Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “August, 2010”

Silhouette Idea

I am thinking about doing an annual silhouette of Nathan’s profile. I may frame them all together and/or make Christmas ornaments out of them. It will be neat to see how his profile changes over the years. 🙂

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Bittersweet times

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby to look for some photo props for Nathan’s first birthday pictures.  The store has already put out all of their fall and halloween stuff.  It reminded me of a bittersweet time coming up- the 1 year anniversary of my mom’s death along with my son’s birthday.

Fall was my mom’s absolute favorite time of the year.  She spent the majority of August and September planning and buying her annual fall decorations for her yard and home.  We used to talk about the wreaths we were making and cute craft ideas for pumpkin displays.  The table centerpiece was the crowning glory of the season.  Her collection of scarecrows were a source of pride for her and for good reason- they were always adorable.  She loved the cooling air, the promises of upcoming holidays with family, and the gorgeous fall trees.

As I browsed the stores silk flowers section, I started to pick out her favorite flowers/colors to make a boquet for her grave.  I put them together and made a beautiful arrangement that I knew she would love.  But when I went to check out, I broke down into tears. I put them down and left the store.  I just couldn’t do it.

Today, however, I am going to go back and pick out her boquet again.  Come hell or high water, I am going to pick out the best bunch of fall flowers the world has ever seen and they WILL be on her grave in time for fall.  I can almost hear her now, “For Goodness stakes put those tacky summer flowers on my grave in the trash and put me some fresh fall ones!”  It makes me smile now even through my tears.

Before Baby & After baby…reflections on motherhood

It is amazing how everything changes after baby!

Before baby:

I can’t believe I got these shoes half-priced!

After baby:

Jumbo diapers for $6.99? Holy cow!

Before baby:

Wake up at 6am? I don’t think so.

After baby:

I can’t believe he slept until 6am! Its nice to sleep in.

Before:

No, Mom, I will not call you more than once a week. That’s just weird.

After:

MOM! I called you FOUR times today! Where were you? What do I do about…

Before:

What time is our dinner reservation:

After:

Which leftovers do you want? Oh wait..this one is moldy.

Before:

Bath with wine and bubbles and maybe a candle or two.

After:

Baff with mommy time in pee water, bubblegum bubble bath, and various squeaky toys.

Before:

Good night Hubby bunches. I’m going to bed. (Hint hint- wink).

After:

Goodnight hubby bunches. I’m going to-zzzzzzzzz.

My Footprints Project

Something I have been working on is a little footprints project.  Each month, from birth to age 1 year, I have been getting his footprints by painting the soles of his feet with washable crayola finger paint and pressing it down on scrapbooking paper.  I plan on cutting these out and gluing them onto a long frame matting/board paper as if he is walking on the paper with each footprint getting bigger!

I may add some other things to the board, such as inlaid photos, but I would like to keep it very simple overall.  I plan on framing it after it is completed in a few months.  🙂

First time he brushed his own toofies (age=10m)

Tonight while taking our “baffs,” I brushed Nathan’s teeth as usual and put the toothbrush on the side of the tub while we finished our bath.  Nathan reached for it a few times but I wouldn’t let him have it, which he was less than thrilled about.  I recognized his distinctive “I’m-not-being-bad-now mommy, I’m-just-curious” whine/cry so I let him have it thinking that he just wanted to play with it. Boy did he surprise me!

Nathan picked up the toothbrush upside-down and turned it over the right way. Then he tilted his head back and opened his mouth just like he does whenever Mommy brushes his teeth.  He put the toothbrush all the way in his mouth with it still open and pulled it out enough to where he could feel the bristles on his teeth.  He then brushed his top teeth several times before moving on to his bottom teeth.

When he got to his bottom teeth, I had to turn the bristles downward for him but otherwise he did it perfectly! I am SO proud of him!

I then asked him to brush mommy’s teeth and he responded by sticking it up my nose. We’re going to have to work on that. 🙂

Story time! Mystery

I just realized that I never posted about the toy/escape incident from a few weeks back!

One of the things I love is watching Nathan as he tries to work problems out in his then 9-month old brain.  First, details about the living room set-up so you will be able to follow the story.  To leave our living room, one must pass through a 8 foot wide pathway.  Since I prefer to keep him in the living room, I set up a pen of sorts using a multi-paneled baby gate/corral and our folded/bagged pack-in-play.  The folded pack-in-play is heavy enough to hold the baby gate system in place.  It also gives us adults a “doorway” into the living room because it is very low to the ground and easy to step over. Nathan frequently parks himself leaning over the pack-in-play when he wants to protest his desire to escape the living room.

One day he leaned over it to pick up a toy he dropped and somehow ended up pushing it out of the way so he could crawl out and escape the living room. I quickly adjusted the pack-in-play again to where it wouldn’t move so easily.  Over the next few days, I kept noticing this same toy would end up outside of the pen over the pack-in-play.  So I started putting this toy at the bottom of his toy box and STILL it would end up outside of the pen. No other toy ever did that except for this one.

After a few days of this, I got to see Nathan in action and finally solve the toy mystery.  This is what I saw:

Nathan crawled over to his toy box and tipped it over so that the toys would tumble out.  He sorted through them until he found “The Toy.”  He smiled and jabbered at it and then tossed it toward the pack-in-play.  He would crawl up to the toy, toss it toward the pack-in-play and repeat until he got to his destination.  [Apparently done because he can’t crawl and hold the toy at the same time.]

Once he reached the pack in play, he picked up the toy, leaned over the pack-in-play, and tossed it to the ground outside of the pen.  As he was leaning over to “get the toy,” his body weight ended up moving the pack-in-play enough so that he could crawl through and make his grand escape!

Backtracking a bit, I guess that he discovered this new escape trick by accident trying to get his toy.  For whatever reason, he associates “The Toy” being on the other side with the pack-in-play moving, as opposed to it moving because his body weight causes it to. 🙂

My Stalker

Yesterday, on day #2 of molor teething hel- I mean heaven with a very grump baby, I begged asked C if I could PLEASE have 45-minutes to myself.  I wanted a break. No, I NEEDED a break.  I just knew that I would soon join Nathan in his crying episode if I didn’t get this break.

Thankfully, my wish was granted.  With a sigh of relief, I relinquished baby duty into C’s fully capable hands and set myself up with my computer on our couch.  A few minutes into my break, I felt the familiar tugging on my computer power cord.  I peeked around my computer screen and lo and behold, there stood Nathan. He flashed me a smile and made my heart do a little pitter-patter because he is just so cute.  Two seconds later, he started his characteristic whine-cry.  I eyed C. C came and picked up Nathan and started to play with him.

I realized that I will not be getting a break of any kind as long as Nathan could see me, so I went back into our room with the computer and got online again.  I saw something funny and found myself laughing. I clamped my hand over my mouth and held my breath hoping that Nathan didn’t hear me so my break wouldn’t be cut short again.  Two minutes….three minutes….still no Nathan. Whew! My break is safe.

I glanced back at my screen and noticed C standing in the doorway of our bedroom trying not to laugh.  I looked at him and started to ask why he was doing that but I had the answer soon enough.  I heard the pitter-patter of hands and knees as Nathan turned the corner, saw me on the bed, and made a beeline for his mommy.

Break = over. There’s a stalker in the house.

Babywearing stuff

Nathan’s bottom molars are still trying to slooooowly sprout.  As a result, he has been unbelievably fussy and way more needy than usual during the day.  I don’t have either baby carrier here at the moment and so it is really hard to get anything done.  I am actually thinking of following up on my friend’s advice about making a primitive (but effective) back carrying sling.  I think that Nathan is too big for my sling carrier and the front carrying one is great for everything except for getting the housework done because those little hands can and will grab everything in sight.

The front carrying baby carrier I have is AWESOME!!!  I did TONS of research and read all of the product reviews while bored on bed rest before settling on this Belle baby carrier.  This carrier, unlike bjorn and all of the others, puts the baby’s weight on your HIPS and not your back, which is the main source of discomfort from wearing your baby for long periods of time.

Just to give you an idea of how effective this is, 6 weeks after my c-section I carried Nathan, his infant car seat, diaper bag, and carry-on suitcase through 5 airports. Since it allows you to face your baby either toward you or away from you, and there is no material between you and the baby, I also nursed him in transit many a time.   Another example, I carried his 20-something pound hefty self for hours while we traveled and not once did my back hurt.  I have a easily offended back and still, nada pain with this carrier.

Forget Lord of the Ring’s sacred ring…the belle baby carrier is my precious:

Speaking of, one time I put Nathan into the front baby carrier and went grocery shopping.  While reaching for an item on the top of the shelf, I felt a whole bunch of items crashing around my feet.  Wincing, I looked down and saw that Nathan had completely cleared the shelf in front of him and all of the items were scattered on the aisle floor! [Attn: clean-up on isle 4.] I turned the corner just in time to see a poor pimply-faced teenager coming to clean up his mess and muttering curses under his breath.

Oops.

Real Simple Magazine Essay Submission

Today as I was flipping through this month’s Real Simple magazine, I noticed a call for essays.  The magazine asked for the writers to finish this sentence in an essay, “I never thought I’d…”

My first thought that came to mind was, “I never thought I’d be a stay-at-home mom.”  I was inspired to write an essay and this is what I wrote:

We had our lives perfectly planned. First I would complete my PhD program, followed by a short time as a post-graduate in an international lab, then a year or two after I settle down in my research career we will finally start our family. I never once considered an alternative plan to becoming a neuroscientist, and why should I?  We were well on our way to a beautiful future ahead complete with personal success, fabulous careers, and eventually children who we would be more than able to provide ample opportunities and financial support for.

Did I mention that I am deaf?   Despite my deafness that I was born with, I lived my life knowing that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to.  I embraced any and all challenges with welcome arms.  I was full of passion and fire to use my life as an example for other deaf children so that they can achieve their own dreams.  Deafness brought me a sense of enriched character and unbridled ambition to change the course of history by becoming the world’s first deaf neuroscientist.  Deafness also brought my husband into my life- a husband who fully understood and supported my all-consuming educational ambitions.

I had spent an entire lifetime dreaming of become a world-famous scientist.  At the age of 18 I kissed my mother goodbye and headed off to college as a first-generation college student to make my dreams come true.  While other students partied and lived the good life, I tolled away in the library studying for hours to stay on top of a heavy coarse-load.  When I wasn’t studying, I was either in class, sleeping, or working one of my three jobs to support myself without resorting to student loans.   I took every opportunity that came my way.  One such opportunity was a chance to complete a masters-equivalent type of program as an undergrad.  The program allowed me to quit all but one job thanks to a stipend and freed up more time for me to work on my research of which I later published at the tender age of 21.  Publication and research experience in hand, I applied and was accepted into one of the nation’s most prestigious neuroscience PhD programs, all expenses paid.  Little did we know that our world would come crashing down on us, crushing our perfect, well-planned futures in the process.

A year into graduate school, I woke up to excruciating abdominal pains and my husband whisked me off to the hospital.  I only remember bits and pieces of the conversations that followed.  The doctors uttered scary phrases such as  “Going into shock”, “life-threatening”, and “We must do sugary now or she will die.”  The next thing I remember, I woke up in the ICU where my husband anxiously waited for me to gain consciousness.  He explained to me what happened, saying that part of my bowels looped around itself, cutting off the blood supply and resulting in tissue death and a massive infection.  The surgeon performed life-saving emergency surgery and removed a large section of my intestines.  My first response, in my dry, rough voice, was that I needed to get better so I could get back to the lab.  To my surprise, my husband smiled while stroking my hair and said, “Looks like you’re going to be just fine.”

Unfortunately, things were not fine.  Following the surgery, I quickly realized that even the smallest amount of stress caused my intestines to spasm painfully. My surgeons informed me that if I return to graduate school that the stress would probably mean more surgeries. These spasms could possibly cause another episode like the one that landed me in the ICU. Having further surgeries would mean not being able to carry a pregnancy without serious or even possibly fatal consequences.

I spent the next few weeks of my recovery alternating between blissful numbness and sheer panic about my future. .   I found myself struggling to answer the following question: how much is it worth to you to have the opportunity to feel your baby moving within you? To nurse him from your own breasts? To be able to say that you knew him for those 9 miraculous months while he grew in your own womb?

Eventually, I realized that I had serious, life-altering choices to make.  I could continue with the program and risk more surgery, which would mean the end of my dreams of carrying a child in my womb.  Or, I can withdraw from my dreams of becoming the world’s first neuroscientist and embrace a radically different future of which would certainly include motherhood.

The death of my dreams would spell the birth of my first child.  A little over two years after withdrawing from the only life I knew, I gave birth to a precious son and to a whole new future together as a family.  I am now a stay-at-home mom and would not have it any other way.  Each day I marvel at this little life and I feel a sense of pride that I created this beautiful child. All of the publications and awards that one could ever hope to achieve could never make me feel as complete as I feel from having my son.

In the end, the choice that I made was not an easy one.  I had spent my whole life in one single-minded pursuit toward my career and felt completely lost without my dreams and goals anchor and guide me.  However, this loss of my life-long dreams is nothing compared to the loss of a chance to birth my own child.  During my pregnancy, I would feel my son quicken inside of me and I knew that I had made the right choice.  In the end, I changed the course of history not by becoming a famous scientist, but instead by bringing a beautiful new life into the world.

My bogey ticker and nathan’s toy

I feel a little bit better today following my ER visit, though I still have a little bit to go.  Mostly I’m just really tired and busy trying to catch up on things.  I am hoping that my heart will start behaving itself so I can get back on the mend again.

Nathan is still a little cranky but I guess it is still due to teething.

I plan on updating about a funny story regarding his toy, the baby pen, and his escape attempts later on when I’m back up to par.

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