Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Silly Boy

Henry loves to drink out of a glass or water bottle. As soon as I fill my glass from the water cooler, he is clamoring for a sip. If I give him his sippy cup too early he refuses to eat anymore.

Today I was giving him a bath and had just finished rinsing his hair with the plastic cup that we keep in there. He was staring at it and kind of making motions toward it so I gave it to him to play with. I zoned out for a minute and when I looked down he had filled it with soapy water, his chubby hands wrapped around it perfectly, raised it to his lips and his mouth was wide open ready for a big gulp of it!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Operation Baba

I received a phone call from my brother yesterday. I picked up the phone and he hadn't even said hello before he said, "Please tell me that my nephew has practiced drinking from a few bottles this week." Hmm, I guess three-time daddy is a little nervous about watching my little angel on June 9th.

I replied that Adam would not be home from his business trip until that night, but that I had been pumping milk all week like a good little dairy farmer. Joy of all joys.

I had decided that Henry's 11pm bottle would be the best one to start with. He would be sleepy, so drinking from a bottle given by Adam would be significantly different enough to make an imprint on his brain. I prepped his never opened package of Dr. Brown's bottles in anticipation of the big event. I set up some pillows and the boppy for Adam on the bed and tucked myself in to enjoy the big show.

Henry woke like clockwork at 11pm and Adam went in to get him. This was enough to start his Mama cry. Imagine his face when Adam leaned him back on the boppy and tried to get the bottle in his mouth. Not happening. He handed him off to me so that I could take a shot. Henry immediately started rooting and swinging his head back and forth. I caught him looking up and tried to pop it in his mouth. He had his lips pressed shut as tight as Fort Knox. No way no how was he participating in our little game. Finally I got the bottle in his mouth and he started drinking. He looked at me the entire time like I was trying to poison him.

About halfway through, I passed him back to Adam to finish the bottle. He took it no problem, but proceeded to stare at me the entire time like I was the biggest traitor. I felt terrible that he was so confused.

It did solve one mystery. He only drank 4 1/2 ounces, which confirmed for me that he is a little snacker. We will be doing round 2 shortly!

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

Henry rolled over both ways with ample time to spare in terms of meeting milestones, but he has never been a fan of doing it. He could go weeks without rolling over. Over the past few days, he has embraced it with a renewed vigor. He now likes to roll all day, sometimes quite aggressively. It it thought that when babies learn a new skill it disrupts their sleep because they feel compelled to "practice" whenever they wake.

Henry must have thought that I was getting entirely too much sleep despite his night wakings to eat or spit out his pacifier. Over the past few days, he has been waking up screaming like a stuck pig because he flips himself over in his sleep and gets stuck. I fly into his room, thinking someone is applying a branding iron to his little rear end and find him in the Cobra pose. He is on his belly with his entire torso pushed up in the air on his arms. He now does this two or three times per night. I keep telling myself that this too shall pass!

Life as I see it

Having a baby has made me realize how different men and women really are.

Since having Henry, I only practice the most basic of hygiene. I get a shower in every day without fail, but often go without makeup, shaving or drying my hair. I throw on some wrinkled clothes, brush my teeth and I am out the door. I actually wiped up spit up today with my skirt and then still wore it outside. I am quite the sight.

Adam's routine on the other hand has not changed at all. I laugh that he will say, "Why don't I take a shower and you watch Henry and then we will switch while you get ready." I can take a shower after him, and still have both Henry and I ready before he is done.

When we are going somewhere, I call putting Henry in his stroller "activating the launch sequence." I don't do it until the last possible second, with keys in hand. Especially when he was younger, he was like a ticking time bomb. Adam on the other hand will load him in there way too early and then push him around the apartment. Henry is thrashing around in there and he is wandering around, brushing his teeth, and doing lots of other "non-essential" things. Sometimes Henry and I will be waiting for the elevator and he has to make two more trips inside for his sunglasses or some other crazy thing. I want to say, "forget about that and just run for your life! We have a crazy caged lion in this thing!" But of course I hold back (snicker). Or, he will make some crazy suggestion that we sit down and have lunch somewhere in a restaurant. I look at him and ask, "Have you met your son? Does sitting down somewhere to eat seem like it might be remotely pleasant?"

Henry and I were in the park this week, sitting on a blanket playing. I was watching this lady who can only be described as "Superwoman." She had triplets that were less than a year old, and a friend's baby who looked like he was around two. All of the children had on hats, and were happily ensconced in different activities. She was feeding one of the babies a bottle and at the same time reading very enthusiatically to the two year old. I can't even imagine how she got all of them out of the house. On the other side of the lawn was a man, walking with his young daughter in circles around the grass. No blanket to sit on, no hat, and her onesie was unsnapped and hanging out of her pants. The contrast just gave me a little chuckle.

I will leave you with an interesting study that I read. Although in most cases, women do the majority of the childrearing, when entering a social situation the man always wants to carry the baby inside. Of course leaving his wife behind to drag in all of the packages.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Solids Update

Henry loves eating his solids. For posterity, I will list what he has eaten thus far:

Cereal (Rice, Oatmeal, Barley)
String beans
Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Cottage Cheese
Mozzerella Cheese

Baby Bootcamp, The Countdown

The time is drawing near where Henry has to be left with a babysitter. We have three weddings to attend and I need to finally bite the bullet. I am embarrassed to admit that the longest I have left him thus far is two hours. Once. And that was with Adam. His father. And I just about had heart failure the entire time.

Anyway, confession time over. I would guess it is no surprise that a breastfeeding, cosleeping baby that has never been away from his mama in 7 months is a little bit of a mama-addict. Couple this with normal seven month old separation anxiety and we have a HUGE problem. Poor Grandpa Joe makes the trek in to visit him every week without fail and Henry still cries whenever I leave the room. I have tried my darndest to get him used to other people; I have joined two play groups, gym class, music class, and practically foist him into the neighbors' arms.

We tried a practice babysitting run last night with my brother. Kevin is a great dad of three little girls. He couldn't get Henry to sleep without a lot of screaming. Then, I took one of his girls to get ice cream and Henry woke up while I was gone. Henry was crying his little eyes out and it took me about 15 minutes to get him to breathe normally.

So, I have declared the next 18 days Baby Bootcamp. I have this much time to get Henry ready for his first babysitter (poor Kevin and Julie unless they bail after last night's debacle). We need to break all of our bad habits before then that are contributing to the problem. So, in order to be accountable, I will list them here:

1) Pacifer addiction
2) Napping in our bed sometimes
3) Me laying down with him to get him to sleep sometimes
4) Sleeping in our bed after 11pm each night
5) Adam never putting him to bed or down for naps
6) Henry not knowing how to drink from a bottle
7) Not having a firm nap, bedtime, waking schedule
8) Not sticking to a firm mealtime schedule

Yikes! We are in trouble!

Monkey Feet Jr.

I have unusual dexterity with my feet and toes. I think it is inherited. Anyway, I can pick up many items without bending over, and can even pinch someone with my toes. Adam says that I have "Monkey Feet."

Today, Henry was in his stroller. He was getting fussy so I gave him my water bottle to play with (after I tightened the cap of course). As we were rolling he dropped it and caught it between his feet before it hit the pavement. I don't know why, but I was very proud for some reason!

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Brave Little Baby!

As you already know, Henry attends music class every Monday morning. I had the choice to enroll him in an infant class (0-9 months) or a mixed age class which has kids as old as three.

I chose the mixed age class for a few reasons. 1) I wanted to get him used to noise and chaos, since he is home alone with me a lot. 2) I would rather he had older kids to emulate instead of having to look at little babies lying on the floor 3) I thought the activities would be more fun for him, even if I had to modify them.

