Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbye August!

It’s the last day of August and a lazy day. You’ve been dozing on and off for most of it. I appreciate August because I was born this month. I enjoy being a Leo, and the idea of summer is very romantic. However, it’s the hottest month, and this summer was brutal. So I am glad to say goodbye to August and head into September. This month has been an adventure though….

The other night I ate spicy picante sauce and tortilla chips. It was fantastic and satisfying until… I was laying on the bed with you. I had just finished breastfeeding you, Cesar, and we were goofing off in the sense that you were making all sorts of noises and I was showing you how to use my phone. I’d grab your finger and have you push things on the touch screen. We sent a few text messages to my friend, Pat. Then, I picked you up to do “Airplane!”  (a typical game for us now) and held you high up over me. Suddenly… BLEH! You barfed all over me. It fell in my mouth, my hair, and on my pillow! Needless to say, no more picante for me.

You laughed a few nights ago as well. I was watching Adult Swim, late night programming on Cartoon Network. The show was Robot Chicken, and as usual when adult shows are on, I was doing my best to keep your attention off of the TV, so I had you facing me. I was shaking your booty, singing, and just trying to get you worn out in general for the night. Suddenly, a bit played on the TV about Jack Sparrow (a fictional pirate) and what he would be like realistically. I burst out laughing at one point, and I was laughing so hard you must have thought I was silly, because you had the biggest grin and then YOU started laughing too! It was a fantastic feeling, to hear your half formed, part hiccup, part giggle.

We saw your Grandpa Harley and Uncle Sean (from my side). Our air conditioning unit went out this past Sunday and it was dreadful. Hottest day officially at 110 degrees.  So we packed you up and the three of us moved over to my father’s house for the night. It was very entertaining, considering that I had to put up a fight. Between your grandfather and uncle they just cannot wait to shove things down your throat. I had to get on them about it. A little taste of something is a treat now and again.. But that was overkill. You had whipped cream, caramel sauce, and my dad even tried to give you bread crumbs! I had to remind him that you are a baby and cannot chew bread and it could get caught in your throat! Sometimes I swear people think you are a toy. It’s humorous but can be very stressful at the same time.  I had to wet a washcloth and make sure I scrubbed your mouth clear of all that sugar also.

Above: You met your Grandfather Oscar, Vincent's dad, on Sunday for the FIRST time. He is a mechanic and tried to help us fix our AC. Unfortunately there was no salvaging it. I could tell he was thrilled about you because he didn't want to put you down! I was very pleased.

And lastly, I am pretty sure that you are teething. It’s so difficult to say for certain since there’s no tooth yet. You have horribly fussy spells though. My best treatment is to get an ice cube, put it in a mitt (yeah, those mitts we put over your hands so you wouldn’t become a thumb sucker? We gave up on those after a few days) and hold it for you to suck and gnaw on. The material feels good on your gums, and you can also suck at the ice. However.. you like to do it for long periods nonstop, so much so that you start crying because you’ve frozen your mouth and we have to take a break!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going Greeny

When you were young I took long walks. I laugh now at my use of the word, "young." Rather, when you were a month I started taking walks with you in the evening to help get my body back in shape. Sadly, it's the summertime, and the heat just progressively became worse. The pediatrician was a little skeptical that my walks were forty five minutes, even though they were at eight at night after the sun went down. You had a heat rash for a little while, and now that August has come the temperature has skyrocketed into the triple digits. Before you go thinking I was being selfish, note that I did wipe you down with wet cloths and once your rash had subsided with care it did not return. As my father points out, babies have survived the heat before there was such a thing as cool places, and in reading about breastfeeding facts say that it has enough water to hydrate a baby no matter how hot it is. (On a side note I've been reading a ton of facts about breastfeeding lately, but I'll save those for another day). I did stop the walks though altogether, happily substituting them for at home workouts. However, we now are stuck in the home like birds in a cage... flightless birds I might add since the cars are getting worked on. Even if the cage were open we wouldn't be able to get out. Still, you are three months old now, and I decided that the little park around the corner isn't so far. I think I'd like to take you there.

