Sunday, August 3, 2008

Oh, Those False Alarms!

Every time I think I'll have time to blog, something comes up, but in the past few weeks, Michael has successfully mastered toddling. He embarked on his upright, hands-free adventures right after my husband and I returned from an enjoyable trip to NYC, and he's been increasing his endurance and momentum ever since!

Last weekend, I was craving something sinful for breakfast, so I grabbed a small bag of donuts including one red jelly-filled. I ate the jelly-filled donut in a napkin to catch the crumbs, and I also caught a big glop of red goo. Somehow I got distracted, and the napkin never quite made it to the garbage where it belonged. I forgot completely about it.

A few moments later, Michael approached me while I was sitting on the sofa. On his way over, he lost his balanced and bumped his head on the coffee table before doing one of his famous stunt rolls onto the floor. Tears ensued, Nani came over to check things out licking Michael's face thoroughly to help any of his wounds feel better, and from seemingly out of nowhere the napkin resurfaced. Nani had started to eat it, and alarmed, I grabbed it from her jaws.

I saw this mysterious bright red spot on the napkin and suddenly became frightened that he had seriously injured himself on the coffee table. I checked Michael from head to toe and saw no sign of an open wound. Still surprised and puzzled, I jogged my memory and solved my mini mystery.

Stupid jelly donut, or rather stupid mommy. That'll teach me to put my trash where it belongs!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Resurrection - Breathing New Life Into My Blog and Recounting Michael's First Egg Hunt

I have neglected my blog for no apparent reason other than I haven't made time for it.

In the past few months, Michael has made great, great strides. He's sprouted 6 teeth, and we almost had a white -[capped] New Year's as a result of his budding pearls.

He's perfected the wounded soldier scoot and has become my own human Swiffer. I have had to organize his wardrobe into three tiers: 1) fancy clothes that are for special occasions that rarely get worn; 2) clothes that are nice enough to be worn out in public that will fool others into thinking that we rarely get ourselves dirty; and 3) those that are used for mopping my floors. As he gets more vertical, my floors will suffer in different ways and will probably miss his own brand of TLC that he currently gives them, but I'll look forward to the possibility of fewer unconcealable stains that start at his chin and end at his belly button.

Easter is right around the corner, and in celebration, we participated in Michael's first Easter egg hunt yesterday. At this age (10 1/2 months), it was really much less of a hunt and more of a themed tactile exploration for the pre-walking babies at the celebration where the hunt was held. All of the other pre-walkers that were present were either napping or far less mobile than he giving him an unfair advantage. He was placed in the center of a blue tarp with plastic filled eggs spread about and one golden egg "hidden" among them. The golden egg was a prize egg, and he or she who found it would get a great reward.

Once he was turned loose, he scooted around touching and mouthing an egg here and there before moving on to the more fascinating objects like leaves and sticks. I tried to turn his attention to the eggs, but he paid little mind to them in favor of logs and rocks. Eventually, he caught on as I filled his basket with a few of the eggs. I tried to point him in the direction of the golden egg two or three time, but he wasn't interested. I didn't want to be selfish and thought of letting another baby "find" it.

It was a funny sight to see him scrambling for nature's objects versus the man-made fun plastic objects that were right in front of him. I tried in vain to keep his eye on the prize and eventually succeeded when he wound up with the golden egg in his hand, which he wound up putting into the basket by some fluke of nature. In the end, we were rewarded with an Easter basket filled with stuff for David and me to enjoy. I'll leave it for the Easter Bunny to deliver on Sunday morning, so that Michael can at least play with the stuffed puppy dog that's inside.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Poop: It's the Gift that Keeps on Giving

The day after Michael's half birthday, we started solid foods. I had mixed emotions about this because it not only meant my little baby boy was growing up, but it also meant that mealtime would be more about sitting around the table and less about sitting at the boob. This is especially helpful when we're out in public as he can eat like a big boy from a spoon.

Along with solid foods comes solid poop. This milestone also emphasizes the fact that the bigger Michael gets, the more his stomach and intestines can hold. This week he has made this point very clearly.

I sometimes will call my husband David at work and give him some superlative description of something Michael has done during the day:

"Michael babbled the most I've ever heard him!"
"Awww, Michael made the absolute cutest facial expression!"
"Poor Michael cried harder than he's ever cried in his life!"

Today's superlative was, "Michael had the poopiest diaper EVER!" And today as in days past, I wasn't crying wolf. There were times when I'd reported that exact same thing to David, and just when it seems like it couldn't be topped, it happens. Shit happens, that is.

Michael had been contently playing in his Exersaucer when I heard the telltale grunting and saw his face turn red. I figured I would let him stay upright and finish his business because I don't know if you have ever tried to poop while lying down, but I imagine it mustn't be that comfortable. Once he seemed finished and in his post-BM zen mood, I scooped him up and took him to the changing table.

I grab one wipe, and figure this one might be messy, so I grab a second one just in case. As soon as I removed his pants, I realize that I'm in deep.... errr..... trouble. It was at this moment that the poop became its own entity far bigger than his diaper or me, so I rushed into the bathroom to draw an impromptu bath leaving him on his changing table. Poop was absolutely everywhere, getting on his clothes, him, me, and his plastic changing table pad.

I thought I'd be smart and ready some clean clothes for him once his bath was finished to avoid him getting chilled any longer than necessary, but that plan backfired. Badly. As I was lifting a happy, naked, kicking baby from his changing table, the poop-covered pad stuck to his dimply butt cheeks, and fell over onto his unsoiled clothes.

I was incredibly relieved once Michael was in the bath and washed and rinsed his butt, back, and legs. Because we only have a wall-mounted shower head, I had to do my best to safely maneuver Michael under the bath faucet in order to make sure there was not the least amount of poop on him. He played on the floor in his towel while I bleached the big tub, disinfected his tub, and threw his and my clothes into the washing machine. Once it was all over with, I scrubbed down like a surgeon preparing for a big operation and heaved a sigh of relief.

So with input, comes output. LOTS of output. I know this blowout was the biggest I've yet to deal with, but I know the one that will be even bigger than this one is just around the corner.

Ah, motherhood!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Let's Talk Turkey: Babble, Babble, Babble

Michael had his first Thanksgiving this week, and it was quite an exhausting yet exciting time for us all.

After a typical tension-filled packing session in order to try to head for Katy at a reasonable hour, we finally piled into the car. Michael only napped for a half hour the entire drive, much to our disappointment. I wo-manned my post in the cramped back seat to try to keep him entertained and soothed and shared some hearty laughs with him late in the trip.

Since crying it out, we've had much success in getting him to sleep through the night, which has been wonderful for all of us. Of course, David and I had some concern over how Michael would sleep in a totally different but not completely unfamiliar house. We were hoping that he wouldn't disrupt the sleep of my mother-in-law who had committed to making our entire Thanksgiving feast herself. A sleep-deprived mother-in-law plus Thanksgiving stress would be a recipe for disaster.

Amazingly, he slept through both nights, and he was even able to go down for a few brief naps without using the boob to send him into his slumber. Hooray!

Michael was his observant self throughout the festivities as all of his relatives constantly oohed and aahed over him. A pink balloon brought big laughs with Aunt Kathy, and great-great aunts Kitty and Bunny were simply smitten with him. Over at Great Aunt Mary's and Great Uncle Ralph's, his presence brought smiles of delight to everyone. He watched his older cousins play, and I know that it won't be too long before he's running around with them.

After an action-packed couple of days filled with family and food, we anxiously made our way home. Michael was quite cranky prior to getting into the car, and we feared that this would be a horrible precursor to how the entire drive would be. Much to our surprise his demeanor completely changed once he was fastened into his seat. Once again, he only napped for 30 minutes, but after his nap, he conversed with me. It wasn't his typical vocal gymnastics conversation where he tests the octaves and volume of his voice, but it was filled with bilabial consonants. For at least an hour we talked about "mama" and "baba". It was as though he had been taking notes since birth and spilled forth all of his thoughts in his precious baby language.

David and I continued our dialogue with Michael well into the evening until it was bedtime. Just before he had his last feed, he uttered "mama" a few more times. Those are some of the sweetest words, even if they make no sense.

I'm learning that motherhood is rich with non-sensical sounding things that have so much meaning.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our Cry It Out Experience

At Michael's 4-month appointment, the pedi asked how he was sleeping at night. I responded that most nights, my son wakes up at least once or twice to bed fed. He suggested that we may want to wean him from feeding at night because there is a window between 4-6 months of age where they start to develop habits even at night, and didn't want us to be burdened with the middle-of-the-night feedings for the long haul.

David was pushing for me to wean our son, and I still gave in to the feedings. Most nights I would bring him into bed with me to feed him and let him stay there until it was time to wake up. For the life of me, I did NOT want to do cry it out (CIO), especially in the middle of the night. I opposed CIO because I didn't want Michael to be distressed and less trusting in me/us, I didn't want to hear him cry, and I didn't want to lose precious sleep. So, David and I were seriously butting heads.

