Blogging our first pregnancy and child rearing, all the ups and downs, tears and laughs and overthinking that not only comes with being knocked up and a new Momma, but with just being me.
Last night, or really this morning, I snuck out of bed to pee.
It’s a rare occurrence. Not being up at 3AM with a fussy, wanting milk boy, that’s not so rare.
As I peed and watched the light in the backyard, the moon shine on wet grass, the reflection of flood lights on black asphalt, I remembered winter here. Winter of 2011.
I remembered the movements of early motherhood. Of frequent nighttime feedings and chugging water after. It was never enough. Of often balancing my small baby in my arms as I peed.
I felt the thirst, I looked for the glass I’d always have full and waiting for after nursing. Sometimes one wasn’t enough.
I felt as if remembering an old friend. Fondly returning. Warmth filling me.
These pieces of the journey, they’ll stay with me.
When I’m elderly and watching the night sky through a bathroom window I’ll still remember.
Pieces of history, shared across many mothers. The universal movements.
Snap shots of our super fun weekend. There was coloring at a restaurant, playground play with Julia (Daycare BFF or GF??), Wearing silly hats, and lots of book reading. Good gracious I love my little family and it kind of makes Monday a little easier when you know weekends like the last lay ahead of you for a long long time to come.
15 months old! Look at you.
The biggest change in the last month is how many more words you’re picking up. You’re getting pretty skilled at mimicking us. If we say something a couple of times that we know you can repeat you catch on. Just today you came home from daycare saying UNO and holding up one finger. I think your favorite word right now is no. We don’t mind too much because you’re darn cute when you say it. And because usually if we counter with a yes you agree. I can tell you’re focused on building vocabulary because you often mumble words as I’m putting you in bed and you often wake up talking. Usually it’s a blend of car and dijjy. But often you’ll hear birds outside so you’ll sign bird and say it.
You are one silly guy. You have a very impish nature. You love tricking your Dad with food, you’ll pretend to feed it to him and then snatch it back and eat it! You love hiding and playing peek a boo, all smiles and claps when we find you. This morning you had quite a good time disappearing into our hanging clothes in the closet and then popping back out. Then when I brought you in to your room to get dressed for the day you were holding a finger up to your mouth and saying, Shh. Another product of the classic, “The Wheels on the Bus” As soon as we start singing it, your hands go in to motion, and when we stop you’re immediately signing for more. Good thing your Dad has a taste for repetition.
You are still very much enjoying books. You still don’t quite have the patience to sit down and listen to a book read, but you love flipping through the pages and pointing out what you recognize. More and more I’m seeing you taking to reading on your own. You have a little book in the car you love to look through and study, and you’ll often take a book in the living room and go and sit down on the floor and flip through on your own talking about what you see, or perhaps reading it to yourself. Your favorite books are still interactive ones. Find Spot and Where’s My Cat are popular. My favorite is when you pick up a book and climb in to my lap to read it. We did that with all your books downstairs over the weekend. It was quite lovely.
We continue to stay busy, but also keep it low key. We made a trip to NH in the last month to visit. We hadn’t been in quite sometime, so it was nice to get in some country air. I ran my first 5k since having you and it was so great to have you greet me at the finish line. Technically you helped me train too!
I love exploring with you, and taking you on trips and adventures. We love to explore playgrounds, trails and wide open spaces in the area and you seem to always be up for it! We’ve been going to Sagamore Hill since you were still a bean growing inside me, and I think it will continue to be a special place for us as a family. We headed there on a nice afternoon in March and you just got to charge along the paths, check out the grass, and be silly with us. It is quiet afternoons as a family that I love the best. You’re always just happy to be with us, no matter where we are, and that’s what it is all about. Now that the weather is getting warmer we’re spending a lot more time outside and you’re getting to walk with us on our weekend walks. You’re really good at staying on the sidewalk so you can charge along right beside us and Dij. You have the best walk. Belly out, arms at your sides swinging along. You da Man!
In some many ways it is so clear that you’re a toddler now. You are defiant, independent, single minded and very very curious. But, in many ways you’re still my baby boy. You still are happiest snuggled up next to me, you still want to nurse when you’re tired or thirsty. You still love to fall asleep in my arms with me humming and bouncing you. I told someone recently, as she sadly wished her baby would stop growing, that the fun you have as they get older makes up for the passing time, and I really believe that to be true. Emilio, you’re such a blast! I can’t imagine wishing you to be any other age younger or older now, because you’re so much fun now! Sure I look forward to you communicating with us more, you sleeping more, you discovering more. And sure, I miss your tiny baby days and how much easier it was to just wear you around, or set you down and not worry about everything you’d get in to. But, I’m so enjoying you NOW, in the everyday moments we have. When you wake up and shuffle around the room because you’re now realizing that walking in your PJs is much different than in your barefeet, and listening to you say, “Vroom” as you move your little wooden car along the bedframe while I get dressed, and singing the alphabet as I get you dressed and watching you put it together with the letters on your wall, and even when you won’t let me put you down and say, “no” every time I try. I love it, I love it all, I love you.
Dad has been home in the evenings a lot more this past month which is wonderful. I love watching your relationship blossom and seeing how different it is from ours. You guys have a blast together, and I know you will continue to, you are two very very silly guys. This is partly why I hope you have a little sister someday, I can’t be outnumbered! I often have to break you two up in the evenings so you don’t get too riled up before bed!
My favorite though, of the last month, is that now you call me Mama. That, my dear boy, is the best feeling in the world, to hear you call me by name. Because that’s who I am, I’m your Mama and I’m so darn lucky to be so. You’re the best little guy in my whole wide world and I am so so happy you’re mine, and I’m yours and we have so much to look forward to together.
Yesterday was my 1 year anniversary of returning to work. Instead of waxing too poetic about being a work outside the home Mama I will share a list of what has helped make this imperfectly perfect balance of work and home and all that comes with it work.
1. Find childcare that works for you and works with you. I couldn’t be happier with BrightHorizons and the staff there, I also am very thankful that Emilio gets to spend two days a week with his Grandmother (who is a teacher so he is getting key early education all week long!), it saves us money helps build their relationship and I get to avoid traffic and be home a half hour earlier with him!
I was thinking the other day about all the time I don’t spend with Emilio. When Matt and I were scheming last weekend about what we’d do if we won megamillions I did not think, “Ooh, I could be home with Emilio then!” If I really think about all the time I miss with him, I get sad, but I’ve also gotten to a place where I’m okay with it because it is what we’ve choosen for our lives and he is in such amazing capable hands with other great kids who thankfully have some great parents we’re building relationships with, and that’s good. So I guess #2 is:
2. You have to be okay, in whatever works for you, with missing time. It doesn’t work to be at work regretting it. If you’re going to work, own it and make it worth it. You make the choice.
3. Paying to get back time. This means, I pay someone to clean my house every once in awhile, and I pay someone to maintain my yard. I do this so that I can have more time with my family.
4. Really really skilled multi tasking. I cleaned the bathroom while Emilio was in the tub last night. I interacted with him the whole time, he got clean, the bathroom got clean, we had a convo about turtles. (He may have injested some bath water with tea tree oil in it and I may have momentarily freaked, but that’s how it goes with multi tasking)
5. Pictures and not just for you to look at, but share them with people, talk about your baby, all the time. Get over if people don’t want to hear about it, you’re going to talk about it! And honestly, more people than you may think might be interested.
6. Use your time away. During the work week I do the lady things that need doing (nails, brows, etc). This way I get a little escape from work and it doesn’t interfere with weekend time.
7. Take your baby with you on errands. Emilio and I have a grand old time at Target, Fairway and even TJ Maxx every once in awhile!
8. Sleep on the train. If you can, do it. Sometimes I feel more rested after those naps than a night of sleep.
9. Parent friends. I want to be with Emilio on the weekends, but I also want to have a social life. I know my friends don’t mind hanging with the Milio Man, but I also know that probably isn’t their first choice, so we’re building a network of parent friends too so we can get the best of both. It is necessary and helps a lot when those parents are also work outside the home parents, they get it!
10. Be a team. Matt and I are a team, we always have been it is one of the reasons why we have such a great relationship and I think why we’re such great parents. I process laundry, he folds it. (Btw- do laundry, run the dishwasher, pick up the house more than once a week). I cook dinner, he empties the dishwasher. I need to sleep in, he takes the early shift on a weekend morning.
This morning, in the early hours when we should have been getting out of bed, Emilio fell back to sleep spooned up against me. So we all slept in an extra hour. I needed it, and clearly he did too.
When he started to stir he rolled over to face me and I smiled at him as he arched and stretched on my pillow. He smiled back, still sleepy, then brought his face up close to mine and nudged me with an, “uh”. I just stayed there soaking in the morning cuddle. Then he nudged me again and I realized he was looking for a morning kiss.
I kissed my sweet boy good morning and when satisfied he sat up with a smile on his face, ready to start his day.
This I’ll take any day. This is why I’m loving this age. This is pretty damn amazing.
GPOYAFW (adorable family)
Tonight, even though I was a day behind on work (thanks to the stomach virus we all have had now)(I blame all the open mouth kisses Emilio gives now)(I can’t resist!) I shut down at 4:37 sharp and got myself on the early train. I was taking a walk with my family tonight! I walked up to the house just as my adorable family was pulling in the driveway. After a chatty dinner, this kid has a lot to say, we got outside. Emilio sat up pointing out cars and dogs and just talking about the gorgeous spring weather and the fact that it was still light at 7:00. Considering we’ve seen no ill effects of the time change on his sleep, I’ll take it!
I love my family. Not even realizing a stupid work mistake I made could put a damper on the lovely little weeknight moment we had tonight.
Right now, you’re sleeping upstairs in your new king size bed. Well, actually it is ours, but really you our little bed hog are a large part of the reason we got a king sized bed. You seem to be liking it quite a bit!
Yesterday marked 14 months since you were born. Wow. I came to a realization recently that I wasn’t taking as many pictures and videos of you now, as I started to piece together photos I wanted to share in this summary of the last month, I realized it wasn’t quite true, I still take lots of pictures. You’re just moving so much more it is hard to get a non blurry shot!
We’ve been a bit more busy this past month. We took a whirlwind trip to the Boston area over the long holiday weekend, we have had lots of play dates and Grandma has kept you buys with visits to zoos and museums. You seem to be loving it!
I still marvel at what an outgoing confident little guy you are. You walk in to a room and own it. You love the attention and soak it up, in fact this past month you’ve been asking for attention. If you see a group of people who you know you can charm, you’re on it. One random week night this past month Mimi and D were here, and Kate and Helena and as I was getting ready to take you upstairs for bed you put on quite the show. Racing around the table, screeching, clapping, stamping your feet, dancing. It was pretty funny and of course we all loved it!
You’re continuing to develop your vocabulary and branching out to two syllable words and identifying animals. One of your favorite words, again, is turtle and you can find turtles other than your bath toys now. You also know that a lion says, “Roar”, so now when you see a lion (mostly the wall decal lion by your changing table) you say, “Roar.” Awesome. One of the best vocab moments recently was when we were buying our new bed. I was standing at the counter filling out paperwork and Dad was holding you. You wanted to come to me though, and as I heard you fussing behind me you said, “Mama.” and when I turned you were reaching for me. That’s the first time you’ve asked for me by name, and holy cow did it feel awesome.
You’re in love with the bath again and I often just sit and watch you play and discover things while you’re in there. I think it helps us both settle down in to the night ahead and let go of the day. The other night you were still a little amped up from your day and didn’t really want to go to sleep. I laid next to you in bed and you just played with my hair until you fell asleep. Of course, in the moment I was anxious for you to go to bed so I could make myself dinner and get on with all the evening house chores, but looking back now, it is those little quiet moments together that I’ll miss when you’re a big boy charging much more speedily through life.
You still love balls, balloons, cars and books. And of course, your pal Dijjy. You spot her in the mornings and immediately want to head over and pet her. You love to sit down next to her on her pillow and feel her soft fur. Dad and I love watching your relationship with her develop! I’m so glad you’ll have a pet to grow up with like both Dad and I did.
I think your favorite thing to do, still, is eat. You’ve learned that if you want to eat continuously you have to ask for more, so now when you want to eat you just say more! You had some shrimp this past month, and loved it. You continue to be all about beans. You shove them in to your mouth at a speed I’m shocked by, and then pick them out of your bib pocket to make sure you’ve gotten them all! Little boy, you’re a bean fiend! You tried some plain greek yogurt recently and seemed to really like that too. I love that you’re up for new tastes and textures. Most of all, I just love that you love to eat! Your puffed out belly at the end of the day is a sight to see.
You just keep on bringing the joy, to everyone. Thank you for that buddy. Thank you for just embracing life so fully and openly, I hope you never lose the spirit you have to just be. No matter where you or what you’re doing, you’ll find a way to amuse yourself and be damn happy doing it. Whether it is in the car, making faces at yourself, or in a furniture store loving being with us on a bed, or in Target watching all the people go by. Even just pushing your foot against the side of the table can make you happy because hey, check that out- I can lift my foot up and press it against the table and oh man, it pushes my high chair back! Keep finding the fun and good in every situation, it will serve you so well.
You’re the light of our lives Emilio. I love you, so very very much.