Finding the Right Care

Today we saw a new pediatrician for the boys. Well, sort of new. It was a pediatrician in the practice we used to go to before my husband’s fellowship. The last new pediatrician we saw started off well enough- we really liked the 2 main doctors in the practice, but then one left suddenly and one of the people who came to take his place was not a good fit for us. To put it mildly.

Last month, Will had a mild cold that simmered for almost 2 weeks. He had green snot and general unhappiness, but nothing major. I brought him in on a Thursday just to double check that his ears were okay as we headed into a busy weekend. She said they and fluid, but no redness or signs of infection. Three days later, he spiked a fever. A huge fever (104 with Motrin). I took him to the pediatrician assuming it was an ear infection given the way things had progressed. When we came back with the fever, he had significant redness and slight bulging of both ear drums and lots of cloudy fluid. Basically, he had a double ear infection. And yet, the pediatrician refused antibiotics.

Now look, I am ALL for reducing antibiotics. The AAP has guidelines for antibiotic use for ear infections and we love them. We do. I will whole heartedly support a doctor who refuses antibiotics if a child meets the criteria. Will met 2 criteria (only 1 was needed) for antibiotics. And yet, the doctor refused to provide them. Because we didn’t have insurance, we couldn’t go to urgent care without paying a lot of money or get a second opinion easily. So on her suggestion that it was probably Roseola (which, you cannot diagnose before the rash which emerges after the fever, so), we waited. After 4 days of high fevers and no sleep, I called back and she begrudgingly called in the meds. She gave me a long speech about how antibiotics don’t help viruses (duh) and we have to finish the entire course (duuuuuuuh) and I stopped listening because I was finally getting what I knew he needed.

And 4 doses of antibiotics later, his fever broke. And then he started sleeping again. MAGIC. Or, we finally helped his ears.

He finished his antibiotics on Friday of last week without issue. By Sunday, he had another fever. Today the pediatrician noted that his ear drums are still red and she thinks it’s probably that he’s still healing because the previous ear infection was so severe. She said IF his fever comes back (it has more or less gone away) or if he seems in pain to call and she will prescribe antibiotics over the phone if we can’t come in. WHAT A REASONABLE APPROACH.

Anyway. Eli got a clean bill of health. He’s still very thin (but now weighs 30 pounds!), but is growing a lot taller, so his BMI is low, but she was not at all worried. He’s on his own curve and that’s what matters. Will on the other hand, cannot stay on a curve to save his life. He’s finally back on the weight curve (15th percentile baby!), but he’s fallen a lot on the height curves (8th…) without explanation. He is significantly, noticeably smaller than his peers. I get asked on an almost daily basis if he is 7-8 months old by people in public. They are astounded when they find out that my 18.9 pound, 27.75 inch baby is a year old.

The new pediatrician reviewed his medical history and is worried that he has been sick a lot and that there may be an underlying issue. Certainly, a child in daycare will have frequent colds and viruses, but it turns out that Pneumonia (twice), ear infections (four times), bronchiolitis and a sinus infection all between 12 weeks and a year is a bit much. I agree. She’s going to review his newborn screen to make sure nothing came back abnormal there and referred us to an allergist/pulmonologist. If his ears don’t clear, we’ll also be seeing an ENT. And if his weight gain doesn’t continue to improve, we’ll head to a dietician. There was brief discussion of an immunology consult, but we’re not ready for that yet. We’re also moving him to a new daycare starting 2 weeks from tomorrow, so perhaps that will help too.

I feel like this past year we have tried really hard to be reasonable about our worries with Will’s health and today is the first time anyone has validated them. I want, more than anything, for Will to thrive and be healthy. My hope is that if there’s something to get to the bottom to, we can do it swiftly, and if not, that this phase will pass. I know it’s been tough on me for him to be so sick so often, I can only imagine how tough it is to not have the language to express pain and be in it so frequently.

Here’s to new starts and better care. He certainly deserves it.

A Beary Good Birthday Party

Eli’s first birthday party theme was based on a book (Oh the Places You’ll Go), so choosing to do a book theme for Will was a no brainer. And since Will is so bonded to his Corduroy, it seemed like an obvious choice to do a Corduroy party. I didn’t think I was being terribly creative, but I found that there were very few party decorations or favors to choose from when it came time to buy the decorations. After a fruitless Etsy and Amazon search, I enlisted the help of twitter and I could not be happier.

We were able to get all the decorations exactly the way I imagined them in my head (though I did not capture them well in pictures). Honestly, the party was perfect. People were 45 minutes late, a lot of people canceled at the last minute, but what we were left with was a wonderful, low key celebration of Will.

While we didn’t manage to get a single picture of it, we rented a huge inflatable water slide for the backyard since it was a relentless 102 degrees on Saturday and we were having a number of children over. We literally didn’t see Eli for 80% of the party because he was on the water slide virtually non-stop (with supervision). I went down it 3 times, two of which ended in ass to ground contact and I may never be able to sit comfortably ever again. My husband and his brother had a great time on it as well.

We were going to have a barbecue (a bear-becue, if you will), but ultimately we just ran out of time to get it all put together, so we bought some sandwiches, found a way to get them on theme and then continued on with our other ideas.

cubmarine

pawsta salad

pawtato chips

fish

drinks

bearies

The cakes were a labor of love and of insane frustration. I love the final product, but I found the caramel buttercream I used for Corduroy to be an absolute nightmare to work with. It’s literally the most delicious frosting I’ve ever tasted, but good God it was awful to pipe. And Will’s button came out cute, if a little sloppy.

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button

As for Will’s cake experience. It was…eh. It was pretty much on par for all of Will’s food experiences. He played with it for a minute or two, liked the flavor well enough and then dumped it. And then he flopped onto his tray and got frosting all over his face.

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And that’s about it. The party was lovely, Will got great toys (about which Eli repeated roughly 100 times, “mama, William has to share.”) and we got to spend time with some of our favorite people. I can’t believe my baby is 1, but I’m glad we were able to give him a great party to celebrate it.

I realize I didn’t photograph them well at all, but the decorations created by A. Olson Design included a fabulous banner (I will add a picture of this later), little buttons with Corduroy and Ws and 1s, the food labels, that have buttons on the back and the iron on print that we put on Will’s shirt. The party would’ve have been nearly as adorable without the decorations.

What a Difference 1 Year Makes!

This was officially the month where things went off the rails for Will. He wanted nothing to do with sitting on the chair and taking a picture and it took both my husband and me to get this picture done without him falling onto the floor. So, you’ll have to excuse that this month isn’t the greatest. It was the best we could do under the crazy baby circumstances.

1 day!
1 day

1 month and 1 day!
1 month

2 months and 1 day!
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3 months and 1 day!
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4 months and 1 day!
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5 months and 1 day!
5 months

6 months and 1 day!
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7 months and 1 day!
Will 7 months

8 months and 1 day!
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9 months and 1 day!
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10 months and 1 day!
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11 months and 1 day (and 6 hours…)!
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1 year and 1 day!
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William: Year 1

Will-

Today you are one year old. I’m kind of impressed with myself for actually writing this on time. Not because I’m busy, but because I am in denial. Maybe not denial as much as willful ignorance. When your brother turned 1 I was a little sad, but also excited for what was next to come. And while I am excited for what’s next to come for you, I am also feeling really melancholy about you growing up. I feel like this year has flown past and I’m not ready to have a toddler where my baby just was.

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This has been a good month, for the most part. You had a double ear infection (with a 4 day fever that didn’t respond to Motrin), but other than that, you were largely healthy and happy. You are exceedingly mobile and so incredibly fast. You can crawl as fast as I can walk, which I think is why you are showing zero interest in walking on your own. Why do something you’ll be slow at when you can crawl fast? You have stood independently a few times this past week, but for the most part, you’re content to crawl and cruise. I am also content for that to be the case because walking seems to be the nail in the coffin of babyhood.

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You are into everything these days. I mean everything. Even if we were making an effort to baby proof (we’re not, sorry second baby), there’d be no way to keep you out of everything. You love to empty out cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, especially spilling out the cookie cutters and putting all the measuring spoons in your mouth. I have done so many dishes this month it’s not even funny. You also love all your brother’s toys, especially cars that light up and anything he doesn’t want you to touch.

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For as disinclined as you are to walk, you are the most talkative newly one year old ever. You have spontaneously and in correct context said: hi, bye, nigh night, nana (banana), all done and da (dad). You will repeat most sounds and you sometimes say “thanks” back to Eli when he takes something and then says thanks to you. It is hilarious because it really surprises people when you do it in public. You’ll yell hi and wave and people who think you are younger than you are because of your size freak out.

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You have become really attached to your Corduroy bear this month. You sleep holding onto him every night and now have to hold him while I nurse you before bed. You can’t lay down for nap until you have him and if you see him, you have to grab him. Tonight, he was on a shelf you couldn’t reach, you spotted him from across the room and cried all the way to the cabinet and tried as hard as you could on your tiny tippy toes to get him. When Eli got him for you, you fell to the ground and squeezed him so hard. It’s the best. I love that you’ve found your security object and that he brings you so much joy.

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Your likes this month include: dad, mom, Elijah, Corduroy, Jacques Imo, bananas, nursing, baths (especially in the sink), your grandparents, Aunt Claire, cars, trains, Elmo, crawling with things in your hands so you make a ton of noise, measuring spoons, banging things on the floor loudly.

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Your dislikes this month include: sleeping through the night (for the love of God child. Try it just once. Please.), being put down when you want to be up, riding in the car, when we try to give you a pacifier when you don’t want it because it might pacify you (the struggle, it is real), pieces of fruit that aren’t bananas, eating in general.

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I can’t believe I’ve had a year with you. I just can’t believe it. It has moved so quickly. It’s like you just fit in with us so perfectly, like you belonged here that it’s hard to remember when you joined us. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and changed from that tiny infant to this near toddler and most of all, I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to be your mom.

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Someone commented today about how relaxed I was with you, and that’s something I’ve worked hard on this year. I want to be present with you, to let you explore without hovering, and to stop the anxious thoughts before they can start. I’ve tried to remember what is really important and let the other things go whenever possible. Even though there were challenges in other areas of our lives this year, this has been the best year of my life.

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You are a joy and people every day comment on your disposition. Your smile practically lights up the room and when you’re smiling and happy, it is impossible to not smile with you. You have your dramatic and frustrated moments, but in general, you’re just spectacularly pleasant. Your presence in my day, in my life, makes me a better person, a better mother. While I am sad to be leaving the baby stage, I’m also just so excited to be along for the ride that is your life. I can’t wait to see who you become, what great things you will do.

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Having a second baby is scary because it feels like there’s no way you can possibly love them as much as you love your first one. But know that the day you were born it was as if I grew a second heart. I love you and your brother in ways I didn’t know I could, didn’t know was possible. Being your mom will always be my greatest accomplishment because you and your brother are incredible. I love you more than you will ever know, my sweet boy.

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Happy birthday William. We love you so much and can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Love,
Mom

Fresh Starts

It’s been over 2 weeks since my husband started his new job and I can barely begin to tell you how amazing it is.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. The hours are rough right now, rougher than they’re supposed to be, but his coworkers actually acknowledge this and are giving him a free day off to compensate. Last year, he worked 80 hours weeks and while his coworkers were appalled at the time he had to give up for work, no one made an effort to do anything about it. It was just a bummer.

For the first time in the 10 years he’s been on this journey, he’s…important. I don’t mean like he’s the leading doctor in his field, just, to his employer. He’s a priority to them and it’s awesome. He’s been working so hard for so long and finally, his nametag says “Attending Physician” where it used to say resident/intern/fellow. His work is reimbursing him for a nice new computer (to use for work), they will pay for him to attend conferences and just, they’ve invested in him.

He doesn’t always see it, but I know that it’s a good investment.

I don’t have a lot to add, as the ins and outs of his job are not terribly exciting, but I will say that it’s just so great to have him back. The past year was really, really difficult, and he slipped away little by little. Each Friday that he stayed at work until 1 or 2am took a toll. Every 3am wake up broke his spirit a little more, until the spring when there wasn’t anything left to break.

It took only 2 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks at a job he enjoys for the light to come back and hopefully, it’s here to stay. I can’t begin to say how proud I am of him. Of his 10 years of hard work to reach this point. Of his commitment to see things through, even when he wanted to quit. I’m not sure I could’ve done it, but he did, and now he’s arrived at his destination. And it’s pretty great.

Elijah and the Dentist

As with most things, the anticipation of having Eli’s tooth pulled was worse than the reality. But only barely because honestly, it sucked.

We bought the book The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy last week because we realized that Eli had zero frame of reference for anything tooth related. None of his peers have had loose teeth, no one has any experience with the tooth fairy and basically, just trying to help him understand that his teeth are *supposed* to come out (not even the dentist part of it) was going to be a challenge.

So on Monday night, we read the book, in which a little girl loses one of her front teeth. He was captivated. “Mama, what happened? What happened to her tooth?” And we talked a little, but didn’t tell him anything about his own upcoming appointment because we didn’t want him to worry about it all night long. He seemed to understand that teeth falling out was normal and he wasn’t worried about it, so, check on learning about teeth.

The next day, I reminded him about how he had gotten an “owie” on his tooth a while ago and that because of that, his tooth needed to come out. I didn’t use the words “pull” or “lose” when talking about the tooth because they both seemed confusing for him. So we just said that the dentist was going to help his tooth come out. You could tell that he thought about it for a while, but he didn’t protest. He did ask me once if I could help him with his tooth instead, but he was okay when I said no. Sort of seemed like he just wanted to double check.

And then we just had to wait for the day. I sent Eli to school this morning because I needed Eli to be occupied as much for him as for me. When we got there, the dentist told us that he wanted to do the extraction as gently and calmly as possible, but ultimately, if Eli wasn’t going to be able to be cooperative, he was going to move quickly, as that would minimize the trauma for Eli and us. He didn’t want us to think that he didn’t care about Eli’s comfort, as that was paramount for all of us, but moving slowly would only make things tougher for all of us.

And then we started. The dentist used his whole bag of tricks to put in the numbing cream and Eli was doing great, right until he started injecting the anesthesia, which he didn’t actually feel, but boy did he hate the taste. I think Eli must’ve spit on the dentist at least 5 times. And then when they started injecting into the roof of his mouth, he felt it and oh it was sad.

Once Eli was numb, it took the dentist 10 excruciating seconds to get the tooth out and Eli cried hard- that breathless silent scream that seemed to last for an eternity. He did not want pressure held on it to stop the bleeding and did not want any of us comforting him. It seemed like he was just completely shocked by it all, which sucked, a lot, because you never want to feel like you tricked your kid. But also, how to do you tell a 3 year old that a stranger is going to rip a tooth out that has roots longer than the tooth, I mean really? I feel like the truth would’ve been every bit as bad as the reality of our lie of omission.

Thankfully, he calmed down within a minute or two and that was it. He hasn’t complained of pain, has eaten and played normally and is super stoked about the tooth fairy coming tonight. He is getting a bag of coins and a small Lightning McQueen car, which he requested. I would give the kid my entire life’s savings if he asked for it right now. He did such a good job and it was such a crappy thing to have to go through.

There’s still a big part of me that is really sad. I hate that he had to go through this and I hate that he’s going to have a gap there for so, so long. I worry about his speech and what other kids will think. And I just sort of stupidly miss his “normal” smile.

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But the new one is growing on me. And I’ll have a nice long while to get used to it.

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In Praise of the Big Kid

This has been a huge month of change for Eli. And I honestly just want to take a minute to brag about him. So, I’m going to unapologetically do that.

