Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 months/3 years

Yesterday was our 3 year anniversary and coincidentally Micah's 10 month marker... we always take a few minutes to reflect on our gorgous wedding, and discuss the highs and lows of life since we married. This year, of course, we could definitely agree: our proudest accomplishment was our baby boy.
Our anniversary present to each other is going to be a used pop-up camper. We love camping, but Colorado nights are cold in the mountains, so sleeping on the ground isn't that fun. We picture lots of fun family trips ahead, and a camper will make it easier for us to pick up and go.

One slightly worrisome development yesterday: I sent Micah to school with a little egg yolk omlet. He'd had egg yolks once before, hardboiled and mixed with something green, like kale. The reaction he had then was projectile puking, which I chalked up to the weird combination. But no, today there was also projectile puking, so it appears he may be allergic to egg yolks. Hope this isn't the symptom of some bigger allergy issues. He hasn't had any reaction to anything else he's eaten, though of course the choices have been fairly limited. Will have to schedule an appointment to get tested because he's starting to be much more interested in table food and it will be more difficult to control what he eats.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Moving Pieces

Vrooom, vroom! Not sure I'm ready for Micah to drive if he can't keep his feet off the steering wheel!
There's a lot of moving going on around me right now -- literally. My parents, who live nearby, are moving to a smaller place next month, and one of my sisters, currently in Philadelphia, is moving here with her family at the end of June. Oh, and in 3 weeks, I'm selling the condo I owned for 17 years in a town that I still love but no longer live in. I'm also in the midst of planning camping trips, business trips, and vacations, but I'm feeling like I'm not doing enough to help my family in all their moving. I know my life isn't that complicated -- life with twins or even two kids seems infinitely more difficult -- but it is a lot to juggle, along with the important work of making friends and connections in our new home town, maintaining our relationship, starting a new business, and making sure that our child's learning and growth continues.
And of course, there's a lot more movement going on at home with Micah. While he isn't quite crawling, he's spinning, pushing himself backwards on his tummy, and reaching for things slightly out of reach and somehow getting them. Now we really have to watch out! The other day, at a birthday party, I put him down on the grass near where some other kids were playing; when I came back a few minutes later, somehow a bagel piece was in mouth. This just after Adam and I had discussed holding off from introducing wheat products for a while longer.

Note the hand in mouth? That's a piece of bagel that some bigger kid dropped!

Later that day, at another party, an older woman scooped Micah up and exclaimed with glee, "Ooooh, you're just so moist and meaty!" Can you see why?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Man's Reach Should Exceed His Grasp - pix added

Clapping with one hand open.
Just out of reach.....

Stopping to chat with a neighbor this morning as Micah and I took a stroll around the neighborhood, she asked the inevitable, "What's new?"

With a 9 1/2 month old, everything's new, every single day. Feet, for example, are endlessly fascinating, and every day we see a new type of kick or a new angle for Micah to study them. Hands, too, continue to be new and exciting. On Sunday, Micah had taught himself to clap his fists together; by Monday morning he was imitating a real clap with one hand open and the other still in a fist.

Each time Micah masters a new skill, we celebrate it, but immediately start fretting that he'll never reach the next one. It wasn't so long ago that we lay him on his back on his play mat, worrying that he just wasn't motivated to reach for the swinging toys. He's long since rushed from that stage to sitting up and reaching for them; and just this week, I noticed that he's no longer ignoring the toys that are out of his reach, but trying to puzzle out how to get ahold of them, despite not being fully mobile yet. He reaches forward to the limits of his arm length, not quite there, but trying over and over until he rocks himself forward a bit.

Ah, I realize, the poet was right. A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?

All human behavior is predicated on trying to obtain things that are very slightly (or maybe more than slightly) outside of our grasp. That's what motivates us to set our alarms for earlier than we'd like to wake up, to go to work when we'd rather play, to make outselves pretty.

And then I realize that Micah's been doing this all along, even when we think he's not really trying. While we've been worrying that he'll never crawl, he's actually been getting ready each morning, when we find him in his crib on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth; while we've been worrying that he'll never hold his own bottle or feed himself, he's been training us to know the cry that indicates he's hungry. Children come here with their little alien eyes and helpless little bodies, and yet they're the one's teaching us what it means to be human. Time for me to figure out what seems just beyond my reach and start trying to figure out how to get it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the other mothers

Note to self: self-made portraits are too close-up for a 40-something mother!

My baby is playing happily by himself at my feet right now, giving me a moment to reflect and thank the women who made it possible for me to be a mother.

To our beautiful surrogate and egg donor:
I hope that your lives have been easier because of your remarkable gift to us.

I hope that you've been able to achieve what you hoped for when you agreed to do this.

I hope that you don't regret your decision, or miss the child you helped to create and carry.

I hope you know that I will always remind Micah on mother's day to be thankful to you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Growth updates and status of non-biological parent

Look, ma, no hands! (But daddy's right there to catch me!)

Our little nature boy, tiptoeing (or in this case, bouncing!) through the tulips.

At the moment, we seem to have a baby who is taking after dear old dad. At his 9 month visit, he's charted at the 83rd percentile for length (29 3/8"), 15th percentile for weight (18 lbs, 6 oz), and 1st percentile for head circumference. He's sleeping really hard these days, probably in reaction to all the teeth that are starting to poke out, and eating a great variety of food, including broccoli, kale, tofu, an oatmeal/barley/lentil mixture, and some other strange and healthy foods like ground flax seeds, brewer's yeast, and omega 3 oil. Trying to keep his neurological development going strong!

He's definitely moving a lot more than he was even a week ago, though he hasn't even begun thinking about trying to pull up or "cruise" (thank goodness!). All in all, as I said to the doctor the other day, we've hit the baby jackpot!

Wanted to address one issue that has come up on a few blogs recently, the status of the non-biological parent. When we started investigating surrogacy in India, all the information we got said that the intended mother's name would be on the birth certificate and therefore on the baby's citizenship. This was no longer the case by the time we arrived in India to pick up Micah, at least for US citizens. The way it worked for us was that my name appeared on the Indian birth certificate, but as , part of our process of getting Micah's US citizenship, we had to submit documentation proving that he was biologically related to a US citizen. The US embassy issues another birth certificate along with the passport, and this one only showed Adam's name as parent. Mother was left blank. (Disclosure, things may have changed since August 2009; I haven't been paying that much attention, but I doubt they've gotten more lenient.)

Just as in the case of a gay couple, to have my rights and responsibilities as a parent recognized, I'll need to do what's called a "second parent adoption;" this process is managed by your state of residence. I haven't done it yet because in our state, it becomes easiest to do this once the child has been living with you for a year, so I'm waiting to get started until that time. I haven't had anyone yet question my parental status, although I think once your child is in the school system this would be more of an issue, and of course, if there were any legal dispute between you and your spouse it would be an issue too. So for right now, I'm trying to stay on Adam's good side!

If both parents are biologically related to the child, be sure to bring ALL your fertility records with you to India when you pick up the baby, so you can document what you went through and potentially avoid having to do a DNA test. Our experience was that our clinic in India wasn't able to provide clinical documentation proving that Adam was the father, so we had to do a DNA test anyway.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Precious Boy

I brought Micah home from daycare in this adorable outfit the other day (we were getting snow flurries on April 28!). Adam and I were heading out for our first "date night" in ages, thanks to my mother, but Adam couldn't stop snuggling with Micah and saying "precious precious boy, I don't want to leave you for one minute!" So adorable I had to snap a picture.

Today's exciting news: Locomotion has arrived, albeit unwillingly. Micah was lying on the living room rug, unhappy about being on his tummy, and in trying to get up, he pushed himself backwards onto the hardwood floor. From there on, every push sent him sliding on his tummy backwards until he hit a wall. He was not happy at all about that!

In other developments, a new front tooth has started to poke out, bringing the tooth count to three. So far teething hasn't been bad.... one weekend of crabbiness (unfortunately the weekend we were travelling) and some scattered wakings in the night. Let's hope the easy transition to teeth continues!

Micah's 9 month check-up is coming up next week. He's certainly heavy, and I expect he'll still be at the mid-points for height and weight

Well, someone is up from a nap that was way too short! Gotta go visit Daddy, who is working this morning at the local Farmer's market. His new business was featured in the local glossy mag, 5280: