Saturday, May 31, 2014

8 Months Old!

How much difference a month can make! My baby is growing up more and more each and every day. Every time we blink, he's learned something new. So, here's a list of Kaiden's new abilities!


Kaiden is still breastfed (yay!). These days, it is a little harder because he always wants to do baby gymnastics, or pop on and off to have a conversation (or stare down other people who are having a conversation and DARE to interrupt his eating). This makes nursing in public a little more difficult because he keeps exposing his boobies to the world while he is going on and off and on and off. Meh.

In addition to "milkies", Kaiden has yogurt or a fruit puree for breakfast, a fruit and a snack for lunch, and a veggie and a snack for dinner. I have been getting better with offering him finger foods, such as MumMums or Little Yums crackers, pancakes, Gerber Puffs and whatever I have that I am eating that he might be able to handle. I still get nervous about him choking, so my plan to do baby led weaning pretty much went by the wayside, but I am comfortable with that. It's just not what I was comfortable with doing my first time around. Maybe for baby #2! ;)


I think that the worst of the reflux has passed. Actually, I think the reflux in general has passed. Kaiden's pediatrician did say that when he started solids, it would get better. We don't really give him his medicine anymore, unless he's having a bad day. All of the issues from the beginning seem to be so far away now. I am glad he has gotten over this. We still give him two rice cereal formula bottles a day, though, just to keep it in check. That, and my body is so used to him getting bottles twice a day, I doubt I'd be able to make more milk that would satisfy him while he is at day care. Once summer break starts, he'll only get one bottle of formula at night time.

Digestive wise, Kaiden is doing much better. All that painful gas seems to be a thing of the past as well. He will get stopped up because of the solid food, so we've been giving him prunes every two days or so to help his system a little better. It seems to be working okay for us right now!

Thank God for our healthy baby.

So, here's the list of things he knows how to do now! Hopefully, I get them all...

- can get up on his hands and knees with some help from mommy
- rocks back and forth on his hands and knees
- can get from a sitting position down onto his tummy without banging his head on something
- scoots EVERYWHERE on his butt while sitting
- can pivot 360 degrees on his tummy
- can scoot backwards on his tummy
- stands while holding on to something with someone spotting him from behind
- says ba-ba/bye-bye, mama, gaga, and a hard "c" sound
- throws tantrums/holds breath when he's feeling sassy
- seems to wave "bye bye" but he is always opening and closing his hands, so hard to tell
- knows what words mean, like "milkies"
- plays in his playpen by himself
- walks in his walker (and is getting better at it every day)
- makes a fish face
- holds his own bottle
- drinks from a cup with help
- laughs at the TV
- knows when mommy is leaving (and doesn't like it)
- goes for longer car rides without being cranky about it
- feeds himself finger foods
- can hold his own spoon, but is lazy

Friday, May 16, 2014

Being Grateful

This week has been an exhausting week. Kaiden is teething in earnest again, and he has slipped back into his newborn sleep schedule. He has been waking up every 1-3 hours, depending on the night, and it has left me exhausted. Most of the time, my husband doesn't even know I have gotten up 2-3 times at night because I zombie in and out of our room, to the nursery, and then back to bed again.

When you are sleep deprived, you become a little irrational. Irritated. Senseless. I have been bumbling about in a haze the last couple of weeks, wanting to blame someone for everything, even if they weren't responsible for it. It has been difficult.

But this week, I have also followed two different mothers through two different journeys in which they've lost their sons. Ben is the first boy I was following. He was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer a half year ago. He was 4 1/2 years old. Last night, he passed away in his home, on the couch while his identical twin brother and his little sister played on the deck, completely oblivious to the fact that their brother had just left this world for the next. The other is a FF Mama, Abbie, who had her twin boys at 24 weeks and lost one of them a couple of days ago. Not to mention, another mommy in my due date group lost her pregnancy, and another FF mommy of mine lost hers too.

My heart has been heavy. You see, I've always had some sort of fascination with death, grieving, and the human experience. Sometimes, I hate that I am so drawn to it. I wonder why I am. It could be because I grew up with a mortician as a step-father, but mostly I think it is because when we are grieving is when we are most human and most connected to one another.

I read somewhere (and I forget where right now), about a Buddhist story of a mother who lost her child. She went to the Buddha and asked for the life of her child back. The Buddha told her that she had a week (I think) to knock on the doors of those in her village and ask for a pebble from someone who hasn't grieved. A week passed, and she returned to the Buddha without a stone and quietly told him, "I understand now."

Because, the truth is, we've all experienced loss in one way or another. I can't imagine having to experience the loss these women have in these past couple of weeks. It breaks my heart just thinking about it.

I was mad, at first, when I read Ben's mother's blog. I was mad because she seemed to trivialize her son's suffering as being a part of "God's Plan." I still don't buy into that much, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason. And reading Ben's mother's words has strengthened my resolve as a mother. This woman is the definition of strong. Her relationship with her husband is one to learn from -- supportive, caring and understanding. Her interactions with her children are just...remarkable.

So, when Kaiden is waking me up every couple of hours at night, and I am waking up exhausted and annoyed...I think about the struggle Ben's mother had to endure. I think about how she wrote that some nights, Ben just cried and held on to her all night long, his anxiety rising, restless. I think about how she wrote that she had to wait until her children were asleep before she'd let herself cry in her husband's arms.

Perspective is brutal and honest. It might not be ideal that Kaiden is keeping me up all night, but at least he is waking up. At least he is screaming and filling his lungs with air. At least he is flailing around, looking for a boobie to comfort him.

At least.

I am grateful for my son and his health. I am grateful for the women who teach me to be a better mother because they have been extraordinary mothers. I am grateful for Ben, even if I don't know him personally. How wonderful that someone so young and so small could be so magnanimous. What a legacy to leave behind.