My baby is 10 months old. He looks more and more like a little boy every day. It's thrilling and heart breaking.
Like those two little teeth coming in there. (The blur on the bottom is his thumb, not mine. All other pictures are either obscured completely by his hand or his tongue. He has that kind of relationship with the camera.)
They have caused me more pain than I've ever experienced...and I say this as someone who a)never labored but b) had a swollen brain.
I'll spare you the details...ok: pus, blood, open wounds, mastitis (AGAIN)....and just a touch of thrush.
The consensus is in: voracious eater. He's figuring it out so it's not as painful as it has been, but I'm paying attention. The writing is on the wall.
And I get it. The bottles and cups mean that he can graze, he can look around, he can continue to be busy and still get his 15-20oz of mama milk every day.
But I am going to pick a session and keep it for as long as he'll let me. Here's hoping it's not the 3:30am one.
I ran across this today on my mommy board and it made me teary. So of course, I'm sharing with you:
Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardall
I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.
But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.
I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.
Please don't get too busy for us to nurse.
I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.
Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.
I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.
This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don't break it abruptly.
Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.
We have our diaper/potty station set up in Steve's bathroom for a few reasons.
1) I want all potty/bathing/hygiene related activities to happen in the bathroom. My theory is that it will then just be that place where those things happen rather than someplace we have to introduce and explain later. And if he knows that potties are for pooping in and not playing in then I'm hopeful we can avoid having our pipes clogged with matchbox cars later down the road.
2) It came with a conveniently sized counter for just such a purpose.
3) It keeps dirty diapers out of his room, which is the most child-safe spot in the house. Thus allowing him to explore unfettered...and without offending us all with the amazing stench that has recently associated itself with his back-end. Luckily - not only does our bathroom have a window, but the wet bag pretty much contains the stink.
The downside was our changing pad. It was a hand me down from an amazing friend and it is perfect for our purposes...but it didn't have a cover. So it was just plain ol' white plastic. And I *needed* to cover it.
Thankfully, Baz has started taking some semi-decent naps, so over the course of THREE FREAKING DAYS - I managed to sew 2 seams and get it on there. Behold:
I used THIS tutorial. It's a quilting fabric on top - I can remember neither the make nor the model, but it's from the Bobbin's Nest - and a plain white terry on the bottom, which I got in 3 boxes worth of cloth diapering fabric I scored a few months ago.
I also managed to whip out a pre-fold belt...but that's another story.
Really, what it is, is that I've been a busy mommy who's let her blogging slide.
Let's see...what's new....we went to a Mama's and Movers class on Thursday and will go for the next two thursdays. It's at Harmony Birth and Bunny just LOVED it. It's a little bit of pilates and yoga for moms and playing for the crawlers/early walkers. He's never been around so much chaos. Next Thursday I will take pictures. I wanted us to be comfortable this time rather than my worrying about catching his reactions.
I bought a big car seat. There are pictures on my F75.
Speaking of which, one of the blogs I follow - Life With my 3 Boybarians (how great is that name?) is doing a 31 days to better photos series... I've decided to give it a whirl.
Step one: I did some serious googling and actually found the F75 users manual. And am now printing all 67 double pages of it.
I've started up the flickr...we went to a wedding (which I was in) in Maine...I carved a clay pumpkin....Bunny learned to crawl....and if these teeth don't break through soon I might scream.
A few days ago, in order to beat the insane (for South Bay) heat, we headed to the mall. It was full of people who had the exact same idea. I know you're shocked.
Normally, my child hangs out in his stroller for about a mile before he either passes out completely or lets the entire world know just what kind of injustice he is suffering at the hands of his (very mean) mommy.
That day, however, I was prepared. I had a whopping FOUR OUNCES of breastmilk in a brand new sippy/bottle from ThinkBaby (pictured above)...also known as Bunny's favorite new toy. It's the only bottle/cup that he drinks from with minimal fussing and playing. It's the only time he's ingested a significant amount of milk from anything that isn't my boob when I've been around. The kicker, though? He fed himself.
He fed himself.
Happy Baby = Happy Mommy.
I think it's the spout and the kid-sized handles. It will convert from a bottle, too, which is a total bonus. If only I'd heard about them sooner. But now we know.
So how did we hear about them? I'll tell you. I want to kick myself. After you read, you'll do a facepalm, too.
I was in one of my favorite baby boutiques (BabyBuzz) about to buy shoes for my child who wants to stand all the time, even on wood chips - which is the ground cover at both close parks. The owner, who is fantastic, was having a meeting with the owners of ThinkBaby. They wander out and tell me all about their product. I am intrigued. They coo over Bunny (because he is very coo-worthy, but on this day we were both sleep deprived from the teething that seems to never end and he wasn't his high wattage self) and then the very nice ThinkBaby owner says something along the lines of: "Hi, Sebastian, would you like to be a Thinkbaby model?'
Did you read the part about sleep deprivation?
Because I apologized for our general demeanor and told him how tired Bunny was.
The answer I should have given?
(it's about 1:52)
Right. The answer is YES.
He's a cranky pants, but he could earn his keep.
Anyway - I love this sippy. I'll have to pick up at least one more so we can rotate.
The other product in that shot up there? A Mommy Necklace. Cute, carcinogen-free, durable, guaranteed for 3 years....I don't know what they did, but when Bunny yanks it doesn't even hurt my neck. I wear it a lot. It helps focus him while he nurses (sometimes.) And when necessary, it doubles as a sippy leash.
(I can't for the life of me remember who makes this place mat, but it is also awesome. It suctions to the table and has a trough for catching fallen star noodles.)
*I am not employed by anyone mentioned above. I'm not employed at all. Nothing was swag. Being a card-carrying member of the suburban housewife set, I paid for these. And they were worth every penny.
A friend of mine challenged us to post up a "day in the life" blog entry.
I accepted her challenge and devoted Wednesday to snapping an almost minute-by-minute account of what it is we do all day.
First: we get up. And by "we" I mean "Steve and Bunny." I roll out of bed anywhere from 5-90 minutes later, depending on the morning and the quality of sleep the night before.
Steve and Bunny make coffee and read the news.
We say goodbye to Steve (who cycles to work) and then we get dressed.
We put on sunscreen
And go to the park:
This day, we swung by Pizza My Heart for my lunch, which made the walk about 2 miles.
So we found a shady spot and got settled.
While I munched on my (mushroom) slice, we pondered why anyone would want to play golf on a baseball diamond.
Then we wondered why people play golf at all...
Then we read. (review to come - I highly recommend it.)
We practiced crawling. Then there were people playing pickup basketball on the court so every ounce of our practice stopped while Bunny tried to figure out just how tall he would have to be to get the ball into his mouth.
He settled for my finger.
And when I took it away to get out the bubbles, he decided to try his hand at a selfie:
I distracted him by blowing bubbles at a squirrel.
bubbles not pictured.
If it takes all day, he's going to get this ball in his mouth. (Note the tongue and the determined expression.)
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "sheesh, how idyllic. What a charming and delightfully well behaved baby. What a deliciously relaxing life. I'd like to slow down and have lovely warm afternoons in the park, too..."
Well, there are two sides to every baby.
Above: happy park baby.
Below: what happens when he falls asleep in the stroller and wakes up too early with tooth pain in our boring house.
(actually, this is what extreme separation anxiety looks like. The treatment is to walk out of the room anyway. This behavior, which in reality lasts a total of however long I'm out of reach, is nearly my undoing. We are all hopeful that once his gnarly little teeth cut he will chill the fuck out. Until then, I wear a scarlet A on my nursing bra. A for Asshole.)
Of course, once he's blown that out and plays some more and gets a little more milk in him, it's time to feed the outdoor kitties.
Not pictured: Wookie (also small and grey), Widget (black and white), Scarface (black and white), and Hunley (all black.) If you're interested in adopting one or all of these little guys, let me know. They could use a nice warm lap. Once they get over being terrified of humans, that is.
Also not pictured are the indoor kitties (Polly and Kipper) - probably because they spent the day outside under the neighbor's bushes...stalking their chickens.
Then there was another "nap"
After which we just gave up and played more until Steve came home and we had dinner*.
Yes. This is what my living room looks like 90%of the time. We've covered this.
I picked up 2" thick bits of foam, secured it around the table with duct tape, and set up my sewing machine....only to have it revolt.
So I called up my friend Amy, a fellow DIY enthusiast, and she called upon some even more knowledgeable ladies, and a few days later....voila!
(this is pretty much always the state of things: ever so slightly disheveled)
I added the mat from Costco and stuck in the spot made available by the re-arranging done when my parents were here (after which everyone in the house said "WHY didn't we do this sooner????") and now there is cushion on both sides for when Bunny pulls up, falls down, scoots over, etc etc.
