Soul food.

Writing is so good for my soul, so I don’t know why I don’t do it anymore. I mean, I have lots of excuses, but they’re not really valid. I can make time. I really need to make time.

The other day I was feeling a lot of anxiety and frustration over a certain situation. I wanted to scream. Instead, I wrote an email to someone. No one will ever read this email, but boy did it feel great to get it out. I felt better almost instantly and since then I’ve barely thought about it. It was like I literally released it into the universe.

So even if it’s not blogging, I’m going to write more. With our situation so up in the air right now, writing will help me focus on what’s important and stay positive.

Henry also helps. Before I head to bed every night, I stop and take a picture of him sleeping. I’m forever grateful for this little boy.

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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!

Dear Henry

Honestly, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted. I thought for sure I had written something in the past two weeks. Turns out that I have, I just haven’t pressed “publish” on any of them. I’ll get to that eventually. Time is really going by fast, you guys.

Dear Henry,

Congrats! You’re 3 months old today, one day shy of 14 weeks, and you are growing in leaps and bounds.

henry3mo

To put into words how much joy you bring into the lives of mine and your dad’s is impossible. You are hilarious and keep us laughing constantly. Every day, you greet with a smile, and you end it on the same note. For the past couple weeks, you don’t even need to be rocked to sleep. We wrap you up nice and tight and you smile at us really big. Then we kiss your head and tell you we love you and within 10 minutes, you’re far away in baby dream land. As far as healthy sleep habits go, this is wonderful (and makes bed time so easy for your weary mama). But a part of me misses rocking my baby to sleep every night. So, whenever you need me to do that, I’m ready and willing. And thanks for letting me rock you to sleep every other nap or so. I appreciate it.

henrywakingupWaking up from a morning nap. You weren’t crying, it’s just that clogged tear duct that is finally starting to go away.

Taking after your father, you talk a lot. By talking, I of course mean that you babble and coo. A lot. I love leaving you on your play mat or bouncer and just listening to you talk and talk while I clean the house. The other day, you talked yourself to sleep during one of your many day time naps. Pretty soon, I won’t be able to get a word in edgewise between you two.

You’ve been a smiley baby for a while now, but last night, we heard your first genuine giggles. Your daddy was playing with you and all of the sudden, a real belly laugh. That, in turn, made your dad and I crack up. This came on the tail end of a day with family in which you didn’t get your normally scheduled naps in your beloved swing and were pretty cranky. In the midst of all that, daddy was able to make you laugh. You’re so sweet.

henrysmileTHAT. FACE. You were so happy to be sitting up on your own.

henrybabybuntingModeling a baby bunting and hat made by our dear friend Melanie. You like it!

Physically, I’d guess you’re a solid 12 pounds by now, maybe a little less. You’re starting to teethe, which has decreased your appetite a little and increased your drool by a ton. I wouldn’t be surprised if you cut your first tooth in the next couple months. You hate tummy time on the floor, but L-O-V-E tummy time on mommy’s chest. I was getting worried that you weren’t holding your head up during floor time very well. My worries were squelched when I placed you on my chest instead and you did a full on baby push up and held that head up 90 degrees. King Henry doesn’t do the floor you guys. I should have known better since you sit straight up, sometimes with little help from us, keeping that little head and neck straight.

Some other things of note:

You love watching TV and having books read to you.

henrySNLWatching SNL. No, we didn’t let you stay up late, it was on Hulu the next day. Maybe someday.

You have my brown eyes. (Still your dad’s clone though)

You are a really good sport and put up with a lot of crap from your parents (ie mom dressing you up and taking a bazillion pictures or placing you in a newly purchased baby tub for several minutes to see if you’d like it…fully clothed and all).

You love looking at yourself in the mirror or in my phone. Very cheap entertainment.

You love to stand on those strong little legs of yours. Maybe you plan on skipping crawling and going straight to walking?

henrystandingThis is how you make us hold you a majority of the time now. On your feet. The rest of the time, you have to be sitting up straight.

There’s so much more, but I’ll leave it here and post the rest in your baby book. But one last thing. Every time you see your mom or dad, you smile at us. With all the stress of life and money and other unimportant crap, those smiles when you see us makes it all worth it. I’d be going back to work now if I’d chosen to continue working, and I can’t even imagine that. I’m where I’m supposed to be now.

loveofmylife

With you.

Love,

Mom

Quickie

Mad Lib time. Here are some of the adjective and adjective things happening to me right now. I choose fun and interesting. You might choose boring and lame. To each their own.

1) Henry had a low grade fever for over a week following his vaccinations. Nothing serious, but he was just really clingy and more fussy than usual. On Friday night, following a much-needed and delicious dinner with some friends at our abode, I finally broke down and gave him some baby tylenol. Poor dude was red and hot all over and just could. not. stop. crying. He slept like an angel that night and woke up feeling like the old Henry again. I am not big on giving my baby meds, but I’m glad I made that call.

2) After not leaving the house in almost a week (partly because having a sick baby makes everything 1000x harder than usual), I made it out of the house and to the grocery store with Henry on Friday. Like I said above, he wasn’t feeling great and I felt bad for taking him out, BUT I HAD TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. AND GENERAL VICINITY OF THE HOUSE. He slept in the car, so it’s cool. I walked around the grocery store more than I usually would. It was nice just taking in the sights and sounds of the general public who usually annoy me but on this day it was glorious. I felt like a part of society again. What a sad paragraph.

535515_10100305060288647_210666271_nDespite feeling like crap, he was excited to go somewhere too.

3) If you can’t tell, my usual babysitter (aka Grandma) has been MIA. She got a nasty cold so I vanquished her from our home. I could have really used some healthy Grandma action this week (which sounds really wrong, but I’m sticking with it. You know what I mean, get your minds out of the gutter). I hope she gets well soon for her sake. And mine. Mostly mine.

4) Speaking of Henry sleeping, things are improving immensely at night. For two nights in a row, he slept from 9:30 – 4:30, then got up to eat and back to sleep from 5-7. That doesn’t mean I’m sleeping better. Oh no,  I get up several times to make sure he’s still breathing. It freaks me out a little, but when I woke up this morning at 7 actually feeling refreshed…yeah. I forgot what that felt like and I like it. Still not calling it a victory. Let’s see if he keeps it up for a couple weeks, then we can commence with celebrations.

5) I made a really good salad the other night. So good that I want to eat it every day forever. It’s just a mix of iceberg lettuce and baby spinach, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, black olives, and pecans. Use  it with THIS AMAZING SALAD DRESSING and enjoy.

6) Here is Henry with his new favorite toy (still monkey related):

photoI ❤ baby toes.

Jinx.

Immediately after I pressed “publish” on yesterday’s post on routines, I realized that I forgot to mention a couple things:

  1. Henry is just shy of 8 weeks old, and I know our routines will go through many incarnations over the months and years; and
  2. Now that I’ve put the routine down in writing, it will change

It hasn’t changed overnight, but I’m noticing it’s beginning the shift, especially in the evenings. The past couple nights, Henry is particularly fussy. I chalked it up to being close to bedtime and having a sleepy baby on my hands. After all, the night before last he slept from 9 pm – 2 am, then 2:30 am – 7 am. I had a feeling last night was going to be different. I don’t know how many hours of sleep I got. Probably 4 or 5 broken up into 1 hour spurts.

I’m trying not to jump up with every sound he makes. So, I wake up when he’s in his bassinet just grunting or whatever, and I listen. Most times, he’ll go back to sleep. If he starts crying, I pick him up, change the diaper, wrap him back up and sing him back to sleep. Last night, as soon (AND I MEAN AS SOON) as I put my head back down on the pillow, he’d be grunting again. Then it would turn into crying. So, I fed him, I cuddled him, changed another diaper. Put him back down. I stood over his bassinet until he was out cold. If I was standing, he was sleeping. I laid down and felt my heavy eyelids finally begin to close.

“WAHH!”

Either I’m just good natured (hardly) or sleep deprived, but I had to find humor in the situation. I couldn’t stop laughing. I got up and looked in his bassinet and he gave me the biggest, gummiest smile.  Is it possible for a baby to mess with you? Finally, I put him in bed with me and I think we got a good 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

During the day, he is turning into the Mohammed Ali of fighting sleep now, which is awesome. I had to take him for a walk today to get him to really sleep. Even his swing wasn’t cutting it this morning. He is currently parked in the living room, fast asleep.

henrystroller

 

Nope. Spoke too soon. I’m being beckoned.

One month.

I can’t believe it’s been one month already since little Mouse* was brought into this world. He seems so much older to me now.  He’s sleeping longer at night, he’s smiling when I sing him songs (his new favorite), he’s already lifting his head up, and he LOVES taking a bath.

baby bathHeaven. I could stay in here forever.

We are also getting our daily routine down. Wake up around 6 or 7, he eats, I eat, he naps, I pay bills/clean/fold laundry/organize/sleep/mess around on the internet/watch TV (this repeats several times a day), tummy time, play time, reading time, song time, bath at around 9, in bed by 10. And about a dozen diaper changes sporadically thrown in.

I’m healing really well from the c-section and getting used to the exhaustion, which makes things easier. I am really just enjoying this stage in his life, since he’ll never be this tiny again. This involves letting go of new mom nerves and relaxing. Much easier said than done.

I used to wonder why stay at home moms would count down to Friday along with the rest of us. Isn’t it all the same to them? I TOTALLY GET IT NOW. On the weekends, I have my husband here who can help me. He can change diapers, he can put him down for his nap, he can play with him. Mom finally gets a little time off on the weekends, and maybe a little more sleep. I am TGIF’ing like crazy today.

Other milestones:

  • Henry is now finally above his birth weight by several ounces. In other news, our pediatrician is a saint for putting up with me.
  • Breastfeeding is slowly getting better, which is great. I’m still supplementing, but whatever. It is what it is, and Henry is as healthy as a horse. I must be doing something right.
  • He’s putting himself to sleep now at night. I just lay him down in his bassinet right when he’s at the brink of sleep. He lays there and moves around for a while, then falls asleep. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve seen people track their baby’s monthly growth by placing them next to a stuffed animal. I thought it only appropriate to do the same with Yoda:

baby yodaGrowing, he is.” – Chris, when I texted him the picture. Don’t worry, Henry. You’ll be bigger than the Jedi Master before too long.

I know you are all wondering who the professional illustrator is who drew the sign. That would be me, one handed with a sleeping baby on the other arm. Not too shabby, considering.

*Henry makes the cutest little squeaking sounds when he’s sleeping or falling asleep. I started calling him Mouse and it’s sticking. My husband calls me Monkey, and now we have a Mouse. Monkey & Mouse. I should turn that into a children’s book.