Three Months In

[this is old; multiply the leg chunk by at least two]

It's a baby/mom post. You've been warned. 

Last week marked Sawyer's three month milestone, and I must say, the difference between a brand spankin' newborn baby and a three month old infant is crazy. It's not easy by any means, but it definitely is easier. Every month or so I'm going to do a post like this, just so that when I go back and work on his baby book (I'm going to start... soon) I have the info easily accessible. Plus I like to talk about my kid.

Daily Schedule
I thought I'd be a lot more rigid when it came to his schedule, but I'm not. I've found that if he takes one nap before lunch (forty-five minutes or so) and one longer one after (an hour and a half to two and and half hours), both in his Pack-n-Play, with a few little cat naps sprinkled throughout he's good. He eats every three hours, but if he's hungry earlier I let him eat. The tried and true pattern is generally sleep, eat, play, repeat. He sleeps for about eight or nine hours at night, with the first chunk happening while we're still up, followed by a six, or more, hour stretch. He's a pretty happy kid, so it works.

Big Changes
We made the rookie mistake of letting him sleep at night in his swing starting the third night he was home (desperation and sleep deprivation, people!) and it was MAGICAL! Unfortunately, he was born with a slight tightening in a neck muscle (totally fixable with some stretching exercises) that was just diagnosed, so we've had to transition him to sleeping in his Pack-n-Play at night (he'll go to his crib in his room when it cools down at night- we have a whole house fan and there's no way I'm letting my baby sleep alone in a room with the window open). The first three nights were rough- I woke up one night at four and let out a long string of expletives that would have made a sailor proud (going from sleeping seven hours straight to three is just plain bad). Fast forward a week and he's in the thing for at least six hours straight. Just in time for work!

Speaking of work, that starts a week from Monday. He had a trial run at the daycare last week and it went so much better than expected. I only cried for like ten minutes! Oh, and he was fine too. I love being with him everyday but do miss being around people. Push and pull... I'm having a hard time with the idea of letting someone I don't know very well (she comes highly recommended, is very experienced, my nephews went to her, my mother-in-law has taught her kids, etc...) handle my kid for seven or eight hours a day (although he'll hopefully nap for like half of that), but I know after a few weeks of seeing that he's fine I will be too. If he enjoys a roof over his head and diapers on his butt he'll learn to love it.

Developmental Junk
- Holds his head up well, despite the neck thing
- Fascinated by hands- constantly in his mouth
- Starting to grab for things
- Baffled by the existence of his feet
- Rolled over twice now, from front to back, but still a little confused about how to move his upper body and lower body at the same time
- Starting to jabber nonstop! The day after daycare he "talked" the entire way home, presumably telling me about his time, of course. He also has become a bit of a complainer, which is so much cuter than smiling
- I try to read to him every day. We (okay me) love Skippy John Jones Goes to Spice, Dragons Love Tacos, and Boy + Bot
- He loves me, of course, but he has really taking a liking to his dad lately, which is pretty damn cute
- Fiftieth percentile in weight, ninetieth in height (he gained two pounds in less than three weeks!)
- He's starting to laugh which is basically the cutest thing ever
- He has gone from hating bath time to tolerating it to loving it. He pretty much thinks being naked is the best thing ever- exhibitionist! 

Etc...
- I feel this intense, unnecessary, need to decide if I'm going to have another baby. We're in fact not deciding now, but I think about it constantly, especially as I'm boxing up clothes he's outgrown.
- I'm very thankful that my body was completely ruined by this little guy but am frustrated with the fact that I'm going to have to start working a tiny bit harder to lose these last pounds. The summer makes me want to not exercise and eat ice cream- not a good combo.
- I really, really want a few drinks (I do! I've been sober for almost a year!) but that means I'd waste precious breastmilk and am too stingy to do so. I'm tentatively planning on doing this until he's a year, which means nine more months! Augh! That also makes it so that I'm basically not allowed to sleep in until then- double augh!
- I've tried to get out a lot lately and it's been good for us both- he likes to see new places and things. We've also had his grandma watch him so we could go out alone, and my husband has been watching him sometimes so I can escape to fun places... like Target. 
- I'm so looking forward to the holidays this year- Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Time off! Cooler weather! Dressing up my kid in a ridiculous costume of my choice! Buying him a little red wagon (yes, I already know what I'm getting him for Christmas)! Taking him to see lights! 
- I really, really love this kid. It's corny and the pre-baby me would have said it's bullshit, but it really is a different sort of love than you have for everyone else (yes, including my fur-children). I totally get how moms have lifted cars off their kids before (although I don't get why cars were on their kids in the first place...). It's insane how happy his fat little smiling face makes me. 

Extra Credit Reading List

One of the best things about being an English teacher (besides grading all the papers and hearing all the complaints about reading assignments) is being able to influence their reading. Here's the extra credit outside reading list I'll be giving my incoming class of IB juniors, in case anyone wants to submit suggestions for next semester:

[hello, there spell check!]
 

