Sunday, February 25, 2007

Funny Joke

Here is something that I received in email recently, I am sure many of you can relate:

OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great--I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night).

At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months. Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep--they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.

It goes like this:
Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.
Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3--every hour. Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights.

Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night.

I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.

Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with:
My sleep sack tickled my foot.
I felt a wrinkle under the sheet.
My mobile made a shadow on the wall.
I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn't eaten pears since lunch, what's up with that?
The cat said "meow". I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room.
Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!!

It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.

P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.

Visit to Boca Raton

Co-sleeping gone awry

Why I don't think Henry is going to like moving to his crib very much.

Exhibit A

Visit to Boston for Kate's 2nd Birthday Party


Pictorial Evidence of Henry's 4 Month Shots

Mayor of Alphabet City

I recently put down some foam Alphabet tiles in Henry's room because the floors are very hard and I can't bear to get rid of the seagrass rug in there. It looks really cute and matches his crib set. There are 52 tiles in total, so it covers most of his room.

Hey Mom, I can't eat this horse!

Here is Henry test driving his clip on high chair.

Sleepover at Uncle Kevin's House

Henry and I spent the weekend at Uncle Kevin and Aunt Julie's house because Adam was away on a business trip. Here are some photos of him being entertained by his cousins Sydney, Reece and Ruby. He had a lot of fun with them after his initial shock wore off!

My First Museum Visit

Here is Henry at his first trip to a museum (Brooklyn Museum) with his friend Baby Charlotte and her mom Janice. He was taking a brief snooze during the picture, but he really enjoyed the visit. He gave me quite the scare by knocking one of the diamond studs out of my ear that Adam gave me for our first wedding anniversary, but luckily I found it 2 hours later under a chair in the cafeteria. Whew!

Look at me, I'm sitting up by myself!

5 Girls, 1 Boy...What did you think would happen?

Henry discovered the perils of having only girls for cousins. Here is a picture of him playing with a baby doll for the first time. He showed his sensitive side by really enjoying it.

First Food!

We fed Henry rice cereal today for the first time. His pediatrician told us we should wait until 6 months, but we thought he was ready now. He is very interested in what we eat, and lunges at things with his mouth (he tries to eat the chapstick I put on his cheeks). He really loved it, and took to eating from a spoon like a champ. The only time he was fussy was when we weren't feeding him fast enough because we were taking pictures.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The fun begins!

Henry seems to have officially left the"infant" stage and is starting to do lots of cute things. He has been giving the big open mouthed, wet kisses that babies are famous for. It is so sweet. He now sits at the table while we eat in his little clip-on high chair. He sat on my lap last night while I was eating and proceeded to throw handfuls of my salad on the floor. He laughs all of the time, he was in hysterics today because I had the hiccups. I could also swear he is saying Mama. I know it sounds crazy, but Adam thought he heard it too!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Book Recommendation

I am reading a book that was recommended to me by someone on the parent's board that I use. It is called Protecting the Gift, Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe, and was written by Gavin De Becker. He is a leading expert on predicting violent behavior. He advises the CIA and the Supreme Court, and is a three time presidential appointee. He is also a senior fellow at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research.

A few of the things the book discusses:

  • How do I know a babysitter is someone that won't harm my child?
  • What should I ask child care professionals when I interview them?
  • What is the best way to prepare my child for walking to school alone?
  • How can my child be safer at school?
  • What should I do if my child is lost in public?
  • How can I teach my child about risk without causing too much fear?
  • Other topics involving teenagers and keeping them safe from violence

A lot of the information is common sense, but I think it is an important read. I know I personally make a lot of the mistakes. I am about halfway through it, but am getting a lot of good tips from it. If someone wants to borrow mine when we are done with it, I would be happy to lend it out. But, it is only $13.00 and I recommend that you get a copy.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

8am Cocktail Party?

I am still very close with the girls that I went to high school with. Over the years, our husbands have become friends as well. About every two or three months, we get together at someone's house and always have a great time. In the past things used to get wild (some of us were more wild than others), but have calmed down as of late. Over the past 6 months, 3 new babies have been born. In total, there are now 7 children among us, ranging in age from 2 1/2 months to 5 years old.

