Tuesday, December 28

One cute story and another first

Right after I finished nursing Milo yesterday (post-boob but pre-shirt down), Milo was sitting in my lap, and he turned toward me, leaned over, and blew a raspberry on my belly. So hilariously cute.

Milo climbed up his first stairstep. We were at the ski rental shop, and they had a couple of steps there. They were deeper than most staircases, so I think that made it easier for Milo to get up. But he bent his knee and pulled himself up completely on his own. Wow. I thought we were a long way from climbing stairs.

Thursday, December 23

Ear Update

Milo's surgery went well. We arrived at the surgery center at 6:30 this morning; we left around 8:30. Fluid was sucked out, tubes were put in.

Milo was a little fussy afterward, but I suspect it was more from hunger than anything. I nursed him, and he ate well. And we were ready to go home.

When we got home, he was in a fantastic mood. He was smiling and bouncing and crawling around like he always does. Right now he's napping in Grandma Susan's arms. I'd say he's doing just fine.

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Wednesday, December 22

More About the Tubes

Last Thursday we sought a second opinion on Milo's ear infection situation and went to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor). The doctor checked Milo's ears and told us that he has what they (affectionately, I'm sure) call "glue ear." It means that the fluid has been unable to drain in his ears and has accumulated for so long that it has become thick and gluey. This kind of mucousy fluid is unlikely to drain and will probably continue to become infected.

We also learned that Milo's hearing is being affected by all this fluid, and that he probably has about a 40 percent reduction in his hearing. So that sucks, and may explain why he no longer seems to know his name. I hate that Milo can't hear. How can a little guy learn to speak or begin to understand what we're talking about if he can't hear properly?

Combine the hearing loss with the "unlikely to drain" comment with the fact that I don't want Milo on antibiotics for the next four months, and we had our answer. Milo was going to get tubes. The doctor went over everything with us, explaining the procedure, the recovery, and what having tubes would mean for future care. It was all pretty straightforward. In spite of his pediatrician's hesitation, we were ready to move forward.

Of course, we saw the pediatrician the next day and after discussing the fluid in his ears, Milo's sleeping and eating habits, and the fact that Milo is on the low-end of the growth charts, the pediatrician actually said that getting tubes was probably a good thing for Milo, especially considering that it is still so early in the winter cold/flu season.

This made us feel much better about getting the surgery. We are hoping that we come home with a new and improved baby. (Okay, not a new baby, just an improved one.) I think Milo may start sleeping better. He might have an improved appetite (important for gaining weight). I think he will quit getting ear infections. And I know he'll be able to hear us.

I'm still nervous about taking my baby in for surgery, but I'm confident that we're doing the best thing for him. Surgery is tomorrow morning at 7:30am. Wish us well!

Tuesday, December 21

9 Months Old... The Stats

Milo had his nine-month check-up on Friday. Here are the official stats.
  • Weight: 17 lbs., 1 oz. (5th percentile)
  • Length: 27 in. (20th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 13 3/4 in. (50th percentile)*
*I'm not so sure about this one... at his six-month check-up, his head measured 17 1/2 inches.

At nine months, Milo is a funny, sweet, silly little boy.

At nine months, Milo is a good eater and will sometimes just keep shoveling food in his mouth until we take the food away. He still doesn't like peas, though. Also not a fan of pureed zucchini and summer squash. And, surprisingly, he doesn't care for applesauce.

At nine months, Milo is transitioning to eating mostly table foods. He's into turkey/vegetable soup, pasta, carrots, butternut squash, mango, peaches, banana, yogurt, ground beef, buttered rolls, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, hard-boiled and scrambled egg yolk, pizza crust, chicken, broccoli-cheese soup, potato-cheese soup, and, I'm sure, much much more.

At nine months, Milo is getting really good at picking up food and getting it all the way to his mouth. His pincer grasp is improving all the time.

At nine months, in spite of being a great eater, Milo is not gaining enough weight and has dropped a lot on the growth charts. We're weighing the options in terms of how to fatten him up, from adding butter to all his veggies to feeding him cheese and meat, to supplementing with formula. (More on this topic to come.)

At nine months, Milo continues to babble. He gets sort of stuck on a single sound and repeats it over and over. This month, it was first "da da da" (to my dismay, he would not say "mama") and now it is a raspberry sort of sound, where he blows his spit all over everything.

At nine months, Milo explores his world. He is a fast crawler now, and goes after anything he sees that looks appealing.

At nine months, Milo pulls up to standing on just about anything. He uses his mouth to help him pull up, too. Picture a baby sucking on the edge of the coffee table, his little butt sticking out behind him as he tries to twist himself into an upright position. Pretty cute.

At nine months, Milo is over Sophie the Giraffe.

At nine months, Milo is over his little pink lotion bottle.

At nine months, Milo has started grabbing onto the framed prints that hang on the wall above the changing table. Not good.

At nine months, Milo twists and turns during diaper changes. Did you know that it is difficult to snap a diaper onto a baby who is on his hands and knees?

At nine months, Milo is still addicted to his pacifier. I'm already dreading the day we have to take that one away.

At nine months, Milo STILL has no teeth. And I STILL can't believe it. There was a tooth! I saw it! But somehow it just went away. Hmmm.

At nine months, Milo walks and walks, if he's holding on to someone's hands. He has pretty good balance. I predict his first solo steps are—nope. Not going to make any predictions (see: teeth).

At nine months, Milo has stood unassisted for a couple of seconds at a time. I think he falls when he realizes he isn't holding on to anything.

At nine months, Milo does not cruise around the furniture. He just pulls himself up and stands there. Sometimes he bounces, but no sideways movement.

At nine months, Milo has been in the world longer than he was in my belly.

At nine months, Milo pokes at my face and taps my nose and grabs onto my mouth when he's nursing. He'll pause from nursing, look up at me, smile, and start trying to reach into my mouth. I nibble his fingers and tickle his side and he giggles. It's our little game.

At nine months, Milo does not like to be set down when we get home in the evenings. He cries and cries until he's picked up again.

At nine months, Milo enjoys the lights on the Christmas tree. He also likes watching the Little Mermaid ornament that plays music and spins around.

At nine months, Milo is fascinated by this little tabletop Christmas tree decoration that spins, lights up, and plays "Oh Christmas Tree" or "Carol of the Bells" when you push the button. He stares at it, then slaps his hand on the table when it stops, indicating that he would like to hear it again, please.

At nine months, Milo sticks his hand in his mouth when he smiles and giggles. It's too bad; we rarely see his full smile.

At nine months, Milo throws his head back—to check out the ceiling, when he laughs, when he is unhappy—doesn't really matter. The boy just likes to stretch out his neck, I guess.

At nine months, Milo has such a sweet little voice. I just want to bottle it up and take a whiff whenever I'm having a bad day.

At nine months, Milo has big, beautiful blue eyes.

At nine months, we still can't really tell what color Milo's hair is. I thought it was darkening up, but just a couple days ago it looked really light in the sun. I don't think it's red at all anymore.

At nine months, Milo lights up when he sees me. That is the happy face I will lock into my memory and picture forever. It's pure joy and it makes me feel so good.

At nine months, I love LOVE snuggling with my baby. Milo is a great snuggler, too. When he's tired, he just collapses into me and rests his head on my shoulder.

At nine months, Milo loves bouncing. Jumping up and down while holding him? Guaranteed smiles.

At nine months, Milo still struggles with napping at daycare. If he sleeps an hour there, it's a triumph. Frustrating, because he often takes a two-hour nap on the weekends.

At nine months, I've gotten more baby snot on my clothes than I care to think about. Milo still has a constant cold and snotty nose. We spray saline up his nose after almost every diaper change.

At nine months, Milo has a diaper rash that comes and goes and comes and goes (but never really goes away all together). If anyone has tips, we'd love to hear them. But believe me, we've already tried just about everything.

At nine months, Milo has had two more ear infections and two more antibiotics. He'll be getting tubes in two days. More on this in another post.

At nine months, Milo rarely sleeps through the night. I can't tell if he wakes up and cries because his ears hurt or because he knows we'll come in and hang out for a bit.

At nine months, I'm exhausted all the time. I've never had such dark circles under my eyes before, and I don't find it very becoming.

At nine months, I have lost all the baby weight and then some. Thirteen pounds to go to get to my goal weight.

At nine months, Andrew is an amazing dad. Milo loves him and loves playing with him.

At nine months, we are finally settling into our roles in our little family of three. Andrew is the bather and dishwasher; I am the feeder and diaper washer; Milo is the smiler, the pooper, the cryer, the open-mouth kisser, and the light of our lives.

Thursday, December 16

A Breakthrough

Yesterday evening I got a call from my trainer, Scott. He said he wasn’t feeling well and would have to cancel our session that night.

And you know what? I felt disappointed.

Never before have I been told that I would no longer be working out as planned and felt anything other than unadulterated joy. But maybe—just maybe—working out regularly for the past five months or so has finally flipped a switch in me. Could it be that I miss exercising when I have to miss exercising? Or does it just make me write confusing sentences?

Tuesday, December 14

Milo's First Stocking

1:15pm - Survey crafting area. Hmmm. Lots of baby stuff.

1:16pm - Much better.
Ready for The Stocking Slash Crafting Event 2010. But wait—something's missing...

1:18pm - Ambience. I'm missing ambience.

1:25pm - Uh oh, baby's awake and he's coming this wa1zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzRRRRRRTttg

1:26pm - Must move ambience. It is a choking hazard.

1:36pm - Daddy came for baby. Where was I? Oh, right. Stocking. Must gather supplies.

1:38pm - Begin tracing existing stocking. So far so good.

1:43pm - Tracing complete. Now where did I put that candy? I mean, ambience.

1:45pm - Size check. Looks just right for this little guy's first Christmas.

1:49pm - Milo back. Decide to not stop him from hitting the keyboard and instead grab camera.

1:50pm - Decide to not delete Milo's first typing. He is brilliant, no?

A!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~AQq ``````````````````````````````````````````````AWQQQQQQ W A `11111AXQAW

1:52pm - Pins: good idea or not? Will try pins.

2:17pm - Ack, the distractions! Finished nursing Milo. Time to get back to business.

2:18pm - Must move cat first.

2:20pm - Ready to cut!

2:22pm - Zadie watches. More cat sabotage in store?

2:26pm - Cat attacks! Why does she hate Christmas so?

2:31pm - Two pieces of felt, ready to become a stocking.

2:31:30 - Note the time. Wonder how come crafting takes so long.

2:40pm - Turn pieces inside out so red outline won't show.

2:41pm - Damn. It shows. Attempt to trim it off.

2:42pm - Give up. Decide red outline gives the stocking holiday ambience.

2:42:30pm - Speaking of ambience...

