Micronaxx The adventures of Finn & Henry

31May/080

Dinner with Mira & Bruce

Two weeks ago now (man, time is flying!), Finn, Margot, and I were treated to an early Friday evening dinner with our friends Bruce, Mira, and their little daughter Anja. Looking for cute blog-fodder as always, I hovered around the proceedings with my camera. No word yet on whether Finn will be requesting a second serving of Mira's bicep. 😉 Here are the pix. (HTML)

30May/080

FinnTV

Finn has now successfully completed the transition from sidecar (the co-sleeper in our room) to the crib in his own room. For the past week or so, we have been sleeping in Finn's room just to make sure things went smoothly. Honestly, sleeping in his room is probably mostly due to my own insecurity about leaving my little boy to sleep alone in his room! We've been sleeping next to each other ever since he came home from the hospital, and although I know he will be fine on his own in there, it's a little hard for me to make the transition.
To help make it easier, we picked up a video baby monitor, a.k.a. FinnTV. This will help us hear and see Finn at night so we can figure out if he's actually awake and needs attention, or if he's just rustling around in his sleep. His room is so dark at night you can barely see him to tell if he's awake or not, so the little videocam with night vision should really help. Because believe me, I want to avoid any unnecessary wake-ups! And now that he's down to one middle-of-the-night feeding the trip from upstairs to Finn's room and back won't be such a big deal. (Oh, and 2 night lights along the stairwell will help, too!)

27May/080

Finn on Skin!

Our friend Peter Krogh and his wife Allison recently sent Finn a terrific sheepskin rug that our boy's been enjoying. The Kroghs say their kids loved having such soft pads of their own, and it's easy to see why. Peter is a pro photographer, so I tried not to stink up the picture-taking too much on this one. 😉 Here's the gallery. (HTML)

26May/080

Weekend Adventures

Finn has been diligently practicing his "tummy time" in order to strengthen his neck muscles and improve his head control. Of course, we think he is the Incredible Hulk in this category and demonstrates superhuman strength--and we have the photographic evidence to prove it!
We also got a few cute shots of Finn and his Aunt Laura during her visit this weekend. She and Finn had some good times on the playmat, reading "Pat the Bunny" together, and chitchatting while mom and dad went to the movies one afternoon. Check it out! (HTML)

23May/080

Coning With Aunt Laura

Finn's Aunt Laura is in town for a visit, and we took some time out from domestic administration to go out for frozen yogurt. In Liggett family tradition, this is known as "coning", which stems from our frequent childhood visits with Mom and Dad to Braum's, the local dairy in our hometown, where we'd get ice cream cones and sit in the car and people-watch as we licked our cones. Here in San Jose, we don't have Braum's, but we have what we fondly refer to as "The Yogurt Hut" just down the street in our neighborhood. It's a tiny freestanding frozen yogurt shop with plenty of outdoor seating for good people-watching.
Here are some pics from our outing. It was a particularly good day for observation! Aside from Finn being happy and cute as he chatted with his Aunt, we saw dancing boys with their aunts and grandmas, little girls playing a plastic saxophone, and even a southern California plastic surgery victim. (We selected only the cutest subject matter, ourselves :-)).

22May/080

Calla Lily Freakout

  1. We try to keep this blog focused on the positive (for example, not telling you about Finn trying to pee on my sandwich the other day--a whole other story, obviously), and...
  2. What could be cuter than a beautiful boy with some beautiful flowers? (we thought)

Er, well, the small guy decided he wasn't gonna play ball, at least when the camera was around, and now the flowers have departed. Even so, the resulting pair of images are kinda fun, I think. <:-P

20May/080

The Chosen Rattle

Among Finn's little pile of toys (e.g. "Jingle Frog" and "Jingle Duck," who we think go by "Dave" and "Henrietta" when they're off duty) is a very large, captivating tube filled with little beads that shuffle noisily from one end to the other. One end of the tube is stamped prominently, "Made in Israel."
Talking to my Israeli friend Uri yesterday, I mentioned that we play with the "Israttle" and wonder whether this makes Finn an honorary "Israttlite." He replied, "I'm proud our ancient nation is contributing to your son's development. We gave the world the Ten Commandments, nagging moms and rattles :)"

20May/080

Windows Of Opportunity

We've all heard how important it is to recognize and take advantage of "windows of opportunity." This could not be more true when it comes to getting Finn down for a nap. I have found, through incredibly painful (and loud) trial and error, that one does NOT want to miss the nap window. This window is very distinct and is not open very far, so you've got to be alert and slip him through that narrow opening as fast as you can!
I was at my wit's end last week, trying to get him to nap without going through major histrionics prior to the final surrender to sleep. I'm not kidding--sometimes up to 40 minutes of shooshing, swaddling, rocking, cajoling, crying (both Finn and me), squalling, etc. And then the payoff might only be a 30 minute nap. Frustrating, to say the least.
This was obviously not working for either of us--Finn wasn't getting good naps, I was getting more exasperated each time I needed to put him down. I reread a bunch of my baby sleep books and rededicated myself to figuring out when the "nap window" opens--i.e. he is sleepy and receptive to relaxing, but not overtired and hard to settle. I also decided to change my soothing strategy--less stimulation during playtime (fewer rattles and jingly things in his face), no rocking or walking around (which is killing my back, since he's almost 16 lbs! Plus, rocking and walking are additional stimuli).
My new approach: scoop him up on the first big yawn (the second or third is WAY too late), swaddle him, turn on the lullaby CD, dim the room, sit down and start shooshing/patting his bottom. Yes, he still squawks, but only a few short ones before he settles right down and closes his eyes. From start to finish, it takes 10-15 minutes, and then I pop him in the crib. This is exponentially less time than ever before. I almost can't believe it's actually working! It feels really good to have turned a corner on naptime! (I have actually done a couple of victory laps around the living room after getting him down.) [She's not kidding about that! --J.]

