A Gift From a Friend

Today when I went to check the mail I discovered a package from a friend in Minnesota! I was so happy (I had been anticipating the package as I had asked her to pick something up for Jacob that I couldn’t find here) and when I opened the package there was a summer romper that I had commented on (because she bought it for her son). I was so excited and it was the cutest thing ever!

The one item in the package was a onesie I had wanted for Jacob from Old Navy so that he could wear it on Valentine’s Day and also to Baby Club that week! It’s super cute and I just love it!

The second item (the gift she sent us) was the romper and it’s just to die for cute! I couldn’t get the best pictures but I’ll show you them anyways! There are some really bad shadow’s that makes the outfit hard to see!

Anyways the point of this blog entry is to say that its important to remember that doing something so small for someone can really make their day! I was having a miserable day having gone to the dentist for the first time in a year (OUCH MY TEETH HURT) and Jacob is still miserable from his teeth! His face is read and rashed like crazy and he’s just gnawing away on his fingers still! This package from my friend in Minnesota and her son just brightened my day. I want to be reminded about that feeling so that I remember to do good things for other people – to hopefully bring light into their down days. It only takes a little extra push to do something good for someone – so that’s my new goal….do something good for someone at least TWICE a month! It should be more then that – and it probably is but I think that’s a good goal! I want to remember how good it feels when people do good things for me – and then I want to pass it on!

In other news….Jacob learned to clap last night! How exciting! I said yesterday that it had been a crazy week of new stuff for Jacob and then he just needed to add one more then to the list! Make that two things! (I’ll get to that in a moment). So he has been clapping away all day – because he knows that we will look at him and cheer when he does it – and any attention he gets from us is worth it I suppose. In the car, in the mall, in the dentist office, being changed, on the floor….he is just clapping away. It’s really adorable to me – he holds his hands up high (as you can see in the picture) and his left hand is turned backwards – he brings the back of his left hand to the palm of his right over and over again with a GIANT grin on his face as if to say – look how great I am! Check me out! I love him.

The second new thing he learned yesterday was to give smooches to BoBo! BoBo is his stuffed teddy he received from a friend of Mike’s and he loves it. It’s a simple hand crocheted teddy and we call him BoBo! Well when we give Jacob a kiss we will always say “give smooches to Mommy” and then we would kiss him! Yesterday I gave a kiss to BoBo and said “Jacob give smooches to BoBo!” and he leaned forward, with mouth wide in excitement and planted a big wet kiss on BoBo’s crocheted face! It make me melt everytime he does it – I be he’s wondering why we are making him “make out” with the teddy bear – poor kid!

Jacob the Amazing Milestone Baby

What a week it’s been for us! After a month long period of Jacob just sort of swimming in the glory of being able to sit up, we are having a week jam packed FULL of new milestones! First, as you may have read he started getting TEETH….this experience has been the bane of my existence since it began! I long for the days when he is happy again! He is just miserable as these teeth start to push their little white faces through his gums and I am hoping that it is over soon – at least for a little while; the kid deserves a break!

Late last week Jacob started to creep along the floor or “commando crawl” as it is often called in mothering circles! He just woke up one morning and decided if I want that toy I better get it myself and since then Mommy and Daddy are becoming aware of all the child proofing they need to do around the house. I am amazed at his fascination with the things around the house! The first to go is our cast iron tall candle holders that Jacob is just over the top amazed with…give him a second without supervision on the floor and he has commando crawled his way over to the candle holders and playing with them! I dread what would happen if one of them fell over onto his head! Who came up with this term “commando crawl” anyways….Jacob is doing the crawling like a soldier trying to make his way across a field – but alas my son would be captured in an instant! Why? Well because when he’s doing the creeping sorta crawling thing he’s being very vocal about it; proclaiming his victory for all to see! He gets his voice going with grunts, squeals, and noises so that you know how hard he is working to get to his drop and roar dinosaur or god forbid my cast iron candle holders!

