Monday, November 29, 2010

Sleep is for the weak

Will and I were completely and utterly exhausted for the first 5 months of Nathan's life. He woke up every night, like clockwork, at midnight, 2am, 4am, then again at 6am. It was awful and there didn't appear to be an end in sight. We had pretty much accepted that this is what life would be like forever and then right around 5 and a half months, he started sleeping from 7:30pm - 5:30 am and life was good.... really good. I never thought I'd be so happy to wake up at 5:30 in the morning.

So it's funny when a night like last night throws us off so much. Nathan woke up around 2:30 and was up on and off until about 5:00. He didn't seem to be in any pain from teething, he wasn't hungry. We changed his diaper. We gave him his pacifier. Nothing worked. We took turns going in and out of his room to comfort him, he would fall asleep then 20 minutes later, wake up crying again. The last time I remember looking at the clock was around 5:00 before waking for the day at 7:00.

Will and I could barely function this morning, completely thrown off from not having a full night's sleep even though we barely slept at all from April - October! Nathan of course seemed unfazed and was just as bright eyed and bushy tailed as he always is in the morning.

It's 10:58 and I'm going to bed, fingers crossed I wake up in 6 1/2 hours.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Books, balloons and birds

We celebrate Thanksgiving here in New York with Will's parents and a few friends which meant this year we were able to use their newly renovated kitchen to do all the cooking. Wow, it's a lot easier to prepare a big meal when your sink is actually big enough for the dirty pots and pans to fit into and your oven can't be mistaken for an Easy Bake.

I made the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, Will's mom made the potatoes, vegetables and duck (and her famous fruit turkey!), and Will and his dad kept Nathan entertained all afternoon. I am happy to report that dinner was a success, I was very nervous about the turkey since it was only my 3rd time ever preparing one but I think it turned out really well, at least nobody ended up in hospital. We gave thanks and shared a great meal with great company.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but of course we are most thankful for our handsome little man.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

'Tis the season for cooking and baking

We kicked off the holidays last night by baking some cupcakes for Nathan's daycare teachers and our upstairs neighbors. I hadn't been feeling well all day but luckily I had my sous chef ready and willing to help. Nathan was a little more interested in eating the utensils than actually using them to help mix the batter but the cupcakes still came out great.

Hopefully this is a good omen because tomorrow we're attempting the Thanksgiving turkey!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bumps and bruises

In the few short weeks that Nathan has been crawling, he appears to already be bored with this skill and ready to move on to something more exciting - standing. You would think he'd be satisfied with being able to crawl since he's been trying to master it for so long. 3 months of hard work to figure it out and not even 3 weeks later, he's no longer impressed. So in addition to crawling, he now pulls himself up into a standing position. He uses his bouncy seat, the living room ottoman, the couch - anything he can get his little hands on.

The problem is his legs aren't strong enough to hold him up so he immediately falls down. And that results in lots of bumps and lots of tears. He currently has a nasty red mark above his left eye after he fell and banged his head against one of the couch legs this weekend.

I know bumps and bruises are inevitable and there will be plenty more as he eventually learns how to walk but it's so hard to watch him hurt himself over and over. We are in the process of baby-proofing the apartment to make it as safe as possible but unless we cover everything in foam padding we can't protect him from never getting hurt again. Unless of course I get him one of these.....


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I spy with my little eye

Nathan's first two teeth broke through a few weeks ago while we were on vacation but this is the first time we've been able to get a picture of them! They're hard to see, just the tips have come through but trust me they're definitely there. I know this because he likes to bite my fingers and those things are sharp!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby proofing

Now that Nathan can crawl, he does not stop moving! Gone are the days of being able to run to the bathroom and know that he will be in the exact same spot on the rug I had left him in. He is constantly on the go, trying to touch everything. Even in our small apartment, there are so many things he can get into which means we've got some baby proofing to do.

Looking at the safety section in a baby store is probably one of the scariest things I've ever done. There are cabinet locks so he can't get into the bathroom cleaning products. And power strip covers so he can't grab or bite any of the multiple wires, connected to the phone, computer, stereo or TV. We'll need a baby gate so he can't wander from room to room. Oven locks so he can't pull the door down and burn himself. Corner cushions for when he falls and knocks his head against the entertainment center. The list goes on and on. I'm starting to think we should just save ourselves the anxiety and put him in a bubble for the next couple years.

As overwhelming as it seems, we can't put it off any longer. So we're trying to come up with a list of the most essential items. I've learned that the key is to look at the world from a baby's perspective. Before I was pregnant, my girlfriend Sarah and her daughter Logan came over to my apartment to hang out. I quickly walked around putting away anything I thought might be dangerous to a small child. Satisfied with my work, I welcomed them into my "safe" home. Within 10 minutes of being there, Logan found a staple, a nickel, and a paper clip - all choking hazards! So for the past few days, I've been laying down on the floor and looking around - under the couch, the dressers, the desk. I found some loose change, a lot of wires, and more dust than I'd like to admit.

We know we can't protect Nathan from everything. He will bump his head, bang his lip, and get more than a few bruises as he begins to investigate the world around him. But we can do our best to create a safe, fun environment for him to explore at home... and hey, if I happen to see a baby bubble when I'm at the store, I might just toss it in with the rest of my items.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby on the move

Nathan turned 7 months old today and he celebrated by crawling! Looks like we'll be baby proofing the apartment this weekend.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Never say never

Before I had Nathan, I was very anti-pacifier. I didn't like them and I would certainly NEVER use them on my own children. But then we got a few as gifts and we put them away with the rest of the baby things and didn't give them much thought.

Nathan's a really good baby when it comes to crying. He doesn't cry much unless he's hungry or tired. But there were a few times in the beginning when he would cry. And cry. And cry. We couldn't console him no matter what we did and suddenly we remembered the pacifiers so we dug them out and stuck one in his mouth and ...... silence.

I might have hated pacifiers, but Nathan LOVED them! They were like magic... they instantly stopped the crying. More importantly, they calmed him down and we hated seeing him so upset. But we very quickly started getting way too dependent on them and were giving them to him anytime he cried and turning him into a total paci addict so we cut back big time. As he got older, we were able to pacify him ourselves, by giving him a toy or singing a song - I have been known to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider for a solid 10 minutes to keep him smiling and laughing.

Now we try to only give them to him at naptime. (We do however carry one with us at all times in case of an emergency.) So even though I once said I would NEVER use a pacifier, I had to let go of that. Pacifiers helped all of us get through some rough moments when nothing else could. Soon enough we will completely take them away from him. The poor little guy has no idea.

Suck away my friend... for your pacifier days are numbered.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's cookin?

Nathan's been eating solid foods for almost 2 months now. I hesitate to call it "solid" however since it's basically pureed to liquid form.

I feed him a combination of store bought food and homemade. This week I made a couple day's worth of two fall favorites.

Butternut Squash
This is so easy. I cut the squash in half, place it face down in a baking dish with about an inch of water and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Then I toss it in the food processor and freeze it in ice cube trays. When it's time to eat I just pop out 2 or 3 cubes and defrost on the stove.

Another easy one, plus it lets me use my fancy pants apple slicer/corer, the one and only item I've ever purchased at Williams Sonoma! I toss the sliced apples in a pan with a little water and let them simmer on low until soft. Lately I've been adding a dash of cinnamon after checking with my pediatrician that it would be ok. After pureeing in the food processor, I reuse my store bought jars (Go recycling!) and voila... I'm Diane Keaton from Baby Boom!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The first cut is the deepest

I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself lately because Nathan stopped nursing. I think it's because he's teething, a common issue since drinking from a bottle requires less work so it doesn’t irritate the swollen, painful gums as much. But that isn’t lessening the blow at all.

I had always planned on weaning him around 6 months but I wasn’t prepared for him to wean himself. And I definitely wasn’t prepared for him to arch his back to get as far away from me as possible and kick and scream.

I am suddenly having visions of him pulling away from me when I try to hold his hand crossing the street. Or not letting me kiss him on the cheek when I drop him off at school because “It’s so embarrassing!” Or the worst possible form of rejection of them all, the dreaded... “I hate you”. (Let it be known that I officially feel HORRIBLE for ever having said this to my own parents.)

But then I realized it's silly to worry about things I have no control over. Of course he will grow up and learn to be independent and not need me like he does now. But for now, he does need me and he does let me kiss him and cuddle him and hug him whenever I want. So I will cherish those moments while they last and I will cry myself to sleep when he's a teenager!