Wednesday, December 30, 2009

T is for Train...

To direct, form, and teach to refrain
But also a machine as big as a plane
Hooked together like the links of a chain
Or rubbery toys that get caught by the drain

It's been a while. But I've been busy and this one took some thinking. It has a duel aspect to it that I thought I would touch on. The first being one about parenting the second a hobby for those who don't work it and a source of income for our family. There were a few things I knew about before I gave birth to 3.0. Things I knew I wanted to do; mainly, breast feed and get one of those cool sling things that I always saw people wear when I was cashiering at Fresh and Natural Foods - a natural foods store (yes that was the not-so-very-creative name but a great store nonetheless!).

It wasn't until I got my first pouch sling that worked for all of two weeks before 3.0 outgrew it that I started looking into other types of baby carriers. It wasn't until I started researching baby carriers that I found a name to the instinctive style of parenting that I was already gravitating towards. Enter the world of Attachment Parenting. Not invented by, but coined by Dr. William Sears. Yes, he is the baby guru of our generation much like Dr. Spock the Vulcan Mind Meld Doctor...wait a minute, I'm mixing things up here...

Back to reality, Dr. Sears promotes a style of parenting that focuses on more natural tendencies and fosters support for breast feeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, delayed vaccinations, feeding on demand, and limited sleep training. In fact, one of the things I agreed with most was his down to Earth motto "if you resent it, change it." The guy loved being a pediatrician so much that his two sons followed suit and are now also Dr. Searses.

The number one spot on my "Things I've Enjoyed Most About Parenting" list has probably got to me the development of my own parenting style. Our parents have had their shot at parenting and now it's our turn and though we do enjoy advice (when it's solicited *wink*) things have changed a great deal in the last 20 years and now it's our turn to make choices for our family. Every family, parent and child are different. Sure, I can check off most of the points on the AP list as things I agree with, but I'm sure there are some things I am more lax on than other moms and probably some things I adhere to more strictly than those moms, as well. And though 2.0 and I had many, many talks years ago about how "when we have children, what will we do when such and such happens?", it's not until you actually find yourself trudging through the big multicolored McDonald's play-land ball pit that is parenting that you finally have to put those ideas to task. In fact, it's been my goal to start a log of things I swear I will do and things I swear I will never do as a parent. Maybe that will be my next project.

And for those of you sisters who will someday have your own children, please yell at me if I ever do the following:

  • Tell you 5000 times when you are pregnant how you will never get any sleep once you have the baby (though this is, in fact, true you also get a Keurig coffee maker out of the deal).
  • Tell you 432 times how my labor and delivery went
  • Tell you 256 times when I started solids and how I started them
  • Tell you 134 times how important a bed-time routine is

You will hear this all from strangers at Wal-Mart anyway after they touch your belly without asking your permission so you don't need to hear it from me. It's apparently a natural belief that you are, in fact, the best mother ever to grace the face of the planet so forgive me if that ever seeps out. However, feel free to call me at 12:23 am when you've reached your wits end because I will be up enjoying the limited amount of "alone" time that I get.

Anyway, on to the cute stuff. Trains! Thomas and Percy and whatever that other one is named.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

S is for So Much...

So many things on which to touch
Signing, standing, snow and smiling
So we will focus on the feature that's most beguiling

I had about a bazillion ideas for "s" but few of which I would be able to capture on camera and even fewer that I wanted to set up to be able to catch. So that ruled out snow. As for signing, I'm thinking I'm going to try teaching Marcus 3.0 sign language (I know, I said this about 6 months ago and it didn't go anywhere) so we shall see how long I can keep it up. We started today and he can already make the motion for "milk." Whether he knows what it means is an entirely different story but we will work on it. He's good at mimicking sounds and motions so I'm thinking he should pick up on it pretty quickly.

Last night I was toning the photos for this post and I sent them to 2.0 at work. I got an email back this morning requesting that I look back to mid October's photos of our dear little one. I believe the word used for the difference was "shaggy." So threats of Marcus 3.0's first hair cut are on the horizon. My rule is that he can't get one until he turns one. Why? Because long ago in my babysitting days I recall a certain Scottish father telling me how his little Scottish son was going in for a haircut. I remember frowning because I loved those little Scottish locks. Scottish dad informed me that this momentous event meant that Scottish son was no longer a baby but a boy once he got his haircut. So, since infancy officially ends at a year of age and toddler hood begins we will wait another two months for the first haircut.

As for now we have a shaggy, smiley little squirt. I certainly can't get enough photos of his awesome smile. I figured I would share!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

R is for Rucksack

Tied up on Mama's back
You can't sleep lying down
With all that snot making you drown

9.5 months. I really don't have much to complain about. That's how long it took for Marcus 3.0 to get his first cold. Nine-point-five months. Nine-and-a-half. I think that's pretty terrific, or I would, if I weren't so grumpy about having to deal with a sick baby. It's not his misery that makes me grumpy, that I can handle with a superb amount of compassion. It's the fact that even though he's miserable he won't let me suck the snot out of his nose. Like kid, if you can't breath when you eat then you won't be able to eat.

