Wednesday, January 26, 2011

fit to be frazzled

yesterday was c's two month check up, as i mentioned, and he had two vaccination shots and one vaccination by mouth. we were told that the common results of these shots are that some children run a fever, some are a little fussy and others are a little sleepy. we were hoping for the latter, as after we arrived home c began a long nap. i had developed a migraine and e sent me upstairs with a bottle of my favorite beer (which i haven't had in over a year) to rest while he stayed with the baby downstairs. i nursed the beer and had only consumed about half before i heard the baby crying at about 6:00 p.m. and i waited to see if it stopped before checking on him. e usually has it under control so i just sat and waited for the crying to subside. about five minutes later i began to notice that it was not just crying, but screaming. my child does not scream. he is such a mellow baby that i have only seen him turn red a handful of times, which only happened early on during his objection to being naked and having a diaper change-- both of which he's long been over. so i wandered downstairs to find e sitting with our little boy on his lap. c was crying so hard his face was wet with tears and he was red all over. his eyes were scrunched closed and his chest was heaving as he struggled to breathe in between the sobs that were rolling out of him. i asked if he was acting hungry and e told me he wasn't, so i took him in my arms and tried to comfort him. this normally works, but we were not dealing with normal circumstances and he only continued his steady screaming cries. after about ten minutes, i decided i should make him a bottle because the breast milk has pain relieving qualities that might soothe him. i would not nurse him until i had waited a few hours to metabolize the small amount of alcohol i had consumed. i noticed he felt hot to me, and we took his temperature to find it had risen to 99.9 degrees. we knew he might run a fever, so i naturally stripped him to his onesie and then i wrapped him close to me in the moby wrap to be able to carry him and rock him while i moved around. he finally settled into soft sobs and whimpers when the bottle had warmed, i took him from the moby wrap which only invoked shrieks and screams and sent him back into a fit of crying. once settled into the crook of my arm, he drank heavily in between screams and cries and finally fell asleep. i thought perhaps we were in the clear and decided to put him back into just his fleece jammies without a sleeping sack and put him in his crib to sleep. i thought wrong, as upon shifting him in my arm to rise from the couch he began shrieking and screaming again. just the small act of moving him in any way sent him into hysteria again. i brought him upstairs anyway, changed him from a wet diaper (which only brought more screaming and red faced cries), redressed him in his jammies and laid him in his crib under his mobile. under normal circumstances he loves his mobile and will coo and smile and talk to at it. last night it was going to go completely ignored. he cried and screamed and turned red for a few minutes before i took him from his crib to feed him again. this time it was past 8:00 so i decided i would nurse him. he fell asleep after a while and i thought perhaps he would allow me to carry him back to his crib. i managed to place him into the crib and shut the door without much more than a peep. as i climbed back in bed, switching on the monitor, e and i talked about the doctor's true meaning when he said 'a little fussy' because our child was far beyond fussy. neither of us had ever heard him cry this way and were both unnerved by the reaction he was having to his shots. i wondered if calling the doctor was in order, but e told me that he thought it wasn't necessary just yet and to wait it out. so we settled in to get some sleep only to hear the shrieks and screams begin again. e said that i should bring him into bed with us and he would sleep in the spare room as we don't have room in our bed for the three of us. i gave in and put sweet c beside me, nursing him once more. once he fell asleep, any movement seemed to startle him and restart his crying fits. if i readjusted his sleeping position or if i moved in bed he would jump out of his skin and shriek like i had pinched him. i was beginning to worry, but i had a gut feeling that said it would pass so i just kept cuddling and trying to comfort him. i stroked his hair and face, his little fingers, and his tummy for hours until he finally fell into a fitful slumber. he continued to jolt and whimper and mumble in his sleep, but at least he was asleep.
at 3:00 a.m. he woke for a feeding and after being burped he seemed fine. i smiled at him and he smiled back.. so i changed his diaper and got more smiles. it seemed the storm had passed. i talked to him and he cooed and smiled and was back to his usual happy self. he was still running a slight fever, so i stripped him back to his onesie and let him cool off before redressing him in a pair of cotton jammies and a cotton sleeper sack to help him stay cooler. eventually i placed him in his crib under his mobile and he talked himself to sleep. i checked
i still feel skeptical of the vaccinations and i am dreading having to do it again, but i don't want to put him at risk by not having them if they are in fact important. it's hard to decide which is true as they have become so controversial. but i have to say that as a mother, i did not enjoy feeling so helpless when it came to my baby's discomfort. not being able to soothe and comfort him was really beginning to rip my heart in two. it never ceases to amaze me how ingrained the mothering instinct seems to be for me, as i am sure it is for most moms. i used to wonder 'how do you know' when it came to things that moms just seemed to understand about their children.. but now i get it. and for all of the talents i have been graced with in life, the 'mothering talent' is by far one of the coolest.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

cousin's second year

this weekend we celebrated an early second birthday for c's cousin little e. hard to think that while i am reeling over c's second month, little e's momma must really be reeling as she reaches her second year! a fun little party, complete with princess plates and napkins, was held at nana & grandpa's house and we had a wonderful time! it's not often we get to see our lovely sister, brother, and niece since they moved hours south of us, so we try to steal as much of their attention in the short visits we get! after cake and presents and merriment we were lucky to have them stay the night with us, too! i wait for the days when our babe will be big enough to run along side his cousin and learn what she will already know. we hope that by then we will be blessed with them living closer so we may plan more adventures together. nothing would be cooler!

the second month

it's been a bit since i've written in this and i think it's due time to update. caleb is now two months and one week old. this string bean had his check up today and he weighs in at 12 pounds, 8 ounces and 24 and 3/4 inches tall! this places our babe at the 75th percentile in weight and 95th percentile in height! just a growing machine! he did have two shots today, which he was pretty unhappy about and screamed until he was red in the face-- something that is rare for him. but after we were back in the car he took a nap while edward ran into the grocery store to pick up some things.

new developments, aside from the immense growth that's taken place, is that we tried our first night of him sleeping in his crib last night. well, that's not true.. it was actually our second attempt at it, as two nights ago he cried after only a few hours of sleeping in there and i was too tired and lonely to make him go back in his crib. i never thought i would be a mom who missed having her little one sleeping next to her or right next to her all of the time but in fact.. i am a sucker for his sweet little form snuggled close by. the second attempt, made last night, we absolutely successful. he slept five hours straight, woke to eat, and then was back to sleep for another three hours or so. i have to admit, i slept better than i have in a while as well. when it came time to put him down to sleep, i nursed him for the first time in the rocking chair my parents gave me and loved every second of it. i settled him onto his boppy pillow, wrapped us both in the large quilt my cousin made him, and rocked and nursed him in the soft glow of his nightlight while his mobile played the sound of crashing waves. then, i settled him softly into his crib and heard nothing from him until this morning. the mobile in his crib has become one of two new things he's fascinated with. he can lie underneath it and coo, babble, and kick his little feet for hours. the other new discovery is his activity center which i just assembled two nights ago. after noticing that he's able to put almost his full weight on him legs and stand with us holding him stable i decided i should see if he could fit into the stationary jumper. he is too small yet to be able to reach the bouncing floor of it, but with a pillow under his feet and one behind his back he is able to reach out to the various gadgets around the swiveling chair. he has found the bee to be the most intriguing and the first night i put him in it had him near full laughter at the sound the bee makes when it is spun around. so, for a little each day, i put him in it and find myself in complete amazement of the advances he's made in his interactions and motor skills. lately it's been all smiles and noises as he works on putting his 'words' together and building up to laughter and much babbling. he's even learning to use his hands and pulling things to his mouth. i cannot help but admire the way a baby learns and grows. every advance i see caleb make just has me in awe of the way we develop as humans. to think that we were all once this small and putting things together for ourselves sometimes feels impossible. but, alas, we did it and our children will do it, too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the snail delivers


today was a busy and snowy day for these wee wrens. though lounging in bed gave us a late start, by 1:00 p.m. we were all bundled up and ready venture out into the snow for a few errands about town. after a stop at the bank, we made our way to a few stores to purchase long sleeves to keep e & i warm at our local reny's, a hot cup of chai from the lovely cafe, then off to the co-op to restock our earl grey and treat ourselves to a little lambic framboise (raspberry belgian beer). while making my purchase at the co-op, i also picked up an application for weekend work. i am hoping to pick up a few hours on the weekends someplace in town not only to pad my pockets with a little extra cash but also for some adult related interactions that a mommy takes for granted. i love being a stay at home mom, but i forgot how important interacting with grown ups can be for mental sanity!

after the co-op, i talked e into a stop at the second hand baby store in town to look for pajamas for c. he's so tall that he has outgrown the 0-3 month size already! how is my two month old baby (two months to the day!) growing this fast, i wonder? truly amazing. i made out like a bandit and we made our last stop at the post office before heading home. we have been having trouble getting our mail because the snow prevents delivery on days like today. e picked up the package he had been waiting for, and we headed home thinking we were getting no other mail this day. but i was wrong! later, while sitting and feeding little c, i heard the mailbox being opened and closed. thinking it was just e outside cleaning it off, i dismissed the idea of mail. then, after a second thought hours later, i asked e if we in fact had received mail in our mailbox. he left the room and reentered with an armload to my surprise! handing me, first, a package addressed to us by way of royal mail. now i don't believe that i have mentioned this, but my grandmother is english. and i do not mean by extended heritage, but in fact born and raised. she moved to the united states in her early 20's, where she married my grandfather and gave birth to six children (one of which is of course my mother). she is now a naturalized citizen of the u.s. of a. but i do have family that still resides there. i opened the package sent all the way 'across the puddle,' and inside found a beautiful blue sleeper set and three white sleepers. just what we have been needing! i will be sending them a thank-you promptly!

after ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the outfits, i noticed e had also handed me a card with an envelope addressed to 'kaybet.' i laughed because this is what his big cousin calls him and upon opening the card i found an invitation to her second birthday party! (already???!)

what a great day for snail mail!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

a night for grown ups

yesterday my mother and my grandmother came down for a visit. mom had the day off and she and my grammy decided to pick up a delicious rotisserie chicken, some garlic bread, a potato salad and stay for lunch. it was nice to have them here, the baby was awake but tired and not quite bright-eyed. my mom fed him his morning bottle which includes his vitamin and he fell asleep. she asked when she could take him and e & i both said 'today if you want. have a sleep over.' of course the suggestion and the reality are two different things, but my mom was delighted with the idea. so i packed up all of little c's things, a large supply of frozen breast milk, baby monitors and diapers, his special blankets and a few toys he has taken a shine to and handed him over to his grammy and grampy's care for the night.

once they left, i admit i felt a little bit lost. e, being home until the beginning of next month, and i tidied up a bit, i finally got a shower, and we settled onto the couch to watch our netflix. we decided to make an early dinner and then head out to a local bar for a drink (avoiding the over populated, over drunk watering holes and opting for the quieter and more upscale three tides). getting dressed i couldn't help but smile. a night of adult conversation and an adult beverage outside of these four walls was very welcome. putting on jeans, a nice sweater, my dressy boots, and styling my hair while applying a bit of makeup is something i had forgotten could be enjoyable. despite the cold, the pineapple cosmopolitan was lovely while being sipped over to soft lull of chatter around the bar top. but, alas, my mind could not stray far from parenthood and eventually e broached the subject of our sweet boy and we began to wonder how things were going with my parents. finally the urge was too much and i dialed their number to ask. naturally everything was fine and i bid them goodnight.

after our glasses had emptied, one drink each was enough, we made our way home to snuggle in for the night. though i was able to fall asleep easily, i found myself out of sorts as i did not have a little one to feed and tuck in. waking at 4:00 a.m. as i usually do, i again felt a bit lost as i pumped and went back to sleep. by 9:30 i was awake to pump once more and bide my time until i made the phone call to check in.

now i await his arrival back home and admit that, though loving a little grown-up time, i missed my wee wren very much. it does make me wonder what my life was before him.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

a season to grow

yesterday was another typical maine winter day. we ended it with over a foot of snow blanketing our little coastal town, never a surprise to true mainers. waking this morning with the gorgeous white decor outside of the bedroom window leaves me wanting to snuggle in bed a while longer. the babe is fed and dozing back in his bassinet and i have netflix on my computer which may mean instant-viewing some movies and taking advantage of the quiet. the sound of a little boy's breathing is so soothing while i sit here, and the sound of his laughter bubbling up from dreams untold is nothing short of magical. he's quite a vocal sleeper as of late. he dreams quite actively, with smiles and frowns, laughs and whimpers. occasionally he throws his arms in the air and wiggles about. but at the moment, peaceful snoozing.

