Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Post-Baby Changes No One Mentions

As my little guy approaches his first birthday next month, I'm feeling rather reflective. His birth brought about a whole world of change in different life arenas- emotional/mental, physical and spiritual. I anticipated some adaptations, though, as usual, life didn't go as expected!

Emotionally & Mentally
My emotions still seem a bit more scattered than usual since my son’s birth, but I will continue to chalk it up to frenetic post-breastfeeding hormones and general sleep deprivation. Emotionally, I feel less centered on myself and more focused on Rayden: worries for him, concerns about him, hopes for him, happiness with him, etc. 

Though my world revolves around an infant these days, he also encourages me to dedicate myself more fully to my own goals. I know that the effort I put into my teaching and writing will make a positive difference in our family life over the years to come- both by providing us with more financial stability and by giving me more confidence and success to be a strong role model for the little dude.

Of course, things change physically; it’s inevitable after the epic events of labor and childbirth. I feel fortunate that healthy eating, breastfeeding and constantly running after and scooping up a needy baby all brought me back to my pre-pregnancy weight relatively quickly. I'm about 99% certain I won't be as lucky after future kiddos. Still, I both feel and look different than before, and my lower abdomen will likely never be the same. (Eh, it’s not like I ever wore bikinis anyway.)

Other issues have arisen since Rayden’s birth. Lactose is no longer a close friend of mine, for instance, and I have a lot of muscular problems that developed as a result of thirty+ hours of labor (and I know the OB nurses will tell you that most of that wasn’t active labor, but that doesn’t mean it wasn't intense!). I’ve learned from this whole situation about a topic in woman’s health that needs to be talked about: Pelvic Organ Prolapse. It is virtually unmentioned until you’re diagnosed- and then it is still relatively ignored. Seeing as how people talk about way more intimate things on everyday television, I think the docs could give ladies a head’s up about prevention, etc. at their yearly check-ups. Just sayin’.

Since my son’s birth, I feel a deeper connection to my faith. Throughout my life, I’ve typically gone to church every Sunday and prayed daily, but now it just seems more important than ever to keep grounded. I want my son to know that, as Catholics, we aren’t the bigoted, racist people that the media portrays us to be. We are some of the most loving people you could ever find, with a focus on truth, hope and Christ-like love. When you have a religion to base your morals upon, you are grounded in the reality of what is right and wrong, and I want Rayden to have that- instead of the flippant nature of reality that popular culture so often presents. I’m excited to raise this awesome kid in an uplifting family dynamic and positive community. I’m about 99.999% sure he’ll go far. ;)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

10 Hilarious Habits of My 10 Month Old

I promised that I'd share more of the goofy things that Rayden does, so here we are! 10 more habits that are relatively bizarre, hilarious and/or kinda gross, but that certainly don't make me love the little cutie any less!

1. Licks the pages of books. In particular, he loves the "touch and feel animals" picture book that has different textures and fabrics on each of the animals. He's slobbered all over the pig and tried to pull out the hair on the sheepdog. 

2. Carries around a bulb syringe (nose sucker thingy, in layman's terms). Gnaws on the round part occasionally. Maybe it helps with the teething..?

3. Bites down on marble tabletop. The coffee table in our living room has a marble top layer and he tries to gnaw on the edges. Ow. We've moved him away, thinking it would hurt his little teeth, but he just keeps coming back for more.

4. Kisses his reflection. This isn't bizarre or hilarious so much as it is darn adorable, but when looking at himself in the mirror, he will sometimes give his reflection a smooch.

5. Dances by shaking his butt, shoulders and back, sometimes all at once, usually while sitting. Occasionally becomes too enthusiastic and tips over. I'll have to record it one of these days...

6. Searches for leftover food under the table. I swear, the kid gets plenty to eat, but after a meal he will always go back and check under his high chair for some fresh leftovers for dessert. I have to be a speedy cleaner and vacuum often.

7. Blows raspberries on belly buttons. He will climb over to people who are lying down, lift up their shirts and proceed to smack some slobbery raspberries on their bellies. He will also do this with his stuffed animals, despite their lack of belly buttons.

8. Double-checks to make sure he's causing trouble. When he goes by the television or other heavy and/or dangerous items, we always tell him "No", but before stopping, he will look back and make sure we say "No" a few more times while shaking our heads. He will shake his head as well, smile, and then continue toward the prohibited item. Sigh.

9. Attacks his favorite stuffed animals. Every morning, he will literally tackle his stuffed monkey with a huge hug as though he hasn't seen the thing in ages.

10. Ambles over to any and all electrical cords and outlets whenever they are in sight. Seriously, you can offer him the coolest, most colorful and noisy toy ever, but if there's an extension cord nearby, the toy might as well not exist. Definitely gets this from Daddy the electrician. Or he just wants to see if he can drive me crazy chasing after him anyplace that isn't childproofed. Perhaps both.