Top Ten Tuesday- Repeat Offenders



[flashback... shelves from the apartment (now we have more)]

The Broke and the Bookish ask us to list the top ten authors we own the books by this week. A few were obvious, but I had to sit down in front of my shelves and do a little bit of counting. Some, likes Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, are in huge anthologies, so I thought that that was a slightly grey area. Here's what I came up with, based purely on physical copies:

1. JK Rowling: 8 (Potter series plus the disappointing The Casual Vacancy)

2. Thomas Hardy: 7 (took a seminar on him in college)

3. Nick Hornby: 7 (love him!)

4.  Michael Chabon: 6 (half are my husband's, but I intend to read them all)

5. Ian McEwan: 5

6. Margaret Atwood: 5 (reading The Year of the Flood right now) 

7. Jonathan Safran Foer: 4

8. Richard Russo: 3

9. Gary Shtenygart: 3

10. Zadie Smith: 3

There are many others that I own three of, I just cut it down to the ones that made me seemed the most literate and cultrally aware. 
 

Outside Reading- Help Wanted!

[source]

One of my favorite, and least favorite, things is making my students complete their outside reading requirements. Each semester they have to read a certain amount of pages (800 for my juniors this upcoming year) and complete some sort of accountability piece. I love playing Literary God: "yes, you may read Michael Chabon and Nick Hornby" and "no you may absolutely not read Stephanie Myers and no way is The Hunger Games going to work!" I also enjoy hearing them admit at the end of the year that they've found new authors to love and are finally getting the hang of determining what makes a book literary. I hate the grading part. With a passion.

In the past I've had my students complete a dialectical journal- one quote, with analysis, for every ten pages they've read. My rationale has been that it was the only way I could easily check to see if they've read- spacing out the quotes makes it harder to go online and just pull work off the internet. Unfortunately, this is incredibly tedious, both for the students to complete and for me to grade. This year I'm trying something new that will hopefully making grading easier for me- I'm going to provide the students with a list of thirty questions (when we go back in August) that they should be able to answer for each of the books they've read that semester. At the end of the term I'm going to take a few days and ask each student approximately five questions on the books they've read, in front of the class. Their grade on outside reading will be based on how well they've BSed answered and convinced me that they've read. I'm also giving them a "hot list"- a list of thirty books (I'll share those later after I've written my syllabus and can just copy and paste) that they will receive five extra credit points for choosing to read.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help me come up with challenging questions to give to my students that apply to either fictional and nonfictional texts (although mostly fiction). Nothing easy! No "If you could be one of the characters which one would you be and why?" nonsense. I'm talking more like "Choose an important symbol from the text and talk about how it contributed to a character's development" or "What were some unique aspects of the author's writing style? How did that impact your reading of the text?" 

Please and thank you. Extra credit for those questions that are used. Get down with your inner teacher. 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up below!

1. Wouldn't it be fun to just dedicate a Pinterest board to really inappropriate pins to freak people out? Maybe one on tantric sex (or go the opposite and put one for coping with a cheating spouse). Or some sort of disgusting foot fungus. Maybe another one on the best way to rob a bank. One, when I first joined Facebook I wrote "Does anyone know a good divorce lawyer?" as my status and my husband and I made a bet on who would anxiously respond first. It was fun.

2. This is my new favorite quote and has pretty much been the story of my summer/life:



3. I really have no business spending more money on kids books right now, but I couldn't resist this adorable custom made book Lostmy.Name book for Sawyer. I scoured the internet for a code and ended up getting it, with shipping, for like $22. It's from England, so it's extra fancy (although I'm worried they're going to "misspell" words like "colour" and I'm going to have to explain to him when he's older not to do it).



4. Hilary needs to make up her mind. 2016 is basically around the corner and I need to know whether or not to start making posters.

5. I had lunch with a student the other day and it was so nice to see a member of my most favorite class. She had just gone to Europe and made me want to travel so badly! I'm already sad about starting the school year soon and not having "my" kids there.

6. I'm starting to worry that registering for the half marathon in February was a mistake. I've been running three days a week for about a half an hour, but I know once school starts I'm going to be so short on time between my job, family, household stuff, and having some shred of a social life. It's non-refundable, but I could sell my bib on Craig's List when the time gets closer. I know it's far away and I probably could buckle down and train in ten weeks- I have like 28. Things are overwhelming right now and I'm not going to make any dramatic decisions yet.

7. I'm pretty sure Fight Club 2 is a mistake. 

8. I'm leaving Sawyer for a few hours at the daycare provider's house on Friday morning in order to prepare them for the real thing on August 11 (I plan on doing it another morning well). Actually, let's be honest. It's for me. I can barely even think about leaving him every day without crying. Ugh. I enjoy my job and really, really miss being around people all day, but I've gotten very used to being with him. I know everything about the kid and the day care lady will not- she won't know his cries, how he likes to be jiggled around when he's falling asleep, or that he loves to look at himself in the mirror. I mean I guess I could tell her those things, but still. Or what if he's a pain the ass and she hates him? He's a fairly easy baby, but still, he may act differently with her and a new place. What is she doesn't change him enough? What if she doesn't... Sigh. It's a necessary evil, and I know it will get easier as time goes on, but in the meantime my heart will just keeping breaking a little every single day

9. My husband and I have spent some time recently talking about The Goldfinch, since he read it before I did. It's been years since we both read something at the same time, or in close proximity, so I had forgotten how nice it is to have a live-in sort of mini book club. I'm a huge proponent of partners having separate interests, but it is nice when you share a few hobbies. 

10. I pulled out my writing project from last year and reread it. I like it enough to keep working on it, but I did start noticing some flaws- like some of dialogue (natural dialogue can sometimes be such a challenge). I've left the docs open on my laptop, hoping that every day I'll just add to it. Or at least think about it...

 
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