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Four Weeks

Adam turned four weeks old today!

It’s a total cliche to say that having a child changes you, but I am starting to understand it now. In these four weeks since Adam was born I feel like I’ve unlocked this whole world of knowledge and experience that I never knew existed in adulthood. Having kiddo chats with the fellow who came out to give us a quote on work to the house was not what I anticipated, but you suddenly find this parenthood connection with strangers. And as someone who will be the first to admit that I’m “not a baby person,” the adjustment to being a mother has opened up new, fascinating parts of myself, even if it will take some getting used to.

I recently read a piece in The Atlantic about what happens to a woman’s brain when she becomes a mother, which opens with:

The artist Sarah Walker once told me that becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house where you already live.

The article was valuable as I strive to understand my moods and new feelings, but that opening quote in particular really connected with me. I am still very much me, even in my sleep-deprived, do-everything-for-newborn, hormone-driven state, but there’s this new thing too. I make time and space to snuggle up with Caligula and have my dozing son in my arms or nearby, and a book in my hand. I never quite realized the value of the Kindle app on my phone until I was suddenly trying to do so many things with just one hand available. It’s a shame I recently started making the shift back to paper books!

It’s far from poetry and blissful motherhood discovery though. These first few weeks have been incredibly difficult, even with MJ on paternity leave and my aunt here to help. I am the only source of food, so I’m awake at frequent intervals, leading to some frayed nerves and a lot of exhaustion. Still, having my aunt here has been a tremendous help, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten much done at all this month if not for her, and I certainly wouldn’t have had as much sleep. Her help has also allowed MJ and I to go out to a few meals together, which have been great for my mental well-being. As far as that goes, I’m doing OK. There were a few big cry moments in the first couple weeks where I was adjusting to motherhood and worrying about everything. I am still struggling a bit, but most days are good and I have a lot of support when the waves of hormones and lack of sleep start getting to me.

I have managed time to do a few little projects and some big ones. Before Adam was born we ordered window blinds for the whole house, and they all came in last week, so we were able to get those installed. I’m really happy with how they turned out and how much more comfortable it’s made living here already.

We then discovered the guest bathroom toilet had a cracked tank and was leaking, so ended up getting a big chunk of plumbing work done in the upstairs bathrooms. In addition to the replacement of the guest bathroom toilet, that bathroom also had a glass door on the bathtub, which we typically like, but it’s too difficult with a small child so we had it removed and replaced with a shower curtain and rod.

This week brings a little more work on the house, with a door being put on the master bathroom on Tuesday (it totally lacked one!) and our gas fireplace inspected and tuned up on Friday. We also got an unhappy surprise this weekend when my aunt discovered that the kitchen faucet was leaking. It had been dripping for some time, but this was a real leak which triggered a visit to the home improvement store to buy a replacement.

In smaller, more fun projects, I got my Nintendo systems (Switch, Wii, SNES Classic and NES Classic) connected to my second monitor in my office. Of course I don’t have a lot of time to actually play games right now, but at least now when I do they’re all set up for me to grab a controller and go. I also got the computer rack in my office set up. Both the media and backups server are in need of new hard drives in their RAID arrays, but working on them when they didn’t have a real home was near impossible. Now that they’re plugged into a KVM in my office, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to carve out some time to fix them up some time in the next few weeks.

Also managed to get out with my aunt to get our hair cut at a local salon, and made my way up to the Lake Merritt BART station to get some BART socks. Aside from meals out, that has pretty much been the extent of my adventures out of the house over the past month.

And now it’s time to wrap up this post, scoop up the kiddo to feed him for the tenth time today, and maybe see if I can get a nap.