Sunday, August 28, 2011

ZOMG parenting philosophies overload, AKA pears are yummy.

Purees! Baby-led weaning! You will let the baby choke if you hand him that pear! He will never learn how to chew if you spoon feed him purees! The sky is falling!

Sorry. I just cannot resist poking fun at the mommy wars. And the term "mommy wars" in general. I could check with El Hub, but I am pretty sure he is involved in some of these same decisions we make about raising our baby. But "parent wars" does not have the same ring to it.


Pears are yummy.

Slightly steamed pear slice (steamed only because the raw slices were too hard and slippery for him to hold onto very long). He went to town on it. Fun times were had. We have been doing oatmeal cereal for a few weeks now, but George is all about shoving objects in his mouth, so we are capitalizing on that by throwing a little baby-led weaning into our routine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Reflecting on "Reflections of Motherhood."

George is almost six months old. Six months! Half a year! Two-thirds of the way to being out in this world longer than he was in my body! And he has changed so much in that time, and I've changed too.

If I could go back six months to give myself a message based on my experiences since having a baby, what would I tell myself?

Every parent out there can probably identify with at least a few of those sentiments. I know I can. But the one that resonates with me the most is "Trust your instincts."

You know you. You know your baby. We all come up against obstacles. Fight, fight, fight for the answers. Find the strength you need to do it, whether it is in you or you need to lean on others for support. That baby needs you to buck up and be the one to figure it out.

Trust your instincts.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The truth is out, I'm a SAHM.

Now that I am rocking the mostly-stay-at-home-mom gig, I am continually amazed by how judgmental people have been about this status. The reaction is not always negative - there have probably been as many people to say that I am doing the absolute best thing for my baby by being attached at the hip 24/7 as there have been people who seem to just wonder what I do all day with my time.

I bet those people think I spend all day twiddling my thumbs. Well, the joke is on them! I only spend HALF my day twiddling my thumbs.

But seriously, I have yet to come up with a great answer for any of those people. The folks who want to high five me don't realize I had not originally intended to take on this role, and that I think working outside the home is a totally valid and healthy way of life as well. And those who think I am a lazy lucky lady don't seem to understand just where my time goes, probably because I have yet to figure out how to accurately convey it to them.

Luckily, the Washington Post's Carolyn Hax did it for me:

When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

This reminded me of another post I read back when I was pregnant, a blog post by Dooce that absolutely cracked me up:

Have you ever been a stay-at-home parent? Do you have any idea the amount of rigorous work and emotion it requires? The tireless hours of performing tasks that will never earn you a raise or a gold star or even be acknowledged by another human being? Cause Imma let you shut your mouth if you haven't.

Look, I am not saying stay at home parents are made of more awesome than other people. In fact, a friend who read the WP article pointed out that the author's point is the same about good parents as it would be about anyone else giving a project their all - personal time becomes incredibly precious. Sometimes it seems like the difference is a matter of respect - in our culture, we respect earning money, we respect a quantifiable end result. Raising kids is pretty much the antithesis of those things, where we wind up with less money and a perpetual work-in-progress project who has the audacity to have a mind of his or her own who eventually reaches a point where THEY WILL GET THAT TATTOO BECAUSE I AM 18 AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, DAD.

This is a really long winded way of getting around to say this: my personal truth is that I have NEVER worked as hard at a job as I have at being home alone with my baby all day. And there's only one of him! And he isn't even mobile yet! I'm going to have to level up here soon. Anyway, this is what I do all day. I raise my son.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prized possession.

We are super duper amazingly rottenly spoiled by my mother because she looks after George frequently for us. El Hub works crazy hours, so if I have a doctor's appointment or a board meeting during the week, it is usually my child's Mammaw rather than my child's Daddy who can keep an eye on the kiddo while I go play with the adults. Plus, on the weekends when we want to see a movie in a real movie theater where there are no babies letting us know they want food and attention and naps, my mom watches him then as well. See? SPOILED.

