Sunday, April 05, 2015

road trip!

What is with Graham waking up at 5a??? He had such a long, exhausting day yesterday and went to bed at 10p. We were sure he'd sleep later because of it. But AGAIN, he was bursting with energy (not) bright and early. I can't function at 6a, so naturally I can't even describe my functioning levels an hour earlier. It was even getting better a few days ago and he was starting to sleep closer to 7a! Somewhere in the midst of dawn, tossing, turning and desperate to go back to sleep, DM took G down for breakfast. I got my 8a wake up call that wouldn't shut up (DM calling me name repeatedly like my mother used to do for school)! He was giving Graham his bath and I had to start getting myself ready and his bags packed so we could leave for PA in time for his morning nap. Two hours was plenty of time, I thought, but then DM told me he wanted to leave by 9! Predictably, we left at 10a though. I could barely move still and seemed to only slow down as time went by. G was all ready, but I wasn't and was having trouble finding the energy to do anything, between the lack of sleep and one of my sudden anxiety attacks. DM made me some cinnamon raisin toast (I never keep kosher for Passover) which helped a little and just enough. G spotted me eating it, hunched over and weak, as he popped up on the side of the bed. He is quickly training me to be a better sharer now that he is voluntarily handing me things. Now starts all if those may I's, please and thank you's! I got just enough strength to get myself together, except Graham was practically begging to go to sleep and we had to keep him up. I was juggling him and the ingredients for my smoothie I needed to get into the blender, hanging on by a thread, feeling like I was about to pass out. He just wanted to be held and loved my demo. I've been showing him for months, but I can tell he actually is beginning to understand what I am saying now when I point and talk. DM was hustling and running in and out to get the car packed. Nursed him quick in the car before leaving at exactly 1004a and he was asleep before DM he even put the car in reverse to pull out of our driveway! It was an insanely windy drive and crossing the bridge was pretty scary. G slept the entire way, driveway to driveway! The only thing we had to endure was CB's bad breath in the car. G would have slept even longer if it weren't for Charlie's screaming when we turn onto DM's parents' street. From the exit ramp off of the highway, all the way to their corner, I was feeding him pretzels every second to keep him calm and quiet!! We had arrived with the star of the show and everyone there was waiting and eager to see him perform his roster of "tricks." Grandma, grandpa, Mimi, Momo and Cookie were all there!


And even more visitors stopped by later also... David's friend and baby who G loved seeing and touching, and Maria's mom. He was loving and soaking up all of the attention which he was undeniably the center of. Seeing him light up in the presence and arms of so many generations who are here and love him so, means more to me than I could ever describe. He's loved his Momo since day one and everyone else just the same. But I can see the love grow stronger with each visit. Being with everyone was so beautiful and a weekend well spent! Everyone got to be his high chair for meals and snacks. Loads of clapping, singing, laughing, crawling, climbing and exploring. Why does he have to touch everyone's dirty shoes?? DM's mom is still working hard to teach him "so big" and I finally saw him do it on Sunday! When all of the visitors were gone, he'd eaten his lunch, nursed and played his heart out, he was tired and clearly ready for his afternoon nap. He got very quiet and still in the arms of his Momo, just as he always does and just like magic!


With a big, caring family, there were naturally and consequently a lot of conflicting opinions as to how and when he should go to sleep. I tried a couple of times to get him to lay down and sleep. He even ended up falling asleep in my arms like the sweetest little angel, but the second I laid him in the pack n' play, the world was over! DM and his dad were headed out to help Jane w/ a couple of things, so I took the opportunity to escape for a break and let his mom take care of the situation, and she'd seemed to have a pretty good grasp at it too. Getting out for some fresh air, though a little too much was swallowed in the strong gusts of wind, was so nice..especially to see Jane and finally meet her infamous mohawk Eddie! She is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met, with the purest, kindest of hearts. Her creativity and artistry is incredible and was in complete awe looking into the miniature worlds she builds. As if I didn't have enough already, I got another plant clipping from her which I'm pretty excited about. It's called burro's tail and I've been looking for it for a while!

