Monthly Archives: September 2012

Blogabilities.

I was driving home the other day from work and a car changed lanes and got behind me. I saw this in my rearview mirror and have to say, seeing a bumper like that? Well, it caused a bit of concern. Yes, I discriminate about the bumpers that follow me.

This here? This is my most favorite place to be on the freeway. To the left of a semi. Why? Because he won’t be coming over and neither will anyone else from that side.

I’ve heard of a blue moon, a full moon, various slicings of a moon, but can’t recall previously ever seeing a lavender moon. Now I can.

Look! New palm trees! (You can tell by their hair, it’s still up in a ponytail!)

I had no idea school bus drivers posted a sign about doing this. Is this a new thing or have I just been out of the loop for a long time?

And, finally, I saw this sign in a store and although I didn’t buy it, it made me very happy. 🙂

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Letter to our 9.6 month old

Dear William,

This week on 09/27/2012, you turned 42 weeks or 9.6 months old.

I would like to share with you how much you love music. Any music at all makes you SO happy, and you “sing” along in a monotone voice with lots of passion behind it. I’m not sure at what age children start to sing in tune, but you definitely have the emotion of music down pat! Your second Music Together class was this past Monday, and your teacher was impressed that you were holding the tune… and you did SO good following along and participating in the class. Sometimes I feel silly spending money on something you won’t remember, but … you really seem to enjoy participating, interacting with other kids, and crawling around, and while you may not remember the class itself, maybe you will remember the emotions of it.

We took you to mass this past Sunday for the first time in a while. We haven’t been taking you because the 9:00am mass jacks with your nap schedule, but we made it to the 730 AM mass this past Sunday. Anyway, my point in mentioning that was because you were participating in the service by “singing” along to the worship music.

On Sunday afternoon, I took you to watch your father’s basketball game. In a word, love. You LOVED being there and watching everyone run back and forth, the drumming noise of the basketball to you was like a favorite TV show would be to someone else, you couldn’t take your eyes off the game. You lost the ball you were playing with and chased after it in a turbo crawl, babbling in concern the whole way.

You love anything with bananas in it, so I foresee that going forward, much of my cooking will have banana as an ingredient. It’s a good thing it’s such a healthy, versatile fruit and can be substituted for a lot of unhealthier items in recipes! I had made some blueberry banana yogurt popsicles last year while pregnant with you, and I pulled one out to let you try it. Once you got over how freezing cold it was, you went to town with it! You love that popsicle, and the next time I got it out of the freezer, you knew what it was and were ready for it! Oh, and you get mad when I take it away.

This past weekend, your father hung a red swing in our backyard that our former neighbors (who moved to Texas) gave you. Oh my goodness, you love that thing. The giggles, grins and laughter you render upon being placed in it is all the reward and thank you that your father needs for the time and work it took to hang that thing up!

I discovered this week that the hissing sound makes you laugh… which would explain why you would smile after you bit while nursing. All this time, I thought you thought that biting was funny, but then I realized that I was hissing in pain when you bite. You think that sound is funny, so you thought I was playing with you and then didn’t understand why I was disciplining you. Now that we’re in sync, things seem to be going much better in that arena. Lately, you’ve had a latch like a clamp that if we were back in your newborn days, would make me cry… and I shake my head in awe when I realize just how far we’ve come. Speaking of your teeth, apparently they’ve grown enough that you can now not only click them together, but also grind them. It’s very strange to be carrying you and hear clicking noises coming from your head.

Foods you’ve been enjoying this week: Banana, steamed broccoli, blueberries, steamed onions, plain Greek yogurt. A popsicle made from blueberries, banana and plain Greek yogurt. Granola bars made from banana and oatmeal.
Foods you’ve been unimpressed with this week: Potatoes, carrots.

Crawling is still your main mode of mobility, although you’re working on your confidence to stand by yourself. You stand (holding onto things) for long periods of time and will “walk” while holding on to things, especially if you spot your Froggy hanging on your crib.

You are weighing in at 26 pounds 12 ounces. Clothing sizing is the same as last week (18 month). For diapers, we’ve taken to double stuffing your covers for your morning diapers.

