June 30, 2004

Ga! (aka, EAT!)

Alex has started his first real sign language. He's done bye bye for a while, sure, and even, we think, done the milk sign. But not regularly enough to be sure that it is 100% volitional. But this week he started asking for food by doing his own version of the sign for "eat." It's open handed instead of fingers together, but it is still very clearly a demand for food. It's usually accompanied by the word "Ga!" and we are not sure of the origin of that word, exactly. But no matter, it clearly means EAT! And if you ask him, "Alex, do you want to eat?" He will get excited and say ga! ga! ga! and make the sign over and over. Baby sign language works! Now Mommy and Daddy need to step it up a notch...

Posted by Dineen at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Got Milk?

We introduced Alex to cow's milk today. We used a shot glass so that he could try drinking like a big boy. We also used a VERY LARGE BIB. So far, so good! It made me a little sad that he seemed to like it right away, but oh well. In the coming weeks, I will slowly taper off my daytime pumping at work. We'll continue to nurse morning and evening for the foreseeable future.

Posted by Dineen at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2004


Nani and PopPop bought Alex a great backyard swing set for his birthday this year. Grandma and Grandpa bought him the outfit he's wearing, among many others. Think they all love him bunches?? Nah. Here are a few shots of Alex enjoying his new toy!

Posted by Dineen at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

Hi there!

The downside of Alex becoming aware of separation is the heart wrenching look on his face when he is not happy about me being out of reach. The upside is the amazing reception anyone close to him gets when they suddenly come into his line of sight. On Friday, when Mike went to pick Alex up from day care, he squealed with delight, said his trademark "Hi there!!!!!!" and came running to him. When I arrived a few minutes later, I got a similar greeting. It really melts ya!

Posted by Dineen at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004


Alex's First Birthday Luau was a grand success.

First of all, he looked just fantastic in his Hawaiian shirt and mini lei. Many of his friends got into the spirit of the occasion as well, and dressed the part. His godparents supplied several great CDs of Hawaiian music to lend the perfect ambiance. Alex even received a telephone call of birthday wishes from the Hawaii during the party. Not to mention, Nani and Pop Pop and Uncle Denny came down from New York to help celebrate (the latter two ended up sporting luau attire borrowed from Mike!)

After our great beach experience at Granny Hurdle's a few weeks ago, Daddy and Mommy decided a sand box would be a great first birthday present, and a great center of play for the party. Correct on both counts! Alex adored playing in his new sandbox, and did so for literally two hours almost non-stop. What twelve month old does any activity for 2 hours nonstop???? He was joined by friends from the neighborhood and from day care, each of whom received a sand bucket and shovel and a few other little gifties for play during the party and as a take-home party favor.

We had a fantastic Hawaiian-decorated cake from a nearby bakery we have never tried before, and everyone just raved over it. We didn't let Alex destroy it (he got to do that on his actual birthday), but boy did he enjoy eating it, as did everyone else.

Despite our admonitions to the contrary, Alex got a lot of great presents, too. He is now fully outfitted for summer, and has enough variation of toys to keep him busy for months to come. His Uncle Denny particularly spoiled him -- he really loves his MegaBlock wagon, and Ricky the Cabbage Patch Kid! He did a great job opening them all, and surprised me with the ease with which he climbed into the lawn chairs.

All in all, except for the lack of a pit-roasted pig, it was a great luau, in the grand tradition of first birthday luaus.

Posted by Dineen at 12:09 AM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2004

First Haircut

Alex went to Daddy's barber to get his very first hair cut today. I now have some locks of baby hair squirrelled away for posterity. He sat quite nicely in Daddy's lap, and Daddy got a haircut too! There's a little video of the process here, and still photos include before, during, and after shots:

(Alex also got his first taste of lolipop from the barber -- that's a one time treat! Mommy and Daddy finished it off for him...)

Posted by Dineen at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004

At the Playground

Alex's day care provider takes the kids to the playground quite often, and he is already quite adept at playing on the big kids' equipment. Claudia has taught him to climb up to the top of the slide, and then turn around and go down backwards safely. It is too cute! Here's a few shots of Alex at their favorite playground. Also, a video of Mr. Steady-on-his-feet is here.

Posted by Dineen at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

One Year Stats

Alex had is 12 month old well baby check up today, and he is a very well baby. The doctor said he is solid, has acheived every milestone a one year old can possibly acheive, and is a very happy and active baby (we already knew all of that!). He weighed in at 21 lbs., 7 oz., (a slight jump in percentile -- he's now in the 25th percentile for weight) and was 30.5 inches tall. His head circumference is in the 90th percentile, so he certainly has a big brain (we knew that, too!).

Posted by Dineen at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2004

Birthday Boy!

It's so hard to believe that our little man is one year old already! We are in Ithaca for Mommy's 10 year (yipes!) college reunion, so Alex got to spend his whole birthday day with Mommy and Daddy and Nani and Aunt Hertle and Uncle David and Ellen and Aunt Mary Sue and Uncle Joe and Cassie. He got a Cornell hat for his birthday, as well a great outfit from Cassie and some cool magnets from Ellen. And Nani made and brought up a cake, so all of got to sing him happy birthday and watch him destroy it. A wonderful time was had by all.

After cake, the mommies and daddies went out to dinner while Nani played with her grandchildren, biological and adopted, and juggled all three of them to sleep. Which pretty much makes her wonder woman in the eyes of the rest of us!

Posted by Dineen at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

Nursing a Toddler

As of today, I am officially nursing a toddler. I must say, I am very proud of myself for sticking with it this long. I don't think I would be quite so proud if I weren't working full time, but pumping at work has been quite a challenge.

Still, it is so worth it. In his first year, Alex had only the most minor of colds, and never ran a fever. We medicated only for teething a few times, and one minor eye infection that may not even have been an eye infection. Even when the other kids at day care got sick, he didn't, or at least didn't get it bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. He hardly ever got congested enough to need me to break out the nasal aspirator. He has met all developmental milestones right on time, if not early (mostly early). He is a happy and loving little man. He is a great eater of solid foods, too, and not dependent on a bottle. All of these things I credit in part to the liquid gold of mama's milk.

We've had our issues. I was too distraught to post about it at the time, but in those first weeks we really struggled, and I had to go on a 24-7 boot camp regime of breastfeeding, syringe feeding expressed milk or formula, pumping, and then starting whole shebang over again an hour later. Breastfeeding means that others can't help with feedings, in the beginning, and so that meant that so much of his care could only be handled by me and me alone. It was hell (a hell I could NOT have gotten through withtout the support of Mike and my Mom!). Once he figured out nursing and put some weight on him, there was no stopping him. The little man likes to nurse, especially at night since we are apart during the day. I've gotten used to feeding him in my sleep, but that doesn't mean I've gotten a full night's sleep ever in the past year, far from it. I've struggled with maintaining my daytime supply, at times taking herbal supplements, recently resorting to prescription meds, often wishing I could hook up to IV fluids to ensure I was totally hydrated so I could make more milk. I have a total love-hate relationship with the pump: I love providing for my child, I hate being hooked up like a cow. I've even had two bottles of milk disappear from the fridge at work, resulting in a massive change in milk storage routine part of the way through. It's been a challenge.

I'd do every bit of it again in an instant just for that milky grin. That sated look when he has a full tummy. The fact that he now makes the sign for milk when he is thirsty or needs comfort from me. The ease of always being able to feed him when we are together, even if I forgot to plan ahead and bring something else. Even the way he bops on and off distractedly now that he is older. Our physical connection is so strong it's just wonderous, really.

My son is one year old, and I am nursing a toddler. He is so grown up already, but he still needs his mommy. And I will be here for him, helping him fight off germies and fill his tummy until he is ready to move on.

Posted by Dineen at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)

June 08, 2004

Momma's Helper, Political Style

Arlington County has electronic voting, which means a big red button on the screen flashes "VOTE" after you've made the selection. Alex, in his sling, got to push the final button to help Mommy vote in the Democratic Primary for our local congressional seat. He got a "My Vote Counted!" sticker for his troubles.

Posted by Dineen at 02:32 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2004

Momma's Little Helper

Tonight as I was cooking dinner, I went to pull the veggies out of the freezer and dropped a baggie of frozen pork chops. I looked down to pick them up, and there was Alex. He had toddled over, picked up the pork chops, and was holding them up to hand to me.

Who knew frozen pork chops could make my heart melt?

Posted by Dineen at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2004


On this date last year, I was waiting anxiously for my baby to arrive. I was working like crazy to get my desk clear so I could have a baby with a clean conscious. I was making jokes that D-Day was due day, and ready for a little baby to invade my life and change my world.

It took a few extra days, but he did, and he has. That a year has already past since that time is amazing.

Posted by Dineen at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

A Year of Alex

I am a member of a little group of gals I met on line during my pregnancy who all have babies born (or at least, due!) in June, 2003. To use board lingo: We started chatting on the TTC boards back in September/October of 2002 as we were all finding out about our BFPs. (TTC=Trying to conceive, BFP=Big Fat Positive pregnancy tests. It took several weeks of reading to get a hang of all the abreviations, believe me!). We decided to do a little birthday gift round robin for the kiddos' birthdays, just so we could connect with each other IRL (in real life) as well as on the Internet.

Alex's birthday buddy (screen name: Weedie) is mom to Joel and an engineer by trade who dabbles in graphic design when she isn't training for marathons. She spent an enormous amount of time making Alex's gift: a collage of pictures from his first year month by month, culled from this site. Even the border is based on a picture of the border we painted in his bedroom.

In the past year and a half, this group of gals has really become my friends. The thought and care that went into this collage is amazing, and something only a true friend would bother to do. Thanks, Weedie, and all of the June 2003 Mommies who have shared the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and raising a baby with me!

Posted by Dineen at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)