Monday, May 20, 2013

One space...

If you follow my other blog (, you probably already know that I am merging my two spaces. If not, I am just combining blogs like I have been trying to integrate my grief, joy, and life in general all into one. This site will be going dormant and all future thoughts will be over on the other site. Thank you for all of your thoughts and support! Hope to see you on the other site.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adventures in Baby Food Making

Maxwell is definitely a kid that needs to work up to finger foods. I chalk it up to his hyper-sensitive gag reflex. My early attempts at giving him sticks of softer veggies were a disaster (puking - Bleh!). He is a good solid eater of purees and we'll work our way up to finger foods eventually!

Now that baby boy has a big appetite buying pouches of organic food was getting spendy. And honestly some of it tasted gross or had additives I'd rather skip. Making purees is generally pretty easy and cheap, even when buying organic. If course I say generally because I can always find a way to keep things interesting!

Adventure #1 involved sweet potatoes...a favorite of mine and Maxwell's. Most recipes for baby food have you steaming the fruit or veg, but the thought of steaming a sweet potato was not at all appealing so I baked two extra when I was making some for dinner. Easy-peasy! Yeah...except for the part where I dropped a glob of fresh from the oven sweet potato on my big toe. A blister on one's toe is not your typical cooking injury and it hurts like crazy!

Adventure #2 was the result of an aged small appliance. I defrosted/lightly coked frozen peaches in the microwave. FYI...frozen fruits and veg are a great shortcut for purees when fresh is out of season or wicked pricey! I pulled out my stick blender (since my cheapo food processor attachment for my blender sucks) and set to work pulse blending my warm squishy peaches. After 2 pulses there was the worst burnt plastic smell...I was able to get the purée finished with put catching fire thank goodness! I did some quick calculations and realized this poor little stick blender must be around 15 years old and served me well over years, however it is time to retire him!

For ease and, more importantly, safety I found good deals on a new stick blender and proper food processor. Yeah! There's not much I can do about my clumsiness so I am sure there will be further adventurers to come!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Sweetest Sounds

Maxwell's babbling has gradually developed into increasingly distinct sounds, often hilariously combined at volumes ranging from low, barely audible, grumbles to ear piercing and surprisingly loud squeals. To say he is exploring sounds feels like an understatement! He has definitely mastered expressing him self with sounds despite his lack of words.

The squeaks, squeals and giggles of joy warm my heart and never fail to make me smile or laugh. His protesting grunts and rumbly grumbles of dissatisfaction get the point across even if they make me laugh hysterically! (Sorry's just too funny not to laugh!) It's not so hard to tell how M is feeling...the "why"is often a mystery though.

Three days ago the sweetest sound ever started coming out of my son! At first I wasn't sure and it was mixed in with his grumbles. Then it got more and more distinct and I sent video to family and friends for confirmation. Yes...they heard it too! Ma ma mama ma ma ma!

Granted he is using it as a part if his grumbles and "pay attention" grumblings and not as my name but he is saying it! I honestly have never heard anything sweeter.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Babies are amazing!

Maxwell Has healed so quickly from his surgery! After just two weeks the catheter is out, the incisions are closed and stitches dissolved. The extra care needed the last two weeks was mostly time consuming but felt like a huge effort...just having the catheter out has relieved so much of the work! It is absolutely amazing how fast their little bodies heal...and how slow the scratch across the bridge of my nose, made by sharp baby talons, is healing. Those miniature razor blades at the tips of my son's fingers grow in spurts. All is fine then I need to trim the nails every day or everyone gets stinging scratches. Ouch!

It is also amazing how many skills Maxwell has mastered this week. It seems like he does not like to do anything until he can do it perfectly. He has been sitting with assistance, rolling on to his side and half-heartedly reaching for objects for weeks if not months. The poor lil' guy decided one night to roll all the way over shortly after his surgery...there was lots of crying! Some of the tears from surprise (half asleep and shock) and many more from pain in his boy bits. A rude awakening for sure! During M's twice a day soaks for comfort a dissolving his stitches, he mastered sitting up on his own and lunging for his bath toys. Bath time also got a whole lot interesting with the kicking of feet and hand splashing learned in swim class. Anything in a six foot radius was soaked!

With all of these new skills Maxwell has turned into a rotten sleeper and he wasn't a great sleeper to begin with. I fully take responsibility for most of his sleep issues, apart from the restlessness that is typical of babies who are processing new skills and teething. On a really good night, M will wake up twice...once to eat and once for a diaper change (even with extra absorbent night time diapers he gets uncomfortable because his diaper is so full because he pees a lot). On a bad night he is up every hour or so (sometimes more, sometimes less). This is a lot of my own doing and ignorance early on.

When he was tiny and sleeping in our room I attended to his every whimper by feeding and changing him. This of course would fully wake him up and I would have to resettle him. I am also guilty of holding him for most of his naps. And lastly i nurse a rock M to sleep. As a result, I have a finicky sleeper. It is a process to get him settled in his crib, he has trouble settling himself back to sleep and will only take short naps if I am not holding him. I don't mind so much since I am home with him but if I was teaching it would be a disaster. Since M's surgery and his new found skill of rolling his night wakings are more frequent and he is far more awake which takes much mire effort to get him resettled. Basically, our old routines aren't working and I need to build better sleep habits.

