Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The AC Guy and the Dirty Diaper

Ryan is currently going through a stage in which he REFUSES to stay still during a diaper change. I am not just talking about squirming or kicking his legs. I am talking about full out flipping over and trying to crawl away. Fortunately, he usually stays still for the first few seconds, allowing the diaper changer just enough time to get the dirty diaper off, and clean up any areas needing cleaning. He seems to have mercy on you for these most offensive moments, but from there on out, you're on your own. Getting the new diaper on, putting on Desitin, and then getting his onesie snapped or his pants back on is a full on wrestling match.

Today this wrestling match lead to a rather humorous scene.

A few days ago Matt and I noticed that our house was getting progressively warmer, despite the fact that the AC was running non-stop. So, we called in BGE Home to have someone look at it. A lovely gentleman came by today, and checked it out and fixed it (at least temporarily). We chatted while he was here, and I learned that he was a dad, with two boys, ages 17 and 19. Ryan woke from a nap midway through his visit and as soon as I picked up Ryan I had a good idea of what woke up Ryan. Let's just say it wasn't the smell of roses coming from his bottom!

While the gentleman was heading out to his truck to get some paperwork, I asked him if he would be a few minutes or if he would be right back in, because I needed to change Ryan's diaper, but didn't want to hold him up, if he would be right back. He said, "Oh, it will take me a few minutes. Go ahead and change it."

So, as soon as the AC Guy headed out to his car I began the task of changing this particularly foul smelling diaper. (With a greater intake of solids we have bid farewell to the non-stinky breast milk only diapers...oh, how I miss those days!)  I previously mentioned that Ryan typically has mercy on the diaper changer for the first few minutes. Well, NOT TODAY!

As soon as I started to unfasten the dirty diaper, Ryan started squirming. All my attempts to turn him back over, to distract him, to firmly but gently say "No! Ryan!" (which does sometimes work....he does know what "No" means) were all failures! Ryan soon had poop on his arms and legs and on my leg. I was desperately trying to keep Ryan on the changing mat (which is now placed on the floor for ALL diaper changes) so that the poop didn't spread to the carpet. I was again trying to turn him back over, but that only resulted in the offensive matter ending up on my hand. And yes, of course, the AC Guy was now walking back in the door. He looked at me, looked at Ryan, and said, "Oh my! Wow....Uhhh, I'll just finish up the paper work." And he politely pretended to be busy while I wrestled, wiped, and disinfected my son and myself. Ryan then happily crawled around in just his diaper with the biggest smile on his face, while I sheepishly signed some paper work and thanked the AC guy for his time.

I think that was a visit that neither the AC Guy nor I will be forgetting anytime soon!

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Dad

Today my Dad's place of employment held a celebration for him in honor of his upcoming retirement. As of next Wednesday, my Dad will be officially retired. And today, at this celebration for my very special Dad, I was more proud than I have ever been to be my Dad's daughter.

My Dad, Ryan's Pop-Pop is a pretty special man. (There's a reason why Ryan's middle name is James, after my Dad).  He is selfless and kind. He is humble and unassuming. He is giving and gentle. He is tremendously smart and wise, and has superb insight. My dad has had a truly impressive career. And I have always known that his co-workers, supervisors, and supervisees respected him for his wisdom, smarts, dedication, and insight.

But today, at this celebration, it was clear that the people he worked with for the past 11 years truly understand the man that is my dad. They respect him for the more subtle qualities that make him who he is. They love him for the way he is always so appreciative of the work that people do, from the person who cleans the floor, to the Human Resource manager who developed the orientation program. They appreciate the gentle way he can ask a challenging question. A question that makes everyone stop and think about what they do and how they do it, and makes them want to do it better. They appreciate him for the team-oriented approach he takes to everything. They will miss his friendly hellos and his love of chocolate. They will miss the way he seems to know everyone's name. They respect his inquiring mind and search for knowledge. While the know he is a tremendous teacher, they also appreciate the way he always wants to learn new things. They will never forget the impact he had on their hospital, and how in his wake, he is leaving it a better place.

Listening to many, many people get up and talk about my Dad made me think about how I can live my life better. It made me think about what I want people to say about me when I retire in 35 (oh, who I am kidding, it will be more like 45) years. It made me want to be like my dad. To leave an impact on the people I work with. To truly make them better people just by being who I am. It's a lofty goal. But I've had a great teacher and role model.

Dad, I can't wait to share in your retirement. I can't wait to watch you bond with Ryan in an even more special way. I can't wait to see the stress of meetings and presentations erased from your face. I can't wait to watch you enjoy this much deserved, and much anticipated retirement. No one deserves to enjoy these coming decades more than you!

I love you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Moments Like This....

It was bedtime. Ryan had just had an unusually grumpy evening (I think the Gelato that I was told "is water based and contains no milk" did indeed contain milk, and thus upset the GI system of my milk-intolerant 7 month old) and after a typical bedtime routine (bath, Goodnight Moon, Nursing...) I figured he would go right to sleep. But Ryan had a better idea.

After nursing for a few minutes Ryan decided it was time to laugh and giggle. It's rare these days that Ryan doesn't go to sleep pretty quickly after his well-established routine. And on the rare occasion that he doesn't, it is not filled with tears, but usually laughter. And instead of wishing he would "Just go to bed!" I soak up these moments.

He laughs, I laugh at him, and he giggles the most joyful little laugh that starts way down deep in his belly and escapes his lips in a flurry of unbridled joy! He brushes his fingers gently at my damp hair (from the shower I took after our evening jog, while Daddy gave him his bath) and rubs his face against mine. He is so snuggly and loving in these moments. I love these moments. It is moments like this that make the middle of the night wakings (yes, we still have our fair share of those) and the early morning risings (will there ever be a day again when I can sleep later than 6:30??) and the spit up on my freshly washed shirt, totally and completely worth it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Beach

Two weekends ago (August 13-16) we spent three wonderful days in Ocean City, Maryland with my brother, his wife, and their two beautiful girls.

I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Ryan Tried to eat sand, but then realized it wasn't very good and didn't persist.

Caitlin played in the sand (she did not try to eat it!)

John, Cindy, Caitlin, & Julia enjoying the beach.

Ryan loved looking at and feeling the Ocean on his toes!

Splash, splash, splash!

John with his two beautiful girls!

Caitlin = Cute as can be!

Julia! So sweet!

The Cam Fam plus 1!

Ryan loved getting to take a bath in the sink!

Family Footprints

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to the grind....

I survived! I started watching my nieces this week, as my sister-in-law returned to work after three months of maternity leave. Yes, that's right. I now spend three and a half days a week watching my son Ryan (7 months) and my two nieces Caitlin (3.5 years) and Julia (3 months). My mom is helping me in these early weeks as we all adjust to this new "routine." But, it is going much better than expected! Twice this week all three kids napped at the same time for at least an hour! I consider that a HUGE success!

I know we'll have our rough days. I know tears will be shed as I only have so many hands and can only attend to one crying baby at a time (not to mention my own potential tears at not being able to meet everyone's needs at the moment they need their needs met). I know there will be days when I will think, "What was I thinking?" when I agreed to do this (not only agreed, but came up with the idea!).

But I also know that I already experience tremendous joy each day in watching these little people interact with each other. I will get to watch a very special bond develop between the three cousins. I will get to not only be "Auntie" to Caitlin and Julia, but a very special caregiver. Ryan will get to be with his Mommy every day instead of having to go to daycare. And for all these reasons, and so many more, I wouldn't trade this job for anything. At least not yet anyway!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

7 Months!

Dear Ryan, 

 Today you turned 7 months old, and WOW! What a difference a month makes. You have learned so many new things in the past month! It is amazing! But before I talk about all the new things you can do, I just want to tell you all about you!

  You are soooo JOYFUL! You often wake up laughing (or making this noise that sounds more like a cough, but that we know is your laugh, and which Daddy and I find hilarious and adorable!) and you spend the majority of every day in a happy, joyful mood. Just looking at you brings a smile to my face. When you happen to give me one of those all out, every muscle in your face grins, I just melt. And I am so lucky as you give me smiles like that many times a day!


 There are so many things you love these days. Most clearly, you love Daddy and me very much. You smile when you see us after a nap or in the morning. You grin from ear to ear when Daddy gets home from work. You clearly miss us when you're away from you (yes, Daddy and I have made it a point to go on a date every month since you were born! We're lucky to have Nana & Pop-pop so close by so they can watch you!)You also love your extended family members so much. It is so neat to watch you developing special relationships with each of them. You love your big green ball which you chase around the house regularly. You love to play with toys (especially your "stacking bowls" and your music table). You like to dance and you laugh when Daddy sings. Mommy singing isn't as funny, but Daddy gets a giggle every time! You continue to love bath time very much and you no longer scream after it is over! And of course, you love to eat! You have yet to find a food you don't like, although Avocado is clearly your favorite (with Peas still being a close second and Bananas in third place). You simply seem to love the little life we've created for you here. And I hope that doesn't change in the coming weeks. Starting in a little less than two weeks I will start watching your cousins, Caitlin and Julia every day except Friday. You love your cousins, but I have a feeling you are going to have a hard time sharing me. I know we'll work through it, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit nervous.  

So, I mentioned that you can do SOOO many new things now! Here's a list:
  • As of July 23rd you can CRAWL! You took your first crawling steps and within days you were zooming around the house like a pro.
  • About 4 days after learning to crawl you started pulling up on furniture, toys, stairs (so far only the bottom step), your crib and people. You now can pull to standing very easily. But, you sometimes forget that you're not yet able to stand independently because you let go rather recklessly. Fortunately someone is always there to catch you, but it makes keeping an eye on you VERY important! (I wouldn't have minded if you just crawled for a while and didn't pull up quite so quickly!) But as Nana always says, "You're just such a busy little guy!" 
  •  You can now feed yourself using your pinscher grasp. You did this for the first time just yesterday (August 6th). You LOVE to feed yourself puffs and you're so good at it! You also are very proud of yourself. When I clap and cheer you smile ear to ear as if to say, "That's right! I can do it all by myself!"
  • You have two teeth on the bottom. They're almost all the way in now. I can't feel any others yet, but considering you like to gnaw on EVERYTHING, I would expect some more to make an appearance soon.
  • You can take your hat off all by yourself. You use to let me put hats on you and you would leave them there. Now you think it is a fun game, and as soon as I put one on, you pull it off.
  • You are so verbal! You make lots and lots of sounds including a sound that sounds very much like "Mama." You don't consistently say it yet, but you'll get there! :)

Well, I think that sums up all the new things you learned to do this month. It was quite a month!

I always seem to give an update on your sleeping. You are now a very consistent napper with two 75 minute naps a day and sometimes a short cat nap in the early evening. You don't sleep through the night :( But you are at least consistent. You usually wake up twice: the first time Daddy goes in and gives you a few snuggles and then you go back to sleep. The second time (anytime after 3:00) Mommy nurses you, and then you go right back to sleep. You typically wake up for the day sometime around 6:30. I know you'll eventually sleep through the night, just not yet I guess. However, feel free to start doing that at any moment! OK? Thanks!

Ryan, I love you soooo very much! It is such a joy being your mommy. As I tell you every night, as I rock you to sleep, I will love you always, forever, no matter what!

Happy 7th Month Birthday Little Man!




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