Below: You were too young to enjoy the park anyhow. I took you there and tried to show you things, but you would fall asleep on the short ride over and did not really wake up. Still, it was fresh air. (June 2011)

Today while Vincent was at work I took you around the apartment complex for starters. It felt so wonderful to have fresh air and I believe you craved it too. I showed you the trees around, and encouraged you to feel the bark. However, I think the brown trunks of trees and their rough feel were of little interest to you. What really impressed you were all the bushes. There are a variety here, and I am no herb expert, or even mildly schooled and can't tell you their names. I did let you feel all of their leaves. You would independently thrust your hands into them and just hold on. Some you would let go of and then feel again. Their varying textures and vibrant greens were wondrous to you. In fact, the hippy in me would say that the feeling of life in your hands was pleasing. I talked to you about nature, and how we have to be careful with it, and that the Divine is all around us and in you. We didn't spend too long because after twenty minutes or so you started to sweat a bit and I needed to change you anyway. Still, it was a good day. I'd like to do it again soon, but we were lucky since today it was cloudy. We shall see what tomorrow brings... eventually winter will come, it must!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In with the new

Today we started a new schedule for you Cesar. Vincent’s bus route changes every so often, and this time around he chose a route that requires him to be out of the house earlier and home earlier as well. It’s a pretty big difference from those late nights. You were staying up until around three o-clock with us, although I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, since I imagine that you weren’t quite ready for an early morning type thing and would have kept us up until late anyhow.

This schedule actually seems more fitting, since you usually start getting cranky around midnight anyhow. Yesterday I took you to bed, and granted, there were several odd moments throughout the night in which you or I woke up, but you simply ate and drifted back to sleep. Vincent however, woke up at four thirty and apparently couldn’t get back to bed, so he worked on a few things around the house and is now at work. I suspect he will get a good night’s rest tonight!

Above: You and your father, about to embark on your routine Saturday trolley night ride! (July 2011)

The sad thing is, no more trolley rides… every Saturday for the past couple of months we rode the trolley that your father drove around downtown, but this new schedule does not include a day of trolley at all. It was nice while it lasted, and I can safely say that we made it every Saturday with the exception of the weekend before this last one, because it was thundering outside and I didn’t want to risk getting trapped in the rain since we don’t seem to have an umbrella in the house (strange, right?). In any case, it was a nice little something for us to do, although I am certain that we will pick up new habits soon enough.

I think it’s wonderful also that you take an interest in electronics. I see that you have taken note that we are using these strange objects (cell phones, computers, video games) and that they are a large part of our life and bring us pleasure. You’ve started to bang your hands on the computer if you can reach it, and you stuck your index finger out the other day and let me help you send a text message on my phone. You grab at controllers and try to slap at our phones. I personally believe it’s something to encourage especially if you’re interested in it. Computers are a big part of our lives today, I can just imagine the kinds of things they will be putting on the market when you get older. It’s almost a must for children to have a laptop for school. How strange to think that when I was going to school we still used plain old text books passed down from other classes, and when computers were introduced in high school it was a really big deal! They weren’t laptops either, they were large, bulky things with fat monitors and heavy parts.

Still, I like to balance out your computer interest with other things. The trolley rides were nice, and you also watch me work out for thirty minutes every day, and I like to read to you from time to time from a classic book (not an iPad). When you get a better hold of motor skills and can sit up I think you will be able to satisfy yourself with your toys a bit easier. But, in the meantime you still need our help, and our encouragement to get you to turn over! You’ve only done it those two occasions, and I am anxious to see it done again!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Grand Prize Baby

I never stopped to consider the fact that my own son would turn into a trophy. Not for me or for Vincent, but for others. Last night was a lesson for Vincent and myself as parents. I'm amazed at just how special you've become to people, and now even more alert.

Let me begin by saying you have loads of admirers. Girls have stopped us on several occasions to coo at you, and even the odd fella or two will comment on how adorable you are and that they hope they have a son as handsome as you. One such man is our neighbor, AJ. AJ is a pretty decent fellow. He's also pretty strong headed, VERY into his story telling, and also likes to be right all the time. This is said not in a nasty way, but as an observer. I don't think he would ever do anything intentionally to hurt you, or us. He's always dropping by to see you, eager to hold you, tries to insist that you think of him as, "Uncle AJ," and on several occasions had Vincent over to share in some beer.

You Aunt Valerie is Vincent's sister. She thinks you are fantastically adorable, and I believe she would not knowingly hurt you or us, and that if anything she is paranoid for your safety. She's always questioning how healthy you are and has even commented that I take you to the doctor for the slightest thing. She's had a rough past, and a fairly rocky present, as in I don't think she really knows what she wants to do with her life, but she is very outspoken and strong headed.

Below: Your Aunt Valerie meeting you for the first time. After that, she likes to come by every so often and check on you. (May 2011)

So yesterday your Aunt Valerie came over, and it was very pleasant. You enjoy seeing her, and anyone for that matter who entertains you. She does a very good job of this. Later on in the evening Valerie and Vincent had gone outside to talk and talk, and talk and talk further into the night. I was getting slowly ready for us to go to bed. Then, AJ popped by, which is fairly typical. Vincent came in and said AJ wanted to visit with you outside, and I let him know that we would head to bed soon, but this was no problem for you were still fairly wide awake. I went into the living room, hopped onto the computer for a short time. The next thing I knew, AJ was coming inside, telling me how he needed to leave because Valerie was crazy.
"What happened?" I asked. He proceeded to tell me that he had been holding you and you were sucking on your fist. He said he figured you were hungry but that Valerie told him he didn't know what he was talking about and took you from him. I stepped outside, and there was Valerie holding you. I'm not a psychology major, but I have studied people fervently with my mother, learned about it in journalism (for interviewing purposes) and taken a couple courses on it. I'm no expert, but I can see tension and it was there. AJ said a few things to take his leave, and at one point both of them hopped up against each other over the tiniest comment. To wrap it up, AJ decided to walk away and Valerie started barking at him. I told Valerie I needed to take you to bed and left them outside.

I'm not going to pretend that I know the whole story. What I got from Vincent later, was this... AJ said that you needed your chupi (pacifier) because you were sucking on your hands. Valerie said she wanted to hold you, then said you didn't need it. Then they barked back and forth that you did need it, you didn't need it, you did need it, you didn't need it, and that's how it started. Since I was not outside, I can't tell you who was right. I know AJ has seen you more often, but I also know Valerie has had quite a bit of experience working at Daycare facilities. What I do know is that AJ needs to understand that he may claim to have maternal instincts but you are not his child and he is not related to you and that he is not always right. Also, Valerie should not have been so overprotective and rude to Vincent's guest, and her comments were very inappropriate.

However, that said, it goes to show that both of them care about you. I talked with Vincent later, and told him that I felt he should have taken you away from both of them. "When it comes to a point when two people are arguing and including Cesar," I said, "Vincent, you are his father. Don't let him be caught in a petty fight over who knows what's best because you know what's better for him more than any of those people." Vincent tends to be a pacifist when it comes to two friends arguing. He will let them fight it out.. but he can't do that anymore, not when it comes to his son. I explained that Valerie taking you away from AJ psychologically turned you into a kind of trophy. You know, whoever has got the baby wins. Which is why AJ was so upset and Valerie thought she had the upper hand. It's not ok for you to be in that position especially when your own father is there. If anything, Valerie and AJ should have looked to Vincent to begin with, but since they did not, Vincent should have just removed you from the situation altogether and asserted his own dominance.

At first Vincent thought I was severely mad at him. I tried to explain that no, of course I wasn't mad. I told him, "I honestly never thought that two childless adults would start an argument over our son and a damn chupi."
"I know," he said. "It happened so fast, I didn't really realize what was happening."

