Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Livin the Dream

I've been so disappointed in the cold weather lately. I was really looking forward to taking Niall outside as much as humanly possible after that brutal winter. There were a brief couple of weeks in March where I got very excited for that perfect spring weather- 70s with a breeze during the day, 60s at night. And then winter came back... this April has been so cold, I have strongly considered turning the heat back on because I was afraid my icy fingers would give Niall hypothermia while I was changing his diaper.... which got me thinking...

Oh, wouldn't it be nice if someone would wrap me in fleece blankets, snuggle me in my car seat with the shade pulled over my head to protect me from any unpleasant gusts of wind. My husband and I joke, "do you think he knows how good he has it?". And it honestly makes me sad to think that one day, his silky smooth little hands and fingers will become hard and calloused like his dad's. He'll have to work for some jerk boss (luckily not my husband's situation), busting his hump trying to support his family, no time to exercise or relax. I hate to think about that.

I wish I could go back to being a baby just to say "Oh wow, this is so much better than how I'm treated 25 years from now; I really like this." It would be nice if we got to bask in our glory as babies, but I suppose we don't really get to take it all in because we don't have a clue what is going on. But I have a feeling that he is enjoying himself, whether he understands it or not.

Wouldn't you be happy if you had your own personal entertainer following you everywhere you go, doing anything she possibly can just to get a smile out of you? I mean, I really wear myself out trying to make him laugh. 99% of the time, I make a complete idiot out of myself in front of friends and family- only to find that what was funny yesterday is no longer funny today. I watch some of the footage of my antics and I think "Thank God I'm not a stand up comedian-- this making people laugh is tough stuff!"

Exhibit A: (my apologies for the repetitive script, but that's what seemed to be working that day)


Monday, April 26, 2010

Peeping Tom

So I'm taking my shower the other day, go into the nursery (which happens to be my closet, as well-- this is what you resort to in a Cape Cod style house with rooms the size of a large pantry), and start getting dressed. I always have Niall in his crib at this point, and I turn the mobile on to keep him entertained while I get ready. But I guess he found a new form of entertainment on this particular day. As I'm putting my lotion on (in my skivvies), I notice something out of the corner of my eye. I turn around to find Niall like this...

What a little ham! My first reaction was to cover myself as if it were a neighbor looking through the window. But then I remember he's a 5 month old :)

So after I caught him in the act, it was like he knew he was doing something mischievous-- he started laughing and waving. I said "Well hello mister- what do you think you're doing??" And this was his reaction...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Starting the Solids

It was Niall's 5 month birthday a couple days ago, and we started him on the rice cereal. I was a little hesitant to do anything besides formula until he was 6 months, but I want to start puree-ing (is that a word?) my own fruits and vegetables for him at that point, so I figured cereal would be a good stepping stone. We're doing it in a bowl with a little bit of formula mixed in and teaching him to eat off of a spoon.

He's so quick- not that I'm biased or anything. But really... the first 2 or 3 bites were really confusing for him and incredibly adorable for me as an observer. He didn't know what on earth to do with his mouth. The cereal would just kind of sit in his mouth until it all plopped out onto his chin. His curious little look was almost like I could read what he was thinking... "looks like formula, tastes like formula, but why is it lumpy and how am I supposed to suck on that thing??" After those first bites, though, he was actually catching on. He would suck on the spoon and hold his mouth shut to keep it all in there. I was so proud of him!

I should mention, as a new mom, that when I heard people talking about starting their kids on cereal at 4 months, I thought to myself "how is a 4 month old supposed to eat cheerios?!" I honestly didn't know that "cereal" was not really cereal until about a month before Niall was born. I know there have to be some of you out there who thought the same thing, so don't be embarrassed :)

Anyway, it's taken some adjusting on both of our parts. He's going to bed earlier now because I'm skipping his last feeding at night so I don't overfeed him. It's really hard to guesstimate how much formula to cut out once you start on the cereal- a question I have for the pediatrician but will most likely forget when the time comes to ask it. It's amazing how much can happen in the 2 months between doctors' visits. So, now that I've got him going to bed a little earlier, it's hard on Matt because he barely sees him and, more importantly, he's waking me up an hour earlier each morning- 6am. Ok, it's only been 2 days so I guess I can't draw conclusions but I have a feeling this is the norm. We'll see...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A "Friendly" Ghost??

A few weird things have been happening over the past week in Niall's nursery. I was a little confused, but not too concerned until last night's occurrence. Let me take you back to the beginning...

We learned about the old lady, who lived in this house since it was built in 1948, from her children. One of her daughters sold the house to us and we met her and her husband at closing, and the other (one of her sons) stopped by with his wife one day to see what we had done with the place. He began sharing stories of his childhood and explained that his mother lived alone in this house for the last 15 years of her life, until she passed away earlier that year. Nothing too strange or out of the ordinary, but it was a little freaky to think that this woman's spirit could still be lingering around her one true home. Although I should mention, she died in a nursing home, not in the house.

Anyway, last week, I woke in the middle of the night to hear some commotion in Niall's nursery. I went in to check on him and found him fast asleep with the mobile going- music, night light and everything. This was at 3 in the morning and I hadn't been in there to turn the mobile on that entire night. Could Niall have turned it on? No, he was on the other side of the crib. Weird. Again a couple nights later. Hmmm. Ok, Niall must be turning it on. No harm done.

Well, if you remember a few weeks ago, there was a bit of a hot spell going on. So, I opened all the windows in the house to let some fresh air in. At that point in time, the mobile stuff hadn't happened yet and I really didn't think anything of this-- I went to check on Niall in the middle of the night and the door was closed. The breeze must have blown it shut. That really does make sense with all the windows open...

BUT NOT WHEN THE WINDOWS ARE CLOSED LIKE LAST NIGHT!!!!! I was horrified to find Niall's nursery door completely shut last night when I went to check on him. Now, let me explain this door... There is a hunk of carpet that STOPS the door from being shut unless you give it a good tug. I always leave his door ajar unless he's really screaming and then I'll pull it shut for a bit-- key word: PULL it shut (involving strength). Not last night- he wasn't screaming or anything. I simply woke up to check on him and found the door SHUT.

Now, I thought it was kind of nice that the little old lady was turning the mobile on to help Niall go back to sleep. What a motherly kind of ghost. She must be watching over him, while simultaneously scaring the heeby jeebies out of me. But trying to lock me out of his nursery!!-- now she's starting to get on my nerves. (and still scaring the heeby jeebies out of me)

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Day at the Zoo

We went on our first major baby outing last Friday- to the national zoo. I was so excited to take Niall and the 3 other babies to see all the cool animals. What would Niall think of all this? What would be his favorite animal? I couldn't wait to see his reaction...

Then I realized that not only is he 5 months old and had no idea that he was surrounded by cool animals, but he was also in the carseat stroller, which only allowed him to look up at me the entire time. So, I propped his stroller up in front of several of the animal dwellings to give myself the satisfaction of saying "Look, Niall is at the zoo"... the fact that he and the donkey on the bridge in the background are completely unaware of each other is besides the point ;)

We also had 3 other babies with us. I wanted to make this a small group journey, so I invited my Bradley class friends and another friend with a baby. Wow, is it difficult for 4 people to try to walk together with strollers. It was pretty funny trying to have a conversation and breaking every 5 minutes to go single file to get through the crowd. We had fun, though.

Especially at the end of the day. We went down to the petting zoo area, where there was a giant fake pizza for the kids to bounce around on. Our babies were just watching the big kids in awe. They wanted to crawl around so bad, but there were too many kids running around on it. It really wasn't safe for the little guys. I think I may have been more excited about the pizza than Niall, so I had to pretend that my enthusiasm was for him. I'm an adult, after all, I can't play on a giant kid's pizza (I keep telling myself that).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cherry Blossoms... and yellow jackets

We went to the Cherry Blossoms Festival on Saturday, which was really reminiscent for me because I went last year when I was just 2 months pregnant with Niall. Unfortunately, there was not one blossom because of all the wind in the last few weeks. I'm talking not so much as a petal on the ground- bare. But it was still a lot of fun taking Niall out- we were starting to get cabin fever from the harsh winter.

We went down with my friend Demi and her family, including her 1 1/2 year old, Will. Will went through a jealous phase where Demi would hold Niall and he would make strangling motions toward Niall's neck. But now they get along great! They just kind of observe each other and go about their business. It's funny how kids can get like that, though. Demi said that Will never runs up to her and hugs her until she's holding Niall... then he becomes very interested in getting his mommy all to himself.

When we got back that night, I was putting little angel boy to sleep when I saw something in the shadow on the rail of his crib. "Oh no, it's one of those nasty stink bugs that seem to infest our house," I thought. I flipped on the light to find a humongous buzzing monster- I couldn't quite make out what it was because it starting flying all over the room. I was trying to dodge it and making little squirmy grunts, attempting to control myself from screaming since Niall was asleep. When it landed on the wall, my fears had been confirmed- it was a yellow jacket!! On MY BABY'S CRIB! What if I hadn't noticed it and he stung my little angel???

