All Night Long May 19, 2011
As in, that’s how long he slept last night! 8pm to 5am. To some (most) this is not enough sleep for an 11 month old, but when your child has been spending the past month plus (I cannot even remember how long it’s been, it’s been so long) (redundancy is a symptom of sleep deprivation. True story), you tend to get really excited when 5 a.m. is the first waking. Praise Jesus! Obviously typing that in this here blog, along with the Facebook status update, the phone calls and emails, will negate this development into a pleasant blip on the radar, a fluke. God I hope that’s not the case. I hope, I PRAY that those two teeth that finally came all the way through his obviously sensitive little gums have been the culprits of our sleeping hiatus. I hope, I PRAY that now that his mouth is feeling better, that sleep will magically return to our household as more than just a myth. Please oh please, Mr. Sandman, bring me some uninterrupted dusk to dawn SLEEP on multiple consecutive nights. PLEASE.
A Post About Breastmilk (thought I’d warn you) May 17, 2011
I always heard that breastfeeding was such a great thing, that it gives kids SO MANY more antibodies, helps them fight disease and pestilence and all that stuff. I nursed exclusively for the first 8 months of Goober’s life, until the thought of pumping one more bottle made me want to throw up. Since then, we maintained two nursings a day, until about a week ago when we dropped to just one, in the morning. (If I can avoid the whole measuring and mixing formula at the crack of dawn, I will. Being able to pass back out for an extra 10 minutes while he eats is PURE GOLD.)
I love nursing and all of the bonding, yadda yadda yadda, but I’m calling BULLSHIT on the whole antibody argument.
I have the sickest kid I know, in the generic, non-life-threatening, blessed to be stuck with the endless cycle of colds and diarrhea, kind of way. All of that aside (thank you Lord for my healthy-in-all-the-important-ways child), it is really frustrating to have to pay at least one day a week for daycare that my son isn’t using because he has one of the following reoccurring ailments: Runny nose, diarrhea, mystery 100.1 degree fever, random cough that kinda sounds croupy but isn’t. Seriously, Breastmilk, WTF?? I appreciate you saving me $30 a week, but COME ON! Live up to your reputation for Pete’s sake. I did my part, I supplied you with a ridiculous amount of calories, I dutifully pumped 3x/day when I went back to work, I wore those annoying breast pads that never stay put and always fall out at extremely inconvenient moments. I will wear the stretchmarks and the saggyness for the rest of my days (or until I can afford a boob job), and in return all I ask for is that you supply my kid with a little immunity! Is that too much to ask??!!
11 months May 10, 2011
Last night we sat in the front yard and we watched you. Your dad, who doesn’t always know how to stop and appreciate our quirky little life, and I sat together and we watched you. You turned 11 months yesterday and you look every day of it. Your hair is filling in and getting long in back. It looks red in the sunlight. You stand with such confidence, even though you’re holding on to do it. You crawl through the grass and examine everything, each blade, weed, flower, and leaf. Your chubby pointer and thumb pinch together to pick up a flower. Only a week or two ago you needed your whole fist to grab it. “Not in your mouth,” we say, and you listen. You understand. Your hand moves away from your mouth and you bring the flower just in front of your eyes. You study it. “Flower. Flower. That’s a flower,” we say. You look at me and move your lips to try to mimic, but the words aren’t there. “Come here buddy,” your dad says. You look at him, a smirk crosses your face, but you don’t move. “Goober, come here,” he calls again. You sit, you think about it. You crawl over my legs and into his lap, and you laugh.
It’s incredible what can develop in only 11 months.
So Glad You Were Born May 6, 2011
Last year my favorite baby store held a blog contest for Mother’s Day called, “I’m Glad You Were Born.” The premise of this contest was to write a little something in 500 words or less on why you are glad for a child in your life. It was my unofficial first Mother’s Day, as I was VERY pregnant, uncomfortable, not sleeping, etc. I thought it might be fun to write my own version to the little boy who was yet to be born.
