Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Seven Months

Dear Abraham,

I don't even know what to say to you. You're 7 months old. How did that happen?

I don't have as much time to blog as I used to! You and I are constantly on the move; you so that you don't get bored and me so that I don't fall asleep. We go to the baby gym, swim lessons, lunches with friends, baby play dates, the list goes on and on! It seems that teething has been particularly hard on you and we try to keep you comfortable at night so you can sleep. It turns out that some of the ingredients in homeopathic teething remedies keep you AWAKE instead of calming you down. If only we'd figured that out sooner. You do your best and, to be honest, I think you're such a trooper.
You don't yet crawl. In fact, I don't know if you ever will. You don't really get it. You seem to just want to stand up and walk away. I'm wondering if you'll just get up one day and wander on into the office and start paying bills.
You love to swim and to float in the water. You still jump in your Jump Up everyday. Now you have a baby walker and last week you figured out how to walk in it. It's great practice for me, watching what you go for and get into. I've already begun moving pieces of furniture around so there's less for you to knock into like a drunken sailor.
I'm pretty sure you could eat a pizza at this point. You love to eat. You don't yet have a pincer grip, but you have NO interest in purees or eating from a spoon. You want to eat what I'm eating, and I usually let you. I help you get it in your mouth and you "chew" with your knobby little gums. You also hold your own bottle now (and scream like we've spent your college fund on frivolous dinners out and trips to Mexico when we take it away).
You. Love. Your. Dogs. Every time one of them walks into the room, you coo and laugh and reach out for them. You love to pull Bella's jowls and tug Charlie's ears. Sometimes you just sit and watch them play like it's a live show just for you.
I love the way you stare at people who try in vain to make you laugh or smile with dumb baby tricks. And I love the way you smile at people who treat you like the little person you are. I am in awe of your patience and your strength (you held YOURSELF on a trapeze in the baby gym without ANY help!!).
You are waking up from your nap now, so I'm going to run upstairs and snuggle you all up while I still can. I want to freeze you at 7 months so I can hold you forever. They say it only gets better, but I just can't imagine loving you any more. We'll see. I've been surprised a lot already.

I love you,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Every time I'm about to make a questionable decision regarding Abe, I run the Dateline test:
Is this something that could possibly earn me a starring role on an episode of Dateline during which viewers across the country would exclaim things like, "What an idiot!" and "Who does that?!"? 
For example, the other day I momentarily contemplated giving Abe a bite of my spicy curry lunch dish. I ran the Dateline test. The outcome? Yes, in fact that could easily earn me a spot on a Dateline episode about a mother whose child lost his taste buds from a curry burn at the age of 6 months and would never taste again. I envisioned myself weeping and sobbing to Chris Hanson, "He was screaming for food! I didn't have anything else to give him! I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO!" Needless to say, Abe was hungry and angry, but he can still taste.
Until the other day when a long car trip and low blood sugar caused an inaccurate set of Dateline test results. After 4 hours in the car, Abraham was SO finished. He wanted to get up and stretch and get naked. So I brought him into our bedroom when he got home, took off all of his clothes and blew raspberries on his belly. We laughed and giggled for a few minutes until Abe made that unmistakable poop face. When it was clear he'd finished, I took off his diaper and cleaned him up. Seeing how happy he was to be completely naked, I decided to let him enjoy his birthday suit for a while. I tickled his feet and he grabbed some of his favorite body parts; and then my hunger overcame me. I decided to run to the kitchen to get a pear. I ran the Dateline test.
Would leaving my baby on the bed pass the Dateline test?
Sure it would. I'm only going to be about 15 seconds. 
Dateline test FAIL.
Before I even began walking back to my bedroom, I heard a sound no mother ever wants to hear.
It was the clearest "SPLAT" noise I've ever heard. I ran through the wall (I think) to the other side of the bed where Abe was on his belly, up on his hands, looking around like, "What the hell just happened?" I paused, he looked at me, and the following sequence of events came next:
1. Deep breath.
2. Horribly sad face.
3. Slight wimper.
I grabbed him and kissed him and apologized profusely until he finished screaming a whopping 45 seconds later upon noticing the remote control on the bedside table. Ordinarily an object I try to keep away from him, I immediately grabbed it and handed it to him. All was right with the world again.
Abe left nothing to the imagination about his trip to the floor. His path was marked by the stream of pee he left like Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs off the side of the bed. He clearly scooted and then rolled onto Floor World as noted by the pee path. Before I put him to bed that night, I ran my hands all over his head and body to ensure I couldn't feel an welts or possible broken bones. I checked his eye contact and responsiveness one more time to ensure he didn't have one of those deadly concussions. Finally when I was satiated, I put him down to sleep. I put on jammies and washed my face before slipping into bed after an exhausting day. It was only then that I realized I'd forgotten to change the sheets. And the pee was on my side. I was laying in my son's pee. I was so tired and in desperate need of rest. I contemplated moving to another bed or perhaps the couch. But you know what I finally decided to do? Put on long pants so I couldn't feel the wet. Yep. That's what I did.
Dateline test?
There's a good chance I would have failed that one, but the ratings would be so high I'd likely get a book deal out of it so it seemed like an appropriate, if not lucrative, option.

Friday, March 11, 2011


You'll hear two lines of thinking when it comes to parenting: parent-led and baby-led. Do you incorporate your child into YOUR life or do you incorporate your life into your CHILD'S? Whose schedule rules? And now that Abe is 6 months old, what would I even put into my schedule?? I just started leaving the house again a month ago and to be honest, human interaction is still a little foreign. The other day a woman asked me how old Abe was and I said, "Thank you."

Most people who aren't yet parents will tell you that your child should fold into your life. They should do what you do. The world isn't going to bend for them. I hear this all the time and I, myself, preached this line of thinking B.A. (Before Abe). These people have clearly never lived with a 6 month old. It's true, if I want to go to Target, we are GOING to Target. However, I can't guarantee we'll be able to stay more than 15 minutes before nap time starts calling and the mission is aborted.
I agree that you should teach your child to go with your flow. A child cannot be in charge, that's way too much pressure. As Abe's mom, it's my job to plan our days. However, as a parent, it is also my job to give my son what he needs. Abe needs 2 naps a day. For some kids it will make no difference, but for him it will ruin 2 or 3 days of happiness. And if he needs 2 naps a day, I don't get to go to the mall during one of those naps just because Old Navy is having a 50% off sale on winter coats. (This is why, I believe, God is a woman and she invented the Internet.) Earlier this week my husband tried to get me to take Abe on a whirlwind trip to NYC for 2 days. For a split second I thought about it, and then I envisioned lugging a breastpump onto an airplane, trying to get a carseat into a cab, sitting in a hotel room at 1pm waiting for Abe to wake up from a nap, and brushing my teeth at 8:30pm before bed while the rest of New York was just putting on lipstick. I quickly lost interest.
So what's a fashion conscious Broadway-loving girl to do? My conclusion at the end of the day is if it's truly important to you to keep it a part of your life, you will be willing to suffer the consequences of a skipped nap or an early bedtime. And you get to weigh whether or not it's worth it to you individually.
Yeah, if it's really important to you, your baby should follow your schedule. But I find that after having a kid, a lot of things that used to be important just aren't anymore. And that's why I don't mind bending my schedule around. I can usually get everything done everyday that I need to without interrupting a nap or pushing bedtime back too far. It's become like a multi-tasking game called Motherhood, similar to Jenga, except all the wooden pieces have been rolled in a sticky and/or crumbly unknown substance and 7 of the pieces are missing altogether. Oh, and if you lose the game, you don't get to sleep more then 2 hours for several days. Take your time. Play it right. I hear it's over pretty fast anyway.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Six Months

Dear Abe,

Today you are 6 months old. We've lived together for 1/2 a year. I've never been away from you for more than a few hours. There is no one else on the planet I could possibly be that close to for 6 months and still like so much.
This past month you learned how to sleep at night. You still wake up once to eat, but I love that time I spend with you in the middle of the night. It's quiet and sweet. And I literally praise God everytime I walk up the stairs to your room for helping you learn how to sleep through the night. Sleep is so severely underrated.
You can now roll over both ways and if I prop your knees up underneath you, you can hold yourself up in the crawl position and rock back and forth. Yesterday I sat you upright surrounded by pillows and gave you a bunch of toys. You entertained yourself for nearly 20 minutes. It was amazing considering a month ago you could barely sit up in my lap.
Everyday you re-discover your hands. You'll be playing or waving or batting at a toy and suddenly you say to yourself, "Oh! The hands are back!" You open and close your fingers, twirl your hands, and bite your fingers.
We've decided to introduce you to solid foods. You eat avocado now. Sometimes you eat it with your fingers, sometimes I put some on a spoon and give it to you. You eat the avocado and chew on the spoon and smile. It's crazy we're starting this phase of life already. I'm hoping you don't eat me out of house and home within a year because you are a big kid. You're already over 16 pounds. And while you'll cringe at this when you're older, I just have to mention that you grew from 7 to 16 pounds because of my BOOBS. That is so sci-fi.
You still love walks in the stroller and the Johnny Jump Up. You also love the car seat now. Never thought I'd see the day!! One day I had to take a friend to the airport during your nap time and instead of screaming the whole way, you quietly played with a toy until you fell asleep. I will probably never forget that day.
The other day, you laughed. Abraham, it was the most incredible sound I've ever heard. Your father was bouncing a toy on your chest and as clear as day, you giggled. We laughed and screamed. Your daddy exclaimed, "That's the best noise in the world!" I think all of our hysteria frightened you a little bit because you haven't laughed audibly since then. But that's ok. That one laugh will get me through the next month. It was that good.
This month we are starting swim classes. I'm also going to start going to a gym that has daycare. That's right. I'm leaving you with people I don't know while I run on a treadmill or take a yoga class. I'm pretty scared, but I know that you are going to be fine and that the folks running the daycare are going to LOVE you. Everyone does. We are also going on an airplane for the first time to see where I used to live and re-introduce you to your Aunt C and Uncle J. You'll also get to see your twin cousins and a bunch of other people who already really like you. I hope that you are a baby that likes to travel, because we have a lot of plans this summer!
Six months ago the month of "March" sounded like the year 2022. I am so happy that the first six months of your life are over (they were very hard but very worth it), and I can't wait to watch you change and grow through the next six. I love you more than words can say.