Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thought DUMP!

Wow. I've got a lot on my mind, and a lot to do before I pick up Gage from MDO at 2. So, I really needed to just spill my thoughts here so I can focus on the cleaning and the projects I have planned for today.

Where to start? Um, Tuesday night we went to my in-laws and had burgers on the grill. My brother in law and his wife were there too. It's always fun with family because everyone wants a turn with Gage, and he's so social he loves it. Plus, it gets him out of my hands for a bit. I think he needs a break from me sometimes. Like, I'm just mommy, not too exciting. He gets all wiggly when I take him somewhere.

Yesterday, we went to MOPS group and then all the mommies stayed and fed their kids lunch and Gage and I hung out and talked and he played on the floor with some other babies and I got to have adult conversation with other moms who have infants. Then, we all went to the park around the corner, and played for an hour or so. Again, the three littlest ones, including Gage, sat and played in the grass while the mommies supervised and talked. Here's a big shock: this is the first time I have ever gone to the park on a playdate. I've always thought Gage was too young to care. Oh, well, he cares now. Mr. Social is just like his parents. He thrives in a social setting. He loves seeing things and watching the other kids play on the playground. He's not a baby anymore it seems. It was one of the best days I've had as a mom.

Then, last night, he went to bed around 7:45pm and I heard some sounds around 10:30 but I waited it out, and he went back to sleep....until 4:45am. I flew out of bed around 4:20 when I woke up to realize he hadn't woken up! I ran in and slowly peeked in his crib...he was sleeping on his tummy. Little boy can roll around and get comfortable now. Stop with the growing up, Gage!!!!

Tuesday night on the way home, Curtis got a phone call from a previous co-worker/friend who helps run a courier service based in Richardson. I met with him and two other decision makers about a year ago when I was working as a Recruiter/Sales in Staffing. They were considering hiring someone, and joked that they would hire someone like me when they were ready. Well, they are looking for someone part time, it seems. So, Curtis's friend calls and asks if I am still interested in working part time. And, I think I am. Because Gage has been going to MDO for two days a week for a couple of months, and he loves it. And, to be honest, I accomplish more when I have a LOT to accomplish. I am driven by results, and I am driven by deadlines and stress. I get more done when I have little time to do it. So, my house isn't as clean as it use to be, because I have all this free time. Of course, I would be blogging anyway.

So, while it may seem that I don't need to take on MORE. I think that having a little time outside of the house with something to DO will make me a better wife and mother. I've known this about myself, but kind of felt guilty for wanting to do it all. I like to be busy. But, it's also easy to let things slide out of balance when you take on too much. I feel like now is the time to start adding things back to my plate. I'm sure Curtis would say that I could add housekeeping to my plate all I want. HAHA. My life is full in a heart sense, but not full enough for my mind. Plus, to be completely shallow, having extra money won't hurt. We are SOO blessed because Curtis works hard and provides for us financially on his own. He's amazing. I could never take on financial responsibility like he does. So, I think it would be nice to bring home a little slice of bacon to give us extra money for more fun things. Believe me, we don't go without. And, I'm not just saying we make it by with just the bare necessities. We live a very nice, comfortable life.

And, then, a positive sister in law says she would like to watch Gage during the week. So, there's an answer to the childcare worry if I did get a part time job. So, maybe we are on to something here.

Ok, I gotta get hoppin onto other things.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gage's Accomplishments

