athene: (gaz angry)
Last summer there was a Kickstarter for InvaderCon III: Final Doom. I had been following the InvaderCons since they were a concept on Facebook back in 2009 or 2010, but hadn't been able to go to either of the other ones because of reasons. This one was going to be in Austin, so of course we backed it. And it funded. And then we found out that it was going to happen only 10 min from our house, which was even better.

InvaderCon III: Final Doom happened this weekend. It was awesome. Since nothing was really happening until the afternoon on Saturday, we got up and Aerith got some yard work done while I took Little Prince to go grocery shopping. Then we had lunch and went over to the con hotel. It was a pretty small con. I think the vendor room had all of three vendors. We mostly hung out in the back of the main room so LP could run around while we listened to the Q&As or let LP run around the main lobby of the hotel with a three year old girl who was also there for the con. Aerith was surprised that there wasn't a room showing the episodes of Zim to the public. I liked the Q&As because I like listening to the actors talk about their craft. At around 3:45, we rounded up LP and took him home. KR came over and he got to have LP and KR time and Aerith and I got to go back to the con. Yay.

We got there part way through Rikki's panel. I got to ask him about his kitties, since I really like his comic TaviCat, which is all about them. Then there was the Kickstarter Only panel. It was some giving away of things via a raffle and then the rest of the time was Rikki (GIr) and Richard (Zim) on their ukeleles being silly. We called it #irkenrock. After that there was the guests read a script panel. They read "10 Minutes to Doom", which was awesome. What was even cooler was that the actor who played Dib wasn't there, so they had three audience members audition for the role. The guy who won actually got to go up on stage and read along with the rest of the cast. He was beside himself with joy and he actually did a very good Dib. I didn't take any video of this reading, but other people did, so I'm sure it will so up online at some point soon. Then they had some time left to kill, so they read the opening of Amok Time from Star Trek: TOS. They were supposed to do it as their Invader ZIm characters, but decided to all be William Shatner instead. I did get that on video.

Then Aerith and I and a friend of ours that we ran into at the con went to get dinner at Five Guys cause we were hungry and stopped at a local video game store to check things out on the way back to the Con. We got back to the Con just in time to see the winners of the costume contest announced. There were lots of people in cool costumes, so I'm sure it was hard to judge it. Then we hung out for a while. We stopped into the ZIm Against Humanity panel and I played a round, but it was awkward. Then we poked our head into the Dance Like a Money party, but someone was wearing too much perfume for Aerith, so we left. We were getting tired anyway.

Best part about having a con 10 min away is being able to sleep in your own bed at night.

This morning we woke up and hung out at home. We showed Little Prince Dispicalbe Me for the first time. He loves the Minions (he's seen the shorts) and I think he really liked the movie. After lunch we went to the park for a while, where it was REALLY hot and then back to the con. I got to talk to Rikki and his wife Tavi about cats for a bit. Then we said hi to Richard and Melissa. Richard really seemed taken by LP. Since Melissa is also a musical theatre person and has a four year old, I tried to get LP to sing his version of "Let it Go" for her, but he decided to be shy.

Then LP got a Captain America shield painted on his arm by the person doing face-painting, which went well with the Avengers overalls he was wearing. We hung out in the lobby for a bit and then hit up the Panel of Doom (a full cast Q&A) and the Closing Ceremonies, which was basically a big "I love you all" from the attendees to the con staff and back. We left part way through to go get chinese takeout for dinner.

So that was our InvaderCon experience. I was surprised that so many people there seemed to be teenagers, but I guess if the show came out 13 years ago, if you were six when you first saw it, you'd be 19 now. I wish we could have spent a bit more time hanging out and getting to know people, but that's the drawback of having a kid with you, I guess. I did like the intimacy of the smaller con and the fact that everyone there was soooooo into this one thing. Overall, had a great time and super glad we funded the project and went to the con. Especially since they'll probably not do another one.
athene: (DJ and Mommy Selfie)

On May 28, my Little Prince turned 3 years old!

Three Years Old!

At his three year doctor’s appointment he measured 24.6lbs and 34.2″ tall. Still a small guy, but growing right along his curve. His pediatrician said that he looks good and that he should be in print (seriously, if we only had time to take him on auditions, we would!).

For months now LP has been asking us for a Batman cake and a Justice League birthday party. So, on Sunday June 1, that is exactly what we threw him. I worked really hard to find JL decorations, bags, etc that included both the men and women of the Justice League together. Do you know how hard it is today to find that? Lots of eBay searching. But I think I did a good job.

We invited his whole class and some of our friends and neighbors to the party and had a great time. We rented a Justice League bounce house, which the kids (and adults) loved and was totally worth it.

Justice League Bounce House Bouncing away

My mom had gotten me the old Superman/Batman cake pan and I think that his cake turned out really well.

Batman cake

We also had push-pops to help everyone cool off and Darius made an awesome fruit salad that we served inside of the hollowed out watermelon.

LP got lots of great stuff. I think it helped that I included in the eVite a list of things that he’s currently into.

For a long time now, when LP has said he wants something, I’ve replied that I want a million dollars and a pony. So he started responded that he wants a million dollars, a pony, and Batman boots. For his birthday I got him a Darth Vader lunch box with fake money in it (a million dollars), a Rainbow Dash doll (My Little PONY), and, of course, Batman rain boots. I thought that I’d done really well with the gifts.

But Darius got LP the best gift of all. He’d saved his overtime pay for months and surprised LP (and me) a Power Wheels Jeep. See, LP has been obsessed with Jeeps lately. And he kept saying that he had a black and chrome Jeep, but it was broken and he and daddy were going to fix it. So Darius got him a black Jeep that came disassembled. And the day after his party, they “fixed” it together and then LP got to take it for it’s first ride around the cul.

Damien and Daddy put together the Jeep First drive of the Jeep

Video from the party. Blame all cheesy effects on Tante:

Lots more pictures from the party can be found in the LP’s Third Birthday Party Photo Gallery.

Originally published at my Little Prince blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ and Mommy Selfie)

We decided that 2.75 would be the perfect age for Little Prince to experience his first Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

On Thursday, Feb 27, we got into the car nice and early and drove to New Orleans. The drive went pretty well overall. Little Prince used the potty twice on the way there, which was totally unexpected and cool. He did fight sleep for over half an hour after lunch time, which sucked. We were really hoping to get in to NOLA in time to head over to Tante’s and catch Muses, but we hit some nasty traffic in Baton Rouge and by the time we got to Grandma R’s, we were all just exhausted.

On Friday Grandma R showed us that she’d saved a huge amount of our childhood toys. Little Prince was in heaven playing with it all.

Grandma R saved our childhood toys. DJ loved playing with them.

 That evening we headed over to Tante and Bullit’s for our very first Mardi Gras parades. Darius got to learn just how stressful parking during Mardi Gras can be. We got to Tante’s, ate dinner, and then the parades started right outside her door.

A kid on his shoulders and a beer in his hand. Daddy is doing Carnival right.
Darius with a drink in his hand and LP on his shoulders.
That’s doing Mardi Gras right!

Read the rest of this entry on my Little Prince blog


Dec. 31st, 2013 10:07 am
athene: (blow to the heart)
Well, 2013 really and truly sucked. I'm not sure I've known a worse year. The following is a list of things that happened to my friends and family this year:

1 high profile kidnapping/rape/robbery. All three perps are now behind bars for a long time.

3 deteriorations of long-term relationships, including two broken engagements. 1 of the engagements broken off due to domestic violence that involved calling the police and a restraining order.

1 cancer diagnosis of early-intermediate Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

3 auto-immune disease flair-ups.

6 car accidents, including 2 happening to the same 2 people. Luckily no one was killed or seriously injured.
3 cars being totaled.

1 full-term baby dying soon after he was born, due to pinched umbilical cord during birth.

1 full-term baby having to spend extended time in the NICU due to swallowing meconium during birth, but she's fine now.

1 house flooded and large amount of possessions lost, but everyone and all pets made it out alive.

1 moving violation ticket, now wiped from record, but still sucks.

There were some highlights too including a couple of weddings, one awesome 2-year old birthday party in New Orleans, Thanksgivukkah, and trip to Sea World.

But mostly this year really sucked.

Tonight I'm going to burn a 2013 calendar.

Here's hoping 2014 is much much much better.
athene: (Default)

Over the winter we decided that we were going to take Little Prince to New Orleans to visit Grandma R and Tante and have his second birthday party there. This gave our families time to plan for the trip. Pawpaw and Grandma A from my side and Aunt B2 and Cousin T were also able to make it in.

We drove in on Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. I was a little (a lot) nervous about doing a road trip with a toddler. But it went pretty well. In order to keep Little Prince occupied, I went to Target and got a few things from the dollar section (a plastic ring, Batman stickers, etc) and I put them into plastic Easter eggs. Whenever he started to get restless, we gave him a new egg with a prize. I also got him a Thomas book that has buttons that make noise. I knew that book would drive us nuts in about 5 minutes, and it did, but it also kept him happy for over half an hour, so that was totally worth it. He also slept for a good long while after lunch. We made the drive in about 10 hours, which wasn’t bad. Got in in time for a late dinner and then put Little Prince to bed.

Sleeping at Grandma R's

( More after fake LJ cut )

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (D and me - 1940s)

Although I was sick on Yule, we had our Yule celebration (somewhat muted) anyway. We got our Little Prince his very own R2D2, which made him very happy, and a few other toys and books. He also got some Duplo from us and from his West Cost Grandparents.

Oh Boy! It's R2D2!

We had some friends come and help us wrangle LP so we could prepare for our very first plane trip with our little prince. On Christmas Eve we flew to Massachusetts to visit with Darius’s family and some of our college friends. LP handled the first leg of the trip just fine. His ears didn’t even bother him. Half way through the second (and much longer) leg, he started saying “all done airplane.” It’s very hard to explain to a toddler that we can’t really stop and get off of the airplane right then. At least he fell asleep for the rest of the ride soon after that.

First time on an airplane. This is his "cheese" face.
First time on an airplane. This is his “cheese” face.

Read more... )

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ as Superman)

With the moving, the changing rooms at daycare, and Austin ComicCon, Halloween sort of snuck up on us this year. Also, I just couldn’t come up with a good family costume that would “read well” (James, Lily, and Harry just doesn’t read without the scar and if James and Lily are alive then Harry wouldn’t have the scar…).

