Friday, May 30, 2008

Family Portrait #2

Central Park, New York 5/25/2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New feature

We have added a new feature to our blog - a list of current family news. It's on the right-hand column.

It is with great sadness that the most recent family news is the death of Marisa's uncle (Owen's great uncle) Bruce. Bruce died this morning. Bruce was a renaissance man. I loved hearing his tales of his jazz-playing days and discussing religion with him. And Bruce loved Sean because they shared another passion - the Red Sox. And, we are grateful that Bruce got to meet Owen while we were in NYC a few weeks ago.

Bruce will be greatly missed.

We are going to NY for the weekend to be with family during this time so we will most likely not be updating the blog for a few days.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Big News

Our family is going to France for 3 months!! We are very excited!! Sean has accepted a position as a Visiting Scientist at the University of Bordeaux. We leave in September and will be there until Thanksgiving. My bosses have graciously allowed me to take a second leave of absence this year (the first was my maternity leave) and still have my job when we return.

Owen is very excited too... he has been practicing eating escargot in the bath these days.

I think his toy may be tastier than the real thing. But I'm not sure it goes well with wine. :-)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sleep Training Diaries Night 3

After a day of being ridiculously cute....

And having short, naps mostly in his carseat....

7:30pm to 7:30am without waking up ONCE! (Except for a little squeak at 4:30am when I went in to his room to check on him and make sure he was still breathing).


Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Sleep Training Diaries: Night 2

OWEN SLEPT FOR 8 (YES, 8!!!) uninterrupted hours! He went to bed at 6:45pm and woke up at 3:15am! He then had intermittent crying until about 4am (it was really hard not to go check in on him). But, he put himself back to sleep and then didn't wake up again until 7:30am! No food for 13 hours! He, obviously, woke up famished but, nonetheless, he had a HUGE smile on his face and so did we!

Unfortunately, naps today were not that great. We had a full day of activities and, maybe because it was 80 and sunny, Owen never slept for longer than 45 minutes in his stroller/carseat. Then, he finally fell asleep at 4:15pm in his crib and has been sleeping since (it's 6:15pm). We're trying to figure out whether or not to wake him ("Don't wake a sleeping baby!") so we can still get him to bed between 7-8pm but I don't think that's going to happen.

Goodness, setting a sleep schedule is TOUGH!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Crazy baby with different-length arms

It turns out Owen could also be called "Crazy baby with one normal arm and one huge arm" -- look at this photo:

Before all you genetics-types go crazy and diagnose Owen with "crazy non equal-arm disease", I should inform you that the huge arm in the above photo does not actually belong to him. It's a trick!

And here is a photo of Owen being outrageously cute and from this angle you can tell that his arms are actually the same legnth:

over & out

ps- As far as we can tell at this point, Owen is an ambi-turner.

The Sleep Training Diaries

After 4.5 months of inconsistent sleep, we met with a sleep consultant, Jean, while we were in NY last week (Thanks Peggy!). Interestingly, I babysat for Jean's daughters when I was in high school. Anyway, Jean was great (AWESOME!) and really helped us to understand that Owen needs his sleep and sleeping in 2-3 hour intervals all night long doesn't help his brain process and restore itself (nor does it help him to have sleep deprived parents). And, since Sean and I are literally falling asleep at our desks and Owen slept like a champ in NYC (6-7 hour stretches for 3 of the 4 nights we were there), we know he can do it. So, let the "sleep training" begin....

Our Plan
We decided, with Jean's help, to start on Thursday night since I don't work on Friday and can, therefore, see Owen in the morning and hold him and hug him! Our sleep plan is simple - Owen has to go to bed on his own and, when he wakes up in the middle of the night, we have to let him cry it out in 10 minute intervals. No picking him up or rocking him. Since we are worried about him getting hungry (he's never gone all night without eating!), Jean concedes that we can feed him the first time he wakes up after 3am. But then it's straight back to bed (putting him down while he's awake) until morning - which we've designated as 7am. Of course, nothing goes 100% to plan, does it?!

Night 1: 5/15
Our plan already has a hole in it - Owen was at day care today and his last nap ended at 2pm. By the time we get him home at 5:45, he's obviously exhausted. We had set his bedtime as 7pm but he won't make it. So, we do some adjusting to our plan... start bedtime at 6:30pm and designate "morning" as 6:30am. I hope Jean won't mind.

6:20pm - Owen is OUT! He was so tired that he barely had anything to eat before falling asleep. Since we had to put him in his crib awake, I didn't let him fall asleep with the bottle. Now I'm worried - can he make it until 3am? At least he falls asleep with no crying!

10:55pm - Owen's up for the first time. Crying. It's not too loud but definitely more than a whimper. The minutes pass by SO SLOWLY! He takes short (30 second) breaks between fits of medium cries but is back asleep at 11:04pm. Only 9 minutes. That wasn't TOO torturous!

