Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FIrst Picture Attempt

My early attempts at doing lol pictures of my baby... the images, of course, are (c) Chuck May, 2007, all rights reserved. Share with anyone; if you charge money for them, I want a kickback.


I'm entirely torn about the holiday of Hallowe'en. On one hand, it seems to be fun, dressing the little ones in costumes and going to meet the neighbors. The holiday or All Saints Day and All Hallows' Eve are solemn religious obligations concerning sending the deceased relatives on their way back to the afterlife. On the other hand, sending the children out to beg for candy from the neighbors seems somewhat undignified, and the holidays themselves are not scriptural but pagan-based.

The Boy looks REALLY cute in the pumpkin costume that my brother sent out from Cally. It's even got a cute hood with a little green stem on the hood, and it's warm enough to keep him happy (...despite the fact that it was, like, 70-something degrees today). That's something that I want to show off.

I just don't like the fact of the trick-or-treating. I think I'd rather have people over our house for a party. Of course, that'd be The Wife's party, because I have obscene marching band responsibilities. But, still.

I don't know. What do you think?

I'm Being Played... a big bass fiddle. Actually, considering that The Wife plays bass fiddle, I make a medium-sized bass fiddle. I'm as tall as one, but not as wide as one.


So, The Boy and I get out of bed this morning at about 7:30-ish. He actually fell back asleep in his crib after the 6AM, pre-leaving-for-work Mommy Feeding. (...can't leave the boob at home, so she tops him off before leaving...) He wakes up at 7:15-ish, and we play in my bed until he starts getting hungry.

What do we play? Lots of games. The "tummy-time, climb on Daddy" game. The "standing baby!" game. The "Daddy's gonna eat your fingers / toes / nose" game. The "sitting up baby" game. The "attacking spider-hand" game. Basically, anything that involves encouraging him
to grab my hand or arm or nose or beard, and / or anything that encourages him to
keep his head held high and strengthen those neck muscles.

At 7:30 (20 minutes ago), we came out into the living room, with The Boy screaming bloody murder because of hunger. I put him in his bouncy chair while I went to prepare his bottle. I came in about 5 minutes later, and he was bouncy happily, grinning at the toys on his chair. I approach a little closer to him, and he starts screaming with hunger. I leave to get the bottle, and he starts smiling and playing again.

Anyone sensing something amiss? I call shenanigans.

He's still in his seat, although I moved it off of the area rug and onto the hardwood, where the seat can move a little freer. The bottle is sitting in a coffee mug full of warm water, and The Boy is now fully asleep. So, I'm going to join him, hopefully wake in an hour and feed him.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oddness and new habits

I'm sitting in the big green recliner chair in the living room. The Boy is currently asleep in his crib - thanks go out to The Wife for letting me know that he actually can, and will, sleep there during the day. Before, I'd freak out because he cried for a few minutes. Now, I understand that he cries for about three and a half minutes, then goes right to sleep. Although, right now, when I put him down, he went directly to sleep - although he did give me a rather reproachful look.

He's going to be a handful when he's older. I can already tell that he's inherited his parents' intelligence and wit. God forbid he turns into the wiseass that I am. It's caused me enough issues (...and four jobs and counting).

Today is clean-up day around the house. I'm folding the laundry, cleaning the kitchen (a weekend's worth of dirty dishes, caused by two football games and a competition keeping me out of the house) and straightening up. So, it's good that he's sleeping right now. I'm watching "Red vs. Blue - The Blood Gultch Chronicles" on the television through the PS3 - it's a sitcom created using Halo characters. It's quite clever - check it out, if you can.

Oops. The Boy's awake. Gotta go take care of business.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Band Competition

Usually, I take The Boy with me to marching band practice. This is because The Wife doesn't get home from work until around 3:30, 3:45 and practice starts at 3:15. It's gone well so far, considering that he's two months old and the band is a 90-person marching band. Most days, he eats around 2 o'clock, 2:30 (I leave at 2:45 or 3:00), and by the time that he gets to practice, he's sound asleep. I put him in the front carrier (the thing that straps him to my chest) until Mommy gets there, then I give him to her.

He seems to like marching band just fine (especially since he sleeps through most of his time). The gock block doesn't faze him much - that's the thing that marching bands bang on to get everyone on the same beat. It's loud. It's piercing. It can cut through an entire marching band's performance. Yet, The Boy is not woken by it. When he's awake during rehearsals, he'll have the same reaction everyone else does - move away from its immediate vicinity. The sound of the band playing doesn't frighten him, and he seems to enjoy listening to the music.

He's been to three competitions so far: one to visit, at Scotch Plains HS; one with just me, because Mommy had a singing gig; and one with both of us. He enjoyed the competitions well enough. The Boy seemed to watch the bands on the field and listen to the music. (I don't think that he could actually SEE what's going on, more than blobs of motion on the field, but still.)

Yesterday, he got a little cranky at the competition. Not a big deal - he had been shopping with Mommy for a couple of hours prior to that, and then was toted around all those people and new sounds and new smells. He was overstimulated. So, Mommy fed him, we held him, then packed him up to go home.

In utero, he liked the barbershop competition better than the drum corps one.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sleeping Goodness

I guess I understood from an intellectual standpoint, but it does not cease to amaze me the amount of time The Wife and I spend discussing sleeping and pooping. (Or, rather, the lack of the former and the excess of the latter.) I never really emotionally grasped what it was like to share the random sleep patterns of a newborn.

That's not to say that I'm not getting sleep; I am. I'm getting around six to eight hours per day, depending on the day of the week. It's just not all at once. I sleep from 12 or 1 until 6:30, with a break in the middle for a feeding or two. I sleep an hour or so in the early morning, and hopefully another hour, either in the late morning or early afternoon. This way, I get my usual allotment of sleep, more or less.

Thank God for coffee, right? Except that the energy has to come from somewhere; caffeine doesn't magically conjure energy from the ether. If you don't have the sleep, over a long enough time period, then caffeine ceases to provide energy and just provides tension and anxiety. I've had two cups of coffee this week, because I way overdosed at the end of last week (which was particularly bad - sixteen hour days combined with baby at night. Thank God for The Wife, who really stepped up big time to help me get through a difficult, two-competition weekend).

It's brutal. It truly is a zombifying effect - and I know my zombies, let me tell have, having seen all of the "...of the Dead" movies, all of the Resident Evil movies, 28 Days & 28 Weeks Later, and read dozens of zombie comics. And, don't forget "The Re-Animator" and other cinematic classics. The Wife and I spend large chunks of the day kind of drifting around our teaching responsibilities. I haven't provided adequate lesson plans for my rehearsals since The Boy was born.

It's worth it, though.

Tonight, The Wife put him down around 8:15. He was in his crib at the usual angle... head at 9 o'clock, feet at 3 o'clock, on his back. When I got home, his head was at 3 o'clock, his feet at 9 o'clock, and he was on his left side. (Like, all the way on his side. He swings himself into position... kind of cool to see.) It'll be interesting to see where and how he ends up next. Usually, by the end of the night, he's got both feet through the crib slats.

He hasn't gotten his arms strung through there in a little while. A few weeks ago, it was not uncommon to come to get him, only to find his legs and arms fed through four different slat openings. We've discussed crib bumpers, but we're afraid of the SIDS thing.

Smiling Baby

The Boy's breath smells like milk.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tough Day Today

Okay, I'm going to make a controversial statement: taking care of a newborn is not difficult. They have few needs: they need to sleep, they need to eat, they need to evacuate waste, they need to be held and they need to cry (it's their exercise). There's a few subtleties in there, but that's the gist of it. The thing that it DOES take, however, is time. Nothing is done quickly, nothing is done conveniently and nothing is done according to any rational schedule. But, it's not difficult to hold a baby, feed one, get one to sleep or change a diaper.

(Yes, I know there are exceptions. There are babies with physical issues that prevent them from locking on to the boob / bottle, fall asleep easily or whatever. I'm talking about gross generalities here.)

Today was a tough day, because The Boy's schedule was not locking up with my own. The nap & feeding schedule that I was HOPING for never came to pass, and each feeding took twenty minutes more than it should have. He spent a lot of time fussing and screaming, and it took me FAR more time to figure out why he was fussing and screaming than it should have. I did have my morning nap(s), about two hours' worth, and I did get some errands and cleaning done. But, he didn't want to be in his chair for any appreciable length of time, he was being fussy about which bottle he drank from and he was not taking whole meals at a time.

The Boy definitely does NOT like the taller bottles, and he does NOT like the wide shorter bottles. He won't take milk from them. It might be the nipple; I think those nipples are a lot faster than the ones he's used to using, and he's just not quite capable of handling it yet. The shorter bottles that he likes tend to have slower nipples. I don't really get it, though.

I wonder if this is an indicator of a fussy eater? Neither his mother nor his father are fussy eaters, me being less fussy than The Wife. I was a little fussy when I was younger, but not so much; I just didn't eat fish or egg dishes. (Or lima beans. Nowadays, I'll eat anything that I can fit in my mouth, except for lima beans.) But, I know that little people (boys or girls) can tend to be really fussy and particular eaters.

Then again, I don't remember My Neice being really fussy. A little too fond of PB&J, perhaps, but that's not bad. What do you think?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sleeping, part 53

...meaning, of course, The Boy's fifty-third night of life, and the fifty-third opportunity to finally learn proper sleeping patterns. Not likely to happen tonight, but we're still holding out hope. Tonight, he went to bed at around 8 o'clock (it's 10 right now); I'm predicting an 11 o'clock and 2 o'clock waking, with a half-hour of guesstimation time on either side.

Babies are wonderful sleeping creations, at the start of life. They really can sleep anywhere at any time, in any position. The Boy seems to be fine with his crib at night; not so much during the day. He'll gleefully nap in his bouncy seat, without necessarily doing the same in the crib. When he's in his car seat, he'll fold himself in half to sleep; it doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest to have his head nodded down to his chest. The car seems to put him to sleep instantly; moving him around in the car seat (either by swinging him or through the carriage, which adapts to the car seat) seems to calm and soothe him.

We know that a SIDS prevention thing is not letting them sleep on their stomach in the crib until they're strong enough to turn on their own. Is it a bad thing to have them sleep on their stomach on my / The Wife's stomach? He seems to like it, but that might just be us projecting.

She brought The Boy into bed with us last night after the 3:30AM feeding; mostly because she was feeding him, and they both fell asleep in the middle. I discovered this when I rolled over and felt a lump kick me (REALLY hard) in the stomach. Considering that I heard The Wife in the shower, that kind of narrowed it down a bit. He slept fairly well until about 6:45. The interesting thing about his sleep, right now, is that it's punctuated with brief waking moments that elicit a shout, or a cry, or a whimper from him. He doesn't wake up - doesn't open his eyes, just makes his noise (ten seconds' worth) and falls back asleep.

He's still very cute, however.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Great Wanderer

The Boy and I travelled over much of north and central New Jersey today. I suppose this is truly getting in touch with his Jewish roots and preparing for the wanderings that happened, for forty years, post-Exodus; this would help explain why he got through the day with flying colors instead of a potential nightmare.

So, we left the house at 8AM and headed north. We had some sitting-in-traffic issues, which caused him to be more than a little grumpy - he likes being in the car, when it's travelling. When it's stationary, not so much. I played the new children's songs CD for him, which I think he liked. He's been noticing music more and more these days. Molly and I sing to him every day, and he's sat in on lots of marching band rehearsals and saxophone / bass lessons and quartet singing rehearsals. He's not entertained by listening to music on the stereo, yet, but I think he's starting to notice that it's there. He fell asleep about ten minutes into the 65-minute ride.

