Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Month 4

The 2nd tooth

Ethan got his first bottom tooth at two weeks. Our pediatrician gave us quite a scare and said that she was concerned the it might have been a neo natal tooth, which meant that if it was loose we would have to pull it out. Cut to us going to a pediatric dentist that same day who said he was not concerned and that Ethan was just teething early. Thank goodness! He warned us that the second tooth was coming soon and just last week when Ethan turned 4 months old, the bottom left central incisor popped out. Teething doesn't seem to have bothered him, he was a little extra drooly but that was about it. I'm sad that we never got to see a gummy smile without any teeth, but he is still cute regardless.

Stroller rides

Three activities which Ethan enjoys are his nightly baths, trips to the park, and dancing with grandma. Ethan used to be a little tense when we first put him in the bath, and would just sit with his hands covering his chest. Now he likes to kick and hit the water with his hands. I can't wait until we move him to the big tub so he has more room to play and splash around. We have also been going on daily stroller rides around the block and to the two parks in our neighborhood. I think Ethan enjoys the ride - he is always in his quiet alert state outdoors. We hold him up so he can see the other children playing and sometimes will meet other little babies the same age. He always wears his bear outfit when we go outdoors and I think he might be starting to recognize it. He will quiet down when we put it on. Or maybe he just likes getting changed because he gets to be nekkid for a bit.

The wind in my hair

I found that Ethan makes the cutest face when you blow on his hair. He will open both eyes really really wide and simultaneously grin and poke out his tongue.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Haircut

Ethan's hair was getting a little out of control so we decided to give him his first haircut. I didn't want to cut off too much and given that the last time I cut someones hair I accidentally shaved a bald patch in the middle of his head (sorry Bob!), I was steering clear of the buzzer.

Here is a before and after shot:

Okay, not that much of a difference. But the mohawk is smaller!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Month 3

I have hands!

Ethan has discovered his hands. He loves playing (okay, eating) them. He holds his own hand all the time and tries very hard to shove his entire fist in his mouth. If that doesn't work, he will suck on as many fingers that will fit. Sometimes he will just settle for his thumb, but he either can't just pry his thumb far away enough from his closed fist, or he will suck on his thumb with an open hand and thereby poke himself in the eye with his other fingers. We will work on this.

When placed on the activity mat, Ethan has slowly realized how to grab objects. First he would just tentatively touch a hanging toy with his closed fist and just hold his hand there while glancing at me as if to ask 'Is this okay?'. After a few weeks though, he started swatting at the animals and then grabbing it and finally tried to yank it into his mouth. His most favorite toy is this little red monkey and he will get so excited whenever he sees it. He opens his mouth wide and gasps in excitement and then will grab the monkey by it's little hands and proceed to eat it. Actually everything goes in his mouth...if you come close to him he will hold both sides of your face and pull you in to eat your nose.

Ethan loves to babble. I will chalk this up to my mom. I am by nature a quiet person, and am perfectly content just holding him and playing with him in relative silence. I'm trying harder to talk and sing to Ethan more often though since it's important to be more interactive with him. But my mom's favorite thing to do is sit and babble with Ethan, and he will say 'ahgoogoo' or 'ahwoowoo' in response during her pauses as if it was a real conversation. He also is starting to crane his neck around in the crib (instead of napping!) in order to look at the tiger on the wall and babble to it. We sometimes wake up to the sound of him chirping away which is a quite a nice change from crying.

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

We are very excited that all the tummy time has paid off and Ethan finally realized how to roll from tummy to back. The first time he did it, he had this look of shock on his face. I think his heavy head just tipped him over and he wasn't prepared for it. Then he tried a few more a times and realized how to push off with his arm in order to tip over.

My little monkey

I was super excited about Halloween this year. It's my favorite holiday of the year, and in fact, the only holiday we ever celebrated as children. Every year we hand out candy to all these cute kids, and now we get to take Ethan out (of course the added bonus of candy is just for my sake). Sungsim brought Erika down so we could all go trick-or-treating together. I don't think Ethan knew what was going on, but he loved being outdoors so late at night and looking at all the different people. I love my Mr. Monkey!

Month 2 Stats:
Weight: 11 lbs 10 ou (49%)
Height: 22.75 in (56%)
Head Circumference: 39.1 cm (25%)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Month 2

The Dark Days

This is the period that Bob and I jokingly call the dark days. Ethan has started to boycott daytime naps and also does not sleep well at night. I always just thought that babies would just sleep whenever they are tired, but as it turns out Ethan gets overstimulated by all our play time and can't unwind by himself. For a few days he didn't sleep at all during the day and I thought he was perfectly happy because he was in his quiet alert stage. Then in the evening he would get really fussy and upset because he was so overtired and had a very hard time falling asleep for the night. Our friends sent us a book 'Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child' and after reading it I realized that we had to limit Ethan's awake time to no more than two hours so he won't get overtired. The problem now is how to help him fall asleep. After trying multiple things (we found Ethan hated the swing, bouncer, stroller rides, and like 20 different brands of binkie), I found the best way was to hold Ethan in a cradle hold and walk around at a brisk pace. This however could take upwards an hour before he drifted off. Also in this position he often thought it was time to eat and would start rooting and latching onto our arms. Then after discovering that Ethan loved the sound of running water, we invented what Bob called the 'Crazy Dance' where I would hold him upright in front of the sink which was turned on to full blast and step forwards and backwards rapidly. With all this Ethan would fall asleep within ten minutes. Trying to save natural resources we tried to find a recording that would simulate the running faucet but had no luck. Waterfall, aquarium, rain, static white noise and even actual recordings of the faucet did not work. Ethan could only be soothed by the real thing.

Next we had to hold Ethan while he slept since he would immediately wake up when we laid him on the bed. His moro reflex would kick in even if we just start to lower him down he would startle himself awake. If we placed him down when he was in deep sleep he would likewise startle himself awake within 5 minutes. Bob's parents came to visit for a week during this time and we all took turns just holding Ethan while he slept. After the grandparents left, it was just Bob and myself and I realized that we needed more help. Between nursing, rocking and holding Ethan while he slept I barely had time to eat let alone sleep. So I did what any spoiled daughter would do - I called my mom and asked her for advice. And being the best mom in the world she came back to help us out. Thanks mom!

One Month Stats:
Weight: 8 lbs 10 ou (22%)
Height: 21 in (29%)
Head Circumference: 37 cm (25%)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Month 1

Ethan has arrived!

I knew that Ethan was coming any day, but he arrived one day earlier than expected and that kind of threw me into a panic. I don't know why...the hospital bag was packed, the nursery was put together and everything that could be washed was washed three times. The night of the 3rd I went into nesting overdrive and decided to finally clean out/organize the office filing cabinets and other papers strewn all over the place. I might have did a little too much bending however and that night I *thought* that maybe my water broke. I wasn't sure though, it definitely wasn't obvious like how they depict it in the movies. Being the paranoid person that I was, the next morning I immediately called my doctor and went in for an appointment fully thinking that everything was still okay. Good thing! She verified that my water did in fact break and I was told Ethan would be coming that day. So instead of heading out that evening to celebrate my birthday (the last chance of eating out for awhile!) we got to celebrate the birth of our son!!!

Birth Stats:
Weight: 7 lbs 9 ou (39%)

Height: 19 in (23%)
Head Circumference: 35 cm (25%)

When I first saw Ethan I immediately thought that he looked just like a mini Bob. Bob held him out to me and Ethan had this cute little furrowed brow and a big scowl on his face. I guess he really did not want to come out just yet! Every visitor and the entire hospital staff reconfirmed that yes, Ethan looked just like daddy. Sigh.

The days spent in the hospital is just a big blur. We learned quite a bit from the nurses. I thought I was up to pretty up to speed as a new parent - I read all the pregnancy and childcare books I could find. But performing the daily care tasks did not come naturally. The nurses showed us how to properly diaper the baby (immediately cover the baby with a towel to prevent accidents - of which there were plenty. We weren't fast enough the first couple of times and Ethan peed on the bassinet, the hospital walls and even on himself a handful of times. Secondly, use the front of the diaper to wipe the baby and then fold it under him. This prevented the mess from getting messier), how to give the baby a sponge bath, and most importantly how to help the baby latch correctly. Ethan was so tiny, and it was really awkward trying to hold him correctly. I was so afraid of his head flopping around or of smothering him while he nursed. Let me tell you, I am a very modest person, but EVERY nurse that came in to the room would immediately try to show me how to properly hold Ethan to nurse. It was quite traumatic for me, but by the end of the three days I wouldn't think twice about whipping out my boob for the hospital staff to see.

Two things had me worried at the hospital, the first was that Ethan lost a lot of weight. I think you are only supposed to lose up to 10% of your birth weight but Ethan lost quite a bit more than that. I was constantly worried that I wasn't feeding him enough, but the pediatrician didn't seem too worried. Apparently babies born from a c-section lose more water weight after birth than those delivered naturally. And it's true, by his second week check-up he had gained back up to his birth weight. Secondly, I felt really bad for Ethan because he had slight jaundice and was constantly checked for his bilirubin levels. Between that and the normal blood tests, and the tests for infection because my water broke early, his little feet was covered with tiny heel pricks.

Back at home

Bob and I couldn't wait to get back home. My doctor cleared me a day early so we scrambled home as fast as we could. The first month was spent mainly just nursing Ethan. He ate every hour, and then slept immediately afterwards so basically I became one with the glider in the nursery. Bob would bring me up food and feed me while I fed the baby. Aside from the sleep deprivation it was a pretty good month! My whole family was visiting and helping out so we didn't have to worry about food or how to keep the house from deteriorating into chaos. Also my mom is magical. She came early to help me at the end of my pregnancy and then stayed a whole month afterwards. I don't know how she does it but she single-handedly cooked, cleaned and had the energy left over to play with the baby. Plus, she is the only one that can soothe Ethan when he is unhappy. She tried to teach Bob and me how to hold Ethan in the way that he likes but he would have none of it. All my mom has to do is pick him up and then all is right with the world.

The cutest thing

There are three things about Ethan that make my heart melt. The first: right after he eats, he does a full body stretch and yawn where he lifts his arms high above his head (his head is so disproportionately large that his hands can barely clear his forehead!), purses his lips, and goes mmm...mmm...mmm as he shakes his head left/right/left. It's sooo cute. He does this every time he eats as if he has just had the best meal. Then he will abruptly drop his arms and fall right asleep. The second: he is prone to getting hiccups and when he does he makes the cutest little squeaking sound. He is a human squeak toy. Lastly: The peaceful look he has when he is asleep...especially when he is all snuggled up in the kiddopatamus. This is his favorite place to sleep aside from being baoed, and who can blame him? He is being hugged from all sides.