Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eleven months

Dear Danny,

You are now almost eleven months old, and you're on the brink of walking unassisted.  Every day, I'm amazed at how big and independent you're becoming.  You don't need help to stand up, thank you very much!  You certainly don't need me to hold on to your waist, and will remove my hands and give me that 'I'm big now, mom... cut it out' look.  You're really just such a delightful little boy -- and though I know that every mother says that, you totally are.

Many babies have the usual first words...  Mama, Dada, kitty...  and though you mean to repeat 'Hi' it usually comes out as 'Heh'.  Your first official word was the usual: clock.  And by usual, I mean completely absurd.  Sometimes you omit the L, which is even funnier than your typical overexaggerated pronunciation of 'CuhhhLLlllockghghghghgh.'  That is a very impressive first word, Monster!  You are also very amused by clocks, which means you point and laugh and say clock.  We couldn't be prouder of you!

You sleep like a champ, and have for quite a while now.  We put you to bed around 8pm, and you stay asleep until just about 7am, give or take an hour (stupid daylight savings time.)  You wake up in a great mood almost every day, and you are the smiliest boy I've ever known.  You weren't overly snuggly for the first nine months of your life, since you were always in a hurry to do something.  But now you lay your head on our shoulders when you're sleepy and you love to lay down on me for story time.  You can sit and play by yourself for half an hour these days, inspecting every inch of a toy or a book.  You laugh hysterically at the cats, and sometimes at Mama and me.  You are just a good little boy, and we're lucky that you're ours.  In the next month or so, you'll experience your first Christmas -- exceptions allowed for last year when you were a few days old, and your eyes couldn't focus.  I'm excited to see you open presents, and I'm really excited to see you devour your first birthday cake. 


And really, we can't wait to watch you do all the remaining firsts too.  You're our favorite, Danny.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

summer, sunshine and an almost-toddler

Hello, all! It's been about four months since I've written, but fear not -- things are going very well. Just your usual busy summer. The boy is starting to cruise, he rolls over like a champ but still isn't crawling. I think he's determined to learn to walk before he crawls, naturally. He's begun to make sounds that resemble words, which is keeping us very entertained. He's got a handful so far: baba, dada, a high and screechy velociraptor noise, a soft voice he uses to talk to his bear, Ted, and the beginnings of hi! He prefers to say hi to my neice, but occassionally he'll say it to one of us. This whole talking thing is new in the past week or so, and it seems to happen all at once. Next week, he'll tell me he's ready to learn to drive.

I can't believe he's already eight months old! It seems like just yesterday that I was wondering when he would hold onto a toy, or when he would start babbling at us.

Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe he needs a little brother or sister.

I'm pretty sure he does. :)
We're still in the planning stages, which of course means I will have lots to write about. For now, all I can think to type is that I'm so excited. So. Excited.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hello, Monster!

You are four months old.  I can't believe how quickly time has passed since you were born, and now you smile and laugh and sit up (with a little assistance) and jump around in your bouncer.  You have a daily routine now, and with the notable exception of the 4:30am meal*, we all love it.  You have a mind of your own already, and you're not likely to be too shy.  Happy or sad, you let everyone know how you're feeling.  You wear your heart on your sleeve, along with lots of drool and a little spit up.  Oh, wait... that's my sleeve!

You wake up (*ahem) just before our alarms go off, and about half of the time, you lay in your crib and play with your feet while you wait for us to come and get you.  Quiet little coos can be heard from our loft, which is right above your crib, and as you are well aware, we have no door between us.  On the days that you aren't quietly playing, you have an incredible ten-syllable aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that it takes you fifteen seconds to get out, just in case we didn't realize you were awake.  When we walk to your crib, and say good morning, you give us your biggest smile, and you wiggle your whole body at once. 

