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    8 months

    April 29th, 2009

    Where does the time go, right?

    G now can sit-up on his own with very little support. Occasionally he’ll get over-excited and lean back and fall backwards, but he’s a champ at controlling himself side-to-side and forwards. Gone are the days of me PhotoShopping arms (holding baby) out of pictures. Heh heh!

    He also has 2 teeth. That’s right. Count them: 2!!! From Sat to Tue a second one erupted right next to the first. I’m still shocked about it.

    He loves to be thrown up in the air, and to be bounced: either by a mommy/daddy, or his bouncer. He’s even started bouncing himself to his favorite tunes (“Wheels on the bus” still tops his list, by the way), which is too cute.

    He still dislikes tummy time, although we do it daily. I’ll be shocked if this kid crawls… before he walks that is.

    His repertoire of Earth’s Beat jarred food now includes:

    • Carrot Tomato
    • Carrots
    • Corn & Butternut Squash
    • Garden Vegatable
    • Peas
    • Spinnach & Potato
    • Summer Vegetable
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Winter Squash

    where he generally dislikes the green stuff and prefers foods that are orange or red. Sigh, he’ll be a sweet-tooth, carb/starch lover like his mommy.

    He is learning to grab for the spoon and fling food, when he doesn’t like it, and I’m learning to mix the green stuff with the orange stuff to make it more palatable. In another week we’ll be starting with some fruits, so it will be interesting to see how he takes to those.

    In general he is an awesome, awesome kid: he’s happy and it turn makes us happy. Dr. M (his pedi) says that this is the perfect age to shop him around to our friends who are on the fence of wanting kids (aka the Sucker period). Joke’s on me though, because looking at him right now makes me both long for another little rug-rat, and paranoid that we couldn’t possible get lucky with this kind of “awesome-baby” lightning twice.

    Movie Monday

    April 28th, 2009

    (Yeah, it’s late, but YouTube was having some issues yesterday.)

    Here is how G goes down for a nap.

    G is one of those lucky dudes that gets to wake up and then go down for a nap an hour later. (I wish I had that option!) As such, he’s normally zonking out within minutes of getting into day care, so his first nap is in his carseat.

    We now replicate this on week-ends as well (faithfully) since it’s the only way we can guarantee a happy, well-napped baby.

    A typical nap goes like this: play with toys, cry, then zonk out. Occasionally he’ll wake up, play for a bit and fall asleep again.

    Please observe that when he’s out, the kid barely moves: occasionally he’ll wiggle a toe. This is why those motion monitors won’t work at our house. They’d be going off all the time.


    For those of you curious, we don’t have a video monitor at our house. Instead we have a $35 video-cam setup over his crib that streams to the web. It’s a good way for us to see what he’s doing from any computer in the house (even from our iPhones), and we share the URL with our parents so they can sneak occasional peaks at the little man when he’s in his room. S setup a time-lapse video capture on the web-cam the other week-end, so we can do little recordings of a day in G’s life. Cute, huh? I only wish the web-cam worked in the dark.

    I’ve gots me a chomper!

    April 25th, 2009

    G has a tooth! A real one. Of his very own. Front and center on the bottom (bottom left incisor).

    How did I not even notice?

    This is not the makings of a tooth. It’s broken through the gum line already.

    Point 1 for oblivious parent over here. I guess this would explain why he was chomping on a pacifier lately — something he’d never done before.

    I think a second one, one of his lateral incisors, is also on it’s way. I guess it’s time to shove some teethers in the freezer and have the baby Tylenol and teething tablets on stand-by.

    Where in the world…

    April 22nd, 2009

    For those of you that know my nerdy nature, this post shouldn’t surprise you, but…..

