Saturday, February 28, 2009

How They Grow

I am in no hurry to see Will grow up. But he doesn't seem to care what my thoughts are on the matter.

Nope, he is in a hurry to do, do, do and grow, grow, grow. This is the normal order of things, I suppose. I was e-mailing another blogger-mom-friend today and admitted that I am a mixture of emotions when it comes to Will's development.

Obviously, first and foremost, I am glad to see that he is hitting milestones as he should. He is ahead on some, behind on others, on time on most. We spend a lot of time with older babies and toddlers, and I notice that after a playdate where he sees his nine month old "girlfriend" doing something, he seems more eager to try himself. This week, he really amped up his scooting efforts and managed to move a few inches.

Each time he hits a new developmental milestone, I feel a strange tug in my heart. Of course, I am filled with maternal pride that my Little Man is doing exactly as he should. But I also feel a tiny prick of regret, knowing that these fleeting moments of infancy are quickly passing us by.

Here are some of the things that sweet baby Will can already do at six months old . . .

He holds his own bottle.

He sits up. . .

. . . even in a cart (and I got some funny looks when I was taking his picture).

And he steals my heart each and every day. Then again, he's been doing that from day one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Proof of the Mu.m Mu.m Love

Will could be a spokesbaby for the company that makes Baby Mu.m Seriously, they are like baby crack to him!

A picture is worth a thousand words. . . or Mums, as the case may be.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More of My Favorite Things

It's been awhile since I've done a Favorite Things post. Here are some things that are making parenting a bit easier on me these days. . .

Will loves all things tubby related. He has loved baths since day one. We have occasionally taken a few baths together, but the water always had to be pretty shallow for him to relax in his lounger, resulting in a cold Mommy. I received this bath chair as a handmedown and I have to say, I'd buy it if this one broke. I like the fact that it suctions to the bottom of the tub and clips on to the side. It seems a bit safer than just the stick to the bottom type that I have seen other friends use. . . more stable, somehow. Also, it does rotate so that I can scrub different body parts without having to take him out of the chair and when I am not in the tub with him, I like the padded armrest. I will say that you have to fill the tub pretty full for there to be enough water, which might be a downside if you are pressed for time. We enjoy taking our tubbies together- but only on days when he has already dirtied a few diapers since I don't relish sharing my water with floaties!

Also, if Will was writing this post, he would be sure to mention these tub toys. Not only to they squirt water (which he finds about the funniest thing EVER), but they also light up. He is a big fan and starts smiling when I pull them out of the tub toy box.

I mentioned these in my food post last week, and if you have never tried them, I highly recommend giving them a shot. They dissolve very easily and are a good size for him to grab on to. Edited to add: You don't have to buy these through the website. I have found them at Wal.mart ($2.08/box not on sale), Safe.way (2/$4 on sale, $3.49 regular price), and Fre.d (Kro.ger) (2/$3 on sale, $3.79 regular price).

I do have one item which I tried last week and I have to say, I think it's a giant waste of money. One of my girlfriends had been raving about this infant feeder and I had a small amount of money left over on a BRU gift card. I decided to go for it and I was decidedly disappointed. First off, the food didn't seem to come down smoothly. I had to shake it quite a bit both to get it going and to get the last bits out - and a lot got stuck in the bottom and wouldn't shake out. Also, the "bowl" of the spoon is deep and Will can't figure out how to get the food out from the bottom, which has led to some feeding frustration. Ithink that it might have worked okay for the runnier first cereals, but I still puree things pretty finely, so I am not sure. I think if you are just starting out with feeding, it might be better, but we are past that stage. I gave mine to my friend that likes them, since she wanted another one. To each their own with these spoons, as is the case with parenting in general!

And Farah asked for bib recommendations. I have to say, these are pretty amazing. I only have two because we got them as a gift and they are kind of spendy, but these are the ones that I reach for constantly. They fit perfectly, they are soft, but waterproof, and the pocket at the bottom is pure genius. This is also a good bib, and a little more economical (the link here shows a higher price than I have paid at Fred Me.yer, where I spent $6), but I don't like the way it fits around his neck as much. Let me know your favorite bibs, because I am still searching for the "perfect one."

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Aftermath

First of, I am out of Memorial Monday posts. . . please send in your submissions!

Last night was a rough one with Will. For the first time in a very long time, he did not sleep through. He woke up at 12:30 and 4:00. He was absolutely beside himself at the 4:00 AM wake up and cried inconsolably. I was pretty sure that he must be sick, but he seems fine today. Guess it's just the randomness of babyhood . . . or maybe another tooth coming in. Have I mentioned that he already has two? I can't feel too sorry for myself, because he has been sleeping so very well. But I still hope a new pattern hasn't started.

I am still officially employed by my company for another week and a half. But for all intents and purposes, I am really done. I am doing some menial work, such as contacting customers, letting them know that I am not returning, doing my final expenses, and cleaning out files. The buzzards are also circling. Promotions don't come up often in this area, so I have had many people calling to get the inside scoop on the accounts as they prepare for the interview. I will no doubt be replaced before I am even officially gone - the Circle of Life, as it were.

I am a mixture of emotions over the whole thing. My gut knows that we have made the right choice, and I am mostly happy, and feel incredibly blessed to even have this opportunity. It was no accident, however. We worked hard and made choices to get us to this spot, including saving like squirrels and forgoing a nicer home and amenities. Our house is perfectly decent, but we could have had much nicer if I had planned to keep working.

I do have moments of uncertainty, such as when one of the vultures called to "get my job." I hadn't talked to this particular rep for many years and she was not friendly when we did speak. All of a sudden, she was gushing over our close business relationship and trying to get in my good graces. It made the competitive me come out, the one that wanted to say, "Just who do you think you are, trying to get my job?!?!"

The reality is that it's not my job anymore. I have a different job now. And he is going to keep me plenty busy.

But I still feel as if I have lost a little bit of something. Almost as if I am ending a long term relationship, which I suppose, I really am. I still like the person, but have come to realize that it's just not going to work for me right now. I want to still be friends, but the cold, hard reality is that we probably won't be. I put a lot of myself into this job for a very long time and it is hard to let go.

Then, of course, I look at Will and can't imagine leaving him. I know that the really important work that I do will reflect in him as he learns and grows. I see how happy he is, and I would like to believe that I have had something to do with that. Time will tell.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hello, Old "Friend"

With the introduction of solids and sleeping through the night, Will dramatically decreased his nursing starting around the first of the year. He now usually has an early morning feed, a late morning feed, a midafternoon feed, then an evening feed. He can easily go four hours (or more) between sessions, since he has the solids in between (I stagger them because I find he will not eat solids well right after having breastmilk and vice versa). Also, when he nurses, he tends to be pretty distracted, with the exception of the early morning and evening feeds, when he goes to town. So, the daytime feedings have gotten pretty short.

About two weeks ago, I felt some strange "zingy" feelings in the netherregions and something peculiar came out on the TP - EWCM! I kind of forgot about it. Yesterday, I was a little more moody and emotional than usual, but attributed it to the stress over giving my resignation.

This morning, I was revisted by my old "friend." Yes, Dear Readers, after not seeing her for 15 wonderful months, AF has come to town.

I think the strangest thing is that despite the usual mild annoyance at having my period, and the fact that it's a little crampier than usual, I really have no feelings about this bleeding. I am not devastated because it's not signaling the end of a pregnancy. I am not sad because we are not currently TTC. It's just. . . a period. That feels kind of nice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hello, My Name Is . . . SAHM

First off, I just wanted to thank you all for the support when I posted on the Big Decision last week. This has not been an easy thing to decide upon.

As of today, I have given my notice and am a proud (if scared) Stay At Home Mom (SAHM).


I don't think that it's quite sunk in yet and probably won't until I have turned in the company car, computer, printer, sales supplies, etc. Well, and when the paychecks stop coming. That will probably make me realize the full scope of the decision that I've made.

But when it came down to it, when we listed all of the pros and cons, it just seemed in everyone's best interests that I not return to work. The straw that finally broke the camel's back is when they added the state of Alaska to my territory (I only had the northern part of Washington state before). That would have been about 50% travel, and I just couldn't do that to my son, my family, myself.

So, join me, won't you, as our lives change once again in a pretty dramatic fashion.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Cookin'

Making my own baby food was something that I scoffed at pre-baby. I mean, who has time for that, right? When so many companies make decent food, even organic selections, why take the time out of your day to do your own cooking? Especially for a wee one that won't even thank you for your efforts?

