Tuesday, August 25, 2009

he's taking over

Before I got pregnant and we made the stereotypical move to the suburbs, we had a great house in the city. Philadelphia to be exact. We loved city life and took full advantage of all that it offers… great restaurants, bars, culture, shopping, on so on. We rarely used our cars and loved being able to walk or catch cabs nearly everywhere we needed to go. Our house was very typical for “young professionals”… hip furniture and all. The hubby and I both love decorating, and we took great pride in making everything “just so”. We both hate clutter and, for the most part, kept the house quite tidy.

The move to the suburbs afforded us about 2x’s the house, meaning 2x’s the decorating. Having moved in about 6 months before our little guy came along, we went to town with furnishing and decorating the house. We of course set up his nursery, but the rest of the house we foolishly furnished to our tastes and needs. We have both a formal living room and a family room. To my husband’s dismay, I declared no TV in the living room. However, I gave him free reign of the family room. His flat screen was quickly set up, with all of the necessary surround-sound components. He brought our great “hip” sectional from the Philly house and added a very cool arm chair. He was thrilled with the results. Knowing that baby would be coming soon, and that we would likely be spending a good deal of time in the family room during the first few weeks/months, we left a little space at one end of the room for a pack n’ play and swing.

After he was born, the baby “things” began to multiply… pack n’ play and swing turned into pack n’ play, swing, bouncer, diaper genie, hamper, exersaucer, bumbo, activity mat, toys and so on. As the months have passed, the “things” continue to multiply. Some items (that he has outgrown) have been rotated out, but they have just been replaced by more and BIGGER. The little space we had set aside at the end of the room has turned into an all out playroom, and this playroom is rapidly taking over my husband’s beloved TV room. So I have been forced to give in and reconsider my “no TV in the living room” rule. What was once our TV room now clearly belongs to our little guy and the flat screen is moving out into my formal living room.

As my husband measured wall space and played around with different furniture arrangements in the living room on Sunday, I looked around the house… books, games, push carts and toys were everywhere. Our decor could certainly no longer be described as “hip young professionals.” No, the house now loudly screams “family”… and I would not want it any other way.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


While out shopping last week, we made a quick stop in Toys R Us. We were not looking for anything in particular. The hubby came across a blue push car and thought it would be fun to let our little guy cruise around in it while in the store. As we buckled him into the seat, his face just lit up… he loved it. He held onto the steering wheel and waved to other customers as we pushed him around the store. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), because there were no batteries in it yet, the horn did not work. Regardless, he banged away on it like it did! After circling the store repeatedly, we headed back to the aisle where my husband originally found the car. As I began to unbuckle our little guy, the tears started… as I lifted him out of the car, it turned to all out wailing. This being the first time that my hubby and I ever experienced this type of reaction to something our son wanted in a store, it caught us off-guard and we both quickly said, “ok, ok… we’ll get the car!”, as we buckled him right back in.

While not a planned purchased, the car has been one of our best buys yet. Little one just can’t get enough of it. It has replaced his stroller as his primary means of transport for walks around town. He loves sitting back in it, one hand on the steering wheel. In the pic here he is standing up, turned around backwards in it. Inadvertently, his little behind kept hitting the horn on the steering wheel... beep, beep-beeeep... he could not figure out where it was coming from and kept cracking up. Hilarious.

For such a little guy, he is pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

heading out

Only 10-months old and he is already making a run for it! ;-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

surviving colic

The first couple of weeks after we brought our little guy home from the hospital were a breeze. He nursed and slept… slept and nursed. The whole newborn thing was a piece of cake… or so I thought. I clearly remember telling someone on the phone, “I can’t believe how easy this all is!” Then one day it all changed… drastically.

