Wednesday, November 28, 2012

6 Months

So a funny thing happened around the time the baby turned 6 months old - he somehow transformed into a real person, instead of the adorable but decidedly proto-human he had been.

I think a lot this has to do with his mastery of sitting.  About a week before his 6-month birthday, he started balancing himself in an unsupported sitting position.  Previously he would list to and fro before flopping over to one side.  Now he could keep himself seated, and this opened up a whole new world - he could reach a variety of toys arrayed in front of him, see a room instead of just the ceiling, observe the street from his stroller, and sit up in a high-chair during dinner just like an actual member of the family.

The Pit started taking him down to the carpeted basement for playtime, and we figured out that he knew how to play a version of catch.  It's more roll than throwing, but he totally understands the conventions - when handed his ball he flings it in our general direction, grins, and then patiently waits for it to be returned to his grasp via rolling or light bouncing.  Then the cycle repeats.

He also impressed me the other day by decoding the operation of one of his musical toys - this thing is a triangle of plastic, and when hit or shaken, it plays several seconds of music.  I keep it by his diaper changing station, and used to shake it and then hand to him.  He would fling it about, more or less accidently activating the musical function and always looking both surprised and delighted when it played.  Now I don't need to activate it first - when I give it to him, he clenches it tightly in one hand, and then slaps it with the other.  The music plays, he listens, and then when the music stops he slaps the toy again.

The impressive part is that he started generalizing this to other toys - now when handed an object, the first thing he does is test its musical potential by slapping it in exactly the same way.  Since many of his toys have some sort of rattle or music built in, his new-found technique brings him much satisfaction.

Unfortunately, another thing that is currently bringing Fuzzy satisfaction is flinging said toys off of his high chair and then screaming until they are returned to him....I guess as parents, we win some and then we lose some.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fortunate Son

The 6 month round-up post is coming, but first I need to relay a conversation I had with my grandmother yesterday.  She had just watched a video I sent of Fuzzy trying and subsequently hating bananas, and her opinion was that the soft plastic baby spoon was to blame.  "I will buy him a silver spoon!" she proclaimed.

Now while its true that I'm feeling quite bourgeoisie these days, what with my live-in nanny and twice monthly house-cleaners, I thought that literally buying the kid a silver spoon might be taking things a bit far...after all, I'm still feeling somewhat guilty for paying a nice Asian lady to paint my toenails two months ago.

Anyway, it turns out that the Russians consider silver spoons the healthiest spoons with which to feed children.  I was all set to mock this as yet another old country superstition on my grandmother's part, and then I did a quick Google search - turns out, I shouldn't make fun of old people willy-nilly.*

Quothe Wikipedia: Beyond their value and aesthetics, silver utensils self-sanitize: silver has antimicrobial properties, due to the oligodynamic effect.

* And not just because I used the term willy-nilly in a real sentence.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Pit Called This Manipulation

Fuzzy was having an off day - he didn't nap well, he wouldn't eat, and he generally spent most of his time whining.  When he wasn't whining, he was either refusing to be put down, or squirming like he wanted to be dropped.  I was working from home, and it took both Maya and I to manage him and get anything done.

So toward the end of the day, Maya was making dinner and I was holding him on my lap on the couch.  He had finally settled down a little, his head resting on my shoulder.

I put my lips by his ear, and whispered tenderly, "You've been such a booger today...but I love you anyway."

And wouldn't you know it, he whipped his head around, planted a wet smooch right on my cheek, and grinned.

Needless to say, all was forgiven.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

25 Weeks

I'm working from home today, and came downstairs after my shower to find Maya and Fuzz happily napping together on the basement floor.  So cute.

Now for the roundup of recent developments:

1) This isn't really a development per se, but I would be remiss if I didn't show off a picture of Fuzzy in his Halloween costume.  The Pit wanted something more manly for our boy, but his first choice of lobster costume was not available in Fuzzy's size on Amazon, so I got to pick my favorite:

Mommy's little bunny he is.  As an aside, thanks to my soon-to-be brother-in-law for the gift of Amazon Prime - we've used it for purchases both significant and trivial recently, but I think the bunny costume wins first place.

2) Last post I mentioned Fuzzy putting his cheek against our chests when tired - in the last few weeks, this behavior has morphed into just plain putting his head down when tired.  No matter what position he's in, he will lean over (twisting uncomfortably if necessary), find any available surface, and plant his little cheek against it.  His parents have predictably dichotomous reactions to this: I find adorable, and The Pit worries that the baby is straining his neck.

3) Fuzzy is also embracing his destiny.  He knows he will be tall one day, and doesn't want to wait for that day to arrive.  In addition to demanding that he be stood on his own two feet, the baby also loves being stood up high on my shoulders.  This is a rather tiring position for mom, but Fuzz delights in it so, surveying all he commands with an air of satisfaction.

4) We've had our first real diaper blow-out.  Astute readers may remember an incident in the hospital when Fuzz was first born, but that was baby poop in comparison to our situation a few days ago.  See, Fuzzy used to be quite the prolific pooper - I would say at least 10-12 times a day in his first month.  This meant that any one incident was relatively manageable.  However, over time he's pooped less and less frequently, and sometime in the last few weeks, he's settled down to a respectable once-a-day schedule that makes all of our lives easier.  Except this past weekend, he skipped a day.

The following morning, The Pit was being a wonderful husband, and agreed to take the baby so I could sleep in...5 minutes later I heard him frantically yelling my name.  I rolled out of bed and rushed downstairs to find him at the changing table, restraining Fuzzy from flailing his legs in a diaper that had clearly been outmatched - poop was coming out of the bottom of the leg holes, out of the top on his back, and out of the front to cover his stomach.  The onesie was covered, the pajama pants were stained, and thank god we had put Fuzz in a sleep sack, or the sheets would have needed changing too.  And since we've been feeding the baby rice cereal for the past few weeks, this poop  After I washed the baby in the sink and The Pitt took all the soiled clothing to the laundry room, the nursery still reeked, and required a good airing-out before we could breath comfortably.  So there's that - a rite of parenthood, accomplished.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

5 Months

The baby turned 5 months, and we celebrated by a return to the doctor's office - at his 4 month check-up, Fuzz weighed in at a whopping 10th percentile, and the pediatrician wanted to see if he was getting any fatter.  Turns out, not so much, so rice cereal, here we come.

Despite his less than stellar weight gain, Fuzzy has been doing all sorts of interesting things recently:

1)  He's ambitious - although he hasn't yet mastered sitting, or even rolling over (several times he's gotten me up at night because he flipped onto his stomach and got stuck), he's already aching to stand.  We used to do this move where we would have him grab onto our hands with both of his as he was laying down, and then we would pull him into a sitting position.  Now he goes straight through the sitting pose, folds his feet under him, and rolls to a stand, all the while looking very proud of himself.  He also likes to be held under the armpits, and then he plants his feet on any available hard surface, straightens his legs, and grins.

2) And while he can't sit up by himself yet, he has gotten better at sitting - he's great in his Bumbo chair and in the ExerSaucer, and we had to move his bouncer to a new setting to accommodate his desires to sit up instead of leaning back.  Here he is, thinking about how to get out of the Bumbo and stand up.

3) Halfway through his 4th month, Fuzz slept through the night.  It happened to be the one night when I was getting sick, so while my first reaction was shock and joy, my second reaction was concern that he was getting sick too.  Fortunately, he did not succumb to the same pestilence that The Pit and I had, but unfortunately,  he has not yet repeated that long stretch of sleep.

4) Despite his lack of weight gain, the baby is now consuming four ounces of milk when Maya gives him the bottle.  This is about double what he ate two months ago, so those calories are presumably getting used up growing him taller, rather than fatter.  He's somewhere around the 80th percentile in height, so it looks like he'll be tall and slim like papa.

5) In preparation for Halloween, The Pit carved a pumpkin.  My mom and I gave Fuzz one of the cut-out eyes to play with, and of course he shoved the whole thing into his mouth.  This was all well and good, until he got it stuck - it was way too big to go down his throat, but exactly the right shape to get wedged between his chipmunk cheeks.  The Pit had to come to the rescue, and chastised my mother and I "for almost killing the baby."

6) After he finishes nursing and falls asleep, Fuzz continues to sort of roll the milk around in his mouth, and assumes a purse-lipped expression which strongly reminds me of my grandfather.  It's like he's thinking something isn't quite up to par, but he's not entirely sure what the problem is.  You would think this would annoy the person providing Fuzzy with perfectly good milk, but the fact that I have a dubious baby delights me - the Peachy genes are strong within this one!  The following picture does not show this expression, but does demonstrate Fuzzy' growing resemblance to his mama:  

7) Fuzzy's head previously fit perfectly in the hollow of my neck when I rocked him to sleep, but he's gotten too big to fit comfortably there - plus he now has a tendency to grab and try to eat my hair.  However, he's come up with a new and adorable position from which to rest.  When he's tired these days, he'll bend over, lean his cheek against the chest of whoever is holding him, and quietly observe the world.  I haven't managed to get a picture of this, but since my last report of his kissing, I snagged several shots, which you can enjoy below:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

4 Months

Well, the baby is a one third of the way through his first year:

The most of adorable of new developments is Fuzzy's smooching.  At first when I brought him up to my face and he planted his lips on my cheeks, I assumed he wanted to nurse. But over the last few days, I've become convinced that he's actually trying to imitate kissing - he doesn't suckle like he's hungry, but instead grabs my nose or hair with his little fists, pulls me close, opens his mouth and slobbers a little on my cheek, then pulls away and giggles, waiting for a return kiss from me.  When I oblige, he smiles hugely, and then opens his arms to pull me close again and repeat the procedure.  It is literally the cutest thing, even if it involves rather more saliva than I'm used to with a peck on the cheeks.

In addition to his new display of affection, Fuzz has finally found his thumb.  For weeks now he's been cramming his whole hand in his mouth, to the point where he gagged himself on his own fingers.  But this week, he figured out that the thumb is the way to go - all the satisfaction of sucking, with none of the choking and coughing.

He's also just generally better at physical coordination - when I hold him under the armpits and stand him up on my lap, he balances much better, presses his little feet into my legs, and reaches for me with both hands.  He's also taken to holding his arms up when we approach him in the crib or playpen - I'm not 100% sure, but I think he's asking to be picked up.  And really, who could resist this face?  Nobody, that's who.

As can be seen in the picture above, the weather has finally turned cool enough for us to put Fuzz in his adorable tiny jackets - somehow, with a hood on him, he looks like much more of a Russian baby.  This is especially true when said tiny jacket is buttoned up, like so:

Friday, August 31, 2012

14 Weeks

Fuzzy had a momentous 14th week of life.

1)  His new nanny - we'll call her Maya - started work this week, and lo, it turns out she is a miracle worker.  On her very first day, she and my mother managed to distract Fuzzy long enough for him to consume half an ounce of milk from a bottle.  Granted, this whole process took almost an hour, required two grown women, two musical toys, an exercise ball, and a plethora of distracting tinkling, squeaking, and rattling objects - but still!  Definite progress from no bottle at all.

2)  Fuzz also showed some motor development progression, as he flipped from his back to his stomach in a fit of pique.  This was during a middle-of-the-night feeding and diaper changing, so I was the only witness, and so far he hasn't repeated this trick for anyone else.  I'm pretty certain it happened though, and wasn't just a sleepless hallucination on my part.

3)  Finally, the baby has finally discovered his feet.  He's certainly seen them before, and even stared for lengthy periods of time, but this week he figured out that those things at the bottom of his body can be fun toys.  He now grabs them when laying down and purposefully splashes with them in the tub.  This discovery is a mixed blessing for us adults - on the one hand, he has a good object of distraction when no toys are available.  On the other hand, diaper changing is significantly harder now, as he resembles nothing so much as rolly-polly bug who refuses to straighten out.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

3 Months

Between his twelfth and thirteenth week, the Fuzz has developed some new tricks:

1)  Blowing bubbles.  Whereas he used to communicate in several adorable coos, this new milestone means that Fuzzy basically now stares at us while gurgling and drooling excessively.  His squeals have gotten higher pitched too, and he somehow manages to convey both whining and demanding tones, especially when he's hungry.  The Pit and I decided his new conversational language resembles nothing so much as pterodactyl cries.  If chatting with the baby were plotted against our enjoyment, I would say this week brought a definite dip.

2)  Playing peek-a-boo. To make up for talking through a mouth full of spit, on his three-month birthday Fuzzy showed my mom and I something totally new.  I was holding him in the crook of my arm with my mom sitting next to us, and Fuzzy decided he would play a game.  He turned to my mom, gave her a big grin, watched her attentively for a second, and then turned his head to hide in my arm.  He let a few seconds go by, and then he flipped over to my mom again with a delighted look on his face.  He did this over and over and over again, clearly showing off how good he was at concealment.  My mom tried doing peek-a-boo back by hiding her face in her hands, but Fuzzy was clearly more interested in hiding than seeking.

3)  Rolling over.  Fuzzy has generally been more cranky this week, which means his usual response to tummy time was an indignant wail.  However, we did manage to get him to lay on his stomach a few times, and were  rewarded with the baby suddenly rolling over onto his back.  At last count, he had done this four times with a completely nonchalant air, looking at us with vague confusion when we erupted into cheers and clapping.  He hasn't rolled over from his back to his stomach yet, but has gotten all the way to his side while reaching for a toy.

4) Not sleeping.  As mentioned above, this has not been Fuzzy's finest week.  The last two days in particular have been brutal, with demands to be fed every two hours, and sudden hunger pangs that bring him screaming out of sound sleep and groping for a boob without ever opening his eyes.  I would say the following picture really summarizes all of our feelings about the situation:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

12 Weeks

At 12 weeks, Fuzzy is displaying a remarkable progression in hand-eye coordination.  Three weeks ago he was batting at toys, grabbing them sporadically, and mostly unsuccessfully attempting to shove them in his mouth.  As the weeks passed, Fuzz began clenching his fists, bringing them up to his face, and then studying them in crossed-eye concentration.  Eventually he would try to cram one of them in his mouth, to better appreciate its aerodynamic qualities.

Apparently all this studying paid off, because he became better and better at toy grabbing.  With his 3rd month half-over, he can take just about any toy dangled in front of him, or placed off to the side, determinedly clench it in his fat little fingers, wave it around for a bit, and then in a very satisfying finale, bring it to his mouth for a taste.

He's also starting to show us desires (desires other than food or sleep, that is) - if he's playing with a toy and we take it away, he will first look around for it, and if it's no longer within reach, he will look at us accusingly and start making half-crying half-whining noises until it is returned to his grasp.  This new-found toy fascination means that we can leave him to play alone for longer and longer periods of time, freeing us up for certain critically important tasks.*

* Using the restroom and showering are important tasks at the top of this list.

This next triumph will be difficult to explain for the American readers, but Russians have this playful stretching/ massaging exercise for children, typically done upon waking.  It's pronounced paty-goose-ing-key, but all as one word.  The way it works is that the adult puts their hands on either side of the kid's head, and then runs their hands all the way down the sides of the body, stretching out the arms and legs as they go, and all the while saying "Patygoosingkey!  Patygoosingkey!"  I distinctly remember my grandfather doing this with me when I was little, and loving it.

Well, upon first meeting Fuzz, my grandfather started doing this to him.  The really amazing part is not that the kid loved it, but how quickly he learned it.  After spending a few hours with my grandpa, he's got the routine down.  I can start saying the words and running my hands down his arms, and by the time I get to his chunky thighs, he's straightened out his legs all by himself, and is grinning at me while assuming a classic toy soldier position.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Breakfast Scene

The Pit is always chastising me for wandering around the house semi-nude, or, depending on the occasion, completely starkers.  So you can imagine my delight, when on this trip to visit my family, I came downstairs in the morning to the following tableau:

The Pit, standing at the kitchen island with my dad, having breakfast.  The Pit dressed normally, but my father wearing only bright green speedo underwear and a rather small short-sleeved collared shirt, which I'm fairly certain was worn only for a place to put his cigarettes.

Why was this considered appropriate breakfast attire?  Why didn't he wear shorts instead of a shirt if he needed pockets?  These are all excellent questions, but I do not have answers for you.  All I know is that The Pit should be grateful that the only Peachy family member he has to regularly see half-naked at breakfast is me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

2 Months

Fuzzy turned two months a week ago. I would have gotten this post up sooner, but his two month birthday coincided with two unfortunate events - his first set of vaccinations, and my return to the working world. Our foray to the doctor's office was initially quite successful - Fuzzy really enjoyed the aquarium in the lobby, and followed the fish with great interest:

Then, as we waited for the doctor in the exam room, he babbled and smiled at me, completely oblivious to what was coming.  His newest sound is a sort of wolf-like "aooooo" noise, which he happily makes in response to any conversation.

Then came the shots - 3 of them in his little thighs, and a squirt of attenuated rotovirus in his mouth.  His grandmother cried, Fuzzy screamed, and I tried to stay calm and carry on.  The Pit wisely went to work that day and avoided the whole traumatic experience.  Although Fuzz calmed down after a few minutes, he had another period of screaming later in the day, and then he was fussy for the rest of the week, reverting back to twice-nightly feedings.  Not so fun for Mom when I had to wake up in the morning and concentrate on creating research plans and editing documents.

However, everything seems to have returned to normal.  Notable recent achievements include:

1) Wringing his hands.  Fuzzy found his hands shortly before he turned two months, and he now frequently puts them together and rubs fingers.  The action gives him a distinctly nervous look, especially when coupled with his usual somewhat concerned expression:

2) In addition to the hand wringing, Fuzzy has started grabbing at his blankets, and then shoving the resulting fist full of material into his mouth.  We would feel better if he also had the ability to shove said material out of his mouth, but I suppose fine motor skills are developing right on track.  Fuzzy has also started batting at toys dangled in front of his face, and even grabbing them on occasion.  So far the grabbing seems pretty sporadic, but he is clearly thrilled whenever he manages to make it happen.

3) As he has since coming home, Fuzzy remains fascinated with the ceiling fans in almost every room of our house.  When he was a tiny newborn, he would glance up at them frequently, and then turn away.  Now he can lay there and stare up at them for quite some time, and he also gets a puzzled expression on his face whenever he sees them not moving.

4)  I can't really remember any other observations, which may have more to do with my sleep-deprived state than Fuzzy's developmental progress.  However, apropos of nothing, I'll leave you with one of my favorite recent pictures, taken at seven weeks:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Russian Lullaby

The Pit likes to entertain the baby by making various funny noises.  Fuzzy quite enjoys this, but when I filmed it and sent it to my grandparents, they expressed some concerns that we were howling at the child like wolves, and not singing to him like civilized human beings.

To make them feel better, I decided to look up some Russian lullabies online and play them for Fuzzy, because anyone who has heard me sing once tries to avoid a repeat performance at all costs.  It should also be noted that I don't actually know the words to any real lullabies, as when I was little, my grandfather sang me to sleep with old Soviet propaganda tunes from World War II.  I thus know the lyrics to the Russian version of A Wing and Prayer, but not an equivalent to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Anyway, I clicked on the first likely looking YouTube video, and the baby and I listened to this song:

You will note that while the music is indeed soothing, the images seem rather...martial.  However, I was rocking the baby, not looking at the monitor, and thus only started to attention when I heard the line about an "angry Chechan creeping over the riverbank, clutching his dagger."  What what now?

I emailed my father asking for an explanation, and he dug up an English translation of the lyrics, which I present to you here.  They have taken some liberties in order to make the English rhyme, but I assure you, the translation has, if anything, toned down the original.

A Cossack Lullaby

Sleep, my darling, sleep, my baby,
Close your eyes and sleep.
Darkness comes; into your cradle
Moonbeams shyly peep.
Many pretty songs I'll sing you
And a lullaby.
Pleasant dreams the night will bring you....
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.

Muddy waters churn in anger,
Loud the Terek roars,
And a Chechen with a dagger
Creeps onto the shore.
Steeled your father is in gory
Battle.... You and I,
Little one, we need not worry... .
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.

There will come a day when boldly,
Like your dad, my son,
You will mount your horse and shoulder,
Proud, a Cossack gun.
With bright silks your saddle for you
I will sew.... There lie
Roads as yet untrod before you....
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.

You'll grow up to be a fearless
Cossack, and a true.
Off you'll ride, and I'll stand tearless,
Looking after you.
But when you are gone from sight, son,
Bitterly I'll cry....

May the dreams you dream be light, son;
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.
Thoughts of you when we are parted
All my days will fill.
In the nighttime, anxious-hearted,
Pray for you I will.
I'll be thinking that you're lonely,
That for home you sigh....
Sleep, my son, my one and only,
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.

I will see you to the turning,
And you'll ride away.
With my icon you will journey
And before it pray.
Let your thoughts in time of danger
To your mother fly.
Close your eyes and sleep, my angel,
Sleep, dear, rock-a-bye.

So yes, the Russians apparently took a work by their second-favorite poet, about fighting Chechans in the 1830s, set it to a nice melody, and proceeded to sing it to their children as soothing bedtime music.  The funny thing is, after listening to several other Russian lullabies with more traditional lyrics, I liked this one the best.  I suppose a childhood listening to WWII melodies will do that to you.  And so the tradition continues!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Cow Speaks

Yesterday the baby began putting weight on his feet when we dangle him, which makes him some sort of highly advanced genius according to an insert in the cow toy we received recently.

Half a cow smooshed into half a ball cannot be wrong people.  Although please note the one customer review this toy has received: according to an anonymous Amazon patron, the cow is not roly poly enough.  Perhaps it cannot be trusted in its judgments of genius either.

In other news, Fuzzy has also begun burping like a regular human baby.  Up until a week or so ago, he had hoarded his precious precious burps like gold, bestowing them only on the most lucky or ingenious of parents.  Practically speaking, this meant he would burp for The Pit maybe 30% of the time, and never for me.

This lack of maternal burping ability caused some issues between The Pit and I, as he insisted the lack of burping was responsible for Fuzzy's gas pains.  I mocked The Pit for his "more burps equals less farts" ideas, until we visited the pediatrician and she confirmed his hypothesis.  Oh, how bitter it is when The Pit is right about something, yet again.  Regardless, I'm hoping that Fuzzy's new-found burping skills mean fewer gas-related crying jags in our future.

While I may have been wrong about burping, my predictions regarding hair loss were spot on: our baby does indeed now resemble a medieval monk from behind:

I'm hoping this stage passes quickly.  From the front, he is also bald, but still cute as ever.  His eyelashes  have either lengthened or darkened in recent days, or possibly both, and his grandmother and I stare at him constantly while telling each other how beautiful he is.  It's sickening, really - yesterday I burned a perfectly good quesadilla to a crisp while watching a video of him I had just filmed, live and in person, not 30 minutes before.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

1 Month

My little guy turned a month old on Saturday, and once again, I'd like to record some facts for posterity.

1)  The Pit is undoubtedly Fuzzy's favorite person.  The kid calms down instantly whenever his dad picks him up, looks up at him in adoration when set on his lap, and consistently smiles and laughs in his presence.  In comparison, mom is just some waitress bringing the milk.

2)  Fuzzy has also looked like The Pit from day one, but that resemblance has been strengthened even more recently as he began to go bald in exactly the same pattern as his father.  Unfortunately, Fuzzy's hair loss is accelerating quickly, as my mom and I discovered when we wet his head during a bath.

I fear that soon, my adorable baby will begin to resemble a tiny tonsured monk - a fashion statement I'm not anticipating eagerly.

3)  Although his looks come straight from Daddy, it's clear that Fuzzy inherited at least some things from me. Specifically, the baby is already a picky eater, absolutely refusing to suck on anything that isn't warm human flesh.  My mom and I have been trying to get him to drink from a bottle or suck on a pacifier, and from the reaction, you would think we were trying to poison him.  He jerks his head away, makes a face, and flails his arms about wildly.

If we persist in our folly, there is screaming.

4)  In the last week or so, Fuzz has started to not only smile and laugh (albeit infrequently - we have one serious kid on our hands), but also to babble a bit during those happy intervals.  In between his near constant hiccups, he makes little birdlike cooing noises, irresistibly cute as he looks up at us.

5)  Fuzzy was born with a very interesting set of ears, and a little tiny cowlick in the hair on his upper arms, which can both be see here in his first week:

Sadly, the cowlick has disappeared along with the hair, and his ears are starting to assume a more normal and human folding pattern, perhaps from his habit of grabbing at them when he's trying to pass gas:

6)  However, to compensate for the loss of those two features, Fuzzy is growing by leaps and bounds.  He stopped fitting into his newborn onsesies after 3 weeks, and now wears clothes meant for three, and occasionally even six, month olds.  Additionally, he has developed a killer set of arm and leg muscles, with more definition than his mother ever enjoyed.  His chunky little thighs make him look even more froglike than before.  His crowning achievement to date though is definitely the development of freakishly giant head - lifting it is a real drag:

7)  The kid sleeps best tightly swaddled, so I suppose it's not surprising that upon waking, he likes to stretch his arms and legs a bit.  What is surprising is the volume of farts that accompanies the stretching, and the faces he makes in the process.  I'd like to title the following composition "Stretchies is Serious Bizness"

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good and Evil

Recently, The Pit and I took Fuzzy and went to introduce ourselves to our newest neighbors.  We chatted for a bit, and then their 3ish year old daughter came over and looked at Fuzzy.

"He wooks like baby Jesus!" she exclaimed.

We were all a bit lost for words there - I mean, I'd like to think that my son is a genius - just look at him reading already.  Granted, it's a book with a tail, but nevertheless:

However, judging from another recent photo, my baby has rather more...sinister...plans for the world:

Saturday, June 16, 2012


This Wednesday marked Fuzzy's third week of life, and I decided that I was finally ready to do more than walk between the couch and the bed, serving as a human buffet.  So yesterday, my mother and I took a much-needed trip to the mall to purchase some clothes befitting my new... generous...dimensions in the bosom region.  Since Fuzzy still eats every twoish hours, it was clear he needed to accompany us, as no mall trip could possibly conclude in less time than that.

Like most gentlemen, the baby behaved relatively well at the beginning of the shopping trip, sleeping quietly in his stroller.  My mother and I foolishly wasted this time taking pictures:

Shortly after this picture was taken, Fuzzy started fussing, requiring me to feed him in the middle of the Macy's lingerie department.  We found a quiet corner by the nursing bras, figuring it was as safe a place as any to breastfeed in public.  Wouldn't you know it, as soon as the baby latched, two separate men appeared out of nowhere, intently picking through the women's nightgowns nearby.  However, neither one of them paid me much attention, and after some debate, my mom and I concluded that their focus could only come from transsexuals shopping for themselves.  

After the feeding Fuzzy quieted down again, and even took some interest in our endeavor: 

Sadly, his patience with shopping wore thin quickly after the novelty of the bras, and by the end of our trip, he assumed the universal (straight) male expression seen after a few hours at the mall:

Remarkably like his father, in fact.  

PS: Does anybody understand Fuzzy's shirt?  It was a gift from my boss, and The Pit and I are both puzzled by it.  "Dude" we get, but why is the male symbol pointing horizontally instead of at the usual angle?  Enlighten us, oh well-slept masses.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Two Weeks

Fuzzy is two weeks old, and before I forget these details in a haze of sleep-deprived nursing, I'd like to note some of his idiosyncrasies for posterity.

1) Since he was born, Fuzz has had the most exaggerated startle reflex I've ever seen.  Whenever a loud noise disturbs him, his eyes open wide in alarm, his hands bunch into fists, and he throws both arms in the air like some sort of Jewish grandmother stereotype.  I haven't quite managed to capture this on camera, but the following is a good approximation:

2) When he's done eating, the kid is done.  No amount of wheedling, distraction, or nipple-shoving-in-face will convince him to suck one drop more.  Should said nipple be placed anywhere near him, his mouth closes firmly, and he assumes a look of such utter disgust, you would think he'd just been offered ground dog meat, and not the milk he had energetically been drinking two minutes ago.

3) Often, as he's feeding, Fuzzy will the other business end of things.  When this happens, he will stop sucking, assume a look of concentration, and repeatedly kick one leg in the air over and over.  The overall effect is very puppy-like.  Fuzz also channels the animal kingdom in the sound department: he will make kitten-like mewls and piggy snorts while nursing, and grunt and snuffle quite loudly as he grasps at me in displeasure during gassy intervals.

4) When he's mildly upset by something, before it graduates to the wailing stage, Fuzz has a sad face.  A face so sad, to look upon it is to go "Awww."  Sometimes, something clearly upsets him in his dreams, and he briefly makes this face when sleeping.

5) Now that he's two weeks old, Fuzz has been experimenting with two new facial expressions.  One is the pursing of lips you see in the disgusted picture above, and the other is a what we've decided is a smile.  I know, I know, babies aren't really smiling at this age.  But it still makes me smile back.

6) The two week birthday has also marked the beginning of a few other developmental milestones: Fuzzy is much better at focusing on objects, and will, should something catch his interest, follow said object when it is moved across his field of vision.  My mother is also convinced he's well on his way to rolling over unaided, because in a few instances he's flailed about and almost moved from his back to his side.  I'm less convinced, because the times I've witnessed this, it's been mid-tantrum, and I don't think rolling over is at all what he was intending.  My mom argues intention has nothing to do with it, and that the eye tracking and (almost) independent movement indicate Fuzzy's advanced intelligence.  I would agree, if his independent movement did not also involve repeatedly poking himself in the eye as he attempted to move his hands to his mouth.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mental Faculties

People keep asking me how I'm dealing with the lack of sleep necessitated by a newborn.  Truthfully, except when I am actually prying myself out of deep sleep at 3 in the morning, I feel okay.  However, there are clearly subtle effects, detectable upon close observation.  Let me tell you a little story to illustrate.

One of The Pit's coworkers stopped by for a visit the other day, and brought a lovely bouquet of flowers.  I carefully trimmed the stems, added the plant food, and put the flowers in the vase.  The next day however, the flowers looked a little...droopy.

"Weird," I said to myself, and continued about my day, moving from bed to couch and back again, baby draped all over me.  The next day, there was definite wilting in the vase - and yet it still didn't hit me that I might have forgotten a critical element in the equation.

The following day my mom came to stay with us, and delicately asked me who had placed the flowers in the vase.  I told her it was me, and she carefully didn't make any follow-up observations.  Later in the day, I noticed that she had combined the flowers with another, older bouquet, and that things were looking alive and cheery once again.

"Those look much better," I pointed out.

"Well, water does tend to help," she replied.

So err, yes, apparently the lack of sleep is affecting me, although thankfully I am merely starving well-intentioned gifts, and not Fuzzy.  His chins are in no danger, although he remains ever vigilant.

I should note that after three days with us, my mom is also starting to feel the effects of Fuzzy's round the clock care.  This afternoon, The Pit went to drop some scraps in the compost pile.  When he returned, he asked me why my mother felt the need to compost a wooden spoon.  I was at a loss, and when the question was posed to her, she couldn't answer either, having no memory of this horticultural experimentation.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To Be or Not to Be...Peed On

Because Fuzzy's arrival came via c-section, I have a hard time with some positions, including bending over and sitting up.  Consequently, The Pit has taken on the majority of diaper changing duties since Peach Fuzz was born.  Considering that prior to the blessed event, The Pit had never changed a diaper, I think he's doing splendidly.   However, there is one aspect to having a boy that he clearly did not anticipate.  I refer, of course, to the...err...golden showers.

It first happened in the hospital room, when The Pit was changing an exceptionally dirty diaper.  Fuzzy was being rather uncooperative, and in all his thrashing around, poop was getting everywhere - the Pit, Fuzzy's feet, Fuzzy's shirt, the bassinet, the extra blankets, etc.  I actually pulled myself out of bed to help out, because the situation looked to be deteriorating rapidly.  Just as I got there, Fuzz decided his parents needed an additional challenge, and launched a stream of urine in a high arch toward the two of us.  Well, c-section stitches or no, we both managed to dodge out of the way, laughing hysterically. 

The Pit, as it turned out, would not be laughing for very much longer.  Over the next few days, Fuzzy managed to hit him once during a diaper change, and several times while sitting innocently on The Pit's lap, as the pee overwhelmed his diaper and soaked through The Pit's shorts.  The Pit got to be quite bitter about this state of affairs, once going so far as to remark that life did not seem fair, as I had remained both urine and feces free for almost a week.

Of course, shortly after telling me this, The Pit found an urgent reason to make a trip to Home Depot, leaving me to manage both feeding and changing on my own.  This situation very quickly changed from this idealic scene:

Fuzzy heard the call of nature, and I put him down on the changing table.  Naturally, I forgot to cover a certain critical anatomy fast enough, and once again witnessed a high yellow stream heading my way.  This time I was not so quick, and both myself and the floor got a good soaking.  However, as we were about to learn, changing your shorts and cleaning the floor is not really the worst thing that can happen in this situation. 

The next time Fuzzy attempted this trick, he was...err, how to put this delicately...pointing in a different direction, and managed to nail himself right in the face.  There was a moment of stunned silence, followed by hysterical wailing from the baby, and rather uncharitable laughter from The Pit and I.  I'm sure he'll get us back eventually, but in the meantime, diaper changes have been pretty quiet around here.             

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hello Again

Well, its been almost two years, and I think it might be high time to resurrect ye olde blog, as The Pit and I are moving into a phase of our lives guaranteed to be rife with bloggable moments for the amusement of my audience of dozen. 

Introducing Peach Fuzz, currently 5 days old, and already justifiably concerned about our parenting skills: