Archive for September, 2008

For all of your medication questions while breastfeeding—LactMed was helpful in finding out what I can or can’t take for my cold.

Do not ignore me

I Has a Neck!

Holden is now 3 months old.  He also has a neck, finally.  We continue our action-packed schedule with lots of “playdates” with other momma/infant duos around town.  Last week we took another walk with Susan and little Ella.  The babies were so good we even got to eat lunch. 

On Tuesday we had a “coffee” date in the morning with 4 other momma/infant pairs.  It was nice to sit in the cafe and talk about our babies while downing some much-needed caffeine.  Holden, as usual, dwarfed his chronologically-similar companions.  I got the usual litany of questions:  ”Is your husband big?” “Were you a big baby?” “How big was he at birth?” I had to laugh because I think I actually weigh more than Rob, so my response was “No, my husband is definitely not big.”  I feel like I should blame Holden’s size on the German ancestry on both sides of his family, but then I feel like that would take credit away from the wonderful job Holden has been doing with his eating.  Here is Holden wearing his new sweater that Oma made for him, just before we left for our playdate:

Some more recent milestones:

  • Holden isn’t rolling over yet, but almost.  He is rocking himself back and forth while on his belly, but hasn’t quite got the momentum yet to roll all the way over.  I’m sure we’ll curse this ability once it finally emerges.  Yesterday, he managed to roll onto his side and got stuck there.  He started crying after he realized he was stuck.
  • Holden is now grasping with two hands instead of just one. 
  • Holden’s fist remains an object of fascination for him.  He holds it above his head, often regarding it critically for several minutes, rattling off a string of angry-sounding phonemes, only to slap his fist down on the mattress with finality.  My guess is that his fist has not been cooperating. 
  • Holden will hug his stuffed animals, which is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen:

  • Holden HATES being on his back, or otherwise laying around like a baby.  He is happiest when standing.  We got him a johnny jump-up, which he LOVES.  The little guy gets a kick out of bouncing around:

  • Several weeks ago, Holden outgrew his infant prefolds.  He now wears PREMIUM sized prefolds.  His butt is big.
  • Holden wears mostly 6-9 month outfits and even some 12-month stuff.  Unbelievable.
  • Holden got to meet my friend Amanda yesterday, and he was actually being a show-off.  He was continually vocalizing and kept looking at her with a big smile.  Definitely showing off.  And flirting.
  • Holden has been drooling for several weeks now and rubbing things along his gums.  I’m sure that teeth will be in our not-too-distant future.
  • Holden laughed (not in his sleep) for the first time last Friday.
  • Holden can make funny noises by vibrating his lower lip.  He always looks slightly surprised after he has made the noise, as if he didn’t do it on purpose.

Unfortunately, after our playdate on Tuesday, I experienced another really painful corneal erosion.  Holden was napping and I was sitting at my laptop, working on my manuscript.  My eye started out feeling itchy, then it got progressively more painful, watery, sensitive to light, and finally so unbearable that I had to call Rob home to help me out.  It felt like I was being stabbed in the eye.  I managed to get an appointment with the opthamalogist for the following day.  Problem was, our car was in the shop (along with the carseat), so we had to make arrangements to have Rob leave work early again to watch Holden while my friend Amanda took me to the doctor.  My eyesight was sufficiently blurry to keep me from driving, so I really couldn’t drive myself in an unfamiliar rental car from the car dealership.  I ended up having a minor outpatient surgical procedure on my eye, where the damaged patch of tissue was debrided, followed by a stromal micropuncture (where the membrane was punctured with a bent needle to allow the new tissue to heal around the membrane, like Velcro sort of).  After the procedure, a contact lens was placed on my eye to protect the tissue on my cornea and I was given antibiotic drops to instill 3x a day.  I go back on Monday to have my eye examined again.  Having a doctor come at your eye with tweezers and a needle is not pleasant, but it was actually better than my imagination had predicted it would be.  I was given a prescription for Vicodan for the pain, which I can’t even take because I am breastfeeding.  I took ibuprofen for the pain the day after the surgery; incidentally, my post-surgical pain was not even remotely as horrible as having the corneal erosions happening all the time.  Yesterday my vision was super blurry and my eye was achey and swollen, but even with just the ibuprofen, I was in much better shape than before.  Today my eye is almost back to normal.  I had no pain last night for the first time in months.  I’m sure that I will start sleeping better at night.  Holden has been waking 4 times a night over the past few nights for feedings, which I am sure was exacerbating the eye problem in the first place.  I can deal with waking up 4 times a night to feed Holden—I just can’t deal with excruciating eye pain anymore.  I mean, what if it happened right before I was supposed to give a job talk or something?!  The thought of that happening gave me a case of the howling maternal fantods, so I decided to just get the procedure over with, while I’m still out of a job and have the leisure to recover at home.   

We had big plans to take Holden on his first camping trip this weekend, but the forecast is full of rain, and I woke up with the beginnings of a cold the day after my surgery.  This morning Rob woke up with the same symptoms (sore throat, aches, etc.), so I ended up calling the state park and canceling our reservation.  We lose half our money, but a camping trip just wasn’t in the cards this time around.  Our Friday got off to a rough start anyway—in addition to Rob feeling under the weather, our cat puked (on the carpet, of course), and Holden had one of those blow-out moments that necessitated a thorough sheet changing and cleaning.  At least I’m not running around the house squinting and wearing my sunglasses anymore!  Rob reminds me that this is all karmic downpayment for some good times ahead.  Our relaxing apple-picking adventure from last weekend needs to hold us over for a few more days.  I should really get around to making applesauce with all those apples.  Here we are at Shelburne Orchards ushering in the first of our gorgeous fall weather, with some apple-picking and cider donuts:

Good times!

3 Months of H.

3 Months of H.

Happy ¼ of a Year Old Birthday, Holden!

Our return to the secular North East

We are back.  During the time we were gone, Vermont slipped into its fall clothes, David Foster Wallace passed away, and our economy weakened a little bit more.  Politics got uglier.  This is the world in which Holden lives.

Our time in West Virginia was good.  On our trip down south, Holden was absolutely perfect on the plane.  He mostly slept and ate.  The plane ride from Dulles to Parkersburg had only 4 passengers on it and was the most enjoyable flight I’d ever been on—we all got to talking and the time just flew by.  Once we got to WV, Holden was able to meet my Uncle Roy and Aunt Diane, who both absolutely adored him.  Over the weekend, my brother Adam, Adam’s girlfriend Tammy, and my dad, all finally got to meet Holden.

Here is Holden with Uncle Adam:

And with Granddad Chess, who later told me that meeting Holden was one of the highlights of his life:

 Holden had the pleasure of meeting the very friendly neighbors in my parent’s neighborhood.  We took Holden for many walks—around the neighborhood, by a golf course, through a local park.  At Roy and Diane’s, I was given expert advice about how to fashion rugged tomato cages using wire and electric fence posts, how to install insulation properly, and how to can sauerkraut.  I drank lots of coffee.  Conversely, Holden learned how to soothe himself to sleep.

Holden enjoyed a bath in the never-before-used utility sink:

And Grandma Chess gladly dried Holden off afterwards:

Here is my family, feeling proud of the new little guy in our lives:

On the return trip, we had to change planes again at Dulles.  There were two birds flying around Concourse C, which Holden found hilarious.  Once we got on the ground in Burlington, Rob greeted us at the baggage claim, and Holden squealed, kicked his little legs, and smiled at finally seeing his Papa again.  There was no doubt that Holden remembered who his Papa was.  The sort of unfettered glee that Rob’s presence inspired is enough to make your heart melt.