Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Giggles and Hugs


Baby Max is 10 months old today! Isn't that unbelievable! In 2 months he will have been alive for a whole year. That bewilders me that I will have a one year old baby on my hands in what will probably feel like 10 minutes.

Yesterday I took Max to meet some friends at a place down the street called Giggles and Hugs. Vomit, right. I've driven past this building a million times all decorated in primary colors to get the attention of the kiddos. It's only 2 blocks from my house and I can literally walk there in less than 5 minutes.

But the thing is that I never wanted to go there. No matter how close and convenient it might be, I just thought it looked like a place full of snot-nosed kids that would give me a head-ache. And why would I take a baby to a kids' restaurant? It just didn't make sense to me.

But it has been pouring rain here for a week and we haven't had any outside time. Plus with the holiday season in full effect, I haven't wanted to deal with crowded malls filled with frantic shoppers. So yes, when a friend asked me to meet at Giggles and Hugs yesterday, I promptly said yes and even looked forward to the outing.

What I quickly learned about this restaurant/kids' playground, is that it is perfectly suited for the kids AND the parents. I'm still learning the ins and outs of the baby community, but this establishment like many others definitely had the parents in mind from the get-go. And the prices are reasonable too!

The parents can sit at tables and order delicious entrees while the kids play in a safe, vibrant playground. There weren't very many people there and we had a blast. I could just let max "go" without having to watch his every single move because it was a huge baby-proofed land.

He attacked tonka trucks, held on to the jungle gym, and tipped over little horsies. The size of all the furniture was perfect for him to pull up onto his feet over and over again between falls. This was the equivalent to disneyland for babies and Max had so much fun exploring all of the terrific toys.

The best part of our time was the most exciting "first" for Max. He stood up all by himself for 3 seconds without holding on to anything. He pulled himself up to the standing position and just let go and balanced himself with his arms out wide like an airplane. He was so proud until his short-lived standing spree was over and he fell back down onto his little bootie. I couldn't believe my baby boy stood up for the first time and I was so happy to be right next to him enjoying every second.

We also had fun going to our friend Rachel's 1st birthday party. Max loves his sweet girlfriend and tried to take every toy she held out of her hand. Too bad for Max because Rachel does not part with her toys easily. I think this picture sums it up, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to see Marc with two babies in his arms. Of course it wasn't his idea to hold both babies at the same time. ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm so touched!


If you've ever read my blog, I'm sure it comes as a surprise when I talk about anything other than baby Max. And in typical new-mother-fashion, I will definitely talk about my little elf on most every post. But sometimes, like today, I am touched for a different reason.

I didn't know I could view the statistics of how many people read my blog until a few hours ago. I thought I was just writing this mostly for myself, and my family members might take an occasional gander to see an updated photo I have attached. But today I was stunned to learn that I have readers from 10 different countries including Norway, Malaysia, and Hong Kong to name a few. I'm shocked that people around the world are taking interest in what I have to say!

I only started writing a blog in the first place for two reasons. The main reason is that I wanted a journal to chronologicalize my pregnancy and baby Max's entrance into the world. I know myself well enough to know that I will forget all of the important moments if I do not record them. If you look at Max's completely empty baby book that I have continuously been meaning to "get to", I have proven my point. I'm not the scrapbooker type of gal and need to utilize modern technology to be more efficient. So I didn't begin writing here for anyone else to read besides myself, and hopefully Max would enjoy reading it one day in the future.

The second reason I began blogging as opposed to writing in a traditional journal is quite simple. My speedy typing skills trump the tedious and tiring art of writing by hand by a long shot. There is no way I could crank out a quick blog entry if I had to guide a pen over paper to write every single word. So typing on my mac has made it more realistic for me to tell Max's story and record random thoughts about what's going on around us.

Speaking of Max's story, he got his 6th tooth yesterday! I told him that's enough. Surely six teeth are all he needs to get through life. But this tooth was different from the rest. He slept like a rockstar after too much partying and I barely noticed the little edges cutting through the gums. Maybe he had so much fun with grandmom and granddad in Dallas that he was too exhausted to notice that his mouth ached. If only all the teeth could be so simple....yeah, right!

Another huge development is blowing me away. Not only is Max pulling up onto his feet on every piece of furniture he comes across, but he is taking steps by himself while holding onto the coffee table, couch, and of course my pant legs. He's about to take mobile to the next level and I'm still not encouraging it. He's not even 10 months old yet and I'd really like him to be over a year old before he is walking all over the place.

I'm learning really quick that the busier baby is, the busier mommy is. I'm loving every single minute of it and I'm touched that people around the world are enjoying our story!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dallas Cowboys 50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion


Cowboys and DCC alumni from the past 50 years took the field during the half time performance in the game against the Eagles on Sun. Not only did I get to see the new Cowboys stadium for the first time, but I got to groove on the turf with ring of honor legends Roger Staubach and Randy White....just to name a couple. It truly was an honor to be there!

The weekend began with a trip to "the ranch" where baby Max got to hang out in the Cowboys Cheerleaders' locker room. He clearly loved it as you can tell. Regina and her kids were barking like a dog to get Max's attention for this picture. It had been a long time since I danced for hours on end in that studio, and it was definitely a new dynamic to walk in there with my baby. Like any good mom, I had my son's future in mind when we snapped that shot....bragging rights!

Sat. night we had a lovely dinner at Mi Cocina where I had a blast catching up with my old buddies and making friends with girls I had never even met before. It's so few and far between to be a part of this elite club limited to a number in the 500's. If you think about it, that is a very low number compared to all the girls in the world who would love to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

I especially love making friends with girls that cheered way before me because they have the best stories about the DCC history. We could compare notes for hours on how things have changed! None of us can believe how small the girls' poms are today. The girls from the 70's think we had it soooo easy in the 90's with a smaller version of the biggest poms. But now, we all agree that the current cheerleaders have such a light, fluffy sparkle in their hands that they hardly qualify as poms.

You may wonder what the big deal could possibly be. Cheerleaders have been carrying poms in their hands for years while they danced and maybe size does not matter. But the truth is that size is everything in the sport of cheerleading. When you are dancing for hours night after night in training camp and can't feel your numb arm muscles because they are so tired, it would mean the world to be able to drop a pom or at least have one a fraction of the size. So yeah, we compare notes about every little detail of every single change from then til now and it is fascinating!

We spent the whole entire day on Sunday at the brand new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. That arena is so crazy/huge and could be its own city. When you look up at the big screen, you are certain the ball could fly in your face if a player doesn't catch it. High definition on the movie theatre above the field puts that old jumbo-tron at Texas Stadium to shame. According to Texas standards, if it's bigger, it must be better, right! You can see the cheerleaders so clearly that they better not forget to pluck an eyebrow or they might look lopsided!

My favorite part of the whole entire weekend was at the end of our half time show. As I walked off the field, I took some moments to focus on the fans and remember my own experience as a DCC. It has been over a decade, but the memories came back as if it were yesterday. I looked at the celebratory uproar and soaked it all in. I just waved and waved and waved. And smiled of course. And waved. And waved.....

