Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holy Sleep-Killer Rollman!

I'm so excited that LM is rolling all over the place now. It seems so weird to think about how much he's changed in the last week. I was JUST posting last Sunday about him rolling over back to belly for the first time and now he's rolling everywhere. It's fun to watch him attempt to get where he wants...sort of the opposite of the saying about the shortest path between to places is a straight line!

However, an unexpected (though it shouldn't have been!) complication is his crib. First off, we had to lose the mobile (*sad face*) and lower his crib--both were sad mommy milestones for me. As you know, sleep has always been the one area where my super easy-going baby has been a challenge. Even with these obstacles, when he couldn't go anywhere, he always eventually fell asleep--on his back--and was usually in the same place in the morning (minus a few wiggles down and arm/leg positions). But now--you put him in the crib awake AT ALL and suddenly he's rolling and moving all over the place. He rolls, rotates, wedges himself against the side of the crib, plays with sticking his arms and legs out the side (did I ever tell you the breathable bumper doesn't fit our crib??) and various other non-falling asleep things.

He gets mad when he can't go where he wants or gets stuck. I think he is exploring how to get comfortable and find a position that makes him happy----something totally new. I know we all have our favorite positions to sleep in--why shouldn't he? I, for one, cannot sleep on my stomach to save my life. It's only natural that it would take some time for him to figure out how he likes to sleep. BUT OMG're killing me with the hour+ going to sleep thing developing. I've found that once he's on his stomach, if I pop his paci in and rub his back--he'll conk right out. But, this can only happen after he's decided he'll stay on his stomach long enough for this to happen.

*Sidenote--I've always thought he'd be a tummy sleeper--he loved to lay on me and sleep like that*

I want him to explore positions to learn how he likes to sleep. But--I'm scared of what's to come. I can't handle the going to bed routine taking forever---the quick start part was the only thing we had going for us some nights. I get so frustrated not knowing how to help him but, at the same time, feeling like he should be able to deal with it on his own. I can't handle CIO---especially now since the few times I've let him cry for a few and then picked him up, he's give me big salty kisses on the cheek. So, I'm stuck up there with him until he figures it out. I also don't want to start a new "bad habit" by rubbing his back to get to sleep.

AHH! How can one aspect of motherhood be so hard?? One step forward, two steps back.

Oh and of course, I now keep worrying he'll suffocate in his sleep because he's on his belly--even though he can put himself there and back. I know, I know! I should've never let TH convince me we didn't need a video monitor----@katery I envy you and your monitor!!

Anyone out there know anything about how long kiddos tend to take before they find their sleeping position favorites? Or have any tips on this transition?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Overheard (not, actually--Thank goodness)

As TH and I were decorating for Christmas today (while LM was F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. napping) we had the following conversation:

Me: We have to change this station (we were playing the Sirius Holly station on our tv)....I just cannot listen to Justin Bieber sing Christmas music. It's just not right.

TH: pause....pause...pause....pause....meaningful look....pause.

Me: WHAT?!

TH: Maybe you're being too hard on him....after all, this might be his baby's first Christmas and not many baby's have their Dad singing Christmas music to them on tv.

Me: pause. 

TH: It's true. Maybe he's really excited about baby's first Christmas. You are.

Me: Is it even his baby?

TH: Surely they have the paternity results back by now...he took it this week. It doesn't even take that long on Maury.

Me: Well, then maybe it is his baby. You would think they would have announced it right away if he was "right" and it wasn't his.

TH: Yeah. Or maybe he really will take Maury up on his offer to read the results on his show. Or maybe they're doing a Lebron-type special.

Me: That's true. I'm sure we'll find out this week.

Me: Why are we talking about this??? Thank goodness LM is napping and not hearing this.

TH: You're the one who brought up the Biebster.

And this folks is why I need to find my Bing Crosby Christmas CD ASAP :-)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"The Pilgrims came from far away...

to create for us this Thanksgiving Day".

