Spring Headlines

Obviously, I’ve fallen short for an effort to capture full-detail stories, but here are my best attempt at some headlines from the last couple of weeks!

Graham Contends for Title of Best Big Bro EVAH

My heart catches in my throat so much these days because Graham just, time and time again, bends over backward to love on his little Reid. In fact, G even goes so far as to call him “my baby”. If I pick up Graham from school early for a doc’s appointment or a swim class or something, he’ll worry aloud halfway to our destination about the status of his absent brother.

“Reid is in the baby class, Mommy? … Daddy’s picking up Reid? … Where is Reid? … Is Reid in the baby class at school?”

And so on and so forth.

Graham tells me what Reid does or doesn’t need when he’s crying – insisting that he knows Reid better than I do. This weekend when Reid started fussing, without a word, Graham got up, got Reid’s pacifier stuck it in his mouth, held it in long enough for Reid to get ahold of it, then got Reid’s little bunny [to be introduced later this entry] and gave it to him to snuggle. My heart stopped in the best way possible. ūüėČ

Andy Celebrates his 30th Birthday – Again!

I made the traditional frosted angelfood birthday cake complete with the traditional 3-candle salute. ūüėČ (Past, present and future!) We all sang “Happy Birthday” – except Reid, who toasted Andy’s birthday in his own way: by guzzling down 6-ounces of milk.

There were presents too – clothes, tools, gym membership (HINT HINT… j/k. actually just trying to gift my husband some de-stressing time) and a new picture frame from the boys complete with a print of their latest sitting.

Graham was amped about there being an ACTUAL (read: not made up) birthday in the house, and Reid, well, Reid did what Reid does best…

… sat there looking completely adorable.

Happy 31st, Baby!

Spring is in the Air

The boys had their annual Bonnet Parade and Easter Egg Hunt at school on March 22nd. It’s a tradition there to have the kids make spring-themed hats and parade around school showing off their efforts.

The weather was very cold outside, so the administration decided to keep kids indoors this year. We entered the school and the first thing we saw was Reid’s face through the window of his baby class wearing this little number:

O.M.G.

Andy and I suffered an instant and simultaneous death-by-cuteness. Nothing like a baby wearing an enormous flower on his head, completely unaware that anything is not as it should be.

Graham shared a similar reaction.

The kid could NOT stop laughing at his little brother.

Like… could not stop. Ever. It kind of went like this:

“HahahAHhAhAha… Look at Reid!! Look at Reid!! HAhaHahaHAhAhah Look at Reid!!!!”

So funny. But it didn’t make for an easy group pic. This was the best we could get.

Graham’s visor, if you’re curious, has green tissue paper leaves on it with a fuzzy red and yellow caterpillar crawling on it. Super adorable. Not that you can tell. He’s too busy busting a gut at the sight of his baby brother.

Happy Easter!

Easter followed shortly thereafter.

I sang at church, making for a super crazy day. The Easter Bunny visited our house, leaving these baskets…

… and hiding the eggs we’d dyed the day before.

 

I swear Paas egg dye has gotten crazy better since we dyed eggs as kids. I also credit Pinterest for giving me an idea on how to give the eggs a bit of extra time to absorb some color:

Ombre eggs! This was essentially a practice in serial dilutions. Drop an egg in an inch of dye, and keep adding water at given increments until the egg is covered.¬†Not that I care much for the fade-tastic trend, this was merely a way to keep anxious and impatient preschooler’s hands and mind occupied long enough to let the eggshells take up some dye. I think G did a really nice job!

So we hunted the Bunny’s eggs, ate some chocolate, got dressed and went to church, came home for naps, then proceeded to join up with friends at the Reeves’s annual Easter celebration.

Reid met all the little kiddos, but Mason was his favorite. :)

We hunted eggs there too!

Graham (bottom of the above picture) dominated – being well over a year older than everyone. He even got into a groove of cracking eggs open with one hand, taking the candy inside, then handing the empty egg shell to one of the little kids. (Don’t worry, we had him practice finding eggs and giving them – intact – to the toddlers too!)

Remember the little bunny from Reid’s Easter basket?

Reid LOVES him. I was shocked. I think the Easter Bunny got Graham and Reid matching bunnies just because he thought it was cute.

*ahem*

But apparently the Easter Bunny is smarter than I am, because Reid completely adores his rabbit. Arguably more than Graham loves his, but eh – too close to call. The bunnies were both hits for these little boys!

Miscellaneous Things Happen In Between Times

Apparently Reid is old enough for the Exersaucer now!

Or, as Graham calls it, the “Extra Sauce”. Reid loves himself a little ‘extra sauce’. I think he’s caught on a little quicker than Graham did. I have a very poor memory when it comes to, well, EVERYTHING relating to Graham’s babyhood, so maybe don’t take me at my word.

He grabs on to toys, spins them, bounces his legs, and spins in a slow circle as he explores what’s around him. Reid definitely prefers to be sitting (or standing?) upright. He is a man on the go and has no patience for laying about.

Somebody hold me, please.

The week of Andy’s birthday we caught Eric Clapton (and the Wallflowers – weird combo, no?) live at the American Airlines center. We had awesome seats and I think it *may* have been in my top 3 concerts ever. Seriously, that good.

We also saw Scott Weiland at the House of Blues the week following Clapton’s concert. It basically rated my worst concert experience, to date. Scott had two opening acts, one of which was actually really good but not our style (anybody a metalhead? anybody?) the other was more our style but.. yikes. Then Scott decided to make an appearance at 10:58 p.m. For those non-regular concert-goers – that’s actually SUPER late to start a headline act. Most are well finished by that hour, what with noise regulations in cities and whatnot. He appeared an HOUR AND A HALF¬†after the second opening act left the stage.

Since we had a sitter, to whom we’d promised to be home by midnight, we had to leave the show at 11:30. It was just as well, though because, as one reviewer put it, he “then¬†spent the next 70 minutes dismantling whatever legacy [Stone Temple Pilots] has left.”

Yikes x infinity

Lastly, Graham’s been trying out a couple of lessons. We started ice skating a few weeks ago:

I’m not sure if he likes skating or if he likes the suckers (okay, he likes the suckers) but he’s been catching on really well! Graham REALLY likes the idea of being able to skate like his daddy, but he’s not all that willing to put in the work needed to get there. I feel ya, buddy. Sometimes a guy just wants to be instantly good at something and not have to work so hard at it! Sometimes a girl does, too. ūüėČ

He’s also gearing up for summer with swim lessons too!

He took to lessons this year like a fish to water (no pun intended). He is LOVING getting in the pool, and his teacher is really excited about his quick progress. Yay Graham!

So, as you can see, we’ve been keeping quite busy around our house! The weather is, well, not trying to become spring-like at ALL. It’s been cold and rainy around here.

Graham’s been totally digging wearing his raincoat to school. (“It has dinosaurs on it!! RAWR!”) And Reid’s been managing to keep warm too!

In sorta related news: If you know of anyone whose kid has a larger-than-life noggin and needs to keep warm during brisky spring or fall weather (I think you need something warmer for winter) – I officially recommend L’ovedbaby’s Cute Cap knit hats. Reid’s been wearing the 3-6 month size since he was about 2 months old. They have been lifesavers in this unseasonably cold spring!

Today is better, the boys are off to school in short outfits, so progress is being made. I’ll be back on this week to post about Reid’s 4 Month doctor’s checkup and The Ear Infection that Does Not End. Another post for another time. Thanks for sticking with me for such a long entry!

Graham-y Awards

You’ve got your Oscars, your Golden Globes, your Tonys, but the award most lauded at our humble abode is the Grammy Award. ¬†Not to be confused with the music industry’s holy grail – no, our Grammy Awards are selected by the most discriminating of judges: Graham his very own self. ¬†Sometimes an honorable mention comes from Andy or I, but the final call always come from the G-meister.

Over the last [not quite] 14 months, I’ve collected quite the list of award-winners. ¬†:)

Here they are, in the order which they were received.

Best. Nightlight. Ever.

