December 31, 2010

Life of Wilder: Week Five

2010 has been the best year yet for us. Thanks to all our family and friends who have celebrated with us, showered us with love, advised and encouraged us on this amazing journey. We wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that next year at this time we can all say that 2011 has been the best year yet. We love you all!

I had to post both of these -- the first one is Wilder's "official" 5 Week picture but the second one is just too cute and shows how active he's gotten. He's such a wiggle worm and loves to kick his legs and wave his arms around. He's started to reach out for things he thinks are interesting, like the toys hanging from his bouncer, his reflection in the mirror, and Paul's beard. He's also beginning to smile more in response to us and trying to laugh.

Christmas was so fun and relaxing. We set Wilder in his bouncer in front of the tree while I opened his presents for him and then we just hung out the rest of the day. We missed our families but sometimes it's nice to escape the hectic pace of the holidays and just do your own thing (even though we've done that for three years in a row now, oops!). We PROMISE to be home for Christmas next year! The other thing we missed besides our families were the smorgasbords of great food our grandmothers always make. I totally failed on the food front this year. I did manage to make a bundt cake but, I'm embarrassed to say, we had egg salad sandwiches and Christmas stocking candy for lunch. But hey, give me a break, it's a little hard and not at all safe to cook a turkey while holding a baby ;)

I wanted to show off the cute stockings I ordered for us on Etsy. For the past few years Paul and I have been using some cheap-o ones that I made the first year we were married (picture our names spelled out in glitter... yeah), but I figured it was time to get some nice ones.

We were excited to get more visitors this week. Wilder's "Daddy G" (Paul's dad), his Aunt Audra (Paul's younger sister), Uncle Michael (Audra's husband), and Auntie Lizanne (Paul's youngest sister) came from Tennessee and North Carolina to meet him. It was so fun to see them love on him and pass him around. They were a huge help while they were here too -- grocery shopping, cleaning, and helping us get our yard looking nice again. When we left the dogs here to go to the hospital they pretty much destroyed it and then we had six days of nonstop rain last week so it had turned into a veritable mud pit. Paul, his dad, and Michael spent one whole afternoon reseeding it and building us a little patio area for our table and chairs and chiminea. It's so much more functional now and I can't wait for the spring when we can get Wilder out there. 

(That's burlap to hold the seed in place)

We also took Wilder on a few outings -- to dinner twice and to Target and Ikea. Paul or I wore him in the baby carrier the whole time, even through dinner, because he hasn't had his shots yet and we didn't want sniffly-nosed strangers getting all up in his face. That may seem extreme, especially after you see the picture below (how did I eat like that??), but there's a whooping cough epidemic going on in California right now and it can be fatal to infants -- scary! Anyway, it was helpful to get some practice taking him places and he did really well on all the outings so it's nice to know he can be toted around without making a big deal of it. 

Here are some pictures from the week:

Eating at Studio Diner, a 1940's style diner set on the lot 
of a working movie/TV studio -- one of our favorite eateries here

Focused on the toys on his bouncer

Meeting Daddy G and his aunts for the first time

Getting a bath from Auntie Liz and Aunt Audra

Audra held him for me while I ran some errands one day

Hanging out with Daddy G

Saying goodbye :(

Napping in his crib like a big boy

The biggest development this week has been our desperate decision to put Wilder on a very strict schedule. For the last month we've had so many visitors that it's been hard to get in a routine. We would do mostly the same things every day but not at the same times or in the same order and it was exhausting us. We started a bedtime routine a couple of weeks ago and that has been really helpful in putting him to bed at night, but he wasn't taking regular naps during the day, just sleeping whenever and wherever he got sleepy. He would also wake up when the sun came up and not want to go back to sleep. Some would say that's just what babies do, but I beg to differ. 

For my birthday my mom gave me a book called "My First 300 Babies" that she used with my brother. This book, written in 1964, definitely goes against the current trends of demand feeding and attachment parenting, but it gets rave reviews from every parent who has used this technique. We've been using the schedule below for two days now and we are already getting a lot more sleep and Wilder seems to be happier. I feel like giving him a schedule he can count on will make him a much more content and secure baby. 

When I first read the book it seemed so rigid, and some of the advice definitely is, but the idea of a set schedule is right on point with what we need right now, especially since the method has the baby sleeping through the night by 8 weeks (wouldn't that be awesome!). The book says that babies crave regularity and, even though I loathe it, here we go with our "300 Babies" Experiment. We're all turning over a new leaf in 2011.

Here's our schedule for now. We're working to eliminate the 2:00 am feeding and soon will be trying to cut out the 10:00 pm feeding as well:
6:00 AM    Nurse, back to sleep
9:00 AM    Nurse, wake time (at least 20 minutes of play time alone) -- The book says this alone play time "allows your baby to learn to draw on his own resources for self-entertainment and happiness. He begins to explore the world on his own terms and solve problems his own way, rather than always having it done for him."
10:30 AM   Short nap, if awake and fussy
11:15 AM   Playtime
12:00 PM    Nurse, naptime
3:00 PM     Wake, nurse, wake time (at least 20 minutes alone)
5:00 PM      Short nap, if awake and fussy
5:45 PM      Playtime 
6:00 PM      Nurse, put to bed
9:00 PM      Wake, playtime, bath, nurse
10:00 PM    Bedtime
2:00 AM      Nurse (if baby wakes up), back to bed

Anyway, we'll see how it goes, wish us luck! Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve tonight and a great weekend!

December 24, 2010

Life of Wilder: Week Four

My sweet baby is four weeks old today! I can't believe it's already been a month since Wilder came into our lives. He is so amazing and we fall more and more in love with him every day. In the last month it's like he's woken up to the world and we are having so much fun with him. We are so looking forward to having our first Christmas with him tomorrow. 

It's been a pretty low-key week overall because, until yesterday, it has rained nonstop since last Friday so we haven't been able to get out of the house with him at all. We've been having fun anyway though. This week he has been staring at us so much and he grins so big when we make funny faces at him. It's so rewarding to have him respond to us. Here's the best picture I could get of his cute little smile (the flash always makes him squint). 

He's also been loving on the dogs this week. He loves to touch Posey because she's so soft. She's not so sure about being a pillow, but she'll tolerate it.

One of the best things that happened this week was that Wilder got to meet his Lovie (Paul's mom). She just ooh'd and ahh'd over him and helped us so much! She cooked and cleaned and went to the grocery for us and held him in the mornings so we could sleep in. She totally spoiled us :)

She also watched him one night for us so we could go out to dinner. 

Wilder has been loving having his daddy home this week. Since Paul was working so hard to finish up the quarter for the first three weeks of his life, Wilder was a lot more used to being around me and it made Paul sad. But they have been getting in a lot of bonding time this week and they are both loving it.

Bathtime is one of his favorite times of day. It makes him such a happy boy and he loves splashing in the water. Look how chubby he is!

We are looking forward to Christmas tomorrow and to seeing Wilder's Daddy G (Paul's dad), his Aunt Lizanne, Aunt Audra, and Uncle Michael the next day! Wilder's so lucky to have so much family that loves him and who will travel all the way across the country to see him!

December 17, 2010

Life of Wilder: Week Three

What a little chunky monkey! Wilder seems to get bigger and change a little bit every day. I can't believe the difference between this photo and his 1 Week photo! He is so much more alert these days too. He loves looking at Paul and me and will smile at us if we make funny noises/faces at him, so of course we do this as often as possible. Good thing he has no other parents to compare us to or he would wonder what kind of crazy family he was born into. You should have seen the ridiculousness that went on trying to get him to look at the camera for this picture :) He is obsessed with the dots on his crib bedding so it's been impossible to get him to look at me for the past two pictures, but I had Paul here to help with this one so it turned out pretty successful....

Unlike the following photos. I tried to get creative one day last week and take some professional-looking baby "portraits." Now, I consider myself to be a fairly good photographer. I mean, I almost went to art school on a photography scholarship before deciding to go to MS State with Paul. But babies are apparently a little bit more difficult impossible to photograph than trees and flowers. I will never let Wilder live down these photos because of the trauma he put me through trying to capture his angelic little self and then discovering that this is what I had come up with. I'm morbidly embarrassed of them because they are seriously hideous but they are just too hilarious not to share. I'm counting on the fact that we all know he's way cuter than this, so, behold, my "Uncooperative Baby" series:

 "Perfect Time to Spit Up"
 "Up Close and Personal with the Chair Cushion"
"Total Apathy"

I have nothing but respect for photographers, such as Bill Dabney Photography and Grace Images, who can capture great baby/kid photos and I have nothing but pity for the photographer I'm eventually going to have to hire to capture my unruly "Wild Man." 

So anyway, let's see, what has been going on this week? Well, the biggest new development occurred the night of my last post. We were so tired (no pun intended) of not getting any sleep so we decided to try my mom's suggestion of putting Wilder in his crib to sleep at night. He was fine for the first, oh, five minutes but once he realized that we weren't coming back he started screaming his head off. After about 15 minutes we decided that if he was going to cry himself to sleep it probably wasn't going to be within an acceptable time period or before the neighbors called the police on us, but we weren't giving up that easily, so we went back in, swaddled him up nice and snugly, and laid him back down in the crib. Again, he soon began his screaming routine (how is it possible for babies to make so much noise??) but, again, we weren't about to give up (sleep is a very important part of our lives) so we went back in, stuck a pacifier in his mouth, crossed our fingers, and... bingo! That was the magic combination: swaddle + pacifier + oh yeah, and ocean sounds = happily sleeping baby in crib. Hooray! He's been sleeping in there for a week now and we will never look back. 

This has been a really hard week because Paul has been virtually MIA trying to finish up the quarter. We calculated it today and, over the past two weeks, he has spent over 200 hours on projects for school. He finished yesterday though and we are SO ridiculously happy to have him all to ourselves for the next three weeks! He has missed Wilder so much and I've missed him being here to help. Out of necessity, I've kind of started to figure out this whole "mother" thing this week though. We're working on getting in a routine and on a schedule and I'm beginning to figure out which cries mean what, how to entertain a 3-week-old, etc. I've discovered that Wilder gets fussy in the late afternoon between about 4:00 and 6:00 and truly the only way to comfort him is to spend the entire time either outside or walking around the house with him strapped to me in the Mobi wrap or the baby backpack. Incidentally, his fussy time today just happens to coincide with me trying to write this post so I'm now standing at the kitchen counter typing with him strapped to my front and every few minutes I have to do a little dance or walk in place to get him back to sleep causing this post to take a retardedly long time to write. I think that pretty much sums up what this "mother" thing is all about.

In other news, Wilder's "Lovie" (Paul's mom) gets here tomorrow and I know she is just going to eat him up! We can't wait to see her :) 

Anyway, here are some pictures from this week that, I think, more accurately portray my sweet Wilder's cuteness:

Go! State! Go State!

Wore his doggie hoodie for another trip to the dog park

At the dog park with Dad

Napping in Mom and Dad's bed, glad to be free of that swaddling blanket

Enjoying the nice weather outside

 Rider + Wilder = Love 
(truthfully I think it's more like Rider + Pacifier = Obsessed)

Good Lord, it looks like all he does is sleep! I promise he's awake sometimes. I'll try to get more eyes-open pictures for next week.

Ok, everyone have a great weekend!

December 10, 2010

Life of Wilder: Week Two

Week Two has been kind of a rough week for Wilder (and us). On Tuesday we had a doctor's appointment where he got circumcised. That understandably put him in a little bit of a funk for the rest of the week. Also at the doctor we discovered that he had developed thrush so she gave us a prescription for a liquid that I have to "paint" his tongue with and squirt in each cheek four times a day for two weeks. The liquid is sticky and obviously doesn't taste great and he is so content and sweet after eating that I hate putting that nasty stuff in his mouth afterwards. It is definitely working though so I can't complain too much. 

One good thing about the doctor's appointment was that he got weighed and had gained 10 ounces in a week. Our little piglet weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. on Tuesday and the doctor was very impressed with this :) 

He's still sleeping between us, which would be fine if he would sleep! This week he's decided that he doesn't like to lay down after eating... he wants to be sitting up, preferably with one of us also sitting up. So, I'll sit up in bed and rock him to sleep but then as soon as I go to lay him down he starts scrunching his face up and kicking his legs and works himself up to a full-blown cry. I don't get it -- he's not hungry, he's not wet, I give him Mylicon drops for gas, but it still takes me an hour or two after feeding him to get him back to sleep and by that time it's almost time to feed him again! Hopefully we can get this worked out soon. I'm open to suggestions!

My mom left early Thursday morning and man, do we miss her! She totally saved us while she was here -- cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, holding the baby some during the night so we could get a few hours of sleep. She was amazing and I seriously don't know what we would have done without her! 

Here are some of the new things we've been doing this week:

Staring at the Christmas tree lights

Loving the bouncer seat -- It vibrates and he will sit in it for an hour or more. This is great because it lets me get some work done!

Running errands with Mama and Grana -- Wilder and I just sat in the car while she ran in the stores, but he loved being in the car.

Loving on Daddy -- He is mesmerized by Paul's face and loves when he sings silly made-up songs to him.

Staring at the dogs -- He has finally discovered the two giant hairy family members who have been lurking around him for the past couple of weeks and loves to stare at them.

Going to the dog park for the first time, even though he didn't know it.

Discovering patterns -- He loves any contrasting patterns like the one on these pillows, the blinds on the windows, the beadboard on the walls of the nursery, stripes on a shirt, the dots on his comforter, etc. He will stare at them and make little cooing sounds at them. It's so cute :)

Let's see, what else? This week we've discovered that the sound of a loud vacuum cleaner really does soothe a baby. We've also been playing Mozart, which soothes him, and lullaby versions of Johnny Cash songs, which he loves (Thank you, Aunt Jinny!). He's also discovered a love for the pacifier. 

Now, here are some more pictures from Wilder's second week:

Well, I guess that's all for Wilder's 2-week update. Hope you all have a good weekend!