Monthly Archives: May 2014

Month 13

A year and a month, a year and a month.  It seems so crazy!  A year and…

So much fun this month. For one, we celebrated the return of our healthy little boy, and along with that health came the smiles, the laughter, and the sweetest little person in the whole world.  We all feel a million times better, and our fingers are crossed that we stay this way.

First birthday scenes:
The biggest event of the month was communication. We saw our first signs!  Mini man now proudly tells us when he’s looking for the milk truck, and Mom, as a dutiful milk truck, obliges. It’s fairly incredible to me to think that this is just the beginning, and that once the communication starts, it opens up a whole new world. So much chatter. Oh, and after milk followed all done, and we think maybe eat?  Still looking for more, though the mouth wide open lunge might be sign enough.
Our usual run-through:
Eating: now that he is healthy, EVERYTHING. Most notably, everything that we eat. He prefers our food (buffalo chicken, tortellini salad, cheeseburgers, turkey sandwiches) to his own baby-type food. We don’t complain – it makes our lives much easier, as our food is his food is our food is his food. We all like to eat.
Naps: still two, but beginning to wonder when two might shrink to one. We’re getting there I think.
Passport stamps: One more quick trip to the hospital (just tests, everything is fine, it was a nightmare) and a canceled trip to Washington, D.C., but other than that, not much travel excitement this month.
Weight: Still hovering around 18 pounds and a bunch of ounces. We’re working on it with his appetite being back though – little dude is skinny!
Height/head size: Slowing down on the growing…again, we’re working on it now that he’s a hungry kid again. Head is still giant, 90th percentile. Height is about 15th. Poor thing.
New tricks: Walking everywhere! Not confidently and not tons of steps, but definitely stringing steps together and walking on his own without prodding from us. It’s simultaneously great and sad (sad because he’s not a tiny little baby anymore!).
Let go of my hands, Dad – I got this!
Teeth: Lots more coming through. One more on the bottom (his 6th), and two molars on the top (7th and 8th).  Maybe another one, but I can’t tell for sure just yet.
Obsessed with: The musical instruments from Gramma for Easter. Still Chomp and Clack. Dad’s garden (and sticking his hand in the freezing water from the hose), the zapper/blipper/remote control whatever you call it, the telephone, Wheel of Fortune (be still my heart)
So there you have it, 13 months of wee dude. So so so much love to my tiny little side kick.

Holding on to a smile.

Why do I leave his smile every day?  I ponder this question more and more these days. How do I find something better suited to these lofty visions I have for what our world should be? Where do I even begin to look?

I notice that these thoughts are a pattern, and not a good one. When I look back into the archives of my thoughts, this notion is ever-present since the wee man came to be. It was so easy before James to scuttle along, following each whim, confident that what I chose need not be permanent. I maintain those same thoughts now – my current existence will not always be my daily routine – but somehow there is more to it.

The choices mean more, say more, feel more.

This little guy is at stake.

And you – no, I – only live once.

So what do I want it to be?

And why do I choose to leave him each day?

Realistically, there are answers. A paycheck, health insurance, retirement benefits, a bit of my life to call my own. A life outside of our little bubble at home.

But does it need to be every day? And does it need to be in this space that continually beats me down, wears me out, tries to make me believe I am not enough?  I don’t think it does. And I know that it does not need to be a place that makes me feel any less courageous, intelligent, strong, and kind than I am.

So what do I do?

The same thing I always have done: I create change.

The only question remaining is how.

ONE. (Month 12)

One. He’s one. I thought it would feel like more of a relief, like we’ve made it out of the woods, but the poor little dude spent a lot of month twelve feeling sick, so in reality the first birthday was more of a blur of exhaustion, worry, and more exhaustion.  It was okay…he pulled himself together to celebrate with family, eat some cake, and play in the back yard, but the little guy was still not himself.

The details of month 12:

Eating: not a whole lot. Given that he has been sick so much, he’s down to mostly milk from mom more often than not. We’re doing our best to stuff him full of food when he’s healthy, but our efforts feel futile at times given that the poor little thing just cannot kick the winter sicknesses.

Naps: Two, as usual, and sometimes more when he’s feeling sick!

Passport stamps: Still two…with plans for Spain and England in the fall.  Other trips on the horizon include Denver (not sure when!) and Seattle this summer.

Weight: up over 18 pounds, but stuck there since nine months. Again, the sicknesses – he needs a break to get back on track with the weight gain.

Height and head size: Two feet five inches? Slowed down, again thanks to being sick. And again, he needs a break to get back on track with the growing!

New tricks: WALKING!!! He took a step or two the day before his birthday, and then low and behold on his birthday he toddled all over the room. He’s not confident in his ability by any means, but we’ll get there. Boy is growing up.

Teeth: Still five, but two molars are peeking through and a fourth tooth on the bottom.

Obsessed with: Snack cups. The stairs at Gramma’s house (he climbs them). Pots and pans. Goldfish cookies.

So that’s that. A year of sweet little baby James. A year that taught me and Chris so very, very much. We’re tired after a winter of sick baby, but when those smiles return…oh goodness, it’s all so very worth it.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby James. Thank you for the lessons you teach, the laughter you share, the joy you bring. We can’t imagine our world without you.


A hiatus. And some thoughts.

So I took a hiatus. Longer than planned, sure, but sometimes it happens. It being life.

What happened? Well, the kid got sick, I got tired, downtime became a few minutes after the kid went to sleep for the first time that night and before I went to bed myself…only to wake up an hour or two later and do it all again.

There have been tests and appointments and medicines and needle sticks and…it’s all just a lot. Everything seems fine, but fine sometimes necessitates a break and some time away and room to breathe.  Even if it’s shallow, nervous, worrisome breath.

Regardless, the whole situation got me thinking about what we’re told to do and what we’re told not to do in terms of forming habit for babies and toddlers and life in general. Don’t let the kid sleep with you, cribs are for naps too, heaven forbid the kid falls asleep on you and you both have the gall to waste two hours of the day resting peacefully together (that doesn’t count as a nap, don’t be silly, see the aforementioned bit about cribs). You’re forming bad habits. You’re this, you’re that.

It’s all a bunch of bullshit.

The kid napped on me for the better portion of two weeks, and he slept in our bed for the majority of the night for the better part of a month. And you know what? Today he napped in his crib for two hours this morning, and last night he slept through the night all by himself in his very own space. And why?

Because he feels better. He feels safe. And I would wager, he felt loved and nurtured and snuggled and cared for when he – AND I – needed it most. So the bad habits? Bullshit. That language is all part of the parenting game these days. The constant ways to feel like what you’re choosing is the wrong thing, no matter what that choice is.

But why? Because the choice to offer kind words, to comfort, to support, to nurture…is it that hard? To look at a tired parent and say, you’re doing the best that you can.

Because we all are. We’re doing the best that we can. And sometimes that best requires a hiatus, a break, a minute to breathe. A rule breaking of all of the baby-raising-so-called-bad-habits. Two hours spent, babe in arms, snuggled under a blanket of love. Because that, my friends, is the best that I can.

And the baby I filled with bad habits? He didn’t seem to mind either.

So apologies for the hiatus, but I will not apologize for the snuggling, no not once, not ever.