Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Perfectionist and a Baby Don’t Always Mix

It’s no secret that I have a Type A personality. I’m a hardcore perfectionist, I like routine, I prefer to know my upcoming schedule many days (or preferably weeks) in advance, I love to organize things (bonus points if I get to use my label maker!), and I feel stressed when my house isn’t in order. Unfortunately, keeping my home perfectly neat was a challenge before I had a baby. With Easton in my life, it’s downright impossible.

It’s incredible how much more there is to clean and take care of around the house since adding Easton to our family. First there’s the added laundry. Then there’s the toys books everywhere that need to picked up 73,000 times a day. The mess left behind in the kitchen after every meal might be the worst of all. I have a weekly cleaning schedule to keep me on task (Type A… remember?) and I attempt to do 1 load of laundry each day so our teeny laundry room doesn’t end up buried in clothes. Still, some days staying caught up is overwhelming. If cleaning was all I had to do, it would be a piece of cake. But, of course, there is the matter of that little baby who likes to be entertained by his mama most of the day and my need for a little bit of downtime so I don’t completely lose my sanity. Some days the stars align and everything gets done on time. Most days, though, are like today.

The laundry is clean… but still in the dryer.

The living room was vacuumed… but the bathroom counters are dirty.

Dinner was made… but the garbage cans were left at the end of the driveway (until Joe brought them back up when he got home).

The kitchen was cleaned up after dinner… but the high chair dropcloth that was airing out on the deck and blew down into the yard is still out there somewhere.

Learning to ignore the mess and embrace the chaos that is life with a baby has been an adjustment. Sometimes I look around and shake my head at the mess surrounding. Still, at the end of the day I would much rather have a messy house and a baby who was played with than a neglected child and a spotless home.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Fall is in full swing here in Minnesota. The temperature has dropped, the leaves are brightly colored and Halloween decorations are out. I’ve been dying to start some fall family traditions but at 9 months old Easton is a little young for most activities. We do have one tradition already that has been a part of Joe’s family for many years. Every year we all get together at my in-laws in October to make our annual trip to a nearby pumpkin patch. I was really excited to bring Easton for the first time. He did pretty well though it may be a few years before he really cares about the pumpkins!


Here’s Easton showing off one of our picks.IMG_4056

This face kills me.IMG_4062


We attempted to take some cute pictures of Easton and his cousin, but neither was the least bit interested!


Here’s a side-by-side comparison of last year and this year. Last year I looked like I was smuggling a pumpkin under my shirt… this year my little pumpkin seems so big!

Pumpkin Patch (5)IMG_4074

We picked out a pumpkin for each of us and they’re sitting on the front porch at the moment. I’m not sure if we’re going to end up painting or carving them or if we’ll just leave them as they are but either way they add a nice festive touch to the front of our house!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bittersweet Milestones

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 9 months as a mom it’s that parenting is full of bittersweet moments. Each time my little guy hits new milestones I smile and cheer and take pictures and call/text everyone to share the good news. But then when the moment passes, I sigh. I shake my head and sometimes even tear up wondering how my baby is already big enough to (fill in the blank). In the past 9 months it’s already happened so many times.

When Easton was born I was delighted that my baby was FINALLY here. But I also mourned the end of my first pregnancy. The end of carrying my boy with me everywhere and feeling his sweet kicks all day long.

I was so excited when he rolled over for the first time. But I was sad that the helpless little newborn I had brought home from the hospital was no longer so helpless.

When Easton outgrew his newborn clothes and was able to fit in the next size up I couldn’t wait to dress him in all of the adorable outfits waiting in his closet. But I cried as I packed up his smallest pajamas and knew he would never wear them again.

At 4.5 months old Easton started sitting on his own. I realized it was so much easier to engage him and play with him when he didn’t need to be laying on the floor or held. But he was starting to need me just a little bit less and that made me sad.

Then he started crawling. And then he started crawling FAST. I loved watching him realize that he could move on his own. He was able to get to his toys on his own and entertain himself more which gave me a little more freedom. But that also meant he didn’t need to be carried as much and he didn’t need my help as often. He could play at my feet but he could also crawl away from me and go somewhere else.

It’s hard to watch my baby get older but at the same it’s very exciting. I know this is only the beginning of bittersweet milestones. One day I’ll have mixed emotions when he  first goes to kindergarten, when he plays his first T-ball game, gets braces, learns to drive a car, or (gulp) gets his first girlfriend. I’ll do my best to focus on the happy side of Easton’s milestones, but I know it won’t always be easy. I guess that’s just what parenting is about.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This and That

- Whenever I plan to write one of these posts I think of a million things to include throughout the day. But when I actually sit down to write it? Crickets. Sigh.

- I’m still on a mission to make some “mom friends” but I’m not someone who makes friends easily. I’ve been taking Easton to our weekly playgroup and a weekly baby story time at the library. It’s been really nice to be able to talk with other moms who are in the same stage of life and don’t make me feel completely boring.

- Joe and I have been on ONE date since Easton was born at that was over 2 months ago. I wish we could get out together a little more often but I have such a hard time leaving Easton. My mom watched him the last time we went out and it went just fine for her but she lives 2.5 hours away so it’s not like she can watch him whenever I want. I know there are other people in our lives that would love to watch him but I’m too neurotic to let them at this point. It’s not that I don’t trust them to take good care of him, because I completely do, I just don’t trust them to take care of him EXACTLY like I do. I told you I’m neurotic.

- Now that Easton is starting to get more independent and seems less like a baby every day I’m kind of sort of starting to get that baby itch again. Just a tiny little bit. I don’t plan on doing anything about it because I would go nuts with two kids right now but it’s still on my mind more lately.

- If you followed my old blog you might remember that we got a cute little kitten named Clyde 3 years ago. He was our baby for 2 years and we adored him. Now? Not so much. It’s really amazing that he is living with us. I feel really awful for being so annoyed with him all the time but OH MY GOSH that cat is obnoxious. He paws at the closet door just outside our bedroom around 3:00 every morning until someone gets up and feeds him or kicks him downstairs. He rolls in my clean laundry constantly, meows right outside the baby’s door right after I’ve gotten him down for a nap, sneaks out onto the deck when we open the door, and hides in closets or under the bed and refuses to come out. He even had a bladder issue a few months back that caused him to start peeing all over the house. I realize that wasn’t his fault at all but it drove me nuts that somehow he always managed to find the baby’s stuff to pee on. I’m trying to be more patient with him but I’m not doing so well with it…

- We have been contemplating painting all of the wood trimwork in our house white. I really love the look of white trim and think it would make our house look a million times cuter and more modern but I’m not excited about all the work it will take to get there. The plan is to try it out in our teensy little entry and then if we hate it or decide it’s too much work we can just replace that small amount of trim.

- Joe started a new job this week! He had been with his old company since right out of college (4 years ago) and he was ready for a change. Joe’s still adjusting to the new place (those first 1-2 weeks of a job are always weird when you don’t really know what you’re doing) but I think it’s going to be great for him. Instead of commuting an hour by train, he now drives 12 minutes to work. That means that he’s home around 5:15 now instead of a little after 6. It’s been so nice to have him here sooner so he can play with Easton before he starts getting cranky.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Nine Month Old

I’ve been writing down Easton’s monthly updates each month but haven’t gotten around to posting them. In an effort to use this blog as a scrapbook of our lives, I’m going to start including them on here.

Dear Easton,

You are 9 months old already and you are starting to seem more like a little boy and less like a baby every day. It’s amazing to look back and see how quickly you have learned new skills. You have a delightful personality and you are constantly making us laugh over the silly things you do. You have your crabby moments but overall you are a very pleasant boy.

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What you’ve been doing this month:

- You wear mostly size 12 month or 12-18 month clothes though you still fit a few 6-9 month things.

-You are still wearing your one-size cloth diapers along with one size medium. You have 2 size smalls but they are about to get packed away.

- You weigh around 21 pounds. I don’t know how long you are but you are tall compared to most of the kids your age at storytime and play group.

- We have continued to do baby-led weaning with you since you hate purees. You are willing to try almost anything though very little actually gets swallowed. Your favorites are tomatoes, cucumbers, bread, cheese, yogurt, apples and pasta. You’ve also surprised us by enjoying some spicy and strongly flavored foods like chicken from a burrito, curried couscous, and marinara sauce. You started drinking from a straw sippy cup last week. I gave you some smoothie in there the other day and you went nuts for it!

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-You still love to nurse though you aren’t eating quite as often. You sometimes sign “milk” when you’re getting hungry.

- You have 5 teeth- 3 on the top and 2 on the bottom. One more top tooth is very close to poking through. You hate to let us peek in your mouth but you love having your teeth brushed! You started grinding your teeth and clicking them together so daddy started calling you Chompers!


- You go to bed in your crib every night around 7:30. You still usually wake 1-2 times before we go to bed. When you wake up after we’re in bed, we bring you to bed with us and you sleep very well next to mom. You usually only wake up once more and sleep until about 6:30 in the morning.

- You nap twice most days. Your morning nap is often short (around 40 minutes) but your afternoon one is typically longer.

- You crawl so quickly now and pull-up so easily that it’s hard to keep up with you. By the time I’ve gotten you out of one thing you’re into something else! You like to play in the cat’s dishes and steal remotes and cell phones from us. You try to get to our computers any time you see them.

- You love your baths. You splash like crazy in there every night and love to chase after your bath toys.

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- You like to ride on your toy horse and make mommy give you rides on it every day. You also like to play with your castle toy, wooden puzzle, and stacking cubes. You think knocking over towers is the funniest game ever. You constantly pull your board books off of the shelves so you can flip through the pages and “read” them.

Sometimes when I see how quickly you’re growing, I miss my tiny little newborn. But most of the time I’m thrilled to spend my days with my almost-toddler. I love to see you hit all of your milestones and learn new things each day. We love you to bits, Easton!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The World’s Worst Napper

My little guy will be 9 months old next week. Easton is a very happy baby most of the time and he’s truly a joy. He does so well in public, nurses well, eats (relatively) well and even entertains himself well. Family and friends always comment on how spoiled we are to have such a good baby. I smile and nod, secretly thinking they have no idea.

Easton is a good baby, I’m not denying that one bit. But we are definitely not blessed with a perfect baby that gives us no trouble. Our little guy simply saves most of his “bad” behaviors for naps and nighttime.

Getting Easton to go to sleep and stay asleep is truly a nightmare. He did wonderfully for his first 2 months of life but then it’s like a switch flipped and he suddenly became the King of the One Sleep Cycle. For the next 6 months I spent an average of 30 minutes (but occasionally as much as an hour) trying to get E down for each nap. He would scream and cry while I would pull my hair out and contemplate taking up drinking. Finally, he would fall asleep and I would creep out of the room, ready to finally have some peace and quiet. But, like clockwork, he would be up again ready to get up 40 minutes later. Every single time.

A few weeks ago, something changed and Easton finally started regularly napping for an hour twice a day. I know that’s still a short nap for some, but for me it was like I suddenly got to go on vacation twice a day. It was amazing! Not only was he sleeping longer but he was even falling asleep in under 5 minutes in his crib (with me patting his back).

But a week later, just when I started to get used to this new normal, he switched it up again and is now as bad as ever. I still get one “long” nap a day but we’re back to screaming, crying and pitching a fit for every nap. Even worse, he now wants to try out his newest skill of pulling up every time I put him in the crib. It is beyond frustrating.

We have such great days together when Easton is awake and happy, but this napping thing really puts me in a bad mood some days. I feel like I have this mothering thing down fairly well in most other respects but I feel like an utter failure at getting my kid to sleep (and if you’re wondering.. NO, he’s not a good night sleeper either).

I’m praying this is just a phase that he will grow out of soon but part of me still has visions of fighting my screaming 16 year old over bedtime one day.