• Home
  • About

    A year in review

    December 31st, 2008

    I found myself walking around the house today thinking back on this past year. I can’t say I’ve ever done that before, and I’m really going to look back on this year and remember it very fondly.

    I also stared at G a bunch today. I still marvel at how it’s possible to love someone so much. I just want to hug him into itty-bitty pieces.

    I’m not sure what I’d like for the year ahead. I genuinely feel content and want for nothing. All I can wish for is for G to keep growing healthy and our families to remain to good health.

    Here’s hoping 2009 will be as awesome as 2008!

    Happy New Year!

    Like father, like son

    December 29th, 2008

    When S was little he had a Raggedy Andy doll. His mom saved it and a couple of years ago she sent it to us.

    On Christmas morning, we had the awesome surprise of opening a box with a brand new Raggedy Andy for G. How cool is that? So here they are: daddy’s and G’s.

    Good thing humans don’t groom like cats

    December 29th, 2008

    …. otherwise I’d be spitting out hairballs too.

    I am finding my hair in places I didn’t think it would end up. Yes, I am no longer pregnant, and the amount of shedding is quite obviously rubbing that in my face.

    I feel that if I start collecting the fallen hairs, I’ll have a good ammount to make a wig. I’m already growing out my hair so I can donate it, but I have a feeling if I just walk around my house with a piece of tape, I might already have enough.

    The best part is that G somehow seems to find a good portion of them. He doesn’t tug on my hair… often, so I have  no clue how his juicy little fists end up with 1, 2, sometimes even 3 strands at a time.

    … and yet I still refuse to go for the “mommy” hairdo!

    Whose bum is it anyway?

    December 27th, 2008

    G (aka G-5, aka G-man, aka Griff-monster, aka Griff-Griff)
    K (aka Special K, aka Katie-Bean, aka Beeb).

    Guess the bum!

    Having K and G so close in age is awesome. It’s like having twins… except that no one set of parents does twice the work.

    Yey babies!

    Oh, yeah! He’s a screamer

    December 26th, 2008

    G had his 4mo well checkup today. I’m so proud of my little guy. He’s in the 10th percentile for height (on track with his curve). He’s also over 10th percentile for head circumference. Best of all, is that he’s rebounding weight-wise. He had fallen below the 3rd percentile during our weight fiasco (starting in the 10th) and today he’s at least in the 3rd percentile. I’m hoping we can get him back on his curve in the next few weeks!

    We will also start solids in another month. Rice cereal, food messes and splats across the room: here we come! I feel like he’s growing up so fast.

    Of course today’s appointment brings the next installment of vaccines. He got two today, one oral and the other a shot. A&B talked about the shrieks that Special K (their little one, and G’s betrothed) lets out during her shots, so we have a little video comparison going on. If you can’t stand the sound of a crying baby, don’t play the video below. On the other hand, if you’re looking for reinforcements for birth control and a reminder why you don’t want a(nother) baby right now, knock yourself out!

    I will note that G calmed down as soon as S picked him up, and then within 5 minutes we had this: a zonked out baby.

    My milk testing results also came in yesterday. My average caloric content is 22 cal/oz (formula contains only 20 cal/oz, so I’m above here) and my fat content is 42%, with average between 30% and 50%, anything over 40% being very good. This kinda confirms that G’s weight issues are about him, not me. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

    I leave you with this pic of G looking extra cute:

    Baby’s 1st Christmas

    December 26th, 2008

    Our first Christmas with G was just about perfect. I say just about because S has been sick over the last two days and is feeling stuffed up and miserable.

    G gave me the best present possible: an extra hour of sleep by having a nice and long morning nap, allowing me to do the same. This was followed by a generally fuss free attitude with several good naps sprinkled throughout the day. I’d like to think that this is a gift, anyway, and not G getting sick himself. I’d hate for this to become G’s first cold instead of G’s first Christmas.

    My dad and sister came out to spend the Christmas with us (my mom is in Bulgaria again helping care for my progressively deteriorating grandfather).

    S and I have spent almost every Christmas with his family since we started dating. I love their big family celebrations, the excitement on the kid’s faces… However, spending time with my family this year has been a big treat for me. We’ve hung out in our PJ’s, had some great dinners, good wine, good talks, and even a round of Tangrams last night after G went to bed.

    I didn’t make any of the traditional Bulgarian breads this year (being a new mommy doesn’t jive with baking for hours right now) BUT we did observe an old custom that I’d forgotten about: growing up, the morning of the holiday, kids go from relative to relative and pat them (lightly) on the back with a decorated wood called “survachka”. While doing so, they wish them well for the new year and a long life. The tradition is rooted in wishing a good harvest, a plentiful year and health to the family. The decorated wood is typically made out of a branch from a cornel tree, which is the last tree to loose it’s leaves and the first to bloom. It’s decorated with popcorn, dried fruits, and wool. While children pat their relatives and family friends, they recite a poem, which loosely translates to:

    “Let the year be blessed and joyous,
    with green grain on the fields,
    big grape on the vine,
    yellow cob on the corn,
    red apple in the orchard,
    full house of silk;
    be healthy and merry
    til next year and forever!”

    The best part (for the kid that is)? After this is done, your relative turns around and gives you cash.

    So my dad made G his first survachka. Our yard lacks cornel bush branches, so he made do with our growing vegetation. We’re also a little short on loose wool, but some sewing thread seemed to do just fine. It came out really nice!

