Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oh, and another thing...

Lorena tagged me for a "6 weird things about me" MeMe. I am working on it, Lorena! I'm trying to narrow it down because really, I could go on forever.... ;-)

Flashback

Today, more proof that I am indeed old. First, one of the girls on my Attachment Parenting message board posted a "prom picture photo challenge" and I had to go digging through all of the pictures on my hard drive to locate one or two pictures of me in all my 1980's permed glory. I only have those gems on my computer because Husband made a lovely "through the years" slide show montage of our lives apart and together for our wedding rehearsal dinner. Believe me, if I had half a braincell in my head, I would have burned the pictures year ago. I mean, the hair, the make up, the dress. The hair. Yeah, yeah, I know you're dying to see it...go ahead. Laugh. Laugh out loud, internet. You know you want to. It's good stuff. But you know what? If you go back in your own photo albums, you're going to find something just as bad, admit it.



This is my sophomore semi-formal. Yes, that's only "semi" formal to a teenage drama queen. Dig the perm. Dig the rad gloves. And what voltage battery did that dress run on, exactly? It was very, very shiny. At the time, I remember feeling quite glam. Now, it's a bit more circus side-show than fashionista, but the 80's were not the height of good taste and style, now were they?

(My prom pics are off limits as I am posing with my then best bud, and considering I haven't spoken to her in almost half my lifetime, it's probably not cool for me to be splashing her picture all over the internet.)

Then, after that reminder of my former hair-challenged bliss, as I drove to a friend's house this afternoon, a Bon Jovi song came on the radio. I was, in my day, what you might call a bit of a metalhead. Well, a glam-rock metalhead. I couldn't name one Black Sabbath or AC/DC song for you, but ask me about Poison, Skid Row or Bon Jovi and I can tell you, sadly at great lengths, about their albums, their videos (this is back when MTV actually played music videos) and how many times I used entire cans of AquaNet to adequately shelac my hair for their concerts. And about the boys I dated who had long hair and played in bands and shared earrings with me. And, don't tell Mom & Dad, the mini-skirts and questionable tops I shoved into my bags before leaving the house and changed into almost as soon as I got out of the door. Yes, I didn't drink, smoke or do drugs in my teens, but I certainly did dress like a hooker. Well, Madonna was our fashion icon and after wearing a school uniform for 5 days a week, we were all dying to look potentially promiscuous, regardless of how chaste we actually were (and sadly, we were).

So anyway, the song comes on the radio and my first impulse is to turn it up, start shaking my hair and belt out the song full-blast. But one quick peek in my rear view mirror and I see, Ethan is snoozing ever so peacefully in his car seat. Who would have thought fifteen (okay, twenty) years ago that the girl with the B.A.D. perm and the fringe-armed jean jacket and miniskirt would be driving around in her Nissan Murano, a soccer-mom in training, whispering the words to "Runaway" because...shhhh, the baby's sleeping.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A tooth, a tooth, my kingdom for a tooth!!

The screaming. The drooling. The screaming. The bright red cheeks. The screaming. The entire contents of our house going into his mouth. Have I mentioned the screaming?

Our son has no teeth. Well, we're convinced they're in there somewhere, because they torment him daily. But just where they are in there, who can say? Ethan started "pre-teething" (pediatrician code for months of fussiness with no explanation, have fun with that!) back at about four months. We are closing in on nine months. That's 5 months of intermittent unexplanable fussiness, folks. A whole lot of fuss.

Husband & I have cleaned Target out of Baby Orajel. We have tossed the regular strength kind and only give him the "overnight" orajel, which by it's name you'd think contained some sort of baby unisom, but it doesn't. It just has 5% more of it's numbing agent. We have the q-tips filled with orajel that you snap and then rub on his gums. Husband has to do it because I am a useless sissy when it comes to grabbing Ethan and shoving my fingers in his mouth. The orajel seems to take the edge off, like an aspirin or two might take the edge off if you chopped your finger while slicing a bagel. Yeah, it's that good.

We've tried Hyland's teething tablets, which are a homeopathic treat that melts in his mouth and tastes like pure sugar. It seems to calm him down momentarily which is lovely if he wakes up from a dead sleep, screaming. The drawback of Hylands is that it contains the herb belladonna, which after a brief visit with my friend Google, I find is...oh, deadly. Yup. Deadly. So that's a good herb to put in an infant's teething remedy, no?! Well, to be fair, we'd have to give Ethan the equivalent of about 12 bottles of the pills to actually do him any harm, but still. I do give them to him on occassion, but I always stay with him after I do because hey, I'm neurotic.

Today there was much fussing. Today for the first time I was able to entice Monseiur Fussy with a mesh feeder of ice AND his Nuby icy keyring. He is starting to look for cold things to put in his mouth. His father has an addiction to popcicles and a few nights ago introduced Ethan to them. Yes, now that we've broken the seal on the world of solid foods, there's nothing we won't shove in his face in an attempt to fatten him up. But if it's cold, Ethan wants it in his mouth now until the heat from his own gums warms it up-then it's got to go. I got quite a bit of mileage today out of a spoon I stuck in the fridge for 10 minutes.

His cheeks are pink and he leaves a path of drool everywhere he goes. He has woken up 5 times tonight (he went down at 7:30 and it's 10:30--yes, 5 times), each time like he has been lit on fire. Only a mega slathering of Nighttime Orajel will stop the hysterics.

So all this means the popping of a tooth is imminent, right? I mean, it haaaaas to be. There are only so many screaming wake ups and puddles of drool a mommy and a daddy can take before they start ripping out tufts of their own hair.

And besides, I cannot fathom anything more precious than his smile with a tooth sticking out of it. Give me strength, I might have to eat him up!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

time for some re-arranging...

At least for our living room. See, our house isn't what I would call spacious. When we were looking for homes, we saw and bid on several cathedral-ceiling'ed, ginormous family room'ed abodes, but smarty-pants that we are, we bought our house during the height of the seller's market. Those spacious mansions went to people who sold their souls or bent over the barrell just a smidge farther than Husband's and my pride would let us.

Seriously, we lost one drool-inducing townhome to bidders who were willing to give the current owners FIVE MONTHS of free rent back while they awaited the completion of their new home, which I can only imagine had gold-plated toilet seats and a full compliment of live-in help. That means those buyers were willing to pay their own mortgage or rent while they also paid the current mortgage on the townhome. Who has that kind of money?? Who, in good conscience, asks other people to pay their way for them for five months??!! Wherever they are now, I hope they have lousy plumbing and a butler who steals.

We lost another bid to someone with a blank escalation clause--this means that the other bidder was willing to pay 2K above whatever the highest bid was. How do you beat that??? duh. You don't. You take your sorry ass home in a sling after it's been handed to you buy Money-Bags Magee. Freaking show-off.

So our first home is modest. Only 2 miles outside of Georgetown and a short walk from a lovely shopping center we call the Yuppie Trifecta (Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Whole Foods--with a little Starbucks thrown in for good measure). The location could not be more prime and that's what it's all about, right? Location, location, location!! But like I said, it's modest.

And as our family grows, we need more, umm, space. Well, Husband and I don't need space. We have all the space we require. We're simple folk. It seems, however, that our son is amassing quite a collection of stuff. It's not like I can blame him, really, what with me being the one doing the actual selecting and purchasing of baby gear and goodies. But he doesn't try to stop me, so he's partially responsible, right? A simple, "hey, mom; don't sweat it! Just give me your water bottle and I'll be happy for hours!" would suffice to keep me from buying yet another Fisher Price stacking toy or Lamaze shape sorter. But no....he just squeals and babbles and mommy interprets that as, "I want! I need!"

So to accomodate this bunch o goodies, Husband & I have decided to finish our basement and turn it into a lovely haven for all the little purple turtles and green hippos and Dr Seuss books and jumperoos and Whoozits that my son calls friends. We have made two trips to Lowes to investigate the types of carpet and padding available to us (apparently the options are seemingly endless) and to set up estimates, installation and a partridge in a pear tree.

I'm beyond words excited to have the basement finished. You should see the state of my livingroom right now. As I gaze around the room I see a pack n' play filled with toys, a giant bag of laundry just waiting patiently for me to fold it, a car seat complete with jjcole bundle me and blue bumble bee flair, a stepping stool that says "Ethan" on it, a bumpo seat that we've never used (want one?), a baby Einstein jumperoo with the seat pulled up from the last time I lifted our Olympic jumper out of it, a coffee table scattered with the aforementioned multicolored zoo animals (purple turtle and green hippo), and on the floor--a big old electrical breast pump. And people wonder why we don't have dinner parties anymore.

Today my play group met at one of the girl's church playrooms and it was all carpetted and brightly lit and toys were everywhere and babies were happy. There was much crawling and rolling and squealing and drooling without a coffeetable or a hardwood floor in sight. It was fabulous.

The drawback? In spite of the mess that is my livingroom, the basement is one of Dante's circles of hell. It is where we throw things when people are coming over, or the hallway closet is full, or...it's Tuesday. it's a mess. Basically there is a path from the stairs to the laundry machine and back again. On either side of the pathway---it's really anyone's guess what's living there. And sometime in the next two weeks, Husband and I have to clean that disaster. I am so not looking forward to that. I would love to hire someone to clean it, go get a manicure and pedicure, and return to find a spotless and beautifully organized basement ready to be carpetted. Sadly, I don't think Martha Stewart hires herself out for weekend basement projects. That bitch is so uppity since she got out of prison.

I guess that means it will be Husband & me, up to our knees is who knows what that we threw down there god knows when. Should be a blast. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Confessions from an Incompetent Cervix Mama...

I want another baby. Not right this minute. But I do.

I should preface this by saying that little E is the light of my life; there is not a minute that goes by that I am not insanely grateful to be his mama. Even when he's screaming after a 20 minute nap or spitting carrots in my face (of course, he lurved the carrots the last half dozen times I've given them to him, but whatever) or snubbing my breast like it was a flaming pile of poo, I am grateful through my frustration. Who could ever believe that I could have had a part in making this strong-willed little cheeky monkey? I find myself wondering, "what would the next one look like? Act like?" But right now, our hands are so full and our brains are so tired, it's just not something we would even think about before Ethan can at least sleep through the night (that alone might take me all the way to menopause, I am well aware).

And I realize how lucky I am to even have Ethan. So many women with IC lose their babies before they even know there is danger. And some women are cursed by the universe never to even know the joy of the two pink lines on a pregnancy test and the feeling of a baby moving inside them. I am the luckiest woman alive. I know that.

But I want more. And I can't have that. Husband and I don't get the giddy joy of sitting down to say, "When you want to start trying again?" and the anticipation of trying. Again, I realize for some that anticipation is agony because it always leads to disappointment. I, on the other hand, am cursed with the knowledge that I am Fertile Myrtle and could probably say, "I want a November baby!" and get one. I am very sad when I think that I will never feel another baby dancing a jig on my bladder, or trying to burrow his way out of me through my back or my ribs.

I suppose I shouldn't have titled this "confessions from an IC Mama" because if it were just the IC, perhaps we'd take the leap and see what the next time would bring. Worse case scenario for IC for us would be a scheduled cerclage and complete bedrest. Honestly, bedrest was harder on Husband than it was on me. Especially now, I relish the idea of lounging all day and snuggling with Ethan. It's almost what I do each day anyway, right? But the idea of asking Husband to go through all that again, especially if there's hospital time---eh, that's just not right.

But it isn't just the IC. It's the gestational diabetes that gets worse with each pregnancy and makes Type II diabetes more likely in the future and for the rest of my life. It is the uterus with the integrity of tissue paper that would necessitate a super early c-section delivery and make NICU time an inevitability. It is, joyfully heaped onto these already compelling reasons to make an appointment for a tubal ligation, the fact that any pregnancy from here on in would get slapped with the label, "high risk due to advanced maternal age." That's the obstetrical world's way of saying, "Hey, you too old to be havin' babies, lady." And with my elderly ovaries blasting out eggs who knows what I'd get. Ugh.

There are just too many reasons for us not to even think about conceiving again. There are NO good reasons for us to even have a discussion about it. But there is something about knowing I'll never carry and give birth to another baby that makes my heart ache. Hopefully that ache will fade with time.

Until then, I have this to enjoy, so that really puts it all in perspective in so many ways, right? :

Gerber's Garden Vegetable, yes. Hummus, not so much, Mama...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Water Baby

Today we started our Water Babies class and introduced Ethan to the wild wet world that exists outside of his aquarium bathtub. Actually, it was very much like his bath time, but in a really, really big tub. And instead of being naked, he was in swim diaper that are too big and swim trunks that are too big. This is the joy of having a small baby; nothing fits. And with the fear that the pool people would oust us from the facility due to the gaping space between our son's bathing suit and his body, we raced to CVS to find safety pins. And we safety pinned up his suit. Quality.
Husband spared me the horror of cramming my ass into a bathing suit and took one for the team. Hence, I had the awesome responsibility of capturing the future Olympic swimmer's first foray into the shallow end. I have no doubt that I was super annoying to the dad in the bleachers with the camcorder; I'm pretty sure I am forever a part of their family movies as I was bouncing back and forth along the edge of the pool taking pictures. He was trying to capture his son in the pool as well, but you know what? You park your ass on the bleachers, you must not want it badly enough; get up and walk around, fool! That's your kid splashing around in there! I feel a little badly about it (mostly because my ass must be gigantic in their film), but oh well. Snooze, lose.

Ethan flirted with INSTRUCTOR (whose name I actually think is Jenny) just like he flirts with everyone from the smelly lady behind us in the grocery line to the nurse in the pediatrician's office right before she betrays him with a big giant needle o' immunization. His flirting really knows no bounds. I'm pretty sure I've caught him making eyes at his Mr. Whoozit when he thinks I'm not looking. He's shame. less.
There was much playing with toy boats and singing "The people on the bus" & "Itsy bitsy spider." There was copious splashing & kicking. There was water swallowing. Lots of it. Ethan's insides are adequately chlorinated until this time next week, so that's good news, right?

Ethan loved the water (unlike the girl next to him who spent the entire. freaking. time. screaming her head off like she was on fire (also probably went over really well in the bleacher dad's epic film). He never once complained and was often smiling and really enjoying himself. This was until his lips started to turn blue and I could see his...I want to say teeth, but he has none...chattering and his arms shaking. I then went into neurotic psycho mom mode and decided that he was moments away from hypothermia and needed to get out of the pool NOW! Husband thought I was silly. Husband usually thinks I am silly. He is right 95% of the time. This was one of those times. On the way home I recalled my own childhood fixation with the ocean and how I could only be hauled out of the waves on pain of death, regardless of my blue chattering lips and my horrifically pruney fingers.

An unexpected perk of the "swim class" was that after all the splashing and kicking and water swallowing and toy boat chasing, Ethan was practically falling asleep as we changed him out of his swim trunks. If only we could bottle this and take it out at 7pm each night. That's it; we're putting in a pool in our basement.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Memories of the 'bad news room'

This time last year, I had my "big ultrasound". The "fun, watch your baby bounce around inside you and check to see that all is right with the world" ultrasound. I can so clearly remember how excited we were to see our little pea pod doing his thing & as my cervix had been behaving up until that point, I had no reason to think we were in for any surprises of the negative kind in those 45 minutes.

Instead, we ended up in the quiet, dimly lit, kleenex-box laden "waiting room". Just Husband, me and a phone. Waiting for my OB to call and tell me that my cervix was funnelling and that I was going to go in for surgery in 3 days to sew it shut in hopes of saving my pregnancy. That ultrasound was pretty much the last time I left the house except to go to a doctor appointment or the hospital for the next sixteen weeks.

So tonight as I was laying down with Ethan, trying yet again to get him to fall asleep before midnight, I didn't find myself frustrated or angry or wondering what the hell I was thinking when I thought, "Babies are so cute! I have to get me one of those!" I simply thought, good God, do I love you, little man. And hugged him tight.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Images on a theme...

Here are some things my son will put in his mouth besides yogurt...

mmmm--plastic toy. Good for digestion.

Funny, this doesn't taste like a blackberry...

This would be tastier if it were covered in yogurt...

This is what I think of your "mixed vegetable dinner", ma. Bleugh. Give me the freakin' yogurt and no one gets hurt, mkay?