This week has been full of things you've done that are completely awesome. First of all, we FINALLY saw your roll from back to tummy yesterday. I know you've done this at least 3 times before. Twice at night when I left you on the floor to get a new set of jammies for you, and I came back and you were on your tummy. I think you cheated and used your feet against the night stand. But, then Sunday afternoon, you were on the floor in the living room, and of course, I walked away, and your dad was sitting with his feet up in the recliner, so you weren't in our line of vision. I came back, and you were on your tummy. Again, with the sneakiness!
Then, we were all on the back porch, and I laid you down because you were being so silly and wiggly on my lap and I figured you could use the exercise. And, boom, there you go, right over to your tummy. We cheered so loud it scared you and made you cry for a second.
And, today, you have already taken two naps. And, it's only 2:15. You rock. You've alse been sleeping better at night. Not that you're not waking up, but you are sleeping from 7pm til about 8:15am with a couple of wake ups for food. And, you like to wake up around 5:30 and be awake until Daddy leaves for work, then take a bottle and go back to sleep with me til 8am. I love you for this early morning wake up and subesequent sleep til a NORMAL time. You're always super adorable this early hour too.
I can barely keep you fed these days. You're eating constantly it seems. But, you're also going longer without eating at night, so it makes sense. You put everything into your mouth to chew on. You seem to have found your thumb some days, but I never see you sucking, always just chewing. We are thinking about buying you a really big dog bone for your 5 month birthday. Of course, that will be after the Tequila shot celebration.
You're never a disappointment in social settings. You've always got a smile and giggle for people who want to talk to you. You play well and you like to show off. You're so aware and alert and curious. You're very interested in the out doors, and I think you'll love going camping in a couple of weeks.
You've also been making new sounds. Like this lovely clearing your throat sound. I'm thinking you're going to say your own name first with that sound! That would be a snarky thing to do. Skip the "mama"/"dada" contest and start with your own name. You LOVE your dad though. I think you'll say dad first. You've been sticking your tongue out like a little lizard, and sometimes you will mimic us if we stick out our tongues. You like to watch us eat and drink too.
Man, you'll be 20 weeks old tomorrow. 5 months in that sense. I don't recall giving you permission to turn into a little boy, and not be a baby anymore, but you've gone and done it. Oh, and one more thing, you're not big on crying. You prefer to yell when you're not happy. Screeching, screaming, but mostly genuine deep voiced yelling. It's a great way to communicate.
I love you.
Love, Mommy

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ten points for Gage!

This week, Gage has proven that he's a big boy now. He DID have that total meltdown in rush hour traffic, but then Friday, he totally hung out with us at dinner and then even stayed up to say hi to Rachel and Jason before he went to sleep with hardly a peep. And, then he spent 3 hours at the Allen High School Tallenettes Spring Showcase without having a cow. He's been so hilarious with smiles and laughs and so much personality.
Yeah, our kid rocks. And, the unfortunate side effect to that is baby fever. But, that ain't gonna happen this year, friends! Do you hear me, Curtis?? Mom?? You hear me??

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nerves of Steel & A Little Shame

Gage is asleep and Curtis went to help a friend with something, so I am home alone. And, that's a rare occasion. Of course, I COULD be folding laundry or something else productive. But, frankly, I don't feel like it. So, here I am.
Today was an interesting day. I went to DeSoto to see my parents and have lunch, and finally pick up my maternity pictures done by Shelley Nelson Photography last October. They've been ready since the week after I got them done, we've just been everywhere but there. She rocks. You should check out her work

Anyway, Gage slept the whole way there, which was nice. And, he was appropriately cute and adorable for my parents. But, he woke up on the car ride back home, and proceeded to scream. Yep, wouldn't stop. I had to finally pull over (after playing in-and-out of stop-and-go rush hour traffic) and go to Central Market in Dallas to get the baby out of the car for a while. I ended up getting some steaks for Curtis to grill (hey, he offered, and I will never ever ever turn down his offer to grill. The man could grill an iguana and it would taste good. I call him The Gril Master.) and I learned that I have no idea how to pick out a steak, let alone know what a certain type looks like. I had to throw myself on the mercy of the butcher who did nothing to hide his amusement at my ignorance. Good thing I was too annoyed with Gage to care.

So, I figure 25 minutes of being CARRIED AROUND LIKE A FOOTBALL IN MY ARMS WHILE PUSHING A CART at the grocery store would make him happy for the car ride home. Nope. He screamed. Then, while we are going approximately 25 MPH on the highway, I make a bottle and break my arm and dislocate my shoulder to shove it in Gage's mouth in the rear facing car seat. Note: this was not regular highway speed. This was rush hour traffic in Dallas. We never went above 35 while I was giving him the bottle. I think I've got this figured out. Well, about halfway through the bottle, he decides he's not happy either way. And, proceeds to scream.

Eventually, I break all driving rules and find a break in the HOV pickets and jump into the HOV lane to get some speed and get home faster. Well, guess what? The HOV doesn't open up again before my exit. And, I have to go two miles out of the way and make a U turn to come back down the service road. WHILE GAGE WAS SCREAMING. Yes, I screamed too. Gage is asleep. Thank you, Jesus. I now have nerves of steel.

