Monday, January 29, 2007

Games babies play

A friend was asking me today what games Ant and I play together, as she was looking for ideas. Here are some of the things we do... What can we add to our repertoire?

Sometimes we go up in the office where he really likes looking at the Tivo box we just got (the box the Tivo came in, that is), and moving its lid up and down. There's also a full length mirror in there, and we look at and wave to each other in that. In front of that are some piles of books and wrapping paper that he likes to play with. He actually really likes wrapping paper, I think the colors are really appealing. I've started giving him squares of it to keep him occupied in the car (he hasn't started eating it yet!).

We play on the bed in his room, I'll roll him over while singing "there were ten in the bed and the little one said...". There are also a couple of toys up there that he'll grab at while I hold them in front of him. We do lots of sitting and standing whereever we go, and I also try and throw in some tummy time as often as I think of it and he'll stand for it. He also likes it when I hold brightly patterend clothes above his head, and swing them from side to side. Sometimes he'll reach for them, sometimes he won't. But he always seems excited, which is what I think he's feeling when he starts kicking his feet and moving his arms more.

Downstairs we read books while sitting on the couch, or just practice sitting and standing. Sitting on the coffee table too, where there are lots of things to look at. Sometimes I'll put him on my lap and play bouncy games "Trit-trot to Boston, trit-trot to Lynn - you'd better watch out that you don't fall IN" I drop him between my knees on the last syllable. Or "This is the way the lady rides....". A new one I just learned from another friend "Jumpy jumpy sugary lumps... the more AJ eats, the more AJ JUMPS", lifting him up on the last.

We play "head, shoulders knees and toes", or other body part songs where I sing body parts to random tunes, like "nose and mouth and cheeks and chin, cheeks and chin, cheeks and chin...nose and mouth and cheecks and chin, all parts of Antony" to the tune of mary had a little lamb.

He's quite fond of the leapfrog music table we borrowed from my sis. From about three months on we would lie it on its side, and make it play for him, he really liked the lights and music. Now we do about 50/50 with it on its side and him on the floor, and it upright, holding him up while he's standing. We've gotten a LOT of use out of that one. Not quite as much as the gymini, but close.

He has various other toys that will amuse him for a few minutes at a time, I basically just show them to him, talk about them or sing a song, and see if he wants to grab onto them or not. His favorites are Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal, and a little bee that makes noises and lights up when you move its wings. I've also taken to just showing him random objects that are lying around - he's enjoyed my keys, the plastic tab that you have to pull off to open a bottle of milk, my poland springs water bottles, granola bar wrappers - I try and give him things of lots of different shapes and sizes so he can learn about how they feel and sound. Oooh, he also really likes the tissue paper that presents come wrapped in.

Sometimes he just doesn't seem interested in his toys so we'll wander around the house and I'll tell him about different things. He particularly likes the basement, I think becuase he's not down there that often so there's lots of new stuff to look at. When he's in one of those moods is when I'll pop him in the baby bjorn. We'll also look outside for a while, when it's too cold to actually go out.

His absolute favorite thing is when we make faces / noises. He's gone through phases of what he's liked - at the moment, slurpy noises and exaggerated laughing really set him off. We can keep him laughing for a good five minutes with those. And we generally stop because we're tired, not because he is! For a while he really liked exaggerated kissy noises, which I would do while kissing his face or his hands. I also make muching noises while munching oh his hands and feet. He likes consonant / vowel combinations... "dah dah dah dah dah" over and over - one night he found it so amusing I went through the whole alphabet a few times! We also play "where's Antony", where I put a bib or facecloth over his face for a few seconds, saying "Where's Antony? Where's Antony?"... then I move it off from one side or the other and say "There he is!!! I see you!!!". I would have thought he wouldn't like his face being covered, but he does his excited kicking/arm flailing and never seems upset, so I think he does like it. Maybe just the anticipation of what's coming...

I'd love to hear ideas of other things we can do together, to keep us both interested!

On a totally different topic, I've always put pictures in as separate links, not right in the post, as I don't want to cause angst to those who may not want to have baby pictures shoved in their face. Should I continue to do that, or do you think baby pics in the post are okay?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Believe only half of what you read...

My eyes have finally started getting better. YAY! Thanks for all the tips ladies. Although, Elle, what on earth did you mean with the breast milk comment. Is one supposed to put that in one's eyes???

On the whole carseat issue, I did a little bit more reading and came to the conclusion that we would stick with the Britax for a bit longer.

#1 - According to the American Association of pediatrics, in 2000, there were 539 deaths of children under 5 in motor vehicle accidents. Half of those were not restrained at all. I think that's a pretty low number (approximately the same as the chance of being struck by lightning). In fact, according to the NHTSA stats, only 81 infants under 1 were killed in auto accidents while restrained.
#2 - If all those car seats truly are that bad in high speed crashes, why have I *never* heard about it?
#3 - the sites that folks mentioned that bring up some very valid points about the CR testing: they will not release their methodology so no-one else can duplicate their results. They don't make any comparison to the real world, so it's hard to say what their results truly mean. And, apparently they don't test the car seats in cars (I guess that would get expensive), but using a sled contraption. How does that mimic the crumple zones etc. that cars have?

And then, LOL, CR retracted the whole damn thing! Bastards!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Woe is me...

I have acquired myself a lovely case of viral conjunctivis. I think it's a second whammy from a nasty cold I had at the end of December (with a fever, which is really unusual for me). I've been sniffling ever since, blowing my nose a lot, and I think that somehow the loveliness got transferred. Yuck.

I've been washing my hands every time I even *think* about touching my eyes, and no-one else in the family has come down with the pink-eye yet. (Although I must say it is much more like RED-eye!). I'm really really hoping that Ant doesn't get it. I'm miserable, I can only imagine how awful this must be for a baby who has no comprehension of why he can't open his eyes when he wakes up.

My PCP prescribed antibiotics for me, which did not work. So I went to an eye doc, who gave me eye drops with steroids in them. Thank god for those. I'm still uncomfortable, but at least I don't want to scratch my eyes out anymore.

The best part? There's nothing that can make this go away, except time. 7-10 flipping days!!! 5 down so far, with no real signs of improvement. I'm thinking about trying Zicam - if it works for colds, it might work for this, right????

The reason this sucks is multi-fold. First, my eyes are constantly leaking tears, so I have to dab at them with a tissue every 15-20 minutes. And then I have to wash my hands. All this wiping, plus cleaning that I have to do when I wake up in the morning in order to get my eyes unstuck, means that the skin under my eyes is incredibly dry. It looks as if I'm about 80 years old. I put moisturizer on this morning, and it stung like heck. And of course, all the handwashing means my hands are incredibly dry and sore too. Ugh.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Safety first

I had to make an unexpected purchase today. I got an email alert from babycenter yesterday, with links to the latest Consumer Reports study on infant carseats. Much to my dismay, I read that the Britax Companion carseat, which we had specifically bought based on it having the best ratings from the previous CR tests, failed their new tests. Both with the LATCH system and when secured by seatbelts. And the failures seem spectacularly bad.

So, off to purchase a new car seat. I could never forgive myself if I didn't, and Antony were hurt in an accident.

He had his 4 month appointment on Thursday, and came in at 26.5 inches, 92nd percentile for height! Given that the Graco carseat that is now the top CR infant seat recommendation only accomodates infants up to 29 inches, it seemed silly to us to bother, as he'd likely outgrow it in short order. So I went out and bought the Evenflo Triumph convertible seat, which garnered the highest CR safety recommendation in these latest tests. I'm bummed that I won't be able to put Ant to sleep in his carseat, then carry him out to the car, anymore. But it is what it is.

(Ant was in the 50th percentile for weight at 15lb 1 oz - weight for height he was in the 5th percentile. I guess he's a string-bean!).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I don't usually do New Year's resolutions, because I don't see the reason to wait to make changes. But I've been thinking about these things, so what the heck, now is as good a time to start as any.

I also think that Suz's idea of having metricable resolutions is an excellent one. So, keeping that in mind, my resolutions are:

1. Lift weights at least three times a week.

Up until Ant's birth, I had been lifting weights at least 2x/week for almost four years. Except for the 9 weeks during my pregnancy when I wasn't allowed to exercise. Since his birth, number of times I've done it? One - today! I feel so weak and out of shape, even though the baby weight is gone. So I will start doing some light lifting in the basement (getting to the gym is really out of the question) during his morning nap.

2. Change out of my pajamas every day.

Don't laugh, there have been a number of days recently where I have not bothered to get dressed. Which is all well and good, I'm not seeing anyone or anything like that. But it makes me feel slovenly and yucky (forgetting to brush my teeth and put on deodorant probably has something to do with that!). And it's not even as if I don't have time to change, I've just been lazy. So that ends today as well.

3. Do my diastasis (abdominal separation) reduction exercises at least 2x/day until I feel like it's totally fixed.

That's all I've got for now.

My first foray to the basement for weight lifting this morning was amusing. I pulled out a couple of old "Shape" magazines I used to use for a quick exercise routine, figuring those would be a good place to start. First, a quick aerobic warmup - the magazine had a five minute routine, which I remember used to get my heartrate up pretty quickly. Starts with some marching, then jogging in place, jumping jacks, squats, punches, kicks... Got to the jogging, and very quickly realized that it wasn't going to work! When I was doing this before I had little "A" sized bubbies. Bouncing up and down, no problem. Now? Not so much. I didn't feel like stopping to go upstairs to get some more support (I was just wearing my cotton nursing bra), so instead I used my hands. Effective, although unwieldy. But next time I will plan ahead a bit more. I always wanted bigger boobs, but now I'm actually kinda looking forward to going back to the little ones that didn't get in the way!