Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nine months in, nine months out.

Hey, so remember how I planned to write about my experience as a new mom at least once a month?

Hang on, I'm laughing. It's hard to type....almost...oh, man. Tears.

It's just that between working what's basically become a full-time job again as a designer from home, having a husband busting his ass at work to help with bills (and therefore not at home in the evenings to help as much as either of us would like), and trying to stay a literal step ahead of an ever-mobile baby, I have so much free time it's amazing. I just don't want to rub it in or anything.

I go through a lot of wine diet coke coffee.

Luckily not that much really changed around here in the 7th and 8th month. I mean, the crawling got faster (a lot faster), and teeth kept popping out of his skull left and right (there are 7 as of today), but it's been the last couple of weeks where things have really been picking up speed. Cause no big deal, but my 8.5 month old started walking.

WALKING. I cannot overstress the ridiculousness of this situation. He is putting one foot in front of the other and going. places. alone. (Granted, eight feet at a time. Still). And it is the cutest thing on the planet, let me tell you. He is so proud. And this is a kid who is easily impressed with himself. A giant burp gets a wicked grin from ear to ear. Finds the remote I hid for the 18th time that day? A huge giggle. Don't get me started on the radiance that takes over his face when he hones in on my cellphone from across the room and knows he can get to it before I can.

Am I being proud mama? Of course. But I know you guys expect more than just the pretty stuff. So here we go.

Teething. Teething is the devil. The bottom two were so easy and those damn top teeth would not come in. For weeks, I could SEE the left one. It was right. there. But would not break through. And it meant that he didn't want to nap. Or sleep. Or lay down in any way. We tried Tylenol. Teething tablets. Frozen stuff—washcloths, rings, applesauce...I even attempted orajel, but he was far more into the box than the tube. Poor kid. Poor us.

Dad brought home rubber hockey pucks.

And with teething comes slobber. Everywhere, all the time. And everything is in his mouth. Everything, all the time. I'm having to vacuum twice a day, because if he can see it, he has to eat it. Hairballs, cat litter, half an old's disgusting. Babies are gross, y'all.

Living with a baby is like living in a tornado. Everything in a drawer must come out and be strewn across the floor. Toys. Books. Pajamas. Peas. And once they're on the floor, they must go in his mouth. Speaking of, he's a big fan of pacifiers. He's also got an arm like Matt Cain, so if we don't come get him the second he wakes up, he's already thrown at least one of the two he goes to bed with somewhere across the room. Luckily he can find them out of thin air, because I'll look around the room for missing pacis for 5 full minutes and by the time I turn around, he's got one in his mouth and another clutched in his hand.

What's with the gender confusion? I mean, it's nice to know I don't have to dress my potential future daughter in dresses and bows (oh, god, I would be the worst at having a baby girl). I apparently just have to dress her in any shade of pale blue or white. Or grey. This is how conversations go (usually with old people, natch). "How old's your baby?" "He's 8 months." "She's so cute."

Sigh. Come on. I'm not offended by the mistake. He's a boy. A pretty boy, but still so obviously a dude. It's just dumb. Pay attention, people.

This kid can eat. I still nurse him 4 or 5 times a day (yeah, I had planned on nursing for six months. But he's still into it, so...), and he's also eating 3 full meals: oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast, veggies and chicken for lunch, and veggies or sweet potato and beef for dinner. (And yes, I make it all myself. My freezer has been taken over by freezer bags of single serving baby meals.) Plus yogurt or cottage cheese if he's still hungry. And a banana—a full banana—as an afternoon snack. (And don't even think about mashing it; he wants to eat it the way we do. It's terrifying the size of bites this kid tries to take.)

We were also having cheerios in the morning while mom checked her email, but then the eczema happened. And so now we're a gluten free baby. Meaning we'll all be back to gluten free living as soon as we're eating more of the same thing every meal. Sigh. I have no one to blame but my grandpa myself for this one.

I hired a part-time nanny and it was the best decision I've made in the past year. She comes twice a week for five hours a day, and it's fantastic. I originally hired her so I could get some work done—which I do—but then I realized I could schedule appointments around her being here. At first it was boring stuff like the doctor, but then I discovered a new Pilates studio in town. And now I do everything in my power to go there once a week (second best decision ever—it's an expensive yet amazingly necessary indulgence). Anyway, I love her. E loves her. I wish she could move in. Alas, she's in college and stuff. Harrumph.

I love this kid so much it's stupid. You always hear the cliched, "you love your kids in ways you never thought possible" and roll your eyes and throw up a little in your mouth (no? just me?) but holy crap, it's true. He makes me laugh all day long. And what's better—I can make him laugh. Big, high pitched, squealing giggles, whether I'm making funny noises at him, wearing one of his stuffed animals as a hat, or I'm chasing him on my hands and knees down the hall (uh, yeah, you do some dumbshit things just to get that giggle, trust me). He wakes me up at ungodly hours, I grumble my way down the hall to his room, and then I pick him up and he cuddles into my arms in a way that tells me he just needed his mama and I'm totally done for.

This is not how I imagined my life with a child, by the way. I miss my friends, I miss sleeping in (actually, I miss sleep in general), I miss jumping in and out of the car without dealing with restraints. But it is what it is. We had a baby. We chose to have a baby. And he is so happy, and so much fun, and yes, ohmygod so much work. But he has changed our lives in a way that...well, the selfish part of me won't let me write 'for the better,' but he's changed our lives in a way that's definitely...more. There's more laughter, there's more frustration, there's more planning, there's more love. More messes, more kisses, more being puked on, more screaming, more patience than I thought possible, more cuddles, more amazement, more noise.

Holy hell, and there's only been nine months of this. And as always, I'm aiming to write again next month. Wish us all luck...

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