Well, now we know better. In retrospect it's pretty funny, however.. it's a stern warning of things to come. I'm certainly not saying that people will fight over you all of the time. But lot's of people like to think they know what's best for a child whether it's doctors, teachers, friends, family, ect., and Vincent and I are going to have to learn to step in, talk back, take control, or we are going to end up getting stepped on by people who think they know better. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Months...

Today Cesar, you are officially three months old. It's amazing how time works. Nothing ever slows down. Sometimes, because I am always with you, I feel like you should be much older. Other times I cannot believe how much time has passed. Especially since you are changing so very much right now. You're touching things, going through another growth spurt, you are learning to turn over, and just the other day you started making new noises. Your laugh was once just a hyena's... it sounded more like strained breaths of air you sucked in with a smidgen of sound, followed by a big smile. But now there's a tremor of giggle in it. It hasn't quite broken yet into a full laugh, but I find it fascinating none the less. Even though you have been progressing bit by bit since you were born, it's as if all of that is starting to pile up and BOOM, you are starting to do all these amazing things at once!

Today your Grandmother Melinda (Vincent's mom) came to see you. She was dropping off Vincent's little sister, your Aunt Miranda, and I was so proud to see you sit with her. She said you had gotten much larger, and you reacted so much with her. You smiled and looked her up and down with excited eyes. My dad likes to think that you easily forget him and other family members that you only see every so often, but I don't think so. Maybe it's that illogical mother in me, but I think on some level, buried deep in the subconscious they must seem familiar to you and you must have good feelings for them. 

Below: Close to July fourth, we went out to Market square and hung out with your Grandma Melinda. You really liked watching her dance around to some of the music they had there! (July 2011)

I had a very strange dream about you once. I was an angel of sorts, but I was a masculine angel I think. Anyhow, there were groups of other beings amongst us, and you were there too. However, you were an older angel, unrelated to me and very opposite. You were reckless and fearless and younger than me. We were to go somewhere, to an island, and a couple of girls who were supposed to accompany my group didn't want to go. You said you would go with them, and I told you no, that they had already signed up for this, but you insisted you wanted to go in their place anyhow. I remember they were dressed in white robes with gold in their dark hair.... The next tidbit would be the island. A dark goddess reigned there, and I remember thinking, "This b*tch..." The island kept shifting, the entire shape and theme of it shifted in a strange magic. More or less it left off their.. our team going up onto the shore, with the guidance of our gods on our side. It makes me laugh now, trying to take apart the dream and interpret what it must mean, as you ran and hopped on ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Touchy Feely

I've put mittens on you as of late Cesar. Not always, just mainly when I can't constantly pull your hands out of your mouth. You absolutely hate them, and I expect I know why. Originally we suspected you might be teething, but now I'm not so sure. I think you are beginning to explore your world, and you find your hands amazing.

Last night, (or very early this morning, since we stay up late due to Vincent's job), I was sitting on the loveseat with you. I had you propped up on my knees, as I was using the whole loveseat as a grand chair to spread myself out on. This meant that to your right was the rest of the living room, and to your left were cushions. I was relaxing, playing with you facing me. This way I could also watch TV with Vincent, who sat on the couch. I took off your mittens, so we could play. That's when you decided, to my surprise, to reach out and feel the cushions. It wasn't one of those fluke motions either. Typically your hands have just kind of flailed around, and if they just so happen to come in contact with something, you grab it. This was more than that. You looked closely at the burnt orange and dark blue pattern. You'd lift your hand an inch or so and put it back in a rigid motion, and try to grab the the square blue patch of material. I told Vincent, and we both watched in awe. Cesar, you're finally realizing that you can affect the world around you with your hands!

I grabbed your rabbit. It's an orange rabbit made by Infantino passed to us by my brother (who I might add got it at a garage sale). It's just the coolest rabbit, orange with all sorts of different textured materials on each long ear, and rattles in the feet, belly, and the butterfly it holds in its paw. You love your Infantino Rabbit, but yesterday you actually began to reach out and feel it with your hands like it was a study. I'm so pleased that you've taken such an interest in the world around you. Even this morning when I gave you your rabbit you began to feel him again with those jagged movements. Rocky as they may be, it's wonderful to watch. Soon you'll be playing with all sorts of toys, and probably sticking them in your mouth too.

Above: During "naked time" you are amongst lots of toys. Your Infantino Rabbit is to the right, but you can hardly see him in this photo. To the left is your monkey, George, another favorite. You started to reach your hands out during playtime earlier this month, as in this picture, but you weren't really coordinated to understand that grabbing for a toy was a completable task. (August 2011)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cesar's Stats

So Cesar, today I decided to craft you a profile, that way you have an idea of how much we’ve learned and experienced from you over the past three months. Some of these things I’ve taken motherly/creative liberties with, which I’ll mark with *.  I’ll try to update your profile every so often.


(August 2011)

Age: 3 months
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Olive/Hazel
Weight: 16 lbs. (8.2 at birth)
Height: 25 inches (20 at birth)
Sign: Taurus
Chinese Zodiac: Rabbit

Favorite Color: Green*
Favorite Animal: Monkey* (as decided by your Grandpa Harley)
Favorite Toy:  George the Monkey, and the  Infantino Rabbit
Favorite Food: Breastmilk!
Favorite Activity: Tummy Time! Watching wrestling with daddy
Least Favorite Activity:  Flashcards
Likes: Wrestling. When daddy goes “BOO!,” and mommy sings, “AEIOU…”
Dislikes: The dark and being alone* (due to being blindfolded at birth)

You were named Cesar in honor of Julius Caesar, but we chose the Spanish spelling. Cesar means, “head of hair.”  I hope this name works out in your favor!
You were named Adolph because we saw a wrestler named Dolph, and liked the nickname. Originally the pronunciation was “Ahhhdolph…” but everyone clings to Adolph with the long A. I really liked the name when I found out it is German for, “Noble Wolf.”

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nom, Nom, Nom

Last night, we came somewhat cautiously to the conclusion that you are teething. We are not 100 percent certain, but from what I've gathered there's a pretty decent chance you are.
For one, you've been drooling a lot lately. You blow bubbles with the plethora of drool you create. Also, you have begun sticking things in your mouth, especially your hands since you haven't yet gotten the hang of gripping items yet. It really hit hard last night. You didn't want to eat, and you weren't satisfied enough with your pacifier to hold it in for very long. But you adored your hand. I found you sucking on your index finger and thumb so hard you'd turned them beet red and the color did not dissipate for a good while. In fact, I suspect you nicked your gums with your thumbnail, because it was a bit long and after I removed your hand you started wailing.
You cried for a long time. You wouldn't eat, you would gnaw on your pacifier. We brought our the teethers, but you weren't quite used to them. I think you were taken aback by their new and interesting textures, but the pain you had probably made the new experience quite conflicting for you. You would gnaw and suck on the teethers and then cry and cry.
  Above: See your motor skills are improving! Last night we gave you this teether and taught you how to hold it! You can't do it for very long, but you're working on it. Oh, and on a side note, I didn't buy the pink cat. Our neighbor did. She knew you were a boy... maybe she just thought it didn't matter. (August 2011)

So we will keep an eye on this teething situation. It's a little early, but some babies are even born with teeth! This includes Julius Caesar, whom I named you after (although in agreement we used the spanish spelling). Today we bought teething gel, and another teether for you (green, I might add ;) ).