    Driven by pure curiosity (and a post on TechCrunch), some time ago I setup a ClustrMaps widget to track the countries that Gametes In Love gets visitors from. Since July of last year, our little blog has had visitors from (listed in order of popularity):

    • United States
    • Canada
    • Italy
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • United Kingdom
    • Bulgaria
    • Japan
    • Republic of Korea
    • South Africa
    • Netherlands
    • Germany
    • Norway
    • India
    • Mexico
    • Yemen
    • France
    • Thailand
    • Israel
    • Greece
    • Spain
    • Singapore

    I was expecting a few on that list because of friends and family we know that live abroad, but there are some on the list that really excite me. I mean: Yemen? Really?

    If you’ve come to visit in the past, and proudly represent (or not-so-proudly even) any of the countries above, drop us a comment.

    Thank you for reading 🙂

    Ouch! That hurts!

    April 21st, 2009

    You wanna know what pains me? Pouring 4oz of milk down the drain. It might not sound like much, but…

    These 4oz took me hours to produce. 4oz that I had to wake up for at 2a.m. to harvest. 4oz that could make the difference if G shows up on the 3rd percentile, or the 1st percentile at his next weight check.

    Why? Because they were left out too long on the counter when G decided he was done eating. It hurts! Not physically, but it’s my mental anguish.

    For formula feeding parents, this could be the equivalent pain of going out to the store and buying a big Costco-sized crate of formula, only to go home and take it straight to the dumpster when you see that the expiration date was yesterday. And you can’t return it ‘cuz of a final sale. And you can’t go back out to the store for more because it’s now closed.

    Yeah, it bites!

    Custom order baby

    April 19th, 2009

    Have you ever imagined what your child will look like? Which features they would have and whom they’ll look like?

    I had hoped for G to have light eyes, my dark hair, S’ skin tone and my sense of humor.

    What did we get?

    S’ lighter hair, my brown eyes, my skin tone and it’s too early to make a call on personality… other than he insists on things his way.

    I suppose this is one of the exciting parts of having children. Adopted or born into a family you never know what you’re going to get.

    I also get a kick out of hearing people express who G looks like. At first I thought G looked a lot like S. Same little beak-face and long eyes.


    Now, most are in agreement that G looks like me. As proof, my mom brought a bunch of pictures of me as a kid. I’ll admit there really are a lot of similarities, but what struck me isn’t so much the facial features, as much as it is the mannerisms. It’s strange to say that I see mannerisms in a photo, but I can. The way he holds his toys, the nom-nom face when putting said toys in mouth… Proof:

    Hey, if nothing else, we get some reassurance that the lab didn’t mess up.

    There are also areas of his development that my mom says are very similar too. She confirmed that I hated tummy time too and never crawled. To make up for it though I started walking at 8.5 months. To be honest, as proud as I am of my early achievements, the idea that G could just get up and walk away in a month is a little scary to me. I’m not ready for a walker! I’m just enjoying G sitting up, and he’s not even doing that 100% on his own yet. I’m happy. right now. freeze frame.

    So yeah, it’s interesting to see who G takes after as he grows.

    P.S. My mom told me that as a child I looked a lot like my father when he was little. If G in turn looks like me, does that mean that he will look like his grandpa as he gets older? Wait… does that mean I’ll be sprouting a thick beard too?

    Happy Easter!

    April 19th, 2009

    No, my calendar is not a week off. Bulgaria, being primarily an Orthodox Christian country celebrates Easter based on the Julian calendar, while most Western-based churches celebrate on the Gregorian based calendar. Occasionally they sync-up, but they’re off most years based on their lunar calculations. Anyway, point is: today is MY Easter!

    Growing up, we colored eggs (which was my favorite) and enjoyed Easter bread. We didn’t have egg hunts, an Easter bunny or Easter baskets, which is a little sad because I would have loved a whole ‘nother chocolaty feast holiday. We did have a game we played with our eggs though — each family member picked their own colored egg and we would take turns trying to break each other’s eggs with our own. The person with the last egg standing was the winner — mostly of bragging rights. Looking back on it, they were kind of a looser, because everyone got to eat their egg except for them.

    I didn’t attend Easter services until I moved to the U.S. Looking back, it’s strange for a country to celebrate a purely religious holiday with every aspect of religion yanked out of it. However, this holiday is actually my most favorite church attendance day, and the only day I have an urge to go. I don’t know if it’s the midnight mass and the sight of the congregation circling the church holding candles, or finding people that share the same memories and traditions as me — there’s just something really special about it. It will be a long while before G is old enough to stay up to go so I can take him, but I wonder if he’ll feel about it the same way I do. Somehow I doubt it, because my immigrant experience won’t translate the same way. He will get to benefit from the best of both worlds though: egg hunts with friends; bread and eggs wars with my parents; an Easter basket from mom and dad. Lucky kid!

    Hristos Voskrese!

    Mommy’s little helper

    April 18th, 2009

    Now that G is getting older, diaper changing time is becoming a lot more fun… for him — challenging for me. He’s really enjoying turning side to side and playing with the textured wall. His feet have also never been more interesting. He couldn’t care less about them any other time of day except for when I need to wrap a diaper around him. It typically means me getting creative, rolling with it and trying to maneuver diaper tabs around his twists and turns.

    Today he took helping me to a new level.

    You see, G being a boy means that unless something is covering him while nekked on the changing table, we’re talking fountain city. As such, I just drape a wipe over him to avoid free sprays. After the new diaper goes on, I take the wipe off, throw it in the trash and we’re on our way. Anyway… as I’m laying out the clean diaper to put a liner on it, I look up to see G holding up his pee-guard in his hand waving it like a little white flag. Cute… but not helpful.

    I can’t imagine what having a crawling/walking toddler will be like. I have crazy images of chasing a giggling, naked boy around the house and having to tackle him to put a clean diaper on. Humans are potty trained before that happens right?

    Peas: 2; Me: 1. Finally!

    April 15th, 2009

    That’s right — I finally scored against the peas. G ate them tonight if for no other reason than the fact that I mixed them with his Corn & Butternut Squash, which I know he likes. A ratio of 2:1 seemed to do the trick. I don’t care — my kid is eating his peas!

    I leave you with this moment of zen:

    Can you tell I raided the BRU baby-food sale last week? Over 80 jars of mushy goodness, but at $.50 per jar (vs. normal $.79) would you say ‘No’?

    Puffa whaaa’

    April 14th, 2009

    This week-end I experimented with more ‘solid’ solid food, by offering G his first self-feeding snack: Puffs.

    For those of you not living in baby-food land, Puffs are sweetened puffed wheat that dissolves as soon as it hits a baby’s (or for that matter a curious mom’s) tongue. What they lack in nutritional value for the child, they sure make up for in amusement value for the parent.

    G was not impressed with the snack offering. He was far more interested in rattling and waving around the puff in his hand than putting it in his mouth. I helped him get it in there only to have it stick to his lip. A nudge later, G gave me a look that just said “E-e-ww! What do you want me to do with this thing?”

    And that concluded our puffs episode.

    The highlight of the puffs introduction was Neko lining up for his share. You see, Neko’s catnip snacks come in a container about the same size as G’s puffs. When rattled they make the same sound. They even have the same shape. (Don’t ask me about the taste — although Neko is always eager to eat my food, I can’t say I’ve ever desired to return the favor. )
    Anyway, I made the mistake of pulling G’s snack out of the cupboard with a rattle. Neko ran over from the living room. He lined up next to G waiting for his turn. Eventually he realized that there were none for him he moved over to the couch and went down for a nap.

    G gets really excited when Neko is around. He bounces his legs and stares in his brother’s direction. Neko still keeps his distance, but I have a feeling once there’s more food slinging from G the two will become close friends: G will send food Neko’s way, and Neko in turn will be a very happy recepient. Eeh, at least I’ll have less to clean-up.