Well, like a lot of my "pre-baby thoughts," I was clueless. I just didn't realize how expensive those little containers of pre-made food were and how much money I could save by making my own. I also didn't realize that I would have this strange "urge" to make food for Will. I thought it would be difficult, but it's not, especially once you get going on it and make a few batches to store in the freezer.

See, when I got this from my MIL three years ago, I used it once, maybe twice, to mix up a too-watery blended drink. I used it another couple of times to make salsa. However, it is now used several times a day to make Will's meals. It is so easy, blendsthe foods up nicely, and even comes with several lids so that I can save leftovers. I do make batches to freeze ahead or take on the road. I will admit that I keep a stash of the store-bought foods for taking with us in the diaper bag or if I am too rushed to make a meal. However, it really is pretty easy to do and for some reason, I find it very comforting to "make" his meals.

So, in case you are like me and thinking about making your own foods for your baby, here is a sample menu of our days*. Also, if you do serve pre-made foods, please don't think I am judging that choice. That's all I used in the beginning, but my Little Man eats A. LOT. And we are now on a budget.

One ripe banana, splash of prune or unsweetened pear juice.
Blend together until smooth and then add rice cereal until thickened to desired consistency.

Five steamed baby carrots**, splash of filtered water.
Blend together until smooth and then add rice cereal until thickened to desired consistency.
1/8 c. cooked green beans or peas, splash of filtered water.
Blend together until smooth and then add rice cereal until thickened to desired consistency.

1/4 c. rice cereal mixed with prune or pear juice (the opposite of whatever he had for breakfast)
then the opposite veggie of what he had for lunch (not mixed with rice cereal)

Also, these are his current favorites. He usually has them while I make his dinner or as a snack - the first time he tried it, he did cough a bit as he got used to swallowing the new consistency, but after a couple of tries, he was a pro. He also likes a piece of steamed (and cooled) apple or pear in one of these as a snack or to keep himself busy while we eat. We are also working on these, but they tend to frustrate him.

Will continues to be a wonderful eater and enjoys all of his meals. Sometimes, I wonder if we are feeding him too much, but he doesn't seem overweight and does seem very content. His six month Well Baby check is next week, so we'll see where he is on his weight.

*Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor nor a dietician. These are ingredients and portions that we discussed with our doctor, for our baby. Use this as a guide only and e-mail me if you have any questions.
**Also, please note that due to soil conditions which may vary in your area of the country, it is recommended that you not make your own carrots unless you use organic carrots that are also grown in low nitrate soil.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Memorial Monday

This week's Memorial Monday is in honor of Lauren's baby boy, Tate Oliver Patterson. Tate is Lauren's second son, due on November 11, 2008 and born still on Thursday, October 30, 2008. The probable cause of his death was cord compression, although the autopsy wasn't 100% conclusive.

Lauren writes:

Tate was born on a Thursday, so we consider Thursday Tate Day in our house. We make it a mission to do something nice for someone else every Thursday to honor our little angel. I have made up little cards that say "An Angel Helped You Today: Remembering Tate Oliver, Today and Always." I might pay for someone's meal in a restaurant, send flowers to someone that I know is feeling down, buy a balloon for a child crying in the park. I have met some remarkable people, gotten to share Tate's story, and heard some wonderful stories in return. This has helped me grieve and heal and I thought that other people might like the idea for remembering their own babies.

To be featured in upcoming Memorial Mondays, please contact me by clicking on my profile link and then by clicking on my e-mail link. You can either write your story yourself or provide me with the details and I will do it for you. You may include pictures, poetry, whatever feels right. This is your memorial for your loss.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Decision Postponed

Okay, okay.

Yes, I know that I haven't posted the update that I promised. I'm so sorry. We made a decision only to unmake it again, then remake it, then unmake it. I'm so tired.

Here is the quick and dirty version of the ongoing saga titled: Should I go back to work or not?

The thing is, we can make it on just one salary, but it's going to be tight. We have savings, but we are definitely the type of people that like a "back up plan." We can't find daycare that we feel comfortable with and the ones that we have liked have waiting lists months long. On the other hand, I do have a great job, with a stable company, and it seems foolhardy to be giving up my salary in the face of these uncertain economic times.

I find myself wrestling with the decision far more than I ever thought possible. Just when we have made our minds up one way or the other, something else comes up and changes the scenario. I won't bore you with all of them, but suffice to say, it's been an interesting rollercoaster.

