Bottle Redemption

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.

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Well fed, happy baby

Haircut

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.

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Before and after his trim

Micah's first haircut snippets
Some of these locks were three inches long!

Bottle Strike

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.

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Mardi Gras 2014

Last Sunday afternoon we hosted our annual Mardi Gras party. We didn’t have the energy to put together an extensive menu this year, but we did serve the classics – Hurricanes, Jambalaya and Lauren’s new cast iron cornbread recipe. We had a few more little ones attending this year, but it was still manageable. Gloria was showing off a variety of beads, and trying to put some on Micah as well. And of course, everyone enjoyed the king cake! 

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Cheeeese

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“My favorite colors are pink and purple!”

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Keegan, Owen, and Micah having some guy time before busting into the king cake

Micah Paternity Leave, Week 1

On Monday I started paternity leave – 12 weeks to spend bonding with my son. It’s been challenging for me to get extensive one-on-one time with Micah while his older sister is around, so it will be nice to have some uninterrupted play time.

The one aspect that filled me with some trepidation was bottle feeding, as things were disastrous with Gloria when I began my first paternity leave; every feeding was a fight and she’d take maybe 8oz/day. Fortunately we prepared Micah a little better, and he did great with the bottle this week – 18-20 during the 8 hours Lauren spends away! He’s also a great napper – no rocking to sleep necessary, I just feed him, put him in his crib, and hand him a lovey. He gets a big smile on his face, curls onto his side, and goes to sleep. If only this compliance would start happening for Micah’s night sleep.

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Things That Make Micah Smile

Micah is generally a very easygoing and happy little dude, although he has been through a couple of moody phases already, in which he has been clingier and a bit more difficult to entertain. I assume these periods were associated with developmental milestones, although of course it’s always difficult to tell what’s going on with these little ones given their very limited ability to communicate. On Micah’s fussier days, tricks from the handy list below are sure to get some smiles – and adorable little giggles – from our cutie pie.

  • “Pop Goes the Micah” song – Gloria uses Micah’s monkey toy to “chase” him around while we sing and we “pop” him up by lifting his legs and tuchus at the end of the verse
  • Various other kids’ songs, like “This Old Man,” “The Ants Go Marching One by One,” “Row Row Row Your Boat” or “Baby Beluga”
  • Singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” – Micah lying on his back, the “spider” walking up his tummy to his chin
  • Reading The Foot Book while helping Micah do an interpretive dance with his feet
  • Sliding Micah’s long sleeves off his arms (I have no idea why he thinks this is so funny, but he cracks up every time I change his clothes)
  • Tickling him under his chin, like tickling a frog’s tummy
  • Pushing his knees into his chest while he’s lying on his back
  • Similarly, bicycling his legs while he’s on his back, especially if you sing Queen’s Bicycle Race while doing so
  • Tummy raspberries
  • Doing arm curls with Micah as the barbell
  • Doing an airplane with Micah flying on your knees
  • A tame version of the Lone Ranger routine that Gloria loved as an older baby; or just bouncing him on your knee while humming just about any song
  • Lying next to him on the floor and singing – he’ll usually roll onto his side to face me while I’m singing
  • Holding him in a standing position and helping him march his legs
  • Looking in the mirror and pointing to various facial features while saying, “this is Mommy’s nose, this is Micah’s nose” (etc.). This is less certain to get a laugh than some of the other activities on this list, but sometimes it’s a big hit.
  • Big sister G

Bunny Clock

We’ve had a rude awakening lately. For a long time we were almost guaranteed that Gloria would stay in bed until around 7AM before calling us down. However, a few weeks ago her once solid circadian rhythms went off balance. Gloria started calling us at random times – like 3AM – thinking that it was time to get up for the day.

Fortunately we had some preparation for this scenario – last year Lauren’s co-worker had mentioned a similar situation that he rectified with the help of a special bunny clock. This brilliant device has a split screen with two bunnies – the top one is awake and the bottom one is asleep. At the desired times (you can set a wake up time for the morning plus another one for naptime), the lit LED switches from behind the bottom panel to another one behind the top panel.

After the bunny clock arrived we let Gloria unpack it and we explained how it worked. When she called me down at 5:30AM I pointed out that the bunny was still asleep, so it wasn’t time to wake up yet. It took two days for the bunny to work its magic.

Now Gloria calls one of us down at 7AM, and when we walk in she exclaims with delight, “the bunny is awake!”

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UPDATE (4/26): Three months later the Bunny is still working like a champ.

Sibling Smiles

A few minutes after Micah was born, the nurse asked me and Kenny whether we could tell which of us he most resembled. I think we said in unison, “he looks like his sister.” In the subsequent weeks, his look has diverged a bit from hers, but I definitely had a flashback to Gloria’s early days when I caught some photos of his social smile today. Here’s Gloria at 3 months, 1 day, and and Micah and 2 months, 1 day:

G Smile M Smile

I Dream of G-Bug

Conversation with Kenny this morning, perhaps shedding some light on how the transition to a family of four has impacted the parent-child dynamics in our house:

KENNY: I had a couple of dreams early this morning about Gloria somehow getting herself out of the crib and coming into our room.
LAUREN: That’s funny, so did I. Gloria and a band of other toddler ninjas come into the master bedroom. Gloria has colorful ribbons in her hair and she exclaims "no want to see mommy!" The toddlers are all brandishing various weapons from our kitchen – mostly wooden spoons, but a couple have knives. I convince one toddler to give me back the paring knife.
KENNY: Oh. In mine she just wanted to be picked up and have a hug.
LAUREN: I guess you and I each have very different relationships with Gloria right now.