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June 2007

Sneak Peak

Not to get off subject here... wait, what's the subject of this blog again? Oh, that's right... whatever I want.  So, living in France, married to a Frenchman, just had a baby and I knit... you still with me, there?  Good. :)

Yes, I've finally found time to knit again.  Who needs naps when there is knitting to be done? Anyway, when I try to take a nap while the baby is napping all I can think about is yarn like this:

Sneak Peak

So, while baby sleeps... mama knits.
I love stripes. A lot. Proof here. and here.

Finding the right balance

Maximilien had his three month check up today. He did great. Holding his head up beyond the doctor's expectations and he almost rolled over for the doctor trying to look at the toys he had on his examination table. Impressive, Max. Impressive.  But one thing was a little off and the doctor wasn't shy about telling me was that Max hadn't gained as much weight as he would have liked him to.  Max just barely gained 500g since last month. When the month before he gained over 1 kilo. The doctor said he would have preferred he gained more. Since Max is a big boy and then all of a sudden he isn't gaining weight like he had before made the doctor take note.  He started asking me if I had enough milk? And I responded that I wasn't really sure. How do you really know?  I know that I'm not making as much milk as I did in the beginning month and I know that's normal. The body makes a whole bunch  because it's kicked into mama milk machine mode. I notice that I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to pump anymore. And a weird thing is my left boob isn't ever as full as the right.  Weird. But Maximilien eats whenever he wants and seems absolutely satisfied. He doesn't cry from hunger and sleeps 12 hours a night. 

I'm probably worrying for nothing. 

But the doctor did say we'll have to watch his weight.

So, the milk production thing and worry has got me thinking about something and after writing an email to friend and seeing the words on the screen I feel like I really need to make a change.  I love being a stay at home mom now.  I honestly think that this might be my calling in life.  But I am forgetting one important thing here:

Me.

Where do I fit in this equation of being Max's mommy?

While I was home, my father said something to me that has stuck. He told me that I need to remember to take care of myself. In all honestly here, I really haven't been doing that. My figure is shot, yeah.. yeah, I just had a baby. But c'mon... I need to exercise. Not just to be skinny but to keep myself healthy.  Maybe I'm not making as much milk because I'm not taking all that good care of myself. I also haven't been doing the things I enjoy like knitting, reading books, baking or even cooking dinner for Julien and I.  I use Max as an excuse not to do these things. Like showering or even eating lunch.  I shouldn't do that. I need to find the balance.  But I think that will all come in due time and the first steps are being taken here by writing this down on my blog to remind myself that I am working towards this goal.  Even recent hair cuts count for something.   In the end, Max will be a better person if his Mama is taking care of herself too.


For the love of it

I just went in to check on Maximilien and caught him rolling himself from his back to his stomach! Earlier today he was trying to look at himself in the mirror on his tapis d'éveil, nearly rolling over in the process.  All these milestones he's been hitting in the last few weeks, I can't believe how fast he's growing up. 

Trying to roll over

While getting my hair cut today, the young stylist asked me if it was boring to stay home and take care of my son.   I wanted to respond that it's so exciting to see him grow and change everyday, it's like my own person science fair project. Science fair project, how do you say that in French? Instead, I told him that this was mon boulot  and for the first time in my life I absolutely loved my job.  It's so true, I realized it right at that moment what I was saying it.  How many people can say that right now that they go to their job and LOVE it?

I feel lucky.

I don't know what is going to happen after Max turns a year old. If I will feel the same but the last three months have been the most exciting in my life, well it ties with when I was first started dating Julien and knew he was the one for me. I am lucky  to have this much excitement in my job and my life.


Holy growth spurt, Batman!

I don't know if was the Mommy and Me yoga class I took Maximilien to or that yesterday was the longest day of the year but Max has been wanting to be on the boob almost every hour! I don't know if I can keep up. He even woke up early this morning to get topped off before snoozing again.  Where is all this good mama's milk going? And still no poops since Wednesday.  All I know is that sisters need to step up their game if they are going to keep up with Max.