17May/081

FinnTube!

Small man on the big screen! 😀
Just press Play, below...

16May/080

Vaccinations part II

Whew. Well this time the vaccinations went much more smoothly. Finn had a full tummy, a preemptive dose of infant Tylenol, and a quick nap before he got the shots. He was remarkably calm, and only cried for a grand total of 5 seconds during and immediately after the shots. As soon as I got him onto my lap, he chilled out completely. Thank God that nurse was so fast with the syringes!
We had another weigh-in as well, just to make sure he's getting enough to eat. I have been feeding him a bit less each meal in hopes of stemming the fountains of spit-up that accompany every feeding. He's doing great, of course, as my ever-larger biceps can attest...he is up to 15 lbs 12 oz! The Tiny Giant roars ahead, stomping all smaller, wimpier babies in his path!

15May/080

Battle… Domendite!

Margot and I watch way too much "Iron Chef America"--or rather, we did pre-Finn, when watching TV was actually an option. We get a particular kick out of the ridiculous character of "The Chairman's Nephew," played by a totally overwrought martial artist, screaming "Battle... {food item}!!" at the start of every show. It's all accompanied by frenetic camera zooms, dry ice smoke, and him giving kind of a karate chop towards the ingredient du jour ("Battle... GOAT LIVER!!").
For some reason (long-term sleep deprivation, or maybe the 100-degree heat here in San Jose), I'm reminded of all this when I look at some recent Finnpix. Therefore I present... "Battle... DOMENDITE!*" (HTML)
* Translation for everyone who isn't a weirdo who grew up in Galena, IL: big toe. 😉

11May/081

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mom's Day to all the mothers out there, and most especially to newly minted mom Margot!
We're having a pretty quiet day, with Finn alternately fussing, sleeping, eating, and staring at things ("regarding faces," as the baby books say); in other words, I suppose it's been like pretty much every day, ever. 😉
While Margot gives our friend a snack, I've uploaded a gallery of images from the day (also in HTML). You can see the little tree I bought for the occasion. Its little bushes of leaves remind me of Margot's "mop," and the whole thing makes me think of a Margot-and-Finn arboreal peanut. 🙂 See also Finn's newfound love of exploring his tongue.

9May/080

The 10-Minute Rule, Subterfuge, and Other Mysteries of Baby Sleep

It's 9:02 p.m. and Finn knows EXACTLY where I am. He KNOWS. Even though he's "asleep" he knows that he's not in my arms, nor in John's arrms, which is where he'd most definitely prefer to be. He knows that I am nearby but not nearby enough to make him sleep like the dead.
I have noticed a lot of interesting and also frustrating elements of Finn's sleep patterns. There's the 10-Minute Rule, which is the rule that guarantees 10 minutes (almost to the exact second) after you transfer Finn from your arms to the crib or bassinett, he will WAKE UP like a bolt of lightening and start complaining--regardless of how soundly he was sleeping while you were holding him. Honestly, he will be absolutely stone cold motionless in your arms the entire time he's there, and 10 minutes after you move him, once his little brain catches on, the jig is most definitely up. I'll let you know what's happening at 9:12 p.m., exactly 10 minutes after I put him back in his bassinett after he woke up (which was 10 minutes after John put him down for the night).
The 10-Minute Rule is the reason there is so much attempted sleep subterfuge with babies. It seems like we spend a lot of time tricking them into falling asleep, staying asleep, and not letting them catch on that they've been transferred to an actual bed. The rocking, shushing, swaddling, swaying, pacifying, ever-so-gentle depositing of said baby into the crib so as not to wake him, it's all just so much trickery to keep them asleep. And the majority of the time none of it works at all. He wakes up, you start all over again, and hope that the next time it sticks so you can go to sleep. I would be really interested to tally up the number of hours moms and dads spend rocking their kids into submission!
I'm sure these traits are all remnants of primitive man...it was probably pretty critical for little humanoids to be hyper-aware of where they were and whether there was any danger or weirdness afoot, particularly while sleeping. Now how that translates into a 10 minute delay I have no idea. The saber-toothed tiger hovering near the mouth of your cave would certainly have devoured you in less than 10 minutes, right?
Well, it's 9:13 p.m. and althougth Finn's making tons of awake-ish noises, I don't think he's actually awake. So i've outsmarted him for at least 11 minutes this time.

8May/080

Finndancing!


