Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Goodbye 2010. You were a wonderful year... a year that I got to meet my little man and watch him change from a tiny infant (well, tiny to me!) into an active, happy, and amazing little guy. Motherhood has been an experience that has been so much more amazing then I ever dreamed. The simple act of a smile is enough to make my day go from bad to good and even the most exhausting sleepless night is made okay by the act of a few babbling noises that string together to sound something like mama or hi. It is so amazing to me to watch him each day discover new things... the way he sits and is truly amazed by something as simple as a plastic plate or a hairbrush, the look on his face when he tries new foods and discovers he likes them, the grin on his face when he finally accomplishes something he has been trying to do. These moments I will never forget. I would never say that things have been easy, but motherhood is the most rewarding experience I have ever had.

I don't want to say this too loudly...

but i'm getting SLEEP!! OH MY GOD SLEEP!!

The first night I swore it was a fluke. He went down at 6:30, woke up at 8:30, then didn't wake up again till after 11! Then again at 4... then not again until 7! It was a fluke... it HAD to be a fluke. Then the next night was the same... up at 8:30, then 11, then 5, then 6:30 (I woke him up when I got up for work), then he went back to sleep until 7:30. At this point I was getting hopeful... excited almost! But surely, surely there would not be a third night in a row.

But there was!!

Thats right folks, for 3 nights in a row i've only had to get up twice! 11ish and 4ish. He's also been sleeping in his bed ALL night! I get up and feed him and put him back to bed! Sometimes if he wakes up and fusses my husband goes in to rock him back to sleep... but that typically only takes about 10 minutes.

What changed? NOTHING! I have NO idea why now all of a sudden he's sleeping! But he is... and I have to say I feel like a new person! This morning when my alarm went off at 6am I was not in a half asleep stupor hitting the snooze button for almost an hour. I actually got out of bed... had a showre... and didn't feel the strong urge to drink coffee!

PLEASE let this trend continue! PLEASE!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

9 Months!

Somehow my little man has turned 9 months old! How did that happen again and where is the pause button???

As I was sitting this evening putting Eirik to bed, I noticed that slowly he has been loosing that infant look and it is being replaced by a toddler look... my baby is growing up!


I have to try and weigh and measure him this weekend. I know that he's getting sort of snug in some of his 12 - 18 month clothes depending on the brand. In one piece things and some sleepers he's in the 18 - 24month however in pants and shirts he's still in 12 - 18 months most of the time.I've been slowly moving over his wardrobe as thing gets snug, especially since for Christmas he got a bunch of 18 - 24 month clothes!

Nothing big in the way of new skills this month. He's a speed crawler now and has discovered... the stairs. We try and keep him distracted from them but if we aren't paying attention he makes a beeline for them! He hasn't figured out how to climb them... yet. He cruises on anything he can pull up on and will push objects around the room! He's not standing on his own yet though so I think i've got a little longer before he figures out walking. On the talking front i'm 99% sure we're saying dada and knowing its dada so in my mind thats his first official word. There are times when he's seen my husband and gone "dada". However he also just generally babbles dadadada... This month we've been getting mamama and bababa babbelings too! He also says something that sounds like kitty sometimes... i'm thinking that may be word number 2!

On the food front we're sort of in a weird place. I think he wants to eat food but he gets frustrated trying to eat it. We're doing the self led solids so he's always been finger fed which is okay, however he still doesn't have a great pincher grasp. For example tonight he was trying to eat peas and while he wanted to eat them he had issues getting them in his mouth so he gave up. He gets frustrated easily when he's tired so dinner is typically his worst meal of the day because he has no patience to eat the food. At this point I'm pretty much giving him just about everything, even some foods on the "no" list because we have no family history of allergies and so far he's not shown any signs of allergies. We haven't done anything peanut yet, no shellfish, and no citrus. But pretty much whatever we eat for dinner he eats too!

He's still very much a boob man though. I'm still pumping twice a day at work which is covering what he takes in a day and still allows me a little extra usually. I did have a large supply drop about a month ago because my body is attempting to figure itself out. I had a few really low output days and even now i've rebounded i'm not pumping as much as I was before. I had thought about stopping pumping at a year but now i'm considering going longer but just pumping once a day. But, that's a more in depth post for another day.

