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Friday, April 14, 2006

Can't Cry Anymore

What a fussy baby!
Maybe he’s having another growth spurt. I’m not sure, but Grandma told me that he’s been staying awake for the better part of the day while Dani and I are at work/school. Personally, I think that he’s learning to push Grandma’s buttons so that she’ll hold him. Oh, he’s a sharp cookie alright! It’s a good life getting carried everywhere.
A new milestone this week: tears. For those of you without children (see all the neat things we’re learning together?), apparently babies don’t make tears when they cry until about a month or two of age. They also don’t sweat for some time either. So imagine our surprise to see him cry real tears this week. And the excitement for that lasted... about 1 day. The next morning he woke up with a very puffy, goopy eye. Dani took him to the pediatrician on Tuesday, where we learned that he had a blocked duct. So coat some stale bread in Pepto Bismo and… oh! D-u-c-t! Never mind… The doctor told us to keep it clean but really didn’t have any other special treatment. It went away on its own and has been fine today.
Tonight I tried out the Baby Bjorn for a fit, and Jeffrey went right to sleep in it after I gave him a pacifier. Danielle and her Mom are anxious to give it a shot too. It worked out well for me, since I was working on fixing/installing two MythTV systems at the dining room table. Jeffrey, can you say “ifconfig eth0?”
And the official tally from Dr. Smith-Burke? 3.26 Kg! (7 lbs, 3 ounces). Yea!

PS: Our friends, Kurt & Steph Higgins, will be walking in the March of Dimes “WalkAmerica” on April 30th, 2006 in honor of Jeffrey. The March of Dimes is an organization that works to prevent the causes of birth defects and prematurity through research, education and advocacy. If you’d like to contribute, click here.

Monday, April 10, 2006

She Works Hard for The Money

Mom went back to work today. It was an emotional day yesterday as Danielle realized that it would be her last day of her FMLA absence and she’d have to start spending 9 hours a day away from Jeffrey every weekday. On the other hand, Grandma has been here since last weekend and is really enjoying spending time with her new grandson. She’s also been a great help around the house – heck, she already made new curtains for the dining room and she’s been talking about re-painting the porch and building a garden. She may not be a spring chicken anymore, but that girl sure has a lot of energy! Ah, we’ll just see how much energy she has after her first week alone with the boy! By the way, we’re also very proud of her… after smoking for many years, she’s cut down her cigarettes to just 2 in the morning and 2 at night in the interest of quitting, and she takes a shower after the morning ones – all for our little boy. It really means a lot to us.
Last night was a little nostalgic for Danielle and me for another reason. While we were folding laundry and putting away the baby clothes, we came to the first big wave of clothing that won’t fit anymore. Sure, he’s grown out of a few things here and there, but this time we took almost a whole laundry basket full of preemie clothes and put them away in a Rubbermaid tote labeled “Outgrown clothing”. Even some of his newborn 5-8 lbs clothing made it into the tote. I held his “I love my mommy” outfit in my hand, remembering it as the first outfit I was allowed to dress him in at the NICU, and how enormous it was on him. Even his purple pacifiers are too small and fall out of his mouth.
But this is reason to be excited, isn’t it? Sure! The last two visits to Dr. Smith-Burke have him at ¾ lbs per week. We’re expecting him to be closing in on 8 lbs at his next visit on Wednesday. And as he grows, he’s really starting to observe the world around him. Toys are starting to catch his interest. He’s doing well at lifting his head and shoulder – his head/neck control is awesome. The most noticeable difference is that he’s beginning to stay awake longer. He was up for almost 5 hours yesterday, because he never went to sleep after lunch.
It’s been really busy for me this past week, so updates have been scarce. It’s week 5 of the 10 week quarter here at RIT, and midterms are this week. Last week was the due date for some of our major assignments. This gives the professors an opportunity to grade a substantial assignment before the drop/add deadline expires, in case a student decides that a class is not in their best interest. So I apologize to all the avid readers that check here on a regular basis for updates. Maybe we can get Grandma to post a blog entry while she’s visiting!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Steppin' Out (With My Baby)

It’s growing time!
We had a great week with Jeffrey. Rochester has been graced with nice weather this past week, reaching into the mid 60’s. With his progress, we decided that it was time to enjoy the big wide world. Fire up the Zooper, we’re going for a walk!
We headed down Lake Ave., enjoying the sunshine, and Jeffrey went right to sleep. The bumps in the sidewalk must’ve soothed him. Once we got to the center of town, we decided to visit the firehouse. It’s quiet and there likely wasn’t going to be a lot of people there; plus we’d get to visit with Sue.
At the firehouse, we had fun posing the boy in a fire helmet, on the ambulance and on the firetruck. He’s still tiny enough to actually fit into the helmet – but not for much longer! Sue told us that she was proud of us for not falling into many of the new parent paranoia traps until today – arriving at the firehouse with him in a onesie, pajamas, a jacket and 3 blankets.
The good weather continued, and with the blessing of our pediatrician we went for another walk on Thursday. Once around the block and a quick run through the aisles at the local Ben Franklin. His stroller really seems to induce narcolepsy. We even got a chance to say “hello” to some of our neighbors, whom we haven’t seen in several months!
On Friday morning we got a visit, bright and early, from the Early Intervention counselor with her teacher and physical therapist colleagues. They were very impressed with his progress. The therapist applauded our attention to tummy time and was impressed about how well he could lift his head and upper body, as well as his gaze. She told us that it may only be a few weeks before he’ll start to smile – a real smile! All in all, he’s right where he should be, and in some ways even ahead of where a 10 day old should be.
Finally we went to visit Dr. Smith-Burke for his weekly checkup. Get this – 12 ounces since last visit! His cheeks are filling out and his legs are getting bigger. And certainly he’s getting stronger. Most noticeably he’s getting louder. He showed us that when he got his Synagis booster.
Danielle’s going to finish off the rest of this week with her own post about Jeffrey’s first visit at home from Grandma and Grandpap Sheppard… to be continued!