View RSS Feed


Baby Experiences

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
We’re home and Matthew is with us and is an official American. We are finally real parents and Matthew is getting acclimated to his new environment. Let me admit it up front – it’s tough being a parent. He’s a handful and unless he’s sleeping he requires constant attention. I guess I’ll eventually blog about some of our parenting experiences. I didn’t have the computer with me in Kazakhstan and I didn’t keep lots of notes. I was able to send off this email to family and friends while out there which I’ll share with you:

Hi everyone

Quick update. I've got little Matthew in my possession and he's sleeping like an angel next to me in the hotel bed. We'll be flying out to the main city in the morning where we should have a crib for him. Lucky also is that I fell asleep when he had his first diaper need and my wife had to do it. Haha.

It was a tiring 30 something hour trip. I hardly slept. After more than 48 hours and taking possession I just conked out. Anyway he's a tosser and turner like me.

It didn't seem he recognized us at first and was a bit scared but after about an hour he seemed to remember all the fun games we had played and got comfortable and was his old smiling, giggly self. He loved getting fed too, the little chubbsy. Actually he's not as chubby as when we left him but I think he's longer. But just as cute if not more so. And he's an expert crawler now. Got to definitely watch him.

Ok that's it for now. Hope things are well back home.
The week in Almaty passed rather pleasantly and we were able to do some sightseeing. It’s a pretty city, the Tian Shan mountains cradling the city from the south. Matthew seems to like traveling about. Once you put him in a stroller he just quietly watches the world as it goes by.

The week we had with him was certainly memorable, though I can’t think of any exceptional moment to describe. I guess it was the bonding that occurred that was so memorable. We came together as a family, and I think it was good that it was away from home where we didn’t have our routines to interfere. I can’t tell you how much Matthew advanced in development in that week of constant attention. He responds to his name, learned “no” though he challenges it at times, waves and claps, moves to music, tries to express himself verbally, though no real words get formed, and walks while holding on to things. He’s an explorer at heart and scoots to places you would never think he would go. And we are kind of inexperienced at this. Having my mother-in-law with us was definitely a help.

The only way to really describe our experiences is through these little anecdotes which I’ll call baby experiences. Here’s a few.

Baby experience #1:
The day after we got Matthew we had to fly from Shymkent to the major city of Almaty. We’re ready to board the plane, and I’m holding Matthew in my arms, and he’s looking at me with a strange look in his eyes. All of a sudden I feel a hot rush up against my chest, and I’m wondering what it is. I look down and my shirt is soaked from my armpit down and half way around. What the--? He peed. How did it get through the diaper? I had to go the whole flight with a wet stain. Later my says, “oops, I put the diaper on backwards.

Baby experience #2:
I don’t know if this is normal, but Matthew likes to butt heads. I don’t like it and I was trying to break him of the habit. Once he caught me pretty hard up above my left eye. I decided to fake a whine and cry like he does when he falls and hurts himself. “wheeew, whaah!” I’m pretending. He just stares at me at first, looks me over, and then starts giggling. He’s laughing at me. Lesson: either babies have no compassion or they can tell when you’re faking it.

Baby experience #3:
Lesson: when feeding baby and advancing spoon toward his mouth, make sure he’s not overly happy. When he’s overly happy, baby likes to swing arms and can catch the advancing spoon and food flies all over the kitchen.

Baby experience #4:
Matthew appears to be a morning person, just like daddy, but Matthew’s morning starts even earlier. The crib was put right up against the foot of the bed and when Matthew wakes up he likes to stand up and reach over the crib. This particular morning Matthew is able to reach daddy’s toe and starts manipulating it like a stick shift. Daddy wanted to sleep a little longer.

Baby experience #5:
We bought Matthew a baby bottle with side handles so we could teach him to hold it himself. He learned right away but what’s interesting is that Matthew holds the handles with his pinkies up in the air. “Look,” mommy says, “Matthew already has more class than daddy.”

Baby experience #6:
Matthew saw television for the first time. We had the US Tennis Open on, and Matthew was fascinated by the television screen. Practically mesmerized actually. He crawls up the TV, lifts himself up by pulling up on the stand, stares at the screen, and then starts waving at the tennis player. I got to say he’s got an eye for pretty girls. He was waving to Caroline Wozniacki.

Baby experience #7:
Matthew was apparently not used to getting baths. We tried to give him a bath one night. I put some warm water in a bassinette in the tub, took off his clothes, and placed him in. He started wailing and screaming from the top of his lungs. He did not like it. The wails sounded like he was being murdered. We had to call it off. Next night mommy tries. She stands him up and gives him a toy and slowly splashes water on his legs and makes it a game. He liked that. Next night he’s sitting and playing in the bassinette. “See,” mommy says, “you have to be gentle and ease him into things.” “What?” Daddy responds. “Didn’t Vikings just throw their children into the ice cold ocean, and it was sink or swim? Boy, kids have it easy today.”

