Milestone

Today, and only because it so happens to be a leap year, Elliot can celebrate his six month birthday on the actual day. He was born August 29th at about 9:30 AM. We are 45 minutes away from the the moment when the boy will have been on this earth, in our lives, for six entire months. That sounds like a small amount. He has been here for 182 days. 4368 hours since that moment when mom and baby finally got in sync and he plopped out into daddy’s arms. Let me tell you just how much a baby can change in 182 days.

For one thing, he’s finally starting to sit up. He can sit, unassisted, for about ten seconds. That is, until he gets all excited and flails his arms, sending his balance out of whack and his body careening towards the floor, always to the right. But he definitely understands the concept now; he straightens his back and will put out his arms when he begins to topple. I don’t know if the Bumbo had anything to do with his sitting ability but he will happily sit there for minutes at a time and not even fuss. He mostly likes when we set him in a room with the dogs and he can watch them play. He is ridiculously interested in what they’re doing and will even reach out to pet them.

In terms of his sleeping and general behavior habits, he naps like a champ at daycare but on the weekends, he doesn’t seem to want to miss what’s going on. He’ll no longer fall asleep in his car seat while we’re at dinner, which was so nice for us for a while. But he’s not fussy; he just wants to see what we’re doing at the table. He cannot be lulled to sleep by the little knee jiggle and pacifier combo. In fact, he doesn’t need or really even have interest in the a “binky” much at all. Which makes me sort of happy, actually. His bedtime routine has always been the same but within the last couple weeks, he has been exhibiting sings of sleepiness earlier and earlier and I have obliged by starting the wind-down process earlier. Last night, I fed him at 8:40 and he was out like a light at 9:05. And you know what else? He slept until 4. That is amazing! Right before I went back to work, he was averaging 5-7 hours a night like clockwork and then, suddenly, we were back to waking every three hours and I was seriously sleep deprived. I began falling asleep in the chair while feeding him and I was spending more time sleeping in the recliner than my own bed with my husband!

We’re still swaddling but most nights his arms break free after a couple hours.

He has found his feet and will often suck on his toes in lieu of his fingers.

His drool flows like a waterfall from his mouth; teeth are just under the gums.

His umbilical hernia is basically healed.

On the weekends, his mid-day meal is oatmeal. During the week, it is rice, given by our daycare woman.

His new favorite thing to do is reach out and pull our faces towards him. Then I snorgle his neck and he giggles like a madman.

I can’t believe how much more interactive he has become and how (knock on wood) easy it is now. Sure, it’s still stressful and at times, tedious, but he’s so much better than those first six weeks. I love him more than I could ever imagine loving anything; my heart bursts at the seams when I see him, when I can make him laugh. When I call his name and he turns towards me, shooting me that huge smile, I melt. I am a puddle of mom on the floor. He is my little Elly Belly, my Leetle, my Boy.

Happy six months, Elliot!

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Actual substance

Before I can even think about anything intelligible to write, I first have to say, PEOPLE ARE ASSHOLES.

Ok, I am feeling better.

Hmm, Spackle seems to come off your hands with 3-4 rounds of lotion. Didn’t expect that. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, feeling better. I’ve just had a few instances today where people have been blatantly stupid and/or selfish enough to get in my way and ruffle my feathers just a scoatch. Hey, that word is in the urban dictionary! But not in the WORD dictionary.

So far, this entry is proving to be little more than a page in aa middle school girl’s diary; need to pick up the pace here.

Ash is in the throes of packing a sixteen foot U-haul in about two feet of snow in the frozen tundra of Northern Ohio. Soon, they’ll be on their way here and I’ll be one day closer to a.) help with the baby but b.) lacking in privacy of any kind. Maybe it’s silly to be upset about but really, once my brother-in-law is living in our home, I can no longer walk, half-clothed, to the laundry room for a shirt or a pair of pants. I cannot tiptoe from the guest bathroom (where the tub is) into our bedroom to change. And, my biggest complaint of all, I cannot just whip it out and feed the boy whenever I want, wherever I want. Sure, I could. Ash and his family were brought up not being embarrassed by those sorts of things. They don’t see boobs and giggle. Especially not when they are in the service of a small human, in a totally non-sexual way. But maybe it’s partly my issue; I have to lift my shirt and some of my residual baby fat would be exposed. And really, for as uncaring and NOT vain as I want to think I am, I am relatively repulsed and embarrassed by this flap of flab.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry about such inconsequential things. I should focus on good stuff while Big E will be here: another pair of hands to hold/burp/entertain the boy. He can also hold him up like this and model those fashionable baby jeans, which I still think are a riot.

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They fit him a whole lot better now that he’s 6 months old, so he doesn’t look all thuggin’. I somehow believe that when he’s entering his teenage years, that look will be out of style. But we’ll see. I’m hoping that the long, shaggy hair boys are wearing now (see: a few entries ago) is also gone. Of course, part of being a parent is allowing your kids to do what they want for themselves, even if they grow their hair out and look like a shaggy dog.

It warmed up nicely here so I am going to crack my window a tad and prepare for a student conference. Peace out like a girl scout.

How many bullets, Chino? How many bullets?

  • I did not make pad thai for dinner. I had a sandwich
  • I did not get half the cleaning I wanted to done
  • There was frost on the grass this morning
  • I do not drink enough water
  • I would like a cheeseburger
  • And infinite energy
  • Or at least a good long nap
  • The cold weather makes my carpal tunnel act up
  • I’m now going to do some actual work
  • But first, courtesy of xkcd:

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Random instances

  • I got some spam mail from someone named “The McCracken”
  • My debit card was mysteriously misplaced this morning and I found it under the foot of a keyboard randomly placed on the coffee table
  • I saw a delivery woman carrying a Cheesecake Factory box downtown and thought how cool that must be for the recipient. (We don’t have one here)
  • In the bathroom at work this morning – while I was well, you know, – someone came in, blew their nose, then walked out, flipping the light off as they left. So I went to the bathroom in the dark
  • Things that were previously 99 cents on the Wendy’s value menu are now $1.29 and higher. I never go there but wanted a burger today. I only had $1.10. Oh well.
  • At Target I saw another Element but they had a fish and two bubbles painted on the side
  • I’m going to make pad thai for dinner

The week that can’t pass quickly enough

Might as well just hook me up to a coffee drip today because – damn – I am tired. (Random sidenote: we have a friend who always says “Mine as well” instead, not even realizing it’s wrong). Anyway, Ash’s plane left at 7 AM for Ohio and I was up at 4:50 to start getting ready. He’ll fly up today, then he and his brother will begin the cross country (is it cross if it’s North to South?) drive down here, all his belongings in a truck and his car in tow. They should get in Friday night but I think they underestimate just how long 9 hours a day is. Especially when the dog is going to need to pee and eat. Personally, I’m not really down with driving that long and that far. I’m ever thankful that I didn’t have to be involved in that whole process.

On the homefront, it’s colder than, well, you know it’s cold here and windy. I mean, howling wind. Wind that’ll blow you off your feet. Seriously! 25 mph gusts over here. But in Perrysburg, OH, where my brother-in-law currently lives, it’s negative 3 with their wind so I think I’ll just be thankful we’re only at 31, you know?

I think I just said “you know” a million times in that paragraph. How very sad.

Anyway, I have a literal ton of work to get done today so I am off to bear down (why do I always think of childbirth when that phrase arises?). Happy Humpday.

A bit whiny today

I’m having another one of those “off” days. I slept all funky and even though I fell asleep by 11, E started making little nosies around 1:45 but I didn’t actually become conscious enough to understand he was hungry until around 2:30. And although he wasn’t screaming by this point, he was wide awake enough that it took me about 45 minutes to get him back to sleep after eating. Sigh. I think he woke up again sometime because I remember getting back in bed at 5:40, only 35 minutes before the alarm goes off; the alarm I did not hear. Ash had to shake me awake when it was time for me to shower. So my state of being at that point was sort of like the moan a zombie makes: Argghhhuuuuggg. Add in some pillow drool and there you have my morning.

I have a few student conferences at 11 and then I am going to try to do some whirlwind shopping at Target during my lunch break. It should take me a little longer than an hour but you know what? I work hard and I deserve a little time. Regardless, I have to go; Elliot needs diapers and Ash leaves for Ohio tomorrow and he’s running out of travel toiletries. (He’s very particular about his shampoo, etc.)

So yeah, Ash is going to leave me for two entire days and although I have spent a lot of time just me and the baby, I have never been entirely alone that long. The only reason this will be “bad” is because there won’t be the option to say, “Here, hold the baby while I fold laundry/go to the bathroom/prepare dinner, etc. Granted, he’s a lot better sitting by himself these days but nights are his fussy times and sometimes he just wants to cry. And sometimes he just has to cry because I cant be holding him 24/7. You know? I know it will be ok the days will pass in no time but then, our lives will be flip-turned upside down. I’m sure I will have many entries to come about my brother-in-law’s stay in our home.

There’s some other things going on I won’t divulge (nothing having to do with me specifically) but that are making me sort of sad. Mostly, none of them are my “problem” but they still bring me down. I shouldn’t let them but I’m just emotional I guess.

I have a couple student conferences in half an hour; think I will go get some Gatorade and get all ready to talk about research. Sigh.

The war in me

Constantly raging, always conflicting. I am battling the war between the mom who wants to take Elliot and save as: baby. Then at the same time, I am so eager for him to grow up. I see 3 and 4 year old boys walking with their moms at the grocery store, helping them put cans of peas in the cart and having the best time pleasing their parent and I know those days will come and oh, how great it will be when we can talk about his day and learn together and catch fireflies in June and spin in circles until we feel dizzy and watch clouds passing, making them out to be animals.

The Boy turns 6 months old in 4 days. I have been making notes for his 6 month letter. He has made gigantic leaps and bounds from the small, squalling pain in the ass that he was at 2 weeks, at 6 weeks. He is so interactive now, sometimes shy but mostly giggly. He is starting to outgrow things like swaddling and lots of rocking. He sleeps in his crib on his belly now. He grabs at everything on my desk. He loves to be tickled and nuzzled and flown around the house. One day in the future, we will reach a divide where I can’t bury my nose in the crook of his neck and make him squeal with laughter. Maybe I’ll get a hug here and there but some day, he’ll want someone else to hug him; another female whose attention will mean more than the woman who gave him life, who got up multiple times a night for months, years, to give sustenance, comfort, a back rub after a nightmare.

And I am sure this will break my heart. Each time he reaches a new milestone that puts him farther and farther away from me and on the path to his own, independent life, my heart will shatter just a little bit more. We as parents spend most of our child’s early life teaching them everything they need to know to survive in this world on their own and yet, mothers struggle with the fact that their child, although doing the right thing, becomes a separate entity. It is both amazing and scary; fills me with a sense of satisfaction and a feeling of loss – emptiness. My parents are recently empty-nesters and I know my mother is compensating for my sister’s move to NY by constantly doting on Elliot, making plans to come see him, knitting him little socks. I hope that when my time comes and all birds have flown out to make their own nest, I can find enjoyment in my own time once again. Maybe I will take up quilting. For now, I will sew together the quilt of the relationship between my son, my husband and me, our life, our family. The experiences we have, the patches. The bonds we forge, the thread that holds them all together.

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Tag! You’re it.

Rather, I’m it. Catherine tagged me for a meme so I’d best do it. (And it’s one I actually have to really think about)

THE RULES

  1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
  3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
  4. Tag 7 people and link them.
  5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

So here’s 7 random things I thought I’d tell you about…

  1. When I was a kid, I used to get a bad rash on my feet when I walked in the grass. It always went away as soon as I spent a day in the ocean.
  2. I think I would like to be a sushi chef at some point in my life.
  3. If the fan is on high, I have to sleep with a blanket covering my ears. I use a baby blanket my mom’s friend made for me when I was born.
  4. I think I’m becoming addicted to Scrabble.
  5. My idea of a perfect weekend would include Mexican food, naps, and a good whole house cleaning.
  6. I have a thing about collecting pens.
  7. I hope to someday run my own sandwich shop, where we will also sell comic books, ice cream, and candy.

I’m going to tag: Jordan and Matt and Brenna and V and Sandra and Danielle and Katie.

And now, I am going to go let them know they’ve been tagged and then find some food because a Luna bar somehow gets your metabolism going hardcore and my belly is ravenous.

My favorite pics that aren’t on Flickr (yet)

I’ve been taking a lot of pictures lately; it’s probably the only one of my 43 things that I’ve actually stuck to. I carry my camera with me to school and try to snap some interesting things along the way. Like this one of some clothes hung on a line, which I hardly ever see anymore:

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I also found it kinda funny how this house peeks out at you:peeking-house.jpg

Here’s a couple Elliot pics that I just didn’t upload yet:foots.jpgdoleful.jpg

And here’s one from my Wreck This Journal project that I was hesitant to put in the Flickr pool due to content; my grandparents do check my pics often:moms-tell-all.jpg

So yes, it’s Friday and this week flew by in a blur of tooth pain and rain. That about sums up the entire week. Pepper it with some decent meals, a couple parent-like arguments, and some working out and there you have it. I’m definitely ready for the weekend; ready for some stress-free relaxing, some meals made by hands other than my own, and maybe an afternoon nap or two.

Happy Friday!

Times are a’changing’

What do you notice about the picture that accompanies this article? Stupid frat boys

What is with hair these days? Guys are growing it out longer and longer and sometimes it can look… ok (note: the extreme popularity of Sanjaya last AI season) but most boys I see around look like total bums. I guess the new style is to look like you just woke up, rolled out of bed and went to class/work/your friend’s house but really, I think it’s making guys seems less reputable and overall pretty sleazy.

This article makes me wonder if my Elliot will ever do anything so stupid. The reporter says that the pledges were doing body slams into the furniture. I remember being drunk when we lived in the Woodgate house and we did “throw-downs”; everyone took on each other and wrestled but the only thing that ever got broken was a window via the corner of a large speaker, and even then, I think Chris just bumped into it. I don’t even think anyone was wrestling. There are ways to get rowdy and there are ways to destroy things. The key is to find balance. How do you teach a child that? By example? I want him to know that he should have fun with life but within reason. And by that I mean, wrecking a hotel room like that should be better left to rock stars and actors – people whose behavior is not necessarily merited sometimes.

Although, wouldn’t it be cool if Elliot became an awesome drummer in a band someday?

No, you’re probably right.