Sunday, July 20, 2014

Seven Months Old

I'm not going to lie - I'm glad I'm only doing five more of these photo shoots. This one was hard! You do not like to sit still these days! Most of our photos came out like this:

And then later, you cut our session short after you ate the sticker on your onesie:

If you're wondering whose hand that is in the right of that last photo, it's Daddy's. I called him in there to spot you after you tumbled off of the chair and onto the floor. I caught you like a football, and I was able to slow your descent, but you did bonk your head a little. I think it scared you more than anything else, and I actually had to nurse you to calm you down (which is rare these days). In my line of work, I'm well aware that these little stumbles are an important part of your motor development. But oh my goodness are they difficult. I will be replaying that particular fall over and over in my head for a while.

You like to play rough, though! You're constantly grabbing noses, pulling Chelsea's ears, putting pressure on Daddy's eyes (which we call your Mountain impersonation), and, of course, ripping Mommy's already thinning hair out. You're always on the move, and these are just ways that your curious little self is exploring your environment!

The last time we weighed you, you were 17 pounds, but that was a few weeks ago. You're definitely looking bigger every day! You wear different sizes in different brands, and at Target, you've even moved into the toddler section with 12-18 month leggings! They're too long on you, but the 9-12 month sizes don't fit over your very strong thighs!

Yes, you're growing like crazy, probably because you're such a great eater. You have two bottles of expressed milk and at least two nursing sessions every day, along with three sessions with solids every day. Auntie Sara got us a baby food cookbook, and I've decided to cook my way through it. So far, you've liked everything I've made out of there! Your favorite is the chicken with butternut squash and apples.

You're now able to pull to stand, though you need someone there to spot you. You'r trying so hard to crawl. You scoot around on your tummy, and sometimes you can even make it up onto all fours and rock forwards and backwards. You can hold your bottle, and you like to make music by banging your toys around.

You've also grown a lot socially. You always seem really interested in older kids, and you really enjoy story time. You love to smile, and laugh, and sing. You've also started to make different sounds (though not quite babbling yet), and you've started to imitate facial expressions. I've definitely noticed a couple of mine in there! My favorite is when you squeeze your lips together like you're putting on chap stick; that's definitely a Mommy face. You have a best friend at school, and you love meeting other babies. Mommy's friend Auntie Em visited you a month ago, and when she visited again this month, you remembered her! The best part of all about your social development is that you've become so affectionate. For a baby who doesn't like to sit still, you sure do like to cuddle!

We have a lot of fun stuff coming up next month, including your first plane ride and your first trip to the beach! I'm looking forward to every minute of it!

Too Much Haha Pretty Soon Boo Hoo

We had such a lovely Fourth of July weekend. You made new friends, you played outside, you stayed up past your bedtime. Maybe you were exposed to a few too many germs, though, or didn't get quite enough sleep, because you did not sleep Sunday night. I mean it. You did. Not. Sleep. Initially, you woke up every 40 minutes, then it was every 20. After hours of rocking and bouncing and singing, and several more nursing sessions than usual, I finally had the hunch to take your temperature. It was only 99, but I gave you some Tylenol anyway. You slept a little better. Daddy stayed close just in case.

The next morning, your temperature was 101. This was concerning, because "the next morning" really just meant a couple of hours later; thus, you had Tylenol in your system. Behold: your first sick day.

I helped Daddy get organized, and he got his stuff together so that he could work from home with you. (In hindsight, we should have called Ms. Karen to snuggle with you so that Daddy could actually work, but he was worried about you and wanted to help you feel better. Some things are more important than work.)

Later that day, he noticed you tugging on your ear, so he took you to the doctor. They didn't find an ear infection, though your fever had climbed to 102 in their office. They told us it was just a little virus, but that we needed to keep you hydrated and come back if it didn't improve promptly.

Your fever broke that night, but I stayed home with you the next day just in case. You were feeling so much better, so we went to storytime at the library. You didn't seem as into it as you usually are, and sure enough, when I went to nurse you before heading home, you felt warm. We were back up to 100.5, but Tylenol brought it back down pretty quickly.

So then we were playing on the landing while FaceTiming with Auntie Amanda, and you tipped over. Your head bonked a corner, which led to your first goose egg. Unfortunately, this is my area of expertise. I knew what to look for, and I decided that you were neurologically intact. I did, however, throw something together to ice it.

We took it easy for the rest of the day, with lots of snuggles and some Winnie the Pooh.

We decided to play it safe and try one more day at home. Mommy and Daddy couldn't miss any more work, so Auntie Sara came over and played with you. She hadn't babysat in a while, and she was so impressed by how well you can hold your bottle now!

By that night, you were back to your usual self. You went to school the next day, and smiled when we pulled into the parking lot as though you had missed it. I enjoyed playing hooky with you, and it was nice to have a day just us, but it was good to get back into a normal routine once you felt better. Most importantly, we all survived your first bug!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Am I My Résumé

(Your Auntie Michelle may be the only person who gets the reference in the title of this post, and I'm not even sure if she reads this!)

I've been a working mom for about a month now, so I thought it was high time I sit down and reflect on this transition and what it has meant to me. I thought this reflection would lead to all sorts of existential questions on how to balance my different roles and whether I'm investing enough of myself in each of the various hats I wear in my career, but instead, it led me to several epiphanies about what sort of mom I am.

{via tumblr}

I am far more crunchy granola than I ever imagined.

I've always heard that we start to recognize our parents in ourselves more and more as we age. I knew this would be true of your Daideo, but I didn't realize how much I was like your Mimi until I had you. I make all of your baby food, I love babywearing, and breastfeeding is a freeking cause for crying out loud. I find myself attracted to products from ethical companies who promote sustainability and help local artisans and produce a negative carbon footprint and what not.

My health geek status has hyperbolized.

Kind of piggybacking on that last one, I think I just want to set a good example for you. If I'm eating right and exercising, I hope you'll mirror what you see. Besides, my mason jar of kale smoothie allows me to pack in an excessive amount of nutrients in such an efficient manner, only a mom would appreciate it.

My germaphobe status has disappeared.
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At first glance, this seems to contradict my previous statement about health, but that's actually not true. Chelsea has stuck her tongue in your mouth since your first day home, and I decided early on I just wasn't going to stress out about it. I try to make people wash their hands and take off their shoes before they hold you, but sometimes I forget. After all, your great-grandmommy always said, "You'll eat a bag of dirt before you die." Some exposure to germs is good for you! I did, however, strictly enforce boosters for close family members when you were a new baby. Vaccinations are a different story.

I'm more vain than I thought I was.
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Maybe it's because I spent the past six months in yoga pants. Maybe it's because I don't like how "mom" and "woman" can feel mutually exclusive at times. But I wear makeup every day now, and I actually put some thought into getting dressed in the morning. It makes me feel good when people say I don't look like I just had a baby or say something like, "Oh but you can't tell you're that tired!" I've decided that I'm okay with that. You don't need makeup to be pretty. You're beautiful inside and out just the way you are, because God designed each of us a certain way for a reason. But if you decide that you like wearing makeup, that's okay. If you decide that you don't like to wear makeup, that's okay too.

I am the queen of multitasking.

I suppose I've always been okay with time management, but lately that skill seems to be heightened to the level of superpower. I consistently have no less than twelve things on my mind, and somehow, most of it actually gets done. Unfortunately, though, this process isn't perfect because...

...wait, what was I talking about?
{via Top 10 Films}

When I teach my patients about attention, I describe it as a finite reserve, like a bank. You can withdraw and withdraw, but eventually you're going to hit the bottom and something will give. Between sleep deprivation and a serious case of divided attention, I'm quickly learning that "mommy brain" is a very real thing that definitely applies to me. With this humbling lesson, however, I'm actually gaining a sense of flexibility. I've learned that as long as you're fed, everything else will work out. Or if it doesn't, the world still won't end. When we leave for school in the morning, as long as you have bottles and I have my pump, we'll all be okay. Bonus points if I remembered to put on deodorant.

I'm incredibly proud of what I do for a living.
{via And Pop}

I love my job. I really do. My passion for my practice has only grown since I earned my board certification, and now I feel especially proud of it knowing that I'm setting an example for you. I hope you enjoy science as much as I do. I hope you enjoy helping people as much as I do. But most of all, I hope you're as happy with your job as I am.

So who am I, anyway? Am I my résumé? Well, yeah. I guess. But I'm a lot of other things, too, apparently. And I think that's the definition of becoming a mom: becoming a million more things all rolled into one. We're never giving up roles, only adding them on.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Your First Fourth

This past weekend, you celebrated your first Fourth of July. This has always been one of Mommy's favorite holidays, as it often coincided with visiting your great-grandmommy for her birthday, which was on July 2nd. It's a holiday that perfectly encompasses everything wonderful about summer: family, fun, food...there's usually a pool, and the fireworks are just the icing on the patriotic cake. Your first Fourth of July weekend was nothing short of star-spangled spectacular.

We kicked off the weekend with an early morning brunch in the Highlands. Mommy's best friend Auntie Emily (I know, it's confusing, there are three Auntie Emilys) was in town from Houston for a wedding. She used to live here because she went to law school at the same place Mommy went to PT school, so we were both feeling particularly nostalgic about this visit. Murphy's was one of her favorite restaurants back then and, luckily for us, they were offering a special Friday brunch because of the Peachtree. I was ridiculously excited to see her (it had been waaaay too long!) and she was even more excited to meet you!

It was so great to catch up with her. We ate some delicious breakfast food, and you got to eat some pears in your high chair! 

You were in such a good mood; it's like you knew we were with someone who is so important to me!

Afterwards, we went for a walk around the Highlands. You slept through most of it.

When we got home, we rested for a bit and then went up to the pool for the neighborhood cookout. You were still pretty wiped out from such a fun morning, so you slept through most of that, too! Later, you watched some soccer with Daddy while I took a nap. Then, we met up with some neighbors at Red Hare for a happy hour. We followed them back to the pool, long after most folks had gone home after the cookout. There were just a few grown-ups left, and only a couple of kids. But there were sparklers!

You were mesmerized. Mesmerized. Our little post-party party got even better when the big kids started dancing with you. You couldn't help but join in! You were kicking your feet and flapping your arms and it was seriously the most adorable thing ever.

We went home (way past your bedtime), and got ready for another day of fun. The next day, we just ran a bunch of errands. I know that doesn't sound too exciting, but for some reason, we had a blast. Maybe because it was your first time sitting in the shopping cart like a big girl!

Later, we played outside in the yard...

...and you got to play with Chelsea.

Your daddy's best friend Chris was in town for work, so we had him over for dinner. He was so excited to meet you! You really liked him. We think because he looked like a bigger version of daddy.

You've now met most of our best friends and family members, which is saying something considering how spread out we all are! We finished up the weekend with a relaxing day Sunday followed by dinner with Daideo. It was such a fun weekend, and it was so great to see a special holiday through your eyes. We were pretty out of it during Christmas, and you were still pretty little around Easter. But now that you're older, holidays are going to be filled with so much more magic and excitement!