Trois Mois

Well, son.. you are three month old today.  You are an alert, smiley baby.  Everyone who meets you is enchanted by your big, gummy smile.  You enjoy playing by yourself now, you are curious and starting to reach out and feel the world around you.  This month has been a good month for sleep. You've finally figured out how to fall asleep on your own. We've been practicing this for a nearly two months now and I am happy to say that at nap times when I lay you down and fall asleep alone. Not sure how long this will last but for now you're falling sleep alone!  Well, almost alone. It's just you  and your thumb.  Your thumb has become your new best friend. You talk to it. You hug it. And you spend a lot of time looking at it.  Maybe we should name your thumb? You even try to talk with your thumb in your mouth. I have to say that your thumb is my new best friend too because now you're sleeping nearly 12 hours a night.

We had a little scare this month because you wouldn't poop. You went almost six days without a sign of pooping and we took you to the hospital where you did an impressive poop with the help from the nice doctor.  The great poop watch 2007 continued until today when you did the biggest poop I've ever seen. It was coming out all over he place. I put you straight into the sink and washed you from waist down. You acted like nothing had happened. But you sure were happy afterwards:

3 Months Old

So, you probably think your mom is crazy writing about poop and you sucking your thumb. These are the things that make my world turn right now. You are the most important thing that has happened to me. Time is going by fast, my boy... before you know you'll be kissing girls! Oh, wait... I've already caught you doing that...

Making out with Sophie

Meet Maximilien's new girlfriend, Sophie La Girafe.


For five days, we waited...

The last time it happened was Monday morning. Maximilien woke up around 9am, I fed him and like usual he did his baby theatrics that accompany what my siblings and I call the dong (pronounced doh-ng which means poop in Korean) overture.  Max sings and pushes and grunts and then the big "ahhhh".  But since Monday morning we've been waiting to hear the dong overture again.  I payed close attention to Max all week. Asking kindly when the dong was going to arrive? He laughed and was  his happy self and showing no signs of distress. But everyday that passed there was no poop in sight.  By day three, I was started to worry a little. He had sorta done this before. When we were on vacation he had gone three days without a poop.  Day five, I called the pediatrician and ask for advice. He asked me questions about Max's behavior, if he was in pain or throwing up? Did he have a fever?  I told him that he was acting like himself.  He said not to worry and suggested a homeopathic remedy.  But last night after putting Max down for bed he whimpered in his sleep. He was half asleep, half awake and I could hear him ever so often make pushing noises and then cry.  I picked him up and he wailed and I knew it was time to go to the hospital. He had never wailed like that before.  We called the Samu to get advice and then told us to go to L'Hopital Trousseau, the children's hospital, near Porte de Vincennes and they would be able to help Max out. 

Like my other experiences in French hospitals we hadto wait a long time to see someone.  It seemed like other children were coming in that were sicker than Max and they were taking children on a priority system.  Max was initially examined by a nurse (he weighs 16 lbs now!) and they said he'd get in quick because he was under the age of 3 months. Nearly three hours later we finally saw a doctor.  The doctor (Dr. Maman!) examined Max and massaged his stomach and said he wasn't blocked and everything felt good.  She drilled me on what I had been eating lately since Max is fed exclusively breast milk. But she felt it was not right that Max had not pooped and actually thought we had waited too long to bring him in but didn't seemed too alarmed after she examined him.  She gave us little tube called Mini Lax that I had to administer to Max myself. It was a baby enema.  I gave it to him and in less than a minute he pooped! The doctor examined it and said it looked completely normal and sent us on our way. It was 2 am by the time we got home and we all fell into bed together and passed out.

The doctor at the hospital seemed shocked that we hadn't brought Max in earlier. And she criticized our pediatrician for not insisting to see Max in person.  For a second it made me question myself as a mother, had I made a mistake?  But then I piped up that I felt that he was okay. He wasn't acting strangely and that my instincts told me it was alright. Even our pediatrician asked if felt like he was acting differently, that was the first question he asked me and I said no. I think off that basis he wasn't too worried.  There is a fine line though when it comes to making decisions about my baby's health and I am still learning to work around that line.  The doctor at the hospital did say that mother's instinct is probably the best indicator when they are this age. It's so hard to really know.  I'm surprised at how calm I was during all this.  My mother's instinct really is an amazing thing. 

So, today I had a coffee and ate some prunes and pineapples at breakfast in hopes of keeping my son regular.  We're shooting for another poop by Monday. Welcome to Max's great poop watch 2007.  You know that my husband and I actually send each other SMS to keep each other in the loop about the poop. Ahh, life as parents.  If you've read this far, you are all too kind or perhaps just understand what this all means to us. :)


7 (new) things

- I put my contacts in for the first time last weekend since Maximilien was born nearly 3 months ago.  Which led to a mild eye infection. 

- I wear a new perfume and it's called Eau de Spit Up. I actually like it's sour notes and it lasting power.  The lady on the bus this week obviously wasn't into it. She got up and moved to another seat.

- During my lay over in Philadelphia last week I browsed the duty free shops. I couldn't resist and bout myself a travel exclusive makeup kit from Clinique. It was full of all of my colors.  Now the cute little box is sitting here on my desk a week later  taunting me.  When will I find time to shower and put makeup on in the same day?

- Taking care of Max is the most exciting thing I've ever done.  I can proudly say this is now my full time job. Julien and I have decided that I will stay home the first year of Max's life. I'm so excited.

- We are planning a summer family vacation.To an exotic place!

- Max has found his thumb. He even has figured out how to sooth himself back to sleep by sucking his thumb. He does that cute finger around the nose thing, too.  Oh, and he's sleeping 10+ hours a night. I'm getting beauty sleep again who needs make up, right?

- I saw an ad in the US ELLE magazine for Havaianas flip flops.  If you were living in Paris two years ago you  may have remember these as being very popular as Paris had it's Year of Brazil. Everyone had a pair with the little Brazilian Flag on it. Like these.  My favorite pair this year are pink:

My Havs

Family

We're back in Paris. It's good to be home. Max was a champ during both legs of our international trip to the US.  He actually slept in the weird bassinet thingy. And what is with strangers thinking that it's okay to touch him.  I had to stop several hands from pinching his chunky cheeks while he was sleeping? Hello? I must say that I was very happy to have the Maya Wrap with me. It made toting my 15lb two month old plus two suitcases at 50lbs and the Maclaren very, very easy.

The time spent with my family was amazing. He was welcomed by my family with open arms. We laughed and shared tears of joy and sadness. I was in awe all weekend to see the generations of my family all together. My father holding his grandson for the first time. My Aunt speaking Korean to her great nephew. My cousins introducing me to their children.  Family. The one thing that makes living abroad so hard.   

With every milestone in my life, I am reminded of the emptiness my heart feels.  The void that often over takes me when I think of my mother.  I know that her time on the Earth has ended and she's gone off to do bigger things. My spiritual side reminds me that when my life ends on this physical Earth I walk on, a new spiritual life will begin and there I will see my mother again.  But I am terribly sad that she can not take part in this momentous time in my life. To hold her grandson, to experience this with me.  I guess it's my selfishness that will not let her go. I choose not to let her go and I know that makes it hard for me to fully enjoy these happy times.  I do find comfort in speaking with my family about my feelings. To know that it's just as hard for them as it is for me.  We are all moving on in our own ways.

I try to keep my head up and look at what is ahead of me. I take quiet moments to absorb happy moments and try to linger on those happy times to help me get through the hard ones.  I look to the faces of my loving family and see that time is catching up with each and every one of us.  I just turned 30. But I still see my siblings as the young under 10 year olds they once were and yet they surprise me with their wisdom and I realize they are now adults just like me. 

Leaving my family was hard but I looked forward to coming home to my own family. Max and I were greeted by a very happy Julien.  Max's eyes lit up with recognition as his father pulled him close for cålin.  We stood and held on to each other in the middle of the airport.  Kissing and hugging. Smelling each other again. It's good to be home.