Yesterday David brought Brandon to his first day of “skoo.” Today I brought him. As I drove there, I expected this song to play as I exited the facility:
But when I dropped Brandon off, he started crying and reaching for me, so that song was quickly replaced by this one, forever altering the soundtrack of my life.
It was horrible. My fantasy of doing a jig was ruined by the reality of me crying all the way home. Damn you, Brandon.
I’m sure many of you will think I’m a terrible mother after this post, but so be it. I was 32 years old when I had Brandon. I got married when I was 29. That’s a lot of years of being selfish and doing what I wanted. Getting married was huge for me. I met David at a time in my life where I loved being single, poor and not knowing what was going to come next. I was working two jobs, skinny as shit and generally being a Goodtime Charleena. Fast forward a few years later and things were very (happily!) different.
When I got pregnant, I was working from home, but in a sporadic fashion. I loved being at home, watching Lifetime and procrastinating, although in some ways I will admit it was probably not good for me. I am someone who suffers from depression and that is a tough thing to deal with when you are at home all the time. Not to mention I had been laid off from two jobs within one year. So I wasn’t the happiest kid on the block. I had gotten off birth control and also gotten off antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications in anticipation of possibly conceiving. Turns out being pregnant was a magic bullet for me–I was a pretty happy pregnant lady!
Then the baby came. And as I’ve written about before, it was not easy. I had a horrible labor and recovery, as well as severe postpartum depression. Awful. But I worked hard to overcome it. I had so much help because I genuinely needed that help and that helped me let go a little bit. I did not even change a diaper in the first month. David and his mother did everything for me. I was a mess. But things got better and I started working again. Due to the nature of my work, I was home a lot and sometimes not working. That’s when I started thinking, “Maybe this is what I’m meant to do, be a mom.” I could not have been more wrong.
I admire stay-at-home moms. It is so hard. And I realized very quickly it was not my calling, despite my desperately wanting it to be. First of all, I have never been a housekeeper or a cook. And when it came to spending all day with Brandon, I wanted to pull my hair out. I didn’t know if I was doing enough for him, and the times I needed to fold laundry, etc., I felt guilty for not interacting with him enough. And I missed people, other adults. I missed wearing something other than pajama pants, having clean hair and wearing high heels. I missed all of it. Every time David’s key turned in the door at the end of the day, it felt like I was being released from a prison.
Don’t get me wrong. I ADORE my son. But as I learned from my postpartum depression, your baby cannot be happy if you are not happy. And that is so true. I wasn’t happy. So I started looking at daycares and fantasizing about what I would do if we had extra income (more than what I was making working from home). And it seemed to be a pretty glorious scenario. I decided I wanted to enroll Brandon in daycare full-time and find a full-time, out-of-the-house job. Luckily, David was on board.
So Brandon starts daycare Monday. I am so happy. I think it will be so good for him and me. And I have been going through the frustrating task of searching and applying to jobs. But hopefully I will find something soon. In the meantime, while I will miss my little man, I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Sometimes we just aren’t cut out for certain jobs. And me trying to be a stay-at-home mom is akin to me trying to up and be an engineer or something else I’m completely unqualified for.
Wish me luck! (Or wish Brandon luck…I’m sure you are thinking he needs it more than I do.)
I am sure it has become quite clear by now that I am terrible about keeping up with my blogs. I am going to make an effort to post more this year; however, I am going to change things up a bit. Instead of keeping my old blog, I am going to blog about all things here, not just baby stuff. I need an outlet for my weird musings and it is just too much to try to maintain two blogs. So that’s that. Hopefully I will keep up with this!!
I cannot believe it has been a whole year! My little bitty baby is now a toddler. And I love it! I know so many people say they love the baby years, but I love watching him grow. The entire time I was pregnant, I pictured myself with a little buddy who walked and talked (and did what I said). Instead, I was presented with a bobbleheaded monkey-alien baby. Not what I signed up for! So watching Brandon learn to figure things out for himself and learn new words is a true joy. And he is beautiful! I am in awe of this little boy every single day. I still can’t believe I grew him in my tummy.
So what has my little bobbleheaded monkey-alien baby grown into? He is confident, curious, independent (as much as someone who shits their pants can be), silly and charming. He loves everyone he meets. He is busy, always moving and getting into things. Now that he is older, he is becoming a little bit of an a-hole at times, but that’s okay. He never wants me to kiss or cuddle him. He loves to throw his cups. He loves to throw things at the dog and feed her his dinner from his high chair. He often holds out his food for his dad or me to take a bite. He is always making us laugh.
As for me, things have gotten better. Being a mom hasn’t been exactly what I expected. And it sucked that I got off to such a rocky start. I have learned so much in the last year, mostly through trial and error, but also from a zillion books and good advice from friends. Oh, and the Internet, of course. But I will save all that for another blog post.
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year! This little boy is so amazing and I still can’t believe David and I made him. I could look at him all day and never tire of it.
So here is what Brandon has been up to: saying night night (“na na”), quack quack (“kack kack”) and a bunch of other things (no, ow, mama, dada, etc.). He loves to throw things. It has become nearly impossible to change his diaper because he will not lay on his back for more than five seconds. He has eaten all sorts of things and seems to enjoy most foods. He’s had gumbo, crawfish cornbread, cake, blue cheese, Mexican food and much much more. He loves books, specifically Goodnight Moon; however, he likes to sit and look at his books by himself more than he likes someone reading to him. He is still crawling, except he is even faster now. He seems perfectly content to crawl. He will pull up and stand for quite a bit, but no steps yet. He loves the cats and chases them all over, squealing. And he loves his Curious Buddies DVDs. But what does he love most of all? His trike. Little man loves to be outdoors, cruising around.
Anyone who knows me well knows I hate putting things in perspective. I want to believe everything around me is THE WORST. But secretly I do know this is shallow and ridiculous. I know I am a Debbie Downer and lead a charmed life (not like Beyonce or anything, but I do okay) for the most part.
For months, I’ve followed the story of sweet Tripp Roth and his amazing mother, Courtney. I did not know them personally, but their story touched me beyond belief. I first read about them when I was going through an extremely rough time in my life, trying to overcome this horrible postpartum depression. I would cry as I read her entries and then relay them to David, telling him I didn’t know if I could ever handle things like Courtney did. To me, she was the best mother ever. And I probably needed to read her story at this time in my life. Because as sad as her story made me, it made me want to be a better mother. It made me want to be happy for the sake of my little boy. And a few months ago, I sent her an email telling her as much. She is truly inspiring.
I read the news about Tripp’s death right after I had gone into Brandon’s room and changed his diaper while he was sleeping. Brandon has had a horrible diaper rash ever since he started his antibiotics for an ear infection, so I’ve been changing him in the middle of the night and reapplying his diaper rash cream. It has broken my heart to see Brandon hurting from the rash on his little bottom. From the time I lifted him out of his crib and changed him, maybe two minutes elapsed. Before I returned him to his crib, I cuddled and rocked him a bit. Total time spent in his room: maybe five minutes. Courtney Roth rocked her baby all day, every day, because it was the only thing that soothed him. And Courtney had to see her baby boy in pain constantly from the sores covering his little body. Again, I cannot express how much I feel for this woman who I have never met. Her story helped me and will continue to help me as I raise my son. I realize every moment is precious and I also realize how lucky I am to have a healthy little boy.
Rest in peace, sweet Tripp.
When I met David, I thought, this guy is pretty nice. Actually, I went through a very confusing period where I thought, why would someone this good love me?
We have been married nearly three years and I still wonder. But as for me loving him, oh my lord. If I could put this man in a bubble and protect him all througout his day, I would. I have never known love until I met David Michael Castille…
Until I met Brandon James Castille. Granted, it wasn’t immediate. But as the months have passed, I realize I would throw David in the river over Brandon. I’m not sure what type of insane person would give me that choice, but I would. David has fallen to the wayside.
Sure, I still love my husband, but Brandon is my #1 fella. And always will be.
I know, it’s been forever since I’ve posted. Let me bring you up to speed: Brandon is perfect!
He is nearly nine months old now, crawling everywhere and has about five teeth. He is very silly and makes me laugh every day. He loves everyone he meets. His face crumples if you tell him “no!” but he forgets about it within five seconds. He hates avocados and carrots but likes most everything else, especially prunes and green beans.
He has been keeping me so busy that it’s hard to find the time to write. But I’ll be better about posting next year. This blog is probably more for me than anyone because I don’t want to forget a minute!
I took Brandon to the doctor for his six-month checkup a couple of weeks ago. I should have known it would be an eventful visit because I took him by myself. Usually David will meet me there, which is nice because Brandon likes to monumentally poop at the doctor’s office. At his four-month visit, it was EVERYWHERE. His legs, his carseat, his outfit. Ugh.
Anyway, all seemed well as we waited to be called back. Once in the back, they wanted to weigh him. As I took him out of his carrier, I joked that I was surprised he hadn’t pooped all over everything since that’s what he likes to do there. The nurse laughed and about five seconds later, kindly pointed out that he had pooped and it was coming out of his onesie. I looked and it was. And it was on his carseat, too. Of course, it was the one time we didn’t have the cover on it because it was in the wash. I managed to clean him up in the examination room while he squirmed and ate the paper on the table. I also made sure to wipe the poop off his carrier. Everything seemed to be clear of poop.
As the doctor and the nurse practitioner walked in the door, Brandon spit up all over my bare legs. Brandon has maybe spit up ten times his entire life and he decided this moment was just perfect for it. I then had to clean myself up since I had spit up running down both legs.
The doctor examined Brandon and deemed him perfect, as usual. I asked him about Brandon’s penis. I made sure to call it a penis and everything. Usually I would have said dong or wiener or something like that, so I was pretty proud of myself for being so mature. Anyway, on our last visit to Shreveport, my mother acted as if I had gotten Brandon circumcised in a back alley or something so I voiced her concerns to the doctor. The doctor deemed his wiener to be just fine. He did show me how to push back the skin to help it along. I usually do push it back when I’m changing his diaper or bathing him. I did not realize I was not pushing it back far enough because the doctor REALLY pushed it back. In fact, Brandon cried. I almost puked. Brandon usually laughs and smiles when his wiener is touched (disconcerting, but I’ll take that over him crying in pain), so this really bothered me. The doctor said we really only needed to be that extreme with it once per day. Of course, I came home and told David this was his domain.
After the doctor and nurse practitioner left the room, we had to wait for the nurse to come in with his vaccinations. He was getting a little fussy so I handed him his Mortimer the Moose to chew on. Please do not call Social Services after you read what I am about to tell you. I had forgotten that Mortimer had been in his carrier with him when he pooped. As Brandon went to chomp on his ear, I noticed Mortimer’s ears looked a little dirty. Yep, there were trace amounts of poo on them. And my baby likely put his mouth on that f-ing moose. Poor Brandon. Of course he cried when I took away Mortimer and proceeded to cry until he fell asleep. Of course the nurse came in, woke him up and assaulted him with several shots. I also got a flu shot. You know what’s not easy? Getting a flu shot when you are holding a crying, screaming, squirming baby. Especially after you’ve seen your baby possibly eat poo.
So as you can see, it was a beautiful outing, all in all. Brandon is still big as can be. He weighed in at 19.2 lbs and measured 27.5 inches long. And his ding-dong is just fine.
Hello! Brandon here. Mom has been too busy to blog because I have been engaging in my two favorite activities: not eating and not sleeping. I just want to play all the time! I don’t understand why she and Daddy won’t play with me in the middle of the night. It seems like a perfectly acceptable time to laugh and romp around. I have no time for sleeping and eating! Anyway, I am still a big ol’ boy. At my four-month checkup I was 16 lbs, 10 oz (80th percentile) and 26 inches long (90th percentile). I don’t remember my exact head circumference but I know it’s in the 95th percentile. Wowza!! My head is so big because I am so smart, you see. Well, I better get going. Mom has a bottle in her hand. I might take an ounce or two just to mess with her.