Sunday, August 30, 2009

What happens at Grammy and Goppy's....

So much is changing so quickly. Micah had his first overnight at Grammy and Goppy's house Saturday night! Saturday was a good day - I went to meet a friend for lunch while DH took Micah out to services, and then we all went to a birthday party at a water park later that afternoon. Micah got wet, crawled around and had a great time.

We then went to my parents' house, dropped Micah off, and took off for dinner. We had reservations at The Melting Pot, and it was delicious! We ordered a cheese course (spinach artichoke cheese), we shared the vegetarian entree, and we split a chocolate course (we ordered the Chocolate Cookies & Cream Dream). On our way home from dinner, we stopped at Target - we needed to pick up a few things for the house. We bought these "paper rope" baskets for under the coffee table two weeks ago, but, unfortunately, we only picked up 2. We've been searching for a third one ever since. Well, as we were perusing the aisles, we noticed that they had a new shipment of the paper rope baskets in a different color - a dark chocolate brown (the ones we had were a "natural" color - kind of a light wood look). We decided we'd rather have three baskets, so we bought 3 new ones in dark brown and decided we would return the other two. Perfect! We got home late (almost midnight) and spent the evening relaxing and groaning from eating too much food.

This morning, I still woke up at 7:00 am, but I was able to lounge in bed for a bit before I got started on my day. I took the dog on a leisurely walk around 8:00 am, then started cleaning the house because DH's brother, SIL and their youngest daughter are coming down to visit. DH finally got up around 10:00 (it took a cattle prod to get him awake), and we spent the next 1 1/2 hours sorting stuff and putting things away. I feel like we finally made some progress on the basement!

We then headed up to my condo - we needed to drop off a few things there for donation and make a list of all the things we need to finish so that we can put it on the market after Labor Day. We were there about 20 minutes or so, then drove over to my parents' house. Micah was wide awake, dressed and playing upstairs with my mother. He was SOOO happy to see me - he lit up with a huge smile, started waving and wiggling - so hard that he knocked himself over! It was SOOO cute. I took him in my arms, gave him a huge hug and a kiss, then finished giving him his bottle. We fed him lunch and started to head home. We stopped by Target on the way back to return the other baskets, and arrived home just in time for Micah to take his afternoon nap. Hopefully, he'll sleep until our company arrives.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Diaper Acrobatics

We have a new sport now - we call it "Diaper Acrobatics." Changing Micah's diaper is really an acrobatics routine now - he rolls, flips, grabs, sits, stands, and climbs - it is amazing we ever manage to GET the diaper on him at all! He also spends most of it shrieking if you try to pin him down. I'm SOOO ready for potty training - I'm just not ready for Micah to be that grown up. Tell me this diaper acrobatics is a phase - that he'll get more cooperative once he settles into this moving thing, right?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Everybody loves to share

Micah and the dog are becoming great friends - they love to share things like food and toys. Really, neither one of them seems to understand that they each have different toys and food. Micah is always stealing the dog's alligator and frog, the dog is always trying to steal Micah's food, and yesterday she made off with Elmo. She growled and shook him as Elmo cried out "Hahahaha!" and "Elmo loves it!" Micah found this too funny and laughed and laughed. When he finally regained possession of Elmo, he, too, put Elmo in his mouth. I have a feeling the dog and Micah will be swapping spit many times in the next few years. Does it make me a bad mom that I just don't have the energy to be disgusted by this anymore?

WARNING: TTC is bad for your mental health

I remembered today that TTC makes me crazy. I think that there should be a warning issued by the FDA - something that indicates that TTC is bad for your mental health. I'm really not sure where these labels belong - perhaps on fertility aids and pregnancy tests? I think it does not matter how hard you work at staying sane - somehow, ttc messes with your head.

We are kind of back on the TTC bandwagon again. I am committed to trying to keep myself calm and nonchalant about this process as I really do not believe we will get pregnant again without another IVF. Nevertheless, this cycle I dusted off my monitor and started to POAS again. I think I missed POAS while I was pregnant - crazy, right? Every morning, I take out a stick, pee on it, insert it in the monitor, and then hold my breath - unsure of whether I wanted to see it scream HIGH. HIGH fertility is frightening to me - it somehow triggers this sandstorm of something horrible...HOPE.

Day after day this cycle, I've seen my monitor scream LOW. I expected that - based on my calculations, I did not expect to see an egg (PEAK) until day 23 or 24 at the earliest. As I hold my breath for those moments each morning, I admit that there was a tiny wave of disappointment each day the monitor returned its verdict: LOW. Then the negative thoughts started creeping back in - is my PCOS bad again? Maybe I'm not ovulating? Is the monitor broken? When I stopped to think about it, I knew all of those concerns were silly (and really beyond my control) - I should just be relieved that I did not have day after endless day of HIGH fertility showing up. That happened the last time around due to my PCOS. Endless days of HIGH are exhausting - you BD everyday thinking "this is it" and "tomorrow I'll see the egg!" and the next day...HIGH again.

Yesterday - it finally happened. I inserted the stick and held my breath, and there they were - the two little bars indicating HIGH fertility. Yes, I admit it - knowing that I am (supposedly) fertile and seeing the monitor scream HIGH makes me want to HOPE again - dream that we'll have a beautiful intimate experience that leaves us blessed with another perfect baby. Yeah, right - I should know better by now! Like we'd ever get pregnant without a minimum of 3 or 4 people in the room...and a catheter...and an ultrasound machine.... And, yet, I hope.

I told DH we hit HIGH on the monitor and we made plans to work a little bd in to our evening plans. I calmly explained to DH that with my crazy cycles, we could have many days of HIGH fertility, and I would be surprised if we saw PEAK before Monday or Tuesday - day 24 or 25 of my cycle. There I was, working hard to "manage" his expectations.

Last night worked out perfectly - we got a little bd in and we experimented with the Instead Softcups. Can't hurt, right? For those who are unfamiliar with Instead Softcups, they are little disposable plastic cervical cups that were designed for use as a "feminine hygiene" product - to catch AF. Someone got the great idea to use these for fertility/ttc purposes, and the anecdotal evidence is pretty impressive. Instead has filed papers with the FDA to market the cups as a fertility aid, and just this spring, another company released a "conception kit" that is practically the same thing (only far more expensive and it requires a doctor's prescription). We've tried everything else, so we figured it was worth a $10 investment to try this, too.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to figure out the cup the first try. But since I was sure we had days of HIGH left to practice, we gave it a try! Much to my surprise, the little bugger popped right into place. Even more amazing? No leakage! I hate leaking all over the place after bd. This morning, I woke up, POAS, and worked on taking out the Instead Softcup. It was actually kind of difficult to remove - I think proof that it was in properly. It was also full of...shall we say "stuff"...so that also has to be a good sign, right? I went off to get the baby and nearly forgot to check my monitor. Much to my surprise...there was an egg! Yes, that is right - PEAK fertility and it is only CD 20 for me! I'm a bit surprised. DH and I got another bd session in (this time, we used a collection condom and put everything in the cup and inserted it) and we hope to go again tonight.

All good news, right? You would think. Except now the crazies have started. I can't decide if I really believe my monitor. Is it SURE I'm surging? It seems kind of early to me. How do I know if I've really O'd since I'm neither temping nor having bloodwork done? I usually can tell from the cramping, but I haven't felt any cramping. Why, oh why, did I stop temping? Maybe we should keep going with bd through CD 26 just to be safe? Should I try to call my doctor and have my progesterone checked? Even if I'm O'ing, how do I know if it is a good O?

Yes, the crazies. I forgot how quickly and easily they sneak up on you and take over. That, and hope. I keep thinking it is *possible* we could get pregnant this way - it happens all the time, right? I have to sit here and remind myself that DH has only 33% motile sperm, only 10% morphology, and his boys don't like to swim forward - they mostly flop in circles. IUI didn't work, so WHY would I hope this could work? I'm supposed to be killing time until we start TTC "for real" via fertility treatments.

And yet...I'm hoping. Wish me luck! I'll try to remember not to be disappointed when it doesn't work out this month. I think we are giving ourselves 3 tries before we move on to IUI. So...1 almost down, 2 to go!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yes, baby, I'm here!

There are some moments I wish I could freeze in time - or somehow take a snapshot to forever hold on to the memory. Do you ever have those moments - ones that just tug at your heart strings, but yet are so simple and impossible to truly capture with a picture. There are times when I wish I was an artist - perhaps I would sketch the images when they are fresh in my head. Bedtime tonight was one of those moments - actually, three of those moments.

The evening was a typical night - we gave him his bath, he played with his ducky and only attempted to climb out of the bath tub two times. We really do need to start bathing him in the upstairs bath tub! DH took Micah upstairs after bath time. He put on Micah's pajamas, read him a story and gave him his bottle. Micah was sleepy, so DH put Micah in his crib...and the crying began. Usually, Micah either rolls right over and falls asleep, or he rolls around the crib a bit restless (but trying to sleep), or he is happy and chats with his toys until he falls asleep. We waited a minute to see what would happen, but it was obvious that Micah needed a bit more cuddling before bed time.

I walked in, picked him up and sat with him on the glider. As we rocked together, Micah sucked his thumb and nestled in close to my chest. I held him with one hand on his head, gently stroking his hair, and the other arm wrapped around his body with my hand fanned out rubbing his back and tush. This was moment number one. I just love those moments when Micah snuggles. Within moments, Micah was sound asleep, gently snoring.

I carefully stood up, slowly moved to the crib and gently lay Micah on the mattress. I slowly inched my way towards the door...and the wailing began again! I walked back to the crib and reached in to touch Micah. He immediately quieted down, took my hand and started smiling. Micah just wanted me to be close - moment number two. I rubbed his back and he slowly relaxed and put his head down. I gently worked my way back to the chair and sat down again, hoping that just having my presence in the room would be sufficient. Micah fussed for a moment until he realized he could play peak-a-boo with me through the crib.

After several rounds of peek-a-boo, I decided that it was time to try and sing Micah to sleep. I started with You Are My Sunshine and then I moved on to The Rose. Within moments, Micah was quiet, lying still and sucking his thumb. (As an aside - is anyone else picky about grammar? It drives me crazy when people misuse the words "lay" and "lie" or "then" and "than" or "accept" and "except." Not to mention when people misspell definitely - there is no "a" people! I admit it - if you blog and I'm reading it, I am noticing your grammatical and spelling errors. When I review my OWN blog posts, typos, missing words and failure to use parallel grammatical structure drive me bonkers. I even try to avoid ending sentences in prepositions, and it drives me crazy that I have allowed contractions to sneak into my blog posts. And yes, Dad, you did actually catch a typo once before I had a chance to correct it! But I digress.)

This time, once Micah was quietly nestled in, I decided to be smart - I thought I would wait a bit longer to ensure he was fast asleep. Micah's room is quite small - the glider is in the back corner of Micah's room and runs perpendicular to his crib (forming an "L" shape). The ottoman sits in front of the glider just next to his crib. While I waited for Micah to fall asleep, I sat back in the glider, closed my eyes and slowly started to drift off myself. And then, it happened - moment number three. I noticed this very faint whisper of a tickle by my feet, and when I opened my eyes, there was Micah's little arm sticking out through the slats of his crib reaching out to touch my toe. He just needed to know that I was still there. I pointed my toes towards him so that his hand could brush up against my foot, as if to say "yes, baby, I'm here." He slowly started to fall asleep, intermittently checking for me. It took another fifteen minutes, but he finally fell into that deep sleep that allowed me to quietly creep out of his room.

What I want to remember tonight is that there is a little boy upstairs who is just comforted by my mere presence - reaching out of a crib to brush my toe brings him a world of comfort. How incredible is that? I hope he knows how full my heart is with love for him, and that I am filled with joy just knowing he is there, too.

I don't know why he swallowed the spoon

Do you remember that children's song "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly, I don't know why she swallowed the fly. Perhaps she'll die." Looking back at the lyrics (and so many lyrics to children's songs), it is rather inappropriate for young children. Nevertheless, I could not get the song out of my head at dinner on Tuesday night.

We took my parents out for a dinner at one of our favorite Middle Eastern restaurants. The restaurant serves only "Mezze" portions (small tasting/appetizer sized portions) and they had a 5 course special. We each ordered a different option on the menu for each course, and we had 20 dishes to share between the four of us! The food was delicious.

During the meal, I fed Micah his dinner. When he was all finished, I let him have the spoon - I figured it would keep him busy and entertained. What I did not expect was to spend the remainder of the night trying to confiscate the spoon back from him. Every time he had the spoon, he shoved it all the way back into his throat and tried to swallow it! Needless to say, it kept making him choke - not that he stopped doing it over and over again or allowed me to take it away from him.

The low point of the meal was picking my car up from the valet - who parked my car on the street and got a ticket (and we payed $11 for that privilege)! He handed me the ticket and told me it was my problem. Needless to say, we contacted the owner of the restaurant, who offered us a free meal at any of his restaurants (he has 6 in this area) and to pay for the ticket. We are appealing the ticket, but we may take him up on the offer to pay.

Micah is officially a crawling MACHINE these days. Army style, on all fours - it really doesn't matter much to him. He pushes back to a sit, he chases the dog, he follows me around the house - he is just adorable. He gets into everything now, and he is constantly wanting to stand (and he keeps trying to walk, which worries me). We are working on childproofing the house, but we still have a way to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

You say it's your birthday....

Today was my birthday! It has been a great weekend - I couldn't ask for a better birthday celebration. We took Micah to visit my grandmother on Saturday, and they had such a good time. He smiled and showed off his crawling skills and stood up. I think she understood he was her great grandson (hard to tell as she suffers from dementia), but she kept saying how gorgeous he was and what a sweet baby he is, so in that moment, I think we brought her a bit of joy. What else could we want?

Saturday evening was just a quiet night at home. DH spent most of it baking me a birthday cake, and at midnight he surprised me with a tiny little chocolate peanut butter cake with a candle in it! He also gave me my gift - an ipod touch! I'm so excited to start using it.

On Sunday, Micah slept until 8:30. Naturally, he refused to nap, so at 10:45, we packed up and went to my parents' house for brunch. My brother and his girls came down to join us, and we had a DELICIOUS brunch! My mom made a french toast casserole, and we had bagels and cream cheese and lox. She made a yummy chocolate roll to top it all off. Micah was a bit cranky because his napping schedule was off, so he crashed in the car on our way back home. We were able to transfer him to the crib, and he napped for about an hour. My mom came over around 6:30 to babysit, and off we went for a wonderful dinner with some friends. DH brought a cake - a chocolate cake, with dulce de leche filling and chocolate icing. He even wrote happy birthday on it! He is getting much better at decorating cakes.

So now I'm sitting here, stuffed with cake and food. I am re-starting my diet on September 1, so I better enjoy this next week!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I want to be an Army Ranger....

Micah is crawling! He sometimes crawls on all fours, but his preferred mode of crawling... Army style! I know I'm a proud mom, but isn't he adorable?

video

Spa day was a raging success - I had a thoroughly relaxing massage and a facial, and a fantastic dinner by the water. What more could I want? I did fine without pumping, and Micah did a great job taking the bottle all day. Our only problem? I wasn't around to enforce the schedule. DH did not exactly make sure Micah got his 2:00 nap, so Micah crashed hard at 5:30 when the babysitter was here... and slept until 7:30. When I came home after 8, she was just feeding him dinner. He was up until well after 9 last night, but he finally went down and slept through the night. Today was a good day, and I insisted on napping on time today!

On the TTC front, I had forgotten how the planning to TTC so easily becomes a compulsion. I mean, I've only been back to using my monitor for about 3 days! If you are charting or using a CBEFM, it has to be that first thought in the morning... "temp time!" or "pee on stick." And somehow, it just kind of stays at the front of the brain all the time.

I am now on CD 12 (and yes, once again I'm conscious of my cycle days), and still seeing low fertility on the monitor. In some ways, it is a relief. I've been having 38 day cycles, so I am really not expecting to ovulate before CD 24 or 25, but in the past I've had as many as 12 or 13 days of "high" fertility (which, frankly, is kind of useless!). Every morning as I take the stick out, I hold my breath for just a second, not sure if I want the monitor to shout "high alert" and kick off that bd frenzy. I'm terrified of getting excited or having this consume me again, and I'm terrified of that constant feeling of disappointment that just sort of sits on your chest, no matter what else is happening in life.

I know it is silly to get excited or stressed - I'm about 97% certain we will not be able to get pregnant on our own (there is always that 3% chance of success, but who are we kidding?) so I should be looking at these next few months as "fun time" with DH. Clearly, I need to work on that. I find the thoughts in my head swirling about when to bd when the monitor hits high, and how often we should try and use the Instead cups we bought, and should we try to have DH just "do his business" in the Instead cup or a collection condom to transfer into the instead cup, and blah, blah, blah. Ugh! So much for rolling with it. I really don't want to care - I want to continue to enjoy this precious time I have with Micah, and see this as a countdown to my next IVF. Isn't IF fun? In my head, I still have the perspective of a first-timer. I do think nothing hurts quite like primary infertility. There is a certain luxury to know "at least I have one" and I am truly trying to hold on to that feeling. But I guess even when it is the second time around, IF just sucks. But I still think I shouldn't whine *quite* as much as those IFers TTC #1.

August ICLW

Today starts ICLW - International Comment Leaving Week! I just wanted to welcome those of you coming over for ICLW. Here is my standard "Hi, I'm Tkeys and I'm infertile" intro.

I have PCOS and fibroids, and DH has MFI. In December 2008, after several rounds of Clomid, IUI with injectibles, and finally IVF w/ ICSI, I gave birth to our first son, Micah! For a more detailed description of our TTC journey, click here. DH & I are just beginning the journey to TTC #2. Beginning this cycle, we are TTC naturally again (with the help of the CBEFM and Instead cups). I would say this attempt is pointless, but it is more on the order of searching for a needle in a haystack. Or maybe a giant hay field. But, I digress. Our current plan is to return to fertility treatments in December or January. We will probably start out with another 2 or 3 rounds of IUI w/ injectibles (why not) before going for another round of IVF next August. I am trying to keep my cool during this time of TTC "naturally." There are no HPTs in the house (why obsess each month when our chances are less than 3%?) and I expect long cycles. Please remind me each month when I start freaking out about imaginary "symptoms" that I am not supposed to be obsessing. My last two cycles have been 38 days - I'm not yet sure if that is from PCOS or because I am still breastfeeding. We'll see if the monitor detects a surge!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spa Day

My birthday is coming up this weekend, so today I'm headed off to spend the day at the spa with one of my best friends! This is the first time I'm really leaving Micah all day - I'll be saying goodbye at 9:00 am and I do not think I will make it back before he heads to bed. I'm also planning to go the entire day without pumping or breastfeeding, so we'll see how that goes.

Micah has woken up twice so far this week. Tuesday night, he cried out at 11:00 pm, but he fell back asleep...until midnight, when he woke up screaming. We went and got him and cuddled with him for a bit before he fell back asleep at 12:45. I'm not liking this trend! He did something very similar Sunday night. Hopefully, this phase will pass quickly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three questions

Today I have an EXTREMELY serious topic to discuss. I'm having a horrible time making a decision about some life-altering choices, so I thought the best thing to do was to seek some input. First things first:

Apparently, I am way behind on planning Micah's first birthday party. I have no theme, and no cake choice made yet. Scoff if you must, but apparently I'm delinquent in my psychotic, obsessive, birthday-crazy mommy duties. Here are the ideas I've had so far - please feel free to throw out a few additional ideas!
  • Jungle Animals (maybe complete with some jungle trees and vines, lions, elephants, tigers, etc.
  • Barn/Farm Animals
  • Elmo
  • Doggy
  • First Birthday Theme - "hugs and stitches"

Now, on to my next critical "life or death" decision - what should Micah be for Halloween this year? He has a costume party birthday to attend on Halloween, and of course we'll have to take him trick or treating, and I figure he'll look adorable in his costume for his 10 month photos. Apparently, everyone in our playgroup has already bought a costume, and we need to catch up! Here are a few of my thoughts, but please feel free to propose your own recommendations:
  • Some kind of cute & cuddly animal. I've seen penguins, monkeys, lions, teddy bears, leopards, tigers, frogs, bunnies, chicks . . . what do you think?
  • Elmo - they must have elmo costumes, right?
  • Bam Bam - Micah keeps banging everything, so we thought it was appropriate
Finally, last, but not least, I am in the process of buying a new cell phone. I use my cell phone for both personal and work. I use the internet and check my email on a regular basis. I was debating getting the iphone, but I really like having a tactile keyboard (the onscreen iphone keyboard just doesn't quite cut it, and the service for AT&T kind of sucks here). I have now narrowed my choices down to:
  • Palm Pre
  • Blackberry Curve
Do any of you have these phones? What do you think? I currently have a Palm, so I do like their phones. The Pre has a touch screen with some cool features/capabilities and a slide out keyboard. The Blackberry would give me easier access to email, has a smaller screen, and everything is operated with the little mouseball on the front - no touch screen access. Decisions, decisions!

Hopefully, by the time this post goes up, I'll have set up some polls for you to vote on these serious questions!

Monday, August 17, 2009

8 month photos

Today we took Micah for his 8 month photos. I must confess - I might be turning him into a metrosexual - we had to use a little hair product to keep his crazy mop out of his face for the photos. I didn't style his hair - just put a little stuff in and pushed it out of his face. We entered the first one into a photo contest, too.








The most beautiful sound I ever heard . . . .

"Mama." Micah is definitely saying "mama" (and "dada," and "hi" and something resembling "doggy"), but my heart melts every time he says "mama" and looks at me. My mother has informed me that at some point (apparently at 4 am when they are sick?), it stops being cute, so I should work on getting him to say "dada" rather than mama! For now, I'm going to savor the cute factor.

Micah has been a huge grump lately, and I'm getting frustrated. He isn't drinking his milk (or nursing), he is not really eating his food, he is cranky and whining, and apparently sleep is becoming optional. I know we've had it quite easy all these months so I shouldn't complain, but I'm worried that there is something wrong. I couldn't get him to take a single bottle yesterday, or nurse for more than 15 minutes all day. He was pretty easy to put to sleep, but he woke up screaming at 11:30. I went back in, tried nursing him, tried giving him a bottle, tried soothing him, and he quickly went back to sleep...until I put him down in his crib. He woke up again, and he was smiling, waving, and saying "hi" and "mama" as long as he could see me, but screaming every time I left his sight. I decided it wasn't worth the battle (since he so rarely wakes up, something must have been off), so I brought him downstairs. I guess he either must be teething or he has been thrown off by the fact we lowered his crib this week (since he has been starting to pull up, we thought it was a good idea to lower the crib now). We kept him downstairs playing with us for about 30 minutes. He spent some of it nestled on my chest and sucking his thumb. When I thought he looked sleepy again, I sent him upstairs with DH and a bottle. Apparently, DH is a very good rocker, and got him to sleep in about 15 minutes. Micah slept through until 8:00 this morning.

Micah has had several accomplishments this week! First, he has pushed up to a sit a couple of times. He is not doing it consistently (I think he doesn't realize he can do it) but it has happened more than once. He is also successfully pulling himself up to a stand when he can get the leverage correct. He works so hard, and his little faces scrunches up into this expression of steely and stubborn determination. When he finally stands, he looks so proud of himself as he beams with joy, and he usually squeals with delight. He is also cruising - he can walk down the side of the coffee table or the couch, but he doesn't always remember to hold on and keep his balance. Last, and certainly not least, MICAH CRAWLED!! I would not say he is a crawler yet, but on multiple occasions in the past few days, he has leaned forward to all fours, crawled 3 or 4 paces, and then either pushed himself back to a sitting position or flopped down on his belly. I would guess full-out crawling is just around the corner now - a bit sooner than I expected. DH went out and bought baby gates and things to start baby-proofing the house, so we are getting prepared for Trouble.

Yesterday, Micah gave himself a black eye. Twice. Yes, I said twice. No, it was the same eye. We bought a new coffee table (it has a shelf on the bottom and 2 drawers) and we also bought these cute little woven baskets to sit underneath on top of the shelf. One basket holds our papers and stuff, and the other basket has Micah's toys. He already knows which is his basket, and he likes to go over there and pull it out and dig out all of his toys. Yesterday afternoon, Micah was sitting and quietly emptying the basket, and I watched him push it forward and tip it back towards him....just a little too swiftly. He smashed the edge right into his eyelid. I thought it wasn't a big deal, so I said "YAY, Micah" and started clapping (hoping that distracting him would keep him from crying). No such luck - he started BAWLING. I went and picked him up, and was surprised when the crying went on and on and on. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a big red welt forming. Poor little guy - he did a good job beating himself up! When he was wide awake at 11:45 last night, he was playing with the remote control. He managed to whack that right into the same eye. He is a little bruised and puffy today - should look lovely in our 8 month photos. Thank goodness for photoshop!

Micah would not take a bottle again this morning or much of his breakfast. We tried putting him down for his nap at 9:30 and he threw a fit. DH brought him back downstairs, and I tried again 20 minutes later. He cried at first, so I sat him up in the crib, gave him a toy, and left. He played for about 10 minutes before laying down and sleeping. We'll see how long he decides to nap, but anything is okay at this point! When he gets up, I'm going to try and figure out what to do with that crazy mop of hair, dress him for pictures and head out. We have the babysitter coming this afternoon, so hopefully I can get a bunch of work done.

Tonight I have mah jong with the ladies, so hopefully Micah won't give DH too much trouble at bedtime. I wish I knew how to get Micah eating again. Perhaps it is just teething.

In other news, I had a bit of a scare - there were reports of a gunman at my mom's office this morning on the news. I had a bit of trouble reaching her at first, but when I got her she informed me the gunman was in custody, no one was hurt, and all is well. Why are there so many crazy people out there?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

Last night, for date night, DH & I went to see Julie & Julia. It was a great movie - just a happy, feel good story. Naturally, it got me thinking...about life, desires, hopes. Julia Child was well into her 40s when she finally found her career and set out on her path. Blogging about cooking through Julia Child's book helped Julie find her way to being a writer when she turned 30. I suppose it has made me wonder if I have done all the things I want with my life? In both cases, it was their love of food that brought them to their paths.

I think the movie made me realize that it is never too late to complete those things on our "wish" list of life. My list has always been long, and it is likely that I do not have the desire to put my energy into completing EVERYTHING on that list. (For example, I am an attorney, but I always thought I'd make a marvelous doctor, too - I am fairly certain I will never go back to school to become a doctor. Or, at least not before I'm in my 60s or 70s).

I have so many different loves - I love to crochet and knit, I love to bake and to decorate cakes, I love food and cooking, and I love to write. My career has very little to do with any of these loves, and the movie made me ask whether I should be doing more to pursue those desires. Or, are they just hobbies?

I think part of me has always wanted to be a writer - it is probably why I love to blog. It gives me an excuse to ramble on and put down on paper some of the random thoughts that run through my head. I love to tell stories, but even more, I think I like to share (what I deem to be) keen proclamations and theories about life as they relate to my personal experiences. Some of my favorites include my bad Chinese food theory on relationships (you know, when you crave Chinese food, it is never a good idea to just grab bad Chinese food at the mall to attempt to satisfy that craving - because a taste of BAD Chinese food just sends you on a hunt for really GOOD Chinese food, and you'll order it 9 million times in a week until you find the PERFECT Chinese food to satisfy your craving. I always used to relate this to casual relationships - you know, they are like trying bad Chinese food to satisfy a craving - it will just make you obsessed with trying to find the good stuff, so you might as well hold out for the GOOD stuff and save the effort and waste), or my paper towel theory on men (back from my single days - I believed that most men, in terms of dating, are like paper towels - they really are only meant to be used once and tossed in the garbage, because if you try to reuse them, they just fall apart - they no longer clean and useful, they just are stained, holy, and raggedy. Some men may be like a good bounty or brawny - you can get 2 or 3 good uses out of them before they fall apart or show signs of wear and tear. If you are looking for something to last, however, you should find a dish towel - those are meant to weather years of cleaning, washing, and reusing. I used to tell my friends that their latest guys were just paper towels - time to throw them out. Based on that theory, we women should enjoy paper towel men - they do serve a purpose - and throw them away when they reach the end of their useful life. But we should marry dish towel men), or my theory that infertility and ttc is like a marathon - it is all about endurance.

In my head, I've had several books rattling around for years. I keep hoping that one day, I'll finally take the time to put them down on paper and release them as a book. I think the movie got me thinking,..how do I finally get there? Do I really have time to pursue my writing career while being a new mom and continuing my legal advocacy work that I also love? Or is that just one of those pipe dreams I'll never realize?

I used to think I wanted to change the world - something big in politics, get rich and famous for doing something truly important. But most of all, I wanted the money and the notoriety so I could help DO. Someone close to me recently told me that I have wasted my intelligence - that I should have done more or been something more important. Sometimes, I wonder that, too, but then I think about what I have already accomplished - in my career, in my personal life - and I am not certain that I agree. I have time for my family and friends - something I'm not sure I could have done if I was working on being "important." My work does help people - I will probably never get widespread recognition for that, but I'm very well known and respected in my little tiny niche, and I just enjoy what I do and knowing that I help change things. I also think that I've done things to help some people one-on-one. I volunteer, I have taken on a number of pro bono cases (one that helped several abused and neglected children become part of a family) and I like to share in an effort that it might help even one person for just a few minutes.

For once, I am not exactly certain where I am driving this post. I guess you could say the movie last night spoke to me, and has me thinking - about the future, about what I want out of life, about my own personal goals and dreams. I think Julia Child is an amazing example of how it is never too late to find your voice and impact the world. I hope maybe one day I can look back and say that I did what I was meant to do, whatever that impact is on others.

So, tell me, have you found yourself? Are there goals and dreams on your list? What are the things you have always wanted to do? What do you love? And who has a plan to get there?

8 months

I have to say, time just flies. I cannot believe that Micah is 8 months old today!! We were originally planning to go get his pictures done today, but I decided to postpone it until Monday. Usually, I post a general update about Micah for my monthly post. Today, however, I'm feeling a touch sentimental, so I think I will focus this post more on the things I do not want to forget about this precious time with Micah.

I love how Micah squeals with delight each time he sees the dog, and especially when she gets close enough to touch or comes over to nuzzle him, plant one on him, or just burrow into him. I also think he is adorable when he taps on the floor to call for the dog to come over. She looks at him with this wary expression...kind of saying "yeah, right, so you can yank my hair out? I'll think about it - you are cute, you taste yummy, but we'll do this when I say so!"

I love how he lights up with a big smile and starts furiously waving hello when he sees me, and as I get close enough to him, he reaches up to touch my face. Micah puts both hands on my face and just spreads love and joy as he smiles at me, announcing how happy he is to see me and have me so close to him.

I love that every once in a while, Micah still likes to nap on me. I stretch out on the couch and he just nuzzles on top of me with his thumb in his mouth and crashes. Even when he won't take a real nap on me, I love that he gets especially cuddly when he is tired. He rests his head on my chest and sucks his thumb while sighing quietly, and I get the opportunity to wrap my arms around him, snuggle him close to me, and rub his back. I think that might just be heaven.

It makes me chuckle every time he poops - he now grunts and scrunches up his face, so I always know when he is pooping. If it is during a mealtime, you cannot put a spoon anywhere near him - he needs his full concentration while pooping, and will not let food disturb him.

Speaking of food, I love how he works so hard to feed himself. He very carefully picks up the puffs or pasta, and does his best to aim for his mouth and get the food in there. He is able to connect properly about 80-90% of the time now, and I'm so proud of him! He does much better with big items, like the Baby Mum Mums. He also loves to grab the spoon while I'm feeding him. Unfortunately, he usually grabs the spoon at the feeding end, sending sweet potatoes and other wonderful things squirting everywhere. And don't get me started about the raspberries! He has a thing about blowing raspberries when his mouth is full - especially once you put something colorful (like cherries, or blueberries) in there. The greater the potential for staining, the bigger the raspberries! He just loves to do that.

I love how he chats right now - he talks to his animals, he talks to us. Sometimes, I think he is saying "mama," "hi" and "dada" but I'm just not sure yet. He does seem to recognize words now - I love that when you ask him where Daddy is he turns to DH, and he'll do the same for me and for the dog.

I love watching him think. He surveys the situation - deciding where his toys are, what things he wants to grab, locating the dog - and then he devises a plan. He decides to lean forward and grab, or try to stand up, or attempt to crawl. He is going to be one devious little boy! He finds things amusing and just laughs sometimes. He interacts with toys and people. He has this joyous smile, and I love to watch how happy he is.

I love that he is in love with Elmo. After the tempertantrum this weekend, last night DH & I went to Target and picked up the Chatters Elmo Micah loves. We gave it to him this morning, and he lit up. He has been hugging it, talking to it, and smiling all morning! I'm amazed how something so simple can bring such joy. If this keeps up, we may have to pick Elmo as the theme for his first birthday party.

I love his crazy hair. It seems like Micah's hair is part of his identity now - and perhaps why I've been leery about cutting it. He is the baby with the hair, and people stop and recognize him and notice him because of the crazy hair do and the winning smile. Somehow, it feels like chopping off that lovely mop into a controlled cut will stifle part of his identity and his freedom.

I love how he grabs everything and pulls it out to shred it or eat it - the papers and baskets under the new coffee table or on his nightstand, his toys, and labels. I love how he rolls all over creating a path of destruction, and how he tries to push up to all fours and gets a stubborn expression on his face when he insists on trying to stand.

Happy 8 months, baby boy! I love you with all of my heart. I never knew what joy you would bring into my life, and I am thankful for every second I have with you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby Shower Cake

As promised, here is a picture of the cake I did for my friend's baby shower:


As usual, I was not pleased with how it came out. I think it needed more color. The shoes were looking good, but they were white. They were not *quite* dry (because I did them the same day) and I decided to try and airbrush them yellow, which just made them wet and they started to collapse. I have to buy more airbrush colors - my makeshift coloring technique was not so good.

Ah well, I learn something new each time!

Oh yes, we've got Trouble

Another week has passed and once again, I'm way behind on posting! Work has been crazy - a bunch of deadlines and our sitter has been MIA quite a few days. I am so excited to be starting Micah in daycare in a few weeks - the predictability should make my life a bit easier. Let's start off with a cute picture of Micah:


Micah has been working on his troublemaking skills this week. He discovered how to shove his hand out of the crib and throw his pacifier on the floor, or grab things off of his nightstand. He got some paper off the nightstand, so I cleared off most of the odds and ends. One day when I went in to get him after his nap, I noticed that he grabbed the doggy Build-a-Bear from the nightstand that my father made for him. I guess the good news is he loves his Build-a-Bear.

Micah has also recently discovered that he loves power cords. He especially loves to grab hold, yank and chew. It is not a habit I find amusing. He also loves to pull all the paper stuff off the new coffee table. If left on his own, he will shred and/or eat the paper. He gets VERY angry when I keep the papers away from him. We just purchased baskets for under the coffee table - one for papers and another for his toys. I think he will spend most of his days emptying the contents of these baskets. Monday, he could not stop pulling out and playing with all of his toys (and he also decided to claim a few of the dog's as well).

I also think that we may have crossed into "mobile" territory - Micah is rolling and army crawling all over the place. He is not quite crawling, but he does lean forward from a sit to all fours and attempt to crawl before flopping on to his belly and taking off. He is also trying to pull up on things now - if I stand him up, he can hold on and cruise, but even without my help, he is pretty close to pulling himself up to a stand. He manages to get into some interesting spots, and he pulls down any items within his grasp.

He really needs to be watched at all times - he likes to eat everything. Monday, he managed to get his hands on one of those little silica gel bead packets (for keeping things dry). I found him chewing on it - I'm just lucky he didn't choke!

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I am amazed how he manages to sneak all this stuff in his mouth WHILE we are monitoring and watching him! He is definitely trouble with a capital T.

Speaking of trouble, this hunger strike has been a real pain in the neck - he just has not been drinking enough milk. It has had me worried, but I've been trying to be patient. In the meantime, Micah does seem to LOVE solid foods. He is a bottomless pit, just like his father. We have been experimenting with pasta, and I finally successfully made some zucchini for Micah. He just loves his veggies! We are slowly eating thicker chunks of food, and he can easily eat pieces of pasta and other soft fruits and veggies. Nevertheless, he still seems to hate the mesh teether - this great contraption for delivering bigger chunks of table food. I think he just hates the texture of the mesh bag, but I wish he would use it! Even without the mesh contraption, he is doing really well with table food. We have tried Cheerios, and he seems to love those. I still think he has an easier time eating the puffs because they melt in his mouth, but it is good that we have a few more options! He also seems to be developing his pincher grasp - he can pick up the puffs, pasta and cheerios and put them in his own mouth! I am amazed everyday by how much he is growing.

Micah is a pooping machine. One day, he managed to make a big pooping mess, and then he peed in his hair while the babysitter was changing him. Twice. Yes, that is right, twice. He was soaked and we had to bathe him. I could not figure out how he managed to get THAT wet.

Last Wednesday was a fun day for us. Our sitter took the day off, so it was a Mommy & Micah day. We spent a few hours at playgroup, and I got a little work done in the morning and afternoon while Micah napped. At 5:00, we went to another one of those concerts - Micah just loves watching all the kids dance and the entertainers singing. Immediately after the concert, we went to a fundraiser for Alzheimer's at a local diner. A friend of mine from high school will be running a marathon, and all the money he is raising will be donated to Alzheimer's research.

On Friday, we went to a potluck at Micah's new daycare center. We had a great time - we were able to meet his new teachers and a few of the other babies in his class. Micah will be a "Minnow" starting August 31, and I already have a good feeling about this center.

On Sunday, we were slightly...overbooked. I have a bad tendency to overcommit. We attended a first birthday party for my friend's daughter at 2:00. We had agreed to go to a "Cousins" BBQ at 4 hosted by one of my cousins, and we had reservations at 6 at a new restaurant to celebrate my father's birthday. We left the house at 12, and went to Target to pick up a present. While walking through the aisles, Micah saw Elmo. He has recently fallen in love with Elmo - he had one in the pack 'n play with him at my friend's house, and he couldn't stop smiling and hugging Elmo. Ever since them, he shrieks with joy when he sees Elmo on Sesame Street. When he spotted Elmo, he smiled and reached for him. I thought it was so cute, so I grabbed Elmo and handed him to Micah. After we were finished in the aisle, I took Elmo and put him back on the shelf. Which led to Micah's first tempertantrum. It started out slowly - first the bottom lip began to curl down in a pout. Then the whimpering started. Then the sobs and tears and back arching followed. I was stunned - I did not think Micah cared enough about any one particular thing right now. He immediately stopped when I handed him Elmo (I needed to test the theory), and then shrieked bloody murder when I promptly returned Elmo to the shelf, told him no, and headed off to the next aisle. I briefly considered just buying him Elmo on the spot, but I decided it would be a bad precedent to set. I will definitely go back and get him that Elmo soon - he really is too cute when he is hugging it! Who knew his love of Elmo would lead to his first tempertantrum? I did not see that one coming.

After Target, we ran a few other errands, then arrived at the party. It was a nice afternoon, and Micah had a great time. He even surprised us by ending his hunger strike - he drank 5 ozs of formula at the birthday party! At 4:00, we left the party to stop by the Cousins BBQ. We had fun hanging out with all the cousins. DH offered to do the grilling, and we stayed long enough to taste the marshmallow fluff and ice cream pie. Yes, that is right - graham cracker crust, 2 layers of ice cream, a layer of chocolate, a layer of marshmallow fluff, topped off with mini marshmallows, all lightly broiled to melt the marshmallows. At 6:00, we said our goodbyes and drove to family dinner.

Micah was a trooper - even without getting his afternoon nap! We tried out a new Italian restaurant, and the food was wonderful. We ordered the restaurant week special, and I think we were all stuffed before our entrees even arrived! At dinner, Micah drank another 3 ozs. He ate 2 jars of baby food (rice lentil dinner and banana peach oatmeal), and he spent most of dinner gnawing on a crusty chunk of bread. He was so cute at dinner - smiling and waving at the people sitting next to us and happily munching whatever he could grab.

After dinner, my brother and parents came back to the house for dessert. Naturally, I decided to make a cake. We (my brother, mom and I) decided to buy my father an ipod touch for his present, so I made him an ipod touch cake. Or rather, I attempted to make an ipod touch cake. You see, my edible image printer decided to stop cooperating. It was feeling rather...pink. Yes, I said pink, not blue. Apparently, the printhead is all clogged, and pink is the only color that can get through. Instead of a black screen with colorful icons, the image was...pink. Needless to say, the image did not look so good. Yes, I stuck the horrible image on the cake anyway - I was frustrated, out of town, and figured it was better to have an ugly cake than no cake at all. Clearly, the cake was a bit of a bust - tasted great, but not one of my success stories.

Monday we were without a babysitter (again). We think he might be saying "Hi" in addition to waving, and he might have said "mama" and "dada" today. I also thought he might have said "doggy" but it is pretty hard to tell. I did end up videotaping Micah being adorably cute all afternoon - I just couldn't help it!

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Tuesday we had our babysitter back, so I had a productive day - I got some work done and made and decorated a cake for a baby shower. Wednesday (today), we went to see a singer at a local mall with our playgroup, and the kids had fun! Our babysitter came back this afternoon, and I got a bit of work done. Tomorrow we have our babysitter again, and I think Friday we will be trying to get Micah's 8 month photos done!

On another note, my dog is turning pure white. I am not sure if it is the new medicine she is taking, but overnight she seems to have gone from chocolate brown to white. My poor puppy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hunger Strike

Apparently, Micah is on a hunger strike. I'm still trying to discern the exact political message he is trying to communicate, but for now, all I know is that he will not eat. He is refusing to nurse, he is refusing the bottle (with both breast milk and formula), and he is refusing the sippy cup. He is even being difficult about eating his meals. I called the doctor, and the nurse told me he must be sick. I explained that he was not sick, but she did not seem to believe me. Then she told me I should bring him in for a weight check to see if he had gained enough weight in the past 2 months. Again, I explained to her that I was certain he had put on at least 2 lbs in the past 2 months, so a weight check would not tell us anything about the past week.

This morning, Micah did nurse a little bit. I called the doctor again, but this time, I was able to speak directly to the doctor (our pediatrician's office has the doctors answer the phone and take questions every morning from 8:30 - 9:00). She said that she would not worry about it as long as he gets some milk every day and continues to pee and poop. She said it could be a phase, it could be teething, or he could just not be needing as much milk right now. So, we'll keep weighing Micah, hope he does not lose weight, and hope for the best!

In the meantime, if you learn about any international hunger strikes to stand up for a cause (maybe for those in Darfur?), let me know - I'd like to better understand my son's political leanings.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Jumperoo

I couldn't resist - here is some video of Micah on his jumperoo - he is a jumping machine!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Catching up

Once again, I am WAY behind on updates. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, and I just cannot seem to find the time to blog. I guess I should pick back up with an update on my brother - he got out of the hospital on Friday, July 24, and immediately drove out of town to a concert. His girls came to stay at my parents' house, and we had a great time. On Friday, we took the girls to a singing story hour and indoor play gym. They had such a good time! Saturday was a day at the pool - another fun day with the girls. They pushed Micah around in his floaty, played with toys, and it was a wonderful afternoon!

DH & I went over to a friend's house for dinner and hanging out. We picked up Indian food along they way. It was the first time in a few months we tried putting Micah to bed while we were out, and it was a smashing success! He fell asleep in their pack and play, transferred easily to his car seat, and did not wake up when we transferred him into the crib!

On Sunday, my cousin arrived with her 4 year old son for a week-long visit. We all gathered at my parents' house on Sunday afternoon/evening for dinner and catching up. Micah went to bed in the pack and play, and again transferred easily back home. On Monday, I did not get to spend any time with my cousin - she and her son went downtown with my father to do a bit of touring. My babysitter was with us all day, so I tried to get some work done. I had mah jong on Monday night, so we made plans to meet on Tuesday. Tuesday brought some oppressive heat, and I was totally stressed about work. I needed to give a webinar in the afternoon, and I did not think I could go out and get back in sufficient time to do my work. Instead, my cousin went to the zoo with her son, and we ended up skipping the trip. When they returned, DH made dinner for us. We ate together and our boys played. It was so sweet to see the boys hanging out together - Micah was totally enamored! While my cousin was there, I began working on my shoe cake for my friend's birthday.

On Wednesday, we hosted playgroup at our house. I got a bit of work done in the afternoon, then went off to my parents' house for dinner. Once again, Micah fell asleep in the pack and play and transferred without any difficulty. This new discovery has completely freed us! We now know we can go out a bit more at night and bring Micah along. When we got home Thursday night, I finished making the shoe for my cake.

Thursday, Micah went to his babysitter's house for the day while I spent my day getting some work done and decorating a cake. I got all dressed up and went out for dinner with my friends, and we had a blast! It was our first real girls' night out without babies and husbands, and it was just a fun evening - lots of laughter, a little too much wine, and some good food.

On Friday, we drove to see my brother and SIL and the kids. We went to a story hour, then took a ferry ride to my brother's office to have lunch with him. We got back to our house just in time to attend a kids' concert and playtime at a gym. We went for dinner at my parents' house again, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Saturday was another pool day with the kids. It was a beautiful, fun, relaxing day. We went out for dinner, ran a few errands, then called it a night. I spent most of Sunday recuperating from my week.

Monday and Tuesday I was back to the grindstone with work. My babysitter was out of town, so her friend came to babysit Micah. She was great, and she will be available in the Fall to cover Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the middle of all the insanity the past few weeks, we bought a new coffee table! It is just a basic one from Crate & Barrel, made of wood, two drawers and an open shelf on the bottom. Micah loves to try and crawl onto the shelf, and today he managed to pull the stack of papers off the shelf. He loves to use the shelf for pushing up - it might become his favorite hiding space in the very near future. We did have one emergency bath today - the babysitter was changing Micah's diaper, and he had a double pee explosion, sans diaper. He needed a bath because he managed to pee all over his hair!

What else can I say? Micah turns 8 months old in 10 days!! He is growing every day by leaps and bounds. Sometimes, I think he is saying "hi." He is definitely a crazy waving machine, and he even knows it means "hi." Every time he sees someone new or a familiar face, he breaks into a big grin and starts waving like crazy. Micah uses his entire arm to wave - it kind of looks like he is trying to fly away. I really do need to catch some video of that this week! He is standing all the time now, and getting pretty close to pulling himself up. He is going to be all kinds of trouble as he grows. He definitely has a stubborn streak (wonder where he gets that from?), and he seems to grab and get into everything. He is now sticking his hand out of the crib and stealing stuff off the night table. I either need to clear the night table or move it. Changing his diaper is an exercise in dexterity - he is definitely a moving, rolling target. He loves to eat, and he now enjoys three big meals each day. He also gets a snack in the afternoons - he loves MumMums and cereal or puffs. He is just now starting to get the hang of picking up small pieces of food and putting them in his mouth. We've slowly started to try some chunkier food, and he has been handling it all well. He is slowly learning to play "So Big" and he is army crawling/rolling/pivoting all over the place. He is desperately trying to crawl. He likes to move from a sit to all fours, he usually does one crawl, and then he collapses to his belly.

We just started changing his closet over to the 6-9 months size. My little guy is finally outgrowing his 3-6 month clothing. I have a feeling we won't be in these clothes too long - he'll be ready to move up to 12 months within two months, I would guess.

Micah is down to nursing about 4 times a day (sometimes 5). I no longer pump at night before bed, but frankly, giving him a bottle and pumping is much more hassle than nursing him when we are both at home. At this rate, I probably won't really commit to weaning him until he is in daycare 3 days a week. I am hoping to be able to quickly drop the pumping session at that point, start using up my freezer stash of milk, then slowly switch over to formula. I'm not sure when/how I will drop the morning and night nursing sessions, but he needs to be willing to take the bottle for all of his meals by mid-September as I am going to be in Atlanta for work for 4 days, and I have decided to leave him behind with my parents (since DH will be attending the conference, too). I guess that week will be a good time to begin cutting back on the pumping.

As for my diet - well, let's just say "what diet?" I fell off the wagon, and hard. I think I started to diet prematurely - it was causing issues with my milk supply, and while I was thrilled about that at first, Micah was quite unhappy and dissatisfied, and it made him grumpy and unwilling to take a bottle. I added some carbs back in to help the supply, and Micah finally seemed contented, and he is back to taking his bottle. But once the carbs started sneaking in, it was all downhill!

Okay - I'll have to add some more descriptive pictures and video when I have some free time. I will do my best to stay on top of blogging this week!