Just a little bump in the road.

Today we took Henry to get his Christmas portraits taken. Oh my, he was so sweet. He loved all of the attention. I got a lot of compliments for him (and, oddly, our stroller, which I love if you’re in the market for one) from the waiting parents in the studio. But honestly, I was fawning over a few of babies in there too. Specifically, baby girls. I’ll admit that I’ve been thinking a lot about baby numero dos lately. Maybe it’s because Henry is a week away from being one year old and getting so big and I miss having that little squishy baby. Or maybe it’s because Henry sooo needs a sibling. The kid plays catch with himself. He’ll throw a ball, go fetch it, and repeat. It’s simultaneously cute and sad.

But of course, inevitably, any plans for another baby came to a screeching halt last month when my husband was laid off. To go from 2 incomes, down to 1 income is a big sacrifice, but we made it work. We even built up a pretty nice savings. Thank GOD we did, too. But to go from 1 income to 0 income, AND a child to support. Well, yeah. Crappy. And scary.

To be honest, though it’s been a very stressful month, Chris and I have been shown just how truly blessed we are. It sounds so corny, and it is, but this situation has brought us closer with family and friends and each other. My mom is paying for most of Henry’s birthday party because she knows how much it meant to me to do something for him. She also paid for the portraits today because, again, I wanted it (we also had a coupon). My mom and step-dad have bought us groceries and diapers. My in-laws bought the babe presents for his birthday and Christmas and took us to Costco for some bulk dried fruit (and other things, but we have a lot of dried fruit in our house right now. I have an open bag of dried cherries I’m eating at this moment). My BFF checks in every day and always makes me feel better. She also makes me dinner and gives me wine and bakes cookies for my son’s birthday party. And then I have so many other friends who’ve sent us money and gifts for the baby, all unsolicited. Or they just let me talk and vent to them and probably want to tell me to shut up, but they don’t. They just tell me they love me and it will all work out  (I should specifically single out Mandy Jo, since she’s a daily victim of my woe-is-me). It just warms the cockles of my heart, you guys. There are a lot of beautiful people in our lives, even ones we don’t talk to all the time.

Because of all these above blessings, I’ve been trying to stay positive. That doesn’t mean I don’t still break down into tears occasionally. I do. Maybe every day, but I’m not telling. In the end, I know it will work out. I might have to dust off my old resume and get back out there, and if that’s what I have to do, then so be it. For now, I’m focusing on our beautiful, funny, healthy baby boy and all the people in my life who love us and we love back. We might not have much money, but we’re not poor. Not in any sense of the word.

I know you want to see some portrait shots (only the last one made the cut in terms of actual prints, but the other 2 are ones I still love):

henryport12drool face!

henryport3Baby Gap called and they want their model back.

henryport1“Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there.”

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Our first family vacation.

Last month, our little family of three got up at the ungodly hour of 4 am to catch a 6:30 am flight to Florida. I was nervous and exhausted. Thankfully, the baby was not happy about getting up so early and slept almost the entire time to Florida, waking up to play in the Atlanta airport, then right back to sleep before take-off again.

henry aiport 2

We had a great time visiting my dad and step-mom. Side note: my dad is very ill right now and going on week 3 in the ICU, so to say that I am very happy with our timing is an understatement.  I hope, and in my heart know, he will get better and go home soon, but I’m just glad he got to see Henry at this age. Henry loved crawling around his house and playing with his dog and kitties. And for the most part, he ate what we ate, and he really enjoyed eating new foods.

henry aquarium

Of course, we went to the beach. We were only there for about an hour because when it’s baby’s naptime, it’s baby’s naptime. I’m sure parents out there understand. He wasn’t having any of the sleeping in the shade at the beach either. But whatever, he loved the water and ate a fair amount of sand, so I’d say it was a success.

beach yoda

 

henry beach

henry TJ

I also got to visit with a couple old friends of mine and by far that was the highlight of the trip.  (Henry with his Auntie TJ above)