Most sleep training methods aren't for us...hearing him cry even a little is more than I can bear and watching friend's try these methods I know that disruption to the plans takes you back to square one. I do have the no cry sleep solution book and plan on trying some of its suggestions. Here's hoping we have some amazing progress with sleep!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

All is well...

Maxwell's surgery went well. So very glad to have him come through it ok and be able let that worry go. There are other worries (is he healing ok, is he in too much pain/discomfort, are the meds making him hyper) but really, the worries never stop even if you are a mother not familiar with the loss of a child. Bottom line is he is alive, well, and home.

Being the charmer he is, M had the nurses fawning over him. He was in pretty decent spirits prior to surgery considering he hadn't nursed since 3am and by surgery time he hadn't taken a nap so he had been awake for just over 4 hours. That turned into the theme of the day...not much sleep. You would think that the surgery would have been taxing enough to bring on lots of sleep especially paired with Tylenol with codeine. poor babe was wound up, hyper even, and not able to sleep much. Holding him and nursing him was a challenge because our usual comfy snuggle put pressure on his nether region making it uncomfortable or down right scream-inducing painful. And then there was the hyper-activity that drove M to distraction and latching on for more than 2 seconds impossible. We were both exhausted!

Thankfully today the meds don't seem to have the same effects as yesterday and he is resting well. M almost slept through the night and had his meds not worn off I bet he would have slept longer! He didn't even seem to notice his catheter slipped out of his diaper drenching his sleep sack that is how well he slept. This is the most sleep I've had in ages since M always wakes up at least once or twice a night (or every hour on bad nights).

The most helpless feeling in the world is seeing your child in pain and not being able to make it stop. His cries are always hard to hear, but M's crying out in pain is beyond heartbreaking. When it goes on for more than a few minutes everyone in the house becomes a hot mess. The cat (always concerned over Maxwell's noises including laughing) is trying to get close to see what is wrong, Dad is pacing and on edge and Mom is crying almost as much as the baby! Not pretty. I realized I need to be the calming influence since I can't actually take the pain away...a few deep breaths to lower my blood pressure, a quiet soothing voice and a gentle touch is the only tools I have. Hopefully this will pass quickly and the healing will be quick!

The bandages come off tomorrow, the catheter comes out at his follow up appointment in two weeks and hopefully all goes well in the mean time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Imprinting to Memory

Tomorrow is the big day...Maxwell has his out-patient surgery to correct his hypospadias. To say I am a nervous wreck is still putting it mildly. I spent most of today drinking in my baby boy, holding him tight and taking snapshots of today and committing them to memory...just in case.

Goofy grumbly faces, huge smiles, slobbery kisses, chubby legs kicking in the water, the weight of his body against mine as he drifted off to sleep, his hand reaching out to grab my face as he nursed...all moments that I tried to carefully memorize. They are moments that I enjoy every day and not take for granted because of what I don't have.

I am terrified of the what if that hangs over tomorrow. What if something goes wrong? What if I loose him too? While the surgery is routine, I know that it can all go wrong in an instant. While I am fighting to push that thought to the back of my head, it is a hard battle.

On top of the stress of the surgery, a potentially nasty snow storm is heading our way. It makes the trip to and from the surgical center less than ideal. There is also a knot forming in my stomach because the days around William & Ethan's birth were snowy and the day we lost Ethan there was terrible storm and we barely made it to and from the NICU hospital. This is an entirely different situation, but thanks to a little PTSD the worry feels magnified.

All I want is to get through tomorrow and have my baby boy sleeping in my arms tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Big Happenings!

Finding the time to write is getting harder and harder...especially with so many new things Maxwell! I want to write about them ...but being more active and on the verge of dropping a nap...the time seems to slip by in an instant!

Now that my big boy is 6 months old there are lots of new activities for us to do. A story time at the library, swimming classes and a baby play time at a kids gym. Swim class starts tomorrow and I'm excited! Well, not about putting a swim suit on this post-partum body...but definitely about being in the water with M. He seems to like bath time so hopefully swimming will be fun too.

The other big thing is M has to have surgery next week...complete with general anesthesia. M was born with hypospadias which is a fancy term that means the opening of his urethra is not at the tip of his penis but is on the shaft. We are lucky that is a very basic case and not super serious. Some of the worst cases have the opening behind the scrotum. Maxwell has normal functioning boy bits other wise. The surgery will correct any issues and ensure good functionality when he is older. Believe me talking to the urologist about my son's sexual functions is not something I ever thought (or wanted to talk) about!

I have had major anxiety about the anesthesia including worst case scenario dreams (he never wakes up) and might need meds myself that day! In my head I know that problems are rare...but I've been on the short side of a statistic before and it shattered life as I knew it.

So fingers crossed all goes well with swimming and the surgery!!!