29 April 2009

So Much to Do

Once again, I am blogging with a baby in my lap because today we do.not.want.to.take.a.nap. He’s tired, and I’ve tried putting him down several times, but I’ve learned not to just let him scream because he just works himself up to the point where he definitely won’t sleep, and that’s not the goal here.

So, he’s on my lap, trying to smack the computer keys, because he is pretty sure that he could make the computer go if only Mommy would stop being obnoxious and let him run things for once.

Eamon, you see, is a Man of Action. On a day to day basis, he doesn’t have a lot of places to go (yet, but just wait until he finally figures out crawling and walking), nor a lot of people to see (Mommy and Daddy, check, Grandma and Grandpa check), but he does have Things to Do. Important Things that need Doing, and no one else is going to Do them, so it must be up to him. These things include: 1) playing with his toes; 2) chewing/drooling on everything in sight; and 3) making every possible sound with his vocal chords that he can.

Not only that, but just since last Thursday, he has started to Learn Things. I wonder if he didn’t make himself a resolution to learn something new everyday. I thought that was just a saying about babies, but Eamon seems to be taking it literally. On Friday we learned to use two hands at once to grab toys. On Saturday we learned to grab our toes. On Sunday we learned to almost turn over if Mommy just helps a little with the back leg, and on Monday we learned to get the toes into our mouth. By Tuesday, Eamon had learned to sit up unassisted for up to 5 seconds at a time (you have to place him just right, but still!). Today he increased it to 10 seconds and has been working on that rolling over thing a little bit more (my mother swears he almost did it today).

It’s as if he’s seen the Milestone and Development Chart and is boning up for his 4 month visit to the pediatrician next week. It's exciting, but sort of sad, too, because I don't want him to be in a hurry to grow up. I’m pretty sure that I’ll wake up tomorrow and find that he’s learned to crawl out of his crib is putting the finishing touches on his memoir The Infant's Guide to Increasing Development During the First Few Months (Tip #1: Toes are Tasty!)

And oh yeah, he’s learning to play the piano. Well, he thinks so.

22 April 2009

To Make a Long Story Short

So, this started off as a REALLY long post about why Eamon has been weaned already onto formula, and then I realized: I was writing it more for me than for y’all. I’m really disappointed and a little heartbroken, but suffice it to say—on this super hypoallergenic formula (read: super expensive), his eczema has finally cleared up, his cradle cap is a lot better, and his eyes aren’t nearly as runny (this might sound familiar to those who read the Molloy blog). His tummy seems a lot better and his poops aren’t green and explosive anymore. He was weaned in approximately 10 minutes, in which we stuck a bottle in his mouth with formula, he fought it for a minute or two, and then decided that food was food. It’s not that I wasn’t willing to eliminate things from my diet, but I already have a ton of allergies, and even as bland as my diet was, he was still allergic to something. I figured that if I took too much more out of my diet, the milk wouldn’t have any nutritional value, anyway.


Anyway, here’s a bunch of cute pictures.

13 April 2009

Meltdown Extravagana

Um, okay. So: Easter.

Here’s the thing. We’re not pulling your proverbial blog legs here—most of the time Eamon is a sweet, easy baby. Would you believe that we’ve never seen him cry that hard for that long? No, really. So, then, the question is: what turned an event that should have been a nice Easter gathering into Screamfest 2009?

We present our theories, in the order that they occurred that day.

1. He was hungry. We ruled this out when we gave him a bottle and he still screamed.

2. He was refluxing. Well, crying that hard will give you reflux, but even a few solid burps he was still giving us the business, so…

3. He was tired. After about 45 minutes of screaming, I finally got him to sleep. He slept for about half an hour, and when he awoke…he was still screaming.

4. He was hot. When I changed his diaper, we realized he was so warm that certain delicate parts were actually stuck to his diaper (baby sweater vests: achingly adorable, but they don't really breathe). Ouch. But, even after I changed his clothes and let him hang around in just a onesie, he was still crying, so…

5. He had an upset stomach. I must have eaten something (who knows what? This child seems to be allergic to everything if he can’t even digest my milk), and his face was all broken out, and he had a light rash over his body. Still, that doesn’t usually bother him so fiercely that he can’t stop screaming.

6. He was overwhelmed. There were at least 30 people there. Many of them wanted to hold him, and Eamon has definitely started with the stranger anxiety (today at lunch he let my friend Charmaine hold him for approximately 3 minutes before he started screeching…she passed him back to me, and he immediately calmed right back down). I felt terrible, since many lovely-hearted people wanted to help, and kept offering to take him and walk him around…but every time we passed him away to someone, he just screamed more and louder.

This current theory is also validated by the fact that as soon as we got into the car, he was smiling and happy again. On the way home, we stayed with Aaron’s friends Marc and Keiko, and Eamon smiled and cooed at them (no one there tried to hold him), and was positively enraptured by their 4 year old, Ayana, who played peek-a-boo with him and sang him songs and basically was wildly entertaining. I don’t know how Eamon will feel about a younger brother or sister, but he certainly seems to like older ones.

Anyway, most people at Easter were very reassuring. There were several people there with babies, all of whom were smiling and cuddly-- except for Eamon, who wanted nothing to do with the entire affair. This was his grand coming-out party, and he would have preferred to have stayed in the corner. As a shy person myself, I completely understand, but it still would have been nice for Aaron’s family to see the smiling, happy baby that we know so well.

Not that he had a completely miserable time. He really enjoyed meeting Lucas, his cousin who is exactly 3 months older than Eamon. This was before anyone else showed up, and Eamon and Lucas really seemed to hit it off. Lucas was sitting on the floor when we put Eamon’s carseat next to him; Lucas immediately started eating Eamon’s feet, and Eamon burst into a huge smile. I assume this is infant for “let's be friends.”

As for the traveling part…Eamon travels well enough. Someone has to sit in the backseat with him, armed with a bottle and a bunch of toys, because Eamon also gets bored really easily. He slept most of the trip, so that was nice, and was still able to get to sleep at night, too. He’s also very interested in toys now, especially his Chatter Elmo, though I think this is more because he thinks the eyeballs look yummy and always tries to eat them (yes, he only plays with this toy with supervision).

So, we are tentatively looking forward to traveling northwards again with Eamon. This time, though, we’ll probably limit our visits to one family at a time, and preferably to see someone who enjoys playing peek-a-book. Or gnawing on his feet. Yummy.

11 April 2009

Eamon vs Goop

Our little (big) guy had his first cold this week- coughing and goop in his eye. What made this episode particularly interesting is that he never got in a bad mood. Don't get me wrong, my boy can be fussy, but it's never for very long and it's usually because he is a) tired and needs to sleep or b) is gassy and uncomfortable. Both things are easily correctable, and he will quickly return to his smiling self once the problem has been resolved.

We think that the goop in his eye was a result of a blocked tear duct, something his cousin Lucas had problems with. After a trip to the doctor (where he weighed in at 16+ lbs!!), we got a prescription for medication that you had to smear on his eyelid. Needless to say, he did not appreciate this. However, once the initial placement was done and he voiced his displeasure, he would smile at us.

Unfortunately, the person in our household who got the worst of this sickness was Kate. A devestating sinus infection pretty muck KO'd her for the first 4 days of her spring break. Not good times. Kate has a remarkable knack of holding off any sickness until there is a break from school. I don't think I would classify this as a talent, but it does say something for her work ethic.

Eamon has started over the past week or so to become very interested in the world around him. Always very alert, even on the day he was born, he now finds all sorts of things fascinating. For example, we dog-sat for Kate's parents early in the week, and the interaction between Socrates and Nesta was the source of great amusement for our child. His grandparents got him a Giggle Elmo this week, and he is slowly but surely figuring out how to make it work. Nesta remains the most interested in the toy (she would like it to be hers and can't figure out why it's not), but Eamon does enjoy it.

One of Eamon's greatest pleasures is watching stuff (anything really- he tracks both Kate and I across the room, will watch Nesta do her thing, examines stuff on the wall, is particulary interested in the two Shisa lion dogs my friend Shawn brought us from Okinawa) so we got him a Bumpo chair so he can sit up and see. He loves it. While making brownies for the Meredith family Easter get-together, Kate put him in his chair and conducted a cooking show for him. He was very entertained (if for no other reason than Mommy was talking to him, which he enjoys.)

One of our worries is that he seems to have started exhibiting separation and stranger anxiety, which is unusual for a child his age. I took him to Kate's school last week so we could all have lunch together, and he was whisked up by the adoring teachers at her school and taken to another room. He is normally (as I've pointed out) a very happy child, but he flipped out when he looked around and there was no Mommy or Daddy. Maybe he'll grow out of it sooner due to the early start, but who knows. It will be an interesting time at Easter to see how he handles all the ruckus.

He can get over-stimulated pretty easily, as was evidenced by our second trip to Colonial Williamsburg last weekend (it was the kickoff weekend for the 30th anniversary of African American programming and I wanted to be there for it). He did really well while we sat outside the Peyton Randolph House waiting for a tour, but lasted only a few minutes in the house. In all fairness, he wasn't upset, just talkative, and the tour guide wasn't very good (not that he would know that, but Daddy did- and I had enough very quickly as well.) We made our way out to Great Hopes Plantation, where he lasted about 30 minutes being fawned over (he does get the rock star treatment almost everywhere we take him publicly) before having a meltdown. We took him back to the car, where he fell asleep before I had backed out of the parking spot.

Hopefully, he'll do better at Easter, where he will get to meet his cousins for the first time. He did really well when our friends the Weldy's (Courtenay, Andrew, Tommy and Tyler - pictured above with Eamon) came to visit, so I'm hopeful.