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Archive for December, 2006

It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to write that it’s hard to find a place to start. Periodically throughout my day stuff comes up in my head (memories) or happens and it feels so necessary to record it. It feels urgent, even. Then, when night falls I’m too tired to sit in front of the computer. As a person who needs to write to keep sane, this really sucks. However, I’m hanging in there and can say without having to write a book documenting the month of December, that this Christmas has been the absolute best Christmas of my entire life.

As Max is getting older this time of year is becoming so incredibly special. I didn’t grow up in a big family and many of my childhood memories of Christmas are marred by my parent’s fighting. Seems this time of year was very stressful for them – and understandably so. With their marriage slowly falling apart, financial struggles, and my mother’s mental health on a steady decline the holidays were not a good time of year for me growing up. I always tried to pretend that I didn’t feel the tension in the air or hear the late night shouting matches as I opened the gifts with a smile on my face and excitement in my voice, but I always knew what was going on. Kids know.

Having Max and Bella is giving me the opportunity to recreate the holidays and bring beautiful memories about for myself as well as my whole family (including my parents). It’s quite exciting, really. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe how fucking lucky I am to have all that I do. And I’m not talking about owning property or a car. I’m talking about the amount of love that I feel in my life. I’m talking about having a great relationship with my husband. I’m talking about things like having a space to really be myself – whether I’m happy or sad, angry or excited. Sure, I’m thankful for all the “stuff” I have – no doubt about that – but mostly I’m thankful for my family and this life I’ve created.

Now that the holidays are almost over and my due date (January 27th) is quickly approaching I have gone into hyper-nesting mode. I’ve got so much to do before Bella gets here – stuff I’ve had on my “To Do” list for months – and I’m just now feeling like doing it all.

My To Do List:

  1. Clean out under main bathroom sink. Put contact paper down there. Move items that are in the linen closet into that cabinet.
  2. Clean out linen closet. Move linens from Max & Bella’s closet into linen closet.
  3. Organize Bella’s clothes.
  4. Move Hal’s clothes out of ugly dresser into closet baskets.
  5. Clean out ugly dresser.
  6. Call to have ugly dresser picked up and taken away.
  7. Clean area where ugly dresser once occupied.
  8. Ask in-laws if they can buy us a dresser for the kids (I hate to do this but I know they would love to have the opportunity to help us out – we rarely ask them for anything. I can’t even remember what the last thing we asked them for was -it has been that long) They said yes!
  9. Clean out crib
  10. Wash all crib linens.
  11. Purge some of Max’s toys.
  12. Buy some shelves to hold/better organize the kid’s toys.
  13. Clean out closet in master bedroom.
  14. Set up master bedroom’s sink area as a changing area for Bella.
  15. Buy new linens (ours are about 10 years old!).
  16. Buy storage cabinets for all of our media stuff that is now being stored in our bedroom closet.
  17. Purge books

A couple of these things Hal will have to help me with but for the most part… this is stuff that I have to do if I want it done. My energy level is picking up a little but I still can only do one or two things a day. I’m now waking up every 1-2 hours at night to pee – Bella must have moved down onto my bladder a little more. She is still in position to be born (head-down) so I’m very happy about that. I can tell she has gotten bigger, too, because her feet are now kicking a little higher than they were last month.

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Picture Heavy

I haven’t been much in the writing mood lately – hince the lack of posts – but here are some pics to sord-of document this month:

This is what he does when I say, “smile!” Can you believe he’s still nursing with that mouth full of teeth??? If someone would have told me before I had a baby that I’d be letting those wrap around my nipple, I would have never believed it :

Papa & Max:

Sleeping Beauty:

Stretching-About-To-Wake-Up Beauty:

His favorite gift this year:

And he got lots and lots of books! His second favorite gift!

Okay, I think that’s enough photos for this month!

One more thing…

I found a photo of Max and Lola (his grandma). Papa was in the background. Only, all you could see of Hal was his plaid button up shirt. When I held the picture up and asked Max “who’s that?” thinking he’d say, Max or Lola, he pointed to the shirt and said, “Papa!” If this isn’t an indicator that Hal should buy something other than plaid, I don’t know what is.

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Max made it through the night at grandma’s! He went to sleep at 10pm and only woke up once, at around 2am. It took my MIL an hour to get him to go back to sleep. He kept crying for num-nums and mommy (breaks my heart). To help Max get back to sleep my MIL let him lay on her chest!!!! Which is really awesome because that is how I comfort him if he wakes in the middle of the night. I think he probably just crawled on top of her and she went with it. She also got him some soy milk and water when he asked for num-nums. MIL is really a fantastic grandma. At 5am, he was up and rearing to go and of-course MIL was wiped-out. So, Nah-Nah (Max’s great-grandma) got out of bed to play with him so MIL could get a few extra hours of shut-eye. Over-all, Max did wonderfully and I am so proud of him. I’m also very happy that my MIL is so thoughtful of his feelings and in how she cares for him.

I, on the other hand, didn’t enjoy the night without him as much as I envisioned. Even Hal was a little sad at the emptiness of our home. On his drive home, Hal said he started to feel sad because he knew Max wouldn’t be there for him to see when he walked up the stairs. It was really weird for the both of us.

At around 10pm, when I was ready for sleep, I was like, okay, where’s my son, time to go to bed. All was good with not having to get Max ready for bedtime but when I was ready for sleep I needed him there like I need my favorite pillow.

The nice things about Max being at grandma’s was that we didn’t have to feed him or get him ready for bed so we were able to sit on the couch while eating dinner and dessert. We also were able to watch an entire movie uninterrupted by the waking child in the next room screaming for mommy. The movie watching, actually, is getting easier as Max is sleeping better at night. However, since I still have to “put him to sleep” by being present in bed with him I usually just conk out, too, which makes it impossible for me to get up and watch a movie.

It was also really nice to actually sleep next to my husband… you know, in the same bed. We have three beds in our room… one for Hal and the dogs (full size), one for Max (a twin that he doesn’t sleep in yet), and the one Max and I sleep in (a full size). It’s like a little commune but it works really well because as you can probably guess, we have a huge bedroom. I hate the dogs sleeping in bed with me because they stink up my sheets and get in my way at night. In fact, I won’t be sleeping with Hal regularly even after Max and Bella are in their own beds until we are able to get a king size mattress – just so the dogs don’t get in my way so much.

This was a big step for our little family. I’m glad we are “warming” Max up to sleeping over at grandma’s way before I go into labor. I kept wondering how is he doing, is he okay, does he need me? Stuff like that – every time I woke up to pee. If I were in labor and it was the first time Max was at someone else’s house during the night, my labor probably would be adversly affected by my concerns.

It was exciting to pick Max up this morning. Though, it made me a little sad that when I walked into the door it almost didn’t even phase him. He just kept playing catch with Nah-Nah and running around like the wired wild-child he is. No kiss. No hug. Nothing. *sigh* My baby is growing up.

Overall, I’d say everything wen’t really well with Max staying with grandma.

He’s upstairs in bed right now sleeping. I just love that little guy so much.

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I just got home from dropping Max off at my MIL’s for THE NIGHT. I have been so looking forward to this evening since it became a reality about two weeks ago. It was two weeks ago that I decided we are ready to try this. Max is completely night weaned and sleeping through the night. My MIL is okay with him sleeping in her bed or her sleeping in the guest room with him. This is comforting because that means there is actually a shot that he will make it through the night without freaking out. Now, the thing is, will I make it??? I’m feeling a little sad about this moment of recognition that my baby is growing up. I mean, he is still my baby, and you know he always will be but… this is not only going to be his first night without me but also my first night without him! My heart hurts a little.

