Friday, March 23, 2012

The Mom Club

I knew it existed, but I never REALLY knew it existed. It's the Mom Club.

It's interesting to watch social networking sites like Facebook to see what's important to people, what people are up to, etc. You can see who is dating, who broke up, engagements, marriages, babies, job changes, school changes, etc. To be honest, I only paid attention to such matters for those who were in my same demographic--that is, I was interested in other engaged couples when I was engaged 5 years ago, other married couples' photos when I was recently married, etc. The same thing goes for those you work with--it's easiest to identify with those in your current life stage. Naturally, I'm now most interested in those with little ones. That number is growing beautifully every day.

This interest in others with little ones is just the beginning of what I have been referring to as the "Mom Club." The Mom Club is something you cannot even begin to understand until you have the joy of becoming a mom. The Mom Club is amazing. It's every mom that looks at you, knowingly, when your little one just won't stop crying. It's every mom that glances at your babe in his/her car seat when you're at the store, trying to guess how old he/she is. It's every mom who can offer you tidbits of advice on what worked, or didn't work, for them. It's the moms who tell you where to find the best deals and what products to avoid.

It's the people that can understand what a '6-wiper" is. As I said, it's an amazing club.

My sweet Nathan is now 11 weeks old, 23" long and weight 13.8 lb. He smiles all the time and loves his tubby-time. His head control is fantastic. He doesn't sleep too well most nights. He often waits until you *just* unhook his diaper to pee everywhere.

I'm sure you don't care. I didn't care too much about such things (other than while working and checking growth charts) until I became a mom. I love hearing how others' babies are growing and changing. I love talking about how my little dude is growing and changing. I love finding out when a friend is expecting.

So, here's to you, fellow moms. Thank you for all your stories and all your support. I'm so thrilled to be one of you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reasoning with a 9-week Old

I know it's impossible to do, but I sincerely wish I could reason with my sweet baby. I wish I could explain to him that he will not have his pacifier to suck on if he keeps grabbing the stuffed animal attachment and throwing it. I wish I could explain that diaper changes are a good thing and will keep him from getting such a bad rash. I wish I could make him nurse for longer periods of time so he wouldn't be "starving" again in 1-2 hours. To date, our reasoning efforts have (obviously) not worked.

One thing has been a godsend for the past 3 nights: Nathan slept for 5 straight hours each night! We didn't really change anything--the evening always consists of tubby-time between 7:00pm and 8:30pm, starting just before he's due to eat again. Tubby time is followed by his baby-lotion massage, getting sung to by Mommy and Daddy, a long nursing session and off to bed it is.

This routine never did anything for his sleep before, but it has recently: we will put him in his crib, he will lie there, wide-awake for about 30-45 minutes, then fall asleep for almost 5 hours. 5 beautiful hours! When he wakes up around 2:30am, he nurses again, then proceeds to wake up every 1.5-2 hours, but that first 5 hours is fantastic. Due to sleeping more, he has been much more awake and generally happier during the day--just as any adult would be!

I wish I could reason with him about sleep, too. I wish I could say, "see? Isn't sleeping nice? Don't you want to sleep for TWO 5-hour stretches so you (and Mommy and Daddy) can feel so good and refreshed?"

Naturally, Nathan doesn't understand this any more than he understands anything else. One day, he'll like to sleep. He'll learn to find ways to soothe himself without chucking his pacifier across the room. He'll learn that clean britches are oh-so nice. For now, though, I'm just tickled pink about my 5-hours.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sweet Tub

Because he does not seem to enjoy sleeping at night or in his crib, in general, we've been trying to keep a routine so our Peanut will learn to sleep at night. Our routine starts with "tubby-time" just before he is due for another nursing session. Nathan absolutely loves the tub and is learning to splash in the water.

As much as he loves his tubby time, Nathan does NOT like getting out of the tub. After his tubby-time today, he was hysterical, as per usual. Naturally, I picked him up in his towel and carried him into his room to re-diaper and dress him.

What I love and can't get enough of is the following: he is so small and so scared when he gets out of the tub, but as soon as Mommy wraps her arms around him, he clings tightly and calms down. As frustrating as it can be that he cries seemingly uncontrollably, I can't get enough of his tight grip on my shirt. It's as if all he wants is to be in my arms, where he knows he is safe.

I will not miss waking every 1-2 hours every night. I won't miss getting peed on or thrown up on. I won't miss doing laundry 2-3 times a day.

I will, however, absolutely miss my clingy 2-month-old baby when he realizes that getting out of the tub isn't so scary and that he doesn't need Mommy to hold him so tight anymore.

When it Rains, it Pours

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like things couldn't get any worse? For my family, that's been the case for us for the past 8 months, financially speaking only.

We seem to keep having expenses come up on us. Let's face it: we all have bills. We all have mortgages or rent (or in our case, both), car payments, electric bills, water bills, grocery bills, etc. These payments will, for all intents and purposes, never go away. Sure, your car may be paid off, but it still requires maintenance, much like your house.

For us, this is what it has been like . . .
1) several months of paying full-household bills in two locations
2) NICU bills x 1000
3) general healthcare bills
4) major car repairs . . . times two
5) large amount due at tax time . . . potentially . . . depending on the first-time-home-buyers tax credit pay-back rules
6) my computer is dead and should be replaced

I won't give specific amounts, but all this cost us . . . a LOT . . .

To top it all off, our dog decided to eat another "dog" the other day, forcing us to pay half of said "dog's" emergency vet bill. (To make a long story short, we love our neighbors, but they apparently don't believe in leashes. Thus, their "dog" keeps running over to Jabber and Jabber, who is leashed, keeps pinning the "dog" down and biting it to the point of causing puncture wounds. . . ). (I say "dog" because the thing is really a glorified hamster . . . and I think that's exactly what Jabber thinks it is . . . ).

Anyway, I'm not sharing all this to get sympathy or anything of the sort. I am so thankful that I have a good job that helps deflect these issues and thankful that Adam is able to pick up hours between classes to help, too. I am thankful that we have generous family members who we know would help us if we asked them to. Why I am sharing this is because of something Adam said the other day when I was in tears over how on earth we're going to afford all of these things without one of us selling a kidney. . .

He said, "why are you worrying? Has God not always provided for us?"

Absolutely, positively, without a doubt, yes.

I don't need to list the times He has provided for us in one way or another. I don't have another 27 years to write it all out. But He has taken care of us. And He will continue to do so. He provided me with a kind-hearted husband who reminded me that I don't need to worry . . . because He is there for us.