Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New Addition

We've finally done it- purchased that minivan that we've been wanting, needing, and discussing for months.  Now there is perhaps a small chance that we will reach Point Lookout with our sanity intact when we make the trip up there next month, since I'll actually be able to sit in the back with the kids.  Abby is a superb passenger, and always has been, but Michael is not so good in the car.  He doesn't actually hate it, which is a blessing.  However, it does not adequately soothe him if he is feeling disturbed, and does not immediately conk him out.  This means that even if he starts a trip off well, if he does not fall asleep before we start hitting red lights or traffic, hysteria ensues. 

The van is a 2007 Honda Odyssey with less than 50,000 miles on it.  And such a lovely shade of blue.

I'm pondering now whether I should name it, and what.  My very first car was blue, too, though it was a much lighter shade- more of a powder blue color (this picture is a bit deceiving and makes the van look lighter-colored than it is).  I must sheepishly admit that even though I knew how silly it was at the time, I could not control my overwhelming urge to dub that car "Princess."  It was just a used Contour, but owning it certainly made me feel like one.  My second car, and the only brand-new one I've ever owned, I named "Elanor," fresh off a love-affair with J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.  I never did name the car that followed, which was traded in for the newbie- that lumbering, smelly X-Terra.  I guess I never really liked it enough.  I purchased it from my sister when my little Elanor (who had a very rough life, indeed), got banged up beyond recognition and began firing on only three of her four cylinders.  The X-Terra served us well enough when we had only Abigail, but for many reasons, was simply not a good fit for our family of four.

It will make no sense to anyone but Tom, but I think I might just name this one "Code Monkey."  Below is my favorite version of the Jonathan Coulton song that inspired the idea, which has been a bit of a theme for Tom's and my relationship (even though he's never actually written code, himself).

We went to a concert of his to celebrate our two-year anniversary in June, and had a fantastic time.  I'm not big into plugging stuff, but since I love the guy so much, I'll make an exception.  You should check out his CD.

I think partly because she woke up from her nap to find Mommy and Daddy gone (when we went to go get the car) and partly because she appears to have some kind of teething activity starting up again, Abby had a bit of an off-day.  It was an odd turn of events to find her so sensitive, clingy, and irritable when we arrived home, because that was how Michael was this morning, and his mood had turned around by the afternoon.

I really hope those two-year molars take it easy on her.  The one-years were a pretty tough deal.

So, no new pictures of Abby, but I did get a couple of Michael when he consented to play in the jumperoo (that's how good a mood he was in).

It may have helped that I found him a little friend to snuggle with, and snack on.

I've also had time to upload a few more of the pictures that I took of him the other day, in the beautiful natural light of early evening.

This evening, Michael did require three attempts to be laid down in the space of thirty minutes, but he has been sleeping since 9 pm (Ninety minutes and counting).  I'm now attempting to subscribe to the pick-up-put-down method laid out in Harvey Karp, MD's The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep, which was generously sent to us by Nana.  It sounds very similar to what I read about (and already tried) in Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Sleep Solution,, the notable differences being that Karp heavily stresses the use of a white noise machine, which we don't have yet, but plan to order, and emphasizes the importance of picking up only to restore calm to the baby, without providing additional cues (that will lead to dependency) such as rocking, singing, bouncing etc.  It is definitely harder to get the crying to stop without those things, and takes longer, but it did happen eventually, and I'm hoping that this slight change in technique will make a difference.

I'm still torn about whether to employ Karp's other suggestion, which is the Twilight Feed.  He recommends nursing Baby at midnight, even if he would otherwise have slept through.  The theory is that 1) it disconnects the reinforcement that waking to cry results in a feeding and 2) it gives Baby a chance to fit in one last meal, increasing the chances that he will make it to a decent hour before waking.  I know that there's virtually zero chance of number two happening with Michael at this point, but I do see some value in the first point.

I think it's going to depend on whether he makes it to midnight in the first place.  My guess is, "no."

And I do realize that I just "plugged" two more things, but- hey- I've already got Amazon open on my browser now.

So, anyhoo, before this post becomes a novel, here are the other pictures that I uploaded.  My last chance to display them as current, since tomorrow he will officially be six months old!

I love how well you can see his eyes here, and how they've not quite finished changing.  I think that they will be hazel, like mine.  It seems fitting, since Abby inherited the chocolate-brown coloring of her father.  I've been told many times how much he looks like me, and I've noted the resemblance, myself.  However, when he gets that far-away look on his face, I can only see Tom. 

Though he does appear to be overly fond of his thumb (and big toes), as his Mommy once was.

Tomorrow, we'll see how fond he is of pureed peas.  Oh, lovely ectoplasmic goo, how I've missed thee!