Friday, April 30, 2010

Snapshot of a Friday Night

It's Friday night in Los Angeles, a giant playground for the multitudes of twenty-somethings. I think I'll share our evening letting the photos speak for themselves. Okay, a few captions here and there never hurt anyone...

We had a big box delivered (thanks Mom!) which the cats enjoyed, particularly the 28 yards of packing paper.

Those of us not lucky enough to live in the great PNW have to watch the Mariners online.

David turned a crib bumper into a pillow.

And, of course, Halen looked like an adorable elf.

The End. Were you expecting more?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gripe Water

Last week I took Halen to the pediatrician for a scheduled weigh-in. He had been in the week before and his doctor wanted to make sure he was gaining enough weight. Apparently he should be gaining about a half ounce each day, but in 7 days he'd gained 11 ounces, which is about 3 times what was expected. Yea us!

That was our go-ahead to stop forcing food down his throat every 2-3 hours (day and night), and let him eat only when he wants (which, ironically*, is every 2-3 hours.)

Anyhow, our little rock star got an A+ in weight-gaining. But the doctor did say that he's gassy, and that may be why he tends to be fussy at night. She gave me a sample of this Gripe Water stuff. Anyone heard of it?

So this Gripe Water is basically baby Beano, as far as I can tell, but the problem is - it's yucky. It smells like licorice (fennel?) and poor Halen started gagging when I tried to give it to him via dropper. And here I was dropping it all nicely into the side of his little mouth, one slow drop at a time just like the directions on the dropper thing say! Oh man, you should have seen his eyes bulge as he opened his mouth all huge, stuck out his tongue and made these awful "HWUH!" sounds. He looked so indignant. Poor fella.

The next time, I snuck it into a bottle and he downed it without a flinch. Long story short, tonight right after a bottle (I've been pumping and bottle feeding the last few nights) he seemed fussy so I tried the dropper again. "HWUH!"

*Is that actually ironic? Alanis Morissette really screwed me up...

Monday, April 26, 2010


Another looong night with hardly any sleep. What is it about night that makes a baby so alert? Halen spent several hours eating, fussing, burping, crying, then pooping, only to start all over again. To top it all off, now that the sun is up, he's sound asleep on my chest. But when I set him down, he cries again. Sheesh. How am I supposed to keep him up today so he sleeps better at night if I just want to sleep right here with him?

I know this won't last, but I don't know how all you mommies survived it! I need a dose of optimism. SO - here's my list of Halen's best qualities to date, in no particular order:

1. His funny faces are always good for a laugh.
2. He's so light, it's easy to carry him around.
3. He makes some hilarious noises.
4. Sometimes he smiles, both awake and while sleeping.
5. His little toes, fingers, ears, eyelashes, so on and so forth.
6. He's great in the car and the stroller.
7. He never cries when he needs a new diaper. Which is always.
8. He somehow rocks sideburns, a receding hairline, a mullet and no eyebrows.
9. His lips would put Angelina to shame.
10. His one-eyed open pirate impression. Yarrr!

Okay, I feel better. Now if only I could shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, do the dishes, and finish the laundry before Halen wakes up...

All tuckered out from a long night of keeping mommy awake.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Squeaky Clean!

Halen got his first big boy bath today! Now that his icky stump fell off, we can use his whale tub instead of a washcloth. Halen is NOT a fan of sponge baths, so we weren't expecting a positive reaction, but he did great! He was happy as a clam in the warm water, and he didn't even poop. That's our boy!

First, Daddy took extra care stripping the kid down.

Halen was such a trooper. And check out his cute new belly button!

Halen looking weird...

Once he got out and dried off, it didn't take long for Halen to find the wine.

They grow up so fast! *sigh*

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We've Switched to Cordless...

Halen lost his belly button cord stump thingy! Huzzah! Now he has a cutie pie little belly button instead of what looks like dried poop coming out of his stomach. I'd say this ranks pretty high in terms of baby milestones. First words? Who needs em! Walking? Bah. This baby lost his cord stump thingy! Next stop - taking an actual bath in his whale bathtub.

On a related note, I've decided that I should probably get into the habit of blogging about the small things in life. Otherwise, I might never write anything at all. So, big or small, picture or no picture, I'll try to write about it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For Unto Us a Child is Born

Unto us --- a son is given! If you're related to me you've already stopped reading this to keep singing...

He may not be the Messiah (maybe?) but he's ours and he's beautiful and perfect in every way (naturally). Introducing Halen Michael Stratton, born April 7, 2010. He's a keeper, alright! Okay, we did try to take him back once, but a few days later we changed our minds :)

Here's his first icky picture.

Once we got a chance to clean up, everyone tried to get lots of rest.

We had lots of visitors at the hospital!
Grandma Kerry -

Grandpa Ken -

Uncle Chris -

Auntie Sherry -

Finally, we got to go home! We all enjoyed Halen's first sponge bath.

The next morning, we went back to the hospital for a blood test, because the doctors had been concerned about Halen's jaundice levels. Unfortunately, his bilirubin levels were too high, so we decided to admit him to the NICU for phototherapy. He also needed an IV for dehydration because he hadn't been eating enough.

After two nights of fun in the (artificial) sun, we got to go home again, this time for good.

Halen is so small, but his pictures don't quite portray his size, so I had some fun posing him with random household objects that put his stature into perspective. Here's a small sample...

Finally, a few extra pictures just for fun!