Saturday, May 29

The Way to Conclusions is Jumping

So . . . About that whole "Vaccines iz making mah baybee sick!" thing.

I MAY have overreacted. A tad. I am sick now, too. And I have not gotten a single vaccine in like, ten years. (Nurses and doctors in the house, should I be getting some boosters or something???) It looks like this was just (as my sister put it) the first of many illnesses we'll share as a family. Did I mention that Andrew wasn't feeling well, either, or did I conveniently forget to mention that in my little rant about the vaccines?

It's really challenging being sick and still having to care for a baby. I'm sure all you parents out there are probably not very sympathetic, as you have likely done this many times. I have been relying quite heavily on my mother-in-law and my mom and sister (who happens to be in town) to help me with Milo while I get some rest. Since we're still not sleeping through the night, I'm finding it really difficult to get enough sleep to be on the mend. Thankfully, Milo seems to be almost all better. He's still quite a bit fussier than usual, but at least we're managing to coax a few smiles out of him now and then.
Milo wasn't so sure about this goat, though. (He took his first trip to Deanna Rose! Was not impressed.)

Friday, May 28

No, not tortellini. Torticollis.

A few days ago I mentioned that Milo seems to prefer his right side. Like I said, he primarily looks to the right—even if we're talking to him in funny voices and making silly faces and gestures from the left. He might even smile, but he won't turn his head. We can sort of physically turn his head to the left, but he doesn't seem to have the same range of motion as the right, and he always quickly turns back toward the right.

So at his check-up on Monday, I mentioned this all to his pediatrician. She examined him, noting that yes, he did seem to look more to the right. She also noticed that he was getting a bit of a flat spot on his head. While I hadn't noticed it, I wasn't surprised at all to hear it. When he sleeps, he always turns his head the same way. Unfortunately, the doctor isn't convinced that this is a totally normal thing for a baby to do.

She suspects that Milo might have torticollis. Basically, this is a condition where the muscles in the neck are too tight on one side—maybe from odd positioning in the womb—and they don't loosen up on their own. Of course I googled it. Apparently this condition can require surgery if it goes undetected (and therefore doesn't get corrected early enough). Which is worrisome. But we are detecting it. If his right-side preference is, in fact, "it." I don't really think Milo has torticollis. He CAN look to the left. Maybe not quite as far, but he has some ability to turn his head both directions.

Regardless, we're going to get him evaluated. Our pediatrician referred us to Infant & Toddler Services. They focus on all sorts of early intervention for the kiddos, from problems like deafness or Down's Syndrome to speech delays and motor skills delays. They are going to send two people to our home to evaluate Milo. If he qualifies, he will begin seeing a physical therapist who will work with him to develop and stretch his neck muscles. If he doesn't qualify, a physical therapist will still teach us some exercises we can do with him to strengthen his muscles and encourage him to look both ways. They'll even reevaluate him after a few weeks or months to see how he is progressing. And it won't cost us a dime. It's all paid for by the state (and our tax dollars, I suppose, blah blah blah).

Since the check-up, we've already been focusing on trying to get Milo to look to the left. We lay him down facing the other way in his crib. We hold him using the opposite arm we normally do. We physically turn his head and try to get his attention with little toys and things. And it might be doing some good. We've already noticed that he looks left a little bit more often. There's still no question that he prefers the right, but I'm confident that he'll be just fine—no surgery required.

Thursday, May 27

My Poor Sick Baby

Milo got sick on Tuesday. He's still not 100 percent, but it's clear that he feels much better. But Tuesday was rough. He had a cold, maybe. Something was filling his nose and throat with mucus and making it hard for him to breathe. He kept choking and gagging, coughing, trying to clear it out. But he couldn't. His little eyes would open wide and my heart would stop every time he couldn't catch his breath. He slept most of the day, or would just lay there, his eyes half shut and his mouth hanging open, completely worn out.

I was truly worried about him. For the first time since I became a mom, I felt profoundly responsible for him. Milo needed someone to care for him and try to make him feel better, and that person was me. I was the one making the calls and deciding whether to give him saline drops or if he needed his nose sucked out with that bulb thing. I've sort of felt this before, this surprise that I am the decision maker.

Mommy, does Milo need a hat? Is he warm enough? Do you think he's hot, Mommy? Could he be hungry?

I don't know. Your guess is as good as mine.

At first it was overwhelming, making the decisions, but with every day that goes by, I do get better at guessing what he needs. Sort of. But this sickness thing just about killed me. In some ways, I feel like I caused him to feel that way.

It may have been completely unrelated; it may have been coincidence. But I believe it was not. On Monday, Milo received his first two vaccines. I believe that the vaccines threw his immune system into overdrive, making his tiny little body think it needed to fight off something that wasn't there. Or, the vaccines messed with his immune system, making it easy for any little germ to actually give him symptoms. Or maybe he was literally responding to the vaccines themselves, a type of allergic reaction or something. The doctor's office told me emphatically that Milo's symptoms were in no way related to the vaccines. But I'm not so sure.

So why do I feel responsible? Because I decided which vaccines to give him, and when he should get them. I am the one who has been reading about the vaccinations and making the call on going against the medical grain and putting Milo on an alternate vaccine schedule. And I do believe in vaccines as a general rule, but I hate to see Milo feel so bad. Maybe if he had been a little older before starting the immunizations, or maybe if I had been eating healthier, he would have gotten even more nutrient-rich breastmilk. Maybe I could have prevented this.

On top of that, seeing him get that shot just about broke my heart. His face got all red, and he screamed, loudly, over and over. It couldn't even be described as a cry, it was pure screaming, from pain and shock. I immediately started crying. I picked him up after the shot and held him closer than I ever have, and he just buried his face into my shoulder and continued to scream. He did calm down in about five minutes, but continued to sigh in distress for another twenty. Three days later, I still feel like crying about it.

So all this? This is parenthood, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 25

Two-Month Stats

Milo had his two-month check-up yesterday. Here's how he measured up:

  • Weight: 12 lbs., 1 oz. (60th percentile)
  • Length: 24 in. (80th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 16 in. (75th percentile)
At two months, Milo is getting more hair. It might be brown. Or reddish brown. Maybe.

At two months, Milo smiles. He especially likes it when you tickle his lips with a burp cloth and when you use silly voices, but sometimes he smiles for no reason at all. He also likes being bounced up and down (while facing you, holding him under his arms—if those variables change, then not so much).

At two months, Milo tolerates bathtime and sometimes even enjoys it.

At two months, Milo has outgrown all his newborn-size clothing, due to his healthy appetite. I think he eats about five or five and a half ounces per sitting.

At two months, Milo fights falling asleep sometimes, but is often soothed with swaddling, a pacifier, and white noise. Swaying and a steady pat on the back also helps.

At two months, Milo makes more and more sounds. He still squeaks when he eats. A couple weeks ago I thought I'd feed him in the cafe at a Barnes & Noble, but it was so quiet in there, it felt like a library. I chickened out because I just knew Milo's squeaking would attract attention. Nursing in public is just not my favorite thing to do, and the less attention I get the better.

At two months, Milo drools and makes little spit bubbles all the time (except when he's sleeping).

At two months, Andrew and I are occasionally exhausted. We're very ready for this boy to sleep through the night.

At two months, Milo is not ready to sleep through the night, but sometimes only needs to get up once. He has gone as long as nine hours after his last feeding before bedtime. Unfortunately, that feeding was around 6:30pm, so it didn't equal sleeping through the night. We're working on getting him on a more regular schedule.

At two months, Milo favors his right side. He moves his right arm more than the left, and he prefers to look to the right.

At two months, Milo loves to suck on his hands (especially his right hand). Sometimes little bits of fuzz get stuck to the skin between his fingers because they're so damp.

At two months, Milo loves to be outside, and he really enjoys going for walks in the stroller.

At two months, Milo often clenches his fists in tiny balls and looks like he's about to punch someone.

At two months, I sometimes want to punch someone, and that someone is Gary, our cat. She's a real pain. I think she might be just a tad bit jealous of the baby. Sometimes she tries to lay down on him. I do not approve.

At two months, I have started exercising regularly, which feels really good. Twice a week sessions with a trainer, once a week yoga.

At two months, in spite of the exercise, my pre-pregnancy clothes still don't fit.

Saturday, May 22

I've never been so excited for it to be 4 AM before.

I am digging this whole bedtime routine thing. Thanks to my lovely commenters who suggested feeding Milo right before putting him down for the evening. I'd say it worked out rather well.

Around 8:00 we started our new bedtime routine. Diaper change and pajama time, followed by reading a bedtime story, followed by a little rocking and snuggling, then a final goodnight kiss and into the crib, lights out. The story was a bit short—Andrew didn't make it past "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish" before Milo began fussing and squirming. We didn't force him to sit there through a story, though, hoping that as he gets older and this routine is more set, he'll start to really love his bedtime story.

He slept from 8:30 to 4:15. And that is a full night's sleep, if you are my father-in-law. Not so much if you are me, who didn't go to bed until 10:30. I'm still waiting for the day to come when Milo doesn't wake up until 6:00. Won't that be nice?

Friday, May 21

Milo's Birth Story

Here it is, two months after his birth, and I'm just getting around to writing Milo's birth story. I suppose I feel like this story deserves my full attention, instead of my usual type-with-one-hand-and-try-to-blog-while-breastfeeding-in-the-middle-of-the-night. But here it is, the middle of the afternoon, and Milo is napping. By himself, in his own room. And I don't have a good excuse not to get started on this story. This is probably way more detail than you're interested in reading, but this is more for me than you. This blog is essentially Milo's baby book, after all. And with no more caveats, here we go.

My due date was March 23, but I was absolutely convinced I would have Milo early, probably at least a week or two early. I didn't really have a good reason to think this. Courtney had Austin 20 days before his due date, and my mom said that both Courtney and I were born five days before our due dates. So I figured I was going to follow suit. Andrew and I were sort of hoping that Milo would be born on 3/14, because that would give him a Pi birthday, and we're sort of nerdy like that. I was also hoping that I would go into labor during the day and avoid that middle of the night, stumbling out of bed to get to the hospital scenario. We were also hoping Milo would be born on a weekend, simply because it would be more convenient in terms of contacting our workplaces. And for one final wish, I was hoping that I would have already had my last official day at work before going on maternity leave, which was scheduled for Friday, March 19.

All in all, we managed to get practically every wish. The only one we missed was Pi, but we ended up with an even cooler date and time of birth. And when it was all over, we had Milo, and that was the most amazing thing of all.

On Sunday, March 21, I woke up around 6:00am. I was pretty uncomfortable, but that was nothing new. My back hurt, and I felt sort of crampy. After tossing and turning for a few minutes, I figured I wasn't getting back to sleep. Frustrated, I got out of bed and went downstairs to watch a little TV before Andrew woke up. For the next hour, I sat on the couch, zoning out to HGTV, and began to notice that the crampy feeling was sort of coming and going. Upon realizing this, I immediately suspected labor. It's not that I knew that this was what I was feeling, but rather that every strange twinge or cramp I felt for the last couple of weeks I had attributed to the potential start of labor. So I started paying more attention. And by 7:30 or so, I was fairly convinced that this was different, that these cramps were contractions and they were in fact coming about ten minutes apart.

My doctor had said that once I was in labor, I shouldn't eat or drink anything besides clear fluids. This appetizing menu included such delicacies as chicken broth, apple juice, Jell-o, and Popsicles. Since I wasn't TOTALLY sure I was in labor, I went ahead and ate a bowl of Quaker oatmeal squares with sliced banana. I thought it was best to eat something and keep my energy up. After all, my friend Emily had just spent 42 hours in labor, and I figured that if this had any chance of taking that long, I needed food.

After breakfast, I went upstairs to wake up Andrew. It was around 8:00 by this time, and my contractions were coming and going, still about ten minutes apart. I sat on the edge of the bed next to him and shook him awake. "I'm pretty sure I'm in labor," I said, and explained what had been going on with me. He was pretty excited, and wanted to start timing contractions right away. I wanted to take a shower and get everything ready to go to the hospital. At my last doctor's appointment, just five days earlier, I had been dilated to three centimeters. I didn't think my labor was going to be a super long one (also going with family history there; Courtney's labor was about four hours start to finish), so I wanted to clean up and get ready.

I took a shower. The hot water felt really good on my back and made the contractions less noticeable. At this point, the contractions weren't especially painful, but felt mostly like bad menstrual cramps. This wasn't a nice feeling, but it was manageable for sure. After the shower, Andrew and I packed the rest of the things we needed into the hospital bag. We were already mostly ready to go, just needed to add the camera, our cell phone chargers, and other electronic stuff to the bag.

From about 9:00 to about 1:00 I labored at home. Andrew had his clipboard and stopwatch, and was dutifully timing every contraction. I tried to eat some red Jell-o and drink some apple juice, but it wasn't tasting very good. The contractions were getting closer and closer together, and definitely more intense. During the contractions, I would pace around the living room or sway my hips back and forth. HGTV was still on, but I wasn't paying much attention. Andrew reminded me to keep breathing and try to relax. As the contractions got stronger, I needed Andrew to apply pressure to my lower back with each one. Sometimes I got frustrated with him, because I would start moaning, and he would ask (several times), "Is one starting? Is that another one?" And it was honestly sort of hard to tell exactly when it would start, but before long there would be no denying that yes, it was another one, and I would nod. And instead of applying pressure to my back like a good husband, Andrew raced to his clipboard to record the start time. I know he was trying to do the right thing and wanted to have a record for the doctor, but dammit, Andrew, I needed my back rubbed!

Being in labor was a strange thing to me. I knew that these were contractions, but they weren't quite like what I was expecting. The books and our childbirth class instructor told us that contractions increase in intensity over time and get closer together over time, and that in between contractions, the pain went away. For me, the pain never fully went away. It was less intense, but I still felt tightness and cramps in my abdomen and lower back the whole time. Also, I would have contractions that were about six minutes apart for awhile, then there would be a break and the next contraction wouldn't come for eleven minutes and it wouldn't be as intense. Then the next would be just three minutes later and would hurt like hell. This inconsistency made me question whether this was true labor or false labor. Also, it was really hard to tell exactly when a contraction started and when it ended, so timing them at all was a very inexact science.

By 1:00, the contractions were right about five minutes apart and had been for an hour. We were supposed to follow the 5-1-1 rule and not call the doctor until the contractions were five minutes apart for one hour and lasted for one minute each. When we thought we were there, Andrew called the doctor and told her where I was with the contractions and all that. She apparently didn't take his word for it and made him give the phone to me. This was sort of irritating because she asked me questions that I had just heard Andrew give her the answers to, and I had to talk to her while the quite-strong-and-painful-at-this-point contractions were happening. She said it sounded like I was in labor and that I should head to the hospital for a labor check.

So we got in the car and headed to the hospital. On the ride there, we noted the remains of the previous day's snowstorm and were thankful that we hadn't had to drive to the hospital in the bad weather. (Side note: it seems to snow out of season just before major events in our lives. It snowed the day before our April wedding, and it snowed the day before Milo's birthday.) It was about a 15-minute drive, and I had three contractions on the way. These were the worst yet. My swaying and back-rub tricks were no good in the car. But we finally made it there, and Andrew dropped me off at the door and went to park the car.

