Recently in Parenthood Category
Andy’s vocabulary is increasing with nearly every passing day. Sometimes though he doesn’t quite get the word right. “Ball” becomes “Bao”, “Open” becomes “Otey”, and so on. Like any self-respecting (former) Bostonian, Andy drops his r’s like nobody’s business. The drawback to this endearing trait is that we can never dress him in a “gray shirt” when we go out in public.
Happy Second Birthday little guy! I can hardly believe its been two whole years already. Andy is about to enjoy a homemade cupcake here from the ridiculously easy recipe I found in Baking Illustrated. The cupcake came out a little crumbly, but very tasty. The homemade chocolate frosting was the best part: semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream. I think I had the proportions a little wrong, because it did not whip up the way it was supposed to. Still tasted awesome though.
Andy’s go to word these days is “apple”. It’s the word he uses whenever he’s not sure what the word is, but knows that he should say something. This leads to frequent conversations like this at our dining room table:
“Who am I?” I say, pointing to myself.
“Who is that?” I say, pointing to Laura.
And who are you? I ask, tapping Andy on the chest.
“…dada?” Andy asks very quietly, clearly unsure that this is who he is.
“No, I’m Dada, who are you?” I ask, again tapping Andy on the chest.
We've got a little walker in the house. He started doing a few steps here and there the other day. Now he'll take several steps, stop, turn and walk to something else. He doesn't walk to us when we call him, but he's always been stubborn like that. I'm glad I got to see it all happen. Because it would be just my luck that he'd do it when I'm away this weekend!
As Laura alluded to earlier, last night was one of the worst nights I've ever had as a parent. Andy woke up after a little more than four hours of sleep, and then he basically refused to sleep for the rest of the night. Believe me, this is highly unusual for him. He hasn't refused to sleep like this since he was about 4 days old. He would scream whenever we lay him down in his crib, and he would jerk himself awake and scream whenever he dozed on my lap. My first thought was that he had a nightmare and was too afraid to go back to sleep. (Interestingly, one of our baby books lent a little credence to my theory — babies between 12 and 15 months are just beginning to actively dream). It was a good theory, but probably not correct. It turns out that he's cutting at least three teeth at once — an incisor that we already knew about, and at least two molars as well. We gave him some ibuprofen, on doctors orders, and he's been sleeping since lunch! Which is a darn good thing because he certainly needs it. I know I did!
Andy loves pushing chairs around the house. Before we had furniture downstairs he had the run of the house. Now the couch does get in the way, but Andy will push chairs and other walkers around in a big U. From the living room, through the foyer, through the dining room, into the kitchen. And then back.
Today he was really whiney before dinner. I figured he was hungry or thirsty. So, I plopped him in front of a chair, and put a plate full of Cheerios on there, along with a cup of water. He loved it. He could push the chair around for a few steps, then stop and shove a fist full of Cheerios into his mouth. And best of all, the chair had arms so it helped contain the plate full of Cheerios. My first parent hack!
I totally skipped the NaBloPoMo last month. Which is probably for the best, considering I never really have anything to talk about. Plus, there's the whole Super Cool Baby thing. A man's only got so much blogging he can do in a given day.
This weekend Laura went to her annual Alpha Phi regional conference in Albany, NY, leaving me with the wee lad. This has really been quite an experience. Honestly, I'm not sure how single parents can possibly do this. Taking care of Andy 100% of the time takes a whole lot of energy. It doesn't help that he's been waking up on the early side for me. And then, last night, he wakes up at midnight to scream for half an hour. Thankfully, Laura will be home later today, so I can pawn him off on her. Of course, it sounds like she's had like 10 hours of sleep for the whole weekend, so I'm not sure how successful that strategy will be.
I'm writing about this on Super Cool Baby, as well, but I think it bears repeating. iPhoto rocks. I made this year's Christmas cards using iPhoto, and I think they came out very nicely. I wanted a double-sided card printed on card stock, and iPhoto was able to do that for $0.99 a card. Other places I looked at online were at least twice as much, and they didn't even let you customize the back of the card. So I was really happy with the card itself, and I think the photos that Jeff took were also awesome. (My favorite photo, pictured above, was one I snapped myself when I was just fooling around with Jeff's camera).
The card came together really easily. The hardest parts were choosing the design among the many options, and choosing what to say on the back of the card. Don't you just love our heartfelt saying? Anyway, those of you with Macs, I definitely recommend giving iPhoto a shot the next time you want to order photo cards. And those of you without Macs? Get with it!
Sorry the monthly Anderson goodness is a little late. Things have been busy around here. Andy is totally in the groove now. We've finally settled on a routine that seems to suit him. His only complaint seems to be that he's bored out of his mind with his current crop of toys. Mommy and Daddy are totally going to have to do something about that.
Andy was Batman for Halloween. He loved his costume, but didn't appreciate the mask so much. When I first put that on him, he threw himself backwards. It didn't help to take it off, and thank goodness he was on a nice soft mattress at the time. He didn't have to wear it for long, we took it off once we finished taking pictures. He helped us vanquish the bad guys that came to our door for the rest of the night. (Speaking of which, where WAS everybody this halloween. We bought extra candy, then had like 4 people show up).
I read several books to Andy every night. I always start off with Goodnight Moon. He seems to enjoy it, but maybe he's just too sleepy to complain much. Lately he's started to help me turn the pages. Although, sometimes he turns them the wrong way, or tries to put the book on top of his head. But he's getting there.
So, it turns out that Andy really likes it when I dance around like a crazy person. I think I knew this at one point, but now he really gets into it. The funny thing is, I'm too busy dancing my head off that I didn't even notice that he was mimicking me during the lulls of my performance. And when I say dancing my head off I mean that quite literally. My neck was sore for about 4 days after this. At first I had no idea why — I thought maybe I was coming down with a nasty bug. It became quite apparent the next time I tried dancing for him though.
Anderson loves to freak his father out. Yesterday I was taking care of him while Laura was off at a sorority event. The plan was to give him a bottle after his nap, and then put him down for his second nap after a few hours. Seems pretty easy right?
Well, his first nap was woefully short. Barely more than an hour (what happened to the 3 hour marathon naps!). I played with him on the play-mat for a while, watching V for Vendetta. He never really got too fussy (a good sign that he's hungry, or tired, or both) so after a while I decided to give him his bottle.
The last time I tried, it was an older bottle of breastmilk, and he refused to have any of it. This time? Yeah, he refused to have any of it. He makes some funny expressions while making his face immobile so he doesn't accidentally suck on the bottle. Well, they're funny to me anyway. He didn't seem to appreciate it too much. Eventually he went down for his second nap. I kept trying with the bottle, but no luck. Finally Laura came home and fed him -- 5 hours after his last meal.
Our theory is that most of the time he's just not that hungry. He likes to eat, because its comfy and he likes the closeness with his mother. But if he's not hungry, why eat something he doesn't really like.
The good news is, he didn't spit up from the small amount of formula that he did have. So, previously it may have just been some bad formula, or maybe we fed him too much. Still, I'd like to be sure that I can take care of him whenever Laura has to leave the house for a few hours. I have a feeling that if he was truly hungry he would've had whatever I was offering.
Happy 5 months Andy!
Last saturday night Laura and I screwed up Andy's bedtime routine. We were coming back from a family birthday party, and we left for the hour long drive home a little late. Of course, Andy slept in the car most of the way home. Then, after we got home, he was not at all about going to bed. Instead he jabbered to himself in his crib for a good hour and a half before finally getting upset and then falling asleep.
Now, Laura and I both understand that we're the luckiest parents ever when it comes to sleep. Usually we put Andy in his crib awake. He fusses for a few minutes. Then he finds (or remembers?) his thumb and falls happily asleep. Not so much these past two nights. Since we screwed everything up, we put Andy to bed and he screeches until we go in there and pick him up. This isn't the typical bedtime cry-it-out; he sounds legitimately unhappy.
We're starting to craft elaborate theories to explain this behavior: he's going through a developmental leap and the corresponding sleep regression, his routine isn't completely back to normal and he doesn't like it, his normal cry has actually changed to this new screeching cry, etc.
Whatever it is, I hope things settle back down soon. I liked it much better when he was easy to put to bed!
It's been a while since I've posted, and since I know everybody really only wants to see pictures of Andy, I have one better for you: videos of Andy!
Here is Anderson, sitting on his own:
Here's another one of Anderson finding peek-a-boo absolutely hilarious:
And finally, if I had a compound eye, Andy might look something like this:
When doing "tummy time" on my chest, Andy likes to look left and right. Then left and right again. And again. And a little quicker. Then suddenly, he'll look straight at me for a few seconds. Occasionally he'll let out a gurgle, or smile at the face I make at him. But then its right back to the left and right business.
The way it works in our house is that I am responsible for putting Anderson to bed. Lately, this has been as simple as putting him in the crib and reading him a bedtime story (Goodnight Moon is our current favorite). Every now and then I have to bounce him on the exercise ball in the living room while I watch a little soccer, or MythBusters.
Last night Andy decided he'd had enough with this pleasant system. Instead of nursing himself to sleep, he worked himself up. Instead of falling asleep after Goodnight Moon, he fussed more and more for twenty minutes. And instead of falling asleep while I bounced him on the exercise ball, he proceeded to wail. Now, ordinarily this wouldn't bug me too much, except it was already pushing eleven p.m. and he wasn't showing any signs of calming down. This was horrifically frustrating.
I hate the feeling of frustration, especially frustration towards somebody I love so much. I try to compensate by showering Andy with hugs and kisses whenever this happens, but the underlying feelings are definitely still there. And frankly they're much more upsetting than whatever caused the frustration in the first place!
Our bedtime routine did end happily last night. After a while I was afraid that I was going to jab him in the back of the throat with my pinky, so I got up to fetch a pacifier. As soon as I got out of the living room Andy fell asleep. Literally, steps into the darkened dining room I had a quietly slumbering baby in my hands. I was so shocked at first I wasn't sure what to do. Eventually I just crept into the nursery and laid him in his crib, and then explained to the equally shocked Laura what had happened. Our theory is that Andy is getting to the point where his interest in the world is overtaking his interest in falling asleep. Instead he just gets cranky and freaks out. So I guess what this really means is that I can no longer expect to put him to sleep while watching a little TV.
Things have been super busy around here lately. It seems as though every spare moment is taken up watching soccer games (indeed, right now I'm watching Argentina-Mexico). Since there are sometimes 4 a day, I've been watching them all on Tivo delay, and sometimes in fast-forward. I did discover that the slowest fast-forward on Tivo is 3 times faster than real-time. That means I can get through a whole game in a half hour. Somehow I still ended up going to bed at 11:30 a few nights.
Laura got me a fantastically awesome Father's day gift that she already wrote about. She is right, I'm very glad to have it. She was very coy about what she was getting me although I did manage to deduce that she was getting something framed. However, I was very shocked and very touched when she revealed this beautifully framed picture of my mother.
Tonight we went to a "New Parents BBQ" with some parents that we met at our childbirth classes. We tried not to brag too much about how well Andy sleeps. But really, we have the perfect baby, and after listening to everybody else, I appreciate it all so much more. It was kind of funny though: every baby started off the night fairly calm, but by the time we left at least half were crying. And the other half? They were asleep.
Speaking of Anderson. He's started to coo a little. I'm not really sure why its called 'coo', since its really more of an 'ah-goo'. Sometimes he says it with a side of gurgle, which is my favorite of course. He also gets a serious kick out of Daddy blowing raspberries. You can almost always count on a smile. Finally, when bathing today, he gave what sounded like an actual laugh when I cleaned under his armpits. He doesn't seem to be ticklish anywhere else though (clearly taking after his mother!).
I've always thought that my "intestinal troubles" have been primarily psychological in nature. They always seem to strike at the most inopportune time. Right as we're about to leave on a 20-hour drive to Florida. Or perhaps when we're out the door for a friends party. My morning commute used to be hellish -- you never knew when the T would decide to take an hour and a half to travel a few miles. Nevermind being late, the thought of being stuck on a train-car still strikes fear deep into my bowels.
That all seems to be different now. Frankly I'm a little scared that even writing about this will bring harsh retribution, but for the past 6 weeks, (at least to my sleep-deprived memory*) I've been totally fine. Laura thinks it's probably because I always have something else more important to worry about. She might be right. Frankly, I don't care what the deal is, as long as I can stay clear of planning out my day around my bathroom.
* When I went to make coffee this morning, I put the coffee pod in the machine and hit the button ... without putting a cup under the spout. I didn't realize this until it was done brewing and I went to fetch it.
The Kovixen is at the hospital right now with a fever of 102.4. I'm at home. Alone. With the Baby. OMG.
A little bit of good fortune: We stockpiled a little milk a few weeks ago. At the time it seemed like lots of milk. But after watching Andy chug down just under half of our stockpile, it doesn't seem so big anymore.
Another bit of good fortune: Christina just came by with another 2 ounces of milk. Hopefully that'll be enough to get us through to the morning. The goal here is to avoid using formula. Although I know it won't be the end of the world if we have to resort to that.
Anyway, wish me luck. Andy went down about an hour ago. If he sticks to the schedule, I should get a good 5 hours of sleep before he wakes up!
Updated We made it through the night. Andy actually slept pretty well. We're down to our last 2 ounces, and now were waiting for some reinforcements so we can run over to the hospital to pick up some more milk. I think we might just make it!
Updated 02 May 2006 Laura's back home now. Yay! We made it through a second night. This whole thing makes me realize just how much Anderson eats. He would drain a 4 ounce bottle at each feeding, and then sort of act like he was still hungry. I couldn't give him any more, because I had to carefully ration the milk we had left! As soon as the Kovixen got home, he ate for a good 24 minutes. Much stress has been relieved. That is definitely not something I want to do again for a while. But at least now I have some idea what the Kovixen goes through while I'm at work!
I will admit, the fact that this is happening freaks me out a little, but Anderson slept from 9:20pm to about 5:00am last night. Does that count as sleeping through the night? At 2 weeks and 2 days old? I even woke up at 4 wondering why he hadn't woken yet. He usually makes it until 3 or 4. I spent the next hour half-asleep as I listened for any sign of stirring. And I think we were a little too aggressive at 5 when he finally started making some noises; he wasn't his usual fully-awake self during his morning feeding.
What's going on here? Could we really be this lucky? Will everything go horribly wrong as soon as Laura's mother goes home?
(And yes, for the record, the pediatrician assures us that this is perfectly fine. He'll wake up when he's good and ready for food.)
I think he really just takes after his mother and really values his sleep!
Its been said that every pregnancy has a glitch. Snazzykat, for example, has had way more than she deserves, whereas some people don't have any until the delivery. Well, the Kovixen and I had our first (and hopefully only!) glitch. We didn't really talk about it with anybody simply because we didn't really know anything yet. On November 21 we had a routine ultrasound appointment where the doctor discovered something known as Choroid Plexus Cysts. These are essentially harmless cysts in the skull that usually go away by the 24th week (they did). However, there may be a correlation with certain genetic abnormalities, particularly Trisomy 18. So, we've been waiting on today's appointment with much trepidation to find out if there was anything wrong with our baby.
On today's day off from work, we went downtown to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (I know! I went downtown during the week!) where we had another round of ultrasounds and a consultation with a doctor who basically said that the markers present weren't concerning enough to warrant an amniocentesis, much to our relief. There is still a slight possibility of Down's Syndrome, or even Trisomy 18, but really these aren't enough to worry about.
I can't tell you how much of a relief this is. The whole idea that there could be something wrong with the baby is just about enough to put me in a constant state of worry. Is the rest of my life going to be like this? Especially regarding things I can't really do anything about?
Sooo... although we had told the ultrasound tech we didn't want to know the sex, we were rather non-committal about it. And when Laura asked if she could tell what it was, we were surprised to hear that yes she could, and that come April, we're having a baby boy! It feels very weird to know this information. And yet, at the same time it makes the whole thing much more real. I'm going to have a son! There are two great benefits to finding out now: we don't have to worry about buying things that are "too masculine", and we can throw out half the name book and get down to the business of really picking out a name. Well, really names. You can't pin Laura down on anything. Our current strategy is to narrow the choices down and take a look at the baby and pick the one that seems most obvious. That sounds a little duboius to me, but as long as the name is not Peter, I'll probably be happy.