Monday, March 30, 2009

Ali's back on offense!

From March Madness
Anyone who endured WHS with me back in the 90s knows that I am a right winger. I was most comfortable playing offense in my field hockey days. I liken the first 6-7 months of Miles's life to being thrown on the defensive line of a championship field hockey match--ill prepared with how to deal with the opposing offenders spin dodging my kilt. But now, I am back on the front lines and am able to determine when to use a slap shot over a drive. I think this started with Miles's 2nd set of teeth. I could finally contend "been there, done that." Until that point, I was constantly experiencing everything for the first time living in a reactive world. Now I feel like I can be proactive:

Teething. Skip the Tylenol and praying--doesn't work. Go straight to Motrin and Hyland's teething tablets.

Life certainly isn't easy with a baby, but we have achieved some sort of equilibrium. Perhaps this sense of stability is encouraged by the nearly full nights of sleep for Miles. Whatever it is, I finally feel like a Mom. And dare I say a pretty darn good Mom.

It's been some time since I have posted--in addition to our revolving door of guests and constantly full "dance card," we have made a concerted effort to unplug and enjoy the company of each other. We don't make New Year's resolutions nor do we subscribe to Lenten restrictions, but as a family we have come up with a list of little life changes. For almost a year we have eliminated TV during all meals and it has made such a huge difference in our lives. We are making an attempt to make all of our meals in house (when guests are not in town) and have adopted meatless Mondays. Our goal is to only produce 1 bag of trash each week and reduce our electric bill by $10. Finally, after 10 months, I have joined the cloth diaper cult. Okay, that isn't 100% true. We still use 7th generation diapers for childcare, but at home have Miles in cloth.
From March Madness
What all of this means is that we are spending more time as a family tending to the house, meals, and laundry (no matter what people say--cloth may be better for the environment, but it does take more work), and generally avoiding the computer in place of gardening, reading, or exercising.

Ah, exercise. I am getting out more to exercise and have finally cracked the surface of our seemingly geriatric neighborhood and found a group of young mothers to walk with and share in a glass of wine or two. Plus, my running has been reinvigorated after the completion of the ING Georgia half marathon. After all of maybe 6 or so "long runs" of no more than 7 miles, I decided to tackle the 13.1 miles. Luckily, my friend MB MPH PA decided to jog with me. It was great! We talked the entire way, and even took 1 mile to just walk and regroup. This was the first running event I have ever completed without the intention of hitting a specific time or racing. My quads are sore, but it was truly a great experience and I am eager to get back into peak running form (oh, and I would be lying if I said that a 1:35 half is still in my bag chest of goals for the next year). The best part was that I got a medal that Miles easily converted to the cutest baby on the block sash. Documentation below.
From March Madness

Please witness Miles trying to be serious as I honored him with a sash and scarf:
From March Madness

And then his immediate reaction:
From March Madness

As things continue to settle in our abilities as parents, there is an interesting dynamic as one part of my life has gotten more unsettling. Work. Yes, it was emotional turmoil going back to work at 6 weeks, but somehow those first few weeks during my return to work were a blur. Again, I was just reacting...people ask how I did it. Well, when you don't have an option you just "do." I would do anything to go back and steal an additional 6-8 weeks of time at home with Miles, but time travel is not in my cards. After a few weeks of being back at work, I felt more comfortable with Miles at childcare. It helped that he didn't really mind my leaving him. He always knew me when I picked him up, but easily transferred to the caring arms of the ELC teachers. Now, Miles greets me with unmatched animation and glee but also cries longingly when I leave. It kills me somedays. And it is true that infants change so much in those first few months, but I didn't experience milestone envy until Miles was about 9 months. And what I mean is that I pick him up and hear how he waved for the first time...or went from his tummy to sitting up for the first time. I've missed these moments and cannot get them back. I cherish the time I have with Miles but am trying to come to terms with the fact that % wise, his teachers spend more time with him than I do. I don't know how to reconcile these feelings--Bueller? Anyone with me on this?

I close by saying thanks to Tante K for taking a 4 night 5 day escapade to the Heintz family Inn, and capturing some great images of our little man. I am sure she can tell you how our days jump between mania and stillness.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Daddy-O

From Daddy-O
In honor of this evening's post, I am including a video of one of our new favorite children's artists: Frances England. Thanks to Mama D for introducing us!

This past week Eric had the pleasure of spending every day being a SAHD (stay-at-home-dad). His school had break, which means that the ELC is closed. Some may claim inconvenience, but I think it is absolutely awesome that Eric gets concentrated Daddy-O time--and he agrees! Of course, I am sure that he was not planning on Miles cutting two top teeth this week, but life with children throws you curve balls, and he dealt with the ornery munchie like a champ. They had a great time, and Miles had marathon naps and is still (please oh please don't let me jinx this) sleeping through the night.

Daddy-O decided it was photo shoot day early in the week and he spent the whole day documenting Miles as a surprise for me when I got home. Tonight I will dazzle you with the best of the Day with Dad shoot. (Sunday nights are hard for me to produce anything of merit on this blog. Also, you'll notice that the pictures are not all centered; I finally clued into the fact that I can post pictures directly from Picasa and don't have to export large files from iPhoto to my desktop to upload.)

How does every good day start? With teething biscuits, of course! And getting as messy as possible.
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O


Then Daddy-O decided it was product placement time.
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O

In our ever quest to develop a crawler, Eric was diligent in putting Miles on his tummy as much as possible. Please enjoy a little montage of our baby's progression from tolerance to rage:
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O

Eric wisely decided to take Miles to the park in our neighborhood. Please note: Dad decided to leave Miles's face caked with teething biscuit (makes 'em cuter, no?) and also decided to have him wear his Baby Legs "saggin' style." Okay, I have gotten so much grief about the various Baby Legs this child has. Are they glorified baby leg warmers? Perhaps...but they make diaper changing SO much easier! And they are not just for flash dance or for girls.
Regardless, Dady decided to just scoot the BLs down past Miles's feet and bring him to the park in all of his striped glory. He actually reminds me of the Wicked Witch when she is crushed by Dorothy's house--you see those striped legs poking out of the foundation. Luckily, Dads can get away with this kind of stuff, and even more, it makes me smile.
From Daddy-O
From Daddy-O
The one thing I don't like is that the swing just looks awfully gross.
From Daddy-O

But nothing matters when you come home to this face:
From Daddy-O
For Miles's fan club (i.e. family) full photo shoot here.

And one more Frances England--Miles's favorite!

Monday, March 9, 2009

What a weekend...

First, Mama D and Franko Sarto welcomed their little girl into the world on Friday! In an attempt not to break any Blogger "HIPPA" restrictions (and because I am not about to bother Mama during her first few days with the wee one to orally release her name and picture), let's just give her a fake name...."Jessica!" (There are a select few who will get that one.) She is just perfect. When we visited her, she was alert and calm--and I think after Schlotty and I witnessed her latch on like a well seasoned nursee, snuggling in the crook of mom and dad's arms, flying through the first few hours of life without one single obstacle was just about the worst birth control. And then we got to hold her. Game, set, match. Newborn babies are divine.

Miles almost slept through his first visit with the new baby. I told him that falling asleep on dates is highly unattractive. Although, he wasn't sporting a particularly "attractive" face when he woke up in a strange hospital room...Did you catch a Schlotty in there? Oh yes. Schlotty ...AND Studs were here this weekend! (Schlotty was avoiding the 'razzi above) Schlotty was on an extended business trip and Studs came to hang with the Heintzes. It was an awesome weekend. We played lots of fun games with Miles and the girls. Peek-a-boo is now a family favorite.
That, and flirting with guests.

And look-Miles is on all fours!!
Okay, so he didn't actually get on all fours alone.But we are more encouraged that it WILL happen! As you will notice, Miles has a new fascination with sticking his tongue out. I have a sneaky suspicion that it is because he is getting ready to bust out a front tooth, but in the meantime, it is stupid cute. Oh, and he is now saying "dadadadada." Honestly, within 1 week this child has grown so much. I am just waiting for a soul patch to emerge on his chin, and for him to escape his crib and steal his mom's Subaru to go cruising down to Perimeter Mall to mall pick up girls.

Amish haircut is growing out okay, but we realized that although we have cut the toupee (haircut #1) and the mullet (haircut #2), we haven't really cut the volume from the top. What this means is we can style a mad fauxhawk. Granted, it falls when his hair dries, but it make for a good photo shoot with Dad.
(Full photo shoot of the weekend here)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mum Musing

Musing#1:
Why has it gotten more difficult to cut a 9 month old's nails? First, you would think that I was ripping them out the way Miles squirms and cries--thank goodness we don't live in our old condo or I am sure Dept of Child Services would be knocking down our door. When he was a newborn, the most displeasing aspect of the grooming responsibility was fear of injury for the baby--now it is fear of injury for the parent. Flailing chunky limbs with half trimmed death nails is worse than being confronted with Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill. No joke--the inside of my ear was bleeding after the Lil Mr Zorro marked me during his most recent "manicure." I thought letting them grow out a bit more would make the aiming for the nail much easier, but it only resulted in Miles marking his face with gashes. And before you suggest it, filing doesn't cut the muster anymore.

Musing #2:
Have you other mothers noticed that you see-saw between wanting your babies to stay "babies," but also feeling the pressure for them to be constantly meeting the next milestone? For the past month I have started coming to terms with how fast Miles has grown and how much of a little boy he has become. His personality beams and his flirty smile just turns me into mush. He is so much more "fun" now and I find myself really loving being a mom. (I think it took about 7 months for me to really swallow the fact that I am a mom!) But there is something indelible about the first few months that I really miss. And at the same time I have this nagging concern that Miles shows no signs of crawling. When is he going to do it? How much longer? Everyone else is doing it, why aren't you? Let's get with the program, Miles! We are working with it during his PT, but the progress is slow. (I would like to mention that his foot is getting better; he has improved his range of motion by 15 degrees and got a new night splint!)

Currently, I assuage my incessant concern and fear that I will need to carry my child up on his high school's auditorium stage to receive his HS diploma with the following:
  • No crawling means delayed baby-proofing concern (including the fear of him escaping his crib for a journey to the hard nursery floor)
  • Mee-lez's 9 month "stats" may shed some light on his disinterest with crawling: 11th percentile for weight...73rd percentile for head circumference.

No wonder he cannot crawl--his head gets too heavy to keep up for too long!