Friday, May 30, 2008

Harry Joseph, Eight Months Old

March 14, 2008 @ 7:40 am

Dear Harry,

This month, we have been visited by the personality fairy. You are quite a character, full of belly laughs and babbling sounds! Everyone comments on how happy you are. They ask if you are like that all the time, and for the most part, yes you are. In the last few weeks, you have become responsive to so many things. You react to us when we do something silly, instead of just staring at us like we are crazy (that will come back when you are a teenager). You smile and laugh when we put your rubber duck on our heads or try to eat your toes.

Another change is how you can now show a true attachment to your parents. Now that you are so mobile and can move away from us, like you’ve been dying to do since birth, you will seek us out after a time of separation. You’ll be playing and suddenly crawl across the room into my lap and bury your head. Or, I’ll leave the room for a moment to come back and find you out in the hall looking for me. This morning when I was leaving for work, you crawled over to me and pulled up on my pant legs as if to say, “Mama, don’t go!” Believe me, I’d stay if I could. You do these things to Daddy, too, which makes me so happy. They say when Dads stay at home, children show less of a preference between Mom & Dad. You and Daddy have lots of fun together and I know he can’t wait to take you to the park to play frisbee.

On the language front, you did something amazing this week. You had just had your bath and Daddy was getting you dressed. You were not happy about it, so you were fussing and squirming. Daddy put you on his shoulder so I could pull your PJ bottoms up. When they were on and he turned you around you looked at me and said, “Mama!” Well, I tell you, we made such a big deal about that that you forgot why you were mad and started smiling away. I know you probably don’t realize what you did, but you know you did something. It’s only a matter of time before you figure it out for real. Just the same, my heart melted hearing you say that.

We are so glad that you are such a happy kid. We are hoping that your personality will help us on what will most likely be a very difficult trip to meet your Daddy’s family on the West Coast. Traveling with an 8 month old is a huge logistical feat. Although you won’t remember this trip, you can be sure that your parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles will never forget it. I know that, they all love you and can’t wait to meet you. I hope that someday you have nice memories of them. Meanwhile, I’ll try not to have a panic attack.

Last night we took you to the playground so you could ride on the swings. You thought that was the greatest thing ever. Almost better than nursies! Seeing you, in your little jacket and hat, looking more and more like a little boy than a baby, made me think of what you’ll be like as you get older. I hope you retain your sense of fun and cheerfulness. Life can be hard, but it is ever so much easier if you can maintain a positive outlook. Being happy is a choice, in most cases, and it can be a hard choice sometimes, but I see it as a sign of strength and inner peace. If you are happy with yourself first, many of life’s little troubles just melt away. Rock on with your giggly self, little one.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Harry Joseph, Seven Months Old

February 18, 2008 @ 10:22 am

Dear Harry,
It is hard to believe you are seven months this week. I have to admit, I was so focused on reaching 6 months with nursing that I haven’t really thought beyond that point. What do I do with a seven month old? Well, I’ll tell you. I will be chasing you around the house! I have joked since you were born that I gave birth to a toddler. You are a big boy and you have done everything early from the very beginning. You seem to be in a hurry to get to all your milestones. First, smiling, then head control, rolling, sitting, pushing up, rocking and now babbling, crawling and standing. No wonder you hardly sleep. You’re too busy!

Speaking of sleep, since we finally decided to admit to co-sleeping, you and I have both slept better. Not to say that we haven’t had a few nights of hourly wake-ups, but you have gone down easier and slept sounder since coming to bed full-time and since becoming mobile. I think the physical activity has been good for you. You now like to sleep on your tummy with your feet tucked up and your bum in the air. It is quite adorable, and it’s all I can do to keep from patting your caboose all night long. Daddy even says your naps are better, and there have been several times in the last few weeks that I have been able to nurse you down and leave you for 45 minutes to an hour for some alone time with Daddy. Unheard of! In fact lately, we’ve noticed that you give us 4-5.5 hours at a stretch if you go to bed later. That means less alone time for us, but I’ll take the sleep for now. Today is a holiday and we all slept until 9:00. What bliss!

In other news, we got you your first ball this week and you knew just what to do with it. You spent a good 10-15 minutes batting it up and down the hallway, babbling with joy. We also got you a toy cell phone to distract you from our real cell phones. It says 18+ months, but there are no small parts, so have at it! You have taken to your vegetables much more in the last week or so. So far, you’ve had squash, sweet potato, carrots and peas. You even had your first applesauce this week, because you were a little (ahem) “blocked up” from too much oatmeal. You don’t take that much solid food, and you still nurse like a champ, but you seem to enjoy what you have. You’re too young to have solids replace nursing, but it is good practice.

I got a new toy for myself this week: a Storchenwiege Baby Sling. You have always loved being wrapped. First in the Moby wrap and then in the one I made. In between, we have used a Babyhawk Mei Tai. The “storch” (Anna print - lovely!) has been great so far. I have been able to soothe you to sleep by walking and singing to you. Imagine that! Sleep without nursies first! We have also used it when out on errands and I like being able to pre-tie it and pop you in and out. I need to practice some different positions. I hope by the Summer I’ll be good enough to get you on my back.

One thing that is bothering you is your teeth. They aren’t here yet, but boy are they tough. We feel so bad for you when you wake up crying and rubbing your gums. Tylenol helps a bit and so do Hyland’s teething tablets and frozen toys and washcloths, but the best remedy will be for them to just hurry up and break through. For a couple of nights in a row, you woke up between 11:30 and 1:00 needing Tylenol. The first night, you couldn’t get back to sleep, so Daddy took you upstairs from 1:30-3:00. The next night, Daddy walked you for a few minutes and you fell asleep in his arms. He laid you down next to me and you turned over on your tummy and slept for 3.5 hours. Daddy is my hero. It’s so sweet how you try to remain your chipper self while in pain. You try to smile and be happy, but then you whimper and cry and try to smile at the same time. What a trooper!

Another thing bothering you is the car seat. The last few days have included major car meltdowns to the point of us pulling over so I can try to calm you down. I don’t know if it is separation anxiety or your deep hatred of shoulder straps, but you haven’t done this since you were a wee one. Can we get over it, please? Daddy and I would like to get out of the house sometimes. I’ve noticed that you are ok when we go places, but then, after I get you out and walk you around somewhere in the cozy wrap, you don’t transition well back to the car seat. The other day, I sat in back with you to try to keep you calm and you were grabbing at the wrap and wailing like, “Why did you take me out!?” If I could hold you in the car, I would, but it’s not safe. It breaks your mother’s heart a little bit, Harry.

When I think of all the things you have outgrown in the last seven months (the swing, the bumbo seat, the exersaucer, the changing table, the bath pad, the buckle carrier, the co-sleeper bassinet and countless outfits) it makes me wonder if we’ll even recognize the little guy you’ll be at one year. We’re getting closer every day and you are moving so fast. I wish I could slow you down just a little so we could make sure we remember all these “baby days.” Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up, Harry, it ain’t all they promise it to be.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Humbling moments in parenting

February 6, 2008 @ 9:29 am

Harry started to crawl last week. (Can I get a “woo-hoo” for early development, please? Thank you.) I have been looking forward to this with eager anticipation and a bit of dread (can we say, baby proofing?) and it has proved to be all I thought it would. In our house, there is a long hallway off of which are all of the main rooms: 3 bedrooms, my office, the bathroom and the kitchen. When we moved in, 2 weeks before Harry was born, I had visions of him crawling up and down the hall with me and hubby playing hide and seek in the doorways. We used to do the same with our older cat and it was great fun. What better incentive to get him to move than a playful parental unit calling out “come and get me!” He’d come catch me and we’d laugh and I’d reflect on the joys of babyhood. (Cue sappy music here.)

This morning, I put Harry at the end of the hall and hid in the doorway of the guest room. He smiled when I peeked out at him from the doorway. He continued to smile each time I repeated the action, but he made no move. About the third time I did it, he moved, but it was to make a 90 degree turn away from me and towards my filthy shoes under the hall table. When I looked again, he had completed a 180 and was headed for the wire cat toy on the floor behind him. So much for expectations! He’s had enough of me, on to forbidden (and delicious, apparently) objects!

We really need to clean the house.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I made this post about Harry's sleep when he was a little over 6 months old. There were some links attached to the last paragraph of the original post that I have to dig up.

Though we have made strides in some ways (he does let me leave him for an hour or so at a time), I am still struggling to make peace with his sleep, or lack of it. We are in another rough patch and I'm having a hard time. I know he's doing fine - he is happy, healthy and energetic as hell. I just wish we could get some sort of routine down. Or, if we could just bottle his energy, we could solve the gas crisis.

January 24, 2008 @ 10:39 am

I’ve written about how Harry is a big eater and not a big sleeper. About how he likes to be held all the time. About how active and strong he is. And about how exhausted I am. I have come to the conclusion that Harry is a “High Needs Baby.” The characteristics describe him perfectly, except that he is not a cranky, grumpy child. He is just demanding. He knows what he wants and will not rest until he gets it. That means no rest for us until we give him what he wants. Coming to this realization has been a big thing for me. It is not the easiest thing to admit, because I felt like his “issues” were a result of our parenting. The more I come to terms with it, I realize that he just is the way he is because that is who he is. Once I let go of feeling like I was to “blame,” for lack of a better word, I could start to see that I just need to change my expectations of him and my expectations of myself. He is not like other “easy” babies and I can’t make him what he is not.

That being said, hubby and I made a big step last night. Since Harry came home, we have tried all sorts of transitional props to get him to sleep somewhere other than in our arms or in our bed. First was the Moses basket. Then, the co-sleeper bassinet. Then the side-car crib. The only one he ever slept in for any amount of time was the basket, and that was before I was working full-time. The side-car crib (taking off the front of the crib and butting the mattress up to the bed) would have been great, if we had done it sooner. However, Harry is already sitting up and getting ready to stand. So, the other day, I read that you could get bed risers for the crib and then lower the crib mattress, so there would be more railing to prevent a fall. We did that only to have the crib fall off the risers in the middle of the night. Luckily, Harry was in the bed. That’s the thing, though. Harry is always in the bed.

Hubby and I have discussed many times how the location of Harry’s sleep was not what bothered us. Co-sleeping is fine and dandy. It is the lack of independent sleep. The fact is that he either needs to be nursed, held, driven or swung to sleep. Or, if I nursed him down in our bed, I have to stay there in order for him to sleep more than 30 minutes. He has never been able to transfer from swing, arms or car seat to the crib or bed without waking and then staying awake. This means we get no time without one of us attached to Harry. Hard times in our house.

So, last night, we got rid of all pretenses and finally admitted where Harry spends the night: in our bed. We took down the side car and put bed rails on our bed. We decided that I would nurse him down in our bed after bath time, when he usually sleeps for about two hours (7-9 PM). Once asleep, I would start trying to slip away from him. If he woke, I’d go and try again. Wash, rinse, repeat until my bed time, which is 10 PM. From there, we would co-sleep. This way, we could move towards getting one stint of independent sleep from him, but still feel rested ourselves by making it at a time when we are still up. Last night, he gave us 30 minutes before he cried and I had to nurse him back down. We will continue working on it.

The thing that got to me was how cathartic it was to get rid of the side car. This was the first time since he was born that there was no transitional sleeping apparatus on my side of the bed. I didn’t realize until it was gone that all of those things were putting a lot of negative pressure on me, reminding me that my baby didn’t sleep “correctly” and it was my fault and that I needed to “fix” him, and the sooner the better. I felt so relieved after we removed it, like I was coming out of denial. It was like a physical weight being lifted from me and I now feel free. Hi, I’m Harry’s Mom and we co-sleep.

The notion that babies should sleep in a crib in their own room is really a 20th century, American idea. We pride ourselves on our independence and frown upon shows of weakness, even from our infants. Harry’s doctor told us to leave him alone and let him cry at night. There are studies now that say this is detrimental to the child. (Not that we ever considered doing it. Harry increases his tension when he cries.) There are studies that show that co-sleeping can be developmentally beneficial. There are studies that show it is normal with primates. Everyone has to do what works for them, and right now, this is working. I feel empowered. I feel confident. I feel relieved to finally have admitted that my child is high needs and I feel satisfied that I am meeting his needs to the best of my ability. I truly hope that my efforts will help nurture his strong personality and strong attachment and make for a confident, happy little boy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Harry Joseph, Six Months Old

January 16, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

Dear Harry,

Happy half birthday! If these first 6 months are any indication, the next 6 are going to fly by. Half a year with you and I already forget what it was like before you (but maybe that is the sleep deprivation talking). You’re starting solid food this week and have not liked it very much. I know you still prefer your “nursies” but I’m excited to start cooking for you. We have learned that bananas make you cringe. We’ll keep that up for the next few days. Next week, we try squash! I’m looking forward to those leftovers.

One new thing we’re dealing with is a milk shortage. I took a pumping break over winter vacation and our freezer stash dwindled and died. Then heading back to work, my pumping output dropped by half. Top that off with some lost bottles that were left out too long and you’ve got yourself a food shortage. I’ve had to pump 4 times today to try to make up some ground. Even so, by the end of my work day, you have had it with bottles and you typically fuss until I get home. I’m hoping you take to the solids so that your milk intake during the workday slows down some. I’m willing to nurse all evening long (note, I said “evening” not “night!) and get up early and feed you. I can manage 3 pumps a day, but 4 is really pushing it.

The other big thing we are working on is sleep. You don’t sleep well. You are a crappy sleeper and have been from day one. There. I said it. You sleep lightly and not a lot and you do not like to sleep unless you are held, or driven or walked. This means that mom and dad have NO alone time together, unless we drive you to sleep and keep you in the car seat to extend the nap. Let’s just say that 6 months of that is taking its toll. That and the waking every two hours to nurse have meant that I’m constantly tired and stressed, both at work and at home.

We are using a book called “The No-Cry Sleep Solution” to try to gently transition you to more independent sleep. You now have a lovey bear and a blanket that we use at bed time to try to cue you to sleep. We have the crib in a side-car position to the bed and are trying to gradually get it so we can put you in there for bed time. (Naps are another issue.) You are starting to give us one 4 hour stretch to start the night, followed by 2 hour chunks. This is where we were at around 11 weeks, when I went back to work. My return to work then set us way back and we’re only just recovering. I hope we can continue on this better path.

You’d never know you were a rough sleeper, though. You are so cheery and active and alert. (All. The. Time.) You are very mobile and verbal. Your new thing is getting from all fours to feet flat on the floor, supported by your hands. I read that this is called the “Bear Crawl.” You are already good at the “Crab Crawl” which is backwards, much to your dismay. You have even tried to pull yourself to standing a couple of times. It hasn’t worked yet, but I know you won’t be happy until you succeed. We’ve got to get baby-proofing before you start walking! On the verbal front, you love to babble and shreik. When you’re upset, you say “Mumumumum, nininini, na ba da ga” or some variation of that. (The “mum” part makes me happy.) You don’t repeat things yet, but you have learned to bang things. Loudly. In rhythm. Over and over. With single -minded purpose. Oh what fun!

Right now, I am holding you while you sleep and typing with one hand. I do this a lot. But looking down at your sweet, sleepy face, I know I won’t be doing this forever. Someday, you’ll run from my kisses and cuddles. Someday, you’ll sleep in your own bed all by yourself…until noon. Someday, you’ll drink milk from the gallon jug in the fridge. So, forgive my typos as I cherish this time just a little bit.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crappy Mother's Day!

Dear Harry,

You certainly made my first Mother's Day memorable! We got up at 6:00 and Daddy was still sleeping. By the time he was up, we really needed to get ready for the day, so we both got cleaned up. By 8:00, when we wanted to go out, you wanted a nap. I had almost gotten you down and had formulated a new game plan (involving Daddy getting us bagels and having brunch at home) when your toy car went off saying, "Let's go for a ride!" There went that nap.

We put you in the car (the real one, not the toy!), hoping we could get you to sleep and then get to have brunch. Nope. You cried. We pulled over, nursed, gave you Tylenol for your teeth and kept going. You cried. We pulled over, put you in the wrap, walked around a supermarket and calmed you down and then kept going. You cried. We went home.

I nursed you down on the Boppy after a little "Baby Neptune." Daddy brought me Dunkin' Donuts. (They got my order wrong.) After 45 minutes, you woke up because I was trying to sneak a sip of my iced mocha. You love straws, cups and ice. There went that nap.

We took a walk to try to get you out again. No dice. Daddy left for work. I changed you and we played. You were fussy and clingy. Then you dived for me, wanting to nurse and cracked my lip open. I sat there and bled into a cloth diaper while you nursed. I changed you and went to get ice for my lip. I came back and you had pooped in your new diaper. I changed you again. I think I cursed a little.

You were very cranky from teeth and lack of sleep, and I was cranky too, so I decided to administer more Tylenol and get in the car for a little ride to Target. You were very happy on the way there and fell asleep just as we pulled in. (This is where the readers should yell at the screen "Turn around! Go home!") I put you in the wrap and went shopping. You woke up, but seemed sleepy and calm. I shopped quickly, hoping you would drift back to sleep in the car. I even opted to take the back roads home so you could have a leisurely snooze. As soon as I passed the highway ramp, with no way to go back, you started to cry, which turned to wailing, which turned to screaming. All the way home. We're talking biblical proportions here. I cried with you, baby.

We got home and put "Baby Neptune" back on. I was hoping for another Boppy nap (without the mocha distraction from earlier) but you were having none of it. At this point, it was after 4 PM. You had not had a single real nap and you had been up since 6 AM. Daddy got home at 5:30 and took you for a walk to go pick up something crappy for dinner. You were still awake when you got home. I had Daddy bathe you while I ate and then I nursed you down at 6:30 and you were down for the count. Then, it was my turn to meltdown over the fact that Daddy didn't even get me a card.

I just have to say that it was a crappy day by anyone's standards. It's not your fault. You are a baby, and a very sweet one at that. You didn't know it was Mother's Day. I know crappy days are the days you need me the most, but it was really rough. I felt like I needed a "real" mom to come in and take over. Nothing I did was working. I felt like I was flunking motherhood.

You have made it up to me the last two days, though. We had a great day home together today. Daddy had a triple service day, so I stayed home and you have been a pleasure. I think next year, I will just disappear for a few hours on Mother's Day, even if it is just for a nap. It's nothing personal, but I'll be a better Mommy if I can have a little breather.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Harry Joseph, Five Months Old

December 31, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

Dear Harry,

OK, so this post is about two weeks late. Blame it on the holidays. This season is always hectic, but add a baby to the mix and, man, you’ve got fun! You are doing great, little guy. You’re rolling over (and over and over), getting up on your hands and knees and rocking, scooting yourself backwards, sitting up (almost) unassisted, pulling up (with help) to a standing position. You make some really funny sounds, including raspberries and belly laughs. You’ve reached 20 pounds and about 29 inches and are wearing 9-12 month clothes. I will predict that you’ll be crawling by 6 months and walking by 9 months. Prove me wrong, boy!

You’ve had your first taste of baby cereal, but you’re not wild about it. It seemed to help you sleep, though. In fact, you slept through the night a couple times in the last few weeks. Trouble is that you now have a nasty cold. I feel so bad with your nose running and your barky cough. I know it is good for you to be exposed to illness, but you’re so helpless that it just makes me sad and worried. You try to be your usual chipper self, but it’s hard when you feel like crap. Believe me, I know how you feel! Once you’re a bit better, we’ll get back on the cereal train and hope for better sleep.

You have fallen in love with our cats. Every time you see them, your whole body shakes with excitement and you reach out your hands. They have let you touch them, but they mostly keep their distance. I wish that Carmen would keep her distance from me. My poor, neglected, first baby will not leave me alone most days. She does not understand that I refuse to disturb you in order to pay attention to her. If she would just hang out and sit with me/us, it would be fine, but she must be petted with both hands, or fed, or brushed, or she will pick at me/us with her claws. I bet your first words will be, “Carmen, no!”

You survived your first holiday season with a house full of people and days full of family outings and obligations. This was supposed to be my winter break, but I feel less rested than I do when I’m working. I think we need to start a family tradition of taking a tropical vacation at this time of year. Let’s get away from the overeating, over-shopping, commercialized crap and just go relax. We’ll go build sandcastles while Daddy goes snorkeling. What do you say?

Happy new year, baby.



Friday, May 9, 2008

Harry Joseph, Four Months Old

November 28, 2007 @ 8:51 am

Dear Harry,

Oh my, but 4 month olds are challenging! You are a busy little guy: rolling, teething, cooing, reaching for toys and really playing, trying to sit up, blowing raspberries, trying to sing and explore your voice, still nursing around the clock, still sleeping in our bed. But hey. These are all good things. You are doing everything you are supposed to be doing and more. You’re pretty amazing, kid.

Mommy and Daddy have had it rough, though. We have both been sick for much of the month and have not slept in the same bed in about 2 weeks. Our schedules have made it really hard to have any “grown-up” time alone together. I know it’s a phase, but it’s a tough one. Daddy is leaving on a Christmas Pops tour two days after Thanksgiving and your Mimi & Pop are going to come stay with you. We are going to miss Daddy. There was a day last week that he was so sick, I had to take you to work with me. We stayed out all day to let him rest. When we got home and you saw him, I don’t know who lit up more - you or Daddy. I hope his being gone for a week won’t make you forget him. I love how you two have settled in together like old pals.

The semester here at school is winding down. I’m really trying to power through with the pumping and nursing to make it to my 6 month goal, which is January. I’m not ready to wean you and you show no signs of being ready to wean. But January will be a new semester, a new year, your 6 month birthday and the introduction of solid food. At that point, I hope to ease off on the pumping and see how we do. Right now is a bad time to try to change anything. Everything I’ve read on 4 month olds convinces me that we need to keep doing what we’re doing. This is a big growth spurt and a time of huge neurological & physical development. You have two top teeth coming in, so that is a factor too. I can pretty much feed you in my sleep now, so I should feel pretty good, once I’m no longer sick.

It’s now nearly 10 days later and I’m just getting to finish this post. We still haven’t worked out the “giving Mommy free time when she’s home” thing, so I have to write about you at work. It’s nice, though, because I miss you all day long. As tired as I am and as challenging as you can be, I don’t want to miss a moment with you. Every day is something new and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Harry Joseph, Three Months Old

October 19, 2007 @ 7:31 am

Dear Harry,

You turned 3 months old this week. Where has the time gone? I’ll tell you…nursing. You are still a big eater. Every two hours around the clock. You will usually give me one good long stretch of sleep, and by good I mean anywhere from 3-5 hours at a time (read: not great). That stretch usually comes between 8 PM and 1 AM, but the start time is not consistent. The end time (1 AM) however, is very consistent. You are hungry at 1. I get it. And also at 3 and 5 AM and sometimes 6 & 7 AM. The only way I’m getting any rest is to have you in bed with us. You are ok in the cosleeper, but I’m usually too tired to move you after you’re done eating. This morning was not good. I fed you at 6, then got up at 6:30, showered, pumped at 7 and was about to eat breakfast, when guess who wanted to nurse again in my last 10 minutes at home? No, the answer is not Daddy. I’m hoping this is just a growth spurt, because I can’t keep this up.

The nice thing is that you are a very happy, smiley, cuddly baby. You even wake up happy (unless you’re hungry, which again, I get it!) and will look over and give me a big smile first thing in the morning. I melt just thinking about it. You also give us wonderful giggles and coos like you are talking to us and you try to raspberry back to us when we make silly sounds. You love tummy time and play time and are just starting to be interested in people and toys. It is really fun to take you to the developmental play group on Thursdays and see what the other babies are doing and to see you watching them. Bath time has also become play time for you. You are so strong that I’ve got to get in the tub with you and hold you with both hands so you won’t fling yourself into the water. You love to kick and splash and get everything soaking wet and then you love to scream when we get you dressed. You still can’t keep a pacifier in because you constantly stick out your toungue, but you are starting to find your thumb. Not that I want to wish away your babyhood, but I’m looking forward to seeing you sit, roll and crawl. Each stage is more and more fun. But when are you going to hit that “sleeping through the night on a regular schedule” stage? You did one night last week from 11-7 and I thought I would keel over. Can we have a repeat performance?

You are also a very healthy baby. You weigh a whopping 16 pound at 3 months and are wearing 6 month clothes (See paragraph about “eating” above). You aren’t prone to rashes or eye boogers or ear crud or anything. You get gassy, but that only sometimes bothers you. Mostly you just toot and belch like a champ without batting an eye. You’ve had some colicy episodes, but we are hoping they have passed in time for teething to start. You are already looking like you might have some chompers on the way. Lucky Mommy!

It’s been tough leaving you to go to work, even though I love my job. I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day to be with you and keep up with the library. It’s a big struggle right now. The first week, you wouldn’t eat until I got home and then it was a 12 hour nurse-a-thon from 5 PM to 5 AM (read: no sleep for Mommy). The second week, you hit a growth spurt and started eating us out of house an home, both while I was at work AND at home. This week has been different becuase you have come to stay with me at work a couple of times when Daddy had rehearsals. The whole time you were here, I felt guilty that I couldn’t give my full attention to you or to my work. You were very clingy and fussy until Daddy came back and then you were like “I’m cool!” In the end, it was exhausting for both of us. Even though everyone loves seeing you, we may have to rethink these arrangements. Just like we may have to think about buying a dishwasher and hiring a cleaning lady twice a month. Our priorities have shifted, and rightly so, but a lot of things are starting to slip around here. It’s hard to make yourself wash the dishes in the only 20 minutes of down time you have in an evening.

Sine this has taken me a few days to write, and I feel like I could spend weeks writing about your every move and change, I’ll wrap up. First, it’s now a day later thank the first paragraph and you gave me very good “sleeps” last night. 8:30-11:30, 12-4:45 and then I got up, pumped, showered and ate. Then you got up at 6 and we got to play and nurse some more before you went back to sleep at 7:30. I feel human this morning. Let’s do that again tomorrow! Mostly, it is just hard to imagine what we did before we had you. It’s hard to imagine loving anything more than you. You make everything seem new and exciting. It’s an exhausting, frustrating, thrilling and rewarding thing to be a parent. As we continue to figure things out and grow together, how about a nap? Nursies first, you say? Big surprise.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Sports Commentator

September 27, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

Every time I put my son in a Red Sox outfit, he poops on it. Have I given birth to a Yankees fan?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Harry Joseph, Two Months Old

September 15, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

Dear Harry,

You are eight weeks old this week. In some ways, the time has flown by. In other ways, it has gone very slowly. You are a totally different baby now. You still eat like a champ around the clock, but now you smile and laugh and coo at us. The other thing you have started to do is cry. I don’t know why you decided to start, but you seem to like to cry for part of your awake time these days. We have tried many things, with modest success. Gas drops, baby wearing, walks, car rides, swaddling, swinging, shushing, bathing. Sometimes things work, other times, nothing works. For a few days this week I felt like somebody had replaced you with your evil twin. It is most likely just a developmental phase. Maybe you are gearing up for a big old milestone? Who knows. Today has been better, with no crying jags as of 6:30 PM. But I won’t hold my breath. Regardless, your parents thank you for reserving your crying time for the daylight hours. I don’t think I could bear it if it were at 3 AM.

You have been giving us some longer sleep sessions, though I would like to reserve the right to choose when those happen. Sleeping a 3-4 hour stretch is great, but could we start that at midnight instead of, say 7 PM? Or 3 PM? I know you should let sleeping babies lie, but come on! Throw me a bone! Last night we were up ever 90 minutes or so. That is not acceptable. Especially since you have decided that you no longer sleep during the daylight hours or in the car. I know you can go longer between feedings. I’ve seen you do it! Let’s just agree that you will sleep from 12-5 and then I won’t mind the every two hour thing all day long. Ok? Oh, and thank you for not pooping as much during the night. That does help keep things simple.

I only have a couple of weeks left until I go back to work full time and I feel really torn. Part of me is looking forward to going back and part of me does not want to leave you. Ever. Right now you are sleeping across from me in your car seat and I miss you. How can I leave you for 9 hours a day? With all that you eat, how will I be able to pump enough to keep up? Will your Dad go crazy trying to find practice time? I just don’t know.

I do know that we love seeing your little personality emerge. You are already so much more alert and responsive. You can hold your head up and put weight on your legs. You are starting to get interested in toys and people. Things will just keep getting better. I know that one of these days you are just going to sleep through the night and I’ll be up all by myself wondering if you are ok. But, that is fine with me. Any day now would be great.

So, to wrap up, since this has taken me days to write and is probably completely incoherent: less crying, more laughing and more sleeping. That is the goal! You’re doing great, kiddo. Keep your eyes on the prize!



Thursday, May 1, 2008

Harry Joseph, One Month Old

August 13, 2007 @ 10:34

I know there are a million “Mommy Blogs” that write monthly letters to their kids, but I think it is a sweet idea. Plus, writing is good for me. So, if you will indulge me, here is the first in a series. I’m sure this will be written with MANY interruptions, but that is life with newborn.

Dear Harry,

Today, you are 4 weeks old. As I type this you are snoring away on my chest in the Moby wrap. Things have changed quickly in the last 4 weeks. It is hard to imagine life without you now. You just started smiling your first real smiles in the last few days and you sometimes give us as much as 4 hours of consecutive sleep at night. Let’s keep that up, shall we? As far as babies go, you are fairly easy. The only things that upset you are being changed, being hungry and being put down. If we keep ahead of those things, you are easy to calm: just give you the boob and you are fine.

In fact, your penchant for nursing has given you the nickname of the “Booby Monster.” You get this Dr. Evil kind of look once you get going. We’ve had some setbacks: latch problems that left us both crying in frustration (and pain for me). You’ve had a couple of growth spurts that have meant that you have spent upwards of 12 hours a day feeding, which also drove me to distraction. I know we are due for another one, so I’m hoping my coping skills are better now, since I’m feeling a bit more confident in my parenting skills. Your feeding “patterns” (not that they are consistent) have been the only things that have really gotten to me. It’s kind of a “one step forward, two steps back” thing and I need to be more patient.

I just have to jump in here and say that I just put you in your bassinet and you immediately took an explosive poop in your sleep. You don’t like your bassinet or your crib or really anything except your parents’ bed, chest or your Moses basket to sleep in. I never thought I’d be co-sleeping with you, but it is the only way we all get some rest. When I put you down, it’s like a reflex. You automatically wake up. I’m hoping you take to your crib by the time I go back to work. Your Dad and I just invested in a Queen size bed so we can have some more room, because you certainly aren’t getting any smaller.

Your Daddy is about to leave us for a two week music camp gig and my mom (Mimi to you) is coming to help me cope with you. Daddy is sad to miss two weeks of your development. As you have gotten bigger, he has gotten more comfortable with you. He’s never spent much time around a newborn and doesn’t know what to do with a floppy, squirmy baby. He’s learning and I know he can’t wait to really be able to play with you, once you are more interactive. I know he is struggling with your screamy, wiggly diaper changes.

Speaking of diapers, why is it that you have to poop on every outfit that I like? Is this your method of expressing opinions? There are two outfits in particular that are really cute that ALWAYS induce a blow out. It’s too often to be a coincidence.

We have made a point to get out with you at least once a day. There have been a few days where I haven’t made it out and those were long days. I need to feel like a human being and not a milk machine. You are very portable, though. You’ve had a couple of meltdowns at the store, but I just picked you up out of the car seat and you were fine. We’ve gotten to the point that we just go, regardless of the time. If we need to change you, we change you. If we need to feed you, we feed you. In fact, we even ate out at Kelly’s Roast Beef and felt like real parents. You cried as soon as the food came, so we ate in shifts and then fed you in the car. You then proceeded to completely blow out your diaper, necessitating a diaper and outfit change in the car. I think we did pretty well with that. You have started to train us already.

Mostly, we are just amazed by you. You look like both of us and many members of the family. You are very sweet and snugly and also very strong, already trying to hold up your head so you don’t miss anything. You have long periods of being awake and calm, which (when we aren’t exhausted) are great to see. Nobody tells you what to do with a baby who is awake and not crying. What a cool problem to have! We can’t wait to see what the next four weeks bring. You’ll have your first trip to the Performance Library and meet lots of cool people, but let’s not let rush things. I want to savor these wonderful, scary, exhausting, frustrating, exciting days. Don’t grow up too fast, ok?