Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nathan's 1st sleepover

When we were little, my brother, sisters and I had small Snoopy suitcases. They were barely bigger than a briefcase but they were the perfect size to pack a favorite blanket, some toys, and maybe a couple books. Today I was imagining Nathan packing his own little suitcase someday because last night he had his very first sleepover.

We have left Nathan only once before to attend a friend's wedding this past summer. We were staying at a hotel in New Jersey after the reception so my parents came to New York and stayed at our apartment and took care of Nathan overnight. He was only four months old and I was terrified to leave him. But my parents played with him, took him on a walk, and changed his diapers and my mom happily woke up all through the night to feed him. We all survived and Will and I realized it was pretty nice having a night off.

Will's parents have been volunteering for a while now to take Nathan for an overnight so this weekend they got their turn. We sent him to their house yesterday afternoon and they didn't bring him back until late this afternoon. If I had to use one word to sum up the experience, it would be.... wonderful.

It was wonderful for Will's parents to get Nathan all to themselves.
It was wonderful for them to get to show their grandson off to all their relatives in China, thanks to a webcam and a Skype account.

It was wonderful for Will and I to wander the city last night, no destination in mind and no 7:30 curfew.
It was wonderful for us to sleep until 9 am this morning.... 9 am!!
It was wonderful to have a lazy Sunday.

And the most wonderful moment of the weekend was running downstairs, greeting little Buggy at the car, and welcoming him home.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

I started doing the Weekly Gratitude posts because I thought it was a great way to stop, take a break from the daily grind, and appreciate all the good things that might normally get overlooked. It has been a great way to slow down and not let life pass by so quickly.

But on days that I'm feeling angry or confused or sad, it's an even greater tool because it forces me to let that go and again, look for the good.
  • I am grateful for my boys, Nathan and Will. They are my world.
  • I am grateful for my friends.
  • I am grateful for my family.
  • I am grateful for my health.
And as long as I have those four things, I know I'm doing alright.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What's for dinner?

Nathan has a new love. A love for spinach ravioli.  He also appears to love examining each and every bite, then smearing it all over his face and hands... and then eating it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Walk this way

Nathan's been crawling since he was 7 months old. He starting standing about a week later. And soon after that he learned how to "walk" while holding onto things: the couch, an ottoman, the entertainment center. Lately he's been letting go and standing on his own for a few seconds before falling down! It's so cute because he swings his hips back and forth to balance himself so he ends up looking like a) he's surfing or b) he's doing an Elvis impersonation.

A few months ago, a family friend gave us a walker toy. At the time, Nathan was too young for it but now that's he becoming more mobile, it's perfect. This video is one of his first attempts and as you can see, he got off to a rough start.

But after a while, he was a pro and he spent the rest of the weekend "walking" around the apartment.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

It's that time again, I am grateful...

  • For 60 degree weather in February, even if it was just a cruel tease! As you can see from this photo, Nathan loved basking in the sunshine too.
  • That Nathan went back to daycare happily this week. I was worried that after being with me all day every day for 2 weeks straight, due to an ear infection and a trip to Boston, that he would freak out when I handed him over to his teacher but he was fine!
  • For getting to go out on a date with Will tomorrow!
  • That it's a 3 day weekend!
  • That The Amazing Race starts Sunday, my FAVORITE SHOW EVER!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bedtime reading

Now that Nathan's older we let him keep some toys and books in his crib. When he wakes up in the morning he'll sit and play with his toys, giving Will and me a few precious extra minutes in bed, while we listen to Nathan "talking" to his stuffed animals.

And when we put him down, if he's not quite ready to go to sleep, he can entertain himself, rather than screaming for us to let him out. Lately, it appears that he's been doing some bedtime reading, although he only gets through a page or two before falling asleep with the book open next to him.

Like mama, like baby.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If I knew then what I know now

I have always known I wanted to be a mother. So when I got pregnant, just days after my 30th birthday, I was overjoyed and by my 9th month, I was so excited to meet the tiny little boy or girl (we never found out the sex) who had been kicking around inside my belly for so long.

When Nathan was finally born and the doctor laid him on my chest, I was expecting that moment everyone talks about. That "I instantly fell in love" moment. So imagine my surprise when I did not feel that way. Instead all I felt was fear. I had expected to instantly bond with my baby, the way a mother was "supposed to", but that didn't happen for me. I reassured myself it was normal - I had just gone through a very exhausting (both physically and emotionally) 18 hours of labor and I was just feeling overwhelmed. But a few hours passed, then a few days, and still, I wasn't in love with my baby, I was terrified of him.

I can't even count how many times I cried, not only during the first few days, but the first few weeks. Which then turned into the first couple months. Between the physical pain I was in from having given birth, the struggles I was having with breastfeeding, the loneliness and isolation a new mother often feels, and the extreme sleep deprivation, I was breaking down. I cried when I was alone with Nathan.  I cried when Will left for work. I cried when he got home from work. I called my mom on the phone and cried. I cried, I cried, and I cried.

I finally had this beautiful, healthy baby that I had waited so long for and rather than being happy, I was sad.  I dreaded going to bed at night because I knew I had the long night ahead of me, with Nathan waking up every 2 hours like clockwork to eat, and knowing how much it was going to hurt. I was anxious when I woke up in the morning because I knew once Will left for work, I would be completely alone for close to ten hours..  And I was scared that something was wrong with me because I wasn't blissfully happy, like I was "supposed to be".

Looking back at it now, I'm pretty sure I had either a mild case of postpartum depression or very severe baby blues. I think a major contribution to how I felt was loneliness. Will left for work everyday, my parents live out of state, and my in-laws both work full-time so I was basically alone every single day. That definitely took its toll on me because there was nobody to hand the baby over to for a few minutes so I could get out for some fresh air.  I didn't have anyone to talk to or ask "What do you think he needs" when Nathan started to cry.  There was nobody to relieve me when I needed a break. I eventually reached out to neighborhood Mommy groups and began attending weekly lunches and play-dates in Central Park. Being around other mothers helped so much, it provided an instant bond. Hearing other women talk about the same exact issues I was going through made me feel like I wasn't the only one struggling, I wasn't the only one having trouble, I wasn't the only one feeling completely and totally overwhelmed. I wasn't alone.

People kept telling me things would get easier and I wish I could have believed them but all I could think was "When"??? As time went by though, I got more comfortable with Nathan and more confident in myself, and I eventually came out of my funk. I think back to those first couple months and it makes me sad to think I didn't really enjoy my maternity leave with Nathan. But I've made peace with and accepted it as part of my journey toward becoming a mother.  I love Nathan more than anything and I wouldn't change any part of our story, because it brought us to where we are today - and I can proudly say that I am ridiculously, head over heels in love with my baby.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nathan's Baptism

This past Sunday we had Nathan baptized at my parent's church. He looked absolutely adorable in his little white outfit and surprisingly did not try to pull his bonnet off the second we put it on.

His godmother is my sister, Mary and his godfather is our good friend, David. Unfortunately David could not be there because his wife, Sarah was pregnant and the baby was due any day so my dad filled in at the ceremony. (Sarah went into labor that afternoon and delivered a beautiful baby boy that night so David became a father for the second time and a godfather for the first time all in one day!)


It was a lovely ceremony and a rare opportunity for our entire family to get together. And we can all rest easy now knowing Nathan is getting into heaven :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

&hearts Happy Valentine's Day &hearts

Today started off like any other Monday morning. We woke up to a babbling baby. We got dressed. Will left for work. I took Nathan to daycare and then came back home to begin work for the day. But just as I was about to put the key into our lock, I thought I could hear running water coming from inside. I panicked since we had returned home from MA late the night before to find a leak in our bathroom ceiling. I immediately thought the leak had gotten worse and was opening the door, afraid of was I was about to find.

But the sound I heard was not running water after all. It was a much better sound... it was sizzling bacon. Will was in the kitchen making me breakfast! He had not gone to work at all. He had gone to the grocery store and bought eggs, bacon and orange juice. Let me just say, a mushroom, pepper, cheese omelette, crispy bacon, and a vase of roses is not a bad way to start the day!

My day got better that afternoon when I picked Nathan up from daycare and discovered he had made Will and I an adorable handmade Valentine.  His artistic skills at just 10 months old blow me away.

And later that evening, the most precious Valentine's gift of the day, was getting to meet our good friends David and Sarah's beautiful newborn son. He had entered the world the night before so he was less than 24 hours old. We have been so excited for him to make his arrival so we jumped on the train and headed downtown.

There is nothing sweeter than holding a newborn baby. They're so tiny and warm and light as a feather. They make those adorable little newborn noises and stretch their arms as high as they can, barely reaching their faces.  On a day that is meant to celebrate love, I can think of no better expression than that for a newborn baby. Welcome to the world Baby Caiden.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

Nathan and I have been in Boston most of this week and I am grateful that we got to visit lots of family while we were here - it's important to me that Nathan grows up around his aunts and uncle and cousins. I am also grateful for the following things:

I am grateful that Will got here today - Nathan missed his Daddy and I missed my husband, aka my partner in crime - I think he can handle all diaper changes for the rest of the weekend!

I am grateful for my parents, who babysat Nathan many times all week allowing me to get out and run errands and hang out with friends.

I am grateful that today was the last day of Nathan's antibiotics so his ear infection is over!

I am grateful for the bowling league I belonged to in 7th grade - for instilling in me the skills I busted out last night during family fun night and allowed me to earn the first string win.... with a whopping 106 points.

 I am grateful that I got to see one of my oldest and closest friends this week - we only get to see each other once a  year (if we're lucky), so catching up in person is always fun.

I am grateful that my in-laws were able to come up to MA for Nathan's baptism tomorrow so we can all  celebrate together as one big family.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frequent Flyer

Nathan is being baptized at my parent's church this weekend and although Will and his parents won't join us until Saturday, Nathan and I decided to head up to Boston a few days early. By the time we added up the cost of a rental car, gas, tolls, snack stops, etc.,  my mom pointed out it might not be much more to fly. She was right.

So Nathan flew on a plane for the second time today. The idea of flying with him alone was scary. Getting him in and out of the cab is not easy, but we got it done. And getting through security was tricky. I had to get my boots off, load my duffel bag onto the conveyor belt, break down the carseat stroller and get that onto the conveyer belt - all while either holding Nathan with one arm or putting him on the ground next to me and praying he didn't crawl away!

But once we got to the gate, it was smooth sailing. I fed him a banana and gave him a bottle to make sure he wouldn't be hungry up in the air. We passed the time waiting to board by watching the planes through the huge glass windows and I do believe Nathan entertained some of his fellow passengers with his constant clapping, screams of delight, and crawling over to and examining their carry on luggage. He sat on my lap during the actual flight and seemed content to play with the seatbelt of the empty seat next to us. Less than an hour later, we were safe and sound in Boston!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekly Gratitude

This week was not a very good one. Buggy didn't look so hot on Sunday. He had no energy and kind of just sat there, like an adorable little lump. By Monday, he had a fever and when it jumped up to 104.4 that night, I panicked and called our pediatrician. By Wednesday, he was diagnosed with an ear infection and put on antibiotics and I am happy to report he is back to acting like his regular, feisty, maniacal self! I am grateful for that. Here are a few other things I am grateful for this week.

I am grateful for Baby Motrin, Baby Tylenol and Amoxicillan - all of which have helped keep Nathan cool and comfortable.

I am grateful that this was a very slow work week (due to the factories I work with being closed for Chinese New Year). I kept Bugs home from daycare all week and it would have been impossible to get much work done while also trying to take care of a sick baby.

I am grateful that I was able to get together with one of my best friends for a much needed drink! Oh yeah, and dinner too. Now that I've got a 19 pound little munchkin to take care of, I don't get to go out with my friends as often as I did pre-baby so I really treasure our nights out.

I am grateful for clementines, which are so delicious and make it so easy to snack healthily.

I am (always) grateful for nap-time - but especially this morning because it allowed me to make blueberry pancakes for breakfast!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mr. Independent

With each passing day, Nathan is turning into more of a little boy and less of a baby. One clear way he demonstrates this is through his eating habits. He has little interest in being spoon fed anymore, instead he continuously tries to grab the spoon himself which ends up with food flying everywhere. Today his sweet potatoes landed on my freshly washed jeans.

He also has a bad habit of rubbing his hands all over his face, his clothes, his hair while he's eating. So the whole time he's eating, I'm trying to wipe avocado off his hands before he can rub them into his hair. Or squash off his cheeks before he can rub them into his eye.

So now we try to give him finger food as often as we can. Although that tends to be less messy, it is by no means neat and still ends with a pile of dirty wipes. One advantage of him eating finger food is he seems willing anything we offer him, as long as he can feed himself.  He seems to really love asparagus and green beans!