And when I walked back into that tunnel for the last time that weekend, I had tears in my eyes. I honestly could not believe I was so lucky to be there. It was a rare opportunity to enjoy the moment that I may not have done when I was a cheerleader. It's such a different experience at this point in my life.

I'm not a person full of regrets. I believe we live and learn, and if we make mistakes that somehow shapes us to be a better person in the future. But if I had to do it again, I would have done something differently. I would have taken out school loans and quit all my jobs to enjoy being a cheerleader in college. It would have been more than worth it to be one of America's Sweethearts for another year or two while furthering my education. It sucks that I have always been so fiscally aware and financially responsible!

Oh well, at least I still get to enjoy being a cheerleader with the alumni every few years. I can hear the tune in my head right now...."We are family!"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Up Up and Away....

I need to write about our last trip before we go on another trip tomorrow. Geez, when your baby is a frequent flyer it's tough to find time to blog about the last trip we went on. Or the last two trips. We're always going somewhere! Let's see what has been going on briefly so I can go to bed......

First of all, my parents came to visit. Well, grandmom and granddad were only here for a few days, but it was long enough for two major events. First event: our washing machine flooded water all the way down to the first floor of our complex. We aren't completely sure if our washing machine broke or if we possibly had a stoppage in the pipes that caused a problem, but the good news is that we don't appear to be getting sued. I was soooo nervous about what would happen after that disaster. Regardless, that prompted us to get brand new washer/dryer that we really love so I guess there's a bright side.

Second event: Max got his fourth tooth the last night of my parents visit. Granddad was up for hours in the night and probably holding his grandson the very minute that tooth came in. Awwww, isn't that soooo sweet!

The next week Marc and I took Max to Florida for a truly wonderful Thanksgiving. Almost every day I rode bikes or went swimming. The weather was absolutely perfect and we enjoyed our time immensely.

One of the highlights was taking Max to ride his first pony. Yes, that is correct! Max rode a pony! Isn't that incredible that this little baby has gotten to do so much in his short life! We all enjoyed riding horses, but I especially liked watching Max focus on his new farm friend, Connor. I can't get over the fact that his baby Ugg boots match his little horsie. It doesn't get any better!

Also grandma and grandpa taught Max to drink out of a sippy cup so he doesn't always have to drink out of a shot glass. We went out to some nice dinners and had the best time with family. And grandpa was ecstatic to see Max in the new, authentic Steelers jersey he got him. It was such a fun week and the Newhaus clan spoiled us rotten!

After returning home, Max got his fifth tooth and I got sick for 3 days. Ugh, I was worthless. Thankfully, Marc was a huge help and put Mr. Mom into full force. That was tough, but I am feeling well enough to get on another plane to Dallas tomorrow for an early Christmas celebration and a cheerleader reunion.

Too bad babies don't get frequent flyer miles. Obviously it wouldn't make sense since Max flies free, but would that be great for me. I could write a book or two about traveling with a baby. I've done it so much by myself that I thought it was a breeze with Marc's help. That extra set of hands makes all the difference.

Here we go again....up up and away......Goodnight!

Friday, November 26, 2010

What do you get when you have your birthday, Thanksgiving, and your period all in one week???


Anyone that knows me knows that Thanksgiving is my absolute all time favorite holiday, and this year takes the cake. Literally. I mean it takes the cheesecake, the stuffing, the sweet potatoes, the apple pie, and even the wilted ice berg lettuce salad. This week owns the food department and I'm the CEO.

What I'm trying to say is, "I'm hungry"! Or maybe, "I'm starving" would be more appropriate???

See, my week started off very active as usual with my 34th birthday hike. Sounds athletic enough, until we made it over to the dinner part where I ate for 4 hours straight. That was the beginning of all the rage.

I've always fantasized over having a summer time birthday where I could have a pool party or some type of sun-filled soiree. This year, I gambled and got my wish. I told my besties I wanted to meet at Temescal Canyon for a hike despite the 30% chance of rain. This is not an uncommon birthday amongst many of my fantastic friends. Hey we can dine at Koi with the best of 'em, but sometimes you just need to get down and dirty.

So that's what we did. Not only did the sun shine for the duration of the entire hike without a single cloud in the sky, but my little turkey stayed happily nezzled and mostly snoozing in the moby wrap for the whole 90 minutes....except for a little peek to the camera when it came time to take pictures. It qualified as a perfect hike in the baby/weather department!

Then comes the eating part. That's where everyone came over to our house for a pot of my veggie stew and Marc's brownies. We had tons of hearty, healthy, beneficial food to go along with the decadent delights. There was something for everyone. Except for a meatetarian. If the only thing you eat is meat, then I guess there wasn't anything for you. But there was something for everyone else.

A few of my friends wrote and called to get my recipe for veggie stew. It was really awesome. The only thing is that I never make it the same way twice. But it was an awesome base of beans and flavorful veggies and potatoes. I made the bold move of putting an entire stalk of kale and an entire stalk of chard into it when it was almost done. That was only a bold move for me because it was something different than I usually do, but everyone complimented the greens. Including Marc. It was a perfect blend of flavor and taste. Your welcome my friends.....and Marc! He liked what I cooked......WOOOOOT!!!!

That was only the beginning, and as the week progressed, so did my PMS. My healthy appetite escalated along with the food supply. We flew out on the red eye Monday night and I haven't been able to stop eating. It was just one of those kind of weeks and I got called out on it Thanksgiving day.

During Thanksgiving dinner I was so busy giving Max tastes of all the baby friendly foods that I didn't eat a proper meal for myself and was grazing on everything but turkey for the rest of the day.

Marc's grandmother Charlotte (Max's only living great grandparent) told me I need to stop eating because I look pregnant again. Everyone was stunned except those that were nervous or possibly even a little mad. She responded by telling Marc that I have "let myself go". Hahaha!!!! It was the funniest thing in the entire world.

I promise it was as hilarious as anything could ever be. It was fuel for the new york-banter fire. Those comments provided for so much laughing that I'm sure I burned off the calories from the last two plates of stuffing.

All sorts of points were brought up. Marc's aunt reminded her that I had a baby. Marc's mom mentioned that I was breast feeding and needed more calories for that. Marc brought up that you shouldn't criticize someone's weight if you are fatter than them. And so on and so on....

At every meal after that comments have been made that if someone isn't able to finish their meal that I will take care of it. Or you'll hear Marc simply say "20 or 30 pounds". Or we'll mention that Max will go on a diet now because he is beginning to look pregnant.

I still love Charlotte. I think she was genuinely worried about me and simply speaking her concerns. She thinks because I don't eat meat I never get full and can't stop eating everything else. She was trying to help me with my "problem".

This year I am thankful for my first Thanksgiving as mommy to baby Max. I'm also thankful I finally got my period so my "food baby" doesn't get any bigger. We are having so much fun in Florida. Gobble gobble!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art Rebels


My friend Emme had the BEST 30th birthday party this weekend. We went to Art Rebel art studio for a most extraordinary obsessive compulsive painting party. And we had more than a hangover to show for our good time the next day!

This party consisted of body painting, speed doodling, dancing, spin art, and did I forget to mention NAKED body painting???.....Ahahaha!!! It was a paint party extravaganza! The night began rather calmly when we painted the studio-length community canvas. But the night ended in an all out paint fight, and let's just say that the paint won that competition.

Believe it or not, the naked body painting was NOT my favorite part. Don't get me wrong. I didn't mind painting the chiseled abdominals on the oh so generous volunteer. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Focus on his foot? Uhhh, no thanks! But as much as I didn't mind outlining Patrick's abs with blue and green, there were so many other aspects of this evening that made it one of a kind.

Spin art was my favorite. I wanted to sit at the spin art machine all night long, but didn't want to be a hog about it. I love love loved dropping different colors of paint into the squares and was fascinated at the way the paint splattered to the outer edged of the picture. I'm still amazed that you get concentric circles and streaks simultaneously by dropping paint onto the moving paper. When can I do spin art again? I am ready!!!

Gosh, it's too bad we couldn't all be as creative as Emme on our 30th birthdays. Most of us spend a ton of money on a night that ends up blending in with so many other fabulous nights out. But not this girl. She entered her 30's with a bang. And all of her friends got to wake up with a few masterpieces that we got to bring home. I am so happy we were part of her celebration!!!

This is my favorite picture of the night. I really love all these girls. I've known Paisley and Renee for over a decade and just became friends with Emme this year. You can tell that we are having the best time being art rebels together!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

He's a Crawler....Shockaller


What a sport! He is the best little baby and couldn't be any cuter if he tried. It's a good thing that I hang out with a lot of other gushing mommies so I don't have to make the general public sick with my never ending doting remarks. I could talk about this sweet boy 24/7.

Max is doing so much these days. He crawls from one end of the house to the other. We had to start baby proofing when he was 7 months old. Once he started chasing the cat around the house, I knew we had reached the "getting into everything" stage. After Max dove into Boogars' cat food bowl, I told Marc that he has to keep his eye on the baby at all times because has gone mobile.

Several days later after I had explained this bit of information to Marc, I came home from yoga to find Marc asleep on the couch. Of course I thought it was a joke that Marc was napping before midnight because he always goes to bed so late. I asked him "where's Max" and he threw a quick glance toward his feet and said "right there". Once again I thought he was joking or trying to fool me because there was no baby by his feet. In response to my confused expression, he jumped up and started walking in circles and looking around the couch as if he had misplaced the baby....I thought that he was possibly playing a joke on me and Max was sleeping soundly in his crib. I really didn't know what to think about Marc's state of mind until I saw his jaw drop as he looked at his son in the hallway climbing up onto the laundry detergent.

Having a baby has caused me to relive many moments of my own childhood and this stirred up a huge memory. I vividly recalled how serious an incident we had in our home when one of my brothers drank lime away and was sent to the hospital. It was really scary to think back about my brother and a wake up call to Marc. You can't be asleep and watching your baby at the same time.....duh!

Fortunately nothing bad happened and now it is fun to watch little diaper butt scooting around the house. I don't mind that he is all over the place because he is usually having a blast with the cat or his toys. It took him so long to show interest in the cat and now he is all about their brotherly love.

Unfortunately for Max, Boogars is not so keen on having clumps of hair pulled out and has resorted to batting his paw a few times. Ahahahaha....I am still laughing over that one. Boogars is all bark and no bite and trying to show Max that he needs to keep his distance. They are friendly for the most part, but as Max continues to get stronger I think Boogars will keep running away faster and faster.

Max is jabbering away these days and has lots to say. He says quite a few consonants in all the babbling and still only has the two words mama and dada. He said mama for the first time at 6 months old and would repeat it over and over as one long mamamamamama. Then after about a month of that he began dadadadada. Now for the first time this week he is trying to imitate many other words on a regular basis. I looooove it when he does this. It's not too often, but we have our rituals that involve saying and doing the same things.

For instance, this morning when I picked him up out of his crib, I said the usual "good morning". And he just smiled and cooed and made a good morning sound that imitated the inflection of my voice. It was so sweet. And other things I tell him such as "I love you" have been mimicked as well as the word kitty. These words aren't coming out terribly clear and if it weren't in response to what I had just said, I'm sure they wouldn't be as easily understood. With a little more practice I'm sure he will be saying lots more soon.


I'm reading the most fabulous book. Whaaaa----you say? Read? Gosh, I haven't had time to do something like that since Max was born. If I have a free minute, I'm usually trying to squeeze in a nap or a quick workout or a post on my blog. These are all things that I would like to do every single day, but there's absolutely no way. It's always a sacrifice to do one thing instead of another.

But alas, I am reading a book! Even if it is only a few pages a day, I am reading. My first book back is "The Continuum Concept" by Jean Liedloff. Wow, it is amazing and a must read for all parents. I'm on Chapter 3 entitled "The Beginning of Life" and am fascinated by the assessment of a baby's needs.

When a baby is born, they have strict requirements about what they need. We have learned that he cannot hope that if he is uncomfortable now, that he will be comfortable later. Either things are right or not right. He cannot feel that "mother will be right back" when she leaves him. If a baby is left to cry for too long and the response it is meant to elicit does not come, that feeling gives way to utter bleakness without time or hope. That breaks my heart to think of a screaming, crying baby left all alone to suffer!!!

It does make sense to me that we have these maternal instincts to respond to our baby's cries, and it bewilders me that there are people who bring another life into the world and ignore their cries for help. It says that if you can't be received as a baby, that you may have trouble bonding and forming attachments. The psychotherapist that recommended this book to me simply stated that if I ever have any doubts about my role as an attachment parent, to read this book and keep up the good work.

I wish I could stay up all night and read this whole entire book. But there is no way I would be a good mommy tomorrow without any sleep. Funny how parenting doesn't allow for a day off and breast feeding gives about a 6 hour break at the most. I love my full time job!

Speaking of jobs, I have some part time work coming up for the holidays. I'll be working in short 4 hour little incriments on the weekends for Kitchen Aid and I'm looking forward to the small amount of responsibility. Marc's mom does this same job in Florida and hooked me up with the little side gig. Sounds manageable enough for a start back to earning an income!

I'm missing the entertainment industry, but not enough to go back to it any time soon. Those hours are tough to keep up with for anyone, but for a new mom....forget about it. I would definitely have a meltdown! I don't know if I could keep up with breast feeding and would feel horrible about using formula. And not to mention, we still get up once in the night and I would be exhausted all the time. No thank you!

It would be so sad to miss out on special moments and huge milestones if I were working full time. I am so grateful to be at home with my boy. I love being with him and moments like bathtime are the best. His little butt is so cute as he tries to crawl out of his froggie bathtub. I treasure every moment with all my boys!!!

Goodnight!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Monkey Kisses

Happy Halloween! All weekend we are reminded of our own childhood joys of dressing up in homemade costumes and trick or treating all over the neighborhood. And we can't help but remember the sorrow of having our parents throw away all the candy. And the joy of having an extra secret stash that they didn't know about. And the sorrow of eating so much sugar that we had to vomit.