Not only that, but there is nothing more frustrating than your child just falling asleep only to be woken by a fit of coughing. That nap lasted 20 minutes. It should have been at least 70 more. So I begrudgingly sauntered out of the bedroom lugging and snotty sack of potatoes in my arms and decided this nap was going to be mobile. Who knew, maybe taking a nap in a more upright position would help out. It worked, my day was saved. Of course, he woke up the first second he heard the sound of Dada's voice but that was after a good 90 minuter. At least it allowed me to get my house clean.

So how many of these photos can I take? Well, a billion. Because that smile is the best and you can't argue with that.

I had a before and after photo of our living room to prove that I had cleaned it but I somehow managed to delete it.

Oh and child, I love you but please keep your colds to yourself.

Thanks, Mom.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Q is for Quiet...

The quickest way of making a mom start a riot
Is by waking her baby full of milk (his standard diet)
So don't ring the doorbell
Don't knock on the door
Or you'll hear an earful of that Mama Bear roar

There is nothing like the blissful moment when you place your sleeping baby into their bed ever so carefully. Every parent has mastered the fluid motion of the crouch, set, and arm slide. All one movement done with no sound and as little disturbing bumps as possible. On most nights when I nurse Marcus to sleep I have to sit up, lunge towards the bottom of the bed (great ab workout by the way!) and then like a gangly feline I gently place one foot on the floor and push off the bed without causing that annoying weight shift that occurs when one body leaves a mattress. I then creep out of the bedroom with a hunched back and lifted hands in the cat burglar pose (it helps, really it does).

Nothing like the moment when you leave the room, successful and free. Nothing like it really. Until you have the moment where someone disturbs your child thereby waking them up (cough your husband and his cousin playing a video game and shouting to each other from different rooms cough).

It's moments like those that call for those sharp snappy comments that come out in the musical term staccato, "You. Just. Woke. The. Baby!"

I'm pretty sure 95% of all attacks on UPS delivery men or Pizza delivery boys are caused by dogs purchased from angry mothers whose babies were woken by the doorbell ring of said deliverers.

Don't shoot the messenger. Unless he wakes your baby.

Here are some sleeping baby photos:

We like to call this one "Too much wodka"

P is for Patience

Practiced daily like an Olympic sport
Often achieved and as often fallen short
Restraining our anger, teaching our youth
Waiting anxiously for that darn tooth

This post follows two consecutive nights of teething Sheol. Throughout the last nine months I've had only one instance where I felt the helplessness of not being able to comfort my child. The first came when Marcus 3.0 and I were out in Boston for my sister's wedding and everyone went out for dinner. I decided I wanted to kick back and have a Mojito, the first Mojito I've ever had and it was tasty. Sometime during the course of dinner 3.0 got fussy and my gut instinct was to pick him up and nurse him. Full stop. I couldn't. I felt utterly useless at this point even though he was in good hands surrounded by several grandparents. There is nothing like the devastation of having to suppress your instincts, especially when it comes to your child.

Skip ahead to two nights ago. Baby Marcus is trying so hard to cut at least two more teeth. After 2.0 had gone to work, 3.0 started getting a runny nose and a fever. Of course these things only happen when 2.0 goes to work. I put him to bed and throughout the next couple hours he woke up whining and mumbling but unable to nurse because he was so congested. The only thing I could to was sit in bed with him trying to calm him. Last night was an improvement, we both got more than 2 hours of sleep, but it was still uncomfortable.

So far his other bottom tooth has cut through but his upper gums are as swollen as can be with the ghost of a white line trying to break through. At least he's still the happy-go-lucky baby during the day while he plays. Oh, and he's finally grown to have an appreciation of the snot-sucker. At least there is something good about all this.

So here's the first tooth and where that little glint is next to it is where toof #2 is.

Friday, December 11, 2009

O is for Outdoors

No longer crawling on all fours
Up on Dad's back you go!
Trudging through piles of snow

I'm cheating on this one. We did in fact take a walk the other night along Shepherd road in Saint Paul after it had snowed. I didn't take a picture though. I should have but it was too dark. Marcus 3.0 had a great time despite the chilly (okay, really chilly) weather. He was covered, head to toe, with only a little slit for his eyes to show through. It was cute. After our walk, when we took him off of Marcus 2.0's back, he was nice and toasty warm (I'm throwing that in for you Grandparents who just about had a heart attack at the thought of us taking a walk in the winter).

So back to me cheating: I'm posting a photo of one of our Autumn hikes at Minnehaha.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

N is for Nudie...

An unrestrained booty
A swaying patootie
A diaperless cutie

As an offshoot of the discovery of a naked baby in my living room I thought I would touch on the subject of naked dancing. Yes, naked dancing. Picture this: I just gave Marcus 3.o a bath, set up his whole ensemble of diapering parts and pajamas. No sooner did I lie him on his back and put the diaper underneath his butt than he twisted his torso and kicked his legs underneath him. He was on all fours and sprinting away with his "bear crawl" before I could say "now, wait a second."

He crawls over to his favorite coffee table and pulls himself into a standing position. At this point, Marcus 2.0 had put on some music. It was peppy music full of pop and rhythm. I look up from my exasperated set up of clothing and I see a naked baby swaying his hips.

I'm pretty sure we played the song over and over, while laughing, for a good 20 minutes.

Heck, why make you picture it? Here it is:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

M is for Mischief...

And mischief you create
Wrapped in ribbons of tissue and some of it you ate.
We've locked up all the cupboards and put up a gate
You crawl and grab and tear at an exasperating rate
You are the swirlin' whirlwind in our home as of late

Ahh, to be the mother of a boy. One who craftily unvelcros his diaper when you walk out of the room and then pulls himself to a standing position on the coffee tables so that when you come back into the room there is a standing naked baby smiling at you. A boy who crawls into the bathroom and pulls the roll of toilet paper until it's all piled in a big heap, some dangling from the corners of his mouth. As Marcus 2.0 put it, "He causes a ruckus in one corner of the room and as you go to that corner to clean it up he speed crawls to the other corner of the room and causes a ruckus there." And it's true. It's days like these where you wonder "what on Earth was I thinking?" and you're glad you were in some kind of delusion that day because you wouldn't have it any other way.

I got lots of warnings about this stage but to tell you the truth, it's my favorite so far. I love his mobility and the fact that you can see the little caterpillar baby busting out of his swaddling cocoon and becoming a little toddling butterfly. And to top it off that scale is reading three pounds lighter than it was a week ago. There's something to be said about the whole mom-chasing-after-toddler myth.

Wonder. It's something we all lose with age and the best way of regaining it is to capture it in a snapshot of your child's eyes when they discover they can do something new, like pulling toilet paper off the roll.

The following is the scene I happened upon after emerging from the shower this morning:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

L is for LARGE...

Neither small, nor petite
It's a moose who fills these shoes
And he sure loves to eat

Our nine month well-baby check up went....better than well. Little (big) Marcus 3.0 is doing exceptionally well in both growth and development. He's hitting all the milestones and as our pediatrician stated "I'm sure you'll be walking in here on your own for your next appointment," which happens to be his one year. He reigns as king of the growth charts in the 95th percentile for height and as our pediatrician also stated, "He's making his own curve" for his weight. What do I mean by this? Well take a look for yourselves -
See that gray dot up there on the top? Yeah...that's Marcus. I might be slightly concerned if his height weren't also waaaaay up there but for now it is and I fully expect him to grow more lengthwise than widthwise from here on out. Meanwhile he continues to bear the brunt of all the fat-boy jokes but we're thinking of making him unload the dishwasher from now on and hopefully that will burn some calories.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

K is for Kanga

the Mother of Roo
And a dear friend to Winnie the Pooh
From who, you can see, we've taken our cue
To give little Marcus the best kind of view

Well I suppose we are completely taking our cues from Kanga but quite frankly Marcus outgrew the ability to be worn on the front many many months (or moons) ago. After a long break from babywearing and letting 2.0 do all the work I thought I would take it up again. In theory I'm hoping that doing this will help three-point-oh sleep better at night because he won't be looking to stock pile cuddles. This also commences my attempt to be a more consistent parent/person. Which also brings us to:

Lesley's mothering confession #1 - Up until Monday night, I hadn't ever read Marcus a bedtime story. *gasp*

I'm just not a routine kinda gal and if there is one thing that is suppose to be super-de-duper good for babies, it's routine. Doctor after doctor talks about consistency in discipline, sleep training, daily activities, etc. But when you have to adjust to a 24 hour household it makes routine the bathwater that the baby bathes in and we all know what happens to bathwater. Speaking of baths:

Lesley's mothering confession #2 - I don't bathe him every night (don't gasp at that one, it might smell bad).

I think that's partly why we don't have a routine. Because the nightly bath is kind of, sort of, in most cases, the kick off to the bedtime ritual. If you don't have a nightly bath, what are you suppose to do? It took me 20 weeks (thatsfivemonths) to finally put the baby down for bed at a somewhat decent hour. 20 weeks of parenting and he's finally going to sleep at 10:30pm! Now 20 weeks later I've jumped on the routine bandwagon. Want to hear how bedtime goes in our household? It's something like this:

9-9:30pm: bath, if it suits mom to wash me today (hey now baby Marcus, don't be talking sass! I'm doing it for your own skin's good)

10pm - WWF match double header: Fidgety Fats vs. Meanie Mommy and Clean Linens vs. Slippery Skin

10:15pm - Say goodbye and goodnight to Dada as he heads out for work

10:25pm - Mom puts on Bach for Babies and reads me a bedtime story. Lately it's been that Dinosaur book that makes noise and has all sorts of textures

10:30pm - Tucked in and a big drink of warm milk...and....zzzzz.....

And now you know what life is like in the Tupy household during the quiet hours of the night. And yes, wearing him on my back has been helping him to sleep better...or so I think. All I know is that even in the midst of teething he's been getting better at sleeping longer. We now have a good 4 hours stretch at the beginning of the night. *jinx* I bet he's going to wake up any moment now *reverse jinx*