Saturday, June 28, 2008

WARNING: Over-the-top Proud Mama Post

Okay, our kid is SUPER smart. Even when he is asleep. Check it: when I put him down for his morning nap today, it was our usual routine: lots of kisses and crooning, pacifier and my blankets (yes, Mama, you were right. Zane loves my blankets, and I happily give them over to him when he needs them.)

As he fell asleep, the pacifier was firmly suctioned between his lips and his tiny little hand was grasping the blue blanket to his nose. When I went in to check on him 45 minutes later, the pacifier was gently placed on the blue blanket that had been pushed away slightly. That was no big surprise. A fun fact about Z is his very judicious use of the pacifier. He frequently falls asleep with it, and will either spit it out or pull it out of his mouth when he no longer needs the comfort for restful slumber.

The big moment happened during my second check of my sleeping genius. This time the pacifier was back in his mouth. So, without waking, he had grabbed the pacifier from its spot atop the blue blanket and inserted it back into his mouth. Notwithstanding the fine display of motor skills and self-soothing, our little Z was smart enough to remember where he stashed the binky. I'm so proud.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hammock for One

It's summertime and the living is easy!
Zane has discovered one of the greatest pleasures of summer: kicking back in a hammock.

Hayden Loves Oatmeal

This is Hayden. Hayden is 7 weeks younger than Zane, born on February 4, 2008. His parents are our good friends, Jeff and Jen Gallo. We met Jeff and Jen when PG bought his motorbike. Jeff's family owns the local BMW Motorcycle dealership and, in the process of acquiring "Tigger" (yes, the bike actually has a tail...don't get me started...), PG learned that Jeff and Jen live in our neighborhood. Soon after we learned Zane was on the way, we learned that Jeff and Jen, too, were expecting a baby boy. They are our kind of peeps, and we've become fast friends. And we just know our boys will be buddies. Hayden has started eating cereal and, clearly, enjoys the oatmeal. Isn't he just the cutest?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bananas and Apples and Pears, Oh My!

My talented PG captured the very elusive open mouth happily and eagerly anticipating a delicious bite of finely pureed apples, pears and bananas. He is gaining weight already. I'm SURE of it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Official Six Month Update

I took Z to see Dr. Landefeld yesterday for his 6-month checkup. Our boy is healthy and growing and he got an overall good report. I say "overall" because there is one area that needs substantial improvement: his weight. He weighs just 12 lbs., 11 oz. As Dr. Landefeld said, "he sort of fell off the charts for his weight." Sigh.

We just presumed - because until yesterday there was never any mention of concern about his weight - that he was just a small kid. Both PG and I were small kids, and we're not big people now. Plus, we tend to eat healthily. We don't overstuff ourselves; we stop when we're full. That's the pattern we've noticed with Z, so we had no concern - especially since he is super happy, super healthy and SUPER content.

The news was a huge blow to me since I am breastfeeding. Most every book - even the book published by the American Academy of Pediatrics - says that breastmilk is sufficient to meet all nutritional needs of babies until they reach 6 months of age. So, of course, my mind sorted to this logic: if solids are not necessary until 6 months of age, then I must not be able to meet all the nutritional needs of my child. Great. Try on THAT mommy/female guilt.

And it's not like I starve the poor kiddo. I nursed him 6-8 times daily until we started "solid" foods (rice cereal, stage 1 fruits and vegetables) at 5 months. Our doctor said we could start any time between 4 months and 6 months, and I chose 5 months because Z and I were finally home from Tallahassee and were settled into a nice daily routine. When he reached 6 months, we added a second meal of solids. After receiving the news yesterday, we have added a third meal of solids AND a supplemental bottle of formula.

Z has taken to solids just okay - sometimes he is an eager feeder, other times he puckers his lips and shakes his head from side to side and whines until we relent and let him suck his food from a loaded pacifier. We are working toward eagerness with every bite.

I am very proud of my decision to breastfeed Zane, and I'm proud of my perseverance when it would have been waaaaaaay easier to just feed him formula. I believe it has given Zane the best possible start in life. And, to be honest, I'm more than a little sad that our new feeding routine will likely cause him to wean from the breast sooner than I had hoped. Logically I know that it is time for him to receive nutrition from other sources, and I totally get that I'll have more freedom. I just hope our bond and attachment to each other will remain intact.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blue Towel Special

Six Months at Warp Speed

Half-birthdays are HUGE in kids' lives. I remember being very proud of my "halfs" - as in, "I'm free and a HAFF."

Yesterday marked the 6-month point in Zane's first year of life. Our boy is a whole HAFF old! We have enjoyed every single second with our little buddy, and it just gets more fun every day! In the picture below, he was less than 1 minute old. He had us at hello, or "waaaaahhhh."