It probably wasn't necessary to eat the entire trash bag full of candy in one night. Just thinking about it gives me a simultaneous sugar high and low....I do not know how we were physically able to tear open hundreds of wrappers and shove that many nerds, reeses, and tootsie pops into our mouths in one sitting. In my old age (early 30's) I've graduated from binging on sweet confections to getting a head ache after a single peanut butter cookie. And I'm simply unable to resist the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. It has become rebellious of me to eat two whole cookies.

Contesting how much junk food I can ingest on Oct. 31 is not the only thing that has changed for me this halloween. Now all I care about it my little monkey. Seeing him at the park with his friends yesterday was the most precious thing in the entire world. All the mommies were eager to show off their little ghosts and goblins. Whether it was a lobster, farmer, or angel in tow, you can bet it was stinkin' cute.

As an outsider looking in, I probably would have thought that we were a bunch of nutball mommies torturing their little ones by forcing them to wear ridiculous outfits. However, I was on the inside all the way and loving every minute. Nothing could have been more normal and natural than staring at our little pumpkins.

Ballerina Calli was leaning in for a kiss, and Monkey Max decided to chew on some keys rather than reciprocate his lady friend's affection. Silly monkey....happy halloween!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lights Camera Camping


As if we didn't already know it, Max is a ham in front of the camera. We booked an infomercial together and shot it last week. He was all smiles as I talked about the fantastic baby food processor that we've been using to make all of Max's baby food at home. He was a natural and we enjoyed our time on set.

The whole crew including the producers raved about Max's happy demeanor. Every single one of the babies at the shoot was adorable, but they unanimously voted Max the Gerber baby of the group. He won it by a long shot.

Max may read this later one day and think it's crazy that he ever loved so much attention. Or he may laugh at how he was born loving the camera. Either way, I will support him, but I'm guessing it will be funny to look back on how his life began.

On Friday, we headed out for a weekend of camping out at Joshua Tree. I think it was fairly brave of us to take a 7 month old camping, but everything went really well. Max absolutely loved all of the bustling activities that encompassed camping. Once again, he was a natural.

Like all little boys, Max loved being in the tent. He didn't seem to miss the comfort of his crib for one single second. He slept on the air mattress for part of the time and in my suitcase for the other part of the time. It got really cold at night and we had him bundled up like a burrito. We kept him so busy that he never turned down an opportunity to sleep. Awesome!

We went on 3 beautiful hikes and Marc and I traded off carrying Max. It was a little too hot for me to keep him in the moby wrap, so Marc ended up just carrying him in his arms most of the time. That had to be an arm workout for Marc and pure bliss for Max. He was so content that he even fell asleep around Marc's neck on one of the hikes. It was pretty darn cute if I say so myself.

This was truly a week of reaffirmation that my baby is a super star camper. He doesn't mind roughing it or earning his keep. What a trooper! I'm not ready to get him an agent, but we will start planning our next trip!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plan B

The biggest news we have these days is that Max is sleeping in his crib and only gets up a couple times a night now. The way we initially devised the plan was not the way I carried out the plan. But sometimes you have to go to plan B.

Plan B involved me jumping up and down through out the night like a jack in the box. I could no longer breast feed him laying down in the middle of the night because I would fall asleep while nursing. And then forget about waking up to put Max back in the crib. I was too tired to care, and too absent minded to think about the baby sleeping anywhere else besides right next to me. So I would breast feed in the rocking chair and lay him back in the crib when I was finished.

It sounds like a really easy process, but nothing was easy that first week. It was harder on me than anyone. It wasn't very hard on Marc (except for a couple feedings he did) because he slept in another room and couldn't hear what was going on. And it wasn't hard on Max, because he always got and continues to get fed and soothed whenever he needs. But for me it was brutal.

We put the air mattress in Max's bedroom for me to lay down on after feeding him. That was especially useful when Max wouldn't go right back to sleep after a feeding. I could lay him down in his crib, and if he woke up I would be right there in his room to assure him that he was ok rather than running back and forth from one room to another.

Most importantly, I am very pleased with the results. We didn't use any cry it out methods or any baby training techniques. We didn't subscribe to the Ferber method or any other nutballs. We stuck with basic attachment parenting principles and hold your breath. Dun dun dunnnnn.....maternal instincts.

The easiest way to transition a baby to a crib this way is to have the father do all the night time feedings with a bottle. That way they still get their milk without looking to the boob for comfort all through out the night. But I crossed the hardest hump on my own before Marc's mom came in town. She did almost all the night feedings and helped me out tremendously. I think that really allowed us all to adjust to our new sleeping arrangements.

And just to clarify, I would start off co-sleeping if I had to do it over again. There is no way in the world I would have been able to hop up and down to breast feed every hour or two in the beginning. I'm certain that there is no way I would have succeeded with much separation between us. I believe mommies and babies are meant to be very close together in the beginning to develop a strong, secure bond.

Max is doing tons of adorable things that are much more interesting than just sleeping. He's been eating solid foods for well over a month now. It took a while to care about food, and now that he does I think he's obsessed. Today he wouldn't stop eating and Marc just kept feeding and feeding him. Marc thought he would know when to stop eating because he was full, but that was absolutely not the case.

Marc fed him hummus, a little slice of a peach, and a ton of sweet potato. He wouldn't stop eating sweet potato and Marc thought he was still hungry. Later when Max threw up we decided that it is our job to have portion control in mind after a certain amount. If he really likes the taste of a food, he might never stop eating if we don't stop feeding him.

We also like to feed him some foods such as avocado, banana, and boiled carrots that he can feed himself. It's fun for him and keeps him busy while we are doing other things in the kitchen. Here's Max in his high chair where he hangs out and watches me make shakes and clean dishes. The blender doesn't even phase him because he is so used to the noise. This is part of our routine almost every single day.

Marc's mom brought her friend Barbara with her to visit us and they stayed for a whole week. We went to some really fun events together. We all went to the movies and saw "The Town" with Ben Affleck. It was a great plot with a tremendous amount of violence. I got to see a fair amount of the flick except for when Max was talking to the big screen and we had to take some breaks to go sit outside.

We went to the Ahmanson Theatre to see "Leap of Faith" with Brooke Shields. It wasn't up to Broadway's standards, but we enjoyed it. I was so excited about getting out with the girls in my high heels that I wasn't paying attention and ungracefully fell down a small flight of stairs. Let's just say, "Ow, I'm still sore from that mistake!"

One night we got a babysitter and all went out to a comedy show at the Groundlings. We laughed our butts off and probably got a little ab workout that night. It was an absolute blast.

And for some "me" time, I went to a few yoga classes, got a massage, rode my bike, and got lots of extra sleep. That's really all it takes to make me happy. That was such a treat for me to do these things that I love and come home to the cutest baby in the world. It's amazing how he becomes even cuter after the opportunity to be selfish....I am so blessed!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Max & Jaxson

Max and Jaxson met today at their H&M print audition. They both rocked it. Max almost slept through his opportunity to shine, but he made it in the nick of time. Fortunately he opened his eyes and gave the photographer a little smile. After that we took the time to visit with my friend Brandie and her son Jaxson.

Jaxson is only 3 days older than Max and it is precious to see them next to each other. Jaxson was the boss of the two and was pulling on Max's ear. Max was focusing so hard to sit up right all by himself that he wasn't able to reciprocate the attention. Their developmental stages are almost perfectly in sync and they are both very happy boys. It was entertaining to see their interaction with one another.

When we got home, I sat Max on his play mat and he was not happy about that. I realize that I never get an upset picture and thought I'd post one. He's adorable even when he's sad. Of course I prefer a smile, but this face just melts my heart.

Last night was Max's first night to spend all night in his crib. Marc had an extremely hard time with a middle of the night feeding and was in a terrible mood. He was so tired that he didn't get out of bed until 1pm and missed all of the good volleyball games this morning. You know he felt bad if he missed his coveted time at the beach.

One night feeding wrecked him so bad that he refused to help me for the rest of the week. Tonight, I re-convinced him to man up and help me out. So he re-agreed to help with the transition. Whew! So once again, we shall see what the night brings...

Wish us luck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Little P Found His Package!

Yes, that is how it sounds. Little Max Perry found his penis this week. Now when we change him, he has to check and make sure it is still there. I keep telling him it's all intact....including his foreskin. He's already holding himself like a football player in the locker room. That must be an exciting discovery for any boy!

He also found his ears. He keeps running his hand back there to pull on his ears and scratch his head. He's giving the Fonz from "Grease" a run for his money. All baby Max needs is a little more hair.

We've reached a pivotal point where we are ready to transition Max to his crib. We are all ready. Well, Marc and I are ready, but I'm not sure if Max is or not. But I am done with cosleeping. It served us well and attributed to a strong breast feeding relationship, but it suddenly became perfectly clear that we are ready for the next step.

It was a culmination of milestones that got us to this point. First of all, he is not teething. Both of his bottom teeth have come in, so I don't have to worry about him enduring excruciating pain all night. Secondly, we are not traveling. Nor do we plan to go anywhere before Thanksgiving. As I well know, it is impossible to adapt a solid schedule if you are going to leave and wreck it. Third, Max is finally eating lots of food. So I don't have to worry about his little tummy hurting because he is empty. These factors were all crucial before we could possibly attempt the transition.

I was just hoping for him to show some interest in food, but it is beyond that. Today he ate 1/3 of an avocado, a few beans, and some banana with brown rice cereal. I couldn't have asked for more in the food department.

Last time I fed him avocado, he gagged on it and spit it out. Today, he barked at me when I didn't feed it to him fast enough. Since I eat avocado almost every day, that will be a very easy food to give him. It's also nice that I don't have to puree it for him. I simply cut him a slice and he chews and swallows without a problem. This feels like a victory for me, but all I did was continue to offer it to him over and over.

The way we are transitioning Max into his crib is as usual a carefully thought out plan modeled by other peaceful parenting advocates and nonbelievers in crying it out. A breast fed baby's first love affair is with the boob. So naturally they look for the boob for comfort. And Max loves to look for that boob in the middle of the night!

So to switch it up, tonight daddy Marc will be there to comfort. Not me. Yes, that's right folks. Marc is taking over the nighttime feedings until Max is adjusted to his room. And since Marc doesn't have boobs, he will be there to comfort and soothe in a different way than me. Because at this point, it's about comfort more than hunger. I'm actually going to do the first feeding just to give my boobs some relief, and then it will be up to Marc to get Max through the rest of the night. I am going to sleep in another room after the first feeding so I can get a much needed break and some extra sleep. Wait. I lie. I'm not getting extra sleep. I'd have to sleep for a straight month for it to be considered extra. I am just aiming to get a good night's sleep is all.

So I got the boys all ready for their first night. We have the baby monitors all set up. Max has his turtle nightlight on so he can see where he is when he wakes up. Since he won't be smelling me and my milk, he will have the bunny that he sleeps with every night with our familiar scents. I moved the rocking chair from the living room into his bedroom. Basically, I've equipped them with everything they might need in hopes of being left alone. I'm really hoping for a successful night, but realize it usually takes a week to begin a new sleep association.

Let's hope Max finds his package is an adequate replacement for the boob. Because tonight it's up to him and Daddy! Wish us luck!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My big boy.

I can remember a long time ago back before I was a mother. It's been over a year if you count pregnancy. And over 10 years if you count Boogars. Either way it's been a long while.

I remember back when moms would talk about how big their babies were. It usually sounded like, "Oh my goodness, I can't believe they're growing up soooo fast!" And my response was probably to nod my head in agreement because I didn't notice a difference either way. It just never seemed like a big deal to me. And to talk about growing an inch was the equivalent of talking about the weather. Booooorrrriiiinnnng!

But here I am wanting to talk about how big my baby boy is. He's sooooo big. And mature. And smart. And strong. And did I mention cute? Ok, I know I need to simmer down. But he's just getting so big! Hahahaha!!! I gave him his first bath in his big boy bath tub tonight. He's almost outgrown the kitchen sink and bath time has become an opportunity to stretch out and have some fun. As much as he loves to kick his legs, I want him to be able to splash water all over the bathroom.

So tonight was his first night to forego the sink and get in his new inflatable bathtub. It wasn't as successful as planned, but these things always take some tweaking. Every time we change any part of our routine, we realize we are making at least one mistake. Tonight he was tired and cranky when he got in his bath, so instead of playtime we just got down to the basics and did a quick scrub. It's safe to say he didn't appreciate his new bath time experience. I think he would have prefered to skip bathtime altogether tonight.

Now that we are feeding Max solid foods, bathtime is of the utmost importance. Between smearing food all over his face, hands, and body, my sticky little guy is quite a mess. The most important part of our daily routine is at least an ounce of solid food at night before bath and then mommy's milk and sleep.

I have offered him a bite or two of food every single day for the past few weeks. And thank goodness Max is finally starting to show a small amount of interest in solid foods. Yea!!! Yesterday was the first day that he ate really well with the spoon. I fed him bananas with a little brown rice mixed in. I know he likes plain bananas, but I had no idea that he would eat it with the added texture of the rice. But he did!

And low and behold, it was a good night after his big banana/rice meal. I got to sleep for 6 hours in a row. And then I fed him and we both went right back to sleep. And then I fed him 1 more time an hour later and fell right back asleep again. And then I almost cried tears of joy. Because I woke up feeling refreshed. That is the biggest deal in the whole entire world. Nothing else compares to waking up feeling rested. I was able to get out and run errands during Max's naptime today, because I wasn't a zombie waiting for him to fall asleep so I could take a nap.

Hey, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. It all works out perfectly since I don't have to go to work every day. I'm able to take naps during the day with Max so I'm able to function. But it's extra special for me to get up and go all day without feeling like a brick fell on my head. Usually when we have tough nights, I just stay close to home so I don't miss the chance to catch some z's.

Max and I had so much fun running around town today. I couldn't believe it at one point when I looked down at him in his stroller and he was sitting straight up. That's why I'm bragging about how big and strong my baby is. He's practically sitting up straight all by himself. By the looks of his smile I think he was feeling quite proud of his new accomplishment.

And he is getting strong and scooting around after his toys now. Unfortunately he thinks everything he sees is a toy for him. Today he really shocked me when he scooted a few feet across the kitchen into the cat's food bowl. That was another first for sure. He grasped a handfull of his furry brother's food without missing a beat. He knows what he wants when he sees it.

I love it that we are having so much fun getting to know each other. I always wonder what his interests will be. I wonder if he will have my creative side or be more math-minded like Marc. I wonder what his favorite sport will be. I wonder if he will want to tap dance with me. I wonder what all of his likes and dislikes will be. I wonder how embarrassed he will be when I want to mush and squoosh him in front of his friends.

I'm just loving my big boy! Hey, have you heard that it's cooling off outside......

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Nori!

My friend Nori is one of the very few people that reads my blog, so I'd like to take a second to tell her happy birthday from Max and me. In Nori's honor, Max got his 2nd tooth today! Yep, that's right folks! My baby boy has two bottom teeth now. He's so timely to get this tooth on his Aunt Nori's birthday!

We went on a little birthday hike this weekend to celebrate Nori's special day. Lucky for us, she was able to break away from an Emmy Awards filled weekend for some exercise and food. It's so great that my friends and I all love birthday hikes. Don't tell anyone but those are our favorites!

While we were gone hiking, Marc was busy cooking breakfast burritos for a small group of friends that came over. I am super spoiled with my own personal chef. He had been cooking in the kitchen for over an hour to make sure everything was perfect for us when we got to the house. It was delicious and fun catching up with friends.

There was even more excitement on this weekend's agenda. Max made his Hollywood debut by appearing in a webisode of Bitter Waiter. He was a natural. It was a favor to his Aunt Kristi that we helped that production. They are a talented bunch of awesome people! I'm so glad we were able to be a part of it for my magnificent friends!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reflecting...

Look at his first tooth in this picture!

I just went back and watched the videos of when Baby Max was born. Wow, things have changed!

I was especially surprised to watch the video of 1 week postpartum to see how pregnant I looked. My belly was hanging out of the bottom of my shirt. How funny! I was huge!

The most special memory I have with my son so far is breast feeding for the first time. Everyone kept saying that breast feeding was so hard. But I didn't understand why or how it could be so difficult. Max came out ready to suck and made my job easy.

I think the reason it was so special to breast feed him was because it made everything so real. We put him up to the boob and he knew exactly what to do. It was probably the most pure and natural moment after giving birth. I stared at him the whole time. It was so amazing to see how he opened his mouth and started sucking. He seemed very happy there and I loved having him on me.

At that point my milk hadn't come in yet and I knew he was getting colostrum that he needed to clean out his digestive tract. The funny thing about colostrum is that it is clear and watery so you don't feel like you are feeding your child. It was more of a time to be close and get to know each other. My heart goes out to mommies and babies who are unable to breast feed because the bonding is so special.

But now that I have breast fed Max for the past 6 months, I understand why people say it is hard. It has nothing to do with putting your boob in a baby's mouth. That's the easy part for most. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule when there are health disorders and latch problems. But the actual act of feeding is quite easy. Especially with all the special pillows such as the boppy and the breast friend.

The reason people say breast feeding is hard is because you don't get to retreat away from your child and there is almost no opportunity to be selfish. For most of us that have only had to worry about taking care of ourselves for the past 30+ years, it is a huge lifestyle change. Newborns have to eat every hour or two, and that is the breast feeding mother's job. Point blank. You are the only one there to do that job.

So you might not think that sounds like a big deal, but when it comes down to not being able to sleep more than 3 hours in a row or just run off to run a quick errand, you start to realize how hard it can be. That's why you really need to look to your "village" for help with things like cooking and cleaning.

When I think about being attached to my son for the first 3 months of his life, it sounds easy and natural. But when you're living it and haven't been able to skip off to a yoga class or a retreat to the movies or anywhere at all by yourself for several months, you can see why many people quickly give up on breast feeding.

But if you hang in there past the first 3 or 4 months when sleep deprivation is at its worst, breast feeding becomes a miracle. Any time your baby is sick or fussy, you can always soothe by nursing. I've heard that many mothers regret that they quit nursing as soon as their baby is sick. It's too bad that moms will quit nursing and let their milk dry up when all they needed was help. It's a good feeling to know that I was able to nurse Max half the night before he got his first tooth. He must have been in so much pain and it's nice to know that I was able to bring him some relief.

My favorite thing about breast feeding is that I don't have to pack formula and bottles everywhere I go. Babies need enough these days between diapers, wipes, carseats, change of outfits, etc. The last thing I want to have to do on top of that is make bottles. And since I am not making bottles, I am not cleaning bottles. And you know the last thing I want to deal with is cleaning anything I don't have to.

Now that Max has begun eating solid foods, I am not the only one capable of feeding him anymore. So a breast feeding mother is only 100% in charge of feedings for 6 months. Then it is possible to share that responsibility with others. Just because breast feeding is so consuming in the beginning doesn't mean it will stay that way. It just gets easier and easier.

I'm starting to sound like a lactation consultant, huh! I wish all mothers could share this bond with their babies. My most special moments with Max are revolved around nursing when we stare into each other's eyes. He knows I am nourishing him and always there to fill his needs. And I know I'm doing a good job because he's getting heavy!

We went to the pediatrician yesterday. Max weighs a little under 17 lbs. I think he actually lost a tiny bit of weight this past week. He is so active these days and always reaching out and scooting towards his toys. He's burning tons of calories with all this action. He went down to the 25th percentile in weight and is in the 75th percentile for height.

We just started giving him brown rice cereal yesterday, so he'll probably pack some weight back on really fast. I barely gave him any these past 2 days, but we'll increase that very soon. After hearing too many nightmare stories about babies being constipated, I've started slow with the food.

Going to the park is one of my favorite things to do with Max. We love being together and we love being outside. I love being his mom and it is so beautiful to reflect on our journey together, thus far.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm obsessed

My obsession is with watching my baby sleep. It is the most peaceful sight in the whole entire world. Snuggled up blissfully like a little birdie in his nest is usually how he drifts off. Sometimes I think I will never see this magical sight again, until he finally tires into a milk coma. This is heaven.

Things get easier all the time....and time is flying! We rarely have a sleepless night anymore, and when we do, we are able to take a big, fat nap. Sometimes 7am seems like the worst day in the world, but by about 11 things are all good again. Naptime is the best, and suddenly it is the best day in the world!

He's gotten to eat a few solid foods, but I may change my approach to baby led solids. That way Max can eat soft foods such as avocado at his own will rather than me feel like I'm force feeding him. Every time I hold a spoonful of anything up to his mouth he arches his back and leans away from me. He just turned 6 months old yesterday, so it's not like he needs more than a taste anyway. So far he loves bananas, hates green beans, and might have liked sweet potatoes for part of a split second.

I got to go to an awesome power yoga class tonight. I bet I am sore tomorrow. Even though I've been going on lots of hikes, I'm not in stellar yoga shape. This class is a butt kicker for people that are in rockin' shape, so it was definitely a tough one for me today. It was so wonderful to go to a really hard yoga class that wasn't "baby and me". And it's even more wonderful for Max to have time with Daddy without me to sweep in every time Max fusses or needs something.

I can't believe Marc told me a few months ago that he would be the best volleyball player at the beach if he were a stay at home mom. I didn't say much because I was probably looking at him like he was crazy. He explained to me that he would play with all guys that had babies and they would rotate one at a time and that guy would take care of all the babies. Yeah, he seriously did say that. Like one guy could take care of 4 babies. That statement right there told me I need to leave Marc with Max more often. He couldn't have spelled it out any more clearly.

Since it is so easy, Marc will be taking over several nights a week for a couple hours while I go to a yoga class. The funny thing is he looks beat to a pulp when I get home. It's absolutely hilarious to see how two hours can tire a guy out. He is always so grateful to see me walk in the door and usually has a story about how many diapers or baths Max needed while I was gone.

I really hope Marc doesn't read this because he probably doesn't realize how ridiculous he sounded. Tonight when I got home Marc told me that he didn't play one single video game the whole time he was watching Max. HAHAHA!!! No kidding! You really didn't sit on your butt, eat bonbons and watch all your favorite tv shows? Huh? But I thought it was so easy....I'm still laughing at this one.

And the little story about how Max peed on himself after his first bath and he needed a second one was fantastic. That has happened to me so many times. I usually forget about that after a few throw-uppy burps. I mean really, who's counting. I'm not sure how many baths Max gets in a given day. It probably depends on how many bodily functions were out of control and had bad timing. That is usually a high number, so there is no telling!

So now Marc tells me he was wrong about his volleyball theory. I secretly LOVE it when he admits that I was right and he was wrong. Basically, I just love it that he appreciates me and the job that I do. He has been telling me every day that I am such a good mom and he doesn't know how I do it all day and night every day and every night. It is so nice to hear that.

Yesterday Marc told me he wished he had taken maternity leave when Max was born. It's hard to believe that one simple statement like that could evoke so much emotion. But it made me cry. He finally realizes that it takes a "village".

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yummy

Max enjoyed what turned out to be almost a full week of eating banana. Ok, let's be real. I enjoyed my newfound time when he's busy sucking on his banana lollipop. Sweet!

After much deliberation and research, we have decided that his next food will be green beans. So Marc bought fresh green beans and boiled and pureed them. I was all prepared to make Max's food, but I was happy to let Marc take care of it. He's so good in the kitchen, and made Max's food for the next few days while I was putting Max to bed.

After Max fell asleep, I went in the kitchen to see how the process was going. And to my surprise, liquified green beans tasted delicious. I finger licked the blender clean. I think with a little salt and pepper it would be like any freshly made vegan soup I would order from A Votre Sante. Max's homemade baby food is delicious! Unbelievable, huh!

Only problem is that I shouldn't be eating so late at night. Green been mash after a huge Lizzy salad and sweet and salty mix from Trader Joe's for dessert. Who am I kidding. I do this every single night these days.

Sherrie is visiting from Dallas and we had a nice visit today. Our plan was to hike up temescal canyon with our babies. Her son Ethan weighs 10 lbs more than my little baby so I told her I would carry her son and she would carry mine. But she insisted that she had mom arms and was in great shape to carry the heavier baby. She even bragged to Marc that she was so strong and flexed her muscles for all to see.

That turned out to be a funny joke and we didn't even come close to the magnificent ocean view at the top of the loop. Nope, not this time. We had left salads and snacks in the car and she decided she would rather sit down at the beach and have a picnic than continue the forward march. We were hot and sweaty and tired.

In my opinion, it would have been easier to hike the rest of temescal. We didn't have any type of a blanket or towel to spread across the sand, so we improvised by sitting on our slings. I wish I had a picture of my awkward position. I spread my wet-with-sweat-moby wrap on the sand to sit on. As I attempted to snack on salad, I was holding Max with one hand and a little umbrella to keep us from getting a sunburn with the other hand.

We got sand in all our food and every crevice of our bodies, but it was a great time. Ethan has a funny love/hate relationship with the ocean. He's fascinated yet scared of the water that keeps coming back to get him. He was all boy running around and digging up sand.

Max was slightly less impressed. Nothing compares to milk bottle numbers one and two. He had his boobies so all was good. Yeah, imagine that. With everything else I was trying to balance, I had to whip out a sweaty boob for my boy. Kinda' yucky sounding, but what's a thirsty boy to do....

Sunday night we went to dinner at Sor Tino for Robert's birthday. I love this restaurant because it is walking distance from our house and the Italian food is delicious. It was such a nice, normal dinner, and then our little group of five (plus one sleeping baby) walked over to Yogurtland. We took the little sample cups and kept re-filling them over and over again. I couldn't stop laughing. Part of me was giddy happy at how long Max had slept without a peep and the other part of me couldn't believe this group (ages 33 - 42) was having so much fun eating free dessert. Gosh, we are so mature.

When I was little, I can remember thinking that being an adult meant you had to be a boring, predictable person. Now I think it means you can have more fun than ever. I can't believe no one at Yogurtland told us we needed to purchase a yogurt, or better yet to just leave.

Hey, I guess there are worse places to be than a yogurt bar on the weekends. At least we weren't at Cabo Cantina smoking cigs with the baby. Or better yet at home licking baby food off the counter.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bananas & Babies

Max got to eat his first bite of a banana today. It was hilarious to see how much he loved it. We froze a small bite for him inside a mesh net. He worked on that banana for 20 minutes....enough time for me to make a beautiful salad for myself! It must have felt really good on his gums to chew on it because he smiled and kicked his legs with enthusiasm. It was the equivalent of giving Boogars catnip to let Max attack his new frozen treat!

I just put Max to bed at 10pm and I'm very curious if that bite of a banana will help him sleep any longer. He's been going 6 hours for his longest stretch these days and that is already considered sleeping through the night. But he is up 3 times almost every night and that's still a lot.

I'm proud of myself for not giving in to the baby training short cuts. Every time Max entered a growth spurt and was eating every hour or two, Marc would say to just feed him already. But then we'd get through that little phase and be so happy we were able to stick with exclusive breast feeding. This will ultimately benefit Max's health forever and reduce his risk of so many diseases including diabetes, allergies, and obesity.

I have to admit that when I look at my 17 pound baby who has more than doubled his weight, I am elated at the fact that I am the one who fed him every single meal. Even the small amount of bottles he's had has been my milk that I pumped. I think I would advise any new mom to just hang in there and keep up the good work. One day your baby will get sick and you might look back and wish you had done things differently. No regrets....

Thursdays at the park are always a treat. I love this group of mommies and babies. It is one of the highlights of my week to see this lovely group. Max is usually one of the most talkative babies of the bunch. I think he is happiest in groups like this where he is getting lots of attention. You can see Max upside down holding his rattle. It was a great day as usual!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Funny Little Dude

Max is being so adorable that I couldn't resist a little update. Right now he is laying next to me and laughing out loud for no apparent reason. There is absolutely nothing funny going on. He doesn't even have a toy in his hand. He is just laughing and laughing and laughing. It's making me laugh because it is funny to watch a little boy laugh like this!

He has started entertaining himself for 15 minutes at a time on a regular basis. I still hold him as much as possible, but when I have stuff to do, I can easily lay him down with some toys and he is good to go. These little chunks of time give me so much freedom!

We've only been home from our trip to Birmingham and Dallas for a few days and we are already getting on a good schedule. Last night he went to bed at 9:30 pm which is pretty good time for us. He's usually ready to go for the day 11 hours after he falls asleep. Today that meant he was ready to go for the day at 8am. That would have been fine with me except that I stayed up kind of late working on a project.

So he has been waking up at 1am for a feeding. This has always been ok for me because I want him to have a full belly before I get into a deep sleep. But last night he woke up and was back asleep in less than a minute. That's because he found his pacifier and put it in his mouth all by himself. So he was instantly a happy, sucking baby and didn't need me. That was kind of awesome!

Last week he started groaning in the middle of the night, which of course means he is hungry. I turned over to feed him and he used his hand to take his pacifier out of his mouth so he could drink his milk. That amazed me that his hand-eye coordination was so accurate and he knew exactly what to do. I guess it makes sense that if he knew how to take the pacifier out of his mouth he would know how to put it back in.

Marc has said a few things that I found funny. A month ago before I took Max to Florida, Marc goes, "Look, he loves me! He's holding on so tight!" Marc also said he thought I was crazy in the beginning for talking and singing to Max. Now he said he understands why I do it--because he loves it. It has been nice to see Marc come around and learn how to communicate with his son.

One of my friends was talking about this with me. She said that we are so used to talking to our pets and anyone that will listen, that talking to our baby is natural. But you know me and the extensive reading I do. I read that eye contact along with mimicking the baby's sounds gives them confidence and high self esteem. So of course I do that all the time.

Last night Marc took Max out of my hands and gave Max a bath. And then they cuddled on the couch for a while. During this time I was able to clean the litter box, shower, and pluck my eyebrows. It is nice that he has started doing things like that without me asking. Really, it is a relief for me, and it is so sweet to see them bonding.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Goodbye Mama Ellen...Hello Tooth!

Baby Max went to his first funeral this week. He lost his great grandmother Mama Ellen. So we made the trek out to Birmingham, AL for the celebration of her life. Here he is sleeping on the airplane. It is always a wonderful occasion when there is an empty seat next to me for him.

Mama Ellen's funeral was a lovely and quite humorous day. Hopefully it doesn't sound bad to refer to someone's death in such a light-hearted manner, but the stories about Mama Ellen's life were so funny! She was a real character and I feel like some of my silliest qualities have been passed down from her. It was great to hear stories about how she was filled with the holy spirit and that was why she was so lively and full of personality. Mama Ellen had a lot of friends and it was such a nice congregation. I think it was especially wonderful and a bit of relief that I introduced her to her great grandson before she left us. It made me feel better that I was proactive and able to make that happen.

Mama Ellen was cremated and that was a new experience for me. After the service, the immediate family went outside to spread her ashes. I think that's a better way to go than viewing a dead body. But I guess it's all personal preference. In a sense it was as if it didn't register that she was gone. Maybe it was partially because I was busy with Max through out the entire service and ceremony that I didn't have the opportunity to cry or be my usually-emotional self.

On our way home from Birmingham, we stopped through Dallas for a few days and I got to see some of my most wonderful friends. This is a picture of Meg's son Julian with Baby Max.

I made a little baby swimming pool on the back porch for Max. It became his spot for bath time. He would sit in his pool for quite a while and be happy to splash his hands in the water. He seemed quite comfortable in there...almost like a little pimp. The way he would lean back with his arms out on either side of the bin was a little too cool and confident for someone that can't even walk!

It looked like a great way to spend nakey nakey time. In my opinion every baby needs a chunk of time in a day without wearing a diaper. Especially babies that have to wear plastic, disposable diapers. We use cloth at home, but when we're travelling we just go with the grain. I'm surprised more people don't use cloth. It's easier than you think and even Marc agrees that the baby likes it better.

For a guy that's been on about 10 different airplanes in the past 5 months since he was born, it was about time Baby Max reached another milestone. Today I felt his gums and realized he cut his first tooth! I just felt inside his mouth 2 days ago and didn't feel one, so it just came through TODAY! How exciting! I really had no idea I would be this excited about Max getting a tooth, but I am absolutely elated.

So it was a busy, sentimental week. Mama Ellen died on Papa Joe's birthday and after we arrived home Max got his first tooth. I refuse to go anywhere again until Thanksgiving. All I want to do is enjoy sunny California and my boys. The only problem with this is that LA didn't get the memo that it's summer time....brrrr!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Babies and Puppies and Seniors, OH MY!

Yes, my baby sleeps in bed with me. It makes breast feeding in the middle of the night soooooo much easier, practical, and realistic. He's less than 5 months old--just a little tiny baby so please don't worry that we will be sleeping together when he is a teenager. I just had to say that because someone looked at me like I was cuuuuraaaazy for cosleeping. Obviously that person had never breast fed a baby before and has no idea what we are going through. They probably mean well, but I still find it challenging when I get the hairy eyeball over something that's been done for centuries. Mommies need to be close to their babies, and if the family bed is working for us, so be it.

On to other stuff, look at my boy! He loves doggies now! We went and took some pictures at the neighbor's house. Max just laughed and laughed over Bailey licking his face. Adorable.....

I'm on a Floridian vacation in a senior development. This sure is a change from my south beach days at the Delano. But once again, I'm glad to be here. This is a whole new adventure with my sweet baby Max!

Right now I'm watching Grandpa Newhaus patting Max's back and whispering in his ear, "good boy, good boy". He's hovered over his grandson with love and adoration. Sights like these are the best. XOXO

Saturday, July 17, 2010

GONG Baby!

Max started this new thing yesterday that cracks me up. He clasps his hands and throws them out in front of him. And then he bends his arms while his hands are still together and hits himself in the face like it's a gong. He does this over and over again. Sometimes his hands bang into his cheek and other times they go into his nose. He was even doing this in the middle of the night during his 4am feeding. Yes, Max is a gong baby all the time now....even while breastfeeding.

Max got to meet his great grandmother Charlotte today. I really enjoy seeing the different generations together. It is very special that Max is blessed to have not one, but two great grandmothers that love him very much.

It's been a great day of swimming and watching baby Max meet lots of relatives. Everyone thinks he is the best baby because he never cries. They all love my little gong baby.