Yup, Mr. Roman, that you are. It blows my mind that on the 19th, he'll be 8 months old. EIGHT MONTHS OLD. What the heck?! How is it possible that I have an eight month old? It seems like I was just pregnant. And I was. I remember that belly like an old friend. I remember how Roman used to get the hiccups when ever I needed to eat. I remember the shifting and kicking and full-belly rolls, and now he is rolling outside my belly and still kicking and still hiccuping when he's hungry.
He's a pretty mellow baby, at least that's what others tell me. I've never been around young babies before him, so everything is a new experience for me. He loves to eat in his highchair and wants the food in his hands NOW. He wants the little baby plate and the bib and my fingers in his mouth NOW. Are you eating something with that fork? Oh, let me lunge at it like a baby piranha. Nibble, nibble, CRUNCH!
We do a sort of modified Baby Led Weaning feeding routine. Roman is SO independent and wants to do everything himself, so the self feeding really just came naturally. He loves to hold things and loves to put things in his mouth, so it's a win/win in his opinion. We try to feed him as organically as possible, but I don't stress if he has a bit of "regular" food. He hasn't had any meat, seafood, wheat, eggs, corn or dairy (besides what's in his formula).
A typical meal goes something like this:
I give him two sorts of food in the baby mesh eater things (we've had the Munchkin kind for about two weeks and LOVE them), usually a banana and either a peach, orange, nectarine or plum for breakfast, plus some oatmeal baby cereal made with a bit of juice and then some mooshy baby food. Dinner is usually frozen blueberries, pickles (much to his Father's disgust), strawberries, mango or peas in the mesh eater, plus rice cereal and more baby mushies. Sometimes we let him hold slices of orange or BIG chunks of food like they do in true Baby Led Weaning and he loves it, but sometimes I just use the mesh eater. The only down side to the mesh eaters are 1) they use plastics and colored plastic mesh, and 2) cleaning bananas out of them are a royal pain in my pretty ass. I wish someone would come up with a "natural" fabric mesh bag, even if the bottoms were still plastic, the part that goes into his mouth would be a bit better for him.
As far as baby mush goes, he likes berry applesauce a LOT. Not too keen on sweet potatoes, and cinnamon gave his face a huge rash! I use my Brezza to make some foods, but I'm finding that it doesn't work as well as advertised and doesn't blend things perfectly smooth. I tried to make peas and it left HUGE bits of pea... skin(?) in the mix. He loves when I blend peaches, mango and kiwi. He ate it up like it was going out of style. I do buy packets of HappyBabby, and love that company. They are priced reasonably and Roman seems to love them. I'd say we do about 50% homemade mush and 50% store bought. With each meal, he gets lots of choices and there's no pressure to eat it all, but he usually eats everything. Minus avocados... he looked at me like I was insane when I tried to make him some savory rice cereal with thyme and avocado. It tasted good to me! Perhaps babies don't develop a taste for un-sweet food for a while or maybe he's just like his Daddy and has a sweet-tooth.
He eats two meals a day (sometimes with water or very weak chamomile tea or juice in a sippy), plus all the formula he wants.
Let me take a minute to talk about his formula, Baby's Only by Nature's One. As you know, I had an EXTREMELY hard time giving him formula, as I wanted to breastfeed until at least one year but it wasn't in the stars for us. At first I had a hard time giving him anything that wasn't from me, but slowly the Baby's Only crept in and took over and Roman loved it. Not only is the company great, but the product is amazing. They market the formula as a "Toddler Formula" because they believe that breastfeeding is the best feeding and want to encourage it. How amazing is that?! They invite you to look at their nutritional comparison chart to see where their formula stands against other, more traditional brands of formula, and after careful research, they measure up just fine. It is not a formula for just Toddlers. ;) I wouldn't give him anything else unless we HAD to. It is made from organic, non-GMO ingredients and it is just really pleasant. It uses brown rice syrup as the carb/sweetener and is MUCH better than the gross GMO corn syrup used in other formulas. I used to babysit a few kids that used traditional formula and their spit up smelled PUTRID. Baby's Only does not have that gross, heavy fake vitamin smell, not in the bottle or on the burp rag. It smells surprisingly good and doesn't taste bad at all (I've tried it). It is expensive (I think, I've never bought any other brand), but we buy it from Vitacost.com for about $10.75 for a 12.7 ounce can, which is $3 cheaper than out local health food store. The formula canisters are BPA and melamine free, which is important, too! I'm VERY happy with our choice to use Baby's Only. Nope, this wasn't even a paid endorsement.. I just love the product and would recommend it to ANYONE who needs to venture into formula use.
