Tuesday, August 31

Picture This

Sooo... Wanna see some photos of Milo? Okay then.

Milo and Grandma Susan. This was Milo's first time in a big pool. Pretty exciting stuff. He got pruny toes and everything.
See? Told you.
Milo and I love to go meet Andrew for lunch. We usually go to Jersey Mike's.
Milo got some chips.
Which made him thirsty.
Milo likes to flip over on the changing table now. This means we see a lot of naked baby butt. It is so adorable I can hardly stand it. I do not think it will be so adorable when he learns how to crawl.
Milo angry. Grrr.

Sunday, August 29

Solid Food: Misnomer of the Year

Peas. Sweet potatoes. Brown rice cereal. Zucchini. What do these foods have in common? They are all in single-serving portions in my freezer, awaiting the day when Milo will eat them.

Oh, and I made them. Yeah. I blended and steamed and pureed and strained. And I feel pretty damn good about this. I have no expectation that I will make all of Milo's food, but I do hope to make at least a decent portion of it. It just seems like the most economical and healthy way to be. And before I go back to work, I am attempting to stockpile baby food so there will be less work later.

Milo won't be eating this baby food for another three weeks, when he will be six months old. And in his five and a half months, he hasn't eaten anything other than breastmilk. We have given him a couple of spoonfuls of water, which he seemed to enjoy (after he quit spitting it out), but no food or formula. And not to pat myself on the back or imply that I'm doing anything special or out of the ordinary, but I'm really proud of this. To look at my baby, and see how big he has grown and how strong he is, and to know that all his nourishment has come from my body is amazing. It's been a very rewarding thing for me, and I think part of me feels like by making his baby food, I am continuing to provide for him.

Obviously, buying his rice cereal or his food in little glass jars would provide for him just the same. But I can't deny that I feel good about making it. In fact I may be growing a tad obsessed with making baby food. Never before have I used our food processor so many times in so few days. I sure hope Milo likes all this food. He definitely likes water on a spoon and slobbering on my water bottle. It's pretty cute to watch.

And don't you worry—I'm sure there will be video of his first taste of solid food. No doubt it will be cute as well.

Saturday, August 21

Five Months Old: The Stats, Minus Any Actual Statistics, As Milo Is Not Due For A Check-Up Just Yet

At five months, Milo amazes me on a daily basis. He is learning so much so quickly.

At five months, Milo loves to reach out and grab things. Our plates and cups, my hair, and Andrew's glasses are particular favorites.

At five months, Milo slobbers and slobbers and drools and slobbers some more. It no longer matters what cute outfit he is wearing, because it just gets covered up by a bib. A bib that will get chewed on and drooled on.

At five months, Milo still has no teeth.

At five months, Milo can roll over quite handily. Front to back and back to front. If you lay him down on his back, it's usually a matter of seconds before he rolls over to his belly.

At five months, Milo scoots all over. He'll roll this way, then inch forward, then roll another way, then maybe push himself backward—and before we know it, he's in a completely different place from where we set him down. (Like a few feet over—he's not going to get away from us anytime soon.)

At five months, Milo can push himself up to his hands and knees, and he can even get his head off the ground. If he could figure out how to move his legs and crawl in this position, we'll all be in trouble.

At five months, Milo likes to stand and doesn't need a lot of support. We can hold on to his hips and he can balance for quite awhile. He can also stand while holding on to something else, but he tends to wobble and fall over.

At five months, Milo can sit unsupported for brief moments. Longer if he's in the tripod pose where his hands support his weight as he leans forward. He's not quite sitting up alone, though.

At five months, Milo is ticklish on his belly.

At five months, Milo likes to grab his feet, especially during diaper changes. We have to force his legs down in order to get his diaper on.

At five months, Milo is not a great napper. We have just implemented a new napping regiment, wherein we lay Milo down in his crib when he is sleepy and it is the appropriate time for a nap, and we basically keep him there until he sleeps. This involves me listening to lots and lots of crying over the baby monitor. I check on him every 5-10 minutes if he's crying and assure him that he's okay, but I don't pick him up. I'm glad we're starting this—sometimes when I go in to check on him, he just smiles at me, but as soon as I leave, he cries again. I swear, that boy has been playing me like a fiddle.

At five months, I have learned that I hate sleep training. (Almost as much as I hate the term "sleep training.")

At five months, Milo loves baths, especially when the water is poured over his belly and chest and trickles down his neck.

At five months, Milo has learned how to bang on things. He takes his rattle toy and bangs it back and forth between the armrests of his high chair.

At five months, Milo sits in a high chair while we eat dinner.

At five months, Milo loves Sophie the Giraffe. She is probably his most favorite toy.

At five months, Milo is generally easy-going and likes meeting new people. He'll make you work for it, but he might give you a smile even if he's never seen you before.

At five months, Milo goes to bed around 7:30 and gets up once a night for feeding, typically between 3:30 and 5:00. We're hoping to wean him of this middle-of-the-night feeding soon, though I really have no idea how. The books I got from the library have not been very helpful thus far.

At five months, Milo loves his bouncer/exersaucer/jumperoo/toy of many names.

At five months, Milo generally enjoys books and stays calm when we read to him.

At five months, Milo loves to chew on board books.

At five months, Milo does not like chewing on those teethers you put in the refrigerator.

At five months, Milo thinks it's hilarious when Mommy and Daddy dance for him.

At five months, I still feel awkward dancing around the house, even if Milo is the only one watching. I know this is ridiculous. Don't judge me.

At five months, I'm so excited for Milo to be sitting up and being more independent, but I miss my tiny baby.

