Friday, February 27, 2009

things that are fantastic

1) Walking into A's bedroom at the end of his morning nap and finding this.  No fussing, no screaming to be picked up right this very minute, just a little (one-naked-legged) bit of sunshine.

2) Knowing your dear sister will be on a plane to your fair city in less than 48 hours.  And knowing you'll enjoy that dear sister's visit SO much you may duct tape the guest room door shut.  With her inside.

3) Searching high and low for a like minded mommy friend and finding one who is fun and cool and has adorable children just as sweet as can be, and who is also geographically located so nearby that you could throw a rock and hit her house.  (Not that I would, I'm just sayin', she's close.)  Then having that friend offer up baby sitting trading services?  Sold!

4) 85 degree February days so sunny and balmy that you want to take out the bikini and go for a swim.  I mean, IF you would actually consider putting on a bikini (which I wouldn't) and IF you actually had a pool (which I don't).  

5) Jonathan.  He's just fantastic all around- as a sweet husband, as a sweet dad, as the good natured and generous guy who doesn't think twice about forfeiting the last scoop of Ben & Jerry's even when his wife is supposedly trying to lose those last pounds of baby weight.  That's love.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

less sleeplessness!

Caution: this is a long winded, likely boring posting for anybody not super interested in the sleep patterns of my child.  Sooo...I guess that leaves me.  And J.  Hey Sparky!

Hear that?  No?  Me either!  All I hear is QUIET!  The quiet of a baby whose afternoon nap, for the first time in a bajillion years (bajillion years = a few months) is lasting longer than 45 minutes.  Who do we have to thank for this, you ask?  Dr. Weissbluth, author of 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child'.  I also thank Dr. Ferber ('Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems') for his role in this accomplishment in progress, but truly, it's Dr. Weissbluth who finally got through this thick skull of mine and convinced me that little A really, truly does want to sleep.  I'm not a better mommy for responding to every wimper, I'm a sleep-deprivation-enabler (my words, not Dr. W's).  My knee-jerk reaction to scoop him out of his crib when the crying got to be too much (for me) to handle was doing him no good, said Dr. W.  Our "check ins" needed reevaluation- they were intended to reassure A that we haven't skipped town but were usually only successful in making him EVEN MORE ANGRY that he's in his crib and not hanging out with us.  Sleep is a learned skill.  It's our job to help him learn.  And I dare say, we're on the right path to learning.  While friends (that's you, Anne) and acquaintances (that's you, nice mom with from Gymboree class) had hinted to me that I may be missing A's sleep signs and allowing him to overtire by trying for a later bedtime, I didn't get it until I spent last night voraciously reading the pages of HSHHC.  Seriously- I attacked that thing.  J had to pry it from my little hands when bedtime rolled around.

Now I get it.  Little man needs a nap by 9-10am.  He needs another nap by 12-2pm.  These naps need to last an hour.  Waking before that hour is up doesn't bring something fun (like mommy rushing in to play), so he may as well just settle in for a few more z's.  He's got a natural sleep pattern thanks to biology, but he just needs some help learning to adhere to that pattern.  Even if that means crying for a bit.

It sounds cruel, I know.  But anyone who has read even one entry on this blog couldn't possibly doubt the (big, huge) amount of love for our little guy.  Part of that love, part of parenting, is saying "no".  "No" to sleep refusal, "no" to playing in the street, "no" to biting your friends.  (Well, okay, go ahead and bite your friends if they say something mean about your mommy.  That's okay.)  

Anywho, Anderson slept last night from 5:45pm-6:30am, with just one quick waking in there for a bottle, then right back to sleep.  No screaming, no clawing, no marital spats.  No need for a 3am backyard margarita party with my cool neighbor Sara, even if that would actually be kind of fun.  

I watched like a hawk for sleepy signs this morning, started naptime when I saw that first yawn, and we endured a mere 15 minutes of fussing before he napped a blissful 90 minutes.  I again watched for those signs this afternoon, started the naptime- ZERO minutes of fussing.  45 minutes of sleep followed.  As per usual.  But today when he awoke after those 45 short minutes, I shut off the monitor, went down to the kitchen, turned on the exhaust fan, and let him be.  It sucked, not going to lie.  But 7 minutes in, I tip-toed up the stairs....silence.  He put himself back to sleep at naptime!  He'd accomplished this skill at night after the Ferberizing, but NEVER after waking too early at naptime.  And he's still napping!  In fact, I'm going to have to wake the little bugaboo up in about 15 minutes to "protect a reasonably early bedtime".

Ahhh, progress.  I feel so encouraged.  And A?  He's one HAPPY kid when he's well rested.  He's been smiley and giggly and sweetly curious.  Okay, he also took out a rack of apple juice (in glass bottles, of course) while hanging out in his Bjorn at Central Market, but he sure had fun doing it! 

Okay, I lied.  One picture.  A enjoying his very first rice biscuit. 
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the boy

Even through sleep deprivation, temper tantrums, and not one but two mighty diaper blowouts.....
this little face just makes my heart so happy.

sleeplessness

things that are fun at 3 in the morning:
-sleep

things that are NOT fun at 3 in the morning:
-not sleeping because your baby is screaming so loud (for the third time tonight) that you're sure the neighbors are about to call the cops
-bickering with your dear beloved husband about how to handle this screaming baby because you're both so exhausted and frustrated you can't think straight, much less recall the approximately 83 "rules" from your sleep training book
-screaming continuing for 90 minutes with only a 10 second break here and there when he thinks you might cave and give him a bottle 
-screaming baby pulling your hair and clawing your face and seeming intent on causing you bodily harm for being such a terrible awful parent who thinks something like sleep is a good idea
-finally caving and giving this kid a bottle even though he certainly does NOT need another bottle because otherwise you're pretty sure you are never ever ever going to get even 4 minutes of sleep
-followed by what actually feels like 4 minutes of sleep
-followed by more screaming so loud you're sure the neighbors are calling their Realtor.
-repeat, repeat, repeat

He is so lucky he's cute and happy and fantastically well behaved during daylight hours.  So lucky.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

my hair

My hair was seriously crying for attention.  Too long, too drab, just not making me happy.  No time for appointment making, since my schedule is dictated by one very unpredictable wee one.  Just the time I make an appointment and wait two weeks for that appointment, that's the day he decides to take a marathon nap at the precise hour of my long awaited appointment.  Also not all that interested in spending hundreds of dollars on something as insignificant as my hair, since A's new car seat and new umbrella stroller left the debit card smoking.  What's a girl to do?  

Beauty school it, baby.  And really, it was a pretty good experience overall.  Last week, I tested the beauty school waters and had the mop highlighted by a very sweet girl about my age.  We talked babies and marriage and the octo-mom trainwreck.  I left blonder, a little rested, and feeling pretty good about saving (literally) a hundred dollars.  Success!  

Today, I returned for a cut.  Let me tell you what you don't want to hear the "stylist" say upon sitting you in her beauty school chair....a) "I graduated high school this June" b) "I love Zac Effron" c) "I just bought this awesome new Jonas Brothers poster.  For my room.  At my parents' house."  Pretty much in one breath.  Holy crap.  I sat there contemplating whether this girl was even old enough to be playing with scissors, much less wielding them around my head.  Never mind that the only brother band I could pick out of a lineup is Hanson...Jonas what?  I didn't figure this little tike much cared to chat about the newest Baby Einstein DVD or the benefits of avocado as baby's first solid, and said she doesn't watch the Bachelor because she "just doesn't really get that show"......so with nothing else in my conversational arsenal, I pretty much sat there in silence, praying to GOD that I wasn't going to leave looking like a Jonas brother.  Whatever that is.

No point or moral to this tale, my friends.  I just felt very, very old when I realized the girl cutting my hair is younger than my brother.  My baby brother.  Whose hand I still feel the urge to hold when we approach a busy street.  

Fortunately, she didn't butcher my hair.  It's trimmed, it's healthier, it bounces.  All's well.

Monday, February 23, 2009

big boy, big seat

I swear it was, oh, 2 days ago that we were taking the infant seat on its' maiden voyage home from the hospital (topping out at 15 miles per hour like all nervous first time parents, naturally).  It seemed ridiculously oversized with our teeny tiny newborn strapped in!  But by last week, it was clear the infant seat days were about over.  A's been way too heavy for some time for me to carry him around in it (the main feature/benefit of the infant seat), and he was growing increasingly unhappy about being forced to sit reclined in the car (so said the eardrum piercing howls).  So we sucked it up, took out a second mortgage, and came home with............

