Thursdays with Baby Cakes

Written By Grandma

Looking at wisps of baby fine hair, the swirls of a perfectly made ear, the dimples of a chubby hand and wrist; listening to the sweet regular breathing of a sleeping baby; feeling a trusting body molded into my chest—these are the gifts I get to soak in every Thursday afternoon.  This is when my grandson and I are together for playtime and then a “Grandma nap.”

Meditation is a time of “just being,” contained or extended thought, reflection, and a time to think
about something deeply. I have been taking classes on meditation for several years and struggle to fit in a regular practice; there always seems like something else needs to be done.

However, when it is “Grandma nap time,” Baby Cakes and I rock in his room, while he is snuggled against me in the Moby, a quiet place with white noise (this little guy has acute hearing and an intense interest in what is going on around him),and I sing my favorite MaryLee lullaby “Noyana” to him.  There is nothing else that commands my attention.  My phone is not with me and my thoughts are only on my gratitude of being with this precious child.

Baby Cakes gets a long nap and I get a long time for mindful awareness, with numerous benefits: physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. What a wonderful combination!  As his naptime begins to wane, and he shifts, wiggles, opens his sleepy eyes and sees me and then smiles and grabs a few more winks, I melt further into the rocking chair and hug him just a tiny bit closer.  This waking may take some time and I am in no hurry for it to end (though I do look forward to playtime that follows!).  Sometimes the dog barks outside and in an instant BabyCakes rears his head, opens his eyes  and is on alert… “What did I miss?” or “let’s get moving, right now!”

Moral of the story, you don’t have to wait to be a grandmother (or grandfather) to grab those times of
“just being” with and enjoying your child.  Even with an endless to do list, the days (and nights) do pass by and your memories of breathing in, watching and soaking in the presence of your child are more than worth it.

Is it Thursday yet?

My mom wrote this last month for a local newsletter.
I had to share.


happy halloween

what the f mom.


Random Fear

I worry like crazy that someone is going to sneak into my house at night and steal my baby.

Otherwise, I generally feel like my baby cakes is invincible. I don't worry about illness, or injury, or anything bad happening to him.

But I am obsessed with this fear of someone stealing him out of his crib at night.
Too weird.


Nine Months On

I can't begin to describe the surreal feeling that is watching my baby play with the babies of my bestest childhood friends. Last night a good friend visited with her 2 year old daughter. She had also struggled with years of infertility. It gave me shivers to watch my baby cakes chase after her daughter. Our two little miracles.  

Little Dude is cutting his first tooth, on the top, and I feel so proud - as if I have anything to do with it!

I give up as far as any expectations about sleeping through the night ever again. I just give up.

Work is going well. Beyond loving my job, I actually really enjoy being out of the house and away from little dude. I never expected to feel this way, and am so grateful that everything has worked out the way it has.

Just this weekend my baby started standing on his own. We get a few seconds before he panics and sits down, but it is happening more and more, and I can watch him getting stronger.

An ivf friend with a babe about the same age as mine already cycled again for #2. I am still feeling very sure that we are DONE. I seriously don't think I can do the infant thing again. and the thought of twins absolutely terrifies me. This whole experience has kicked my butt big time!

Two good friends are expecting this winter and I want to sew them little presents, but haven't had any dedicated time to work on these gifts. It makes me realize just how little time I actually have for myself for anything anymore.

I continue to feel closer to my little dude. Its taken some time, but I am growing into my role as his mama. It helps that he shows me now that he loves me. Sometimes (rarely) when I leave for work he cries or reaches for me, which strangely makes me really happy. I love knowing that we are connected like that.

Much love to all of you who are still fighting for your dreams. You are always in my heart.


6 months ish

I still call you baby cakes. When you wake up from naps I give you kisses and call you my little love boy. Daddy still wants your official nickname to be "E". Sometimes he calls you the flying spagetti monster. At the dr office today they called you Mr Velcro because you tried to take the scale with you after you got weighed. Little One calls you Quinnee and it melts my heart and you love it.

Yes. You cause massive exhaustion. Daddy and I are SO tired. really. so. tired. You quit sleeping well at night a few weeks back and its been a disaster.

You saw your first Cheese this last weekend. We met up with baby Gemma and Orion (at a 21+ Brewfest pre-show party in the basement of a bar on Telegraph) where you all played on a pool-table with adult bumpers preventing you from falling off. It actually worked out so much better than I expected, and you loved the live music and lights. On Sunday, We met up with your new buddy K (whose mom and dad seem like they could become good friends of ours) then Auntie Christy came to join us and you boogied down with her for a while before passing out.

