Saturday, June 30, 2007

River News: Month Three

Dear River,

This month I have discovered that in addition to being mild mannered Summer Doyle I have a not-so-secret, super-powered alternate identity known as The Mommy. The Mommy has magical powers and brings calm and joy where others fail. No matter where you are, or who's holding you, I can walk past your field of vision and you light up with the biggest smile. There she is! I like that lady!

You have no idea how that makes me feel. You can be fussing in someone else's arms, and along comes The Mommy to hold you and you immediately calm down. Your father might be putting you down for a nap, you fighting him the whole way, and out come the magic boobies and you are asleep in an instant.

Being a super hero is fun, but as any geek knows, with great power comes great responsibility.

The fact that I can soothe you a bit more easily than others means I have to do most of the soothing (or listen to you cry when I know I could help). This is very difficult at the end of a long day when I've only had a few hours respite with Christine or Auntie Crystal's help. When you consider that I'm up about every three hours during the night, and I'm responsible for you all day during the week (and half the time during the weekends) I essentially work an 80 hour week taking care of you.

So you can understand why, if your father is even one hour late coming home from work, I turn into The Cranky Mommy. Beware The Cranky Mommy--she looses all soothing power and will bore holes through The Daddy with her laser beam eyes.

This has been a particularly active month for us. Between your vaccinations, growth spurt, Auntie Jenn's visit, and now teething, we have had some very long days and very short nights. I haven't been to yoga in a month, my nails are starting to look scary, and I feel like the walking dead more and more every morning.

Still, through my fatigue-addled brain, I've been watching some amazing changes in you.

This month you went from a squirmy, cute little baby who didn't do too much, to this amazing kid who fully interacts with his world. Your random flailing has gained intention as you push and pull objects with your strong little hands. You grab at toys and bring them to your mouth to explore, you can kick at them and hug them. The little flash cards I drew last month have finally gained your attention and you stare and stare at them as though you're studying for an exam. Sometimes the urge to see something new is so strong that you'll stop halfway through mealtime to play.

At the start of the month your favorite toy was the blinky, music-playing star on your activity mat. You would stare at it so enthralled, smiling with huge, wide eyes. Of course, now you're totally over it, and want to play with your new mobile or elephant.

You change so fast that last week's favorite stuffed friend is this week's pariah.

Physically, you continue to grow, getting stronger every day. We read in the Sears book that children your age might be able to stand with help for a few seconds--you know, that trick you've been doing since day one. You're getting closer to sitting up without help and can go for much longer without your gigantic head tipping you over. Tummy time is not such a horrible thing anymore, and you seem to enjoy pushing your butt in the air with your weight on your toes. I imagine you might crawl like your Auntie Jenn did--on hands and feet.

You're much more specific about the things you want and don't want. I can see you leaning in the direction of something interesting, stretching your arms out and grunting. Or if you don't want to look at something, you turn your head away, put your fists in your mouth and close in on yourself. And your preferences can change from minute to minute, so you always keep us on our toes. One day you want to suck my fingers, the next day chew them. One nap swaddling works, the next turning you on your side does. One day you even chose which boobie you wanted to eat from! Left, not right, mom!

My favorite development this month is of course your new "talking" skills. No longer do we hear a random coo, goo, or ugh every few days. Now we get strings of them--fully thought out ideas that have important meaning to you (though we can't quite get your meaning). Usually it seems like you're saying, "I'm really happy. I like you people and this world is totally fun." I sure hope that's what you're thinking, because I really like you and think you're totally fun.

I love you my little pookerton!

***A Pookerton Update:

You've been doing this all night:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


someone is teething
gnawing fingers all day long
little sleep at night

reverse psychology

I'm so hungry and in such need of caffeine and I'm just waiting for River to wake up from this nap so we can go for a walk to the coffee shop. He's been asleep for nearly 2 1/2 hours (record time) and I sense that if I try to finish something (like a blog post) he's sure to sense it and wake up.

Ah, there's the cry.

Check you later.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

all that and a bag of chips

We had a fantastic week with Jenn and Seth in town, and I know River loved meeting his auntie and uncle. (We recently discovered that he does not automatically take to every person he meets, so his affection for you guys was very real.)

It was an incredibly full week including a trip to the Sam Adams Brewery, a walk on the Freedom Trail, a Duck Tour, a day trip to Plymouth, a visit from our great friend, Ama, a Saturday afternoon BBQ, a walk to Riverfest, Father's Day celebrations (Picco pizza and Ocean's Thirteen), a Ghost Tour, an afternon at Five Wits, and a homemade feast cooked by Seth and Jenn. I don't have time right now to give a full report, but I wanted to share some pictures with you:

Auntie Jenn bathes River and daddy dries

Mommy slings Pookerton around Plymouth (Look at the hat! It's from my grandparent's trip to the Amazon.)

Seth gets friendly with a Mayflower II sailer

Seth and Jenn smooching in the Wampanoag Village

After getting a diaper change in the back of the car (River, not Jenn)

Ama visits!

Father's Day Present from uncle Kevin and auntie Crystal. Yes, they made my son's butt print.

A bar T-shirt? Already, son?

So true...

And a couple of the cutie pie this week:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

my son speaks!

Okay, he's still having trouble with complete sentences, but I think you get the point.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

more adventures with River

Auntie Jenn gives him a bath...

Baby's first cemetery! How exciting!

You took me WHERE while I was sleeping?!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

his father would be so proud

My best friend, Jenn, and her husband, Seth, flew in from California yesterday and we spent our first afternoon at the Sam Adams Brewery. Of course, no brewery tour would be complete without a baby, so River came along. Thus begins what I'm sure will be thorough education in the art of drinking beer.

Look honey, hops!

He's totally enthralled.

Auntie Jenn and Uncle Seth introduce him to the good stuff.

Friday, June 08, 2007

pic fix

Wanna know where all the pudge from his last feeding frenzy went? The Cheeks:

You shall obey me! I am Pharaoh!

You'll let your mommy and daddy get some sleep before you turn 18, right?

Yup. That about says it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I saw this a while ago and was just reminded of it again today. I thought that was a sign that I simply could not keep this to myself:

Alanis does Fergy

I don't know who she's making fun of more: herself or the Black Eyed Peas...

Someday I'm going to figure out how to stream video directly from here. Until then you'll just have to click the link.

P.S. Grandma, you can probably skip this one. :) Love you.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

sleepless in cambridge

The Doyle family has had a rough couple of days. On Wednesday we took River for his two month check-up where he was subjected to four shots. This is the first time he's had vaccinations so we didn't know what to expect. We opted to forgo the Hepatitis B vaccine--you know, for a sexually transmitted disease, for my NEWBORN. (Why this vaccine is now standard for babies--and required for children entering school--is beyond me).

Obviously he was upset about the needle pricks, but the doctor suggested I breastfeed him while she did it, and it did lessen the trauma, I think. He was fine on the car ride home and passed out for a long nap shortly thereafter.

Then at 5pm there came such a wail from his mouth that did not stop for three hours straight. River was upset. VERY UPSET. And there was really nothing we could do about it. None of our usual tricks worked to calm him down and no amount of cuddling, feeding, rocking, singing, bouncing, dark, light, quiet, or loud made a difference. Those of you that are parents understand what a screaming baby does to you. For my childless friends, imagine someone ripping your heart out, showing it to you, and taking a bite of it just for kicks. That's what it feels like when your baby cries.

He went on being upset for hours--taking short breaks from screaming until finally it tapered off around 10pm. Finally, at last, he slept beautifully and I thought all was well.

He nursed at 2am and I gave him my finger to suck on while he fell back to sleep. I noticed that his mouth was very warm--much warmer than usual--and remembered that the doctor had warned about him getting a fever as a result of the shots. Fever in infants is a life-threatening condition, so I woke Thom up and we took his temperature.

Well, he barely had a fever, but it was enough that we needed to call the after-hours number for his doctor. I won't go into the details of the rest of that night--thankfully an emergency room visit was not in the cards--but we got the fever down and it only cost us a night of sleep.

Then on Friday afternoon I noticed River being more fussy than usual about taking his naps, and he seemed to need to eat much more often than usual. By Friday night he was eating every hour and a half and we figured out he was going through a growth spurt.

Well, here we are more than 48 hours later and I've been feeding him every single hour since then.




And I am tired.

I've started feeling a bit loose in the brain from sleep deprivation, and I'm just praying this thing peters out soon. Thom had a dream that River had grown a foot overnight as a result of this growth spurt, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of his outfits start looking a bit tight on him.

Here's what I think is going through my boy's head as he puts us through the ringer: