Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Join Tobin for his first Christmas
Christmas with Tobin
Tobin was better than I expected at unwrapping presents, but was usually much more interested in the wrapping paper than the gift itself. He is especially taken with his Spider-man toy that sings the Spider-man and Friends theme song and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." We've taken myriad photos with multiple cameras and I'm sure Allison or I will be glad to show them all to you when we're together. For now, I've uploaded a few pictures to our flickr site. You can click the link above or the photos below to be taken to that page. I'll be posting a video as soon as I can upload it.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
While all of this was going on, I was incredibly busy at work. It was really hard for me to not be the one to pick him up from school and take him to the doctor and stay home with him. But his wonderful dad filled in brilliantly and even commented that the two of them had such a great day on Monday he almost felt guilty for staying home from work. Almost. I am so thankful for my Matt.
This is the first weekend in a while that we haven't spent with family. We were in Louisville for Thanksgiving, then my mom was in town, and then Ash visited last weekend. We should be in Florida by this time next weekend (my work permitting), which will be so nice. I think being parents has made us especially appreciative of our families--particularly our own parents. I know after my mom left I was pretty homesick to see her again soon. Matt & I really love the home we've made here, but I think all of the Walsh-Smith clan wishes we weren't spread out over five states (not counting our close extended family which would add at least another three states). We're all very thankful for the holidays and looking forward to some togetherness.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Today was Tobin's six-month doctor's appointment. He continues to thrive physically and remains in the very top percentiles for his age group. And he's not really eating much solid food yet (although Mamaw Walsh has been more successful at getting him to eat rice cereal). Anyway, here are the numbers for our big, strong boy:
Weight: 20 lbs. 7 oz. (!!)
Head circumference: 18"
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Funny Sleepy Boy
Won't You Have Something to Eat?
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
The Leaves are Changing
Hannah knocked him over for the first time yesterday. When I get home from school, the three of usually play on the floor. Tobin loves to watch Hannah fetch her rope and play tug of war with me. Since he was doing so well at sitting up, I put him on my left side while Hannah and I were playing. On one of her return trips with her rope, she took a detour to give T. a sniff and pushed him over with her snout. In the fraction of a second it took for him to roll onto his back on his playmat, I already had visions of us in the Emergency Room and the interview with Child Protective Services about my delinquency as a parent. Tobin's reaction was nothing like mine: he flopped onto his back, awash in giggles. He thought being pushed over was hilarious. When I pulled him back up to a sitting position, he was smiling and giggling so hard that he hunched forward. He would have rolled forward to complete his tumbling routine, but I intervened and set him between my legs for the rest of playtime with Hannah.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Five months old
Recently, a friend asked me if it felt like he was growing up too fast--whether I was mourning him becoming less and less of a "baby" each day. It's a mixed experience for me. Matt and I often remark how we hardly remember our life (and home) before him. But then it's seems not too long ago that we felt him kick inside my belly for the first time. I was a little sad tonight as I was nursing him and thought about the fact that I really only have about one more month of my milk being his only nourishment--a loosening of a certain, exclusive bond we have. But there are so many upsides to him growing older. I feel we get to know the little person he is a little better each day. And that's so much fun. It's great to feel like we actually communicate well. He "talks" a lot now. We can't even imagine what's going to come out of that little mouth once he starts using words. Very important, entertaining things, I'm sure.
His timing always impeccable, Tobin rolled from belly to back for us tonight and practiced sitting up. Even more precious were the smiles and squeals we got during our family time this evening. We are incredibly blessed people, Matt and I, and our little Tobin counts as the greatest of our blessings.
(Here are a couple of pictures of Tobin on his five-month birthday, performing the aforementioned tricks.)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
He has recently discovered the joy of bouncing on the bed. I hold him under his arms and bounce him up and down. He never seems to get tired of it. I say "seem" because my biceps get tired of lifting him repeatedly before he tires of the jumping feeling. He smiles from ear to ear and sputters out giggles.
His Aunt Ashley visited this weekend and discovered that he enjoys putting sunglasses on (picture below). He, his mom, and his aunt were in the car in a failed attempt to attend the North Carolina State Fair. While they were stuck in traffic, Ashley made faces at Tobin and put her sunglasses on him. I don't know how he did it, but apparently the sound of his laughter even made the gridlock on I-40 and surrounding areas tolerable.
Tobin is almost always easily consoled. I can't say he understands language yet, but he seems understanding when I explain "The bottle is warming up right now," or "I'll be glad to check your diaper." His crying is communicative, not demonstrative, for which I am very grateful. A few kids at his preschool are always loud when I'm there. Tobin, on the other hand, always seems engaged in an activity or quietly observant, thoughtful in what he is doing.
A good example of his temperament was Allison's swearing-in ceremony. I took the day off work and took him to Raleigh so we could be with Allison while she became a member of the Bar. It was held in the State Capitol, in the original Senate chamber, and was the closest thing to a formal event that Tobin has attended. I was worried about him making noise or needing to be changed while we were there. Instead, he sat quietly in my lap while other lawyers took their oaths. He would startle a little when the gallery applauded each person, but he never protested. When it was Allison's turn, the three of us stood at the podium while the Chief Justice administered the oath (see picture below). At the reception afterward, numerous people remarked that they'd never seen such a well-behaved baby. A few of the justices made a point of remarking on how handsome and well-behaved he was. And while I can't claim he's always that quiet and well-mannered, it really wasn't that surprising to us. It fits perfectly with his personality.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Still livin' large
Height = 26.25 inchesAs noted previously, Tobin has had a remarkably smooth transition to life with both of us working. He's a big hit at his school and has even picked up the nickname Toby. (It was inevitable, was it not?) Plus, he seems to like it there quite a bit. Of course, he's at a very social age where he smiles indiscriminately--never seems to meet a stranger. And he's obviously doing okay with his eating, even though he eats about half his meals from a bottle now. I'm happy to report that he's still eating exclusively mama's milk, due in part to an awesome breast pump and a more relaxed working mom. We're planning to hold off on solids until around six months.
Weight = 17 lbs., 11 oz.
Head circumference = 17.5 inches
On a more general family note, I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers for us during this transitional period. For those of you who I haven't had a chance to talk to or email, I wanted to let you know that things seem to be getting better with each week that passes. While each day presents its own challenges, we are certainly adapting to and more at ease with our new routine. We're all pretty tired at the end of the day, of course. Speaking of which, I'm going to go join the sleeping boys.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Roly-Poly at 19 Weeks
Tobin and I were on the floor--he was on his playmat--listening to Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger like we've done every day this week (Yes, he seems to like Willie Nelson). He began to rock onto his side like we've seen him do before, then he tucked his knee underneath him and rolled all the way onto his stomach. At first, his left arm was still pinned under his chest, but another grunt and arch of the back brought both arms out. I was much more excited than he was. He stayed up for a while, then drooled a little. What happened after is described above, so I'll skip here to the part where I was so excited that I scooped him up and danced around the room.From: mattTo: allisonDate: Sep 28, 2006 3:45 PMSubject: mark it downat 3:40 PM on thursday september 28 2006, i watched tobin lee smith, from a position lying flat on his back, roll completely over onto his belly.
he celebrated by drooling, spitting up, rubbing his face in his spit-up, and then crying because he was on his tummy.
He did a repeat performance for Allison when she got home from work a little later. I'm pretty sure our reactions were encouraging enough that he'll make rolling over a normal part of his routine. Tobin Lee is 19 weeks old today. Next step: crawling.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Best Intentions
Since I wasn't getting the still shot I wanted, I decided to get the video camera out to record his face-making. Without the flash, I thought I'd have a better chance of catching the elusive tongue-wagging. Instead, Tobin was so intrigued by the camera that he just breathed heavily into the microphone and tried to grab the lens cap. No tongue-wiggling, no funny faces, just a cold stare into the lens of the camera punctuated by little grunts. He's a pretty funny kid already.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Hopefully, as I get used to the new schedule, I can find time to post pictures and updates more often. It's a little easier to find blogging time during my summer schedule. So, for those of you that still check the site every day, I'll be making an effort to send out more news. Even if it means I neglect a few essays written by my students. Thanks again for reading. Below are some of my favorite new pictures at our Flickr page.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I definitely have the better end of the daycare responsibility when Allison is working. She drops T. off in the morning, so she has to leave him. I get to scoop him up and take him home to play and take Hannah on a walk after I get done with school. Allison mentioned that Tobin had taken the transition to Allison working again the best of the three of us. I'll second that -- he is happy and healthy and wonderful. We think he's near 17 pounds now, but what's more fun than his growth is his level of alterness. He often seems to be on the verge of saying something. He tracks people and Hannah and laughs at himself in the mirror.
I continue to be thankful for the blessing he is and has been. And I've added to my list of thanks the people that he spends part of his day with Monday through Friday.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Matt gets up first (at 5:00) and showers and then takes Hannah out. When he gets back in, I shower while Matt makes coffee, eats breakfast, and listens for Tobin, who is still sleeping peacefully. Then I try to get as much done as possible while Matt is still home and Tobin is sleeping: put on my makeup, eat, pack a lunch, fix Tobin's bottles and diaper bag, etc. We try to make sure Tobin is up to eat by 6:30. Matt leaves shortly after that. Then I dress Tobin, finish dressing myself, walk the dog again, pack Tobin up, and we leave between 7:15-7:30. I drop Tobin off at school and start my 40-minute commute to Raleigh. Matt picks Tobin up shortly after 3:00. I get home around 6:30. We hang out with Tobin, he goes to sleep, we do a little extra work, and then go to sleep ourselves.
It's been a long day. Fortunately, I think Tobin handled it better than any of us, Hannah included. He seems happy and content, even though his parents are a bit overwhelmed by it all at the moment. We're hoping time will help the routine go a little more smoothly, but for now it's quite different from our relaxed summer days.
Friday, September 01, 2006
TL Smith, Stormhopper
It's been a long time since my last blog post becuase it's been hard to prioritize it in my list of things to do. The beginning of school has gone really well. It's been fun to talk to old students of mine about Tobin and the excitement of the last few months. And like any good dad, I keep a stack of photos in my room for anyone who provides the slightest opportunity to show him off.
While it isn't the most productive thought, I find myself thinking ahead to future time off that I can spend with Tobin. I wouldn't have thought that spring and summer breaks could be more eagerly anticipated than they already were. For now, we're enjoying a few days in Florida before getting ready for Tobin's first experiences with chilly weather.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Our next dog was named Buttons. I remember holding her in my cupped hands when we still lived in Tennessee, which means she was really small when we got her. After Buttons, we went a while without a dog until we got Roxy, whom I blame in some part for Sarah not liking dogs very much. She (Roxy, not Sarah) was a rambunctious German Shepherd who never . . . quite . . . had it all together. She went away to someone with a big yard because she shredded the wood molding in a bathroom in our house and she knocked Sarah over frequently. In Roxy's defense, it was pretty easy to knock Sarah over back then--she was still hammering out the whole center-of-gravity concept. After Roxy was Spooky: the most reserved, least animated dog the world ever knew. But she would burrow under your back on the couch and snuggle for naps on the sofa.
I was thinking about them because I've been wondering what kinds of memories Tobin will have of Hannah. When I was trying to remember my dogs growing up, one thing that struck me was how short dogs' lifespans are and that losing a dog can be really difficult emotionally for a child. Allison and I talked recently about how that can be a good way to teach important lessons about life and what's really important in life. Allison and I are dog people. Even though some people have made fun of us for the way we treat her, Hannah was (and is) our first baby around the house. It will be really hard for me (hopefully a long time from now) when she dies, but I realize that I especially dread it for Tobin. The balance of that dread is the excitement I have for when he can recognize her and call her name and take her on walks and play with her and love her. She's ready for the play part now, and he's catching up quickly.
I guess the relationship between people and dogs doesn't make any logical sense. We have a four-legged animal living in our house whom we feed without asking any work from in return. She barks at our friends and family, and requires extra time and money from us that we might use elsewhere. But the relationship isn't a logical one. And really, of the things that I count most important in my life, very few would fit into Spock's pragmatic epistemology. Our relationship with Hannah is a snuggly, playful one defined by unconditional love and timely kisses. When my grandfather was ill last winter, I remember one night when I just sat on the couch and cried. Hannah, who normally sits on the other couch, jumped into my lap and licked the tears off my face until I couldn't help but smile and laugh. She didn't make the hurt go away, but I feel like she let me know in the only way she could that she wanted to help. I hope Tobin has similar experiences with his "big sister." If what I've observed so far is a true indication, I think theirs is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Dad returns to work
Although there will be some changes & possibly difficult adjustments, I would be remiss not to mention all the blessings God continues to give us. Matt is starting his fourth year teaching at a school he absolutely loves. He won't be coaching baseball this year, which he will miss but it will allow him to spend more time with Tobin & for Tobin to spend less time in day care. I will be clerking for a justice on the NC Supreme Court, which is a wonderful opportunity (& exactly what I wanted to do right out of school) & will provide more family-friendly hours than most legal jobs. Tobin is enrolling in a our first-choice day care center. That was a huge answered prayer for us, because most of the good centers we had visited had waiting lists to enroll infants. We were not expecting to be able to enroll him in a center we liked, so we had started interviewing nanny candidates. While we liked the idea of a nanny, we were worried about being able to pick the right person for Tobin. Then around the time I was taking the Bar, we got an unexpected call from the center we liked the most, telling us that a spot had opened up. I can't underscore enough how good we feel about this place. It was highly recommeded to us by a person we trust, it's less than 3 miles from our home, & the director & teachers have been nothing but impressive in our interactions with them thus far.