Thanksgiving has always been a day that I have reflected upon what I am thankful for. After spending the last three days listening to my kindergartners share what they are thankful for--family, toys, video games, the pool, god and of course, most importantly Santa (?)--I decided to make sure that I shared what I am thankful on this first LM Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for LM--a blessing greater than we could've imagined. Watching him grow, change, learn and just in general love life, is something more special than I could've ever imagined.

I am thankful for TH--who is an AMAZING father and gets up with LM, changes his diaper and brings him to snuggle with me in bed on mornings he knows that I am exhausted or (like this morning) wake up with a raging headache (would've imbibed more last night if I knew I would wake up feeling like it anyway!!). He is wonderful and I am so lucky to have him.

I am thankful that I have a job that I love (most of the time!) and is secure. I have colleagues who inspire me and look to me for help, which pushes me to be better.

I am thankful for family--so much of it that it is overwhelming sometimes.

I am thankful for the Moms I have met in this journey---you teach me and save my sanity.

I am thankful we have a home and a safe place to live--I realize not everyone has this luxury.

I am thankful that I have this space to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences...and receive back such amazing support!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Mom who stares at monitors

It may not be men staring at goats, but I can only hope that I have the same kind of power when I stare at the baby monitor. I find myself staring at it in the middle of the night, trying to will it with my make the red lights stop flashing and jumping, for LM to go back to soothe himself and settle back down. Surely, my mom powers are strong enough to will the red lights to stop.

We've managed to basically stop night feedings (mostly only as a last resort and even then, it doesn't really seem to help him go back to sleep any quicker) but he's still waking up in the middle of the night at least 3-4 nights a week. I thought we wouldn't be here at eight months. If you had asked me before I gave birth, I never ever would have thought he wouldn't be STTN by now. In fact, I was positive he would be by the time TH went back to work after six weeks......oh, how naive. We made such progress last week......last week.

But---here we are, nearly 3/4 of a year later, and I'm still hauling myself down the hallway once a night to pat him, soothe him, rock him, sit on the floor with my hand shoved through the slats of the crib letting him hold my finger while I attempt to stay upright and awake. And yes, TH does try to help---but LM just won't go back to sleep for him, so it falls to me.

Now that it's's harder than ever to leave my nest of blankets and walk down that hallway. I don't harbor any frustrations towards little monkey for this. I'm sure that it's me who needs to find a way to help him---maybe I enable him, maybe we need better daytime/nighttime/bedtime routines, maybe I'm missing the cues to help him sleep better.....who knows. But--it's just so much harder than I thought it would be at this point. I'm utterly's affecting my school life, my home life and just about everything in between. Because of course, after all those nights last week of FINALLY getting some sleep, he's not been feeling well and hasn't been eating very much during the day...aka not sleeping well again.

I know that it's part of mom life and I still never think twice about getting up when he needs me.....but I do stare at the monitor and listen and watch for the signs that show me he needs me or one day, that he won't need me and he'll drift back to sleep without getting upset, without crying, without something....because one day, we'll get there. I hope.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh really, lady at Target.

So we're happily ensconced in the whole using T.arget Up and Up formula for LM...especially considering that we must must must use the rice starch version to help LM not spit up as much (though it's much much better) and the namebrand version is expensive. I work right by a T.arget that not only seems to always been well-stocked in the orange canister that we love so dearly and seems to have the biggest selection of our baby food as well. I'm not sure why the other ones only stock a few but this one has all of the mango varieties that LM adores. So usually, I can stop right by there and pick up things on the way home when we're running low. It also gives me a chance to wander around the aisles for a bit, enjoying my favorite store in a baby-free manner.

But..I digress. This weekend however, we were at our local store to pick up some more baby food, beer and a scarf I've been eye-balling for awhile (and yes, I realize that's a weird shopping list) and we decided to stock up on formula since TH was there to haul it inside etc. For some reason, our version doesn't come in the big canisters so it takes twice as many (if you're reading this Target gods, please please make a big orange one!)

So, with our cart full of 6 canisters (amongst other things), we proceeded to the checkout. As the cashier rang up our items, she looked at LM (adorably cooing and giggling) and said (in a baby talking voice) "You're an expensive little one, you know that?!".

