Monday, June 29, 2009

Look How Far We've Come

Harrison turned 3 months old on July 1st. Such blessed and spontaneous beginnings have given way to methodical routines and prayers for sleep. We haven't quite mastered sleeping through the night yet, but he's done it, and continues to do it. He just likes to trip things up a bit every now and then with a 2:30 wake-up call.

One could say that I've gradually become more accustomed to motherhood, however time has not cured my incessant paranoia. I'm pretty sure I've diagnosed him with every disease from Asbestos Poisoning, to Lupus, to Restless Leg Syndrome and everything in between. My current mission: Flat Head Syndrome. No matter how I position that boy, he loves loves loves to sleep with his head turned to the left. Now, I know what you're all saying. "It's fine, it happens to all babies, when they start to sit up and roll it'll even out." Well, that's all fine and good, but until that happens, (which according to my handy dandy milestone chart is between 4 and 6 months) I'll be investigating new ways to inflate that side of his head. Within reason of course. :)

Speaking of milestones, on June 12th, at what was perhaps the height of my paranoid state Harrison looked straight at me, laughed AND smiled. It was at that moment I TRULY felt like a mother and I knew Harrison was officially "in the world". There will probably never be another moment that precious and genuine again in my life, but I bet he'll surprise me. The only thing cuter is Tony's face when Harrison smiles at him. Such a wonderful and proud Daddy. Those smiles eventually gave way to abundant laughter, which is heart melting, and happens with more frequency. I mean, what can I say, Tony and I are pretty hilarious. You can't blame the kid.

Three Months of Motherhood Discoveries

  • Naptime will only occur if you walk in circles in the house and DON'T stop no matter what. The minute you sit, consider naptime OVER.
  • The days of getting dressed in one fell swoop are over. First, I shower. Playtime, feeding time, naptime. Then I can dry my hair. Playtime, distractions, fussiness. Then I can put on my makeup. Even then, I'm not fully put together seeing as how I went out yesterday with mascara on only one eye.
  • Speaking of makeup, Harrison thinks he has two mommies. There's the one that gets him up in the morning and dresses him. Her face is quite blank. She's a little scary. Not too many smiles happening for that Mommy. But when the second Mommy shows up, he notices that this one has eyes that he can look at. And shiny lips. Much more pleasant Mommy. Not so much of an eye sore Mommy. Well, and yesterday, I was obviously the one-eyed Mommy. I think I'm developing schizophrenia.
  • My son is a complete angel anywhere in public. Except Target. Every time I have set foot in that God forsaken place, he screams at one point. This occurs usually when I'm in the clothes section. Better hustle over to the frozen foods.
  • Cribs only work at night. Period.
  • 5:30-7:00 pm is his personal Witching Hour. Nothing pleases him. This is when I drink wine.
  • Absolutely NO kisses for baby after he eats. Unless you like the taste of regurgitated formula.
  • And finally, why didn't someone inform me of these permanent 10 pounds stuck to my arse?? I did not sign up for an extra ten pounds. How selfish, you know, my kid could've used those ten pounds in utero, but NOOOOO....stuck to my arse they will remain. I'll show those pounds. Just find me a diet where I can continue with my Witching Happy Hour.
Three and a half months of stresses and joys have passed us by. We anxiously await the new surprises and moments we know Harrison will bless us with. We just hope to enjoy them on a full nights sleep.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Ants Go Marching

The details in this story are true and accurate, and have not been elaborated. No names have been changed to protect the innocent. No one's innocent in this story.

Murphy's Law. I have been a victim of it for 31 years. Because of this fated victimization, I have been deemed an Anti-Optimist. Which I prefer to call a "Realist." Anything that can go wrong...will. Famous lines by Thomas Moore:

I never had a slice of bread
Particularly large and wide
That did not fall upon the floor
And always on the buttered side.

Tony and I make the WILD and CRAZY decision to attempt a little rice cereal in the little man's formula. I wouldn't have done this for sleeping purposes alone, but I did read that it helps poor little reflux babies keep their food down and comfortably so. After the previous night of bi-hourly eating and crying, we were fit to be tied, therefore, fit to mix in a little of the good stuff.  Anxiously feeding him, and anxiously awaiting the coma we hoped would ensue, he finishes his dinner and goes right to bed. Not a peep. This is usual for his last feeding at 10:00. Let the countdown begin. Like giddy, pre-Christmas children, we rush to get to bed, praying for the gift of REM sleep for the first time in 7 weeks. Tony passes out in under two minutes, I tidy up the kitchen and prepare two bottles. There was a tidbit of my positivity coming out. Only preparing two bottles. The Self Fulfilling Prophecy MUST work at some point. 