The final example of this was yesterday, when I tried to call and give my notice. I had expected it to be a brief conversation with my boss saying, "Okay, send me your letter of resignation. Thanks for playing."

Instead, he talked me into extending my leave another couple of months so that we can find suitable childcare and feel better about me coming back to work. Ultimately, I am not sure that this changes our mind, but it does buy us a little more time to think about it.

Honestly, I am not sure that I want more time. We have been torturing ourselves over this decision and I hate dragging it out even more. But part of me just doesn't want to close the door on working. . .

So, there it is. There are many layers, many things to think about. What would you do?

Friday, February 6, 2009


You know you are having a hard time making a decision when you go to a place like this for some answers.

Yeah, we are still making a decision. Getting closer. . . but still in the final steps. It's tough, because neither choice feels 100% right.

But when in doubt, go for the less risky, so that's what we are doing.

I should be able to post more on this topic on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Everything Will

It has been far too long since I have posted a Will update (pictures coming later). There is so much going on with the Little Man that this entry could easily get out of hand. I will try to keep it to the most interesting, realizing that to most people, the daily minutae of a five month old is just not as fascinating as it is to me.

I can boil it down to these key areas (in no particular order): Eating, Pooping, Sleeping, and Learning!


He is a monster eater! We are down to just four breastfeeds a day, which actually makes me a little sad. He has a feed when he first wakes up, one for lunch, a "snack" in the late afternoon, and then his evening feed. But since the introduction of solids, the only really big feeds he has are the morning and evening ones. I sometimes can barely get him to eat anything at the lunch or afternoon one (especially that one, we might be dropping that soon). But it makes sense that he would be eating less breastmilk, because he is eating more than his share of his solids.

For breakfast, he has rice cereal blended with prune juice and a half of banana. For lunch, it's rice cereal, a full dish of carrots (that's five baby carrots) AND a full dish of peas (about an 1/8 of a cup). For dinner (the meal he seems the least interested in actually eating), it's a dish of rice cereal and one of sweet potatoes. We follow every meal with an ounce of pear juice mixed with one ounce of water. This of course, leads nicely into. . .
Yes, I have a section on pooping. If you have every had a constipated baby, then you know precisely why this is an important section. Also, if you read last week's post on floaties, you will understand why I post again on this topic. Thanks to your suggestions, this is currently not a problem. He has gotten quite regular and we are all thankful for that!


Ah, dear readers. . . . for those of you who have been reading from the newborn days (bless you!), you know that this has been the recurrent issue of our early parenting days. I can tell you that Will now sleeps soundly through most nights (knock on wood, turn in circles, spit over left shoulder, toss a shaker of salt over the right). He is usually in bed between 7 and 8 PM, depending on when he woke up from his last nap. We then do not hear a peep from him until between 5 and 7 AM, depending on the day. Usually, if it's before 6, I let him self-soothe back to sleep, which works about half of the time. If he does get up for a feed at before 6 AM, he usually will go back to bed after he's done eating. This all being said, I am waiting for the next round of teething or a cold to throw us off track, but I now feel that we can get back on track a bit faster when the current challenge passes. Fingers crossed, anyway. . .


He is learning so much these days! You can just see the wheels turning in his little brain. He has learned out to do razzzes with his tongue and lips (and thankfully, hasn't yet tried that one with a mouth full of food) and finds this to be quite entertaining. He call roll from front to back and back to front. If you put him on a blanket and put a toy just out of reach, he will skooch, squirm, and twist his way to it. He has a fun driving toy that his Daddy bought him and he loves to play with that. He has sat unassisted for brief periods of time and for longer periods using the or with the afforementioned driving toy between his legs. His laughter is infectious and is starting to be more spontaneous (vs. needing to be coaxed out with a tickle or kiss). He still gives Wisses, which are just the most precious thing ever.

Verbally, he has all sorts of vowel sounds Ba, Da, La, even a Ma here and there. I love it when he strings a bunch of sounds together and it sounds as if he is actually saying something. He LOVES to be read to and that calms him down from most upsets. He laughs at the right parts and follows along with the pages.

So, that about sums it up for Will right now. I mean, not really, as there is so much more to tell you. I can't believe how much he is changing, how fast he is growing, and how much I love him. I sometimes get stuck looking back at the woulda coulda shouldas of life, and I don't want to do that. I want to bask in every moment of light that Will has brought into our lives. I don't want to let infertility rob me of any more time with my babies.