Anyway. 9AM asthma doctor appointment, for which I arrived at 9:07. No problems, as anticipated; the breathing's been under control recently. Joined Grandpa at 10 o'clock at the Dunkin Donuts on the north side of town; they were sweeping up, and he hates the dust brought up by a broom, so we went to the other dunkin donuts. No luck - just started sweeping. The bagel shop around the corner didn't have chairs - just stools up to a bar. That's not okay, because - at this point it's 10:30, and The Boy hadn't eaten since 6AM - The Boy needed his brunch, also. Walked across the street to Manhattan Bagel, fed The Boy, fed The Daddy, bs'ed with Grandpa. Left at 11:00-ish.

Went to Border's by the mall... I'm getting involved with this "Gapbuster" group, which is a Mystery Shopper thing. I'm supposedly going to get paid about $10 to go into stores, ask for help with specific tasks, and spend about $2 on stuff. I've done a handful of jobs for them this month - if it actually works, then I stand to have about $120 deposited into my bank account on November 15. With luck, that can be a nice "fun money" source for a few months - make enough to buy The Boy a toy, buy Mommy dinner, or buy Daddy a new videogame. Considering that each "thing," including paperwork, takes about an hour, it's a worthwhile investment. I took The Boy around in the chest carrier instead of his car seat, and he appreciated it.

Anyway, that took about twenty minutes to wander around the store and check things out, I bought myself some candy (Lindor's Truffles, the white chocolate ones), let some old ladies coo over my baby, then got back into the car. I drove down 287 (something I try to avoid doing) to Green Brook, and chatted with a lady who owns a new, little music store above a Dunkin Donuts in a strip mall. She's looking for someone to teach or four hours of week every week. I had my first experience changing a diaper in the car as I waited for the appointment to start - not too bad, even if The Boy's head hung over the edge of the seat a bit. My car didn't smell as much like baby poop as I expected, and nothing got on the leather thanks to the changing pad. The diaper rash was almost gone, also, which is good news.

Fed The Boy in the car for a bit, then finished the feeding while I interviewed with the lady. The Boy didn't seem to mind a bit and enjoyed the new surroundings, including the chirping birds in a corner cage. (I don't think he could see the birds, but, still.) We then got into the car and went to an orthopedist's appointment for me. Upon picking him up out of his chair to carry him in, I noticed poopies on the back of his trousers - it turned out that he had gone in his diaper, then the jouncing of the car convinced the stuff to spread up his back. Sigh.

Changed the boy again (this is, like, an hour after the last changing) and put him into a new outfit. To show how much he grew - this outfit was the one he wore home from the hospital, and - at the time and since - has been HUGE on him. It's too small; it doesn't let him stretch out. It was fine for the time being, mostly because, at the time, I just didn't think to check out the other outfit in the diaper bag. Took him inside the doctor's office. He got fussy-fussy as we waited, and I picked him up and helped him get rid of a gas bubble in his belly. He still fussed as I was being examined by the doctor, despite "normal" methods - standing him straight, sitting him up, giving him a pacifier, rubbing his back, thumping his back, etc. Once the doctor left, I put him back in his child seat and swung him, pendulum-like, back & forth for a while. He fell asleep quickly, slept through my x-ray and subsequent cortisone shot, and slept all the way home. He woke up a little bit before Molly got home and took him from me.

So, all told - 105 miles on the car today, total travel time of 2 hours, fifty minutes. That's pretty darn hard for a little guy like that, considering that we didn't have a lot of time to spend snuggling like we usually do. Later in the night, he napped for an hour on my wife, then an hour on me. Nothing's better than the baby sprawled out, hugging my chest (as much as he can reach) while he sleeps.

Later at night, when Mommy finally changed him into pajamas, he spent "Naked Time" with me down stairs. We read zombie comics, then came upstairs and played Playstation 3 - a good shoot-em-up. He fell asleep in the later and is sleeping in his crib right now. Today, I think, was a good day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Watching Football

The Boy and I are watching the end of the Rutgers game - well, I'm watching the game, and he's sleeping on my lap & arm. (Lemme tell you... he gets ticked off if I type too much,because every time I reach for a "T" with my left hand - I'm a traditionally trained touch typist - my forearm flexes and moves his head.) He & I have watched more than a few sporting events together in his short life - Yankees playoff games, Giants football, Rutgers & Michigan football.

I'm a "Generation X" kid - right at the start of Gen X, but I'm still a Gen X'er. We got our first computer in our house when I was five years old - an Atari 800, which was the best computer in the neighborhood. 48K memory (that's about 1/20 of a megabyte of memory), 4-track sound, 8 colors... truly a wonder of machinery. It had a cassette tape drive - which took, roughly, 20 minutes to load or to save a 20K program. It ran basic or machine (hexadecimal) language.

I point this out not to show that I'm old. I point it out to show exactly how much my world - in urban New Jersey - has changed from when I was a child. Our house is wired for complete wireless internet access - The Boy will never know what it's like not to have instant access to the information, games, activities, conversation (and unfortunately porn) contained on the internet. He will likely have a cel phone from the moment he's responsible enough not to lose it; it would be shocking if he used a wired telephone, save for the one in my bedroom.

He'll know his grandmother in Pittsburgh as well as his grandfather in Jersey through webcams; he'll likely know his cousins in California as well as his cousins in Jersey for the same reason. He'll grow up with Hi-Def television, and he'll never know what it's like to watch a tiny, low-res screen with an antenna reception. (Move it to the left... more... more... NO WAIT! Go back! There it is. Now, stand there for an hour so we can see the show.)

He probably won't spend much time at all in an arcade, because the PS3 in our living room plays better games for cheaper (long-term, anyway; I must have pumped more than $50 into most of the games that I got obsessed with). He'll be able to play any video game with his friends, anywhere they are, at any time, over the internet.

Will e-books be a cheap and easy alternative in the future? There's a chance that his library of reading will be on an ipod-like device, with books that he wants instantly downloaded. (This is a reality right now, except the readers are around $200 each.) He'll probably have a laptop computer from a fairly young age that has more power than the fastest supercomputer that existed when I was in high school.

It's a different life that he's going to live. Hopefully, he finds the rewards that I have.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Random Thoughts

Captured the first picture today of The Boy actually LOOKING at the camera - like, comprehending that it is an entity worthy of attention. The picture was taken just as he finished a smile, so he's got this kind-of open-mouthed smirk - students and friends will recognize the expression as the one that I wear when I'm about to say something that's going to get me in trouble.

(God help this poor boy. Between his mother and myself, he's doomed to be a REAL wiseass. With luck, he'll inherit his mother's relative self-restraint instead of his father's combination of moral indignity and lack of brain filter.)

He does smile a lot, relatively speaking, and it's nice to see. Scratch that - it's frakking awesome to see. When he looks at me and smiles, my entire body melts. I've always been like that around babies, but The Boy just drags even MORE out of me.

Today was an okay day, except for the fact that he & I didn't interact very much. Mommy left for work at 6:30 like usual, and he & I hung out until he fell asleep at 7. We slept until 8:30, when he got hungry again (he loves those 8AM breakfasts), then he hung out in his chair for an hour.

By hung out, I mean that he spent lots of time kicking the chair to make it move, as well as getting a diaper change, walking around with Daddy for a bit, and that sort of thing.

At 9:30, he got REALLY fussy, just as I was starting on some computer things. Took the time to finish off my work situation, then fed him at 10:00. Left to run an errand at 10:30, and he fell right asleep in the car. The car, incidentally, is the Nuclear Weapon of sleep tools - it is almost unconditionally guaranteed to calm a newborn. He slept through the errand, slept through lunch and packing back at home, and slept through the ride to the babysitter.

So, it was a nice morning for me (because I got lots of extra sleep), but not so nice in terms of interaction with The Boy. Am I wrong to feel more than a little bit disappointed by the fact that I didn't interact with him much today?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sleeping, or the lack thereof.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, considering that I know darn well that six week olds cannot be considered to be "settled" enough to actually sleep for any consistent period. Still, Saturday night into Sunday was an absolute dream for the two of us - he woke for a 12:30 feeding, fell immediately asleep, then didn't wake up again until 6AM - which, for those keeping score at home, counts as sleeping through the night. This allowed us a lot of hope, that he had turned the corner and would begin to follow up with things like betimes and wakings and such.

