Monday, April 30, 2012

Baby's first tooth, more sleep regression and more fun

We got our first toof!

I have no idea when it came in but yesterday I caught a fleeting glimpse at a sliver of white surrounded by a darker gum bruise.  Upon closer inspection to has been confirmed, the Toof Fairy arrived!  This Tooth Fairy is original as she creates drools puddles and sleepless nights rather than leaving quarters and dimes under your pillow.  The tooth is barely breaking the surface of the bottom front gum but it's interesting and exciting to see the baby's mouth slowly transforming into a vicious sharp bottle opener.  I'm quite certain Sarah's nipples will shortly no longer cherish the bonding time of nursing.

The wonderful milestone of our baby's first razor blade has been coupled with the inevitable restless sleep.  This sleep regression is not as intense as our first bout of sleep regression.  Logic would dictate that teeth breaking the fresh soft innocent gums in a baby's mouth would cause extreme discomfort (check), excessive drooling (check), some bruising and swelling (check) and the end result would be a lack of sleep by baby (check) and daddy (check)... and mommy (check).  The teething has also arrived at the same time a frustratingly irregular nose cold graced us with its presence.  This cold is evil.  Pure unadulterated evil.  It only reveals itself once Sarah and my eyes close for the night.  All tucked in, parents in their bed, baby in her crib, dog curled up in his, lights off, house locked.  Within minutes the thick snot grows and builds, slowly suffocating our baby and resulting in fearful and unnerving snorting, gasping and choking.  Disturbing cries for help and Daddy comes running armed with the horrible blue booger suction ball.

During the day, clear nasal passages.

At night, thick swamp-like pipes and (possibly caused by?) a cute white baby toof.

To add insult to injury, our suction ball is received by Baby Manni the way most would welcome a amputation; with paralyzing terror and asphyxiating abhorrence.  This all too common pure hatred of the snot suction ball all but assures us that if the initial inability to breathe didn't wake her up entirely, then after the exhuming is completed, we are all but guaranteed full bright eyes, bushy tails, tear drenched cheeks and a generally quite agitated infant.



Repeat every hour and fifteen minutes.

Good times.

Cue alarm clock...  miraculous disappearance of nocturnal booger monster.

Baby is still cute.

I must insist this isn't the norm.  With a clear nose, Manya sleeps in her crib for hours and hours.  Often from 8:30-9:00 at night all the way until 8:30 in the morning.  Of course just because the baby doesn't wake us over the course of an evening doesn't necessarily mean we don't create our own adventures.

Two nights ago Manya crashed immediately following dinner and didn't wake until hours after the sun rose the following day.  I on the other hand apparently have delusions regarding the whereabouts of my infant over the course of a full night.  At around 4:15AM I awoke in a panic.  For some reason I believed the baby was in our bed, but had been misplaced somewhere within our sheets and comforter.  I thrashed around under the blankets flipping pillows and yanking at the sheets, patting everywhere in search of the lost infant.  The lights were off and not a beam of light penetrated the shadow of darkness, but neither the unyielding blindness nor the illogical search ceased my panic.  It wasn't until a still sleeping Sarah mumbled, "You search for the baby?  Stop it.  She's in her crib." that I calmed, realized I apparently "awake thinking I lose the baby in the bed several nights a month" and returned to my much needed slumber.

I'm quite a fool when the moon is out.


Also quite a fool when the sun is out.

Hey, look, bunny ears!

Here are some videos...

Chewing on the feet

Exciting grandma time!

Grandpa singing in Polish

And a little in Hebrew

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Avery's Bucket List, SMA / SMAvery

The Life and Times of Baby Manni is a blog about a father and his daughter but I wanted to share with all my readers the story of Avery Lynn Canahuati.  Please support the Canahuati family by visiting their blog and feel free to return to and enjoy my blog when you have a few minutes.

Imagine you've been diagnosed with an incurable genetic disease and you are told you will not only lose your ability to walk and move your arms, but you will die between now and the next 18 months. What would you do? My name is Avery Lynn Canahuati, I'm almost 5 months old, and this has become my reality. But before I die, there's a few things I'd like to accomplish...this is my bucket list and my story. SHARE IT & HELP ME TELL THE WORLD ABOUT SMA!

Several weeks ago a young couple, Laura and Mike Canahuati, were informed their five month old daughter Avery had a rare an incurable genetic disorder, SMA.  They sat for days in shock and devastated but soon collected themselves and decided to make the best of it.  To cherish the fleeting moments with their incredible baby the Canahautis made Avery's Bucket List blog for their daughter's remaining days.  This blog chronicles every experience and adventure for each day in her life as written by their daughter Avery.

The blog was created to celebrate every day of Avery's life, to spread awareness about her genetic disease SMA and raise funding in hopes of one day finding a cure.

I found this story gut wrenching but inspirational.  Please support Avery, her family and their dedication to living their lives the way we all should every day.

Avery's Bucket List Blog

UPDATE: Avery passed away April 30th, 2012.  Her family is still working to raise awareness about SMA and reach their goal of raising $1,000,000 for SMA research.  Please visit their site and pass their message along.

Twitter: @babymanni

Instagram: @babymanni


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baby's first Car Wash

At eight months old I gave my daughter her first nightmare.

It was entirely unintentional.

With the weather heating up to the 80s this week and the blooming trees deciding to turn our car and truck green, it was apparent a car wash was in order. As a child I LOVED the car wash especially the amazing drive thru ones where we were allowed to sit in the car while the car was being washed. I loved the multi-colored soap, the giants brushes and especially the tornado type driers that blew the gallons of water off the car in seconds. Cleaning the inside of the car with the vacuums I hated (still do) but the car wash was one of the best.

I am easily amused.

Today I treated Manya to her first car wash experience...It will be her last this summer.

We pulled into line at the hopping car wash a quarter mile from our house. I got the $15 deluxe package which includes... ? I have no idea. Some wax, tire cleaning, a bunch of noise... but I'm sure its better than the $9 "we're going to rinse your car with some backwash and recycled dirt mixed with soap". Manya was intrigued. She'd never seen so much water poured around the car. She looked out every window and back over the top of the car seat three or four times before the giants brushes began to swat at the window.

Rap, pap, pap, pap, pap!

And that was it.

Full blown hysterics.

I don't know if it was a sensory overload or that one specific noise was scary, but she was having none of it. Every childhood memory I was hoping she'd love was a complete horror show to her. The soap and wax pour on the windows in beautiful color patterns but she didn't see as her eyes were pools of tears and I knew the true terror was yet to come. Forty agonizing seconds of gale force winds rattling the windows and pumping windshields. I couldn't hear anything but she was having none of it.

The car got pushed out of the conveyor belt and I raced the quarter mile back home hoping the sunshine and cracked window would calm the inconsolable child. Thirty seconds later, back in the familiar confines of our driveway I found the most distraught hyperventilating eight month old you've ever seen. Drenched in sweat, puffy eyed, gurgling with a trail of mysterious boogers was a very unhappy baby. Of course two seconds after I let her best friend the old, fuzzy, flea-minator Cojack the pit bull up from the basement she was all smiles and giggles and doggie pats.

She's loving life again but now I know:

Manni@8months + Car Wash = Horror Show

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alicia Silverstone, January Jones, World Hunger and Man Milk

You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father. – Keanu Reeves (Parenthood)

As a relatively brand new parent I fairly certain that we’re all quirky and weird. As a child, our parents are gods and goddesses. Parents are all knowing giant adults who can do no wrong (and of course, my dad can beat up your dad). To their children they are living legends and heroes. As daughters get older their parents transform into “jerks” and as sons get older their parents transform into “whatever”. They’re teenagers and they know it all. Obviously.

Now that I’m the parent I understand that being ‘all knowing’ and a ‘living legend’ is more akin to ‘deer in headlights’ and ‘bizarre’. Children are little experiments governed by a variety of oddball parents, some who are fantastic and wonderful, but many of whom have no business raising and educating children. These ‘parents’ most of the time do their best to keep their quirkiness quiet but occasionally they reveal themselves in public, to the public.

As many have heard, bizarre actress and mother Alicia Silverstone recently posted a unique feeding video on youtube for the world to watch. In a quite surreal detailed blog post and totally wild video the star of Clueless (great movie) takes weird and creepy to a whole new level. I understand mashing or blending food for a baby so they don't choke while learning to swallow. I understand cutting food into smaller pieces for toddlers to prevent them from choking. But chewing food for my kid and spitting it into your youngin's mouth? What the hell? I hear she's a big animal activist and even named her kid Bear, but you've got to draw the line somewhere. I found the line quickly. It's right there next to SPITTING CHEWED UP FOOD INTO YOUR TODDLERS MOUTH FOR THEM. That's my line.

For Bear, it's just plain lazy.

It also looks like Alicia is making out with her son.

In other news January Jones ate her placenta. Yes the Mad Men actress had a baby via divine intervention (she's not telling who the baby's father is, cough cough home wrecker), but I'm more intrigued in her fat suit on Mad Men, is it makeup or does/did she really look like that?

I'm sure it's makeup but dear lord does it look wild! I digress.

Although this has been accepted by many people and cultures, eating your placenta blows my mind. Maybe it's Strange's pronunciation of her perfume "AfterBirth" in the film Boomerang? Maybe it's my strong aversion to blood and mucus? Maybe it's the concept of transforming something hospitals label as a bio hazard into Andrew Zimmerman's next quick lunch, or the secret ingredient in Iron Chef Extreme Doula edition (A La Cuisine! as Morimoto looks at Bobby Flay in shock while Kat Cora gets to work!) It simply does not sit right with me.

Many people swear by the purported benefits of ingestion of the placenta. Despite the liverish looks, organ-like texture (I'm assuming) and unique smell, the placenta does feed the baby until birth, and if ingested by the mother may help stem postpartum depression, help contract the uterus, and promote mother-child bonding. Mothers who chose to eat the placenta don't need to devour it via fork and knife on a bed of greens as placentas can be swallowed in pill form after the fact.

Although I am not a mother, I just cant grasp the appeal of a placenta meal and/or the the uncomfortable possibility of accidentally forgetting your 'doggie-bag' in the communal lunch refrigerator. Remember to ALWAYS label your leftovers.

In other news there are freaks who aren't famous. A teacher at a nearby school reportedly (by my anonymous source, yes, I have sources. ;) stunned the teachers lounge recently with a revolutionary new strain of bizzaro! This groundbreaking practice in freakdom was incredibly well intentioned and focused on abolishing world hunger. Apparently, in order to save the world we all should take estrogen supplements.

The estrogen in her mind will allow all the women AND MEN in the room to begin lactating. Once brimming with estrogen, and the philanthropic horde of full breasted teachers have begun lactating, they can pump, bottle their collective finds and ship them to Africa to hungry children.

I'll just let that sit in for a second.




Got it?





We just solved world hunger via man milk, a movement of lactating grandmothers and small boobed male gym teachers with nipple guards and breast pumps. That could very well be a world I would love to raise a child in.... ehh?

Yeah, mind officially blown.

Lets stick with the lactation theme.

When Sarah was pregnant we attended a number of baby classes. Lamaze and Breast Feeding were the main ones. The breast feeding class was at 8 in the morning and I had an awful time sleeping the night before (not at all related to the breast feeding class). Our teacher, a nurse from the 1700s invented breastfeeding and due to this fact, was very knowledgeable in every aspect of the art of breastfeeding. Unfortunately I was exhausted and accidentally slipped into a brief nap the likes of which most men save for Shabbat morning services.

Sarah politely nudged me awake after what I thought was 8-12 seconds but apparently I was out for much longer and now found the lecture/interactive discussion group had moved into extraordinary directions. Margaret Sanger was explaining a story about a man with a newborn trapped on a raft at sea. The newborn was starving, but with no mother or bottle the father could not comfort the child. After some time the man allowed the baby to suckle on his nipple to give him some sense of ease. Due to the unique situation his body began to produce a type of milk and satiated the newborn. They were on the raft for several days until they were rescued and although they were both dehydrated the MAN MILK was able to keep the newborn alive!

At first I thought I was dreaming because no one in the class seemed to bat an eye at this story. Dudes were writing in their note pads. What were they writing?!?!?!?

Dear Breastfeeding Diary, I don't know why I'm taking notes but uhhh, if trapped on a raft for days without my wife I can create my own Man Milk to save my baby. I'm going to be the best dad! The End.

Really? So no comments from anyone in the class? No one thought this wasn't the craziest thing they ever heard! I was in shock. I had three things rolling around in my head.

1) WTF
2) Jeff Goldblum's Chaos Theory Speech (yes I'm a big dork)
3) But mostly Stewie

And luckily I haven't had to test the prevailing opinion that all men can create the coveted MAN MILK.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Baby food, baby poop, and baby monitor fun

Poops officially stink. After seven and a half months of unpleasant textures and physics defying explosions, Manya poop has taken on a whole new dimension: smell. And by smell I mean stinky. Stinky smell goes hand in hand with solid foods. As you can (maybe) see here:

Not sure if the video worked...

We've had a little issues with Manya's willingness to attempt and accept the gum and swallow method. After numerous attempts she has gotten enough down to warrant a gas mask and goggles during diaper changes. Simply put, if I change a diaper with socks on, the elastic loses its elasticity.

The other bodily function that has progressed - or should I say recessed - is farting. The decibel level of baby farts was one of the most surprising things of newborns. Like a fog horn, a loud toot signaled to the entire block that a diaper needed to be changed. I feared the power fart was a quality unique to Manya and may last her entire life (yes I understand my brain has issues and my fears are dissimilar from any normal father) but once I heard the cacophony of noises other newborns make I was put at ease.

All of these progressions are due to the beginning stages of solid/pureed foods. The numerous techniques to get her to take a bite is a whole other story.

Have you ever while trying to show you baby how good a mouthful of pureed squash and breast milk can be, accidentally shoved a spoonful of pureed squash and BREAST MILK into your own mouth?!?!?!

Yea, me neither.

Ever made that mistake three times in one day?

Subject Change: Hey lets see a picture!

Cute ya think?

Where were we? Oh right, moving on...

Like most parents we like to spy on our child while she sleeps. The reasoning behind the spying may have something to do with being raised in the Reagan Administration but most parents seem to share the extreme paranoia we get when we can't see our child at all times. If a baby is making noise we complain that they need their rest. If a baby is silent, we're afraid they can't breathe. This insane paranoia increases ten fold if a child has a cold or a slight fever. It's illogical, it makes no sense but I swear especially during the first three months Manya was alive, I checked her breathing at least five times a night. Who am I kidding? I checked her breathing three times last night.

In order to hone down our paranoia, we gratefully accepted my Aunt and Uncle's offer to give us their Summer Infant Night Monitor which they used to spy on our child's namesake. Due to the fact that this particular monitor was used to spy on multiple generations of Manyas we have dubbed said device, "The Manya-nitor".

This is the Manya-nitor in action.

If there was ever a doubt as to whether or not the baby will be spoiled, this is where the baby goes during meals at grandma and grandpa's house.

Baby on a pedestal.

Just wait until she's able to say "G'ampa, I 'ant dose toos!" or "But G'ama, peez, I 'ant dat!" We're screwed.

Chillin in the couch

Monkey time on iPad