Two Wonderful Girls. One Day At A Time…

Archive for January, 2006

The Incredible Growing Girl

Well, she’s not the Hulk, but Iris is now 3.5 months old, and I can’t believe she’s already a whopping 14lbs!  She’s growing so fast in so many ways.  I realized during our massage session by the fire yesterday that I can no longer wrap my hand all the way around her chubby thighs.  (Sandy says we should praise her so she won’t get a complex about being fat)  We heard at our parents group that at this age a baby’s head circumference can grow as much as 1cm per day.  No wonder she cries more sometimes – “ouch, mom, my head is growing!  Is that helium or breastmilk I just drank?” 
She has found her thumb to suck, and it’s made our lives soooo much easier.  For weeks she was jerking her arms and hands around her face, trying to get her thumb in her mouth but instead often poking her eyes or gagging on her thumb when it went in too far.  Now she often sucks on her thumb to put herself back to sleep.  Ahhh…
Other things are more random: 
We’ve gotten her to laugh two times now.  The first time I was playing with her in the mirror and was trying to get her to say “mama”, and when that wasn’t working I started pointing to her saying “baby” in a very high pitched voice.  For some reason that was hilarious!  I immediately called my mom and had her repeat the laugh 3 more times to mom, dad, and Aunt Lora, but by the time daddy got home she had worn herself out and fallen asleep.  Oops, sorry dad.  Then she didn’t laugh for days after that.  Apparently we were no longer funny.  Anybody got some good jokes?
She rolled over from her front to back three times in a row one day, and then once more the next day, but when I tried putting her on her tummy today she just cried.  Apparently she won’t do tricks on command.  Turns out she’s not a pet dog after all!  But we love her anyway, and will be trying our best to make her laugh again and again for many years to come.

Time Management and Getting Into Princeton

Having been back to work for a few weeks, I am  starting to settle into a routine (sorta). Gone are the days of staying up late with the baby and not worrrying about when to wake up. Now it’s time to start making the new memories with the new ritual a long day at work followed by some major bonding time and eventually the challenge of getting Iris to bed. Before Iris was born, I felt strapped for time on nights and weekends with work responsibilities. Adding the baby makes things ridiculous. Now that I’m a father, time becomes critical and I find myself looking for ways of being more efficient to achieve my goal of being "father-of-the-year" while maintaining my workaholic ways. As a result, I’ve begun to experiment with new ways of multi-tasking. E-mail is the brunt of how I do my job and  I usually took care of a lot at home, so now I read lots of e-mail with a laptop on one knee while bouncing Iris on my other knee (I have to make sure to bounce the correct knee or I start getting dizzy). I’ve started to make phone calls using a bluetooth receiver to free my hands to burp her while chatting with people (so, in case you were wondering during phone calls with me, that ain’t static you’re hearing). I’ve even started to read Newsweek aloud to her, though I don’t know how long that will last. While I am excited to read to my child while increasing my knowledge of current events, I do have this overwhelming fear that my daughter’s first words will be "Scooter Libby".
Of course, at this point, it’s all about the Iris’ development. As a result, Cherise and I are constantly keeping an eye on signs that show that she is doing all the right things by the right age. I’ll admit that I want Iris to do a lot of the stuff ahead of schedule. What can I say? I want an above-average kid. In fact, every development comes with the appropriate perspective–"she rolled over at two months? Yes, that’s going on her application to Princeton!" or "she hasn’t started drooling yet? Now she’ll never get into Princeton!" Cherise finally asked me why I kept suggesting Princeton, to which I responded "it’d be great for Iris to go to school near where her parents grew up. Plus, everyone needs a safety school…" No pressure, kid. Actually, I am told that tuition will be over $60K a year by the time Iris will go to college. Now that I think about it, the pressure is on us. Gotta go–I gotta start bouncing my kid and working on my e-mail…

The 34 Days of Christmas (or "'Festivus' for the rest of us")

Well, I finally went back to work last week. After just under five weeks of staying at home, it was time to re-join civilization and get back into the swing of things. Now, as someone whose lifestyle can be described as "workaholic", I wondered how I’d handle the time off. Could I really get away? Admittedly, at first, I didn’t break away 100%, but as it turns out, I got a lot further than I expected and that made all the difference. Of course, I needed to set some ground rules. I made a promise that I wouldn’t send more e-mails than change diapers. That helped limit my connecting to work and, once I got settled, I realized what a godsend this time was. Being able to skip out of work is something I will truly treasure forever and I have gained a bond with Iris that makes me feel better about my role in her life. By spending this extra time with her, I feel like I actually know her.

To comemmorate this time and in the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, I have my own 12 gifts that were given to me (yeah, I know it says "34 days" up above, but I have to go back to work, remember?). No, this isn’t in song format–I save my singing for Iris–but there’s an even dozen and that should work fine.

12 straight years of watching "It’s a Wonderful Life" on Christmas Eve (and first with Iris!).  Like several years past, Cherise dozes off and wakes up at the same time George Bailey does.

11 relatives coming to visit Seattle, many for the first time.  Whether it was watching my dad’s eye light up or see Cherise’s brother take to Iris so quickly and easily, family was definitely the highlight.

10 nights of staying up until at least 3am to make sure Cherise didn’t have to wake up (and making sure Iris slept soundly through the night).

9 episodes of Blind Date to provide background noise for Iris and entertainment for Daddy (I love being married!)

8 bottles of wine knocked off by me & the in-laws.  Actually, I lost count at eight.  What can I say–they’re cool in-laws.

7 renditions of the Coldplay Cure (though Iris is starting to turn her fancy to Dave Matthews…)

6 boxes from the Baby Gap courtesy of my brother with an assist from some of his friends that know how to shop for baby clothes.

5 shots given by the nurse while Daddy had to hold Iris close (as mommy had to look away from the needle)

4 generations of women under one roof on Christmas Eve, something I was really excited about given I never even really knew my grandparents and now Iris gets to see her great grandmother!

3 books/novels read while rocking Iris to sleep

2 Seahawks football games in person (with the Titans having a rough year, at least I got to see one winning team)

1 big thank you to Microsoft for letting me have this time.

Now, I return to work with mixed emotions. Being away helped me remember a lot of the things that made my job so fun. But I’ll miss spending time with my "little cub". Actually, in some ways, I think I’ll miss the time I got to spend with Cherise even more. She remains to this day the most wonderful person I know. If I wasn’t sure about that before, watching her be a mother to Iris confirms it. Raising Iris with her makes this entire experience that much more rewarding and has me excited about the times ahead.

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