Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Poem

Note: I am not a poet but was moved to document the thoughts that floated through my mind as I put Ben to sleep tonight.


You lay, sprawled across my body
Your heart pressed up against mine
Wrestling yourself away from sleep
Your face, sticky sweet resting on my shoulder
Golden moonlight peeking under the door

You try to relax and cannot
You watch yourself wave and gaze up at me and smile
Rest your body, Little Boy
Play time is tomorrow

I can feel you start to relax and we rock in silence together
With only the sounds of the city buzzing in the background
The sleep train has evaded you twice already this night and you are desperate to catch it

This time you see it coming around the bend and leap
Your body feels heavy on mine
We sit together
The sound of your breathing is soft and rhythmic in my ear
The most beautiful music

I hold you just one minute more and savor this time
The treasure that is another day together

Saturday, September 19, 2009

9 month stats and picture

This is getting harder!
Weight: 21lbs 9oz
Height: 2ft 5in
Head circumference: 46cm
All measurements are between the 65th and 75th percentile.

Friday, September 18, 2009

9 months

Dear Benjamin,

We are trying to call you by your name (as opposed to Buddy or Bud, which I find myself calling you most of the time) so that you actually turn when your teachers call you. Poor dude. We’re screwing you up already!

I’d have to say that the two biggest categories of growth over the past month are consumption and exertion. Let’s start with the former, always so much fun!

You are a total eater. You will eat just about anything we put in front of you, with the exception of some slightly undercooked corn kernels and I certainly don’t blame you for that. At school the other day they served you beets and you ate them with no problems (and had a stained red hand as proof!). You eat any old boring jarred veggie or fruit and have consumed approximately 1 ton of cheerios over the last few weeks. You gaze over at us while we’re eating and I can practically see the drool fall from your lips. Wait…I can see you drooling. Babies are so transparent!

I am waiting until your nine month appointment to figure out what other types of foods we can introduce to you but your palate is pretty impressive so far. Your newest additions have been beets, Great Uncle Billy (GUB)’s tasty veggie soup, and Grammy (Ronna)’s asparagus soup.

You also mastered crawling about two weeks ago and just started to pull up to a stand. I marvel at the rate that you are acquiring new skills. It feels like from one moment to the next, I can see your development change and improve.

Along with this new mobility does not come an appropriate level of fear, I’m sorry to say. In other words, my days went from being relaxed and enjoying playing with you or sitting next to you while you play, to something much different. I can’t even turn my eyes away from you for you will have found the single most dangerous object within a two mile radius and will be trying energetically to shove it down your throat. I suppose it’s your way of trying to keep me active and help me shed these last pregnancy pounds but sheesh. You are a kid that likes to get into stuff and you have no concept of danger. Bad combination!

Not to pin a label on you so early in life, but your daddy and I are thinking that you might grow to be a somewhat wild kid. You like to move move move and jump jump jump and grab grab grab. Nonstop. Allthetime. It must be because you are FINALLY sleeping through the night, and usually a nice 12 or so hours.

We did a lot of running around with you during your 8th month and the aquarium was a big hit. You were interested in the fish but, as has been the case for a while now, you got an equally big kick out of watching the other humans that were there. I find people watching interesting too, Buddy, but staring is only socially acceptable when you’re young, sorry to say!

Your personality continues to blossom and you are having so much fun at school with the other kiddos in your class. I walked in your classroom one day and saw you engaging in what can only be described as flirting with Rosie, an adorable 6 month old. She was sitting up and you were sitting directly in front of her and your eyes were locked. She would smile, then you would smile and bounce up and down a bit and she would giggle. It was adorable but I’m sorry to have to tell you that you are not allowed to date until you’re 30—that’s YEARS, not MONTHS, Dude, so be patient, and be sure to get her number!

You had your first fever this week and it was quite a sad affair. All of the kiddos in your classroom were felled by this pesky virus but you managed to beat it in a day. The upshot of this is that we had some nice snuggle time, which I enjoyed very much, since you are usually on the go.

You are continuing to recognize us as important people and to see you spot your Daddy walking home after a long day without him is priceless. Your whole body tenses and you practically jump out of my arms with excitement. It’s adorable and you’re adorable and we love you. That is all.

Another great month has passed and we’re looking so forward to the next.

Mama *9 month stats and pictures coming soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

37 Weeks, 4 Days

Today is a big day--mostly to me, who finds these parenting induced sentimentalities sweet.
On the day Ben was born, he had grown and developed in the womb for 37 weeks 3 days.
Today he is 37 weeks, 4 days old.
He has been out longer than he was in which is momentous to me, the carrier of this boy. For as much genetic material as I contributed, Ben is still very much his own person, and I look forward to the next 37 weeks 4 days and many more with my fine guy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Going and Doing

As Grandpa (Rivera) likes to say, we are always "going and doing." I'm sure you get what it means, we're an on-the-move type of family and like to go out and see what this city has to offer us. Actually, let me be honest. Jonathan is really the "mover" in this family, and I am happy to go along for the ride.

Now that Ben is in the picture, we constantly walk the line between "going and doing--just the right amount" and "going and doing--way too much." Today I think we crossed in to the latter category.

This morning we found ourselves and Pops (Jacobson) on a lovely boat ride around the Chicago River. Ben enjoyed himself, we enjoyed ourselves...and the mid-day nap was interrupted (nappus interruptus, to be specific) by the fog horn on our boat. What can you do? It was foggy and I didn't think slapping the ship captain upside the head and us risking a possible crash with another boat was the right way to handle this. So, the boy woke up after a 35 minute can nap. He was in good spirits, but obviously needed more sleep. Figuring that he'd catch up later, we didn't fret. After the boat ride we grabbed a quick bite to eat and hoped that I could get Ben to take another nap in his stroller. No go.

He then fell asleep in the car on the way home and figuring that I'd be able to transfer him from the car seat to the crib, I didn't fret.

Do you see where this is headed?

We got home, I schlepped my big boy up the stairs (and up and up and up--man kids are 10 times heavier when they're sleeping!) and into the crib. Pop! Up he sat with a smile that said, "Ready to play now, Mama."

Another failure of a nap. It was 3pm and bedtime was at least three hours away.

Fortunately, Ben was quite a (sleepy) champ. Some friends came over for dinner and disctracted him enough to make it to 6:15 then it was bottle and bed time. He was out like a light...for about 45 minutes, then woke up crying, then went back down, hopefully for the night. I'm exhausted just typing about it!

I could go on and on about the minutae of this sleep thing and how just when I think we have it figured out, something changes and we have to find a new strategy. Ben used to go down with no problems, just bottle then out like a little light. Now he cries for a while before drifting off. Jonathan suspects that all of the major developmental changes Ben's going through are interrupting his sleep and I agree. But how much of it is because we are cruising through his nap times, hoping that he can handle it? This doesn't happen every day, but I worry about how this is going to effect him later. Hopefully I'll look back on this time, just as I have looked back on other rough patches, and will remember to be easy on myself. Repeating my mantra, "this isn't how it's going to be forever" has been tremendously helpful, as has the glimmer in his eye when I go to retrieve Ben from his crib. It feels so good to be adored, even if it is by my own child.

Parenthood is still so much an art, rather than a science, and although I am trying to hone my craft, I still feel like I'm painting by numbers so much of the time.