21 Months

Dear Baby Ike,

As of this last week you are 21 months old, and hurtling headfirst toward your third year.  I’m not sure you completely grasp the concept of a birthday, but we do often have a little rote-memorization conversation geared around it:

“How old will you be on your next birthday?”

“TWOOO!”

“Right.  And how old are you now?”

“None.” [holds up one finger]

“Yes, one.”

“Old!”

“Yes, one year old.  What happens on a birthday?”

“BIRTHDAY CAKE!”

So we’re definitely looking forward to that.

I rarely capture a decent photo or video of you when you are anywhere but trapped in your highchair these days, so I try to get at least one video every weekend.  The rate of language acquisition for this stage is still a bit mind-blowing to me.  You can name all the letters of the alphabet, can count to ten (and then to twenty, sort of – you’re clearly a bigger fan of some numbers than others), name almost all of the shapes in your shape-sorter toy, and are much more confident about identifying colors than even a month ago.  It’s crazy to me.  I don’t know why, but every time you display a new bit of knowledge, I’m all, WHAT IS THIS TODDLER SORCERY?!?

A few weekends ago it was actually warm enough to play out in the backyard for more than a few minutes, and as you ran around throwing a tennis ball for the dog, offering him sticks, and sniffing/hand-mulching last summer’s dead black-eyed Susans, you started chanting “GOOD ENOUGH.” For several minutes I wondered how I’d already set the bar so low…then I also heard a refrain of COOKIE, COOKIE, COOKIE and was thankful you were only quoting that particular monster’s most famous song. Phew.

Your assertion of independence is showing up right on schedule. Every task or activity is a split between HELP ME (still sounds more like HOLD ME at this point, but I definitely know better) and NO! IKE DO IT! Your love of books continues unabated, and your affection for Sesame Street has morphed mostly into a constant begging for TEEVEE ON so you can watch the ‘songs.’  One awful-weather weekend of this never-ending winter I made the (genius?) mistake of searching for Sesame Street songs on the You.Tube app on the X.BOX rather than just pulling up full episodes on Net.flix.  There have been more cold, gross weekend days this winter than I would like to admit during which we went through the loop of these favorites more times than we should have:

But it’s hard to have many regrets about it yet.  When TEEVEE ON is not an option (which is way more often than you’d prefer – screen time what?), you’ll quickly resort to requesting MOMMY SING, and hahahaaaaaaa mommy is no vocalist, but you still get a kick out of my Bruno Mars or Elvis Costello. I’m particularly proud of my Usher, frankly.  We’ve also watched some of the new Cosmos series with you – while it’s not entirely age-appropriate, it’s definitely Mama-approved TEEVEE.  I think you’ve picked up on that, because when we won’t let you have YYYOOOO-TOOOB, you’ll inquire about second-best NEIL?  It’s hard for me not to give in to that!

Lately you also love asking for TUMMY (tickles) and CHASE IKE and most recently ZERBITS (belly raspberries). Sometimes a combination of the three is the only way to get a clean diaper on your butt.  We recently introduced potty chairs, but you rarely have any interest other than disassembling them or perhaps sitting on them fully clothed.  You’re much more interested in the BIG POTTY (until you slam the seat or lid down on your own fingers, of course – that seems to be a lesson you need to learn the hard way more than once, somehow).  We’re in no hurry yet, but I remain hopeful that some extended naked time this summer will change your mind about the whole deal – probably famous last words on my part, but we shall see.

Some of the things I end up putting in these letters are more to remind myself, years from now when I can’t believe I’ve forgotten when you first did this or that or stopped doing the other thing, than things you’ll probably ever care about:  you still nurse here and there, pretty much only before sleep, on evenings when I am home for bedtime and/or weekend naps. Your separation anxiety seems to come and go and take on different forms these days.  This past weekend I spent Saturday night out of town, and your father reported that you were pretty pissed I wasn’t there on Sunday morning, even asking him to NURSE (just wouldn’t have been the same, I know, but I applaud your sense of egalitarianism, young man).  If you wake up in the middle of the night, which isn’t often anymore, you’ll usually ask for CUDDLE these days rather than to nurse.  So while I don’t have any particular cutoff point of weaning in mind (yet), I think we may be nearing the end, an idea which is bittersweet for me.  I never thought we’d go much past a year, but there doesn’t seem to be any pressing reason to wean, either (I quit pumping at work around 16 months).  I’ve been making a fairly conscious effort to give you plenty of Daddy-time lately (to not gatekeep, since there has never been any need nor any benefit – though I’ve seen lots of families do that, I didn’t always have a name for it), since when we are both home he sort of gets the cold shoulder from you at times, me being the “anchor parent” for now.  I think it’s helping, though it may just that we’re nearing the end of the phase, or at least the worst of it – you spend Wednesdays with him rather than with Grandma now, and this morning when I left for work there were no tears, just kisses. But you do still have a canine-like dislike of ‘strangers’ on your home turf(s).  When an appraiser came to Grandma’s house one day, you were terrified, and when a friend of your father’s stopped by this weekend while I was gone, the same reaction.  FREAKED OUT.  But you love to go out and see other PEOPLE!  And CHILDREN!  If we had more any money to spare I’d start you in preschool now, but sadly it’s going to have to wait a bit.  I recently found out that a local children’s museum also operates a preschool, and can’t quite stop lusting after the idea, despite the tuition being RIDICULOUS not exactly affordable for us.  It would be SO COOL to send you there, even for a short period of time.  Right now it doesn’t seem possible, but…a few years ago, neither did YOU, and that worked out pretty well, didn’t it? (YES, YES IT DID.)

Love,

Mama

 

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Daddy makes COOOOOOKIES (oat-a-meal, in Ike-speak).

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From back in November, at your Uncle Mikey & Aunt Steph’s wedding (ringbearer – box full of Cheerios only).

A crazed grin is better than no grin ‘tall. (Photo credit to your ‘Aunt’ Jeni)

Lucky Thirteen

Dear Baby Ike,

First, even though you are now a near-expert in the art and science of toddling, I declare that I will continue to call you Baby Ike (Toddler Ike really has no ring to it, sadly) for as long as I can get away with it.  I’ll try not to use it too often just to get under your skin when you’re a teenager, but I will never say never.  It’s fun to imagine you at thirteen years of age, but for now you are thirteen months, as of last week two weeks ago.  I do hope to continue writing you these letters, though it will probably happen with less frequency as you continue to get older.

So yes, you are definitely becoming more of a toddler and less of a baby every day.  You walk unassisted from one end of the house to the other in the most charming tiny-drunk-person fashion I’ve ever seen (bias:  showing).  You would much prefer to feed yourself than let us spoon things into your mouth, though you will still occasionally tolerate apples(auce), because they are your long-standing favorite. Sweet potatoes and carrots, though, have been shunned, and we do need to work harder at continually offering green vegetables, lest you end up as picky as your father.  You have been introduced to cows’ milk, and are taking to it just fine from what I can tell.  You do continue to nurse, and I am so happy that we made it to the one year mark and beyond, but I am bracing myself for the day when you’ll decide you’re done.  I am in no hurry, only hoping it will be a gradual process and I’ll continue to be able to appreciate the quiet moments we’ve had throughout our nursing relationship as it winds down.  I’m sure I’ll be sad when it’s over, but I’m hopeful we’ll find plenty of new ways to share closeness and cuddles.

I am pretty sure that you attempted to say the word “apple” (AAHH-BUH) the other day, along with “ball” (BAH) and “book” (BUH).  I still have no idea what “MEEE-NU” means, but I can at least surmise that it must be lots of fun for you to say and play around with variations on the theme; we hear it and things that sound almost like it an awful lot.  Most, if not all, of the animals that you see are declared “DOGGIN!” and you eye me with suspicion when I tell you that they are actually sheep or horses or cats, not doggies.  You may be earning yourself a new nickname with that tendency; your Uncle Mike pretty much just calls you Doggen.  I die of cute when I hear this.

Last Friday we (Grandma and ‘Aunt’ Jen and I) took you to the Columbus zoo.  Of course you fell asleep just before we arrived, so in order to let you try to get a decent nap we ended up clicking your car seat into the stroller as if you were a teeny-tiny still, rather than wake you up to put you directly into the stroller.  This was not the best configuration for you to see much, so there was much lifting you out to see the animals and luckily I had also brought a mei tai carrier, so we alternated between the two all day.  You were pretty much a champ all day long; we didn’t leave until around five pm, and you crashed hard in the car on the way home.  Hopefully next year we can go back while the larger animals like the giraffes and elephants are there, or maybe to The Wilds where they apparently were that day.

In the carrier at the zoo

Your top two teeth are finally starting to work their way in.  These two are being a bit rougher on you than the first bottom two were.  It seems like most babies your age have several more already, so I’m not sure whether to be grateful that yours are spacing their arrivals out more, or worried that you’ll end up losing them slowly, too, like I did as a kid, and some will end up needing to be pulled in order to put braces on adult teeth coming in behind the baby teeth that won’t want to fall out.  We have a long time before that will become clear, though, so for now I just hope that additional teeth will help you want to explore more foods (you really may turn into a Cheer.io, I fear). All I know for sure is that your smile is about to be even cuter, though I wouldn’t have ever thought it possible.  I am still completely in love with your dimple and I get ridiculously excited when I manage to capture it in a photo.  On Sunday we took you to a local park for more baby swing action and also let you play around on some of the playground equipment as there were hardly any other kids around. As we stood at the edges of the platforms to make sure you didn’t toddle right off, it was hard yet fun to imagine that you’ll soon be stomping around and climbing and jumping and we won’t always need to be right there next to you while you explore.

It’s so fun getting glimpses of the world through your eyes.

Love,

Mama

(photo credits to ‘Aunt’ Jen for the above shots)

Bonus Instagram playground pics:

Eleven

Dear Baby Ike,

Yesterday you turned eleven months old.  Without looking back at my past ten letters to you, I’m willing to bet that the second sentence in each one has something to do with my disbelief that another month has flown by.  I suppose it should go without saying, but it continues to be remarkable to me, every single month.  It’s very hard to believe that next month we will celebrate your birthday, but the calendar doesn’t lie, and I can’t wait to see your first cake-covered birthday face.

The speed at which the days and weeks go by is not the only fast thing around here these days.  At approximately the speed of light, you went from all army-crawl scooting to short spurts of halting hands-and-knees crawling, and now to full on, full time crawling as if you’ve been doing it forever.  Plus lots of pulling up to standing and now cruising from one piece of furniture to another, testing your balance, holding onto our fingers and walking from one end of the house to the other.  You’re a pretty good sport about the bonks on the noggin that will happen most of the time, and you don’t mind falling on your butt from standing at all.  I thought at first it was due to the extra cushion from the prefold diapers, but you’ve done it many times during naked baby time (airing out the butt to try and get on top of some diaper rash) now, too, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference whether you plop down on the diaper or just your cute little baby cellulite covered tush.  The toys that used to occupy you for good chunks of time are much more often now cast aside in favor of whatever you may find somewhere else, simply because you can take yourself there now.  And you do, all the time.  We finally got a little weary of trying to head you off before you take a dip in Dexter’s water bowl and moved it to the counter.  Now we just have to remember not to dehydrate our doggie.

Speaking of doggie, I am pretty sure that you did.  Just yesterday we stepped outside the front door to look at the clematis blooms and Dexter was sitting on the back of the couch (as he does when someone goes out front without him – we are not the best dog trainers, for sure).  You noticed him there and I could swear that you said DOGGIE!  That one hasn’t been repeated clearly yet, so it may be a fluke or my imagination, but we have started to get lots of in-context Dadas and some Mamas (I wonder if you’d say it more if I didn’t coach you as much).  There is a monkey-with-banana decal on the wall above your changing table (which you now FREAK OUT every time we go near – not loving diaper changes AT ALL these days), and as I try to distract you with it, making monkey noises (dignity?  don’t need it), I asked you what a monkey eats – does it eat a banana? And you replied, ‘ANA!  That one has been repeated pretty clearly a few times now, though I’m honestly confused on what qualifies as a first word.  Must it be intelligible by anyone other than your father and me? I’m guessing so.

I was just starting to get concerned that we haven’t seen you wave bye-bye or clap yet, but yesterday your Aunt Jen came over to watch you for an hour or so while your father and I went out to do some stuff and we returned home to you waving bye-bye.  High five, Aunt Jen (context will come, I’m sure).  Still no clapping, but you do give fives (high, low, and mid), you still raise your arms up to answer Sooo Big when asked how big Baby Ike is (if you’re in the right mood, of course).

We’ve been trying to spend some time outside as often as possible now that the weather is finally staying pretty nice most of the time. Just sitting with you on a blanket in the shade under the Japanese maple in the backyard is probably my absolute favorite thing to do right now.  You alternate between turning random pages in your books and watching birds as they fly around the yard from tree to tree.  You are not yet a big fan of the texture of grass, though.  You touch it willingly, but then make a scrunchy EW face and give a little shudder, not unlike your reaction to the taste of green beans.  When I picked a blade that had gone to seed and twirled it around and tickled you, though, you thought it was hilarious.  This morning you were so interested in the cable guy climbing the pole in the corner of the neighbor’s yard that you held my hands and walked barefoot through the grass for several feet, apparently forgetting that you dislike touching it so.  Won’t be long until you’re all over the yard all on your own, not holding onto anyone or anything.

You’re still somewhat in the stranger/separation anxiety stage. Thankfully you are so happy to be with Grandma that every workday morning doesn’t involve tears upon my departure, but you often shyly lean into the shoulder of whomever is holding you if someone you’re not familiar or comfortable with approaches you.  As with all these phases, this too shall pass, and I am not ashamed to admit that I quite enjoy those snuggles, knowing you feel safe with us and will turn right to us for comfort when needed.  You do have your social moments, of course.  When we went out to eat with Grandma and Grandpa for Mother’s Day, we waited in the bar for our table to be ready, and as Grandpa carried you around to see all the things while killing the time, you got very smiley and played up your cuteness for at least one pretty girl.  When we get the timing right (soon after a second nap of the day and not too close to bedtime), you’re a delight for an early bird dinner out.

Your eating and drinking skills have advanced way past the days when I called you Stinky Milk Neck (pincer grasp, check; sippy cup, check), but now I can call you Stinky Feet Ike – when I pick up a foot and sniff it, make an EW face and tell you it’s soooo stinky! you laugh and laugh and laugh.  I’d do it all day long if it wouldn’t get old.  We try to keep baths to when they are absolutely necessary so as not to aggravate the few spots of eczema still hanging around, so they may indeed be stinky sometimes, but I often catch a whiff of your lingering baby smell and wish it could stay forever.  A couple of months ago a friend of mine came by as we were getting you ready for bed, and as she leaned in to give you a smooch on the cheek she asked in surprise how you could still smell like a newborn baby.  I’m not sure exactly how that works, but if I had to guess I would say it’s mostly due to you still breastfeeding, which I’m very happy about.  I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep that going, but I will surely be sad when you begin to smell more like little boy than little baby.  I wish I could bottle up that scent and keep it close forever.

Love you so much,

Mama

Let me out!

Nine Months

Dear Baby Ike,

Today you are nine months old.  This weekend your paternal grandma came up to visit with us (well let’s be honest, she came to see you!), and I think she was quite blown away by how big you have gotten and how active you are now.  I am, too, frankly.  It is a little unfortunate that her visit seemed to coincide with your separation/stranger-anxiety phase, so you were a little shy with her and much preferred to have me or Daddy around while you hung out with her.  But she couldn’t stand to wait any longer to see you again, and you did have some very good playtime and peek-a-boo sessions with her, if not quite as many snuggles and hugs and kisses as I’m sure she hoped for. Next time will be better for all that, I’m sure.

According to the baby development emails that I get, this is your fortieth week of life.  I gave up counting weeks myself a while back – now I’m doing good if I can just believe the actual number of months that have passed since you were born, as they are still flying by way too fast for my taste – and I know this isn’t going to reverse itself. Given that you were born a week and a half before your due date and that you didn’t actually exist for the first two technical weeks of my pregnancy (period math – someday you may care, I think), you have now been around longer outside of me than you ever were inside me. While I know that my conflicting feelings are normal, and every mother feels this way, I am still astounded that I can be so excited over every tiny stride forward you make in your development and at the same time a little saddened that you are less and less teeny tiny every day. Of course I want you to continue growing big and strong, but at the same time I am always going to miss your newborn-baby-ness!

You are going to be crawling proper any day now, it seems.  You can go backward pretty easily, while forward is more of an army crawl-scoot hybrid at this point.  You do a lot of rocking back and forth on hands and knees, though, so I think it is going to surprise me any second now to see you motoring all around as if you’ve been doing it all your life.  You’re going to keep the dog on his toes, I can tell.

We haven’t added a whole lot to your diet in the past month, as getting you to slow down enough to drink a bottle or have a good nursing session is still a bit of a struggle what with ALL THE THINGS that need exploring and examining all the time, so we have been trying to focus on making sure you get plenty of milk.  I am very thankful that you are still nursing, even though it pretty much takes a dark-as-possible bedroom and lying down either before bedtime or naptime or right after you wake up.  Every once in a great while I actually get to cradle you while you nurse if I catch you awake but still sleepy enough, which I relish, but for the most part you will hardly tolerate it, preferring to have more space of your own for kicking and wiggling. And forget little snacks on the couch in the living room, or anywhere else – everything is just too much of a distraction for you.  But as far as new solids, carrots are going over well, as are peaches, though apples are still your favorite by far (if we don’t count Os, which is what I’ve been calling Cheer.ios).  I had lofty intentions of not giving you any grains until the one-year mark, but I failed to convey that to Grandma, and I think it would be a silly thing to be too strict about – the Os are definitely good for helping you develop your pincer grasp. Not too many of them make it to the floor anymore, much to Dexter’s dismay! But I think his day is coming, as you haven’t yet really taken much to finger foods, so you aren’t purposefully throwing things to the floor yet, either.  He’ll be really happy when you figure out how much fun that can be.

We have gotten a little bit better about a bedtime routine (about time, right?) in the past couple of months.  So long as you’re not already overtired, we now have storytime before sleepytime.  I am always amazed that, as easily distracted as you can be, you do seem to enjoy reading books.  Most nights we can get through at least two or three, depending on the length.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite (of mine, anyway – I’m not sure if you’re really as into it as I am), and you are enthralled by the page of Goodnight Moon that has only the picture of the tiny mouse on it.  When we get to that page you usually rip the whole book out of my hands, flip it sideways, and try to eat the mouse.  I love it.  Makes me laugh every time.

Your language and communication continue to evolve.  We still get a lot of ‘ma…ma…muhhh…mehhh…MUHM!’ sounds, and the bbbbbbb motorboat sound has become a warning of sorts that you’re not too thrilled with whatever is going on at the moment – a precursor to true fussing or crying, it seems.  We are also hearing lots of Das and Nas, some Yas and Tas and Guhs (and those consonants followed by various other vowel sounds).  Lately you’ve been doing some head shaking, more of the No variety (side to side).  It doesn’t seem as though you associate it with the word no; I think it’s more just an interesting sensation for you.  You’ve also started doing this thing where you scrunch up your nose and sort of pant through it, like a tough guy face with huffing and puffing.  It’s hilarious, and you think it’s hilarious when we do it back to you, which I of course have to do every time I catch you doing it.  Grandma caught a picture of you doing it – it’s blurry but captures the expression pretty well:

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Last but definitely not least this month, we finally (not that I’ve been looking forward to it) have the beginnings of some TEETH!  Both your bottom middle two are peeking through.  They don’t seem to be bothering you too much, at least not constantly, but it seems like they still have a long way to go before we can say they’re fully in – and then more will quickly follow, I’m sure.  You will rarely let me put a finger in your mouth to check them out, but if you grin wide enough they are just barely visible.  Yet one more way that you are morphing right before my eyes from baby to little boy – no need to hurry on that, young man.

I can only imagine, and I do, all the fun that is right around the corner…but I am trying my hardest to stay where we are, and be present for the present, not getting too worried about what’s next. Wherever we are now is always where I want to be with you, Ike. Kisses and kisses and kisses, as I say to you while covering your still-chubby-for-now cheeks with them (good thing Mama hardly ever wears lipstick, right?).

Love,

Mama

Seven Months

Dear Baby Ike,

I hardly know where to start this month.  You turned seven months old this past Friday, and while I know this letter won’t capture anywhere near all of the amazement I have in your development in the last month, I need to get it posted now or before I can blink you will be eight months already!  You are doing so many new things and there aren’t enough hours in the days for me to properly sop up all your deliciousness and also function as an adult human.  I gladly sacrifice the functioning part, frankly.  A lot of the time I know I am leaving a lot of quasi-important, household-y things completely undone, but for the most part I don’t care at all.  It’s quite difficult to convince myself that I should do anything at all instead of hanging out with you, feeding you, playing with you, or snuggling you.  This often means that I also neglect to do things like cut your fingernails and toenails, because I have such a hard time forcing myself to do something that I know will frustrate you and make you upset (and yet I’m also loathe to try doing it while you’re alseep, because I know you need that sleep and I don’t want to wake you up accidentally!)  Good thing Grandma is happy to help out on that task as well.  Otherwise you’d have talons probably literally inches long sometimes!

Going to work five days a week makes me feel like I am missing SO MUCH of your cuteness, which is getting dangerously cuter by the day.  Grandma got some awesome pictures of you in the bathtub at her house the other day, and I can’t wait until she sends them to me. I love it when she gets her camera out so I can feel like I get to catch up on at least a sliver of the fun you have with her all week. You really do keep her on her toes, and you’re not even actually mobile yet.  I know she loves being with you so often (but she could probably stand it if you gave her a break with a real nap now and then).

Speaking of sleep, we have been mostly cosleeping for a while now (three months?  I don’t even know anymore), as it seems most logical that neither of us has to really get up out of bed to have your dream feeds.  I know I should probably be working harder to get you used to sleeping in your crib, but again, it’s very hard to care right now.  It seems silly to put effort into putting you down for the night farther away from me than you need to be.  You will only be small for a short time, and this time of being a baby is getting shorter all the time, so I don’t think I will look back and regret being able to cuddle you close after you drift off to sleep.  Waking in the night with you can be exhausting, but I treasure it at the same time.  A couple of times now you have woken up in the morning and fussed for a bit without actually opening your eyes first, and then you eventually open them, continuing to fuss a little, not realizing that I am right there in the bed next to you.  When you do notice that I’m there, your face breaks into the biggest, most joyful smile I have ever seen, and my heart bursts into a million pieces right there on the spot.  It makes me long for the technology of a camera implanted right in my brain so I could simply blink and try to capture that feeling and never ever let it go.  I suppose I might get the same kind of smiles coming in to pick you up out of the crib in the mornings, but it’s so nice to be able to lay my face down right next to yours and just drink in the sweetness that is you.  I have never in my life been this close to being a morning person, but you really do give me endless things to look forward to, day after day.

You’ve now tasted several different solid foods:  avocado, sweet potato, green peas, and bananas (I feel like I may be forgetting one right now).  At first you didn’t seem to really be liking the tastes of these things, if the hilarious faces you make are any indication, but you do like the act of eating, grabbing the spoon and putting it in your own mouth.  I think you’re slowly starting to actually like the food itself, at least sometimes.  Next on the list to try are pears and apples, and who knows what else.  There are still many, many tastes that will be brand new to you; it is so exciting to me to think about seeing your face and reaction to new foods.  I am also relieved that you’re still nursing.  Now that you’re not exclusively breastfed, I will admit to living in a little fear of the day that you decide to wean.  As thrilling as it is to watch you grow and develop, I am nowhere near ready to be done with your babyhood.  Thankfully we still have a little ways to go!

You continue to add different sounds to your repertoire of baby babble.  Lately I hear a lot of “buh-wuh” and “bwuh” though I don’t think it means anything in particular yet.  Still lots of MEH and MUH, sometimes repeated so it gets awfully close to ‘Mama,’ which I of course love to hear.  The more I hear you making recognizable sounds, the easier it becomes to picture you actually talking, though that is still a ways off yet.  I can imagine your little voice singing songs and telling jokes and asking for things that you want and telling me what you think about all kinds of things, and I just can’t believe how lucky we are that we get to have you in our lives, doing all these normal things that to us will be clear strokes of genius, every time.

You’re not crawling yet, and I haven’t seen you roll from back to belly yet either, but in addition to rolling from tummy to back you now also scootch in circles when we put you down on your belly, so you’re definitely working hard on the pre-crawling skills.  It’s starting to become more concretely imaginable that we’ll be chasing you all over the house soon – we have a lot (read:  ALL) of babyproofing yet to do!

I love you so much, my little Sugar Butt.  I never thought I would be the kind of mother to make up ridiculously obnoxious nicknames for her kid like that, but you have really turned me into a different person, and I absolutely love being that goofy, baby-obsessed mother that I never thought I’d have a chance to be.  I’m definitely a great big silly fool for you, Isaac.

Love always,

Mama

Stuffs

Health stuff:  I took Ike for the ultrasound of his noggin this morning. Of course it will be a few days before the radiologist reads the images and gets the information back to the pediatrician’s office, so we don’t really know anything yet, other than that he is still the offspring of a big-headed father, so I am not too nervous about that.  Just glad that his fontanel is still open enough that they could do an ultrasound and not have to knock him out for an MRI.  Still no word from the hepatologist’s office in Cincinnati about the latest round of bloodwork. Not sure if I should call them and ask, or assume they just wanted it as a new baseline and I’ll hear from them after we repeat it next month.  Again, not too nervous about it since the doctor was so reassuring.

Halloween stuff:  Our Beggar’s Night (do they still call it that, or is it back to Trick or Treat?) was postponed due to the icky weather, so we’ll be dressing Ike up to hand out candy on Saturday instead of last night.  We did go to a friend’s kids Halloween party on Friday, but it was so warm in the house that he only had his Tigger outfit on for a few minutes.  Didn’t even get a picture, so we’ll have to try that and the panda outfit both on Saturday.  He’ll surely drool and/or spit up at least enough to justify that wardrobe change.

Mike and I did go to an adults’ party on Saturday.  He recycled his Dick Cheney mask from several years ago, and I cobbled together a Toddlers & Tiaras costume using my sister’s tutu from the box of old dance recital costumes in my parents’ basement, the tiara from my bachelorette party, pigtails, excessive (for me) eye makeup and one of Ike’s future sippy cups.  Plus my I FUCK LIKE A GIRL t-shirt because, well, seems legit, right?

There was beer, and plenty of it:

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I’ve misplaced my sippy cup, but I think I like this better!

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Aren’t we cute?

