Showing posts with label baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Baby bath time




Bath time is a sacred time for parents and their babies.  Bonding time.  It's about bonding.  And hygiene.  Sure one of you splashes around uncontrollably, 'tearless' soap in eyes while battling the constant water-boarding like an uncooperative Rumsfeld prisoner, but once you step back and take the upper hand over your child there's a real bonding that occurs. 

There's a cuteness about a sopping wet and sparkly clean baby splashing around in their own filth diluted with three gallons of water that is simply precious.  The wonder of water, wild hair and the giggle of glee with each splish-splash.  Pictures must be taken from non-revealing angles, unless the photographer is a grandparent and then it's full on Paparazzi.  Some of the greatest memories and incredible black mail photos that can be used and reused for decades are from bath time.  Most importantly, that incapacitatingly wretched poo stench has been replaced with the most wonderful new baby smell...  at least until you fasten that last button on the PJs and then all bets are off.

Our baby has a war chest of play toys for the bath.  They are a variety of plastic sea creatures and cups that shoot and spray water.  There are rubber duckies, animated fish, little red crabs with googly eyes, silly octopus and purple penguins.  They're great.  I play with them when the opportunity arises, without going out of my way of course.  Last night I also discovered that some of them are the most revolting toys in the history of bath toys.


For years parents and children have been warned about the toxicity of lead.  How Chinese (mostly) toys must be bought with caution for fear that terrible chemicals and toxins were used in the creation of said toys and/or the toys have been painted with lead or cyanide, or the Ebola virus.  I personally don't know anyone who became sick from these terror toys, was hospitalised or even grew a second head but I was very informed of the dangers.  I am certain these horror toys exist but I can't imagine finding them at the local Jersey Baby's R Us, and I refused to Google it.

The bath toys we brought into the giant blow up princess tub for our daughter were all made especially for children and crafted to the highest standards for safety and educational merit (whatever that means).   Some of these toys allow for kids and their parents to fill up the insides with water and squirt them out like a spitting fish or crab, ect.  They're cute, amusing and lots of fun.  They also apparently fill with black mold and squirt a nasty mix of water and mold flakes that ironically resemble bits of sea weed.  This alone is disturbing, but discovering this as your baby sprays her water toy in her face is extra special.

THE HORROR!!!

Manni didn't care. 

Mommy was simultaneously bewildered and furious. 

Daddy may have retched...  and then realized that there was only one way to remedy the situation.

Tonight would have to be Ice Cream Time!

Manni's favorite squirting toys are now taking a bath themselves... A bleach bath.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Baby Developmental Milestones



There are so many wonderful milestones parents get to experience in the first year of a baby's life.  Children grow so quickly in the first year and pass milestone after milestone faster than most parents would like.  If we're lucky we have a camera or video camera ready to capture these precious moments.  Each day we work with our children to prepare them for their next milestone and anxiously await the next phase in their development.

When our children so proudly succeed in their newest breakthrough, we as parents erupt with joy and content and then immediately long for the six week old cooing and needy infant we held in our arms just months earlier.  Do we fear the gradual independence of a growing child?  Do we selfishly long for the cute and loving dependence exuded from a newborn?  Or is it just the smell?

Perhaps it's none of this.  Perhaps its just enjoying the memories of your child as they grow and longing to relive the best ones.  And that is why being lucky enough to experience and sometimes capture on film/digitally these awesome milestones as they happen is cherished so deeply by the sentimental.



I would have no idea about any of this.

I have yet to experience a single milestone at its inaugural occurrence with the exceptions of phenomenal acts of excretion and/or regurgitation. 

Lets run through some great baby milestones and who was there to experience them.

Lifting of head - both of us because the baby was with us 24/7 for the first four weeks

Sitting up - Sarah

Sitting up on own - Sarah

Crawling - Sarah w/ video

Pulling up - Sarah

Cruising - Sarah

Power Poop - David

EDIT: Baby crawling up stairs - Grandma (just now while I was writing this)



Not only have I not been personally present for essentially all of the major milestones up until this point, but I have been to sole creator of milestone regression.  Recently I went to Montreal for a bachelor party.  I left on a Friday and returned on Sunday.  48 hours I was gone.  In that time Manni became so upset with my absence that she refused to pull herself up for a week.

Before I left she was standing constantly.  Pulling herself up everywhere, on chairs, tables, slick walls, pant legs.  Anywhere and everywhere.  She didn't just stand, she'd travel from one place to another using both legs, both directions and spinning without issue.

Once I returned...  nothing.  Just crawling.  If you attempted to 'help' her she immediately dropped into a split.  I was dumbfounded.  Google couldn't help me.  No one had ever reported on a baby going on strike.  I spent a week working through the 7 steps of grief and just when I was resigned to accept that'd she'd be crawling for the rest of her life, Manni pulled herself up, smiled at me and shuffled away (had on the table).  I'm surprised she didn't whisper "punk" as she scooted away.

Nothing like a baby showing stubbornness and insight before their first birthday.  Can't wait to see what I'm up against in this next year.



Twitter : @babymanni
http://thelifeandtimesofmanni.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baby Jail and keeping your baby safe

I caved and we bought a baby jail.

The goal of a baby jail is to keep your baby safe and confined to a specific location once they are mobile.  People have different concepts of what constitutes a baby jail.  Some parents have their kids strapped into their car seats, others put them in an extra saucer and let them bounce away.  A crib or pack 'n play could also be used to contain active children safely.  I've seen child gates put in doors to keep babies in their nurseries, or gates used to quarantine children to certain safe rooms.  We chose to purchase an octagon shaped Superyard.

The super yard was purchased to keep Manni confined in a safe place with a number of her toys for entertainment but allow her the freedom to see Mommy and/or Daddy in the room.  We the parents would be able to be productive with the freedom of being able to use both of our hands at the same time while having the piece of mind that the baby was safe and secure.  This of course was all in theory.

When we first setup the pen upstairs Manni enjoyed her new surroundings and even used the walls of the play pen to practice pulling herself up.

video 


During the day I moved the jail to the basement.  This is what the safe zone looks like when setup downstairs for our baby Manni.


It looks great right?  Yea Manni loved it too for about six minutes until she realized that I was being productive on the couch and that she wasn't able to crawl freely.  She became unbelievable annoying and by annoying I mean she wouldn't stop crying.  Tears and tears and ugly face and red eyebrows and snot and total meltdown.  Mind you this complete breakdown is all happening no more than six inches from me by a baby surrounded by toys.

I'm the tough parent.  I don't fold under the cuteness and heartache of a few tears.  I wasn't taking her out of her jail because that would defeat the purpose of buying the walls to begin with.  I knew that if I let her out due to her crying that she would have won the battle and would gain the upper hand in the child-parent tug of war for authority.  Her crying and screaming would not sway my decision to keep her in the safe area.  She would not be granted the freedom to crawl anywhere she wanted, no siree!





So the baby jail gained a new occupant. 

I know.  Pathetic.

Trivia question - what's more exciting that all the toys in the world?

Answer - Whatever Daddy is playing with.

Working in baby jail is difficult but can be feasible in small spurts.  We got into a rhythm and had a nice thing going until the dog got jealous that he wasn't involved in our baby jail party.  He whined and whined and paced back and forth.  He licked the sides and circled and his whine turned into a shrill.

It was unbelievably annoying.

Enough was enough.

This had to stop!









And then there were three.

For the record we do have a whole house.

So the baby and the dog played.   In the baby jail.  With me inside too.  All three in one little octagon with 400 baby toys.

video

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pediatrician baby fun




 This is our interpretation of the 1986 Jim Henson and David Bowie film "Labyrinth"



I took the baby for her first blood test today.  I had to drive to a special office called LabCorp for the blood taking.  What ever happened to doctors office's doing everything and specialists actually specializing in something SPECIAL?  Taking blood is one of the first things doctors and nurses learn to do, but they no longer actually take blood?   I know its an insurance thing, but it still makes no sense that patients have to spend time going to the doctors office, and then spend more time going to a LabCorp so they can take your blood.  Great allocation of time.  At least I didn't have to use up vacation time on it.

This is the first time I've gone to a LapCorp.  I don't go to doctors.  I recently (two years ago) went to my primary care after years of dodging it.  I hate extremely sterile places (I.E. hospitals, doctors offices, ect.) and avoid them at all costs (the birthing experience was rather difficult for me to say the least but I wasn't the one giving birth).  I also have issues with getting my blood taken.  I don't actually pass out, but get as close to losing my dignity as you possibly can while still maintaining the minimal amount of consciousness.  Essentially I'm a zombie that sweats profusely but is consciousness enough that I'm able to comprehend all the snide jokes mumbled by the nursing staff.  For this reason, when I mustered up enough courage - and had an appointment scheduled by my adamant wife - to visit my primary care and found out that I'd have to schedule ANOTHER appointment strictly for blood testing I knew that there was no way that was going to happen.  Appointment never made, no blood taken.

Today was the first time I've gone to a LapCorp.  Today I learned Baby Manya isn't as much of a baby as I am. 

That was a lie.

She's totally a baby. 

Totally.

LabCorp was a complete shit hole.  Not entirely their fault as they are moving to a new location in three days but holy crap they really didn't care about this facility at all.  It was a dump.  I felt like I was at the NJDMV circa 1992 minus the lines and minus the bugs.  You didn't sit down at the DMV, you could sit down at LabCorp. 

The nursing staff was 99% Indian (I only say 99% because there's always the chance one is from Pakistan or Bangladesh and they would get super pissed at me if I mistook their nationality) and they were excellent.  Super nice.  Super good at their job.  They also loved Manya and all crowded around helping each other and trying to make the baby comfortable.  Seriously, there were four nurses and doctors enjoying the baby.  Well, it was either that they just thought she was really cute or they all wanted to watch me sweat profusely at the sight of blood. 

I for some reason was under the impression that baby blood taking was done through the heel.  I was mistaken.  Nine month olds get blood taken from their arm just like adults but with a much smaller needle.  The needle was so small it was almost cute... almost, because its attached to a tube that makes the whole blood taking experience look like a meth lab.  A meth lab where I try not to look too disheveled and/or pass out.  But it was happening.  Here we go...

The nurses cooed and smiled. 

I hugged the baby aka prevented her from ripping out the needle and injuring herself.  And I sweat. 

Manya screamed and screamed and screamed and turned about as red as a stop sign, then turned purple, then turned red again and then sweat more than I did.  The nurses in mid-blood draw actually discussed the shade of red Baby Manni was turning.  When it was over we all felt terrible for the diaphoretic tomato in my arms. 

One of the nurses was so disheveled by it that while backing away with the blood sample she accidentally walked into the cubical wall and broke it off the wall.  Seriously.  That's how much of a shit hole this place was!  A 105 lb nurse could accidentally break through the wall WWE style.  Beast mode.

When we got home all the poor baby wanted to do was sleep.

Baby Manni resting after a hard day.


Crazy eyes!

Abuelo!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby is crawling!




Manya has been rocking back and forth on her knees for several weeks now.  The movement is quite hypnotic.  It has gotten to the point that I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to call around for a Minyan or if she's personally calling a Adhan. 

The bouncing is known to be a legitimate precursor to crawling but with each day that passes I hear more and more stories about babies who skip the crawling stage and go straight to walking.  Of course those babies didn't spend a lot of time on their belly.  Manya spends a great deal of time on her belly.  A vast majority of that belly time was spent spinning in circles, "planking" (which she never would pose for pictures), and rocking/praying.  With each crawling attempt Manya never quite got to the point of moving her arms forward which ultimately resulted in a face plant or a slow motion reenactment of the friendly fireman "Stop, Drop and Roll" if you included "frustrated cry" after the roll.

We attempted to work with her by giving her incentives to crawl to objects but she is very resourceful and more often than not was able to take advantage of the environment around her to bring those objects to her rather than the other way around.
video

Other times she worked on climbing rather than crawling.

video


She also attacked us when we worked her too hard.

video 

 Then this happened:

video

We are now fully mobile. 

And increasing in speed and dexterity with every second.

Similar to Moore's Law (who's the dork now?) Manya's speed and coordination doubles every eighteen hours (rather than every eighteen months).  So now I have to keep my head on a swivel 140% of the time.  Yay. 

Fear. 

A little bit of fear. 

Did I mention that now that we're totally mobile Manya wants to do everything.  And by everything I mean walk.  It's all subconscious.  Her back leg keeps trying to push her up into standing position on its own.  She doesn't know it but its happening, but that one leg knows what it's trying to do.   I'm watching it.  Wide eyed.  It's going to figure it out.  And it's going to happen soon.

Loving every new milestone with a tiny bit of terror. 

Cojack is not excited about a fully mobile infant either.










Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby falls, sneezing baby and boogers!



Holy crap, last night the baby tried to kill herself.  Not in a Sylvia Plath or Kurt Cobain kind of way, no, she went directly for the 'overly excited about Daddy in my bedroom in the middle of the night, lets test the Laws of Gravity and Daddy's reactions while sleep walking' method of self-destruction.

I passed the test.   Somehow while facing the wrong direction with limited light and clad in just underwear, my cat like reflexes caught my suicidal baby and her delicate head.  There was no true logic to the event other than she was so excited that she wanted to "launch" herself into my arms from 5 feet away with my back turned.  Despite my success I had a brief but powerful heart attack, almost had to change my underwear, and decided not to tell my wife.  Yea I don't use the strap on the changing table because she wiggles and squirms her way out of it.  Never was an issue before.

Well at least we have hard wood floors to break the fall.  I feel like I should be walking around with 17 pillows to soften the blow from any fall.  Then again, wouldn't Darwin say 'survival of the fittest'?  That might work if you have fifteen kids running around, but when you only have one little rug rat who just smiles, coos and tries to launch herself into a full fledged NASA test of gravity you (as parents) tend to care about the well being of that infant.

Bottom line, no harm no foul.  She hasn't been dropped or fallen from any piece of furniture yet (not from lack of trying).  I assume its inevitable at some point, but I'd prefer the soft shell firm up a little more before we start testing it.

I'm funny!

Is there anything cuter than a baby sneeze?  It's amazingly cute.  Is amazingly even a word?  I'm pretty sure the smaller/younger the baby/creature/pet, the cuter anything is but sneezing is very cute.  Even the sound of a baby sneezing is cute.  You've all seen the panda sneeze.  I know I'm cheating by using a panda bear is my example, but you get the point. 

Baby + Sneeze = Cuteness

Well, it's cute until you see it in slow motion.  And it's cute when a baby does it until you realize there's a booger.  It makes sense there would be a booger.  People don't sneeze for any reason other than a tickle or blockage of the nose.  So finding a booger is entirely logical.  Logical and kinda gross because even though a baby is so teenie and precious, apparently their boogers are the same size as a full size adult.  And they're just as disgusting.

But babies don't use tissues.  And they tend to release their boogers as far away for a tissue as possible and/or in the middle of an activity where traveling to find a tissue is near impossible.  But you can't leave it on your baby's face because that's simply wrong.  So quite often I find myself walking around with someone else's boogers.  This is not fun.  In public everyone would think its mine and I'm just being a freak.  Imagine being at the park or the mall walking around with one nonchalantly looking for a tissue?  At home I could tell my wife to take the baby's booger from me but who's to say I'm not lying and just trying to get her to take my booger and not her baby's? (credit that line to Josh K)

As I'm sure you've deduced, the baby still has a stuffy nose which only occurs at night.  I spend my evenings in a world of boogers and sniffling.  It is the bane of my beauty rest and if I'm not beautiful in my old age I will forever blame Manya's stuffed nose.



Can we talk about the irony of fighting with the baby for forty five minutes to get her to go down for a nap.  After four separate attempts and finally getting the eyes to close and drift into a deep sleep the phone rings (land line, never happens) at full volume, and its the pediatric office!  Good times.

This is Manya's Peruvian outfit!

video
Manya on the swings for the first time ever!!!


Anyone ever notice that a baby crying kind of sounds like a cat?

We don't own a cat.  Just a baby.

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.

Repeat.

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

video



Exciting grandma time!
video

Grandpa singing in Polish
video


And a little in Hebrew
video















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.

video

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?

...

...

...

Good.

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:

video

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Introducing baby food and sleep regression

Murphy's Law. I talk about the great sleeping patterns of my infant and BOOM! random shitty sleep schedule. As I searched through the internets, learning about the numerous first-hand experiences with "7 month sleep regressions", it was apparent that:

A) Sleep Regressions occur at any and all times. 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 7 months, ect. There is no rhyme or reason.

and B) Parents have no control, we are at the whim of our babies. But this does not mean that we don't attempt with all our might to trick ourselves into thinking we have control.

Sure there's plenty of books and PhDs and studies and more bullshit but you really have two choices with a baby who doesn't want to sleep. You can either let the baby control you and thus have a spoiled child who may or may not have deep rooted issues due to the fact that they didn't fall asleep alone at the tender age of 210 days and now rely on Momma for comfort, or turn your heart to ice and let that little bundle of joy turn into a red faced, swollen, hysterical tear face crying uncontrollably in the nursery until they pass out from exhaustion while you attempt to distract yourself by watching TV at a slightly higher than normal volume (aka full) and your wife sobs outside the nursery door clutching her bleeding heart. (Now that's how you do a run on sentence ladies and gentlemen, eat it Hemingway!).



Guess which one we did?

We spoiled our baby.... kinda. To put it in perspective, Manya is a great sleeper. When she goes down in her crib, she's down for the night and will be asleep until 7-8 in the morning. Her issue began when she didn't want to be put down in her crib despite falling into a deep sleep elsewhere (variety of places). The second her bum grazed the crib sheets, the eyes would pop open with disgust and disbelief while simultaneously screaming at me for my insolent transgression. It was ludicrous and frustrating.

We attempted Dr.Weissbluth's very popular and recommended sleep training but after a while it simply felt like premeditated torture. Each night we attempted the crib several times and after several failures, brought her into our bed for co-sleeping.

I know, we're silly hippies. First cloth diapering and now co-sleeping. But honestly, she slept 'like a baby' in our bed and it was pretty great waking up next to my two girls each morning. Mind you they take up the whole bed and push me into the corner, but I'll accept their selfishness because they're cute and smell wonderful. Manya would sleep between us, soundly, but if I happened to get within striking distance I would absolutely be woken by a jarring slap to the face or a quick hair pull. Some things never change.



For the past few days we have transitioned her back into the crib and things have returned to a relative normal.

AND NOW WE'VE STARTED REAL FOOD!

Or at least blended and pureed smears of color. Continuing with our hippie theme we are making our own baby food and basing our food strategies on two books. Cooking for Baby and Mommy Made and Daddy Too!.

We began the introduction to solid foods as all parents do with fabulously (not a real word) boring rice cereal which reminded me of a cross between the food we will have to eat in the Matrix and the insides of Bishop in Alien. Manya ate it with the reverence of paste. We then introduced a new puree every three days starting with the infamous stalwarts; bananas, yellow squash, apple sauce, avocados and sweet potatoes. Many infants love eating and regularly open their mouths wide for new tastes and the wonderful nutrients that accompany these fascinating explosions of flavor. Manya finds it much more enjoyable to wear each new food across her cheeks, lock her jaw shut and occasionally blow a spoonful of puree into her respective parent's clean face and wardrobe.



I liken the introduction of each new food to an tamer version of the Fox Network hit show Fear Factor staring man's man, Joe Rogan. Manya's appalling disgust for bananas and avocados would make you think we were feeding her bug larva and stink bugs. When the first full spoonful of avocado entered Manya's mouth she transformed into Nicole Richie. Her eyes sunk into her face welling with disgust as she repeatedly gagged while aptly balancing a hefty smear of green avocado on her tongue. Nutrition is fun.



As parents it is our duty to transform into fools during feeding time. We mistakenly believe we can 'trick' our children into opening their mouths so we can quickly slip a covertly hidden spoonful of mush past the guardian lips of doom. Little do we know but babies also believe in "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" so now not only am I wearing the 'food of the day' but I am also singing songs and dancing around like an asshole for no apparent reason because the now learned child can transform a full belly laugh into a sealed vice in a blink of an eye. Ironically aside from prying open the baby lips, preforming the Fools Dance is my only hope. It's humiliating. Every day I transform into an episode of Dancing with the Stars but look more like a dancing monkey in North Africa (maybe Casablanca?) without the skill set to pick pockets, back flip or climb quickly.

She does eventually eat some of the food, it just takes a little longer than if she was eager to get the food anywhere near her mouth and not just all over the room. On another bright note, at least her poop still doesn't smell yet.




This is the look for all aspiring baby chefs