Family

My Heart In 365 seconds

Just like the first year was indescribable, the second was even more enigmatic.  But thankfully a few days before Heston’s first birthday I discovered the app called 1 Second Everyday.  And that’s just what I did.  For Heston’s second trip around the sun, I filmed him, every day; and with modern-day magic, I turned it into a 6 min and 14 second video.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel at it’s completion, but a project like this is just up my alley.  (A daily commitment, but just a tiny dose.)  Sure, it’s a little creepy to think that I have an actual video of my child for every-day-of-his-life (hello future therapy problems!); however, I can’t believe how accurately it captured all the changes that occur from months 12-24.  I get to see his first plane ride, first art installation exhibit, first word (Da-Da), first slide, first step(s), first emergency room, first play date, first lemon, first social protest, a few tantrums, tears, and so many giggles.  Oh, and getting to watch that hair grow… *love*  To my surprise (or not) I didn’t feel any nostalgia.  Rather, I felt so much PRIDE and HOPE.  We’ve come SO FAR!

I’ve boo-hooed my eyes out and still can’t stop watching.  If you need a little 6 minute  break, go ahead and boo-hoo right along with me and watch my son grow from 1 to 2.

 

 

The First Year

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How do you put into words the first year?  Nearly impossible.

Heston’s pediatrician danced with me in her office as I said, “It’s not Happy Birthday, baby! But CONGRATULATIONS Mamma & Papa!” She vigorously agreed and added, “the banner should end with, ‘and we’re still married — sort of!'” #truth #preach

Right now our little monkey has 3 teeth, but according to his 1 year check up yesterday, he has FOUR more sprouting any second!  His weight is in the 64th percentile, his length the 57th percentile and his gigantic, watermelon head is in the 93rd percentile!  Ha, ha! But for a baby that was once ONE OUNCE away from being labeled “failure to thrive” (at 16 weeks old) this is basically a miracle.

(more…)

Greetings From 9 Months

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I’ve been searching for my words in others’. I know they won’t be there; but somehow my thoughts are still a jumbled mess of syllables inside my mind. Much like my little monkey learning to babble, it’s how I feel about trying to articulate just what exactly has happened over these last 9 months.

The overwhelming love and joy that I have begun to experience since Heston turned 7 months is white-washing the nightmare that was my daily routine from day 1 – month 7. Everyone says you’ll forget the hard times, and maybe they are right. But it’s not that I’ve forgotten…but I can’t quite remember it, rather articulate it… it’s still so foggy and yet I can’t believe that I actually have “hindsight”.  We were in the trenches.  And then we weren’t.   I may not have the words for it, but I feel that I’ve been marked, branded, in some unique way.  And I’m talking about more than the permanent dark circles under my eyes and the severe postpartum hair loss (how did I not know this was a thing?!); nor is it the mark of general motherhood — but it is the mark of mothering an un-well baby, battling the demons of expectations and comparison, and digging down to a very deep, personal place to find the strength to get up again and again — for 7 months straight.

Color 9.21.05 PM

There are things I spontaneously remember that I’ve clearly already forgotten about…. My mantra for so long was “don’t forget about this,” but the way PTSD works, you’re supposed to forget, to be able to move on.  So while my pen had no fortitude and my memory no energy, nothing is more telling than my google search history; my digital legacy paints quite the picture.

  • what’s wrong with my baby
  • newborn won’t stop crying
  • newborn choking
  • what to do with a newborn
  • does my baby hate me
  • baby poop by color
  • how do i know if I’m going crazy
  • how long can I go without sleep
  • sleep deprivation as torture

And let’s not even go down the google rabbit hole of the breastfeeding problems I was having.  Oh Lawdy.

But I keep waiting to be able to articulate my experience to write in this space, but I think what’s needed is a fresh page, starting now.  So I’ll start with the present.

At 9 months, my little monkey is finally mobile.  He still breastfeeds, so eating is more about trial and error and tactile experience rather than nutrition.  But he loves almost any flavor food I’ve tried, spices and all.  But things with texture… not so much.  Because I’ve never been around babies I’m not sure what is unique to his personality, but I’m picking up on what others say about him. One of the most common comments I hear when we’re out and about is, “he’s so serious!”  And he is.  Whilst out in the world, he likes to be worn in my ring sling.  And he’s SO contemplative.  He sits straight-faced, soaking it all in.  But when we’re at home, he’s all squeals and giggles.  He’s definitely my kid.

His head is finally becoming more proportionate to his body and is in the 71st percentile (down from 92nd!), while height is 47th percentile and weight is 24th.  Watermelon on a toothpick.  And he’s wonderful.

 

It’s A Boy

Eight weeks.  We’ve survived EIGHT WEEKS!  And I’m still in “survival” mode.  So many things I want to blog about.  My (great) birthing experience, my declining health in the first week of postpartum, my difficulty breastfeeding, colic, tongue tie, and mostly how much I love this little boy.  I cannot believe I have a little BOY.  Bananas.  The only time I seem to have is when I’m sitting at the pump, and hopefully I’ll soon get to process this whole thing with words, but in the mean time you can see me process visually on Instagram.

Baby Heston Birth Announcement

So Many Things 2014….

I didn’t think things could get bigger than 2008 or really 2013… but 2014 proved to be a doozy.  Hence, my absence from my longest running hobby.  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for SEVEN years.  I hope to pick up this practice again as there is more to document and a creative muscle that has atrophied a bit.  Maybe I’ll talk about all the changes that 2014 brought, and maybe I won’t.  Regardless, tomorrow begins the clean slate I love so much: day 1 of a brand new year.  And (clearly) 2015 is sure to be quite memorable…

New-Years-2014

Soon to follow: a new house (and subsequent remodel), a recap of a trip to Spain, and thoughts on being pregnant…

smitten in the mitten

I’ve been a little MIA from this space (and my other one).  I’ve been wrapping up a couple of time-consuming clients and making a quick trip back to Michigan.  We just returned home (late!) Sunday night (actually early Monday) from a 48 hour trip that felt like we squeezed in a months worth of  activity.  The main reason for our visit though — to meet our nephew.  And we are hopelessly smitten with the little guy.  We caught him at just the right baby stage: 10 weeks.  Old enough to not be too floppy, but not yet teething or squirming.  He was perfect.  I tried to keep my cool around mom & pop, but really this is all I wanted to do!!!

I won’t be posting any pics of the little dude in this space (or any other public forum) respecting the wishes of his parents.  It’s actually a decision I highly respect.  Some time ago I (and his dad) read an article on a child’s digital footprint that they have no control over and subsequently how disturbing that can be for someone.  (If I can find it, I’ll footnote it later.) So darling nephew, you will control your on-line fate once you are old enough (and your parents are ready).  But it’s tough because that little nugget is SO CUTE!  For now though, I’m just glad that we all have iPhones so that we can have our own private photo sharing with stream sharing.

I miss him already.

New Family

weekend scene

Yeowzer — it was a FULL weekend!  I headed back to my parents on Friday.  I was doing a photo shoot for some long-time family friends and getting my hair cut and colored.  I decided to take advantage of the extra hands and expertise whilst in town.  My mom makes THE BEST gumbo and since I have never made it myself (shocking, I know)  I wanted a lesson — and to use her massive pot.  (And I wanted to stock up on easy dinners!)  Who knew gumbo was such a labor of love?  My mom still keeps saying… no, it’s really not that much work.  Good grief.  We have very difference definitions of what “not that much” work is.   But our efforts were fruitful and not only did I go home with a double batch but my sister (who came to ‘supervise’) also went home with a few bowls too.

Well, all of that was just Friday.  Saturday morning rolled around and since the weather is nice and I’m not longer commuting 90 miles on the highway, I thought I would take off the hard top of my jeep.  (Crazy right; it’s like the seasons are reversed.)  But seeing as how it’s been since 2009 since I’ve had the hard top off, it’s wasn’t exactly muscle memory.  But three hours later, my dad and I had the hard top safely secured and covered for the winter and all parts of the soft-top in place — ready to be folded up on the next pretty day.

After that bit of unexpected physical exercise, I met my sister at a favorite antique shop and I think I found a new (antique) armoire.  I need to measure it and make sure that I LOVE it before it comes home with me.  I took a picture and I’m glad I did because she and I both liked it more the second day.  But I guess if it’s meant to be, it’ll still be there when I can go back to get it.

Upon arriving back home, the hubs and I had to get ready for a dinner party and we made our favorite appetizers.  (I’ll share those later this week.)  We stayed much later than anticipated which made it a little tough to roll out of bed for our church-filled extravaganza of a day.  And then after we endured a rainstorm that should have been named, we headed to Houston’s Antique Urban Market.  There were lots of interesting things to see, but it was a bit like trying on clothes when you’re feeling fat.  It just wasn’t happening.  We inquired about a small end table, but after a much too-high price I felt like  —  *meh* — whatevs.

And finally we collapsed into our respective couches around 5pm yesterday.  I began editing photos and the hubs — well, I’m not quite sure what he was working on.  But we ate some gumbo and then watched The Walking Dead.  The perfect way to end such a full weekend!

Gumbo

weekend scene

We headed up to my Aunt’s house to help her pack and deal with moving out of a house you’ve been in for 30 years.  We also enjoyed our first cool snap of the season and lounged with the windows open all evening.  This is my kind of weather and makes me happy for the week to come. October, I’m glad you’re here!

Weekend Scene Oct