Naturally, neither one of us looks forward to spending so much time away from Tobin but we are thankful that, since we have to work, we both have good jobs & are able to leave Tobin with people we trust. We appreciate your love & prayers which have carried us this far & solicit your continued support as we begin this new leg in our journey as a family.
(I love this picture of us taken a couple of weeks ago in Kentucky. Thanks, Aunt Sarah.)
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
So much to see
In addition to the wonder of the fan, Tobin seems to have noticed his feet for the first time in the last couple of days. He has enough involuntary movement that they seem to operate independently of the rest of his body sometimes. This morning, I was holding him in a sitting position when his feet caught his eye. He was tranfixed until he would slightly lose his balance. Then his foot would twitch at the movement he had to make to correct his balance. When his foot moved, he would smile at it and his eyes would get big. Then he would stare so intently that he would lose his balance again, causing him to wobble, causing his foot to move, causing him to smile . . . and so on.
I don't wish that I could be so easily distracted by my own appendages. How would you explain that to the officer after you rear-ended another vehicle? "Sorry sir, but my left foot caught my attention and I stopped looking at the road. LOOK LOOK, it's moving again!" But I do wish that I could see things with new eyes again. There are some pretty magical things around the house that I take for granted: toilets, fans, stereo equipment, television, electric light, the microwave, books, the clothes dryer, running water. The list could go on. I envy Tobin the perspective that everything is full of wonder and new. I really look forward to hearing his explanations of where the water in the faucet comes from or why the sky is blue. I'm sure his answers will be more fun than the real ones.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
12 weeks & 3 days
At 12 weeks, he continues to be very verbal & even more engaged. We were shopping at Target the other day with Tobin strapped to Matt in the BabyBjorn & I looked back at them & Tobin was tracking me. I stepped closer & smiled & his face lit up, making me feel like the MOST important person in the world. I am super lucky to have two men in my life that make me feel so special on a daily basis.
Tobin has also discovered his hands & his tongue, which he tries to get together A LOT. He loves to blow spit bubbles & stick out his toungue & then try to eat his fist. It's beyond cute, even if his dad is a bit put off by the drool. (Kidding, he's not too put off but he does feel the need to wipe it away more than I do.)
Tummy time is still more of a chore than fun. We're supposed to let him play on his tummy to develop his neck & back muscles, since he sleeps on his back. Tobin doesn't much like being on his tummy. He grunts in protest & will often just lay his head down & frown, which of course we cannot tolerate so we turn him over rather quickly. But he has made some progress & can be "tricked" into holding his head up like a little turtle if one of us puts our hands under his chest & then slowly removes them. He doesn't seem to understand that his arms can help him prop his head & chest up. He almost always puts his arms to his side & THEN tries to lift his head, which is hard for most anyone to do. It's all terribly amusing.
People frequently ask me about his schedule. For the most part, I would say it is: wake at 7, eat about every 3 hours, go to bed at 7 with one or two night wakings. But then lately he seems to be changing that. For example, he's napped more than an hour & a half past his 10am feeding. And last night, he was happy & awake until about 8:30pm. He's seemed to want to stay up later the last few nights. This is after weeks of going to bed rather consistently between 6:30 & 7:30, which was really nice because Matt & I could have dinner after he went to sleep. But I'm content to let him tinker with his schedule. He's been so easy that I can't complain. And even though he wakes at night, he's very easy to get back to sleep & is often kind enough to let Mom & Dad sleep in sometimes. It will be interesting to see how his routine goes once we start working . . .
Speaking of Tobin, he is now waking from a gigantic nap (for him, more than 2 hours) & I am sure he is a hungry boy.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Family? Tobin. Nice to Meet You
You can click on the picture to see a larger version, but for those of you that don't know everyone, I'll attempt a caption:
Front row (couch) left to right: Grandma Yardley (Matt's maternal grandmother), Allison, Tobin, Matt, and Grandmother Smith (Matt's paternal grandmother).Vivian and Beckie are Matt's dad's sisters.
Second row: Becca Stephens, Matt's mom, Vivian Stephens, and Britt Stephens.
Back row: Matt's dad, Ashley Hultman, Bob Hultman, Dan (Sarah's husband), Beckie Hultman, Andrea Hultman, and Sarah.
It felt like it had been a long time since everyone had been together, so it was fun to catch up. It was especially good to see Dan and Sarah. We're looking forward to them being within a day's drive again. We were worried about how Tobin would do on the plane and in a new environment, but he did a good job overall, and even felt comfortable enough to express his discomfort or displeasure a couple of times. I'm can't say for sure if he did, but his parents definitely sensed the love and excitement of his extended family.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Speaking of Tobin's dad, there are many reasons why I am thankful for my husband. But this summer, he has been exceptionally helpful. He was my nanny/housekeeper/cook/best friend while I studied a riduculous amount of law. I quite simply could not have taken the test without him--much less avoided being miserable while doing it. He allowed me great flexibility in balancing my study time with Tobin time, all while providing constant encouragement.
Tobin and I are so blessed to have Matt.
With the exam behind me, I can spend my time doing more pleasant, more important things. What have I been doing? Mainly, hanging out with Tobin. I've indulged myself by taking a nap with him each day since the test. It's been wonderful. The next few weeks are full of family time as Tobin will take his first two plane trips to Kentucky and Florida and entertain visitors like his Mamaw Walsh (yes, her 3rd visit in as many months!) and Great Aunt Bethany. And there will be a lot of time hanging out with Dad and Mom. Life is good in the Smith home.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
But how's the traffic?
It represents the traffic on our website in the last 12 months. The most recent month is on the far left. Take a wild guess when Tobin came to live with us.
Comfort level high:And what about the things in the world that are inexplicable? For an adult, that's a difficult concept. But how tough is it for a kid to realize that the people who decided to bring you into the world can't even explain it? I imagine Tobin asking me about a laundry list of things that I can't explain or even understand myself.
"Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, I need to replace the seats and springs on my kitchen faucet. Could you direct me to home plumbing?"
Comfort level low:
"Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, uh . . . I think my refrigerator isn't . . . well, there's a smell that I . . . and the electricity seems to--um--on and off a lot. Sometimes."
"If it's the Holy Lands, why do they hate each other so much?"I don't have any problem saying "I don't know" to my students at school. I know I'll say that to Tobin a lot too, but there's a significant part of me that wants always to be able to explain everything to this face.
"Why are people mean to each other?"
"Why do some people live in the streets?"
"Why would you have pillows on a bed that are only decorative?"
"Why are half the sitcoms on TV about a chubby guy and his implausibly attractive wife?"
Saturday, July 22, 2006
What nice eyes you have . . .
Friday, July 21, 2006
Most importantly, he is healthy (not even a cold yet) and happy (smiles more each day). We remain slightly perplexed by his giant proportions, given Matt's and my sizes. But we wouldn't have it any other way, since he is so obviously thriving. We remain immensely grateful and humbled by the blessing God has given us in our son.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
My day job
I got a look today that can only be interpreted as "You're boring me. What else can we do?" In his defense, I probably was boring him: I had been showing him how I reset the bridge on my mandolin to lower the action and try to reduce pressure on the headstock. Allison gives me the same look sometimes when I say things like "I've been trying for an hour to figure out the correct attribute to standardize the margins and spacing on our website."
After the "boring" look, I put him in his crib under his mobile, which held his rapt attention for 25 minutes before he slipped away to Napland. After he wakes up, I'll go over his appointment schedule for the rest of the day before letting him check over drafts of Toblog posts. He picked up a keen eye for detail in utero when Allison1 was editing the NCLR2.
1. More commonly known as "Mom" since May 18, 2006. See previously published articles of Toblog. Digital archives availabe since May 2006 at Toblog, published by Smith, Smith, et al.
2. the North Carolina Law Review.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Well, it isn't Fellini . . .
But more than cutting it in two, we're going to make a game of it. You can view each clip by clicking the pictures below. The one with the picture of Tobin and me will take you to a video where I'm the one holding the camera. The picture below that one will show you the part of the video with Tobin's mom controlling the camera. I'll check the download files and data transfer to see which video is more popular. And, of course, I'll take that as a sign of which of Tobin's parents you like better. :)
I think you'll notice we have similar directorial style and focus. Be sure your speakers are on. Tobin talks it up.
The pictures are captured frames from each of the videos. I think they are hilarious. In fact, I imagine Kung Fu movie sounds when I look at them, like Tobin is in attack mode.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
At 8 weeks . . .
He smiles a lot. His face lights up with a smile regularly when Matt & I put our face near his and talk to him.
He talks. Okay, it's just a lot of "coo"s, "gah"s, and "ah"s but it's pretty amazing. He's communicating in ways other than just crying and rooting. We spend a lot of time echoing back to him. He also seems to love it when I start the cooing. His face lights up, he smiles, and most the time he coos back. Perhaps his dad will post some video evidence soon.
He's showing some independence. He doesn't like to be held and cuddled that much during playtime. He prefers to sit in his bouncy chair or lay on the floor or bed, so he can kick and move his arms and turn his head. He still likes naps on Dad's chest and snuggling in the morning. Another new development is that he's been putting himself to sleep at night. We've been putting him in his bed with his mobile and soothie and he coos at the mobile for a while and then drifts off . . . with the occasional squeal of protest to tell us his soothie has popped out of his mouth. We're against letting him cry it out, but we're also thankful that he doesn't need to be coaxed to sleep every night.
He sleeps through the night . . . sometimes. For a big boy, I think the expectation is that he sleep through the night consistently already. He's been waking only once a night since he was like 3 weeks old, so I have no complaints. And then this week, he's been waking twice a night. But oh well. For some reason, nighttime waking has never bothered me much because he just eats and goes back to sleep. What I would like him to work on is not wanting to get up at 5, which has been the case the last two mornings. :)
Friday, July 07, 2006
So here are some things that have been happening with Tobin. You can pick up a lot with our pictures. For instance, he smiles. For real. A lot. And at least twice, I've heard an almost-laugh. He's quite unpredictable and yet quite consolable. I feel like he has a new trick a week. Like last week, his trick was falling asleep in his bouncy chair. We would have him in there for playtime, listening to music; we'd walk a way for a sec and return to find him just dozing. This week is totally different. His chair is a very active place from whence he laughs and "bicycles" his arms and legs.
The other on-and-off again thing for Tobin has been his relationship with the pacifier. We gave him one kind which he took in the evenings during his "fussy" periods (which also come and go--so it's difficult to call them regular). We were reluctant to give him one because of the whole nipple confusion thing that affects some babies' breastfeeding. But since Mr. T is gaining a pound a week, it seems that feeding is something he has down pat. The first few times we tried it, he flatly refused. He either wanted my breast or Matt's pinkie. Then one night, he was fussing for no apparent reason, so I tried and he took it. And then just peacefully observed his mobile and then the ceiling fan for a while. That pacifier lasted for about 3 days. Then he refused--acting as if I was asking him to suck on a lemon if I put it near his lips. About a week ago, we introduced him to the "Soothie" brand pacifier. And he likes it. It's been consistent naptime/fussy time/night time companion for him. It's a rare night that Tobin isn't nursed or rocked to sleep, but he's had a few nights and naps where he can be put in his bed with the Soothie and drifts off on his own. All the while, it's comforting for me to know that he will refuse it if he's hungry.
Here's a recap of Tobin's and his parents' last week, since I haven't been too good about keeping a daily account:
July 1 - Matt & I celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary by going on our very first post-Tobin date. My parents were in town, so we went out for a one hour and 45-minute (who's counting?) dinner at Bocci, an Italian place around the corner. It was quite nice. Tobin and his grandparents had a lovely time. He showed them how much he likes his new mobile and then took a nap.
July 3 - Tobin meets his Granddad Smith for the first time. He greets him with a cozy nap.
