Tuesday, January 26, 2010

nearly walking

second bath of the day following a very messy lunch and an incident including a cup of coffee, my clothing, and the couch.

oh man, this baby is hard to keep up with. he was waking every hour for the past two nights, and this morning we noticed two new bottom teeth. he's on the verge of walking. starting two weeks ago leon has been taking 2-3 steps several times a day. physically, he's ready to walk. his balance is solid, but i think that psychologically he's unsure of the benefits of walking. after all, he's an extremely fast crawler and cruiser. and who needs to crawl or cruise when mama can pick you up?

lately, i've been worrying that leon isn't hitting his developmental milestones. we had a playdate with a 12 month old who was a pro at eating 'real' food. blueberries, sippy cup, chicken-apple meatballs, cheese... leon doesn't like his pureed food anymore (mealtime is an awful, epic battle), but he doesn't want to feed himself either. the few things he'll eat with gusto include: tofu, ice cream, and masticated meat. i know that i need to try harder and be less upset when he throws food on the ground, but it's really really difficult for me to see food wasted like this. i grew up in a household that finished dinner by putting a tiny amount of water in the rice bowl to get every last grain. and now with food prices going up, it makes me want to cry when half a jar of food ends up on the floor or in his hair.

i know it's silly, but it also bothers me that he still doesn't clap or wave bye-bye without significant prodding on our part. i think it would help if he spent more time with babies slightly older than him. our mothers' group consists primarily of 2-7 month olds, so i have been trying to find other groups for him to join. i waited too long on music or other activity classes because i wasn't sure we'd still be here in february, and now it's too late to sign up at isis maternity or elsewhere. so, i guess we're going to try the free toddler group at the public library. i know all babies develop at their own pace, but it's ridiculously difficult to not make comparisons no matter how much you try.

the best thing that has happened (aside from the first steps) is his extravagant use of the word 'kitty!' he says it not only when he sees the cats, but also when he sees anything that pleases him. we have shouting matches and play hide and go seek. leon has become a huge fan of blowing a raspberry on my stomach. he will actually lift up my shirt to do this. he's quite the little prankster.

reading from erica kim on Vimeo.

march 2, 2009 from erica kim on Vimeo.

a week and half old leon. such a little nugget (and yes, watching this makes me want to have another baby).

Friday, January 15, 2010


on saturday night leon felt warm to me. i wanted to check his temperature, but didn't for fear of disturbing me. it didn't seem to be much higher than 101, and he's normally warm before bedtime. all night long i felt the back of his neck, no change.

sunday morning i checked his temperature. 102.8. i called the nurse, who suggested we give him motrin every 6 hours, tylenol at the 4 hour mark. we didn't have motrin, so we gave him tylenol and then headed up to nashua, nh, to pick up his new jogging stroller. when we returned, he was burning hot. 104.5. i freaked out, gave him motrin, and freaked out some more. the fever would come back at the four mark, so i would give him tylenol. it went back up to 104 once more that night.

monday morning i took leon to the pediatrician. she said it might be a urinary tract infection and that i should keep alternating motrin and tylenol. that day the fever went between 103 and 100. he had no other symptoms aside from the fever. feeding was difficult, but i compensated by nursing more frequently.

tuesday, more of the same. the fever would go down to 100, and then jump back up to 102. 5. the pediatrician called and said we should only give tylenol if it was above 101, and motrin only if it was above 102.5. i gave him motrin once that day. i guess they wanted to see whether the medicine was masking anything.

wednesday morning his temperature was 99.7. it stayed down until mid afternoon, when it shot back up to 102. i gave him tylenol once that day. still eating only half of his regular amount, still crabby.

thursday, the fever is suddenly gone. but he's extra clingy and irritable.

friday. i notice a rash of tiny red bumps on his face, chest and back during his evening bath. we google it. roseola.

i've been watching leon for 7 hour days while matthew finishes his thesis, and i am exhausted, both physically and psychologically.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

10.5 months

snow drifts

poor billy

caught mid-sentence

finally figured out the pacifier, sort of.

our charlie brown tree

hector helping with the wrapping paper

leon is quite the busy baby. every day i'm convinced he's going to start walking, but i think he's taking his time after pulling up to stand at 6.5 months and standing on his own at 9.5 months.

although he doesn't really say specific words, leon carries on conversations with me, matthew, and the cats. sometimes he scolds us, other times he chatters, and more often than not he collapses in a hysteric fit of giggles. mama the pack leader is working non-stop now. if i say 'no,' he pauses, retracts the hand, and proceeds to argue with me. when i say 'no' again, he looks at me, a smile twitching at the corner of his mouth, waiting to see if i'll smile back. if my stern face relaxes just a tiny bit, that sly little hand stretches out again. sigh. my mom was right when she told me i would have my hands full disciplining him.

we started a new 'sleep training' program 5 days before christmas because that's how we like to spend our holidays. for 3 nights it was awful. i would nurse him in bed from 7pm until 11ish, and then refuse to nurse until at least 5am. i still co-sleep, which means i have to figure out other ways to soothe him such as rocking, patting, and shushing. the first night he protest-cried for 2 hours, slept for 1, and then cried again for an hour before falling asleep for 2 more hours. the second night he cried for 1 hour, slept for 2, repeat. by the fourth night, he was not only sleeping 2.5-3 hours between 7 and 11, he also was going right back to sleep between 11 and 5.

it was going well until day 8. ever since then, he goes back to sleep quickly after a few pats, except between 3 and 4. during this hour, he cries a little, lurches about the bed, often knocking his head against my face (ouch), and then flops down across my chest. as soon as i remove him, the whole cycle starts again. sometimes i remain calm and stoic, other times i tell him how much i dislike him.

progress, even at a snail's pace, is good enough for me. i'm relieved that he doesn't cry from distress or fear, only out of indignation. it's also reassuring to know that he can fall asleep relatively easily without nursing. we decided to do this partly because we hope he'll sleep better and for longer periods by nursing less frequently at night. i also wanted him to not rely on night milkfeeds because it was altering my day supply for the worse. leon now nurses more often during the day, every 2-3 hours instead of every 4-5, so i don't have to worry as much about dehydration (he's terrible with the sippy cup and regular cup).

it's also a relief to not obsess about sleep even while working to adjust his sleep patterns. even though he's still high-energy during the day, i don't fret about it as much because i'm feeling ok about the sleep issue. although he doesn't clap, he now hits objects together, which is almost the same thing i suppose. he's obsessed with putting things into containers. ever since he started playing with his montessori box, he spends most of his time trying to put objects into baskets, cups, anything. leon is also getting steady enough that he can bob up and down to music while standing, and he's becoming quite adept at crawling onto and off from the couch.

climbing off of the couch from erica kim on Vimeo.

my favorite new leon thing is his propensity to share. just a few weeks ago he began offering things for us to bite, usually right after he's had a good nibble on them. he can also pet the cats without yanking their fur, and he loves giving them (and us) bear hugs. as gratifying as that first smile was, i'm even more enamoured with leon's affectionate overtures.