Thursday, August 14, 2014

Morning Reflection

Writing quickly so I can get in my blog post before my little dragon wakes up. I cannot believe my little guy is going to be 23 months in only four days, which means in a month, he will be two.

This might give a hint as to why I haven't blogged since October. I have been busy dancing, jumping, playing, running, singing, climbing, sliding and keeping up with my toddler. Everyone tells you what an amazing time the first year of your baby's life will be -- the growth and change are extraordinary. There are even baby books to chronicle every month of the first year (I know why now...because your baby is only an infant for about the first nine months of his life).

But no one tells you that the months between one and two are incredibly transformative. My little man went from saying only a few words to entire phrases and humming melodies. He has learned fear and separation, as well as the excitement of independence. His once wispy head of hair is not full and shining, growing so quickly that he just had his third haircut. He has mastered walking and is now climbing, scaling, jumping, and doing so many things that involve more sophisticated motor skills. He has gone from mommy or daddy feeding him with a spoon and bottle to drinking out of cup and using a spoon or fork on his own (it may be a bit messy, but he is doing it). He makes different sounds when he plays with a car, truck or motorcycle. And, he is beginning to say the alphabet and sing songs he learns at school.

This last year has been unbelievable, watching my baby become a little boy. I think he skipped toddler. His face is different every day. His mannerisms have gone from big and exaggerated to much more controlled (however, big and exaggerated are still in there).

I wish they made a book to chronicle 12 months to 24 months (I looked). I have done my best to capture the last year with photos and notes in my diary, but I am so afraid there will be bits missing. I didn't anticipate everything to go by so quickly. I am thinking the years ahead will be just as quick. I need a pause button for my little man. Just for a day or two, I would like to pause his growth and have the time to enjoy who he is at this very moment a little bit more. I already savor each minute, but I want more time to do so. I am enthralled with how he solves problems, learns new things and is intrigued by his discoveries.

So, I may not have blogged over the last 10 months...and there has been a bit of pining for the time to write...but, there isn't a bit of regret. Every moment I can spare is spent enjoying my family. I have two loves in my life and they bring me immense joy.

Here is to perhaps a few more blogs in the next year...or not.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thirteen Months and a New Perspective on Time

My blog has gone by the wayside; I have been enjoying the evolution of a little boy. A little boy who is no longer a baby, but a toddler. He turned 13 months on Friday and I am still in denial that so much time has passed. He is running around the house, playing, singing, dancing, talking up a storm (much of it gibberish, but more real words than I thought possible), exploring, investigating, and discovering. It is a delight to experience the world in a new way, seeing it through his perspective. Everything he encounters is new. And, it is exciting.

I am finally getting into my working-mom groove. Not that I don't encounter challenges, but I am becoming more adept at facing them head on. I can change a dirty diaper with deft skill, dress a wiggling body with the coordination of a rodeo champion and have my little guy fed, dressed and in his car seat in 30 minutes (sometime less). With our little guy walking, the biggest difficulty lately is watching him maneuver around furniture, walls, anything. His teetering steps with which he executes confidently always seem to be on the brink of, "timber!" He is gaining balance and coordination every day, but I still have moments where I gasp.

It isn't easy being a mom, but thrilling adventures seldom are a piece of cake. And, this truly is one of my greatest adventures. Every day is a new wonder, a new joy, a new accomplishment (for him and me). All of the things I relished before this little man came into my life seem rather pedestrian and ordinary. Time is no longer the commodity it once was.

I think about all of the extra time I had before we had the little dragon...I thought I was busy, but in fact, I wasted a lot of time too (watching TV, going to the movies, languidly reading away an entire day). I could have used that time to solve global warming or bring world peace (okay, maybe a bit too much, but you get the idea).

With all of the commitments before to boards, committees, volunteering projects, and more (and all for good causes)...the time I spend with my son gives me more happiness and fulfillment than I could ever imagine. Do I miss some of the things I used to do outside of work and home? Yes, at times. But, I will certainly be more mindful of how I commit my time in the future.

Time is much more precious. Something has to be pretty important to me if it is going to take me away from my new adventure of being a mom.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Going Mobile

When you have a nine-month old, the words, "going mobile," have a whole new meaning.

We went mobile a few months ago when little man started rolling all over the place. This was akin to one of those brick phones from the early 90s. He was mobile, but pretty much stayed in one area. We rolled all over the front room together...frolicking, giggling. We were starting to get anxious about babyproofing and started the process, but knew we had some time.

More than a month ago, he started crawling and we had upgraded to a clamshell phone with digital service. We were moving things up to higher ground because he started exploring, but he still stayed within a few rooms. He didn't roam too far. And, we were astonished at what he could do. We couldn't help but smile and encourage.

