Thursday, October 08, 2009


What a boring title. Oh, well.

It amazes me how the major part of being a parent is the constant pulling of different forces. You can be drawn up to an ecstatic heavenly place while feeling heartbroken at the same time.

Even the simplest of things like when Aidric waves at someone. He almost always finally waves when the lucky recipient has moved their attention elsewhere, and he gets this confused and disappointed look on his face like, " Hey! I waved! Why are you ignoring me. Hello...." And my heart breaks for him while I am also feeling so proud of his new skill.

Speaking of which, the heartache! Oh, the sympathy. When he gets an boo-boo or he gets terrified of a loud sound, I look at him and I just feel it. I feel it like it's my own injury or trauma.

Or when I wait and wish for the day that he can entertain himself so I can get something done, and when that day comes, I wonder if he feels neglected.

I am guessing that I had better get used to this duality. Pride will always be mixed with worry. Love will always be hand in hand with fear.

I remember reading in a Steven King story once that we always imagine the worst horrors happening to those we love the most. Love and fear. It's true.

It has been such a journey this past year. I felt that I have been reborn. I naively said to myself when I was pregnant that life will be the same, but better. Sure, I'll have more responsibility, but I want that. I realize now that there is no way to imagine how it will be. It would be like imagining a new set of colors or sounds. Another contradiction, it seems, that I am the same person, but I'm not. My perceptions are permanently filtered through his eyes. And he holds the biggest mirror up to me. I see how I look to him, and I want to be the best person I can be for him. It's an instant attitude changer. Free therapy.

I'm sorry if it sounds just too sappy, but I feel like having Aidric is the hugest, most wonderful thing the world could ever know! "We made a baby! A human! He's awesome!" But there are millions of babies in the world. It happens every day. Calm the heck down.
Therein is the biggest duality.

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aidric 13 1/2 Months

Dear Aidric,

Well, it has been a long time since my last update. I have just been too busy loving you to pieces to write about it.

A WHOLE LOT has happened. We moved. We went to Maine and Connecticut. You started walking. But you are still as fun and beautiful and loving as always.

It has finally happened. I look at 4 month old babies, and I miss when you were that age. Which is funny because I LOVE you where you are now the most, but I say that every month. Will I always love you more each month? Will there ever be a time when I say,"Jeesh, this is just not the best stage right now"? Probably when you are 2 1/2. I hear that's a tough time.

Please stop growing so fast, okay? I think the combination of this time warp that is parenthood, the confusion of the first time, and the looking back at all the time I wasted reading books and worrying, makes me want to do it over. I want to relive the pregnancy, the birth, the newborn stage, and the time when you were a non mobile, wiggly cuddle-lump. But then I remember the nausea, the sore bits, and all those no shower days.

I wish I had kept better notes on all the cute things you do. Like the 'I don't know' gesture and the 'squishy face'.

I have pictures of those, though. Here is the long list of all the things I don't want to forget. You do this fake sneeze(you started this all on your own). You like to throw your animals out of the crib and wait for me to throw them back in. You love to shove as much food as possible into your mouth. You love to oh-so-sneakily grab something, turn, and run. You like to put things into and out of other things. You absolutely LOVE music and complain when I forget to put some on. Your favorites are Cure, Masters of Reality, Lisa Gerrard, and old 80's. You love wind chimes, wheels of any kind, birds, airplanes, helicopters, animals, and shoes.

You love to 'cruuusshhh' things.

You still squish Clouseau every day, and Clouseau still lets you. You love to play peek-a-boo. You point to your belly, knees, toes, eyelashes, arm, and sometimes your ear when I ask you where they are. You love books. You notice everything around you all the time. If you could talk I know it would be an endless stream of 'What's that? What's that? OOOH, what's THAT?!? Now that you are walking you love to carry things around with you. How cool that must feel to be gaining control over your environment. You love to take baby rides on box tops or in the hamper.

You took your first steps on your own. We were lucky we saw it. After a month of us urging you to "walk to Mama" or "walk to Dad-dad" you decided that you wanted to be in the other room, thank you very much. Then it was just a matter of days before you were taking more and more steps in a row, and a couple of weeks to pretty much be walking all over the place. Now you want to walk in your crib, on our bed, and in the bathtub. Gah. You love to haul around the empty 5 gallon water jug (which is as big as you).

You were learning all this walking when you were on Monhegan and in Connecticut. After flight cancellations, cutting your eye teeth with a fever during an 11 hour travel day, extreme separation anxiety, a hurricane, and a vomitous rocky boat ride, we made it to the Island. Ahhhhhh....

You loved it there. You have never napped so well.

Then we saw ALL your grandparents in Connecticut. That was very special and a bit exhausting. I realized how much I miss New England and my family. I just try not to think about that too much.
Mercifully, the travel back was super smooth and quick. Even the 5 hour drive from ME to CT went nicely. Thanks to plastic beepy toys.

You really are so much fun right now. I look forward to every day and wait for you to amaze me with a new game you make up or a new sound or word. Thanks again for making my life so full and intense.



(I want to write about some more insightful thoughts, but I really want to publish this now. You will have to wait for the deep thoughts.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bitch-Fest: The Sun is Finally Out of Cancer, But I'm still Complaining

We're moving! Finally! And I can hear the sigh of relief from all that have endured my complaining and complaining about our current place. (Thanks for listening, by the way.)
So here is the BIG LIST of all the things I will definitely not miss about this place.

1. Landlord.
2. The old dinky wall heater in the living room that is only good for warming up the person sitting on the end of the couch.
3. Street Parking: When you have a baby and groceries and have to park wayyyyyyy down the street because everyone has parked on the street for all the restaurants: Not happy. Street sweeping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8am. So Monday night and Tuesday night you can't go out after 5pm because you won't get a parking spot on the right side of the street, and if you go out in the morning, there are still no spots, so you park in the alley, but then the husband has to be late for work because the baby is sleeping and he needs to move the car for the dumpster trucks that come all day long. Repeat every week. Which brings us to...
4. Dumpster trucks, service trucks, repair trucks constantly banging and beeping right behind the building. We are right next to Warner Brothers Marketing building, so many dumpsters.
5. Landlord
6. Cruise night at Bob's Big Boy down the street. Every hot rod and stupid-loud motorcycle blasts down the street. You can't hear what Steve Colbert is saying!!!
7. Construction that has been going on for THREE YEARS on the highway. Getting on the highway is a major pain, and they detour traffic down our street.
8. Building is stucco and plaster and retains the 100 degree heat all night long.
9. One outlet per room.
10. Every day I can wipe away black tar-like smog grit off floors and surfaces.
11. No laundry
12. No dishwasher
13. Old crank windows, half of which don't work or latch closed, and into which air conditioners do not fit.
14. Landlord.
15. 5'X 5' kitchen.
16. Floors that creak so loudly they have woken Aidric up out of sound sleep.
17. Doors that have been painted so many times with cheap dirt colored paint that they don't close, or POP every time you open them, waking up baby again.
18. Mold in the caulking.
19. Beautiful hexagonal counter tiles whose grout has long since disintegrated and been replaced with 50 years of crusted in dirt.
20. Landlord.

And that is the last time you will have to listen to me whine and moan about it!

Having the most wonderful neighbors in the world has been the saving grace and has softened all our suffering. We will miss them terribly!

New apartment pics coming soon.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Aidric 10 1/2 Months

I always think of these deep and poignant things to write about when I am trying to fall asleep or sitting at the playground. When I am here actually writing, it's all gone. But I do recall musings on how everything is different now. Better and very different.
For instance, I have a different brain. Not like someone else's brain. It's my brain, but it just no longer works the same. The stuff that makes me ME is still there, but my thinking is now Aidric-centric. I can no longer have a long, quiet conversation with someone. Mostly because the person with whom I am talking is also afflicted with the same brain change. This new brain causes me to forget just about everything. Like things about which I wanted to write.

One thought I do recall is this: If every Mom out there loves their babies with the same intensity that I love Aidric, how can there be so much bad stuff in the world? I feel that my love alone could wipe all the hatred out of the Middle East. Pre-Aidric, I would have never thought it possible to have this intensity of emotion. Falling in love with Mark is close but so very different too.

I still think about the miracle of it all. How this person formed from an almost nothingness inside of my body. I will know him as a infinitely small speck of potentiality, a squirmy newborn, a crawling squealing blur, and hopefully as a precocious toddler, an awkward and loving adolescent, a happy grown up, and maybe even a precocious old man.

It took ten months for it to happen, but I finally feel totally at peace with leaving Aidric with Mark so I can go shopping or get a pedicure. A good combination of lessened separation anxiety, less nursing requirement, and less guilt from me. I have been to two yoga classes. When I am practicing yoga there is no room in my head for anything else, and when it's over I realize that I thought of nobody else but me. That's a good thing sometimes.

Dear Aidric,

You are now 10 1/2 months old. You are now clapping! It's the cutest thing. Almost as cute as when you hold your foot up with your hand when you sit, or when you grab your feet and clap them during your diaper change, or when you sit on the floor and scoot around 360 degrees. You wave to people, but usually way after you first meet them and they are not looking. You are very interested in other people, craning your head around to see them, or just staring and staring. Then you look away coyly when they talk to you. You little charmer.
You are fascinated with wheels, buttons, and all things electrical(outlets, cords, vacuum, remotes, phones, DVD player, etc.) Trying to keep you alive and uninjured takes up most of the day. You seem fearless and try to even climb things that are not climbable at all. You shock and awe everyone on the playground and at Gymboree with your climbing abilities.

You are doing some amazing things now. Instead of just knocking down the tower of blocks, you gently nudge them, crawl around it to look at it from different angles, pick the top block off, and then smash it. You have started to give me things- handing me some of your food or offering me the chance to chew on your toy(um, thanks). But, oh, I just melt. I see the beginnings of your using objects - like when you hold your block and put it up against your music table, or when you try to put something back into it's place. Seeing this kind of learning growth thrills me so.

You are cruising, walking your car back and forth, and even standing on your own for many seconds until you slowly sit down. Watching you little bow legs and your little diaper-tooshie walking away is the cutest thing in the world.

You are babbling and squealing away from the moment you wake up to the moment you finally pass out. The only exception being when you are concentrating on something or managed to grab the remote and the thrill of this forbidden object in your hands renders you speechless. You hold it with both hands in front of your face in disbelief, and then look to Daddy or me to see our reaction. We say, "No-no!", and then you laugh at us.

I have improved your diet to include more veggies. You like peas the most. I can put down a mix of green beans, carrots, and peas to find that you cleverly pick out only the peas. If you are feeling frisky, the beans and carrots go overboard.

You now enjoy the stroller, which makes me happy too because I can see a jogging stroller in our future. We take you for a walk almost every day in the stroller, but you still love to take an early morning walk with me in your carrier. We see squirrels, dogs, bikers, cats, flowers, trees, and sometimes other babies. We bounce and sing and touch flower petals. Towards the end of the walk, you are getting sleepy and you rest your head on my shoulder and look up at me. Your eyelids get heavy and your little body gets soft and still. I can't fully describe how this sweet moment just fills me up with bliss.

We had a visit from your Grandma Marion and your Aunt Holly. It was a busy, fun week, and I think the highlight was going to the Huntington. Outrageously beautiful place. You saw some wonderful paintings (including one of my favorites), a waterfall, roses, and a Japanese garden. You especially loved the art museum. You babbled so loudly the whole time.

This past month Dad-Dad has been home from work. He goes back to work on Monday. I wonder how you will react. This past month has been great for you two and a great gift for me. I think I would be very happy as a Kalahari Bushmen where we could all forage and work together in our huts. At least we would all be together.