Things I want to remember about you this week: The way you love to “talk” or “sing” to me when we’re driving around, sometimes even yelling at each other and then we laugh and laugh about our silliness… I love this pre-talking phase. How you’ve started to associate sounds to things, like if a loud motorcycle goes by, you look around searching for the source of the noise. The way you crawl SO FAST up and down the hallway before bath time, when released from the restrictions your clothes and diaper, your mouth in a wide open grin. How you search for your ladybug bath toy to play with while I dry you off and put lotion on you after your bath. The way your hair has this cowlick at the top, and it just kind of curls its way upward on the top of your head. The way you close your eyes when I stroke your hair while you’re nursing. How you love balls to distraction, even more than books, and will chase them across the floor.

Sometimes when I hold you, you will lean your head against my shoulder for a few seconds. For those few seconds, in my mind’s eye I remember seeing other babies do that to their moms, and now I’m on the other side of the mind picture. I sometimes wonder if I’m too serious, too regimented, too… whatever, self doubts that I suppose every mom has, but then am reminded in those quiet moments when you lean on me that I am your mom, the only mom you’ll ever have. You trust me completely to meet all of your needs, to be an example of how a mom should be, a role model of how a wife should act as you watch me with your father, how a woman should act, and I realize that imperfect though am, in your eyes, I am perfection. It won’t always be so, this I know, age has a way of gaining knowledge and changing perceptions. But I hope that you’ll always know that guidance and discipline are the tools and love is the motivation I use as a foundation to help you gain your “perfection” for your future spouse and children.

Love,
Momma

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Letter to our 9.3 month old

Dear William,

This week, on 09/20/2012, you turn 41 weeks or 9.3 months old.

The highlight of this week for you was attending your first music class. Let’s just rewind a bit, did you see that? You attended your first class! Your father was able to take you, which made it all the more special, and you did great, he said. You roamed a bit at first, but the teacher was understanding, you are the youngest in the class after all. You loved the music and were so interested to watch all the other children. You are also a bit of a teacher’s pet, because you crawled right up to her, put your hand on her knee and watched her intently. She smiled at you and reached over, waved the handkerchief over your head and then gently touched you under your chin. It was so sweet.

If there were any doubt in my mind as to whether you recognized me as your mom, it would have been alleviated that day. I walked in the room 15 minutes late, after leaving work early and hustling through rush hour traffic. You spotted me the second I came in the room and lost interest in everything but me. I attempted to refocus you on the class, but it didn’t work all that well… in the future, I’ll try to slip in a little more discreetly so that doesn’t happen again!

Also this week was the first time you drank from a straw. It was so hot and we were out and about, and for months now you’ve been fascinated with water bottles and watching us drink from them. So I put a straw in it and held it up for you. Your eyes met mine, you closed your little lips around it and, voila, you drank water from a straw. It was so anti-climatic, and now I’m wondering if we have managed to bypass the sippy cup phase altogether.

This was his second time drinking from the straw…


You are such a little scientist and are so curious about how everything works. Nothing escapes your notice. We have a rug in front of the back sliding door and every time you go to stand up, the rug slides under your feet and you’re desperately hanging on to the glass door while your feet are going faster and faster and then the rug has moved to the middle of the room thanks to you. So I bought an anti-slip mat and put it under the rug. You weren’t watching me when I did it, but the next time you went over there and the rug stayed where it was, you decided to sit down and investigate why … so there you sat, lifting the rug to see what was under there. I’m not much on secrets but, in this instance, darling, some things need to STAY under the rug.

You are weighing in at 26 pounds 5.5 ounces. We’re still in that same weird zone of eighteen month size onesies becoming too small on you, I’m thinking we’ll be going to 24 month sizes here pretty soon. Of course I keep saying that and then keep cramming your clothes on you. Probably not the best of strategies because then when you do finally move up a size, you’re not in the new size for very long before I have to start stretching them again. I think your torso is much longer than your legs are, because when I put 24 month size shorts around you, they fit you around the waist but the length of them are nearly to your ankles. This is kind of surprising, because both your father and I have legs that are seemingly 5 feet long!

