my teeth hurt

When my teeth start to hurt this is always a bad sign. This means I am stressed, and repressing the stress, and grinding my teeth. I notice myself doing it at the oddest times- times when I am “relaxing”. I learned a trick to put my tongue between my back teeth to stop myself from doing it- but it still happens involuntarily when I sleep. So I’m officially stressed out: my teeth hurt.

The stress is a result of several things I’m sure. Simon’s sleep schedule is off, and he’s been acting a little crazy lately- or just becoming more “himself” I’m not sure which. He doesn’t want his diaper changed, he wants to flip over, mid-wiping-poop-off-swipe and crawl away. He gets tremendously angry over diaper changings in general the past few days. And he’s waking up a few times in the morning (we think due to the birds outside his window) and forcing me up an hour earlier than usual. None of this is bad- just different and moderately troubling. However, when combined with planning for our first trip away from him (this weekend, we go to NYC) and preparing to leave one job and go to another…well this all ends up as stress in my jaw and mouth.

I am so excited for our trip but completely freaked about it as well. We’re leaving for a long weekend and Simon is staying with my parents- who I’m sure will be great with him. It’s still hard to do. I’ve not woken up ONE MORNING since he was born and not had him there. I’ve not gone to sleep without him (at the very least) in the next room.  It is hard to think about him giving that million dollar morning smile to someone else besides me. I know that’s selfish but hey, I like to think that’s my smile. It’s a smile especially for mom, right?

In addition to counting in my head how many meals I have to prepare and freeze, bottles to pack, clothes, pacifiers, blankies, teething toys, socks, diapers, etc. I am just nervous about his schedule, how he’ll nap, how he’ll sleep, what if his teeth cut through? What if he decides to try to walk or something? I don’t want to miss it. Logically, we’re only going to be gone for 4 days. But love is not logical. And the what-ifs are making me crazy. Exhibit a) I have printed out numerous forms in case anything would happen to him/us while we are gone. Power of Attorney forms and a Guardianship appointment, etc. Exhibit b) I printed out the emergency numbers in my parents’ hometown so they know them should they need to call, as if my parents didn’t have four children of their own at some point. Exhibit c) Tonight I hand wrote a letter to give to Simon should anything terrible happen to us and I can’t stop thinking about all the things I’m leaving out.

WHO IS THIS CRAZY PERSON POSSESSING ME?! I am laid back, I am go with the flow, flexible and capable. Why am I freaking out in my head bad enough to grind my teeth down to the nubs?

It has to be the combination of the upcoming professional change in jobs. I’m going to blame it on that because I don’t know what else to think, and because I don’t want to be a crazy mom. I really am a little stressed about it though- mainly because I’m excited and thinking about all the things I need to do in preparation for that job…but I still have my current job where I need to tie up loose ends before I leave. And I’m just scared in general since I’ve been in a safe library place for the last 4 years and haven’t worked anywhere else. I think a little bit of apprehension and freakoutedness is expected at this point, right? God I hope so.

At any rate, I’m reduced to writing a rambling blog post that further illustrates my completely insane stream of consciousness right now. I can also blame hormones I suppose.

Great. Now I’m freaking out about what to pack for MYSELF. Quart sized bag, liquids, clothing, comfortable shoes, a dress? jacket? Shit.

Alright I should go to bed since the boy will likely wake up several times before finally getting up at 6am and tomorrow I work late.

I can do this.

We will have a blast.

We won’t spend the entire time wondering what Simon’s doing.

I should’ve taken an extra day off just to love on him when we get home.

Thank goodness I have some time off booked between jobs. I think I’ll need some decompression and perhaps a massage or facial treat to relax myself before my new venture. And I’ll use a couple of those days for just squeezing my boy and telling him I love him.

Good night all.

9 month checkup

Today was Simon’s 9 month checkup, or “well baby visit” as they say. Gabe took the morning off so he could come too. I really like it that he does that- he’s gone with us to the doctor almost every time and has taken him there by himself, too. It just feels good to have him there.

The appointment was at 9:10, though it was 9:25 before we got to see the doctor. First the nurse came in and took his temperature and listened to his heart, and measured his head. They always measure his head twice, due to it’s weird shape. I think they’re never quite sure if the measurement is right or wrong because it a) looks big and b) because it’s still cone-shaped. At any rate, his head circumference is in the 75%ile, which seems big, until you compare it to the rest of him.

After that, we stripped him down for the weigh in and length measurement. He weighed 24 pounds and was 29 inches long. He’s stretching out! That said, he’s still in the 90%ile for weight, 75%ile for height. So at least his head is proportionate to the rest of him.

When the doctor came in (oh I love our doctor so much), she immediately laughed and asked what we were feeding him because he’s so big! I told her fruits and veggies and she said, “How do you get so big on fruits and veggies?!” haha. I mentioned how he likes broccoli and spinach and just about anything we give him and that he doesn’t have an OFF switch. She said we might have to just make sure we keep him on a schedule for eating (duh) since he seems to always want to eat whatever/whenever it’s in front of him. She also said to enjoy it now since it will not last forever. haha. It’s nice when your doctor has a kid of their own, so they will sometimes tell you that “Oh, my kid was like that…” I don’t know, it just makes you feel better.

I asked about starting him on any meats or dairy and she said both are fine. I find it weird for some reason- to give him meat. I’m not a vegetarian, and I definitely like meat, but for some reason it seems weird to mash up meat and give it to him. I’m sure he’ll eat it – but it just seems odd.

She was actually happy when I said he didn’t have any teeth. She said, “Good!” when I said we had NOTHING coming through. So that made me feel better. She also broke the news that we had to get his last Hepatitis B vaccination (boooo). I asked her (knowing the answer) how one would contract hepatitis B. She said (smiling), “Through a blood transfusion, dirty needles, or sexual contact.” I said, “I thought so, are you calling my kid a slut?” No- not really, but I did say something snarky and asked why they were being vaccinated for such things now. She said that they saw an increase in mothers who had Hep B back in the day (before they regularly vaccinated) who were passing it along to their children, so now they group it in with the other stuff. I’m not really ANTI vaccines, I wonder whether all of them are completely necessary (chicken pox?! I had that shit, it didn’t kill me, nor was it that bad). But anyways, at least I got my answer. I also mentioned Simon’s very obvious strabismic amblyopia (sigh- lazy eye) that he appears to have inherited from me in pictures. She said she’d hook us up with an ophthalmologist, and that nowadays sometimes they can correct “slight strabismus” with a patch. So I might have a baby pirate. Hooray! I had to have glasses very young so I don’t know if the patch thing will cut it, but it should be interesting nonetheless.

The doctor also prescribed us some steroid topical cream for Simon’s crazy fat roll excema that he keeps digging at in the creases of his thighs. So, after all of this, I handed Simon to Gabe and left the room while he got his shot.

Then at the end I got to hold him, go home, give him a bottle and rock him, and put him to bed. Gabe went into work and I spent the rest of the day blissfully relaxing and taking care of the boy. I even squeezed in a nap with him in the afternoon. Granted, I haven’t showered yet today, and I didn’t get much of the “things to do” I wanted to get done- but it was still very nice. It didn’t rain and we got to spend some time outside in our front yard just watching the world pass by. It’s amazing how just being “outside” can intrigue Simon for a long long time. So much to look at, I suppose.

Because I just can’t get enough…

Change that is. I’m switching jobs- this time to a new library system and I’m super excited about it. It’s been mentally exhausting to think about all the changes that are about to happen in our lives. I mean, balancing work and home is hard enough- add in a new opportunity which means a different commute, different hours, different sitters…it’s so much more to think about than it would’ve been just a year ago.

But my professional life aside, we’ve got major changes going on in our house. Simon is starting to talk even more- blabbering on and he does NOT like it when you copy what he’s trying to say. He’s also into everything. EVERYTHING. We’re going to have to move everything I think- or maybe just cover him in bubblewrap? I don’t know. But the biggest change that’s happened- this evening in fact, was that Simon pulled himself up to stand next to the couch. He did it in attempts to get at his dad’s cell phone. We’ve discovered that our cell phones are the ONE THING he wants more than anything. (Obviously, he’s not allowed to have them.) I’m convinced that they’re made out of toxins and cancer-causing plastics, so I keep them as far from him as possible most of the time. But the other morning I was able to snuggle with the boy for a while (so long as he had my iPhone to play with) and tonight he reached a major milestone with the goal of getting a cell phone. I can only imagine what this means. Does he know how long I had to wait before I got to play with or OWN an iPhone?!?! I mean COME ON KID!

Of course, he has absolutely zero balance, and STILL hasn’t realized that when he throws a fit, arches his back and neck all the way backwards like a crazy person- that his head will eventually hit whatever surface is behind him. It could be the changing table, the bed, or more likely the floor or something else hard- he just hasn’t figure that out yet. I’m wondering how hard he’ll have to hit his head before he’ll realize that it hurts to do that.

We’ll see.

However- he still loves being read to, as illustrated here:

Happy Mothers’ Day, continued

Today was my first Mothers’ Day with my “thumbkin” on the outside of me instead of the inside.

On my way out the door to work. Mother's Day 2010

Simon woke up around 7am, per usual. I convinced him to stay in our bed for MAYBE 15 minutes before finally dragging myself downstairs to get the coffee going. Sitting in front of Ol’ Faithful (coffee maker) was a pretty potted flower, two cards (one from Gabe, one from Simon) and a package of chocolate covered pretzels (my favorite). It was quite sweet.

Simon then had a bottle and his breakfast (Cheerios and bananas). And then Gabe made me pancakes and bacon (mmmmm bacon) before I headed off to work.

And I’m going to refrain from grumbling about having to work on Mothers’ Day because I imagine many many mothers in the world work on this pseudo holiday. It was cold out anyways, so I wouldn’t have done much of anything if I were working so blah, whatever.

I came home, we made a lasagna and garlic bread, and then Gabe went on a DQ run to get me a Snickers blizzard. Mmmmmm tasty treat. I’d been craving a blizzard for several days now. He also did the laundry. 🙂

But perhaps my favorite “present” of all this year were the pictures that my Aunt Vicki sent me from our most recent visit with my Pap.

Simon and Pap, 4/2010

Simon and Pap, 4/2010

Simon loved my grandpa’s mustache and was playing with it in these pictures.

It’s hard to say what being a mom feels like. Mostly I’d say that it’s not at all what I expected. Sometimes I don’t feel like “a mom” at all- but I know that I am, and I love my son more than life. But it’s strange. Sometimes I don’t feel “old enough” to be a mom. And other times I feel like I’m the same as I’ve always been- like I’m just a REALLY big sister. I don’t know how to explain it. All I know is that I used to say, “Being a mom will be the best thing I ever do…” and I meant that in the way that I would try the hardest at that job. I meant that I would work the hardest to be a good mom, a fun mom, and most importantly, the kind of mom that my own mom was in the way that I reassure my kid that I love them. My kids would always know I love them. And I think I’m doing that so far.

I do know that being a mom also means I am on the receiving end of the biggest “fits”, the crankiest hours, the loudest shrieks and the angriest baby looks. I don’t take offense, I know that boy “has my number” and works it accordingly. It’s his job to do that, to test that.  Being a mom is as hard, harder, and not as hard, as I thought it would be…all at once. What’s most surprising to me is how splendidly natural it all seems to come. I hope that means I’m doing alright. At least I know I’m doing my best- that’s all a person can do.

Here’s to all the wonderful moms and not-moms, and all people in this world who care enough about other people in their lives that it aches a little bit when you love them that hard. Happy happy day to us all.

And I’m ending mine with some wine. 🙂 Cheers!

9 months old

9 months old.

Dear Simon,

Today you are 9 months old. I can hardly believe it and I can, all at once. Today I lowered your crib to the lowest rung available, because 2 weeks ago you were mostly immobile- and now you move like a Navy Seal all over the house on your belly and elbows. Today I witnessed you twice attempting to pull yourself up from your knees. You keep bonking your head on things- the floor, the bookshelf, the bathtub, and I’m just waiting for the first sad little bruise to pop up on your big ol’ dome. I know it’s inevitable, but I still fear that day.

You still have no teeth. None. Nothing even popping through. They must be bothering you though, because why else would you just cry for no reason, have a low grade fever, be chewing everything in sight and drooling like a Saint Bernard? Really- it has to be teeth or you’re part retriever, I’m not sure which. “They” say that the longer it takes for your teeth to come in, the stronger they are. I hope that is true because I’m fairly certain that mine will begin rotting out of my skull soon due to the horrendous amounts of sweets I ate while pregnant with you. Yes, I’m STILL avoiding the dentist, No, you will not do the same.

