Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting to Know Russell

He has a little red birthmark between his eyes, slightly to the right.
He has a clogged tear duct in his right eye. It's always gunky and usually half closed when the other eye is fully open.

He can usually be found like this:

within inches of my...his source of food, whether asleep or awake.

He's been smiling now for a week or two:

He may be cooing, too, but it's hard to tell since he doesn't spend a lot of time being happy and all vocalizations lead to crying.

He is very strong! He has been known to try to stand up on my lap. Every time he's being snuggled with on one's chest, he picks his head up and throws himself to the side. Sometimes I worry that he's going to jump right out of my arms!
(My three boys enjoying tummy time.)

He enjoys stroller rides, just like his older brother (thank goodness):

He wasn't gaining very much weight to begin with. He was 8 lbs 5 oz at birth, 7 lbs 12 oz at four days old, 8 lbs 1 oz at 2.5 weeks old, and 8 lbs 6.5 oz at 3.5 weeks old. Babies are supposed to be at their birth weight at 2 weeks old and then gain 5-7 oz each week after that. It has been determined that I have an awful milk supply, which isn't helped by Russell's possible tongue-tie and his extreme sleepiness while eating.

At 5.5 weeks old he weighed 9 lbs 10 oz...so it seems that his weight gain is back on track. Either that or the scale was off, because he has been getting sleepier and sleepier and Caleb's feeding therapist is quite concerned. I don't know what's going on. But I've decided not to start worrying until a medical professional tells me to. I don't have the energy to worry.

When I say he's a sleepy eater, I mean it! He falls asleep within a few minutes at the breast and between nursing, burping, diaper changes, and bottle feeding I'm lucky if I can get through a feeding in less than 50 minutes.

He still eats every 2.5-3 hours during the day.

He is pretty good at sleeping in his bassinet at night, swaddled very tightly in a crocheted blanket with his hands by his face. But he still goes 2.5-3 hours between night feedings. A few times he's gone 4 hours. Last night I actually got 4.5 hours of sleep in a row! NICE!

He usually has one happy moment about every other day for maybe 10 minutes where I'm able to set him down without him crying. In fact, we're lucky if he has any awake time, whether in our arms or not, where he isn't crying. And we're extremely fortunate if we can get him to sleep somewhere other than our arms during the day.

He seems to be happiest (aka, not entirely unhappy) when there are new things to look at and hear. He was once in a crowded room with a lot of new people, and he was very happy! It was like he was a different baby. I wish we could achieve the desired behavior with the stimulation of toys and music...but alas, that has never worked.

He's very gassy and poops a LOT! He had a terrible diaper rash for a few weeks that wouldn't go away with any diaper rash ointment that I could find. BUT! It went away almost completely after 24 hours of using paper towels and water in place of baby wipes. Thanks to all you mommas who suggested that!

He is just barely starting to outgrow newborn clothes. They are starting to get a little tight around the tummy, but most of them still fit length-wise. But his feet are really filling out the designated foot space. He must have gotten his long feet from me. Nate's feet are the same size as mine. :/ (But for the record, I have very average-sized feet. Nate is the one with small feet.)

And that's my baby. He can be difficult at times, but we love him. Yes, I have to remind myself that I love him when he won't stop crying and I just want to set him down to get a drink of juice, or go to the bathroom, or put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or feed Caleb. I have been tempted to give him (permanently) to the neighbors, but it's not his fault! He's just a baby. I need to be more patient. We find ways to make it all work, but I'm sure looking forward to the day when he can communicate with us through ways other than crying. And when he can be entertained by things, like toys. And when he can stay awake long enough to eat without me having to use every trick in the book to get him to eat the bare minimum.

Whew. Yes. I love him. And now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas 2011!

Christmas doesn't get any better than it does with a toddler! It was magical!

Here is Caleb with his first gift--a football tent from Auntie Jenna. (I don't know why it didn't focus. Sorry if it gives you a headache!)
Yes, you heard right. He went inside, we asked, "Do you like your football tent?" and Caleb promptly said, "No." and got out. HAHA! But rest assured, he sure loves it now!

Caleb somehow got obsessed with Angry Birds. We don't even know how he learned what it's called. He doesn't play it. He just looks at it on Nate's phone. Well, Nate is a wonderful, thoughtful father and he got this for Caleb, unbeknownst to me:
Ah, the joy!

Other Christmas presents that made the top of the list: A tie. Yes, Caleb has his own tie, and no suit to wear it with. But when he opened it, he shouted, "A TIE!" with great zeal, and started jumping up and down (you know, in the way that a toddler jumps before he really knows how to get both feet off the ground at the same time). So far, he has refused to let me put it on him. But it was worth buying, if only for the initial reaction. Too bad we didn't get it on camera. We weren't expecting it to go over so well!

He also got a little drum and some other instruments (he has grown to love the kazoo). When he opened the drum and saw what it was, he shouted, "Drums! HOORAY!" Priceless.

The Littlest Purser turned one week old on Christmas, so he was clearly not as excited by the magic of the day as Caleb was. He did, however, sleep in his bassinet between feedings during the night, and gave me a few hours of sleep at a time. I think I even got three straight hours! That was the best night of his whole life so far! AND he was content to lay on the bed without crying while I got ready for the morning. That was also a first.

Together, all of my boys made it the most wonderful Christmas ever.