1:13am - Owen's up again. Crying level: low to medium. Ten minutes pass and I'm ready to rush in to check on him but his crying has tapered off over the last few minutes so Sean and I decide to wait. No point in frustrating him even more with our presence. 1:26am - he's asleep. But here's the problem. I'm not. I'm very much awake and worried. Is he asleep for a long time, a short time? I have to pump anyway so I do that to pass time. All of a sudden it's 2:15. He'll probably be up around 3 so I don't see a point in going back to bed.

3am - Owen is still asleep so I decide to try to get some rest. It's hard to fall asleep. Now I'm convinced that O will wake up any minute. And, by getting into bed, I've disturbed Sean. We both toss and turn for about an hour.

5:08am - Owen cries. I know he's hungry (it's been almost 11 hours since he las ate) but we don't want to feed him and get him excited about starting the day yet. We set wake up time as 6:30am and we're going to stick with it. Consistency is key here. That's what Jean would tell us. Owen goes through several fits of crying ranging from whimpers to yells. At 5:23 they die down only to start again at 5:28, then 5:52. They never last more than a couple of minutes. I look at Sean. Should we just feed him now? No. 30 more minutes won't do him any harm. We decide that I'll get up and pump again so Owen can have fresh milk when we can go to him in 38 minutes. We sing a verse of "I'm so tired" by the Beatles and laugh. We're almost there!

And that's where we are now. It's 6:35am and Owen is still sleeping. He's last cry - a loud peep - was issued at 6:07am. He made it and so did we!! And, it wasn't THAT bad! I'm so proud of the little guy and I can't wait to scoop him out of bed and hug him when he wakes up! And, as I think about this night, one thought emerges in my head - I miss Owen! As hard as it is to get up every 2-3 hours to his crying, I miss being able to pick him up, even for a few short minutes at 2am, to calm him down. I miss holding him and smelling him and kissing him. The grass is always greener, isn't it? Just yesterday I was frustrated and tired when I got up for the third time of the night to "rescue" him. I didn't take it out on Owen because he's a baby but I was annoyed at Sean for not waking up to help. But, now that I can't go get him, I'm sad. I tell this to Sean who smiles. This is why we chose to start on Thursday night - because I'm home with Owen today (Friday) and can hold him and hug him all I want. YAY! Now I WANT him to wake up! :-)

Owen woke up at 7:08am. He smiled at me when I picked him up - Yay! He isn't mad!

So, Night 1 wasn't so bad. But are we out of the woods yet.... Stay tuned for Night #2.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to Marisa (a couple days late in blog-land but on time in real life)! It was very hard to choose which of the zillion cute mommy+baby photos to show. I picked this one because it's M and O having fun a being smily -- taken on Mother's day right after we got home from NYC.
- Sean

MARISA'S THOUGHTS: It was so great to spend a small part of mother's day with my mom in NY before we flew home. Sean made the day special by giving me a beautiful necklace of 2 interlocking tomatoes that he had shipped all the way from Finland!! I am wearing it in the photo below, behind little Mr Droolypants. And, as you can see from the photo above, Owen made the day extraordinary with his smiles and kisses (more like "I want to chew on something and your face is in the vacinity of my mouth" slobber but priceless nonetheless!!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Owen in NY Part 2: Owen Visits the Planetarium

My Uncle Max was very interested to visit the Rose Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History with an astronomer. So, Sean, Owen and I met Max, Geoff, and Steph at the planetarium on Friday. Since it was raining a lot, it was the perfect day for a trip to the museum.

So, while Sean accompanied Max, Geoff, and Steph on a voyage to the cosmos (with helpful narration by Maya Angelou and Robert Redford), Owen and I hung out in the exhibit hall. Owen was really interested in the Mars Rover...

... but he was exhausted by the time we got to the Universe wall.

Of course, being his father's son, he awoke in time to enjoy the Planet exhibit....

It was a great day!

Owen in NY Part 1: Owen Meets the City Folk

We spent the weekend in New York visiting with family and friends. Owen did GREAT on the trip...

He wasn't so sure about the train to the terminal...

...but by the time he got to the gate, he didn't seem to mind that our flight was delayed.

He slept almost all the way to NY, awaking just in time to see the Big Apple come into view.

Owen got to meet lots of family and friends and shared lots of smiles.


But we had a great time and can't wait for our next trip!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm 4 months old!!

Look how much I've grown!

And I have new skills....

I have head control now! (and I can sit by myself - though I'm not sure I like this chair)

And I can pull mommy's hair (she may be smiling in the picture but mommy's not a big fan of this skill)

I got my 4 month old shots this week (OUCH!!! I did NOT like that at ALL!)

...and next week I'm going on my first airplane trip. More about that adventure later!

(translated and transcribed by Mommy)