Last years Fourth of July you were nothing but a wee little babe straight from my tummy. I was so eager to show my perfect little son off to anyone who would look. Last year I was definitely postpartum; healing from giving birth only a week or so before. I had thrush that burned like stinging nettle as I nursed you and mastitis that made me ache to my bones. However, I was bound and determined to enjoy our first holiday together so we went to my moms annual eagle wood fireworks party. I nursed you in my childhood room as the fireworks lit up the sky just outside my window. it wasn't the perfect Fourth of July but it was pretty perfect holding you. That night I got the stomach flu. I had to sleep on daddy's side of the bed because it was closer to the bathroom. Daddy slept near me and woke to put my hungry babe against my chest as I tried to feed you and sleep. The days that followed were just as trying. My thrush worsened and you ended up in primary children's.
This year I had high hopes that things would be different. I imagined you sitting in my lap as we gazed up at the night sky filled with sparks of color. I imagined the look of wonderment in your eyes as you witnessed fireworks for the first time. Your chubby hands clapping together with excitement. Unfortunately, the firework gazing will have to wait till next year. As I took your temperature tonight I was stunned to see the numbers 105.3 appear on the thermometer screen. Worry struck my heart and your daddy and I spent the majority of the evening soaking you with cool cloths. I wish I could take your pain away. I'd gladly be sick again this year if it meant I wouldn't have to look into your red, wet eyes.
I found that since having children it is customary that things never go as planned. You just have to learn to roll with the punches and enjoy the small things. Maybe next year will be better, maybe it won't but I know it will be wonderful as long as your daddy and I have you and your sister.
The night you were born was one of the best of my entire life. Bringing you into this world made me believe that I really can do anything and it solidified the creeping suspicion in my heart that the reason God put me on this earth was to be a mother. With you in one arm, and Genevieve in the other, I looked down at you both and felt for the first time that I had my answers. There was no more wondering who I would become or what my legacy would be. I was made to nurture and love you and I will spend the rest of my life doing it to the best of my ability.
Your first twelve months of life have not been without challenges. Together we have battled the hardships of breast feeding. With sores, and thrush, 17 cases of mastitis and a trip to the ER for mama you have been patient through it all. You have endured your own trauma. In your first two weeks of life you spent four scary days at Primary Children's while mama slept by your side and another trip to the ER two weeks later. Thankfully, we had each other, daddy and Genevieve to help us get through these trials and although your first year of life has been challenging I wouldn't have it any other way. This past year has taught me patience. Patience with myself, with my role as a mother, with my body and with God's plans for us.
I know that what lies ahead of you is so great that my heart nearly burst with anticipation for your future. There is an indescribable wonderness to your spirit. I try daily to put words around it. There is just something about you. A tangible peace. A soulful joy. These days, I watch as you are putting together what you know of the world. Yesterday I watched as you carefully watched your sister and tried to imitate her every move. On a daily basis I catch you studying her so intently. Trying ever so hard to talk and move as she does. At night when you are close to sleep, you hum ever so quietly as I blow in your eyes so you will give into sleep. It has become our ritual, the familiar warmth of your body curled up in my arms, our eyes meeting one last time while your little eye lashes flutter slowly, as you fall away to dream.
Finley, my darling. I never anticipated that you, my sweet, blue eyed, little boy would knock me back down to my foundation. That I would have to learn everything differently and all over again. That parenting you would force me to re-evaluate and redefine everything I thought I knew about love and patience and being a mother. Everything about you has been unexpected and wondrous.
Happy birthday, my sweet boy.
31 inches 95th percentile
24 lbs 70th percentile
head 50th percentile
12-18 month clothes
size 3 shoe
four on the top
two on the bottom
on the move and finally crawling
pulling yourself up on everything
can climb stairs as quick as lightening
you can wave bye bye
clap your hands
put your hand, any toy up to your hear and say "hi"
Genevieve, is an awesome mixture of girly girl and tom boy. On our street there are at least a dozen little boys around genvieve's age and she doesn't mind one bit. She is always the first one to dive into the mud, throw balls and capture the "bad guys"(wearing a dress of course). She can keep up with the best of them. So it is only natural she wants to be "superman".
Clothes have also become optional this summer. She doesn't feel it is necessary to wear them. I try to compromise by making her wear at least underwear. On this day she decided that she "needed" a pull up (she is potty trained) but even her underwear reflect her eclectic style. We have a drawer full of fancy princess underwear and thomas the train undies from the little boy section.
No matter what Genevieve does she always does it with her own flare and lots and lots of energy!
One year ago today my sweet Fin was born. I remember it like it was yesterday and yet it feels like a life time ago. read about his birth here: summer solstice, the birth of finley james.
Happy Birthday my son. I love you more with each passing day.
its been awhile since sickness has struck our home. i was just beginning to think we might make it through the rest of spring unscathed. unfortunately, i was wrong. this bug has spread through our house faster than wild fire. the only one who isn't on death's door step is joe, as usual.
so we are spending our days cuddled up on the blow up mattress watching movies (protesting clothes) and wiping noses.
I couldn't help it, I had to post this. Those who have nursed a baby or two or three etc. etc. can SO relate. Those who haven't, I apologize.
The REAL Way to Prepare for Breastfeeding.
Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped by a pair of chip clips.
Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing "I Feel Pretty."
Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.
Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on "medium pile." Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
Obtain "DO NOT CROSS" tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, "Get used to it."
Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.
Record your mother proclaiming, "Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she'll sleep right through the night." Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m.
Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed and stand very still in your backyard.
Go someplace public -- a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building -- and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll's arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.
Suckle a wolverine.
Congratulations! You are now ready to nurse a baby. Maybe.
Melissa Balmain, a freelance writer living in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a two-baby nursing veteran.
"Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride." ~ Gordon B. Hinckley