Saturday, May 31, 2008

Aprons and art smocks

Today I made an apron for myself and an art smock for Eli at a class at Greenbaum's. The art smock looks so so small, but it is still way too big for Eli. I can't wait for him to be able to sit at the table and draw and paint and play with Play-Dough.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Silly Eli

Eli played in his supersaucer today for the longest time since we got it -- probably about 15 minutes. He has fun sitting up and looking at the world, instead of always lying on his back. Also, he gets to see the dogs up close and personal this way (they tend to want to come and give him a kiss when he is in the supersaucer).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Staring, formula and potluck

Yesterday Eli and I went for a walk and he fell asleep in the baby carrier. When I got home, he was still asleep so I just sat down in the living room to relax and watch my baby sleep (probably only other new moms understand how fun this is!)

When he woke up, he just opened his eyes slowly and stared at me for the longest time. I was whispering to him and he just kept looking and looking at me. It was as if he was studying every feature on my face in case someone asked him for details about what his mama looked like.

On a totally different topic, it seems I can't pump enough milk to keep up with Eli while he is at daycare so now he has some formula there and the daycare providers have had to give him several ounces of formula on two different days so far. I think he is just growing so fast that he needs more than I can give him now. Hopefully the solid food will help. I don't know why but I feel guilty every time he has to have formula.

Oh, tonight I took Eli to the Y's breast cancer support group potluck. Lots of wonderful women hoping to hold Eli, who was a bit fussy whenever he wasn't with mama. We couldn't stay very long but it was wonderful to see everyone.

Monday, May 26, 2008

More rice cereal goodness

It has been really fun to feed Eli solids. We can't wait to try new foods and see what he thinks of all the flavors in the world. Imagine having eaten only milk your whole life and then being put in front of a buffet! Chow down...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eli's first solid meal

I made organic brown rice mush for Eli tonight for the first time!

At first I was putting the cereal on my finger for him to get used to the flavor. He didn't seem too excited. But then we sat him in his Bumbo chair and used the spoon and he was grabbing for the spoon and opening his mouth really wide. Of course, it is hard to tell if he just wanted to munch the spoon or actually eat the stuff in the spoon. He was also making noises while he ate, which was funny. Maybe he was telling us he'd like some brown sugar in the cereal next time?

I don't believe he got a lot of rice cereal into his stomach. Most of it was left on his lips and cheeks. Some was in his fists. In the bath later I found some behind his ear. Once the dogs get wind of this food frenzy, Eli might have an even harder time getting his food down his throat!

4 mamas and 4 boys

Here are the rest of the shots from the cloth diaper photo shoot. All of us work in the Statesman Journal newsroom and we all had boys within 9 months of each other. From left, Melissa and Oscar, me and Eli, Stefanie and Alex and Kobbi and Dixon.

And yes, in the middle shot, Eli is screaming.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Using his mouth

Eli is very intent on getting toys to his mouth these days. It is very hard to watch him struggle, over and over again, to put something in his mouth. He often misses is the problem. He doesn't get as frustrated as I would get if I were him! Tonight while Michael and I ate pizza, Eli tried to get his funky Dr. Seuss toy into his mouth and he just kept grunting and opening his mouth but the thing kept missing his mouth.

For a little while during dinner, Eli sat on my lap. He is very interested in the food we eat right now. He watched the pizza go on my fork and travel to my mouth and then he would turn his whole body to see me chew. We might try some rice cereal this weekend.

He is also very interested in Tylenol. You would think he was addicted if you saw how excited he is when the Tylenol bottle comes out. That stuff must taste fantastic. When I pull the dropper from the bottle, he puts out both hands to try to grab it, opens his mouth and makes sucking noises like he is trying to inhale the Tylenol from 2 feet away. I think it is pretty cute, but it does seem strange...

I forgot to mention that Eli turned 5 months old yesterday. Wow, I can't believe how fast it has gone by.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Diaper model

Eli was a star today! He was one of four baby boys photographed for the Statesman Journal's story about cloth diapers.

He did really well for the first 20-plus minutes but then I think the flash and noise got to him. He is awfully sensitive about stuff like that. But the photos are cute and he got to hang with his buddies -- Dixon, Alex and Oscar. Diane, the photographer, even got a shot of all 4 of the boys, in birth order with their moms. All four moms work at the Statesman Journal and we all had our babies within 9 months of each other. (Oscar is the youngest, shown at the top)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Large milk, please!

It seems that every time Eli cries in the night, his mouth is right next to the baby monitor that is hanging off his crib. It doesn't matter if we put him down at the far end of the crib, on the opposite end from where the baby monitor hangs. It doesn't matter if he has to turn 180 degrees and scoot two feet to get to the monitor, that is where he starts his middle-of-the-night crying.

Michael and I have a theory about this: We think he has taken notice of all the drive-thru fast-food joints around here, and he thinks he will get better service if he is right next to the speaker. And at 3 a.m., it does sound like he is yelling, "LARGE MILK, please. Did you hear me? Do I need to re-order my meal? I said, LARGE MILK. Could you step on it???"

The thing is, he does get faster service when he is that close to the baby monitor. I just shoot right out of bed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A great new toy and other things

I got a supersaucer off Craigslist for Eli. We picked it up today and it was a big hit, as you can see from the photos! The chair swivels and he figured that out right away. The only problem with the saucer, from Eli's perspective, is that he can't get the toys in his mouth. Bummer.

Eli was quite happy today except when his gums were bugging him. He kept smiling in the kitchen while I was preparing dinner, and when I kissed his feet when he was in the bouncy chair, he thought that was the greatest.

He talked a lot on our walk with Sarah and Elliot, and he even smiled a little at Sarah, which is close to a first for him.

Eli is getting pretty good about navigating toys directly to his mouth, but some things are still frustrating for him. Soft toys seem to baffle him a bit and when he flings his arms forcefully, he loses the toys. In the bathtub, he is obsessed not with the dozens of bath toys I bought for him, but the Tupperware container I use to wash the soap off him. It is quite a large container and he can't figure out the best way to get it in his mouth. But he tries. Even when I need to wash the soap off him!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Eli swims and does other stuff

Sunday night, after a hard day of teething, Eli went swimming at the gym for the first time. He wore a cute little swim diaper, and no suit (I haven't bought one yet -- I didn't even think about it!)

He liked it for the first 5 minutes. He splashed the water with his hand and seemed content to move around the pool. Then I think the whole experience overwhelmed him. The pool is in a very large room and it is loud. There were lots of people in the pool, probably more people than he has ever seen in his life. So we left right away, but we will be back. I think he will love it as soon as he gets used to it.

Today we walked to the park with Sarah and Elliot. Eli stayed in the Ergo carrier the entire time, which was a first for him. Hooray! Maybe now I can leave the stroller at home and just wear him to the park. That would be so much easier because I usually have Wally also.

Today it really seemed like Eli wanted me to hold him and smile at him and be in the same room as him. When I laugh, he looks up at me and smiles big. When I leave the room, he whines until I get back. And when I am nursing him, he keeps looking up at me with these huge eyes, especially if I am looking at something other than him. He's really turning into a little boy instead of a baby. It is very bizarre.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eli giggles!

Eli actually giggled today -- a full "ha, ha, ha." Usually he just goes "ha" and leaves it at that. I was lying on my back on the living room floor and lifting him up in the air so he could fly. He liked it a lot and smiled when I did it, which made me laugh and when I put him back on my belly, he shook because of my laughing. That's when he giggled. It was so GREAT!

We also used some upside-down Tupperware as drums and banged on them. He seemed to like it, except he kept trying to put the Tupperware in his mouth. So I guess you could say he didn't totally understand the drum concept.

It has been ridiculously hot here. On Friday, it reached 99 degrees -- a new record. I had food poisoning or the stomach flu and had to stay home from work. That night, Eli and I slept in the guest room with the air conditioning, and it was really nice to sleep together. He would wake up and lean over to nurse and then fall right back to sleep. It was very sweet.

He is back in his crib tonight because it cooled off. But the heat has allowed us to bring him outside in just a diaper and he loves it. Michael is totally right about Eli loving to be naked. We sat outside for dinner tonight and Eli sat on Michael's lap in just his diaper. He was very content.

Michael also took Eli to Bush Park today and played with him in the grass. Eli loves to watch Wally fetch the ball. When the dogs come close, Eli even reaches out and tried to grab them now. He had gotten ahold of Zula's fur the past couple of times.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Nightime acrobatics

Eli woke up last night about 15 minutes after I fell into a deep sleep. I tried to nurse him back to sleep but my impatience about getting back to bed meant he was put in his crib before he fell asleep.


I then thought it would be a great idea if he fell asleep on his own and so I lay down on the floor next to the crib and waited. And waited.

Eli turned himself around 360 degrees. Stuck his legs between the crib bars and wriggled them up and down. Then he stuck his hand out and shook it. It looked like he was waving to me. I was giggling into the blanket it was so funny. Then he rolled himself onto his stomach, tried to roll back and couldn't. He got mad and started screaming. I rolled him back over, and I kept trying to calm him down but it wasn't working.

Then Michael crawled into the nursery to find out what all the commotion was about. He scared me half to death because I didn't see him at first. He couldn't figure out what I was doing.

