one year. excuse me while i go and snatch my breath back!
this final month has been mostly enjoyable, i must say. holdy bear my mother’s nickname for him came out in rare form. personality fuh days. almost always finding something to laugh about, smile about, scream out about. he loves to look back at me when he is about to get into something he shouldn’t be in as if to provoke me to chase or race him. this boy.
alot has been going on with him developmentally. he was already starting to pull up on things, but climbing on furniture became a work of art. on occasion he would stand without assistance although he was completely unaware that he was doing it. he eventually took his first steps two weeks before his birthday, and any time keith and i can make a game out of it, we try to.
he finally started mastering his pincer grasp something i had been concerned about because he wasn’t eating a ton of food and mealtimes became less of a chore. this also increased his caloric intake and he suddenly began sleeping for eight hours straight before needing a feed early in the morning.
speaking of sleep, for the most part it definitely improved for most of the month except for the last two weeks of it where we were having to rock him to sleep because of teething and developmental milestones. we weren’t getting much sleep which made both keith and i vulnerable to whatever was going around. for me it was allergies, for keith, bronchitis. this lasted three weeks cumulatively. holdy bear remained as content as could be and thankfully didn’t get sick.
i started going to the gym as i get complimentary child care for two hours and i cannot tell you what a godsend that has been for both of us. even when i felt horrible, i took him to the gym just so that he could burn off some energy and i could get some reprieve. it has allowed me to enjoy him more when i get him back in my arms rather than dreading the three hour wake time of having to keep him entertained or out of trouble.
he looks more and more like a little boy each day and with his personality getting bigger, it is hard for me to recall what he was like before he began to really shine. i keep repeating to myself that he is going to be one soon, and i am not sure i am ready for that now that i am kind of getting the hang of him being a baby. i’ll miss his cute attempts at trying to kiss me. i miss seeing him discover a new skill for the first time. i’ll miss his partial toothy grin and his puckered face when he is focused on something intensely. some of those things may remain, but they will look different for sure, so i am holding on to these meteorites for as long as my memory will allow.Read More
i come heavily medicated for this chapter. extreme allergies kicked in last week and i have been on the mend ever since. i am thankful it wasn’t anything bacterial or viral to where i would have to take some antibiotics, but it does mean i will have to ride it out. #secondhandsmokekills.
so much happened in one month that i hardly know where to begin. while sleep continues to be a struggle for us, we or rather i have learned to expect it so that i am not as frustrated by it. some of it was due to two top teeth coming in around the same time, and the other parts were due to travel and overnight stays at the hospital.
i mentioned earlier that we took our youngest to see a neurologist because i was concerned that some of his jerky movements might indicate seizures. but after two rounds of eeg one resulting in an overnight stay all that was concluded was that he has myoclonus of infancy which is common and something he should outgrow. praying that is all there is.
boo bear is becoming more vocal these days which is quite humorous as he is always interrupting me when i am on the phone with someone and if it isn’t on speaker he feels left out. he is understanding certain words and knows what they mean like when i tell him to back it up instead diving head first off of my bed he actually will push himself backwards!
this month keith got us signed up for the ymca and i am pretty sure i use it more than keith does. two hours of alone time to take care of myself has boosted my energy and sociability with others as well as my son. the childcare is beautiful there’s even a polish worker who is in love with him and is teaching him polish per my request. this time has allowed me to pursue my spiritual walk in a more ritualistic way which has been good for me. i know pray at nap time and not only has that been good for me to surrender my day, but it has been so soothing for boo bear to hear me pray truth and love over his sweet being.
i still struggle with my confidence not only as a mum but as a woman. i know the comparison game is toxic, but i have become aware of how inadequate i feel around other mothers who work and seem to have it all together when it comes to raising their kids. i don’t talk about myself for fear that no one is actually interested or listening. instead i talk about nap schedules and how to get my son to eat more. i hate that this is what it feels i have been reduced to, but honestly there isn’t much in my world that i feel compelled or safe enough to share with a group of mothers. i feel like i am in hiding and i am not sure how to come out and show the world who i am. maybe its the pressure i feel to look or be awesome all of the time. it isn’t me, and i need people who can rest in that and accept my boring, normal bits too.Read More
our boy is going to be one soon. unreal.
