Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Maintenance up

Keenan is currently going thru a very high maintenance, wingey, I need 24 hrs of mommy and her boobies stage. So I’ve been away from the ‘ol blog fer a while. I’m currently typing with 1 hand as he is sleeping in my other arm. Thank goodness for intuitive word processing.

Apologies to Gina, I got your msg and will reply when I’ve gained control of my other hand! I hope all is going well in these first few weeks. Keep up the ganbatte spirit.

Gotta run, the babe awakes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A year ago today…

...driving in the pouring rain on a road thru the Hidaka mountains I felt the first sensations of a life starting to grow inside of me. I knew the test would be positive. My outlook on life would never be the same. There were those few hours before I told Sean what I was feeling and it was such a bizarre point in time, the beginning of the end of just the two of us. As soon as I told Sean we would be on the other side. The side of not just hoping but being. I was calmly excited and I enjoyed those hours of being the only one to know. I felt like I was being afforded a unique time for reflection and I developed a deep sense of appreciation for the road that had brought us to that exact point in time. School, work, travel, love, death, all that couple stuff (the good, the bad, the ugly and the great!), great friends, awesome family, personal growth and now we were be given the one thing that nobody else could give us but ourselves (and possibly divine intervention?!) the beginnings of a family. How truly miraculous indeed!

Fast forward a year and here we are with Keenan and we’re already talking about when we’re going to have the next baby. I’m pleased to be one step ahead of the folks back home on that question for once! The best part for me is that the second one was always a big “if”. I wasn’t really sure I could handle being a mom and now I realize it might possibly be the best job on earth.

Written on August 15

Saturday, August 12, 2006

13 Weeks/3 Months

Keenan Mosaic
Originally uploaded by locket479.
Dearest Keenan,

Happy 3 months birthday! The last 3 months have gone by so quickly. All of a sudden you’ve become curious, engaging, talkative and mobile in your own rolling little ways! We love to sit and listen to you babble on in Keenan speak. You are so emphatic that at times your words come out in high pitched yips or bubbling raspberries. And when you are serious your brow furrows exactly the same way as your daddy’s. You fall asleep in our arms so easily and you definitely would rather snuggle with us than be put down. I love that feeling of having your warm little body cradled in my arms. I could stare into your face for hours while I hold you. You like to sleep stretched out and on your side but you would rather sleep on your tummy if only your mommy and daddy would let you. We’re in the process of moving you into your crib for most of the night and it’s a hard thing for me to do but it’s just too hot and cramped to have us in the same bed all night. Plus you have a habit of thrashing about from 4 until 7 and you kick off your covers and MINE! Last week you started hanging onto my clothes when carried and you now keep your head held high when we’re walking about. For some reason this past week you cry when we put you in your car seat but you’re still happy to fall asleep or watch the landscape blur by as we’re moving. You are 100% breast fed which is a battle we both won with tears. It was really hard in the first month. You preferred sleeping to eating and when you did eat you didn’t suck hard enough which caused my milk supply to decrease. I’m sorry if you felt hungry at times but it was that hunger that spurned you on to learn how to suck properly which brought my milk supply back up. I celebrate every one of your quabbles and creases as a victory of motherhood.

You have an adorable little round tummy but really narrow hips so it’s been hard to get the next size of diapers to stay on. The only problem is you were still wearing infant diapers but not having infant sized poops! Well congrats, you wore your last infant diaper last week and have no problem filling the next size up now! Your eyes are still blue though somewhat darker and leaning more towards grey now. You have an ever-growing amount of chins and quabbles and yesterday daddy noticed for the first time that you have dimples on your elbows! Your hair is still the loveliest strawberry blond and it looks like your new hair is coming in the same color or a little blonder. At this point you haven’t lost too much of it, only on the sides and you don’t have that bald patch at the back of your head either. What you do have on the back of your head is the exact same birthday as your daddy. You have strong hands with long fingers and adorable feet that are big like daddy’s but with my toes! By the grace of God you managed to end up with my long torso and your daddy’s long legs (daddy long legs ha-ha!) instead of the other way around (short legs, short body). At this point you look pretty much like your daddy, which I’m ok with ‘cause you know, you are a boy! I do see myself in you in a lot of ways. You have my nose, mouth, chin and exact replica’s of my big toes!

In an effort to keep you cool this week I was wiping you down with a wet face cloth and you grabbed it and put it in your mouth. Now you’re starting to put other things in your mouth like our fingers and your rattles. Soon everything you encounter will be similarly tasted. It is truly fascinating to watch you explore your world. From the people you meet to the most ordinary everyday objects, everything is regarded with the same wonderment. I can only imagine the kinds of things you’re going to get into over the next 3 months!

Happy 3 months on the outside wee boy! I am so looking forward to watching you grow and learn.

All my love,

Mommy oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

***Thanks to Sara who made the Keenan mosaic of photo’s from the last 3 months. We love you Auntie Sara!!!***

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Baby book ends, daddy’s home and my first 7 hours of blissful sleep in 3 months!!!!

Well yesterday was another scorcher of a day but nothing could spoil my mood since Sean was due home in the afternoon. I fulfilled my mission of locating baby book-ends yesterday. They work ok so far but are a little far apart so I need to make a slight modification to them. Naturally Keenan hates them as you can see in the photo to the right! It does appear that he only hates them when he’s awake so that’s not too big of problem. I also found bumper pads for the crib but I’m gonna hold off on those until I can shop around a bit this weekend.

We picked up Sean from the train station at 4:30. It was sooooo good to see him! We celebrated his return home with dinner at Saboten with Bret and Sara. I’m very excited today as my omiyage is coming via takubin. That means it was too big or too fragile for Sean to bring it home on the plane! Ohhhh, I wonder what it could be!!!!!

We got home at 9 pm and I fed Keenan and put him in his crib at around 9:30 (sandwiched nicely between his new book ends of course!). He has been sleeping with us all night up until now but the bookends and the heat make for too close quarters for our sweaty little family so I figure now is a good time to get him used to sleeping on his own. I assumed I’d be up to feed him in a few hours but he didn’t wake me up until 4:50 am! And he wasn’t even terribly upset! He was just lay there making his morning grunting sounds and I suspect he was probably trying to turn over. I was so shocked to feel so rested and wake up to it being really bright out. You know when you sleep for a long time and you wake up and feel like you’ve become part of the mattress? That’s how I felt. I could barely move and man did it ever feel good! I fed and changed Keenan and got horrifically peed on. He peed from his changing table into the living room without getting anything on his bedroom floor. I didn’t notice his skillful urination until I came back from washing my hands and stepped in it. Lovely feeling at 5:30 in the morning! I brought Keenan into bed with us and we slept for another couple of hours. We woke up to Keenan speak and more attempts at rolling over. Sean hadn’t seen any rolling yet so we let Keenan do his thing. He surprised me in two ways. First, he somehow gained Herculean strength over night and can fully lift his huge head off the bed for fairly long periods of time. Secondly, he can now roll from back to front and then front to back! I can’t believe how talented and strong our little guy is! We’re so lucky to have such an awesome baby! Somebody’s gotta have the best baby in world and I’m pretty sure it’s us!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

…Keenan won’t stop rollin’

Written on August 8, 2006
Finally got internet back. Yippee! Now I know that it’s been 32 to 35 C with up to 75% humidity for the last 4 days. It almost looks like it might rain tonight. Hopefully it’s one of those huge atmosphere clearing thunderstorms that leaves sparkling, dry weather in it’s wake.

Keenan has been a friggin’ workout today! He just won’t ease up on his desire to roll onto his stomach. He’s lightning fast at it now and today he was holding his head up off the mattress and looking around like a little turtle. He can now move from one end of the crib to the other by kind of pulling himself along with his arms while he’s up on his knees. Sort of a half crawl. He still finds it emensely frustrating and I have to roll him onto his back after about a minute of looking around. The book end style rolled up blankets aren’t working anymore. That lasted about 72 hours. So last night I started using pillows. By this afternoon he had foiled that anti baby rolling technique as well. He either just pushes or kicks the pillow out of his way. He didn’t sleep more than 20 minutes at a time today because he kept waking up to roll over. It’s bitchin’ hot again today so he gets all sweaty and sticky and really tired. But he won’t sleep. It does make him really hungry though so it’s been a day of 20 minute naps, rolling and breastfeeding. So this afternoon I got to thinking about those waterproof Pelican brand briefcases and camera cases. They’ve got these pre cut die cut foam inserts and you can remove any number of the pre cut dies to fit your camera or breakables. I was thinking I’d like to get one of those foam inserts for Keenan’s crib! I could just remove a Keenan shaped pattern of dies and just slide him in there when he needs to go to sleep. Presto! No more rolling over! And it makes so much sense ‘cause as he grows I can just remove more little bits of foam! Ya, so the heat is indeed getting to me. What I wouldn’t do for a diaper friendly outdoor pool! But seriously, I need to do something about the rolling over. So I bounced Keenan on my lap and did a search on the net for some real anti rolling devices. I found a few online and I’ll check around town tomorrow. If I can’t find what I’m looking for I’ll just order online. I also need to get bumper pads for the crib since he gets his little arms and legs all caught up as he’s trying to roll over. No doubt he’s gonna bonk his nogin’ sometime soon.

The good news is Sean is home tomorrow night. Yippee! We’ve both missed him very much although since Keenan can’t argue with me I can safely say that I miss Sean more!

Rollin’, rollin’ rollin’…

Written on August 7, 2006
If you had told me yesterday that it was going to be even hotter today I would have packed up overnight and moved to the North Pole. Now it’s too hot to move so I may as well stay around and tough it out. It didn't really cool down that much last night so by 10 this morning it was just as hot as it was yesterday at 2 pm. It’s another bra and undie day for me and Keenan’s decked out in just a diaper.

I forgot to mention it in my last post but yesterday Keenan mastered the art of rolling over flat onto his stomach. Yup, he figured out how to get his arm from underneath him. Today he can pull up his knees and get his butt straight up in the air. That’s right. Them’s there are the first signs of crawling! It’s all still a huge struggle for him and he grunts, farts, cries out and gets boogers and drool all over his sheets in the process. His neck is not quite strong enough for him to keep his head off the mattress so he gets terribly frustrated once he gets himself rolled over. He doesn’t even enjoy being rolled over once he gets there! It’s just such an instinctual step in the process of learning to walk. I wonder what’s going thru his mind as he’s struggling with his little nose smunched into the bed…”what the hell am I doing this for?”, ”boobies are way better than this”, “what are my legs doing, why is my bum in the air?”. The worst part of it for me is that I’m worried to death he’s gonna choke or suffocate so I have to put these baby bookends (rolled up blankets) on either side of him while he’s on his back or side to keep him from rolling onto his stomach unsupervised. He gets truly pissed at me for doing this so I indulge him in his rolling instincts every couple of hours usually when I’m having a meal or snack. It’s a weird thing sitting in the rocking chair watching our 3 month old struggle onto his front while I’m having sushi bento or my morning coffee. All in the name of progress I guess!

Hotter than Satan’s arse

Keenan beatin' the heat
Originally uploaded by kuckibaboo.
Written on August 6, 2006
It’s 11:15 pm on Sunday and it’s just finally cooled off enough that I can open the windows of our apartment. It’s been so friggin’ hot these last few days. It’s the kind of heat and humidity that would keep a person from taking up permanent residence here. According to the locals this weather is highly irregular. This is my third summer of highly irregular hot, humid Hokkaido weather. I’d say that’s consistent enough to qualify as “regular”. Sean is currently in Tokyo for a 5 day JET conference. So Keenan and I are making our first attempt at surviving without daddy. We’re doing really well so far even though we miss Sean very much. I can’t imagine how hot he must be in Tokyo. Yesterday it was supposed to be 33C (that doesn’t include the Humidex). I hope he hasn’t melted into a puddle of goo! Our apartment is pretty tolerable for most of the day but I can’t do anything strenuous like fold laundry, without breaking into a sweat. So around 2 when I’m pretty tired of moving around at a snails pace in order to keep cool, Keenan and I head out to heavily air conditioned retail environs. Today’s exploits took us to Posful which is a somewhat hip department store downtown. We actually went there twice. We had to abort our first attempt because in the 10 minutes it took us to drive there in an air conditioned car I had sweat so much that it looked like I had been sitting in a puddle. How lovely. So we made our way back home so I could change. We got in the door and I put Keenan in his crib while I got into some cooler bottoms. Keenan reacts to heat by sleeping thru it so by the time I got changed he was quite happily snoring away. So I striped down to my bra and undies and read some magazines until he woke up. It was actually quite tolerable and probably the closest I’ll ever come to wearing a bikini in my adult life! So Keenan had himself a nice 2 hour nap, another feed and then we made our second attempt. My pants selection seemed much better this time and we made it into Posful without an ass sweat incident. It was so gloriously cool in there and they were having a sale! What luck! We did lots of poking around and I picked up some 50% off summer clothes for Keenan for next year. I also got him a ring rattle with lots of colors and textures for those exploring little hands of his. I bought lots of no cooking required foods in the grocery department and we headed home to a still very hot apartment. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little cooler.

Tanabata Matsuri

Written on August 5, 2006
Yesterday Keenan and I went to the Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival) in downtown Obihiro with Bret, Sara and Daryl. This festival is geared towards kids and features all sorts of huge piƱata type decorations that hang down from the rafters of the koji (covered walkway). They shut down the traffic in the koji and the street is filled with kids of all ages decked out in yukata (traditional Japanese hot weather clothes) running thru the streamers trailing down from the decorations. There is no shortage of festival food, games and trinkets to spend your hard earned yen on. It was too hot to be out for more than a few hours so we didn’t get to any of the celebrations and merry making at the Buddhist temples which had me a bit sad but we were happy to get back home and have a cool bath. Keenan did get to wear his yukata that Pat bought him and he was stopping lots of gramma’s I’ll tell ya!

Gas and Keenan’s 2nd iTunes play list!

Our little guy sure does get some pretty nasty gas attacks. He’s been getting them since he was about 5 weeks old. The first time he had a big one he woke us up with peels of screaming at around 3 in the morning and after an hour of trying massage, bouncing, rubbing, walking around the apartment and a bit of crying myself I figured out the magic formula. I sit with him sideways on my lap, I hold him tight and close into my body with one hand and with the other I pat him 4 times on the side between his ribs and hipbone and then I bounce my leg up and down 3 times all the while talking to him in a calm voice. Repeat, repeat, repeat and change sides when necessary. The end result is a sleeping baby (knock on particle board). This may sound incredible but after two months of this I’ve run out of things to say for the “talking in a calm voice” part of the exercise. So I’ve put together an iTunes play list called “Sing Keenan to sleep”. It’s about 4.5 hours of songs I know almost all the words to so I press play, sit myself down in front of the computer with the wee guy getting bounced and patted on my lap and sing along. So far Keenan’s favorites to fall asleep to are by Jack White, Gordon Lightfoot, Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer, Bob Dylan, David Francey, Green Day, Joni Mitchell, Matthew Good, Johnny Cash, Pearl Jam and the Housemartins. I think it’s speaks volumes of the quality of your music if it has the ability to soothe a baby of it’s gas pains and carry it into a sound sleep. Especially when it’s being sung by a somewhat sleep deprived mom with a not so great singing voice!

12 Weeks

Well it’s been a frustrating week of no Internet and sticky, hot and humid weather but none of that has stopped Keenan from learning new things and continuing on his path of near unbearable cuteness! Tuesday was a pretty exciting day as he mastered the art of thumb sucking and he went to his first movie in a big theatre! He has finally convinced his arm, hand and thumb that working together would bring a great deal of soothing during times of stress and boredom. As a result he’s constantly covered in drool but he keeps himself amused so it’s worth the oob. We ventured out to see Pirates of the Caribbean II and Keenan once again did us proud by barely uttering a peep during the flick. He made a few “talking in his sleep” noises but other than that he slept thru the whole thing.

As far as the movie goes…I thought the fortuneteller was sexy beyond belief, the effects were cool especially those used to create Davey Jones and his crew but I thought the first flick was better.

Back to the boy…he is really enjoying having a bit of “alone” time. He’s nowhere near as needy as he was in the first two months. He likes to sit in his rocker and stare at his hands and kick his legs. He also really enjoys carrying on in “Keenan-speak”. When you talk to him he talks back in his own language and always with a big smile. A typical conversation goes something like this…

“Hi there sweet boy. You’re lookin’ very genki this morning!

“Ackle beep fssst nngaa ghee!”

“How about we change that stinky bum of yours?”

“Haaahap nnboo!”

As you can see we’re communicating wonderfully! If only we could get him to understand that being on his stomach is not such a good thing. On Thursday he finally got himself nearly flat on his stomach. The only thing that is keeping him from being completely turned over is that he hasn’t figured out how to get his arm out from under him. I imagine that will be just a few more days though. Keenan is starting to show an interest in toys. He likes looking at and grabbing for his wrist rattles. He hasn’t quite figured out that the noise they’re making is a direct result of his movements but you can really see the wonderment in his eyes over the whole situation. The best development this week has been in the smiling department. He smiles whenever either one of us looks into his face. He smiles at Sean when he gets home from work and the most precious smile is when he wakes up and gives us a big gummy grin. We’re so lucky to have such a happy little guy.