Monday, June 16, 2014

Too Squirmy For Tradition

I've got a Pinterest account. I know that parents have all sorts of cute ways to document their baby's growth every month. I vowed to start all sorts of cute traditions as well.

At one month old, I plopped Emerson down on a blanket, placed a weird stuffed squirrel next to him for size comparison, and took a million pics of him by his "one month" sign while he laid on his back and cooed:

And...I faithfully documented his growth in a similar style every month.

At six months, I was able to grab maybe two decent pictures before the boy flipped over and crawled away.

He turned 7 months today and I couldn't get him to sit still for even one picture. He immediately tore his paper in half and ate part of it while scooting away from me as fast as he could go.

All our photos from here on out are probably going to be a blur. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dentally Precocious

\\ Six teeth in six months //
Poor Emerson broke his first teeth at four months; his two chompers on the bottom showed up out of nowhere. Everyone that stuck their fingers inside what you'd expect be a safe little 4 month old mouth got a razor sharp surprise. Those bottom teeth were followed by two top teeth last month, and just this week his excessive drooling indicated that two more teeth were already pushing their way through the top of his gums. There is something about those gappy pearly whites appearing every time he smiles instead of a gummy grin that makes me feel like my baby is just growing up way too fast.

Besides being a harbinger of his fleeting youth, the teeth also strike a little fear into me, since we're still breastfeeding. I am hoping to teach Emerson as best I can to use the power of his teeth for good, and not evil.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Walk The Commute 2014

\\ I know you're supposed to crop the photo to just get the logo and your face instead of the entire backdrop, but I liked the whole scene //

Last weekend marked the fourth anniversary of The Commute: the 24 hour, 52 mile walking event from San Jose to San Francisco that Derek organizes every year. I am usually a lot more involved in the event, either as a participant or at least a behind-the-scenes volunteer, but this year that baby distracted me from really doing either one. Instead, Emerson and I met everyone down at the halfway point to cheer on the brave souls that had already walked 26 miles and had another grueling 26 to go.

I'd like to think, much like puppy therapy at colleges during finals, a smiling baby waiting for you at the midway point might make you forget for a second that you have a blister on your foot the size of his giant head.

Huge congrats to the determined walkers that made it all the way this year! I'm always impressed with the fortitude I see on those streets, and love that Derek has helped start this movement. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sideways Sleeper

\\ proving already that I'm not the boss of him //

As soon as Emerson started rolling over on his own, I noticed that when I put him down in his crib he immediately turned onto his side to go to sleep. All these months we've been dutifully putting him to sleep on his back, but the second that he has a say in the matter, he chooses to sleep on his side.

I think watching this happen was one of the first glimpses I've had into seeing this little being as a person that has preferences and makes his own decisions. It has to feel so liberating for him to start gaining control over his little body more and more and to feel like he's the boss of things.

New Baby Smell

// For as much as he proclaims to like milk, he sure spits a lot of it back up \\

I cringe every time anyone leans in to Emerson's neck and takes a deeeeeeep whif, expecting the scent of baby powder and a thousand angel kisses and ready to proclaim how much they love "new baby smell," because technically Emerson smells faintly of regurgitated milk most of the time.

Yeah. I wonder why. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Loch Ness Diaper

We've just started feeding E solids in the last month or so, and he loves them. He eats everything from sweet applesauce to green peas with the same enthusiastic gusto that ends up leaving most of the food on the area surrounding his mouth and dripping down his chin.

The one downfall to this newfound love for food is what it has done to his diapers. It has turned his mild little breastfed dirty diapers into mega, super smelly, 10-wipe-required, squish-out-the-side-outfit-ruining diapers that I live in fear of having to change outside of the safe confines of our apartment.

So far, I'm the only one who witnessed one of these new terrifying diapers. Derek says that they are like the Loch Ness Monster; he's heard the tales, but despite doing his fair share of diaper changing, has yet to experience one of the mega poops himself.

I'm a believer, and know that one of these days, upon opening E's diaper, he'll be one too.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Welcome Baby: Baby Face

\\ Hard to know whose double chin and giant balding head he inherited //
When I was pregnant I would sit and wonder what our little baby's face was going to look like, and what features he might inherit from Derek and I. It is amazing to see the same tiny face that appeared on day one evolving as he gets older, but always recognizable as his own little face.

I'm still not 100% sure who he looks like most. I see flashes of both of us depending on what face he is making. Sadly, it looks like I might have given him my giant feet instead of my dimples, and Derek's mom doesn't have that plaid vest anymore, so he doesn't inherit that either.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Welcome Baby: What's in a Name

\\ Our newly named baby headed home in his new car seat and hospital hat //

Trying to come up with a suitable name might have been the hardest part about having a baby.

We were supposed to be leaving the hospital in the next twenty minutes, and we still hadn't finalized the name. I was sitting there on the adjustable bed, giant plastic water cup in hand, waiting for the wheelchair to be rolled in, and Derek and I stared at eachother with big eyes, knowing a decision needed to be made but not being sure how to make it.

The woman from the records department had been...persistent in checking in with us every few hours (that's a nice way of saying that she'd been harassing us) to see if we were ready to fill out our paperwork, and we'd started avoiding her phone calls since we were sick of telling her that we needed a little more time. She surprised us by poking her head in the door, and in a voice that was too bright to actually be cheerful, asked us if we were trying to sneak out of the hospital without giving her our decision. We assured her that we weren't planning on it, but that we still were having trouble committing to a name. She gave us a look, reminded us where her office was, and told us that it was much easier on everyone if we could just get our paperwork in before we left.

I made Derek fill out the papers and take them upstairs to her. It felt a little like the harried last minute of an exam, where you decide to fill in the rest of the scan-tron bubbles at random since it is better to guess and have written something rather than just leave the space blank.

The thing is, it wasn't as if we hadn't discussed names beforehand. Derek and I kept a spreadsheet full of possible baby names that we bandied about for months, but hadn't come to any final decisions.

We talked about family names. We made lists of names that had a tie to San Francisco. We talked about names that were meaningful to us in some way, and names that had the right number of syllables, and names that just sounded good and names that we hated. We imagined ourselves yelling the name across a playground. We imagined our boy having to introduce himself to his friends. We imagined his name printed on business cards some day. We imagined saying his name along with the names of future siblings to come. We imagined possible nicknames. Through it all, we came up with lots of names that we liked, but it was a lot of pressure trying to figure out which name was the right one to actually give this baby for the rest of his life.

Finally, the name that we kept coming back to:

Emerson Bixby Wright.

The name Emerson is just a name we liked. And, though the name doesn't necessarily come from Ralph Waldo, he is associated with liberal thinking, self-reliance and a love of nature, which are all things I wish for in humans.

Bixby comes from a beautiful bridge down in Big Sur that we had crossed over during one of our valentine excursions a few years ago. It is a fine piece of engineering, which Derek obviously appreciates, and the name stuck with me after that trip.

Of course, like any good parents of the 21st century, we googled our possible names before committing to them. Just in case.

When googling "Emerson Wright" one thing that pops up is this amazing video by a kid that looks to be about 11. Apparently he is THE expert on vlogs, comedies, and gaming, but the thing that really put him over the edge into awesome is his glasses that look just like mine and Derek's...except, of course, that his are actually 3-D glasses stolen from the movie theater with the lenses popped out.

The most notable "Emerson Bixby" to be googled is a writer/producer who allegedly wrote and starred in a campy low-budget zombie flick in 1986 that no one can find a copy of.

We felt satisfied.

On our way out, we got cold feet and called the records woman to ask her not to turn our paperwork in until the following Friday, just to give us an extra few days to change our minds if we needed to. I could almost hear her rolling her eyes over the phone.

In the end, I'm not sure why we stressed about it as much as we did. For the most part, we don't even call Emerson by his real name yet. If he goes by what I actually call him, he's going to grow up thinking his name is "bun bun", "bub", "milk mouth" or "little sad sad."