Two days ago Jacob decided he wanted to be up on all fours..so he’s spent the past two days just sort of sitting up on all fours rocking back and forth. He will look up at us as if to say “this is too much hard work for me Mom and Dad” and then he plops back onto his tummy and does his commando thing. It’s ok tho…I’m completely content with the slow commando crawl because i know as soon as this kid figures it out – he’ll be all over the place – practically unstoppable; I know this because I’ve seen those crawlers at baby club – they get into all sorts of trouble!

So I was sitting down last night thinking wow this has been a good week – we’ve had lots of change and Jacob seems to be just blossoming. I was sure we’d seen as much as we were going to see for perhaps another month until I went into Jacob’s bedroom this morning to get him from his crib and discovered him sitting upright in his crib just smiling and playing with his stuffed duck. ACK! He knows how to get from his stomach to sitting now? Oh geebus! It’s time to lower that darn crib mattress and fast! So tonight while I watch American Idol with a bowl of popcorn and a diet coke….Mike will be lowering that darn crib mattress!

Nothing else is new….Jacob is still eating the same – about 28 ounces of formula a day with two tablespoons of cereal and 1/2 jar of fruit for breakfast and then 4 tablespoons of vegetables for dinner….I’m not sure what new foods will be next but I’m pretty sure it will be meat of some sort once he hits 8 months old! Ack! 8 months old? That’s just over a week away – I need to go lay down – my heart is racing!

Goodbye Kitty – R.I.P.

Today we had to take our cat Ellie to the veterinarian’s to be put to sleep…..I cried hard.

I got her when she was just a newborn, 5 years ago and named her Arielle which later got short formed into Ellie. She was a good cat and she loved to spend time with me – she was always very skittish around other people but she came to know and love Mike too. We suspect Elie had cancer and we fought really hard to keep her alive for the past 2 months…we spent a lot of money going back and forth from the veterinarian’s office, doing home IVs, medication, special food but alas she continued to deteriorate and the past two days she has been struggling for life. I miss her already. I could not bare to watch her suffer as I feel she had been the past 2 days – she could hardly walk and she was vomiting like crazy – she wasn’ t strong enough to lift her head and so she would lay in her vomit – I would clean her up but she’d do it again….

It was hard to watch her pass on from this life but I felt I could not let them do it without me present…I talked to her and told her how much I’d miss her and how much I loved her while she died….I wish there was something more I could have done…to make life easier on her these past 2 months….

I hope she is at rest now….we’ll miss you Ellie…..

War on the Homefront! An Adventure in Teething!

I think we have a tooth! I’m not 100% sure that we have a tooth because Jacob won’t let me look in his mouth long enough to ACTUALLY get a good look but…I think in a few days when it has come in a little more-victory will be ours!

We have been fighting this teething war for 2 months now! We have fought a brave and hard battle and we are finally seeing the efforts of our strength! We are rising triumphant, shouting on the hill as we stick our flag down proclaiming that VICTORY IS OURS!

I should have know when I woke up at 830 to a calm pacified child that something had erupted in his mouth and he was no longer the red face child I had been taking care of for the past few days. We saw a lot of the classic signs of teething – you know…red cheeks, slight rash, irritability (not just my own…ha ha), difficulties sleeping…and our favourite the piercing cry that seems inconsolable that just goes away 15 minutes after you’ve tried everything possible to pacify him….so this morning when I stuck my finger inside his mouth and felt something sharp – I should not have been as excited as I was – I should have seen it coming – but alas I did not.

I would like to rise up on this soap box of mine and flash fancy pictures of the pearly white – but sadly enough there is no pearly white to show off…I believe the tooth is sitting perfectly aligned with the top of his gums…poked out enough to feel it, but not enough to look at it….

