New Mama Musings

Monday, July 31, 2006

Haircut One

Henry got his first haircut on Sunday. We took him to a fancy-schmancy kids' salon because, well, they're experienced with squirmy, crying, freaked-out children and I figured we needed to do what we could to make this as stress-free as possible.

Henry's hairdresser, Michael, put him in the little red car and strapped him in, and at first he seemed like he might be cautiously okay with it.

But then things took a turn for the worse.

I anxiously suggested I hold Henry on my lap, but Michael noted that it would be a lot easier to cut Henry's hair if he were sitting in the chair. He also indicated that he'd seen kids much, much more upset.

More upset than this?

But indeed, Henry never got hysterical, and actually seemed to warm up to the whole process.

He took it very seriously, however.

Feeling much better now.

And the baby becomes a little boy.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

First Word

I think it's official: Henry's first word is dada (sometimes dah-dee or dad-da).

He's said it in the past, but now he says it to actually indicate my husband, and he'll repeat it reliably. In fact, when I try to get him to say my name, the conversation goes like this:

Me: Henry, say "Mama."
Henry: Dada.

I pushed his eight-pound, six-ounce ass out for this?

Just kidding. My poor husband has endured his second string status for so long that I'm actually happy Henry is giving him this gift.

But if I don't get something for Christmas...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Crimson and Clover, Over and Over

Until recently, Henry did not want anything to do with grass. We'd set him down, only to have him start trembling and lift up one leg.

But last Saturday at my husband's company picnic we tried it again. And suddenly Henry was fine with it.

Now he sits happily on our front lawn and pulls up clover (yes, that's our front yard; no, we didn't plan the clover; but yes, I kind of like it).

Now if only I could get him to be okay with wearing his new sandals...

I Would Dream of Sleep if I Could Ever Get to the REM Stage

Last night's sleep (if I can call it that) was so bad it was comical.

8:10 - 8:30pm: Nursed Henry to sleep, first one side and then the other. Fell asleep soon after, since I was so exhausted from the Night of Eternal Wakings the night before.

10:15pm: Henry cried out and thrashed around; nursed him back to sleep.

11:15pm: Henry thrashed around again. Thinking he couldn't possibly be hungry, I picked him up and rocked him for a few minutes until he tried to throw himself out of my arms, at which point I laid him on his stomach and patted his bottom until I was sure he was out. Then I lay awake with Ralph's World lyrics running through my head until...

12:15am: More crying and thrashing. Tried the rocking thing but he wasn't having it, so I nursed him back down. Then I headed to the kitchen for a drink of water, went to the bathroom, came back to bed and lay awake until...

1:15am: Henry was up again. Nursed him back to sleep right away and lay awake for a while with lines from The Big Red Barn going through my head ("There was a big pile of hay/And a little pile of hay/And that is where the children play/But in this story the children are away/Only the animals are here today"). I must have fallen asleep at some point, though, because I was awoken by more thrashing and crying at...

2am: Things get a little fuzzy here; I either nursed or patted or rocked the boy back down. I do remember Henry talking in his sleep. "EHT!" and two minutes later, "HA TAH!" Then I think I may have dozed off.

3:15am: More nursing, or possibly not. Lay awake thinking up ideas for new blog entries until...

3:30am: Gigantic thunderstorm, which amazingly did not wake Henry up, but kept me awake until I finally drifted off.

5:30am: Two whole hours! More nursing. I fell asleep again until the final wake-up at...

7:30am: Henry sat up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

It could be a very long day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Latest and Greatest

Henry's been up to some new things, so I thought I should report on them before I forget.

He's started playing like a "real" kid -- stacking rings onto his ring stacker and putting objects (including himself) into and out of containers -- instead of just knocking things over and chewing on toys.

He now gives high fives, or if he's not too sure of you, high "ones."

He is much more outgoing with strangers, though (waving and smiling and acting coy). I can no longer duck in and out of a store anonymously.

He has discovered how interesting it is to chuck stuff over the railing on our upper level onto the stairs below. I know it's time to get off the computer when I hear "BOOM. BOOM. SPLAT."

He can also climb up those stairs with no problem, though we haven't worked on going down yet. (Maybe we should teach him to pick up the stuff laying all over the stairs, too.)

And the walking! It's now his go-to form of transportation, meaning he tries that before crawling. He's getting pretty good at it, walking all the way across the room. His arms are still extended out, though, Frankenstein's-monster style. The other day at my parents' house he walked that way across the kitchen while babbling/yelling and we all cracked up.

We've had a few "mama"s and "dada"s, but after getting him to repeat them last weekend he won't perform on command anymore. Oh, how I long to hear a "mama" meant just for me...

He's taken to lying around on his back lately, with his feet up in the air. He looks more and more like a little kid and not a baby every day.

He's into books in a big way, too. Although I made sure we had a huge supply of board books for him from birth, I really wasn't as good at sitting down and reading to him as you'd expect a book lover to be. But lately looking at books is almost all he wants to do and he shows me he wants me to read to him by tossing the book at my head. (Reading as a contact sport...who would have guessed?) I catch him looking at books by himself, as well; that is, when he actually lets me sneak away for a few minutes.

He's still a mama's boy and I have the bad back to prove it. The other day I plugged his birthday, birth time, and birth location into an online horoscope generator and had to laugh when I read, "Being close to your mother is especially important, and you need a lot of love and affection from her."

He's way into food now (goodbye, pleasant breastmilk poop). We took him to a Mexican restaurant the other day and asked for a side of black beans for him. I wish I'd thought to bring our camera -- he sat peacefully stuffing beans into his mouth until his face, arms and hands were covered in black gook.

It's actually his new-found affinity for food that inspired him to do his first sign: more. I'm so proud. Since then I've begun using all the other signs I know: bird, shoes, cat, dog, eat, water, play, read, book, mommy, daddy, fish, ball, grandma, and grandpa. He just looks at me like I'm crazy.

Something else I've been meaning to mention, though it's not that new, is the bleating noise he makes. He sounds like a little goat, and looks so earnest as he's doing it, like he's really trying to convey something.

Also not new, but worth mentioning, is the joy he gets from rolling around and acting silly in our bed. He climbs onto it and I chase him, drag him back by the legs, tickle him, and he laughs uproariously. You've never heard a baby laugh so hard.

And tantrums... In early June, when Henry and I visited my friend Allie's house, I took something away from Henry and he gave it up willingly and with no protest. Allie looked at me in amazement and said, "He doesn't throw a fit at all?" I said, "No, he doesn't seem to mind." I was silently proud of my child who never fusses when redirected. And then two days later the tantrums began. (Beware of smugness, that's all I have to say.)

My baby. Almost one year old.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

Henry and I just returned from watching my husband's band play at Summerfest, billed as the world's largest music festival. While I enjoyed seeing them play and visiting with friends I hadn't seen since before Henry was born, I was even more entertained by all the attention Henry received. Turns out we have one cute kid.

(So cute, in fact, that while I was waiting in line to pay my $15 admission with Henry in the solarveil ring sling, a woman ran up to me and gave me her extra ticket.)

People were particularly taken with Henry's headset, which is the same brand of sound-dampening headphones for kids worn by Apple Martin when mama Gwyneth Paltrow takes her to Coldplay concerts. Hey, only the best for Henry.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Better Off Safe Than Sorry

Henry recently mastered getting off the bed safely; i.e., turning around and crawling off backwards rather than going head first. When I first started teaching Henry this maneuver a few months ago I would recite this little poem while guiding him: "Lead with your feet and not your head; that is the way to get out of bed."

My husband's version? "Feet first; no one gets hurt."

P.S. The title of this blog entry was my husband's guess at what the acronym B.O.S.S. on the university transport vehicles around our old house stood for. Umm, yeah. That would be Be On the Safe Side.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Watering Hole

Yesterday my husband and I took Henry to the zoo for the first time. I was hoping to be able to post a blog entry with lots of photos of Henry in front of the giraffes, the zebras, the elephants, the monkeys...well, you know what kinds of animals are in the zoo.

Unfortunately, the trip was a bust. Henry did well and seemed to enjoy people watching, but we hardly saw any animals.

Instead, I will post some photos taken after we came home from the zoo, also of another first -- Henry's first time in his new wading pool.