Friday, November 22, 2013


Today. The day I finally got it. After trying for two weeks. A picture of Johnny's first teeth.  

He cut them about a week after we got home from the hospital.  The few days leading up to that were not pleasant and it was very hard to tell if he was still experiencing discomfort from the surgery or if it was just teething.  And then one Saturday morning our suspicions were confirmed-- not one, but TWO little chompers had cut through.  That night and the following night Johnny slept for 8 hours straight. He was very well rested but I still woke up every hour or so wondering why he wasn't waking up to nurse. 

Here's the money shot:

Here are some of our prior attempts:

here you can almost see the teeth but his saliva is creating a glare.

the little stinker, just clamps his mouth shut and smiles.

when he cries you can kind of see them, but again, too much saliva-glare.

the old stick-out-the-tongue trick.

 It's so exciting to see Johnny reach some new miles stones. He's been rolling from his front to back for a while but just last week started rolling from back to front.  And he likes to hold onto his feet and pull off his socks. I know that's not an official milestone.  But it's new for us!

But something about seeing those two teeth come in really impressed me with the realization that Johnny will be a baby for only a very short time.  Right now it seems like about a thousand years, but I know that when I look back on my life it will be but a breath. And though it's hard and I'm tired and I "can't get anything done", I know I have to stop trying to do stuff and just cherish this time with my baby.

Speaking of mothering an infant being extremely difficult and tiring, I got to have a little pampering last week.  I had received a gift card to a salon from some very kind souls after Johnny was born and I just got around to using for a mani/pedi. (I know! Just in time for winter!) It had been months since I had painted my toenails and I don't even attempt my fingernails anymore.  It was such a nice treat to have a little alone time and get all the nasties scraped off my feet.

Ok, since I know you're dying for one, here's a before and after:

 I've been thinking a lot about how being a mom is a job that you never get a break from.  Like marriage, it's something that you take on, not for a season, or until you're ready for something new, but for life.  When I got married my entire identity changed, never to go back.  And I took on a new name to reflect that.  Now as a mother my identity has changed again.  Proof of that would be that now when you look at photos of me on Facebook they're all actually photos of Johnny. You get breaks from school.  You leave your job at the end of the day.  Even if you have a really stressful job, there are still time you take a vacation and can separate yourself from it.  But I will never stop being a mother. Even when I leave the house by myself for a couple of hours to get my nails done my baby is on my mind.  And as nice, and important, as a little "me time" is, I will never be completely at ease until I am with him again.

In other news....

We had a follow up for Johnny's last surgery yesterday. The main purpose of this appointment was to begin dilation.  At the risk of being too graphic: scar tissue normally gets smaller as it heals, but we don't want Johnny's brand new rectal opening to get smaller.  We actually want it to get a little bigger so that he can pass his stools without too much difficulty.  And so, everyday for the next month I get to insert a stainless steal rod into Johnny's rectum.  Then we'll get a slightly bigger rod, and I'll do it every other day for a month. Then every three days for a month. Then twice a week for a month, once a week for a month, then monthly, to make sure it's not getting smaller.

Apart from a bag change every two or three days, I forget about Johnny's medical issues.  Most of the time of the time our parenting feels very normal, and then I have to stick a metal rod up my baby's butt and I am reminded that our situation is in fact, not normal.  The dilation hurts him, he cries pretty hard, and the sight of the incision bleeds.  I usually have a pretty strong stomach but this makes me a little queasy. The surgeon said that the first few days are the worst and by this time next week it won't hurt him any more.  I hope so, because right now it's the worst part of my day.

We will have one more appointment mid December to see how the dilation is going and get an x-ray of Johnny's colon from the stoma down.  And if all looks well then he will have his (hopefully) final surgery January 9th.

Our little boy is so brave and so tough.  It's also such a blessing to think that he won't remember any of this.

Monday, November 4, 2013

// M O M C O N F E S SI O N V O L 1 //

It's Monday and I'm ready to turn a new leaf.  I was not at my best the last couple of days and I'm anxious to make up for it.

If you have been following here you know that last week was a big one for us.  My child undergoing surgery, followed by four days in the very close quarters of our hospital room.  Then coming home and having a baby who, while possessing the super-fast-healing-powers of an infant, was still not his usual jolly self, and trying to discern if his fussiness was due to pain, or tiredness, or teething (yeah, that's going on too).  And trying to decide it if merits Tylenol, or the prescription pain meds we were given. Then trying to give him said medicine which he hates and very quickly learned to store up in his little chubby cheeks and then just when I think it's gone down spews it out all over his face and clothes, and then rubs his hands in it, then rubs his hands all over his head and anything else within reach, then we are all sticky and smell like fake strawberries.  And I don't know if was his medicine or something else but he has been staying up so late at night, 11:00, 11:30, midnight.  And I just want to go to sleep.

After all this build up I hit a low point Saturday night.  I was so tired.  Alex was studying, and I was trying to keep Johnny quiet and out of his way so that he could actually get something done. And Johnny was FUH-ssyyyy. He didn't want to nurse.  He didn't want to be put down. He screamed when I tried to give him his medicine then screamed some more when I wiped off his face because his spit all the medicine out.  I was stomping my feet and slamming doors and being sarcastic and complaining to Alex that Johnny was being "really annoying." And that's not fair.  Firstly, it does no good to be sarcastic and passive aggressive towards a baby because he's only a baby and it means nothing to him.  Secondly, he's not trying to be annoying, he's just trying to tell me he needs something, goodness knows what, but something.  And he had literally just had his butt split open 5 days earlier. So it really was not fair of me. The culmination was Alex taking Johnny down stairs and telling me to go to bed.

The next day I felt better after finally getting a good night's rest.  And it probably would have been a good morning if it wasn't for Shutterfly.  Yes, it's all their fault. You see, there was a sale, half off photo books, and I've been wanting to print out some of the thousands of pictures we've been taking of Johnny.   But the sale ended Sunday so I had to get it done.  Then I figured while I was placing an order I should get our Christmas cards figured out. And while I'm at it I should order some larger prints from our family portrait session that I'd like to frame and hang up or give as gifts. But I had to get it all done that day so I wouldn't have to pay multiple shipping fees. And I had to do it quickly because Alex needs the computer to do his homework.  So I would do it while Johnny was napping, but he only napped for 30 minutes. Then the internet was slow, and the computer kept freezing up, and I forgot to save my changes, and what was supposed to be a quick project took 5 hours during which the baby was fussy because he just wanted me to hold him and my husband got no studying done.  And when it was finally finished I felt gross from staying in my pajamas so long and drinking too much coffee and being mad at Shutterfly and the computer and everyone in my house. If you get a Christmas card from us this year you'd better appreciate it and hang it up on your refrigerator because much time, toil, and tears went into it.

I want to be a patient wife and mother and I don't like getting exasperated with my baby. I'm sure I'm not the only mama to do so, am I?  How do you have more patience, and more compassion, and love? Anyway, the evening was redeemed by a really good steak dinner and getting all caught up on Parks and Recreation. Johnny slept really well last night, and so did Alex and I.  And today is rainy and cloudy and a good day for sitting inside and holding my baby and making sure he gets all the love and cuddles he needs to feel all better. Today I will be better.


Here some of our family photos that went into the accursed Shutterfly oder. Enjoy!

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