10 months old

Ellen is 10 months old today. Holy smokes! I can’t help but focus on how close that is to 1 year old.

It feels like so much changes when they turn 1, and on the one hand I’m ready. Ready to have a toddler, ready for cow milk full meals and less pressure on breastfeeding, ready for walking instead of crawling (less need for squeaky clean floors with a walker!).

On the other hand, what the hell just happened!? If Ellen isn’t a baby anymore, that means no more babies for me. I can’t even write any more about this because I just don’t feel like crying right now.

So let’s go back to the present instead of panicking about two months from now. We have a 10 month old, and she has changed so much in the last month. (Side note – my phone just autocorrected “month” to “minute” and I feel like that was possibly even more accurate.)

Ellen crawls, can kind of pull herself up to stand if the conditions are right, she’s learning to feed herself with a fork and drink from a sippy cup, she can rawwwr like a dinosaur, loves to peekaboo and wave and clap, and eats solid foods like a champ.

She still breastfeeds too, although I’ve noticed a steep drop in my supply. I’m enjoying that relationship still, but anticipating it coming to an end in the next couple months, whether we are ready or not (I’m leaving towards “ready”).

Ellen has been sleeping wonderfully since 8 months old, a full 14 months before Lewis figured that out. I thank my lucky stars that she was earlier than him. I didn’t have a lot of gas left in the sleep deprivation tank.

We graduated Ellen out of her infant car seat this month, and now she is in Lewis’s old toddler seat while he has moved into a harness booster. I don’t miss hauling around the infant seat, but it is a strange milestone to get emotional over.

I guess I’m just emotional over all of the milestones. Can’t stop this mama from getting weepy… so why even try!

There is nothing like a sick kiddo to push reset on the love-o-meter.

Yup, the 3 year old has a raging fever and vomited this evening. All of a sudden, the shenanigans are a distant memory, and he’s just my tiny little helpless baby, for whom my heart aches.

He is sleeping now, and has been for hours. Ellen has also been asleep for hours. Yet I am lying here in bed oozing love and concern for poor Lewis instead of sleeping.

It doesn’t help anyone that I’m awake. In fact, it would be better for everyone if I slept so I’m recharged for tomorrow. But Lewis is so sick and miserable that I can’t seem to shut off the flow of adrenaline. I’m just so worried.

He can be a little butthead as much as he wants and I will still love him with all I have. I just want him to be well, and to not spew and roast!

P.S. he barfed in a proper receptacle earlier! His first ever barf that didn’t go everywhere, uncontrolled. How is that for a milestone, eh? Aimed vomiting – Every parent’s dream come true!

3 Year Olds – I Quit!

TGIM – Thank Goodness It’s Monday

I have never, ever been as glad to leave my children at daycare as I was this morning. This weekend was rough. It was a perfect storm of sick parents, sick baby, nursing strike, bad weather, messy house, and a 3 year old.

Let’s take it one at a time, shall we?

Sick parents – There are a lot of things people don’t tell you about parenthood before you create your own evil spawn children. One of the glaring omissions? Sick days! Never again will you get to lay on the couch with a TV remote, drifting in and out of consciousness with tissues shoved in your nostrils. Nope, sick days with kids should be called, “normal days, but harder”.

Sick baby – Newsflash, sick babies don’t sleep. And they scream a lot.

Nursing strike – Ok, “nursing strike” is, perhaps, not the right term for what happened this weekend. I think “vampire baby attack” is more accurate. Let me clarify…

Ellen bit me. Multiple times. AKA at every feeding, all day Saturday. In case you’re not totally up-to-speed, she also has two shiny new teeth.


(Sorry, Granny. I didn’t know how to express that any other way.)

Each time Ellen bit me, I yanked her off my breast and yelled very, very loudly. This scared Ellen to death, and then she would scream very, very loudly. In the end, she was terrified of my breasts and would start to scream very, very loudly every single time I brought her towards my nipple to feed her.

So, 1) I could not have felt worse about scaring her, 2) How is it that I got bitten by razor sharp teeth and somehow I’m the one who felt bad?, and 3) I had to pump and give Ellen bottles all day Saturday, which is extra work/energy, and remember – I was sick and hadn’t slept. Extra work/energy was not well received.

Bad weather – This wouldn’t have been so terrible, because we live in Portland and we’re, theoretically, used to bad weather. But I refer you to the section of this post entitled “A 3 Year Old” to help you understand why being cooped up in the house wasn’t any fun at all.

Messy house – Our house is so damn cluttered it raises my stress level about 2 notches all on its own. On top of the fact that it is super cluttered, our cleaning lady cancelled on us last week. So our home has not been cleaned in ages, making it cluttered and actually dirty. These are things I could have done something about, but I would like to refer you to, well, the rest of this post for all of the reasons I did not have the energy or the time to deal with my home. Instead, I just let it sit there, messy and grubby, making me feel even worse.

A 3 year old – I think it has happened, people. I think I have finally reached the place where I don’t want any more kids. Because, at some point, kids have to be three. Apparently for a whole year. And three year olds SUCK. I can’t believe I have to do this twice. No way I’m signing up for a third round…

My once sweet, thoughtful, rule following child has turned into, for lack of a better word, an asshole (sorry again, Granny).

My darling asshole will listen to you tell him not to do something, and then look you in the eye and laugh as he immediately proceeds to do the thing you told him not to do.

My adorable turd-bucket explained to his grandmother yesterday that he has decided he won’t eat anything mommy cooks for him. (He means it too. He won’t eat a damn thing I give him. Not even a cookie.)

My beautiful jerkface hates to hear “no” so much that he acts like he is in physical pain when you dare deny him. (Imagine – thrashing around flat on the floor, screaming like a banshee. De-light-ful.)

My special little disaster likes to say “no” so much that he’ll say it before you even finish asking a question. Sometimes he’ll even start crying (actual, real crocodile tears) and saying “no”, only to realize that he really meant “yes”.

Did Kyle and I change anything to bring about this new era of Lewis-behavior? Nope! He turned into a demon seemingly overnight, all on his own. And I, personally, am at the end of my rope. It makes me feel like I must be doing something wrong.

I basically feel awful all the time now, either because I can’t figure out how to improve the situation, because I can’t figure out how the situation started in the first place, because I lose my temper and yell, or because I actually look forward to being away from my child (and I feel like I shouldn’t feel that way).

Moral of the story – 3 year olds are the pits, and I haven’t figured out how to mother mine yet. Send help. I’m dying.

Summary – The whole family did a lot of screaming/yelling this weekend, and no one felt good about it. So, I’ll end this the same way I began it:

TGIM – Thank Goodness It’s Monday

New Friends

A while back, my friend group dissipated. I remember writing about it a little bit here. There was a lot of pain for me while experiencing that loss.

I lost my confidence along with my friends, wondering – in the absence of an actual, complete explanation from the lost friends – what fundamental personality flaw I had that had caused the end of multiple friendships simultaneously, and if that flaw would strike again and ruin any new friendships I tried to create.

On top of being a new mom, which is lonely, painful, and confusing all on its own, I was lonely, hurt and confused because several of my most important friendships had ended.

It was rough.

Time passed, and I got tired of feeling so isolated. I finally decided I had to try to make new friends. To shove aside my insecurity and anxiety about the same thing happening again, and seek friendship.

So I joined a facebook group for working moms, which sprouted into a mama’s night out group. I joined the shoot-off, and decided to attend the first meeting.

I was terrified, but also desperate enough to be brave. I thought to myself, “If I can just find one friend, I’ll be ok.”

I was so scared of not being liked that at first I was a toned-down version of myself – unsure how much to reveal, how “me” I could be without ruining friendships before they started. Toned-down me wasn’t rejected immediately, so as the meet-ups continued, the real me started to seep through more and more.

I found that one friend at the first meet-up, and she and I have never looked back. But, much to my surprise, it didn’t stop there! The mama’s night out group sprouted into a bunco group, which sprouted into a book club. And all three groups have brought new, wonderful friends into my life!

I don’t have the same confidence in myself and my friendships that I once had. I will often leave a social engagement with my new friends and dissect everything I said and wonder if I have blown it forever, if I dominated the conversation too much, didn’t listen enough, was too over-the-top, was insensitive. I frequently wonder if people wish I didn’t attend, and rejoice when I RSVP “no” to the next event.

I wish I could turn that part off, but even with that anxiety in tow, I feel connected to these women. I now have a minimum of two events with friends each month, plus a few friends whose husbands and kids get along with my husband and kids. I feel like I have a support system and social outlet outside of family again!

These new friends are who I needed in this phase of my life. The friendships may be new, but they’re powerful. The grief and pain I felt from losing my old friends is weak now, and I don’t often think about it anymore. That loss left its mark, but I think I needed exactly these women at exactly this time. We laugh, we cry, we open up, we dance, we sing, we lose at trivia (badly), we care for each other, we accept each other. It’s a pretty special thing.

I wouldn’t have sought these people out if I hadn’t lost my group of friends. So, in a way, I’m pretty grateful that happened. These women are worth it.