No such luck.

Last night was one of Those Nights - parents of children (and puppies, as my buddy Brandon told me) understand. He woke up at midnight for his feeding, and he fell back asleep at 2:45. Then, he was awake at 3:15, and fell back asleep around 4:30 and finally woke up with my wife on her "Out The Door" feeding at 6:15.

The good part about that was that he slept most of the morning. Bad part, that STILL didn't give me more than five hours' sleep. He ate today at 8:00, 9:30 (half bottle), 11:00 (the other half), 1:00, 3:30. 4:45 and 6:00 - five total bottles plus a little bit of Mommy time. He's kept it all down - a tiny little bit of spit-up, but nothing important. Now, he's just fussy. I want to work out, but I don't know if I'm willing to allow him to scream at me while I do it. My wife's teaching a lesson an hour away, which doesn't help.

Here he goes. Time to soothe.

A Cute Little Lump

The Boy is sprawled across my lap / stomach right now, with his feet on my right arm, back on my left arm and head hanging over the side. His arms are in a "Touchdown!" pose over his head, and he's been asleep for the past fifteen minutes. He's the cutest little lump right now, even if he's heavy enough that it's a bit harder to type with my left hand. Occasionally he stretches his entire body and flails his arms about, but he's quiet, for the most part.

He didn't sleep very well last night. He slept in the evening - 7 to 8, eat; 8:30 to 12:30, eat; 2:00 to 3:50, eat; 4:30 to 5:50, eat a bit, then fuss. We've both gotten a couple hours' more sleep this morning. While I'm looking forward to a time when we can sleep five or six hours in a row in any given night, I'm also enjoying the naps during the day. (I know that The Boy's going to be a little hellion and a never-slows-down child, so I'm not anticipating many naps once he's mobile and aware.)

I like being a Dad so far.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Baby Quirks

It's interesting, watching him develop his own personality as time is passing. I understand that, at six weeks, he really doesn't have anything in terms of conscious thoughts (at least, in the terms that we understand conscious thoughts) or understandings, but he definitely seems to be developing his own set of preferences, desires and amusements.

He's been really good with his bouncy chair all week. He sits in it and looks around the room, kicking his feet contentedly. Frequently, he notices that kicking his feet results in the chair moving and in the toys attached to the chair swinging about; this is entertaining to him. He smiles as his toys and kicks more when he sees them. (He doesn't always see them, or they don't always amuse him - likely a combination of both. He's a little ADD, like his parents.) This morning, he was in his bouncy chair while I was cooking & eating breakfast. When I finished, I picked up as I was reading the newspaper. He yelled at me for picking him up, because, when I put him back in his chair, he stopped crying and went back to doing whatever it was that he was doing. His bouncy chair is his favored place for naps.

He's an interesting sleeper, in his crib. Starting from the first night that he came home, he's been a side-sleeper. He turns himself onto his side - most frequently his left side - and falls asleep. Friends didn't believe me when I told them that, at three days old, he could turn onto his side. Also, in his crib, he started spinning himself around and moving. More often than not, when we pick him up for a feeding, his feet are pushed between the crib slats. In prior weeks - it hasn't happened in a while - we'll find his arms and legs through different slats, contentedly chewing on the crib slats.

He likes sitting up, when my hand is across his chest propping him erect. He will grab on to my fingers or other parts of my hand / arm when I'm holding him like that.

The Boy has been having lots of success finding his mouth with his fingers or his thumb lately. This is good, I think, because I'd rather have him on his thumb than on the pacifier. He will occasionally drag my finger, or the side of my hand, to his mouth to chew on for a little while.

