Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

Dear Calvin,

Congratulations, baby! You are one third of one year old today. That's right: it's been four whole months since I went to the hospital and we welcomed you into the world. You seem to like it so far. I have never seen so many gummy smiles as I have watching you these last few weeks. You are becoming pretty opinionated, too, and I'm having to learn what you want and how you express that. You like being held over my shoulder, but not your daddy's; you love being in the car, but only when it's moving; you still like your swing and your froggy seat; you LOVE the Bumbo and learning to sit up on your own.

You're probably a little behind where you should be as far as pushing up and rolling over, but I kind of expected that. It's all the upper-body strength developmental milestones that give you trouble, and your arms were the least developed part of your little preemie body. But you make up for it in other ways: by drooling more than any human should be able, by making adorable noises and faces that make me smile, and by having the leg strength of a small rhinoceros. Good lord, can you kick! The bathtub, the changing table, the crib, the swing, my belly--nothing is safe from the pounding of your legs. You never sit still, and once you're able to move yourself I'm going to have to chase you all over the place to keep you out of trouble.

You've developed something of a routine that you've attempted to destroy the last couple of days. You usually wake up at 7 (although this week it's been around 6, and last night at 3--what was that about?) and take a short nap at 10:30, then a long nap from around 1-4. Bedtime is usually between 9 and 10, and you play around a little before falling asleep. I'm so thankful that you're sleeping through the night. I wish you would sleep a little later, but I'm counting my blessings and not asking any more of you than you're already doing.

I see so many signs that you recognize me, and that you are exploring your world and learning what's in it. I hope you like what you find and that you stay happy.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just because

Fun Fact: I learned a lot of English from watching Sesame Street, and for a while when I was very small I spoke with a Brooklyn accent.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Learning to Speak Baby

I've started to notice things Calvin does, repetitive behaviors that mean he wants something specific. For example: if I'm holding him in an upright seated position and he strains to lean forward further, it means he wants to lie on his tummy. There are cries that mean he's hungry, cries that mean he's got a wet diaper, cries that mean he wants attention, and the consuming wail that means "I hurt." He expresses all of these discomforts in slightly different ways, and the one I'm getting REALLY good at is the "I'm sleepy" cry.

We went to Supercuts today so I could get my hair trimmed (really, it was out of control) and for $20 it was not bad at all. I really just wanted some of the weight taken off the top, and she attacked it with some thinning shears, and the result is surprisingly cute and feels nine million times better. But I digress! The point of this story is not to praise my hair, but my abilities to understand my child. And he started fussing when we were in Supercuts--first, because I was not giving him 100% full attention. We then went to Market Basket for food, and I carried him in the front pack, which he loves. He likes to see things and move around a lot. But when we got home, he started to fuss in a different way. He wanted to be rocked, so I put him in his swing. He lay there for a little while looking up at the mirror, and then BAM, naptime for Calvin.

I was so proud.

Also, Brandon's mom gave us a pair of Nike Air Force Ones that I haven't been able to get on him until today. He looks so stinkin' cute in those shoes. But I did take them off so he could nap. Once he outgrows them, he has baby Chuck Taylors to wear, and then once he starts walking, NC state sneakers. Before this he had some NC State crib shoes with bells on them, but he only wore them once. He's not a big fan of things on his feet. But I must say, baby shoes: still adorable.

I'm happy that I'm learning how to understand Calvin's wants and needs, and it makes dealing with him a lot easier. I'm learning to let him cry sometimes when he just needs to let it out, and when I need to take care of him and how to do it with the minimum amount of tries. He's not a bad baby at all, and I'm thankful for that.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well, the last week or so has been a bit trying. Calvin is attempting to sprout teeth. There is one pronounced bump on his lower gums, and one on the upper gums as well. Typically babies grow their two middle teeth first, but my baby is not typical and has therefore decided to get started a little to the left. I bought a couple of teethers today for him to chew on in hopes that it will help with the fussing; baby Tylenol (Walgreens brand, since the real stuff was recalled) is sort of helpful but he has a lot of bad moments. He's asleep right now, since we ran a few errands and he's still chilling in the car seat, but it's been tough dealing with him recently. I hope they sprout soon and stop bothering him.

On top of that, last week was four-month immunizations, which meant two days of elevated temperature. Nothing too serious, and again with the knockoff Tylenol; he took it like a champ and slept a whole lot. He's doing really well sleeping through the night, but when he went in for the checkup his doctor said that his plagiocephaly (one side of his head is flatter than the other) is pronounced enough that he might need a helmet. We're hoping we can correct it by giving him lots of time on his tummy and his left side. If not, it's six weeks, 23 hours a day, in a helmet. I'm not a fan of this suggestion, but Brandon seems to think it would be adorable. I can't really argue that it would be cute, but I don't trust that it would be comfortable for him.

Yesterday we had a picnic at Borderland State Park, which is lovely. I took a few photos and Brandon played a couple of holes of disc golf. I think he really misses having friends to play with, since it's just not as exciting by yourself. That's the case with almost any sport. We also have plans for around Halloween, and Calvin has an adorable tiger costume that I'm planning to spin as transmogrified Calvin:

We're still working on a resolution to the hospital thing, and both our cars need repairs (Brandon's more so than mine). But things are looking good. Thanksgiving is coming up, then Christmas, and oh my God it's going to be a ridiculous couple of months. This is my favorite time of year. I can't wait until Calvin's first snow (and probably my first REAL snow--I hear it gets pretty crazy). There's so much to look forward to! It's absolutely terrifying.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh, dear.

Calvin would NOT SHUT UP for a long time, and finally I just put him on the blanket on his tummy. Within five minutes he was asleep. I had tried everything: I picked him up, I put him down, I changed his diaper, I fed him, I played with him, I moved him to my shoulder and my arm and my lap, and all he wanted was to flop facedown on the floor and go to sleep. This is strange. Usually anytime I put him on his tummy he squirms and makes noise and attempts to crawl, which is adorable; however, this time he barely even tried. He just smushed his face down onto the floor and crashed. It's been a nice hour or so, even though now he's trying to wake up, and in that time I've hung a picture, straightened up the living room, washed dishes, cleaned the counters and the stove, and taken two photos of him in that position for proof.

(15 minutes later)

So I change him and feed him and, again, he's fussy. He's sitting semi-contentedly in his swing but he's giving me that look that says "Mommy, you're on the internet instead of HOLDING ME, WOMAN, WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE." I predict a wail will ensue...right about now. It's so weird how sometimes writing about having a baby is interrupted by actually having that baby.