We got back home over an hour later to see Graham wide awake. I could only assume his nap never happened, but she told me he slept for an hour and 15 minutes!! So now I know I'm either doing something really wrong or it's just personal against me. I think I'm just too much fun and wants to play! Heh. Celia and Hersch stopped over to visit a little later. It was just more entertainment and time for G to show off and get attention! The day completely escaped me and it was over before I knew it. Already dinner time for Graham and he was spoiled with yet another homemade delicious meal from his Grandma. He especially loved her brisket! Mimi gave him his bottle while I helped Andrea get our dinner ready. DM went up when the bottle was done to laid him down and thankfully only took a couple of minutes to fall asleep. He slept soundly, but was a rough night for me and I had to face it myself while everyone was fast asleep. And I never thought I'd say this, but eating a particular cookie and the moments leading up to it all day were dreadful. Too much hype, not enough privacy and overwhelmed by anxiety took over me. I didn't get to sleep until 2a, and ended up on the couch downstairs. DM got G's cold and, needless to say, was not breathing quietly. 3 hours later, G was awake, hungry and ready to play. I pumped after I fed him. Andrea came down like an angel from the heavens above to take him from me so I could go back to sleep for a few hours. She came in 2 times to change him, but I wasn't ready to get up. The second time, he was ready to nurse and nap, which we did together for another 2 hours. Lots of interrupted sleep and hours later, I was ready to face the day at 1130a. I remember the days, not long ago, when we used to just stay in bed till 1130a just because. I revealed my face and made myself matzoh brie for breakfast, but ironically, not because it's passover. I eat it almost every morning and almost can't eat eggs any another way at home anymore. Graham was going nuts watching me eat, so Andrea gave him a little yogurt and blueberries to snack on. When the food was "all gone" (signing and waving hands in the air), Graham was off climbing on everything and still, continuing to discover the house. He found each stool to climb on and used the short one as a walker, which surprisingly worked very well! He listened and learned easily to stay away from their hearth and fireplace. Still LOVES knobs (but not handles) and is even more intrigued with the ones up high that he has to stretch to reach. Tissues are an ongoing favorite for a game of shredding lately. He's even using flat surfaces to pull up now, like cabinets and walls! All of the distractions he was busy with made it was clear I was not needed. I made myself disappear and went up to pump again and shower. Monica came by to visit us after and that's when I saw him stand ALL ON HIS OWN for the first time. He did do it in bed the other day, but this was so much better. He barely used my slippery, shiny leggings to stand up, let go and stand perfectly straight and sturdy for a few seconds!! All until I uncontrollably screamed so loud that it scared him and he started crying -- ahhh I hope I didn't scar him from trying again soon!!!! DM got his dad to bring up his Ovation and play for Graham. We all circled around to watch while the two of them bonded. He loved hearing him sing oldies and watching him play! He gets very excited when his music teacher lets him touch the guitar too. He strums it and bangs on it. Maybe a new Kaki King??


DM seeing with his own eyes how much G loves it, is now finally ready to order our ukulele! Graham crawled off and lost interest after a while. Monica said goodbye and Graham waved back. He is now started to wave bye-bye in response to people! Before he was doing it spontaneously, to anyone and anything. His arm stretches up high like Miss America, opening and closing his little fingers. It was lunch time and Mimi felt like he'd only been eating all day! DM started packing up our stuff and like always, we leave with so much more than we come with. Toys & books for Graham, plants for me, and FOOD for all!!! Graham was exhausted, but he HAD to stay awake while we ate and got everything into the car. It was insanity. Things we getting thrown and stuffed into countless plastic bags, Graham's eyes were closing while we bounced him to keep him up, I pumped one last time and we were out! It was such a short visit that I didn't want to end. All stuffed into the car and on our way. Graham fell right asleep with Charlie by his side. I ate half of the passover brownies and we were running low on gas. After an hour, we had to stop at the station. I knew he'd wake up because Charlie cries every time we get off the highway...except for when we get home (what's that about)!!! When we got on our way again and it was clear that G wasn't going back to sleep, I climbed back to give him a bottle and sit with him. Singing elmo has rescued us for the past two road trips! But it's mostly a lot of work for me to entertain him and keep him happy! I have to get pretty creative back there, stuffed between the bulky big kid car seat and Charlie drooling all over me. Being a prisoner in his carseat is exactly what it is for him...and he wants out! He was so good though and once we pulled into our driveway and I lifted him out, he had an instantaneous grin, ear to ear. We were home just in time to nurse, let him stretch and play for a while as we mostly unpacked, feed him dinner and get him to bed. I haven't been giving him his night time bottle much lately, but when I do, I have to use DM's routine. G chugs the first few ounces, and then the last bit is a struggle. Not because he is falling asleep anymore, but because he is wide awake (though clearly tired)! I guess he like me in that way too. As my parents used to call me, he is the "master procrastinator." He starts to push the bottle away and even throw it on the floor. Only slightly amused, I take it away and let him take a break to read a book, or two or three and even play with some of his toys. After a few minutes, he is ready to drink again. "Four five" minutes later, he is finally done with 5.5oz and ready for bed! For me, it only meant I was that much closer to having to eat another one of those dreadful cookies -- words I never in a million years thought I'd say! And now I'm getting his cold too!!

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