I'm sure that I'll be mystified, infuriated, amused and frustrated as time goes on. But, right now, it's pretty darn cool.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Crying Babies

An interesting thing about a crying six-week-old is that, unlike normal "guy mindset," you can't just FIX IT and make it better. There's no magical cure-all, there's no one-way-fits-all method to calming a screaming baby. There's no real consistency to how The Boy cries, there's no steady plan that is discernible to any save God herself.

I have figured out four different cries that he tends to use. The first is the "I'm hungry!" cry, which is usually accompanied by his mouth forming sucking sounds and his head rooting around for a nipple. (Fortunately, he stopped trying to nurse on me - my arm, my man-boobies, my nose, etc.) This is an easy cry to deal with, as it has a definite solution and, at the beginning stages, is not THAT soul-piercing.

The second cry is his "I'm mad at the world" cry, and that one tends to happen when he's been in his bouncy seat too long, or is getting his diaper changed, or is getting a bath (sometimes), or is frustrated with Tummy Time. This one is frequently solved by picking him up and holding him. It can get REALLY loud - it's the cry that uses every ounce of air in his lungs, finishing in a kind of lung rattle.

The third cry is his "I've got to poop, but it's not happening" cry. This is loud, piercing and disturbing, but can only be solved by time. Once his business is taken care of, the crying usually stops.

The fourth is the "who the heck knows" cry. Sometimes it's that he's hungry. Sometimes he must poop. Sometimes his diaper is uncomfortably wet. Sometimes he wants attention. Sometimes he DOESN'T want attention. Sometimes he wants to sit up, sometimes he wants to lay down. The long and short of it is, there's no real way to tell what he wants and needs. This cry is, most frequently, loud, piercing and disturbing, and every muscle in his body is usually tensed up to the point of completely rigidity. (Like, he can practically stand up on his own rigidity.) This cry usually ends between five and thirty minutes after he stops, and it usually ends when he falls asleep for a quick nap.

There's a lot less of the 4th cry now than even a week ago, as The Boy is maturing and we're starting to understand him better.

Today was a good day. We got a cool Lamaze "spin and explore garden gym," which is a mat with a tummy-time-spinny-thing on it, that lets the baby turn his body any way he wants, in order to mess with the cool stuff on the mat - wings that make crinkly sounds, bug rattles and stuff like that. He didn't like the spinny thing - he's not quite strong enough to keep his head up in the air long enough, and he hasn't quite figured out the focus-on-and-reach-for-stuff thing. But, when I put him on his back on the mat, he liked moving his arms around and hearing the crinkly sound.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Baby Crack

We're using a pacifier with The Boy. The Wife & I were reluctant to use it at first, because we've all heard the horror stories of people trying to get their 3-year-old to get rid of the pacifier. But, my mother-in-law introduced it to him on his first day of life, and he seems to derive comfort from it.

Actually, that's why I call it "Baby Crack." The look on his face when he starts sucking on the pacifier is similar to the look a crackhead gets on his face when he takes a much-delayed hit. His eyes kind of roll back, his chin goes up in the air and his arms go limp for a second, in an "Oh My GOD" kind of moment. It's very cute, even if it's disturbing that my son seems to be addicted to something at such a young age.

Although, I shouldn't say that. He never sucks on his pacifier for longer than a minute or two. At that point, he loses interest, and it falls out of his mouth. Sometimes he wants it back in, and we play the "keep putting the pacifier back in The Boy's mouth" game; sometimes he just doesn't care, and the pacifier just stays away. Sleeping with the pacifier is not an issue, as it's never in his mouth long enough.

My wife has been adamant about not allowing The Boy into his crib with a pacifier in his mouth. We also just discovered that the American Society of Pediatricians, in 2005, discovered that babies who sleep with a pacifier have a dramatically lower incidence of SIDS. So, if it becomes an issue, we'll trust the scientists.

Today has been a pretty good day. The Boy didn't fall asleep easily last night - after a LONG rest from about 7:30PM until almost 1AM, he didn't fall asleep until nearly 3:45, which left me with a total of 2 hours' sleep before M left for work. Lucky me. But, he fell back asleep after Mommy left, until almost 8:30! He ate and hung out for an hour with me. He was very active - kicking & flailing away, looking at me, smiling and beating me a little bit with his little fists. This is among the first times that he's reached out intentionally for me! I'm pretty darn happy about that.

Anyway, he let me nap for another hour after that (bringing my total sleep to approximately five hours) before we went for a walk. The Boy's similar to my wife - they both get REALLY antsy when they're home all day. We went to the post office to mail thank-you notes, then we went to the comic book store for my weekly fix. It started raining on the way home, so I ran most of the way, which didn't let him nap much.

Today, he had two fits of crying for no discernable reason. Both lasted approximately five minutes (although they felt like an hour). He was well-fed, burped, clean diaper, new clothes, etc. He does that every once in a while - that full-body, every-muscle-tense, veins-in-his-forehead scream - for no other reason than to exped energy or to express his liveliness. I've learned to just deal with it. I hold him close, hug him every once in a while, and give him kisses on the cheek or the head, but the only remedy is for the discomfort to go away (pooping helps) and time.

No marching band this afternoon. He's asleep on my lap right now. I wonder if I can get a twenty-minute nap in, before M gets home.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Fairly Normal Day

Slept right through the 4AM feeding this morning. I mean, I was vaguely aware of it, but The Wife took care of The Boy from beginning to end. I was vaguely aware of The Wife getting up an hour later and only became aware when handed a naked baby (save for diaper, natch) a little while later. The Boy 's hated being without clothing since birth; only recently has he stopped shrieking in agony when his diaper's being changed and / or when his outfit's been changed. He will still frequently cry when his clothes are being changed, but that's most likely because I'm not too good at getting clothes over his head without disturbing him.

Anyway, I spent an hour playing with Naked Baby, who was a little overheated when he was handed to me. I put his clothes on when he started to get fussy, and we went out into the living room to watch some tv. We watched the end of Journeyman and half an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! G/X. I ate breakfast as he played in his bouncy chair - he's just figured out that when he kicks his legs, the chair bounces & the toys swing back & forth. That's pretty good, for a six-week-old. He fell asleep after a snack at 8:00 (a double shot - 2 oz - of milk). I signed the life insurance papers when the guy came over, then did some computer work upstairs & down and some straightening up around the house.

The Boy woke up around 9:30, hungry as heck - I know he's hungry because his mouth forms a beautiful "ooo" shape (can you tell I've been singing for a few years?), and his tongue begins working with bottle nipple. He drank a full bottle of milk, then fussed for about a half hour, a combination of a gas bubble and a need to poop. Once his business was done, around 10:30, he fell asleep. I turned on an episode of Angel (thank you, TiVo) and fell asleep on the couch, right next to his bouncy seat. Woke up when TiVo beeped at us, then packed the PS3 to be sent back for repairs. Drove to the UPS store to drop that off, stopped by Best Buy to see if they had the new Mark Knopfler album - they didn't. Wasted trip, which was annoying because the idiots were out driving.

Came home, lifted. The Boy was pretty happy while I did squats & stiff-legged deadlifts; not so much during the bench press. We had a nice moment during that part, when I picked him up. He was brightly looking at me, smiling that gorgeous toothless smile and singing his one vowel ("eh") at me. It was a precious, priceless moment that I'm sure I will treasure for a long time. Then he got fussy and yelled at me when I put him down. Workout ended around 2:20, he went in his crib while I showered and dress (he hated that), and we left the house at 2:55.

At marching band at 3:15, put him in the carrier and started rehearsal. He fell asleep in the car ride over, stayed asleep in the carrier as I moved around the field. No biggie - not too hot, not too cold today, just comfy for Daddy & Baby. Mommy came to pick him up at about 3:40, then I finished marching band, went to chorus rehearsal and got home around 11:15. I've been mucking about on the computer since, although The Boy joined me about a paragraph and a half ago. His lying across my lap, sucking on his pacifier and farting contentedly.

Like mother, like son.