Now, he looks like this:

His 6-month checkup with the pediatrician is not until next Tuesday; but, here are some fun facts about Zane:

  1. His "Peter fingers" are the yummiest fingers ever made!
  2. We are supremely blessed that he is willing to breastfeed. We are not, however, thrilled that he vehemently resists a bottle, even a bottle filled with Mama's milk.
  3. He is eating "solid" foods once far he likes pears, peaches, prunes, applesauce, bananas and butternut squash. He is not so fond of the rice cereal. When he starts eating solids twice daily we'll probably jettison the cereal...
  4. He can roll over from tummy to back, and back to tummy.
  5. He IS losing his hair. He still has a good bit of the long hair on top, and he can sport a kickass comb-over look.
  6. He loves being outside, and he loves the water.
  7. He has a passport and will make his first international trip in August when we travel to Penticton, BC to cheer on PG in the Ironman Canada. Yeah, he's cool like that.
  8. He wears size 2 diapers, but still fits into 0-3 month size clothes (don't even get me started on vanity sizing in infant clothing...)
  9. He is starting to pull up toward sitting positions.
  10. He is a morning there anything better than smiles and coos and giggles from a baby first thing in the morning?
  11. He is VERY observant and alert.
  12. He does not fuss about his car seat (Thank you, Lord, for that particular blessing...)
  13. He is VERY attached to his Mama.
  14. He is learning to reach for Mama and Pop when we say "up? up?" It's really cute...he'll reach for us, smile big and get all excited, to the point where it appears he will lose control of his arms!
  15. He does NOT have any teeth (yet) but we expect to see one any time now.
  16. He had his first bout with illness only a week ago at 5 months, four weeks. Still, no fever yet (I'm convinced it's the breastfeeding...)
  17. He loves his Mama's blankets. Sigh.
  18. He falls asleep with a pacifier, but spits it out or pulls it out of his mouth when he no longer needs it. When that happens, his lips purse into the sweetest little rosebud-like pout.
  19. He has his Pop's eyebrows, hairline, cowlick, thighs, feet and the little flume between his nose and upper lip. He has his Mama's eyes, face shape, chin and lips. It remains to be seen whose nose he will inherit. Either way, he's in for a doozy. Oy!
  20. His eyes are still blue, but they are starting to change ever so slightly. He now has faint traces of amber and green hues mixed in with the blue.
  21. He sleeps from about 10:30pm to about 6:00am, with maybe one awakening during the night (at least, that was the drill THIS week...and I'm hoping that continues...he WAS sleeping through the night during Session)
  22. When he sneezes, he ALWAYS sneezes twice.
  23. We haven't dropped him (yet)
  24. He hasn't toppled over, or fallen off anything (yet)
  25. He is the light of our life.
  26. He is a blessing.
  27. He is our gracious gift from God.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Am I the Only One Surprised by This?

One of my favorite blog authors, Epiphany, recently posted about her domestic prowess: according to one rubric that tests a woman's mettle as a 1930s wife, she is "very superior." From what I read on her blog(s), I would concur: she is smart, witty, an excellent mother, an inspiring cook/baker, socially conscious (she composts! AND she has a green house!), and she keeps it all going while her husband travels extensively for work.

I consider myself to be a pretty good "wife" (even though PG and I are not married). I am better than average as an amateur home cook; I actually enjoy doing laundry, planning meals and shopping for groceries; I love throwing parties; I take the lead in caring for Zane; and I take great personal satisfaction in making sure my home is clean and tidy and comfortable for my family. I do all of that - and more - because it makes me happy (and because I am, quite possibly, touched by a bit of OCD...). Here are my test results:


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

What is so surprising about these results is not so much the result itself; any modern woman who is married with children would score "very superior" on this test. We are master jugglers and multitaskers. No, the biggest surprise for me is feeling proud that I would be considered "very superior" even as a 1930's wife, even on a silly internet test.
So often we get the message that the "old-fashioned" standards of womanliness are just that, old-fashioned, and we should aspire to be something "more" or something "greater." I think it is a flawed premise that "more/greater" and "very superior 1930s wife" are mutually exclusive.
I would never suggest that women were better off in the 1930s, or that we should return to a time when opportunities for women were severely limited by the expectations attached to traditional gender roles. I love the fact that college was always part of the plan for my life, no matter that I'm a girl; and that I earned a Master's Degree; and that I have forged a pretty successful career in legislative affairs. I love all of that and, yet, when PG and Zane and I sit down at a pretty table in a tidy house to share a meal that I have prepared, that's when I feel the true power of womanhood.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Like Big Papa, Like Little Buddy

Check out the tonsorial stylings of my men:
Zane at 5-1/2 months. PG at 42 years.