Tag Archives: 11 months

This time last year…

On April 29, 2009, contractions began. Nutella labored at home all day and we finally went to the birth center around midnight. Unfortunately, the contractions weren’t very productive.  Much time passed, and we ended up transferring to the hospital by the following morning. There, an avalanche of invasive but mostly necessary things happened before our son would join us on the outside. I will always remember the moment when I was watching the blank space in front of the OB who was helping to get the baby out, and all of a sudden that space was filled with an upside down, wriggly screaming boy.

So it’s T-minus 2 days until our Cupcake turns 1 on May Day. The past couple of months have been big ones for him developmentally. He can now wave and say “bye!” and usually does so when we drop him off at daycare in the morning. He can clearly communicate a few things to us- when he wants to be picked up or put down, when he wants more food or doesn’t want to eat or drink anymore, when he’s frustrated or needs a quick cuddle. He loves taking things in and out of boxes, putting things on shelves or through the bars of our baby gates, and tossing toys out of the pack n’ play. You can see the little wheels turning in his head and he loves to figure things out (like opening a door)…it makes him obviously happy to do so. He also gets very frustrated if you don’t let him go where he wants to (closing a door where he’s headed may make him scream in anger). His main method of travel is cruising or super-fast crawling, and while he can stand without any support for a few seconds, he doesn’t like to. It’ll probably be a little while longer before he’s walking.

He is now a little boy and no longer a baby. And it went by very quickly.

What am I doing up here?

Higher learning

So, it’s been nearly a year of parenting for us. We’ve gone from blank slates to feeling like we may know a thing or two about how things are done (and still have a lot more to learn!). Here’s a list of some things that come to mind that have stood out as important lessons/realizations over the past year…

1. Don’t tell people the due date…tell them at least 1 week later. In hindsight, we wish we had known this sooner. With a baby that decided not to even think about heading out into the world until a week later, and a labor that lasted 2 days beyond that, it was pretty darn irritating for people to keep calling to basically see if “you’re still pregnant?” Better to just keep the real due date to yourselves.

2. Don’t tell people the name. You might have the best name picked out in the whole world…but if you don’t want feedback on it, don’t tell people what it is. We are so happy we didn’t tell a single soul. Even when we were admitted to the hospital and they wanted a name for his bracelet before he was born, we insisted on “Baby Boy” [last name]. People have a lot less to say about the name once it’s on the birth certificate.

3. There is no need to stock up on toys. You may think you need the latest Fischer Price gadget or Einstein Baby musical headache-inducing toy, but really, your baby will be just as happy….no, more happy to play with the following: boxes, remote controls, flatware, cups, lids, containers, pillows, books, their own feet, water, cell phones, paper, towels, wrapping paper rolls, snot sucker, diapers, etc. In fact, you may try your best to offer the newest $50 thing you bought, and your child may still insist on playing with the package it came in.

4. Save every original box and receipt, for EVERYTHING. We cannot stress this enough. We have returned diapers in sizes he grew out of, carriers that didn’t work well, a jumper, unused bottle nipples, and so on. I don’t care what it is you just picked up from Babies R Us, put that receipt in a safe place for a few months.

5. You know not to compare your child to every other child but you will anyway. You may have the best sleeper/eater/talker/mobile child in the world, but if they’re not [insert skill here] like your friend’s kid is, you may start wondering why. Unless you truly have reason to be concerned, don’t sweat it…your kid will get there. They will.

6. You may or may not keep to your original parenting plans- you end up doing what works. You may set out to breastfeed for a year, to cloth diaper, to never touch a drop of formula, to co-sleep, to keep the tv off, or to do the opposite of everything I just said, but sometimes these things may not work out like you expect. Parenthood is about rolling with the punches. Goals are great to have, but if you hold yourself too strictly to them, you may end up feeling like a failure when all you’re doing is trying to stay afloat.

7. Stock up! I’m talking about mylecon, gripe water, tylenol, ibuprofin, pedialyte, benadryl, and at least 2 types of diaper paste. You never know when you’re going to need those or what’s going to work, and if your child spikes a fever or a rash at 3am, the last thing you’re going to want to do is find a 24-hour drug store. On that note…

8. Your child will get fevers that scare the shit out of you. That first fever is a very scary thing. So is seeing a number like 103 or 105(!) on a rectal thermometer. Remember, fevers are the body’s natural way of fighting off illness. The most important thing is- how is your child acting? Curly has had high fevers but still ate well, slept well, and kept on playing. And the fevers responded to tylenol/ibuprofin. But listlessness and dehydration –> get thee to a doctor.

9. Sunshine makes stains disappear. It’s a miracle. Seriously, I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. If you run poop-stained clothing through the washing machine and put them in direct sunlight to dry, the stains magically disappear. Speaking of poop…

10. You will constantly talk about baby poop, as well as be fascinated and humbled by it. At some point, you will find yourself having a nice dinner with other friends who are parents, and all of a sudden you will be talking about the color and texture of your kid’s poop, as well as regaling each other with tales of blow-outs that rendered you speechless. It’s a whole new world.

11. You will not matter anymore. Only the baby. Gone are the days when your family and relatives cared about you. Now it’s “How’s the baby?” and “What’s the baby up to?” and “When can I come visit (the baby)?” Shocking but true.

12. The baby clothing market is irritating. Baby clothes get more gendered as they go up in size, girl baby clothes are full of ruffles and lace and pleating and puffy sleeves, and they stop making certain very convenient articles of clothing the bigger children get, such as onesies, rompers, and footed pajamas. Baby clothing would be just as convenient for non-potty trained or non-walking toddlers, and yet the world of clothes changes drastically after size 18 months.

13. Babyhood will go by quicker than you can possibly imagine.

Got anything you want to add to this list? Or have any questions you’d like to ask re: the first year? We’d love to hear!

What’s up with that?

Diaper sizing. Admittedly, we’ve only used a few brands and only 1 specific brand of disposables (for daycare and overnight) for the last 7 months, but the sizing is nuts. We went from size 1 to size 2 in about 4 weeks (when we weren’t using G diapers). Then we were in 3’s from 2-5 months and then moved up to the 4’s for months 6-9, then 5’s at 10 months and then almost immediately to 6’s which is where we are now. Most often a move up was made overnight first to account for the heavy wetting and poop-splosion first thing in the morning. And hey, for a kid that sleeps like he does, that’s a small messy, stinky price to pay. Let’s take a look at the suggested weight ranges for those diapers and compare it to what Curly weighed at the time:

NB up to 10 (we never used these)
size 1, 8-14 lbs (Curly was 9-10 lbs)
size 2, 12-18 lbs (Curly was 11-12 lbs )
size 3, 16-28 lbs (Curly was 12-15 lbs)
size 4, 22-37 lbs (Curly was 16-19 lbs)
size 5, 27+ lbs (Curly was 19-20 lbs)
size 6, 35+ lbs (Curly is currently 21 lbs)

This is absurd!! I mean, where do we go from here? Do I need to start buying him Depends? He’s always been tall, with a long torso. Around the waist isn’t so much of an issue, the side tabs are very stretchy, but the leg elastic is tight and he’s always seemed to need more room in the rise. Oh, and percentile wise, right now he’s 50% for height and 20% for weight. What on earth do the parents with the 90% babies do?

Disclaimer: we’re not looking for advice, just wanted to share a funny rant. And no, we are not interested in cloth though we are experimenting with a few brands of hybrids and still love the G’s.

Test driving a Gro-baby

Dinner as Art

So far, we are lucky to have a good eater. And we’re lucky to have a child that prefers to feed himself. Dinner is still an interesting time in our household. We like to feed him a variety of healthy things from day to day, so after work we’re scrambling a bit to get his plate of food filled up (he doesn’t get the actual plate which would be thrown, just everything on it). He gets whatever we’re eating in child-friendly pieces, but while we’re fine with just a protein and veggie, we try to give him more than that. Usually it’s a WIN situation, but sometimes certain foods are hit or miss, and sometimes the whole dinner is hit or miss. That can be frustrating and I admit it’s a challenge for me to take it in stride, but I’m trying to get better and see it as normal toddler behavior.

So this past week, I decided to have a little “fun” and document his dinners Mon-Thurs. I realize this may be a strange idea of fun and clearly, I have too much time on my hands, but there you go. Evidence and other details appear below…

Monday: Half a grilled cheese sandwich, green beans, “bean balls”, a strawberry, and 4 ounces whole milk.

Dinner WIN, partial green bean FAIL. 2 ounces of milk drunk, oh well.

Tuesday: Half a cream cheese sandwich, pieces of grilled chicken, peas, orange slices, and 4 ounces whole milk.

Dinner WIN! Other food demanded, so we gave him some yogurt as well. Still only 2 ounces of milk drunk.

Wednesday: “Deconstructed chicken parmesan”–> Pieces of chicken, whole wheat pasta shells, pieces of mozzerella cheese hunk, blueberry yogurt with oatmeal cereal mixed in, 4 ounces of whole milk.

Dinner WIN! Plus, he drank all of his milk and another ounce on top of it!

Thursday: Teriyaki tofu, broccoli, cheddar cheese cubes, veggie booty, cantelope slice, and 4 ounces whole milk.

Dinner FAIL. This is when I wonder what happened? Did he not like it? Was he not hungry? He ate a decent portion of tofu, but hardly anything else and rejected the melon. MELON, people! (both in a slice like that and cut up into small chunks) Oh, and the veggie booty was a hit, even though he started crying while eating it (?!) We actually resorted to giving him half a container of yogurt and a slice of bread. And he only drank 2 ounces of milk.

Until he learns to talk, we won’t know what was up, but hey…I guess 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

Community

When I got back from retrieving today’s mail and saw a CD from our very own Insert Metaphor (Feist, Nada Surf, and Stars? You certainly have great taste!), it occurred to me yet again what an amazing community we have. We hold each other up, we listen with open ears and hearts, we truly feel what our friends are feeling, for better and for worse. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your comments and your support, for your love and readership. I hope you feel the same from us because we’re with you 100%, pushing for the start of your families and the growth and unity of your families, no matter where you fall on this journey.

I also wanted to give a shout out to our friends over at Two Moms and a Foster Son as they navigate their way through some wonderful and extremely challenging times. Stop over and say hi if you can, the blog is brand-spanking new.

And now…nap time.
Honk-shoo

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