stuff only this crazy mom says

It could happen to you. You might find yourself saying the most bizarre things post-first baby. Sometimes it is hard to step back and realize, “Wait, wait, in what way is this typical conversation?”

Thankfully all of my weirdness has been only directed to David, I think:

driving around in the car, “sometimes I daydream about making 8oz of milk.”

sitting on the couch, “so should we go to bed?” (clock strikes 8PM).

getting ready in the morning, “I look too young to be a mom, right?”

getting ready in the morning, “stop calling them ‘mom jeans’ just because I am a mom.”

watching the baby monitor, “I would make a pact with the Devil for sleep.”

laying awake at night, “do you ever wish you could breast feed? You would have to shave.”

sitting around the house, “I need good paper for my many lists.” (David eye roll)

half awake at night, ‘”I wish when I silence the monitor it meant the baby stopped actually crying.”

thinking about food, “Henry is a very healthy eater [noshing on raspberries]. Maybe I need to stop eating so many potato chips [noshing on cape cod potato chips], nah.”

looking in the mirror, “Is it weird that I love my squishy belly? I sort of what to  squish it around all the time. I have to restrain myself.”

leaving the house, “I am going to the gym, but just so socialize.”

pump & work

In five years, I might look back on this aspect of being a nursing mom with raizbliuto. Don’t get me wrong, nursing has been one of the best new mom experiences (once the challenges of those early weeks were behind us!). Snuggling with Henry, talking to him, and just being fully present in the moment with the little guy is an amazing experience. I savor those connections as they slowly dwindle away. These moments will be mourned hard.

Pumping though not so much. I am ready to be liberated from this torturous device. Yes, I am thankful. I am thankful that these modern tools exist to help working moms maintain their nursing supply. I am thankful that I was able to nurse Henry through my goal of one year  and I must give this darn Medela “Pump and Go in Style” a pat on the back for being a team player. But we have seven weeks left and then I am hanging this bag up or perhaps smashing it in the driveway! Seven more weeks of feeling isolated, alone, and inconvenient. Since September, I have missed out on making connections with my colleagues because I am connected to the Mother’s Room. Instead of lunch in the cafeteria, I have lunched too often in this room on the floor between frantic meetings and extra help sessions. I have had to use bathrooms, classrooms, bus stops, and first aid offices at museums and amusement parks in order to balance this awkward work-life dilemma. Too many coworkers became privy to this existence as they questioned why I spent so much time in the nurse’s office and if there was a medical issue I was facing this year. Too many coworkers asked why they never saw me anymore. It was a hard year.

A whirlwind of a year on so many levels, I am left trying to compartmentalize this turbulent and jubilant time. But, the one thing that remains constant is my excitement for June 5 and the big, fat sayonara I will bid to you, Medela…until baby #2.

happy mom

I am so blessed to come from a long line of moms. This Mother’s Day this basic reality overwhelmed me on Sunday. As I sat on the glider in Henry’s nursery snuggling my baby, I thought about the many mommies in my family who similarly caressed, loved, and cherished their little ones. I am so grateful to these women for having the courage and compassion to raise their daughters and sons. Surely there were difficult moments and harder circumstances but because of their capacity to be selfless and loving, I have this amazing opportunity to be a mommy myself. My mom, my grandmas, their moms, and on and on and on were all here in this moment, rocking their babies, loving their babies, and thinking about what the future held for their babies. It is a true blessing to be Henry’s mother and to continue this cherished existence. On Mother’s Day, I hope we think about those mothers who came before us, those mothers around the world who are doing their very best to care for their families, and those women who may not be mothers yet but who are mothers nonetheless.

Henry Adam: 10 months

Happy Double Digits! Woot Woot!

It feels like just yesterday this little guy was born and now we are staring straight ahead to his first birthday in just sixty days.  Madness; this is just utter madness. How is Henry already ten months old?!? It is funny how the school year’s end stills seems so long away and yet Henry’s birthday seems too soon. I remember a year ago at this time my belly was swollen with baby and I was nervously anticipating the labor and delivery to come. We were attending birth classes and installing our car seat and imagining what it would be like to have our baby boy join us. We hypothesized and theorized this future. Our expectations were wrong. I never knew just how much life would flip like a switch and how much I would come to love this truly blessed existence of motherhood. Our little family is the best part of every moment of every day for me. But enough of this, I will have a chance to write more about my reflections once we get to that finish line of one year!  For now, what is important is to share everything that this little dude has be up to and into.

This month was all about visiting family and friends! It kicked off with Henry’s first Easter celebration. At brunch with family and friends, H dined on an assortment of yummy delights from eggs to scones to pancakes and bacon. He ate heartily while enjoying the company around him. It was then off to California for an extended weekend with my brother and his family. I noted in my previous gushing post that we had the BEST time and are eagerly awaiting our return to that West Coast kind of living. This month Henry also visited with some new faces in New York. We drove down to see my extended family at a little party and topped off the visit with a chance to hang out with Colleen and to meet baby Marcella (my oldest friend’s newest addition). If that were not enough, we are soaking up as much time with our friend Amelie and her parents before they become expats this summer. Their current location near Jamaica Pond makes strolls in the fantastic weather descending on Boston ideal. This full month ended with our first birthday party for Annabelle and it was such a fantastic event! It really made me a bit sappy to think about how all of our baby friends are growing up so fast!

