Thursday, January 31, 2008

Our little monkey. . .

This past week we've noticed Skippy Jr. noticing his feet. . . he sits in the bath and stares at his feet, he pulls them out of the water to look, he stretches them so they touch the other end of the tub, he kicks the floating turtle thermometer, and last night we noticed him flexing and contracting his toes. . . towards the washcloth.

Let me clarify that. . . He was trying to grab the washcloth with his toes, and you know what? He got it once!

We can't get him to grab toys in front of him with his hands, but he'll grab for things in the tub with his toes. I'm sure if we were to encourage this behavior it could become a very good skill in the future. . . I'm just not sure how it would be helpful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When the lights go out. . .

Two quick stories that happened last night. . .
Story #1

My company recently switched insurance carriers. Because of this, the prenatal vitamins my wife has been taking more than doubled in price! So I spent an hour or so on the phone with the insurance company, not finding out why, but having them walk me through my problems with their 6 million different web sites. So I could type and talk I had the woman on speakerphone. By the time I was referred to an 800 number which referred me right back to the number I started with I was getting kind of angry. I was probably very short with the woman on the phone (which I apologized for, its not her fault). Point is, as I'm explaining the whole story to the woman Skippy Jr. was laying next to me smiling and laughing at me. . . little man though daddy acting mad was funny.

Story #2

It's no secret, I love bath time. Last night's was rough, I had a splitting headache which wasn't helped by the hour on the phone with UHC, and Skippy Jr. was sleepy all night so he wasn't very active in the tub. So we got him out dried him off and took him to his bedroom for dressing.

A note about bath time for non-parents. The walk to the bath and the walk back from the bath are what you might call "dangerous." During these times the child is naked. Not naked as in wearing a diaper, naked naked. This increases the risk of being peed or pooped on. Boys especially, when the air hit their junk, have a tendency to pee at will.

So I picked Skippy Jr. up out of his towel (mommy was holding him) placed him on the changing pad and--

The lights went out.

A quick panic washes over us. We have a baby laying uncovered ready to unload at any moment. How do you diaper a baby in the dark? Thankfully I realize that the nightlight/flashlight someone gave us for Christmas is charged and in the wall. "What do we do?" my wife asks. "Grab that flashlight," I order. She grabs it and we finish dressing him. We get as many flashlights and we can and seal ourselves off in our bedroom. We wrap Skippy Jr. up get ourselves dressed for a cold night and all three burrow into bed (somewhere in there I grabbed a cooler and piled all the frozen breast milk into it to put outside, it was 14º).

About an hour goes by, none of us can sleep we use the old nightlight from the bassinet for a nightlight. Skippy Jr. keeps looking back and forth between the two of us, confused by why we're trying to sleep with him. We are both scared to move much for fear of crushing of suffocating him, and then--

The lights come back on.

10 minutes later, Skippy Jr's asleep in his own bed, we're asleep in ours, all is right with the world. I sign knowing that we're able to handle at least a little crisis.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Our little Mike Teevee

Oompa loompa doompety doo
I've got a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa loompa doompeda dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me
What if your babe likes watching TV
Is he going to become a mindless zombie
We hoped he ignore it with just a quick glance
But he stares at it's light in a deep trance.
(I don't like the look of it)
Oompa Loompa Doompadee Dah
If you're not greedy you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doompadee do.

You wouldn't understand. . .

Today I used the Jeep Baby carrier. Today was pretty warm here (about 60º) and we were going to the grocery store. I thought "why not?"

I carried him facing me, unlike the photo. Despite what my wife says, I think it was fun. I liked having him there, he seemed to like being close to me and being able to look around. He stared at the boxes, and looked into the freezers. . . it made going through a store more enjoyable for him (I think). I didn't notice, but apparently I was getting funny looks from people passing by. And if I did, so what. I liked it, he liked, people can stare if they want I liked it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

So that's what I've been doing wrong. . .

Click on the image for more tips.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The parenting dilemma. . .

