Monday, September 27, 2010

Adventures in babysitting

This was not Luke's first time with a babysitter. This wasn't even a real babysitter. This was not a stranger or some unknown person. Luke was being watched by Pete's sister - Luke's Auntie Marci. So why was I still nervous beforehand? Pete and I went to see Chelsea Handler perform downtown. Getting the tickets seemed like a good idea when they went on sale and I ordered them almost 2 months ago. But as the day got closer I had serious misgivings. What if he pulled his crazy screaming fit after he goes to bed? What if he doesn't want to eat? What if he gets a fever? What if something terrible happens???
Earlier that day Luke and I were at a baby shower. He didn't get his normal naps in his crib. He kindofsortof napped in the car and a little bit at the shower but that's it. So then I was worried about how cranky and irritable he would be since he was off schedule. When I got home from the shower I had about 20 minutes to get ready. I needed to finish cleaning up, change out of the pants I was wearing because he threw up on me, change his pukey outfit, pump, get his pajamas ready, get his food and bottle ready and whatever other running around I needed to do. I was stressing out and tried pumping and only got less than one ounce. I was so frazzled from everything and afraid we would be late and not have time to eat before the show and Marci assured me she had a handle on everything (which I knew she did but I wanted to leave things as easy for her as possible) and I got his food ready, told her where his pajamas were and we left the house. I resisted the urge to call and check in on him. She sent us an adorable picture of him eating. We ate dinner, went to the show and called when we were on our way home. After we got home as Marci was telling us how the night went apparently Luke screamed right after we left when she was trying to feed him his cereal. And that's when it hit me - I.Never.Said.Goodbye.To.Him.Before.We.Left. I felt like the worst mom ever because in my rush to get everything ready before we left the last I had seen my little guy was when he was asleep right before I started my frenzy of running around.

I always say goodbye to him in the mornings (even if he's alseep) and always at night when he goes to bed. I don't know how I slipped up such an important thing. I am just relieved that this thought didn't occur to me when we were still out. I would have felt frantic to rush home.

So the worrying was for nothing. Luke had a great night with Auntie Marci and Uncle Scottie. And Pete and I had a nice night out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Half Birthday, Luke!

Dear Luke,
Six months, half a year. Wow. Half a year has flown by so fast. I can also hardly remember what life was like without you. There are so many wonderful things that you’ve brought to our lives and I am so blissfully sappingly forever grateful. Just this weekend I was able to experience one of my favorite things – having you fall asleep in my arms. For some reason when we’re home, you don’t want to sleep in my arms – you’d much rather sprawl out in your crib with your froggy grasped against your cheek and your glow worm soothing you nearby. But we weren’t home for some of your naps and you snuggles right up to me and zonked out. After falling asleep on my shoulder I was able to reposition you in a cradle hold in my arms. You grasped my shirt in your little fist and slept that deep wonderful sleep of an infant. There were screeching children around us and you were oblivious. And I felt so content and maternal and in awe of you. Those are the little snapshot moments I want to always remember. We love the new voice sounds you’re making. Sometimes you trill and gargle and squeal and sound like anything but a baby. We’re trying to teach you how to say ba-ba, da-da and ma-ma but you haven’t had any success imitating those sounds yet. You sometimes stare at us making fools of ourselves with these new sounds and we watch you watch us…moving your tiny lips and mouth to make the right sound – but no sound comes out yet. I feel like I can see that baby brain working though.

You’re eating so much and you clearly have food preferences as well as foods you can not stand to eat at all. Like green beans. OOooo. Not a fan of green beans. I was too stubborn to allow you to not eat them. I knew you were hungry so I kept shoveling it in. And you saved up every drop of those green beans without swallowing them and proceeded to blow raspberries at me. The spray of green bean juice was everywhere! Green beans stained your [ants, my pants, my shirt, face, the tablecloth. Argh. No. More. Green. Beans. I got the picture! But bananas and apples are your favorite. You also really like your cereal and you act like my little baby bird opening your mouth and looking for that next morsel. I try to keep you busy while you’re eating and hand you your own spoon. It’s so cute to watch the synchronized spoon movements as you move your spoon to your mouth as I’m moving my spoon to your mouth. But if I allow you full spoon control you unknowingly gag yourself so I have to wrestle it away from you.

I can’t believe how strong you are. That baby grip is nearly impossible to break – whether you have a grip on a toy, my hair, a necklace, whatever. I’m surprised I don’t have bruises.

You’re also developing your own personality and you like to make your desires known. Well, you like to make your displeasure known is more like it. You are almost always pleasant and I could not ask for a more smiley happy baby. You love playing with your toys abut if I take away one of your favorite toys, oooo, you are one angry cranky baby! The two new examples of your favorite toys are your drum and your xylophone/piano toys. I guess you’re just my little musical baby. I love it.

You went with us to some friends’ houses this weekend and you’re not afraid of strangers yet. You love our dog, Samson but don’t care for or seem interested in our cat, Deano.

