Noah is now 10 months old. Take a minute, let that sink in. He is now 10. Months. Old. Where did the time go? I swear it was just yesterday I was in the Pediatric unit sobbing hysterically because my brand-new baby boy was sunning away in a baby tanning bed due to his very high bilirubin levels and I a) just wanted to go home and start out lives as a family of four and b) could not hold him as much as I wanted/needed to since he needed to stay in that damn box to get better. My mother knew how hard it was for me, how hard it was for us. Dyl knew better than anyone since he ran himself ragged getting Noelle to school, working, picking her up, bringing her over to the hospital to visit, taking her home, keeping her on her routine as we had planned. And she did beautifully. Noah got better. And we came home to begin our new normal.
I wasn't blogging while pregnant with him but the fam remembers how he was a stubborn little Pain In The Ass even then. He waited a whole NINE (!!!) days past his due date to arrive, only deigning to join the world when his eviction notice was signed, sealed and delivered. (I will get around to posting his birth story at a later date - maybe by his first birthday).
Extreme tangent: Why the HELL does it smell like bananas/circus peanuts in here?!?!?!?!?!
And we're back. Talking about....um, oh, right! Noah. Where was I....? Oh yes, about how he was a royal PITA. Okay, not really but as Noelle was the most ridiculously easy baby ever, you can understand why we might think he was a bit more...challenging. He nursed pretty well though there were days I cringed through the latching process. And it never really got better until one day, he just...stopped. Refused to nurse. Would scream bloody murder if a boob came anywhere near him. AUGH! IT'S THE BOOB! THE EVIL, EVIL BOOB. PUT IT AWAY WOMAN, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? So we stopped trying. I switched over to the all-pumping all-the-time channel which is where we are today. He's a decent sleeper though nothing like his sister. He will fight falling asleep tooth and nail (sometimes both at the same time) even though we know he's tired, he knows he's tired, the folks in the next county know he's tired. He just will. not. give. in. He has a temper and gets frustrated easily, not unlike his sister and mother. Apple. Tree. How you doing?
But oh! The joys a little boy brings. He wakes up each morning happy and smiling. He'll play in his crib quietly though we'll hear him 'talking' and 'singing' to his toys in the crib. (Yes, he has toys in the crib. I'm a bad mommy. Moving on...) His natural inquisitiveness as to what is OVER THERE. BEHIND THE DOOR. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING FROM ME PEOPLE? can drive you bonkers. He loves. loves. loves. to open and shut doors. He has a favorite piece of play food, peas, that he carries around in his mouth like a puppy. He plays in the kitchen set with it, constantly opening and closing (there's that theme again) the 'oven' door, putting the peas in, taking them out. I'm sure that they are quite well done now. He'll crawl over to the box of play food and empty the entire thing out to find the damn peas. He adores his sister and 'chases' her around the house while she runs and shrieks through giggles that 'Noah's chasing me!' He loves the cat who, while tolerant of the newest interloper does most emphatically NOT love him back though she will allow him to pet her under close adult supervision. That doesn't always work out right since his meaty little paw is FAST and will seize a handful of fur before you can say 'boo'. He loves silly songs and playing 'Where's Noah' where he'll raise his arms up over his head as if to say 'Here I am! I'm SO BIG!' He can climb steps and pull himself up on almost anything. He looks too thin to me but he's right in the middle of the pack for weight.
He has no fear and will chase after everything as fast as he can. When he grins, his eyes crinkle up and he seems to smile with his whole face. He loves his 'Peek-a-Boo' books and any book with animals. When he's tired or being shy he'll cuddle against your shoulder and snuggle his head into your neck, looking up at everyone through his ridiculously long dark eyelashes. He has big deep blue eyes and is such a pretty baby that people have corrected us saying 'No, no, that's not a boy. He's too pretty to be a boy.' I wish to GOD that I was making that part up. He loves eating and trying to get to the TV/receiver and DVD. He is a total man in that he will commandeer the remote every chance he gets. He gives big, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses and snatches my glasses off my face. He pats our faces when he drinking his bottle or pinches our arms when being held as if to remind us that he is still there and wants nothing more than to be held close. He lights up when he sees Grandma, practically leaping our of my arms with a squeal of delight. When he's happy he kicks his legs like there is no tomorrow and waves his hands together, trying to clap, not really succeeding but also not caring. He is SO MUCH, it's exhausting and exhilarating; terrifying and enrapturing, like an out-of-control Tilt-a-Whirl but a ride I don't want to stop.
It's these burgeoning expressions of independence, personality and affection that makes it exponentially harder to leave him every day. Watching this little person unfold, blossoming like a lily is such a joy and a privilege...and a source of constant heartache. I want nothing more than to be with him as he discovers the world around him inch by delighted, wondering inch. I don't have that option; all that I can do is to be the best Mommy to my special little man that I can. And hope that it's good enough.