Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mommy Tip #6,291

If you're taking the baby in the bath with you, do not expect to get clean. Especially do not expect to shave your legs.

You will be sorely disappointed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

6 Months

For Declan

I am typing this from a letter that I wrote Declan yesterday, so forgive the chronological inaccuracies. I figured I'd better have an electronic copy, knowing how well I do with keeping track of pieces of paper (read: not well at all.)

Dear Declan,

Today is your very first half-birthday. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are six months old. For some reason, six months feels so much older than five months did. I know it's cliched, but I get a little teary when I think about how fast you are growing up. It seems like just yesterday I was lounging in the hospital bed, examining all of your tiny parts and realizing that you are mine.

Grandpa and I threw you a little half-birthday party this evening. When you woke up from your nap (which you conveniently took while Grandpa and I ate a celebratory steak dinner), I ground up some green beans and rice and made it into a little patty. We stuck a candle in it and sang "Happy Half Birthday," but I had to help you blow out the candle. Then I tried to feed you your "cake," but that was a disaster. You gagged and made faces, and green beans ended up everywhere.

In general, though, you love food. I feed you one serving of "big people food" every evening, and you get a new food each week. So far you've tried rice, peas (your favorite), carrots, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, and green beans. Tomorrow night we're either doing pears, blueberries, broccoli or spinach, I haven't decided yet. Anyway, you're a great eater. It's one of my favorite parts of the day, sitting you in your high chair and watching your little face light up as the spoon comes toward you. And after dinner, I always give you a bath, because you like to get your food all over yourself. I'm sure that won't change for quite a while.

Declan, you are such a good baby. You love to babble and squeal, and your belly laughs are literally the best sound I've ever heard. You should see some of the ridiculous things I do to get you to laugh. You're a big chunky boy, at just over 20 pounds. Everyone who sees you, even strangers, want to squeeze your squishy round thighs and pinch your chubby cheeks. I'm sure you'll lose this baby fat when you start to crawl and walk, so I'm savoring the rolls while they last.

You've hit every milestone ahead of schedule, especially sitting up. You're an amazing sitter, and have been for almost a month now. You still tip over sometimes because you're stubbornly determined to get that toy that's just out of your reach. You're not crawling yet, but you're pretty close. Grandpa likes to play with you on the floor in the evenings and help you crawl by lifting your big belly off of the floor. You love to chew on anything and everything that you can get your hands on. All of your toys (and your hands, and my hands, and the couch pillows, etc.) end up covered in drool. You're still toothless, but I think they'll make an appearance soon.

At the moment, we're living in a condo in Austin with Grandpa. Daddy went to live in Iowa almost two months ago, and we miss him a lot. He's working nights at the wind turbine factory, trying to save up money so that we can all move back to Austin when you're older. In ten days, you and I are making the long trip up to Iowa to join Daddy in Grinnell. I can't wait for him to see how big and how smart you've gotten.

You look just like your daddy, Declan. He is so, so proud of you and it's killing him to be away from us for this long. I think you've even inherited some of your dad's personality... sometimes you will whine and pull my hair, and then when I say, "Declan, no," you'll give me this big mischievous grin. But people say that you're most like me, personality-wise. Laid back, and very happy as long as you're being held, talked to, or played with. We will just have to wait and see what kind of a kid you develop into.

Declan, I am so happy to be your mom. I would suffer through those first few weeks of no sleep one thousand times if I knew that I would end up with such a fun, joyful, wonderful baby six months later. I love you.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Calm and Collected I Am Not

Top Five Nerve Wracking things I've done in the last six months:

5. Go canoeing with Declan on my lap
4. Pinch the baby's nipple in the pacifier clip
3. Survive Declan's first bad cold
2. Deal with a horrible, blistery diaper rash on my 1-week-old
1. Give Birth

So number five happened today (and bumped "Getting pooped on while trying to change a diaper in the car" to number 6). It really wasn't that bad once Declan fell asleep in my arms, but my crazy mom brain was going nuts with worries. Is he getting sunburned? Is his hat going to fly off? What if he flings himself backwards hard enough that we tip over? What if when I'm swimming to shore, holding him over my head, my feet get tangled in seaweed and we both DROWN?!

He had a lifejacket on (which he haaated, but of course I wasn't about to take it off of him) so I wasn't going quite as berserk as I might have otherwise. But it was still a relief to hand him off to Uncle David when the canoe landed on shore.

In other news, we're going to Mount Pleasant! I've been trying to finagle a trip up there for months, but my family has always been too busy and / or forgets to call and make arrangements. But now it's official, next weekend Declan will take his second ever out-of-town trip! I can't wait to see everyone up there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Single Babies

New favorite hobby: making up new lyrics to "Single Ladies" for Declan.

My favorite version so far:

All the single babies! (x7)
Now put your hands up!
Up in the highchair,
Just so hungry
I'm droolin' all over myself.
You decided to feed me
Mushed up peas,
So I stuck my hands in them.

I'm trying to eat them, they're all over me,
You're not paying any attention,
But you had your chance
To keep my onesie clean
So you can't be mad at me.