No bottles or sippies for me, please. I prefer the more sophisticated water bottle. Cap on, please.




I don't know where they've been, but they're tas-tee

Thursday, January 11, 2007

De-lurk, you lurkers! Let me feel the love!

It's De-Lurking week, internet. I didn't realize it until today when I started reading other blogs discussing this little tidbit. So I expect a lot of internet validation on this post, people. Say something to me!

Today's topic: trying to convince my son that food is...well, food.

We started solids quite awhile ago. There was the great cereal boycott of November '06. And who can forget the terrible butt-stoppage of the holiday season? Then miraculously, cereal became palatable to the little man. This was of course, after I made up some pretty silly songs and dances about how yummy cereal is and ate approximately my son's body weight in single grain rice cereal to prove that it is indeed food. Well, baby food. Because let me tell you, that shit ain't meant for consumption by people who know any better.

Then, feeling bold and audacious, Husband & I decided to add fruit and veggies to the repertoire. Really, how tough can it be? I mean at least the pears taste like something remotely identifiable as pears, unlike the cereal, which really should be labeled "mushy cardboard--your child's first food". Well, one the first day, pears were a success. Again, there was much song singing about the scrumptuous pear and perhaps a dance or two while noshing on a plastic multicolored spoon full of that pear-y goodness. Ethan ate the pears with delight; his mouth open and waiting for each bite---very exciting!

But then, the next day--pears were spit out at me like they were a day old tuna casserole that had been left out in the sun. Yeah, that good. What the hell, little man?!! If you like it one day, you have to like it the next day, too. Those are the rules. Can you imagine if one day sushi was your favorite food of all time and the next day it was vile to you?! How does that happen?

And so it goes. With pears. And applesauce. And peas. And greenbeans. And plums. and prunes. And carrots. And sweet potatoes. There is no way to know from one day to the next if yesterday's tasty treat will be today's tantrum.

There are two exceptions to this Ethan rule. Puffs and yogurt.

Puffs are those little melt-in-your-mouth finger foods with the faintest hint of flavor. Again, they are only deemed worthy if Mama eats two or three first. Then, I will break them up into a million pieces because even if they dissolve on contact (or within seconds), my son would be the only one in the history of the world to choke on a puff. The only problem with puffs is that their dissolvability makes them a sticky little mess and more of them end up stuck to Ethan's hand than his tongue. But, if this doesn't sound too mean, it's pretty funny watching him try to get the sticky puff piece off of his fist and into his mouth. It's rarely successful, but it makes me giggle. And don't worry, I help him get a few in his mouth before we move on to the yogurt.

Yogurt is the mother of all foods to this little man. If my breasts could somehow churn out blueberry yobaby, this child would be in heeeeeeeeaven. Alas, I am a one trick pony and so we go to the dairy section of the grocery store for the food of the baby gods. The anticipation of yogurt gets feet kicking and fists flailing. There are protestations if Mama isn't fast enough with the next spoonful.

I am tempted to give this child nothing but yogurt because it is easiest and he luuuuuurves it so much. And because I don't have to dance around like a fool, making up songs about yummy nummy yogurt...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Eight Months...

You are eight months old today, monkey. Is it wrong that I'm already imagining your 1st birthday? Believe me, I'm not wishing the time away or anything like that--every day with you is more amazing than the day before (unless of course, you are being a Grumpy Gus, then I'll take the day before, please). But you are so silly, giggly and happy these days, and so fascinated by everything going on around you, I can only imagine how fun it will be to give you balloons and noise makers and cake.

This month was a bit of a whirlwind. We started the month by getting our first "holiday shrubbery". You were less than impressed. Daddy and I fretted and fussed over balsam and douglass and this one being too high, that one being too scrawny. Nothing like a couple of Jews trying to bridge the cultural gap into secular Xmas. You simply hung out in your bjorn, checking out the scene. No big whoop. And when we got the tree home, and decorated it? Still--no big whoop. Maybe next year?

Daddy & I got to go out on three dates this month--pretty impressive! So you got to spend time with Auntie V, Uncle Jamie and Miss Chloe, Chrisanne & Jason and Grandma Judy & Grandpa Harry. You didn't sleep a whole lot for any of them, but you were happy and you didn't scare anyone away! I love how good you are with others; you are completely content with the world as long as someone's holding you--for the most part. I, on the other hand, find that I spend most of my date time fretting about how you're doing. Mommy is a cliche...

We started hearing more of your voice this month. You are saying "mamamama" and "dadadada", but you have no clue what they mean. I am certain of this because often you will unlatch from nursing, look thoughtfully at my breast and declare, "Dada". We find ourselves so eager to hear you speak and communicate with us. But I also feel a sense of nostalgia for the noises of the past--the freaky teradactyle sound you made as a preemie/newborn; the sneeze-scream from the early days when you freaked yourself out with the sound of your own sneeze. Even the irritating whine you started with last month which seems to have gone the way of the dodo is locked away in my "weren't those cute little noises?" vault for safe keeping. Now, when I hear a new born cry in the grocery store or at the mall, I am amazed at how far you've come. Your cry is now that of a little boy's, not a tiny baby's. It is staggering. When did that happen?

You're still a little munchkin of a thing. At a weight check the other day, you had fallen off the weight chart. But our friend Vergie let us borrow a really good digital scale and we are weighing you obsessively. We're now doing three meals a day of solids and let me tell you, if you could eat yogurt all day, you would. I gave you your first taste of it today and unless there was yogurt IN your mouth, you were not happy. You went through almost an entire cup of it. That is fine with me, little man. I am this far from mixing lard into your food to get you beefed up, so if it's yogurt you want, it's yogurt you'll get. Let's just go into this knowing that you won't be getting a Twinkie in your lunchbox when you're older, okay? The high-sugar and high-fat foods are just for now because if you don't pork up before you start crawling and walking, you're going to waste away to nothing. Can't have that, little man. Eat up!

Speaking of crawling, walking and the like--you are in perpetual motion. I'm not kidding. If you aren't unconscious, you are moving. There's no such thing as sitting still in your world. Peaceful repose is for sissies. Your big thing right now is getting up on your hands and knees and rocking, rocking, rocking. You''ve figured out how to scoot your bottom half forward on your knees, but you don't know how to get your arms moving to actually get forward. End result? Your knees get too close to your hands, totally throw off your center of gravity and you face plant mere centimeters away from where you started. By next month's check in, I'm sure I'll have another half dozen grey hairs from trying to keep up with you. Just this evening, you got up on your knees in the pack and play in the living room and draped your arms over the side...

You went on your first airplane ride this month, too. What a champ. I was a way bigger wimp than you because of my head cold and bursting ears and all. You just nursed and napped and flirted and watched the world below glide by. it was lovely and I hope you remember this for the trip to Honduras next month. This flight was only 1 hour. That one will be almost 6. Daddy had some sort of revelation and booked us first class to Honduras, thinking that would make you more comfortable (because mommy's lap is cushier in 1st class, I guess), so let's try not to irritate the snobby rich folk, okay? Actually, on second thought, feel free to scream it up.

You met a lot of your cousins and many of mommy's friends this month, too. You won't remember them from this meeting, but I really hope you get to spend lots of time with them as you grow up. It was so amazing for me to see the house filled with babies and small children and to actually be a part of it. You give me such a sense of wholeness, little man. Like I am finally who I was alwasy meant to be.

Let's talk a bit about sleep, shall we? I have to tell you, if I could stay at a hotel with you every night, I would. You sleep like, well, a baby in a hotel. We can't figure it out. Five, six hour stretches without waking up. Are you THAT sensitive to how firm or soft a mattress is? Really? Can you think of more area of life to be finicky about? Anyway, you apparently loved our mattress at that hotel and tricked us into thinking you had turned a sleep corner. Ha. Ha. You're pretty funny. No such luck. Why, why, why do you hate sleeping so much?! We are on the edge of having to go through Cry-it-out, even though both of us would rather chew off our own arms than do it. Beleive me, if gnawing off one of our own limbs would help you sleep, it would probably be on the table before CIO. This is how much we don't want to hear you cry; but you know what? You cry anyway. So what can we do? ugh. I promise you and the readers, if and when we do CIO, there will be no posts about it. I can't even bear to think about it. Please sleep, little man!

The evolution of your gestures is endlessly fascinating to me (how's that for an abrupt transition?). Last month you started rubbing your hands on everything to feel it's texture. You'd touch with your fingers and then close your hand on top of the object, running your fingers over it. It looked like, you guessed it, you were waving. Now, you make that same motion in the air--a real wave. Alas, just like calling my boob "dada", though, you have no idea what you're doing. You wave at yourself while you nurse. You wave at the air while you are lying down. I am trying to wave at you a lot and say "hi!" and "bye bye!", so you'll figure out what that motion actually means. Until then, you can just keep waving backwards at me while you're nursing.

I will close this month's check in by describing my two favorite things you do. One is the gigantic open-mouthed slobber kiss. Especially when you are tired, you grab my face by the cheeks, the ears, my hair--whatever is available--and you smash your big wet mouth onto my face. Sometimes you get my mouth, sometimes you get my nose (on more than one occassion I have thought I might drown in your drool). It is the sweetest, most loving thing and while I can't wait for you to give real kisses, I hate that this will stop (although I concede it would look odd and people would stare if you did this when you were 15). The other thing is the laughing when Daddy or I wrestle with you. You LOVE to be thrown around and nuzzled and raspberried. Your little body can't contain the giggle and it comes out sometimes as a real belly laugh and sometimes as a caught breath and then an Ernie laugh (yes, as in Bert & Ernie). I love it. I love you.

Smooches, Mommy

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Have I talked about my son's butt?

And it's inability to poop?

Well then I think I will now.

As mommies, we tend to obsess about poopy diapers. Before I had Ethan, I found those Hallmark cards about changing diapers and the jokes about how fascinating poops were about to become so....silly. Not me, I thought. A poop's a poop. And who's going to inspect a diaper for poop analysis anyway??? Hell, I'm going to take a deep breath, rip that sucker off, throw some powder in the general direction of my baby's butt and get that new diaper on PRONTO!

Nice plan. However, I soon realized that understanding baby's poop is a vital component of understanding baby's health. Damn it.

So Husband & I oooh'ed and ahhh'ed the poopy diapers our son produced like it was his job. Early on, it was 4-5 times a day. The boy was a machine. Then, maybe once a day; and later still, once every 2-3 days. All totally "text book". Fabulous. A perfectly functioning butt.

And then came the solid foods--the cereal, the veggies, the fruit. And as soon as those foods went in, the poop stopped coming out. For days. For a week. There was much grunting and straining.

So as much as he wanted to eat (not a fan of cereal, but bring on those pears, mama!), we stopped the solids. Because when prunes and prune juice dont' make you poop, there's something wrong with yer butt.

We went back to the good ol' days of the boobilicious milkshake as the solitary source of food. It took 2-3 days, but we finally hit the jackpot--a poop the size of Lake Michigan. Unless you've checked diaper after diaper and gotten zip, zilch, nada, zero, you can't really "get" the thrill (yes, I said "thrill" people--someone come rescue me!) of seeing the business end of a serious poop in your baby's diaper. Finally!

slowly we went back to solids. We reintroduced cereal and, true to his "keep you guessing" nature, this time cereal is the caviar of all baby foods. He can't get enough of the stuff. We're sloooooowly adding fruit back into the mixture in the form of juice. Yes, I know---*gasp*---all that sugar!!! Well, let's talk about how my kid is still in the 3rd percentile for weight. I'd mix pure lard into his cereal if I thought he'd eat it.

Woulnd't you know it? Poops are once again a rarity. There is much straining and grunting. My son's butt doesn't work.

Tomorrow I am taking him to the pedi for a weight check (yes, call me obsessive. I can take it). It just seems as thought nothing adds meat to his kid's bones. Boobs, rice cereal, oatmeal, peaches, pears, juice, carrots, peas. He's still itsy bitsy. I can't help but wonder if there is some connection between his seeming inability to gain weight and his butt's refusal to work properly when he's given anything other than breastmilk.

I am sure the pedi is simply going to pat me on the head and send me on my merry way, clucking under his breath that I'm a loon. I am starting to hate him.