Tuesday, March 22, 2016

three months

Three months! My goodness. You are no longer my little newborn, and you make that more and more evident each day. Gone is the sleepy little baby. Hello to an alert and active baby. We have had so much fun watching you become more aware of the world around you this month.

You don't stop moving. Your little legs and arms are going all the time. I'm sure all this flapping has a purpose, but it still looks pretty spastic to me. You are also a prolific head bobber, and an even more prolific finger chewer. You seem to always be playing a game of "how many fingers can I fit into my mouth at one time."

This month, we've been working on getting you into more of a schedule. I'm not hard and fast about it, but we've been trying to follow your natural rhythms to develop more of a routine for everyone's sanity. You basically sleep from 9 to 9 every night, getting up once or twice to eat. We have been attempting to put you down for naps in your crib during the day. Some days we have been pretty successful. Other days, we both just end up crying.

We still swaddle you at night, and you are still sleeping in the bassinet next to mom. I'm afraid both of those things will probably come to an end soon, but I'm not in a hurry. You still seem to enjoy the comfort of a tight swaddle, and I'd really like to be down to one consistent early morning feeding before we transition you to the nursery.

You went through another big growth spurt while we were on vacation in Mexico. Over the course of that week, you started making new sounds, grabbing at more objects, showing interest in a few toys, following things with your eyes consistently, and even giving us a slight chuckle. Since you were in summer clothes, it was harder to tell that you had grown physically, but sure enough, once we got home most of your pants were too short!

For most of this month, you have still been very serious, much preferring your old man faces to smiles. As your Aunt Megan pointed out, you are very much your parents' child. I was a very stoic child, and I don't think anyone would use the word gregarious to describe your dad. However, you have been coming out of your shell these past few days. You have been talking up a storm, smiling more, and you gave us your first really good giggle. Dad was playing with you before bed time and you just thought it was sooo funny. Naturally we've spent every waking moment since then trying to get you to laugh again - you've acquiesced a couple of times, but I suspect you'll be as stingy with your laughs as you are with your smiles.

You've really been enjoying your rocking chair. We often rock you to sleep before naps. I love watching your little eyelids get tired. You try so hard to keep them open, but the rocking motion wins [almost] every time. You enjoy your baby swing, but it doesn't put you to sleep, much to my chagrin. Luckily, you also still enjoy being in your baby wrap or ergo carrier, both of which will often lull you to sleep, much to my relief. You continue to love being in new places or really being anywhere outside the house. Bath time is your absolute favorite. We give you way more baths than you probably need because you like it so much. Right now, your favorite toy is the Baby Einstein piano that lights up and plays music.

You are still pretty content as a baby, but (and this is a big BUT) you do need attention all. the. time. You don't really like being left alone to entertain yourself. Someone must be holding you or paying attention to you to keep you happy. Even if you like something, you get bored pretty quickly. We've also run into problems lately with riding in the car. Instead of falling asleep like you used to, you get bored and angry when we aren't paying attention to you from the front seat.

You don't like being on your back so you haven't enjoyed your play mat too much yet. You much prefer sitting up so you can look around and study your surroundings. I have to prop you up against pillows on the bed so I can brush my teeth and get ready for the day! You especially love being held upright and walked around to check things out. You also like being outside. You love going on stroller walks. Taking you outside on the front porch even for just a few minutes is a magic bullet when you are really having a meltdown.

You still fuss when you are hungry (duh) and lately you've been having major meltdowns when you are overly-tired. It's a vicious cycle - when you won't nap, you get too tired; when you get too tired, you won't nap. Those are the hardest days for me and you. We tend to do lots of nursing, holding, baby wearing or stroller walking when this happens.

Whew, these monthly posts are getting longer. I'll probably have a whole novel to write by the time you hit one year. ;) We love you so much, Bub. It's such a joy watching you grow up...but it's also totally OK if you want to stay small forever.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

happy birthday to me

You may remember from my forgotten 30 by 30 bucket list (that flew out the window once I learned I was pregnant) that I had planned to turned 30 in Paris. If it wasn't for Charlie, I definitely would have been in Paris on February 25th. I'm not mad at Charlie for putting a wrench in my plans, but it did leave me with a pretty grim outlook on the big day.

Instead of Paris, I had plans to go to the spa, and Jon offered to cook me a delicious dinner. With a 2-month-old at home, that sounded like just the right amount of celebration. Quite honestly, we couldn't really come up with anything better...or so I thought. It was a pretty big production just to leave the house for a few hours that morning to head to the spa, and I knew we weren't quite ready to leave Charlie with a babysitter - more for the sitter's sake than ours. It's hard to ask someone to watch your baby when he is still too little to be in any kind of routine. And even though he does take a bottle, he still just wants his mama sometimes...errr, all the time.

My first surprise of the day was Jon making me breakfast that morning. It was no ordinary breakfast. He made homemade waffles complete with freshly whipped cream and berry compote. It was delicious, and I was appropriately impressed. My time at the spa was equally wonderful, and I even got to do a little shopping afterward since Dad assured me Charlie was fast asleep at home.

Things turned a bit strange when I got home. I wanted to take a shower, but Jon insisted that I open my presents first. I protested (I didn't want to look like a hot mess in any birthday photos), but he won. I thought maybe he had something up his sleeve, but after opening all the gifts, nothing had materialized (although it should be noted that I loved everything I opened!). After the presents were opened, Jon immediately suggested I should go shower now. Again, quite strange since he had told me to delay the shower earlier.

Once I came upstairs, he announced that there was another gift. I opened the bag (it was in a baby gift bag) and inside was a weekender bag that I already owned. Hmmmm. That's weird. I was quite confused, BUT, inside the bag was a note telling me to pack my bag because we were going to enjoy an overnight stay and private dinner for three at a mystery location. Squeeeee! I was so shocked. I really didn't think Jon had anything planned. He's not the greatest at pulling off surprises. And by not the greatest, I mean he's pretty terrible at surprising me.

Now I was in a hurry so I hopped in the shower, got ready, threw some things in my bag and quickly got everything packed for Charlie. We hopped in the car and I caught up on birthday phone calls while Jon drove us toward DC. We ended up at the Jefferson hotel near the White House in downtown DC. It wasn't quite Paris, but as Jon pointed out, it was a hotel named after a famous Francophile. :)

Not only had Jon booked a lovely suite complete with a travel crib for Charlie, but he had talked the fancy schmancy hotel restaurant into serving us a private dinner in the sitting room of our suite. The table was already set and there were fresh flowers in the room. It was all so lovely, and I was completely blown away. It never would have worked to bring Charlie to a fancy restaurant so Jon brought the restaurant to us. It felt like a true night out - I even did my hair, put on makeup and enjoyed a glass (or two!) of wine. The food was divine, but my favorite part was sharing it all with my two favorite boys. I felt very loved.

After a good night's sleep for all, we ordered room service breakfast the next day. As a little kid, I thought room service was SO fancy, and it's still one of my favorite guilty pleasures. There is just something wonderfully luxurious about hotel robes, slippers and room service.

Even though we were just a few miles from home, it felt like I was world's away. It was such a nice retreat and a really great 30th birthday.

birthday breakfast. yes, i like the fake syrup better. don't judge. 
I still can't believe Jon made this without any help.
Opening presents. Charlie got me a poop emoji pillow. How thoughtful of him.
What is this strange thing on my head, mom?
A table set for two.
Charlie eyeing my cheese course.

Choosing from the room service menu.
I think Charlie is already a fan of room service too.
Friday, March 11, 2016

My Third Life Crisis

I have some news. A lot of news, actually. I turned 30, quit my job, and went to Mexico.

It can't be called a midlife crisis. I hope I live past 60. In fact, it's not really a crisis at all. Allow me to explain. The turning 30 part was inevitable, and it wasn't so bad. I have a baby. It's about time I became an adult. Besides, 30 is the new 20 right? I had a really great birthday, which deserves its own post. And the trip to Mexico was just a vacation - not a defection - which also deserves its own post full of cute beach baby photos.

For now, let's focus on the middle statement: I quit my job.

Before Charlie was born, I had every intention of going back to work. I loved my job. I loved the people I worked with. I loved working from home.

Charlie's birthday card for me perfectly sums up our new working relationship.
I know it seems like it would be totally possible to have my cake and eat it too. I worked from home for goodness sake. How hard could it be to work around baby's needs? Really hard actually. Here is something a lot of people don't understand about working from home - it's still working! In fact, I'm quite sure I worked more in the last year+ than I ever have before. Also, the nature of my job was not flexible in that I had to be completely available during business hours. Placing clients or candidates on hold while I changed my baby's diaper was just not an option.

Yes, I could have hired someone to watch Charlie while I worked, and I considered that very seriously. I was absolutely torn about the whole thing. But, alas, childcare in the DC metro ain't cheap. When all was said and done, we would have been breaking even at best. I liked my job, but I didn't like it enough to do it for free.

It's certainly bittersweet. I know I will miss my work, but I'm also confident I made the right decision. You see, this tiny human has completely stolen my heart. So for this season of life, I'm just going to be mom. Just. Such a tiny word, but so full of connotation because who are we kidding, you can't be "just" mom. Mom is a full time job, and moms who work have two full time jobs. I don't envy them. There will be long days. There will be hard days. There will be days I count down the minutes until Dad comes home to relieve me.

But at the same time, I'll only get to do this once. I love the saying "The days are long, but the years are short." Someday - probably much sooner than I would like - Charlie will be all grown up and I'll desperately miss his tiny hands grabbing my necklace or hair as I rock him to sleep. It's a joy to be his mom, and I'm so glad I get to do it full time now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Two Months

We are a little late posting this again - it was a busy, busy week last week. Not only did you celebrate 2 months, but Mom turned the big 3-0. I think it's safe to say we are both growing up way too fast.

You had to have 4 shots at your 2-month appointment (they were out of the combination shot), but you handled it like a total champ. You only cried a little bit. Our appointment confirmed that you are growing like a weed (90-something percentile for height), but we are going to work on fattening you up. You are a lanky little fellow, but quite strong. You showed off again by smiling for the doctor and further demonstrating your head and neck strength.

Here is everything you were up to in month two.

You love being the center of attention. You are none to happy when you think you've been left alone for too long. You like to be held, and you love walking around and looking at things - especially in new places. You are still a very serious little fellow. You are capable of smiling (we've seen it!), but you are pretty darn stingy with them. You are such a content little guy that I don't think you are unhappy. I think you are just figuring out this big, strange world and learning how to take everything in. You seem pretty skeptical about most things, and it makes for some amazing faces.

You love eating your hands. You can't get enough of them. The pacifier doesn't interest you nearly as much these days now that you have found your hands. At first, you tried to fit your entire fist in your mouth, but now that you realize that's not possible, you've mostly settled on sucking your right thumb and pointer finger.

You like the black and white pictures in your book, but not as much the red and white ones. You love when mom or dad sing to you. Current favorites are Old McDonald and He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

You are still a great sleeper. You generally go to sleep between 10-11 and wake up around 5-6. After nursing, you go back to sleep until 9 am or so. You like being swaddled. We left your arms unswaddled one night to see if you wanted to have your fingers available for chewing and self-soothing. It was a total disaster. You woke mom up in the middle of night thrashing about in your bassinet. We love how you throw your arms up when we unswaddle you in the morning as if you are shouting FREEDOM!

You are still not a great napper during the day. You take cat naps here and there - usually in someone's arms or in your baby wrap, and occasionally in the rock 'n play. Your favorite place to sleep is in the car seat. We can take you just about anywhere and you'll snooze for 2-3+ hours in your car seat. You went on your first road trip to Lynchburg and pretty much slept the entire ride.

You love the sit up game and being pulled to standing. You can support all of your weight on your legs - mom and dad just help to keep you balanced. You rolled over once, but have yet to repeat the experience even though you get really close to doing it again during tummy time.

You mostly sleep through church services as long as mom is gently rocking your car seat. We'll have to change that eventually, but for now, we aren't complaining.

You love being in new places and looking at new things. You keep mom on the go all the time. I think you are tired of looking at the same old things at home. You want new adventures! You especially love all the activity in mommy and me pilates classes, and you were a big fan of baby song time at the library.

You are pooping less often, but spitting up more often. Both of these things make for bigger messes and better stories. Ask me sometime about your blowout during pilates.You still don't spit up often, but you are very drooly. Probably because you are always eating your hands.

New skills: grasping objects, smiling, rolling over (once), following people with your eyes, making all kinds of new sounds, you can sit up (with your back supported against an object) for quite a while

You love: chewing on your fingers, singing with daddy, taking naps on daddy (daddy usually falls asleep too leaving mom to supervise and make sure nobody gets hurt), being held or being in your baby wrap, looking around and exploring, riding in the car

You hate: being left alone, getting out of the bathtub, being hungry

Highlights of the month: meeting mommy's co-workers, applying for your first passport, attending your first Super Bowl party, first road trip to Lynchburg to visit your Aunt, Uncle and cousins (and your first time meeting cats - you swatted them away), first play date (mostly an excuse for the parents to get together and talk about their kiddos), stayed home with daddy for the first time (and lived to tell about it), first chiropractor appointment