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!

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. :)

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