The first half of March was not a good time for our family, health-wise. Unfortunately, I expect I will always remember Micah’s first Purim Carnival as the one that he and I both spent covered in vomit (apologies for the imagery).
It started with Micah on the night of the 4th, most of which was spent ejecting his dinner. He ended up getting a little bit of sleep in spurts while Kenny held him, first rocking in our glider chair and later snuggling in the guest room bed. A few days later, when he had been keeping food down for 24 hours, we thought we’d try to take him to the Purim Carnival at school, but that was a mistake – he had his relapse in my arms while we were waiting in line for a balloon animal. He had another episode an hour later while we were at Walgreens buying Pedialyte. Gloria’s symptoms started that afternoon – and we had another night featuring very little sleep and several loads of laundry. Starting at 1:30AM I experienced my own bout of vomiting, observing that, ironically enough, I had escaped my entire first trimester without vomiting, but here I was in my second with a nasty stomach bug.
A few days after the New Year, we told Gloria over breakfast that she would be getting another brother or sister. Her initial reaction was a look of amazement, and I saw her eyes grow bigger as she considered the implications. Then she remembered her Berenstain Bears book, in which Mama Bear’s lap shrinks as her belly grows, and she said, “Mommy, I’m worried about your lap.” As we were finishing our meal, she requested to sit on my lap, and she came and snuggled with me and I reassured her that there would be space for her for many months still. When I arrived home from work, the first thing she asked me was, “Mommy, is there still a baby in your tummy?” She asked me a few more times in the following days, and since then has had all kinds of cute observations and questions about the new brother or sister who is expected just before her birthday this July. One day, Gloria said to Kenny, “Daddy, you don’t have to worry about taking care of the new baby – I’ll take care of this one.” We’re glad that’s settled.
Gloria and I took an MLK-weekend trip to Southern California for a “girls’ weekend” with grandma. I had been a bit nervous about the trip for a couple of reasons: Gloria had had nightmares and other nighttime disturbances at home for a few nights in a row; she would be sleeping in a bed (not a crib!) at my mom’s house; she would be missing her Saturday and Monday naps due to flight scheduling; and she and I had been bickering a bit lately (although usually related to her interactions with Micah, who was staying home for a guys’ weekend with Kenny).
For months I’ve been watching Micah cruise furniture and then delicately lower himself to the ground with a squat to convert to his patented gimp crawl. It’s been obvious for awhile that Micah was strong enough to walk but lacked the conviction to do so. This afternoon I used two of his favorite toys above eye level to coax some steps from him on film:
We knew this day was fast approaching, it was just a question of whether we’d have enough time to prepare. Micah is officially mobile.
Micah has been trying in earnest to get moving for at least a month, experiencing quite a bit of frustration along the way. Weeks ago, he mastered getting from a seated pose onto all fours, and could make one lunge forward to cover a bit of ground, but then he would end up lying on the floor on his tummy or pushing himself back to a seated position. He was quite adept at rolling to where he wanted to go, but clearly not satisfied with that mode of transport.
Two days ago, Kenny dropped Micah off with me in our home office so that he could go pick Gloria up from school, and Micah joined for a few minutes of the conference call I was on. My co-workers waved hello to him and asked whether he was mobile yet. I summarized his current status as “he can lunge forward, but not quite crawl yet, and he’s quite frustrated about it.” Then I put him on the floor facing the computer so he could demonstrate. Well, he sure proved me wrong: he very rapidly crawled across the four-foot gap between himself and the laptop and proceeded to drool all over the keyboard and hang up my call. It was very clear that Micah in fact could crawl, he just needed to be sufficiently motivated.
Maybe it’s because we sing “If you’re happy and you know it” to Micah all the time, but lately our son spends a lot of time trying to clap. And when he has two things in his hands he will try and bang them together. Here he is at lunch time today, celebrating the delicious bagels my dad hand-imported from New Orleans:
Excerpt from tonight’s pre-bedtime conversation with my daughter:
GLORIA: Why are you my daddy? KENNY: Because you were born and I became a daddy and mommy became a mommy. GLORIA: But why? Why did I make you a daddy? KENNY: Because mommy and I made you and mommy carried you in her tummy.
Gloria asks a few more questions, thinks for a bit…
GLORIA: Mommies and daddies carry babies in their tummies! KENNY: No, only mommies can carry babies in their tummies. GLORIA: Why? Why can’t you carry a baby daddy? KENNY: Because I don’t have a uterus in my tummy. GLORIA: Does mommy have a uterus in her tummy? KENNY: Yes Gloria, girls have uteruses in their tummies. GLORIA: Why don’t you have a uterus daddy? You should get one. KENNY: Because I’m a boy. GLORIA: Can mommy take her uterus out of her tummy and give it to you? KENNY: No, it’s part of her. GLORIA: Do I have a uterus? KENNY: Yes Gloria, you have a uterus inside of you. GLORIA: I have a baby in my tummy. KENNY: Really? GLORIA: Yes! I have a baby yellow bear in my uterus. KENNY: Is he going to grow in your tummy? GLORIA: No, he’s going to stay a little tiny yellow bear. And then I’m going to go into labor and he’s going to come out of my tummy!
One follow up to last week’s visit with the lactation consultant was to try out a Comotomo bottle. The lactation consultant hadn’t used it herself, but had heard from a number of clients that the nipple more closely resembled the shape and flow of a breast. In particular, for cases where Mom has a fast let down, the multi-hole flow and squishy body allowed for a more authentic experience.
Given that Micah had been happily drinking from his Mam bottle to the tune of 18+oz a day before his bottle strike, I was skeptical that different hardware would make a noticeable difference. But the reviews were compelling and at $15 it was a cheap enough gamble. The bottle arrived on Friday afternoon, and I have to say that it was like magic. The first time I fed Micah from the Comotomo he quickly drained the 3.5 ounces that were in there. I thought it may have been the novelty of a different bottle that caused such success, but by Monday I was a convert and ordered another pack of two. Gone are the days of Micah looking at the bottle and exploding into tears. Instead, he roots towards the bottle, and gets excited when I bring it into his line of sight. Location isn’t a problem anymore either – today he calmly took a bottle while we were out to lunch at Specialty’s.
The lactation consultant also told me that I didn’t need to warm his bottles as much as I had been. However, when I tried room temperature bottles, Micah drank a lot less (1-1.5oz instead of a standard 3-4oz guzzle), so for now I’ll keep factoring in the warming as part of my routine.
I was starting to dread bottle feedings with Micah, and was having flashbacks to Gloria’s immensely challenging bottle days. Thank God I’m (hopefully) over that hurdle now. While it’s not quite like the real thing, these Comotomo bottles will do.
I love that our kids are born with a ton of hair, but our son has been getting pretty shaggy. While the comparisons to Harry Potter and 1960s Elton John were entertaining, he was having trouble seeing his food at breakfast.
I couldn’t bring myself to deal with the logistics of going out for a trim, so I took after my father and took on the role of barber this morning. While Micah was playing with his favorite teether, I made a few strategic snips to clean up our little big man’s flowing tresses.
Looks like my first week of paternity leave may have been an anomaly. Lauren worked from home most of Thursday and was off on Friday, so we had a long stretch with minimal bottle feeding. Monday morning rolled along, I was feeling upbeat and confident. Then I brought in the bottle for Micah’s morning nap and he exploded into tears. I managed to get him to take 1.5oz, but he wasn’t that happy about it. I reminded myself that often the first bottle or two of the week are the most challenging ones.
Micah took a measly 1.5oz more after his nap, though he did have a lot of applesauce for lunch. However, he was getting more and more fussy as the day progressed. I knew Micah was hungry and offered the bottle a few times, meeting with a complete refusal. I finally just put him down for his nap and he cried himself to sleep after 15 minutes. He woke up one sleep cycle later, and after another bottle refusal I started getting desperate. I offered him some milk from an open cup – Micah was very eager but only managed to get about 1oz into his mouth. I tried offering some solid foods with minimal success. Finally Lauren rescued me around 4PM.