Monday, December 21, 2015

Nine Months

My girl, born on the first day of spring, is now nine months (and a day). She's been on the outside longer than she was on the inside.

Her crawling is improving by the day, though it's still not entirely coordinated. It's a sort of one knee, second knee, two knees together hop type thing. But she is determinedly moving forward. If not quickly.

The latest in her verbal repertoire is a sort of yodeling. As if she's imitating an ambulance siren. Still joyfully, enthusiastically shakes her head "no"to most every question. After a clapping hiatus, is loving her clapping skills again.

Separation anxiety has picked up a little, though usually she still doesn't care if I leave the room.

Her thigh rolls have diminished a bit so I'm hoping that's a sign of growing and not just her increased activity levels. We have a nine month check up next week and I'm anxiously awaiting that, hoping for good news. Truth is, I love her little body just the way it is. I figure if she's small, she's my baby for that much longer. I just want to know that she won't be small forever.

Perfect things come in small packages, Mommy!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bath Time With Her Bestie

Go to about 20 seconds to hear the best laughing. I can't help but laugh when I hear it.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

First School Photo, and Social Developments

The wrinkly ankles completely slay me. My favorite part of the photo.
Calliope went pretty seamlessly to having a best friend at home, Eleanor, to having a best friend at school, Maya. (Though she still loves Eleanor best of all... though you might not know it from the way the girls fight.) Calliope and Maya met at a pre-preK play date at a nearby playground and quickly hit it off. You know, once Calliope stopped pretending that she was playing alone.

The girls stick together at school, it seems, and all was well. Calliope has always been a kid that does well with solitary play, so I was glad she had a solid friendship to count on.

Well. One day Calliope complained to me about Maya. She didn't like Tight Squeezes. Was very upset about them, in fact. Calliope didn't want me to help her talk to Maya -- and Oh! I was trying so hard to not make suggestions but just ask things like "what do you think you want to do?" because I've read it's critical to do this to prevent kids from shutting us out with future school issues... but it was hard! -- but she wanted her teacher to help.

We marched in to class the next morning, ready to go. We pulled the teacher aside and filled her in. Amy, her teacher, was sympathetic and grateful for the update. She agreed to help facilitate the conversation.

Unfortunately, Maya was out sick that day. A Friday. So Calliope, I guess, kept stewing about the Tight Squeezes all weekend.

On Monday, she was decidedly not looking forward to seeing Maya. On the plus side, I thought, she asked if I would help her talk to Maya, instead of Amy. So I texted Maya's babysitter to stick around the classroom for a few extra minutes. We pulled them aside and with a nod from Calliope, said, "Maya, Calliope is the kind of kid that doesn't like being hugged without her permission. Would you be willing to ask her first before you hug her?"

Maya said, "Sure." Happily enough. Case closed. Maya's mom texted me that night to say the conversation had a big impact on Maya, who was still reflecting on it. And asked if we could have a play date that coming weekend. I readily agreed. Have I mentioned that I really like Maya's mom? A friend for me at school, too! Maya's babysitter, who Calliope adores, also texted and asked for a Friday afternoon playground playdate after school.

When I told Calliope the next day about the weekend plans, she said, "I don't want to have a play date with Maya."

My heart sank. Oh no! Social disaster! My four year old wouldn't have a friend any more! My thoughts went to my own socially challenged childhood. What if Maya lost patience with Calliope and Calliope never had a friend again?

Meanwhile, I had ascribed personalities to the other children in her classroom. Adorable Kay (not her real name) was undoubtedly becoming that pretty but mean girl that excluded me from my group of friends. Igor was becoming that boy that tormented me in high school. I didn't want Calliope to be a loner all through school! What if Kay and Igor sidelined her?

Well, surprising to no one except me, it all worked out. The playground play date went well. Maya and her mom came over on Sunday and it was admittedly not an unmitigated success. Calliope was tired from our Hanukkah party the night before. Calliope mostly sucked her thumb and refused to interact. We moms had to remain fairly involved. My heart sank at the end. Poor Maya. And poor Calliope, too.

The next morning, Calliope and I were in my office, eating breakfast before school started. I got a text from Alex, asking if she and Maya could stop by -- Maya wanted to say hi. I was kind of surprised that Maya wanted to see Calliope after C was such a lousy host. I mentioned it to Calliope. She said, "Oh yes! I want Maya to come in your office while we eat breakfast!"

What??? I thought you didn't like Maya any more? You certainly acted like it yesterday!

So we let them in and the girls started a hilarious (to them) game of pretend sneezing on each other. And apparently all is back to normal.

The social lives of children are mysterious to me. Apparently the memories I hold from seventh grade and beyond don't have all that much to do with four year olds.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Old Flame

Ages ago, a reader asked what happened with Old Flame. I didn't mean to be mysterious! About a year ago now (or was it two years ago? I guess it was, since it was before I was pregnant, and it was definitely in December), I sent him packing.

He was still too emotionally involved with his ex. Not surprising because the divorce still wasn't done at that point. I didn't want to listen to him rant about her. But also, he was just too... socially awkward? I wasn't sure if that was because he was distracted by the ongoing divorce process, or just a matter of his weird engineer self -- just not that great at [successfully] engaging with others. Even while he was very cognizant of the fact that "EQ" is important, and that engineers tend to lack it. But he was that weird awkward way with my friend at a running event, when I was not around, so it certainly wasn't about me. So the divorce situation was a good thing to blame it on. He texted me when the divorce was finalized, and said he regretted that it taking so long had precluded a future with us. I responded blandly without engaging. I don't miss him.

I can't imagine dating anyone right now. I have no energy to give another person. This time in my children's lives is short. I don't want to waste any of it. Not to say that I don't want to miss a minute. I'm fine with taking breaks for me! But I can't waste any on drama, or first dates, or fights with a significant other.

Someday, maybe, I'll meet someone who wants to go on adventures with me or us. Until then, my life is so full. I'm happy. I have no time to be lonely.

Eight and a Half Months

Life has been so busy and now Amelie is nearly 9 months so I am determined to post something about eight months in the next seven minutes.

So, somewhere right around the eight month mark, Amelie started pushing up on all fours. The week before Thanksgiving. I thought it would take a month to start crawling... and then a day later, I thought it would take a week. But she stalled for a while. Or rather, she progressed, but very, very slowly.

But today, at least, intentional forward movement!

It's not true crawling, really, but it's very close. Now that she's moving, I expect her to perfect it into a true crawl very quickly.

I'm pretty happy that this video captures only the second time she did this!

In other news... she's an enthusiastic eater, and has liked everything so far except for a meatball... but then she got a serious case of constipation and I had to exclude a ton of foods from her diet because it went on for a month. It seems better now but after having some noodle kugel yesterday, today was a bad day again. I think wheat is a big trigger for her. I have no idea if this is common and she will outgrow it, or if this is something significant.

She's still nursing but my supply took a big hit over the Thanksgiving week -- I took a full week off of work and the girls and I went to my family's for the week. It was great but I think the total change made it hard for me to pump effectively. So I started pumping again at night and wow, what a difference it makes! I have more milk all day long, and wake up engorged when I pump at bedtime, but man, what a pain to add one more task at the end of the day. So now I'm doing it intermittently again. My supply is caught up and I topped up my freezer stash as well. I'm trying to achieve that impossible balance of just enough, and it never works.

The last few days, it seems like Amelie is eating less, and her thigh rolls are getting whittled away. I'm sure all that busy work on the carpet is contributing, also.

Still, though, this baby is just too delicious for words. Was I this crazy for Calliope at this age? I think so. But maybe there's also a last baby thing going on. I just want to nibble her all over.

As far as last babies go... I was seriously jonesing for a third for a while. Despite how hard the pregnancy was at time, particularly the digestive issues (which caused stomach aches, frequent diarrhea, nausea, occasional vomiting, dizziness, difficulty eating and breathlessness), I still loved being pregnant. Especially when I felt well. The last trimester flew by. And then my delivery was amazing in so many ways. I really wanted to do it all again. And to get to experience infancy again.

But as Amelie grows older, I relish her short babyhood even more while also recognizing that... I wouldn't be a good mother to the children I already have if I had another.

I wish my baby days didn't have to end. But I can't have a third child.

But don't ask if I've stopped paying for embryo storage. That might take many years.

If I met someone -- and I have no desire to do so -- I would totally have a third. You know, if everything else was ideal with this person.

Amelie's first Hanukkah. She is mesmerized by the candles. Also by wrapping paper.