Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Munchkin Slept

Last night was a glorious return to normalcy, and Hubs and I hope it will be the routine rather than the exception.

We met Hub's dad in Gettysburg yesterday evening for dinner, and Munch fell asleep during the hour-long ride home. Of course waking up upon me putting the car into park. (It was ultimately good because he was so sweaty from his day and running around the Outlets.)

After bath and bottle, Hubs took him up to sway him to sleep. I received a text 25 minutes later that Munch was quiet but with eyes wide open. Arms were commencing to fall off. I went up to try my share, and Munch was asleep in about 20 minutes, so around 10:40pm.

First wakeup was right in line with Munch's routine--about 1:10am (the good thing about NBC's Olympics coverage is all-night programming, at least til 4:30am!). And, bless him, Munch let me lay him back in the crib! He cried out twice at 5am, but stopped, and then didn't cry full out until 6:15am. At which point he finished the night in our bed and woke up smiling, as did we.

Yay for Munch! Yay for solid sleep for all!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Definitely Not in my Top 10

I finished Definitely Not Mr. Darcy on Friday night, a book that was too long for its own good and much better in concept than execution. I wish I had come up with the idea of a reality show based in 1812. I feel I could have written it better than the author; the writing had some weird tics that annoyed me throughout, and also there were some real holes in the story.

I also hated that the author constantly referred back to the 1995 A&E adaption of "Pride and Prejudice," a miniseries that did indeed inspire much swooning on my part as well. It was clear the author was basing her setting and the main hero's looks on this series.

And, as even my beloved Deanna Raybourn is wont to do, the heroine sometimes acted like an outraged female just for the sake of drama in the story. In the end, the heroine was annoyed she'd been lied to, but it was a product of the reality show, not the hero's personal failings. And the "I can do this all by myself" conclusion at the end felt forced and contrived.

So, it's a beachy read with not much substance. Three stars--so recommended, but not with raves.

Weekend Wrapup: Varied But Relaxed

A weekend on the homefront, which was needed by all.

The Highlight:
  • A wonderfully quiet Sunday with lots of tiny highlights: Munch turning his face up to me after I put him in his high chair, his eyes closed and his lips turned in a smile; Munch playing in the church nursery and chasing bubbles; and Munch nursing quietly to sleep last night for the first time in a very long time.
The Good:
  • Eating Nando's chicken on Friday night (although it was sticky and warm in the restaurant), complete with Portugese wine.
  • Going on an afternoon double date with Adam and Jamie to see the gloriously stupid Ted.
  • Playing "Where's Monkey?" in Munch's room, as I put the blanket over Monkey and Munch tore it off him.
  • Lots of Munch-style dancing, with his head bent to one shoulder.
  • Jersey Mike's on Saturday night.
  • Increasingly fun bathtimes, as Munch eats the bubbles despite my best efforts to stop him, throws the toys in himself, and says "bye-bye" to the water afterwards.
  • Panera on Sunday night, with Munch eating a good dinner, then walking around the thankfully empty room, and our walk around the neighborhood afterwards.
  • Reading a creepy, well-written thriller, despite that it did keep me up a little on Saturday night.
The What???
  • Feeling stressed over planning issues.
  • Feeling on edge during my first time in a movie theater since the CO shooting--but I made it through and that is good.
  • The same sleep problems (but hearing from Dr. H that all is normal and what we're doing is not going to damn Munch to a lifetime of sleep difficulties--this was good).
  • Still not cleaning up the house as much as we should.

Weely Goals #2


Goal 1: Write down everything I eat at least 5 times this week.
Goal 1a: Do not eat anything after dinner at least 5 times this week.


Goal 2: Do a video 2 times this week.


Goal 3: Do not ask about conversations that I don't need to know about.

Weekly Goals #1: Lessons Learned

Goal #1: Pretty much a fail on this one. I did exceptionally well Monday to Wednesday. I have a Thursday problem, something I've realized over the past several months. I always go off-plan on Thursday and then it continues through the "party days" of Friday through Sunday. Trying to figure out how to fix this.

Goal #2: Technically accomplished this. Last night, Hubs and I took a walk with Munch through downtown, though it was quite leisurely. I learned that I feel really good when I've done rigorous exercise, like my video, but it still is not a priority. As in, yesterday Munch took a 2 and a 1/2 hour nap and I read for an hour and slept for the rest.

Goal #3: Accomplished. And 100 pages into my next (much better) book.

Friday, July 27, 2012

High-Pitched Scream

Well, I'm taking Munch to the doctor tomorrow morning to see if we can identify any physical symptom that could be causing his sleep difficulties.

We stayed the night at my MIL's last night after Hubs and I got back from Wolf Trap at 12 midnight. (Of course, Munch fell asleep on his own, on the couch next to his grandma around 9). Munch slept til 2:10; nursed; then actually allowed me to lay him back down in the pack n play. I counted this as a victory.

4:39am. Hubs and I are awoken by an ear-piercing scream. I grabbed up Munch and he settled, but then he kept arching his back and screaming periodically, even when I put him in bed with us, and then even when he nursed. We tried Advil. Of course, by 5:15, he was awake and pointing at the light switch and the doorknob.

So, I took him downstairs and sat with him while he played, watching the blue light of dawn grow brighter out the back patio door. It was quite peaceful, actually. Munch was in a very pleasant mood, and he alternated between sitting nicely on my lap and playing.

Around 6, he sat on my lap on the floor and played his "iPod" over and over and I think started lulling himself to sleep. I rocked him and sang "Angels From the Realms of Glory," kind of, of all things, and he fell asleep. I laid him up in the bed between Hubs and I and slept until 8.

Though I was tired today, I cherished the quiet pre-dawn time I shared with Munch. It was calming and peaceful.

Weekly Goals Check-in

Goal 1: As usual, my food goal has gotten lax as I hit Thursday and Friday. Mon-Wed I was very good about it. Thursday, Hubbaland and I went out to see the National Symphony Orchestra play music from "The Legend of Zelda," and we went to the Maplewood Grill beforehand. I had my first martini (peach with cranberry juice); and we split yummy crab and shrimp "poppers," a 4-cheese pesto pizza (tasty and oily of course), and steak with blue cheese. And of course finished it off with a trio of creme brulees. BUT there are still 2 days left til the new week.

Goal 2: I'm on track to be active 3 times this week; only need to do one more thing either tomorrow or probably Sunday.

Goal 3: Accomplished--I finished "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy" tonight.

Uh Oh!

This may well could be deemed Munch's first official word, and I missed it!

This morning, Hubs and I dropped Munch off together at day care, and I was standing outside the car waiting for Hubs to pull him out of the car seat. A lawn mower roared nearby, and I have shoddy hearing on a good day. I saw Munch throw Pooh on the seat and then he pointed and said, "Uh oh!" Hubs heard him, I only heard a couple mumbles.

Amazing! He's made these sounds before, the uh and oh and uh uh uh oh, but this is one of the first time it was clear the meaning and intent was spot on.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Leg Up

Last night, Munch stood on a cushion and climbed onto the couch for the first time. The harbinger of a new phase!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby Raspberries

No, not the fruit.

This morning, the Munch woke up a little cranked, but quickly cheered when he started blowing raspberries on Mommy. He was immensely pleased with himself as he buried his face in my stomach and made the tell-tale sound. We did this over and over for quite a while.

I guess this is the benefit of having a fleshy belly versus a taut six-pack!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weathering the Storm

I locked myself out of the car this afternoon. Luckily, I did so after I'd gotten Munch out and with my phone in my pocket. Hubs wasn't terribly thrilled at having to leave work, but them's the breaks.

It wouldn't have been nearly as big a deal if it didn't begin storming about 5 minutes after I slammed the door shut. Munch very much wanted to stand at the Escape's grill and touch the headlights, and he was less than thrilled at being huddled as close as possible to the front door under our meager awning. Here I am with a child with a cold stuck out in the torrential rain.

It must be a universal instinct to hold one's palms up when rain comes down. Munch held his little hand out to feel the droplets. And out in the parking lot, another little boy, probably 10 years old, did the same.

Monday, July 23, 2012

5 Things I Remember About the Hospital

In honor of the Munchkin's 16-month birthday:

1) Hubs and I were quite unhurried checking into the maternity ward, likely because it was a scheduled induction and I wasn't huffing and puffing with contractions in a wheelchair. But it was still striking--just like checking in for any other procedure. Only we would take home a new person when this was all over.

2) I slept almost not at all that night. We arrived at 6pm on a Sunday, I ate Chipotle that Hubs brought from across the street, and the nurse put in the gel to do its work overnight. It was pretty quiet for a while, and I remember thinking we must be the only ones on the ward. Then, the screams started through the wall, a reminder that this was not a place for rest, but labor.

3) It's a good thing I didn't have a baby heart monitor at homeduring my pregnancy. I watched the screen constantly, making sure that the line didn't go above or below the "normal" zone.

4) I was grateful when the night nurse who took care of me the first night came back as I was still lying there the second, as my labor was heating up. I didn't like the day nurse and I think my birth experience would have been much different if she was the one who helped deliver Munch.

5) Hope and excitement. And, of course, anxiety. I couldn't wait to meet the baby. And we'd come this far, and gotten so close, that I didn't want anything to go wrong. It took over 24 hours, but all was well and we had a beautiful baby boy at 2:32am on Tuesday.

Weekly Goals #1


Write down everything I eat before I eat it. Everything. Bites, licks, and tastes.


Get 30 minutes of activity 3 times this week.


Finish my book by Friday.

Weekly Goals

I’m going to try a new thing of putting my weekly goals down and reporting back each week. I’ve seen this done on other blogs, and I think it’s a good idea as I look to transform my eating and activity habits ahead of Disney in October.

Why I’m Doing This
  • I want to feel very good about myself at Disney.
  • I want to be happy with how I look in pictures.
  • I want to eat on vacation without thinking, “If I’d just eaten better for the past 3 months, I wouldn’t feel so guilty now.
  • I want to be healthy for myself and my family.
  • I want to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes.
  • I want to look like this again:
From 2008

Cold Outside, Cold Inside

Okay, “cold” might be a stretch. But the 70-degree, lack of humidity on Saturday certainly felt cold. And by “cold inside,” I mean inside my little Munch’s body. Boo.
The Highlight:

Dinner with my family at Fiddler’s Bar and Grill at Carlisle’s May Apple Golf Club. It was crazy good. The warm rolls with melted butter were amazing. I had a fabulous fried haddock with salad and fries (and a pina colada that I was less than impressed with; more of a shake than a drink). Hubs was quite impressed by his cheese steak sandwich. Reviews were good all around.

We sat outside despite a little dampness, and the patio was perfect for Munch. He ate his pouches, rusks, and fish, and then was able to walk around and push an empty chair to his heart’s content, without bothering anyone, as most people were eating inside. We had a lovely view of the course.
The Good: 
  • Spending non-scheduled time with my mom and sisters at Carlisle. They got to see Munch walking around for the first time, and he of course charmed them with his smiles.
  • Munch's 16-month birthday!
  • Nana and Munch sitting together and drinking their drinks (Diet Pepsi for her, bottle for him) as he got to punch the keys on her laptop.
  • Scully the puppy—such a sweetheart! Very well-behaved for a 9-week-old baby girl. Tina and I took a walk with her around the neighborhood and it was great seeing her little ears flopping.
  • Cupcakes (key lime) and Leo’s (chocolate malt)! And of course Long Johns.
  • Wonderful anniversary gifts, and Hubs loved his birthday gifts as well.
  • Munch pounding on Pooh’s belly when Nana taught him to “get Pooh’s belly!” He continued to do that the rest of the weekend.
  • Justin winning Food Network Star!
  • Munch’s mouth circled with pink frosting as he sampled his first real cupcake.
  • Particularly awesome cappuccino at B&N on Friday night.
  • The drive to Carlisle and back was nice with Hubs.
The What??? 
  • Throughout the weekend, I continued to be bothered by the Batman movie shooting in Colorado. Hard to just enjoy yourself when such a horror went on.
  • Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Munch refused to nap on Saturday, though he was so tired, then he had a very hard time going to sleep and staying asleep both that night and Sunday.
  • It doesn’t help that he now has a full-fledged, snot-flying-out-the-nose, chesty-cough cold. Poor him. I’m on alert for fevers and the need to head to the doctor.
  • No air conditioning. Luckily, it wasn’t 100 degrees. But it certainly didn’t help the sleep situation. What is with all the A/C problems people are having right now?
  • Though all the food was good, I’m feeling the hangover physically and mentally.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sleep Travails

