During today's tummy time, Ryan gave the most bewildered look, almost like he forgot who I was for a moment. He has really good head-control and this has been the case from birth. When he is on his tummy he can turn his head from side to side, which is how he sleeps on his mat for catnaps in the evening. I think by the time this photo was taken, however, he was about to be fed up with tummy time for that session. Mommy had to come to the rescue and scoop him up.
In other news, he finally had his first proper "awake" smile shortly after midnight last night. I just happened to have my phone recording at the time, so enjoy a little video!!
Our little bundle is six weeks old today and we've been waiting with bated breath for the coming of the magic, six-week "social smile." Well, let me clarify...MOMMY has been waiting, maybe even trying to coax and/or bribe our little mite into releasing a bit of "puppies and rainbows" from his angelic face in the form of a simple cheesy grin.
And the results...no dice.
As this is naturally an exhausting process anyway, he wasn't able to muster 5 minutes of alertness to take in Daddy's XBox 101 lesson for today.
I cannot stress enough how much I adore my little guy's baby blues! I know it's impossible to tell from this photo since our lampshades give a yellow tint to the room, but his eyes are the prettiest shade of blue at the moment. I suspect they will end up Matt's colour rather than my own dull brown, but blue was just what I was hoping for.
In the meantime, if anyone has any photoshop advice on how to bring out the real life colour in photos such as this, I would appreciate it. I tried using a cooling filter, but it was just too washed out. So, let's hear it, experts.
Today's blog had a three-way tie on photos, hence the title. We had a pretty busy day in terms of active time. This week I have been trying to do set daily tasks with Ryan to make sure that he is actively engaged during the times he is awake and alert. I keep Baby First on the telly in the background, mostly for the music, and from time to time we will join in on the gym segments to work on mobility and stretches or sing along to the songs.
I've also been trying to help him explore more of his play mat. This is his elephant rattle we often use to distract him from crying during nappy changes. Otherwise it's absolute chaos and near impossible to get him changed quickly and efficiently.
The third and final photo for this post is brought to you by Sleep Sheep from Jen and the Beatrix Potter baby positioner from Christine. Naturally deep sleep would follow such a rigorous day.
At his last health visit this past Tuesday they suggested his reluctance to sleep on his back at night might be due to reflux. They recommended to try propping him onto his side at night to see if he would sleep any better. I tried this during his 4 o'clock nap and was so successful in him sleeping through that I had to be the one to wake him up. In fact, during the waking process he gave me a not-so-friendly gesture, but rather than posting that photo on here (as it may offend) I have left it on my Facebook. However, here is the link(open to anyone) in case you'd fancy a little peek. I'm not sure if I should be proud or mortified about it, but I'm sure it's only because he can't yet find the words to communicate what he's really thinking or what he wants to say.
Now with gripping capabilities!! Well...sort of. Despite his strength when it comes to supporting his head and neck when he's upright and pushing up with his legs, he does have quite a soft touch when it comes to his grip.
Don't confuse this with times when a strong grip is necessary...like when bearing down to "concentrate" on doing some "business." It's not uncommon for him to squeeze my fingers until they loose all circulation then.
Here, I managed to help him hold his giraffe rattle. He's into sounds now and likes the sound of rattles. It can calm him from any fit really...even the dreaded "nappy armageddon."
Ah yes...the photo that every teenager would loathe their parents for dragging out before they leave with their date to prom. I decided to put him in this cute little number while we went for a brief walk today since the temp was quite low. Also, due to his 11 ounce weight gain this week, he won't be able to fit into it much longer since it is a 'first size'...so it only goes up to 9 lbs.
Would you believe he's just an ounce over 10 pounds now?!
Since we have rearranged the front room and filled it with a few of Ryan's things, Myst has less and less freedom each day as to where he can nap. He has sufficiently investigated the car seat, bouncy chair, and play mat only to be quickly told off if he dared try to test his luck.
Still...he found loophole.
Can't really get upset over this. He's almost like Ryan's little guard-cat.
Anyone would think we don't feed this child. He constantly seems so ravenous and is forever rooting so I plan on making another visit tomorrow to the baby clinic so they can check his weight. Plus, I'm curious to see how much he puts on in a week considering how much he's feeding. I guess that's to be expected with "on demand" feeding.
This time last year I never would have predicted that 12 months down the line I would be receiving a card like this on my 31st birthday. Ryan did well to "help" Daddy pick a card like this knowing how much I'm all about stickers and craftiness. In fact, check out the inside...
How fantastic is that?!
Here's to one of the best birthdays yet...not forgetting, of course, 2006 when Matt and I first met online.
It's no secret that our little Ryan is not yet a fan of his fabulous vibrating bouncy-chair, however...pop a pacifier in the kid's gob and point him towards the telly whilst his daddy kills bad guys on Call of Duty and that's a different story. Although it only works until the dummy falls from his mouth or gunfire stops, it's still a short breath of freedom for mommy.
Maybe we can work our way up to lasting long enough for mommy to take a shower?
Ryan's new playmat finally has batteries so we decided to make space in the front room and finally assemble everything. Depending on the time of day it keeps his attention for about 10-15 minutes, and then he's over it. I'm sure he'll be more interested when he's a bit older and can see more detail.
Myst, on the other hand, is totally game. I mean, c'mon...lush, inviting playmat, complete with dangly bits...any cat's dream. Unfortunately for him, it's off limits. Poor kitty.
So technically he isn't one month old TODAY (it was actually Saturday), but it's the soonest I had the chance to stage the photo. I noticed that someone else had included their cat in each of their photos and I thought it was a great idea to show how much he is growing and changing. Myst represents the "control" subject in the photo.
It's so hard to believe he's a month old already! Time sure is flying!
Ryan had his first visit to the baby clinic today to be weighed. The visits replace the health visitor coming out to our house and we can go weekly, fortnightly, or monthly -- whatever we choose. I will likely take him weekly or fortnightly depending on his weight gain. It appears though that this little hoss has gained 11 ounces and now weighs 9 lbs 6 oz! Not a huge surprise considering his ravenous appetite.
On the way back home we passed this post box which is part of a stone wall. I've seen it on several occasions and just found it to be interesting as most post boxes I've seen are stand-alone. It really stands out, however, that it is inset within a stone wall with vines growing down the side.
No other reason for the photo really, other than I liked the way it looked...and I thought I would include my son into the picture for good measure.
Ryan and I took his Jeep off-roading today. We went on a walk to MotherCare down by Merry Hill. It's only about 1.5 miles and it took us just less than 45 minutes. I made the executive decision to walk along the canal past the mall because it was paved...well, it WAS paved...until a certain point and then it turned into a flat dirt path (which was muddied by the rain and melting snow).
I thought nothing of it until I arrived at MotherCare with dirt-caked wheels on the pushchair. I felt bad to go into the store tracking my mud everywhere, so I quickly wiped them down with some baby wipes. Not car-wash style or anything, but enough so that I didn't get any looks walking through the store.
They didn't end up having what I wanted, so I walked out having purchased a 6-pack of newborn socks and some baby nail clippers. Then I headed down into the mall to Argos for a baby carrier that was on sale for £9.99...but they didn't have it. Boo, Argos!
So, I called dear hubby to pick us up since it was dark.
This is Ryan's preferred comfy spot -- on his belly on Mommy. He would much rather be here than napping comfortably in his vibrating bouncy chair. This is the prime reason why I am desperate for a wrap, because I can't otherwise get anything done during the day while holding him against me with one arm.
I've gotten some comments about how this is "spoiling" him and how I need to "get him out of this habit," but to be fair, you can't spoil with meeting basic needs -- love and affection, and an infant this young has not had enough brain development to comprehend the art of manipulation. He is still only getting used to the concept that he is no longer a part of me (inside) where it is dark, warm and secure. Now he's out of the only environment he has ever known and in a place where it is instead bright, cold, and loud which often leads them to feeling insecure. It's a stage of development in children...trust vs. mistrust and attending to him quickly in this way will only teach him to trust his needs will be met.
His cries to be cuddled are only because he needs the security and it will in turn teach him that he doesn't need to cry for attention. It will make him a more self-reliant child in the long run and to be honest, I'm going to soak up every moment I can while he still wants me to cuddle him and be close. I know too well that some day he will be begging me to drop him off around the corner because heaven forbid his friends see him with his "un-cool" mom.
Yep! Ryan is OFFICIALLY official!! Matt and I went to Priory Hall this morning to register his birth. In the UK you must have it done within a certain time frame...just less than 6 weeks, I believe, and since he is a month old today, we thought it would be time.
I found it interesting that also, in the UK, the weight, length and time of birth is not mentioned anywhere on the birth certificate. Also, you get two birth certificates here. A "long" version and a "short" version. The short has less information, just the person's name, date and district they were born. We also learned that they technically are not proof of identity despite many places of employment requesting them as such before they're willing to consider employing you.
Anyway, can't believe we have had little man with us for a month now!
I had a few books arrive off Amazon today so I could learn what to expect the first year and milestones each week, etc. Here I had just delved into the section on baby-poo (which I might add is no longer a taboo subject with Matt and I at any time during the day -- to be honest, it never was anyway, but now it's centered around our child) and I hear Ryan grunting next to me. I'm sure he will someday want to lynch me for this photo...but it was just too funny to pass up.
Make your own judgment about why he is concentrating so hard.
Since Ryan will be a month old soon, I thought it would be a good idea to get his footprints into his Peter Rabbit baby book. The book asks for footprints at two weeks old, but I didn't even purchase the book until then, so I was planning on crossing out 'two weeks' and writing in 'three.'
Getting his footprints was not much of a problem...his hands, however...big time fail. He still prefers to keep them in fists, for one...and by the time I got the washable ink on him and made an attempt to make a print in his book...it turned out a big smudge as he yanked his arm back. So I gave up trying.
Under the subtle and soothing glow of the Christmas tree lights (yes, we still need to put it away) a baby peacefully drifts off to deep sleep with baby soft skin, while in his mind constructing the following letter:
Convincing Ryan that bathtime is 'lots of fun' on the other hand...well, that's a different story. He had his first proper bath tonight. Although we didn't submerge him in the water, daddy aided in holding Ryan over the baby bath while mommy first washed his lovely, golden hair and then one-at-a-time tackled other areas of the body.
He actually did quite well during the first bit until it was time to dry his hair. From that point forward it was a mixture of "I'm okay with this" and "Will you people leave me the hell alone."
At least the end result was a clean, yummy-smelling baby.
This is a common look for Ryan after a good feed -- minus the pacifier, of course. We mainly use that during nappy changes and to console him when we can't easily pick him up. In this case, it was used as a backup so I could eat my tea.
We finally purchased some batteries tonight for his "bouncy" chair. It has a vibrating and sound feature on it and we've been anxious to see if they make the chair more appealing to our little one. He could be in a dead-sleep and when he is placed in the chair, his eyes "PING" open within minutes and he wants to be held.
There was a minor setback when the batteries were installed. I switched the power button on and out came THE LOUDEST most UNsoothing rattle. Matt "the handyman" quickly sorted that, however, with a few bits of folded card behind the motor. Now, Ryan sits in his special vibrating chair and it's purring like a kitten.
Although it worked for a good twenty minutes this time, he still wants to be held.
When a new baby is born, it is a given that people are going to go down the list of features and which parent they take after the most in each department. With us, Ryan has Matt's hair, eyes, fingernails and toes...and he has my nose, chin and mouth.
Matt just noticed our little man's ears today and he sweetly points out to me, "Looks like he has mommy's ears." Of course I'm thinking, how can he possibly tell that he has my ears? Then he goes on to point out that his own don't have a little bit that hangs down and mine do. The bottoms of Matt's lobes seem to attach right into his head and mine very prominently have a bit that hangs down.
Not in a circus/freak-show kind of way though.
So it's all I could look at for the rest of the day...his little ears. It made me smile that they're like mine and how many bits of each of us are shared in this one, perfect, adorable little person.
Now off to feed a little piranha...because he most certainly has daddy's hollow legs and never-ending appetite!
Complete with "real boy" belly button, too! Ryan's cord clip fell off a few days ago and we have been anxiously awaiting the big reveal. So far, here are the results (pictured) and I must say...it's the cutest baby belly button I've ever seen!
Sometimes we like to hold hands during a feed. It's theraputic for us both. But mostly, I have to keep Ryan's scratch mits on, or else he will end up with little pink and red scratch marks down his adorable little cheeks. I can't believe how itty bitty his hands are! Look at them!! SQUEEEE!
And who wants this scratched up anyway?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
I spent the larger portion of my day both napping and watching someone nap. Suffice it to say, the day itself has absolutely flown, much like the week. I'm so glad I have my personal entertainment to keep me occupied!
To those who have commented for more Ryan pics, I'm more than happy to oblige. To be fair, I didn't want to overdo it and have people think it was all I was going to post...but then again, he has been the one person I have consistently been around for nearly the past 3 weeks. It's kind of hard not to take a photo.
In the UK, when a baby is born your midwife will likely do a home-visit to follow-up for a week or two with you, and then the health visitors will take over home-visits until they feel you are ready to start bringing your little one to the clinic on your own fortnightly to be weighed, measured, checked, etc. You are also given a red folder that contains your child's personal health record.
Today was my final visit with the midwife, although not Rachel, the main midwife I have been seen by. This one is not as friendly as Rachel, in fact, and after I handed her my notes, she said she was going to weigh the baby and at one point referred to him as "her." This did not make Matt very happy but she used the excuse that she sees many people each day. Still, not a good practice, in my opinion to be so non-chalant about it. She stripped Ryan down to his birthday suit and asked for a fresh nappy after and the wipes. She barely wiped his little bum before loosely slapping on the new nappy (mind you the last time she overtook my diapering and finished him off by doing it so quickly, the poor guy ended up with a wedgie and shat straight through his clothes later that day). I noted later after she had gone that Ryan had a small reddish bruise-like mark on his forearm that looked like it was possibly caused by the gauze-like fabric he was put into when he was hung by the forcemeter to be weighed. When I noticed she had taken the notes with her after her visit I concluded that she must have discharged me today and let's just say I wasn't displeased to see the back of her.
Shortly before 2pm, the health visitor, Jill, showed up. I asked her to re-weigh Ryan as the midwife used a forcemeter and I wanted him to be weighed on a proper calibrated scale for accuracy. Ryan now weighs 8 lbs 11 oz (4 oz up from his birth weight) and he measured 50.5 cm (19.88 inches). His weight is right on target and although he is a bit on the short side at the moment, she was pleased with his progress and says he is quite healthy and alert. In fact, he even showed off a bit for her at one point and did his parlour trick of holding up his head on his own -- she was ever-so-impressed! She said that he is okay to start taking to the clinic and told me about a mother & baby group up the road at the community centre, so I may check that out.
Looks like his first baby clinic visit will be just before my birthday. Although I'd like him to stay tiny forever, I can't wait to see how much he grows!
To be fair, the cat never does this to our food. Matt had literally just shared with me that he was full and planning on chucking his final drumstick. Clearly, Myst didn't want to waste any time...so he went in for the kill. I just happened to have the camera nearby and quickly snapped this photo before nearly wetting myself. What the camera didn't catch were the looks Myst was giving to Matt just before reaching onto his plate. He was trying to gauge the likelihood of Matt telling him off.
Wouldn't you know that once the drumstick was given to dear kitty, he turned his nose up and left it. Oh well, his loss.
I began feeling a bit poorly late last night and woke up this morning feeling even worse. My day was spent entirely in bed, waking up only long enough to give Ryan a feed and change his nappy before putting him back in his Moses basket and returning to my own pillow. Matt even decided to stay home to keep an eye on us. When he returned from the chemist with a thermometer, I learned I had a low-grade fever of 100.8, which explains the achy feeling and chills.
Ryan was pretty inconsolable at one point and it didn't help that I was feeling miserable, so I brought out the heavy artillery. Oh yeah...the hairdryer. White noise works wonders, folks! I had Matt turn it on full and hold it (pointed upward) while I changed his nappy.
Thankfully, the fever slowly went down and broke before midnight.
Today is our first day on our own. Matt went back to work this morning after having been off since Ryan's original due date, the 10th of December, so we started off the morning catching up on the episodes of Dr. Phil I missed while in hospital. Actually Ryan slept next to me on his positioner as I caught up...so this was my view of darling son most of the morning.
Since I was too scared that I would clip his skin, Auntie Emma offered her nail expertise and little Ryan got a much-needed baby manicure. We discovered during this time that he definitely has his daddy's nails -- flat and claw-like (but still so cute).
Unfortunately it will be some time before his donnies will be freed from the scratch mitts as he seems to be into self-harm. Not intentionally. He just ends up with little red scratches down his cheeks since he pinches them when he's upset. Plus, the mitts hold in the moisture when he gets his olive oil massage.
Awe, bless!! I made Matt grab the camera for this one. From the day he was born we have all been pretty impressed with our little man's strength. Well today has been a very sleepy day for us all, and naturally I'm still recovering a bit from the operation, so it's not unusual that I'm sleeping like a baby as much as my own little infant. This photo is when he had a sudden burst of energy and was instantly curious about all that was around him. It didn't take long to notice that he was holding up his own head pretty steadily. It wasn't wobbly at all! He was holding it up and turning his head and looking all around. So I shouted for Matt to get a photo and I did my best to encourage Ryan to keep his little head up.
We took Ryan's new Jeep for a spin today at Merry Hill. Much like expected, he slept through the whole thing. We only popped into a few shops and into the Tourist Information Centre to see Josie. I'm really looking forward to when the weather gets a bit nicer and he and I can go for walks together.
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!