Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby Gets Around

Somebody turns three months old in 5 days. STFU, right?! I can't believe how quickly the time is flying. I always thought parents were just being melodramatic when they'd bemoan how quickly their kids grew . . . but NO! I was wrong! Time is actually moving faster. There is some weird physics loophole, no doubt.

I'm trying not to get too hung up thinking about my maternity leave coming to an end. I have a little over a month left . . . four months total. I know on the scale of what women in the US are typically able to do four months is fantastic. Worldwide, not so much though. I'd love to at least have six . . . even if only for breastfeeding purposes. For the six months I'm "supposed" to be exclusively breastfeeding, per the AAP's recommendation, I think it makes sense for me to be home to exclusively breastfeed. I am going to be pumping and still breastfeeding, hopefully until Rhys is a year old. Milk supply is a tough thing to maintain, though . . . at least it has been for me. And I'm worried. Of course, I want to stay home just to be with my baby, but I'd be lying if I said the milk thing doesn't have me concerned as well.

I went and visited Rhys' intended daycare the other day . . . we spent about an hour playing, talking, just hanging out. It is such a happy, fun place . . . I have an incredibly good feeling about it. I want Rhys to play with other kids, to grow up surrounded by and learning from people other than me alone. I love that we've been able to find such a warm, nurturing environment for him . . . and I especially love that he'll be less than a mile from my office. I plan to go feed him on my lunch hours, at least for the first few months. Knowing that we'll be separated for four hours at a time rather than eight or nine helps.

And! I'm going to have to change the subject . . . I'm typing this while watching Rhys nap on the video monitor and SOMEBODY would be mighty confused to wake up to a crying mommy :)

We had ourselves a little family road trip this weekend! We drove down to San Diego to hang out in the park, visit a few of my husband's old haunts and have dinner with the lovely and talented Jennie of She Likes Purple and StyleLush fame. It was my first ever blog meet up and I'm thrilled to report that I had a total blast. Jennie is just so freaking awesome . . . I could've sat and talked all night!

I think Rhys was having himself a good time as well . . . during our dinner he broke out with his very first LAUGH! He laughed a few more times back at the hotel . . . then a few more last night. They aren't full on belly laughs yet, but he's chuckling. Starter giggles! This is one milestone I've been dying to watch him reach! He's also been very grabby with the grabbing lately, and his aim is improving. He often rips my glasses right off my face and he's started playing, ACTUALLY PLAYING, with his rattles and rings. He's developed a soft spot for Dr. Seuss and I've been reading him a few books a day. The first time we read he just watched me, but now he loves looking at the pages and illustrations and even reaches for them or holds on to a corner of the book while we read.

He is just so much fun, guys. I love him like you wouldn't believe.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sewing Toys!!!

I saw a version of this project on OhDeeDoh back when I was pregnant and thought KILLER idea! I can't find the post now, but the gist was that you could take old, stained baby clothes with cool prints, cut them up, add some ribbon and sew them together with the plastic from a package of wipes and presto! (nearly) instant baby toy.

To that end I've been saving the plastic from wipes packages. Paul found my stash last night and mocked me for saving trash . . . SO! Had to show him :) I whipped up two toys today.

I managed to make these in about fifteen minutes each, while Rhys was napping. How's that for an easy project? I used scraps of fabric from my stash instead of old baby clothes (I can't bear to cut anything up and we don't have anything stained beyond repair yet, just outgrown). I added random bits of ribbon and just had fun with the design. To insert the plastic, just make a sandwich with the two right sides of your toy facing each other and the plastic on the back of one side . . . sew three sides around, turn right side out and sew up the fourth side, inserting a ribbon loop for hanging if desired.

These are fun, colorful, lightweight enough for Rhys to grab and lift and they make that awesome crinkly sound babies love. I offered one to Rhys just minutes after I'd made and and I'm pleased to report, they're Baby Approved!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

10 1/2 Week Update

I'm feeling REALLY thankful for my remaining 7 weeks of maternity leave right about now. Rhys has just become SO FREAKING AMAZING. Not that he hasn't been amazing ever since he was a Bean, but it started with SMILING around 4 1/2 weeks and has progressed, I shit you not, DAILY. We reach! We grab! We've developed a keen interest in toys and I can barely buy new ones fast enough. We read books now (HOORAY!) and we play airplanes and baby rollies and have half hour long conversations that consist mainly of the words "ooooohhhhhhhhh" and "guh".

I laid him down on Saturday with a rattle placed to his side where he could see it for jollies . . . I looked up 10 seconds later and, guys? He was WAVING that rattle around over his head. I just about keeled over with joy.

Rhys loves to stand and can bear all of his weight on his legs, with me holding him only for balance. He can dig his heels in and scoot while on his back or his tummy . . . which freaks me out a little because I think it means he'll be crawling sooner rather than later and OMG NEED TO BABYPROOF EVERYTHING! He wants to rollover something fierce and manages it halfway, just doesn't know what to do with that pesky bottom arm when he gets to his side. He is desperate to suck his thumb and works on his aim every night . . . sometimes he gets it!

He loves to sit on my lap, up like a big boy which is, actually, what he is doing right now :)

He loves his play gym for kickypants time . . . but we just Monday built his bouncer and that has eclipsed pretty much all other toys in his estimation! His feet don't touch the ground yet so we put a pillow underneath so he can "jump". The spinning toys are his favorites.

As for myself, I always wanted to be a mom and I knew I'd enjoy it . . . but I've taken to it on levels I never imagined possible. I have never been so happy, never been so fulfilled. I adore my new life . . . and it is, entirely, a new life. Absolutely nothing is the same. Parents used to say that to me when I was pregnant and I kind of blew it off, but it is so amazingly true. I'm not saying it to be coy or exclusive but with JOY and EXCITEMENT for anyone who gets to have this incredible experience.

I've become the kind of person who has strong opinions on the relative merits of diaper brands, which makes me kind of boring as far as the circles I used to travel in goes. I've had to find a few new circles . . . new friends who also care deeply about diapers! I don't value my old friendships any less, but new friends are somehow not something I was expecting out of becoming a mom. They're an awesome bonus!

I can't say my body has changed for the better, but I'm stunned and amazed by the job it has done and the job it is continuing to do. I have a new respect for it. Breastfeeding has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. I can't say it started off easily, but I'm so glad we persisted . . . there is just so much joy in it. It's something only I can do for Rhys and something we can share in, just the two of us.

We've been taking lots of video and Paul has edited a bunch of it together here. Please go visit and ooh and ahh over my baby's cuteness and my husband's mad video editing skills :)