The flight home started great. Henry slept during the first flight from Florida to Atlanta, but I had to sing Elmo’s Song over and over and over and over (sorry other passengers) to get him to sleep.  The second (and longest) leg from Atlanta to New Mexico, he slept the first half and then woke up READY TO ROCK AND READY TO ROLL. Thankfully, he was giggly and funny, but very squirmy and wanted down. We let him hang out between our legs and the flight attendant held him for a little while, which passed some time. I’d say it was a success because we didn’t have any meltdowns (well Henry didn’t, I’m another story).

henry flight attendant

 

henry plane

 

One thing I’ve learned from the experience (and my husband did too), is that people need to have more compassion to crying babies/kids on planes. I’ll never complain again. When a kid has a tantrum, there’s very little a parent can do, and often, the cabin pressure and altitude changes hurt their ears and freak them out. We got a lot of comments about how good Henry was, but the looks on people’s faces when they saw they were seated next to ours was pure annoyance. Just cut people some slack, mmmkay?

A couple weeks ago, Henry also attended his first wedding. He had a tough time sitting still for the ceremony and we ended up checking out a tree for a little while. But he LOVED LOVED LOVED the reception. He made a new friend in one of my old co-worker’s 11 year old son, he danced with mom and dad, and had a tiny taste of wedding cake. We left the party at around 9 pm, which is WAY past his normal bedtime, but you wouldn’t know it. No tears, no meltdowns, he was as happy as a clam. We gave him his bath, he fit in some playtime and then crashed. Crashed hard. It was cute.

henry suspendersHe also looked really handsome.

Lucky Number 7

Henry turned 7 months old yesterday, and I’m an awful mother for not writing a blog post on the actual day but oh well. Now that he’s much more mobile and animated, he keeps me busy. Also, yesterday I took a few hours off to do what I wanted to do. Of course that means I mainly cleaned and made baby food, but I also took a long shower and watched a movie while my mom babysat. I’ve been kind of in a funk, so it was just what I needed.

But before I took any kind of break, I took his 7 month picture with the ever-shrinking Yoda. The baby also got to my sign and tried to eat it before I could place it next to him, but I was able to wrangle it out of his clenched fists for a few seconds.

henry7months

He went through the mother of all growth spurts recently, just eating non-stop when he wasn’t sleeping. The kid even woke up TWICE during the night for a few days to eat, which is something he hasn’t done since he was maybe 2 months old? Six weeks old? Somewhere around there. He’s back to normal now, thank you God, and sleeping through the night again. I’ve also upped his solid food consumption from twice a day to thrice a day, so maybe that had a hand in the return to normalcy.

Here are some other fun things he’s doing:

  • Crawling (he’s perfected the army crawl, but he gets on those hands and knees and rocks enthusiastically. I think real crawl is imminent.)
  • Pulling himself up
  • Fake Sneezing
  • Using some of those hard “g” sounds: goo, gee, gah, etc.
  • Eating a lot of real food and much bigger chunks. Also getting good at picking up food and making it into the mouth.
  • Standing while holding onto the table. He even walked down it a little bit this morning to get my husband’s glasses. He fell over after that, but still.
  • Just general funniness and sweetness

I’m going to be checking out baby music classes in the next week or so for him. Henry LOVES when we sing him songs and dance for him. I figure this will be a great way to have fun and stimulate his mind. I’m looking forward to the social time myself, to be honest.

Nothing too new in our world except we are in the midst of trying to purchase a home. The bank is taking its sweet time in approving us, and we have about 6 weeks until our lease is up. Not stressful or anything. Worst case scenario is we rent a house for a year or so, but either way, we are out of this apartment and onto bigger kitchens and more spacious living rooms.

Off to put a little monster down for his nap. Til next month! (Kidding. I hope.)

Updates and other things.

Wow. What a month it’s been.