Henry has also been super chatty this month. His repertoire of sounds is constantly evolving. While he is a bit reticent with new people, he is quickly starting to warm up and babble away. When he sits in his highchair for dinner he loves to have long conversations. He babbles to his daddy or me and then pauses for us to respond and then babbles again. He changes his tone and cadence and is really imitating dialogue. It makes me so excited for the next few months. Some of his new sounds include (but are not limited to): dada, mama, hi, ta ta, pa pa, ha ha, doh doh, dog, ga ga, goo goo. What makes this all even more exciting is that he can also identify people now. When we ask, “Where is Mommy,” “Where is Daddy, ” or “Where are the doggies,” he looks right to the person or pups in question. Each morning when he wakes up he immediately starts calling “dog dog dog” and wants to see his pups and pet their heads.  In practicing his sounds he has either intentionally or accidentally begun to whistle. With lips pursed, the little whistle sound comes forth and is so surprising. When we first started to hear it, we both thought, “Who is whistling?” or “Do you hear that whistling sound?” and there he was crawling about and whistling his way through the house.

After a long hiatus development has begun again on the smile project! Henry’s three bottom teeth have now been joined by his top front teeth. Despite the teething concerns that inevitably come with the arrival of each new chomper, these came in with little pomp and circumstance. After two nights of mild discomfort, his little teeth broke the surface and are working their way down. He is now eating more and more thanks to this development! He has not shied away from a single meal or delicacy we have shared with him. This month’s new foods and food experiences included: Indian buffet, pizza, bacon egg sandwiches, steak, almond butter, fish and chips, blackberries, pineapple, thai fried rice, ice cream, and brussel sprouts. Henry is a brussel-sprout monster! He can devour a full plate of these baby cabbages before you can blink your eyes! Dining al fresco has been such a new treat as well. Since the snows have melted, Bostonians have eagerly spent sunrise to sunset out of doors. And we are no different in our desire to be soaking up the fresh air and sun!

While he hasn’t taken that first solo step yet, Henry is definitely inching closer to that day. Some of his favorite activities include walking by pushing either his elephant toy or his little activity cart. He walks his cautious little self around and around the downstairs. It is one of my favorite things these days. The little elephant push ride sings this silly song that goes, “I love to go a walkin’ with my best friend every day,” and around the corner here comes Henry with the biggest grin! He stands with the tiniest bit of assistance and can walk barely holding onto your hands, but he is not quite ready for his solo step. David and I are really excited for that moment though…whenever it happens.

Henry is really into:

  • Imitating everything you do. If he sees you kissing, he opens his mouth for a sloppy kiss. If he sees you doing raspberries on someone’s belly, he leans over and tries to do it too. If he sees you eating, you better have food for him. If he sees you turn a stacking toy into a trumpet, he grabs it and babbles into the “trumpet” too.
  • Sleeping through the night!! Sleeping through the night is no longer the rare chance night time experience but it is now the standard. From 7PM to 7AM, Henry is far away in slumberland.
  • Drinking water. From cups or with straws, Henry has mastered drinking water sans bottle. He even prefers to avoid his bottle at baby school and drink his milk via cup. We have found both the munchkin 360 cup and munchkin straw super helpful. Both of these cups have helped him practice this skill to transition from bottle to cup and straw.
  • Waving and clapping. Henry loves loves loves to wave and clap. He cannot contain himself! It is especially sweet and apparent when I bring him to the commuter rail to pick up Daddy and he waves and claps for each passenger disembarking the train.
  • Tucking in. Henry has a “tell” for when he is ready to sleep. When you give him a hug, he puts his head on your shoulder and then tucks his arms in underneath himself. This tucking-in is so darn sweet. I cannot take it! My heart melts each time as he presses close, tucks in, and nods off.
  • Sucker fish. It is hard to wrap your little baby mind around kissing. What exactly is kissing? To H right now, kissing is opening your mouth super wide and then sealing it onto mommy or daddy’s cheek, chin, or mouth and then sucking hard. It is reminiscent of the bottom sucker in a fish tank. He loves to give his sucker fish kisses and even though it might sound gross or weird, I sort of love getting them!
  • Playing with toys. I say this because now he no longer immediately puts every toy in his mouth. Instead of playing being another name for salivating on toys, playing now means playing. H pushes his cars around his room, stacks bowls, and passes toys back and forth to you.
  • Towel Cuddles. After a splash in the tub, Henry loves to laugh and squeal as he is wrapped in his towel. Then we hug and hug and hug while he belly laughs and my heart melts every time.