toenails

today, i looked at my toes and realized how much change could be captured in the time measured in four millimeters of length from new toenail growth and the last coat of pink polish that sat on my toes. you’re probably thinking….gross, go take care of your feet already. but i’m thinking, dang….time actually did go by quickly despite feeling like i would never make it past the first month. just nine weeks ago, exactly three days before evelyn arrived, i treated myself to a spa pedicure realizing that taking care of my already gross feet would probably go to the bottom of the to-do list in priority once our dear daughter came. as i sat in a massage chair happily getting my swollen feet massaged and my ironclad callouses removed, i remember thinking to myself that this pedicure might be my last in a long long time.

i did a lot of this in my last few weeks before my baby came: gloomily predicting the end of a comfortable life as i knew it. paul and i would be out enjoying a nice dinner at a restaurant and i couldn’t help calling it “our last supper” or i would be out running errands and i would sadly sigh over realizing that i would never probably never have “alone” time that i so enjoyed in the aisles of costco again. but i can say that despite the hardships of the first month (okay…so my prior post about the first month may have been dramatic, but it really was hard!), things are not so doom and gloom with the little one and i am starting to really enjoy mom-life. yes–there are many things that i am still getting used to: feeling like a human milk dispenser, having spit-up and breast milk decorate my nursing tops, having my entire day mapped out in three hour time blocks, saying good-bye to my once cherished 8 hours of sleep, and being at the beckon call of a being that is less than 15 pounds. a lot of changes–a ton of changes! but at 2 months, i’m actually starting to enjoy spending time with little E and being a mom.

for the most part, i think a large part of starting to enjoy things in mom-life comes with gaining confidence. i know everyone tracks baby “firsts” but evelyn’s only 2 months and she’s not doing a whole lot yet. so i’m going to brag about my “firsts” with E during the past 2 weeks that i am honestly really proud of:

  • breastfeeding in public in the middle of a food court (with a cover)—in the midst of a food court filled with the smells of average tasting but reasonably priced korean food, i finally breastfed in public. this opens up a whole new world of going out with the little one as i’m no longer tied to bringing around bottles of breast milk or feeling like i’m carrying around a 3 hour ticking time bomb.
  • took E to our first grocery shopping trip by myself…at costco–this was more of a stressful disaster than a success, but we survived. when she started crying like crazy in the middle of the dairy aisle, i don’t know why but i was determined to still get everything on my list like 3 packs of almond milk and 1000 rolls of toilet paper. i gritted my teeth and thought: keep on going despite the stares from people because we are not going to be coming out here in a long long time again. i definitely should have tried out going to vons first. baby steps…
  • i finally got E to enjoy going in the ergo carrier. she would scream beforehand as i could never comfortably get her in the darn infant insert, but after a few times of practice around the house, little E finally let me put her in the burrito insert and plop her into the ergo so she and i can go around places marsupial style. i have finally officially become esther kang the kangaroo after a few decades of using this nickname and i love feeling like i am finally becoming mobile with the little one on my own

and okay, i lied. here are some little one firsts that she has been doing the past 2 weeks that aren’t milestones, but are still wonderful for this first time mom:

  • she coos! this was big for me. before, the only reaction i’d get out of her were full on wails and really loud grunts. little baby coos are wonderful little noises that can be used to brighten the days when i want to pull out my already thinning hair.
  • she smiled! of course the first time she did this was to paul. why is it that i spend 12 hours of the day with her by myself and when paul gets home from work and interacts with her for 2 hours before she goes to bed, he gets the good stuff? i think the two of them have secretly worked something out against me… that being said, the smiling melts this grumpy sleep deprived whining-prone mom. i was starting to get used to just intense stares and sad faces before she cried as my only form of responses from E, but the occasional smiles already are making up for difficult nights, spit-up covering most of my clothes, 10+ diaper changes a day, and poop explosions that happen usually when we’re out. yup, she has done me in already with just a few smiles.

i was going to try to end this post with some wonderfully clever play on toenails and growth to tie it all back to the title, but the analogy just started to get kind of gross so i’ll stop trying too hard and just end it here. 🙂 good night

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