RSS Feed
  1. Leaving Maternity Leave

    January 13, 2015 by Kristi Knight

    Well folks, I am at the very end of my maternity leave.  Sixteen weeks (nineteen if you count the loooooong weeks before baby) of what has probably been the best time of my life (hyperbole intended.)  My co-blogger, Lindsay, has already written what I consider to be the best summary of the competing emotions (well, I am not sure there is an emotion other than sadness really in competition here) surrounding my return to work, so I will let those words stand.  Instead, I will try another angle – the best things about my maternity leave (besides getting a baby out of the deal, that’s a given!)

    SailorWalkingCollage

    Long Walks – When I imagined my maternity leave pre-baby, I was very concerned with how terribly bored I would be – the primary image I could conjure up involved me staring at a baby, wondering what to do with myself for an entire day.  I want to laugh at my pre-baby self!  It turns out, there is very little time in which blankly staring at a baby is actually possible!  Babies poop.  A LOT.  So there’s that.  Plus the other side of the digestion equation, eating.  Which involved me and only me.  Of course, there is also my hygiene, which let’s be honest here, my shower count is probably at an all time low.  And the ever vigilant attempts at a regular nap schedule (HAHAHAHA.)  That means that from the hours of 7:00 – 2:00 or so, there is a lot of the just general very, very basic business of life and maintaining the life of a small human.

    HOWEVER!  Around 2:00 or so, everything has begun to settle down.  I have eaten my 100000th peanut butter and jelly (seriously, I think I have eaten more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the last 16 weeks than I have in my entire lifetime combined), Sailor has eaten her 10000000th helping of milk (of the DAY), and I am beginning to get antsy for some sunshine and vitamin D.  Luckily for us, Southern California exists in a static summertime, so I usually wrap up that tiny baby of mine, and begin my daily long walk/Sailor’s afternoon nap.  Sailor is a huge fan of being wrapped up – I am so glad that I decided it was worth the effort to track down a couple of woven wraps that I love and watched many, many youtube videos in order to learn how it actually works.

    For her first few weeks, being in a wrap equaled almost immediate sleep, but as she woke up out of her tiny newborn-ness, she slowly began staring at anything and everything.  We mostly walk down to the Palisades Park and walk along the path from one end (a random totem pole) to the other (Santa Monica Pier.)  One of my favorite memories was the first time she actually made it to the park awake.  I was like, “Sailor!  You are seeing so many things for the first time!”  It was really awesome to imagine her taking in all the sounds and shapes and colors and attempting to make some sort of meaning out of all these NEW THINGS.  Little babies are so cool that way.  It is WAY less busy at Palisades Park during the week (as a working person, I had no idea!), just us new moms, some tourists, and a plethora of grandparents.  Sailor and I have been stopped no less than four times by grandparents concerned with (1) Sailor’s bare feet – I am not good at remembering the sock thing and (2) Sailor’s general well being – wraps freak older people out!

    SailorParkCollage

    Park Sitting – When Blake and I took our two long Europe trips, we discovered the greatness that is park sitting.  When you are travelling for an extended period of time, it is so nice to take daily breaks at whatever park is nearby, and just sit around – napping or talking or sleeping.  It turns out that the exact same thing is true with a little baby!  Starting when she was only two weeks old and my mom was still helping out, we would make the trip down to Palisades Park and set up a quilt and just sort of lay around – playing and sleeping and nursing.  Sailor attracts a lot of admirers during this time – people comment on her hair (“Look at that crazy hair!” or “What a pretty color!”), her eyes (“So blue!”) and her mom’s inability to put socks on her before leaving the house (“Don’t you think her feet are cold?”)

    SailorSleepingCollage

    Naps – Despite my earlier posts on naptime anxiety, I think probably the best part of everyday has been the long naps Sailor has taken on my chest over the past 4 months.  I still try to put her in her crib for her actual nap, BUT after an anxious few weeks where I literally was OBSESSED with naptime (just ask my husband about my sole talking points for about 3 straight weeks), I decided that life is too short, and my maternity leave was even shorter.  Who wants to spend that whole time with an unhappy baby protesting to being left in a cavernous crib/prison when you COULD be spending that time with a happy little sleepy baby, sleeping on your chest like the cutest baby that ever cuted?  NO ONE!  So, with a long trip to New York and then Texas ahead of us, I just gave in, and seriously, I am pretty sure these little naptimes will be what flash before me on my deathbed (hmm, weirdly melodramatic there.)

    First Picture

    Watching her discover her voice – There is a lot of changes that occur with a baby from 0 months to 4 months, but my favorite, BY FAR, has been watching Sailor discover that SHE TOO can use her mouth to make little noises.  She is currently working on “sentences” or rather “long strings of babbling ‘oooo, eeeee, maoenemem bbbbbbb'” (an exact quote.)  She began with simply moving her mouth around, like she was talking – however, minus any sort of noise at all.  Then she began coo-ing.  COO-ING!  Babies literally go, “coo, coo, coo” and no one with any sort of heart can stand it for one second.  Her little sounds keep increasing and increasing – it really sounds like she is trying to talk to you, if only you spoke whatever vowel-centric language she is speaking.  Adorable.

    IMG_5859

    Wearing Sailor – I know that the expressions “wearing your baby” and “baby-wearing” invokes some strong parenting technique opinions from a sub-section of people.  BUT, as much as I tried, there is really no better way to describe using a giant swath of fabric to essentially tie a baby to your chest.  So, who cares, I am going with “wearing Sailor.”  I started attempting to use baby carriers when Sailor was a teensy one week old – I had a slightly too big baby K’tan that I loaded her into for my short walks around the block or, as my c-section scar healed a little bit, down the six long blocks to the park.  I attempted to use a stroller the first few weeks, but quickly realized that Sailor was NOT a fan of places that didn’t include a beating heart nuzzled against her ears.  I was beyond nervous on those first few walks and basically spent the entire time also negating the point of baby carriers and kept two hands poised under the wrap, in the event that a little tiny baby came tumbling out.

