Archive for the ‘Family’ 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.
With the moving, the changing rooms at daycare, and Austin ComicCon, Halloween sort of snuck up on us this year. Also, I just couldn’t come up with a good family costume that would “read well” (James, Lily, and Harry just doesn’t read without the scar and if James and Lily are alive then Harry wouldn’t have the scar…).
We did make it to a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. On Tuesday before Halloween, we set up in the kitchen to let Little Prince help pull all of the seeds and guts out of it. We thought that he’d have a lot of fun with it. Instead he decided that he didn’t like the texture of the pumpkin guts and kept trying to put the seeds back into the pumpkin. At least we got some cute video of that:
On Halloween I just put Little Prince in his Star Trek TOS Engineering onesie. Darius said it doesn’t count as a costume if you’d put him in it on other days, but I didn’t care. I also had him in his awesome skeleton hoodie that his Tante got him.
That evening I took him trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood in the stroller. At first he didn’t have much of an idea of what was going on, but by the end of our time out, he kind of did. He’d hold once piece of candy in his hand, and then we’d come up to the next house. He’d sort of say “trick-treat” and then when the person went to give him a new piece of candy, he’d give me the old one and hold onto the new one. I also made sure he signed “Thank you” after being given the candy. He didn’t really eat any of his candy, except for a few small bites over the past week. He’s not really a huge fan, yet.
Last night around 7:30pm I was bringing my Little Prince upstairs for a diaper change. About half way up the stairs I decided to put him down and let him climb up the rest of the stairs himself (since he can go up stairs and it working on down stairs). He slowly made his way to the top of the stairs. When he got to the top, he sat down for a moment. Then he got up and walked into the bedroom and proceeded to flop onto the twin bed. Darius flopped onto the queen bed with a “daddy likes to flop onto beds too.” Then LP went over to the sleep sheep that’s on my bedside table. When I moved him away from it, he crawled back onto the bed and rested his head on the pillow with a big grin on his face. His dad said, “He’s telling us it’s time for bed.” So Darius ran a bath and we bathed him, got him in his PJs and I nursed him to sleep. He was sound out before 8pm!
Of course going to sleep before 8pm meant that he woke up (and more than just the half-wakes to nurse that he did at 10, 12, 2, and 4) at 5am and wanted to play and nurse at the same time. Then he fell back asleep for about 45 more minutes at 6am, so at least I got to shower and get some of the morning prep done.
Still, I’m super proud of my
baby toddler for being able to clearly communicate his needs to us and for Darius for being smart enough to pick up on it.
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.
Since it’s half way through February, I guess it’s time I finally get to this post, since I promised I would…and then got busy with things like chasing around a crawling baby and all of the Facebook Nurse-In stuff.
In our house we celebrated three winter holidays: Chanukah, Yule/Winter Solstice, and Christmas.
For Chanukah I continued the tradition that my parents started: a book (well, he got a set of Dr. Seuss books) on the first night and that’s the only present. He seems to like the books.
Yule/Winter Solstice is our family holiday. All of the presents were from us to each other. Ok, most of the presents were from Darius and I to LP, but that’s how it should be, right?
Christmas we do as an extended family day. This year for Christmas, my father and step-mother came into town. On Christmas, there are presents from extended family (the In-Laws got us “revenge for getting their kids loud toys” presents ) and gifts from Santa.
I’m pretty sure that LP had no idea what was going on most of the time. He sometimes seemed to like the paper and the boxes more than the gifts.
Lastly, for NYE we were in New Orleans, since tante’s birthday is NYE. We got LP in his tux onesie and he slept through the whole party until it was almost midnight. We brought him outside and I forgot they always set off fireworks until they were going off. I was worried he would freak out, but he loved them! He would track them up in the air and then watch the colors in the sky. He was actually kicking his feet impatiently when none were going off.
And now, since I know y’all are really here for the pictures, here is a slideshow of all of the holiday pictures:
Lots has happened in the past three weeks.
The first week of August was National Breastfeeding Week. I was going to go to a Latch On, but LP was asleep when it was time to go and I didn’t want to awaken him.
Also that week, my father came into town and spent just under 2 weeks with us. It was really nice to have him around as he helped around the house and with LP. He also worked on making sure that LP and I got out of the house on occasion, even though it’s been so damn hot out.
I was really glad he was here the second week because I came down with a minor cold for a few days and totally lost my voice. LP also go the cold, but it was even less for him (yay breastfeeding). Still, it was his first cold and he was not thrilled, especially when he was having a bit of trouble with a stuffy nose and trying to nurse. But we both made it through it.
On August 4, all four of us went to a Marian Call concert. LP was amazing throughout almost the whole thing. He tended to either be asleep or staring at the pretty redhead on stage singing. The concert was being webcast. When Marian went to put on her Jayne hat, we put LP in his. She saw and had the camera focus on him. Here is the moment of my baby becoming Internet famous:
We also ventured into the realm of cloth diapering without the Diaper Service. But that’s a post all to itself.
Last week was my first week back at work and LP’s first week of daycare. We were both only doing half days. Things are going pretty well; LP is even starting to take to the bottle better. They keep telling me what an awesome and chill baby LP is. They also told Darius when he picked up LP on Friday what a calm mother I am.
LP has been spending his time discovering his hands. He’s a fan of sucking on his right fingers. He’s getting better at reaching and grabbing for things. Lately he’s started to clasp his hands together in what Darius calls his Evil Mastermind pose. Also we’ve had some, but inconsistent, flipping from belly to back.
However, this last week, LP started to have green runny poop, instead of the nice mustardy yellow poop he usually has. As far as I can tell, this is a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I’m guessing that this was brought on by the pumped milk, as I was pumping for only 5-10 minutes and then putting the resulting milk together into one bottle, so the bottle would have a lot of foremilk and not much hindmilk in it. I’m going to work on making sure to pump for at least 15 minutes while at work and not combine them. Hopefully, if I do that and continue to nurse normally and on demand at home, it will clear up all on it’s own.
Our Little Prince had his 6 weeks check-up on Monday. He weighed in at 10lbs 0.5 oz and almost 20″ long. He’s getting so big. The midwife who delivered him was the one who did our check-up. She commended on just how strong he is and how cute he is. She said that the noise he makes overnight are perfectly normal and healthy noises.
She also gave me a check-up. She said that my breast tissue is very healthy, that my abs only have a touch of separation, and that everything that should be together has come back together well. I had to give her a high-five for the last one since she was the one who stitched me up. I also got my blood drawn and tested. I am officially no longer anemic. Hurray! Which means that all of the exhaustion I’m feeling is normal new baby exhaustion. Hurray?
Last Saturday we had our official Centering reunion. While I’d seen some of the other babies already (either at a meet-up or over the internet), it was nice to see everyone again. I even made a cake while baby-wearing (my mom helped and Darius was on baby duty while we decorated it).
Darius and I got asked to come and talk to the August Centering group this week about our experiences at the Birthing Center with the L&D and about being new parents. I think it went pretty well. Our LP was asleep on Darius’s shoulder for most of it, which was really cute.
Pumping has been going well and Darius has even given the LP a few bottles. He’ll eat about 2oz and then about 30min or so later decide he’s hungry again, will refuse the bottle, and will do a long nursing session with me. But it’s a start, so that’s good.
Our Little Prince really likes to “talk” to us and things. His favorite “word” is “agoo.” When he talks, he talks to everything! He’s also starting to smile a lot. It’s so adorable. The other day he invented a game called “roll off of Daddy’s chest onto the edge of the couch.” He’s also getting amazingly good at holding his head up and kicking his legs like he wants to crawl. I have a feeling we’re going to be in big trouble sooner rather than later.
We’re also getting better at recognizing “I’m about to freak out” sounds from “I’m happy in my playpen” sounds and the “I need to nurse” vs. “I have a wet diaper” sounds. I’ve found out that when he’s overtired he’ll think he wants to nurse, start to scream, try to nurse again, and start to scream. When this happens, the best thing is to just stop trying to nurse him and walk him around until he falls asleep.
We’ve been developing a bedtime routine. Every other or third day it starts with a bath from both of us (which he LOVES). We then put him in a disposable diaper (because he hates being wet, so he sleeps longer in one) and put him in a pair of footie pajamas. I then nurse him and hopefully he falls asleep in my arms so I can transfer him to the bed. Sometimes he needs a bit of a walk and a side nurse to fall asleep. The other night he fell asleep in my arms in the “Magic Baby Hold.” Then we all fall asleep because Darius gets up super early for work and because I’m exhausted. Sometimes LP wakes up in the middle of the night and so one of us will do a diaper change and often take him out of his PJs. A lot of the time, he doesn’t quite wake up but sort of thrashes and if I nurse him he just falls back to sleep for a few hours, which I hear is the first step toward longer sleeping periods at night.
Had started putting LP in onesies every day, but he developed a heat rash (man is it hot in Texas!) so most of the time he’s just in his diaper covers. Sometimes I give him naked time on waterproof pads covered with cloth diapers. He seems to really like that time. We also got him some lightweight and/or sleeveless onesies and rompers (in size 0-3 as he is completely out of the newborn size now) for when we need to go out/because they are so cute.
In other news, my mother has been in town for a week and a half. It’s been fantastic having her here. She’s been a tremendous help, both in terms of housework and helping with the LP. It also means we’ve been getting out of the house more, which is tiring but good. I got to get a haircut and she even babysat LP for a few hours so Darius and I could go on a date to see the last Harry Potter movie (I cried a lot). I’m going to miss her so much when she is gone.
This week Darius’s family came to visit from MA and meet the Little Prince. With the exception of my MIL, none of them had ever been to Austin before.
SIL2 was really great at helping with stuff around the house. Niece fell in love with LP and was really good at helping SIL2. She and SIL2 put together the swing that MIL and SIL1 bought for LP. I tried to show them on Monday how great LP is in the bath…but half way through he started crying . MIL and SIL1 were also great with LP and were very generous, because in addition to the swing, they also bought him a very cool playmat.
The advantage of having family in town was that we finally got to get out of the house during the day. On Sunday SIL2, Darius, LP, and I ate a Freebirds (well, LP was asleep) and started looking into mattresses for LP. The idea is that we’ll drop our queen to the floor and get a twin to put next to it so that we have more co-sleeping space and LP already has his mattress for when he gets older and moves into his own bed.
On Tuesday night we all went to Chuy’s for dinner, where Darius and I learned what a “sling” is — two crossed pieces of wood connected by straps that lets you put your baby carrier in it. Our LP decided to be awake for most of dinner, but SIL2 spent time walking him around letting him look at things after she ate, so Darius and I could eat. On Wednesday I took LP, SIL1, SIL2, and Niece to Central Market to go shopping and show them how cool it was. LP slept most of the time, but woke up near the end for a diaper change and a nurse. I’m so glad that Austin is awesome when it comes to breastfeeding in public.
Family left on Thursday, but that didn’t stop us from going out again. The group of May moms we met through the classes at the Birthing Center often get together on either Thursdays or Fridays and one of them was kind enough to pick LP and I up and bring us down to Central Market (again). It was great to see everyone and their babies and just hang out with other moms of infants.
After having several good nights, where all we had to do was side nurse and he’d fall asleep for 3-4 hours then half wake up, nurse and go back to sleep for another 2, Thursday night was a screaming, overtired baby from about 10:30 until about 1:30am. But last night was good again. Sometimes when LP half wakes up at night he makes gurgling noises and he’s become great at spitting up some milk post-feeding, but everyone says this is normal, so I’m trying not to be worried about it.
Lastly I have to say that I’m loving my Moby wrap. It let me play WoW for a while on Monday, read Jacqueline Carey’s new book for hours on Tuesday, put LP to sleep while walking around CM on Thursday and keep him asleep for most of the time while I ate and talked, and put an overtired LP to sleep and then let me photo & video edit and write most of this post today, all while holding him close and being hands-free.