The Homedics Sound Spa Lullaby machine. ¬†Oh, sweet deliverer of sleep, hallowed be thy name. ¬†Graham has used this machine to its fullest capacity. ¬†We started using it when he was a newborn, piping heartbeat sounds into the room. ¬†Eventually, he graduated to ocean sounds. ¬†Sometimes rain, but ocean worked the best. ¬†Then, when he started sitting up and the mobile had to come off the crib, we used the projector function to project a rotating parade of animals/fish/stars above his bed. ¬†The sheer beauty of this thing? ¬†It has a 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute timer. ¬†We still use it, but now it’s a lullaby on a 15-minute timer and done. ¬†Very helpful for when we have friends and family over and we need some white noise to keep Graham in a peaceful slumber.

Best Ticket Out of the House


We’ve covered this. I don’t need to say much more except: zero regrets.

Best Mommy Impulse Buy

You can get these at big box baby stores nowadays, but in the days leading up to Graham’s arrival, I ended up buying, not one,but FOUR of these off the Internet because – in my infinite prenatal wisdom – I felt that not only my baby should have this, but everyone else’s should as well. ¬†Graham loved his Wubbanub though, and this monkey helped position Graham’s bink in his mouth in a way that was much safer and gentler than, say, duct tape, and in a much more sanity-preserving way than, say, holding my finger in his mouth day and night.

Best Girl’s Toy for a Boy

Another early days purchase. ¬†Sleep a distant memory, I blearily scoured the Internet message boards looking for something that would help this kid sleep fortheloveofgod, and I stumbled on hundreds of moms who swore by ‘The Seahorse’. ¬†On a solid 25 minutes sleep, I started having visions that this seahorse was made of mystical powers and somehow possessed a charm that would make our house hold a little less “Night of the Living Dead” and a little more “Rip Van Winkle”. ¬†I packed a screaming baby into the Jeep and took off for the nearest merchandise dealer. ¬†In our case, Target. ¬†Fisher Price seahorses come in two colors: ¬†blue for boys and pink for girls. ¬†Wouldn’t you know it? ¬†All they had was pink, but – baby screams in my ears and jangled nerves in my soul, I grabbed that pink seahorse, threw it in the cart and muttered some barely-coherent sentiments about gender programming being sooo 20th century.

Graham loved this seahorse. ¬†He would be all swaddled up in blankets, sucking on his monkey paci and gazing, lovingly into the eyes of a glowing, singing seahorse as his eyelids drooooooooooooped into a peaceful slumber. All while listening to the ocean roaring in his bedroom. He’s going to be in therapy someday, I just know this. There was very little that was natural about his sleep habits those first three months.

Best Swaddling Blankets

Expectant mommies, you will get blankets. ¬†Oohhhhhhhhhh you will get BLANKETS. ¬†But, if your kid requires swaddling, you’re gonna want these. ¬†Or, I guess I should say, if your kid requires swadding past the first month, you’re going to want these. ¬†These are the biggest, most breathable swaddling blankets ever. ¬†Not cheap though, sadly, but – to us, at least – so worth the expense. ¬†Now, I’m trying very hard to establish these blankies as Graham’s loveys because frankly, I’m not quite ready to pack them away yet.

Best Swaddling Blankets for Caregivers

Whether they’re babysitters, daycare providers or well-intentioned grandparents, if they haven’t had a newborn in the last three months, they’re going to struggle to get your baby wrapped up tight. ¬†This is where the Summer Infant SwaddleMe comes in. ¬†A great stop-gap with simple, simple instructions to calm that whackadoo Moro reflex.

Best Compromise

He wanted to be held all day.  I wanted to make a sandwich and run some laundry through.  Thanks to the Moby Wrap, we both got our way.  And I got some righteous back-muscle definition to boot!

Best Teether


Hard to remember that Sophie is a modest teether, isn’t it? ¬†Apparently, she has all these early-childhood-development-stimulating qualities that the good people at Vulli are quick to point out. ¬†She has a lot of other qualities that Graham would like to point out:

Sophie was, and is, our daily hero. ¬†Graham loved her… loves her and, thus, we love her.

Best Tushie Cream

Wow. ¬†I got one of these tubs from a mom at one of my baby showers and… wow. ¬†I always enjoyed giggling at the ridiculous name in the diaper aisle, but this stuff is amazing. I never really realized it until I started using Balmex or Desitin. ¬†Graham, whose diaper rashes have all been relatively minor and infrequent, on another diaper cream = rashes that won’t go away. ¬†Graham on Boudreaux’s = faded rash after an overnight use and nonexistent rash the following day. ¬†Magic, I tell you.

Most Valuable Player

I think we all would’ve perished from the earth had Graham not had this beautiful activity center. ¬†I am forever indebted to my beautiful sister-in-law Erin for thinking of this gift based on her previous childcare experience. ¬†You’re not supposed to use this until about 4 months of age, we started Graham on it at 12 weeks, and we used it until Graham was finally flat-footed on the saucer at it’s tallest setting. ¬†And a little beyond that. ¬†It’s really hard to give up your child’s stationary phase.

I still remember his dramatic readings of “Farm” – this little plastic book among the rest of the toys. ¬†Graham was surrounded by 360 degrees of multisensory objects, and – given a choice – he would’ve chosen the book as his hands-down favorite any day of the week and thrice on Tuesday. ¬†Go figure.

Best $3 Investment

Again, a world of toys at his fingertips, and the humble stacking cups stack up. ¬†Pardon the pun. ¬†Graham is always amused by these. ¬†They entertain him arguably longer than any of his other toys. ¬†He LOVES stacking and nestling and knocking these across the room. ¬†They’re great in the bath, in the high chair, in a box or with a fox.

And every night I have to locate all eight of these little buggers and stack them in their intended order or I CAN’T SLEEP. ¬†It’s sick.

Best Finger Food

Graham’s one molar shy of being able to eat steak and he STILL loves Cheerios. ¬†I’ll never forget how difficult it seemed to be for him to pinch one of these little toasted cereal pieces in his teeny little fingers. ¬†Once in his tenuous pincer grasp, it would begin the long, treacherous journey from the tabletop to his mouth, which was opened with anticipation, his eyes, crossed, trying to watch this little ‘o’ make its way to its intended target. ¬†Andy and I would both erupt in an exaggerated “AWWWW” when that Cheerio would drop, and Graham would have to start the process all over again.

Now he can open his little Cheerios container and eat them by the fistfuls ala Cookie Monster.  How times have changed.

Best Sleeper Shower Gift

Ladies and Gentlemen, Snack Traps.  You dump a small fistful of Cheerios or Gerber Puffs in the cup, snap on the lid (which looks rather like a garbage disposal trap) and voila!  A puzzle that gives your kid an intermittent food reward, which will keep him/her occupied for sheer minutes at a time.  I know!  What will you do with all that free time?!  A friend of mine (yes, a mother) got me two of these at my baby shower.  Genius.

And double bonus: Graham loves them! ¬†I can stick him in the Pack n’ Play with a Snack Trap full of Cheerios, and he’s happy long enough for me to dry my hair and apply my makeup. ¬†Or he can, piece-by-piece, empty the cup into his lap in the carseat on our way to daycare. ¬†The birds in the parking garage at our daycare are fat and happy, I tell you. ¬†They would support this award as well.

Best Pantry Staple

We call them “‘oli’s” ¬†at our house. ¬†Shelf stable. ¬†No tomato sauce. 25 seconds in the microwave. ¬†Graham loves them. ¬†Hallelujah.

Best Freezer Staple

Thanks to Birds Eye’s new Steamfresh frozen vegetable line of products, Andy and I have been getting our vegetables in every day since Graham was born. ¬†My mom found these, I believe, at the store while she was taking care of us. ¬†That, or a friend of ours brought these veggies over with a meal during the early weeks. ¬†Honestly? ¬†It’s a bit hazy. ¬†All I know is: these have been a freezer staple ever since.

However, some nights, I just need something for Graham, and I often found myself wishing aloud (or contemplating calling Birds Eye customer service to request) that they make individual serving portions of these puppies.

Wish GRANTED! ¬†One minute on high in the microwave. ¬†No dishes. ¬†Fresh steamed veggies. ¬†Pair with some oli’s and you’re a solid minute and a half from a toddler dinner when you’re desperate and haven’t been to the store in forever.

Best Retail Discovery

And finally – I don’t know where we’d be without resale shopping. ¬†About 15% of Graham’s entire wardrobe is actually new from the store, the rest has been worn by another child. ¬†We love this place, pictured above: Once Upon a Child. ¬†It’s owned by the same people as Play it Again Sports. ¬†They are VERY picky about what they accept which means I’m not picking through piles of stained clothing. ¬†It’s the reason Graham has been spotted in sports jackets, laceless Converse, Robeez, Vans, Janie and Jack, Ralph Lauren, etc. ¬†Not that the names are in any way important, but I DO get a high when I find a Gymboree jumper for $5 brand new with the tags on. ¬†Just sayin’. ¬†We’re spending less than if we’d bought his entire wardrobe at Target. ¬†I am in heaven.

Graham loves it too, because their toy selection is awesome.  Inevitably I end up sifting through the racks while the boys find the toy section.  Too fun.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

So, that’s it for now. ¬†If you’ve got what you think might be a contender for a Grammy Award, let us know. ¬†I have a ready and willing little man who would love to let you know what he thinks! ¬†:)

But Don’t Take My Word for it…

Very little in a child’s life is completely predictable,” says Jim Trelease in the Read Aloud Handbook. “And then along comes this book that your repeated readings have made entirely predictable, something at which the young child is suddenly an expert. Expert ‚ÄĒ what a proud merit badge for one so young to wear.” So try not to get impatient if many readings ‚ÄĒ and the answers to lots of questions ‚ÄĒ fail to wear out your child’s interest in a particular book.

This was part of an article on babycenter.com about reading aloud to your child.¬† One point of interest was that –¬†when it comes to a toddler’s library –¬†‘less is more’.¬† Thus, the above quote.

Graham’s verbal skills are like a latent, but brewing, storm.¬† I can see it in his eyes.¬† He throws around consonants now and directs them at objects.¬† He looks at me to see if what he said just then made any sense.¬†¬† Who knew that the mutual excitement shared by the utterance of ‘Uh-oh!’ would intitate this snowball effect.¬† Graham wants to talk now.¬† I think his eyes were opened to the possibility of communication, and – for the time being¬†– it appears to be a very exciting proposition to him.¬†

Just this morning, he looked in the mirror at himself and said, “Buh.¬† Buh.¬† Buh!”¬† So I said, “Baby?”¬† He furrowed his little brows a little and whispered, no¬†practiced, ‘buh… buh…’.¬† So, I picked up a little CD cover with a picture of a baby on it, which was laying by the boombox I keep in the bathrrom (yes, we rock out to children’s music during bathtime), pointed to it and said, “Baby!”¬† He looked at the CD and [louder this time] said, “Buh-buh-buh.”¬†

Then he smiled.

What does this have to do with books?¬† I’ll tell you.¬† My gut reaction whenever Graham’s skills start to emerge is to find 35 objects that build that skill explicitly.¬† He can stack things?¬† Oh, well, you can stack cups.¬† And blocks.¬† And books.¬† And mega Legos.¬† And pillows.¬† And… you fill in the blank.¬†

Interested in words?¬† Oh my gosh, I’ve been reading you the same 5 books since you were days old!¬† Travesty, I say.¬† When I was in grade school, I read all the primary-level¬†(ahem, ‘red dot books’, as I called them since they had red dots on the spine)¬†and secondary-level (‘green dot’ books) available in the Decatur Library.¬† I l-o-v-e-d books growing up.¬† Still do¬†–¬†but especially back then.¬† So much so, that¬†I still remember you could only check out a maximum of 7 books on a youth library card.

Just as I started to let neurosis creep in, I read the article I clipped for you above.¬† So Graham actually likes hearing these books over and over, you say?¬† Rock on.¬† Here is Graham’s no-nonsense (okay, a little nonsense!) toddler library.

Goodnight Moon: What can go wrong in the great green room, I ask you?¬† Any nursery¬†that has a fireplace, a telephone, not one – but TWO clocks, mice (?!), and an old cold¬†bowl of mush on the sidetable is A-OK in my book.¬† Maybe it’s the subtle but consistent darkening of the room as the book progresses, but Graham’s eyes start to droop by “Goodnight nobody, goodnight mush”.¬† And – I don’t know what it is – but I get tingles every time I read, “Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.”¬† Sigh.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar:¬† This is the book that inspired Graham to start flipping pages for the first time.¬† He always flipped backward.¬† I took it to mean I was reading too fast, but actually it just meant that he wanted to turn pages and didn’t realize that mommy didn’t have the book memorized yet so she actually needed the visual cues to continue the story.¬† It was my limitation, not his.¬† :)¬† Graham still likes to flip the pages of this book, and, if you’ve read it, you know why.¬† All those fun partial pages to puzzle out.¬† He loves the junk food page (who doesn’t) and can’t resist touching the hole in the lollipop.¬† Can. not. resist.¬† And by the time you get to the parts of the book where all the food pictures go away, he is totally bored with the book.¬† The end.

The Snowy Day:  A favorite from my childhood, Grandpa and Grandma P got this for Graham during his first week of life.  DFW then, consequently, had a record-setting snowfall that week, so this book became awesomely appropriate for him to have in his collection.  The story is a bit long and involved for him right now, but we read it to him during snowy/icy days, nonetheless.

Pat the Bunny:¬† A personal favorite of mine from childhood.¬† I believe I’ve talked about this before in his 11 Months post, but I will never forget the awe-filled evening when I realized Graham could do all the activities in the book.¬† Awe.¬† Filled.¬† We still don’t know how to sniff the flowers like Paul though.¬† Someday.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear:¬† Picked this up on a whim when I heard someone refer to it as a classic.¬† I’d never read it, and one fateful day when I wandered into the children’s section of Barnes and Noble with Graham, I picked it up and flipped through the pages with him.¬† His 4-month-old face lit up when he saw the splashy, colorful pictures of animals.¬† Sold.¬† Just last month I kicked it up a notch when I paired stupid animal voices and sounds with the pictures, and Graham responded with fits of giggles, belly laughs, and glittering eyes ripe with anticipation for the next page.¬† I reach for this book the most now.

The Going to Bed Book:¬† A very¬†recent addition to G’s library, this book is highly entertaining to me.¬† As such, it gets added to his before bed book routine on top of whatever we’ve read first.¬† Plus, the last page reads, “The moon is high, the sea is deep, we rock… and rock… and rock… to sleep” which is the most beautiful way to force an end-of-the-book slowdown that almost always makes Graham’s eyelids droop.¬† Love it.

We’ve got other books that we loop in too.¬† There’s a book Graham got from his grandparents for his birthday which is a picture book of the bedtime routine.¬† We’ve been going through that one more of late (of course, it’s only been two weeks since his birthday, hasn’t it!)¬† These six above, though,¬†are the mainstays that have almost always assured that my energetic, rough-and-tumble little boy is lights out within mere minutes of being placed in his crib.¬†¬†I’m very glad¬†to know I don’t need to stress over constantly mixing up the repertoire.¬† :)

A Room of His Own

It’s why we bought this house. The game room upstairs. 2 living spaces in a house is a beautiful thing, but – for us – one living space in the front of the house and another in the back of the house isn’t really a selling point. We just don’t entertain that much. Not with ‘front living room guests’ especially. No, once we saw how the previous owners had this house laid out with an adult family room downstairs and a kids playroom upstairs, we suddenly had new non-negotiable house critieria.

The upstairs game room has been housing Andy’s folks’ old furniture to date. And the old TV. And I think I sat up there with Graham a few times on maternity leave while the cleaning lady cleaned downstairs. Otherwise, it functioned as a 1980s furniture showroom.

Mobility is not only the name of the game with Graham these days, it is an absolute given. Graham now gets fussy when put in the Exersaucer and squirms a ton when he’s being held stationary. He wants to go, go, go, so thank GOODNESS Andy and I were on our game and ordered a new couch and upholstered ottoman with no time to spare. The couch was delivered Friday. We went to work making up Graham’s playroom on Saturday.

Now, we have only furniture with rounded edges, covered outlets and secured doors that enclose various audiovisual media. The computer has moved upstairs out of the kitchen too, because – hey – as long as we’re spending all our time upstairs, we might as well have all our forms of entertainment available to us – right? I also went ahead and bought a couple of curtain panels to dress up the window. Andy spent a bunch of time getting a safety gate installed at the top of the stairs. And voila! Instant (kind of) playroom!

“He likes it! Hey, Mikey!”

It does the heart good to see Graham play up here now. He crawls over to something, pulls up, plays vertically for awhile, drops back down on his butt, crawls over to something else, pulls up on that, and so on and so forth. It’s how he gets to play at school. So awesome to not be constantly worried about trying to prevent him falling over. Now, we can let him play. And he can fall. And it’s alllllll okay. He gets to learn about cause and effect and balance and all that jazz. And our stress level, as a direct result has completely bottomed out. Winner. :)

The Woombie

I’m astounded that I have not yet reached my husband’s tolerance threshold for the “but I had to have it, honey” purchases I’ve made for the baby in the last six weeks. Okay, fine, it started before Graham got here too, but it’s definitely picked up as my patience and desperation have completely run out and spiked through the roof, respectively.

One was the Moby Wrap, which we thoroughly discussed earlier.

Now I have a new love-of-the-week. Folks, meet “The Woombie.”

Graham looooves to be swaddled. In fact, I attribute the swaddling for the 5-6 hour stretch of sleep he has at night. The one preference he seems to have regarding our swaddling method is that his hands need to be swaddled near his face. Don’t ask why. Maybe that’s how he was positioned in utero. Regardless, this is his one requirement.

To swaddle, Andy and I found that we need to use two flannel receiving blankets. One to swaddle him, the other to hold the swaddle together if he’s restless. If we don’t use the second blanket, the first falls apart within minutes. No good.

The ‘two flannel blankets’ thing has had me a little concerned as we begin to enter the warm season in Texas. All fine and well in February, but it’s bound to get a little warm eventually, no? Plus, all the parenting magazines and websites are quick to warn about the horrors of SIDS and how overheating (via two well-intentioned flannel blankets, no doubt) is a SIDS risk factor. Oh what is a hysterically paranoid mother to do?

Well… heh heh. The baby industry has been swift to offer many-an-option. There are plenty of blankets on the market these days designed to swaddle your baby and make swaddling easier while they’re at it. A popular one is called the Miracle Blanket. A woman at work gave us her Miracle Blanket to use for Graham. He HATED it. With a capital “H”. The reason? The Miracle Blanket pins the baby’s arms down by their sides. So, my boy – wrapped tightly in said Miracle Blanket – was spending his naptime/evening hours trying to free his arms instead of, you know,¬†sleeping.

Then I found the Woombie, which touts that it is most like the womb. Why? Well, simple. It’s a snugly-fitting sack, made of lightweight cotton Lycra (so very like Mother Nature, not, but keep reading) that keeps the arms in check (to ward off that nasty startle reflex newborns have) by keeping them against the infant’s body while still allowing them a slight range of motion. What does this mean for Graham? He can shift his arms around in this little sack, but they’re still snugly pinned to his body. Genius!

Second genius: the Woombie allows him to kick his legs to his heart’s content. So now Graham can either tuck them up underneath him like a frog, or streeeeetch them out if he’s trying to move around a pesky gas bubble. Love it.

We tried it out this afternoon. After a few minutes of a “what the hell, Mom” look on his face, Graham fell sound asleep on my lap. And he transitioned without breaking stride to his Pack N Play to finish out his nap. Success!

So, we’re fans of the Woombie at our house. Mark this one as a definite “Like.”