Sunday, February 26, 2012

I just realized...

I'm being a complete and total wuss.  I have a three month old who slept six hours when he was four days old, progressed swiftly to seven hours, and has reliably slept for eight to ten hours at night for at least a month.

I seriously have no room to whine about his taking short naps during the day.

So this is me... not whining.... 


Shush.  I do not recall inviting commentary from the peanut gallery.

Now... in the last week or so, the "firsts" have been coming one after another.

First giggle... February 20th.  I was tickling behind his ears and he gave me a real giggle. :)

First grab... February 21st.  It was his pacifier.  I had put him up to burp, brought him back off my shoulder, and found that he had his pacifier in his hand.  Picture me looking around frantically going "Camera, camera, camera ... HAH!"

Four days shy of three months!!

First time re-identifying a parent who has changed their appearance... February 24th.  John came home from work having gotten his hair cut and his mustache shaved. JJ took one look at him and started screaming. It took a good twenty minutes to convince him that yes, it really was Daddy.

First trip to the doc for an identifiable illness (as opposed to first-time mommy nerves)... February 25th.    Turns out he's got a UTI, poor baby.  But lots of nursing and some ointment and good sleep (In the Moby!!!), and today the fever is gone and he's been much happier today.

He is also been trying REALLY HARD to turn over, both back to tummy and tummy to back.  I am diligently shooting video when I see him trying, so hopefully I'll catch it on tape when he pulls it off.

And WOWSERS has he grown.  Over 10 and 1/2 pounds now, and check out his feet!

Twenty Days Old                                          Ten Weeks Old

Today... Three Months and One Day

John is determined the boy is going to take his college football team to state.

I suggest letting him figure put how to walk first.  LOL

Monday, February 20, 2012

World, take notice...

 On Monday, February 20th, 2012... JJ laughed for the first time.

A real laugh.  Complete with giggling sounds.  Two separate times over about 10 minutes.

Cute.  As.  H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.

*coos helplessly*

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Birthday Spoilage...

Hi, everybody!  :)

As you may know, Friday was my birthday. :D  Rah rah me!

Tsk tsk, you know it's not polite to ask a lady her age.

My two guys treated me to a wonderful day indeed.  JJ slept until almost 7 in the morning (he's usually more of a 5:30 - 6ish riser), and then he stayed with Grandma for a good chunk of the day so that his Daddy could take me out to lunch.  He took his bottles like a champ (Playtex Drop-Ins Nurser, LOVE IT), napped for her, and even went to sleep for the night a little earlier than usual... and still slept through until morning!

John and I went to the Wok'nFire at the Burr Ridge mall, an absolutely fantastic Japanese restaurant.  They specialize in sushi and stir fry, and they are GOOD at it, people.  I'm told their sushi chefs train in Japan, and I believe every word.  

But to start from the top...

On entry, a curved wall shields you from the main area of the restaurant, though you can easily see into the bar and dining areas.  On a busy night I imagine that little separation aids the hostess immensely, providing just a bit of sound reduction so guests can more easily be heard.  We arrived for an early lunch, around 11:30, and were seated immediately.  The atmosphere was relaxed, the staff attentive, and first impressions were pleasant all around.  I especially liked the "mood" lighting at the bar... shifting from blue to green and so on every few minutes, very fun.  It was quiet, but I could just as easily see it packed and hopping on a Saturday night!

Our server's name was Casey, nice young lady with a great smile and plenty of suggestions when we let her know we hadn't been there before.  An a la carte menu offers flexibility and a fine range of tempting choices.  We ordered our appetizers, and they arrived just as we had decided on our meals.  We started off with their Calamari and Crab Rangoon appetizers, two personal favorites to which the chef more than did justice.  The calamari were tender and crispy, the sauce sweet and a little spicy.  Normally I end up calling for ranch with my calamari, but not this time!!  The crab rangoon were... *inhale... sigh...yummm*...  marvelous.   The shells were almost paper thin, nicely crunchy, and the filling, well!  I could actually taste crab, as opposed to being overwhelmed by the sweet cream cheese you find in lesser establishments.  They were sweet, the sauce gave just the right amount of tang, and all in all, they were easily the best crab rangoon I've ever had.

John ordered the Kiss Roll, while I decided to try Casey's suggestion, the St Charles Roll.  The Kiss Roll arrived topped with bright red flying fish eggs, which I assume is the cause for the name, a la the rocker band of notorious fame.  Its tuna and yellowtail were sweet and firm, well balanced by the asparagus, scallions, and traditional avocado.  The St Charles Roll was a bit more adventurous, combining shrimp tempura and crab filling with a panko crust and three drizzled sauces, a sweet and sour, unagi, and siracha.  The flavors of each roll were bold and worked nicely together, and the wasabi, while excellent, we used only sparingly, as the maki itself was delicious.  It would have been like covering up a perfectly done steak with A-1... an insult!

A little birdie let it slip to the floor manager (I wasn't angling for free dessert, I swear!) that it was my birthday and we were celebrating.  He sent out a Sesame Banana Fritter, which I quite enjoyed.  Mind you, I'm usually a chocolate person, and next time I fully intend to try their Great Wall of Chocolate, but the Sesame Banana Fritter was quite nice.  A fried banana (yes, you really can fry just about anything), dusted in cinnamon sugar and served hot, with drizzled caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, it was a lovely close to a truly amazing experience.

We left full, happy, and already planning our next visit!  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ya know...We made a pretty cute kid.

This morning, baby JJ woke up for his usual 7am breakfast, and was asleep again by 8:30 or so.  John and I, instead of jumping up and scurrying about our daily activities, just laid there and watched the baby sleep.

Because, seriously, it doesn't get much cuter than that.

As I watched him sleep, I marveled over the tiny sighs, the translucent skin over his eyelids, the sleepy wiggles.  I am in awe of how totally in love I am with this child.  I thought no one could ever capture my heart more thoroughly than his father did.

Boys and girls, I was wrong.

No matter how frustrated I get when he won't stop crying (and I get frustrated)...

No matter how overwhelmed I feel when he's obviously bored and my sleep-deprived brain can't think of any more silly songs or funny faces...

No matter how badly I DON'T want to go downstairs to the laundry room with that bag of diapers... because then I have to climb back up...

No matter how often I dissolve into tears at 11 pm because he WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP...

I love this kid.

When he smiles... I have to smile back, no matter how upset I was ten seconds ago.

When he whimpers in his sleep, I check to make sure he isn't lying with his pacifier under his neck again, because how uncomfy must that be!

When John steps on the creaky spot instead of going around... OH does he get glared at.

When I see another little scratch on his face, I reach for the baby nail clippers and feel like a cruddy parent for not checking his nails, like, YESTERDAY.

When he makes just the right combination of baby noises and says "haaiiiii!!" just after his Daddy says "Hi, JJ!"... yes, I stare like my child has suddenly sprouted antlers, but It.  Is.  So.  Cool!!

When he cries because his tummy hurts or he's tired or hungry or startled ... I bounce and rock and sing and change and feed and do whatever I can think of to quiet him, because those little tears squeeze my heart.

When he is fussing on his way up from a nap, and he stops crying the second he hears my voice... Oh, Dear God, that is the best feeling in the whole wide world.

Except maybe for the one when he falls asleep in my arms, full, clean, and content listening to my voice as I sing his favorite song or read from another book he won't understand for months.

Shhhh... the baby's sleeping... my little love...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Okay, now I know what people were raving about...

We had a really good week here in our little corner of the world last week.  John got paid, our renter coughed up the rent, and everything cleared the bank in a timely manner.  Consequently, I got to go shopping for baby stuff.

Mommy Dance!

I finally used the completion discount on our Baby Registry, and snagged quite a few very necessary items.     The first of these arrived yesterday, and JJ has taken to it so well that I just had to share.

Otherwise known as the Soothie... and they are not kidding.  This little gem has swiftly ousted all other pacifiers for acceptability.  We've tried Nuk, Playtex, and several others, and while a few have been tolerated, none hit all our points of ideal.  

The Ideal Pacifier  *drumroll*

* Baby takes it, doesn't lose it when relaxed but not yet asleep, and doesn't fuss or spit it out when he clearly is only sucking for comfort.  (JJ will refuse the breast when he doesn't want food.)

* Made in one piece to reduce germs and ease cleaning.

* No latex or other potentially issue-causing substances. ;)

* Promotes a good, deep latch and strong sucking so that it's use will not interfere with breast-feeding.

* Qualifies as orthodontic ... less likelihood of it screwing up his developing teeth.

* Safety  handle for easy removal ... yeah, it's seemingly a given, but you never really know, do you?

* Gender-neutral color = good, and must be cute!  Must not distract from teh cuteness of teh babeh!!  

The Soothie

* It took a little practice, but JJ quickly got the hang of holding onto the narrow nipple.  After going down for one nap with the Soothie, he immediately began rejecting all his other pacifiers, even the ones which had been previously acceptable.  He refuses it only if he wants to eat or isn't in a sucking mood at all, and when he wants it he actually yells if I take it away!

* One-piece design, can be boiled to sterilize.

* Medical grade silicone... pretty simple.

* The nipple is shaped ... here's a concept ... like a nipple.  Long and narrow instead of short and flat and bulbed like more traditional pacifiers.  This encourages baby to keep his tongue down and suck deeply and strongly, since it's not as easy to hang on to, and that helps to promote good feeding habits.   One nifty feature of the design is the hole down the middle... you can actually see what baby is doing inside his mouth!  The deep latch and strong suck reduces the air swallowed, and I noticed an improvement in JJ's latch at the breast (and consequent reduction in air swallowed during feedings = less gas!) within hours of introducing the Soothie.

* The symmetrical nipple shape means there is no "upside down" with this pacifier, so it's far less likely to create or exacerbate issues with the teeth and jaws.  Because it's a little harder to hang onto, it makes baby work a little harder, which is all to the good for the development of strong muscles in the mouth and throat.  The material is soft enough to give with the sucking motion, like the breast, but firm enough that little JJ is using it to soothe his cranky gums.  (Note: The Soothie is not for babies with teeth.  First Years makes a whole line of pacifiers that are age appropriate as baby grows.)

* While the one-piece design means that the Soothie lacks the traditional "loop" handle, that tab you see sticking out is surprisingly easy to grip and hang on to in a pacifier tug-of-war!  Those two holes are bigger than they look, and would easily accommodate the ribbon from a standard pacifier clip.  There is also the option of purchasing the Soothie as a Wubanub, a stuffed animal with the Soothie attached to its mouth.  The Wubanubs reputedly help teach baby to keep track of his own binky... might have to get one of these later!  (Note: While there have been reports of babies getting the entire Soothie into their mouths (thus creating a choking hazard), this really falls on the parents to pay attention... if you even think baby could fit the whole pacifier into his mouth, it's too small and needs to be replaced with a larger binky!)

* Green... nice and neutral!  And while some prefer flowers, cartoon characters, bright colors, and other such, I think the Soothie is adorable.

Even if it does make him look a bit like a sucker-fish!

All in all... I'm pretty sure it's got to be the perfect pacifier.  At least for us!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Daddies, take note.

This above all shalt be thy commandment.

Do.  Not.  Wake.  The.  Baby.

Late to work, so you have to hurry?  Suck it up and plan better tomorrow.

Missing out on time with your little one?  Suck it up and plan better tomorrow.

Want to give your deserving partner a well earned break?  Fabulous.  Wait until the kid's nap is over.

Have alarms set on two separate handheld electronic gizmos so you don't oversleep?  Make sure neither is in the baby's room.

Basically, unless the house is on fire, there is no excuse good enough for waking the baby.  Especially if you do so accidently-on-purpose right before going to work, thus leaving your partner to handle the ensuing meltdown.  Oh, everybody occasionally drops something or forgets to use their indoor voices (Gah... did I just say that???), but unless you feel like tempting fate...

... or in this case, the Wrath of Momma...

Do.  Not.  Wake.  The.  Baby.