Supply stuff:  have been having a fairly significant dip in my pumping output, and have been trying many things to get back on track. Thankfully Ike has only had to have one or less partial bottles of formula on really low days to tide him over.  I hate that he’s had any, but it’s not enough to diminish the benefits of breastmilk, I’m sure.  I ended up breaking down and buying a new pump.  The one my friend loaned me had already been through three babies, so I think I was lucky to have gotten as far as I did with it.  The new one is helping, though I’m still not ending up with much of a surplus every day.  I think it’s partially hormonal (maybe my period is about to come back? Eeeeeeeek!), and partially stress-related, and was exacerbated at first by a failing pump.  I started calcium/magnesium supplements, which I should have done while I was off dairy anyway, have been trying to add an extra pumping session at work whenever I can, and am drinking Mother’s Milk tea like a fiend until my fenugreek and blessed thistle arrive via Amazon.  Hoping I’ll be able to ramp back up to get a few extra bottles in the fridge again on a regular basis.  They never hang around long enough to be worth putting into the freezer anymore, so I just try to rotate FIFO at my parents’ house, and anything left on a Friday, of which there was almost none last Friday, can come home for the weekend, letting Mike take an overnight shift on occasion.

Development stuff:  my mom said that Ike’s been showing off a new consonant, and it’s M!  He’s been saying MEH, which cracks me up, because…that’s so my kid.  Not that I really think he means it like I would like to interpret it, but funny all the same.

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So perhaps there’s a chance that Mama will end up being his first word after all.  I haven’t yet actually heard him say this myself, but I can’t imagine that my mom would tell tall tales.  She also noted that he enjoyed seeing his first snowflakes yesterday.  They usually walk her dog every morning, but since it was so miserable outside they just took her out in the yard instead of taking the stroller around the block. A few flakes fell on his face and he smiled.  Hopefully we won’t have a totally snow-free winter like we did last year, and he’ll be able to really enjoy some snow as he gets bigger over the next several months.

That’s all for now, I suppose.  Oh!  Tonight I get to go meet and visit with my friend’s sister’s newborn baby girl.  I think she’s only threeish weeks old, and I cannot wait.  I have a total newborn addiction anymore.  So grateful to be able to enjoy things like this now.  There was a time not so very long ago when I would never consider doing such a thing, because it would just have made me too jealous and upset.  Yet now I’m excited and looking forward to hearing her birth story and passing on some cloth diaper geekery (and supplies).  Fun!

Hope you’re all faring well if you were in or near Sandy’s path.

Hepatology Update

Yesterday was exhausting, but overall went well.  I really liked the hepatologist, and the fellow that works with him seems thorough as well.  They did take more blood, which will be checking for potential anemia which could explain the slightly elevated bilirubin, and we have to repeat the tests in a month, but they believe that he may be part of the 10% or so of the population that just naturally has slightly elevated liver enzymes, and he’ll likely continue to outgrow it.  He was very reassuring, stating that Ike’s overall a very healthy baby, so just keep loving him and feeding him and enjoying him.  Very sweet; the sincere way he spoke about him makes me realize that he probably spends an awful lot of his time working with and treating very ill children, so I feel very lucky to not be dealing with more severe issues.

Bonus for Mama – he thinks that even the mucusy poo has nothing to do with my diet, so on our way home we stopped for a very late lunch and I had cheddar cheese soup, guilt-free.  Then later that night I snarfed to the two pieces of leftover pizza – one cold from the fridge, the other hot out of the toaster oven.  The roof of my mouth and my tongue still feel seared, and I could not be happier about it.  I’m apprehensive that allowing dairy back into my diet will have me gaining a bunch of weight back, but frankly right now I’m not going to obsess over it.  It’ll just be nice to have a few days where I don’t have to stress about what I can or cannot eat.  If in three or four days’ time we don’t see anything getting markedly worse with Ike, I think I can comfortably get back to my normal eating, be it better or worse for me and/or my weight in the long run.

More later, hopefully.  I need to try and focus on the piles and piles of work that are, um, piling up.