Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baby's First Christmases

Colin's Christmas experience started at my Mom's. This was in the middle of doing his stocking, he decided his socks were more fun.
Showing off his two teeth.

Lukas with the Puffs from his stocking. Apparently food is better than toys.

Colin and Lukas were very cute together. It was almost as if the didn't believe each other was 'real' Lukas kept trying to touch Colin's eyes. I think Lukas was attempting to hug Colin in this picture.

Colin's First Christmas at our house. Colin and I opening his gifts (this was from Sean's friend Jenny)
Colin opening gifts with his Dad.
He would rather eat the gifts than open them.
Colin's First Christmas with the Berry's

Here is my attempt at wrapping gifts with fabric. I has hoped to seam the sides but only got one done. When I got home and realized all my wrapping paper was still at my mom's I figured I might as well use the fabric I purchased even if it had ruff edges. We wrapped all of our own gifts then wrapped all the Berry's gifts in it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas...

Here are some of the photos I took in preparation for our Christmas Card photo. I set up the old "photo studio" in the bedroom (aka a white sheet and some lamps with the shades off) and just clicked away until I got a worthy picture. This took three different attempts with varying success. Enjoy!

And the winner is (was):

Our little guy is such a joyous baby.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It is snowing in NYC

Colin is on a napping strike today, I blame the snow (or the sounds of snow removal anyway) He loved looking out his window this morning..(note the lovely NYC window guards, they are necessary when you are six stories up)

I heart my new camera. Now I need some good photo editing software (and some 'know how'.) Where is Alex when you need her? Oh right she moved to Austin, drat!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Colin is 5 months old!

We aren't going to the doctors every month anymore so I can't give you his height and weight at this time. This photo is from yesterday when I took Colin outside to experience his first snowfall! When I looked outside the snowflakes were the size of cotton balls and I thought they would look great in photos, but of course by the time we actually got him all dressed and outside the snow had changed into a smaller wetter flake. Bummer. He seemed to really enjoy it. So what is Colin doing at 5 months old?
  • Baby Signing Time, he loves it!!
  • His feet, he just found his feet this week and he can't get enough.
  • Sitting up, he started sitting up by himself in October and now he is really able to hold himself steady...but I still wouldn't sit him up and walk away.
  • Eating. Man does this boy like to eat his solid foods. He hasn't refused to eat anything yet, we have tried, rice cereal, bananas, pears, apples and avocado. He has been having some tummy troubles lately so we are going to slow down on introduction of new foods and let him really get used to these.
  • Books, he really seems to enjoy being read too, especially when his daddy makes all the funny voices.
  • Speaking of Daddy! The boy lights up like a firecracker when daddy comes home. It is really adorable


  • Tummy time. We are forcing the issue a little bit to get him more interested in rolling over, but he really doesn't like being left on his tummy.
  • 4am. If he is going to scream its at 4am.
  • Teething. While he did much better with the second tooth than the first, it certainly wasn't painless.


  • Still not putting more than 4 hours together but recently Colin has decided that 4am is the morning and will stay awake for two hours. Once he goes back to sleep he ends up sleeping until 10am with a meal in there somewhere. but this is not ideal. We think it might be caused by the solids giving his tummy some trouble and making him gassy so we have moved dinner time up a few hours to see if that helps him finish digesting before he goes to sleep.

Favorite Things AT CHRISTMAS

One of my favorite things at Christmas is receiving Christmas Cards! ESPECIALLY photo cards!! Even if I don't know the people (which happens frequently when I look at the cards my parents get) I love seeing what people do with their photos. Even if its not a photo card I still love getting them. Seeing what type of card people picked out and what the message is, I know I totally read into it but I love it. I really toil over picking out my own Christmas cards, what I want them to say, how I want them to look, and every year I have different feelings about the message I want to send.
Oddly, this year we have gotten fewer cards than ever! Is it the economy? Are cards just not in the budget this year? I normally have 20 some cards by this time and this year I have 8 (9 if you count that Sean's Mom sent us two, one for us and one for Colin.) It's an even bigger bummer because I use the to decorate and our apartment feels less festive without them. Has anyone else noticed a slimming in their Christmas cards this year? If you normally send cards but didn't this year, why didn't you?
So far my favorite card is Erin's, (seen at the far end of the photo) but it would be hard to compete with a photo of her twins!
In related news, we had a new first card this year! Usually the first card is from Sean's friend Jenny (the most organised person I know! Seriously, you should see this girl pack for moving, everything was catalogued better than the Dewey decimal system!), but I guess it took longer to get here from Florida because this year we got Crystal's (another friend of Sean's) first (which only had to travel from Massachusetts). Crystal is also very organized but I wasn't around to see her pack. ;-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What to do, What to do!?

Yesterday I stopped at target to pick up a few things and while I was crusing the baby isles I saw another mom with a cart full of baby products, nearly all of which contained BPA. I wanted to stop right there and have a little chat with her but I didn't. NY-ers just don't talk to people in stores and I would probably come across as a freak or a zealot. But now I feel guilty, I should have said something, even if just to bring it up so she can look it up for herself. I know BPA isn't the worst thing in the world, but I feel strongly that we should limit our exposure as much as possible.

(If you subscribe to the daily green the following is not new info. I figure most of my readers do not subscribe so I am unashamedly reprinting some of the relevant info. Its like the generic brand version of their article.)

There is an article out today that says the FDA will continue to study BPA but has no plans to change their official position. However, there is hope that the new administration will move quickly to ban the chemical. (I <3 Obama)

Tips from the Journal Sentinel

  1. Do not microwave food or beverages in plastic.
  2. Do not microwave or heat plastic cling wraps.
  3. Do not place plastics in the dishwasher.
  4. If using hard polycarbonate plastics (water bottles, baby bottles or sippy cups), do not use for warm or hot liquids.
  5. Use safe alternatives such as glass.
  6. Avoid canned foods when possible (BPA may be used in can linings).
  7. Look for labels on products that say "BPA-free."

To this list I will add:

8. Do not place steaming hot food in your plastic food processor, use a glass blender if possible or wait until the food has cooled off. (The blender worked just fine for the apples I made yesterday)

So what do you think? Should I have said something to the other mom? Would you want some random stranger approaching you in the store to tell you the products you are buying could be dangerous to your child?

(Yes I took the photo, but I totally plagiarized the idea from an istock photo by Gary Martin that I saw on the daily green article that provided this info. I guess its not plagiarism anymore because I gave him credit)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just Pictures.

I'm telling you I think I have the happiest baby on the planet! Look at that smile! Here he is wearing his Uncle Bob inspired Holiday Pants!

Star Light Star Bright! Colin is particularly impressed with our holiday star decorations.

Here is Colin's face after his first exposure to avocado. He gagged a bit so I mixed it with pears and that went down a little easier, I can't blame him, I didn't like it much either! Baby food making is still going really well. Although I just found out my food processor has BPA in it! ARG! I guess I'll try using the blender and see how that goes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

I was thinking about this as I put up the tree last night, if someone asked me if real or fake trees where more eco-friendly I would have definitely said fake. They are re-usable and you don't cut down trees! NOT SO! Check out this website. Now the source maybe a little biased but still, I never even considered a fake tree could be toxic. (I'll bet money that by next year there will be many more options for PVC free trees) In our house (I use the term house loosely!) we have a table top fake tree. Sean bought it years ago when he lived in his bachelor pad and we just keep using it. We had a real tree one year but I hated dealing with the needles (I was still finding them in August!! Now that I think about it that could be more of an indication of my poor cleaning skills) and trying to dispose of the tree is always challenging in the city (the rules about this are so complected). We haven't ever bought a full size fake tree because we have no where to store it so its a mini-tree for us. I just hope its fully off-gassed by now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My handsome baby.

Here are a few cute pictures to share from Colin's baptism on Sunday. He just looked so adorable in his little tux. My sister had the idea, and my grandmother had the skill to turn the dress my sister wore as a bridesmaid in my wedding into a little vest for Colin to wear. Precious! Thanks to everyone for coming and for all the help setting up and cleaning up afterwards. Colin was a total gem the entire time, which was only emphasized by the fact that the second child being baptized on that day was completely miserable and cried the whole time. The priest (who tends to be a bit of a loose canon) even called him the child from the movie The Omen, which I haven't seen but is apparently about a boy who is possessed!

Here is Colin before the ceremony:

The Baptism:

Check out the look on the priests face, he is calling up the second child now.
Zoomed in:
Colin with his Godparents, my sister and Sean's brother:
Our Family, Colin is looking at the waterfall.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Giggles

Here is another quick video of Colin laughing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The bottom of the box

This is something that always tickles me. You get a package in the mail, be it from a friend, loved one, or a big box store and the there is about 8 lbs of tape sealing the top of the box closed. As if the contents of this package will jump out if not sealed properly. You spend 20 mins with a combination of knifes and scissors to get into your precious package. But THEN you go to break down the box for recycling of storage and there is one single line of tape sealing the bottom of the box. The bottom of the box is where all the weight is, yet it is the top of the box that gets taped up with wild abandon! Next time you get a package.. think of this and open the box from the bottom, it's easier!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sleep Update!

I am almost afraid to jinx this by discussing it, but for the last two nights Colin has only woken up twice! While this probably still seems like a lot, he had been waking up every 2 hours for about a month so I had just resigned myself to it. Last night he went to bed at 8:45 (a bit early for him) and woke up the first time at 2am then again at 5am before waking up for the day at about 7:30am. I should also note that he went that whole time without a diaper change too (although not intentionally) and the g's held strong! What did I do differently you might be wondering... one thing, but I think it is probably just a coincidence. I 'wore' one of his receiving blankets around all day and then put this blanket in his crib with him when I put him to sleep. The idea was that my smell might reassure him that he is in a safe place. I have no idea if it is even biologically possible for enough of my 'scent' to transfer and for him to detect it but hey, I was ready to try anything. Around the same time he hit his 4 month birthday we gave up on having him sleep in our room so I thought he might be scared waking up in a new place. I was hoping to wait until he was sleeping through the night before moving himbut that wasn't happening anytime soon and we worried he might not be getting enough support on that flimsy mattress full time.

Do I think solid food has helped? He has been eating solids for about two weeks now so I'm not sure. It could all just be coincidental but he has also become less hungry during the day. He can now easily go three hours between feedings instead of only two. A typical four month old should be able to do this, so maybe the extra calories are helping, or maybe it was just time.

Speaking of solids...Tonight we gave him pears for the first time that I prepared myself!! (It was so easy! more on that later) After a slight questioning look on the first bite he gobbled them right up! So far the boy will eat whatever you give him! He certainly doesn't get that from ME! Although we'll see what happens when I give him peas or string beans, that will be the real test.

Here is a picture so my sister doesn't tell me I'm lame. Not that she can talk...one post in, what 4 months! Ha that is lame! just kidding, i love you, don't beat me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A happy thanksgiving was had by all...

I thought I should post a few cute pictures from Colin's first Thanksgiving. He didn't nap very well that day with all the people around, but did pretty well considering. Here is a picture of him with his Aunt Lauren from early in the day.

Sean's dad and fam purchased a cute thanksgiving outfit for him that we dressed him in shortly before dinner in the hopes that he wouldn't pee, poop or spit up all over it before people saw him. Here he is in the outfit with Sean's mom.

Colin did very well throughout the day, I was a little worried because he is just starting to show some stranger anxiety but he did really well being passed around to all the family. There was just a small bout of "altitude sickness" while Uncle Denis was holding him. =) Colin did have a minor melt down while I was giving him his first taste of bananas. Things were going really well until the Thankgiving meal ended in the dining room and the kitchen got flooded with people. I think he just got a little stage fright. Just as I calmed him down and brought him back out, Sean's brother called from Miami and the entire room erupted with a "HAPPY THANKSGIVING CHRIS" and it was back to the back of the house for Colin and I until I could calm him down again.. It is actually really funny looking back and remembering the face Colin made. I have to get a picture of him with his little lip out, it is pretty cute.

Finally, Colin is now giving hugs!!! (and kisses, although I'm not convinced he understands the word yet) I kid you not, if he is in a good mood and you are holding him and you ask him for a hug, this is what he does:

I didn't really believe it at first, but I swear he does it on command and he squeezes! Here he is hugging Cousin Jesse. A few weeks ago he would hug spontaneously and I just kept saying "thank you for the hugs" or "what a good hug" or "hug hug hug hug hug" and now if you ask for one he does it! I wasn't sure he would do it for other people but he did! I'm going to try to get this on video this weekend, it is precious, you can't see his face but he just beams with excitement while he does it.

As for kisses, I'm not sure he understands the word or if he is just trying to chew on someones face, but if you get him close enough and say "kisses" he'll open his mouth and give you a big wet one! No pictures of that yet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Study on Autism and Vaccines!

A co-worker of Sean's relayed a conversation she had with her pediatrician about a study that came out in 2005 linking acetaminophen use (Tylenol) after vaccines to autism. I looked it up and so far can't find a 2005 study (well I can find this study called AVIS from 2006 but I can't find the results), but I did find a paper that came out in May of this year that shows this link with the MMR vaccine in particular. They surveyed parents and found that for children who became autistic only after vaccinations (i.e they showed no sign prior,) they were much more likely to have been given Tylenol after (or just before) their MMR vaccine. This is a correlation study so it isn't a causal link, but heck, it will certainly make me think twice about using Tylenol to relieve vaccine pain!! There was no link when ibuprofen was used. The study was published in the May 2008 issue of Autism;12(3):293-307( if you want to check it out). If I find the other study I'll keep you posted..
Scary stuff!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Spoke too soon! Teething IS bothering him.

Woa nelly! I have one unhappy baby on my hands! Poor guy is clearly in some pain from his little tooth. It is just barely visible now and Colin is not happy about it. Sean and I have been practically standing on our heads to keep him distracted. Chewing on teething toys seems to irritate him more than relieve him, although if they are frozen they seem to help a little.. (but they obviously don't stay frozen long! Even his pacifier seems to irritate him, he will take it for a second and then spit it out making the most adorably pathetic face. Tylenol seems to take the edge off but it wears off long before the 4 hour indication, and I hesitate to just keep him on it continuously. Sleeping is even worse than before... HA I used to complain when he was up every 90 mins! Last night he was up probably 15 times between 10pm. and 1am he wasn't too hard to get back to sleep but sheesh I'm wiped OUT! I took the bullet last night because Sean is taking his thesis proposal exam today and I wanted him to be well rested. This was one thing I didn't want Colin to do early!!
In other news cereal is going very very well.. I had to mix a second helping last night, he just couldn't get enough. So far he is a good eater!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Playdate and Teeth..or tooth I guess.

Colin had a play date last Thursday with his best buds, Sam and Ben. Sam and Ben are twins who are 4 months older than Colin. You might remember the picture of Erin and I pregnant at her baby shower.. Well here are the products of those pregnancies:

Hopefully you recognize Colin in the middle. Sam is to his right and Ben to his left. I know what your thinking but Colin only looks bigger because he is more propped up on the pillow (he and Ben are about the same size, Sam is bigger, at least in weight). Colin is a chart topper for 4 months and the O boys were 8 weeks early so they are still on the small side, they would probably all be considered average 6 months old size. Sam and Ben are very clearly months ahead of Colin (as they should be) in terms of motor skills and cognition. As you can see from one of the 'outtakes' where Colin is still just chillin' (read: stuck) and the O boys have wandered (alright rolled) off.

After we got home, Sean was letting Colin chew on his finger and when he said "Ouch" I just thought he was playing around but he wasn't! Colin is cutting his first tooth. Watch out Sam and Ben, next play date Colin will be biting back! It is his lower left front tooth. Nothing to see yet but you can definitely feel it. He doesn't seem too troubled by it at the moment, we'll see how it goes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eating "solids"!

While I would hardly call the consistency of the baby cereal we gave Colin 'solid' he has technically started solid food! At our doctors appointment on Wednesday we got the go ahead to try baby cereal. I have to say I think he would have been ready a month ago..there was virtually no tongue thrust reflex that infants are supposed to have. He practically slurped the cereal off the spoon. We didn't get any cute cereal all over the face pictures because he kept inadvertently wiping his face while trying to chew on his bib! This picture was one of the last few spoonfuls, see no mess... So far, no improvements in sleeping but I didn't really expect it to be a magic bullet.. Besides it is so thin at this stage there isn't much 'extra' food there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sleepy Baby

On our last morning in Washington DC, Colin feel back asleep (to sleep?) after his morning feeding.. I left him to snuggle with his daddy while I did other things.. I went back to wake him up at 9:30 knowing he would sleep during the entire car ride. He was so cute I had to take a video.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Colin is 4 Months Old!!

That was a fast month and boy is Colin excited to be 4 months old!

Weight: 17lbs 8oz -95%

Height: 26inch -89%
Head Circ: 42.5cm -60% (he still has a little head!!)

Sleep: No different. We are lucky to get 4 hours straight, although we are transitioning him to his own room now. I had thought I would move him once he was only waking up once per night, but that isn't happening... maybe the Pack and Play is uncomfortable now that he is heavier and that is waking him up? (wishful thinking I know!)

Likes: Grabbing toys, lights of any kind, practicing sitting up unassisted (he can do it for 10 secs or so), standing (assisted), watching TV (we just started allowing him to watch Baby Signing Time), his car seat (good thing since we travel a lot) and eating out (although this goes back to the lights thing)

Dislikes: not much he is a pretty happy kid, wind in his face and vaccines I guess are the only things that come to mind.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Colin talking to the camera

Colin likes to talk to us while he is on his changing table.. I don't know why but as soon as you put him on it he starts talking... The camera distracts him at the beginging and then a truck goes by catching his attention at the end, but in the middle he is just cute as a button.

Baby Food

To pick up where I left off, we will probably be starting Colin on solid foods at 4 months, which is coming up pretty quickly. For two reasons: 1) He rarely goes more than 2 hours between feedings during the day so I worry he isn't getting full (although from the size of him you wouldn't think this is the case! A waitress the other night thought he was 6 months old) and 2) he has really started investigating our food in the last week, he seems very interested in the whole eating process and this is a sign of food readiness. So what will we feed him. Dr. Sears suggests that bananas be a breastfeed babies first food because the sweetness of breast milk my make him reject bland cereals. I'm not sure I'm that much of a trend setter and there are no directions on the banana peel as to how much liquid to add or how soupy to make it. So I figure I'll try my luck with a more traditional rice cereal so I've been researching some options. Turns out, most nutrition minded people recommend starting with a brown rice cereal instead of a white rice cereal because white rice has little nutritional value. I think I have found the perfect fit for us (assuming Colin likes it). HAPPYBELLIES Organic Brown Rice Cereal with DHA and Probiotics. What the heck are probiotics you say?? Good bacteria especially formulated to help strengthen your baby’s digestive system!! Probiotics are actually a HUGE area of research right now (as seen by all the new yogurts that are coming out) and baby's have an even stronger need for them because of their developing systems. One study showed that probiotic supplements helped calm gassy babies more than any other type of gas drop! DUH right? If they are having trouble with digestion, give them some little 'bugs' to help them out!! Makes total sense. To top it all off Dr. Robert Sears even helped with the development of this cereal, which I didn't know until I read it on the label after I ordered it!!

The Happybaby company also makes organic freshly frozen baby food, which is better than jarred food because it doesn't need any of the preservatives and it is made from organic fruits and veggies. It is really the next best thing to making it yourself (which is still a possibility). I have no idea if this will be prohibitively expensive yet, but the cereal isn't that bad so I'm optimistic. It is available locally but not at a store I currently shop at so I have to check it out. (As if shopping at four different stores for groceries isn't bad enough already, I'm going to add another!)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My husband is my hero!

After taking a break from poster prep to go grocery shopping, I came back to find my laptop had shut itself down. I was mostly just annoyed because I would have to find and re-open the 5-10 files I needed to work on my poster. Annoyance quickly turned to panic when I realized I had apparently never saved the current versions of those files. I learned the hard way excel does not auto-recover by default. Sean pulled a rabbit out of a hat and found cryptic auto-saved temp files and was able to recover everything. I thought I had lost 6+ hours of work. My husband is seriously my hero.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Crazy week and Attachement Parenting..

The last few weeks have had me under a lot more stress than usual so my time to blog has decreased a bit. I have a conference coming up next week and have been preparing a poster for presentation. This is my first big school project since having Colin and while the begining of the week was very hairy (with stress magnified by not sleeping more than 90 mins at a stretch thanks to the little guy) the second half of the week went much more smoothly and I have just sent a nearly-final draft to my advisor for his opinion. I don't expect any HUGE content changes so hopefully I can finish things up this weekend just in time for the printer to get it done before the conference.

At the moment I'm stuck under a sleeping infant who woke up when my phone rang (cruses!) and doesn't want to be put back down to sleep (although he will happily sleep on me). I'm starting to fear that I have a spoiled sleeper, who refuses to sleep more than 30 mins in his crib during the day and who still wakes up 3x a night regardless of my best efforts to induce sleep. I'm stuck in a weird place that an 'attachment parenting' style would argue creates a more secure individual, but I'm just not sure. I never considered myself an attachment style parent, yet here I am sitting on the couch with my baby fast asleep across my lap and not in his crib (he does nap well in the swing too)... Lucky for me the laptop computer still allows me to get work done while in this position. Maybe I should read up on attachment parenting to see how long I can let this continue before I've created a monster...If you can't beat 'em join 'em right?
Here is a photo of Colin in his 'wrapper'

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Pictures

Colin playing
Colin and his Grandma Mo

Colin and his Grandma Jo
He is wearing the sweatter set that his GG (Great Grandma) made for him.