Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Things ill forget

He made a whole game of falling onto the couch. As we started to laugh, he made it more and more dramatic. Every time I laughed he laughed. More and more dramatic. Until he hurt himself.

He refuses to leave the house without his purse. We've started slinging it across his chest. He looks sort of like Indiana Jones.

Last night he walked all the way home from daycare.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Next time ...

I've been thinking, should we decide to have another baby, how do I want the birth to be?

I've written a little about how the moment of R's birth is so foggy, almost blocked out. While I wouldn't say it was "traumatizing", it definitely wasn't serine.

I find myself feeling jealous of the photos I see of water births, of mothers lifting their babies out of the water themselves. Gazing at their babies. Happy and relieved and mesmerized by their babies.

I know every birth is different. R came into the world exactly as he needed to -- in a hurry, loud, pushing me to my limit. I have a feeling he'll be like that his entire life. And while I "caught" him, I was scared and just barely earth-side of a moment where I thought I had died. I was pre-occupied with the realization that I was still standing, not ripped in half. For a moment I wondered why Chris was crying and whose baby was screaming behind me.

How much control do we have over that moment? If I plan hard enough, can I have something different? Can I create a moment where I reach down and catch my own baby? Where I'm aware enough to see him being born? Where I can meet him and remember that meeting?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday January 11 ... 1 Year, 9 Months

I wonder if any other parent has this moment ... the kid goes down for a nap, wakes up an hour or two later ... and he looks older. Every day I come home, he looks a little older. When I wake up from sleeping in on Saturdays, he looks older.

Picking out his own clothes

And not because he's actually growing. He's still a little Peanut. Our friends Zoey and Emily, twin girls about a month younger than Ro, are bigger than him. But he says and does things that a 21-month-old just shouldn't know how to do.

Says some pretty fancy words:

"Ro-Ro potty sit." (a.k.a "I sit on the potty.")
     Speaking of the Potty, he's so interested in sitting on the potty. He's been "potty training" his dolls, making his Steve doll sit on the potty at Gramma's house, and his new Cabbage Patch Doll, Max, sit on the potty here. He has a stool, but I think he needs one a little taller (not to mention a real potty seat). I've got my eye on these:

Mayfair 83EC 000 NextStep Child/Adult Built-in Potty Seat with Lift-Off Hinges, Round, White

     Seems like they wouldn't take up too much room in our (very tiny) bathroom.

"Daddy" (instead of dadda)
"Snack" (with a very distinct, if a little nasely, "sn"). Also "snow".
Names all the kids at school.
"Me too", "Momma too" (as in "Momma come too").
"Star Trek" (also, though less clearly, "Space, the final frontier")
"Thank you" (though it sounds like "tdoo tdoo", and still needs prompting)
"Pie", "Pot pie", and 'Bad Kitty, my Pot Pie!"

"Go Irish!"

He can name all his body parts. According to some chart on the internet, half of kids can do this at 22 months.
"Wee-ooo, wee-oo", the siren from a fire truck or ambulance.

The one thing he really doesn't get is colors. He can say them all, but when you ask him to identify the color he always says Red, and if you ask him to point to a color on the page, he just guesses.

We spent Christmas up in MA with both sets of grandparents, alternating days. He loved giving people their presents. He got some great stuff, including Max, a tool belt, lots of books and puzzles, and an Easel from Santa.

Speaking of Santa ... he LOVES pointing out Santa (and people who sort of look like Santa), "Sa-Sa".

Simultaneously, he is absolutely terrified of people in Santa costumes. I had to preemptively veto R sitting on Santa's lap at the Daycare's Christmas Party. It was a good thing too, because as he watched the other kids sit on Santa's lap and cry, he got more and more anxious. The moment they called his name he burst into tears. We then waved at Santa instead and avoided a lifetime of therapy.


Also he's terrified of the Grinch. Just the book. The movie is fine. But you show him the cover of the book and he yells and takes the book away and literally throws it in another room.

Physical Development:
It's pretty simple. He runs everywhere, and jumps everywhere. When it's time to get dressed, he runs. When he goes from one floor surface to another, he jumps. According to the internets, he's not supposed to be able to jump. "A few kids" can learn to jump at 24 months.
He can brush his teeth alone (though we help with the back ones) and wash his hands alone.
He throws balls and kicks balls. He goes down the slide all by himself. He crawls through tunnels. He knocks on doors. He opens and closes the door alone.
He stacks legos.