the most recent thing i've come to laugh about, if only to myself, is my mental proclamation of love for my child. the more interactive he becomes, the more excited i get and the more i feel the need to say in my head 'wow, i love this little boy more than anything!' it seems a wee bit silly at times, having to make such statements to only myself about my son, but i continue to do it for no other reason than how good it feels to know and acknowledge it. he is but a wonder, as all children are, and he infinitely amazes me with his growth both physically and mentally. to think that this wee babe will grow up to be, for lack of a more P.C. term, a person is at times slightly mind blowing. i am in no hurry for this great feat, but it's still curious to think of him as a man with a family of his own someday. oh, how it puzzles the mind that things so small grow up to do things so big. i hope my own sweet little c takes his time and enjoys being a child while he's still a child. sometimes i find it disheartening how quickly children of our time are growing up beyond their years. i want my own to take advantage of his fleeting youth and suck every drop of it's delicious splendor dry. as i did of my childhood, i only wish that for him.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

boxers or briefs?

in moments when i intend to be brief, i find myself far more long-winded than intended. but this moment will be brief as i have many other things that need tending to as baby c has made his way to his nana & grandpa's for the afternoon.

my parents gave me a wonderful idea recently, and i just recalled it to the forefront of my memory; i find that "mommy brain" leaves me so forgetful these days! grr.. however, i remembered this and wanted to at least put it here to recount later. my dad has become an avid reader of my blogging as it keeps him in touch with our family happenings when they cannot be present. he mentioned to me that i might keep blogging for a time until c is old enough to read and appreciate it, and then i should turn my blog into a printed book for him to cherish always. i must admit to loving the heck out of this idea! i started blogging merely because putting pen to paper, though much more romantic a form, has never served me well in diligence. i always forget to write and leave large gaps in my journals, missing important events that i cannot again recall in detail. so i took to blogging as a way to keep up with my life and document the things i wanted to remember. also, with our society so technologically swamped, i have fallen prey to the siren call of my laptop and spend more time with my fingers on the keys than i do with them on a pen. but i digress.. the point it, i very much look forward to putting my blog in print someday for my wee wren to keep and read.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

pampering from within

today is a hot cocoa kind of day. e was granted paternity leave by his work because they changed their policy just after sweet little c was born. so now he has four weeks off to spend at home, how lovely! he's out and about today running errands and picking up some things we need to weatherproof the house while i pick away at chores around the house. but for a brief moment i am indulging in a little hot cocoa and some blogging.

i am anxious to take advantage of e's time off for some fun projects and household improvements this month. i picture our living room finally painted a fresh minty-green to match our hallway and the crown molding and ceiling light completed. i am on the hunt for a low-cost but spectacular area rug for our living room floor, and i plan to paint some shelving to hang on the walls in both the living and dining rooms to adorn with beloved plants and nick nacks. the house, as it stands, is beginning to feel more homey and cozy by the day. each time i come across a unique item that must live in our house, i find it's like pieces clicking together in a puzzle. i know that e could not care less about some of the things i want to do or the overall cleanliness of the house.. but something about a clean and tidy dwelling seems to harness my chi and cleanse my soul. it's like cleaning the exterior of my life also lends a cleansing hand to my interior life as well. i think we could all use a "spring cleaning" no matter what the season. i am also conjuring up ideas for decorating in our wee wren's nursery. his room, as of now, hosts nothing on it's walls and i am trying to decide what and where things will live on those empty canvases.

making this house a home for my little family has become one of my favorite activities. watching my son grow and my relationship with my beloved man blossom even further is purely resplendent and it leaves me cozy in my role as mother and housewife. there are so many adventures ahead, so many new and wonderful experiences to be had.. i am unequivocally excited to take them all on as they approach.