July 5 - Tobin takes his first bottle. He gulps down four ounces of expressed breastmilk with aplomb. Okay, with a little too much air and some spills . . . but he was satisfied until his next feeding.
July 6 - Tobin turns 7 weeks and goes to his first baseball game. I can't capture it any better than his dad did in his earlier post.
In the past week, Tobin has seen both sets of grandparents and his Aunt Ashley. Tomorrow, he will meet Amy and Travis, friends who are coming up from Charlotte to see him.
All in all, Tobin has a very good life, just seven weeks in. And his dad and I continue to be amazed by and are completely in amoured of our sweet, strong little boy.
Sadly, I must return to studying the rules of evidence. Fortunately, Tobin is also due to wake for a feeding in about half an hour, so that will be another study break.
Oh, here's my favorite picture of late. Tobin and his sister, chillin' on the love seat.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Baseball with Tobin
I tried to explain to him that Richmond's starting pitcher was struggling with his location because of poor mechanics on his drive leg, and as you can tell from the picture and the look on his face, he seemed to appreciate my fatherly nugget of wisdom.
It meant a lot to me to take him to a baseball game. I think of Papa (my mom's dad) a lot when I watch baseball, and when I coach it. I've decided to take a break from coaching for a while. As much as I have loved coaching, it's not a difficult decision to give those 20-25 hours a week to Tobin instead. But tonight, being outside with the game in front of me and my son beside me was unspeakably good. Walt Whitman wrote about baseball before it was blown out of proportion by the big leagues. I looked it up to be sure I quoted it correctly:
Baseball will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.Before I thought about it tonight, I always ascribed that "Repair these losses" line to the Civil War, but tonight it made me think about how much I loved--and love--Lee Yardley, and how much I love Tobin Lee. And to a much lesser, though still significant degree, how much I love the game of baseball.
Monday, July 03, 2006
When the grandparents visit
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Tobin's Second Video
You can watch it here (or click on the picture above). Please feel free to download it to your hard drive and watch it whenever you'd like [edit: moved to YouTube]. We had fun making it. And since we're getting better at putting video together and uploading it, maybe it won't be four weeks until video #3.
Monday, June 26, 2006
This music makes me sleepy
Peaceful, sighing, drifting, drifting, peaceful -- I'M FALLING OH MY GOSH! . . . two minutes elapse.Today, after one of those sessions, I brought him into the living room and put him in his bouncy chair. I was reorganizing some CDs and put the final movement of Brahms's first symphony on while I was doing it. Tobin was calm and peaceful almost immediately; he was asleep by the time the woodwinds took over the main theme. I like to think he's processing the music personally and finding it soothing, but I know it may just be a confluence of other soothing factors, one of which is probably the ceiling fan that was directly over his head. At the very least, it was nice to associate a piece of music I really like with him finding the rest that had eluded him for a while.
Sighing, peaceful, calm, I am a cloud floating on the -- WHOAH! AM I BEING DROPPED OR WHAT?! . . . two minutes elapse. And so on for between four and twenty minutes.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Height and Weight, Please
Yes, we know his dad is a nerd for thinking of the Colossus at a pediatric appointment. And yes, you can click on the picture to learn more about the Colossus (the Toblossus?).
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
The only time I had really felt the milestone-ness was on our wedding day. That felt like a real, significant event -- a line of demarcation at which I knew that everything after would be different. So as Father's Day approached, I may have been guilty of a little skepticism. But there was something really magical about the day. Tobin and I didn't really even do anything. I spent most of the morning and afternoon with him on my chest while I watched World Cup matches and the US Open. His naps were punctuated by diaper changes and feedings, which means that it was really just any other day for him. But for me, there was a different feeling to the entire day. And maybe most remarkably for me given my history of over-anticipating "milestones," it was a really special day. I felt a heightened sense of the blessing that Tobin has been in his month here with us, and humbled at the role I've been given on this side of Father's Day.
Tobin on Father's Day, the day he turned one month old.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
What? The archives were down? Get with it, Dad!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Dad is home
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Word association with Tobin
Baseball = Dad.
Breastmilk = Mom. (Yum.)
Blue-gray = my eyes.
Buddha belly = mine.
