Child Rearing Techniques
News, Thoughts, Opinions, & Stories
7 Weeks old today
So we went and had pictures taken of Declan at Sears Portrait Studio. It was Jen's idea. I argued endlessly that I could get just as good of pics for a lot cheaper and figured we wouldn't actually buy anything... I hate being wrong... they got some great pics, one was so good the photographer is putting it up a huge version of it on the wall of the store... so we had to buy a big version of that one, and then there were a bunch of other good ones that I just couldn't pass up. Perhaps it's just fatherly pride.
Declan took his first road trip last weekend. We went to a cousins wedding in Southwest Missouri. I'm continually impressed by how pretty Missouri is, particularly in Spring and Fall... Declan pretty much slept the whole time, uncharacteristic for him, but better than having him scream from his car seat. On the way home, we went by the place where my father spent many of his childhood weekends in the 40s, a cabin on the Bourbouis river and scouted for good barns to take pics of for my mom's new painting career.
On the homefront, we've started trying to get Declan into regular eating and napping routines to give Jen a little more downtime and to avoid, overtired Declan crankiness... not much luck yet but hopefully we'll have it mostly established in a week or two.
And of course, there are some new pics up at
Declan Week 3 Photos
Lots more pics of Declan up on my photo site:
. (see Declan/Week 3).
Declan turned one month old on April 6th. They grow up so fast...
Went to the Doc on Thursday for Declan's one month appointment. He's grown an inch (22 inches), gained some weight (10lbs, 3oz), and is looking all around healthy.
Declan has slept all the way through all 6 times we've eaten out so if anyone wants to do dinner, we're usually up for it.
Declan took his first trip to the zoo and the City Museum (we're showing friends from out of town around)... pretty much slept through most of both.
He's continuing to get more and more alert and awake every day.
We actually had two nights away from Declan last week, once for the Death Cab for Cutie concert and once for dinner. He was in the good hands of his extended family and seems okay with the whole thing.
He's learned to interact with at least one of his toys and is better at entertaining himself while awake.
He seems to be going through some growth spurts which don't give Jen a lot of time to do anything but feed, but I guess it's okay if he grows up a bit though I'll certainly miss his current way of being.
I think we're finally beginning to get the hang of this thing called parenthood. There's no real routines yet or even regularlity but there's a lot less fumblimg, searching, wondering, and most importantly, challenges.
Declan's eating well now. For the first week and a half he was losing more weight than he should have but seems to be packing it on nicely now and 15 minute feedings now only take 20 minutes. Last night was probably the best sleeping night we've had yet. While he did wake up every three hours for a feeding and a few diaper changes, there were no extended crying sessions like there have been. Wake up, change, feed, change, go to sleep. That I can handle. It was the staying awake for 2 hours between 3am and 5am while he screamed for most of the time that was considerably more trying of my patience.
All the little tasks that used to require both Jen and I are now second nature and can be performed by just one of us and so we're better able to sub for each other better so we both get our downtime.
Now that things have settled down, we'd love to let people start meeting Declan. So let us know if you want to swing by and meet the little fellow. We're home most the time, just give us a call in advance so we can schedule feedings and whatnot accordingly.
Lots more pics are up...
Don't all infants have a logo?
was born, I worked up
a little website for her
... and her Dad (Jen's Brother) created a great logo for her... so, of course, I had to ask Brian work up a logo for Declan and he came up with a
bunch of great options
(he does fabulous creative work, including Efficion's logo, if you're ever looking for great looking stuff).
I'm undecided on a favorite and will probably use several of them once I create a site for Declan.
Declan's Many Faces
It's interesting trying to get to know someone who has such a limited range of communication techniques. I'm always trying to figure out what's going on in that mind of his and Jen and I have great fun voicing his thoughts for him.
I've decided he's got three levels of cries... Level I is actually kind of cute once you get used to it, and believe me we have. Level II is a bit disconcerting but usually comes with a soon to end event such as a diaper change, waking him up for a feeding, or ... Level III, particularly in the wee hours, just isn't good. When level III happens you desperately search for the cause and try everything you can to alleviate his concerns ASAP, but unfortunately, it's usually gas or hunger, there's little to be done for gas and for hunger, you gotta get him down to Level I before it can be addressed.
He sleeps a lot, but has many expressions, poses, and even arm movements during so it's still fascinating to just watch him.
The most fun though is when he's fully alert (probably only happens around 2% of the time at this point). His eyes open wide and just seem to be taking in everything around him, and when he stares into my eyes, I feel so connected to him.
More Pics by Me
Pics by Growing Family
Home Sweet Home
After a 4 day stint at the hospital (St John's), we finally got to go home today. While we'll miss the ability to let the nursery staff handle some of the late night hours, it sure is nice to be home.
Declan seems to be taking to his new surroundings well. He was alert for quite some time today, by far the most since birth. His eyes are dark with hints of blue, green, and brown. It was wonderful watching him look around and take it all in... and his reaction the first time I played the piano for him was... well... precious (am I allowed to use that term now?).
For the most part, he's a content and happy little guy. He can get pretty worked up over gas and he's not very consistent yet with feeding. We're trying to exclusively breastfeed at this point and while the nurses say he's actually doing quite well, he's lost 11% of his birthweight (a bit more than normal) and he's only successful at 50% of his feedings and those usually take over one hour for 15 minutes of actual feeding. So that's a struggle for us and consumes much of our day... but the benefits of breastfeeding are huge and you pretty much have to go one way or the other (at least at the beginning).
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E-mail: dave at oledave.com
Home Phone: 314.863.4002
Home Address: 7104 Pershing Ave., St. Louis, MO, 63130
Software- Developing Internet and Intranet software for through my company,
Summers- Experiential Education with the
American Youth Foundation/Camp Miniwanca
Hobbies & Interests
Outdoors- Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting, Hiking, Climbing, and Biking
Swing, Cajun, and Contra Dancing- Haven't been doing this much lately but have fun when I do
Copyright© 2004-11, David O'Leary