Monday, May 04, 2015

pollen is in the air

It's that time of year when everything is coated in a layer of pollen and allergies are in full bloom. Our weeping cherry blossoms are fading already and I still had yet to take photos of Graham under them. He keeps blossoming and it's true, everything just gets better and better. Our communication is maturing, he's following [some] directions and our fun has more diversity. 

Whether it is allergies or not, DM's rash was getting itchy and worse. Graham woke up a little congested and sneezy and I started to question if he has allergies just last night. Even a few days ago, he'd "developed" a small cough and a sort of gasping for air that I initially thought was cute and just theatrics, until just last night when I realized it could be allergies and started to worry that he may be having trouble breathing. DM wasn't concerned when I brought it to his attention, and G still is certainly acting normal! I'll just pay close attention to it all. I felt bad asking DM for help, but when he took Graham to change his diaper this morning, I got to go back to sleep for a couple of minutes which are just as valuable to me as an hour! I'll take anything in the morning! He kissed me goodbye and I couldn't resist waking up fast when Graham stood up at the edge of the bed with a tissue in each hand, stretching and begging to come up back into bed with me. Only a couple of minutes of Sesame Street kept him busy and then it was time to get back to crawling around with his tissues and yelling out to the world about it. He found my gym bag and enjoyed playing with the tube of lotion and I could only be grateful he doesn't know how to open it yet. We went down for breakfast, and he was so anxious as soon as I opened the fridge that I didn't even bother trying to put him down. I got everything out that we needed and had to put him down to cut up his strawberries. His hands and feet were rotating, and fast, and I had to get a bite of something in that mouth asap! That one little blueberry calmed him down enough to get everything together and ready. Once he was done with his yogurt and berries, he was happy to go play. I love when I rinse his right hand and and he automatically puts his left hand out for me to wash it. I noticed him doing that a few weeks ago! He loves helping me make smoothies and gets very excited and attentive when I say "are you ready?" when I'm about to switch on blender. I gave some leftover smoothie in a glass for him with bib on and he drank it really well and of course enjoyed every drop that made it into his mouth. He actually didn't drip too much. We watched out the window to see any morning action outside and waved to our neighbor's little boys waiting for the school bus. He loves to play in the corner and with his toys lately. He also loves standing up with the vintage folding chair in the corner and then goes through the big baskets of toys! He's starting to empty them but for now he still catches sight of something else and gets distracted after taking out just a couple of toys. He seems to always land at the same toys everyday, no matter how many are around him. He loves holding onto a stacking ring in each hand while clapping them together and then sliding across the room with them in his hands while crawling. He also loves the big busy table and little music table. The drums have always been a favorite too. I desperately needed to vacuum and he always sits and watches me so nicely. He tried to play with the wire a bit more. Usually I just say "no touch" once and he stops, but this morning he touched it a few times. The rebellious stage is coming on strong! The house felt so much cleaner and we went up to play in his room to wind down. He discovered his long curtains and started playing with them by pulling them out to see the window behind it. I yelled out peekaboo (to the outside) but he took that as a cue to cover himself and play peekaboo with me! His glitter wand is definitely a new fascination and he's practically inseparable from it. He took it with him everywhere he could possibly go within his room. Cuddling and kissing his big bear will never be any less cute as it was the first time he did it. If only I could put him in G's crib!! We read a bunch of books and he's only interested now in closing them to see the front cover and then flipping it over to see the back, and back and forth and back and forth. His force is very strong!! I have to give up reading now and just let him do what he wants! I nursed and he went right to sleep. I went down to office to edit photos and make a dent in sorting through them all. Graham woke up after only half an hour but I got him and didn't talk at all. I was watched him on the monitor first, thinking he may fall back to sleep, but he just sat up quietly in crib for a few minutes and was sort of rocking. I could tell he wasn't feeling well and still so sleepy. We danced slowly for a few minutes in his room to the Ben Howard song that was perfectly playing at just the right time. He had his head resting on me but he was bent all the way to the side and hanging over my arm. It's like he was in a daze. I went down to get my phone, smoothie and monitor from the office and noticed my one Christmas cactus flower finally bloomed. It was so white with the softest streaks of pink and fuchsia stamen. I prized possession that would only last a few days! I brought him up to bed to nurse and he fell asleep again. I just love hearing him breathe against my skin. He's so peaceful. When he woke up he was very sweaty but very happy after over and hour of cuddling. I got lunch ready and took him out on the deck to have cheeseburgers together with some avocado and succotash I had made. It was too hot so we came right in after. After washing up from the mess and rehydrating with watermelon, we played peekaboo over and under the ottoman. He sort of fell over, but kinda just laid down at one point and then just stayed there and made a game out of it, scratching at the surface underneath and looking at me peek over and under. He tried to climb up from every side and angle but I've still yet to see him get up on his own. Now DM and his mom have seen him do it! Down in the office, he was playing with some toys I'd never really unpacked and turned around to admire the single, big christmas cactus flower. Just to prove that you really can't turn your back for a second, he got his poor little finger got pinched when he went to touch the bathroom door that was opened just a crack. I scooped him up fast and always run for the best distraction -- Charlie Bear. We went straight out the office door and into the backyard. All was forgotten within just a few seconds. We came back upstairs into my bedroom and he now loves to go in my closet and bang/open my shoeboxes. Except this time, he managed to make steps out of them to climb up on. I didn't let that go on longer than to take a quick video of it. After a ton of quiet time and trying to get him to take that afternoon nap, it finally paid off and he passed out. It wasn't easy, and I don't even recall how I got him to finally sleep in the end. I had plans to go to the playground with Lucie and her kids and I didn't want to miss it since she flies to Germany next week for a long time. He ended up sleeping for and hour and a half which really never ever happens in the afternoon. I thought he'd sleep about an hour, if that! I got to relax, get dressed (finally) and eat, but then I really had to wake him. It was 5p! We left quickly and and only had time for a quick play date. The rush hour traffic for the whole couple of miles we had to drive made it even shorter. And just my luck, when I went to get him out of the car, I realized that my stroller was still in DM's car! Luckily, Lucie had Nicklas in the carrier so I was able to borrow her stroller. The park around the corner was nice and kind of strange to be there. I've been taking a tour of all of these playgrounds all over Westchester that I've been passing for years while childless and here I am going to them with my baby. It's like this parallel universe that I somehow collided with. We stayed just long enough to catch up and walk back to her house. Graham and Jen were ready to go anyway. The nice thing about going that late was that the sun wasn't strong anymore, so it cooled down and he didn't need sunblock. We spent a few minutes on her block since all of her neighbors with their little kids were out and they were all so friendly, coming up to her, asking how she and her kids are and very chatty! DM was waiting to get a blood test at the doctor and G and I still got home before him. I gave G a quick, big dinner and had my cameras all ready for when DM got home. We waited on the front stoop since I was anxious to take his photos by the weeping cherries. The timing and light couldn't have been more perfect, other than it was late, rushed and he should have been in the bath.

He was pulling the blossoms right off of the tree and it was raining soft, pink petals. But what is more important, really? What's one more day without a bath and a few less petals on the trees? We got a bunch of nice photos and the sun was pretty much set. Bryan and Riley were outside so we stayed out a few minutes longer and I taught her about Polaroids and the magic of instant photography. She wasn't all that interested in it, but my passion for it was resparked. The 2 photos I took were beautiful and full of happy accidents -- exactly what they should be. They can't be edited or deleted -- they are what they are and that's what I love about them. When we got back in, I brought him right up to change into his pjs. After talking to Loll earlier about the decreasing milk supply when pumping at night, she suggested just nursing him. I hadn't nursed him at night in almost 7 months!! I knew he was going to get a lot less milk than if he had his bottle, but I had to give it a try and risk the consequences. He drank and mostly soothed a lot, but he was definitely sleepy. I read him "the very hungry caterpillar" but he was more interested in closing the book every time I tried to read a page! I had to use my strongest grip to hold the book open. Why am I so determined to finish a book?? He knows so well when I am done reading a page to go ahead and turn to the next for me. He was so fascinated with the little holes in the fruit the caterpillar ate. He kept sticking his tiny fingers in them and picking at them. It was time to face reality that it was bedtime and quit stalling. He was not happy, as usual, when I put him down. I watched him on the monitor and he kept laying down and sitting up. I hoped every time he laid down, that he'd stay down. I did some quick research on bedtime bottles after DM and I were talking and disagreed when they should stop being given. I thought it was around one year old and he thought two years old! Boy, were we really wrong. I read that at 6 months, most babies can give it up but by 9 or 10 months they should stop; otherwise it's hell to pay. It was so ironic that I even looked it up that night. We're so glad we did though, since he'll be turning 10 months old in just a couple of days! I went in and tried not to pick him up, but when I leaned in to rub his back and head, he just grabbed onto my arms and hugged me so tight while crying. I couldn't hold back anymore, so I picked him up. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders so so tight, hugging me and rested his heavy, sleepy head on me. He's never hugged me before. After just a couple of seconds, he was obviously exhausted and falling asleep in my arms. He'd calmed down instantly when I picked him up. When I set him down again, it only took a couple of more minutes to fall asleep and he was good for the night. I read that you can stop bottles cold turkey or slowly give less and less. An expert wrote that she even started putting water in the bottle to make it less desirable. I think I may try to just nurse him for a couple of nights so he's getting less milk but not let him soothe as much and then just start putting him down. I didn't know this stuff happens so soon!!!! I find myself saying he's already almost 10 months old all of the time, but now I'm just feeling like is only 10 months old. My little baby! I am so scared for the next few nights. He still nurses before napping almost every time, so I think I may have set this up to be an even harder adjustment for him. The late nap, late play date, late dinner and photoshoot all made the night time for me to relax later and a lot shorter. DM was so uncomfortable and I was unable to relax, stuck thinking about how little time I had to do anything! Maybe it's all of the pollen in the air, but I was stuffy and wiped out from the day!

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