Monday, July 30, 2007

Month 5: Our Little Man

What's crazy is how every day (heck - every hour) he looks more grown-up. Something about his eyes... and his smile... make Daniel look more like a little first grader than a baby. He's so intelligent, so curious - those little hands run over and over any new object we give him to explore. Some of his favorites are Daddy's beard, the cat's fluffy tail, and his own hair.

I did this a few months ago, but I think it's once again time for a "before I forget" list. Time is flying by at warp speed, and if I don't take just a few minutes to document some of these moments, they'll be gone forever.

I want to remember...

- How he ever so gently traces my hand with his fingers.
- How waltzing or doing the polka makes him laugh really hard.
- How his eyebrows can change his expression 80 times a minutes.
- How when he's tired, he cries while still jumping in the jumparoo.
- How he thumps his legs in his crib for fun.
- That little ratty bald spot, and the almost-dread.
- The feeling of joy and celebration we feel when he poops.
- The look of recognition on his face when we walk into daycare to get him.
- His startled face when the wind ruffles his hair.
- How he loves to be startled - he is going to love roller coasters and scary movies.
- His dramatic fake cough - and that heavy breathing!
- How he makes the craziest faces - and his lips disappear.
- How I cry whenever I think of him growing up.
- How his little legs & feet move when he's taking a bottle.
- How he pulls leaves off of trees and tries to eat them...
- How much he loves playing in the new sheets on our bed.
- How he blows raspberries with his tongue all day long.
- How he's fascinated with the cats, and just watching them move makes him giggle.
- How he reaches out with both hands to touch my face, and smiles at me.

There are so many more. The desire to stop time and capture this moment is so strong - and so sad. I love that little man so much - I can't imagine loving him more, and yet I know that's what the future holds.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Month 4: Teethies & Guinea Pigs

Yes, you read that right. Teethies. Daniel grew a tooth last Thursday - July 12th. And not wanting to feel excluded, tooth #2 made an appearance within 48 hours of tooth #1. Fashionably late.

It does explain all the drool and the constant chewing on his fingers (and our hands, and our shirts, and anything else close by).

But aside from the novelty of the whole thing, the teething process isn't so much fun. He's been flushed and feverish since Thursday afternoon, and congested beyond belief. It's difficult-to-impossible to take a bottle or pacifier and breathe through his nose. But after a quick (and probably unnecessary) doctor's visit, he's sleeping better on an elevated mattress and with his new humidifier.

And looking on the bright side, the combination of whimpers and him feeling his teeth with his tongue result in a sound that's remarkably similar to "Ma Ma". :)

The other half of this posting's title is in reference to Daniel's sweet loving and absolutely hilarious father. Yesterday he commented that what he's learned about parenting is that it means "Daddy buying a whole lot of completely unnecessary items" for Daniel. Like today, when we showed up at the doctor's office with a handful of possible remedies (only one of which was approved for use).

Being a father also (apparently) means experiencing all kinds of new things... and I don't mean emotions or feelings. I mean new things. Like baby formula. And breast milk. And Baby Oragel. (Just a warning... the tiniest dab of that stuff will completely numb your gum and tongue instantly.) Why does he feel compelled to try this stuff? I think it's because he's a very involved dad who wants to experience whatever his son is experiencing. It's empathy. Kindness. Love.

And it's completely hilarious to the spouse to gets to watch it all take place :)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Month 4: In the Blink of an Eye

This week, I was a single parent. Fernando went to Kids Camp to lead worship, and had to be gone from Sunday - Thursday night. It might not seem like a long time, but for the Dad who can't see his kid for 5 days (and for the Mom who's on her own at home) it IS a long time.

So, in the spirit of taking away something positive from this week, here are the lessons we learned over the past seven days:

1) I am not made to be a stay at home mom. Period. I love my son, and I love spending time with him. But right around the third nap of the day mark, I start going stir crazy.

2) 4-month-olds change immensely in five days. This can be shocking to the parent who is gone for those five days. Babies are able (as demonstrated by my son) to outgrow clothing within five days, change diaper sizes, learn new tricks, learn to make new sounds (he has discovered his inner motor & bubble machine - the spit showers just don't stop...) and grow long hair (again). All in five days.

3) While I could probably survive as a single mother, I NEVER want to. I would miss the help, the support, the love, and even the body taking up half of the bed :)

4) Daniel sleeps through fireworks. I don't understand how, but he didn't budge when those gunshot-sounding explosions starting happening outside. His first encounter with fireworks was the same - he was only 6-weeks-old at our Easter service. They were LOUD. Come to think of it, most loud noises don't bug him. On Monday, I hit the panic button on the van keys. He didn't even blink - stayed sound asleep. Thirty minutes later, his aunt Keila sneezed and it scared him and made him cry. I don't know if that's selective hearing or some magic power.

That's about all I can think of at this point. And after that initial "re-adjustment" period, we're just all happy to be re-united. It's been a loooong week, and we're looking forward to not doing that again until this time next year!