Oh, For Laughing Out Loud.

This week marked Noah's 5 week Dr. appointment--our first visit since several days after he was discharged from the hospital after his birth (with the exception of a late Friday night urgent care visit for a swollen boob that turned out to be nothing more than a "normal response to mom's hormones still swimming around in his body" and an event that gave Daddy the ammunition he needed to fire frequent "man boob" insults at Noah Finn).

Noah's check up went swimmingly. His current weight is 10 lbs. and 14 oz. and he measures in at 21.5 inches long. According to Dr. Zibari, this places him roughly in the the 70% percentile for weight and 20% percentile for height. I'm not sure if you're doing the math here while reading, but numbers like these indicate a baby of munchkin sumo proportions--in other words, short and chunky. Perhaps we're just doting parents blind to the technicalities of scales and tape measurers, but we think he's simply perfect--or else we'll just have to cross our fingers that his height catches up to his weight before the blinding glow of this new parent honeymoon wears off. If not, we might have to stock the house with step stools and seat belt extenders.

Other notes of interest include Noah Finn's new propensity to mingle giggles and laughs in with his googs and gaas--especially in response to his daddy's "mad scientist" laughs and coos. Nothing truly warms the heart of an exhausted and poop covered new parent than the sweet sounds of a warm, cuddly, gummy giggle from the milk covered lips of your new little bundle.

Life otherwise is beautiful and everyday brings with it new sweet rewards. The days are hectic and are filled to the brim with breast feeding, breast feeding and more breastfeeding and diaper changing, diaper changing and more diaper changing--we're just trying to keep our heads above water by keeping up with this little guy's basic needs. We try to emerge from the house for walks daily--if not several times a day. Though we ventured just about every where other than Cairo when my parents were here, we have taken a more laid back approach to the last week or two. In his stroller, he usually sleeps or fusses before falling asleep, but today was the first day that he observantly took in all of his surroundings--bright eyed and bushy tailed, he observed every single bush and cloud and conversed with every bug and bird. Yesterday marked his first trip to Trader Joe's with mommy and daddy and his first time out and about alone with mommy earlier in the day. We ventured for a walk with the BabyBjörn to the post office, the bank, Robek's and to the salon to get mommy's bangs cut. He slept like a baby beneath my barber's apron while strapped onto my chest sleeping.

We both emerged from the trip with a freshly cut confidence for the life without dad that is all too quickly approaching--well, dad will still be around, of course, but not 24 hours a day . . . cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, washing dishes, changing diapers, bathing the baby, washing diapers, grocery shopping . . . okay, we're not that confident, but we're getting there. Noah, perhaps, is as nervous about my capabilities as I am?!


Thank You, Dr. Harvey Karp.

To say, "oh, he's growing so fast", would be falling prey to an age old cliché--but can I be at fault if it IS really true? Noah Finn is growing like a weed, physically and developmentally. Here's a laundry list of recent developments for YOU, Grandmas and Great Grandmas, since I know you feel like you're just missing it all:

At 5 Weeks:
  • loves laying on our bed and ceiling fan gazing for as long as we'll let him
  • smiles beautiful heart-wrenching gummy smiles at least several times an hour (even in his sleep) in response to mom and dad's nauseating baby speak
  • goos and gaas at a rate that has convinced us he'll be calling up Tickle Me Elmo for a play date by sometime next week
  • absolutely, positively relishes laying on his changing table--regardless of any fit that precedes a diaper changing, a good stint on the changing table solves it all
  • holds up his head (but he's been doing this since week 1) with the confidence of an athletic ostrich
  • adores bath time--even if unpreventable "unmentionables" often make it into the bathing tub
  • makes incredible attempts at standing (even though I know this is too early and is not good for his leg development--but he does it on his own while we're holding him in our laps!)
Dr. Harvey Karp's "Five S's" warrants a mention here too. Mom first introduced us to the method and Jessica sealed the deal with her visit and offering of his book and tutorial DVD. The five S's, Swaddling, Shooshing, Swinging, Side lying and Sucking, has turned arduous hours of consoling a fussy "fourth trimester" baby into a cooing bundle of smiling bliss. Yes, we have fallen prey yet again, this time to gimmicky tricks for calming our fussy baby. But, hey, when you're operating on a torture victim at Guantánamo Bay's amount of nightly sleep, you'll likely try just about anything. THANK YOU, Dr. Harvey Karp!


Viewer Discretion Advised.

Since we've brought Noah Finn home from the hospital there have been many times when we've laughed ourselves to tears, but yesterday marked the first time that we've laughed ourselves into hilarium--literally nearly wetting our pants.

It all occurred yesterday evening when I was on the phone with my parents. While talking with my dad, I heard Dean let out a shrieking cry from the direction of our bedroom. With my dad still on the line, I rushed down the hall and this is what I saw . . . Dean standing beside the changing table without a shirt on and wearing a look of sheer panic while simultaneously crying and laughing hysterically, a naked Noah Finn flailing on the changing table screaming bloody murder, poop splattered in drips across the changing pad cover and an even larger stream of the oozy brown stuff dripping down the wall behind the changing table forming pools on the top of the floorboards before flowing onto the wood floors below.

Chaos--a runny, smelly poo festering chaos and it was wreaking havoc all over our bedroom--our sanctuary, our retreat, our cozy, calm bedroom.

Dean blabbered an explanation while gasping for air in between bellowing laughs--he had apparently unwisely decided to pick up Noah Finn, who was screaming sans diaper, to comfort and soothe his weary cries. However, on his way up to daddy's cozy shoulder, in mid air, Noah simultaneously shot a stream of pee out the front--landing on daddy's shirt--and a stream of poop out the back--spraying on the changing pad cover and wall.

We caught our breath and the roaring laughter lowered to a giggle. And, as we dressed Noah and removed all evidence of Noah's free form wall art--with the sound of Miles, our cat, howling into the toilet bowl echoing in the background and dried poo on our hands--we thought to ourselves, this is our life now.

And we wouldn't give up a single stream of dried spit up on our fourth shirt of the day for anything in the whole wide world.

P.S. New pictures in our Flickr album!


At Home And All Alone.

Our last loving helper, Jessica, left today and the reality of the great pleasurable chore that lies ahead for me and Dean is beginning to set in. My Mom and Dad, and then Jessica, helped more than they'll ever know and boy did we hate to see them all go home.

I grow increasingly nervous thinking of taking care of little Noah Finn without the in-home support of a loving and so very helpful Grandma and a doting Grandpa and best friend. I would experience fleeting moments of panic while they were here--we would be loading Noah, the stroller, the car seat, the diaper bag, the burp cloths, the blankets and a screaming and wet-diapered Noah into the car--and I would think to myself . . . how will I ever do ALL of this on my own? I suppose these are normal feelings of anxiety and doubt and like other hurdles, I'll muddle through. But in the meantime, I'll proceed with trepidation and greedily cling on to Dean's remaining time home from work.

The last two weeks with guests have also been busy, however. So, for today--our first day without a life raft--we eagerly look forward to staying in our PJ's all day--staying close to the comfy couch, eating freshly baked cookies, taking several naps and avoiding laundry chores. Diaper duty and baby soothing, however, we won't be able to get out of!

P.S. New pictures posted in our Flickr album!


The Grandparents Sadly Go.

Grandma and Grandpa left today following their eight day visit and we honestly hated to see them go. Mom and Dad were incredible! Having them here was such a pleasure as Dean and I were able to take a much needed siesta from endless loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning and bathing, changing . . . you get the picture . . . little Noah Finn. On top of all of that, I am not sure how we managed to pack in rest, relaxation and tons of "firsts" for Noah like fun outings to Manhattan beach, the La Brea Tar Pits, hiking in Bronson Canyon, shopping at the Grove and Babies "R" Us (of course), the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, Daddy's recording studio, a beer brewery and even an Ethiopian restaurant--but we managed to nonetheless.

In addition, we also gave quite a bit of our baby gear a "test run". Here's a rundown: the Hot Sling: hated it!, the Baby Bjorn: loved it!, the Organic Baby Comfort Swing: the jury is still out!, the Bumbleride Stroller: loves it when he's not demanding to be held instead!, the Skip Hop Space Play Mat: the jury is still out!.

Visits like these truly remind me of how fortunate I am to have a loving family--and how difficult it can be during special times like these to be so very far away from them.

We have many great pictures from the visit--check them out on our flickr page!

Tomorrow, my best friend from my college days at ECU, Jessica, arrives to pick up where my parents left off. So, I'm sure we'll be reporting new Noah Finn adventures from her visit very soon!


The Surettes Sail the Skies for a Baby Visit.

Grandma and Grandpa Surette arrived yesterday morning following their 3,000 mile journey from the east coast out to visit Noah Finn.It doesn't look like time will afford me the opportunity to update the blog with long detailings of happenings while they're here--and probably won't until the end of their visit on the 13th--but I promise to at least post pictures of the sun and fun experienced in the meantime! So, check out our flickr photo album for picture updates!


The First 12 Days Of Noah Finn.

Day 12:
Life so far with Noah Finn has been exciting, exhausting, exhilarating . . .
though we are operating on much, much less sleep then we are used to, every moment we're awake means one less smile or goo that we miss experiencing.

Breastfeeding has been going ve
ry well--he is quite the feeding monster--even exhibiting monstrous faces, sounds and hand motions while eating! Cloth diapering has also not been as bad as everyone had anticipated for us. Though it has taken a little practice and several blow outs to get it right, we are convinced that practice and blow outs are part of the territory no matter what diapering system we might be using. Washing clothes every other day is also not too much of a stretch--between burp cloths, soiled clothes and blankets (and the shoulders of our clothes) covered in spit up, we imagine that we'd frequently be in the laundry room anyway.

Noah Finn
is growing so fast and beginning to make the most adorable sounds--and we swear he smiles too (even though our parenting books say it's only a reflex, we're convinced he's amused with the parenting foibles and follies we've committed so far). He loves bath time and takes special pleasure in going to the bathroom (both #1 and #2) the moment that we are placing a new clean diaper on his bottom--that's right, the moment just after we have wiped his hiney and have a fresh clean diaper prepared to place on him!

We went for our first walk on New Year's Eve and have had many visits from friends. Leda is coming by today to give Dean a much deserved break from cooking. I commented to him yesterday that having him home was like having my own personal postpartum chef--every morning he plans the menu for the day by taking any requests that I might have and then prepares each meal to perfection--all in addition to helping with Noah in every way other than breastfeeding, of course! I think I might not let him go back to work at the end of the month . . .

Be sure to keep up with the pictorial version of the life and times of Noah Finn on our Flickr photo album page where we will be posting pictures in alarming frequency (come on, we're first time parents!).

Love and peace in the New Year,
Joni, Dean & Noah Finn


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