Tuesday, July 15, 2014

3 Months


1)  Sprout is a...solid baby.  Unlike his older brother at this age, he has a plethora of folds.  So many folds, in fact, that I noticed a rash creeping in, and discovered that it is actually very difficult to get at his very inner neck.  The operation entails much squirming, and requires two adults.


2)  July 1st, the baby did me a solid and slept for 6 hours.  Sadly, apparently I only get one of these respites every month, as the rest of the time he continued his waking twice per night routine.


3)  Sprout finally put all of last month's tongue explorations to use, and started blowing spit bubbles.


4)  Sprout's legs continue to demonstrate prodigious feats of strength...when he is put down to nap on the mattress in the basement (best spot for napping as it is furthest away from Fuzzy), he will eventually wake up and propel himself forward until he travels several feet and falls off the mattress.  At this point, we hear much wailing, although the mattress is about three inches off the ground from carpet, so he is always unhurt.


5)  He's begun grabbing at cloth burp rags, blankets, and his own onesies, trying to stuff them in his mouth...although his hand-eye coordination could still use significant work, as these efforts are only successful about 30% of the time.  He's also made a few attempts at grabbing toys, but only when they've been held directly next to his hands...he makes zero effort to reach for anything dangling a few inches away.


6)  Yesterday Sprout made big progress.  He finally managed to stuff his fist in his mouth on purpose.  I watched him clench his little chubby hand, and then weave his arm all over the place in concentration until he finally brought it near enough to chomp on.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

25 Months


1)  Fuzzy has been exhibiting a surge of creativity recently.  We went to the sandbox, and he used a bucket to make sand "cookies," cut them in half, and then offered one part of each one to me.  Then, when he accidentally stepped on one sand pile, making a slope, he looked at it for a minute, and announced that it was a potty "for mama."  I got bored flipping buckets for him at some point, and stuck a leaf into the top of one overturned pail.  He looked at it, and excitedly told me it was candle.  Then he proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to himself.


2)  This month brought a triumph for Fuzzy:  The Pit's mother visited for a week, and while she was here, started putting him on the potty consistently.  It took exactly one day of this, and wearing his Thomas the Train underwear, for the kid to get the point.  While there have been plenty of accidents since then, I would say he's pretty well on his way to totally potty trained...he even started waking up with a dry diaper a few days in.


3)  There's been a little more insecurity this month on the baby brother front.  Although he hasn't been at all aggressive with Sprout, oftentimes when Fuzzy sees me feeding or otherwise paying attention to the baby, he will announce, "Mama hugging TWO babies!" and climb into my lap.  This gets a little awkward, but is so adorable that I don't have the heart to discourage him.


4)  Although he still prefers a firm nod, a long drawn out "yeeeeah," or an "okay," Fuzzy will now occasionally say "yes."  When prompted.  Repeatedly.


5)  A while back, Fuzzy and I evolved a bedtime routine wherein I sing him approximately three songs, then announce a last song, sing it, and leave.  While at first Fuzzy simply begged for another last song, recently he has taken to more creative measures to draw out the process.  For example, he will wait until I am about one line away from finishing the last song, and then demand that Mama "Sing diff song."  I am then obliged to start over with a different song, which, you guessed it, also gets interrupted near the end.

Another delaying tactic goes like so:  "Sing louder...louder....louder....NO, TOO LOUD! Sing slower."  Although slower and quieter seem to be conflated in his head, the end result is the same...Mama stays in the room longer out of confusion.


6)  Fuzzy usually sleeps through the night, but a week ago he woke up screaming.  When The Pit couldn't get him to quiet down, I dragged myself out of bed and sat on the rocking chair with him.  I asked if he had a nightmare, and this was the response I received:

"Yeah, nightmare.  Man come in Fizzy woom.  Walking...loud."

When I explained that it wasn't real, that there was no man in his room, he went on with additionally details.  "Loud thing...beeps.  Pretty loud."

I have no idea what he heard or thought he heard, but loud things of all types remain firmly in the dislike column.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2 Months

Sprout has spent the last month staying awake for longer and longer periods of time.  One the minus side, this makes things a bit more difficult for us, as gone are the blissful days when we could set the baby down on his lounger and go about our business.  On the upside though, we get to see more of his sweet personality.


1)  About the middle of the month, he started smiling while he was awake, and although it still wasn't clear whether it was truly reciprocal, we all cooed at him with renewed vigor.  Around 7 weeks, or about a week after his first real awake smile, I noted an actual social exchange - I smiled, he smiled back, and the sun came out from behind the clouds.

2)  He started cooing this month too, but at first, it was clearly an unhappy noise, more of a whimper than anything else.  After about a week or so of that, the coos began to take on happier overtones, and now, we have little happy chats whenever he wakes up from his nap or gets his diaper changed.


3)  To go along with the coos, Sprout has been obsessive about his tongue - he will stick it out, and we will see his eyes go wide with interest as he feel it with his lips and licks a little bit.  Then he will move it to the other corner of his mouth, move it in and out of his mouth, and look even more fascinated.


4)  When he isn't entertaining himself with his tongue, Sprout likes to have this tinkling elephant toy dangled in front of him.  This was Fuzzy's favorite toy at this age too, so there's clearly a genetic affinity for elephants in the family.

5)  Sprout's chunky little legs are incredibly strong.  He likes to be dangled from the armpits with his toes on the ground, and he will push and kick himself up and down, exercising happily.


6)  I'm happy to report that on June 2nd, Sprout ate at 10:30 PM, and then went to sleep until 4:40 AM, resulting in a glorious five uninterrupted hours of sleep for Mama.  May this day be repeated soon.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Two Years


You know that adorable picture of Fuzzy sleeping that ended the last post on him?  I should have known that Fuzzy keeping still and quiet outside of nap time meant something terrible was going to happen.  The pestilence presented itself the next day, when Fuzzy woke up my mom in the middle of the night, said "Fizz tummy hoyts," and proceeded to puke all over his crib, then her bed, then the bathroom.  This went on for approximately one week, during which the rest of us also succumbed, one by one.  Then we had a two week respite, and then we all went through a second round of that norovirus-type crap again.  So...this month could have gone better, all things considered.  However, there are several awesome, non-puking related stories to relate:

1)  First and foremost, the penis-related conversations.  One night in the tub, Fuzz stood up and peed. After surveying the frothy results with excitement, he looked up at me and said, "Fizz made bubbles wit peenis?"

Then, a couple of days later, Fuzzy was observing as I changed Sprout, when the baby let loose and peed straight up in the air.  Watching this, we had the following exchange:

Fuzz:  "Water come out! Water come out of DAT little fing!"
Me:  "That's not water, it's pee.  And it came from Sprout's penis."
Fuzz:  "Fizz have penis too! And Daddy...Daddy have biiiig one!"


2)  All month, Fuzzy has been particularly affectionate and attached with me.  I guess this isn't a surprise, since his baby brother demands an inordinate amount of Mama's time.  However, the result is a lot of Fuzzy wandering up to me and randomly rubbing his face on my legs, in a sort of cross between a normal person's kiss or hug.  When I change him, he will grab by arm, mouth it a little bit, and announce that he's "eating Mama."  Periodically, he will also pinch Mama - not so much to hurt, but because at that moment, he seems overwhelmed with the need to hold a piece of Mama very tight.  Needless to say, I prefer the hug/kissing, even if it does result in lot of tripping.


3)  Given that Sprout is his main rival for Mama's time, Fuzzy has been surprisingly good about his baby brother.  He periodically wants to hold/hug/kiss Fpout, but that is about the sum total of his interactions with the baby....except on those rare occasions that Sprout loses his patience and really starts wailing.  When Fuzzy is around to witness this, he gets incredibly upset, starts wailing too, and requires somebody to hold him while he emphatically mumbles under his breath, "NO LIKE IT, that baby crying."

4)  Fuzzy's been doing some funny non-literal things with the English language recently.  For example, we got take-out Mexican one night, and Fuzzy started devouring the chips.  Then he saw The Pit dip one in salsa, and demanded to do the same.  Unsurprisingly, once he sampled it, the reaction was, "Fizz no like that fing.  Fizz no like that spicy fing."  And that seemed to be the end of that.  However, later that day, we were looking at cars out the window, and I asked him what color the passing red car was.  "WED!" he responded, and followed up with: "Dat car spicy?"

Another time, we were at Target, and I was attempting to pick out a swimsuit for him.  I must admit, they were all pretty garish, but I was not expecting Fuzzy to explain that he didn't want one because it was "too loud."

While I would like to assume that my kid is a genius and is independently making up idioms all by himself, I think the more likely explanation is that he heard these things somewhere.  I just have no specific knowledge of when or where, so all I get is the surreal results.


5)  When I'm at loss as to how to entertain Fuzz, we find rocks, turn them over, and study the undersides for creepy crawling things.  Fuzzy really likes it when we find worms, although he'll take slugs in a pinch.

Despite my numerous explanations that worms like it best in the dirt, for some inscrutable reason, Fuzzy insists on picking them up and placing them in the nearest tree branch.  "Fizz wescue dis worm!" he will say proudly, surveying his wiggling handiwork.  When I suggest that the worm might appreciate a rescue down into that nice flowerpot, Fuzzy will acquiesce only grudgingly.

When we find a slug, Fuzzy likes to place it in a cup, and then go show it to Maya.  "Show Maya yucky sug?" he will say...or, on one memorable occasion when he found the largest slug I've ever seen: "Maya, Maya, Fizz find biiiiig sug!"  Maya is a bit on the OCD-cleaning spectrum, so the look on her face when presented with these treasures is always priceless.


6)  As I've mentioned before, Fuzzy has two comfort toys - his "babies" that are always in his crib.  Several evenings this month, he's unceremoniously thrust them at me and ordered me to put them away in the drawer as I sing him his bedtime songs.  Once I comply and leave the room, these requests are inevitably followed by screaming from Fuzzy 10 to 15 minutes later.  The Pit will go in his room, retrieve the babies for him, and peace will reign once again.  I guess he isn't quite ready to give them up yet.

Since his unending affection tends to leave the babies dirty, it's always a little tricky finding a non-nap/non-bedtime preceding interval in which to wash the things.  The other day, Maya said to hell with it, and shoved them in the washing machine shortly before Fuzz went down for his nap.  Somehow, she calmed him down when he discovered them missing, explaining that they were being washed.  When he woke up though, his first words were: "Maybe babies done washing now?" I was happy to facilitate a touching reunion.

7)  Ever since I got Fuzzy a little toy digger, he's been obsessed with construction machinery, which he indiscriminately calls big trucks...or actually, "tucks." This is already much better than some of his playground compatriots, who refer to them very loudly and excitedly as "fucks."  Fortunately for Fuzzy, there are two nearby houses undergoing demolition/renovation, and every day, Fuzzy demands to go and see the progress.  "Go outfide? Fizz see big tucks!  Maybe man workin?" he will say, and tug at my hand until I agree to take him.  Then he will stare at the machines for hours if we let him.


8)  While my mom was here, she would get up with Fuzz every morning.  Between the illness and his sensing weakness in grandma, "morning" got progressively earlier and earlier, with Fuzzy going from a usual wake-time of 7:30 to 8:00 AM, to something between 5:30 and 6:00 AM.  After her visit ended, The Pit and I decided to divide and conquer - he's been sleeping in the guest room and trying to make Fuzzy sleep later every morning, and I've been up in our room feeding the baby at all hours of the night.  The Pit's strategy includes taking Fuzzy out of the crib to nap with him until at least 7 AM - and he reports that he is now lovingly awakened by Fuzzy fingering circles round and round his mouth every day - apparently because Fuzz likes the way the stubble feels.


9)  Although he still isn't saying "yes," Fuzzy now responds with an "Okaaaay!" when he is asked whether he wants something.

10)  The terrible two tantrums have started...although I have yet to see Fuzz really throw himself on the ground, he has cried hard enough to puke (though that might have been more do with the stomach bug than the tantrum).  Usually he just cries or screams incoherently - when he gets that upset, it actually becomes much more difficult to figure out what he wants, as his language skills degenerate to "MAMA! MAMA!"

11)  We had a locksmith come and fix the deadbolt on our front door, and the man used a drill.  Fuzzy observed with interest, then asked me if he could use it.  After I told him that the drill was just for the repair man, Fuzz thought it over, and then confirmed with me: "Only dis guy can play wit dis dill?"


12)  Fuzzy doesn't have a huge interest in drawing yet, but he will occasionally pick up a crayon, draw
misshapen circles, and sprinkle liberally with dots.  When asked what he drew, he will say one of the following:  Fizz, Daddy, Fpout, Mama, or elephant.  All of us tend to have more than two eyes, apparently.

13)  I've mentioned it before, but Fuzzy has always had a fear of wind-up mechanical toys.  On my mom's latest visit, she brought a small friendly-looking wind-up frog for the bath.  All was well until we made it move, at which point Fuzzy shrieked, skittered over to the furthest end of the tub, and yelled "Fizz scared dis fog!"


14)  Fuzz has been stringing more and more words together into complex sentences.  For example, after he and I dropped a letter in a postal box, he came home and yelled at The Pit:  "Daddy, daddy, Fizz put mail in mail box - man pick up?"

A month or two ago, The Pit planted a bunch of radishes in our backyard.  Some have now attained sufficient size to be worth pulling, and Fuzzy likes to select one, yank it out, and then pop it in his mouth more or less covered in dirt.  To combat this tendency, I've taken to brining a tupperware of water with me, and make him dip the radish in to remove at least the worst of the soil.  This is Fuzzy's description of the process as he dips each one in the water:  "Wadishes!  Fizz pick dis big wadish!  Now tip!"  Then he proceeds to stuff his face.

15)  Fuzz has known that he gets a happy birthday song for a while now, and after some relevant episodes of his favorite cartoons, can even sort of approximate the tune.  When we actually sang to him on his birthday, he demanded that we do it again and again, complete with candle lighting and blowing out.  It was pretty adorable, although not quite as adorable as when he randomly and completely unaware of events sang Happy Birthday in his crib on the morning that Sprout was born.  Here he is, blowing out his candles for the second time on an already partially eaten cupcake.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Month PostScript

My sleep deprivation apparently means that I forget to list two of the kid's main accomplishments in his One Month post...so let me add the following:

6)  Taking a bottle.  Yes, that's right, Sprout is a rockstar bottle drinker, latching on and sucking one down right from the very first try, even with his older brother having a distracting meltdown next to him.  (Fuzzy reaaaaalllly wanted to either feed the bottle to Fpout, or, failing that, drink it himself).

7)  Tracking with eyes.  Although he shows little emotion when presented with various objects, Sprout will follow them with his eyes, and turn his giant (80th percentile) head as they go out of his field of vision.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

One Month

Some distinct similarities between children are emerging:


Then there is their preference for sticking the butt up in the air as they fall asleep - although I mysteriously don't have a picture of it, Fuzzy still falls asleep in exactly this position:


But enough comparisons, let's talk about Sproutling as his own person, with his own numbered list of descriptions and milestones:

1)  Although there is a little bit of squeaking, groaning, and sighing, the creaking is Sprout's main noise.  It always starts off softly, and then escalates, like so: "Ehhhh.  Ehhhhhhhh.  EHHHHHHH."  He sounds exactly like a cranky old man getting comfortable in his favorite chair.


2)  Sprout is a patient creature.   He doesn't cry when his diaper is being changed, or when he's being passed around the household like a hot potato.  He just settles into the arms of whoever is holding him, creaks a little bit, and fall asleep.


3)  There is only one issue with him, and that is burping.  Unlike his big brother at this age, he likes to burp... a lot.  After a feeding, I will tilt him upright, and he will immediately let out a large belch.  "Great," I will think to myself, and put him down again to continue eating.  Except things, as it turns out, are not great.  Sprout will creak and creak, eventually escalating to actual crying, all while frantically trying to nurse again.  But this is a ruse!  He doesn't actually want to nurse - he actually wants to be tilted upright again, to continue burping at least six more times.  Then he wants to fall asleep again, preferably on somebody's chest.

4)  Sprout's most distinct expression is a sort of pursed-lip pout, which he likes to assume in his sleep.


5)  While he has smiled quite a bit in his sleep too, he hasn't actually graced us with a real reciprocal smile while awake yet.  But based on what we see when he dreams, it's going to be good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

23 Months


1)  Fuzzy demonstrated his ingenuity at the beginning of the month.  He wanted to turn the light in the basement on by himself, and I suggested he stand on a box to do it.  He cocked his head, having never considered this option before, and then went and dragged a plastic bin over to the light switch, climbed on, and flipped the light back and forth in ecstasy.  Then he was given his usual evening bottle of milk, which he promptly dropped in his excitement.  A little bit of milk spilled, and he noticed.

"Little spill? Clean up?"

Answering his own question, he got off the bin, pushed it over to the bookshelf, climbed up, pulled a single tissue from the kleenex box I hid from him up there, and then went to clean up the milk.  Because apparently this was a fun activity, he then proceeded to repeat it about 10 times, each time saying "One more!" as he got down a tissue.


2)  In a similar vein, he also drank from Daddy's bottle of juice - taking one sip at a time, screwing in the cap, then saying "Little more" and opening the cap again.  Repeat about 30 times - the fun part was that we were Skyping with the grandparents at the time, so they witnessed this for about 10 minutes.

3)  As chronicled in the last posting, Fuzzy has been helping Daddy fix things around the house recently.  Shortly before Sprout's arrival, we went shopping at Ikea, and got not only a dresser for the baby's room, but also a toy toolset for Fuzzy.  He very proudly wielded his own hammer, screwdriver, and wrench as he helped build the dresser, talking about being a "big bother" when the baby came.


4)  As I believe I've mentioned before, Fuzzy is particularly sensitive to loud, unexplained noises.  Hearing any type of bang, buzzing, whistling, bumping, etc., he will run to my leg, hug it tight in terror, and say "Noize?" Sometimes, this is followed up with a quivering "Thunda boom?" because he saw two separate episodes - one of Caillou, and one of Peppa Pig, where the kids are scared of thunder storms.  He himself has not yet experienced a storm, but we live in fear of the day.

Anyway, when we explain what the noize is, Fuzzy always calms down.  Often, the explanation is something along the lines of: just Daddy/Mama/Maya walking/washing dishes/etc. upstairs/downstairs.  Apparently this narrative has stuck, because the other day, Fuzzy ran to me - "Noize?" he said, and then followed it up with his own explanation: "Jus Daddy downsairs fixin stuff."


5)  Fuzzy has expanded his song repertoire.  When asked to sing a song a few weeks ago, he burst out with: "Twinkle lit sta...goon goon GAAAAAAAAA!" - apparently because he couldn't remember the rest of the lyrics.  Then, later in the month, I heard him at top volume, singing to himself at nap time - "TWINKLE TWINKLE LIT STA, HOW WONDA WHAT ARE."  Personally, I found the rendition less than soothing, but what the hell do I know.

6)  Fuzz is picking up random words here and there, and at this point, I have no idea where he gets any particular thing.  Case in point - during bath time a few days ago, he asked for the faucet to be turned on, and then requested his cup.  When he drank deep, I asked if the water was good.  "Deeeeelicious!" the baby replied.


7)  We've been trying to teach Fuzz to say 'please' and 'thank you' at appropriate moments.  Although he figured out 'peas' very fast, until a little while ago, he really had to be prompted every time for the thank you part.  The other day though, he asked for some toast at breakfast, and when I handed it to him, completely unprompted, he said "Fanks Mama."


8)  I've been writing these notes in more or less chronological order, so only at the end of the list are we getting to the most significant event of the month - Sprout's arrival.  Fuzzy's reaction to the birth of his baby brother is better than anything I could have imagined.  He first laid eyes on the baby when The Pit brought him for a visit to the hospital, and he grinned hugely, pointed to the bassinet, and yelled "Baby!!" excitedly.  When informed that the baby was named Sprout, he asked, "Fizz kiss baby Fpout?"

After he was afforded the opportunity, he kept asking to do it again.  When it was time to go, he cried bitter tears, and as The Pit carried him out of the room, I could hear the yelling down the hall "NO! NO! NO! FIZZ KISS BABY FPOUT MORE!"


9)  The day after I came home from the hospital, The Pit took Fuzzy on a walk so I could feed the baby in peace.  As they approached the house, I could hear Fuzzy excitedly yelling something.  When they opened the front door, this resolved into "MAMA! MAMA! Fizz bought Mama flowers!!"  And indeed, he had.  He clambered up the stairs, and then entered my room triumphantly, clutching two wilted and rather smushed dandelions in his little fist.  These he proudly presented to me, making Mama tear up just a tiny bit.

10)  Fuzzy has two comfort animals - they are essentially identical elephants, although he greatly prefers one to the other.  They do not have names, per se, but are instead referred to as "Any Baby" for the favorite, and "That Baby" for the other.  It is a measure of Fuzzy's devotion to his new sibling that, upon seeing the baby laying there sleeping, he grabbed an extra blanket, put it on top of Sprout, and then followed this up by placing Any Baby next to his head.


11)  A few days ago, Fuzzy saw a cartoon featuring a marching band.  Now he grabs his toy frying pan and spatula, starts banging them together, and marches around the room, repeating "Fizz MACHING!" over and over.  Usually our applause is not enough for him, and he demands that we too stand and march behind him.  Apparently he is already wise enough to know that adults cheat, because as he marches, every few seconds he will glance backward to make sure we are still with him.

12)  In a very recent development, Fuzzy will return from walks with shouts to whichever parent wasn't with him - "Mummy, mummy!! Fizz saw duck!!"  So far, I have been informed of the existence of ducks, flowers, bees, and ants.  It's super cute how excited he is to share.

13)  For whatever reason, Fuzzy has taken to calling me "Mummy" recently - not all the time, but his usual call of "Mama, Mama!" now goes something like: "Mama! Mama! Mummy! Mama!"

In other language developments, as noted by his pronunciation of Sprout, he now turns 's' into 'f' - although once again, not in any sort of consistent manner.  But sunglasses become fungasses, shoulders become folders, and upsidedown is upfidedon.  For our final picture, here is little bunny exhausted from too much playing outfide:


Monday, April 21, 2014

1 Week

Having a second child is a revelation in differences.

1)  To date, Little Sprout is a much more mellow baby, possibly because he does not insist on keeping all his precious burps inside.  Unlike his big brother, he readily belches and spits up when turned upright, and then happily goes back to sleep.


2)  The sleeping - oh my god, the sleeping.  I seem to remember Fuzzy being up constantly at this age, looking around, making a fuss, and insistently demanding to be fed and/or held.  Baby Sprout occasionally has intervals where he feeds every two hours, but for the most part, he goes about four before making his presence known.  In the intervals, he lays happily on his infant pillow and sleeps.  Even loud noises from his big brother, along with the occasional poke and/or kiss, fail to disturb him.


3)  On the downside, once he wakes up, he is a very slllloooowww eater.  He'll latch on for a few minutes, then pull off, and stare at the nipple in amazement for a bit.  Then he'll want to be burped.  Then he'll nap for a few minutes, and the cycle will repeat.  It can take over an hour for him to finally get full enough to really get back to serious napping.  This is all fine and dandy during the day, but can get rather frustrating at night, when all I want is to feed him, change him, and get back to sleep myself.


4)  And let us not forget the peeing.  By the time he was a week old, Fuzzy had persisted until he peed on every single member of the household.  Sprout has been much better behaved, always waiting until a diaper is back on to let loose.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He's Here!

Introducing the latest member of the Peachy family:  little Sprout, who, due to some genetic quirk I blame entirely on The Pit's side, appears just a tad bit Asian.

Here he is, as a happy Buddha:


And here, as a North Korean dictator: