The baby is escaping now

IMG_20160521_090154

We’ve long preferred to just allow Sebastian to sleep in our bed – both at nighttime and for naps.

Now this has gotten a lot harder. He is able to crawl off the bed and escape into the floor.

We still let him sleep on the bed, we just have to be extra vigilant and fetch him when he wakes up.

Tommy’s paternity leave

20160221_214946
Just go back to work already!

So we are really lucky that Tommy gets a great deal of time off for paternity leave.

However, every time Tommy is off we are usually fighting the first couple of days.

Why? Well because with Tommy it’s like having another child. A messier, whiny-er, and less cute child.

For example, this round of paternity leave, on the first day, Tommy criticized how I was cleaning our cloth diapers. (Because Bash is starting solid foods his poop consistency has changed, so I have to clean his diapers a bit differently now). After the diaper laundry, Tommy complained that he was tired. WTF. Then, he wanted lunch. But he needed something with meat. Not to mention he leaves his socks and dirty cups in random places. Good grief.

So we got into a fight. I was definitely more crabby, and Tommy of course got extra mad because I was a crab. It’s a change in both of our routines, so we need to adjust. We discussed the matter and decided that I would give Tommy specific tasks to be responsible for during his leave. As long as the outcome was good, I wouldn’t harass him on how he accomplished it, and vice versa. Since then everything has been going smoother.

Messy eating

20160526_115254

Since Bash has started on solids (Gah, I’m not ready!) I’ve tried to let him be as involved as possible with mealtime. I encourage him to help hold his spoon and bring it to his mouth. This often leads to a huge gooey mess. I hate messes because I have to clean them up, but I think it’s important that Bash be allowed to practice feeding himself and to explore the texture of his food.

My family, Tommy’s family, and most surprisingly Tommy himself, are not fans.

One night Bash finished his solids and was getting grumpy. I asked Tommy to take the baby out of his chair and give him some floor time. Tommy then said, “But he’s dirty!”

OMG.

WTF!

In my head I got so mad. No shit he’s dirty. Wash him off. Duh! Kids get dirty. It’s just a fact.

I talked to Tommy about it later and he explained that he has an issue with touching messy food. Suddenly things started to make sense. No wonder he sometimes uses a fork and knife to eat a burger or some pizza.

I definitely have a bit of an ick issue with messy foods, but my love of food outweighs that. Tommy’s doesn’t apparently.

Now more than ever I want to let the baby touch his food. I don’t want him to grow up feeling icky around hot wings, and I hope I can slowly get Tommy to overcome his squeamishness as well. I love hot wings, and they are even better when shared with other people!

Sebastian Goes to the Zoo

IMG_20160515_104400

A few weeks ago we got an LA Zoo pass and took Sebastian to the zoo. Did he get anything out of it? Probably not.

He did seem to have a good time overall though, even if he did not understand anything. He was asleep for large parts of it. Sebastian wasn’t actually into the animals very much. He was more into the plants.

I think Mary and I had a better time than Sebastian, though I was very tired afterwards. It got us out of the house!

Sebastian bit me

Earlier this week Bash seemed different…less smiley and definitely too quiet. Something was up with him. Then yesterday, he would have random crying outbursts, and I realized he was having bad teething pain. When I looked in his mouth I could see a tooth about to poke out!!! Tommy didn’t believe me of course. (Not sure what it is with the guy never believing the girl. It happens in paranormal movies all of the time. The guy is skeptical and he ends up dying first.)

20160510_101721I gave Bash extra cuddles that day and as many teethers as I could find. Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly actually, he seems to favor the cheapest ones we own. It’s a set of 3 teethers with water inside that can be made cold in the fridge. They are the Bright Starts brand. We found ours at Target but they also have them on Amazon and all of the big chain stores I’m sure. The only downside is that I often forget to bring them with me when we are out, so wearing a teething necklace has been a big help. Then Bash can chew the necklace as I carry him rather than my shirt or the straps of his carrier.

