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    Foto Friday

    July 31st, 2009

    New toys are awesome

    Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

    Window Hi-Fives

    11 months already?

    July 28th, 2009

    Man, has this been one very eventful month? And it’s gone by q.u.i.c.k! Let’s see, in the past few weeks G’s:
    1. gotten more teeth
    2. started crawling
    3. said his first word

    Our little man is now getting into everything and childproofing is turning out to be a much tougher (and longer) job than we imagined. Meanwhile, G is a determined little dude who has a much better memory than I give him credit for. I try to redirect his attention beyond just saying “No!”, but the kid knows what he wants and is already figuring how to get around my legs. I think my mother is finally getting her wish: for me to have a little terror just like the one I was to her. The sad part is that I see myself in G’s mischievous smile and know that we’re in for a world of trouble.

    G is now also an expert at saying “Uh-oh!” Yeah, there are no consonants in that word, but he says it well and he uses it in context. I could have sworn his first word would be “dada”, but apparently he’s already showing us that he’ll be bringing words from school. I can’t wait to hear some of the more colorful language he’ll bring home (although knowing my potty mouth, he’d be the one teaching others bad words). And no, it’s not lost on me that my little trouble maker has selected this for his first word.

    As a whole he looks so much different to me now than he did a month ago. Maybe, as S likes to say, he’s growing into his head. Either way, he’s looking more and more like a little boy than a baby.

    Meanwhile preparation for the big 01 party are underway. The theme? Little monsters… you know… in honor of my little monster.

    Surviving the 1st year: the baby gear

    July 26th, 2009

    I realize parenting is not about “stuff” and you can be a fantastic parent with nothing but some clothes and diapes, but here’s a list of items that S and I found extremely useful over the last year. Baby effectiveness will vary, but many of these with G have been a life-saver.

    • SwaddleMe’s: G’s your typical Happiest Baby On The Block kid. You do the 5 S’ with him, and he’s good. The SwaddleMe’s have been imperative to that end. We started off with the hospital receiving blankets, but he began to bust out of them. That and they are heavy, and it was darn hot that early fall.
    • Homemedics soundspa: S and I both agree that this is our de-facto baby shower gift from now on. Even if it’s not on your list, if we’re coming to your shower, you’ll get one. We believe in this THAT much. It has helped G fall asleep and more importantly stay asleep, by drowning out noise. We travelled with it — it’s that important to us.
    • Swing: Back to that 5 S’ thing. There were many a nap, and some night-time that this was the only way he’d sleep. I highly recommend the models that plug in (as opposed to battery operated). That way you never have to worry about running out of juice. We scored ours, for $60, used. Given that they are more than double that, I felt like it was an excellent deal. We didn’t use it much past 4-5 months (now not using it at all since he wants to lunge out of it), but it was awesome at the start.
    • Hairdryer: Yeah. Only way G would calm down for awhile. Some kids like the car, the laundry machine or the vacuum cleaner. G was a hairdryer child. He’d be screaming at the top of his lungs, but once the hairdryer went on, he started to calm down. Ours died and we replaced it the same day. I even travelled with sounds of a hair-dryer on my phone and put it in his carrier while driving during his “shriek while in the vehicle” phase. Aah, the good old days.
    • Bumkins bibs: these have been awesome once solids started. I like the cloth bibs for milk, but with solid foods, these rule — you just wipe them off and they’re good for the next eating session.
    • Gumdrop paci’s: G was never really a paci kid, so I feel like I’m cheating on this one, but he did like the Gumdrop best from all the paci’s we tried. S used it a lot as a proxy boob during nap-time. He was always so much better getting G to nap then I.
    • Lovies: we can’t live without our lovies. To this day, G will wake up in the middle of the night and seek out his lovie. If he can’t find it, he cries. As soon as he gets it back he puts himself back to sleep. My body thanx AngelDear from the bottom of my sleep-needing soul. Don’t forget to buy them in pairs, so you can keep them rotated.
    • Munchkin soft-tip spoons: these are awesome! They are deep, so with solid foods you actually get something in your kid’s mouth (as opposed to around it).
    • Trumpette socks: maybe I’m projecting here, but until about a month ago, I always put socks on G’s feet. Even if he was wearing footed sleepers. It just made me feel better knowing his feet were toasty. As far as socks go Trumpette has been awesome. We got ours as hand-me-downs and they ruled the sock drawer vs all the other booties/socks I got myself. They stay on, which is the point of socks. Granted once G got a bit older and stronger he can pull them off himself now (they apparently make excellent flags for waving), but it’s still takes some effort for him to remove. I also love the camo prints — they go with so many outfits.
    • Itzbeen timer: When you’re working off of 2-3 hours of sleep (at best) you can’t do math. You just can’t — trust me. Adding by two (the magical number of how often you’re supposed to nurse) just wasn’t working for us. This little timer was our remote brain. Although it became irrelevant for G once TrixieTracker came along, I still use it to this day. I use it for pumping. It’s great for that. Especially for my 2am pump. I’m known to fall asleep while pumping (wouldn’t you at 2am?) and at least when I wake up this tells me if I’m done.
    • Glider: I’ve slept in this thing (out of necessity), so having ours has been a blessing. We have a Dutaillier Matrix, which is super expensive, top of the line, but it was our baby splurge. I love it! It will move to our living room once it leaves G’s room.
    • Trixie Tracker.com: this is for the anal-retentive parents that like to keep track of their kid’s eating/sleeping/diaper changing/nursing/weight-gaining/med-taking habits. We are those parents, so this is awesome for us. It also keeps track of pumping, which I’ve been using religiously since my first days of pumping. You have to pay for it, but the fee is very reasonable and lasts a whole year. Plus now I have pretty charts of G’s first year of life. See our earlier post on Trixie Tracker.
    • Pre-folded diapers: although we cloth diaper, we just use these exclusively for burp clothes or changing-table saver. During changes, we slide one under his rump, over his clothing, so if he decides to spray (“fire-hose” us) it’s absorbed by the prefold. It equals one less clothing change, which is nice… especially in the middle of the night. At a $1.50 each, these are awesome. Find absorbant burp cloths for that amount!
    • Diaper sprayer: this is for the cloth diapering parents out there. Rinsing off poo is no big deal with one of these things. It attaches to our toilet and has been super easy to use. The only “issue” with it is that we’ve had some guests who thought it was a bidet. Uhmn… no!
    • Earplugs: This was more of an S item. G’s shrieking and crying never got to me, but S had a few brain-scramble episodes where he only survived the high-pitched shrieking (during the bad reflux days and nights) with these on. Many nights the earplugs went in before S even picked up G from the crib.
    • Webcam (or video monitor): We bought an inexpensive $60 webcam and hooked it up over his crib. It’s a cheaper solution than a video monitor if you have a laptop for the nursery, but just as effective. It was really helpful with figuring out how G sleeps, or soothes himself.
    • Hands-free Pumping Bra: this has been so awesome to have around. Both at home, and especially at work. It’s made a big impact in my productivity and ability to relax while pumping. It’s a must for pumping moms as far as I’m concerned.

    I promise no miracles that these items will be as good to you as they have been for us. Heck, if we’re ever lucky enough to be parents a second time around, these might not work for that child. You can be sure we’re gonna try them though!

    Aah, the joys of childproofing

    July 24th, 2009

    Let me tell you about G’s day the other day. We were up in his room, where I let him roam around. It’s his room, filled with baby items (with few exceptions). In the span of 30 minutes my monkey:

    1) pulled and ate on the power cord to the fan in his room. When that was taken away he protested and then moved on to pull (and eat) the power cord to his swing

    2) dug up a bottle of  lactation support supplements that I’d forgotten about (they tasted horrible, and I put them on the bottom shelf of my glider table, where they were consequently forgotten). Said  bottle was discovered entering G’s mouth and then promptly taken away (post-haste esp. since it didn’t have a childproof cap)

    3) found the batteries of the disconnected TiVo remote control and also decided to put them in his mouth.

    Notice an eating trend here?

    So yeah, electrical cords, meds and batteries: it’s as if someone had identified all the bad things in his room, given him a list and said “Go for it kid! Let’s give mommy a heart attack!”. No breaks in between for fluffy toys, or child-approved rattles. No. All the things that make me look like an awful parent.

    So guess what S and I are going this week-end? Childproofing like mad, running behind a 2 foot-tall trouble-maker and using the word “No!” a lot.

    Childproofing tips are welcome.

    Single parents: a new found appreciation

    July 24th, 2009

    As of yesterday afternoon my temporary reign as a single parent is over. Since S had to attend a conference in Florida for a few days, G and I were on our own. I will admit that although manageable, being alone with your kiddo isn’t easy, and most of all, it was lonely.

    I didn’t realize how much I appreciated knowing that S would be home at the end of the day, until Monday after work, while driving home I realized there would be no-one (well, other than Neko) waiting there for me. It made me feel sad.

    Then there were all the logistics of G care: morning/evening routines, baths, food and playtime. It’s tiring. My key to survival was being very regimented and having a plan of attack for everything that related to Neko and G. Who gets what and when was scheduled, in my head, every morning. I also learned that I couldn’t procrastinate as much as I’d like because stuff piles up; and if I can manage to do something ahead of schedule (like prep the bottles for the following day) I should — it only helped the unforeseeable stuff.

    I’d say I did pretty well and I’m proud of myself: G’s good, Neko still has all his limbs and the house didn’t look any worse for wear while S was away. I will be the first to admit it, though, that it doesn’t look any better 🙂 Cleaning was not on my to-do list. I have no idea how single parents manage to do it all: clean house, install carseats, all with a little monkey looking to make trouble.

    There was one victim of S’ four days away: my eating. I can’t say I made the healthiest of choices. I did have a night or two of decent eating, but I also broke out the Mac & Cheese and frozen pizza.  It’s not a great excuse, but it all came down to being tired: I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to spend an hour cooking a meal for myself.

    I also had to figure out different ways of doing things. Giving G a bath for example. S and I always do this together. I like our “together” routine. Alone is certainly doable, but it’s the little things: like scrubbing baby butt. I lift G, and S soaps down the goods. When I’m alone, it’s not the same. G sits in his tub, so I’ve had to figure out a way to lean him over my arm so he can present his rear for cleaning.

    Yeah, it’s the little things that make you realize a live-in partner is nice. It’s obviously doable alone, but not easy.

    So all you single parents, or moms/dads who deal with a spouse who has to travel for extended periods of time — my hat’s off to you. And those of you that do it with no-one close by to help — you’re my heroes!

    Foto Friday

    July 23rd, 2009

    G’s jail cell (aka crib)

    “Drinking’s for chumps. Plastic tastes so much better!”

    “Do I look mischievous?”

    Baby on the move

    “Hmn… now that I got here, how do I get out?”

    Cutest way to sleep

    July 20th, 2009

    How is this not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen?

    Soooooo hard to resist pinching his little rump!

    Wanted: Harem Girls

    July 20th, 2009

    As it turns out, G has very specific guidelines for what he will put in his own mouth. It goes something like this? If food, ignore; else, insert.

    That’s right. He will play with his food, push it around his tray, pick it up, shake it in his fist, throw it over his shoulder (or any other direction for that matter) but when it comes to putting it in his mouth, it’s as if you’re asking him to eat mud. I’ve tried this with puffs, cheese, apples, all of which end up ultimately on my floor and not his mouth. Other items however: toys, fabric… metal chair railing, table edge, all tasty.

    It’s not as if he doesn’t know that food is food: if I pick it up and direct to his mouth, he opens up. He just prefers for someone else to do the work for him.

    So I’m thinking he needs to figure out this whole “self feeding” thing. I mean, he could post an ad for some Harem Girls and all, but I don’t imagine that’s a financially sustainable long-term solution. Besides, if he smashes his own face in birthday cake it’ll be cute; if I do it it’s just plain mean. And we all know this self-feeding thing is all about the cake smash photos, right? ;p

    Baby on the move

    July 19th, 2009

    So somewhere in the last 24 hours G has figured out how to crawl. He’s no longer rollie-pollie’ing around but is using those little legs of his to get him places. I’m sitting in marvel of this new accomplishment. I’m so proud of my little man, while choosing to be blissfully ignorant (for the time being) of all the trouble he’s about to start getting himself into, or the fact that life as I know it is now over.

    I also feel sorry for Neko — his long restful naps of sitting juuuuust at arms reach from G are now long gone. I think he’s figured out what’s going on, because he’s been favoring the high-ground all day. On the bonus side, his vet did want him to get on a diet and loose some weight. G is happy to oblige with some motivation to get a move on. Operation “Protect Fluffy Tail” has now commenced.

    Here’s our little man on the move:


    Today was also the day G’s crib dropped all the way to the bottom. Being at the second lowest setting didn’t last long. I observed him trying to pull himself up to standing by the pole of his Tiny Love mobile this morning. He got as far as his getting on his knees, so standing can’t be too far away. What was amusing about that whole scene was that he really wasn’t using his legs to get lift — he was completely using his upper body strength to pull up. He takes after me on that one.

    So… know of any baby pull-ups competition? I have a feeling in a few weeks I might have a champion ;p

    Foto Friday

    July 16th, 2009

    Practicing the baby split

    “Mess? What mess?”

    “See my top teeth now?”

    This is the baby version of plumber’s crack

    Step…. step….