2:48pm - Gluing going well. Last time there was hot glue. This time tacky glue. People who craft, tell me: which is the better choice? Maybe the sewing-machine type of glue is really best. But I don't know how to use that kind.

2:56pm - Gluing complete. Taking a quick timeout to play with Milo.

7:30pm - Well. Back to work. Break was longer than expected.

7:31pm - Survey crafting area. Hmm. Lots of baby stuff.

7:32pm - Much better. Ready for The Stocking Slash Crafting Event 2010, Part 2. But wait—something's missing... Ambience.

7:35pm - Determine ribbon arrangement. Not a lot of options, really.

7:38pm - Cut ribbons. Prepare to glue.

7:54pm - Sigh. Ribbons not staying put.

8:02pm - Jeebus. Ribbons finally attached. Crossing fingers that they stay put.

8:09pm - Ribbons all falling off. Determine hot glue is the way to go for this type of project.

8:10pm - Ask self once again why I ever attempt crafty projects.

8:19pm - Begin tedious work of cutting out letters.

8:29pm - Ready to do some ironing and take this project to a whole new level.

8:33pm - Feeling lazy. Decide to let glue fully dry and finish this project tomorrow.

9:25pm TWO WEEKS LATER - Finished stocking, like, forever ago. Forgot to take any more photos. Please enjoy this slightly blurry photo of all three completed stockings.

Sunday, December 12

I swear, I thought I was telling the tooth.

(Wow. That's a lame post title.)

So you know how I was all excited about Milo's new tooth? Well. He doesn't actually have a tooth. I wouldn't have guessed that there could POSSIBLY be any ambiguity regarding teeth, but I guessed wrong.

It seems that the tooth I saw was still below the surface of his gums. I could see it, but it had not "popped through," per se. I'm sure that one of these days he'll get teeth. I can't be wrong forever, after all.

Sorry to get you all excited. I appreciate your enthusiasm, and I will attempt to quit crying wolf in the future.

Monday, December 6


Milo's first tooth popped through today! Very exciting stuff. And now we have an explanation for last night's excessive crying.

In case it matters, the tooth is on the bottom, in the middle. I can't even tell if it is on his left or right. Much like the color of Milo's hair, we'll just have to wait and see.

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Tuesday, November 30

Would you like to hear more about my baby's health?

On Saturday Milo began pulling at his ears. He also had a raspy cough. I thought, if he’s still tugging at his ears tomorrow, I’ll take him to the doctor Monday morning.

On Sunday, he still pulled at his ears. He was even so intent on his ears that he was distracted from nursing—very unusual. I decided that yes, I would take him to his pediatrician’s walk-in hours Monday morning. Better to get it checked out than wonder if I was missing another ear infection.

But then I sort of talked myself out of it. After all, he was in a great mood, and he didn’t have a fever or anything. Plus, I had my PT appointment Monday morning and couldn’t get him to walk-in hours anyway. So I made a deal with myself. If he slept super poorly Sunday night, I’d call the doc in the morning and get him in sometime Monday. If he slept well, I wouldn’t take him to the doctor.

And guess what? He slept through the night for the first time in months. He slept solidly, from 7:20pm to 6:00am.

I went to work, Milo went to daycare, and all was well.

Until 1:00 when I got a call from daycare saying Milo had a fever.


A couple hours later we had our diagnosis: another double ear infection. However, since he’s only been off antibiotics for six days, our pediatrician surmised that this was still part of the last round of ear infections, that just never fully cleared up. Sigh.

Milo is now on his third (or second, if you count this as part of the last ear infection) bout of ear infections in two and a half months. He is on his fourth antibiotic. He’s just the saddest little bundle of snot you can imagine.

I did ask about getting tubes, as I hear nothing but good things. But he is still too young for that, and they typically don’t consider tubes until a kid has had four ear infections in a season. And the first six months of daycare are the worst. The doctor said we just have to make it through these six months, and he will probably start to get better. It was reassuring, but still—six months solid of feeling crappy all the time?

I wish I’d trusted my instincts. For the first time, I really felt like something was wrong that needed to get checked out. I just knew he had another ear infection. But I let myself get talked out of taking him to the doctor. Andrew wasn’t convinced Milo was really sick, we both had work, and I wasn’t able to come up with solid evidence that he needed medical attention. It was mostly a feeling. But I was right. And if I’d trusted myself a little more and gotten him to the doctor a little sooner, Milo might never have even gotten the fever.

There’s always next time, right? We’ve still got almost four months to go before we’re out of the ear-infection zone.
Sick? Who, me? I iz all better nao. Lets play.

Tuesday, November 23

What else?

When I arrived at daycare to pick Milo up this evening, I walked in to see him in the arms of one of his teachers, gripping his bottle and downing his milk. And his teacher wasn't even holding onto the bottle. And this surprised me.

I had this moment of shock and sadness. Shock, because I didn't realize that Milo could hold onto his bottle all by himself and didn't need any assistance. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by that; after all, he can pick up tiny pieces of food and bring them to his mouth pretty well, and he holds his little pink bottle as if his life depended on it. Why shouldn't he be capable of holding his bottle? The sadness hit me when I realized how much about Milo I don't know these days. If I didn't even know that, what else don't I know? What else happens during the ten hours a day I spend away from him? Can he walk? Read? Do long-division?

On the way home, I realized something else. Even if I was a SAHM, spending all day with Milo, I'd still be nursing. I still wouldn't know whether he could hold his own bottle.

So overreacting? Maybe. But I desperately miss being the one person who knew all those little things about him, the one person who knew him better than anyone.

Monday, November 22

I forgot something MAJOR!

I'm pretty sure I've already bragged about this to every single person I know, but I just had to add one more thing to Milo's eight month stats.

At eight months, Milo knows how to give high fives! I say, "High five!" and hold up a hand in front of him, and he reaches up and touches my hand. Then we get really excited and say "Hooray!" It is about the cutest thing you've ever seen.

Sunday, November 21

Eight Months Old!

At eight months, Milo's weight hovers somewhere close to 16 and a half pounds. Pretty sure he's small for his age.

At eight months, Milo is on the move. He crawls, he pulls himself to standing, and he when we hold his hands, he walks and walks and walks.

At eight months, Milo has a love-hate relationship with food. When we started solids, he loved them and ate like a champ. Then he decided he didn't want to eat anymore. Now he's in an eating phase, and is generally content to try new things. I hope it lasts.

At eight months, Milo has eaten sweet potato, rice cereal, peas, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, avocado, banana, apple, pear, Gerber Puffs, pancakes, bread and butter, cheese, yogurt, and golden beets.

At eight months, Milo prefers to pick up his own food rather than be spoon-fed.

At eight months, Milo loves his pacifier. Still. I honestly don't know how I would ever detach him from my boob without it.

At eight months, Milo has developed an attachment to a small, pink, sample-size bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby lotion. He carries that bottle everywhere. It is the closest thing to a lovey that he's got.

At eight months, Milo has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. He anticipates what we're going to do when we play with him, and he shrieks with laughter when he knows we're about to act silly. It's great fun.

At eight months, Milo's favorite toys are his plastic stacking rings and these little balls that make a twinkly noise when he shakes them. But both of those pale in comparison to his little pink bottle.

At eight months, Milo has been primarily sick over the last month.

At eight months, Milo stands up in his crib. We go in to find him standing there, crying, unsure of how to lay back down and go to sleep.

At eight months, Milo is not a great sleeper. He does okay at night, though he still typically wakes once for changing and nursing. During the day, though, his naps are minimal. If he sleeps more than an hour total over three naps, we're pleased.

At eight months, Milo is getting more and more hair. It's light brown.

At eight months, Milo has gorgeous gray-blue eyes.

At eight months, Milo is incredibly sweet. There's nothing else like the feeling of him resting his head on my shoulder.

At eight months, Milo babbles more and more. Favorite sounds include buh, dadada, wuhwuh, duh duh, mmmmuh, eeeeee. He also makes sort of grunty and shrieky noises, presumably to test out the ol' vocal chords.

At eight months, Milo climbs all over us during floor time. It's super fun to have a baby climbing on you; I recommend it.

At eight months, Milo seems to like daycare. One of the morning teachers always sings to him when he gets there, "They call him Mellow Milo." It's clear the teachers adore him.

At eight months, Milo is my favorite little guy. Some days I wish I could stay home with him all the time. Now that I've been back at work for awhile, I really miss the days of my maternity leave. It wasn't easy to spend all day every day with Milo, but it was a lot easier than spending all day every day without him.

Wednesday, November 17

Another First

Milo cried when I left him at daycare this morning.

I cried in the car on my way to work.

Monday, November 15

A Recurring Theme

Last Thursday Andrew got a call from daycare: Milo has a fever, better come pick him up. Andrew took off work, picked up Milo, and tried (unsuccessfully) to reach me for a couple hours. Eventually I got his messages, felt incredibly guilty for not being there for my poor sick baby, and rushed out of the office, just in time to meet them at the doctor's office.

Turns out Milo had another ear infection. Antibiotics were prescribed. Andrew and I sighed at the prospect of forcing unpleasant fluid down our baby's throat for the next ten days. We were also told to expect diarrhea with these antibiotics. So yay...

Over the next couple days, antibiotics were administered. Some went in the mouth, much was spit out. Frustration was felt by all involved parties. And, as expected, diarrhea was dealt with. We bought probiotics and yogurt in an attempt to combat the diarrhea, but Milo was pretty tired of various things being forced upon him and adopted a clamped-shut jaw policy.

Saturday evening, the fever returned with a vengeance. My baby was absolutely burning up. Pitiful. We called the nurses, who said to give him Tylenol and wake him up every four hours or so during the night to check his fever and give him more medicine. If the fever was still high in the morning, call back.

Fever stayed high through the night and the next morning, so we called back. They said that we could probably wait until Monday morning to see the doctor, but if something changed (like he quit eating or fever spiked even higher) we should take him to Children's Mercy urgent care. Or if we just got anxious and wanted him to get treated right away, we could take him in. When Milo threw up and wouldn't nurse, we took him to urgent care.

An hour and a half later, we had our diagnosis: still an ear infection. But hey! It's the other ear now. But shouldn't the antibiotics have been working on both ears? I asked. Maybe he wasn't getting the full dose, said the doctor. Damn, we said. Kid, you've gotta quit spitting that stuff out.

A different antibiotic was prescribed—this one just a once-a-day—but we had to start over with our ten-day course. Supposedly this new medicine tastes better than the other one, according to kids who are old enough to express their opinions. Milo might disagree.

There is nothing worse than shoving medicine down your kid's throat. I feel so entirely helpless, because he hates it and I hate it, but I know I have to do it for his own good. Why hasn't anyone come up with a better way to give babies medicine? I think a patch would be much better. Can someone work on that for me?