This morning, Bash was much happier when he woke up, though still a bit quiet. After story time at the library I started to feed him when the little douche bit me! I’m sure many of you are familiar with the “Charlie bit me” clip on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPDYj3IMkRI). It literally happened like that. Too bad it was my boob and not my finger. And for the record, new baby teeth are razor sharp. Sharper than adult teeth which have been dulled by all of the delicious food we eat. I removed Bash from the boob and said, “No! Biting hurts Mommy.” We then went to get some groceries. He seemed calm but alert and a bit playful. I caught him watching me on multiple occasions, and honestly I saw a new look on his face. It seemed as if he finally understood something. Bash is almost 6 months so maybe some new things are clicking in his brain from a growth spurt. Anyway, we had a good time bonding and shopping for snacks for Mommy.

When we got home I reoffered the feeding and there was no biting! At this point either the teething pain had gone or Bash was hungry enough to just suck and not mess around. In any case, he drank his fill and then fell asleep for a long nap. I even caught a bit of a snooze as well!

How my husband saved my first Mother’s Day

IMG_20160508_185231

I love holidays. I always have. Probably because gifts are often involved and lots of good food that I normally would not get to eat. I build things up so much in my head that I usually get upset when things don’t go my way.

My first Mother’s Day was sure to be a disappointment. I wanted an awesome gift from my “son,” a magazine worthy picture of him and I, breakfast in bed, the apartment to be magically spotless, a massage, sleep, and to look the way I did before I had a baby. In all honesty, I had the opportunity to have each and every one of those things except for looking the way I did before the baby (that would take too much work and I don’t care enough to put in the money or effort). Tommy was willing to make it all possible, and yet I was a crab. I’m not sure why. Part of it must be hormones, another part is my unfortunate perfectionist personality. I also think I wanted Tommy to just know that I wanted these things. But instead my morning was ruined because he asked me what I wanted. I know it makes no sense. I guess sometimes I just want to be surprised, and if people ask what I want then a) it’s not a surprise and b) I feel guilty for accepting anything.

Some of the things that went “wrong”:

  • I had Tommy help me stamp the baby’s foot onto paper to make flowers for his two grannies. And I made a spare one for me. Well one of them didn’t come out so well so I took that one. It looked pretty sad so I didn’t bother to decorate it the way I did for my Mom. No present for me.
  • I didn’t get surprised with breakfast in bed or flowers. I didn’t even get to sleep in until 7 am.
  • My day was filled with chores: diaper laundry, regular laundry, mopping and vacuuming
  • My family was extremely last minute about deciding where and when we would eat for dinner.

Some of the things that went right:

  • While I was in the shower, Tommy kept saying he “enhanced” my set of baby footprints. It sounded worrisome, but when I looked he wrote a very sweet note and added stems and grass. It became my favorite picture out of the three!20160509_093836
  •  Tommy did ask me if I wanted special food for breakfast and offered to let me sleep while he watched the baby. I was too mad because he asked so I said “no.” My fault, not his.
  • Tommy helped me do the chores and the place ended up spotless. He hung the diapers properly (in a way that preserves the elastics…Sounds crazy but if you are a cloth diaper lover I’m sure you understand), took over the vacuuming, and even cleaned the bathroom. All without complaining.
  • He was a sport about hanging out with my family, and he even stayed up late playing games with my sister and I, which made things way more fun.

I learned two things from yesterday. First, I need to stop being such an ungrateful brat. Nothing was wrong about yesterday except for me. My Mom was happy, my family was having a great time playing with the baby, and my son was showering us all with smiles. Second, I have an awesome husband who somehow manages to put up with my crap.

Tommy, thank you for dealing with my crazy mood swings and for making me feel special on my first Mother’s Day and every day. I love you!

20160509_072606

Babyproofing: My favorite couch went away

IMG_20160422_092940 (2)
Before

Mary made me get rid of my favorite couch – my futon couch made of solid wood. It folded down awesome for sleeping guests. It was awesome.

But the slats and sliding mechanism didn’t seem the most baby safe. And I can’t argue with that logic. So it had to go.