And really, I couldn't figure out the point of it all when 2 hours later he still wasn't asleep.

I nursed him back to sleep again. Ah, the sleep saga continues...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cranky Tuesday

Eli had a tough day today. It is so hard when he is cranky because I never know what is wrong. It could be his teeth -- he is chewing on his hands pretty hard lately and drooling a lot. It could be that he is having a growth spurt and he is hungry a lot more -- he certainly nursed a lot today. Or it could be that he is stressed about what career path he should take and I was not providing enough direction. Point is, it could be just about anything and I have no idea.

He was playing quietly on a blanket and swinging his rattle around and then bumped his face and start bawling. And every time he woke up from his nap, he was very upset and crying hard. He also did not want me to change his diaper. Hmmm....

He was pretty happy in the morning though, and he kept doing this funny happy squeal. Hopefully it is the start of him really babbling because right now he is still pretty quiet. We asked the doctor about it and she did not seem worried at all. While he was playing, Michael and I noticed that Eli's hair seemed to be growing. It is hard for me to tell if it is blond or brown; it seems he has both.

Oh, and at the doctor's office last week we found out he weighed 16 pounds 10 ounces. Uf-dah! He is a big guy.

We walked to the Crooked House playground with Sarah and Elliot today and Eli rode in the Ergo carrier the entire way. He seemed pretty happy to be close to Mama. Of course on the way home he had to be in the stroller but then he could watch Elliot and Sarah. Elliot calls Eli "Ee-ii." It is very cute.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A lovely Monday

Today was a happy, smiley day for Eli.

We tried to go to the gym but the daycare wasn't open yet so we stopped at the grocery store. Eli watched his rattle socks. They are these colorful socks with little animal-head rattles on the end. When Eli kicks his legs, they rattle and keep him amused for about 10 seconds until he kicks again.

When Eli took a nap, I made dinner for Melissa and Adam, who just had a baby boy, Oscar. Melissa is the fourth woman in our newsroom to have a boy in less than a year! I stopped over this evening to see all 7 pounds of him, and he is so adorable. I never saw Eli that small - he was still in the womb -- so Oscar felt so light and fragile. Anyway, I am very excited to have all these boys grow up together. Instant friends!

For Eli's second nap, I took a nap also (glorious!), and when he woke up I brought him to bed with me to nurse. Well, we both fell asleep together for another hour and Eli slept so peacefully next to my chest. It was so sweet.

When we were playing in the afternoon, Eli kept reaching out for my face. He is starting to touch my lips and nose, and he loves to grab hold of my hair. He kept flashing these humongous grins that made me giggle.

Oh, I wanted to mention the Mother's Day post by Eli, aka Michael. Michael took the photo of Eli and the cherry blossoms in our backyard. Our cherry blossom tree is in the middle of our deck and the blossoms have just fallen off. Even though Michael hates studio shots, the photos he took of Eli look like they were done in a studio. I'm attaching one of the 25 that Michael took -- in this one, Eli is not cooperating for the photographer.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

First -- and best ever -- Mother's Day

Today was the first time I got to celebrate Mother's Day as a mom. (My dogs Wally and Zula might take offense, but I just mean as a mom of a human :) )

It was super fun because Eli remembered Mother's Day and planned a lot of really sweet things. For one, he helped Daddy make me breakfast in bed. Eli got some breakfast in bed also. Then he made me a sweet card and he posted on this blog (see the previous post). He also took me out to dinner at La Hacienda Real where he acted a bit fidgety but mostly good. When Michael and I sang him the "I'm Different" song in the restaurant, he did his huge-open-mouth smile. That's the song that we sing him during bath time -- how cool is it that he remembers it?





Saturday, May 10, 2008

Squirmy worm

My nickname for Eli since he got over his jaundice (and related lethargy) is "squirmy worm."

He kicks his feet constantly, especially in the bouncy chair, which sends him bouncing like a ball. He wriggles around while nursing, sometimes even forgetting that he is latched on when he thrashes his head around. OUCH! On the changing table he scrunches his feet up and does mini-crunches.

In the last two day, in the bathtub, he has been grabbing both feet with his hands and easing a big toe into his mouth. He looks like a pretzel. And his toes are amazing -- he can grab things with them, which makes him seem like a little monkey. He keeps them curled up so often that I find lots of lint in between his toes when I take off his socks.

He is asleep right now, and since I am obsessed with sleep, I will mention that he slept for 6 hours straight last night -- from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Wow. Then he nursed again at 5:30 a.m. and woke for the day at 7:15 a.m. It was a wonderful night ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday day care

Eli spent the day at the day care center at the YMCA. He goes there two days a week -- Wednesdays and Fridays. It is right next to the Statesman Journal offices so I can pop over whenever I want to get my Eli fix!