Henry is almost 5 months old (!!!) and is changing every day. Here are some things he’s doing now:

  • Pulling himself up from reclined to sitting (not from flat on his back)
  • Sitting unassisted for a few seconds, but getting better!
  • Laughing a lot. He’s got a great sense of humor.
  • Staying awake for longer periods of time, and taking longer naps.
  • Holding his own bottle (still hasn’t completely mastered this yet either)
  • Entertaining himself for longer periods of time

After his immunizations last month, he was really clingy. The teething didn’t help either. Therefore, he would only nap either in my arms or next to me on the couch (with his legs touching my legs). He would also lay down and nap with me, which has been great. But I was being held hostage by a cute little drool monster, so I had to put an end to it. There are things mama needs to do! I put him down in his crib today for his afternoon nap and within 10 minutes, he was out. There were a few tears (which I soothed by rubbing his head) but other than that, easy. He slept almost 2 hours. I really hope he keeps that up. Bedtime is still easy peasy and he’s still sleeping 6-8 hour stretches before needing a feeding.

I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride with this parenthood thing. I feel more confident, I’m enjoying it a hell of a lot more, and I don’t stress out over the little things. I guess getting more sleep helps, but so does having an easy going baby who you can take in public without tantrums and crying fits and who is extremely predictable and easy to please. I said it. I have an easy baby. I was blessed.

henrymirrorCheap entertainment.

But, full disclosure, I’m feeling ok now, but I had severe anxiety attacks for a few weeks there. I would lay awake at night panicking over the future, the uncertainties, afraid to leave the house even at times…it was bad. But I’ve been working on it and I feel so much better lately. I’ve realized the best thing I can do for Henry is live life to the fullest and not worry about things I can’t control. I don’t want him to be afraid of the world or worry about little things because his mother is a lunatic. I’m gonna say the hormones did it to me.

I’ve loaded a bunch of vids onto our YouTube page. Check them out when you get bored. I tried to watch our wedding video again tonight but had to stop it. It makes me weepy!

Cleaning house.

My mom came over today and helped me clean for the arrival of the in-laws. As per usual, she went a little overboard and also organized everything (including Henry’s drawers, which weren’t that bad) and rearranged some furniture in our living room to give us more space. Our apartment isn’t tiny. But with all the baby crap everywhere, it looks very tiny and it WAS DRIVING ME INSANE. Chris must hear on a daily basis, “I can’t wait until we get our house! UGH!” Now I feel like I can breathe. It’s so roomy and airy and I can do workout dvds in there if I want to, and I do, so I am.

Afterwards, we went to my mom’s house for some homemade gumbo and hushpuppies. Being a Southern girl, I could not turn this down. It was amazing. We also stuck around for a while to watch some Real Housewives of Orange County, my favorite of the guilty pleasure variety.

henry&grandma“Oh hey, I didn’t see you there.”

With all of the excitement, Henry didn’t get his usual six naps throughout the day so by the time we got home at around 7 pm, he was zonked. He slept right through his allotted 8 pm bath time and right up until his usual 9 pm bedtime. Thankfully, he was still exhausted and went right to sleep in his crib at 9:45. Such a good baby.

henrysleepRough day.

I haven’t mentioned that my husband is working all sorts of crazy hours these days, have I? Well, he is. And I do not like it. One bit. Single mothers out there have my full respect now, because it’s tough. And I know Chris is bummed that he is missing bath time and bedtime reading. Before I feel too sorry for myself, his horrendous schedule ends tonight and will resume like normal tomorrow. I’m not happy that it’s 10 pm right now and I’ll probably go to bed without speaking to him even once today in person, but I’ll get over it.

Aaaaannnndddd….Henry was a rolling over machine today. As soon as we put him on his tummy, he’d roll onto his back. It was like he was spring loaded. I was able to catch a half a roll on video, which I’ll post tomorrow if I can’t catch a full one. He tends to roll before I can even pick up my phone to film. Little stinker.

Finding emo.