You aren’t talking words yet, but you still blabber blabber blabber saying things like “Ga ga ga ga” or “Woah woah woah woah”. Just today I heard you do the B sound “Buh buh buh buh” and it is amazing how something so small and insignificant can make me smile. Just a new jumble of letters you’re blabbing out here and there- and yes, it makes my day.

Today you woke up with a pimple on your lip, which at first I thought was a fever blister, then I thought was the beginning of roseola, Finally I concluded that you just needed a bath and you may have gotten it from your drooling dirty mouth that you refuse to let us wipe without throwing a fit of sorts. At any rate, I’m waiting for the pimple to go away before taking your monthly “Alien picture”. Maybe that’s shallow- but oh well- this is my blog. Start your own.

added 5/10/10

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the way you’ve exponentially increased the size of my heart. It’s not bad enough that I’m a “bleeding heart liberal” to most of our family, but now, now that I have you, it’s gotten worse. The crazies at work and in the general public are all “someone’s baby” when I make myself stop and think about it. And then I want to cry for those people, those people who don’t have great parents, or even parents period. You have opened me up to hearing Delilah on the radio and crying on my way home from work, for the people who can’t find their birth parents. I get choked up when I hear any song about Mom or Dad or when I see an ambulance with its lights on and sirens blaring I think, “That’s somebody’s baby in there.”

Because, sweet son of mine- you are my baby. And I will let you grow up, and I will let you go eventually- but until then, you are my sweet boy. Me calling you a baby isn’t in the “I’m going to keep you from growing up” kind of way- but instead as this precious term of endearment that means something completely different now that you’ve entered and changed my life. Baby means something entirely new.

I am already so proud of you. I love the way you listen intently when I read you a story. Right now you really like “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” and the Peek-a-boo Colors book. You also love the fabric books your dad has bought you from the book fair at his work.  I’m proud of you when I pick you up from the sitter and she just goes on and on about how much fun you are. And the other kids at the sitter just run up to you when I walk in saying “Hi Simon” and you go army-crawling towards them ready to play. It’s so easy to leave you somewhere when you’re smiling or belly laughing at the other kids there. It’s more like I’m doing you a favor by giving you a break and letting you play instead of leaving you so I can go to work and pay bills. I think right now, it’s good for both of us.

Your hair is growing! And it is the prettiest color of blond I’ve seen- with the faintest tint of red in it but I’m sure that will grow out. Your eyelashes are also growing. Your eyes are so blue and everyone remarks on how pretty they are. I’m certain you’re growing fast because your clothes keep getting smaller and smaller. Your dad said he practically had to slather you with baby powder to squeeze you into your jammies tonight. It’s like you wear something once or twice and then grow out of it. Right now you are 9 months old and wearing 18 month old clothes. There are kids at the library your size who are walking and talking. You are my big beautiful boy.

This last weekend your Nonni came to visit, and so did our friends Kelly and Tim. Your dad went down to the Kentucky Derby for his first weekend away with the boys. I was very grateful for the company of friends and family and the help I got with watching you while he was away. Your dad missed you a lot though. He smothered you with kisses when you got home and I could tell you were also glad to see him. I’m sure you already think he’s more fun than me. I say No a lot more than he does I think.

As much as you are my “baby” I’m also looking forward to so many things. I see little ones at work and just think about the things we’ll do together as a family and I’m already excited for them: going to the beach, getting books at the library, reading books together, going on picnics, playing outside in the summer- going to the pool, going to the zoo, to COSI- there are so many things I can’t wait to do with you.  I can wait to share with you all of the things I think are the most fun in life. Because if they’re fun to begin with, adding you to the mix will make them even better. I love watching you smile and learn. I love hearing you laugh. I love holding you when you’ll let me cuddle you (mostly only when you’re hurt) and I love those few hours in the mornings you fall back asleep in our bed between us. I’m teetering between wanting time to slow down, and anxious for all the excitement to come.

I love you so much, and it gets bigger everyday. I didn’t know about this kind of love before you came into my life, and you won’t know until you have kids of your own. I’m so lucky to be your mom. You are the coolest. Even when you cry nonstop unless I’m hauling your 24 pound butt around on my hip. You make every minute better.

All my heart,

Mom

9 months old.