Tuesday, November 9

The Weight Is Over (see what I did there?)

I'm officially back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It only took seven and a half months to get there, but here I am. And yet, though it is so expected, I'm still surprised by how different my body is.

My belly is distinctly rounder and squishier than it used to be. No amount of sucking in really makes it go away. My boobs are way bigger than they were pre-baby, thankyouverymuch, breastfeeding. But because of the exercise (thank you, personal training), my buns and thighs and arms are more toned than they ever have been. I'm no Jillian Michaels, but it's a start.

Of course, I'm not yet at the finish line, weight loss-wise. I gained a lot of weight when we were trying to conceive, because I was frustrated and upset, and I'm an emotionally eater. So I still have about 15 pounds to go before I get to where I'd like to be. Shouldn't be too hard, right? It's not like we're heading into that time of year when there are cookies and pies and pastries at Every. Single. Turn.

Oh. Wait. Damn . . .

Wednesday, November 3

Milo's First Halloween

Some friends of ours gave us a hand-me-down Halloween costume, a kangaroo. It was cute (quite cute, actually), but I had this image in mind that for Milo's first Halloween, I wanted to choose his costume and—heck—maybe even make it myself, like the crafty devil I am. So I tossed around costume ideas, and eventually settled on '80s aerobics instructor.

But as I looked for inspiration to dress up my little fitness guru, I noticed that '80s aerobics instructors are not particularly cute or cuddly. And what good is a baby in a Halloween costume that isn't cute or cuddly? So just a few days before Halloween, we went to a local kids consignment shop and bought a cute pumpkin costume. Bonus? It was also cuddly.

The day before Halloween, we dressed Milo up in the kangaroo costume for a little photo shoot. The weather was gorgeous, Milo was in a happy mood, and we got some super cute photos.
On Halloween, we attempted a photo shoot in the pumpkin, but Milo was less than happy to be participating. It was also really windy and cloudy. We're lucky Milo is so good-looking, or the photos would have been a real disaster.
On Halloween night, we tagged along with some friends of ours who have kids that are old enough to trick-or-treat. It was fun, but it will definitely be more enjoyable when Milo is old enough to participate. I think he had a good time, though. Watching people is one of his favorite things to do.

Wednesday, October 27

A Bullet-Point Post

  • Pureed carrots are messy. They are particularly messy when your baby doesn't want to eat them and instead opens his mouth and lets the contents spill out, then grabs at the saliva-soaked mess as it drips down his chin and into the gap between his neck and his bib.
  • For Milo's first Halloween, I had a plan to dress him up as an '80s aerobics instructor. It might have been sort of awesome, but it wasn't cuddly or adorable. I was feeling guilty about not having a proper, cute Halloween costume for him, so last night we went to a used kids' stuff store and bought the classic baby's-first-Halloween costume: a jack-o-lantern. I feel much better. He will be super adorable in this thing.
  • Lately Milo has been sort of clingy. He likes to be held and fusses when you set him down or begin strapping him into his car seat. In a way, this is charming. I like that he wants me. But it's also quite frustrating. Getting dinner fixed, drying my hair, brushing my teeth, feeding the cats: everything is more difficult/impossible to do with a baby on your hip.
  • Today is Andrew's birthday. I'm taking him out Saturday night for a big celebration, but for dinner tonight he requested portobello burgers. I thought, no way can I pull that off. I'd need to go to the store, Andrew would have to pick Milo up from daycare, and I'm not sure I'd have time to prepare a big meal. So I checked out menus online and tried to find a place that had portobello burgers that I could pick up on my way home. No luck. So I thought, maybe I can pull this off. I called Andrew and asked him to pick up Milo, then I snuck out of work 15 minutes early. I stopped at the grocery store and grabbed the things I needed. And in about 20 minutes, I made spinach and goat cheese-stuffed portobello burgers on toasted buns with a side of roasted sweet potato fries and a goat cheese-dried cranberry-pecan-spinach salad. (We really like goat cheese.) It was all quite good, if I do say so myself. (And even with all that meal preparation going on, Milo still got his carrots and got to bed on time. Success!)
  • Milo might be starting to learn to fall asleep on his own at daycare. For the last two or three days, he has fallen asleep by himself for every nap, though he hasn't always stayed asleep for very long. Oh well, he's got to start somewhere, right?

Sunday, October 24

The Start of a New Era

Last night I went in to Milo's bedroom to soothe him back to sleep and found him standing up in his crib, clinging to the rails and sobbing. What am I going to do with a baby who knows how to stand up?

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Thursday, October 21

Seven Months!

At seven months, Milo is like a different baby than he was at six months old. He's learned so much and can do so much, it's amazing.

At seven months, Milo can easily sit up on his own.

At seven months, Milo occasionally, nay, FREQUENTLY, sits up on his own when he meant to be sleeping, and cannot figure out how to lay back down.

At seven months, Milo does not like to lay down on the changing table and twists and turns Every. Single. Time. This makes it difficult to change his diapers. Distracting him with singing and being speedy are key.

At seven months, Milo can crawl. He doesn't like to show off, however, and only uses this skill to go a few feet when he spies something he'd really like to check out, like a dirty shoe or something pointy.

At seven months, Milo has been going to daycare for a full month. While he likes being there and watching and playing with the other babies, it's been a rough transition, to put it mildly.

At seven months, Milo no longer knows how to self-soothe.

At seven months, Milo no longer takes naps, really. Ten minutes here, twenty there... he's sleeping like a newborn. Sigh.

