Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Edward reached his one-month birthday today, a day before his original due date. Even though leaving the womb early meant he had to do some extra work, we're glad we got to watch him grow for the last month. Look closely--he doesn't need his sleeves rolled up anymore!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Edward never misses a meal. I might prefer to sleep through one or two of them, particularly those pre-dawn calls, but he lets me know when the tank has reached empty again, never more than about three hours after the last meal. But that's pretty much all he's supposed to do at this stage--eat and sleep to facilitate growth. And boy is it working!

At today's one month checkup, Edward weighed in at a whopping 7.5 pounds! He also gained about an inch in height (length?) and in head circumference. He's not topping the charts or anything, but he's definitely on his way to catching up from his early entry to the world. This week was his original due date so I guess it's not surprising that he's reached the size of a fairly average full-term baby. His doctor was very impressed. She said his weight gain averages out to about 50 grams (almost two ounces) per day, about double what she would expect from a breastfed baby. He now has great chubby cheeks and is getting some rolls in the thigh area. She also noted that he has "elbow dimples."

Here he's sitting in his aquarium chair (minus the aquarium activity bar) flanked by the special blanket sent by our friends the Rubins. (We had to adjust the straps on the chair and in his carseat to accommodate his expanding waistline.) He's spending more time awake these days--usually a good two hours in the afternoon and then also some time in the evening. Lucky for us he hasn't made 3 a.m. his wide awake time! He makes lots of faces and waves his arms and hands in front of his face. It's funny to think that as he sees this object wave by he has no idea that it's attached to him or that he controls its movement. Lots to learn in the weeks and months ahead!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Bathtime has become routine for Edward, and he actually seems to like it a bit. Tonight he decided to take matters into his own hands, literally, by taking the washcloth from his mother. His method of cleaning, which involved clutching the cloth tightly against his chest (for warmth, one assumes) wasn't very effective, so this part of the bath didn't last long.

Once the bath was over, we toweled him off with a gift from our neighbor, Clara. I'm a sucker for hats, hoods and other baby headgear, and perhaps enjoyed this more than Ed did if his expression is any indication. I think he was more upset with the constant flash than with his lion-hooded attire, as his mood lightened considerably when the camera was put away and he realized he was swaddled in a nice warm terry cloth bath towel.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The top of this page says "family news," which does not confine itself just to Edward. So here's something a little different:

Congratulations to my brother Joe and his fiancee Brenda who got engaged last night! John is eager to add more in-laws to the insanity that is the Geraghty family. I think he's hoping they can band together to bring some sort of balance to our gatherings. Ha! But seriously, we could not be happier to welcome Brenda to the family.

Friday, January 13, 2006

It didn't take Edward long to find my iPod and make it his own, though I think earbuds are more his speed when it comes to headgear. Lucky for me, he doesn't know about the video iPods yet. Looks like it's time for Dad to upgrade and give Ed the hand-me-down.

Quiz -- What's Edward listening to?
A: The Babys
B: The Blake Babies
C: Babes in Toyland

Trick question. It's "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes. Ed's a sucker for Phil Spector's Wall of Sound production.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The many moods of Edward in the moments between a bath and pre-bedtime meal:

Concerned about the delay, but generally enthused.

Expectant; perhaps bordering on over-eager.

Gives up, starts eating own hand.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Today was the first day since we brought him home that the mail has contained neither card nor package for Edward. His arrival has stirred an outpouring of generosity from family and friends. He also has inspired some unusual behavior, including the following phrase uttered by my mother for possibly the first time in her life: "I want to go to the mall." She said this on their way out of the hospital for lunch the day after Edward was born. Those who know me will not be surprised to learn that I come by my shopping aversion naturally. However, that day Gram knew that Edward's hat needs were not being met by the knit caps provided by the hospital. They just didn't seem to stay on his head, and he needed a solid layer up there to help maintain body heat. From this aforementioned trip to the mall came the blue penguin hat seen in most of Edward's first pictures. It's possible that some friends of Edward thought he needed more variety in his wardrobe because over the last two weeks many more hats have arrived.

So here for your entertainment is Edward's Parade of Hats:

Crochet hat and blanket by Jenny G., my cousin Todd's wife

Knit cap by Tarah C.

Knit hat by Amy S.