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days. We're developing a pattern. Wake up, eat, get dressed, go to grandma's, hang out 'till 4ish, go home and eat (not always in that order), play with mommy and daddy, little nap, bath time, eat, go to bed, late night feeding, back to bed and repeat.

Play time and bath time are the best. During play time he's holding his head so high and as soon as his mom is looking away he likes to roll over and crash into me. We finally get more regular smiles. It's wonderful. Bath time is even better. He loves the water so much, he kicks around and splashes, he's even discovered his feet and will often move them around and stare at them. Of course the bubbles are great. . . you know I love them. We pour water all over him and he gets excited and tries to drink all the water.

The crappy part is the time we have. By the time we're all home it's 5:00 and he goes to bed at 9:30. He eats for at least a half hour of that time and normally sleeps for an hour in there. Mornings we only have about an hour with him (again, including feeding). I know, "join the club." It still sucks, and I know it'll only get worse. Soon he'll be older and awake longer in a stretch, but bedtime will get earlier and earlier.

Parenting shouldn't be like this. Stolen moments with you child. . . Evenings and weekends. I know it is for everybody and for some it's worse. It doesn't make it better. You need money to raise a child right, you need a job to have money (normally), having a job means you can't raise your child yourself. . . and back again.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I have a problem. . .

Hello, I'm not Skippy and I put bubbles on my baby's head. I can't stop. I see bubbles around him and I can't control myself. Hair, beards, and now horns. It's like the bubbles call to me, they tell me to do it. Thousands of tiny voices squeaking "put us on his head."

It's like my son is my own little wooly willy. Perhaps it's not the most manly thing to be playing beauty parlor with him. But at least I do beards and mustaches and the night before last I just did an outfit in bubbles. . . Covered him as much as I could

Is there a 12-step program for this sort of thing?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More bubble fun. . .

What is it about bath bubbles that makes you want to put them on the baby's head?

Monday, January 14, 2008

You look like you're related. . .

The picture of the left was taken about 30 minutes ago. The one on the right was taken 47 days ago.

How's that for crazy?

Skippy Jr. had his 10 week doctor's appointment (even though he's 11-weeks-old). He's up to 12lbs 7.5oz. . . so his double his birth weight and then some. He's 23 inches tall—I prefer tall to long. Everything was status quo. . . and then it happened. THREE SHOTS! Poor little guy, he's not in a good mood now. Hopefully by tomorrow he'll be back to normal.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Did we drop you?. . .

My wife and I have learned our sons habits, his likes and dislikes. We know for instance that there is a certain way he likes being held—on his side with his head in your armpit and body across your chest, pacifier in mouth. So how do you jump in and tell the woman who raised you that this is what he wants when he's crying. I mean she's my mom, she raised me and I turned out OK. I can't tell her how to sooth a baby, she raised 4 kids for God's sake!

Our new swaddling blanket. I took an old sheet from my old twin bed that is made from jersey cotton. . . you know those t-shirt sheets. Cut it in half, had my mom sew it folded together, and that is what we use to swaddle the little man. The material is so stretchy. and the blanket is so much wider, I can wrap Skippy Jr. up like a mummy. He sleep so well in it. He loves being wrapped up now.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ultimate dad movie. . .

So today was my first Friday afternoon with Skippy Jr. My company offers flextime and since they started it I have used it to take off Friday afternoons. This is great now with a baby around.

So today, I left work at 11 and drove to Grandma's house to pick up Skippy Jr. We guys came home to watch a guys movie. . . well I watched he slept. Shoot Em Up is probably the most insanely unbelievable action movie ever made. Lots of shooting, lots of implausible stunts. . . some of which made me laugh out loud at their absurdity, but you don't watch a movie called Shoot Em Up and expect realism. I got this movie for these reasons. I knew nothing about the plot, I knew the people in the movie and thought it looked cool.

There was something I didn't expect. The plot of the movie is this. A seemingly homeless man sitting waiting for a bus sees a pregnant woman running down the street, she's being chased by a man, the chasing man displays a gun as he follows the woman down the alley. So the homeless man follows them. He stops the gun carrying man (by killing him very violently of course) and goes to the woman. Suddenly about 50 more gun toting outlaws appear all trying to get the woman. Long story short the homeless man delivers the baby while shooting bad guys. The mother dies and. . .

OK forget about the real plot. The point is the movie is nothing but super-action gun-fight after super-action gun-fight as the homeless guy, the baby and a lactating prostitute (baby's got to eat) run from the guy from Sideways. The baby is being carried by the hero in almost every single gun fight and even eventually get him own little bullet proof vest. The homeless man (who we later find out is not just some homeless man) and prostitute even start referring to each other as mommy and daddy. Daddy shoots a lot of people, jumps out of a plane, and—of course—has sex with mommy. Mommy is Monica Bellucci so she just runs around looking hot.

AND THAT is why I have named this the Ultimate dad movie.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happiest? Try only. . .

Yesterday we watched The Happiest Baby on the Block. It's a condensed version of the book of the same name.

The main concept of the book and DVD is that human babies come out too early. Because evolution saw fit to make us the smartest creatures on the planet, our brains, and therefore heads, grow bigger than anything else when we're in the womb. This makes us come out before our bodies are developed to the point of being able to walk, crawl, slither, swim, really no forward mobility.

So the first 3 months should be considered the 4th trimester, and baby should be treated as if still a fetus.

Don't buy that? Then think this way, a baby spend 9-10 months in one basic position, hearing one sound, and being jiggled all day long. . . 24-hours a day. After he comes out, he doesn't get much of any of that. The book and video teaches you how to simulate that which calms the baby.

Our only complaint is we weren't shown this DVD in the hospital.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sick and sick. . .

So I'm over my cold. Didn't take long, it was just a little 24-48 hour thing.

So now who's sick. . . Skippy Jr. Yep, I was so worried about the frontal attack of someone sick being around him that I didn't guard as much against the more obvious plan to get me sick and have me pass it on to him. Little man is all congested and boogery. He is taking it well he doesn't seem to be too upset by it all, at least he's less affected than I was. It must not be too bad of a cold. . . or he's just tougher than I am.

While he's in bed we can hear him gagging on crap and he'll cough some, but he sleeps through most of it. Little trooper.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's Alive!. . .

I've said it before I'll say it again. Parenting—at east in this early stage—is all about but bodily fluids and sleep. The kid has too much of the former and all involved have too little of the latter.

Mostly we've been lucky on the sleep thing. Skippy Jr. started sleeping for 6 hours at a time Christmas Eve. We put him to bed anytime after 10:00 p.m. and he wakes up between 4:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. That's not a bad deal compared to the 2-hour stretches when he first came home. We really have nothing to complain about his nighttime sleeping.

But his daytime sleeping. . . between Christmas and New Year we were out and about so much, and he spent a lot of time sleeping in the arms of grandmas, aunts, and other various relatives, that now he won't sleep by himself during the day. We're creating a monster!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Sick and Tired. . .

So it turns out Skippy Jr. was just tired. Christmas did a number on him. After being passed around and held so much while sleeping he now won't sleep during the day on his own. That's not completely true. . . we're trying to get him to sleep unswaddled during the day and he won't have it.

So as of now he's not sick, but his daddy is. This is actually my first cold in over a year so I can't complain too much. I used to get sick all the time, and would normally first get sick in October and stay sick 'till May. Since switching offices at work I don't get sick much anymore (my old office was musty and moldy). Also when I start getting sick I take airborne like it's candy. It seems to help me get less sick and get better faster.

Being sick with a baby sucks. I don't want to touch the little man too much. I find I'm much more aware of what I'm touching, and I'm washing my hands like a hypochondriac. So to make me feel better all I want to do is snuggle with the little guy, and that's the last thing I should do.