Last Friday, I woke up exhausted. It was because I had been crying almost all day Thursday. A distant relative passed away last week and that had me all introspective and crap. I look at Henry and Chris and I get all emotional because I know how lucky I am. My life is exactly how I want it to be and I never want it to end. That’s what made me so sad and emo. But, I took some long naps this weekend and have vowed not to cry over that crap again.

I wrote briefly last week about letting some things go that hurt my feelings. It’s always much easier said than done, but it’s got to happen. For my sanity. I hold things in and hold things in and then days like Thursday happen. In any relationship, there has got to be a give and take. I refuse to have demands put upon me without any semblance of reciprocation any more. People want so much from me, but aren’t willing to give. This ends in me feeling used and confused. (Rhymes!) Where do I go from there? Continue to be that person and be miserable for the sake of a one-sided relationship or let go and be happy? I’ll choose the latter. I have to. As hard as it might be.

I saw this quote the other day and it’s like a light bulb went off:

“The mental and physical space we create by letting go of things that belong in our past gives us…the option to fill the space with something new.” – Susan Fay West

My energies are better used on my son, my marriage, my family, and those friends that are there for me. And I’m lucky that I have a few of those. This new found positive energy will also be put toward a re-design my blog (I finally got Adobe DesignSuite last night!), looking for freelance writing jobs, and having a FUN summer with Henry and Chris. I’m really looking forward to it.

I promise I won’t post a bunch of emotional, sad sap blogs. This is it. Forever. Ok, for a long time. I’m done.

And to exit on a happy note, here is Henry with his Grandma today. Have I mentioned that this kid LOOOOOVES his grandma? He does.

henrygmaphotoYeah, my energy belongs RIGHT HERE.

 

 

 

Spring.

20130406-190858.jpg

Today was such a pretty day. We couldn’t let it go to waste, so we took Henry to the botanical gardens and aquarium. I’ve mentioned before that he has a great attention span, but honestly we could have sat there for an hour (and we would have except the crowds were annoying me). He followed one fish around the entire tank, never taking his adorable eyes off of him. Then a shark came to the glass and he flinched, but then kept on watching.

I think this is going to be our summer hang out.

Keeping of the house.

Lately, I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to be a better housekeeper. That’s what stay at home moms are supposed to do, right? Take care of child and home? Maybe do some cooking? Well, that’s what I thought anyway. But taking care of an infant has proved to be a full-time job in of itself, so I’m lucky if I get the kitchen clean and laundry folded. After all, I spend a lot of time doing stuff like this:

henrymirrorOh, hey good lookin’.

There is no reason for the extra added pressure (like I don’t already have enough). Chris doesn’t care. As soon as he walks in the door at night, I’ll apologize profusely for the messy living room and he’s like, “It’s ok, you’re busy!” Then I’ll tell him that he can sit down and I’ll make dinner. “Nah, you’ve been working all day, I’ll cook dinner.” What a guy, eh? But despite this, I’m still determined. As Henry is getting older and less needy of A-L-L of my time, I’m going to pull my act together. Dinner might not be ready, but I have a threshold of messiness and dirt I can live in and we are bordering that now. And if a guest is coming over, it’s got to be spotless. My mom drilled that one into my head from an early age. Even when I lived in the on-campus apartment in college, I would scrub the toilets before I had a guest come over. The school had a cleaning service — didn’t matter.

Henry will be crawling in a few short months and I am paying a professional carpet cleaning service before his precious little hands touches the floor. I have a feeling my OCD need to clean will be in hyperdrive then. The Swiffer Wet Jet might be perma-attached to my person, along with a can of Lysol. We’ll see.

With the baby sleeping 10 hours a night these days (with one nourishment break at around the 7.5-8 hour mark), I also have more time to blog! I’m sure you’re all super excited about that. I don’t feel the need to go to bed as soon as he closes his eyes because I know I have a buffer of time. Time to do nothing but be myself in our office and write, or fart around on Facebook, or read my favorite sites like this, this, aaaaaaaand of course, this. So that’s good that I’m using my spare time wisely, huh?

Any other time suck websites I should be aware of? I’m not too into food blogs or healthy living blogs. Who really eats that much quinoa? No one, that’s who.

 

Grandma to the rescue.

I’m working on this long post about my history of diets and losing/gaining weight. It’s really taxing to put all those emotions into words but it’s really helping me. It’s a lot cheaper than paying a therapist, for sure. But Chris and I have started eating a lot healthier (veggies with EVERY meal, ya’ll!) and I’m starting to get serious about exercise. For the first time in my life my motivation doesn’t center around wearing cute clothes or getting a boyfriend. I genuinely just want to be healthier for my child. Henry relies on me to be around a long time and I owe that to him. It’s no longer just a size issue.

In baby news, mama hit a major milestone last week. Chris and I both had a cold or nasty allergies or something. We were miserable. My mom offered to take Henry for the afternoon so I could sleep a little. Tears were abound when I dropped him off. Not Henry’s…mine. As I walked in the door and saw all his little toys and swing, I cried some more. Then I cried in the shower. I didn’t get much sleep. I don’t know why I was more upset than usual. My mom has watched him several times for me when I go to lunch with friends or run an errand. I think I just felt guilty. I need to just suck it up and take care of my kid.

As I was picking him up later, my mom suggested I leave him there for the night. She has been begging me to let him spend the night since he was born, so I wasn’t too surprised she offered. I said no. Then I said maybe. As night approached, I felt even crappier. That’s when I thought that I should probably take my mom up on her offer. I asked my friends their opinions and they all told me I was stupid/crazy/really stupid if I didn’t do it. Chris, of course, supports whatever I want and said it was up to me. Sigh.

photoTHIS is what I was missing.

Through the irrational sobs, I packed up the pack n’ play, clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, towels, bath gear, and basically everything he owns and drove over to my mom’s house. When I got home, I took the really good drugs, cried a little more, and fell asleep. Twelve hours later when I woke up, I felt like a new person. I was rested, not congested (that rhymes!) and SO ENERGETIC! I hadn’t slept that much since before the baby was born. My mom texted me and said Henry slept almost 10 hours for them and was doing great. I don’t think I can do that very often, but man, what a great resource when I need it. And to know Henry is comfortable and happy makes it even more amazing. A cute side note: It was my step dad who got up at 4 am to feed him, then sang him back to sleep. How sweet is that?

I had to go to court that day because I got pulled over recently. I wasn’t speeding. I never speed. The cop clocked someone else. Thankfully he believed me. Maybe the “Baby on Board” sign in my window helped convince him. Anyway, I didn’t have our updated insurance card with me so I got a citation for that. He didn’t fill out the damn form correctly, so it was immediately dismissed. What a waste of time.

After that, I raced to my mom’s to get Henry. I was smiling ear to ear. I missed him so much that my arms literally ached. He was napping when I got there, but as soon as I heard a little cry, I ran in there to hold him. He was just as happy to see me as I was to see him.

Thank God for Grandma.

henrysuspenderphotoRandom photo of Henry in suspenders. Just ’cause.

Another one.

Some business items first: I need to redesign my blog. It’s driving me nuts. Also, I might move to Blogger. I will let all three of you know when/if I do. Either way, there might be a lack of blogs for a few days.

What’s on my mind today:

Henry isn’t even into size 1 diapers yet and I’m already thinking about baby numero dos. Chris and I want two kids, but the question is when? I know it would be within three years maximum (before 35). One part of me (the part that hates myself, maybe?) wants to have the kids really close in age. That would mean getting pregnant again later this year or early next. Another part wants me to get one kid out of diapers first. Decisions, decisions. I’m interested to hear perspectives from moms who have kids close together or further apart.

I really love being a mom and also, who wouldn’t want two of these?

henryoldmanpants

 

Old man swagger.