Baby experience #8:
Matthew loves to drink juice. We gave him a large bottle of carrot/apple juice one day. He sucked it down without letting go of the nipple once. However I’m not sure his system was used to it. An hour later he had a violent crap in his diapers. When we went to change him carrot colored crap was smeared – creamed actually – all over his behind. I had to lift him up naked from the waist down and whirl him into the kitchen sink to hose him down, tucking his shirt up to his arm pits, all the while holding him at arms distance trying to get smeared with it. Yuck.

So which is your favorite of the baby moments? I’d like to know.

Here are a couple of pictures from this trip.

In the bed after that first night.

In the crib early one morning.

In the bassinette wailing.

Drying off, a happier moment.

A messy eater.

He just loves to scoot along the ground.


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1. L.M. The Third's Avatar
    This was both funny and heart warming! I think my favorite experience is number two. He's adorable in the pictures.
  2. zoolane's Avatar
    Great heard that you & pussyboot have your lovely son. Head butt is normal girl doing to, everything is normal in your list of experiences so far and with lots more come.
    Next thing will be move thing up high, like photos, vases and stuff like that because walking next with hands begin touches everything. xxxxxx
  3. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    This is it! This is the real deal! I can't believe it.

    It has been an incredible journey in being able to follow this story. Congratulations! So many of us always knew the ending of your story would be this.
  4. Maryd.'s Avatar
    Dear Virgil family.... Now that has a nice ring to it doesn't it... It almost sounds like you are the boss Virgil.... Eh! Wrong. Young Matthew is now, sorry to say.
    Ok, ok, when it comes to gorgeous babies... Don't ask me to chose through any photos or any experience. Just ask me to finally congratulate you... But really congratulate you. Before we knew all this would happen now it's all happening. Well done Virgil and Puss. That young fellow is one lucky boy. This is where all the fun starts. Mwah to you and your new family
  5. PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
    Welcome home, the three of you!
  6. Paulclem's Avatar
    Brings it all back - especially the nappy experiences. It doesn't sound as though they've designrd the leak proof nappy, (diaper) yet.

    Parenting is hard work, but worth it.
  7. Janine's Avatar
    Wonderful and so happy for everyone. Puss and Virg, everything you describe is totally normal. How funny (but not for you) that your husband (for Puss only) put the diaper on backwards. I did that once with Brooke and realised it before I put her clothes on. My son took his daughter to a neighboring town which has many quaint shops - she was not yet one and he thought he would take her to this neat toy store to pick out a rocking horse. Needless to say, after he had bathed and dressed her, as he was getting her out of the car, something like what you described in his his horror and he had to drive home and start all over again, bath and all! As they say **** happens...haha

    And yes, babies are very hard work. They keep you on your toes 24/7. I am even exhausted the nights I have babysat Brooke. Babies have endless energy.

    I am thrilled with Matthew's progress - he is right on target. He is changing some; but he is just as cute, if not cuter. He does have good taste in women...haha...he picked you for his mom! Brooke loves TV, too....she has seen many a ball game...but she adores "Toy Story" Matthew would, too. Cute that he was waving. Brooke butts heads too but not hard. I think it's a baby thing. Brooke hated bathtime but now she loves it...get him some bath toys and he will be happy. Brooke still screams bloody murder when I rinse shampoo from her hair, but five minutes later she forgets all about it.

    Good luck with everything; glad you are home and love the photos!...oh and enjoy your baby boy...he's adorable!
    Updated 09-12-2010 at 10:56 PM by Janine
  8. hoope's Avatar
    He is so cuttie
    That is so lovely.. i remember experiencing some of those with my nephew .. not as much .. but kids really make life a whole new thing.. They come to the world and become your world .....

    How was it at Kaz.?

    Wlc back
  9. samercury's Avatar
    Aww, Virgil, I'm so happy for you guys- congrats!!

    Matthew is so adorable (and he has sucha cute smile) . The tv experience reminds me so much of what my youngest sister used to do when she was a baby, brings back memories.
  10. mtpspur's Avatar
    Congratulations to the three of you. The stick shift toe was my favorite experience followed by the TV watching. Your new life is off to a fine start. God be praised. Odd--now it seems like all the blogs and time waiting is a dream--I know easy to say siting her. My own son turned 29 today so this news was a double dleight.
  11. The Comedian's Avatar
    Got to say, I like number 3 the best because it reminds me of similar experiences in raising my girls. Enjoyable post, Virgil. You two are doing great.
  12. andave_ya's Avatar
    He is just so deliciously adorable!!! I AM SO GLAD FOR YOU!! Favorite moments: 2 and 4
  13. qimissung's Avatar
    4 and 8-just keeping it real, Virgil, but your home, your really home with him. It's going to be be so fantastically, awesomely fun. I'm just so happy for you.
  14. Niamh's Avatar
    I loved Baby Experience no.5 Made me laugh out loud!

    He has taken a stretch and even looks thinner around the face! Is it possible he's even cuter than before? He looks so happy. I'm so chuffed for you both!
  15. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    Congratulations to you both You're right, being a parent is tough but it's a good kind of tough. Kids are a constant challenge, but it's the kind of challenge that does us good. I guess it's more difficult for you because you've been thrown right in at the deep end. A newborn feeds, poops, cries and sleeps, but Matthew is active and interactive so it's a more challenging experience. But you'll adapt, and more quickly than you expect.

    #1 sounds familiar. It might not be the nappy, but a failure to ensure the hose is pointing down. I got dowsed by my son a couple of times because of failure to check the gear position before sealing

    #8 - I might be a bit out of date on this one, it's been a while since my two were little, but Matthew seems a little young for undiluted fruit juice. It won't do him any real harm, but you definitely will need to be watchful of the nasty nappies because until they're used to it it'll go right through them. Other things to think about are that fruit juice is quite damaging to tooth enamel, especially for babies because their enamel is so thin. Plus they can fill up on fruit juice, because it tastes so nice, and then they don't want their nice nutritious dinner! Water and milk are probably the best thing for him to drink, or if you want to give him fruit juice use a pure juice (as you sensibly did) and dilute it in water. Or whatever. You'll find, as you get to know Matthew better, that you come to know what works best for him and for you. And you learn through experience, as I did when we gave my son liver with curried fruit (sounds gross I know, but it tastes lovely and it whizzes up to make a beautifully smooth baby food!). He loved it, couldn't get enough of it. Half an hour later we were cleaning it up off the carpet, he'd brought the lot back plus more. Yuk. Never again.

    Enjoy Matthew, it sounds like you are doing already. It is crazy, stressful, mad, but fun. I hope you will all be very happy.

    Are you taking any parental leave time, or do you have to go back to work?
  16. Virgil's Avatar
    Thank you L.M., Zoolane, Jersea, Mary, Prince, Paul, Janine, Hoope, Same, Rich, Comedian, Andy, Qimi, Niamh, and Fifth.

    Zoolane - Good advice. Thanks.

    Jersea - So many did, but I sure was concerned. Thank God it all worked out.

    Janine - I didn't put the diaper on backwards, she did. I was just the schlemiel who got peed on.

    Hoope - Yes, they do become your world. Great way to put that. I enjoyed Kazakhstan. I found the people nice and helpful. Shymkent is more of a provincial town but Almaty is fairly cosmopolitan. And I enjoyed the cuisine.

    Same - How nice to see you! Thanks for stopping by. Drop me a note on what's new with school. What are you taking this semester?

    Rich - Happy birthday to your son.

    Niamh - Yes, I do think he's cuter too.

    Fifth - We've been warned about the hose experience but it hasn't happened to us yet. The liver and fruit does sound very healthy. I'll have to see about that. I think you're right about the fruit juice. He already refuses to drink plain water and it's a bit of struggle on the milk. Actually i don't think he got milk while in Kazakhstan. They use this yogurt type drink for babies called Keifer. You can look it up. It's supposed to be very healthy, but i don't see it anywhere around home. I'm going back to work. Between the two trips I was able to get two months not charged to my vacation time. And while i have plenty of vacation time left, things are so chaotic on my work project it would be irresponsible of me to take time off right now. I'll take an extended Christmas vacation. Thanks for the advice.

    I have to admit, the baby is tiring. I'm home one more day to ease my wife into it, but I'm not sure how she is going to handle this on her own.
  17. Petrarch's Love's Avatar
    So happy to hear about the two of you completely immersed in parenthood! He's certainly keeping you busy. I'm with everyone else here. He looks even more happy and adorable now than he did before. Must be the healthy American air, and the joy of TV watching (or maybe having two doting parents looking after him has something to do with it). Thanks for the baby experience stories. I like #4 and #3. I can just picture this exuberant baby waking you guys up in the morning and enthusiastically waving his arms to fling his breakfast spoon across the kitchen. Maybe all that arm waving means he's meant to be a great symphony conductor someday.

    Try not to get too exhausted trying to keep up with the kid.
  18. Paulclem's Avatar
    You can expect a child thrust into your arms when you get back from work/ relative peace. I did.
  19. ClaesGefvenberg's Avatar
    Welcome home, all three of you, and nice pictures. he seems to have grown like a weed. You can really see the difference.

    Now the baby experiences (Been there, done that, but not in as brief a time as you):

    #1: It is hard to believe, but I managed to avoid getting hit all the way through the baby time. She did spray a nurse good though.

    #2: It is perfectly normal, and I think few parents get away unscathed. We did not (ouch).

    #3: Yes, been there too.

    #4: Yes, daddy usually wants to sleep a little longer, but you can forget that.

    #5: Er, yes, that is what mommys usually say... until the have to clean up some mess.

    #6: Yep... I suppose he thinks it's feeding time?

    #7: That is something I have not experienced. On the other hand it sounded like blue murder when we tried to get her out of the bath.

    #8: Er... No their systems are not up to juice. As for the mess: Get used to it...

    The favourite? #7, perhaps?

  20. AuntShecky's Avatar
    To young Matthew, a warm welcome to the U.S. and to Mr. and Mrs. Virgil, the
    heartiest of congratulations!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast