Archive for the ‘babywearing’ Category
Although I was sick on Yule, we had our Yule celebration (somewhat muted) anyway. We got our Little Prince his very own R2D2, which made him very happy, and a few other toys and books. He also got some Duplo from us and from his West Cost Grandparents.
We had some friends come and help us wrangle LP so we could prepare for our very first plane trip with our little prince. On Christmas Eve we flew to Massachusetts to visit with Darius’s family and some of our college friends. LP handled the first leg of the trip just fine. His ears didn’t even bother him. Half way through the second (and much longer) leg, he started saying “all done airplane.” It’s very hard to explain to a toddler that we can’t really stop and get off of the airplane right then. At least he fell asleep for the rest of the ride soon after that.
Overall we had a really wonderful visit with Darius’s family and seeing some of our friends. Little Prince fell in love with my SIL2 and his cousins, my niece T and nephew N. I’m pretty sure LP spent more time in SIL2’s arms than in mine while we were there. We stayed in N’s room, where there was a fish tank. This made LP very excited.
It snowed on Christmas morning. There’s something magical about snow on Christmas morning, even if it’s not your religion. So after the first round of present opening, we got LP all snow-suited up and played in the snow. Well, more like waddle around and throw snowballs, but he seemed to have fun.
During the trip we took LP and T to an indoor play area, where LP had a ton of fun in the bounce house (once I convinced him to go in it) and on the bounce house slide.
One day we even got to go into Boston with SIL2 and T. We visited the Children’s Book Shop and Henry Bear’s Park in Brookline and then went to the Aquarium. LP loved the big fish, the big turtles, the “Nemo” fish, and getting to pet the sharks. I decided that octopodes are creepy. We also hit up Legal Seafood for some chowdah, which usually LP loves, but he was tired and cranky after the long day, so he didn’t want to eat much of it.
We had a playdate with some of our old friends from college and their baby. She’s not even a year and almost as big as our little little guy. I wish I’d gotten a picture of the two of them next to each other. We also drove around another day with the best man from our wedding and I got to purchase another baby carrier. (No I don’t have a problem. It’s totally reasonable to have four carriers, especially when LP’s already outgrown one of them.)
Before we left, it snowed a good couple of inches, so LP was able to experience sledding for the first time. As expected of a child who loves slides and being tossed around, he loved it. You can’t really see it in the video, but he’s grinning like crazy.
The trip home on NYE was pretty much exhausting. We did get to Skype with Tante for her birthday while SIL2 was driving us to the airport (I love living in the future). The flight from Boston to Houston took an extra 20 minutes cause of a strong headwind. LP slept for the first hour and a half/two hours, but after that it was kind of hard to keep him entertained. And he got really upset when I had to put away my phone, because he was watching The AristoCats (again) on it. However, the woman next to us commented that he was really well behaved so I guess it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. I was worried that LP wouldn’t be willing to get on an airplane again after the long flight, but it wasn’t a problem. Thankfully the second leg was so short.While we were in MA, Little Prince turned 19 months old. I can’t believe just how much he’s growing, saying, and doing these days. He’s talking in full sentences, has started to get colors figured out, and can even step up and down stairs.
Our Little Prince turned eighteen months old last week. That’s a year and a half of this awesome little person being in our life. We had our 18 month check-up and while the pediatrician said he looks like he is “filling out,” he’s still a tiny guy: height 30¼”, weight 19lbs 12oz. So in six months he’s grown about 2 inches and put on almost 1.5lbs. Somehow it seems more reassuring that he is growing when I look at it like that.
Here’s a bullet list of 18 things about LP at 18 month, interspersed with a whole bunch of pictures and videos.
- Lately he’s been putting words together with alarming regularity. We have “cold outside”, “school bus”, “Ernie eat”, “That’s a kitty”, and my favorite, “Mommy made apple pie.” He’s also hitting the “my/mine” stage full on.
- At daycare they’ve started sitting him on the toilet twice a day. So we got a little potty and LP really loves to “sit on the potty.” Hasn’t “used” it yet, but we’re getting the idea.
- He loves to help around the house. He’ll stir stuff in a pot, wash dishes, and sweep the floor.
- There were a ton of leaves in our front yard so I raked them into a pile and we played in the leaf pile for a while. Yes, he’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I’ll take my 100° summers to have 80° in December.
- He loves books, Star Wars/R2D2, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Ernie. He also went nuts when we showed him some of the Aristocats because he could identify the animals and had to tell us about them.
- We are working on being the very best nerd-parents/totally messing LP up forever. He can say “die” and “dice” which is cute in general, but when he turns to me and says “mommy, die” it’s a little weird out of context. Although when he said “tante, die” while we were Facetiming with my sister it totally made my night!
- We’ve also taught him to clench his fists and yell “Khaaaaaaan” which is just super adorably cute. (Still working on getting video of that one).
- He’s still nursing a ton, although the “milk is asleep” from when he falls asleep until 2am is working out pretty well. Sometimes when he wakes up before 2am and I tell him that “milk is asleep” and he gives me this “No” wail that reminds me of Luke being told that Vader is his father.
- He’s also eating more. I try not to be worried when he’s not interested in food at dinner time, but it can’t always be helped. Then I remember that he eats well at daycare and he has a snack on the way home from daycare and also breastfeeds for a bit when we first get home.
- He still loves apples more than just about anything. He also likes sweet potato fries, sweet potato puffs, crackers, turkey (but not chicken as much), pasta, blueberries, and strawberries.
- LP can go up and down stairs. When he says “up the stairs” it kind of sounds like “apple juice.”
- On that note, he had a big tumble down the stairs the other day. I thought he was at the bottom of the stairs, I turned around, turned back and he was half way up them. Then he turned around to see me, and lost his footing. He rolled down about four stairs sideways before I got to him. Picked him up and assured him he was fine. Breastfeed him for a bit, and then we went down and up the stairs again to make sure he wasn’t afraid of them.
- He currently has four top teeth, two bottom teeth, and a third bottom tooth is part way in.
- He loves slides. At the playgrounds he’s figured out how to go up the stairs, over to the slide, and go down it.
- Like his father, he’s a “reaction junkie.” If I react to something he does and he finds my reaction funny, he’ll do it over and over again to try to get the same reaction. He loves to blow raspberries on my tummy. The other day he tickled my knee and when I squealed (I’m super ticklish) he did it again and again all night.
- His favorite game to play with us is “boo/hi.” He’ll hide behind something, such as the couch or a wall, and then jump out and say “hi” or “boo.” It’s so cute!
- We’re trying out All-in-Ones/Pocket diapers again because a. I’m tired of using disposables when we go out and b. he doesn’t need to be changed as often as when he was 3 months old and will tolerate a wet diaper more. So far so good. We’ve purchased a couple of the very nerdy diapers over on Seams Geeky, because who can resist Final Fantasy and glow-in-the-dark Tron diapers?
- I currently have four baby carriers in the house, but one I don’t use any more (the Moby) and one I’m borrowing from Austin Babywearers. There’s another one I’m lusting over. I may have a small problem. But he likes to be worn and I still like to wear him.
In closing, in case you are thinking about getting him anything for this holiday season, here’s his Amazon wishlist. Clothing is also always appreciated. He’s at that stage where he’s in between the 12 and 18 month sizes.
I usually try to blog (when I get the chance) about the good stuff going on. But I want to record about the past two night.
A bit of background:
From about 3 months until about 11.5 months, LP’s sleep habits were 1-2 naps at daycare, then a 30-60 minute nurse-nap in my arms when I got home from work. Somewhere around 11.5 months he started to transition to one longer nap during the day at daycare, a short nurse with me when I got home (no nap), and a bedtime of about 7:30pm (although he still wakes every two hours or so to nurse). For a long time I was okay with this, but I’ve started to think about trying to get more sleep. So I’ve been reading and slowly implementing some of the ideas in The No-Cry Sleep Solution. I really like this book as it talks about everything being a process, reminding the parents to give it time, and offering a bunch of different ideas to slowly implement as it may work for their family (or not).
So now we have a nighttime routine. It starts around 7:15 with a bath (either a “full” bath with hair and body washing or just a “play” bath), then I put him in an overnight diaper, Darius puts him in pajamas, I help him “brush his teeth” and then nurse him until he’s almost totally asleep, but try to pop him off the breast before he’s fully asleep. Generally this works really well and he’s totally out and I can leave the room by 8-8:15. Then the rule is if he wakes before it gets dark out, he’s mine to nurse back to sleep, but any waking once it gets dark until we go to bed is Darius’s turn. Then once we go to bed, he’s mine to put back to sleep with nursing until he wakes up (usually between 6:45 and 7:15am) or I wake him up (by 7:30am).
Last night as we were giving LP his bath, I mentioned to Darius that things were going really well in terms of getting LP to go to sleep easily. Famous last words, right? Last night he did not fall asleep while nursing for about 10-15 minutes. In fact, he did not want to go to sleep at all. It was back like it use to be when he was excited or animated or we missed the “sleep-window” and he got overtired and refused to lie down and go to sleep. And I found myself getting more and more frustrated with LP. Didn’t he know that I had other things to do after he went to bed? That there was stuff in the kitchen to clean, cat things to take care of, and items to prep for the next day? That I wanted, maybe, to spend some alone time with his father? Of course he didn’t know that but as the minutes ticked by I got more and more angry and more and more frustrated. I tried to keep it in. To project calm. I asked Darius to come in and try to walk with him for a while while I calmed down, but LP started screaming “mama” so that wasn’t working. I tried again, but eventually realized that I was so angry I almost wanted to harm my own child. So I called Darius in again and let him know that I needed just five minutes to walk away so I could calm down and not be angry at a little person who was obviously overtired and upset about something. After I was able to calm down, I came back upstairs and got LP into my mei tai. I then spent the next I-don’t-know-how-long walking around the bedroom with him, singing to him, and rubbing his back, while he kicked, flailed, screamed, and tried to get away from me. Eventually he fell asleep. A while later I was able to put him down on the bed, still asleep, and had a bit of time alone with Darius to talk about what happened and why we both reacted the way we did, watch tv, and take care of paperwork before we went to bed. I was worried that LP would wake up super early in the morning cause he went to sleep so late, but he woke around his normal time.
Tonight was also bad. Did the same routine as always. He looked like he was going to nurse to sleep no problem…but all of a sudden it was rolling over and giggling and everything just like last night. This time I sat up with him tight in my arms and held him, rocked him, and sang to him ,while giving him the option to nurse if he wanted to. Eventually he was crying, but starting to be calmer, but then throwing his head back upset again. So I laid him down on the bed and nursed him. Then he rolled away from me with his eyes closed, rolled onto his back, rolled back onto his side and was fully asleep.
I have no idea why there’s been a change in the past two nights. Maybe the pre-bedtime time has been too stimulating? Or it’s very possible that he’s teething and/or hit one of those major cognitive/developmental milestone weeks. Whatever it is, I’m glad that tonight was easier than last night. Here’s hoping tomorrow is even easier.
Next morning update: At 2am last night I woke up and LP was starting to roll around. I put him to my breast like I do. He sucked for maybe a minute the rolled away from me onto his bed. He rolled onto his back and proceeded to vomit straight up into the air so it came right back down onto his face. I sat him up and he threw up twice more before I could get him off the bed. I gently woke up Darius who dealt with LP’s bed (so thankful for waterproof mattress covers!), while I dealt with the mommy and baby clean up. It then took another hour or so for LP and I to fall back asleep, but this time there was no screaming or crying. He’s nursed a few times since and seems to be doing better. It’s going to be a LONG day for me! Also now have random mommy guilt that I was angry with my child who was sick but I didn’t know it.
(I was writing this as part of my previous post on Attachment Parenting, but it was getting long so I decided to make it it’s own post.)
