I am a bit delayed in the telling of our Easter story due to the days-long outage of Typepad, which operates this lovely little site. Apologies, and thanks to everyone who's reached out asking whether or not I've thrown in the towel and shuttered Bopril for good. Quite the contrary, I'm enjoying writing and documenting here more than ever. Plus, I'll never remember our lovely moments with these crazy kiddos if I don't record them, and that's strong motivation to be sure. Anyway, onward to Easter...
This weekend was an exciting one, and we found ourselves busy the entire time, but the sort of busy that left us happy that we'd spent our time in exactly the right way, which is of course, together. You enjoyed your first Easter, and there's more to come on that as it deserves a post of its own. It was a great weekend to finish off a lovely week, our eighth with you (although, was there ever really a time when you weren't a part of our family? Each day in your company makes that reality seem more and more absurd).
You kicked up your smiling big time and I've officially deemed you a smiley baby! Your whole face lights up when you give us a gummy grin, and ours do the same in response. It's a lovely cycle, I assure you. You're also "talking" more and more. This morning at 6am, we had quite the conversation, little man. I was tired and groggy, but you snapped me right out of it and in no time, I was altogether absorbed in our back and forth cooing and smiling and chatting. Mornings are lovely with you once I shake off the inevitable lack of sleep feeling, and I prop you on my knees or on the boppy pillow and we just stare at each other and fill each other in on the latest and greatest happenings. :)
We began the week with the tail-end of Nana's latest visit and she took advantage of every last second to cuddle and snuggle you. You were all too happy to oblige, and I'm pretty sure you miss her like we all do. We had chilly weather that morphed to mild and enjoyable weather that -- with the weekend's arrival -- turned to downright awesome weather, even climbing into the mid-70's today. Suffice it to say that we took advantage with many walks in the stroller and you alternated between napping and staring up at the clouds and trees and sky as we cruised our neighborhood streets (and you've become a pro at napping in your stroller at the park while your sister takes advantage of every slide, swing and play structure available). It occurred to me that I haven't used the Ergo as much these last couple of weeks, so I pulled it out today and you fell fast asleep strapped to me. I'm so thrilled that you still seem to love that method of transport, so I'll remember to add it into our rotation more often.
You continue to nap really well, and while I'm well aware that an actual schedule is a ways off (and I'm completely fine with that, no need for rush), we're getting into a pattern of sorts. That means I aim for three crib naps a day for you: one in the morning, one midday (which overlaps with your sister's nap and gives Mommy an opportunity to eat lunch and finalize a few chores or relax) and one in the late afternoon/early evening. This final one tends to bleed into bedtime with a brief wake-up in between for a feeding and diaper change. Apart from your crib naps, you tend to cat nap a few other times while we're out strolling or in the car running errands. Overnight sleep continues to bounce around a bit, with three hour increments being the most frequent, but shorter and longer stretches mixed in as well. You've slept in your crib a few nights, although you tend to end up with us sometime in the early morning. And the last couple of nights, you've done great until 3 or 4am, and then had a tough time settling into sleep thereafter. It's resulted in you needing a nap by 7:30 or 8am, and some pretty serious dark circles for Mom! I'm not worried though, sweet boy. I know you'll figure it out and we'll find our rhythm, and until we do, I'll follow your lead.
You stayed with Nanny B a couple of times while I stepped out for a run or an excercise class, and while I don't like the feeling of leaving you behind, I suppose it is good practice for both of us. There's not much else to report, our days featured feedings and changes and naps and tummy time and walks outside and snuggles everywhere and occasionally, errand running. In other words, it was a wonderful week full of the ordinary things that make our days full and play out the exact scenarios I always pictured when I thought of becoming a Mommy.
Graham, you're the sweetest, most adorable boy, and you've stolen our hearts completely. I'm loving every minute with you, and I'm not taking any for granted.
Since I am well into my return to fitness, I thought that documenting bits of the journey here would help with accountability and would also be fun to look back on eventually. I love having that sort of record, hence the creation of a blog to begin with.
So, a quick review of the week's workouts and strong hopes for more of the same in week two and few dips (if any) in motivation.
And before I dig in, let's just agree upfront that when I say "run," what I mean is a jogging/walking combination that I hope errs more on the side of jogging -- and eventually, actual running -- with time. Please and thank you. Moving on.
Sunday: my first post-baby workout other than walks. Ran in the neighborhood. Felt great to be back at it, but also bluntly (and frankly, a bit cruelly) reminded of the huge amount of work I have to do and how very out of shape I am.
Monday: my first class at The Bar Method. It was the most humbling hour that I can remember, but also awesome. I had that unmistakeable burn that signifies a good workout and the moves themselves harkened back to my ballet days, which was a pleasant experience/memory.
Tuesday: off. Almost like I had overdone it a bit after a VERY lengthy fitness hiatus, I was sore in places I did not realize I possessed, so a rest was in order.
Wednesday: ran in the neighborhood. I did this early in the day and felt great. It was still a bit chilly and windy, but I was able to run more than the first time and still had energy to spare when I returned home (which was good since G was waking up in need of feeding and changing and the like).
Thursday: class number two at TBM and with the privilege of having one of the studio owners as my instructor. She was incredible and tough and even though I struggled mightily with most of the moves, she was inspiring and motivating and I will be scouring the schedule to take as many of her classes as I can.
Friday: off but I laugh as I type that because I was solo with the kids and managed both the park and errands so I was more tired at the end of that day than all other workouts combined.
Saturday: ran in the neighborhood, and with new shoes to boot. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but this was a rough one and I lacked energy and motivation throughout. And my new shoes, while feeling light as air, do still need some breaking in, so that wasn't joy-filled either. Ah well, I made it through to run another day.
Sunday (today): off and as I type this, I'm basking in genuine Chicago sun and warmth with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio at the ready, both babies napping in their rooms. No regrets. :)
I've always thought that a kid begins their relationship with dentistry around age three, but I've recently learned that it is actually recommended to bring them in as early as their first birthday. Honestly, it makes sense; Rowan has had a full mouth of teeth for a long while now. And so I recently asked a couple of trusted Mom friends for referrals and today Rowan and I found ourselves at the dentist for her very first visit.
I was nervous leading up to it because R has been going through a bit of a shy/clingy phase and I knew the dentist in particular had an above average chance of causing her to freak out. We talked about it a lot before we went, and all I can say about the dentist and her staff is that they're amazing. Every detail is catered to little people and they customize their approach based on your individual kid (love this). This really came to life for me when I saw several tiny humans go back without their parents as we waited for our appointment and my anxiety began to worsen thinking that would be their preference for R too. There was no need to worry; the hygienist came out to meet us and talk to R and made every detail as smooth as she could, and I was along for the ride the entire time. They do encourage the kids to go back alone, but when they're a little older and after they have a couple of visits under their belts with the comfort of Mom or Dad nearby. This approach made me feel very at ease and comfortable with their entire staff.
They brushed, flossed, polished and counted her teeth and even applied fluoride, all done with her lying on my lap, head on a pillow in the hygienist's lap (and then in the dentist's lap for final exam and official counting). They were gentle and quick, sang songs as they worked, gave her stickers, let her practice with the tools, and had a Rowan sized television tuned into Sprout within easy view. They answered my questions, armed me with tips and tricks and lots of information (because I asked for it...I'm a nerd that way), and then sent us home with a goodie bag after allowing Rowan to forage in their treasure chest. She left with two prizes, one because she was a good girl and the second because she's a new (and awesome) big sister.
We return in six months, and I can't even imagine what a different kid my girl will be by then. She was definitely anxious and there were tears as they did the exam, but overall it went better than expected and all the way home and for a few hours after, she remembered the trip in detail. "Went to the dentist. Brushed teeth. Open mouth wide (and she demonstrates this part for added oomph). Good job!"
Agreed, my sweet girl. A very good job indeed. Here's to many more uneventful dentist trips to come.
R's favorite part was the waiting room and its awesome puzzles!
I saw the doctor on Friday and got the all clear for exercise. I had already been hauling the double stroller around on walks the last few weeks, which was helping me to not feel completely sedentary.
Truthfully though, I'm so ready for this. I know I wrote the same post when I was cleared after Rowan, but then I did a horrible job remaining consistent with movement. It's a tired song, really. I go back to work, life gets really crazy and the first thing to hit the deck is always my working out. But after five years that brought (failed) fertility treatments and then eventually two long awaited pregnancies and births (in less than two years), it feels like it is time to make me a priority too. I'd like to feel fit and strong again and I'd like to maintain it this time. Id like to set a good example for our little people and I'd love us to be a fit family and to always enjoy being active together.
I'm refraining from grand gestures or complicated schedules of what workout happens when and instead? I am just going to try to move. One day at a time. Running when I can, trying to mix in strength and stretching work when I can. And I will see where that leads.
I started today with a little neighborhood jog. It felt good. Here's to fitness and to making good on promises to ourselves.
Today marks seven weeks and there's really nothing more to say other than I'm completely smitten with you. You're a sweetheart and even when you're fussing and keeping me up at night, you throw in a pouty lip or you clutch my hand or shirt with your tiny hand and I'm putty.
It's been a fairly mellow week with a few days of genuine sunshine and warm temps which we have happily spent outdoors. You've gone for walks, happily cruising in the stroller for lazy loops in our neighborhood and a couple of lengthier adventures too. Nana is here this week and you've enjoyed a lot of time hanging out with her and sharing your snuggles with another adoring fan. You accompanied us on errands and even came with Mom to her doc appointment, charming the nurses and doctors and waiting to fuss until the exam was finished, even though my planning skills had us there a full half hour too early.
Smiling is your latest trick and oh, you light up my world when you do it. You're quite the "talker" too and I've so enjoyed your babble these last few days. You're quite articulate for a newborn!
Eating and sleeping continue to go well except when they don't and that's to be expected since you're still pretty tiny and figuring out lots of new things in your world. You're an epic spitter-upper and our laundry is the stuff of legends. I don't think there are many moments in our house when the washing machine and/or the dryer aren't running.
We had a lot of awesome moments this week, but I think my favorites have to be rocking in the glider with you. You hold into my hands with your tiny fingers as your eyes flutter into sleep and several times, I've stayed there way longer than I needed to, just soaking you in. Whispering thankful prayers for you. Being in the moment as I know it will feel like tomorrow when you're too big for rocking and too busy for Mama cuddles.
Seven awesome weeks of being your Mama. How lucky am I?
I adore you, precious boy.
This morning, the sun shined (shone?) brightly in Chicago, and temps soared into the higher end of the 40's, which after our winter, might as well have been 85. My little guy is having a fussy day because, like a moron, I ate coleslaw (cabbage!) AND deviled eggs last night. Will I never learn? Anyway, after multiple failed temps at bouncing and swaying, I decided he needed a stroll, I needed caffeine and we both needed fresh air. I called to Nanny B and Rowan that I was headed for Starbucks -- "bye-bye, Mama! Mama getting tea. Tea HOT, be careful!" -- strapped Graham into the stroller and headed outdoors.
Starbucks in hand, I kept walking because sure enough, my boy had fallen fast asleep and the sun felt amazing on my face and especially on my psyche. :) We walked and walked and my thoughts ran away as they typically do and soon, I found myself in the vicinity of our neighborhood park. I had a hunch that Nanny B would be there, and it was only seconds before I spotted the familiar stroller and diaper bag, and soon after that, the purple coat clad blur that is my daughter.
We circled around and went inside, and from the minute she saw me, that girl of mine wanted nothing to do with anyone who wasn't me. It's ridiculous to put such weight on a not-yet-two-year-old, but I swear, it's as if she knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it. I took full advantage of the moment and for forty-five minutes, while Nanny B stood with a sleeping Graham, I ran with my girl. Up the stairs and down the slides we went, width of my hips be damned. My best girl wanted me to slide, and so slide I did, again and again. "So fun, Mama!" "More, more, more!" She asked for the swings and so I put her in and pushed, marveling at the length of her legs and the sheer velocity of time. "Super fast! Mama do underdog!" and so I'd count to three and then sneak beneath the swing as I pushed her skyward, watching her shout with glee against a cloudless sky that had absolutely nothing on the sparkling blue of her eyes.
When it was time to take the baby home to feed him, she wanted to come too. "Come! See Mama," she said even as Nanny B attempted to coax her back to more park time. These moments are cyclical and I attach more weight to them than they need, I know. But I will treasure every last dash up the steps, trip down the slide, and gleeful shout of "Mama" for a very long time. Today, I was who she wanted to tell her story to, and my delight knows no bounds.
We're expecting rain this afternoon, but the sunshine warmed every last part of me and the uninterrupted time with my sweet girl left nothing but blue skies in its wake.
My sweet boy,
Today, you're a big six week old. Practically a teenager. :) This was a pretty good week.
First of all, I have to mention your crib naps. I decided to try you in your room because I waited too long with your sister, and I just wanted to see how you'd do. You seem to like your dark room, cozy crib and sound machine. You've given us pretty consistent two hour naps in there, and Mama is thrilled with that development. Now to work on your nighttime sleep. It's not horrible either but when you drop one of your two wake-ups/feedings, we will really be in a good groove. Take your time, I know you're figuring out a lot of new things. And while you work on it, I will remind myself how short these days are and I will soak up the quiet moments with you, exhausted but grateful.
Your eating has been a little odd this week, and you've refused your formula quite a bit. I think some of that was an increase in what you're getting from me (yay), and some was due to your reflux (not yay). After a couple of days of watching those symptoms worsen, I took you to the doc and we got medicine to hopefully help with your comfort. Until you fully outgrow the reflux , that's our best option and I will keep being ready for your torrential spit-ups while we sort it out.
You're smiling, but sparingly. It's adorable. You're cooing and holding eye contact, tracking us wherever we go. You've still got your dinosaur squawk, although we hear less of it with each passing day. You'll tolerate tummy time for brief periods, but where you really impress is on my chest. You can hold your head up and thrash it around with force from that position. You're quite pleased with yourself when you do.
Winter still plagued us most of the week, but we managed to get out for walks most days anyway. I'm really hoping we get some consistently nice days soon and that we turn the corner to spring once and for all.
You're snuggly and sweet and I am still soaking up chest naps and time in the glider with you. You're growing so fast. We said goodbye to newborn diapers and you're fully in your 0-3 and 3 month clothes. It's crazy because just a week ago, they swallowed you whole.
You fit so perfectly, Graham, and our family is ever better for your presence. I adore you more every day, and I can't wait for week seven.
Love you as big as the sky,