Sunday, February 28, 2010

5 Months Old

Dear Miles,

I cannot fathom how you are five months old, already. How it has already been five months since I met you? Five months since I held you for the first time? Five months since my world changed forever?

As I type this, you are playing with your Daddy - quite possibly your favorite person. Though, in all honesty, it is hard to tell. Every time you see someone you recognize, you give them a smile that is only for them, a smile that says, "Yay! It's my favorite person in the whole world!" It's the smile that has won over everyone who has ever met you. You truly love everyone, and so, in return, everyone cannot help but love you. It is my greatest hope that you will retain this quality as you grow - that you will always show love to those around you.

This month has been a hard one for your mommy. You stopped sleeping through the night. You started solid foods. You began crying out of boredom, something you've never done before. You had your first cold. You are showing all of the signs of teething, but no teeth have actually appeared. Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, this month has been difficult for me. I'm not sure you have even noticed, though. You have been too busy learning new tricks, whizzing through milestones, watching everything, trying to take it all in. You are becoming more and more aware by the day, and more and more sure of your movements. You are beginning to understand that there is a way you may be able to move all on your own, soon, and you get so frustrated sometimes that it is so difficult to figure out. You are learning to sit up by yourself, though you still lose your balance from time to time. In short, new things are coming at a rapid pace, and Mommy is having a hard time keeping up!

Mostly, though, Mommy is baffled by your growth. Wasn't it only yesterday that you were sleeping twenty hours a day? Only a few days ago that you learned to smile? Only last week that you were born? The time has passed so quickly, and though I am excited that you are growing and learning, and interacting, I am a little afraid of how quickly these months have passed. If these past five months have flown so fast, what of the next five? Before I know it, you will be a year old. Then two. Then five. Ten. Sixteen. Grown.

And that thought makes me want to cry. But instead, I hold you close, enjoy your smiles, celebrate your milestones, breathe in the wonder of you while I can. Because as scary as it is, I am glad you are growing and learning. I am glad that you are developing as you should, even if it seems to come rapidly. Because that means that you are healthy, and there is nothing more I could ask for you.

I hope you someday can fathom how much I love you. It is truly beyond words, though I hope you feel it everyday of your life.

With all my love,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shakespeare Night

If you haven't noticed, I never post on Thursdays.

Mainly, that's because I spend the daytime hours scrubbing my house from top to bottom, trying in earnest to make it presentable.

Because Thursday nights, my living room fills with my favorite people. Ostensibly, we get together to read Shakespeare. And that's how it started. We were doing really well, actually. And then, last week, we got to talking, and by 10:00, we were like "Hamlet? Oh, yeah. Oops." Last night was almost a repeat performance, but we watched about an hour of the movie, so it counts, right?

Regardless of what we do, it is possibly my favorite night of the week. I look forward to it, counting the days, until I am surrounded by people with whom I can discuss all matter of crazy things. And I don't have to be politic about it (which is really hard for me, anyway). We all say what we want, without fear. Do we always agree? Absolutely not. But we don't have to. Because in the end, we all love one another, regardless. And for that, I am incredibly blessed.

Oh, and Miles is cute. Yay! (I had to at least mention him, right?) :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I have only one thing to say today

Stacey, you rock. Thank you for coming to my rescue yesterday. You have no idea how awesome it was to have a little help.

Oh, and Miles appears to be on the upswing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One of those days

I have to start by acknowledging that I am incredibly lucky that I have very few days like this.

That doesn't make it any easier.

We are on day 6 of the Plague, and it has definitely been one of those days. Miles did ok last night, but was still up 3 times before he finally woke up at 8:15. And he woke up with a vengeance. Usually, he wakes up cooing, and will play in his crib for a few minutes while I brush my teeth and prep his bottles, and generally prepare for the day. Not today. Today, he woke up whining, ready to eat immediately. And then took half an hour to eat 2 ounces. He whined and clung to me for almost an hour before finally deciding he was still tired and passing out. When I tried to put him down, he woke up, and I could see him preparing to scream. So, I laid down on the bed with him, and we napped. Which was glorious, I admit. Until he woke me up by screaming that he was starving. Since, you know, he hadn't eaten earlier.

