Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First Halloween!

No, the Blueberry did not go trick-or-treating this year. We'll save that for when he's at least old enough to walk. However, just in case any candy-grubbing kiddies in Power Rangers costumes (or whatever they're wearing this year) knock on the door....

My own Baby Pooh!

Daddy insisted we all get in the spirit of things...just call us the Three Bears.

Hope everyone is having a great Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sitting up!

While the Blueberry won't be able to sit upright on his own for another few months this handy chair called the Baby Snug by Mamas & Papas lets him get a little taste of what it's like. Photobucket
At the moment, he doesn't really know what to make of this strange cushy thing his Mommy props him in at least once a day. He doesn't hate it but since he doesn't play with toys yet, he gets fussy after a couple of minutes and squirms to get out. Once he moves on from simply playing with his hands, which as you can see is a super cute event, it will be fun to put different toys in front of him (there's a little table that attaches to the seat) and eventually even solid food. Photobucket
Originally, I was considering getting the popular Bumbo but opted for the slightly more expensive seat by Mamas & Papas because it has a hard plastic base that seems unlikely to topple over when a baby kicks. The Bumbo is made entirely of foam and supposedly can topple over (even though the child won't fall out due to the new seat belt installed after the recent recall). The Baby Snug also can accommodate a larger child once he can sit up as the foam insert is removable. Hopefully he'll come to like his special seat.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In

At today's weigh-in, the Blueberry wobbled the scales at 13 pounds, 8 ounces!

3 Months!

Ugh, I've been trying to get this post up since Friday. Let's just say life has been busy with Hurricane Sandy making her way towards us. The Blueberry also had a bit of teething pain, which meant lots of cuddle time. Curiously, gnawing on his hands seems to cuddle him most--the chilled teething toys are only tolerated for a few seconds at best.

On to the post...

Happy 3-month-birthday, Blueberry!!!


He's officially an infant and no longer a newborn! Assuming you subscribe to the missing 4th trimester theory of Dr. Karp's (The Happiest Baby on the Block), the Blueberry's now actually ready to be born and has certain limited coping abilities. I'm not sure I've seen them. Kidding!!! Every day he becomes more aware of and comfortable with the world around him and it shows.

For example, at 8 weeks (shown in the picture below) he would only nap in his bassinet. Now he sleeps in it overnight as well as he did in the Rock N Play.

After initially being terrified, he finally began to enjoy hanging out in his swing. I've never seen it, but according to his Daddy, he even naps in it.
9 weeks
3 months

At 10 weeks, give or take, he began loving his playmat.

He's also got quite a bit of traveling under his belt, including a trip to Virginia Beach and Colonial Jamestown at 6 weeks.

He also visited friends and family in Chicago just a couple of weeks ago. We are so very fortunate that he loves sleeping in his car seat.
robert toast

And was tasted by met his first dog.

He even offered to help with the driving when Daddy got tired but he couldn't quite reach the pedals.

After initially being terrified of the big stroller, now it's one of his favorite places to nap.

In addition to becoming more comfortable with himself and in his new environment, I'm constantly amazed at how much he's grown--especially his head, which wasn't small to begin with.
3 weeks
3 months

Happy 3-month-birthday to my amazing little guy!
I love you so much (and not just because you're so cute)!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekly weigh-in

12 pounds, 12 ounces! Growing is tiring work.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Preppy Baby

I made a bit of big deal about how my baby didn't need to be dressed in fancy name-brand clothing, how there was no reason on earth why he should have an outfit that cost as much as the adult version given that he'd outgrown it in a few months. Thus, I steered clear of places Abercrombie Kids, Janie & Jack, and Ralph Lauren, to name a few, and encouraged family members to do the same.

However, I cannot help but admit that he looks absolutely adorable in this outfit from Ralph Lauren. Plus, I also love that I can dress both him and Daddy in pretty much the same outfits.

Just a few days shy of 13 weeks, here's the Blueberry modeling the latest from the Ralph Lauren baby line:


Photobucket Photobucket
Shoes are from Gymboree. Not exactly practical or preppy, but Mommy loves them.

Stick 'em up!

Baby cues

I've had the BlogPress app on my iPhone for over a year now but only just began using it since the Blueberry's arrival. Some days sitting at the computer long enough to write a post just doesn't happen. However, with this app I can do text-only posts or edit ones I've begun on the computer while the Blueberry eats, naps, or sits with Mommy. One of these days I'll track just how much time we spend doing all of these things, but that's a topic for a different post.

I've mentioned before how we are slowly learning "baby cues" so I thought I'd do a post about them. Several are classified as reflexes in the baby literature but others seem to be unique to the Blueberry. Some cues have come and gone, but I'll list then here anyway. My goal is to update this as we go along.

1. Head butting - usually means he's hungry, though may generally mean that he wants something like a pacifier. I noticed this behavior very early on and 3 months later it's still a reliable cue.

2. Rooting - this consists of making a small circle with his mouth (just big enough for a nipple) and means he's hungry. This is classified was a reflex and has been present from birth. It may be accompanied by smacking lips.

3. Red Face - may come and go as a flush. Usually means he's pooping or has something gastro-intestinal going on.

4.Rubbing eyes - often accompanied by yawning unsurprisingly means he's tired.

5. Looking away - means he's over-stimulated. The fix varies from putting him down, especially in a cozy place like in his Rock N Play (sort of a baby hammock) or holding him to my chest.

6. Gnawing on his hands - in the first few weeks, perhaps up to 6 weeks, meant he was hungry. Now he does it to self-sooth and may also be a sign of teething.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. Plus, the Blueberry's finished eating and has been dozing for a while now on my shoulder so I should attempt to put him down. As I think of more cues or the change, I'll keep you updated.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 19, 2012

Brookfield Zoo

If you follow me on Facebook, these pictures are not new. While in Chicago last week, the Blueberry and I went to the Brookfield Zoo located in the western suburbs of Chicago. We were accompanied by friends of mine from college and their adorable 1 year old son. Their son is actually almost exactly a year older than the Blueberry which makes my friends a fantastic resource for all my new mom questions.

The Blueberry's first trip to the zoo was very brief--we got there about an hour before closing and it was cold. He did stay awake for our entire visit, which surprised me, looking all around. However, from his vantage point he probably couldn't see much other than the trees and me, of course. Next time we go to a zoo, the Blueberry will likely be mobile or at least ready for a forward-facing seat in his stroller.

The Blueberry and tigers.

The Blueberry and lions.

My friend offering a tasty little morsel for the lioness.

The highlight of the visit for my friend's son was the playground. It's a very cute jungle gym laid out in the shape of a train. The Blueberry wasn't particularly impressed, but he no doubt will be as soon as he can walk.

I loved this "slide." Though it probably confused my friend's son that we encouraged him to climb up it (an obvious no-no on a traditional slide), that didn't diminish the fun one bit.

Sleepy Musings

Note: I've been trying to get this post up for more than 24 hours, but the last couple of days were bumpy in the sleep department.

It's so hard being a baby. I know I say that often, usually in a mocking manner , but it really must be frustrating for the Blueberry not to effectively be able to convey his needs and wants. Simple things like "I'm hungry" or "I'm sleepy" would be so much easier on both the baby and his parents if they only could be verbalized. Yes, I know there are baby cues--my husband insists he can recognize the "low" cry of hunger, but so much of the figuring out what a certain baby behavior means is dependent upon getting a consistent result (i.e. happy baby) from our responses. When the Blueberry cluster-feeds or otherwise deviates from the "normal" schedule, my confidence that we've figured him out, even a little, flags.

I guess it began on Tuesday when the Blueberry skipped his morning nap. Actually, I rather think of it as the third leg of his night's sleep rather than a nap. Typically, he goes to bed shortly before or when we do--somewhere between 9:30 and 11:00 p.m. Then he wakes up to eat around 2:00-3:00 a.m. and will sleep until 6:00-7:00 a.m. and eat again. Finally, there's one last nap until 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Other than the middle of the night feeding, which isn't so bad when it's brief, this schedule works great for us.

On Tuesday, the Blueberry skipped that last nap which meant so did I. Not a tragedy, especially since I often putter about instead of sleep but it was the start of an odd few days.

Wednesday seemed rather routine, except for longer naps. He added about 30 minutes to an hour to each nap. I barely noticed, other than that our afternoon walk was a bit later than usual.

Then came Thursday.

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday.

What a day.

It actually doesn't seem that bad now that we're back to "normal," but it wasn't fun. As I indicated, Wednesday was ordinary except for the longer naps. Apparently they added up. On Wednesday evening, the Blueberry went to bed at the usual time and woke up at the usual time to eat...they STAYED up! He wasn't particularly cranky, just awake even though he knew it was sleepy time. He tried to go down, but couldn't. As a result, he and his mommy were or less awake from 3:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. when he finally took a longer nap. During those 12 hours, he slept for 20 minutes here, maybe 40 minutes there, usually only in our arms.

These shots are from the evening, but you get the idea.

He also did what he hadn't done in quite a few weeks--wake up the second he was put down. He also would not nap in his bassinet, despite having done that successfully for several weeks. Throw in a whole lot of cluster feeding (about 5 hours worth which was probably more for comfort than hunger) had me doubting everything from the sleep schedule I thought we'd developed, to where he slept, what he slept in, and how he ate. It seemed as though I'd imagined "normal."

Finally, I guess it hit him and he managed to nap where he had never slept before:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Now it feels like a distant memory as we're back to "normal." For the moment, anyway. I'm sure they'll be more days like this and even stranger days to come.

You've got that right, Mom!

Cute, happy baby!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Growing is hard work

I'm not entirely clear on the whole growth spurt thing. He's still cluster-feeding! Though most growth spurts reportedly only last a couple days, some up to a week. We're beyond a week. Last night, he ate ever 1-2 hours all freaking day and kept it up until 1:30 a.m.!!! Then he slept for four hours, waking up just before 6 a.m. I suspect that his wake-up time has been programmed so he might have slept for longer if not for his internal clock. Morning came and instead of eating for an hour or two and going back to sleep until 10 or 11, for nearly five hours he wouldn't nap (think pitiful little whimpers when put down) unless held.

It's so hard being a baby!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
He's been sleeping for about an hour now but only 30 minutes lying in his bassinet and I already hear him stirring. (*sigh) At least he looks super cute in his Pooh sleep sack, even minus the hat with bear ears.

Update: This week the Blueberry's tipping the scales at 12 pounds, 4 ounces!

Trip to Chicago!

If you were wondering why there were no pictures last week, it was on account of the Blueberry's first trip to Chicago! Home of the Blueberry's paternal grandparents, his father and I met at the U of C some 13 years ago and started dating about 3 years after that. I absolutely love Chicago--for its culture, activity, urbanization, and even the weather. Since my husband's parents live in a northern suburb, we didn't actually visit the city this time (other than driving past it on the highway up there and I'm not really sure how much the Blueberry can see from his vantage point in the car seat). However, as soon as we can--possibly during our Christmas visit, we will be sure to take the Blueberry downtown to see the sights, sounds, and smells of the city.

For the Blueberry this trip meant a whole lot of time in the car as we drove from Virginia to Illinois. On the road for about 19 hours on the way since we did a bit of unplanned sight-seeing with an overnight stop in Pittsburgh, traveling went very smoothly with none of the screaming fits we had on the Virginia Beach trip a month ago. Things that we learned from that first road trip came in handy. First of all, I fed him nothing but bottles filled with pumped breast milk. Though we use slow-flow nipples, it still takes him a much shorter time to down a bottle than it does to nurse, about 15-20 minutes versus 30-40 minutes, so it made our rest stops considerably shorter. Gas wasn't really an issue (thank the maturing digestive system coupled with the glass bottles, possibly), though I gave him gas drops just in case. My husband and I also made sure that we ate while the Blueberry ate so we maximized time spent on the road. As a test-run for our trip at Christmas, I think it worked quite well to stop on the way there, since we left after lunch time and hit some mid-day traffic passing through DC, but drive straight back when we were able to leave at dawn. Driving on Columbus Day (which wasn't a construction holiday, unfortunately) it took about 16 hours (not counting our overnight stop or sight-seeing detour) to Illinois and 14 hours back on Sunday when there was no construction. Not bad at all considering we made at least 4 stops each way to eat. (Driving alone, it takes me about 10-12 hours, though I only stop a couple times for gas.)

I'll have another post or two with more reflections and pictures from our trip but here are some shots of the Blueberry hanging around his grandparents' house. Photobucket
Waking up with a big smile on his face ready to start the day. My husband's room at his parents' house gets a good bit of morning sun which was a nice change for the Blueberry.

Playing with his Daddy on the floor of the family room.

Story time with Grandma as she multi-tasks.

Meeting his 95-year old Great Uncle Silvio.

Having a snack and watching the Tigers game with Grandma.

Being toasted (on?) by Grandpa.

Napping through dinner.

Meeting his de facto cousin and aunts.

