Thursday, March 7, 2013

First Ever Reader Mailbag

Upon being bombarded with multiple questions from MULTIPLE readers, here's a little more in-depth look into what the people want!

"Can you upload some pictures of Reid?" - Regina, Tupelo, MS

Absolutely... and sooner than you expect! (Check back in 6-8 hours).

"What developments has Reid gone through the past few weeks?" - Bob H., Stamford, CT

Reid has been teething for what seems like forever. It's not a terrible phase, you can tell he's about on the brink though and will just cry and hold his gums out of the blue. (Since this was originally written, RWC now has lower incisors and you can see a faint, white trace of teeth in his upper gums).

He is also on the verge of crawling. Holds himself up well from his tummy, good forearm strength... just needing to figure out that elusive hip wiggle/shuffle thing. (Still on the verge of crawling. Has excellent lifting capabilities as of 3/7/2013).

He is slowly learning the art of eating food. Baby Num-Nums (Banana) are his current favorite. These are a slender wafer in the shape of a banana. There are also the puffs (sweet potato and berry) and assorted mushy fruits.

Reid is developing a very sweet laugh and a coo while he feeds. He likes to say 'DADADADADADADA and 'blablablabla'. He has bashful tendencies, for example: when sneaking up on the 'cute baby in the mirror', he stares into his reflection for a short time, then turns away and buries his head in my shoulder.

"How is cloth diapering nowadays?" - Janelle, Conway, SC

Cloth diapering has yet to present any issues. If anything, it's turning into a cash cow (Julie is selling un-used diapers that never fit correctly or some that were worn once or twice). It has led to a few conversations on starting up a shop or renting space somewhere to distribute and to share the benefits of cloth.

Being that the majority of Reid's food is breast milk, he still has easy stools to clean up. Check back in a month or two.

"Does Reid have favourite toys/games/food yet?" - Kate, London

Covered the food earlier... he is a milk nut! He has a variety of games we play, including but not limited to: "Look at the baby in the mirror", "1-2-Threeeeeeee (counting and hoisting him into the air), and tossing one of his 'taggy' blankets over his head and saying "Where's Reid?!", then watching his reaction (he's slightly out growing this one).

I never dreamed an eight-month-old would have so many toys. Among his new favorites (from Christmas): sea horse that plays soothing music and assorted aquatic sounds, a replica walker that plays some killer guitar licks and saxophone ditties, a flashlight with the most annoying woman doing the voice-over "Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, let's follow the jungle crew!", etc.

(I'm picking this back up after a six-to-seven week hiatus... tsk!)

"How can you tell what he wants sometimes? Do you get any of the non-verbal communication and sounds he makes?" - Rico, Ciudad Jaurez

Non-verbals are pretty easy with Reid. He reaches, he makes the impatient moaning noises after (just) downing a spoonful of applesauce, different cries are readily deciphered.

"How are nights going for you? Has Reid moved into his crib/own room and is he sleeping better?" - Maria, Tampa

Meh. Each parent has differing viewpoints on this subject. It's more or less been a life-changing experience, and nights will never be the same for the remainder of our lives (or until he and any future children settle down and have their own children). No biggie, comes with the territory. It's exactly what we signed up for.

"What is hardest for you?" - Francois, Versailles

For me, dad, I feel guilty that I'm never doing enough. I feel guilty when I'm away from my family... like every extracirricular is judged and picked through with a fine-toothed comb. I feel that my job(s) are my social time and my commute is my escape. Again, it's not hell, but it has definitely been an adjustment being a dad.

Another aspect that's tough is how Reid relies on his mother for the majority of his needs. I know there will come a day that we're inseperable, but it seems so far in the distance. It is nice at the phase he's in now to come in through the door and have his little face beam in my direction. That makes my day every time.

Lastly, waking up isn't what it used to be. Selfishness has been replaced by responsibility. There are no snooze buttons in parenthood.

"Julie, do you find combining your job and your family difficult? ( I am a teacher as well and I find it very difficult)" - MG

She'll field this one and edit accordingly :)

"What does your schedule look like? Do you let Reid decide what the day looks like or do you have a set schedule?" - Manti, South Bend

Again, this differs by parent. Here's a breakdown: Mornings (all) - up at 5:00, mom showers, dad tends to baby, eats breakfast, brews coffee, changes diaper, dresses babe. Dad showers, mom arranges bag for sitter, dresses, etc. Out the door by 7:15 (Dad prefers twenty minutes earlier). Afternoons (majority) - home between 5:30-6:00; community play time on the floor with toys, dinner, bath in the 7:00 hour, PJ's and a story or something to wind down. Ideally (baby) sleeping by 9:00.

Reid will often dictate how a day goes (e.g., do we go to church, do we travel somewhere, does he need a nap). Things definitely aren't done on a whim anymore. Precise planning is required and schedules (even between mom & dad) are coordinated months in advance. With that said, I'd do it all over again and hope to adjust our schedules in the future for other little ones. For now, I'll love my son and admire the changes I see each and every day.

(Side note: all questions were submitted by one of our top commenters, MG, and I had to put alias' on some to make us appear a little cooler than we really are)

Until next time...

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