At five months, I'm starting to think about how hard it will be to go back to work and leave him. His smiles make me so happy—what will I do when I need a boost like that when I'm at work? I am going to miss him like crazy. And only four weeks to go. But let's not talk about that. I'm going to sit over here in denialville and pretend it isn't going to happen.

Wednesday, August 18


Last weekend the hot weather finally broke and Andrew and I took the opportunity to have a picnic in the park. As we sat on our blanket, we entertained Milo, ate some sandwiches, and people-watched. Let me tell you about a few of the people we saw.

A family of four was out walking around the park. Mom, Dad, a little girl (maybe 8?), and a little boy (maybe 6?), out doing what families do. At this particular park, there is a pond with man-made stepping stones across it. Maybe 15 circular steps across, each twelve inches in diameter or so, with no guard rails. Well, the little boy began to cross the steps, holding Dad's hand. And he hadn't made it past more than four steps before he lost his balance and stepped into the pond. The water only came up to his knees, and he still had hold of his dad's hand, so he wasn't frightened. Dad began laughing, and the boy smiled too.

But the mom. SHE was not laughing. At. All.

"You think this is FUNNY?" she screeched at her husband. "He has RUINED his brand new shoes! Ruined!"

(They were just sneakers, by the way. Can't you just throw those things in the washing machine and call it a day?)

Then to the boy, who was no longer smiling: "I can't believe you ruined your shoes! How could you do that?! They're BRAND NEW and now they are RUINED! You RUINED your shoes and you RUINED our day at the park! We're going home!"

Then the boy started to cry as he hung his head in shame. Then they all walked (some of them stormed) out of the park and out of earshot.

This brief glimpse into another family's life got me thinking. How would I have handled that situation? I hope more like the dad, who laughed and made his kid feel less embarrassed. Maybe I would have taken off the boy's shoes and socks and let him try crossing the steps again. I really hope I wouldn't have yelled and embarrassed both my child and myself by screaming at him and my husband in public.

I wanted to ask that lady: Were those shoes worth it? New or not, were they worth your child's self-esteem and your dignity?

Wednesday, August 11

My Boys

Love this photo, love my boys in matching clothes. Love it, love it, love it. I wish they could wear matching clothes every day, but for some strange reason which I do not understand, Andrew refuses to wear onesies. Go figure.

Sunday, August 8

All things considered...

My ten-year high school reunion is coming up in a couple weeks. I'm feeling a little anxious about it, in a purely superficial way. I have become sort of obsessed with making sure I look good that night. Not "good for having just had a baby." Just good, period. (UGH, pet peeve. I HATEHATEHATE it when people tell me I look good considering I just had a baby. That's like telling me I don't look quite as good as I used to, but hey, "A" for effort!!) I know it shouldn't matter that much. And to stress over it? It's illogical, really. But there it is.

I'm generally a fairly confident person, but there is something about socializing with a bunch of people I went to high school with that brings out all the old insecurities. It makes me nervous just thinking about it, and when I get nervous, I say stupid things and my face gets all red. Then I start sweating and end up with gross rings under my armpits. And that makes me self-conscious and sweat even more. It's a vicious cycle, really. And I am no doubt embarrassing myself further by writing about it. Several people I went to high school with read this—and who knows how many might read it on facebook? (Perhaps writing about it will make it go away? Like carrying an umbrella so it won't rain.)

I went to the mall this afternoon to buy something that would make me look hot. It was a complete failure. Nothing fit. Loose, flowy tops clung to my round, post-Milo belly. Fitted tops didn't look good with my breastfeeding giganto boobs. And forget jeans. Maybe my expectations were too high. I wanted to find something that would make my body look like it did when I was 18—and that is completely unrealistic. I have been losing weight—only 13 pounds to go to reach my pre-pregnancy weight—but seeing myself in those unforgiving dressing-room mirrors today made me feel huge and gross. It's funny, too, because I've been working out a lot and actually think I'm getting to be in the best shape of my life—just with a few extra pounds hanging on.

I need to snap out of it. Surely I won't be the only one at the reunion who looks different than she did at graduation. And surely I won't be the only one trying to look fantastic. I'll find something fab to wear, and I'll look good in it. Especially considering I DID just have a baby....

Friday, August 6


Some days I love being home with Milo. Other days I loathe it. Some days the time flies by, and we have so much to do that I wish we had just a bit longer before Daddy gets home. Other days I have no idea how to fill the time, and I end up watching the clock and texting Andrew to see if he's on his way home yet.

Part of me wants to stay home with Milo forever. I'd get to watch him grow and change, and I'd never grow tired of hearing him giggle or seeing him smile at me. But part of me can't wait to get back to work. Not only is my part of my identity tied up in being an editor for Hallmark, but I also grow weary of listening to Milo's cries and of being unable to guess what would make him happy.

I know that when I go back to work I'm going to miss this little boy like crazy. Sometimes my heart feels so full of love for him that it literally aches. I can barely imagine what it will be like to be away from him for nine hours a day. But I think that once I am back at work, I will feel complete. I'll feel more useful than I feel now, like I'm accomplishing something and being productive. I'm not sure how I will end up finding a balance between work and home, but I'm confident it will be the right thing for me.

Only six weeks to go until my maternity leave is over. I'm equally dreading it and looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 3

Glad to be home

Today I . . .

. . . woke up at 2:45am so I could wake up Milo, feed him, and catch a 6:00am flight.
. . . got peed on while sitting on the tarmac, waiting for our turn to take off at the busiest airport in the world.
. . . cried when Milo banged his head on the tray table and got quite a nasty bump, his first real booboo.
. . . took a four-hour nap.