Monday, May 22, 2006

Suggestions needed - come out and play!

Okay, I know you guys are out there reading. Yeah, I check the stats.

I'm sure it's fun to read when I'm talking about boobs and cabbage and whatnot. But now I need some suggestions, so pay attention.

I need to know what you think is the best way to affect change in the world, one person at a time. Education? Food? Health care? I'm not really interested in donating to a general cause - I want somewhere that says "If you donate X dollars, you pay for one year of school fees for a child in Africa." Or "If you donate Y, you innoculate 20 children against Malaria." Something concrete.

I admit a bias against American programs; in general, I think there are so many ways for a person here to get help if they want it: after-school programs, Head Start, lunch programs, church programs, scholarships, etc. A kid in Afghanistan really has no options. I also admit a bias towards programs that help out women and girls.

If you had to pick one cause, one program, what would it be?

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Just now, Deborah came over to hang out with Nate for a little while. He was sitting on my lap and heard the door opening and FREAKED OUT with excitement. Jumping up and down while burrowing into my shoulder, because he knew that the door opening meant that someone was coming (Daddy, usually). He's starting to make all of these amazing connections and it's blowing my mind.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's hard to take yourself seriously...

...when you're writing with cabbage in your bra.

I am right in the middle of a big change in my life. Nate started taking a bottle last week, and we've slowly added formula into his diet. Today he drank his first bottles of only formula, which means that I am officially done breastfeeding. I stopped pumping 36 hours ago, and you simply cannot believe the condition of my breasts. I had thought since I'd tapered off of the pumping that I'd be okay, but lordy lordy.

At 11:30 last night, Stewart was sent to the store for a head of cabbage, the seeming hands-down remedy for helping milk dry up. I have leaves stuffed in my bra as I write this. I don't know if they're helping or not, but I'll try anything.

So another chapter of my life with the boy is passing right in this very moment. I'm happy and glad and relieved, and a little sad that he's not such a baby anymore. Every day he is crawling, literally and figuratively, away from me. That's how it's supposed to be, but I almost can't take it!

I've stopped working on my business during the day, and e-mailing friends, because I don't want to miss a minute of how wonderful he is right now. Funny, friendly, outgoing, fearless. Fabulous.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The boy

For so long, it was really the same every day. Small changes all the time, but nothing major.

In the last 5 days, everything has changed. The boy crawls pretty well. He pulls up onto his knees and then balances there. He pulls himself to standing and once even let go! Of course I missed it, but at least Grandma Jill saw it. He crawled up a step! He babbles Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma and Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba, and he's eating everything in sight. Today was Day 1 of what I'm sure will be a lot of Macaroni and Cheese days.

And he drinks from a bottle like he's been doing it for years. I have no idea what happened, but I tried it for the millionth time and he guzzled it down. Tried it again, and he guzzled that one too. It's been 3 full days now, and he's only nursed 5 time - every other feed was from a bottle. I've started adding a bit of formula into each one, and hope to have him totally on formula by the end of Memorial Day Weekend. Henceforth to be referred to as Freedom Weekend. Or I'm Taking A Percocet Or Maybe Three Weekend. I Don't Have To Wear A Bra To Bed Weekend. And so on.

Today we were outside with a friend, and I put Nate on his feet and held his hands. Our friend called to him and he started walking towards her. It's taking every part of me not to stop him from going.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


Jeez Mom, you don't have to totally overreact to everything. Bottle and I are cool, I told you that last week! Jeez, don't you ever listen to me? I bumped into him after gym class and he was all "What's up?" and I was all "Whatever, man, it's cool" and we chilled for a litle while. It's no big deal. Whatever. Jeez.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Monthly Newsletter, Month Eight (two days early)

Dear Nate,

You are grinning at me as I type this sentence. You have the most perfect baby grin in the entire world. Daddy needs to take a few new pictures of you and catch this perfect grin before you're 14 and you hate us.

A few moments ago, I looked around my computer screen and you had pulled yourself up to a kneeling position, holding onto the ottomon. When you saw me, you let go of the ottomon to grin at me, and just sat there, kneeling, UPRIGHT. That was the very first time you balanced yourself upright in your whole long life. You are also just starting to pull yourself up on things, like the top rail of your crib, and my leg.

Your crawling is very clumsy, but clearly taking shape. You can just get yourself to a sitting position from the crawling one, and everything is changing. You have turned into a very happy baby - grinning at strangers and reaching for them, and then burying your head in my shoulder. You still like to reach out and grab people's noses and cheeks.

Everybody comments on how cute you are, and your big blue eyes. I think you're the best looking kid around.

You eat "finger food" now - Cheerios and tofu cubes (how American is that?!). You're getting better about eating food when you're hungry, instead of screaming to nurse. Next month, I may make an attempt to wean you onto the sippy cup - those teeth of yours are giving your Mama a rough time these days. I'm sure that when you're old enough to be reading this you won't really want to think about that, but it's good fodder for the therapist's couch.

You still love your "Look Ma! No hands!" trick where you put a toy, pencil, credit card, etc., into your mouth and then let go with both hands in the air. You make a funny face trying to hold whatever it is in your mouth. You love waving your arms in the air - when I feed you in your highchair, you often are waving both hands out to the side the whole time. I know you're sleeping in your stroller when your hands are lying limply at your sides - that's about the only time they are!

You love to sit up in your stroller now, instead of lounging against the back. You look so cute, and so many people smile at you while we walk. You especially love it when I put some Cheerios in the tray on the front of the stroller - you grab them with both hands now, and try to manuver them into your eager mouth. Sometimes I find you with your hands balled up, and when I get them open I find Cheerios clutched inside. I don't think you even remember that they're there!

You LOVE, LOVE riding on our shoulders. When Daddy puts you up there, you just grin and grin, and you slap your hands on top of his head in joy. You love to slap your hands on tables, on the floor, on our heads and arms.

You love toys that weren't meant to be toys (and you ignore a lot of toys that were!) You adore chewing on toothbrushes, medicine bottles, pens, keys, baby spoons, straws, and anything shiny or jingly. Now that you're getting mobile, Daddy and I are going to have to be very careful about what we leave lying around. You have incredibly fast hands, and grab things before we notice!

You are the sleeping champion now, the envy of all the sleepless Mamas and Daddys out there. 6:30 to 6:30 every night, without a peep. Tomorrow you and I are going to Indiana to see Aunt Beth get married, and I think it might throw off your schedule. But I know that when we get home, you'll get right back on track.

When we're in Indiana, we're staying with Mama's friend Kara, and her husband Jason and baby Emma! Mama and Kara were pregnant at the same time, and we're so excited to finally meet each other's babies. I think you're going to be spoiled rotten there.

This is your "I'm NOT HAPPY" face:

I think we have a great life, Natey. You are such a delight. You play by yourself a lot, but you also love for me to hold you and tickle you and throw you in the air and make silly faces at you. Tonight I had you hysterically laughing by just rubbing my face and making a funny noise. You think I'm hilarious. You love me so much right now, and I'm soaking it in for as long as it lasts.

When you're tired, you lay your head on my shoulder and tuck your whole body into mine. Sometimes you wake from a nap feeling disoriented and cranky, and when you do I turn on your mobile, and hold you in my arms, and you watch your mobile with your head on my shoulder. I would do anything in the world to keep you safe and happy. I love you so much.


Monday, May 1, 2006

Where we're AT.

The boy officially sleeps through the night. I think it's four nights in a row now without even a peep - 6:30 to 6:30. We're heading to Indiana this weekend to see my best friend get married (MARRIED!) and visit with another friend, and I suspect it'll throw him off of his game. But I know that we can recover, and a long road of sleep stretchs out into my future.

He's still on the verge of crawling and being able to sit himself up. He can definitely move around a lot and get to things, but there's no formal crawling.

Friend Dave and I had an excursion yesterday to buy soil and tomato plants and herb plants, and I decided to break out the Kelty carrier that I bought while pregnant (retail price: $89. Super-baby-sale price: $15). The boy loves it. Well, I don't know that he loves it for sure, but I do know that he googled around silently for 45 minutes in Costco. If he had been in the shopping cart seat it would been a series of picking him up and putting him down and assuaging the whining with many cheerios and dropping the cheerios and stepping on them and feeling guilty about littering and oh my god he wants me to pick him up again...

So even if he doesn't love it, I sure as heck do.