Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Milestones

Things have been good in the Mazz Deeg household.

We have been doing some big things.

Atlas's sleep has been getting better. I am so glad we decided to work with a sleep consultant. Once we figured out his problem, we were able to get him to stop putting up such a fight in the crib. Now, he may take awhile to go to sleep, but it's usually because he is having too much fun playing around. Rolling, talking, kicking the crib against the wall... His naps are getting better and more consistent, and his night time sleep is pretty good besides waking to eat. Who knows if things will stay this good, but at least we know how to read him and handle him now! And NO MORE ROCKING!

Atlas started eating solids as well! It is bittersweet. I can't believe he is old enough, and it makes me sad that he is growing up so quickly, but at the same time, I am ready. I am hoping he loves to eat so much that he self-weans by the time he is one year old. That would be nice, right? He is half DiGiuseppe after all, so maybe he'll be begging for meatballs in, say, a couple weeks and be done with milk, and then I can eat delicious food again. So far, he loves squash and sweet potatoes and is not quite sure what to make of green beans. I don't blame ya, kid. Green beans are gross.

AND he has been to the beach! He loves the sand and the scenery but isn't the biggest fan of the heat. That's okay. I think a boat day will go much better with the breeze blowing.

Today was good overall. For the very first time, Atlas slept for almost TWO WHOLE HOURS, morning and afternoon nap. I didn't know what to do with myself!  I showered, put makeup on, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned out my drawers... I should have slept, but the whole time I was sure he would wake up any minute. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I would be pretty thrilled if this schedule became a trend. He refused a late cat nap, so he was a wreck going to bed, but we'll see how the night progresses.

On top of that, I got to see my work fam! SO GOOD TO SEE THEM. I almost teared up when Layla and Alex ran to meet me at my car. I'll blame it on residual pregnancy hormones, but we all know I'm just a giant, sentimental ball of mush when it comes to them. It is absolutely ridiculous how quickly time has passed and how much all of the kiddos have grown. One day soon, I will let Atlas have some Aunt Sarah and Uncle Rob quality time. I'm almost ready to give in, I swear. I may not be able to eat anything yet, but I think I would be okay with downing a pitcher of margaritas at Rocco's with Eric. Just maybe...

Okay, not much else to say. We are just trucking along and enjoying life. Here are some crappy, unedited cell phone pictures.

Spur of the moment trip for Atlas to see the beach for the first time. If you're going to drive around to get your kid to sleep, you may as well pick someplace good to go! 
I love this road.










He now knows that he controls the sound. He knows to press the buttons when the music is done if he wants more!

Still chewing on Moldy Sophie. Still no teeth.

Meet Atlas's new lovey: Rocky Raccoon


He loves his toes 

Atlas was born with his fingers in the two most important formations: the horns and the bird. Lol
A perfect day for Atlas's first real beach day!






Took this one at the risk of looking like a snowbird tourist, but it had to be documented.

So happy

His first time playing in his pack n play

He loved it!

Loving the sweet potatoes

"MA! I'M HUNGRY!" Typical Italian

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ode to Home

The first thing that people comment on when they visit us in Florida is the palm trees.

On the drive out of Palm Beach International, the road is lined with them. Tall, green, wavering slightly in the breeze, some with coconuts threatening to drop. Like hands giving you a warm welcome to paradise.

The first thing I said when I moved here and walked into the airport parking garage was, "Holy FUCK it is hot out." And then I was pretty quiet when I got into the car, trying to process the fact that I had finally made it to year-round warmth. While I looked out the car window at the palm trees, one of the next full sentences I said was, "I am never taking the palm trees for granted."

And I still don't. Every time I get in the car, I notice them, and while they aren't as jarringly tropical as before, I still appreciate them year-round. BUT, they aren't my favorite thing about the scenery here. Neither are the hibiscus and clematis flowers that bloom everywhere, or the snake plants.

My favorite are the banyan and oak trees.



These trees line the streets of my neighborhood and are one of the things that drew me to our tiny home. And the banyans line all around Guanabanas, too, including one growing in the middle of the tiki hut there. Thinking about it, the palm trees aren't what make me love it there so much. It's the banyan trees, giant and knotted and old, hanging over me while I look out at the water and sip my "fancy drink" (as Aunt Joyce would say).

This morning, Atlas woke up super early. Way earlier than usual, even. And then he threw up all over me and the sheets and the duvet, prompting me to get myself out of bed and start my day, when normally I would get to sleep in just a bit longer while Eric spends some quality time with Atlas before work.

I took over Nym duty, which I was initially grumpy about. I was grumpy for the first half hour of my morning, because everything was covered in barf, and I was exhausted, and all I wanted to do was sleep. But then, I really tried to be mindful while I was walking Nym. I put my phone in my pocket and focused on her and on everything around me, and really took in the fact that I was warm and wearing flip flops in the middle of winter, surrounded by these giant trees.

Then, I took my phone out when we were just about home, so I could snap this photo and write this post. So I could look back on it when I am feeling homesick for the hustle and bustle and historic scenery of the Jerz and Philly, and I can think to myself: I am surrounded by beauty and history in nature every single day here. When I really take the time to appreciate what is around me, I never want to leave. I want Atlas to grow up surrounded by this, always feeling warm and happy and at peace.

One day, if we don't get global warming in check, Florida might sink into the ocean. Everyone can joke about how I live in a godforsaken greenhouse, surrounded by old people and/or rich people, in the middle of swamp land, but I know better. There is more to this place than all that.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Very Merry Unbirthday

Atlas is a whopping SIX months old today.

It feels like he can't possibly be that old, but also like he has always been here, both at the same time.

We had a big, busy day today. First, hanging out in the sunshine at the park with Kristin, Ben, and Chloe, and then hanging out at Eric's coworker/friend Shaun's and his fiancee Erin's house, where Erin prepared an allergen-free meal for us! We have been working on sleep training Atlas for almost two weeks now, because I literally CAN. NOT. ROCK HIM ANYMORE. I can't do it. I hurt. If he was a peanut and went down after 10 minutes of it, fine. But noooo, Atlas is a giant linebacker who takes 40 minutes of rocking and wakes up every time I put him down. So we have been working with a sleep coach, who has helped us try to get him on track. She actually had to consult with another sleep coach, because my child is such a rebel. ANYWAY, I digress. My point is that it felt REALLY good to get out of the house today between naps, even though he skipped his last one.

I must say, these have been the hardest six months of my life. More trying than my worst times in high school, than my worst heartbreak, than recovering from grief, because having Atlas has made me experience all of those emotions in such a short span of time.

The uncertainty of where I fit in has been at the forefront of my mind. Am I doing this Mom thing right? I am a younger mom (yes, 28 is young to have kids nowadays), so will I be able to make Mom friends? Will I be the weird black sheep? I am constantly Googling different things he does, worrying about him, feeling inadequate and unprepared for his new milestones.

The heartbreak is vivid. My relationships have all changed since I had him. I have gained friends, lost friends, operated differently in my current friendships, not even had time to keep up with or see my friends (which makes me feel terrible, by the way. I love you guys.). I have had to skip multiple friends' weddings (Allyse's was today!), reunions, and holiday parties. My relationship with Eric is changing and reforming in a new and different way. Although we obviously have not broken up since we had Atlas, it is like being with a totally different person. Having a baby changes you both, and you see each other in a new light, which is both good and bad at times. It takes a lot of hard work, love, and commitment to maintain a relationship when you have a baby, and it is really important that you make it a priority, despite all the other things that can take up your time.

Grief is ever present. Mourning the loss of my old self and my old life. Yes, I do still have an identity other than "Mom," but it has taken me these full six months to even start to enjoy that part of myself again. The reality is that, while I am still myself, I can't deny that having Atlas has changed me. Not just my body. If you thought I gave zero fucks before, you better believe I give ZEROOOOO fucks now. Atlas comes first. He comes before my hair and makeup, my drunken night out, my new book, my beach day. He comes before my own personal hygiene sometimes, so he sure as hell comes before anyone else's opinion on how I should feed him, dress him, interact with him, and raise him, and I will tell them so. Especially if they are a stranger in Target commenting on my parenting... It has taken me awhile to become comfortable with this new, no-longer-hypothetical-badass version of myself, but I am starting to accept the fact that there will be times I need to stand up and be an actual badass for his sake. ;)

These are all things that I have been dealing with over the past six months, but despite it being difficult, especially with Atlas being his little rebel self when it comes to health and sleep, it has been super awesome and fun. He is a smiley little rebel, so there's that!

Soooo besides that, we have just been chillin' here in sunny South Florida. It has been a beautiful winter, that's for sure. 75 and sunny for the past several weeks. Even the snowbird traffic can't bring me down. I am hoping to get Atlas to the beach within the next couple weeks. We are also looking forward to having visitors in the near future, and looking forward to celebrating Eric's and Kristin's birthdays! Atlas may have his first boat day!

AND I am going to be able to reintroduce peanuts and nuts in a week or so, and gluten in April the week of my birthday. I am going to reintroduce gluten with some beer and a dairy-free birthday cake, obviously. Please send good vibes that Atlas doesn't react to these things. If I can eat peanut butter AND drink beer again, I may be able to survive until August without dairy or soy. The doctor doesn't want me to switch to hypoallergenic formula yet, because he has been doing so well with my elimination diet, and he is continuing to get antibodies and build up his immune system with breast milk. This will give him the best chance possible at not having lifelong food allergies. Please, PLEASE pray to god or mother nature or Zeus, I honestly don't care who, that this works for him!



At the zoo for the first time with Chloe


She wouldn't let me get a picture. Just like her mom. ;)


He learned how to grab his toes from one of his baby girlfriends!

Sitting in the high chair and grabbing for his bottle. Big step!



First time going for a walk in the big boy stroller seat!

He LOVES this very annoying toy from Aunt Kristin... It drives Eric bonkers hehehe

Adult coloring...

... in this coloring book with a Moscow Mule. Necessary.


First Valentine's Day

That bib says "Crazy about Auntie", from Aunt Linny

My two Valentines




Nymmy is our Valentine, too!


This is his new thing. Grabbing my face and lips while he eats. What a weirdo.

AC/DC came on at just the right time to get Atlas to sleep!

HAVE A SEAT, SIR. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAND LIKE THAT YET.
Hanging around like monkeys


Play date at the park with friends!

Remember when he was a teeny tiny bean and I took pictures every morning of him sleeping on my chest? Yeah, that doesn't happen anymore at six months old.




Finally, his 5 month photo!

Eric got his 6 month one done right away. :)