as he becomes more mobile and more mischievous, reflecting on each month becomes harder and harder, but he is down for his first nap and i am on post number two right now, so i will attempt to get started early before monday.
a lot has been happening with boo boo this month. he hit the dreaded 8-10 month sleep regression and two leaps, and yet again made us feel incompetent in our parenting skills. there has also been some stuff going on with him physically, which i may share at a later date once we have all the facts, but what i will say is that the process has been a bit triggering for me as i am not looking forward to seeing my baby hooked up to monitors.
as stated in my birthday post, being a parent has made me painfully aware of how hard it is to take care of myself and sometimes even keith. it used to be easy to find a quiet moment to reflect, to meditate, to eat, to bathe to rest, but now i find myself unmotivated most days to achieve anything of real interest to me. i hate the feeling of apathy, but feel i sink further into the more i try to motivate myself to do something.
i made attempts last month to get us both out and participating in some baby activities as i find it refreshing that he can just crawl around without me having to tell him no. i wish there were more things for me toRead More
baby boy i will refer to him as hank from here on out as that is what his initials sound out haha turned nine months two saturdays ago and we continue to be grateful for the time God has blessed us with him. saturday there was a remembrance walk put on by now i lay me down to sleep near our house. keith and i decided to check it out since we heard about it last minute. seeing babies who had passed at various stages made me kiss hank all over and thank God even more. it also made me miss isaac all the more and the rest of the weekend i spent time looking through old photos and videos of our last days with him. this will forever be our normal.
this month has been challenging for me, i realized yesterday. i spend my whole day thinking of ways to socialize or entertain hank, trying to just make my house not look like a war zone, and trying to figure out how i am going to get a weeks worth of groceries while pushing around an itty bitty stroller. but when asked what do i want to do, i feel selfish, i feel unreasonable, for even knowing what i want let alone asking for what i want.
no one is putting the pressure on me except for myself. i find it hard to treat myself and take care of myself well, and i find it even harder to ask for it when there are more bigger priorities that need to be fulfilled. my son’s needs or my husband’s needs just automatically trump mine because i feel so vital to their success. of course i am not that vital, but it feels almost necessary for me to believe that because i am struggling to find my purpose apart from the role of mother and wife. i feel trapped somehow.
i have no thoughts as far as how to break out of this mindset, but am also not looking for a way to escape the process.
how were you able to overcome the guilt of taking care of yourself while still taking care of your family?Read More
i think its safe to say i have no idea what i am doing.
i read all the blogs, books, magazines i could find on nutrition and baby led weaning, but now that its here, i am a headless chicken. i look at all these mothers with children around my son’s age and i cannot help it to compare even though i know the game of comparison is dangerously consuming what their children can already do at eight months.
everything i have read says by now he should have his pincer grasp figured out. nope. he still grabs things with his whole hand. so getting him to try bite sized anything is frustrating for him and terrifying for me. he usually ends up just smashing his food all around and then refusing to eat from a spoon when i try to feed him. i know its all a part of exploring new textures, but i’ve noticed that if it isn’t toast, a teething cracker or something that he can just grab and gnaw on until it turns to mush, he is pretty disinterested.
however, i have noticed that he likes to grab at the food on my plate or in my bowl, and i have often let him try some of the vegetable soups that i have made from scratch. he absolutely loves it or maybe he just likes the fact that he thinks he is eating like the big kids.
so i am wondering, and throwing this question out to you all, what sort of big kid meals did you make that were baby friendly? i don’t add a lot of salt to most of my stuff, but i do like to add spices this kid loved the soup i made with a homemade harissa base, so yes he likes things with flavor i am discovering.Read More
those of you who have been following my road to motherhood, know that sleep has been a real challenge for keith and i. when i say we tried everything, i mean everything. i had resolved in my mind that baby boy was just going through a ton of developments and would need assistance until he had gotten through most of them.
we rocked, held, nursed, sang, bounced our boy to sleep through most of the night and day time naps, but last week i started to see the problem with having him rely on us for so much. not only was he overtired and waking up every two hours to be soothed in some fashion, but i noticed his progress with crawling and coordination had slowed down a lot. he wasn’t as alert either, and that all worried me. but it wasn’t just him all of this was having a profound affect on.
i mentioned this early on when we first brought baby boy home that parenthood can bring out the ugly. i found myself more irritable than normal, unable to communicate my thoughts and feelings to keith as i used to, and i could feel the tendrils of resentment starting to coil around my spirit. i felt stuck and i didn’t know how to kindly invite keith into helping me get our boy back on the right track.
while scrolling through my instagram feed, one of those promo posts popped up about baby sleep issues. i admit i think its extremely creepy that facebook and google know exactly what to bait me with. i read the mama’s blog (not sure if she got paid forRead More
and just like that our boy is eight months old!
where do i even begin? baby boy achieved so many things this month that i will probably make a separate post about his leap 5 and 6 wonder weeks. sleep was also a hot topic again this month, but we decided to be proactive rather than reactive, with a few mental breakdowns in between. that will have its own posts coming shortly as that is a whole chapter in it of itself. what i will say about it, that it definitely improving as i am actually able to sit down and write a post!Read More
I know I start every new month with i can't believe he is... But seriously, I caught myself swiping through videos of his first months here with us and I am amazed at his metamorphosis!Read More
I am about a week late in posting this, but the holidays blazed past me that I had no time to even schedule posts that I had written. but I am choosing to remain unapologetic on this blog during this season and just keep swimming.Read More
where do i even begin?
the sleep regression continues to be touch and go, so i won’t even spend anymore time on that issue and just end the topic with to be continued…Read More
last week i ran into one of my neighbors, peg, who was determined to have her yard cleaned before she went out to california for thanksgiving. as she leaned against her push broom, her walker within a few short steps, she asked how i was doing with lil’ man, and i told her, you know, just trying to figure out motherhood. she smiled and said to me don’t you wish they had a book on what its really like to be a mother?
i wanted to tell her there was and its called google, but i refrained.
while i don’t think there is a clinical book out there that has accurately or honestly described the first year of motherhood, i have been thankful for the books giving me a better understanding of what is going on with baby.
we as adults take everything we do, see, feel, smell, and know for granted. i guess somewhere in my mind i just assumed that babies were on their own biological timer that said hey now, its time for you to start crawling. i had not even imagined that just the ability to grasp things takes weeks of their brain growing so that it can hold all of the new data and string sequences together.
instead of looking through my own lens of watching for new achievements, i have started to look through his eyes as he picks up a toy and learns to drop it. i giggle as he repeatedly does it. i get the amusement of it all now and i find myself enjoying those moments more rather than anticipating the big ones like crawling and walking.
one of the books that has been shedding light on this wonderment (no pun intended) that we are both experiencing is called the wonder weeks. i am sad i missed all of the first few weeks, but am glad i can follow his journey from here on out. based on the book, along with the normal growth spurts, babies experience developmental leaps (the book mentions 10) that happen around certain weeks of a baby’s life. they will go through a fussy period right before the leap as their brain is trying to figure out this new “district” that has been added to their mind map.
right now i am in wonder week 19 or leap 4 where he is slowly learning about cause and effect and stitching the series of events together to create the effect! this means that all the little skills he learned early are now being put together like blocks to form a new bigger and stronger skill such as sitting up and rolling.
so what has lil’ man been up to? i’ll try to do a quick recap of all his milestones below and then finish off with this week.
weeks 0-8Read More
I have clocked in so many hours with babies in both my young and adult life, but none of it prepared me for a newborn.
I find myself fumbling in the dark, just looking for a wall to find comfort in. There have already been tears shed in the early hours of twilight due to shear exhaustion. I am not sure how much people stress the fact that a newborn wields the incredible ability to bring out the ugly in you.
From friends and strangers alike, I have heard the tales of sleepless nights and cranky babies. I was schooled on what parenthood would do to me physically, but not emotionally and psychologically. I have been curt on more than one occasion with Keith, felt the agitation rising in my chest whenever he needed my help to care for our son. I could get to that place so fast, I hardly had time to simmer before I said what was on my mind.Read More