Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and, although I am always super excited for the holiday season, this year I am ecstatic. I have so much to be thankful for, and I cannot wait to celebrate my son's first Thanksgiving...EVER! I thought, in honor of this, I'd blog about all the things I am thankful for, in no particular order.

1. My husband, Cesar. For you I am eternally thankful for. You have showed me what love is and opened my heart up. You have made me happier than I ever dreamed I could be. You are my best friend, my soulmate, my ally, my rock, and confidant. I couldn't ask for anything more. I love you more today than yesterday.

2. My amazing son. I used to be the girl that said I didn't want any kids...and then I found out I was pregnant. My whole world changed the day I found out I was pregnant, the day I heard your heartbeat, and the day you were born. You have brought me more happiness than I could have imagined, and I am so excited to share the holidays with you! You make me smile everyday, no matter what kind of mood I am in. I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART!

3. My family. You have always supported me, and without you I don't think I would have survived these past few years. I am grateful that I have a supportive and loving family to turn to when needed, especially my mother. You have shaped me into the woman I am today, and without you I wouldn't be who I am today. I love and cherish you.

4. My extended family. Last year both myself and my mother married, extending my family enormously. My parents divorced when I was young, so I had never had the huge family that I always wanted, but that all changed with our unions. I am thankful for my wonderful in-laws, and my stepfather's family. Both families have welcomed me in, and made me feel like one of their own. You all are amazing, and I am so happy my son will have the large family that I always dreamed of.

5. My health. I went to the doctor recently and finally heard that I had a clean bill of health. I had been struggling for over 4 years, and am so happy and elated that I am celebrating my first Thanksgiving in 4 years with no medical worries hanging over my head!

6. My friends. Thank you for being there and celebrating the good times with me. It's nice to know that no matter how much things change, I will always have you to lean on.

There are so many more things that I am thankful for, but these are the most important. I hope everyone has a wonderful, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back

I went jean shopping today. A task I had been putting off for quite awhile. I was dreading having to buy new jeans, and I have to fears were not so irrational! First it took me about 2 hours just to find a pair that fit; not too many stores cater to the "curvy woman," even those that claim they do. The jeans just never fit me right; they always leave a HUGE gap in between my back and the waistband, and I ALWAYS have to buy the waist too big or super stretch material in order to get the jeans to fit my thighs. I do have quite the rear, always have, and I've always embraced it. I love my rear, it's the big thighs and the wide hips, that come along with it, that I could live without.

I hadn't realized how much my lower half (rear, hips, and thighs) had grown until today-or I just didn't want to admit it, hence the procrastination. Needless to say, the revelation had me calling my husband from the dressing room, practically in tears. I was so upset with my post-pregnancy body.

My husband, of course, loves my curves, their one of things that initially attracted him to me. I wish I could find consolation in that fact. It's hard to feel sexy when you've gained weight, even when your significant other still thinks you are. So I caved and bought two pairs of "big" jeans, I had to. I spend my days in sweatpants, partially because I'm home all day and see no point in walking around in jeans my son is just going to throw up on and partially because my old jeans were just a little too tight when buttoned. However, I only allowed myself to buy two pairs because I am determined to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, therefore rendering my new jeans unnecessary sometime in the very near future. Hopefully, in 2011, it's out with the new and in with the old!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Off Schedule

As I mentioned in my previous post, the past few days has been a bit hectic for my son. We had a sleepover at his nan's, went into the city, saw a few doctors, and went two whole days with only one nap!

Like many mothers, I find my life dictated by routine-my son's routine. For the first three months of my son's life, I followed his cues; I rarely put him down for a nap, most times he passed out on me, and I'd leave him there. It was just easier that way, and I couldn't stand the thought of letting him cry it out at such a young age.

I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be able to tolerate the blood curdling screams of a regimented sleep schedule. However, after three months of sleepless nights and days I had had enough. I followed my son's cues, but instead of letting him pass out on me, I would put him down in his crib. For over a month my son would scream and cry every time he was placed in the crib. I was afraid it would NEVER end, but it did. Now CJ goes down with barely a peep; where his scream session would only yield a 30 minute nap, he now naps for at least a hour and a half! VICTORY!

Nighttime was a whole different story. I refused to put him in his crib awake, I just couldn't tolerate the crying it out at nighttime. Once again, exhaustion overruled my pity and I began to put him down awake. Nighttime sleep was achieved much easier than napping. For the first few days he would cry for about the first 20 minutes before he would pass out. He would then wake up every two hours until 1 am, and I would just let him fuss after ensuring that his diaper was clean. Now he knows he's not getting me out of bed before 3:30 am so the middle of the night wake up calls have essentially ceased, and if they occur he jibber jabbers himself back to sleep.

But I digress. Today, I felt as though I was back at the beginning, when ranting and raving ruled the daylight hours. I know a lot of mothers who run a strict regiment, nap time occurs on the same schedule no matter where they are or what's going on. I just can't live like that, it's not fitting to our lifestyle. The schedule works wonders when I'm home or if we're just visiting for the day. However, I am not going to rearrange important doctor appointments just to keep my son on schedule. Sometimes, it's just not feasible. So I went the two days without implementing his normal schedule (and when it was enforced during those two days, he put up more of a fight than usual because he was not used to sleeping in a playpen, the room, or sharing a room with me). Needless to say, today was rough.

My son inherited my stubbornness, and if he does not want to do something he can put up quite the fight. What he is too young to know, or understand, is that I can fight too, and if I put my mind to something it will be achieved. So today I set out to reinstate nap time, which was no easy task. He cried and he cried and he cried. Then he slept....unfortunately not as long as he cried.  I had errands to run, but today I ran them on his schedule we had nothing else to do today. By the time we got home, CJ was at his wits end. I attempted nap time again. He put up a fight again, but this time he knew I wasn't playing around and his cries soon died down to whines and his whines finally became snores (not literally, but you know what I mean)! Mission accomplished!

I am so happy, lucky, and relieved to have a baby that both naps and sleeps through the night, but I am even more relieved to know that I can remove the daily routine for a short period of time and my son will bounce right back. He may resist in the beginning, but a little resolve on my end and results will be produced.

CJ napping with his favorite crib pal, Pooh Bear.

Monday, November 15, 2010

...Baby's Day Out...

For years I have been struggling with a tumor that away my jaw bone over the course of 10 or more years. Right before I got pregnant I had surgery to reconstruct my jaw, and hopefully generate bone (something that had not occurred in 3 years). Today, I had a post-op appointment to determine whether or not I had healed, generated bones, and if I was eligible for dental implants. Today's appointment was different, I had to bring my son with me.

Having to bring my son along with me, to such an already nerve wracking appointment, caused me some anxiety. I, therefore, decided that, as I live upstate, I would stay at my mother's with my son to make my commute to the doctor appointment easier (she lives about 20 minutes away opposed to my hour and a half); plus, my mother was coming with me for the appointment to help with my son. We have a very rigid routine that we follow at home, and I implemented it at my mother's. The familiar routine soothed my son, and we had a normal, non-eventful evening. I was so proud! I never imagined that he would sleep so well in an unfamiliar setting!

My mother and I decided that we would take public transportation to the appointment. The doctor is in the city, and my son screams any time we're stuck in traffic, public transportation would just make life easier. So today we woke up bright and early, my son wakes up anywhere between 4 and 4:30 ever since daylight savings time, and got ready for our big adventure. My mother and I packed our bags, got the toys and food together, got all bundled up, and headed out for the bus. The bus pulls up, and we get should have seen the faces of the passengers when they saw that we had a baby with us. They were all scared that a restless baby would disturb their normally peaceful commute. In theory, they were right to be concerned; however, my son was nothing but smiles and curiosity. I expected him to have a meltdown, it was his nap time after all, but I was happily proven wrong. My son was so intrigued and excited by the new experience that he was nothing except calm.

After the bus, we transferred to the subway. Passengers on the subway NEVER expect a peaceful journey so we received no wary looks as we boarded. Again, I anticipated a meltdown, but I guess I should have learned from the bus trip. Again my son spent the entire journey inspecting/analyzing everything he saw. Then again on the 5 block walk to the hospital, my son was breaking his back to gaze up at all the sky scrapers.

The whole day, which lasted from about 8am-2pm, I was on pins and needles waiting for the breakdown, the tears, the tantrum that never came. Nap time was skipped, and it was only when we got on the bus to go home that exhaustion finally overcame excitement and he passed out. I was so impressed by my son's behavior. I had packed a whole bag of tricks to keep him calm and cool, and none of it was needed; not the snacks, the toys, the music, etc. I guess excitement trumps exhaustion. Now I can only hope future adventures will go as smoothly. I guess that's all we can do as mothers, hope.

Friday, November 12, 2010

...Baby's First Word...

From the minute I learned I was pregnant I, like most women, began to fantasize about my little bundle of joy. I would sit at my desk and imagine bringing him home, giving him his first bath, his first tooth, etc. One of my fondest daydreams was his first word. My husband and I had decided I would not return to work after my son’s birth, so I knew I was going to be his primary care giver, and the one he’d spend the majority of his time with. Therefore, in my fantasy, I always pictured him uttering “Mama” first. Imagine my surprise when, at 6 months, my son looked around the room, locked eyes on his father and said “Dada,” in a room full of witnesses.

Most were surprised that my son was saying his first word at 6 months. I, however, was not. He has been following the same developmental path that I myself took as a child, and I just so happened to say “hello” at 5 months old, a fact my husband still refuses to believe!

My husband immediately jumped for joy and started screaming ‘HE SAID DADA! HE SAID DADA’” to which I instantly replied, “he’s just jabbering so stop your yelling!” I, of course, was in denial. My son for days would say “Dada” and I would walk around pretending he was saying something else.

The Monday after he first started saying those infamous words, I was forced to cave in and admit defeat. My husband left for work, and I sat down to play with our son. He sat there, throwing his toys and watching bemused as I would continuously pick them up and hand them back to him over and over again, and then started repeatedly screaming “Dada” as clear as day. My heart sunk. I could no longer deny it, my son had said his first words, and the experience was nothing like my fantasy. I was hurt and upset; I am the one that is home with him all day, I am the one up in the middle of the night with him (because my husband works a job where he drives all day, and I’d rather him not fall asleep at the wheel), I am the one sitting there repeating “Mama” for hours on end so that it will be implanted in his mind. My attempts were in vain, and I felt like a failure.

Those words, so simple, rocked my whole world. I felt, in a sense, betrayed. My husband guffawed at my reaction, thinking me foolish. He didn’t understand my reaction nor, for that matter, did I. It’s not like I don’t know my son loves me. He is at the age where he clings to me, and if someone else is holding him he will throw himself to get to me. I knew, underneath my hurt, that my son was, and still is, a momma’s boy.

That night I called my mother. Being a first time mom myself, I often turn to my mother for expert advice. She, unlike my husband, understood my pain. She assured me that this is a normal part of development; the “d” is just easier to pronounce than “m.” The longer we talked, the more rational I became. So what my son had said “Dada” before “Mama,” this didn’t mean he doesn’t love me! Why wasn’t I celebrating the fact that my 6 month old had said his first word?

I then realized I was ruining the whole experience for my husband. I’m a part of every developmental milestone in my son’s life; my husband was, unfortunately, working when the umbilical cord fell off, when my son first rolled over, when he first sat up on his own, when his first tooth popped through the gums at 5 months. Why couldn’t I just sit back and let my husband have one, for once? I hung up with my mother, pulled out the baby book under the “first word” section I wrote “Dada, 11/01/10,” and then offered the book to my husband as my peace offering. Now my son says “Dada” about 100 times a day, quite often referring to me as “Dada,” and I sit back and roll with the punches. He will say mama, soon, and then I can celebrate that milestone as well, but for now I’ll take what I can get!