Sleep? yea... about that sleep thing... we have our good nights and our bad nights... and then we have our "mommy is going to go get a hotel room and sleep all day instead of going to work" nights (no, i haven't really done this). I have to admit that things have gotten better. He is in a pretty good nap routine at the moment and is typically taking 2 1 1/2 - 2 hour naps! We also have a great bedtime routine now... we are starting bedtime at 6:30 and I would say about 90% of the time there is no fight getting him to sleep. He has a bath, a story, he eats, and then we'll rock until he's asleep. After that its hit or miss as to when he wakes up again. On good nights we are up 4 times a night total, on bad nights its 6 or 7 however most of those are early in the night. Some nights he sleeps in his crib, some nights its our bed, but most nights its a combo. Honestly we go with whatever works. We put him in his crib to start and the typically after 11 he's in bed with us and then sometimes at 4 or 5 am if he doesn't resettle and trys to play we move him back to his crib.

I really can't believe how quickly he's growing up and changing. Each day he seems to do something new, even if its just something as simple as figure out a toy!

I guess now I had better start thinking about his birthday! I'm not quite ready to do that yet...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let The Biting Begin...

Its official, Eirik has started to bite me. Until now I think he would, but it wasn't enough that I noticed. Well, the top two teeth are on their way in and the biting is out of control! I had hoped maybe he wouldn't be a biter... so much for that dream! Thankfully so far he hasn't actually hurt me too badly. I am doing the unlatch and a stern NO when he bites in hopes he will quickly realize that biting is NOT okay. He gets a very upset look on his face when I do this... he doesn't cry but you can see him processing. Here's hoping he gets the hint soon!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas today! If you don't celebrate Christmas I hope you enjoyed whatever it is you did instead. =)

Before we get to what I know you all want to see, cute pictures, I'm just going to take a moment to reflect.

It was Christmas day 2007 when my husband and I for the first time tried to have a baby. It was that special night that you suddenly go "no more preventing". At the time I had dreams in my mid of being pregnant by spring and having a baby by Christmas of 2008. Well, as we know that isn't the way life played out and it wasn't until the middle of 2009 that I actually became pregnant. Today watching Eirik enjoy his first Christmas brought back memories of so long ago. It made me remember just how far I've come. The road I traveled to get here was emotionally exhausting and draining. This Christmas I am so thankful for my little man. His smiles make my roughest days better and seeing the simple joy he gets out of things brings a smile to my face.

And now, on to the pictures.

He quickly discovered gifts that were for him! Note the cat keeping a close eye on things.


Showing daddy the gift he made. Its an ornament with a handprint in the middle!


My cats as usual enjoyed the empty boxes


Big Christmas Smiles!


My parents sent him a chocolate santa clause.  His first taste of chocolate!


To say he liked it would be an understatement....


At the end of the day however he was quite an exhausted little man...


Overall I think he found the entire experience quite overwhelming. My father in law, his girlfriend, and my brother came over and at first he was not a happy little guy. While he did enjoy his new toys (we tried to limit ourself but of course my brother and father in law got him toys so we're going to have to reorganize the toys a bit) it was all a lot for him to take in. He didn't nap well either today which made things more difficult. Those top 2 teeth are on their way in (I think they may have actually cut through) so he was a grumpy little man from that too.

Mommy had a good Christmas however! She got a new wii game (on my list of things to do after this!) DVDs, kitchen stuff, LOTS of yummy things to eat and drink, and a Kindle! Needless to say I am now surfing the web trying to find things to read. Anyone have any good advice??

So, as I said before, I hope you all had a wonderful day! I am now off to eat another Christmas cookie and play with my Wii!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some Thoughts On The Internet

This is a topic i've been sort of kicking around for a while, but its come up on quite a few blogs I follow so I think i'm going to address it here at last.

How public is too public?

I am very aware that my blog is currently able to be read by anyone. And honestly that doesn't bother me too much... nothing I post on here is that shocking. I post a few opinions but typically my updates are limited to how Eirik is doing and what new things he is doing.

The older Eirik gets however the more I have begun to think about what I should be posting in a public forum. Does the whole world really need access to pictures of my son? I love sharing them, but I don't know who is looking at them. This subject is one that became in the front of my mind a few months ago. On facebook there was a huge outcry because a grown man with weird fetishes as his likes was joining cloth diaper sites. Because of this a lot of cloth diaper sites took down any public photos in their group because there was concern over who was looking at them.

I'm sort of torn. On the one hand I really want to leave parts of this blog public but on the other I think I need the option to protect some things starting next year. The problem here is that blogger will not let me just protect some posts and not others... it seems I have to make the entire blog privet. Of course that is an option, however i have no issues with having blogs concerning baby items I find useful and cloth diaper reviews public. In fact I have been toying around with starting another blog that was dedicated to cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and whatnot.

So be prepared my followers for some changes next year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Its Begining To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Ah Christmas... only a few short days away! This year has been exceptionally hectic for me, trying to squeeze everything in during Eirik's naps or when my husband is home! Where as before I could just do my christmas shopping after work without a care in the world this year I had to plan in advance on days when I could stay out a little later. Needless to say a lot more shopping was done online this year! Baking too proved to be more time consuming then planned. I didn't get all the cookies I wanted made because I simply ran out of time. Some may think i'm a little insane to try and bake cookies, but I really do enjoy baking and its an easy gift for my husbands students.

This weekend we finally got the house completely decorated and the tree purchased. I love live trees. I would really love to go cut one down but due to time constraints we instead went down the road and purchased one. Maybe next year! Eirik has completely ignored the tree much to my relief. I had images of him trying to pull it over. No, he still thinks that the cats and the coffee table are much more interesting!

Of course after we got the tree up I had to dress Eirik up and take some photos of him under it. Sadly the camera battery died only minutes after I got him in place and of course all the batteries need to be charged... but I did get a few cute ones.



Now off to finish writing Christmas cards and MAYBE start wrapping gifts. I haven't wrapped a single one yet!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Never Know Their History

Last night I attended a Christmas party that was thrown by a friend of mine from college. There were a few of us from college there and the rest of the guests at the party where her new boyfriends friends. Needless to say most of the night was spent with the small group of college friends catching up and laughing about college days. The one girl that I talked to quite a bit I didn't know that well in college. We had probably met once or twice in passing at my friends house, but it wasn't really until after graduation at a previous party that I started talking to her more.

I try not to be nosey about children when talking to people, especially since you never now their history. However as we were talking she made a comment about saving up her vacation at work for when they have a baby. At this point the topic of kids was fair game. She had asked about Eirik and said how cute he was so casually I asked her if she and her husband were thinking of having a baby soon.

Before long it all came out... they had been trying but she has endo and was told my her doctor that they had almost no chance of getting pregnant on their own and she had been doing clomid and it wasn't working so now she was seeing a fertility specialist but the insurance didn't kick in. I sat there and nodded at her in complete understanding and slowly over the course of the night we ended up talking more about infertility then anything else. I got the distinct feeling that everyone else in her life had it easy when it came to having babies and she had no one to really talk to about her struggles that understood. She talked about how she wasn't going to anymore baby showers because it was too painful and about how everywhere she went she saw pregnant women.

As we talked I told her about our struggles, my issues, and my miscarriage. It was the first time I've really sat down with someone I didn't know well and talked about this. Most people whom I have talked with about infertility I knew well... they are people who know my story and my history. But here was someone who I really didn't know all that well. I tried to give her hope... I told her stories of women I knew who had gotten pregnant using various fertility treatments.

I got a message on facebook this morning from her saying to keep in touch. 

I think last night we went from acquantances who knew each other through a mutual friend to actual friends.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Early Christmas Gift...

With one week to go until Christmas and a week and a half until Eirik turns 9 months old it seems my period has returned. Maybe. I think.

Last week I noticed my  milk supply had dipped majorly. Typically I was getting about 16 - 20oz a day out of 2 pumps however last week I was only getting about 12oz a day out of 2 pumps... that's just enough to cover Eirik for the next day and have nothing in the freezer. I freaked. First thought was a parts issue so I purchased new tubing. But then the cramps started. Now I have to add here i've had on and off weird cramps for months and nothing happened. However this time the cramps and the supply drop made me go "hummm".

Then this morning, spotting... and more cramping. We'll see if this turns into a full blown period of if its just spotting.

I did not miss my period. I did not miss insane cramps and ridiculously heavy bleeding. I did not miss needing to take 800mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours for the first 2 days of my period. I did not miss pads and other feminine articles and wearing black clothes just in case of leakage (yes, I am prone to this thanks to the heavy bleeding).

Merry Christmas to me!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Surprise 9 Month Appointment

So today Eirik had a doctors appointment. It was supposed to be a follow up visit from when he was there 2 weeks ago for a sick visit. Well apparently since its so close to 9 months they just decided to go ahead and do all his 9 month appointment stuff while he was there! Now usually I wouldn't mind, but I wasn't there today. My husband took Eirik. In fact I had specifically taken off on the date we scheduled his 9 month appointment for so I could be there!

So, since my husband took him it means I don't have his length but I do have his weight: 21.6lbs! He has really slowed down in growth since he started becoming more mobile. I guess that makes sense, he's burning all those calories moving around EVERYWHERE! He's still in the 75 - 90th%. I'll have to pull out the tape measure and try and see if I can guess how long he is. I think he must be pretty long because a lot of his 12 - 18 month sleepers are starting to fit him perfectly and a few pairs of pants are even too short!

Apparently the little man got 1 shot and a vision test. I had no idea they did a vision test at 9 months! My husband said they attached electrodes to his head and made him watch a monitor with images on. The score is 1 - 5 and he got a 3, which apparently is good.

The doctor of course tried to give my husband advice about sleep... doing the cry it out method to get him to self sooth and moving him to his crib at night. While neither my husband or I are interested in doing cry it out we are going to try leaving him in his room at night. The reason for this is because we THINK its too overstimulating being in our room at night. Eirik has been having this awake period between 1 and 3 am. He'll fall back asleep but the second we put him in our bed he's wide awake again. Last night I played asleep while he had a conversation with the cat. Yes, he sat up, looked at the cat, took out his pacifier, and started talking and laughing to her. Then he decided that mommy and daddy made great climbing obstacles. After spending 2 hours rotating rocking him and me nursing him only to have him fall asleep and wake right back  up again we put him in his own bed... and he slept for 3 hours.

I have to confess here I am not ready for him to be in his own room. I love having him next to me at night. But, it seems that maybe Eirik is in his own way trying to say he is ready. We're going to experiment and see how it goes. I've learned parenthood is a series of experiments... trying things until you find something that works. and sometimes what you want to do and what actually works are 2 different things!

Finally here are a few pictures from the past few days!

Enjoying Pasta! Not sure how much he ate... but he enjoyed himself!


Helping me fold diapers! I thought maybe putting it on his head would distract him... nope! He ignored it!


Standing holding onto my pants!


Monday, December 13, 2010

A Graduate Again!

This post is a step away from mommy stuff for a moment and focus on... me!

In late 2007 I began trying to get pregnant. I was stressed and frazzled and trying to think of something to take my mind off of things... I had been toying around with the idea of going back to school and doing an online program but I hadn't found one that I liked. Then suddenly I came across a program that was perfect for me! It required no GRE's, was online, and would give me a masters degree in Biotechnology. I had an undergrad degree in Biology but quickly realized that to get anywhere I would need a masters degree. I applied for the program and was accepted to begin Fall 2008.

And now, 2 1/2 years later, I am officially done. That's right, tonight I made my last message board posting. I will admit that its been challenging at times. There have been classes I truly enjoyed and other classes that honestly I barely made it through. While i took most of my classes online I did spent my first semester doing a horrible commute (1 hour each way 2 nights a week after work) so that I didn't have to delay starting my classes.

I was concerned for a while about what would happen if I got pregnant while taking these classes and how difficult it would be to complete the courses with an infant. I have to say that these past 2 semesters, balancing new motherhood, work, and classes has been trying and difficult. I have found myself forced to choose between time with Eirik and doing homework or reading. I'm glad that I am done now, when Eirik is 9 months old, as opposed to when he's older. The older he gets and the more he's awake in the day the more difficult the balancing act is.

The funny part is that now I've accomplished this I find myself seriously questing my professional aspirations. almost 3 years ago when I decided I wanted to persue a masters degree I thought I knew what I wanted. Now after having Eirik I'm not so sure. Either way I'm proud to have accomplished this feat of getting my masters degree!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverse Cycling

Eirik has reverse cycled... after weeks of trying different tricks to get him to sleep and analyzing his sleeping patterns and responses to comforting this is the conclusion I have come to.

To those who don't know, this basiaclly means that since he's away from me all day he makes up for it at night. I have to admit until a few days ago this thought never occured to me becuase Eirik eats while I am at work! A lot of babies who reverse cycle don't take milk in the day hence hte all night nursing sessions. Eirik however will easily guzzle down 12oz while I am gone for about 9oz! (for a breastfed baby thats a lot). Then this week I started connecting the dots and after a few trial and error things this weekend I realized that yes... it was reverse cycling.

We were getting pretty good wtih sleep... around when I went back to work Eirik had started sleeping the occasional 5 - 6 hour stretch. I honestly thought we were going to be sleeping through the night! Then slowly things started getting worse... and worse... and worse. The epic nighttime battles of trying to get him to sleep and down for naps. Thankfully we seem to have gotten a nap and sleep schedule figured out but the one thing that I haven't been able to stop is constant night waking. Between 6 and 10pm he's up every 30 - 60 minutes and after that its about every 2 - 3 hours. I can almost set my clock by his wakings. Every efw weeks he throws me a bone and has a great night of sleep however these nights are few and far between.

