Lately

041317-20Hey, Blue Eyes!

Things are ticking along in our household… Alan undertook the GREAT task of building raised beds so I could fulfill my goal of having a garden this year. I’ll dedicate a blog in the future to that, but it’s been pretty cool to get to know how that process works (because I had NO IDEA) and it’ll be a lot of work but it’ll be so rewarding.

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Alex remains a happy little boy. And I feel like a broken record while talking about his poor sleep habits. I’m constantly keeping myself in check, telling myself that our problems could be worse and we could have a baby who sleeps like 4 hours a day total and also is low on the height and weight chart and a bunch of other stuff, but like, STOP IT. Your problems are not invalid because they’re different than other peoples’ problems. I still need sleep just like everyone else, and 4-5 hours of sleep every night for 6 months is – not normal or healthy -. Unfortunately, this is just my reality for the foreseeable future, so I might as well cope as best as I can.

 

041317-39041317-40041317-41Now that Alex can sit up on his own and generally keep himself entertained for at least 20 minutes, I have more little moments during the day where I don’t feel as guilty for just zoning out on the couch, browsing my phone. Sometimes I turn on the TV and -GASP- sometimes I let him watch. Motherhood is exhausting, and on top of judgment from others (whether real or imagined), nothing competes with the judgment we give ourselves, and that sucks. Mothering a baby is one thing, but I think we also need to Mother ourselves.

💞

At the Zoo

ZOO041217-11Yesterday Alex and I went to the Minnesota Zoo to hang out. I hadn’t been myself in probably close to decades, and he’s only 5.5 months old, and it’s like $18 a ticket, plus parking, so it was a gamble. I don’t want to say people who try new things with babies are heroes, but there does take a certain amount of bravery. But you need to get out of the house and do stuff, otherwise you’ll go insane.

Luckily, everything worked out perfectly. The weather was cool and cloudy, but not cold or rainy. Alex was comfortable in a sweatshirt and I in a t-shirt (because you have to be ON YOUR GAME constantly with a baby and that makes you sweaty). The crowds were minimal, and Alex didn’t get upset once. He even seemed to get a kick out of it! Like, in the photo above, he’s literally just looking at a tank of water.ZOO041217-8ZOO041217-12ZOO041217-17I also wanted to go to the zoo because I thought it would be a good photography exercise. And in theory I was right, except I didn’t check my battery beforehand so I was running on close to empty the whole time.ZOO041217-1ZOO041217-4ZOO041217-6ZOO041217-19

By the way, I can’t recommend our stroller enough. It’s got super system of different seat configurations. It’s also got a massive basket underneath for storing anything and everything. I love it. It’s on the pricier side, but if you plan on having more than one kid (which we do), it’ll pay for itself.

ZOO041217-24ZOO041217-27My favorite part was “Russia’s Grizzly Coast” which kinda just felt like a nice nature walk. Plus, bears. ZOO041217-33I ended up applying my ticket price towards a year-long membership so a few more trips this spring while the crowds are low and the weather is still nice will be 👌🏻ZOO041217-30ZOO041217-29

Little Lad

Just had to share some phone photos from the last few days. Alex is so great at emoting, it’s hard to just whittle it down to an Instagram post here or there. Sleep has been elusive for a while. Out of the blue a month ago he started frequent wake ups after bedtime, and then a cold, then teething, now he has long periods at night where we can’t get him back to sleep and his doctor has suggested night weaning. 😵 On top of all this, we decided abruptly on Sunday night to move him to his own room. Luckily he’s been taking naps in his crib since day one, but it was still a difficult, emotional decision for Alan and me particularly. Just like that, we’re done with this stage! It’s a little heartbreaking. It was a necessary decision for our family. We’ve been totally exhausted and we needed a change. It’s hard to believe we’re already done with him sleeping in our room. Although it was nice to be able to sit in bed at the end of the night with the light on and have a conversation. On Saturday it got MAD warm, so we took Alex on a little lake walk and plopped him in a swing for the first time. He was so small in it, but immediately loved it. 

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Trying to establish good sleep patterns is one of the most trying aspects I’ve found so far as a parent, and it definitely weighs on me. Sometimes the roadblocks feel world-ending and I wonder if I’m doing anything right at all. Even though things are difficult, Alex is strong, happy, healthy, clearly very curious and smart. He’s a good lad. 

Alexander the Grey

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I was thinking this morning, if I have a touching moment with my son, but don’t share it on social media, did it really happen? The amount of time we spend with our accounts and devices is kinda scary to me. I worry about the shift in human interaction, and wonder how it’ll affect the generations for whom tech is ubiquitous. Confession: within two hours of Alexander’s birth, while he was sleeping in the little bassinet and Alan and I dined on hospital fare, I was browsing my Facebook feed. 😬

But I did have a tender mother-son moment the other night I decided not to share with the masses, even though I knew it would accrue some sick “likes”. It’s difficult to find the right balance of sharing in the digital age. It’s gratifying when people tell me they love seeing the photos of him, but I’m also conscious that at some point it might become too much. (But hey, the “unfollow” button is right over there).

Anyhoo. Alex wears a lot of grey. That’s on me. My bad, bud. I’m afraid grays and blacks are pretty much the only thing for you on the horizon, until you can have a say in what you wear (which I promise I will honor and cherish!)0330-0403-80330-0403-11Such a beautiful smiley baby. Alexander has really been putting us through the ringer lately with poor sleep. He had an ENDLESS cold (which I think is finally in the rearview) and now he’s teething which is super tough to see him deal with. We’re doing the best we can by squirting tylenol into his mouth every 6 hours which he HATES but mostly, he’s the greatest little viking about it. Happy despite his circumstances (dude, teach me).0330-0403-13Look, it’s the cat!0330-0403-140330-0403-19We had a visit this weekend from Alan’s parents, which, contrary to the pictured evidence, Alex did looooove. 0330-0403-180330-0403-21Viking hat courtesy of his Aunt Jessy. (Sweatshirt from Cotton On).0330-0403-230330-0403-240330-0403-25

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How was your weekend? Did you watch the finale of Big Little Lies last night? Wasn’t it amaaaaaaaaazing?

Getting Better all the Time.

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I’d planned to make this post about how hard this whole parenting slog is.

But, duh, we all know that. All parents know it even more. Taking care of a baby is war. It’s the hardest most physically and mentally demanding kind of work there is. There have been times where I’ve thought there’s no way I’m going to put myself through this again. The lows I experience are super low. But there are some high high highs too. Like, every time I look at this face.

What a face.

When Alex sees me, 9/10 times he smiles this big smile. Sometimes he coos. Sometimes he kicks his little legs. Having the love and trust of this little person and being able to see it so plainly displayed is so rewarding. He doesn’t know how to filter himself or hide his emotions, and isn’t there something so pure and gentle about that?

Today he is five months old. Early on everyone says “it gets better.” But we’ve been experiencing sleep regression, early teething symptoms, a long and persistent cold… It gets rough. Some times I feel like it’s harder now than it was in the beginning. But we’ve had good patches before, and I know there are so many more ahead of me. Would I really make myself miss out on the joy (and there is so much joy) of another baby because of a few (and then some) bad nights?

Not to discount my own struggles, of which there are a lot, but more and more Alex shows us what kind of little person he is. He’s so happy, and strong, and smart. If the payoff for getting to know this guy is some hard nights where Alan and I are switching off rocking and feeding for three hours, well, I’ll take it.

Because when I see this boy my face nearly splits open.

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