As far as sleeping goes, he fusses a bit when he's tired and when he starts sounding a little... frantic, I know it's time to lay him down. Once he's in his bed, he looks like this:
That sweet little SUPER HAPPY GRUNT face means, I'm so tired that I could fall asleep. And he does. I give him his bottle, stay with him until he's done and then sing him the Bug-Bug song. He usually just laughs (LAUGHS, people!) and then falls asleep. He might whimper for about 30 seconds, but then he falls asleep. That goes for every nap and bed-time, too. Yes, I know just how lucky I am!
Bedtime is 7:30 and he rarely fights it. He wakes up around midnight for a bottle and a diaper change and goes right back to sleep until about 5 or 6a.m., diaper and bottle, back to sleep and then we wake up for the day around 9a.m. Some days he doesn't even do the second wake-up and sleeps from midnight until 8:30 or 9 a.m. He loves having a standing schedule and so do I. Momma loves knowing when what is going to happen. :)
Roman is able to sit for short spurts if I actually sit him up, but he's such a tipper! Like a Weeble, only he really does fall down. Ker-plunk! He loves sitting in his Bumbo and I got the little tray attachment so that I can hook toys onto it and it keeps him entertained if I'm folding laundry or writing a quick email. I get nervous and never leave him alone in it (even for a second) unless he's on the floor with a good amount of clearance around him. I'm one of those nervous mom (as in,"If I sit him here and there's an earthquake, the pens and scissors on the shelf across the room might fall down and hit him in the soft spot, so let's just go play in another room." Ummm... yeah, that's an everyday self-battle!)
He tolerates a good 6-10 minutes in a row of tummy time now! We do that lots and he seems to enjoy it, although he's recently begun scooting and somehow manages to scoot him self in circles and ends up with his head smooshed at the opposite side of the crib/blanket/bed/wall. I'm in no rush for him to start crawling all over the place. No rush at all!
We still cloth-diaper and do so about 75% of the time. When everything goes smoothly and the diapers get washed before we run out of cleans, he uses one disposable a day. He has a predictable poo schedule, so Bubby puts him in a 'sposie right before he goes to work and when Roman and I wake up for the morning, he usually has a nice surprise in his baby-chonies just for me. I have no idea how I'm going to fare with a giant baby dump first thing when we get pregnant again. Maybe I'll have evening sickness again like I did with Roman. I plan on doing a nice long post with video about our cloth diapering system and likes/dislikes, so watch for that!
Two weeks ago, little mister was a total cranky-pants and I had NO idea why. SO crabby, not napping as long as usual, hardly eating and drool/chomp city. Duh, teeth. Not just one tooth, but TWO. He popped his bottom two teeth one day apart. Poor guy. He's a total finger muncher now and I have to watch myself! He gave me a blood blister on one of my fingers when he decided to chomp and pull my finger out of his mouth at the same time. We joke that he's just craving artichokes. If you get that, you're a cool foodie. ;)
He loves to play with simple toys and chew on everything. He doesn't discriminate! A measruing cup is a neat as a BPA-free squeezie block is as cool as this little musical Baby Einstein turtle thing is as cool as his Sophie teething toy is as cool as a baby spoon. Paper is extra fun, but I get nervous that he'll paper cut himself on the mouth, so he doesn't get much paper play! Book time is carefully supervised because he like to lurch forward and grab a handful of page. "Ahh! Papercuts, Buggy! Be careful!" He seems to like Yo Gabba Gabba, which I was hesitant to put on at first, but after watching it once I've discovered that it's SUCH a cute show! It's so charming and reminds me of my Nickelodeon childhood cartoon watching with Ren and Stimpy, Rocko and the like.
He loves to go on walks and go on car trips and to Target and everywhere. He is a do-er. A busy body. He constantly want to be entertained and see new things and observes EVERYTHING. Dustin gallops around the house with him ("horsey") and he loves the movement. He loves songs with hand-movements and loves staring at the T.V. (limited T.V. time, though). He likes to flirt and hear his own voice and he LOVES bath-time. He's my Mer-Man. I think his favorite thing to do, though, is to just be around Dustin and I. Bed cuddles, giggles in the kitchen, eating with us, couch cuddles, all of it.
Life is good.
Today I had an epiphany.
Holy shit, I think I'm depressed.
It all kind of makes sense now.
Ever since the Roman's birth, I've felt a little off, a little odd. I chalked it up to hormones and told myself to wait it out. Well, here I am 6 months later and in the last month, it's gotten worse. This blog is all about me sharing what's going on in my life and after asking around on Twitter and Facebook, a lot of Moms have suffered from some sort of depression or sadness. I have nothing to hide and if I can help anyone of you out there who are feeling off, than it was worth it to type all of this out. <3
Here's what I've been feeling:
I am anxious ALL the time. I used to feel a bit of relief after Dustin and Roman we're tucked into bed and I had the house all to myself. I use to look forward to that time of day to relax, blog, work on photos or whatever struck my fancy. I used to tell myself, "Just get through dinner," and then once the dishes had been done and we were plopped on the couch I would breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy my time. Now i kind of sit here and get so anxious that I'm misusing my time and feel so overwhelmed that I end up just going to bed and make my to-do list on my phone in the dark or mindlessly watching something Netflix or waste time looking up random crap on the internet and feel anxious about not getting enough sleep or I'll worry about the day to come. I usually do this until I'm too tired to think and fall asleep.
I get nervous about seeing friends. I feel anxious about having people over. I only want to see people when I've have time to mentally prepare myself and the though of someone "stopping by" makes my heart jump out of my chest. I don't want to talk to many people, unless they are in need of help and only then does a switch flip in my brain and I can focus on someone else. I wake up and feel nervous about making dinner later that night. I get anxious looking at the pile of laundry or the kitchen floors or bathtub. I feel OVERWHELMED. I get nervous when Roman seems like he's bored. I get anxious thinking about the things I have to do that day and feel like it's impossible to get them all done, even though the important ones always get done. I get nervous when when I go out with the baby or when I'm out by myself. I feel like panicking when things don't go as I planned during the day. I plan out when I'm going out each week with the baby and I, and I have to mentally prepare myself just to go to Target. I wake up and if things don't go exactly as I thought they would, the trip is most likely a no-go. That's weird, isn't it?
Having Dustin around at night and on the weekends REALLY helps soothe me, but it's not realistic to have him, you know, at home and not working all day long.Wine was helping, but I really am not a big drinker and my body is super sensitive to the effects of the alcohol.
I am constantly nervous that something bad is going to find it's way into my house hurt the baby. I feel like I'm in Momma Bear over-drive, always looking around every corner ready to pounce (wheelchair-ram-roll-pounce?) on the slightest thing that might want to harm my baby.
This is all on top of my constant fear of the cancer coming back. Someone recently told me that their biggest fear is that I live to be 90 and look back and realize that I never let myself really live because I was too scared. You know what? This is one of my biggest fears, too, but I have no idea how to fix it. It's very easy to say, "leave it to God" or "try not to think about it," but 95% of my day I am somehow reminded of what I've been through and where I'm at, so it's hard to forget. It's hard not to look down and notice my wheelchair or breathe and not notice the lung that's missing. It's hard to forget three years ago when I was fine one day and a month and a week later I was so ill that my Husband was told to prepare for my imminent death.
Mood swings. My mood swings can tip on a dime and the littlest thing can set me off in a rage or spin me in complete tears, or rocket me into utter happiness. It's almost like I can feel things for other people, but magnified.
For example, we put in Love, Actually (one of my favorites) and before the credits had finished, I was in total tears. I know what happens in that movie: a marriage, a death, love lost, a child loses his mother, betrayal, young love and it's like I could FEEL everything that I knew the characters would go through all at the same time.
I pick fights about stupid things (and things that are important as well) with very little variation on how I handle myself. Meaning, my chest swells up and fills with anger over something huge that I believe in and stand for, as well as a dirty dish that should have been put away by the Mister, all with the same amount of fire. I usually snap myself right out of it, but the initial fire is just so hard to deflect.
I don't feel sad all the time. I would say, about 1/3 of each day I am low and sad, a 1/3 of the day I am high and happy and good and 1/3 of the day I feel absolutely nothing at all. About 80% of the whole day I feel anxious, nervous or uneasy. The worst part is the nervousness.
I'm constantly worried that everyone around me is angry with me. I feel like I'm being judged by EVERYONE (Dustin excluded - he's got a magical shield of deflection) for every little decision, Tweet, personal stance, outfit, song I play and thing I do, and I get very defensive about it if questioned. I feel like I'm viewed as an unfit Mother and people are dying to turn me into the authorities, which is insane because I really am a kick-ass mother. Seriously, I'm pretty damn good. It's almost like, when "it" hits me, everything that I know about myself as a mother goes out the window and I feel as if I'm doing Roman a disservice by being his mother. Like I'm not good enough for him. Like I'm worthless. I feel guilty all the time. Sometimes the guilt is warranted because I've kind of been a bitch lately (not to Roman, that kid is my world), but other times, I have to wrack my brains as to WHY I'm feeling so guilty. It's so strange.
I control things. If I can have at least the tiniest say in everything that goes on around me, it makes me feel a bit more like I've got a handle on things, but it's not a very pleasant thing for others to be around, I guess. To some extent, I've always been like this because I know what I want and I'm not afraid to stand up for it to anyone, but I do need to loosen my grip a little.
I cry. I cry a lot. I cry like I did when I was pregnant and right after he was born - anything can set me off. Happy, sad, frustrating... all of it. Sometimes I look at him and just cry and cry, but I notice that HE'S starting to notice that I cry and I don't want to upset him. I'm sick of crying.
I feel mildly numb. Sometimes I just stare at the baby and feel numb. It doesn't last long but I hate it. I love my child, my Husband and my family so deeply with every ounce of me, but part of something in me has started to flicker a bit. One of my favorite movies, Riding In Cars With Boys, has a line that I've found myself referencing often:
"Sometimes we love people so much that we have to be numb to it. Because if we actually felt how much we love them, it would kill us. That doesn't make you a bad person. It just means your heart's too big." - Faye
Is my heart too big... or is something up with me?
What I'm NOT feeling / experiencing:
* I'm not nervous to be left alone with Roman. In fact, I get nervous to leave him alone with anyone except a select few people and it's then and only then that I feel like I can finally breathe and relax.
* I don't want to hurt him or myself.
* I do not neglect my child. My whole day revolves around his every squeal, laugh, cry, screech and scream. His needs and wants are my life.
* I don't drink during the day or when I'm alone with the baby. I won't even nap when I'm alone with the baby.
* I am not being abused by Dustin. I just thought I'd throw that out there incase someone might suggest that. Dustin catches spiders and lets them go outside... he'd never harm me or the baby. He's our super hero.
I emailed my doctor tonight, so we'll see what he says.
Who knows, maybe I'm just in a funk and I'll snap out of it any day.
I really, really hope I do.