It is also important to let Max stay over there sooner rather than later because when I go into labor he will be spending that time with my in-laws. We all thought it best to break him in slowly so that when the big day/night arrives, he will be used to being over there at night (if need be – it would be so great if I labor in the daytime and Bella is born before night). If we have to go pick him up in the middle of the night, tonight, no-big-deal. I did, however, make it clear to my MIL that he needs to have been crying for at least 2 hours before she should call. I really want her to make every effort to comfort him and only call us as a last resort. I’m pretty confident that everything will be fine and even if he does get a little homesick I’m almost certain that she will be able to comfort him. They are very close.

So, what will Hal and I ever do tonight??? It’s our first night alone in TWO YEARS ONE MONTH AND 6 DAYS.

I had a great day with Max. It’s always fun to go out to lunch with him to Whole Foods. He gets pizza and I get a sandwich and we both sit outside and eat together. We’re usually there for about 1 ½ hours because we take our sweet time eating and talking. Today, I ran into my editor and we chatted it up for a while before she had to dart off to an important meeting. The mommy magazine that I write a natural parenting column for is growing fast. I don’t get paid to write for them (though, they do have a goal of one day being able to pay their columnist/contributing writers) but I don’t care. Believe it or not that isn’t why I do it. I just love sharing my thoughts and thinking, Wow! Someone is actually reading this! It’s really quite an honor.

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I am so impressed with how well this baking soda remedy is working for my heartburn. I woke up – as per usual – at 1:30am by my tiny bladder and her partner in crime, Heartburn, who was threatening to push up some scary stuff milling around in my stomach. After tending to my bladder, which is ruthless in it’s screams for attention (the pain), I stumbled out into the kitchen and whipped me up a shot of BS. It worked instantly and I went back to sleep free of that bitch, Heartburn.

In my last post I mentioned that heartburn and the typical discomforts of carrying an extra 30 lbs (now 33 lbs) in my midsection is the only thing I really have to complain about with this pregnancy. What I didn’t make clear is that each trimester I had different complaints. I don’t want it to seem like I’ve already forgotten how much of a physical pain this pregnancy has been. Must. Not. Place. Rose. Colored. Glasses. On. AGAIN. Two babies are really enough.

I went to the YMCA today and as all the children were merrily playing, I looked over to the far left corner of the gym and saw a little boy standing there with his little nose glued to the wall. It freaked me out because my first thought was, BLARE WITCH! Then I reminded myself (quickly, before I ran over to rescue him) that no, that is how some parents chose to discipline their children. I was mortified. I mean, shit, what-ever works for them is fine for them. I just can’t imagine treating Max that way. It seems humiliating – even for a small child.

I know that a lot of folks see this “time-out” thing as a more gentle approach to disciplining – you know, because it’s non-violent. I can respect that. It just seems weird to me. Hal and I don’t have any “methods” at this point that we use to discipline Max. Each situation that arises is handled differently depending on what Max needs in that moment and what we are able to give. Admittedly, we both know that we need to read up on (real) gentle disciplining within the, um, next few seconds before Max does get “out of control.” Though, he is no where near getting out of control. But he is two! Boundaries are important and while we do set them, we just don’t have a “word” or “phrase” to call it – or a book that we can refer too for backup.

I nursed Max in public for the first time today in a long time. I was a bit hesitant to do it because I am 8 months pregnant and he is a toddler. That is not something people are used to seeing. He kept asking for num-nums and eventually I let him have them. He was pleased as apple pie and was so good and patient the entire time we were there (we were in a waiting room with lots of other moms and children). He nursed twice. I think he was getting a bit stressed by all the people and noise in the room. I made sure to only look at him so that I wouldn’t see anyone looking at me disapprovingly and to make certain he didn’t pull my shirt up. Everything was fine and I was proud of myself for doing it so modestly and shamelessly. Max is a really well behaved child and I feel lucky about that.

One of my mama friends commented today on how Max is obviously very attached to me. She noticed how he will venture off away from me very easily but will always look back to check in and make sure I’m still there. He rarely plays right by my side when we are at the YMCA or library but I always feel like he stays connected either with eye contact or dropping by for a little attention. This, I attribute, to 1.) of-course, his personality and 2.) to the fact that I nurture his personality by the way I parent him (attachment parenting).

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Heartburn

It’s 1:20 in the morning as I type this and I’ve just gotten up for my first evening pee break – as per usual.  The next one will be at 3:30am and the following will be around 6am.  Only this time, as I was getting up, when I felt the impending doom of heartburn lingering in the bottom of my esophagus I decided to make a bee-line straight to the refrigerator immediately after relieving my tiny bladder.  I recently read that a safe natural remedy during pregnancy is to drink a teaspoon of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it.  Safe, yes.  But it taste like ASS.  After I held my nose and gulped it down I started burping the most amazing series of burps ever.  I rarely burp – air usually finds it’s way out through the other end.  So that was pretty fun.  I haven’t laid back down yet (10 minutes later and I’m still burping!) because I’m thinking that the burping is a good sign of the baking soda neutralizing all those acids in my stomach.  I wanted to give it a few minutes to work it’s magic before I dared trying to go back to sleep.  Heartburn and the general physical uncomfortably of carrying and extra 35 lbs in my mid-section have been my two complaints about this pregnancy.  Heartburn being BY FAR the worst.

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It’s been a while since I’ve recorded some of the great things Max is doing these days. As he is getting older and more communicative he is turning into a really cool kid. I think he is going to be a “charmer.” You know, the kind of guy that women love to do things for because of how cute and charming he is. Oh boy. However, he sure does know how to make me laugh. Charmer.

* The other night he started “petting” my num-nums. He would pet one, look up at me, giggle, then continue petting it. He did this several times in a row. At one point he looked up at me and said very warmly, “I love num-nums,” then kissed the very tip of my nipple. This may seem weird to anyone who has never experienced a relationship with a nursing toddler, but I assure you, it is the sweetest expression of Max’s love for both me and his original source of nutrients and nurturing that he could ever give.

* I was holding a toy ball that Max wanted but I didn’t want to give back to him because he was throwing it around the house. It was a heavy ball that if thrown hard enough could break something. After crying for me to give it back to no avail, he tried a different approach. He looked at me all sweet and innocent-like and leaned in for a big kiss. As I was moved by his cuteness and leaning towards him to plant a smooch on his lips, he quickly snatched the ball out of my hands running away while laughing at his accomplishment – and my gullibility! I eventually got that ball back but not after laughing for a few minutes and chasing him around the house.

* Last night when I wouldn’t let him nurse (he rarely asks anymore), he softly asked me if he could pet num-nums. Of-course I didn’t let him. Then, for some reason, he thought that I would let him kiss num-nums so asked me if that was okay. HA! I wasn’t falling for THAT trick again. When I said no, and called him a little stinker, he started laughing. It was like he knew he was being sneaky and was busted!

* Side note… I wish I could look inside my belly and see Bella right now. She is moving so much that my skin is poking up and stretching out. She also responds to my touch. I can feel her little foot right now! She presses on my tummy when I press on her foot.

* Max makes a lot of fart jokes. Need I really say more about this?

* The other day Bossman started reciting “Goodnight Moon,” out of the blue. He also likes to sing along to songs he knows while making the correct hand gestures that either papa, myself, or Barney taught him.

* He LOVES to dance.

* Max speaks in full sentences, now.

* If I have my shirt up and Max sees my belly he yells out, “BellaGrace!” and runs over to touch her womb. He also likes to blow farts on Bella’s home – she likes it and I bet she too is laughing.

* When Max gets loose while naked, he’ll run through the house laughing and yelling, “Naked boy! Naked boy!” He then inevitable squats and takes a leak on the carpet. Not my favorite thing he does but it is funny.

Next weekend we are going to let Bossman stay the night with Grandma and Grandpa. I hope he can make it through the night because it will be the first time in over two years that Hal and I will be able to sleep in the same bed! We are also excited to have privacy and no responsibility for the night.

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