UPDATE! 7:17 P.M.
  As I worked diligently to post this blog, Cesar you woke up and called for me in your little cry. I changed you, and set you down for some naked time! You like your naked time in this hot weather. I put a water proof, cloth mat on the floor and let you have tummy time there. I set you down just a few moments ago and came here to publish my post.
  That's when Vincent came in the door. He did his usual, "Hey! Why are you naked, put some clothes on!" yell. I jumped up to greet him, and looked over at you... on your back.
"Ummm... did you move him?" I asked, knowing full well the answer!
"No," Vincent replied.
I had set you on your tummy, walked away for five seconds, and you were on your back! I set you back on your stomach, and you actually started to turn again! Before giving up... I guess that first turn took all the strength out of you. None the less, I am majorly impressed and shocked!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

See You Smiling

Three Months Old

It’s a little on the late side to start a blog, I realize that. Cesar, you have become king of my world since you were born on May 18, 2011. At first, I was too shocked by everything that had happened to be overwhelmed with emotion. It took a while to feel everything I do now, particularly because I hate hospitals and being stuck in one for five days was probably the worst experience ever. But that’s another story, the ending in fact to my last blog, My Nothing To Something
 Cesar, I am absolutely devoted to making your life, and thus my life, the most profound it can be before you start talking and arguing with me about why you can‘t have two toys instead of one or asking me a million times, “Why? Why? Why?” (Of course, I look forward to that too.) I can honestly say that since you were born, I have been more active, dare I say, the busiest ever. I feel like I’ve just gotten a good grip on life. So much has happened, for me, and for you. Starting now, I’m afraid I can’t recall the exact date that you smiled, except that it was in your sleep and gradually came to be while you were awake. I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt the first time you gripped my hand all on your own, surely by accident, but it was a fantastic feeling none the less. Or the time I tried snapping your cloth diapers a little too tight, and accidentally pinched you so that you cried and I felt just dreadful about it. All those memories I had been meaning to account for, that way in your future I could tell you all about them. I wanted to brag about how the day after you finally came home from the hospital, we did not have the luxury of sitting around, but rather my mother and I went out running errands and Vincent got right back to work. Or how all that nonsense about not being able to cook or clean with a new baby was, as I suspected, bologna, since I cooked, cleaned, and even shaved my legs. You were also a good baby though, I have to admit, and I would have loved to have written about all that too.
But, here were are. Three months later. You’re still growing at an incredible rate, so all I can do is hop on the blogging bandwagon and try to keep up from here on out.

So here’s where we are at… you have just recently started to realize that your hands can actually DO things. You are starting to reach out, while uncoordinated, but  I have always marveled at how brilliant your motor skills were. When you were placed under the bili lights at the hospital, you had only your chupi (pacifier) to soothe you. Unswaddled, blindfolded, it was all you had. At first you would try to spit it out, but once we placed your hand on it, you started to hold it to your mouth. It was your only comfort besides the times I could take you from under the lights for feeding.

Below: I literally could not stand the ordeal you were put through. But, at least the hospital was kind enough to make arrangements so that you would always be with us and not in a nursery. (May 2011)

Also, you are trying to turn over. Today, you were laying on your back and you managed to push your shoulder off the ground. I don’t think you found it fun enough to repeat, but it’s the second time I’ve seen you do it, so I know eventually you will roll yourself over, and THAT I think will startle you.
Right now, my favorite thing is when you smile at me. You have a wide, BIG, smile, and a tongue that literally does look like bubblegum. I used to wonder where they got that saying, “bubblegum tongue,” because I have never met anyone who has a cute tongue like that. But you’ve got it, and it fills up your whole mouth. I just adore it, because it’s the grandest expression of emotion. There’s no questioning behind it, no distrust, no harbored emotions tucked away by it. Nope, it’s just the expression of happiness. I do wish you happiness for your life. I think that when you are older you will not remember how to smile like that. I am certain I smiled like that for my mother, and she for her mother before that. And then I think, perhaps the smile is a gift for me, because when you have children, you will get to see that smile too and it will fill you with so much pride and joy that you will probably feel more ecstatic than your own son/daughter. It’s truly a blessing from the Goddess that I am thankful for, and an addiction. I can never wait long enough to see you smile again.

Above: Grandpa Harley and Cesar! It's so hard to catch your smiles on camera, but you loved his naughty military songs as he sang their lewd lyrics to you.(July 2011)