Monday, January 3, 2011

new year, new things

i've taken to bringing caleb into bed with me when he wakes up for his morning feeding. he's gotten into a rather pleasant routine lately without my help and i cannot complain. he's decided to sleep from about 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m., waking to eat, then back to sleep until about 8:00 a.m. or later before waking to eat once more. when he wakes for the latter of the feedings, i like to keep him in bed next to me for a quick cuddle and snooze. yesterday, after he was happily full, he decided not to fall back to sleep as usual. instead he began his most recent act of smiling and cooing at me with great enthusiasm. so we lay, side by side, chatting away for a while before he dozed off. while falling into a sweet slumber, he suddenly burst into a brief moment of laughter! i kid not, a few little chuckles escaped his lips and left me stunned and in awe. i have yet to see him duplicate this action while awake, but i hope it's around the corner. after all, he began smiling in his sleep so it only makes sense he would laugh in his sleep, too!

i am positively amazed at his progress and growth as of late. it seems that time is flying by as my six-week-old babe is learning new things daily. and of course, this momma experiences new things of her own now, too. with our christmas cash in hand, e and i ventured to bangor on new year's eve in order to bring back a big haul of things we needed. leaving our wee baby wren with my parents, we headed to town with a long list of needs. unfortunately we wasted much time stopping at every gun store along the way (three to be exact) for e to look at holsters and ammo. then we decided to meet with my dear friend henrietta for some sushi at green tea. i happen to love this place and have not been able to indulge in sushi in almost a year. what a treat indeed! after e successfully knocked his miso soup on the floor and himself, we finished our meal and headed to the mall to begin our shopping. unfortunately we did not make it far for the mall closed at 5 p.m. on new year's eve and we were forced to leave with only a few shirts and video games for e while my hands remained empty. by this point i had been away from the baby for four hours and i was beginning to feel the affects of not breast feeding or pumping. the pain began to increase and instead of trying to find other stores that may have remained open later so that i could acquire the clothes i desperately needed, i begged e to just go to the dreaded walmart for the large bulk items we needed so that we could head back to pick up little c soon. we loaded our cart as quickly as we could, but for a moment of down time while e perused the ammo for his gun, i headed to the baby section to try to find a play mat for the wee one to play on now that he's become interested in hanging toys. after finding the mat, i began to browse. and of course, browsing baby things makes me think of my sweet babe and caused a massive sensation of let down to which i nearly cried from the pain of engorgement. i made a beeline for the breast pumps and as e approached, i grabbed a manual pump from the shelf and said 'i am buying this and using it in the damn truck!!' we made our way to the check out, but for a stop at the watches because e has found a new passion in collecting specific brands and styles, and once we were in the truck i broke open the box as fast as my hands could tear away the tape and wrapping. i had forgotten to buy wipes to clean the pump and bottle, so i knew i could not keep the milk that would be collected into the unsterilized pump but it didn't matter at this point. once we were clear of the lights in town and on the highway back to my parents' house i began vigorously pumping away. by the time we reached my parents' road, i had filled the bottle. so, in order to be able to keep pumping, e pulled to the side of the road and i dumped the milk out the window. all we could do was laugh and e looked at me and chuckled 'if you had asked me a year ago if i ever thought we would be pulling over to the side of the road to dump out breast milk while you manually pump it in the car, i would have said 'no way!'' but there we were!

arriving back at my parents', i was relieved to have my little wren back in my arms. he was good, as always, and had slept most of the time. but i had learned my lesson about being away from the baby, and when i made my trip to bangor alone yesterday to finally purchase some much needed jeans, i was prepared! i packed our second diaper bag with my manual pump, wipes, and my feeding drape so that i could pump in the back seat of the truck while parked. it worked wonders, needless to say, though it was a bit odd to find myself locked in the back seat since my child locks are stuck on..

i may still be a new mom, but i'm learning things very quickly and loving it. of course, what choice do i have!?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

welcoming: two thousand eleven

the date today reads 1.1.11 and so far it's been the best start to a year i could ask for. i have a wonderful and dedicated beloved, a new and darling baby boy, a house that keeps a roof over my head, a man who keeps clothes on my back, two dogs and a cat scampering about, food in my belly and blessings abundantly falling all around my life.

last night we did not go out and party. we did not get drunk or yell very loudly with our friends. we did nothing typical of what our past new year's eves would indicate. last night, the eve of 2011, we set the timer on e's watch and counted down the seconds as they fell away into midnight. while lying in bed with little c in the crook of my arm softly snoozing, i kissed my loving boyfriend and my sleeping son knowing that i could not have celebrated in a better way this year.