I just smiled and handed over my coupons, supposing that it's just her cranky version of small talk. THEN--she said to me "No vouchers or checks?". I replied that no, Target doesn't have those, so it was just my $1 off coupons and that it still is much cheaper (sidenote--$5+ cheaper!) than the name brands.

She paused....gave me a look and then said.."Well, you know there are ways around having to buy all of this stuff. Some people choose to do what's best for their baby". UMMM....WTF cashier lady.

So, in my best snarky voice, I replied "Well, since he was adopted, it wasn't an option for us. So please mind your own business."

Okay....I didn't really. I'm not that quick on my feet. What really happened, was that I just stared at her for a second incredulously and chose to just hand over my credit card, pay and leave.

She said it so quietly that TH didn't hear her so as I fumed quietly all of the way out to the car, he kept giving me looks. I finally explained what she said and he said that while it was b.itchy, she was older and probably didn't really realize how it could have been offensive.

I wish I had had a good comeback for her. I wish that I could've at least told her that it was rude to say that to people....that you never know people's backstory....what they may have struggled with or how they came about their baby.  We didn't have trouble breastfeeding, but lots of people do and can't for some reason or another. You can't just say things like that to people....insinuate that they are not good mothers because they are giving their baby formula.  YOU JUST CANNOT.

I should've told her off. I was just too surprised that she would judge me. We may not have nursed for a year but I still made it longer than my original plan...after that, any extra day was a gift. I know that I made the best choice for LM and myself and I'm okay with how things have unfolded for us.

But.....things like that still make me feel tiny inside. They make me question whether I did the right...made the right choice. NO ONE should judge people in a way that makes them feel that way. That's not what being a mother is's not about making people feel like less of a good mother because they made different choices than you. This must be why new moms worry so much. How can we measure up to the standards everyone sets for us? It should just be enough to make sincere, well-thought out decisions for your family. As long as no one is being hurt in anyway, people need to support...not cut down.

I know we all judge people in our heads....I guess this lady needs to learn how to keep it there. I wish I had told her so.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Milestone Alert!

Welcome ICLWer's! I'm so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment or follow me so that I can come visit you! Visit the Our Story section of the page to learn how we got to this point. Right now, I'm a proud mama of an almost 9 month old (yikes! How did he get so old!!!) and a kindergarten teacher.  My little monkey and I are bumbling along in this journey--where I'm learning to try to balance being a relaxed, fun mama and my slightly neurotic side!

As you know, I love to read (or maybe you don't's a reminder).  TH...not so much. But--I'm determined for LM to love books and love to read/be read to.  I read to him before he was born and we've read together most days since. He loves to hear his bedtime books before bed and some of his favorite toys are his books. Granted, a lot of chewing goes on but he wiggles and kicks with happiness when he looks at them. As a kindergarten teacher, I might be a bit biased, but I'd say he has good print concepts skill as he helps me turn the pages and loves to touch each page. One of my favorite pictures is him laying down, holding a book above his head---smiling at the pages!

I've been worried for awhile that he's behind the physical development curve as he's nearly nine months and he still hasn't rolled back to belly. He pushed up on his hands/knees for a couple weeks but suddenly, he hates being on his belly and flips back over as soon as you put him there. While he sits like a champ (if you sit him up), he really shows little to no desire to move himself anywhere. I know babies develop differently, but I'm a worrier.

But, today, amidst the chaos of cheering for football, I watched him lean forward from a sitting position enough that he ended up on his belly. Since he actually wanted to be there, he laid there and played with the toy he had stretched so far for.  I watched as he grew tired of that toy and flipped back onto his back.  He played for a bit that way and then grew bored.  We watched as he looked around for a new toy to play with. He reached out for his colors book but couldn't reach it.  Instead of giving up and moving onto a new toy or screeching for help, he stretched and reached until he rolled himself over from back to belly! He grabbed his book and promptly rolled onto his back to look at it.  We cheered and celebrated with him, but he really just wanted to look at his book.

I'm relieved that he can move himself when he wants to.

