Six Months with Atticus

Six months! Atticus is chomping at the bit to grow up.

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ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Seriously though, he is chomping on EVERYTHING. The little bastard has two teeth (!!!) and he gnaws on everything possible. And YES he has bitten my boob. And NO yelping in pain once doesn’t make him stop. It does make him burst into tears, however. And yet, he’ll do it again.

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This month we watched the Super Bowl. We did not win.

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He’s sitting like a champ, now (and look at him playing nicely with others!) He is also ROLLING THE FUCK OVER.

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He likes to do it when no one’s watching, however.

He has also spent some quality time with his Aunt Pippi, aka my parents’ dog.*

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Sometimes she likes it more than he does.

*I was walking with my mom, Pippi & Atticus in her neighborhood, and a woman up the street leaned down to Atticus and said “Oh, this must be the new baby!” and my mom starts trotting Pippi around, saying “I know! Isn’t she the sweetest?!” I said “Mom, she was talking about your grandson.” OOPS. I’ll be sure to tell Atticus about this when he’s nice and impressionable.

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We started giving him solids for a brief second or two, then Atticus choked a bit, vomited everywhere, and the Lumberjack decided we were done. I THINK I have convinced him to start trying again. I want him to try all the foods! The Lumberjack wants him to not choke to death. I think we can find a middle ground.

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At some point, this baby turned into a child. WEIRD. And amazing. Sometimes I think I’m going to puke from all the emotions I have when I watch him sleep. He’s absolutely incredible.

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Half a Year!

Half a year with my favorite baby in the world:

photo (5)20130219-134157.jpgIt's cool, I'm four months old...whatever.My baby is 3 months old.IMG_3787he's one month old!  and is in a dumb bulky diaper.  boo.

Holy CRAP he was so tiny!

Bottle Feeding

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Five Months with Atticus

Well. I am certainly behind the times now – he turns 6 months old next week (WTF), so this is my latest post yet. I can barely remember what happened last month.

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Atticus disapproves.

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He’s been spending a lot of time at my parents’ house, which is awesome. We get free babysitters, they get to smooch his little face, and he gets a close relationship with his grandparents. Everyone wins! Their puppy was born about 3 weeks before Atticus was, so they can grow up together. Yesterday we were over there and the dog washed Atticus’s face VERY carefully. I’m not sure he knew what was going on.

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He has discovered his toes, and is now obsessed with them. Sometimes he sticks just his big toe in his mouth and then starts sucking on it intensely, like it’s his thumb. Of course, he stops the second I get out the camera.

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AND HE’S SITTING UP. Last month was when he started, although he was still pretty floppy. This picture was taken immediately after he sat up, face-planted, and I pulled him back up again. He totally face-planted on the bed, and when I got him back up he was just smiling away, like it was the best thing ever.

He’s a really happy baby, and I’m grateful for that every day. He cries, of course. He fusses. He gets cranky. But his general demeanor is just so *pleasant*. All the time. Even when he was sick (I think he was sick? He’s never really been sick, so I’m not sure), he kept smiling at me weakly, like “it’s okay, mom, it’s not that bad.” His crying almost always turns into laughter as soon as I fix the problem.

He laughs constantly. Squeeze his thighs or knees, and he cracks up. He also loves to be flung around, flipped upside down, held in the air…if I hold him with my hands gripping his rib-cage (under his armpits), and then swing him from side to side while singing (“American Pie” is his latest favorite), he totally loses his mind.

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Six month update is on its way!

Book Review: The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks. How to Stimulate Your Baby's Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases Into Magical Leaps ForwardThe Wonder Weeks. How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases Into Magical Leaps Forward by Hetty van de Rijt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Highly recommended.

The bad:
* Overuse of quotes that provide no real substance or purpose
* Super repetitive – the book could have just said “and now your baby will be fussy” instead of going on for page after page about how “the baby is overwhelmed” and “the baby is scared” and “the baby’s world is changing” etc etc etc, each time trying to phrase it in a new way as if there’s an actual difference.

But, the good:
* It identifies the changes your baby’s brain is going through. It’s helpful to know what the baby is figuring out, but it’s also interesting in general to think about the ways we learn and change – things that seems obvious actually have to be learned.
* By giving an age range when these things happen, parents aren’t blindsided when the baby suddenly turns into satan. Or, as more often happens, you’ll read this AFTER the baby’s gone nuts, and will feel vindicated by the book’s explanation.
* Fun games are included, to help you stimulate the baby’s new skills.

It’s a good resource book to be picked up and skimmed through when your baby hits the next milestone. Just skip over the (way too many) quotes and the description of why the baby is fussy.

View all my reviews

Attention Non-Birthing Parents:

If your lovely, sleep-deprived ladyfriend mentions her dissatisfaction with the extra pudge around her midsection, which is a direct result of her spending the last 14 months of her life growing, producing, and sustaining your only begotten son, the correct response is NOT “you’re eating too much sugar.”  Oh, you assumed everyone already knew that?  Yeah, SO DID I.

Delicious

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He now sucks on his big toe like it’s an extra thumb. Remind me to bathe him more.

Back to Work

So, I’m working again.  I don’t get to hang out with the coolest little baby all day long anymore.  I keep wanting to write a post about it, but never get around to it, so instead here is the email I just sent to my friend who’s going back to work in a few weeks and wanted to know how bad it was going to be:

Back to work. It is not that bad. First! First, you will like it. The first few days will be fun! Exciting, a new challenge, nice to get out of the house and pee whenever you want to pee without having to prepare the baby first. You’ll use your brain, which is nice. All your coworkers will be excited to see you so you’ll get to talk about the baby a lot. Everyone will complement you on how great you look. It’s fantastic!

After the first few days, you settle in and it’s not new & exciting anymore, but still nice to get out of the house and to have a set schedule. Then, somewhere in the second week, you realize that actually? Work sucks, and your baby is awesome, and it is STUPID that you are at work, and why aren’t you staying home and being a happy, hippie earth mama with your incredible kid telling you great stories all day long? You are a BAD MOM and clearly you DON’T love your baby as much as you think you do, and your husband is probably JUDGING YOU.

You have to push past that point.

It gets better! That crap lasts another few weeks, and then…it just becomes what you do. You wake up, you go to work, it’s not the greatest but it’s not terrible, you remind yourself that you’re being a good female role model for the kid and you’re contributing both to society and to your family, and you enjoy the hell out of that baby whenever you’re home, and you remind yourself (remind your husband to remind you if you forget) that your husband admires and respects you for what you’re doing, and everything is going to be just fine.

The end. For now. I’m only 5 weeks back, so who knows what the future holds. But for now I’m doing okay.

Four Months with Atticus

Look at me, posting just one day after the baby got one month older. Blogging: I’m right on top of it, Rose.

This month was exciting! He’s doing so many new things with his body!
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I took him swimming for the first time, and he was PSYCHED. Look at him in the changing room in his swim diaper – he can barely stand it. He is a total fish. When I first pulled him into the pool, I assumed I would hold him vertically upright and just bob around for awhile. But no! He immediately stretched out horizontally and started kicking! MY BABY’S A GENIUS, Y’ALL. So around and around the pool we went, with him kicking and occasionally even doing the crawl stroke! Whaaaaaat. Anyway, we’ve gone a few times this month, and each time he tries something new (he can now float on his back with just one hand holding up his head). We’re going to start baby swim classes in the spring, but until then my kid & I are hanging out together in the pool, making the other swimmers swoon.

He’s also rolling onto either side now all by himself, as well as pushing up on his feet to make a bridge when he’s laying on his back. And when I pull him up to a sitting position, he pulls himself up with my help instead of just being dragged along. It’s so fun to see these changes in him, and to realize how much he still has to learn.

He’s also gotten really into music lately. He still prefers “Baby Beluga” (what is up with babies and that song?!), but he’s branched out a bit. Elizabeth Mitchell is our current favorite – “Peace Like a River” is so sweet and cheerful, and so easy to sing along with. He LOVES it when I sing along to music. He’ll be happily listening to something, then the second I start singing he opens his eyes wide and gets a huge grin on his face. I think this kid will love karaoke.

The other night I was dancing him around the room singing along with Hangin’ Tough (thanks, Pandora), and he started laughing so hard he gave himself hiccups.

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hangin’ SO tough

and when he laughs he makes noise, now! It’s amazing! He used to just silently chuckle at things, but now you can actually hear it, and it’s awesome. The Lumberjack calls it “the best sound ever” and it really is.

This baby also wants to chew on everything now. EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING INTO HIS MOUTH.
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He’s gotten pretty good at pulling things to his mouth, but his preference is still to bring his mouth to the thing. So he grabs something in his hand, and then slowly drops his head down with his mouth open like a little fish (BABY FISH MOUTH*) until he makes contact. My mom said he looks like Winston Churchill, all huddled over. An ADORABLE Winston Churchill, sure.

*the Lumberjack had NO IDEA what I was talking about when I shouted “baby fish mouth!” the other day. I don’t even know what to do with this information.

So, I’m back at work. And yes, there’s still a post that goes with that, but not now because it’s Friday afternoon and I don’t feel like it. The Lumberjack is taking great care of that kid, although I know they miss me terribly. He texts me photos throughout the day of their adventures:

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this picture was accompanied by
“he’s going to join the Misfits”

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vintage Mount Diablo

I miss them 😦

We do still get to have adventures as a family on the weekends. Last week we went to a Winter Solstice event up in the Berkeley hills, and the weather was…not great.
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Luckily the baby just went with it.

And of course the month was capped with Christmas!
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I really love Christmas. I love buying/making presents for my loved ones, and the food, and music…it’s great. Warm & fuzzy, etc. My family’s tradition has been to get ornaments every year, and I want to continue that with Atticus. This year I decided to make his!
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It helped that he had no idea what I was doing, so I could work on it in front of him. The back is covered in gold sparkles. I wish I could wear it as a small hat.

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For Christmas he sat up in a high chair by himself! He slumped to the side, and got sick of it real quick, but still. Look at him go.

It's cool, I'm four months old...whatever.

It’s cool, I’m four months old, NBD.

Oh, breastfeeding.

It’s happened. I’m forgetting about post-natal things that were difficult, and am viewing the early weeks through a rosy tint of love.  I think this is because I’m already planning on Shotgun Fetus #2, so I don’t want to remember anything that was hard.  Everything was great!  Let’s do it again!*  So it comes as no surprise that I am in love with breastfeeding, can do it at the drop of a bra strap, and seem to think it was always this easy.

* “let’s do it again!” was literally the first thing I said to the Lumberjack, post-birth

I have been lucky, it’s true.  I produce an obscene amount of milk, and always have.  For example: Atticus eats 8-10oz while I’m at work.  I pump over 20oz while I’m at work.  THE FREEZER IS OVERFLOWING.  The other night I was lying on my left side feeding the kid, when I noticed that my right boob (it’s the over-achiever, and always produces 1-2oz more than the other) was squirting a little fountain of milk, straight up into the air.  I admired its beauty for a minute before mopping it up.

Atticus also latches on nicely, and without any pain.  Without any pain ANYMORE.  This is what I’m forgetting.  The “HOLY FUCK GODDAMN” that I used to shout out when he would latch, the way I would glare at the Lumberjack when he innocently suggested that I feed the kid, the feeling akin to someone squeezing & pinching my nipples when nothing was actually touching them…I have forgotten all of these things, and instead just love the fuck out of breastfeeding.

It feels good.  Is it possible to say that without it sounding weirdly sexual or otherwise inappropriate?  One of the surprising things about breastfeeding is how completely non-sexual it is.  I mean, these are my tits.  I’ve spent almost a decade exposing them for cash & performing with them in The Sexy Way.  Things have “felt good” involving my boobs for more than half my life now, so it’s odd to say breastfeeding feels good, since it’s my kid using my boob for food.  But…it does.  In the same way a massage feels good, rubbing a sore muscle or someone’s hand on your forehead.  My breasts don’t really hurt much from storing up milk (except for when I go 3+ hours without nursing or pumping and then OW), but they still feel full, so having them slowly drained feels nice.  Soothing.

Watching his little jaw moving rhythmically while his eyes roll back in his head is also great.  And when he hums.  When he pushes gently on my boob like he’s trying to pump more milk out of it.  Especially when he’s crying from hunger, and then when I’m almost settled in to feed him and am finally pulling down the bra strap he starts making this crying chuckle sound, like he’s still upset but can’t not also be excited about what’s about to happen.  And when he falls asleep next to me with a little sigh, and I know that I built that, I grew that, I’m sustaining that.

that little dude has passed the hell out.

that little dude has passed the hell out.