And, in reference to my post about progress....well, let me say that after you have a child, avoid drama for 4 months. Resist the urge to repsond to COMPLETE STRANGERS who invade your life for no good reason. In fact, as a new mom, you should only focus on taking care of your new baby and taking care of yourself. Get enough rest. Don't have deep conversations or make any huge life decisions. Don't worry about the damn laundry or dishes. Order in or send your significant other for tacos. Don't let people who don't know you or have any respect for what you're accomplishing as the life source and provider for a new baby get to you. Avoid listening to people who don't matter. Don't worry about anything you don't really have to worry about.

Survival mode wore off at about 16 weeks for me. That's when I could look back at the first couple of months and see where I was and where I am. I didn't realize how much of am emotional situation I was going through until I was through it. I had some really dark moments. And, you don't think clearly, being sleep deprived and waiting for your body to heal from the hardest thing it will ever do. If you've never had a child, don't underestimate the changes endured by a woman who gives birth and then takes 24/7 care of that child she just delivered from her own body. Have some damn respect. It's hard as hell, and if you dare to spill drama into that woman's life, SHAME ON YOU! You might never know what it's like. Maybe that's why you're hateful. Maybe that's why you don't understand.

But, really, my advice: Protect yourself and your family as much as you can in those first weeks. Your life can't and won't go on as usual. Don't expect too much from yourself. You'll only disappoint. God, I wish I had been smarter. I wish I had known to do that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gage - Four Months Old

Dear Little Curtis:
Every month it seems like there's more and more that you do! I'm glad I waited to write you this month, because you've been pretty awesome since your 4 month birthday, and I want you to know it.

First of all, this month you've really turned into your own little person. That means you've been much more persistent with wanting what you want when you want it. Also, you're a huge flirt. Seriously, could you be more charming with the ladies? You crack me up. We went to Fellowship again last week, and it had been a while because we were visiting elsewhere, and there was snow, oh and the time we missed because we forgot about Daylight Savings, even though the news and everyone else in the world kept reminding us. Anyway, the lady in the nursery that took you said "Oh, Gage is my favorite, he's gotten so big since I saw him last." And, when we picked you up, all the nursery workers were saying how cute and charming you were being. Why do you think I married your dad? You got that from him.

Secondly, you have started laughing. Not just the little giggles we got before, but like full on toothless mouth wide open laughing. I sat you in your dad's lazy boy, and you were just so amused that you laughed the hardest we've ever seen or heard you laugh. Your little feet are constantly moving, and when you're impatient to be fed or picked up, you stomp your right foot. You've also figured out how to put your feet "just so" in the bouncer that you push and turn yourself nearly out of the seat. Yes, you're independent and stubborn. But, you're also a world class cuddle munch.

You have been sleeping in your big boy crib the past few nights. And by sleeping I mean you'll sleep in there until you wake up the first time. And, I am noticing a marked difference in how much you're waking up to eat at night. You're still waking up the same amount, but you're not trying to have a bottle until the morning. So, now, we just have to get you to go back to sleep on your own in the night. I won't lie, I love cuddling with you when you're sleeping. I know that will only last so long. You'll be "too big" too soon. And, then you won't let me kiss you when I drop you off at kindergarten. Or college.

You're so alert, but you always have been. And, very social. You tried cereal, banana, and prunes this month. Prunes were a horrible idea, since it looked like chocolate smeared on your face. It actually looked worse than chocolate, but this is a PG blog. You like to eat. So, the cereal was awesome. And, you smacked your lips on the banana mush. Just when we think you're going to drive us nuts, you bust out with these huge smiles. Your face is perpetually stuck in a open mouth, gummy smile most of the day. You hate a pacifier, but you love your fingers. You have found your thumb a few times, and I can see you sucking away at it for a few seconds every once in a while.

Today, we bought some bikes and a bike trailer for you. I know you'll love it. You're sleeping better at night. Eating more when you eat. I love you. Your dad loves you. I think I finally got the hang of this. Thank you for being so patient with us.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

less and less

I swear, this kid needs me less and less. And, I am totally ok with that. He is so good at playing and entertaining himself. Don't judge me. I spend a lot of time all up in his face playing and reading and singing and generally being silly. But, thank God I can set him down to cook dinner, wash some dishes, or post a blog. He's also great in public. Really, he should be more worried about me embarassing him in public than vice versa. He's so alert and charming.

RANDOM: I have definitely made it through the rain (thank you Barry Manilow, the love of my childhood life ((and thanks mom for introducing me to him)) for all the inspiration). Another blog I've been debating on sharing, and I think I have finally edited it enough in my mind that I can share it without monetizing the drama. I hate giving credence to something. I hate allowing something worthless any moments of thought in my life. But, it's going to be more about progress than the past.

