Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Michael (what else do I write about?)

Our little boy is growing up!  Now able to hold his head up all the time, we were able to set up Michael's doorway jumper.  He loved it!  Though he's not yet rolling over, he's moving around like crazy; we put him down in his crib in one position and find him in an entirely different one when we go back in. He's now also giggling and chattering constantly...it's so fun to hear him wake up and start "talking" to himself.  This week he also suddenly began to hold on to things--rattles, blankets, hair, everything!  He even attempts to hold on to his bottle with 2 hands, though it will be a while before he can actually sustain it.  It was also the week he really started keeping his head up while on his tummy.  It was quite the week of milestones for Michael!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Motherhood Unplugged

The more Michael grows, the more he looks like Sergio...especially this past Sunday as both father and son donned shirts and ties for church.

I adore weekends and the time we get to spend with the baby.  I definitely have frequent waves of "I'm-a-terrible-mom" syndrome as I struggle to balance work and family and deal with the realities of opening a new school as a first year principal while also learning the ropes as a first time mom.  It means juggling all the demands on my time in a way that gets everything done while still feeling like I'm putting first things first--not always successful on that front (thus the "I'm-a-terrible-mom" moments).  

Sergio and I both work long hours, but we've come to understand the fact that, given where we are in our respective careers, this just has to be.  We're doing a good job of tag-teaming it with the baby and finding ways to support each other rather than resent each other for time spent working.  I'm so thankful for such a hands-on husband--who changes diapers, cleans spit-up, prepares bottles, and takes the baby to the pediatrician like no other.  Serg has morning duty--he does everything to get Michael ready for day care and drops him off, while I take over in the afternoon.  I leave work by 5:30 to pick up the baby, and we enjoy a few hours together before Serg gets home from teaching his evening Wing Chun classes.  It gets a little more tricky when you throw in presidency meetings, family literacy nights, book studies, parent/teacher conferences, and all the other evening events I find myself needing to go to while Serg is still working.

All in all, balancing work and motherhood takes a new level creativity and quite a sense of humor.   Case in point: (and just know that the anecdote I'm about to share could be considered by some to be too much information, but those of you with kids know that after childbirth there's practically nothing sacred anymore, so I'm gonna share it anyway)  ...I am trying desperately to make sure Michael's diet still consists primarily of breastmilk.  This means I need to pump periodically throughout the day, sometimes in less than ideal places....like supply closets or offices with chart paper plastered all over the door window.  

Well, our new school still has no office (we're waiting on the city for a permit to turn on power in the portables), so my principal's office currently consists of a desk in the hall.  Let me also add that, because we're building in phases, our first building has fairly large student restrooms but only one private staff bathroom, a bathroom that also doubles as a janitorial supply closet.  This is the only place I can privately pump, so I drag in a chair (in spite of strange looks from those who wonder what on earth I need a chair for to go to the bathroom) and plop myself down to occupy the only adult restroom for 20 minute chunks at a time, only to emerge with a mysterious and inordinately large black bag slung over my shoulder as I smile nonchalantly at my colleagues waiting desperately (well the small handful who refuse to use the student bathrooms) to go to the bathroom.  No, I do not really look forward to this twice daily ritual.

But there's more....given that there's so much to accomplish in a given day, I have to employ some of that extra creativity I mentioned earlier.  So I use masking-tape to keep the shields "hands-free" and get work done on the computer while pumping.  So there I was--storage closet, chair, masking tape, big black bag, pump, computer, the whole nine yards--when the school fire alarm went off.   Ah yes--picture it if you dare.  It was a mad rush to get myself presentable and head into the hall to sweep the building and then outside to make sure all students were accounted for.  I still can't help giggling out loud as I think of it.

Yes, the lighter side (and unplugged version) of balancing work and motherhood.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Arrival of the Great Pumpkin

Halloween was pretty low-key (in comparison to what it's bound to be in years to come) but we couldn't resist putting Michael in costume.  Serg spent most of Thursday night and Friday with a pretty violent stomach virus, but he was well enough for us to venture over to Grandma Carmen's and Grandpa Sergio's on Friday night for the family to gush over our own adorable "great pumpkin."  Honestly, I can't stand the cuteness!  :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Getting to Know the Real Michael Solis

It seems like Michael's really starting to develop some "personal preferences," unique physical features, and a distinct personality.  This is what we've come to know about our son so far:

* He adores baths.  He'll start calming down at the sound of running water and, while he hasn't really started laughing yet, his excitement once in the water is the closest he's come so far.   Hunger, however, trumps his love for baths....as this rare tearful splash-session reveals:

* Michael, like his daddy, is only grumpy when his tummy needs filling (and occasionally when tired).  Other than that, both father and son have incredibly sunny dispositions.  Tummy-filling, by the way, has proven most successful; Michael was only 5 lbs 6 oz at birth and then--at his 2 month checkup--he weighed in at a whopping 12 lbs 9 oz.  Rolls and dimples everywhere....yay!!

* Michael is quite the strongman.  Almost everything is done with fists clenched (including taking very deliberate--and almost calculated--swings at the animals hanging from his mobile), and tummy time looks like a frantic push-up drill (both arms and legs forcefully pushing him up, almost on all fours).  Needless to say, my martial arts school owning husband is quite pleased.

*  He may end up having wavy hair, if a newly discovered cow lick is any indication of where this is going.  I've had to start brushing Michael's hair in the opposite direction, as it was no match for that darn cow lick.  I'm crossing my fingers that there's still a chance he'll inherit Sergio's stick-straight thick black Japanese hair.

* Michael recognizes mom, dad, and himself (well, that's what we like to believe anyhow).  He breaks into the most adorable grins upon seeing us as well as seeing himself in the mirror.  Talk about heart-melting!

* Michael puts up with his mom's obsession with cute baby boy clothes.  I have to exert tremendous discipline when out and about on shopping trips, but I couldn't be more excited that he's starting to fit into size 3-6 months clothing--baby boy clothes start getting soooo cute at that size!

* Michael, thankfully, is beginning to sleep through the night.  It's happened 3 times so far this last week or two, and mommy is DEFINITELY counting!