Friday, August 24, 2012

A poem, almost

I was going to write a poem

about how I can watch you grow as you nurse,

about how I will never forget your first meal, how your eyes locked with mine and you established permanent residency in my soul,

about how your eyelashes lay sweetly on the top of your cheek,

and about how I know you better than anyone else,

about how old wounds have finally healed,

how I hope that I will always be able to recall your profile, your button nose and perfectly round cheeks,

how when our house is full of friends and noise, we can steal away to a quiet corner and it’s just us,

and about how when I would cradle you in my arms in those first few weeks I would run my hand down your spine and marvel at how all of those vertebrae grew in a straight line inside of my belly,

about how you used to take up my whole lap and now you take up a whole couch cushion,

about how your baby rolls are stretching out into big boy arms and legs,

how I’m considering auditioning for Cirque du Soleil since mastering the art of getting out of bed without waking sleeping child,

how these comically engorged life-givers of mine help my sweaters fit better than ever,

about how this is now your favorite thing in the whole world (but the mere mention of this when you’re a teenager will probably embarrass the crap outta you),

about how, even before you were mobile, you could make your way to me in bed like a heat seeking missile, diving towards your goal,

about how as I watch you breathe I can feel your lungs and belly expand with each gulp,

how sometimes right after you fall asleep, right after your breath slows to a steady in and out, right after your eyelids become too heavy to hold open, you chuckle straight from your belly and I wonder what that beautiful brain is thinking,

and about how the soft rhythm of your hand on my chest mirrors the rhythm of my heart,

about how I never knew love like this,

about how this is exactly what I dreamed motherhood would be like,

I was going to write a poem about how nourishing you is my calling

but then you bit me.


I guess love hurts sometimes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's August 22 (+1), Eddy is 8 months old!

Okay, surely we lost a day or two there. Are we still jet-lagged? Did the elevation in Colorado mess with our heads? This last month went by entirely too fast, my baby boy. And while it feels like 15, maybe 20 days have passed since July 22, you sure have done a month's worth of growing so alas, you are 8 months old.

You rung in your eighth month by melting my heart. You have called out to me about 20 times in the past 2 days with the word "Mama!" Maybe this word just happens to fit in with the other sounds you are making right now (uh ba ba) but I'll take it! You say it at exactly the right times which has me convinced that you know what you are doing. And although you have been saying my name since the beginning ("Maaaaa!), putting those two syllables together is sweet music to my ears. You also very sweetly whisper Papa sometimes and look right at him while doing it.

As we ushered in month 6, there was nary a tooth to be seen and now you have 5 - count 'em - 5! I'm a bit obsessed. It seems the more teeth you get, the cheesier that grin gets! You are a knucklehead if I've ever known one. Hmmm, wonder where you get that?

We had a great time visiting Cookie and Grandpa Gus in Colorado and a few of our friends joined us, too! We went to the Denver Zoo, a bunch of breweries, Rocky Mountain National Park, and The Children's Museum. You also flew on an airplane for the first time!

You are oh so close to getting up on your little knees to crawl and had a heckuva time getting into "stuff" for the first time today. I can tell that you know exactly what you're doing because you look at me every once in a while and flash me that cheesy grin.

Update --- Oh - and how could I forget one of your coolest developments? You started making the 'milk' sign the day before we came home from Colorado. Seeing your chubby, little hand make the squeezing gesture is incredible and the power of communication is powerful indeed. You are so very pleased with yourself when you show me the sign and I ask you, "You want milk?"

Summer is dragging slowly to a hot, sweaty halt and we will welcome fall just before your ninth month - and my birthday! This is the time of year that I always start dreamily anticipating that first whisper of cooler weather. This is also the time of year that your papa always starts dreamily anticipating that first college football game. I'm a huge fan, too - remind me to tell you of a memorable weekend road trip to Nebraska to watch the Longhorns play - but your papa always gets particularly sick this time of year. It's called Football Fever and there are no approved vaccinations on the market as of yet. The only cures seems to be more football. I know that his heart will melt when you join him to cheer on The University of Texas, just as mine does when you call out my name.

8 months old. Incredible.

Well, I do believe that he's practicing his Heisman pose!

"Down, set..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dear Eddy, 7 months

Ok, Baby Boy, I am about to tell you something that you may never understand - because you are a boy and because you will never be a mom - but this thing I'm about to tell you warrants a sliver of cyberspace.

You are teething. I am breastfeeding.

See? You don't quite get it, do you?

When signs of the impending first tooth started showing - drooly, crabby, everything-in-the-mouth-y - I would almost-brag as I like to do - 95th percentile, you know. AND I think he's about to cut his first tooth! 

A few moms gave me wary smiles. My friend asked, "Has he bitten you yet? Oh just you wait. It will scare both of you."

So the little tooth finally made its debut. And every once in a while I would feel it graze me and I would think, "Aw my sweet boy. He's so gentle." That one tooth quickly got a partner and that's when things got real.

Breastfeeding has always been my favorite time with you, my favorite thing about motherhood. It is so sweet, so intimate. I love nourishing you and knowing that you are thriving for it. But just like that, my favorite time became painful, sometimes excruciating.

Just like the rest of you, your teeth have grown like weeds. But, you know, like those really gnarly weeds that you have to wear gloves to pull. You had 2 teeth when we left for Colorado and by our flight home you had 4, working on 5.

Oh - and yes, you have bitten me. More times that I can or would care to count. Sometimes I would shout which would startle you and other times I would just push on, tears welling in my eyes. And, man was I cursing these dang teeth. I offered to buy you baby dentures (surely a thing, right?) but you demanded that you keep growing up.

And then it occurred to me that as much as this hurt me, the sharp pain was but a fleeting moment and you were probably enduring constant pain. Pushing jagged bone through your gums sounds awful.

I think this is just the beginning, too. Of the you hurt, I hurt pattern, I mean. Remember, I grew up with two little brothers, your Uncle Cory and Uncle Matt. I know that bookshelves look a heck of a lot like ladders and that the toy at the top is always the most desirable. I know that falling off the top of the swing set would've been so cool if it weren't for that pesky, hard ground. I predict many tears, bumps and bruises, scrapes and gashes. I will kiss you and put a bandage over it and say "I'm sorry". But the lesson has been learned. I hurt when you hurt, just like I laugh when you laugh. Your pain is my pain, your joy is my joy, your happiness is my happiness. You did come from me, after all. It only seems natural.

While some pain is unavoidable, like teeth-growing, other pain is not. So as you climb to the top of your friend's roof to attempt an Olympic dive into the pool, as you attempt a back-tire wheelie to impress the older girl down the street, and as you try to out-wow that cool kid on his skateboard, please think of your old mom. I am patient and I am understanding and I get the need to dare the devil. But my heart can only take so much. If you could somehow pace those endeavors slowly that would be great.

I forgive you for those mighty little bites. And for future failed feats.

My sweet, gentle piranha. I love ya.


Monday, August 13, 2012

A hundred, now shut up.

Whew, it's been a long time. Too long. We've been on vacation for more than 2 weeks and I thought I would steal away a few moments while we were gone but that never happened.

My brain is bursting, I have a handful of entries locked and loaded and ready to be edited but for now, there are other words that weigh a bit heavier.

In the past year or two, our girl Lucy has started showing her age by developing the most distinguished little white muzzle. She's only 6 but I suppose that some dogs are just like some people - they gray earlier than others. Lucy has always garnered admiration at the dog park but this sudden sign of age has prompted follow-up questions of Oh, how old is she? and How long do boxers usually live? The latter question nearly pushes me over the edge every time and I bite my tongue before the response "A hundred, now shut up" can jump out. An elderly man at the neighborhood 4th of July parade even had the gall to say, "Wow - she's seen some years, huh?" I counted to ten slowly, inhaled and exhaled with purpose, all the while fighting the words, "Well, it looks like you've seen triple, punk."

Something you must know about Lucy in order to understand my defensive feelings: she is the most incredible dog to ever walk the planet. No, she is not friends with every passer-by. Nope, she's never saved a child from a well. And no, there is no video of her on YouTube saying "I love you". But trust me, she is incredible. She knows who her friends are and loves them hard and she really knows who her family is and protects them fiercely.

A few months ago, we took Lou to the vet because she had two small lumps that needed to be checked out. We'd been down this road years back when she had a lump removed on her chest. It was stressful and hard and sad at the time but it was removed successfully and is now an afterthought. And she came away with an awesome, tough-girl scar. The vet took a sample from each, told us that these lumps seemed harmless but to keep an eye on one of them and monitor its size. We agreed that it was about the size of a peanut M&M and would check it daily. When we got home from Colorado, the peanut M&M seemed to have swelled to an olive. We made an appointment today to get it checked out again and the prognosis was a bit tough. This little growing lump does have cancerous cells and will need to be removed as well. It's right in her front "arm pit" which makes it a little harder to get at and makes the healing process a little more strenuous. These happen to be very common in boxers and with it's removal, she will probably make a total recovery and this too will be an afterthought a few months from now.

But for now it's heavy.

She is our first-born, our angel girl. She just has to be okay. There's no other option.

Thoughts and prayers and doggy joo-joo are appreciated.