Gage is a talker. And, he's so dramatic. Don't know where that all comes from! Tonight, he will be sleeping in his own room in his crib. I've been letting him play a bit in there from time to time, to develop a positive connotation with the crib. he loves his room anyway. You can leave him on the floor on a blanket and he will just kick and giggle like some one is entertaining him. Not that I do that. Of course, because I am a perfect mother who never has to leave her child in another room for a 10 minute pep talk about how it will NOT help to sell him to Jennifer for $4.50. But I digress. He's about outgrown his bassinet, as well as his welcome in our room. :) How did I make this decision? He kicked his little legs so much that he uprooted the mattress in the bassinet. Big boys sleep in big beds! Also, I cuddled up to Curtis last night and it occurred to me that Gage sleeping in our room affects the pillow talk time. And, you know what I mean (MIND OUT OF GUTTER!). It's those last few moments before sleep where you talk about whatever. We usually end up giggling too loud, and Gage grunts and we have to "shhhhhhhhhh!".

Like it says on the homepage...Motherhood is the only job you can suck at for the first 90 days, and not get fired. ALSO: You can't quit. Think about this before you make the sexy time kids! Gage would be happy to scream in an enclosed space with you for an hour if you need a bit more serious warning.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy FAMILY!

I just have to tell you, our son is OUT OF CONTROL with personality. If you know me, then you know I have always been a bit over the top. Curtis likes to say "What's the deal? I'm at a 2, and you're at a 10." And, Curtis usually is at a 2, unless you catch him letting loose. Then, well, the total in our house quickly approaches 2,374,987,436. Add Gage into the mix, and the universe tilts a little more to the left. This kid doesn't stop. He doesn't have a "low" setting. He's maxed out, or he's asleep. And, the transition isn't always smooth. He use to fall asleep with a bottle and burp and go to sleep. Then it got where I might have to rock him a little but he goes to sleep. Now, he's a sweaty, swearing mess when I try to put him to sleep.
Enter: sleep training. Healthy sleep habits, happy child: a step-by-step program for a good night's ... By Marc Weissbluth
I was wondering when a good time to allow him to put himself to sleep would be, and that time has officially arrived. It's been working at night for bedtime. He might fuss for no more than 20 minutes and then he's out. Nap time hasn't been so easy. Who knows what words are coming out of his mouth, but he's letting us know he is NOT interested in a nap, even though he couldn't need one more. So, we're practicing sleep training for naptime now.
What do I mean by sleep training? I mean, you look and listen for the cues your child gives that say they're tired, and you lay them down for sleep before they get out of control. You can rock and soothe as much or as little as necessary. We practice Extinction. Meaning, I usually give Gage a bedtime bottle, and if he falls asleep, great. If not, we cuddle a little, and then he gets in his bassinet no later than 7pm. He might fuss for a while, but he understands its bedtime. You can expect that a child less than 3 months won't be able to self soothe. And, not all kids learn at the same time. Sleep training helps them learn to self soothe. He sucks on his fingers and kicks his little legs until he's asleep. It's worth letting him learn to self soothe and maybe cry for half an hour (protest crying, not hysterical tears. its more like squawking), knowing he will sleep and get the nap he needs for healthy development. There are set backs. Like sickness or teething. Or vacations. But, sleep train your baby, and as a toddler, elementary schooler, and teenager your kid will go to sleep well. Kids need sleep! The crazy screamers at the grocery store.....they need a nap. Or more night time sleep. Sleep depravation is a form of war torture. Don't rob your kids of the sleep they need. Everyone suffers. Including the brain development. Children who are well rested are better in social situations, as well as being able to be imaginitive and play by themselves. They can entertain themselves, and can be expected to be fun and charming to be around. Gage is a charmismatic lady killer when he's well rested. He is a beating when he's tired. I'm like, this is like a spanking to me. Don't misread that...I feel like I'm being beaten when he's super tired and cranky. Not that he is being beaten. LOL.
I think how full my life is, and I can't see it happening any other way. Curtis is not like any other man I've ever known. That's one of the reasons I married him (besides the obvious fact that he's devastatingly handsome and amazing). Our son is this crazy mix of us both. I mean, Gage looks like Curtis spawned him all by himself, but the personality...oh man. Gage is one in a skillion. (thats a 1 followed by 37 zeroes)