Thursday, October 8, 2015

It's the Great Pumpkin, Liam Albert!

Do you ever feel like you can't get life under control? Like, when do things stop being busy? (When you're dead, I suppose.)

In any case, I do have a few small excuses as to why I haven't been blogging as frequently. For one, I am starting a new job in a couple of weeks, which means things at my current gig have been hectic as I wrap things up. (I have a thing about leaving people in a bad spot). For another, I have been traveling for basically two months. I get home from a trip and spend the week catching up from said trip, then have to leave again. Woe is me, I know. But honestly, it's not always as glamorous as it sounds.

Tomorrow, I am headed to Sausalito, California to see one of my best friends get married! I'm going solo on the trip, so Bryan and Liam will be having a boys weekend here in Chicago! Bryan mentioned he would take Liam to the Pumpkin Patch while I was gone. To which I quickly replied, "Oh no you're not!"

Here's the thing. Literally every fall, I try to get Bryan to go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard with me. To know me is to know I LOVE fall - everything about it. And he never goes, because he doesn't share my sentiments. So not only is he planing to go on an excursion which he doesn't really care about, he's going to take Liam on his first trip to somewhere I LOVE? Nope. Sorry, it ain't happening.

When we had this discussion, we happened to be home in Iowa visiting my sister and my newest niece: Serena Grace! Isn't she amazing!?

So while we were home, we thought it'd be a great family activity to go see the local pumpkin patch! It had a great play area for kids, a corn maze, and of course, pumpkins. We piled in and headed there with all the grandparents, nieces, nephew and of course, Liam. 

 Everything was a hit, for the most part. Except that it was 80 degrees and Liam was hot. Liam HATES to be hot. So literally, everything we tried to do with him to enjoy this great first time at the pumpkin patch - was met with a screaming child.

Lucky for us, there were other children there (my nieces, specifically) who could enjoy all of the offerings of the pumpkin patch, so I spent time with them and handed my fussy child off to the grandparents. :)

In the end, I got my way since I could experience one of my favorite fall activities with my son, and also my parents, in-laws, nieces and nephew. 

Next time though? Because there WILL be a next time. We're going when it's cooler.

Monday, October 5, 2015

An Open Letter to My Boobs

Well, girls. What can I say?

I guess I'll start with thank you. Thank you for allowing me to nurse Liam. I know how hard that can be for some women. I was worried before he arrived that you might fail me, but when the physical part of nursing came easily to us, I was so proud of you, girls! I knew that some day, your ridiculous size (a quality I've never liked about you) might come in handy. You didn't let me down.

Speaking of let downs, I have a bone to pick with you, Boobs. When Liam went on a nursing strike a few months ago, which caused me to have to pump exclusively for going-on three months now - why did you girls insist on being so stubborn? Why have you put me under so much stress, making me freak out and stress over clogged ducts, no let downs, my inability to empty you and lack of supply?
I know it was a sad day that fateful morning when Liam screamed at the sight of you. It made me feel bad, too. But that's no reason to just give up, is it?

For months now, Boobs, you've been playing mind games with me. "How much milk should we give her today?" I can just hear you both snickering to each other as I hook myself up to that damn pump for the umpteenth time, hopeful that for a let down (or two).

At least four times each day, I sit down, looking forward to our time together, confident you'll work hard for me, for the baby. And each day, ladies, especially lately, you disappoint me. I sit, and I pump, and I speak to you kindly. I give you warmth, good food, lots of vitamins and supplements, and plenty to drink to keep you full.

And still, you give me the silent treatment. (Except for those times when the only noise you make is a boob fart.)
I'm starting to think you really just like the intense massages I have to give you for the entire 30 minutes of our sessions together, since that seems to be the only way to get you do anything at all.

And hey, left boob? Why are you so damn lazy? Your sister on the right shows up to work every day, doing about twice, sometimes three times the work you do in a 24-hour period. Get it together, would you?

I'm sorry for everything you've gone through the last 9.5 months. I know it hasn't been easy, what with all the clogged ducts, engorgement and bleeding you've experienced. I'm sorry for those times when the baby reared his head back during a feeding session, and didn't let go of the nipple first.
I'm only asking for a couple more months of this. Less, if you can start to work harder. Can we do it? Can you just work with me a little while longer?

After that (and after the next kid...and maybe one more after that...), I cross my heart and hope to die: I will pay for the nicest face lift money can buy. You've got my word.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Liam {9 Months Old}

    With each passing month, I'm becoming more and more aware that Liam is slowly but surely turning into a little boy - and losing his "babyness." He has such a personality. He is super smart, independent, funny and determined. He knows when to turn on the charm and when to turn on the sass. He has both of us wrapped around his little finger, and he knows it! He keeps us busy and on our toes, and we have so much fun!

    At Liam's 9-month well visit, he weighed 20lbs, 2oz and is 28 inches long! He's growing perfectly! Everyone always tells me how huge he is, but I feel like he's pretty average size wise. He's in 58th percentile for weight, 35th for height, and his head is still in the 88th percentile, LOL. I hope he gets a growth spurt soon for his height, but if not, oh well. Being short is just fine, especially he's healthy!

    New Milestones/Skills
    • Points - This is hysterical, actually. He looks just holds his arm out and open his hand, most of the time at nothing. We get a kick out of it
    • Dances - To music from toys and from phones, the TV, etc. It's so cute! (see video)
    • Knee crawls - He chooses whether or not to use his knees or "swim" (army crawl on his belly) depending on how fast he wants to get somewhere.
    • Responds to "no" - He used to laugh when we said no, but now he is starting to listen! Unless he's doing something really naughty or dangerous, we try our best to gently say "No thank you," and explain why he shouldn't be doing whatever he's doing. Most of the time, he's trying to play with something he shouldn't be. The only times we sternly say no are really when he tries to throw himself off the changing table in dispair {eye roll emoji} or when he tries to stand up in the bathtub.
    • Opens and closes things - Loves to open/close toys that have this function, turn pages in the book, open/close drawers and doors.
    • Responds to "come here" - I often tell him to come with me somewhere and he just scoots behind me. It's adorable!
    • Says Mama, Dada and Baba - mostly Dada and Baba, but I get a few ma'am's now and then! Melts my heart.
    • Waves hi and bye - He started this last month, but now he will wave on his own and when prompted.
    • Recognizes himself - In the mirror, in the oven door, on the fridge, in photos - he sees himself, gets SUPER happy, and sometimes gives himself a kiss. Little narcissist!  
    • Imitates people - He is working on this - if you show him something or tell him to do something, he tries to do it, too. He's great at clicking his tongue!
    • Shows separation anxiety - Luckily, not too bad. He cries when our nanny leaves, and sometimes when we leave for work. He's a little leery of strangers, but usually doesn't cry. He gets sad when we have just gotten home from work and have been holding him and try to set him down. Hoping it doesn't get much worse than this!
    • Working on pincer grasp - He's doing great with most finger foods! Addy has learned where to camp out and when for lots of dropped foods :)
    • Exaggerates his mood - He plays up every emotion and can go from happy to PISSED in .001 seconds.
    • Sharing - not quite there, but he'll try to give us something (like his paci) when we ask for it
    Liam is learning new little "things" every day, and once we show him positive attention for these quirks, he does them over and over again!
    • Initiating games of peek-a-boo - he pulls himself to stand, then squats down behind a table and when you ask "Where's Liam?" he pops up! He also covers his face with blankets and plays that way. It's obviously adorable!
    • Looking at pictures - He is seriously OBSESSED with pictures. We could walk around the house all day showing him photos, or look through photo albums, and he would be OK with that. 
    • Looking at himself in the mirror
    • Dancing
    • Reading - He loves books so much! He's great at turning the pages, and wants you to read them 100 times in a row.
    • Playing "SO BIG!"- this is obviously the cutest, too. "How big is Liam?" we ask, and his little arms go up in the air, accompanied by a big smile!
    • Clicking his tongue
    • Tilting his head - mainly when he is in his high chair. He knows it's cute, and just ever so slightly, tilts his head and smiles. He'll do it on your shoulder sometimes, too. (See video)
    • Music - He has a personalized CD of children's songs that use his name (a gift from his Aunt CC), and he loves it!
    • Table food - He has tried so many new foods and we have yet to find out he doesn't like! Prayers that he keeps up the great eating!
    • Puffs - When he sees the can of Puffs, he immediately starts flailing his arms and fussing. He needed one 5 seconds ago!
    • Sippy cup - Now that he can hold and drink from his sippy cup, he just wants to do it all the time! I've even had to put milk in there before because he wouldn't drink it from the bottle! Little Mr. Independent.
    • The bath - He can't get enough. He's at the point now where he can hear the bath water turn on from the kitchen while he's eating dinner. And when we say it's "Nakey baby time," he takes off down the hall toward our bathroom. Smart cookie!
    Honestly, the kid doesn't dislike much, but a few I can think of:
    I mean seriously. Drama queen, much? WOULD NOT sit still for a photo shoot. Le sigh.
    • Still HATES being on his changing table. We still can't figure it out, but changing clothes and diapers takes two of us due to the screaming fits that ensue.
    • Being told "no." He used to think it was funny, but now when we say it sternly, he gets sad. And then I feel bad, of course. 
    • Sitting still - the child must be moving, all the time. Even in his crib, when he wakes up, he just rocks back and forth.
    • Getting frustrated - he just wants to do everything, to do it himself, and when he can't, or he needs help, he gets real unhappy, real quick!
    • Being rocked - sometimes. If he's really tired, he usually gets pissed when we try to snuggle and rock him! He just wants to lay down and sleep. The good part is that he'll just put himself to sleep in about two minutes, so I won't complain about that skill as long as mama can still sneak in a snuggle from time to time!
    Liam gets 4-5 bottles day, and is starting to drink less milk now that we're eating more solids. I'm still pumping for my little man, but am having to supplement more with formula, which is all good for this mama.

    Liam is pretty much feeding himself and eating purely table foods! His pincer grasp is still a little shaky, but he does great. Our nanny said he was ready to move on from the purees we'd been giving, so we kinda just went for it with the "real" food, and give him everything now! He loves tomatoes, black beans, waffles and meatballs. I steam veggies, cut up all kinds of fruit, give him shredded chicken, ground turkey/beef, spaghetti, mac 'n cheese, quesadillas, waffles...he loves everything! He eats 3 "meals" each day, plus a snack or two. We do keep pouches and purees on hand for when we are on the go.
    Liam is still an awesome sleeper, for which I am so thankful. For a couple of months now, he is sleeping 7:30pm-7:30am. He takes 2-3 naps/day - whether or not he takes a third nap usually depends on how long the previous two were. But sometimes he just flat out refuses, in which case, it's usually an early bedtime because he is SUPER grumpy! He'll sleep just about anywhere - in the car, in his crib, in his carrier, in the stroller and in the pack 'n play. Please Lord, let's keep this up!

    The months are just FLYING by, but I am loving every second of being this baby's mama. Let's see what month 10 brings!
    Photo shoots are getting harder and harder....