Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Milo and Prada

Back when Milo was just a little Olive, Prada was the first to really be aware of his presence in my body. Early on, when I was still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a person was growing inside of me, she would cuddle up to my stomach and press her ear to my belly. This was a new behavior for her, so we were pretty sure she was listening to the heartbeat. As my belly grew and my lap had less and less room, Prada became less enthralled with me and started making Chris her usual lap buddy.

We weren't sure how Prada would react to a baby in the house. She had never seen a child, let alone a wailing newborn and while Prada has many great qualities, her ability to deal well with change is not one of them. Both times I have moved to a new place with her, she has spent a week hiding in a closet. When we got married, she developed feline acne and a large bald spot on her back. So really we weren't holding high hopes for how she would react to a baby.

Luckily, she has surprised us and is dealing relatively well. By that I mean she hasn't broken out or lost large amounts of fur. Instead she pretty much ignores Milo other than a few sniffs early on. The crying doesn't seem to bother her, but she does look at us as if to say "really, you thought bringing home this thing was necessary" when he is particularly inconsolable. As long as he doesn't mess with her routine and she stills has a lap to sit on, she seems rather content that our family has grown into a foursome. We try to give her a lot of attention when we can and if we forget to do that, she has her own special way to remind us that she was the first baby we had.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Passing Along...

...an Earth Day message from Milo (he also says to ignore the spit-up spot, he didn't mean to do that).

And if you can't plant a tree (but seriously, how can you say no to that face), you could try one of these tips:

  • Skip plastic or paper and take along your own reusable bag
  • Walk or bike instead of drive
  • Unplug appliances such as toasters, hair dryers and phone chargers when not in use

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gardening In So Many Words

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that we try our best to be gardeners, but it doesn't always come easily. Last year we had a few setbacks including the aphids who ate the tomatoes and, oh, yes the overwhelming fatigue of early pregnancy. So last year's attempt wasn't stellar. In fact, last week I found the carrots we planted amid the fennel plants that never got cleaned up at the end of the season.

This year we want to do better with the garden for various reasons. First, we enjoy the fresh and healthy produce we grow on our own. More than that though, I want to instill in Milo (at a very young age) a sense of the earth, why it is important and how we can take care of it starting in our own backyard. I had this growing up because I come from a family who appreciates plants of all kinds. From tending roses to growing the best tomatoes, I've had great examples of connection to the earth and I'm looking forward to passing this on to our little guy.

I'll also use books such as this to reinforce the message. I'm hoping to win a copy of the book here, and you can enter to win as well.

Happy planting!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One Month

This past Thursday marked one month since Milo has been with us. In some ways the month has gone so fast and in some ways it's been the longest month of my life. Some reflections on Milo's first month of life:

  • One of my favorite things he does is to reach over with his little hand and tightly grab my finger while I'm feeding him. It's probably just a reflex thing, but I love how he holds on for several minutes as if to say we're in this together and I'm so glad you're my mom.

  • Milo has set his own schedule, which to be honest I can't decide if I actually like. The schedule is eat or cry most of the day and especially during the evening and then sleep from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Repeat. On the plus side I get uninterrupted sleep during the night, but by the end of the day I feel both emotionally drained and physically drained of milk. Still, there is the sleep, so I really shouldn't complain.

  • Our little guy makes the most adorable faces. Sometimes I think we should have named him Oliver because he has that "Please, Sir, more" look down pat during feedings. He'll get all wide eyed and form his mouth into a little round circle, it's pretty cute. Then, if I am taking too long looking at him, he'll throw his head into the crook of my arm to get himself into feeding position.

  • Milo has a really strong suck which is making feeding him easy and I'm thankful for that, but the side effect of a strong suck is hickeys. I walked around for 4 days with a hickey on my cheek. Yesterday Milo was sucking on his own arm and it left a nice little mark. Who would have thought I would have to start checking my son for hickeys at one month? High school should be interesting.

  • Tummy time has paid off because Milo is pretty good at holding his head up. He likes to look around and the ceiling fan is a special favorite for gazing.

  • While we're not totally sure it isn't just gas, we think we've seen a couple of actual baby smiles. Sometimes Milo will also mirror back facial expressions which is fun for all involved.

  • Having a baby in the house creates some type of time warp. Days go by so quickly in a blur of feeding, burping, napping and general staring at the cuteness. I can't believe he is already a month old and has grown so much. He's packed on almost 3 pounds and two inches onto his little frame. Each day brings something new for Milo to experience and for us to learn about him. I can't wait to see what next month will bring.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby is the New Black

At the risk of sounding like a too-trendy suburban mom, I have to admit that babywearing is a lifesaver. Milo has gotten a little fussy in the past couple of days and isn't content to spend snoozing hours in the bouncer. I'm not content to hold him for hours at at a time and not do anything else. The solution that works for both of us is babywearing. He feels all snug and secure and I have hands free to do whatever I need to do. Last night I wore him while eating dinner, right now I am wearing him as I type this, and yesterday Chris wore him while vacuuming the house.

We have both a ring sling and a Moby wrap. I wear the ring sling because ours is an adorable chocolate brown with hot pink and white polka dots. Chris rocks out the cream colored organic Moby wrap. Milo doesn't seem to care which one he is in as long as he close to one of us. His little sleepy noises in the sling are just too cute and I like having him close as I go through my day.

So if babywearing puts me in the trendy mom category, I'll take that criticism as long as my baby is happy and quiet.

Friday, April 3, 2009

And Baby Makes Three

This week Chris had to leave town to attend a funeral. Milo and I headed to my parent's house and although I had plenty of expert help from Grandma, I had a small taste of what single motherhood would be like and I was not impressed.

Years ago while in grad school, at the height of my I-am-a-strong-woman-and-can-do-anything-on-my-own phase, I remember thinking that should I not be married by 35 (oh the horror), I would just have a baby on my own.

What I failed to realize then was that being a single mother would not be the best choice for me or for any child of mine. In these two quick weeks (and the 9 months leading up to this), I have discovered that part of the fun of parenthood is watching your partner become someone else, someone better. Chris, while still my husband and best friend, has become a great dad and it's been so gratifying to watch him nurture this little being whom we created together.

Everyone who meets Milo agrees he's an adorable, good-natured, sweet baby, but I think it is only Chris and me who really appreciate our little guy. How sad it would be to not experience that connection with another person.

Then there is also the practicality of doing this on my own. It would be hard and a lot of work. It would mean long nights spent alone with a crying baby. I would be lonely if I were doing this alone.

Deepening our partnership to become parents and expand our love to another person has been one of the best and most surprising side effects of having a baby. The family we have quickly grown into simply takes my breath way sometimes and doing it together makes it so much more real.