(I may still bubble wrap the legs...I hear it comes in *colors*)
And the best part? It's chalk cloth, so you can write on it. When it's not covered in life's detritus, that is.
I even made a box in which to keep the chalk.
(tray: target a million years ago. Coasters: cotton/hemp breast pads. They've been washed. They may get tie-dyed if I get up the gumption. Chalk: Target. Box kit and paper: Paper Source.)
Me at about 4. (this is the best digital copy I have of this picture. EDIT - when my mom saw this picture again she said "oh, that's in Virginia Beach - when you were about 2." Regardless - I was well past 6 months.)
The brick orange ones came from my stepfather (i'm not sure whom he bought them from.) The green ones are from....somewhere. The white ones are from target. They're a little small, but they do the job. I'd like to start making my own when these wear out. Etsy is actually pretty overwhelming to me unless someone shows me what I'm looking for. One thing you can't compromise on with cloth napkins: 100% cotton or linen. Nothing else will absorb nearly as well (if at all!)
confession: if it's just me I've been known to use a prefold for a napkin now that they've graduated from diaper to burp rag status.
I am waiting for a new type of insert to arrive in the mail and then I do have plans for an update. Quickly, though, I love our fuzzibunz, still. The grobaby (now called grovia) are too short in the rise for our long, skinny boy, so they've been retired. I've replaced them with Thirsties Duo covers (the inserts that I'm waiting on) and am also using Thirsties Fab Fitted inserts. I have a couple of Bum Genius All-In-Ones, but I'm not a huge fan because the fit is weird. But that could be because our little guy is long and skinny. The grobaby/grovia disposable inserts work with the Thirsties shells and are still the only 'sposie insert I recommend. It's not necessary to use the tape to keep them in place, but that might change as Bunny gets more mobile. When the new inserts arrive I will post a blog with pictures and more in-depth reviews.
I've been lamenting our small eating space for a while. Thinking that if we had room I would shift our mid-century heirloom table out into a proper dining space and bring in a cute mid-century diner table better proportioned to kitchen eating. Or put in a booth or something. The possibilities are endless.
Turns out, all I needed was to TURN THE TABLE.
I apologize for anyone who has had to maneuver around the table and blame it completely on the fact that it was moved into the kitchen last summer while I was knocked up, heavily drugged, and should have been in bed. It was moved by very nice men who put it where I said and then didn't touch it because you don't want to piss off the heavily drugged pregnant woman. Had I had my brain on correclty I would have said "can we turn it, please?" And everything would have been hunky dory and a year's worth of guests wouldn't have been so cramped.
That's the Tripp Trapp Stokke back there against the wall. It's a trip hazard so it's out of the line of toes.
And yes, we use real linens at every meal. Don't you? (PS - for the record, when shopping for napkins or fabric with which to make you own napkins - only 100% cotton or linen will do. Synthetics just don't absorb as well, even synthetic blends. So when you're eating something really slimy (barbecue, anyone?) a not-cotton/linen piece of cloth will just smear it around. I like reddish toned napkins for barbecue. I could actually do a whole post just about napkins. I wish I were kidding.
So our property has a good number of fruit bearing trees on it - all right now in various stages of bloom/ripening.
In the middle of the front yard, all by its lonesome (some would say - randomly) is a plum tree. Not to be mistaken with the pretty plum cherry trees in the back this one is gnarled and craggy and in fall it looks downright malicious. Great at halloween.
In the spring it bears more fruit than it can bear. To be repetitive and redundant.
Can you see the break? No? It's over there on the right.
Here's a close up:
So how much was lost, you ask?
There are starving people all over the world and I've got a plum tree that can't manage its own bounty.
Argh. Good thing we weren't relying on that branch for much more than snack food.
Any idea what we should be on the scar to ward off infection?
“Success bases our worth on a comparison with others. Excellence gauges our value by measuring us against our own potential. Success grants its rewards to the few but is the dream of the multitudes. Excellence is available to all living things but is accepted by the few. ~ Dale Carnegie
And then a little bit of sharpening, a little blurring, some spot healing, some dodging and burning and a bit of desaturation...and then a crop and some rounded edges later and voila!
I'm not in love with it, but I don't hate it either and it's a nice example of dodge (the wings) and burn (the cat) can do.
But remember folks - if your pictures look like such crap that you have to spend more than a few minutes of post-processing to get them to a state of being presentable (and you're not either learning a new program or playing around to see what happens) LEARN TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS.