about
Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
cooking
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Loving The Friday

Finally got to Selfish Mother's Club on Wednesday night after some baby's daddy drama. Nothing a glass of cabernet and some good girl talk couldn't fix. The chips, salsa and goat cheese went over well. Yesterday morning I had a doctor's appointment and I was very brave so I decided to give myself the day off. I did some shopping and got some great deals. I love that courdoroys are back and those little casual blazers are so cute. Being a smaller size allows me more options which equals savings. I also picked up Keegan's Halloween costume for $15. Too precious for words, but you'll have to wait until Halloween!
During the afternoon I finally got his new tricycle together. Pieces that didn't quite fit, cursing and directions that involved me holding four pieces and simultaneously hammering. Who are they kidding? We took it for a test drive later and it was great. I had to show him how to rest his feet but then we were off and running. We took a big circle around the neighborhood and went home for dinner time. He was upset that he had to get off. This morning he pointed to the garage and said, "open." I assured him that we'd take a longer ride after school today. Let's hope the weather cooperates.
Oh and....

HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT IN HIS OWN CRIB!!!!

Ouch

Keegan and I both had our scheduled checkups yesterday. And we both have sore spots from shots. I got out of there with one shot, bloodwork and three referrals. He got the last shot until he is four and thumbs up on doing great! Master Keegan is 25 and half pounds and 34 inches long. So he is long and lean like his dad. He is right on track with development and I had a long talk with the doctor about our sleep issues. My new plan will go into effect in a couple of weeks after Tom and I chat about how to insure consistency in both homes. Last night I helped him kick the last bottle habit. He was angry about only being offered water in a sippy cup but seems to have accepted it by this morning.
He is great fun at this age (19 months & eight days). I suspect the fun keeps increasing. He is a little mimic and will repeat words, especially if they are sound effects. He talks alot even though I can't always understand what he is saying. Keegan is constantly on the move, trying everything out and climbing all over the place. He is definitely asserting his independence. We have settled into our routine and life is less stressful for me. He has also gotten over his food issues and no longer has difficulty with textures and is pretty open to trying new things. He loves fruit, cheese and anything stuffed into a pita pocket. Tonight he is going to help me make tacos. I love that we can eat the same supper most nights. And through it all he remains laid back, lovey, cuddly and friendly.

PS Even though the news that Erika is having a boy means that I am wrong for the first time ever. I am excited that we'll both be moms of little boys!

You Messed With The Wrong Momma

We had our meeting at daycare yesterday. Lots of drama, I won't bore you with the details. It started out to be about Keegan being bitten on a regular basis and then grew from there. After the first meeting was cancelled by them with no notice I decided to write a letter. It was a damn good letter if I do say so myself. Two pages on all the various concerns we had regarding biting, communication, healthy foods and being late.

He's Been Tubed

Master Keegan had his ear surgery this morning and we are home now recovering. He is full of energy and eager to eat while Tom and I dragging from being up so early. The procedure went quickly and they brought him right back to us. The general made him grumpy for about a half hour because he was disoriented. It turns out that despite the antibiotics he had an ear infection in his right ear. Maybe that explains the vomiting incident and the difficult bedtimes.
We went for a pre-surgery hearing test yesterday. The audiologist confirmed that Keegan has some hearing loss because of the fluid. We can expect big changes in his verbal abilities and probably also his balance when walking. Apparently they acclimate to the new sounds within twenty-four hours.
So we'll hang out here the rest of the day and maybe Keegan will be kind enough to nap and allow me to nap too. It is such a relief to have everything over with and to have him healthy.

My Own Perfect

Anyone else sick of the media coverage about perfect mothering? See Dawn for tips!

Keegan's ENT consult was yesterday. The doctor said that his best option is getting the tubes. So whenever the surgical coordinator calls, we can schedule a date. I asked for a low dose preventative antibiotic to get us through until the surgery. Anyone else giggle when they try to say, "prophylactic?" I am really curious to see if his language skills develop more quickly once he can hear clearly.
Speaking of milestones, here are some highlights of what Keegan is up to at almost 13 months:
Can point to things and make a noise to indicate he wants it
Can point to a balloon, say "ba" and convince mom to buy it
Takes up to 3 steps on his own but then goes back to crawling or uses furniture to travel around the room
When mommy says "no" he will stop and try to look so cute that she will say "yes"

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Keegan has an ear infection.
What's that? You are experiencing deja vu?
That's because this is the 8th time!!!
The really frustrating part is that I had him at the pediatrician on Thurs. for his regular well baby checkup. By the next afternoon he was running a fever. I did my usual Friday thing, retrieving him from daycare and going to the doctor. Of course they only had a wishy washy explanation for how he developed an ear infection in less than twenty-four hours. The good thing is that at this rate he'll be on antibiotics until the day before his appointment with the ENT. I never thought I'd be so eager to discuss surgery on my son.
I am so sick of him being sick. I am sick of the cranky baby who clings to me for the first couple of days of the infection. I thought I'd given up eating with one hand after the infant stage. I am sick of the liquid poop that results from the ever changing array of medicines used to combat the infections. I am sure his teachers are tired of changing his clothes three times a day because of leaks. I am so sad for my little guy who gives up food and sleeping well each time the infection invades again. Out of his total 12 1/2 months of life he has been sick for 3 1/2 of them. Yet he continues to be a lovey, smiley, hug machine when he is on the tail end of the round of antibiotics. He still has hope while I am literally counting the days until the next time.
He did manage to feel well enough on Sat. to go to playgroup. He was a little fussy at first but then he got into there and duked it out for toys with the rest of his friends. Keegan is nothing if not stubborn. He got that quality from both parents.

Age of Aquarius

Today Keegan is one. I can't believe it. I can't believe we figured out how to do all the stuff that babies require. The past year has been very difficult. But not because of him. If anything he is the reason I smile every day.
I never had any idea that I had this capacity to love another person. It grew inside me as he grew. The moment he was born I felt myself fill up. I had never felt complete before. It was the only time in my life that something has been as good as I hoped. In fact it was better.
My baby is turning into a little boy. Keegan has always been such a lovey, cuddly and sweet person. It is a constant affirmation that I am doing a good job. I miss the time when we were just getting to know eachother. But I love how independent he is now. Every month I think is my favorite until the next one comes along. It is an amazing thing to watch him discover his own abilities.
I worry about the things that will come in the future. All the things in the world that I can not protect him from. But I am also excited about being there for his firsts. And sometimes I can hardly wait to find out what kind of man he will be.

Happy birthday my little munkin.

Splotches

Here is the update. The rash is the end of some "weird viral thing." I am quoting the doctor there. So we have a note to return to daycare. I decided not to take him back today and then hoof it back to work. It made me tired just thinking about it. Besides once I have him in my grubby paws it is hard to let him go again. I know, I know, he is building up his immune system. But would it be so horrible if it took a break for a week?

10 Months

Keegan turned 10 months on Thanksgiving, one of the many things to be thankful for. Ever since he turned six months it has just flown by. My solid round baby is stretching out into a little boy.
He has two tiny teeth on the bottom that he is just learning to use. You should have seen his face the other day when he "crunched" a Cheerio. He had never made that sound before. His little pincher fingers work pretty well.
His hair is coming in, especially on top so he isn't so bald anymore. Unfortunately his cheeks don't seem as chubby either. But he still has that classic baby look. His hands and feet are still growing at twice the rate as the rest of him. We hope he'll grow into them like a puppy.
I have never seen anything crawl as fast as him. He likes to follow me around and I can hear the thumping as he gets closer. Gone are the days of any privacy in the bathroom. Keegan is also starting to cruise around using the furniture and can almost stand on his own if he doesn't think about it. I dread the day he walks. I can hardly keep up with him now. I do love it when he explores. The other day he climbed completely into the cabinets and started throwing plastic ware out onto the kitchen floor. Too fun.
I made the mistake of teaching him to use the light switches one day when he was home sick. Now we have to use them when we enter and exit a room. Sometimes he makes me lift him up to play with them for no reason. I have created a short monster.
I watch him all the day to see him concentrate and problem solve. He does alot of falling down and bumps but he keeps at it. I am also watching for his personality to show. So far he is stubborn, curious, lovey, musical and adores animals. I can't wait to learn more.

What Big Teeth You Have

I spoke with the daycare Director and had what I feel was a very productive and open conversation. We have come up with an action plan:

The biter is formerly the baby of daycare. He is over a year old and therefore expected to become more independent. He doesn't like this and expressed himself through biting. The biting problem was brought under control by the use of a pacifier. Then they started to wean him off the pacifier.
This is when Keegan started at daycare.
The biter saw that there was a new baby and a baby who didn't have to be so independent. This is when he decided to express himself by biting. The other kids are taught to push a potential biter away and then get up. Keegan can not do either of these things. The biter marked him as a target. They try to place them apart by putting Keegan in a chair to play by himself when they aren't able to supervise closely (ie. diaper changes, meal prep). This is when the biter sneaks up and chomps on Keegan.
The initial plan was Keegan would be placed in the infant room therefore away from the biter. However because there currently aren't any other infants, they often combine rooms with the one year olds (the biter).
The new plan is that when rooms are combined, the biter will be bumped up to the next higher room. I checked and was assured that the biter will then not be placed at any risk of physical harm by older children. The parents of the biter are also aware and have now reinstated the pacifier intervention.
Eventually Keegan will age into the biter's classroom. We will reassess the plan at that point.
Right now Keegan is a very sweet and cuddly little guy. One day he might be the biter. I hope not. But for now I want to keep him safe until he atleast learns to protect himself.

