Archive | May, 2011

Apples and Pears

26 May

Braving the dismissive looks and I’m-going-to-give-you-advice-but-I’m-not-the-kind-of-person-who-gives-advice-so-I’m-going-to-give-you-advice-but-I’m-going-to-do-it-passive-aggressively friends, colleagues, and frienemies, I’ve made applesauce and pear sauce to give to baby. Yep, we’re going the Smitten Kitchen route rather than the rice-then-vegetables-then fruit route. As babymama says, at some point, the silly little Piglet is going to do something stupid like only eat white food, or eat only bread and cheese for a year, or whatever, so what difference does it make that we give him fruit before vegetables and grains?

Plus, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that:

there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby. Though many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this. If your baby has been mostly breastfeeding, he may benefit from baby food made with meat, which contains more easily absorbed sources of iron and zinc that are needed by 4 to 6 months of age.

Anyhow, the applesauce was delicious, and about 87% of it was consumed by my partner. 12% was consumed by me. <1% was consumed by baby. And he liked it. It was mildly flavored with cinnamon and lemon (put cinnamon sticks in, and lemon peel, then took them out before blending). The pearsauce, which I made yesterday, is flavored with vanilla and a bit of balsamic vinegar. We haven't yet tried feeding it to the youngun'. But if he does not eat it, again I think it will be consumed mostly by his mother.

Photos will come soon, I suspect. Right now, it is good to start with the solids, for what it's worth. Exciting times!


Cry it out, boy!

25 May

I wrote what I hope was a thoughtful response to a parent on a support group board, about sleeping and crying it out. It turns out that it was our ‘CIO story’, in the sense that people apparently like to share the nitty-gritty of these kinds of experiences. I thought I would reproduce and maybe expand here. Sharing is caring.

I mentioned that we were doing this a bit ago. It’s been about a month or so since we started the CIO razzamatazz. Here are more of the gory details. If you don’t care about our baby’s sleep habits, you should go read about Huguette Clark and her massive amount of money and weird obsession with dolls. Who gives you the best content, eh? I do.

Anyhoooo. Let’s go in three steps. First, how much and when sleeping is happening. Second, the crying. Third, the plan.

1. The sleeping.

Right now, baby gets his nighttime routine started around 6pm, a holdover from when we had to give him 23 hrs/day of shoes and brace time. As a result, ‘shoes go on’ time remains around 7pm, with the ‘shoes come off’ time has shifted back to 1pm. Which means that around 6:15 or 6:30 he gets a bath. So, 6pm playtime, 6:30 bath time, 6:45/7pm shoes go on, then baby mama feeds him the good good breastmilk, and then he goes to sleep around 7:15. At this point, he is pretty conked out, and he rarely puts up any fuss at all.

He sleeps until around 1am, well, 12:30am-3am. But there is definitely a nighttime wake-up and feeding. Baby mama historically fed him at this point, then put him back to sleep. He would then wake up around 5-6am, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Historically, I would do this feeding with formula, give him his sweet sweet vitamin D dropper. And then if he seemed tired, I would try to put him back to bed. Usually I would play with him for another 30-45 minutes, then put him back to bed. And he would then sleep again until 7:30 or so.

Then a morning nap, around 9:30. He would sleep for sometimes as much as 2 1/2 hours. Then a spotty afternoon nap, if one at all. Then evening rolls around and we start over. Roughly, he’s been sleeping 12+ hours a day. Shazaam.

2. The crying.

Our policy for now is to let him cry it out. We ‘Ferbered’, so that we began by giving him 2 minutes, then 4, then 6, etc. We have settled on about a 17 minute maximum before we go in and verbally try to sooth the babe. For daytime naps, if he doesn’t sleep within about 30 minutes, we give up on the nap. The ‘crying’ timer starts when it rises above whimpering.

At night, if baby mama nurses him, he will go right to sleep. On occasion, she has something she’s doing, and I do the routine with bath and bottle. I can expect him to cry for 5-15 minutes before he settles, especially if I do something between bottle and bed (i.e., bath=>shoes=>bottle=>bed is ok, bath=>bottle=>shoes=> is not so ok, bottle=>bath=>shoes=>bed is almost a guaranteed cry).

If he wakes up before 1am and cries, we let him cry it out. This can last as much as 20-30 minutes. Then he’ll sleep until 2 or 3am for the ‘midnight’ feeding. Sometimes he sleeps all the way until 3am, gets a midnight feeding, and then still wakes up at 5:30 wanting to get started.

The immediate morning nap (6:30-7am) usually entails some crying, and it’s hit or miss whether or not he will sleep then. If he doesn’t within 30 minutes, we treat it like a nap and give up. 75% of the time he will nap.

3. The plan.

We are trying to eliminate the midnight feeding, which our pediatrician says is not strictly necessary at this point. We have done this in stages. The first stage is to switch who feeds him when, so I now do the midnight feeding, and baby mama does the 5:30am feeding. Seeing her up and about at 5:30am is, if you know my darling wife, awesome and shocking.

And now I’m starving him out. He gets about 5oz. of formula, but I’ve been reducing the amount of powder that mixes with the water. So he started at 2 1/2 scoops (1 scoop per 2 oz.). Then 2 scoops. Now 1 1/2. Soon it’ll be water. We’re hoping he just decides that water is not worth getting up for and just sleeps through. So far, it’s just pissing him off a little. We’ll see where it goes from here.


– Baby now rarely cries for more than 5-15 minutes before settling down (though sometimes does, especially for daytime naps).

– We never moved out of the room, though it is still tough to hear him cry, esp. for my spouse. I kind of want him to get used to the noise.

– He sleeps in a completely jack-knifed position, with his feet essentially next to his mouth. Seeing him do this with shoes and brace is disconcerting at first, but it seems to work for him so WTF.

– He’s still in that totally cute space where he will wake up, open his eyes, and be completely delighted with the world. If you look at him at this moment, he gives you his $10M smile. Clearly his father’s son in this respect.

Baby food

24 May

Ok, first of all, I just love mothering forums. Love love love. Thinking about feeding our kid his first foods, I look around at how long babies can go with just breastmilk. And get this forum. I particularly liked the “our naturopath said…” I mean, shit, we don’t even have a naturopath.

And I am indeed on one parent forum. To the completely reasonable question, “Any thoughts on how to prepare a child for a sibling?” I responded, “Honesty is the best policy. Just tell babyboy#1 that he’s about to become a lot less important. There’s only a certain amount of love to go around, after all…” I know, right? Lucky we’re friends already, but apparently, for whatever reason, the others on the forum think I’m some sort of asshole or whatevs.

Oh, right, baby food. So, BB has a couple of teeth coming in! They look like this:

And of course, I’m all, ‘let’s get that baby some bacon!’ But we settled on applesauce, which I made following the lovely Smitten Kitchen. It was delicious. I made 6 lbs of apples’ worth, and baby ate maybe 2 tablespoons. But he liked it. Baby mama liked it more. She and I ate the rest. Next up, I’m going with the vanilla pear sauce. Then maybe something more vegetable-ish. And a friend suggested congee, which is basically watery rice gruel. Mmmm, baby gruel, maybe with mushy carrots!

Anyhow, it’s kind of trip to think that soon enough the babe will be eating food (though 99% of his nutrition is still breastmilk/formula currently). How old before he can eat Brooklyn Blackout cake, me wonders….

Lost in Queens

24 May

Darling wife and I rented a Zipcar and went to Queens, to meet our former Closest Friend in New York (2 aves. away) for lunch. While the lunch was wildly successful, the aftermath was not. We spent 2+ hours trying to get home to Brooklyn from goddamn Forest Hills, in the absolutely pouring rain. I mean, taking the Jackie Robinson Parkway is supposed to be humane, but no one can get onto the fucking thing. It was supposed to go something like this:

Now imagine this route while I am sitting in the passenger seat shouting things like, “hey, you need to pull over, you are in the middle of a funeral procession”, and “I know the sign says you have to turn left, but go straight! Go straight! GO STRAIGHT!”. In the pouring rain. Eventually, baby mama pulled over, took over her map/phone, and led us this way:

Which put us on the BQE around 4pm, and home by 5:30. Not fun. At the end of the day, it was an incredibly expensive lunch, my navigator/passenger cred took yet another hit (it really cannot go much lower), and our chances of moving to Queens ratcheted down just a tick or two. Sure, I know, if we lived there, we wouldn’t have to figure out how to drive to or from there, but still.


15 May

I don’t want to say anything that might ruin this movie for you, just wanted to report that I went with a work colleague, who is reliably the snobbiest movie-goer I know, to see Bridesmaids. Actually, she would say that she sees films, not movies. I thought we were in for an artsy picture at the Angelika Film Forum. But no! Bridesmaids! It is definitely a movie, not a film. And it’s funny! And the scene with Kristen Wiig at the bridal shower is pretty brilliant. It all would have been more brilliant if my friend didn’t wait me wait 30 minutes for her, forcing us to sit in the front row. Front frickin’ row! After, we went to a cool restaurant in the village, called Bell, Book, and Candle. Yum.

Where was beloved baby mama? Back watching the baby, naturally. She’s been quite generous about freeing me up to go do things with friends. I think part of the dynamic that we realized is that I don’t really have a lot of friends here in New York, after being here for 6 years or so. I mean, we have couple friends. And the truth is that I’ve never had a ton of ‘guy’ friends – I’m in a field that is dominated by women, at a women’s college, and I’ve never really been a guy’s guy kind of guy.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, but to say that I appreciate both the fact that I went out twice this week – once with a guy friend who we originally met as a colleague of our (previously) Closest Friends in New York but who is now a friend in his own right, and once with a woman who works in the office next to me at my department. And I appreciate that there are a few people with whom I find it worthwhile to ditch the darling babe for, to go out and have fun. Good times!

5 months on Friday

12 May

So, yeah, we have a 5-month old baby. Yesterday, while BB gummed on my finger, I realized that there’s a tooth coming on the bottom. We’re on size 3 diapers. He takes 2-hour naps now. Things move quickity-quick. I’m also basically done with the semester, or at least will be in the next week or so. We’ll be on the move a bit this summer but mostly trying to piece together a life.

I was also looking over my project list for 2011, a dozen for 2011. I’ve finished the birth announcements. I completed the 40th birthday walkback (at least for one of the two friends I intended). Picture of the day continues, now almost 5 months of daily photos of BB. Our artsy wall photo collections continues to grow, but we haven’t yet organized them onto the wall. The sounds of young baby is actually going ok, though there’s been a month or so gap in what I’m recording. I’ve got quite a few of his sounds on record, though.

I’m failing miserably (so far) at: writing letters; doing the board book; running; pulling my disparate profiles into a single, self-controlled site; throwing the resource party; selling something on Etsy; and the data dashboard.

So 5 of 12 are on track, the others are still salvageable, and it’s mid-May. Rock on baby bubba to the boogety bang bang, the boogie to the boogety beat.

Oh, and I intend to update this site more often. I suspect that my lack of posts is enabling my friend to slack on her own blog, and we can’t have that, can we?