Quiet Mornings And Memories

Adam woke up this morning at six, which is unacceptable because he didn’t go to bed until nine last night. So I went up armed with milk and the willingness to cuddle the heck out of that kid until he went back to sleep. After 30 of the most calming and wonderful minutes of his head nestled under my chin, I decided he’d probably sleep better in bed. I begrudgingly set him down and came downstairs, trying to keep the smell of his hair in my mind. I’ve heard the smell of a baby does the same thing to a mother’s brain as drugs. No really! So it’s not my fault that all I want to do is lean over my kid and drink in his smell like I’m some kind of Dementor. Science!

Anyway, I came downstairs and faced a rare dilemma. It was 6:30 at that point and I had to decide to go back to bed or sit up and sip some tea while everyone (including the snoring cat) slept in. Sipping the tea won.

As I sat here watching Jeopardy and drinking my English Breakfast, it occurred to me that this situation has so rarely presented itself that I can’t remember the last time it happened. The sun was up, Adam had gone back to bed, and I wasn’t so wrecked from lack of sleep that I immediately dove back into bed and went comatose until the baby woke up again. The quietness of the house that I know will be a rarity for the rest of my childbearing days is incredibly relaxing. I feel like I’ve had time to actually ‘wake up’, which for me has always been sitting and staring at the TV until the sleepy fog in my head clears. Since Adam has been my wake up call for the last year that hasn’t actually been able to happen. I have to be in full ‘mom’ mode immediately because he’s not going to sit by and wait for food while my glassy-eyed self stares into space. 

So here I am at almost 8am, everyone still asleep and I’m able to think about the day ahead. Our anniversary was on a Thursday so Mike and I are giving the grandparents baby duty and we’re going to spend the day together. What are we going to do? No idea. We’ve vaguely mentioned going to dinner and a movie, or checking out a BBQ festival going down in Lexington. I don’t know, but I’m not bothered by that. I’m excited to have the freedom to see where the day takes us, and even if we end up sitting on a park bench watching people go by, that’ll be a good day. 

After all, it worked the first time we went to Paris:

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A park bench at the end of a small island in the middle of the Seine is the memory that sticks out the most in my mind. It wasn’t grand or over the top. Just a simple, romantic memory that I’m lucky enough to have a picture of. Hopefully I’ve got my camera handy today if that happens again. 

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10 Years

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Ten years ago these two crazy kids got married, almost one year to the day after they started dating. I can’t speak for my other half, but it quickly became apparent to me that Mike was “the one”. I’d never been more myself around somebody, or had someone accept me for me as completely as Mike did.

It’s strange to me how fast it’s gone and what we’ve been through.

Here are the highlights:

Our honeymoon. We went to Cancun and spent most of our time on the beach reading. I know. Dangerous right? A while later I had the beach we sat on turned into a painting, with the books we read sitting on the table. It still hangs in our hallway and I love it.

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In 2006 I got orders to England for a four year tour. From the beginning we traveled around Europe trying to see as much as we could before time ran out. We still didn’t get to all of the places on our list, but there were some awesome sights to be seen.

Here’s us on our first trip to Paris (my heart belongs here. We went five times).

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After a few whirlwind years I got out of the Air Force and we came home and got to schoolin’.

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Then, of course, him:

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The second love of my life came along and changed us forever. Life is filled with baby stuff, and family hugs, and my favorite time of day is when Mike comes home and we’re together again.

To my best friend, my love, my husband: I can’t wait to embark on the next ten years with you. Thank you for the best years of my life. I love you.

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No More Baby Stuff

Yesterday Mike and I were standing in the kitchen while Adam played around our feet, discussing when and how to wean him off of a pacifier and a bottle. Mike pointed out how weird it was that we don’t have a “baby” anymore. Our Peanut has officially moved into “toddler” status, and some of the toddler-y things have begun to emerge. Like he can just walk now. No more holding onto stuff for balance or anything. He can go somewhere, decide he wants to change direction and just do it. The shock of this one hasn’t quite worn off yet. 

The other big-deal leap has been Adam’s communication. He doesn’t talk a lot yet, but in the last few weeks has let us know what he wants with a pointed finger and a grunt like some tiny Tarzan. Sometimes the pointing is more generalized, like toward the kitchen. Then it’s up to Mike and I to take him in there and pinpoint exactly what the desired object is. Most of the time it’s something he most definitely cannot have (the olive oil, a knife, Mike’s sword-shaped letter opener), so we have to tell him no and distract him with something that he’s willing to settle for. I say willing to settle because once he gets his mind on something he wants he is so determined to get it. So when we’re able to give him the object of his desire when he asks, that makes it all the sweeter. He gets a giddy smile on his face and laughs with delight because he communicated that he wanted something, Mommy and Daddy said yes, and here it is!! 

Once in a while I figure out exactly what he wants and he gets that excited smile only to have his Meanest Mother in The WORLD tell him no. He wanted to go outside a couple of days ago, but it was very windy out and I didn’t think it was optimal weather, so I said no. What followed was what I can only describe as the first in what is likely to be many toddler tantrums. He started crying and banging on the door, pointing outside, then pointing at the doorknob (how does he know what that does?!?), finally throwing himself on the ground and leaning against the glass while wailing. Luckily, after stifling the smile I had because Adam is the cutest thing in the world even when he’s screaming, the secret weapon I employed worked like a charm. 

“Adam, do you want to come read with Mommy?” (cue the giggles and laughs) The kid loves his books. 

I’ve started researching all the new things having a toddler will bring. When does the bottle go away? When do we wean him off the pacifier? Can he have honey now? Seafood? What kind of shoes are best for a new walker? When do I move away from formula? I had so much time to research how to raise a baby, but now that baby has sprinted through that stage and I feel like I’m scrambling to keep up. 

The dentist we went to for Adam’s lip-tie was so anti-pacifier that we’re starting there. Binky stays upstairs during the day and Adam only gets it at bedtime and during long car rides where he’ll probably fall asleep. So far it’s worked pretty well. We have to keep them out of his sight or he’ll immediately want it but that’s not too hard. This one is kind of breaking my heart, though. He didn’t want the pacifier until he was six months old, and it was such a win for calming him. Now he knows it’s awesome and can sign that he wants it, so we’re stuck distracting him until he forgets about it. There have been a few manic times where he can’t calm himself, but on the whole the last few days have been ok. 

The bottle has also gone bye-bye except for bedtime. We introduced the sippy cup months ago, so Adam knows what it is. Yesterday Mike put formula in it and there was such good reception that I decided today would be a great day to try no bottles except for bedtime. This morning didn’t go fantastically, but it wasn’t a total disaster. This afternoon, well. Not good at all. Adam threw a tantrum to end all tantrums. He didn’t want anything I offered him, but then cried harder when I gave him what he pointed at. The bed, the bottle, the pacifier, all worthless to him. I had to set him down because we were both beyond frustrated and five minutes later when I went to try again he had managed to get both legs through the slats on the crib and was stuck. I finally brought him downstairs and cuddled on the couch for a while to calm us both down, then tried again. It took a while, but he’s asleep now. 

I know the transition phase is going to be tough, but man today’s bedtimes weren’t great. After a couple of weeks of having an awesome routine down, I’m kicking myself for throwing a wrench in it. I’m sure he’ll get with the program soon enough, I just hope my nerves stay intact until that happens. 

 

Lip-tie Correction

Yesterday was the day I’ve been dreading for a while now. Mike, Adam, and I packed up and drove to Charlotte to get Adam’s lip-tie corrected. We had the choice of two different places to go: a plastic surgeon and a dentist. 

We went to the plastic surgeon first, who was recommended by our pediatrician. Everyone there was really nice and knowledgable about lip-ties. The doctor who would have done the procedure specializes in reconstructive surgery. However, the actual procedure they described gave me pause. They wanted to put him under anesthesia and cauterize his lip, then suture it in place. It was technically an “outpatient” procedure, but required us to get there early in the morning and be there for hours while he recovered, not from the surgery, but from the anesthesia. Putting my baby under for an elective procedure gave me the heebie jeebies (technical term).

On a lesser but still important note, all of this would have been wildly high in cost. The doctor and the hospital would have been billed us separately, so that pretty much put the final nail in that coffin for us. We called about a week later and cancelled the surgery.

The second choice was a dentist who specializes in repairing lip and tongue ties with a laser. He was recommended to us by a mother on a local parenting forum, so I looked him up and did some research. Everything about this place seemed better. The procedure only takes five minutes, the cost is less, and it’s done with a local anesthetic. So we made the appointment. 

Even though I felt better about this path, we were still going to do a pretty invasive procedure on Adam. So, cue the massive amounts of anxiety. My neck has felt like someone tied it in a bow for the last few days and I’ve been -slightly- irritable. Okay really irritable. Sorry, Mike. 

Luckily the drive there was uneventful. I made the appointment with Adam’s naps in mind, so he slept just about the whole way there. The drive was pretty nice. We passed our Mecca on the way there (otherwise known as Ikea) but ended up not going. We may have to take a day trip for our anniversary and go back. The Williamsons need floating shelves!! 

Anyway, the dentist examined Adam and told us he has a class four tie. That’s class four out of four. His tie came all the way down to the end of his gums where his teeth come out. I was pretty shocked when I heard just how bad the tie is. And I couldn’t believe we actually managed to breastfeed for almost eight months. I mean, Adam even has problems getting the right suction on a bottle. His top lip curled under and made it hard to get the milk out. Getting a good latch must have been a nightmare for him. So I felt a lot better about what was about to go down on his lip. 

The short of it is this: Dr. McMurtry numbed his lip with a topical gel, then they swaddled his arms down and a nurse held him in place while his lip was lasered. It was awful to watch and Adam screamed. The. Whole. Time. After it was over he was put right into Mike’s arms to calm down. Then we sat down and I gave him a bottle. And you know what? His lip didn’t curl under. Not even a little bit. He was able to take milk for the first time in his life without the need to correct his suction. After a few minutes and some serious cuddling, he looked like this: 

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That’s our little champ. He bounced back beautifully, and even stayed happy through lunch and shopping. 

So now the after care starts. Adam’s lip is pretty swollen today and we’re dealing with keeping the pain at a minimum. We also have to make sure the lip doesn’t reattach, so for the next few weeks we have to stretch his lip upward three times a day. So far it’s gone well. Adam doesn’t like having his mouth messed with but it doesn’t seem to hurt him. In the end, I’m glad we had the procedure done. I’m glad I have this knowledge now. When we have other kids, I know that he or she will be getting checked for lip and tongue ties before we ever leave the hospital.

Live and learn. 

Paaar-taaay!!

Adam’s first birthday bash was last Sunday. It was such a good day that I don’t have much to say about it. Family and friends came over to celebrate with our Peanut and it’s more than I could have asked for. So, to the pictures!

The pre-game: 

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It was cold and windy out so we all stayed inside. Thankfully the kids didn’t mind playing in the living room.  

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Oh also, I kept mistaking our neighbor’s son for ours. Honestly, look at them.ImageImageImage

Presents!

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We sang “Happy Birthday” to him and he stared at me the whole time. 

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The many stages of cupcake eating:ImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

Thanks again to everyone who came out to celebrate with us! 

 

To Adam On His First Birthday

April 6th, 2014

Dear Adam,

One year ago, after 12 1/2 hours of labor, at 2:53 pm, you came into this world and were placed in my arms. You were 6 pounds, 13 ounces of perfection. Nature has blessed me with forgetting most of the pain of labor, but I will never forget every detail of that moment. I remember that you cried just a little bit longer than I expected. I remember looking up at your dad and seeing tears of joy running down his face, and I remember that I was happier at that moment than I had ever been in my life.

The next few months were quite the adventure for us. I admit I didn’t expect the challenges we faced. I also didn’t expect the overwhelming feeling of love I felt when you started to smile at me, or the first time you laughed, or when I looked at your face after I nursed you to sleep.

