Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oscar the Grouch is cooler than me

Jim and I are considering dropping our cell phone and getting pay-as-you-go cell phones for emergencies only. When I broached the subject, Jim kept saying over and over again, "But you can't use it. Emergencies only." And as Jim put it last night, calling to tell him to put dinner in the oven does not qualify.

When I think about my recent cell phone usage, it hardly seems worth the nearly $50 a month we pay. In the past week, I've used it to call family members while stuck in traffic, to let family members know of our imminent arrival and to get in touch with friends while away from home. I opened my cell phone this morning to find calls from both my mom and dad and from some toll free number I didn't recognize. We have a land line and I'm home most of the time. I can be reached at work by phone or email; so can Jim.

Before cell phones (or B.C.), there wasn't the luxury of phoning in the entertainment while stuck in traffic. Also B.C., people knew when to expect us based on the time we left and when away from home, we could always use the phone at our host's home, a pay phone or a hotel phone. Other than these "conveniences," it seems the only thing I'm really paying for is the privilege of being always available to whomever wants to reach me. And who wants that? Not me.

Even Oscar the Grouch has a cell phone these days. He must be way cooler than us.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Striking while the iron is ... sleepy?

Yes, I just rewrote a popular idiom. I think I may have just won a battle in the sleep war. Danny no longer falls asleep on his playmat after Sesame Street. He's got too many new skills to practice and he really just wants to spend all day standing while holding my fingers.

So right now, Danny's napping, in his crib, without me, his personal booby. How did I accomplish this? I kept a close eye on him after Sesame Street. He nursed and was starting to get wriggly. Then I noticed the eyes at half mast. I immediately snuggled him in my arms, took him upstairs, nursed him a little more and plunked him down in his crib. I went to start the laundry and the washing machine must have lulled him to sleep.

The poop chronicles

WARNING: Read on an empty stomach.
The most surprising thing about being a parent is how you become intimately aware of another person's bodily functions. I could tell you when Danny last pooped and how much and what color it was. Last night, our son pooped out what looked like an entire sweet potato ... twice. It was the strangest thing we'd ever seen. My husband and I showed each other the diaper each time. We haven't done that since he was a week or so old. Sweet potatoes are officially off the menu for a while.

Other foods he's eating: avacado, banana and yogurt, and applesauce. We tried peas with him, but after two days he pooped out what looked like a pile of mashed peas. With the aforementioned foods, we've noticed no weirdly colored or textured poops.

He's still asleep!! It's been an hour!! I'm not sure what to do with myself.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Danny's new trick, part II

Danny only performs his new trick when we're not looking. I've only actually seen him roll from his back to his belly one and a half times. The half time was the first time he rolled and I caught it from the corner of my eye.

Sneaky little guy, he is.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Danny's new trick

Danny's current skill set was getting a bit boring for all of us. He could roll from belly to back (if I put him on his belly), reach for and grasp toys, clasp his hands together and grab his feet. He seemed annoyed that he couldn't do more.

This morning, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Danny roll from his back to his front and begin looking around and moving toward his toys. He was quite pleased with himself. I've heard that babies can be very fussy just before they pick up a new skill. Maybe that's why he's been so fussy this week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Time warp

The past week has been hell. I've not had more than four hours of uninterrupted sleep since ... oh, I don't know. The past three days have been a blur of sweet potatoes, laundry, all night nursing and ear piercing screams. We've even had a few bouts of screaming at frequencies I suspect only the dog can hear. Poor pup.

On Wednesday night, Danny screamed, writhed, farted and nursed most of the night. Same thing Thursday night. Fortunately, sleep deprivation reduces all but the deductive reasoning portion of my brain to mush. On Wednesday, I was convinced the sweet potatoes he had for dinner were the culprit. On Thursday, after no sweet potatoes and an encore of Wednesday's all night shriek-fest, it occured to me that I had been drinking glasses of milk, instead of mere splashes in my morning coffee. Bingo.

Rewind to almost three months ago - an eternity in the land of sleep disturbia - when Danny was having similar nightwakings and I was enjoying glasses of milk. Maybe I should write this stuff down. No more milk for mommy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Baptized in a Nor'easter

Over the weekend, our son was baptized after mass at the church where we were married in Bowie, MD. I was nervous about how it would come off, considering the comedy of errors that was our wedding four years ago. Father Hill mixed up the readings; Jim's sister wound up reading an old testament verse about the virtues of a silent wife who keeps an orderly home.

But as expected, the morning was a kind of comedy of errors. I dressed Danny in his beautiful white outfit that I made for him two years before I got pregnant. We arrived at the church in the pouring rain. It turns out that this particular Sunday was First Communion for a handful of 1st graders, which usually extends mass by at least 15 minutes. Mass began and Father Hill, the priest who married us, was not there. I panic. Great, my mind screams, we drove all the way up to Maryland (and into a Nor'easter) and Father Hill won't even be here for the baptism!!

Then Jim turns to me during mass and says "I think there's a pin in his outfit." It had scratched Jim's finger. Later, I took a restless Danny out into the lobby where my family and Jim's had started to congregate. My cousin Tony, with long dreadlocks and an eyebrow ring, greeted us. Danny took one look at him and began to scream, and I couldn't calm him down. I suspected though that it wasn't Tony's unique appearance that upset him. The pin must have stuck him.

I then head toward my sister and noticed a large patch of vomit on the floor. Gee, I thought, I hope that wasn't my kid (otherwise known as Sir Pukesalot). Turns out it was Jim's nephew Jack, who had a stomach virus. After mass, Jim, sister-in-law Kathy and I tried to extract the pin that I had accidentally sewn into the garment. Jim finally took him to the car (in the pouring rain), balancing the kid, the umbrella and the car keys, and used pliers to yank the pin out.

After mass we began to congregate at the baptismal font. But some of our party was missing, including Jim, the godparents and a few friends. They were lured away by the once-monthly, post-mass donut and coffee social. The priest, who was not Father Hill but was very nice nonetheless, began when all were assembled. He's a mumbler and he kept losing his place while reading the baptism rite. So we have the baptism on silent video. By this time, Danny was fast asleep. The priest poured water on his head and Danny didn't even flinch.

The after party thrown by Nana Meehan was wonderful and I didn't want to leave. Jim could have been called to work today, so we had a harrowing five hour trip through the Nor'easter. A sample of the ride-home conversation as we hurtle past Jersey walls in the pouring rain:

"Jim, please slow down."
"I'm just keeping up with traffic," he says.
"What traffic? There's no one around us."

(That's man logic for you. It pains me to know that my sweet little boy will one day be a man and probably have a similar conversation with his wife.)

All kidding aside, the baptism was very special because it was in the church where I was confirmed and where we were married. We were surrounded by family and friends. So despite pouring rain, a pin, a pile of puke, a donut diversion and an absentminded priest, it came off pretty well.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Heavier than the cat

Danny had his four-month check-up this week. He weighed in at 12 pounds 15 ounces, slightly heavier than Pudgy Smudgy, the cat, and he's 25 inches long. When do you stop saying a baby is 25 inches long and start saying he's 25 inches tall? I guess when he can stand up? He's been "standing" on our laps since he was two months old. The doctor again commented on how good his muscle tone is. He said that babies don't usually start sitting up, even for a second, until they're six months old. He's been trying to and succeeding at sitting for a few seconds at a time unsupported.

Danny had three shots and an oral vaccine. He howled, of course, but quickly forgave Dr. Greene and gave him a big smile and coo. What a guy! He did have a slight fever last night and we gave him some baby Tylenol. This was his first fever and I was pretty nervous. I didn't get much sleep last night because I just laid down next to him on the bed and listened to him breath.

At four months, he's ready to start trying solid foods. At first, I was eager to start him on solids so that he would sleep better. Most doctors will tell you that there's no proof that babies start sleeping better when they start eating solid food. But most mothers will swear otherwise. Now that he is sleeping through the night (yes, that's right ... he's been sleeping up to seven, blissful hours), I feel free to just take it slow and not expect much.

On Monday, I put some plain yogurt on my finger and put it his mouth. He was more interested in chewing on my finger and probably didn't realize there was food on it. On Tuesday, I gave him a spoon to play with. He promptly put it in his mouth, gagged on it, and started to cry. Fearing I had traumatized him so much he would never eat normally, I picked him up and comforted him. I then put some yogurt on the spoon and put it in his mouth. He chewed on the spoon, got yogurt up his nose and down his chin and maybe some in his mouth. No reaction, but he really liked the spoon. Today, we tried it again. We gave him the spoon with the yogurt on it and he put it right in his mouth. The boy is a genius!