When you listen to as much jazz as we do throughout the day, well, a little soft-shoe will inevitably break out. 🙂 Here are the pix. (Also in HTML.)

7May/080

Quiet times on the ol’ Finnblog

Greetings, fellow Finnthusiasts. 🙂 Our normal pace of "More updates about a largely immobile bambino than anyone would have thought possible" has been slowed a little this week by the unexpected demise of ol' dad's hard drive. Fortunately I was able to recover everything (or very close to everything), and my big cache of Finn photos seems safe. Margot and I are busily queuing up entries on "Tot Pattern Baldness," "Playing the Finnstrument," and more. Oh, and I hope to have our wee man make his YouTube debut quite soon. Stay tuned!

3May/080

Root, Root, Root for the Cubbies

Hey Chicago, whaddya say?
The Finnster's gonna win to-day...

Finn's Grandma Liggett is a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, which is a fondness also shared by the Nack side of his family (all Illinois natives!). Just this week, Grandma L sent Finn a little Cubs jersey/onesie so he can start rooting for the family's team. It is, of course, absolutely adorable on him, which you can see for yourself. He seems pretty excited to be wearing it, and we hope it still fits by the time he makes it to Chicago in August to visit his extended family!
Here's a gallery of Finn sporting the new duds (also in HTML).

3May/081

You’re getting veeeeery sleeeeepy

I've hesitated to share this information for fear of jinxing our progress, but it seems to be sticking so here goes...Finn has graduated to sleeping up to 7 hours at a stretch at night! This is a particularly glorious development for Mom, because it means I actually feel like I'm getting decent sleep. For the past week or so, Finn has been lengthening out his first stretch of night sleeping, and once he goes down around 8 or 9 p.m., he sleeps until about 2 or 3 a.m. Hooray! Then he'll nurse and go back to sleep until 6 or 7 a.m.
So we're down to 1 middle-of-the-night feeding and keeping our fingers crossed that he keeps working towards an even longer stretch of uninterrupted sleep. I'm crediting not only Finn's development, but the continued swaddling and the installation of light-blocking shades in his bedroom and our bedroom (where he currently sleeps in his co-sleeper, a.k.a. the bed's sidecar).

2May/080

Finnegrins!

On a lighter note (than vaccinations and squalling)...

😀
Our beamish boy was beaming indeed this Wednesday as his mom & I took him out for his first night away from home. We stayed at Le Meridien in San Francisco as I was working late at an Adobe event next door. M&D munched on room service (take that, expense account!) while the wee man partied on the "Big Boy Bed." Amazingly, no one died in the night due to collisions with unfamiliar furniture. Finn's sleep pattern was more whacked out than it's been lately, but we figured this would be a good dry run for this summer's planned trips to Colorado and Illinois.
To see more pix of our adventure, click the link above or click here (also available in smaller HTML form).
PS--Finn looks duly suspicious of his dad's new Finn-enabled exercise regime.

2May/080

2 Month Checkup Stats

Today was Finn's 2 month checkup with Dr. S. We can hardly believe he's 2 months old already! He weighed in at 14 lbs 12 oz, and 24 inches tall. That's one inch taller and more than 2 lbs heavier than last month. He also gained 1 cm in head circumference (40 cm vs. 39 cm last month). So he's definitely a healthy, thriving boy.
Finn also got a couple of his vaccination shots today and let me tell you, it was no picnic. It continues to be no picnic. FIrst off, by the time he got his shots, he'd already been roused from a nap (which he was late in getting anyway because he fought it so hard this morning), stripped down to his diaper for weighing, poking, and prodding, and he was hungry because it was coming up on time to eat. Those three things alone create a squalling, red-faced baby. Then we hit DEFCON 1 when he got jabbed twice in the thigh for the vaccinations. I had yet to see him that distraught.
And the distress carries on--he's been mostly asleep today, sleeping off the trauma and pain (I imagine), but when he's awake, he's really upset. Crying inconsolably until he falls asleep again. The doc said he'd be extra fussy and boy was she right. I just got some baby Tylenol (per her suggestion) and dosed him up to see if that will take away some of the pain from the injection site. He's asleep in the sling on my chest right now after our brisk walk to Walgreens to get the Tylenol.
Wish us luck the rest of the day!
[Update: I'm happy to report that Finn had chilled way out by the time I got home. The three of us had a nice rest of the evening, and Finn got to meet a nice Irish gent named Steve who dropped by with gifts. --J.]

1May/080

Baby Argot

It may not surprise you to find out that John and I have created lots of baby-related slang lately. Here are a few of the most-used:

  • diaper burrito: the hermetically sealed plastic sack of diapers from the Diaper Genie II
  • baby burrito: a tightly swaddled Finn
  • cochecito: stroller (thanks to Adolfo and Romina from Argentina for this one!)
  • cachetes guapos: literally "handsome cheeks" in Spanish, also from Adolfo & Romina
  • Dipe/di-a-per: diaper. John likes to over-articluate, & I like to shorten words
  • a trip to the lecheria: nursing
  • snoozando: sleeping Finn (-ando being the equivalent of "ing" in Spanish)