This adventure is only just beginning….where there is one tooth there is another, and another, and another and another…..until you reach the BIG DADDIES….the MOLARS…until then my friends I leave you with pictures of my son…

I’m not quite sure what these facial expressions mean….but I’m sure he’s thinking something highly intelligent, so intelligent that his thoughts alone would qualify him for the Mensa International…either that or he’s pushing out a big poop….I’ll let you decide….

Filling in the Gaps

I’ve finally started asking questions about Jacob’s delivery – trying to remember moments that have been wiped clear from my mind – thanks to some trauma and a little amnesia medication. I’ll spare you all the gory details but I’ll give you the just of it. My delivery experience with Jacob was not fun – after a 3 day failed induction, battling with pitocin, 3 epidurals, Jacob’s heart rate not responding well to the pitocin, failure to dilate past 5 cm…I ended up with an c-section where my epidural wore off mid way and I felt the entire pain of the procedure they were doing. The doctors gave me an amnesia medication – I guess to help me forget the trauma of what was happening in the O.R. but what ended up happening instead – was that I remembered the trauma and forgot the actually birth of my son.

Everything has always been pretty cloudy – I have memories of hearing them say 6 pounds and me repeating that I was surprised he was so small….that’s basically all I remember. The past couple of days I’ve been asking Michael and my mother questions about what happened during that delivery – trying desperately to fill in the blanks. I avoided it for so long because I did not want to return to that O.R. and recall the events that took place – but I feel now that I want to know every detail of Jacob’s birth. There are pictures of me with Jacob just before he was whisked away to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) that I just don’t remember taking. I have no memory of seeing Jacob on the day he was born – but I remember the emotion of love and if I can hold onto that emotion that I felt that day – of pure motherly love – then I know I have enough.

I recall waking up in the morning – still groggy from the medication they were releasing into my spine and there on the bedside table was a picture of this beautiful child – with a tube down his throat and oxygen prongs in his nose – I just wanted to see him….Mike had placed that picture there for me so that when I woke up I could see our son – our beautiful perfect son….to this very day that picture is my most favourite – because to me..it is the first time I saw him, got to look at every detail of him, and love him more. This picture is probably as close as I can get…..it was taken about a half hour to an hour after he was born – the first picture I saw looked somewhat similar to this one but not exact ….

This was him a few weeks after we brought him home….sleeping as peacfully as he was in the above picture…

And this is him now…

It’s hard to believe isn’t it? How quickly the moment of birth has passed and now we are just over 4 months away from his birthday. I feel it is important for me to know all the details that went down after he was born. I have always felt robbed….that it wasn’t fair that I couldn’t kiss him and tell him how much he was loved on his first day in this world….I hope that Mike told him how much I loved him…..I make sure to tell him over and over how loved he is – every day of his life.

Memories are not always the happiest – but they are our memories – they mold us and make us who we cannot be without them. I will always feeled robbed of those first hours of my son’s life – but I will always feel blessed that we both survived and our here to share the stories of our lives with each other – stories that will continue to develop their plot over time – nurtured with the arms of each other, with love, with compassion, and with endurance – the endurance we all need to experience life.

The Best Toy In the Universe

Infant toys are everywhere with their high prices and bright colours slapping you in the face at every possible moment…..and yet…a toy Jacob received this weekend has capivated his attention and it cost a mere $3.00 – I’m not sure what its called but you basically attach all these ball sorta things together and make a chain – move over drop and roar dinosaur, laugh and learn home, and other expensive gifts Jacob has received – he just nominated this one the Best Toy In The Universe!!

