Archive for August, 2009

One last baby-free getaway

Call it what you will–a babymoon, staycation, foodcation (something Wally and I invented where you eat whatever you want from wherever you want)–last weekend, Wally and I took one last baby-free weekend away from home in Chicago. It was a blast, and in many ways not unlike other trips we’ve taken there. We saw the sites, ate a ton of good food, and did some shopping.
But a lot was different also. We took the bus a few places to keep the dogs from barking. Wally shopped for himself and I couldn’t do the same, considering I’ve outgrown even maternity clothes (seriously, Small Wal keeps trying to peek out at the world by pushing my shirt out), so I shopped for Small Wal. I bought him an unbelievably cute “I love Daddy” onesie. Random passers by congratulated us (that’s the thing about this baby–he makes his own good news announcement).
Like Wally and I have found ourselves doing often, we kept thinking of how different this trip would be next year. Either we’d have a sitter, or we’d have a lot more gear and a schedule run by a crawling, babbling, diaper-wearing little dude. Oh, man, our lives are really about to change.
It was a great weekend. It reminded me of our most recent Chicago weekend, where we did one of those photo booth mashups. The booth took a picture of Wally and then of me, and then it mashed our faces together to show us what our future son would look like. Usually they turn out ugly, with buggy eyes or bushy eyebrows. But our little 8 year old Wally V is a stud! (Okay, the jean jacket’s a little nerdy, but he’s a doll!) Then again, this is coming from his mom, so I may be biased. Here’s our little dude, 8 years from now, according to the great Dave and Busters:

2.5 month countdown! Wally V is getting big.

For the past month, when people have asked how much longer I’ve got left, I’ve been saying 3 months. Because 3 months sounds a heck of a lot better than less than three months. 2.5 months sounds just around the corner. 2.5 months sounds like Danny and Sandy’s summer fling. A So You Think You Can Dance season (love that show!). The amount of time you have to wait to bring a puppy home. 2.5 months are here and gone in a flash. 3 months is long. A quarter of a year. Less than 3 months is, well, not.

Wally V, though, has been constantly reminding me how soon he’s coming. A few weeks ago, he started to do more than kick. He suddenly got big enough that he can push on my sides. He stretches, presses on my stomach, and runs his hand or foot up, down and around. At night, I lay on my side, and you can see this little alien-looking bump moving around.

He likes to play. I’ll feel a part of him poking out, and I’ll press on it. He’ll press back. Just a minute ago, I had my hand on my stomach, and he must have felt it, because suddenly an appendage pressed up on my hand. Then he pushed up at my hand 4 times in rhythm.

With his new big size, the only discomfort I’m feeling so far is that he likes to hang out on my right side, and he’s gotten so big that he’ll press up on my ribs. He has all this room on my left side, but for some reason chooses to lean right and stretch up. It makes something pinch against my ribs! I try to gently suggest that he move down, but he fights me! And here I thought I had until the teen years to deal with talking back. Move over Wally V!

Until last week, I felt very unprepared for a baby to join our household. That’s why I was sticking with “3 months” as my answer. But I’m now ready to say 2.5, because Wally IV put together our baby’s crib and bookshelf (the dresser is on backorder). So the room is looking more like a room! No more 3 months for me. 10 more weeks it is! Check it out:

CribBookshelf

Lessons from a 2-month-old

Wally and I were just lucky enough to spend a week with the cutest little 2-month-old I know, our nephew Grady (aka GradyBird). For at least a few hours every day in Silver Lake, Michigan with Wally’s extended family, we spent time with the little cutie, who had a lot to teach me. Here’s the wisdom of GradyBird, boiled down to a few points from the many I learned:

  • At 2 months, babies aren’t so much lumps of things anymore. Evidenced by one main fact: 2-month-olds can smile! You’d bop his nose; he’d smile. You’d poke his belly; he’d smile. You’d talk to him in a goofy voice; he’d smile. He’d toot; he’d smile. You’d toot; he wouldn’t so much notice. But when he’s older he might get that joke.
  • No one holds a baby quite as well as mommy. There were quite a few experienced baby people present, and many who could keep Grady comfortable for a while. But when Jane, my sista [in law] would pick up Grady, he fit perfectly in the crook of her arm. When she’d burp him, he’d look comfortable, even through his unhappiness and cries about spit up. And when she’d say, “Hey man,” to her little guy, you just knew that they had the strongest bond two people can have.
  • Babies make the best little sounds imaginable. Grady hums when he sleeps. Like it doesn’t show enough peacefulness to have his eyes closed and be taking deep breaths—he’s got to sing about it to tell you how great it is. He also closed his eyes, drank, and mmm-mmmed his way through every bottle. And the best was when you’d talk to him, and he’d stick his tongue out, open his mouth, and coo, like he had something to say, but couldn’t quite put it into words.

Grady was magic. The first chance I had to bond with him was when he let me change his diaper for my first time. I was very diaper-focused at the time, and not so much Grady-focused. I wanted to be sure I got it right, so no one was leaked on later. At the end, I was double checking that all was well, when I remembered there was a baby attached to that diaper. I looked at him, and he was concentrating on my face, just checking me out. And I saw that he had decided, sometime during that experience, that he liked me. He looked at my face, and my hair, and he just smiled and smiled.

All week, the fam noticed he particularly liked my voice. When I’d talk, I’d get a lot of talking back. I attributed it to my cartoon-sounding, childlike voice, but it could have been something else. It could have been that GradyBird, in his two-month-old wisdom, knew that I was going to be a mom in 3 months, and that I was scared to death. And so he decided to show me that I might not know much about babies, but that I can figure it out. My baby will love me—I actually can make him happy. It won’t even take a lot of trying or effort, and certainly not perfection, to get that happiness and love. And so because of baby Grady, my handsome little nephew, more than ever I can’t wait to meet my little guy.

Chronicles of a first diaper change

As I’ve said, I’ve somehow managed to get through 28 years of life without being lucky enough to be around a baby whose diaper needs a changin’. Wally V seemed to be a little concerned at the prospect of such inexperience being in charge of his dryness and comfort, so I decided it was time for a little rehearsal to be sure I could handle it.

Fortunately, this week I had all the ingredients for my practice run: a willing, calm and cool mom (my sister [in-law] Jane), a cute little guinia bird (my nephew Grady), and a simple wet diaper. (The room of witnesses, Wally’s fam, insisted I should think hard before I try a level 2 stinker.)

We started with Wally IV calming the culprit down with a belly tickle.

I started with the basics, distinguishing front of the diaper from the back (there’s an illustration in front!), and finding the tape attachment thingies ( that’s an official term–I looked it up). Then I started unsnapping the onesie. Grady noticed me examining the diaper with such scrutiny and felt a little uneasy. He reached out to his mom, saying, are you sure you shouldn’t be doing this?

I got the old diaper off and apparantly took a few too many seconds preparing the new diaper. Everyone in the room was saying, “Cover, Mollie, cover him up!” I thought at the time they were concerned about his modesty, since we were photographing the experience. Only later I realized they wanted me to protect myself and others in the room from squirt action. 

Thankfully he spared us from such antics.

I got him snapped in and ready to go.

Grady Bird looked at me and said, “You did a pretty good job, Aunt Mollie. I feel okay about you doin this for cousin Wally V. I’ll let him know.”


August 2009
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