by, 09-12-2010 at 03:12 PM (3103 Views)
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:
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.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 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.