THE BEAST.  Seriously, this thing is HUGE.  I've never missed my super ginormous SUV until we installed this seat into my medium size SUV yesterday and saw the miniscule amount of space remaining.  But my dismay over the diminished backseat capacity in the mom-mobile was forgotten when I saw how stinking happy A was riding along in his "big boy" seat.  He sat staring out the side window as we trekked from one end of Austin to the other, smiling to himself and babbling his pleasured approval.  I guess he was tired of staring at the seat as the world went by.  Can't blame him for that.  Oh, I'm still a bit blue over the idea that the itty bitty infant and the itty bitty infant seat are both history (well, the seat's stored away for eventual usage for the next bambino), but if kiddo's happy, I'm happy too.

PS- Sarah, told you he loves that Whoozit- it's a must have for every car trip.  Thanks again!

Friday, February 20, 2009

he sits!

Oh, the joy of an agenda-less afternoon.  Time to loll around on the living room floor, bask in the sunshine coming through the windows, and just watch A do his thing.  

His 'thing' today: sitting!  Unassisted, almost a minute at a time, with only a few unfortunate face plants.  I don't know who was more excited- him or me.  (Probably me.)  
He's also all about chatting up the pets.  They're not terribly responsive, but he doesn't seem to mind.  Is anyone surprised the boy is already an animal lover with me for his mama?  Anyone?  
video
video
And then, he was done.  Done with sitting, done with the animals, certainly done with the photographing.  I have a hunch that as soon as he's able, he's going to take my camera and hide it.  Or break it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

like, omg!


Okay, yeah, let's just pretend A is not wearing the same shirt he had on two days ago for his "5 month mug shot".  I like the way it looks on him, he's fast outgrowing it, just forgive that little fashion faux pas.

We had the pleasure of meeting Auntie Megan's good friend Kat today.  She's an Alpha Phi consultant visiting the UT campus this week and was sweet enough to give A and I a tour of the chapter house.  (A's first of many visits to the world's finest sorority, I'm sure, since he's been sternly warned he'll be dating only lovely APhis when he gets to college.)  Seriously, how thrilled does he look with his new friend!  Little flirt.

How fun it was to be on campus, take in the busy oddness that is "the Drag"!  But let me just say this: NOTHING makes a girl feel older than visiting a sorority house with a stoller and baby in tow.  No backpack, no iPod, no fancy email sending cell phone....just me, my lovely baby, a diaper bag stuffed with necessities, and a stroller.  I tell you, I felt ancient all of the sudden.  Seriously.  El-der-ly.  It maybe doesn't help so much that ye old birthday is 'round the corner.  The birthday that puts me 24 short months from the big 3-0.  To that, I just say....OMG.  (See, I'm youthful!  I use newfangled acronyms!)  

Other than the reminder of my many  years of age, it was a fun field trip and I can definitely see why Megan's conversations go like this "Kat, Alpha Phi, Kat, Kat, Kat, MaryKateOlson".  (Love you Megs!  10 days!) 

A fun day.  A sweetly sleeping babe.  A new Gray's.  A bottle of riesling chilling downstairs.....life is nice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

mighty yum

Anderson's first visit to our favorite burger joint.....Mighty Fine.  It was one of my top pregnancy cravings, so Mister A was already pretty familiar with the ridiculous goodness offered by this Austin eatery.  Sadly for him, all he got this time around was a bottle of formula.  No crinkle fries for you just yet, baby boy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

5 months


And if you look realllllly closely, you can see his two little teeth!  You may also notice our boy looks a little tired.  Someone must have told him 5 month olds don't nap, because he has battled each and every nap attempt in the past 48 hours with remarkable determination, and the 2-3 hour naps of yesteryear (ahem, yesterweek) are not happening.  He did put in a good 11 hour stretch last night, so I'm most certainly NOT complaining.....but a nap might be nice for the both of us, too.  He managed to eek out a 28 minute cat nap this morning, during which I had another opportunity to put my superhuman multi-tasking skills to work.  In that one near-half-hour, I was able to wash my face, slap on mascara, re-do my ponytail, change my clothes, wash 21 bottle nipples and 2 wine glasses by hand, unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, feed the cats, gather the recyclables, and chug a Diet Coke....WHILE listening in on a conference call for work.  A shower would have been a luxurious bonus, but no such luck.

Back to the real reason for this posting....Anderson is FIVE months old.  I fear that it will feel like only moments before we're celebrating his birthday.  He's changed so much already from the quiet, calm baby we brought home five months ago.  He's on the move- rolling across the room, scooting from one end of the crib to the other and back again, and making some very conscious efforts in the crawling department.  He's not there yet, but as mom, dad, J and I watched the other night, he came breathtakingly close to putting the knee and arm action together and taking right off.  Yikes.  He sleeps recklessly now, never in one position for very long, always awakening on the other end of the crib.  But most fun is watching his sweet little personality grow- hearty giggles and smiles and curious expressions.  Taking him places and seeing him smile brightly for strangers who stop to say hello.  Watching him dive with his entire body toward the spoon when the bananas aren't coming fast enough.  Holding him close in the rocker in the evenings as he snuggles in closer, contentment on his sleepy face.  Knowing that the boy we put to bed won't be the same boy who wakes up- each day he rises with some unfamiliar noise, some developing skill, a little something new to keep me on my toes.  

Happy 5 months, Mister A!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

bananderson

Did you know that:

1) Anderson loves bananas SO much I've been calling him Bananderson all week long?  He's seriously....well, bananas for his nanners.

2) When a baby loves bananas as much as Bananderson, they'll actually screech and lunge for your fingers with their two sharp teeth when you set the spoon aside for one tiny second to wipe his chinfull of banana goop?  Note: baby teeth are SHARP.  

3) That pureed bananas are nearly impossible to extract from between the diamonds of your wedding band?  Tip: let it dry first.

4) That beautiful 80-degree days in February have a way of making you feel like all is right in the world, no matter how little sleep you got the night before OR what the evening news says?  It was so sunny and serene that Mister A and I sat in the yard for a long stretch of time late this afternoon, just taking it in and feeling oh-so-fortunate to do so.

It's been a busy week so far in that taking-care-of-business-nothing-to-report way.  We greatly enjoyed a visit from Mimi over the weekend.  Mister A surely enjoyed the playtime, and I definitely enjoyed the company and that solo matinee (just me and a 5,000 calorie bag of popcorn- calories don't count if you can't SEE them).  Then the week started....work, taxes, laundry in, laundry out, laundry back in, Gymboree, quality time with J yesterday....time is a'flying.  We've also stepped up our efforts to "encourage" Mister A to sleep at night....very un-fun work but I hope and pray it will lead to the return of our happy sleeper.

Tomorrow: mom and dad fly in!  EXCITED!

Some of our afternoon joy.  Griffin and Ralph were busy chasing each other around the yard, so forgive Mister A for his distraction.  

Friday, February 6, 2009

a-n-d-e-r-s-o-n

As A's sitting skills improve, we find more and more toys he's able to play with.  This bench, a gift from a wonderful friend (thanks, Malinn!) is a new fave.  By "fave" I mean A thinks it's really fun to eat, particularly the letter "d".  (Thank goodness for lead free paint!)


"What?  I have to learn to SPELL this?"


I just can't resist those tootsies....

Taking it easy around the house today after yet another sleepless night (every 2 hours on the DOT).  I think tooth #2 may have finally poked out overnight (I'd know for sure if a certain someone didn't howl with displeasure every time I try to get my finger in there for a peek).  Here's hoping that means his formerly fabulous sleep patterns will resume shortly.  (Please, God, pleeeease.....)  Until the other 200 teeth decide to work their way out.  ::sigh::  Teeth are so overrated (right, mom?)

Looking forward to some Mimi time this weekend!  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

thursday part 2

So much for that (overly) optimistic morning hypothesis.  He tired of the exersaucer and my next idea, a long relaxing walk, was met with so much protest that the stroller never made it out of the garage.  He did agree to a late morning nap, and is persisting despite the neighbor dog's best efforts to rouse him.

Can you guess what vegetable Mister Anderson tried out this morning?  Can you guess what he thought of this new vegetable?  I don't blame you, A.  Can't say I've ever been a fan, either. 


mornings

The way the day starts is usually a pretty good indicator of what I'll be up against the next 12-14 hours.  

Yesterday: A woke and refused to go back down at 5:40am, J took him to the couch and they crashed watching Baby Einstein, his morning breakfast concluded with sweet potato so far up his nose it required the assistance of the magical blue booger sucker thingy.  (I should specifiy: A's morning meal.  J is getting MUCH better at keeping his food out of his nose.  Good job, sparky!)  Then a poop-splosion so plentiful the high chair pad had to be stripped off and washed.  So it went, hour after napless hour.  Tooth #2 is working its' way out and poor boy is miserable.  We Bjorn'd it, we Tylenol'd it, we just did whatever it took to get through the day.

Today: A woke up at a very respectable 8:20am, full of smiles, content to lay there watching the kitties wrestle while I had a chance to brush my teeth (top AND bottom!) and apply mascara.  If the emerging pearly white is bothering him, so far, he's too busy enjoying his Einstein Exersaucer to care.  Just before Exersaucer time, we were "chatting" and he let out a chuckle so sweet I could have cried.  Something about the combo of his sweet little baby ducky pajamas and such a grown up boy laugh just got me.  It's one of those amazingly mild Texas mornings that makes me wonder why anyone lives anywhere else.  (Then I remember August.)  Ellen has Drew Barrymore.  My Diet Dew is icy cold.  Thursday, my friends, it's looking good.  I think Gray's might even be new tonight.  

Random note: Twice this past week, I've been questioned about the sad lack of Griffin photos on le blog.  There are felines aplenty, but what about my sweet Sheltie baby?  He HATES the camera.  When I do get a shot, he looks like I've just threatened to beat him silly.  Ears plastered back, nose down, eyes refusing to make contact with the lens.  These are not attractive photos.  But I'll work on it, because he IS the cutest little thing when the camera's not out.

A enjoying a stroll a few days back..he's about to outgrow my very favorite sweater and this makes me blue, because I remember it being a little big for him not long ago.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

a TOOF!

Well, that explains a LOT!  Yesterday morning, A was chomping on my finger when I felt something suspiciously solid.  It's a tooth!  Well, the very beginning of one- it's just poked up through his gum.  Since he's slept beautifully the past few nights and has been sunshiney and giggly even in those evening hours, I'm thinking it's very likely his "sleep disturbances" and cantankerous attitude of the past few weeks can be blamed on this one tiny little tooth erupting from his gum.  Yay, Anderson!  Forget the purees, baby, we're moving on to steak.  (Just kidding.)

I made a solo trip to the store today.  I was shocked and amazed at how easy a "quick run to the store" is sans my dear A-man.  Slide into flip flops, grab the keys, fire up the car, open the sunroof, crank up the Britney, arrive at store, get out of car, walk into store.  Shop.  That easy!  "Quick run to the store" with Mister A- not so easy, definitely not so quick.  Pack bottles, diapers, change of clothing.  Re-dress A in that change of clothing when he slimes the one he's in with baby puke.  Get downstairs, go out to garage, smell something funky.  Go back inside, change poopy diaper, re-dress baby.  Notice I somehow managed to get a smear of poop on my sleeve.  Secure A in his bouncy chair, run upstairs, change my shirt.  Back downstairs, back to the garage, spend 4 minutes securing A into his 85 point harness car seat, adjusting baby mirror and jingly toys to his liking.  Run back in for diaper bag and car keys, leaving door to garage open so I can hear A, watch cat bolt out door to garage and under car.  Spend five minutes on my knees until I grab cat by the tail and pull out from under car.  Throw cat back in the house, get in car.  Start car, start driving, start chatting with A about the sunny sky or the shopping list or anything really, just to keep him calm and happy in his seat.  When all else fails, sing old Alpha Phi recruitment songs because I don't know proper nursery rhymes (being sure to annunciate: "we want YOU" not "we want CHEW"....ladies don't chew, and recruitment nazi habits die hard).  Continue singing off key all the way to store ("with an A, with an A, with an ALP, with a P, with a P, with a PHA").  Park car, retrieve Bjorn from hatchback, unbuckle A from 85 point harness, buckle A into Bjorn, adjust for his comfort and mine, pry my hair out of his fingers when he grabs a handful and pulls it into his mouth.  Wipe baby puke off my shirt when he inevitably spews before we get 5 feet from the car.  Kiss his little head and tell him he's the cutest little pukemonster in the whole wide world.  Smile back at the old lady smiling at A, nod yes, yes, he is very bald when she points out "he's so bald!"  Get into store, sanitize cart, get my shop on.  

That said, as uncomplicated as the "A-Free" trip to the store was, I found myself driving a little faster than necessary to get home and squeeze my little man.  And my big man too.

I leave you with some A-goodness.  He likes those apples.  He also thinks it's mighty funny when his kitty invades, attempting to steal some dropped apple mush from his tray.