Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fly the Conrad skies

Yesterday we flew to Los Angeles so that Jean could present a poster at the American Library Association annual meeting. (I'm not really sure what it means to "present a poster." Do you just point at it and go, "Ta da!"? I suppose I could ask her but Conrad is nursing and I've been shushed.)

As many of you know, or if you didn't already and know me, could have guessed, I was more than a little apprehensive about this trip. I'm far too concerned about disturbing other people and I imagined all kinds of uncomfortable scenarios. I realize in retrospect they all boiled down to, "What if he cries?"

Well he did cry, maybe two or three times in the combined five or so hours we were on planes: once or twice because he was hungry and once because he was tired. And it wasn't a big deal. Nobody gave us the stinkeye. Nobody rolled his eyes. Mostly people smiled and waved at Conrad. On the first leg to Chicago we were in the bulkhead row immediately behind first class, and one slick-looking businessman passed us a blanket unbidden, just because he knew we could use it.

One colleague recommended a strategy which may well have paid off. "Just keep standing up and letting everybody see how cute he is."

All in all a much more positive experience than I predicted, with the added benefit that our trip at the end of July - just to Chicago and no further - should feel like a short hop.

One complaint, however. I've been flying for 37 years. The year I have a baby is the year that American Airlines stops allowing pre-boarding for parents traveling with young children?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Some new skills are more useful than others.

Like every new parent in America we have a copy of the book "What to Expect the First Year," a.k.a. "Rate Your Baby." It lists milestones that babies may or may not reach at different stages of development. Conrad has usually been ahead of the curve on most of them (in case you missed that subtle subtext in previous posts) but has been lagging behind in his ability to make "wet razzing noises." And we all know what a valuable skill that is. Today he made up for it in spades.

WARNING: This video contains scenes of drool that non-grandparents may find disturbing.

Conrad likes watches, too.

But on a completely different level.

It's funny because he's too young to drink beer.

When we asked Conrad's doctor when we should start introducing solid foods, she said he would be ready when he not only showed interest in the food we were eating, but seemed to get frustrated or even angry when we didn't give him some. I assume that doesn't apply to beer. Nothing sends the wrong message about your parenting skills like having a shirtless infant staggering around demanding booze.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Useless parenting information

More thoughts on the sleeping-through-the-night question: Over the past four months, I've had people tell me, "Oh, when he gets to ten pounds, then he'll start sleeping through the night." Ten pounds came and went. Someone else told me 11. Then yet someone else said 12. A fourth person told me 13. Well, for Conrad the magic number appears to be 16 pounds. He slept through the night again last night, from 7:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

So, if you're a parent of a new baby wondering when he or she will start sleeping through the night:

I have no idea. Good luck!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We now have medical confirmation.

We just got back from Conrad's four month checkup. After watching him stand, jump up and down and yank on her stethoscope, his doctor allowed that he might be "a bit advanced in motor development."


We also learned he's in the 50th percentile for head size, 50 to 75th for weight and 75th to 90th for height. So, he's going to be tall and skinny with a little bitty head. Awesome! He can work the carnival circuit!

And we learned he's 16 pounds 4 ounces. They measured him too, but for some reason those numbers never stick in my head. Twenty six inches maybe?

I told the nurse I was 70 inches and she told me I was a big boy now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Four Month Birthday, Conrad

Where's my cake?

Since he was, oh, maybe, three days old, people have been asking us, "Is he sleeping through the night yet?" We didn't know anything, so we felt like he should have been and that we were unlucky and that all newborns slept 12 hours in blissful silence.

Since then we've heard from enough other parents and read enough books to know that our response should have been, "No, of course he's not sleeping through the @#$*& night yet. Shut up, get out and don't come back without a casserole." We've also learned that it's a relative term. For at least a month he's slept for 10 hours or so, only waking once to feed. We learned that made us very lucky.

Well last night, in celebration of his four month birthday, he did, in fact, with no ambiguity...

(cue the celestial choir)

... sleep through the night. He went to sleep at 7:30 p.m., blarked and werfled a bit at 5:00 a.m. but then fell back asleep until 5:45, when he awoke with his characteristic big morning smile.

And there was much rejoicing, none more than by the Mommy, who does not do quite as well as the Daddy when it comes to sleep deprivation.

Of course, who knows what he'll do tonight.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yeah, I can stand up now. No big deal.

So many new photos.

Go to the Flickr page. We've uploaded a backlog of at least two weeks of photos, including photos from our trip to Topsail Beach with Becky and Dave and Evan and Levi (although there's nothing to indicate we were at the beach), a veritable cornucopia of facial expressions and some biting.

Helping Mom cook

Bear with us.

Lots of great new pictures to be posted as soon as I can. Is it possible to blame the heat for failure to perform an indoor activity on the computer? Sure, why not. Last night we were so drained that we went to bed at 8:00 p.m. It wasn't even dark out.

Plus, check out the new widget over on the right. It shows in real time where visitors to the blog are coming from. So, um... if you're not sure where you are, check the widget.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rest in Peace, Linty the cat

On a cold night in the winter of 88, a small little kitty was found under a car on the streets of Chicago. The people that found her thought that they had heard a baby crying, only to find this poor kitten. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as you'll see) the people that found her also found that they were allergic and couldn't keep her.

Through a friend of theirs, it became known that I might like a cat. And thus a new home was found.

Linty lived with me in my studio apartment in Chicago for a couple of years and then in a bigger three bedroom apartment with a couple of friends. She loved to sit in the window and meow at passers by.

In 1991, I was leaving for the Peace Corps and asked my parents if they could keep her just for two years. They agreed, probably knowing that when I returned I would be moving around a lot and it was easier for them to continue having her living with them. Plus, they had grown attached.

Linty continued living her doted upon life in my parents large house. They even built a screened in porch, which expanded her domain. They all moved to Arizona several years ago where Linty happily passed her time sitting on a tuffet in front of the fireplace or on my parents bed.

Sadly, Linty's health had declined in the last several years and she died two days ago at the age of 19 1/2. We will all miss her insistent meows in the morning and ability to shed over every single chair in the house.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I almost went back to the store.

I considered purchasing this pasta, but got one filled with gorgonzola instead. Then on the way home I realized that if I'd bought this one, tomorrow night's menu would be pecorino and potato pasta with peas, pesto, prosciutto, parsley and parmesan.

So close.

Just to round out the alliterative evening, my shopping list also included pizza and Pampers.

There. Some baby content.