Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photo Shoot. . .

On Tuesday a photographer friend of mine came over for a photo shoot. She's been a photographer for years at weddings and done family photos, but she doesn't have any babies in her portfolio. So she said asked if wanted her to come shoot Skippy Jr.

I'll be honest I didn't know what to expect. It was great. She brought the lighting and backdrops, set-up in our living room, and spent a lot of time making sure we all had fun and got some good pictures. The experience alone was worth the sitting fee (which was very reasonable). Here are a few.

Anyway, if you can find a photographer who makes house calls I highly recommend you try it (and if you are in the St. Louis area drop me a line I'll get you Jennifer's contact info).

Oh and the top picture was originally a white background I added the sky. A good photographer and a graphic designer. . . great combination.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Not to whine. . .

After a week and a half of the kid sleeping for 8 or more hours a night, Skippy Jr. decided last night that he wanted a late night feeding. We were roused about 2:30 by a very wakeful baby who wanted a boob and he wanted it now. We let him have a shortened meal, but none of us slept very well afterwards.

I have no idea how we got through months of this. Even once we got to one feeding a night (for about 2 months). I didn't realize how much getting up sucked, I mean I knew. . . of course I knew, but one night of going back was absolutely awful. I hope he doesn't make a habit of this.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One thing is certain. . .

Four years ago my wife and I got to a point where we needed someone to do our taxes. She was working as a sub in two districts and as a teacher at a tutoring center that shall remain nameless and none of them were taking enough out in taxes. In addition I was doing more freelance work than before and needed to claim the money I made. That year (even with the help of a tax professional) we owed over $800.

Since then we've been working hard to break even, and on our 2006 taxes we came very close. Our 2007 taxes were on track to be perfect, not owing more than a few dollars not getting anything back. . . enter our little tax deduction. Now we're talking thousands back! We knew we'd get some back, but not this much. Between that and this spring's rebate we're getting a lot from our friendly neighborhood federal government.

I know, I know it's not good to get money back because it means they've been using your money to gain interest when you could have been doing the same. Because of this we've adjusted what's being taken for this year. Just for one year it's kind of nice though.

Having a baby can have it's perks.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Want a fat lip?. . .

Friday, our parent educator from Parents as Teachers came by to see little Puffy McDuffy. It was our first time meeting her so we covered a lot. She checked him out for everything he should be able to do by 3½ months.

It was amazing how quickly we both turned from laid back people to ultra-defensive parents.

"He's pushing up on his arms pretty well" she noticed "he should be rolling over soon." We both chime in with "He already rolls over!"

"He should be sleeping through the night already." "We need to make sure he eats at 6:30 everyday so we haven't tried to get him to sleep all night yet." (Since then we tried and he does.)

Don't get me wrong we know he's developing well, we know he's OK. We know nothing is wrong with our son. It still hasn't stopped us from worrying he has a hearing problem. . . that not turning when she squeaked a toy to the side of his head, even though he'll turn to see us when we talk behind him, means he he's going deaf.

We love the little monkey as he is, but something about an "expert" checking him out got us into this parental pissing match. It happens around other parents too. We know every kid is different and the little guy will hit different milestones in his own time and we know we are OK with that. Still when someone mentions that their kid is stacking blocks, while Skippy Jr. has only just mastered sticking out his tongue, the claws come out ("well, Skippy Jr. can flip your kid the bird").

All in all he checked out pretty well on everything. She said she thinks he's going to be an early mover (crawling, walking, climbing), that worries us, but at the same time makes up proud of our little over achiever. Amy, our parent educator, was very nice and we had a good time.

Oh and the above illustration greatly exaggerates how much hair our son actually has, but more hair is coming in every day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the loser is. . . me.

I remember doing it. I swear I did it, but according to my wife I failed to buckle Skippy Jr. into his car seat this morning. She got to Grandma's house, went to pull him out of his seat and low and behold he wasn't buckled in.

I am the worst father in the world.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Like Lionel Richie. . .

Last night the monster went to sleep at 9:30. At 4:30 I got up, re-wrapped him (as you see above), and with minimal fussing he slept until 6:30.

I'd call that a full night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

And warm woolen mittens. . .

