Sunday, May 16, 2010

Banana, Watermelon, and Cheese Please!

So after a few months of eating solid foods there appear to be three foods in which Nate certainly shows a preference. I think if we just fed him banana, watermelon, and cheese cubes he would be very happy. Nate eats solid food very well and will eat most of the food we put in front of him. One of the foods he really likes that still surprises me a little is this mixture of lentils and pinto beans that we've made up for him

Nate is just over 10 months and he is at a stage where he wants to do things himself. So in order to get him to eat, small chunks of food he can pickup himself are best. He is no where near being able to use a spoon himself and he is starting to get to a point where he doesn't want to have someone else feed him with a spoon. We are getting to the point where we are feeding him a lot of the same things we are eating, just cut up into smaller pieces.

Nate has really been easy to feed and rarely turns down anything. He still gets a lot of nutrition from formula/breastmilk, but he is certainly eating enough that I would guess he is getting about 50% or maybe a little more of his nutrition from solid foods. Nate is such an active kid that I'm not worried that he is not eating well. Being happy and active seems to be the best signs young kids are getting appropriate nutrition. If they seem lethargic, very discontent, or aren't wetting diapers then there might be something to look into. I think we are all good here....

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nate's Travels for the Week

So last week Nate logged a lot of miles in cars. The previous weekend we did our final move from Austin to Houston. Then mid-week Nate went back with me to take care of some last odds and ends in Austin. That included final clean up and closing on the house in Austin. Then to top it all off this last weekend we went to New Orleans. Nate has been such a trooper through all of this. He is sleeping in different places, had different schedules, and all kinds of new experiences. Even though we are not making it easy on him Nate just seems so very happy. Maybe all the changes are exciting for him and if we actually stay put for a couple weeks Nate will get bored.

This last weekend we traveled to New Orleans to visit friends that live outside of New Orleans and to spend a day at Jazzfest. The wife and I enjoy going to Jazzfest. We've been able to attend many times. We had someone who very graciously was willing to watch Nate while the wife and I went to Jazzfest. We never considered taking Nate to Jazzfest. Jazzfest is actually rather family friendly to a degree, but it just amazed me at how many kids we saw at Jazzfest. Nate would have loved it for an hour or two (the point is an hour or two, not all day). He would have been smiling at everyone and just loving taking in everything new. Then we saw all these exhausted kids that wanted to sleep and were not very happy. One of my favorites was this kid that was fast asleep in his fathers tent backpack. Couldn't have been any older than 2 and they were headed into an area close to a show that was extremely crowded and loud. I say that Jazzfest is rather kid-friendly, but on a popular weekend it can get really crowded and it can take a long time to get in and out of the fairgrounds. It is also New Orleans in late-April and early May, it can get really hot and humid. Not ideal for kids that can go from having a good time to upset and fussy in a matter of seconds. On a less crowded day where you were willing to take in some of the smaller acts, stay away from the major crowds, and were willing to cut the day short it could be ok experience for a small child. This same would apply for other outdoor music festivals I've been to.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Climbing and cruising

Over the last week Nate has gone from trying to pull-up to a standing position on everything to pulling-up and then trying to climb up on things and doing some cruising. I'm thinking he would be doing more cruising if we weren't in a rather sparsely decorated apartment. Since so much of our stuff is in storage he just doesn't have as many items to grab on to.

Nate has managed to find other items rather than furniture to use for his adventures. There are two small boxes in his room. Nate has managed to climb on top of them so he can look out the window. The boxes are not tall, but this could be foreshadowing of more climbing to come. He has also gotten pretty good at cruising around a number of things around the apartment includes those boxes in his room, his wagon, and a table. He is starting to get steps down pretty well and his legs are strong enough to hold him up. Only figuring out coordination and balance are going to be what keeps Nate from walking. While we are excited to possibly see Nate take his first steps, we know that also means that much more movement and our chasing down Nate. If his crawling is any indication he'll go from steps to running in no time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Teeth

We believe Nate is getting in more teeth. Nate has been a little fussy of late, plus he seems to be drooling more, and he even has a little runny nose. Nate only has six teeth so far, but those seem to be the tell-tale signs of new teeth coming in. Right now it appears that Nate is getting his lower lateral incisors. I don't see the teeth breaking through yet, but I can see what looks like teeth right below the surface.

Currently Nate has both his lower and upper central incisors and his upper lateral incisors. So we are expecting a few more nights of iffy sleep. We'll keep the Tylenol nearby even though we rarely use it. Hopefully this shall pass quickly and he'll have another tooth or two to use to smile at people.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What will Nate get into next

Nate has shown that he is pretty good at getting into things. He has no problem opening cabinets, drawers, and unlatched doors. More baby-proofing in store for me. This weekend he proved that his skills of using his fingers are getting better. He managed to open a bottle of moisturizer. I had left him to play for a few minutes and I came back and he the bottle separated into the two parts. He had the pump section up around his mouth. I caught him before he tried to ingest any significant quantities. The bottle is relatively easy to open it just spins off. However, I hadn't expected him to figure out how to open and to already remember lefty loosey.

For the time being that bottle will no longer be within Nate's reach. I'm sure I could use some glue to keep the lid on any only have access through the pump. Actually some loctite might work really well on items like this. Just strong enough that Nate couldn't open, but if you really needed to get into it you could with a little force.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No more doorstops

Suddenly all the doorstops in our house have disappeared. For quite some time these were one of Nate's favorite toys. You would hear that boing, boing noise quite often. Now Nate has an affinity for taking these off the wall. I guess you could say he has figured out to use his fingers. The doorstops are rather easy to take off it is just a twist. However, Nate has gotten ready good at it. He can crawl over to door stop and in a couple seconds have the doorstop in his hand. So for the time being we have a stack of doorstops on a shelf until I can get around to securing the better. I've got experiment with some glue/adhesive or a shim to hold spring like doorstop in place. I also need to glue little rubber caps on so once Nate figures out how to get around this he won't be able to get rubber cap off.

Until then we just have to be very careful when opening doors and making sure we don't cause any damage. Just another example of the things I would have never thought I would have to secure. I'm sure this will continue and Nate will get into, take apart, or find things we never expected.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things have calmed down

It has been a whirlwind of late. I've been putting together this long list of topics to talk about, but for some reason nothing has seem to been written down.

So here is the full update. My wife was offered a great opportunity in Houston, TX. She had been staying at home with Nate while I was working. So we made the decision that she would accept job in Houston and I would significantly cut back my work to pretty much zero and concentrate on taking care of Nate, selling the house, and moving to Houston.

So I've become a stay-at-home dad (at least temporarily). He is a handful especially now that he has become more mobile. Besides taking care of Nate full-time, I've been back and forth with Nate between Houston and Austin taking care of cleaning up house, taking care of all the things needed to sell the house, trying to get us set up in Houston, and looking for employment for myself on top of all this. I think I've worked harder than I have in a long time. I felt exhausted after every day.

So last week we got a contract on the house in Austin and the inspection went well. Those were huge milestones in my book. I briefly met the buyers and they seemed like a really nice couple. I feel really good about them buying the house. I put a lot of sweat equity into that house and while I would sell it to anyone it feels good when the right people for the house end up buying the place. The area was great and we'll miss it. We were a little outside of Austin (almost Lakeway) and the Hill Country and lakes were right there. It really is a wonderful area. The area had changed over the years with more houses and much more retail. The schools were great. There was an exemplary elementary school in which you could watch your kid walk to school. It was a combination that will be difficult to beat.

When we initially moved to Houston we were able to stay with some of my wife's relatives. That was such a blessing. It made that transition so much easier. We have found an apartment to stay in for a few months. This gives us time to get our lives straightened out, close on the house in Austin, and not be in rush to find a house in Houston.

So being around Nate more has been wonderful. While staying home with Nate was not part of my plan it has been a wonderful opportunity. I had tried to be pretty active when I could with Nate, but mom was almost always there. When we made the switchover to her working there was no longer the safety net and there were many days in which we were in Austin and she was in Houston. I know it was a little tough on her not being around her son she had been around 24/7 for the first 7+ months.

So Nate is doing great. At his nine month check-up he was right at 20 lbs (actually 1 oz under, but close enough). He is not only crawling, but he is crawling really fast. He is getting into everything he can. I've spent a lot of time babyproofing and moving things so he can't reach them. He still finds things or gets into things I was not expecting. He is trying to pull up on everything. We've had to put stuff away as he has pulled numerous things down on himself. He has started doing a little cruising and we think walking will come soon.

Nate has been eating well. He was a puff-a-holic for a while, now he can't get enough cheerios. His mother makes sure he gets lots of fruits and veges, which he eats with no problem. We've moved to partial formula and the wife keeps threatening to completely ween Nate every time is uses his teeth.

We still have to get everything moved out of house in Austin, but I think we've settled down a little and I can get back to a more regular cadence of posting things. We'll have a lot of new things to explore as Nate grows up. Hopefully, some of my job leads will come through soon. It will be sad if I don't spend as much time with Nate. We'll have to deal with all the issues of day care, but I'm pretty sure Nate is very resilient and he'll probably do better with all the changes than his mom and I.

Friday, February 26, 2010

All alone with Nate

Recent events have been testing my skills as a parent. My wife went back to work recently and as part of that she was away from Nate and I for a while. I've taken some time off from my job to take care of Nate until we get a few details under control. So as part of the transition it was just Nate and I for almost 48 hours. My wife had never spent a night away from Nate since he was born and this week she spent two away and me with no backup. I'll give my wife (and mothers everywhere) a lot of credit. Between some of my other tasks and taking care of Nate I worked harder than I have in quite a while. It can be exhausting and I couldn't wait for nap times as I needed them as well.

So the next couple weeks should be interesting as I'll continue to be Nate's primary caregiver. I don't expect to be a long-term stay-at-home dad, but this initial experience has been interesting. I will say that in those two days time I was able to get much better anticipating what will be next. You start to see patterns in behavior.

I should be a little more regular posting going forward. More on the changes in our household coming soon.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crawling forward

So we believe Nate has figured out how to get out of reverse. He has been crawling for a little while now, but he couldn't seem to figure out how to get it in first gear and move forward. Over the last couple days he seems to have pretty much figured out how to move forward and is getting better at moving forward. There is definitely some technique that can be honed. Actually this may be good for us, as when he gets the crawling down better we'll have to chase Nate a lot more. His crawling forward actually closer resembles a bear crawl at this point. It is like he doesn't want to put his knees on the ground when going forward.

Nate is now one day shy of 7 months. It has been a great ride and the next few months should be pretty exciting as Nate continues to grow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bumbo no more

One of the items that Nate has used a lot of late has been a bumbo baby seat. He would happily sit in the bumbo and play with his toys. I use play lightly as he was really taking all of them and trying to put them in his mouth. We've been putting Nate in a bumbo since he could support holding his head up on his own. As Nate was learning to sit up on his own the bumbo was great at supporting him. It also served as a portable chair that we used for feeding him while traveling over last two months. Nate can now sit up on his own just fine. This is good as now we'll have to put the bumbo away. Nate has got out of the bumbo two days in a row. He has managed to slip out. At least he didn't somehow figure out how to fall out and hurt himself.

The bumbo was a gift from friends (Thanks Trey & Julie) and it has worked out very well and we are a little sad to have to put it away.

There are some upcoming changes to our household. Nothing bad, actually rather exciting in many ways. Let's just say we are looking at a change of scenery. I may be a little erratic on writing over next month as we deal with some of these possible changes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nate Jumping Around

Over the Christmas holidays we were given a slightly used Johnny Jump Up. It is an infant exerciser / jumper that allows babies to jump up and down. Knowing Nate's desire to be moving I figured he would like this. It would keep him upright without us having to hold on to him all the time. We got the jumper because my wife's cousins daughter who is a few months older than Nate just hates the thing. The description we got was she cried when she got near the thing. So the best thing for them was to get it out of their house.

It does go to show you that all babies are different. What one may like, another may despise. I like the Johnny Jump Up as does Nate. It easily attaches to a door frame. It is also easy to take it down. My wife may disagree with me on it being easy. I will say that getting Nate in and out of the Johnny Jump Up is not as easy as I would like. I think some of it is he gets excited and wants to kick. This makes it difficult to maneuver around the straps and get his legs through the holes especially for just one person.

Nate in his Johnny Jump Up

My final thoughts on the Johnny Jump Up. I can see some definite pros: Nate likes being able to jump up and down, it keeps Nate in one place (but still needs to be watched), and helps with balance and leg strength. However, like anything I can see where too much of anything could be negative. Also, a baby in the jumper needs to be watched as it would be possible to bump their head on the door frame.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nate likes going backward

So little Nate wants to move around. He has become pretty good as scooting backwards. So he can't really move forward, but he is cruising around backwards pretty well. He is also getting pretty good at turning around. So I believe he is figuring out that he can get places by turning around and backing up. I guess this works, but in theory you could drive in reverse everywhere. Not very effective, but at slow speeds it could be done.

Sometimes all this backing up does tend to get Nate in a little trouble. And he gets a little frustrated when he can't go backwards any more. This was this week. Nate was moving around his crib after waking up from a nap.

So no real crawling yet, but at some point we'll be chasing him around the house.

Monday, January 11, 2010

No More College Football

So Nate wouldn't qualify as a college football fan (at least not yet), but Saturday's will be different for the next few months. I am a big college football fan and with Texas losing to Alabama on Thursday night the season is now really over. Nate slept through the Championship game this week. He went to sleep before the game started and did wake up crying after the game was over - he was hungry. But just maybe he was sympathizing with his mom and all the other Longhorn fans.

This weekend Austin was seeing record cold temps so I wasn't going to partake in many outside activities. I figured I could get in a couple good English Premier League games. However, the weather there was really not cooperating. Most of the games were postponed this weekend.

So I spent Saturday watching Nate move backwards and did a few projects around the house.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nate's Newest Trick

In the last couple days Nate has been doing a push up. He is able to lift his entire body off the ground, only hands and feet touching the ground. He isn't able to go up and down so we can't punish him by making him drop and give us 20. I think it is rather funny seeing Nate looking like he is doing push ups. Somehow I'm wondering if Nate's Marine Uncle had any influence. I don't think so, but you never know.

I'm guessing this is just another step in his development. We keep thinking we are going to see Nate crawling at any moment. At time he does move (more backwards than forwards), but never can quite figure out how to get all his movements together to actually crawl.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nate has been eating

Nate has been adjusting well to solid foods. Actually I'm not sure that they are all that solid. By the time they are mashed, pureed, and mixed they are pretty soft. We been adding an additional item about every 3-4 days. So far there have been no adverse reactions at all. Generally he has liked (or at least eaten) everything we have put in front of him. The plain cereals (rice & oatmeal) are probably his least favorite. I'd have to agree they aren't that good. I've taken some little tastes and I can see why he likes then much better when they are mixed with something else.

So far Nate has experienced the following: rice, oatmeal, avocado, banana, squash, green beans, apple, and carrots. I still think avocado is one of his favorites. Some of the items to try in the near future are sweet potato, pear, mango, and peaches. We've been impressed that he seems to eat lots of the food and hasn't really rejected anything. We had read that many babies will have to try things multiple times before they will accept them. He has given some funny faces when first putting some food in his mouth. All those different tastes and textures have to be confusing when all you have previously known is milk. Nate still gets most of his nourishment from breast milk, but he is getting more and more solids every day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Nate's First Six Months

I thought I would reflect a little on the first six month's of Nate's life.

I didn't write for the first month of Nate's life. Most of the first month we were struggling with getting Nate home, dealing with the constant feedings, and the wonderful change to our lives. Nate started small, but he was a very good eater (after some initial difficulties). That first month is still quite a blur.

Breastfeeding - I'm still glad that we choose to breastfeed Nate. I never realized that mom and baby had to work so hard to get breastfeeding to go smoothly. It was a struggle at first. I can see where people may give up or move to formula at least part-time. Nate has been a very healthy and happy baby. I believe that breastfeeding helped on the health and growth side. It also meant that Nate and mom got to spend a lot of quality time close together. While we have started Nate on some solid foods, at six months Nate is still getting the majority of his nutrition through breast milk. Another great benefit to breastfeeding, his poop has very low odor which makes changing diapers much more pleasant.

Diapers - Wow, a baby goes through a lot of diapers. I went from basically never changed a diaper to where I can almost change a diaper in my sleep. We decided to use cloth diapers and while they can be a hassle I still believe it is a good decision. Also never realized how much poop can come out of such a small kid. As Nate has started to eat solid foods his poop has started to change. I'm afraid the days of very low odor poop are almost over. Poop has started to change as solid foods have been introduced. It is interesting to see how different foods go through Nate. For example, I never realized out fibrous bananas are.

Hiccups - Interesting how much Nate hiccups. His hiccups have decreased over time, but he still has them quite often. For the first couple months the hiccups didn't seem to bother Nate at all, but now the hiccups seem to be a little annoying.

Sleep - This is still one of the areas that we struggle. Nate sleeps reasonably well, but he still wakes up at night more than we would like. This means that we are still not getting the sleep we would like. The regular sleep deprivation is something we are looking forward to getting over at some point. While Nate has proven he can sleep over 8 hours at a time, that is more the exception not the rule. And even when he does sleep long periods it is on his schedule (not necessarily ours).

Teething - At six months, Nate has one tooth and another will come through any day now. Nate has cried a lot when as these teeth have come in over the last month. He also produced amazing amounts of drool. We believe that teething may be behind some of the recent sleep issues and certainly makes Nate fussy at times.

Gas - We were lucky that Nate did not have colic, but he did have a lot of gas. He now handles the gas with no problem, but there was time where he didn't sleep well and was rather uncomfortable because of gas. We spent a lot of time in first couple months trying to figure out how to prevent and relieve gas pains. In the end, time seemed to be the best cure.

Food - We started Nate on some solid foods at about five months. We've fed him rice, oatmeal, banana, avocado, squash, and apples so far. Nate eats pretty well and hasn't turned down any type of food, but the plain rice and oatmeal are certainly not his favorites. Of late, Nate seems to be spitting up less, but we still have cloths/rags scattered everywhere around the house to always be prepared for when Nate spits up next. I will say that the wood floors in the house have been great as it makes cleaning up really easy.

After six months Nate has gone from rather small (6lb 2oz, 19") to a healthy, growing (17lb 15oz, 26"), and smiling baby.

Nate at Birth
Nate at Six Months

Nate has been a blessing. We never expected Nate to be easy and his first six months have certainly had its ups and downs. The positives certainly outweigh the negatives. His smile and laugh make the difficult times melt away. Seeing those firsts (smile, laugh, turn over, sit up, etc) have all been exciting. Then there are the firsts to come (crawling, words, walking, etc) that we are looking forward to experiencing. The next six months should be exciting.