3.31.2010

Time of His Life

"Oh, he's SO cute!"

Yeah we get that a lot.

But it's true: he's very cute.

It's very fun to see his budding personality and to begin to discover the complexities of this little person.

I sit with him in the back seat of the car wherever we go and whether sleeping or awake, I often stare at him and try to memorize these moments. It makes me verklempt to think that this time is so short, that he's growing every day and that, while there may be other babies in our future, there will only ever be ONE baby C. He'll only be 4 months once. (which is why I vowed this week to say his actual age from now on rather than "almost" the next age - even if he is 3/4 of the way to the next age).

It's amazing to see him learn. He stares at his hands to learn how to use them in new ways. Then, all the sudden he has a new skill. Like touching our still-sleeping faces in the morning or grabbing grocery receipts from our distracted hands. Or twirling his wrists round and round and round because it's his current fascination.

He's sitting up better. He holds himself up better. He reaches and grabs and knows what he wants. He loves grabbing his bare feet. He giggles when we kiss his tickle spot. He flirts with pretty receptionists at the dentist's office, giggling and talking to them like they're the best thing since warm milk. He's so much more social. He's beginning to recognize people. He's finding his voice and is increasingly loud. (He also gets really cranky when he's tired, but that's easily overlooked because he's such a good baby all the other times.)

He's beginning to watch us when we eat - so he may be ready for solids soon. He's starting to get those legs up under himself when he's on his belly - so before I know it he'll be rocking, then crawling, then (gulp!) walking.

My constant struggle is not to get ahead of myself and to really enjoy right now right now. After all, right now is the "right now" I envisioned a few months back. I'm trying my hardest to savor it.

~Nichole

3.30.2010

Ch-Ch-Changes

I’m feeling a change coming on. Maybe it’s that I’m missing firmness. Maybe it’s that my hair is falling out in smaller and smaller clumps. Maybe it’s that I’m overly emotional and am sent to tears pretty easily lately over silly things. (Want a for instance? The thought of putting away winter baby clothes that are barely worn and that he hasn’t quite outgrown and knowing that he’ll never wear them again. I think about it and the eyes brim over.) I’m telling you, something is up. Just want it on the record.

~Nichole

3.29.2010

Officially Different

The boy had his 4 month visit last week. He’s had a growth spurt, which we noticed by the fact that his car seat straps needed to be adjusted and a once too-big hat is now too small. He weighs 16 lbs, 12 oz (75th percentile for weight), is 26.5 inches tall (90th percentile for height) and his head is 45 cm around (17.7 inches - 97th percentile). They checked his head twice because “it looks like he’s had a growth spurt”. Yup.

I held my breath when she looked in his ears. Healthy! (Phew!) Somehow (breastmilk) he managed to escape the clutches of the sickness I’d had for the last 2 weeks. (Why is it that a pediatrician saying “wow he’s doing good! (developmentally)” simultaneously makes you beam with pride and happiness and becomes like gospel truth? “well the doctor said and if the doc said it, it must be true!”)

And so, we (and by “we” I mean “I”) decided to give the go ahead for a couple of vaccinations. We’re officially on an “alternative vaccination schedule”. He’s had 2 rounds of Hep B. He will not be getting the 3rd dose (baby #2 will not get any when that time comes). And he’ll only be getting Pc, HIB, and DTaP until he’s school age, when we’ll add MMR and maybe Polio and Chickenpox.

He tolerated the shots well.

We'll see if his dad does as well next time. Dad gets shot duty next time. My relation of the story of the shots nearly made him cry. The tiny bruise on C's left thigh from the needle didn't help either. Dad may cry more than the baby. . .

~Nichole

3.22.2010

Postscript

P.S. My breast pump tried to swallow my nipple whole tonight. It did not feel good.

He's worth it, though!

~Nichole

The Great Deflate

I’ve been thinking lately about my breasts. Deep thoughts. About how they finally have a purpose. About how they are finally fulfilling their density. . . I mean their destiny. (Quick! What movie is that a reference to?) About how they've deflated. My husband's words, not mine (though he's right). *sigh*

In honor of the fact that “the girls” have filled the measure of their creation, I pass along this little gem recently sent to me by my mom:

Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was, ‘Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk’, worth 70 points or none at all.

One student in particular was hard put to think of seven advantages. He wrote:
1) It is perfect formula for the child.
2) It provides immunity against several diseases.
3) It is always the right temperature.
4) It is inexpensive.
5) It bonds the child to mother and vice versa.
6) It is always available as needed.
And then, the student was stuck. Finally in desperation just before the bell indicating the end of the test rang he wrote....
7) It comes in 2 cute containers.

He got an A.

~Nichole

3.17.2010

Wanna Hear It?

. . . Here it go:

~Apparently, we created quite a stir with our son’s name – at least in M’s family. My MIL has had her name for 70-something years, and I imagine that it’s strange for her to hear it and wonder whether they mean her or our son. Some of them call him C, others call him Ezzie, and still others call him Zeke – a nickname derivative of his middle name (‘cause “it’s cool”). Whatever.

~Sickness has made us lose our ability to reason this week. After getting our tax assessment statement and realizing that by next year our house will be “worth” almost half of what we owe on it, for about 2 seconds we considered foreclosing and walking away. Then, we eased off the trigger finger and took some deep breaths and came up a limp-along strategy. This same madness made me panic about my weight this week (that last 10 pounds! And then some. . . ). I’ve plateaued and I realize that I need to both sleep and exercise more (how oxymoronic, if you ask me). But, ultimately I backed off that ledge, too. I have, however, increased my water intake and am eating more fruits. Still working on the veggies.

~I cannot believe how big my boy is getting! Every time I turn around sleeves are suddenly too short and sleepers are too tight. “They grow up fast” sounds like a tired cliché until you’re going through it!

~One sick and rainy day this week all I wanted to do was stay home with him and cuddle. Instead, I cried, prayed, went to work, and thanked my MIL profusely for caring for him so that it’s easier to be away knowing he’s with people who love him so much. The very next day, I felt glad to be leaving the house and to have some measure of my former independence/life still preserved. I don’t know what this emotional juxtaposition means, exactly, but I know there’s not much I can do about it until M graduates, so I’m determined to remain happy with the way things are right now.

~L’s baby has a double ear infection and RSV. M and I have been sick, and I’m really hoping C has dodged the bullet and will stay healthy.

~I’m soooo tired! I fantasize about napping. I crave Saturdays because when C goes back to sleep for his morning nap, I can too.

~I may or may not have recently teared up after discovering I had accidentally left breastmilk to ruin in my cooler over the weekend.

~Nichole

3.03.2010

The Answer to My Quandary

Remember when I was wondering what women do when there’s no “next baby”? Having only just begun, but knowing my childbearing years probably won’t extend much past one more pregnancy, I obsess a bit much. The whole topic sends me into an anxious quandary.

I was in the mother’s room at church on a recent Sunday and asked one such woman what it’s like. With not a hint of panic, she said “it’ll just feel right” – though, admittedly, she worries about the day in the not-so-distant future when they will be forced to take down the crib of her 1-year old (her last) and transition him to a big boy bed. She worries she’ll cry on that day.

But, for the most part, according to her, it’ll end as it began – with an inner knowledge of what’s right for you and your family. Which makes sense to me.

So I make a promise to myself not to obsess so much. But I’m smothered here, remember? I have been 100% immersed by pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood – by all of it, the whole experience. And I want it all to last as long as possible and not let one drop of it slip through my fingers.

~Nichole

3.01.2010

Water is Magic

If I didn’t before, I do now: I swear by water. Oh how thankful I am for the creation of this wondrous liquid!

I credit water with lots of things. I recently told a friend, with all seriousness, that "water is my solution to everything". It keeps my skin clear. It keeps my system working properly. It’s the reason I don’t have stretch marks on my belly. (Not one!) It’s why I’m steadily dropping pregnancy pounds. And recently, now that I’m back up to 2-3 liters a day, it’s the reason my milk supply has been so healthy.

I love water!

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury