Saturday, September 22, 2012

Summer 2012 Recap, Part 1: Drake

 Labor Day weekend is long gone. Students have been back to school for weeks now (my husband included!). The evenings are starting to cool off and people are excited to bust out their jeans and sweaters. All of the social and cultural factors have been lining up for a while.  And now, it’s official. The Fall Equinox is here. Summer is over.
So I thought it was a good moment to pause, take a breath, and get back to this here blog of mine.
Drake, I want you to know that I didn’t stop writing in your online baby book because there was nothing exciting going on to tell you about or because your development became any less thrilling to me – quite the opposite, my son! We have been so busy living such a full life. And you! You have grown so much and so fast and so profoundly! You are moving and learning and vocalizing.
You have been getting around pretty well all summer – you perfected a military crawl several months ago. It was so effective, I wasn’t sure you would ever care to learn how to actually crawl on your knees. But about a week ago, you got it. And now, you are literally unstoppable. You are getting anywhere and everywhere – fast! You even started climbing the stairs – cute, but terrifying. Sure enough, you rolled down a few steps two days ago. It’s high time for some baby gates. You and I have errands to run later today…

 You are also sitting up incredibly well. This may not seem as impressive as the crawling, but it baffles me possibly more than the crawling does. You just look so big when you sit up so tall and sturdy like that. And it wasn’t even a process! You just DID it. One day, about a month ago, you just tucked your knees under you, pushed yourself up, and then turned and looked at me like, "What? No big deal." Now you crawl where you want to go, slide your legs under you, and sit and play with your desired object – you know, like electrical cords and box fans and dog bowls. Very appropriate toys.
In the world of “firsts,” there has been a lot going on. You said your first word about six weeks ago and haven’t stopped saying it since. What was it, you ask? Well, in a move that melted your momma’s heart yet again, you said “Momma” before any other word. It is so good to be loved by you, Little Man.
You went on your first airplane ride and went swimming for the first time when we visited the Tennessee clan this past July. You did great on the plane – it wasn’t the fun and restful trip that Mom has been used to in her life with the addition of you on my lap – but every stewardess commented on how good you were. On each leg of our trip, there was a baby that screamed and cried and kept everyone awake but it was never you. We were proud parents, for sure. 

 I was equally as proud and excited to see how much you loved the water when we went swimming in Nana and Pampa’s neighborhood pool. There was no fear whatsoever, even when I tried the blow-in-your-face-and-dunk trick. Your eyes got big, but you did great. Held your breath and decided to smile despite the shock. Between that and your very vigorous and strong kicking in the bathtub, I just know you’re going to be a great swimmer. It’s in your genes. 

 On a much less happy note, you were diagnosed with a little “condition” this summer. At the end of an extremely heart wrenching process, we found out you had something called Anal Stenosis. It basically means that your little bottom was too small. After eleven days without being able to go to the bathroom and a trip to the emergency room in Chattanooga that involved an enema and the most heart breaking hour and a half yet, it was our wonderful pediatrician here at home that finally told us what was going on. Mom had been feeling extremely guilty because the nurse practitioner in Tennessee had told us it was constipation from the foods I’d been feeding you that caused the cramping and screaming and pain that I had seen you go through for days. I was devastated that the bananas and rice cereal I had been so pleased to give you had caused you so much pain. Turns out, it wasn’t your diet at all. It was your hardware. That being said, Dr. Reynolds recommended that we go back to a strictly breast milk diet – well, breast milk and prune juice - to keep your stools as soft as possible while the situation sorted itself out. Yes, that was the good news! It was something you would grow out of simply through the process of… well… pooping. It would gradually stretch out, though it would be a slower than normal and slightly uncomfortable process. We had to learn to use at home enemas and mom had to chug gallons and gallons of water to keep her milk supply up to snuff (your appetite had grown used to the bulk of solid foods and it wasn’t easy to deprive you of it). But, I am happy to announce, you are doing MUCH better. Over the past couple of weeks, you have been pooping easily and frequently. I have even been able to reintroduce a few purees over the past week! I mixed in a little prune juice, just to be on the safe side, and – so far! – all is going well. I hope it is something that is behind us now.

 It’s hard to condense the past several months of change into one blog post (if only I had been keeping up with it, right?) but I want you to know it’s been a great summer. It’s been a pleasure to watch you grow and explore and just to BE your mom. I saw a commercial for laundry soap, of all things, today that said “you will have a child forever, but a baby for only one year.” What?! You won’t be my baby after one year?! But that is almost over! Agh. I can hardly stand the thought of how soon we will be celebrating your first birthday (though I am so proud to see you grow). I hereby vow to savor every day of your baby hood from today until it’s over, and then to celebrate the next phase with you too.

(And I hope to write a little more about it along the way.)

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