Monday, May 31, 2010

new carpeting- new playroom

We got new carpeting installed in our basement which offically makes this project complete! Our newly renovated basement is fantastic! I love it! I'm so excited about it because now we have a space for children to play! Although there is not furniture or toys yet, here it is. Also, check out our new carpeting in the dining room! Yay!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A boy and his dog, Snoopy

We decided to do the Snoopy theme in Nolan's room. It's taken a while to finally get the photos up, but here they are! Notice the Snoopy LAMP! I LOVE THE LAMP. We don't often turn it on but it's awesome. it's Snoopy laying on his house at the base and the lampshade is a bunch of Snoopy and Woodstock (his little yellow bird-friend) That picture is of Snoopy and Woodstocks doing the Happy Dance. And his sheets also have Snoopy and Woodstock. And the Snoopy Rug (notice the case of seltzer I have been using as a stool to step on when placing Nolan in his crib... I'm too short to just place him down, I need to lift him over the railing. That wakes him up. But when I step on my 'stool' he stays asleep better)


We also have removable stickers for his walls (you'll notice some near his changing area that he sometimes uses for target practice) and I will place more on the walls once we get his room totally set up.
I love the way this came out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mover and Shaker

Lately Nolan has been moving like crazy! He lays on the mat and kicks his legs, thrashes his arms and really gets going. Sometimes he play so hard he throws up. He gets that from me... but seriously, he'll get to playing and kicking and talking and laughing and then... urp.

It doesn't seem to phase him but is there some way for me to notice when he's getting worked up so crazy to calm him down? Or do I just let it happen. I don't often put him on the mat after he's eaten, this would be hours later. I feel so badly but really, he doesn't seem phased at all. But he's stinking cute when he is playing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sleeping

It seems like the hot topic of most parents is sleep. Is the baby sleeping through the night, what the napping schedules look like, if a parent is flexible with sleep or rigid with the routine, what time does bedtime start, what are the routines, swaddling or not swaddled etc. I am struggling with what kind of mom I want to be... is it best to have a firm routine or better to have loose one?


I am leaning toward a firm routine- beginning around 4 months. I didn't want to be the mom who declines plans due to the baby's schedule. I didn't want to be the mom who whispers when the baby is asleep but seeing what a difference good sleep makes, I totally get it. My life is no longer about what I want, but what is best for our family.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Forcing Change?

Every once in a while I get the feeling that Nolan should be doing something different. And I try to encourage/force him to change. And after a frustrating day generally ending in tears and self wallowing, I learn my lesson... I can not force him to change.
I believe very strongly the theory that I read in the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. That the first 3 months of a newborns life should be regarded as the 4th trimester and my job is to simulate the womb- swaddle, shush, side laying, sucking and shaking or rocking. Also the theory that you can't spoil a baby by picking them up when they are crying and that they can't develop habits or learn tricks to get their parents to do what they want. We've followed the book and it has worked wonders. Then I start trying to force a change.

Nolan is 11 weeks old. Next week will be 12 weeks. However, that is NOT 3 months old yet. And for the next few weeks I'm not going to worry about what happens after 3 months. I am not going to worry yet, if he's begun to realize that the slightest peep in bed equals one of us waking up to rock him. I'm not going to worry yet, if he's getting 'spoiled'. Technically I still have 2 more full weeks of his 4th trimester until I need to worry about what happens next. I wish there was a book for 'Post- Happiest Baby on the Block'- the 5th trimester.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Big Boy

Nolan is getting stronger and stronger and acting more and more like a big boy. This weekend I got to go back to sleep after his 5am feeding (thank you so much sweetie pie) both days. I was doing some gardening when Dave called me inside to 'see' something. This is what I saw. What a big boy!

This weekend was so great. We didn't do too much but we went out on a date Sunday night to celebrate our 59th monthaversary. Yes, next month will be our 60th! How exciting is that? Thank you Jenn for babysitting for us. We had a lovely night out. And Nolan had a great time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Basement update


You may remember we redid our basement in December and were just waiting to get the carpeting installed until the summer? We did it so we would have a play area for the kiddo and its friends, so we can move the TV from the spare bedroom and make that a guest room and to maximize our house space.

This weekend we picked out the carpeting for the basement. And we also decided to re carpet the dining room. It's strange that our dining room has carpeting anyway, but considering our dining room is where most of the children who come visit us spend much of their time, probably because of the carpeting, we decided we'd stick with it for a while. But the off white carpeting in the dining room leading out to the deck just seemed crazy. Off white? For the dining room? Silly.

So for the basement we picked a speckled plush that is light colored with dark speckles. And for the dining room we picked a brown patterned carpet that has a stain resistance/lifetime guarantee. If we can't get a stain out the carpet company will send someone to remove the stain and if they can't remove it they will replace the carpet. Not a bad concept if you must carpet the dining room, huh?

I am very excited to have a more child-proofed area for our smaller friends to come to our house and not have so many restrictions. The TV will be moved down there sometime too... not sure when though. Oh and the toys, when we start playing with them... soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Baby Burrito

Nolan sleeps swaddled. He sleeps well when swaddled and I'm afraid to try anything different. Often now, when we go to get him, we find him smiling at us like this.
Today, however, when I went to get him earlier than expected, I found him like this... Apparently I need to work on my swaddling skills. That hand is the difference between sleeping and slurping.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A week with a plan

Last week was really hard for me. It was emotionally exhausting and I can't pinpoint why. I felt overwhelmed, overbooked and overexhausted. Every day I woke up feeling late and behind schedule. It was rough. It was also rough on little Nolan. Maybe he could tell I was struggling or maybe I was struggling because of him. Either way, we set out with a plan for this week.

Nolan began sleeping in the office (the room off of our bedroom) last weekend. He didn't seem to sleep longer but it was nice to move him out. Immediately there was a feeling of liberation and a returned sense of intimacy between Dave and I. Our room is 'our' space. Sharing it with Nolan was a necessity but not really what I consider ideal.

On Sunday we began a 'night-time routine' which means at 8pm we put his sleeping clothes on, read to Nolan if he'll tolerate it, put him in his sleeping position and rock him to sleep, using a pacifier/binkie if necessary, removing it upon his slumber. Once asleep we place him in his moses basket in the office and go about our night. (read: go to sleep too- yes, at 9 or so- I have months of interrupted sleep to catch up on). We take turns each night doing the routine so he doesn't get used to just one of us.
We decided to do this for a few reasons: he naturally went to sleep around 8 every night last week (I was tracking his sleeping); we needed some time alone or some time to get stuff done during the week; babies tend to like routines. So while we really have gone to bed each night this week rather than 'getting stuff done' it has been a HUGE breakthrough for Dave and I. Some nights he fights sleeping and screams. Other nights he drifts off peacefully to sleep. Either way, one of us is not involved and can handle some minor household tasks.

Another thing we decided to do was pick a day each week that we are TOTALLY off duty. We can be out, stay in, whatever, but there are NO Nolan/household/chore/task obligations that night. I think this will be wildly important to our mental well being. Last night Dave had his night off and what did he do? Oh, he bought a car.

And another thing we did was invite our neighborhood teenage babysitter to our house to meet and get to know Nolan. She is a high school Junior and she looked a little nervous but was super with him. She'll come back each week for a bit to give me a break to do things around the house (this week I straightened up and installed a door knob) and when we're ready she'll be our date-night babysitter.

So all in all this week feels pivotal. It feels like a turning point for our family. I don't want to count my chickens already but between 9 and 5 Nolan has gotten up one time the past few nights. ONE TIME. HALLELUJAH!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

takes after his Dad


a middle of the bed sleeper...

Monday, May 17, 2010

His Nemesis, the Zebra-Man

Nolan doesn't 'love' the swing. He tolerates it. He enjoyed it more as a baby (read: fell asleep in it) and as he's gotten bigger he doesn't fall asleep and often we are taking him out of it because he seems agitated or angry.

This is Nolan's view from the seat.

He has recently become more interested in the dangling bears mobile as well as the giraffe and zebra on the tray. He looks at the bears comically and sometimes laughs at their movement. He looks at the giraffe with rings around his neck passively- like 'why in the world do you have rings around your neck, Giraffe? There is no pool in sight' But the zebra... the zebra gets the stare down. The zebra gets most of little Nolan's attention and it's not good attention. The zebra gets the 'what are you looking at chump?' stare.

I didn't believe it when Dave said he thought Nolan didn't like the zebra. But after watching for a few evenings I have to agree, Nolan doesn't like the zebra. So now when Nolan gets agitated at the zebra and starts to yell at it, we do this. It calms Nolan immediately.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A new 'room'

Tonight Nolan will sleep in the office, not in our bedroom. I am very excited for this move with the more real possibility he will sleep longer. I think I may jump too quickly when I hear him squeek. So wish us luck, tonight can be great or really not great. I will report back tomorrow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The sun is shining

The birds are singing. I don't know what the temperature is out there but it sure looks lovely. My little angel is sleeping. Ahh. I'm going to take a shower, hopefully, and we'll have a lovely day. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rough Day

Today was a tough day. Nolan tends to be a great sleeper but last night he was not. He was up more often than normal and was screaming and flailing around in his sleep. Yes, while sleeping he was acting like a little crazy person. When it's not night time this is a very funny phenomenon. Because he will just settle right back into a sound sleep again. Last night he was not settling. But the minute he was picked up he'd settle. Put him down and get back into bed, he'd flail again, throwing his head from side to side.

So after a rough night we had a rough day. He screwed up his nap due to a class we started taking and wouldn't chill out at all during the day. Finally around 3:30 after an emergency call to Dave to get reassured that Dave was, in fact, coming home tonight and to ask him to come home as early as possible, Nolan slept.

We took this photo while getting ready for his Nana's birthday party. We popped his collar and realized he looks a bit like Elvis. We couldn't get Nolan to do the accent but it would have been great if he had a wig to make hair come out of his shirt!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homework

Our visit to the doctor was very interesting. We were able to ask the silly parent questions like 'when can we start using lotion?' We were given a handout that was only 4 pages however held a ton of information about what Nolan should be doing about now. I know it's just a guide and not something to set goals to but it's exciting.

One of the items on the list is that he should be sleeping longer and at 3 months start skipping the 2 am feeding. WELL, I must say that sounds like a lovely idea. I'm not sure if I am supposed to DO anything to make that happen, but if it does happen, that would be very fun.

Another is the introduction to solid food beginning around 4 months. I have to admit, this is very exciting to me. And I have absolutely no idea why. I don't mind nursing. Nolan is thriving, it's exhausting but a very special time for us. But feeding him food somehow makes him more of a little person. I look at the 'with food' schedule outlined on this paper and it is really thrilling. It is suggested that he will someday eat 4 times a day. Isn't that exciting. (he eats about 6 times a day now) and when he is eating those 4 times a day he will also be sleeping through the night. Such exciting times ahead.

oh, and PS, we could have been using lotion this whole time...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two Month Stats

Almost every morning Dave and I stare in amazement at the must-larger baby than the one we put to bed the night before. It's like he is growing before our eyes. So today we went to the pediatrician. He is 12 lb, 6 oz and is 24.75 inches in length. He is in the 95% for height. And while it might be hard to imagine, I come from a very tall family, as does Dave. He is such a big boy, it's hard to believe he's only 2 months old. Doctor also commented on his strong neck (ok, I'm going to brag for a moment) and referenced it to that of a 4 month old. What a strong baby. Although sometimes his neck feels strong... other times it's very noodle-y. But today he must have been putting on a show.

When it came time for the doctor to check his development I mentioned that he sometimes mimics us. She stared at me for a second and then asked how. I tried to get him to reply to my WOO sound or my raspberry sounds but he wouldn't- of course. Then she goes on to tell me that repeating is a very advanced cognitive action and that at two months he wouldn't be doing that- that it is more behavior we'll see at 9 months or so. Hello!? He is a very advanced baby! Ok Ok, so I guess I should stop saying he repeats what I say.

He also got his first of many shots today. And I have to say, he was a champ. He cried a little (I nearly did too) and then settled right down. I nursed him right in the room- I heard that was a good way to help him calm down- and he dozed right off. Seriously, look at this big boy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My First Mother's Day

I had the most perfect day I could have possibly imagined. This morning my family and I woke up in a hotel room after a really wonderful birthday celebration for Nana and Great Auntie Barbara.
Dave, Nolan and I snuggled in the giant king sized bed for several hours, laughing, singing and playing.
After some great family time we got ready for a delicious brunch at Mesa, a restaurant in Woburn MA. The food was delicious, there were lots of families there, Nolan was perfectly behaved (read: slept) and I must admit, I was very weepy.

Spending Mother's Day with my new family meant the world to me. I love my first Mother's Day card, signed by Dave and Nolan (Dave said Nolan didn't want to give the pen back). I love my first Mother's Day present - notice my necklace below. I didn't realize how much celebrating this day would mean to me but the feelings I get when I remember I am a Mom are ones of wonder and amazement. I absolutely love being a Mom. I had no idea how wonderful of a feeling it would be.

Thank you for all of my Mother's Day wishes! I am so lucky.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Really Lovely Day

Dave took today off. What a really lovely day. I got SO much done. I got the beginnings of my Square Foot Garden planted, got the kitchen and living room swept among many other small but difficult to complete tasks- putting laundry away etc. Nolan is snoozing on Dave right now, which is really special since this week the minute Dave walked in the door Nolan threw some screaming fits. I think they are enjoying their snuggle time. And I got to sleep in a bit today. AHHHH... what a treat. Don't mind my bedhead in this photo.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Are we on a schedule?

Since we brought Nolan home I've used this awesome little tool called Itzbeen. It is a timer that tracks the last time for diaper changes, feeding and sleeping. I absolutely love it because it helps me figure out why the little guy might be crying. If it's only been a hour since he ate, chances are he's not hungry. So I can tell you that Nolan goes about 3.5 hours in between feedings but I have no idea what time of day those feedings happen. It's a funny thing when you have no idea the time of day except if it's dark outside or if my husband is home- only then do I have any idea what hour it is. We don't use the sleep tracker yet since he wakes and sleeps so frequently although I've been more successful at getting him to sleep in his crib so perhaps I can start to use it soon.

So this week I decided to track what TIME Nolan eats and what TIME he sleeps to see if he has any sort of routine and whaddya know? He kind of does. Of course every day is a new one with screaming fits, lunch plans for mom or events to attend but in general I think he does have a bit of a routine. How exciting!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This sucks

Yesterday afternoon Nolan began doing something that makes him seem a little bit like a crazy person. He has been furiously sucking. Sucking his arm so hard he has a hickey on each, his hands so he makes slurping sounds and nothing will calm him down except the act of sucking. He doesn't seem hungry and I think it's too early for teeth. We have been using a pacifier but I have this fear that he will become the baby that sleeps with a sucker/paci/binkie and when he loses it he'll scream and we'll have to jump up and put it back in his mouth. I fear that baby.

So we finally got him to sleep after much sucking and some of my bad attempts of getting whatever he is sucking on out of his mouth. I swaddle him up and lay him to bed. I woke up at one point last night to slurping. He wrangled his little hand out of the swaddle just so he could suck on it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing except he doesn't have enough control of his arms to control where his hands go and often he's banging himself in his face. The swaddled arm with the hand out was perfect actually for his needs since the elbow was still tucked in, just his little hand was up near his face.

Eventually he settled down and has not been as crazy about the sucking as midnight and last evening but it was a scary and frustrating experience. And it was our first truly frustrating night. I'm sure it won't be our last.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gotta Love the Beatles

When I came home from an errand on Sunday, I came upon this:


And Hey Jude playing loudly on the radio- Dave singing loudly and making Nolan do a little dance. Apparently Nolan LOVES the NA NA NA NANANA part and he and his Daddy were having a grand old time. Nolan has been all smiles and laughing lately. He sometimes wakes up laughing and smiling- what a treat.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Date Night

Last night Dave and I went out together without Nolan for the second time since he was born. (BIG thank you goes out to Nana and Grampa for the offer to babysit!) The first time was for 45 minutes to Starbucks when he was 3.5 weeks old. Last night we went out for a drink and to see The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at the Hartford Stage.

When we were having our drink it crossed my mind to skip the play and have another drink then go back to the car for a nap for a few hours. It was a brief (and very funny) moment. It's not that our sleep isn't interrupted, really, we couldn't ask for a better nighttime sleeper, but that we never know when or if it will be interrupted.

The play was good but it was just so wonderful to reconnect with Dave. I miss him a lot. I think we are doing a great job parenting our little love bug but we use the tag-team approach with this current stage of Nolan's life which is working well for little Nolan but as a result we don't see each other very often and when we do we're either making googly eyes or staring in horror at the adorable or screaming baby.

So last night was wonderful. It was so nice to take some time for us, together, to reconnect and to find our love again. Not that it was lost, it just sometimes seems overlooked by our love for Nolan. I love Dave so much and feel so much fuller after our night together last night... so ... if there is anyone out there interested in babysitting... please speak up. We've already started planning our next date night.