Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Barking Baby Seal

I’ll spare you all the sickly details, but Jude has been suffering from the worst cold of his lifetime. We’ve had our share of runny noses, but this one tops them all. At night his little vocal cords swell up and it sounds as if we’ve got a little barking seal in our home. The seal shows up when he cries, sneezes, and coughs. It’s pitiful.
{Funny first-time-parents tidbit: On Friday night when we heard a barking seal coming from Jude’s room, we ran in there every time to figure out what was going on in his little throat. It wasn’t until 1:00 am that I told Brett to Google: “cough that sounds like barking seal.” Sure enough the first thing that popped was CROUP…along with all the remedies and symptoms to watch for. Thank you Google! How did any parent ever survive without you?}

Monday was the worst day of all.
Basically yesterday consisted of me holding him all day, including a cab ride to the doctor’s office to ensure he wasn’t dehydrated (besides reluctantly nursing, he had refused to eat or drink anything in 2.5 days and his lethargy had peeked yesterday morning). I was assured he wasn’t dehydrated and so he spent the rest of the day sleeping or alternating episodes of Imagination Movers and Special Agent Oso.
So so sad to watch this little guy.
He woke up this morning with a lower temperature and has been giving me a few smiles. After yesterday, it’s so refreshing to see these smiles.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Bit of Our Week Indoors

The teething continues...with no end in sight.

He's discovered the couch as his new jungle gym.

Yes, he's using my nail file as his hammer. And he's naked because...well because he's just so darn tootin' cute naked...and we don't have a thermostat---so it stays very warm in here.

I was able to capture proof that this stinker stands unassisted all the time but refuses to walk out into the open floor.  And can you tell in the picture that he's pulled off one of the pictures? Now all we have is a nail hole to show for it.  By the way, he's pulled that lamp down on his head 3 times now.

Did I mention he's teething?

Always chewing on something. In this picture it's either a wood chip or paper.  This is the look I get of catching him in the act of eating something he's not supposed to. Milliseconds after getting this exact look he takes off in the opposite direction of me. I hope to never forget this look.

Best discovery of the week: Carrots as a teether. He gets one carrot a day and it follows us everywhere. To my relief he slowly gnaws at that carrot all day.

Best milestone of this week: He claps! All on his own accord, with no coaching, he just started clapping. He won't stop now, always wanting to clap.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gymboree Saves the Day

With a toddler, a tiny apartment, frigid temperatures outside, no friends, no car, and a new city, Gymboree has been our refuge and highlight this last week. So I know they're crazy expensive, but I'm a member of  doodledeals and I was able to score a month membership for the bargain price of $59. Jude is now in a Play and Learn class with other toddlers his exact age and we have unlimited gym time 6 days a week. Thank you doodledeals!! We have been back nearly every day in the gym wearing ourselves out on all their equipment and mats. Jude truly comes alive in there; it brings me so much joy to see him explore, fall, slide, dance, climb, giggle, and scream.
...the only downfall thus far is that I've only met one other actual mother. All the rest are nannies. Which I'm figuring out is quite common. We've been to a few other indoor play gyms in the city (and libraries) and we've had a really difficult time meeting actual mom's. They're out there somewhere! Despite that, we're LOVING Gymboree.

Monday, January 17, 2011

1 Year Stats

Jude's Stats:

Weight: 20 lbs
Height: 30 inches

Jude didn't seem to get any longer since October and gained only half a pound. This didn't surprise us much since the last 2 to 3 weeks he has regressed majorly with eating solids. Jude has never been one to eat solids and has always preferred nursing, but the last 2 weeks have been an exhausting effort to get down an ounce of solids or a willingness to try any snacks. The height measurement, we think is wrong. We know he's able to reach objects that were previously not possible. But all that to say, it made a week of not eating good and not sleeping good, that much more discouraging...and slightly panicky for Mama. The doctor was very encouraging though and anticipates a move in the other direction within the next 3 months.

In recognition of Jude's first year of life, I've written him a letter. 


This first year of your life has been the most joyful and most challenging year of my life. I cannot imagine my life without you and I can’t seem to remember what my life was like before you.

The first six weeks of your life you slept. For 6 whole weeks we barely saw your eyes. At six weeks though you gave us your first smile…and our first glimpse of colic.

From 6 weeks until about week 10 or 11 you screamed for about 4 to 5 hour long stretches. Your screaming could begin as early as 4:00 but never later than 6:00.  When the screaming started you were inconsolable until 10:00 or 11:30. Your daddy was still going to school at night in Boston and he was forced to skip out early on class on a few occasions to preserve my sanity and give my ears and arms a break.  It was during your colic that you began co-sleeping with us. It was one of the best decisions we made and some of our most fond memories are of waking up with you in the mornings. You looked like an angel nuzzled between us.

At around week 10 or 11 you started sleeping in your crib, waking up like clockwork every 2 hours to nurse.  (You kept this habit up for a long, long, time.)

Nearly every sunny day you and I took stroller walks through Beverly. We would stroll down Cabot St. and window shop or peruse the junk store, treat ourselves to a spinach salad at Atomic, or a Caesar Wrap and Root Beer at Wrapture, and then lay in a shade tree at Dane St. Beach until we got too chilly. When you would lay under the shade tree you became bright-eyed and all smiles looking at all the leaves above you and listening to the waves crash.  Most days we walked between beaches to Independence Park and stared into all the mansions…dreaming about what it would be like to wake up to their ocean views…and we would make up stories about the people’s lives behind the windows, and occasionally score a great yard sale.  Those days were dreamy.
At least once a week you and I would drive into Boston to meet your Daddy for a picnic lunch. And then you and I would spend some time walking the streets around his office.

You’ve never been a good napper. Always, always, you’ve taken 30 to 45 minute naps. Occasionally, we’ve had spurts of you taking hour long naps. Which in the last month or so, this has become much more common. We blamed the poor napping on your post-colic recovery and our PTSD from endless hours of your screaming.  Before a ton of Christmas travels, you were sleeping through the night. We went through major torture in this tiny apartment to get you sleeping through the night. But to our misfortune after travelling from the Holidays and a nasty cold you are again waking up in hysterics several times in the pre-dawn hours. 

Your bedtime has been consistently between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00pm. So the first 8 months of your life your Daddy rarely got to see you after his early morning play time with you (and our lunch dates). In the past few weeks though we’ve managed to move your bedtime to 7:30 so Daddy gets about 20 to 30 minutes with you before bedtime and gets to help out with the “night night” routine.

At 11 months and 3 weeks you finally began letting go of furniture to stand alone. You have been cruising (walking along the furniture) since about 8.5 months of age. We feel as if you're minutes away from walking, because you stand unassisted all the time now little stinker.

At 11 months we think we really began to notice you using syllables to actually give meaning to your babbles. You now say Hello (which sounds like Heh-doh), Night Night (which sounds like Nah-Nah…and you wave when you do this), All Done (which sounds like Ah-Duh), Woof Woof (which sounds like puff-FFFF), and Mama (which sounds like Mah Mah…and only used when in utter distress or desperation), and Daddy (which sounds like Da Da…and you use this when you’re happy and content.)

Just days before your first Birthday you’ve really started to sing. When I rock you or bounce you during our bedtime routine, you lay your head on my shoulder and sing your very own song with unintelligible words. You sing when you’re in your high chair or when we’re at the grocery store and you hear music you like. It is the prettiest sound I've ever heard.

The day before your first Birthday you broke out in your first scary case of hives. You woke up from a nap screaming hysterically. Only after ten minutes of screaming did I lay you on the bed and actually look at your face. When I did look at you, your forehead, eyelids, nose and ears were swollen to high heaven. I immediately took you to the doctor not knowing what in the world was happening. You were a pitiful sight. The hives spread over your whole body, back, torso, diaper, thighs. It was so sad. We gave you Bendadryl and you woke up the next day on your Birthday with no sign of hives. Please don’t do that again.

You favorite books lately have been Are You My  Mother?, Do Bears Buzz?, and Baby Einstein’s Baby Touch and Feel Animals. For a few weeks, you resisted reading books in mama’s lap…but you’ve come back and enjoy reading books in mama’s lap again and again. You are still constantly reading books all by yourself in your baby language and you've also eaten most of your books. Someone might mistake you for always chewing gum. But no, you're always chewing on paper from your books.

Your favorite toys lately are your Kazoo, Drum, toddler Walker, and blocks. You laugh uncontrollably when you knock down blocks or when mama knocks them down. We play demolition blocks about 50 times a day.

You love to have your hair brushed. Your eyelids get so heavy and your whole body relaxes. It’s so adorable.

You also love to be lotioned up and massaged before bedtime. You could lay there forever and let me lotion and rub your legs and chunky thighs.

This next year is going to have more fun and challenges as we figure our way around the city. I promise, that together, we'll get all this figured out, establish roots, and prayerfully begin to own this city. 

Thank you for my kisses,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

365 Days

We celebrated Jude's FIRST Birthday today.

And I can't seem to get the Rent song out of my head...

How do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In five hundred twenty five thousand minutes. 
How do you measure a year?

We took Jude to get his first haircut this morning.
We were afraid he was meeting the definition of a mullet.
We went to the cutest little toy store/children's salon in Brooklyn. He got to sit in a taxi cab and watch cartoons on a big screen directly in front of his chair.
Or maybe that was the plan.
Our Jude started swatting at the hairdresser when she began combing his hair....he got pretty loud.

A ball! ...I'm happy now. As long as that lady with the sharp scissors stays away.

Enough already mama...

I don't care about certificates...I just want to leave this place...

This afternoon Jude tasted his first piece of cake...but instead of stuffing his face full of sugar he reacted much like he does to other foods---with questionable looks, swatting hands, and gags. Silly, silly, boy. He doesn't know what he's missing out on.

After wallering in cupcake, we plunked him directly in the tub! Our little guy is 1 year old! Scary.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Teething and a Nasty Cold

So what do you do when your babe has a nasty runny nose, chapped upper lip, scabbed nose, and bulging gums?

Whatever he wants.

And then maybe you'll have an okay day.

Let him eat his books...

One tiny piece at a time...

Stuff him full of plums and let him play the kazoo till his heart's content...
Over and over....

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Utterly Mundane

As 2011 begins and as we count the days and hours now until Jude turns 1 we've become a bit nostalgic and memory-laden with the events of this past year. We've been looking back at baby pictures and our "almost walker" and feel overwhelmed with incredible gracious moments in the utterly mundane of life.

Paul Tripp's article came with perfect timing today as I began my perusal of blogs this morning.
It takes less than 10 minutes to read and well worth your time:

Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones: "Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones from the Desiring God blog."