Monday, April 28, 2008

On-line Thank You

Riley asked me to post up and thank Cousin Hailee, Uncle Darren and Aunt Sangee for the shiny, engraved helicopter bank.

We are planning on getting him some sort of low wage job once he starts walking, so he should be filling it up soon.

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Week 4 136

Good Milk In, Bad Milk Out

As I posted last weekend, there were a few rough nights with the boy, and all symptoms pointed gastric.

Things got better this week, but still weren't back to an acceptable level, and you can tell he is in pain.

Joan described the symptoms to the pediatricians' office and was told to first try cutting all dairy out of her diet.

Yup, anything derivative of Cow Juice, she cannot consume.
Babies don't have all of the digestive equipment to handle cow's milk, but some are sensitive enough that they can't even handle the proteins that make it through in Mom's milk. He may be one of them, or he may not be. We'll find out eventually, but they say it can take up to three weeks for the proteins to get out of her system.

Of all of the things to cut out, why did it have to be dairy?
To give you a little idea of how that will affect Joan's eating habits, here is a little diagram I have prepared showing the distribution of our diet, using the "food pyramid" scheme:


Notice the significance of dairy.
Not quite the distribution the gubment recommends. (see official USDA chart below)

Her first challenge last week was finding something at Coyote Blues that didn't have cheese or sour cream. I know it is heresy to even say that, but she really had to do it.

I hope, for his sake, that dairy actually is the problem. But, for her sake, I wish it was something less intrusive to fix.

We'll see.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April Showers Bring April Baths

Now that all the cord remnants are gone, it was time for our little guy to get his first tub bath.

He must've known it was coming, 'cause at his pre-bath diaper changing he celebrated by peeing all over his own face. Joan, through her laugh-crying, wouldn't let me take a picture, but trust me, it was HILARIOUS.
He's previously let loose a few times during diaper changes, but never with such trajectory, and never at his own expense.

After being cleaned up, he looked way more content than I would have if i had just peed all over my own face.

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As we are obligated to do, here's his first, and last, bath pics, with strategically placed wash rag to keep all the sickos away.

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Sleep Pranks

Today Riley was foolish enough to take a nap on Dad's lap. (he was worn out after our 90 minute walk)
Since Dad has the attention span and sense of humor of a 14 year old, that meant messing with the baby and taking silly pictures while he was zonked.
First, I got all Nick Arrojo on him and played with his hair (the little bit that he has)

His usual look is pulled straight forward

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But every once in a while we'll prep him up with the "natural part"

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That quickly leads to an attempted "reverse part", which ended up looking like a bad combover

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and because of his limited folicular forestation he wasn't quite able to pull off the "Fauxhawk"

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or the "I'm a cool college guy that just got out of bed and am too cool to fix my hair."

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Despite my Abu Ghraib-like antics (without all the pervy stuff) I was able to get some pics that I really like. More of them are posted on my Flickr page.

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First Fest Fun

The last weekend of April is always big in Lafayette as it means it is time, once again, for Festival International.

For the outsiders, Festival (as the locals call it) is a free, 4 day music and arts festival held Downtown. There are 4 or 5 stages with music going all day. This was the 22nd year and it just keeps growing. I think the crowd count last year was around 300,000.

Unfortunately, due to the concentration on French speaking cultures and the limited budget, a lot of the bands are ignorable. But, there are always a few gems,and plenty to keep yourself entertained all day as you move from stage to stage. Plus, a lot of the local acts play here at home before heading out for their summer tours in regions with more reasonable temperatures.

For the locals, it really is a chance to get out and see everyone you know while enjoying the best shot you have at good weather for the next 5 months.

In keeping with our idea that we are going to incorporate Riley into our lives, and not vice versa, it was my goal to get him down to Festival , at least for a little while.
Before leaving the hospital, we asked the doctor whether it would be ok, and she said "go for it."

So, yesterday Riley got to check out the Lost Bayou Ramblers (playing a tribute to the Hackberry Ramblers) and one of his favorite bands, The Figs.

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Fortunately, both bands played under a tent and it was breezy, so heat and sun weren't a factor.
He contently hung in the Baby Bjorn and didn't fuss at all through both sets. That boy has good taste. ( I wonder where he gets it from.)

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We probably could have hung out longer, but it started to rain, so we headed for cover. Working in an office downtown made it really convenient to feed him, change him, and get a little sit down time in between bands.

After a successful first Festival, we headed over to meet Mr. Gabe Pecot, and were joined shortly thereafter by Mr. Eli Domingue. Hopefully these guys will get to grow up together as they are all within 6 months in age.
Someday they'll all be the same size, but, for now, that 6 month gap between Eli (7 months)and Riley and Gabe (4/5 weeks) is amazing.

Week 4 063lighten

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The Moms all got to swap stories, and Joan and Lindsey (right and middle) listened intently as Dottie (left) shared all of the wisdom she has gained in her first 7 month of raising a very well behaved, friendly little boy.

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Went a week without seeing Paul, Liz and Caroline,who had become regular (welcomed) guests, as they all had to head back to Armpit, oops, I mean Baton Rouge. Best of luck to them there, and I hope and pray that the town doesn't rub off on Caroline while her immunities are weak.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"All the good times are past and gone....

...All the good times are o'er"

It had to come.
Our little guy has gone from being perfect (basically a warm doll, with excretions) to a real, crying, screaming, staying awake when you want to sleep, baby.

It started Thursday night, but Friday and Saturday nights were pretty bad.
All signs indicate that it's just gas issues, but knowing what the problem is doesn't make the screams any less loud.

Today has been good though, so there is optimism for tonight.

He made it all the way through Caroline's baptism today, which put him on the long end of a feeding span. He then ate and sat through a loud meal at Jason's deli followed by laying on the couch with me, for at least an hour, while Joan got some much needed sleep.

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We're hoping the gasiness wasn't induced by Joan's diet, because just about everything we ate this week is high up on our list of favorite things. If he doesn't get along with her eating cheese or fajitas, he's just going to have to get over it.

Hopefully this week will be smooth and he'll be all rested up and ready to enjoy Festival next week.
We won't be down there much, but we're definitely catching the Lost Bayou Ramblers and The Figs on Saturday (and I'd recommend you do the same). I've discovered that carrying him in the front carrier while waltzing and two stepping around the living room to the Figs is usually a pretty successful way to calm him.
We're also going to try to see the Red Stick Ramblers on Sunday (that'd be 2 RSR shows for him in his first month of life. What a cool-guy.)

As a status update, -- Monday was his second doctor's appointment. He tipped the scale at 6 lbs 11 ozs, up a pound in 1.5 weeks. Doc said everything looks good. The hip click that he had at the hospital was no longer detectable, so no leg braces for him.

He's still a small guy, but, to me, he looks huge compared to what he was just a couple of weeks ago. My back is going to be sooooo screwed when he gets bigger.

Week 3- 007

And if anyone is looking for little girls' clothes or boys toddler clothes, Goody's on Ambassador Caffery is going out of business and everything is 30-50% off.
I wiped them out of everything 18 months and under that didn't have some kind of sports theme (I have my standards, even for cheap clothes.) Got 8 pieces of clothing for 40 bucks. Alright, alright, alright.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Terrible Twos

That's when babies fuss alot when they're two weeks old right?
Well we lucked out and missed that fun.
Two years, not two weeks?

Regardless, Riley- Week 2 (When Mommy's Alone) had a pretty good story line.

Things calmed down a little this week on the visitor front.

He did get to go to both grand parent homes for the first time Saturday, and got a good visit in with Funcle James on Wednesday. (funcle= faux uncle)

Thursday was cool, as he made his first, nonmedical public appearance to check out the Red Stick Ramblers at Rhythms on the River.

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He didn't quite know all of the words yet, but we'll try to teach him before we catch those guys again at Festival in a couple of weeks.

Jimmy's getting a little more curious, and sniffing around more, but there's not much a dog can do with a two week old, so they haven't really bonded yet.

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Like most babies he just lays around sleeping, but looking very pleasant while he does it.

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For someone who sleeps so much, he sure does yawn a helluva lot.

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He's doing pretty well at the whole eating/sleeping schedule thing. Joan is tired but more so because of the nature of feeding a new baby, not any real difficulties on his part.

He goes to the doctor tomorrow so we'll see if/how he's growing. I think he's noticeably bigger, but thats just because I'm hoping he outgrows me someday.

Finally, while, by definition, we use Erin's closet the most of any gifts, running a close second is the Moses basket that Lance and Kim gave us. We use that thing constantly. It's easy to move and stable so we can bring it with us anywhere we go in the house. I highly recommend one to any new parents, especially if your baby is tiny. Thanks again guys.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Where's Tyra?

Saturday our house was transformed into a high fashion photoshoot.
It was just like America's Next Top Model but without the diva attitudes and unattractive stick figure "models."

Aunt Carol, who has an expensive camera and a knack for photography, came over to take pics of Riley, Caroline, and Riley and Caroline.

I've posted many of them in an album on flickr. (in the full size, high quality originals)

But here's some of my favs.

Working on my tan
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When will they buy me a real pillow?

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Our family.
Family Hands

Best Buds

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Rockin Cousins
Rockin Cousins 1

Can I eat him yet?

Riley & Caroline

Cousin Caroline

Caroline 5

Little Monkey

Sunday, April 6, 2008

17 years, 51 weeks

.... til our boy is legally an adult.

More simply, Happy 1st Week birthday Riley.

One week ago today we were sleep deprived and eating well deserved sushi.
Now we've got a one week old kid at home and have seen just about everyone we know in the last week.

Week 1 100

He's done great so far. He's sleeping and eating right on textbook schedule.
Unless he's hungry or being changed, he's incredibly content. Even did a little web surfing already.

Surfin with Mom

He probably wanted to read all about himself. What a narcissist.

Seeing Double

Joan's Mom took the week off of work to stay here when I went back to the office. Lesley then arrived Thursday night and is staying through Tuesday.
Everyone seems to be holding up well.

I've taken Riley and Jimmy for a walk almost everyday, to get Jimmy used to walking with the stroller and to help introduce Riley into our pack. ( we're Dog Whisperer fans) Jimmy is definitely starting to show more interest in the baby, which I hope will lead to a great friendship through Riley's childhood.

Before he was born we were worried about having too many newborn sized clothes. Now that he arrived carrying his official Munchkin Land ID card, we've had to scramble for some premie clothes and diapers.
Fortunately, Cousin Amy had small boys right about this time of year and has been a lifesaver in the clothing department.

And while is was almost surely completely by accident, on Wednesday, at the ripe old age of 3 days old, Riley rolled from his stomach to his back, completely unaided. He's setting expectations high. He better keep it up.

Thanks to Paul, Heather, Granny Lynn and my Mom for feeding us and/or stocking our freezer so that we'll be set up in the food department for a little while.

Here's what about 60% of our day looks like:

Week 1 011

or this: (complete with smooshed face goodness)

Week 1 006

That's it for now.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Truth

Forget all you know about science and anything you may have previously read on this blog.

Babies really do come from the stork, who left this on our doorstep today.

Stork Present

Jimmy seems ok with the new arrival, but is more tolerant than friendly.

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And just so that I don't seem totally heartless, (remember, perception is everything, right?) I have to clear something up.

As I was leaving B&F, and as we saw various friends, everyone said they wanted to see the baby soon. I always C'd my A by saying ,"You'll see him if/when he's cute."
We must all acknowledge that, like adults, not all newborns are cute.

That being said, I lucked out and got a damn cute kid (if by luck you mean superior genetics)

And I'm not just saying that because many people say he looks somewhat like I did when I was a baby. (That's not good for his long term outlook.)

So here he is, striking his best "Walk Like an Egyptian " pose, and everyone is welcomed to see him.

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In the Groove

Just left the hospital yesterday and had to go back today for the routine, first pediatrician appointment.

He also had to get a billirubin test because he was looking kind of spray-on tanned (doctors call it jaundice).

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He responded to the drawing of blood by immediately peeing all over the table. Nothing shows someone you are angry with them like peeing up your own back. That's my boy.

He eventually calmed down for the ride home.

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He then relaxed all day until it was time for his first, at home, sponge bath. Certain memories should never be relived.

Meeting the family

The first two non-health care professionals to see Riley were Lesley, his godmother, and me, as we were in the room when he made his bloody debut. (literal, not British)

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Next were my parents and Joan's Mom who were waiting immediately outside, peeking through the door like teenage boys trying to get a glimpse into a strip club.

Since then he has been passed around through many arms and met many family and friends.

Uncle Eli, his godfather stopped by a couple of times to get face time

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as did Uncle Jake (who has very poor taste in headwear)

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Uncle Paul brought us sushi the first night, but I don't think he got to hold the baby which was firmly attached to his sister's boob most of the night.

On his first night home, Aunt Liz brought over Cousin Caroline, who, while only 5 weeks older, absolutely dwarfs Riley.

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It's not that she's a large baby, she's between 8 and 9 lbs, he's just really tiny.

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Though he hasn't been able to tell me yet in English, I can tell that, more than anything, Riley is looking forward to meeting his cousin Hailee, who was the flower girl at our wedding. He hopes she can come down from Connecticut this summer, and he expects her to be alot bigger than she was 5 and a half years ago at the wedding.


Lots of other pics wont make it to the blog, but I've posted them on my Flickr page.
So far there's one set of Riley pics, but I'm sure I'll make more.

So if you want to see baby pics with out my feeble attempts at humor and wit,the link is over in the right hand column.

And thanks to Briney & Foret, and Rabalais Hanna and Hebert for the beautiful flower arrangements.