Friday, July 31, 2009

Some things I forgot

Eyes: still blue

Hair: has lightened to almost blond peach fuzz. Looks like my sister Meredith's hair when she was a baby.

Weight: Heavy. Oh my aching back.

Clothes: 9 month, 6 to 9 month or 6 to 12 month, depending on the brand

Diapers: Size 2, though trying to squeeze him in his remaining size 1's that we are too cheap to not use.

Favorite entertainment: his exersaucer... and probably his personal entertainment duo of Mom and Dad.

Favorite book: No silly, books require sitting still! 

Bath time: We no longer hate this. It is acceptable but not what we would call good. Getting out and being cold is still upsetting. Hmmm, Meredith this isn't your kid, is it?

Teeth: None, though there is some very impressive drooling and hand sucking going on.

Speech: Still babble though I am hopeful for a Ma-Ma. Have a feeling it will be one of the dog's names, though.

Favorite food: Whatever can be delivered the quickest. And we must at least try to feed ourselves. 

5 Months of Charlie


This post is so overdue. Charlie was 5 months old on Monday, though I thought for several days it was Tuesday until Brad corrected me that day. So I totally missed wishing Charlie a 5 month birthday! Not that he realizes any of that. I think it's an accurate commentary of how well my brain is functioning lately. In fact, I have been so beat ever since we got back from Arkansas Sunday that not only am I forgetful, can no longer spell and can't comprehend the most basic of jokes, I am also a delinquent blogger. Luckily since I'm a fairly new parent my Friday nights hold no more excitement then to get caught up on blogging! As for the rest of it.. well, I guess there's spell check and knock knock jokes. Anyways, on to the good stuff.

Charlie feels like a different baby from even a month ago - not to mention two months ago when I spent my evenings doing laps around the living room carrying him in a certain position to alleviate gas pressure (with a glass of wine on the counter for a 'wine stop' on each lap). He has so much personality - laughing, smiling, reacting to what we say, playing, reaching, etc. I now know what our pediatrician meant when he told the two defeated souls sitting across from him (us) at Charlie's 2 month appointment that the fun stuff wasn't too far off so hang in there. The fun stuff has officially arrived!

Charlie notices a lot more things now and it is fascinating to watch him discover all of it. He is better then television! Ceiling fans are a favorite and we are considering installing at least one in our house, which has none. He is also finally noticing the poodles and like every other little kid, prefers Ringo to Zoe. Poor Zoe. She tries so hard but licks too much and the kids want to avoid her. Ringo wants nothing to do with any of them and they can't get enough of him. Obviously Zoe needs to learn the merits of the 'hard to get' technique. Charlie laughs when he watches Ringo do just about anything and likes to stroke his hair. Unfortunately for Ringo, stroking usually turns to pulling and while he is patient, he doesn't like it. All of this happens while I'm holding Charlie, so I'm able to unlatch him pretty quickly. Once Charlie learns to crawl, the poodles are screwed.

Speaking of crawling, we have some solid pre-crawl work going on right now. He's pretty much up on his elbows and shins and does some forward-backward movement. He almost seems a little frustrated he can't get all the parts working at once. I personally think he's anxious to get moving so he can get into everything he sees and join the 'big kids' on the floor at daycare. Every time they come near him he is thrilled. We are going to have to do some serious babyproofing of this house soon. Anything Charlie sees us come into contact with he wants to grab. The remote, my book, our cell phones, Brad's beer. I can't blame him about the cell phone though - I downloaded a baby rattle on in iPhone that he finds fascinating. It's called Bab Bab Lite and is a free app if you have a small kid you need to entertain. 

In other good news, we've got some good sleep going on around here - finally!!! You know all those parents out there who kinda miss the early days of babyhood where there's almost constant napping because at 5 months their baby just isn't sleeping as much? Well we aren't them! I think Charlie is breaking personal records for sleep now that his gas is finally starting to subside - or at least find its way out. He is even napping on his back at daycare. Almost 2.5 hours today! At night we're working an 8:30pm to 7am schedule. Heaven I tell you. 

