Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Garden State Road Trippin'

Monkey from Auntie Erin? Check.

A twelve-hour stretch of sleep the night before? Check.
(Never thought I'd say this, but thank you, modified Ferber method.)

Ambiguously-colored eyes framed by inch-long eyelashes? Check.


Must love cars? Big, grateful check.


Meanwhile, Dave hit a wall at midnight and we had to stay at a hotel, and on the way back I got seriously stir-crazy and just a wee bit claustrophobic. It's a good thing our weekend was so very worth it. (I have enough pictures to post all week long...and I will! So enjoy!)


Monday, March 30, 2009

City of Cousinly Love

Proud mama with Michael

Proud uncle with his beautiful godson


Michael is wise beyond his years--
he can turn towards voices and focus on faces!


The Noon boys with their Noon boys


Will was so happy, he skipped naps to keep playing

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jinxed in the Right Direction

I wrote that sleep training post, and now Will has up and decided to skip his middle-of-the-night snack and go for the full eleven hours. 

Also he took two (2) two-plus-hour naps yesterday instead of his usual three forty-minute spurts. (The second one was in his carseat, although the car was not on and we were just sitting in the garage. The icy cold garage. The things I do for love/long naps.)

Finally, it's a wonder Dave manages to get out the door in the morning:



Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun Stuff for Monday

BFFs

1. Solid food.

There has been a definite feeding trajectory: Will ate all the time, then he ate more but a little less frequently; then he was downing more bottles than anyone really should, so we started with the solids. 

The first week was a bit annoying, since he liked spitting the spoon and its contents back out; we tried a trick from a mom in my group, popping a pacifier or the bottle in his mouth directly after the food in order to teach him to swallow it. One week later, suddenly, he could do the spoon. That made things A Lot Easier.



So far we've tried Gerber Organics and Earth's Best: oatmeal cereal (we mix that with everything to chunk it up and get Will's digestive system going), sweet potatoes, peas (I just made my first batch of homemade peas, too), apples, pears, prunes, carrots...today he ate homemade mashed banana, and later this week he'll taste avocado for the first time.

He likes everything.

My final note on solids: if the first phase of eating was CONSTANT and the second was MODERATE, this one is somewhere in between. I'm always either preparing or spooning or cleaning up, but I have a lot more fun with it. Will's in the high chair playing with toys, I'm talking to him as I mix some veggies or clean a bowl, and we're interacting and making each other smile or laugh. It's actually a lot of fun.

2. Benjamin Moore.

We're painting four rooms in preparation for the big switcheroo. We are moving Will into one of the back bedrooms now that he's sleeping consistently for 11 hours, so that I'm not banned from using our bedroom and bathroom while he sleeps and naps. 

I've already mentioned my love for Benjamin Moore's Lavender Blue, but alas, that color is getting muted (the nursery will be the new office) by a couple of coats of Lenox Tan. My new favorite, although we have nowhere to use it, is Blue Heron. It's a dusky slate-ish blue, and it is so gorgeous. The end.

3. Speaking of paint, I adore the hardware store we go to, Swartz True Value, on Watertown Street. Everyone is helpful and all the tough contractors like to coo over Will, which is sweet. When I was pregnant, one guy made sure I wasn't going to be getting up on a stepladder. I like Watertownies with hearts of gold.

But today I ran into my first condescending (though well-intentioned) customer. This man asked me if I was getting ready for the painter to come to my house, and he said it laughingly--not meanly, but with an implication that I too would laugh at the mere idea that I could be painting a room myself. I take his point...as a woman, surely I would just end up with the paintcan on my head, Montgomery White leaking down the pink apron covering my I HEART DAVE tee-shirt.

"Oh yeah, I'm all set for him," I replied. "And his name is...my husband!" I don't know why I thought this would be a great comeback, considering I was just admitting that I wasn't going to be doing any of the work (which is wishful thinking, considering I'll likely be painting alongside Dave for the bulk of the process). Oh well. I suppose delivering enlightenment to the good-natured-but-mildly-sexist among us will have to wait. :-)

4. Fourteen is Enough.

Another regular at the store (am I obsessed with this topic or what?) asked how old Will was, commented on how cheerful he was, and then said, and I quote: "How 'bout that Octomom?"

I replied with the obligatory, "Yeah, I know, right? Crazy!" to which he said, "How wouldya like to deal with all those kids?" before turning to Will and saying, "How would you like seven brothers and sisters, all the same age as you?"

It was like he was spelling out the Octomom story for me...and for Will...and he kept going. THEN he wrapped it all up by saying, "You know what the worst part is? The media! They won't stop talking about it. Just leave her alone!"

It was so confusing. He had clearly been anti-Octomom, and now he was anti-anti-Octomom-media, so maybe he just liked to disagree with others.

5. Cousin love.

In NON-hardware-store-related news (shocking, I know), we are going to New Jersey this weekend for three days to see Baby Michael and the rest of the clan. The cameras are charging and the Pack 'n' Play is already loaded into the trunk.

6. Revelations.

There's this amazing thing called "spending one evening cooking and getting four meals out of it." What is the meaning behind this magical phrase, you ask? Well, all you have to do is get TWICE the meat you would need for one dinner and cook it ALL TOGETHER IN THE SAME DISH. If you do this with two separate meats (such as steak and chicken), you can get two nights of steak and two nights of chicken, simply by reheating said meat. 

Cutting edge concept, I agree, but please, no autograph requests. I do it for the love of the game.

7. 321.

We went to our friend's belated Mardi Gras plus birthday party on Saturday night. We left Will in the capable hands of my sister's au pair, drove down to Providence with Lauren (who would like me to note that she got ready in record time), and spent four hours remembering how fun it was to spend an evening at the Leone Lounge.

(I call it that because this house has a handmade bar, cafe tables and flatscreen in one room; an entertainment system the size of Montana and another flatscreen in the living room; a huge wraparound deck with a firepit and hot tub outside; and the coup de grace, the two televisions BEHIND THE MIRRORS IN BOTH BATHROOMS. )

Lauren walked around all night saying, "I can't believe this house. No, I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS HOUSE." Although she was a little frightened of the space-age TV-mirror situation. (Yes, you were.)

Happy Monday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I'm Writing Less

**WARNING**
Lots of potentially dull discussion of sleep training methods ahead. Avoid if easily bored.


We're sleep-training Will. Some people start Ferberizing or Cry It Out-ing or just general switching the routine at six months, or later, a year...never. Some find that their babies are ready earlier, at three or even two months.

Will has slept for long chunks since he was born, and in the last month his baby group classmates have caught up to him. I would say that all the babies in the five-months-and-up age group are sleeping through the night, waking maybe twice at most in those eleven or twelve hours. (Obviously there are exception nights where teething or simple bad moods can set these babies back.)

Seeing that the curve has caught up to us, and feeling frustrated that Will was still stirring two or three times between 8:30 and 11:30 at night, taking a nip from the bottle for comfort before sleeping again until the 5 o'clock wake-up, we decided he was ready. So we needed to be ready, too.

After a couple of 6:45 bedtimes that failed first a little bit and the next night MISERABLY, my mom friend Mo wrote this to me in an email: "It always sounds to me like your gut says he just doesn't want to go to bed until like 9pm, although your heart is dreaming of a 7pm bedtime." She was exactly right.

So back to 9 p.m. we went, and we are all the happier for it. We also nixed feeding before the morning wakeup, which means we (mostly Dave, though) go in and rock him if necessary at a ten o'clock stirring, but no bottle. The first night, that ticked him off royally. From then on, he hardly stirs at all until 4:30 or 5 or 6 in the morning, when he chugs down a bottle and goes back to sleep until 8.

Wonderful! But just like every other parenting decision-trial-error-success cycle, this one has led us straight into the next: what to do about 35 or 40-minute naps, three times a day, when it's clear Will's capable of more?

Today I picked him up from my parents' house after going to the dentist (not fun, but at least it was a solo trip) and after our gleeful reunion, Will fell asleep in his carseat. And there he slept, through the drive, the time parked in our garage, my phone conversations as I waited for him to wake up, slammed doors as I moved things upstairs...snoring faintly all the while. He slept for 2 hours and 50 minutes. Methinks somebody was starved for a halfway decent nap.

So now...now...oof. Now we pile nap training on top of our tentative success with the sleep training? I don't know. Will might be getting more and better sleep, but I am straight-up tired; I'm tired of thinking and re-thinking and acting, only to start thinking about something new.

And I have a funny feeling that it's not going to stop anytime soon.

At least he's a handsome sleeper:


(No, the seahorse is never far from his side. We've named him Buddy.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sweeping the Category...

Things I'm grateful for, items #1-7: Michael Patrick.


Stare and ye shall be rewarded with zero-day-old cuteness.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

John & Jean Plus Two

We have a new nephew! His name is Michael, and he is the sweetest-looking thing in the world. As soon as Dave saw him, he said "I think he looks like me in my baby pictures." But that was just Dave wanting to associate himself with someone undeniably adorable and with more hair. (I'm kidding, but only a little. That baby's got hair already! Will is going to be jealous...when he masters that emotion someday.)

Anyway, I'll post my adorable photo of him in which he looks like a two-month-old even though he was just born that morning (yesterday morning)...but in the meantime, I had to make the announcement. Yippee!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grateful

1. New projects.
2. Warm weekend weather.
3. "Babies' night out" with Mo, Dave & Ryan. (Yeah, we took Will to a bar last night. A busy bar. What?)
4. Pop-up illustrations to keep Will interested in reading books. (Oh, sorry, did I say reading books? I meant eating books. But hey, they're books!)
5. New moms' group starting this Wednesday thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyougod. (It's been three weeks since the last one ended. Needless to say, I am a leetle bit excited.)
6. Speaking Of Excited: Did you know that there are only two episodes of Battlestar Galactica left? And Starbuck might be a half-cylon, and her dad might be Daniel, and ....... if you had told me five years ago that I would be completely engrossed in a sci fi soap opera whose premise was basically "humans v. the robots they created," I would have laughed heartily. The joke is obviously on me.
7. Speaking Of Excited, Part II: Do you know what tomorrow is? Tomorrow is our nephew's birthday. Doesn't 3-10-09 have a nice ring to it? We can't wait.
Don't go anywhere! There's an honorary #8, 9 and 10 that can't wait for next week:
8. Brendan turned four on Saturday. Happy Birthday!
9. Skype isn't my favorite because it allows everyone to see that I don't put makeup on, wash my hair, or get dressed in anything non-stretch many days of the week. It's sad, really. But Skype is still pretty great because we get to see Dave's side of the family, and they get to see Will. Meanwhile, Will likes to watch their faces but is mostly interested in trying to stuff the computer mouse in his mouth.
10. A baby who can sit up all by himself. Yay! (I was going to post a series of pictures, but Blogger keeps flipping the orientation around and I'm tired. Plus, with more photos, the cuteness might just be too much.)

The pajamas are the finishing touch on the masterpiece of cute.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quintomentarian

That is my made-up word for "five-month-old," which Will became last Saturday! (Note my usage of Latin roots...who says it's a dead language?)

It does seem like it's been five months since Will was born. In fact, it feels even longer than that. It feels like a year, give or take.

However, it does not seem possible that Will is five months old. That's a real baby! With personality and laughter and some understanding of humor and suspense...and, if you're my son, Size 1-2T socks. Because he's Sasquatchian. (No, not from Canada.)

We went to the doctor today to get a rash checked out. The rash is nothing much, and the doctor prescribed "just Vaseline" to moisturize. The boy, on the other hand, is getting bigger exponentially. As in, his percentiles aren't leveling out or closing in on the 50th...they're getting higher. 

Today, Will is 18 pounds, 9 ounces and 27 inches long. He is just over the 80th percentile, and it seems that last inch was put on in the last week! 

Here's a slideshow of the brand-new quintomentarian. If you think he looks super excited, it's probably because he knows he's getting a new cousin in less than a week. :-)


video

Monday, March 2, 2009

Running Out of Titles

What I'm grateful for today:

-Healthy, happy babies like Holden Shear and Grace Welsien, who have kicked off baby season with an adorable bang.

-Awesome friends who revive (awesome) blogs and say nice things about me on them. :-)

-Nature's Promise frozen vegetables on sale at the grocery store. Yeah, it's a stretch, but these are supposed to be small things...

-The Bachelor season finale Part I tonight, Part II tomorrow...why do I care so much? Who can tell?

-March. It doesn't feel like March, what with this mighty Nor'easter closing schools and churches and whatnot, but it is March, and that might count for something.

-Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst. You guys, I'm totally a gamer now! Mm, maybe not. But it's a fabulous naptime indulgence.

-Playing Lexulous on Facebook wiht Julie. In fact, it's the only reason I go on Facebook ever. Indeed it is, for me, the "saving grace" of Facebook. See? How I tied everything together right there?

Hope everyone's having a lovely start to March.