I don’t know who you’ll look like
I don’t know what color your eyes are
I don’t know if you’ll play soccer like your dad
I don’t know if you’ll love to read like me
I don’t know if you will shy away from people
Or be the biggest voice in the room
I don’t know if you want to be a doctor or a teacher or an astronaut
I don’t know if you will prefer dogs or cats
I don’t know what foods will be your favorite
I do know that you have 10 little fingers and 10 little toes
I know that so far you’re average size for your age
I know you have 6 grandparents and 3 great-grandparents
Who all think you hang the moon
I know you have 2 aunts who already fight over who’s the favorite
I know you get excited after you get fed
I know you like to keep your hands near your face
I know your name, my sweet little boy
But I can hardly wait to get to know YOU
I’m so glad you are going to be born
This entry won me an honorable mention and a $10 gift certificate. I can’t believe that it’s been a year already since I wrote those words for the baby I had yet to meet. This morning Cotton Babies posted the contest once again, and this year I get to write about the little boy I’ve been getting to know for almost 11 months. Here goes:
Oh my Gabriel
My beautiful, sweet little boy
For the past 11 months I have gotten to know you
I know the details of your face, fingers, and toes; I know the expressions in your eyes
When you’re happy or upset or mischievous
I love to watch you be yourself, you’re such an individual already
You love to dance and move to the music, you want to be moving all the time
You love to eat and will try anything
Your skinny legs, long torso, and unexpected red tinged hair
All remind me that you are so much more, than the combination of your parents
There’s very little that bothers you, except when I have to leave you
You love your momma, your dad
You light up for your grandparents and even the dog and cat
You have given me so much,
More than I even know how to express
I had no idea how long I was waiting for you
Until you came along
I am so glad you were born
I am STRESSED May 4, 2011
Stressed. STRESSED. My life these days is a roller coaster of crazy that I don’t want to go into here, but all you really need to know is that I am STRESSED. And stress is a relatively new feeling for me. Well, new in that for the first time in my life I’m allowing myself to acknowledge it. I never used to say “I am STRESSED”. I told myself that I had a low stress life, that things came easily to me, that nothing really bothered me. I must be lucky, I told myself, lucky that I don’t get stressed. I was a calm, just deal with it and move on kind of gal.
I was full of shit. I’m the daughter of divorced alcoholics who had me way too young. I was bullied and didn’t have many friends growing up. I had severely low self esteem that manifested itself outwardly by being a smart-assed know-it-all. I have food and weight issues. My households were ripe with unhealthy relationships and I thought I was responsible for the peace keeping. OF COURSE I HAD STRESS!
Since I chose to deny its existence, my stress manifests itself in other ways. I pulled out my eyelashes. Weird, right? Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Also, I eat. I have always loved food, all sorts of food. I consider myself a foodie and I have a passion for well made, creative dishes. But when I’m stressed, it’s all about quantity, not quality. Even food I typically don’t enjoy, potato chips for example, are fair game. My skin also reacts to stress. I have excema that breaks out on my legs, hands, and even my face. It’s itchy and painful and annoying. But I still lived in denial. Friends would find me simultaneously pulling on my eyelashes, scratching my legs, and ordering pizza- “You okay Merrsidotes?” “Oh yeah, I’m great! Why do ask?” “Uhhhh…”
But lately the stress has been overwhelming. I realized that I was not okay, that the stress had taken over my life, and that I needed to make some changes if I was going to be a good mom to my Goober. I started talking. To a friend. To a coworker. I started venting. To my mom. To my husband. Also, running. I have never been pro-exercise. My pants size confirms this. But recently a friend and I started training for a 5K, and damn, apparently I like running. In my head, I’m actually running AWAY. Away from all the stresses in my life. Away to a place of peace and joy and stress-free living. I don’t run very far yet, but I’m working on it.
I also got a therapist. It’s funny, you would think with my degree in psychology, I would be ALL ABOUT the therapy. And I am- for other people. But it never occurred to me that maybe I would benefit from talking to an objective party. Dur. And it helps. My therapist is teaching me lots of new tricks, such as that it’s okay to say “I am STRESSED”. No, really, it’s okay!
So, my invisible internet friends, now I’m saying it. I am STRESSED. Thanks for listening.