Monday, June 25, 2007

Month 4: Old Car Seats & New Bouncy Seats

Daniel's 4 month appointment was today - I can't believe he's already this old. Just a warning - this posting is going to be all kinds of boring updates, so if you aren't all that into babies (or Daniel), then you probably won't be enthralled.

Everything looked great - the doctor kept saying how healthy he looked. Apparently 4 month olds usually don't sleep 12 hours at night (we're not complaining) and they usually aren't over 20 pounds (but Daniel weighed in at 20lbs 4oz.) The funny part is that the doctor said it was great that he's so big, but he couldn't figure out how he got that big based on his formula intake - 7 oz, 4-5 times a day. He kept saying "That's it? That's all?" I told him we tried to give him more, but he wouldn't take it. Anyway - Daniel is officially 95th percentile for length (27 in.) and weight. I'm just glad he's back on the charts :)

I have heard lots of parents say that their babies act differently for the doctor than they do at home. A sick baby will have no trace of a fever, or a fussy baby will be all smiles. And, it's true. One of my concerns for the doctor was that Daniel still hates tummy time, and usually cries through it, with his little face planted in the carpet. So, to demonstrate, I put Daniel on his belly on the table, sure that he'd do his usual thing. What happened next was a miracle. He pushed up with his arms and held his head higher than ever before, looking around the room. I'm convinced that Daniel learned to hold his head up right then and there, on the doctor's table, because when we got home, we tried it again, and he did the same thing - even smiling and laughing for a few minutes. Incredible.

Our usually sweet, smiley, no-fussy baby decided to exercise his little lungs right in the middle of the appointment. We had given him tylenol ahead of time to counteract the fever caused by the shots, so I think he was extra tired. He started wailing in the middle of the appointment and didnt stop for at least 20 minutes, until he exhausted himself and fell asleep on my shoulder. The doctor wasn't even slightly phased - and even laughed at our confusion. He said "He's not usually like this?" and chuckled under his breath in that "they don't know how good they've got it" kind of way.

All in all, it went well. Daniel did great with the shots (and by great I mean "screamed his head off and turned beet red"), and is napping lots today - probably from all that tylenol. We even enjoyed a little family nap today in our bed - those are the best.

A few "four month" side notes - he has fallen madly in love with: 1) the bouncy seat (with such enthusiastic bouncing that his knees hit the ground and parts fall off the chair), 2) his own voice (read: high pitch squeals and mini-screams at anything that tickles his fancy) and 3) his tongue. I know I said this before, but seriously, the kid forgets to put it back in his mouth.

So, steady as she goes - Daniel seems to be doing super well for his age. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to do a little research on car seats - our 95th percentile son has managed to out grow his infant one already.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Week 16: Ode to Dad

I'm horrible with remembering holidays, but I have managed to remember that Father's Day is this week. And with it comes the realization that I'm long overdue in acknowledging the better half of our parenting team: my amazing husband.

Daniel has been blessed with the most compassionate, tender, natural father I have ever seen. Which is a good thing, because Daniel's mother has a lot to learn in the area of parenting. Lessons she's mainly learning from watching Daniel's dad in action. And I'm not kidding, in case you thought that clever self-deprication was a stylistic tool. God knew what he was doing when he put us together - that poor kid wouldn't last a day on my watch :)

Watching Fernando with Daniel constantly reminds me of what it takes to be a good parent. He is endlessly inventive, and can make nothing at all tons of fun. He is resourceful with whatever is handy - I have seen him hold Daniel's attention for a solid 30 minutes by doing nothing but moving his hand into different shapes. Once, a full 20 minutes was spent wearing the child as a hat. Yes, a hat. He is impossibly patient - when I can't take another minute of Daniel's mystery cries, Fernando takes him and manages to calm down both baby and Mommy within minutes.

He is the ultimate protector - I used to think it was quirky how he keeps a bat next to the bed - now I know it's just the tip of the iceburg. When we compare dreams in the morning, I tell of abstract scenarios involving a castle, a rhinocerous and a jar of miracle whip. He tells of saving me from an avalanche, or rescuing Daniel from kidnappers.

I grew up with an amazing father - better than any child could ask for. And when I look in the mirror and see him in me, I'm proud to be related to him. I can tell already that Daniel is going to look a lot like his Daddy - and I couldn't be happier about it. But I'm even happier knowing that Daniel will be raised under the guidance of such a strong, Godly, wise, loving man. Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Week 15: Growing WAY Faster Than a Weed

Today was a big day in Daniel list of "firsts" - a day of import in the life of any fashionable young infant: his First Haircut! Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the actual process, since one of us had to give Daniel a bottle while the other trimmed his hair... the only way he'd hold still long enough for us to feel safe with scissors by his head. (Come to think of it, that's how we do everything... trimming nails, fishing for boogars, administering medicine... he's at his calmest while eating!)

All in all, the haircut came out great (thankfully) and it's nice to see more of him again. So much was hidden under all that over-the-ears hair :)

And as the title of this posting indicates, he is growing faster than ever. He is going to be a very tall man, I think - and very strong. He is supporting his whole weight as we help him stand, and has very powerful legs. And of course, boundless energy. His sleep habits are insane too - he's going nearly 12 hours a night now, and sometimes I still have to wake him up in the morning so we're not late for work!

His bodily functions are going strong - but are increasing in intensity. Just today, he managed to spit up IN the hair dryer and poop on the living room floor. (And in his bouncy, and all over Mommy and Daddy...) And for future reference, the pet stain cleaner works great on baby poop - I guess it's all pretty much the same stuff.

Anyway. In spite of that last paragraph, life is amazing - more fun each day, actually, as Daniel is becoming a much more interactive little person, able to respond to the world around him!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Week 14: Ten Little Prizes

Sometimes it's unreal how quickly Daniel changes. Fernando jokes that he becomes a new kid overnight - always keeping us on our toes just when we think we've got something figured out.

Here are just a few of the new things we've noticed this week :

On Sunday, he found his feet - and let me tell you - he's crazy about them! As soon as we lay him on his back, he grabs his toes and doesn't let go. We sat him in the Bumbo chair, and he spent a good 10 minutes just watching his toes curl and uncurl. He takes longer to fall asleep because he's distracted by the fun attached to his feet. (This week's picture was snapped right after we poked his mouth with his big toe... another favorite game of his...)

He also accidently rolled for the first time - not all the way over, but from his back to his side - a direct result of grabbing his feet and gaining momentum :) Pretty fun.

His nap schedule has been completely turned upside down. He's still going 10-11 hours a night, but naps have decreased quite a bit. Now, he ends up taking a "power" nap (30-45 minutes) in the morning, and one or two in the afternoon/evening. He takes one 2 hour nap around noon. And he's diffiult to put down for a nap - he used to be a breeze! But the great thing about his new self-imposed schedule is that he's awake more throughout the day, which means more playtime for us!

Daniel now bears his weight on his legs when we support him - and this has actually become one of his favorite things to do. Especially in front of a mirror - he talks to himself, smiles and sometimes laughs. I have a sneaky suspicion that he's going to be crawling and walking all too quickly... that kid is incredibly strong!

The vocalizations have become even more frequent, now with all kinds of new sounds. He actually sounds like one of those babies in the movies, complete with a full vocabulary of goo's and gaa's. He's very conversational, and near the end of each awake time he becomes very vocal, carrying on conversations with anyone (or anything... read: ceiling fans) close by.

In other news, Daniel has a new cousin! My little sister Stacey just had her first baby June 1st - and both she and baby Lucas are doing great. Daniel and Lucas couldn't look more different (or act more different - I hear Lucas is a champion nurser!) but I'm so excited to be able to go through this "having a baby" process with my sister - such an amazing experience!

You can check out more info/pics of her new family here: :)