Letter to Eli, 29 Months

Dear Eli,

Oh my beautiful boy, what a challenging month this has been! I think it is safe to say that it has been the most difficult month we have experience together from both of our perspectives. And while I would give almost anything to have been able to make it easier for you, still, I’ve got to say that you have astounded me with your resilience.

Your Mama is growing you a sibling that will be born right around the time of your third birthday. Both your Daddy and I are so pleased, as we have wanted you to have a sibling’s life-long companionship from the very beginning, but weren’t completely convinced it would be possible. So many people have commented to me already that you are going to make a terrific big brother, and they are so right! You have  incredible sensitivity and a heart overflowing with love for those around you. I can’t wait to see the shape that will take as you forge a relationship with your new brother or sister over the years to come.

The temporary downside of this pregnancy however is that it has come complete with all the morning sickness Mother Nature can dish out. I’m quite familiar with it as it took up residence in your poor Mama for the first 4 months of her pregnancy with you as well. We are praying it doesn’t feel as inclined to stick around quite as long this time.

This has meant a quick succession of great losses for you. As I am barely able to lift my head from the pillow for the greater part of most days you have lost a playmate. You’ve never been one to like playing by yourself, yet the best I can do now is watch you and comment on what it is you are doing as you do it. It’s just not the same. There have been no art projects or cooking sessions, no going out to visit friends in the neighborhood, few tickle sessions, and much, too much, TV.

I can no longer carry you in your beloved Ergo. Not only do I not have the energy, but as I am also usually light-headed and unsteady on my feet, the last place you should be is strapped to my body. This also means that I’m not carrying you in my arms much at all either. One good side to this though is that you are learning to cuddle. You have always craved physical contact, but unless there was nursing involved, it had to be with the one holding you standing up. Now that you will snuggle in along side me for a good cuddle while reclining it’s become a much more relaxing experience for me!

The biggest change in your life though has been that we were forced into weaning. I had always planned that you would be able to nurse as long as you felt the need. I dreamed that you would grow up with sweet memories of the time you spent feeling safe, secure and so very loved nursing in my arms. I had read up a lot on nursing through pregnancy and then nursing a toddler alongside a newborn. I know it is very possible and a wonderful experience for many that choose to go that route with their family. But for me this morning sickness is too great an obstacle. It is so very difficult for me to eat and I am losing much too much weight. Not only was I unable to take in the extra calories that are required for the pregnancy and the additional calories needed for breastfeeding, but the act of nursing itself made the nausea beyond unbearable, further decreasing my ability to eat and keep down food. Initially, we decided just to night wean as at that point the worst wave of illness generally caught me during the very early morning hours. You and Daddy moved into your room to sleep leaving mama with the “family” bedroom (and master bathroom!) to herself. It took 14 nights for you to accept the idea of sleeping without chi-chi. It broke my heart to hear you cry for me and to be unable to respond to you, but your Daddy was with you, loving and comforting you the whole time. As the morning sickness has become even worse we eventually had to stop even your daytime nursing sessions. This has also been difficult, but not nearly so much as the night weaning. You now have accepted that “chi-chi is broken” and you don’t ask anymore. I am so sorry, Little One, but please know that I sincerely tried my hardest to keep going. I would never have done this this way if I had any other choice.

But because of all of this you are learning to sleep! Most nights now you are only up once begging to eat. Other nights you sleep all the way through. Getting you down without nursing still remains a challenge. Naps only happen if Daddy takes you out in the car in the afternoon. You go down and sleep through the transfer into a stroller and your father gets a couple of hours to work on his laptop or do some reading in the air-conditioned Barnes And Noble Cafe before you wake up. At night,  initially you would just go an go and go until eventually you’d crash wherever you happened to be, which was often on the bathroom floor.

Now you will occasionally go down lying in bed next to one of us, or with a story in bed with Daddy, but that is still rare. Most often it still takes Daddy holding you and dancing slowly as he sings to you. You are very specific that this has to take place in a certain spot in the living room. Sometimes it feels like baby steps, but considering you were still often up six times a night just a few months back, you really have made a lot of progress. Eventually you will learn how to negotiate that release that takes you to the Land of Nod independently.

In many areas you have been becoming increasingly independent. Probably the most often heard phrases in our home these days are “Eye-yai (Eli) do!” and “My turn!” And oh the tragedy if your father or I should accidentally preform a task that you think should be yours… even if it is something you’ve never shown interest in doing before! While not always convenient this drive of yours towards independence is helping you to grow rapidly in all sorts of skill areas.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been letting you play with the iPad far too much to keep you entertained while I am unable to engage with you the way I always have before. You really love using YouTube. Your favorites are TuTiTu videos, episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (you don’t seem to care what language it’s in so we are hearing a lot of Eastern European cartoon voices lately), and most of all videos by Dan Zanes and Friends, especially All Around The Kitchen and House Party. You can’t watch the music without strapping on your guitar and playing along. You also now will switch between an acoustic guitar and the electric guitar as appropriate (even when playing along with music on the stereo). You think all guitars should be plugged in now so you’ve rigged up ways to attach the vacuum cleaner cord or the cord to an old Skype headset to your guitars before you begin to play.

