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.