I’ve been hearing people say that there must be no way that Attachment Parenting can work for a family where both parents work. Being in a family where we both work and yet practice AP, I want to let you in on what my life looks like these days:
It starts in the morning when Darius gets up to go to work. Around then LP usually wants to nurse, so I figure out where he is in our monster queen-twin-on-floor bed and see if I need to switch sides. Then we both fall back asleep. When my alarm goes off a little while later, I bring him to me to breastfeed again as this will be his last nursing session before daycare. If my alarm goes off during this time I gently unlatch him, turn off the alarm (it’s across the room), and then see if he wants to nurse more (he usually nurses through at least 2 rings of the alarm). I like this nursing session because he’s usually super cuddly and sweet. Then when I am sure he is back asleep, I get out of bed, take a shower, brush my teeth, get ready for the day, and turn on the cheep baby monitor. Then I pick out his clothes for the day and head downstairs.
Downstairs I turn on the other half of the baby monitor, get out three 4-5oz bottles of expressed milk, a clean nipple, and any food I’m sending with him, make sure it’s all labeled and put it all in a bag, which then goes in his to-daycare-diaperbag. I also get four clean empty bottles for me to pump into in the pump cooler pack with their special cooler thing and put that in my pump bag. Then I make my lunch and put that in my backpack. I then run all of this quickly out to the car (now along with the car seat if it’s not already in the car). Sometimes I also have to feed the girl-cat. Then I usually get a chance to sit down and eat breakfast. If LP hasn’t woken up by 7:30am, I go wake him up. I don’t like the fact that I have to wake him up, I’d rather let him get up naturally, but I have to get to work. I get him out of bed and bring him into “his” room. There I take off his PJs and change him into a new disposable diaper (daycare doesn’t take cloth and we also use disposables overnight) while singing him “Good Morning” from Singing in the Rain with lyrics that I’ve made up. Then I get him dressed, often while trying to keep him away from the boy-cat (who often comes into LP’s room to see what’s going on). Then it’s grab any last minute items, get him into his car seat (sometimes play peak-a-boo or tickle his toes), and drive him to daycare. At daycare I spend a bit of time with him and give him good-bye hugs and kisses. Lately I’ve been wearing him in in my mei tai. I have a new theory that he’s more willing to let me go if I wear him in and wear him while I’m putting away his bottles and filling out his daily form, etc.
Then I head off to work. At work I pause twice to go down to the Mother’s Room and pump for 20 minutes each time. Since this takes up a good chunk of my time, I generally work through lunch (so I can leave a little earlier). Most days Darius picks up LP from daycare. When I get home I have to put the milk I just pumped into the fridge. If I’m home before the guys, I’ll check to see if I can put any milk in the freezer. I often try to get some bottles washed then. When I get reconnected with my guys, I look over LP’s sheet to see how much he ate, when he napped, when he last had a change, and if there are any other important notes. By then LP usually wants to nurse. These days he’s very “vocal” about it: pulling at my clothing, signing “milk” and saying “nana.” Sometimes I change his diaper first (into cloth while at home) if I think he really needs it. Then I sit on the couch with him and breastfeed him. More often than not, this is a long reconnecting nurse that turns into a nurse-nap. Once LP is asleep, I’ll play on my iPhone or watch TV. It’s a great way not only to reconnect with him, but it also helps me unwind from the day.
Evenings are varied depending on if we’re going out or not or what’s for dinner. Generally these days Darius makes dinner because I’m breastfeeding LP for a good 45 minutes, if not longer, while he nurse-naps. Sometimes if LP wakes up or if he doesn’t nap, I’ll wear him on my back and make dinner or help out by cleaning dishes (it seems like there are ALWAYS dishes to clean) or sit and play with LP. Then dinner. After dinner we may all play downstairs or maybe Skype with my mother or other family members or whatever. Sometimes LP wants short breastfeeding nips during this time, sometimes he doesn’t. Then it’s bedtime (usually) and every other night LP gets a bath given by both of us. Then back into a ‘sposie and daddy puts him in pajamas and we both pray that LP will fall asleep quickly while nursing so we can get some time together to wash more dishes, or fold laundry, or watch some adult TV, or read and blog or something. Some nights it works (like tonight, which I why I’m getting a chance to write this) and some nights (like last night) it doesn’t. On those nights LP doesn’t want to go to sleep, so one of us will wear him while doing the night time chores (washing bottles, making lunches, feeding cats, etc). Generally this makes him sleepy enough that we can all go to bed together.