As I am writing this to you a bit late it’s getting difficult to remember where one month ended and the next began in terms of what you’ve been doing lately. Especially since we are lacking photos this time around I think I’ll stop here. I’ll be writing to you again really soon.

Thank you for all of your patience, help and understanding this past month. I know it has been difficult but you have done a marvelous job of adjusting. I am so, so proud of you!

As always, I love you very, very, very much!

Mama

I’m Back! (Well, kinda…)

Hello there.

It’s been a while, and I gotta say I’ve missed meeting up with you all here and around the blogging community.

The first trimester is finally over! (Do you hear the Hallelujah Chorus like I do?) We (finally) got in to see the Ob-Gyn last week and got our first glimpse at the little one.

English: 4D echographie. Fetus 12 weeks. Españ...

English: 4D echographie. Fetus 12 weeks. Español: Ecografía en 4D, a un feto de 12 semanas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turns out we are about eight days farther along than we had thought, which still has us scratching our heads, but I certainly don’t mind being that much closer to the end! And of course it’s a relief to have made it beyond the point where miscarriage is a great risk. The adjusted due date is just two days before Eli’s 3rd birthday.

As I mentioned before morning sickness has been especially cruel and relentless. Over the past couple of months I’ve tried everything from Seabands (which stimulate acupressure points) to peppermint, ginger, B6 vitamins and countless other safe home remedies recommended to me but nothing did more than bring the level of suffering from a 10 down to a 9. I had wanted to make it through this pregnancy without taking any medication, but after seeing the scale dip down to 96 lbs I was more than ready to accept the anti-nausea prescription from the doctor when we saw her. And now that we’re in the 12th week, I’m finding I’m only needing it about once a day (instead of the 3 times allowable). Hopefully I soon won’t need it at all.

I am slowly regaining a bit of energy, although fatigue is still a huge issue for me. I’m looking forward to easing back into the rhythm of life. My little boy has been missing me, and I him. My husband is really ready to get back to the work of job hunting and taking on more freelance opportunities. And, oh the list of things I want need to sew! I also hope to get back in the swing of things with this blog, but it will most likely remain a bit lower on the list of priorities for a while yet. At the very least I need to get Eli’s latest letter done… It’s only now over 2 weeks late!

Knit Baby Pants: Guest Post from Growing Slower

I couldn’t be more pleased than I am to introduce you to Shannon of Growing Slower! I love her blog which is full of information on green and natural living, especially as it applies to the parenting of wee ones! She graciously offered to do a guest post to help me out during my early-pregnancy-induced break from blogging. While it was hard for me to choose from among the post ideas she offered, in the end I had to go with this adorable knit baby pants. A guest post is really the only way I am ever going to get any knitting on my blog in the foreseeable future, and few things feed baby fever for me as much as seeing knit baby clothing. One day I will learn to knit… in the meantime please join me in drooling over Shannon’s creation! Of course, if you are a knitter, you can do more than drool as she includes links to a free pattern. When you’re done here I highly recommend you head on over to Growing Slower… you’ll be glad you did!

If there is anyone else who might be interested in having a guest post on Folk Haven, please contact me. My schedule’s wide open. 😉
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I’m so thrilled to be guest posting here at Folk Haven! I always love sharing my favorite free knitting patterns, both original designs and those by others, so I knew this guest post would be the perfect opportunity for a little show and tell. 


 
 

I had been eyeing this adorable pattern for knit baby pants long before I ever became pregnant. Of course between pregnancy and then becoming a mom, there wasn’t much time for knitting. I’ve finally started getting some yarn back into my hands and it feels so wonderful! At last I have finished this little project! I knitted the 18-24 month size for my one year old BabyE, so hopefully he will still be able to wear them this fall. 


 
 

The free pattern is available from the ymymmytm blog. If you can make a hat, you can knit these pants.  I used three skeins (615 yards) of Berroco Weekend Yarn in Steel Blue #5930. It is almost a perfect match to Baby’s eyes.  As usual I needed to size down (to US size 4) to get the right gauge. As I was working the pattern, I matched it up to some of Baby’s store-bought 18 month pants to make sure I was getting the right size. I ended up needing to add quite a few rows to match the leg length. I added one more 2-row repetition to the moss stitch on the legs. Then I added 35 extra knit rows to the lower legs. 




This was such a fun project. I’m really enjoying these warm summer days, but these cozy pants are making me look longingly toward fall. 

Shannon is a stay at home mom and architect. She’s passionate about  green, natural, and healthy living; recycling; natural birth; knitting; cloth diapering; and of course her own lovely little family. She blogs about it all at GrowingSlower. For more free knitting and sewing patterns, click to subscribe to GrowingSlower.

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Thank you so much, Shannon! Love, love, love the pants… and your handsome model! It has been so much fun watching him grow over the past year! 🙂