Ultimately, we ended up replacing it with a new couch that seems somewhat safer. Probably. I miss my old couch.

After
After

Our Smoking Neighbor

IMG_20160501_105638

One evening while Sebastian was sleeping in the bedroom, Mary went in and smelled smoke. She freaked out. She was so mad. She told me we had to move immediately. This is because she had read this pamphlet (from the CDC) about secondhand smoke that stated:

No amount of secondhand smoke is safe. Even when you can’t smell it, cigarette smoke can still harm your child.

Opening a window or using a fan does not protect children.

I had recently installed a window fan to intake fresh air from the outside, so unfortunately, it also started intaking the cigarette smoke from our smoking neighbor (who smokes once a week or so). She was hopping mad and demanded we move immediately. So I reversed the fan flow (to exhaust) and emailed our pediatrician.

The pediatrician basically said: so long as you are closing windows, using fans to blow in fresh air, and staying away from neighbors who smoke, it’s fine.

This was a much more moderate stance than the CDC pamphlet, which is pretty hardline. Since Mary trusts our pediatrician, I think I have successfully deferred moving from our awesome rent-controlled apartment for another half year. Whew.

My takeaways:

  1. Most window fans can either intake our exhaust. Use exhaust for where the baby is sleeping to not bring in outside smoke.
  2. If the smoking source is occasional (once a week in our case), remote (not in our apartment, somewhere in our complex), and we can shut the window / blow air out, it’s fine.

Sleep Training basically worked

20160420_090234

Last time I posted about sleep training, I said we basically gave it up. Actually, after a few days, we modified it just a bit with great success.

The modification is this: Follow the sleep training, but if the baby sounds scared or distressed, go in and soothe immediately.

Sebastian has two types of cries:

  1. Fussing, frustrated “Why can’t I sleep” cry.
  2. Scared, distressed, in-pain cry.

If it’s the first type, we follow the sleep training, and allow him to try, checking on him in intervals. If it’s the second type, we go in to soothe him immediately. This is pretty successful, and he falls asleep pretty well (usually within 10 minutes).

I will say – Mary often doesn’t use sleep training, and opts to lay next to him and boob him to sleep. Since I don’t have that tool, I resort to sleep training, and it works for me.

I (almost) miss being pregnant

I have a friend who is 36 weeks along. She started experiencing nausea again and asked if it was a sign of impending labor.

I told her that it could be her body starting to get rid of any excess waste before the baby comes, or she could have just eaten something funny. So many things can make a pregnant woman throw up. What I didn’t tell her was that her question made me…jealous?

Not sure if jealous is the right word. But I actually miss being that pregnant. It seemed as if the entire world new and cared about me. Strangers wanted to share in my joy. The anticipation was annoying at times, but mostly exciting.

As soon as my son was born, the attention immediately shifted from me to him. Granted, that’s how things should be, but it was (and still is) hard to accept sometimes. I carried and pushed this kid out, yet I am expected to care for him 24/7 and recover at the same time while everyone else just gives me unwanted advice and gets to do the fun things with him.

I miss not knowing how he would look or what his personality would be like.

I miss still having the freedom to go out without worrying if I left enough pumped milk at home.

That being said, I also remember wishing that it would be the day after I gave birth. Labor would be over and I would finally get to hold my baby in my arms.

20160411_180247

It’s been 5 months, and although my son is an attention hog, my husband’s side of the family often comments on his big eyes, which the baby gets from me. So in a way, I still get attention right?

I honestly don’t quite know how the baby will look or act as he is constantly packing on the pounds and revealing new aspects of his personality. Every week it’s like being with a new kid.

While I still worry about the pumped milk, I’m also getting sad as the 6 month mark gets closer. We will be starting him on solids then. Although breast milk will still be the majority of his diet, in a month it will slowly decrease. We struggled with breastfeeding the first month, and now that we are able to do it I think I get just as much comfort and joy from it as the baby does.

I guess this means I want to have another baby, though maybe I should wait until I’ve gotten one full night of sleep first!