Holy hell, am I glad it’s almost Friday.

Definitely had one of those weeks. My husband was out of town and just got home a little while ago. We’re watching the Red Wings game and I’m drinking a glass of wine. It feels good to have him home.

The funny thing is that, on Monday, I was thrilled that he was leaving. That usually happens every couple of months, and it always seems to do us some good to have a few days apart.

I’m used to doing most of the childcare, but I’m not used to also doing all of the dogcare. And I just can’t handle one of our dogs much longer. That’s a post for another day, but let’s just say that it takes a LOT for me to dislike a dog, and I’m really starting to borderline hate her.

Add in that my son was teething (tooth #7 cut through! holy crap!) and is in that fun whiny stage now, and that I’m on my period, and yeah. Fun fun week.

I don’t mean to complain. But I’m just exhausted and need a little me time. Even just some time to get some cleaning done, and to work on our dining room. Here’s hoping the husband doesn’t have any plans this weekend and can help a gal out.

This week wasn’t all bad, of course. On Monday I was invited to attend a “Mother’s Tea” at my niece’s preschool. Grant took two two-hour naps and only had two not so good naps all week (and one of them was due to the devil dog waking him up). He cut his tooth. He is doing GREAT with his solid foods and has really been enjoying sitting at the table and eating. My mom came over tonight to have dinner with us, and then she got to give him a bath. It was nice to listen to his splashing and belly laughs… and then she got him ready for bed so that *I* could shower. It was nice.

And the Red Wings just lost. Sad. Great series, though, at least they made it worth watching.

Viva la weekend! My husband should have tomorrow off (fingers crossed), so we’re going out to breakfast in the morning. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a productive but also relaxing weekend.

How about you?

Happy Mother’s Day

May 7, 2011

My first official Mother’s Day. And what an honor it is.

“Making the decision to have a child-it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” [Elizabeth Stone]

Thank you, son. We both gave each other life that day.

“I saw pure love when my son looked at me, and I knew that I had to make a good life for the two of us.” [Suzanne Somers]

It’s such an unexpected kind of love. I remember my own mother, telling me I’d understand someday, when she was overwhelmed with love for her daughters, or struggling because we were growing up too quickly. You really don’t understand until you become one for yourself.

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” [Sophia Loren]

Becoming a mother has softened me. I feel things so much harder. I love harder. I fight harder. I am also more patient. I am more sentimental. I cry more. There are so many emotions involved, so many instincts… and so much at stake.

“I love being a mother…I am more aware. I feel things on a deeper level. I have a kind of understanding about my body, about being a woman.” [Shelley Long]

My mother ingrained in me, at an early age, the importance of telling the people you love that you love them. I never let my husband leave the house (or end a phone conversation) without telling him that I love him. I always always always kiss my son and tell him I love him before he goes to sleep. I always tell my mom and dad and sister that I love them before ending a phone call. You just never know. The last thing my mom ever said to her dad was, “I love you.” He died later that day of a heart attack, and she’s always been comforted in knowing that that’s how their last exchange went. I always keep that in mind… not only as a just in case, but because it is important to be loved, and it is important to know it and hear it often. I always want my son to know that he is loved, even if he can’t comprehend just how much.

“The best advice from my mother was a reminder to tell my children every day: ‘Remember you are loved.'” [Evelyn McCormick]

Being a mother has made me appreciate my own mother more. I definitely see her differently, and fully realize just how much she has done for me in my life. How her love and support over the years has helped me become who I am today. We don’t always see eye to eye, but she is always there for me. She’s one of my best friends and I am so thankful for our relationship.

“There is a point at which you aren’t as much mom and daughter as you are adults and friends.” [Jamie Lee Curtis]

Being a mother has changed my relationship with my husband. I don’t think it’s possible to become parents and keep your marriage the same way it always was. You have to work harder at it. You start to see things differently. New things frustrate you. They look at you differently, once you’re a mother. But you also seem them in a different light. Sometimes good, sometimes bad… but I can honestly say that I’ve never loved my husband more than the moments where I catch him caught up in the moment, making our son laugh, snuggling together on the couch, appreciating a simple thing that he knows has become special.

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” [Unknown]

The love for a child. What can I say? I look at this nine month old baby and sometimes I just stare in wonderment at this person I helped create. The personality he has, the sense of humor, the sweetness. He is amazing and I feel so honored to be his mommy.

“We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forgot that he is someone today.” [Stacia Tauscher]


My heart.

It’s all going way too fast. I try to enjoy it as much as possible, to drink it all in, to savor the moments. Appreciate it all. Laugh when you want to cry. And, while I frequently get sad because I don’t want him to grow up, I also realize that he is growing into an amazing person. It is so much fun to watch him learn new things, see who he is becoming. I couldn’t be prouder.

“It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear.” [Dorothy Evslin]

Okay, now I’m crying so I will end it there. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Happy Mother’s Day! I’m so happy to be a part of this sisterhood.

Kisses

May 5, 2011

My son gave me a kiss for the first time tonight.

I’ve been emphasizing the word “kiss” when I give him one. Tonight he was really watching my mouth when I was saying “Can I have a kiss?” (then kissing him) and then he leaned forward with his mouth open and came at me! It was so cute!

Learning

May 3, 2011

Oh boy, has my son been learning up a storm these past couple of weeks.

In addition to learning how to fake choke (a skill he picked up months ago), he can now fake cough, fake cry, and throw fake temper tantrums.

He has also learned how to throw real temper tantrums.

He has learned how to empty out his toy bins. He has learned how to do an alligator death roll while I try to change his diaper or (heaven forbid) put some pants on him.

He has learned how to wake himself up after just a half an hour during his morning nap.

He has learned where the power cords are.

He has learned how to grind his cute little front teeth together, which he knows makes mommy’s skin crawl. He has learned how to do it on purpose just to get a reaction out of me.

He has learned that, when I am very tired or stressed, all it takes is a silly smile, or for him to pause for a moment while we play on the floor to “pet” me, to make everything okay again. To remind me of the other things he has learned… to giggle, to smile, to play, to amuse. To hug, to head-butt, to reach his arms to me when he wants me to hold him. To make me smile, to make me laugh, to make my heart swell. In turn, I am learning to relax more, to have more patience, to appreciate the little things. The moments I’ll never, ever get back.

We are both learning.

Forgetting

April 1, 2011

I am terrified of forgetting.

The little things… you know, like the smell of a newborn. I can hardly remember it, less than nine months later.

There’s so much I don’t want to forget. Like the feel of a sleeping baby on my chest. The imprint of an ear left on my skin.

Baby giggles, his belly laughs. How I felt when he smiled at me for the first time.

The relieved, blissful look on his face when he’s hungry and finally latches on. The sound of a nursing baby, the swallowing.

The silly expressions; the way he raises his eyebrows and I can tell exactly what he’s thinking. (I hope that doesn’t go away.)

The weight of him in my arms, increasing every day. How he gets heavier as he gives in to sleep.

The babbling. The nonsense words. How proud he is when he figures out a new sound and has to repeat it over and over (and over) again.

His creamy skin and perfectly pink cheeks. The fatty folds in his thighs, the way his hair curls slightly just behind his ears.

Those quiet moments in the middle of the night, when it’s only the two of us awake. Sleepy, treasured time.

How bittersweet things can be. How proud I am when he figures out something new, but then have to fight back tears because he’s big enough to roll over, or cut a tooth, or eat solid foods. It’s like I have to pack away outgrown clothes and toys faster than I can pull out the new stuff. I can’t keep up.

I’m already forgetting. What was the exact color of his eyes when he was just a week old? What did I do that made him giggle for the first time?

I take pictures and pictures and more pictures, but they aren’t enough. They can’t capture the FEELING or the SMELL or the SOUND of this amazing little boy. How I feel when he shows his love in his own little ways.

But wasn’t it only yesterday when I got that positive pregnancy test? When I felt him move for the first time? When my water broke?

I look forward to the things we will do together in his life. The things we will learn, the things we will teach. Every day he gets more fun, more hilarious, more amazing. But damn it if it isn’t hard to let go of some of what we lose.

“Change is hard; you fight to hold on and you fight to let go.” [The Wonder Years]

So worth it.

Trouble sleeping?

January 26, 2011

Has anyone had their baby suddenly have trouble sleeping?

We’ve had sleep issues when we’ve noticed certain things, like a growth spurt or teething or illness. But G seems totally fine right now… except, for the past two days, he doesn’t want to sleep!

Yesterday, he fought his morning nap for an hour. He fought his afternoon nap for three hours. He went to bed just fine, but then woke up in the middle of the night and was WIDE AWAKE. Like, the way he was when he was a newborn and had his days and nights mixed up. He usually wakes up, nurses, and goes right back to sleep. But last night, he was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Talking, squealing, rolling over. He was up for over an hour, at least. And then he woke up again EARLY this morning, well before the sun made its way over the farthest edge of Lake Superior. There was no getting him back to sleep.

And now, he’s been fighting his morning nap again. It’s been about an hour and a half now. My patience is wearing thin, especially when he gets whiny.

I’m tired. I’m still trying to catch up from being sick for over a week (with no help whatsoever). Hell, I’m tired because I haven’t gotten a full night of sleep since the beginning of my pregnancy in November of 2009. Is it too much to ask for a nap?

I’m sorry. Two whiny posts in a row. But I’m not sure if this is a normal thing babies go through? Any advice? This, too, shall pass?

Can you believe that Christmas came and went in a blink?

It was amazing. Simple as that. G is beyond spoiled and I’m still sorting through his new toys and clothes.

J got me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, something I’ve been wanting FOREVER. (Feel free to send recipes my way. First thing I’m making, probably tomorrow, will be wheat beer bread.)

More importantly, though, we spent three whole days with friends and family. It was truly wonderful and we are very blessed. Nothing is more important than laughter and love with those you cherish most.

AND! G cut his first tooth on Christmas Eve, then a second one just a few days later. He has two teeth! (Stop growing!) TWO FRONT TEETH. OMG JUST LIKE THE SONG.

J has this whole week off of work, which is nice. We may go on a date tomorrow night, if my mom is available to babysit. It’s been a very long time since the two of us have done anything together, just the two of us. We’re thinking about going to a movie; Black Swan looks good.

Finally, I’m watching Toddlers & Tiaras. omfg. lkdjsflksjdf. I don’t know what else to say. And I can’t look away, it’s like a car wreck.

Feeling like a mom

December 3, 2010

I got to give my first (?) bit of “mom advice” the other day.

Not in the usual product recommendation, or “Here’s what worked for me,” or suggestion on a discussion forum, or anything like that.

A stranger in Target came up to me and said, “You’re a mom… can I ask you a question?” And then I explained to her why someone with an 11 month old might request 18 month-sized clothing.

It made me feel strangely proud, for something so minor. Even J commented to me later about it. “Wasn’t that cool?”

Yeah, it kind of was.

Much Needed

November 18, 2010

My husband, J, worked from home today. He’s been working crazy hours ever since G was born, and today is the first time he’s had an at-home office day in about a month or so. He doesn’t get to see much of what I deal with on a daily basis, or on a typical weekday, as far as how much work a baby this age can be.

Anyhow, G loves to fight sleep. This means dealing with an Overly Tired Baby sometimes. Sometimes that baby is hungry but fusses and strains too much to eat, so then I get an Overly Hungry Overly Tired Baby. I can’t complain too much; he’s still one of the most laid-back babies I’ve ever encountered.

So this afternoon was one of those times where I was dealing with an Overly Hungry Overly Tired Baby. He had a minor meltdown and was crying and I struggled to console him and help him relax enough to nurse and sleep. One of my strengths as a mother is patience; I can keep my cool with G even when we’re both stressed and tired (I wish I could say I have the same patience with my husband!).

J looked at me while I worked my mommy “magic” with G, and teared up. He smiled and told me, “I’m glad you’re his mother.”

*melts*

In other news, a certain little boy turned four months old yesterday… on the one year anniversary of my positive home pregnancy test. But that’s a post for another day.

Getting way too big!

G also started giggling a few days ago. It is the best sound I’ve ever heard in my life. He is still selective with it, and guards those giggles tightly for only the BEST tickles. But I would stand on my head and sing a Justin Bieber song in a kilt and goggles if it would make him laugh.

Big steps today!

October 18, 2010

Last night, Little Guy did a SIX HOUR stretch of sleep! The longest ever.

He usually only does a four hour stretch, but started doing an occasional five hour stretch about a week and a half ago. He followed last night’s long sleep by two more shorter stints, nursing in between, for a grand total of 10 hours. He went right back to sleep after nursing each time, too.

We struggled so much with sleep up to this point, so I’m very proud of him.

Also… he flipped over from his belly to his back for the first time! It was so exciting. He had this look of shock on his face, like, “Did I really just do that?!” and then he gave me a huge smile. Such a big boy!