I wonder if all this intensity ever fades. Will I always get this screaming adrenaline rush when you first cry out for me? Will you always move me to hug you so tightly, cover you with kisses, and repeat 'I love you' every 10 minutes? Will you always be the first thought in my head and the last? Will my heart break every time you fall, when another kid is mean to you, or when you wave so sweetly, but the person doesn't even see you?
I know I will always feel so proud of all your accomplishments and cheer you on no matter what. Watching you walk away while you push your car, I know you have that excited look on your face. I clap and cheer even though I know it means one more small step towards your independence. But I will always be right behind you to grab you, kiss you and repeat 'I love you' over and over.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aidric 9 1/2 Months


In the past month you have started to develop quite a little personality. You have big grinny, squinty-eyed smiles for Mommy and Daddy, beguiling ones for strangers, and a combination shy-turn-away with bug gummy smile chaser for special occasions.

You love to slap and drum any surface in your path. High chair tray - SLAP. Table top - SLAP. Mammy's belly - SLAP SLAP SLAP.

You are now cruising along everything and even transferring from couch to coffee table. Yesterday you let go of the chair, balanced standing up for 4 seconds, and then sat slowly down. I was so proud of you.

You are getting very good at feeding yourself and having a grand time with that. Then you realize that you have been sitting for 15 whole minutes, and it's time to get moving again, for the love of Pete! Your diet now is pretty diverse. You are eating carrots, polenta, peaches, pears, tofu, Ezekial bread with sunflower seed butter, whole grain waffles with flaxseed oil, blueberries, apricots, cheerios, Crispix, buttered raisin bread toast, kiwi, and yogurt in addition to your staples of sweet potato, banana, cereals, and avocado. Yes, I know, there is very little green veggies in that list.

You are doing all kinds of cute little arm gestures too. Hands up! Then arm out like you are Price Is Right model. Then you wave your hand up in the air! "Hi ceiling fan!"

You are saying, "bubble", "Dad-Dad", "Ma-Ma", and "bob-bob". I think "bob-bob" means Grandma because that's what you said nonstop when you saw her.

You have now tooth #2 coming in! Two razor teeth! The first one appeared about two weeks ago. Now I only nurse you when you are really hungry, so you don't practice your new chomping abilities on me. Ouch.

I haven't talked of this much, but you really don't like the car. If you are napped and fed, and it's not too late in the day, and it's not too hot, and there is no sun hitting you, and Mercury is NOT in retrograde, you will TOLERATE being in the car for maybe 15 minutes. After that, it's inconsolable screaming with so many tears and sweating and hyperventilating, and then my head explodes and collapses in on itself like a neutron star. We don't go too far.

But we go to the playground pretty much every day. You love it now. There are things to climb! And sand to eat! And other babies to watch! Oh, you talk to other babies now and smile at them. I just melt. Thank God the playground is a 5 minute drive!

We had a visit from Christy, Dave, and Hadley and a visit from Grandma. I had my best friend and Mom here for Mother's Day! It was wonderful and also total chaos. Trying to sight see in LA traffic, connect with them, eat, and have fun while coordinating around two different baby schedules, and all in 2 1/2 days. We all survived. I was so moved that Christy, in the midst of rearranging her life to prepare for a new job, decided to spend some of her last days of freedom by coming to visit! Thank you, Christy. That meant so much to me.

And your grandma, my Mom, also came to visit. It was wonderful to see how sweetly you bonded to her. I never heard you babble so loudly like you did with her! We went to the playground, did some shopping, and played with your toys. It was so nice to have someone to talk to and help out a little. Even to have just one relative living here would be wonderful beyond words. But we all have each other and that is the most important thing.

We had another earthquake the other night. We were eating dinner, and you were in your crib sleeping. We ran to you. I had to hold back tears. It wasn't a bad earthquake; Nothing even fell down, but I was terrified for a few minutes waiting to see if there would be more tremors. I held you and didn't let go for an hour. Daddy and I just held hands and looked at each other with renewed thankfulness for what we have.

I think that this 9 month mark has meant a big change in your emotional/mental development. I really see a little boy emerging. You want to investigate and explore your surroundings. MOVE MOVE MOVE. All day long. You are pretty good at entertaining yourself. I am so happy that I had that bliss of holding you all the time before you were crawling. I still treasure our cuddles, nursing time, and our walks. I would miss the early closeness if it wasn't such a blast to see you climb, cruise, and discover all this fun stuff! Like WHEELS! And DOORS! And BUTTONS!

You wake me up at 5:45 with a big old whine. Once I can finally pry my eyes open, I love to see your sleepy, hungry, crinkled up face. Your eyes are pleading for me. I pick you up, bring you back to my bedside to nurse you. We are both warm and drowsy and still. I sit there, just relishing the quiet and feeling your soft weight on my legs and belly. This bliss, too, is temporary.

I love you,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Level 1 Mom

I spoke about feeling depressed in my last post, and I have been warmed and so encouraged by many understanding and supportive responses. I think that depression is a tricky demon because I couldn't see what was happening while I was in it. I feel much better now. I want to go out and do things. I want to visit my friends. That haze of melancholia is gone most days. On the days I feel a bit sad I at least know that it's just hormones and it will go away. The thing that really bothers me about how I was feeling is that I don't remember much. I know there were so many smiles, giggles, milestones, and just the day-to-day things that are gone forever. Those first weeks of sleeping next to Aidric in bed, holding him close constantly, and gazing at each other's faces are so blurry and blend into one image now. Thank goodness we have 100 gigs of pictures and video.

It is such tragedy that the early time with your baby that is expected to be so sacred and joyous can be such a dark and confusing time. Is it just hormones? A chemical cocktail of sleep deprivation levels of melatonin, stress hormones, and all those lovely female hormones making it so hard to climb out from under those feelings?

Or is it that I just don't have the mental and emotional fortitude to handle the difficulties?

You see, I feel that I have spent most of my life just floating along. Too frightened and insecure to take chances and sabotaging them when they came along. I learned to just get by. I would take the easy job with minimum wage, stick to a guy that would have me so I could stop burdening my Mom, and just let the years go by. My friends from high school moved away, found good husbands, made babies and started careers while I painted, traveled, and thought nothing about the future. I shopped at Salvation Army, stole bagels from work, went out dancing, and stayed way too long with guys in co-dependent ignorance.

But eventually women close to me started having babies, and I saw for the very first time how happy that made them. I started to see children as something other that the screeching demons I would notice in CVS. They were amazing and sweet. I saw that look on my friends' faces when they looked at their babies. That look. You know what I mean. I knew I had to experience that. But I wasn't in the right place. I looked at myself. Great. A part time teacher, part time plein air painter, no man, no plan. Oh, well. I guess I will survive without knowing what it's like to be a Mom.

But then I met Mark, and I wanted it all: the house, yard, and baby. Wanted it real real bad. I wanted to live up to the responsibility for once. I wanted Mark to be proud of his wife.

I wanted to be truly challenged. I wanted to be important for something. I wanted to love someone like the way I saw my friends do. And I am, and I do. I only just realized this. I finally feel like I am really living. Sure, I still feel too overwhelmed some days, but I am fighting and trying to be a better person every day. For Aidric. For Mark. For me.

The next big challenge is to balance the things I need to do with being a Mom. I need to paint and practice yoga to be the balanced and calm person I want to be, and to be the role model I want Aidric to see. I just need to figure out how to make that happen when I usually don't have the time to cut my toenails.

We all have challenges in life. Some are environmental, and some are self-inflicted. Would I have had a better experience if we weren't in this awful apartment? What if I had had someone here to help out? I will never know. I can get mad that we have no dishwasher, no laundry, and no central air in the 100 + summers. I can let our crummy landlord get to me. I can curse every motorcycle, fire truck, and helicopter disrupting Aidric's nap. But what good does that do? I know that there are so many people who handle much much worse. And for those of you who have houses with yards, modern conveniences, good jobs, and quiet neighborhoods, I hope you appreciate the kingly affluence you have!

As for me, I feel truly alive, challenged, and adapting. I am focusing on the things that I have that make me happy, rather than the things I would like to have. And I am so blessed to have such good caring friends who have been so understanding. I feel like I am starting out, a level 1 Mom, on a new adventure.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aidric, 8 1/2 Months

I haven't posted in so long, so I have so much to say. But obviously, I don't have a lot of time to myself to write anymore. I will try to be succinct.

As far as the past few months there have been major changes for me. Same for Aidric, of course. Me first. I never said anything before because, well, I didn't really know I was, and also because I was too embarrassed to say anything. I was depressed. Really depressed. I was finally NOT depressed about a month ago. Only then did I realize how depressed I was. Like when the lights are slowly dimmed and your eyes adjust to the darkness, but then someone turns on the lights. Click. Wow. I feel different.
The months of crying, screaming into pillows, not wanting to go anywhere, feeling SO alone and overwhelmed, and weeks on end with no direct human contact with friends. Bad combo of wacked out hormones, winter, non-napping baby, isolation, no exercise, and sleeplessness. Gosh, when I write it out, no wonder. We new Mommies NEED a face to face community. Sure online helps, but for me it was a cold faceless connection that left me feeling kind of pathetic. Like, why don't I have friends nearby that want to come over? If I had, I think things would have been different. I am feeling like a new person. It was most likely hormones causing me to feel that way, but it was very real nonetheless. Even so, I treasure those first months when it was just Aidric and me learning and getting to know each other.
Now that I am out of the darkness, I am being vigilant in my efforts for that community. Gymboree, playdates, Kindermusic, playground, etc. It is very helpful, and Aidric loves it. Speaking of Aidric...

My Little Man,

You are 8 1/2 months old. You are now crawling, pulling up to standing, climbing, and cruising down the couch and around the table. You have so much energy. By far, the most active baby I have ever seen. You have been crawling for a while and are very speedy and confident now. In fact, you are so fearless and daring that I have heart attacks nearly every day. There have been many bumps and falls, but it never stops you from trying again.

You are eating some finger food now that I dice up for you, and you LOVE it. When you start to fuss when I feed you purees, I just put some sliced fruit or avocado in front of you, and you calm down, gently pick up the pieces and slowly shovel it into your mouth. And then you grin and slap the tray. You are quite expert at picking up your sippy cup and drinking. Then you throw it back down with a BANG. I am starting to teach you how to drink out of a regular cup with some success, but much more dripping.

You are getting over the stranger anxiety a bit. In fact, you bonded really well with your Grandpa Max and Nona when they were here last week. It was beautiful how you trusted them and were so comfortable with them. I felt, for the first time, comfortable leaving you with someone for a little while.

You are gabbing and babbling like crazy. One of my favorite things is to listen to you through the monitor when you wake up. You practice new sounds and talk so sweetly. Then I can't hold myself back, and I run in to pick you up and squeeze you.

You are loving your new baby friends, especially the girls. How can you know already? I can hardly keep you from grabbing them, crawling on them, and touching their hair or pretty clothes. I hope you retain your curiosity and eagerness to make friends, and not be too shy. But even if you do become shy, we will be there to guide you, urging you on.

Now that I am out of my funk, and now that you are becoming so affectionate and expressive, I can't get over how in love I am with you. I can watch you all day long and want more. Every face you make, every sound, every new skill... I just freak out with excitement.

Being with you all day, every day has been so trying at times, with my moods and your super non-napping capabilities. But the motivation to be patient and loving for you, to be a good role model, to make you smile, it all keeps me going. I count my successes and wealth now in the number of your smiles.

It's easier for me now to surrender and enjoy the unique experience that is being your Mommy. I couldn't do that before in the state I was in. But that's all part of it in the end. I'm sorry you saw me crying so often. So many times I would hold you but turn my face away so you wouldn't see me grimacing to hold back my tears. I hold solace, though, in that I want you to know I am a real person, with weaknesses and faults. I am not a perfect person or a perfect Mom. But I do want you to believe that I am magical, and that I can make it all better with a kiss, have eyes in the back of my head, and can teach you how to find the faeries in the forest. You will always wash away all my hurt with your smile, and I hope I can always wash away all your hurt with my limitless love and kiss your owwies away.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aidric, 6 Months

Dear Aidric,
You are becoming so independent. You can sit up all by yourself, move around quite a bit, and play by yourself for a while. But you still need me. You need to know where I am at all times. You are my little chubby warden.