You've started eating rice cereal too, which is a nice switch from the lonely bottles of yore.  We're in week two of solid(ish) food, and for the most part, you LOVE it.  We've learned to give you a few ounces of milk first, lest the hungry monster rears his unhappy head, but after that you are a baby bird for the spoon.  Yesterday, you inadvertantly spit a mouth full of cereal in Mama's face.  I can't wait to feed you vegetables, and see this same thing happen, since all three of us were pretty amused.  You roll easily onto each side, but haven't shown much interest in rolling all the way onto your tummy, possibly because you loathe tummy time.  You're getting better, but many times when we lay you face down, you just give a frustrated grunt.  You make great swimming motions on the ground, and it won't be long before you realize that tummy time means moving time. 

Since you see half of the Grandparents every day, we spend a good amount of time in the car, where you ride quietly and happily almost every day.  *Dodging bullet noise.*  I have a mirror mounted on the back seat, so I can see you in my rearview as you play with your guys.  (Not that I'm watching that as I drive, of course.)   Between all of us, you get a good deal of attention, and it has turned you into a very social boy.  You have also mastered the social cough, which everyone knows is a talent all employers are looking for.  You gain a new skill almost every day, and this weekend you learned to blow raspberries.  I'd like to say it's on command, but half of the time you just squish up your face and laugh at us doing it.  You also like to sit upright.  You remind us of this every time we attempt to lay you down, like we did, oh...  two weeks ago.  Because, now you must sit.  You put absolutely everything in your mouth, including my hair and sometimes your entire hand makes it in.  I can't wait until you realize that your feet can go in there, because you will just love that. You drool all the time, and I swear you have a bottom tooth coming in, though I've sworn that for about three weeks, with no teeth in sight.  Yet.  Sometimes Mommy is right, but in a delayed way.  Remember that, monster.

It took us about a month of sleep training (for both you and for us) but you now go to bed with relative ease.  We lay you down with your new favorite blankey, and turn on the mobile and you put yourself to sleep.  Compared to just a month ago, that is a snap.  Since your crib is on the main level, you don't get much of a shield from noise, but you've handled that quite well.  Aside from that one dinner party, where you had trouble falling asleep (we are so sorry about that one) you sleep through Super Mario matches and company all the time.  I'm not even sure what I'll do when you and I don't share that middle of the night feeding anymore. 

Wait, what am I saying?  Don't let that stop you from sleeping through the night.  We can find lots of time to smile at each other when we're both awake, I promise.

We're sorry we are always eating your cheeks.
You're our favorite, monster!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Condo news

We had our first open house on Saturday, which went quite well.  We had five couples show up.  The first couple emailed us the day the house hit Craigslist, and were the first to arrive on Saturday.  They even came back a second time to take pictures.  They're returning tonight with her dad, which seems promising to me.

The boy slept throughout the open house, in his swing, sans clothes.
We are nothing if not classy.

In other news, we think the boy may be teething...  He hasn't been sleeping or eating like normal, and has been gnawing his fists and anything within reaching distance.  He's also got flushed cheeks, without a fever.  (Dr. Google tells me that could be teething, so we're running with that.)  I think I felt a tooth, but I couldn't tell.  It's incredibly difficult to see inside an infant's mouth, by the way; I had no idea.  Their little tongues are not cooperative at all.  He's also sixteen weeks old today, which in my brain means he's 4 months, even though he's not.  This kid-age-math is almost as confusing as pregnancy math was. 

Also, I realized over the weekend that I have acquired a new skill:
The not-quite-stopped-Stop:  (noun) At a red light or in congested traffic, the subtle removing of one's foot from the brake, just enough to make the car gently rock half-an-inch forward and then stop again, over and over, fooling the infant into thinking that the car is moving. 

I'm contacting the dictionary people to have it added. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Okay, I won't move a muscle...
It's feeling like spring around here.  The buds are peeking, the birds are out and it's my favorite time of the year; I feel all excited, like a kid on summer break.  We did work around the condo Saturday with the windows open (gasp!) and walked to grab lunch in the neighborhood -- get ready -- without sweatshirts.  I know that it'll dip back down some before it stays for good, but it was just what I needed. 

In Danny news: he's 15 weeks old and trying to talk all the time.  Some days he's interested in rolling, though he has yet to make it over all the way.  He also thinks he can sit upright on his own, so he lunges forward, head-first on your lap.  (This is especially fun if you're not giving him your undivided attention.)  He's outgrowing his 3-month clothes, and solidly working his way through the 6-9 -monthers.  He grabs things and puts everything in his mouth, with moderate success.  He's also thisclose to sleeping through the night, with just one feeding around 5am.  I figured out that our forty-minute nighttime feedings could be cut down to less than fifteen by using a faster nipple, so I don't even mind getting up now. 

Also, I believe that Faster Nipple would be an excellent band name. 

In work news: I have made it through the first three weeks of the Return To Work and on Sunday night, didn't even get sad when I realized that the weekend was over.  Well, not more sad than the average bear, so we're making progress.  I had no idea how wimpy I would be about returning until it happened. 

In blog news: this one's really good

We have our first open house this weekend, so we're getting all the final details figured out.  I plan to do the cliché cookie-baking, and I hope for nice weather.  If you're in the neighborhood this Saturday, feel free to stop by...  Maybe I'll share my cookies with you.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A moving plan

We live in a modern loft in Tremont, which is just outside of Cleveland.  Until now, it has been the perfect spot -- close to amazing restaurants, close to downtown, close to work, near bike paths and shopping, and as I've mentioned before, our neighbors are spectacular.  The only problem is that we're about forty minutes from our families, and since the Grandparents are watching him during the day, that means a hefty commute.  So, we're going to move.  But we sure are going to miss it here...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

She hasn't written in HOW LONG?

It's been eleven weeks since Danny was born, and I was able to write one post.  One post about his birth, and I didn't even finish the story!  (As a quick attempt: he's healthy, he's happy and he poops once a day.)  It sounds so cliché, but having a baby is one of the few absolute excuses one can whip out in life. 

"You've stopped calling."
I had a baby. 

"You look exhausted!" 
I had a baby. 

"You ate all the Cheese Balls!" 
I. Had. A. Baby!!! 

Now I only read about sleep training and tummy time; I consider it a good day if I can manage to make dinner, or leave the house --  or shower.  Showering used to be the most mundane thing I did each day, and now I actually look forward to it.  Working out was something that I had to get out of the way, and now it feels a bit like luxury time.  Did you know that you can watch an entire movie on the treadmill if you time it right?   It's the little things.

On Monday, I return to work.  After twelve weeks of spending my days with the boy, (and the last six weeks of my pregnancy, watching doctor-prescribed television,) I will shower daily and get in the car before a morning nap of my own.  I tried not to think about it all winter.  Spring will be here, and then it'll just happen... 

Well, now it's spring.  Possibly time to get out of the house, Suze.

My parents and Karen's will take turns watching him during the week, so he'll be well-loved and well-coddled, to say the least.   I, on the other hand, will have to actually focus on something. 

 This could prove to be quite an adjustment.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's never what you think

My whole life I've heard stories about the magical wonderment of the day your child is born.  I've read articles written by new moms detailing the moment they fell in love with their baby as he laid on their chest, just seconds after the cord was cut.  I have watched countless episodes of baby shows, crying every time the baby was born, feeling so much emotion for the mothers and babies whose lives I watched for thirty minutes.  I had prepared a birth song list that would play behind us.  I had packed all new toiletries that smelled great and looked pretty for afterward.  I imagined that my son's birth would be filled with happy moments, some pain, and a roomful of family laughing and smiling, with cartoon bluebirds flying all around us. 

Danny's birth day was nothing like I had imagined.

As soon as we were admitted at midnight the night before, they had hooked me up to a fetal monitor.  We watched TV, slept, talked to family and such, all through the faint clippity-clop of Danny's heart beating.  My mother was especially interested in the fetal monitor.  She stared intently as my contractions synced with his vitals.  Prior to my epidural, she'd excitedly announce each contraction's arrival, because labor contractions are so difficult to detect on one's own.

......AAAAAAAAAHHHH...... and then there was the epidural. And the pain stopped.  With the epidural checked off my to-do list, I was already scripting the end to the most beautiful day of my life. Or so I thought.

Fourteen hours of overconfidence had passed when suddenly Danny's rhythm slowed down by about half.  All eyes in the room went immediately to the fetal monitor.  The one downside of watching the well-intentioned but well-edited baby shows on TLC is that they manage to give you just enough information to scare the crap out of you when a situation arises in your own labor.  'Late decellerations' is a phrase I'd heard just moments before countless c-sections on TV, but I knew very little about what it meant, other than the fact that it's is a sign of fetal distress.  After it continued for a few minutes, we tried turning me on one side, then the other.  His heartrate which should be around 150 didn't rise above 80.  My doctor said something about an Operating Room technician and within sixty seconds, ten masked doctors ran into the room.  Apparently, if you're already worried about your baby and you're hopped up on hormones -- both natural and synthetic -- the more worked up you get, the more your body will shake.  Karen stood by me, smiling and reassuring, while our mothers stood by trying to smile, listening very intently.  The masks began talk of an emergency c-section, my shaking turned into tears and the faces in the room were no longer smiling. 

After the the late decellerations were somewhat controlled, my labor was allowed to progress on its own, without the addition of a hormone that was strengthening my contractions.  Every hour or so, the doctors would check my progress and announce that we were a little bit closer to 10 centimeters.  Around 9pm, I felt a little uncomfortable, chalking it up to laying in a bed for almost a day.  Within ten minutes, I was in tears from the pain in my neck.  I figured that if they can stop the pain of labor, they could stop the pain of a neck spasm.  Apparently, that's not the case.  And, since it was the day for unexpected things, just as I was in the most pain I'd been in all day, it was time to push.  They had warned us that the baby was turned face up, which means that it takes more effort to deliver and can be more painful, but I still wasn't feeling much, except some pressure, so I pushed.  Karen held my right foot, my mother held my left foot, and people whose faces I could no longer see were counting to ten.  Imagine going through an hour of hard labor (back labor, at that) with a very painful neck spasm.  They also told me that I had developed a fever of 102*.  It wasn't fun, and it seemed endless, but I knew that the average first time mother pushes for 1-3 hours, so I figured that pain would stop -- even if it took three hours.  With my iPod on shuffle beside me, a somewhat inappropriate but terribly fitting song came on.  They checked my progress after a little over an hour of pushing, only to find that the baby had not descended AT ALL during that whole time.  Cue the tears again.  Now we were going to have a c-section and this time I didn't really mind.  Surely if they're doing a c-section, my neck will stop locking up or at least stop hurting.  Cue the sarcasm.

Karen told me afterward that she felt like she waited for much longer than the fifteen minutes it took them to prep me for surgery.  By the time she walked into the O.R., they had already begun operating, and she sat down by my head.  I was wide awake and probably more nervous for her than I was for myself.  It took them about ten minutes from the first cut before I heard him cry.  It sounded so much different than any other baby's cry that I had ever heard.  I remember thinking how beautiful his voice sounded, and I remember crying just like I did during the birth shows, but this time it was my own moment -- even if I didn't get there quite the way I figured I would.

We were taken back to our original delivery room to say hello to the grandparents who had been there for seventeen hours.  I can't imagine how they hung around that long; it seemed like a long day to me, but I was at least a little busy!  My mom said that watching me go through that day was harder than giving birth to me was.  They took turns holding Danny and took some pictures, and then left us to try to get some sleep after a long few days.

What happened next deserves its own post.  More to come...