Monday, December 05, 2005

Homo Erectus


Yep, he hoisted himself up. First, we saw his head pop up from the rails of his co-sleeper turned bassinet one morning. He didn't wait for us to come pick him up. He just had to get up and talk to us, wakey, wakey mom and daddy. Pick me up now. It was madness from there. Hoist myself here, hoist myself there. What's funny is, once he does, he looks at you, "now what?" and weeble wobbles trying to move from his spot. Too cute.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Graduation

Arto has been going through a series of milestones.

First, there were the slings. I stopped at five slings (although I may need a backpack carrier soon, such as Ergo, because Arto is getting too heavy for the wrap and I still do not like the Bjorn.)

And now, my A.U.T.O. (Arto Urban Transport Obsession) has reached a pinnacle. Bill finally brought home the new strolller. Okay, there have been many, many blogs bytes spent on the Quinny vs Bugaboo smackdown. Mention Bugaboo in the Urban Baby NY message boards and you'll be flamed with one-worders like "Bugabooger." Daddytypes, Neosophic, Gizmodo to name a few. Just try typing in "quinnny bugaboo blog" in Google, you'll see. Only in NY will you get chased down by some strange new parent, who has been trying to catch you for 3 1/2 blocks, only to ask what and where is that thing your baby is riding? We got a Quinny Buzz. And although I am not a stroller advocate (I will wear Arto as long as its humanly possible), I do want a stylin' ride for the boy.

I was ruminating with a new mom on why its such a big deal in NY. We guessed (well, aside from the general urban psychosis endemic to NYkers) that strollers really, really get mileage here since very few people use cars to get around. While suburban baby may go from carseat to mall cart, NY babies can spend hours on that thing, all over the city while mom and dad go through the gotham rituals -- subway, Whole Foods, park, subway, friends in east village (no babies), crowded restaurant, subway, trek home. So there is a LOT of thought that goes into the urban transport vehicle. And because of the size of NY apartments, as with dogs, one of the main questions is how small can it get (without being a ferret -- for dog decisions) without being an umbrella stroller? The other key factor for me was that the stroller needed to be able to face me or frontward.

So, the second milestone is that the Bobo has outgrown his car seat. The seatbelt just doesn't fit anymore. So we need to buy him a new one.

The third is that he is taking 1 1/2 hour naps twice a day! Everyday! Sleeps 11 hours at night (sometimes wakes up once, sometimes not). Little man is finally sleeping like a baby!

The fourth is that he is finally drinking from his sippy cup. Every mealtime, I make sure he drinks from the sippy cup so that he gets practice.

He is also standing and holding on to things (for dear life).

Sweet baby. Rocketing along. As I said, slow down boy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bagel Baby

Taken today.
Bagel = instant teething ring, instant entertaintment

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sartorial Suffering

Getting dressed is always a struggle. Why? I don't know. We always have to covertly dress him. D&D. Distract and dress.

Bill invented the "never put anything over his head" technique. Onesies go in from the feet up. This works pretty well if Arto is busy gnawing on some object or we starve him so that he's sucking on his bottle for dear life. Only then does the slipping on of the clothing item goes unnoticed. But this merely delays the inevitable putting on of the sleeves. We have yet to come up with a technique that will allow whine-free arm insertion. Sometimes, if we're lucky, we will only get an annoyed whimper and a what-th-f look. But at its worst (i.e. I'm waaaay past my naptime/bedtime) we get the full, back-arching, "I can't believe you're torturing me like this" wailing animal.

He just likes naked. Naked in the shower. Naked in the tub. Naked eating. Naked crawling around.

A new thing (well, I shouldn't say new -- the 18 week sonogram showed him doing this, which for us further confirmed his gender) he insists on doing whenever he's getting changed is to manually inspect "the family jewels." He will swat your hand back if you push his hand away from his urine- or Balmex-gooped privates. Drinking [milk] while holding on to his balls. I think we have a clear vote for nature in the age old argument here.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

8 months, my little man.