We went up to the maternity floor and they took me to room 308, which would become my home for the next two days. The nurse gave me a robe and instructed me to get undressed so they could do a labor check. I was five centimeters dilated and 100 percent effaced. By 1:30pm I was officially checked in. The next hour or so was the most uncomfortable part of the entire labor. I was stuck in bed because the nurses needed to monitor all kinds of stuff. I was given an IV (which took several stabs before they got it, leaving the backs of both my hands black and blue for several days), a tight blood-pressure cuff, two bands around my belly to monitor contractions and the baby's heart rate, and a finger cuff to monitor my heart rate. I was unable to get up from the bed, and the next several contractions were torture. It just really, really, hurt, and I don't quite know how to explain it. At some point Andrew had called our parents, and my mom was now in the hospital room with us. While Andrew went to the car to get our bags (I wanted the vibrating massager we had brought), my mom fed me ice chips. It was less than an hour that I was stuck in bed, but it felt like an eternity. They did let me sit on a birth ball right next to the bed, but I didn't find it very helpful. It was slightly better than being in the bed, but it didn't do much to help me deal with the pain, so I gave up on that pretty quick. I wanted to listen to my "relaxation" playlist, but found most of the songs terrible—until a Carla Bruni song came on. Then I asked Andrew to just play the Carla Bruni album. That was nice.

I really wanted to get in the shower for a little hydrotherapy, but it wasn't until 2:30 that they unhooked me (reluctantly) from the machines to head into the bathroom. Andrew came with me and sprayed my back with the hot water while I swayed through the next few contractions. At this point, I was six centimeters dilated and the nurse thought I was moving pretty quickly. She warned me that if I wanted an epidural, I shouldn't wait too long to start it or it would be too late. By then, I knew I wanted the epidural. The pain was really intense, and I wanted it to go away. While the hot water felt so good, I only spent about three contractions in the shower before getting out in order to start the epidural process.

Before they could start the epidural, I had to get a bunch of IV fluids. Again, I was hooked up to all sorts of monitors, and again, had to just lay there and try to breathe through the contractions. By 3:00, the anesthesiologist was there, and I was getting the epidural. I had to sit on the edge of the bed and hunch over as much as I could, then between contractions, she first gave me a numbing shot, then inserted the epidural catheter and taped it in place. It wasn't too bad. Having all that tape on my back was the most uncomfortable part of the epidural. It took about twenty or thirty minutes before it really took effect. Around 3:30 my water broke, which was a very weird sensation. I was a little bit numb then, but could still feel my legs. I just felt this release of pressure and a bunch of warm fluid between my legs. "Um," I said. "I think my water broke." The nurse took a peek, and yes, it sure had. She was kind enough to change out the bedding and give me a fresh gown. I was relieved that my water had broken on its own—I think they were planning to break it, but I would much rather have everything just proceed at its own pace.

By 3:45, the epidural had taken hold and I felt pretty great. I couldn't feel my abdomen or my legs. No more pain from contractions. At one point, my hand was resting in my lap and I felt something odd, something unrecognizable. I looked down, and saw that it was just my leg. Weird. I didn't know I had been touching it at all. The nurses checked me again at 3:50, and I was 8 centimeters. My mom went back out to the waiting area. The next time she'd see me she'd have a new grandchild. Andrew and I just hung out in the room and enjoyed ourselves. We watched the first two episodes of Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, which is awesome. We shot a couple of videos of us talking about how we couldn't believe we were about to be parents. I saw Andrew sneak a granola bar, and I was jealous. I was getting pretty hungry by then. Ice chips just weren't cutting it.

We weren't sure how much longer it would be, but we figured we only had a couple more hours before pushing would start. I was nervous about pushing, but not because of the pain. I'm not sure why. Tearing, maybe? Or just fear because I had no idea how to do it? There's no good way to practice that, I think.

At 5:05, the nurse came in for another check. I was 9+, and she said I was AC, for Almost Complete. She said I'd start pushing at 5:30. And so we waited. There is really nothing like the feeling of knowing that you have less than half an hour until your life is going to change forever. (Of course, it turned out that I had nearly two hours before my life changed forever, but there was no way of knowing that at the beginning.) Just after 5:30, my doctor came in and they began to get everything ready for pushing. The foot of the bed dropped away, the stirrups were put in place along with handles for me to grip. The bright overhead light was turned on, and a large mirror was rolled in (so I could watch).