But, I'm really proud that the one thing that he wanted enough to roll his chubby self over, was a book :-)

That's my boy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Heartbroken - Ain't No Mom Jeans

There is just too much of this going's heartbreaking for me. Coming up on Thanksgiving especially, I am so thankful LM is healthy.

Heartbroken - Ain't No Mom Jeans

Thursday, November 17, 2011


So, we've been struggling with the whole "sleep" thing for awhile now (as you lovely people well know!) and I honestly did not think we'd be at this point at 8.5 months. I really truly thought that he'd have been sleeping through the night for months now. Call it naivety, delusion or blind hope.....I really thought it would happen sooner.

Friends told me that it depended on whether they were a pacifier baby or a hand/finger/thumb sucker....self-soother's can sttn sooner and easier. People also told me formula would would would when he becomes more physically during the day....napping...routines...getting over the teething hump....the list goes on and on. It seems like there is always "something" that would help him sleep...if I could just make it happen at the precise time, in the precise way necessary, as all planets align and Congress agrees on something....

So, we just kept on. Kept on waking up at least once a night. Kept on struggling to get him to go to sleep, go back to sleep....just sleep. We had that lovely stretch where he sttn for one whole week. It taught me that he, in fact, was getting enough calories to be able to sleep and not "need" the night feed. So, snuggled and rocked instead of ate. It worked---it just took time.

But, we kept on. A couple weeks ago, we hit a peak. He was up for at least an hour at a time....and would not go back to sleep for anyone but me. And not even me sometimes. Usually, I'd cave and give him a few ounces and he'd go back to sleep....for a good chunk of time. But, it just didn't make sense. If he was truly hungry, 2-4 oz for a baby used to 7oz at a time shouldn't fulfill him enough to make him sleep for a long time.

We were struggling. I dreaded the night. I dreaded the morning...when the exhaustion was so bad that I would just sit in the bathroom while the shower ran because damn....there was no way I had the energy to get wet, soap up, shave, wash my hair (and dry it). I just  Work was becoming an issue....I was being a b.itch to my kids. I just didn't have the patience to deal with it.

Finally, we decided to mess with his food again. His daycare provider mentioned a couple times that he seemed like he would've eaten more or really sucked down his bottles. But, just as many days, he wouldn't we didn't think much of it. We tried adding another solids meal in the evening between his two bottles (one around 4-5, another at 7-8 for bedtime). But, this just seemed to either make him fussy (too full?) or he wouldn't finish his bedtime bottle and then would be up to eat. I mentioned to the daycare lady that she was welcome to give him more baby food if he seemed hungry (he does 1/2 jar fruit in the a.m. and 1/2 jar veggies in the pm, plus his 3 7oz bottles). We would make sure he still was finishing his bottles though, as that is important to me.

This was last Thursday. Every day this week, he has eaten TWO full jars of a baby food a day (except one day when it was 1 1.5) at all of his napped longer. He's gnoshed a little at home with us at "dinner" with some mum-mums, mushy carrots or mushy pears. He even at a 1/2 jar of peas and brown rice. LM has been an eating machine!

But....most importantly....MUCH more importantly...he has STTN Monday night, Tuesday night AND Wednesday night. He's taken his bedtime bottle well and conked out right after....with just a few wiggles and whines. No 20 minutes of head-rubbing or hand-holding through the slats. No up and down the stairs 3-4 times as he cries himself awake. Just a baby who went to sleep and stayed there until I wake him up to go to daycare.

WTF? Turns out he's just been hungry. I hope hope hope hope this is a new thing and he hasn't been this hungry the whole time. He's so happy and go-with-it all the time that I worry he was just going with the flow and could've been eating more for awhile.

I don't know how long this will last (especially since I just jinxed myself by posting about it!). Our weekends usually throw off his schedule since we let him sleep until he wakes himself up instead of at 6am.  I hope we can keep him on schedule enough to feed him plenty of food and keep the streak's been indescribably helpful to my well-being. I don't feel 100% myself again but I do feel more human.

This is just another lesson in motherhood for me that has taught me to just keep trying things. I can't assume something isn't the case just because it didn't work at one point. LM is constantly changing and growing and I have to keep up!