Stay tuned for pictures of the Bluberry's first trip to the zoo and more!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In

Before hitting the road for Chicago, we hit the scales. The Blueberry officially weighs as much as my bowling ball at 12 pounds, 4 ounces!

5+ hours!

We've been out of town this past week, so I definitely must update the blog about the Blueberry's travel adventures, but...............

Guess who slept for more than 5 hours last night?!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm thinking growth spurt

For much of last week the Blueberry did a 2-hr cluster feed in around 2 or 3 am. In other words, after sleeping for several hours, he'd demand 2 feedings in a row or less than 30 minutes after finishing the first feed. Then on Monday evening (the wee hours of Tuesday morning), he cluster fed for 3 hours--from 3 am to 6 am. Not fun at all. Last night he again repeated the 3-hr cluster feed but this time from 11pm to 2 am. Yeah, stupid me though I was doing his last feed of the evening and we'd both head to bed afterwards. At 1am, I realized I was seriously mistaken. Oh the plus side, he only fed for 30 min after waking a 5am this morning.

Though it's possible this behavior is related to the cold my husband gave him, I'm thinking growth spurt as we near that 3 month mark. Either way, I hope it passes soon or moves to a more acceptable 3-hr block before my bedtime of 11pm-12am.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In

Adding another half pound, the Blueberry weighed in at 11 pounds, 7 ounces today!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

More Sleep (and Pooh)

As I reported last week, the Blueberry's 3-day stint of sleeping through the night was a fluke. We're pretty much back to several 3-4 hour feeding blocks overnight, with an occasional 5-hour block thrown in. Bedtime is typically between 9 and 10 p.m. and he'll sleep until 9 a.m. with two or three feedings in between. If I'm lucky, and on most nights, changing, feeding, burping, and a little cuddle time can all be completed within the hour. What's even better is that the last block, which begins generally around 5 or 6 a.m. can either be a morning nap for me after my husband's gone to work or an opportunity to putter about with time to myself. This morning, I enjoyed breakfast and the newspapers while the boys napped. However, I couldn't resist snapping this picture of the Blueberry.

Note the adorable Pooh sleeper.


Tomorrow we're driving to Chicago to visit the Blueberry's grandparents and aunt and uncle for the week. For me it's usually a 10-12 hour 1-day road trip with only brief stops for gas and food. However, since the Blueberry eats at least every 3 hours during the day, sometimes more frequently, at a minimum I figure that will add about 4 hours to the trip for these stops. Thus, we'll stop overnight halfway there and play it by ear on the way back. Our trip to Virginia Beach last month taught us a lot about traveling with the Blueberry (e.g., we must eat when the Blueberry eats to maximize time on the road) so hopefully this trip will be a bit more streamlined. However, going away for a week involves bringing quite a bit more gear for the Blueberry and ourselves, not to mention the fact the fall clothes are a we bit bulkier than end of summer items. We're definitely excited to see family and friends and show off the Blueberry! Look forward to lots of pictures.

Off to pack!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Day at the Gym

On Friday, as we do many days, the Blueberry and I hit the gym--the baby gym, that is. No, there are no monkey bars yet. Instead there are vegetables and garden creatures! Here's the Blueberry with the EntertainMe Play Gym by Boppy:

At first he stares. What are these funny orange things hanging from all this blue? (Note: sometimes he'll simply stare at the blue arch if I don't have anything hanging in front of him.)

Next, he bats at them (they rattle).

Finally, he decides that they're okay and he gurgles and talks to them for quite awhile. How's it hanging, fellas?

The Blueberry appears to much enjoy this little play mat. He stares and gurgles at the carrots, peas, lettuce, and snail, though the carrots are by far his favorite. I was amazed that he likes the carrots even more than the mirror. Perhaps, like his mommy, carrots will be his favorite veggie as a kid. There's also a huge bumble bee, but since it's larger than his head, I haven't introduced that one yet. We're still working on tolerating tummy time, so the baby boppy you see over his right shoulder comes in handy. Though there are far more interactive baby gym/playmats on the market, this one suits that Blueberry for now. Maybe he'll help me with the balcony mini-garden next spring--or at least eat dirt while I plant?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Too Little, Too Late

The White Sox are creaming Cleveland as I draft this post. Though it's great to end the season on a win, it's bittersweet as all along we were so darn close. Oh well, there's always next year.

This little Sox fan is hopping mad.

But doesn't he look adorable in his bobble head shirt?