Monthly Archives: January 2010

Out longer than in

Dear Curly,

Happy “out longer than in day”!  Yes, it’s true.  January 30, 2010 marks the 273rd day that you’ve been out in the world.  You were born 272 days after conception.  I know, this isn’t really a milestone.  Still, you’ll be 9 months old in 2 more days and THAT is pretty significant!  You’ve been so sick this month, but it hasn’t stopped you from growing and being your charming self.  You are thriving at day care and they love you.  You avidly watch the older kids and are so sweet to the little girl that’s a month younger than you.  And it melts our hearts when we walk in the door to pick you up, and you smile and crawl over, eager to be held. You’ve learned how to clap and to bang toys together.  You aren’t very into being spoon fed mushy food anymore, but you love to feed yourself table food.

I’ve never really told you much about my pregnancy.  The time when you were growing inside me was many things.  It was magical, and painful, and sometimes a little creepy.  Most of the time I felt physically sick or uncomfortable, but there were times that I felt cute, and I always felt proud and lucky.

We spent many of those 272 “inside” days dreaming of what you would be like, of all the things we wanted to show you and tell you.  Much of parenting a newborn/ baby is getting by and meeting demands, but your personality is emerging and some of those things that we dreamed about are starting to become reality.  When I hold you in my arms each morning, the pale winter dawn filtering through the window, I kiss your soft fuzzy head and sing to you, and it’s just as I envisioned it when I felt your kicking in my tummy.

You have changed our lives more than we ever could have imagined, and our love for you grows stronger with each passing day.  Here’s a little photo progression, to show how far you’ve come.  From the last belly shot, to newly out in the world, to smiling at us as you contemplate some new form of mischief.  And hey, maybe you are a red head after all.  Only time will tell on that one, since the pictures exaggerate that quality.

Eemah and Mommy


Before Curly’s cold had the chance to go away, in moved another annoying tenant- bronchiolitis (a kind of viral baby version of bronchitis). So now he’s still got a drippy, snotty nose plus a racking, wheezing cough. He sounds as beautiful as you’d imagine. Thankfully he is still in good spirits…playful and smiling most of the time.

We took him to the doctor today and they did two kinds of nebulizer treatments on him. Well, they set them up and then left the room while Nutella and I did our best to hold Curly down amidst the arching and crying and whacking and head-shaking, and tried to administer the treatments. Halfway through the second treatment, we decided it was doing more harm than good (Curly was hysterical and sweating profusely trying to fight it), and stopped. When the doctor came back in the room, she said we could try removing the mask and simply get him to breathe in the mist by holding the middle piece near his chin. If only we had known that from the start! Curly was so interested in the piece without the mask that he happily sucked and chewed on it while the mist poured out, and it became his new favorite toy. We actually ended up taking that little piece home with us.

Treatment 1 aka “Get this effing thing off my face”

Complete meltdown in 3...2...1...

Treatment 2 aka “I gotta get me one of these”


In the end, the doc wrote a prescription for a type of albuterol in syrup form. Curly is usually very good with liquid medicine so hopefully it doesn’t taste horrible. Originally we had a follow-up appointment for next week, but the doc called us (herself!) and said to come in on Friday instead to see how he’s doing. She did warn us that the cough could last up to two more weeks, argh!

Left behind…by choice

There has been so much talk lately in the blogosphere regarding people thinking about having their second child. When I saw the first instance of it, I said to Nutella, “Isn’t it going to be weird when more people who have had a baby around the same time as us start trying for their second?” and then BOOM! 5 or 6 other bloggers started talking about it. And it IS a little weird because we’re done with one. We decided on one before we had him, and now that he’s here, we’re staying at one. And that’s ok with us.

We do think about two big things related to a second child though: A: We have a large curiosity about the kind of child that could come from my, Strawberry’s, body and B: We’ll never have a daughter (though a second child and so on might not “fix” that) Regarding A, I still have little to no desire to be pregnant, but having gotten to know the child that came from my wife’s body, we do wonder what a child would be like that came from mine. What would the child’s personality be like? How would the child look? Completely superficially speaking (because looks really are at the booooottom of the list), it appears Nutella did not get the redheaded child she’d hoped for by using a redheaded donor (Curly’s hair definitely has reddish tones and at best, might be auburn, but probably more like a sandy brown). If I used redheaded donor sperm, I would almost certainly get a redheaded baby. Like I said, this is completely superficial and just for fun. But, we’ll never know what kind of child I would produce because I ain’t doin’ it.

Regarding “B”, we did have our hopes set on having a daughter, but we love our healthy and beautiful son no less and are grateful for him every day. There will always be that wistful longing for a girl though…but it’s just not happening.

When we first blogged about the subject of only having one, a few people read it with suspicious eyes and said “Well, you never know…” Yes, we do know. Almost 9 months after our son was born, we still don’t have a desire to have another. And we’ve seen lots of terribly cute brand new baby photos recently (you know who you are!), and while those photos do tug at our heartstrings, they did not set aflame the true desire to get going again. Sure, there are things we miss about having an itty bitty baby, but there are many things we don’t. If you’ve been following along from the start, you know the difficult times we had those first few weeks and months, and we do not care to repeat them. At this point, we feel like things are continuing to get easier and better and more exciting with our son, and it gives us relief to not have to look back anymore.

One of the reasons that some couples decide to have another child is so that their first child isn’t an only child. They want their child to have a sibling. We’ve thought about that, but have concluded that it isn’t reason enough for us. We feel like being a family of three works for us, and considering Curly’s personality thus far, works for him. Curly has always been a sensitive/demanding baby, while at the same time, a very independent one. He loves to play and explore on his own more than with other children, although he does respond well to them. It could be his age, but we feel its more due to his personality. And we feel comfortable that he’ll be ok as an only child in that regard. Of course, we’re glad he gets to interact with the other kids in daycare and will work to foster his relationships with other children in our neighborhood and our friends’ kids….we just don’t get the feeling that he needs a sibling.

That said, we are excited for all of you out there with plans for a second and wish you an easy journey. We hope you’ll still be interested in our family of three as much as we’re interested in your growing ones.

[Edited to add: Hoping not to offend anyone…for those of you trying for your first, we of course want more than anything for you to achieve your dream. For those who already have 2 or twins and hope to add another child, absolutely nothing wrong with that either. I just wrote this with the very specific thought of having a second in mind.]

For a re-visit to this subject from when our son was nearing 3 years old, please see this post:

You send me swinging

  • I enjoyed my day off with Curly yesterday (unfortunately, Nutella had to go to work). It hit me how drastically different it felt from my FMLA days off with him. He is such a little boy now. He is into everything and constantly on the move. The weather was nice enough that we could get out, and so we met up a friend that had not yet met Curly and also took a walk and enjoyed the sun.  He is so amazingly social and smiley with people and flirts with everyone. Though adult conversation is difficult with a baby to focus on, he keeps things very entertaining.
  • The girls from love + love = marriage visited us this past weekend and Curly and his birthday twin, HP, got to hang out. The first time they met was when they were 5 months old. At 8+ months, they were both very interactive with each other. It’s nice to see how they’re both growing in leaps and bounds. We all went out to lunch and the boys were so well-behaved, eating at the table with us.

Nice to see you again!

Guinness, and my friend will have a scotch on the rocks.

  • Curly is officially cruising, usually by way of the couch. We bought him one of those Walk n’ ride things to help with walking, not that he needs much help in that department. I’m definitely not bragging about his mobility…though it is exciting, like I said, he is into everything. Every time he comes home from daycare, he’s got a new bruise from the bumps and falls. Our house is full of baby gates and I’m constantly trying to keep things cleaned up except for the baby toys everywhere. We knew we’d get to this point, just not sure we thought it would be at 8 months.
  • We’ve been seeing lots of pictures of little ones in swings, so I decided to take advantage of the warmer weather and introduce Curly to the joy of a bucket swing. He loved it and was all smiles at first, and then he went into a peaceful, swing-induced trance. I bet he could’ve stayed in it for hours. Swing win!


Children and Art

When we met up with the ladies over at 04-05-2008 a few weekends ago, they gifted us with 3 amazing pieces of custom artwork.  We are so in awe of the work and the thought that went into these pieces.  The technique is called “quilling” which is twisted pieces of colored paper glued onto a backing.  It’s very beautiful and we can’t wait to hang it in Curly’s room.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  The frames are about 8×8 inches, so the artwork itself is intricate and small.

Nutella, Strawberry, Cupcake

Curly did very well at daycare this week.  He has learned how to take his 2 hour afternoon nap, has been taking all his bottles, and even eating lunch as part of the group.  They eat sitting around in a circle on the floor. We sent some peach puree mixed with oatmeal cereal on Monday but apparently that wasn’t good enough for him, so he crawled over and stole another kid’s sweet potato pieces.  Lesson learned, Curly!  The rest of the week we’ve been sending him with finger foods.  We are already seeing what a great learning environment daycare is for him, too.  He is more vocal than before.  His care provider told me that he likes to babble at the little girl that’s 1 month younger than him and that she screeches back.  And he’s learned how to clap and “dance”, which is beyond charming!

My cold is hanging on but I think it’s on its way out.  Curly never got more than a stuffy/runny nose, thankfully.  We’ve figured out that the bath is the best place to clean his nose out.  He gets so relaxed we can do the saline and snot sucking with very little fuss.  BTW, the snot sucker from the hospital is FAR superior to either of the 2 we’ve bought since.  All you preggo ladies out there, be sure to take the one they use on your babe before you leave, ok?  Anything that the nurses leave with the bassinet or use on your baby is yours to keep.  That means packs of diapers, snot sucker, blanket, hat, outfit, comb, anything.  Oh, and the pillows from your bed, too, if you want.  They just throw them away when you are discharged.

Have a great weekend everyone!

The Cold (not talking about Outside)

Warning: Illness and poop-related talk approaching…

It didn’t take long for illness to strike our household after starting daycare. Both Curly and Nutella have colds and my fingers are crossed that I don’t get it. Fortunately for Nutella, she can blow her own nose. Unfortunately for Curly, he can’t. Now, if he even sees that snot-sucking bulb heading his way, he’s already putting up his hands to block it. This kid would make an excellent goalie one day. Snot sucking leads to immense head-shaking, whining, and hand deflection. Saline drops? Oh, they are the absolute devil and lead to crying and screaming fits. But when your baby stops drinking his bottle after every 2 gulps so he can breathe through his mouth, they’re a necessary evil.

Something else that happens when a baby gets a cold- more poop. Mucousy, sticky poop. And unfortunately, Curlydoesn’t always let us know when he’s sitting on a load (if we don’t smell it), or worse, sleeping with one. This has led to a very sore, chapped, flaming red bum. Which leads to slathering neosporin on the raw areas, and butt paste everywhere else. Which leads to more screaming fits requiring both moms to be present for diaper changes. Colds SUCK.

But no fever and a baby that is otherwise acting like his normal self means daycare must go on, complete with a daycare supply of neosporin, butt paste, and snot sucker, as well as a detailed explanation of the current situation o’ sick. He’s going to be mightily pissed that all of that stuff followed him and I can only imagine the look of horror on the daycare providers’ faces when he begins screaming bloody murder at first sight of them.

This, too, shall pass right?

Division of labor

Just an update on the daycare situation….

Every day seems to be improving.  Curly is learning to sleep better and the past 2 days, he’s taken all 3 of his bottles there.  We are really finding our stride with regards to our new schedule.  Here’s a sample of our weekday:

7:00 Alarm goes off. Nutella wakes Curly, changes him, and gives him his first bottle.  Strawberry hops in the shower.

7:30 Strawberry brings Curly downstairs for some playtime, makes coffee, feeds the dog, and prepares breakfast for Curly.  Nutella takes her turn in the shower.

8:00 Curly gets breakfast from either Strawberry or Nutella while the other one prepares his bottles for day care.

8:15 Nutella warms up her car, Strawberry gets Curly into his coat.

8:20 Nutella loads up Curly into her car and takes Curly to daycare.  Strawberry heads to work.

Nutella generally gets to work just before 9am, Strawberry is at work by 8:30ish (yes, we both have short commutes)

4:30 Strawberry leaves work and picks up Curly at 4:45

5:00 Strawberry and Curly get home, change as needed and into the crib for a nap. Nutella leaves work. Strawberry washes that day’s bottles and nipples.

5:20ish Strawberry feeds the dog. Nutella gets home, makes dinner and the mommies eat.

6:15 Curly is woken from his nap. Plays a bit and then…

6:30 Curly gets dinner, then straight into the tub, followed by a little bit of playtime, one final bottle from Strawberry, and then back in bed for the night at 7:15

7:30 Quiet household chores together, then chill time.  Some nights we take turns going out to do an activity/ hobby or shopping (for personal sanity)

The thing about our parenting style is that we have always striven for equality, and that equality has come very naturally to us. In our relationship, it has always been Nutella cooking and Strawberry cleaning because that follows our inclinations. Now that Curly is here, it’s no different. I enjoy cooking dinner, meal planning and grocery shopping, as well as preparing Curly’s food. Strawberry’s goal is to keep the house in order and she enjoys doing the laundry. In the summer, we share yardwork duties and our bills are split as evenly down the middle as possible. We have separate bank accounts, but another shared one for special savings. We’ve never really had to have a discussion about splitting things like this- it always felt comfortable to us, although it helps that for the past couple of years, we’ve made roughly the same salary.

There’s been a lot going around in the blog/forum world where one parent feels more left out in the parenting relationship for whatever reason…one of the biggest reasons being that the non-gestational parent is not breastfeeding. For us, this was never an issue, but it was important for us to figure out why, when it seems like such a big issue for so many other couples. We think it’s in part because breastfeeding to us meant feeding the baby, and that always fell under my preferred responsibilities. For me, it was more about providing nourishment for Curly and not  just the emotional bonding. Strawberry never felt threatened by our breastfeeding relationship, or left out (well, she was left out of course, but didn’t mind). When he was upset and we wanted to soothe him, he was not offered the breast unless he was truly hungry. It would be up to whichever one of us was feeling more mentally capable of handling his baby meltdown at the time. Strawberry did more diaper changes and loved dressing him and I felt fine letting her take the lead on those things.

As you can see in the schedule above, we try to make sure duties are split and care is equal. We consider ourselves lucky that our natural likes and dislikes matched up so well. It works for us and we hope it continues to do so.

First day and 8 month appt.

I picked up Curly from his first day of daycare yesterday. He was completely “zombified” which we expected. He is used to getting 2-3 hours of naps daily. At best, he got 45 minutes at daycare. Hopefully napping will get easier for him as he gets used to his new surroundings. They were able to feed him 2 of his 3 bottles. While I’m glad he ate, I’m a bit sad that he only got two feedings in those 8 hours (he just kept refusing some of the time).  The daycare provider shared her observations with me- that Curly is very strong and very “willful” (yep). He was constantly on-the-move or chewing on things. He was eager to explore every inch and very vocal when frustrated. She said that after a while, he began to get upset and look around for us. He even crawled to the front door to try and escape! Our hearts broke when we heard this. But they were able to distract him and get him happy again. She said it took both of them to diaper him because he wanted to roll off the changing table and was so strong. Not surprising…guess we’re just used to it. It only took a day, but they’re quickly becoming familiar with his many quirks. Oh, and remember how I said I could write a book about them? I did write a page-worth of “tips” regarding feedings and naps, and was profusely thanked for it.

When I got home, he sucked down a bottle and went right to sleep. He probably would’ve slept the whole night through if we hadn’t woken him up for dinner and a bath. We know this week (or two) will continue to be rough…heck, this whole new routine may be hard, but we don’t really have any other choice if we want to continue living the way we do. I could write a whole post on how it feels like a job to me for us all to get out of the house in the mornings, and to do what we need to do in the evenings, while actually working in between, but that would be a little depressing. As the song goes, we’re working for the weekend.

Anyway, we had Curly’s 8 month well-baby checkup this morning. We spoke with the doctor about the amount of sleep and naps he requires to function well, and she thinks it’s a curious case. She’s going to contact the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital to get their take on it. We’re pretty sure nothing is wrong, as Curly is growing and thriving, but it is an anomaly of sorts. As far as measurements go, Curly continues his one-pound-a-month weight gain, weighing in at 18 pounds, 4 oz…..approximately the 23rd percentile. He is 28.5 inches, which is approximately the 60th percentile. He seems to have done all his crazy growth during his first 6 months and things are slowing down now. That’s good for us, since Nutella and I are too small to keep up with it! Milestone-wise, he is physically doing things at an increased pace. His language skills are slow to emerge, but no one’s worried. He babbles, but not much else. He’s still a fairly social guy.

Guess that about wraps it up. Since our appointment was later in the morning, we were both home for a half day and let Curly have a nice nap. We spent some good time with him at the doctor’s and I was able to give him a bottle at daycare before leaving. But from here on out, the new schedule reigns!

Happy New Year

Happy new year to all of you out there!

We celebrated by leaving Curly overnight for the first time.  He stayed with Strawberry’s parents for approximately 15 hours while we went into the city for dinner, drinking, and a night in a hotel.  We put him to bed there and then were back for him at about the time of his morning nap.  He had a total blast with his grandparents (and their dog) and I know the feeling is mutual.  As much as we missed him first thing in the morning, it was lovely to not have to worry about him, to enjoy a throwback to our baby-free days of late night drinking and carousing, and to potentially sleep in the next day.  Of course, that last one didn’t technically happen, because neither of us slept much due to the unfortunate drunken antics until past the wee hours of morning by idiots on our hotel floor.  Oh well, you can’t win em all, and at least we didn’t have to drive.

Curly did a 1 hour trial at daycare on Wednesday and was “an angel” so we start full time on Monday.  If he had been upset at our leaving him, there would have been a longer trial on Thursday, but the care provider didn’t think he needed it.  I’m certainly glad that he’s an independent kid, and while I won’t lie and say that it didn’t sting  that he didn’t seem to miss us, this is a preferable outcome.  We are a little bit concerned how the scheduling and naps and feedings will all work out.  I’m sure it’s going to be rough going for a week or so until he gets used to the new routine and they get to know him better.  It’s great that they think he’s an angel, but in that time he didn’t need a nap, a bottle, or a change.  He was enthralled by the new toys and people, but when that charm wears off, I think it may be a very different story.  We trust them and I’m certain everything will work out in time.

For those of you that ended 2009 on a high note, we are so happy for you and hope that 2010 continues to smile upon you.  For those of you that are not sad to see 2009 come to an end, may this new year be a hopeful beginning and may you find your heart’s desires fulfilled.  We look forward to sharing our journey with you and following you in yours.