Sunday, August 4, 2013

The First Three Months with My Roly Poly

This has been the fastest three months of my life! In the same way that those last few weeks of pregnancy seem to drag, these first thirteen weeks of Malcolm’s life have flown by! In the 96 days we’ve had Malcolm, we have had out of town visitors all but 42 of them! I’m always telling people that he’s really popular around our house!

Malcolm has already experienced many firsts. He came home from the hospital at three days old on May 6th. On May 8th (five days old), he had his first outing to do some grocery shopping at Target with Momsie and Aunt Molly. He went to church for the first time on Mother’s Day, when he was only nine days old! He dined out for the first time for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory with Mommy, Momsie, Aunt Molly, and Grandma Gini when he was 11 days old! He slept through the night for the first time at 13 days old, and has continued to do so fairly consistently! He went to the Brookfield Zoo for the first time with Grandpa Doug and Grandma Cathy on May 20th (17 days old). Momsie gave him his first fully submerged bath and Popsicle gave him his first bottle of breast milk (outside of the hospital) while Mommy and Momsie were grocery shopping on May 26th (23 days old)! Malcolm first met Aunt Poo-Poo-Head (or as some people know her, Sarah) just in time for his one month birthday!

Even in the hospital he had a lot of neck strength, but he was holding his head up really well by six weeks, which is around the same time Jordan and I went on our first date since Malcolm’s birth to see Man of Steel (while Momsie babysat) and we celebrated Jordan’s first Father’s Day! At seven weeks, we celebrated Jordan’s 28th birthday with pizza and ice cream at home, compliments of Vicki while she was visiting from Alaska. At eight weeks, Malcolm had his first visit to downtown Chicago for dinner at Lou Malnoti’s with Auntie A and Spencer during their visit from New Mexico!

We spent Malcolm’s first Independence Day with friends visiting from Dallas, Christine and Nick, at the Shedd Aquarium, then watched the Navy Pier fireworks from the aquarium lawn (Malcolm may have watched them through his eyelids)! By nine weeks, Malcolm had discovered his hands and loves reaching for toys – especially his links! On July 8th, Momsie came for moral support while Mommy and Malcolm suffered through his first immunizations at his two-month pediatric appointment. His face became red as a tomato during the injections, but he calmed down very quickly with a few Mommy snuggles (which I needed as much as he did)! By two months, he was sitting up very well assisted and continues to require less assistance with each passing day!

On July 10th, he had his first bus ride downtown to meet Daddy for lunch and then make a second trip to the aquarium. Malcolm LOVES watching the fish and seemed particularly mesmerized by the dolphins. At 11 weeks, when Grandma Gini and Grandpa Kyle came to visit, Malcolm toured the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio for the first time and attended his first church picnic downtown at Diversey Park! On his three-month birthday, Jordan and I took him swimming for the first time at the indoor pool at our gym. Malcolm did NOT enjoy that particular first, but in his defense the water was a bit chilly! This week we’re looking forward to a visit from our good friend Jane and celebrating Jordan’s and my five-year wedding anniversary!

Malcolm's Popsicle was photographed in this same crocheted cap in 1961:

Our amazing photographer, Krista Ripke of Krista Ann Photography in Plainfield, Illinois, used the same basket in his newborn shoot! I couldn't believe how much bigger he looked in it:

In between all of the out of town visitors, we’ve also had numerous visits with our local friends, including Malcolm’s first backyard barbecue hosted by my friend Sam! Several particularly generous friends from church have saved me from cooking by providing delicious dinners for us at times when we didn’t have other visitors cooking.

Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by the ways God has blessed our family. We have really had very few struggles as new parents. Very early on we were having some difficulties with breastfeeding. Malcolm being tongue-tied prohibited proper latching, and even after his frenulectomy, the healing process made it challenging. Fortunately, Good Sam has amazing lactation consultants on staff who suggested using a nipple shield as a temporary measure to allow Malcolm to nurse. Malcolm caught on to using the shield right away and by his second weigh-in on May 18th (ten days old) he had gained enough weight that we no longer had to wake him up for feedings! I would’ve paid $1,000 for that piece of silicon since it let me nurse my baby when I probably would have been unable to otherwise! That said, it was a bit of a pain to use and I was anxious to transition him off of it and directly onto the nipple. When it looked like his tongue was completely healed, we had two outpatient appointments with the lactation department to help him make the transition. During the first appointment, the consultant identified that Malcolm was not opening his mouth wide enough to take in the aereola, so she directed us to finger feed him three times a day to encourage him to open his mouth further. The night before our second appointment on May 30th, I e-mailed two girlfriends from church asking them to pray over the situation, and almost immediately after I sent the e-mails Malcolm latched on sans shield and we’ve never looked back! I know that God loves Malcolm, so I know it shouldn’t surprise me to see Him intervene on even something so simple, but it was a moment that brought tears to my eyes!

Here is Malcolm finger feeding:

We’re developing a really great routine! Malcolm typically goes to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. and sleeps an average of seven hours (sometimes as much as nine and a half) before waking up for an hour to eat between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. He usually sleeps another three to four hours, which puts our official wake up time between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. After being unzipped from his Woombie, Malcolm always starts the day with a BIG stretch and a gummy grin. This is his most active and happy time of day! He usually takes a brief nap around 9:30, but goes down for a two to three hour nap about 12:30 p.m. – it’s like clockwork! Malcolm is really only grumpy right before bed, so unfortunately that’s a lot of what Jordan sees after work. I know Jordan tries to soak up morning play time when he can on the weekends. Now that Malcolm is three months old, he can attend the daycare at our gym while I work out, which is the newest element in our daily schedule!

Malcolm is a happy little guy and enjoys most things! He loves the aquarium, walks outside, video chatting with extended family, being naked, taking warm baths, having his hair brushed, playing with links, having his chin tickled, having his gums rubbed, playing with his hands, sleeping in his Woombie, pooping in a clean diaper, reading Peter Pan, and singing. Malcolm’s favorite songs are Jesus Loves Me, Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee, and (his VERY favorite) Roly Poly! Malcolm does NOT enjoy tummy time (or as he likes to think of it, his daily torture time), getting OUT of the bath, swimming, car alarms or sirens, or when Mommy eats spicy food or garlic.

This is Malcolm enjoying the dolphins at the Shedd:

I'll end with a shout out to some of our favorite baby products:

  • An app is a baby product, right? J and I rely heavily on our Baby Connect iPhone app that allows us to track a variety of metrics and automatically sync with each other.
  • We've been very pleased with our Graco Snugride 35 Click Connect and Snugrider Elite Stroller Frame! The system is VERY user friendly, budget friendly, and I feel confident that he is safe when we're traveling.
  • Malcolm LOVES to spend time in his mamaRoo, which connects directly to an iPod so he can jam out to praise tunes, while he's bouncing like a kangaroo! He loves when I attach his links to the mobile to play with.
  • We were advocating Aden + Anais swaddle blankets months before Prince George was spotted in one! They are perfect for covering his car seat to block out sun and keep strangers from touching him in public, but light and breathable so I don't feel like he's being stifled by the summer heat.
  • My favorite burp cloths are the Gerber Flannel Burp Cloths you can find at Target. They are larger than most burp cloths and absorb well without soaking through to your clothes underneath.
  • Speaking of spit up protection, Tommee Tippee Milk Bibs are amazing! The absorbent roll at the top is perfect for catching dribbles that would otherwise work their way to the back of his onesie.
  • Last, but not least, we COULD NOT SURVIVE without our Woombie! We loved the newborn one so much, we've since upgraded to the "big baby" size with separate legs. It suppresses his startle reflex, which allows him to sleep soundly, and since it's a consistent part of his bedtime routine I think it helps signal to him that it's time to go to bed. I really need to invest in a backup because I think we could kiss sleeping goodbye for the night if something were to decommission the one we have.