Picking a pumpkin

We did make it to a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. On Tuesday before Halloween, we set up in the kitchen to let Little Prince help pull all of the seeds and guts out of it. We thought that he’d have a lot of fun with it. Instead he decided that he didn’t like the texture of the pumpkin guts and kept trying to put the seeds back into the pumpkin. At least we got some cute video of that:

On Halloween I just put Little Prince in his Star Trek TOS Engineering onesie. Darius said it doesn’t count as a costume if you’d put him in it on other days, but I didn’t care. I also had him in his awesome skeleton hoodie that his Tante got him.

Happy Halloween!

That evening I took him trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood in the stroller. At first he didn’t have much of an idea of what was going on, but by the end of our time out, he kind of did. He’d hold once piece of candy in his hand, and then we’d come up to the next house. He’d sort of say “trick-treat” and then when the person went to give him a new piece of candy, he’d give me the old one and hold onto the new one. I also made sure he signed “Thank you” after being given the candy. He didn’t really eat any of his candy, except for a few small bites over the past week. He’s not really a huge fan, yet.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (D and me - 1940s)
The guys are napping and I should be either napping or doing dishes or unpacking (oh the unpacking), but I had an urge to do some good old fashioned journalling. We'll see if it lasts.

This morning I woke up at 6:30am and realized I couldn't remember when over night my Little Prince had nursed. I really don't want to jinx it, but I'm pretty sure he slept through the night (or mostly through the night)! I got up and fed the boy-cat so that he wouldn't annoy us in bed. Then I went back to bed and breastfeed LP on and off for a while while I tried to doze a bit. Then I couldn't decide if I should get out of bed and shower or just play on my phone. Eventually [ profile] lordaerith woke up and motioned for me to go shower (at 7:30) so I did. Came out of the bathroom to a wide awake LP.

Got LP changed and set up in his high chair with breakfast, got breakfast for myself and Skyped with mom while Aerith became human again (aka showered and had a cup of coffee). Aerith started a warm wash. Then we made a shopping list and headed to the store. It was drizzling when we got into the car. It was raining when we got into the store. It was POURING when we left the store.

Got home and prepped Turkey, Yam, and Apple stew and had leftover Chuy's for lunch. LP seems to really like their refried beans.

Tried to put LP down for a nap at his usual nap time, but he was NOT having it. Worked with Aerith to get our closet more organized while LP played in the closet. We've made some good progress.

Decided since LP wasn't napping or showing any signs of being tired to curl up on the couch-as-a-bed and watch Monsters, Inc (and at the end there must have been some dust in the air, which is why Aerith and I were teared up). Much better than watching the Saints game (from what I could tell). LP watched some of it and played on the couch-bed and on the floor for the rest of it.

Called my MIL to say hi. Started to talk to her about the idea of having a big family and friends party for LP in New Orleans for his birthday - Memorial Day weekend.

Finally got LP (and Aerith) to take a nap. I'm sure it's going to mess up their bedtimes, but they were both so exhausted. I wish I could have napped with them, but I wasn't falling asleep and there's was a cold wash to start (it's in now) and dishes to be washed. But for now I'm just enjoying sitting at the breakfast table looking out the window at my soggy suburban neighbourhood.
athene: (wedding-happy couple)
Yesterday at 2:30pm we closed on our new house! Well, it was more like 4pm by the time we got all the paperwork signed, but still. We are now home owners. The place is awesome and beautiful and over 3,000 square feet.

The funny thing is that we closed exactly 9 years after we bought our condo back in MA. Except this time we have a month to move everything over. We have movers coming on the 17th, but we're hoping to get as much stuff packed and moved over as we can before then.

In awkward news, when we got to the new house to drop off our first load of stuff, the original owners were there still packing, moving out, and cleaning. It was nice to meet them though. They literally helped to build the house and were obviously very proud of it. I think they were glad that the people they sold it to are as in love with the house as they are.

I think the reality of "OMG, I own a house" has finally hit. I'm super excited and can't wait to get moved in and settled.
athene: (Default)
Front of houseWell, it looks as though in 10 days [ profile] lordaerith and I will own a house in the suburbs of Austin. It's an amazing house. It's huge and we love it. The neighbourhood is great and the schools look good. It's also close to some of my mommy friends, a giganticly awesome park, and the outlet mall. I still can't believe that we're doing this. This could seriously be our forever-house. At minimum it is going to be our 5-to-10 year house.

We decided that we love the house that we are currently renting, but we didn't want to be renting anymore, and the market is really good for buying. We actually made what we thought was a reasonable an offer on our current house, but the owner totally rejected it. So we went looking elsewhere. When we saw the house we're buying for the first time, we both couldn't stop grinning the entire time. We made an offer. The owners countered. We took their counter. The inspection went well and our mortgage is now being sent to the underwriter (who I keep picturing as the Underminer from The Incredibles.

I'm still sort of in shock/denial about the whole thing. Somehow I didn't think we'd find a house that we love, especially not in the suburbs. And when we did I kept expecting the mortgage to fall through or the inspection to come back bad or something. But nothing did. Of course we haven't packed anything yet. But my dad will be in town soon to help out with things and we're going to have a month to move (provided no one breaks their arm this time around).

And while I'm excited, I'm also kind of conflicted. Every time we've moved before it's either been because the place we were renting got sold from under us, we were moving to another state, or we had so outgrown where we were living that we just felt like we were on top of each other all the time (and not in a good way). This is the first time we decided to move before I've felt like I was done living in the place. Rationally I know that we'd only have a few more years here before we'd want to move (or do a major renovation to the rooms/how they're organized/the living spaces) and that it's a great time to buy. But emotionally I'm very attached to this house. It's in the neighbourhood in Austin where I always wanted to live and I like our neighbours. I love the layout. I love the open floor plan, the high ceilings, and the windows. It's the house where I conceived and brought home my son to when he was born. I have a lot of fond memories of this house.

But as things start looking up, as we're starting to set up utilities at our new house, and look at what we need to buy (like a refridgerator), I'm getting more and more mentally and emotionally ready to start this new chapter of our lives as a family that owns their own house.
athene: (DJ right after birth)

Last night around 7:30pm I was bringing my Little Prince upstairs for a diaper change. About half way up the stairs I decided to put him down and let him climb up the rest of the stairs himself (since he can go up stairs and it working on down stairs). He slowly made his way to the top of the stairs. When he got to the top, he sat down for a moment. Then he got up and walked into the bedroom and proceeded to flop onto the twin bed. Darius flopped onto the queen bed with a “daddy likes to flop onto beds too.” Then LP went over to the sleep sheep that’s on my bedside table. When I moved him away from it, he crawled back onto the bed and rested his head on the pillow with a big grin on his face. His dad said, “He’s telling us it’s time for bed.” So Darius ran a bath and we bathed him, got him in his PJs and I nursed him to sleep. He was sound out before 8pm!

A boy and his cat

Of course going to sleep before 8pm meant that he woke up (and more than just the half-wakes to nurse that he did at 10, 12, 2, and 4) at 5am and wanted to play and nurse at the same time. Then he fell back asleep for about 45 more minutes at 6am, so at least I got to shower and get some of the morning prep done.

Still, I’m super proud of my baby toddler for being able to clearly communicate his needs to us and for Darius for being smart enough to pick up on it.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ Breastfeeding)

There has been a lot of talk recently about Attachment Parenting (AP). Most recently this picture graced the cover of Time, causing shock (as it was intended to) on both sides of the issue.

There have been some great responses to it already published. Here are two: No. I’m Not Mom Enough & Time Magazine and “Extreme Parenting

It may come as no shock to those who know me, but in my household, we practice AP. Here are the eight principles of AP. I just sort of fell into AP naturally. My parents practiced many of these things back in the 80s before there was a term for it because it “felt right” to my mother (she says that we should call AP “natural parenting” since everything else is outside of what is normal in most of the world and for most of human history). These principles also feel right to me. I am also thankful for a friend who passed on her copy of The Baby Book (which I’ve mostly read through) because it gave me the term to use for doing what felt right to me and helped me find others who parent the way I want to.

I had a natural birth at a birthing center. We breastfeed, which I plan on doing until it is something LP and I both decide is no longer for us.

Nursing at 11 months old

We co-sleep, which makes it so much easier as a working mom of a baby who reverse-cycled at about 4 months to get any sleep.

I take up the WHOLE bed!

We practice babywearing. LP loves being worn (most of the time) by either parent. And it sure can make doing things like shopping, housework, or even playing WoW (once he’s asleep) easier. We also have a stroller, which we do use for things like long walks to the park.

Darius babywearing LP Mei Tai is awesome!

Recently I borrowed from the library and read Beyond the Sling by Mayim Bialik. It was interesting to read her book. I really liked her voice and the way she told her story. When I was reading bits about parts that I agreed with already, I found myself nodding my head or saying “yes! exactly!” out loud (good thing I read it while pumping in the Mother’s Room at work so there was no one around to hear me). There were some things that were a little “out there” for me, such as Elimination Communication (which sounds cool…but we’re renting a place with lots of carpets and I know it’s something daycare would never go for) and lots of holistic medicine. I did love her chapter on gentle discipline (also known as positive parenting), which I made Darius read. I actually got out from the library the book on Gentle Discipline that she recommends in her resources section. My two biggest take-aways from her book was the idea of not saying no, but saying “Not for LP, but this over here is for LP” instead and when the kid starts to cry when hurt asking in a caring tone “hurt, surprised, or both?”

Does AP work for everyone? No. Does it work for us? Yes. One of the biggest tenants that I’ve noticed amongst AP people and La Leche League people is that they are aware that every family and every mother is different and so they say do what you can and what works best for you and for your child. No need to be “mom enough.”

Part Two: Attachment Parenting and the working mom.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ as Superman)

I can’t believe that my Little Prince is already 11 months old! The last time I weighed him (about a week ago), he weighed 18.5 lbs. He’s still on the tiny side of things and still in the 6-9 month clothing.

Eleven Months Old!

We celebrated by going out to Eeyore’s Birthday party, where LP experienced his first drum circle.

Family at Eeyore's Birthday

So, what’s been going on in our life? Well, I missed the 10 month update because I was too busy playing with LP:

And running after him, as he started walking on his own at 10 months and about a week. And as soon as he started walking he wanted to try to run (which doesn’t work so well).

In March we went to Ren Faire and my Dad and Step-Mom visited. Then in April we went to our yearly retreat in the woods. LP made some new friends, two boys who just adored him. :)

At Ren Faire

These days he is walking all over the house and torturing the cats. He still doesn’t have any teeth, so I like to call him “Toothless.” I also call him “Fearless” as he just doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything. This weekend’s antics involved dropping a toy over the side of the couch and then trying to follow it. At least he was doing one leg and then the other, instead of going head first. He can climb up stairs and down from the bed (which is on the floor)

He’s started to get more into food lately. He loves apples, raspberries, avocado, fruit purees, hummus, carrots, and chicken. He’s not so huge on broccoli, but I keep trying it. He’s also starting to get the idea of sippy cups.

We’ve been doing more signs with him and watching some Baby Signing Time. He knows and can do the sign for “fan” and will look up at the ceiling fan when he does it (but he may think any lighting fixture is a “fan”). He’s signed “more” a few times while saying “na,” which is his word for milk (no idea where it came from…unless he’s trying to say “more”). He sometimes will sign milk when he nurses. Over the weekend, I signed diaper and while we were doing a diaper change and he sort of made the sign for “milk” (but with his fists pointed down so it could kind of be “diaper”) and clearly said “diaper.” Since then, at least 5 other people have heard him say “diaper.” I am officially calling it his first word, because all of the other sounds he makes he says in relation to many things, such as “da” or “aaada” or “dat” when excited and “ooohhh” when he sees something he’s interested in. He also has this absolutely fantastic giggle, especially when being tickled.

Wearing DJ in my "new-to-me-and-practically-brand-new" mei tai.

Recently I got a new-to-me-and-barely-used-by-previous-owner mei tai which I’m loving. The back carry is great for doing things and being out and about, and I can nurse in it pretty easily with a front carry.

As for sleeping, my Little Prince still wakes up often at night to nurse (although I think the first stretches are often longer). We’re trying a bedtime of 8:30-9pm. Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t, no idea why, when we keep the routine generally the same.

See this face? I love this face!

Still working on combating thrush. Boo. I thought it was all gone, but then I ran out of probiotics and it came back. Double boo.

Lastly, we’ve signed our Little Prince up for swim lessons, since he loves the water so much. They start this Saturday (during what is often his morning nap time) … so we’ll see how that goes).

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (hi how are you)
This weekend my father and step-mother came into town. On Saturday night we left the little prince with a babysitter and went out to Uchiko for a 6:15 reservation. For those of you who don't follow TV stuff, Uchiko is the restaurant where the most recent winner of Top Chef is the Executive Chef. I actually made the reservations in the week before the finale aired, because I was pretty sure he would win.

It was possibly the best meal I've ever had. I know it was the funest meal I've had in a long time (if ever). The fun thing about Uchiko, as our lovely waitress explained to us, was that you didn't have to order all at once. There were no entrees vs. appetizers. You could order everything you wanted at once or you could order as it struck your fancy. We played the "order as it sounds good to us game." It was really cool. I tried to write down everything we got, but one glass of sake and some white wine into the meal and I lost track.

We started with some grilled edamame and it just went uphill from there.

The best thing we had all night was the gyutoro aburi nigiri. Beef belly that was cooked in a water bath for 72 hours. It absolutely melted on the tongue.

The most beautifully presented dish was the haru yasai asparagus. It was also delicious.

The most creative and fun dish was the Jar Jar Duck. When we ordered it we had no idea it would actually come in a jar! It was filled with rosemary smoke and the whole thing was so lovely.

I was also super brave (for me) and tried many things outside of my comfort zone, such as fish that I don't normally eat and two rolls that had some sort of spice to them. Weirdest thing I had all night was the squid!

Eventually we started to get full so we ordered two more of the gyutoro aburi nigiri (cause it was that good!) and then [ profile] lordaerith and I got dessert. I had fried milk, which was actually a lot cooler and had much more on the plate than it sounds. Aerith and dad also had some port.

I don't think that I could do it often, but as a once in a while super special treat, it was a fun night and an amazing meal. And it was really nice to get out without the baby and not be out so late that I was worried about him getting to bed alright (as is, and as usually is when we leave him with a sitter, he passed out about 5-10 minutes before we got home).
athene: (DJ Jayne Hat)

Sorry about not updating when my Little Prince turned 8 months. I got just a bit involved with the Facebook Nurse-In stuff ;) .

So, LP is now 9 months old! At his checkup last week he was 27″ long & weighed 17.5lbs. He’s been a person in the world longer than he was a collection of growing cells/a fetus inside of my body. It still blows me away.

Nine months old!

LP continues to grow, change, and amaze me. He is now crawling like a maniac (much to the cats’ dismay), cruising around the furniture, walking for a good while while holding our hands, and even standing for several seconds all by himself. He’s also a little thrill seeker and loves getting tossed around, thrown up in the air, and being placed on shoulders.

Best baby I ever found in a king cake. He's already practicing for Mardi Gras!

 (Drat, I had just added a bunch of stuff and WordPress just ate it! Boo! Hopefully I can remember most of what I wrote.)

When he’s excited, LP makes the cutest “gah” noise. He also says lots of “da/dat” “ba” and “agg” sounds. Still not much on the “ma” front :( . He also signed milk once or twice, but not consistently… then again, we’re not very consistent with it.

When he wants to show affection (or when he’s super tired), he’ll lay his head down on you. It’s so cute. Here he is giving the boy-cat some love:

DJ loves the boy-cat!

Grandma (my mother) came into town the other week. She spent a few days watching him, which was nice. She found a great little park for smaller kiddos nearby, which we have since taken him to a couple of times. She also taught him to raise his arms up when someone says “touchdown” (even though it’s not football season anymore). Here he is doing “touchdown” for Grandma when we were out at dinner:

On the eating/sleeping front, LP is still mostly reverse cycled, although he does take more milk at daycare than he use to (probably because he’s more active these days). So we dream-feed several times a night. He still isn’t super interested in food. He does about 2-3 oz of baby puree at daycare every day. Apples or sweet potato seem to be his favorites. He’s okay with banana, pears, and carrots. So far not a fan of green beans. At home we do more baby lead solids. We went out to Olive Garden over the weekend and got him a side of steamed broccoli and he had fun squishing it and dropping it on the floor, but I’m pretty sure he got some in his mouth. Here he is with two slices of an Empire apple. He really likes apples and other fruit.

He also likes to try and drink water from our glasses. It’s pretty cute and usually ends up with water everywhere. He’s starting to figure out sippy cups too. I think we need to get a few different types to see what he takes to.

As perfectly developmentally appropriate, LP has occasionally exhibited some mild signs of separation anxiety when we put him down. So we babywear him more. Currently there are three baby carriers in this house: a Moby wrap, an Ergo, and a Mei Tei that I’m borrowing for a friend. I’ve started to become a big fan of the back carry. I’ve also started to get addicted to baby carriers. They are so awesome. And different ones are needed for different situations! The other week we were at CostCo and Darius had LP in the Ergo on his back. LP totally fell asleep and Darius kept getting double-takes from people as they realized that he wasn’t wearing a backpack, but a sleeping baby.

At the Facebook Nurse-In

I’m sure I have more to say, but he’s waking up and it’s way past time to get him to daycare and me to work.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ Jayne Hat)

Since it’s half way through February, I guess it’s time I finally get to this post, since I promised I would…and then got busy with things like chasing around a crawling baby and all of the Facebook Nurse-In stuff.

In our house we celebrated three winter holidays: Chanukah, Yule/Winter Solstice, and Christmas.

First Chanukah

For Chanukah I continued the tradition that my parents started: a book (well, he got a set of Dr. Seuss books) on the first night and that’s the only present. He seems to like the books.

DJ's first Yule

Yule/Winter Solstice is our family holiday. All of the presents were from us to each other. Ok, most of the presents were from Darius and I to LP, but that’s how it should be, right?

Santa came. Yay!! Happy XMas everyone.

Christmas we do as an extended family day. This year for Christmas, my father and step-mother came into town. On Christmas, there are presents from extended family (the In-Laws got us “revenge for getting their kids loud toys” presents :) ) and gifts from Santa.

I’m pretty sure that LP had no idea what was going on most of the time. He sometimes seemed to like the paper and the boxes more than the gifts.

Watching NYE fireworks with daddy

Lastly, for NYE we were in New Orleans, since tante’s birthday is NYE. We got LP in his tux onesie and he slept through the whole party until it was almost midnight. We brought him outside and I forgot they always set off fireworks until they were going off. I was worried he would freak out, but he loved them! He would track them up in the air and then watch the colors in the sky. He was actually kicking his feet impatiently when none were going off.

And now, since I know y’all are really here for the pictures, here is a slideshow of all of the holiday pictures:

( Fake LJ Cut to see all the pictures )

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ fauxhawk)

Lots has happened in the past three weeks.

The first week of August was National Breastfeeding Week. I was going to go to a Latch On, but LP was asleep when it was time to go and I didn’t want to awaken him.

Happy Breastfeading Week!

Also that week, my father came into town and spent just under 2 weeks with us. It was really nice to have him around as he helped around the house and with LP. He also worked on making sure that LP and I got out of the house on occasion, even though it’s been so damn hot out.

Asleep on grandpa

I was really glad he was here the second week because I came down with a minor cold for a few days and totally lost my voice. LP also go the cold, but it was even less for him (yay breastfeeding). Still, it was his first cold and he was not thrilled, especially when he was having a bit of trouble with a stuffy nose and trying to nurse. But we both made it through it.

On August 4, all four of us went to a Marian Call concert. LP was amazing throughout almost the whole thing. He tended to either be asleep or staring at the pretty redhead on stage singing. The concert was being webcast. When Marian went to put on her Jayne hat, we put LP in his. She saw and had the camera focus on him. Here is the moment of my baby becoming Internet famous:

We also ventured into the realm of cloth diapering without the Diaper Service. But that’s a post all to itself.

Last week was my first week back at work and LP’s first week of daycare. We were both only doing half days. Things are going pretty well; LP is even starting to take to the bottle better. They keep telling me what an awesome and chill baby LP is. They also told Darius when he picked up LP on Friday what a calm mother I am.

LP has been spending his time discovering his hands. He’s a fan of sucking on his right fingers. He’s getting better at reaching and grabbing for things. Lately he’s started to clasp his hands together in what Darius calls his Evil Mastermind pose. Also we’ve had some, but inconsistent, flipping from belly to back.

My fingers has a flavor

However, this last week, LP started to have green runny poop, instead of the nice mustardy yellow poop he usually has. As far as I can tell, this is a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I’m guessing that this was brought on by the pumped milk, as I was pumping for only 5-10 minutes and then putting the resulting milk together into one bottle, so the bottle would have a lot of foremilk and not much hindmilk in it. I’m going to work on making sure to pump for at least 15 minutes while at work and not combine them. Hopefully, if I do that and continue to nurse normally and on demand at home, it will clear up all on it’s own.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

6-7 weeks

Jul. 17th, 2011 06:02 pm
athene: (Default)

Our Little Prince had his 6 weeks check-up on Monday. He weighed in at 10lbs 0.5 oz and almost 20″ long. He’s getting so big. The midwife who delivered him was the one who did our check-up. She commended on just how strong he is and how cute he is. She said that the noise he makes overnight are perfectly normal and healthy noises.

DJ's Second Month

She also gave me a check-up. She said that my breast tissue is very healthy, that my abs only have a touch of separation, and that everything that should be together has come back together well. I had to give her a high-five for the last one since she was the one who stitched me up. I also got my blood drawn and tested. I am officially no longer anemic. Hurray! Which means that all of the exhaustion I’m feeling is normal new baby exhaustion. Hurray?

Last Saturday we had our official Centering reunion. While I’d seen some of the other babies already (either at a meet-up or over the internet), it was nice to see everyone again. I even made a cake while baby-wearing (my mom helped and Darius was on baby duty while we decorated it).

May Centering Reunion Cake

Fighting Babies

Darius and I got asked to come and talk to the August Centering group this week about our experiences at the Birthing Center with the L&D and about being new parents. I think it went pretty well. Our LP was asleep on Darius’s shoulder for most of it, which was really cute.

My family

Pumping has been going well and Darius has even given the LP a few bottles. He’ll eat about 2oz and then about 30min or so later decide he’s hungry again, will refuse the bottle, and will do a long nursing session with me. But it’s a start, so that’s good.

Daddy giving DJ a bottle

Our Little Prince really likes to “talk” to us and things. His favorite “word” is “agoo.” When he talks, he talks to everything! He’s also starting to smile a lot. It’s so adorable. The other day he invented a game called “roll off of Daddy’s chest onto the edge of the couch.” He’s also getting amazingly good at holding his head up and kicking his legs like he wants to crawl. I have a feeling we’re going to be in big trouble sooner rather than later.

We’re also getting better at recognizing “I’m about to freak out” sounds from “I’m happy in my playpen” sounds and the “I need to nurse” vs. “I have a wet diaper” sounds. I’ve found out that when he’s overtired he’ll think he wants to nurse, start to scream, try to nurse again, and start to scream. When this happens, the best thing is to just stop trying to nurse him and walk him around until he falls asleep.

Asleep after a nurse

We’ve been developing a bedtime routine. Every other or third day it starts with a bath from both of us (which he LOVES). We then put him in a disposable diaper (because he hates being wet, so he sleeps longer in one) and put him in a pair of footie pajamas. I then nurse him and hopefully he falls asleep in my arms so I can transfer him to the bed. Sometimes he needs a bit of a walk and a side nurse to fall asleep. The other night he fell asleep in my arms in the “Magic Baby Hold.” Then we all fall asleep because Darius gets up super early for work and because I’m exhausted. Sometimes LP wakes up in the middle of the night and so one of us will do a diaper change and often take him out of his PJs. A lot of the time, he doesn’t quite wake up but sort of thrashes and if I nurse him he just falls back to sleep for a few hours, which I hear is the first step toward longer sleeping periods at night.

Had started putting LP in onesies every day, but he developed a heat rash (man is it hot in Texas!) so most of the time he’s just in his diaper covers. Sometimes I give him naked time on waterproof pads covered with cloth diapers. He seems to really like that time. We also got him some lightweight and/or sleeveless onesies and rompers (in size 0-3 as he is completely out of the newborn size now) for when we need to go out/because they are so cute.

Hanging out with Grandma

In other news, my mother has been in town for a week and a half. It’s been fantastic having her here. She’s been a tremendous help, both in terms of housework and helping with the LP. It also means we’ve been getting out of the house more, which is tiring but good. I got to get a haircut and she even babysat LP for a few hours so Darius and I could go on a date to see the last Harry Potter movie (I cried a lot). I’m going to miss her so much when she is gone.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (Default)

This week Darius’s family came to visit from MA and meet the Little Prince. With the exception of my MIL, none of them had ever been to Austin before.

Niece with LP

Niece with LP

LP with Grandma Joan

LP with Grandma Joan

SIL2 was really great at helping with stuff around the house. Niece fell in love with LP and was really good at helping SIL2. She and SIL2 put together the swing that MIL and SIL1 bought for LP. I tried to show them on Monday how great LP is in the bath…but half way through he started crying :( . MIL and SIL1 were also great with LP and were very generous, because in addition to the swing, they also bought him a very cool playmat.

In his new swing. Cousin T helped put it together.

In his new swing with Cousin T, who helped put it together.

The advantage of having family in town was that we finally got to get out of the house during the day. On Sunday SIL2, Darius, LP, and I ate a Freebirds (well, LP was asleep) and started looking into mattresses for LP. The idea is that we’ll drop our queen to the floor and get a twin to put next to it so that we have more co-sleeping space and LP already has his mattress for when he gets older and moves into his own bed.

On Tuesday night we all went to Chuy’s for dinner, where Darius and I learned what a “sling” is — two crossed pieces of wood connected by straps that lets you put your baby carrier in it. Our LP decided to be awake for most of dinner, but SIL2 spent time walking him around letting him look at things after she ate, so Darius and I could eat. On Wednesday I took LP, SIL1, SIL2, and Niece to Central Market to go shopping and show them how cool it was. LP slept most of the time, but woke up near the end for a diaper change and a nurse. I’m so glad that Austin is awesome when it comes to breastfeeding in public.

Out at dinner in a "sling"

Out at dinner in a "sling"

Family left on Thursday, but that didn’t stop us from going out again. The group of May moms we met through the classes at the Birthing Center often get together on either Thursdays or Fridays and one of them was kind enough to pick LP and I up and bring us down to Central Market (again). It was great to see everyone and their babies and just hang out with other moms of infants.

After having several good nights, where all we had to do was side nurse and he’d fall asleep for 3-4 hours then half wake up, nurse and go back to sleep for another 2, Thursday night was a screaming, overtired baby from about 10:30 until about 1:30am. But last night was good again. Sometimes when LP half wakes up at night he makes gurgling noises and he’s become great at spitting up some milk post-feeding, but everyone says this is normal, so I’m trying not to be worried about it.

Lastly I have to say that I’m loving my Moby wrap. It let me play WoW for a while on Monday, read Jacqueline Carey’s new book for hours on Tuesday, put LP to sleep while walking around CM on Thursday and keep him asleep for most of the time while I ate and talked, and put an overtired LP to sleep and then let me photo & video edit and write most of this post today, all while holding him close and being hands-free.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

athene: (DJ right after birth)

DJ slept a lot the first two days. He was still having trouble latching. He would try and then cry and then fall asleep. We just figured that he was still tired from the whole being born thing.

On Monday the postpartum midwife came by. As Darius had suspected earlier that day, DJ was jaundiced. It was all the way down to his navel. Also, when the midwife weighted him, he weighted only 6lbs 5oz. He’d lost 8% of his birth weight. This was not good. It upset me a lot. She said that I was doing everything right, but because he was small, latching can be a problem and he doesn’t have the reserves of energy to keep him going so he’ll just fuss himself to sleep. Also, she was worried about my milk not coming in, but as we got him to nurse, I noticed that it was starting to turn more milky.

So I decided that we were going to make this work. I used an iPhone app to keep track of his feeding and sleeping. We made sure that he was eating every 2-3 hours, with one longer period if he would take it over night. I used the nipple shield because he could latch onto that. I kept him nursing for as long as he would, which lead to some 45 minute nursing sessions. My milk came in on Tuesday, without pumping. My nipples were bruised, but I kept at it. We also opened the shades and spent some time in the sunlight. On Wednesday my breasts were so full that they hurt and I was worried about engorgement. On Wednesday we (and by we, I mean my mother and sister because I ran out of energy) gave DJ a bath, which he loved. Also, my father and stepmother came into town that day as well to meet their grandson.

The grandparents with their grandson

The grandparents with their grandson

Somewhere in all of this, I started singing to DJ, “This little prince of mine, I’m gonna let him shine. This little prince of mine, I’m gonna let him shine. This little prince of mine, I’m gonna let him shine, let him shine, let him shine, let him shine.” I also started making up other verses with words that rhyme with shine and randomly calling him “my little prince.” In fact, I call him “little prince” or “my little prince” way more often than I call him anything else. I’ve been thinking about decorating the baby’s room in a “The Little Prince” theme, but I’m not 100% sure yet. So I’m going start calling him Little Prince (or possibly LP for short) on this blog as well.

On Thursday morning my breasts started leaking on their own and the feeling of engorgement died down. We kept at the nursing schedule. The postpartum midwife came by in the afternoon. I was really nervous. However, I didn’t have to be. My little prince weight 6lbs, 15oz! He was up a whole ounce from his birth weight! Also his jaundice was up to his shoulders, which was really good progress. We’d totally done it!

Crosseyed Little Prince

My Cross-eyed Little Prince

While all of this was going on, I got some bad news about myself. My iron levels were really really low. Not quite to the “you need a blood transfusion” level, but close. No wonder I was so tired all the time and my recovery was going really slowly. I started taking more iron and trying to eat more iron rich foods (no wonder I kept asking for roast beef sandwiches!). At the five day visit from the pp midwife, she took more blood and we found out the next day that my iron count had only improved a little bit. The midwives think, and I agree, that my anemia got worse toward the end of my pregnancy, I was tired all the time and sometimes I’d see shiny floaters, and we didn’t catch it. Probably because I didn’t bring up the whole seeing spots things. So that combined with the normal amount of blood loss during and after labor brought about the anemia. I’m trying not to be bummed out about this. I’m taking my iron pills with orange juice, to help absorption, drinking lots of water, and trying to eat iron rich foods. Every day I feel like I have just a little more energy than the day before.

My little prince and I

My little prince and I

It was a really hard week, full of ups and downs. I know we could not have gotten through it without the help of our family. Mom and my sister were here from just hours after DJ’s birth until Friday noon. My dad and stepmom were here from Wednesday until Sunday morning. They were amazing – changing diapers, bouncing him to sleep after a feeding, giving him a bath, making food, bringing me food and water, running to the store for items that we needed, taking care of me as I was recovering, taking him when I was so discouraged about everything, and providing moral support. I owe so much of my success with DJ to their help.

Baby burrito. Nom Nom Nom

Baby burrito. Nom Nom Nom

Darius was also amazing over the week. He totally started “daddy nesting”, cleaning up the house both inside and out, and working on fixing up his car to make sure it was more reliable for the baby (it started having problems in the middle of the week). He was the best & fastest diaperer when it came to the cloth diapers. And, he is the expert baby swaddler, aka baby burrito maker. I really love watching him interact with his son.

With the first week done, it was time to face the challenges of week 2, our first week alone.

Originally published at my baby blog. Please leave any comments there.

October 2015

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