Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ready to GO!

Ready to GO!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

So we've been keeping the Hank-Star on the move as of late. He's always got his pockets full with his paci and his cell phone so he can be reached and change his plans at a moment's notice... just kidding... He was just holding on to my phone for me, as that pocket was just the right size. (Why exactly does a baby need pockets?? Most of his clothes have them... including a fantastic little pair of jeans that look like a big pair of jeans that was just shrunken down to Hank-size, with pockets and everything...)

Just this week we've been to yoga, on several errands, on two three mile walks, out to a pakistani restaurant with grandma and grandpa, to a concert at Freight and Salvage -- and that was just before Thursday morning! Today we go to our regular moms' group and try out an additional one in the afternoon. Then we have toget ourselves ready for our trip to Yosemite tomorrow! Yep, we are taking Hank on his first road trip.

Hope everything on our road trip goes smoothly... I'm mostly worried about disrupting what has become a really good sleep pattern for Hank. He tends to go down every night at about 9:30. If he wakes in the middle of the night, it is usually around 4:00, then he goes back down about 45minutes later for another few hours. He's been doing this pretty consistently for the last couple of weeks. Although I still would kill for one ENTIRE night of sleep for myself, this is so much better than it was before, so I can't really complain.

My other worry for our road trip is keeping my milk supply up. I find it really har to nurse Hank when I'm not at home, and I know that in order to keep my supply, as paltry as it is, in its current condition, I need to nurse him most times that he is fed. I hope I can find enough warm, private-ish places to nurse him when we are out and about. As it is I've noticed this week that my milk supply is even lower than it was before, and that my milk may indeed be drying up. I'm not worried about Hank, he's gotten so much good stuff already, and he takes the bottle without any problem, but I do feel a little sad about the way breastfeeding has gone for us. Oh well... I did everything I could, my body just didn't cooperate, and that is going to have to be OK. A lot of women would have just given up.

Going to a concert with Hank was really fun. We went to see Chuck Brodsky at the Freight and Salvage, a forty-year old coffee house/performance space that is frequented by lots of folk artists. It is quintessential Berkeley Hippie Dippie, and we really like to take in shows there. Hank really enjoys music and Brodsky is mellow and his music is great for a baby (and grown up alike, of course). I wore Hank in the Baby Hawk for most of the show so that I could calm him easilly, and that worked out great. We strolled and swayed around the coffee house, listening to the music, while Hank started in awe and in wonderment at the cut out snowflakes which stood out in their whiteness against the Freight's black walls.

You should see his face when he notices something like the white snowflakes on the black walls -- his eyes are so open and fixed and bright, his mouth hangs slightly open, as if he is just soaking as much as he possibly can into his brain and thinking, wondering, what this amazing sight possibly could be? It must be amazing to be a passenger of life at eleven weeks old. I can only imagine how awe-inspiring development is. How wonderful it must be to be delighted by such simple visions. He is discovering new things at a rate that is unimaginable to me. A few days ago he started reaching at things with intention, rather than by accident, and to see the Light of Understanding go off in his brain is incredible! I continue to be fascinated by this little boy.

In mama land, I noticed on Monday that I was getting really irritable, for no good reason. I kicked the garage door when I was having trouble with the lock, felt extraordinarilly flustered walking into yoga just as it was getting started, and surprisingly irritated that I had to be a mother to my son during the class, rather than just enjoy my yoga class. I was so upset about how I had felt and I couldn't get rid of this anxious, irritable quality to my day. All was clear the next day when I started my first period -- I had forgotten what PMS was like!! It was worse than I remembered!

I'm having really mixed feelings about things getting back to normal in that department. On the one hand I'm glad everything seems to be working well again. On the other hand, this marks the end of what has been perhaps my most extraordinary year -- the year of becoming a mother. I'll have another child, but I'll never experience all this for the first time again. Even with the hard pregnancy, I wouldn't trade my experience for anything in the world. Becoming Hank's mommy has been such a wonderful transformation in my life, and the experiences that have unfolded over the course of the last twelve months are memories I'll always be grateful for. In some respects I feel that I have been through a metamorphosis of some kind, and through it I have found my true purpose in life. My only regret is that I didn't start this blog sooner.

I know that I am going to continue to develop as a mother for the rest of my life, but this year, this trial by fire of pregnancy and the Fourth Trimester, has added whole new dimensions to my personality that I just love. I love you Hank! I love being your mommy!

Well, with that I must go see how my snoozy boy is faring and get us packed up for our day of fun ahead. I think we'll start it off with a stroll to get some coffee for mama.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Come on... You know you want to hug me!

