Monthly Archives: January 2015

Fluids

Tonight as I was feeding August before he went to bed:
We need to change our sheets. I leaked milk everywhere last night and they are hard and crusty.
Lesley: Is he still sleeping on the sheet he threw up all over the other night?
Me: oh. Yeah.
Lesley: Maybe tonight we just rock it and tomorrow wash everyone’s sheets?

The thing that has surprised me (stupidly, I know) most about parenthood is the amount of bodily fluids. It. Never. Stops.

PNW Meetup!

Pacific Northwest Bloggers! As many of you know shawnsandcade are about to have a baby and then move further from the US border. They are extremely ambitious and are hoping to come to the US before they move in April.

Together, we are hoping to put together a meetup of area bloggers – I know a couple of you but might not know some folks are in the area – if interested let me know. If you know other bloggers who don’t follow me pass this along or share on your page!

We are thinking this:

Portland Zoo – Saturday, March 14th. Because shawnsandcade are coming from Canada they will most likely spend a night in Portland so we would look at getting a vacation rental with bedrooms for every family interested and share the cost on Friday. We’d get up there Friday, hang out, order take out, and go to the zoo Saturday.

What do you think? Want to play?

The Great Debate

Where I live, and probably where you live, there is one hot issue right now: vaccinations. It’s big here because so many people do not vaccinate. So there’s measles at Disney, and a case in town from someone who was in that area, and now it is an unavoidable topic of conversation.

I have friends and acquaintances here and across the country who are very pro vaccination. I am part of an online parenting community where many people are loudly anti vaccination. And here we are, with our almost four month old, wading through the waters of parenthood.

We are going to vaccinate Gus. We are going to do so on a delayed schedule and have not started yet. We have not started because at 2 months he was having terrible gas pains and pooping bright green. We chose not to start until his guts were doing a bit better. He will get his first round of vaccinations at his four month visit next month.

We are vaccinating on a delayed schedule. This means by 5, if not before then, he will be fully vaccinated but he will not get 36 shots in 18 months (I think that is what the standard schedule is). He will not get a chickenpox vaccine and I am going to go as long as possible without getting him a flu vaccine.

So those things being said, I really don’t want to get him vaccinated. We are going to because overall I believe it is the right thing to do but I do not think vaccines are safe, well tested, or necessary. I understand herd immunity and that’s plays a role in getting him vaccinated. If we still lived in the midwest where 95% of people vaccinate I would likely make a different decision. Here many children are not so I feel it is more important.

It pulls on my heart to do this. It kills me to give the child who has only had breast milk and an herbal gas drop in his body a vaccine that contains mercury. I do not think vaccines cause autism or believe everything (or anything) that Jenny McCarthy says. I am a mom. I am a mom who wants to do what is best for her child – just like all other moms. I’m doing my researching and weighing risks when figuring out where to start. I am talking to our pediatrician. I am talking to my partner.

And guess what? So is everyone else. My biggest issue about this debate is the assumption that people who don’t vaccinate are stupid. They are not. They are trying to do what is best for their children. And I get it. I understand why they don’t want to and I’m right there with them. We’re going to vaccinate our child but it’s hard and I’m sad about it. I don’t know if it gets easier or if it is this hard for everyone. I don’t know if this is just sometimes what parenting feels like.

Research

One of my biggest frustrations with Lesley is that I feel she is always on her phone (usually watching hockey videos). I am on my phone a lot too so we just argue in circles about this.

But sometimes she catches me off guard. Gus has been sleeping terribly for the past week. He’s has a cold and also maybe 4 month sleep regression? Who knows. Tonight Lesley got home from hockey and he was asleep. And then she said the magic words: ” Dr. Sears says…”

So here I am, letting my boy dream feed before Lesley and I go to sleep. Because that’s what Dr. Sears suggested and what Lesley researched – because sometimes when she’s on her phone she’s researching ways to help our kiddo sleep.

I tried to take a picture of this scene but yeah… Nope. So here you can have a picture of my little family. We tried to get a picture yesterday and didn’t get a “good” one but I love this.

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Lack of regrets

On Friday night we had some friends over for dinner and games. Our good friend, Brooke, had a birthday last week but was coming home from a business trip the day of her birthday so we had a delayed celebration.

Along with another friend Brooke invited her friend, S, who has a baby 5 weeks older than August. S lives a few blocks away and doesn’t have mom friends so Brooke has been eager for us to meet. S and her son we’re both lovely and we hope to hang out again.

Before that evening Brooke was telling her coworker about the get together. Brooke doesn’t love mixing groups of friends and explained this to her coworker saying she hope everyone got along. Her coworker asked why she was concerned and Brooke said we’re different people who parent differently. She gave the best example of this she could think of – we don’t own a stroller, S has three. Her coworker asked why we don’t own a stroller and Brooke told her why she (rightly) thought it was: we just wear or hold Gus.

**Interjecting that there is nothing wrong with having a stroller and one day we’ll probably have one but don’t feel we need one at this point.**

Her coworker’s response is what is sticking with me. She said, “They’ll regret that.” Now, I know I should be used to that because we hear that kind of comment all the time. She’s the same type of person as the people who learn we’re cloth diapering and say, “We’ll see how long that lasts.” But really? Regret?

Gus is 17 pounds at 3 months. On days like today when I leave his carrier in the car that Lesley takes to work I carry him as I walk the dog. He naps best on us. I move him around from room to room. At the end of the day my arms are tired. At the end of a walk my body is tired. Moving him between car seat and carrier running errands takes time. These are all true. I know there are months and years of this to come. But I can promise you now that I will never regret holding my son.

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Baby friends

I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I’ve struggled with the loneliness that comes with becoming a parent. Going back to work and adult conversations has helped this but I still feel at a loss for community.

I’m an opinionated introvert. By that I mean I’m not super good at making connections or shutting up. I get awkward around people and often say something dumb. One time, years ago, we had Lesley’s aunts and uncles over for dinner. During a lull in conversation I went on and on about the sex worker recently found murdered in the park across the street from our house. They left shortly after that.

Normally I am fine with this. I don’t really like many people so it works well. Lesley also doesn’t like many people so is fine with the fact that I constantly alienate people. But then there’s Gus.

I grew up the youngest of four and had my many many cousins always around. Gus has himself and four cousins 3000 miles away. I want him to feel what I felt from a big family without having more kids or moving back to the Midwest.

So I do what we gays do- I look to build my own family. It’s hard! There’s a gay parents group here and I had high hopes there but I feel like an outsider. Maybe because most of the kids are older or the other parents are all friends or because I’m shy to talk to new people – I don’t know. I’m not sure if we’ll keep going to their meet ups.

Then there’s option 2. We are taking this infant parenting class and there are nine other families. Some of them seem okay and some do not. None of them seem like people we’d be friends with without kids. But the major barriers are broken down- we all have kids around the same age and no one knows each other outside of the group. But then I’ve got to figure out how to go from acquaintances to friends- something I don’t excel at.

Option 3 is moms groups. I belong to a few different mom/kiddo activity groups on facebook but often events are during the week while I work. I can try weekend events but then I worry that I’ll feel the way I do with option – that there are preexisting relationships and I don’t quite fit in.

Option 4 I like the best. Hang with Gus and Lealey and the few other folks I like. That suits me well- I’m good at it. But this sweet boy and the life I want for him. This sweet boy is the reason I’ll always smile and be nice and long for the day that his relationships and mine don’t have to be connected.

Adjustments

I started week two of work today. Today was hard dropping him off – I think that Mondays always will be knowing that we have the whole week ahead. But I am happy to be back at work. I love my job. I also love having some me time which is silly because it’s at work. We have a lot we need to work on to get into a better flow. We need to do more prep cooking so dinner is faster and easier. We need to find a way to keep up on housework. Or we need to give up on those things. We have a super helpful friend coming to town this weekend and that will help as we’ll have that extra set of hands.

But let me tell you, I love his primary childcare provider. Today when we picked him up her fiancĂ©, who doesn’t work on Mondays (and is actually there with them most of the time he is there) told us that Gus loves bluegrass music and this morning they hung out and the adults played to banjo and mandolin to him. I am teary eyed just typing this. I’m not surprised as I met her fiancĂ© years ago when he went by “Piano Truck” due to the fact that he was a street performed who played a piano strapped into the back of his pickup truck with a taxidermy wolf on top of the piano. This town. These people. But Gus is adjusting there and he has some fussy spells but they get smiles from him and I am sure as he gets more used to them it will just continue to get better.

We took Gus out of the sleep sack at night (it still sometimes is helpful during the day in case of a major freak out). Night one was rough. He made it about halfway through the night, waking up every two hours, until he got sleep sacked again because he was hysterical. Night two he made it in the sleep sack all night but woke up still every two hours. Last night was night three and it was a fairly normal night. He woke around midnight, 3, and 5. Normally he wakes twice – once between midnight and two and once between 3 and 4:30 – so last night was close. Hopefully in another few nights things will be back to normal. He is a trasher we found out and moves around quite a bit. This made me glad that he is in his cosleeper next to us and not in the bed. I could deal with it as I am also a thrasher but poor Lesley would never sleep again.

So that’s our little world. Slowly adjusting to life’s changes and trying to take things in stride. I’ve seen all your posts about resolutions and the new year. I’ve been thinking about those things. I’m not big on resolutions but like goals. My goals are to be happy, to enjoy as many moments as I can, to stress less, and to live without apology. These adjustments are big but we’re surviving. And with that I need to go pump some milk for a mama in the community with a desperate need.

3 months!

Y’all. I have a three month old baby. Look!

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He’s great and I love him and he’s mine! It feels like there’s no way he could already be three months old but also like he’s always been here.

Going back to work has been okay and borderline good now that he’s eating. He’s happy at the end of the day and tonight we walked around the kitchen with his head on my shoulder as I sang him The Be Good Tanyas songs and remembered how long I waited for these moments. My best friend told me a while ago that she would totally list her two year old as one of her best friends but people would think she was weird and I was all, “Uh, yeah” but now I get it. He’s so great.

He’s started to fight against being swaddled and we use easy swaddles and when he hears the Velcro his eyes get big and his body tenses up and it creeps me out. So tonight is a trial night with his arms out in a sleep sack. Do ‘t expect me to like him this much in the morning.

Here’s our favorite outtake from today’s photo shoot:

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We love it when he makes that face because he looks like this dog.

Victory!

Guess who ate 16 ounces at childcare today!

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