Today was a really good day at day care. Eli took a two-hour nap in the morning (unheard of in day care because it is so noisy!) and then slept for another hour in the afternoon. It followed the schedule I would like to get him on: a nap at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., so perhaps the day care workers will do the hard work for me and just put him on a good sleep schedule?!?

He spends some time in the exersaucers there and I think it is helping him hold his head up better and get stronger stomach muscles. Melissa, the head teacher, who is fantastic, said that he likes to be in the exersaucer and watch himself in the mirror. An egomaniac in the making?

I am glad that Eli had a good day at daycare because last night was rough. We decided to try the Ferber method for getting him to go to sleep by himself -- it involves putting him down for bed while he is awake, and going in at regular intervals to soothe him until he falls asleep.

Well, after an hour of Eli screaming at the top of his lungs, I'd had enough. I went in and nursed him to sleep. That is probably the absolute worst thing you can do, but I just couldn't stand it anymore. He slept for 51/2 hours after that. I nursed him again, but he only slept for 11/2 hours. According to the Ferber book, we should have made him wait a full 2 hours for a feeding again. But given that we both had to go to work the next day, Michael just brought him into bed with us and Eli slept next to his daddy for the entire night. That was a first also, because usually when he sleeps with us he is attached to my boob the whole night.

Michael and I figure that we can try the Ferber method again when I go part time. Until then we need our sleep too much to be letting him cry in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dangerous activities: nail cutting

Eli is taking a nap right now with little drops of blood on his head, cheeks, lips and pajama sack. It is so sad!

I did it. I was trying to prevent him from scratching his face with his long nails and I accidentally cut his thumb nail too short. It bled and bled and bled. I didn't think babies had that much blood in their thumbs. I mean, his thumb is tiny. Tinier than those candy Hot Tamales that I love, and that's small!

Anyway, how bad do I feel? TERRIBLE. Talk about the ultimate mama guilt. Here is a helpless little babe who relies on you for everything and I go and make him bleed forever. Just great mom. He got me back by wiping blood all over my hand and shirt so I can't forget what I did to him.

Other than that we had a pretty good day. We went grocery shopping and he loved looking at all the colors in all of the aisles. I just keep him in his car seat and sit him in the shopping cart and he has a perfect view.

I also tried carrying him around in my sling today but that only lasted about 10 minutes before he got cranky. I really wish that he liked being in a carrier more.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Baby wearing

This morning, Stefanie and I met at a baby-wearing group in Silverton. Baby wearing is not as cruel as it sounds--it is just the act of "wearing" your baby in a sling, pouch or some other kind of carrier.

Eli was a bit overwhelmed by all of the commotion and baby noises, but he only fussed a bit. Pretty good for someone who wouldn't take a morning nap and barely fell asleep on the car ride to Silverton.

I learned how to wear him in this great sling I got at the Portland Saturday Market, and I feel more comfortable with him in the Mei Tei carrier. The women in the group are fabulous, although as a newcomer I was quite overwhelmed -- so many mamas and babies to keep track of!

Eli picked up the fussiness a notch when Stef and I went to O'Brien's for lunch, so I ate most of my BLT standing up! But I realized that I need to get him out more so that he is used to taking a short nap in a baby carrier and then I am not stuck in the house for every nap :)

Stay tuned for some more updates. I plan to create several slideshows in Flickr for the blog so you can see what Eli is up to.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eli's 4-month-old update

OK, now that I have had a blog for all of 21 minutes, I want to post, post, post. I mainly want to tell people what has been going on with Eli:

Eli turned 4 months old on April 22, which also happened to be Earth Day. I have no idea why this is significant, but it seems to me that it is! He is NOT sleeping through the night, although lots of people like to ask me if he is. Nope, not even close. But two nights ago, he slept for 51/2 hours straight and I thought I was in heaven. Even though I got up to pee twice, it still felt like I had been asleep for days.

He is getting better and better about falling asleep by himself. Tonight I nursed him and put him in his crib awake. He amused himself for 30 minutes and whined a little bit, but fell asleep. He sleeps with this tiny blankie and it is cute how he sucks on it.

Eli can now roll over, although not consistently. He smiles a ton with a HUGE open mouth. He still doesn't giggle, but Michael and I are anxiously awaiting that day. We keep kissing and nuzzling his neck in hopes of a giggle but he is holding out on us.


Welcome to the Casper family blog, where you can find all your favorite updates on the Casper family. OK, really, this is the place where you can find photos, videos and the daily goings-on about Eli Casper, the newest and most important member of the Casper family.