This past month was the first time he went several days without even asking to nurse. Four days, in fact. I started to freak out. Now he's back, and very demanding about it. One morning I tried to nurse him in the rocking chair (first, hoping the rocking would put him back to sleep, but also because when we lie down in bed I get so sleepy that I can't get up and get out of the house on time). He freaked out yelling, "NO! BED! BOO-BOOS BED!!!!"

There was about 6 hours when I thought about weaning him. I recently was diagnosed with Graves' Disease, a disease that causes Hyperthyroidism. I honestly didn't realize anything was wrong, because all the symptoms have perfectly valid explanations: fatigue (toddler), weight loss (nursing a toddler), jitteriness (too much coffee because he effing gets up at 5am), brittle hair and nails (I'm a hot ass mess, because I had a toddler), and on and on. But apparently those things point to over-active thyroid, and blood tests showed , sure enough, I'm all hyperactive. So they put me on Methimazole, and the endocrinologist told me 1) don't get pregnant and 2) wean the baby. I nodded and thought, "yeah yeah, whatever, you're not a pediatrician or an LC", and got a second opinion (which everyone should always do, seriously). But I started thinking ... well maybe it's time. He's really not nursing that often, so maybe it's time to just cut him off.

But to be thorough, I wrote to my LC friend (Hi, Rebecca!) and asked what she thought. She looked it up and told me it was probably fine depending on the dosage (which I didn't know yet). I looked it up on LactMed and called the InfantRisk Center (who were SO happy to hear that an LC had referred me). Then I made the mistake of calling my Pediatrician's office. My normal Ped wasn't there, so the on-call Dr called me back. As soon as she told me who is was, I almost hung up on her. She's terrible. She's the one who told me to wean at 4 months old because he had a tooth. I took a deep breath and told her why I was calling. I told her medication and she said, "Wait, what is it? What is it for?" "Over-active Thyroid," I said. "Oh, yes, you'll have to wean."

Um, ...

"Well," I said, "The dosage is only 20mg per day, and LactMed says that's fine for infants. And he's a toddler so I'm assuming that means it's even safer."

"No," she said, "you'll have to wean."

um ....

"Well," I said, trying to keep a polite, respectful tone, "I called the InfactRisk Center and they told me the same thing."

"Listen," she interrupted. "I can tell you're going to do what you want. I mean it's going to damage your baby, but do whatever you want."

I've since written to the practice telling them, nicely, that she shouldn't give breastfeeding advice if she sucks at it.

So, Long Story Long, I didn't wean him. Mostly because he still needs it ... a little out of spite.

Other ways he's a genius:
He can tell time. Seriously.
While Chris was away in Miami, we had a major issue with R getting up at 5am. This was a problem for several reasons: 1) Chris can usually get him to go back to sleep. He has this magic way to "suggesting" that R needs more water (even though his cup is full), and getting him to lie back down while Chris goes to the kitchen to get more water. It doesn't work for me. R basically calls shinanigans and yells even louder. 2) When one is single-parenting, 5am is just too god-damn early to get up. I had stopped being able to function at about 4pm (oh, also because this child has an "Elf" way of napping -- "I slept great! Got a full 40 minutes!").
I expressed my frustration on Facebook (I may have called 5am a whore, until I met her cracked out lepper friend 4am). My friend and former co-worker Jenn suggested I get this alarm clock.

Kid'sleep Classic

It comes in several colors and animals, and basically you set it for when "Bunny" (or Cow or Sheep) is going to wake up. You tell the kid that he can't get up until Bunny wakes up. The first night you set it for the time the child is currently waking up (in our case, 5am); then every night to set it back 5 minutes. If kid wakes up at 5, but bunny doesn't wake up until 5:05, kid has to wait until Bunny wakes up. The object of the game is to get the kid to either 1) stay quiet until Bunny wakes up, or 2) fall back asleep and get another cycle in before he realizes that Bunny is up.
R really likes to play "Nap time" (go figure) by putting his toys (or momma) down to sleep and saying "Shhhhhh" and then yelling "GOOD MORNING!!!" at them. So we got the clock and practiced saying "GOOD MORNING!" when the bunny was "awake" and "shhhhhh" when he was sleep. Literally the first morning he woke up and yelled "GOOD MORNING!" at the bunny. When we set it back, he'd wake up and here him whining, and as soon as the bunny woke up we'd hear "GOOD MORNING, BUNNY!!!" After about 2 weeks he's starting trying to trick us by yelling "GOOD MORNING" when the bunny has not woken up yet (or else he's trying to wake up the bunny). And he's worked a few times during nap time.
Bunny has now become the final word on if he's allowed to get up, which really take the pressure off me. Sorry kid, I'd love to rescue you, but Bunny is still asleep. I'll come back at 6:15.

Oh, and he also picks out his own clothes and attempts to get dressed himself.

Picking out his own clothes

Picking out his own clothes

And when he can't figure out how to dress himself, he dresses the dog.

Dressing the Dog

Dressing the Dog

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Single parenthood

Chris has been in Miami for four days. Notre Dame played in the National Championship football game last night. A few weeks ago that seemed a good enough reason to leave me alone with the child for four days. Today ... not so much ... and not just because they sucked the big one.

(that's the Irish tripping over themselves while the Alabama player walks past them to score)

This has been one of the hardest weekends I've ever had with this child. I haven't been this tired since he was 1) six weeks old, when he was crying all day and not napping, or 2) 10 months old, when he would nurse all night and because of a vasospasm I was wide awake at every suck. I am actually sick to my stomach with how tired I am. I was close to tears at work for the past two days.

Here's what we did this weekend ...

Day 1

Up at 5
Said bye to dadda
Playing and Dora
Drug store where he only disappeared from sight once
Library - coloring, books, and story/song time (where he kept yelling "ELMO!" at the PBS logo-ed carpet and telling the teacher he could see a "MOON!!!"
Home for Lunch
Nap (for both baby and mom)
Bed, Bath and Beyond, where he had a gandhi tantrum (where he goes all limp) and I dragged him around by the arm.
FaceTime with daddy
Blues Clues, Kardashians
Wine and Big Bang theory (I seriously didn't move for an entire hour)
Outlined CBE course readings
Bed with Netflix in daddy's spot, puppy on daddy's pillow

Day 2

Up at 5. fml
Gave baby my phone and rolled over.
Breakfast and NPR
Blues Clues and shower
Playing and Kardashians
Play date with co-worker. A hit!
Nap ... 40 minutes ... after being up at 5.
Grocery shopping
Cooking and laundry
FaceTime with daddy
More cooking and playing
Dinner - rice and beans! A hit! (though in retrospect, I shouldn't have tried being super mom and made the pasta and frozen meatballs like I had planned).
PJs and book
More wine!!!
More cooking ... pot pie for tomorrow and banana muffins ... am I trying to win a prize or something?
Clean kitchen, pick up toys
Body hurts
Finished week's CBE reading

Day 3

Up at 5. kmn.
Gave baby my phone and roll over.
Gave baby remote and try to sleep on the couch. Dog has fit until I feed her.
Feed children.
Fold Laundry
Contemplated leaving an hour early so baby could nap in the stroller, but too cold.
Distracted baby with putting laundry away ... this kid loves chores.
Dropped off baby at school
More coffee
More coffee
Pick up baby
Pass out in arm chair.
Dog freaks out.
Get ready to take her out.
Dog pees all over everything.
Mommy freaks out and scares everyone.
We learn a valuable lesson in forgiveness by apologizing to the dog ... and bribing her with a treat.
PJs, Books, and early bedtime.
Wine!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and order "stay the fuck in bed"(TM) alarm clock)
Phone date with Megan, where we kept saying "We're not staying up to watch this whole game"
Stay up and watch the whole game.

Day 4

Up at 4. Seriously, shoot me.
Done. Left baby to cry.
Back to sleep at 5.
Back up at 6. Fine. I give up.
Gave baby my phone and roll over.
Coffee, Elmo.
Dropped off baby at school
McDonald's. (apparently no one goes to McD's the week after they start their New Year's diets? No line!)
More coffee.
Pick up baby.
Say hi to Daddy.
Sleep for a year.

Not sure if you noticed, it got sadder and sadder as the days went on.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012, in review

Every year I try to do a recap of the entire year, mostly in pictures. I'm afraid this one is going to be VERY baby-centered!


New Years Cake Pops

After a very quiet New Year's Eve/Da (home watching Twilight Zone) I took my birthday off and went shopping. My boss and friend, Emily, was moving to Berlin this week and we had a party for her ... she will forever be known as the one who ruined my birthday.
auf wiedersehen Emily

iPhone Birthday

With a itty baby at home I also didn't get to go out for my birthday dinner. The Ravioli and chocolate mousse cake was pretty good though.
Birthday Dinner!

Birthday Cake!

Rowan continued to be adorable.
Happiest Baby.

Baby got all four top teeth in the same week.
Another tooth! No wonder he was grumpy!

Then we all got the plague. Over MLK day my parents came down to visit, and immediately after they left I began puking, et. al. That night Chris got it, and while the plan was for my parents to come back down and take care of the baby while we recovered, they called in the morning and said they were both sick too. The only one that didn't get sick was the baby.
Tired baby

Baby started crawling and climbing on everything, and so his side-car crib got an adjustment so he couldn't climb out.
Side Car-ed crib


We hosted our annual Super Bowl party with friends from the neighborhood.
Mini Tom Brady

Super Bowl Food

Super Bowl Food

Super Bowl Dip

Super Bowl Commercial signs

Baby had his first bleeding incident! And it was my fault!!!
First bleeding incident -- thumb nail plus baby gums. oops.
I may have cried more than him. Bright side was we were at a friend's for a playdate, and their kid had just been to the ER at least once in the last month for way worse injuries, so they were not phased when I cut his lip with my thumb-nail.

Another bout of Mastitis had me bed-ridden fora  few days, and Auntie Stephanie was great and came over in the morning and brought baby to daycare.

On President's Day we met the Forest Hills gang at the Bowling Alley! Babywearing Bowling!
Babywearing Bowling!

Babywearing Bowling

Standing baby!


Baby got really good at going to brunch.
Brunch at Georgio's

Brunch at 5 Burros
5 Burros

Brunch with Grampa
Tower Diner with Grampa

We started topping off the bottle with Cow's milk. A few weeks short of my 12-month goal, but this child has never had a drop of formula in his life, so it was worth it.
Milks of all kind

I got to start planning for the R's First Birthday!!!
Rainbow Cake Test (6)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
St. Patty's day outfit

Apparently he really wanted to walk in the parade, because the morning of March 17 we had our first steps!

Emily was far away but we kept in touch.
Skyping with Emily

And big boy moved into his own room! We all had been having some trouble sleeping; he was nursing on and off all night, but I could no longer dose off while he nursed, so we were both up all night. After about a week of very long nights, he was sleeping like a champ!
Still sleeping

March also found the first of FOUR throat infections in FIVE months. I was on a Jamba Juice liquid diet for several weeks.


R is great at helping!

We took the train up to Gramma's to set up for the Birthday Party!
First Metro North Ride

We went to the annual "Margar-Easter" party in Otis.
Holding Court, with the puppies

Happy First Birthday, Rowan!!!
Birthday Photo Shoot (2)

Birthday Cake (1)

Gift Bags (1)

Decorations (1)b

Rowan's Birthday - Candles

Eatin Cake (1)

Rowan's Birthday - presents

(fun fact 1: when you feed a 1-year old rainbow cake, his vomit will also be rainbow colored.
fun fact 2: when your 1-year old vomits all over his PJs and you have to use the 6 month-size PJs leftover from Christmas, don't let him walk on the newly-waxed hard-wood floors. 6-month PJs don't have grippy feet because 6-month olds can't walk, and 1-year olds aren't supposed to still fit their 6-month size PJs.)

On the baby's actual birthday, Mom and Dad celebrated having survived a whole year with their own special party.
Mom and Dad's "Birthday" Dinner

R continued to be a little too advanced for mommy's comfort

Daddy finished his MA at Columbia! No more (new) school loans!!!
Chris's Graduation Cake


Daycare had a (totally necessary since baby can't sing or dance?) Mother's Day concert.

Gramma and Grampy came down for a Mother's Day visit. All went well until they were about to leave and someone broke into their car. boo.

In May we took baby on first first airplane ride!!! We flew to Indianapolis for Polly's wedding!



