Friday, February 27, 2009

Sorry about leaving the creepy eyeball photos up there for so long!

I'm just back from Sam's two-month check-up. Over the past few weeks, I've noticed Sam getting...cheekier. Plumper. Downright fat. I was right: 14 pounds, 2 ounces and 24 1/2 inches tall--94th percentile for both. And his tiny head is growing, too: up from the 10th percentile to the 30th this month. Whew.

Two nights ago, I came home from my night class around 10 p.m. Sam had been in bed for an hour and a half. I did some work on my computer for a while, and then headed up to bed. But instead of sleeping, I stayed up talking to Jeff and reading. I was anticipating a midnight wakeup, you see.

Finally, around 1:30 a.m., I gave up waiting for Sam to wake up and went to sleep. I woke bleary-eyed and achey-chested (sorry!) and rolled over to see the clock: 4:45 a.m. What!? I lay there for a moment before hearing him sigh a little over the monitor, saving me from having to get up to go check on him. The next time I woke up it was to Sam crying. This time it was 6 a.m. He had slept through the night, something his big sister didn't do until she was nearly 7 months old!

Of course, that feat was not replicated last night. But still!

I hope to post some pictures of my giant baby tonight. But for now, duty calls!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I've been thinking about eye color lately as I've watched Sam's eyes shift and change. I have a feeling they'll eventually turn more like Jeff's eyes, and I wanted to document that muddy baby-blue color they are now. So here are all of our eyes for your perusal.
I find it interesting that even though I would say Charlotte and I both have blue eyes, they are pretty different shades of blue. Mine have more green in them, while Charlotte's are more of a true blue.
Also, if you asked Jeff what color his eyes are, he'd probably say brown. But doesn't it look like he has just as much green in his eyes as brown? They're really tri-colored: a ring of darker blue-green around the outside, then the greenish-gold, then a nice golden brown in the middle.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It was one year ago last week that I drove up to our house after school and saw, leaning against our front door, a fed-ex envelope. The envelope was from the University of Kansas, and inside was an acceptance letter from the graduate school.

This year is, of course, presenting its own challenges. Juggling parenting a toddler and newborn with getting my PhD is difficult, of course. Add to that my desire to get back into shape, keep my house relatively clean, and on occasion cook a meal and you've got a busy, sometimes hectic and stressful schedule.

But I would take my life right now over what I was going through a year ago a hundred times over. The anxiety, the daily, stomach-churning, ego-ripping anxiety of waiting to hear back from grad programs was one of the most intensely stressful periods of my life (probably second only to the process of applying to grad school). When I got my first acceptance last year, I felt enormous relief, in part because that meant that no matter what, I'd be going on to get my PhD somewhere, and that meant I would never, ever have to go through the process of applying again.

No more standardized tests! No more filling out online applications with redundant information! No more anxious emails to graduate secretaries trying desperately to clarify the requirements for applying! No! More!

Of course, in a few years when I complete my PhD, I will have the stressful experience of having to find a job. But let's not speak of that!

I plan on writing more about the whole process I went through last year a bit more in the coming weeks. Suffice it to say that I'm very, very happy with where I ended up, and ultimately with how the entire process of applying, visiting, and selecting a school went.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is too good not to share. Another Charlotteism:

Charlotte: I tooted, mama!
Me: You sure did! Whoa! Where did you get such stinky buns?
Charlotte, whispering: God made my buns.
Me: *laughs*
Charlotte: He did! God made them stinky like that!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Seven Weeks

We're all smiles around here, and not just Sam. I heard things would get easier after the six week mark passed, and so far that's mostly true. Yesterday Sam turned seven weeks old, and in the past two nights he's slept really well. Friday night, he went to bed at 7:30 p.m., woke to eat at 11:30 p.m., went back to bed and slept until 3 a.m., and then ate and went right back to sleep until 8 a.m. Last night wasn't quite as wonderful (he woke up three times total and didn't want to go back to bed one of those times) but overall he seems to be understanding that the night time is the right time for sleep.

And of course we're loving the smiles we get from him. I remember feeling so rewarded by those first dopey smiles when Charlotte was a baby, and the feeling hasn't changed the second time around. I see that big toothless grin and I turn into a cooing moron. "Ohhh, who's a sweet little man?" I ask. "Sam is!" I answer myself needlessly. And so on.

He's also growing like a weed. Last week I had to box up all the 0-3 months clothes and bust out the 3-6 months outfits. The little owl outfit you see in the picture above is a 6 months size, and won't fit for much longer. Charlotte's been stalled out in 2t for so long now, I've forgotten what it's like to have a child who grows! He has his two-month checkup in a couple weeks, and I'm curious to see what he weighs.

Nothing to report otherwise. Charlotte is sleeping well, and generally behaving like a toddler (read: annoying sometimes, adorable others, delightful always). Jeff's hair keeps getting longer and longer, which for him means his leonid 'fro keeps getting more and more gigantic. I clipped a barbershop coupon for him, but so far he hasn't taken the hint. I might have to resort to publishing incriminating photos here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

More tomorrow...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Some Charlotteisms:

Charlotte is doing a little dance. Jeff asks her about it.
Charlotte: It's a promitized dance about a funny toy store with lots of candy in it and ice cream in there too.

Jeff is feeding Sam a bottle.
Charlotte: Heidi needs her bottle too.
J: Heidi needs some milk, too?
C: No, water. I pump for water, too. (Baring chest) Milk on this side, water on this side.

While we were listening to NPR on the radio, Charlotte suddenly belts out from the backseat: Budget crunch!

After dining out today:
Charlotte: We went to Applebeast, Sam!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Six Weeks

Everything is supposed to get easier after six weeks, or so I've read. I'm hoping this is true. Although to be honest things are usually manageable, really. I just would like a bit more sleep, and to know Sam will nap regularly during the day and sleep at night without being cradled in the loving (yet tired) arms of a parental unit, preferably the one with the mammaries. But that will all come with time, I know.

Today was another beautiful day in a series of sunny, warm days. We had the windows open and were all enjoying the fresh air sweeping out the scent of stale diaper. While I was changing Sam's diaper in his room with Charlotte acting as wingman, the wind picked up a bit and suddenly I heard a terrible crash. I turned around and, well, this is what I saw:

Yes, that's the window in Sam's room, and that's his bouncy seat, and, WHY YES, that IS a gigantic shard of glass positioned right where a baby would be if he were in the seat! After I checked Charlotte and Sam and myself to make sure we didn't have any errant pieces of window sticking out of our jugulars or anything, we cleared out of the room. Jeff called the landlord and left a message intended to convey the urgency of the situation. To his credit, the landlord responded promptly, and sent our maintenance man over to clean up the mess and replace the window. We plan on having the other windows looked at, too, to make sure we aren't positioning ourselves under potential guillotines every time we sit near a window.

The other big adventure of the day was that we started Sam on cloth diapers. I wanted to wait to start these until he wasn't having twenty bowel movements a day. Lately he's been pooping only once a day, maybe even every other day. I neglected to think about the fact that it had, indeed, been a while since his last poop when I donned the first fuzzi bunz diaper this afternoon. He quickly pooped just a modest amount in that one. I changed him, and was disappointed only an hour later to feel a bit of wetness seeping through his jammies. When I went to change his diaper, I blacked out momentarily. Not only was the entire diaper chock full of poo, his entire left pajama leg was brimming with it. As a result, Sam celebrated his six-week birthday with a nice, full-immersion bath.

Nothing like poo stories to bring in the readers!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's 6:22 a.m., a time of day I normally would not choose to be awake. But the past three days have found me awake at around this time, sometimes earlier, and to be honest it hasn't been terribly unpleasant. It's quiet at six in the morning, and still dark. I get to peacefully drink a cup of tea at my desk while Sam half-sleeps in his swing for a half-hour or so.

We're falling into a bit of a routine here, a routine I know will change as the weeks go on and Sam's habits transform. But the routine we're in right now isn't bad. It's manageable, and in a comforting way predictable. For the past few days, Sam's been napping every few hours during the day, usually for an hour, sometimes for more, in his crib in his bedroom. Usually these naps take place around 8 or 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. Sometimes he'll take another evening nap around 7 or 8 p.m. At night, he's been settling down between 11 p.m. and midnight, sometimes sleeping fairly quietly for a couple of hours. It's from 4 a.m. on that gets a little rough. He's still very noisy and grunty, and those hours seem to be a no-go zone for sleeping anywhere except on someone or in his swing. So I've been getting up after feeding him, putzing around downstairs while I wait for Charlotte to wake up. After I get Charlotte up and dressed and get her a little breakfast, Sam's usually ready to eat again. When he's done, I wake up Jeff to take over and head back to bed for a couple hours.

This works well if I don't mess around and try to go to sleep right away at night when Sam falls asleep. That way I can get a few hours earlier in the night, which, cobbled together with my morning nap, usually sustains me through the day. It's not the way I'd like things to be permanently, but I know this isn't permanent, so I'm not bothered by it.

One way we seem to have dealt with the evening fussiness/colic was by my giving up the idea of getting any work done after Charlotte goes to bed. This was difficult to let go of, as my evenings post-Charlotte-bedtime were always my time. But something about being downstairs, being held while I pecked away at the computer or tried to read on the couch, drove Sam nuts. When I gave up one evening a few nights ago and just went upstairs into the quiet, dim bedroom, Sam relaxed and, eventually, fell asleep. Sometimes I sneak back downstairs during that evening nap and do a few work-related things. Other times I just make some dinner or chat with Jeff.

I can't overstate how wonderful it is when Sam naps in his crib during the day. I know this is a basic thing, but it's something we didn't hit on with Charlotte until it was too late and she was ruined for naps: you can set your child down! Really! You don't have to hold them 24/7!

Now, sometimes this doesn't work. We lay Sam down and he wakes up and cries. I try not to freak out about this, but to just try again in a half-hour. Usually it takes, eventually. And then I get an hour to play with Charlotte, do my workout DVD, shower, etc.

I wish I had a tape recorder right now to capture the noises he's making in his swing. The grunts and groans are just unearthly. I can tell you right now that this kid is moving into his own room much earlier than Charlotte did (four and a half months, if I remember correctly).

But despite his insane sounds and occasional crying spells, Sam is turning out to be pretty okay. He has started smiling, and nothing lifts my heart more than that ridiculously cute toothless grin. He's most likely to share his smiles with his sister, by whom he is absolutely captivated. When he hears her little voice, his head swivels and he tries to hone in on her location. When she pays attention to him, he grins and opens his eyes as wide as they'll go, trying to take it all in.

And that's what I'm doing these days, too...just trying to take it all in, to remember all of this as the days pass and he gets bigger.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Monkey See...

Me: What are you doing, Charlotte?

Charlotte: Pumpin' some milk for my baby.

Ah, of course. Naturally.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Charlotte has been very into telling stories lately. Sometimes these stories are a mishmash of her day's events; often they incorporate bits and pieces of the books we read to her. We decided to capture the experience for you on video. Here it is:

Charlotte's Story Time (featuring a cameo from Sam!)