Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daniel vs. Mama

Once upon a time, I was the same age as Daniel and while I was significantly premature at birth (6 weeks early!), therefore significantly smaller than he is now (as are 90% of kids his age, though), I was hitting my milestones and growing right before my mother's eyes. Just as Daniel is doing now.

I'm sure he's been teething for a while now, with the constant chewing (on anything, even his father's knuckles), little by little his back muscles are getting stronger and he manages to sit unassisted by us (hunched over with his hands on his legs or on the floor) and now he successfully turns from back to tummy like a pro. He finally perfected the tummy to back roll earlier last week - it took him a while to get that down, it seems. But the opposite direction, he seems to have mastered it in days. His first time doing it fully was on his 5th month birthday, this past Sunday. He had been working up to it for probably a month or so, grabbing a hold of his feet and rolling to his side - but he never attempted it, until about Friday. I could tell he wanted to, that he was trying, had his body all the way over... except for his head. Or he would make the motion, but straightening out his body to actually roll over would roll him right onto his back again. While I was getting a few more hours of sleep on Sunday morning, his father told me that he had rolled onto his tummy not once, but TWICE! I was so happy to hear it but honestly forgot about it until the afternoon when he was on skype with his parents. At that time, I remembered and mentioned showing his parents, too. "Prove it!", I said to Daniel.

And boy, did he.

I have yet to feel that kind of pride in something Daniel has done yet, at least not that I can remember. The first couple of months of his life were a total blur and I honestly don't even remember when it was he first rolled over and now that he does it so easily, I am happy and encourage him but it isn't this wondrous thing. After he rolled onto his tummy for me, I clapped and raved at him; the smile on his face showed he knew he made us happy with that, and he hasn't stopped since. He has spent very little time in his bouncer today, as every time he wakes up, I put him on his back on his blanket. Surrounded by toys to encourage him, he rolls over and scoots his little self around to explore his home from a new vantage point. All this new play is taking a toll on him, though - he was already on his second nap around 2, a mere 2 hours since waking up from his first nap that he started a little after 9 and ended at noon.

I can't help but feel how much he is growing as a little person while I'm just so... stuck. Don't get me wrong, I love being at home with him and allowing him as much mama time as he can possibly handle, but there is a part of me that misses going to work. I miss adult interaction, being a nurse, taking care of people, and making money. I miss that most of all. Money isn't everything, not by a long shot... but NOT having it all of the sudden shows me just how much even the little cash I did bring in before helped. A lot. So I've been applying to various jobs, hoping and praying (and NOT hoping and praying, just in case indifference works in the big karmic cycle...) that I at least get a call for a job interview. So far, nothing. So now I feel nothing. Nothing but a lack of personal growth. That irks me.

So now, I'm just enjoying and living vicariously through my little boy's HUGE steps towards mobile independence and laugh as my friends and family comment "and so it begins!" on his pictures of exploration on my Facebook. Something will happen for me soon, but like always, I'm just not sure what.

After-thought: if you have Instagram, feel free to follow me! My username is juriaguria and as you can expect, lots of pictures of Daniel are on there ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How I turn little things into mother's guilt

My man is *ahem* slightly hungover and is napping with Daniel (at my request) so I am putting my feet up (really!) between some straightening up and getting ready for dinner. I know my sanity requires this but I can't help but feel extremely guilty over how I'm leaving the sugar container on the dining table from my coffee consumed hours ago, or how I should move the baby bouncer to the wall instead of where I dragged it to be near the couch... or how my toenail polish is so old, my pink toes aren't even varnished anymore.

But what really has me feeling the extreme pressures of guilt, besides everything else in my life, is the fact that my son has a gnarly little rash going on down south, that is entirely out of my control and not my fault but still is my fault completely. Darn my inability to predict his poops and that he may potentially sit in them for a little while! I started using cloth diapers during the day, which claims to help eliminate diaper rash completely. The one disposable diaper we use at night rarely encounters poop anymore (he's a daytime pooper) so I don't think that's the culprit, and we're not supposed to use barrier cream or ointments with cloth. So what am I supposed to do?! I heard a tip and did some research on use of coconut oil as a ointment for cloth diapered babies, so I've been using that... with very little success so far except to make my wallet sad over the $7 per 6 ounce jar at Whole Foods. Why.

So I've been casually job searching and I think I may have found something worthwhile (emphasis on may, as communication regarding said job is painstakingly slow), it would be a per diem job as a registered nurse but I am terrified, TERRIFIED of the idea of taking Daniel to a baby sitter or daycare. Like somehow, the one or two day/few hours a week he'd spend with someone other than me or his father will ruin him forever? Yeah... I just sit here and wonder how moms or dads who have no choice but to daycare their kids almost from birth do it. I know the majority of childcare providers are NOT the scum of the earth unworthy of even being under my shoe, I just can't help but think the terrible things that have happened to children in the past will ALL happen to my precious son.

Becoming a mother has turned me into the best and worst person I could possibly be - the ultimate in motherly love and the fatalist drama queen. I need help. Or just to get over myself. A little household disarray, tiny rash on his bum, and a scrap here and there with fellow daycare kidlets will not ruin my son... I just need to remember that.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On Either Side of the Dividing Line

Since my dear Daniel was born going on 5 months ago, it has been increasingly difficult for me to even remember (or want to, for that matter) what my life was like without him. He seems so much a part of me every day that life without him is truly inconceivable. With that said, as he gets older, there are things I miss about the days before he was born. The biggest of that (very) small list being: sleep.

Right before we moved, Daniel decided sleeping 7 hours in a row wasn't so bad. Fast-forward a week and suddenly we were back to at least 2 wake-up times, at least 1 feeding and both Gary and I feeling exhausted. Actually, I'm pretty sure I felt at least a bit more rested in the beginning of Daniel's life than I do now. Now, he's up during the day much more than when he was born, meaning less chances for me to cat-nap with him. I would get my 8 hours of sleep throughout the day and night, however I could... now, not so much. It's really frustrating, but all my fellow mothers out there keep telling me the same thing happened to them and there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. I just keep telling myself that one day, he'll sleep the day away and I'll wish he was little again...

Month 4 marks a lot of significant milestones for my little guy, it's so fun to watch him talk up a storm and blow spit bubbles while shoving everything and anything he can get his small hands on into his mouth. We have toys in the bathtub now, he spins in circles on the floor and is tolerating tummy time more and more each day. His favorite thing to do during his diaper changes, which now consist of FuzziBunz cloth diapers, is grab his feet and roll onto his side. We have enough cloth diapers now to go two days before washing, if we use the remaining disposable diapers at night. And last night, we had rice cereal for the first time! The entire event was hilarious, starting with him gagging/crying and ending in him with it all over his face/crying because we weren't feeding him fast enough!

So I am possibly looking at a huge change in my professional life, which is truly exciting. I'm not sure what will happen, but I remain optimistic!