There are about 10 other kids in his class and the closest to him in age is 16 month old. The rest are around 2 1/2. There is a lot of rough and tumble, but Henry never gets scared and holds his own pretty well. He pays attention to the teacher when she is singing, shakes his bells on his own and will sit at the big drum with the other kids, happily banging away.

Toward the end of the class, there is a jam session along to some taped music. The teacher has a big bucket of bells, maracas, tamborines, sticks, drums, and clackers etc. She makes a quick loop around the room dumping them in front of all of the kids. There is always a scramble among the bigger kids for the instruments. It is kind of like when a pinata is first broken. Once they are done choosing, I just grab a few of the remaining ones for Henry.

Today, Henry was sitting in my lap when the teacher passed. The instruments had barely hit the floor before he catapulted himself head first towards the them. He made a lunging grab for one of the maracas, practically knocking one of the bigger kids off his feet! I looked over, saw my sweet little boy laying on his stomach with his hand over his head, clutching his prize and looking quite proud of himself.

I think he is learning from the big kids a little too well!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms out there! Pat yourselves on the back for another fine year.

I offer a special salute to my Mom, who is arguably one of the best Moms ever. Even though we are all out of the house and grown, she is still on duty. Her love, caring and patience for us knows no bounds. She is still interested in the minutest details of our lives, and you can see that I definitely exploit that interest!

If you think the blog is a little too much information then you obviously have not heard my phone calls. First we talk (well, "I" talk) about how great Henry is and every twitch he made since he woke up that day. And, how each twitch shows some indication of his genius which is due to my superior parenting skills (kidding people). Then, she patiently listens to me describe every ache, pain, woe, and annoyance of my life. I follow this up with a blow by blow account of my day. She also serves as the Help Desk for all of my questions regarding: Babies, Food, Cleaning, Money, Legal Issues, Entertaining, Real Estate, and Etiquette. Feel free to call her, she is very informative.

As this is my first Mother's Day, I am obviously very excited. I can't believe my little guy will be seven months on Tuesday. The time is just flying, which all of you warned me about. They say that Motherhood is the toughest job that you will ever love. I agree that it probably is. I will say that caring for a seven month old is not tough at all. I know, you are all scratching your heads and thinking that I have officially gone of the deep end due to sleep deprivation. Let me explain.

Just take a look at that two-toothed grin. I get to look at that adorable little face every day and he gives me that smile the entire time. He is so sweet and full of wonder. He gets so happy when I just sit next to him on the floor. Every minute holds something new for him to see or do.

It is an awesome responsibility for someone to depend on you 100% for everything they need to live. You would think it would feel oppressive, but it really doesn't. Doing even the smallest things for him is a joy. He is a wonderful little boy and I'm so happy he is mine!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

You should be dancin'...yeah

Henry takes a music class once per week. It is very interactive and he has a lot of fun laying under the parachute, shaking the maracas and banging on a drum. They send you home with a CD of the music they play in class. Whenever I put it on, I can tell he is paying attention. Lately when I put on the first song that they sing every week (Hello Everybody)I can actually see him bobbing his little head along with the music. I thought I was seeing things at first, but my baby is a dancing fool!

Join the Bone Marrow Registry for Free in Honor of Mother's Day

I recently registered to become a bone marrow donor. I did so after reading about a little boy named Trevor Kott, who was born the day before Henry. His parents had put him in his carseat to go home and noticed some dots on his arm. They showed the nurse, asking if it was a rash from his sweater. He was diagnosed with Leukemia that day. They could not find a match in his family or in the entire marrow database. He passed away at six months old, still waiting for a donor. I can not even fathom the agony that family went through, and the hopelessness they must have felt while searching for a donor.

The process was super easy. You register on line and they send you a kit in the mail. You swab your cheeks with 4 Q Tips that they send you and mail it right back. It normally costs $52 dollars to register.