We were hoping that you'd like music as much as we do. and it seems that you do. MaryLee is your favorite for car rides and almost always quiets you down.

You want it bad. You started crawling right at 6 months. with  perfect form. We were at Max's birthday when you made 5 crawl movements in a row. Daddy looked at me and said 'did you see that?' You love to be able to move. I think that you are happier. and more cuddly too. When you are with me now you aren't struggling quite as much to get away.

I've decided that you are actually very cute. I thought for a long time that people were just saying that to be nice - the way that all moms think their baby is cute. But I've decided that you really are quite adorable.

Your great-grandpa used to wear shirts with his initials monogramed in the top right corner. I still have one of his sweatshirts and love to touch those letters. Cousin MaryAnn offered to embroider some clothing for me so I sent her home with some shirts. She sewed your initials in big block letters onto the top right corner - just like my grandpa's. I love love love to dress you in those shirts. Grandpa would have loved you so much, and in this little way I feel like he is living on through you.

We sent another card out wishing a happy july 4th. So many people love you and love watching you grow. People think that because I can send a card out that I must have my act together, which is far from the truth. I just feel like it is so important to cultivate a community of people who love and adore you and who are invested in you and a part of your community. So many of these people waited so long for you to get here, and I want them to share in the joy that you bring us.

You hosted your first big party- a six month birthday BBQ. You are a special little dude and we don't want your birthday to be overshadowed by the holidays, so we figured that we'd start celebrating your half birthday.  Daddy made tri-tip and mommy blew up balloons. And then the house filled up with people, most of whom had babies. It was quite the moment for us to realize that everything had in fact changed. It felt good to have people over again :)

You are SO social. You LOVE people. You crave lots of activity. You happily engage with anyone who will engage with you. You flirt like no ones business. I take you to the bank and the teller asks to hold you. I take you to meetings and you get passed around like a dooby - happy as can be - and bringing light and love to everyone who sees you.

Random things:
-You love to suck on fingers... any finger you can get ahold of. but sometimes you make daddy a little uncomfortable with how deep you jam his finget back in your throat... like is this really appropriate?

- We discovered a new word 'Boobyshine' - when mommy gets to have a cocktail and you get to have some boobyshine.

- Not everyone will think this photo is funny, but we do... You seriously crack us up sometimes... and this picture proves that you are your fathers son.


a different kind of dream

I had a dream that ML and I ran away. We left Q sleeping on the bed at my SIL's house, and ran away in the dark of the night. I don't know where we went, just that it was necessary, and was away from Q.  We knew that they would awake to his cries and that he would be safe there. Safe until we could get our wits about us and go back for him.

It was a desperate dream. One that I dreamt from the couch of my SIL house, after losing my shit sometime after midnight, after Q had awoken again. I got Q back to sleep then woke up ML, to cry and to tell him that I needed help. More help. That I was falling to pieces. Crumbling. ML did his best to offer comfort, despite the fact that it felt to him like I was blaming him for not helping enough, and then sent me to the couch to get some sleep. He played the hero and while I dreamt about running away. He soothed our baby back to sleep the next few times he awoke that night.

Maybe it is because I wanted this so much. Maybe that is why it is hard to be real about how incredibly hard it is to be a mom.And, let me be clear, let there be no misunderstanding about what I am saying. THIS IS HARD. 

It's hard, and I. am. so. tired. 

I made an appointment to go see my old therapist.

I write this because I need to write. Because I need to get it out.
Because I need to be reassured that I am not alone in having these feelings.
Because I need to be reminded that this is the only thing I have ever wanted.

and thats the thing. this is the only thing I have ever wanted.
and I feel guilty for 'wasting' parts of it.

I am so lucky to be able to ask for help. But I am having a really hard time knowing exactly what kind of help it is that I need. I have a super-dad as a husband - he seriously spends more time with Q than I do and knows his cues better than me. I have a babysitter come a few mornings a week so that I can sleep, because when I say tired, it is a tired unlike any I have ever imagined, and sleeping for a few extra hours in the morning is the only thing that makes a day functional. My mom comes over a few evenings a week to help, and she really is helpful. But I need more. but I dont know what to ask for. I don't know what to do, other than wait for this to pass.

In other words, Q is adorable, incredibly social, generally happy, except when he's not, and so full of energy. He loves people, loves activity, loves the outdoors. He is extreme in his reactions, intense in his emotions, and so aware of his surroundings. He is on the verge of crawling, able to creep and roll his way around the living room to reach toys, people, and his dog. He is vocal in his happiness, and has a strong set of lungs he exercises when he is unhappy. He is perfect in every way. Our beautiful little boy with the softest round cheeks and big warm smile. He actually reached out for me with both arms the other day and my heart melted. It is incredible.

incredible, yet intense.
and so hard.




Impending Chaos

Chaos is about to break out in the Foxy Family.
This kid wants SO desperately to crawl.
and the noises you hear, they are non-stop as well.


Happy Daddy's Day

Here we are again, Fathers Day is tomorrow.

I got my act together and ordered ML a special little gift, made a messy card from Q, and am planning a day vacation to the beach.

I knew that ML would be the most incredible dad. and he is.

I am back to work, still on a part-time basis, and he is now Q's primary caregiver. They spend more time together than I do. He know all the subtle cues and cries. I love it. I love seeing this man i love in this awesome new role.

For some reason I can't remember Fathers Day last year. at all. no recollection. Actually, i do remember that it was the week that my dad randomly showed up in town, so we got to tell him that we were pregnant. but I don't remember how, or if, ML and I celebrated his impending fatherhood at all.

But I can so clearly remember Fathers Day the year before. in 2010. That was such a hard year. I got my love a fathers day card that year. hoping so desperately that our dreams would someday come true.  He was in the middle of the FSH therapy. We were coming to grips with the choices that we'd need to make in order to become parents. It was not an easy summer. and yet we survived it, and are stronger for it.

I am grateful everyday for this life.
I am grateful every time I hear my baby cry.
I am grateful to leave for work and know that Q and ML are together.
I am grateful in ways that I simply don't have words to describe.

I am so excited to give ML his first ever fathers day present. It is a day I've waited so long for.


Five Months

I've been avoiding the blogs these past couple weeks because I wanted to pretend that everything was okay for a friend. I wanted to much for this to be her cycle and couldn't bear the thought that reality might have other plans. My mom and husband kept asking me for news and I kept telling them that I was hoping for the best. I am so sorry, heartbroken really, to read about this recent loss.

My baby cakes is nearly five months old. Unbelievable.
I celebrated mother day as a real life mother. Unbelievable.
It has been the most intense ride, and I am filled with gratitude everyday to be on it. 

As much as you do sleep, its just not enough for me. 8pm has become a very predictable bedtime. We have a little bedtime routine with you and I taking a nice hot bath together. You float and splash for a while then I pull you up onto my belly so that you can nurse for a bit. We call for daddy when you are done and he comes in and scoops you into a towel. We give you a 'baby blow job' with the hairdryer, then lather you up with oil for a baby massage. We dress you in a sleeper and wrap you in a swaddle and I nurse you to sleep. We have a big air filter set up in your room to make some white noise, but you are much less dependent on it now than you were a few months ago. You are actually really to put down for bed. We've almost completely transitioned you from the swing to your crib. Once your eyes are fluttering we can set you in your crib and you'll drift off to sleep.  You sleep an average of 6-8 hours in that first stretch, then we bring you into bed with us when you wake up. I nurse you every hour or two once you come to bed with us until you wake up for good at about 7am. We've had a few nights where you slept for 9 or 10 hours straight, which was beyond awesome!

We are still waiting for a predictable nap pattern to work itself out. Once you get tired you fall asleep pretty quickly once you are swaddled and bounced in your quiet room. We've realized that we pay dearly if we mess with your naps, which is a real challenge since we can't predict when you will want to sleep. Daddy talks about the 'nap lottery' because we ever have any idea how long your nap will last - 2 hours is like a jackpot, but sometimes we only get like 5 minutes.

Weight & Height:  
At your four month appointment you weighed 18 lbs 8 ozs and were 26.5 inches long. You are one big boy! It is fun to see how fast you are closing in on M - He is 5 months older than you but only 2 lbs bigger! And Baby C is two months younger but already over 15 lbs! We seriously need to be taking more pictures of you boys!

Diaper Size:  
We jumped to a size 3 a while back and that seemed to solve the problem with blowouts.. until last week when I changed two massive blowouts that left you covered in poop and me trying to change you diaper in parking lots. You got your first owie last week while I was trying to clean you up and you rolled off the poopy blanket onto the asphalt where you got a bit of road burn on your arm. It was such a big mess, and I was late for lunch, so I just left the pile of dirty next to the car tire until I came back after lunch with a trash bag to scoop it all into. Sometimes your blowouts are so massive that it is just easier to dispose of your outfit than try to get it clean again.  You've always been an every couple day pooper, and save up for lots of action on those days. 

Clothes Size:  
You just keep growing! Last week I cleared out your dresser and filled it with 9 and 12 month clothing. We now have a few different channels of hand me down clothes coming our way - so much more clothing than you could ever wear. We sent big bags of clothing home for C and M. I also set some favorite outfits aside for your future cousins :)

Hair Color:  
Your hair is getting thicker and is looking very light - like a strawberry blonde, or very light brown. We need it to grow a little more before we can tell what the color will be. 

Eye Color:
Your eye color is the topic of much discussion around our house. We are seeing more and more green, still some blue, maybe a hazel? The color seems to change everytime we change your clothes!

Funniest Moment this week:  
You are a super social little dude. Totally bored by dad and I at home, and all smiles when we leave the house. Eveyone talks about what a happy baby you are while we are out in public. Its like a mean little joke you play on us - with one personality when we are at home and another when we are out in public. I went out to lunch with some of the moms from baby class. You'd missed a nap and were non-stop action and activity - like you tend to be at home. The other babies sat in their carseats, took naps on their mama's shoulders, and sat quietly while we ate and talked. You were constant action, constant noise, reaching for everything on the table, too distracted to nurse, the intense little boy that I see all day at home. By the end of lunch one of the other mama's commented about how exhausting it was to simply watch you! I was funny, only because if I didn't laugh i'd cry. 

Milestones and Firsts and Stuff:  
- We broke the BOB out of its box on Mothers Day and took it out for a ride with Baby C. OMG you love that stroller, I do too. And you seem to really love being outdoors.
- You are rolling around every which way, and trying so hard to push your torso up that you are actually pushing yourself backwards. You want so badly to move, and I bet that yo'll be crawling before too soon. 
- I've been taking you to so many meetings. Everyone in town knows you and those who get to see you at meetings feel extra special and even brag about it on facebook! so much fun :)
- Auntie graduated from college last weekend. We are SO proud of her. Your great uncles came down to celebrate and got to meet you for the first time. They love you SO much and were SO sweet with you. We took a ton of pictures. At the graduation party you were passed around the room to just about everyone there. Daddy said we should have named you 'doobie' since you were passed around like a little joint! You were SO happy to hang out with so many people all day. 
- We took you to the carmel river this past weekend and dipped you into it. The water was very cold but you loved it anyways. 
- So many giggles these days. I can tickle your belly and you burst into laughter. I love love love your giggles. 
- oh and everyone says that you are an exceptionally beautiful baby. I can't help but brag aout how adorable you are. Your sweet round cheeks and long dark eyelashes are big-time attention getters. Everyone comments on your stunning features. and I agree :)

Daddy Says:
You know what you want and can't reach any of it. You love the outdoors. You have all the ladies wrapped around your little finger, which makes you a great wingman!

Favorite Toy:  
Oh my gosh, you want to touch and taste EVERYTHING! Hands are still a favorite, but you also like anything that I am holding. Your special owl is still a favorite, and keeps you entertained in the car on almost every trip. The activity mat is getting boring and you outgrew your tummytub. 

Other Thoughts:  

- You spend a lot of time with Daddy since I've started back to work. It is actually a pretty awesome arrangement. I miss my work so much more than I thought I would, and you are so exhausting that I relish the chance to be out of the house for a break. I am only working 20-25 hours week, and I do miss you on the long days that I am gone, but it makes me appreciate my time with you so much more. It is pretty special that you get to be with both daddy and I, and are developing a special unique relationship with both of us. 
- Grandma still comes over a few nights a week. You stop in your tracks and smile when you hear her voice. It is so sweet. She is so in love with you. 
- Those first few months were brutal. Really. You really put us thru a parenting crash course, and I am not totally sure how we survived. It is getting easier, but you are still quite an intense little person. I think it is your personality shining through, since day 1. It is especially clear at baby class when we watch you in comparison to the other babies your age. You have so much energy and demand so much more attention from those around you. I am so excited to see who you are going to grow up to be.  


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