This week has been challenging sleep-wise. I don't know what is going on, whether he has a physical reason or what, but the Munch has been waking up frequently and having a tough time getting back to sleep once he has woken up.

Wednesday night/Thursday morning, he woke up at 4:40am. Just up. He was sleeping next to me and I felt the tell-tale (adorable at a reasonable time) tap-tap on my shoulder. Up. Wanted to be held. And he didn't go back to sleep.

When these things happen, I think parents go into over-analysis mode.  What are we doing wrong?? Should we be letting him cry?? Will we ever sleep soundly again??? What do we DO???

Usually, when we hit this "breaking point," usually we find out that Munch is experiencing something physical. An ear infection. A bellyache. The jury is still out on this one.

Last night, things were better, though he still ended up in our bed for the majority of the night and then popped up awake at 6am. Now, 6am is night-and-day (literally) different from 4:40am. But, I was still tired. We let him get down onto our floor with Monkey while we rested and kept a groggy eye on him. He chilled for a while.

Then, he went to the foot of our bed, still on the floor, laid down and fell asleep. What a stinker!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baby's Breath

It warms my heart when Munch opens his mouth for me to pat his lips so he can make a "wah wah wah" sound and his breath presses against my palm.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quiet, But Cranked: A Weekend at Home

This weekend, we had no plans, and it was glorious after a couple of busy weekends.

The Highlight:

·         Munch pushing the music button on his fridge toy to start the songs and his little toddle-dance quick step and huge smile. He did this over and over again. Hubs and I danced along.

The Good:

·         Friday night at Guapo’s—yummy pineapple and avocado tacos and a mango frozen margarita.
·         Not leaving the house once on Saturday.
·         Rainstorms on Sunday evening.
·         Munch blowing kisses at Grandma and Aunt Jenn on Skype. Also seeing puppy Scully on Skype!
·         The new Panera is open and awesome! Woot!
·         Reading quite a bit.
·         Watching Munch put his Fisher Price records into the basketball hoop.
·         Watching The Help finally and rocking Munch.
·         Cookie dough!
·         Munch taking off at his toys at a run while pushing his walker.

The What???

·         I think Munch isn’t feeling well. We believe his belly is the culprit. Loose stools (ew) for the past few days, a rumbly tummy. He looks pale. No fever, but I’m still concerned. Lots of cranking and wanting to be held and even rocked on Sunday. Totally not acting himself.
·         As a consequence, his sleep difficulties continue. All three nights, he was up every 2 hours or so. He doesn’t seem to be able to stay deeply asleep. And every morning, he was up before 8am. Mostly in a good mood, but still up. I am exhausted. And this has been the pattern for the past couple weeks, so I fear it will remain until whatever is going on eases.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stroller Surfing

Munch was in rare form tonight. His obsession with pushing the stroller around Barnes & Noble continues. I guided him around for a while. Then, something new, he climbed up into the seat and sat on his knees, facing backward (so looking up at me at the reins), clearly wanting to be pushed around suchly.

I obliged, ready to pounce should he appear to be imminently slipping or falling. He loved it, rolling around, smiling at me and at everyone who noticed his great feat.

Then, he looked up at me with the glint in his eye. And he pushed himself from his knees to his feet. And the look in his eye was, "Well, just look what I can do. And just what are you going to say about this little development?"

I stopped the joyride. Pointed downward. Forced myself not to smile (hard! the stinker). And said, "We're not moving until you go down to your knees." We stared at one another for a few moments. Down he went. Off we went. Up he went. Stop. Repeat. Many times.

It's a boundary-push, one of his first. It was so cute! Everything he does delights me. But I guess that's why I'm the adult: To stop him from tumbling to the floor despite an extreme degree of cuteness.

Once Munch was content with kneeling again, he reached a new level of peek-a-boo playing: Mobile Boo. He hid his face in the back of the stroller and peeked. Then, he grabbed back at the piece of fabric hanging down and was absolutely tickled when I grabbed his hand through the cloth. His mind was blown!

Wake-Up Growl

This week, I'm counting my blessings, and those blessings include a safe and healthy baby boy and the chance to learn from mistakes.

On Thursday night, we had a bit of a scare at my MIL's. We always keep their dog Charlie baby-gated out of the room where Munch plays. And usually Charlie just sits out in the living room and ignores everyone.

Charlie is older, about 10 or 12, and I've had a bit of a storied history with his moods. I've never been happy that he would bolt after squirrels and get quite dog-aggressive when people would walk by with their canines. And then there was the horrifying incident where he and dear old husky Gus were under my care and ended up getting into a certified dogfight and smearing blood throughout an apartment in Virginia. But that's a story for another post.

And this is not to say that Charlie is not a lovely dog; he is. He's sweet to me and to his "people" in general, and he has been there with us through much family history. 

I'm always nervous with Munch around dogs. I think it's natural, and I think parents who aren't cautious around dogs are asking for trouble. No matter how sweet a dog's disposition, the fact is, they can do damage if they choose to. And, you really never know what might set a dog off. Pack/alpha mentality and all that. A dog that has regular and up-close contact with a young child really needs intensive and strict training specifically focusing on interacting with children and respecting boundaries.

Well, Thursday night we were eating dinner and Charlie was at the baby gate, whining. And we all kept commenting on how Charlie never acts that way. Something seemed off. Munch got down after he was done eating and went to play, not 10 feet from us. We were all watching him from the kitchen table, and then he started laughing and going toward the baby gate. 

Now, we always are with him when he goes near the gate and Charlie is over there. But, none of us got up--not me, Hubbaland, MIL, or SFIL. It was so cute listening to him laugh. And Charlie had been out at the grandparents and around Munch all weekend. 

So Munch continues to laugh and move toward the gate and suddenly we hear this massive growl/snarl. Of course we all jumped up then to find Munch sitting on his butt in front of the baby gate looking at us all like, what the heck, and then he burst into tears from fright. MIL and SFIL raged pretty hard at Charlie and locked him in the basement. 

Everyone was pretty shaken up, and MIL feels very bad. I told her, it's all of our fault. We all sat there. 

I honestly feel like we had angels around the table, screaming at us to get up as Munch was going over to the gate. Hubbaland said he thought to himself, I should get up. All of our instincts were screaming to go. 

I just feel that sometimes, you get lazy on things, and you think, assume, oh, it's fine, and this was a reminder to stay alert. I just thank God that all it was was a sound and Charlie didn't bite Munch or anything. 

MIL says Charlie will now be locked away in a room when Munch is over, and that does need to happen. She said she didn't want me to be nervous. I said, I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be nervous, because once a dog has done something like that, there's no trusting him again, but I know that she and SFIL were as shaken as Hubs and me, and I know she'll be careful. 

It's scary all the things that can go wrong, when your whole heart is wrapped in this tiny being fumbling through the big world. But all we can do is alert, stay vigilant, and do the best we can.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tube Out


Hubs and I took Munch to the ENT for his regular followup and to see if his left ear needed any fluid to be suctioned.
In fact, the left tube was out! It was still in his ear, but done functioning. Dr. G said he had to remove it.
This flashed me back to when I was about 5 years old and having my second set of tubes checked. My pediatrician thought one looked ready to come out; he pulled; and I felt the most searing, excruciating pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I can still feel it to this day. Conclusion: Tube not ready to come out.
So I asked Dr. G to confirm that it really was ready, and he assured me that it was. He had me hold Munch’s head to my chest and Hubbaland held his legs so he wouldn’t flail. Munch started crying right away, before anything was done, from the oppression.
The tube came out without incident—it was tiny, a little black ball of black plastic. (My tube was at least a half-inch long. 20+ years changes a lot!) We kept it, what a keepsake. Dr. G also pulled out a ball of wax that had accumulated around the nonfunctioning tube. His ear was clear of fluid and looked good. Munch got a Hot Wheels sticker for his trouble.
It’s likely that at the next appointment in 3 months, the right tube will be ready to come out. Dr. G said only time will tell if Munch is in the 20% of kids who need another set of tubes. I thought these would be in his ears for at least a year, not a mere 5 months, so I am bracing for another set. But hoping for a matured Eustachian tube that can drain all on its own!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Weekend Away

We had a family-visit weekend to the Hub’s grandparents’ in Erie, PA, with MIL.
The Highlight:
·         Munch swimming in Lake Erie. He loved it. He wasn’t scared at all. He walked along the shoreline and sat and let the waves pummel him. Then, he wanted to be held in the water as he “swam.” When he got cold, Hubs and I took him to the blanket to dry off and he played with the beach bucket and shovel his uncle gave him and ate Goldfish.
The Good:
·         Having so much time with Munch and Hubbaland. We left in the afternoon on Friday and returned on Monday. I love being with Munch for so many straight days!
·         The Munch walking around so much. He seemed to gain confidence with each hour. He pushed his farm walker all over the house (sometimes to the detriment of the ancient Italian Greyhound Lizzy). He also walked with his nose up in the air on Saturday morning. It was as if to say, “I can’t be bothered with looking at you, and please don’t look at me either.”
·         Hiding behind the chair in the living room and having Munch walk to find me. And as Munch walked, Hubbaland crept behind him. When Munch realized, he screamed and laughed. Then, Munch turned and charged Hubs. Repeat. It was precious.
·         Dinner out with Uncle N at Cheddar’s. It was good food ("grown up grilled cheese) at a good price. Munch was fascinated by a massive ceiling fan and a beautiful aquarium. He also stood on the booth and screamed in delight (and to my delight, if not to the delight of other diners).
·         Saturday afternoon playing with cousin A, a little 1-year-old cherub of a girl. Munch didn’t quite know what to think of her. When she pushed his walker, he cried and took it from her. I think he is used to holding his own at day care. They shared Goldfish. She tried to kiss him, but Munch didn’t quite get the concept.
·         Watching Munch topple empty yogurt cups as MIL and Gma set them up over and over.
·         4th-meal 5 Guys on Saturday night.
·         Giving Munchkin time with extended family is good for him, and for them.
The What???
·         The heat. And not just outside. Poor Munch sweated so much when he was trying to go to sleep each night and nap.
·         Families are complicated and drama may ensue.
·         Twin beds.
·         Munch didn’t sleep terribly well on Friday night; he got better as he got used to his new surroundings, but it still was rough going.
·         Munch was a champ on the 6-hour drive there and back, but he gets so bored. He just wants to play, and I fear this will worsen as he gets older. He slept about halfway home, then he was okay to be entertained for a bit. Then, there was no helping him. It was like he felt he couldn’t get his message across either. He would tip his head back, make his eyes very wide, and make his pleading little sounds. Like, if I just make myself earnest enough, she’ll get me out of this blasted seat.
Erie Peninsula, via http://wherervnow.us/presque-isle-state-park-erie-pa/78/

Sookie #3: A Man for All Seasons

I enjoyed Club Dead more than Living Dead in Dallas. Seeing that I didn’t enjoy season 2 of “True Blood” that much, I think #2 is just a weaker story. I enjoyed getting to meet Alcide and Russell Edgington, though I wish he was more of a baddie in the book like in the TV show. I also weirdly enjoyed reading about cold weather during the 100-degree heat.
A couple things that bothered me:
-- Everyone (well, most “supes”) wants Sookie. This is true in the show also. It’s a bit annoying. It makes her a little one-dimensional.
-- I was completely confused how she knew what Bill’s secret project was. Clearly, she looked at his computer program, but didn’t tell the reader what she found out. This seemed like deliberate withholding on the author’s part, and it was awkward. I felt like I was missing something when Sookie kept talking about how much she knew.
-- The biggie: Bill did rape her in this book. I understand that he was in a primal state and he didn’t realize what he was doing. But it was a very hard scene to read, as she thrashed around and tried to scream as he held his hand over her mouth. The reaction to what happened on Sookie’s and Bill’s part seemed very understated. Bill didn’t seem too horrified by what he’d done. But Sookie—not a few pages later, she was already yearning for him to have sex with her. That seemed so wrong. I don’t feel like I can look at book Bill the same way after this incident, and it troubles me that Sookie is so able to dismiss such a serious issue.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 Things I Miss About Pregnancy

Especially now that I know the little being who eventually graced us with his presence:

1) Feeling him move. It was a comfort on a practical level, since his movement is the only day-to-day reassurance pregnant women have that all is well in there. But it was also comforting on an emotional level--I enjoyed knowing that I was never truly alone during that time. He was sharing my space.

2) Holding my hand on my belly. I loved to sit at my desk with my palm splayed across my hard stomach. This is the universal sign of a pregnant woman. I felt like I was holding him, maybe resting my hand on his tiny rump as he snoozed. Sometimes, I find myself sitting that way now, and I quickly move my hand away, lest any passers-by get the wrong idea.

3) Ultrasounds. These little windows into another realm were treats that we received more frequently than many of my pregnant friends for reasons I still don't quite understand. We seemed to have an ultrasound every 3 weeks. The most amazing ones: seeing the baby (Munch!) suck his thumb and watching him flail his arms and legs. Of course, me being me, the moments at the start of the ultrasound, before the familiar whir-whir-whir of the heartbeat came through, were terrifying. But that made the payoff of seeing his little face that much sweeter.

4) Buying stuff. I love to buy stuff as a rule, but buying baby and nursery stuff was purposeful and necessary. Okay, maybe not everything was necessary. But going to Great Beginnings and looking at furniture and bathroom stuff and feeding stuff was wonderful, even those many times when we left without buying anything because we were so overwhelmed by it all.

5) The anticipation. Pregnancy is a magical time. Anything is possible. That little lump is anyone. Hubbaland and I talked about name possibilities for hours. We wondered dozens of things at once. Will he be a massive, 10-pound baby with a huge head? (We thought so, right up until he popped out at 6 pounds, 15 ounces with a very normal head, thank you very much.) Will he be a she? (I still think Dr. J spilled the beans at 24-ish weeks, but Hubbaland doesn't.) Will he have red hair? (We think so.) The anticipation in hindsight is infinitely sweeter knowing the wonderful baby we were blessed with that day. Well, the wee hours of that night.

Filling Up

For the first time that I've seen, the Munch started putting blocks into his bucket as opposed to dumping them out. On the road to creating block towers rather than destroying!


Via http://aacallister.blogspot.com/2010/09/reasons-to-get-your-toddler-cowboy.html
We may have the first evidence that no matter how you try to influence your offspring to adopt your own views, these little people come ready-made with their own likes and dislikes. It's how your liberal household just might get an Alex P. Keaton Republican.

Last night, we were enjoying a quiet Independence Day watching "A Capital Fourth" from the air-conditioned comfort of home. The Munch played happily with his walkers and cars, basically ignoring everything that was on TV. Until.

Country singer Josh Turner started in on his up-tempo ditty, "Firecracker." Wouldn't you know that my son abandoned his toys, stood up (this from the boy who's still only walking when he truly feels like it), and began his version of baby-dancing to this song. He smiled and walked in circles and stomped his little feet. For the entire song.

When it was over, he sat back down and went on playing, ignoring "American Idol" and "Glee" stars as if they were nothing.

Hubbaland was not happy. Hubbaland pretty much detests all songs country (cross-overs like Carrie Underwood and Shania are passable).

This is not the first time Munch has shown his love for a country song, out of the blue, and on his own. A similar display, albeit without the walking, was made during "Dancing With the Stars" when Donald Driver and Peta danced to "I Play Chicken With the Train."

 Munch just may be a little bit country despite the fact this is mama is a whole lot rock n roll.

Of course, I downloaded "Firecracker" last night, just as I downloaded "Train" months ago. Hubbaland said he didn't want to encourage such behavior. I told him--Munch is who he is, and we will embrace it!

Did Munch come out of the womb ready to attend a hoedown? Admittedly, I have played country songs for him, as I have a greater appreciation for them than my one and only. But I also have played him plenty of hard-rocking Aerosmith, folksy Dave Matthews Band, and plenty of current pop. I'm following his lead on this one!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Put Your Hands Up

The Munch gets funnier by the day. Last night, he was crawling around the living room, and then he stopped, looked at us, and raised one arm up. It was like he was doing a yoga stretch or something.

Well, of course Hubbaland and I followed suit with our hand in the air. He crawled a few more steps, repeat. Us too. Then he sat up and put both hands in the air. Us too.

He let his arms fall down slightly, then with renewed vigor shot them back up. And yes, us too. We did this many times. He had a massive smile on his face! Us too.

Via http://thefirstmorning.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/tao-te-ching-11-emptiness/
Via http://thefirstmorning.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/tao-te-ching-11-emptiness/

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lightning Crashes

Via http://cosmicconvergence.org/?p=1109
The weekend didn't exactly turn out as we'd anticipated, as the DC area was walloped with a type of storm called a derecho on Friday night. It was no ordinary storm, and pretty much everybody in the area experienced some lack of power ... except, luckily, for my MIL, so we were over there Friday night and much of Saturday. Our power came back on by Saturday night.

The Highlight:
  • Taking a nap in the same room as The Munch. I find it incredibly peaceful to sleep in the same room as Munch is sleeping. I love to hear his soft breath and little sighs and when he shifts to a new position. He had woken up around 7:30am on Saturday, despite a very late bedtime because of the storm, so by 10am, he was ready for a nap (as was I). He slept in his pack n play and I in the bed nearby. 

We kept Munch in our room much longer than the required 6 weeks after he was born. He slept in a pack n play, all swaddled up in a tight burrito. He would lay there next to our bed and simply fall asleep. By 3 months old, he was breaking the swaddle and rolling onto his side, but still he remained in our room. We moved him to his crib when he was about 6 months old. He made the transition easily, and I went in to check him only once before heading to bed myself.

It wasn't that I couldn't sleep without Munch near me; it was that I didn't think 6 weeks was near old enough to send him off into his own space, a mere 20 feet though it may be. This little being had spent over 9 months in me; then I and he were expected to quickly move to separate rooms? I just wasn't ready. I still check him most every night before going to sleep.

The Good:
  • Spending Friday evening in Hershey with the Hubbaland for the last Dave Matthews concert of the season. It was hot, but overcast with a small breeze, so it wasn't too sweltering. We had a wonderful dinner at Red Robin (I'm always amazed that there's hardly any wait on concert days and in the summer with families coming from the amusement park; they must staff to the hilt), then we went to our traditional go through Chocolate World before going into the stadium for the concert.

It was a better concert than Nissan, but we ended up missing the encore (luckily, it was Ants Marching, which we've heard plenty) because the lightning started pretty hard core near the end of the concert and the Hubbaland got nervous. Many people started streaming out once a huge lighting tree went down to the ground nearby. Nervous Nelly (me) wasn't scared at all, but I followed Hub's lead as he had a bad feeling about the whole scene. We ran to the car, all the way down at the outlets, and got on the road just as the rain started.

  • Despite leaving the concert early, still seeing Dave's tour buses leaving and getting a glimpse of Carter and Jeff.
  • Spending a quiet day at the MIL's on Saturday and eating (too many of) her fabulous oat bars.
  • Watching The Munch chase Hubbaland around the living room with his various walkers.
  • Doing Wheels on the Bus at Munch's continued insistence.
  • Lunch at Panera on Sunday with Hubs and Munch.
The What?
  • The storm knocking out all of the traffic lights, making it a hazard driving anywhere, especially since it seemed like the heat and lack of power brought out the reckless in everyone.