Monday, September 28, 2009

A Day in My Life, by Caleb

Trying to lift my head

Talking sports with Daddy

Posing for Mommy

Watching tv with Poppie

Sitting up

Falling asleep after eating

Birdwatching off the balcony

Practicing to be a big boy one day

Cuddling with Daddy

Acting silly at bathtime

Being cute all the time

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thoughts on Motherhood, 7.5 weeks in

Random stuff I'm currently learning:

  • Moms don't get to punch the clock, it really is a 24/7 job. Holidays and vacations take on a whole new meaning as well.
  • Who knew such a small human being could fill up a sedan with baby gear?
  • I analyze poop on a daily basis. His, not mine. ;)
  • Sleep deprivation makes me somewhat evil.
  • I love sitting in the glider, rocking Caleb to sleep.
  • Finding his precious baby hair on his sheets makes me sad.
  • Clothing sizes do not match Caleb's chronological age...he easily wears 3-6 month clothing, and he'll be 8 weeks in a couple of days.
  • A basket full of dirty baby clothes only equates to a small load in the washer. :)
  • I am married to an amazing husband who is an equally amazing father. He even does nighttime feedings on the weekends to allow me much needed sleep.
  • I could squeeze a pudgy baby face all day long :)
  • I have way more respect for moms of multiples. I really don't know how I'd be able to cope with more than one infant at a time.
  • Soy formula makes for smelly baby burps
  • I love watching him explore the world. Staring outside from his bouncy seat, taking it all in.
  • I really had no clue what I was in for when I was pregnant. That was the easy part!
  • Having family live in the same city is a major blessing.
  • Because I talk mostly to a baby all day, I am a little too eager to have adult conversation, and desperately stretch out dialogue.
  • I find it hard to believe that the same pair of baby eyes I stare into, will be the very same eyes I look into when he's thirty years old.
  • Breastfeeding was not only a physical challenge, but an emotional one as well.
  • No one knows my baby like I do :)
  • Babies 'R Us is not as romantic as it used to be, back in my single days. It's now the equivalent of going to the grocery store, necessary but a pain.
  • My heartstrings have been tugged as I have already packed away some baby clothes. Will another future son get to use them? Who knows?
  • Finding new fat folds each week is a new hobby of mine.
  • I kinda get why 'only children' exist....
  • I'm sorry I ever thought mean things in my head to moms with crying babies in stores.
  • I love how angelic he looks while he sleeps.
  • Strangers do not respect the "canopy down" position on his carrier. If it's down, it's down for a reason, usually because my poor kid gets easily overstimulated, so please...don't lift it!
  • I regret not having taken more photos thus far.
  • I love hearing him make new sounds for the first time.
  • He is my son and I hope he knows how much I truly love him.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reading like a Fiend

In what little time I do have to do whatever, aside from getting dressed and washing bottles, I have been reading up a storm. No surprise here, they're all parenting books. Perhaps you've heard of them, swear by them, or think they're a load of bologna.

On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo: Details an "infant management plan to help babies synchronize their feeding, waketime, and nighttime sleep cycles."

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD: "The new way to calm crying and help your newborn baby sleep longer." Explores the 5 S's: Swaddling, Side/Stomach, Shushing, Swinging, and Sucking.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD: Helping to shape sleep habits from infant to teen. Explores a scientific approach behind the need for sleep.

The Baby Whisperer solves all your problems by Tracy Hogg: Teaching parents the right questions to ask concerning feeding, sleeping, and behavior to diagnose your child's issues.

Having read these four books, I've learned a few things. Mainly, there is no one, right way to raise your child. Seemingly, most of the information contradicts each other. Two of the books use the "cry it out" or "extinction" method, while the other two advocate soothing your baby upon first cry. I guess I'm kinda using the middle of the road approach. Do I think I will somehow damage or destroy Caleb's trust in me by letting him cry it out every now and then? No. Do I think I'm being manipulated by Caleb if I cuddle him when he cries? No. All I know is that I'm doing my best with what I know.

Pretty much all the books deplore the idea of rocking your child to sleep, as it will inevitably cause a dependence upon it to fall asleep. While I do think this could be a problem with an older baby, for a six week old, I don't think that's an issue quite yet. I find it strange that almost every nursery has a glider or rocker in it, and yet "experts" tell you not to use it that much.

Swaddling works like a charm however, and doesn't have the same "ill effects" of rocking. When Caleb is a little fussbucket, swaddling helps him calm down almost immediately. That, and he loves his Binky :) Not to worry, he won't be one of those poor three year olds that is still sucking away on it.

Thank the Lord he does really well at night. We're still not yet sleeping through the night, but after he feeds, he goes right back to bed. I only wish the poor kid could nap decently during the day. As it is, the world must be way too exciting for him, because he'll stay awake and observe everything. I am amazed to watch his eyes soak everything in, studying things meticulously. By the way he looks at me, I think he could mold my face out of clay pretty easily.

This afternoon, we shared one of those moments that you will forever cherish, and wish that you could freeze it and it would last indefinitely. As I held him, our cheeks were touching together, and I could feel his baby breath upon my face. It was so intimate, and my heart simply overflowed with love.

I cannot believe that my little boy is already six weeks old. It is going by so incredibly fast. I have to be intentional in savoring the little moments between all of the mundane tasks like changing diapers, burping, bathing, washing bottles, and folding his baby clothes. How is it that someone so small and so dependent can steal your heart away?

I've been thinking of a passage lately that has even more meaning now, since I am a mother.

Isaiah 49:14-16 "But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.' 'Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.'"

How could it be that a mother could ever forget her child? It seems impossible, doesn't it? A love so strong...yet weak in comparison to God's love for us. May we remember how special we truly are to God every day.