And now, if you'll excuse me....I'm going to bed...and hopefully staying there until my alarm goes off :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Round of applause

This week LM learned how to clap!
It started with some patty cake....with lots of flailing and giggles at the adult caking away. Then, he started banging his little fists together with glee. However, about mid-week, the hands opened up and he started clapping away. At first, it was only when you were saying the patty cake rhymes but now he does it all the time!

He is an indiscriminate clapper--anything that makes him happy, excited, or giggly makes him clap. Sometimes he claps just because he wants to do something with his hands. But he claps...and I love love love it!

And, because my LM is a genius, I swear that today he clapped and yelled at the appropriate time during a football game.

Even though the rest of his physical development milestones are just preciously average...he's my clapping prodigy ;-)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekly Musings

It's been a rough week, so I'll just post a few quick thoughts.

  • Full moon's are bad bad things and should only occur on the weekends.
  • Scaring your baby by having to lay him on the bathroom floor while you throw up and the noises/experience totally freaks him out really makes you feel worse than the stomach flu.
  • I miss my maternity clothes---I loved buying all new fall/winter clothes last year. My regular clothes suck. But I have no time to shop.
  • School is kicking my ever-growing a**....the kids are proving to be a greater challenge than I expected.
  • LM has decided to start struggling with the "going back to" part of the whole sleep thing. That used to be the part we're good at.
  • I developed willpower tonight and got LM a fun toolbench toy instead of a Sophie with some returned BRU money....even though I really really wanted the Sophie.
  • Speaking of teeth---I *think* we're really truly almost ready to cut more teeth....the drool started up and Teething tablets have been our friend.
  • Holiday family stress/arguments/obligations have started's like the decorations at starts earlier every year.
  • I'm excited for all of you with good baby appointments last week...yay no bad news!
I've got a book on my kindle calling my name (gotta love mindless chick lit spy novels for 2.99)...and since LM is out cold and TH is watching "our future QB" on tv (traitor....Manning will always be my man)....I may just get a little reading time in tonight!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Friday....very normal day, full class of germy little darlings in attendance

Fast forward to Sunday....nauseous, throwing up, chills/fever, etc. etc, general misery

Monday--day off work, feeling better slowly.

Tuesday.....TH goes home throwing up.

Shall we start the countdown until LM gets it?  UGH, baby colds make me sad/anxious...I can't imagine what a throwing up baby would do. Cross your fingers he's got a good immune system!

Oh...and shall we all pause for a moment of silence for poor TH....because regardless of the face I JUST.HAD.WHAT.HE.HAS, you would think that he's dying as we speak and it is monumentally worse. Oh men...such big babies!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Split personality?

Somehow we managed to birth a happy, easy-going baby. He cries only when he's hungry, tired, hurt or (occasionally) if he gets mad. Most of the time he's a happy guy! He is happy to move from person to person...content with everyone.

These are great qualities in a baby....but what about when he's older?

Is he really happy, go-lucky or is it a passive personality? Will he grow up to be the shy kid in class--easily overlooked if he's not a behavior problem or needs help with academics?

How do you bring out the strong points of a personality without changing the personality? If he is naturally passive or shy---how to we teach him to share himself?

As teachers, we see the different personalities in the classroom....and you wonder about how their home, parents, experiences etc have shaped the personality. I'm not sure where I believe personality falls in the whole nature/nurture debate. I'm outgoing and talkative, TH is quiet and only opens up when he's comfortable or has something to say. The more time I've spent with him, the more I am ok with quiet times/lapses. My personality has shifted as it has meshed with his. That's the nurture side I suppose, changing what "my mama gave me". TH has a bunch of talkative sisters, so he learned to be quiet. But--it hasn't really changed as he's aged and been around different types of people. As LM spends formative time with both of us together and apart, he will be exposed to different types of our personalities.  How do we keep the nurture of us from "ruining" what nature gave him? Or--does nature really give anything? People remark all the time about personalities of those around them--relating back to what type of baby or small child they were. When waiting for "baby", the personality of it is frequently debated based off the activity level in-utero. There seems to be so much that goes into a personality....and considering how much personality can affect your lifestyle, future, friends and general choices...that's pretty heavy.

