30 November 2005

stuff we love, volume 6 - the holiday edition

With the holidays approaching I thought it would be a good idea to list a few of the baby things I'd rather not be without. Seven and a half months in to this wild ride I have deluded myself into thinking we know what we're doing. These items, along with the others I've blogged in prior "stuff we love" entries, have helped to maintain the illusion:

Diapees & Wipees - Perhaps the simplest of all inventions for parents and babies on the go. As a breastfeeder, I can leave the house with one of these, stocked with a couple of diapers, a sample size package of wipes and a disposable changing pad, and nothing else. Travelling light is a new concept for me and I like it. We have the black disco dot pattern. You are probably talented enough to make one of these for yourself.

Old Navy Thermal Henleys - These meet all the criteria for a good product: stylish, well-made and CHEAP!!! Oliver has four of these in the current wardrobe rotation, having out-grown two that were passed on to us by Duncan. They are just too darn cute. He looks like a miniature college student when he wears them with jeans. I'm not generally a fan of Old Navy but I have a couple of items from them that I would not trade for anything. My favorite turtleneck from last year, when I was very pregnant, is sorely missed.

Pump In Style Advanced - PISA and I spend about 20 minutes of quality time together every work day. The snazzy bag lets me walk to my pumping dungeon, two floors down from my office, without announcing, "I'm off to hook my boobs up to a milking machine now," to all the students I pass along the way. I still get strange looks when I'm cleaning the bits in the bathroom, but I can deal.

Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths
- Oliver's skin gets very dry when he gets a daily bath, and until recently "tubby time" was anything but happy. These cloths are wonderful for between bath days. Designed for the face, I use them on his body as well. We also like the Mustela Hydra-Stick now that the weather is colder. It keeps his cheeks from getting chapped and is in keeping with the aforementioned "travel light" theme.

Finally, my favorite on-line purveyor of baby stuff is kidsurplus.com. They don't have everything, and they don't always have the size or color I'm looking for, but their prices can't be beat. Ridiculously fast shipping too. Vermont to Pittsburgh usually takes 2 days.

Happy shopping!

27 November 2005

eating, sleeping, growing

More new foods to add to the list: peaches and potatoes

More, better naps: Three, count them THREE hour-long naps yesterday

Growth and lots of it: Back to the ounce-a-day trajectory

And one last point of progress...another "happy tubby" and he went in without being wrapped in a receiving blanket.

24 November 2005

advancements in sleep

I'm almost afraid to say this "out loud" but we're seeing a new, and most enjoyable, trend in Oliver's sleep. His afternoon nap yesterday was over 1.5 hours. His teachers at school have taken to saying, "He took an Oliver nap," if he slept 30 to 45 minutes. I think we are well on our way to eradicating that phrase.

Last night he slept from 1:15 to 6:45am! The aforementioned carbon monoxide issue crossed my mind but I need not have worried.

His morning nap was about an hour and 40 minutes. And there was another of just over an hour this afternoon. He also took a 45 minute nap around the time he should have been having some cereal and veggies, but it's a holiday so he stayed up a little later.

Perhaps best of all, he's falling asleep with a minimum of fussing. It may take him a minute to turn his head the right way and find the thumb he's looking for, but that time is shrinking substantially and sometimes, like tonight, there is no fussing at all. I attribute some of this to timing and better recognition of his sleepy signals. It could also be his normal growth process. Perhaps our doc was right all along and he's just ready. In any event, it's fab and I fully intend to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Bathtime had been a bit of a trial lately but we've turned the corner in that area as well. "Tubby" is now a very happy time, even more so tonight when he finally decided it was okay for us to turn the tub around so he's now using the end designed for independent sitters. We had tried before, only to have Oliver protest mightily. He figured out it was easier to reach his purple hippo from this position too. I expect to see significantly more splashing in the near future.

23 November 2005

baby, it's cold inside

The furnace needs a part. Should be in next week.... Brrrrr

UPDATE (11:45am): Part was acquired this morning and should be installed this afternoon. Not only is our HVAC guy exceedingly easy on the eyes, he ROCKS.

UPDATE (7:00pm): The part didn't solve the problem. More parts have been ordered but won't arrive until next week. For the moment, we have heat. One potential problem is carbon monoxide but we have two working detectors so we should be fine.

a palate develops

Oliver is having a great time with solid foods. He tried avocado over the weekend and it was a hit. So much so that we now have cubes of the stuff in our freezer. Avocado plus barley cereal plus breast milk equals some really wonky guacamole-ish slop. (Don't worry....we don't serve it to guests!)

Here are the foods Oliver has tried and enjoyed (meaning everything he's tried - nothing rejected yet):

multi-grain (contains oatmeal, rice and millet)

sweet potato
winter squash
green beans


garbanzo beans

Pincer grasp is coming along too. He practices daily with cheerios. We're going to have to branch out in that area soon. I'm thinking tofu. Any other suggestions?

breastmilk wasted (and I didn't cry!)

Honest, I didn't cry, even though it was six precious ounces. There was yelling though. Lots of yelling. At a dog. And I did give her the cold shoulder for at least an hour afterwards, right up until she decided to join me on the couch and keep my feet warm.

A couple of nights ago, while CD was trying to get a very unhappy Oliver to go back to sleep and I was tending to some laundry, Penguin helped herself to a bag of breastmilk thawing on the counter. I was once able to accurately locate items back far enough but suddenly she's able to reach spots that were previously beyond her capability. When I found her she had torn open the bag and was enjoying a breastmilk slushie, spreading it across the kitchen floor. She was also making sure Piper kept her distance. She wanted it all to herself.

I used to cry if half an ounce was wasted. We've come a long way.

22 November 2005

another 15 seconds of fame

We were previously mentioned on DaddyTypes (that was our Dutch doctor, thank you very much), which was pretty cool. Today we been spotted on Blogging Baby, or "flogging the babies" as one of my favorite bloggers likes to say (and it cracks me up every time -- this is what extreme sleep deprivation will do).

For those who have been asking for a more recent picture, here's one of Oliver in a sweater knit by Liz, mom to a couple of our Clumber friends, Charlotte and Angelina Ballerina. Check out the shoes! [Oliver's, not Angelina's. Clumbers don't wear shoes, silly!] The photo is a couple of weeks old but other than the teeth I don't think he's changed too much since it was taken. He's just bigger.

Let's hope Santa comes through with the camera so we can satisfy our loyal readers who clamor for more pictures, dammit!

what I wouldn't give for a sudafed

Just a general post of updates today.

  • Tooth number four has emerged. Oliver is now sporting two up and two down.
  • As a result of this new dentition, Oliver is now able to bite. Hard. In very two very sensitive locations.
  • As a result of this new ability to bite, there was much crying and carrying on last night, from both of us. I did the worst thing. I screamed. Then he screamed. Then we both cried. Ordinarily a small bite would not have sent me quite so far over the edge, but:
    • Oliver and his mum got nasty colds on Sunday
    • Oliver insisted on being held nearly all day yesterday
    • Oliver's mum was exhausted, achy, and entirely un-medicated (she'd give anything for a sudafed, except her milk supply)
Enough with the third-person and the bullets.

In other news, Oliver has had a mini-growth spurt, making up for his very slow weight gain last week, putting his current weight at 19 pounds, 10.5 ounces. He seems to be longer too. Lots of clothes don't fit anymore. Anyone thinking of making a clothing purchase for the little guy should be considering 12 month size. Hanna 70s are still fitting well though. He can go through two sizes in other brands in time it takes to get through one size of Hannas. Amazing.

14 November 2005

he likes a fresh diaper

Oliver has an interesting habit. He seems to be channeling the John Cage character from Ally McBeal, who had a remote control flusher because he liked a "fresh bowl". Oliver prefers to poop in a fresh diaper. In the morning, after we replace that very wet, "weighs more than he does" diaper, he can be counted on to poop within a few minutes.

Today at school he did the same thing. He had a diaper change after nursing (and a whopping five minute nap!). I was still there, eating my lunch. I smelled something familiar when I went to kiss him goodbye. Sure enough, not more than 10 minutes after getting a clean diaper Oliver had pooped.

We already know he likes to remove his shoes. If he develops a nose whistle we are really going to be in trouble.

what, me worry?

Oliver has gained 2 ounces in the last 8 days and I am not panicking. Yet. He's had more than a few days of "digestive upset" during that time, and more than a few TAE's. He has also cut his first top tooth, and like the bottom ones, the tooth next door is only lagging a few days behind. And not to bury the lead or anything, he's up on all fours on a regular basis, rocking back and forth, moving backwards occasionally, and just plain ready to take off crawling at any moment. He's been a busy boy, burning up a lot of calories.

Speaking of calories, he's starting to injest all sorts of new and interesting things. No reactions so far, and nothing rejected by Oliver either, so we have been brave about introducing new foods. Blueberries were this morning's new delight. His food list includes: rice, oatmeal, barley and multi-grain cereals, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, green beans, peas, apples, pears, bananas, apricots, plums, blueberries, cheerios and yogurt. I think we have mango and kiwi coming soon, and probably avocado too. He typically makes a face when tasting something new that leads me to think we have surely found something he hates. By the second or third spoonful he's smiling, and by the fourth or fifth he's grabbing for the spoon as if to tell me "faster!" The dogs distract him sometimes. They have become very attentive since he started tossing cheerios from his high chair.

We are not making such great progress on sippy cups. We haven't found one he can operate with the valve present. Without the valve the liquid pours out too fast and Oliver just spits it out. I bought the fourth and fifth versions last night. We tried one this morning but he just wanted to chew on it. We will keep trying.

No, he's still not sleeping.

06 November 2005

she sleeps

I got seven hours of uninterrupted sleep in a ridiculously comfy bed last night. Well, that's not entirely true. I woke up a couple of times but at no time did I become vertical prior to the iPod alarm going off. This was the first time I have slept four hours or more since last February. Alas, the cost of this "bliss" was a flight to Detroit without Oliver and living through yet another CSCA board meeting. And the pumping....six times with the pumping. Hotel rooms, bathrooms, bathrooms at the airport. Just about as much fun as the previously blogged turnpike bathrooms. If I had a little digital camera there would probably be a photo essay of fun places to pump. Or maybe not.

03 November 2005

Lobster Boy

Here's our little lobster boy (not to be confused with this one). I may post a better picture later, hopefully with both claws visible.