Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dreamin' Up a Doozie...Ha-Ha!

Thanks to Miriam for her fun title! I owe you one.

Ah, the innocence of babes. My darling (if somewhat still yellow-skinned) boy Bruce has been working on cutting his first tooth, which means low-grade fevers, an alternately runny/crusty nose, mouth tenderness, high-pitched whining, and buckets upon buckets of baby drool. But he's also concentrating hard on learning to walk, testing out his latest high chair discoveries (how many more times can I throw [baby spoon, toy, block, etc.] over the side before mommy stops picking it up?), honing his rad comm skills and formulating opinions about the big issues in his world. (To eat or not to eat what's offered on the spoon, THAT is the question!) He's a busy boy.

The other night, as my husband and I were catching up on TiVo'd episodes of Heroes, a blissfully sleeping Bruce talked in his sleep for the first time. He has laughed and moaned in his sleep before, but never uttered dreamy baby-jabber. He said, "Da da ba waaaaah." Oh, it makes a mommy proud. (What was he saying, I wonder?)

He has started responding back to our questions and statements to him with purposeful jabber, if not clear words. Sometimes I swear it sounds like he's saying, "no" or "woah" or other easy words. But he's pretty much got the elocution down pat. What he lacks in diction he makes up for in finger-pointing. So it's a rather exciting time for us parents as Bruce communicates his wishes, wants and needs through early sounds and gestures (not the old reliable method, crying).

Speaking of finger-pointing as a language skill...

Walking through the mall on a window-shopping trip recently,Todd and I giggled to ourselves as we watched Bruce gazing at all the holiday bling and sparkle. He rode wide-eyed through the mall in his stroller with both index fingers in permanent point, as if to say, "Whatever the next marvel is, I'm ready for it." Maybe he was pretending to be a gunslinger in the Old West? Nah, he's too young to be playing Billy the Kid. But it sure does get him whatever he wants.

Bruce's Orange Period

Pablo Picasso had his blue period. Bruce is going through what I will call his orange period. Years from now I may look back fondly on my boy's hatred of green veggies and passion for sweets. Right now, all I see is an orange cast to his normally pale, but perfect complexion.

The photo on the left was taken at the beginning of October. What a deadly little charmer, eh? The photo on the right was taken three weeks later -- "Lil' Crockett" looks decidedly more orange.

My Baby's Skin is Orange This web article describes what is going on pretty well. Basically, a harmless build-up of beta carotene is turning Bruce's skin orange. So we've been battling to get more green veggies into the boy to counteract the discoloration. So far, he's toned down from orange-tinged to more yellow-ish, but he's not yet back to his normal pink-cheeked color.

9 Month Milestones
Bruce has discovered the joys of playing with the toilet paper roll in the bathroom, the dogs' water and food bowls, etc. Lots and lots of chaos and mayhem to be had and it takes 100% diligence to keep him out of harm's way. Yes, the days fly by as Bruce finds new and exciting ways to keep himself busy. His experimentation with the doggie door is an excellent example. I'm not sure which is more intriguing, his fascination with the flap or his curiosity about putting things
(like his head?) through the flap.

Has it really been 9 months since I heaved my super-sized self into the car for the drive to the hospital to have Bruce induced? It's hard to believe that he has officially been "out" as long as he was "in."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Live in a Barking Madhouse!

The baying of my two beagle-mixes, Julie and Ginger, is really blowing my hair back these days. The din is driving me completely barking mad! It doesn't take much to set off a canine clamor, be it birds in the backyard, someone at the front door or suspiciously catlike bits of debris wafting by in the Autumn breeze. Notice how even Ginger is wincing at the sound in the above photo?

And the outbursts nearly always wake the baby. (Bruce used to sleep right through the barking, no matter how noisy. But he's been a much more restless sleeper for the past couple of months.)
Now don't get me wrong. They're such wrass-elly, wascally wabbits and I 'wuv' 'em to death! But sometimes I think they'll be the death of me or at least my sanity. Especially after the umpteenth time their rowdiness disturbs Bruce's slumber. First-time moms definitely need their down time.

Tribute to Jerry Dupuis

Todd's stepfather (the man in the blue jacket, front right in the photo) passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack on November 17, 2007. He was a sweet, sweet man and a great, great dad. I only had the privilege of knowing him for a few, short years, but I know how much he loved my husband and family. He always took time out for us. He was 100% genuine and such a generous man. I am thankful for him and his influence in Todd's life.

Jerry's death is all the more sad because he never got the chance to meet Bruce. I'm sure it would have been love at first sight for both of them. I like to think that Jerry watches over Bruce now from his eternal rest. Farewell Jerry, you are greatly missed.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

An Upside to Downsizing

Since giving birth 9 months ago I've lost 60 pounds.

Why is this remarkable? I gained 35 pounds during the pregnancy. Aside from breastfeeding, I've done nothing to lose the weight. I even eat sweets. (Yeah, I know.
I'm losing points now.) As an act of contrition, I promise to lay off the cookie dough and snack pack pudding for, say, the next three blog posts.

But seriously, breastfeeding rocks. I think everyone should do it. Even men. [Har, har, har.]

Breastfeeding, though, isn't always a walk in the park. It's hard. Those first few weeks aren't blissful, beautiful, or stress-free. But once mom and baby get in sync, the benefits far outweigh the pitfalls. And I've lost 60 pounds! That's something to get excited about.

Watch out world, here he comes!

Bruce turned 9 months old yesterday. Gosh, I just love him to pieces. He's such a cheerful, easy-going child (as in, "he's so chill"). We've been noticing for about a month now how he loses a bit more of his baby face each day. It's changing into a soon-to-be-a-toddler face.

He has been mobile for about a month; it amazes me how, after starting to crawl, he quickly learned to pull himself to a standing position using supports (furniture, door hinges, mommy and daddy's pants legs). After one week, Bruce advanced to couch creeping. At any moment I expect him to launch off at full tilt toward something he really wants to explore.

He's growing up so fast!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fiddleheads ... A New Hope?

This morning I was taking a long, bubbly soak in a warm, relaxing tub when a wool yarn ad in a knitting magazine caught my eye. A fiddlehead? Oh, the humanity!

Leave it to those quirky New Zealanders to attach iconic meaning to an unfurled fern frond. They seem to have elevated (perhaps even ennobled) the fiddlehead, calling it Koru, a Maori name symbolizing new life, strength and peace.

Lofty qualities for a tightly curled, swamp-weed. (Have they ever tasted one? Blech!) To me, fiddleheads are a god-awful, green sprout best left to mature in the muck. My in-laws, however, gorge themselves greedily on them any chance they get.

If Koru symbolizes new beginnings, growth and nurturing a loving relationship within a family, I think I can make room for it in my knitting bag. But not on my fork.