Today we gathered at 2pm at Carter and Aly's house. This time was picked to accomodate various schedules, but didn't take into account the most pressing schedule these days, which is nap time. The party started as it usually does, with lots of chatting, wine and beer being passed and people hovering over the onion dip. As it progressed, it began getting noisier. The older kids were starting to get more wild and the younger ones more tired. We each tried to get the babies to nap, but they quickly awoke from the noise and overstimulation. The party pressed on, the soda kicked in and more naps were missed. At one point I think all of the babies were screaming at once and the older kids were running laps around the house. Once the shreiking reached a fever pitch, we all gave up and started packing our things. I left with a throbbing headache, luckily Henry passed out in the car. I'm not sure of a better time to get together, maybe at the crack of dawn when they all get up? Lock them all in a room with a hapless babysitter? Things certainly are changing!

Henry shows his cards

"Co-sleeping" is the new term for sucker parents that let their baby sleep in their bed. It is usually started by sheer necessity from desperate parents eager to get some sleep. It continues due to laziness or because the parents like it. We unfortunately fall into both camps. It is much easier to get him to sleep when we put him in bed, it is much easier for me to nurse him in the middle night (I can do it laying down and go back to sleep), it is easier to pop the pacifer back in his mouth etc. We both also happen to really like it. It is so sweet to wake up in the middle of the night and see him snoozing away. He also schooches himself near one of us like a little heat seeking missle. It is just very cozy and a nice way to spend time with him.

When speaking with one of our neighbors recently, she said she used to love sleeping with her son. Her advice to us was to get him out of the bed once he started showing a preference for it, and protesting when he was not in the bed. She told me, "Don't worry, you have time."

Well, Henry has shown us that he is more aware than we thought and is going to get evicted soon as a result. We put him in his hammock for naps, and for his sleeping up until we go to bed. After his feeding right before we go to bed, we move him into bed with us. On Thursday night, I decided to leave him in his hammock next to me so that I could get some sleep. He was awake and gave me a little sad look when he saw me get into bed. I gave him his pacifer, which he promptly spit out and started whining. I put it back in, and he repeated this action. He did this over and over for about 10 minutes and the whining grew more pronounced. Adam said, "He wants to come in the bed, just get him so that we can get some sleep." I'm thinking, no way is he that smart already! I reached down, picked him up and put him in his usual spot. The little bugger shut his eyes and fell asleep in about 5 seconds. He should have played this a little better, he had a few more months in the Tempurpedic and now he is getting kicked out!

Night Owl AND Early Bird?

Henry has been a little kooky since he had his shots on Thursday. He acted fine that day, but was really fussy all night. He must have spit his pacifer out 100 times, but then kept contorting himself to find it and I would have to retrieve it and give it back to him. I think I slept about an hour because he also kept smacking me in the face (yes, he is still in our bed. more on that later)

On Friday, he went down for a nap at 4pm. He woke at 5pm, ate and went back to sleep. He woke up every two hours to eat from then on, but always went back to sleep. When he was still sleeping at 10pm, I started to get nervous so I decided to go to bed in case he decided to pull something wacky. Of course as soon as I got in bed, he woke up. I quickly fed him and put him back to bed. He pretended to sleep until Adam came in, and promptly woke up at 10:30pm. He talked and flailed like a lunatic. Of course he had energy, he had just slept for six hours. I BEGGED Adam to take him and let me sleep for a little while. Adam wasn't too pleased because he is sick, but kept him up for another hour or so. He brought him back in and Henry basically pulled the same routine all night of flailing and smacking me. At 4am, he awoke like an alarm clock went off. He was not willing to go back to sleep despite all of the efforts I took. I tried to feed him, I ignored him, I gave him his pacifer another 100 times, I begged and I pleaded with him. I knew I was doomed since it was exactly 12 hours after he went down to sleep. This crazy baby thought it was morning and was raring to go. I finally gave up and brought him into the living room to play for an hour. Luckily he went back to sleep at 5am and slept until 7:30am. There is no way I can deal with him acting like a club kid for much longer!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Henry's 4 Month Stats

We had Henry's 4 Month Well Baby Appointment this morning.

He weighs 14lbs, 7 oz. He is 25.5 inches tall. His height continues to be 75th percentile and his weight is the 50th. His pea head has grown from the 25th percentile to the 50th. He received 3 shots and an oral vaccine and took them like a champ.

He did well on his milestones. He laughs, holds his hands at midline, can support his weight on his legs, has good head control, and blows bubbles. She said I need to put him on his stomach more than I already do because he floundered like a turtle on his back (it was morning, he was sleepy!) I haven't been laying him with his arms in front of him, I had been propping him on his forearms. He needs to be able to push himself up more.

She recommended that I try to wean him from the pacifier now since he is not that attached. She also said that his feeding schedule is a luxury for him and that I need to stretch him out a little more. She said he is perfectly capable of sleeping for 8 hours and that I should drop one of his nightime feedings. All of this is easier said than done of course. Merri suggested that I call her to listen to him screaming when I deny him food. I am going to have to hide from him.

She also said that we should wait until 6 months to start him on food (cereal, fruits and vegetables). She said that breastfed babies often lose interest in nursing when they start eating and that she would prefer he ate breastmilk over cereal since it has little nutritional value. She also said that it was OK that he listens to white noise still to sleep (he listens to the hair dryer)

That's all for now

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reflection on Love

In honor of St. Valentine's Day, I think it is appropriate that I write a post on "Love."

A friend of mine once told me that she loved her son much more than she loved her husband. And she openly told her husband this. At the time, I thought this was the meanest thing that I had ever heard. The husband is a perfectly nice guy and they seem to have a great marriage. Since having Henry I understand this sentiment more, but I think she could have phrased it better.

The love I have for Henry and Adam is very different. My love for Henry is very pure. It has no expectation that he will love me back. It has no expectation that he does anything to earn it. It has no conditions. It has no memory and holds no grudges. No matter how tough the day was, or how feisty he is, my heart just overflows when I look at him. It has never been tainted by disappointment or anger or temporary neglect. I love Henry because he exists, and that is it. Perhaps that is a good lesson for me. I think if we dropped some of the baggage that comes along with marital love it would be very freeing. I don't mean just sticking your head in the sand and pretending that there is no history. But just love your spouse because they exist. Maybe I'll give it a whirl a cut Adam a little slack (for a day or so!)

Recent Revelations

  1. Who knew poop could "explode?" Certainly not me, but we regularly have "Clean-up, Aisle 3" in our house. Most likely to occur as I am rushing to get somewhere. I need to move up a size in diapers, but need to finish case of Size 2. Thank goodness for Oxyclean, because I don't pre-treat. Really, who has the time? I would rather throw the item out than pre-treat. Also, Henry inevitably dips his heels in it before I can get the diaper out of the way. Luckily we have a lot of socks.
  2. Someone should design a "breakaway" infant shirt and onesie. The neighbors must think that I beat Henry on a regular basis. Every time I change him, he screams bloody murder the entire time. Since he poops on his clothes frequently, we change clothes a lot. I dread getting his shirt and onesie off and on, all while he is flailing and screaming. Dipping his heels into the poop. We also do lots of wardrobe changes based on my mood.
  3. I'd bet a lot of money that Henry would sleep through the night if we were willing to listen to the hair dryer blaring all night. He naps like a champ with the damn thing on, my ears are starting to ring. Crazy baby.
  4. Henry gave me a Valentine's Day card this morning. Even though my logical mind knows that he didn't pick it out or write the note, I almost teared up getting it. I thanked him like he really did something. Poor Adam didn't get the phone call thanking him until 2 hours later. I am turning into an Italian mother. I have visions of me doing Henry's laundry when he is 40 and still buying his underwear.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Oh, please no!

Henry has been drooling a lot lately (kind of like the movie "Turner and Hooch") and his cheeks have started to look rosy. This afternoon, he was screaming his head off for no apparent reason. I decided to stick my finger into his mouth, and he immediately started chewing on it. In between bites, I felt the unmistakeable outline of his two bottom teeth.

Please tell me that he is not getting teeth already! What is that sound you hear? It is the door slamming on Henry's nursing career! (He is already a biter, I can't imagine him with ammunition)

Trip to Boston Recap

Adam, Henry and I went to Boston last weekend for my niece Kate's 2nd birthday party. Salient points in no particular order:

  • We took the Port Jefferson Ferry over to CT. Nice way to break up the trip and Henry loved being on the boat. He is turning into quite the people watcher and really enjoyed himself.
  • For the most part, Henry did great in the car. He did have a few episodes of full on shreiking, but is getting better. I think he likes the powder blue mini van.
  • Henry generally likes small kids. He initally enjoyed playing with his cousins Madeleine and Kate, but got a little scared when Kate decided to give him a sternum rub. Or, when they both decided to lay under his play gym while he was under there. Or, when Kate unbuckled him while he was sitting in the high chair. Never did the phrase "You won't be happy until someone gets hurt" apply more!
  • We are still not animal people. I got grossed out when their kitten went near him and Heather said, "She just wants to lick his head." I'm sorry, but who would be OK with that?
  • According to Heather and Chip, we are spoiling Henry rotten. Our version of crying and theirs are quite different. However it seems that they are suffering some sort of parental amnesia, because I remember how they were as first time parents! I never did perfect holding Madeleine at the exact 44 7/8 degree angle that they required.
  • Kate referred to Henry as "Avery" for the entire weekend and called him "she" and "her."

All kidding aside, we had a lot of fun. The girls are adorable and it was nice to see everyone. We need to get back up their soon.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just like the old days...

As some of you are aware (and have warned me against), Henry sleeps in our bed most nights. He starts off the night in his Amby Hammock, but when I go to bed he gets up to eat and I change his diaper. At that point, I usually can't bear to put him back in his little bed alone. So, each night I manufacture a new excuse to bring him in bed. (It's too cold, he looks lonely, I think he might spit up, I am worried he will put the blanket on his face, etc.)

This plan usually works out well. I lay him down in his little spot in the middle (with a body pillow along the headboard so he can't get trapped there and between our two pillows (memory foam so as not to suffocate him) so that he is above the cover line. He spreads his arms and legs out and we cling to the edges of the bed. But, he goes right to sleep and it is easier for me to feed him or pop the pacifier back in his mouth. And, we both also like having him there very much. Despite the amount of room that he takes up and that he smacks Adam in the face about 12 times. He is not a really cuddly type of baby, he is very aggressive.

Anyway, last night I swore I was leaving him in his bed. At the last minute, I cracked and scooped him up while he was sleeping. Since Adam didn't know he was in there, I kept him on my side. I started to cuddle him and fall asleep. My last thought was that I always slept like that while I was pregnant, and wasn't it crazy that now he was on the outside. Well, just to break me out of my reverie, he gave me a quick elbow jab followed by a kick. Just like he did in the womb all night long. Cuddle time over, back to his spot alone in the middle!

Monday, February 05, 2007

We are such losers!

We have been tossing the idea of getting a car back and forth for a while now. Until Henry's arrival, we really didn't "need" one because we were able to get around pretty well using mass transportation and renting cars. Henry even came home from the hospital by car service (White Lincoln Continental, doesn't get a better than that.) Things did get more complicated since we moved because we don't have a reliable car rental place in our neighborhood, and we are now further from Penn Station where we would catch a train to Long Island.

On the plus side, garages are much cheaper in our new neighborhood (1/2 the price of the old, I won't even frighten you with actual numbers, you suburbanites would shudder at the cost. Just be happy you have a nice free driveway.) And, we are very close to major highways and bridges. As Les likes to point out, we practically live on the George Washington Bridge. I will pretend that he means that in a positive way :)

We went to a dealer yesterday just to see what is out there. There are brands that I have never even heard of. As a funny aside, Adam has NEVER owned a car in his life. He registered a boat before he ever registered a car. I find that pretty funny. We decided against a sedan because Henry has A LOT of crap that we need to schlepp around. Also, we won't be using the car on a regular basis, just for trips or shopping so we will always be carrying a lot of stuff.

He went back to the dealer today to test drive a car that we found online. He didn't like it, but found another that fit our criteria. In perfect NYC style, he test drove, purchased, registered and insured it in under an hour. He drove it home tonight. My sister said we acted like we were buying a loaf of bread.

I won't keep you in suspense any longer, we purchased a mini van. Not just any mini van, but the Father of all Mini Vans, the Dodge Caravan. In powder blue. Doesn't get any worse than that.

Since we don't drive it every day, we don't have any ego wrapped up in our car and think it is fun to own a minivan. As Adam's friend Ted said, he thinks we are the only people in the world who have willingly bought a minivan, and have not done so under any duress.

I will be sure to post some pictures of us in our hot new ride soon. The three of us took a test drive tonight to the Bronx to Target. We know all of the hot spots.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Look at me go!

Henry loves to play in his exersaucer. He can now push himself backwards and forwards to see all of the toys. Think of how exciting it will be when we actually put the batteries in it.

First Hotel Stay

Hmm, someone likes the king sized bed a little too much. Adam is going to have competition for the remote very soon!

Grandma's House- Ahh, the sweet life

Hope he didn't get too used to the cushy accomodations, no one does it better than Grandma!

King of Rock

Henry's First Boat Ride

First boat ride down the St. John's River, he missed seeing the manatee and alligator because he was sleeping! I don't blame him, Grandma's lap is pretty comfy.

Henry's First Plane Ride to Florida

What a trooper he was!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Who stole my baby, Part 2

Well, Mr. Henry slept from 11pm to 5:10am this morning, his longest stretch to date. And then took a 2 hour nap this morning. But, I think this was to reward me for screaming bloody murder all day when I tried to put him down and not going to bed until 11pm, but that is another story!