Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Emmett loved his costume. Richard told the people at the houses they stopped at the muscles were real.
Charlotte didn't master the words "Trick or Treat". She said "I want treat."
I was impressed that Emmett shared his treats with me. I was even more impressed that Charlotte willingly shared too.

Matthew didn't know what to think about this Halloween business.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's for dinner?

Check out my food blog to find out what I'm having for dinner tonight. You might want to try it too--especially if you have kids!

Cheeseburger and Fries Pie


Last Friday Emmett and Charlotte headed out to spend the afternoon with Grandma Lynn, as usual. She dropped them off after dinner slightly dirtier and exhausted as usual. The difference? Emmett came up to me, shoved a Halloween flashlight in my face and said BOO! BOO! A word! A real word, used in context and said spontaneously, not randomly. This is huge. This means one more neural pathway is complete and we are one step closer to having a conversation with words, not hand gestures.

He is making so much progress with therapy and his preschool. I am just so proud of him.

His teachers at school had a session with one of our therapists. It turns out Emmett wasn't working as hard with the teachers as he does with the therapist. It is very normal that he tries to get away with doing as little as possible if he can. Emmett is very charming and has a winning smile that gets him out of many things. (Not so much at home, mind you--I have become immune to the megawatt grin.) The therapist has changed that--really told the teachers what he is capable of and how to get it out of him.

I am expecting grand things to happen now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What makes a baby "good"?

I have been pondering this question. As the mother of a newborn I get asked the big question "Do you have a good baby?" a lot. When we are out in public and people see Matthew contentedly sleeping in his carrier or my arms I am told what a "good" baby he is. This past weekend we were at my brother-in-law's conformation. Total strangers came up to me at the end of the service to tell me what a "good" baby I have.

I know the first question is a thinly veiled question about how much Matthew sleeps and how much/little he cries. I usually brush that question off, generously rounding up the consecutive hours every night that he sleeps. I don't mention how little I get done around the house sometimes because I am too busy cuddling my boy. My boy is happiest in my arms and experience has taught me that if I tell some people that I am just setting myself up for scolding about how I am spoiling my boy and how I should let him cry.

The second comment got me thinking. Of course Matthew is a good baby. He is cute and sweet-smelling and cuddly. The fact his is good has nothing to do with how quiet he was during that particular church service or any other time I have been at a gathering where he has been content and quiet.

I try to feed Matthew just before we go anywhere and start out with a fresh diaper. This is a no-brainer. Usually the walk or drive over to our destination is enough to lull my full and dry baby to sleep. We start our outing out on a good foot that way. As soon as we reach our destination I automatically scope out possible spots to quietly nurse Matthew if the need arises. I choose where to sit based on how I can discreetly leave if I need to. I then spend our outing with one eye and ear cocked in the direction of my baby. We have been nursing buddies long enough now I know when he needs to be rocked or if he is really hungry long before he needs to become hysterical. Usually I am out of the room and have him latched on before anyone can look up. I know that mothers who are reading this are not thinking I have come up with any great insights here. This is what we all do, insinctively with our babies.

My point is, perhaps we should reframe that comment. Instead of going up to a mother with a happy and content baby and telling her what a good baby she has, I think it is time we tell that woman what a good mother she is.

By the same token, if a mother is holding a hysterical baby try going up to her and telling her the same thing--sincerely. While you are at it, hold the door for her, and offer to help her with her grocery bags or stroller or whatever else she is juggling while her good baby is expressing himself.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More questions....

We took Emmett to the developmental pediatrician yesterday for assessment. We didn't learn anything new except that she didn't think he would progress the way he has since his last assessment. She is not optimistic he will ever speak. She wants me to take formal American Sign Language lessons to help him communicate meaningfully. She didn't really have anything new to tell us--I hope the report we will get from her later will have more information in it.

We know that he developmentally normal in all aspects except communication. She thinks he will need supportive care in kindergarden if not beyond. She assures us he is not Autistic. She wants to send us to a neurologist and a geneticist so he can have tests to determine why he is the way he is. This will not change his course of treatment, we will just have a reason. I am not sure how I feel about putting Emmett through blood tests and possibly sedation for an MRI if it won't really help him, but the appointments won't happen for at least six months so I have time to think about how badly we need to know.

I don't know how I feel about this. I have seen real progress with Emmett's speech development in the past few weeks. I was feeling so hopeful. I just feel let down now.

I guess I have to take a line from my favourite character in Finding Nemo and Just Keep Swimming.......

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Six weeks.

Lactation consultants (and friends who are La Leche League Leaders) will tell you that the first six weeks of a baby's life are the hardest for establishing a good breastfeeding relationship. My friend told me if I can soldier through the first six weeks I won't look back. Well, six weeks have passed since Matthew joined our family. Let's take a look back, shall we?
  • I survived engorgement that made me look like I had implants worthy of a xxx-movie star.
  • I survived a boy whose overzealous sucking and hearty appetite left me bruised and cracked.
  • I survived parenting two older children during the day while nursing their younger sibling through two growth spurts at night.
  • I got the flush of pride knowing that the double chin and chubby cheeks and thighs on my sweet baby were made by food I alone manufactured and provided.
  • I get the thrill of seeing my sweet baby's eyes light up and his arms wave with excitement when he snuggles to me for a feeding.
  • After two less than stellar experiences nursing my two oldest I finally get to know what all the happy nursing mommies know--it DOES get better! Nipples heal and nursing CAN feel good.
  • I get to stay in bed all night--no running to mix and heat bottles.
  • I get to dash out the door without having to pack bottles into an already overstuffed handbag.
  • I can leave the dishes at night if I don't feel like doing them because I don't have to worry there are enough clean bottles for the next day.
  • I can breeze past the formula aisle and spend the money I would have spent on that on more important things, like cute sleepers and treats for the rest of my brood.
  • I get to remember the first night of Matthew's life when I laid in bed and nursed him while a Sam Roberts concert wafted through my window.
Not too shabby, huh?

Isn't this video sweet? I wonder if it would be acceptable to show breastfeeding on a children's television show today?

Friday, October 5, 2007

My boys.

Emmett has not shown much interest in Matthew since he was born. Today I asked him to sit beside Matthew while I made a couple of phone calls. When he started talking softly to Matthew and smiled at him so sweetly I absolutely had to take some pictures!!