Monthly Archives: August 2012

Letter to our 8.7 month old

Dear William,

Today you turn 38 weeks or 8.7 months old.

This past weekend we had family over for a BBQ, and it was fun to observe how you and your cousins interact with each other. It’s actually fun to see that most kids are fascinated with you, mostly because you’re a baby and I think kids are fascinated with someone smaller than themselves.

Your cousins were so patient with you, and you were all about trying to use them as standing tools because you wanted to do what they were doing so easily — standing and walking! Your cousin Huck spent a fair amount of time playing speed peek-a-boo (peek-a-boo over and over again really fast) with you, with you laughing as encouragement, and then, exhausted, he went and sat down on the couch! You kind of took over entertaining everyone with a game of “habababa” (where I put my hand to your mouth repeatedly while you vocalize). You love that game, but I felt kind of bad because you took over the entire adult conversation that was going on. It’s just a baby’s way, I guess.

You are weighing in at 26 pounds 6 ounces this week. Clothes size (18 month) and diaper insert strategy are the same as last week.

You are getting to be a pro at standing for longer periods of time. I mentioned in last week’s update that you took some attempted sideways steps while holding on to the coffee table, but then preempted that progress by falling and hurting yourself. Unfortunately, you were scared to sit down by yourself after that, but after a couple of days you overcame that fear. I understand that mentality, it’s something that I have struggled with.  But I learned that as with anything in life, you have to practice something to be better at it — if there’s one thing I can teach you, it’s to not ever let your fear hinder your progress. Fear should serve one purpose in life, and that is to caution you, if need be, and make you evaluate something a bit longer or deeper before moving forward, but don’t ever let fear freeze you into stagnation.

Things I want to remember about this week — what a super fast crawler you are, and to add to that, you now have realized that you can take your toys with you. So there you go, crawling across the floor, swish, swish, swish, PLACK! With your toy in your hand. You are so excited about bath time that you crawl out of your diaper, but then on the way to the bathroom you get distracted by your toys and squeal with naked glee! You are also very fast to get to a standing position now. It’s so odd to come into your room in the morning, and there you stand, smiling at me, in your crib. You are also pretty talented at adjusting the camera to your video monitor in your crib, and we had to move it a little farther back and up out of your reach yet again. How a smile spreads across your face and you laugh when you spot my car turning into the community, you look at me and then your eyes turn downward and watch my wheels turn. The way you dig your heels into the lawn as if you love the feel of cold dirt on your feet. How violent you are with your bicycle horn that you use to alleviate your teething pain, and how gentle you have been this week when nursing. Kissing your cheeks and how they feel like apples warmed by the sun because you’re usually smiling. How chubby your legs are, so chubby that your knees are doubled over with fat. The way your feet are rounded because they haven’t flattened out from walking yet. The staring contests you and I have — you will be throwing a fit and I will get real close to your face and raise my eyebrows, not even saying anything, and you’ll stop crying and just stare at me, and stare and stare. If that works as discipline later on, I will be SO happy, to discipline you without even saying a word.

These new skills that you are attaining at lightning speed, it’s so funny, because your baby book lists them out in a bullet point format as if one day you’ll suddenly be crawling, or walking or whatever, but the thing is with you, it doesn’t just happen overnight. Maybe it does for other babies, but for you it’s such a gradual thing with lots of practice and stages and laughter and frustration, that suddenly I’ll look at you and realize, holy crap, I need to write a date down for that!

Your nursing strike really does appear to be over and I am so, so grateful to have my sweet, snuggly, nursing baby back. Tuesday morning you nursed yourself into oblivion. You got the first letdowns on both sides and then cried, and I snuggled you and sang to you for about 10 minutes, and then offered the right side again, your favorite, and you nursed and nursed and nursed and nursed and fell back to sleep. My sweet boy. I left you, sleep, warm and cuddly with a light blanket over your legs, in your crib and went to work, thinking of you the entire drive in.

I never knew way back when you were a newborn and I was battling the pain of being a newly nursing momma that these memories of you nursing would end up being the moments that sustain me when I am away from you. If someone were to ask me why I continue to do so, that would be my answer, but there’s no way I could possibly convey the depth of how much it means to me. How much you mean to me.

Love, Momma

William, 38 weeks old, 08/30/2012

**

At 38 weeks pregnant, I had been back to swimming at the gym instead of our community pool for a couple weeks, which meant that I was no longer getting up at 5am to go swimming but, rather, was going after work. I was also attending the aquatic exercise classes that the gym offered three times a week. If there were an option to take the stairs in buildings, I would take them. In fact, my OB’s office is on the sixth floor of her building, and I would take the stairs up, then down, then ride the elevator back up and take them down again. Physically I felt absolutely great and I attributed it all the swimming and exercise I was doing.

My birth doula had recommended a special cream for perineal massages and I had started alternating that cream with evening primrose oil, as preparation for the natural birth that I wanted. I had my first true pregnancy food craving that week — turkey breast! I went into my favorite candy store with the intention of buying something, and ended up walking out with nothing — I was shocked because nothing appealed to me.

The big drama that week for me was my OB appointment schedule. I had originally requested, and been given, a Tuesday/Friday appointment schedule (stress monitoring twice a week, an ultrasound fluid check once a week after the Friday monitoring). But my OB had reviewed it and insisted on a Monday/Thursday schedule, because she didn’t work on Tuesdays. I didn’t really care, as the Monday appointment was only reviewing the ticker tape from the monitoring, plus I liked her partners just as well as her, but she was apparently possessive of her patients. Anyway, when I arrived that Monday, I was informed that I would have to come back on Tuesday for another monitoring session and an ultrasound, and then again on Friday. There was a specific amount of time that was allowed to pass between appointments, and the Thanksgiving holiday and office closures on Thursday threw the whole schedule off… so THREE appointments in one week. I was annoyed. Then, when I expressed my irritation, they pulled the “it’s for the health of the baby” card. As if I were neglecting my baby by wanting to take care of myself and my time? That pushed me over the edge from annoyed to livid and I had a Come to Jesus discussion with them and INSISTED on a return to my Tuesday/Friday schedule after that week, as I pointed out, the whole thing wouldn’t have been a problem if we had stayed with the schedule I originally had.

I had another scare that week, I missed a stair when I was coming down the stairwell in my house and landed, hard, on my knee. Terrified that I had done something that might cause an issue (placental separation came to mind), I turned right back around and went and pulled out my doppler. Baby’s heartbeat was strong and sure and reassuring to me. Later that night, after all the emotion of the day — from the early morning, the doctor appointment, the stair scare, just everything, I laid down on the couch and melted into my husband’s arms while we watched TV. I got so comfortable that I fell asleep snuggled up in his arms. I was sleeping so hard, he told me later that I was snoring! Throughout the pregnancy, I had believed Baby to be a good baby who slept when i slept, because he had rarely awakened me. However, I came out of my spontaneous nap to hear my husband chuckling in my ear while his hand rubbed circles on the left side of my belly and our child within. Baby was poking his foot at his father, and my husband was in turn pushing and rubbing Baby’s foot. They apparently had been “playing” that game for 15-20 minutes.

It was times like those when I begin to get impatient for our child to make his debut. I wanted to start making memories with him outside of my body, as a family.

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Random Unedited Tuesday Thoughts.

I wonder how other people back up their photos and documents.  I currently back up stuff every Friday to an external hard drive.  But it’s tedious and time consuming and I wonder if there’s a better (but also free) way to do it.

I am starting to find it irksome when people constantly comment on who William looks more like.  I used to do it ALL THE TIME with my nephews, without even realizing I did it, and now I would like to offer a blanket apology to their parents. I am SO SORRY for being annoying or irritating about anything and everything that I might have been annoying and irritating about without realizing it.  I didn’t mean to be.  Your kids are adorable and it goes without saying that they inherited some traits and looks from both of their parents.  Because, duh, gene pools are cool.

Why do cities seem to repave their major streets in August and September?  And it seems as if they do this on a schedule of every four years.  Someone once told me that it was linked to election time, but that makes no sense to me, but I wonder if that’s true or coincidental?

The only thing I like about pumping is that I can get things done that I can’t get done otherwise.

I’ve stopped eating watermelon for the most part because I think it makes me bloat, and I have no idea why that would be, because it’s supposed to be a natural diuretic.

I wonder if getting a Mifi would be a good alternative to the hard wired ISP access I have at home.  We have 4-5 computers that we run at home, but I’m tired of paying $40 per month… some of the mifi’s I’ve seen offer support for up to 6 computers.  Hmmm.

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Letter to our 8.5 month old

I’ve been posting weekly updates about William on Facebook.  Since I didn’t share much about my pregnancy while I was pregnant, I’ve also been including a summary of the coordinating pregnancy week.  I’m not really sure why I haven’t been posting it here.  No tangible reason that I can think of. So this week I’m putting this update where it should be.  Here.  On my blog.  The place I’ve always considered to be my Internet home.

***

Dear William,

This week on 08/23/2012, you turned 37 weeks or 8.5 months old.

We went to the mountains this past weekend and made it a 4 day weekend to celebrate your father’s birthday and our 7 year wedding anniversary.  It was supposed to be a wonderful weekend, filled with hiking and breakfast at our favorite restaurant, lots of nursing, cuddling, and laughter, and then you go to bed, like you always do, and your father and I have our time.  We planned to BBQ and have popcorn and watch movies, and in between looking at the video monitor and watching you while you slept because we miss you so much.  Most of that did happen, and it was wonderful, but the nursing part was a bit of a challenge, as I will share a bit later.

I can’t tell you how much I look forward to feeling you, holding you, and loving on you.  Hearing you laugh, seeing your huge open mouth smile just because you’re alive.  I hold every second I spend with you near to my heart, hoping that I never forget the details, even though I know I already have. I never, ever thought that I would find such contentment from just sitting on the floor watching you play, marveling at how you change every day.  Not that long ago the only thing you could do was lie on your back, kick your legs and smile at the ceiling fan as it went round and round above you.  Now you go round and round yourself, smiling and laughing at us as you perfect your crawling, standing, and cruising.

Yes.  Cruising.  This past weekend you took a few tentative steps, sideways, your mouth wide open in a smile, holding onto the coffee table with both hands for security, but you wanted that remote for the TV!  In your quest to learn to walk, you had your first accident this weekend, also.  Your father was busy carrying stuff in from the car, and I sat down next to you to remove my hiking boots.  You pulled yourself up on the coffee table, but your butt and legs were at an odd angle from the rest of your body, and when you went to sit down you bonked your head (or so I thought) on the coffee table. I thought you were OK, but the next thing I knew, you looked like a character out of one of your father’s zombie horror movies, which blood rushing out of your mouth, over your two lower teeth, onto your shirt.  It was horrible!  We tried wet papertowels, a frozen teether ring, and finally in desperation, nursing.

You were on a partial nursing strike this weekend, so I didn’t think you would want to nurse, but I offered anyway.  You took it, and it was the only thing that consoled you.  It consoled you so well, in fact, that you went down for a nap for 2 hours.  It wasn’t until the next day that I was able to see the injury in your mouth (we couldn’t see initally because of all the blood, and then later you wouldn’t let us see)… when you fell, you injured your gums between your upper lip and your top front teeth.  No wonder it bled so much and your lip was swollen!

Let’s revisit the nursing strike part of this… because it was horrible and I hope we never go through it again.  The one thing I’ve always been able to rely on with you has been your insatiable appetite and your love of being near me and nursing, no matter what.  To have you push me away while screaming just broke my heart, not to mention that I worried about my supply AND it really, really sucked to have to pump instead of nursing you .  Maybe it’s silly given that so many moms just want their baby to sleep through the night, but I kind of look forward to our middle of the night nursing session because it’s so peaceful, quiet and still, and to have to pump instead?  I loathe it on a good day, but on a day (or night) when you’re RIGHT THERE and are refusing me?  It’s horrendous.   I know your refusal of nursing was likely a combination of everything that’s going on with you… teething, being away from home, learning to stand/walk, because everything appears to be back to normal now, and I’m so very grateful.

Things that are funny to you this week:   Yawning is hilarious.  Being tossed in the air or spun around while in my arms (makes me dizzy!).  Peek-a-boo is always a hit.  Hiding your bath toy underwater while I hum the Jack-in-the-Box song and popping the toy up at the appropriate time in the song is the best thing!  In fact, you start giggling in anticipation by the third note into the song.  You have always loved your Froggy Lovey, but this week it’s been taken to an all new high — you spot Froggy from across the room and will reach for it and grin at it.  It’s kind of ridiculous and more than a little funny.  Ummm, and the broom, you love chasing the broom if we’re sweeping.

Crawling, standing, trying to walk, climbing up stairs.  Babbling — mamamamaaa, daddadadaaa, bbaabababa are standards. I heard you say papapappaaa for the first time this week.

Your 4th tooth, the upper left front, emerged this week on 08/22/2012.

You are weighing in at 26 pounds 1 ounce, the same as last week.  Yet, I swear, you feel bigger, or maybe you’re just longer?  You are still in the same size clothing as last week, 18 month.  Also, no discussion of a baby would be complete without “output” talk, so we’ll just share that we are continuing to double stuff your first diaper of the day.  By way of explanation, Bum Genius cloth diapers come with two microfiber inserts, a “regular” and a “newborn”.  For overnights, we stuff the diapers with the “regular” and a Thirsties Hemp insert.  For the first diaper of the day,  we stuff it with the “regular” and “newborn” insert. Twice this week you woke up with a big poop in your diaper, and your poop is changing consistency to be more solid, although we cut back on offering solids while you were on your nursing strike to try and woo you back to the breast.

I have been preparing for our trip that we’re planning to take to Iowa in November.  A trip I’m both excited and nervous about.   You will be 11 months old at that time, and we’ve not slept in the same room since you were 6 weeks old… that’s the part I’m nervous and anxious about.  You sleep well, but you’re a light sleeper taking after me in that respect, unfortunately.  The flying part, I’m just concerned that the elevation change is going to make you poo and poo and then we’ll have to figure out changing your smelly diaper in a flying canister 10,000 feet in the air.  Or maybe we’ll just stop feeding you solids two weeks before the trip… haha.   The trip will also be epic because you will, God willing, be meeting both of your great aunts (my dad’s sisters) for the first time… and, hopefully, it will be special to them, too, as you would be my dad’s only grandchild, if he were still alive.

I know my dad would love you if he were still alive.  How could he not?  Your smile and style of living life out loud draws even the most introverted of people to you.

Love, Momma

Image

****

At 37 weeks pregnant, I was considered full-term for baby boys (who develop a week slower than baby girls). Braxton Hicks were a constant part of my life, usually acting as an alarm clock at 330 AM.  One afternoon that week, Baby got the hiccups, then decided to practice his breathing and then I got a Braxton Hicks contraction… for the half hour that all that was going on, it was as if my belly was possessed!  Baby loved when I went swimming, perhaps he sensed the weightlessness of it, but sometimes it felt as if he were swimming right along with me.

I loathed the twice weekly Fetal Stress Monitoring appointments.  My OB had one machine, and despite my attempts to get the first appointment of the day, I always ended up waiting 20-30 minutes to get on the machine.  It was maddening and *I* found it to be very stressful.  In an attempt to minimize the loss of work hours, I was getting into work at 7am to compensate for the time at the doctor’s office, which meant a loss of sleep… to a pregnant lady… which made me very cranky.  My OB commanded me to continue exercising.  It was ironic to me, given that I’d been on bedrest several times throughout the pregnancy.

My co-worker threw me a baby shower at work that week, and I was touched at the generosity of my co-workers.  It astounded me how generous people were to me, but really the generosity was for a little baby they hadn’t even met yet.  I spent that weekend washing some hand-me-down clothing that a friend of my husband’s family had given us.  She has 2 little boys, and I felt as if she had been waiting for just the right person to give all those adorable clothes to.  The ordinaryness of doing laundry for my baby made it feel real to me, as if the fact that those clothes had been worn by real little boys who were alive and thriving made it real that my little boy would thrive, too.

I consciously shifted my emotional state that week to recognize that labor and contractions were now a good thing, a healthy thing, and would result in a live baby, which is not a state that I had ever been in before.  There were possiblities that were too unthinkable to imagine, but I was relieved that I no longer had to worry about preterm labor or birth.

My favorite thing continued to be feeling and watching Baby practice his breathing.  It enthralled me and it boggled my mind that he could just stop “breathing” and be perfectly fine in there.  That it was just practice, after all.

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Itchy.

This weekend it will have been seven years since this occurred — CLICKY LINK. Can you believe that? Seven whole years. Itch, itch. JUST KIDDING! The only itch I have is when I sit on the lawn for too long. What is THAT all about anyway, the lawn itch. A grass allergy? Are there bugs that bite? I have NO idea, but seriously, itchy when I get up off of grass.

So, yeah, seven years of wedded bliss. Seven years of healing for me. Seven years of getting to know this wonderful, sensitive, kind and thoughtful man. Seven years of realizing that marrying him was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Seven years of being thankful that I took a job that had a one hour commute each way to and from, because that’s where I met him. Being grateful that I no longer have that long commute (ha). Being grateful when I wake up each day that I get to spend that day being married to him.

Oh, and it’s also Tony’s birthday this Friday — happy birthday, Tony!

This week is also Dine in Your City week here, which like last year, many of the restaurants are having special deals. So last night we went to Pick Up Stix and I ordered Kung Pao Chicken. As the lady took my order, she glanced at William and he was grinning at her. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but William has a thing for Asian faces… he LOVES them. Anyway, so he was grinning away at her and she got all flustered. I got home and opened my order and I have NO idea what she ended up ordering for me, but there was no kung or pao in that chicken. The receipt says S&S Chick, so maybe Silly and Smiley Chicken?

Since I know you love seeing pictures of our Sweet & Smiley Chicken, and probably think we’re hiding him away and not sharing him as much as you would like and really, please, just stop talking about yourself and your relationship milestones and post more (and more) pictures of your kid, here are some of my most recent favorites of him.

I’ve waited a lifetime to have someone look at me from this angle like this:

At his doctor visit in July (before the shots):

8 months old on 08/08 (see there, I’m still a number dork):

Loving his new musical crib soother that he can turn off and on all by himself (the other one we had started acting like there was a lightning storm going on with flashing lights. It was a hand-me-down from our neighbor who, when giving it to us, told us that their son used it as a kick toy in his crib.)

Laughing at his father while we waited for drinks to be prepared at Starbucks. I got some gift cards at the Health Fair at work and decided a frappachino on a hot day was a treat well worth it. The hot day part is also why William is only sporting his diaper in a public place. Hey, it’s the only time in his life he can go out in public in his underwear and be considered cute!

Enjoying some pancakes made from breastmilk:

I call this his “I love you” face. Although really it’s his, “Waiting for the next joke” face.

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Manning my Post.

Last month I posted this update on Facebook:

“I work for two executives. One of them resigned yesterday. The other one resigned this morning. Neither of them knew the other was resigning. The question is, will *I* continue to have a job.”

It’s weird, you know?  I was hired 2 years ago to support them and now they’re both gone.  Their new jobs are based on relationships vs. interviewing, which is a way of saying it’s a dream job come true for them.  So I was left without a boss.

When human resources called me a couple days later, she was yawning when I answered my line.  I hoped that was a good sign and not a sign that she’s let so many people go that she now finds the whole process of termination a bore. 

Thankfully, it was the former.  She merely wanted to let me know that they had no plans to terminate me and that I should prepare myself for interviewing internally and, in the meantime, I should enjoy my easy days.  Each of those sentences are direct quotes from our conversation, although not in one run-on sentence like I wrote it.

“Enjoy my easy days?”  I muttered to myself as I left her office.  She doesn’t know me very well.  I turned on my heel and marched myself over to one of the people who I hoped would be my next boss and got on his calendar for later that afternoon.

I spent 15 minutes convincing him that I would be an asset to him and the following Monday I spoke to my other next boss.  It felt good to take the initiative, secure my next position, maintain some continuity on my resume and ignore human resources’ directive to enjoy my easy days.

These days, and especially the situation my family is currently in, I can’t afford to risk riding the gravy train.

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