And then it was time. Because I couldn't feel the contractions, the nurses told me when to push. For each contraction, I was to hold my breath and push for ten seconds, three times. I had imagined that the pushing part of labor would be really intense, with constant action. Instead, it was pretty calm. There was actually a lot of waiting. Between contractions, I would try to catch my breath, and my doctor and the nurses chatted about their families and the weather and whatnot. This was clearly a more momentous occasion for me than it was for them. Anyway, lots of pushing. The mirror helped me see when I was doing it the right way because I could see his head move (which is totally weird; there's really nothing like it). Ten to fifteen contractions and about an hour and forty-five minutes later, Milo was born. I will never forget the way he looked, all slippery and purplish-gray, with swollen lips and eyes and only a slight cone head. Milo weighed 8 pounds, 4.9 ounces. He was 20.5 inches long. He was born at 6:54pm (And with a birth date of 3/21, that gives you 6-5-4-3-2-1. Pretty cool, no? Much cooler than being born on Pi.).

Describing the way I felt in those first few moments is a whole other entry. Maybe I'll get to that one by the time Milo is three months old. But for now, there you have it. The story of the birth of Milo Jones Langford.

Wednesday, May 19

I've never been so excited for it to be 3 AM before.

It is 3:00 in the morning and Milo just woke up. For the first time tonight. I went to bed around 10:30. That is more hours of consecutive sleep than I've had in a long time.

Even more encouraging is the fact that, according to our Itzbeen timer (best baby product I never thought I'd need), it has been nine hours and thirty-eight minutes since he last ate. Now, if we could just manage to push back his last feeding for the day a little bit closer to bedtime, we'd have a baby who could sleep through the night.

Parents out there, any advice on how to make this happen? Will it start to happen on its own?

Bonus baby picture that has nothing to do with this post. You're welcome.

Thursday, May 13

I Give Me an A for Effort

I did it. I completed my first hour of personal training. I'd say it was quite a success.

Because of scheduling, I'm not working with Nicole, my former trainer and current yoga teacher. (So sad, I'll definitely miss working with her!) Instead I am training with Scott. I checked out his profile on the Complete Body website a couple days ago, and my first thought was, "He sorta looks like Kevin Bacon." So far I like him. Unfortunately, he didn't look as much like Kevin Bacon in real life, and my dreams of dancing to "Footloose" for the workout quickly fizzled. But I digress. It was a good first workout. I was tired, sweaty, and could feel the sore muscles coming on, but I felt good at the end of the hour.

As I type this (one-handed, with a baby attached to my bewb), it's about 2:30 in the morning, just six-ish hours after exercising. My legs were already aching in protest when I stood up to go feed Milo. It took way too much focus jiust to pick up my feet and shuffle across the hall. Let's hope my arms don't feel that sore by morning or I won't even be able to carry Milo. I'd need a babysitter to come just so this boy's diapers would get changed and such. And with one grandma out of town, my chances of getting a babysitter are down 50 percent.

Fortunately, I don't think it will come to that (though grandmas are welcome anytime). I am pretty freaking strong, you know, even after months of inactivity. You just wait—in a few months, my muscles will have muscles. And soon those 40 pounds will be gone.

Wednesday, May 12

What have I done?

I am not pregnant anymore, yet somehow the vast majority of my pregnancy weight gain has not yet gone away. Thanks for nothing, breastfeeding! What, like it is supposed to take TIME for the weight to come off? Pfffffttt! I want those 40 remaining pounds gone ASAP. Yes, 40. A good twenty of those came from all those baby-needs-ice-cream-okay-technically-frozen-custard trips to Sheridan's. The other half slowly crept on over the six months prior to conceiving because of all those I'm-sad-I'm-not-pregnant-yet trips to Sheridan's.

