New baby

Uncovering Baby’s Nighttime Spinning Secrets

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A mystery deeper than a back hole

So how is it that a baby who can’t crawl and has her legs secured is ripping around the crib in circles at night? It’s no secret that Maddie’s parents are baffled by this cosmic mystery.

What seemed like a normal Saturday morning this weekend turned upside down when Maddie’s parents arrived at the baby’s crib. That’s because they discovered that Maddie was upside down. Well sort of. Somehow during the night, Maddie had spun around a full 180 degrees.

There she was smiling and gurgling in her crib, despite the fact that it appeared as if someone had crept in during the middle of the night, picked Maddie up and turned her around.

The next night, we could actually hear Maddie on the move. I took a careful look into the crib and saw that she had gently wedged herself across the width of the crib. Her headband was butted up against the side of the crib, which was making a scratching noise. I picked her up and moved back to the bottom the mattress.

However, the next morning, the baby had accomplished her 180-degree spin maneuver for the second night in a row. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that she is doing this inside her sleep sack. So my little human whirlybird is accomplishing these feats of strength without the use of her legs.

So what’s deal? Is she just trying things out? Attempting an escape? Moving your entire torso around the crib while your legs are stuck in a full-body sleeping bag seems like a great deal of work.

These nocturnal exercise routines don’t seem to be impacting her sleep. She’s been in a great mood and besides the obvious confusion that she is causing for her parents, there doesn’t appear to be any ill effects.

We have some concerns about the wedging issue, but we fully expect her to complain if she runs into a problem. She is a very vocal young lady who is always ready to voice concerns at the drop of a hat.

Bottle Runs Dry, Baby Eats Foot

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If only I had a tooth!

When times get tough the tough get going. This morning when Maddie’s bottle ran dry, she didn’t shed any tears, she just hunted down and snagged an alternative food source.

She had been eyeing those toes for several days now and it was only a matter of time before my little predator leapt into action.

Maddie was clearly on the hunt today, every sense on razor’s edge as the sun crept up casting flecks of vermillion across the brightening morning sky.

The baby caught just the faintest scent of her prey and knew those succulent little feet couldn’t be too far off. She moved against the wind meshing with the lazily tilting grass so the toes would be caught completely off guard.

The feet were getting restless now as if they could sense that something was amiss. One toe scanned the horizon and stopped for a moment on the nearby outcropping of tall grass. Maddie froze, not daring to twitch a muscle. Satisfied that nothing was out of the ordinary, both feet settled down.

The baby needed no engraved invitation – she grasped the unsuspecting foot before it knew what happened. Her gnashing gums worked the big toe, providing no sustenance what-so-ever. The mighty hunter pondered her conquest and was beginning to wonder why her own toes were covered with baby saliva. She finally let the wild foot go, but her smile sent a clear message, “This isn’t over!”

Maddie Enjoys Eating Without Swallowing

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Is it possible to eat without swallowing?

If we thought coming home might improve the parental sleep situation, we were sorely mistaken. Maddie burned the evening and midnight oil and then basically dropped an all-nighter in our laps. This once again left her parents comatose and in need of some serious sleep.

Even though there was no rest for the weary and downtrodden – we still had a wonderful day immersed in family time with the baby. Once again, Maddie had no interest in a nap – but she spent the day completely basking in the attention that both parents were heaping upon her.

Maddie sat on my lap and engaged me in a 20-minute conversation this morning that still has me smiling. Since she’s only 5-months-old, I didn’t completely understand anything that she said to me, but it all seemed to be of a demonstrative nature.

We actually had multiple conversations through out the day and one of them involved no verbal communication whatsoever. We both registered a series of expressions, smiles, knowing looks and hand gestures – but never made a sound. This is an area we will have to look into more closely in the near future.

Our other project today involved trying to get Maddie interested in the institution of real food. She is becoming ravenous, but we still can’t get her to eat. Maddie actually does eat, she just won’t swallow anything that doesn’t come from the bottle. Gina made a good point this evening: “Maddie puts everything in her mouth but food!”

We have been trying to feed the baby rice cereal – but it’s not working out. She lets it roll into her mouth, but that’s as far as it goes. She’s decided that she can actually eat without having to swallow. Unfortunately, this method is not satisfying her insatiable hunger and that naturally leads to multiple nighttime bottle-feedings.

Tomorrow we will try feeding her solid food at first light. Hopefully this will work itself out very soon. If not, it will be difficult for Maddie to enjoy sleepovers in the future if her parents still have to feed her every three hours.

Baby Annoyed With Parental Time Off

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We need to have a serious conversation

It was day we had looked forward to for some time. Gina’s mom had agreed to watch Maddie for an entire afternoon and the world was our oyster. We had a nice leisurely lunch, shopped for some baby clothes and even got to squeeze in a movie. We arrived home nice and relaxed, and of course excited to see the baby.

Gina and I wondered if Maddie would take notice of the fact that both of her parents had been AWOL at the same time. We would not have to wait long for an answer.

Just as we popped in the door – Maddie launched a test of the emergency broadcast screaming system. Judging by the fever pitch of her outburst – it sounded like a real emergency, even though it was just a drill.

I scampered up the stairs to greet my screeching angel hoping that the sight of her Dad would give her some solace. In theory, my plan worked well at first. The second Maddie saw me; she smiled and let me pick her up. Crisis averted, but only for about 45 seconds. This is when Maddie remembered that she owed Mom and Dad a little bit of payback.

Now the crying was back in full force and PaPa couldn’t help. Even when Mom stepped in, Maddie was still not a happy camper. We quickly realized that the baby was exercising her constitutional right to express her extreme displeasure.

We later learned that Maddie had spent the entire afternoon boycotting naptime, so she was obviously pretty warn out. When it comes right down to it, you really have to respect this little lady who is never afraid to share her frank and well-constructed opinions with us.


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What was that?

It’s been a few days now since the baby’s overall awareness has experienced what I can only term as an awakening. Her sense of hearing and sight may not or may not have changed much, but her interpretation and reaction to these sensory inputs have undergone a revolution.

Maddie’s new sensitivity to indoor sound seems to key in on any noise associated with an approaching person or incoming noise. I wonder if this is some sort of developing defense mechanism. In stealth mode – I can move across the floor without noise or vibration, but somehow, Maddie is aware of almost every approach. It doesn’t wake her up completely, but it does cause her to stir.

Some indoor noises can also cause her quite a start, while other sounds are quickly dismissed or ignored altogether. Any type of sharp noise such as a dropped pacifier, cough or yawn seems to startle the baby. But other sounds like voices, running water or the television are mostly ignored.

But being outside is a whole new story. Maddie’s immunity to city noises is well documented in previous stories. Once we hit the great outdoors, Maddie is still virtually oblivious to any egregious noises no matter how many decibels bombard her. This includes sirens, street sweepers and the grating noise of garbage trucks.

Another significant change we have noticed is Maddie’s new habit of tracking movement from across the room. I’m not sure whether it’s the sound or her visual perception that first captures the interest – but once she takes notice, she eyes every movement with keen interest. She’s also is beginning to recognize her parents at greater and greater distances.

I never realized that being an observer is such a significant part of parenting – but when I go to sleep each night, I wonder what the baby will teach me tomorrow.

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Sleep

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You would think I just downed a pot of coffee!

“I’m not ready to sleep and you can’t make me!”

That message came through loud and clear yesterday as Maddie outlasted her everyone in sight including her grandmother and both of her parents. When this 7-week old baby doll takes a stand – she digs in for the nuclear winter. Her newest project this weekend was to single-handedly defeat the institution of sleep.

She woke up Sunday morning determined to disprove the notion that babies actually need sleep. Her eyes were just like the wolf’s in Little Red Riding Hood – “My Maddie, what big eyes you have!”

Her normal nap after the 5am feeding was called off due to a complete lack of interest, but we kept our spirits up knowing that the 9am feeding would completely knock her out. But according to Maddie, this was a special day – a day that would not be wasted by doing something so trivial as sleeping.

Maybe she was primed to go a stunning two wins and zero losses in her looming Fantasy Football contest. The Marauding Madsters were heavy favorites, but as team owner, Maddie knows to be calm and act like you have been there before.

At 1pm, you had to like our chances for the baby to get some sleep – but this schedule would conflict with the early games on the NFL docket. Maddie headed upstairs with her Grandmother and take in the Redskins game even though she had no vested interest in this particular contest. MiMi says Maddie seemed to get a little bit of sleep, but noticed that the little girl was secretly checking out the fantasy stats that were scrolling underneath the game on the television screen.

Surely the 5pm feeding would be ticket to trigger a massive sleeping event. Wrong again – Maddie was primed and ready to pull an “All-Dayer” as opposed to an “all-nighter.” Each waking moment only seem to strengthen her resolve.

At the 10pm feeding – Stay Home PaPa was running on fumes and the baby’s alert eyes told him all he needed to know – another showdown of cosmic proportions. Maddie ripped through her bottle in record time, but had no intention of going down without a fight. Putting her in the crib only ramped things up. I cajoled, coaxed and crowed all to no avail – Maddie wanted entertainment and there would be no bedtime without it!

I did a little song and dance, we took little strolls and practiced some extra burping sessions – surely she couldn’t keep this up – but she did. All seemed lost when finally, just before midnight, Princess Insomnia finally passed out on Dad’s chest. We can only hope and pray that this was just a one-day anomaly.

Shopping Trip Turns into Bad Remake of Speed

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Maddie understands that PaPa is not too quick!

During the movie Speed, Dennis Hopper spends a great deal of screen time doling out death quizzes to “Super-Cop” Keanu Reeves.

Due to negligent planning – Stay Home PaPa had his own Speed moment Friday morning when he found himself racing around a discount store with a restless ten pound explosive sitting in the shopping cart he was pushing.

“Pop quiz, hotshot – Big store, Baby ready to meltdown and you FORGOT the PACIFIER. What do you do? What do you do?”

None of the options at this point are very appealing. We are not exactly terribly far away from feeding time and Maddie seems more than willing to belt out some real noise if the mood is right.

Keeping with the “Speed” theme: The clock was ticking and if the speed of the shopping cart falls below 50 mph, everyone in the juice aisle is doomed. As soon as we penetrated the store – Maddie started to rumble. I pulled the cart to the side and assured Maddie that all was right in the world and that there was no need to panic.

The little girl seemed temporarily satisfied with my clumsy efforts and allowed our adventure to resume. I kicked the cart back into high gear and wheeled around the store yanking items off the shelf with reckless abandon – all the while keeping a close eye on my little time bomb.

I met each mini-meltdown with some positive reinforcement, crossed fingers and a rabbit foot as Maddie finally allowed the expedition to conclude without incident.

Lesson of the day – A man without a pacifier is like a fish without a bicycle. I have no idea what that even means!

Just Another Day in Paradise

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Will Maddie become a Jersey City cowgirl?

Researchers often talk about the correlation between music and brain development. The theory is that playing music for babies stimulates brain development by promoting the increased development of neural synapses. (Building up brain cell connections) The idea is that the more brain cell connections a baby develops – the faster they will be able to grasp language and motor skills.

We introduced Maddie to a wide variety of music, but she showed very little interest in any of it. We tried the classical route, some mellow stuff and even a little bit of progressive, but each time, our little girl turned up her nose. However, this week, we had found something she really liked – country music.

Ha, I can hear the moans and groans now – but Maddie lights up when the country starts playing. She starts cracking little smiles and you can tell she wants to join in. Of course, I would be lying if I said that Gina and I don’t chime in to help these country singers belt it out. Let’s be honest, Maddie seems grateful for the additional melodious voices of her parents.

It’s probably likely that Maddie is drawn more to the sound of the voices singing than the actual genre, but imagine a Jersey City girl introducing her classmates to Tim McGraw and Phil Vassar.

Who knows, maybe Maddie will give Taylor Swift a run for her money as soon as she learns how to talk and sing. The CMA awards may have to wait until next year, but Maddie knows that when it comes to country music, “It’s Just Another Day is Paradise!” 

Well, it’s ok. It’s so nice
It’s just another day in paradise
Well, there’s no place that
I’d rather be
Well, it’s two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise    – Phil Vassar 

Stand and Deliver

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Boot print left on the moon by Buzz Aldrin in July 1969

Maddie is never afraid to drop a little shock and awe into the lives of her parents and yesterday evening that’s exactly what she did.

The whole family (the three of us) were upstairs on the couch while Maddie contemplated her Week #2 Fantasy Football moves. She won her Week #1 head to head matchup and wants to keep the dream of capturing her first championship alive and well.

It was a lazy evening and Maddie was lying on her stomach across my right leg when I felt her weight shift. A quick glance towards the baby told me that I was suffering from baby illusions of grandeur. With her hands propped securely onto my right leg, Maddie was actually standing.

Those crazy legs were supporting the weight of her body as she looked up at me as if to say, “What’s all the hubbub, bub?” Gina was walking away from the couch and I was trying to keep it together.

“Ummm, Gina – Maddie is standing – Hurry UP – Get over Here!” Disbelief clouded Gina’s face, knowing that her husband must be making stuff up. But when Gina came around the couch – her mouth fell opened as she stared blankly at the baby.

Maddie held her ground and stood for nearly 15 extra seconds before those wild legs crumbled beneath her. I’m hoping that it’s going to be at least a few more months before our little explorer starts gallivanting around the house – but at this point, I can take nothing for granted.

Triple Play Delight Triggers HAZMAT Clean Up

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PaPa has been known to exaggerate!

Monday was Stay Home PaPa’s first solo campaign with Maddie and to quote the movie Good Will Hunting – the little girl was chalk full of shenanigans, tomfoolery and ballyhoo.

Things kicked off quietly with a little nap after the 5am feeding and the world was our oyster. But feeding number two at 9am was not quite so seamless.

The first challenge was that the baby’s normal four ounces suddenly became woefully inadequate. Maddie downed her normal meal and was screaming for more within seconds of the last swallow. Am I missing something? OK, I’ll heat up two more ounces and we’ll go from there. Little did I know that this was just the intro to the triple play delight she had planned for PaPa.

Once we were done feeding, we retired to the back room for a diaper change. The process was nearly completed when Maddie pulled a classic diversionary tactic. A little bit of spit up was all it took for Dad to really take his eye off the ball. I was wiping her mouth when the poop actually started flying. Whoops, time to fall back and regroup.

We were successfully meeting the first challenge when Maddie spit up all over her new shirt. (Maybe that extra two ounces was mistake?) No problem, the shirt came off, the poop had been captured and I was still holding my own.

But before I could start patting myself of the back – Maddie had one more card to play. That’s right, not a trickle, but a full-blown urine session. Due to the other incidents, we were in between diapers, papers towels and whatever else usually protects us from danger. Maddie and Daddy were treated to an impromptu loving liquid session that sent both of us to the HAZMAT showers early.