• My Half-a-Year Survival Guide

    Leon is six months old today! How has time gone by so fast?! He ​can now sit unassisted for a few minutes at a time, roll back to front, and scoot forward like a worm by using his face as leverage. He gets so many comments on how smiley and muscular he is — I don’t have any comparison material, but I’ll take their word for it that he’s a pretty cool dude. Also, as of today, Leon has been exclusively breastfed for six months. Based on how tough the first few weeks were, I’m honestly surprised we made it this far. I’m proud of my body for pulling through…

  • How Minh Made Leon Cry

    We just celebrated Memorial Day weekend. Minh and I took an extra day off work for vastly different reasons — me, to do everything I can’t finish with Leon in tow; and Minh, to do nothing at all. One of the items on my to-do list was to give Minh a haircut. I usually give him his haircuts, but for whatever reason I just haven’t felt like it lately. So for the past month I’ve been begging him to just buy a Groupon and go somewhere during his lunch hour so he didn’t look so much like a fluffy homeless guy. Minh insisted that I cut it (which I like…

  • Superhero Mom

    ​​When I was a kid, my parents were superheroes. They could do no wrong because they were Mom and Dad. They ​had ​​obviously ​been granted special wisdom that came with birthing a child, and they were 100 times better​ at everything​ than ​any ​other mom​ or dad. ​I was at a particularly late stage of my childhood when I realized that my parents weren’t immortal; they were just normal people. They’re great people, don’t get me wrong…but they’re people with flaws and quirks just like anyone else. How did they know how to be a superhero mom and dad? Leon made it four months and one week without getting sick.…

  • The Dreaded Four-Month Sleep Regression

    ​I’ve stressed myself out about Leon’s sleep since pretty much Day 1, but now that we’re in the midst of the four-month sleep regression I’m finding myself more and more frustrated each night. I’m frustrated that it takes multiple attempts and several crutches to get him to finally calm down. I’m frustrated that after an agonizing transition to the crib, he suddenly can’t even be laid down in it without immediately opening his eyes and screaming (so we’ll have to go through that transition again). I’m frustrated that he’s now waking up every hour after about 2 a.m. I’m frustrated that our go-to soothing techniques take twice or even three…

  • Real Talk

    ​When I was pregnant, I read so many ​​​accounts from first-time moms about how it took a few months to truly feel ​​love for their ​child — that one day, they just looked down at their baby and felt this inexplicable, unconditional bond. Blah, blah, blah. ​After Leon came home, I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know if I’d ever feel that sort of love for him. I spent ​several nights ​Googling “when does having a newborn get easier” and ​​​poring over the forum threads in the ​search ​results. I knew I loved my baby based on my reaction to him spending time in the NICU; he was fragile and…

  • Leon’s Mom is Crazy

    Leon’s first day at daycare was yesterday. Minh and I wanted to start him on his new schedule about a week before I went back to work so that if it affected his sleep, I wouldn’t be completely screwed before I started work. In theory. Minh has said before that I tend to get more obsessive-compulsive when I’m stressed. But I chalked up my enthusiastic organizing to being a first-time mom and just “being prepared” in general: typing up a two-page diatribe about Leon’s favorite ways to fall asleep and how to mix his milk so he’d drink it, laying out his outfits for the week, packing up three boxes…

  • Sleep Deprivation Stole My Creativity for a Good Headline

    Leon will be 10 weeks old tomorrow. He’s a whopping 13 lbs 5 oz and 23.25 inches long! He’s even noticeably heavier, which means pretty soon I’m going to be sporting some fierce biceps. Poor baby got his two-month vaccines today. He was so calm for his hepatitis B shots that I went in not thinking anything of it. I was excited to learn how much he’d grown and had a few questions for the doctor. BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. The nurse jabbed him with the first needle and he screamed in a way I’ve never heard him scream before. I felt like I betrayed him for cheerfully bringing him somewhere where I knew he would experience…

  • Mom Guilt

    ​​I’ve discovered that none of the child-rearing articles I read mentioned something that ended up being very relevant to me: Mom guilt. It sounds so ​​benign and ​​​insignificant, but I really believe that, aside from sleep deprivation, it’s the hardest part about being a new mom. I feel overwhelmed trying to do it “all,” yet I experience crippling guilt when I find it within myself to take a break. I feel guilty for being on my phone while feeding Leon instead of blissfully staring at ​the side of his face. I feel guilty when I take a shower that lasts long enough to shampoo my hair. I feel guilty for…

  • Starting Over

    ​Today Leon had his one-month pediatrician visit, even though technically he’s five weeks old. He’s now 11 lbs 3 oz, which means he’s gained almost 3 lbs since his visit a couple weeks ago! They don’t joke around when they say kids grow up fast! While we were waiting for the nurse to come back with Leon’s hepatitis B shot (which he didn’t cry for, might I add), I pulled out a bottle I had prepped for him. I rarely give him bottles — only when we’re in public and it would be inconvenient to breastfeed. Leon seemed uninterested and let the milk dribble out of his mouth and pool in…