I’m baaaack!

You probably think I have fallen off the face of the planet never to blog again. More likely you probably didn’t notice I hadn’t posted in… uhhh.. several months (that’s a conservative estimate). Truthfully I forgot I had a blog. Or ignored it.

Anyway. SO much has happened since I posted last. So much. I apparently started writing two posts in between but they are still there, sad and lonely and untitled, in saved draft land. But now, I’m back. At least for today. And I will catch you up on everything that has been going on. If I can remember what those things were.

The last I posted Baby G turned 1. We had a little home party with an adorable cake (made by yours truly), some cupcakes, and a perfect little party hat he absolutely refused to wear. He is a small photobomb of the evening.

Wrapping Paper Appetizer

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Monster Smash Cake It's a Monster Party!

Cake Smash!

The icing was the tastiest part. He just kept scooping the icing up and licking it off his fingers.

The icing was the tastiest part. He just kept scooping the icing up and licking it off his fingers.

This was seconds before he pushed it over the side of the tray. Hubby dove to catch it in his hand.

This was seconds before he pushed it over the side of the tray. Hubby dove to catch it in his hand.

This is the cake right after hubby caught it before it's untimely demise on the floor and gave it back to G.

This is the cake right after hubby caught it before it’s untimely demise on the floor and gave it back to G.

We're not totally sure what this was about... I think the sugar was starting to get to him...

We’re not totally sure what this was about… I think the sugar was starting to get to him…

I know. Cutest baby ever. I know you’re thinking it. Here are his one-year old pictures and what I made from them.

Are you dying yet?

Ok, so February was full of birthday parties (not Baby G’s – that comes later) and crawling (he started right about his one year mark) and general life and hilarity that comes from having a little one. In March we kicked up the birthday party planning and had our first Easter egg hunt (which resulted in much grass eating) and Easter. Plus G got to go see the Easter bunny, which, by the following picture, you will see he was totally and completely unimpressed with.

Now some of the egg hunt…

                                               

And his Easter pics.

     

I promise no more pictures… Ok, I can’t promise that. But I’ll save his party pics for another post.

April brought Grandpa and Grandmom for the party and we had a blast. It was so good to see my parents and they enjoyed Baby G so much. My mom got to stay for a few weeks and I took a few extra days off to spend with her (and my dad while he was here). G even took his first few tentative steps during April.

June didn’t bring much except for the dread of Sister-Nanny-Auntie leaving. Hubby, G, and I were flying up to Michigan to spend 4th of July week with Hubby’s family and friends and Sister was leaving the Friday before. We had lined up NC-SIL to watch G on Tuesdays and since Hubby didn’t work Fridays at that point he would be watching G those days while I… went part-time!! YAY!! So Sister leaving was bittersweet. It was super exciting for me to get to go part-time and be home with G more but we knew we’d miss Sister-Nanny-Auntie so much. And we have. Sister! Come visit! By the end of June G was toddling around and having a blast pushing his go-go up and down the hall.

In July we went on vacation (where Baby G didn’t sleep remotely through the night once in 10 days) and while there my new nephew showed up a few weeks early during a (planned) wonderful home birth. I’m still trying to figure out when I will get to go meet him and see my other nephew, brother, and FL-SIL. When we got back I started working part-time and staying home more with G.

August brought some overtime work for Hubby so we were lucky to land a part-time daycare slot that we put G’s name in for a few months ago. Yesterday was actually his first day and he seemed to have done pretty well. We had a few snags but I’m sure we will work through those in the next few weeks. He really loves other kids and they have cool toys we don’t have so I know he will have fun. It’s probably harder on me than him.

So now we are coming upon September and Fall (yippee!!) and we have to start planning G’s Halloween costume and our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans. I know, I know. This post started in February and ended in December. Did you feel your life flashing before your eyes?

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House Beautiful

Have I told you I’m practically Martha Stewart? Except younger and without the criminal record? I mean, my house always looks like it’s straight out of a magazine. It’s amazing. You should be jealous.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hoo! That was a good one! Whew, I think I just laughed until I peed. Ok, I didn’t actually pee. That really doesn’t happen too often to me. One of the silver linings of having a baby at 7 months (by C) is you have slightly more bladder control as someone who went all the way. I mean, when you miss out on so much you have to find some silver linings.

Anyway, back to my house. My house is a disaster area. It was clean and shiny and pretty for approximately 47 seconds at some point near Christmas and then it immediately went back to looking like a hobo camp. A hobo camp with wood floors and a pretty Christmas tree. The point is, I have never (and will never) be one of those people with the shiny spic-and-span house. I can get it cleaned up if someone is coming over but it never manages to stay that way. Now, having a baby, I at least feel slightly more justified in having a crazy house. Also, because my house does not look like it could belong on an episode of hoarders. Win for me.

What prompted this was the fact that Baby G got to play in my big bathtub the other night. Which he thought was super awesome by the way. But anyway, the next morning I walked through my (cluttered) bathroom and smiled at the bath toys hanging out on the edge of my tub. Don’t get me wrong, I love to look at magazines and wish my house looked like they do. I drool and dream and sigh over the beautiful tile bathrooms, the exquisitely decorated living rooms, and the fabulous master bedrooms. But while my house may not be perfectly vacuumed or have un-scuffed paint or have floor space to walk without stepping on a baby toy or cheerio… my house is home to a wonderful and perfect little person. He lives here. And it’s ok for my house to show that. Right now I’d rather sit on the couch with him and snuggle or play in the (crazy huge) play area we’ve set up for him in the living room than dust. He’s growing so fast and I work full time. So when I am home all I want to do is be with him. Sure I’m also a procrastinator and I hate cleaning. Those are totally valid reasons as well. But no matter what I do, I can’t, and I wouldn’t, erase the things that show he is here. And there are a lot of those things. Like the plastic butterfly I just pulled out of the couch. And the bowl of pump parts that sit on the counter waiting to be washed. We won’t mention the acre of toys scattered through the living room. Or the random socks that Baby G managed to shuck off (and then suck on). Then there are the aforementioned cheerios scattered throughout the house just waiting for Baby G to come find them before we do.

Maybe one day I’ll have a nice house that I can show off to people. Baby G will have a playroom or a toy box that he can put all his toys in each night. Or maybe my house will only be sparkly and clean at holidays and when company is coming over. And that’s fine. Because I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t trade that precious little boy for anyone’s perfectly decorated and spotless house.

It’s midnight yet again

My little one refuses to go to bed at night. No, that’s not totally true. My little one refuses to go to bed at night in his bed. He’ll sleep just fine if we’re holding him. He’ll be calm and collected and perfectly reasonable. But as soon as you put him anywhere near his crib he turns into a flailing, rolling, crazed maniac. It’s currently 11:30pm and we’ve been trying to get him to sleep since about 10. I know that sounds late to put a baby to bed but we sleep in late. And generally I’m up late. With my erratic schedule at work (this week for example: off, 10-7, off, 12-9, 10-7, 8-5, 8-5) if we were to put him to bed early (say 8 o’clock), I’d miss most nights with him. So later works better for us.

Why is his bed lava, you ask? Well, dear friend, if you can find the answer to THAT question we will all be millionaires and get to sleep at night. Ok maybe not on the millionaire part but we might actually get to go to sleep at a reasonable hour if we chose. I’ve never been one of those who is on a specific side of the fence when it comes to “Cry It Out” tactics, but I have a hard time with both sides. I HATE letting Baby G lay in bed and cry. I hate it. It hurts my heart and makes me feel like a terrible mother. I feel like I’m abandoning my sweet child who is lying in his bed miserable and alone and terribly upset at being bereft of my presence. I feel like when I finally do go to pick him up he clings to me like I’m a life preserver and I’m saving him from a terrible fate. But at the same time… I also don’t sleep very well sitting upright in a chair. I don’t have a recliner and for whatever reason Baby G doesn’t want to sleep on my chest if I’m laying down. So sometimes, like tonight, I let him cry. I sit downstairs and listen to him crying piteously through the monitor and I feel like my heart is going to leap out of my chest. Some nights we can bounce him or pat him to sleep and that works. Some nights if you put him anywhere near his room, much less his bed, he breaks out into hysterics. I don’t know what makes the difference but I wish I knew what the right thing was.