If you liked it then you shoulda put a bib on me,
If you liked it then you shoulda put a bib on me,
Now my onesie's gonna be pea-stained,
But if you liked it then you shoulda put a bib on me,
Oh oh oh...

My second favorite version (and my new go-to lullaby):

All the single babies (x7)
Put your hands up!
Up in the Boppy,
It's time for a nap,
But I can't go to sleep.
Decided to cry, and you asked why,
I won't stop screaming.

Don't want a blankie, don't want you to sing,
Aren't you paying any attention?
There's only one thing I want,
And I better get it,
Or I'll just keep crying.

If you love me then you gotta put a paci in me,
If you love me then you gotta put a paci in me,
Don't be mad when I scream in your ear,
Cause if you love me then you gotta put a paci in me.
Oh oh oh...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Close Call

Yesterday my computer crashed, and I really thought that it was dead for good. It was giving me "no" symbols, and flashing file folders with question marks in them. It all started when I went to edit some photos I had taken on Picnik - I edited one just fine, but then when I went to upload the next one, the browser kept crashing. And when I tried to open it in another program, the whole computer froze up and turned off.

Luckily, a good man at the Genius Bar started it right up with no problems this afternoon.

But here's what I've discovered. Somehow, 22 of the pictures that I loaded onto my computer yesterday are poisonous. When I click on them, any program that I'm trying to use quits. Which is totally weird, because how many hundreds of photos have I taken from my camera onto my computer with no problems? And for some reason, these 22 are crazy. It's not even all of the photos from that batch, it's just numbers 62 through 84. Number 61 and number 85 work just fine.

So, sorry about the lack of pictures, but I have a cute one to tide you over!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No Longer

I was changing Declan's diaper on our makeshift changing table (aka the futon). He was just laying there peacefully, letting me wipe his butt, very calm, so I went really quick to throw away the incredibly offensive diaper. I cam back, and he was still laying, calm and peaceful... on the floor.

No more leaving Declan alone on a raised surface. Although he didn't cry - must have gone feet first and slid off. Still, it made my heart leap into my throat when I walked in and he was on the floor. My brave little explorer boy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The New Mom Excuse

You know how the general public mostly forgives women for looking like a hot mess when they're also toting a little baby around with them? Instead of thinking, "Wow, that lady has terrible personal hygiene and looks like she bought her clothes at a yardsale in 1992. What's wrong with her?" They think, "Poor thing, she probably hasn't had a wink of sleep or a shower because she's raising our future. And it's understandable that she's still wearing her maternity clothes, which are covered in spit-up and baby pee. But look at her adorable new baby!"

Well, now that Declan is five months old, and has reached the size of a toddler, I'm starting to doubt that I can use that excuse anymore. As much as I love my multiple pairs of stretched out yoga pants, it's time to confine them to the house. Along with my paint stained t-shirts and my worn-so-thin-that-I-can-feel-the-texture-of-the-sidewalk flipflops.

I felt stylish today for the first time in a while. I mean, I've made honorable attempts at putting together outfits, but it's tough when you have to consider the lactating boobs (some tops don't fit when they're empty, others don't fit when they're full), the easy access for nursing (must have a low neckline that can be pulled down, otherwise I have to wear something under it), the squishy belly (yes, still) and whether or not I've shaved my legs that morning. All of these combined with ever-changing weather and my poor laundry skills make for a very limited wardrobe.

But today, thanks to a very generous gift from Marcie and some inspiration from my new hobby, browsing style and design blogs, I put together an outfit. I put on jewelry. I brushed my hair! I wore cute shoes. I put on perfume. And I walked to the grocery store with a little more pep in my step because I knew that people wouldn't be wondering why I smelled so funny or why my boobs were totally hanging out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tough Guy

Declan just had his four-month checkup! Yes, I know he's already five months old. We've been trying to sort out insurance and pediatricians, on top of the moving-to-iowa fakeout, so he's a little behind on doctor's appointments.

He's 20.3 pounds. Twenty point three. Wow. I mean, I know I was guessing he was twenty pounds, but for it to be real... He's huge! And 27 inches long. That means he's in the 90th percentile for height, and off the charts for weight. Woo hoo!

Declan was so cute at the appointment. When the doctor came in he was sitting up by himself on the exam table, and he gave the biggest smile. Dr. Getman said, "Well, I'm happy to see you, too!" He passed all of the baby tests with flying colors. The doctor said that he was very strong for his age. Aaron would be so proud.

Dr. Getman said "The only problem you're gonna have with him..." and my heart dropped. He finished, "Is that people are going to ask why he's not doing things that an older baby should be doing, because of his size. You'll be asked why he doesn't have teeth, or why he's not crawling, but he's only five months old. He shouldn't be doing those things yet. He just looks like he should!" This is true. I even find myself doing it. I mean, he's practically the size of a toddler; sometimes I look at him and think, Why are you acting like such a little baby? Oh, wait. You totally are a little baby. Sorry.

Then the nurse came in and gave him two shots, and he barely cried at all. Just kinda whimpered. My tough little man. I strapped him back in the carrier for our trip home, and he immediately fell asleep. All that showing off takes a lot out of a kid, I guess.