Overnight LP still (half-)wakes up 3-5 times to nurse (counting the one that I mentioned at the beginning of this post). I’m so thankful that we’re co-sleeping because it’s just so easy to roll over, feed him, and go back to sleep.
So, would I prefer to be able to stay at home? Yes. But I’m so thankful for AP because I feel like I am still able to connect with my son when we are together and without it I know I’d probably not be getting even half as much sleep as I do now.
There has been a lot of talk recently about Attachment Parenting (AP). Most recently this picture graced the cover of Time, causing shock (as it was intended to) on both sides of the issue.
It may come as no shock to those who know me, but in my household, we practice AP. Here are the eight principles of AP. I just sort of fell into AP naturally. My parents practiced many of these things back in the 80s before there was a term for it because it “felt right” to my mother (she says that we should call AP “natural parenting” since everything else is outside of what is normal in most of the world and for most of human history). These principles also feel right to me. I am also thankful for a friend who passed on her copy of The Baby Book (which I’ve mostly read through) because it gave me the term to use for doing what felt right to me and helped me find others who parent the way I want to.
I had a natural birth at a birthing center. We breastfeed, which I plan on doing until it is something LP and I both decide is no longer for us.
We co-sleep, which makes it so much easier as a working mom of a baby who reverse-cycled at about 4 months to get any sleep.
We practice babywearing. LP loves being worn (most of the time) by either parent. And it sure can make doing things like shopping, housework, or even playing WoW (once he’s asleep) easier. We also have a stroller, which we do use for things like long walks to the park.
Recently I borrowed from the library and read Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialik. It was interesting to read her book. I really liked her voice and the way she told her story. When I was reading bits about parts that I agreed with already, I found myself nodding my head or saying “yes! exactly!” out loud (good thing I read it while pumping in the Mother’s Room at work so there was no one around to hear me). There were some things that were a little “out there” for me, such as Elimination Communication (which sounds cool…but we’re renting a place with lots of carpets and I know it’s something daycare would never go for) and lots of holistic medicine. I did love her chapter on gentle discipline (also known as positive parenting), which I made Darius read. I actually got out from the library the book on Gentle Discipline that she recommends in her resources section. My two biggest take-aways from her book was the idea of not saying no, but saying “Not for LP, but this over here is for LP” instead and when the kid starts to cry when hurt asking in a caring tone “hurt, surprised, or both?”
Does AP work for everyone? No. Does it work for us? Yes. One of the biggest tenants that I’ve noticed amongst AP people and La Leche League people is that they are aware that every family and every mother is different and so they say do what you can and what works best for you and for your child. No need to be “mom enough.”
Part Two: Attachment Parenting and the working mom.
I can’t believe that my Little Prince is already 11 months old! The last time I weighed him (about a week ago), he weighed 18.5 lbs. He’s still on the tiny side of things and still in the 6-9 month clothing.
We celebrated by going out to Eeyore’s Birthday party, where LP experienced his first drum circle.
So, what’s been going on in our life? Well, I missed the 10 month update because I was too busy playing with LP:
And running after him, as he started walking on his own at 10 months and about a week. And as soon as he started walking he wanted to try to run (which doesn’t work so well).
In March we went to Ren Faire and my Dad and Step-Mom visited. Then in April we went to our yearly retreat in the woods. LP made some new friends, two boys who just adored him.
These days he is walking all over the house and torturing the cats. He still doesn’t have any teeth, so I like to call him “Toothless.” I also call him “Fearless” as he just doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything. This weekend’s antics involved dropping a toy over the side of the couch and then trying to follow it. At least he was doing one leg and then the other, instead of going head first. He can climb up stairs and down from the bed (which is on the floor)
He’s started to get more into food lately. He loves apples, raspberries, avocado, fruit purees, hummus, carrots, and chicken. He’s not so huge on broccoli, but I keep trying it. He’s also starting to get the idea of sippy cups.
We’ve been doing more signs with him and watching some Baby Signing Time. He knows and can do the sign for “fan” and will look up at the ceiling fan when he does it (but he may think any lighting fixture is a “fan”). He’s signed “more” a few times while saying “na,” which is his word for milk (no idea where it came from…unless he’s trying to say “more”). He sometimes will sign milk when he nurses. Over the weekend, I signed diaper and while we were doing a diaper change and he sort of made the sign for “milk” (but with his fists pointed down so it could kind of be “diaper”) and clearly said “diaper.” Since then, at least 5 other people have heard him say “diaper.” I am officially calling it his first word, because all of the other sounds he makes he says in relation to many things, such as “da” or “aaada” or “dat” when excited and “ooohhh” when he sees something he’s interested in. He also has this absolutely fantastic giggle, especially when being tickled.
Recently I got a new-to-me-and-barely-used-by-previous-owner mei tai which I’m loving. The back carry is great for doing things and being out and about, and I can nurse in it pretty easily with a front carry.
As for sleeping, my Little Prince still wakes up often at night to nurse (although I think the first stretches are often longer). We’re trying a bedtime of 8:30-9pm. Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t, no idea why, when we keep the routine generally the same.
Still working on combating thrush. Boo. I thought it was all gone, but then I ran out of probiotics and it came back. Double boo.
Lastly, we’ve signed our Little Prince up for swim lessons, since he loves the water so much. They start this Saturday (during what is often his morning nap time) … so we’ll see how that goes).
Sorry about not updating when my Little Prince turned 8 months. I got just a bit involved with the Facebook Nurse-In stuff ;).
So, LP is now 9 months old! At his checkup last week he was 27″ long & weighed 17.5lbs. He’s been a person in the world longer than he was a collection of growing cells/a fetus inside of my body. It still blows me away.
LP continues to grow, change, and amaze me. He is now crawling like a maniac (much to the cats’ dismay), cruising around the furniture, walking for a good while while holding our hands, and even standing for several seconds all by himself. He’s also a little thrill seeker and loves getting tossed around, thrown up in the air, and being placed on shoulders.
(Drat, I had just added a bunch of stuff and WordPress just ate it! Boo! Hopefully I can remember most of what I wrote.)
When he’s excited, LP makes the cutest “gah” noise. He also says lots of “da/dat” “ba” and “agg” sounds. Still not much on the “ma” front :(. He also signed milk once or twice, but not consistently… then again, we’re not very consistent with it.
When he wants to show affection (or when he’s super tired), he’ll lay his head down on you. It’s so cute. Here he is giving the boy-cat some love:
Grandma (my mother) came into town the other week. She spent a few days watching him, which was nice. She found a great little park for smaller kiddos nearby, which we have since taken him to a couple of times. She also taught him to raise his arms up when someone says “touchdown” (even though it’s not football season anymore). Here he is doing “touchdown” for Grandma when we were out at dinner:
On the eating/sleeping front, LP is still mostly reverse cycled, although he does take more milk at daycare than he use to (probably because he’s more active these days). So we dream-feed several times a night. He still isn’t super interested in food. He does about 2-3 oz of baby puree at daycare every day. Apples or sweet potato seem to be his favorites. He’s okay with banana, pears, and carrots. So far not a fan of green beans. At home we do more baby lead solids. We went out to Olive Garden over the weekend and got him a side of steamed broccoli and he had fun squishing it and dropping it on the floor, but I’m pretty sure he got some in his mouth. Here he is with two slices of an Empire apple. He really likes apples and other fruit.
He also likes to try and drink water from our glasses. It’s pretty cute and usually ends up with water everywhere. He’s starting to figure out sippy cups too. I think we need to get a few different types to see what he takes to.
As perfectly developmentally appropriate, LP has occasionally exhibited some mild signs of separation anxiety when we put him down. So we babywear him more. Currently there are three baby carriers in this house: a Moby wrap, an Ergo, and a Mei Tei that I’m borrowing for a friend. I’ve started to become a big fan of the back carry. I’ve also started to get addicted to baby carriers. They are so awesome. And different ones are needed for different situations! The other week we were at CostCo and Darius had LP in the Ergo on his back. LP totally fell asleep and Darius kept getting double-takes from people as they realized that he wasn’t wearing a backpack, but a sleeping baby.
I’m sure I have more to say, but he’s waking up and it’s way past time to get him to daycare and me to work.