Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Baby Signs at Last!

Bruce gave us a great gift this Christmas! He started using baby signs.

We started teaching him baby signs when he was 5 1/2 months old to give him a way to communicate without whining or crying. Not surprisingly, his first sign is "milk," but now that we've caught on to him actually using them, we're noticing more signs, like "all done," and "down."

And we have noticed that he is more eager to use baby signs now that mommy and daddy actually understand what he's trying to tell us.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sweet baby, Sleep.

Bruce fell asleep on his Gir-cow* the other day, providing me the perfect opportunity to snap a shot of him in a Santa hat. Isn't he adorable? It's such a peaceful, still moment.

Even such angelic stillness has it's amusing side. The photo below cracks me up. It's my budgie-boy, lying all-catawampus!
Hushed moments like these don't go by without saying, "Awwww!"

Bruce's sprawling slumber reminds me of a stanza from a Christmas poem written by George Wither. The poem is called "Wither's Rocking Hymn" and I include only the part that jumps to mind:

Sweet baby, sleep, and nothing fear, for ...
[several lines have been excluded]
Be still my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

The full poem may be viewed here.
* Gir-cow - a cozy, plush mat that looks like a cross between a giraffe and a cow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Shining Star is 10 Months Old

Wow, two days ago Bruce turned 10 months old. It has been more difficult to get good snapshots of the little tike in all the holiday bustle, but here is a recent one of him in his new hand-knit sweater from Grandma (who we lovingly call Mère-Mère). Those adorable little star buttons make me want to just squeeze and smooch him! You'll notice that he is still orange -- not unlike the planet Mars or maybe even Alpha Centauri. A slightly orange star, but a star nonetheless.

You'd think as congenial as he normally is, Bruce wouldn't have chosen to outgrow his third nap right in the middle of the holiday rush. (He's never been a long napper. In fact, I call him the "King of the 30-minute nap.") But even three, short, 30-minute breaks are better than nothing when you're desperately trying to keep your sanity (sense of humor?) while keeping your house in order, cook meals, walk dogs, and attend to any outdoor chores or errands that need to be done. All you moms out there, let me hear you say,
"Yeah! You got that right!"

Interjecting a small tangent into this tapestry of late-night thoughts -- I watched a movie today (Thank you, Mr. TiVo Inventor-guy!) called The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio starring Juliann Moore. It was quite a good "strong-woman movie" and offers new stay-at-home moms a bittersweet perspective on what life was like in the 1950s. Based upon a true story (taken from Terry Ryan's memoir of the same name) it is a tale of a 50's mom who excels at writing prize-winning ad jingles. 'Nuf said. If you have seen or set your TiVo so that you will see it, drop me a line and tell me what you thought of the movie. I now return you to my regularly scheduled train of thought...

For some unfathomable reason, Bruce wakes up around 1:00 a.m. bright-eyed and ready to play for three hours. Augh! It's more exhausting than his two-hour feedings were when he was a newborn. So, I've been playing around with his nap schedule, trying to find a balance that lengthens his two surviving naps (morning and afternoon) and encourages him to sleep through the night. No, let me rephrase that last bit slightly. By "encouraging" I mean that I've started teaching him to learn to go to sleep by himself without nursing if he wakes up in the middle of the night. It has been exhausting, those nights when he's awake for that "oh-dark-thirty" three-hour stretch. I'll write more on that later...

I better get to bed, in case tonight is another marathon "oh-dark-thirty" night.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

First Snow and Speeding Toward Christmas

Earlier this week we had our first snow and it was glorious! What made it all the more enjoyable is that it lasted a whole day before melting off. Normally the first snow of the season melts almost as soon as it hits the ground. The most anyone can do is gaze at it from a cozy window and be grateful for the brief pause it brings to our hectic lives. That, and be relieved that we don't need to break out the snow shovel quite yet. The only breaking out that was done at my house was to break out mugs to enjoy a steaming cup of homemade cocoa. And isn't that a fine way to usher in the snowy season?

Since Bruce isn't allowed chocolate, we introduced him to snow by giving him a snowball to play with in his high chair. Here is a photo.
Is it just me, or does it seem absolutely impossible that we are already hip-deep in "holiday bustle?"

I got my first Christmas card in the mail today -- isn't it great? I can't tell you how much I look forward to receiving personalized notes from family and friends. Yes, in this age of Internet instant-eity, quaint ol' Christmas cards still float my boat. (Even if they are becoming outmoded.) I don't care.

And just to demonstrate my Internet savvy, here are a few amusing links on the topic of Christmas cards. It took me all of 3 seconds to find them. Thanks, Google!

Christmas Cards Make a Comeback
Interestingly enough, this news article for the Trinidad and Tobago Express suggests that Christmas cards are making a comeback, while this snow-bound Scrooge holds a hilariously more humbug-ish view. (If the links are broken, email me and I will send you print versions.)

A Scottish news woman writes of forgoing all the giving in favor of a "Do It For Yourself" Christmas. Isn't it curious how the festive spirit falls flat in the face of a wind chill factor?