Monday, October 12, 2009

Seven Months


Slow down, dude! You're just past seven months and I have to say you've really left your infancy in the dust.

What happened to my floppy little guy? GONE! You learned to sit on your own. And you're pretty damn proud of it.

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But were you sastisfied by that? No, of course not. You had to continue beating the milestones of your older siblings by crawling earlier than either on of them.

Third child syndrome, I suppose. What's funny is you crawl like your older brother did: two hands, one knee and one foot. This funky motion does not, however, impede you from going where you want to go (I caught you chewing on your sister's soccer ball by the back door today) and I do believe you're picking up speed.

Sawyer and Sage are starting to get why I've been harping on them more than usual to pick up their stuff.

And because you are such a Big Boy, you get to do thrilling things like go for a wagon ride with your sister.

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This past month, though, hasn't been entirely full of highlights. You popped four teeth all at once on top, and you weren't afraid to use them. After one particularly painful bite on the shoulder, I yelled "OUCH! THAT HURT! NO BITING!" Your face crumpled. You started to cry. I felt terrible. But you know what? You haven't tested your chompers since.

We started solids right after you turned six months. Something (rice cereal?)didn't sit so well with you. We tried sweet potato, which you seemed okay with, and carrots, which you didn't like. Then we went to avocado, a favorite of both your siblings. Sawyer used to eat an entire avocado at one sitting when he was a baby. We were trying to put some fat on him - just like we're trying to do with you.

You didn't seem to like it all that much. And now we know why: you were up four times that night, and when morning came, I saw why: you were covered in a bright red rash. It was awful, and prompted a trip to the pediatric dermatologist to get you some relief in the form of prescription lotions and potions (you can see the rash on his face in this picture, but it's still adorable).


The diagnosis? Eczema. Just like Sawyer, who has scars on his neck from scratching when he was about a year old. We are hoping you'll outgrow this, just like he did. But it makes finding you stuff to eat that won't bug you a little challenging.

Right now you LOVE pears. You also tried apple and banana. I might reintroduce sweet potato to see if that was also causing you issues.

We REALLY want you to eat more. You only put on three ounces this past month, which would be an appropriate weight gain - for a WEEK. The doctor is not concerned. She says it common with breastfed babies (yes, I'm still nursing!). But at this rate, you won't hit 18 pounds until you're a year. Of course I'm feeling guilty, wondering if maybe my breastmilk isn't good enough, especially because I'm still on the no dairy/soy/wheat diet.

Thing is, you look good. You're happy. Active. And you've got some nice chub on your thighs. Maybe those clearly dominant Asian genes are affecting your stature as well as your looks. I've never before loved a short man, but I will make an exception for you.

(Photo by Robin Gray Photography)

We are looking forward to seeing what you do next. Your sister walked at 9 1/2 months. No worries if you want to let her keep that record.

I'd like to keep you close just a little while longer.

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(Photo by Robin Gray Photography)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First step

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Exactly seven months and one day since giving birth, I finally got out there and ran. So if you felt your house shaking, it wasn't an earthquake, just my slow, plodding feet pounding the pavement.

It hurt. Oh yes. Things still aren't entirely back where they're supposed to be. But I still managed to go on my three-mile loop, which includes a couple gnarly hills.

I listenened to my music on my iPod shuffle as I ran. There's something about Gavin Rossdale telling me to "breathe in, breathe out" that just gets me going (bonus points if you know what song that is).

It's comforting hearing all the songs I have on there. I guess it reminded me of the gazillion times I've put those headphones in and turned on the music to help me pass the miles and miles on my long runs when I didn't have my running partners - or when they went ahead or fell back.

The best part of today's run - when at times I'm sure I could've walked the hills faster - was when my body actually cooperated. Everything was in synch. My legs moved, my heart pumped and my mind drifted.

And I remembered why I run.

I've missed it.

Now I'm not saying I'm anywhere near marathon shape (although I wore my shirt from my last one as motivation). Or even 5K shape for that matter.

But the first step is always the toughest. I'm glad I finally took it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What were you?

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Sawyer's kindergarten teacher sent home a list of ideas to go over with your child for the month of October. There's not enough paper to actually print up homework sheets (thanks to the budget cuts) so I guess this is a stand-in.

There are actually some cute things on there. And the one that stood out the most was this:

"Ask an adult in your family what their favorite Halloween costume was as a child, and draw a picture of it."

Yes! I love Halloween! It's my absolute favorite holiday! The people give you candy! For free! What could be better? I'd spend weeks - months! - planning my costume.

So, my favorite one was..

Yeah. I could only come up with a single costume. From fourth grade.

Now in those days, way back when we had to walk to school uphill in the snow - both ways - costumes were usually home-made. Because just one time wearing a cheap scratchy plastic mask with the skinny gray elastic digging into the back of your head was really enough.

The costume I remember was made by my sister. I woke up the morning of the school's costume parade (yes, clearly this was a LONG time ago when they actually allowed stuff like this) and asked my sister if she'd finished making it.

She looked at me like I was nuts. Seems she'd woken me up the night before to show me it. Really? I had no idea.

But I was SO excited. I was going to be Mother Nature. I wore a flowing white sheet for my dress. She'd attached paper flowers to these fake gold necklaces, and made a flowered head band.

I also carried a sign that read "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."

I didn't win the costume contest. I was robbed. Clearly.

The only other costume that stands out was my brother's one year. He was a scarecrow, and wore a broomstick under a big shirt. Problem was, he couldn't fit on anyone's front stoop. So I had to collect all his candy while gesturing back to him as he waited by the street. Just in case they thought I was taking it all for myself. Which is totally something I would do.

The worst was when Mom made you wear a coat - OVER YOUR COSTUME!! That was the only downside of Halloween in Connecticut, where I grew up. Otherwise, the leaves were crisp, the pumpkins didn't rot in the heat, and the atmosphere was perfect.

We carried pillow cases to put our candy in. This was so we could get MORE than if we just used a regular old bag. Then we'd get home and pour it all on the floor and trade.

And then we'd stuff our faces.

I guess when I look back, it was the excitement in the air, the great times we had - a whole bunch of us riding in the back of a pickup truck while the driver tried to run over every curbside leaf piles, could you even IMAGINE letting your kids do that now? - that I really remember.

I hope that my little skeleton, ballerina witch and pumpkin will also look back on their childhoods and remember the fun, if not the fabric.

How about you? What was YOUR favorite costume or Halloween memory?

Friday, October 02, 2009

This is Four


When you turn four, you need a princess party. You really do. You need to dress up like Ariel and get your face painted. You need to play princess games with your friends. And dance.

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At one point during the party, you must pout. Because it's your party. You can pout if you want to. And heaven forbid we can actually get a nice picture together.


But you quickly regroup. Because the absolutely most important thing is that you have a pink cake. A VERY pink cake.


What's a party without eating a pink cupcake?

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Now a few days before your princess party was your real birthday. And you absolutely had to get your nails done.

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You are a girly-girl. Except when you're not, and you're pushing your big brother around and playing Bakugan and wielding a light saber with all the boys up the street.

Three was a fun year. For you, anyway. You went to school. You did really well for the first month or so. But then you cried every day because you "missed Daddy." Then, after the winter break, you missed the first month back because you were sick. You scared us with unexplained fevers that jumped to about 105.

Then you got better. You went back to school. And you didn't cry at all. You met a friend, Genevieve. The teacher, who'd said that you were having a tough time making friends because, frankly, most of the kids were more immature, was happy to see you come out of your shell.

You participated in circle time. You iniated play. You did talk about Sawyer a LOT, and the other kids weren't so interested. But by the end, the teacher described you as having leadership qualities if you ever actually wanted to use them. She had no concerns for you at all academically.

You are on your way.

The thing is you get angry. So angry that you throw screaming fits whenever - and wherever, including naked on the pool deck - you want. Truly a force of nature, I am excited for the day you will harness your passion for good and not evil.

You love your little brother. You are a clown for him. Unless you're grumpy. He cries when you do.

Sometimes I look at you and I can clearly see you at 16. We are beyond in trouble. I just hope you will still speak to me.

Right before your birthday, I said I was sad that you wouldn't be 3 anymore.

"But Mommy," you said. "I have to grow!"

Yes. Yes you do. But could you please, please, PLEASE do your mom a favor and just slow down?

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(photo by Robin Gray Photography)
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