Graduation Day

The time finally came for Jacob to move to his big boy car seat! We set it up in the living room and let him have a sit in it and he looked so proud just sitting in it and smiling away. I feel a mixed array of emotions at this graduation (as I suspect I will feel at future graduations) but I remember this tiny being I brought him from the hospital – he was so small he needed inserts on each side of the car seat to help him sit in it properly – his tiny feet didn’t even come to where the buckle began…and now he’s in this seat, sitting fully upright, arms on the arm rests and smiling up at us – as if to say thanks Mom and Dad – the view from this seat is a WHOLE lot better. I miss the small dependent Jacob – who just spent hours in my arms cradled and calm – but I’m amazed and so much in love with the Jacob I have now – the crawling, squealing, laughing, smiling, trusting, and less dependent little boy who at this moment is softly dreaming in his room. Somedays I want newborn Jacob back but on days like yesterday – watching him sit upright in that seat – my love for him swelled like it had never before – I wanted to understand him – to know the thoughts he was thinking at that moment. I look into his eyes and I see wonder, amazement, fascination and I wish I could be in his eyes – experiencing it the way he does…but I will settle for watching him explore life.

Listen Women, Listen…..

I have always found myself to be accepting of people’s choices when it comes to parenting. I believe in allowing parents to make the choices about what they feel is best for their children as long as it is outside of the realm of what is considered child abuse. What I have learned through this whole motherhood thing is that no matter how hard you try to be accepting of everyone and their differences – there is always some people out there who no matter what will try to CRAM their personal preferences down your polite throat. I’ve honestly had enough…..I’m ticked off and I don’t get ticked off easily – I’m a pretty laid back person – but I’m also a sensitive person.

When I was pregnant with Jacob I researched a variety of parenting styles, a variety of ways to do things, and also did a lot of research to find the philosophies that best aligned with my hopes, morals, and desires as a parent. Since I became a parent I have sat quietly and listened to other people explain themselves bout their choices in regards to their children – and even though I’ve wondered why they feel the need to tell me this I still listen politely and ask questions. My job as a child and youth counselor has taught me about the importance of listening – so when someone is speaking about something that is important I listen. I don’t debate with people when their preferences clash with my ideas nor do I tell them that they are wrong about the choices they make – I open my mind and I listen – end of story.

When it came time to vaccinate my child I did my research, talked to people on both sides of the spectrum and made the decision – my son is vaccinated. When it came to sleeping arrangements I researched co-sleeping, tried it for a while, felt it failed miserably for us and we moved on…but I spoke to people who have been doing it for years and to people who had never done it to get my information – and the most important thing I did was LISTEN to their experiences before I made my decision – my son currently sleeps in his crib, in his own room. I could go on and on and on about the decisions we make in regards to our children – to breastfeed or not to breast feed, home made baby food vs jarred baby food, baby wearing vs not even knowing what that means – attachment parenting vs traditional parenting – it’s all out there and there are a kazillion people standing by to tell why one is right over the other.

I have learned that I will never fit in with the people that chose to CRAM THEIR PERFECT PARENTING down my throat – I have listened, I have heard your debates and I still made different choices then you? Why can’t that be enough? Why can’t you accept that I’m not YOU and that I’ve made choices for my child that are not the same as you – and that he is healthy and thriving and a good well behaved baby. When are we as women going to come together and accept that we are all going through the same things and that chosing one thing over the other does not make you a better parent over another person. I’m so pissed off that I could barf about this – why can’t we make everyone welcome?

I guess I should talk about why this frustration is happening for me at this moment. Today I was at the community center with about 20 other moms and a mother was there from the SIDS organization speaking about safe sleeping. This mother had a 4 month old with her but had recently about 1.5 years ago lost a son at 4 months old to SIDS. It was obvious this pain was raw for her….it became more apparent that this pain was so raw for her when people started pushing her about their sleep preferences – the woman was only there to say what the recommendations were from the government. People were lecturing her on why their child sleeps on their tummy, why they have a bumper pad, why they let thier daughter use a blanket and why they co-sleep….one woman attacked this lady pretty badly about the co-sleeping. Hello? Did you not here that the woman lost a child to SIDS? You want to lecture her about the benefits of co-sleeping? I was so upset I wanted to scream. I wanted to get up and leave. I felt horrible for that woman…why? WHY? WHY?

