Thursday, August 26, 2010


This is a boy on the go. Each new mobility achievement is unlocked nearly before my very eyes. This week: everything but walking. On Monday, on the forgiving grippiness of the library's flat weave carpet, he just started cross-crawling (the classic belly-off-the-floor, alternating hand-knee crawl as seen in the top photo).

This means that getting him to hold still for photos is pert near impossible anymore.

He also pulls himself to a kneeling position, warranting his crib's transition from new baby height to big boy bed height. We caught this just in the nick of time - he was probably moments away from launching himself out of the crib. He stands when placed near furniture for balance, and then proceeds in trying to climb said furniture.

He's still only got the two teeth, but this week's epic droolfest suggests that maybe, just maybe, teeth #3 and #4 will be making their debut soon. He still eats mostly mushed up stuff like these pureed carrots with cooked acorn squash from the garden, but I've been giving him more chunky stuff like flaked salmon, boneless anchovy fillets, berries and diced fresh peaches. His pincer grasp is accurate enough that he feeds himself for 75% of his meal. For messier stuff (like last night's elk chili), we still help him out by passing him a loaded spoon. And he eats. And eats. Like his mother, this kid eats like he has a tapeworm. (Disclaimer: he does not have a tapeworm.)

Now, our main feeding challenge is keeping enough food around. He's years away from being a teenager, and is already threatening to eat us out of house and home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The equitemporality of being

Zephyr is a challenging little polliwog these days. He can't seem to settle down anymore - his legs are always kickkickkicking: the arms of the chair we nurse in, the floor, my stomach, none have escaped his restlessness. His arms flapflapflap, slapping palms on the floor, on the surface of his bathwater. He won't stop fidgeting long enough for me to change a diaper, he flips himself over the instant he's on his back (and I, distracted by the adorableness of his tiny, kissable butt, momentarily forget my fear that he'll deposit a dribble of urine onto every surface unless I get a diaper back on him immediately). He won't let me trim his nails, and has the resultant face-gouges to prove it. When I cradle him to shhh and soothe for naps, he squirms like a maggot on a hot rock; when I hold him upright against my shoulder, cheek to forehead, he rears back and punches me in the throat.

Today he won't nap for more than 30 minutes, but I know he's exhausted! He's been yawning and stealthing little eye rubs off and on all day (exacerbating the dark circles that have formed under his eyes), yet when I get him into his dark, white-noisy room for a snuggle and a nurse, he polishes off both breasts in under five minutes and starts arching and squirming again. When I put him down in his crib and walk away, he alternates between laughing with his Fuzzytown forest fauna, rocking back and forth on all fours, and crying from boredom. I know what he wants, but he can't have it all the time. He's gotten a taste of mobility, and now he's chomping at the bit to movemovemove forward; fervent.

I know boys are supposed to be more active than girls (starting in utero), but he's really wearing me down today. I'm starting to feel it everywhere, that I've been getting up to nurse him at 4:00 or 5:00am after trying my best to play hard enough, to engage and stimulate enough, to be sufficiently enriching (then spending the evening playing catch-up with paltry housework, meal preparation, and attempts at having a meaningful relationship with Scott whilst winding myself down). Then he's up at 6:00 or so again, and the rest of the day is spent trying to chase down the nap.

This is the nine month growth spurt.

I wonder if Zephyr has memories of his old life inside my body? I wonder if memories of the womb are like feelings one has for past lovers - they only completely disappear once sufficient time has passed, the amount of which is always equal to how long you were together? If so, maybe this is like some version of baby's first mid-life crisis. One week from today, he's been outside for as long as he was in. X equals Y.

He's been quiet for thirty minutes, and now he's crying again. Maybe it's because he misses me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fluffer Nutter

Here's Zephyr an hour before surgery last Wednesday, giving the proverbial thumbs-up, being a strong little trooper at the hospital and charming the shit out of everyone. His surgery went well, and he's recovering nicely. I even held it together, only crying a little, and only once. It wasn't even over Zephyr per se, it was over some little boy being pushed on a gurney to or from surgery. The little boy was really scared and was just wailing. It just really hit a nerve and I had to duck into the waiting room kitchen for a tissue.

Rather, when Zephyr woke up from his sedation in the recovery room, I heard him crying from down the hall and went into Mother Bear mode, all raw adrenaline, and ran to him, undoing my shirt on the way. It felt amazing to be the thing he needed, to hold him and make him feel safe and loved. The nurse in the recovery room tried to cover me up to give me privacy, but coming off the heels of Big Latch On (in which we participated) I righteously shrugged off the blanket and insisted that more people should see a mother nursing her infant. The other mothers (their personal feelings on public breastfeeding notwithstanding) didn't notice, though, because they were too busy staring love at their own cubs.

But that's all done now, and he's healing up quite nicely. Now he can get back to the unfortunate business of cutting his two upper incisors. These ones are really fucking him in the head - for the first time, today he pulled away from the breast mid-nurse just to arch and sob. Not even cherry-flavored codeine could chase this pain, and it took sheer exhaustion (ours and his) to get him to nap for more than 20 minutes today. Adding insult to injury, this nap came at 3:30pm, so I had to wake him up after only an hour and a half so we could still get him to bed on time.

Good news, though: Zephyr has just learned that pressing his face against the mesh of his pack 'n play a) feels interesting and b) gets major laughs. He likes getting laughs. Since he can't hang out in his exersaucer while his nuts recover from being helped into their new location, he's been spending a little more time in his little pen. Or as I like to think of it: "Baby's First Prizzin!" Scott said he even saw Zephyr running his little cup along the mesh, like a prisoner running a rusty tin cup across the bars of a jail cell.

He got to spend a little time hanging out with his cousins Logan, Ellie and Charlotte over the weekend last week, which he loved. He absolutely adores them, for obvious reasons: they are hilarious and completely rapt with him, and this is a winning combination in his book.

To top things off, his Grandma was in town. It's been so great having her around this week - not for the help, necessarily, but because she is in love with Zephyr, and he with her.

Oh, his new trick of the week: demonstrative word recognition (is that a thing)? Besides "mommy" or "dada," that is. We've been seeing quite a few squirrels outside our window since I refilled the bird feeder. These are basically smaller versions of our cats, as far as he's concerned, and he screams with excitement when he sees them. New trick: we were reading I Am a Bunny and got to the page that shows the squirrels in their tree with the acorns and all that, and I said, "look! there's a squirrel!" to Zephyr, and he looked up and out the window at the tree where the squirrels normally hang out. It blows my mind that he's already absorbing information - my work is just beginning.

He has had such a great week overall. Plus, his nuts are finally in their proper place, so there's that.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Inchworm and the Orchid

Big week, this week. Two new developments, both pertaining to going mobile. First, Zephyr has started crawling. Not an arm-leg-arm-leg, traditional type of crawl. No, that's a little too on-the-nose for our boy. Instead, he has adopted an inchworm-like movement: he stretches his arms out toward his goal as far as he can, then he scoots his legs up behind to catch up. Repeat until he reaches his destination (usually toward some contraband or other, like the eject button on the PS3). This means that we must always maintain a watchful eye, just when he demands more freedom.

And it begins - the dance of parenthood. We will strive to balance his protection with encouraging him to (safely! safely) explore his world. He seems to have inherited a combination of my impatience and perfectionism with Scott's insistence on doing everything himself, without assistance. Imagine a baby's frustration. And then imagine his.

This grimace is actually just Zephyr feeling his new lower teeth against his still-toothless (but not for long) upper gums, but I like to pretend he's expressing his frustration.

The other type of mobility, or lack thereof, is taking place in Zephyr's little groin. His left testicle has remained up there, undescended, and at this point we know it's never moving down on its own. So it'll need a little help. Surgical help.

Orchidopexy: big, scary word, but evidently this simple outpatient surgery will take only about an hour and a half, and will be harder on me than on him. I'm trying not to worry about it until it's time (next Wednesday), but I can't help it. Since he'll have to take it easy for a couple weeks after the surgery, we're taking advantage of the balmy playtime we have right now.

We go to the park.

We play at the park.


And in case any of you were worried that Zephyr doesn't look as chubby as he used to, check out the belly in all of its luscious splendor. He is my fat little drupelet. My juicy little inchworm.

...and when we get home again, we cannot stop hugging him. We never put him down.