Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nine weeks and counting.

If you can't guess what he's smiling at, you clearly haven't been following along. Hint: it begins with 'c' and rhymes with 'eiling fan.'

Weeks one, five, and nine. He looks like he shrank this week, but it's just the distance from camera to Jimmybear.

Things of Note:
  • He's really talkative now. He goes ooooh, and aaaah, and ooooaaah (please tell me that's not a sign that he'll join the Army - just watched Black Hawk Down and I'm hoping he decides to be an accountant or something - anything but the military). Occasionally he goes ah-GOOOO! This use of consonants is clearly a sign of early genius.
  • His eyes have shown no signs of changing. They're still dark blue in most lights. I'm pretty sure he's destined for brown eyes, which are very nice and all, but I still hope he lucks out genetically and gets my green ones. For the time being, though, they're still slate blue.

    Too hot for clothes here in GA. We're a house of nudists.
  • Jim and I have been getting out and about more. It's pretty easy to pop him out of the car seat and into the ring sling, so that's what we've been doing. He seems to like being able to have his head up so he can look at everything, but he gets a little overwhelmed after about two hours, so that's our limit. This week he went to Borders, the fancy grocery store, Walmart, the pet store, and the liquor store. Ahhh, freedom.
  • Head control is improving at an alarming rate. He barely even wobbles when held up, unless he's groggy and doesn't feel like making the effort to support himself. There's a joke somewhere in that last clause about unemployed basement-dwelling twenty-year-olds, but I can't find it.

    "Look, Simba, one day all of this will be yours..." "What, the bookshelves?"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Games With Jim

The Eat-Jim's-Head Game. Babies are delicious, and also completely devoid of fear.

The Tongue Game. Jim sticks out his tongue, opponent sticks out his tongue, Jim smiles happily, opponent is overcome by drooling cuteness and shuffles this mortal coil. Jim wins.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

He's two months old RIGHT NOW!

...well, not this VERY moment, but as of 8:28pm* he will be. Pfah, details.

Noah celebrates with pokemon while Jim looks on in disgust.

I celebrate by hiding while Jim gazes out the window beatifically.

We all celebrate by taking a series of comically-disjointed photos and finally eating each other's heads in despair.

*As an aside, I used to be terribly interested in the exact time that I was born. One year Mom and Dad forgot my birthday for a couple hours because we were all in a rush trying to go to Knoebel's Grove (best amusement park ever) and I cleverly guilt-tripped them into remembering by asking what time I was born. Mom apologized all over the place and felt terribly guilty. Bet she still does, hah. (no hard feelings, I still love you)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New shtuff.

This picture probably overstates his fondness for it.

Jim is getting all big and less-easily-amused now. I say less easily amused, but he is still fairly easily amused - he loves the ceiling fan and anything with light (windows, snake cage, computer screens). But anyway, he's getting slightly harder to please, so I figured we should get him something new and amusing.

Terribly intent on...something. Monkey face? Could be. His own tongue? Also a valid guess.

You wouldn't believe what a trial it is to find baby stuff that doesn't light up and play fifty-seven tinny renditions of overplayed classics. This was quite literally the only playmat I found that didn't require batteries. Really, people, babies aren't that hard to amuse. I'd prefer to hold off on the fancy electronics at least until the kid can walk.

Jim wants fancy electronics nooooow. :(

He's still a bit young* for it (he doesn't reach or bat at things yet), but he seems to like looking at parts of it. The mirror is, of course, his favorite, but he also looks at the elephant sometimes. I think. Could be the ceiling fan still, who knows? Point is, he does not hate it, so I call it a success. Even ignoring the super-cool dangling toys, it's a pretty good place for him to lie around and practice flailing his limbs in a marginally more controlled fashion. He actually has a little bit of unintentional locomotion going on!

He starts off here...

...and ends up here. Are you not impressed?

With any luck, he'll continue to not-hate it until he's old enough to actually grab things and bring the entire rickety structure down about his ears.

*I initially spelled that "yongue." What the heck is wrong with me?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who has two thumbs and slept through the night last night?

This guy!

It wasn't twelve hours or anything, but he slept from 10pm to 5am, and by golly, I'll take it.

Twelve hours? Seriously? You people are never satisfied.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eight weeks old.

Pants! They came off right after the picture because we're too lazy to change diapers with clothes that don't unsnap at the bottom.

  • We put away the pack-n-play. It had been sitting in our room next to our bed for him to sleep in, but now that he's been sleeping better at night (only got up once per night the last two nights - this is a truly thrilling development, comrades) he mostly sleeps in his crib with occasional trips to our bed.

    The day we brought him home vs. about five days ago.
  • He met some new people that were over for dinner. He rarely gets held by people who aren't his parents, so it was pretty amusing to see his astonishment at the new people. "My god, it has a beard...!"
  • He's HUGE. The onesie below? It's 3-6 months. He has his two-month pediatrician appointment August 3rd, so we'll see then just how huge he is, but trust me, it's shocking.

    Also, isn't he freaking adorable here? Yes, he is.
  • He spends lots of time awake and cheerful now. We took him to Walmart yesterday and he was awake and content the entire time. He was, of course, much adored by staff and customers alike. Everybody loves babies, unless they make irritating noises.
  • He likes looking at stuff. He insists on sitting looking outwards, etc. We got him an activity-mat-play-gym-thing, and he actually kind of likes looking at things on it.

    Favorite part = mirror. He's a little narcissist.

Some outtakes from the weekly picture:

I say, cap'n, what're you doing on my left?

Not enthusiastic about the tongue game.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yeah, I take it personally.

Jim stares at the ceiling fan. Or the elephant. Or the ceiling fan.

Jim's obsession with ceiling fans is getting out of control. I present to you a typical scenario:

Jim: *stares adoringly at fan*
Ceiling fan: *goes in circle*
Jim: *smiles and sticks his tongue out at fan*
Ceiling fan: *goes in circle*
Jim: Oooooh! Ah ah ah! Ooooh! Ooooh! Aaaaaaaah! AH!
Ceiling fan: *goes in circle*
Leah: *comes over to play tongue game with Jim*
Jim: *straight faced silence*
Leah: *attempts to amuse child*
Jim: What the hell, milk-slave? You're blocking my view of the ceiling fan!
Leah: *gives up and leaves him be*
Ceiling fan: *goes in circle*
Jim: *beams joyfully*

Friday, July 22, 2011

Assorted pictures.

I fear he's going to inherit his father's weird scary hobbit feet.

Jim has clearly given up on rescue.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Babies are exactly like playing The Sims.

For those who don't know, in The Sims, you control a little person and do your best to keep them happy by making sure all these need bars stay green.

It's just a game of keeping all their needs in the green range at the same time. Food? Check. Diaper? Check. Entertainment? Check. Whoop, diaper again? Che- oh crap, he needs more food, CHECK, and now he needs to sleep and doesn't remember how...

Actually, maybe it's more like whack-a-mole - smack down all the needs as they pop up. If you can get all the needs smacked down (or have all the need bars green) at the same time, you WIN! Prize = happy smiley baby.

Noah refills the diaper bar (or crushes the 'ZOMG WET DIAPER' mole, if your tastes run in a more morbid direction).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In which our hero finds himself in several dangerous places.

Jim assists with laundry by keeping it securely in the basket for transport.

Jim tests the weight capacity of a recently-installed shelf.

Jim hides his trepidation and puts on a cute face.

Jim courageously faces his baby-devouring foe.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bottle confusion.

Now that Jim is almost two months old (seriously! two months! when the hell did that happen?), it occurred to me that I haven't been away from him for more than about forty-five minutes at a time, and, while I love the little bastard* dearly, it would be nice to go out and buy some clothes that fit or have some brief parental alone time. The trouble, of course, is that I am the source of All Things Good (read: milk), and since Jim rather likes eating regularly, I'm kind of tethered to him unless we find an alternative way to get some milk down his throat occasionally.

This, of course, means bottles, and bottles, my friends, are freaking confusing. Apparently breastfed babies sometimes have difficulties taking a bottle because plastic nipples aren't even remotely like actual boobage. To make matters even more interesting, apparently all babies have different preferences, so I've spent the last few days staring at Amazon reviews for Breastflow, Dr. Brown, Avent, Playtex, Pigeon, Nuk, Bornfree, etc., until I nearly passed out from fatigue and bafflement.

I did a Google image search for 'variety of bottles' and this is what I found. This is probably not what we will be feeding Jim.

I finally decided on one to start with (Playtex drop-ins, because they seem to be highly recommended and they offer a sample pack with a variety of nipples to try), but now I'm faced with another issue. I find myself feeling inexplicably jealous at the thought of anyone else feeding Jim. I suppose it's not that odd - I mean, really, if he's not suffering from some sort of milk-Stockholm-Syndrome, how can I be sure he'll still like me better than all things? I'll have to resort to cultivating some kind of irresistible charm rather than continuing with the good ol'-fashioned "Hey look, I got tits!" method. (works on babies AND menfolk!)

This feeling is not helped much by the fear (backed up by every breastfeeding book and website around) that once he's had the bottle, he'll prefer the relative ease of an artificial nipple and be too lazy to work for it at the breast. I'm hoping that we can mitigate that risk (and my insecurities) by only giving him a bottle once or twice a week and keeping him strictly at the breast otherwise.

Stalking his milk-y prey.

Of course, all of this is probably moot anyway, since he'll most likely take after his father and eagerly take food (and boobs) at any moment and in any way he can possibly get them.

*Does bastardry depend on marital status at conception or birth? If birth, substitute in 'monster,' 'tyke,' 'creature,' etc. We must be accurate, you know.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Oh seriously, do we have to do this again?

Interesting stuff:
  • Drastically increased non-eating awake time. He now has three or four awake and active periods during the day, plus a mildly fussy period in the evening. He is terribly opinionated about what he wants to do during his awake time. I believe his thought process goes as follows: "Wheeeeee! Sitting on lap! Oh wait, I forgot I HATE sitting on laps! *grumble grumble* Yaaaaay! Looking at fan! Oh crap, I HATE ceiling fan! *fuss fuss whine* Yippee, standing on own feet! Uh oh, I HATE standing..." And so forth.

    He really loves this. For about thirty seconds, anyway.
    He's pretty happy once you've got him doing whatever activity he wants to be doing, but it can be a little tricky trying to figure out what that is. It must be kind of infuriating being a baby, though - all these various wants and needs and absolutely no way to change them besides sobbing morosely until some kind soul figures it out.

    Gazing adoringly at the ceiling fan. He will do this for minutes at a time. Minutes, I tell you!
  • Head control is increasingly impressive. He keeps it up all the time when being held upright, and nearly all the time when on his belly. It's very cute, but it also kind of makes me miss the days when he'd just lie there with his head against my chest. Of course, if he did that now he'd probably soak my shirt. He's quiet the drooler these days.

    "Yay, tummy time! Oh no, I HATE tummy time!"
  • Better sleep! For this week, at least - it seems to be a two-steps-forward, one-step-back sort of thing. This last week has been ridiculously predictable. He goes to bed between 8 and 9, wakes up at 1 to eat, wakes up at 4 to eat. He generally hits those wake-up times right on the hour. It's not a HUGE amount of sleep, I know, but when you add in a morning nap with him in bed, it works out to me getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, which is, quite frankly, divine.

    An assortment of typical Jim faces. Clockwise from top left: ceiling fan love, trying REALLY HARD to do something with his legs, general attentiveness with cheeks wider than forehead (looks like a pear, no?), working up to a smile.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weebles wobble?

Floppy but improving.

Jim's thoughts on having to hold his own head up for extended periods of time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ridiculous baby hair.

Side, top, front.

It's like male-pattern baldness. He's starting to grow some fuzz in the bald spot, but it's coming slow (and he's got two new bald patches above each ear where he lays his head at night). His actual hair has a sort of widow's peak, but it's right in the middle of the top of his head - doesn't even come close to his actual forehead. I think his super-high forehead makes him look like some kind of cheesy telepathic alien.

Bonus points if you recognize the alien.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One thing that sucks and one thing that is awesome.

Make that two things that are awesome.

Suck: When your doctor has you on the table with the giant freaking horse speculum in and says, "Shit, I need scissors. No, not those - the gigantic ones."

Awesome: Tricare (military insurance). The total cost to us for Jim's birth? $50.55

Monday, July 11, 2011

So let's talk about ME.

Here, baby pictures to keep you interested.

I have a dirty secret. My weight kind of sky-rocketed towards the end of things - remember that "weight gain" field in the weekly pregnancy reports? Remember how that got filled with things like "I dunno" and "can't remember..." during the last couple weeks? Yeah, there was totally a reason for that. The final tally was about [gulp] 195 lb, roughly 50 pounds up from my svelte peasant-y pre-pregnancy size.

Why do I tell you this? Bragging rights, naturally. I am ten pounds away from where I was before I got pregnant, and I can even fit into some of my non-pregnant clothes (though they're definitely not as attractive yet as they were previously...)! That's about forty pounds lost in six weeks. Now, 6lb 14oz of that was babby, I'll grant you, and another probably 15 was blood and placenta and uterine goo, but I'm taking full credit for 15-20 pounds of it. Eating respectably (i.e., more cabbage and chicken, not so much on the banana bread and chicken-fried steak) and going for walks have done their job.

Now, where to go from here... These last ten pounds (and perhaps a few more, since I'm feeling ambitious) need to join their fallen brethren, and I have a disturbing feeling that they'll be a little more reluctant than the first bunch. The eating is mostly under control, though it's a bit of a pain. If I eat too much, I continue to look six months pregnant. If I don't eat enough, Jim doesn't get enough milk. It's tempting to say 'sorry baby, mama needs to fit in her dresses,' but I do rather like the little bugger, so I need to eat enough to feed him properly. Since I'm now six weeks out from my C-section, I'm going to start running (and by 'running' I mean alternating walking and slow-motion jogging) a bit and see if that helps out. I've already been out twice to do so, and since I didn't start dropping organs out my incision site, I figure I'm fine to continue.

Stay tuned for future reports (and possibly pictures).

Dear Rocketship Diaper... are adorable, but not leakproof. Baby poop on my sheets - that's all I have to say about that.

Possibly it was my middle-of-the-night diaper-changing skills, but I prefer to think otherwise.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Six weeks and all's well.

New skill of the week: smiling sinisterly.

Things of note this week:

  • Likes looking around. He's taking much more interest in the world around lately. I think his vision is improving, because he now seems to focus on my face when he's on the ground and I'm on the couch. When being held facing your chest, he now holds his head up all the time to look around, and he prefers being held facing outward best of all. If he's lying on his back, he adores the ceiling fan and can be relied upon to stare at it for ten minutes straight while I fold laundry (or read comic books).
  • Head control. He's had pretty good head control for his age right from the beginning, but it's starting to get really good. He likes to hold it up and see the sights when he's on somebody's chest now instead of just laying his head flat, and he can maintain some semblance of straightness when held erect (but he gets very angry indeed if forced to do that for too long).

Jim likes being suspended from disembodied arms.
  • Cooing! Jim can now reliably make noises that are neither crying nor eh. Have to admit, though - the "eh" phase was pretty cute. "EH! EH!" for tummy time frustration, "eh-eh-eh-eh" for hungry chest-pecking, "eh?" for general curiosity... Still, the new noises are adorable. He goes "oooooh" (more like a little bird than a people noise, really) and "AH!" (as in "bat"). He mostly does them fairly randomly, just talking to himself, but he's starting to occasionally do them at people.
  • Put away his newborn clothes. Well, he didn't - I did. It was very sad (especially because there were a couple of outfits he never even got to wear, and many more that he only wore once), but it's also fun to see how much he's growing.

He outgrows things in length long before outgrowing them in girth. Weird, considering his lineage.
  • Growth spurt... I wrote about this a couple of days ago. It almost killed me. Seems to be over now, hallelujah glory be.
  • Moved to his own room. Ish. We put him down in his crib for his first stretch of sleep (usually 8:30-12:30ish) and then keep him in bed with us after that. It's a step up from the pack-n-play bassinet, though, and it means that we can all sleep better for that first stretch. He's a terribly noisy sleeper.

Typically Bruce does not share the crib. He just likes to sneak naps in there when Jim is absent.
  • A little more generosity with the smiles. If you catch him in a good mood (i.e., not tired, not hungry, not in need of diaper change or burping, and not wanting to be put down so he can flail about freely), he loves to play the tongue-and-smile game. He looks at you very intently and sticks out his tongue slowly and deliberately. You are then required to stick out your tongue in return, at which point he is delighted and starts smiling all over the place.

Six seconds of happy baby.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Sho lemme tell ya a shtory...