Monday, October 25, 2010

On Sleep

I think it is time for another sleep posting.

It's been a good 6 weeks since we began sleep training, and I have to say that to my big surprise it has been mostly successful. We started a routine, even though having routines is really hard for me. For an hour before bedtime we play and read in Ben's room, and then he gets changed, the light is turned off, and we recite "The Going to Bed Book" while one of us holds him in the dark. Then he is put in his crib where he usually goes to sleep immediately (seriously, I still can't believe it). He usually wakes up once or twice a night, but has slept through the night a handfull of times, which - of course - is wonderful! Unfortunately for the husband I have proven useless in calming him down, so it's up to him to get up to pat Ben on the back in the middle of the night when he is up screaming. He is really good at it though and the screams usually subside quickly.

For a while Ben got up at 4 a.m. every morning, but lately he has been sleeping until 6 or 6:30. I am in heaven!

Naptime, however, is a completely different story. Maybe it's because I am on my own (or I try to be) and Ben knows I am a pushover. Any attempts to have him sleep in the crib have failed miserably. He used to nap in the crib okay, but somehow he seems to have forgotten all about that. Now what happens is that he will get cranky around 2 or 3 and will then eventually fall asleep in my arms. And I better not put him down! So I spend an hour sitting on the couch with the baby on me. Sometimes I cheat. The husband is currently working from home (which is the best thing EVER), and comes to help out. Of course when he is there, naptime works out much better.

Overall I am absolutely amazed at how well things are going in the sleep department, and I hope I didn't just jinx it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Words

Thanks to my friend Jane for the t-shirt! We love it!

Ben, at 15.5 months, is still not really saying much. He's babbling a lot. You know; "bababababa" and "agoo agoo agoo". He'll say "mamamamamama" when in or near the kitchen. Once he said "Obama".

But recently he's started saying things with purpose! His first real words are: Da (for dog) and Bow Wow Wow. The boy is obsessed with dogs and where ever he sees a dog, he wildly points with his finger and screams "da, da, da" and then "bow wow wow".

Then yesterday he started trying out new sounds, "b" and "p" and "tch" to be exact. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard him running through the house yelling what sounds a lot like "beach" only really more like it is spelled with an "i" instead of "ea". I swear he is making this up and not repeating it. Unless he really is trying to say beach. And I am hoping that he outgrows this phase very quickly before we are out in public and he yells the b-word at me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm loving it

So, as you all know, this is my first week at my new job as full time mom. And I am loving it!

Monday was a holiday for the husband, so we spent some time in DC. We went to the National Cathedral and hung out in the gardens (which I love) and then briefly went inside and lit a candle for Ben's birth mom. Then we had lunch at a Mexican place, since apparently our all-time favorite pizza place is closed for lunch on Mondays. It was a gorgeous fall day and Ben had a great time playing in the gardens and looking at the stained glass windows inside the cathedral.

Tuesday was another sunny day which Ben and I spent outside playing. We also went to his 15 month checkup, which took forever and ended with them losing the paperwork we need for our adoption agency. Grrr. There was more playing in the afternoon and overall it was a fantastic day. What followed was a not so fantastic night. The husband went to check on Ben in the middle of the night to find him laying in his bed with what we think were seizures. Needless to say we totally panicked and rushed to the ER. We were seen quickly, but you could tell that the doctor thought we were complete idiots. We got a lecture on how febrile seizures are very common and then waited for another 1.5 hours until they finished our paperwork for Ben's discharge. Ugh. Yes, dear doctor, I promise not to come back. The next morning I was happy not to have to go to work! It was another beautiful day and I got lots of snuggles from my poor sick baby.

Yesterday I was happy again that I didn't have to leave the house, but this time because it was raining cats and dogs. Ben and I had a fun day at home with lots of snuggles and brief naps. I hate when he is not doing well, but I sure love the snuggles.

So far I really love being home. For the first time in months I feel like I can breathe again. I did laundry and dishes, went food shopping, and cleaned a little. I read tons of books to Ben and helped him draw with crayons. I fed him, and fed him some more. I chased him around the house and yard and I played hide-and-seek (the version for 15 month olds). He is just the cutest thing in the world and I can't take my eyes off of him. I feel so lucky that I get to spend this time with my little man!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

15 months old and last post placement visit

Yesterday we had the last visit with our social worker. It is simply unbelievable that we can now move on to finalization! She said that she feels we're doing really great, which we are! She has been awesome to work with, but it is a great feeling to almost be done with all of the paperwork and soul-bearing that comes with adoption.

To celebrate the last social worker visit and my favorite season - fall - we made a trip to a pumpkin patch. Of course the weather felt more like summer and it was almost too hot. While contemplating on whether or not we should pick some apples we met another adoptive family who is waiting to bring their baby home! What a small world. We didn't get any apples, but had a good conversation.

As of today, Ben is 15 months old! Wow. He's been taking steps on his own for a while now, but I always said that he'd be 15 months old until he was fully walking. And just about 3 or 4 days ago he really started going off on his own. Until then he would greatly prefer to hold on to one of my fingers. He likes to do rounds in the house, and likes to walk up and down the drive way. It's also very important to stop to pick up a stick (or two or three) when the opportunity presents itself!

I'm getting ready to spend my first week as stay-at-home-mom and am hoping for some more of this gorgeous weather we've been having.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why this is harder than it should be

I have one more week and one day left at my job.

A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulder since I handed in my notice. I can't wait to be done. I am looking forward to not spending my afternoons and evenings checking my phone for emails or worrying about that upcoming deadline. I am looking forward to being there with Ben. Just him, no work on my mind. But still, this is harder on me than I thought it would be. This transition to being a stay-at-home-mom is scary! Why, you ask?

1. The M-word. Money. The reason why me staying home with Ben was not plan A to begin with. Me not working will mean we will have to find ways to lower our spending. Despite the fact that I really don't enjoy shopping, there's a surprising amount of stuff that finds its way into our home. I feel bad that DH will have to cut back just so I can be at home. It will mean, most likely, that Ben will be an only child. There is no way a sibling will happen without my bi-weekly paycheck.
2. The fact that for years, I wanted nothing more than have a decent job with decent pay. After we came to the US, I had the hardest time finding a job. We either lived in the middle of nowhere, were there were no jobs (other than picking cotton), or we moved every 6 months, which made it impossible to keep a job. I yearned to work again. It was a dream come true to move here and actually find work that I would enjoy (for the most part). I am afraid that I am throwing away a good thing. I know that my son is more important than any job, but still.
3. The social aspect. When we moved here, we didn't know many people at all. So most of my social interaction was at work. I've slowly built friendships here, but it was always nice to go to a place everyday where you were surrounded by friends.
4. I vividly remember how awful my maternity leave was. Things got better towards the end, but I remember not knowing what to do with the child all day long and feeling some kind of relief when I first returned to work. Of course now I am actually able to leave the house with Ben, so hopefully that will help!
5. I am afraid I will become one of those mothers. You know, the kind that is only interested in talking about kids, specifically her kids. The kind that answers the phone with an immediate update on what her child is doing at the moment. The one that defines herself as a mother, and only a mother.
Every mother I know that I consider to be an interesting person has something going on in addition to being a mom. Some work, some are actively involved in church, some are crafty, some volunteer. Just look at some of my bloggy friends! Kelly has an awesome Etsy store and has learned to take amazing pictures. Elizabeth runs a non-profit, teaches kickboxing, and bakes. Christine fits in graphic design with raising Spencer. I will stop there, even though this list could go on and on.

I know that things will somehow work out, but still, I have to admit that this is a tad harder on me than it should be.