Monday, March 28, 2005

Still blue

Yes, my laptop still has a blue screen and, much to my chagrin, when I came down to Mantown to log in on the desktop, I noticed my laptop sitting here. Not with Dan at his office where he could fix it in between altering the world's spin on it's axis. [insert heartfelt deep sigh here.]

Liam is down for a nap. He has been toying with me with the schedule as of late. Fri-Sun he did only 2 naps. Today 3. I think it's mostly because he has been waking up earlier. Today we woke up at 6. Yesterday it was 5:50. Ick. Too early. Sure he had 11 hours already, but can't he just squeeze out that extra one for Mum?

He is starting to take to solids like a champ. Favorites? Sweet potatoes and peas with carrots running a distant 3rd. It is fun to watch him open his mouth like a bird waiting for me to drop in some- mmmm pureed peas. And is it me or do they smell almost the same in the diaper? But I digress...

Speaking of digress...I'm glad I have two dogs because it is raining so bad outside Dan may be coming home in an arc. Wait a sec, I think for the two animals thing you need one of each gender so they can procreate. Oh well.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I'm not posting much as my dear fabu Dell laptop got knocked off the coffee table by the dgos and is now featuring the blue screen of death. While I wait for Dan to fix it with his wonder powers, I'm freezing my tush off in Mantown (a.k.a. finished basement) using the desktop.

A couple of notes:

- Popped in a Baby Einstein DVD today for the first time. Baby Monet The Four Seasons or something like that. I watched it with Liam to make sure they didn't sneak in advertisements for stuff to BUY BUY BUY. Liam was ENTRALLED. He loved the little hand puppets the most. He made it through Spring and Summer. By Fall he was starting to make noises that sounded like he was channeling the High Poop Lord, but not coming up with anything so I shut it off.

- Tonight we did our daily bedtime ritual of nursing by nightlight and settling for the night. After he's done nursing, he likes the paci and a bit of rocking before he either gets sleepy or he starts to stretch and whine that he wants his bed. During the rocking I hold him close and, lately, he's been patting my face sweetly. Yeah. Tonight he reached up, gently touched my cheek, my lip, then hovered at my nose. To which he prompty squeezed. I distinctly heard him say HONK HONK behind his paci. Clown baby is in the house.

- Today he met my old boss for the first time. Shelly was in from California. She said, "Hello Liam!" and knelt by the stroller for some close up time. He turned on the charm and started smiling and cooing like a car salesman. While we were eating lunch in the cafe, she held him and he started grunting like he was making a big old mess. I know my child enough to know if he is actually pooping he is silent as Bob. But he loves to put on a show with the straining and the pushing. It's really quite hilarious. Unless you think you are getting shit on.

That is all for today. Seacrest out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A Special Sort of Easter Surprise

Carrie!!! Liam thanks you from the bottom of his diaper!!!!

I made mention last week that Liam's been constipated because I've been feeding him too much bananas and applesauce. I know, I know! What was I thinking?! Any mom worth her supply of wipes knows that bananas and applesauce are part of the B.R.A.T diet which helps to bind up kids (and adults for that matter) who have diarrea. B.R.A.T. = Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast (Oh yeah I also give him rice cereal so I have been batting 3 for 4.

Anyway, I knew I needed to give him more of the "P" fruits to get things going again. Peaches, Pears and Prunes (apricots too but the "P" is the 2nd letter). I have been trying to find Gerber 1st Punes. There are none in any of the markets near my town... there must be a very regular, flushed out child out there whose mother is hoarding them all for her baby. Either that or someone is playing a very nasty trick on their grandma replacing her plum preserves with a special surprise.

I made mention of my frustration when chatting with my girls on BabyCenter (henceforth known as BBC). Well one of my girls sent Liam and I a very special sort of Easter gift. Much to my surprise, I received it today!

Thank you, Carrie, for 5 packages of Gerber 1st Prunes shipped from Huntersville, North Carolina! I thank you and Liam's bowels thank you. People in Huntersville must not get stopped up... and you know us Yankees are always clench-cheeked about something!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Of course!

Yes, of course.

Day after day I spend my life as it is now caring for my son. I start off the day with him at my breast, feeding him with the milk my body works hard to produce. I entertain him with toys and peek-a-boo. I wipe his poopy bottom (though twice a week only - he has created his own poop schedule). I wear the carrots and peas that he blows back at me in raspberries.

I rock him. I use a bulb to suction out his boogers. I entertain him some more with songs and rhymes. I bathe him and rub his back. I let him chew on my fingers. I carefully clean his penis (who knew they were so much work!) during each diaper change. I change his clothes while he screams. I hold him while he yells and pulls at my hair. I do laps around the house lugging his 24lb small frame.

He has a new sound. Do you want to know what it is???


He doesn't equate this noise with Dan. Yet.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Step right up! Step right up! Be the first to see the MONSTER BABY!

So today was Liam's 6 mos check up.

Dan didn't get home last night/this morning until 5am due to moving something from one server to another and not having enough dilithium crystals to power it all ("Captain, we need more POWER!") Or was it he couldn't feel the force, Obi-Wan? I woke every 2 hours all night looking for him. Poor guy almost got the family investments injured getting into bed and finding a baseball bat in his spot. Regardless, poor Dan crawled into bed after 5am.