If my husband tries to rock him or put him back to sleep its 30 minutes of all out screaming... then he is given to me and within seconds he's back to sleep or just about there.

My research on google has told me that there is no fix to reverse cycling... It seems this is just one of those things that I'm going to have to learn to live with. The best advice I have found is to make sure to do lots of extra breastfeeding at night before bed to "tank them up" so that is my new plan. Fingers crossed this helps at least a little!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More Food Progress!!

So for a while there I really felt stuck with food... I wasn't sure what to feed Eirik because he hasn't really developed a good pincher grip. I also felt that even though I was offering food he wasn't really eating it most of the time! Being paranoid I started to become worried he wasn't eating enough! The downside to doing the baby led solids approach is you have no measure of how much they are actually consuming! Then I came across information that made me realize I was completely over thinking this whole solids thing.  Hes still getting most of his nutrition from milk so its not a huge deal if some days he hardly touches his food!

Suddenly this week however I've gone all in about feeding him. Almost nothing is off limits!! I've also been really making sure my husband gives him something to eat for lunch. Dinner we always do but lunch has been hit or miss. Last night Eirik had pasta and a little sauce for dinner and he really enjoyed it! I was surprised! I'm not sure he ate much of the pasta but he did suck the sauce off his fingers. Tonight we did potato, brussel sprouts, chicken, and broccoli. He tasted a little of each but honestly didn't think much of any of it. I have to admit its really nice just plonking food that I am eating down in front of him and watching him eat! So far i've been really surprised by what he seems to like. The other night we had spinach and he really seemed to enjoy it!

Eirik is also getting better with actually picking up food and eating it. At first of course he played with it more but now hes realized that when I put food in front of him its for eating. Some foods are easier to pick up then others... but he is doing really well. I've also started to learn what his "i'm done" ques are.

Who knew food could be so much fun??

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do As I Say, Not As I Do!

I've discovered that the older Eirik gets the more it is actually encouraging me to change my lifestyle as well in a positive way!

When I was a kid we ate dinner in the kitchen at the table... no TV. I can only remember about 3 occasions where the TV was on during dinner, and that was when I was a teenager! Of course once college hit I began to eat more and more meals in front of the TV and by the time I had gotten married I was quite used to balancing my plate on my lap while I ate. My husband and I would typically watch something while we ate dinner. Usually a movie or an episode of a TV show. I always knew however that once Eirik was old enough to eat at the table with us my days of eating in the living room would be over. Sure enough once we started Eirik on solids and had him actually eating with us back to the table meals went. Now every night we sit down to dinner at the table!

I've also been a lot more careful about what foods I am buying and preparing. I am by no means only feeding him organic and natural foods... honestly I don't have that kind of money. But since we are doing baby led solids and he eats off our plates I am trying harder to prepare meals with fresh foods and to make sure things are healthy. Of course some nights are better then others... Saturday for example my husband and I had pizza while Eirik had broccoli.

It'll be interesting to see what other changes I make as he gets older!

Friday, December 3, 2010

More Mommy Guilt

Even though at my job the holidays are not specifically a busy time of year it always ends up that something occurs to make the month of December busy. Every year it seems that this time of year requires long hours and late nights and this year is no exception. We are a very small company therefore when something comes up everyone is needed so its hard to pull the baby excuse... especially when I know other people have infants and young children too.

For example, yesterday was our company christmas party as well as company wide update meeting. Typically I leave work at 4pm so I can get home for my husband to teach. This is not normally an issue however yesterday I was needed at work later. As we had no babysitter our solution was that Eirik actually came to work with me for about an hour and a half between the company meeting and the Christmas party so that my husband didn't have to cancel his lesson. While it was great for me to see Eirik for that hour and a half (otherwise I really wouldn't have seen him at all yesterday) it was another reminder of just how stressful being a working mom is.

Next week i will be staying late at work for 3 days... late enough that by the time i get home some of those nights Eirik may already be in bed as we start his bed routine about 6 or 6:30. Its so sad for me when I come home late and find him already asleep. An entire day without giggles and smiles and laughter and playing. It really makes me realize where my priorities in life are and dedicates me to getting myself in a situation where I don't have to sacrifice entire days at work and hardly see my son. While right now I know things can not change my hope is that next year they can.

Because honestly, who wants to be away from this face any more then they have to?