I grabbed my shoe and starting swatting through the air, yelling profanities at the little devil. At one point, I was creeping in stealthily to get ready for the big shoe slam, whispering about how I was going to rip his legs off one by one and spread his body parts across the yard as a warning to his family and friends. Needless to say, I got the bugger... Oh, the things we do to protect our loved ones :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Mommy's Worst Nightmare

So I know I told you all about Niall rolling over from tummy to back, which is usually what they do first. Well, now he's rolling over from back to tummy, which sounds really exciting and all but it's making me a wreck! First of all, this is his first milestone that Matt saw before me- ok, I'm just kidding about that being bad, but it gets worse...

Since this major feat 2 days ago, he automatically turns over now as soon as I put him on his back. He's done with that "little baby" phase of his life- it's time for the big kid stuff. So, I try to put him down for a nap, a diaper change, you name it-- he's rolling over to his tummy. This can get very messy with a poopy diaper! Well, despite how difficult it can be for us to keep up with this little roley poley man, we were very excited for him and cheering him on the whole time... until this morning.

I was just catching up on my many hours of lost sleep these last few weeks since Niall started sleeping through the night. It was like a whole new chapter. I've only been getting up once or twice for about 5 minutes tops- he cries and I go in and rub his tummy for a minute and put his passy back in his mouth. No big deal, back to bed. All is well. Now I don't think I'm ever going to sleep again...

I walked into the nursery this morning to find Niall face down, nose smooshed in the mattress! AHHHHH. I immediately scooped him up, threw him over my shoulder and started hitting his back like it was the new form of CPR. I'm not sure how that method would have helped, had I really needed to save him. He was fine, but I sure wasn't. I am going to have to get up every hour now during the night to make sure he's not smothering himself. This was WITH the infant positioner, too! I don't know how he maneuvered around it. I also have to worry about him during his day time naps now. I really can't be assured that he's ok now unless he's in the room with me.

Back to square one. What a wreck- am I ever going to relax again??

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Niall's first vacation!

This week was a whole bunch of firsts for Niall. First time on a plane, first time on vacation, first time in the ocean, first time consecutively sleeping through the night for more than 3 days!!, first time not wearing socks (what a treat!)... I'm probably missing some, but maybe I'll think of them as I go.

Well, I was definitely nervous about bringing Niall on a plane- my own anxiety about flying compounded with the thought of Niall screaming and everyone wanting to kill me was pretty overwhelming. But he was an angel! He cried for about 5 minutes right when we got on the plane (which didn't seem like we were getting off to a good start), but then I took a tip from my stepmom Donna which came in really handy. Apparently, babies get really bad ear pressure and they don't know how to pop it, so you're supposed to give them a bottle on the takeoff and landing to stimulate sucking (which pops their ears). It definitely worked. He slept the first half and was mr. smiley boy to everyone around us the second half on both flights. He and Elmo were extra safe by buckling in together...

So we were in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, which is just outside of Charleston. The weather was amazing every day so we were at the beach the entire time. Niall loved it. Maggie (Granny Bags) got him this beach cacoon so he didn't have to lay on a towel or in the pack n play (which is kind of heavy). It was perfect for keeping him entertained and for sleeping.

Now, just as I suspected, Niall inherited my vampire skin tone so I was lathering him up with sunblock about every 20 minutes and trying to keep him out of the sun. But the few times we ventured out from under the umbrella to go to the water, it was a lot of fun. Even though the water was freezing, we dipped his feet in and he was smiling the whole time. He loved watching the waves crash up on the shore. He was actually really focused and intense more than smiling, but you could tell he liked it.

I think the fresh air definitely knocked him out. He slept from 9 til 7 every night until the very last night. I think he knew that vacation was over and he was rebelling. We set up his pack n play on the balcony during the day and he loved napping out there with the breeze coming through. I think he's overwhelmed with the world outside. I was starting to get cabin fever, myself, but it was just too cold to take him outside for long periods of time until the last few weeks.

He absolutely loves having his feet exposed. He wiggles his toes all around and grabs them now. He had socks on from the day he was born so he probably didn't even know that he had feet. I'm so excited to start spending time outside with him, but I'm very nervous about him getting sunburned. If he's anything like his mom, he'll have handprint burns from where I missed a spot.