The Beanstalk

Record of a writer, a family & an adventure.

Month: April, 2013

A baby at a bar.

Mark has this friend, Matt, that he has known since he first moved to W-S. They were both in very frustrating, unfulfilling jobs as a waiter and bar tender at a franchise steak house that had just opened, both looking for something better. It wasn’t that the restaurant was bad, in fact we still talk about the cheeseburgers sometimes, but neither man had ever envisioned himself starting off life with a career in the chain restaurant business. Matt is a visionary in the world of food and drink, and Mark was about to marry me and didn’t feel totally comfortable “supporting a family” on tips. They gravitated to one another there out of necessity, finding a common sense of humor and common planes of thinking, so to speak, and became quite good friends. Mark got his job and left, and shortly thereafter Matt was offered an opportunity to open a bar and make it into precisely the thing which he had always envisioned, and he left.

Matt and Mark have stayed friends and now Matt is engaged to this fantastic girl Erin who is a vegetarian and works at the Humane Society getting dogs adopted, so good for him I couldn’t have even written her up out of my own imagination, and we live about two miles away from each other. They came to see us in the hospital when Jack was born twice, the second time bringing mixed Caribbean cocktails which I had requested months ago, hidden in a bag, and then again the week we came home. They come by and sit around with us while we take care of a new baby, and on Saturday when downtown was exploding with foot traffic because of a food festival, they hung around with us and our stroller all afternoon. Afterward we went to the bar (with Jack strapped to Mark’s chest) and sat in the corner – something perhaps we never would have done were it not Matt’s bar – and he made bourbon drinks for Mark, who never knows exactly what he wants.

I got to thinking about how spending time with them makes me feel normal somehow, like the fact that I am now a mother doesn’t mean that I’m not young and fun anymore. They do not treat Jack as a new appendage to be dealt with, worked around. They just come on in and pick him up, talk to him, treat him how we treat him. It’s so lovely having them around, so lovely having friends that really love, enjoy and have a genuine interest in our kid – our family. We’ve gotten into the habit of referring to “Uncle Matt” when we talk to Jack, which we didn’t even get permission to do. I mean, he has his own “real” nieces and nephews. But I’ll bet in a few years when Jack starts to be able to think a little more shrewdly he’ll want to know whose brother is Uncle Matt?

One.

This morning we celebrated Jack’s one month benchmark practically in tears of ecstasy because he slept from 11:00 last night until 6:18 am. When I pulled my leaden head off the pillow at the sound of his agitated pre-scream it vaguely occurred to me that there was natural light in the room, that I would not bump into the bassinet, foot of the bed, door frame as I usually do. When I took my sweet baby into his room to nurse I was completely awake and he just looked up at me with this tiny little pursed mouth and enormous slate blue eyes, his eyebrows raised up so the little wrinkles in his forehead appeared, as if to say, “this one’s for you, ma.” That is when I counted the amount of elapsed time and almost cried, feeling quite as much like like a normal person as I ever have.

He’s been alive for 1 month, I’ve been alive for about 322. That is an enormous difference proportionally, but it doesn’t really feel like that. He doesn’t feel that new to me, probably because I am living in this trance life right now with weird sleep anti-patterns, but it feels like he has been here for longer. Later in the morning, after I had gone back to sleep for an hour and woken up again, I was sitting in my bed reading, periodically looking into his little bed to watch his face twitch in sleep. These mornings of quiet when I can pray and think and read feel so new. Like, did I ever have time to sit still before if I wasn’t at the beach? For some reason all I could think about was taking Jack to Disney World. It’s big for me that I want to take him there because for a long time, even in pregnancy, I wanted to return there without kids. To me that crazy amusement fantasy world is the epitome of the excitement and joy of childhood and I guess I wasn’t ready to let it go.  But this morning, all of a sudden, I thought, I cannot wait to take this little boy to Disney World! And then I realized that I don’t want to go back without him. I want Jack to see Disney World the way I saw it when I was very young. There is no sense in my holding onto those things of the past now, especially now that God has given me this little munch to pass them along to. It kind of takes the pressure off, actually.

Here are some photos from the first month of Jack’s life, of our lives as parents.

This is a shot of Mark reading the Easter story to Jack for the first time.

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A typical evening face.

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Going out for a walk when it was still chilly.

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Aunt Hannah and Baby Boy Adams #3 and William hanging out.

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Skipping church for disc golf.

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Jack and Patty Griffin.

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The witching hour.

The intrinsic value of night and day is sort of lost on me now. The idea of making it through the length of a day, reaching the peaceful evening, which includes dinner (my favorite meal) and the return of the alcohol option, and then laying down to sleep for the night has gone, and I do wonder at times if I’ll ever get it back.

 

I realized after Jack was born that I used to really look forward to the night, but it’s opposite now. Now I sort of dread night because whereas waking up in the middle of the night used to be a rare occasion, where it used to be that maybe I had to pee or the dog started whining and I could deal with those issues while maintaining a sleepy stupor, never truly getting out of my REM cycle, now I know with 100% assurance that I will wake up between one and three times in the sickeningly wee hours of the morning, that I will be forced to peel my body off of the mattress where my husband will remain in peaceful slumber, that I will be freezing cold, that my wake up call will be my baby who gives me a window of agitated grunting before he begins the howl. I will not be able to pass this ritual off onto anyone else, since it is MILK and ONLY MILK that he will be wanting.  I am assured that we will spend about 45 minutes together, both of us falling asleep while he tries to eat and I try to hold him in the correct position to eat. 

 

Sometimes when I hear him cry in the middle of the night I tear up because I so desperately want to push a button that mutes him and roll over. Actual tears.  It is just so devastating to think of getting.out.of.bed. I sit up, put my feet on the floor, and just stare down into his bassinet where he is crying with his eyes closed. Truly, he does not want to get up either, I know he doesn’t. But because I am a responsible adult I do pick him up, carry him to his room, plop down on the rocker, and let him gulp. What else is there to do?

 

I call this the witching hour because I swear I’m a lunatic. I get so crazy, and if I happen to have my eyes open when I pass the mirror in his room it frightens me- my hair all wild and this crazed white in my eyes.  I pity Mark when I wake him up to help me swaddle Jack (because for the life of me I cannot figure out how to do it myself) and maybe rock him back to sleep because he has to be thinking, “Surely this is not the woman I dated, wooed and married.”  And if we both happen to be dealing with the baby at the same time, we say wretched things to one another and scowl and roll our eyes. We are both horrible in the witching hour.

 

The PA at my pediatrician’s office says that they have a rule in their house (note: they have three children): NOTHING THAT ANYONE SAYS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT COUNTS.

 

It’s the new Evans family rule. It HAS TO BE.

 

 

 

Newborn photos, homemade.

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This was taken spur of the moment, I happened to have my Nikon D-40 sitting on my dresser. He is swaddled in the sultan of blankets (thanks Catherine. from Restoration Hardware Baby). Laying on our bed while I was getting ready, 5:00 sunshine. 

 

 

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I then organized an afternoon to take a bunch of pictures of him. Here he is wrapped up in my cable knit PB blanket (Christmas gift, best.) Note the little bit o’ milk on the lip… baby is fat and happy.

 

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This was inspired by a friend of mine from college, who is now a photographer in Seattle, WA. She took a (better) shot very similar to this that I’ve intended to attempt ever since I saw it on her blog – before I was pregnant. Hope the kid likes to read like his mama.

 

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And here’s the daddy’s boy photograph. It’s not his throwing arm though…

 

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Well, this really doesn’t require an explanation, does it?