It has been way too long since my last journal entry. I thought only checking in once a week was stretching it, but now I see that it has been 3 weeks or so since I last wrote! Awful.
Well, obviously...I've been busy with the Little Man. Julian has been going through a developmental spurt in the last few weeks. He can grab and hold a toy now, he laughs out loud when you play with him, he makes all kinds of new sounds, he grew a whole new head of hair, and passed a slew of other milestones. He has excellent head control in all directions and is trying really hard to sit up now. If he is in a semi-reclining position, he will actualy lean forward and do a mini-crunch to try to sit up. Looks really funny. When you hold him in your lap he wants to sit up *straight*, not be cradled like a little baby. He's very vertically oriented...the only time he likes to lie down is if he's nursing or if someone is laying right next to him. Potty training is going fine, same as before, which is how it will be for a while. It's a very slow process.
He will play in his Gymini for 30-45 minutes at a time, and is happy to sit in his bouncy chair and watch me cook dinner or garden or whatever it is that I'm doing, instead of *always* needing to be held.
I feel good about the fact that I *did* hold him or wear him in a sling almost all the time up until now. Some people were telling me that he would be spoiled and always want to be held, but I think it had the opposite effect...he feels secure enough that he can sit and play away from me a little bit now without worrying that I'm going to leave him. I always pick him up right away when he wants to be held, but I think he enjoys watching me from a little distance away too. He loves to watch people, he really studies them intently.
I talk to him ALL the time about what I'm doing, or what we're doing together, or just random stuff..."What should we make for dinner?" He LOVES being talked to in a sweet voice and will smile and laugh in response.
Singing...man, does this baby love to be sung to! He goes to the "Church of Dan" as I call it...Dan calms him down by doing a sort of choral humming that sounds like a hymn. No words, just humming in a droning kind of style reminiscent of medieval monks.
I'll sing just about anything at all, but I have found somewhat to my dismay that he really likes "Kumbaya". ;-) I was eating breakfast with him in his bouncy seat next to me one morning...I could tell he was tired and ready for his morning nap, he started fussing and Kumbaya just popped into my head so I started to sing it. Kum-bay-a bay-bee, Kum-bay-a! He went to sleep almost instantly. So now I have to sing Kumbaya all the time. I amuse myself by singing different words..."Close your eyes, bay-bee...go to sleep...mommy wants some food, food to eat" and so on.
Dan's sister-in-law Sylvia (does that make her *my* sister-in-law too? What is the right term for the wife of my husband's brother?) picked up a jogging stroller for $10 from a friend who was going to donate it to a yard sale, and she gave it to me for Mother's Day. So great...those suckers cost $250 or more! Julian loves it. In his regular stroller he was semi-reclining (now a hated position, see above) AND he was facing back towards me, so the scenery didn't ever really change all that much. He loves me and all, but he wants to SEE things when we go on walks, not just look at my upper body nonstop. The view is so static when you are facing backwards.
We went to Baby Boot Camp with the new jogging stroller this morning and it was a hit. He looked and looked and looked at everything in his upright sitting posture, then he fell asleep for a little while and woke back up in time for our ab exercises, which he watched happily from the stroller without crying. It's much more of a pain to get in and out of the car...I have to disassemble and re-assemble it each time, take off tires, etc., but it's pretty damn cool. I think I have enough stamina to actually jog now, so maybe I should try taking him out running on my own, outside of Baby Boot Camp.
I took Julian to Yahoo! today to show him off to my coworkers. So weird driving there, I almost forgot which exit to get off on. I haven't been in the office since January 9th when I went on maternity leave! It was great to see everyone, and Julian was like a movie star, everyone thought he was so cute. At one point I had about 15 engineers gathered around in a semi-circle looking at him and he chose that exact moment to let loose an incredibly loud poop...the liquid-sounding extended version. AND it was super-smelly too. I totally knew that was going to happen. I just knew it. But no big deal.
My manager Peter is as awesome as ever. He is working on a part-time schedule for me, three days a week in the office and one day a week at home, 30 hours total. I only get 2/3 of my full-time salary, which is lame, but I do get full benefits, which is key. If we're shipping product and it gets to be crunch time, then I will work extra hours, but I can get comp time when things slow down. Sounds like a fantastic deal to me! I wasn't hoping for anything that good, I'm really happy. I didn't even think to ask for part-time work because I thought either it wasn't possible or else I would get no benefits...it was all Peter's suggestion to do part-time while Julian is still so small. He is the best manager I've ever had. Could ever have. Just amazing.
Julian was getting fussy and tired today before we left to go to Yahoo!, so Dan got him to sleep on his shoulder and then he slept in his car seat on the way there. OK, now normally I am ALWAYS trying to get this baby to sleep longer, take longer naps, and either he wakes up on his own or a toilet flushing somewhere in Pakistan wakes him up. Bugs also has a habit of sneezing right next to the sleeping baby, or skittering around on the hardwood floor next to him, loudly clicking his nails, or else barking. Or Dan sneezes, since it's allergy season. Or an eardrum-shattering Harley drives by...the phone rings...the list is ENDLESS.
Oh, the absolute RAGE we moms feel when we spend an hour getting the baby to sleep and someone or something wakes that baby up. The white-hot fury that arises is just incredible. I have almost skinned my beloved dog alive at times when he wakes the baby up. I hiss at him between clenched teeth, "Shut UP you goddamned beast!". Awful. But that rage just comes over me...all my work for naught! Now I have to start all over again! It's just too much to bear.
If looks could kill, Dan would have been dead a few weeks ago when allergy season started and he began sneezing incredibly loudly. His sneezes not only wake the baby up but scare him so badly in the process that there's usually no hope of getting him back to sleep anytime soon.
Anyway, so the baby is sleeping and we arrive at Yahoo! I pop him out of the car seat into his new Girasol baby carrier (which I really, really love and he does too) and he doesn't even wake up. We walk upstairs, say hi to Peter and go into a conference room to discuss my schedule. I sit *down* and he doesn't wake up. We talk loudly, nothing. We finish talking and Peter asks if I want to go around and show the baby to people. I do, but he's so much cuter when he's awake...who the hell is this comatose baby? MY baby wakes up when a pin drops, what's going on?
I take him out of the carrier and move him around, kiss him, stroke his cheeks, play with his hands...nothing. He's like a droopy newborn. Floppy body, head rolling around, eyes firmly shut. It's unbelievable. The one time that I *want* him to wake up and he's completely knocked out. A bomb could go off next to this baby and he wouldn't even flinch. I'm poking him and jiggling him, still nothing. I give up and go out into the hall, where we see some people. I'm showing them my sleeping baby and still trying to wake him up. Finally I practically *throw* him up in the air and he opens his eyes. After that he was awake, but what a task! I just couldn't beleive that he slept that hard.
He was Mr. Personality at Yahoo!, smiling, laughing, waving his arms and legs, charming everyone, then when we got back in the car he passed out again and has been asleep ever since! It's hard workto entertain the masses. ;-)
He's stretched out on a Boppy on my lap rightnow. He sort of wakes up every hour or so, nurses a little bit, changes position, then goes back to sleep. Remarkable. Temporary reversion to the newborn state ;-) Reminds me of when he was only a week or two old...Dan and I would sit on the couch trying SO hard to keep him awake until it was time to go to bed. He was sleeping all day and waking at night, which wasn't really working out too well for me. Dan got the brunt of trying to keep him awake while I made dinner. At around 9:00pm it got to be really, really difficult. Dan had to practically slap him around to keep him awake.
I get so nostalgic already, remembering when he was *really* little. Not like I want to go back to those days, but they are sweet to remember. I have him on the Boppy pillow now...I remember holding him on my lap sleeping like this, but he only took up half the pillow instead of the whole thing. I was nursing him the other day and I remembered when he was tiny and would nurse in a pike position with his arms down by his sides and his legs extended straight out, perpendicular to his body. He would be so thrilled when he nursed, it made him almost rigid with excitement. That pike position. So cute! Those are the things that I wish I had on video.
Now he's all relaxed when he nurses, he lounges, stretches out, and he grabs my bra with his free hand, or pats my boob. Such a big boy, this three-month-old! And to think that I'll look back a few months from now and say, "Oh, I remember when he used to do *that*,", *that* being whatever he's doing now that I'm just taking for granted as normal behavior. Really, I should be shooting hours of video every day to capture all this. He does things that seem so normal at the time, and it seems like he'll *always* do them, so what's the hurry? Then he stops doing that cute or amazing thing and you realize it's gone forever and only exists in your memory now.
As his mama it's especially poignant, because I know many times I'm the only one who ever noticed something (like his cute nursing pike position) and now it's gone. No photo. I alone hold him in my memory like that. Even HE won't remember it. Only me. I can often say to Dan, "Remember when he used to do X?" and we'll reminisce, but not always. During the first eight weeks it was mostly just me and the baby bonding. Luckily every old cute thing is replaced by five new cute things, so it's not so sad, just poignant. It just makes me appreciate every little moment with him that much more. My boy! I love him so much.
There's nothing like having a baby to make you think about time philosophically...that someday this little baby will be an old man, and I will have crumbled into dust. Then he'll hold *me* in his memory as his young mama, and I won't exist anyplace else but in his mind. It's the same kind of realization about time that people have expressed over and over in different ways throughout history, I'm just not saying it as eloquently as the poets do ;-)
We were talking with a woman and her mother in Khanh's the other day (a Vietnamese restaurant nearby). They were in the booth next to us and were commenting on how good Julian was, how he wasn't crying. The mother was visiting from Hawaii, she was a regal-looking woman who didn't speak much English, so the daughter was doing most of the talking. She said her mom was crushed because neither she nor her brother had children (at ages 40 and 45), and likely wouldn't *ever* have children, and the mother was really upset, she LOVED babies and wanted grandchildren so badly. She offered to raise the baby if her daughter would just have one! But no dice. The daughter just wasn't interested. Which I could understand, but I felt really bad for the mother, and then I thought that if Julian doesn't have kids I'll be crushed too! But it's something you just have no control over.
So now I'm already worried about grandchildren. Good grief!