He eats three times a day. Looooves to eat. Avocados, bananas, plain tofu, plain yogurt, hard boiled egg yolks, veggies, fruits. I wish I ate as good as he does.

He got rid of his binky about two months ago. As soon as he learned that he could grab things from his mouth, he grabbed his pacifier and threw it as far as he can. Never looked for it since.

Travels have ended for the year. Bobo went to New Hampshire, Pittsburgh, Scotland, Finland, and San Francisco with mom and dad. We were supposed to go to London but were too tired, so daddy went alone. The family spent 6 weeks in SF and loved it. Arto spent time at the beach, walks with mommy and daddy. Play. 100% attention. He also....got bit by a tick (no lyme) and gave us a big scare. He also got sick for the first time with a baaaad ass cold. Took almost three weeks to shake. We refused to give him antibiotics so the little fighter got rid of it by himself (with some vitamin c, long, warm baths and a humidifier). He joined adults in communal dinners (loves crowds), slept in his own room. We had such a great time. Bonding. Relaxing. Enjoying this wonderful time in our lives. His first year. We are so lucky to be able to spend time with him like this. I don't know how I could have gone back to work full time a few weeks after he was born. I read so many stories of moms crying on their first. Nordic countries certainly have it right -- one year maternity leave (that the dad and mom can share).

The past week, he's changed so much. Little man crawls like mad all over. Climbs over me now. Tries to reach up for things. Babbles. "Reads" picture books. Plays with me. With me. Laughs a LOT. Sleeps so much better.

Just keeps on getting better. If this keeps on going, I'm going to explode with joy. How can he get any more fun to be with?

Bill just came back from the UK and he brought back Arto's new stroller. He is now graduating to a forward facing one. No more car seat in a carrier. We took it out for a test stroll today. He fidgeted for a second but after a block or so, realized that, hey, I have a front row seat to the world. I missed wearing him though. But he is getting heavy. He must be about 20 pounds now. Yesterday I took him for a walk on Smith St. and I was huffing and puffing.

I think I'll still wear him for short walks. For as long as I can! He wiggles a lot now too when he sees something exciting (and if Bill is skating, I have to use the Bjorn because he get so excited and kicks himself free from the wrap.

He's also weaning more from breastfeeding. He lets himself fall asleep on my shoulder now. He's also starting to drink from a sippy cup and liking water more.

My little man is growing up. My baby boy. Stop growing so fast.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

baby

now that he is here my sentences are short. they always were but now they are. its all tone and range. I like to push what i am capable of sounding like. bad cockney makes mom queasy.. I do it and a southern accent badly.. the southern one deeply disturbs my father.. it would be ok if it was genuine, but being as how the whole shannon clan moved up north and all.. well pa wasnt havin a dadburn minit of it. animal sounds check,, human accents. check minus. artotainment and the social implications of it all. well .. that would be uhh.. um.. it would be. uh. uh. pffhbllghhhhmmmmmmmmmah.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Guilty measure

Yes, we did. We let him do it. For over a week now. We gritted our teeth. I cried most of the time. But we did it. We're doing it. Its getting there. He went from 12 on average to 14.5. 7:30-7:30. 3 naps a day that are getting longer. Getting there. Almost there. Just gotta hang on and believe. That it is good for him. I've seen him change. From fussy to happy. From restless to quiet observation. Still loving. Still sweet. But not to categorically rationalize, yes, I don't know if there is an effect on him that is latent.

Yes, we let Arto cry it out. No more swaddling. Separate beds. Let Arto learn to soothe himself to sleep. Rock him and hold him when he's tired. Let him know we're here. But lay him down and let him do the rest.

At almost 5 months, we were sleep deprived, short with each other, and getting miserable. Not good for Arto. So far, its been hard for us to adjust our own bed time. But like I said, its getting there. I've been sleeping at midnight when Bill went away. No reason to stay up. I just have to keep on doing that. No 3 am bedtimes for me. It doesn't work. I have to learn how to nap when the bobo naps (or at least lay down, close my eyes and rest -- Bill is better at this than I am). We have to go through change too. Not just Arto. And there's the rub, I guess. For it to work, we have to change with him. We have to. We can't let this process go to waste. Arto's efforts go for naught. That is when it would not be fair. Everyone has to change their sleep. That is what a baby requires. One important thing that has to change.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Slingtervention


Is what I need. I have three. The fourth is coming. And I want two more.

