GoGoPance

vaya con pance

one year + September 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 3:06 pm

Well, folks, it’s been thirteen months, 1 week and 6 days of living up to (and trying not to collapse from) the weight of Mommyhood.

And what have I taken away from this experience?

Being a Mom is lonely.

Sure, OK, fine. It’s also equal parts fun, frustrating, rewarding (he actually learned something we taught him!), exhausting (haven’t set my alarm in over a year unless it’s in the middle of the afternoon and we’re sharing nap time), heartbreaking (see previous post from the last time I had a moment to write), warm, fuzzy, magical and full of lovelovelove. It’s all you need.

Obviously I’m never physically alone, but emotionally I’m flailing in the wind. Every minute of every. single. day my brain is like Grand Central at rush hour. (Melancholy sigh, I miss Grand Central.) My head is constantly aswarm with questions: Is he happy? Is he hungry? Is he hurt? Is he mad at me? Is he sleepy? Is he constipated? Should I feed him? Should I wake him? Should I change him? Should I carry him in the grocery store? Should I leave him in the carseat? Should I take the stroller? Does he need a hat? Are his socks too small? Why are his cheeks red? Why is he frowning? When will he walk? When will he talk? What will he say first? Who what why when where HOW does one prepare for this?

And all the while I’m doubting, thinking and rethinking every single answer I manage to come up with. (And I won’t even get into how judgmental everyone is of those answers.)

So who is there to share in all my jackhammering thoughts? Who is riding shotgun in my head? Who will help me formulate the best answer? No one. And honestly, let’s face it, no one would really *want* to co-pilot this. And, as his Mommy, I can guarantee no one else is thinking or caring about him quite as much, in quite the same way, as me. But no one really needs to, right? Because I am. And even if someone tried they wouldn’t do it right. They’re not me.

All Mommys have this nagging neurosis, right? All Mommys become certifiably nutso at childbirth. So maybe I’m not so alone… or maybe we’re just all together in our loneliness. Which is actually kind of like living in NYC, feeling a little lonely surrounded by 8 million people.

I think what happens is you actually learn to latch on to your baby (fitting, since they spend so much time latching onto you). You kinda team up with them to combat the loneliness, you become “in it” together. We shop together, go out to lunch, travel, bike around town, tailgate, visit the farmer’s market, have little conversations. It’s fun and best-friendy; I should buy us necklaces. And it’s all beautifully symbiotic until they start to sing a song of independence, which happens shockingly early. Especially with my kid. Surprise, surprise.

For now, though, it’s a pretty great ride. My seatbelt is securely fastened, the barf bag is nearby and the while the destination may be unknown, I’m pretty happy to be flying between two boys. It’s hard to feel lonely when you’re snuggled in the middle seat.

Happy Birthday

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breaking me in October 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 3:38 pm

People have said – and by people I mean parents – they “never knew what love was until they had a baby.” Which, in my opinion, is quite a heavy, schmooptastic statement. I guess it means I should operate under the assumption that because I’ve procreated I am thusly granted access to the holy grail of true, unconditional love. And, as life would have it, in my short 2.25 months of Mommy hood, I actually believe that’s the truth.

BUT…

No one ever bothered to write in the books you’re supposed to buy that, in reality, having a baby actually breaks your heart. It takes all that new love and smushes it like an avocado destined for guacamole. I think if someone were to actually say something about the excruciating heartbreak that comes with parenthood, enough so it would show up in search results for “famous quotes about having a baby,” that there just might be fewer babies. Which isn’t a bad thing. Babies can be noisy. And interruptive. And noisy. But back to the love thing…

My heart freakin’ breaks into a million pieces every day. I walk around emotionally undercooked. Now, I’m not talking about “I accidentally clipped skin instead of nail” type heart break. Ooooorrr, “screaming in the backseat while I’m unable to stop the car,” heart break. It’s more along the lines of…

We make eye contact. Break.

He smiles at me. Break.

He burps after chowing. Break.

He full-body stretches after being in the carseat most of the day. Break.

He hits the dangling thing above his head and makes it sing for the first time. Break.

He farts. Break.

He sneezes, coughs or hiccups. Break, break and break.

He pees an impressive arc over his head. Break.

He falls asleep in the most uncomfortable-looking position in my lap. Break.

I find him wide awake after nap time completely content hanging out all by himself. Break.

He stops crying. Break.

He starts crying. Break.

He falls asleep. Break.

He wakes up. Break.

You get the idea.

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

(Yes, I asked Google for ‘having a baby quotes.’)

My heart is an unwrapped, exposed heap of love goo. It’s equal parts cool and scary. There are many a la carte moments of awesome, but they all seem to come with a side of “Holy Sh*t!” at the same time. With each break I instantly see his entire life flash before my eyes. I want to squeeze him tight and yell at the carnies to stop the ride. Someone call Shutterfly and have them stop production on all moments past now.

Sigh.

Alas, positive thoughts…

Here’s hoping I wrote “baby” and “love” and “heart” and “break” enough in this post for it to show up in someone else’s search results. I would like to ease other new mommy minds when they realize the same thing I did: having a baby is so amazingly super rad, but it’s downright sad, too. And that’s OK. It does teach you a new love, a love that’s born from a million heart breaks healing together. I guess that makes it the strongest love ever in the end… but in the middle of each moment it still feels awfully fragile.

Break.

SBJ

 

my new best friend August 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 11:22 am

So I birthed a baby about a month ago. Cheers of glee, grandeur and overjoyousness can be heard as far as Floyd County! Mmmhmmm, maybe. More like shivers of nerves, apprehension and doubt. James Lexington Moseley Higham was lovingly (and gently I might add) pushed into this world on July 23rd and the overflow of emotion – and bodily fluids – hasn’t stopped since. People keeping asking me what it feels like to be a mom. I think that’s just weird because, quite frankly, I don’t feel like a mom. But maybe I will in 10 or so years when he yells at me for having four names.

No one calls me mom (yet), save for slang salutations from my peers along the lines of “Hey Momma!” I don’t have mom hair (yet) or mom jeans (I hate jeans) and the only mom-like thing I do is lick my fingers to wipe the dried breastmilk off his face. Well I guess, for that matter, the whole breastfeeding thing might be considered pretty momish, too.

But mostly I look into the eyes of this new little person who lives with us and I think, “Does he think I’m pretty?”

I worry that my brand new baby-of-perfection, who doesn’t have a superficial nugget in his diaper (yet), is looking up at me and critically thinking… “So THIS is my mom.” I wonder if he has the same feelings of glee, grandeur and overjoyousness at getting us as we have of getting him. I wonder if he’s sending Parent Announcement cards to all his baby brethren in the cabbage patch with our measurements.

Who knows really.

I *do* know it feels pretty great when he smiles at me… I start to think perhaps I’m doing something right. Maybe notsomuch as a mom, but as a cool, fun friend with awesome boobs. And that’s probably better because I’m pretty sure friends would never let friends wear mom jeans.

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Babymoon 2013 July 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 2:46 pm

Having a doctor’s appointment on a Monday and then not another until a week+ later on a Thursday meant just one thing for our July 4th holiday… a nice long gap of time for a road trip. So, pretending we weren’t 3 weeks shy of go-time, we hopped in our new, responsible baby mobile (Toyota Camry), strapped in Baby Cindy for good measure and turned west. Commence the late, great Babymoon of 2013.

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Our first stop was Columbia, MO to watch fireworks, eat some corn dogs, sleep a little and then continue on until we hit the Colorado Rockies. We here at Gemini Headquarters don’t take road tripping lightly.

Once in Colorado, we camped with howling coyotes one night and a flash thunderstorm the next – both going down in the memoirs as giddy, high-adrenaline fun. In between tenting we went white water kayaking through class 3 rapids on the Arkansas River. The outfitters barely blinked an eye at my 9-month bump and there was no hesitation when zipping me up in the [extra large] wetsuit. Kindred adventurers. Jim ended up, as they called it, “going swimming” (a.k.a, falling overboard) three times to my one. Perhaps the extra weight of Zeke (or paddling for my life +1) kept me on top of the falls instead of in them.

The next day we drove over Independence Pass, crossed the Continental Divide at 12,000 feet and hiked to the breathtaking Maroon Bells outside of Aspen, CO. Fellow hikers had a lot more to say about the pregnancy, all asking in awe about the baby’s due date. Jim jumped in to assure them as long as there were sharp rocks he could sever the umbilical cord just fine. Some seemed to pick up speed after that, wanting nothing to do with our delicate condition in the indelicate conditions. Others shared the occasional “good for you” and offered opinions on baby hiking backpacks.

Then there was just lots of driving, which in itself can be an adventure as long as you’re not in Kansas. We ended up squeaking back into town with one hour to spare before my doctor’s appointment. Umbilical cord, major body parts and fantastic memories all safely in place. And now, much like the swarms of all major media outlets in London, we wait…

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mind over bladder June 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 9:47 am

Thirty-five weeks (there I go again with that week thing) = five+ more to go. Life has *really* started to swirl around baby prep. What to buy, how to feel, thinking ahead one month, thinking ahead two months, thinking about managing poop that’s not mine, how to breathe, how big is 10cm, thinkingplanning, thinkingplanning, buying, painting, returning, researching, reading, watching, putting together… falling apart. It’s all just a lot to deal with.

But the thing is, I don’t *feel* any different.

Aside from being strikingly sober and despite the fact my body no longer belongs to me (it’s been taken over by something fumbly that lives where I used to put food and moves like a character from Nintendo’s Punch-Out), my mind still thinks about the same things it always did. It’s like my brain doesn’t know there’s a pregnancy somewhere down there. I’m still the same ol’ GGP, strategizing the next big adventure, agreeing to participate in anything that’s happening after August. In the future I see us as two + a faceless baby-shaped orb that’s hovering about. It’s similar to when you dream about people but none of them have real faces. I know the baby will be there, I just don’t know how that scene will actually play out yet.

And, thankthegoodLordabove, my sound mind still wills my inhabited body to do all the regular things, ala spin, bike, hike, stand up from sitting on the floor and shoe application. I even shaved my legs this morning. Celebrate good times, c’mon.

[Side Note: I did stop running about 3 three weeks ago. Zeke (Higham fetus extraordinaire) was super fine with the running – a.k.a. nap time – but Bladder de Pance was NOT cool with it anymore. Damn phantom pee.]

Speaking of “Pregnant? Who’s pregnant?” – last Friday the 2.5 of us even went kayaking. My third trimester could be worse. I do humbly realize there is still plenty of time for it to BE worse, but for now I’m counting my bulbous blessings.

*Use the GoGoPance Pictures link on the right to stalk forthcoming baby pix*

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overstuffed May 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 7:34 pm

We got our first free load of baby give-a-ways this past weekend. The lovely folks that handed over the loot could not have dumped it in the truck fast enough. Meanwhile I’m having a mild panic attack ala, “What inthahell am I doing wrong to make all this crap relevant in my life?”

Oh, right. I’m pregnant.

Jim kept looking at me every now and then with a similar shifty look of nervous humor rooted in pure, unadulterated fear. On the way home one of the gadgets turned itself on and started vibrating in the back seat. Nice to know something was having a good ol’ time with all this.

Once we got past the “No, we’re not finding out the gender” phase of being preggers, life has more recently progressed to the, “Are you registered?” hour of the party.

Well, no, I’m not registered. Hardly seems fair to register for baby booty when we haven’t even gotten to register for the usual wedding toys for us. Alas, I guess that’s what happens when you cram all of life’s big events into the same timeframe. One day we’ll have fluffy new towels, 3 brand new toaster ovens and a set of dishes to die for. Until then, it’s baby basics.

But that’s just the problem. There *are* no basics. There’s enough superfluous baby stuff out there to fill a small country. I am completely and totally overwhelmed with the amount of gadgetry I feel obligated to analyze and buy. And needless to say, seein’ as this is bambino numero uno, I have no clue what I’ll actually need vs. what people will make me feel guilty for not having. I’m thinking a few onesies (late July baby does not need a winter coat), perhaps something to put the baby in/on to sleep (besides me), a diaper disposal apparatus (either cloth pick-up service or what they’re calling a “genie” – though I’m pretty sure they don’t grant wishes), a jog stroller (yes, please) and whatever is necessary for the baby to go for a ride in the carcar.

Eventually we’ll need a tyke-sized go-getter so baby can be like Daddy… until then, however, we’re living in a tree, making our own soap and going naked. Perhaps there’s a pick-up cleaning service for adult-sized loin cloths. Hmmm…

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Introdiversion March 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gogopance @ 6:33 pm

There seems to be a lot on the interwebs lately discussing extroversion vs. introversion. Or maybe because I came out of an extrovert, I run a business with an extrovert and I’m sharing my life, love and impending offspring with an extrovert, I’m just paying attention more. As a card-carrying introvert, I like reading about introversion because it basically feeds me full of information that validates who I am. It makes me feel like it’s actually OK that I prefer written communication vs. spoken or that, well, I simply have a finite amount of energy for lots of people and talk. If I had a dollar for every time I thought silently to myself, “please stop talking,” I could buy something really cool – like a paintball set or, say, a bar.

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I think the chances are high that I will give birth to an extrovert and then I will be a minority in my own family unit. I realize my me-time is numbered already – but to also have a wee one with as much to say as those encircling my life already? Holy.

Alas, I think if I just change my perspective a bit on this, it may just work out in my favor. A baby, once here on earth, will be the perfect conversation piece. Part of my anxiety as an introvert is stand-around-in-a-circle small talk. I *hate* small talk. I like simple 1:1 or even 1:2 gatherings over beers or food, but much more than that and I emotionally zone out. But a baby is the magical piece de resistance that can make interpersonal communication function. A wee lil baby can effortlessly carry an entire conversation. Stick a baby in the middle of a crowd and  – VIOLA – insta-topic (domestic pets are similar saviors). Never again will I have to fumble for chatter to contribute. Never again will I stare blankly at the group, heart racing, waiting for the uncomfortable silence to be broken. Now I will just stare at the baby and say, “Look at that! Let’s all talk about The Baby!”

Of course, remind me of this in two years when I have a toddling coattail-tugger and long for deep, meaningful, uninterrupted adult banter; when all my hamster balls of space have rolled under couches never to be found again. Maybe someone will shoot me with my brand new paintball gun.