For George, month 16.5

Dear Georgie,
I never wanted to call you that, but yet that’s what we call you, every day. You’re our “puddin’ and pie” as we say. You are impossibly stubborn and courageous. You want to be at the highest point of the room at all times. If you are not scaling a chair to stand on the table, you are sitting on top of the train table, eating the snacks you demand via sign, and you will angrily look at me and sign/say “No no, down” because you know full well that you aren’t to be up there. You just truly do not care.

DSC_1011

You feel ALL the feels. All of the emotions, you go with them fully, and I love that about you. This morning after we’d finished off breakfast and I was cleaning up the kitchen, I put on some music and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen came on. Daddy made a comment about how that song wasn’t really appropriate for kids to listen to, what with the “Mama…I killed a man…” lyrics. I just laughed and moments later we are all watching you headbang to the best part of that song. No one else was in the room, you just felt the beat and went with it. You like to go fast, feel everything, dance, run, climb, explore, all of it. Your strong will and ambition to do these things makes it difficult to be your parent right now, but it also makes it awesome.
DSC_0687
if you are that way NOW, at 16 months old, I can not WAIT to see what you’re like when you get older. You make us smile so hard and laugh so hard, and George- we are very tired.

DSC_0780

You mostly sleep, but you do occasionally wake up with very lound yelling/crying. I can’t figure out if it’s your teeth, or a bad dream, or what, but you wake up super angry most nights at least once, usually 2-3 times. You’re getting better about going to sleep at night time and naptime most days, but you still love your bottle, and I’m so reluctant to get rid of it because you love it so much.

DSC_0837

You have 6 teeth, and the only fruit you will eat are bananas and watermelon. You really only like bread-like things, and macaroni and cheese. You will also eat yogurt. You are a strangely picky eater, but as long as we have bread and Pirate Booty puffs, you’re pretty satisfied. You have curls on the back of your head that are getting long, and I should probably cut them but I just love them and I’m afraid they won’t come back.
DSC_1020

You absolutely LOVE Mickey Mouse. You call him Hot Dog. We bought some books this weekend with Mickey in them and they have kept you occupied all weekend long. You are so interested in them. You still also play with your barn toys and any kind of ball you can find. You absolutely adore Simon, and your favorite thing to do with him is run, shriek and wrestle. You are 100% physical and feeling boy. I love the tenacity you put into everything you do, even if it’s a shit fit you’re throwing because we won’t let you eat crayons. We still love who you are, and are so excited to be a part of your life to watch you grow up.
DSC_1064

You are my special baby boy. I catch myself oohing and aaahing (still) over your cheeks and chin, and belly. I will be so sad when those parts of baby melt away as you inevitably grow up. For now I will keep working on my patience, and enjoy each moment of your baby and toddler-ness. You have made this family whole, kiddo. Thanks for joining the show.

I love you more than you will ever ever know.
Mama

Sleep “training”

I don’t like calling it that, George, but that’s what they call it, and that’s what we’re doing. You are 1 year old, and for the last year we have rocked you to sleep. I nursed you almost every night, but on the very very few nights when I didn’t, someone fed you a bottle and rocked you and rocked you until your perfect eyelids closed and your lower lip was sucked into your mouth, in and out, in and out, in peaceful slumber.

We would lay you down in your bed, asleep, and you would wake up over and over again all night long, presumably upset because you were no longer being cradled in someone’s arms and being rocked. And when you would wake, I would zombie walk to your room and hold you and nurse you until you fell back asleep, and then I’d place you in your crib to sleep again, until you woke again, and so on.

But now, I am in the hallway outside your bedroom, on night two of what they call “sleep training” – otherwise known as parental torture and probably childhood trauma. I got a book at the library called the Happy Sleeper. And it tells me to go in and “verbally comfort you” every five minutes. So I have stopwatch. I have a book. I have this computer. I have anxiety. I have a glass of wine. And I am listening to you scream angrily on the other side of this door, wondering why I have forsaken you.

There’s supposed to be a phrase we repeat, exactly, word for word, each five minutes that we go in to “comfort you” without touching you. THe phrase I’ve chosen is, “It’s time for sleep, I love you, goodnight.”

You are NOT amused. You are the as far away from Happy as I’ve ever seen you. You are angry. And you are not sleeping.

The book tells me that you are screaming because you are protesting change, not because you think I don’t love you anymore. The book says that you will appreciate the “sleep wave” of me going in and reassuring you by saying the same thing each time. But instead you stop screaming and reach for me, and it is breaking my heart sweet boy.

But you have to learn how to fall asleep on your own or else we may never be able to take a vacation again. You need to know that, although I wish I could, no one will cradle you forever, and at some point you’ll have to make yourself fall back asleep in the middle of the night when you wake up at 2, 3, 4 and 5.

I wish I didn’t have to do this, because I feel awful and terrible. And there isn’t enough wine in the world to numb the pain associated with hearing your baby cry. Last night I sat outside your door listening to you weep in your sleep after you’d fallen asleep crying.

This part of parenting is so hard. Everyone says it’s the right thing to do. I know that I have to do it because I am tired. I worry about you. You have to learn.

But I am sorry. I’m so sorry to make you cry and yell like this, George. I hope you don’t remember and talk about it in therapy as an adult.

Just know that I am sitting outside your bedroom door, broken hearted and almost crying myself, drinking a glass of wine and wishing I could make everything better for you all the time. But this is the first of many times that I’m having to step back and say, “I’m sorry buddy- you gotta figure this out on your own.”

I do it because I love you. Please don’t cry much longer.

Dear George.

Georgie. Last night you took your first real steps. You’ve been standing up and taking half-steps for about a week now, but last night you deliberately walked 8 steps. Eight! I counted them! It was amazing.

Did we capture these moments on camera? No.
Did we capture them on video? No.
In the year 2014 does everyone have a phone with camera and video capabilities in their pockets? Yes.
Why do I not have these moments documented for posterity?
Because I was watching you and willing you to do it so hard with my brain, I didn’t want to move to get my phone. AND because I’m pretty sure I have so many other photos of you taking up space on my phone, that there is no room to add more at this time.

So instead, I had to memorize the moment in my head. And it was a pretty awesome moment, kid. Pretty awesome.

I love you, sweet barfy boy.

Mama.

6 months, for George

DSC_0960

Georgie.


Dear Georgie,

Yes, we call you Georgie, even though I never really wanted to- that’s what we’ve started calling you. Dear sweet six month old Georgie, you continue to be the smiley-est baby in the world. During the last month you went on your first trip on an airplane, you’ve started scooting all over the floor in an army crawl/inchworm sort of way, and you’ve started eating solid foods and even a little bit of formula from time to time.

You still do not sleep through the night. I am not holding my breath, assuming that will happen anytime soon. But someday, it would be nice to have more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep at a time. Just someday.

You love anything that makes a crinkly paper-crumbling sound. You adore your big brother and you wake him up every morning for school by crawling around his bed. He loves to get really close to you and snuggle you. It’s very sweet.

DSC_1025

Simon “snuggling”

A few times you’ve given us “kisses” – -giant open mouthed drooling slobber kisses that I love. You’ve only just started eating food but so far cereal and pears are tolerable. You are NOT a fan of peaches. We’ve switched you over into your big kid carseat instead of the one we have to haul around, because you have gotten SO heavy it was too difficult to carry you everywhere with it.

I so enjoy you, Baby George. I love spending time with you and watching you do new things all the time. You want to go-go-go it seems, you want to keep up with your big brother and he makes you laugh like no one else can. We spend a lot of time at the park. Simon wants to play sports and we take you in the stroller. You are a relatively easy baby. You are sweet and everyone comments on your smile, your dimple, and your blue eyes.

I love you so much. We’ve made it half a year already and I just can’t believe it. I love rocking you, kissing you, nursing you, hugging you, strolling with you, all of it. You’re my last baby and I’m reminding myself all the time that this will fly by and soon you’ll be racing me to the doors of preschool and Kindergarten just like your brother. I’m in absolutely no hurry for that to happen.

XO My heart,
Mama

DSC_1217

Swimming HHI 2014

2 months, for George

20140219-155558.jpg

Dear George,

Hey Squishy. You turned two months old on February 13th, and I just can’t believe how fast time flies these days! My maternity leave ended and work began on February 17th. You went to the baby-sitter and it’s still a little early to determine how it’s going to work out. You see, dear sweet boy of mine- you do not like bottles. At all. You don’t like pacifiers, you don’t like bottles, you only like drinking straight “from the tap.” This is incredibly convenient for me, when I can be around you all the time. It is not convenient when I have to go to work, and you spend the day fussing at either your dad or the sitter, or anyone who isn’t lactating and ready to feed you.

So on one hand, this is heart-breaking and frustrating for everyone. People who love and care about you want to be able to watch you and see your sweet smiling face. However, when you get hungry, and fight the bottle like a person is waterboarding you, everyone loses, George- everyone.

On the other hand, nursing has been so easy this time around, I don’t really mind just hopping in the car with you to go somewhere because I don’t  have to pack bottles or anything, I can just feed you on the fly- wherever we go. It’s quite convenient. It’s a LITTLE inconvenient that you still like to eat every 2 hours- but that can’t last forever, can it?

You’ve been diagnosed with reflux, so we have to give you this DISGUSTING medicine that tastes like peppermint. You are pretty sure we’re trying to poison you everytime you take it. And by “take it” I mean, cough, sputter, choke and spit it back out at us. We are doing our best to get it in you. Depending on whether or not you swallow some of it, we do think it helps. When you don’t take it your spit up is more like vomit and it is projectile in that it lands across the room, Exorcist style. I’ve been told that I had a similar problem as an infant. Some people tell me “oh, yeah my kid did that too” and when I ask them when it stopped they say, “oh at about a year…”

Sigh.

So I hope it stops sooner than that! I also hope you start ot make life easier on everyone else who watches you. You and I have such a good time staring at each other. You like me to sing to you, or at least you enjoy smiling while I sing. You love to take a bath.  You seem to be more reserved than Simon was at your age. You smile but not as easily as Simon did. You’re very snuggly and sweet and since you are my last baby, I’m going to hold onto that as long as I can.

You have the cutest dimple and the prettiest mouth I’ve ever seen. You still have cradle cap and the end of baby acne, but you’re still perfect to me. You still sleep in our room on either a rock n play cradle or the swing, and instead of obsessing over the transition to your bedroom, I keep telling myself not to stress about it. Someday you’ll be too big for both of those things and you’ll have to lie flat on your back in a crib. It will happen eventually. Until then you can enjoy the obnoxious ocean waves on my sound machine and grunt me awake every two hours to snack while you are half asleep. The doctor says “Calorically he (you) doesn’t need to be eating that often at night”– probably because you weigh 14.6 lbs and are in the 92%ile for weight and height. But you seem hungry to me. And even if you’re just nursing for comfort, this nursing thing is ending in June so you might as well get it while you can, right?

I love you sweet boy. I am so glad you’re here. You’re the perfect cherry on top of this little family sundae of ours.

all my heart,

mommy

20140219-155713.jpg

1 Month, for George

Well I have a few posts brewin’ in my head but of course I don’t get the time or energy to write them down, what with feeding an infant, laundry and whatever else it is we do to fill these short days I have off.

Anyhow our George somehow turned 1 month old on Monday. I can’t believe it.

20140115-205023.jpg

Dear George,

Hello Squishy. You and I are totally bff’s, because you like to eat SO MUCH and guess what, I have the food. So we are pretty much inseparable, since you like to eat every hour and a half to two hours. This leaves enough time in between feedings for me to shower or (sometimes) take a nap. I don’t mind all that much because I didn’t have this experience with your brother. Even getting up in the middle of the night to hoist you out of the cradle beside the bed and feed you, while your daddy snores loudly beside me and I fight to stay awake and not drop you…even that is a little blessing since I didn’t have a very successful nursing experience the first time around. But you, you’re a champ!

You have been smiling at us since you were like two and a half weeks old, I can’t believe it. Of course everyone says it’s just gas, etc. but you have a legit grin that you give us all the time. It’s hard to catch on camera, but it’s there. You have taken several baths, and your brother LOVES to help give you a bath. He loves almost everything about you in fact, except that you eat so much. That tends to irritate him because he wants us to be able to give him 100% of our attention. He’s actually said to me, “I wish Daddy had a breast with milk in it.” However, he also wishes HE could feed you because he loves you so much. He wished aloud as much “I wish I had a breast.” Ha! And he does have a little boy baby doll that he named George and sometimes he sits next to me on the couch while I feed you, and he pretends to feed his baby too.

You HATE your carseat and scream and scream when you’re in it. So your dad and I have been trying to get out of the house with you so you can get used to it before we go back to work and you have to endure the car seat every day. So far we’ve gone out to lunch three times and have gone to the grocery, too. It’s tough being a baby in this winter weather. We don’t want to go out to too many places because of all the gross flu bugs and germs out there, but being in the house gives us cabin fever too.

A few weeks ago we had what was called a Polar Vortex, which meant the temperatures dropped WAY below zero. We all bundled up around the house and put quilts up on the windows to block out the cold. We had lots of warm blankets and were stuck in the house for two days on top of having been stuck in the house for two weeks…it was a little insane. But we’re getting out now! And like most babies, you enjoy ceiling fans, high contrast architecture, and interesting lighting when we go out.

You require constant movement/jostling/swinging. I’m getting a Mobi wrap to start hauling you around with me so I can have some free hands because you really REALLY like to be bounced, swung, etc. You are so sweet, and I love snuggling with you. We’ve taken lots of naps together on the couch, and I’ve even been known to let you sleep next to me in the bed (I KNOW!- BAD!). Your dad thinks I’m spoiling you. He’s probably right, I don’t care.

Your hair is still light brown, and your eyes a blue-gray color. Your skin is the softest skin I’ve ever felt and we’re all pretty sure you have your dad’s complexion, and not mine like Simon does. Time will tell. You always have to have your hands free and near your face/mouth. You won’t take a pacifier and I think you’d love to suck your thumb if you could find it. Sometimes you can make the hand-mouth connection and sometimes not. You have the squishiest cheeks ever, and I love to pinch and smooch on them constantly. You’re filling out big time and are wearing size 3 month clothing already. No more newborn stuff, sigh.

20140115-205036.jpg

I love you so much, and love watching you change and grow. I’m sorry this is the first letter I’ve written to you since you’ve been here- but we’ve been spending quality time together instead, so I don’t feel so bad.

I love you more than you’ll ever know.

Mom

20140115-205053.jpg