attachment parenting

STRANGER ANXIETY.

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mama wore: C&C t-shirt dress, leopard blazer from marshalls, DKNY sandals

little man wore: h&m tank, mama-made shorts

we have a wedding in palm springs in october for a dear friend from college that i haven't seen in a while.  i've really been looking forward to whole event - watching my gorgeous friend get married, partying at the ace hotel, weekending in palm springs - and we were planning on bringing holden for a little family getaway.

last week the bride sent an email to all the mamas detailing the childcare situation at the wedding and my stomach dropped.  as a courtesy to all of the parents, the bride will be providing childcare for the entirety of the wedding starting a half hour before the ceremony and lasting as long as the parents need it.  she was employing a reputable babysitting company who would watch the children in a room nearby the wedding, complete with a kids appropriate dinner.  and while i'm sure the rest of the mamas were ecstatic that the bride was so incredibly thoughtful and considerate to all of the parents who are usually dying for a night out without the kids, i was immediately flooded with waves of anxiety and dread at the thought of leaving holden for the evening.

holden is almost 13 months and we still have never left him with a babysitter, never left him overnight, and never dropped him into the hands of someone he doesn't know. and despite the fact that his first birthday has come and gone, i still don't feel ready.

dustin and i have our date nights, but they begin after i have tucked him into bed safely and soundly, with my mom, who he absolutely adores, watching over him while we are out.  in the off chance that he wakes up, we are comforted in knowing that he won't freak out when he wakes and i'm not there because someone that he knows and loves will be there for him.  my mom also occasionally watches him when i have appointments, like hair and nails, or when i need to run a few errands, but that is the extent to which i have left holden thus far.

i kept thinking that as he got older, i would begin feeling more and more comfortable (as he would be) about leaving him, but i continue to feel the exact same way as i did that momentous day that he entered my life, that i never want to be apart from him.  everything is just more fun when he's around.

does this make me a crazy mama?  it's ok, you can be honest.

SLEEP HABITS.

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there are three things that holden needs in order to go to sleep each and every night:

1.  mama

2. nursing

3. rocking

and if he doesn't have one of these, he won't fall asleep.  the beginning couple months were rough for our little guy who suffered from reflux and although he was a fantastic sleeper from the start, it was the whole getting him to sleep part that we struggled with.  so we found a method that worked and we stuck with it, and now despite the fact that reflux has come and gone from his life, this sleep habit has remained.

so each evening, as the sun sinks below the horizon and the light seeps dreamily through the curtains casting dull-edged shadows that dance around the floor, the three of us make our way into the bedroom where words weave tales of animal kingdoms, children pirates that reign the high seas, and mini monsters that are too cute to be any bit frightening.  and with the telltale rub of an eye, daddy gives a quick kiss and slips out of the room as we sink into the rocking chair, the weight of our bodies settling so easily into the soft, dense cushions that they must remember us even when we are gone.  our bodies sway back and forth in a slow and rhythmic motion, holden's ear pressed against my beating heart, the cadence of his breath matching mine, and he peacefully drifts off to sleep.

this has been our routine every single night of holden's life and while i usually appreciate these quiet moments with my baby in my arms, there are nights that holden decides that instead of going to sleep, he just wants to relax for a half hour or more while resting on me.  the past couple of nights, holden has been refusing sleep, begging to play until the sun comes up and i have found myself frustrated with the lengthy night-time routine and wanting a few hours to myself and some alone time with dustin before the clock strikes 12.

and then tonight, in the midst of rocking holden to sleep he lifted his head from my chest looked up at me and gave me a soft kiss before resting his head back on my chest and drifting off into a deep slumber.  it's moments like this that remind me what's really important in life because one day he won't want me to put him to sleep and i'll find myself missing the peaceful evenings that we spend together.

ATTEMPTING TO DECLUTTER.

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during tonight's bath, holden kept pouring a cup of water down his face and found it absolutely hilarious each and every time.  it was the cutest thing ever.  he also washed himself for the very first time, rubbing his belly with soap and then dipping his hand into the water and rubbing his belly again to rinse off .  there's something new every day!

i've been doing a major spring-in-late-summer cleaning of all of holden and my closets the past two days (i've yet to start on dustins).  i usually have a hard time getting rid of anything finding sentiment in the most indifferent objects, but for some reason, i have recently felt the need to eliminate the nonessentials in our lives.  perhaps it's the prospect of moving, but i became overcome with a strong desire to purge our closets of the unncessary.  and purge i did.  i literally went from two overflowing closets to one closet with room to spare.  i have so many clothes and so few that i still wear.  my mama wardrobe is slightly different than my pre-baby wardrobe which means the 1,000,000 party dresses that have now been hanging untouched for about 2 years will be finding their way into an actual partier's closet.

i zipped through my closet and holden's toys, giving items a quick once over before eagerly tossing them into the sell or goodwill.  i found myself tossing out almost every article of clothing i owned before dustin sensibly reminded me that i still actually needed clothes to wear.  and i couldn't have been happier to moderate the ever-growing toy pile that was literally taking over the entire living room because despite the over abundance of stuffed animals, trucks, and other noisy, flashy gadgets, holden's toys of choice still remain the golf ball, a plastic spoon, or tupperware cabinet.

but when i began sorting through all of holden's baby clothes, everything he's worn sizes newborn to twelve months, i found myself unable to part with a single item.  and while i had initially decided to keep a few sentimental pieces, i found it impossible to not attach a bit of nostalgia to every article of clothing because i can see baby holden in each and every one of them.  oh, these were his favorite pjs.  this was that sweater he wore to his first thanksgiving.  these jeans always looked so cute on him.  these vans matched daddys vans.  i even couldn't even sell a brand new onesie that he had never worn, thinking to myself oh, so and so gave this to him when he was born.  it was her first gift to him...so i can't get rid of it.  it was too easy to place some sort of value to basically everything.

as i watch him morph into a little toddler, it's hard not to become emotional about the baby that he was and how quickly that time has passed us by.  sometimes, especially when i am sorting through newborn clothes, it hurts my heart.  so for now, it looks like i'll be holding on to holden's things for a bit longer until i am able to pick and choose a handful of clothes that are important to us...or perhaps i'll just keep it all for when a new addition makes it way into our little family.

THE PAST TWO WEEKS.

iphone photos from our weekend in san diego

(i just realized the photos don't line up correctly and the perfectionist in me is dyyyyyying.  but it's midnight and exhaustion is winning at this moment. ugh.) 

i know i've been a little quiet the past two weeks, but we have had a lot on our plates, both good and bad.  i couldn't think, i couldn't write, i couldn't breath, i could barely keep up with life.

admist all of the excitement in planning and celebrating holden's birthday, there were a few things going on in the background.  i wasn't sure if i wanted to discuss them on here because i didn't want to taint the memory of holden's first birthday, i didn't want us or him to remember the fear and worry that clouded that day.  but i'm pretty sure dustin and i will never forget how scared we were and since everything turned out ok, i want holden to know how much his health and happiness means to us.

two weeks ago, holden began having an unusually high frequency of breath holding spells.  he has had a small handful since his birth and we were told not to worry about them as they are harmless and he will outgrow them in a year or two.  we have figured out how to handle them when they make an appearance and move on with our day.  then at the end of that high frequency week, after having five breath holding spells in a four day period, holden had a prolonged (8-minute) seizure following a particularly bad spell.  it was probably the longest 8 minutes of our entire lives.  thankfully, my mom, who is a pediatric nurse, was there with us and was able to explain what was happening and calm us down.  we spoke to him softly as it happened, willing him to come out of it, and videotaped the seizure so we would have something to show the doctors.  we spent the night in the ER and were sent home after speaking with a neurologist with instructions to make an appointment for an MRI and ECG as soon as possible.  despite the fact that all four doctors that saw holden that night believed the seizure to be a result of a severe breath holding spell, they said we needed these objective measures to know 100%.

we had to wait a week before the ECG and appointment with the neurologist.  holden's real birthday was in the middle of that torturefully long week, and i can barely remember anything from that entire time period except the fear and terror that i felt.  despite our best efforts to hide our true feelings and act as though all was normal, we had a hard time taking our hands off of holden and he could sense the uneasiness and acted accordingly, fussy, frustrated, and unhappy.  the minutes turned to hours which turned into days in what seemed like one big blur.  our minds clouded with apprehension and the heavy fog that filled our heads made it hard to complete day-to-day activities, the horrible image of holden's seizure replaying over and over in our mind's eye.  it was hard to understand how the world could continue spinning, how everyone could continue going on with their lives, when our world and our lives seemed to be at one big standstill just waiting to find out if our baby was ok.  i honestly didn't think i would be able to survive if anything was wrong with him and it's hard to shake that feeling.

we honestly didn't realize just how frightened we truly were until we met with the neurologist and found out that the test came back normal and that holden was 100% healthy.  as originally suspected, he suffers from severe breath holding spells.  hearing that diagnosis, i could finally breath again, the heavy weight of worry i had carried around all week suddenly lifted.  we have started giving him iron (which has been shown in studies to reduce the frequency of breath holding spells) and thus far, it seems to be working.  experiences like these help teach you what is truly important in life.

that terrifying week ended with holden's birthday party celebration (a celebration it was) and the following week we continued the festivities in san diego with dustin's brothers wedding and a joint birthday party for holden and his cousin benicio (who is six weeks older).  it felt good to be surrounded by friends and family after everything the three of us had been through.

i've been exhausted and busy, but i'm finally feeling caught up on life and am back in blogging action.

HIS TWO FAVORITE THINGS.

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tonight we went to dinner with a few college friends and after a day of only a 45 minute nap, holden managed to stay entertained and content until 8 pm.  i always love meeting up with old friends, but i find it hard to be myself when i'm out with them these days and i wonder where the old me went.  i find it hard to concentrate on the conversation, hard to give 100 percent of myself, hard to be the old me pre-baby, because my focus is always holden.  i attempt to participate, i try to focus on what everyone is saying, i aim to show that i'm interested, but as holden reaches for the wine glass and knife on the table, wriggles and squirms out of my arms to get down on the ground to escape, or plants wet, sloppy kisses on my cheek while babbling in my ear, i find it impossible to hear a word anyone is saying, impossible to really be there enjoying the company that i'm in.  maybe it would be different if i was out sans holden, if he was tucked in bed under the watch of my mama, freeing me from the responsibility of caring for him for a few short hours, but i wouldn't know because although holden is nearly 11 months old, i have yet to spend a night out with friends without holden by my side.  up to now, i haven't been ready to leave him yet, but maybe in the future i will be and i'll be able to give myself fully to the company and the conversation.

LOVE OVERFLOWING

it's funny how you go through life, unaware that you are missing out on anything, unaware of your incompleteness until you meet that one person that makes your heart whole, who knows what you're about to say before you say it, knows what you're thinking even when you say nothing at all and you realize that you're not you without that person because their love makes you, you.  and then out of that love, you create another being, someone that is truly a part of you, made from you, and you realize that you were never really complete before this little person came along.  you realize that life before them wasn't really living at all because your whole life was leading to the point that they would be a part of it and you love like you've never loved before.