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Archive for December, 2012

And at his check up we learned that Big Fat Baby is neither Big nor Fat. I don’t know if it’s the presence of all those extra baby chins that conveniently make up for the lack of a baby neck but the boy really does look like a sweet little chubbins… alas, he is not. I really do hate to disappoint my family members who scoffed when I told them he probably weighed between eleven and twelve pounds, guessing he came in somewhere around 13.

Here’s how he measures up:

Weight: 10 lb 11 oz {13.45%}

Height: 22 inches {11.13%}

Head: 15.24 cm {36.39%}

Not only is Ezra not a big baby in general, he isn’t even my biggest baby. That award goes to Keaton who at two months was a full pound heavier. The important thing is that even though he actually is pretty small, he is following a healthy growth curve and is fairly proportional, so yay UnFat Baby!

Here's what's happening at two months...

Here’s what’s happening at two months…

Sleep is going mostly okay. Really it’s about as good as you are going to get out of a two month old if you don’t include those random asshole babies that sleep 10 hours a night at 8 weeks. Those mythical babies seem to come out of the woodwork when you are asked to describe your child’s sleep habits at this age, but notice the children they speak of are either now well past infanthood or the baby being described is in fact their husband’s cousin’s nephew’s son, thrice removed. In any case, I don’t think those babies actually exist and even if they did I wince at the thought of how uncomfortable the night would be on the old hooters at this point and what a pain in the ass it would be to have to get up to pump twice in the night.

As it is, right now I feed Ezra between 7:30-8:30, then Bill swaddles him tight and lays him down. With all the hubbub of the holidays, we’ve been up super late so we typically wake him up between 11:30 to midnight to feed and change him before we tuck in. Based on the few times we’ve let him be, he’d probably go to 12:30-1am but I hate having to get up within an hour of going to sleep so we’ll see where the cards fall once Bill and I are back to a respectable bedtime after the new year.

The next feeding has sort of been a crapshoot, he’ll go anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours, it’s just kind of tricky to tell when to get him up because he rarely actually cries, instead he sort of half wakes up and grunts but his eyes are closed and we can’t tell if we should wake him to feed him or endure baby grunts for an hour or so before we finally give up and feed him. And even when we do, much of the time he sleeps very fitfully for that last stretch between 4-7am. I think we’ll have to better address this once we’re back to some semblance of a routine which we did attempt the week before Christmas but abandoned due to the two month sleep regression {which seems to have come and gone fairly quickly} and the crazy holiday schedule.

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As for naps, I am just taking my cues from the baby at this point. Ezra has a very distinct “tired cry” which is really just a sort of mewling coo that if I catch at the right time, will allow for an easy rock and lay down that can garner anywhere from 35 minutes to a two hour nap, and we never can tell which way it will go, but the average is around an hour and fifteen minutes a pop if we’re lucky. If I miss the window however, he can be a pain in the ass to get to sleep and even when I do he doesn’t stay down when he’s over-tired. How many naps he gets are tricky because they’re based off of our routine which is different almost every day of the week because of the kids’ school and dance schedules. Mondays and Tuesdays Keaton is home all day, and we have to pick Rowan up from school at roughly the same time to get her to dance. Wednesdays Keaton has preschool and lunch bunch, then a break, then dance, and Rowan has nothing. Thursdays and Fridays Keaton has preschool and things have been all over the place as far as when and who has dance, if at all, so we really are just taking it day by day. After the break we’ll be resuming a full schedule so it’ll be nuts, but a predictable kind of nuts, so there’s that.

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As for milestones, we decided to move Ezra to his crib, which rested a whole 6 inches from the bassinet, so not a huge move I grant you, but a bittersweet one nonetheless. I would have normally kept him in the bassinet until he was 3-4 months but he kept squirming and he’d wake up with his face pressed up against the side and I know it was probably fine, the kid already has great head control, but it made me nervous. Since the crib is really right there it just made sense for him to use it, which is completely foreign for us at this age because Rowan slept in the bassinet until she was almost 5 months and Keaton would act like we were pulling his limbs off if we even walked toward the crib with him~ he didn’t touch the thing until he was almost eight months old.

Ezra still eats every 2-3.5 hours during the day, sometimes 4 if we’re running around in the evenings. He usually eats more in the morning and early afternoon, then goes for longer stretches in the evening. He still is having trouble with reflux. Unfortunately the stint at the chiropractor did not produce the magic fix we were looking for. Our options at this point are to put him on medicine or try to further prop his crib up or for me to cut out dairy to see if it helps the spitting up and the grunting. Our ped is not really concerned because it doesn’t seem to be causing an overly fussy baby and it clearly isn’t inhibiting his growth. I might try the dairy thing but it’s a tricky call… on the one hand, I want to make Ezra as comfortable as possible, on the other hand, FANCY CHEESE. It’s a lot tougher call than it probably should be, Internet.

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The biggest change this month was definitely in his level of alertness. Starting at four weeks he’d give us a cautious smile, but around 6 weeks he threw caution to the wind and throws those suckers around like nobody’s business. He went from laying on his back and kicking for maybe 5 minutes a pop at one month, to kicking and smiling, cooing and gurgling on his playmat for up to an hour if we let him {which I mostly don’t because it’s almost impossible to not pick up and snuggle a baby who is being that ridiculously adorable}. Bill and I marvel at how similar he looks to the other two at this age, vacillating from looking like his brother to his sister and back again in one hour’s time. Sometime it’s a feature, sometime an expression, but one thing’s for sure, we make consistent looking kids.

I can’t believe two months has already gone by with you in our lives, Mini Sir. It seems I waited impossibly long to hold you in my arms and now you’re already squirming and kicking and making the first attempts at independence. It simultaneously breaks my heart open and fills it up to the bursting point and god when I hold you to my chest right before you fall asleep, stroking your forehead and watching you give in and let sleep take over your sweet face… if heaven or something like it exists on some plane of the universe, well, that moment, that place with you, would be mine.

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So there were no actual ‘intakes’. Taking pictures of  scwerrrrmy babies is hard, Internet.

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We went from Why God, Why?!…

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…To indignant submission.

In other news. Fat baby is fat. I’m sorry but there are no guarantees he didn’t eat Santa after this photo was taken.

Santa looks a little terrified he fat baby might eat him.

Chubbins.

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My whole world.

I feel like I’m trying to run in sludge. I have so much to do. But I can’t. I can’t stop thinking about those faces… how scared… I just can’t. I can only do what so many other parents have been doing the last few days. Holding the baby through his naps, with my cheek resting on his soft head instead of laying him down so I can shower. Sitting down to play cars with my son instead of drafting an e-mail. Listening to my daughter read out loud to me instead of doing the dishes. Hugging, holding and hugging some more. I had a post drafted out about this horror but since I can’t seem to let go of one or all of my children long enough to see it through, I never wrote it~ then I read this piece and this is it. This is exactly how I feel.

The only part that is missing is the anger. Because Internet? I am mad. I have never been so angry. And I know there have been a lot of things thrown out there about not turning this political and so I kept my big fat mouth shut until I read number six on this list, Specifically this quote by Elie Wiesel:

I swore never to be silent whenever and where ever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.  We must always take sides,  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

That is why I am saying something and that is why I’m donating $26.00 today. Gun violence, while not the sole issue at hand, is out of control, over the top, ridiculous in this country. Those who feel differently or attempt to rationalize it in any way? I disagree. Hugely. Immensely. I cannot see your side through all those lost babies and I never, ever will.

This is what my First Grader looks like. And along with her brothers, she is my whole world.

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The resemblance is strong with these two…

And also, this guy…

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I say it a lot without thinking or even really meaning it,  “I wish that…”

But I don’t wish.  Not really anyway.

I do wish he was here though. With everything in me I wish he could have met Rowan, Keaton and Ezra. I’m sure he and Rowan would have charmed each other with made-up stories and their shared superior negotiating skills. I’m sure he and Keaton would have love-love-loved to tell silly jokes to each other and play catch out on the front hill and basketball in the drive-way. They would have been best buddies. And when he met Ezra I’m sure all anyone would have said to him was Look! He’s got your hair, Grandpa Garry! Because he does, Dad. He has the long, fluffy, blond Norwegian hair that could only have come from you and when I look at it, it makes me happy and sad, all mashed together at the same time.

The reality is, I’m not so sure about any of this. Before my dad died I didn’t want anything to do with starting a family for years. No, really. YEARS. Bill and I made a tentative five year plan, but it was more of a check-point than a ‘we’ll for sure have kids in five years’ sort of thing. The whole reason we had planned to get married that summer {by what is pretty young by today’s standards} was because we wanted to move out to California as soon as humanly possible, as that is home base to all the cool digital creative companies that Bill wanted to get in at and we were more than ready to strike out of Minnesota.

Then he died. And everything changed. I was only 23 and life stretched out before me endlessly up to that point, until all of a sudden… it didn’t. Fifty-nine years seemed horribly short, terrifyingly unfair. He was so close to watching me graduate college. But he missed it. He was so close to walking me down the aisle. But he missed it.

The old “Life is short” adage became painfully, heartbreakingly true and the importance of knowing your family replaced any need for the career driven, lazy weekend mornings, life of a newly married twenty-something I had envisioned. It certainly didn’t help that my mom was older by the time I came along so, yeah, it’s morbid but I wanted my kids to know her before she was gone too.

The time between my dad’s death and when I got pregnant was exactly one year. It was by far the worst year of my life. I came home from work. Drank. Smoked a thousand cigarettes. And cried. It was not pretty. Hot mess doesn’t even begin to describe it. The landscape of all of our lives, of our family, had completely changed. We lost him so suddenly that my emotions just could not catch up with the reality of life without him. It was then followed by nine months of puking and agonizing over a baby I was not at all prepared to have… only it turns out I was. And Rowan turned something back on in me that had gone off on December 6th, 2003 and it has only burned hotter and brighter each year since.

So I’d like to think all those wonderful things about my dad and my kids would be our reality if he were still with us, but the thing is… I don’t think they’d be here if he hadn’t gone. Do I think we would have eventually had kids? Sure. Do I think my dad would have loved those kids? Sure. But they wouldn’t be these kids. They wouldn’t be Rowan and Keaton and Ezra. We had a completely different life mapped out before us, one that involved us living several states away, so even if we would have had kids sooner it wouldn’t have been the same.

With the shape life has taken, with the path we did end up following, I still allow myself to imagine what it would be like if he was here to watch my family unfold. And it makes me happy. And it makes me sad. And there are those goddamn mixed up emotions again. But I expect it now because the truth of it is that his death was the catalyst to my life as I know it. And for that I am so sad, but so, so grateful.

Still though. I wish.

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… Lightsaber sound effects

… ninja jumps, rolls and kicks

…mad booty shakin’ skills

… bespectacled

… not caring whether it’s a turtle bow staff

… Or a tutu

… A bike riding fool

… being frustrated you’re not older

… being frustrated you’re not younger

… A handsome devil

…running, leaping, flying cartwheels

… obstinate pouting

… Hippie-haired

… a humongous heart

… butt jokes

… learning that being a big brother can be hard

… learning that being a big brother can be super awesome

… ridiculous eyelashes

… sword fights

… so affectionate

… crooked smiles {sorry about that}

… My guy

Keaton had his preschool conference late last month. Despite always working myself up over the prospect that the teachers will tell me how much my kid sucks, they talked about how their favorite things about him are how he is a great sharer, a big helper, especially at clean-up time, and what a great friend he is. When they asked the kids to list who they love to play with, Keaton made almost every kid’s list. I know I’ve said it before but the different strengths and weaknesses of my kids always amaze me. Where Rowan excels at imagination and independence, Keaton excels at people. He is such a people person~ he’ll seek you out and engage you and just wants to be with others in every sense.

Keaton, to say that the last five years have gone by in a blink would be a gross understatement~ except that first year which I’m pretty sure lasted several lifetimes. You would never guess it though based on what a happy, sweet, laid back little guy you are now. I will always cherish the memories of this fall, that time between the puking mama and the mama who always has to say “I can’t, I’m feeding/rocking/changing the baby”, when you and I would grab our gloves and play baseball out in the street in the morning sunshine and how I’d pitch the ball to you and WHACK, you cracked it way over my head and my big pregnant self would have to run to retrieve it and try to tag you, only you would cheat by just running a small circle around home plate instead of touching all the bases and then you would laugh and laugh when I caught you to tag you with kisses and you would collapse on the ground, eyes twinkling and cheeks red and puffing and say, “Mama? I love you.”

Oh, Keaton. How I love you too.

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