Tuesday, May 31, 2011

trucking along

I'm starting to get more settled into the mommy lifestyle. My laundry doesn't get backed up like it did when I was pregnant. The dishes are almost always done. The boxes are finally getting unpacked and we actually have pictures hanging on the walls. We've lived here for 6 months.

Eli is growing so fast. We had him weighed on his 5 week birthday and he's up to 11 pounds 6 ounces. He also grew about an inch in 3 weeks. My brother in law is on the sports medicine faculty at a university in West Texas and he was incredibly impressed with his muscle tone and reflexes this weekend. He holds his head up and has a really strong back. Sometimes when he's hanging out with Daddy, he tries to roll. Slow down, baby! Slow down!! We're going to take pictures of him every month next to a stuffed giraffe to show how much he's growing. I don't particularly like the idea of making onesies for every month with the number and a friend did the stuffed animal gauge with both of her kids so I took the idea.

We took him on his 1st trip this weekend. Sheldon's cousin Karen got married down in Galveston. He was so good and was a big hit. He was lookin' pretty fancy afterall...

One of the groom's relatives fell head over heels in love with him. Seriously. He was walking around all night asking people if they'd met Eli yet. Incredibly flattering and yet if it wasn't a family wedding, I'd be creeped out.

One more month to get used to having 1 full time child before I have 3... I don't know if I'm scared or not. I think it'll depend on how much we're all sleeping...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

4 weeks?!

I don't ever want Eli to grow up. I don't ever want a toddler, or an elementary school kid, or (ugh) a teenager. I want to keep my snuggly ball of chubs forever.

He's an amazing baby. He cries when he's hungry and occasionally when he just feels lonely, but mostly just when he's hungry. Thank GOD. He's a good sleeper, almost always sleeping 2-4 hours in a stretch (this is great for naps!) As he gets older, though, he has 2 or 3 times in a 24 hour period where he stays awake for the 2-3 hours between feedings. I'm learning to cherish these times (except when they fall in the midnight to 3am window.) and spend time talking to him, snuggling him, and just watching him wiggle and look at stuff. I'm still in awe that this person grew inside of me, that God chose me to be his mother, and that I'm not the baby sitter. I've struggled with that a lot. There are a lot of kids in my life that I have and currently love so deeply. But they're always someone else's kids. And then there's the stepmom struggle. In so many ways, they're my children. But we are a part time family, because we share them. So now I keep somehow expecting Eli to be someone else's, too. He's developing the Mommy attachment, and it makes it even more real. When the sound of my voice or my touch are all he needs to calm down... there aren't words. Those are the moments that people are talking about when they say that motherhood is the most amazing experience ever.

The biggest struggle we've had has been with breast feeding. I was mentally prepared for him to be a bottle baby in case (for one of a number of reasons) my milk didn't come in. I never imagined the problem would be that he doesn't want to latch. He's capable of doing it, and he nurses every so often, but more often than not, he refuses. So I spend a lot of time with my best friend, the pump. Its so important to me that he has breast milk (although it only makes up about half of his diet... I can only do so much...) so I'm doing what I have to do to give him that benefit. Its kind of heartbreaking because that was the only thing I really desperately wanted for him. Oh what a blessing that special time with him would've been... It's not too late, and we're still trying (like I said, he nurses when he's in the mood...) but I know he won't ever be an exclusively breastfed baby. At least he's healthy!

I hate that these 4 weeks have gone by so fast. I have no concept of what day it is, really. My life right now is a timeless cycle of naps, feedings, and laundry. Eli doesn't have days and nights so we don't really have them either. I know that will change in the next few weeks as he starts to sleep longer (like the other night when he slept for 4 hours during the night between feedings!!) and we will work hard to make sure those longer sleeps are when it's dark outside. But in the mean time, the days all run together and it has just whooshed by. He's already getting so big, and changed so much from the little baby I brought home from the hospital. I just want to freeze him!!

As I've entered this new role of mommy, I have really come to appreciate my friends, especially the other mommies. I have these women in my life who have encouraged me, prayed for me, given me advice, and helped me feel normal and totally not crazy when I felt like I was losing my mind and failing at everything. It can get extremely lonely when you're tired, in pain, and alone with a new baby and not really sure what you're doing. Its REALLY easy to lose it. I am blessed beyond belief to have these women in my life to help me through it. It is getting better, it is getting easier, and I'm a bit more with it. I wouldn't be if I didn't have them (and an amazing husband who is very willing to be the more sleep deprived of the 2 so that I can take some pain medicine and a longer nap.). When we were kids, my brother HATED the idea of us having mutual friends. There was a family with a son and daughter our ages that we were friends with. I can remember him pitching a fit when I'd be over there playing with the daughter if he was already there to play with the son. Oh how the times have changed! His wife is one of my best friends, and most of my friends here were her friends first. She has graciously shared them with me, and my life is infinitely better for it.