Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slow Down Baby!

This week Connor has delighted, terrified, and creeped me out with a boat-load of new milestones and accomplishments.

It didn't take Connor long to go from a wriggly, scrunchy army crawl to a full-on up on the hands a knees crawl. As you might have gathered from my previous post, I completely underestimated his abilities and got quite a shock the other day.

When I take a shower I put on a Baby Einstein DVD, surround him in toys and wash as quickly as I can. Usually when I come out he is sitting there peacefully playing with his toys and glancing up at the tv from time to time. THIS time, though, I heard hear him crying the moment I turned off the shower spray....but the cries sound strangely distant. I rushed out of the bathroom, towelless, and discover that he is NOT at all where I left him. I can still hear him crying though. A few frantic seconds later I found him in the kitchen, crawling, crying, and obviously looking for me. The moment he saw me his sobs halted and he rewarded me with a big smile. He plopped himself on his rear and raised his arms up for me. I tried to give him a hug but apparently he isn't fond of getting squeezed by a wet, terrified mommy.

The potted plant phase is officially over!!!

I don't have a video of the new crawl yet because he is ultra-sneaky ninja baby and does most of his crawling when I am not looking or when I don't have a recording device handy. If I bring one out he just stares at it in fascination and tries to take it from me.

I bet I could make some money designing various electronics (cameras, video cameras, cell phones, etc) that looked so boring that babies and small children would ignore them altogether. Like a cloaking device for your cool, expensive, highly breakable stuff. Of course, they wouldn't appeal to a lot of shoppers since people are all about the shiny, but at least SOME people prefer practical to pretty. I'd have my niche market...and I'd be my own customer!

You would have thought with the crawling I would have learned my lesson, but no, I still struggle with thinking of Connor as the little baby that can't get around on his own.

At night I put him in a sleep sack because he can't really crawl well in it and he tends to wake up less with his head jammed up against the bars of his crib because he crawled himself into a corner in his sleep. Assuming that because he can't crawl that he can't move in other ways is a fallacy, though. Something I learned the other morning when I went to get him up for the day and found him standing up in his crib, silently staring at me. It was very Children Of The Corn creepy....perhaps because I wasn't expecting it, or perhaps because he was so quiet...or maybe it was the way the shadows of the room fell across his face and the only thing I could see of his expression in the dim light was the wet glint of his eyes...

Maybe I just have too verdant of an imagination. "Connor?" I questioned nervously. "DADA!" he greeted me enthusiastically. It was just Connor after all, not some alien changeling child. Yay!

Oh, and since I've mentioned it I should tell you that Connor has finally said Momma!! It isn't something he says often and it is obvious he isn't actually referring to me. In fact, I am fairly certain he thinks my name is Dada...anyway...He makes this face that makes him look like a little old man. He sucks his lips in over his gums and smacks his mouth. It reminds me of my dad when he takes his teeth out. While making this face, Connor often coos and goes MomMomMomMom....which COUNTS dammit. He said Momma! I'm taking it!

He hit another milestone that I probably wouldn't have noticed or counted if it weren't in the books. He's banging objects together! It DOES make me giggle when he does it because sometimes in an effort to look at both items at the same time he ends up crossing his eyes and then toppling over. Am I bad for laughing at that?

He doesn't fall over in this video, but it's still pretty cute.

The other big thing he's done is that he's learned to wave Bye Bye!! I don't know why it delights me so much, but I feel like squealing every time I see him do it. It is incredibly adorable! He did it for the first time at the park the other day...and then again at daycare. Now he even does it for the mirror, which just makes me want to squish him it's so cute.

I guess part of why I am so happy is that NOT waving is an early warning sign for Autism, one of my last big developmental fears. I've had no real reason to suspect autism from Connor, as he is an incredibly happy and social child....but a mother worries.

I am thrilled at all these new developments, but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a little overwhelmed by how fast he is changing and MORE than a little nervous at the thought that he could be walking soon. I feel ALMOST as scared and unprepared for a toddler as I did for a baby before he was born. I survived having an infant, so hopefully I can survive having a toddler.

Wish me luck!

oh...and for today's cuteness: Connor enjoying some CHEESE!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Holy Crap!