2012-05-17 15.33.42

Indianapolis Children's Museum



2012-05-19 13.19.23




2012-05-20 07.54.46

2012-05-20 10.54.43


I got to see the Space Shuttle out my office window!
Space Shuttle on the Hudson

Another wedding!
My boys
The price-per-wear of all our fancy clothes went really low.

In June I got my first Tattoo!!!




We spent Father's Day at the Queen Zoo. Ro loved pointing at all the animals.
Father's Day at the Zoo

Father's Day at the Zoo

Father's Day at the Zoo

At the end of June Chris and I went to Ohio ALONE for Chris M's wedding, leaving baby home with Gramma and Grampy.

We saw Stanley Hudson at the airport.

We did amazing things like relax and eat lunch together in peace.

I even got my nails done.

We got to witness mid-west weather.

Gramma and Grampy had lots of fun with the baby.

With Grampy at the park


Happy Birthday, Gipper!

And Happy Birthday, Daddy!
Chris's Birthday Cake

Headed up to MA for Kerri's baby shower!


Baby came to work with Mommy

Headed up to MA again for ANOTHER baby shower for Kerri!


2012-07-28 18.10.51

We also got to meet Great-Grampa Chamberland
Hour Generations of Chamberland Men
Four Generations of Chamberland Men!


Happy Summer!

2012-08-08 17.55.35

Baby was in desperate need of a hair cut





Our "Summer" vacation to New Hampshire.
Nana's Beach

First look at the lake


Hartford Family

First Boat Ride!

Babywearing Swimming

Ruffit Sunset


We started prepping for Halloween!





Happy Halloween!

Daycare Halloween Party


Hurricane Sandy
2012-10-29 18.58.11

Hurricane Sandy Damage


Election Day!




And then a random snowstorm ... a week after a Tropical Storm
2012-11-07 17.22.04




Kids' Day at Work



Happy Thanksgiving!


Date night!

2012-11-24 13.08.16

Small-Business Saturday shopping

Setting up for Christmas!


Advent, Day 1!
2012-12-01 08.46.56

2012-12-01 08.47.21



Christmas Card

Grandparent Gifts

Kid Gifts
2012-12-15 20.09.25

Chris gave me an early Christmas present ... a night to myself!
Mom's Night "Alone"
Skyping with Emily


Mom's Night "Alone"

Mom's Night "Alone"
Dinner with Stephanie

Mom's Night "Alone"

Mom's Night "Alone"

Rowan continued to be adorable
Picking out his own clothes

Daycare Christmas Party

Really, other kid's mom. Really?

I had vetoed "sitting on Santa's lap", as his age plus naturally occurring, evolutionarily appropriate fear or strangers would have actually traumatized him this year. Holding and waving worked out much better.

Packing to leave for Gramma's!
2012-12-21 17.40.43

Merry Christmas!
Daddy and Rowan

Rowan and Gipper

Big Happy Family Christmas XIII
Big Happy Family Christmas






Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve




Christmas Morning
Christmas Morning



Best Gift for me - a cappuccino machine from Chris's mom
New Capuccino Machine

Best Gift for Rowan - a Cabbage Patch Doll we've named Max. He has a belly button that looks like a cheerio, and R insists on chewing on it.

Best Gift for Chris - a trip to Miami for the National Championship game! (he also doesn't get a birthday present, or probably a christmas present next year.)
2013-01-07 19.26.12

Getting ready for the new year, it was time for our annual "get this crap out of our house" cleaning spree.

Here's what we did this weekend:
- Cleared out my magazines (because I can read them on my new iPad!!!)
- Cleaned out and wiped out all the drawers
- Wiped down all the cabinets
- Took out the shelves over the sink, cleared out unused classes, turned shelves upside down (to fix warping)
- Cleared out the fabric I'm never going to use
- Donated 5 bags of clothes (some of those from the "fabric" bin)
- Cleaned out the hall closet, getting rid of a bunch of canvas bags, a rolling suitcase, a swiffer sweeper (no more hard wood floors)
- Pulled out the shelving in hall closet and re-installing shelves that actually function as shelves
- Put away christmas decorations and got rid of the tree

Closet Before:

Closet After:
Closet Makeover


New Year's Eve

I spent new year's eve at Jenn and Elvin's house, playing games and generally making a ruckus.
New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

Chris was so good to stay home with the baby ... and also to deal with my slightly hung-over self the next day.
New Year's Eve

Happy New Year Everyone!