And just so this isn't a completely dreary post, a few pictures of my handsome boy:
[This was really hard for me to write. Like I said above, I feel constantly judged, so please be nice to me. If you've got mean things to say, please just don't respond. Momma can't handle trolls right now.]
I'm Sonja - a first time stay at home mom with my three month old son, Paulo. My blog is called Whuffling as a reference to the funny "whuffle" noise that he's been making since birth. We live in Providence, Rhode Island with my husband and our two cats. Our life is pretty chill, but we're always up for a trip to the beach or a good cheeseburger.
See previous weeks HERE.
1276. Knowing laid-back people.
1277. Older women with sleek grey hair and a fabulous cut.
1278. Happy tears.
1280. My post-baby food must haves: a tub of gorgonzola cheese, raspberry mojitos, tobiko covered california rolls, sangria, blue cheese, raw cheddar cheese, pub-cheese spread...
1281. My new iPhone! I'm so hip now. ;) It makes odd noises, though.
1282. The FIVE trash-bags of used baby clothes that my friend jewels gave me. HOLY CLOTHES!!
1283. A fat stack of ads in the Sunday newspaper.
1284. Seeing tears in Leigh-Ann's eyes that I knew were there for both happy and sad reason as she left today. <3
1286. Being blessed with such an amazing amount of caring friends.
1287. Finishing the giant (amazing!) task of going through all of Squiddy's gifts, taking off tags and SORTING BABY LAUNDRY.
1288. When Meatloaf cries on Celebrity Apprentice.
1289. Strawberry jam on morning toast.
1291. Seeing one of my best friends, Miss LaLa, so in love.
1292. The color cornflower blue.
1293. Widgey's sweet face, soft ears and goofy grin.
[Photo by Leigh-Ann]
1294. My sister in heels.
1295. Saying "My Son" out loud.
1296. Playing Mad Gab, boys versus girls (Bub, Keith, Matt & Me, La and Natty), and kicking the boy's butts. WORD.
1297. Holding up "newborn" sized clothes and realizing that in a month, there will really be a real newborn to put in them.
1298. Having such amazing, caring blog readers.
1299. Having 3/4 of next year's "1,300 Things To Be Thankful For - Guest Bloggers" posts done!
1300. Seeing something through each week for one whole year.
Thank you for joining me on this journey of thankfulness!
- Heartburn. Yeah, Tums have become my best friend. Their minty goodness has become a familiar flavor this past week. Tums have also caused the next symptom.
- Plugged up. Thursday I become one of those people that poops in a multi-stall bathroom and doesn't even care. When you're constipated, you take what you can get... even if it happens in a random public restroom.
- Jabs. Squiddy has decided to move less at night, but his movements are much stronger. I also feel him adjusting and squirming more often during the day. Makes my heart so happy!
- Adjustable belly. Sometimes Squid will move around a lot and then my belly will get huge! Then he usually gets lazy and nestles back into my hips.
- Movin' on up. At my appointment on Thursday, Dr. J has informed me that Squiddy is now int he 13th percentile! His head is measuring wonderfully, but his belly is a bit smaller than normal. Dr. J was concerned that the placenta or umbilical cord function might be a little bit funky, but we tested it out (doppler style!) and it's all perfect. I will go back twice a week for Non Stress Testing, just to make sure that everything is wonderful and in tow weeks, we'll measure him again. If he's staying up in the 13th-ish percentile, than we'll continue the NSTs and hopefully things will progress into a normal birth. If Squids shows that he's going back into scrawny territory again and it just seems like the placenta isn't getting him what he needs, Dr. J. will talk with us about possibly delivering him sooner. I'm fine with that. I've tried my hardest and now the most important thing is getting this boy out of me alive and healthy. If that means by way of my beautiful, pain medicine-free tub birth at the hospital, wonderful. If it means a c-section, so be it. I just want to hold my boy, kiss his head and watch him grow up into an amazing little man.
That's what a Non-Stress test is like. Easy-Peasy.
This is what lounging in the sun reading a book looks like. Even easier.