Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This is as much about me as my baby.

Baby is now five years old. He's big. He's HUGE. He's easily in the 75% percentile for height and weight. 

We did not get out of prematurity unscathed. We just survived divorce, and my little man is still struggling with switching from one house to another and back. 

He has ADHD, what my other preemie mom friends refer to as "preemie brain", (which actually refers to a wonderfully articulate, funny nature that in turn is also a very distracted one) and he sometimes struggles with social situations. He's not, at least as of current diagnosis, considered autistic. He's too eager to be social and friendly, as far as the psychologists can see. 

On the opposite end, my baby boy is growing up, he's beautiful and smart and hilarious, and loves to tell long stories about battles between his toys (I swear I don't encourage violence at all -- this is just what he's fascinated with). 

4K was a nightmare because, even with a loving, affectionate, attentive and hard working teacher, he had a very hard time following rules and not getting overwhelmed by all the classmates. He was suspended twice for hitting (HARD) other children, and he had far more incidents of hitting than he was suspended for. I hated that in particular, because I felt like he learned nothing from that, and that it was solely for the benefit of the other children's parents. And, paradoxically, it didn't help them either because it encouraged my son to get into even more trouble. 

About me: 
T switches from one house to the other once every week on Thursday. He manages very well. We Facetime or even just come over and visit when he's feeling sad about not seeing the other parent. (We don't live far apart at all). 

I  miss him when he's gone. It's terribly, desperately, awfully lonely. I do enjoy having time to be social (which isn't that much even when he's not visiting, as I've had to take a second job just to keep my head above water) and I feel like I have more energy to devote to activities when he is around just because he's not there all the time. Nevertheless, the house is so empty without him, and I can hardly bear it. 

Dating is just blah. It's seriously impossible. I've met a couple men from dating sites. They never get past the first date. I don't think any of them have asked me, and my heart has not been broken by that once. I have a coworker whom I find interesting and has expressed interest in me, but after chatting online for perhaps a week he ceased to speak. My bluntness frequently drives people away, but this hurt my feelings a bit. Mercifully, I have fantastic friends that have given me so much love and support. My best friend in the world has actually made me look forward to my birthday more than I have in many, many years (we're going to hang out and binge watch the new Gilmore Girls series!). 

I'm loving TV  more than anyone should, although I've had very little time since school has begun again. I'm teaching a lot. I still don't have a full time teaching position, which is the nature of adjunct life - barely living above poverty and working two jobs. I love teaching too much to give it up.  Netflix has become my other best friend. I managed, during the summer, to watch all of Nurse Jackie, The Borgias, Arrow, Orange is the New Black (although I had watched all the previous seasons before, so I didn't watch it all), Scandal, Jane the Virgin, Parenthood, a lot of "Fixer Upper" and and the latest season of "Grace and Frankie". Most of those series I watched from beginning to end. So whenever a guy tells me he doesn't watch TV, I'm totally aghast. WHAT WILL WE TALK ABOUT?! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

15/16 months (half a post. LAME)

**this is a very old half of a post that I forgot to finish/publish. It's important, though, because it's when little T started walking. As over a year has passed, I'm going to publish as is and continue in the next posts.

Dear Little T,

My. It's been a whirlwind around here lately.

I was going to post that you've managed to be not sick for the last couple of months, but this week you have some kind of sinus infection. Apparently it's causing a sore throat, and, while you're cheerful enough during the day, it's kept you up at night, and therefore me.

You haven't started speaking much more, but you certainly have picked up some new inflections. I think what you're saying is, "No!" and "Yeh!" You say them at pretty random times, so I'm not 100% sure you know what they mean, but you defiantly told us "No!" when I tried to put you in your car seat this morning.

My little man is walking.

25 months. Soon.

Hey, it's been a while.

What a year! I will shortly post lots of pictures, and a huge post about all the changes and progress my amazing child has made. It'll make you sick.

However, in the meantime, for my preemie mom friends, if you haven't read this, you MUST:

It's called "Domestic Enemies of the Preemie Mom" and the part about going home without your baby is so perfectly stated that I seriously couldn't have said it better.


There's also a link to the original writer, but her blog is no longer accepting new readers. I have a huge sad about that.

Also: we're taking T to Disney world! I know, it's nuts - he's only two. Trust me. I know. However, my awesome parents want to take my baby to Disney, and I can't tell them no, so we're going too. More and pictures very soon!

Monday, June 11, 2012

13/14 months

Dear Little T,

I'm so far behind. So, to make up for it, how about a little torture?

This adorable picture was taken in Asheville, by your "Aunt" Becca. We went to tea, and of course there had to be big fancy hats. I literally had to tie you down into that chair, because you decided to stand up in the one that didn't have a strap. We had a great day with our friends. We went to tea of course, and then to a fountain made for kids to play in. You fell asleep in the car on the way there, so only our friend A really got to play in it, while you slept in her stroller.

You've made such incredible progress this month. Just in the last couple of weeks, you've begun standing all on your own, even though you were barely cruising along the sides of couches, and you've FINALLY started eating cereal puffs on your own. You put them in your mouth, you chew them, and you swallow them. BY YOURSELF. You have no idea what an accomplishment that is for you. Up until now, we'd have to shove them in your mouth, you might chew it a bit and then you'd either spit it out, or gag until you threw it up. That's how we were training you to eat, at the behest of your speech therapist.

Yes, you're in therapy. You have a speech therapist (mostly for eating, not really for talking), a physical therapist, who has helped you make amazing strides in crawling and walking, an occupational therapist, and, to coordinate all of them, you have an early interventionist, who thankfully comes to see you at daycare. Thank God for Babynet - a program that provides all these things to us for free.

You have discovered the Joy of the Dog's Water Bowl. If you can crawl past us, and sneak your way through the kitchen, you splash until all the water is on the floor, and you love it. I can't figure out the attraction, but it's better than food, and almost as good as the bath.

Right now, I've just put you to bed, and you're screaming. I wish I didn't have to do that, but 8:00 is bedtime, and you have been wild the last couple of days. You are 14 months old today, and you confirmed this afternoon that Dada is your father. He walked into the room as I was feeding you, and you immediately called out, "Dada!" even though you'd been saying entirely differen things before he appeared. You also said something that sounds very like, "Duck" when I got out your duck toy. You really are starting to talk!

Notice you have a snotty little nose in this picture? That's because you have been sick. You have been sick since your birthday, actually. You got a double ear infection, and then after kicking that, you got strep throat, and then a sinus infection, which you promptly gave to me. The snotty nose has been fun. It feels horrible when I can't make you feel better, and your fever jumped up and down, up and down for over a week.

Even so, when you're happy, your eyes shine like I've never seen anyone's shine. Your smile is magic. I can't wait to see what you'll do next.


Monday, April 30, 2012

12 Months: Happy birthday, T!

Dear Little T,

I'm stunned to think that a year ago today (as I wrote this) , I was lying in a hospital bed, begging to go see my baby. I expected to go see you after my 10 o'clock blood draw, but it turned out they meant I would see you after the results came in.

This month has happened in huge leaps. You're crawling properly now, and  your knees are always red. I'm pretty sure you're landing on your nose a bit, too, because your nose is also always red.

It's colder today than it's been in weeks. I have a cute little "Birthday Boy" onesie all set out for you to wear to "baby school", and it's kind of cold.  You also appear to have an ear infection. You've been cranky for a few days, and I was pretty sure something wasn't right, but I thought you had some back teeth coming in. It's not what I hoped for your first birthday, but since your party isn't until Saturday, I hope both you and the weather will improve.

You're "talking" so much more. Now, instead of "Dadada" it's Da, Mamamama (only when mad or upset, of course), and Baba. I'm pretty sure you don't know what any of those mean, but dada and baba are happy sounds, and mamama is what you say when  you're upset and crying. My personal favorite, though is "Aaada!" which sounds an awful lot like, "A duck!" That's why rubber duckies is the theme for your birthday party. Plus, you really like chewing on your rubber ducky's head.

It's hard to know what to tell you on your first birthday. There's so, so much. I bugged your father for fully four years before we were "ready" to have you, because I wanted you so badly. Turns out, your daddy was pretty excited, too. When we found out we were having a baby, he started a project:

1000 paper cranes

He started making paper cranes. Having 1000 is supposed to be good luck, and he was making them for you. He made a great mobile out of them, later. 

