once or twice - one year we were so busy playing Everquest II that we didn't even notice the clock strike midnight, and only realized it was the new year when we heard the noise in the streets. We just weren't big holiday people.

Personally, the holidays stopped having much meaning to me after my grandma Laverne died about 8 years ago. She baked three different pies from scratch (pumpkin, mincemeat and "Christmas" - a fluffy coconut cream pie); made numerous candies including chocolate covered peanut butter balls, chocolate fudge and divinity; and baked a million different cookies (my favorite were her pfeffernüsse - nutty, crumbly little bites). This, in addition to her seven-course dinner. She was the most important person in our family and always did so much to make everything special. After she died, I found little reason to talk to anyone in my family.

My mom always hated the holidays because they reminded her that our family was poor and that made her feel like a failure. She complained about the hassle each year when it was time to put up our little plastic tree, and worried about how to pay for presents. It was depressing, and I'm sure played a role in my own feelings about the holidays, even though I don't have to worry about things like stretching food stamps to the end of the month or keeping the lights on.

Now that we have a baby I feel like the holidays should mean more to us, even though we aren't religious "reason for the season" types. Though we were always a unit together, Zephyr really makes us feel like a family, and I'm glad Scott and I can create our own family traditions now. It gives me a much more positive outlook on everything.

I'm making some French toast for breakfast tomorrow using pannetone (Italian sweet raisin bread that's almost like cake) with orange syrup, sausages and mimosas. It'll be our new little family Christmas tradition.

We still open some of our gifts early.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Growth Spurt

Today is Zephyr's three-week birthday. He has earned himself a few nicknames, including Amuse Bouche and Jellybean (aka Butterbean). My favorite is McBoosh (the natural evolution of Ooschie). Scott overheard me one night when I was having trouble getting Zephyr latched on to the nipple, and in frustration I muttered "Dammit, McBoosh!" He laughed and said it made Zephyr sound like a character in a bad 1980s cop movie. Now we get a kick out of saying it, but adding lines like "You're out of your jurisdiction!" or "One more move like that and you're off the force!" We laugh and laugh at the thought of a tiny baby getting put on desk duty as punishment.

Any day now, I expect that my milk should start changing to a higher butterfat content, keeping him full longer. This is about the time when babies are theoretically supposed to be able to sleep for those four or five hour stretches, right?

Instead, we get a growth spurt.

Now, instead of those lovely three hour sleep chunks (still hard to adjust to but at least it's sleep), for the past two nights he's been waking every hour or two and wanting to feed. He falls asleep on the breast and never eats enough to stay full for longer than that. Or conversely, he'll want to cluster-feed, essentially staying at the breast for three hours, during which time he usually fills up completely and pukes all over me at least twice. My side of the bed smells like a yogurt factory about now.

Ohp, he's a-stirrin'.