Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year - Almost!

Well, Christmas came and went at the Harris household. Unfortunately, I spent Christmas day with a terrible bout of mastitis which meant that Connor got to enjoy the day drinking only from bottles (which he didn't tire of until December 27 when he decided he was no longer going to drink from a bottle) and hanging out with his dad. I was in so much pain that I was basically unable to hold my little man for much time at all and breastfeeding him was impossible. So, I can't report that this was a very magical first Christmas - at least not from my point of view. Connor did, however, receive a little jingly man that he really likes, along with several other nice gifts from friends and family. I'm sure all of them will be put to good use in the coming months. Connor now actually has enough clothing that I don't think I need to be frantic about making sure his laundry gets done at least weekly - if not twice weekly - and that's certainly nice.

My mastitis cleared up enough that I was finally able to nurse Connor again the morning of the 27th, and things have continued to go well since then. I am no longer in pain, and Connor seems to be happy to be back to his sometimes bottle, sometimes Mommy feeding schedule. This morning, he was set to enjoy bananas for the third time, but Ed decided to eat the whole banana without thinking about Connor. I mean, come on, Dad - can't you save a one inch piece of a banana for the little guy who did give you an extra hour of sleep this morning?

On Wednesday night, Connor slept from 9:00 - 3:30 AM, which pretty much made him a rock star and last night was also good, though I don't remember how long he slept before he woke up. He did decide to sleep with his arms fully outstretched which I guess means he wants a full third of the bed to be exclusively his rather than getting a smaller share. Can't say I blame him. Of course, if he would sleep in his own bed he could have the whole thing - but that's not a priority for him right now.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! We're looking forward to ringing in the New Year at our friend's annual champagne tasting. And...the big news is that this year, I can actually drink some of the champagne unlike last year when I had to watch as others enjoyed the good libations and I got to be the designated driver.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A great day!

Sometimes, it's really hard to be the mother of a sleepless 4 month old, and sometimes, it's really easy. For example, yesterday Ed came home to find Connor and I sleeping on the couch as I tried to get rid of a headache. Ed was barely out of his work clothes when I was requesting we order pizza for dinner and he take Connor. Let's just say that these past few months have given me profound respect for parents who do it alone, because frankly I don't think either Ed or I could make it without the other.

But today, we made it to Pottery Barn to pick up some picture frames WITHOUT CRYING IN THE CAR and we took a ride in the stroller to Safeway (again, without crying!). This is Connor's second consecutive day of cruising in the stroller and not being afraid of it. Can it be that he's all grown up? I know folks said it would happen fast, but at four months?

Connor is really grooving on solid foods. Today he tried barley cereal for the first time (one part cereal, two parts milk) and would've eaten more if I'd given it to him. But, alas, he needs to get his nutrition from milk so his solid food intake has to be limited. He gets excited when he sees me get out the cereal box and his spoon. Of course, maybe I would get excited too if my spoon were made of rubber and was a really groovy color like his is. Ed has decided that for Christmas day, he can try mushed up BANANAS! Now that should be fun. Every four days he gets to try something new, so hopefully it will continue to go as well as it has been going.

Some of you may have seen a photo of Connor in his stroller when he was just a couple of weeks old - well now he practically fits in the thing! These two facts probably account for him liking the contraption more these days. Hopefully he'll really enjoy it by the time Olimpia starts taking care of him full time because with two kids, she won't be able to carry him everywhere.

And, the most exciting news of all today, is that although it took Connor a little longer than normal to go to sleep, he has been sleeping on his own (in my bed) for the past 1.5 hours. This is twice as long as he normally sleeps before he needs me to ease him back into sleep. For the sake of everyone in my house, let's hope this is not a fluke and that he's actually learning to sleep.

Connor - when you read this in many years - here's what we go through each night. At 8:00, we put on a Bach CD which says it is "a soothing musical experience" and we put you in the bath. You splash around (finally! I know my dad kept promising eventually you would love your bath) - generally with daddy supervising you - and then I nurse you to sleep and lay beside you as you grunt, wiggle, suck your hands, look around, and generally entertain yourself, eventually falling asleep nursing. The whole time this is going on, I pretend to be asleep hoping you'll catch the idea of what you're supposed to be doing. Then, I very carefully move away from you a bit. You startle, I calm you. I move further. You startle, I calm you. And finally, I escape to outside my bed while you continue (hopefully!) to sleep. Eventually, I'm hoping to wean you of the nursing part, and then hopefully you'll let either me or your dad lay beside you to fall asleep. And then, maybe if we're really lucky, you won't need either of us. HAHAHA - I can't believe I actually typed that!

Oh - and for those of you concerned about Ed, he looked up the study with the rat. It takes 28 consecutive days before the rat dies. Surely Ed is stronger than a rat!


Monday, December 19, 2005

And then the rat dies!

Two days ago, Connor tasted rice cereal. He's been watching me eat for a few weeks now, and apparently he was learning how to do it. He's a total champ - and it wasn't even that messy, though there were certainly some messy moments. Today, I diluted the cereal less and he was even better. He eats two teaspoons of cereal mixed with four teaspoons of breastmilk. He seemed very pleased with himself after this morning's meal.

But, life is not all good in our household. Connor is sleeping less and less - which means Ed and I are sleeping less and less. Ed took night duty last night, and between 11:00 and 3:30, Ed got no sleep. Connor was able to sleep some because he seemed to fall asleep instantly when Ed would pick him up. Then, as soon as Ed would put him down, he was wide awake again. At 3:30, Ed decided Connor was legitimately hungry and I nursed him to sleep. Before collapsing into sleep himself, Ed looked up at me and said "I feel like I'm a rat in one of those experiments where every time it doses off, the researcher wakes it back up. And you know what happens at the end of the experiment? The rat dies!" Ed declared the he and Connor were no longer friends and then he passed out. I took over duty of waking up every half hour to calm Connor when finally, even mean old Ed relented and said if I wanted, I could just bring Connor into bed with us. So, here we are, Connor's back in bed with us and I'm hoping against all odds that he sleeps tonight at least a few contiguous hours so I can get some sleep myself.

But, lest you think that Ed and Connor really aren't friends, Ed purchased him a very cool exer-saucer that Connor enjoyed enough to give us a whole dinner without him needing us. Woohoo! We may not sleep, but at least we can eat. Though sleep researchers suggest it's an Old Wives' Tale, many people keep telling us that giving Connor cereal will get him to sleep. Hopefully that's true.

So there you have it. Another post about sleep. I never thought I could think about a topic so much. You should hear Ed and I trying to ponder this mystery throughout the day when our zombie like selves try and piece this mess together!


Friday, December 16, 2005

I love a piano

Now this is a cool toy! Connor can already bang on the keys - always a good skill for a budding Mozart. He can't sit up and play it by himself, but he's excellent at playing it while supported. At this pace, he might not even need Aunt Linda to teach him how it's done - he's probably a natural.

Tonight we went to a local pool hall and enjoyed a rousing round of pass the baby. Many thanks to my co-workers who held him and entertained him while I cruised into the final four of the winners bracket in the pool tournament. Unfortunately, my streak was ended by the person who eventually won the bracket and I left the bar before dueling to the finish of the loser's bracket.

Last night Ed was a rockin' champ putting Connor back to sleep every hour after Connor woke up and indeed, it seems as if Dr. Gandhi was right that Connor wouldn't be starved by not eating every hour. However, when Ed brought Connor to me at 5:00 to eat (the time we had agreed upon at the start of the night), Connor gave me the biggest smile ever and started chowing while Ed passed out. Connor woke up for good around 7:00 when he once again was quite a good eater and he smiled at Ed and looked at him with wide open eyes letting Ed know that the day was starting! Tonight Ed is once again taking nighttime duty (yeehaw!).


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas comes but once a year...

unless you have grandparents who live out of town! Tonight two big boxes arrived filled with presents, and because I have no self control when it comes to presents, we decided to open some. After all, what if there was a puppy inside?

Connor was pretty happy to see a brightly colored car. He probably knew it was his because nobody else in the household gets happy looking things in primary colors. It makes a popping sound when it rolls, sort of like the old popcorn vacuums that Ed and I had as kids. He seemed pretty intrigued by the gift. He also got a bear that sings, talks, and plays games. He wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but in time I'm sure he'll figure it out. And then...he got a bunch of books, two of which I read to him before bedtime tonight. Tomorrow we'll open more presents, but this should give Connor something new for tomorrow during the day. And this is a good thing, because Connor's attention span is sometimes about 4 minutes long. Now that he's staying awake for longer periods of time, it can be a real challenge to entertain him. Ed or I pick up his toys, play with them, and then quick...find something new. Maybe a couple of baby sit-ups. And then it's on to tummy time, where he can show off his brilliant head control. (By the way, his head has advanced to the 75th percentile, which is fairly impressive since he's still hanging onto the 5th percentile in weight.) After big head Connor bobs around a bit, it's time to flip him over and maybe do a little baby massage. But, don't get too used to that because pretty soon he'll need to be put in the bouncy chair. And that's all in the first fifteen minutes. OK - I'm exaggerating a bit, but really - it's challenging to entertain this guy with his brain moving so fast. It takes a lot to keep him impressed.

Well, I better get some sleep since I'll be working again tomorrow. Tonight Ed is taking on night time duty since Dr. Gandhi assured us that Connor does not actually need to nurse every hour throughout the night. We're hoping to limit him to twice a night, and eventually push that to once. Connor needs to get a good night's sleep tonight because tomorrow afternoon Ed is bringing him to my office to go to the annual Children's Holiday Party along with my center's party at a local pool hall. Hopefully Ed will teach him how to play pool earlier in the day.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Happy Four Month Birthday!

Dear Connor,

Today, you are four months old. And it's amazing all of the things you've learned to do in the last month. I'm trying to record them all, but a Mom can only type so fast! You have learned to put not just one, but both of your fists in your mouth. You have been eyeing your toes lately, and I expect they'll be in your mouth very soon. Lately, you've been the drool king - and last night, a mom of a two month old saw your drool and was amazed!

You are still gaining fan club members right and left. You are, after all, the most adorable baby ever. Definitely what you lack in sleep and car rides, you make up for in cute. You now listen very intently to some of your favorite books, and you can play - I mean actually PLAY with a few toys! Your beloved cube has been in your mouth, been dropped on the floor, shaken, and even bonked you on the head. Not sure how smart that last one is, but you don't seem to mind. It does make the cube jingle which is sort of exciting. You can now hang out in your swing for almost half of dinner - so I'm trying really hard to remember to eat the messy stuff FIRST, so you have less of it end up in your lap when I drop stuff on you. And man Connor, you own that piano bouncy seat. Aunt Linda doesn't need to worry about the musical genius in you! As long as the seat is on motion, you know just what to do to get the tunes going. Daddy and I had this brilliant idea that we could put it on a different setting tonight and you might enjoy that, but you actually CRIED instantly when you shook and nothing happened. I promise we won't try that again for a while!

And...most amazing of all, you celebrated turning four months old by rolling onto your tummy last night. You were swaddled with one arm out, and when you woke up to let me know you wanted to be moved from the co-sleeper into bed next to me, you were on your tummy! You chose not to repeat this feat in the daylight, but perhaps you'll hone think skill under the cover of night.

You have yet to be enamored with the car. Really Connor - BABIES LIKE THE CAR! And you're not so into sleeping by yourself, though you have started to sleep for a few hours each night on your own because frankly, even you can't stay up until 11:00 each night when your daddy and I go to bed. I gotta warn you, Daddy's reading a book on sleep and he says we're getting tough in the new year - so you got one more month of having the softest parents in the world.

You are an absolute champ at standing supported - everyone who sees this remarks on what strong legs you have, and you seem to love sitting up rather than lying on the floor, though you still have to be supported. I think this might be because you have a better view of the television. You open and shut your mouth in tandem with mine when you watch me eat, and a couple of times you have purposefully pulled your daddy's glasses off! Now that, my friend, is not a good idea because your daddy can't see very well at all. Of course, if you're doing it so you can pull a fast one, maybe it's a pretty good idea. Today, you discovered my hair for only the second time and wow is your grip a good one.

Last night, you were cooing at your daddy and I swear you said "hi" to him. It was absolutely the cutest thing ever. OK, almost everything you do is the cutest thing ever, so I guess this is more accurately among the cuter things you've done. You can still belch like a man and on occasion still wake yourself up when you pass gas. What a little man you are.

You are the love of my life and of daddy's, and we can't wait to see what you suprise us with next month!


Saturday, December 10, 2005

A New Toy

Connor has discovered that his daddy wears glasses – and it’s a really great game to remove those glasses. Of course, sometimes the glasses get caught on Daddy’s ears, and then it’s a really frustrating game. This hasn’t happened too often yet, but I witnessed what can only be described as joy on Connor’s face this evening when he was playing his new game and succeeded in capturing the glasses.

Today we attended the annual cookie brunch at Krisi’s – and Connor was a total champ! He met several women and enjoyed testing out their laps. All met the basic criteria of being completely lovely to hang out in. Hopefully we’ll have more opportunities to test them in the near future. Tomorrow we’re going caroling with Chris which should be quite a bit of fun. Ed is going to be in charge of stirring the chili while the rest of us trespass on the neighbor’s property and greet them with our voices (how Ed describes it, anyway).

Hope you’re all enjoying the season! Ed is happy there’s snow, though it does mean less outside time for our little guy. He does, however, have a proper hat, as you can see, should be lucky enough to get outside.


Monday, December 5, 2005

And he also has feet!

Connor has become increasingly enamored with his fists - and can reliably get at least one of them, and sometimes both in his mouth. It's a real joy when he manages to get both fists up there at once. It's almost as if one is just not enough. And twice yesterday, I noticed him eyeing his feet - as if he was also impressed with them - though they haven't come near his mouth yet.

He has also learned to make this fairly annoying bleating noise, which I hope he forgets about soon. There Ed was, walking around the basement with Connor to put him to sleep, and all I could hear upstairs was bleat...bleat...bleat. He also makes this noise when he's nursing and the milk isn't coming fast enough, though in these cases, it often becomes more of a groan. It's as if he's saying come on man...send the creamy stuff to me...NOW! Woody Guthrie sings a children's song "I want my milk, and I want it now" and he must have been singing about someone just like Connor.

You can also see that Connor got some new duds. He sort of looks like he's been to a Grateful Dead concert. Power to the babies!