Babies

My Baby Sleeps On The Floor: Our Montessori-ish Baby Room

Heston's Room

Let me first qualify this post by saying, I know nothing about babies.  Really.  I’ve never been a baby person, nor have I spent any substantial time with them.  We’re totally winging it over here.

We didn’t set out to be all Montessori-ish in our approach to raising Heston, but the more we engage with this life-learning method, the more I’m a convert.  Thus, our baby sleeps on the floor.

We originally bought a two bedroom house (albeit a tiny one) because we envisioned having a guest/baby’s room (and in that order).  I remember being pretty self-righteous and saying things like “Elch, why in the world do people dedicate an entire room to ‘kid-stuff’?!”  I said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again, I know nothing.

Our approach to the monkey’s sleeping situation was not guided by any particular method, it was simply that we couldn’t decide on a crib.  Between cost, design and our tiny space, I remember throwing my hands up in frustration and saying, “Why do we even need a crib?!” I was thinking about having just a day bed so that my mother (and other guests) could have an actual bed to sleep in.  But again cost, design, and space were not intersecting.  And I felt like I had time to decide since I knew he’d be sharing our room for the first part of his life.

I wasn’t sure how we would establish our family sleeping situation; I didn’t even know how I felt about it other than the extreme stereotypes represented in RomComs everywhere: Hippy-Dippy Family Beds whilst shunning vaccinations vs. ice-cold, detached robot parents who farm our raising their kids to a staff.  Surely there were more options than this?!  I implored the same approach we had with Heston’s impending arrival: we would just figure it out.  We started by RENTING the most beautiful (and functional) bassinet, but my little guy didn’t do much sleeping in it (much to my disappointment.)  And really, if I could have had my way, I think I would have preferred co-sleeping with H until he was in college old enough. But by 7 months when we knew H could lay on his back without choking (and sort of roll over) we knew it was time to fish or cut bait.  I felt like I had this window to transition him and this was it.  Armed with some research and my sleep bible, we put Heston on a mattress on the floor.

H Room

(more…)

The First Year

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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.

 

babies on the brain

Ok, let me clarify.  Babies are not on my brain per se, but I’ve been surrounded by people having babies.  And lucky for me they’ve been girls.  It seems that just 3 years ago I knew 5 people that all gave birth to boys right around the same time; and now I know 2 new girls, I’ll meet one for the first time on Saturday, and two more in the coming months.  I’m glad because it’s given me an opportunity to make a few new crafts.  I have fallen in love with big, huge flowers on little baby girls; and they are so easy to make.  Once baby is big enough she &  Momma can share.  Wear them in their hair or on a jacket or belt or necklace or….

My most favorite model wearing this blue flower.

I’ve also cranked out some more diaper/burp cloths.

And although I’m not much of a baby person, I am really interested in seeing this documentary.  I enjoy watching movies/documentaries that can take a personal story and turn it into a universal experience despite our differences.  I don’t know if I’ll make it to the theater for this, but it’s for sure going on the Netflix list.

laughing my head off

What is it about babies and animals that I find so damn funny?  Well, to tell the truth, I usually hate things like American’s Funniest Home Videos.  I just get annoyed.  But this morning as I sat on the couch sipping my tea watching CNN I found myself making an unfamiliar morning noise: laughing.  Cracking up actually.  They did a story on this blog.  This is why I love the internet.

babies look funny, so they should wear funny stuff.

I not only enjoyed the sun yesterday, but also I made a few things that are on my project list. I started with a project for my mother’s birthday that I will have to wait to post until next week b/c she’ll peek. I then finally made some onesies for my sweet friend Tritia who had a baby 100 years ago. I figured I better get these things to her before he’s old enough to take me out for a drink! Tritia runs the cutest shop ever in San Diego: Beach Bungalow Designs. If you are in the area and want your child’s room decorated…she’s your gal. She ridiculously talented and just plain fabulous. I’ve got a few more pieces to add to her care package (including the completion of this Amy Butler pattern), but here’s the start. (Oh, and yes, the ‘iron on’ design is on the butt!)

skull onesie

four onesies
four with bow