So, first off, we made it. I spent three days away from my baby and we both survived. I also made it from Washington D.C. to Denver with 60 oz of breast milk and no issues. I actually had a tougher experience getting through security on my way out, purely out of happenstance. It’s always good to know your breast are not producing noxious chemicals.
I got back on Tuesday the 17th, Ansel’s 8 month birthday. 8 months feels BIG, like, we are rounding the corner on a year. And he’s becoming so much more his own person these days. Still a baby, sure, but also a more independent type of baby.
He’s crawling – sometimes the traditional way, sometimes using something that approximates a land-locked butterfly move, all arms and muscles. But, he can get around (and get into trouble) and is starting to learn that most human lesson: the word NO and not getting everything you want.
He’s babbling and using consonants, starting to pull himself up on a few things, reaching for us and showing some preference for me and La (or sometimes just one of us, although he tends to switch off at least.) Still no teeth, and no signs of anything coming through yet either, but he doesn’t really let this stop him when it comes to food. New Ansel favorites include carrots, pears and refried beans!
He’s still super charming, incredibly laid back, and smiley for days. He’ll flash that mega watt beam at you mid playing, and it just melts your face off. Even in his cranky moments, he’ll often break into a smile or giggle, like his good nature can’t quite get lost even in tears. He’s pure, unadulterated joy, and it fills me deeply with love and happiness. He especially loves dance parties, being surprised (peek a boo is great, but so is anything with an element of suspense), acrobatic flying and hanging, and christmas lights (because yes, we did already hang them and I have no shame about it!) He also loves Santa. Of course.
And boobs. He still LOVES boobs. I am not really loving pumping (not that I ever did) and am beginning to see the light at the end of the pumping tunnel. My plan right now is to pump ‘full time’ (ie: my usual pumping routine, about 4X a day when I’m away from him) until his first birthday, and then start gradually dropping pumps, with a plan to be done completely by 15 or so months. I’ll keep nursing him when I’m home for as long as he wants (and probably, if I needed to travel overnight, I’d pump for those times too? Not sure) but switch him to another kind of milk at a year and not worry about keeping up . Of course, this will probably depend on how he’s doing with solids, as he isn’t getting nearly enough now to substitute for breast milk. But, I think teeth will probably help with that a bit, and in this respect, a lot can happen in 4 months. Still, I am feeling the least anxious ever about maintaining my supply, both because I know I have this long, and also because the freezer stock of about 70 oz has stayed at that level for months. We are getting close enough now that I can see the end of the anxiety associated with nursing, and imagine it just being the really lovely parts I enjoy.
I suppose the last bit of news is that I have a phone interview for a job that I am SUPER excited about. It’s still in Colorado, but it’s doing community based grant making for health initiatives. Super cool form of granting, more secure organization (funder vs. non profit) and a MUCH better salary (like, the minimum salary range is what I make + what La makes now) The interview is in December, so I have some good time to really prepare. So, send some good woo into the world for that, if you’d like.
I’ll leave you with A’s comparison shots, one month vs. 8 months, and 2-4-6-8 months. I can’t quite believe he was so tiny, but I also feel immense pride my body made that baby and then turned him from a 6lb scrawny bird into a 20+ lb. michelin roll stay puft marshmallow man. Boobs! They are so amazing!!