At seven months, Milo consistently wakes up at least once during the night to nurse, and sometimes wakes one or two (or three) other times and needs soothing before he can fall asleep.

At seven months, Milo hates to be set down. He'd much rather be carried around or be given lots of attention. This makes it difficult to do things like prepare meals or go to the bathroom.

At seven months, Milo is very sweet, and is often content to lay his head down on your shoulder (for a brief, brief moment, anyway).

At seven months, Milo has become a quick eater and finishes nursing in less than ten minutes. He used to drag it out over a half hour or more.

At seven months, Milo no longer needs the nipple shield to nurse. Can't remember if he was already over it at six months. Too bad I don't have a typed record of this somewhere. Oh, wait...

At seven months, Milo has eaten lots of solids, including rice cereal, peas, zucchini, sweet potatoes, avocado, and banana. At first he'd eat anything, dutifully opening his mouth at the appropriate times. After a couple weeks, he decided a didn't like to eat, and clamped his little toothless mouth shut. Just three days ago, we tried banana and he ate once again. Frankly, I can't say I blame the guy. I clamp my mouth shut for peas too, but who doesn't like bananas?

At seven months, Milo likes to eat ice water from a spoon.

At seven months, Milo's hair is growing longer, and it looks blondish brown. Go figure.

At seven months, Milo makes cute sounds, like buh buh buh, fffffp, puhpuhpuh.

At seven months, Milo still has no teeth.

At seven months, Milo does not have a lovey.

At seven months, Milo can pull himself up to standing if the conditions are right (meaning he has to be pretty close to something that is just the right height and has just the right things to grasp).

At seven months, we have lowered Milo's crib mattress by two notches.

At seven months, Milo loves bouncing, dancing with me or Andrew (or even better, both of us) in the kitchen, being sung to, banging things, putting things in his mouth, putting his hands on my lips and nose, being tossed in the air.

At seven months, Milo hates his high chair, being set down (evenings only), getting dressed, having his nose sucked out with the aspirator thingy.

At seven months, Milo has been sick for the last month, essentially. But I've pretty much covered that on this blog already.

At seven months, I am still having a rough time transitioning to being back at work. It's hard. H-A-R-D hard.

At seven months, I pump three times a day at work.

At seven months, I fit into my old favorite jeans, and I can wear my old size pants pretty consistently. I have a rounder belly than I used to, but I am only three pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.

At seven months, I'm always tired. I typically wake up at 5:45 or 6:00am and go-go-go nonstop until 8:30pm or so. I didn't know how much work was involved in getting Milo ready each day, and preparing for the next day. It's exhausting.

At seven months, time is flying by. I can't believe I've been back at work for a full month. My baby's going to be a year old before I know it.

Saturday, October 16

Milo's First Pumpkin Patch

We took Milo to his first pumpkin patch today. These things are clearly designed for older kids, but we had a lot of fun wandering around and taking advantage of some great photo ops. The weather was just right, sunny and about 75 degrees. Maybe a little warm for October, but it was nice that we didn't have to bundle Milo up. Milo loved watching everything going on around him. I definitely want to go to another pumpkin patch next year and chase Milo around the pumpkins.

Thursday, October 14

Noteworthy Thursday #32

Dear Megan,

Wow, you have really been a downer lately. Go pour yourself some wine, put on your comfiest pants, and go watch three straight hours of TV. Or maybe go to bed early instead. But definitely start with the wine and comfy pants. You're going to be just fine. Things are already looking up.

After posting your List Of Sad yesterday, you got such an outpouring of support. And that made you feel super good. You are not alone, and other people have been there. And they have come out on the other side, and you will too. So what if you dropped your pump after your blog post went up yesterday and now it is making a funny noise? You laugh in the face of disaster! If the pump breaks today, it just gives you a good reason to go home and snuggle with your adorable baby.

He is extra adorable, you know. This morning he was so cuddly and sweet and let you just rock him for a few minutes. You weren't even thinking about how he wouldn't eat his peas last night or how you will have to attempt to feed him more peas tonight. No, you were just smelling his sweet head and hugging him close. It was a lovely moment.

And another good thing: the ladies at daycare said that Milo took a nice long nap yesterday and even fell asleep on his own! Of course, you didn't realize he hadn't been falling asleep on his own, and now you wonder just how exactly he has been falling asleep for the last few weeks, but no matter. The point is, Milo was happier last night because he had a good nap. And that meant you were happier, too.

It's a beautiful October day. Go make the most of it. Take five or ten minutes at lunchtime to go outside and soak up some sun. Then when you get home, I believe there is a bottle of red calling your name.


Wednesday, October 13

When it rains...

Things that have happened in the last two weeks:

  • Milo got pinkeye.
  • Milo had clogged tear ducts.
  • Milo had ear infections in both ears.
  • Milo threw up eight times in three hours (two nights before traveling).
  • Milo and I flew to Washington, D.C., where Milo burped up his entire meal the first night, leaving me without any pj's and him without a sleep sack for the rest of the trip.
  • Milo forgot how to poop, and seriously, four days is just too long to go without pooping.
  • Milo spent half the flight back from D.C. crying, making me want to cry as well.
  • Still reeling from my maternity leave and lack of a paycheck, we carried a balance on our credit card for the first time and had to get a cash advance from the bank when our checking account went into the negative.
  • My car battery died, leaving me desperately calling around, trying to a) get someone to pick up Milo, and b) get someone to take me home.
  • I fell further behind on my projects at work due to spending half a day trying to get my car fixed.
  • My boobs began holding my milk hostage, refusing to let me pump the amount I know Milo needs.
  • I dropped one of the bottles of pumped milk as I was putting it into my cooler bag, and it broke.
  • Milo hasn't taken a decent nap in weeks, and is tired and cranky by the time he gets home in the evening, and it makes me so sad to only have fussy time with him each night.

Tuesday, October 5

My Poor Baby

Yesterday Milo's eye started to look really red and bloodshot. He also started violently yanking on his ear. This morning I took him to the doctor. The diagnosis? Pinkeye, ear infections in both ears, and two clogged tear ducts.

Until he's been on the antibiotics 24 hours, no daycare for him. He's with Grandma Sarah now, probably playing and having a lovely time. (Considering how lousy he must feel, he was in an awfully good mood this morning.)

It's so sad to see him this way, with his goopy red eye and his dried-snot mustache. And even though he's been sleeping terribly the last couple of nights, I never suspected an ear infection. I must be a bad mother. (I kid, but I do feel sort of guilty for not getting him fixed sooner.)

Send good thoughts his way. Milo's got a long week ahead of him. He'll have all those antibiotics going into his system, and we're flying to D.C. this weekend for my dear friend Molly's wedding. I sure hope he's feeling much better by then. Antibiotics usually work quickly, right?

Thursday, September 23

Figuring it all out

My life is very different than it was a week ago. I'm about to wrap up my first week back at work, and I almost kinda sorta feel like I belong there. It's so weird, being gone so long then coming back. In some ways, I feel like I know what's going on and it all feels familiar. In other ways, I feel like a brand-new employee just starting a job. And I'm definitely still figuring out my new routine.

I haven't yet figured out how ungodly early I have to get up in order to get Milo where he needs to be and get to work by 8:00 or 8:30. And of course, it's a bonus if I get to eat breakfast, wash my hair, and spend a few minutes of quality time with my baby. I used to wake up fairly late in order to get to work at 9:00, but now that I'm pumping three times a day, I don't exactly have extra time built into my schedule. Sigh. As you probably well know, I have never been much of a morning person. However, in my opinion, it is much easier to wake up early after not sleeping through the night for months at a time. It's all about building up stamina, I suppose.

(Speaking of sleeping through the night, Milo is doing that now. Pretty consistently, too. For most of the last week or week and a half, he has been in bed by 7:30 or so and doesn't wake up until sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. It's spectacular.)

My coworkers decorated my cube for my return. There was a big "welcome back" banner, streamers, confetti, candy, and stick-on mustaches. It was awesome and made me feel very welcome. They even printed out a couple photos of Milo and posted them outside the cube. I appreciate those photos especially because I haven't gotten my act together enough to print out any photos of the boy yet. My workspace is definitely lacking without them.

Surprisingly, I don't really miss Milo during the day. Does that make me a terrible mother? I feel extremely guilty for not missing him. Maybe it's just because I anticipated that I would be so sad and emotional all day at work that the reality of it couldn't possibly meet my expectations? Or maybe I was ready to return to work and ready for a little break from the all day every day mothering thing? I don't know. I do love to see him at the end of the day. I love squeezing him tight and getting sloppy kisses on my shoulder. I love seeing him smile when he sees me come through the daycare door (and I hate how quickly he goes back to playing). But when I'm at work, I get busy and forget to miss him. I am considering deleting this entire paragraph because I am ashamed of myself, but for the sake of sharing my experience (and possibly making it easier for someone else going through this) I will leave it here.

There are a million thoughts swirling through my head about my first few days back at work, but I am feeling too scatterbrained to tell you about them. Just know that I'm happy to be at work and I am ever so aware of just how much I love Milo.

Wednesday, September 22

Duty Calls

Because I am back at work, I feel it is my duty as a Hallmarker (and a book editor no less) to share this video with you. And then encourage you to go, go to your local Hallmark store and purchase a Recordable Storybook or two.

Tuesday, September 21

The Stats: Six Months Old!

Milo had his six-month check-up yesterday afternoon. Here's how he measures up:
  • Weight: 15 lbs., 7 oz. (20th percentile)
  • Length: 25 1/2 in. (10th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 17 1/2 in. (75th percentile)
At six months, I can hardly believe my baby is halfway to his first birthday. But on the other hand, it feels like he's been here forever. And on still another hand, I can clearly remember life before Milo and what that was like. But you better believe I wouldn't go back for anything.

At six months, Andrew and I are becoming pretty good parents. We constantly second-guess ourselves and wonder if we're making the best decisions. But so far Milo is turning out pretty well. (Knock on wood, right? It is still a little early to tell how exactly he is turning out.)

At six months, Milo is amazing. He learns new things every day and wows us all the time.

At six months, Milo rolls over like he was born to do it. He immediately rolls over upon being laid in his crib, and (fortunately) has learned to relax and sleep on his belly.

At six months, Milo sleeps primarily on his belly or his side, but he rolls and scoots all over his crib before settling down. We often hear him crying from his room, only to go in and check on him to see his head stuck in the corner of the crib, banging over and over against the rails. He can get there, but he can't quite figure out how to get himself out of there.

At six months, Milo can sit up unassisted. He only flops over when he reaches too far out for something or when he cranes his neck all around to get a good look at something.

At six months, Milo puts everything in his mouth. He especially loves the corners of board books, fingers (his or someone else's), spoons, and blankets or washcloths.

