Wednesday, March 30, 2011

so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night

Although I love every stage so far, the first three or six months of babyhood were my favorite. I took for granted that all that hugging and holding and cuddling would last.

It used to be that after coaxing Fletcher into sleep (nursing) at nap times and bedtime, I'd need to burp him before laying him in his cradle or crib. Somewhere along the way, this small minute or two became a highlight of my day as he snuggled against me and I rocked back and forth, back and forth, occasionally singing our lullaby ("Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins) if he was having trouble falling asleep.

It was how I would say goodnight to him. It was how he would say goodnight to me. I blinked and he grew up, at least that's how it feels, and now we've lost our goodnight.

He sleeps a lot, and when he's awake he's either insanely active or pitifully tired. When it's nap time or bedtime, he wants to go straight from nursing to the crib and will cry if I try to hold him or rock him. It makes me feel less like mommy and more like a really big bottle, necessary but impersonal.

That's the only time, though. Normally he makes it very clear that he knows me and wants me around. As in all things, if you want the good you have to take the bad with it. For instance, with each amazing ability he acquires comes a whole new world of trouble he can get into.

...For instance, we may have lost our ritual goodnight, but Fletcher just learned how to wave goodbye.

From "Giving It Up For You" by Holly Brook:
Tell me what do you think of me now
That I've traded all my armor for a crown
Come on what do you do with me now
That I've taken down the mirror on the wall
And the sweet rain is ready to fall
I'm giving it up for you

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We attended a wedding on Saturday. We did okay at the church, until Fletcher discovered the cane belonging to the man in front of us. I hauled my boy to what they call the "mother's room" which was really just an area carved out of the ladies' bathroom into which they squeezed a couch, a room which really wouldn't work if you were a dad with a trouble-making child, and I'm trying not to let this be symbolic of the role of a woman vs. a man in religion, so.

Because the mother's room was basically the bathroom, I wasn't trying too hard to make the door close, locking in that lovely public restroom smell. The wedding photographer was hanging out in the back of the church just outside the mother's room, and Fletcher was quite interested in him. In fact, Fletcher was quite interested in EVERYTHING LET ME CLIMB ON IT PLEASE.

Dutifully, the photographer snapped a few shots of my boy, who he said was very photogenic, and so my ego exploded with joy.

Courtesy of Rex Munyon Photography.

Generally, I'm all for keeping him in onesies as long as absolutely possible. You won't catch me dressing him like a mini-adult too often. But I don't think my baby has ever been cuter than he was in his tie and sweater vest.

Yes, his hair is starting to go in his eyes. I don't know how to possibly cut it anymore, not without him freaking out because he wants to eat the scissors and then I'd wind up accidentally stabbing him in the eye.

On the subject of eyes, it turns out I had a slightly lazy (droopy) eye as a baby, which I outgrew. It's something that also appears on other men in my family when they are really tired. And I see it a little bit in Fletcher here (along with his buck teeth. Did I mention that he has eight teeth now? Eight.):

A few photos I took:

three schultz generations

tie off for the reception

my little stud

In some ways, I'm not the stereotypical woman who wants to go out with the girls and, I don't know, shop for shoes? I don't miss "girl outings" or "adult" outings without Fletcher. I don't ever wish for time away from him, not really. So even though he was a handful during the wedding (and especially the reception when I discovered he has a built-in tracking device for finding cake and various other bits on the floor), it was my choice to have him there. I'm not broken up about not being able to dance the night away.

That being said, I know a non-baby-appropriate outing when I see one, and so I feel a little prickly about the fact that during the reception my engaged step-sister-in-law thought it necessary to ask my husband to babysit Fletcher next weekend while she and I and the rest of her bridesmaids go looking for bridesmaid dresses. I'm obsessed, but I'm not dumb.

Hmm. Maybe I am stereotypical, then, reading too much between the lines and getting worked up over nothing.

In any case, I'm honored that I get to stand up in her wedding next year. I was honestly surprised when she asked, because I'd taken it for granted that my bridesmaid days were all behind me. Fletcher will be nearly two years old when that wedding comes, and if he attends, I bet he'll be the handsomest boy to ever strut his stuff. Do you think I'm biased much?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

fight | 10 months old

This is my new favorite picture. It makes me want to kiss my computer screen.

This is the official 10 month picture.

It was suggested to Andy that "month days" aren't all that significant. We know it isn't like a birthday,  but whenever the 23rd of the month arrives, it feels special.

Given his new mission for self-destruction, I'm pleased to be able to say he survived another month. It wasn't for lack of trying. He bruised up his cheek and had an entire piano bench fall on his head (and then on his body).

We also had our biggest fight. During his bath last night, he insisted on standing in his bath duck and yelling at me. I tried being patient, kind, silly, repetitive, distracting. It didn't matter what he was doing or what I was doing, he was YELLING. So eventually, I was YELLING. And we DID NOT LIKE EACH OTHER. Then bedtime came, and I lay alone in the quiet thinking about it and feeling guilty and absolutely worn thin. And I missed him.

 He had his first guitar lesson.

He spent some quality time with Grandpa.

He rediscovered his long lost love.

And he rode in a stroller for the very first time without the car seat.

Here are the rest of the 10 month pictures!

I've been listening to Holly Brook lately (a.k.a. Skylar Grey of Dr. Dre's/Eminem's "I Need A Doctor").  These lyrics belong to her song "Curious."

I think that I think too hard
And I don't give enough credit to my heart

I'm so damn curious to know
And there are too many unanswered questions
That we hold onto

Portraits of your loved ones
Are more than what you see
All the elements they capture
Are more to you than me

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

lasagna and an air pump

He uses anything and everything to lift himself up to stand, and no cupboard is safe when he's in the mood to pillage and plunder.

more white stuff!

probably not what the walker was intended for

stage 3 lasagna was a HIT

Last night, he opened a door and found the air pump that came with the exercise ball I bought when I was pregnant. It was love at first sight. He spent more than an hour holding his precious air pump. Don't ask me what happened when I took it away from him so we could go to bed. It was too traumatic to relive.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Writing blog posts is getting frackin' hard. Not the "writing" part, but the "using a computer without the baby wanting to grab at the keys and eat the screen and chew the cord" part.

So what's happened lately?
  • Time inexplicably passed again. He's almost 10 months old.
  • He got his seventh tooth.
  • He's doing quite well eating small bits of "real" food. 
  • I went to take a quick potty break, and when I got back he had climbed eight stairs and scared me to death. More than once, he's climbed the entire flight while supervised. A cardboard obstacle was built to stop or slow him.  Or trip me.
  • He made friends with an almost-one-year-old at a baby shower on Saturday. There was a bit of cute monkey-see-monkey-do. 
  • On Sunday, I threw a dirty diaper in frustration. I may or may not have been aiming at my husband's head. He may or may not have forgiven me. There wasn't that much poop in it. 
  • Husband complained about baby food stuck in the carpet again, as if it is preventable. Wet Cheerios stick to everything and dry like glue. Just look at my shirt.

Mostly, I've been worrying a lot. When I first became a parent, the things to worry about were all obvious and expected, and I'd mentally prepared myself to handle them. But now, the things I worry about don't have solutions.

I don't know what I'm going to do when he outgrows his car seat. Sure, we have a different car seat ready for him, but it's not like his original. It doesn't slide into multiple bases in multiple cars. It's a big item that's meant to stay strapped into one car. Are we supposed to buy another one for our other car? And what about the grandparents' cars? And what about the fact that my car is the size of a toy and the idea of fitting a larger car seat in it (let alone taking it in and out repeatedly) is like a bad joke? We can't afford to trade my car in. My husband's car is older and will be the one that gets traded when the time comes.

Then there's nursing. I've obsessed over breastfeeding woes before, and it's getting worse. I used to provide at least eight ounces while at work. About four months in, that started getting difficult. Suddenly I was only able to provide six ounces while away from home. Now I'm LUCKY if I get a total of four ounces, because there is just no let down reflex. Even with this problem, though, I never had to worry about feeding him when I was home -- it was only the pump that my body stopped understanding.

But last night I couldn't get a let down with Fletcher, so now my worries are compounded. Eventually his tiredness won out over his hunger and he fell asleep. Then I went to bed with my failure, wondering what was happening to me, what I was supposed to do. I know he isn't starving, but... my baby went to bed hungry? What kind of mother am I? I'm so angry with my body, as it fails me time and again.

I'm not supposed to have a bad back at my age, yet it feels like someone has grabbed hold of each muscle and twisted. I've lost mobility in my neck, shoulders, arms. I've forced myself to learn how to accept the constant pain, even as new joint pain joins the party.

Is being able to feed my baby when he's hungry really too much to ask? I've done everything right. Why can't it do what it's supposed to do? For the first time, I really feel trapped by my body, because now it isn't just about me.

You know it's a sad state of affairs when you dream of winning the lottery so you can do things like see a health care professional and get a car with four doors.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


There is a guy I once knew thought I knew. There are victims. There is a lengthy prison sentence. Because there are victims, and I'm not one of them, it isn't my story to tell.

It changes things, though, when that horrible story about that horrible person is no longer separate and distant and anonymous. This is a person who was in my wedding, for pete's sake. Now it's there, lodged in my brain. How could he do it?

I don't mean to be vague and teasing. It's a story I feel the need to discuss, but cannot take ownership of, so it's a hard line to walk.

Why has it affected me, when he wasn't a close friend of mine? Just an acquaintance, really. The story has several dark and horrible facets, but one detail sticks with me. One detail is the reason I can't let go of this with a "oh, that's so terrible."

He has a baby boy.

It's none of my business. But.

In my head, I speculate. That cherubic boy is better off without his father, now that we know the ugliness inside him, right? I'm sure his mother and other family members provide all the love he could need. He may procure a wonderful stepfather. One way or another, I'm sure he has been hurt and will be hurt by the situation, but my thoughts are all hopeful for him.

But. How could he do it?

How could he be so selfish, and yet give up the one thing that I'm most selfish about?

How could a parent ever betray the child that came from him, the child he saw born into this world by the woman he vowed to love? The child who needed him? The child he should, himself, have needed? Even if he no longer wanted to be with his wife (no one knows), how could he make decisions that would surely take him away from his child?

I'm physically ill at the thought of ever hurting, losing, betraying my family. I need them. Do I need my husband and baby too much? I think I named my blog "obsession" because I wonder if I'm too dependent and needy. Whether the betrayer or the betrayed, I would not survive this horror story if it came home to me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Churching with a nine-month-old is vastly different from churching with a four-month-old who dozed placidly in his car seat.

This older baby is a curious, crawling, climbing, determined, unstoppable godzilla. Actually, he reminds me of one of my favorite animated characters of all time, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.

By the end of the church service, all I could say to Andy was, "We survived." Of course, I think the only part of the sermon I really heard was that if Jesus was on Facebook, The Bible would be his profile page. Ah, Mark Zuckerberg, your invention has so many applications.

I have to agree that this stage of babyhood is a riot. When he's awake, he goes NON-STOP, a little machine going up and down, over and under, over and over again. His latest skill is standing without support. He always looks a little surprised when he gets this far, and I'm never quite sure if he's thinking, "How do I walk now?" or "How do I sit without smashing my face?"

But I'm keeping my eyes peeled for those first steps.