Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Thanks for the sleep...

Last night, Connor went to bed at 8:00 PM and did not wake up until 6:00 AM - conveniently after I had already gotten myself almost completely ready for work. Thank you, Connor. Soon, I hope to be able to sleep through the night again myself. I'd post of photo of your cute self sleeping, but I'm afraid I'd wake you.


Monday, January 30, 2006

Number One Son Connor!

Connor celebrated Chinese New Year in style this year, compliments of our friends in China. We learned that Chinese boys must be skinny - because the pants fit around Connor's waist - which is not true of some of his American clothes. Chinese boys must also be tall because we had to roll the cuffs up a bit. I'm only worried that Connor will refuse to wear clothes that aren't silk after this!

In honor of Chinese New Year, we took Connor around our house and told him that as our Number One Son, everything he saw would one day be his. As suspected, he was not actually impressed by this. Oh well, maybe he'll have a nice garden out back some day. For now, I think he's happy with his exer-saucer, mirror, and cube.

It's the year of the dog. Too bad Ed and I are too overwhelmed to celebrate by giving Connor a dog. Perhaps someday his Aunt Linda will give him one for Christmas - hint, hint!


Saturday, January 28, 2006

I guess he loves his mama best!

The weather here was beautiful today, which allowed for lots of outside time. And, for the first time ever, Connor didn't balk at wearing his sunglasses. Prior photos with shades on have always been taken while he was sleeping. (Sorry about those, Connor.)

And, as you can see from the photos, Connor has stated his preference in parents. Actually, it's pretty rare to see Connor with this sort of look with Ed, but I thought it was kind of funny.

Today, Ed was the recipient of the Connor goo - when he held Connor high above his head. Connor smiled hugely, then spit up all over. I came in to witness the aftermath and it wasn't pretty. Ed then decided it was really time for a shower.

Connor's new food as of a couple of days ago is plums. Yum!

Two important footnotes to the day. Connor flipped front to back several times today when we were playing around. Phew! However, I have decided not to worry about the delay in rolling because my friend Kellee pointed out that Jim and Ed are slow and they still married HOT MAMAS! And...Connor laughed with SOUND again. It was sort of a squeal of delight.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The pact was broken

Quite some time ago, Ed made a pact with Connor that Connor would only poop for me. Once our nanny started coming regularly, he amended the pact to say that Connor could also poop for her. The pact was kept fairly religiously. Some days, I would come home, pick Connor up and as if on cue, Connor would take a dump (and Ed would laugh). This morning however, Connor decided that Ed deserved the treat of cleaning up his bottom before Ed had the chance to put on his glasses. Ed was woefully unprepared when he opened up Connor's diaper and he had to call for additional hands to handle the situation. Wow does solid food do a number on solid ouput!

Connor must be growing because he's eating like a trucker. Today he nursed twice before 7AM, ate 16 ounces of milk during the day and had a serving of sweet potatoes (which is 4 ounces more than normal) and then he nursed 3 more times and had peaches and oatmeal for dinner. In fact, he refused to be put into the bathtub until after I nursed him - which was super unfortunate because I nursed him sans clothes, and he promptly peed all over me and then took another dump. And then I called Ed in because I needed more hands than were available to handle the situation. He still wasn't keen on his bath, but we got the food off his face and his downtown area cleaned up. Yeah, I guess I'm a mom. While Connor was relieving himself on me I sat still, continued letting him nurse, and told him that he must be feeling better now that he got everything out of his system.

My budding yogi is practicing getting into the lotus position, something I have not even come close to mastering. He is completely enamored with his feet these days - and can reliably get them into his mouth. Sucking on toes...now that sounds like fun, right?

Oh - and I wouldn't say that Connor is rolling over, but he did roll from tummy to back twice yesterday while Ed and I cheered him on. Both times, he acted like he was going to cry the moment he plopped onto his back. I keep telling him that pretty soon we're going to have to fess up to the pediatrician that he has failed to hit the rolls over both ways by 5 months milestone. Good thing he's so cute!


Sunday, January 22, 2006

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo...You can come too, too, too...

This weekend, Connor may (please, please, please!!!) have finally figured out the sleep thing. Friday night, he went to bed with < 5 minutes of mild protest at 8:00. He slept until 5:00, chowed, and went back to sleep in his crib until 7:00. ROCK ON! I fed him again, and then, thank the stars, Ed took morning duty. I was in serious need of some sleep at this point, so I was very thankful. Saturday night, I had bedtime duty ALONE for the first time and Connor went to sleep with NO tears! NONE, not one. I did ask him to give me a break, but I never thought he would be that generous. And...the important thing...he slept until 4:00, chowed down, and then woke again at 7:00 - and I'm not totally certain that he woke up on his own accord. At 7:00, the birds made quite a cacophony of chirping which may have been what prompted Connor out of slumber. Tonight, he went to sleep with about 1 minute of protest, and he's sleeping like a baby! He's so cute! (Can I write that enough times?!?)

Ed and Connor started the day testing out the very cool baby backpack carrier that some friends gave us. Please don't comment on the fact that it is January and Connor has no socks on. It's really warm here right now - and they were only out for a few minutes. Anyway, I don't think Connor is as impressed with the gizmo as we are - but I'm sure when Ed is hiking uphill and Connor is riding rather than walking he'll learn to be impressed. And yes, I do mean when ED is hiking uphill because I have no plans to carry any more than myself up the hill. I did carry him for NINE months independently!

Then on Sunday, we went to visit the National Zoo's baby panda. Though the baby panda started life a few weeks before Connor and at only 4 ounces - he now weighs 30 pounds. As I am still carrying Connor quite a bit, I'm pretty happy that he hasn't attained even half of the panda's weight yet - and even happier that he started out life at 6.5 pounds instead of 4 ounces.

The baby panda was quite impressive to most people - but as you can see, it's really hard to impress my little man. That, or the visit to the elephant house and a visit to the giraffe were so exciting Connor had to catch a few zzzz's on the run.

Another great thing happened this weekend. Connor didn't cry in the car. Of course, he burst into tears instantly when my friend Chris held him. And I'm serious about that. Two tears popped right out of his eye and started sliding down his cheek on contact with Chris's open arms. And he's been held by her before and definitely liked it! Hopefully he was just a little too tired to be held by anyone besides his mama and we aren't entering the fear of strangers stage sooner than expected. Connor also took a NAP in the car, which is simply amazing.

Connor...you da man!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sleeping part 336

For those of you worried about last night, after his 8:00 wake-up that was not so pleasant, he went back to sleep quickly after a quick snack at 11:00 and then didn't wake up until 4:00. At 5:00, Ed rescued the little man and brought him downstairs for breakfast (Ed ended up taking night duty). After eating a solid meal, I put Connor between Ed and I in bed and he was playing with the sheet for a while and then nodded off until 7:30 when he decided to eat again. This allowed him to regain rock star status because we are now very hopeful that Connor can repeat this feat of falling asleep because he's tired and done playing without crying at some point. Connor, some day when you read these posts, please know that never in our lives have your dad and I obsessed about one topic as much as we have your sleep. It's so HARD to hear you cry when you're put down. But, in the end, we are convinced that it's all for the better. So far tonight you cried when your dad put you to bed after an evening meal, but you've been sleeping for almost 2 hours uninterrupted now. We moved your bedtime back to 8:00. Most encouraging, you enjoyed your bath again.

And...the best part of today was that you forgot that you only belly laugh for your dad and you actually LAUGHED from your belly for ME! Yes, normally I get the huge open mouth grin and silent laughter, but today for one brief moment you made sound when you gave me your wide open toothless grin. And that, my friend, made me smile too. But then, realizing your mistake, you went back to your silent laughter until Daddy joined us.

Oh, and we started the day by having an architect tell us how we could remodel our home to hold all your stuff. It's not cheap, my friend.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A place at the table

Connor has been busy reviewing the Christmas cards (so colorful) in his new chair. He seems like such a big guy now that he's sitting at the table. We've decided to put him in charge of all the mail that comes to the house since he seems to know exactly what to do with it...taste it, then toss it on the floor. He lets the jingly man help out on any tough calls over what to do with the mail.

Last night, sleep was not a priority, which was unfortunate since Ed and I were both supposed to be at work and he was supposed to be with his nanny all day. Lucky for me, my office had some sort of electrical problem - so after trudging into the office at 7:00 AM, I was sent home. It was nice to be able to spend time with both Connor and the nanny. Hopefully this will make everyone more comfortable - including me. She's really great, but it's a tough thing to leave the little man. Even tough ol' Ed was a little weepy when he said good-bye to Connor for the day. Tonight is not shaping up to be any better in the sleep department. I even gave him CEREAL as his last meal to see if perhaps the Old Wives' Tale was correct. He slept for about half an hour, and is currently awake. Bummer! I told Ed I would take all wakings after 11:00 PM if he would take the ones before. Then, we'll switch places tomorrow. My sister says this is the baby shuffle - two steps forward, one step back, although right now it feels like we're stepping all the way back to square one.

Connor seemed OK with his nanny, though his face certainly lit up when I came into the room. I know after he's with her for a couple of days, they'll have their groove and all will go well. She was able to get him to take a short nap in the afternoon, which is pretty much a miracle. I laid down with him for his first nap because I was tired and I had walked in on him when he was almost asleep unintentionally this morning. I felt bad for messing them up. I'm definitely heading to bed early tonight. Don't know how much sleep I'll actually be able to get.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

31 game losing streak is OVER!

Yesterday, the KSU men's basketball team beat KU. For those not from Kansas, this is quite a big deal - as KU has owned K-State FOREVER! And, KSU won in KU's home court, which is even more exciting. And, I am here to announce, that my little peanut is the reason KSU won. There he was, yesterday, wearing his K-State purple. When I put it on in the morning, I didn't even know the game was scheduled to take place that day. And, more remarkably, the reason he was wearing the KSU outfit without anything on top was because it was unseasonably warm here. So, there you have it, Connor is not only the cutest little man, he is the luckiest as well.

Connor has continued to practice playing chess. His strategy is to confuse his opponent by moving the pieces in untraditional ways. So far, I believe he is undefeated.

We also got Connor a chair that attaches to the table so he can sit and eat with us. Well, he can sit there and mush food around and spill stuff, anyway. This is "learning". When Ed first sat him in the chair and I came upstairs, Connor seemed completely thrilled. When we tried to make a run at dinner tonight, we were a little late so it didn't go so well. Basically, I fed him a couple of spoons of avocado and Connor was ready to be done with dinner. So, to the bath we went, which has become anything but relaxing. We believe Connor has correctly associated bathtime with bedtime. So now he hates his bath. Hopefully this will pass quickly as he was really starting to enjoy splashing around.

We're back to sleep training. After a really remarkable night, all seemed to fall apart last night. Hopefully he'll get it back together tonight. Ed has night duty, I have morning duty. Wish me luck.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy Five Month Birthday

Dear Connor,

Today you turned 5 months old. That's a lot! And wow, does time fly. This has been, by far, the most difficult month we've had together. But tonight, it almost seems worth it. The difficulty is that I no longer allow you to spend the night in my bed. It was working mostly fine from your point of view (except you had to find me EVERY time you woke up and nurse yourself back to sleep), but it wasn't working from my point of view. Namely, about every 30 - 60 minutes you were waking me up so you could nurse. Sometimes I fell back asleep before you woke up again, and sometimes I didn't. But, because we only nurse on one side, it meant that I had to lie on my right side all night long. It was like being pregnant again and my hips were killing me. At one point, your dad promised to bury me on my left side, should the sleeplessness kill me. But tonight, you went to sleep nursing at about 8:00. When I put you in your crib, you didn't even put up a fuss. You just coughed a couple of times and went to sleep. It is now 9:20 and you are still sleeping peacefully. (By the way, your dad just looked up at me out of the blue and pronounced "I love that baby!" and he does, I assure you.) You've gotten into a groove of waking around 2:00 or 3:00, eating, and then sleeping until 5:30. That, my friend, was my declared limit of when I would get up with you, but today I broke the rule and got you at 5:15. After you ate, I threw you in bed between me and Dad and you slept until about 7:30. YOU ROCK THE HOUSE! It took two incredibly painful evenings of listening to you cry to get to this point. And frankly, I had never really heard you cry until this point, so it was really, really hard. Folks at work have pronounced me the softest parent in the world, and a friend I play cards with compared me to a Vietnam vet suffering PTSD. Two days, Connor. Two painful, painful days. I was constantly amazed that when you woke up, all you did was smile. Your dad said you must not be all Wilhelm because you were very forgiving.

So, now to the fun stuff. You and your dad play a fabulous game of "over" where he puts you on the bed on your back, flips you to your stomach, and then you ready your arm and flip yourself back so you're facing up. I'm not sure if we can really count it as rolling over, but it's close. You also like to be swung back and forth with your head supported and bottom supported and then, on the count of three, sort of dropped onto a fluffy pillow. You will even laugh - and it's really fun to watch because you don't have any teeth, so you open up your mouth so wide and sometimes sounds come out, and sometimes it doesn't - but either way your eyes light up and you are, as everyone says, the cutest baby in the world.

In the evenings, you tell us about your whole day. Really, Connor, it's OK to talk during the day as well. But, for the most part, during the day you coo a bit, sometimes let out a good oiuea, but generally you listen to me rattle on about whatever is going on with us. Then, at about 5:30, you start talking, and talking, and talking, and I can hardly get a word in edgewise - and for those who know me, you know this is very tough for me. Sadly, I can't understand what you're saying, but I'm glad you're saying it. Lots of vowels, few consonants.

You are still bearing weight on your legs when your dad or I hold you in a standing position - but the other day, as you were staring in the mirror (another favorite activity), you leaned forward a bit faster than I could pull you back and bonked your head on that mirror baby - and man did that make you mad. Luckily, you're easily distracted, so this was about 5 seconds of shock and horror on your part, but then onto the rings. Yes, Connor, you like rings. The big plastic ones your Grandma gave you for Christmas. You shake them, eat them, and drop them on the floor.

Yesterday, you tried to give me a hicky. I mean, there I was, just playing with you, when all of sudden you leaned that big head of yours over as if you were going to give me a kiss, and instead opened your mouth as wide as possible (your usual kissing position), and chomped on my NECK. What are you, a vampire? I'm just thankful there were no teeth involved. And then you laughed - your precious, usually silent laugh with a big squeal mixed in.

You are eating solid food like a champ. You have had rice, barley, and oatmeal cereal; bananas and sweet potatoes. If I can find a ripe avocado, you can try that next. Sometimes, you look at me when I'm eating as if to say - I can do that, give it up already! But then, deciding I'm not conceding on this one, you happily bury yourself in my breast and start chomping on milk.

You also have this very special way of pretending to by shy. You look at someone, smile, and then bury your face in my chest when you look away. It's almost as if you're embarrassed - but I don't know why because you are the cutest little man in the world!

As shown in the post a few days ago, you've learned to flip people off - though you haven't repeated the feat in front of me again.

We have been fortunate enough to have Spring come again. It's been over 60 degrees these past couple of days. We've been taking advantage of this by walking around outside a lot.

Today you tried to play chess, but you understand even less about the game than I do. Some day, you can challenge your dad, but I think it's a little ways off.


Sunday, January 8, 2006

What do you do with your newspaper?

This morning, Ed and Connor sat and enjoyed the paper. Ed read it, Connor ate it - which is pretty much the theme of everything that gets to Connor's hands these days. He's become expert at pulling the placemats off the table - so if you're over having dinner and he's near yours - I suggest you remove anything that could make a mess if it fell on your lap. His nightly project is to remove anything that is within reach from the table and make sure it finds a nice spot on the ground.

We've given up on the nap thing for now, so hopefully Connor's nanny will be able to figure that out. He didn't seem to be getting better at napping, so it seemed sort of pointless. Night time sleep though remains improved. On night 4, he woke up a couple of times but put himself back to sleep in 5-10 minutes. Last night, after we fed him a little after 11:00, Connor slept without waking up until 6:00! Now, this is a bit earlier than I hope to get up on the weekend, but that's life. Connor was wide awake and ready for the day.

Connor's nanny will come over to get oriented on Thursday and Friday for half a day and then next Tuesday, she'll be here all day. I'll probably work from home all of that week to help out when needed. Once Connor seems comfortable with his new care-giver, I'll work from the office more often.

Hope you had a great weekend! We're experiencing really nice weather here so we've been enjoying rides in the stroller. See how big he's getting in his bouncy seat?!?


Friday, January 6, 2006

Connor slept...and he slept...and he slept!

Last night, my little man went to bed at 7:40 (he was exhausted after having not napped very well or slept very well the previous two days). At 8:10, he woke up, but before Ed went into his room to tell him it was night time and he needed to sleep, Connor miraculously went back to sleep (about 10 minutes later). And then he stirred and cried a bit in another half hour, but after about 5 minutes, he was asleep. Then, while we heard him stir a bit and reposition himself, he slept until 11:00 - at which time he was ready to be fed. Connor has been fed every day of his life at 11:00, so he'll probably want this for a while - and frankly it's excellent timing for us because that's when Ed and I normally go to bed.

I hunkered downstairs for a night of sleep, emotionally drained from this whole drama, while Ed went to the room by Connor's for the night so that he could work him through the night wakings. And...at 2:00, when it's usually a really ugly put back to sleep, Connor woke up. But, within 5 minutes, my little man was sleeping again - and we didn't hear from him again until his little snort came over the monitor at about 6:20. I showered, prepared for work, and then went to greet him at 7:00 AM.