Why did that woman feel the need to go into this with a woman who’s pain was raw, who’s message was only to do what you can to keep your baby safe. A woman who just wanted people to not have to go through the pain and heartache that she experienced…..and all she said was that a baby should have their own “sleeping environment”…WHY? She wasn’ t saying people were horrible for co-sleeping, she wasn’t saying don’t do it – she was just sharing the recommendations that come from the government…but yet? Someone needed to comment…to ram their own personal thoughts down someone else’s throat at a time that was so wrong. I felt bad for that lady – everyone in the room looked uncomfortable.

The bottom line is this…there are people who co-sleep, people (like me) who let their children sleep on their tummies, people who have their children in their own cribs from the time they are born – but that timing was inappropriate.

I’m so overwhelmed by what happened today that I’m not even getting my thoughts out clearly. My hope is that the women would start listening to each other and accepting that works for Jane might not work for Betty….that what fits with the hopes and desires of Jessica doesn’t necessarily fit with the hopes and desires of Rachel…and sometimes the bottom line is…the people get sick of hearing it.

New Clothes Make Mommy Happy

This week Jacob tried on some of his new clothes that I got for him before Christmas during a sale at Gymboree. Most of my friends and family know that I am in love with shopping at this store and I finally got the time to try some of it on. Most of it is still too big but some of it seems to fit ok!

This is from the Fun in the Snow line at gymboree. Here Jacob is with the hat and onesie!

Instead of wearing the socks, Jacob choses to eat the packaging. Before you call Child Protective Services on me…..you should know I AM THE ONE BEHIND THE CAMERA….and I wouldn’t let him ACTUALLY eat the packaging…I just want to make that clear to all the “crazies” out there.

Here he is again in the hat and onesie…..what you can’t see is that he is actually looking at the packaging on the socks wondering how he could eat it without my knowing.

This is the entire track suit minue the hat and socks….once again he has something in his hands…if I didn’t allow him to have something in his hands….he’d just grab at the camera.

Here he is letting the world in on the secret delicacy of sock packaging.

Mmmmmmm socks…..

Here’s a different outfit from a line at Gymboree called Natures Treasures.

A Standing Ovation

Every now and then there exists a person who truly captivates me – who has the ability to do what they do and do it with greatness. I post frequently on a message board and I have met some women who have gone through great trials and tribulations throughout pregnancy and parenthood. There is one woman though who stands out to me – who I know certainly has a super hero costume on underneath her “normal people clothes”. She is not the most frequent poster on the board but to me her posts are some of the most impactful. Through her posts I have learned about compassion, about patience, and enjoying every moment of what you have with your child…through her I have been impacted in a way that is beyond expression – her superpowers amaze me – endurance, love, devotion…..and above all selflessness…..Her twin daughters were born early with Twin to twin transfusion syndrome and the smallest has been very sick since birth and she recently discovered that her daughter has permanent hearing loss. Today she wrote about how she was “just doing what every mother would do” and I while I agree that this might be the case – but there are women that may have given up hope on that little child a long time ago…and yet here she is this small child only a fraction of what she should weigh for her age and she is at home in the arms of the mother and father who have cared so thoughtfully for her over the past 8 months.

I just want to speak a moment about the little girl..

I am praying for another miracle – the small child alone is the first miracle. I believe it is possible for doctor’s to be wrong…that the universe and god step in and make things right. If this child is supposed to hear she will hear and if she is not supposed to hear – then her gift of life, her smile, and her laughter will bless the hearts of other….I believe in the impossible….and with this miracle child anything is possible.

Back to her mother…

Today through this blog I give her a standing ovation – I applaud her for her love, for the goodness she brings to the world through that little child, a living wonder, a true miracle….It is true that superhero’s are among us….they walk around looking just like you and me….but what makes them special, what makes them unique is their ability to touch the lives of others without even knowing them. To this mother, if you are reading by any chance – thank you and your sweet daughter for touching my life. God bless those twins and God bless that mother…they are fighters…the entire family – so I leave them and all of you with the lyrics from the main chorus of a Christine Aguilera song…..

“Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter”