Having fun in his room

The Oscars are about to start, and this may be the first time that we have seen absolutely none of the movies nominated. I’d like to put the blame at Daniel’s wee feetsies, and there were a few nominated movies I wanted to see but didn’t (Up in the Air, District 9), but J and I have been averaging maybe one movie a year the last few years. What I can lay at Daniel’s feet is the unlikelihood that I will manage to stay up to watch the entire cermemony.

I’m feeling a little disconnected from some of our pop culture traditions this year. I barely saw the Superbowl and any of the commercials. I saw only a little of the Winter Olympics (did see LOTS of curling unfortunately) because most of what I wanted to see aired after my body had forced me into bed. I had traditional shows I watch for Halloween and Christmas, but I never got around to them last year. That’s ok! It’s just…different and a little unexpected.

Daniel turned 9 months old last week, and we are wondering where our tiny baby went! He’s closer to a toddler than an infant now. He is three-quarters of a year old! As always, he is keeping us on our toes. He is a pro at crawling now and his new thing is pulling up on everything. He wants to stand as much as possible and is getting better at balancing with only one hand. I took my first steps at 9 months and I think J did too, so we expect Daniel’s first steps in the next few weeks. EEK! He has a walker and can pick up some serious speed in it. He has managed to crash into two out of three cats LOL. The kitties have been a bit slow to realize that they need to move a bit faster.

Nice stroller! Let's walk!

After what seemed like forever, three of four top teeth came in, and the fourth is imminent. Two of them are his incisors, and when D grins a certain way, he has fangs. So adorable! J and I are shocked at how BIG his top teeth are. They are like chiclets! He is babbling a ton and giggling. This weekend he started crawling to us and holding out his arms when he is upset, so I wonder if we are seeing the beginning stages of separation anxiety.

We had two big milestones today. All the stars finally aligned and the weather cooperated, so we took Daniel for a family walk this afternoon. It was his first walk in his Maclaren stroller. We had a good time. And just an hour ago, Daniel took his first big boy bath in the bath tub! He did very well and didn’t cry. I think J and I have been coddling him a bit and treating him like a younger baby than he is in some things, so I’m trying hard to make sure that we realize that he’s–gulp–growing up! Our next challenge will be letting him sit in the cart at the grocery store. Right now we either push him in the stroller or put the car seat in the cart depending on how much we need to get.

I love standing!

Food-wise Daniel is progressing well with solids. He eats carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas (sometimes), acorn squash, bananas, peaches, pears and apples. I’m trying to get him to eat some protein in the form of chicken, but that hasn’t been going overly well. I’ve also been trying to add more texture to his foods by mashing instead of pureeing them, and Daniel hasn’t been too thrilled with that. But it’s necessary, and he’ll get used to it! Interestingly, he is not a fan of mashed potatoes. He has had a bit of cottage cheese, and I think I discovered today that he likes plain yogurt. We’ll get there. I’m still making his food myself and find myself constantly searching for yummy baby food recipes.

I have been missing having time for reading. I typically have time to read after about 9pm but by that time, I am exhausted and just want to veg. I recently discovered audio books, though, and am a little embarrassed that it has taken me so long to do so. I finished one and am halfway through my second one. I spend about an hour in the car each day, so I can make a good bit of progress. Listening to a book vs. reading takes a different set of skills, so I find I have to focus more. But I’m pleased I have the option and the local library system just unveiled audio book downloads, so that’s great, especially since they are expensive to buy. Daniel is a very good traveler in the morning and usually a good one in the afternoon, so I appreciate his cooperation in letting me listen!

Daniel is just a joy. The past 9 months have flown by. We really have enjoyed every stage with him, but he has so much personality now! He is such a sweetie. Sooooo much energy, but it melts my heart to see him take so much joy in his world. My little strawberry blonde baby! He wears us out, but we love every minute.

Snow Day!

My snow babyWe were so excited that we had snow/sleet/ice over the weekend. We love winter weather (at least a little bit), and it was also Daniel’s first substantive snow. It started snowing heavily here late evening Friday, so visibility wasn’t great. I wish Daniel had been able to see the gigantic flakes. Saturday was grey and cold, and once the precipitation stopped, we took him outside. It took me about 10 minutes to layer on the many layers to keep him warm, and we spent about 2 minutes outside LOL. J deemed the steps too slick for us to proceed further, so we took a few pictures there. Daniel had seemed fascinated by the snow because he pulled himself up to our kitchen window to look outside. I can’t wait until he’s a bit bigger and can really enjoy the snow!

I wish we had been better prepared for him and the snow. We don’t have boots or a snow suit or anything. I didn’t think it was necessary to buy one because if I did, it would jinx any chance of snow. Since I didn’t buy one, of course we had snow 🙂 J and I have decided that at the end of the season we will buy a sled and other items so that next year when it snows and when Daniel is big enough, we will be ready!!

I see snow!J and I worked from home today (and we really did work!). I always fight the (ridiculous) impulse that I must be at work at all times, but I finally convinced myself that it was ok to work from home and that we don’t have snow very often in NC, so I need to enjoy it when I can. Poor D has been teething badly today (I think the other three top teeth that have been threatening are coming through finally), but I think we were all cheered by the sunny day and the warmer temps. Life will return to normal tomorrow, but we will remember the nice, long weekend we had.

This Time Last Year…

It should be no surprise by now that I am absurdly sentimental and can find a memory-good or bad-for almost any day.

Well, today truly is a special day. This time last year we found out that, well, we were having a Daniel!! For the months before our ultrasound, I had gone back and forth on whether we were having a boy or girl. Some days I thought girl, others boy. Finding out that all of my cousins had or were having boys caused me to vacillate as well.

We always thought we would have a girl, and it is easy to be seduced by pink, frilly everything. However, I woke up the day of our ultrasound and just knew it would reveal a boy.

And it did. I was shocked for about 5 seconds–mostly because now we knew for sure–but then I was thrilled. Honestly, all we wanted was a healthy baby, boy or girl. I loved him because that’s what had been given to us.

Now, a year later, I love D for him. He is so wonderful and happy. Today we made each other giggle for a full 10 minutes. I love that kisses in a certain spot can make him guffaw. I love his energy even as he exhausts me. He is our miracle, and I celebrate that today is the anniversary of being able to put a gender and name to what we were expecting.

He is my baby boy, and I couldn’t ask for more.

Where the Wild Thing Is

Oh, that’s right. I have a blog that needs updating! I truly have intended to post many times, but we’ve just been so busy. Daniel keeps us on our toes!

Daniel is 7.5 months old as of Saturday. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around that. It seems like only yesterday we brought home our tiny boy, and now he is anything but tiny! His first birthday is the next significant milestone, and that stuns me. Where has the time gone?

He is very active. We feel comfortable declaring that he is crawling after watching him consistently crawl more often than not. Saturday he seriously freaked us out by deciding that the kitchen was too confining and leaving for the greener pastures of the living room. There is no stopping him now, and I suddenly perceive our house as a death trap with nasty corners everywhere! We also spend a great deal of time keeping him away from the cats’ water bowl (I’ve cleaned up spilled water several times) and more importantly from the cats themselves. Daniel LOVES the kitties. He grins and shrieks when he sees them. The feeling isn’t quite mutual. They let him pet them with suitable chaperonage but usually flee when he heads towards them. The kitties love his toys though. Hopefully they consider it a fair trade 🙂

Daniel can also sit up unassisted. It is amazing because less than 2 weeks ago he was propping himself up on one cheek, and now he can do it on his own. He also easily pivots on one hand to and from a crawling position. We’ve also noticed him starting to pull up on a few things. Eek!

He amuses us. We love making him laugh and getting the belly laugh. He truly is a happy baby and smiles quite a bit. I think we are still stunned and overwhelmed by his energy (frankly I’m jealous. I wish I had 1% of his energy!).

We started him on solids and to my surprise, I am making his food. I really didn’t think I would, but well, it is so easy to do. I make up and freeze a big batch of various fruits and veggies over the weekend. I’ve never used my blender so much in the 8 years I’ve had it, and I had to replace a pot due to steaming carelessness. oops. I’m proud to say that Daniel eats peas, green beans, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, apples, bananas and pears…more fruits and veggies than J eats!!

We had a truly wonderful Christmas. It really was perfect. J and I thoroughly enjoyed being Santa and can’t wait to do it again. The look of joy and wonder on Daniel’s face when he saw some of his gifts was priceless. I was really surprised because I suppose I didn’t expect much of a reaction his first Christmas.

We’ve had some ups and downs with sleeping. December was a pretty rough month because we went from pretty much sleeping through the night from 10pm-5amish to Daniel waking up every couple of hours. It was brutal. He would wake up shrieking and was definitely hungry. I think he was going through a growth spurt plus some teething stuff. That was right around the time he started trying to crawl. Thankfully, his sleeping has improved. We slowly went to waking every 3 hours (tolerable) to his going down at 8 for about 4 hours and then another 4-5 hour stretch. Definitely doable. I think hunger is a factor in the night waking. He plays really hard during the day and it can be hard to focus him on his bottle. He eats quickly at night and goes back to sleep almost immediately. I must confess that he is still sleeping in our room. I thought we were going to move him into his room over the holidays, but there are a few things we need to do to get ready. And honestly, when he wakes up at 3am, it’s a heck of a lot easier to barely have to get out of bed than to shuffle down the hall. Excuses, excuses… we will move him soon. I think. Before he is 20 definitely!

So far, he has 2 bottom teeth and two top teeth threatening to come through any minute now. He is also fitting easily into 9m clothing. It was quite a shock to me when I realized that not only had he outgrown his 6m outfits practically overnight but also that his 9m outfits weren’t as loose on him as I would have expected. Ack!

So I guess life is pretty much what you’d expect for life with a baby. We are pretty tired but that is normal. I’ve managed to read all of two books in the last few months and find it difficult to keep up with my weekly magazines. We are dreading the tv shows we follow resuming this month but thankfully we have the DVR! And I am so glad I let J talk me into withdrawing from grad school for the entire year instead of only the fall semester. I have no idea how I would begin to keep up with the coursework for one course right now.

Sorry for the long post! It had been a while, and I had a lot to write. Each day presents its own challenge, but we are having fun 🙂 Daniel is wonderful.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Little Elf!It’s Christmas Eve! I can’t believe it, but it is. I haven’t even updated on Thanksgiving, Daniel turning 6 months, the creeping, almost-crawling, etc…Something tells me all of that will have to wait until next week.

Preparations for Christmas are in full swing! Daniel has presents (probably too many but oh well) under the tree. I’m hosting Christmas Even dinner and Christmas brunch (yeah, I’m probably crazy as well) and have even managed to fit in a bit of baking. This time of year is all about pure adrenaline.

So Santa Claus comes tonight!! I know Daniel won’t understand what’s going on, but J and I have been having a lot of fun getting the house ready and figuring out what is from Santa vs. what is from us.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

First Cold, First Tooth!

Poor worn out, sick, teething little man

November has been an exciting month in our household. Daniel was baptized on November 8 and then on the following Tuesday, the three of came down with colds AND as if that weren’t exciting enough, Daniel cut his first tooth during that same time!

Our colds came on very quickly. Mine was mostly in my head; J’s was mostly throat-related. Daniel’s was congestion. I have never seen so much snot in my entire life. The teething made everything worse, and I honestly think it bothered him more than the actual cold did. Tuesday night he was crying inconsolably and when I stuck my finger in his mouth, I was shocked to feel a tooth! Poor baby couldn’t sleep and baby Tylenol helped only a little bit. Wednesday morning the three of us were in the kitchen at 3am, and I decided right then that I was calling in sick. At that point I couldn’t have told you whether I was more exhausted or more sick.

Lo how the mighty have fallen. In the past I have rarely gotten sick, sick enough to need a sick day. I prided myself on what I was sure was a superior immune system LOL. It may still be, but the energy required to take care of a tiny boy has certainly breached it a bit! I’ll just chalk it up to one more thing that has changed since Daniel has joined us. Note to self: get more sleep and take some vitamins.

Our colds have passed, thankfully. J and I felt last week like we were getting them again, but so far, so good. Daniel’s congestion and prolific amounts of snot lasted for over a week. I took him to the doctor on Tuesday just to make sure he didn’t have anything more serious than a cold, and he doesn’t. My big boy now weighs 15lb, 13oz! We’ve all done a lot better since we set up a humidifier.

Thankfully, the worst of the teething appears to have passed for now as well. I hope he feels better. He still drools quite a bit, but he isn’t having the non-stop crying spells that he had two weeks ago. Hopefully subsequent teeth will come in a bit more calmly.

J, Grandma P and I all obtained the H1N1 vaccine since we are in one of the priority groups. J and I originally planned not to give the vaccine to D, but we are rethinking that now. It’s a bit of a moot point for now since he can’t get it until Dec. 2 at the earliest anyway. We’ll talk to his pediatrician at his 6-month appointment.

Fingers crossed we have no more brushes will colds this season. Nothing could be more enjoyable than torturing your baby with the nasal aspirator! And as I write this, I think I see another tooth about to come in. Here we go again!


Daniel and the Monsignor

Daniel was baptized on Nov. 8 at St. Michael’s in Cary. We were grateful to have so much family as well as friends in attendance on that special day. J and I were a bit nervous because we never were able to have anyone explain to us exactly what would happen during the baptism, so a main goal of mine was to avoid making a fool of myself.

Daniel wore a gown his Mimi made him, and as she predicted, he looked like a little pope! He was perfect during the mass, never crying but looking around with interest, despite being trussed up like a turkey in his ornate gown!

After mass, we all went to Grandma P’s house for a wonderful party. She did a beautiful job, and we all had a good time.

The gown

5 Months Old!


I love being on my tummy!

Daniel turned 5 months old on Monday, Nov. 2. You may have noticed that I never gave a 4-month update. I thought about glibly explaining it due to being a slacker, but I’ve decided to cut myself some slack. Dear reader, I am tired. It is pretty exhausting working all day and then coming home, doing the nightly chores and taking care of an increasingly active baby boy. He wears us out! I have never dreamed of a 10pm bedtime (for me!) more than the last few months LOL.

Thankfully, Daniel is a very good, happy baby. At his 4-month appointment last month, he weighed 13lb, 14oz, so a hair under 14 pounds. I’m sure he has reached and is well over 14lb now! That car seat just gets heavier and heavier to lug in and out of the car. He must look a lot bigger than he is because everyone comments on how big he is, but he actually falls into the lower range of the growth charts. There are a lot of babies his age bigger than he is, which is frightening!


His preferred sleeping position.

As I mentioned earlier, he is VERY active. He prefers his tummy to his back now, and rolls over with ease. He scared us the first time we saw him sleeping on his tummy, but there is no stopping him now. And I must confess that it is quite cute seeing his heiney in the air while he sleeps. He is starting to move quite well over the surface of his play mat, and it amazes us how quickly he can completely change positions and directions. He really wants to crawl, and the grandmothers think it won’t be long until he does. Yesterday J and I watched with a fair amount of trepidation as he did a Caterpillar-like undulation on his tummy across the mat. Scary!!!!

We started transitioning him to formula a month ago. I won’t go into the details here, but there was some drama attached to the decision to do so, but J and I know it was the right decision. Other than a horrifying vomiting situation the first day on formula (which may have been a delayed reaction to his shots a few days before), the transition has been smooth. We have been using a mixture of breast milk and formula and are currently at a 80 (formula)/20 (breast milk) mix. We have enough breast milk for around 2 more weeks, so we’ll use that up and then Daniel will be 100% on formula. Let me say here that the formula calculation has been a bit challenging for me. Um, it’s fractions. I never claimed to be a mathematical genius but wow, it is a mental exercise to figure out how much formula he needs and the appropriate number of scoops/ounces of water. We’ve also been giving him rice cereal nightly before he goes to bed. Daniel amazed us by tolerating it. I won’t say he loves it, but he will eat it and eat more than the 2-3 spoonfulls that our pediatrician told us he might take. He seems to prefer it slightly thicker too (we were advised to start off with it rather soupy), so that’s nice.


Happy boy!

Oh, and Daniel is a chatty boy! He started making a “mmm” sound a few weeks ago and smacking his lips. He also makes a sort of b/z sound as well as a spitting sound. He also discovered his voice last week and howled (there is no better description) all evening. I was a bit concerned, wondering if it was normal. It was like we had a feral baby on our hands. He is also sticking his tongue out like crazy. He still likes to howl, but he has incorporated it into his sound repertoire, so it doesn’t feature as prominently. Every day seems to bring a new sound. It’s quite cute.

All of these changes have made us realize we need to start thinking about the next stage as far as baby gear. When we were preparing for his arrival, we decided to focus on what we needed for the first few months. Well, now we need to move ahead. We have started looking at high chairs and the next developmental toys (exersaucers, etc.). If you have any suggestions, please let us know!


Hmm. This tummy thing has possibilities.

I must confess that Daniel is still sleeping in our room. I honestly thought he’d be in his room by now, but honestly, we enjoy having him in our room. He mostly sleeps through the night but it is still inconsistent enough that it is preferable having him inches away instead of across the house. But we like him with us. I suspect that over the Christmas holidays we will work on transitioning to his room, but I will miss him 😦 I like hearing his little snorts and snuffles.

We are still having a ton of fun with him! We look forward to all the holidays coming up.



I'm a lion!

Daniel had a wonderful first Halloween. Truthfully I don’t know how he felt about it, but J and I had a great time! Daniel put up with the chaos, the costume, and the Trick-or-Treating with excellent humor, so I suppose that it wasn’t too awful an ordeal for him.

My mother came up to spend D’s first Halloween with him. We hung out around the house because I was under the weather but trying mightily to keep it together so that I could enjoy the day. I was afraid I had H1N1, but thankfully I tested negative for it that morning. The doctor diagnosed me with the uber-vague “flu-like virus.” Nice. Predictably, Saturday was the day I felt the worst.


The entire outfit

[Anyway, before we knew it, it was starting to get dark and was time to light the pumpkins! We had a nice stream of Trick-or-Treaters, and once it was nice and dark, we put Daniel in his costume (beautifully made by his Mimi). We took him to about 6 houses near us. He seemed intrigued by all the action, and we had a lot of fun taking him around. Hard to believe (and somewhat frightening) that this time next year, he’ll be mobile! It was a pretty warm evening, so we didn’t want to keep him out too long in his warm costume, so we quickly had him back home, playing in a Halloween onesie.

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine, and this year’s was the best yet. Now we need to figure out what he’ll be next year! Here are a few pics of him in some of his Halloween finery.


Seasonal cuteness


What am I wearing?


Little pirate/prisoner