Thursday, June 21, 2012

Now I Know

I'm not sure if it was the lack of sleep or the extreme length of time that it took us to get Baby B, but in the first few weeks of having him, it felt surreal. I mean, to the point that I would look at him and think, "Whose baby is that?" He didn't feel like my baby. I guess it could even have been the fact that newborns don't do much except sleep and eat. They don't really show affection or recognition or emotion at all. They really could be anyone's baby, and they don't know you from Adam.

All that has changed recently, though. Baby B is finally my baby. He laughs when I tickle his face with my hair. He stops crying when I pick him up and comfort him. We know each other...and I love watching him grow. At times, I pick him up from the changing table, where he has been making faces at me and telling me jokes (I imagine), and I just hold him. I wrap my arms all the way around him, nuzzle his fuzzy little head, and tell him how much I love him. We have bonded.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


One of the things thtat my mom was really good at over the last few weeks was making me do things that I didn't want to do. Blaine and I had gotten into a rut of staying home or running just one errand...quickly. But grandmas have been there and done that, and they know how to push new moms into using that stroller that's in the corner, taking a whole day out, etc.

I had been avoiding tummy time because Blaine seemed to hate it. I'd put him on his belly and he'd scream within a few minutes. (When I say" minutes", I mean seconds.) Nonni, on the other hand, had this brilliant idea to let him play on his back and then slowly roll him over. It worked! Blaine somehow kept his head up (as opposed to smashing his face into the ground) for longer. Now we're on a regular schedule of two tummy times a day. It only lasts a few minutes, but he seems to be getting the hang of it...slowly. Way to go, Nonni, way to go.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Post-Baby Fun

On Sunday, I participated in my first post-baby event. For Father's Day, I asked my step-dad to participate in a mountain bike race  in Salida. I've never done one, but thought it would be something fun we could do together. (I'm all about gifting "experiences" rather than gifts this year.) He is an experienced rider and leant me his awesome Gary Fisher bike for the day. I wasn't convinced that I'd need it, considering we were entering the 'beginner' division.

The race was intense! It was six miles long, and at least half of that was uphill work. I've been biking every other day for the last few weeks, and was so glad that I have! It was a tough uphill climb to the (near) top of Tenderfoot mountain, and then some tricky single-track. I haven't done any serious downhill for a long time, and I must admit that I am seriously out of practice. But, I made it down in one piece and had a wonderful day.

At the end of the day, I didn't know which to be prouder of: my medal, or my very well-behaved and happy baby boy, who braved his first FIBArk ever! He rode around in the stroller with his Nonni and withstood the warm weather. He only finally got really tired and cranky at about 4:00 in the afternoon. He's a good little cheerleader.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It Was a Good, Good Day

Don't you love those days where you wind down at the end and think, "Man, this day felt long and full of fun stuff"? Today was one of those days. It has been so wonderful having my mom ('Nonni' to anyone under the age of one) here lately. She's hanging out with us until next week, and then she has to return to California.

She has been such a big help. As any mom knows, just 15 minutes of "me" time during the day is valuable, and Mom has been giving Ben and I plenty of time to do what we need to get done. Ben worked in the garden today, I finished up the Writing Contest anthologies, and we both got to visit with some old friends. (We had a picnic in the park and Blaine was awesome. No crying, no whining, and no fussing whatsoever.) Blaine loves his Nonni and has been so perfect during the day. (We won't go over how many times we're still waking up at night.)

Having an extra hand around the house is invaluable. I can understand why rich people hire a full-time nanny. Lucky for me, a Nonni is like a nanny...except she has to go back home soon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Good Baby

Man, we have this schedule down! For the past few weeks now, I have been using the advice that I found in 'Secrets of the Baby Whisperer' to help me with two very important goals:

1. Not breastfeeding every 45 minutes.
2. Getting Blaine to nap routinely.

I am seriously going to buy a copy of that book for every pregnant woman I know! After learning how to read his cues and "listen" to him, Blaine and I have been on much better terms. I know that there is a lot of controversy regarding putting babies on a schedule, but here's what worked for me:

I strive for a "sleep, eat, play" routine. This way, Blaine is alert and hungry when I feed him, which leads to much more productive feedings. He gets more (because he doesn't fall asleep) and I don't become so sore that I have to go back to using the plastic shields again. (Finally weaned off of those, thank goodness.) The other bonus is that the little guy is getting three to four good naps a day, and he is much happier during his 90+ minutes of awake-time in between. I don't time his feedings or his naps, but he naturally fell into a fairly consistant schedule... he stays awake for about and hour and a half, has a nap (anywhere from 30-90 minutess), and then wakes up and eats. It is awesome to enjoy him more, and I can tell that he is a lot happier, too. Thank goodness, because life is beginning to pick up...

This week, we have a lot of company. Auntie Amber came down from Denver to visit, which was awesome. She brought presents and taught Blaine how to have "dance time." We also went to the famer's market for teh first time (see giant Bavarian pretzel, above). We love Auntie Amber...she is wonderful. Now, Nonni is here from California and is already showering him with attention and gifts.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Hard Day's Night

A great day does not a happy nightime make...
Oh, last night. I do not wish to repeat you. Don’t get me wrong – day was wonderful! We had a nice morning, took a walk by the river, and generally got on with the business of being a family. And then…nighttime arrived.

Blaine refuses to fall asleep at night to anything but prolonged, tedious nursing, which is frustrating for me. After "falling asleep" from 8:00 until 9:00, he slept until about 12:30, and then decided that he did not like being put in his bassinet at all. He slept so lightly that he woke up every time I put him in there, and then refused to fall asleep again. I was up at least once almost every hour after that. I’m not going to lie – there was a moment of irritation that went beyond just frowning. I had to walk into the kitchen and hit the counter a few times. I think that was at about 2:45 a.m. It didn’t get much better from there. Blaine kicked and sulked and generally tossed around all night long. When it was finally time to get up at 6:30 to go for my walk, I was tempted to give up and not go. But – it’s my only out for the day, so I managed to do it. Plus, I just couldn't say "no" to Syd and Nuts - they love their walk so much.

I can’t wait for the day (even though all the baby books say that day should be now) that he can sleep for more than three hours at a time. Five hours? That would be bliss! I’ll take it! Nevertheless, I can see that we are making strides every week, and it’s good…
Can I just say that Blaine is napping so well and so routinely during the day lately that I actually got to take a shower this morning? It was lightning-fast and nerve-wracking, but I did it! I even managed to shave my legs…

Friday, May 18, 2012

Learning Overload

Baby B has been working on grabbing things, a skill which he has to master by 4 months in order to be considered "normal". Whatever.

But he has made some great strides lately. Only a few days ago did he really discover that he had hands, and now he's slowly starting to use them to touch and grab things. (Especially now that the mittens are off 90% of the time.) It is absolutely amazing to watch him work things out in his tiny mind. I can almost hear him say:

"Alright, hands, the ring in the middle is the lion. Let's shoot for that one first."

And then he hits the blue one.

There was so much learning today, that he finally fell asleep for a nap (a la yesterday) in his swing. Joy!