At six months, Milo does not yet have any teeth, though I remain convinced that they are coming any day now.

At six months, Milo gets up on all fours and has been rocking back and forth for a couple weeks now. He also jumps to his hands and feet in the downward dog position. Sometimes his head goes to the floor, too. He also has begun to scoot his knees forward and back, and would be crawling if he could just figure out how to move his hands forward.

At six months, Milo can stretch out and roll and shuffle his way forward when enticed by a toy. He's pretty good and getting to things that are placed a foot or two in front of him.

At six months, Milo will slip and slide backwards infinitely when placed on a hardwood floor, leaving a trail of slobber in his wake.

At six months, Milo babbles a lot. He has said mama quite a few times, and is sometimes so excited about it he says it over and over, like mamamamamama. I'm sure it's because he thinks I am just that special. Of course I kid. He can make the sound, but does not attach it to any particular thing. He also says buhbuhbuh and fuh and other things I can't really spell.

At six months, Milo has begun to interact with us in a new way. He participates in the games we play with him, like reaching out to our hands and giggling when they touch, or anticipating when we are going to appear out of nowhere from around the corner. This makes playtime much more fun.

At six months, Milo still loves his bouncy jumperoo chair. He has explored it all now, I think. It took awhile to make it past the oddly shaped fruit, but now he checks out the strange blue horse and even the striped spring covers.

At six months, Milo can use a high chair in restaurants, thanks to the sewing talents of Grandma Sarah and her cushy chair cover.

At six months, Milo gets bored in restaurant high chairs, and we have learned it is best not to put him in one much before the food arrives.

At six months, Milo has a lot of fun being flipped around and turned upside down. He also likes swinging on Daddy's lap and "flying" toward the mirror.

At six months, Milo can suck up water through a straw, though very little of it gets swallowed.

At six months, Milo started solids. Like a couple of hours ago. Jury's still out on this one. (However, I will say that I think I messed up the food. We gave him rice cereal that I made, and it had a weird consistency. Can anyone tell me what rice cereal is supposed to be like, texture-wise?)

At six months, Milo sometimes splashes in the bath. He loves feeling the water being poured over his chest. He also tries to grab the stream of water and seems amazed when he can't hold on to it.

At six months, Milo—ahem—grabs himself during diaper changes. Occasionally with some enthusiasm. It looks uncomfortable to me, with that iron-fisted grip, but what do I know? We now have to be careful to keep his hands out of the way when he goes #2 or...it's gross. Remember how everything goes in his mouth?

At six months, Milo no longer squeaks when he eats. I think this stopped a long time ago, but I don't recall exactly when. He has also become a much more efficient eater. Whereas it used to take him 30 minutes to finish a meal, he can now down it in 12 or 15. Twenty if he's tired.

At six months, Milo has started daycare. Yesterday was his first day. And I have only called twice to check on him. They say that he seems to be liking it. He smiles and plays and has a good time. It's difficult to be away from him, but I am convinced that daycare will be a good experience for him.

At six months, I have gone back to work. Today was my first day. I'd call it a success.

At six months, Milo is amazing. Did I say that already?

Sunday, September 19

The Time Has Come

I am a mess. An emotional wreck. I alternate between crying and being irrationally angry with Andrew. Milo starts daycare tomorrow, and I head back to work on Tuesday. And even though it's been a full six months—or maybe because it's been a full six months—I'm not ready for this.

Yes, I miss work. I love what I do, and I love my workplace and my coworkers. But how can I leave my baby in the care of people who are, for now, essentially perfect strangers? Of course Milo will have a good time. New toys, new faces to check out. But I like to think that he needs me and will miss me. I know I will miss him. Just typing that makes me tear up, and I'm not even kidding. I knew it would be hard to leave him at daycare, and I also knew that I would definitely be returning to work—no question. Though I knew these things before he was even born, that knowledge hasn't made it any easier now that the time has come.

Earlier tonight I loaded up a bag full of the stuff he'll need at daycare. Two crib sheets, a couple of spare outfits, a bunch of cloth diapers and wipes. I felt like I was packing his bags to send him off forever. And since mornings are going to be spent mostly getting ready and getting out the door, and evenings will consist of a whopping hour and half before Milo's bedtime, I practically am sending him off forever. I feel like I'm never going to see my baby anymore. And that breaks my heart. See you when it's time to start kindergarten, Milo.

I'm sure I'm sounding a little overly dramatic to those of you who have never dropped off your first child at daycare for the first time. But some of you know what I'm saying, right? And some of you have told me that it does get easier, and I can't tell you how much I'm holding on to that thought. You've also told me how wonderful his smile will be when he sees me walk through the door in the evening. I look forward to that, too.

I really, really love that little boy.
Where did this teeny baby go? How can he be six months old already?

Wednesday, September 15


I am wearing new deodorant today and if I do say so myself, I am smelling pretty damn good. Like rainbows and sunshine.

(It is the random thoughts such as this that make me wonder if I ought to tweet. Because seriously, that was NOT worth a blog post. Sorry for getting you all hot and bothered at the thought that there might be actual new CONTENT over here.)

(There will be new content soon, though! Milo's six-month stats will be up Tuesday, as will my tears for leaving him at daycare for the first time.)

(Can you believe this started out as a comment on my armpits? You're welcome.)

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Wednesday, September 8

Not Feeling Well

Stuffy nose. Troublesome cough. General Mr.-Crankypants-ness.
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