Thursday, June 30, 2011


Many little things have happened this week, so before we embark on our next adventure, I'm noting them for posterity.

On Monday, after several rounds of a bit of blood in his stool, we saw the ped and tested positive for allergic colitis - that is, cow's milk sensitivity/allergy.  This is really common in babes, and mostly they grow out of it.  The result is that I am now off of dairy products and on calcium supplements.  There is already a difference in Andrew.  His poops (tmi, sorry, I know, but hey, it's my blog) are much less runny/mucousy and have a thicker more pasty texture, and he has much less gas.  On the plus side for me, cheese tends to be my diet downfall, so hopefully this restriction will help out with my post-partum weight loss.

On Tuesday, Mr. Andrew turned two months old.  For the first time ever, he slept for a full nap (2 1/4 hrs) all by himself in his crib - not touching a person and not in motion (in the swing or the car).  And then that afternoon he did it again for an hour.  And the next morning.  So we got brave last night and put him down for the first segment of night sleep at 8:15pm in his crib, and he slept there soundly until 11:45pm!  I knew it would happen, but didn't really believe it - our boy is able to sleep by himself!  On a non-moving flat surface! This is incredibly exciting.  He's growing up!  Now if only he'd put himself to sleep instead of crying for help and needing rocked or bounced.  Ah, someday.

Also on Tuesday, it was very warm outside, so we had some naked time on the porch.  This was suggested by one of my books as a developmental thing to introduce him to his body.  We took off all his clothes and just let him feel the breeze.  Plus he's got a really cute bod.  ;)

Yesterday, we went to see Andrew's first movie - Cars 2 - with Shena Auntie.  It was SO FUN.  We went to the first matinee of the day, and there were plenty of little ones chit-chatting, so any noise we made was really no big deal.  Andrew was great!  He nursed, and then he watched the movie for about an hour.  He was really entertained by all the colors, lights, and sounds.  Then he made his "I'm tired" fuss, so we cuddled up and he slept for the rest of the movie.  Not bad.  I think I'll make it a goal to see more movies before I go back to work.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baby's First Camping Trip

On Friday, Andrew had his two month doctor's visit.  He's 62%ile for weight, 51%ile for height, and 54%ile for head circumference.  He's grown two whole inches since birth!  I'm so impressed.  He also got his first round of vaccinations, which made his leg very sore all afternoon/evening.  The poor guy - we put on his diapers really loose and let him sleep on our chests while he recovered.

Battle scars

Also of note around Pine Hill -- all the birdies are hatching their babies!  A finch couple made a nest in the hanging flower basket that Travis and Andrew got me for Mother's Day, and a few days ago, we started to hear the cheep-cheep of little beaks.  It's hard to get a good shot of them without disturbing them - the nest is tucked down in the (impressively flourishing) flowers, but here's a good attempt from Travis.  You can see the little fluff balls and one little beak.  There are four chicks in there.

Flower basket location

The bluebirds who nest in our little birdhouse also have chicks - we can hear them peeping.  But they are too hard to see.

The main event for this weekend was that Andrew had his first camping trip!  We went up to Pike National Forest just east of the Lost Creek Wilderness.  All of the established campgrounds were full and very very crowded, so we ended up freedom camping at an established site up on a ridge at Stoney Pass.  Andrew enjoyed all of the sights and sounds of the outdoors, and we had a nice hike up the 4wd road in the BOB stroller.  He even slept really well at night!

We had made the assumption that there is a dichotomy paradox for tents similar to the way there is a dichotomy paradox for duffel bags.  That is - no matter how much stuff you've got in there, you can always get one more thing in.  We have an REI Half Dome 2+ tent, which is a two-man tent.  We figured, well hey, Andrew's just a little bit more person, we should all be able to cuddle up in there, right?  Yeah not so much.  Andrew may have slept well, but mommy and daddy had a fairly rough night all contorted up to make room.  So, uh, next on the list is a three man tent of some sort.  To accommodate our little man.

Other than that, it was really super fantastic to be in the mountains again, and we can't wait to get back out there again... with a little more elbow room.

Nursing in the great outdoors.

The view

4... er... 3wd stroller

Super action video of off-road stroller

Happy Andrew

Summit photo!! much as this ridge had a summit...

Napping with daddy after a tough hike.

Getting ready for bed.

Sleepy parents.  Awake baby.

Outdoor diaper change

Bonus Photo!  Today's post-bath handsome hair:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

This past week/weekend brought baby's first airplane trip, baptism, and meeting many grandparents for the first time.  It was a busy, wonderful time.

On Wednesday morning, Andrew and I made our way to the Denver airport.  Travis had to work, so he was coming on Friday, which meant that I was on my own for taking care of the babe on his first flight.  We got to the airport and I anticipated him being hungry, so I nursed him on one side after I parked the car, sitting in the back of the jeep.  When he was done there, I wrapped him up in the wrap carrier and hauled the bags and stroller to the shuttle bus stop.  Unfortunately, he decided that one side just wasn't enough to eat and he fussed and fussed and fussed about it.  I couldn't very well stop and sit down to nurse him some more - we had a schedule to keep.  So I let him latch on right inside the carrier!  The wrap covered us both up so no one could really see what was going on.  And he nursed in there all the way through loading the bags, the bus ride, and all the way through checking our luggage at the counter!  He fell asleep in the wrap, which was just fine for me, so I could get on with our business.

At security, I was a well oiled machine.  I had all my stuff organized and the stroller collapsed and on the belt before many people without kids had their stuff together.  I had visualized this many times in preparation, imagining exactly how I would take everything apart and put it back together, and it paid off.  I did get in a small fight with the TSA agent about taking him out of the wrap or not - I had quadruple checked the night before to ensure I knew the rules, and I was sure that it said that you could wear baby through the metal detector in a fabric carrier and not be subject to "additional screening" unless you set off  the alarm.  I surely didn't want to take him out and wake him up and make life more difficult for *everyone*.  Turns out the language is actually "may or may not be subject to additional screening," and so of course the TSA opts for "may."  So we got a pat down from an apologetic supervisor.  She was nice enough to tie my shoes for me, which was above and beyond her job description.

Here we are at the gate for DEN-ORD:

Our upgrade to first class cleared, and so we sat in row 6 on the domestic 777.  Andrew immediately charmed everyone in the cabin.  We sat next to a friendly Idahoan girl on her first international trip - heading to a cousin's wedding in the UK.  We chatted through most of the flight.

Midway through the flight, a flight attendant came through and gave Andrew his United wings for being such a great passenger:

He was a great flyer!  He spent most of the time looking around the cabin, gazing at the bright windows, or being fascinated by the reading lights.  He fell asleep for about 30 minutes, which was enough time for me to eat my salad.  I was pretty impressed with myself, that I could wrangle a baby and lunch at the same time in an aircraft seat.  I nursed him on take off and landing, although he was really done eating mostly during taxi and he finished halfway through the descent.  His ears seemed fine - he never fussed about it.

We had to hustle to our Detroit flight with a short connection time.  But I knew I *had* to change his diaper, as he had been pooping up a storm ever since I had last changed his diaper just before boarding.  Indeed, he had a bit of a leaky diaper, though thankfully not a blowout.  As soon as that was done, it was time to board our RJ for Detroit.

The First class cabin was full of businessmen who looked skeptical about the baby.  When he fussed on taxi, I let him latch on.  He made the funniest face when the plane accelerated to take off - his eyebrows went waaaay up.  He nursed - first for eating, then for comfort - through the majority of the 50 minute flight.  He fell asleep and I wasn't about to wake him, so he made it through almost all of descent without nursing.  After landing, all of the gentlemen in first jumped up to help me -- I can't help but think they were impressed at my quiet, calm guy.

Here he is, the old pro, freshly landed in Detroit:

So we spent a few days at Grandma Joyce's house, getting ready for the weekend festivities, garage sale-ing, and generally having a good time.  Look at this smile:

On Friday afternoon, Daddy flew in and we went to go meet Grandma Mary Ellen and Grandpa Jerry for the very first time at their hotel.  Here are some pictures of that adventure:

On Saturday, June 18, Andrew was baptized.  He was welcomed into God's family at his grandparents house, surrounded by a small group of family and friends.  There was a lot of legacy going on there.  Andrew's first name is from his paternal great-grandpa, and his middle name is shared by his dad, paternal grandpa, and maternal great-grandma.  He was baptized by his Great-Grandpa (Pastor) Larry - the first of the great-grandchildren to have that honor.  He was baptized wearing his Great-Grandma Delores's baptismal gown, and the bowl that held the water once belonged to his great-great-grandma.  He was blessed to be joined by four of his five living great-grandparents, and all four grandparents, in addition to other friends and family.  It was really really special.