But I know the day will arrive when we have to hire a babysitter. And I know babysitters are making a lot more than I used to make. And a LOT more than my own babysitters used to earn. My mother remembers paying my sitters $2 an hour and complaining to my Pop-Pop about how ridiculously high she felt that price was for a night out.

His response was fascinating. To preface this, he passed away when I was a young kid, so I did not get to know him as well as I would have liked. Even so I knew Pop-Pop was not the sort of person one would call sentimental. He had also never hired a babysitter in his entire life, as my mom and her sisters were only ever with their mother or their aunt.

Pop-Pop's response to my mother's complaint about high school girls raiding her wallet in exchange for keeping an eye on me? According to my mom, he said "She is your prized possession. She's worth the money."

Well! Thanks for thinking so highly of me, Pop-Pop. Also, wow. I wish I could chat with you now and find out what you would think of your great-grandson. And also ask why you never let me play with the electric model boat you built.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Picky picky.

El Hub: I'm hungry and there's no food.
Me: We'll go grocery shopping when the baby wakes up. Why don't you eat cereal to tide you over?
El Hub: No, the only milk we have is your almond milk.
Me: So?
El Hub: I only like milk that comes from boobs.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Belly to back.

George has been rolling belly to back for about two and a half months since he was three months old, but always sporadically and infrequently (which doesn't lend itself to being recorded). This morning he was rolling immediately the first three times I tried to do tummy time with him, and this is the fourth.

Way to go, buddy! Now let's work more on sitting up unassisted and just pause things after that, okay?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Five months.

Five months.

Dear Butternut,

Your momma's a slacker. Oops. I'm only a week late in writing this letter, so it could be worse, eh? You could be thirteen and laying a guilt trip on me for never making a baby book for you, which, um, I haven't gotten around to yet either. Anyway.

Month five was another big month for you. We officially unswaddled you because you started rolling back to belly in your sleep. And boy, did it tick you off to wake up on your belly without your arms free to turn yourself back over. Your father and I were frankly terrified that your sleep routine would totally degenerate...and that fear was somewhat well founded, as your nap routine went out the window. But you still sleep well enough at night, at least once we finally get you asleep.

You do roll, but only a few times a week. You are much more interested in doing your "baby crunches" because you want to sit up so badly. We practice sitting up every day, and you love it. You have even "tripoded" a couple of times and impressed the pediatrician because that's a six-month skill. Way to go, my little overachiever!

There's a spoon in this month's photo because it was the month of starting solids. One night shortly after you turned four months, your father announced he was bored and started feeding you baby oatmeal. Yup. This is our parenting philosophy. Have fun with that for the next couple decades.

We call you our baby bird when you're eating solids because you open up your moth for more as soon as the spoon gets within several inches. We are just sticking with oatmeal for now, but soon we will be branching out into pears, poultry, and squash. You are beginning to master putting things in your mouth, so we are looking forward to doing finger foods eventually as well.

We skipped the solid food when we went to New England for a week. Yes, your very first plane and train trips - we flew to Boston where you met your Grandpa Slotnick and Auntie Nicole and their family, and then we took a train to Maine for a reunion with your Nana's family. You were such a trooper, even though you were utterly exhausted every day due to lack of naps. And of course, everyone thought you were made of awesome.

We sing more lullabies now that you're having a harder time falling asleep, and you just stare at me in fascination. You smile little smiles, and I try so hard to not smile back so you know it's naptime and not playtime. But I am not good at playing it straight-faced, so you know I'm happy you're happy.

Speaking of that, you are such a joy. I just don't know how else to explain it. We marvel at what a happy baby you are. One of my greatest wishes for you is that you retain your ability to smile and laugh at the life's littlest joys.

That's it, Stinky McStinkerson. Momma loves you.


That Lady Whose Hair You Like to Pull

Why you growing up, buddy?

Awkward family photo.

Hold on, buddy.

Not my childhood piano.

Like father, like son.

George is thoroughly entertained by @rshade.