Maternity leave

In exactly 15 days I will resume my full time job responsibilities as a Crisis Intervention Specialist. I will also be a mom. I have no idea how I am going to do both of these things, let alone do both of them well. Today I layer in bed with Potamus having a mini panic attack that left my heart feeling crippled with fear and my fingers frantically searching the interwebz for part time therapy jobs that pay buco bucks (note: these jobs simply do not exist).

I keep telling myself that it will all be okay, that women all over manage to have babies and work, too. I tell myself that the first few weeks of Potamus’s life was hard, and I cried a bunch, and that this will be hard, but I will get through it, too. But I really feel like I just might poop my pants with fear of this transition.

How will I survive? Will Potamus still love me? Will I still be able to nurse him and have that lovely bond?

My 14 week old funny guy


My baby is 14 weeks old…though I am still trying to decide whether I am going to say his age in weeks or months, so 14 weeks…or 3 months, you decide. And before he outgrew it, we decided to put him in his sassy onesie that his auntie made him. Maybe I should caption this as: breastfeeding is for badass babies? 🙂

It takes a village

I had so much fun this weekend with my sister-in-law, her fiance, and his parents all visiting from Georgia. It is moments like these that I realize how TRUE the “it takes a village” statement is in relation to how I want to raise Potamus. There were 10-14 of us all hanging out together, visiting local sites, eating yummy meals, and Boof and I did not have to parent alone. When Potamus was smiley he had an audience. When he was fussy he had several aunties and grandmas who wanted to hold him to try their technique at getting him to calm down. There were funny voices (okay, funny accents since they were from the South), and falling asleep in auntie’s arms, and the best part…poopy diaper duty fell on more than us 🙂

At the end of the day he is still my son. There were momens where only I was able to calm him down. He tried nuzzling in one of his auntie’s bosoms and it only frustrated him more. There were moments where the overwhelm of all the people and lights and noises from the various restuarants could only be tempered by my arms, as we walked and rocked slowly in quiet hallways. While our sleep schedule has been severely interupted by this weekend, we spent slow snuggly mornings together, nursing and napping in bed.

I feel refreshed. Tired, but refreshed. Having so many loving people around to hold, and snuggle, and bounce and tickle Potamus relieved me from having to feel the need to be super mom 24/7. And for that, I am grateful!

International fellowship of mothers


My sister-in-law, fiance and his parents were visiting Seattle for the weekend, and so we all packed up to take advantage of the brief moment of sunshine and headed to do tourist things that we hardly take time to do. Pike Place Market was where we began, but after an hour and a half, Potamus was quite famished. Not to be deterred by the crowds, I stopped in a little open spot between some vendor’s stalls, sat down and whipped it out. I had forgotten my hooter hider, so I just threw a swaddle blanket over myself and let Potamus go to town.

Two minutes later a crotchety balding redheaded man came barging out of the vendor stall huskily saying “listen, this is the ONLY way out of here for vendors, you need to move.” I would like to believe he didn’t see the child sticking out of my shirt, and just thought I was being lazy, but he got upset that I was taking so long to move out of his way.  If I hadn’t been with strangers I  would have simply bared my breast, stood up and tried to make that man as uncomfortable of possible. Potamus was crying because he was hungry, and I wasn’t about to go traipsing about the market with a screaming starving child. So I leaned against the doorframe, out of redhead’s way (btw, he was in a huge hurry to go smoke a cigarette about 5 feet from me) to finish feeding. This position wasn’t very comfortable, but I was doing fine, and then a sweet, probably no taller than 4’10 older Asian woman hobbled over to me with a folding chair and motioned me to sit.

Mothers get it. Language means nothing, we make eye contact and she saw a need for a mom to feed her child and she stepped up to help. And she disappeared into the vendor foray. When potamus was done I folded the chair and set it inside the nearest stall, and the little old Asian man (her husband? Her son?) Said “hungry baby needs to eat.” And said he would give her the chair back. 

13 weeks…or 3 months

ImageBaby age is weird. We focus on weeks for so much of the time, but then there’s this point where the baby’s birthday is going to not be on the right day if you don’t switch over to using months instead of weeks. The time to switch from weeks to months varies by person, though. Some change after 12 weeks and say their child is 3 months when they reach that milestone. Others do it at 16 weeks or 4 months. It gets a little ridiculous after 16 weeks, in my opinion, because nobody says that they are 675 weeks old, or even 20 weeks or 26 weeks starts to get weird for math people.

So Potamus is 3 months old. I think I’m making the switch now, though we’ll see how I feel. When I go back to work I think it’s going to FEEL better to say that he is 18 weeks old, rather than 4 months… makes me feel like I have gotten more time with him than I really will have had. Trying not to think that far ahead, trusting that the Universe will provide for me and that anxiety doesn’t need to rule my life. But yeah, it’s hard to think that in just a few weeks I will be leaving him with Boof and my mother-in-law, while I head back to the land of the working…



I am surprised every day with all of the changes that Potamus is going through. At 12 weeks he is officially out of newborn clothes (I tried one on him the other day just for a laugh.). He is smiling a lot, making multiple jibber jabber noises (my favorite is ‘ah goo”) and showing much more motor control (he lifted his squeeky giraffe Sophie up to his mouth to chew on it!). All of these little moments and changes are like meditation for me.They take me out of the big concepts I think about (world peace, the presidential election) and back down into the little sweet moments that really matter in the long run. He’s making eye contact while breastfeeding and doing silly tricks with his legs (nursing in chairs with arms is out, since he practically rips my nipple off with his kicking off the side of the chair). I had no idea when I was pregnant that these were things I would care about or share with others. Part of it is being so damn proud that MY kid can do these things, and part of it is simply experiencing the wonder that is watching a life unfold before my eyes.

Bad mother club

If I had known, I certainly would not have travelled over snoqualmie pass with a congested newborn. But I didn’t know, though if course I am beating myself up about it. Apparently any major elevation change in a baby with congestion is guaranteed ear infection, so one day into our trip to see my parents, Boof and I were up early with Potamus in the medicenter getting his poor ear checked out. We caught it early, and he is on my favorite medicine ever (bubble gum flavored amoxicillian), but I can’t help but thinking this is all MY fault. I pushed him too far because for once I wanted to visit my parents and I sacrificed my poor sweet boy’s health.

Both my mom and my mother-in-law assured me that Potamus will forgive me for this, but I wonder…will I forgive myself?


Well, it’s bound to happen with a winter baby, but seeing my poor little Potamus with goobery boogers streaming out of his nose and the saddest little cough just breaks my heart. I’ve begun using the affectionate nickname Snotamus, because who knew such a tiny being could produce such a crazy amount of mucous? He’s such a fighter, though. The sickness hit grandma first about 2 weeks ago, and then Boof got it full force, and now Potamus and I are fighting it ourselves, with what appears to be a milder case for me, but since Potamus can’t talk I am not sure exactly how he feels. Though today he had some sweet alert times where he almost seemed happy…and then that sad little barky cough was back.

The good news in all of this, though, is my topic of conversation has moved from poop to snot, which is refreshing in all of its newness. I invested in the coolest snot sucking device, a nosefrida, since those Damn squeezy bulbs do diddlysquat in getting rid if any boogers (i found a bobby pin gently scraping them out to be much more effective before I got the snot sucker). Similar to the sheer satisfaction of popping a ripe zit as a teenager, is the feeling of sucking the infected snot out of his tiny little nostrils and into the tube. If you have babies, I would highly recommend this little nifty device!

So we are resting, sucking snot, and cuddling a lot and hoping this bug passes quickly!