Wednesday, February 25

The Blog Jinx

Whether it was simply revenge for taking him to the cocktail party or, more likely, a blog jinx, Doodles is back to 'round the clock sleeping problems. So last night, we did the unthinkable: we started to Ferberize. It was painful and it involved hours of crying and Doodles was upset, too, but he was in his crib all night. But tonight he's outsmarted us--he has a fever and you can't Ferberize when he's sick (for starters, he needs more fluids so feeding at night is not only okay, but necessary; also he looks so pathetic that I can't help but keep him in my arms all night). In fact, I'm back to typing one handed because he's back asleep on me, which he hasn't done in a while. So we're going to have to start all over with Ferber again in a couple of nights.

The Trouble with Marriage

Adam and I have a solid relationship, but there are times when it's obvious he just doesn't understand me. He says things like, "You know, that seventh peep is going to make you feel nauseous," and he doesn't get that, yes, the fact that jelly beans are a fat-free food does mean that you can eat an entire bag in one sitting. Other things trouble me as well. It's like how he doesn't understand why the Sons of Sam Horn is silly, but the Baby Center boards are critical to our family's well being. He doesn't see that black-and-white films are not only wonderful, but that the worst of them is still superior to the best of Kevin Smith. Luckily he always remembers that I take my lattes nonfat, decaf with one teaspoon of sugar and that I don't like my beans touching my rice, so I guess I'll keep him anyway.

Irresponsible Parenting 101

Everyone knows you never wake a sleeping baby. Especially a baby like Doodles, who is not, shall we say, the best of sleepers. When Doodles sleeps, we rejoice. So what's worse than waking your poor baby who is soundly asleep in his car seat? How about waking him up to take him to a cocktail party? Now, before you go thinking, oh how cute, a baby cocktail party, I need to explain, nope, it was a grown-up cocktail party. Booze instead of breastmilk. Sushi instead of Snugglepuppies. Loud voices instead of lullabies. Doodles was not the happiest guest at this party, although I will say he was the most fawned over. We showed up early, before the crowds, and stayed about an hour, by which time the volume was up to 11 and Doodles was definitely past his point of tolerance. To repay us, he screamed the entire way home.

And on a side note, the New York Times recently published an article about a group of women in New York who are meeting up regularly for a happy hour with their babies. I received this article from multiple friends. Should be I flattered that people think I'm hip or concerned that they think I'm a boozehound? Perhaps I'm an Edina-in-training, dahling.
Patsy: What do you want? Champagne?
Edina: Yes. Anything that will blur reality.

Wednesday, February 18

Valentine Treats

Quiz question: Each member of the Brown/Medros family received a Valentine's Day gift. One of us received a box of fancy chocolates. Another of us received a bag of nice strong coffee. The third one of us received an activity book. Guess which present was eaten first?

Growing Up Fast

So many people told us in the first three months, "Oh, it's going to go by so fast." And all I could think was, "Yeah, right. Poop, spit-up, pee, poop, cry, poop, cry. There is no way this is going to go quickly."

I think it was about five minutes ago that I had that thought. Because I look at Doodles and he's a completely different baby than he was in August. Or September, October, November, December, or January, for that matter. I can't believe the changes. In just the past week, he seems to have developed so much. The biggest news, the one I still can't fathom, is that my wee baby who never wanted to leave my side is now sleeping in his crib for his naps. And it was so simple! Soon, he may make it there for the night (a girl can dream!). Within one week he developed the ability to sleep without nursing or being rocked and the next step was just setting him down in his crib. It, shockingly, worked. Of course, now that I've written about it, I'm sure it's a jinx and he'll be back in bed with us full time, but for now, we just might be getting our bed back. This is coming just in time because he's getting very close to outgrowing his infant car seat and the only other place he napped before was my lap. I may gain actual free time and the ability to sleep anyway I want at night.

Other very recent developments:
  • Rolling over. I thought Doodles was going to skip this milestone completely (as apparently some babies do), but he's done it a couple of times now. It's not something he's fond of doing, though, so he's loathe to repeat the feat.
  • Sitting up. He's been able to sit up with assistance for a while, but now he's going longer and longer unassisted. He's also able to sit (in the boppy) for up to 45-minutes playing with toys. Okay, eating toys. But he's still occupied.
  • Passing objects from hand to hand. A seemingly easy task, but not so easy for those with tiny hands. But he's passing toys back and forth and using both hands to put them in his mouth.
  • New vocalizations. He's developing more of a grunt and is having more babble time.
  • Being read to. Yes, he still wants to eat the books. But he's actually sitting on our laps and looking at the books as we read them to him.
  • Much, much less crying. The thing people say the most about him is that he's an incredibly happy baby. Oh, he still cries, but it's pretty easy to figure out why and generally it's because he's tired or frustrated.
I never thought I'd say this, but my little boy is growing up too fast! How did this happen?

If the Object Won't Come to the Mouth, the Mouth Will Come to the Object

I remember in our birthing class seeing a video of babies who were putting their mouths on everything--the table, cords, toys, you name it. I couldn't imagine having a baby old enough to do that. And now Doodles is there. Only instead of bringing things to his mouth, he tends to bring his mouth to whatever he wants to suck. If I happen to be holding him, he leans way forward to mouth the ottoman or the remote or whatever. His butt hangs in the air for as long as I can hold onto his waist and then he wiggles until he collapses onto my lap in a heap. If he's sitting, instead of bringing the toy to him, he just forces himself over, which causes him to flop forward onto the toy where he can angle it into his mouth (but then he realizes he's on his stomach, which he hates, so he starts to scream. I put him back into a sitting position, and the whole thing starts again). Not the smartest move. However I think he has some intellectual aspirations--this past weekend he ate the New York Times Magazine.

Dosin' the Doodlebug

I've seen ads for dye-free Children's Motrin. "How silly and trendy," I thought. Even the drug companies are trying to go the "all natural" route and not put additives in their drugs. I couldn't imagine anything more ridiculous than a synthetic drug not wanting to add artificial color. (And I'm slightly abashed now that I see their site and learn that some kids are allergic to the dyes). But now, now I understand why you'd want a drug to be dye free. Because after one week of trying to force a teaspoon of amoxicillin down Doodles throat, I know the harmful effects of the non-dye-free drugs. Harmful effects to Doodles's clothes, my clothes, our sofa, the carpet... Giving drugs to an infant is like, well, I don't know what it's like, but it's damn hard! Doodles is smarter than he lets on. At first, I had an infant spoon and I fed it to him. About 50% went down and then he wised up and wouldn't let the spoon in. Then, I got a nipple that holds medicine and about 25% got down before he wised up and refused to take the pacifier. I asked the doctor what to do and she said, "You've got to hold his nose and then when he opens his mouth, squirt the medicine into the side of his mouth and then hold his mouth closed. Basically, you have to give him medicine like he's a puppy." That method got zilch down. In fact, Doodles very nicely, with mouth held shut, managed to still squeeze the medicine out of his mouth. It was fascinating to watch as the pink liquid oozed out his mouth, down his shirt, and onto the floor. Finally, I got a tip from his day care teacher and mixed the medicine with some milk and fed it to him in his bottle. We've been calling it his Valentine's Day milk because it's such a lovely shade of pink. And it worked. He's taken his medicine with no problems since then. And from now on, when there's an option for dye-free medicine, I'm the first in line for it.

Wednesday, February 11

Makes Me Want to Drink R.C.

I think Coke and Pepsi are in competition on who has the most obnoxious ads. The Pepsi one bothers me on a "how can you defame a musical icon" level while the Coke one is just downright offensive. The Pepsi ad (called "Crossroads") I refer to is the young Jimi Hendrix trying to decide between buying a drink from a Pepsi machine, which is by a guitar store, and a Coke machine, which is by an accordion store. Did the Hendrix estate have to give permission for this? How can they have sold Jimi out like that? And the Coke one (it's not yet posted on their site) has Penelope Cruz bingeing on food and Coke in a restaurant kitchen. She comes out to a waiting table of people and turns down a tiny plate of food because she's watching what she eats. I'm sorry, are we back on Tara? I can't at all figure out the message they are trying to send here. Are they trying to promote bulemia? Am I the only one who is infuriated by these ads?

Peer Pressure Starts Young

My son is five and a half months old. And while it seems old to us (as each month we're amazed by what he can do and by how much he's changed), really, we know in the grand scheme of things baby, our baby Doodlebug is just a wee thing. He doesn't crawl. He doesn't even roll over. Heck, when he's tired, he tries to suck on my chin (I'm pretty sure that these are kisses and I love them; I just wish his kisses weren't causing this rash on my chin). He can sit passably well, but he still needs lots of help. His favorite toy these days is his foot, and he expends great energy trying to get it into his mouth. The point is, this isn't a kid who needs rough and tumble play clothes. Oh, he will. I will be scrubbing mud and grass and, yuck, blood out of his clothes. But right now, all that's on there is spit-up and maybe a little pee. His playmates in mom's group and in day care--well, let's just say that calling them "playmates" is a stretch. The kids look at each other and will occasionally try to grab a toy out of each other's hands, but really, they have no clue that there are other living beings there with them.

The point of this? The point is, what the hell does it matter what these babies are wearing? The key things are that they are 1) warm enough and 2) have freedom of movement so they can easily grab their feet (and your hair, nose, lips, chin...). What's more comfy than a pair of pajamas? Baby pajamas with those little feetsies are so darn cute and they satisfy these needs. And who--among the grown-ups, I mean--wouldn't want to be able to hang out in their pajamas all day?

So why is it that I, a clear-thinking grown-up of 35, have given in to the baby peer pressure and started dressing my child in clothing? You know, shirts, pants, socks. The occasional overall or sweater. I held out for a while, taking him to play group in pjs, sending him to daycare in his nighties. I mean, what difference doesn't make! Yet, after a few days of seeing all those other kids in their cute little outfits I caved. Now, whether we go out or not, the Doodlebug wears clothes during the day and we save the pajamas for night. He was sick this week (bad cold, running a fever--turned out to be an ear infection), so I put him in clothes to take him to the doctor and then when we got home, put him back in his pjs because everyone knows you get to wear pajamas all day when you're sick. But now that's he's better, it's back to street clothes. The clothing stores grin every time I walk in because they see the big "sucker" written on my forehead.


I've signed up for the 2004 New York Marathon. It's a guaranteed entry, so I don't even have to worry about whether or not I'll get in. I'm in. To make it that much more official, I've even already made our hotel reservations (because now that we are a family of three, we don't fit as well into the Tweedle Twirp's 100 sq. foot apartment [at least that's what it seems like].) Now all I have to worry about is whether or not I can run 26.2 miles. Piece o' cake! (Assuming, that is, the cake is made of wood chips and sand paper.)

Wednesday, February 4

Light Week

Adam's out at a school event tonight, which means it's going to be a light blogging day. It's hard enough getting the Doodlebug down when there are two of us (we even met with a sleep consultant this week--today at nap time, the Doodlebug fought the mom and for the first time, the mom won! But it took a looooong time), so the majority of my evening will be spent trying to cajole him to sleep.

The Departure of the King

I grew up on Dilido Island. The island has a sign where the Venetian Causeway crossed it. As you can imagine, the sign is vandalized often. The next island over is San Marino Island, the sign of which is currently intact but for most of my high school years read "Dan Marino Island." (And no, I had nothing to do with it. I'm not into vandalism, although I will say that I find the "Reverse Curve" sign on Storrow Drive in Boston that was changed to "Reverse the Curse" amusing albeit dangerous for those who don't see the "v" underneath.)

I went running twice on the Venetian Causeway, which must mean we went to Miami this past weekend.* We hadn't planned on a trip to Miami. What we had planned was the Tweedle Twirp coming to visit so Adam and I could go see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. "Oh, I want to see the Doodlebug!" she said. "I want to come up. But I promised our grandparents that I'd go to Miami soon." "That's fine," I said. "We can see Lord of the Rings in Miami. We'll meet you there." So we made our arrangements to go to Miami, and then find out the Tweedle Twirp can't make it. Suddenly the Littlest Brown finds herself in dissertation mode. I'm not sure when that kicked in, but apparently, it's here, and Adam, Doodlebug, and I found ourselves in Miami. No problem, we said. We'll get my mother to babysit while Adam and I go see the film.

We made our plans. It was playing at the Regal, which is walking distance from my parents' condo, at 12:30 p.m. It's a good time to babysit the Doodlebug because he's in a good mood then and it wouldn't screw up any dinner plans (it's hard to make arrangements around a nearly four-hour movie). Everything's set and we're going to go to the matinee when we check again and... of course the movie left that very day. I know it's been playing for a while but I find it odd that it would leave the theater the week after it received eleven Academy Award nominations. The closest the film was playing was Coco Walk, but it was a 3:40 showing, which not only screwed up our dinner reservations, but was smack in the middle of fussy time (for the Doodlebug, not me. My fussy time isn't until later in the evening). So, instead, Adam and I pretended we were tourists and we walked around Lincoln Road Mall and Ocean Drive and had mid-day drinks at the Clevander Hotel, which has an outdoor bar. It was nice to have a date, especially in such lovely weather (my parents had warned us that it was "cold" in Miami. Yeah. Cold. High in the low 70s, low in the upper 50s. I'm shivering. The Doodlebug is so happy to be able to go out without socks... and pants), but we're both bummed we still haven't seen Lord of the Rings.

*Side story: I told my father I wanted an easy run--I was a little under the weather. He said, "Oh, it's a mile to the Miami Herald building." So I set out around 8 a.m. and decided that I'd also make loops on all the islands to make it a little longer. By the time I was approaching the Herald building, I was so hot and absolutely exhausted. I couldn't believe my little two mile (including the islands) run to this point was taking me so incredibly long! By the time I made it back to the condo, I was absolutely beat and my legs were really tired and it had taken me a whopping 72 minutes, which means I was crawling along (even though it didn't feel like it). I asked my father, "Are you sure it's a mile to the Herald?" "Yes," he said. "I clocked it awhile ago." The next morning Adam came with me for my easy run, which was just to the Herald and back. "Doesn't this feel longer than two miles?" I asked him. "Yeah, it does." After I insisted to my father that it seemed longer, he promised to re-clock it on his way to work. I got a call Monday night: "Yeah, it's 2.2 miles one way. I must have clocked it from the old house." I think my father has Adam's HBS disease: Always certain, often wrong.