I hop into bed, update my Facebook, turn on Friends, and .............. What the hell was that??? I felt something on my neck. Having itched from imaginary bugs before in a non-drug induced state, I confidently went back to Facebooking. Hey, maybe even spend some QT with the hubs, if you know what I mean...wink wink........OUCH!!! Again, I feel it. This time burning. Lots of burning!! I reach for the lamp and nudge Sleeping Beauty to my left. 
"Is there something crawling on my back??"

Holy Mary Mother of God, he pulls off an ant without missing a beat. And another. And another.  
I EJECT from the bed, and do that familiar dance that people do when covered with crawling things. Kind of like doing an Irish Jig on crack. Hop, hop, itch itch, front, back, top, bottom. I strip off my nightgown, not even taking time to suck in my stomach which I normally do to make myself feel better, and shake it like a maddened beast. As I return bedside, there it is. (Insert dramatic music here.) A trail of what must've been 300 ants coming from the baseboard, up the bedskirt, and right up under my pillow where my ill-fated head was resting. What on EARTH is under my pillow that is so attractive to ants you ask? Nothing. These must be the vicious, torturous ants that get a rise off of harassing innocent sleepers.  Meanwhile, in rushes Tony the Ant Warrior armed with his deadly Dustbuster. He starts sucking them to death, now all the while poor Harrison is TRYING to sleep through the night. At least we pray.

A few stirs here and there, but he's still way out of it. Phew...we must forge on! Kill the ants!! (Here comes the worry aforementioned in my previous blog) But wait!!! Are the ants going to kill the baby?? I envisioned a trail of helmet wearing ants as long as the Great Wall of China, leading up into my baby's crib attacking his every extremity. They'd probably snatch his remaining testicle!! KILL THE ANTS!!!

After a good 3o minutes of Dustbusting, I go out on a limb and suggest we get some ant spray, bait, traps, ANYTHING!!! Tony continues to Bust away. I think I saw a gleam in his eye as he continued his seek and destroy mission. Spray would just take the fun out of watching them being sucked up into the cyclone of ant death. Now, I credit my wonderful husband for always attempting to solve problems with a minimal expenditure of energy. An excellent time manager, he's always seeking shortcuts, but the repercussions of this battle would have to be prevented with diligence! After an ant bit him on his badonkadonk, he was finally convinced we needed to arm ourselves with poison, so he goes to get dressed. **Time elapsed 4 minutes** I walk into the closet and he's casually thumbing through his repertoire of collared shirts in an effort to find his best ensemble for Wal Mart.... at midnight! WHAT?? I frantically point to a t-shirt sitting on his dresser and yell for him to GOOOOOOO!! 

Dustbusting, yelling, Irish's still in ZZZZZZZZZZZ Land. Phew! 

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Where's Tony?? I hear the text message. I read the text message. 

"Pulled over." 

Murphy's Law has struck again. 15 minutes later, here he comes with ant traps and spray in one hand, citation in the other. We change the sheets, surround ourselves with traps, and hop into bed. Only this time, I'm sleeping on HIS side of the bed in the event the ants have a National Guard that steps in when the full timers have been defeated. Alas, the sleep we've been needing for over 24 hours has arrived. We pass out sans wink-winking.

"WAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" Harrison requests room service. So much for rice cereal. Murphy's Law is too busy marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah. 

Only, nobody's stopping to climb any trees. Damn ants. 


Monday, June 1, 2009

Three's Company

Can't believe we've made it two months. Half of me can't believe we've come this far this fast, and the other half feels as if I should be wiping tears of joy as Harrison crosses the stage in his cap and gown. 

As any parent of the newborn variety knows, it ain't easy, and boy has it taken it's toll on our lives in general. All I can pray for is that it's painless for him. I mean, he looks pretty comfortable...well except for today during his two month immunizations.  HONESTLY, why didn't someone prepare me for the look of horror that I can only describe as his "WTF WAS THAT???!!!" face, followed by screaming only to become limp and lifeless in my arms as if to say, "Mommy, take the pain...... away!!!!  Oh, the horror!!!"  Needless to say, we survived. Weighing in at a bountiful 8 pounds 4 ounces, he has managed to zip right off of the preemie charts and onto the term baby charts. Granted, he's only in the 3rd percentile for weight and height, but hell, I'll take it. His head on the other hand is in the 35th percentile, enough to qualify him as Harold and the Purple Crayon's replacement.  Or Stewie's, depending which cartoon suits you.

I've broken the last several weeks down into subjects as I've learned that life with a new baby is about different chunks of day. Bite off only what you can chew, but plan on biting quite a large chunk. And chew hard. And floss afterwards.

God bless Tony. There are times in the night that I don't even know I'm still alive, and he'll take care of the baby knowing full well it isn't his "turn".  And he does it quietly. If it were me, I'd be banging around like a Riverdancing Elephant just to make it known I was handling his business.  I'd like to think it's the hormones that are making me vicious. :) I knew the sleepless nights were getting to me when I microwaved an empty pyrex.  We usually fill the pyrex with water, microwave it, then set the bottle in there to warm up.  I stood there for at least three minutes wondering why the bottle wasn't getting warm.  And just when things were getting deliriously out of hand, Harrison started sleeping five hour stretches at night. This lasted long enough to rid me of the ridiculous sleep deprivation induced dreams I was having.  Some examples?  Tony leaving the baby on the floor with 19 dogs during a party, my dad's lips falling off, and most recently, me climbing a tree to meet with a squirrel for one of "our talks".  Yes folks, it is time to pop the Ambien and call it a night...or a week...whatever it takes.  But alas, we cannot. Especially since the five hour stretches have ceased and he's back to his two week old ways again.  We must pull through.  The good news is that there's a Roseanne marathon during my shift, so there's time for me to watch some dysfunction that doesn't relate to the questioning of my own parenthood. It is frustrating, however, to sit down, position the Boppy, tuck the burp cloth under his now very fatty chin, pin down his hands since he likes to do Kung Fu dining, get the bottle aimed directly in his overly rooting mouth where his head flops side to side like Shamu's best air maneuver, and then realize that the remote is in the kitchen and I'm stuck watching Sports Center from Tony's previous shift. Sh*t.

So we've overcome the incessant screaming during eating, which was heart wrenching. We've loaded him up on Prevacid and it seems to do the trick.  Well, by "the trick" I mean eliminates the crying.  I'll be sitting there in a half coma listening to the rhythmic pattern of his cute little grunt-swallow-grunt-swallow eating, and PHHHHHTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!! There comes the force of air that could power a hot air balloon and I am suddenly soaked with formula, which smells like rotting milk before it ever rots. Realizing then this might be a sign that he needs to burp, I place him lovingly on my welcoming shoulder, kiss his cute little cheek, and BLECH!! He turns his mouth just in time to feed me his Similac - bird style. Delicious. When can they start solid foods??

Hahahahahaha. Shut your mouth.

So, in an attempt to be the vigilant mother that I want to be, I purchased a backseat mirror so I can watch my boy's every move while on the road. Excuse me, WHAT IDIOT came up with this shenanigan? I have been so enraptured watching the kid sleep that I have slammed my breaks a dozen times saving us from driving up a semi's ass. Then, and tell me if you've done this, I look in the mirror, and am not satisfied with what I see, so I turn my body entirely around to look at the mirror head on. Yep, still sleeping. I'm considering installing one of those privacy windows like in a limousine.  Seriously, like I'm going to look back there and see Harrison flashing me the jazz hands.  At this rate, I'm more likely to see him shoot me the finger.

A natural born worrier, I never thought I had time to worry more. But I do. How on earth can I worry about such simple things? Oh my God, his eyes are crossed. Oh my God, he hasn't pooped.  Oh my God, he's crying. Oh my God, is he breathing? Oh thank God, he's breathing. It doesn't help the situation that he's a preemie and he might face some obstacles in development over the next year, so pair that "extra" worry with "natural" worry, and you are in serious need of Botox. A whole case of it. Tony does a good job of attempting to keep me calm, but he remains defeated. I do my best to keep a level head, and I know the worrying won't stop, but maybe there's a 12 step program I can join to help manage the insanity? My latest worry, (and he'll kill me when he's a teenager for sharing this with you) is that one of his testicles retracted. WHAT?? You might as well have told me that one of his eyeballs retracted, or an arm, or a foot. It's that serious to me! I'm sure some of you can say you know someone with that experience, and I'm sure the problem will correct itself, but seriously?? As if I have time to worry whether or not my boy will spend his life as a Eunuch.  A little dramatic, I know, but hey, it's me. Everybody, please pray for my son's testicle.

So, that concludes the experiences over the last month. Could've been more dramatic, could've been less. Either way, we're adapting to parenthood as best we know how. The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful little boy who shows us miracles everyday.  I love watching our little man grow and change, and I can't wait for those milestones to start, so the gallstones can stop. Be assured I will record every last beautiful moment with him to share with long as they don't happen in the back seat mirror of my car. 


© Apples + Arrows. Powered by