Big beautiful baby boy = me.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Some random reflections
So here I am on this Tuesday, filled with gratitude about the present state of things. Tobin is about to wake up from his second nap of the day (and it's only noon--what a life!). I feel that Tobin, Matt, and I are growing more in sync with each other with each passing day. I am feeling more confident in my role as Mom and, consequently, enjoying it more. Tobin is helping a lot by sleeping really well. Most of the last week, he has only awakened once between 11pm and 5am. He seems to be developing more of a routine with his sleeping and eating habits in general. The amazing part about all of this is that we haven't tried to "train" him to do this. Mostly what we've done is try to figure out what he needs or wants and give it to him--regardless of the time of day. My baby books say that babies fuss a lot during these first few weeks because they're getting used to life outside the womb. I'm hoping that Tobin is feeling more and more comfortable out here each day. Matt and I sure like having him in our world.
Tobin's great-aunt Louise just left after a five-day visit, which was really nice for all of us. It looks as if we won't have another visitor until June 30, when his Grandpa and Mamaw Walsh stop by on their way to a mission trip in Kentucky. It's been really wonderful to have so many family members visit our corner of the world and we look forward to more. In the meantime, we'll enjoy a nice stretch of alone time as a family.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
This smile is a gas
Friday, June 09, 2006
Three weeks and a day
We continue to be amazed by and so thankful for our strong, healthy boy. At his doctor's appointment this week, Tobin weighed in at 10 lb. 14 oz., which means he gained 2 lbs. over the last 2 weeks--about double the target rate. Already an overachiever, I suppose? Seriously, his healthy weight gain was happy news for me, because breastfeeding is such an inexact science. After reading so much about breastfeeding and all the different feeding philosophies, it's easy to be nagged by some self-doubt. Empirical evidence is always reassuring. :)
Saturday, June 03, 2006
I love our Baby Björn®. I'm not as cool-looking or fashionable as the guy in the official ads, but I love strapping Tobin in and taking walks or hanging out around the house. I'm looking foward to when I can turn him around in it. He's probably looking forward to it more.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
A friend of Tobin's is a friend of mine
Monday, May 29, 2006
And all things considered, last night was a really good night. Tobin slept from 12:00 to 3:00 and 4:30 to 7:30.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
As if I could feel any more joy after only 10 days with Tobin, it's been great to see him around his grandparents this weekend. In a week that I've been continuously reminded how blessed we are as a family, having them here has only added to that feeling. I don't worry about how our family will get along or worry that someone shouldn't be around the baby. Instead, it's just a feeling of love and . . . well, family. At least, what I've known and expect family to be.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Tobin Lee, the name
Tobin's middle name is in memory of Matt's maternal grandfather, Lee Yardley, who we lost shortly before last Christmas. Matt's Papa was a gentle giant who we miss tremendously and wish could have met his first great-grandson. We look forward to telling Tobin all about his great-grandfather Lee . . . and think that his wrinkly forehead favors him.
Friday, May 26, 2006
All entries here have passed muster with Tobin, who is quite the expert at passing muster -- among other things.
Speaking of that, I changed my first diaper (yes, ever) on Friday, May 19 and lost track of how many I'd done by Saturday night. I attribute my early successes to the on-the-job training program Tobin has instituted. He's a creative coach, using different techniques at irregular intervals to keep me on my toes. "Partial reinforcement" is a psychological concept I didn't learn about until well into my teenage years, but Tobin apparently practiced and mastered it in utero.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Hmm. So, it's either a) something really serious for which we should pack the car and call ahead to the hospital OR b) just relax and live with it because it's normal. I think I could write that book. Maybe I'll let other people ask me questions. Maybe the exchange could be something like this:
Worried Parent: "My baby has spit up three times in the last hour and has filled two diapers since I started looking for your email address in the helpful book you published."I guess that's part of parenting. Worrying and fretting over what is probably and hopefully nothing to worry about.
Dr. Matt: "Hmm. Spitting up and pooping could be serious signs of a predilection for obstrepsopsis of the ductal tract. Of course, it could also be that he ate a lot and is merely going through normal digestive cycle. Beats me. Thanks for buying my book."
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Tobin's First Video
Here it is: Tobin's Room at UNC
Monday, May 22, 2006
Feel free to leave comments.
In case you were wondering.
Hannah seems to be getting along fine with Tobin so far. I'm not sure she understands that he's here for good, but she's been really nice. Plus, in what I hope is a good sign, he's been able to sleep through her barking. I think you can tell she's a little unsure by her face in this picture. All in all, ours is a happpy, sleepy excited family.