We're worried our little guy is getting his first cold. He's a little stuffy, and really lethargic (he slept a lot today and he's been hard to keep awake once he is up) . . . he didn't even enjoy his bath tonight, normally he loves bath time. It could be that the week long holiday extravaganza just caught up with him. It could be from my sick aunt who insisted she shouldn't hold him and then when we weren't looking held him (she asked my cousin who has a 7-month-old if she could hold him and after she told her "no" she decided not to even ask us). It could just be a little bug that someone tracked in the house.
Hopefully it's just being tired from all the places we've gone and being passed around so much. I'm dreading his first cold. I know he'll get one sooner or later—my wife is around 21 first-graders everyday she's bound to bring something home—I just want to put it off as long as possible. Seeing him miserable, not knowing what is going on (but knowing it isn't pleasant), and not being able to help him is going to tear me up.
Our baby's first Christmas. A recap on events. . .
Christmas Eve: Mass with my wife's dad's side of the family, followed by dinner. We got to church handed the baby over to my wife's Aunt Robin and went to sit down. He was awake and quiet, and then he fell asleep. It was surreal watching him from 2 pews back. Looking and realizing "that's our baby." It was odd. Then afterwards we passed the baby around at her Aunt's house.
Christmas Morning: Brunch at my parent's house. Kids running all over, paper strewn about, a general state of chaos. . . it was great.
Christmas Day:My wife's Mom's side of the family. Much calmer, dogs instead of kids running wild, it was nice.
By the end of the day our little elf was crabby and tired. Thing is, he shouldn't have been tired because he slept through the whole thing. He slept through both sets of present unwrapping. Little man's first Christmas and he missed most of it because he was sleeping.
All in all it was a great Christmas. I'm happy to have some of it over (like the tree being gone form the living room so we have room for more stuff), but it was good. Next year is going to be even better. . . and I'm guessing it'll just get better with each year older for awhile. and the presents. . . he may not be excited about his new toys, but we are. His new crib mobile is very cool. His uncle Joe did good.
As I said before we got our 6-hour sleeping on Christmas morning, and it's been pretty consistent since then. The day after Christmas we got our first smiles. It was a great Christmas.
Christmas. That time of year where family and friends gather together and complain about other people's ideas of generosity. Of course it's also the time when people force their ideas of generosity on you. . . sometimes it's a hit other times not so much. I'll focus on one thing in particular because I hope there are lots of parents reading. When it's time to get your child's teacher a Christmas—or holiday—present don't pick up that candle with the apples and books on it, instead contact the other mothers and get a classroom gift card for the teacher. Your child's teacher has enough useless crap with apples and books and tacky Christmas figurines. Instead treat your teacher to an evening out to a movie and dinner with gift cards.
Speaking as the husband of a teacher, they'll thank you for it.
Today we stayed home again. No errands, meetings or relatives. He slept a good amount of time, nothing exciting really. The worst of today was when he woke up 20 minutes before my darling wife's alarm went off.
My God we need some good sleep this weekend.
So my stay-at-home dad week is over. For the most part saying "stay-at-home" is both true and misleading. I only stayed at home 2 of the 5 days. The days I spent at home I got more done and was less stressed than the days I went out. I think with more sleep I'd be able to get even more done.
I think I could do it. I'd need a job that I could do from home where I wasn't in the middle of turmoil and they didn't need me for silly stuff as often as they do. If I were just a designer, no marketing crap, no office administration, no scheduling and project management (except my own). . . I could do it.
After my last post I picked up my son and rocked with him for 15 minutes or so while her got sleepier and sleepier. . . and I got just as sleepy. I put him down and after one replugging (our only issue to get him to sleep is his inability to keep his pacifier in his mouth) I decided to lay down myself for a little 20 minute nap. . . after which I'd finished the load of baby laundry and make dinner after that.
An hour and a half later my wife was standing over me waking me up. I was in a pretty delirious state. She had called on her way home from work and wondered why I hadn't answered. . . she figured I was changing him or feeding him or something. Imagine her surprise coming home to find me passed out in bed.
I guess staying home is wearing me out more than I thought it would. Thankfully he was also sleeping (at least I think) the whole time I was out.
Having to wash baby stuff in special detergent. And if fabric softener removes the flame retardant quality of kids clothes than make a different type of fabric softener or flame retardant treatment, cause staticky baby laundry sucks.
Today was probably the roughest day of the week for our little business man. I had to go to my office for a benefits meeting and was greeted with oohs and aahs. We walked into the meeting and immediately our director of finance, who was in charge of the meeting and therefore didn't have to fill out all the forms, relieved me of my son. And there he stayed for a good 45 minutes. She rocked him to sleep and he was asleep with her for about 30 minutes. Then our accounting manager, who was the other person that was neither giving the presentation nor filling out forms, took over. He slept on her for another 15 minutes and then he pooped. . . she offered and I let her change him. Then he was hungry so she fed him.
From then on it was nothing but passing the baby around to everyone who wanted a piece of him. He got a little fussy a few times, but never really cried and was mostly alert the whole time.
Of course I'm paying for it right now as he's overtired. I'll be trying to get him to sleep is anyone needs me.
Today we spent a good portion of the day at my mom's house. My mom and I have a semi-annual tradition of making Christmas fruit cakes. My grandmother used to make them every year and despite the bad rap the fruit cake has gotten, these are yummy. So this year her grandson came along.
Since his birth, my mom has only seen her grandson a few times (even though she's less than 15 minutes away). I need to change this. It's like she's the Yoda of baby care. She calmly holds him in more positions than I could imagine, she fed him twice without him spitting up a single drop (though he did get the hiccups both times), and she is a master swaddler. Every movement, every pat, every word spoken is so gentle and kind and easy for her. I don't know if she was that good with me, but if she was I was one lucky baby. I know she was a great mom from when I can remember, but to see her with a baby was amazing.
AND today he woke up at the correct time and that meant those two bottles with grandma were the only 2 bottles he had to eat. So that meant less that mom had to pump.
Tomorrow will be a real test. We're going to my office for a few hours. I know there will be lots of people willing to hold him for me. I just don't know if he'll let them hold him.
Today we went shopping. Christmas present, office supply, and diaper shopping to be exact. We went to 4 different stores. . . he didn't like that. . . I didn't either. After that we went to see his friend Luke (whose mother is my friend Melissa). They still don't know each other exists (that's them in the above picture looking at something. . . who can tell what with babies?). They got some good team crying going though, it was fun.
Tomorrow, we're going to see Grandma. She'll probably just sit and hold him for a couple hours. She likes holding her grandbabies.
Johnson's Bedtime. We have dubbed this stuff "sleepy soap" and "sleepy lotion." The one things we've learned is to bathe him in it AFTER his final feeding. We did it before and he fell asleep long before he got enough to eat.
Not a product. What I hate is I'm constantly covered with cloth diapers. We have at least 3 in every room it seems, but when the kid spits-up (today he launched it about 3 feet) there is never a diaper around. Is that part of Murphy's Law?
• Baby napping? Check. • Laundry? Check. • Dishes? Check. • New Blog design? . . . obviously Check!
The little guy has been sleeping for over 2 hours now. At this rate I may only need to feed him once more before the lady with the fresh milk returns. And now for a new feature. . . love it/hate it.
Mylicon Gas Drops. I love these for a couple reasons. First they have completely no medical benefit (according to our baby's doctor) and people still swear by them. Second, no medical benefit doesn't stop them from doing something. They taste good to the baby and that quiets him down and makes him forget about the painful gas.
I want to preface this by saying I love the person who gave this to us. The Wee Blocker. Even if it did work, you'd need 8 or so to get through a couple days. They don't absorb liquid very quickly, so the pee hits it and runs down. Cloth diapers work much, much better.
Mommy has to go back to work this week, and I have enough vacation time to stay home with the little man (I've been going into work a few days a week for the past month or so). So this week I get to be a stay-at-home dad.
7:30 My wife finishes getting ready and comes in to tell me she's leaving. The little guys been sleeping since about 6:00 and last at at 5:00 so I should still be good for another half hour. My wife kisses me goodbye and goes into the nursery one last time to say goodbye to her daily companion for the past 7 weeks.
7:35 Mommy closes the door to the garage and opens the garage door, beginning her journey back into the outside world.
7:36 My son cries.
7:40 After waiting the customary 5 minutes to try to let my son go back to sleep on his own, I go into the nursery to check on the sobbing 8-week-old. He's broken free of his swaddling. I instantly suspect my wife messed with him before she left—the equivalent of slipping a convict a cake with a file in it.
7:45 I mistakenly heat up a bottle of recently expressed breast milk. Which after testing it would burn my mouth let alone his. I cool it down with a breast milk cube. First crisis averted.
Since then it's been OK. One poopy diaper, 20 minutes in the swing (in which he tried to reach for the mobile for the first time), and about a gallon of spit-up later (the spit-up problem is much more daunting alone, that's for damn sure). Things are going OK so far. I'll be posting again soon.
We're in the presence of a celebrity. Today we took the little man to my office to show him off. The oohs and aahs were almost too much to take. I should explain that at my office there are 8 men out of about 45 employees, so all the women just fell in love with him. We walked into a meeting that had about 15 women that I work very closely with and there was a loud, collective "awww."
And he was good. He was wide awake and looking around the whole time, and didn't cry or fuss at all. Several peopleheld him and he signed autographs. It was good.
Tonight he has another public appearance with some former coworkers of mine (most of whom are grandmothers). Hopefully he'll be just as calm and awake, they'll just love him.
The above picture is completely unrelated, just cute.
See those guys up there? Those are three of the band members from Sister Hazel, a rock band from Gainsville, FL. They are best known for their hit song "All For You." That's Andrew holding our son, he asked if he could. . .
Today we took our little rocker to see his first rock concert. The band is playing a show tonight at a local venue and we're spending our first night away from the baby. So they decided to play an acoustic show at Borders. We thought he could handle an acoustic show so we took him. And afterwards we got to meet the band (again for us). They all loved him and Drew asked if he could hold him. I said "sure as long as we can get a picture for baby's first rock concert."
Sure he slept through most of it, but after one song we saw a definite smile. He was fussy between songs, but quiet when they played. We all had a good time.
My wife is breast feeding our son. However, we weren't always sure she would be able to do it. So before she gave birth we went to all the different formula makers and signed up for their mailing lists. . . and in roll the coupons, and better yet coupon checks.
Coupon checks are actual checks. Checks that are only good if you use them for formula, but checks none the less. This means you can use more than one as opposed to a coupon where you can only use one per order. The company can track that you used the check as opposed to a coupon where they don't know if you used it. So if you use it, presumably, they'll send you more.
Why did I just describe all that? Because these elements make for the perfect ebay item. Perfect for the seller because they can sell the checks for almost face value. Perfect for the buyer who just needs to buy them in bulk and use several in one purchase, they're making money. . . slowly admittedly, but making money. AND once the new consumer uses the checks the company sends more.
Last night we hit a milestone. . . at least I hope. The little monkey went 6 hours between feedings. He ate at 2:20 and was wide awake so I stayed up and read a book with him for an hour and a half. . . he was starting to finally get sleepy so I laid him down to sleep. He slept through 'till 8:30! I woke him up for him to eat before I left for work. Mommy needed him to wake up so she could go to their first play date this morning.
I've never been someone to call people by their name. I couldn't tell you the last time I used my wife's name. Now suddenly I'm calling her mommy when talking about her to my son, and she calls me daddy, as in "you better keeping eating or I'm gonna sic daddy on you." And she does the same for herself. I got an email with a picture of her holding the baby with the caption that read "help mommy's crazy!"
On a side note, I was mentioned on Jumping Monkeys again. Toward the end Megan reads an email I sent about the MOCHIP program.