Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wee Hours

It's very quiet at this hour. The clock ticking over my shoulder. The boiler humming. The pipes clanging as they work to keep the house warm.

I feel the soft in and out of your breathing, the warmth of your breath against my collarbone, the rise and fall of your chest against mine. You've made it clear that this is the only place you're sleeping tonight. And as much as I'd like to be sleeping too, I love that you find comfort in me, your mama.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Four Month Check-Up

Harry saw the pediatrician yesterday for his four-month well-baby visit. He is now 13 lbs 5 oz (25th percentile) and 25.5 inches (75th percentile) with a 16.5 inch head (50th percentile). He's still long and lean (though he looks much chunkier than before) but staying on his same percentiles across the board.

He was on his best behavior for Dr. E. He was very smiley, giggly, and active, kicking up a storm (P suggested he might have been enjoying the crinkly sound of the paper, which was most likely the case). He spent a lot of time playing with a toy, showing her how he manipulates toys with his hands and mouth. He also did tummy-time and showed how good he is at leaning on his elbows. He wasn't a fan of the shots but did much better with them than last time -- he mainly seemed shocked by the first one, then semi-indifferent to the second.

She gave us the go-ahead to start rice cereal, but I think we're going to hold off another month. I'm in no big rush to start solids, plus I don't want to have to deal with rice cereal when we're in Mexico. And he's still a peanut, and solids don't add much calorie-wise at this point. She said to start sometime before our next appointment in March, which I'd want to do anyway since I want him to start solids before he starts daycare, and I'd be more comfortable waiting a bit longer. So wait we will.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Four Months

My big boy,

This month, you celebrated your first Christmas. And celebrate you did, even if you weren't aware of what it was you were celebrating. There's a series of car ads out right now, comparing a car to the recipient's best present ever, flashing back to childhood gifts like big wheels and video games. You won't remember it, but the look on your face the first time when you went in your jumperoo reminded me of those ads. Best. Gift. Ever. I loved seeing that look.

That said, it is important to me that you know what Christmas is all about -- that it's not just about presents (or spending time in the car). I don't want you to grow up thinking that Christmas is about gifts and money and material things; it is about something far more precious and wonderful. That is why we all went to church together on Christmas Eve.

Although your dad and I have different beliefs when it comes to religion, including Christmas(and when you're old enough, you can and will decide for yourself what you believe, hopefully with enough exposure to church to make that decision an informed one), we share the same values. Even if you ultimately choose not to believe in the miracle of Christmas, I hope you at least see it as a time to celebrate family and togetherness rather than a time for things. And that's why we spend time in the car. So we can go see the family that can't come to see us, like your Big Papa.

Speaking of that time in the car, you spent a lot of it sleeping. Much of this month was about sleep. You continued sleeping through the night, even when we were in strange houses, and even when we had to put you to sleep in one place then move you to another, neither of which was home, and for that we were very thankful. You fell asleep under the tree at your grandma's house. You even took a nap in the dog's bed. You did have a few days where you woke up in the middle of the night like you did when you were very little, but we got through them. At the end of the month, we even got you sleeping in your crib without the carseat (without any fanfare, I'd like to note). Hoorah! We knew you wouldn't go to college sleeping in a carseat, but that didn't keep me from fearing that you might need to bring it to day care. Or kindergarten.

At the end of the month, you reminded us that you are very unpleasant when you don't take a nap. You reminded us of this by refusing to nap for days, then being Mr. Crankypants. Just so you know, we hadn't forgotten.

You finally napped again while snuggled against me in the wrap. When I was pregnant with you, I assumed I'd spend much of your first few months wearing you in that wrap. But I didn't. At first because I was nervous, and then because you didn't seem to like it. Not just the wrap, but any kind of snuggling or closeness, other than when eating or immediately thereafter. You were a very curious guy, very interested in exploring the world. I felt a little sad at first, but I got over it.

Motherhood hasn't gone the way I expected it to in a lot of different ways, and that has made me a far more flexible person in general. That said, I was thrilled that you wanted to snuggle close to me, that you found me comforting and soothing. And you've wanted to be held a lot more since then. I know it won't last forever, and that's okay. Because I love that you're curious about and engaged with the world. But I'll enjoy these moments for all they're worth as long as they last.

Speaking of your independence, one sign that it will be coming soon is that you started rolling over. You only go in one direction (tummy to back) but you can do it. And have done it daily for the past week or two. Usually right before your bath, when we force you to do naked tummy time. Which is the way you prefer to do tummy time, if crying less can be called a preference.

And you continue to love the bath. You especially love to kick and splash. With the goal of ejecting the hippo from the tub. The other bath toys can stay, but not the hippopotamus. Stupid hippo.

Finally, this month you began to develop a relationship with the dog. You follow him with your eyes and face as he moves around the room (making it hard to take your picture when he's around), touch him when he goes by, kick him when he bothers you. You don't seem to mind the incessant licking. And, man is it incessant. We hope it just means that he wants to protect you. Or wants you to smell like him. Or something positive. Either way, you each seem to see each other as a part of the family.

Our family. Every day I am amazed that you are a part of it. And I can't imagine life without you.



Friday, January 9, 2009

I Think He Reads This Blog

Mr, No Naps took two naps yesterday, the first on me (right after I posted my last post), the second in his swing, for a total of nearly 4 hours of naps. He napped again this morning when I put him in the swing so I could take a shower. (Ah, showers, how little I appreciated them before Harry. I will never take them for granted again). And this is him now:

(That is Harry, asleep in the wrap. Sorry for the quality -- taken with the camera phone, and I was due for my "new every two" two years ago but actually like my phone with its super long battery life.)

I'll take what I can get for naps at this point. He's been so much more pleasant!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Man, I Hope It's Just A Phase

Note: I have a whole bunch of half-finished posts saved as drafts but am hoping that starting a new one will somehow get one finished.

I made the mistake of saying aloud that I feel as though I am fairly comfortable with this whole parenting thing (in fact, there's a half-written post about that topic and how it relates to my job in my drafts folder right now). He must have heard me say that because he has been absolutely impossible all week.

For one, he has been refusing to take naps. The good days, he takes one. The less good days, none, or at least none longer than 20 minutes. And Harry is not a pleasant boy when he gets overtired. He cries and fusses and is generally unpleasant to be around. Thankfully, he is still going down easily at night and is still sleeping through. But getting through the day with an overtired child is hard.

He has also discovered that he can scream. Loudly. When the pediatrician doing rounds first saw him in the hospital, he commented that Harry seemed to like to hear the sound of his own voice. And now I am coming to see how prescient that was. He screams a lot. And not because anything is wrong. Just. Because. He. Can.

Finally, he has gone from being a boy with a lovely disposition who only cries when tired and rarely fussed at all to being one who whines. A lot. He grunts and fusses and heh-heh-hehs all the time. Nothing makes him happy for more than five minutes. Not toys. Not reading. Not listening to music or singing songs. Not the Bumbo. Not the bouncy seat. Not even the Jumperoo. He doesn't seem hungry, but nursing provides a respite from the whining so he has been doing more of it, which makes me feel like a bad parent, attempting to solve my child's non-hunger-related problems with food. And it persists even immediately following a nap, which makes me fear that it's unrelated to the overtired issue.

Of course, he then behaves like a saint when P comes home at night so that I think P thinks I am making it up. I really hope this is a phase. If not, it may make it a bit easier to go back to work in March....