Meeting Great-Grandma Delores for the first time

Receiving the sign of the cross from Pastor Paul

Getting baptized by Great-Grandpa Larry

Trying on great-grandpa's baptismal bonnet

Wearing great-grandmas precious baptismal gown

This is all of Andrew's living lineage, except for Great-Grandma Sarah

Andrew's godparents: Dave, Sarah, and Uncle Tyler

The Pastors

Great-great Grandma Kanehl's glass bowl

Our dear friend Laura, who represented the church congregation at the small gathering

A belated mother's day photo: four generations

After the baptism, we celebrated Uncle Tyler's graduation from the Air Force Academy with a party.  Michigan congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who gave Tyler his appointment to the Academy, sent a representative with congratulations and commendations for him and Monique. The representative was the recipient of Tyler's first salute as an officer:

The next day was Father's Day, and after an awesome worship service at church led by Grandpa Mike, we got to spend the afternoon hanging out with ALL of Andrew's fathers:
Four generations of MEN

Even though the family weekend was over, there was still one more adventure to be had - the flight back to Denver, this time with Daddy in tow.

First airline lounge: Lufthansa Senator Lounge at DTW

Happy flying family.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

mommy moment

I love it when he falls asleep up high on my shoulder, but then he moves down to put his head on my chest so he can hear my heartbeat.



We had a great night last night -- 9:30pm-5:30am with 2 very short wakeups/nursings and no 4am party time!  And now we are cuddling quietly in bed checking email and facebook together.  Sufficient sleep = happy mama.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Earlier this week, Andrew helped Daddy with some Matlab code debugging:

After such hard work, he needed a bit of a break.  We spent this weekend down in Denver at the Hyatts - part of a points-and-status earning deal, but also a little staycation for us and a chance to practice travel with a baby.

Since we've generally enjoyed the perks that come with Hyatt Diamond status, we've generally been committed to requal-ing this year.  With my work travel down significantly, we're scraping to get the required 25 stays this year, and angling for every possibility.  Hyatt's (somewhat lame) spring promotion was called Possibilities, or something like that, and amounted to 10,000 bonus points after 5 stays.  Pretty much a repeat of the Great 10K from the fall.  Normally, this wouldn't be all that excited to us (compared to Faster Free Nights!), but we know we're going to need some mattress runs eventually, so we might as well do a few now while there are bonus points involved.  When Hyatt ran a mediocre 48-hour sale in late May, we booked up 5 nights, at least 2 of which we could somewhat rationalize a need for.

Well, as luck would have it, Hyatt later announced the start of a separate, yet stackable, promotion with Southwest, whereby 5 Hyatt stays earned 19,000 Southwest points in their new Rapid Rewards program.  Normally we could care less about WN and RR in general, but this promo, combined with the 10K promo, and the fact that we need some stays, made it pretty worthwhile.  While we're not experts in the land of WN, 19k points seems to have a value of about $300 or so we're told.  Valuing 10K Hyatt points at about 1.5 cpm is another $150 in value.  (Of course, we also earned Diamond Amenity points for the stays, 3500 total.)

Hyatt points:   13500 = ~$200
Southwest RR points:  19,000 = $300

Value of points = $500

Total cost of rooms = $375

Net = $125

Not a bad deal.  Of course, we really did need one of the rooms, so that adds about $50 of value to the package.  And for our stay at the Hyatt DTC, Diamonds get breakfast at the buffet, which is really quite good (though probably not $15 good which is the retail price) and does factor into our calculations!  Finally I'm 20% closer to Diamond next year and getting to do this all again.....

Living it up at the HP

This was not his first stay at a hotel, but rather his third and fourth, the first of which I've been meaning to write about in a blogging backlog.  But from our experience, it seems like Andrew sleeps extremely well in hotels, even better than at home.  Maybe this means we need to purchase a Hyatt Grand Bed?

I was also able to almost-capture the smile, and get a video of his newfound voice and quiet playtime:

Also this weekend was the REI garage sale at the Downtown Denver location.  We scored enough shoes to keep Andrew in Keens through early childhood:

And because of the silly rules at the downtown REI with regard to their garage sales, Andrew has now become the youngest REI member ever*:

Now we're back at home and ready to cheer on the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA championship with Katherine, Corey, and Frank.  It's our boy's first party!

*This statement not verified by REI.