Sunday, January 31, 2010


Adam accuses me of being a "glass half empty" person (OK, he might be justified at least half of the time) but this was a half-way point that we could agree to celebrate. Our family had a little party, complete with half-cake (thanks Aunt Jackie!) but 100% of the love and attention to the guest of honor. Micah enjoyed hanging out with cousins Rachel and Sarah, playing on Grandma Judy's exercaucer which is different from the one we have at home. He looked at everyone and everything as if it were completely new, which, if your little mind is growing and changing every day, I guess it is.

Even though he didn't have any of the cake or ice cream (thank goodness since it was coffee!), the afternoon was a bit overstimulating, and the smiling, happy baby in this picture dissolved into an inconsolable mess just two hours later. Looks like we need to move bedtime from 7 to 6:30.....

TThe other half of this sign is waiting for his official full birthday! Isn't grandma creative?
Some stats from Micah's 6-month check-up: He's currently 16.4 lbs, in the 28th percentile for weight, and 26 and a bit inches long, in the 67th percentile for length. He's still in the 1st percentile for head circumference, but the doctor says it is fine because he continues to follow the same growth trajectory as other babies, just under the line. He survived getting 4 shots at once, but that was only part of what he needed to get -- we've decided to split the shots up, so he'll need to go back for some follow-up shots over the next few weeks.

This little outfit looked so cute on him -- brown and blue bring out his gorgous eyes and reddish brown hair. The sentiments on it become truer every day -- he is his mommy's little treasure (and his daddy's buddy.) We both love kissing his chubby cheeks, and making him giggle by nuzzling his neck. He's standing with more confidence every day, still showing no interest whatsoever in rolling or crawling. He loves his bouncer, and we thought that he'd happily bounce all day if we let him.... until we left him alone for a while, and came back to find this sight:

Gotta nap when the urge strikes you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You can't smell the soup when your head is in the pot

What the hell's going on here? I thought we had a pretty good system going on!
Come on daddy, let me try!

Warning: this is a post with lots of mention of bodily fluids. The squeemish or TMI-sensitive reader should wait for the next installment!!!

Regular readers of this blog have pointed out that it has been a long time since my last post. Actually, it has felt like a lot longer than 2 weeks to me. Micah kindly shared his cold with his mommy and daddy, and ours took a sneezy, snotty form rather than the chest cold that Micah had. None of us slept a full night through for about a week, and then, just as the cold was beginning to subside, I had a muscle spasm in my back and was in unable-to-sleep pain for a week. No, I didn't hurt it doing anything dramatic; the doctor suspected that all the sneezing and carrying of a 17-pound baby may have primed me for it. Now I'm better, but Micah seems to have some sort of "eye cold" with goopy eyes. (Is there such a thing as an eye cold? Adam keeps using that term. It isn't pinkeye, just goop.)
He's having a hard time with his late afternoon nap at daycare, so comes home cranky and sometimes too cranky to eat. We've been getting him to bed a bit earlier, but he has been waking up at odd hours of the early morning lately -- not sure if it is hunger, getting used to sleeping without being swaddled, or the beginning of teething. We have a lot to discuss with the doctor at his 6-month visit later this week.
Nearing the 6-month point has led us to the introduction of solid foods. We started about 2 weeks ago with avocado (so-so), then moved to sweet potato (much more popular), tried peas (the consistency of my first batch wasn't good; I've reformatted and we'll try again), and rice cereal yesterday morning. Oh me oh my did we have an explosion of bodily fluids. He was very unhappy with the rice cereal. It is pretty tasteless, and a less smooth consistency than his first foods. Trying to feed him despite his protests, I caused a gag reflex that brought up about 3 ounces of formula and watery eyes. Then we discovered that he was probably fussy because he was sitting in a hugely messy, "up the back" diaper. Oh my. Today we tried the rice cereal again but mixed it with some sweet potato. Still not very interested, but I think some of it went in his mouth as opposed to the bib. I'm defrosting a bottle of the breast milk that we purchased from the milk bank and I'm going to try mixing that with the rice cereal tonight, on the theory that it is a bit sweeter than formula. If this third attempt at rice cereal doesn't work (note from later on: a total failure this time, no way, no how, no thank you ma'am), think we'll move on to barley or oats, carrots, and then bananas.
I don't know how we didn't connnect this, but he developed a rash on his chest a few days ago, and I suddenly today wondered if it was related to the sweet potato. Solid food seems fraught with so many complexities and differing opinions. What are allergens, what are chocking hazards, what texture is appropriate for what age. The advice available in books seems contradictory and very culturally based (for example, no mention of any seasonings or spices, which we feel are important so that we don't have a bland-food baby; I'm sure they must introduce seasonings in other cultures to babies) It feels frustratingly slow to only be able to introduce one new food every 4 days -- he'll be in college before we've introduced a healthy range of foods.
In other baby-related developments, we're shopping for a new Micah-mobile, which is also a big project (Note to self: 6 hours of car shopping with a baby are 5 too many). We really need 2 new cars because Adam is driving a 10 year old car with 185,000 miles and I'm driving a 15 year old car with 115,000 miles, but we can only afford to do one right now, so it will have to be an all-purpose, gas-guzzling, SUV that can take us into the mountains for camping and winter fun. A fun, fuel-efficient city car for Mommy will have to wait another year or so.....
I leave you with two "aw sweet" photos from last week as a reward for making it through all that icky stuff!
Shabbat dinner with mommy's homemade challah. Wait 'til Micah can eat that!

Couldn't resist one last bath picture. If only he didn't insist on looking at his toes, the water level wouldn't be quite so high!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Micah is suffering from his first bad cold. It isn't that bad -- just a hacking cough and stuffy nose, but it led to a few other firsts:
  • first time being cranky at bedtime;
  • first time being clingy and inconsolable;
  • first time not having 4 full bottles during the day and consequently first time (in a few months) of needing a 3 am feeding;
  • first time mommy gets to juggle sick kid who can't go to daycare and trying to work.
Sadly, this has also coincided with first real tears. It is much harder to ignore a crying child with real glistening tears in his eyes!

Daddy and Grandma kept asking me to call the doctor yesterday. I knew there the only prescription was going to be a humidifier and elevating the head of his bed, but I humored them and called. Nope, no miracle cough medicine has been approved for babies. Poor little guy just has to tough it out. We're a bit sleepless and cranky too, Micah, and I think you gave mommy some germs 'cause my throat hurts today.

One happier first over the weekend: Micah has been trying to take charge of his own feedings lately, trying to control when his bottle is in his mouth and when it isn't, and this weekend he was able to hold the bottle on his own for short periods. He can't quite control the angle of the bottle, but I'm cheering any step toward self-feeding. We still haven't started him on "solid" foods yet; that may come this weekend depending on how he feels. Daddy is really reluctant to start, while Grandma's been pushing for it since day 1.

We have no sign of rolling over or crawling yet, but he's loving standing up in his bouncy seat, in the activity saucer, and supported by mommy or daddy.

Monday, January 4, 2010


By far bedtime is becoming the sweetest hour of the day. Our current routine starts with a late afternoon nap, sometimes lasting as late as 6:15. Occassionally I have to wake Micah up at this time for a "dream feed," but he usually wakes himself up and I give him his last bottle. For a while, I was making an enriched bottle (an extra half-scoop of formula) but he no longer seems to need that to get through the night. After the bottle, he has a little playtime (sometimes while mommy and daddy eat dinner) and then it is off to the spa! We're still enjoying our Spa Baby tub, which allows him to submurge up to his neck in a nice, womblike atmosphere. He certainly seems to enjoy it, and doesn't even mind getting his hair washed.

The Spa Baby tub. Micah loves it, though Mommy often puts just a bit too much water in it.
One, two, three, up! and Micah is wrapped up in a big fluffy towel on the sink counter. Tonight for the first time I introduced tooth-brushing .... or should I say, gum-brushing. He gagged a little, but I think the strawberry-flavored toothpaste was a hit. The shivering baby then gets hugged to mamma's chest for the trip to the bedroom, where the space heater has warmed things up.

Cousins Olivia and Ben help with Micah's bath, December 2009

He gets a little massage coupled with a lesson in body parts before being diapered and tucked into the fleece baby bag. I was under the impression that little boys took every opportunity to squirt their parents when naked, but we haven't had any instances of this in several months. I'm trying to prepare myself not to react when he does it next time, since I think he might start thinking it is funny or clever to do if he gets a reaction.

More massage, please!
Now the nice, sweet-smelling baby is ready for winding down. We read a book -- my favorite is The Giant Jam Sandwich -- or recently a poem -- tonight it was Wadsworth's Daffodil poem. He seems to really like poetry, paying more attention than if I show him a picture book or read a prose story. And then I sing Micah his "bedtime song" which are two prayers I've strung together: Hashkivenu (Lay over me a canopy of peace) and the Debbie Friedman version of the Shema in Hebrew and then with my made- up English interpretation: "God please protect me while I am sleeping, keep me safe and warm. Send all of your angels to watch over me, while I'm in your arms." It doesn't quite rhyme, but it works with the tune.

Aunt Andrea helps read a bedtime story.

Micah's started to look at me with a really happy look of recognition when I start singing these tunes; I think he likes knowing that sleepytime is coming. Speaking of sleepytime, he definitely recognizes the baby sign for "go to sleep" too. His loving gaze during these bedtime rituals keeps them from getting old, and it is becoming our special time together, as Daddy is often starting to doze by 7 pm too! And then the moment of pure bliss, when he gets swaddled in his favorite blanket with his soothies pacifier, and the knowledge that we won't hear a peep out of him until sometime between 5:30 and 7 am!