Sometimes I just feel selfish. Maybe that little tiny boy is scared or doesn’t feel good or is lonely and he just wants to be cuddled. I don’t know. Maybe he’s just being a toad and doesn’t want to go to bed. So what do I do? Do I hold him and let him sleep on me? Do I give up my sleep so he doesn’t cry? It took 10 minutes tonight. 10 minutes of him crying after I had been upstairs for almost 40 minutes rocking him, holding him, and trying to get him to lay down. That 10 minutes felt like 30. We are 10 1/2 months in and I still don’t know what the right thing is. There are lots of people who use the CIO method and swear by it. There are lots of others who deem it a method of torture from the devil which will result in your child becoming a homicidal maniac who will eventually kill you in your sleep. I’m not going to throw stones at either camp. I think both tactics have valid points and have different times when they are effective  My biggest concern is what is right for Baby G?

Tonight, anyway, was a combination of cuddling and soothing with a little crying at the end. It makes me want to go upstairs and hug him and give him kisses but I guess that would defeat the fact that he finally fell asleep. So I’ll take myself to bed now and hope he sleeps through the night, and plan to snuggle him in the morning when he wakes up to eat. You know how I love those morning nursings.

Oh where, oh where, has the last 9 months gone? (<—- Feel free to sing that.)

How the heck is my baby almost 9 months old already?? Where has the time gone? Who told it it could go so fast? I surely didn’t. No one asked me if I was ok with him growing up so fast. My sweet little babykins will be 9 months old in two weeks. He’s practically an adult. Tomorrow he’ll be in college. Or at least that’s what people keep telling me.  Thanks, people, for reminding me that my sweet baby won’t stay a baby for long. Like I needed your helpful insight.

It’s amazing to me how quickly he changes and progresses. He’d been working on sitting up for ages but now my little one is a full-fledged sitter. He’s also started becoming more mobile on his belly. He can turn himself in a circle in no time and it’s not uncommon to find him at the opposite end of his crib (which means he either flopped there after turning 180 degrees or scooted there). Sneaky little boy.

He’s also started reaching for me. Husband had him the other night and Baby G turned and reached both this little arms out to me. Poor Husband felt like chopped liver and while I feel a little bad for him I was crowing inside that my sweet one was showing that he wanted his mommy. I know he loves me and I know he needs me but he just doesn’t snuggle as much as he used to. When he was teeny tiny he could be content to just snuggle and cuddle me all day long. In fact he’d have been happy if I never put him down. Now he’s got places to go and things to chew. He’s nosy and busy.

He is getting over his first cold and cutting both his bottom teeth at the same time. And still he’s such a sweet happy baby. He laughs and giggles and squeals and chatters. His little belly laugh makes me feel all melty inside and I just wanna squish him. And sometimes I do just that. He’s also starting to make more “word” sounds in addition to the pterodactyl squeals he has been doing for a few weeks.

I can’t get over how much I love him. Did you know you can love someone so much it hurts? And not in a creepy “I’m going to die if you don’ t love me back” sort of way. I love watching him grow and learn new things but at the same time I wish he’d not grow quite so fast.

I can’t believe that 9 months ago I was getting ready for my baby shower. 9 months ago I still had over 10 weeks to go in my pregnancy. Never would we have expected for our little one to show up so soon or under such circumstances. And when he did I would have never imagined those 6 weeks in the NICU would ever seem so long ago. I remember those days and how I felt but I can honestly say that the pain and fear and sleeplessness of those days has faded some. Why dwell on those days now when I have a happy, healthy, precious baby boy to enjoy instead? Don’t get me wrong. I will never forget that time. I will never forget what was taken from me or what I missed. Or how I felt. But I find myself so blessed and time moving so quickly I have no option but to think about today and soak up every moment I can because before I can blink my sweet tiny baby is going to be walking, then running, then driving, then moving away (I can hear my sister saying “Well that escalated quickly…”). But it’s true! 9 months have flown by.

