We live by our routines. Some families have fluid bedtimes and love to go with the flow, but not us. We eat, sleep and play at the same time every weekday. There is comfort in a predictable routine. It's comforting for the kids and it gives the grow-ups something to look forward to: quiet time. When we get home from daycare the routine ends up being almost as hurried as the one in the morning. Dinner for L (whatever we can talk him into eating), family play time, baths and then both kids get milk/bottles and fall asleep. L hops off of his dad's lap, blows me a kiss and goes to his crib. For a few minutes I am alone with E.
As I was rocking E to sleep last night, I had one of those rare moments when you know, you just know, that this will be remembered. Perhaps I will be rocking my grandchild to sleep and I will look down, think of that moment, and say to myself, "It seems like just yesterday I was rocking E."
Already, I look back at photos of her as a newborn and feel a knot in my stomach. Perhaps because know she is my last child or maybe because after having one baby, you realize just how quickly they grow up. Whatever the reason, I wish I could somehow record all of it as a feeling. I would be a billionaire if I developed a pill that recreated the feeling you have when you rock your child to sleep. Since I'm not smart enough and far too tired to do that, I'll just try to appreciate L and E as they are every night. I will try to remember their clean little faces and chubby feet. I let thousands of moments pass me by every day. Life is too busy and too exhausting to remember or appreciate them all. I try to take bedtime and make it a designated time for appreciation. I'm not always successful, but when I am, those moments are more precious to me than anything in the world.
I consider myself a fortunate person. Sure, life is frustrating, sometimes. The mornings are insane and I am always exhausted, but when I look over and see two happy and healthy children I know that I am lucky. L and E were both born as healthy, full-term babies. I got to hold them less than an hour after they were born and they stayed with me while I was in the hospital. That may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, but to many parents it is.
Every year 20 million babies are born prematurely. In the U.S. we are lucky to have hospitals that can, for the most part, handle the special needs of preemies. In many places, this is not the case. In many places, being born too soon is a death sentence. Survival often means lifelong health problems and disabilities. I am not the mother of a preemie and I have never been inside a NICU, but I know many mothers who have gone through that agony. I decided to join this blog campaign because I want everyone to have the wonderful experiences I have. I want everyone to stress about getting to daycare on time and not about whether the next cold will put their child in the hospital. I have listed a few organizations that have worked tirelessly to educate and help families experiencing premature birth.
The March of Dimes raises awareness about premature birth and provides information to expecting mothers about ways to prevent preemie births.
November is prematurity awareness month and November 17th is the official Fight for Preemies. Did you/do you have a preemie? If you want to share your story, please leave a few lines or link to your own blog post and tell me about your baby. When people visit this blog as a part of the campaign, they will see your story. The more we can spread awareness, the better prevention and care we can demand for mothers and children.
I love to cook. Our current kitchen has become too full of toddler/baby items to make it work, but in the new house I will have plenty of room to indulge. As a child I was not a picky eater. The same things I hated as a kid (most fish, cilantro and liver) are things that I hate to this day. I think my mother is still waiting for me to develop a taste for fish. Sorry, Mom. When I met M he told me stories of his picky eating. I chuckled at tales of his lunches being the same for years and a diet that consisted of grilled cheese and hot dogs because he would not eat anything else. After all, we regularly enjoy sushi, Indian Food, Vietnamese food, etc.. He obviously grew out of it, right? I just assumed that my children would eat what was put in front of them. I was wrong. So very wrong.
Luke was a late teether (first tooth at 9 months, top teeth at 13 months) and I was paranoid about giving him certain foods because I was afraid he would choke. I don't know where this obsession with choking came from, but I have spent hours cutting things in to small bits and I didn't introduce a wide variety of foods to him at an early age. I used to blame his extreme finickiness on my paranoia and late teething. It made sense. No teeth + crazy mom = a toddler who won't eat ANYTHING. Well, maybe it isn't me, after all. I recently came across this article in The New York Times. So, along with L's stubborn Polish personality, I can also blame M for his picky eating, right?
In all seriousness, it is driving me crazy. I feel trapped by my lack of time to dedicate to this problem. I think about it and then time runs out and it's 5:30, we're just getting home and L is starving. I have tried putting cheese on everything, making it colder/hotter/lesslumpy/morelumpy......you name it, I've tried it. I have written about his before and I tried many of your suggestions. At the time, I thought that by the age of 2o months we would be in a better place with this. Unfortunately, the upheaval of E's birth and a move in the near future has distracted me. I have had more than one person suggest fast food, because who doesn't love fast food, right? That's totally cool for some people, but it isn't how we roll. I don't expect to keep him from fast food, but I'm not really willing to go there right now. So I am going to lay it out for you, because I need help, internets!
L will eat: grapes, bananas, spinach with Mozzarella cheese, rice&cheese, rice&beans, baked beans, roasted turkey, ravioli. The foods I just listed are subject to sudden rejection without warning. L has recently rejected the baked beans. He will not eat veggies, except for the spinach.
I have not really explored the veggie puree thing, but I think it has come to that point. I know that he isn't going to starve or be scarred for life by this. He takes his vitamins and is a healthy, active kid. My concern is partly nutritional but it's also a matter of convenience. We can't just go to a friends house for dinner or even out as a family without stress about bringing food that L will eat. So, should I just give up or should I try to fight genetics and make this kid eat some green things if it kills me??
I don't really remember when I started reading Heather's blog. She had a cute and hilarious baby who was three months older than Luke and her posts were both funny and touching. I had a post in mind today that ended up being a big fucking downer. Even though I don't know the Spohrs, I gather that they would like Maddie's life to be celebrated - especially today.
Maddie was a joy to read about. I loved watching the movies and reading the posts about her. It seems odd to look forward to seeing photos of a stranger's child, but I think that those of you that read Heather's blog understand. (If you've never read her blog, this is one of my favorite posts and I think it speaks to Mike, Heather and Maddie's strength as a family.)
Today I celebrate Maddie Spohr. She would have turned two in a blaze of glory, I'm sure. We miss you and your smiles, Maddie! To paraphrase (re-write) something that Matt once wrote:
It was nice day, a day Maddie would have loved. She's not here, so we loved it for her.