Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Appreciating the simple things in life

Nothing makes Nathan laugh more than when Will raises him up in the air, high above his head. Or blowing a raspberry on his bare belly. I know I can always snap him out of a crying fit just by singing I'm a Little Teapot. And when we walk over to his crib in the morning and he sees us for the first time, he always greets us with a big, gummy smile, even on Monday mornings.

Babies truly enjoy the simple things in life and one of the best gifts they offer us is being able to see the world through their eyes. They don't care how much money we have. Or what neighborhood we live in. Or how fancy their toys are.

Case in point - our apartment is filled with more toys than I'd like to admit, yet Nathan's favorite "toys" these days are:

1. Crinkly tissue paper
2. His toes

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm glad that's over!

Nathan got his first cold this past week. He woke up Monday morning and we noticed his nose was running. Then he slowly developed a cough and some congestion by the end of the day.

Luckily he didn’t have a fever and since his feeling sick coincided with 2 days of freezing cold rain, we kept him home from daycare and let him camp out in the apartment. We figured our best bet was for him to sleep as much as possible so we pulled the swing out of retirement and let him nap there instead of in his crib. It brought back memories of the power naps he used to take - 2, 3 sometimes 4 hours! We eventually put a stop to napping in the swing for fear that when he eventually outgrew it, he wouldn’t adjust to napping in the crib. But this seemed like a special occasion – a medicinal necessity!

Sure enough, he napped for almost 3 hours Tuesday morning and another 2 in the afternoon. We did the same thing Wednesday and by Thursday, he seemed to feel better. The weather also did a 360 so I was able to take him for a long walk Thursday evening to get some fresh air. Tonight, his cough is gone and his nose is just a little stuffy.

I tried not to overreact at his first cold since I knew it would eventually make its appearance, but it is definitely hard to watch your baby feel sick and not be able to do anything about it. (I am also trying to ignore the fact that it came just days after we left him overnight for the first time... and not see this as his way of begging us never to leave him again!!!)

It came.
It was not fun.
But we conquered.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our first overnight sans baby

This past weekend Will and I went to our good friend Maria’s wedding and left Nathan… overnight! We had known about the wedding since before Nathan was born and had always planned on this being our first time leaving him since he would be 4 months old by then and it seemed like a good time to do it. I wouldn’t have wanted to leave him much younger than that but I also didn’t want to wait too long because I was afraid we might keep putting it off and never do it. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for Will and I to have a nice night out... and a night off :)

For weeks leading up to it, I wavered between excited and terrified. The longest I had ever been apart from my baby was about 8 hours and even then I couldn't wait to see him. My parents were coming from Boston to stay with him so I knew he’d be in good hands. But I was nervous. Not only for Nathan but for Will and I and for my parents.

I was nervous that Nathan might suspect something was off and reject the bottle and starve. I was nervous that Will and I, who are used to being with Nathan all the time, wouldn’t be able to fully relax and enjoy the night. And I was nervous that my parents, although having raised 4 kids of their own, aren't used to being with Nathan all the time and might have forgotten over the past 25 years how needy a 4 month old is and feel overwhelmed. (Especially since Nathan still wakes up 2-3 times at night to feed.)

But… we all survived.

Will and I had a great time. Although I was very sad to leave Nathan and very anxious as we drove away, I actually felt myself getting more and more excited the further we drove. It was as if an adorable 14 pound weight had been lifted out of my arms… for one night anyway. We had a great time at the wedding; we got to see lots of friends that we once worked with at Scholastic. We ate, we drank, we danced and then back at the hotel after the reception, we ordered room service, rented a movie and quickly fell asleep, completely missing the after party.

Nathan did great. He went to the playground and for a long walk. He drank all his bottles. And he was happy and smiling (and in one piece) when we got home the next day.

And my parents did great. They texted me photos to let us know Nathan was fine. They told me to have fun and NOT to call to check up, that they promised they would call if there was any problem, otherwise I could rest assured knowing everything was going fine. And my mom woke up in the middle of the night when Nathan woke, hungry and crying.

As we drove toward home, I couldn't wait to see my little man. I had been away away from him for just over 24 hours and was definitely in withdrawal. However, the night away was a success and I'm already thinking that maybe next time we'll go away for an entire weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

4 month checkup

Nathan had his 4 month checkup today. I was dreading this appointment because he had to get more shots. I had barely recovered from his 2 month appointment when he got his first set of shots. Nothing can prepare you for that blood curling scream the second he feels the needle, I don't know who cried more - me or him.

But he's doing fine now - nothing a dose of baby tylenol and a nap can't fix.

He weighs 14 pounds, 4 ounces and is 25 inches long. So he's gained 6 pounds and grown 3 1/2 inches since he was born - growing like a healthy little weed. His pediatrician also told us we can start offering him baby cereal so stay tuned for some messy eating pictures!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fast friends

I've made an effort to join some neighborhood mommy and me groups. They have played a huge part in maintaining balance in my life. They allow me to talk about Nathan non-stop - his feeding habits, his sleep schedule, his adorable personality that shows more and more each day. I get it out of my system as much as possible so I'm able to carry on more suitable conversations when I see my friends without kids, who like to discuss things other than Nathan. So anytime I can get together with a group of people whose daily vocabularies include the words "poopy" or "fussy" I try to take advantage of it.

I've found one particular group that meets for lunch once a week and it's a great way to compare stories - both good and bad. This week we met for Sunday brunch and in addition to Mommy and baby, Daddy was invited too. There were 7 families all together, 14 adults and 7 babies. We sat across from a couple that lives 2 blocks away from us and immediately hit it off.

Within 5 minutes of meeting, myself and the other woman were sharing our labor stories; she was induced and I progressed on my own into natural labor. Upon hearing that my water broke, her husband asked me how I knew - "Was it was more of a trickle or a gush?" and then immediately started laughing, realizing how bizarre yet totally acceptable it was to ask me this question having only known me for a few minutes.

I'm sure it's strange to imagine talking about such personal and graphic information with strangers. But once you've gone through pregnancy and having a baby, this becomes completely normal. I remember a few weeks before Nathan was born and I had told a friend, who's also a mom, about my most recent checkup with my doctor, to check for signs of labor. The next time I saw her husband the first thing he said to me was "I heard you're 1 cm dilated, that's great." Again - so weird yet so acceptable that he was talking about such a personal subject.

But it's because we're all part of the same club now. A club whose members instantly bond because we've all shared the same surreal, overwhelming, scary and amazing experience of having a baby. The membership is lifelong and my initiation was easy - 18 hours of labor and 18 years of responsibility.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Road trip

This past weekend we drove up to Massachusetts to visit my family. Nathan got to see his aunts and uncles and cousins who hadn't seen him since he was a mere two months old, that's half a lifetime for him!

The weekend was a lot of fun, complete with family over at my parent's house Saturday morning, a day trip to Rockport Saturday afternoon and a cookout at my aunt and uncle's house on Sunday.

Most important, we had a very happy baby for the long trip home! (What was once a four hour drive becomes a lot longer when you add random stops for feedings, diaper changes and breaks from the carseat.)

But all in all, it was a very successful trip.

Gas - About $70

Tolls - About $25

An exhausted, sleeping baby when we finally got home - Priceless

Friday, August 6, 2010

Small baby, big stuff

We’re heading to Boston to visit my family this weekend. We’ll be there for two and a half days. There is so much stuff to bring that we had to make a list so we didn't forget any essentials.

I’m not even halfway done and so far I’ve got: Boppy, nursing cover, pump, toys, bathtub, bottles, Bjorn, blanket, burp cloths, pacifiers, sunhat, night light.

Babies come with a lot of stuff.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A man's man

The first time we took Nathan out in the Baby Bjorn, Will joked that he was going to get stopped by tons of girls thanks to his new chick magnet. Instead, three big, buff firemen stopped him and asked how old Nathan was, how was he sleeping at night and proceeded to reminisce about their own children as babies.

The men who work at our local Dunkin Donuts make funny faces at him and give him free munchkins, which I may or may not eat on the way home.

Random men stop me on the street and tell me how beautiful he is.

Turns out Nathan is a dude magnet!