Connor's parenting lesson for my today: Never underestimate the achievable distance of an unsupervised crawler.

...I am going to go restock my heart medication now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bad Blogging Mom! Bad!

I haven't been keeping up with the blog lately. I could offer a lot of excuses about being busy or what-not, but lets just be honest here. Once I get Connor down for the night I pump, watch a little t.v. and then crash. All of my online and offline activites have suffered.

Why am I so tired lately? Is it the renewed breastfeeding? The newly mobile 8 month old? Just the daily grind wearing me down? I really can't say. My friends who are meddling around in the dating world keep telling me how they met so-and-so person and spoke with them on the phone for six, seven, eight hours at a time.

I can not IMAGINE having the time OR the energy to talk to someone that long. Lately I find I am brusque on phone-calls even when I have the time to chat, which is rare in itself. Those moments where I DON'T have to be someone's mommy, co-worker, or supportive friend and family member are so brief that I tend to guard them a bit jealously. Yay for silence!

Anyway, so I've missed out on telling you guys a lot of exciting things.

First: Connor has teeth now! The first one came in on the 3rd (bottom left) and the 2nd one about a week later (bottom right). They are completely adorable!

Next: Connor had his first Easter! And on his first Easter he had his first pancake! He loved it. Looooooved it. I was breaking off little bits and putting them in his mouth, but I wasn't doing it fast enough for him so I put a few pieces in front of him on the table for him to work with...but even that wasn't good enough. He wanted a BIG piece! There was a large bit of pancake I was breaking the smaller pieces off of and before I could stop him, he swooped down and shoved the ENTIRE THING in his mouth! Of course it all crumbled to bits, so it wasn't a choking WAS rather cute. Fortunately Laura and Mala caught the little thief on camera.

After that was the egg-hunt. I learned a lot about the savagery of children! Kids can be brutal....and, 30 waist-high munchkins can be a little scary when they’re frothing at the mouth to get at the brightly colored plastic that happens to be nestled in the grass patch in front of your feet. I was nearly knocked over in the tidal wave.

Fortunately Connor and I were able to find a quiet spot for him to pick up his very own egg.

When the hunt was over, Connor got to meet the Easter Bunny. I don't think he found the giant white bunny with the weird face charming.

Then we all retired to Gram Gram Adrienne's house for a little dancing and play.

The next day Connor got to go to his Paw Paw's house and hang out with him for a while. They had a lot of fun together.

There are a lot more pictures in my Easter Album, so feel free to check them out!

Last but not least, there is more big thing to share. Are you ready? Are you sitting? Can you bear the wait?

Connor is crawling! My little tub-o-baby-lard has finally gotten mobile. Not much...mostly just a few inches at a time. It's really more of a scrunch scoot than a crawl, but what the heck! It counts!

and of COURSE I have video evidence!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Bad Day For Breastfeeding

As I was gathering together everything I needed for work the other day I came to a sudden, unpleasant realization. Yet another of my valves was missing. Yes, I know that sounds dirty. I am referring to THIS. A small, rubber, easily lost part of my breast pump. I have 3 pump horns (2 for use at work and 1 for home) and NOW only 1 valve to use between them. I would need to hold onto that valve very carefully until I could buy more. I finished packing my pump parts and headed off to work.

When 9am rolled around I went to the room my work has designated for me to do my pumping. A small, cramped, overly warm storage closet where I produce baby food crammed in between paint cans and boxes of computer paper. Within inches of where I sit there is a circuit box that has a dire warning label printed on the door stating that you MUST turn off ALL power before touching the box or severe injury or death WILL be the result. I keep worrying that might hand might accidentally brush it one day and bzzzt! No more me! As you might imagine, this isn't my favorite time of day. By the time I finish I am usually sweating and feel dirtier coming out than I did going in...and relieved to still be alive, of course.

As I settled into the thinly padded office chair I was able to scavenge out of a pile of chairs that were meant for donation due to the fact that they were terribly uncomfortable, I came to another unpleasant realization. When I pack my pump parts I usually pull them out of the dishwasher still wet so I wrap them in a plastic bag to keep them from dripping all over the electrical parts. Apparently the bag I had gotten that day had carried dirt or some other debris previously because ALL of my pump parts were covered in some fine, black, grainy substance.

With a sigh, I rose and carried everything into the break room kitchen and dumped it all into the sink to be re-washed. A male co-worker was there and, curious, came over to see what I was doing. He started making some remark about me having a party (he obviously mistook my bottles for cups) until he saw what was in the sink. His words dried up and he became rather nervous and uncomfortable. I would have been amused if I wasn't already so irritated.

Once my pump was clean again, I locked myself in my closet and made my ounces. I did unusually well and almost entirely filled the 4oz bottle I brought. I reached into my bag, eager to put a secure lid on all that precious, difficultly obtained milk when...oh yes, another unpleasant realization. I hadn't washed the bottle lids and it was covered in that same dirt.

I sighed. I had a dilemma. Take my pump with me to the kitchen to wash the lid or leave the pump in the closet and risk that it would somehow get tipped over in the time that I was away. My luck wasn't working very well for me thus far so I decided I should take it with me.

As I walked into the break room I saw a man...not just any man, though. A co-worker that I am inexplicably attracted to, despite his obvious inappropriateness for me....and there I was with my pump full of fresh body fluids. As I walked past him, I saw him glance at my hand but I turned it away from him so he couldn't get a good look at what I had. I set the pump down next to the water cooler on the opposite him so he couldn't see it. He smiled and greeted at me, and then to my mortified horror, stepped over to the water cooler to fill his glass. As he approached he saw what I had tried to conceal. My milky, drippy pump, sitting there like a carnival freak-show display next to the nice, clean water he had hoped to pour in his cup. The poor guy was taken off guard and obviously didn't know what to do. What he DID NOT do was get water. What he DID do was back up like he had seen a snake and apologized to me as though he had accidentally walked in on me taking off my clothes. I leapt over, grabbed my milky shame, and fled the room. Fortunately during the exchange I DID manage to rinse off my bottle cap so I was able crouch in the privacy of my closet and get everything sorted out before returning to my desk.

Noon soon crept up and it was time for me to leave and go to my daily lunch date with my son. He eats, and I'm happy just to avoid that extra session with the evil pump. Unfortunately, as I was leaving a co-worker asked for my help. I couldn't just leave and the task had me out the door 15 minutes later than usual.

I didn't TRY to make up the time by speeding, but I guess the thought of my hungry child crying at the window and wondering where his lunch mommy was made me put a little more pressure on the gas pedal than I intended. But, it's ok. A police officer was kind enough to stop me on my way and let me know that yes, in fact I WAS speeding and oh, I would have to pay a large fine for it too. Yay!

Now I was almost half an hour behind schedule and I had images of Connor's hollowed little cheeks pressed to the glass and little dried tears in the corners of his sad eyes.

But, what I found when I got there was not a starving waif, but a sleeping infant. A DEEPLY sleeping infant. The daycare told me that they tried to keep him up as long as possible but he refused to stay awake. I didn't want to wake him up so I left...surprisingly depressed that I didn't get to spend that time with him, but at least secure enough in that, since my mother would be picking him up that day, they could go ahead and feed him his afternoon bottle when he woke and she could make him a formula bottle to replace the one he'd already eaten.

Except, she COULDN'T make him that formula bottle if I left with the diaper bag that had the formula in it. I had to turn back when I was already halfway to work. I have a small dent in my face from where I slapped myself on the forhead.

Once I was back on the road and headed to the office a 2nd time, it occurred to me....I would now have to add a pumping session. Unfortunately, I didn't have an extra bottle to pump into. I couldn't just mix two bottles together to give myself an empty one because, if you remember, I almost filled that first bottle during my morning session.

I turned around again and decided I would just pump at the house and get back to work a little later...

...and I managed to get my home pump washed, put together and ALLLMOST ready to go before I realized OH! My ONE AND ONLY valve is AT WORK.

I was rather late back to work and once there, I couldn't go straight to my desk because I still had to have that lunch pumping session.

As I sat in my uncomfortable chair, sweating and trying to avoid being electrocuted I wondered...

This whole breastfeeding thing. Is it really worth it?