At Michael's 6-month appointment, once again the sleep issue was brought up. And again, we were strongly encouraged to wean Michael from the night feedings. David renewed his push to have Michael CIO in an effort to break his habit. I finally gave in since Michael wasn't doing this on his own.

On Thursday, we started the process. I nursed Michael to sleep like always, and he awoke right around midnight. I put on my noise-canceling headphones and cranked up the iTunes while David went in periodically to check on him and pat him. After an hour, Michael finally went to sleep. He awoke again at 3:00AM, and David was the one who went in to check on him every 15 minutes. I put in my ear plugs in order to avoid hearing the cries. It took another hour, but he finally went to sleep on his own.

Friday night, Michael woke up at 1:00 AM after being nursed to sleep as usual about 5 hours earlier. After 30 minutes of crying during which David dutifully checked in every 15 minutes, Michael dozed off. About an hour later, he awoke, this time on his belly. Michael HATES to sleep on his belly and protests loudly when he's ready to not be in that position even though he's fully capable of rolling over onto his back from his belly. David rolled him back over, and he cried himself to sleep after another 30 minutes.

Last night, bedtime was the same routine, and Michael awoke at 4:00AM. He cried for only 5 minutes and was silent until 8:30AM. David and I both woke up feeling refreshed, and Michael was found on his belly in his crib playing with one of his toys. There is no telling how long he'd been in that position.

I hope this trend continues. If so, then thank you David, thank you ear plugs, and thank you noise-canceling headphones for getting me through the first two nights.

Now, if only I could get him to nap on his own. Baby steps. Baby steps.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

The past few weeks have been a blur. I left Michael in the care of my trusted MIL while I took off to Vegas at the end of last month. He apparently did very well for her, and though he had his moments, he is still welcome back.

I, however, missed him terribly. I did need the break, but I literally ached that I could not breastfeed him and had to rely on the pump to offer relief. It wasn't too big of a burden to pump every few hours, and when I returned, we had a renewed relationship. My fears that he would reject me dissipated, and he's still the same booby monster that he always was.

When Michael was 4 months and 2 days old, he rolled over for the first time. Of course, I missed it and was surprised to find him on his tummy after having placed him on his back. It was a milestone we got to share with the pediatrician on September 18 when he was weighed, measured, and received his second round of vaccinations. After that, he refused to roll.

Starting just last week, he renewed his interest in rolling, especially from back to belly, and he hasn't stopped since. He also makes slow-moving 90-degree revolutions when on his tummy, so he's always changing the direction he's facing. I try in earnest to keep a blanket between him and the tile floor, but most of the time, my efforts are in vain.

While I wanted to hold off until he was closer to 6 months, I decided to start Michael on little bits of cereal. It's mainly to get him used to the mechanics of eating. He did wonderfully, and I will gradually give him increasing amounts over the coming weeks. I don't plan on introducing fruits and veggies until he's at least 6 months.

I'm amazed at how quickly he's growing and how fast time is flying. There are some moments where I'm bleary-eyed and wonder if they'll ever end, and other moments that I never want to end. I never want to take him for granted.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Here We Grow!

I've always been a procrastinator by nature, so it's no surprise that it's taken me just over 4 months to start blogging about Michael.

I'll try to start from the beginning and fill in the details as much as I can along the way. We've hit some pretty fantastic milestones in his short life, and I cannot believe how over 1/3 of the year has just flown by.

I'll start off with his latest milestone and work backward.

On September 13, just two days after he turned 4 months, we had our first back to belly roll over!

I had placed him on his back in his gym, one of his favorite places. I dashed over to my laptop to check my email, and before I knew it, I heard Michael grunting and crying out for help. While I wasn't looking, he managed to roll completely over onto his stomach, and he was stuck.

I quickly called David to give him the news, and he asked if I'd caught it on camera. Unfortunately, I wasn't given the gift of clairvoyance, so I didn't have the video camera handy.

Since then, he's rolled over twice more from back to belly. We've only had one belly to back roll, and that happened on August 20. I think it scared him enough to where he didn't want to do it again as he's managed to avoid doing it since.

I'll add one more anecdote from two nights ago:

David and I both heard a somewhat regular *thump* at around 4:30 this morning.

*thump* And then nothing.

*thump* And then nothing.

Alarmed, David got out of bed and went to check things out. Turns out, our "vandal" was Michael! He was wide awake in his crib, and making the noise by letting his legs fall onto the mattress. He wasn't crying or talking, just kicking.

He's been proud of himself lately for making the same type of noise on his changing table, and sometimes I'm afraid that it will just bottom out!

At least we got an answer to the latest "Things That Go Thump In The Night" mystery.