This Kid LOVES Me/ Tate is 10 Months Old

So Tate is 10 Months old today.  I am continuously amazed at how fast this is all going.  He is still so little, but he is getting bigger by the minute.  And man, he LOVES me.  Like obsessive loves me.  I am not going to lie, I love it that he loves me this much.  He only wants me, he cries when other people try to hold him if I am within eyesight.  Arlie was never really like this, so I don’t really know what, if anything, to do about it.  I mean, I actually really love having a person love me more than any other being on earth.  The downside is that if I genuinely need a break, the only option is to physically leave the room or even the house.  I never really got the whole mess about mama’s boys, but I certainly do now.  This kid is amazing.

So he’s standing on his own now.  He loves that he can do it and spends a lot of time standing and balancing and lowering himself back down, then up again.  He’s been standing while holding onto things for months now and I was convinced he would walk this last month, but it looks like he is really focused on mastering each step before moving on.  M keeps warning Arlie that when Tate can walk, she is going to be in for it.

He eats like no other.  He will try just about anything and he seems to like almost everything.  Last week we tried Salmon and brie cheese and he loved both.  He will power crawl to me if he sees me eating and he wants a bite.  I am legitimately concerned about how much this kid is going to eat as he grows.  I may need to invest in a half of beef and a vegetable garden.  He has five teeth with another one working its way in now.  He loves biting things, but he stops if you say ow, so that’s promising.

He talks a bit, mostly only saying mama and meaning it.  He giggles whenever Arlie is around and is so enamored by her.  She is his second favorite person and they love to hang out and wrestle and goof around.  I am now really glad that they are so close in age because I can see how good of friends they are going to be.

My little Tater, such a good little nugget.  Fussy a lot, happy in between.  He’s my little sidekick.  🙂

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Crohns/UC/IBD

I’ve had “IBS” since I was 16.  I’ve been to a number of different doctors, I’ve seen specialists, nutritionists, etc, to try to figure out what the hell is going on.  About a month ago, I had a horrific episode where I nearly passed out, and ended up partially paralyzed for 10-15 minutes.  It was terrifying and it prompted me to find a new doctor and insist that something be done about this.

I saw the new doctor about a week after the episode and he was concerned enough that they immediately changed my diet and I now have to do a bunch of testing.  I have already done a majority of this testing before, but he is thinking that the issue has progressed enough that it is now considered IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and it is either Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis.

Two of my tests have come back confirming inflammation and a resulting infection that indicate that it is indeed Crohns or UC.  This has been both a relief and a super scary thing for me.  Both of these things can cause pretty serious damage in my body and both require me to be on medications for who knows how long.  I get to have a few more tests, including a super awesome one where I get to swallow a camera pill.  I’m kind of terrified of what is actually going on in my digestive tract but better to know than to wonder and worry I guess.

In addition to all the extra testing, I am also on a pretty restrictive diet for the next three weeks to see if this will change anything.  So far, I feel better, but I can’t tell if it is because I am barely eating anything.  I really want to re-introduce some foods after the three weeks are over to see how they affect me.  Dairy is the one that I miss the most.  I can’t have ice cream or milk and I am missing those two things a lot.  Otherwise, I am doing ok on the diet.

My only other concern now is how this may or may not affect fertility.  I know this is a stupid thing to worry about, but a lot of the medications and the treatments are not great for fertility, pregnancy, or babies.  This will definitely come into play when we have to decide what direction to go in.

 

It’s On My Mind

Constantly.  I can’t stop thinking about it…  I really am convinced that I want another baby.  I just don’t feel done and if I really let myself think about not having another one, I get extremely upset.  I always pictured myself having three children and while I was pregnant with Tate, I thought that for me that meant two living children and our one angel baby.  But as time has progressed and Tater is growing up, I know in my heart of hearts that I want another child.

I am terrified that M will never be on board and I will live the rest of my life feeling like I am missing something.  I am also terrified of being pregnant again.  I do not handle pregnancies well and the thought of being pregnant and having that all consuming fear and anxiety for 9 months is daunting.  I am also extremely scared of losing another baby.  I just don’t know how I would handle that.

I know for a fact that I can handle three kids.  I love the two I have so much and I know a third would be a great addition.  I am not scared of the newborn phase, I am not scared of birth or delivery.  It really is the trying and the pregnancy itself that is terrifying.  And the possibility that something will go wrong, like the cord issues, or the diabetes.

And yet, even with all of this, I still know I want to do it again.  I know I will feel complete with a third child.  I just know it.