I know I'm not the worst. Justine has 8, according to Ibrahim.

But I just spent two hours at The Baby Wearer instead of taking a nap when Arto's napping. All the pretty slings. Hotslings, Oopa Baby slings, Taylor Made slings, Patapums and SoulbabyNYC. Fresh (as Bill would say). Not to mention Lillebaby -- which is not a sling or pouch but is still a way to carry a baby (true to its Nordic origins, its minimalist multifunction). Wow, the Oopas are so, so pretty but way expensive. Taylor Mades -- the silk ones -- are very pretty too and cost less. Patapums I want to try when Arto is older and I think Bill will like it. And Souldbaby is this mama who just wanted a ring sling that didn't look boring. Hotslings have great prints. Justine (attachment parent extraordinaire) got me into it.

I have a wrap that Tina made, which I love. It requires some time to put it on but once you get the hang of it, I think its better than a Bjorn. I've gotten asked so many times where I got it ("an artist in PA made it for me."). Its black, it has sequins. Disco sling.

I have a Maya Wrap -- it took a while to get used to but now I have mastered it. Its good because its quick to put on. I think its better now that Arto is bigger and can hold his head up. When he was smaller, he sort of got lost inside it. I can carry him on my hip or kangaroo style. Its more organic looking than the wrap and I've been stopped on the street a lot too. The best part is, I can use it well into toddlerhood.

Then there's the utilitarian Bjorn. I use this when I want to carry Arto face front. He likes it. Bill uses this one. Its not pretty but it works.

I just bought a Hotsling. Its a pouch not a sling so it will probably take some getting used to again. I never buy regular clothes anymore. What's the point? If it doesn't get puked and spittled on three seconds after you wear it, it will get covered by the sling anyway.

There's been so many articles written about it already so I won't go on and on. But carrying Arto just makes him (and me) happier. I love having him near me. I do walk him his stroller -- especially right before sunset when the sun is low -- he loves looking up at the sky and trees. I get tons of wiggles and kicks whenever we pass under a tree.

The Baby Wearer has a number of articles on wearing your baby. And while I would not consider myself strictly practicing it, Attachmentparenting.com as well as Dr. Sears' website talks about its benefits.

Our neighborhood, Carroll Gardens (a place going through its personal baby boom) in the afternoon is a traffic of baby slinging moms and dads. And moms check out each other's slings. So funny. I mean, strollers are strollers unless you have a Bugaboo or Stokke, maybe. But slings. Well, for moms, they are what shoes used to be for them before Scholl's became more practical than Choos. Now instead of shoe envy there's sling envy.

So to all my friends, come over, gather round. Let me know that I have gone overboard and should not get any more. I have enough. Control myself. Remove Babywearer from my bookmarks. Right.

Well, I'll get over it....Right after I get my Cinnabar Soulbaby sling. Just one more. I promise. Mama has to look fresh because Arto looks fresh all the time. Hard to keep up with the little critter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Arto wins again


The sign was made by cousin Sky last year.

Monday, August 15, 2005

IMAGERY

I have not posted any images up until now so I am going to now compress some images in more or less of a chronological order. dad

Saturday, August 13, 2005

shleepy shleeep sleep

well its been a while since I have posted. I have been shooting some video of arto eating bananas and rice cereal and mumbling about the challenges of babydom. leah and I have been dealing with his sudden shift in sleepin gpatterns back to waking up every hour or every other hour and waking us up as well to get him fed and comfort him. this week we hit a wall with his sleep patterns and have been rebooting the little critter with way early to bed, consistent latenight feeding times and the big one, a seperate room from mommy and daddy. we also time ourselves before responding to his protest cries. it is neve racking but we are up to it other wise I fear we would all be in a haze of fatigue. we also are switching off more regularly whereas before it was all about the mammary glandulations now I am a bottle weilding freak of a daddy. I love to sing to Arto and I have made up different songs for him including dirges and laments proclaiming in a sincere baritone the pain and suffering of poor little arto.. if only I had a pint of guiness and a bagpipe it would be complete. then there is the little daily happy songs about silly things.. I sing and dance and he laughs and laughs. I love hearing him laugh so much. I also really try and broaden his horizons as to whats possible to do. I hang him upside down and rotate him 360 degrees. He is amazed and excited by these moves and anticipates my next go round by kicking and wiggling and grinning. of course I can see mommy get a bit nervous but when he laughs there is nothing else to say. little bobo we call him for short. the names keep evolving though. muncher, meatball, chunk of meat, pooper, poopinski, poopinator,it goes on ad nauseum. this little boy is grabbing left and right and is working on pushing a snaggle tooth through those bright red little gums. one thing thats changed about me is that now I think about his future. I just found out that Perthes is congenital and that the doctors used to think it wasnt which is what I ws told. Now I am part of a Perthes survivor group and am caught up on the very latest. it is a remote possibility but worrisome no less. we are all going to scotland and finland soon whcih should make things interesting for his schedule. We are on it already .. researching traveling with baby. ok its bedtime now. Im actually going to sleep at 1050pm on a saturday night. The little man has me all changed up.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


What's over there? Posted by Picasa

Mini Push-ups Posted by Picasa

Ch-ch-ch-changes

A lot of changes for the family.

It all started when Arto turned four months. Mommy had her first haircut in over a year. We hired a babysitter to take care of him in the afternoons so that we can get some work done. Its still rough as Arto tries to get used to her and she tries to get to know his little idiosyncracies. Swaddle and bounce. Swaddle and bounce. And not just any bounce. Bounce a certain way. So we're not getting as much done as we hoped. But we're thinking its like when lola came. The first week was rough but then they got used to each other and it was smoother sailing.

Another big change is that daddy went away for the first time. Bill went to Mexico to perform. Almost four days without daddy. It was mommy and Arto bonding time. It was fun but we definitely missed daddy.

Arto also crossed some growth stage because his sleep patterns abruptly changed. He used to sleep almost through the night with one wakeup to eat. But suddenly, he was waking up so much more. Like he reverted to his infant habits. Well...we realized that he just needed more food now and was waking up because the breast milk was just not doing it anymore.

Last week saw even more changes.

Bill and I took turns waking up at night for Arto. More sleep for me.

More importantly though....Arto ate his first solid food! We made a little rice cereal. I tried to feed him in little bites but he would grab the spoon the shovel the whole mess into his mouth! No little bits of food mommy! Bring it on! And last night, Bill fed him mashed bananas which he loved.

Mr. Big boy, who used to hate being on his belly tolerates it better. What's more, is that he is actually making little mini push-ups. And he is trying to sit-up so badly. When he's reclined he tries so hard to push himself up on a sitting position and get utterly frustrated when he can't. This morning, he sat up and supported himself on his arms for so long. Wow.

We got him his "high chair" yesterday too. The kind that attaches to the table. I'm so excited to feed him other food. Next up is mashed avocado. Not so sweet. Very nutritious. And then maybe some sweet potato.

He's also Mr. Curious now. Looks around more. Because of it, he likes his stroller now. Only when its not sunny, though. Because he hates having the shade on. He likes seeing the sky. And trees. Loves trees.

Oh, Mr. Arto. What will you do next?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Arto's First Summer






Arto is almost four months now. We went to Pittsburgh for a week and he hung out in the farm and with his cousins. Had his first barbecue (Bill had his first grilling experience).

Little baby smiles a lot now, really talkative and exploring with his hands more. He has a new friend (Mr. Friend). He still hates belly time but seems to take it better on the Boppy. His sleep patterns are pretty regular too.

This month we have to get his passport to prepare for travel with Dad. Its going to be a pretty funny passport picture. Those things have a five-year expiration period so when he's five he's still going to have an infant picture. Too funny.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Arto at 6 weeks and 13 weeks Posted by Hello

I love my mobile (sometimes) Posted by Hello

Happy Third Month Birthday, Arto!

Today, aRTO is three months. My little baby is 13 weeks. He can do so many things now. He can almost hold his head up on his own completely. Yesterday I took a walk with him in his baby wrap and he was so curious about everything around him. He can copy sounds I make. Especially "ah goo." He sticks his tongue out when I do. He smiles. He laughs. Bill swears Arto headbutts him on purpose. He's very talkative when he wakes up from sleep. He eats so much more now. 5 to 6 ounces a feeding. He can entertain himself for longer stretches of time. He is finding his hands and putting them to his mouth more often.

His voice and laugh are the sweetest things.

I didn't sleep much the night before and last night went to bed past 3am and I needed to wake up early this morning. For the first time, we switched and Bill took care of him all night while I slept. Then I woke up and fed him and had to leave. I didn't get my usual fill of him until 1:30 pm and by that time I was starving for some Arto love. I missed him already! Crazy mommy.

I saw this little piece of wisdom from a parenting magazine I stole from the doctor's office, its a little needlepoint-y but its exactly how I feel right now.
"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up, we learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

My bobo. Kisses for you on your third month.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Bill Jr. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005


Before and After Posted by Hello

New York is for Moms

Does the editorial staff at the New Yorker have a completely objectivist opinion of New York mothers or do these articles really represent the maternal psyche of (a significant population of) New York moms?

The two times I was compelled to pick up a New York magazine were two covers that I identified with -- the first, I was very pregnant and the second I had just given birth – thinking I would gather some “urban smart” information on New Yorkers and pregnancy and New Yorker moms with careers. Not quite.

As I read each article, I felt like I went through the five stages of new motherhood psychosis -- shock, disappointment, empathy, amusement, vindication, guilt.

I think most pregnant women go through a bipolar reaction to their changing bodies. Like most pregnant women, I both marveled at and stared in horror at how my body was changing. Arto growing inside me was my body at its most beautiful, most womanly, most glorious. That is unequivocal. But nonexclusive. Non-mom Leah also wondered if her body would ever be “normal” again. I wasn’t alone in such thoughts but I also wasn’t in the most horrified lot apparently. While I bought seasick wrist bands to ward off intermittent sprints to the bathroom and endless fighting with my gag reflex…“The pressure to stay thin has some pregnant New Yorkers actually hoping for morning sickness.” And while I struggled to squeeze in a perfunctory pregnancy yoga session in between secretly eating Spam with rice… “Many of the city’s mothers-to-be are counting every carb and pushing their heart-rate monitors to the limit to stay skinny and sexy while pregnant.” Women actually diet to lose weight prior to getting pregnant so that when they gain weight while pregnant, its all a wash!

But I think the more interesting and more sensationalist article is the most recent one on the Alpha Mom. Now, I could not have seen this article at a more opportune time. Bill and I have just been talking about my own internal struggle between being an ace mom and getting back to my own career. I love working with Bill and sharing the same goals and being a team. In fact, I enjoy it exponentially more than what I did in my old job. But there is still that part of me that wants just a “me.” So, I took on a project with a biotech company when Arto was just 4 weeks old. I figured, my mom would be here and I would have time. That is the overstatement of the year. I finished the project but it was harrowing. I wanted to be everything to Arto and still be able to do my work – Bill work and project work, not to mention just household maintenance stuff. I didn’t trust anyone else with Arto so I was with him during the day and I worked as soon as he tucked in at night. That translated to no time for sleep and no time for Leah. Which further derived, in the maternal calculus, to no fun, no patience, and a breakdown of the last vestiges of the rationality that didn’t go out with the placenta.

Which brings me back to the article. I had all the baby books but I was ravenous for information on “How to Have It All.” So I took my magazine, waited for Arto to sleep and, plopped down the sofa ready for enlightenment. But instead, the sentences were retro late-90s, internet-era…“A lot of it is very intellectually thought-out and very scheduled, almost like they have a business plan for their children…where “mothers seeking excellence,” according to press releases, would be able to find “the latest, best-of-breed information.” Business plan? Best of breed? Am I raising a child or the next IBM blade server?

But then the shock gave way to some empathy, amusement, hope. “The latest model of mother is not different from Betty but better, stronger, faster. If she seems frightening, perhaps it’s because she’s so unlike our own mothers and operates so counter to both instinct and emerging wisdom. To all the best-selling scolds who say that Mother should slow down, that we expect too much of her, the new, improved Mama says, if anything, the goalposts have been set too low. With the right planning, resources, and work ethic, you can, too, be a perfect and fulfilled woman, raising a perfect and happy child.”Really? Tell me more, please!

But like all quick fixes, the “solution” is ridiculous at best – hire a night nurse when your baby is two weeks old, a nanny and a babysitter (the difference, I do not know), work 100 hours a week but leave the office door open so that Jr. can come whenever he wants too (of course), and do not sleep more than 4 hours a night so as not to lose “business productivity.”

There is no magic pill. It’s a constant negotiation with yourself. And your partner. The experience was good. Now I know (I think.)

first post

today I took apart artos rocker which mommy feverishly built with the legs backwards so that they couldnt be removed without complete factory dissasembly of the housing. it made me feel dad like and in control for a fleeting moment. the satisfaction of seeing arto sleeping peacefully in his chair is priceless as is the work I can get done while he is chilling. he absolutely loves music. mom and I think its because all of the rehearsals.. while he was in utero he had banging beats and melodies of house hiphop and assorted jazz. plus I would always play out rhythms on moms belly. at this point arto shits on beat. Im worried that I have lost some early photos of him because my laptop literally melted and smoked to a blackened state. the hard drive may be dead and I havent backed up that computer in four or five months. please let it be recoverable. mommy and I are having a great time these last weeks as arto has hit his stride sleep wise.. with of course inevitable suprises. he is so beautiful. and this very blog is testimony to his doting parents. to all of our friends who have a more balanced perspective... try not to throw up.
artodad2 (sky's nickname is artod2 so im stealing it with modifications)
-b

Arto picture of the day Posted by Hello

Bill's First Father's Day Gift Posted by Hello

Bill's first father's day

Yesterday was Bill's first Father's Day. He got a skateboard with an Arto decal on it. It was graf he made. We also went out on our first date since Arto was born. While Tita Kitkat and Tita Tricia watched Arto, we got away for a couple of hours to watch Benjie Reid's 13 Mics -- which was amazing -- at the NYC Hiphop Theater Festival. Storm also performed his "Solo for Two" but it was a bit of a disappointment. It was a great night. Sigh.

Not for Arto, unfortunately. Wow. Major separation anxiety. Cried like an abandoned urchin. Good thing Kit and Trish were calm. Stopped only when he heard mama's voice. Sobbed all the way home and promptly slept like a log.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Fresh Post


Arto Fresh In New Hampshire Posted by Hello

Its midnight and we put Arto down for the nth time. He keeps on getting up. Wants to stay awake with Mommy and Daddy. Thwarting mommy's efforts at giving him at least 14 hours a day of sleep. Its hard when mommy and daddy try to do some work during the day. He doesn't get as much naps. Little baby is so cute though. Dad swaddles him real well and he looks like a little burrito.

I unpacked his box of 3-6 month old hand-me-down clothes. He's outgrown his first batch of onesies and clothes. So fast. He's 12 weeks now. His three-month birthday is next week. My little man is growing up.

I like what Bill said. We're growing up with him (although he's certainly doing it faster than mom and dad).

Today a skater kid zipped by while Bill was holding the baby. He blurted, I mean blarted, "That's the cutest baby I've ever seen!" Awww. He is a cute one. I have to stop staring at him.

Youwantapieceofme? Posted by Hello

Hello world.

hello blartoers...
we here in blarto land would like to welcome your blartaciousness. if in the zone.. just blart it out.