Liam woke up at 5:50am. I went and gave him his paci and snuggled him back up in his blanky. No dice. 10 minutes later after listening to Liam begin reading Chapter 2 of Beowolf to his stuffed animals I had to get up. I couldn't stomach that story in college and I SURE as hell wasn't taking to it at 6am. Plus he needs to brush up on his Old English.

So the typical morning routine involves Dan getting Liam out of his crib, changing his diaper and amusing him briefly while I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, and get ready to nurse Liam. Then Dan hands him off to me in bed for his breakfast. Well when Dan is not there first thing in the morning - which is more rare than my mother-in-law likes her steak (which is "still mooing") - I get Liam and the first thing he thinks is "Hm. I'm starved. There is my breakfast. Right there. Right now. FEED ME!" And this all comes out as "WAHWAHWAH!" Needless to say Dan was woken up anyway. Liam was finally fed for God's sakes. Then he went back to sleep and so did we. Til 9am Weee!

Liam's appointment was at 10am.

Liam is somewhat of a superstar at Merrimack Valley Pediatrics. See, and I KNOW people will think I'm just saying this because I'm his mom, but Liam is pretty darn cute. And when people meet him a couple times, he usually casts a bit of a spell on them. So it's not odd to see a throw down behind the co-pay window between the nurses to see who gets to care for him today. Honestly, it's somewhat embarrassing.

So the other reason Liam is a super star at the doctor's office is because of the quick growth he has demonstrated. It's a freak show when it comes time to weigh him. I walk out of the exam room, carry him over to the scale and the doc dons his top hat and bullwhip and yells "Step right up! Folks don't be shy. Get a peek at the current weight of MONSTER BABY!" Everyone gathers round and money begins to fly as bets are taken as to his current weight. Liam's response to all this? "WAHWAHWAH!"

Well today the scale said 24.1lbs and his length measured at 29.5" The new nurse from Omaha won the pool.

Did I mention he is only 6 months old and is breastfed? Liam's pedi says my milk must be superfortified. Apparently Major League Baseball is looking to contract me to provide Mark MacGuire with 3-4 feedings a day.

So in the big picture Liam is super healthy. Knock-on-wood never been sick yet. He's slept through the night regularly since 4 mos. We are upping his solids intake but only 1st foods till he gets some teeth. And he needs to eat cereal 2x per day. At six months a baby's iron stores given at birth begin to deplete. Breast milk isn't that rich in iron, so cereal supplements it. He had his finger pricked today and they did notice his iron count was a bit lower but it was still fine.

Liam rolls over and every once in a while he tries to pull his knees up under his belly. But because he's so big he will probably be delayed with most developmental achievements. He has more weight to pull up when trying to crawl, stand, sit. But he sits real good on his own. Starting the sippy cup with water. Still waiting for teeth.

Liam, you do stuff when you are good and ready to do stuff. Don't be scared, I'll try to catch you, but sometimes it's good to fall. Falling helps you learn. I'm sorry I couldn't make the hurt go away when you got your shots. You looked at me as if to say, "Why are you letting them hurt me?" Sometimes things hurt that will be good for you later. Like shots at the doctor's and broken hearts. Don't be afraid to feel the hurt and to cry. I'll be here to wipe your tears and give you hugs.

Self study

Self portrait of the photographer and his mum one morning before he let her put on make up...or contacts...or go to the bathroom... or... Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

O Liam Boy

It's no secret the little bugger is Irish. With a name like Liam Casey O'Neill, he's a wriggling Irish blessing. Or cursed to be a potato-eating alcoholic. I prefer the former.

Liam's Great Nana (my dad's mum) came to America on a boat from Ireland. She won a singing contest which covered the cost of freight for herself and her siblings. They came through Ellis Island and lived in New York with her aunt. When she got to Ellis Island they asked her name. She responded "My name is Sissy." They informed her that this was no sort of name and that she would now be known as Cecelia. Because what says "Welcome to America" like denying your birth name.

In Ireland, Cecelia lived in Belfast. Her mother was Catholic and her father was Protestant. So with that not being quite the popular pairing they were eager to get their children to America for "a better life." Life was definitely better in America and Cecelia would be the first to tell you how she was grateful to live here. I never thought it was strange when my father would tell me he had dreams of being in Belfast and throwing rocks at the British military trucks like the other kids.

Liam, always embrace your heritage - no matter how messy it gets. It's part of you.Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Many blessings

Today was Liam's baptism day. He was such a good boy - occasionally babbling in his outside voice, mostly chewing ferociously on his toys, and sometimes sucking on his paci.

I believe in God and in many of the teachings of the Catholic Church. However, there are a great many things I do not agree with the Pope on. The Catholic Church is one of the oldest "Old Boys Network" in existance and their definition of "family" is not mine. Their view on homosexuality is sad and demoralizing.

However, as part of raising my child, I want to expose him to different cultures and belief systems. The only one I'm familiar with currently is the Roman Catholic Church. So I figure we will start there and then make a journey of faith together - perhaps ending at different destinations... perhaps together.

Today after the Deacon baptised each of the 4 babies, he took each one with their parents one family at a time to the alter. There he laid Liam on the alter (this mildly freaked me out at first but turned out perfectly lovely). He had Dan and I each lay one hand, one on top of the other on Liam. Then the Deacon held both of Liam's hands and spoke a blessing for his life. While he did that he sort of spoke it in a sing-songy way while bringing Liam's hands together - sort of like Patty-Cake. Doing this brought Liam into his baptism. He was able to participate and take notice of something special happening.

The blessing ends with something along the lines of "...may God be in your mind, your eyes, your ears and your lips..." And the blessing as a whole brought tears down my face...which of course I quickly wiped away. All of the blessings the Deacon gave to Liam for a lifetime of love and happiness are the same blessings I wish for him. And having him Christened today reminded me of the blessing Liam is to my life. I was overwhelmed with love for him in that moment which brought the tears down like rain.

It was as if God was reminded me. Sometimes I need reminding. After running around the past few days - in the SNOWSTORM - to get ready for the party at the house. I had been feeling tired, stressed, and short-tempered. But beyond all of that I have this wonderful healthy loving child - one that, some days long ago, I questioned if I would ever have.

So on this day I give thanks for the many blessings I have in my life. But mostly today I give thanks for Liam. I love you, peaches.

Friday, March 04, 2005

6 Months

It seems so strange and surreal to think that Liam is now 6 months old. For so long that was a future reference. "When he's six months..." Now he is and so much has changed it's almost hard to wrap my brain around it.

I feel more than ever that he knows I'm his primary caretaker. I see him look for me in a room when I'm not holding him. He visibly relaxes in someone else's arms when he can set his eyes on me. This makes me feel both good and bad in a trapped-sort-of-way.

That brings me to the guilt. I have this horrible guilt feeling when he gets stranger anxiety around people. I feel like it's my fault. And that I'm making them sad because Liam isn't warmer towards them.

But this post is supposed to be about Liam and not my guilt.

Liam rolled over. It was as if he said. Damn it, I'm 6 months old and I'm going to get this on! So he's rolling over, but getting stuck on his side with his arm pinned under him like a T-Rex (reference borrowed from Carrie - thanks girl!) The exciting part of this is that it wakes him during the night. Not enough to be awake-awake, but enough to make him cry and for me to accidentally elbow his father in the head so he can go check on him. Thank my father-in-law for that trick!

He likes to nibble his toes when he can maneuver them into his mouth. Pretty much everything ends up in there. The best is when we are at our GymBabies class and we are provided with maracas or finger puppets. I can barely get them on my fingers before he reaches with his kung fu grip and drags the puppet/maraca/newborn into his mouth. I'm positive the other parents are thinking "How disgusting! Does she know where those have been?" I could answer that our dogs like to French kiss him daily but it probably wouldn't be well received. Yeah - ew!

He likes to babble and squeak and squeal. He has a high pitched squeal that has the neighborhood dogs scratching at our door. When he cries, he does this squealing raspberry blowing thing. He likes to do raspberries when he takes his last mouthful of carrots/peas/sweet potato. This is his way of saying, "I'm done."

He has the most amazing giggle. I used to be able to get it by blowing lots of raspberries on his neck and belly. Now that sort of stuff is way too old. I swear I heard him sigh the word "jejune" under his breathe. Now his daddy gets the giggles out of him by making funny noises and facial expressions.

Still no sign of teeth. Where the hell are they? He was practically chomping a bit two months ago. Really carrying on from the pain. Not sure if he suddenly got used to it or what. He just happily chews on all his teething toys and looks at me as if to say, "I do not know of what you speak woman! I was a newborn two months ago - now I am l'enfant!"

Liam is also sitting now with marginal assistance. He still falls over easily but is really enjoying playing independently on the floor.

Lastly I celebrate my 6th month as a mother.

Liam, you do realize that I'm faking it most of the time? When you cry, I try to tell by the clock what you need. I'm not always right, I know. Thank you for bearing with me.

I'm sorry for the swears. I'm really trying my best. But I've had a potty mouth for a while and it's taking some real effort to knock that shit off. See? It's hard. But as we get closer and closer to the day you first speak, I do not want your first word to be the F-bomb. So I'm working on it.

We are still breastfeeding! I never thought we'd make it this far. But sometimes I sort of see it as part of my job in being at home full time. I want to help us save money from buying formula. I produce this food that is perfect for you so why would I give you formula if this is working? And most honestly, the thought of giving it up makes me feel sad. I'm not ready. So more boob for you! Hooray!

Thank you for your newest effort at exploration. I'm talking about those quiet times when you are in my arms and gazing up at me smiling. You have started reaching your hand up to gently touch my face. The gentleness is what surprises me. You grab everything else so roughly. But, in our quiet moments, you softly touch my cheek, my mouth, my nose and smiley so sweetly. It's as if you are communicating your love back to me. And it washes over me like a wave with a massive undertow. And I happily let it take me.