Monday, May 10, 2010

almost 15 months (the longest month ever)

my baby is no longer a baby. maybe it's because he's only in the 5th percentile for weight, but he doesn't have any baby fat left. i forget how young he is, especially because he's so mobile. but then i see him doing the same things as a 2 year old, how small he is compared to them, and i remember he's not even 15 months.

i feel like leon has been 14 months for ages. he was the crankiest person for two days, cried out in pain for a night, and then two molars magically appeared. i'm used to the sleepless nights now, so i didn't mind the teething too much. plus, he now has this habit of yelling when he wakes up to nurse (4-6 times between midnight and 7 am). i think he picked up the yelling from me. i'm working on it.

food is still a struggle. i know i'm not supposed to worry because he's growing and thriving, but i still get angry when he throws everything on the ground or worse, he spits it out and wipes his hands ("dirty"). everything is a phase, so there's little predictability. right now leon will eat blackberries and strawberries, earth's best chicken nuggets, and the occasional freeze-dried yogurt bite. sometimes i can sneak in an iron-fortified graham cracker after a few hours of playground time.

speaking of playgrounds, i now spend 6-7 hours at the playground every day, even on days when a babysitter watches him for 3 hours. we're letting her go after the 20th, which means i have to fend for myself again. little by little i'm trying to write at night and during his 1 hour nap (usually taken in a stroller parked at a busy roadside park).

writing is hard, especially when you've been sitting in the sun for 3 hours at a time, no bathroom in sight. my hands are brown and my feet are sporting a saltwaters sandal tan. leon's hands are also brown. i slather on the sunscreen and fight mightily to keep his hat on him, but there's only so much i can do.

writing is also hard when you have an upset stomach every couple of weeks. i don't know if it's stress or something more serious, but i've had major stomach problems once a month for the past three months. most days i feel nauseated, tired, irritable. i'll have to get it checked out soon, but the nurse will probably tell me that it's psychological.

i don't know how i manage to get through these days. the condo isn't selling, and there are several good reasons why i don't think it will any time soon. honestly, i'm relieved that we no longer have showings or open houses.

this is a tired post, a tired update. the days are good, but they're long and hard. maybe that's why month fourteen has felt interminably long. my leon is no longer a baby. some days i feel like he's barely a toddler, even. he's picking up sign language so quickly now. his desire to communicate has accelerated unexpectedly. just two weeks ago he finally started clapping. i've been beaming like the parent of a 9 month old.

at my worst, usually when he's asleep (a semi-reliable 4 hours stretch 7.30-11.30pm), i stare at photos of leon smiling and being silly, and i try to ignore my wretched stomach and everything else stressing me out. even as i brace myself for another sleepless night, i look forward to being next to him. lately he's taken to holding my hand as he falls asleep after the 5th dream feed of the night.

a second mother's day came and went.


Mona said...

Mothering boys seems to come without sleep.
I feel like with your dissertation work, you need sleep more than ever. Your boy is big now.

Have you considered weaning him? at his age, he does no physically require food at night (for 6-7 hours).

He can drink whole milk, soy milk whatever milk you choose and start developing self- soothing techniques.

Sorry to poke my head but I feel very bad for your lack of sleep.

I have a girlfriend like you.

Catherine said...

Cutie by day, terror by night!

Audrey has had a patch where she has woken during the night. At first I fed her as it solved the problem quick, but it meant she woke every night expecting it. Now if she wakes I give her a quick cuddle then put her down awake - she howls then gets back to sleeping. The first couple of nights she cried for a bit, but now she settles quickly without feeding. Consistency is so important - they are very clever even at such a tender age!

I would guess that most of your health problems would go away if you had uninterrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation has such a flow-on effect. I'm surprised you can think at all; it must make the days very difficult.

Would you consider resettling him without feeding and pop in some earplugs? Even if Audrey howls during the night she still wakes up happy as anything in the morning.

Are you still co-sleeping?

dp said...

On the w. coast there's a rad juice/smoothie company called "Odwalla." {e. coast, too?} A lot of their drinks have natural or fortified protein/iron. We buy a couple every week for our similarly situated "5th percentile" kiddo.

romaine said...

i am late in reading this, hope things are going better! chronic sleep deprivation is sooo horible.

about your tummy problems. my stomach would hurt every few weeks too so i started taking prilosec otc but then the pain came back. so i read somewhere a systemic candida infection could be the reason so i started taking Candex. my stomach doesn't hurt anymore, but it might be a coincidence. anyway, if the doctors don't find what is wrong, maybe you could look into that. Also, have you tried good quality probiotics?

good luck and have fun in NYC!