Obviously, I don't know how it will all resolve...and it's awful heavy thinking for a Wednesday. I just imagine who he will be and how that relates to who he is now. And how I will (or have already) messed it up :-) There are a lot of choices you make in motherhood (or parenthood since I'm planning on sharing the blame with TH) for all basic needs/wants in a little one's world....hopefully the choices I (we) make are ones I'll look back on and be proud of when I see how my little monkey turns out :-)


Today LM is 8 months old.

He can/will/etc:
Sit if you sit him up.
Lean over to reach things and then sit back up without falling over.
Go after an object with a purpose and usually get it--even if it means he has to manuever it or his body.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Scoot backwards on his belly
Turn in circles on his back
Make lots of sounds--especially d's and b's
Says dadada right before he falls asleep
STTN about 3 out of the 7 nights
Eats 7oz bottles 5x/day
Eats maybe 1x a week in the middle of the night
Has to hold your hand if he wakes up at night to be able to fall asleep again
Sits up in his ducky bathtub and splashes with a purpose
Leans towards you if he wants you

and most importantly...melts my heart.
I am so blessed to have him.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Death of a Swing

LM loves his swing. It has a mirror for him to laugh at. It has a mobile with animals he has been swatting at since his motions were more flails than intentional. He gets so excited to get in it---even craning his neck to lean towards it when he wants in. I love it because it plugs in :-)

It has rocked him to sleep---giving me precious time to run around like crazy to actually accomplish something during a short nap (or rather, sit and stare off into space tiredly). It has gotten us through his first colds---allowing him to sleep upright and getting us both some much needed sleep. It was the first place he slept longer than two hours at a time.

But--he's discovered hand-eye coordination and can down reach right up and grab those fun mobile animals...yanking at them in an effort to get them to his favorite place (his mouth!). We made the mobile stop but yet he kept at it--grabbing them and moving the mobile back and forth on his own (though backwards, making a horrible horrible noise). We wrapped the animals around a few times, shortening their strings. But---it is all to no avail. LM wants them and he is GOING TO HAVE THEM IN HIS MOUTH IF IT KILLS HIM....or rather the swing.

So, in an effort to save the swing that still looks brand new (minus the dried spit-up) and runs's joined the pile of "Where did my tiny baby go" things in the basement.

There's a gaping hole in my living room that makes me sad. Soon it will be filled with a Christmas tree but for now, it is a reminder that they grow so quick and leave behind the favorite things that we envisioned they would adore forever. I know it was harder for me to part with it than him. Time moves on and I'm focusing on just being glad that I can hold him in my arms. And I am SO grateful for that.

But--if this cold/cough doesn't go away....I might just end up sleeping on the basement floor next to the resurrected swing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I refuse to listen to people debate petty political nit-picks....0.1% tax increase BAH.

I refuse to listen to parents whine that I'm not giving their 5 year old enough homework to "keep them busy" while they cook dinner.

There are so many, many petty things that people are so obsessed with right now....stupid, tiny things that will have no long-term lasting effects......

Today a mom lost her baby. She held him in her arms while I stopped breathing. There is no reason why any child should be taken from their mother or any mother lose their baby. She has to wake up everyday and realize in that first breath, that he is gone.

But yet, all around us--people refuse to realize the truly important things in life. It could all be so so much worse.

For one it doesn't get any worse.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SImply stated.

A friend posted this on Facebook and it's worded beautifully so I'm just going to copy and paste it since at this point it's hard to think of anything to say that seems right considering what they are going through.

"God blessed the Burdick's with a gift last night of Tyler waking and they were able to talk to him, and he actually tried to talk back even on the vent. The first time they have heard his voice in 6 weeks. However, the doctors are saying that Tyler may go to be in the ...arms of Jesus in the next 24 to 48 hours. Please pray that his passing is peaceful, and that Stephanie & Dan have all the strength they need during this time, and the knowledge to help their other children cope with the passing of Tyler. And let's continue to pray for a miracle...only God truly knows the hour. "From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny"