Monday, April 30, 2012

The Beginning of the End

This is the face I expect to greet me today when I get home from work:

Why, you may ask?

Because today for the first time IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE, I will not nurse him on demand (which he always demands right away when I get home).  In fact, I will not nurse him at all until it's bedtime.

Yes, today is Operation Wean Judah: Day One. Or perhaps more to the point, as the spouse likes to point out, it’s Operation Wean Mommy. Because I’m the one who is going to be traumatized and guilt-ridden about it all. The plan is to drop a feeding every 4 days until we are all done.

There are good reasons to wean Judah (which I won’t get into now), but a large part of me, the largest part actually, just really really really doesn’t want to do it.  I know we had a good run.  Heck, he's 20 months.  (But then I keep telling myself that in the majority of cultures and for the majority of history, children weren't weaned until 3 or 4.  20 months seems so YOUNG to wean.  My baby's only 1.  1!)

And I love our special little bond. I love cuddling him (and that’s the only time this wiggly worm will sit still in my lap for more than 2 seconds). I love being able to provide the ultimate source of comfort and security for him. I love the idea that he’s getting micro-nutrients, probiotic enzymes, and all kinds of immunological benefits from this ‘secret sauce’ that science is just now discovering, and may never fully uncover because it’s just that awesome.

But mostly, it’s the bond. The closeness. The attachment.

Judah has been a champion nurser from day 1, latching perfectly, never biting (except for a few playful times, but it wasn’t too bad and he stopped right away), and doing his business pretty efficiently.

I can’t believe, in my new-mom daze and exhaustion, I was going to wean him at just 2 months old! At that point, I had barely slept and the idea of feeding him (and thus being awake) every 3 hours for months and months sounded like hell. Throw in the beginnings of very bad reflux fussiness and I was *this close* to throwing in the towel. Thankfully his reflux problems subsided around 4 months and since then it’s been one, smooth, long, wonderful ride on the nursing train.  (Okay, there have been bumps along the way, but really they were nothing compared to how wonderful it's been.  Or maybe I just have Stokholm Syndrome, nursing edition.)

But now that ride is coming to an end.  Sigh.

I’ve done my research and I’m hoping that Judah’s strong sense of empathy will make the “band-aid” method work like a charm. The method is to simply stick some band-aids on the boobs and tell your kid that they are sick, or broken, or “owie.” Judah actually knows the word “bandage” from the time he split his head on an iron grate and had to wear one for 3 days straight.

And if that doesn’t work, I will bribe him with gummy bears and lollipops.

And if that doesn’t work, I’m giving him the previously, un-introduced delights of chocolate and rocky-road icecream.

And if that doesn’t work, I will use the “lemon method” wherein you squeeze a lemon on your boob and thereby demonstrate that the milk has gone “bad”.

And if that doesn’t work, I will make the spouse handle him for the rest of the day while I go and get a pedicure (and/or sob with guilt and sadness by myself in the car).

So if I post some pics of a nice pedicure tomorrow…you’ll know it was bad.

Really really bad.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Get Me Wrong

Looking at my blog entries, I think it's easy to get the wrong idea.

The wrong idea is that our lives are an endless string of nice/fun/cute/pleasant moments.


Just yesterday I was pining away for Judah all day at work. I get home and within literally 10 minutes of seeing him, I was already pining for a Judah-break!  Someone take this child from me!

I was hungry and thirsty. I wanted a snack but Judah wouldn't stop hanging on to me. Whining. Trying to nurse. Wanting to color and look at his photo book.

I wanted to go upstairs and pee but Judah was whining and hanging on to get the idea.

Judah's not a very 'independent' person.  He has yet to learn (and we have yet to teach him) to spend large chunks of time on his own, doin' his own thang, so to speak.  So he needs constant interaction.  Constant.  And he loves getting up in our business.

Oh, you're opening the fridge door?  I want to poke my head in and look around!

Oh you're having a snack?  I want some too but I would like to scatter crumbs all over the floor as well.

Oh you're doing laundry?  I want to help and get distracted and play with the swiffer in the laundry room but you need to do it with me.

A hundred times a day I think to myself, man, it's a good thing I think you're so darn cute, cuz otherwise...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby, Let's Ride

I think "driving" is right up there with all the major child development milestones (rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, talking, etc.)

Every kid, at some point, thinks it would be fun to sit in the driver's seat.

And every parent, at some point, takes a picture of it.

So there you have it. Your obligatory driving picture.

You always motion for me to sit in the passenger seat with you and then you say "mu-gkah" for music and then "loud!"

That's how you roll.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Farm

Last week we went to a farm where you can feed the animals.  Here's you and "old Macdonald" aka, your dear old dad.

You were kinda freaked out by the cows but eventually petted a calf.

But you were not ready to look him in the face.

Or feed him celery.  You could barely look as your dad fed him.  You know, you used to be a lot braver as a baby. You weren't scared of anything as a baby. Now you're scared of cows, and carousels, umbrellas, and loud noises from the vac or juicer, and the list just grows by the day!

All in all, a good time was had.  Your city slicker parents got to see farm animals up close and personal for the first time in their lives--man, sheep look freaky with their fish-eyes and chompy teeth.  And roosters are BIG.  And geese are mean and big.  And here concludes my astute observations on agricultural zoology.

And you learned to say "aminah" (trans. animal) and "sell-ray-ray" (trans. celery).

Not bad for a bunch of city folk.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Knocked Out

Last week I drove my family to a little farm, aptly named Little Farm.

When I parked I turned around and saw this:

Awww, so sweet.  But gives you a sense of who does all the work around here (and who does all the napping)!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Little to the Left, Judah

I'm a strong believer in child labor.

As soon as Judah is old enough, he is washing the dishes, cooking us dinner, doing the laundry, mopping the floor, vacuuming, and anything else I can think of.

His wife is gonna thank me BIG TIME.

And not least of all, Judah's gonna be an expert masseuse because I get achy shoulders all the time.

You're never too young to start massaging your poor tired mom.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Legally Moms

Guess who's a MILP now?

Yep, that would be me!  (Not to be confused with MILF).

MILP is a blogging circle that stands for Mothers in the Legal Profession, which I think is awesome for several reasons.  Mostly, because being a MILP is HARD.  It almost feels like the legal world was created for people with no family ties who can jump on a plane at the drop of a hat or pull an all-day-all-weekend-all-nighter without breaking a sweat.

When I was a preggo considering all this (many moons ago), I wish I had heard about this circle of bloggers sooner so I could get some valuable real-life 411.  And now, I feel obligated to post more about the intersection between momhood and law jobs...or just law in general...I just noticed I never write about law stuff...

Hmmm, a bit in denial perhaps...

Part II of Part II: Our Story: Trouble in Paradise

So it's been awhile since I promised to continue on with our saga of being a working mom and leaving the baby at home.  If you need to refresh your memory, you can visit Part I here.

Coincidentally, I thought it would be fun to write about this saga as a guest-writer for another blog and kill 2 birds with 1 post, if you will.

But a little background before we jump to the other blog...

The nanny search.  The biggest roadblock to me being a working mom was finding a nanny.  Recall that my lovely sister-in-law was caring for Judah at first, but she eventually had to leave after a few months.  So with her departure date looming before me, I wondered how I would ever find someone as loving, attentive, and engaging as I wanted for my baby.  How could a hired hand ever love him like family?

I clung to the hope that out there, somewhere, were people who just loved babies.  Naturally.  It didn't matter if they weren't blood related.  They just love the little people.

And I interviewed like a madwoman.

I combed through ads, phone interviewed at least 20 people, and personally met about 5 or 6.  And in the end, my fervent prayers were answered, and we found Mary Poppins!  And that made all the difference.

There is no way I could have logged long hours in the office month after month if I didn't know my little guy was well-cared-for, well-engaged, and well-loved.

So now, without further ado, here's the rest of our story.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Nurturing Toddler (Part II)

(You can read Part I here.)

What's better than feeding your stuffed animals a bottle?

Why, feeding a real baby of course!

Here you are being a good "mommy" to your 9 month old cousin.  Awwww, so sweet.

You really are a very good buddy to him.  When he comes over you give him multiple hugs and kisses (completely unprompted by the adults) and you bring toy after toy to him.  Unfortunately he's a little overwhelmed by your, well, overwhelming signs of affection--you're kinda totally up in his grill the whole time--and starts crying.

But you are awfully sweet.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All in a Day's Play

Last week at the Children's Creativity Museum you were one busy bee.

You did some coloring with markers (which is contraband in our house),

You got into other people's karaoke videos,

You met a new friend at the fountain,

You splashed around another fountain to my horror as the sign says "nonpotable water",

You splashed around in mud puddles (I'm starting to see that you really like playing in water),

and enjoyed running around the Moscone exhibit center while bewildered business men looked on (there was some kind of boring applied chemicals convention going on).

But by far, the highlight of your day was the "Ca-da-da" (translation: Carousel)!

You were fascinated by these beautiful moving figures, but too scared to ride on them. Everytime we said "Judah, do you want to go on the carousel?" you'd do the sign for scared (patting your chest) and pant "No! No!"

This was the closest you ever got (which took a lot of coaxing).

Maybe next time you'll let us put you on it while it's stationary!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Now That's What I Call a Good Trip

Any trip that can turn this fussy face:

BEFORE (Judah still hates his car seat and was NOT happy about going on the trip).

Into this sleepy face:

AFTER (Too tired to complain about the car seat.  Success!)

I would call a huge success!

Last week we took you to the Children's Creativity Museum in SF and you had the time of your life. We did a hundred different new things, but ironically the only activity we paid admission for (going into the museum) was the only thing you didn't really like.

Next time, we'll just enjoy the free stuff--playground, carousel, Moscone Center, gift shop...more pics to come in the next few days!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just Me and My Shadow

Judah, you crack us up.

(Here you are putting a flower in your hair because mommy had a flower in her hair.  This pic has nothing to do with this post, except that it does crack me up.)

Last week, you reveled in your newfound discovery--your shadow!

At first you did your signature naked chicken dance and was delighted that your shadow did the same dance with you.

And then your dad and I could not stop laughing as you tried to hug and kiss your shadow along the wall. It kept moving away because of the angle of the light and you kept saying "Come back! Come back! Kiss! Kiss!" as you pursed your little lips.

You are one freaking hilarious narcissist!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's in a Name?

Hi! My name is...

Judah (about 10 months ago) with one of his favorate people--Ms. Mur Mur.

Apparently, my baby's name is not Judah.

It's Dee-ya-ya.

He's been calling himself Dee-ya-ya for at least 6 months and it's driving me crazy.  I thought it would change as he learned to enunciate better, but now it's clear that it's here to stay.

Clearly it's not an issue with his pronounciation abilities since he can say the sound "Ju-" perfectly as he calls for "juice" all day long.  And "Da" is even easier to say.  And we ALWAYS call him Judah.

Or Bay-bay.

Or Goo-bee.

Or Gay-gay.

Or Goo-beez-goo.

Which should not at all be confusing for a toddler who's just beginning to identify objects and their names.  Right?

Incidentally, his nanny's name actually sounds like Dee-ya-ya and that's what Judah calls her too.  So they have the same name in Judah's world.  Some kind of identity conflation?

Hmmm...puzzles of the toddler mind.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mega Blocks, Mega Fun

Recently I got you some Mega Blocks (i.e., giant legos) and boy were they expensive!

That starter-pack next to you was $20! But oh so worth it. At first you didn't know what to do and started sucking on it like it was some kind of wierd bottle/sippy cup.

But soon you (well, me really) were building all kinds of stuff. Including this "camera".

Click! I see you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Best Little Friends

Judah has a sweet little friend, our neighbor. He is forever drinking her sippy cups.

And the little baby bottle for her dolls.

He calls her "Keebee" and they make the funniest, dearest little pair.

The Casual Potty

So far in the last week you've pooped in your potty twice (and peed 0 times).

The first time was a pleasant surprise for everyone and you looked pretty proud of yourself (I mean of course you would as there was a lot of fanfare and cheering).

The second time you were kinda alarmed and was struggling to get off the potty. I held you down and lucky I did! Cuz right as you were about to leave, you did your deed.

I think we're going to take a very casual approach to this whole potty thing for now. Mostly cuz it's so time consuming having you sit there, waiting for a movement.

You usually sit there about 20-30 minutes befores something happens. It's hard to entertain you for that long. I read you books. LOTS of books. And bribe you with gummy bears.  And stickers.

But we usually don't have a half hour since our lives are so busy.

So go if you like. Don't go if you like.  Enjoy this time kid.

Cuz we'll be putting on the screws when you're 2!

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Nurturing Toddler

Recently you've been incredibly nurturing to your stuffed animals.

You hug them all day long, read them books, and cover them with a blanket to put them to bed and pat their backs, just like we do for you.

You also feed them "bottles" but usually it's your baby tylenol dropper. And sometimes, while you nurse on me, you'll pull off and put your stuffie on me to nurse!

You seem to enjoy "mothering" so much, I'm considering getting you a baby doll! A manly one, of course.