This past month you finally met your Grandpa and Grandma Bristol. Grandma Shirley made you that incredible quilt that you play on everyday. It didn't take you long to fall in love with them. Your favorite game was to grab Grandpa's hat off his head and throw it down. You are so lucky to have so many Grandparents who love you so much.

And this past month your only Great Grandma passed away. I am so happy that you two were able to meet at Christmas time. Great Grandma kept your picture next to her until her last day. She was an elegant, lovely lady with a fiery temper and truly giving nature. She saved every piece of tin foil, neatly folded in a drawer. I'm sure she only ever bought one box of tin foil back in 1955. I love that kind of determination.

And this past month has been one of perfecting your skills. No real new milestones, but I see you delighting in your growing ability to move yourself around. You are now a dizzying tornado baby, rolling, scooting, revolving, twisting, and falling. It's no wonder. Your head is so massive compared to the rest of you. You get excited, arch back, and BONK. We surround you with pillows, and somehow you manage to fall back in between them all for the 2 seconds we turn around. I can see the crawling instinct developing, and I am scared shitless. Why do people keep telling me it gets easier? I can still put you somewhere and know you will still be in the same general location when I get back from the bathroom. What do I do when you start crawling?
You want to touch, grab, taste, and throw every single thing you see, in that order. You love paper cups, remotes, paper of any kind (yummy),and cel phones. You try to 'drink' out of bottles and cups.

Your little body had become so strong and able. You try to move about, lifting up with your arms, and frantically kicking your legs like a swimming frog on speed. You end up moving backwards, backing up into things. Then you use that leverage and brace your feet, push your arms, and you are butt-up and squealing with delight. And I have a stroke.

You have started to get your belly up off the floor, and balance for a few seconds on your hands and knees before sliding back down. From a seated position you lurch forward and almost get to the hands and knees position again. When you figure out how to do that, I think our lives will change. And the baby-proofing will frantically commence.

You love to eat. No wonder, as your Daddy and I love, love, love food and don't know how to stop eating it. You love everything we have tried: sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, pears, peas, cereal, avocado, bananas, and plums. When you see me making your food, you flip out, start squawking, reaching up, and flapping your arms. Much the same way I get when the Ben and Jerry's is softening on the counter. You have resumed your practice of the cutest babbling and singing. I can even hear you talking to yourself when you wake up.

You are still teething, and this past week it must have been really tormenting you. You didn't want to nap, and last night you couldn't sleep. I rocked you til my arms were numb, watching your sweet face contort and finally relax. Watching you fall asleep is the most amazing experience. I fall in love all over again each time.
We made some major changes in your sleeping arrangements. Before, you napped on me. Either strapped to my chest while we walked and walked and walked outside, sometimes for hours. Or you slept on my lap. We did this for months. I knew this needed to change because neither of us were benefiting from it. You were not sleeping very soundly, and I needed to have some autonomy. And you were waking up frequently at night. It was time to teach you haw to sooth yourself to sleep, so you could know that falling asleep is something you can do for yourself.
So now you sleep in your crib. You sleep for 8 to 9 hours at night and take naps there during the day (if you decide to). I never thought I would be saying that. You are so much happier now. You are so strong willed that I know your sleeping will always be work, but I don't feel so helpless now. It has been a huge and wonderful thing for me. I can now be a better Mom to you.

I love looking back on the past 6 months and seeing this sweet evolution of our bond. I think I will always be astounded by the miraculous growth of your mind, body and spirit. I think it will always feel like you are still in my belly, even when I see you scooting around. I think you will amaze me every day for the rest of our time together. When you were a newborn, you slept right next to me and I heard every single breath, hiccup, cough, sneeze, and sound you made. I would wake up out of a sound sleep for every one. It felt like an electric jolt going through my whole body. If you cried out I would get this adrenaline rush too.
Even now that you are in your crib, I still have the same phenomenon happening. I end up lying there, fully awake, waiting for your next noise.

Everything I imagined about being your Mommy is nothing like it actually is. It's so much more. I thought it would be like before, but with this incredible, helpless person with me. I didn't know that having you meant I would be reborn and helpless too. I have to find my place in this world again and figure out how to exist with so much of me captivated and invested in you. But I can't imagine it any other way.

I love you,


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aidric: 5 Months

Dear Aidric,

Gosh, there have been so many things I have wanted to blog about, like crazy LA stuff that happens, or the cooky cats, or Christmas fun, but I can't seem to find the time. The fact is I feel like I can't seem to handle anything other than taking care of you. I am in awe of those Moms who seem to be able to make dinner, go to the gym, work, or even clean the house. I tell myself that it's okay. You just need to feel safe and loved. You don't care that we have no modern conveniences. That's more for us, but it's just so annoying. After working all week, Daddy has to go to the laundromat for a few hours instead of being with you. Sometimes I think you wake up at night because the apartment is so cold, or we have the space heater on and it's boiling hot. I have to put you in your neglectosaucer so I can wash all the dishes. It all gets to me sometimes when I am so exhausted. I get envious of those who have homes with yards, laundry rooms, and even dens. But then I think of how there are so many people who have it far worse than us. We have shelter and food and money for fun stuff, so I'll shut up already.

So lets talk about you. You had your first Christmas, New Year's, and saw your first snowfall. You have changed a lot this past month. Your hair is growing in and filling in your bald spots, but you still have an adorable combover. There is this short, fuzzy hair growing in under the long strands that get into your eyes and curl around your ears.

You finally started laughing. You even had a honest to goodness laughing fit. Now Daddy and I do the silliest stuff to get you to laugh.

You figured out how to flip over from your back to your tummy. Now you love tummy time. You can even scoot your little tooshie up in the air and get up on your knees.

You also can now sit up on your own. You went from folding in half onto your face to holding yourself up with your arms to now sitting almost straight up without your arms at all. Every day you can balance longer. It's a thrill to see, and I can tell you get a big rush from it too.

You still love to grab everything, and you are getting so adept with your hands. You grab things with both hands when you need to, and you can now direct where you want things to go.

And you started eating 'solid' food. I pureed some banana, mixed it with breast milk, and you were so thrilled. I couldn't shove the stuff into your mouth fast enough. You cried for more and grabbed the spoon to pull it to your face faster. You weren't as thrilled with rice cereal, but today you were digging the sweet potatoes. I just need to remember to keep the bowl out of your reach.

And you started teething. I could tell because of all the drool, green diapers, and finger chewing. All these changes mean you are sleeping even less than before. Which brings me again to the issue of your sleeping, or lack of:


I have known you now for 5 months, and I can honestly say that you have never napped without protest. Never.

Taking care of you is more challenging than I could ever have imagined. Not because any task requires a genius IQ and not because you have tons of emotional baggage for me to deal with. All I need to do is make sure you are warm, fed, clean, and safe. Easy, right?

I am so proud of you. You amaze me every day. I love to see the reactions you get in public. You give smiles to strangers and make their day. I can see in your face now a little of the boy you will grow to be. Your eyebrows are so animated now, and you have a million new expressions, many different kinds of smiles, and even new kinds of giggles.

I have never been so excited about my future. I get to see you learn things, push yourself, look to me for comfort, laugh, oh, and cry. I live every one of those things right there with you. Just the other night you were sitting on my lap, and we had a mild earthquake. Daddy was sitting next to us. I grabbed his arm and said,"Oh, no." We waited for the next jolt, but nothing happened. I was terrified. Before you were born these tremors didn't bother me. Being alive is so different now.

This past month has been one of challenges, yours and mine. You seem challenged by wanting to move on your own, but not yet able to. I feel challenged by your new relationships with your environment. You don't need me to do everything for you anymore. You can amuse yourself. You can push things away or bring them closer. Seeing you discover the thrill of that is so intoxicating.

I am now faced with that contradiction that is being a Mom. I have a new role. I am no longer your whole environment, your whole world. My body is no longer your entire source of food. You have new toys other than my hands or my hair. I can now put you down so you can explore your tiny world. It's thrilling to see you grow like this, and yet those simple things are so painful for me. You have shown me what it really means to be human. I have felt more emotion since you came to me than the whole of my life before. Now I will be your teacher too, showing you what this life can be.

I love you.