Maybe the next 9 can take their sweet time. Please?

Dear Tiny Person,

You have recently decided that sleeping at night is not necessary. You’re tired – oh so tired – and you rub at your red rimmed and bleary little eyes but you refuse to sleep. We’ve been struggling with sleep for awhile now. We have a routine – bath, nurse, sleep – and you know it. You know when it’s bathtime and you know that milkies come after bath. You have forgotten that bedtime comes after milkies.

Even before you moved up to your crib you had the habit of going to sleep easily but waking up within an hour almost every night. Most nights you were easy to get back down and stayed asleep for 6-7 hours. Then you’d nurse and go back to sleep with me for another hour or two. Once we moved you up to your crib and unswaddled you (as you would wiggle out of the swaddle and then roll over) we’ve had trouble with bedtime. You used to fall asleep nursing, I’d put you in bed, you’d wake up about a hour later and need to be patted or sometimes bounced but the you’d go back to bed for the night. For a few days I could put you down in your crib, pat you a little, and walk away. Several nights you slept through the night without ever requiring us to come comfort you.

Now being put in your crib is akin to torture. You scream and cry and arch your back. You won’t settle and you won’t sleep. I can’t just let you cry. I’ve tried. It hurts my heart and tears at me. It makes me sad and it doesn’t help you. So we pat and sing and bounce and rock and nurse. Sometimes all at once. You need comfort. You need us to be close to you. And I’m ok with that. Yes, it’s frustrating when you won’t sleep. It’s exhausting having to get up multiple times in the middle of the night to comfort you. We’re so lucky to have your Auntie living with us to take some of the nights. You’re a good baby but a bad sleeper. You take short inconsistent naps. You much prefer to do your sleeping on us. I’m sure some people will say that is our fault. That we made that happen. And maybe that’s true. But when you are bereft of your child’s presence for the first 6 weeks of their life you hold on a little tighter. You cuddle a little longer. You indulge your tiny baby who you didn’t get to hold enough at the beginning. You soothe and comfort whenever you can because you weren’t always there to do that. And if your sweet baby wants to sleep on your chest you let them. Because your sweet one went to bed every night without you there to cling to when sleep wouldn’t come.

So we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. We’ll keep to our routine. Instead of getting frustrated we’ll sing and pat and soothe. And when your little head pops up just when we think you are asleep and your face breaks into a big smile when you turn to look at us, well, we’ll cherish every second. Because one day you won’t need us at night. One day you won’t want us to cuddle and kiss you and sing to you. But right now you do. So forgive us if sometimes we sound frustrated. It’s hard not knowing what you want or need. Sometimes we just have to keep guessing, patting, and singing.

It can wait

Today is laundry day. In order to keep my home from being overrun with dirty laundry I have deemed Mondays to be laundry day. I wash all the laundry on Mondays. This way Husband has clean underwear and work shirts for the following weekend. {Edit: I just realized this might sound as though the clean underwear were specific to weekends. The work shirts are specific to weekends. The clean underwear is a daily requirement.} As it is laundry day I also swap out the covers on the changing table and the Boppy.

Today I have managed to get one load of laundry washed so far. As in it’s still sitting in the washer. The other laundry is sorted and waiting patiently.

But it can wait.

I also bought two big packages of chicken breasts, having a stroke of genius, that I planned to clean, cut, and preportion into meal sized servings. I managed to get one of these cut and packaged. The other is sitting in a bowl waiting to be cut up.

But it can wait.

My bed needs changing, the rogue loads of laundry from last week need folding, dinner needs making, and the kitchen needs cleaning. Several other projects throughout the house also need attention.

But they can wait.

My little one isn’t feeling so hot today. He’s been fussy and clingy and sad. He cries so pitifully and can’t seem to get comfortable. He hasn’t napped well and only wants to be cuddled and held. He’s nursed more than normal, finding comfort in the milk and the momma. He’s finally starting to brighten and I hope whatever was bothering him won’t return. But until he feels better, everything else can wait. Dinner can be microwaved or picked up. There is clean laundry that can be worn. The sheets, kitchen, and projects will wait another day.

