Monday, March 31, 2008

Newsletter: Month 6

Dear JB,

We're a few days late with the newsletter this month. This is especially bad on our part since last Friday you turned 6 months old.

Though none are a good enough excuse, there are several reasons we are not on time:

1) The exhaustion of our new schedule is starting to hit home;

2) We have been experiencing the after-effects of your first infection (which has included each of us "coming down with 'something');

3) It is March which = "March Madness" ...Also known as long-haired-Mama's sucking on a crack-pipe called "women's hoops" while Short-haired-Mama's drinking to dull the pain.

4) March this year has also been packed full of holidays... Nana's birthday, Mia's, Amaya's , and Ben's birthdays, Aunt KK's birthday, St. Patrick's day, Auntie Web's birthday, Grandma Bella coming home from Florida, Mac's birthday, Easter... The parties were never ending this month.

Lastly, this has been such an amazing time with you that it has been a little intimidating to consider how to capture it in a brief "newsletter."

I just finished giving you a bottle of formula. This is only your 3rd formula feeding ever. My milk supply has been sufficient, but with little to spare. So today, when I didn't really drink enough water and I didn't pump often enough at work, it seemed best to pump tonight and save that for you tomorrow. It was a change in our evening routine- giving you store-bought formula when I usually feed you right off the tittie tap. ... And I have to admit, it was kind of satisfying to give you that 8 oz bottle. First of all, you were a cool-pro gripping the bottom of the bottle with your entire palm as you guzzled the large amount right down. At about 1/2 way through I tried to make you take a burp break and you would have none of it. You looked at me the way I am sure I would have looked at any mo-fo who tried to take away the last 1/2 of a McDonald's cheeseburger that I was working on. It was a cry of torture and betrayal.

When I gave in and re-offered the fake nipple, you drank for a few minutes more leaving less than 1/2 an ounce in the bottle. I figured I could get you to just finish the last few drops, but just as with the burp, I was wrong. You licked your lips before pursing them. When I offered the bottle a 3rd time, you fluttered your eyes open as if to say, "You're still here?" When I smiled and whispered, "I love you." you gave me a big grin and then fell asleep with your mouth still 1/2 open in an upturned smile.


I love that you have your own ideas of how things should go... (not burping, not finishing the bottle, etc.) and yet you are totally easy going (like the way you venture from flesh-nipple to synthetic-nipple and formula to mom's milk without making a fuss.)

As a family, we were mentioned in the New York times on St Patrick's Day this month. There was a picture of the 3 of us on the front page of the Metro section. We are sitting on our couch with our beloved painting of the Yellow Springs "kiddie pool" in the background. I'm not going to lie, something that might have made me strut and puff with pride a few years ago (appearing in the NYTimes) made me feel a little "overexposed." That was in part because of you and feeling protective and worried that I was signing you up for something you might not be interested in participating in. Also, I don't want the world to see how freaking cute you are... so I was kind of happy when the photo did not show your face.

This month, I think I have finally come to appreciate the differences in your Mama and me. It is like night and day (literally.) If she wasn't on top of her game the way she is in the morning, I might not get out of the house to get you to work camp day care before noon. And if it weren't for my high functionality at and beyond the dinner hour, your Mama just might not have been able to locate (let alone cook) dietary sustenance before dissolving in a puddle on the kitchen floor by 10:02pm during one of these chilly, March nights. If that had happened, by the way, we likely would have lost her as she blended into a lot of the other formerly solid, organic matter that has become part of the not-recently-cleaned, tile-patterned linoleum filth floor. But back to the point, we have been sharing the household chores amicably and taking care of each other in the best ways each of us knows how.

This month (as you may recall) you got a bronchiolits and your first otitis. Even in sickness, you were adorable and found things to smile and laugh about. Your first symptom was decreased appetite (which surprised everyone in that it is definitely NOT a web-family trait.) Then the 2 surprising things were how much you whimpered and cried and how much you slept. You have never been much of a crier. We remarked to each other several times this month how different the last 6 months would have been if you cried anywhere near as much as you did when you were sick this March. Also, our hearts were torn when you wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep. We knew it was because you weren't feeling well, but we were a little thrilled to have you "crashed out on our chests" for so many hours during those days and night.

Developmental milestones for this month include: being able to stay balanced in the sitting up position (new nickname: "Tripod".) And rolling over from back to front (old news) and at least once, from front to back. You have added oatmeal, carrots, apples, pears, and bananas to the sweet potatoes, sweet peas and rice in your diet. You eat baby food once a day at about 6pm, and are taking in about 24 to 32 oz of milk a day. (That's 2 or 3 six to seven oz bottles at school, and breastfeeding in the am and pm.) You also spend a good percentage of your waking hours sucking on your fingers and toes. You've been loving your toes for a few months now, but laying you on your back and allowing you unrestrained access to your feet has become our most consistently effective method of getting you talking.

You are cooing and screeching and what I call "crooning." You definitely make long drawn-out sounds like you are singing. And you do a lot of the da-da, ga-ga, ba-ba but with soft indistinguishable beginning consonants... all of those three noises sound the same. You are definitely learning to express yourself with your voice and your body.

This month was the first time you saw my naked breast and reached up & cried out for it: "Aaaaaaaaghhhhhhha." Your Mama and I initially reacted with a mutual, "uh-oh." But after we giggled at your new "trick" we were pretty proud of the evidence that you are starting to recognize how things are connected. One night, a few days later, your mama was up with you in the middle of the night and she said you kept looking at the door, then at the glider where I usually breastfeed you; then at the door, then at the glider... After a few minutes she said you seemed to look are her with a "Is she coming in here or what?" expression.

Also, in that same week, I left you on a blanket to play as I went to draw your bath. When I was almost out of the room you started crying and I assumed you pulled a book onto your head or something, so I turned around to "fix" your position. When I turned, you stopped crying instantaneously. I smiled at you and you laughed back. But when I turned again, you cried out again. It wasn't a "hey, come back here" kind of whine, it was a "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..." that stopped dramatically when I turned back the 2nd time too. Most people that know your mommy can guess what happened next: I amused myself for a few minutes with a 2-step-to-the-door shuffle, turning your tears "on" and "off". When I grew bored of this, I scooped you up and took you with me to draw the bath.

One of the more endearing things that has started happening this month is if you are laying in between your parents, you will reach your hands out to touch both of our faces at the same time. You will usually turn your head to look back and forth at us, and at least once have fallen asleep with a hand on each of our cheeks. It's hard to explain why this touches me so but it is some kind of perfect intimacy, and I've realized that you sometimes make me feel more "important" than anyone or anything has ever made me feel. Also in those quite, private moments (I'm not even conscious of it but) I feel proud of the way we've lived and the decisions we've made that have ultimately led to the 3 of us laying there together, loving each other.

It is finally spring, and though many days are still chilly, some are quite mild. It is an amazing thing for your mommies to realize this is the first spring of your life and our first spring with you here on the outside with us. We tell you when we walk outside how much you are going to love spring and summer. The outdoor world is bright, you've never spent significant time in direct sunlight, but when you look up at the sky, you do seem to say, "WOW. Who's house is this?!?" It's like no popcorn ceiling you've ever seen before.

We love you up to the sun and back.

Your mommies.

1 comment:

C-LO said...

Oh, this one is just TOO CUTE!!!!!!