Wednesday, September 30, 2009


As promised some videos from the last month.

This is one of Colin's first attempts to dance. Please excuse my silly dancing song...

Colin Dancing from Rebecca Berry on Vimeo.

This was was recorded just a few days ago while we were in Miami. Colin started doing a silly kick while swimming. I only caught a little bit of it at the beginning, but its cute.

Colin kicking from Rebecca Berry on Vimeo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two things:

  1. I got my happy joyful baby back for a little while this evening. He was just so sweet and playful, I almost forgot how amazing he is when he isn't in pain. =)
  2. I am 'haunted' by an experience I had this afternoon. Colin had a doctors appointment in Manhattan (more about that later) and after wards we went to meet Sean at work. On the way, I was walking past a child about two and a half being pushed in a stroller, but he wasn't buckled in and he went to stand up and climb out but his mom didn't know. I couldn't warn her in time and he fell out of the stroller and his chin connected with the side walk with a very loud crack. I don't think he broke anything but he is going to have one heck of a bruise on his chin tomorrow. I get an awful feeling in my stomach every time the scene replays in my mind. Just wanted to pass on the reminder to always buckle your kids into the stroller, even when they seem to not need it anymore.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Colin is 14 months old

From here forward this past month will be regarded as "the month of TEETH" I wasn't wrong when I said that three were coming in, while they didn't pop at the same time they did pop out in rapid succession. Colin has been more miserable than I have ever seen him, Sean and I have even joked that he is developing 'colic' at 14months old. Nothing seems to help him for very long, we even went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't something else, but all we learned was that he might have a bit of a sore throat too (rapid strep test was negative, full strep culture results expected tomorrow but we expect that to be negative too since he no longer has a fever. Update: no strep, his sore throat was likely just from crying.) I honestly thought molars were as bad as it got, I was wrong. This first canine has been much worse. After this we only have four more teeth left to cut (Thank God for that!) This is also the first month where the pictures for this post weren't taken on the 17th. It just didn't happen that day, so I'm posting pictures from 'around the 17th'.

So what is new this month?

Sleeping: Yeah I don't even want to discuss it. We had been making good progress getting Colin to put himself to sleep on his own in the crib (we actually had three days in a row of him laying down in his crib and falling asleep at both nap time and bedtime), then we started this teething marathon and we went away for a week so everything is all messed up again. (I will proudly say that today he was successful again at going to sleep without being held, but today is technically for NEXT months post). It is hard to sum up the month because it really started very well, we had a few nights of only one maybe two wake ups but now he is pretty much up every hour after midnight or so, and is in a lot of pain, even Motrin doesn't seem to help right now. Sean and I are doing what we can to survive this bump in the road. Thankfully, reinforcements (in the form of my mom) are coming later this week before we head to Miami (to visit Chris and Oana) for a long weekend (and we thought life would slow down after we had a baby.)

  • "go-go-go"ing. Colin can sign and say "go-go-go" very well now and does it often. His favorite thing in the world is when the front door opens and he gets to go out. Even upon returning from a walk he gets out of the stroller and immediately says "go go go". He can't get enough, this doesn't bode well for the coming months as it becomes harder to go outside. I think we are going to have to become members at a nearby indoor pool.
  • Swimming. Still a favorite, he now loves the water.
  • Bathing. This is a new favorite, he has been pretty wishy washy (no pun intended) about baths, but lately he really is enjoying them. We can thank cousin Lukas for helping him get over his fear of running water. Lukas loves to have the water running play in it. Now Colin enjoys it too. We now have trouble getting Colin OUT of the tub.
  • TV. Sean and I aren't thrilled about this but we have been allowing more TV this month (particularly in the last week or two) to help him zone out when he is at his crankiest due to teeth. It does seem to take his mind off the pain. He will basically just sit on one of our laps and snuggle while he watches a tv show or video. His favorite is baby signing time, but he also enjoys our new preschool prep Meet the Shapes video and a couple shows on Noggin. We have been changing the channel to a boring station after his show now and to let him loose interest in the TV rather than turn it off. Otherwise he can spiral out of control again.
  • Books. Thankfully he does love his books as well! This are also great tools to help distract him from his pain. He loves to have the same book read over and over and over and over and over.. it can get kinda dull for us but if he is happy we are happy right now.
  • Playgrounds in general, slides in particular. See below. This is still a double team activity (meaning two adults to one Colin) since he doesn't quite grasp the concept that walking off a 'cliff' will result in injury.

