Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Soft Muscles

Owen had his six month check-up last week, and since Sean had brought him to his last two appointments, it was my turn to be on doctor duty.  Luckily Owen's Aunt Susan came along to help with the wrangling!

Here is Owen in all his glory, waiting for the doctor to do her stuff.  As Susan says, this picture shows that Owen has a lot of muscle, but soft muscles at that.

At almost 22 pounds and 28.5 inches, Owen is in the 96th percentile for weight and 95th for height.  His head is in the 91st percentile.  Owen very much enjoyed ripping the paper he was sitting upon:

He was busy!  He enjoyed the whole appointment, except for the three vaccines that were injected into his fat legs (he actually liked the vaccine he got to take orally, and smacked his lips when it was done).

We don't have to return until he is nine months old.  Hooray!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Owen's Sharp Tooth

After months of drooling, Owen is finally getting his first tooth.  We can't really see it yet, but we can certainly feel it.  One little jagged edge has broken through the gums on the bottom, and that edge is sharp!  Forget cheerios!  If the rest of that tooth is as pointy as the part coming through first, then I'm thinking we can go straight to steak or caramel or taffy.

I'm also having thoughts of weaning Owen because ouch!  When I googled the topic, I found a lot of sites that said, consolingly, that a baby can not bite when he is latched on to breastfeed.  Um, tell that to Owen.  Quickly!

Owen thinking, oh I can too bite while nursing! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Daily Pictorial

One of the highlights of my day is when Owen's Aunt Susan texts me pictures of what Owen is doing. For awhile, she was going with the theme of Things On Owen's Head, be it book or silly hat or Starbucks latte cup:

She sent me a nice documentation of Owen's first trip to Target, and the Elmo he insisted she purchase for him:

But she also sends pictures of Owen just chillin':

And watching the trees blow in the wind:

And looking sweet:

Here is Owen in what Sean terms the ghost rocker, because it gives him the heebie-jeebies.  But Owen likes it:

And here is a recent one I titled Fat Beethoven Showing a Bit of Leg.  Susan replied, that's how he gets his tips.  Clearly!

I'm sure he is making the most of those four notes!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hello Posy

It's been a long time since I've written about Posy, and I'm not sure if she thinks that is a good thing or a bad thing.  On the one hand, I'm sure she is all -- get your own cat, bitches.  But on the other hand, I'm sure she is wondering where her documentarist has gone.  So here we go:

Posy is an easy cat, mostly.  She cleans herself constantly:

She always, ALWAYS wants to snooze in my lap:

My one complaint is that she tends to get the caterwauls and the zoomies right around the time Owen is napping, and she usually likes to do both under the carriage in which he is trying to sleep.  You can imagine that that often does not go well.  Sean and I will both start hissing at her to get out of that room now and not to mention shut up!  Usually to no avail.  I then have to tiptoe in and extricate her from the carriage wheels and then give her a good brushing in the other room to get her sleepy.

Posy doesn't like the cold weather, and I'm sure she is looking forward to when she can go up and bake in a sunspot in our hot attic.

And here she is right now, trying to figure out how she can fit on my lap along with the laptop.  Let's see if she can fit...askdhgotskfndosietn390snvoss0wngdkt-clkt.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We have been having trouble with one of our pets lately, and surprisingly it is not the needy bulldogge or the loud-voiced Exotic, but this guy who is having issues:

Plum thinking, I will pee on anything vertical
And claim it as my own.

Our basement is unfinished with a French drain, and I realized the other day that Plum has been spraying more things in the basement than he is leaving unsprayed.  I had had my suspicions before, but this time I caught him in the act, started screaming at him, and was amazed as he actually finished the act he was in the middle of while giving me a look like I was the lunatic for interrupting his toilet.

He has not been limiting this activity to the basement either, but has periodically been spraying things upstairs—and usually things that belong to Sean (Sean’s comic and record collection, Sean’s shoes, Sean’s furniture, etc.).  We had caught him spraying a few months ago, but then tried to give him more attention, figuring it was a result of the baby screaming and the move, etc.  This worked for a bit, but then he started up again with gusto.  Neither of us wants our house to be drenched in cat urine, and we even talked a bit about trying to find Plum a new home.  But a) he’s my baby, and I do believe in signing on for the lifespan of a pet, and b) how would one find a good home for a spraying cat?

So the other day I took Plum to the vet, just so we could rule out any physical reason for his behavior (I almost killed us both when while I was driving a stink bug crawled out of my coat sleeve; that would certainly have stopped Plum’s spraying!)  Today I talked to the vet and from his bloodwork and urinalysis, it more or less looks like there is nothing wrong with him.  (He showed faint signs of the very beginnings of kidney issues, but don’t get excited, Sean, because Tulip had these same signs at age 7 and lived for ten more years.)  The vet did think it sounded like behavioral problems due to the move (which surprised me, since I always felt a little bad for Plum living in a small apartment, and thought he’d enjoy more space; it turns out he might have liked being a big fish in a small pond.  And the only fish with a penis.  If fish have them?...)  And cats are often bothered by new babies, too, and can take awhile to get used to them.  So here are the things we are going to try:

·         Feliway pheromone diffusers plugged into 2 or 3 rooms (thanks, Heidi, for this idea!);
·         Feliway pheromone spray to spray on his bed(s);
·         Gating off the basement so he won’t be tempted to let his urine run amok, and so he won't claim the lovely workbench Sean made;
·         Putting litter boxes on the top of the basement stairs, my bathroom, and when it gets warm again, the sun room.  I had liked having all the litterboxes down in the basement, but I’d much rather have litter boxes than sprayed urine, and the vet recommended having litter boxes on each floor;
·         Prozac!  I gave him his first Prozac yesterday and he proceeded to vomit five times afterwards.  Hmmm.  So I shall try it again tomorrow and see what happens.

We are also trying to give Plum more attention.  Here he is being included in the nightly bath routine:

Sean is also giving Plum extra attention, which I appreciate, since a spraying cat gets on Sean’s every last nerve, not to mention the assault it gives to his olfactory sense, which I seem to be missing when it comes to pet odors.  Plum seems quite willing to expand his friendship with his new dad, too; when Sean makes a whisper sound, Plum will literally come running and then talk to Sean while rubbing back and forth against his legs.  I’m hoping this is an apology and a promise to never go outside of the box ever again.  We shall see.

With pets it is always something, no?  We are taking to calling these our Last Cats.  Now excuse me while I go call the vet to make an appointment for Posy to get a million dollars worth of dental work.  Sigh.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Degree in Food

On January 20th, when Owen was about five and a half months old, we started feeding him some solids.  Here is Owen with his first mouthful of sweet potato:

Hee hee.  Despite what that picture might lead you to believe, Owen more or less liked the sweet potatoes.  He spent his first week eating banana flavored oat cereal.  Then he moved on to sweet potatoes, and gradually added pears, apples, carrots, peas, and prunes to that.

Owen is actually a pretty good eater.  He has liked (not loved) most of the foods we have given him so far, except for the apples and the prunes.  He ate several helpings of prunes as long as we only tried to give them to him every other mouthful.  The apples he gagged on and vomited up, but I do have plans to try again.

So we are lucky in that regard, as I have heard of babies rejecting food completely.  And from what I am told, the first two months of food are just about practicing eating and not about nutrients, which he is still getting in full from the breast milk.

Can I just state for the record though that baby food is confusing!  There are all sorts of "rules" now that didn't exist when we were children.  First there is the whole debate about whether or not to start with rice cereal because of arsenic, because it is usually made from nutrient-free white rice, and because it tastes bland.  Whole foods ended that argument for me because my branch did not sell rice cereal (because of the arsenic issue).  

Then there is the whole rigamarole about how one is only supposed to introduce one new food to the baby every four days, so that if he has an allergic reaction to a food, it is clear what food is the culprit.  But this is where things got confusing for me, because I couldn't quite figure out if I was to just give him one food for four days, or if he could have the "older" foods plus the new food?  And then did he have to eat the new food for four days in a row, or just not any other new foods in that time?

I finally decided I was over-thinking the whole issue and to just feed the baby his stupid foods and forget about it.

And so he gets a breakfast and a dinner in addition to all his usual breast milk.  We cut out lunch on the nurse's orders once Owen stopped pooping.  I won't go into it much here (yet), but suffice it to say that in the last three weeks, upon starting his solids, Owen has pooped only three times.  Thus we introduced prunes into his diet, but pretty much to no avail.

Owen seems very interested in holding the spoon himself, and so I think he will enjoy finger foods when he can have them.  But I am not sure when that is?  Which brings me back to the title of this blog and how confusing baby foods are.  When can he have dairy?  When can he have cheerios?  I have no idea.  There is also the "baby-led weaning" method, which if I understand it correctly, is feeding the baby the food you are eating chopped up into tiny pieces, and foregoing the purees.  I had plans to puree some food myself and freeze it in ice cube trays, but I have yet to attempt it, due to a lack of time and a bit of inertia.

Dorothy thinking, she should try the bulldogge method -- 
kibble in a bowl!  It worked well for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Owen and Millie

Owen had his first "playdate" last Sunday with the lovely Milena, known as Millie for short.  Millie is three weeks younger than Owen and about ten pounds lighter.  She's a dainty thing, but Owen is a big galoot.

I didn't expect them to interact at all, so I was surprised when there were moments when they seemed very interested in what the other was doing.

Owen did a good job of sharing his toys, and Millie did a good job of being completely charming by smiling and talking and making all sorts of adorable expressions.

Here are Owen and Millie on their first date:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Owen's Outfits Past Due

I loaded a lot of these pictures about two months ago, but haven't had much time to blog.  So in the majority of these photos, Owen is about four months old instead of the six months he is now.  I realized I have less outfit photos of him now because he has less patience and tolerance for the changing table.  The boy does not like having his arm put in a sleeve!  And since it is cold these days, when I dress him I am usually putting his arms in two layers of sleeves and sometimes three!  The session often ends in whining and tears, and that makes me more in a hurry to get him off the table, and less likely to linger and take a photo.  Owen doesn't like sleeves--but since I do not intend to dress him in a wifebeater, ever, sleeves it shall be.  And so we are at an impasse.

But here is Owen in a bulldogge sweater he received for Christmas from his parents.  He wears it quite often, and I'm sure it is Dorothy's favorite.

At Christmas, Owen wore the paw vest I had knitted him.  It looked relatively cute, although not quite as cute as I had pictured it when doing the knitting.  It seems a bit wonky in shape.

Here he is in a new outfit he received from his cousins, The Hunters.  The pants are a nice double weight and lined with fleece, and the bear is pleading to be fed.  If you guide his hand to it, Owen will pet the bear, which is made out of soft material.

And here is Owen in a snowsuit that was first worn by his cousin, Lily, who is now 16.  It was then worn by all his cousins, Avery, Henry, Georgia, and Josie.  So we certainly have gotten good use from this Lands End purchase!  The good thing about it, in addition to the fact that the hands and feet can be closed off or opened up, is that it is very loose and easy to put on.  It is also not uber bulky, so can be worn in the bjorn or in a carseat without turning him into a stuffed sausage.

And here is Owen in the beautiful sweater my friend, Heidi, knitted for him!  Isn't it lovely?  You'll note that some of the buttons are dinosaurs!  They please Owen muchly.

Owen received this outfit from Martha for Christmas.  We use it a lot, particularly the vest, since vests are sleeveless and quick to put on!

And here he is in a moose lounge suit, complete with hood, also from Martha.  It's a very warm and soft suit, although sometimes he will have a fight with the hood.  Here he is trying to rub his nose off his face.

These next two pictures are more recent.  In this one he is wearing a hat from his Aunt Susan.  The picture is one that Susan emailed me during the day when I was at work.  My little garden gnome!

And here he is wearing his Dorothy is a Pirate shirt.  Arrgh!

And finally, today he is wearing a new outfit from his Granny and Grandfather--overalls!  With a bulldogge on them!  He looks like the big boy he is:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bed Bully

Since Dorothy was a small puppy, she has been a bed bulldogge.  At first I figured that since I was at work from 9-5 and Dorothy was in her crate during that time, we needed the pack time together at night.  Plus, who am I kidding, I liked her warm snuggly self in bed.

But when it comes right down to it, although she doesn't mean to be, Dorothy is a bed bully bully.  By which I mean, she does not lie inconspicuously at the foot of the bed, and radiate her warmth to our cold feet, but rather she will lie horizontally between us, snore like a foghorn, continually go in and out of the covers, get us in various cover locks by going under some of the covers but on top of others, lick her paws and privates loudly, scratch her ears so that the whole bed shakes, and spoon a little too close.  I wake up sometimes and don't know which limbs are mine and which limbs are Dorothy's -- and that is just too much togetherness.

So I would really like to have Dorothy move from our bed to a nice bed right next to ours, but this is easier said than done.  We decided this once before when I was still in my apartment in Philly, and for two or so nights she was perfectly happy in her bed next to ours.  However, by the third night this separate but equal sleeping had lost its luster, and Dorothy spent most of that night sitting two inches from Sean's head, occasionally letting out a high pitched cry and the rest of the time just staring at him and giving him the creeps.  So back in the bed came Dorothy.

Sean is made of sterner stuff than I am; he would, I think, be fine with just having her sleep in her own bed cold turkey the end.  But I remain convinced that we need some kind of transition, so that Dorothy doesn't see the separation as a punishment.  Unfortunately, though, I'm not sure what form this transition should take.

The other day I got a nice dog bed on sale and when it arrived, Dorothy tried it out downstairs:

It looks comfy, no?  Well, we brought it upstairs, but then Plum was moseying around it looking like he was about to mark it, so we put it into my closet, where it has remained ever since and where we often find Posy sleeping smack in the middle of it all night, her little nose a-whistlin' and plenty of room for her to stretch out.

One of these days I hope to get a backbone, or at least become a little more skilled with my dog training.  I know one of the problems is that I tend to over-anthropomorphize.  If I pick up a piece of bruised fruit at Whole Foods, for example, I end up buying it so as not to hurt its feelings.  I have to use my coffee mugs in order so as not to annoy one by playing favorites, and when I discard something, like an article of clothing I no longer wear, say, I have to thank it for its service.  I know, I'm a nut.  But my point is that these are inanimate objects I feel sorry for.  Imagine my feelings upon looking into the woebegone eyes of a smart bulldogge who knows how to play me.

And so I look forward to the day in the future when Dorothy might decide to join Owen in his bed.  It could happen, right?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Boy and His Bulldogge

I had wanted to get a holiday photo of at least Dorothy and Owen together, but my photo sessions did not work out.  They tended to look like the picture below, where Owen looks like a two-dimensional paper-doll, and Dorothy looks depressed.

Or like this one, where Dorothy is checking to see if Owen's palpable rage is edible.  It is not.

There, there, says Dorothy, with a heavy plunk of her paw, getting said deadweight rather dangerously close to Owen's head.

And so I decided separate photos would have to do.