We went to Costco last night, one of your favorite stores for people watching. They had a ride-on Lightning McQueen toy and I thought, “How cute! I wonder what William will think of this?” So, I shrugged and put you on it. You were entranced. You didn’t even look up the entire time you were on it. After 5 minutes or so, I finally decided it was time to move on and I asked you if you wanted up… no response, you just kept playing with it. I reached under your arms and lifted you and you started crying and reaching for it. You cried all the way down the aisle. I was so shocked — I let you “test drive” toys ALL THE TIME at Children’s Orchard and you never respond that way when it’s time to go. I walked back by the ride-on toy on our way out and you remembered it, started making noise and reaching for it. Since you liked it so much AND remembered it on the second pass by, I decided to buy it for you… and give it to you, maybe for your birthday? Or Christmas? It’s rated for children 12-36 months old, so you’ll probably enjoy it even more by then.

Your nap schedule is going so much better. It’s wonderful to have a plan in place and, I admit, it is weird to go from having a baby led sleep schedule to a parental controlled sleep schedule, and yet it’s working, when we’re consistent about it. It’s remarkable that your awake times are so predictable to the point that we can lay you down at the right time and you will go to sleep once you talk it over with yourself and get comfortable. If you refuse your nap (40 minute nap window), then we keep you up until the next nap window and then you’re out like a light. It’s also amazing how the length of the nap affects the next nap or even your night sleep… we let you lengthen your morning nap to see what would happen, won’t be doing that again because you then awoke at 4:30 AM the next day.

Things I want to remember about you this week: When I’m holding you and you hear music, you kick your legs in time to the rhythm — it’s very funny when we’re walking through the grocery store. The way you turn with a half smile on your face and look at me sometimes, as if you’re waiting for a joke. The way your eyes meet mine when we’re standing in front of a mirror and you grin at me. The way you reach for me in the morning when I go to get you out of your crib. Your sweet sleepy weight as I put you in your crib after you’ve nursed yourself to sleep. The way you reach for and grab Froggy if you spot him. How if you accidentally drop Froggy when you’re nursing, you cry out and are very upset about it. The way you shove your hands into the armholes of your shirt and help with getting dressed. How when you eat a food you like you make this “Hmmmm” sound, as if you’re really pondering the taste of this new delicacy that you’re eating. When I wash your face in the bathtub, how you open your mouth really wide to try and catch the washcloth so you can suck and bite on it. How you SPLASH the bath water or the pool water as hard as you can with your mouth wide open and stick your tongue out to try and catch drops of water — you even did that when we stopped at a statue fountain! How sometimes when you sit on the floor, you will cross your feet and sit Indian style.

When we started this journey of your life together, I wasn’t sure of anything except that you were finally here. Now I’m looking down the road and your birthday is in the cross hairs and I’m in the idea stage of planning for that. Also, even though we’re doing baby led weaning (BLW), I’m planning ahead for the eventual weaning process and how I will wean from the pump during day time hours. I’m also in the process of registering to be a milk donor, as I would really like to provide human milk for premature babies whose moms cannot. So I need to figure out which pumping session(s) I want to keep in my schedule for that and because milk banks won’t take milk from moms who are supplementing their diets with Fenugreek and Flaxseed, I will also need to wean myself from them.

A friend of ours had a baby this week and I find myself looking at her baby’s newborn pictures and then I look at pictures of you today and … well, everyone said that children grow so quickly, but I had no idea when they told me that, they meant in 9 months you would already look like a toddler! Or that already, today, I see in your sweet face the shape of the man-face you will eventually have. As your teeth grow like a self-erected white picket fence on unmarked territory, so do we tick off the markers of your growth and development and pages of your baby book seem to complete themselves of their own volition.

Love, Momma

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Purple Shoes.

I found a dress last night at Ross Dress for Less. I love Ross for new bargain shopping. The dress was cheap, like $11 cheap (so well under my $20 guilty spend). I got it home and tried it on and it fit perfectly and planned to wear it today.

I got up this morning and realized I had NO idea what shoes to pair with it. I could go with black, but that would be overwhelming. I could always go with beige, but that seems like such a compromise. Then I remembered I had some purple heels. I rummaged around and found them and they matched perfectly.

So kudos to me for (1) remembering I had purple heels, (2) finding them in less than 30 seconds, and (3) that heels I bought 2 years ago and have never worn match a dress I bought last night.

I may never wear them again because they’re not that comfortable, but I think I look pretty good for the moment!

(Dear Grace, sorry for the toes.)

(Dear readers, sorry for the awkward picture, but wanted you to see the dress.)

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Jello?

This was in yesterday’s paper and the first thought I had when I saw it was, seriously? Someone at Jello thought this would be clever marketing? I guess I’m getting old, because I don’t think misspellings are clever, and I think intentional spelling errors are just annoying.

They should hire Bill Cosby again to do their ads. Now he was clever marketing.

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Rambling Sunday Morning.

I put a crockpot together this morning, chopped vegetables — carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, bell pepper, kidney beans, butternut squash and cubed beef. My baby crawled from the kitchen to the back yard screen door, back to the kitchen again, squealing and laughing.

Then he crawled over to my leg and pulled himself to a standing position, reaching up to be picked up. I put my knife down and lifted him up and was rewarded by him looping his arm around my neck and he leaned his head against my shoulder. For two seconds. Then he spotted the crockpot and all the different colors in there, the orange of the carrots, the yellow of the squash, the red of the kidney beans and beef, and he leaned out with his hand outstretched in curiosity. I tickled him under his arm to distract him and he giggled and wanted down.

He discovered his Book Nook in his room this morning. It’s behind his door and he rarely ventures there because if he’s awake, his bedroom door is open so he doesn’t see it. But this morning, he crawled in there to hang out with me, because I was sorting through the bottom drawer of his dresser. Then he crawled over to the door and shut it and realized there’s an entire unexplored corner there… it was so cute to see him pull a book down and look at it. He loves books and that makes his book reading mommy very happy.

I worked on his baby book yesterday and realized with a pang that an entire page of “firsts” in that book is now completed.

He put himself to sleep yesterday on his father’s shoulder and this morning, he nursed for his morning meal and usually goes to sleep when nursing, but he didn’t this morning. I put him in his crib and he rolled around for about 30 minutes and finally, just a few minutes ago, went to sleep.

He has his front four teeth now and his father and I marvel how those teeth know when to grow and in what order, like a white picket fence that self erects, and it is typically the same for all babies.

And now, it’s anticipated to be over 100° again today and I run my air conditioner and dread watching the electric bill go up and up… the kind of heat that when it gets cold outside, I’ll think back to today as I pull out from the freezer the beef stew I will freeze tomorrow and it will seem as if I created the memory of this kind of heat from an overactive imagination, and the laugh of a crawling baby… well, he’ll probably be running by then. But hopefully still laughing and squealing!

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Letter to our 9.1 month old

Dear William,

This week on 09/13/2012, you turn 40 weeks old, and this past Saturday (9/8) you turned 9 months old.

We took you to get your 9 month portraits taken on Saturday (of course, because I’m a stickler for having month portraits done on the appropriate day), and you did marvelously. As is your way, you charmed the photographer, you smiled and laughed, you demonstrated your standing skills for the camera. You are just amazing. While we were there, the other studio was doing a newborn shoot with a baby who was just 3 days old and his family. That baby was so small, much smaller than you ever were, and I couldn’t help staring at them because I just cannot imagine having taken you somewhere the day after we were released from the hospital to do a photo shoot with you. Them people was crazy!

The big thing this week: We’ve been working on revising your nap schedule, using a combination of the Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and wake time observation. Sometimes I think all these sleep books are just a way for people to make money from sleep deprived families, but then when it really works and you actually take a decent nap? Well, then, my cynicism is required to re-evaluate itself. It’s not perfect, of course, but there is hope that maybe we’re on the right track with things. Of course, after weeks of frustration, it’s easy to get discouraged when something goes awry.

We also cut back your milk intake from your bottles. I have been suspicious for awhile that you may have been drinking too much during the day and were too full, because you weren’t nursing very well when I got home from work. But you did nurse well for your early morning nursings before I leave for work. I would rather you be hungry and nurse well in the evenings, rather than push me away or bite because you’re too full. It’s so easy to overfeed with a bottle a breastfed baby, because even though it may seem as if 12 ounces in 9 hours isn’t that much, it actually is because breastmilk changes composition and calories to meet your needs as you grow. Whereas formula fed babies don’t have that “changing” component and so the ounces constantly have to be increased.

You are weighing in at 26 pounds 8 ounces this week. At your 9 month doctor’s appointment, you were measured as being 30.5 inches tall. Your growth continues to be consistently in the 97th percentile. Your pediatrician thinks you are “so strong” and “doing well” and “have amazing chunky thighs” and did I mention strong? Your favorite food to date has turned out to be banana — something you didn’t care much for at all when it was first introduced to you.

Things I want to remember about you this week: Physically you continue to get stronger and stand for longer periods of time. You seem to have a penchant for accidentally biting your lip with those sharp sharp teeth of yours. You love to dance if there’s music playing, or pat your hands on things to keep the rhythm. You love music — one time you were so upset that I put you in crib, crying, you bounced your way over to the musical soother and turned it on, attempting to help yourself feel better. Umm, bouncing? Yes, you love to bounce in your crib as if it’s a trampoline, holding onto the side. You are still fascinated by the camera for the video monitor and will stare at it for long periods of time, plotting, I’m sure, how you will climb that pole and get a hold of it one of these days. When you’re not contained in your crib or play yard, you have realized that you can follow us out of a room if we leave, and will do so. You also will crawl to us when we call for you, and you crawl SO FAST and get yourself all out of breath while you giggle about it, You attempt to mimic things we say or sounds we make, sometimes you even instigate it, and then you laugh and laugh about it when you get it right. You get mad if the cats leave and you can’t follow them. You love to go on outings and get so happy when the garage door goes up. You love going outside and stroller rides or walks are the bane of your existence, it soothes you like nothing else. I realized this week that I need to be consistent across the board about biting — no biting mommy means not biting me ANYWHERE or ANYTIME, not just nursing. So I started implementing the “no biting mommy” on my shoulder (a favorite of yours) or my leg.

You are continuing to work on your linguistic skills — I’ve heard you working with the letters “t”, “n”, “y”, “d”, “m”, “p”. We had a hilarious conversation about tater tots the other day, with lots of laughter. You are so interactive and seem to love repeating sounds back, or will initiate sounds that we mimic. This part of being a mommy? This part is so much fun!

It’s crazy to think that 18 months ago, I was holding a box that contained within it medicine that was our last resort to having a family. That box was it — it either held the end result of our dreams come true or our dreams crashed down. Nine months ago, I was holding my abdomen that was swollen to hold your entire body within mine. Today I hold you in my arms, I smooth your hair back from your brow, and swell with love, for you are every dream I ever wanted contained in a warm, snuggly, wiggly, giggling little baby body.

Love, Momma

At 40 weeks pregnant… ummm, actually, I didn’t make it to 40 weeks pregnant.

I had been intentionally pushing myself hard physically that week, and the weeks prior. We decorated our home for Christmas — as usual, I did the inside, he did the outside. Walking, lots of walking — that week we went to a our local park for their Victorian Christmas celebration, and visited Disneyland twice. Both Disneyland visits, we speed walked from the parking structure to the gate, passing people pushing strollers (must have been a sight) and walked around Disneyland, and then speed walked back to the car. I didn’t take any time off from the gym and lap swam an hour each night directly after work, mostly because I wasn’t sure when The Last Swim would occur. I would get home and, quite literally, drag myself up the stairs and go to bed.

My Tuesday doctor appointment went well that week, but on Wednesday, with no sign of labor in sight, I was concerned that at my 40 week appointment my OB might recommend inducement given her belief that the baby was big. Knowing inducement increased the chances of a C-Section, I didn’t want that. To alleviate my concern, I emailed my birth doula who said she would attend my Friday doctor appointment with me for support. I also determined that if inducement was medically necessary, I would choose the Foley catheter method.

I had Braxton Hicks contractions all day on Wednesday and, to amuse myself, I was writing the start time of them on a post-it note and keeping it under my keyboard while I went about my job. They weren’t painful at all, just annoying and a bit distracting. My boss joked with me that day, not knowing that I was having contractions, that, knowing me, I would give birth to this kid on a schedule.

After my swim Wednesday, I packed my lunch for the next day, ate a salad and went to bed early. I woke refreshed, but chilly, on Thursday at 4:11 AM. It was 62° in the house, so I went downstairs to turn on the heat… and a contraction came on, and then another. I sat on the yoga ball to alleviate the pressure and then headed back upstairs with a detour to the restroom. More contractions occurred and time passed in a blur. I heard the shower start up in the other restroom, so my husband was up and it was shortly after 5 AM. Since I couldn’t seem to move without a contraction happening, I managed to walk a few steps to my purse and I sent him a text message: “I think I might be in labor.” And I waited.

A few minutes later, he came in the bedroom to find me still sitting on the floor holding my cell phone. He asked me what I was doing and I replied that I thought I might be in labor. We started tracking the contractions, but it started to feel as if the contractions were right on top of each other, or not ending at all. I finally passed some blood, and I suggested that maybe we should call my birth doula, that it was after 6am so it seemed a reasonable hour. I wasn’t really sure I was in labor, and was fairly convinced that she would tell me to take a nice relaxing bath and wash my hair. In fact, I was debating the entire time if I should go to work, but was annoyed because I didn’t think I would be able to concentrate because of the contractions, and I was fairly certain that I probably shouldn’t drive.

I was kind of surprised, then, when my doula suggested that we meet at the hospital. When I hesitated, she said she would come over. So, she came over, evaluated the situation and noted that I was having what is called “piggyback contractions,” and then insisted we head for the hospital.

Upon arrival at the hospital, after changing out of my cool Jack Skellington pajamas into their ugly hospital robe, the nurse checked me. I was shocked when she told me I was dilated to 7 cm. She asked if I had called my OB… umm, no. But I was obsessing about calling my job to let them know I wouldn’t be in, but everyone kept declining my requests. The nurse exited my curtained area to call my OB, and a huge contraction waved over me and my water broke. As exciting and startling as that was, my first thought was, “Oh bummer, now I don’t get to use those awesome jacuzzi tubs in the delivery room.” It was at that point that I finally accepted that I was really in labor.

My blood pressure was running a little on the high end and I was encouraged to relax and breathe deeply — yay for the Bradley classes and all the practicing we had done! With my team’s encouragement, I was able to relax and lower it to a more acceptable level. At one point, the contractions became painful, but my doula applied counterpressure and it reverted to the feeling of intense pressure. My doula then whispered to my husband that I was in transition and I expected the pain to increase, but it really didn’t.

The pressure increased to the point where I felt like I needed to push, and I was checked again and was given the OK to do so, which kind of amused me because, at that point, it wasn’t something that I couldn’t do. I remembered from the tour of the hospital that “when the lights come out of the ceiling, you know it’s show time.” Dun, dun dun… the lights came out of the ceiling.

I attempted to follow their direction on pushing, but it became easier for me to self direct since I was able to feel the contractions beginning and ending. I asked several times whether Baby was in stress, and was assured an equal amount of times that he was fine. Since there had been meconium in the water, my OB had requested the NICU team be present, as well as a second doctor to help catch our son when he was born. Given my fear of perineal tearing, I felt as if the pushing was taking forever, but at the same time I knew that the slower I went the more time I gave my skin to stretch… and since baby was fine, I took my time.

Our son’s head emerged, and then the nurse did a maneuver to bring his shoulders through (avoiding shoulder dystocia), that although she had warned us what she was going to do, it was still a bit startling. And, so it was, that 6 hours and 42 minutes of labor yielded the birth of our son at 10:53 AM on December 8, 2011. Despite the meconium in his fluid, he was fine. More than fine, actually, as his APGAR ratings were 8 and 9. One of the first things I told my OB after William was birthed was that I needed to cancel my appointment the next morning… and I also told her that I guess I had proven her wrong, no C-Section needed. I am in awe, to this day, that I was able to birth a baby who weighed an astonishing 10 pounds 11 ounces without an epidural or pain meds or tearing. That because of the insane amount of lap swimming and diet restriction that I did, I gained a mere 24.5 pounds… and much of that, quite literally, was William.

The entire process felt like a dance to me, The Labor Dance, I called it. The event, while simple in words — “I gave birth” — was actually a much more involved event with me doing what I had to do and my son had a job to do, too, moving and aligning himself properly. We both had to tolerate a great deal of stress, as labor is a very physically intense event. But really, it was the two of us, working together, supported by our team, to bring him into this world… so we could become a family. I also loved that Tony was there through every bit of it, helping me through the contractions, helping me with my labor positions, providing emotional support and, best of all, cutting the umbilical cord. But really? The best part of all, was that this wasn’t an ending, it was the beginning.

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Letter to our 8.9 month old

Dear William,

This week you turn 39 weeks old on 09/06/2012.

This past weekend you had your first Labor Day, which meant we had a three day weekend together… and it was the weekend I wish we’d had over our 4 day wedding anniversary weekend last month. Lots of nursing, lots of cuddles, lots of sweetness.

This week you are weighing in at 26 pounds 6.5 ounces. You are wearing 18 month sized clothing and our diaper insert strategy is the same as last week. This past weekend, I went through your closet and removed all the 12 month sized clothing as you no longer fit into them.

This has not been a good week for you with respect to your sleep. Well, not your sleep, exactly, you actually sleep fine once you are asleep. It’s the falling asleep part that you’re having an issue with and it’s brutal. Naps and bedtime are excruciatingly challenging. The Wonder Weeks chart indicates that this week should actually be a good week for you, so unless you’re working on your next leap early, I’m just not sure what’s going on with you. I could make all sorts of excuses for you — it’s hot and humid and you like cuddling but when we’re sitting there sweating together in a sauna it’s hard to fall asleep? Or maybe your front teeth are hurting you as they continue to grow? Or maybe your brain just won’t shut down because you’re learning to walk? I don’t really know, but child, you need your sleep.

In fact, there was one point this week when I tried to resign as your mother, but your father wouldn’t let me. I had just gotten you to sleep for the night and when I put you in your crib, you rolled and shoved your foot and leg through the crib slats. I was afraid you would roll in your sleep and twist your leg, so I pushed it back through, the logical thing to do, and … it woke you up… and then you were up and awake again and it took another hour and half before you fell back to sleep. This after two days of late bedtimes and single naps for the day. So, we’re trying a new nap schedule, with “napping windows” and we’re hoping for the best. The first day of it was a mess… you didn’t fall asleep in your nap window so you were let out of your crib and you were crawling so fast down the hallway and back again that my mom wasn’t sure if you were crawling or flying, but you were all out of breath!

Last week my mom had new glass windows and doors installed in her house. The installer was using a nail gun and the sound of it scared you and made you cry. My mom decided to help you think it was funny. Fast forward to the weekend and your obsession with the cat door. I had read about something called blanket training for young babies and how moms can teach a mobile baby to stay on a blanket by snapping a yardstick around the parameter of the blanket. I thought that might be helpful to keep you away from the cat door. It backfired, because the popping noise of the yardstick sounds just like a nail gun and you stood there and laughed and laughed and laughed. You’ve also started standing up in your bath tub, and it’s kind of hard to give you a bath if you’re standing up. Anyway, I decided to playfully smack your naked little tushie because it was RIGHT THERE, and you thought that was funny, too, and there you stood, in your bath, wet, and howling with laughter. I’m suspicious that disciplining you is going to be a bit of a challenge.

Things I want to remember about this week: You love taking showers and will watch the water fall from the spout to the ground with great fascination. Then, when the water hits your body when we take one over by the pool area after we’re done swimming, you giggle about the whole thing, so maybe we’ll be transitioning to a shower (rather than a bath) sooner than I would have thought, given your desire to stand in your bath AND your love for showers. When I open the shutters in your window in the morning, we both look out and check out your “hood”, and you grin when you spot the flag your father always has raised under the eave of your room’s roof. More often than not when we set you down in the upstairs hallway you take off crawling as fast as you can and make a beeline to the books in your grandma’s room — you love books! You love to play with the cat door and I have been concerned that you’ll attempt to crawl through it into the cat run, but one day I decided to let you play with it and all you do is sit there and make it snap. We bought you a “Take Along Tunes” toy made by Baby Einstein, it has bright lights and music, which is great, but you like to turn it over and poke at the screws as if you’d like to figure out how to take it apart. You make the sign for “milk” now and mean it. We were heading out the door to run an errand, and you looked right at me with a half smile on your face and made the sign for milk. I was uncertain about it, because it had only been 45 minutes since you had eaten. But to be consistent with the meaning, I offered, and you could have knocked me over with a feather, because you ate ravenously.

Ever since I started back to work when you were 3 months old, my mom has been bringing you to my work on Mondays so you could nurse during my lunchtime. I really wish I worked closer to home so I could just go home on my lunch hours and nurse you, particularly because when she brings you to my work, the “new” place stimulates you and you become distracted easily, with increasingly LOUD vocalizations and SCREAMING. You’ll nurse for 5, maybe 10 minutes, and then you want down to go explore. Repeated offerings of the breast result in yelling on your part, and I am uncomfortable with that in an office setting. You’re not like that at home or when I nurse you in the car. As a result, I think we’re going to end the Monday lunch sessions until the weather cools off and I can nurse you in the car. It’s sad to say it, but my pumping sessions are more productive rather than nursing you at work. We’re working on nursing manners (always), and you’re not like that anywhere else. I constantly have to remind myself that you are getting older and growing up more and more every day, and that’s something that I can’t stop, and wouldn’t want to stop even if I could, but can only adjust to and learn to accept.

Love, Momma


***
At 39 weeks pregnant, I wasn’t emotionally done being pregnant, but I was quite done with the rhetorical questions that people loved to ask. I understood, of course, what else can one talk about when WOW, THAT BABY BELLY IS RIGHT THERE. In fact, it was a source of amusement one night when I was flossing my teeth in front of the full length mirrored closet door in our bedroom/bathroom. The door started shaking and I thought it was an earthquake, only to realize that it was my pregnant belly hitting the door.

I felt absolutely amazing, healthy and strong, and was incredibly proud of myself for eating so healthy, exercising, researching things and preparing myself for that which was ahead. I had no qualms about being a mom and all that entailed, but the thing that was freaking me out was pumping breastmilk. I found the pump to be incredibly intimidating, what with all the tubes and suction cups and bottles and sterilizing things. Yikes.

I found encouragement for natural birthing from strange places that week. One place was on the blog of a lady who birthed an 11 lb 3 oz baby at home with a midwife, and another was from a lady I didn’t know at the gym who randomly shared that she’d had five babies and begged me to “not have an epidural! They can hurt your back forever… please do it naturally!” It was so funny to me to receive that type of encouragement from strangers, when all I’d received from most people was to take all the pain meds that the hospital will dole out or just forget the whole process altogether and get a C-Section!

Something went wonky that week with the chemical levels at the gym’s pool. My swim suit suddenly faded within two days to a non-descript grey color, my hair was suddenly fragile and dry, and was breaking off. In addition, a bright red rash showed up under both of my arms and I couldn’t get the smell of chlorine off of me, despite several showers. Then, Tuesday night, after attending the aquatics exercise class I noticed that anywhere my swimsuit had touched me, was burning as if I’d somehow sunburned them. I Googled the symptoms and learned that I had a chlorine burn. I was pretty upset and in pain from it, and decided I should notify the gym’s manager. After talking with him, he was really dismissive and didn’t even seem to care that much. So I started going to a different gym, but driving there added extra time to my evening workouts.

The doctor appointments that week were much less stressful for me since they were on the schedule that worked best for me vs. for my doctor, and the monitoring, ultrasound and exam revealed a strong fetal heartbeat, proper amount of fluid and “normal progress.”

So I was to continue what I’d been doing: lap swimming for an hour every day and tons of walking.

I felt incredibly blessed to have reached 39 weeks — I never, ever thought I would reach that point. There were parts of the journey that were absolutely terrifying for me. I felt like I should hold up some sort of victory trophy for reaching that point against all the odds. I was incredibly anxious to meet my baby, but at the same time I continued to savor and enjoy each and every moment that I got to have him all to myself. I knew that there would never ever, ever be another time in my life that I would get to experience the feeling of holding my baby boy that way.

Plus, I knew that pregnancy was really the easy part of being a parent!

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Filed under Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Wordless Wednesday.

Stacked cats.

On the ball.

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Filed under Kid Substitutes, Our Kid is Cute