Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sean is a good daddy. This week really tested his muster. With six days of Max with high fevers, respiratory distress caused by bronchiolitis, arranging for an employee to meet me at the clinic to hold Max during his chest x-ray because I, being pregnant, couldn't, a bad burn on a tiny hand and two doctor's visits, Sean truly rose to the occasion. The only departure from his perpetual positivity was a quick, "I'm spent." Understatement of the year.

As kind and as generous as Sean is, none of this came naturally. There was a significant learning curve to overcome when Max was born. Me being home for Max's first nine months did nothing but slow that process down. It's not that he didn't want to learn. It's simply easier to let someone who's already got it take care of it. Human nature.

It used to frustrate me. Now, however, I revel in the fact that unlike some of my friends, I don't have to participate in that mad dash that is getting the kids ready to go, AND myself, in time to get them to daycare before I'm late for work. And, even though I often do it anyway, I no longer have to leave long, detailed notes about how to keep our little one happy, fed and well-rested while I'm not at home.

Now, Sean's growth didn't happen in a vacuum. I've changed too. For example, I'm (now) fine with whatever clothes Sean puts Max in for the day--except, perhaps, on picture day. I'm not always the one to make Max's lunch. I even leave some doctors' appointments to daddy--specialists included. This hasn't come without a fair amount of anxiety, but Max is still alive, well-fed, and very happy. It's hard for a mama bear to let go, but a lot of stress leaves along with the control.

Growth is hard, but growth is good.

Now, we can't go this far without mentioning our star. Despite but the movement of this ship, during our holiday cruise, Max began to walk. He doesn't do it 100% of the time yet, in large part I think because he still struggles with standing up in the middle of the floor with no support. But who cares! This mama bear is happy to give her tired arms a rest and let that boy roam free!

Pregnancy Update:

On Tuesday, Sean accompanied me to visit the perinatologist for my level II ultrasound and consultation. I am a believer in the power of information, so although the results of my sequential screening are normal, my OB and I felt it would be good to get a more detailed look at the baby.

Honestly, until the technician switches the view to 3D, which really just makes the baby look like a poorly sculpted clay doll, I don't see much difference between the quality of the level II ultrasound and the standard one. Somehow, thankfully, the medical community can which is how we discovered that the baby has a well-formed nasal bone, no obvious heart defect, normal length of the long bones, and beautiful development of the brain and other internal organs. We even got a REALLY good view of the baby's private area, but you'll just have to wait for that news.

Given that Max was born with a congenital heart defect I will be having a fetal echo cardiogram at 22 weeks. At the risk of counting my eggs before they hatch, I'll say that even my untrained eyes saw a fetal heart that looked strong and fully-developed. I'm confident we won't need to relive that most stressful time again.

Final Thoughts:

Growth is hard and we are nothing if not a work in progress. We make New Year's resolutions to jump start our growth, but since resolutions are meant to be broken, I didn't make any this year. Instead, I've set myself two challenges. The first is be less moody--a goal complicated by the pregnancy hormones coursing through my system. The second is to live in the moment. It's a bit cliche, but meant to help me appreciate the things that I have in my live at this very moment. To love my apartment, even though we rent. To love my job, even though my commute is long and I'd rather be home with my son. To love my friends, even though I don't see them often. To love that Max is not typical, even though it makes some people uncomfortable. To love my life the way it is, even though at 36, I'm not where I once thought I would be.

The truth is, I am exactly where I am meant to be, surrounded by the people I am meant to love. And life really is good.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Break: Part 1

Even though Max is still awake and Sean is home early from work, I'm stealing a few minutes to write. I normally wait until Max is asleep. He likes to push the buttons on the keyboard, and if I sit at the table out of his reach, he simply hollers. My mom finally voiced her frustration today about my missing posts, and I defensively told her that by the time Max gets to bed, I'm often too tired to concentrate (don't forget, I get up at 4:30 every morning which is not easy for most people). I don't want to post drivel, but I feel kind of bad for snapping, so by way of apology, I post.

We don't have a family Christmas tradition yet. Max came into mine and Sean's lives quickly, and since his birth Christmas has been unusual. For Max's first Christmas we all got the norovirus, including my parents and my brother's family. Max and I spent Christmas Eve at Massachusetts General Hospital.

This is what Max looked like back then:

Max, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Christmas Eve, 2010.
Last Christmas, Max and I both had fevers, but we all boarded a plane in the afternoon of the 25th headed for sunny Fort Lauderdale. By the time we landed our fevers had broken and we were fine for the rest of the trip.

Max on the beach, Fort Lauderdale, FL, December 31, 2011.
This Christmas, we cruised through the Carribbean with Sean's family. Apparently, a cold front hit the northern Carribbean because the first couple of days the waters were rough. I don't have many pics from that time because I was holed up trying to hang on to my lunch. But by Christmas Eve, the waters calmed, the temperatures rose, and we had a lovely family dinner in a French restaurant.

Max and I getting ready for dinner.

Max and Nonni (Sean's mom) waiting for our table.

On Christmas morning we awoke in St. Maarten. It was a sweltering and very sunny day. That morning we all gathered for presents, and Max explored.

Crawling through the tunnel.
The next day in St. Thomas, we took Max to a butterfly garden. Max was so jazzed, our pictures of him are blurry. But here's a pic of the star attraction:

I took this picture. I feel quite proud!
Despite the casino, the shows and the most scrumptious food, the most fun thing to do on the ship was watch Max in the kiddie pool.

And the best part is that Max figured out how to climb onto and ride down the slide with no help from us.

Max would start out on his bum, twist around and finish on his belly. You can see the whole move in this short video.

So, in the interest of preserving some family time with my two handsome guys, I will sign off. I have a little more to share, but that will happen this weekend.

And to my very close friend, Heidi (who is traveling the world with her studly beau). I know your birthday was on December 31. I thought of it for days before, and days after, but on that actual day, I forgot. Please know I'm thinking of you, and I can't wait until you come home. Happy Birthday.