New Mama Musings

Friday, March 31, 2006

Free To Be

What is it with some people and gender stereotypes?

Henry and I were at my parents' house today for our weekly visit. My aunt was over, and when one of my sisters tried to call Henry "Henri" and I objected, my aunt said, "I don't blame you. That's too feminine-sounding." (For the record, I hate it when people call him that only because it's not his name.)

Later, out of seemingly nowhere, my aunt said, teasingly, "Henry, you're not wearing pink!" My mom jumped in and said, "Of course not -- he's a little boy!"

I'm proud of myself, though. I spoke up and said, "What's with the stereotypes, people? Henry can wear pink if he wants." I'm sure it's useless to try and change the prejudices of seventy-year old women, but I'd like to nip those kinds of comments in the bud.

Henry, I don't care if you're a flamboyant fashion long as you're being true to yourself. And you give me free clothes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

He Has the Rest of His Life to Eat

Henry will be eight months old on Monday and he's still exclusively breastfed. (Well, he's had a few bites of banana, but he's not sure how he feels about it.)

I've been in no hurry to start him on solid food, for a couple of reasons, some selfish:

1. We cloth diaper. Breastmilk poop is almost pleasant...the other kind is not.

2. Solid food is messy.

3. One of my sisters has serious food allergies (nuts, some fruit) and one of my husband's sisters has celiac disease.

4. His spitting up has just begun slowing down recently.

5. He still seems to react to dairy, soy, and maybe a few other things through my milk.

6. He only has two teeth.

7. Although he's very interested in what we're doing when we're eating -- he'll watch the food intently if he's sitting on our laps -- he hasn't lunged/grabbed at our food yet, nor does he cry.

8. He is still nursing as usual and doesn't seem overly hungry or cranky.

9. I find sitting in front of a high chair, spooning food into a baby's mouth, to be mind-numbingly boring.

10. I kind of like the idea of holding off for as long as possible because it gives my bizarro alternative parenting persona cred, which helps to freak out my sisters-in-law.

As I thought about this issue and discussed it with a few other AP moms, I realized something: the whole automatically-starting-rice-cereal-at-six-months thing is a big lie.

Maybe some babies really need to be spoon-fed at an early age, but I would venture to say that most do not. Why are we in such a rush for our babies to grow up? Why not wait until they can pick the food up and feed themselves?

Breastmilk is the most nutritious food there is, and Henry is obviously thriving on it. Like everything else, when he's ready for the next stage he'll let us know.

Monday, March 27, 2006

"Henry So Happy To-day"

That's what my stepdaughter says about her little brother whenever she sees him. And it's true: Henry is a happy little guy most of the time.

Frankly I was concerned about his demeanor during the first few weeks when he seemed so, well, high-needs. He cried a lot. In retrospect I think his stomach was upset by some of the foods I was eating; he still spits up if I have the tiniest bit of soy or dairy. And now he's generally really good-natured.

In the late afternoons, right as we're waiting for my husband to come home, Henry and I usually share at least one fit of laughter. I'll do something to make him laugh, or he'll find something funny on his own (like my turning the bean-bag chair over, or shaking out a pillow to fluff it). It's truly contagious. See for yourself.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Beginning of the End...or the End of the Beginning

Hey Mom!
Look what
I can do!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Henry, Then and Now

Henry at two-and-a-half months back in October:

And at just over seven months, today:

My baby just keeps getting cuter and cuter.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Henry Sleeps Like a Baby

When you have a baby the one thing people ask is: "How is he sleeping?"

I'm always tempted to reply, "Like a baby," because if you have any experience with infants you know that means not so good, and if you don't then you walk away thinking everything's just grand.

But I'll be straight with you: not so good.

At night I lie down with Henry sometime between 7:30 and 8:30pm. He fusses, crawls all over the bed and me, nurses off and on, sucks his thumb off and on, and finally falls asleep after about half an hour. I generally turn the TV on (sound off and closed-captioning on) at that point and watch until I decide it's late enough for a 35-year old to turn in or until Henry starts to fuss, at which point I immediately turn the TV off and pretend like I was sleeping the entire time, honest.

After that Henry wakes up roughly every two hours or so and nurses. He also cries out in his sleep, or moans, or otherwise fusses, which I may or may not need to respond to with more than a "shh, shh, sweetie."

Then he wakes up for good at around 7am.

Naptime used to mean my lying with him also, but since his first cold a few months ago -- which required him to stay upright -- I've been putting him in his Kozy mei tai to sleep.

He usually falls asleep within ten minutes or so, which enables me to sit at the computer and surf the internet. I can't type more than a few words, though, or he'll wake up. For some reason clicking the mouse is okay.

By the way, this is our current sleeping set-up:

I never thought my bedroom would look like this, and it's a bit embarrassing to post a photo of it, but I figured someday when my bedroom is Martha Stewart perfect (minus the felony conviction) I'll want a reminder of what we went through in order to catch some z's.

You'll notice that our queen-sized mattress is on the floor and the extra twin bed we bought is still raised up on a bedframe and boxspring. Henry and I sleep in the queen and my poor six-foot-three-inch husband is relegated to the twin.

Could someone tell me again how as parents, you don't join your child's life, they join yours? Because I don't think Henry got the memo.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Getting the Word(s) Out

Among the many things I was unaware of before having a baby: breastfeeding advocacy t-shirts. Cafe Press has a large selection. I find this one particularly funny, though I'm not so sure about the kind of attention it might draw:

Don't forget the baby:

And I'm actually considering buying this one:

This one has nothing to do with breastfeeding, but everything to do with me:

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Last week Henry and I went to a playgroup where I met a woman with a one-year old daughter. She asked me how old Henry was and when I said, "Almost seven months," she said, "Wow!"

I replied, "Yep, he's pretty big," and she said, "My daughter is big for her age too. I think she's twenty-two pounds now."

Henry is twenty-three pounds.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

And You Will Know Him by the Trail of Dead

His coming had been prophesied. He was larger than life, it was said. And so they waited, their excitement mounting as they tried to remain patient.

What would he be like? Would he speak to them? Their lives would be changed forever, that much they knew.

He was coming. They could hear him. It was time.

As he towered above them, a hush fell over the crowd.

Something was going horribly wrong. Surely, this was not in the prophesy. A collective scream rose up in their throats, but they could not move.

Paralyzed by fear and disbelief, they watched in horror as the chosen one determined their fates.

Oh, the humanity!

And you will know him by the trail of dead...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I Got the Best One

I'm sorry, but I really do have the cutest baby ever. I'm sure yours is cute, but let's be honest here: I got the best one.

Photo courtesy of my friend Allie. She's the one who did Henry's awesome birth announcement. If you're in the market for an amazing photographer, check out her work here.