Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday flashback

One year ago today, I was strongly anticipating the birth of my first son. I was 36-weeks pregnant and had just seen my doctor:
"I am now 36 weeks pregnant and officially four weeks from my due date. However, at my appointment yesterday the doctor said she thinks I have about five weeks left. I'm really not sure what to think of that but I'm going to stick with my prediction of April 15."
Milo was born just one hour and 51 minutes past April 15. He should have been born April 15 but decided not to turn his face the right way.

Based on him not turning as he should have and him waiting just a little past my predicted date, I think he's going to be just a little contrary his whole life. But I'm OK with that. He's so damn cute.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Of helicopter parents and creepy picture books

Our town recently made news by canceling a local Easter egg hunt. This NPR story tells how aggressive parents "swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an egg." It goes on to say:
"Parenting observers cite the cancellation as a prime example of 'helicopter parents' — those who hover over their children and are involved in every aspect of their children's lives — sports, school, and increasingly work — to ensure that they don't fail, even at an Easter egg hunt."
I will admit it's sometimes hard to sit back and let Milo problem solve on his own. I've been working to let him do more on his own, as long as he won't get hurt. Even then, sometimes he has to fall on his own to figure out how to get up on his own. I'm sure I will at some point in his life be guilty of being a helicopter parent, but I'm going to work really hard not to do it too often.

Coincidentally, my good friend Lisa over at Grandma's Briefs wrote today about a favorite picture book --  Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. As Lisa tells us, in the story, "Mommy drives across town in the middle of the night, leans a ladder up to her son's bedroom window, and climbs the darn thing. She goes through the window into the bedroom, where she cuddles and rocks her sound-asleep man-sized boy."

Lisa reports that her grown daughter, now a mother herself, finds the book "creepy." Sure, the idea of someone climbing in my bedroom window definite creeps me out. But all in all, I think the story actually sounds sweet. I don't know what exactly raises the creepy flag for Lisa's daughter but I'm guessing it's the stalkerish mom's ultimate act of helicopter parenting.

Sometimes the best parenting is about being silly

Being an older mom, I'm not sure exactly which generation of parenting I fall under. I'm technically a Gen-Xer but because that generation spans such a range to include moms in their 20s, I'm not sure who I identify with.

Not all parents with young children are the same. I have read traditional books like "The Velveteen Rabbit" and brand-new things like "Goodnight, IPad" to Milo.

I believe that while it sucks, we all have to learn that sometimes life is just not fair. We all have to learn that lesson -- children and parents alike. Sometimes our kids are going to come in second (or last). Sometimes they aren't going to get an egg. That's life. And one day, even if we still consider him our baby, we have to realize that climbing into a grown son's window is decidedly creepy (even if it makes for a sweet picture book).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Daddy Talk

This week had been pretty busy. Birthday party for one of the boy's friends, Zoe. A birthday bowling session for one of my friends. A going away party for one of my friends. Batting practice for softball starting on Tuesday. Drinks on Wednesday with another friend. As you can tell, lots of Albert time.

It is most undeserved for the amount of time I spend with the boy.

I owe Pam a lot of thanks for allowing me do things outside.

Thank you Pam.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday flashback

The S.O. and me just a few days after finding out I was pregnant

As we plan Milo's first birthday party, I scroll through old pictures -- pictures of the S.O. and me before Milo. Sometimes it's hard to remember what I was like before becoming a mom. Sometimes it's hard to remember what life was like before Milo came along. Looking back at the pre-Milo pictures often makes me miss my pre-pregnancy figure but I wouldn't change anything else.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baby's first blood draw*

Milo had to have a blood test yesterday.

He was actually quite brave.

He wasn't very happy about it. And unfortunately, it revealed that he had a bacterial infection. On the other hand, it explains why he's had a fever since last Tuesday evening, and why we've spent the past week doing a lot of this:

He's been so lethargic. On the upside, I have been getting lots of cuddles.

Today, we had to go back to the doctor, and Milo had to get a catheter to check if the infection is in his urinary tract. It is. So, all the pain was worth it to find out that we can start antibiotics and he will start feeling better soon. In fact, since the nurse gave him an antibiotic shot, his fever has stayed down.

He even played for a while this afternoon.


There's still a worry that perhaps he also has a kidney infection, but the antibiotics should take care of that too. We have to visit the doctor again tomorrow to make sure he's progressing as expected. But right now, he's sleeping quietly -- with no fever.

This isn't the first time Milo's been sick but it is the first time he's had such a high fever. And it's the first time we haven't really known what was wrong right away. It's been a stressful few days. Seeing my baby in pain has been painful for me. Wondering what was wrong and thinking of all the possibilities has been maddening. Even now, I worry about what caused the infection. Is it something physiological? Is he going to suffer from UTIs often? Was there something I could have done to prevent it? I may not have all the answers -- to these questions and others. No one ever does.

We just have to do the best for our kids and hope for the best. Sometimes you just have to let go and trust yourself. That's probably the hardest part for me.

*First from his arm. He had heel sticks as a newborn.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Daddy Talk: Sick baby

Milo's been sick for the last 5 days...gah.

It has been a tough set of days, the boy has had a high temp and been lethargic. There really aren't a lot of things to do with him but ride it out. I don't know what my parents did, probably the same things I'm doing: Worrying and administering ibuprofen.

One of the things I find hard about being a dad is being passive, relying on him to do the bulk of the getting well. It's really hard to watch him suffer thinking that I could help somehow but not being able to do much.

I don't think I will get past that feeling of wanting to help him whenever he gets sick or needs help.

Friday, March 16, 2012

11 Months

Dear Milo,

Another fun month with you has passed. This month -- up until two nights ago -- has been great.

Unfortunately, you caught something that's been going around and you woke with a fever pushing 103 degrees. Which the triage nurse told your daddy and me is actually considered mild. It didn't feel mild. You felt like you were burning up. We ended up changing you out of your jammies into a short-sleeve onesie. You slept between us until you got too fussy about 5 a.m. We took you back to your own room and you slept until after 8. You spent the day taking cat naps and alternating between being playful and being cranky.

The rest of the month has been really nice. You moved up to the "Birds" class at the Little Gym, joining a couple of friends who had already moved up and making new friends with the bigger kids. You're practicing your walking all over the place, even at the park. While at the park, you enjoyed your first experience on the swings.

You've taken to coming over to me when I try to take your picture. It makes for some cute close ups but it also means I have a lot of pictures of you hanging on my legs or trying to grab the camera.

You love your Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear, snuggling with him when we put you to bed, using him as a pillow and telling him all kinds of stories when you wake up in the morning. Some mornings I'll lie in bed and listen to you babble. It always makes me smile. You seldom wake up crying anymore.

Your personality is really shining. You mimic Daddy and me now. Which means we will have to really watch what we say because before we know it, you'll be talking for real. Sometimes it seems you are already using real words -- you definitely say, "dog," "dad" and "mama." So it won't be long before my baby is a toddler.

It's so exciting, watching you change and learn. You still amaze me every day. I hope I never forget to tell you how you amaze me and how proud I am to be your mom.

I love you, Sweetness.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Daddy Talk: Science Fair Edition

On Saturday I volunteered as a judge at the regional science fair at the University. It's my fourth year of volunteering and it is something that I get a lot of satisfaction doing, usually.  This year it was a bit more relevant to me because of Milo. I looked around and remembered my experiences at science fairs when I was a kid and at the same time looked forward to helping Milo with his first science fair. 

From my personal experience as a participant in science fairs when I was younger I also remembering phoning it in. I was a nerd but not near the quality of nerd some of these kids are. And when I say nerd I mean it as the highest compliment I can deliver. I mean thorough, thoughtful and full of promise. Some of the projects there were very impressive. These 7th graders showed real promise, not just in knowledge but also in work ethic. Some of these kids show so much effort.

I bring this up because when I looked around, there were enough examples of kids doing it because it was a requirement for a grade or because their parents pushed them to do something. Being one of those kids myself I looked back and wondered what the difference was between the kids who were driven to work really hard on a project and those that have to be cajoled into doing something. I want Milo to be the kid who becomes interested in something and follows through on his own. I want to be available to him and a resource rather than being a task master.

A lot of the kids who did the best had involved parents who didn't help in a big way but were great supporters -- parents who could give good hints, recommend some places to look but not take over. I really feel like I am going to be the dad who will take over when I really shouldn't. I am a crappy teacher who sometimes never has enough patience. I really need to find a way to learn the patience. Luckily I am getting better at it and I figure I have at least four years until Milo's first science fair.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

You might be a 40-Something First Timer ...

if you had to get new reading glasses but you worry about looking old.

I'm trying really hard to look geek-chic -- not sure how I'm doing at that. Although I know there are very cool, hip, young grandmas out there, I don't want to be mistaken for Milo's grandma.

So, I guess I should say, you might be a 40-Something First Timer if you're really vain.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday flashback

Recently, I was looking back through entries on my old blog and came across the post in which I say:
"I have accepted the fact that the universe doesn't want me to have a baby. But there is a part of me that thinks the universe has a grand scheme to lull me into a false sense of security, then years from now, when I'm contentedly settled into my mid-40s -- BAM! -- pregnant. Is it wrong that I think the universe is trying to pull a long con on me?"
In my first post on this blog, I acknowledge saying that. But it wasn't until this week that I noticed the date of that original entry -- Thursday, April 15, 2010. That's exactly one year, minus a day, before I gave birth to Milo.

So, obviously the universe didn't wait years, just months.

In that same post, I say, "It turns out that having a kid is kind of a big job." Heh. Ha. Hahahahaha. How's that for an understatement?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Milo mugs for the camera.

Have I mentioned how awesome I think this kid is?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Daddy Talk: Unanswered Prayers

I've recently gone through the whole, "would your rather" exercise.  In this case it was would you rather change any thing in the past and not be a dad. The thing stemmed from running into half of the couple that introduced us. Right now they are going through some marital troubles and are trying to work through them. One of their problems was one half looking forward to becoming a parent and the other half not.   

I have a big bias because of Milo. I can't imagine changing any decision at any level that would have kept me from being a father to my son. I have gone through the requisite number of breakups and even a failed marriage.

At one time or another I went through the hemming and hawing on those relationships failing -- even some of my decisions as far as career or other opportunities. Everything I have failed or succeeded at has brought me to this moment. I wouldn't consider taking another shot at those failures and be anywhere but here. And that's what I want to say to our friend.

Being a parent has been the single, brightest part of my life and nothing compares to it. I haven't had a day of regret with this opportunity to do my best as a parent.

I can't put myself in his shoes or in good conscious tell this person he'd be better off leaving his wife. But for me it was all worth it and I don't look back at would could have been.  My life has turned into a stupid Garth Brooks song and I like it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday Smiles

This is how I found my little man sleeping this morning.

Who doesn't love Pooh Bear?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday flashback

This time last year I was 32 weeks pregnant, anticipating the final two months of my pregnancy. According to an email newsletter from Fit Pregnancy I wrote about back then, unborn-baby Milo weighed about 4 pounds and was about 15 to 17 inches tall.

We had taken our childbirth class, seen the birthing center and were beginning to gather the things we'd need to welcome our little bundle.

Now, a year later, Milo weighs about 24 pounds and is about 28 inches tall. We're making plans for his first birthday. We're watching him take his first steps and try out some first words.

Thank goodness humans aren't pregnant for 19 months.

I'm so glad I've recorded so many things here on this blog. The time has passed so quickly. Looking back, I realize how quickly the pregnancy passed, too.

Sometimes, it's hard to remember what it was like being pregnant, what it was like to go through labor, what it was like when Milo was tiny. It's pretty cool to be able to go back and reread those posts.