Saturday, December 31, 2005

Just like his Daddy

Two firsts in the last few days.

Nate has his first doll. But don't forget whose son thus is - the doll is a plush replica of Gorby, complete with birthmark. It makes a squealing noise when you squeeze it. Nate's eyes pop out of his head, and then he grins the biggest grin. I get special pleasure of singing uniquely American songs while squeezing Gorby to sing along.

Nate also had his first food last night! A tiny smear of vanilla ice cream on his tongue. I can't tell if he liked it or not. But anyone who knows Stewart can assume along with me that Nate loved it, and will consume copious quantities in years to come.

Monday, December 26, 2005

My goodness

Stewart took this lovely shot this past weekend. Makes me so happy.

Tonight when we were bringing Nate in from the car, he started crying. This is excusable, since he slept from my in-law's front door in Charlottesville, VA to our front door in DC.

I sat his carrier down on the couch and went to put one thing in the fridge. He surprisingly stopped crying (he usually hates being in the carrier if it's not moving). I assumed he was asleep, since this is the only time he's not crying when strapped in. I went back to get him, and he was playing with the little chew-toys that I keep strapped to the carrier. Wow. He had to see them, reach for them, and then keep himself occupied playing with them.

He is changing so much every day. This is so amazing.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

He's a real baby!

I put Nate down for his nap unswaddled today, to see how well he'd sleep (just fine, thank you!). When I went in to get him an hour later, HE WAS ON HIS STOMACH. He was on his back when I put him there. How was he on his stomach? How is it possible? Wait, he moves on his own?

Totally unacceptable. Absolutely forbidden. I need him to stay where I put him. Good lord, now I have to babyproof. And clean up! And stop leaving sharp things around. And have the nails pounded into the floor where they've been sticking up for 7 years. It might just be easier to move. And get rid of everything we own.

I don't think Stewart and I are up for this. I anticipate a blog entry in several months entitled "He stabbed himself!" and "How Nate fell down the stairs!" You might as well call Child Welfare now. Ugh.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


This is the ultimate lesson in parenting, I think (besides love, patience, and all that hippy-dippy nonsense): things change.

He's still not taking the bottle, so it wasn't my fault, after all. He's just stubborn, like his Daddy.

But, thank goodness, I think the evil, evil growth-spurt is over. He was only up once last night, and I actually got some sleep. But, as my introductory paragraph explains, I expect that now that sleeping's okay, something else will break.

That's how it goes, right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

That's it!

He's going back to the store.

I thought I had solved the Great Bottle Dilema, but he's back to screaming like I'm burning him with the damn thing. So I tried literally pouring the milk into his mouth with a large medicine dropper thing. This, he likes. Seriously, where does this kid come from?

And he's going through some sort of growth spurt, such that my ta-tas are getting quite the workout. (Side note: on the internet, some women use this to indicate ta-tas: (.)(.) I totally love it.) Two nights ago he went down at 8:30, and then was back up to eat at:

2:15 (!)
2:30 (!!!!)

He eats and heads back to sleep, but STILL! Breastfeeding is cheap and easy, but I'm going to be forced to start feeding the kid cheeseburgers if he doesn't let up.


Monday, December 12, 2005


So we've been having "bottle bootcamp" here at the Davis Wagner household. I was determined that this boy would stop being stubborn and evil and willful and horrible and mean and and let Mama have a night out and drink his bottle like a good boy. This is good milk I'm expressing! It's warm and good and we rock you and sing you funny songs and DRINK THE FLIPPING FLAPPING BOTTLE ALREADY.

Yeah, it was so totally my fault he wasn't taking the bottle.

I'd noticed that he would drink about an ounce before getting to the screaming point, where it became fruitless to keep trying. So why was it (sometimes) bearable for him until then? Why would he stop? Did he lose energy? Did he get frustrated? Could it be because I was still using the newborn nipples that let out one or two drops at a time?

Yeah, it could be that.

I leaped (lept?) ahead two nipple sizes (thank you, Colleen, for giving me all the different sizes!) and tried him on size 3. He drank the two ounces that were in the bottle.

So I've probably scarred him for life - he sees the bottle and starts whimpering. Now that I finally figured out what's wrong, he'll probably never agree to take it again. Who could blame him? If you came to me when I was hungry and dangled a bag of McDonalds french fries in front of me, and then gave me 1/8 of a fry at a time, I'd be pretty pissed at you, too.

Okay, now I need fries. Mmmmm....

Wednesday, December 7, 2005


I didn't know that becoming a parent would change me so dramatically. Everyone said that it would, but my basic arrogance said "Nah, that's for other people." And in some ways, I'm a lot the same. But when it comes to Nate, all bets are off.

I realized the other day that if I keep things going the way they are, Nate may never know what a terribly impatient person I am. With him, I'm different. I've been tired, and sometimes frustrated, but I've never let him see it. That's so huge for me.

I used to be so disdainful of parents who can't stick to their guns when it comes to discipline, or letting kids cry-it-out. Now I totally get it. It's going to be so hard not to cave with him. I can barely stand to let him kvetch in his crib for a whole minute without heading in to get him. I'm getting better, but it's tough! With Eliza, I had no problem letting her cry in her crib if she was fighting her nap. With Nate, wow.

The "switch" that they say gets thrown when your child is born is a fact for me.

I used to be so anal about my schedule that if something interrupted it, even if it was a GOOD interruption, I would be irritated. For example: my plan for the day was to go to the store to get something for Mom, and then drive it to my sister's house. And then my Mom calls as I'm leaving, and says that she doesn't need whatever I was heading out to get. THIS WOULD MAKE ME MAD. Why? Ask my funky brain. It's got a lot of issues.

My family learned to call and suggest a change, and then hang up and let me think it over for 10 minutes. I could bring myself around to the new plan, but not without getting testy and stubborn for a while.

Now I'm as footloose and fancy-free as anyone. I take Nate upstairs with me to work on straightening his room or mine, and lay him somewhere he can look around. I get about 2 t-shirts folded, and he starts complaining. What do I do? I just STOP CLEANING, and go play with him for a few minutes. Then I start cleaning again.

Did you know this could be done? You can just STOP? Right after you started? It's crazy! A chore can be done in small bursts, instead of all at once? Whatchutalkin'about?! And sometimes, get this - sometimes I don't finish cleaning up! At all! I have to switch to making dinner or doing my eBay stuff, and I just work on it another time.

I'm making light, but this is a monumental shift for me. I didn't know I was capable of it. I never have been before.

So this is another bonus that Nate's brought to my life. Now, if he could just get me to stop craving brownies...

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Monthly Newsletter, Month Three

Dear Nate,

Our fourth trimester is over! Welcome to official babyhood. Everyone says that the fourth month is our reward for dealing with the first three months, but I can honestly say the first three months with you have been a blast.

I always thought that the newborn time would be a time to just get through, in anticipation of better times to come. But with minor exceptions, I have thoroughly enjoyed our first three months together.

Even though it's hard to see the changes in you, day to day, it's so obvious how far you've come from when you were born. We went from exulting over a glimpse of your eyes when we were in the the hospital with you, to coaxing a smile, to now pushing you to laugh. Everyone remarks on how intent and alert you are; when you're awake, you really look at everything around you. When you first started looking around, you'd pass right over my face and stare at the paintings on the wall or the light of the lamp. Now you stare mostly at people instead of things.

The best part about making eye contact with you these days? Your huge grins. You smile so much of the time; I am really hoping it means that you'll be graced with a happy heart even when you're older. But even if it's just for today, your smiles make everything happy for me.

Guess when you smile the most? When we hold you up so you can see yourself in the mirror. You grin, coo, and flirt like crazy. You are quite pleased with how you look, as am I.

For as much as you smile and are happy, you're also very intense and serious at times. When you stare at something, you stare. So many people have called you "intense" that I finally had to ask them if it was a compliment or not! (it was)

You had your first Thanksgiving! You were the center of attention, sweet Nate. Your cousins Natalie, Staige, and Lucy were there. Cousins Elaine & Charlie, and Sam & Claudia, too. Great-uncle Jerry, Aunt Susan, Uncle Johnny, Grandma Jill, and Grandpa Rich. Aunt Deborah, obviously. You were on best behavior, and charmed the pants off of everyone. Later this month you have your first Chanukah and your first Christmas!

You are clearly ticklish, but you haven't started laughing yet. You chuckled once the other night - we caught it on video - but you aren't officially laughing. When I tickle your chest, you smile and squirm.

I can almost always get a few minutes to cook dinner or pay bills by putting you into your vibrating chair. I don't use the vibrating part, but the top panel bubbles and you love staring at it. It plays this weird, weird music, but if you're happy, I'm happy.

You talk to me a lot these days. Cooing and squeaking and other funny noises. Today I started singing to you, and you started cooing back at me. It was our first conversation!

You are incredibly strong. Whenever someone holds both of your hands, you start pulling yourself up. If I pull you straight forward, you come to a sitting position. If I keep pulling, you flex your knees and stand right up on your own! You're happy to stay that way for quite a while. According to the books, you're way ahead of yourself with this standing up business. Showoff!

You're starting to get some control of your hands. When you're sleepy, you rub your eyes with the backs of your hands. I've been danging toys in front of you for a while, and now you're starting to bring your hands together to grab them.

You can't hold on for long, and I don't think you even notice that you're holding anything, but it's another step! You're still on the ever-elusive thumb hunt, but you're showing your usual dedication and perseverence.

This will embarass you when you're older, but I must write it down: when you're finally put on the breast after being very hungry, your cries taper off while you're sucking, and your eyes roll right back into your head. It's the very picture of "relief." I love feeling so useful to you! Daddy and I get a chuckle out of your tapering cries while you're eating - you wind down slowly. You're softly grunting by the end, sucking away.

We are really getting the hang of each other. You're sleeping much better at night - a few nights ago you went 9 hours straight! Usually I get a few nights of 6+ hours in a row, and then a few nights where you stlil wake up 2 or 3 times. It seems to depend on how well I swaddle you the night before. I let Daddy swaddle you last night, and you were up 3 times. Tonight, I will swaddle you myself. For sure.

While I type this, Daddy is giving you your nightly bath. He's baby-talking, and making up another silly song for you. I know you'll never remember this when you're older, but I hope that it lodges somewhere back in your subconscious mind.

You'll never remember any of this, I know. And since I hope to give you a brother or a sister sometime in the next few years, you'll probably never remember being an only child. That's okay. I'll remember all of it for both of us. I'll tell you how you were sucking on my wrist while I was typing this very paragraph.

In all seriousness, I couldn't love you more than I do. You're my funny serious man, and I can't wait to see what you're all about. Whatever you do, you'll do it with my support. Except Dungeons & Dragons. Or being a Trekkie. Or a Renaissance Faire fanatic. Other than that, anything.

I love you, Nate.

Thursday, December 1, 2005


Last night Stewart was handling an ugly diaper change and said that he could finally see a Davis resemblence in Nate. He said "It's sort of like looking at myself." It made me so happy!