As everyone knows, you arrived far earlier than we had hoped. Even now, I feel a pretty intense amount of guilt about it, even though I'm told by every professional out there that it's not my fault. You are an incredibly little man, and growing up way too fast, in spite of the fact that it's just a little slower than other kids.  You're crawling so fast, and pulling up on every surface you get near, no matter how unsteady. 

Pulling up on Daddy

I'm so very proud of you. You're the happiest child I have ever seen, and it amazes me every day. You're so funny, too! The other night I found you using the bumper in your crib as a pillow, curled up, holding a round plastic bear-type light toy in your arms. Even at 4am, I got the giggles looking at you. 

I'm sure someone's going to shout at me for having a bumper in your bed at all, but when you started getting both of your legs stuck in the bars of your bed, and screaming, I decided to put the bumper in. You're extremely good about rolling away from things in your face, so I worry less about those issues these days. 

For your birthday party, even though you were only one, I went a little crazy. You won't remember that day, but I will, and I wanted it to be special. Our friends were there and wonderful, and the only way I could have been happier is if you had tried to eat your cake, instead of throwing it on the floor. Still, you were too cute to be mad at: 

Photo courtesy of Smilin' Down Photography

You were also super funny. Like your Aunt K as a wee baby on her first birthday, you hated the grass, but you put up with it: 

Photo courtesy of Smilin' Down Photography

My favorite thing about you now is how easy it is to make you smile and laugh. Your Daddy laughs, you laugh. We tickle you a little, and you laugh. Daddy comes home, and as soon as you see him, you're crawling for him as fast as  your little hands and legs can move, and trying to climb his legs, and laughing. 

Your constant joy is infectious. I really hope that you keep that forever. One year in our lives, and it seems like life would not be living without you there. The other day I dropped you off at daycare so I could clean and run errands on my day off, and the dog was at the vet, and the house was impossibly quiet. Your dad commented that the house just wasn't right. How very true - our house is no longer right without you. 


Saturday, March 17, 2012

11 months

Dear Little T,

Today you are 11 months old. It absolutely boggles my mind to think that it's been nearly a year since you were rushed into the world.

I'm absolutely certain that we, as parents, scare other people off of parenthood, at least temporarily, with all of our complaints. I'm sure I'm no different. I was absolutely positive that I would love being a parent, long before you were born, and that is true. As a matter of fact, parenthood is far better than I ever imagined it being. You certainly present your challenges. I've never been busier in my entire life. I remember clearly waking up one night a couple of months before you were born and sobbing, because what if I had ruined our lives? What if I was going to miss having all this time to myself too much?  Shockingly, I don't. I do miss my sleep sometimes, and I do miss occasional lazy days, but you fill in my lazy times with FUN. You're so fun!

For example - your laughter. You laugh all the time now, and it's the most beautiful sound on earth. Your joy is contagious, and I mean that truly. You love being hugged, and you hug back now. The ticklish spots are mostly on your neck, and you're fully enjoying being zerberted on your belly.

When you're excited, you flap your arms like you're going to fly away, and like everything you do, it makes me laugh.

The crawling process is continuing, although slowly. You have begun a little bit of a scoot. Fortunately for me, you can't move too quickly, so for the moment I can still keep up with you. However, those little changes are happening so fast, I can barely keep up. You've started trying to pull up, and the day you turned 11 months, I caught you up on your knees in the crib, trying to eat the railing.
I know how fuzzy this is, but it's so cute!

What's amazing to me is how calm you are. You're nothing like me with respect to the fact that you can enjoy sitting in your stroller, watching things for hours, while I'd get bored in five minutes and scream, at your age.

Bought this hat when you were three months old. It was huge then! Of course, when you were born, that baseball rattle was as big as your head.

It's hilarious what you like to play with. While last month your favorite toy was a spoon, now grabbing my necklace is your favorite sport. While you can't pick up a little piece of freeze dried yogurt, you can grab at my swinging necklace and never miss.

The feeding is a funny thing. You'll grab at your food bowls, but as soon as  you realized that I couldn't feed you without it, you left it alone. I actually can't seem to get you to play with your food. You will try to put anything in your mouth but food, and you when you do put finger foods in your mouth, you spit them out. You're eating baby food like I'm starving you death. You'll entire containers of baby food, just to start crying when I get up to throw it away. I didn't think baby food was expensive, and it's not - when you're not going through 30-40 containers a week! Fortunately, we have a baby food maker, too.

I'm planning your first birthday party, and I just can't believe it. I can't believe my teeny baby is going to be one. Slow down, little man! I'm not ready for this.


Monday, February 13, 2012

10 months

Dear Little T,

You are ten months old! It's unbelievable how fast you've changed. Your new favorite look is to stick your tongue out. Constantly.

Photo taken by Rebecca Crandall 

It's ok when you're smiling, but you often do it when you're not, especially when you're thinking about something. That's when it starts to look like a "duh" face. "Duuuuh". Sometimes you even say that. I'm sure there's a brilliant mind in there, but you are a little stinker and you're trying to hide it. You rarely do that when it's just us.

Photo taken by Rebecca Crandall 

I still think you're the most beautiful baby ever made, but dang, kid!

You've made some pretty spectacular changes in just one month. On the 11th, the very day you turned 10 months old, you CRAWLED. It was just a teeny bit, and then you went flat on your belly and did a lizard type army crawl, but you did it! I was so excited, I might have screamed a little. Judging by the state of our house, it's perhaps a blessing that you haven't done it sooner. 

We took you to a couple restaurants this month, and gave you small foods to chew on. You were unimpressed. You tried to eat a chip at a Mexican restaurant, while I tried very hard to get a picture. Alas,  every time you broke off a piece of the chip with your three (!!!) little teeth, you spit it out. I'm not sure you realize that it's food yet. The same thing happened with a french fry. I know, fried foods for infants is bad, but you're still so thin that I'll do about anything to fatten you up. Seriously. Yesterday I gave you two containers of yogurt, which is about the calories in four of your little baby food meals. Oh, and that third tooth? Oh yeah. It's on the top. Not in the middle, like a regular kid, but those eye teeth. Yes, my poor son, you are getting fangs, just like I did as a baby. I can't wait to take pictures of you looking like a little vampire.

Speaking of eating, you food range has exploded this month. You went from refusing everything except cereal to eating everything that is mush you can possibly get your hands on. Since everything, and I do mean everything you get near goes in your mouth (you put my shoe in your mouth yesterday before I could stop you). Now you'll eat any baby food I offer you. Prunes do not faze you a bit. Everything is NOM NOM NOM. As a matter of fact, you really do say "MMMMMMMMMMMM" after every single bite. Every single one! It's stinking adorable. I thought maybe you'd quit, but a day or so ago I gave you your very favorite, yogurt, and the MMMMM was back. That means there's no excuse for you refusing to say "Mama". You just won't. You say "Dadadadada" all day long, but never "Mama". Hmph.

I spent the majority of this month sick as a dog, and the Saturday that I was sickest, you were wonderful. You played, and goofed off, and asked very little of me. Sweet little man. I actually stayed sick for two solid weeks - with what seemed like just a miserable, awful cold. If you felt half as bad as I did, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I didn't feel more sorry for you, and hold you around the clock if you wanted, because that was hideous.

Your firsts this month - you can pretty much sit up, but you cry every time you fall over, and you are simply not interested in sitting up on your own. Lazy! However, you also crawled a teeny bit the other day. WOOHOO! I was getting all worried because you seemed like you were falling behind, and then you went and crawled. Now I can't get you to do it again, so everyone probably thinks I'm a liar. Which just makes you a little stinker.

STINKER. That you is what you are! You made your first in-tub poo the other day, too. Delightful. The worst part is, with the bubbles, I didn't see it. I didn't see it until I went back a couple hours later to dump the little tub out (What? My hands were full! I'd like to see YOU juggle a wet baby and a baby tub full of water without dropping anything!) and the water was brown. That was all kinds of gross. Good thing your Daddy wasn't there - he would have thrown up.

We started Kindermusik this month, and it's kind of fun. I honestly never expected to feel like I got exercise, but I wasn't thinking about carrying/swinging you around the whole time. You seem to have fun, but you get overwhelmed by the end, and make it very clear to me that you want to go home. Very loudly.

In just another week we're going to our friend Alice's birthday party. I'm excited, and I hope you'll be good, and smile a little.

Picture taken by Rebecca Crandall of http://feistync.wordpress.com/

Even if you're cranky and crabby, you make every day better and more fun. I can't imagine life without you any more, and I wouldn't want to. I'm still really happy that you've got all the teeth you need for a little while, though.