Madness lies that way

Oh internet, I cannot tell a lie….

I’ve got babies on the brain. Specifically, little dumpling v2.

CUE GASP

I know! That’s insane! But there it is.

I think it’s because the dumpling is about to have his very first birthday. We’re in this wonderful place right now where we’re just so freaking happy. The dumpling is adorable and learning new things at a ridiculous pace*. Our routine is becoming smoother and smoother. We still have bedtime struggles and random meltdowns, but I guess Luffy and I are just better at handling them? Or at least accepting that they are part of parenting an infant OMG toddler. And so I’ve been looking back at the early, early pictures of the dumpling. When he was mere days old instead of months. And all I can see is how tiny he was and how much he needed us (as opposed to the round-the-clock nursing and twenty diaper changes a day and how even getting him dressed for the day was a challenge because he hated being naked — good job, self, compartmentalizing all this!).

Plus, it doesn’t help that I am once again surrounded (in the social media-sense) by babies. My cousin is due with her first baby early next week. A friend from high school went into labor over the weekend (too soon, baby was born weighing a little over three pounds – omg she’s so tiny!!!!). Another friend from my first job is pregnant and living it up glamorously while travelling. Another friend from my exercise gig is also pregnant – and with a boy! One of Luffy’s best friends is expecting. So many babies!!

So then I start to do the math of if we start trying now and if I get pregnant then and the dumpling will be x age when his sibling arrives and that’s just no good self! Madness lies that way. Having a newborn was hard and I can only imagine that having two children – one newborn and one fully-fledged toddler – would be even harder. But then I think about cute little photos of the dumpling with his sibling. And even cuter images arise because his daycare teachers keep telling me that he likes to help them with the babies in his class – he pats their backs to help them sleep and helps the teachers tilt their bottles. And – STOP IT SELF. 

While on the one hand, I’d sort of love to just do it. Get it over with, in a sense, and by “it” I mean the newborn days. There was a cloud over the dumpling’s newborn days of OMG I will have to do all of this again, nooooooooooo!!! that would be lifted for his sibling’s newborn days. We’re pretty sure that we only want two children, so if we do it now, then we’ll be done with the newborn days forever! I mean, it can only go up from here right?! (lolz, please don’t answer that)

On the other hand though, there are plenty of things that I want to savor right now. The dumpling’s rapid fire milestones, for one. My body and how it’s pretty much back to being all mine for the first time since January 2016 actually even before that since we started trying so long ago. It’s nice not to be worried about ovulation tests and pregnancy tests and other ways my body was/is failing. I’m really working on losing the last couple of pounds, although I feel fairly comfortable with how I look and feel now. Also, [TMI alert:] I’m enjoying a sex life with Luffy again that doesn’t revolve around procreation – woot woot! I forgot how fun this actually is when it’s not scheduled or timed or honey take your pants off because I just peed and this stick says I’m ovulating.

Luffy’s plan is for us to wait until the dumpling is closer to three years old. Not to start trying, but to actually have a sibling, so we’d start trying about this time next year. And really, that seems like a good plan. Calm yoself, self. 

*Seriously! With the ridiculous pace! So I’ve had three types of sippy cups since the dumpling was about 6mo old. One with a spout, one with a straw, and one of those nifty 360 cups. I quickly decided against introducing the spout one because of recommendations from the AAP (short story: spouts are bad for mouth and oral development). So! The straw and 360 cups! No big thang. Except that the dumpling had no idea how to drink from a straw. He did catch on to the 360 cup and he loooooves drinking water from a regular cup (with me holding it, of course), but he’s never caught on to the straw. I’d try to show him how and then hand it to him, but he’d always just play with it.

Then, yesterday, I was looking for advice on how to teach your baby how to drink from a straw. One mom said she wasn’t going to be any help because she always used a straw for her cup and her baby was just naturally curious. Hmmm! I don’t use straws around the dumpling, so I thought that might be better than me showing him on his cup. After all, that’s how he learned to drink from a regular cup – by watching me. So last night during his dinner, I used a straw to drink from my cup. I didn’t make a big show of it or anything, just pointedly took several big sips from my cup + straw. After dinner, when we sat down to play, what do you think the dumpling wanted to do? That’s right, drink from my cup + straw. So I let him, and he sucked some water right down! So I passed him his own sippy + straw and off he went! He’s now a certified straw user! I’m printing up his certificate now!

And wow, that was a lot of words to basically say my kid finally figured out how to use a straw. Woo!

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Nine Months!

The dumpling! He is nine months old today. Holy cats!

It’s so odd to think that he’s been here, with us, for just as long as he was in me. Every day that passes tips the scales further and further towards making my time with him inconsequential.

We had his nine month check-up this morning. He’s doing great! Still a peanut – poor baby. Fourth percentile for weight and the twentieth for height. He’s got long legs and arms and a short torso (he gets the short torso from me). I laugh because he still wears 6mo onesies without issue. I bought him 9mo onesies the other day and they swallow him. Yet, his 12mo pants are a touch short, almost passing for shorts rather than pants.

His gross motor skills need some monitoring. He’s a big fan of sitting, that one. Put a toy he wants in front of him (which is probably the most recommended piece of advice for encouraging crawling) and he’ll streeeeeeeetch out to get it. Sometimes, he’s successful and will pull himself back upright to sitting, toy in hand. Other times, he does a controlled face plant, gets his legs out from under him, then wails at the horror of being on his tummy. TUMMY TIME… WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS??? Reminding him that he got himself into this situation does nothing to curb the wails. Good times.

He’s already come so far though, since those early newborn days. When he’s in a good mood, he’ll sit and play by himself, banging cups on the floor and depositing rings into a cleaned out tissue box (probably the best toy I’ve ever given him, because of course it is). Luffy and I always chuckle because many mornings, while we’re letting him chill in his crib for a bit (he needs a few minutes to really wake up), we’ll hear him all the way across the house – just talking to himself, greeting the day.

Bedtime is his absolute favorite time. He could be a fussy monster for the better portion of the day, but as soon as he realizes it’s bathtime, out come the smiles! He thinks it’s hilarious to be naked, probably because I always pinch his butt. He loves to play in the tub and will dump toys over the side until I make him get out. He adores being read to. Luffy reads to us (Harry Potter right now, we’re on the third one) while he nurses one last time. Sometimes, if he’s not ready for bed yet, I’ll sit him up to listen to dada read to us and – whoo – he loves that too. So many smiles – big smiles. Then into his crib he goes and, if he’s not quite ready for sleep yet, he chats to himself for a while. So adorable.

Sometimes I look back and miss being pregnant. It was so much easier, in a way. Harder physically, true. Plus you have the worry of the unknown (baby’s health, my health, delivery, what are the newborn days going to bring you, etc), but overall easier for me. No holding an infant all the time when he refuses to be put down. No making bottles or pumping or prepping daycare bags. No car seats or endless laundry or diaper changes. Plus, my needs still reigned supreme.

But then, I look down at my smiling boy and I’m ever so happy that he’s here. Happy nine months, my dumpling.

Clutter

So. What do you do with all of the baby stuff when the baby outgrows said stuff?

Because seriously, my house feels like it’s overflowing with newborn/young infant stuff that the dumpling isn’t using anymore.

I’ve already put away his cosleeper (which he never used), his rock ‘n’ play (which we used as a laundry hamper for a while after he transitioned out), his swing, and the car seat base from my car (Luffy is still using his for a while, but we have the convertible seat installed in my car already). I’m eyeing the bouncer and bassinet that are in our room right now. Oh and the frame stroller. Oh and the nursing pillows. And then the infant bucket seat and Luffy’s base. All things I have to find a place for.

It’s fun, in a way, to see all of the things that the dumpling has no use for now. So many of them were a lifesaver when he was a newborn. The rock ‘n’ play was the only way he’d sleep for more than 50 minutes at 3 weeks old. Once he came around to the swing (around 8 weeks old maybe?), it was the best place to ensure a nice long nap. Even as he got older, the swing helped him through his overtired energy at the end of daycare days to get a final nap in. We only stopped using it when he became too distracted by the movement to snooze.

Of course, with plans for a second child at some point, I’ve merely packed all of this stuff away. In closets, under beds, you name it and it likely has a baby-related item stored in it. I’m running out of room. As a person who dislikes clutter, I’m already looking forward to the moment when I can donate it all.

It’s probably just begun, hasn’t it? All you parents of older children are probably out there shaking your heads at me. Bouncers give way to exersaucers which are taken over by walkers and then activity tables and then toys and legos. When does it end?!

