Monday, January 21, 2013

On the Move!

If you saw my Facebook post, you already know that on Saturday the Blueberry rolled over for the first time (without assistance). He did it twice while playing in his crib. After that he was done and didn't seem interested yesterday at all. This morning he did it five times in his crib, twice in our bed (since we couldn't rouse Daddy enough to get up), then a few times on his play mat, including this one for the camera. (Note: I don't believe this video is viewable on an iPhone or iPad.)

It's officially a new skill. I don't know how we're going to do tummy time now that he can flip over whenever he wants, but I'm sure I can come up with something to hold his interest. At the moment he only rolls to the right, front to back, but we'll work on it.

In other news, he slept for 11 hours last night! 7.5 hours during the first stretch, then woke up to eat, and was back in bed for another 3.5 hours. He didn't even fuss or cry when he woke up, but isn't exactly the quietest when he plays so Mommy woke up too. I could definitely get used to this. Unfortunately, I don't think it signifies a trend just yet--yesterday, he only took catnaps in the morning and was fussy for a good 1-2 hours before he went down for the evening. Thus, he was probably exhausted. Plus, learning this awesome new skill must be tiring work. Nonetheless, I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In Update

Sorry, I was certain I posted this on Monday, but I guess not....

This week the Blueberry weighed in at 17 pounds, 6.5 ounces. I just measured him and he's approximately 26 inches!

He'll be 25 weeks tomorrow and is a week and a half away from his 6 month birthday.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Working on the nap

As you know, the Blueberry has been having trouble sleeping. Whether I blame a growth spurt, holiday travels, illness or something else the bottom line is that we all aren't getting proper sleep at the proper time. Not so long ago, the Blueberry took two naps per day: the first somewhere between 11-1 and the second in the late afternoon. Sometimes if the morning nap began too late, the afternoon one was a struggle but there was always at least one good sleep during the day. Lately, since nights have been hell, we've been sleeping till noon, sometimes even past that. Then the afternoon naps comes at 530-6pm and another screwy night begins.

We're trying something new today. The Blueberry tried to sleep after a 130-2pm feeding but didn't stay asleep once he left my arms. I let him up to play for another half hour, then tried nursing him down. It didn't work. My latest effort is as follows: clean diaper, dim room, sleep sack, binky, sound machine on "rain", and calming music on without mobile or slide show. I left the room, determined not to go in for 20 min unless he totally wigged out, which happens to be the duration of the music. He whimpered once, but look:

The sound machine stopped after 23 minutes and I can hear snoring! Let's hope this lasts for at least an hour.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Baby Bear's Books

Wow, it's been ages since I've posted a book review. Don't worry, we are reading to the Blueberry on a regular basis, there's just been so many other things to talk about. I will admit that this was my first trip to the library in what seemed like ages for children's books, but we'll work on that.

Baby Bear's Books is a fantastic read by bestselling author Jane Yolen and award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet. (I bet some of you were thinking that I was referring to the Blueberry as "Baby Bear." Well, I do occasionally call him that, but I don't want him to get too confused given the number of stuffed teddy bears in our apartment.) In this story, Baby Bear shares his love of books with the reader. From the moment he wakes up through bedtime, he wants to read book after book. To him, books are special time with mom filled with fun, adventure and new worlds. He even "reads" them to himself, his brother and his bee friend. Only one book at nap time just isn't enough. Filled with adorable rhymes and colorful pictures, the Blueberry and I both loved this book and read it several time that first evening.

I've already bought our own copy from Barnes and Nobles. Unfortunately, it might be out of print as I had to purchase from a marketplace seller, but that meant cheap, which is always nice. The author and illustrator also have two more books featuring Baby Bear: Baby Bear's Chairs and Baby Bear's Big Dreams. We will definitely be checking these out.

Source: Library Book.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baby Sign Language

Today's post has something a little different--videos!!! I've decided that we're going to attempt to teach the Blueberry baby sign language. Supposedly, according to the proponents and developers of this movement, babies can learn ASL or a rudimentary version thereof well before they learn to speak. Sounds neat right? If it works, it could be a great help to know whether the baby wants to eat, sleep, or needs a diaper changing. We (or at least I flatter myself to say me) are getting pretty good at reading his cues, but that doesn't always work. Plus, as he starts to eat more than breast milk, he'll probably begin to have likes and dislikes. I'm cautiously optimistic that we can do this. Hey, I managed to teach my 4th graders hand signals for when they needed to use the bathroom, wanted a drink, etc., so if they could do it, the Blueberry can learn too.

We're using Baby Signing Time, the video series, a few books, and this neat ASL video dictionary.

Why the videos? Quite frankly, they're much more for me (and probably my husband) than anyone who might be reading our blog. I DO NOT recommend my baby sign postings as a tool for teaching your baby to sign. I have no clue if what I'm signing is correct and our only goal is communication. For our needs it will be handy to have all the signs we want to teach in a week in one place. Using a book or video means either going by their suggested order of words or scrolling/flipping through to find the signs we want whenever we need to review. I might show the Blueberry some of the videos as the kids that demo the signs are really cute, but we'll see.

As I explain in the introduction video which is up first, the goal is to start with five signs per week. He might be able to handle more, but I think five is a good number to start. That's also about as many as I can remember in my sleep-deprived state. (Actually, I got a good amount of sleep last night, so I'm feeling good!). I probably should have prettied up before making these videos, but oh well.

Intro to our Baby Signing Project

How to Sign "Mom"

How to Sign "Dad"

How to Sign "Eat"

How to Sign "Milk"

How to Sign "Water"

Let's Review!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let's Steam the Baby! (Colds, Coughs, & Stuffiness)

Wow, it's almost been an entire week between posts. Plus, this post doesn't have any pictures. Sorry! I do have more pictures from our Christmas to share, but since time's flying I wanted to get my thoughts and notes on recent events written down before they were completely forgotten.

"Let's Steam the baby!" is an expression that's come out of my mouth many times in the last week or so. In response, my husband replies, "He's not a lobster." Then we steam the baby . . . in the bathroom, not a pot. :) Both the baby and I are recovering slowly from colds which hit us both on December 29th. I know the date precisely because it was the evening of a dinner party at which we made only cameo appearances due to feeling so yucky. I've never been sick for so long--I already had a chest-racking cough for about 2 weeks before the Blueberry and I got this latest cold. Now we're 10 day past and the cough still visits and our noses still run a little bit each day. We're definitely on the mend, but these illnesses have driven home the importance of sleep and doing our best to keep the immune system healthy.

Back to the steaming . . . when the Blueberry's too stuffed up to eat, which naturally only happens after midnight, sitting a steamy bathroom helps a ton. Supposedly saline drops help too, but steaming seemed far less traumatic on an already unhappy child. Plus, there are neat lights in the bathroom which momentarily take his mind off his discomfort. Steaming the baby takes only about 10 minutes depending upon how hot your shower can go plus some vacuuming of the baby's nose.

Ah, the baby vacuum--aka nose aspirator. Traditionally a bulb syringe like this one is used. I think they're useless, at least after the baby is more than a few weeks old because the tube is so narrow and the amount of air available for each suck so little. Instead, ee use the Nosefrida which is basically a straw with a filter to keep any yuckies in the collection vial. It's a Swedish invention and works marvelously as compared to the bulb syringe. Despite this marvel, cleaning out the Blueberry's nose is a huge pain. At first, my husband was quite skilled at it and willing to suction so long as the baby wasn't all smiles as tears would inevitably result. Then he tried his method in his own nose and discovered that it hurt! Not the suctioning, but the jamming of the tube into a nostril (which is how he got a secure lock, I assume). Thus, he vowed never to suction the Blueberry's nose again and the task fell to me. In general, I was far less efficient at vacuuming than my husband for several reasons: (1) I merely place the collection tube at the base of each nostril and suck--that means he can simply turn his head to escape. (2) I worry about poking him in the eye, and (3) the baby bird phenomenon--the baby apparently thinks I'm offering him food and tries to get the tube in his mouth! I'm getting better at this task, particularly the first two issues, but the baby bird phenom is going strong. On the plus side, we're down from vacuuming 3-4 times ago to just 1-2. He hasn't been too stuffed up to eat, nor has he been drowning in his own snot which was definitely a heart-wrenching occurrence. In general, unless the Blueberry's uncomfortable, I let his nose alone.

I didn't mention anything about coughing, did I? I am cautiously optimistic that the Blueberry did not get my cough. He does have periodic bouts of coughing, but I suspect the primary cause is his running faucet of drool. He also constantly has his fingers in his mouth and I'm pretty sure he just about gags himself when he really gnaws away. I can't believe these teeth still haven't come in but that's the topic of another post.

I wish I could blame traveling as the change of clime and unfamiliar (and unwelcoming) vacation environments likely didn't help, but it's really this illness that's wrecked havoc on the baby's sleep schedule. The number of days when he didn't konk out until 3, 4, 5 and even 6 a.m. in the past 2 weeks are nearing the double digits. I know we're in a growth spurt phase, both physical and developmental but it hasn't been fun. Since there's a fair chance that he's down for a few hours, I'm posting this now. I'll try to post more pictures soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Both the Blueberry and I have colds, so it's not the most flattering of shots, but here's to a healthy and happy 2013!