The last couple of weeks we have definitely gone iPhone, waiting for the iOS 7 upgrade (aka walking). Nothing can stop this speed demon crawler; he is FAST! He is pulling himself up on pretty much anything that is stationary, or has something he can grip (dad's pant leg, the bar on the wheeled highchair, bookshelves, handles on the dresser, um...anything). Note: some things make you go, eek...we are working to redirect him to safe places where he can pull himself up. His exploring has expanded to everywhere in the house. We are now moving things up much higher, latches are on the drawers and every socket has been plugged. In order to contain him so we can do things like laundry, going to the bathroom or starting dinner...we have set up an indoor gated area (also called a play yard). It has been a miracle as we adjust to his mobile capabilities. But, sometimes when you open up that gate, it feels like you are letting the bull go into the arena or a horse onto the racetrack.

We know that hands-free walking is not too far off. I am predicting that we will have the baby that is better, faster and stronger in a few weeks based on his balance, mastery of standing up on his own, and the speed at which he walks when assisted. We are excited, but also have quite a bit of trepidation. With greater mobility, comes greater responsibility (wow, I have been using a lot of taglines in this blog post). We are pretty certain we are ready for this new chapter as parents, but know the baby will throw some unexpected experiences our way.

Walking also seems to signify a new phase in our son's life...he will no longer be a baby, but a toddler. I am trying to come to terms with this. I feel like I just started adjusting to him being a baby. But, thinking about all of the things that are ahead for him -- the discoveries, adventures, and moments of wow -- I am also pretty excited! Just this weekend he had a long of list of new discoveries: playing with a guitar, tasting a pinto bean and french fry, hanging out in the backyard inflatable pool, pushing a wooden train at the bookstore, signing the word "milk," saying the word "crazy," and so much more.

I never thought going mobile would be so challenging, scary, fun, engaging, and life-changing all at the same time. Send on over the upgrade...I am ready. I think.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lessons Over the Last Five Months

My son will be five months old tomorrow. Five months! This has been the quickest five months of my life...I can remember so vividly the day he was born. And, everyday of those five months, I have been amazed by all that my little boy can do. Not only has he evolved over these months, but so have I. I have learned a lot about myself.

1. I can function on six, five or four hours of sleep. I was able to accomplish things on small amounts of sleep when I was in college. But, as I have gotten older, sleep was an essential. Lately, I have been getting through an entire day of work after an evening that feels like I have spent it at a concert, not at home taking care of a breastfed baby.

2. I don't have to blowdry my hair. Taking the time to blowdry my hair used to be an essential. Not anymore. Now I do my hair by combing it out and putting curling creme through it. Blowdrying not required. And, I have gotten more complements on my hair.

3. I like shopping for clothes...for my son. I have never been one who relished a shopping trip. Sometimes I would find myself in the mood for a bit of shopping, but usually I would only do clothes shopping if there was a purpose. I now love shopping. And, mostly online. I enjoy finding a great sale and buying a dinosaur-printed onesie for my little guy.

4. I have an amazing husband. Okay, so this isn't about myself and I have always known my husband was a pretty phenomenal guy. But, watching him with my husband is off-the-charts awesome. I am very blessed.

5. There aren't too many things I would rather do than play with my son. Sitting at work, I am getting through my to-do list because I cannot wait for the day to be over so I can see my little boy. I love playing with him. His giggle is infectious; it is the most wonderful sound on the planet. His smile can make anything bad from my day just fade away and seem unimportant. Time spent with my little dragon is the best. *note: I am pretty certain this one is cheesy, but I can't help it. My son and the thought of him turns me into a mushy mommy.*

6. I can slay any poopie diaper. While I was pregnant, I wondered how I would be around a diaper filled with massive amounts of waste matter. It has never phased me and I can change a diaper in record time. In fact, recently, after my son had surgery and was constipated for two days, I actually cried because he had a bowel movement. The smile of relief on my son's face, after two days of fussiness, brought me a great amount of joy.

This list can continue for quite a while because I have discovered a lot about myself over these last five months. I have done pretty well being a mom. It is one part of myself that I have come to love. Cannot wait to see what the next months will bring

p.s. My goal is to write in my blog more often. I have learned that I can accomplish a lot during my son's 30-minute naps, but getting to my blog has been tough. I am going to make it a goal of mine during Lent. Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three months and three holidays later

Our little man is now 14 weeks old. Every month he grows older, he continues to astound us. The day he turned three months old, he decided to celebrate by rolling from his tummy onto his back.

I have been horrible at writing my blog, but I have to admit...I haven't missed it. Every moment I am able, I spend with my little boy. The smiles, the giggles, the little happy dances...they are unlike anything I have had the joy to experience. I am only writing now because the baby dragon is taking a nap. I expect that any time he will wake up and I will just press save and publish because I don't know when I will get the chance to write again.

Christmas with our little boy was just so fantastic. I love his facial expressions and the way he mimicks sounds now. He really focuses and concentrates on the people around feel as though you are having a conversation with him. Crazy...I know...since, he is only a little over three months old. But, he is astounding to watch. A friend said that the joy of having a child is reliving childhood all over. She was so right.

That is my little man waking up. Hope to write again soon. Pardon for typos and grammatical errors.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Fastest Eight Weeks of My Life (And, Most Wonderful)

When I was pregnant and preparing for maternity leave, eight weeks sounded like an eternity to take off. The longest holiday time I had taken from work was three weeks and that was when I got married. I thought the eight weeks would drag along, but this has been the fastest eight weeks of my life.

It doesn't seem long ago that I was at the hospital giving birth to my little one and now he is going to be turning two months old this week. The time has gone by entirely too fast for me. And, I am in awe at how quickly he has adapted and changed over the weeks. He has gone from tiny crying newborn to a giggling, smiling and gyrating infant. In the last eight weeks, while he has grown in weight, length and intelligence, I have mastered swaddling, shushing, cloth diapers, dressing a wiggling baby, and breastfeeding. In other words, he has adapted much more quickly than I have.

While I was learning to take care of my son, something else emerged during the eight weeks. I saw a new side of my husband that made me melt. He has an amazing way with Royce. He has a magical effect on the baby so that he is able to put him to sleep when the baby is at his fussiest. And, hearing my husband sing, tell stories and talk baby gibberish...well, it has made me fall even more in love with him.

I have been so blessed to have the last eight matter how quickly they have passed. It has been a wonderful, challenging, miraculous and rewarding experience. I have fallen in love with the new little boy in my life and fallen deeper in love with the boy who has been in my life for 16 years.

I cannot believe these eight weeks are coming to an end today. But, the adventure has just begun.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I Learned My First Month as a Mom

Yep, my son will be a month-old tomorrow. It is unbelievable how much he has already grown and how much he and I have learned together. I am in awe of my little man. One month seemed pretty far off when we brought him home the first day. But, the time has flown by; it has been an amazing, yet challenging first month. Here is what I have learned in my first month:

1. Sleep? What is Sleep?
They tell you that you will be tired, fatigued and exhausted the first few weeks. Those wise people who write books and teach classes aren't kidding. When your baby arrives home, he has his days and nights all mixed up, you are trying to figure out how to take care of a new human being, and he is trying to figure out what it means to be a human being. Sleep does not come easy. You get sleep when you can...and in the first week, that means you may choose between grabbing a bite or grabbing a nap. Thank goodness the baby is starting to get day and night straightened out so we are getting a lot more sleep during the evening. I think we should be right on schedule when I go back to work (I am crossing my fingers right now and doing a small prayer that this is our reality).

Sidenote: Babies have day and night mixed up because of a woman's activity while the baby is in the womb. During the day, we move around and so the baby sleeps, lulled by the movement. During the evening, we rest and so the baby starts moving about. The baby keeps the same schedule when he or she is out of the womb.

2. The Crying Game
I don't mean that quirky film. I am talking about the game that the baby plays with us everyday called, "Guess Why I'm Crying." Is it a bowel movement? Does he want to be held? Is he hungry? Is he overtired? I believe we finally have cracked the code, but sometimes the baby will throw new curve balls our way. It feels a bit like a heroes know, the one that Joseph Campbell talked about in his mythology book. Everyday, a new challenge is given to us in order to unlock the next path of our journey with our little one. The reward...a smile, a coo, a sleeping child in my arms. I had a dream one evening of the baby standing by a bridge, asking me, "What is your quest?" I woke up before he asked me about the velocity of a swallow.

3. Fairy Milkmother
Every breastfeeding gal should have a fairy milkmother, aka a lactation consultant. Without mine, I am pretty sure I would have been in a crying pile on my living room floor, feeding my baby formula, having given up on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding may be natural and rewarding, but boy...when you are new to the concept, it is pretty complex. I had so many questions and unknowns to face the first two weeks...and I read books and took classes beforehand. Happily, breastfeeding is going great and our little boy is growing stupendously. I am so glad I stuck with it; for him and for me.

4. NASCAR Pit-Style Diaper Changes
They are possible. My husband and I have mastered the pit-style diaper change for those late night wet diapers. We are fast and light-fingered so we don't wake up our sweet sleeping child. We are thinking about timing our team take on diaper-changing to see what our personal best may be. And, yes, we do give each other a high five when we have completed a successful pit. You would too.

5. Bellagio Water Show
It is true what they say about baby boys and their talent for creating their own water show when you change their diaper. Just when you think you have mastered the diaper change and you will never get sprayed in the stomach or hand again...the baby proves you wrong. We are slowly mastering the art of squelching a Bellagio-style water show in the nursery. It is just another part of the heroes journey discussed above. And, really...every single time, it makes me laugh, especially when my son looks so proud of himself afterward.

6. Amazed
I am amazed everyday by the wonder that is my son. Watching him mimick a smile, holding his head up, listening to him make new sounds, seeing him grow, having him hold my finger with his little hand. He is a miracle. I enjoy every moment with him...exhausted or well-rested. I love being a mom. And, I never knew I would feel this way.

I look forward to the next month, the next day and the next minute with joy and anticipation. We have embarked on a new journey and I am so very blessed that this new journey includes our son.