Both mornings, yesterday and today, Graham woke up so stuffy that he couldn't breathe to nurse at all. Half asleep and screaming, I grab the snot sucker and begin the battle. Seems like the most traumatizing experience, but after he's all cleared, I put some music on (my Jose Gonzales station) and I get a little smile -- the light at the end of the tunnel. Except, today I put the music on from the beginning, which was no vast improvement. When the battle is won (by me) and I get alllllllll that stuff out, he nurses, calms down and is his happy, jumpy, bouncy, silly, smiley self once again! Luckily, today, he fell back asleep with me for an hour. Those days where that was our routine are a distant memory -- waking up to nurse and then falling asleep together in bed for a couple of hours, starting the day so late. Ahhh, fond memories. Once we finally made it out of bed to really start the day (can you tell I stall as much as possible) he was busy getting around and doing quite a few reps of pull ups and squats on the side of my bed! That tushy! Ahh, I can't!
Yesterday, I had a doctor appointment in the afternoon and asked Rachel last minute to babysit. I wasn't sure how long it'd take and didn't want to deal with a miserable baby strapped down to his stroller. I got us ready really fast, scarfing down my fiery buffalo chicken pizza from Joanne's, determined to squeeze in an errand to pick up the extra shelves I ordered for his closet weeks ago, before all of the countless snow storms. Curiosity got the better of me and I just had to put a dab of the hot stuff on his tongue! First, it was too little to have any effect. Then I put a little more, let him lick my finger and his face was priceless, quickly bringing on my guilt. He didn't cry or have any extreme reaction, but the tears were running and I knew he needed relief as he smacked his tongue and squinted his eyes tight. A couple of blueberries put that fire out and it was all over. The errand was completely out of the way, and I hardly had time, but my determination got us there and on schedule! He fell asleep on the way there since his morning nap was barely long enough. Pushing the limits of his snap & go car seat, I carried him in. After a few minutes in the deafeningly quiet showroom of California Closets, he opened his eyes peacefully and smiley. Thank god, because his cry would have echoed and radiated through the place! We were in and out pretty fast and on our way again. Asleep again for about 5 minutes, he woke up the second I opened the car door at Lorraine & Rachel's. Brought him in and took off his adorable minnetonka boots since only the left one ever stays on! Once he was mesmerized by their cockatiel,Skittles, it was my cue to say a quick bye-bye and leave. Lost in thought and in a hurry, I left without nursing, which I've been doing almost every hour along with several pumping sessions the past couple of days to get my milk supply back up (ouch! -- thank god for lanolin), but it was too late and I packed plenty of food for lunch. In complete faith of Rachel, I went feeling like a free bird to my (non) exciting appointment. It was pretty quick and raced my way back to my very hungry baby. Poor Rachel was left without warning about how anxious he gets with food! Once I nursed, he was happy and showing his true self to her and poor auntie Lorraine, who couldn't touch him after getting over being sick. Crawling like a maniac in circles, between the bench, coffee table, couch where Lorraine was, Rachel on the floor and me on the floor...talking, singing, laughing and climbing. I stayed until I knew he'd pass out in the car. He did. Now was the big decision -- stay in the driveway and wait it out, or transfer?? i took a deept breath and went for it! First, I brought everything else inside fast. Came back and carried him in gently. Kicked my shoes off fast. Tip toed upstairs. Set him in his crib. And he didn't wake up!!! And that will probably NEVER happen again! Pure luck, I think. But god, was it gratifying!! We'll see if I ever have the guts to try that again anytime soon. Dinnertime came fast and we finished the butternut squash soup DM's mom made. I had to restrain myself from stealing his dinner! So yummy and will definitely be making that regularly for us. While cleaning up and letting him crawl around and play on his own, it got a little too quiet. I peeked around the island, and there he was, shredding a tissue I left on the ottoman. Lucky he's so cute and it was only a tissue! The new clothes keep coming since his Mimi also ordered him a few tees for his "passover present." Spoiled!!! Like every kid, the box is the most exciting part!
After a full belly from breakfast this morning, scrambled egg w/ avocado, mango and nana, and his morning nap, he was ready to go and so was I. Feeding him lunch as fast as you can possibly feed a distracted baby, I stared at the sun, desperate to get out for some much needed fresh air! I called my boss asking her to meet me at the dog park and rearranged her schedule a bit. Racing to get him dressed with CB panting at the top of the stairs while listening me talking about going in the car to the park, I remembered I had to take G's weekly photos. They've really come to an end since he started crawling, but determined to get all 52 weeks, I do the best I can while torturing my him into different scenarios, shoving distractions in front of him, praying he sits still long enough for me to back up and get the photo...and of course I am sweating. Started nursing him before leaving and remembered I have to pee! Being a multitasking supermom, I somehow (don't ask how, but part of the trick is leggings), nurse while peeing with one hand and put him down to finish and wash up (tmi?). All loaded in the car and on our way, I realized I forgot my phone. I was already running late and just kept going. Graham got to hear CB's scream as we turned the corner into the park. Lauren was just heading in w/ Emma and JJ so I was able to let CB run out. I carried G and we walked the path first after seeing how many dogs were inside and all the energy CB needed to get out. It worked out well, and of course CB found mud to run through. UGH! I had no towel! Running low on energy, we got Charlie back to the park and I took him in while Lauren held G. He went right in and ran for a ball so I was relieved (no fights) and Graham was in heaven watching all the dogs. We stayed a bit while I described every dog to him and left to eat the incredibly thoughtful lunch she brought me. I started driving while eating and sharing my lunch w/ Charlie. Graham was fast asleep. It was so beautiful out and I didn't even want to go in, so I sat in the driveway while he slept for a VERY long time. I finished eating, relaxed, hosed Charlie off, cleaned up some plants in the garden to get ready for spring, and met with a plumber. Up in my room after he woke up, just as I put music on, he simultaneously smiled and started jumping and kicking with great delight. Dancing around the bright, sunlit room with him in my arms to one of my favorite new songs was enough to make me cry. Not long after, I thought I'd get an early start on making dinner, which turned into not so early at all. I gave G some rice cakes DM bought for him from the market to practice self-feeding. If these didn't work, I don't know what would. He did it though and it was a mess! Sticky crumbs stuck to the floor, him and my socks, I rushed to finish the first part of dinner. He saw the food cooking, I looked at the clock and it was somehow almost 6p! I sat him in his high chair, eager to be fed, with some more rice cakes. Now that he seemed to get the idea of that, I gave him some Horizon organic american cheese. He was doing it! I was cheering on the sidelines through his momentary frustrations. Eager for him to continue to excel and succeed, I put on some videos of young children playing instruments. He was mesmerized by a little boy playing the piano and was putting that cheese right into his mouth, clapping his hands with joy!! I was biting my tongue, trying not to scream from excitement and scare the poor thing. Right when everything was perfect and the tv still wasn't doing what I wanted it to do, my laptop playing the videos died and had to do my own entertaining. We moved onto some Applegate chicken which went well too...until he remembered his recent achievement of throwing it on the floor for Charlie. It's almost impossible not to laugh at it, even though I know I'll detest the money he's throwing away in a couple of weeks. He looks straight ahead, picks up the food, stretches his fist full of food over the edge of the tray to the side and opens to let it go. At least Charlie is happy!! And he does it over and over and over! I helped him finish once it was clear that his patience started running out and set him down to go wild on the floor while I got to see all the food that didn't make it into his mouth or bib! It was comical, but a necessary step for a work in progress. Screeching the highest shrills and happiest shrieks I ever heard, his hands and knees banging on the floor, I couldn't stop myself from getting down and joining him. Dinner could wait! We chased each other around the kitchen island (one of his newest favorite games) and DM got home to hear about his new achievement and see how proud we both were feeling! He was just in time to give him his bath while I finished dinner and get my work done.
Pumping at night has gotten slowly, but steadily better each night. I'm not sure it will ever get back to what I use to produce at night but we're making due, especially since he hasn't even been finishing his larger bottles before bed. Plus, with some other recent news that I don't want to talk about, I may not be able to breastfeed until my goal of 18 months and may have to stop at one year. Of course it's fine and in many ways that would simplify our days and nights, but it broke my heart to hear and not sure what I will decide or what the future holds. I know some kids wean themselves off, but Graham is more than happy to keep going and so am I! I'm a little less sore now since I've decided to atop pumping like a maniac and just stick to nursing more. It's so hard to keep my eyes open until 11p to pump, but letting myself fall asleep is what got me into this mess to begin with.
I began gathering ideas for Graham's 1st birthday and cannot believe how quickly it's creeping up on us! With our large families and constantly growing and endless list of who we want to invite, I am not sure what will turn out. But my ideas won't change and am having so much fun planning! I know some people like to not make a big deal of these things and it's mostly, if not completely, for the adults, but I can't help myself from getting carried away. He may not remember now, but as with everything, it's making memories which will last forever...and it's so much fun!! There are so many details. I want to do a lot but still have it look simple. That's sort of a goal I have with everything. Simplicity isn't always as simple as it looks, but it's the most beautiful thing. One thing I know for sure is that it will be at our home where he is growing up so beautifully.