    I have come a looooong way from those first few weeks.  As mentioned, I spend a lot of time walking around the neighborhood and park near our apartment.  I have two different woven wraps (and hopefully more, more, more!  Those things are addictive.) that I use to quickly wrap her up – we then set off for a few hours, Sailor catches a little snooze, and I listen to podcasts.  If she wakes up and expresses her desire to kick her legs around (via some crying, pushing, and/or kicking) once we reach the park, I can simply put the wrap down on the ground and lay her on top of it, and hang out – wrapping her back up to walk home.  It’s great!

    I use the wrap for most of the day – it is amazing.  I wear her around the apartment if there are some chores I need to finish, I want to sew, or I am attempting to calm her down enough so that she will get sleepy enough for a nap.  It makes me feel like I am fully experiencing her for the whole day, without leaving her laying on a little playmat while I take care of the daily boring chores of life.  She gets to be a sweaty little chest nugget and I get to blow dry my hair or set up the crock pot or fold laundry.  Win win!

    MeetingBlake

    Meeting Blake – I haven’t done this in a while, but when Sailor was just a little peanut newborn – I would bundle Sailor up in blankets around the time I expected Blake home from work.  I would walk down the sidewalk to wear he typically parks, and about 75% of the time, it would work out perfectly that Blake would be just pulling up.  It was a great surprise for him, and, I don’t know, it seemed extra special to be able to walk the block or so to our apartment as a new threesome.

    So, there you go.  Those few things don’t really do justice to an entire 4 months worth of memories, but those were the best parts of my daily routine.  I have no idea how the next phase of this whole “motherhood” thing will go, I worry about spending 8+ hours everyday away from my baby, but I know that I am not the only person who has even had these worries/sadness, and that SOMEHOW these other people even more than survive.  I’m never any good at endings, so I will just abruptly stop this particular blog post with this picture which sums up my last few months:

    Last Picture


    • Hints for Travelling with a Baby while Retaining Your Sanity

      January 5, 2015 by Kristi Knight

      During the month of December, Sailor went from a tiny infant whose furthest journey went from the inside of my body to the outside, to a slightly less tiny baby who had journeyed all the way ACROSS THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES from Los Angeles to New York City (she thinks she is SUCH a jetsetter) AND made a separate trip to the giant flatness that is Texas.  Guys, that’s pretty impressive!

      To say I was nervous before our first flight is an understatement.  It seemed needlessly aggressive to plan a 6 hour flight as your baby’s first.  But, I couldn’t resist visiting New York City near Christmastime, and – despite Sailor surprising me at every turn with her non-high maintenance-ness, I still felt like this might be the last time for quite awhile in which spending that amount of time in a confined space with a non-verbal baby/child was even a possibility (unless I hate people.)

      IMG_6345

      Two very nervous parents

      Sailor was nothing short of a perfect little doll baby, albeit one who required 6 diaper changes.  It was a Christmas miracle.  She managed to sleep through the majority of the flight, waking up to eat, poop (looooots of poop), and smile at me.  We flew Virgin American which I would HIGHLY recommend  – every seat has a little screen so she also spent a lot of time NOT obeying the APA guidelines of limited screentime for babies.  It also helps that anytime she even looked like she might start fussing, I would shamelessly pop a boob right into her mouth.  The flight was one big cycle of nap, eat, watch screen, smile at mom, bounce around in the aisle, nap, eat, repeat.  Of course, my success went to my head, so now I am pretty sure that I am something of an expert.  So, here you go – my helpful hints for travelling with a 10 week old:

      How can you be mad at that adorable little baby wrapped up in a giant looking scarf thing?  It's impossible!

      1)  Wear Your Baby –  Fact – people in airports hate babies.  Like, as soon as you walk into an airport with a baby, people immediately side eye you – silently willing you to please not be at their flight or even their gate and maybe to just disappear in general.  It is like some sort of opposite land – in normal life, strangers of all types smile at you/your baby, striking up weird conversations about their own children/grandchildren/friends’ children, asking you about the warmth of your baby’s feet (I KNOW SHE DOES NOT HAVE SOCKS ON), and generally behaving like friendly little friend people.  In an airport though?  You and your baby are the worst!  The absolute worst!  So, I have a helpful little hint – people cannot resist babies in colorful wraps.  It might also work with any of the various structured carriers (ergo, becco, etc.), but I can personally attest to the irresistibility of woven wraps.  It makes babies extra adorable!  People are slightly confused by them, thus distracting them from the fact you are bringing a BABY onto a PLANE!  They ask you questions about how in the world that baby is staying in place in what, to them, seems to be nothing more than a scarf (IT’S NOT A SCARF, geez), disarming them against their airport induced baby hatred.  Your apparent leper-ness gets downgraded to mere chicken pox.  BONUS BENEFIT – you can also use both arms AND your baby stays nice and happy and hopefully asleep.

      2)  Bring lots of water bottles onto the plane – Everyone who flies with a baby has heard that the best thing to do on the ascent and descent is to nurse or give your baby a bottle.  If you are me and can never remember to prepare a bottle before the baby is screaming from hunger, this means you will be breastfeeding almost immediately upon boarding.  Which, also as all breastfeeding moms know, results in THIRST SO THIRSTY I AM SO THIRSTY!  And the flight attendants will be too busy being strapped into their uncomfortable looking flight attendant chairs, and therefore unable to bring you water – it has the potential to be so terrible!  UNLESS – you bring several water bottles right onto that plane with you.  You will be so happy.  Which means you can keep that little boob monkey latched on for as long as humanly possible (and hopefully until they fall asleep)

      3)  Fly Virgin American – Guys, I have flown exactly two airlines with an infant, Southwest and Virgin, and based on that extensive experience, I have vowed to only fly Virgin with Sailor from now until forever (or until their ticket prices make it ridiculous.)  As mentioned above, Virgin has screens on every seat!  I know that other airlines might also have these little distractors, but you know who doesn’t?  Southwest.  And a lot of other older planes.  These screens were lifesavers – Sailor and I watched a lot of The Chew with no sound, and it was amazing.  On our Southwest flight, I was reduced to holding an iphone with the camera pointed at my baby and waving it around – not nearly as easy OR as distracting.

      IMG_6367

      Sailor enjoying Virgin’s mood lighting

      ALSO, based on the four total flights (again, EXPERT), the Virgin American flight attendants were way nicer – allowing me to stand in the back with Sailor while trying to bounce her to sleep and helping me with the changing table in the bathrooms.  Let’s just say that I did not have the same experience on Southwest.  Virgin American planes also have some sort of “mood” lighting happening in the plane, which entranced my small baby and was therefore appreciated by me.  AND family boarding is way better – another plus!  Oh yeah, and they have an awesome little safety video that they play which will get stuck in your head on an endless loop.  Bonus!

      4)  Bring tons of diapers and changes of clothes – Um, I have no idea why this is – maybe it has to do with air pressure – but Sailor pooped SO MUCH on all her flights.  Like way more than I thought humanly possible.  She also managed to poop herself out of a few outfits.  So yeah, we went through basically every diaper we brought onto the plane.  I was getting seriously nervous.

      5)  Prepare to not sleep for the first night – This has nothing to do with the flight, but more about travelling in general.  Sailor’s first night in NYC and in Dallas was not one for the books.  I think her little baby self was more than confused about where she was and therefore was pretty determined that the only place she was going to sleep was in my arms.  So that’s what we did.  She slept, in the comfort of her mom’s arms, while I watched the sunrise out the window – it was actually kind of pretty if you ignore the sleep deprivation part of it.  It was a similar story in Dallas, but a little less extreme.

      IMG_6454

      Most definitely NOT falling asleep.

      6)  No stroller – Now, Sailor isn’t too big a fan of her stroller to begin with and we live in a supremely walkable city, so I end up wearing her in a wrap or other carrier 90% of the time.  I considered not bringing a stroller with us to New York after reading a few blog posts from other people about going on vacation stroller free.  Knowing that travelling with a baby ALSO meant that our days as “light packers” were over, I was looking for any way possible to minimize the stuff we were shlepping along with us.  I ended up not bringing a stroller to either New York OR Dallas, and it was definitely worth it.  I am sure when Sailor is a little bigger/heavier, this might not be an option, but you know what seems sucky?  Trying to manipulate a stroller through the crowded sidewalks of New York City.  You know what isn’t sucky?  Walking around with a little baby strapped to you!  And I am not sure what a stroller is even used for in Dallas.  You basically go from your house to your car to your destination – I can carry a Sailor sized baby around for that, easy.

      IMG_1589_Fotor_Collage

      STROLLER FREE!

      The trips themselves were great – and will soon be getting their own write-ups.  It was an awesome capper to maternity leave and the last stages of Sailor’s little bitty-ness – she is turning into a real live baby now!  I can’t wait to plan more vacations with her little self.


      • Three Months

        January 4, 2015 by Kristi Knight

        Little Sailor has officially been in existence for a whole year – 9 months hanging out in my tummy, followed by 3 glorious months going from a little helpless jellyfish-esque newborn to a slightly less helpless monkey-esque 3 month old.  It is amazing how much a baby can change in three little months!  I have heard the first three months referred to as the “fourth trimester” and it definitely feels like that might be true.  I have mentioned before that I think I lucked out with a reasonably easy baby but things continue to get easier and more enjoyable.  How is that even possible!  I thought she was already at the pinnacle of enjoyableness!  Does it just keep increasing in awesomeness until the kid reaches 13 years old, at which point it plummets to a new, dizzying low?

        Sailor-3mo-6_Fotor_Collage

        Sailor is a champ at holding her head up – I don’t really have to think about that little weeble wobble head anymore.  Sometimes she does a little bobble head move in order to get full control of the upper half of her body, but even that occurs far less frequently than before.  She also seems a lot less random in her movements – Blake and I used to joke that she was constantly conducting imaginary orchestras, but is now able to keep her arms still!  I had no idea that was even a milestone!  The ability to not move in seemingly random jerks – congrats, baby!

        Sailor-3mo-1

        She smiles ALL THE TIME.  I had no idea how happy that would make me!  I personally think she is the smiliest baby that ever smiled, but I MIGHT just be a little biased.  Her little smile could cause world peace.  Seriously, people.  Someone should bring Sailor to the United Nations or something and then smile at her – she would smile and then voila.  All wars would end.  I spend approximately 99% of all my time with her attempting to get her to smile – I mean, who wouldn’t???

        Sailor-3mo-4

        She is getting some meat on her bones – she has little baby arm dimples, and the best thing in the world – rubber band wrists.  She coos all the time – especially enjoying when I copy whatever noise she made back at her – apparently, that is the height of comedy.  She laughs sometimes – I assume that this will increase like smiling did until I die of cuteness.

        Sailor-3mo-2

        She remains, of course, the best baby of all time.


        • Tribe: Mom

          December 8, 2014 by Kristi Knight

          There have been a lot of things I found surprising about having a baby – some related to the practical, day-to-day realities, and others the emotional, are-you-kidding-me-with-these-tears-AGAIN feelings that overtake this proudly NON-emotional person.  However, the one thing I definitely did NOT expect was this overwhelming feeling of kinship I now feel with all the other mothers that have ever existed.

          Wow!  Talk about an overreaching statement!  So dramatic, Kristi!