  • Sand sand sand. This is just comical. It might as well be hot lava. If his toe so much as touches a grain of sand he starts to get upset and begs to be picked up. Here is Sean carrying him around because he wouldn't stand on his own.

  • When someone leaves without him. This month Colin has started really getting upset when Sean leaves the house in the mornings, but I honestly think it has more to do with the fact that he isn't 'go-go-go-ing' because I get the same reaction when I take the garbage out and then come back and close the door behind me.
  • Teething. I'm probably don't have to mention this one but it is a big one.
New Things:
  • This month Colin has really been working on locomotion. He is now climbing, jumping and dancing with wild abandon. He has almost no regard for gravity so we really have to watch him to prevent major falls. Today he climbed into his stroller and was standing by the time I turned around. That would be a pretty significant fall, so we have to fold that up now. His walker is now is favorite thing to climb on. Luckily it if super stable to there is no chance it will fall over, and it isn't so high off the ground that he would break something if he falls off. I am trying to give him the room to grow and develop this skill by allowing him to climb on safe things, but still being within catching distance if he decides to take a tumble. Here are some climbing pictures. I will hopefully get a dancing video up in the next few days.

  • Colin can now identify his nose, mouth, eyes, ears head and belly with about 75-80% accuracy (not counting the times he flat out ignores the question, which is probably about 30-40% of the time)
  • We have been working on color signs and Colin can sign and identify red, but unfortunately the other color signs are very similar and he doesn't really have the hand dexterity to differentiate them yet. Even Lukas had trouble re-creating the signs so I might not push this one for awhile.
  • He has added animal sounds for cats, ducks and the occasional goat.
  • Oddly he has started snorting intentionally this month, (this is unrelated to animal sounds) I think he did it accidentally at some point and thought it was hysterical so he does it now intentionally, although not very often.
  • He also makes a dog panting noise in relation to the DOG book. I had no idea what Colin was doing but I guess Sean started panting when he read the part about the wet dog shake shake shake, so now Colin pants every time we read that part.
  • Teeth: Tooth #10 was his upper right molar, #11 was his lower left molar (I think it is nearly through the gum now)and #12 is his lower right canine, which only has its tip through the gum. If he doesn't get a break after this I'm going to have words with whomever is in charge!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Caption Contest.

There has to be a great caption for this photo, but I can't come up with anything right now. You try! In a week or so I'll pick a winner, and maybe, just maybe there will be a prize!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Let's Debate: The Toddler Leash!

I remember when I first saw a child on a leash, I was about 18 and in an airport. The child was running away from his mother and when he got to the end of the leash he got angry and threw himself on the ground and proceeded to have a tantrum. My first thought was "Hey, if you want your children to act like animals, treat them that way!" I am starting to revisit this hasty and ignorant conclusion. I still feel like using a leash, or harness or backpack, whatever you want to call it isn't exactly a respectful way to treat a child, but recently the following points have made me think these might actually be an important safety tool and have their place.

We live in a small apartment in a big city. No yard, not a whole lot of grass, and much of the grass that exists has large signs saying to KEEP OFF. If Colin needs exercise, I have to walk him around on the sidewalks. This creates a couple issues.
  1. Safety: At any time while we are walking ,Colin is less than 6 feet from traffic and he obviously is below the sight line of most drivers. So far he isn't much of a 'darter' but people tell me this is probably because he isn't 2 yet.
  2. Comfort: Colin holds our hands very nicely but Sean and I are both tall and thus his little arm is straight up in the air. I know from holding the subway rails, this is tiring. He often asks to be picked up but will happily walk around more when we get inside the gated courtyard. So I don't think his legs are tired I think his arm is!
  3. Walking alignment: While holding hands, he can't balance as well and he trips often. Yes he is a new walker so he trips, but he trips much more when holding hands.
  4. Dislocation Risk(?): When Colin trips, the instinct is to yank quickly on his arm to keep him standing. I often feel like I'm going pop his shoulder out of socket. I have no idea if this is a real risk or not, but I certainly think about the possibility of it happening.
As of right now Colin is great in the stroller, as long as we keep moving he is happy, therefore that is my first line of defense for keeping him safe. However, sometimes he NEEDS to walk. As an example, the other day, Colin got up around 7:00am and was in the high chair for breakfast from 8:00-8:45. By 9:15 we were taking a walk around the neighborhood and returned home at 10:00am for his snack. From the snack chair we went into his room to read some book and prepare for his nap. He slept from 11:00am-1:00pm. He groggily played in the living room until I fed him lunch from 1:20ish-2:00pm (yes he does sit that long for a meal.) After that, we got ready to go grocery shopping so he was in the car seat, the shopping cart and the car seat again until 4:45. Then comes dinner, back to the high chair. At this point it hits me, Colin has been sitting on his butt all but maybe 90 mins ALL DAY LONG. So after dinner out we went to walk the neighborhood for an hour. Sheesh, and I wonder why he doesn't sleep well!?!? Or why I have to restrain his legs sometimes to get him to fall asleep!! The kid has energy to BURN but no way to burn it. Our building does have a playground but if I take him there 1) he goes right to the swing and won't budge for a while (not burning energy) 2) He tries to walk off 4 foot high platforms on the jungle gym and I can't be everywhere at once. This isn't the solution.

So maybe walking Colin around the sidewalks with a leash is a worthy solution to consider. However I still worry this might cause more problems for us later. Some people say this is humiliating for children, I'm not sure Colin has that level of self awareness yet but an older child might, I don't know. Others say it will teach them that they don't have to hold hands. Still others say maybe it does teach them how to stay close by providing a physical limit for the distance they can go from mom or dad (like an invisible fence boundary does for dogs.) In some cases I think harnesses are a useful safety tool, particularly with multiples or when parents are handicapped and not able to chase their children. I obviously don't fall into either of those cases, but maybe their are other situations when they are useful as well.

I invite comment, in fact I encourage it!! Kids or no kids please weigh in. I have not purchased one, but am seriously considering doing so. What is your opinion? Have you used one? What do you think of them?
At first sight I was horrified by them, then I had a child and my view of many things changed. I have certainly became less judgmental of other parents.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine?!?

My mom recently asked me if we were planning on getting vaccinated against the swine flu. My gut reaction was NO, but I hadn't really looked into it so I said so. Our pediatrician has never pushed the regular flu vax on Colin so I'm not sure if she would mention the swine flu vax either. Colin doesn't go see her again until he gets MMR at 15months (eek!) so you can bet money he won't get getting a swine flu vaccine at that time! Frankly, I think the swine flu is way over blown by the media and I am not alarmed by it. In fact I generally don't listen to anything about it...but my ears (well eyes) did perk up when I saw this... "Swine Flu Vax linked to Paralysis". So in answer to your question Mama, that is a big fat NO FREAKING WAY! Unless someone can convince me that the 1976 vax is vastly different than the new one and show me the research to prove that this one is safe.. oh right! They don't have to prove it is safe, just that it works! Right I forgot. Silly me.

I just found Dr. Sears' (author of The Vaccine Book) take on this issue if you are interested.

Pop on over

Two things you might be interested in right now.

Daisy is hosting a g-diaper giveaway, so go ahead and pop on over there and try to win yourself a g-diaper. Or you could win one and give it to someone who uses them (I was thinking Seca actually, not me! I have plenty.)

Sneks is helping her nephew raise money for Hunters Hope, a charity that is raising money and awareness for universal newborn screenings in general and Krabbe Disease in particular. I of course support any and all efforts to increase the likelihood that babies will live healthy lives. So pop on over there and donate $5 and maybe increase your karmic chances of winning one of Daisy's G-diapers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend in Pictures

A few weeks ago we noticed that this weekend was wide open on our schedule. Uh-oh, three full days with no plans?? Colin will not stand for this! Well it didn't take long to have all three days filled. Saturday we went into Manhattan and visited with Seca and Vlad. Seca is pregnant and due on Sept 9th so I was dropping off a few things that she was going to borrow for her baby. Colin decided he would help them out by showing them what aspects of their apartment would need to be baby proofed before Baby Colas (a girl) got mobile. [FYI: we will happily provide this service to other families for a small fee.] Eventually we all high tailed it out to Washington Square Park so he wouldn't break anything! =) It was nice to spend time with them and discuss little baby stuff. (I'm just realizing I didn't get any pictures of the adorably pregnant Seca, bummer!)

A little help from Vlad on the slide.
Walking in the park with Dad.
See look, NYC does have trees!

On Sunday we went up to visit my Aunt Sue and her family and go to a craft fair. Colin really enjoyed being able to run around in her yard and play outside unrestricted. He also got to meet another dog, a chocolate lab named Hazel. Luckily he met a smaller version a few weeks ago so the big one wasn't a total shock. They greeted each other through a gate at first so Colin could get warmed up to her and they both did very well.

"Now listen here dog, I make the rules in this town, but if you are good I'll toss you some scraps when the big ones feed me"
Joy bubbles out after he sees the dog on the other side of the gate.
A new favorite activity:climbing!
Accepting a hand down from Dad.

Hazel: "Mmm, tastes like peanut butter, my favorite."

Today (Monday) Sean's mom came in to spend some time with Colin. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of them together (I'm slacking these days) but I did get these cute photos of Colin doing yoga moves.

Look mama its easy. Just put your hands down like this.
"Now you put your head to the ground and just let your hands come to your sides." If only we all kept this kind of flexibility.
I know I'm his mother and thus programed to think this, but isn't he the cutest!?! Ugh I just love this kid. (Chewing on anything he can get in his mouth to reach those back teeth)

Friday, September 4, 2009

BPA is in can liners.

The other night while having dinner with some Mommy friends, the question came up. What is so bad about giving my child canned beans. Without thinking, I said "BPA" quickly realizing this probably wasn't the forum for my soap box. However, she was taken aback by my statement. I thought, by now, everyone must already know this, but I guess not. So here is my PSA: Almost all canned foods and beverages have BPA in the liner.
I will not claim perfection and say that my family never eats/drinks out of cans, but I do try to avoid them as much as possible and when I do buy canned beans I get Eden Organics, which uses BPA free can liners.
Learn what you can do to help the situation:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Surprise Tooth!

I'm not saying it was a surprise that Colin was teething, because we (and likely our neighbors) certainly KNEW that, the surprise was I thought he was working on his lower left molar and his lower right canine. Last night while he was on the changing table (remember we have the corner kind so he lays perpendicular to me) brushing his teeth I caught a flash of white on his upper right and got brave enough to stick my finger in his mouth to check. Surprise that tooth is OUT! So a guess all this pain and suffering has presumably been from THREE teeth (although the canine could still be a false alarm, it would be out of order and pretty early for that one to come now.) So a fat lot of good the orajel was doing that I've used a handful of times. If you don't get it on the right tooth it probably doesn't help much. He kept signing 'more', when I put it on him. I thought he just liked the taste, I didn't think he might be telling me I was doing it in the wrong spot (or not enough spots.) I'm certainly not complaining, the more he can get out at once the sooner we can be DONE with this craziness!

side note: I was originally against using orajel but he has been in more or less constant pain for the last three weeks and I refuse to have him on pain killers for 24hrs a day. Teething tablets worked well on the front teeth but molars are a whole different animal. I've been trying to hold him off during they day with other things and only use Motrin at night. Daisy wrote about a natural product she uses instead of orajel but I haven't been able to get that yet. The other thing that works with him are pacifiers filled with water and frozen (the avent kind are easy to fill.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Baby "Must Haves"

As per Elaine's request I'm going to blog about my opinions on what items of baby gear are Must haves/ Good-to-have/Unnecessary. These are just my opinions based on what worked for us. Babies and families have different needs so other moms might not agree 100% with my categorization.
Since most of this stuff goes on a baby registry, I want to say a few things about registering. I understand that a lot of people have guilt issues over making a list of things for other people to buy you. Here is the thing, your friends and family love you, and are very excited to help you out with your new baby. They want to buy you something! Particularly something that you will use, and that other people didn't/won't get you. This is why registries exist. The general rule of thumb is that you don't put anything on the registry you wouldn't purchase yourself. If you are going to buy the $600 stroller go ahead and put it on the registry, who knows maybe all your co-workers want to go in together on it. Furthermore, it is important to have things at all price points (high and low). Also, I think proper etiquette for most shoppers is to decide what you want to spend and purchase as few items to get to that price as you can. For example, if you want to spend $50 try to purchase a $50 gift. If you purchase 2 $25 gifts then the person who only wanted to spend $25 is left with nothing to buy (this rule is flexible if there are tons of $1-$10 items on the registry. ) A good registry is key to a successful baby shower, if there isn't enough on the registry you are going to get a lot of items you don't want. Okay I'll move on now.

(To help me remember I'm looking at the new parents checklist from babies r us.)

  • Car Seat: I think the infant car seat is much better (and safer) for a newborn than a convertible car seat that covers newborn to toddler. They are very useful for moving sleeping babies to and from the car, and sometimes we would put Colin in it to sleep in the house (usually around 2am when he wouldn't go back into the bassinet or crib.) If you are registering, it doesn't hurt to register for both the infant car seat and the convertible car seat for when your baby outgrows the infant seat.
  • Stroller: Your options here are limitless. I really liked the 'snap and go' for the infant car seat because it was smaller and fit in our car and closet. The travel system is great if you have the space. We knew we had the wrong option when we had to choose between the stroller and the play yard for a family vacation.
  • Baby Carrier: I preferred the sling variety, Sean liked the Bjorn. I've heard great things about the Ergo and might get that the next time around. I do consider this a MUST.
  • Bouncer/ Bouncy seat: While these may seem like they have limited use (generally only up to 20lbs or so) you need a place for your baby to sit that isn't the floor. These range in price from $20 to $190, so you have to do some research and read lots of customer reviews to decide what will work best for you. If you travel alot get one that folds flat (we always missed ours when we traveled because it wasn't portable.)
  • Bottles/Bibs/Burp Cloths: How many depends on whether you plan to nurse or bottle feed. I had about a dozen bottles and Colin never really took to them so they didn't get used. However, I kept going out and buying more and more burp clothes because I couldn't keep them clean. I think I ended up having about 20 (remember we don't have laundry in the apt so I couldn't just do a load whenever I needed.)
  • High Chair: We used the space saver kind and it had a recline function so I used it with Colin as little as two months old so I had somewhere to put him in the kitchen while I made dinner.
  • Baby tub/towels/washcloths: Those little hooded towels are a must to keep little heads from loosing too much heat. The tub you choose will depend on your situation and space. I loved out space saver folding tub because it fit in the sink so we didn't have to bend over to bathe Colin when he was an itty bitty. We could only use it for about 5-6 months because Colin outgrew it quickly. This is a good item to try to borrow from someone.
  • Baby Care and Grooming items: Forget the all in one kits. I have yet to find one that actually has good/working products inside. Not having a good thermometer caused us a real scare in the Colin's first day home. So register for a quick read, digital thermometer (the ear kind are unreliable on young infants but work great for older tots), a good pair of nail clippers and a little comb/brush set.
  • Diapers/Wipes: Definitely a must have. You choose the variety.
  • Baby Monitor: Unless you live in a one room apartment you probably need one of these. Even if your room is next door, you'll need some flexibility at nap time. I've heard people do without. I wouldn't want to.
  • Crib/mattress/sheets: You certainly don't need the bedding set if you are looking to save money, but the crib is pretty necessary. I have four crib sheets, and I'm a little bummed that I choose the plain cream ones now that the bumper is off. I purchased one recently just to add a little life to the crib. (Colin didn't notice)
  • Receiving blankets: No matter what season you bring baby home in you will need a boat load of receiving blankets. This is another item I kept returning to the store to buy more of.. I think I have ten+, although they don't get much use beyond the swaddling period.
  • Clothes: Yes you need them, but you probably don't have to register for any because people will invariably just buy what they like. I have no idea how many you need, I had over 50 onesies in 0-3 month size when all was said and done. Colin wore maybe half of them in the month before he moved up to the next size.
  • Toys/Rattles/Teethers: You won't need much for the first three months but it never hurts to pick out a few things you like, you will need them eventually.
Alright then! I'm going to stop here and save the "Good to Haves" and the "Unnecessary" for another post. Since it took me about two weeks to finally finish this post, don't hold your breath for the other two to follow too quickly.

Feel free to leave comments about your ideas of what is a "must have". I'll update this post if I think of other things that I might have forgotten.