TIS THE SEASON TO PLAY
The ninth month is all about toys for my baby, especially since he turned nine months in December. His first Christmas was stuffed to the brim with toys that sing, flash, or stack, and books, which he thinks are toys too. Mom’s favorite new toys are the functional ones – the foam puzzle mat and the plastic book.
We have hardwood floors, so we cheated a little and opened his first Christmas gift early in December. It was a foam A-B-C floor puzzle mat. Now he has a place to play with all the other toys without getting hurt. He likes sitting up, but still topples after a while. Even on a throw rug with mom sitting nearby, the second I turned my head was the one he would fall and “bump” – his head would hit the floor with a thud and he would start crying. With the puzzle mat the tumbles are harmless. Playtime is a lot more fun without tears!
The plastic book prevents pain as well. He has a bit of eczema behind his knees, and every time I change his diaper he grabs the back of his legs and digs in until blood flows. He got a cute Curious George plastic book for Christmas that we keep at the changing table for him to play with. Not only can he turn the plastic pages himself or chew on the without ruining them, it gives him something to do that takes both hands so none are free to scratch with. His legs are looking much better, not to mention his pants now that there’s no blood on them!
We went all out for baby’s first Christmas – got a live Douglas Fir, decked the house out, and invited all the family to our house. I thought we would be more excited about Christmas than him at this age, but he was actually really into opening all the presents. There were three rounds of gift-opening between all the families, and he got excited for each and every box and bow.
The books were the biggest hits with him – both Grandmas came through with these. My mom got him his first baby Bible and some others with cardboard pages. My husband’s mom got him another Curious George book, which we video-taped her reading to him so he can see her more often (on TV at least) since she lives out of town.
PREGNANCY HOLIDAY BLUES
Maybe it was because I knew we’d have to go all out this year, but last year during my pregnancy I just wasn’t into Christmas. Before baby, we didn’t usually get a live tree or host Christmas at our house, but last year I didn’t even bother with the fake tree. Gifts were almost entirely out, with the few purchased going only to the nieces and nephews. Adults were out. Could have been the weight of recession bearing down on everyone that lent to this mood, or maybe it was just the weight of my belly getting me down. I felt huge at this point, and on top of letting go of my pre-pregnancy weight without being sure of returning to it, I had to finally remove my naval ring without knowing whether it would go back in afterwards.
I had talked to the doctor about it early on. She OK’d me leaving the ring in as long as it had room to move, but made me promise to remove it once the skin was stretched taught. It would have to come out for delivery no matter what so as not to be in the way of monitoring or an emergency C-Section if needed. It was time for it to go. I put it away and hoped the hole would not close.
The good new is it didn’t! After the baby was born I was able to slip it right back in, and the hole didn’t stay all stretched out as it had become. It looks exactly like before. The weight didn’t stick around either – I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time the baby was 4 months. Of course, some of that is back on now because I had to start eating more fat to enrich my milk when the baby started having trouble gaining weight, but that’s for another blog entry. I may not have the abs of my youth right now, but at least I’ve got the piercing!