Friday, August 1, 2014

Confidence...

If you ask someone who knows me, they would likely tell you that I am a confident, successful woman. If you ask close family, they would tell you the same unless you specifically asked about physical beauty or something.  Which I hope you wouldn't because that would be odd. But if you ask me, you would likely be stuck listening to a stream of conscious answer about how I am confident but I'm not when it comes to this or that. But, really, I am. And the one way conversation would continue until you got up and left, but don't worry. I wouldn't stop telling my story. Likely, my hands would be moving so fast because I am a gesture talker and nowadays my eyes would be glued to Shy so I wouldn't even know you left.

I finally finished maternity and returned to work. It's been much better than expected, but it's not easy.  I struggle daily wondering if I made the right decision. I cannot even tell you how many times I sit in my office, mindlessly returning work-related emails wondering how this can be considered reason to leave Shyam. And then I think about quitting and all of a sudden, I am filled with the guilt of leaving a well paying, secure job AFTER having a baby (and lusting after having three more). There is no right answer as I have been told numerous times. I think the key is to be confident in the route you choose.  And therein lies my problem. When I am at work, I confidently tell colleagues that I knew it would be tough but I also know that I wanted to work. I confidently say these words while on the inside, I am wishing I could be with Shyam. And don't get me started on how I think work is actually easier than but not nearly as rewarding as being with Shyam. Babies are tough little creatures. They can't tell you what they want so you are endlessly guessing. And guessing is…well, guessing. So every time I get it wrong, I just keep guessing and before you know it, the poor little cutie has been balling his eyes out for thirty minutes. For the record, I eventually figure "it" out but the whole process can be taxing. And they take lots of energy.  I try to be an active mom and play with him, knowing every toy has a role in firing all those synapses.  But that also means I forget to give myself a break. But usually, there is no crying.  Only smiles and laughter and my guessing is always right: He's happy!  And when I see those smiles, I never want to leave him.  Ever.  It's all very complicated. Emotionally speaking. But, I maintain that the key in this whole thing called parenting is confidence. So I am confidently ending this saga-related post and giving you a glimpse into what we have been up to during Shyam's first summer!

Shyam at 4 months old!

Gosh, where do I start. Well, first of all, we had a huge breakthrough. Shy no longer hates baths! And you will never guess what turned the tables. The pool!  That morning, we gave him a bath and he wailed. So much that my mom came upstairs wondering what we were doing to her grandchild. And for some reason, later that day, S and I decided it would be wise to put this bath-hating baby in the world's biggest bath. Don't ask us why. But thank goodness we did. He loved it! Maybe it's because it was cooler water. Or outside where there was lots to distract him.  Or because daddy was holding him.  I don't know, but the next day, we gave him a bath and the world was right side up again. Hallelujah!

Since we last talked, Shy has become a master roller. He is all sorts of mobile these days, scooting around.  Like last night when he tried to get into his super high cobra stretch. Underneath the couch.  Suffice it to say there was some complaining when I found him. My parents have since come and gone, helping me transition from my awesome stay-at-home gig to my less-than-awesome return to work (a job that I love, by the way). While my parents were here, we packed up the entire Patel clan and headed to New York City for the 4th of July. We may have been the only people in all of NYC who had a baby out at 10PM.  He's quite the trooper. And for the record, he did fine and bounced back to schedule after a day or two.


Shy's eating solids now! And I haven't given up my cloth diapers either. You know how much I love my cloth. And surprisingly, poop isn't really that bad.


But, mostly, he's just getting bigger and becoming more active. He loves to talk and babble, just like his parents. And he's much more opinionated.  Don't think one toy will keep him entertained for a full ten minutes like it used to.  He will grab it from you and throw it down. And he's so strong! He has started to pick things up. Like our glasses from the dining table. And of course, with the rolling came the love of his tummy. We know he's going to sleep for hours when we lay him down and he immediately flips over. He's a tummy sleeper, no matter what I do!



In the end, I am confident in my ability to gauge the day by day. I know regardless of what I do, there will always be guilt and I have come to accept this. I think it's really a guilt we put on ourselves because certainly no one makes me feel inadequate. But, deep down, I know the most important thing is Shyam is loved, happy, and cared for. And I appreciate every darn minute I can squeeze from my day when it is spent with him. I mean, look at that smile!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seasons...

Shy's changing and I find myself trying to keep up with his likes and dislikes.  His sleeping habits.  And whether "those" milestones have been met.  The magic other parents say happens at "exactly three months" has yet to grace my living room, but alas, I do still have patience…


My sweet cuddler seriously dislikes tummy time and bath time but loves a little bicycle leg, the corner of our living room, and S's Michigan flag.  Yes, you read that right.  The Michigan brainwashing has already begun.  And S wasn't even trying. Meanwhile, I keep forcing encouraging Shy to play with the multitude of toys accumulating in our house, and he continues to stare at the corner. It's therapeutic and that makes even me love his corner. We have no idea what is there, but we aren't stupid. That corner gets plenty of staring. We aren't afraid of the corner.  The corner has no idea how much we bow to its magical healing powers.  

As for me, I'm going bonkers with the stubborn seasons this year.  If only spring would follow the lead of winter and stay extra long.  A girl can hope, right? I keep dreaming of all the wonderful things we'll do - museums, walks, runs, shopping.  Just as soon as the snow disappears and the temperature tops 70.  And ooooh.  Maybe even sign up for a stroller-friendly race or two.  Gosh.  Writing it down makes me giddy with excitement.  And yearn for the sun to join us and bully winter to the other side of the world.  

I guess until the weather meets my strict requirements, I shall continue my online search party for cute little diapers to wrap around Shy's bum. YAY!




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Is it wrong...

to be excited about new diapers?

It feels wrong.  And a bit … pathetic.

Alas, this is who I am.  Self-deprecating, pathetic me. And new owner of this adorable wool cover and bamboo fitted.  Handmade by Creakingwood on Etsy.

And it is feel good.  You know.  Small businesses and all.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wooly Bottoms...

I promised a pic so here it is! In a newborn Disana's wool pull on cover with a size small Green Mountain Diaper workhorse underneath. And an Ewok hat!


Oh and update:  In case anyone is wondering, that is.  We are pain free!  Yes, I now love nursing as much as every breastfeeding woman. Finally. I mean, I always loved feeding Shy, but when you are in unimaginable, never-ending pain, it's tough to really enjoy it.  And now I do.  I SO do.  It was totally worth the 10 weeks of … ugh… I don't even want to try to describe it.  It was just totally worth it.  Plus, if there are two things I should pass on, Shy got them both.  My ability to sleep (thanks Dad!) and my immunity (thanks breastmilk antibodies!).

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Okay, I am sold...

On cloth diapers that is.  It didn't take much convincing as to the benefits.  And yes, in my opinion, the benefits do outweigh the environmental impact.  Despite what your colleague may or may not say with words.  In my short few months of using cloth diapers, I have already had way too many people ask if I have considered that it wastes more water, electricity, etc.  That it isn't THAT much better than disposables. And that I won't be able to keep up with it once I go back to work.  And all I have to say in response is each person has to decide what is best for him or herself.  Whether that's plastic grocery bags (which I stopped using), plastic trash bags (which will be the day if I ever stop using), or disposable diapers.  For me, sending all that pee-drenched plastic to the landfills is much worse than the water I use to do extra rinses on my cloth diapers. I don't judge those who use disposables, and I totally understand why one does.  Gosh.  Stinky poo in your washing machine?  Dunking diapers in a toilet? No thanks. Going green in the world of babies is an overwhelming decision. At first.  And then you do it and wonder why in the world you were so overwhelmed.  It's not that bad and kind of addictive. And there is a method that works for everyone.  Like there will be no such thing as dunking in any toilet in this home.  Drops of toilet airborne? Bleh.  But I have turned that corner and now find myself Googling "natural fiber cloth diapers" instead of buying a new book (which I miss doing). It's like mama-crack.  Anyway, I digress.

My entire reason for bringing out the computer is two fold:  1) I finally got Shy to sleep.  And not in my arms. and 2) To share these adorable pictures of fluffy bottoms.



Like most first time cloth diapering parents, I stuck to the whole "stay dry" materials like the stay dry-lined microfiber inside the bumGenius Freetimes (top).  I even had a close friend tell me all about the synthetic vs natural fabrics, but I don't think I quite got it back then.  Recall the "overwhelmed" part above.  And stupid me thought all fleece was made from cotton but most is made from polyester like the inside of my Nicki's diaper, which I love anyway and makes me feel like I am wrapping Shy's bottom in a wonderful blanket.  Natural or not. Plus, there are lots of good reasons to have these in your stash.  So no regrets there!

Now that I am way more relaxed and using diapers is just like…well using diapers, I love being able to explore other options.  So I just got my first two fitteds from Green Mountain Diapers and my wool cover from Nicki's.  And I cannot wait to try it out on Shy's cute little bum. YAY!  Don't worry. I'll post another picture.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grunts and Cuddles...

Shy's such a character.  I love getting to know him.  From the red-face only gas can cause to the milk-coma induced cuddling I get at least eight times a day. And he's started to laugh.  Like a real, albeit silent, social laugh.  His big Indian eyes continually search for light, even when the lights are off.  And the only reason he ever cries is hunger.  Forget dirty diapers-this boy cares not one bit if he is sitting in his own poo.

Shyam at 5 weeks old

In other baby news, we survived our first night without dad!  Srin's in California on a work trip, and Shy decided to pay him back by sleeping the longest stretch he has ever slept.  6 hours!  But I don't expect that to repeat because if I learned one thing, it's not to get used to any milestones too fast.  They are ever changing!  So I took my 6 hours of sleep with a grain of salt and woke up in an awesome, rested mood.  I thought Shy would be more awake today as a result, but I guess sleep begets sleep!  Or maybe he will repeat the hour before he fell slept last night and be more awake than ever while I resist falling asleep before him.  We shall see…

Shyam turns 8 weeks old tomorrow, and I cannot help but think that I would never be ready to go back to work in a few weeks.  Thank goodness I am staying home for 6 months.  In these moments, I always think of my good friend Reyes who once told me, well before Shy came along, that every woman has to make the best decision for herself and she shouldn't feel bad whatever that plan is.  Here here, Reyes!

Shyam at 7 weeks

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The long awaited arrival...

It's a boy!



As the trite sayings often describe the arrival of a new baby, this is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.  But, it is also one of the most trying and difficult things.  And I send rockets into space.  And keep them safe.  All from Earth.  An entire 256 vertical miles and thick atmosphere away.  Yet, this is the biggest challenge I have had, testing my resolve and perseverance.  My will to succeed.

To be honest, all of the things that I think others find tough have not been that bad.  Lack of sleep.  Fussiness.  Living in a cycle that repeats every two hours.  Yes, at 2 in the morning and on no sleep, sometimes those things have gotten to me.  Admittedly.

However, what's been my true test is breastfeeding.  I assumed that nursing would be a natural instinct for both mom and baby.  That there was no learned technique.  Pain didn't even cross my measly mind. Being horribly unprepared for it made it worse.  Unlike childbirth, which I was quite mentally prepared for.  That was easy. Yes, I just said that.  Easy.  There was a defined end. I knew the baby had to come out of me, one way or the other.  But the nursing pain-that had seemingly no end.   Until recently.

We've reached out for help and received some great tips for successful breastfeeding.  My sister, D, was my inspiration, having nursed both of her kids for an entire year.  And now she's my rock. Constantly replying to my million texts.  Listening to my boundless complaints.  While I am not there yet, I can now see light.  We've made leaps and bounds of progress, and with breastfeeding as one of the parenting decisions I refuse to compromise, I'm thankful for the many people who have helped along the way.  With personal stories of struggles.  And the many meals I didn't have to cook myself (thanks P and my mother-in-law).  Not to mention the natural parenting skills no one knew Srin had!  Soothing. Loving. And always willing to help.

Shyam turns one month old tomorrow, and I love him.  I love watching him feed.  I love when he gives me the stink eye that tells me I waited too long to feed him.  It shows personality. I love that he's more active, observing the world around him.  Firing those many synapses. Committing the world around him to memory.  I love seeing him progress from the fetal position to stretched out.  I love his pout.  And I love that he is consolable. Rarely have we witnessed a cry that couldn't be soothed.  And I still have trouble believing I put him in this world.  Me.  He came from me.  That is a concept I wonder if I will ever truly comprehend.

 Our first family picture!

Fatherhood suits him well!