    Then after we opened gifts, he received his first annual survakane by G.

    grab stickpat grandpawalk away with loot

    … and G, in turn received, his first, hard-earned $20. Not quite the Jolie-Pitt twin millions, but not too shabby for a morning’s work 🙂 Of course this is going straight into G’s college fund.

    G’s been enjoying several of his gifts all week long. His diapers have been keeping his little bum dry for a week now (and they rock by the way). He’s enjoying time in his new Pikkolo carrier, and is thrilled hanging out in his Jumparoo. Since his feet aren’t long enough to touch the floor, I put an empty cardboard box under him to give him that long needed “boost”. He is bouncing himself up and down now, which is awesome. He can’t quite reach the toys around it yet, but boy does he want to. I see this thing being my saving grace for a long time to come. Can you say un-interupted cooking/eating time (I hope)? I need to take a picture of this to show you guys.
    He also received several really fun developmental toys, ornaments for his tree, and some great clothes. We’re really appreciating how loving and generous our family and friends have been to us this year. Thank you all!

    Before I sign off,  I wanted to show you our Christmas tree.

    For several years now I’ve talked about adding photo ornaments from each year, growing our tree with memories of loved ones. Well, this year I finally started. Not sure how practical this idea is, but it did turn out nice!

    And of course here’s Neko reminding us that as our first child he is a gift too! (PS, he got a brand new catnip sock for Christmas: his favorite. It’s already being smacked around the house)

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!

    Happy Holidays!

    December 24th, 2008

    It’s G’s first Christmas tomorrow.

    May it be a good one for you too!

    Daddies can change diapers too

    December 21st, 2008

    Have you noticed that some places only have changing tables in the ladies restroom, but not in the guys restroom? What gives? Is the female gender the only one capable of handling a diaper?

    We’ve come across this enough that it’s starting to get to me. Three reasons mostly:

    1) In restaurants, I am now an opportunistic human vacuum cleaner. I have a limited amount of time to consume food with both hands before G needs to be nursed, comforted, or what-not. If I can eat like a grown-up without needing S’ assistance in cutting my food, I’m thrilled. I eat as much of my grown-up, utensil-requiring food whenever the chance arises. S’ 5 minutes in the bathroom changing G is that opportunity for me, and I relish it.
    2) I really don’t mind changing diapers… really — I don’t… but on an average week-day, I’ll change 7-9 diapers while S maybe 1-2. I’m not complaining about the unevenness in effort here, but S should be given the ability to do change G as well.
    3) If S was out with G on his own, and G needs a change, what is S expected to do? Go in the ladies restroom? Change the baby out on the dining table?

    So my new mission now is to call up management whenever we encounter places like this.

    And guys… the next time you walk into a restroom, look around? Is there a place for you to change a baby if you had to? Trust me — a baby crying ‘cuz they’re wet or dirty is much worse then handling the diaper itself.

    Feel free to join my changing table cause! Do you think I need to make wrist-bands?

    Movie Monday

    December 21st, 2008

    In lieu of Foto Friday last week here is proof that G has the awesomest laugh ever.


    [If you’re using a blog reader to view this and the YouTube file is not appearing, please visit the blog now]

    The “back to work” routine… in theory

    December 18th, 2008

    One thing I’ve learned about parenting thus far is that there is the “ideal” or “theoretical” approach to how you’d like to get things done, and there’s the reality of how it actually happens.

    So with this in mind, I’m approaching the next parenting hurdle: the “back to work” routine. Four months went by much faster than I expected, and with holidays crammed into December, I kind of feel like this last month has kind of been stolen from me.

    Anyway… S and I are trying to figure out who will be doing drop offs and pickups from day care for G. The place opens at 7am and all kids need to be picked up by 6pm. Since S and I each have a 30-60 min commute to work (each way depending on traffic), neither one of us can routinely do both the drop off and the pickup. As such we have to split it up and now the question is “How?”

    Following our most recent lactation consultant appointment yesterday things got even more interesting with the new pumping schedule. Up until now I’d wake up in the middle of the night, sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. and pump. I just assumed this would continue once I return back to work, but the lady looked at me like I was crazy and suggested I shift my middle of the night pump to 20 minutes after G’s first morning feed. Uhmn… OK — but this complicates things. So we’re now looking at something like this:

    6:00am – Wakeup the parents

    6:00-6:10 – Basic hygene

    6:10-6:40 – Wake-up G, change diapers, clothes and feed

    6:40-7:00 – Take a shower, and get dressed

    7:00-7:20 – Pump

    7:20-7:40 – Get out of the house

    S could do the morning drop-off, provided that while I am changing and feeding G, he takes care of himself, and then gets G from me to take to daycare, while I shower and continue on with my morning activities. Trick there is that he has to be on a train to work shortly after 7:00am, so if we run late, he’s VERY late to get into the office.

    Conversely, if I do the morning drop-off, G needs to go back to sleep, or find some way to entertain himself while I spend the rest of my morning getting ready. I just can’t count on this. Although he’s not a morning person (yey, I know at least one thing about my kid’s personality), and so far likes his morning nap, I can’t consistently count on 40 minutes routinely being G-attention-free.

    Then if you add my early morning conferences with work, which occasionally start at 6:30am to catch our U.K. colleagues, the plan all goes to hell.

    So… if you have any suggestions as to how to execute the no-longer-simple getting out of the house, I’m all ears. And if you could arrange it such that I get to keep my hair while doing it, I’ll send you flowers!