Ethan got his very first taste of solid food tonight. He turned 5 months old yesterday so we figured it was time. I honestly wish that I could breastfeed FOREVER. I love the bonding aspect of it, I love when he gets distracted by his daddy or the dog and turns away to look at whatever caught his eye, I love when he reaches up at me and stares into my soul as he suckles with those big piercing deep blue eyes, how he grabs the hem of my pulled up shirt with his whole tiny fist, how he sometimes sucks too hard and too fast and then gasps for air. It's hard to accept that he won't need food from me forever. Half of me is sad that he's moving on to more toddler-like fare, because I swear to gawd it was only yesterday that my milk still wasn't in and he was starving and this was but a dream. But I'm also extremely proud of his energy, his determination and his strength as he approaches the half-year mark. I can't wait to see what the second half of his first year brings. I feel confident as a mother, as a wife and as a person. Having Ethan was really probably honestly the best thing that ever, EVER happened to me. It brought out my strengths and my weaknesses, challenged me, made me see what I am capable of. He is such a blessing!

Ok, I've had an ENTIRE bottle of cheap red wine tonight, so excuse the above. I wanted to document this very special day somehow and I'm feeling rather sentimental. Right now Drew is complaining because I'm spending too much time on the internet, and the Mavericks game is about to start. Goodnight!


Holy fuck. I just read what I wrote last night and, um... well, to write an entire paragraph on how I LOVE breastfeeding my poor innocent baby and then to admit that I'd just consumed a bottle of wine seems... wrong? Ahem. I ASSURE you, I spaced out my drinks and timed it with his feedings to be sure that he didn't wake up in a puddle of his own vomit, naked and lying next to some strange guy named Stan. I know that downing a bottle of Southern Comfort while nursing my baby is probably not smart, even if I do live in Louisiana.



That's how my head feels right now, like it's been dunked into a murky pool of water. I'm sick. So's Ethan. (But as you can clearly see in the above pic, he is still cute as ever with a cold. And let me introduce you to the 2 teeth that decided to pop up at 4 months! Hi! Nice to meet you!) We made the move to Louisiana nearly 2 weeks ago, and ever since we arrived it's been unpacking and arranging and rearranging and cleaning, cleaning, holy hell the CLEANING! I am the motherfucking Lysol queen! Funny (funny shake-your-head & roll-your-eyes funny, NOT haha funny), but D had been living in this lil' house for nearly 2 months prior to our arrival, and on NUMEROUS occasions he swore up and down that yep, he had cleaned! And organized! He was a cleaning and organizing pro! CLEAN! ORGANIZED! But (dum dum DUM...) when I got to the house and stepped inside, it was honestly like a scene out of a horror movie. I let out a blood curdling scream and actually considered jumping back into my car with Ethan and driving another 7 hours straight, back to the comfort of my mother's CLEAN and (semi)organized house in Texas. But instead, like a brave little housewife, I armed myself with an army of disinfectants, all-purpose sprays, windex, mildew killers, mops, brooms, sponges and the like, and I took the filth by the BALLS, man. I kicked some dust-dirt-grime ASS. My body held on for dear life until OPERATION:CLEAN HOME was a mission accomplished. And then my immune system surrendered and now I am sick. Boo!

Anyway, we made it, and much to my suprise I actually really, REALLY like it. The house will be a bit of a work in progress for awhile, but I kind of like that. Pics are sure to come as PROJECT:HOME unfolds. We finally got the internet today, and also? We got cable. Now tell me something... is it unacceptable for me to watch Laguna Beach? Or... for me to watch Laguna Beach and actually enjoy it? Because if watching that show is wrong... I don't fucking want to be right. (SHOOT ME NOW.) (PLEASE.)



I wrote an entire post about how upset I am that Chris was eliminated from American Idol last night. Then I wrote about how glad I was to see Sara get sent home on America's Next Top Model, because her lips were on the verge of swallowing her entire face and then what!? But then I deleted it all, because dear gawd. Aren't baby pics sooo much better anyway?



I always get super offended whenever people make fun of Texans like we're all just a bunch of redneck-toothless-flanel-wearing-tobacco-spittin'-shotgun-groping drunkards, but clearly I am a hypocrite because I've been ragging on the good people of Louisiana ever since moving there became even a remote possibility. Heh. Go figure. I may be drunk and have indeed worn flanel in the past (think Nirvana, grunge and converse, ok?), but I am soooo above those barefoot-gator-eatin'-nutra-rat-shootin'-crawfish-boilin' cajuns. I mean, really.

In other news, I am currently eating a pop-tart. An off-brand cinnamon pop-tart. So, technically, it is a "toaster pastry", not a pop-tart. But: YUM! Have not consumed this delightful blend of sugar, fat and refined overprocessed flour in, oh, literally years. Is especially delicious with milk.

Ethan is asleep in his crib as we speak. He's been NAPPING in his crib since yesterday (up until now he's been napping in his swing but in his crib at night). I kinda feel like he's thinking 'Finally, FINALLY! Finally she got me my own bed!' because he's not resisting at all like I expected him to. Sure, he might fuss a bit here and there but he always falls asleep and pretty much stays asleep IN HIS CRIB until he's ready to wake up. Unless you were here, actually physically hello-how-ya-doin' here during the first month of Ethan's life, you will never fully understand why this is such a big deal to me and why I cannot stop talking about it. You're probably thinking Um, yeah dumbshit, babies and cribs go together like freaking peanut butter and jelly, what the hell are you smoking? and to that I will say that I am, in fact, not smoking anything because I am breastfeeding, but thanks for asking. Also, fuck off.

This generic cinnamon toaster pastry has gotten me off on some sort of sugar high. Clearly there is no need to smoke anything.


And the Angels Sang...

So last night was Night 3. I bathed Ethan and fed him and then lay him in his crib at around 6:30 p.m. That seemed a tad early to me but he was tiiiiiired and there wasn't any point in trying to keep him awake once we'd been through our new nighttime routine. He looked at me knowingly when I set him down and told him goodnight. I left the room. He cried for about 5 minutes. Then the crying stopped. THE CRYING STOPPED BY ITSELF. And he didn't make another peep until he was hungry at 10-ish. I fed him, put him back in his crib and he went back to sleep. Same story at 4:15 a.m. No rocking or jiggling or shhhhhing required. What a flippin' dream. I watched a movie. A WHOLE MOVIE! I ate Chinese and drank wine! I enjoyed an entire meal and coffee too. And a movie, did I mention the movie? All with peace and quiet and without worry. I almost have half a life again!

In other news, Ethan bit my nipple during a feeding today for the first time with the tooth. THE TOOTH, you know, that razor sharp weapon of death. HOLY FUCKING TITS man. Ouch.


Cut the Cord Already...

I said I wouldn't bust out my crib-sleeping enforcement badge until we got to our house in Louisiana, but after reading a recent post by one of my favorite bloggers and an article on sleep in American Baby, I was curiously stricken with the urge to start the process right away. I've researched and read and googled, and with the help of my own mother I've taken a semi-Ferber approach to getting little Ethan to A) sleep in his crib instead of in the bed with me and B) fall asleep on his own.

From the day that Ethan was home from the hospital up until yesterday, (that's over 18 weeks time!) he has been sleeping with me. In my bed. The routine went something like this: Eat dinner. Drink a cuppa half-caf outside with Ethan. Brush teeth. Wash face. Change into pajamas. Fluff pillows, unfold blanket. Change Ethan. Nurse Ethan. Rock and burp Ethan until he falls asleep in my arms. Lay down, place Ethan on my chest. DO NOT MOVE LEST THE GATES OF HELL OPEN AND ITS ETERNAL FIRES SWALLOW ME WHOLE. In other words, give up my nightlife completely to avoid waking the baby, who is fast asleep ON ME. He'd usually fall asleep somewhere between 7 and 8 p.m. I know this sounds daunting and a little bit ridiculous (ok, a lot ridiculous), and I'll be the first to admit that yes, yes it was. But it's the only routine that worked for me and that I was comfortable with. Until now.

I liked knowing what the evening would bring. It's my own damn fault for not trying harder to get Ethan to sleep in his crib, but I assure you that as a newborn he would not have anything to do with it. My attempts at both napping and nighttime sleeping in the crib in the early days were so exhausting and scary as a new mom that I was completely turned off the idea of trying again when he got a little older. Reading other parent's accounts of the things they tried to solve their babies' sleep problems terrified me. Being a sort-of-single-mom (away from my husband) for the first months of Ethan's life drained me completely, and once we settled into this bedtime routine I was so grateful to actually get any sleep that I decided to take it any way I could get it. The thought of going back to getting only 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night to try to get him to sleep in his crib was out of the question. Until now.

Thursday morning I laid out a plan for what I would do every night from then on out. I know consistency is key. I know the first few nights are the hardest. Here's what I have been doing: After dinner I give Ethan a nice relaxing bath. Then I nurse him, making sure that he gets plenty to eat. I rock him while I burp him, and then lay him in his crib while he is still awake. I kiss him and tell him to go night-night, touch his face softly and quietly leave the room. Night 1: within 5 minutes he began wailing, but I anticipated that. At first I was going to time it so that I went in to soothe him every 10 minutes that he was crying, but instead we decided to just go by the severity of his cries. I know his tired cry, which could go on forever and it would be alright. Then there's his angry I AM SPITTING FIRE AND MY HEAD IS SPINNING cry. This cry calls for some attention. Whenever it got to this point I'd go in and calm him down to let him know that I was still there and hadn't abandoned him and that everything was ok SO GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP ALREADY. Sometimes I'd pick him up and sometimes I'd just rub or pat his belly and softly whisper to him. Once calm, I'd leave again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Ethan went down the first night at 7 p.m. He cried off and on until 8:15, and we probably went in to soothe him 4 or 5 times. By 8:30 he was fast asleep. From 8:30 to 10:30 he woke probably 3 times and cried but no one went in because he fell back to sleep on his own within 5 minutes. At 10:30 I went to bed and he cried, so I nursed him because it had been 4 hours since his last feeding. When he was finished I put him back in his crib and he slept from 11 until 3:30 a.m. The only reason he woke up then was because of the wicked-ass thunderstorm we were having that woke everyone up. I nursed him at 3:30 and then let him sleep with me the rest of the night because of that damn storm.

Last night (Night 2) I did the exact same thing. Dinner for me, bath for him, dinner for him, straight to the crib. He cried right when I put him in this time, and I went back to soothe him after 10 minutes. He continued to scream and so my mom went in to soothe him about 10 minutes later. She got him to sleep. By 9:30 he had woken up once more and cried, but again no one went in because he fell back to sleep on his own. When I went to sleep at 10-ish, he cried and I nursed him. He was hungry. I put him back in his crib and he drifted off without a peep. He woke again at 3:15 a.m., I nursed him, then put him back in his crib AND AGAIN he went back to sleep without a fight. He slept until 7 this morning, and then I got him and put him in bed with me and we both slept for another GLORIOUS*GLORIOUS*GLORIOUS hour. This is going soooooooo much better than I had expected. I feel really stupid for not trying this ages ago, but I guess I needed to be ready just as much as him. So, within a few more night's time I expect that he will dramatically cut down on the howling when I put him down. I'll put him in his crib and he'll look at me, roll his eyes and say, Ah fuck it, this isn't worth it, I'm just going to go to sleep now, goodnight mama... and the sky will open and all the angels will sing.


18 Delicious Weeks!

My favorite baby in the whole world turned 18 weeks on Tuesday. To celebrate I went and bought myself a cute denim mini-skirt in a size that I have not fit into for a loooooooong time. Like, pre-prepregnancy long. So, YAY! Ethan went with me so I got his approval on everything that was purchased. At one point I suffered from a severe lapse in judgement and tried on a pair of gauchos, and Ethan's expression went something like this: Are you fucking mad woman? You can't be serious. I will turn my head, you take those wretched things off and we will never speak of this again. Hurry! I obeyed and somehow regained my senses.

Ethan is brighter and more beautiful (um, in a MANLY way, that is) each and every day. He is. He really is! He's so anxious to see and learn and explore and loves to socialize and laugh. He's rolling ALL OVER the place and recently discovered his feet, which are the best toys ever made. And they're attached to his body! Who knew?

We move to Louisiana 1 week from Monday. Some light packing on my part is all that remains, and I think my husband has our new house at least semi-organized for when we arrive. Again, YAY! I'm actually getting really excited. Most of my anxiety has let up and honestly I'm not sure if that's because I'm having a good day or what, but I'll take it. Suck it up and see what happens.

Am sucking! Am seeing! Wish us luck!



Ethan turned 4 months last week. Ethan cut his first tooth yesterday. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I'd noticed some extra fussiness lately, and some excess waking at night, but I really didn't think much of it. The drooling had been going on for some time now, and Ethan regularly stuffs my finger into his mouth to bite down on. When he did it yesterday, there it was... a tooth! The bottom front left. You can see it and feel it and it's broken through the gums. I grabbed him and hugged him and kissed him and honestly got a little teary, telling him, "WELL NO WONDER!" because that explains EVERYTHING. Teething isn't as bad as I thought it'd be. I realize we still have a mouthful of teeth to go but I really expected much worse. Cleary this early teething means that Ethan is, in fact, a genius. (As if there were any doubt at all in my mind!)

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