Monday, April 24, 2006


Nate's new thing is to notice his hand in mid-air, and to stare at it while he turns it backwards and forwards and moves it around. This is very helpful for us, since we now know exactly the expression to look for if we're worried that he's doing drugs.

My son loves (continued)...

Watching me yawn. Brings him no end of pleasure.
Chewing on my hair...

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Imagine a barbell, baby-sized, made of hard plastic. Imagine a baby joyously shaking it up and down, listening to the funny noises it makes. Now imagine that about 1/3 of the time, that baby whacks the barbell into his own forehead. Would you imagine said baby stopping shaking the barbell? Or would you imagine that, with a somewhat disconcerted expression, the baby would continue to shake the barbell and, yes, continue whacking it into his own forehead?

Hopefully he's just a determined little baby. Otherwise...


Okay, now Stewart says that the dinner was "one of the best he's ever had." I bet he checked the blog and saw that I called him un-refined.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I made good food!

So, I love to cook. The funny thing, though, is that everything I make turns out...well let's just say the Iron Chef judges would be shaking their heads in disappointment. So much time, such expensive ingredients, and bleh.

Tonight I made pork chops with a beer/butter/onion/garlic/cream sauce, and I think it turned out FABULOUS. Of course Stewart didn't much care for it, but his palate isn't very refined. What's important here is that I was very pleased with it.

The boy is still fantastic. Tonight I let him eat pureed sweet potatoes with his hands. It was a very sticky evening.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CIO works for us!

It's amazing how you change, even day-to-day, in this parenting game, huh? I was positive I'd do some things that I now refuse to do, and vice versa. It's a good lesson on getting adaptable and flexible!

I was talking to some other parents this morning, and discussion CIO (cry-it-out, for you childless folks). I have an online friend whose co-sleeping daugher is eating every few hours, and she's miserable. I always knew that co-sleeping was not for us. We've co-slept a little (on trips - at home he sleeps in his crib down the hall), and every time we do it, he eats A LOT during the night. It seems to me that if I was pressed up next to a quarter-pounder-with-cheese all night, I'd damn sure wake up and eat. At about 6 months, I decided that he was old enough to sleep through the night without eating anymore. I'm not lying when I say that it took ONE bad night, and ONE annoying night, and that was the end of night-eating. The bad night he woke up 3 times, and cried for about 20 minutes each time. The annoying night he woke up 3 times and cried for about 2 minutes each time. That was it. He sleeps 11 hours a night now. Not a peep.

Oh, the other thing I had to do was to let him CIO for naps, too. I figured that out after he relapsed and started waking up in the middle of the night again. I thought about what had changed, and I realized that if I put him down for a nap, and he cried for a while, I'd go get him and nurse him. Way to be inconsistant, Mama! So he figured, logically - hey, she comes and gets me during the day, why not at night, too?

So if I KNOW he's tired (eye rubbing is our best sign), I don't get him at all until he sleeps. As I was writing the first message, he was crying in his crib. It totally stinks - it actually feels like physical pain to me when he cries, but it was how it worked best for us. I was getting so frustrated and resentful, and I really think it was kinder to him to let him get some sleep! He now takes two long naps - 1.5 hours each, and he never did that before.

My online co-sleeping friend is actually considering CIO now, something she never thought she'd consider (I find this attitude very admirable). Do you ever watch Supernanny? When I was pregnant, I would watch and think "These parents are such idiots! Can't they see that by doing X they're causing Y!" I was totally sure I would never be that stupid. Now I watch, and I'm like "hmmm, yeah, I can see falling into that trap." It's like you're supposed to be able to see the forest for the trees, but you're pressed up THIS CLOSE to a tree! You can barely see the one tree, let along the bloody forest! That's what I'm finding hardest about it right now. How do I think longer-term about my choices and actions, instead of just getting us through the day. Trying to remember that he's going to be a baby for a short time, but an adult for A LOT longer, and I need to raise him with that in mind.

Enough preaching. That's my philosophy, recorded for posterity.

Requisite baby talk:

He's totally sitting up on his own, and can even reach for toys off to the side and get re-balanced (most of the time). He's not crawling, but he's up on all fours, rocking, and pushing himself over into a tilted-sitting position. Very into nursing, and sucking on my thumb again. His hair is growing! And he's still bowling us over with cuteness and wonderfulness. I adore him.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My son loves...

in no particular order:

The tags on his stuffed animals,
Fresca cans,
drinking from glasses,
chewing on a toothbrush or a rubber spoon or a celery stick,
being held upside down.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Monthly Newsletter, Month Seven

Dear Nate,

I imagine that most life is like this, months that are full of the ups and downs. This month was a real whopper in that department.

One month ago, on your six-month birthday, your Grandma Fredi died. It was very sudden, and very sad. I absolutely can't believe that you won't ever get to know her. She adored you, and we all adored her. She was such a good Mom to your Dad, and everything he knows about loving you comes from her. I've looked everywhere for a picture of you two together, but we don't have one. But she and Peepa drove up to be at your bris, 8 days after you were born, and you saw them again at your first Christmas. She called all the time to hear how you were doing, before you were born and after. I hope that your cousins will tell you all about her when you're older - she was their Grandma, too.

Your ever-practical Grandma would have been the first to say "life goes on". It's important to remember all of the good things about our lives, and you're our best good thing. I cry almost every day about your Grandma, Nate, but I laugh every single day with the joy of being with you. I am so grateful that you're here. Your Daddy is, too.

You have four teeth now, and you're eating up a storm. Tonight I gave you stinky gross green beans, and you absolutely scarfed them down. You don't like apples, though. Very strange baby.

You're starting to use consonants when you babble now - lots of "muh" sounds, and one "buh". I keep prompting you for a Mama, but you just grin at me. Very stubborn baby.

Here's our big news: you sleep now. Like, you really sleep now. We (and by we, I mean me. Your father did not participate in this hard work) decided that it was time to let you cry when you woke up to be fed at night. I don't know what the big issues in the parenting world will be when you're a grown-up, but right now there is a very heated discussion about CIO (Cry It Out). Some parents (the sane ones) realize that if you reward a baby by feeding them delicious food every time they wake up, they're going to keep waking up at night. Once I knew in my heart that you were big enough to get through the night without eating, we put the CIO plan into effect. (And by "we", I still mean me.)

The first night, you woke up 3 times, and screamed for about 10 minutes each time before falling back to sleep. The second night, you woke up 3 times and screamed for about 3 minutes each time. The third night, you woke up once and fussed for a few minutes. The next night you slept for 11 hours straight. The next night you slept for 11 hours straight. And it's been 6 more nights since then. If you could see me right now, you'd see me smiling as I record this.

I've also gotten you onto quite a good daytime schedule, which includes at least two naps of at least an hour each. And you're still wedded to your 7 p.m. bedtime. Woe to those who are around you after about 6:45. Very screamy baby.

With the set bedtime, and no worry that you're going to wake up a few hours later, I've been going out a lot at night. Daddy stays home to make sure you're safe and sound. It's been so nice to see friends, and family, and the outside world in general.

Do you hear the "halleluliah" chorus singing as I write all of this?

Your cutest new thing is that you now take your toys, hold them out to your side, and shake them up and down. I would be inclined to think you were "rattling" your rattles, but you're just as happy to shake stuffed animals, pieces of paper, or just your hand. It's especially adorable that you do it with a very serious, determined look on your face.

You live a lot of life with your serious face on. You suck in your upper lip, and stare and stare. You should see the contortions that people go through to try to get you to smile at them. You stick to your guns, though. No smiling for you. Very determined baby.

The other big news is that mobility is upon us. You're not quite there, but you're darn close. You easily get up on all fours now, and rock back and forth. You also like to push up from that position into what I call "a push-up position" and my yoga-instructor neighbor calls "down dog" (a yoga position). Very strong baby.

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You still love to sit up and play with your toys. It's nice that you can do that on your own - it's a real "future" moment. Sometimes I put you on the ground with your toys, and clean up the room or check my e-mail. We're here together, but we're each doing our own thing. It's really fun for me to see you apart from me. It's like your a real person!

One of my main goals in raising you is to always remember that you're supposed to grow apart from me. I want to make sure that you can always rely on yourself, in addition to relying on me and Daddy. My other biggest hope is that you're happy, deep down. Happy and strong. I'm already very proud of you, Nate, and I love you.