Many thanks to Pampers for being able to hold a full night's worth of deposits. Many thanks to my co-worker who talked me through her drama with her own child, many thanks to my friend Lisa who correctly explained that I should prepare for the 3 worst nights of my life. But most of all, many thanks to my parents who consoled me over the phone when I was ready to give up on this whole thing.

I learned a few things from this. First of all, Dr. Sears is wrong, wrong, wrong when he says letting your child cry can desensitize you. I am still ever so sensitive to Connor's every sound. I have knots in my stomach thinking about him waking up and crying. I literally don't think I could have taken another night - and I'm very thankful that Ed was up to the task. Second, Connor is a champ (OK - I knew this already, but it was really reinforced). Throughout it all, he was always joyful during the day and a very pleasant baby to be around. He needed to learn how to put himself to sleep for the good of everyone - and now that he has done it for one evening, hopefully he's got it down. If not, hopefully it'll be locked up in the next couple of days. Now he can concentrate on perfecting his balance as he sits (here's a hint: steady that big head, boy!) and rolling over - much more fun but possibly equally challenging tasks. And finally, tears from a child who is over 30 years old are as troubling to a mama as tears from a baby who is less than a year - at least they are with my parents who offered to fly out here and help me through this.

So, hats off to Connor. I promise no car rides for a few days and as much outside time as possible since these seem to be your preferences. And, you'll get the money we were going to pay a sleep trainer in your college account, as promised. You earned it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Sleep training sucks!

OK - so we made the plunge. Yesterday, we decided to follow the advice of all those cry-it-out parents and we let Connor (gasp) cry! This is incredibly torturous. At this point, I can't say who's going to win - but everyone's will has been tested. I took both naps yesterday (since Ed was working), but Ed thankfully took over for the initial put to sleep and the subsequent waking at 11:00. I was back on duty for the 2:00 wake-up and feed, and that, thankfully, was the last we heard from him until 7:15 this morning. I won't fill you in on the number of tears - but suffice it to say, it was a lot. I had to call my friend Lisa who had a colicky kid and described sleep-training as three horrible days, in order to get through. That, and many calls to my parents. Ugh! I have to get through nap this afternoon (I've already survived morning nap) and then Connor is Ed's problem for the next couple of days since I will be the working parent. Hopefully he'll have more success than me.

Today's photo was taken on the 29th, which is about the time I told Connor we were calling in a "sleep expert" (who we may still end up using). From the position of his fingers - which I swear I did not photo-shop, I think he knew what was coming. The sleep trainer guaranteed good sleep in 5 days, but the three people I've spoken to who had little ones whose priority in life was not sleeping told me it took three days for their child. Hopefully we're almost done, because I can't take this through the weekend.

I can report that Connor is the most forgiving kid ever because he's always happy when he wakes from slumber and sees me - and he's been in a good mood all day today.


Sunday, January 1, 2006

End of football season...at least for the Chiefs

Today was the final day of football season for Connor and I since we are Chiefs fans. Not sure how we'll nap on Sundays, but I guess we'll find something else to watch on TV. Maybe we'll root on the Redskins in honor of my pottery teacher.

I don't know what Ed and Connor did on Friday while I was at work, but by the time I came home, Connor was a different fellow. He was hanging out in his exer-saucer, loving life for quite some time. He also had a very serious piano practice session later that night. True, his piano has only four keys, but wow can he bang out the tunes. Aunt Linda will surely be impressed the next time she sees him.

I'm still obsessing about Connor's sleep - but really it's been better lately. He's still in my bed - and is most definitely not interested in moving to his own bed - but he's sleeping for a few hours at a time, and only waking up a couple of times at night. Last night he was particularly generous in his sleep given that he didn't make it to bed until about 12:30 (he had slept in the Baby Bjorn prior to that) and he didn't wake up until 6:30 - and wasn't ready to get out of bed until 8:30. We took two long naps together and he took a short nap while Ed was cooking and then while we were eating dinner in his swing.

Connor recently discovered the mirror on his changing table and seems to enjoy that - though he swears he knows nothing about all the little handprints on the mirror.

Finally, he's decided he does not need assistance drinking from a bottle - though he gets a little annoyed when the bottle suddenly drops out of his mouth because he moves his arms. He'll look up at whomever is feeding him with a look like he's asking "what's the big idea? I was drinking that, you know!".

It's a magical time. Hope everyone is enjoying the start of the New Year. I'm still deciding what my resolution for the year should be. Perhaps it will be to check these posts for grammatical errors before I post them - but probably it will be something else!