The night before our beach trip, we told Eli that he was a big boy, pointed out all the cool things he could do, and told him that it was going to be the last night he had pups (pacifiers). He acted like he thought we were kidding, but I knew he knew we were serious. In the morning, without complaint, he helped us find all his pups, put them in a bag, and then threw them away. And that was it.

It has been several weeks now and he has not asked for a pup even once. He hasn’t cried at naps or bedtime. And if you mention that he’s a big boy, he will excitedly say, “and I don’t need pups anymore!” I mean, this kid. I had expected this to be such a challenge. I anticipated sleepless nights and nap dropping, but that couldn’t have been farther from the experience we’ve had.

I should be less surprised because this is totally how Eli is. When he’s ready for something, he’s ready. He transitioned to the floor bed like a champ after refusing a crib for months. He gave up bottles with no issue one day and never looked back. And now this, which I expected would be awful, was once again easy. And let’s be clear, I take zero credit for this. This is not a parenting success, this is incredible luck. I have a fabulous, wonderful kid who I adore and he is just easy.

After we got back from the beach, we had another major change: a new preschool.

Eli’s old preschool was fine, but it was just fine. From about December on, I began to feel like it wasn’t the best fit for Eli. It seemed like he wasn’t learning anything new (and yes, he’s 3, it’s not like I expected a lot) and in general, he seemed to be getting lost. He’s not a particularly loud kid, and he is well behaved in general, so I think he just wasn’t standing out. There were days where I’d come to pick him up and he’d have peed his pants and no one noticed. It just felt like he’d outgrown that and needed something better.

The icing on the need to change cake was when we moved. I was driving 15 minutes past my work to drop Eli off, then circling back to drop Will off, then going to work. We were leaving home by 7:20 for me to get to work at 9. It was insane. The same thing was happening in the afternoons and with 3 hours a day in the car, we were all struggling by the evenings.

So the Monday after vacation, Eli started at a new school. We had visited twice before the transition and he was very excited. The school has a fabulous playground (that is shaded!), and they have a turtle and a fish, so Eli was sold. I had heard wonderful things about the school from friends and it happens to be the religion we are raising Eli in, which is a wonderful bonus since we’re not particularly religiously active right now (the services and Will’s bedtime clash horribly). His teacher for this school year has a degree in psychology and people have told for months that she is just all kinds of wonderful. Despite all that, I was apprehensive about his first day, especially since there was no way we could pick him up until about 5:45 pm. I feared he’d struggle, and that having such a long first day would make him not want to return.

To offset the late afternoon, my husband did a somewhat late drop off around 9am (normal drop off for Eli will be 7:30 on the days I work). He said that Eli ran onto the playground to play without a second of hesitation. And then when my husband left, Eli gave him a hug and told him bye and that was it. When I picked him up, a parent stopped me in the parking lot to let me know that they’ve never seen a child transition to school as well as he did. His teacher and the director echoed the same thing. He had an incredible first day.

First week, really. Wednesday and Friday were equally fabulous. The second Monday drop off was a little tougher, but only because I wouldn’t let him bring all his toys to show his teacher.

He’s just having a great, great experience. And his teacher is all she was talked up to be. She emailed my husband last week to wish him luck on his first day of work (that happened, by the way, more on it soon) and she’s adjusting Eli’s class’s schedule for tomorrow so he can participate in a class picnic before going to have a tooth pulled (also, more on that when I’m not having panic attacks about it) without us asking her to do that at all. I just…we are so, so lucky.

I feel like it’s so easy to whine when he’s having bad days (he’s 3, they are…not uncommon), but sometimes I forget to mention just how fabulously easy and wonderful he is. He’s been through a lot of changes lately, and tomorrow is the tooth pull, so the changes aren’t over yet, but I just couldn’t be happier with how well he has handled it all. I hope he always knows how lucky we feel to have him, just as he is, because he is amazing.

What a Difference 11 Months Make!

Poor second baby. I made it over 2 years with Eli before we forgot to take a lion picture and just 11 months with Will. In our defense, last night was not a particularly pleasant night between an overtired preschooler having a meltdown and an overtired infant wanting to go to bed at 7, we just completely forgot. I’m sorry Will, but you woke up bright and early at 6am, so really these pictures are only 6 hours late. That’s pretty darn close.

1 day!
1 day

1 month and 1 day!
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2 months and 1 day!
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3 months and 1 day!
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4 months and 1 day!
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5 months and 1 day!
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6 months and 1 day!
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7 months and 1 day!
Will 7 months

8 months and 1 day!
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9 months and 1 day!
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10 months and 1 day!
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11 months and 1 day (and 6 hours…)!
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William: Month 11

Will-

Today you are 11 months old. This has been a long month, but I cannot believe that you’re 1 month from being one year old. That seems impossible. Your first year has flown by and I find myself grasping at anything I can to slow down this last month.

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You are simply the most pleasant baby. I mean, you have your preferences and don’t love when you can’t see mom or dad, but when you’re home and at play, you’re just so incredibly happy. I have so many pictures of you smiling because you’re just always grinning about something.

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You’ve also become pretty chatty this month. You’re constantly babbling, but you also have two actual words, both of which I was totally surprised by. You say “hiiiiii!” and “uh oh” and you say them unprompted and at appropriate times. It catches me off guard every time because you’re so little, but there’s no doubt at all. You have your first two words already, you little smarty pants.

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You have grown tremendously this month. You no longer do your worm crawl, you crawl on hands and knees and you crawl really, really quickly. There are times where I get you out of something you’re not supposed to be in and before I have a chance to turn around, you’re back. I can always hear the smack smack smack smack of your little hands on the hardwood, constantly following behind me. You have developed a serious love for opening and closing cupboards, especially if you can also remove a bunch of items from them first and if you can slam them loudly. Basically, you have a true gift for waking your big brother up in the mornings and from naps.

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Speaking of sleep, it’s…not great. You are one stubborn little dude. You sleep all night in your bed (yay!) and I’ve even more or less gotten you sleeping until 7am, which is really just fabulous. But you’re getting up a minimum of 3 times a night and it’s exhausting. We’re going to gradually start night weaning because you’ve (FINALLY) gained some weight, but I know that this will be an uphill battle. I have two minds about it because while I hate getting up at night, those times are also some of the sweetest. As soon as you finish nursing you climb up me so that you can rest your head on my left shoulder. And you let out these sweet little sighs and oh, it’s just the best place to be. But, I think we’re going to have to find another time of day to make that happen.

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Also speaking of sleep, we moved you to the floor bed this month. It hasn’t been the sleep panacea that it was for your brother, but I think you like it better than the pack n play. It wasn’t until we switched you to the floor bed that you started waking up from naps without crying. Sometimes now I’ll catch you on the monitor sitting up and playing with your Corduroy quietly before you make any noise. (Sometimes I find you face down in a basket I removed as soon as this picture was taken…)

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You’ve developed such a fun personality this month. You play independently really well and gravitate towards different toys than I would expect. You are currently very into carrying things and your favorite items are these small cardboard dominos that actually belong to your brother. They are probably a choking hazard, but it hasn’t yet occurred to you to chew on them, you just carry them everywhere. You also love to remove all the wipes from the container and then chew on all of them one at a time. It’s an expensive game you play, William Louis.

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Your likes this month include: Mom, Dad, Eli, Aunt Claire, Jacques Imo, your Corduroy, toy cars, slamming cabinets, yogurt, nursing, snuggling, pups, baths and water of any sort.

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Your dislikes this month include: diaper changes (the humanity!), naps, Zantac, being hungry, when your brother steals toys from you, even when they’re not yours.

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This month we went to the beach for a week. You won’t remember this particular trip, but the beach we went to is my favorite place on earth and I can’t wait for you to grow to love it like the rest of us do. You really did enjoy the beach and the ocean, but more than anything, I think you enjoyed the time with your family, which is really what it was about. Having those 7 days (and the 2 weekend days after) to be with you and your brother was such a gift. On Monday I was feeling not quite myself and I couldn’t really figure out what it was and finally I realized- I missed you. I always miss you at work, but having had so much time together and then having to be apart again really amped that up. I couldn’t wait to get you from daycare.

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I really didn’t expect to be as emotional about you growing up as I am. You’re not my first baby and it’s not like I didn’t know this day would come, but you’re very different from your brother and I’ve suddenly gone from excited for you to grow, to wanting very badly to get as much baby time with you as possible. I think you’re going to be such a fun (and busy, so busy) toddler, but I’m not ready for you to walk, I’m not ready for your infancy to end.

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You bring such a tremendous amount of light into my life. I can’t believe you’ll be 1 in a month, but I do know that this has been among the best years of my life and it is in large part because of your presence in it. We love you more than words can ever express.

Happy 11 months my sweet boy. We love you so much and can’t wait to see what next month brings.

Love,
Mom

The Confidence to be Present

For several years, I participated in a bathing suit confidence week for a (now) mostly defunct website. This involved taking a picture of myself in a bathing suit I had picked out and posting it on the internet for all to see and comment on. I did it because I loved the idea of encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to put on their bathing suits and enjoy the summer.

And while it’s never easy to put yourself out there for people to judge you, it was really not hard for me to take a picture of myself, at 130 pounds, in a bathing suit. I mean, I could’ve been in better shape, but my body fit into conventional standards of health and at a size 6 or 8, I was happy with how I looked. It wasn’t even really that hard to do it the year I took the picture 4 days postpartum with Eli. I mean, it was hard to stop crying my face off long enough to put on a bathing suit, but I wasn’t terribly self conscious. I had just had a baby, so I had an “excuse” for the state of my body. (Note: I don’t feel that anyone needs an excuse, that was just my frame of mind at the time.)

Last summer I had my huge pregnant belly to hide behind, so once again, bathing suit confidence was not an issue. The year between is kind of a blur, so this year was the first year in a long time that I’ve really had to worry about being around others in a bathing suit.

We spent all of last week at the beach with my family. We had bathing suits on very nearly every day and frankly, it’s not as easy as it used to be. I’m 35 pounds heavier than I want to be, my children are old enough that I can’t blame my weight on them. And I shouldn’t. My body is a product of how I’ve treated it. I eat crappy food, and too much of it at that, and I don’t exercise. But, hating my body isn’t something I can do right now.

This year, for the first time ever, I let family take candid bathing suit pictures of me without worrying about the outcome. I didn’t turn my body to be smaller, I didn’t suck it in. I just continued playing with my kids because quite frankly, I refuse to waste a single moment worrying about what my body looks like, when I could use that moment to be present with my family. I want the pictures to show how much fun Eli and I were having in the ocean more than I want to shave an inch off my thighs.

Do I want my butt to be smaller? Yes. Would I like to lose 35 pounds? Yes, and I am working on it. Do I want to model healthy eating for my kids? More than anything and I don’t want to bury that in this post, because it is important. Eating better and exercising is a priority for us right now because we want Eli (and eventually Will) to pick up those habits as well.

But, at the same time, I don’t want my child to remember that his mom was too worried about what she looked like to get in the ocean with him. I never want my kids to see or hear my insecurities. I want them to see me work to eat healthily and exercise because it’s good for me and because that’s important for my health. But mostly, I want him to remember is that I was present with him. Active. In a bathing suit. In the ocean.

To me, that is true bathing suit confidence.

It is the ability to say that even though your body may not be what you want it to be, you are still going to put on a bathing suit, stop caring about what anyone else thinks and have a fantastic time. I don’t have any pictures (yet) to post, but I hope that when I do, you too won’t see that my thighs are bigger than they’ve ever been, or that my belly is soft and squishy, but that you will see that I had a really, really great time with my kids. In a bathing suit.

Welcome!
I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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