My baby is hurting. Nothing else matters.

My baby is better than your baby.

Well, that wasn’t nice was it? Ok, ok, so I don’t really think my baby is better than yours. OK, OK! FINE! I kinda do. But that’s only because he’s my baby. I’m sure you think your baby is better than mine too, right? Don’t lie. You know you do. Anyway, regardless whose baby is better (mine) I will share with you some of the fun and wonderful things about Baby G. He’s so cute. Can’t help but love him.

1) He’s a ninja. No, seriously. The other day I put him on his play mat for torture, I mean TUMMY, time. I laid him down, stood up to open the blinds, and turned back around to find him flipped over on his back. This was his third successful attempt at rolling over and the first time he’s done it so fast no one saw it. And his first successful rolling over he was just under 10 weeks old. Which means 1 weeks gestationally. He’s a superstar.

2) He sings to me. Really! Our morning ritual goes like this: He wakes up, I pull him into bed with me, nurse him laying down (both sides) and then sometimes we snooze (if he’s kept me up late) or I just get up. When it’s get-up time, he lays on my bed while I shower and so far has only had one or two crying fits before I got out. He generally lays there and stares at the fan/lights (he’s obsessed). Then we head upstairs to change his diaper (which has, by this point, swollen to gargantuan proportions), wipe him down (he gets a bath at night but due to spitting up and that diaper he can get pretty ripe), and get dressed for the day. I sing “Good Morning to You” and “You Are My Sunshine” and he sings with me. Ok, so it’s just musical sounding coos but it’s so precious. I’m pretty sure he told me “Hi” the other day too. What can I say? He’s a genius.

3) He’s super snuggly. He’d really rather you never put him down. While this may make peeing and showering and cooking interesting, I love a good snuggly baby.

4) He makes the best faces. When he starts to fall asleep his facial expression range from smiles to sad pouty frowns. Sometimes he makes a throaty chuckle sound. He was doing this from birth. Now in addition to his sleepy faces he makes all sorts of other ones. Kissy lips, “Oooh” lips, big smiles, half smiles, “boo” lips (bottom lip stuck WAY out)… They are all just great. Sometimes he opens his eyes up really wide and wrinkles up his little forehead. He’s very expressive. And photogenic.

5) He’s very strong. While he was still in the NICU he could lift his head up off my chest and turn it from side to side. Very soon after getting him home he would push up on his arms, lifting his entire upper body off the ground. He could actually lift his legs off at the same time too. Now, while sitting in the Bumbo he can right himself if he slumps over. Amazing. Strongest baby award.

6) He loves bath time. Ok, maybe he just tolerates bath time really well. But this is a marked improvement on screaming during the entire bath which happened a few times before I started bathing him in the tub part (I was using the infant hammock thing). Now he sits and floats his little legs and looks at the handsome baby in the mirror. Or the lights. Did I mention he likes lights? They are the coolest. But he lets me wash his face and scrub his head with a little scrubby brush (the same one we used in the NICU that came off the arm scrubbers) and then looks bright-eyed out of his cute little hooded towels and then sweetly lays there while I get him dressed. *Sigh.* Ok, that very last part is mostly a lie. He more often than not screams bloody murder while I put his diaper and jammies on. I think it’s because he’s cold and he really really hates to be cold. I think he hates being cold more than he hates being hungry. And let me tell you, this baby loves his milks.

7) He’s adorable. He is the cutest baby. Ever. Again, you may try to disagree. But you will never change my mind.

8) He fights his milks when they don’t give him enough. At least I think that’s why he does it. It’s so funny. He’ll start out nursing peacefully and relaxed, sometimes staring up at me while he’s nursing. This, dear friends, is the sweetest most precious thing. His big blue eyes looking up at me so intently while he snuggles and nurses. *heart melts* Sorry, lost track there for a minute. By “fighting” I mean he grumbles and growls and pushes his arms and legs against me all while he’s still nursing. It’s so funny. Too bad you can’t see it. But you can’t. Cuz we’re not THAT good of friends.

So I’ll stop for now. I could go on and on but I don’t want to make you jealous.