My little goblin turned one month old on Saturday.
On Friday, we had a monumental milestone - Eli's first real smiles, ones not caused by gas or muscle spasms. When he grinned, I got super excited and turned completely ridiculous. "Smile for Mama! Do you have any more smiiiiiiiles?" I cooed at him. Total baby talk, I admit it - add it to the list of things I swore I'd never do. But there goes my voice, about three octaves higher than normal. "Do you have more little smiiiiiiiiiiiles?" And he did.
I marked it down on his page of "firsts" in his baby book. December 9, 2011 - first smiles. It was exciting, a highlight of my weekend, for sure, along with decorating the Christmas tree.
On Sunday, we took Eli's first "big car ride" and drove to New Brunswick to see my family for the day. It was about a two hour drive each way and he was excellent. He slept most of the way there and back and only woke up to eat. Breastfeeding in a deserted high school parking lot in Oxford - add that to the ever-growing list of things I thought I'd never do.
I can't believe that Eli's a month old. He's getting great at holding his head up, but he absolutely despises tummy time - after a few minutes he blats and lets me know it's time to flip him back over. He likes swatting at the animals in his "gym", responds to sounds and voices, and focuses on faces. He has fussy spells every couple of days and I lose my mind and feel like dropping him off on the doorstep of a big house in a nice neighbourhood. And then he'll turn around and be the cuddliest, sweetest baby - now with smiles - and I completely melt.
As for me, I feel like a spongy, soft version of myself. People have been very kind in saying I look like I didn't have a baby a month ago, but I definitely don't feel like the old me. I feel like I'm made of mashed potatoes. My stomach is soft...things in general are soft. I'm looking forward to my six-week doctor's appointment and praying I get the green light to exercise.
Sometimes it feels like we'll never, ever, ever sleep through the night again. Some days I would sell my soul to go to bed at 10 and wake up at 8 and not so much as stir in between. Many times I've caught my reflection in the mirror and realized there was spit-up on my shirt or poop remnants on my jeans from Eli's latest blowout. (The other night, he had an explosive crap when I was feeding him, and some of it got on my pyjama pants, and I just grabbed a baby wipe and WIPED OFF THE POOP AND WENT BACK TO BED IN THE SAME PJ'S - that's how tired I was at the time.)
I'm still getting used to the fact that I'm a mom. I'm adjusting to needing to change my clothes twice a day, not because I've peed my pants, but because someone else has peed them for me. Or, you know, wiping off the visible poop and carrying on. I always feel like I don't quite have my shit together...like I'm operating at about 75%, all the time. And I hate knowing that it's going to be like that for a while. I hate not feeling completely in control.
In spite of all the grossness - the caked-on poop, the crying jags (both Eli's and mine), unexpectedly spraying milk halfway across the room and NOT out of my nose, and generally feeling like tired ass - it's been one of the most rewarding months of my life. One of the hardest, for sure, but as unglamourous and awkward and downright heinous as it can be I love being a mom. I love seeing my little guy growing and developing and being adorable. I like looking in the rearview mirror to see him snoozing away in the back seat. I like his sweet baby smell. I'm trying to make the most of this time when he's so little, when we can cuddle and hang out all day, because I know it'll fly by and I'll wish it back, very, very soon.