It was right around our little guy’s third week. My husband had to be in NYC for business so he was off early for the day. I got up with the baby, ready for another day of nursing, sleeping, changing, repeat. The baby had an entirely different idea for the day. The crying started mid-morning… and progressed to inconsolable screaming shortly thereafter. I tried all that I could think of to soothe him… breast, rocking, pacifier, swaying, stroller ride, and so on. Nothing worked. After three plus hours of crying, and countless calls to my husband demanding that he come home now, I called the pediatrician. I explained to the nurse the morning we were having, and she told me, “It sounds like it could be the beginning of colic.” That dreaded word. No, it absolutely was not colic. It had to be something else. Being convinced that there had to be something wrong, I made an appointment to bring him in.

There was nothing “wrong”… it was colic… and it wasn’t going away anytime soon.
To say dealing with colic is a challenge is an understatement. It is hard… very hard. The worst we experienced was eight hours of straight crying. I remember moments of complete physical and emotional exhaustion where I would put the little guy in his bouncer… still crying of course… and just curl up on the floor next to him and cry myself. As a mother, it is incredibly difficult to not be able to soothe your child. All you want to do is make it all better.

Determined to at least make my son as comfortable as possible and to lessen the colic (and resulting crying) to whatever degree I could, I sought out every tip and trick I could find. My first move was to make drastic changes to my diet (since I was breastfeeding). I cut out all dairy, acidic and spicy foods. I started seeing almost immediate results. I turned to music and rhythmic motion. One of the best tricks we learned (actually a favorite of my husband’s) was to bounce on an inflated exercise ball, while holding baby. We bounced for hours! We never tried the car seat on top of the dryer trick (which some moms swear by!), but we did on occasion find ourselves on extended destination-less drives through our neighborhood. The sound and vibration of the engine running would usually calm the little guy down… key word being usually. Night after night and week after week, my husband and I took turns swaying and shushing, rocking and walking.

All the books tell you the same things… there is no real known cause for colic… there is no real no known cure for colic… and that more often than not it is gone by three months. I was cautious in believing the last point, but maintained hope that it was true. Thankfully, for us, it was. Almost as quickly as it started, it subsided. Seemingly overnight, our little guy was a whole new baby.
Even though he is just ten months now, those times now seem like a distant memory. I have to really think back to remember how difficult it was. He is such a happy and easy-going baby, full of smiles and giggles. He brings more joy to our lives than we could have ever dreamed possible.

Colic is hard… very hard. While going through it, one might wonder how they are ever going to survive it… but they will… and it will all be worth it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

separation anxiety

I am a working mom, so (although it is not my favorite thing in the world) my little guy goes to daycare. He is with either my parents or my in-laws two days a week, but then goes to an actual daycare for three. I love love love his daycare. He was going to a different place when I first returned to work, but we since changed…. And could not be happier. It is a small private program, that some might describe as a little crunchy. They focus on a creative curriculum (which still baffles me considering he is only 10 months old) and spend a good deal of the day outside in the play area or veggie garden. He comes home dirty just as a little boy should… not dirty as in unclean, but dirty as in he has been play play playing all day long.

Most mornings when I drop him off the routine stays fairly consistent… one of the morning caregivers scoop him out of my arms upon arrival (they just can’t get enough of his cheeks!) and take him to play as I sign him in and chat briefly with the other girls on staff. I then give him a big kiss goodbye, he gives me the “you can totally leave because I am having a good time with my friends" look, and I head on my way. Well, not this morning. After I gave him a kiss on his head, his eyes began to well up and before I knew it he was in full on tears. My first instinct was to scoop him into my arms and walk right out the door with him. Somehow I was able to hold back, realizing that this was his first demonstration of separation anxiety. One of the girls picked him and took him to another area to play, trying to distract him as I walked out the door. It took all my strength to leave him for the day. I cried a bit on my way to work, but found comfort in the fact that he was upset because I was leaving… mehis mom. It feels good to know that he feels the connection just as strongly as I do.

Man, I love my little guy… I can’t wait to be pick him up in an hour and give him the biggest hug in the world!!