So last night I thought I'd try and see if Skippy Jr. would go to sleep completely unswaddled.

He talked to himself and looked around and more importantly he chewed on his fists (it's his new favorite passtime). I had him in a fleece sleeper so I wasn't worried about his body getting cold, but during the past nights, while playing Bubblebeard the one-armed baby scourge of the seven nurseries, his unwrapped hand has gotten very cold. The danger of cold hands has increased with the hand chewing because now his hands are soaked in drool.

I left for Target because for the first time in 6-years of marriage and 4 years of dating I waited until the night before V-Day to get anything for my loving wife, whom I have to thank for my beautiful baby boy. I got back a half hour later and he was sound asleep. After aother hour he began to stir. Worried this meant he wouldn't make it much longer, I did the one-arm strap down dance and he slept his normal length of time.

So I've stopped fretting about his body being warm enough, we have enough thick fleece or plushy sleepers for his body to be warm enough. I know the doctor said not to worry about cold hands or feet. Still, I think I need to find some little waterproof mittens.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Great Escape. . .

Last night I started "project:unswaddle." I left one of Parker's arms out when putting him to sleep. He fell asleep with little trouble. However when he woke us up for his 3:30 feeding he had moved. . . a lot. In fact one of his feet was sticking out between two bars in the crib. I guess this is what happens when you're given a little more freedom to move.

I confiscated the above from under his crib mattress. Let's see him try it without his detailed instructions.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Moody blues. . .

Our son has developed 3 basic moods:
  1. Happy, content, smiling baby boy. He plays, he laughs, he kicks a lot. This mood can most often be found after eating (for about an hour and a half), on the changing pad (for some odd reason he loves being changed), and ALWAYS in the bathtub.

  2. "OMG I'm hungry! Feed me now! Feed me now! Feed me NOW!"

  3. Sleepy. But not calm drowsy sleepy like the Dwarf. No, it's "I'm sleepy, but if I go to sleep I may miss something important." So he cries and we hold him and walk him around to calm him down. Then the second we sit down he starts crying again. He can't stand us being comfortable while he's fighting off sleep. I guess maybe he thinks if we're sitting it'll make him sleep and he doesn't want to sleep.

On the other sleeping front, he's now getting really annoyed by being swaddled, but he won't sleep if he isn't unswaddled. I think they are related. He knows he'll sleep if he's all wrapped up so he doesn't want to be wrapped up. I think this week I need to start weaning him off of the swaddling. I tried wrapping him once with one arm out. After I finished he stared at me like I was nuts. He looked like someone in traction with one good arm sticking out.

So this brings up one last thing. Everything I read says "don't put anything in the crib other than the baby." Some places say a light blanket too. Common sense would tell me to only put said blanket on his legs. . . actually it would really tell me that, though possible, him smothering on a light blanket is unlikely, but "they" say he could. My gut tells me that, once I wean him off of swaddling, I should put a blanket over his whole body and before he falls asleep it'll be thrown off of him (he likes to kick and wave his arms). Since the advice has been flowing in a bit more lately please pass some more my way.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cantaloupe or mushmelon?. . .

My wife is obsessed with the shape of our son's head. When we first brought the little guy home from the hospital he would always sleep with his head to one side. So the left side of his head has gotten a little flat.

She was so worried she put it on the list of things to ask the doctor when I went in for the last appointment. The doctor assured me that, though he could see the flat spot she was talking about, that his head was not misshapen enough to worry about.

Still she worries that he'll have to wear a special helmet. I do what I can, trying to make him sleep with his head turned to the other side. I tell her she's just being paranoid, but I still catch her staring at his head with a worried look on her face.

Anyone want to help ease her mind?

NOTE: the spikes on his head do not reflect the actual shape of his head.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rest in peace Mr. Turtle, Rest in Peace. . .

The thermometer for our bathtub is no longer working. The button that turns on the digital readout cracked and let water into the electronic parts. I'm having to use one of the thermometer ducks (that only turns white when the water is too hot) and my instincts from several weeks worth of getting bath water just right. I'm not liking the flying blind thing. I like knowing they bath water temperature.

Any suggestions for good bath thermometers?