Thursday, January 31, 2008

Saturday Morning with Max

Last Saturday morning, after Shannon had fed him, I put Max in the bathtub. His hands and feet were stinky and his second and third chin smelled like sour milk. He needed a good scrub. I ran warm water in the tub and stripped him naked. I lathered him up and scrubbed him clean. (He especially liked it when I was washing his little feet.) Max is happy in the tub as long as we keep warm water on him.

When I was done bathing him I put a clean diaper on him, greased him up with baby lotion and then put him in a new outfit. “Good as new,” I said. He was smiling from ear to ear.

We both went into the living room to hang out. The older Max gets, the more fun he is to hang out with. He is two months old (after 8 weeks you can start giving their age in months) and he is starting to enjoy “playtime”. Playtime is that magical, yet brief, period between breastfeeding, pooping, burping, baths and napping.

I put a soft blanket on the floor so Max and I could stretch our legs. The TV was playing music videos but we weren’t watching. We listened to the songs and Max would “dance” to the music. He would smile and laugh as I sang along to the lyrics. His favorite video of the morning was the song “Low” by the hip-hop artist Flo Rida (pronounced flow rider). He loves songs about big booty! Of course that is when his mother walked in the room.

“What on earth are you singing with my son?!” Shannon says. “Chill Mom,” I say, “that’s his jam. Max is just trying to get his groove on.”

Long story short. I decided we better stick to singing about the ABC’s.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

8 weeks old!

In just the last couple of days, Max seems to have entered a whole new stage of development. He's starting to interact more, noticing everything. Last night, he actually paid attention when I read him his bedtime story. I'll have him writing book reports before long!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Million Dollar Smile

Last night I came home from work a little bit late. When I walked in the house, Shannon was in the kitchen and Max was in his bouncy seat in the living room. I gave Shannon a kiss and walked into the other room to see my baby boy. He was just waking up from a nap. It was just about time for him to eat. He was starting to whimper a little bit.

I got down on the floor, right next to his seat and said “Hi Max!” He turned his wobbly little head towards me and got this big grin on his face. “Do you think he recognizes me or does he just have some gas?” I said to Shannon. “Of course he knows you,” she said. “He loves his Daddy”. She may have been humoring me. All I know is when he smiled at me, everything seemed right with the world.

Now, I love my wife very much. Our marriage is happy and healthy. We are supportive and make a good team. However, even Shannon will admit that being married to me hasn’t always been a bed of roses. I know that you are thinking, that is impossible, but it is true. Being my wife sometimes has its drawbacks. Early on in our marriage we did not “communicate” quite as well. It was only after I established myself as the head of the household that we were able to start working together. (Shannon wasn’t used to dealing with so much “passion”.) I never thought anything could compare to my feelings for Shannon.

Until my baby boy smiled at me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What a difference six weeks makes!

I am not sure what started the conversation but last night Shannon chastised me for not taking any video of our son. Out of the blue she blurted out, “Have you been taking any movies of our son?” “We will be sorry in a few years when we forget how sweet and cute he is right now,” she followed. “I WEAR THE PANTS IN THIS FAMILY AND I WILL DECIDE WHAT AND WHEN I VIDEOTAPE!” I said. Of course, when the words actually left my mouth it sounded more like “yes, maam”. The truth is, although I have not filmed his every movement, I have done my fair share of taping. So when Shannon was putting Max down for the night I hooked the handycam up to the computer. I wanted to download and save what I had recorded. There were several small segments from Max’s entire life (so far). Until you see the images side by side like that, it is hard to believe how much Max has changed.

There is a short clip of Max the day after he was born. His Aunt Donna is holding him. His skin is wrinkly and pink and he is bundled up like a “baby burrito”. Fast forward a few weeks and we see little Max sitting on his GiGi’s lap in the library. He is smiling and looking around. You can tell it is the same baby, but WOW. He is growing so fast.

The other night I came home from work and Max was in the living room kicked back in his recliner ( aka bouncy seat). He was wearing a pair of light blue, footy jammies. As I stood there smiling down at him, something looked a little odd. “I know what you’re thinking…his clothes are getting a little small for him already” Shannon said. “Small?” I thought “if he raises his arms his little legs bend”. We better try a bigger size. “Four days ago the legs were too long” I said. Maybe we should stick to things that are open ended. I don’t want to stunt his growth.

If I can figure out how, I will post some video to the blog. You will see what I mean. For now you will have to live with pictures.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wow! Five Weeks Old!

I can’t believe that Max is five weeks old already. Like they say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” We sure have been having fun with him. It seems our baby has been smiling since he came home from the hospital. (I suspect some of that has been indigestion.) Like all southern babies he will “pitch a fit” now and again but, for the most part, he is a happy little fella. Hungry, too!

While Shannon was pregnant we had several discussions about breastfeeding versus formula feeding. There are pros and cons to both. I can’t say that we feel super strong either way. Ultimately the health benefits and cost made our decision easy. If Shannon was capable of nursing, we should at least give it a try. Besides, I was afraid that if we didn’t the La Leche League (or Boob Nazi’s as I call them) would protest in front of our house.

Cheaper has certainly turned out to be beneficial. Max eats like a champ. His table manners leave a lot to be desired, though. He squeaks and moans and grunts while he is breastfeeding. It borders on obscene. Shannon says “I can’t possible feed this kid in public”. We’ll have to work on that.

We have known all along that Max would go to daycare and Shannon would return to work. Shannon has been pumping and storing breast milk for when that happens. Watching my wife nurse my son is beautiful and natural. Opening the fridge to get a Pepsi and seeing bags and bottles of my wife’s milk is not. Don’t get me wrong, I am not repulsed or anything, just a little freaked out. I know that it is necessary. I also knew that we would have to make the boob to bottle transition soon.

I gave him his first bottle last Saturday. We were more than a little concerned. Everything we have read suggested that it would be difficult and it is important that he take a bottle. We asked the pediatrician about it. Dr. Wiley said that breastfed babies can be pretty particular. “Just try an ounce or so and see if he accepts it,” said the doctor.

So, we sterilize the bottles and nipples. Then we debated on which type, size, nipple and amount of milk we should try. “I read that it helps if the mother isn’t in the room when you try to introduce a bottle,” said Shannon. “No problem,” I said. “Just don’t get too far away in case we need a boob transfusion”.

It is a good thing Shannon was just in the other room. Max took that first ounce of milk like it was a shot of tequila. I was left sitting there with an empty bottle and a hungry, crying baby. “Shannon, you better bring me some more milk in a hurry!” I shouted. She came in with another bottle full of milk. Like the gas man in the NASCAR pit crew, I popped the empty one out and popped in the full one. Success.