Monday, October 31, 2011

I may talk big, but I'm really a wuss

...and I'm starting to get annoyed at myself. Yesterday at church I encountered one of those people who has the magical, uncanny ability to know everything about a mother and her baby at first sight. Do I sound sarcastic? Good, I meant to. I had steeled myself against such people during my pregnancy and the early weeks of my son's life, having heard other new moms' accounts of over-eager "helpers" overstepping their bounds. I didn't have any truly cringe-worthy experiences (maybe, if I can be allowed a momentary lapse of modesty here, it's because Henri's so wonderful and I'm so well-read that there's really nothing to criticize) so I let my guard down. As my younger brother in-law used to say while "teaching" me to play chess, BIG MISTAKE.
During sacrament meeting yesterday, Henri made it clear that he was in a "bounce me, rock me, whatever you do don't stand still" mood. Nathan had rolled his ankle on our way out the door that morning, so I wanted him to take a load off. I took Henri to the back of the chapel and stood with him in my arms, bouncing and rocking and snuggling. He did okay for a few minutes, but eventually got bored looking around at all the same things. So I took him into the foyer to look at all the pictures of Jesus. He liked that a lot and I eventually sat down in a cushy chair out there to give my back a break. That's when I was accosted (I mean, almost CORNERED) by a gal with a concerned look on her face. She came up to me and asked, "Are you doing okay?" I answered "Yes, I'm just tired," with a polite but confused expression - Henri wasn't screaming and I wasn't aware of having looked troubled or anything.
"Oh," she replied with understanding sympathy in her voice, "is he keeping you up late at night?" Again, I was mildly confused. Um, he's a BABY. Yes, he gets me up at night. That's kind of what babies do, lady.
"Not an abnormal amount," I answered, just a touch defensively. "He's started being a little restless at night, but nothing crazy."
At this point, the lady held out her arms and asked if she could hold him. It flashed through my head to say no - but I was a little grateful to give my arms a break and, to be quite honest, I didn't want to get tagged as the B*tchy New Girl in the ward. Uncertainly, I handed Henri over. Presumptuous Lady then informed me that she is some kind of herbal healer specialist extravaganza (big whoop). I blinked, and it dawned on me what was about to happen. If I'd had any sense, I would have snatched Henri back right then and lied about having to go to the bathroom or something. PL went on to massage Henri's tummy and inform me that he had "hidden gas bubbles" in his tummy and asked, "What kind of formula do you feed him?"
I hope she felt the temperature around her drop several degrees because I said tersely, "I don't."
"Oh you breastfeed?"
"Yes." (No, he drinks soda out of a can and goes through a bag of chips a day - what do you think I feed him, you idiot?)
"Well, do you eat a lot of chocolate? That will bother babies' tummies." (Temperature drops another degree.)
"Not an unreasonable amount of chocolate, no."
"How about lettuce? Do you eat a lot of lettuce?" (I'm sorry, did I make an appointment with you?!)
"I try to eat a salad once in awhile." At this point, she nodded condescendingly.
"Ah, yes, lettuce can make babies very gassy." (What about you, you windbag, what's your excuse?)
Throughout the Inquisition, she has continued to massage Henri's belly and do little baby sit-ups with him - presumably to help him with his "hidden gas bubbles." He was getting really annoyed with this and started to fuss. That's when my good manners crumbled. "Here," I said shortly, "I'll take him." I picked him up and resumed our bounce-and-rock routine and he immediately quieted. I then got treated to another mini-lecture on how to properly brew a rosemary tea to help keep sickness at bay and when to - and to not - take Echinacea. I was pretty much numb with disbelief and irritation at this point, so I can't really tell you what exactly was said, or how I managed to escape, but it looks like I'm going to have to dust off my new mom armor and figure out how to be both firm and polite when I say, "You don't know me or my baby, so shut the eff up."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Documenting the firsts

Proof that these things did in fact occur! We had a great rice cereal feeding last night - he really seemed to enjoy it and totally got how he needed to use his mouth in order to eat it. This morning....not quite as on board. Oh well, we're working on it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A couple of firsts!

See? I should *not* have started a blog! I have zero time and a very demanding baby, what the heck was I thinking?
I just have to mention Henri's new adventures that took place over the weekend. He had his first rice cereal and sat in a high chair for the first time!
He seemed to enjoy the rice cereal - he certainly didn't hate it - but merely tolerated the high chair. We're working on getting him stronger so that he will sit on his own soon, as that will really accelerate progress with his little flat spot. In addition to his range of motion stretches, we are now doing playtime using the Boppy as a stabilizing pillow and trying to convince him that his Bumbo is not a terrible idea. Sometimes he buys into it - sometimes he doesn't.
I'm starting to get a little worn out by the high level of neediness here. Being carried in the front pack is still Henri's favorite thing in the world and now that he weighs over 15 pounds, it's really starting to take a toll on me physically. Not to mention, I am really limited in the kinds and number of chores I can get done with a wiggly (and grabby!) baby attached to me. *sigh* It's a good thing he's so cute

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Hanks!

Had to share this picture of Henri and Grandpa Henri! We took little H tailgating for the first time this past Saturday (Oregon v. Arizona State) and even though it was colder than we had anticipated (and Mom was a dummy and forgot to pack a hat), we bundled the little bear cub up and had a great time anyway!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

*head smack* D'OH!

I totally forgot to write about Henri's four month check up last week! We have been so incredibly busy here that it completely slipped my mind...better late than never, I suppose!
Bear Cub weighed in at 14 pounds, 11 oz (50th percentile) and measured 25.2 inches long (70th percentile) - confirming my suspicions that he has indeed been going through a growth spurt! In less than a month, he gained 20 ounces and 1.2 inches! No wonder he's been tired, cranky and ravenous!
Dr. Unger says that Lil H is looking good. Some of his motor skills - passing a toy from one hand to another, rolling over three times in a row, taking his pacifier out of his mouth and putting it back in again - are more consistent with a six month old's development! He remarked that Henri's head is even looking a little better than the last time he saw it - certainly, it's no worse. Whew. I thought it was looking a little better myself, but I was super anxious to hear a pediatrician's opinion. We go to Henri's next physical therapy appointment a week from today and I am praying that they will see an improvement, too. H has been a little stinker about his stretches lately, and he's learned that rolling is an easy way to get out of tummy time. So I've had to resort to carrying him around in the front pack to keep his weight off the back of his head. But on the bright side, he's become an absolute pro at holding his head up as a result of going in the carrier and it gives my arms a little break. Plus, his range of motion (torticolis) has improved, making it easier to get him to sleep with his head turned to the right. Baby steps, I guess - but patience has never been my strong point!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because it's been too long since I posted pictures!

My baby is smarter than me, it seems

There are times when it just forcefully hits me that Heavenly Father sent me this particular baby for a reason. Sometimes I look at my friends who have babies about the same age (it's been a freakin' baby boom among my peers lately!) and think "Why didn't *they* get 'blessed' with a high-need baby?" Well maybe they don't have as much to learn about patience and humility as I do, haha.
I think (think) I may have figured out a way to get Henri to sleep earlier at night. The magic formula the past couple of nights has seemed to revolve around me rocking Henri to sleep to the tune of some primary songs, then putting him to bed and going to bed at the same time. I think he's got a little separation anxiety going on and it scares him when he wakes up in a room alone. Then he's too distraught to go back to sleep, even when he's been soothed. Gotta say, I appreciate *having* to go to sleep. If he didn't have this, shall we say, quirk, I would be all too tempted to stay up and "get some things done." But Henri, bless his little heart, seems to know that Mommy needs sleep, too! Thank you Henri, let's make the next accomplishment napping during the day. THEN Mommy can *actually* get some things done.