Knotted cap from Anne R.

Cozy sleeping cap from Aunt Diana

Road trip hat from the Shipleys

"I love my daddy" hat from Grandma and Grandpa Kenyon's first trip to the Carters outlet store (he may have been getting tired of this little photo session at this point)

And finally, the Winnie the Pooh hat I picked out before he was born, knowing he'd need a coming home hat. Luckily he didn't have to wear this since it clearly doesn't fit. He also needs a few more pounds and inches before the sleeper that goes with it will fit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

If Edward were a major league baseball player, they'd start an investigation into his training activities: At the doctor today he weighed in at 6 pounds. That's a half-pound more than just a week ago, for a gain of about 9 percent of his body weight. No steroids needed here, however, just breastmilk administered every two hours, awake or asleep, day or night. The good news is that this weight gain, coupled with a distinct lessening of his jaundice, means we can shift to feeding him every three hours. That might not sound like much of a change, but as Mary points out, that's four fewer feedings per day. For overnight it means feeding at 9 p.m., midnight, 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., instead of 10, midnight, 2, 4 and 6, which means longer periods of fairly uninterrupted sleep.

The rest of his check-up was equally glowing, so his next doctor's appointment isn't until his one-month (!) check-up in two weeks.

Friday, January 06, 2006

My sister Nora reports that I am not keeping up with the insatiable picture appetite of Edward's fans. In the same email, she described how exhausted she was after a night with her best friend, a day of interviews for next year's internship, and a long airport wait for the flight to today's interviews. Then she chastised herself for complaining about sleep deprivation to someone who has to feed a baby every two hours.

We are used to the schedule now, and it works pretty smoothly but leaves little time for things like taking, downloading, cropping, sizing, and emailing or posting pictures. However, John got home early from work today so that gave us a chance for some play time. Edward's umbilical cord fell off yesterday so he's ready to start "tummy time." This fantastic blanket came with love from my Aunt Janet in Olympia, WA. It is so warm and soft that even in January in Iowa the floor is a good place to play. Plus it's a great reminder that there is Geraghty blood in those Kenyon veins!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Edward got a (mostly) glowing report at yesterday's check-up. He's back up a little over birth weight at 5 lbs. 8 oz. and he's eating and pooping exactly as needed to ward off further jaundice. But he's not over it yet, so the every-two-hour feeding schedule will continue at least until next week's check-up, Monday morning.

So far we've got a pretty good routine going that allows at least a three hour block of sleep each night plus shorter blocks (1-2 hours) for each of us. Since Edward still won't nurse exclusively (probably because he's not hungry enough to want to do the work!) we can alternate middle-of-the-night feedings, so I feed at 2 a.m. and John takes the 4 a.m. shift, feeding pumped breastmilk through a syringe. John is back to work now so we'll see how this holds up. We may need further refinement if he can't function through the day or if this continues beyond Monday.

Otherwise, all is well. Edward is in very low percentiles for weight, length and head circumference, but that's because he's being compared to babies born at full term. He has plenty of time to eat, grow and catch up. The doctor said regaining birth weight is a goal to reach within the first two weeks for breastfed babies, and Edward managed it in just 9 days, so that's a good start.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Edward slept through his first thunderstorm overnight. It started just before the 2 a.m. feeding and the last rumbles were rolling away as he was giving a satisfied burp around 6:30 (two feedings and many burps later.) That's a pretty good storm, especially for January. It's hard to believe that a baby born on Christmas in Iowa would experience a thunderstorm before a blizzard, but then again, about the only thing you can count on with Iowa weather is that it will not conform to expectations. It looks like the rain melted the last of our December snow. Not sorry to see it go, though I know it will be replaced soon!

He also had a great visit Sunday with my parents, who are known to all their grandchildren as Gram and PopPop. Don't ask why. It just is what it is. We always called my dad's parents Grandma and it must be a Geraghty thing. It does help the kids to distinguish between two sets of grandparents. Anyway, Gram and PopPop even mastered the fine art of feeding Edward with the syringe so that Mom and Dad could get some extra sleep after dinner. With all these feedings, it's too much work for Edward to always take it directly, so I've been pumping breastmilk for times when he's too tired or not hungry enough to latch on. (Sorry if that's too much information--too personal--for some readers!)