It’s all relative

One thing I struggle with as a mom is that I can only see Bubbers as he is right now and I forget how he used to look. The only way I’m able to notice his gradual changes in appearance is by watching videos or looking at pictures. But even then, I can’t really remember on my own. (It’s actually hard for me to believe that that’s my same son in the video as who’s in my arms).

In fact, I often wish I could see him through other people’s eyes. That I could say, “Wow, he’s so much bigger than the last time I saw him!” or “He’s sure looking more like his Dad!” I mean, I know he’s changing and getting bigger, I just can’t really see it or feel it. And that makes me sad.

Yesterday, Charming and I watched little Preston, so his parents (our good friends) could go to the temple. Preston is about three months younger than Bubbers, and it was so delightful having them together.

This is a picture from the first time we met Preston, when he was only 12 days old:

Here’s a picture from yesterday:

It was so fun for me to have Preston there with us. Not only was he absolutely sweet, but in a way, he allowed me to “see” Bubbers through other people’s eyes.

I was able to hold little Preston and feel how small he was compared to Bubbers. For once I could actually feel how heavy Bubbers was when I picked him up, you know what I mean? Usually it never registers–Bubbers is Bubbers. He doesn’t feel heavy or light, he’s just what he is.

But I loved being able to hold Preston and be like, “Wow, you really fit in one arm without hurting my back. That’s right. Bubbers used to be like that.” And then I could pick up Bubbers, “Uuff, man are you heavy!”

And little Preston was sooo cuddly. You could hold him on your shoulder and he’d just nestle in your neck. And his head smelled so good–exactly like a baby should.

I’d love to say that Bubbers used to do that, but he never did. He’s never really been a cuddler. Sometimes he falls asleep with his head in the crook of my neck and I sigh happily and pretend he’s cuddling me, but that’s about it. (Oh, and sometimes he rubs his face back and forth against my shoulder like he’s got an itchy face. I like that.)

I also wish he smelled good all the time, but that’s not true either. He smells good right after he’s taken a bath and I smother him in lotion. But then he slowly gets that milky smell again from all his spitting up.

That was another amazing thing about Preston–he never spit up! Not once the whole time we had him! You could hug him, and there weren’t 45 layers of burp rags and soggy bibs between you and him. It was just: him!

Whenever I start to ache for a hug from Bubbers without all the layers, I take off his bib, put down the burp rag and then hold him tight and close my eyes. But I’m never really at ease. I’m always listening for that gurgling sound that usually precedes the spewing fountain.

Wow, I never realized how much the spitting up factor changes things… Bubbers has spit up from two weeks old on, so we’ve just gotten used to it–that’s just how he is. (Well, as much as you can get used to it, since it’s completely unpredictable). He goes through 30 bibs and 20 burp rags in about four days (in addition to all his clothes and all our clothes).

But I can’t complain, because he got it from me. According to my Mom, I was the spit-up queen. So, I just have to smile and shrug my soggy shoulders.

It was also neat to see the developmental differences between Preston and Bubbers. What a difference three months makes at their age! A difference that will fade to nothing in just a few years.


A Cry for Help: Update

Wow, thank you everyone for your great advice and support! Just asking for help made me feel better about the whole thing. :)

I’ve deliberated long and hard about what to do… I bought rice cereal and little spoons with the “soft bite” ends. I even pumped one morning so I could put it in the rice cereal. But when it came down to giving my little baby solid food, I just couldn’t do it.

Actually, just opening the new spoons and holding them in my hand made my eyes misty. One of my sisters-in-law emailed me some advice rather than posting a comment, and she said that above all, enjoy him being a baby. Her oldest “baby” is now 10, and she said it flies as fast as everyone says it does.

Holding those spoons in my hand suddenly made me see Bubbers walk into the kitchen as a young man, standing taller than me with a deep voice and his father’s quick wit. (Oh boy, here come the tears again…). By the time Charming found me, I was a mess and he just opened his arms and I “soggified” his shoulder.

I even went so far as to convince myself Bubbers didn’t actually need to start solid foods until at least 8 or 9 months old, if that. But then a good friend reminded me that he really does need to start at 6 months for the iron.

“Oh, yeah,” I remembered, “I forgot about that…”

So, I froze the milk. I ran the spoons through the dishwasher and put them in the drawer. Then I put the rice cereal in the cupboard.

Two more weeks, I told myself.

Then last night, I rolled out of bed as soon as I heard him wake up. As I fed him, I looked down at his small pudgy fingers. I reached for them and he grasped my thumb. Pulling his fingers up to my lips, I kissed them.

They’ll only be this small once, I thought.

Suddenly, I wasn’t in such a rush to eliminate his middle-of-the-night feedings.

On a brighter note…

Here are a couple pictures Charming and I had fun using Fireworks on (I always call it Firefox and then Charming shakes his head sadly).

We tried out some tricks we learned from Pioneer Woman. Fortunately, Charming knows how to do the Photoshop stuff she talks about in Fireworks instead.

 

by Heidi (and Charming) 2007

That trickle of drool on his chin is my favorite part of this picture! (Well, and how he’s sucking in his lower lip. And his crinkled up eyebrows. Okay, and everything!)


by Heidi (and Charming) 2007

A Cry for Help

So, Charming and I are trying to “eliminate” Bubbers’ last remaining feeding at night. According to Dr. Ferber on page 141, he says:

…basically no normal, healthy full-term babies still require a nighttime feeding when they are five months old, and you can certainly insist on stopping them altogether if you want to.

Bubbers is 5 1/2 months old (and normal and healthy and all that), so we decided to “insist on stopping them altogether”.

Now, I have loved Dr. Ferber’s book through and through. He didn’t make me want to bang my head against a wall or chuck him out the window to feed the squirrels in my backyard like another book which shall remain nameless. But the thing is, he didn’t really explain how to “insist on stopping them altogether”. Usually he’s really good about that, but not so much for this issue.

So, I was visiting teaching last week and I asked my partner (a mother of three) and the woman we were visiting (a mother of one) how they stopped. They both said, “Cry it out.”

We have tried, but we just don’t get Bubbers. He’s completely unpredictable. On Sunday morning, he slept 11 hours and had to be woken up for church. We patted ourselves on the back, thinking we had this thing down pat. Then he slept only 7 hours, but only cried for 20 minutes. Then last night he slept only 6 hours and then cried for 2 1/2 hours (on and off), before I decided, “That’s enough.” (Poor Charming couldn’t sleep (I should have given him a pair of earplugs), so he got up and watched a Cosby episode on DVD and ate some cereal).

To help us, I’ve been diligently charting his sleep habits on Dr. Ferber’s little chart, but can’t see any pattern of why he’s unpredictable (hence the use of the word: unpredictable). Then I get to wondering about possible teething or growth spurts or alien invasions. Should I just give up? No, I think we can do it…

So, now I’d like to ask more moms out there what did you do to get your babies to give up their last nighttime feeding??

I’ve heard many moms swear that rice cereal does the trick. Currently, Bubbers is breastfed full-time and we prefer to wait until 6 months to start solids, but I’m willing to try it, if that’s what he needs (heck, it’s only a couple weeks off anyways). I only ask that if that is your recommendation, please give me specifics, because I am clueless as to how to do that. (For example, How much do you give exactly? When do you give it–the absolute last thing before bed? Or do you do rice cereal and then nurse? Or nurse and then rice cereal?)

Poor little Bubbers has always been such a good sleeper for us, I feel badly that I’m messing him all up now. But hopefully I’ll get an answer to my prayers soon… Thank you!!