I love watching you grow and change and I’m excited to watch you grow up. I have a feeling the second half of your life will be much more exciting than the first. First Halloween and first Christmas are way more exciting than first Easter and first Independence Day. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Coming out of a fog

I actually wrote this on Monday earlier this week and never posted it...

I’m starting to feel more like myself again – for several reasons. First off this terrible cold is finally starting to break. Bad timing had me sick while my niece was visiting. She was so sweet to put up with my sniffling, coughing and whining. We went to get makeovers at Benefit and I also apologized to the girl doing my makeup for my cold (she worked wonders on covering up my red nose!) I still have that groggy sleepy thing going on and am a little light headed – but nothing like yesterday when I felt like I would faint from walking up the stairs. The second reason for coming out of a fog is that my diagnosis of post partum depression (PPD) seems to have leveled off. Thank goodness for drugs! I’ve been on Zoloft for about 6 weeks now and after experimenting with dosages I think we found the right amount and I feel like me again. The odd thing was that the PPD didn’t start until Luke was about 4 months old and I thought (mistakenly) that if you were going to get it, it would start right after the baby was born. I recently read otherwise and that it’s very common to get it at 4 months. I think there may have been a combination of life stresses that kicked the PPD into high gear as well. A huge immense thank you to my husband, Pete, for noticing what was going on with me and urging me to see my doctor. My doctor has been amazing and also thanks Pete because she says not enough husbands are aware of PPD or know how to handle it. Luckily I think I got in very early and kept it from spiraling. I will likely stay on the medication until springtime unless I have side effects or a reason to discontinue.

I am now at the point that I can acknowledge what’s going on and look back on how I felt. I was not in a happy place. I had this incredible magnificent little boy in my life and I couldn’t fully appreciate him. I would go through the motions and say the right things and do what I was supposed to do but I was absent. I would sit there and talk to him and he would coo back at me but I would find that I was zoning out and had totally missed out because I was staring blankly at who knows what for who knows how long. He was always safe and I never felt any urge to hurt him or me. But I was in a haze and a cloud and it is such a cliché description but it is so true. In the midst of these fogs were frighteningly scary panic attacks that left me gasping for breath and unsure of what was happening. I think one of my worst moments was when I was at work but I was convinced that feeding Luke milk I pumped would make him sick. Some part of me knew this was a little irrational but had moments when I was 100% sure that since I was depressed, if he had my milk, it would make him ill. It got to the point that I was just going to stop pumping at work. I also spent some time looking for proof by googling “depression and sick babies” but I never found anything. Finally, I convinced myself that even though I thought it was bad for Luke, I would pump anyway and then talk to Pete about it when I got home and we’d test if the milk was sour. Or something. I don’t know what my plan was but I did what I needed to do and after I actually pumped, I did feel better and realized how nutty and delusional my thinking was. I had to check out and try not to stress out. I will probably still have some bad days here and there but I feel confident that I know what’s going on and I know my limits. I used to panic about not pumping enough and what if he needs to drink formula? I am now ok with him having formula if he needs it. Me stressing out about him not having enough to eat will only result in me producing less – so the sooner I acknowledge it’s ok for him to have formula, the better we’ll all feel.

Friday, September 10, 2010

a little bit of this...a little bit of that

I'm all over the place today.

I haven't written on my blog in a week. I've been trying to get back to writing daily but I'm just proud if I manage once a week. And that's OK.

I'm not working today. It's not an I'm working from home day - it's an honest to goodness I'm not working at all today kind of day. I slept in...well, kind of. Luke woke up at 3:00 am and talked to himself for awhile and I left him alone and he fell back asleep. Then he woke up for good at 5:00 am. How come on the days I have to go to work, I have to wake him up - sometimes at 6:30 but the day I can sleep in, he's wide awake and hungry. So I got up and fed him and laid down on the bed in the spare bedroom with him hoping he'd fall back asleep so I could also fall back asleep but no such luck. He's just discovered my face lately. Well, discovered that it's fun to pull my nose, stroke my cheek, bop me in the forehead, etc. He broke one of my favorite necklaces last night (not broken forever. Pete should be able to fix it) and I guess it's my own fault because I should know better than to wear any jewelry around a six month old. But I did nap from about 5:30 to 6:45 so I guess that counts as sleeping in.

Luke has his 6 month pediatrician appointment today. Oh.My.Goodness. Seriously. SIX MONTHS? Already? Yeah, my little man is half a freakin year old already. As far as I can tell (from my wealth of knowledge gained from baby books and mom blogs) he is developmentally on track. I'll let the doctor confirm today. He babbles and is learning to make new sounds. He eats...sometimes. Lately he's decided he doesn't really want to eat solid food and he'll begrudgingly eat his cereal but that's about it. Does.Not.Like.Carrots. Not one little bit. We tried to reintroduce him to peas but nah, no thanks. Even tried bananas (the best fruit ever) and he passed on that. Oh well. He's getting everything he needs from the breast milk and he'll eat when he needs to I guess. I keep trying though. He's not sitting up on his own yet. He's not crawling but he does the army crawl scooching thing which is pretty cute. I don't mind him being immobile for a bit longer. He's given up his pacifiers and he sucks his thumb like a champ.

Last weekend was great. Got to visit Colleen, spend time with Luke's Grandma and Grandpa (and his Great Grandma and Uncle Freddie). We went to the Taste of Melrose Park which was super yummy and the best place to people watch EVER. I was expecting the Real Housewives of NJ and the Situation, Snooki and every other Italian stereotype reality star to bump into us. The food was so good. The highlights were these artichoke puffs, fried zucchini, best italian ice ever and this weird ground beef, cheese, rice thing which was then in some breading and fried. Oh wow. That was good. We didn't do much of anything at all on Labor Day even though we had the best of intentions. I was feeling so sick and I could do much of anything. I did take a nap which was heaven and Luke decided to be cranky for the majority of the day (and I got to sleep through part of it - yay for Pete!)

I am super excited about this weekend. Started yesterday with donuts and my fantasy football league draft was last night. Fanta wha???? I never thought I'd participate in fantasy anything. Well maybe final fantasy...or reading a fantasy sci fi book but not fantasy SPORTS. It's part of my whole "try to do something outside of your comfort zone" thing. And this is way outside my comfort zone. But it's a girl's league and it sounds fun. Plus I need to start preparing myself for being the mom to a little BOY who will probably like sports (he will like sports because Pete and I do not like sports. that's how these things go) and I may as well learn now. So, yeah I'm on a fantasy football league and I think we got a good team.

I'm spending the morning lounging around and eating caramels. No! But I am relaxing while getting ready for my niece to come visit. Caitlin is coming! Caitlin is coming! I am excited and we are going to have a blast. I love that kid and it's so weird to think that I was around Caitlin's age now when she was born - so she's looking at Luke like I used to look at her (not sure if that makes sense). It's also weird because he's her cousin but she will be more like an auntie to him. We're going to do yoga, get makeovers in Bucktown, go shopping in Andersonville (hi Emily!) go to the block party, go to church, hit the Harrison St art fest and hopefully the Renegade Craft fair as well. Whew! I hope I'm not packing too much into 2 1/2 days but there's so much going on this weekend that I think she'd enjoy.

Luke's getting his 6 month pictures taken today. I hope it's a better experience than at JC Penney's. We're going to Picture People and when I asked them how much time to allow they said an hour. Which is a far cry than the 15 minutes JCP tried to get his pictures done in. I have 3 outfits picked out for him. And yes, one of them is a sailor suit. hahahhahahah. I crack myself up.

Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labor Day weekend

I am loving/dreading this weekend. I love the fact that we don’t have any serious plans. I’m going to drive out and visit Colleen and drop off Luke on the way to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa but otherwise the weekend is open. I love that it’s mainly unplanned and open. I am dreading the little guy’s schedule. I am a very lucky mama. Luke is so good almost all the time. (I am probably jinxing myself by writing this.) He hardly ever cries, he sleeps through the night (form maybe 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.) and he is so dang adorable and wakes up smiling. I love that little guy so much! BUT for some reason his schedule gets a little wonky on the weekend and he gets super cranky. He doesn’t really cry but he does whine. He whines a lot. And I do all of the standard “what does my baby need right now” analyzing. The majority of the time is because he’s tired or cranky. He was fighting a little cold the last two weekends but I’m kind of jealous of the fact that he takes 4 hour naps for Grace during the week but never naps more than an hour at a time with us on the weekends. So that’s the part I don’t love. I love spending time with him. And since I get to work from home on Friday, there’s even more time I’ll see him since I won’t have to commute. And then there’s the bonus day of not working on Monday. So yay for more time with Luke. But please please don’t let him whine the entire time!

Maybe we’ll be able to wrangle a sitter and actually take in a movie. I don’t even know what’s out right now but I do know I miss spending time with my husband. Yeah, we spend time together washing dishes and eating dinner and changing diapers and playing with Luke. By the time Luke falls asleep at night I am zoning out and falling asleep on the couch so I head up to bed since I know I’ll be waking up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. plus the recent wake up call I’ve been receiving lately of pesky insomnia keeping me awake for a few hours from 1:00 on. (can you say run on sentence?) I think I’ve got the insomnia thing beat (*fingers crossed*) I am hoping the weather stays nice (no hurricane Earl out here) and we can take a few walks since my knee (which has been bugging me for almost 3 weeks) is almost back to normal. Normal for me is a dull pain and achey pins and needles rather than shooting pain and the knee hyper-extending and giving out on me.

So here’s to walks in the park with my favorite guys (hubby, baby and dog – if my dad were there that would be my 4 fave guys) and sitting outside and reading some books and relaxing LOTS.

In non-weekend news, Luke tried bananas last night and LOVED them. Who wouldn’t? I mean, bananas are the shiznit, right? So bananas for the next few days (which means Grandma gets to give him some) and then avocado for a few days. After that it’s carrots, pears, applesauce, squash and peaches. Once he gets through being introduced to those foods, he’ll be set for us mixing it up and he can have a serving of a fruit, veggie and rice/barley/oat cereal each day. Go baby!

We see his pediatrician on Friday the 10th for his 6 month checkup and see how much he weighs and how tall he is.