Thursday, January 9, 2014

The update (finally)

I vowed never to be that person - the one who has the baby and drops off the face of the Earth. And yet....I see I haven't posted since Magpie turned one. And that was a picture post, so does that even count? And now she's 14.5 months old, and... oh my! I HAVE become that person. The one who crosses over and never looks back.

Except that's not it. I look back all the time and marvel on the fact that Will and I and Magpie (and Moxie) are over "here" - that Magpie exists, that's she's really here. Still, and maybe always will be incomprehensible. So it's not the never looking back part that keeps me from posting.

It's time.

Between juggling my work and my baby (who is - OMG - now a toddler!) I don't have any. I have about two hours a day that I am awake when Magpie isn't. And I'm generally trying to use that time to get caught up on about 1,000 things I'm behind on...or do something novel, like actually have a one-on-one conversation with Will or something. One of the 1,000 things on the list is this blog, by the way, but that doesn't often hit the top of the list.

All that said, I miss this space, and I miss you guys, and I'm going to try...I am! post more so that there isn't this tremendous backlog of posts that I started or meant to write or...well, whatever, didn't get to. And then I don't know where to start...and then...well...

So first things first, Ms. Magpie is doing great (except for her continuing tinyness - she's mostly wearing 6-12 month old stuff and weighs 17 lbs) and we are so happy to have her in our lives.

I often think now, I am so fortunate. I have everything I ever wanted. A good marriage. A child. A good education. A fulfilling and meaningful and rewarding career. Oh, and that I get to live in one of the most fantastic places in the world. Granted, there are many, many super wonderful places to live, but I get to live here, and I love all that NYC has to offer.

So that that is the starting point. That I am thrilled and happy and content and satisfied.

I am also exhausted and worn down and scattered. It's a good exhausted and worn down and scattered, but still.

I don't know if it's because of the rigors of trying to succeed in an academic medical setting as a clinician and researcher or if it's being a "grannymom" or just my personal weakness...or, gah, if maybe all parents are this tired? (dear parents everywhere, I am sorry for missing this point all these years, if so), but I'm wiped out much of the time.

And now that Magpie is a bit older and goes to a music class (which she LOVES) and has more playdates, and because of these things interacts with other kids, which is awesome, but which sometimes leaves her SICK, we have frequent illness to contend with. She's typically fine in a couple of days, but Will and I are felled like the old giants we are every time. Most recently, I came down with her latest cold on Christmas Day, and I've been hacking away and limping along ever since. She's been fine since like the day after Christmas, but Will and I appear to have terminal illnesses.

So we may not make it, our weak immune systems and advanced age and all, but Magpie, well, she is glorious. She is a truly happy kid. The word "joyous" comes to mind. Enthusiastic if perhaps a bit intense, very present, very social. Sometimes I wonder, Where did this kid come from? (On so many levels). And of course, I know. Exactly, down to the petri dish. But there is still so much mystery and unfolding each day as we watch her become the person she is at each moment in time.

Just in the past couple of weeks, Magpie seems to be making huge developmental strides. Seemingly out of nowhere she's making these big receptive and expressive language leaps - she is signing up a storm (she loves to sign, and say, "daddy," and she signs, "more," and "all done"). Yesterday we asked her what a cow says, and she said, "Moo." And in the bathtub, you can ask her to hand you various toys ("the dog," or "the crab", etc.) and she knows which is which. How in the world does she know this stuff?! She suddenly seems to understand much of what we say and can follow directions (not that she always chooses to, but she seems to be understanding, which is cool). She knows where her and others eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, toes, feet, and belly buttons are. Her caregiver speaks only in Spanish to her and she is picking that up quickly as well. Her current words are all English: "mama," "dada" (more often than mama right now), "moo," "hi," "bye," "uh-oh" (often said BEFORE she hurls something off the high chair. Sigh.) There have been other words (she's quacked a few times, said "dog," and repeats us sometimes, but these are her favorites). And she loves to be read to and to turn the pages of books.

Motor skillswise, she is also doing great, as she has been all along. She runs and climbs. She got up on the couch yesterday by herself - incredible, because she is such a little thing. She loves ride-on toys these days and has a "rocking lamb" she also loves (we think she thinks it is real because she will try to feed it her bottle, which is adorable). She is able to hold a marker and "draw" (mostly stabbing motions for now, but effective enough). She can hold a spoon and feed herself (usually upside down).

She sleeps well, usually putting herself to sleep after we do bathtime, reading, some singing (bottle at same time), teeth brushing, and rocking chair with mom or dad time. And usually sleeps through the night from 8 or 9pm until 7ish.

She is really into how things work - what goes together, putting things into and onto other things that go together. So for instance, she takes great glee in flushing the toilet when she's able to sneak into the bathroom, putting clean diapers in the diaper pail and closing the lid, taking scraps of wrapping paper one by one to the garbage, brushing her hair and her teeth, pretending to"stir" using a spoon and bowl or cup, "feeding" anything with a mouth - moxie, us, a stuffed animal, a character in a book. She just in the past couple of weeks started spontaneously stacking everything she can get her hands on (blocks, toys, her bottle on top of something), and she's pretty good with it, even stopping to applaud herself when she succeeds.

She is also very affectionate. Has lots of hugs and more recently kisses (both direct and palm kisses) for Will and me, and for stuffed animals, Moxie, and her dolls. It's sweet.

Magpie is still not a great eater - she's more of a nibbler. She'll try most things and eat a few bites, but when I see other people's kids, they shovel vast quantities in their mouths (or let their moms do this) and Magpie....she eats a few bites and then prefers to feed Moxie or throw the remainder on the floor, or to go play if she's not tied in the high chair at that moment. I try to just make lots of food and variety available to her throughout the day and have been experimenting with cutting down her milk/formula/breastmilk intake to see if she'll eat more. So she eats, but she's sort of a grazer, my kid. Mostly I'm ok with this but I freak out a little when she gets sick and stops eating and loses a little weight (wish that happened to me!). I think this is going to be how it is, though. That I have a little slip of a girl.That's she's a joyful, busy girl who burns up a lot of energy and doesn't like to stop enough to take in too many calories.

And despite the recent onslaught of illnesses crippling Will and myself, we are good. We are ever busy at work, and I've had three business trips this fall to give trainings and speak at conferences (got to bring Will and Magpie on one!). We are heading to the Middle East for a couple of weeks on another work-related venture in the Spring (more on that later), which should be interesting, and fortunately, we'll be bringing Magpie. We've been dealing with aging parent issues (perhaps more on that later), and just working to enjoy all of the moments with our girl and all the good things in our lives.

So there you have it. A real update, if anyone is still reading. Will try not to stay away so long next time.


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  1. Of course I'm still reading!

    I loved reading your update on (little) Magpie. She is perfect exactly as she is.

    Can you believe we have KIDS??????

    (it is quite the miracle)

    And yes, everyone is exhausted the first 2 years (for us it was two years).

    I actually hate looking at photos from then because D and I look terrible. Seriously and objectively, TERRIBLE. Dark circles under our eyes, horrible. I'm surprised people didn't stop me in the street and ask me what was wrong :)


  2. I am a 45 year old mom of a three year old. I can certainly relate to your frequent illness troubles. The first year my child was in daycare I was sick as many times as he was ... It does get better with time. Your comment about being tired also resonates with me. There is never enough time to catch up on rest. Glad all is well and good to hear from you!

  3. Yay for the update! D is exactly the same way with size and eating. I feel like our entire lives are centered around his caloric intake...but it could be worse. Do you do anything to increase calories, like Pediasure?

    Glad to hear that everyone is well (for the most part)!

  4. Thanks for the update. I really enjoy hearing how you are doing.

  5. So glad to hear from you Mo! And glad to hear you seem to be doing amazing at juggling motherhood, career and everything else! Yes, you do have it all! And that makes me so happy!

  6. This made me smile the whole way through! So happy you're happy!!

  7. So great to see an update and so glad you are all doing so well.

  8. I might be misremembering but I think Tiny Boy was maybe 18 lbs at 18 mo. And in the past 6 mo he's started eating. Not much, but enough, and he's now back up to the 5th percentile :)

    He's dairy free, which is a challenge for finding fat sources, but I use coconut oil in lots of things. And muffins. And pancakes. You can put anything in a muffin...

    You sound good. It's so good to see you on THIS side of thigns :)

  9. I was thinking about you the other day. So god you updated us. Life sounds like it is very busy for you guys, but you are enjoying every minute with that beautiful baby girl!!

  10. So good to read an update on you guys!!
    We just moved to the Middle East btw :-)

  11. It's great to see an update!

  12. My kids are almost 8 and 3. And I am still exhausted. Glad to see and update and to hear you're all doing well :) Also, the onslaught on sick will hit again when she starts school. That's super fun, too.

  13. I am here and reading and delighted to hear about Ms. Magpie.

    Often, now, I find myself saying, "Things used to be terrible and hard. Now they are wonderful and hard." I think that's just the way it is. Exhausting, depleting and replenishing at the same time, good for the heart and terrible for the body. I'll take it.

    Love to all of you.

  14. Dear Mo,
    It is great to see an update from you and I am so happy that you are doing well!
    I also would like to have a better time to write more, but in case that time doesnt come, I just want to be sure to tell you how grateful I am to you. I came across your blog several years ago, even before I started TTC and only had a suspicion I might have trouble. As it turns out, TTC no.1 was relatively easy in terms of ART. My son is almost 4 now, and we have been struggling with secondary infertility for over 2 years. I have been so fortunate to have learned from your experiences and your reflections on so many topics. After a few failed IVFs and a few losses, I am gearing up to cycle at CCRM. I have renewed hope, for either a child or closure, and I really owe so much of that to you.
    Thank you very much. I hope you keep updating!

  15. Thanks for the update! Glad Magpie's doing so well!

  16. Thank goodness for readers as you post and it pops up, reminding me you are there like a nice, warm hello.

    Glad all is right in your world and with Magpie.

    Interested to hear about your trip to the middle east and with a toddler!

    Happy new year!

  17. Great update! Play date when you get back from your trip.

    Grannymom is thing? Fuck! No wonder I'm tired! And good thing no one's ever said that to my face.

    Glad to hear she's sleeping through. Jealous, though. :-( Since due to her humongous adenoids, she didn't consistently sleep through the night until past 2. It will get better with the sicknesses. She'll get things less, and you both will catch them from her less. I miraculously didn't catch the last 2 stomach viruses she had! The last one, just 2 weeks ago, hours before she got sick we shared food from the same bowl, with the same fork! The one before it, she managed to pass on to her grandmother, grandfather, aunt, and cousin, but I was spared! Miracles, I say.

    But really, Mo. A post without pictures? No fair. xoxo

  18. Always lovely to hear from you and good to know you and yours are well (viruses and fatigue aside -- though, PSA, while exhaustion and parenthood DO go hand-in-hand, hypothyroidism can cause that too and it is generally easy to detect and treat, if your GP knows what to look for and do).

    Toddlerhood introduces so many challenges, as they become self-propelled! Here's to you and hang in there.

  19. Still checking on you regularly, Mo! This post was heart-warming. So glad you are all well!

  20. Isn't it just the greatest, most wonderful thing, watching Magpie's personality and talents unfold every day? Watching every bit of her growth and learning processes? My daughter is grown now, but I remember 15 months being THE BEST age. So happy for you!!

  21. So very glad to hear from you. I am so glad that Ms. Magpie is doing so well even if she is tiny, and that she rebounds so well from illness. She sounds like a delight, and I am so glad that you got to travel with her, and will get to travel again-- to the Middle East no less! I am sorry that you are dealing with aging parent issues... Thank you so much for updating!

  22. What a pleasant surprise to see not one but two new posts from you! Your description of Maggie's milestones gave me a nice trip down memory lane with my own kids, who are 8 and 12 now. Congratulations on thriving and surviving the first 14.5 of parenthood! Your post made me smile - it's wonderful to hear you truly enjoying the present, this moment, now.

  23. YAY! You're back in it!! I am catching up tonight! Whoohoo!! Yay, I'm so happy to see you post again!!!


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