Friday, July 27, 2012

Project 52 | Week 30 | Genetics

Genetics

This kid didn't get these crazy curls from his Daddy.
It is all Mommy.  
Humidity, sweat, mist, or just plain anything and his hair turns ringlets.
It's so stinking cute.
He needs a haircut, it's so long in the back and it's all over his ears. But I can't bear to try and pin him down to do it.  I wish he was old enough to try and buzz it.  It's really long. Heehee, poor kiddo.  He's got great girl hair.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weaning: Stage 3 Accomplished.

seems so long ago, these cuddle naps
Ok so we are half way to weaned.  It's a long process for us because I do not believe in sudden weaning, nor should anyone (I think). It can be dangerous for mommy and baby.  But it's hard, is a conscious choice every day to remind myself to not offer the breast and start new feeding patterns.  We're on stage 4 of our 6 stage weaning timeline; aka what I came up with to give me a list to guide me down this process and make it feel less crazy.

Stage 1: Get my high needs baby to nap without being on the breast. Either before or immediately after.
Stage 2: Wean off day time feedings.  Gradually.
Stage 3: Change night/bed-time pattern.
Stage 4: Drop night feeding and start changing morning pattern.
Stage 5: Drop morning feeding.
Stage 6: Mourn the loss of my baby and accept my independent little toddler.  And put away all my nursing clothes.

Dropping the daytime feedings were rough in that I had to repeatedly, all day, for weeks, refuse his little hand sign for "milk" and "more"--especially during the times when he would be crying and whining, and putting his little hands together so hard I though he was going to break his little fingers trying to sign "more milk". Then he got used to pointing at the fridge, me taking the jar of his smoothie out, and us sitting in the chair all cuddled and him drinking it.  Still cuddling, still giving lots of affection.  So he's gotten used to it.  

Changing the night time pattern is rough if he's napped to early and he's crying and just wants to nurse for comfort, to sleep.  But he's slowly started to let me read him more and more books.  He still points furiously to the chair and boppy pillow we only use at night, but last night we skipped the chair, the pillow, and only had 2 minutes of nursing on each side and he let me read him 3 books and rock him to sleep.  Today we put away the nursing pillow. Tonight we will try the same.  Tomorrow, no night time feeding.  

I cried as I was rocking him last night.  He curled up and was just falling asleep--hearing his little snores made me feel like I'm losing this huge time in his life where he's a baby.  It's over.  My little pink infant is a toddler who walks, talks, and can clearly communicate.  He's no baby.  

This whole process has been gradual.  There's almost no guidance out there (although this article was the most helpful, non-helpful article I've found) on how or what ways there are out there to wean.  And with my little high needs, breastfeeding addicted, little boy I really struggled. I am struggling.  But he's doing remarkably well.  It's such an end to this hugely important time in his life.  In my life. In our life.  And it's almost over.  So emotional.  I never expected to love breastfeeding like this.

Project 52 | Week 29 | Dirty

Dirty

Kids are dirty, make dirt, and love dirt.
And despite my hatred of grime and nasties, this kid has it in his genome.
He loves it, loves playing outside, and digging in it.
So I've got to relax and let him be a boy.

This kid loved the beach. Loved it.  Could have dug around all day in the sand.  We took him to Galveston while we were in Houston and it was worth the hour drive.  So adorable seeing him play in the sand and surf.

I swear one week I will actually be on time... jeeze

Mommy Diary: 13 Months

I am so behind. I know.  Vacation and family is a priority.  I'll catch up eventually. 


I though it'd be easier to just do these once a  month photos.  But it's been hard, probably because Coach is still home for summer and we pretty much have no schedule and have no idea what day it is.  Until this Monday when he returns to football.  And not only does he go back to work, he goes back to football and the late nights, exhaustion, and general hatred of what he's forced to do.  So yeah.  

Here's to 13 months little guy!  

Developments this month:
  • Running.  everywhere.
  • Weaning off daytime feeds.
  • So. Much. Communication.
  • Napping alone during the day.
  • Trying to get down to one nap, but with all the traveling it's not consistent yet. 
  • Our first visit to Washington State to visit Aunt Caitlin.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Are Back From Memory Hell

After what was supposed to be fun a Thursday - Sunday trip to visit my stepdad in Sugar Land (south of Houston) and see the beach, I'm exhausted.  We ended up leaving yesterday because I still spent all day Saturday going through more of my Mom's things.  Right after she died my sister and I went through 20-30 rubber-maids full of everything from melted craft supplies and pictures to china and linens.  We thought we'd found all her hoards of paperwork but the day we got to the house Bob asked if I wouldn't mind going through the remaining things.  What remaining things? Oh, for starters, an old file cabinet and 5 boxes of paperwork; including, but not limited to, every social security check, VA bill, benefits card, or bill my mom, grandmother who died in 2004, or father ever received.  Ever. But then the fun continued.  For 3 days.

I wish I was exaggerating.  The upstairs pile included 1 rubber-maid full of "to shred" documents and 8 bags of trash.  Downstairs had 3 extremely large boxes full of pictures, most crap but some worth saving (all our senior photos, totally forgot about those) that we started to add to a "donate" pile but it just got too intense to deal with. Then Saturday Coach opened the shed outside and found another 10 rubber-maids full of stuff.  All of my fathers military paperwork, leave and earnings statements, medical files, gear, and ancient tools.  Another 2 rubber-maids full of documents to shred, 5 bags of trash, and 5 rubber-maids that went directly into the trash pile.  Then 3 more trash bags outside and 4 wardrobe boxes outside full of nasty garage junk that also went straight into the trash pile.  

We did take home 4 rubber-maids of paperwork, her stand mixer, 2 boxes of assorted kitchen items (ice cream maker!  expensive pots and pans set! her marble rolling pin, oh the memories...), ammo cases full of extra accessories for all our weapons (color Coach happy to have 4 extra magazines for his favorite gun of my fathers, 1 for my favorite, extra grips for 2 of our weapons as well, as well as all the purchase receipts for all the weapons including our M1), and assorted pictures and memento's.

By Saturday I was exhausted both emotionally and physically. Every closet held more crap.  Every room had something. But Sunday we woke up and I had to get it done.  I swear we took or went through everything  after she died but there was so much.  But I got it done.  I had to, I couldn't know that there was still more junk lingering around in that house.  My stepdad wants to move so I know I had to , that house is just full of  her stuff.  Our car was packed.  We will go back during Coach's football bye-week to haul my moms teak dining table, chairs, and massive hutch home.  I have so many memories associated with that set and it's so beautiful (even if my moms dying cat ruined the upholstery on the chairs, they needed to be redone anyway so we'll do that once we get them up here).  But it's massively heavy so we'll have to figure out how to trailer it down here but also just how to get it loaded without killing someone, we may have to hire movers for an hour or something--it's that heavy.  

So of course I came home, labeled the tubs of things we took and sorted it into 4 piles--Caitlin's, send to my Grandma (mom's mom), send to my Aunt Glenda (Dad's sister), and mine.  We found a whole slew of documents from both sets of grand parents that we don't want, need, or whatever and so that's going back to either side.  It was intense.  And just to note: I do not ever want to read an autopsy, ever.  But I found nothing short of 2 dozen copies of my dad's autopsy report and LODD report in various places, in various states of disarray, that I inadvertently read the entire thing at least 4 times.  Too many death certificates, too many sad things.  Too much.  I just want to sleep for a few days and process everything we found.  But I can't.  So I'm sure it'll be a few weeks before I can even touch my tub of junk again to finish putting things away.  

The whole thing just boggled my mind.  Where did she squirrel all this stuff away at each house? How could she have not gone through these boxes?  She was so anal retentive and crawled up everyone's butt if anything was left out or didn't have its place, but all this crap she had hidden--seriously mom?  What did you think you were going to do with all this shit?  

On the plus side I found some neat-o photos and things of my dad's.  Awesome professionally done shots of his jumps; some black and whites from media taken at the refugee camp he set up in Turkey; some cool photos of him as a kid, and boy does my Lloyd look like his Grandpa Lloyd.  I'll scan some soon once I have the courage to go through those boxes again.  I, of course, came home and did another purge of our stuff and tried to get Coach to toss some of his junk (he's such an amateur hoarder himself)--but culling through the junk is never done.  I will never leave my children with the mess she left us.  I vow to not make them do what we've had to do.  It's just awful.  

But I'll leave you with my senior photo, yes I had blond highlights.  I was 16 or 17 when this was taken and I hadn't quit dying my grey hair yet, I still had enough brown hair that it accepted dye (oh the days of pigment...).
Mom, you've got some 'essplainin' to do.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Project 52 | Week 28 | Dates

Dates.

Few and far in between.
Untraditional.
But make us better parents.
Especially when we come to pick him up and he's playing naked in the front yard with his grandparents.
What a stinker!

It's hard to make sure your marriage still comes first after you have kids, but it's a struggle worth fighting for. And coming home to this cute little guy toddling around is more and more amazing.  Every day he's smarter and more fun.  Every day I love my husband more.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Project 52 | Week 27 | Goodbyes

Goodbyes

So unbelievably hard.
So not fair.
I miss my only family.
Gilmore Girls forever.

Back in Texas.  :(  I cried and cried and cried.