Mmmm, I like frozen custard...

But that is not the point.

The point is, I have a lot of weight to lose, and frozen custard isn't helping the situation. Drastic action is needed, and I may have just done something crazy. On impulse, a complete whim (which I thought about for three or four days before reaching any conclusions), I decided to resume personal training. Unlike before, however, when I just saw my trainer once every six weeks and the rest was up to me, I shall now be seeing my trainer twice a week. And did I mention that I will also be taking a yoga class once a week? I know! I think it's crazy, too! But I have Milo now, and he makes it hard to find time to really exercise and easy to make excuses. I needed to schedule my workouts to make them happen. Now I've got three of them on the calendar each week.

And that terrifies me. I haven't worked out in several months. Oh, sure, I had every intention of working out throughout the entire pregnancy. But then morning sickness happened. Then being hugely uncomfortable happened. Somehow exercising just didn't happen. In some ways I'm SO ready for this, but in other ways, I'd like to please continue to sit on the couch. Failing is my biggest fear, and I avoid it by not trying. My first instinct is to not really try to lose the weight, because then I can't fail at it. But my desire to wear my prepregnancy clothes and fit into a single-digit pants size motivate me.

It's not going to be easy. But I desperately want to feel good about my body and that means dropping those 40 pounds. Now, would someone please remind me of that tomorrow when every muscle in my body hurts? My first training session is in just a few hours...

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 11

My First Mother's Day

I had a wonderful first Mother's Day. I think I had—no, I KNOW I had—really high expectations for this new-to-me holiday. As it turns out, being a mom is really freaking hard, and I wanted some recognition, dammit. (Probably I wanted this recognition because half the time I feel like I'm doing a really lousy job at this, a mediocre performance at best, and I wanted someone to tell me otherwise.) (Not trying to fish for compliments, honestly.)

Andrew and Milo (but seriously, mostly just Andrew) gave me the best day. It began with a nice hot shower, sans baby in the bathroom with me. Then Andrew cooked a delicious breakfast. French toast, eggs, bacon, and coffee. Mmmm, so good. (I guess Milo didn't think so, because he passed on all the good food and opted to just have some milk instead.)

I was presented with a sweet card (the Very Best, of course), a beautiful necklace (with a momma bird and a baby bird charm), a bar of dark chocolate, and a few bottles of wine.
Milo wore a fancy outfit—khakis and a sweater vest—just for me.
Thank you, Daddy and Milo, for my beautiful necklace.

Later we went to the Johnson County Museum and checked out the all electric house exhibit. Apparently Milo wasn't a fan of the house, because he fussed pretty much the entire time.
Pink countertops...nice.

Ben and Katy, this one's for you.

Andrew also had a fantastic dinner planned. He made tomato soup (from scratch! using real tomatoes! and no can!) and buttery grilled cheese, and cut the sandwiches on the diagonal, just like I like them. Yum yum yum. I tell you what, Campbell's doesn't hold a candle to Andrew's soup. To cap off the day, we headed out to Ben & Jerry's for a little special-occasion ice cream (a little Phish Food and a little cookie dough for me, something chocolatey for Andrew). Everything was wonderful. Sadly, we took no photos of dinner or our ice cream trip. You'll just have to take my word for it.

One of the best parts of the day was finding this post on Andrew's blog. Don't I have the best husband?

The only way my first Mother's Day could have been any better was if Milo had been in a better mood. He was just fussy all day, and the whole almost-no-sleeping-all-day thing he did really didn't help. But of course he's adorable, and honestly wasn't that difficult, so we still had a good time. And the other people on our electric house tour were very good-natured about the crying baby preventing them from hearing the guide. Luckily, by the time we went out for dessert, Milo had finally conked out for the day, so we were able to sit and enjoy our treat and each other's company.

Thank you, Andrew, for making my day so special.

Wednesday, May 5

Mr. Milo etc.

Why is it that I can throw "Mister" in front of just about anything and it suddenly becomes a cute nickname for my baby? Mr. Milo is the most obvious choice, and I've heard many of his visitors use that one. But, oh, are there more.