This point was driven home especially last Friday. When I read about sweet Tuesday, I was humbled. To think that I complained about infertility when this family was losing their sweet baby girl. It was after my own sweet boy had gone to bed, but I took a chance and tip-toed into his room. I watched him sleep for twenty minutes, grateful tears and tears of grief mingling on my cheeks as I observed the rise and fall of his tiny chest. I thanked God for this miracle that we have been given and vowed to keep looking forward. I sent my prayers to those that are still waiting and suffering. Mostly, I thanked Him for everything. . . everything Will.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Memorial Monday

This week's Memorial Monday post is in honor of Laura.This is her story in her own words.

I'm Laura and I am 31 years old. My husband Alex and I were high school sweethearts that ended up breaking up to go to college and then getting back together four years later. We ended up getting married and I thought we would be that storybook couple with the fairytale life. At first we were very happy and we couldn't wait to be parents.

When we first started trying we got pregnant after only six months. We were both thrilled. At my 20 week appointment there was no heartbeat. I delivered our son two days later. We got pregnant again a year later. At my 18 week appointment there was no heartbeat. I delivered another son that same day.

Testing on both babies showed no abnormalities but we went to a very smart doctor who decided to do some more testing on me after the second baby died. It turned out that I had a bicornuate uterus with a full septum and the babies had probably died from IGR [intrauterine growth restriction]. Although many women can carry pregnancies to term with such a problem, my uterus was completely divided almost evenly (most women have a larger side, or the wall doesn't form completely and the baby can grow enough to make it to viability).

Because of how severe my case was I did require surgery if we wanted to try any more pregnancies. Because it was a major surgery and usually causes scarring our doctor didn't seem very enthusiastic about it. We got a second opinion to be sure and the second doctor we saw seemed more confident that it would be a good fix. I was scared of surgery but I did want children very badly and Alex did not want to adopt.

The day of my surgery I was very nervous and right before I went into the OR I told my husband that I had a bad feeling and did not want the surgery. He told me that it was up to me but I could tell how disappointed he would be.

When I woke up in recovery I remember feeling the most horrible pain of my life even worse than when had my sons. I was thrashing around on the bed and two nurses were trying to hold me down calling for a doctor at the same time. I remember looking down and seeing the sheets and blankets bright red from blood. It was like something in a horror movie and I passed out from the shock and pain.

When I woke up in recovery again I was not in pain. My doctor was standing on one side and my husband and a nurse was on the other side. They all had very serious looks on their faces. It turned out that I had hemorrhaged after the surgery was over and the blood loss meant they had to go back in to try and repair the damage. Too bad for me they couldn't stop the bleeding and I had to have a hystorectomy to save my life.

My physical and emotional recovery were very tough. I had lost a lot of blood and was anemic for many months. I also had to deal with the reality that I would never carry children of my own. I felt like a piece of me had been torn away. I had signed all of the consent forms yes but you really don't ever think those things are going to happen to you.

At first my husband assured me that he would be okay with adopting a baby but we started looking into the process and all of the stories of birth moms taking their babies back scared him. He only wanted an infant, he did not want to adopt a child of another race or with any sort of special needs and he did not want to have an open adoption. That meant that domestic adoption would be very difficult if not impossible. Wanting a caucasian baby made international adoption more difficult too. We did sign up with an international adoption agency which made me feel better but I soon realized that his heart wasn't truly in adoption.

Apparently his heart wasn't in our marriage any more either. Two weeks before Christmas this last year my husband called me from a business trip to tell me that he wasn't coming home. He sent some of his friends and his brother over to pack his things up. While it wasn't a complete shock I still never thought my marriage would truly be over. He filed for divorce immediately and now we are just waiting for the final hearing in April. I have tried contacting him several times and even though he is always very polite and is being nice about letting me have the house and alimony he does not want to see him because he says that it is too painful.

I feel as if I have lost everything: two babies, my ability to have more, and my husband, all in a few short years. Somedays I am so sad that I don't know how I will move on. I have been told by our friends that Alex is already seeing another woman and I can't imagine ever falling in love again or really being happy.

To be featured in upcoming Memorial Mondays, please contact me by clicking on my profile link and then by clicking on my e-mail link. You can either write your story yourself or provide me with the details and I will do it for you. You may include pictures, poetry, whatever feels right. This is your memorial for your loss.