In honor of Mother's Day, they are looking to register 20,000 new donors. Until May 21st, they are waiving the registration fee. Please go to the following link and check it out. http://www.marrow.org/NEWS/Events/Thanks_Mom/index.html

Who knows, maybe you could save a life. How great would that be?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Helloooo Crazy Lady!

I have been under the weather the past few days and running a fever. I am either shivering or sweating. Henry was sick last week and had a fever as well. We were hanging at home today because I felt so crappy. He was very crabby this afternoon and I couldn't figure out why. He was even sweating. I sitting there thinking, "Oh no, I hope he isn't sick again." I even took his temperature. Perfect 98.6. Still can't figure out what is wrong with him. I was holding him near the window and we were looking at the people on the sidewalk. They were walking around in shorts and t-shirts. I looked down at Henry, and he was dressed in a onesie, a long sleeved shirt, lined track pants and socks. Oops! I stripped him down to his onesie and miraculously he was happy as a clam!

How Sweet It Is

Henry has started saying Mama. I know I posted in the past that he was saying it when crying, but now he says it directly at me. All the time. Whenever I leave the room. There is no occasion too small to cry for Mama! He says it when he wakes up in the morning; He says it when he is in his crib and doesn't want to go to sleep. He says it when he doesn't want to lay down and get his diaper changed. He says it when he thinks he has been on his playmat too long. Apparently this mama is quite the softie, because Henry experiences many injustices during his day that he thinks Mama can help with!

Off to teach him Dada because I am tired!

Hey Ma, Can You Believe This?

Henry was sitting on our bed yesterday playing with his toys. We have soft blocks that have toys that pop out of the middle. He was holding a clear container that is filled with colored beads. He would turn it upside down, and the beads would fall to the bottom. He did this over and over. His eyes would get wide every time. He would look at me and smile. It looked like he was trying to say "Hey Ma, are you seeing what I'm seeing? I can't believe this is happening!"

It is so neat to actually watch him learning.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It is like having your very own circus

I often think that having a baby is like having a little monkey. They are cute, and you carry them around much of the day. They can also learn to do little tricks which is my favorite part.

I have been trying to teach Henry to clap for a while now, but he won't bite. Now we play a new game. I clap my hands while singing one of the dopey little clapping songs. Then I clap his hands together. I then put my hands out and he claps my hands together. Totally adorable.

False Advertising

Let me preface this by saying that I like nursing, I really do. It is a very natural, nutritious way to feed your baby. It is a great bonding experience for mother and baby.

BUT, I find those pictures of cozy newborns nuzzling happily against their mother while nursing to be slightly misleading. In the beginning, it was hideously painful. I would clench my toes when I saw him coming near me with his mouth open. I had a gash where no one should ever have a gash. I have developed multiple infections and even had a blister making it felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot poker.

Lately, our nursing relationship as they like to call it in the "Lactivist" circles can only be described as dysfunctional. Henry has always been a little rough, but we did experience a good stretch. Now, things are slightly more challenging. First, he has two teeth. Need I say more? Second, he is 17 pounds of squirming, flailing little boy. Holding him on your lap when he is attached to a very sensitive part of your body is like holding a slippery octopus. He pulls my hair, yanks my necklace and fish hooks me in the mouth with his little razor nails. Third, he is now very aware of his surroundings. He turns his head at the slightest noise and often forgets to open his mouth before he turns his head. Ouch. Fourth, he treats me like a water fountain. He might be a little thirsty, he might be very thirsty. You just never know. He keeps coming at me until he gives his "done" signal which these days is a nice, solid bite. Once I unclamp his jaw and the stars before my eyes clear the magical feeling comes back.

On the flip side, nursing burns 500 calories per day. I ate half a coffee cake last night before bed (I am not kidding) and still woke up 2 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I am going to nurse until he is five. As they said on Desperate Housewives, it is like having a treadmill strapped to your chest.