Mr. Hiccups, for when he has—wait for it—the hiccups.

Mr. Messypants, again for obvious reasons. Sometimes this gets switched with Sir Farts-a-lot, which is technically outside the realm of this post, yet seems relevant enough to include.

Mr. Strong Neck or Mr. Floppy Head, depending on his particular positioning.

Mr. Sillypants (for no good reason; his pants are typically not that silly, except when he is Mr. Duck Butt, because of the duck on the seat of his pants, not because his butt looks like a duck's.) (That was too much explanation, wasn't it?)

Mr. Grunty and Mr. Squeaky are favorites at mealtime.

So tell me. Do you also call babies "Mr. So-and-So"? And if they are girls, does it become "Miss Something-or-Other"? How long does this sort of nickname last? Will I fondly be calling him Mr. Square Hat at his high school graduation?

Monday, May 3

Because You're Never Fully Dressed...

I did it.
I caught some of Milo's very first smiles on camera.
Couldn't you just eat him up?
Seriously. This much cute should be illegal.

Sunday, May 2

J is for Judgment

Sometimes I really hate people. Especially the seemingly well-intentioned yet critical people who exude passive aggression. But let me back up.

Before Milo was born (how many times have I used THAT phrase lately?) I read about the Moby wrap, and I desperately wanted one. The reviews were great. It seemed that once you got the hang of it, it was easy to use, easy on your back, and adored by babies everywhere. And to my delight, I received a Moby at my shower.

But (you knew there had to be a but) it wasn't everything it was cracked up to be. It was difficult to tie properly. It stretched out far too quickly. And whenever Milo was in it, he slowly inched further and further down until I was afraid he'd fall out the bottom. Except when he cried before he even had time to start sliding down, that is. Needless to say, it was not a great success, and after a few weeks, the Moby had been relegated to a pile of stuff that we're not sure what to do with, all the while wishing we had a simpler way to carry Milo around when he refuses to be put down.

Meanwhile, Emily was raving about her Bjorn and how much Eli loves it. She said whenever he goes in the Bjorn, he calms down and stops fussing. I was hesitant to get a Bjorn because I'd heard it can be bad for babies' joints, or something. But my sister used it and never noticed any problems with her son, and of course Eli loved it, and it did look so easy to use...

So I started looking for a used one (these things aren't cheap, people). I mentioned to Emily that I was planning to try the Bjorn, and like magic, she called me two days later saying her mom had found one when she was out at a garage sale, and did I want her to pick it up for me? Yes! Yes, I did want her to pick it up for me! And this afternoon Emily's mom, Judy, brought over the Bjorn (that she had so nicely cleaned for us), and just a few hours later we took it to the grocery store where Andrew wore it to carry Milo while I pushed the cart.

And no kidding, Milo had been in the thing for less than fifteen minutes (ever, in his entire existence) when this lady in the organics section strikes up a conversation with Andrew. I got there just in time to hear her tell us how dangerous the Bjorn is because it cuts off circulation to the baby's legs. "But I'm sure it's not every baby," she said before proceeding to tell us about how she carried all four of her boys in a sling, at one time, all the way up until the 8th grade. Or something. I couldn't quite hear her over the sound of my rage. How dare she tell us how to parent, that we're doing it wrong? She has no idea who we are or why we do the things we do. For all she knows, we could have a sling in every color of the rainbow at home but put Milo in the Bjorn because he has terrible reflux and needs to stay more upright. (Not to worry, he happens to be just fine.)

I just read an article by my favorite blogger about this very topic, and I hope you follow the link and read it, too. After just six weeks of parenting, Andrew and I already feel a little less judgmental about others' parenting techniques, because you just never know. They have their reasons for every choice they make, and chances are, they're just trying to do the best job that they can. And that's all we're trying to do, too. I just wish we didn't have to deal with passive aggressive, judgmental comments from complete strangers while we're at it.