So for now, I wait and I stew and I yearn for another.  Maybe M will come around.  Maybe this time next year I will be pregnant again.  Maybe it will just happen like it did the last time.  Being a grownup and considering all options is exhausting.

Tate 9 Months

Gosh, time just flies by now.  My little sweet man is 9 months old!  He has officially been outside of me longer than he was inside of me (about two weeks ago) and it makes me a little sad.  Because there is no clarity about the third child situation, I am trying my best to cherish these last moments with him as a real baby because I might not get to do it again.

Tate is a wild little guy.  I waver back and forth between being exhausted with him and being so overjoyed that he is mine.  He is on the move almost constantly and the kid loves to climb things.  We have a gate at the bottom of the stairs that Arlie tends to leave open (because that stinker figured out how to open it pretty immediately) and we found out at the end of last week that Tater knows how to climb the stairs.  I am terrified that he is going to hurt himself with all the climbing.

He is still a really bad sleeper.  For naps, he is amazing.  He will sleep about an hour in the morning and can go up to three hours in the afternoon.  It is glorious.  But at night, he still won’t sleep more than two-three hours in a row.  I feed him about 3-7 times per night and more if he is teething, which he always seems to be.  I’ve started scheduling naps for myself when I can get a babysitter.  My sweet mother in law is helping me by staying later two nights a month so I can get an hour of sleep in before M gets home.  I read backwards in this blog a week ago and I noticed that Arlie really wasn’t sleeping through the night until 11ish months, so I will hold out hope that he will start sleeping soon.

This little guy loves food.  Loves food.  He is seemingly always hungry and it is hard to keep up with him.  He nurses often still and takes bottles while I am away from him.  He loves solid foods and this last week we started giving him actual food to grab and eat.  This seems to have opened up a whole new world for him and he is thrilled by it.  I still feed him some chunky purees to make sure he’s getting enough food.  I’m getting to the point where I need to start thinking about adding whole milk into his diet (in a couple of months) and that is both a relief and kind of sad.  I haven’t loved breastfeeding him, but I will miss that time with him when he transitions over to whole milk.

He is moving all over the place.  Crawling all the time and he is now cruising along the furniture rapidly as well.  He loves standing and bouncing and I think we are pretty close to having a walked on our hands.  I hope he can keep his balance well because we are installing wood flooring this weekend, so spills will be much worse pretty soon.

He also officially has four teeth now, two on bottom and two on top.  Teething is a really awful experience with him so I dread the rest coming in.  Overall, he is still my happy guy, except when he’s not and then watch out!!  Can’t with to see what happens next with him!

Tate 8 Months

Little Man was 8 months two weeks ago.  I can’t even believe how much he has changed in the last few weeks.  He still never really sleeps, but he’s moving all over the place and yelling and just being a silly monkey in general.

He is crawling like a champion.  He’s been crawling for about three months now, and he is really fast now.  I can’t leave him alone anywhere because he just moves so quickly.  He is standing and pulling up on everything.  He cruises between the couch and the entertainment stand.  He has also discovered how much he likes to go over to the sliding door and pull up and stand in front of that.  He loves looking outside and watching the birds.

This little guy loves food.  He really does.  We feed him breakfast and a late lunch of pureed food and then I give him tiny bites of whatever I am having for dinner.  We learned that if we fed him a big meal of pureed food before bed that he ended up in pain most of the night which was miserable for both of us, so we’ve backed off of that and are just doing the mini meal of my food instead.  I think that he still has a touch of reflux and having food right before bed was causing that to flare up, so we will try again in a few months.

Apparently Tate hates sleeping.  I joke, but he really is a terrible sleeper.  I am still nursing him between 5 and 9 times every night.  I can tell now that about half of these are just for comfort because he will fall asleep as soon as he has my boob in his mouth.  I am not really even sure how I am going to fix this problem.  We’ve tried a bunch of different things and none seem to work, so I think at some point we are going to have to have a few terrible nights to try to wean him down to two or three times a night.  I am 100% against sleep training or CIO so I just need to suck it up and deal with it.

Other than the sleeping situation, Tate is just about one of the happiest babies when he isn’t cranky.  Isn’t this the case for all babies?  But for the most part, he is a smiley happy guy and he is getting so big!  I can’t believe he is going to be 1 so soon.  It’s crazy!

The Weight I Carry

My father is an alcoholic. He has been my entire life. I actually don’t remember him any other way and as an adult now, the impact it has on my life is enormous. My childhood was hard because of the choices he made and I am just now starting to come to terms with it. It affects the way I parent my own children and I will never really be able to fully accept that my children will have to know this man as their grandfather.

One of my earliest memories is my father teaching me how to pour him a glass of whiskey. This was so he didn’t have to get off the couch to get it himself. At the time, it made me feel important, like he had an important job for me. When I think of it now, it makes me sick to my stomach. My mother was working most of the time because my father rarely worked, so my siblings and I spent a lot of our time with our father. It wasn’t always bad, there were a lot of good times, but the bad times made the good times disappear. We were extremely poor and there was always a fear of not having money to pay for simple things like groceries or gas for the car. Early on in childhood, I worried constantly about everything. I had some OCD issues, and looking back now I think that this was because I needed to control the things I could because so much of my life was out of control.

My childhood was a mix of fear and sadness and anxiety. I was always scared of getting in trouble from my father. He was emotionally abusive to me and my siblings, giving us the silent treatment for days or even weeks at a time if we did something that displeased him. My mother was an enabler. She didn’t tell him to stop. I don’t know if it was out of fear of him, or more out of fear that he might be angry with her and she might end up alone. My sister and I were active in athletics, both playing competitively in two sports. My father was our coach, which was miserable. I think my sister took most of the brunt of his wrath because he deemed her the better athlete, but once she had graduated from high school, his focus turned to me. Games were stressful, rides home were awful. My confidence was low, or non existent. My older sisters moved out immediately after high school. I stayed at home longer, mostly because my mother seemed to need me and my personality was that of a caregiver. I liked the attention I got from her when there were less children around to take it away from me.

I think the most confusing and heartbreaking part of my life is that I didn’t even realize how messed up it was until a few years ago, when I met and started dating my husband. When I would revel a story about my childhood that was sad, but not necessarily outwardly abusive, he would pause before responding’ almost in disbelief. Eventually he started asking me more details and talking to me about how abnormal my life had been. The real gut punch happened about 6 years ago when my father ended up in the hospital with a severe medical issue and almost died. I was there with my mother for the entire time. I was terrified he would die and at that point, I still felt confused about him. I loved him, I wanted him to love me. I wanted his approval for my life. I was still holding on to the idea that he was somebody who I needed in my life. He was forced to detox while in the ICU. I was there with my mother when the nurse told us that he was detoxing and that they were going to keep him medicated to help with the physical symptoms. To this day, she denies that this conversation ever happened. After almost two weeks in the hospital and a miraculous recovery, he was released and went home. Within 48 hours of being home, he was drinking again. My mother justified his drinking, always has. But even more so after his hospital stay. It was maddening to have the hope that he would change and watch it drift away. I stopped loving him sometime after that ordeal. I started to feel disgusted by him, to dread seeing him. But he still has a hold on me in some ways, I still want his approval. It bothers me that I still feel this way. I want to break free.

Having my own children has made my view of my father even more clear. I will never treat my children the way I was treated. I married a man who will protect my children with his own life if necessary. I strive to make sure that my children will feel loved and secure and happy. I will do my best to protect them from my father. He will never be alone with them and at some point, should he live this long, I will have a conversation with my kids about alcoholism. They are so young now that they don’t realize that he is a bad person. I will show them that the person my father is should not affect how they feel about themselves. I have other people in my lives that stepped up and acted like a parent for me. These people are still there, being good stand in grandparents. My mother is a better grandparent than parent, and I appreciate that she wants to spend time with my kids. She babysits for me one and a half days a week, sending my father out to do errands while they are with her. I’ve told her how I feel about everything and she has expressed remorse that she didn’t protect us better. I believe her, but it doesn’t really mean anything now.

I am just now, at 33 years old, starting to move forward from him and his disease. I know this will be a gradual process and eventually I will be completely free from him. I look forward to that day.

Tate 7 Months

Little Tater man turned 7 months old two weeks ago.  I am behind on my updates.  I’m fairly certain this is in direct relation to the fact that he never sleeps, so I never sleep.  I am a zombie most if the time.  I honestly don’t know what is going on with him.  The last three weeks have been a real struggle.

He is weighing somewhere around 19 lbs.  This kid loves food so much.  Honestly it is the complete opposite than it was with Arlie.  Tate wants to nurse all the time and in between the nursing sessions, he wants solid food, or whatever I am eating.  It actually shocks and worries me a bit how much he wants to eat, but one of my older mommy friends told me that her son ate so much more than her daughter and it freaked her out at first, so that made me feel better.

Tate crawls like a champ.  He uses his fists for some reason instead of spreading his hands out, but it doesn’t seem to affect his movement.  He is also now pulling up on things, and has discovered that if he stands behind a laundry basket he can push that around and walk behind it.  I seriously don’t know what to do with him, I mean 7 months is too young to start all these things.  I just want him to slow down a little.

He officially has two little teeth in the front on the bottom.  I was so worried that this would affect our nursing, but he has been really good about not biting me, which honestly surprises me.  We are still going strong with nursing.  I am determined to nurse him as long as possible, so hopefully we can keep this up for another year or even longer.  Arlie was never this attached to me, or the boob, so this could get interesting as times goes on.

I am hoping that my happy little bugger comes back and this cranky, clingy mess will go away.  I miss my sweet little boy, but there are still glimpses of him there.  He is still pretty giggly and happy in between his cranky times.  It’s been a rough few weeks.  Hopefully our 8 month report is better in this area.

A Two Year Old

Arlie is officially two.  I seriously can’t believe it.  She is such a big girl now and it makes me all weepy for when she was a little tiny baby.  I am shocked at how much she has changed in the last few months.  She has always been busy, sassy, and a bit wild, and it just seems even more evident now that she is all of these things.  And smart too!  Like crazy smart.  She surprises me sometimes how quickly she gets the concepts of things.  I don’t even really feel like I am trying to teach her stuff, we just have conversations and she asks questions and then all of a sudden she has a concept down completely.  She’s just an amazing little person.

We had her two year check up this week and she is 35 inches (!) tall and 30 lbs.  That puts her in the 86th percentile for height and 87th for weight.  She is tall and lean, just like her dad.  She’s lucky she got his good genes or she would be short and squatty like me.  We had to fill out this little survey about what she can and can’t do and she was pretty much able to do all of the things.  It was actually kind of fun trying all the activities with her.  She surprised me by being able to kick a ball without holding onto anything and she can stack blocks crazy high.  Its so weird that there are things she can do that I have never really seen (or maybe noticed?) her do.

We had a small birthday party for her with grandparents, M’s sister, and Arlie’s old babysitter, who brought three of her boys.  It was loud and fun and crazy.  I did some basic decorations and made her a blue velvet cake.  She was thrilled to have so many people all around and she spent the two hours going crazy with the boys.

I’ve really noticed an explosion in her speech in the last few weeks.  She is speaking in sentences, and she picks up new words every day.  She is able to identify shapes, colors, some numbers, some letters and she is starting to use people’s names when she talks about them.  It is just so fun to watch her grow.  I think the best part of all of this is how affectionate she has become.  She asks for hugs and kisses all the time and she loves doling them out just as much.  She encourages Tate to play with her and is always concerned with his well being.  I just can’t say enough positive things about her.  She is a miracle and a pleasure every day.  We love this girl so much!

My Life Before M

I mentioned in a post a long time ago that I was married once before.  I think it is important to discuss this now, especially with my last post.

I was young when I first met J and I hadn’t really been in a grown up relationship ever before him, so when we started hanging out and dating, I wasn’t really thinking long term with him.  I was only 20 and he was 17, still in high school.  It wasn’t really love at first sight or anything like that but I liked him and I thought he was pretty fun.  We had a lot in common and I really liked how much he liked me.  I felt special and it was a change from the casual dating I had done in the past.

We got pretty serious about 6 months in and he was looking at colleges.  I was already enrolled in college in our town and I was happy there, but he was looking elsewhere and we decided that we would try long distance dating, which in hindsight was one of the stupidest decisions I had ever made.  Anyway, he decided to go to college in Chicago, which was incredibly far away (4 hour plane ride) and I supported it, but I was devastated that he was leaving.  At the time, I felt like I didn’t have a say in where he chose to go to school because we were only dating with no real commitment to each other.

We dated long distance for the year he was gone and after his freshman year was over, he decided to transfer back to our area and attend a junior college to play baseball.  I was pretty thrilled, and we resumed our dating, but after a year, he decided to go to the mid-west to play baseball for a small school there.  I was again, upset and annoyed, but again decided to stay together with him.  Looking back, I do not recognize the person I was when I dated him.  I was weak and stupid and I hate myself for that.

He was in the mid-west for two years, and at that point we had been together for 5 years, three of which were long distance.  He would come home for the summer, but he was always on a traveling baseball team, so he was rarely actually home.  In between his junior and senior year, he proposed to me in a very public way.  I accepted, but even then I knew it was a bad idea.  Honestly, and I have never said this to another person before, I knew he was going to propose and I even was involved in orchestrating the actual proposal.  It’s embarrassing to me now that I had a hand in it, especially with being so unsure about marrying him in the first place.

I spent his last year of college working full time and planning our wedding.  It was scheduled for fall and in the summer months leading up to it, he moved back home and we moved into an apartment together.  It was stressful and it didn’t allow me much time to think about what I was actually doing.  When October finally rolled around, we got married.  The wedding was fun, but I felt sick the day of at the thought of actually getting married and the night after the wedding was awful and depressing.

He started interning at a sports performance facility instead of getting a job and I was frustrated.  I remember sitting him down and showing him what all the expenses looked like in comparison to what I was making.  He never really seemed to understand why I was upset.  About 3 months into our marriage, he lied to me about having obtained a job and I didn’t find out until a month afterwards.  I was furious, but I still stayed with him.

The final straw came about three months later.  He informed me that he had applied, interviewed, and accepted a grad position at a school in Memphis.  I had no idea that he had even applied and I was completely blind-sided.  He told me he was going, no matter what, and that he would be leaving in three weeks time.  I remember calling my dad because I honestly didn’t know what to do.

I spent the next three weeks packing up my house, finding someplace new to live and sleeping in the separate bedroom.  About a week before he left, I woke up in the middle of the night because his dog was barking.  I went into the living room and J was passed out drunk on the couch, our front door was wide open and his blind and deaf dog was outside on the edge of the forest our apartment backed up to, barking frantically.  I lost my shit, got the dog back inside and locked myself, his dog, and my dog in the room.  I moved out the next morning.

The day he left, I cried.  Not out of sadness, but out of relief.  I couldn’t handle that I had spent so much of my life with this person who clearly didn’t care about me.  It was depressing.  A month after he left, I asked for a divorce and got all the paperwork ready for us to sign.  We had no assets to split and nothing to argue about, so we met one gloomy afternoon when he was back in town, signed the papers and went our separate ways.  I started casually dating M a few weeks later and the rest is our history.

I tell this story because I want to be clear that on any given day, the relationship I have with M is infinitely better than what I had before.  M cares about me in a way that I didn’t know was possible and even though we hot our rough patches sometimes, I know we will find our way back out again.

 

 

Where to Go From Here

I am going to be really honest here.  Like really honest.  I love M and I love being married to him but this time with a small child is really hard with him.  I remember feeling like this when Arlie was really little and I was just hoping that it would get better and it did eventually, but now with two littles, it is back at kind of a weird space.

We fight more than we used to and a lot of the time I feel let down by him.  I don’t in any way think that this is intentional on his part which actually saves us a lot, but it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.  I think I should just come out and say that I am not sleeping very much.  Tate gets up at least four times per night to eat and that means that I haven’t had a three hour stretch of sleep since around April.  I am beyond exhausted.  M sleeps through almost all of these wake-ups and I find myself resentful that I am up so much and not getting enough sleep while he is sleeping peacefully beside me.

I rarely write about my frustrations with M because it feels unfair to him.  But I also think that if I pretend all the time on here that everything is perfect all the time, I am not actually being real.  Why does this matter?  Because I care about the fact that I have some readers here who have followed my story from the beginning and I also care that now I am writing elsewhere, I have to limit the truth I can write about.  I think I will probably write more of my reality there eventually, but for now, this can be my real, raw place and I like that.

So back to the business at hand…  I feel like I am alone a lot of the time.  I want more help, I want more sleep, I want more understanding about how physically and mentally exhausted I am.  It’s hard to have the person you want understanding from most in the world to not be able or willing to give it to you.  I wonder how he feels a lot of the time.  If I am this frustrated, how much is he?  And are his frustrations valid?  Does he get to be frustrated when I am doing the bulk of the work?

I am working full time, now going to school, and I do a large majority of the housework.  I am also doing a large majority of the childcare.  I don’t really know exactly where the disconnect is with M and why he is helping so little.  And honestly, I wonder if my expectations are too high.  Maybe they are, maybe this is me making a mountain out of something much tinier.

I know there are a million articles and posts about women frustrated with their husbands after having children.  I am definitely one of those women.  I expect more out of him.  I want him to want to help me.  And I want our children to be his first priority like they are mine, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  I guess I just need to vent and to get it out of me so I can move on.  This whole family business is hard, that’s for sure.  Just when I think I have it together, something comes up and I am knocked back down trying to figure it all out.