It took me almost an hour to calm him down enough to actually eat. And once I had accomplished this feat, the phone rang. It was important, so I took the call. The lady took forever to tell me what she needed, even though I repeatedly asked her to get to the point, as I had a screaming baby in the background. By the time she finally told me what she needed, and I hung up, Miles was inconsolable again. It took another 45 minutes of bouncing and walking and shushing to get him calm enough to eat, and he sucked down the entire bottle in a matter of minutes.

For fifteen beautiful minutes, Miles played happily on the couch. Until he puked all over himself. When I took him to change him, I discovered he had a dirty diaper that had overflowed to the point that we both needed baths in the end.

So, now, he's taking a little siesta in his swing in the bathroom, and I am sitting here exhausted and ready for bed, even though it's only 2:3o. And I still have work to do. And a house to clean.

And a baby who will be waking up screaming any minute, I'm sure.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Snot-Monster Strikes Again

Miles is still a coughing, snotty boy, but now he's added whiny-ness to his repertoire. He wants to cuddle, but still play by himself. He wants to eat, but only on his terms. He's always tired (trying to sleep off this bug, I guess), but he fights sleep. In short, nothing is making him happy. And it's driving me bonkers.

And, to top it off, Patrick and I have managed to contract this lovely little plague as well. Our house is not the most fun place to be right now. Ugh.

I know it will get better soon, and that it's really not a big deal. But I miss my happy, smiling, content little boy, and I want him back!

Besides, I'm really tired of being covered in snot every time he snuggles in. Ewww!*

*Ahh, the joys of motherhood. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Girls' Night Out, Guys' Night In

Last night was my first Girls' Night Out since November. Four of my favorite girls* and I went to a semi-fancy Italian restaurant, with the most amazing food! We arrived at 6:15, and talked until they closed at 10:00. :)

Then, we went to a place called Skies, a restaurant that sits on top of the Hyatt downtown. The atmosphere is very mellow and comfortable. Lights are low, and indirect, seating is comfortable armchairs and sofas around coffee tables. A jazz pianist tinkles the keys. But the focus is the view from the floor to ceiling windows: the city skyline in all its glory. Oh, and just for giggles, the entire restaurant slowly rotates. If you sit there for an hour and a half, you will be shown an entire 360 degree view of the city, from its center. It is gorgeous. We ordered coffees and desserts and talked for another two hours, before realizing that our friend Wendy** was staying in the hotel so her daughter could go to the anime convention downstairs. So, we stopped by her room and talked for awhile longer. Eventually, we decided that we had better go home while we were still awake enough to drive. :)

Meanwhile, Miles was experiencing his first Guy's Night here at home. Patrick had Shelby, Kirby, and Joseph over, and they cooked, and played cards, and generally, just hung out being guys, as far as I can tell. In any case, fun was had by all involved, and we are looking anxiously forward to our next opportunity to do it all again! :)

P.S. To Stacey, Bethany, Becky and Portia: thank you so much for helping me to feel like a person again, instead of just "Mommy". I have never been so blessed as to have such a warm, supportive group of female friends in my life. You are all amazing. Much love.

*Four of the most amazing women I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

**Number five in my list of Most Amazing Women Ever.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cold Update

The bad news: Miles is having a hard time sleeping and eating because of his stuffy nose, and his cough has become more . . . juicy.

The good news: The doctor has confirmed that it is Just a Cold, so we just have to ride it out, and everything should be fine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snot Monster

Miles has his first cold. :(

His nose has been congested (and runny) off and on for almost two weeks, but it wasn't bad, and he didn't have any other symptoms, so we didn't really worry too much about it.* Then, yesterday, he started coughing as well, and his nose is so stuffy that he's having a hard time eating and sleeping. The poor kid couldn't sleep for more than two hours at a stretch last night because he kept waking up to cough or sneeze. I finally brought him into bed with me, and propped his head up on my arm. Thus elevated, he slept for almost 4.5 hours before waking to eat, and the rest of the night went ok.

He's been up and happy and playful all day,** so far, so I'm not too worried. I called the doctor to see if I should bring him in, and was told that it's probably nothing to worry about. But, we scheduled an appointment for tomorrow morning, just to make sure.

I know it's not that bad, and it could be a lot worse, but it breaks my heart to see him suffer, even a little. Hopefully, the doctor will tell us that nothing is wrong, and that he will be better in a couple of days.

Until then, I will cuddle him and try to find the nose-sucker. (Ewww.)

I'm sure this whole thing was caused by his lack of socks. ;)

*I know, hand me the mother of the year award.

**Though, he's been very, very clingy. I had to put him in the sling just to finish my housework.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Funny Phone Conversation

I just got off the phone with one of our possible performers for next year. After discussing business, the conversation went something like this:

Performer: Well, thank you for your call! I'm looking forward to working with you this year! I don't think we've met, have we?!*

Me: Um . . . yeah, we met last year. Briefly.

Performer: Oh, sorry, I don't know if I remember you . . .!

Me: I was VERY pregnant.

Performer: Oh, I know you! Did you have the baby, yet?!

Me: No! And, dammit I'm getting uncomfortable at 13.5 months pregnant!**

*You gotta love people who end every sentence with an exclamation point. Even if it's a

**Ok, not really. I just wanted to.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Judgy Gertrude

So, I had my mothering skills questioned for the first time. Over socks.

Yes, you read that right. Socks.

On Friday,* we went to a party. Life was great. I was showing Miles off to anyone who would give me the time of day.** Finally, I went to say hello to "Gertrude"***, a woman who is . . . of my parents' generation. Apparently, having raised her kids, she feels that she has a right to be condescending to new parents.

It started innocently enough, with a question,

Gertrude: "Where are his socks?"

Me: "Oh, he won't wear them. I put them on, and 2 minutes later, he's kicked them off and they're lost for good. I've just given up buying new ones."

Gertrude: "Well, his toes are frozen!" (No, they weren't. They were nice and toasty. I know because I check them constantly to make sure).

Me: trying hard to let it roll off my back "Nah, he's fine. Besides, when he gets cold, he tucks his little toes under my arm. I've got a blanket in his diaper bag, just in case."

Gertrude: Well, it took awhile with my kids, but I finally found sock that stayed on.

Me: trying to be funny I guess I just haven't managed to find those magic socks, yet! exaggerated smile

At this point, Gertrude gets distracted by someone else, and I make my escape. I'm patting myself on the back for not over-reacting, and it's all over.

Or so I think . . .

Then, about twenty minutes later, Bethany is wandering around, carrying Miles. She comes up to me and says, "I can't believe what Gertrude just said to me!" Apparently Gertrude told her that "a good mother wouldn't let her four month old dictate what he is and isn't going to do!"

I was speechless. Which, if you know me, is a rare occurrence.

I'm just glad she didn't say it to my face. I may have twisted her head off. More likely, I would have said something all judgy about her parenting skills, and it would have sparked an epic eons-long rivalry.

Looking back now, I realize that it's laughable. Seriously? She's judging me for my kid's lack of socks? Whatever. eyeroll

Ridiculous as it was, though, it still shook me to my very core. I cannot believe how instantly the Mama Bear came out, ready to rip her apart. In that moment, I understood why people refer to protective moms as Mama Bears. My reaction was not rational, or based in intelligence. It was instantaneous, and instinctual, and ferocious. I always knew that I would protect my son from anything, but I had no idea how strong that emotion could be. I cannot imagine what would happen if he ever was in any sort of real danger.

So, there you are. All things considered, it could have been much worse. And I'm sure it will be, someday. I just hope I can learn to contain the Mama Bear. :)

*Yes, it happened Friday. I'm just now getting to a place where I can laugh about it.

**Which was everyone. Miles is a popular kid. :)

***No, her name isn't really Gertrude, and while I'm not terribly concerned about her seeing this, there are people who know her that read this blog. I don't want to cause any problems, I just need to get this out, so it will stop playing through my head.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Since it is Valentine's Day, I did not intend to post today, but my boys are napping, so I thought I'd take a moment to reflect on Love.

When I was small, Love was reading books with Mommy. Playing on the computer with Daddy. Sharing secrets with my sister. Love was homemade hot chocolate on Christmas morning. A tent of blankets hung on the back gate, heated by a dryer vent, where Tami and I could escape the snow. Making breakfast at Grandma and Grandpa's house. My dog running to meet me when I came home from school. Love was comfort, and safety, and warmth.

When I met Patrick, Love was learning to ice skate. Eating breakfast together in the school cafeteria. Driving around aimlessly, just talking and sipping hot cocoa.* Going to movies and holding hands in the dark. Going on picnics. Sitting in his parents' living room making costumes. Love was comfort, and safety, and warmth, but now included selflessness, and longing, and a desire to be together that is still so consuming, it is sometimes overwhelming.

Then, I had Miles, and was introduced to an entirely new kind of Love. Now, Love is long eyelashes whispering across my cheek first thing in the morning. Grey-blue eyes that study my face when I'm not looking. My dimple on a little chubby cheek. Legs bouncing uncontrollably in excitement. Pureed carrots behind an ear. Two boys, one big and one little, snoozing away, all cuddled up. Taking endless pictures so that I never forget a moment. Love is still comfort, and safety, warmth, selflessness, and longing, a desire to be together forever. And now, Love is also protective, and innocent, and pure.

Love is patient. Love is kind. I know this because I have been blessed to know Love. In many forms. And I know that now, we have started this cycle of Love over again in Miles. I only hope that he, too, will come to know Love in all of it's many forms. There is nothing more I could wish for him.

*Apparently, hot cocoa = Love. No wonder I'm addicted. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures in Solid Foods

Miles is lovin' his 'big boy' food. We started out with just oatmeal, and he was having fun, but it was obvious that he could take it or leave it. Then, we tried green beans, and he LOVED them. We tried mashed bananas, and he HATED them. So, we went back to oatmeal for a couple of days.

And then, I discovered the sweet potatoes I had bought. This is just a glimpse of what ensued:

I think the video pretty much shows how he feels about those. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

4 Month Check-Up

So, Miles had his big 4 month check-up at the doctor's office today. Our doctor and his nurse are both totally smitten with our smiling, laughing, active, attentive little man. Everything is normal, and he's progressing right on track.

As of today, my little boy is 14 lbs. 3oz. and 26 inches long! That means that in 4 months, he has gained 6lbs and 6.5 inches. I cannot believe how fast he is growing!

So, after we chatted with the Doc about rashes (just dry skin, no worries), solids (yay! he likes them!), and milestones (he's rolling both ways, and trying to sit unassisted), the Doc finished up his exam, and it was time for the dreaded shots. [Insert appropriately tense music here]*

Poor Miles. He never saw it coming. One minute, he's smiling and cooing at the nurse, who is totally melting over those oh-so-long eyelashes, and the next, he's screaming in agony and disbelief because that beautiful nurse has just stabbed him in the thigh - three times!

As soon as it was over, I picked him up and cuddled him, and shoved a bottle in his mouth. After a few seconds, the comforting yumminess of the the bottle outweighed the temporary discomfort of the shots. His cries ceased as he nommed away, and by the time we left, he was flirting with the receptionist.

That's my boy! :)

*It is one of life's greatest tragedies that my real life doesn't have a soundtrack like in the movies. I mean, think of how much easier it would be to make the right decisions. You start to open the door, thinking it's your friend. Cue scary music. You run and hide under your bed and call 911 instead. Horrible slasher-movie death scene avoided.**

**Unless it was really just that creepy guy who works for UPS. . . I think he would cue the scary music, too. . .

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick Update

I only have time for a quick update before we go rushing off into the wild blue yonder for Courtney's baby shower. Congrats to my little sis!

Nothing in particular to report. Miles is getting more and more sure of his movements everyday. He's able to pick things up and shake them, or put them in his mouth.* He plays this game where he will make a face at you, then raise an eyebrow to get you to grin. Extra points for him if he can get you to smile or laugh before he does. :)

He's trying to move. He will roll himself up on his side, then push off with his legs and roll back to his back. This results in him spinning in slow circles, but he does manage to get some lateral movement (occasionally).

And he's loving oatmeal and green beans. Not so much loving mashed banana (so far, the only thing he's spit out).

Anyway, it's almost time to get on the road, so adieu for now!

*Or whack himself in the face with them . . . :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Long Overdue Thank You

I was reflecting the other day that this time a year ago, I had just found out that I was pregnant. While most women wait to announce their pregnancies until that magical 2nd trimester, I told anyone who would listen the moment I knew. Most women wait, on the off chance that something happens to the baby. They don't want to get everyone excited if something goes wrong.

Maybe most women don't have the sort of family and friends that I do. The kind that are there to support you, no matter what. On one hand, I was so incredibly excited that I was bursting to share the news. But, on the other hand, I knew that if anything were to happen to my precious baby, I would need a ton of support. And I knew that they would be there to give it to me.

Fast forward to this week, as I realize, once again, how wonderful my friends are. I take Miles with me to work, and can leave him sleeping in his playpen, because I know Maestro will be there to pick him up if he cries. I have a rough afternoon, and Stacey and Bethany offer to take Miles for a half hour, so I can regain some sanity before our evening get-together. I take him to dance class, and never for one moment worry about who is holding him, though he is passed from person to person the entire night. I am incredibly lucky to have friends who support me at every turn, who often know instinctively what it is that I need. And more importantly, I am incredibly lucky to have so many friends who love Miles unconditionally.

Family means so many different things to so many different people. To me, there are two types of family: the family you are born with, and the family you choose. The family I was born to is amazing and supportive, affectionate and warm. I love them no matter what they do or don't do. That's part of the deal. And one day, I will find a way to put into words that special bond that comes with being related by blood, experiencing the same things for nearly twenty years.*

But equally difficult to define is the bond between family that has chosen - and continues to choose daily - to be a part of one another's lives. None of these people have to love me, but they do. And I will never find a way to adequately say "thank you" to them.

*It's been longer than twenty years, now, but our experiences diverged after I went to college.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just Had to Share. . .

Miles does so many cute and wonderful things. This is just one of them. :)

There. Didn't that make your day just a little better?

Workin' for a Livin'

Great. Now I have Huey Lewis music stuck in my head. Oh, well. Now, you do, too. You're welcome! :)

Yesterday, I remembered why I love my job so much. Which is weird, since it was a fairly average sort of day.

First thing after I got there, I found out that we had a lead on a new dance space for our Romani rehearsals. So, we loaded up Miles and Goyo* and headed over to the local Middle School to check it out. Let me just say, that secretary is the nicest person I have ever met inside of a middle school. She was awesome. And nice. And offered to come open the side door for us, so we wouldn't have to get lost in the school.

Oh, and the dance space was perfect, too! :)

We then spent the next . . . I dunno . . . 30 minutes?. . . driving around trying to find an easy route around the road construction that Karla promised us wasn't there anymore.** The whole time, we were chatting and joking about everything under the sun. Which is why it took us so long. We kept getting distracted and having to backtrack to find street names.

Then we had an awesome lunch with an amazing woman named Gloria (Goyo's Mommy), who is all the more amazing when you find out she's the mother of fourteen children, all of whom have names beginning with the letter J.*** Seriously. And I can't claim to have met all of them, but if the five I have met are any indication, she's done a damn good job of raising them. And she's sweet and funny to boot.

We eventually made it back to work, where we did a bunch of boring (but necessary) office work, while Miles cooed and played in his playpen. Roger even snapped a great shot of Miles 'helping' me work.**** I will post the picture as soon as I can pry it away from Roger. :)

We rushed out at 4:00, so we could make it home in time to drive out to Independence for Bailee's birthday dinner. Miles (as always) spent very little time with us, and quite a bit of time being passed from person to person. He seemed content with this state of affairs, and even graced several of the women with his heartbreaking smile, often paired with a coo. Needless to say, he melted every one of them. :)

I love my job!

* My Romani brother-in-law. It's complicated, but let's just say I think of him as the little brother I always wanted (to pick on). :)

**To be fair, the road is open. It's the bridge that's out.

***Goyo once had a name that began with J, but no one knows it anymore. :)

****He was quite helpful, for a given value of helpful . . . one that involves coating my keyboard in drool . . .