Monday, January 25, 2010

Sick :(

Serious looking picture, huh? While C is always serious about eating, seriousness and sleepiness took over the last week because C is sick. Last weekend he had his first fever, first baby Tylenol, first diagnosis (bronchyolitis), first bubble gum pink medicine, first pedialyte (we call it baby Gatorade). The little guy is super congested and coughs to the point that he gets sick. As our good friend put it, "oh his cough! it is so sad to see him so glum when he is normally such a happy guy."

Matt did a great job taking care of him, and I tried to pitch in at night. Last week was definitely the hardest for me to be back at work. The rationale of ,"it is just as important to go to work so C can have health insurance" is little comfort when I head out the door. Matt has also been great giving me little updates throughout the day. We are both so grateful for the 24 hour nurse line, which I could probably count on 2 hands (or more...) that we have used since C was born. Thank goodness it isn't a pay-per-call! Matt and I imagine a Seinfeld-esque file/red flag on us that says, "humor them, they are first time parents."

C seems to be on the mend...starting to smile and play again. At the end of the week, it was like he was trying to communicate, "enough of this baby Gatorade and tiny feedings...I love to eat and I can handle it, COME ON!"

Which is why even though he is serious, I like this photo. Holding the bottle is a new thing. He is now all about holding on and pulling it he wants to be in control. Only problem is he doesn't know how to get it back in, which is his ultimate goal.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Adventures in Sleeping

There is no photo for this post, for good reason. As much as I would love a picture of C asleep with his arms over his head, I could not risk waking him up with the flash. Maybe on a day when I am fully rested and can take the chance I will get a cute dozing shot, but for now you will just have to imagine it.

On Monday we took C for his 4 month appointment, and on our list of questions for the doctor was "should we stop swaddling C?" I don't know how long swaddling has been such a fad for parents, but I feel like it was all they talked about at parenting classes and in the books. So we swaddled. We even used the nifty "swaddle me" blanket that has Velcro (making C look like the cross between a burrito and a straight jacket. Due to the latter image, neither my dad or my mother-in-law seemed to get what it was we were "doing to him"). And when he got too large for the swaddle me, we upgraded to the "large."

And I would say in large part, C has been sleeping through the night since the beginning of November due to swaddling. When he was overtired, once he was wrapped up he calmed down. It kept him from scratching his head and waking himself up with his hands.

But as we expected, the doctor said now is a good time to do without the swaddle. This also happens to coincide as we are trying to get him to sleep in his own room, and possibly sleep train him (but that is a whole other story!)

So Tuesday night we go without the swaddle. There is a lot of rocking C, C falls asleep in our arms, we put him down, C wakes up. This goes on forever. We quickly realize tonight is not the night for trying a new room. Let's just focus on one thing at a time. At long last, he goes to sleep. We are exhausted.

Wednesday is worse. Wednesday actually feels pretty awful. It is the same, but worse. Every time we lay him down, it is the same thing: eyes shoot open, hands bat his face, he grabs his pacifier out and drops it, sometimes shakes his head back and forth. All he wants to do is be held. I feed him at 3:00 am, and look at Matt with the "I need to get up at 6:00 for work" face. He takes C into the other room. I later find out that C didn't fall back to sleep until 5:00 am. Nice.

Thursday I get one of my baby info emails. No joke, 2 of the topics for 4 month olds are "should you stop swaddling?" and "why do 4 month olds all of a sudden want to stay awake at night?" On one hand it is reassuring, it is not just us. On the other hand, it doesn't make it any easier.

Thursday night. I learn that C had a 1 hour nap at daycare, which is huge progress for him. He sleeps in my arms from 8-10. He eats at 10 and I try to put him to sleep in his co sleeper next to me. He is chill, but awake, and not letting go of my hand. Since he's chill, I think to myself, "I am just going to try it."

I put him in his room, in his crib. I turn on the mobile that Grandpa got him for Christmas (this amazing model has cute animals that turn around, plays music, and projects a little light show on what looks like an umbrella). C kinda stares at it. I leave.

Matt and I lay in our room waiting for the screams. There are none. He's fallen asleep!

He wakes up to eat at 2, and then same thing. Oh, I love this mobile!

Same routine at 5:00. And when he gets up for good at 8:00, he is his usual, happy morning self.

I know it won't be like this everyday, but last night in and of itself feels like a victory. Here's to a long weekend with minimal sleepless nights!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thirty-something mindset vs. Mommy brain

Ever since we brought C home, I have sung to him. Broadway show tunes, holiday songs, songs that I make up about whatever I am doing at that moment. Pretty much constant noise. I didn't even sing this much as a Theater major in college. I'm not saying that the singing is good, but he does seem to like it.

So awhile back when a fellow mom told me about a CD of kids songs that incorporates the child's name, I thought that sounded like a great idea. I remembered seeing something like that in the window of a toy store in New Orleans. So on our trip out there last weekend, I bought one.

Now I am the first to admit that I was not expecting high quality vocals. And the corny image of a kid saying, "Wow! I heard my name 50 times!" on the cover wasn't necessarily a vote of confidence (considering there are only 9 songs all under 3 minutes each). While Matt was cooking dinner, I held C and put the music on.

The first song, "All About Me" covers about 1/3 of the 50 call outs for C. Imagine a somewhat awkward pause, and then a voice saying," Hey, C...". I was not a fan of the song "Raspberry Spray" which seems to teach kids about spitting, so that one gets skipped. The other songs about counting, the alphabet, rhymes, and manners all seem pretty straightforward and somewhat educational. (So far the only one that really gets into my head is "C has good manners, and that's what matters...")

Then comes the song "monkey counts to 20." All of the songs to this point have had a cheesy quality to them, but there is something about the melody that reminds me of a sketchy circus. It is about a monkey that loves to count to 20, and is friends with "C". The monkey's name is Jay-Z. I don't know if that is the spelling, but that is what the song says. I don't know why they picked that name, because it doesn't even rhyme with anything. Well, Matt and I just start cracking up. I laugh so hard that Matt asks if I need to put C down. He also asks me how much money I spent on this thing. But C does seem to like it. We make the obligatory Jay-Z jokes about the monkey "ruling the town tonight" (a song that I have on my Ipod). Matt had to pull up "Big Pimpin'" on Itunes.

And of course, we had to name his toy monkey Jay-Z, picutred above. Not to be confused with monkey puppet, who is still called "monkey".

$13 well spent.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year

So on New Year's Eve day, I had my whole blog posting in mind. I was planning on just reminiscing about my New Year's Day last year, and how the little guy figured into the plans and made us so thankful for 2009. And I am still going to do that. But then life happened, and I had more to be thankful for.

On New Year's Eve 2008, Matt and I had plans to have a romantic dinner in Boston. Instead, we were snowed in at my dad's house. I was anxious to take a pregnancy test, but wanted to wait until I was in the privacy of my own home, so I wouldn't have to figure out how to hide the test afterwards, or hide my disappointment if the results were negative. So I had to wait until New Year's Day, and was thrilled to see that the test was positive. 2008 had been such a hard year, and Matt and I kept saying, "2009 will be a better year." And it has been, more than we could imagine.

On this New Year's eve, I was running errands on my lunch break, buying a dress for our weekend trip to New Orleans for Matt's mom's wedding, when I got a voicemail on my cell from Matt, telling me to call him as soon as I got the message. My heart dropped. I called and got his voicemail. I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk near Newbury Street in the snow and called again. All the while I am running scenarios in my head...Matt is calling, so he must be ok. There are no messages from any of my family members, so they must be ok. All I can think of is C, and how I didn't want to leave him and go to work this morning, and now, what if something is wrong? My chest was tightening and I could feel by breath get labored.

Luckily, everyone is ok. Matt was driving C to daycare, and had a minor fender bender. He did a fantastic job as dad and insisted that the police man have EMTs take a look at C, even though the fender bender was so minor that the police refused to write a report (I believe their exact words were, "it's snowing...if we wrote a report for every incident like this we would be writing reports all day"). He also kept his cool when the driver, a pizza delivery guy, kept on insisting that he should leave to deliver his pizza rather than exchange info, and then when his info was shared, it was not a driver's license, but an expired Brazilian ID (no, the policeman was not concerned about this either).

And we both kept our cool when we took C into our pediatrician's office just to double check him out. And we took a collective sign of relief when she said, "if he was my grandson, I would not be worried, he seems fine". And we both relaxed and felt so lucky when we got home and C was smiling and talking his head off, as if to say, "see, I am fine, let's have some fun"

Most of all I am thankful that the three of us have each other, and that we get through each day together...the eventful ones and the non eventful ones.

This picture has nothing to do with New Year's, but I really like it. C's friend is the daughter of one of our dear Chicago friends. I think she is at least a couple of weeks older, if not a month older. I know part of it is because he isn't in a car seat, but it cracks me up that he looks like such a big boy next to her!

Happy New Year everybody!