Monday, November 21, 2016

Three Months!

Atlas is three months old. How crazy is that?

I love that little bean.

Life with a baby has been falling in to place. We don't have a schedule yet by any means, but things are getting easier to manage. Notice I didn't say things are EASIER. We're just all getting more used to dealing with the difficulties.

Atlas has been changing every day. He smiles a ton and is starting to giggle. He loves peekaboo and mirrors. He is no longer swaddled when he sleeps, so he is trying desperately to find his thumb, which has been causing more harm than good when he inevitably ends up rubbing his wet fist all over his face in the middle of the night. He has given me a few nights of only ONE feeding around 2am, but he still has some bad nights, too. And he's still a terrible napper. But his face lights up when he sees me, especially in the morning, which makes all the hell-days worthwhile. He's definitely a Mama's boy.

I haven't really felt like writing for awhile. It has been a stressful past few weeks. We are still dealing with tummy troubles. I thought the dairy-free diet was helping, but it didn't completely solve the problem, so I also cut out soy. It has been pretty difficult, seeing as dairy and soy are in basically EVERYTHING. But I am managing. Unfortunately neither of these eliminations seem to have solved the problem. We went back to the doctor last week, and they decided to run tests to eliminate viral and bacterial issues. Sure enough, they came back normal, so the doctor thinks we will end up needing to see a GI specialist and have further testing done, possibly an allergy grid. He might be allergic to MY milk protein, not just cow's milk. I didn't even know that was a thing. I am waiting on a call back from her now to talk about where we go from here.

Even though I am not against formula feeding, I will still feel guilty if I stop nursing Atlas. It has been so engrained in us that "breast is best", which it is, but there are so many reasons why people might switch to formula that make it best for them, their baby, and their family. In this case, it would DEFINITELY be best to formula feed Atlas with special non-dairy non-soy formula if he was allergic, of course. So why do I feel so bad about it? To be completely honest, I haven't found breastfeeding to be a magical, enjoyable experience, and I feel like Atlas is frustrated by it a lot of the time, too. But when nursing actually goes well, it is the best bonding experience. He is TERRIBLE at taking bottles, absolutely hates it, and goes on a hunger strike whenever we try to give him one, so I know he prefers when I feed him. It makes me feel like he will think I don't like him if we need to switch to formula all of a sudden. I just want to do what is best for him, but it is a big mental mindfuck that I didn't expect to experience. I spent so much time researching breastfeeding, taking classes, learning how to do it, fighting through the difficulties for the past three months... I will just feel so, so bad if my milk has been hurting him and then I need to stop nursing him on top of it.

Anyway, in happier news, Eric and I are OFFICIALLY going home for Christmas! December 20th-29th. I CAN. NOT. WAIT. The only thing that would make it better is if Nym could come with us. But I can't wait to take Atlas to see Christmas lights, to dress him up in cute winter clothes, to take pictures of him on Christmas in our childhood homes, and for him to finally meet everyone. When I couldn't go home in October, it was very upsetting for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that I had been so excited to introduce Atlas to all of our friends and family ASAP after he was born. I wanted everyone to hold him when he was teeny tiny and to take him to party with our friends. I used to hate people who posted constantly about their kids on social media, but the reason I post pictures of him basically every day is because it makes me feel like he is more connected with all his aunts, uncles, cousins, blood-related and otherwise. It really sucks not being close to everyone, and it always has, but it especially sucks now that we have Atlas. We are going to do our best to make sure he understands how important our family and friends are. Now, he is a giant chunker who is starting to develop a personality, so it may actually be even more exciting in a way for people to meet him at this time. It's going to be hard to work around the holiday, but I am determined to see as many people as possible!



I've been getting lots of smiles!

Still loving tummy time

Uncle Alex came to visit!

We loved trying on bibs. We loved it SO much that we went through five in one day...

We voted! Everyone was super nice there and loved Atlas. He got his own sticker. :)

We started making our own acai bowls. Delish.

Every once in awhile, I still just let him sleep on me.

Hanging out at DOTPB New Moms group

These are the smiles I get every morning! He loves his lovie, Boo.

Buddha belly muffin top

Sleeping on me... again... I give in more often than I should, but he's so squishy and cute and keeps me warm.

We went to the Green Market in West Palm. It was a beautiful day.

My dudes

Smiles in the car after I fed him in the backseat while parked in the Target parking lot, haha.

At Civil Society in Abacoa, on a night that happened to be some giant car meet. Atlas wanted to look at all the cool cars.

Family jam sesh. Daddy on guitar, Mommy on vox, Nym on the squeaky ball, and Atlas on the keys obviously.

Daddy kisses

Dad and his babies

Nym and I supervising play time. Look at that derpy dog smile hahahaha.

Went grocery shopping with him in the carrier for the first time. He did pretty well!

Trying on his new winter hat, knitted by Great Grandmom Kayser. Flyers colors! And wearing his Adopt Don't Shop onesie from Charity (Under the Sea Vinyl). We're all about the handmade goods.

Snuck out to Guanabanas with Kristin and Danielle for some much needed drinks. Atlas gave Eric a really hard time at home, refusing to eat his bottle and screaming for hours until he fell asleep. When he woke up after I got home, Eric tried the bottle again, and he was so hungry that he took it. I don't want to force him to be super hungry and cry every time I go out! Any suggestions to get him to take the bottle?

He grabs his toys now!

Reading books

Nym doesn't get enough love these days. I try to take her for walks on my own if Eric is home. She loves Atlas, but I miss quality time with my girl.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America

I really dislike talking politics publicly, but I think this is an important day to document.

Donald Trump is President Elect of the United States of America.

Donald Trump. The orange man with a combover. Endorsed by the KKK. Delusional enough to think Mexico will pay for a wall to be built along our border. Openly discriminates against Muslims and women. Wants to take away the right for LGBT people to exist equally and peacefully in our country. Wants to take away a woman's right to choose.

That very same Donald Trump is our next President.

It is difficult for me to wrap my mind around the fact that so many people voted for this hate-filled man. Maybe they didn't want increased taxes? Didn't want gun control laws to be passed? Didn't like Obamacare? Or maybe they just really didn't like Hillary?

What I don't understand about any of those reasons is how those issues are more important than showing love and kindness to all people. It is privilege. RIGHT THERE is an example of your privilege. That you can vote for someone who advocates discrimination against women, Muslims, LGBT people, and minorities, and think other issues are more important.

Starting in January, their America looks a lot different than your America. Their America is one where they need to be afraid that their rights will be taken away. Rights that they deserve just as much as you. I'm not even referring to marriage equality-type things anymore. I'm talking about the right to FEEL SAFE in your own country. To feel included and respected.

Money, guns, hating Hillary's shadiness... how can any of that take precedence over equality and respect?

Or maybe the majority of Americans do not value equality and respect over that.

I dunno. Don't get me wrong, I was never a Hillary supporter. I think it's shady as hell that Bernie did not end up being the Democratic nominee. I hate the corruption in our two-party system and how they force all of us into their corrupt two-party mold. But I am really struggling to accept that people think several years of hate and reversal of social justice is better than several years of the same old shit. I'm not talking about people who voted third party. I'm talking about people who voted Trump as a big "FUCK YOU" to the system. Maybe if he wasn't the type of guy who the KKK endorses... but he is. I am not saying that everyone who voted for Trump is misogynistic or racist, but I am saying that everyone who voted for Trump voted for a misogynistic racist.

All I can do is hope that this is the kick in the ass America needs to turn around and make some REAL progress. Real change. I hope that Donald Trump DOES "Make America Great Again." I hope he surprises me and does something good. But if not, I have faith that he will make America great again in a way he didn't expect: by strengthening the resolve of all of us who want a more progressive America, so that we can fight the system again in four years. So that we can all rally together to vote someone in to office who isn't your typical politician, but who will make real, progressive change in our country.

Remember how I said I was afraid to have kids because I didn't want them growing up in a hate-filled world? Well, here I am, with a little boy. I suppose it is just one of the many challenges I will face as a mother, to explain to him when he is young and learning about what a President is, that even though our President is a bully, that doesn't make bullying okay. Sometimes, the bullies come out on top in the beginning, but kindness, compassion, and empathy are what will get you places long-term. And I know that if I surround Atlas with people who believe the same thing, he will not grow up seeing Donald Trump as a role model.

EDIT: Adding to my initial word-vomit. Although I don't understand why someone would vote for Trump, I should add that many people I know and love did. And we still love each other. Just because I don't understand, does not mean that friendships should be ruined and family should be excommunicated. When I said that we need to come together to make America great again in four years, I meant come together with everyone. This election proved that it does not pay to be a nation divided. I am sad, and scared for the future, but I am also excited to move forward, use this as a learning and teaching opportunity, and NOT WATCH ELECTION COMMERCIALS ANYMORE THANK YOU GOD.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Atlas's First HALLOWEEN!

Last week started HALLOWEEK, and Monday was HALLOWEEN! But I honestly barely remember what I did, besides dress Atlas up in Halloween outfits every day. All my days run into each other anymore.

Atlas seems to be in a much better mood when we go out and about, so I have been forcing myself to get ready every morning and find things to do, even if it's just aimlessly walking around the-money-sucking-black-hole-otherwise-known-as-Target. He seems to behave when he's not stuck inside. It gives him new things to see and hear.

Last Monday, I had lunch with Kristin and Katie. Atlas woke up right before we got our food, of course. He was okay in the stroller for awhile, but then I had to put him in his carrier. I stood and bounced him around while I picked at my food. I also managed to change him and feed him, so I felt pretty good about my multitasking mothering abilities that day. Besides that, I got pumpkin beer from TBC, went to New Moms group, met a new friend at an amazing coffee/juice shop (with a ton of diary-free options!), stopped by to see Aunt Sarah and Uncle Rob (and my not-so-little-anymore buddy Alex <3), and went to the Arrow fall festival to introduce Atlas to Eric's coworkers.

Atlas and I were very active last week, and it was good for us.

This week, not so much. He has been TERRIBLE napping recently. He only slept for 30 minutes TOTAL yesterday, and was incredibly cranky. But last night, we got a whopping SEVEN HOURS IN A ROW (I slept for almost four!)! Then, another three and a half after he ate at 3am! Incredible.

Halloween was the most hectic day ever. We went to a Halloween play date in costume with other moms and babies. We dressed up as rock star/bikers/something with tattoos and lots of black clothing (yes, I dressed up too, because I LOVE HALLOWEEN and I just had to wear my normal clothing and do some tacky glam makeup). The other babies were SO CUTE. There were pineapples, Peter Pan (you know I love me some Pan), a bee, Waldo complete with drawn-on round glasses, and a whole zoo including a lion, tiger, monkey, and LOBSTER! It was amazing.

We rushed home to finish our costumes for the night. They weren't done yet, because I still have no clue how to manage my time with a baby. I suck. But we got them completed and headed over to Kristin's for our Alice in Wonderland themed Halloween celebration!

Rock stars! His "leather" pants were so slippery :/


The Ace of Spades, the Cheshire Cat, and the Caterpillar complete with hookah!

I made this myself. I worked very hard on it. Wish I had more time to make it perfect, but it didn't look too bad.
Kristin and I with our bad babies who wanted nothing to do with taking pictures, clearly


The whole crew: King and Queen of Hearts, Alice, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (I'll leave who is who up to you ;) ), Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar butt, and Ace of Spades

I didn't get to walk Atlas around for Trick or Treat with Chloe because he started melting down. I was able to get him to sleep before everyone came back, so I got to enjoy a couple hours of beer and games with friends. Despite the trouble it takes to take a baby out somewhere for bedtime, it was worth it.

For those of you who think I am batshit crazy for loving Halloween so much, let me explain.

First of all: I AM batshit crazy. So you are correct.

But besides that, when I was growing up, my mom always did it up big for Halloween. I remember the decorations made everything feel so spooky and magical, like anything could happen. I swore I would find out I was a witch when I turned 16, like Sabrina the Teenage Witch (still waiting...). And she always helped me put together fun costumes. Even if I was something typical, like a flapper, she made a unique costume for me. Halloween is the one day a year when you can be whoever you want to be without fear of judgment, and if someone judges you, shame on them. You can express yourself however you want, and no one can say a damn thing about it, because you're SUPPOSED to be something other than your typical self. It's a completely care-free day, an excuse to have a good time, and a chance to eat treats without feeling guilty (not that you should EVER feel guilty for eating a Reese's Cup here and there ;) ). I can't think of any other day of the year where the sole purpose of the day is to just have fun.

So... expressing yourself, no judgment, eating treats, and having care-free fun? Sounds like society today is in dire need of some Halloween spirit year-round, if you ask me. :)

A different outfit every day! He LOVES his pumpkin butt pjs <3

The cutest pumpkin in the patch! Nym acts like his mommy. Always looking out for him. It's adorable.
Monster/dino feet.


Eric will kill me for posting this, but it's so cute.

Chillin' with Ryan at the Arrow party.

Frankenbutt.

Dancing to The Beatles' Abbey Road album with Daddy.

Pumpkin beer with pumpkin spice rim. Noms.
Will I be able to enjoy mine before he wakes up? The answer is NO. He woke up like ten minutes after this was taken. He just wanted some pumpkin beer for himself I bet!

Jungle time in dino pjs. He's so happy in the morning!

I found dairy-free cold brew PSL at Target. Basic level = 100000000. No shame.

Sewing the caterpillar costume. I had to dye the onesies, cut the arms off of two, split the seam on one, and sew the arms on. I made the hat out of leftover onesie. I'M SO DOMESTIC AND CRAFTY, RIGHT?!

Halloween love from family!
Nym being Nym <3


Jack o lantern.




Makeup done while Atlas was crying for attention... the contouring would've looked way more awesome if I had time, but not too bad for a slapdash job.

Slept for maybe a total of 30 minutes all day... so we decided to play since he wouldn't sleep!

That look of concentration lollllll

Drool. SO MUCH DROOL. All the time.