In not so good news, I have pretty much quit nursing. Today I did not nurse at all despite trying both in the morning and tonight - he rejected me both times. It's sad for me as I would have loved to keep partially breastfeeding for a while. But I think once a majority of Charlie's meals were coming from bottles (aka when daycare started) then that is what he wanted. I'm not really getting enough when I pump to make it worth the time (like less then an ounce) so my supply must have really dwindled. I think the bottles are about to face a similar rejection; now that Charlie has experienced food, that is what he wants the most. I guess the bottles and I can start a support group soon. 

At any rate, the experience has brought out strange reactions in me that I didn't expect. At first when my hormones were all crazy my body was saying Get Pregnant - NOW! Which Brad and I had a good laugh about because really, NO. But it's also made me realize that I am going to want another child at some point, which is not something I was so sure of before. It's also made me question my career at times in the train of thought that if I wasn't working I could have nursed Charlie longer and it would have been better for him, etc. While I do think that stay at home moms are probably a lot more successful at longer term breastfeeding, I need to get my head out of that arena. Clearly it is hormones talking. Let me take this moment to thank Mother Nature for the hundredth time for making me an irrational nut job. 

But enough about me - back to Charlie. Or Brad, really. Charlie LOVES Brad. It is like Brad is the coolest thing Charlie has ever seen when he walks into the room and it is so exciting to see him! There is an instant reaction whenever he sees Brad. If Charlie hasn't smiled for a while because he is tired all it takes is Brad talking to him or making faces and all the sudden it's party time. It's really neat to watch. Charlie also tries to imitate Brad with different movements Brad will do. I'm starting to appreciate the very different relationships that Brad and I will each have with Charlie. I definitely don't think one takes a backseat to the other - they are each so special. I'm lucky to have two such wonderful guys who love me so much. 

Charlie/Daddy shot:

One thing I think is so cute is how Brad takes Charlie to daycare when he is in town. When I take him, it is pretty much all business because I have to get to work and I feel guilty leaving him so I do it quickly. Brad takes Charlie and they spend a while watching the fish tank in the entrance, he sits with him in circle time and just sticks around the room for a bit. Sometimes Brad helps the teachers if they need it. One time he blew bubbles with the kids so Charlie could grab at them. All in all it's a much longer experience and I wish I could be a fly on the wall for it. Brad is a great daddy.

I'm sure there are some things I'm forgetting because hey, I've got the mommy stupids now. We have an exciting month coming up so there will be a lot to cover when Charlie hits 6 months. Next weekend we are taking Charlie to New York City for the weekend to visit his Aunt Meredith. First trip to the Big Apple! In a few more weekends we are taking him to Washington DC to visit Aunt Lakshmy and Uncle Mike. First trip to our Nation's Capital. Gotta make sure we get plenty of pictures since I'm fairly certain Charlie won't remember either trip. It's really fun having a baby who is a good traveler though! He has such a patient temperament and is so cheerful all of the time and fun to be with. It feels like we have come so far in just a couple of months. Amazing. Just amazing.

Out takes from our photo shoot:


Peas: A Retrospective


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Charlie in Arkansas


We went to Arkansas last weekend to Brad's mom's wedding. We had a great time seeing family and friends and I caught these pictures of Charlie smiling at his grandmother (above) and answering my question about how he feels the Hogs are going to do this football season (below). 


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bananas!

Charlie actually ate a little pureed banana baby food tonight! Our doctor had told us at 4 or 4.5 months to try a little rice cereal (which he hated) and then around the 5 month mark (now) we could try some stage 1 foods. Since Charlie seems to be famished most of the time and his liquid diet hasn't been cutting it for several weeks, I've been anxious to try some new stuff with him. At daycare they keep saying Charlie needs food! So maybe an occasional few tablespoons here and there will fill him up a bit. Maybe eventually I can even sneak some rice cereal in with it.

Obviously it was a messy experience. Maybe about a tenth went into him and the rest is all over him, me and everything else around us. The only way to get it all off was to put him in the bath and even then I found a spot on his head I missed when I was rocking him later. Nothing like crusty banana!

It was so odd because he was watching me eat dinner and then I tried to feed him and it was like he was imitating me. The few times we've tried rice cereal he's been so disinterested so it was like a 180 tonight when he was so enthusiastic.

He was very possessive of the spoon, almost like he wanted to feed himself. I think he liked the cold spoon against his gums too. He's been having some teething pain. Plus it's a very fancy spoon and Charlie is a fancy baby. Thanks Luke and Meredith for keeping us stylish when we are covered in banana baby food!

I took some videos to mark the occasion. Please ignore me babbling like an idiot in the background. But really, I never realized how fun the word 'banana' is to say over and over and over again. You should try it!

This first video is at the beginning, before we got too messy:

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And that our manners were in a tailspin and it was a banana free for all.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Does this sofa make me look fat?


Well, at least someone around here is hitting their weight loss goals. Zoe went to the vet on Friday for her annual visit and has lost 6 pounds since her appointment last year. I blogged about it at the time and called her portly. I'm pretty sure that's what she called me when she got back to the house. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Back from Texas

Charlie and I flew back from Texas this Wednesday night. He was great on the plane again and we were seated next to much nicer people this time. There was even a 2 year old girl across the aisle who Charlie loved watching. She was coloring and would turn and look at Charlie staring at her and giggle. Presh!

Brad and I had a very nice dinner at Craft while we were there. I am a huge Top Chef/Tom Colicchio fan so I would love to say it's marvelous, it's perfect, it's better then Cats! But I just can't ever say that about a place that charges $29 for 3 scallops, out of principle you know. That was literally all that was in the dish. Three. Oh wait, pardon moi, there was a mushroom jus with it. Everything was perfectly cooked and they brought out a little amuse bouche at the beginning and these little mini strawberry popsicles and moscato to go with our dessert. But still, I would not return. We ordered a bottle of Emeritus Pinot Noir, which was better then Cats, but is all bought up by restaurants so none available for a nice dinner at home. 

The restaurant was pretty dead for a Saturday night, despite being in the W at Victory Park, which has a club, a lounge and a couple of restaurants. There's a Ghostbar on the top floor with the obligatory Dallas wanna-be velvet rope and scantily dressed guest list girl. But the valet said they've recently shut down for 3 nights a week, so I guess the fickle 500 have moved on. Which makes the rope seem a little ridiculous. But oh so very Dallas. 

My mom and I also got a chance to get some shopping done - I found a bunch of cute stuff at the Banana Republic outlet and DSW. I'm finally getting some semblance of my former bod back so shopping is getting more fun and less depressing. Probably another 10 pounds away from it being actually fun. I've been pondering how to fit in exercise with my current schedule of work all day and take care of Charlie by myself at night. For a while I thought I'd do P90X after Charlie went to bed. I thought sure, an hour a day, I can try try try to swing that. Then my sister pointed out it was 90 minutes a day (hence the '90' in the name, duh) and I've since flushed that idea down the toilet. 90 minutes a day? Yeaaaaaahhhh right. Once I become a woman of leisure I'll get right on top of that.

Charlie has had a bear of a time getting over this cough. In fact, I can hear him napping and coughing right now. Rookie mistake: taking a baby on a plane right after vaccinations. Ah, live and learn naive mommy. All the congestion that has come with this illness seems to be one of the final nails in the coffin for nursing. He's just not interested anymore and only wants the bottle. He says it's not me, it's him, but I'm not handling the rejection too well. He's still spitting out any rice cereal or baby food we give him so we have 2 pathetically short partial feedings a day from me (where he pulls off and looks at me like are we done with this nonsense yet? where's my bottle?) and formula the rest of the time. Charlie has an incredible metabolism - I wish I had it - and is constantly hungry. I guess he just wants his food and he wants it fast.

We are having a pretty low key weekend. I was beat after the flight and 2 days of work so I'm trying to get some rest and get organized around here. Next Friday we are flying to Arkansas for Brad's mom's wedding. Connecting flights with a baby - fun! But I'll have Brad with me this time so it should be easier.... at least until we have install the car seat in the rental car. If this trip to Dallas has taught me anything it's that car seats are a royal pain to install. 

We watched a pretty good movie last night - have you seen Push? Dakota Fanning dresses up like an Olsen twin and can see the future! It won't change your life, but was fun to watch and was in my On Demand new releases. They also have all the episodes I missed of 16 and Pregnant! I mean, that's what lazy weekends are for, right? Naps and questionable television!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Charlie is starting to make his preferences for mealtimes known. But despite now natural little Charlie looks with his hand wrapped around a Shiner, beer is not what's for dinner. At least, not yet. =) 

We've started introducing some new "foods" to Charlie. And I use the word food loosely because wow a lot of it does not look good to eat. At our 4 month doctor appointment we were given the OK to try some rice cereal, which we were looking forward to giving our son with the hollow leg, hoping it would actually fill him. up. But rice cereal went over like a ton of bricks. We tried to feed it to him several times, but he just squished up his face and spit it back out. Did not matter the temperature or how thick or runny. Overall, not promising.

The pediatrician recommended starting some other foods at 5 or 5 and a half months. However, I was at Target looking at the organic baby food jars and there were these little tiny stage 1 jars for 4 months and up. I picked up 3 of them (at a whopping 46 cents apiece - at least it would be cheap if Charlie hated it). We tried sweet potatoes, apples and pears. Sweet potatoes had moderate success - meaning he didn't seem to hate them as much as rice cereal. Pears got the squished up face. Apples were a hit! He would have a few bites here and there over a couple of days and then last night my mom mixed a little rice cereal in with it and he actually finished it off! 

The only other stage 1 little jar food I saw was peas which just looked... very green. So I'm going to keep trying the sweet potatoes and get some more applesauce and experiment some more. 

As for nursing, things started going downhill after I went back to work and now we're just in a tailspin. I have been trying to pump at work and get some breast milk in all his bottles even if I couldn't pump enough to fill a bottle. The 50% milk/formula mix has decreased to 20 or 30%.  I'm still trying to feed him when he wakes up and before he goes to bed, but his congestion has made that difficult. He won't feed for long - I guess because he can't breathe that well - and so my supply is reacting. Charlie gets bottles during the day when I'm at work and I think he prefers the bottle to nursing at this point, unless he's upset and then I think it's a comfort thing. I'm going to keep trying to pump and feed him in the morning and evening but I don't know if I can get the supply back up. I already have to offer up a few ounces of formula after his morning and evening feedings so we'll see. 

I'm trying not to get too hung up on it but letting go of nursing him is turning out to be harder then I thought it would be. I find myself reminiscing about when we first got home from the hospital and he was so tiny and missing that. And then I stop and say WHY?? That was so hard! But I think it's Mother Nature up to her old hijinks again and that whole maternal instinct to feed your baby. It will actually be very freeing to stop nursing but while I mentally know that I think the process of letting go of feeding him myself will just be a little difficult.  Unlike the process of letting go of the water weight that comes with breastfeeding, which will be quite enjoyable!

Tonight we are going to dinner at Matt's Rancho Martinez so Charlie can have his first chile relleno. To go with his Shiner Bock. =)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Texas Visit

Charlie and I have been in Texas for a week and I have been a true blog slacker. Every day for the past week I've been meaning to post but it's been so busy and hectic! If the road to hell is paved with good intentions we got some major construction done this week. That must be why it's so hot...

We are in McKinney, Texas at my parents house until the 16th. My mom is a teacher and I thought it would be fun to come visit when she could spend a lot of time with Charlie. I'm lucky because my employer has an office about 20 minutes away that I can work out of when I'm here. In fact, my boss is in the Plano office. Very convenient. It's been a week of firsts for Charlie. First plane ride, first rice cereal, first illness, first time in a swimming pool (just his feet) and tonight, first sweet potatoes! But I'll start with the flight. 

You want someone to look at you like you are a pariah? Sit down next to them on the plane with a baby.  I got 'oh crap' looks from every direction when I boarded. Like I wasn't anxious enough. I was so paranoid Charlie would scream during takeoff and/or landing, or get bored during the flight or be in one of his 'you must not only hold me but stand up while doing so or you will pay' moods. But really, he did beautifully! Not a tear! It went so smoothly that at the end of the flight I thought I should get some applause or a pat on the back or something. Nothing. I proved all those people giving me the looks wrong and not so much as a smile. Because really, all these people should be thinking about me and my baby as much as I do. Ugh. Idiots.

I do have to give props to my new umbrella stroller, which is some of the best money I have spent since Charlie was born (apart from my impressive purchases at Total Wine). I got the Maclaren Triumph to use on our airport trips and it does not disappoint. I can open and close it with one hand while holding Charlie. It is 11 pounds, can carry a baby as young as 3 months and is substantial enough to use regularly at my destination. Love Love Love. Material object love.

A couple of days after we got here my mom, two sisters, Charlie and I flew to El Paso to visit my grandmother (Nana).  Meeting us there were my cousin Mike's wife and his son (Mike is currently in Afghanistan) who turns 2 in September. Nana had never met either of her great grandsons and so we all went and celebrated her 87th birthday in the nursing home where she is living. It was one of those days that was happy and sad, you know? I'm glad we all got to go and that Charlie was his usual talkative self while we were there because Nana really got a kick out of it. Charlie is named after my grandfather, Nana's husband. Also known as Daddy Chuck. 

Unfortunately during all this Charlie got sick. He had a bad cough, a low grade fever and congestion. My pediatrician told me to head to ER since I was out of town and that was a 4 hour exhausting experience. Short version of the story - Charlie has an ear infection and RSV, aka bronchialitis, aka bronchitis in a baby. It really stinks to be a sick baby because you can't take anything. Like being pregnant for 2 years. So we have amoxicillan for him and an inhaler which requires this special overpriced contraption since you can't really tell a baby 'OK - breathe in NOW' so they get the medicine. It has a mask with a duck's face on it and is downright creepy.

While waiting for the doctor or the x-rays or the breathing treatment or the prescriptions, we got a bunch of cute pics while playing with him - here are a couple:



I took those with my new iPhone - can you believe?? f there weren't so many medical do-dads in the background, I'd say these could be frame-worthy.

Charlie does seem to be on the mend after 3 days of being at home with my mom and resting. He still seems pretty tired and has been napping a bunch. I know, right? Charlie is napping. Something MUST be wrong. I think by the end of the weekend he'll be back to normal. I feel so lucky to have been with my mom during his first illness because you could paper the walls with everything I'm clueless about. She's taken such good care of him and he just loooooooooves her!

A fun part of visiting has been getting to see friends and family and eat really yummy food! We all met up with Brad (who is working in downtown Dallas this week) at Tin Star on Monday. Brad's aunt and uncle came over Wednesday for my mom's famous chicken scala. And last night I went to dinner with two extremely fun (and funny) girls - my friend Kristy and my former e-friend and now real-life friend Suzi. We went to the Screen Door for some contemporary southern food and it was so good we all got a little weepy!

Tomorrow night Brad and I are going to have a date and spend the night downtown. It will be the first time I have ever slept in a different building then Charlie. My mom and sister Megan are going to babysit and I know he's going to have a great time. I'm trying not to be too anxious about it. Brad and I are going to eat at Craft, which is Tom Colicchio's restaurant here in Dallas for all you Top Chef fans. We're staying at this hotel downtown, the Joule, which is old hat to Brad who has lived there during the week for the past couple of months for work, but for me is ooh-la-la I'm at a hotel with no baby! Our mission for dinner is to try and squeeze in a little conversation that is not all about Charlie!

Ok, the rest is going to have to get it's own post. I need some sleep first! And this post is getting painful long. More to come!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

4 Month Check Up

We had Charlie's 4 month check up today at the pediatrician's and it went really well. He weighs 14 lbs, 2oz and is 25 3/4 inches long. That translates into the same percentiles he has always been in - 25-50% weight and 50-75% height. 

Charlie's been stuffy for several weeks so we asked the doctor about that and got the same answer as last time - there's no congestion in the chest so he's fine. 

We also talked about introducing "solids" - I put that in quotes because the solids we are talking about rice cereal and baby food. There's really nothing solid about it. We're going to start giving him some rice cereal over the next few weeks and at 5 or 5 1/2 months we'll start introducing the baby food. The doctor didn't think Charlie would actually eat the rice cereal at first but I think he will. This kid's been ready to eat something more substantial for a while. We'll try it tonight or tomorrow and see what happens!

Charlie also got another round of immunizations. Brad held him and he cried and I wanted to cry. But 2 minutes afterwards he was fine and talking in the car to his stuffed cow. 

That's about all for the appointment - pretty boring! In a good way!

Feet

This one is more action then dialogue. It's not our best work, so I won't be submitting this one for an Emmy. But Charlie's Aunt Mimi and Aunt Meggie looooove their Charlie videos!


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