          But really, in the blur of the first few days (weeks?) with Sailor, I distinctly remember staring at her little bitty baby face, and thinking – “Wow.  Once upon a time, I was the little baby, and MY MOM stared at my little bitty face, and I was the one demanding milk even though she was probably so very tired and had um, a not so great situation happening in the nipple area.  Crazy.”

          Me!  A baby!

          Me! A baby!

          And then I would look at my husband and think, “Wow  Once upon a time HE was the little bitty baby, and HIS MOM stared at his little bitty face…” and so on and so on.  I thought about all my friends.  I thought about my grandparents.  I thought about FAMOUS HISTORICAL PEOPLE.  I thought about EVERYONE and reminded myself over and over again, “That person was once a baby.  And they had a mothers who had to take care of them.”  It was crazy.

          Scan0010_Fotor

          Blake! A baby!

          Every time I went anywhere with Sailor, it was seriously like other moms would seek me out – they would make eye contact, and I SWEAR on my non-mushy heart, I feel like we shared a knowing little look.  Maybe I imagined it, but I really felt like they were saying “Hey!  I bet you are so tired!  I know EXACTLY what you are going through right now!”  And a lot of times they would actually say as much.  Now, I usually enjoy making small talk with strangers approximately as much as I enjoy using public restrooms (NOT AT ALL), but I welcomed all these other moms.  It was like we had a club.  They would comment on how tiny Sailor was, make some comment about her wild and crazy baby hair, and congratulate me for being out and about.  To any other bystander, this exchange would seem so banal and trite, but the eyes were like, “No really, I remember being that tired!”

          IMG_0400

          One tired mama.

          And I know, I KNOW!  These are such cliched feelings, I mean how many times in my life did I hear, “Just wait until you have kids of your own, you will understand then!”  IT IS THE SINGLE MOST ANNOYING THING IN THE WORLD TO HEAR GROWING UP!  But what?  It turns out is TRUE!  I look at my mom and Blake’s mom and my sister-in-law and my best friends and all the other moms I know with this new corny respect.  The feelings!  They are just too much.  Just imagining all these people looking at their respective babies/children with all the overwhelmingness that I feel when I look at Sailor makes me (ME!) get all these tears that just march right out of my eyes, uninvited.

          Scan0013_Fotor

          So, I guess I just have 20-30 years until Sailor knows exactly what I am talking about here – just like my mom had to wait the same length of time for the same thing.  But you other moms out there!  You guys all know!  We can just continue giving each other knowing looks – it will drive our kids crazy!

          10306173_10104805339692614_2014709336138812556_n


          • Three Thanksgivings

            December 6, 2014 by Kristi Knight

            DSC_0247

            Sailor’s first Thanksgiving was mostly a low-key event.  After our first year in Los Angeles, we decided that it does not really make much sense to fly to Texas for essentially a very expensive three day trip (damn you, time zones and the related super late arrival times when travelling west to east!) especially considering we end up back in Texas for Christmas.  Last year, my parents came out to see us, but this year – it was just me, Blake, and a very tiny, mostly unhelpful baby.

            Despite our lack of family, I was determined to have SOME SORT of meal (it would be too depressing to just eat a frozen pizza or something else equally new baby household friendly) and that Sailor would have AT LEAST ONE Thanksgiving outfit.  As it turns out, the Knight family ended up enjoying three different Thanksgiving-esque meals – which meant that I could compulsively make three different outfits!

            Thanksgiving #1

            For Sailor’s first Thanksgiving-esque meal, we went up to my office to enjoy a delicious pot-luck.  I was, of course, super nervous about the car ride – I was making the ever-addictive, super unhealthy bacon wrapped little smokeys (wrap some little smokeys in some bacon, roll in brown sugar, insert toothpick, bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes, eat, clog some arteries, die young but happy), so I started the night before, planning to pop them in the oven before we needed to leave.  I had everything ready to go about an hour before lunch started, when I realized that I couldn’t find my keys, which happens often when you drive a car approximately 1 time per week due to your daughter’s HATRED of carseats (luckily, I live in Santa Monica, where I can walk to most everything I need.)  OF COURSE, this was right during Sailor’s naptime, which wasn’t happening.  But what WAS happening, was a baby who insisted on being held OR suffer the consequences (intense crying.)

            So, I ran around the apartment, searching for car keys, holding Sailor, attempting to move a million burning hot pig wrapped pigs onto a serving dish, while also fending off two small dogs who were jonesing for some little smokies.  Obviously, we left approximately 10 minutes after I was supposed to be there (that means there was an hour and ten minutes that somehow disappeared into a mix of panic and tears.)  We had to fight some Thanksgiving traffic, Sailor expressed her discontent about being strapped into a cushiony prison – but an hour after the lunch began, Sailor made her adorable appearance at Feast #1.  She was mostly well-behaved, and only insisted on public breast feeding ONE TIME!

             

            IMG_6032

            Yes, my baby is adorable.

            In case anyone cares, her dress is this pattern (Geranium Dress – size 3-6 months), made out of some old fabric from JoAnn’s (I think) and Kona Cotton.  I knit her a tiny little shrug sweater from this pattern (Entrechat – size newborn), made with retired Berroco Cotton that I have had for approximately 1 million years.  The little bow headband was made with the same yarn and this pattern (Miss Savannah Bow, adjusted slightly to make more adorable.)

            Thanksgiving #2

            Our second Thanksgiving was actually ON Thanksgiving Day!  Never one to scale down, I had planned a full Thanksgiving dinner, despite the fact that there was a tiny baby that, well you know, takes up time and energy, and that our meal would be eaten by only Blake, myself, and a friend – Lisa.

            IMG_6047

            Sailor being so very helpful!

            I woke up around 6am worried about the timing of all it (especially considering our tiny oven), so began the day by baking some potatoes and googling “how to roast a turkey.”  Good thing I didn’t buy a frozen turkey, or we would have been screwed.

            DSC_0271

            We were impressed with our turkey.

            Impressively,  Blake and I demonstrated some amazing teamwork (seriously, I thought I would be super stressed and therefore super short tempered, but I wasn’t!  I want to give myself an award!) and were able to combine baby watching, dinner cooking, and kitchen cleaning (Blake was mainly in charge of that last one) to have an entire dinner on the table by the time our friend arrived.

            IMG_6042

            Outfit #2!

            Now, let me tell you a little bit about Sailor’s “official” Thanksgiving outfit.  It was super easy to make!  Even people who don’t like to sew!  Its basically just some fabric sewed to a onesie.  I added the little belt and flower, but they aren’t necessary.  There are a million tutorials (seriously, just google “onesie dress”), but I used this one.  Fabric was some old Joel Dewberry that I have had for a billion years with a some aqua kona cotton for the belt and a little flower I bought on etsy.  I crocheted her little headband using this pattern using some old cascade wool I had leftover (notice a trend here?  This is what happens when you stockpile craft supplies – you never know the name of what you are using.)

            IMG_6044

            Father and daughter Thanksgiving nap

            Thanksgiving #3

            Last but least, we had an official, large group Thanksgiving.  One of our friend’s fried a giant turkey, much to the delight of a number of Californians, who had never had fried turkey (and appreciated its super deliciousness.)  Being a GENIUS, I had thought ahead and made extra sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving #2, so there was barely any prep work for Blake and I!  We even had some bonus stuffing that we brought as well, which was ridiculed by the Texans at this particular dinner for not being made of cornbread (What can I say?  I might have been raised in a variety of Southern states, but those parents of mine – northerners, through and through.)

            IMG_1424

            Spot Sailor!

            Sailor was most excited about this outfit, because she wasn’t required to wear an impractical dress, cinched at her non-existent waist.

            IMG_1389

            Oh, hi there.

            Pants (not made by me)!  And a shirt (not made by me)!  AND AN AMAZING CANDY CORN HAT (made by me!)  Pattern here, using three different shades of cascade wool.

            I’m pretty sure Sailor was pretty happy with her mom-made outfits.  I figure I have only a few years (months?) before she starts refusing the ridiculous things I want to put on her, so I am going all in.

            I will leave you with this image.

            IMG_6054

            Oh my heart.


            • Two Months

              November 29, 2014 by Kristi Knight


              Sailor-1mo-chair_Fotor_Collage

              On November 23, Sailor Knight turned 2 months old.  Two whole months!  That is so old!  She remains the cutest baby the world has ever encountered.  She loves being held while napping, people patting her on the back, floating around during bath time, being carried around in a wrap, and her bouncer.  She hates being tired, shots, when mom is too slow putting on her wrap, and HER CARSEAT (mortal enemy.)

              She smiles all the time – especially when waking up.  It will practically make you melt into a bunch of goo.  It is adorable.  I am guessing she has my morning person gene, which is the best of all the genes.  The world was made for morning people.  I mean, why else would you start school AND work at 8:00?  Being a morning person is THE BEST.

              Sailor-1mo-2mo

              She continues to look more and more like her dad.  I can’t even believe it.  I thought the Dansereau genes conquered all, but it turns out, it is just the red(ish)-hair that is unstoppable.  When she was born, she looked so much like my dad it was crazy – a little baby Dick Dansereau.  However, as she continues to age (TWO MONTHS, PEOPLE!), I see more and more of old Blake Knight.  As long as she inherited my working pancreas, I am fine with it.  Her eyes seem to have settled for now on light blue, her skin on pale, pale, pale pink (you’re welcome, Sailor!), and her hair on the aforementioned light browny-red.

              I already discussed her mortal enemy, the carseat – but it cannot be said enough – SHE HATES HER CARSEAT.  Sitting in her carseat is the equivalent of sitting in a pile of poop – not her own, some random poop.  She’s ok with her carseat if we are driving over some bumps, but otherwise – WATCH OUT.  Tears.  Snorts.  Sobs.  Gasps.  I had to pick Blake up from work the other day, and I was worried she would cry so hard, she would make herself throw-up.  I was googling – “can babies throw up” on my phone at red lights.

              She is happy to be 2 months old.  It’s crazy – she hasn’t even been in existence for an entire year!  That blows my mind.  It feels like she has always been here.  I don’t remember what Blake and I used to do on the long weekend days, there must have been a lot more staring blankly ahead.  Life is so much more INTERESTING with a little person who is doing so much growing and changing – especially when that little person looks like a mini clone of your husband.  Who knew??

              Even though this post is an ode to Sailor at two months, I also just have to post her one month pictures.  At that point, I was barely forming coherent thoughts, much less writing entire posts – so this will have to do.  At least I got the pictures, right?!  Right!

              Sailor-1month_Fotor_Collage


              • The Nap Saga

                November 19, 2014 by Kristi Knight

                I thought that I since I so brazenly tempted fate by bragging about Sailor’s sleeping abilities, I should provide you with a little update on the last few days.  Sailor continues to be a champion night time sleeper (although the “falling asleep on her own with no assistance from me of Blake” seems to be a one time occurrence.)  However nap times?  Well, she has decided that her number one favorite place to nap is on my chest.  While someone (hint – it is me) pats her back.

                IMG_5419

                Ah, the best place to nap.

                I love a good naptime cuddle, but this makes me seriously nervous.  For starters, this little baby will need to go to daycare in the relatively new future (Tears.  Lots of them.) and, while I think Blake and I have done a decent job picking a daycare out, I doubt that they will agree to hold my baby for three hours every day while she naps.  Even if she wasn’t going to daycare – sitting still with a baby on my chest for that amount of time seems ridiculous.  And so, there you have it.  My current white whale.  The solo nap.

                IMG_5397

                Don’t be fooled – she woke up 5 minutes after I took this picture.

                 

                Luckily for me, the state of California has a great maternity leave policy (you essentially get up to 5 months after birth job protected (and up to one month before), with the one month before birth and first 12 – 14 weeks after birth at 55% partial pay – and no “that’s why California has such financial issues” from all you non-Californians – it’s a great policy that more states should emulate.  Ahem.  Maybe I feel passionately about it.)   So, I have until January 13th to figure this whole thing out.  My worst fear is that January 13th will come, and there Sailor will be – bewildered and looking around for her favorite warm chest which will be 8 miles down the road, attached to me and feeling guilty.  NO WAY.  THAT CANNOT HAPPEN.  IT MAKES ME TOO SAD.  And so I am obsessed. I have even  named it – behold, Operation Sailor Please For The Love Of God Please Fall Asleep In Your Crib Or At Least Do Not Wake Up When I Make The Transfer From Chest To Crib, or Operation Crib Nap for short.

                IMG_5645_Fotor_Collage

                Sleeping baby, five seconds later – not sleeping baby.

                This has been going on for the past 2 weeks – I have tried all different arrangements.  Placing her in the crib awake, sleepy, asleep, with swaddle, without swaddle, lights on, lights off, with pacifier, without pacifier – and any variation of those.  So far, we are up to 45 minutes of napping in the crib with swaddle no lights with the remainder of the nap on my chest.  So you know, better than last week, which had a grand total of 0 minutes of napping if not also attached to me.  I’m sure she will finally get it, and then I will be all WHERE IS MY SWEET BABY!?  HOW COME SHE DOESN’T LOVE ME ANYMORE????

                IMG_5647_Fotor_Collage

                Not sleeping baby, five seconds later –  sleeping baby.

                 


                • So About This Sleep Thing…

                  November 13, 2014 by Kristi Knight

                  Ah, baby sleep.  The most talked about, thought about, prayed about, muttered about, and dreamt about of all baby related topics. The most common question that I get from strangers, after the obligatory – “Oh how cute!  How old is she/he/the baby/it?” is “How is she sleeping?”

                  It’s everyone’s go-to!  Maybe at one time, it was my go-to as well!  Maybe all the people in the world don’t have a real follow up inquiry after “How old is the baby?” and “How is she sleeping” is like the non-baby “Man, the weather sure has been crazy, huh?” (which, I digress but – how in the world is the weather still an acceptable small talk topic in a place like LA?  The weather LITERALLY never changes more than ten degrees in either direction of 75.  It has actually rained – not misted, rained – all of ONE time since I moved here 2.5 years ago.  And the weather men on the local news?  What a bummer job!  They just have to stand in front of a 7 day forecast featuring suns and 70 degrees and pretend like they aren’t contemplating ending it all.)

                  This was all just a wind up to let the world know that SAILOR SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT LAST NIGHT!  Nine glorious hours of baby coma.  Now, I am sure that I am jinxing myself and that tomorrow night she will punish my unbridled joy with 2 hour increments, but so what.  I have long accepted (long meaning “within the past 7 weeks”) that she can sense anytime I think I have something down, and is training me for her soon to be revealed sassy demeanor (I mean, I am pretty sure she is going to be sassy – she is my daughter, right?) by changing it up periodically – thereby keeping me on my toes.

                  Here is the deal though, while I was happy that she slept an entire nine hours without making a single little peep, I was also inexplicably sad.  I know!  What is wrong with me?  She has been inching her way towards a full night sleep for awhile now, and had been waking up around 3:45 every night for her 24-hour milk buffet, so, while she continued her little baby dreams, I woke up at that hour and stared at her plaintively.  There she was, sleeping away, getting bigger by the second WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!

                  Didn’t she miss our little middle of the night hang outs?  Those were some of my favorite times (I should also mention, that I tend to wake up for an hour or so around 3:30 am with or without a baby, making me uniquely wired to deal with middle of the night feedings.)  Apparently not.  So, I spent the the next 45 hours staring at her face and she spent the same time continuing to grow.

                  And that wasn’t her only first – at the urging of multiple websites, Blake and I had developed a “bed time” routine which we had been loosely following for the past couple weeks.  The entire routine usually ends with her nursing herself to sleep in bed, during which both she and I typically fall asleep and Blake makes the bed to bassinet transfer whenever he joins us.  However, sleep being the much discussed topic that it is, I started worrying that I was essentially training her to require both me AND my boobs in order to fall asleep. (Seriously, how did new moms worry about all the things they might be doing wrong before they had the internet to consult??)

                  So last night, Blake rocked her until she got really sleepy and we swaddled her up (baby burritos are the best) before placing her in the bassinet to see if she could fall asleep on her own.  AND SHE DID!

                  And I?  Well, I responded by crying.  I mean – again with the growing, Sailor!  What are you trying to do?  See how fast you can get bigger?  Do you even NEED ME ANYMORE???  Blake was like “…… Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” and I was like “Ack!  Hormones!”

                  I guess this is just part of it, huh?  Every little accomplishment – even the ones that are supposed (and do) make my life easier also mean that more time has passed and that she is just a little bit older and a little bit more grown up, and yeah.  My poor little heart.

                  IMG_5251_Fotor_Collage

                  Evolution of a baby’s sleep. From non-stop eating (first picture was at 4 am, after an entire night of Sailor expending QUITE a lot of energy in getting my milk to magically appear), to sleeping all day right after Blake left for work, to rocking her to sleep and leaving her on my chest for just a litttttle too long, and finally – sleeping alone in her little rock ‘n’ play.


                  • I Got Skills…They’re Multiplying

                    November 11, 2014 by Kristi Knight

                    No one told me that once you become a mom, you will gain a whole host of entirely new skills.  Not just the obvious ones either!  Diapering and stroller management?  Eh, those I expected.  No – I am talking about the really random abilities that become a part of your everyday life.  As part of my ongoing attempt to record this new thing I like to call “parenthood” I decided to make a list.  So here you have it – Random Abilities I Now Possess – Thanks Baby!

                    1) Preparing food, picking up, cleaning, and a host of other activities USING ONLY ONE HAND – For all you seasoned parents out there, this item (and probably all the things on my list) probably has you rolling your eyes.  I mean, what did I expect?  “This should go in the obvious category along with diapering!  Geez, Kristi, were you so naive?”  And I was!  I never realized how many things I would learn to do one-handed!  And usually with my left hand, MY NON-DOMINATE HAND!  Sailor doesn’t do too much fussing for no reason besides the omnipresent HUNGER, but when she does – my number one go to is a slightly awkward, football-esque, single handed hold.  And she will just sit there.  Happy.  FOREVER!  I don’t think I could outwait her on this one.  I think my arm would give out from exhaustion before she would make a peep about wanting to be held in a different position.  So, I just carry her around like this, going about my business.  Opening jars of peanut butter and jelly one-handed?  No problem!  Picking up clothing with  my toes and sorta tossing it awkwardly into my single hand for deposit into the laundry basket?  Easy!  I plan to take this newfound talent and refine it over the remainder of Sailor’s life.  Then, when she has a baby of her own (AHHHHH!  Something just flew into my eye!) I can teach it to her, along with the obvious, digestion-related tasks grandmas have been teaching moms for eternity.

                    share

                    Sailor, in her favorite hold – as discovered by her Aunt Brittany (bottom right).

                     

                    2) Eating food over a happily breastfeeding baby – Like most babies (including me, at one time, or so I have heard), Sailor has some sort of internal alarm that lets her know whenever I am sitting down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Or even just a snack.  Or maybe I just grabbed a single chip.  IT DOESN’T MATTER!  Whenever I sit down with anything resembling food, Sailor looks deep into my eyes and lets out a plaintive, “MOM, PLEASE FEED ME, I AM STARVING STARVING STARVING STARVING” cry – no matter when it was that I previously fed her.  It could have been five minutes ago!  But from the level of misery painted all over this little baby’s face, you would have thought it was five days ago.  So, (silver lining!) I have become exceedingly talented at eating all sorts of foods over the body of a blissfully breastfeeding baby.  Soup, sandwiches, salads – all have been carefully lifted from a plate and navigated across the looooooong chasm between the table and my mouth.  I have even thrown the gauntlet and eaten spaghetti over her head.  SPAGHETTI!

                    IMG_5063_Fotor

                    Attempting to enjoy a tasty Lunchable while also not disturbing a nursing baby (boob not pictured.)

                    3) Eating food that you previously dropped OFF a happily breastfeeding baby – Um, so yeah.  Turns out, when you eat a lot of food over your baby’s body, you also spill a lot of food onto said baby (nothing hot!  I promise!)  Sailor never really notices (I don’t know what it would take to get her to notice anything except sweet, sweet milk when she is breastfeeding), but I always do!  And feel slightly guilty!  I mean, couldn’t I wait and eat my food after she was done?  What kind of mom am I?  So, I have developed another super handy talent to hide the evidence!  I simply take my finger, wipe off the food from wherever on my baby’s body it has landed, and eat it, very quickly.  Disgusting?  Slightly.  But still!  I am so discreet and quick about it, Blake barely notices!

                    4) Walking with an unusual (BUT JAUNTY) little bounce – In the last few days, I have finally figured out a few of Sailor’s tells.  For the first six weeks, every cry was met with – ARE YOU HUNGRY??  HERE IS A BOOB!  But lately, I have slowly been able to differentiate between HUNGER and I AM TIRED PLEASE HELP ME GO TO SLEEP.  It was one of the best discoveries yet!  This has led to a LOT more of walking around the apartment and cradling the baby while also sort of bouncing.  Not an overt bounce – no – this bounce is much more discrete.  A slight push off before each step, impossible to recreate with either of the THREE swings/bouncers owned by Blake and I, that way I get all the practice I could ever need.

                    5) Sitting for long periods of time WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL –  For those who know me well, I usually cannot stand sitting on the couch, doing nothing at all.  I mean, I like sitting on the couch – who doesn’t – but, I can’t stand spending long periods of time there without anything “productive” that I am working on/reading/etc.  This partially explains my obsession with knitting, the ultimate couch activity.  However, with the introduction of Sailor into my life, I now find myself spending hour at a time, simply sitting on the couch with some random tv show (typically Gilmore Girls – thanks Netflix!) playing in the background.  I occasionally attempt to knit, but knitting is difficult with a lap full of baby (and usually dog – thanks to Porky’s insistence of joining Sailor on my lap wherever she can find a slightly available spot) and usually I have situated myself, the baby, and the boppy – only to realize with horror that I have left my knitting JUST OUT OF REACH!   So, I have slowly learned to be ok with sitting here, blankly watching tv, doing NOTHING at all! (Other than feeding another human being USING ONLY MY BODY, but you know, that doesn’t count.)

                    sleeping sailor

                    Various pictures of me being held captive on the couch by an adorable baby. So many pictures from this same spot, apparently I spend a lot of time here.

                     

                    6) Supersonic hearing –  Before baby, my hearing was fine.  Nothing I would brag about, but you know…fine.  NOW THOUGH!  I can hear a baby crying while in the shower listening to music somewhat loudly.  I have walked down the street, leaving Blake to watch the baby while I walk the dogs, and heard the baby crying while at the NEXT CORNER!  I can hear her tiny peep from the other room, leaving Blake to exclaim, “HOW DID YOU HEAR THAT!?”  Guys, it must be a superpower.  I should be featured on the nightly news (which I am watching a lot of lately; this deserves its own post).  I am not sure whether my new supersonic hearing extends to anything beyond my baby, but hopefully!  And then maybe I could use my power for good!  It could be a whole thing!  I could wear a superhero costume with a golden ear emblazoned on the chest and everything!

                    7) Being ok with some pretty disgusting things – There was a time in my life, around the age of 12-13, when I got a tiny amount of baby pee on my pants, and reacted by running to my mom’s car, taking off all my clothing down to my underwear, and yelling until my mom wrapped up her conversation with her friend and drove me home.  I would like to tell that 12-13 year old, that one day her baby will start pooping mid-diaper change – and she – well, she will react by using her BARE HANDS to catch the poop  thinking, “NOOOO!  We are down to our last changing cover!  This one can’t get poop all over it!” followed quickly by, “WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?  NOW I HAVE A HANDFUL OF POOP!!!” followed shortly by, “shrug.”  I mean WHAT!?  Who knew!?  Sailor spits up all over me, and I sort of wipe it off the best I can, and then just sort of go about my business, without a second thought.  I leave the house, and its not like I forgot.  Its more like I just DON’T CARE.  Its weird, but also sort of freeing.


                    • Meet Sailor

                      November 8, 2014 by Kristi Knight

                      I’m not quite sure whether I will put this on my blog or not – the blog I have been paying $70 a year, plus God (and Blake) only knows how much for web hosting.  But, I feel like I should try to document my little baby’s life.  I mean, how great would it be if your entire childhood came with nice annotated pictures and stories?  Then, when someone told the story (for the one millionth time) about your love of pooping in the bathtub, or blaming floor pee on some unsuspecting dog, you could be like – “WAIT!  Your details are wrong!  I actually only pooped two little poops in the bathtub, NOT three!  See!  It’s all written here, in this helpful little blog/book!”  And then you would be forever vindicated.

                      I am burying the lede.  This entire, very long introduction is all to say – I am back!  Maybe via blog, maybe just via word documents which I will force my husband to turn into books that our child(ren) will refuse to take once we are old and want them to PLEASE GET THEIR STUFF OUT OF OUR BASEMENT/GARAGE/CLOSET (ahem, maybe the same argument I am currently having with my own parents – but please, who has the room!  Why did I save entire binders full of notes passed during middle school?  Do kids even pass notes nowadays?  Sorry, off topic.)

                      So, I recently had a baby.  Six weeks and 3 days ago, to be exact.  We even named her!  She decided to make an oh-so-dramatic entrance into the world, via an emergency c-section that stressed the HELL out of some grandparents (and parents, but stress would be too soft of a word.  I don’t think there even is a word to describe my and Blake’s fear.  Stress times infinity?  Stressfinity?  There, it stressfinitied us.)  Sailor entered the world as a 6 pound 5 ounce little tiny baby who IMMEDIATELY wormed her little baby self into my heart (wow, cliche, I know.  But I guess there is a reason cliches exist?)  I am not kidding with this!  While pregnant, the baby was such an abstract…like, I theoretically knew she was coming, but I couldn’t actually imagine the baby herself.  She remained a tiny, baby-sized blank.  BUT THEN!  In the drama of the birth, and the crying, and the stitching (my poor tummy), there was an ACTUAL baby there.  My baby!  And she looked just like my dad!  It was the greatest moment of my life.

                      IMG_0351

                      Please ignore how tired/puffy/drugged up I look and concentrate on the baby. What a cute baby!

                      The next six weeks were a complete blur.  Thanks to a NUMBER of articles posted to facebook with titles like “What No One Tells You About Becoming A Mom” and “Motherhood Sucks!” and “HAHAHA, Jokes On You, New Mom!” I was fully dreading the first few months of motherhood.  I mean, while pregnant, I had multiple breakdowns, crying to Blake, “What have we done?!?!?!”  Well, maybe it was that these lovely facebook articles had successfully lowered my expectations or maybe I just lucked out with a reasonably agreeable baby, but my experience of the first six weeks FAR exceeded anything I could have imagined.  Sailor sleeps mediumly (no sleeping through the night for this baby!) but cries minimally (hooray!)  While I usually find small babies mostly boring, it turns out Sailor is extraordinarily interesting!  I mean!  She looks RIGHT AT ME!  And sometimes smiles!  Wow – she can even track things with her eyes!  I never knew how infinitely more awesome everything would seem to me once it was my own baby.

                      sailor-100414-025

                      MY VERY OWN BABY!

                      My mom stayed with me for the first two weeks, which was a nice amount of time that allowed me to become fully mobile, despite a lovely cut through my abdomen and uterus, AND helped me learn things, like how exactly one burps a baby (Digestion!  So difficult!)  The next few weeks melt together with interspersed visits from my brother and sister-in-law and best friend and then Halloween!  While I fully expect to become OBSESSED with making the perfect Halloween costumes in upcoming years, for this Halloween, Sailor went as green.  Or a starfish.  It depends on my mood.

                      IMG_5192_Fotor_Collage

                      How to make a baby cry in three easy steps.

                      Within the first six weeks, Sailor has been all over Santa Monica, both in a wrap, a carrier, and a stroller!  (and arms, but only if she is being especially dramatic.)  She has been to Manhattan Beach and walked (um, reclined) on the strand, spent hours laying around Palisade Park, hung out with her parents at the top of Santa Monica Place, visited a pumpkin patch while also sporting a wool pumpkin hat despite the 90 degree weather, gone to Mattel in the aforementioned green/starfish costume and trick-or-treated (or, rather, I trick-or-treated for her and got some free candy), and spent countless hours laying in my arms while sleeping/breastfeeding/contemplating an extremely complex shadow arrangement on the wall.  Blake and I?  Well, we have had one dinner date night (thanks Mom!) and one concert date night (baby’s first babysitter!)  I even was able to go to a winery with Andrea and sit out in the sun talking about everything in the world (yeah, mostly babies) for three straight hour!

                      Sailor collage 1

                      In summary, these first six weeks have been amazing.  And now I am up to today.