Trying New Things

Doing anything for the first time with a new baby is nerve-wracking — at least it is for me.

I remember having no idea how to take him grocery shopping. The first few weeks I’d suffer through Saturday or Sunday crowds so that Gus could hang out at home with his dad. That lasted about two weekends, and I decided I missed the convenience of mid-day, mid-week shopping too much. So I figured it out. Now we go every Monday, no problem.

I was afraid to take him to the mall, or out to eat. I was even nervous just taking him to other people’s houses.

But things aren’t as scary as they seem, and the older he gets the easier it is to feed him in public, or on the go. And — I hope I’m not jinxing us — he cannot resist the baby bjorn. If this kid is well fed and recently changed, I can do just about anything as long as he’s strapped in and along for the ride.

This weekend we went for Gus’ first official professional photos. I wanted to get a few family shots while we were there, so we were dressed and coordinated, and my hair was down and curled. So of course it was randomly 80 degrees, and the mall was crowded as hell.

The photo studio was running 45 minutes behind, so I was a hot, sweaty mess and Gus was less than enthused by the time we got started. You know it’s bad when Mike is the optimistic one in a scenario like that, because hot, crowded, organized photos are pretty much his worst nightmare.

In the end, we got some great pictures of Gus (and some decent photos of all if us together — god, I need to lose 30 pounds) … which I can’t show you, haha. Since Mothers Day is right around the corner, we’re keeping those under wraps until gifts are handed out (at least new babies/first grandkids make gift giving a no-brainer).

And today we went to Read & Play at our local library for the first time. Way back when we met a couple in our childbirth class who live close by, and I ran into them and their daughter last week and they recommended we check it out.

Most of the babies were a year or older, and there was a set of twins who were probably four months old. So while Gus couldn’t really clap along or dance around, he can sit up with a lot of supervision and loves to slap board books around. And he didn’t cry, or poop everywhere, and now he’s taking a nap like nobody’s business so I suspect it’ll become part of our regular schedule.

Lessons learned? This baby can probably handle more than I give him credit for, and I need to just try new things with him or I’ll never know if we can succeed.

Oh, and the next time we want family photos taken, schedule that nonsense for a Wednesday afternoon, and have Daddy come meet us on his lunch break.

He’s Getting So Big.

This week, multiple people have commented on how big he’s getting. Ladies who work at the grocery store, and see us every week. A woman at Kohl’s (who helped herself to touching his arm without asking, but I let it slide, because at least it wasn’t his face).

I don’t really see it, because I’m with him all day, every day. The little changes sort of go by unnoticed, until you look over one day and he’s sitting up by himself.

Thank god for cameras.

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An Impossible Decision

My husband likes to throw random scenarios, would-you-rathers, and quick!-who-do-you-picks at me all the time.

Once he asked me to choose between Eric Northman and Sawyer from Lost. That was a tough day.

But tonight — tonight, he crossed a line.

Young Tom Hanks.
Young Steve Martin.
Young Chevy Chase.

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And it’s not a would-you-rather.

I can only pick one.

After a lot of soul-searching — for me — it’s always going to be that silver fox, Steve.

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Five Months

Five months ago, when all this baby did was eat and sleep, seems like ages ago. Now he wants what he wants, when he wants it, and he’s on the move a lot more by rolling and pushing and scooting around.

I can remember feeding Gus at the mall one day when he was around 8 weeks old — in the women’s lounge at Nordstrom — and there was another mom there feeding her daughter who seemed huge. I asked how old she was and she told me she was five months. I remember thinking that seemed like forever away, and he’d never be that big. I was mistaken, on both counts.

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Height: I can’t find my tape measure anywhere, but I’d guess around 25ish inches? (up from 24.8 inches last month.)

Weight: I’d guess somewhere in the 14 — 14.5 range (up from 13 pounds and 2 ounces last month.)

Likes: Anything that can fit in his mouth, he loves. Anything he can rub on his face because it’s too big for his mouth, is the bees knees too. He’s sort of interested in stuffed animals, insofar as they can also go in his mouth. He’s starting to enjoy his exercauser more, and (surprise!) tries to eat whatever reaches his face.

Dislikes: Are you me, or Mike? No? Then Gus probably wants his space. A month ago he’d smile and coo his little face off no matter who was holding him, but now — about 95% of the time it’s alllll Mommy and Daddy, or there will be hell to pay.

Sleep: Still sleeping through the night like a boss, although he starts kicking, punching and flailing around 4am every night. Sometimes I can get him settled, and sometimes I just end up getting punched in the face a lot, either way he seems to sleep through it all. Naps are starting to be a little more predicable, but they still take place in my lap. Meh. That’s why god invented Netflix and library books.

Eating: A month ago my plan was to start solids around 6 months. The pediatrician said we could start whenever we were ready after 4 months, and this past week just seemed like the right time. He LOVES apples so far. He shouts at me for more as soon as I start to refill the spoon. My plan is to try a new fruit or veggie each week, and just give him a few bites, once a day. Other than that, he’s still nursing every 2ish hours when he’s awake.

Clothes: Still in his 6 month clothes, but going through two or three bibs a day thanks to the ever present drooling. We also switched to cloth diapers a few weeks ago (we did a few trial runs starting around 3 months). He still sleeps in disposables, and I keep a stash in the diaper bag, but he’s in cloth about 80% of the time, and I have enough I can make it about three days before having to wash them.

New Tricks: He’s blowing Raspberries like it’s his job (started at 19w), and making lots of new consonant sounds (D, G, M, N & R). He’s spinning and scooting around on his playmat, and we’re working on sitting up with support (oh boy, does this child want to sit up!) I think his highchair might be his new favorite place (since it lets him sit, but also there is food there). And he’s a straight up chatterbox. And sometimes if I whistle, I think he tries to sing along (and I fall on the floor dead of cuteness overload).

Nicknames: Monkey Man, Drool Factory. Every time he wakes up, I usually say, “Hey Eyeballs!” I don’t know why, I just do. I said it the other day at the doctors office when he woke up in his car seat, and the nurse sloooowly turned around and asked, “What did you name him?!”

Mommy & Daddy: After discovering the boy likes his highchair, we decided to, you know, use it. So a few days ago after I made dinner, Gus played with some toys while Mike and I ate a meal. Together! Sitting at a table! The last time that happened, I was still a weepy mess post-csection, and our moms were taking care of us. Then Gus was plagued by general baby fussiness, and dairy for a few weeks, not to mention dinner always seemed to coincide with his purple crying hour. But we made it! Five months later, and everyone gets to sit down to eat! Parenting milestone!

New Shop Item: Printable Birthday Chalkboard Signs

My friend Kristen throws more parties than anyone I’ve ever met, and she is — without a doubt — my most loyal customer.

Sometimes the things she asks me to make are so adorable, I turn right around and add them to my shop.

I’ve actually had my eye on these chalkboard-style prints for a while, and planned on making one for Gus’ birthday in the fall, so I was excited to get started when she asked me to make one for her adorable baby girl’s first birthday.

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They’re perfect for your little one’s birthday (not just their first!), or as a photo prop for their birthday pictures! Colors, size, and each category is totally customizable! Enter coupon code SPITEORFLIGHT during checkout to save 25% on your entire order!

Life After Fertility Treatment

One of the things I struggled with during my pregnancy — besides all the normal weird pregnancy things — was how, and when, to talk about it.

After years of fertility treatments and repeat pregnancy loss, there was nothing more frustrating and saddening than the constant stream of pregnancy announcements on Facebook.

Sure, some people I was genuinely happy for — I knew some of them had struggled to get, or stay, pregnant.

But most of them? Like 99.9% of them?

Yeah, they could suck it.

I dealt with it by removing almost all of those people from my newsfeed. The majority of them were people I haven’t seen since high school, so after a while I didn’t even remember them. Hell, I don’t even know what those kids look like (some of them are probably three by now) and I don’t really care.

So when it was my turn? Hell yes, I wanted my moment in the sun. Who doesn’t like, well, all those Likes?

After all the needles, ultrasounds, debt, heartbreak, and waiting for our turn, I was ready to shout the good news from the rooftops.

But I knew I wasn’t alone. After I started blogging, I got emails from friends from high school, old college roommates, and friends of friends who were going through the same thing.

Now I have my baby, and most of them still don’t have theirs.

So now I’m the one blowing up Facebook with pictures of a smiling baby, videos of him babbling and rolling over, and hilarious quotes from my husband about the realities of parenting.

And every. single. time. I post something, they are the people I think about first.

Not the grandparents or long-distance relatives. Not our friends who adore this baby almost as much as we do.

I think of all the people who might see his picture, and burst into tears.

I can only hope they’ve taken the time to block me, like I did way back when. Do it! Hide that nonsense! I know it’s nothing personal.

I hope they get their chance to spread some good news of their own soon.

And I hope they know that I think of them often.

Four Months

What a difference a month makes! Now we have a babbling, sort of mobile, little man on our hands.

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Height: 24.8 inches (up from 24.5 inches last month.)

Weight: 13 pounds and 2 ounces (up from 12 pounds last month.)

Likes: He loves me. Like, completely adores me. I’m not bragging — he likes other people too, and went insane flirting with people at Costco the other day. But I am his favorite. He actually plays on his baby gym now, and we’ll give his exersaucer another try soon (the first attempt a few weeks ago was a no-go. He just slumped over).

Dislikes: Teething. I mean, I can’t say for sure that he’s teething (thanks to the lack of actual teeth) but he’s drooling, rubbing his head/ears all the time, and randomly crying out in pain when he sleeps. So I’m going with teething. And we all dislike it.

Sleep: Naps are still sporadic, but he consistently sleeps 8-10 hours at night, so I’m not complaining.

Eating: No solids yet (my plan is to hold off until 6 months) and eating every two hours during the day. God forbid something distracts him though, or he decides he wants to play with me — then it’s just on and off, on and off, nipple shields flying every which way, and he just laughs and laughs. And it’s impossible not to smile at a laughing baby, which begins the vicious cycle of him doing it just to get me to laugh at him. He’s a bit of a character.

Clothes: Officially wearing his 6 month clothes, which are verrrry spacious, but he was too tall for his old stuff, and length-wise the 6 months are a perfect fit.

New Tricks: Rolling over! He rolled from tummy-to-back when he was 15 weeks old. He rolled from back-to-tummy a few days ago. Yesterday I left him on his playmat to throw some things in the dryer, and when I came back he was three feet away from where I left him. Last week he pulled himself forward to sit up in the boppy, and now he pulls forward to sit whenever possible. The doctor predicts he’ll be sitting up before his six-month appointment. And he talks, all the time. Mostly to us, but he likes to talk to blinking lights and the fridge (weirdo!), and sometimes the dogs.

Nicknames: el Guapo, Drool Monster

Mommy & Daddy: Postpartum hair loss is no joke. The hormonal change, coupled with constant ponytails, and showering kind of sporadically is doing a number on my luscious mane. And by that, I mean I pull out, like, fistfuls of hair every time I shower. Mike’s hair is still lush and full and perfect, the jerk. We spent four days at my mom’s house two weeks ago after an ice storm knocked out our power. We lose power all the time (a generator is at the top of our list for 2015) and are used to packing up the dogs and heading to our parents’ houses, but babies do not travel lightly. A week later it snowed almost two feet, and Mike had to do 95% of the shoveling, but at least the lights stayed on. Then another week later, we didn’t have any water thanks to a water main break up the street. I really really hope we can ride out this winter without anymore issues (seriously, is it Spring yet?). I also hope we win the lottery and that theoretical generator can become a reality.

And now, feast your eyes on this handsome devil, one more time.

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My Husband

I know I don’t say it enough — I would not be able to function without my husband.

Babies change things, man. All the little things I used to do without thinking or without help are all of a sudden a two-person job.

Yes, Gus and I are home alone all day. I manage to feed us, and clean us (well, at least one of us), and dress us. I try to get us to the grocery store each week. I occasionally pay attention to the dogs, even though they drive me insane.

But the dishwasher isn’t emptied. The laundry isn’t done. I can’t remember the last time I ran the vacuum. If it were solely up to me, the dogs would be starving by now.

Mike washes dishes. He empties and reloads the dishwasher. He carries dirty laundry downstairs and clean laundry back up. He changes diapers. He helps with bath time. He takes care of the dogs. He takes out the trash and recycling. He brings me water and snacks when Gus goes on marathon eating sprees. He lets me watch the Olympics for hours even though he hates figure skating.

He shoveled snow every day for what felt like a week. He finds new dairy-free snacks for me so I don’t get bored. He calls every night on his way home to see if I need anything from the store, or if he can pick up dinner. The man bought me a case of thin mints.

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And I know he thinks he’s not doing enough to help me.

Without him, I’d be hungry and dehydrated. And my house would be a mess. And I’d still be snowed in. And my dogs would be abandoned in the forest behind my house. And I’d have to get a job and wear real clothes every day.

I love him, and his face and his beard and he’s my BFF.

And yes, dear, bring home dinner.