Extra Snuggles

I am home today with Master Keegan. Tom and I were going to split the day but then I decided that there was nothing that important for me at work. It stinks because I don't have any sick leave but I feel better being here with him.
Keegan has two major ear infections. Apparently he is one of those kids that is just prone to them. We can expect one almost every time he gets a cold. Atleast I know what we are dealing with. The doc gave him power doses of antibiotics and he is doing much better. His fever was almost 104, which scared me. He is still warm but feeling playful. I am hoping he will continue to take lots of naps. The only side effect of the meds is loosens stools. Ugh.
Want to know the worst part?
He was bitten again at daycare yesterday. That is three times in case you lost count. They called Tom at home because they forgot to tell him when he picked Keegan up. There is a bite shaped bruise on his calf. This I am very concerned about. I don't understand why they would keep putting him with the same child who has clearly chosen him as a target. You know if he tried to bite any of the other kids, they would fight back. My sweet guy doesn't know how. Noone has ever been mean to him before. I have a call in to the Director. I want to know what the behavior intervention plan is and how they are going to keep Keegan safe. I am glad I kept my list of other daycare options. Getting sick is one thing but being attacked is a not acceptable.

Germ Warfare

I am really having guilt issues. Specifically with daycare. I think it is a great facility and Keegan definitely likes it there. But the place is a germ farm. Not that it is my center specifically but all centers. Keegan has been sick since the day he started. Every time we conquer something, he gets something else. We had finally turned the corner on both the cold and the ear infection. Then yesterday I picked him up tired but not cranky. He proceeded to refuse dinner and then just cry and fuss. He wouldn't even take a bottle. I thought maybe it was teething or over tiredness. But he couldn't settle down at all even in my lap, which always works. I finally had to walk around with him to get him to sleep, but as soon as I stopped he would wake up and cry. This went on the enitre evening with Tom and I switching off. Then I got ready for bed and brought Keegan with me. He woke up every half hour until 1 am. Then he agreed to drink two ounces and went back to sleep. He continued to wake up and be restless but atleast he didn't cry. Tom and I decided to send him to daycare today because he didn't have any other symptoms except a runny nose. Sure enough at 10:45 they called me at work to say that his temp was almost 101 and that we should come get him. I sent Tom to get him and made an appointment to take him to the doctor later.
There are so many factors here. I don't want Keegan to be sick all the time. I am completely fried because I don't get break in the evenings or any decent sleep. I am brand new at work and so far feel exhausted and bad about needing to take time every week to care for a sick child. But I can't not work. I know that getting sick is something that happens when your child is exposed to other children. And I know that eventually he will build up his immune system. At this point I feel overwhelmed and guilty. And I feel especially stupid because I almost cried at work just thinking about the situation. Luckily I face my cube wall and I was able to pull it together before the tears came. And deep inside is that little voice blaming me for not breastfeeding for a year. My mommy confidence level this week is down in the dumps.

9 Month Checkup

Today Master Keegan had his nine month visit. It seems like we were just at the doctor's office. Oh yeah, we were. You know by now how these appointments aren't exactly on schedule, so he is really 9 1/2 months at this point. He is 30 inches long and 20 lbs. 2 oz. Kind of lighter than I thought but he probably has lost weight over the past week and a half. He hasn't wanted any solid food. His ear infection is significantly better and we were able to get a flu shot. I shudder to think of that kid getting the flu after all the other stuff from daycare. I was nervous about whether we'd get one with the shortage. But they had plenty allotted for babies. The state is actually issuing more today. I already knew that. One of the perks of working for the Health Department.

Hi I'm Otis, Otis Media

Poor Keegan. It's not enough that he has a terrible cold and was bitten on Friday. Now he has an ear infection. I knew something was haywire last night when he was running a fever. He didn't sleep well and his fever was back this morning. In addition he was grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. They say that you know your child best and I knew he was fighting something new. I originally took him to the clinic today because I was afraid he had developed bronchitis. Good news on that front but then they found that pesky ear infection.
Tom is going to stay home with him tomorrow. The daycare has a policy about being symptom and fever free for twenty-four hours. Besides he is so needy and tired I think that it is best that he remains home. Should give his antibiotics time to kick in. Our pharmacy lets you pick flavors. So Keegan is all hooked up with yummy cherry flavor. Tom is under the weather too, so it will give them both a chance to rest. Talk about a rough transition into daycare.
Because I wasn't feeling guilty enough.

Dings On My Shiny New Baby

Keegan and I survived our first week of daycare. He really seems to like it there and has adapted well. I don't find myself worrying about him all day at work. I think about him and miss him but I can still focus on other things. It has been a harder transition for me overall. The first day he came home with scratches on his head from the other kids touching him. Then by Monday he developed a bad cold.
Yesterday they called to tell me that he had been bitten by another child. That's right someone chomped on his finger and drew blood. I was shocked at first and then upset. I spoke with a nurse at his doctor's office and she gave me info on how it should be cared for. Then, because I had a chance to process everything, I called the daycare back. They were able to give me more detail on the incident and the fact that the other child's parents had been called to take him home.
Before we got into daycare, another mom told me that inevitably, "your kid is either the 'biter' or the 'bitten'." "It is better to not be the mom of the biter." So I knew it could happen and in fact most probably would at some point. I just wasn't expecting it this soon.
Despite all of this, Keegan still likes going and actually looks sad to leave with me. He is his playful self when we get home. I just have a shorter time in the day to spend with him. I try to remind myself to slow down and not worry about the unimportant stuff. That can all be done after he goes to sleep.
I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am little concerned about what he will experience next week. I feel confident that it is not the daycare's fault. It is just what happens when kids are exposed to other kids. I just wish he was able to defend himself. You know, like having the ability to walk away. Plus he is such a trusting little bug.

Spilt Milk

Two in the morning Keegan coughed so hard that he vomited. He was in bed with us at the time. Tom is the only one who didn't need a change of pyjamas.

My Heart Outside My Chest

I just dropped Keegan off at daycare. I cried a little when I first got in the car. But then I was okay. Tom is so not worried which helps me feel better. I know we picked a good place, I just love him so much.
I stayed with him there for two hours and watched the routine and the other kids. I let his teacher change and feed him. Right now he is in a room with toddlers but on Monday, when the new babies show up, they will put him in the infant room.
I always think he looks so big but not next to those guys. But he seemed relaxed and enjoyed exploring. Now if I can only stop thinking about the look on his face as I left. Not sad, just unbelievably trusting.


(Edited at 1:50pm) The house is eerily quiet.

Insomniac

I think there has been a mistake. The factory sent me a non-sleeping baby. It's too late to do anything about it now. The warranty is up. Nine months or 12,000 kisses. Besides he is a cute little bugger.

Nature Baby

Too busy to blog because the in-laws were here. They left this morning after spending lots of quality time with Keegan. They really do enjoy him and that is nice to see. There wasn't even too much spoiling to speak of. A new outfit for next summer and a small toy to slobber all over. Except for yesterday when we were at the outlets in Kittery. We all couldn't resist the infant shoes. Are you ever too young for your first pair of Merrell mocs? I tried on one of those baby backpacks and carried him around the store. There was a major wieght difference between the backcountry and the base camp models. Frankly anywhere I need a heavyduty one, can just wait until the little guy can hike that far. They were cool but I have to think about how much I'd use it. If snowshoeing, hiking and non-stroller friendly travels are going to be that frequent with him. Did I mention the canopy top with optional rainshield?
Best part of the weekend? As my MIL was hugging me goodbye she told me that I am a wonderful mother. Why are words you aren't expecting to hear so striking?

Stroller Patrol

So of course now that I am getting ready to go back to work I am finally getting into the "mom groove." Not with Keegan, I feel good about that, but with other moms. I am now one of those moms you see out with other moms, lunching or shopping. I am part of the "in crowd." Those of you without children now think I am a total loser. But it is true that there is a comraderie that you only have with other moms. (Hey you friends without babies, I still wuv you very much thanks for your patience!)
Our regular formal mom's group starting cancelling and has now dropped to twice a month because of a lack of nurses to facilitate. So last month I suggested that we have group on our own in between. So far we have met at two of the members' homes. I have also been to one girl's night out (The Body Shop-Home) and I am going to another this Monday evening. Next Wednesday we are having a potluck lunch Halloween party for the babies. Really just an excuse to dress them in costumes and take tons of pictures. This past Tuesday I went to the movies, shopping and lunch with a mom I just met. Today after group I had lunch and went shopping with two moms. See what I mean? It's a whole network. They are so sweet and have even suggested meeting on a Saturday sometimes so I can still see them after I go to work. I like the positive reassurances, the comparing notes with the two moms who have babies the same age, and passing on the lessons learned to the newer moms. Plus they are the only other people outside my family and close friends who don't mind hearing about every detail of Keegan's growth and development. Because frankly, I have become one of THOSE people. ("My god will she ever shutup about her baby?")

Old Soul

My little guy is eight months, one week and nine days old. I haven't done a monthly update since six months because I always get busy and then think I'll make up for it the next month. Sunday I packed away all of his clothes from 0 to 9 months. But the sad part was packing up the toys, bouncers and activity gym. All of the first things he loved and learned with. Almost makes me want another little one. Almost.
The difference from six to eight months is very dramatic. He has been growing and developing like crazy since birth. I just think it is more noticeable now because it is all the gross motor skills coming together.
It took him two months of rocking back and forth on all fours but he finally started crawling three weeks ago. Now he can not be stopped. Boy is he fast on those knees. The real challenge is that he pulls himself up to standing. He was actually able to do that a couple of days before he started crawling. Now he has a whole new view of the world. Not to mention that he can reach all kinds of breakables. Sometimes he will just stand and do nothing but look around for over fifteen minutes. I have no idea what he is plotting.

The Tin Standard

Today I went on my second daycare tour. The tour was at 9am and I was back in the car by 9:14. Ugh. No way would I leave Keegan there. There are so many things wrong with the place I couldn't tell you all of them. Perhaps a few examples:
I ask, "What kind of accreditation does your center have?"
She responds, "Oh I could have done all that but it's a lot of money for just a piece of paper."

I ask, "What kind of transition plan do you have for parents and infants to begin daycare?"
She says, "Their parents drop them off and leave."

I ask, "What is your discipline policy?"
She says, "Well he's just an infant."

Do I have to go on? I swear these are all real answers, I couldn't make this stuff up. I ended up skipping most of the rest of my question sheet because I just wanted to get out of there. She presented so well on the phone I was really disappointed when meeting her. Did I mention the infant and toddler room had no other infants and three two year olds? Their ratios were too high and the general condition was shabby and unclean. Hello, $190/week for that?
I am feeling not so positive right now about the whole situation. I called eight places in the next town over and they were either in home care or didn't accept children until 18 months. I got on the waitlist for another place that sounds nice but they don't expect openings until the Spring. I really hope Wednesday's tour works out. I made another one for Friday at a franchise type center. At first I wasn't going to consider it because I am biased against the company. But I have never heard anything bad about them in this state and I got a recommendation from my neighbor's daughter. I almost cancelled when I found out their prices are higher than the place I went last Friday. But I figure if I am stuck with high end daycare as the only option, then I better see them all.

P.S. You know a daycare is bad when you apologize to your 8 month old son for making him visit the place.

A Substitute Nest

Operation "Find A Wonderful Daycare" has officially started. I went through the referral packet yesterday and made my initial phone calls. I had tour this morning and have two more scheduled for next week. These are places that welcome drop-in visits, it is just easier to meet with the director and get all the info if I schedule something.
Today's center was very nice and it was definitely a comprehensive tour. I had a question checklist I made from various sources and I had a mental one going as well. Each room had my eyes darting around for safety procedures, appropriate activities and how the children were interacting. I didn't read the list of fees until I got home. Ouch, it is expensive. I know this should not surprise me, but I hadn't a clue to how much these things cost. So I'll be using that center to really compare value for the buck when I check out the others.
The strangest part of the visit was my emotional rollercoaster ride. When I first got there I found myself examing the center from a professional angle. Basically assessing it as if I was doing a site visit that I would be writing a report for. Then I reminded myself that it is a personal mode that I need to be in. We went through all of the rooms from infant to kindergarten. (Did I mention that New Hampshire is the only state without statewide public kindergarten? Even Mississippi has kindergarten, so that's just sad.)

Kicking Around

Gee, I am really doing a disappearing act lately. I thought things would get less hectic after the job interview. I am feeling better but Keegan and I both still have the runny nose. I am so over being sick! Die germies, die.
We did get to go to swimming lessons on Sat. It actually wasn't that bad getting up at 6:30 and poor Keegan had no idea what hit him. Mommy actually woke him out of a dead sleep for a change. Now the swimming lessons aren't very structured but that make sense for infants. We played some games and sang some songs but mostly just paddled around. The pool was delightfully warm and made me less sorry I had driven out to the boonies. Put it this way, in order to get to the facilty to have to turn by the State Women's Prison (where P*am Smart did her time). Way out there.
So we'll finish this session and then reconsider the drive for the winter months. I do like having that activity time with him, especially since I will be going back to work soon. Plus there are two babies we know from mom's group which I won't be able to go to after returning to work. Maybe I can come up with something else we can do together on weekends.
I got a call back from the people I interviewed with. They wanted a number for a reference check. I consider that a very good sign indeed. Let's keep keeping those fingers crossed. So now I am deep in the search for daycare. I read up on the licensing regulations and found a referral service. They will send me all the facilities that meet my specifications. Then I will start doing visits. They also send you tips on what to look for and questions to ask. I do wish I knew someone here that could give me a personal referral. But I'll do my homework and go with my gut instinct for the final choice.

6 Month Checkup

Keegan had his six month checkup yesterday. Apparently it's standard practice for scheduling to run behind. What really matters is the time between immunizations.
He is 19lbs. 2 oz and 28 inches long. I wasn't sure about the weight but he felt like a tall drink of water. He definitely had that six month growth spurt. I whipped out my itemized list of questions and ran through them with his doc. It seems the older he gets the more questions I have.
Learned a cool thing about teething. Supposedly the gums start as a ridge, then get smooth and then the tooth comes through. Keegan's are smooth on the bottom so hopefully we are close. He drools and chews even more in the past few weeks which I didn't think was possible. Teeth should appear following the pattern of the parents. Tom got his at 7 months 1 week and I got mine at 12 months. My mom had my gums x-rayed because she was afraid there was nothing in there. So if we split the difference Keegan will get his at 9 1/2 months. By that time he will have gummed through the furniture.
Meanwhile we'll be working on a plan to space out his feedings and get him to last longer. The kid still eats ten to twelve times a day in short bursts. So there will be some grouchy days until he gets used to it. I am not going to make him get to screaming point but just push back his habit a bit. Today is going pretty well so far.
Keegan was tired, grumpy and sore last night after his shots. He had trouble settling down so I gave him some children's T*ylenol. We skipped his bath, got him in the pjs early and he cuddled on the couch until he was ready to go down. The good news is that he slept straight through nine hours.
Today he took a nap so I went in to lay down too. I woke to a weird noise and was thinking I didn't remember giving him a doorbell in his crib. Then I realized it was the doorbell. Our across the street neighbor brought him an adorable pair of overalls with grasshoppers all over them. They are for 12 months size which I suspect isn't that far away. People are just too sweet.

PS We are officially signed up for swimming lessons! They start after Labor Day and I had to go for the Saturday morning class because I hope to be working soon. Unfortunately they are early which means I will be up by 6:30 am to get there on time because they are over an hour away. But I really wanted to go to the facility with the warmer teaching pool. Keegan is not a fan of cool water. These are the sacrifices we make as parents. I am so not a morning person. Hopefully I'll be delirious enough to not mind being in a bathing suit.

This Goes Out To All The Mamas

Today when we went to mom's group we did so in the maiden voyage of our new stroller. I do like it so far, having only driven it around the kitchen and then today. If you needed a good laugh, you should have seen me try to figure the whole folding up mechanism. I was just happy to have finally made a decision and purchased a stroller. I test drove more strollers than any of the cars I have ever purchased.
Keegan had another first today. He sat upright in the shopping cart. Of course he was surrounded in the luxury of his shopping cart cover (thanks, mom). Good thing there was a safety strap because he slumped over on either side. I think he was also confused about the new view and position. Several fellow shoppers commented that he looked really serious. I guess he was working his brain to figure out what happened. It probably took me just as long to put the cover in the cart as it takes to click the carrier on. Except this way I don't have to lug a giant baby with one arm.
While at the store I splurged on a nice dinner. Tom is out with 'da boys. That means I dined solo in style. My menu consisted of shrimp cocktail (with those big ole shrimp), baby greens salad with walnuts, dried cranberries and honey dijon dressing, and bourbon glazed salmon kabobs. Before you get all jealous on me it is important you know the timeline in which the meal was consumed.

Waterboy

Horoscopes for babies born in 2004.

Aquarius
The Water Carrier
January 20-February 19

"Though your child's first instinct is to be independent, he needs constant reassurance that he is loved and may become clingy or whiny unless he receives it. Your alert baby will love being talked to and may seem to understand every word. Toys that make music and funny noises will be among his favorites. But above all he'll prefer the company of other children, and social occasions will make him shine.
Let your little one explore freely. But because he's easily distracted, integrate a fair measure of discipline and do your utmost to stick to a firm schedule."

-Parents Magazine Jan. 2004

6 Months

"Your baby now has the trunk strength to sit upright, but he needs to lean back on a pillow or forward on his hands for support. By the end of the sixth month, he may sit independently - but keep pillows around in case he topples unexpectedly. Stronger muscles also allow him to roll over. Hand coordination improves too as he learns to pass an object from one palm to the other.
When you talk to your child, he'll babble excitedly in response, often using consonant vowel cobinations, such as "da" or "ba." At this age your baby can also differentiate family from strangers and will smile more easily at people he knows.
Your baby begins to realize that he has the power to make things happen. When he shakes a rattle to create a sound or pushes a ball to make it move, he's learning about cause and effect."

Well it is really six months and one week. Keegan is more than halfway to being a one year old. He does everything mentioned above except for the consonant sounds. When I say "ma", "da" or "ba" to him, he laughs at me. His abilities literally can change in a day. This weekend he pushed himself up on his knees but doesn't quite know what to do with the front half. I love watching him trying new things or trying to figure how to get what is out of reach. He can also hold his bottle but not well enough to feed himself. And he is still figuring out how to point it the right way in his mouth.
The chewing and drooling has increased in the past week. I keep checking for teeth but I can't see anything yet. Keegan is a big fan of all the teethers. Let's face it, he'll chew on anything that gets near his mouth, especially other people's fingers. I tried introducing sweet potatoes as his first vegetable. He makes a horrible face and then clamps his lips shut. I have been told it can take up to 15 tries for a kid to like a new food. So I guess I will keep plugging away. I've tried the "mommy thinks the food is yummy, she'll eat some too" trick. I'll tell you, that baby food isn't half bad.
Keegan's motor skills have improved and he can grab and manipulate smaller objects or pieces of toys. I also found out that he knows how to make musical toys work. I watched the other day as his hands reached out to push the switch to play music on his actvity gym. I never knew babies were so cool to watch.
I never really thought about how everything we do had to be learned. Basically we popped out knowing how to breathe and poop. Even nursing is a learned behavior, albeit driven by instinct. Every move that Keegan makes he is learning something. Certain things, like eating, language, trust and structure are my job. But the texture, taste, sound and movement stuff is all Keegan. It is amazing to see him make discoveries and build on his accomplishments. And he continues to be the sweetest, friendliest little guy.

What Little Boys Do

As promised a whole bunch of new pics are now up. Check out the whole month of July. I posted them in order.

Kids Today

I forgot to mention Keegan's new favorite plaything. It's the remote control for the TV. When he sits with Tom he reaches for it and will stretch until he gets it in his grubby little hands. The other night he was fussy but wouldn't go to bed. He kept reaching for the remote so I gave it to him and he quieted down. My first though was, "Crap, he's addicted already." My next thought was, "How does he manage to press just the right buttons?" Keegan, like Marcel on "Friends," can make the TV do all kinds of cool things. Unfortunately I don't know how to make them go away. He's a cheeky little monkey.

5 1/2 Months

Keegan's social life has kept be pretty busy this past week. He just loves to visit people. Plus I have been trying to make strides with finding a job and daycare which is difficult when you can't get an uninterrupted block of time.
He is still growing like crazy. Solid food feeding are getting better. He still makes that silly face but now he opens his mouth when he sees the spoon and ends up consuming much more. I believe this has also made a difference in his sleeping pattern. A couple of nights this week has has slept 8 or nine hours straight. As with all babies, this could change and he could go back to the old routine. But I am going to enjoy it while I can.
He is getting stronger with sitting but still needs pillows or mom and dad for support. I leave him playing on the floor more often because he seems to want to roll around and get a new perspective. Last weekend he passed another milestone; passing an object from one hand to the other. It is funny how you learn to look for things that I would have otherwise taken for granted. Tom reports that he has been passing other toys since then.
Keegan is very gigggly now and a real adrenaline junkie (like his dad). He loves to be tossed into the air (with hands still on him), swung by his arms, and dangled upside down. His squirmyness now makes diaper changes and getting dressed like wrestling matches. It should get even more fun the stronger he gets.
So far he continues to be a very happy baby and loves to meet people. Keegan is great in a restaurant and will amuse himself watching ceiling fans or people eat. I don't know if this will change as he develops. I hope not because it makes life easier to have a portable baby.
This weekend my brother Bret, SIL Tammy and their two girls, Brooke (3) and Brittany (6) are coming to visit. They are staying at my parents so I don't have to worry about picking up the house and making it super kid friendly. We are excited for them to meet Keegan. We have all kinds of cousin fun planned for the lake and a few days getaway to the beach in Maine next week.

Out of His Shell

When I first started dating Tom he lived with a friend of ours from work. They were like many other single guys with disposable income. They bought random crap simply on a whim. Video game systems, power tools and poor unfortunate pets. Oh how proud they were of their new fish tank complete with colored rocks, fake plants and a bubbling treasure chest. Then came the fish. They bought a bunch of little neons but their filter was so strong they all got sucked in to their doom. Poor fishies never stood a chance. If it wasn't equipment issues it was cannibalism. Finally they threw out the fish idea and went shopping again.
They came home that evening with a turtle. We named him Seymour (after the guy in "Little Shop of Horrors"), J. (after Homer Simpson's middle name), Turtle (well that part is obvious). Seymour J. Turtle had to have the best of everything. Tom's roommate Chris decided to make him a ramp into the water using plexiglass and a small torch. Chris is the kind of guy who used to fall going up the stairs carrying his laundry. Not the kind of guy you wanted near fire. Well after several scary moments Seymour's place was move in perfect.
We couldn't be content to just let Seymour hang out in his aquarium either lounging in his astro-turfed loft and paddling in his heater controlled pool. We decided that Seymour really wanted to see the world. That is when we started taking the turtle for walks. I know what you are thinking, no we didn't have him on a leash, because THAT would have been silly. The thing about Seymour is that you really had to keep an eye on him. No matter how far into the grass you'd place him he always headed for the street. Every time we'd chase (I use that term loosely) him down and have to put him back in a safe spot. Crazy turtle.
Apparently fate has brought another Seymour into my life. This time in the form of my son. No matter where I place Keegan he always ends up in the wrong spot. Nevermind that he is only five months and can only roll or creep. That kid can cover some turf. I went down to wash the diapers and came back to him across the room. Gee, I wasn't gone that long. Even when I am right on top of him he leaves the comfy quilt in the middle of the room and ends up wedged between the ottoman and the coffee table. This my friends is why it is never too early to child-proof your home. Just imagine when he learns to crawl or walk. Be afraid, be very afraid. What's his favorite toy to play with on the floor? A turtle.
Oh by the way, we ended up getting Seymour when Chris and Tom split to get married. We dragged that turtle all over the place. Once we moved here Seymour had grown so big we knew we no longer had the space to keep him. So we gave him to a nice family in Rochester, Ny where he lives in a big pond. No I swear it's not a cover for the fact he died. In fact it was only after giving Seymour away that we learned all this time he was a she.

5 Months

On friday Keegan turned five months old. He continues to learn and develop on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago he found his voice. Now he babbles or screeches to his toys. Unfortunately his voice only has one volume, LOUD. It doesn't really bother me but we get weird looks when I take him out on errands. He has also started making "bbbbb" noises like a speedboat. They come complete with saliva bubbles. My goodness does that kid still slobber alot. I keep checking but no sign of teeth.
Keegan still doesn't sleep through the night but I can usually get an initial stretch of seven hours. Then after being fed he thankfully goes back to sleep for another six hours. He has also established an earlier bedtime. Unless he is completely wired he goes down between 8pm and 9 pm. Which in theory would give me some free time in the evenings but that is when I finish laundry, dishes or making formula. Sometimes I just vegetate on the couch for an hour. He is doing some day naps which is awesome. I never know how long he is going to sleep but that's okay. Today he was on a nap boycott but fell alsleep at 4pm which is why I am able to be writing this post.
Keegan seems to be more into toys and has this really intense focus when exploring. It cracks me up to see his little still shaky hands feeling all the textures and making sounds with that old man look on his face. He is constanly in motion. Even though he can only wiggle, he still covers alot of territory if you aren't watching. He has also recently discovered his tongue. We play games sticking our tongues out at eachother and he'll grab his with his hand.
After consulting with my mother's group I took him off solid food last Thurs. I decided that maybe he isn't physically ready to be eating from a spoon. I want to make sure mealtimes are positive experiences. We will take a week's break and then try again. Solid food at this point is not a nutritional need but practice for later on when it is required.
Keegan is still wearing his 3-6 months clothes and hasn't outgrown anything yet. But I wanted to be ready so I washed all of his things for 6-9 months. He has a ridiculous amount of stuff. I doubt that I will have to do laundry that often once he is in them. I seriously wonder if three months is enough time to wear it all once. I only bought him two outfits, the rest of all been gifts. People are just too generous. So his swimsuit and sun hat are ready for whenever it gets warm enough to take the plunge.

Cereal Facial

Last night Keegan had his first solid food. It was rice cereal but he made all kinds of faces. He kept swallowing and letting me spoon it in. Of course he was wearing most of it.

See the pictures.

You Ought Be In Pictures

Keegan's site is up and ready for public consumption! If you want the password please send me a comment or email. There aren't alot of photos right now but I will keep adding and eventually get them into chronological order.

PS It is another gorgeous design from Erika of course!!

Bump In The Night

Do babies dream? I think that Keegan has nightmares sometimes. The other night he woke up twice just screaming with tears streaming down his face. This is not his normal "I'm hungry" wake up. I held him on my shoulder and he fell back to sleep. He is so sweet and I want him to know not to be afraid. I'd slay dragons for that kid.

4 Month Checkup

Well technically he is 4 1/2 months but it is impossible to get appts. at my clinic. I just booked his six month and it will be right before he turns seven months. Oh well, I guess it doesn't really matter. Keegan checked out great. The doc confirmed that his hernia is healed and shouldn't be a problem again. Our official measurment confirmed that the bathroom scale doesn't really tell the truth for babies. He is 16lb. 8 oz. and 25 3/4 inches long. I just wanted to make sure he was catching up in length.
Keegan's shots went okay, he cried but stopped when I held him. He was in good spirits the rest of the day. However he was very fussy at bedtime so I did give him some T*ylenol. But I don't think it is helping because he popped back up at 11pm. Actually I can hearing him crying again now. Off to give the little guy some smooches.

What's Your Sign?

Today was the longest I have been away from Keegan. I left him for five hours to go to a workshop. Of course while I was gone he was an angel for Tom. They took a 45 minute nap together and then Keegan downed a huge bottle. What I really wanted was for him to poop since Tom has never changed a stinky diaper. He did go but Tom left it for me since he knew I'd be home shortly. What a guy. I am glad I left disposables out for Tom. I rightly suspected that he wouldn't be able to tackle a cloth diaper on his own. All in all I think the boys did great together.
The workshop I attended was about teaching slightly modified sign language to babies. They call it Baby Signs. It is based on American Sign Language except some of the signs are adapted because they would be too hard for a baby to do (ie. snapping fingers, large gestures). We learned about the long range studies and how it doesn't hamper language development but actually helps them learn sooner. We sung and signed some songs and went through a couple of the board books you can use. The best part was hearing the video tape stories from people who have used sign with their kids. It sounds like a great way to get through frustration on both sides. The have this cute stuffed bear you can buy to help teach. You slip your hands into his gloves and do the signs. I was fascinated by it and I am an adult, albeit a childlike one.
Keegan is too young to sign back but you can start signing at any time as long as you don't need instant gratification. Older babies can really pick it up quickly and sign for things within a few weeks. So my plan is to use a few signs for now (thirsty/drink, hungry/eat) until he gets to where he understands, which will probably be a few months down the road. There is also a really cute bedtime song about the moon and stars I want to start singing and signing to him. I am really excited about helping him learn to express himself.

Too Cool For Shades

So Keegan has finally mastered the art of unpinning his arms once he rolls over. This is important because now he doesn't lay in his crib and cry every time he gets stuck. I also saw him roll himself back over to his back the other day. Also very helpful.
I know if it's not one thing it's another. I wish he'd learn how eat a whole meal. He stills prefers to drink small portions from the bottle and does so around eleven times a day. It is almost like he is still breastfeeding. The weird part is that he seems to know when he has reached the exact same daily total of 30 oz. Then and only then will he fall asleep. That kid keeps better track than I do.
We went to B*abies R Us today and for the first time he didn't freak out in the store. They have all kinds of hot weather items out. I had him try on sunglasses but couldn't stop laughing. We passed on them as I don't want to give him a complex. Even though he doesn't need any more clothes I did break down and buy two rompers. I was so happy to find something for boys that doesn't have sports, construction or racecars on it. I am all about the puppies, marine life and insects. I also wanted to check out a highchair and a stroller for when he out grows the one that goes with his carrier. How ridiculous are the prices on some of these things? And I shit you not they had a highchair with a leather seat (okay leatherette) cover. Please, I don't need him developing a taste for the finer things this early. If Keegan wants leather he can duke it out with Tom for a spot on the "bachelor couches" in The Man Cave.
We ended the day with Keegan supervising as I trimmed some bushes in the yard and put flowers in my pots out front. It is finally starting to feel like summer is coming. The little guy is exhausted from all the errands and sleeping like an angel. Tomorrow I want to teach him to turn over garden soil and plant seeds. Some day we'll be side by side with our gloves and trowels.

Sleep, Beautiful Sleep

From now on I am going to post major Keegan updates on a monthly instead of weekly basis. Yes, he does change from week to week but not as dramatically as when he was a little squirt. I'll continue to post as any big stuff happens.
Over the weekend he started sleeping seven hours at a stretch. I don't know if it is a fluke but I am enjoying it for now. I can usually get him back to sleep after the feeding too. So now if he would just go down earlier it would be fabulous. But over time I am sure his schedule will adapt. He does get some naps during the daynow, especially if I even just place him in his car seat. We'll get into a crib for naps at some point too. I remember just a few weeks ago thinking a schedule was never going to be possible. Now I see a little light at the end of the tunnel.
Hand sucking and lots of drooling are still favorite past times. I think I can see some white on his bottom gum and he likes it when you rub the gum. Maybe there will be teeth popping out at some point over the next few weeks. I stood on the scale with Keegan and if it is right, he weighs around 18 pounds. My dad put a tape measure next to him this weekend and got an unofficial 26 inches. Next Monday we'll go to the doctor and find out for sure. If it's true then he is a pretty good sized baby. According to charts it would put him in the 95 percentile. Which honestly I don't really care about except that it gives me something else to worry about. Too big or too small are always in my mind. He is way too young for this to have any indication of his eventual size. And worrying is a parental requirement. If I didn't think about this I'd think about a million other things I have no control over.

PS His protected photo site should be up soon. I will send out the password when it's ready.

Nipple Nazis

Like I told the mommy's group today, I am going to get t-shirt that says, "I breastfeed my baby for as long as I physically could so please don't give me and my bottle those dirty looks."
In fact I weaned Keegan at three months and haven't mentioned it because of the fear of backlash. I certainly gave myself enough of a guilt trip so I don't need anyone else's. I know I met my goal, did the best I could for my son and then I moved on.
So he is on formula but still eats like he breastfed. Quite the grazer. That's okay. I still love our time when I am feeding him. In fact I try to make it as calm and non-distracting as before. This is how I want all of our mealtimes to be. Well let's face it, atleast until the time he is old enough for his own TV tray. I still laugh at the image of my family lined up with trays playing Jeopardy along with the TV. We might not have been discussing our day but we were definitely involved with eachother. When I left for college it took a long time to break that Jeopardy habit.
So there I confessed, and now I can feel free to discuss feeding issues without having to explain myself.

4 Months

"Better upper body strength and head control allow your baby to prop himself up on his elbows when he is lying on his stomach. Over the next month or so, he'll become strong enough to push up on fully extended arms. He can open his hands halfway and shut them at will. Your face remains his favorite thing to look at. Your baby laughs out loud and enjoys imitating your giggles and facial expressions. Your child distinguishes several hundred spoken sounds now. And by putting objects in his mouth-everything from your hair to his fist to a favorite toy- he is learning a lot about size, shape, temperature and texture."
-Parents Magazine

Keegan is now sleeping in his own room every night. Once I moved up to a faster flow nippple on his bottle he seems less hungry overnight. So now he goes down between 9 and 10 pm and wakes at 2 am. Then he'll sleep again until 7am. Sometimes I can get him back to sleep and other times he is raring to go. But it is so much better than before. Also he seems to be able to put himself to sleep by sucking on his hand. I have also put him in a walker stuffed with a towel to keep him from flopping over. He likes to be in it and watch me work in the kitchen. Sometimes he accidentally moves his feet and pushes it backwards. It was a hand me down from a friend so I haven't decided if I want to get him a more complicated version like an exersaucer. The toys he does play with seem plenty for now.
Keegan has started drooling a lot and putting his hand in his mouth even when he isn't hungry. I wonder if he is getting close to teething. I have no idea how to tell since he doesn't seem to be in pain at all. Maybe lots of drooling is normal at this point. I'll have to ask at my mother's group.
Keegan is also more verbal. Prone to shrieking for no apparent reason or making cooing noises like he is trying to tell us something. He is currently working on the "b" sound. And he loves it when you make the "p" or "b" sounds. Like saying "Poppa's porkchop puppy" cracks him up. Or repeating "bonkers baby" over and over is a favorite too.
His two month checkup appointment isn't for another couple of weeks so we'll have to wait until then to find out his measurements. I didn't think that much about it until several people told me he was big, but I think they just don't know what a 4 month old boy is supposed to look like.

One Fell Out

Yesterday was a momentous day. You're thinking,"yeah right Alisa you think everything that baby does is amazing." Well that is true. However yesterday Keegan reached the developmental milestone of rolling over. I put him on his back to play with his gym and went to do the dishes. When I checked on him he was on his stomach struggling to do pushups. So I scooped him up and danced around. Then of course we had to call Tom who wasn't quite as excited. In his defense he was in the middle of a project with someone in his office. He hasn't rolled again but I did find him upside down in his crib last night. His little legs go a mile a minute.

More exciting news:

cloth-diaper-web.jpg

Today he is wearing his first cloth diaper!
They are so cuddly and soft I wish they came in adult sizes. Ahhh...fleece underwear.

15 Weeks

We had our last mommy and me class on Monday. They aren't offering any more because they got rid of the physical therapy department. It's too bad because everyone really enjoyed them. Keegan had been going since he was 3 weeks old. I will try to keep doing exercieses with him at home but it will be hard to stay disciplined. I found a flyer at the grocery store for a new center that offers a range of mommy and me classes plus free babysitting while mommy is doing a class. I planning on checking it out on one of our next outings.
Keegan discovered he has two hands and that they can grab each other. That is his new favorite thing. Along with rolling on his side but not completely over. This makes him dangerous in the swing or bouncer. I am paranoid about watching him every minute even though he is belted in. When I go to get the mail I carry him with me and he just stares at the trees. He really sems to love being outside. Chip off the old block I think.
Keegan also seems to have had a growth spurt because he looks longer to me. His pant legs still cover his feet but it's not like he's going to trip over them. Sleeping is no better. We get a five hour block then all bets are off. The trouble is that his five hour block starts around 9:30 or so. I am fighting the realization that I should go to bed that early too. I feel like night time is the only chance I get to relax. But when I am up with him wide awake at 6 am I really wish I'd gone to bed earlier. Ugh.
On Mother's Day we took Keegan on his first boat ride. He was not happy in the lifejacket. First he was stunned and then the tears came. Once the boat started moving he had a bottle and fell asleep. He slept the whole ride covered by a blanket from the sun. Oh well, there will be plenty more boat rides in his future.
I have started moving things out of our bedroom and back to his nursery. I am thinking I should also put away the pack and play I am using as a changing table. There aren't any more middle of the night diaper changes now. Plus the more time he spends in his room hopefully the more comfortable he will be. He has been better in his cradle in our room and spends most of the night there unless I get desperate and tuck him in next to me. I love his little body sleeping next to me in bed. But I know we would all sleep better if he had his own space. Between Keegan and Tom's loud breathing and flopping around I am always in a state of semi-consciousness.
I read an article today that said that once you become parents it will be a long before you feel rested again. Some days I feel like I am adapting to the schedule and others I feel completely spacey. The thing about babies is that just when you think they have a routine down, it changes. Here's hoping that happens soon!
The bottom line is that Keegan is a really great baby and usually can be soothed by being fed or held in our laps. It is a rare occasion that he is fussy for no apparent reason. On those days I take comfort knowing that the next day will be better. All it takes is one of his winning smiles to erase the fatigue.

Sandman On Strike

Guess who took a nap today for a whole 45 minutes in his crib?
When you become a parent you celebrate these small victories. Keegan had fallen asleep under his gym but as usual it was only for 15 minutes. Then I laid him in his crib where he remained wide awake and finally cried after 20 minutes. He had even stayed awake the whole time during our walk today. Just as I got him upstairs his eyes closed so I figured it was worth a shot. I know I can get him sleep 3 hours in his swing. But I have visions of him as a teenager and still needing to be rocked to sleep. Plus when I finally do have to enroll him in daycare it will be alot easier for everyone if he has some kind of schedule.
So I'll take the little signs of progress and daydream about the luxury of a baby who naps.

14 Weeks

I could blog during Keegan's naps. IF he ever took one. Sometimes I think he is going down, but no he's back up. I guess he just doesn't want to miss anything. Driving him around or putting him in the swing works but I am trying to establish some normal routines.
He sleeps most of the night in his own cradle. Lately he has gotten up every hour and a half, drank an ounce and then conked back out. I am not sure what this is about but I hope it stops soon.
Keegan's grabbing for items is more deliberate and he looks now at what he is aiming for. It's so funny to watch him swing his arms wildly about. Not that great with control over his motor skills yet.
His hernia must be healing because his belly button is receding and is a normal size. I hope it stays an outie though.
Keegan has been to a restaurant over five times and does very well. We went out to Thai food last night because my brother Bret is in town for business. Even he said that Keegan is a very happy baby. He was smiley and kept flirting with the waitress (the baby not my brother). Bret has two girls so Keegan represents the only boy in the family right now.
It drives me nuts that I think of things all week long to update on but then forget when I actually get time.
I won an Ebay auction for cloth diapers so hopefully these won't be stolen and we can transition off of disposables. I suspect I will have some incidents with them before I figure out the right combination for maximum absorbency. I have a friend who has been using them for a year so she is full of good tips.
A couple of people have asked me lately how I like being a mom. It's simple. I love it. I love it more than I ever imagined I would. Bless whatever in the universe decided that I was to receive this gift. It has taken all this time but it has finally sunk in that he is my boy.

(edited: While I was posting before it got really quiet upstairs. Sure enough I found Master Keegan completely asleep under his activity gym. Looks like the elephant and monkey got the best of him.)

3 Months

Keegan turned three months old yesterday. Sometimes the time seems to have flown and sometimes I feel like he should be older. I read in the doctor's office that around this time babies fall in love with their parents. He does seem to glow when we are around him. Gooey love eyes and gummy smiles. Of course I could be projecting that onto him.
He is really into grabbing stuff and looking in mirrors. He'll catch a glimpse and freeze staring. Keegan may have figured out that he is exactly what I keep telling him. A beautiful baby.
For the record he does not sleep through the night. Not even close. I have almost given up on that dream. I think we might be mid-growth spurt. He woke up every two hours last night to eat. And he spent the better part of the evening eating too.
Let's take a moment to discuss his diapers. I have no problem with the pee. But his bowel movements are unbelievable. Gettting more adult like every day. And super stinky! Anyone can change a young baby's diaper. But from now on is when we see the real heroes. Needless to say, Tom isn't volunteering.

Ooops. The little guy is squawking for his dinner. I'll continue the post-partum section of this later.

PS I found out that Keegan means "little fire." So I have taken to calling him Spitfire sometimes. Well along with Mr. Grumpy, Mr. Fussy, Mr. Stinkypants, Squeaky, Squirty, Boo-boo, Lovey-lu, etc.
Clearly I have issues with petnames.

12 Weeks

Each week brings so many changes in both Keegan and myself. He continues to get more adept at exploring his world and I continue to get better at deciphering his language. I know he is telling me what he needs, I just have to learn what he is saying.
He gives smiles away freely and is most happy interacting with people. Tom got him to laugh for the first time playing peek-a-boo games. It sounded so funny I didn't even realize that it was a laugh. But he did it over and over and has now added a giggle.
Keegan starts out in his cradle each night but still ends up in bed after nursing. I am hoping that he will sleep longer periods and eventually will spend the whole night on his own. The longest stretch so far has been five hours.
He also spends more time awake during the day and definitely needs some indpendent time. The play gym and bouncer give him plenty of space to talk to the animals and grab for things.
In the beginning I wanted him to develop so badly, now I want to freeze this moment in time before he completely grows out of being a baby.
I figured out why I love being his mom so much. All my life I wanted to take care of people and nuture living beings. Now I can do that and know that he really needs me and loves me for it.

He's A Flirt

I think Keegan genuinely enjoys being out and about. We went to Lowell to meet up with Erika and Amy and her baby daughter Monique. When I arrived, Jessie was there too!.
The girls popped out to pick up lunch while us mommies fed the kids. When they got back we snarfed down on yummy sandwiches. Keegan was so mellow the whole time and content to hang out. Erika played with him on the floor before we left and must have used her baby magic. He was quiet the whole way home even when I was stopped in traffic which usually frustrates him as much as me. He is still zonked out now so I left him in the carrier to get dinner ready.
Come to think of it I am much happier out and around people too.

11 Weeks

I think this past weekend Keegan finally got into toys. He seems to be able to recognize them better and be entertained by them. We brought his activity gym down to PA with us and he spent most of his time playing with it. He was able to grab the monkey's tail by himself and hold the elephant's trunk with help from Tom. It's not like he is looking and grabbing but more like feeling something swing by and holding it.
Keegan did okay in the carseat there and back. We stopped several times to feed him but most of the rest of the time he was quiet. I think by yesterday he was bored to death of being in that seat. He did not sleep well in Pa and I had him in bed with me the whole time. Last night he only slept an hour in his cradle and then I brought him in bed. Thankfully he does still know day from night so that hasn't been an issue.
He is so smiley now. He just whips them out at everyone. It took a little while for him to be comfortable being held by others but then he was perfectly content. Keegan's favorite spot is still laying with Tom in the recliner. He is also very chatty now. He'll talk to his animals forever. But sometimes they must say something back because he'll shriek at them. Needless to say, I am having more fun playing with him each day.
Oh and I am hopelessly in love with him.

Gas, Food, Lodging

Dilemma:
How do you fit two adults, two large dogs and a baby in the same vehicle? Nevermind all their stuff. This is why I have that big gas guzzling SUV people always give me crap about.

Tomorrow we take Keegan on his first road trip. Now it won't be reminiscent of my college road trips (ie. loud music, speeding, junk food, trunk full of liquid courage). But we're going to PA to see Grammy, Pappy, Aunt BJ & Aunt Loretta, so there's plenty of fun to be had. I'm not really nervous about traveling with a baby just afraid he'll sleep the whole way and be up all night. Then what if his days get all messed up? That would be unfortunate. Particulary for me as I have gotten used to be able to sleep when the rest of this hemisphere does. Oh well, there is only one way to find out.

Have a lovely weekend and Easter (if you observe it). See ya when we return!

10 Weeks

Keegan was quite the social butterfly this weekend. He escorted me to two evenings with friends. On Sat. we went to a casual gathering at Erika and Jay's. She thinks it's weird seeing your friends with kids, try BEING the one with the kid. So surreal. Of course Keegan turned on the charm, smiling and cooing all over the place. Definitely takes after me in the liking other people thing. Bonus: Aunt Erika got us an adorable honey bee hat that has made us the envy of other babies.
On Sun. I made my triumphant post-partum return to my Cooking Light supper club. Keegan had the courtesy to sleep through dinner, allowing me to eat and enjoy adult conversation. He woke then and hung out on my shoulder until time to leave. The cooking theme was Indian. Mark my words when Keegan does move on to solid foods he will be exposed to all sorts of different cultures. I want a child with an open mind to atleast try things. It took Tom until his twenties to try Chinese food.
Keegan spends alot of time looking around and staring intently at other people. He rubs around his eyes and I am not sure what that indicates. He only puts his fist in his mouth if he is hungry.
Tom gave him his bath alone on Fri. night and I had to physically restrain myself from going and watching. I just missed him. But it is important for them to bond and for me to let go some. I also went to the grocery without Keegan yesterday and Tom did just fine with the bottle. Who knows? Maybe some day we'll go out on a date and let my mom watch the squirt. Baby steps.....

Blech

The little guy has been under the weather these past two days. A slight temp but no other symptoms. He has needed extra feedings and lots of cuddling. On Wednesday he fell asleep on my stomach so I didn't move for 2 1/2 hours. I wanted to make sure he got some rest. Today he discovered the thrill of being able to stick his fist in his mouth. Boy was he happy.
Maybe tomorrow it will finally stop raining. Talk about a downer. I think we have gotten three inches so far. But atleast the rain is staying on the outside for us.

9 Weeks

Wow the weeks are flying by now. I have started trying to get keegan to sleep in the cradle next to our bed. This is the first step towards having a regular bedtime and eventually sleeping in his own room. So far I can put him down for the night in the cradle but he is back in our bed after the first nightime feeding. I am happy with this progress for now. I have noticed that he cries less often during the day. I am assigning this to the fact that I can tell better what he wants. Although sometimes I still don't have a clue. His tummy trouble due to gas is much better. No more red faced straining with those little legs all stiff.
Last night he went to bed at 9:30 and I went at 10pm, we both slept until his feeding at 2 am. Then he woke up to eat one more time before 8am. Probably the best batch of sleep I have had since he was born. He was in a great mood and amused himself while I got dressed. He was a model baby in mommy & me class. Didn't fuss at all even whole time I did sit-ups which is where his patience usually runs thin. After we ended with the massage he was so mellow and napped in the car on the way home. We took a short walk after lunch.
That's about when he got cranky. For the rest of the day he would nap in short spurts and wake up screaming. I had to comfort him on my shoulder and then he'd fall asleep again. Or he'd be fine playing for ten minutes and then start crying. I tried all his toys and apparatus but nothing worked.
This evening Tom rescued me from my fruitless attempts to make dinner and offered to pick something up. Keegan fell alseep right before Tom got home carrying really good Thai food. He is still sleeping now. Whew! I just needed a break.

PS Per an agreement with Tom, I will no longer be posting unsecure pics of Keegan. Erika is making a password protected section where they will posted for those of you who request access. I have a super cute one of Keegan smiling from ear to ear that I'll put up there when it is ready. For now you'll have to use your imagination. ;-)

Fit To Parent?

Music calms the savage beast.

You know what calms a cranky baby? The vacuum cleaner.

Yesterday he cried wheneever I turned it off. So I did the whole first floor and then gave up. By then he relaxed and was amusing himself.
Of course later when he was upset again I couldn't get to him because I had super glued my fingers together.

But that's a whole different story.

Two Month Checkup

Today is Keegan's two month birthday! This meant a trip to the doctor's for his checkup. It also meant getting the first round of immunizations. His doc was very quick about it but he still cried. I had to hold him for several minutes in order to clam him down. I gave him some infant T*ylenol drops and he has been pretty sleepy since coming home. The rest of his exam went well. Keegan is 22 3/4 inches long and a sturdy 12 pounds 14 ounces. Let me tell you it helps make all the feedings and sore boobs worthwhile to know it is working. I did ask about his giant belly button and was told it is a hernia. Apparently the abdominal muscles haven't grown together like they should. But it is nothing for concern and should resolve itself by the time he is five years old.
We got his first smile the other night and since then I have seen it many more times. Sometimes it is after a feeding, after a good burp or when he is staring off into space. I'd love to know what he is thinking.
We also joined a new mom's support group and went for the first time before his appointment. I was really glad that I decided to go. The other moms and the facilitators had great advice. I got ideas on setting a bedtime schedule and getting "me" time. We'll see how I do with implementing these ideas. One of the moms was actually in our childbirth classes at the hospital. It was fun to follow up with her and meet her son who is a few weeks older than Keegan. We exchanged phone numbers so we can get together. She hasn't lived here very long and doesn't know alot of people or even the area. It would be nice to have another person who has to breastfeed a little guy while tooling around town.

8 Weeks

How is it possible that it has been 8 weeks? It seems longer and shorter all at the same time. Keegan sleeps atleast one long stretch (4-5 hours) at night and then some shorter ones. I am still running a little slow but it has gotten better. This week's entertainment is to lay in his bouncer and wave his arms and legs. He gurgles and coos with the occasional shreek. I crack up just watching him. For several days in a row last week he was eating every hour. As you can imagine not alot of anything else was accomplished around here.
The striking thing about being a parent is I am no longer just me but a "we." Yes this happened when I marrried Tom but to a lesser extent. And I am sure it changes as children grow up. But for now Keegan and I are a team. He sets the schedule and I am along for the ride. Major adjustment for me who leans on the control freak side of things. The key is letting go because it is not that big of a deal. This is easier when it is just me. I still feel like I am inconveniencing other people and that they won't want to do stuff with me because it is a pain. Then I have to remind myself not to sell them short. They are my friends for a reason right?
Certain things really effect me now too. Like idiot drivers piss me off even more. I take it as a personal attack. Don't they know I am carrying a priceless work of art in here? And could there be more shaken or abused baby stories on the news? I had trouble dealing with child abuse when I worked with the foster care system. Now it is even harder for me to fathom and I often find myself crying at the reports. How do you grow and nuture something and then hurt it?
Being a mom hasn't changed me fundamentally as a person. All those feelings have always been inside and a part of my personality. They are magnified now and more significant to me. Loving, funny, resourceful, flexible and fiercely protective. I have only known Master Keegan for 8 weeks. It is hardly a blink. I can not wait to learn more of who he is and how he'll shape his world.

PS Today at mommy & me the instructor said that Keegan is starting to look like me. Yay!

Happy St. Patty's Day

The great thing about being an Irish baby is I can wear this any day of the year.

Keegan-st.patricks.jpg


Thanks Aunt Tammy & Uncle Bret

7 Weeks

Keegan seems to be growing like crazy. He actually outgrew some of his onesies. It was weird to put them in a box to be packed away. It will be even more strange when we move from his 0-3 months drawer to his 3-6 months drawer. It looks like the hair is growing back on the top of his head, slowly, but it's there. And his eyebrows are in although still very light. There is also a new bald spot on the back of his head. Apparently that is normal since we compared spots with the other babies at mommy & me.
He is looking around more than ever and seems to be focusing on specific items at times. I am still waiting for a real smile. He also makes all kinds of noises and waves his hands around for amusement. Keegan loves to be bounced on your leg like he is riding a bucking bronco. Clearly a child who enjoys some excitement.
Unfortunately his tummy and gas troubles continue. I give him the drops at every feeding but I am not sure if they help. He still has trouble getting back to sleep during the night. I give him a massage and walk with him but he wakes back up when I put him down. He is still sleeping with us because it is easier to rub his tummy and comfort him that way. Hopefully he will grow out of it in a few more weeks and then I'll move him to his cradle in our room.
We were looking around at mommy & me today and checking out the other babies. Keegan is the only one with an "outie" belly button. He is not just out but really out. I wonder if this will change over time. Right now I love seeing that fat little tummy.

Jailbreak

Look Buzz with your wings and my brains I think we can bust outta here. Whaddaya say?

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6 Weeks

Keegan started this thing last week where he is only happy when being held. So needless to say it makes it difficult to get any thing done. But atleast he can be consoled which is much better than the alternative. I do hope it is just another phase.
He continues to be very gassy especially after feedings at night. I took him to the doctor's last Tuesday just to make sure there wasn't anything physically wrong. He checked out okay and the doctor suggested gas drops. So I have been giving him those as much as possible but I am not sure how effective they are. Keegan also got weighed and measured. He is 22 inches and a sturdy 11 pounds 3 ounces. I couldn't believe the scale when I read it. I knew he had grown but never guessed it was that dramatic. I swear most of his weight is in his cheeks. He takes after me in that way. I was actually going to order my cloth diapers last week but I have decided to wait a little to see how fast he continues to grow.
We signed up for the next session of mommy & me which will take us through May. I could feel the workout we did last week in my legs and stomach. Today's class was very small. I guess the snow scared people away.
Keegan made his first trip to the mall yesterday. Tom needed clothes for work so that gave us a focus while shopping. I ended up feeeding Keegan in the parking lot after we were done. I had brought a bottle that I pumped so I wouldn't be forced to nurse in public if I didn't want to. I am sure I will get past that hang-up eventually. Well not completely out in public but atleast in a ladies room or changing room.
The big difference in Keegan this week is eye contact. He really looks at you with recognition and will follow you with his head. It is funny to see him follow Tom across the room. Won't be long until he is calling for his da-da. Us moms get taken for granted I suspect.

5 Weeks

Wow has our boy grown. I can't believe the difference even one week makes. Keegan is so much more alert and responsive. At mommy & me he did awesome and wasn't fussy. We do push ups with the babies under us and then give them a kiss when we lower ourselves. Usually he freaks out when he is stuck on his back. But today he stared at the overhead lights. Then he fell asleep when we were doing our squats. There are two new babies in class including a little girl who is one week older. I like to look at the other babies for cues on how Keegan will develop over time.
I had this great idea to make some money from home. I should write a book. I will call it, "The One-Handed Cookbook: Recipes For New Moms." Trust me people I am pro at it. Keegan loves to be toted around and has a sixth sense for when I am preparing lunch or dinner. I am going to end up with bulging biceps and a hunchback.
Keegan continues to eat like a champ. On Saturday he was hungry every hour. I fed him twelve times that day and that didn't leave time for much else. He also feeds alot in the evening but if that buys me a longer period of sleep at night, I am all for it. I just fed him a little while ago. He was all done and sleepy so I set him on the bed for a minute. That is when he pulled an "Exorcist." Full on projectile spitup through his nose and mouth not once, but twice. Didn't bother him in the least. My comforter is soaked through. Tom says it won't fit in our washing machine. I got the lid to close, so that counts right?

4 Weeks

Wow can't believe I haven't updated in so long. Guess you can tell I had a busy week. Good nights and bad nights as far getting Mister Keegan to sleep comfortably. I wish I could figure out the key to whatever gives him so much gas.
He made his public debut yesterday to much critical acclaim. My friend Erica got married in Boston. We brought Keegan down to stay in the hotel and be watched by my mom. My college friends were in from all over so we used one of their rooms. Using a combination of me nursing and stored milk I pumped all week, we managed to cover his feedings. The reception was right in the hotel so I could go up and down to check on him. It wasn't as hard as I was anticipating and we were so glad we could attend. Of course everything was beautiful and I had fun catching up with everyone. But we were so exhausted on the drive home because it was way past all of our bedtimes. I think "baby fever" has sufficiently rubbed off on my friends and I am expecting some pregnancies to be announced this year.
Keegan is amazingly four weeks old today. He has put on some fat around his face and legs. He still eats like nobody's business. I wonder when he'll stop needing to be fed every two hours. He can see faces and likes to just stare at you. He is also starting to pick up sounds like singing or baby talk or a rattle. But he isn't able to really respond yet.

Here he is today. Duck booties courtesy of Aunt Erika.

keegan-4weeks.jpg

Mommy & Me

Yesterday was our first mommy & me exercise class. We were late because there was a gruesome diaper incident. But we jumped right in and started moving. Keegan is by far the youngest baby, the closest being six weeks. It made a difference when it came to attention span and not having his head wobble all over the place during exercises. Then he got fussy while I was lifting him on my shins. It was the sucking on my knee and not getting any milk that really pissed him off. So I fed him, in public, with a blanket to maintain modesty. And it was weird and awkward for both of us. But I am imagining it will get better each time. It was nice to be with other moms and babies since I have neither in my daily life. I think every pregnant woman should have a partner who is either currently pregant or has been before. That would be cool to not feel like I am flying solo all the time.
The super sucky thing is that our dryer broke yesterday. It still moves the clothes around, it just doesn't heat up. Kind of an important feature. So we ordered a new one but it won't be here until Sat. Keegan burns through way too much laundry to wait that long. I did a load and took it to my neighbor's to dry but I thought it would be rude to drop it off and leave. I like talking to her but it was time I should have been using to give Keegan a bath and catching up with Tom. After Keegan's four to four thirty am feeding he couldn't get to sleep. He was tired but it seemed like he was uncomfortable. I tried every position but nothing worked. Around five forty I finally got him to sleep by holding him upright against my chest on the couch. That is how Tom found us when he left for work. Hopefully tonight will go better.

3 Weeks

Keegan has been eating frequently the past few days. I am thinking that he must be going through a growth spurt. I have been getting blocks of four and three hours of sleep as long as he eats atleast nine times before 11 pm. Oh and also as long as he gets to sleep with us. I would eventually like to get him to sleep on his own but right now I am just thrilled to be getting sleep. He seems to have grown quite a bit and is finally filling out his clothes. His face and head are more round and less squished from being born. There is slightly less screaming during diaper changes as long as I don't take too long.
I spent Valentine's Day with him and sent Tom snowboarding. It was warm and the conditions were so nice I really wanted him to go have fun. I asked him to not buy me any chocolate or candy since I don't need junk to eat. All I wanted was a card because let's face it, I already have the best gift ever. My parents came over yesterday evening, cooked me dinner and then we watched a movie.
Today Erika & Jay came to see Keegan and they brought yummy dinner. It was great to see them and catch up with Erika who I hadn't seen since I left the hospital. Jay hadn't seen Keegan at all. I could get used to this visit and bring food thing.

Here is my view when I am carrying Keegan in his Sn*ugli.

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Birth Story

Here it is and I don't think I left anything out. Then again the amnesia part is supposed to be a blessing.

So it all started on Thurs. the 22nd when I was given Misoprostol and then sent home for the night. We returned the next morning at 9am and I was given an actual room instead of having to hang out in Triage. I got the Nutfield birth suite, which was my first choice. I liked the room theme and it has a single bed which means it can be adjusted into different positions. They put me on monitors and started a pitocin drip. I named my IV stand “Stan” and we ended up spending a lot of quality time together. I was on the pitocin all day and tried to walk the hallways to help bring on contractions. Tom took the dogs to the kennel and ran some errands in preparation of us bringing home a baby. One of the nurses also tried a counterpressure technique to get the baby to face backwards, which would make delivery easier. We weren’t sure if it worked. By the 5pm they had given me all the pitocin for the day and they stopped the drip. I was given more Misoprostol and checked after an hour. No real progress was made in either dilation or thinning. So they put more in and I decided to stay at the hospital in order to keep my room and in case I did make progress during the night. They didn’t check me again before I went to sleep. I was offered Ambien to sleep. The pills hit me in ten minutes and I was drugged to the gills. Tom was concerned as he watched me stumble through my bedtime hygiene routine.

Mark It With A "B"

Keegan and I are getting this teamwork thing together. Yesterday I got up enough courage to take him to the grocery store. It was sunny and in the 40s which is warm for around here. The clock starting ticking after I nursed him and I knew I had to stick to my two hour window of opportunity. He slept through the store while I was totally paranoid the whole time. I was hyper conscious of people bumping into us or touching him with germy hands. I had nothing to worry about and we got home safe. Keegan even slept while I put the groceries away. Score one for mom.
I started my plan of pumping and having Tom give him a bottle at night to help me get some sleep. However we haven't had a lot of sucess. The first night I hadn't pumped enough and Keegan was hungry an hour later. Last night I filled a bottle but he was fussy and didn't eat well. He gulps it down and then spits up or is impossible to burp. Poor Tom kept him until after 1 am. I told him not to do that any more because he has to get up at 6am. I did not take the time to pump today as he has been eating every two hours and I can't get any pumping in. I still can't get Keegan to sleep well in his cradle. It is almost like he doesn't want to be flat on his back. Maybe it is a gas thing. So I have resorted to bringing him to bed. I am over my fear that we will squish him. He is perfectly content to lay without blankets on the sheet between Tom and I. I have also been putting him to sleep in fleece sacks. He seems to like the ability to kick his legs and I don't have to worry about keeping his feet covered. Every day is different so we have to keep adapting. He is in a Sn*ugli pack on me right now. I read somewhere that babies who are carried or held 3 hours a day are less fussy at night. Besides I like having him along while I am doing chores.

2 Weeks

So really yesterday was Keegan's two week mark. But we had a very active weekend so I couldn't update. Sometime Friday night my sweet boy started having a rough time. He was extremely fussy and couldn't be put down for more than five minuites. Tom was up all night with him. He slept Sat. while I continued to try and comfort Keegan. It wasn't until later that night after seeing a redness on the baby's bum did I figure it out. I believe the trouble was food related. Specifically what I had eaten. He was very uncomfortable, lifting his legs up and his face turning red. I checked the book and there it was. The only thing I had eaten different was pineapple and strawberries. Apparently both can cause the breastmilk to be acidic and therefore irritating. The ironic part was that he only seemed consoled by nursing and wanted to eat every two hours. I felt so bad that they only thing I could give him was the milk that was making him so unhappy. Finally yesterday afternoon it seemed to get out of my system and in turn his. My mom stayed over last night to give us a break. I would nurse and she took him to his cradle to sleep. Sleep deprivation definitely doesn't work for me. I end up questioning my competency as a mom and getting down. Today he is content and I even got a quick shower. Keegan really is a doll of a baby. As a mom I need to find out how to stay happy and healthy for him. I miss Tom too. Even though we are in the same house we didn't really spend time together. I keep telling myself that this is the hardest part and in a few weeks we'll be past this. I am stopping to remind myself he'll only be this small for a short time and I should savor it. My next plan is to start pumping enough for atleast one feeding's worth of milk so that maybe Tom can do that before we trade off for the night.

Leaps & Bounds

Tom returned to work today so Keegan and I flying by ourselves. He had his regular checkup this morning with the pediatrician. I was wondering how the breastfeeding was going. Keegan now weighs 7lbs. 5 oz. and is almost two inches longer! I guess all those meals are going somewhere.

His Heritage

Keegan is sleeping on my arm as I type this.

One of the many great features of where I gave birth are the suites themselves. Each one has a theme based on New Hampshire history complete with color scheme and painted furniture. When I was admitted to be induced they let me pick a room. By luck the one I really wanted was available. Here is the description, perfect for a Scotch Irish baby right?

The Nutfield Suite

"The town of Londonderry was built on a promise.
The promise came from Massachusetts Governor Samuel Shute, who agreed, on March 26, 1718, to grant a parcel of land to a band of Scotch Presbyterians emigrating from the north of Ireland "whenever they decided upon a location."
The location they decided upon was Nutfield.
That was the colloquial name given to the heavily wooded area that the 118 newcomers - led by John Moor - would rename Londonderry to honor their old home. And, regarding the subject of names, prospective parents who are still agonizing over what to call their baby might be intrigued by the way in which one of Londonderry's most notable citizens came by her name.
In 1720, while making passage across the Atlantic from Londonderry in Ireland, a ship was set upon by pirates. After boarding the vessel, the leader of the marauding buccaneers heard a cry from below.
When he discovered the cry was that of a new-born child, he made the new mother a proposition: "If you name the baby Mary after my sweet wife," the pirate said, "I will not plunder this ship."
Thus, the baby was christened Mary Wilson - "Ocean Born Mary" - and the ship was spared. Twenty-two years later, when Mary was wed to James Wallace, she wore a gown of green silk brocade, the fabric courtesy of the warm-hearted pirate.
Scraps of her gown are on display at the Londonderry Historical Museum."'

Due Date

Today was supposed to be Keegan's due date. 40 weeks ago (well really 38 because of the extra two they add on) he started growing in a petri dish. Then they put him inside me two days later and he stuck in there. I look at him now when I am nursing and tell myself, "I can't believe we made you."

I was looking through my creative writing journal and found the following entry. It was written exactly a year ago.

Fan Already

Here is Keegan watching the Superbowl. He's smiling because we just scored. Or it could be a burp.....

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1 Week

How about that? Exactly one week since Keegan was born. I can hardly believe it, although most of it has been a blur of feedings, changings and naps caught on the fly. Left the house without the baby today. Mom took me grocery shopping and I basically pointed while she did all the work. It was a good idea to get some air. When I am here I worry constantly about whether he is eating enough, if I am doing okay with my breasts and what kind of night we'll have. He is gorgeous, makes cooing noises, has hiccups a lot and sleeps with his arms arm around his ears. Still blows my mind that a whole baby came out of me. I have much hope that this week will be easier than the last. I have the changing him by myself down and feel comfortable carrying him around without breaking him. His umbilical cord just came off with the last diaper change.

Hanging In

It's me in the flesh. Still figuring out our routine around here. Thanks to everyone for all your wonderful comments and well wishes. I promise to answer back when I get the chance. Right now I am having to choose between posting and sleep. Sleep is winning most times. I will be putting up my birth story too sometime soon I hope.
Update on Keegan so far. We've had to go to the pediatrician's twice already. Nothing serious just some jaundice. Apparently very normal, especially for breastfed babies because it takes a while for enough milk to come in to flush out the natural bilirubin that the body creates. We had his levels checked Wed. night and then again on Thurs. They were already decreasing so no treatment should be needed. He just needs to eat and poop alot to clear it out.
Feeding has been interesting. He latches really well sometimes but doesn't stay awake long. The result is waking every hour for food and then only nursing for five to ten minutes. Ouch. Plus he doesn't go back to sleep, so we have to take turns holding him. Last night was really difficult with no rest, a major spitting up incident and me forgetting to cover his package so there was a peeing incident. Because of his circumcision we have extra care during diaper changes and it takes two people. Hopefully when that heals I won't have to wake Tom every time.

Weird stuff already:

-Having medical staff ask if I am Keegan's mother. (Wow ANYONE's mother).
-Using the phrase, "when I was pregnant."
-Waking up and realizing it's my baby I am caring for and it's forever.
-Watching Tom carrying his son who looks so much like him.

That's it from Baby Central for now. We're tired but loving our boy!