Randomness

Hey guys – remember when I used to post a bunch of random things together??? Let’s do that again.


I am super excited for our neighbors. They’re pregnant (having a little boy – squeee!!!). I knew she was due around the beginning of June and I vaguely remember her telling me that her doctor wasn’t going to let her go past June 5th, so I’ve been watching their house like a hawk. I noticed their primary car was gone late Sunday afternoon, but thought that perhaps they were enjoying a last hurrah. Then, like a weirdo, I checked after the dumpling’s 2am nursing session to find that their car was still gone. YAYAYAYAY!!! BABY TIME!!!

Sure enough, their car is still gone today, but I’m hoping that they come home today so I can catch a glimpse of them as they arrive. I swear I’m not a stalker I’m just so excited for them and their new baby! It has me all nostalgic for my own last few days of pregnancy and our first days at home with the dumpling.


Speaking of the dumpling, tomorrow he has his first splash day at daycare. Splash day is every Wednesday throughout summer and I seriously might pass out from the adorableness. I got him little swim trunks and a swim shirt and a little sun protection hat. PICTURE IT. Itty bitty 6 mo swim trunks!!! So cute!


I’m buckling down on my weight loss efforts. My baby is seven months old – I can no longer say I just had a baby. It’s odd, in a way, because it’s been so long since I’ve actively tried to lose weight. That’s not meant as some humble brag – har har har – I legitimately have been at the level of fitness that I desired for a very long time. “Dieting” for me was more of a oh, I ate a bunch of crap this weekend and feel so bloated so I’ll eat really well for a couple of days and voila!! So I’m trying to cement it in my head that this will probably take more than a couple of days.

I was actually feeling pretty good about myself until we went to my parent’s house for Memorial Day. I didn’t even eat that poorly, I just had a lot of champagne (what can I say, my mom and I both love champagne). And alas, all of those bubbles add up to definitely more than air. Le boo.


Speaking of Memorial Day, we had a great time in my hometown! It was the dumpling’s second flight (remember the first one??) and he did amazingly well this time too. This trip was his first time spending the night someplace else. I was a touch concerned, but vowed to just take it in stride. He reverted back to two night wakings, one normal and one out of the ordinary. I think the out-of-the-ordinary one was more due to him being aware that he was not in his own room and thus made it hard for him to go back to sleep in the early morning hours (around 5:30am). Overall though, he still did really well.

It was also really interesting to see his waketimes be affected because of his completely new environment. He was so busy observing and figuring things out that he’d be ready for a nap about an hour and a half after he woke up (he’s solidly in two-hour waketimes right now). It mostly meant he was a yo-yo of happy baby, tired baby. Poor dumpling.

Another first for the books – we went swimming! And here is when I really struggle with my decision not to post pictures of him because he was SOOOO ADORABLE. My mom, who was super excited about us coming, went out and got him a little floaty thing. One of these. He was very wary at first (and I don’t blame him – the pool is a lot bigger than his bath tub), but he warmed right up to it. He even paddled his little feet the entire time. He was exhausted afterwards, but I think he enjoyed it.


Lastly, that book I had on hold at the library, it actually became available much earlier. I read it last week and, honestly, I wasn’t impressed. I really like some of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, but this one wasn’t great. At one point, I honestly thought the writing was bad on purpose (the whole premise from her book Fangirl is that this book, Carry On, Simon is fan-fiction), but, after reading her acknowledgements, I realized that wasn’t the case. I can definitely see why most authors stick to specific genre. Rowell is really good with contemporary stories, little dramas that take place in current day. She was not adept at creating a world, however, as her descriptions of things like dragons or the magic in the book fell a little flat. Also, if you’ve read Fangirl, I oddly connected with the characters in her fan-fic (Simon and Baz, who are the main characters here – I know, it’s a little hard to follow) more deeply as presented there, in little snippets. For some reason, that did not translate to a whole book and they felt one-dimensional.

Anyway, read it if you can borrow it and were curious about, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it.


And that’s all I have folks! Along with trying to lose some weight, I’m also really trying to get better about posting but, you know, work and life gets in the way. Excuses, excuses.

Revenge of the detectors

So, remember that story I told a couple of weeks ago? All about my debacle with the smoke detectors? I didn’t tell you guys, but the next morning I purchased brand new batteries for every single unit in our house because I remained highly suspicious about the whole incident. I replaced the batteries, vacuumed each unit (the Googles are quick to remind me that dust in the units can cause malfunctions), re-installed all of those torn-down detectors and waited.

Sure enough, about 4pm, the unit in my office started chirping again. CHIRPCHIRPCHIRP – it chimed yelled at me. I finally realized that the unit was indeed malfunctioning and would need to be replaced. I, once again, climbed atop our ladder and pulled the unit off the ceiling – mostly just happy that this shit was taking place during daylight hours. I added purchase new smoke detector to my to-do list and carried on with life.

Fast forward two weeks: the dumpling was on a wonderful streak of only getting up once in the middle of the night to nurse (we’ve since gone back to two times – le sigh). He had gotten up at 1:30 and I had no problems returning him to his crib and getting back into bed myself. A couple hours later I was dragged out of sleep by – you guessed it – CHIRPCHIRPCHIRP. 

OH MY F(@*&$# LORD

I was up in an instant, racing through the house trying to figure out which unit was responsible for waking me. Of course, I couldn’t tell since the stupid thing only chirped three times – that telltale pattern now for a malfunctioning unit. I decided that I was having none of that shit and pulled three more units down (which now meant that we only had two units left). Luckily, because of the hell I went through last time, I wasted no time this time. (Plus, I already knew they all had fresh batteries, so no point in trying that out again.) I envied Luffy, as I climbed back into bed, as he was fast asleep and mentally added purchase new smoke detectors to my to-do list.

The next morning I ordered six shiny new smoke detectors for our house with plans to replace every single one of them.

You know, that’s one of the fun parts about owning a home – all of those glamorous little purchases. We dropped nearly $200 for the six new smoke detectors and it’s not like I can take people on a tour of the home and be like – if I may direct your attention to the ceiling above you. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a handsome new smoke AND carbon monoxide detector, installed just a few days ago and with fresh batteries to boot! Please. Please. Hold your applause until you’ve seen all six!  No? That doesn’t go over well with friends? Oh fine.

So that’s what we did this weekend – replace every single smoke detector in our home with a brand new unit. Except for the one in our bedroom. As previously discussed, that’s unreachable with our current ladder. We have to go rent a bigger ladder to replace that unit. That’s on this weekend’s agenda. I know – I KNOW – such an exciting life I lead.

Like a boss

My new work arrangement – working from home part of the week – has been working out beautifully. The days I work from home are so much less stressful. I get more time with my dumpling, both in the mornings and the evenings. I’m much closer to home (obviously) but with that comes the added convenience of being close to things like the grocery store and our auto mechanic. I can run a quick grocery errand at lunch or do a load of laundry between answering emails. The dumpling’s daycare is two minutes away, as opposed to between 45-60 minutes away from my office. All in all, it’s been fantastic and I’m so grateful my company is even willing to do this.

The only downside has been my setup. When I first approached my boss about equipment, he hedged, saying that he wanted to wait a while to see how this would all work out. That was almost six weeks ago. Since I’ve been back to work, I’ve been working off my laptop and a portable monitor. If you’re familiar with a typical office setup, you can see how limiting it’s been. I’ve been toying with the idea of just purchasing my own, but kept procrastinating. But, last Friday I discovered that my laptop’s Ctrl key was no longer working. This, ladies and gents, is what sent me over the edge. (In my defense, I use short cuts in Excel constantly and kept erasing my work as I tried to copy and paste or search.)

So, over the weekend, I took the plunge and purchased two monitors, a new keyboard and mouse, and a dock for my laptop. It came in Tuesday and I have been in work heaven (if there’s such a thing) since then.

It’s amazing what good tools can do!

Baby’s First Flight!

Last Tuesday, exactly a week ago, we got a postcard in the mail. My mom had recently finished renovating her newly acquired office building and she was having an open house. This was a huge milestone for her. She’s been in business for over 11 years, but she’s rented her space the entire time. She had outgrown her original space long ago and had slowly leased additional suites in the same building. These suites were not all together though, so she and her employees were constantly running through common area to get back and forth. Plus there was a lack of security, given she had to rely on other tenants to lock the exterior doors. Then there was also the fact that the entire building shared a bathroom. Etc. Etc. Lots of reasons why this new building is going to be such a huge step up for her and her employees. Plus her own building! With her name on it!

When we got the postcard invitation to her open house, Luffy asked me if I was going to attend. It was on Friday though, middle of the day, in my hometown (5+ hours away by car) and Luffy also happened to be out of town that day.

“No,” I chuckled, “I’ll just send her some flowers to let her know we’re thinking of her.”


Last Thursday, around 2pm, I got a call that registered with my hometown’s area code. I answered, instantly recognizing my mom’s business partner’s voice. He and my mom’s best friend (who also happens to be her employee) wanted to surprise my mom by having me there for her open house. They’d cover the flight, they’d pick me up, they’d even purchase a car seat if that made things easier for me. My mom always planned surprises for everyone else and they wanted the chance to surprise her.

What could I do but agree?


Thursday night, as I lay in bed contemplating the next day – flying with the dumpling all by myself – I dissolved into a ball of nerves. What on earth was I thinking?! Flying home, with no one to help me with the dumpling?! I’m crazy! I’m insane! I should be committed!

As 11pm and then midnight and then 1am rolled around, I tried frantically to adjust my plans. I even got on the phone with the airlines to try to take a different flight (that actually didn’t exist – turns out I tend to misread things when it’s 12:30 in the morning and I’m freaking out). I tried desperately to come up with a solution that would allow me leave the dumpling at daycare and be home in time to pick him up. (To be clear, we have plenty of friends and family in the area who would have been here for the dumpling in case he needed it. I wasn’t just going to abandon my young to daycare and go jet-setting.)

Finally, probably around 1:30 in the morning or so, a mere four and a half hours before I needed to get up, I calmed myself. I could handle this. I was flying with the dumpling, not some stranger’s squalling infant. We would be fine. Worst case scenario, the flight is only 45 minutes long, I’m pretty sure I (and my seatmates) would be able to survive anything for just 45 minutes. And with that thought, I finally managed to get to sleep.


I awoke with a start at 5:45 because omg the baby! He hadn’t made a peep all night. Of course, the one night I’m riddled with nerves and can’t sleep is the one night he sleeps all the way through. Because of course. I tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but I was wide awake. Which was probably ok because the dumpling ruined my plans to get ready before getting him up for the day by waking up at 6:15 and nursing for half an hour. But even with the curve ball, I got him fed, myself showered, breakfast eaten, Jas got her medicine, and we were out the door by 7:30!

And then I got to laugh at my anxious self as the dumpling did beautifully in the airport. He peaked out from his carrier as we went through security and made our way to the gate. He slept while we waited to board and woke up to be delighted by the airplane. A kind couple behind me shifted seats so that I could have a row to myself. I nursed him as soon as we took off and he nodded off for his first nap of the day. He slept the whole flight and woke up just as we were touching down. We made our way through my hometown’s small airport to find my mom’s best friend. As promised, she had a newly purchased car seat in the back. She had, adorably, given up YouTubing for installation help and had taken it to the local fire station. We chatted excitedly as we made our way to my mom’s business. With her business partner keeping her distracted from the security camera feeds, we made our way inside.

When I rounded the corner into my mom’s office, she stared at me, completely shocked and not really putting the pieces together – to see the dumpling and I standing in her office on a Friday morning. But the second passed and she burst into happy tears and came around her desk to envelope us both in a hug. She took the dumpling from me, hugged me again and again, and then proceeded to direct the set-up for her open house one-handed as she carried the dumpling everywhere – her mood notably lifted.

It was so much fun getting to surprise her like that! She was so shocked to see us and we made her day. We also got to surprise many of my extended family (including my own granddad who got the opportunity to meet his great-grandson!). Of course, with only two people in-the-know, we surprised nearly everyone who came out to support my mom. My mom had a blast showing her grandson off to all of her friends.

Since I was travelling alone and I needed to be back home to teach my first class the next day (which – SPOILER ALERT – didn’t end up happening because of a stomach bug I picked up along the way), our flight home was at 4:30 that afternoon. Mom drove us to the airport, sad to see us go but ever so happy that we came.

The dumpling did well on the flight home, although he was much more tired and therefore a touch more cranky. We made it home in time to get him into bed on time. Then I took a hot shower, had some dinner delivered, chatted with Luffy, and climbed into bed myself, exhausted from our busy day.

And then I got back up and puked, but let’s just pretend the story ended on my happier note, shall we?