Monday, October 26, 2009

May the Force Be With You!

At today's playgroup, all the babies wore their Halloween costumes. Photo pandemonium ensued:

Honestly, these are the cutest babies and the cutest fucking costumes ever. Loyal readers get ready for an entire Halloween post next week!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Daniel & Government (& Politics)

It was a big week for Daniel in all things Government. He made a trip to the Hudson County building that houses Passport services (or something like that) and attended his first political rally!

Let's just say that it took my mother about 29 years to leave the country. Daniel is 3.5 months old and got his passport (we're going to Mexico in December with the fam. That should be one hell of a blog post). Here he is with his application. Note: On the application, it asks for applicant's occupation. We were instructed to write down "baby" for his occupation. I find that hilarious.
Interesting fact: Daniel was not allowed to be crying during the picture. They had to put a white sheet over me so that they could put him in my lap to stop him from crying. So his passport picture has 2 odd looking white things on either side of him.

A few days later Matt got tickets to see Barack Obama at a rally to re-elect Governor John Corzine. We were hoping that Daniel would be the token baby that Obama holds and ends up in the news about being the cutest baby and the future of America. Instead, Daniel simply fell asleep. But it was one hell of a rally. I can't believe how inspiring Barack Obama is. I wanted to walk out of that auditorium and start volunteering. But then I got in the car and remembered that I'm an exhausted new mom. Volunteering ain't gonna happen. And while I'd love to comment on the specifics of the inspiration, I am too tired (let's just say that I ended up having a bit of a shopping spree at Target, rather than simply buying diapers and, because of said spree, Daniel had a massive meltdown). So here are a few pics of the rally. Go Corzine!

Friday, October 16, 2009

And Then He Laughed

So people told me that Daniel would smile for the first time after a really bad day or night. That didn't happen and his smile happened after a wonderful weekend at the beach while garbage men were picking up the garbage. Turns out he had been smiling a bunch, but I didn't know it was a real smile until one of the garbage men told me so.

But he laughed today for the first time. And, after the night we had last night (read previous post), that laugh pretty much brought me to tears.

Thankfully my mom is here and agreed that it was, in fact, a true laugh (I didn't need to rely on a sanitation worker this time).

What Happened to my Sleeping Beauty?

Daniel has been a rockstar sleeper for a while now (he started sleeping 6-7 hour stretches around 9 weeks old) and, as stated in an earlier post, he's been pretty much sleeping through the night since we were in Hotlanta.

Other than some swaddling issues, things have been pretty good...until...

He had a pretty complainy day yesterday (i prefer my made up word, "complainy" to "bad") and then last night he was up at 2:30am and then again at 5:30am and was screaming on both occasions to the point that the only thing I could do was nurse him. This is not normal for him and, needless to say, sucked for me & Matt. We could blame it on a "growth spurt" but I don't think that's it.

Daniel - I pray that it was a one night gig and that today will bring peace and, tonight, a long sleep! We're exhausted!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It Takes a Village

In the early days of Mommyhood, when I was a total wreck and often found crying on my baby (the term "baby blues" is way too sweet to describe what really happens post partum), I was often told/reminded that it takes a village to raise a child. I don't think there is more truthful cliche.

Enter the mommy group... wherever it may be and whoever may be a part of it, it is a golden and precious universe filled with security and comfort. My mommy group literally saved my sanity in those early weeks and now that I have this mommy thing somewhat down, I'd like to pay my respects to the Hoboken Hospital Breastfeeding Support Group. This group meets weekly and is led by a lactation consultant angel named Robin who literally saved my breastfeeding relationship with Daniel.

See, breastfeeding is one of the hardest and most emotional things in the world and NO ONE tells you this when you have a baby. Don't get me wrong, as soon as it's not hard anymore it's the easiest and most wonderful thing on earth (which is why so many of us struggle through the beginning in order to make it to the good part), but it's so damn hard at first that most of us freak out and need help of some sort. Most women seem to figure out how to breastfeed in a couple of weeks. It took me and Daniel SIX full weeks. The longest six weeks of my life (let's not forget I was figuring out how to be a mom, as well)! But now it's delightful and beautiful and I will always be thankful for Robin's help (especially the weekend phone calls). Here she is with her star student:

Aside from breastfeeding, this group allowed me to cry, question, vent and listen and I will be forever grateful. From this group I have met great girls and the most adorable babies and have learned secrets about sleeping, bathing, feeding and anything else (weight, sex, going back to work... everything).

From the outset, mommy groups seem almost laughable.. I mean, look at this room full of strollers and mommies:

And lunch with my new friends after the group!! I can't believe the owners of the restaurant didn't kick us out for our gross display of strollers and rearranged restaurant furniture!

But the truth is that I have found extreme comfort in being around other women in the same place as I am in and they have helped me figure out how to make my baby boy as happy and healthy as possible. For this, I am in debt to the village.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy 3 month birthday

We've officially graduated from telling people how old Daniel is in weeks (as in "He'll be 10 weeks old tomorrow"), to simply saying "He's 3 months old"! I don't know whether to cry over it or be thrilled!

My little man is now 3 months old. He's smiling all the time and actually made a semi-laugh sound the other day. He knows when I enter or leave a room and watches what I do when I'm running around the house. He still hates tummy time, but he doesn't start crying immediately anymore (in fact, he does make it about 5 minutes on his tummy time surfboard before crying... which is amazing). He's starting to try to lift his head up while reclined (apparently a good sign, according to the books) and he's pretty much sleeping through the night. Oh, and he's sucking on his hands and every once in a while sticks his thumb in his mouth. Too cute!

While I know that I'm extra lucky to have such a long maternity leave, I'm shocked that most people are already back to work at this point. I'm just starting to know what I'm doing and having a blast doing it!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hittin' the ATL

Daniel took his first airplane ride and headed south to Atlanta for a week of perfect weather (the biblical floods ended) and so much love from family and friends that he started sleeping through the night! This is not a joke. With a little help from a "dream feed" he pretty much slept from 8pm to 7am. Bliss!

This was obviously the first time that Matt & I traveled with child and we were both nervous. Did we pack too much crap? Are we going to annoy the people behind us? Are those people looking at us on the plane praying that we don't have a screamer?
*Sidebar: Matt and I have always been very proud of our black diamond status at airports... we can get through security in a blink of an eye and never need to check baggage. Those days are so obviously over that it's a little sad.

I'm happy to report that Mr. Bing was a perfect traveler. He barely made a peep and we think the kid could travel around the world at this point. Here he is on the way down south:

Atlanta was quite the time. Daniel was in love overload:

Also, he may become a concert pianist:

And last, but not least, he bonded with Jake:

For the first time since I left Atlanta in 1996, I can honestly say that I'm sorry I don't live there now. The community that Daniel would be a part of and the love of family and friends he has down there is overwhelming and while we have a lovely life full of friends and family in New Jersey, I can't help but think that life would be so very sweet down there! Thankfully it's only a 1.5 hour flight (on a good day) so we will continue to rack up the frequent flier miles and spend countless long weekends down there.