When you were a few months old a light switch went off in your head and you started to take in the world around you. From that moment on you couldn’t get enough of everything. I can’t tell you how cute you were when you could barely hold your head up, but you sure did try to sit up on your own. Upright and looking at the world is the only place you want to be. You are so aware, and so smart.

You’re also a stubborn little thing. I couldn’t possible tell you where you got it from (your parents), and you’re a force to be reckoned with. When you decide you want to do something you do it. You didn’t want a pacifier until you were six months old. Now it doesn’t leave your side for very long. You will go explore the fire place, and the wires under the computer, and the entertainment center even though Mom and Dad have told you over and over that you can’t do that. You’ll go to sleep at exactly the moment you want to, thank you very much. Now that you’ve learned my “discipline” voice, you jump and whine at even the slightest hint of it. I never let you see, but when it happens I have to turn my head and suppress the smile I get. Even with your frowny face, you’re still the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

Now, I know I’m your Mom and you’ll always be my precious, perfect kid, but I think other people see that in you too. Whenever we’re out and about people come up to us and you always greet them with a huge smile. Once you learned how to wave you thrilled little old ladies, sales people, and anyone who came up to you by engaging fully with them. I’ve always got you close, so you’ve always felt secure enough to interact with the people around you.

You and I spend a lot of time together since I stay home with you,and we’re really good friends, but I’m pretty sure that Daddy is your best friend. Any time I mention his name you look expectantly and point at the door. You can’t wait for him to get home every day, and once he’s here there’s barely a moment when you let him out of your sight. Dad hands you to me so he can take off his shoes and you immediately reach out for him. I think you miss him when he’s gone, and you make sure to take advantage of every moment you get to spend with him. Since you weaned he puts you to bed every night. I don’t know what you guys do up there, but you must like it because it rarely takes long for you to be sound asleep.

You have eight teeth (and maybe another one coming in as I write this). You like to wave and yell at cars that drive by. You’re calmest when you’re wrapped onto Dad or me. Louie has reluctantly learned to love you even though you’re still a bit rough with his ears and whiskers. So far your favorite toy has been a red polka dot ballon you got at a birthday party. On March 28th I got you on video walking and every day you get braver about letting go of furniture.

And you’re perfect. You being here has made us a family, and I can’t imagine my life without you.

Mommy and Daddy love you more than anything in the world.

Happy Birthday our sweet baby Adam.

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What A Difference A Year Makes

I’ve been multitasking the crap out of my house today. Dishes, baking, laundry, grocery shopping, baby wrangling! I have been on fire. It’s probably due to the uninterrupted 8 (ish) hours of sleep my dear son gave me last night. He was so sleepy from being at the zoo yesterday.

While tearing through all the housework in preparation for Peanut’s first birthday, I realized that one year ago today was his due date. I most definitely did not have this kind of energy on that day. I sat on my butt feeling every darn bit of 40 weeks pregnant.

LOOK at this belly!

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I also talked to my big sister and bragged about eating a chocolate easter bunny.

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No seriously, I ate the whole thing.

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I did not feel the least bit guilty for it either. I needed a bit of indulgence to make my swollen, uncomfortable self feel better. Toward the end everything feels so weird. Adam’s head had dropped by that point, making me feel like I was walking with a giant egg between my legs. Of course Mike would come home every night and shoo me out the door for a walk. “Let’s get this baby out of you!” became his war cry. Eventually all of that walking worked and after a particularly grueling evening (in which I complained about not wanting to be there the whole time), I went into labor early on the 6th.

I must say it’s been a fun ride. I can’t believe another human lives with us. He knows how to walk, tells me when he needs to be changed by insisting we go upstairs, and is currently at my feet playing with an old landline phone.

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I wonder how long it will take before I get questions about why the phone had to be plugged into the wall.

So it’s time I stop reminiscing about being prego and go back to my frenzied party prep. Stay tuned. Tons and tons of pictures will follow.