As you can see, Hank is far happier than the last time I posted to the blog! He recovered fairly well from his shots -- I felt TERRIBLE because it wasn't until the next afternoon that I realized that he could have a fever, and turns out he did, the poor little potato. I dosed him up with baby tylenol and he spent the rest of the day sleeping on my chest as I rocked him. As much as I love spending that kind of time with him, I hated that it was because he had a fever. But he's all better now and has had a good week. I think the best part was going to Mom and Baby Yoga on Monday!

Yoga was really great -- I wasn't sure what to expect from a yoga class where you bring your little babies, but it was really fun. The class is taught by the same woman who taught my prenatal yoga class, and she is really wonderful. I was really looking forward to returning to one of her classes and it didn't disappoint at all. There were several women I remembered from my prenatal classes, and it was great to see each other and our babies. The babies rolled around on blankies while we did our yoga. No one minded if they cried or made noise. Cynthea would help with the soothing if necessary. It felt great to slow down and breathe again for the first time (it felt like the first time since Hank was born!). At one point Hank was laying on my mat and I didn't want to move him, so I did downward facing dog over it and he grinned and grinned -- I must have looked so funny to him, all upside-down on top of him!

What else have we done this week? We stopped by Grandma's office to see her there and have lunch with her and her co-workers. Everyone was wow-ed by Hank's crazy hair. We've also gone shopping for bigger diaper covers as Hank just keeps on growing. We went to see Blade Runner on Monday night -- Henry and I are so, so happy to have a nearby movie theater with a baby night. Just like the yoga class, no one can object if your baby goes off in the middle of it all. To sweeten the deal, the theater serves dinner and beer, so we feel like we've really had an evening out. The weather has been super cold so we've bundled up tight, and gone out looking for snow in the local hills, but haven't found any. We've gone for walks around the lake, and we've spent a lot of time in the activity gym on the floor. Well, Hank spends a lot of time in the activity gym, while I lay on the floor next to him and do exercises of my own. Hank still doesn't do much with the gym (or any toy, for that matter), but he's starting to notice the things dangling over him. He's also becoming a superstar at rolling from his front to his back.

Well, we just got back from our mommy's group, and I think it is about time for someone to have a meal. I can hear him in the background -- he's in his crib and he is actually cooing. He sounds like a little dove, cooing in the eaves. So funny.

Oh, one more thing -- this is fun -- he has started to really dig having his diaper changed. He starts grinning and smiling and wiggling so happily when I start to change his diaper. It is so funny! I've also found some children's CDs that he likes to listen to. I'll put them playing in the morning and start singing to him and he just lights up. I just love that!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Not So Happy "First"

hank 098, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Poor little Hank had his first set of shots today. Three huge shots -- all vaccinations, and one oral vaccination. I've never heard someone scream in pain like that, and it just broke my heart in pieces, especially because it was my job to hold him down so the nurse could administer the shots properly. He screamed and screamed like I've never heard him scream, he was screaming so hard he turned purple. When it was over I just bundled him up in my arms and cried with him until he felt well enough to get snuggled in the sling. I couldn't wait to get him out of that hospital. We went home where I rocked him all afternoon. When he wasn't sleeping the experience off, he was screaming and crying. By evening he seemed to be back to his regular self, but I could tell that his legs (where the shots were placed) probably were still hurting him, as he wasn't kicking his legs around during diaper changes.

While the vaccination experience was terrible, his appointment with his nice pediatrician was terrific! Dr. Dandekar was really pleased to see how much Hank has grown and told me that we are doing everything right. We talked a bit about breastfeeding and all the trouble I had had, and what we've ended up doing. I was worried he would think I hadn't tried hard enough, but he said that he would have told me to do exactly what I've done, and wants us to just keep doing what we are doing. Hank weighed 13 pounds! He's in the 80th percentile. I was so proud.

Well it is 4:30 a.m., I should really go back to bed as I'm done changing and feeding Hank, but I'm having trouble sleeping tonight. It really made me feel so sad to see Hank is such pain and to know that I was the one who intentionally brought him to that place, knowing it would cause him pain. I mean, he's ok, and I also believe in vaccinating, so I think I did the right thing, but it was really hard to watch and to experience as a mother. When it was over I called Henry and left him a voicemail that pretty much just said "that was horrible. you get to do this next time." Honestly, it was more horrible than I thought it would be. I was one sad mama when it was all said and done. :(

Oh and I had a "first" today too -- I was "other mothered" (this is when another mother gives you unsolicited and offensive mothering advice or opinions). The other mother also had a two month old at the vaccination clinic. Her baby had started out at six pounds and now weighed thirteen. She asked me about Hank's birth weight and current weight, and when I told her she exclaimed "he's only gained THREE POUNDS?? Just THREE POUNDS? Are you sure he is OK? I don't think he is OK!" Uh... yeah... he is OK. "Really, THREE POUNDS isn't enough!" I didn't know what to say. What I wanted to say was 'suck it lady -- my baby is cuter than yours' (he was -- her baby had a teeny head), but as they say if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all...

Hank also got to experience his first car repair yesterday -- my car, overnight I may add, developed the need for all the tires to be replaced IMMEDIATELY. So it was off to the Big O Tire first thing in the morning yesterday. Conveniently it was near my office so we dropped in to say hi to everyone. That was fun. But then it was off to the doctor...

Gotta go back to bed and try to sleep some more.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two Months!!

Happy Two Month Birthday to Hank! He is celebrating by taking a nap and perfecting the art of thumbsucking. I love, love, love the thumbsucking. This is new in the last few days. It is clear that he knows what he is trying to do, even if he isn't always successful at actually getting his thumb into his mouth. The other day he had his thumb in his mouth and he was sucking eagerly away at it. With his other hand he was pulling his hair, yanking his head side to side. It was so incredibly cute.

Another Reason To Love the Bay Area

Turns out San Francisco is the home of the only beach in California where you can have a bonfire legally. So Henry suggested we drag our dried up christmas tree out there to burn last night. We got there right as the sun was about to go down. I loaded our sleepy little Hank into the Moby wrap and zipped him into my jacket and we proceeded to march along Ocean Beach, searching for an open fire pit. Turns out we weren't the only ones to have this idea last night -- all the pits were full of trees on fire already. As we were wondering what to do two little girls ran up to us and asked if we were looking for a place to burn our tree (uh -- what gave you that idea??) and invited us to join their families at the fire pit they were using.

It was such fun. Henry and Jeff, who met us down on the beach for the burning, loaded the tree into the pit and lit it on fire. It went up in flames in no time, and I felt very comforted knowing that that tree had been in our home for several weeks... hmmm... reminder to water the tree more often next year?

I wasn't expecting tree burning to be such a family event, but it really was. There were kids all over the place, and dogs, and everyone seemed to be using this as one last opportunity for some holiday cheer. Seeing as I slept through new year's eve, I sort of felt like it was an opportunity to mark the passing of one more season, and the beginning of a new one. On the way home we brainstormed how we can make this a family tradition for years to come, that's how much fun it was.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Finally -- A Family Photo!

Baby Hank has been busy since the last time we posted! A major winter storm tempted us all out to the beach this weekend, which turned into a day long adventure as we followed the storm around the bay area. There were 20 foot waves out in Pacifica, and Hank got to see the beach and ocean for the first time. We had a really fun time chasing the storm and trying not to get blown off our feet by the wind when we were outside. Another first for Hank that day was peeing on mom while she was trying to eat lunch n a restaurant, and having his diaper changed in the back seat of dad's station wagon. (that actually worked quite well -- we crawled into the back hatch of the station wagon and spread out everything we needed for a diaper change).

There were rumours of snow locally the next day so we set out to Mt. Tam to see if we could find any, but no -- none. But we did get to see Auntie Al and Uncle David on our way home.

Hank and I have been spending a lot of time together as Henry's gone back to work. We take walks, go on the swing at the local playground, have baths, and eat and pee and poop a lot. THe poor thing is about to grow out of his diapers and diaper covers so he's had a lot of leaks lately, necessitating several changes of clothes. I am suddenly glad to have 85 onesies!

Another first for Hank was sleeping in his crib last night instead of in our room. It was a bit bittersweet to make the decision to move him. but I think the whole family slept better last night than any night in the last several weeks.

And lastly, Hank has been all smiles this morning. He looks at me and starts beaming. It is so, so cute. He has also learned to suck his thumb, and I love that. He'll be sucking his thumb on one hand and pulling his hair with his other hand. I just love to see him learning all these new things.

Oops, Mr. Smiley Pants is about to turn into Mr. Screamy Pants! Gotta go!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

The new year has bestowed Hank with several more "firsts" in the last few days. Among them: First trip to the movies! This is how we spent New Year's Eve -- at the Baby Brigade showing of Dan In Real Life. It was low key and fun, and mom got to drink a beer. Gotta love the Parkway... Another first was first bath in a real bathtub. We still used his little bath seat, but then at the end I floated him around a bit on his back, and that was fun for all. Yesterday he had is first trip to a playground and went on a swing on my lap. But, the best first of all was last night. Hank SLEPT FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT! I didn't know what to do with myself!