Tag Archives: allison

Allison vs. 7 Months

Dear Ally-

As summer closes with definitiviness (I picked the last tomatoes today and there’s a frost warning tonight) this post will be old news to most folks reading this, but when I’m reading this aloud at your wedding many, many years in the future, I think it’s important to have continuity. So a quick look back at your seventh month.

Actually, I’m not totally sure why I’m insisting on revisiting July as it mostly conjures up memories of late night nausea, cold sweats and general unpleasantness. On the Cape for Fourth, we were visited by a biblical plague that started with your big sister decorating the walls, bedding and floor with a colorful array of bodily fluids at 3 a.m. The virus quickly laid waste to both the entire house and the entire holiday weekend. We saw a few over the tree tops, but we mostly witnessed the wrong type of fireworks. Let’s just move on before I’m tempted to include more colorful descriptions.

One aspect of your personality that has emerged loud and clear is that you do not like to be strapped in to anything. High chair, car set, stroller. It doesn’t matter. You do not like having your wings clipped. You scream, squirm and lurch your little arms and legs around. We’re not sure the reason as you are not crawling yet. You’re just at the reach and tip over stage, but you let loose holy hell when you see straps and clips approaching.

Two things you definitely do like? Playing with Dash and swimming. Calling it ‘playing’ might be pretty generous at this point. It’s more interacting. One-sided interacting. You like grabbing him, feeling his fur and sampling his toys, which, to be fair, look very similar to yours. He’s handled it pretty well.

You definitely enjoy the water, pool or ocean, you don’t play favorites, as long as you can splash around and watch your big sister you are quite content. You’ll squeal, giggle and smile and make sure anyone in your general time zone gets as wet as you are.

One other thing before I go. You’ve started babbling quite a bit this month and have Mama down pretty well. You keep repeating Da, De, Dah. Your Mom says we’ll never know if you’re trying to say Dash or Dad or something else, but we both know what it really is, right?

Love,
Dah

Allison vs. 6 Months

Dear Ally-

Well, I’ll be honest, six months had its fair share of up and downs. After that month-long illness respite, the day care germ fairies struck again. Luckily, your incubation in there seems to be working. Your congestion was short-lived, but it did lead to some long nights as your sleeping patterns went haywire.

We also discovered the ‘secret’ to your bafflingly long naps that day care report all the time yet rarely were repeated at home. Yes, they really did happen, but they happened in the swing. Momma was not happy with that crutch and ordered a stop to it. After a few crabby days, you now to seem to accept that you have to nap in your cage. You’ve even topped an hour, almost two on occasion.

One thing that has helped the wretched, horrible pain of being forced to take multiple naps a day is your bunny. While Cece developed an attachment to a knitted blanket, you have adopted a plush, white bunny as your crib buddy. It now borders on a magic talisman that will instantly calm you down. You’ll clutch it (actually it’s closer to crush it) close and kiss it and soon be slipping into rainbow-tinged dreams of warm milk, big burps and constant, adoring attention.

Other six month milestones included: a visit to New Jersey to play with your cousins, your first trip to the Cape (no lobster roll yet), your first nibble of blended food and your first meal with the family in a high chair. Six months is the official time to invoke the Gallagher rule and pull out the ponchos to protect ourselves from pureed flying pears, sweet potatoes, bananas and peas. Dash is in heaven.

Love-

Dad

Allison vs. 5 Months

Dear Ally-

You’re actually now almost seven months and the extra daylight just means more light for other chores, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be bullied into skipping months just for the sake of reality. And to be honest, I wouldn’t mind being stuck in a temporal loop within month five.

Your fifth month I will remember for nothing. A blessed sickness-free, crises-free and generally worry-free month. Thoughts of you contracting Ebola, SARS or a flesh eating bacteria from the day care germ factory hardly crossed my mind. You were just a chubby, chunky, adorable, bundle of wide eyes and gummy grins that greeted us each morning with twitching arms and legs ready to drool and squirm your way through the day. Month five had nothing that will put you into therapy later, but nothing much to add to your scrapbook either. You were a double shot of cuteness and exactly what a happy five month old baby should be. And exactly what your parents needed after a long, sickness-fueled winter.

If this is ever needed for an official court deposition later, here is what I remember:

Unlike your big sister at this age, you continue to favor quick catnaps over longer sustained naps. This could be genetic preference or day care habits or it could be the fact that you have a big sister and a furry brother and letting you sleep is rarely on their agenda. They just want to play, play, play. The good news is that you rarely seem to mind. Give you 20 or 30 minutes and you are ready to play, play, play, too.

By late afternoon (okay, lunch) it often makes your parents want to drink, drink, drink.

In terms of sleeping through the night, you are not there yet. You will go down around seven, but you still like to wake up, have a warm bottle and catch the end of Fallon before nodding off again. You just started in on oatmeal, so maybe those extra calories will help you through the night. We know it could be worse, but we are more than ready for a few uninterrupted nights.

I mentioned last month that you’re developing into a big flirt and that hasn’t changed. During the day, you’re a very amiable little thing provided you have an audience. If we need to put you down for a moment and your siblings are not around to distract you, you sound the alarm, quickly and loudly. The only silver lining here is when someone returns to retrieve you they are usually rewarded with a big, goofy smile. A player and a flirt. Yikes.

Love,
Dad

Allison vs. 4 Months

Hey Ally-

First, the bad news.

We will forever remember your fourth month on this mortal coil for two words: ear infection.

With Cecilia, we never experienced the unique joys of infant inner ear pain so when you started howling like an unattended boiling tea pot and forgoing sleep we were at a bit of a loss. What was happening? Was Ce sticking you with pins when we weren’t looking? Was Dash nibbling your toes? Did you hate watching Caillou as much as we did?

The next two weeks were a haze of 3 a.m. infomercials, delirious daylight hours and sleep fueled solely by exhaustion. It was not pretty. The prevailing wisdom these days from pediatricians is to let kids ride ’em out and eschew antibiotics. Thankfully when we finally convinced them to see us, the solution was almost worse than the problem. We now had to convince our irritable, cranky, uncomfortable angel that taking a plunger full of viscous pink liquid was in her best interest. It was a messy and frustrating experience like trying to eat soup with a fork off a plate. But we survived tougher, wiser and acclimated to four hours of sleep a night.

Now, the good news.

We will also remember your fourth month on this mortal coil for two other words: flirty face.

You really do not like to be alone (you must get this from your Mom) and have rapidly developed into a huge flirt. Luckily, perhaps as a defense mechanism, you’ve accompanied this questionable habit of attention mongering with an irresistible reward: the flirty face.

When you’ve suckered someone into your eye line with your plaintive (and totally fake) cries, you will reward the gullible mark with a cherubic grin accompanied by sticking out your little pointy tongue. That’s the flirty face and man, if you are that good at wielding it now, I’m really nervous for when you learn how to harness it’s full power.

Other things we learned this month:

  • You are starting to get the hang of grabbing Dash’s ears
  • Despite the aggressive comforting tactics, you really like your big sister
  • You’ve moved on to the big bottles
  • Mommy’s really good at making you giggle

Love,

Dad

Allison vs. 2 Months

Hi Allison-

So we’ve emerged from under the pile of tissues, empty Sudafed blister packs and honey-laced herbal tea to find that it’s February and you’re two months old. January was not fun. Don’t worry, we don’t blame you. We pretty much blame day care for any sickness or bad habits.

For the moment, we are all rather healthy or more healthy than we’ve been since Christmas and I’ll admit it’s nice to hold you and not be reminded of a wheezing Studebaker engine or have you cower in fear when we lay you on your back because you are afraid we’re once again going to try to suck your brain out with that dreaded blue bulb.

The only downside to all this apple-cheeked vibrancy is that I now feel compelled to get up and check on your breathing six times a night because I can no longer hear your rattling chest through the walls. I was told the second child was supposed to cure that irrational ‘is my child still breathing’ fear? Guess you’re stuck with my constant fear and paranoia. I expect it will last awhile. Probably your whole life. Sorry.

Speaking of the middle of the night, while it’s a small sample, the last two weeks have shown signs of promise for your sleeping. Once we push through your fussy hours (7-9 at night), you are usually sleeping pretty solidly from 10 pm on, for four or five hour stretches.

We will get the official word on Friday when you go for your check-up (and dreaded first shots, again sorry), but from my viewpoint (that would be the diaper and spit-up view) you are doing quite well. You’re eating well and taking bottles without a fuss. You tolerate your sister’s hugs (which need to be supervised because they border on MMA choke holds) and your furry brother’s very wet and very insistent kisses.

Sadly, just when you’re starting to smile, gurgle and recognize that you have arms and legs, the 24/7 Allison Show will be put on hiatus as we need to go back to work to afford those day care bills. Yes, we recognize the vicious circle of irony.

Things we learned this month:

  • You have a specific poop face and it strikes fear in our hearts
  • You spit up much more than your sister and your favorite target is Momma
  • Still losing your hair
  • No definitive word on the eye color other than they are much darker than Cecilia’s. In some lights, they look the deep, chocolate brown of your handsome father and in others, they look like the crazy hazel of a barnyard cat.

Here are some updated photos when one of us was healthy enough to lift the camera.

Love,

Dad

Allison vs. the Homecoming

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Day six and I finally feel like I can take a deep breath. Today feels like the first day of a routine, at least during the time we are both on leave. Cecilia is (happily) at daycare. Allison is content and napping. Dash has been walked and is asleep under the desk, and I even convinced Chelle to take a rest (napping isn’t in her nature).

Momma and new baby arrived home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon and Cecilia and Dash both could not have been more excited. Cecilia is taking her big sister role seriously. Very seriously. She can be a bit intimidating when she get in her hands-on-hips lecturing mode. She says I have a lot to learn about changing diapers and feeding babies. Dash, on the other hand, seem at times terrified, curious and jealous. Sometimes all at the same time, to the point where he’s just hopping around a big, fluffy ball of conflicting impulses. Need to get that on camera. He’s probably going to take the longest to adjust. He does not like infant crying.

Allison went to her first wellness check at the pediatrician yesterday and passed with flying colors, despite a touch of remaining jaundice. Back for more checks on Wednesday. She appears to have her days and nights out of synch, so nights have been long, but this is our second tour and we’re not harboring many illusions of rest for awhile.

Here are the things we know for sure at this point:
1. Allison’s head is much, much smaller than Ce’s
2. Allison has much more hair for now
3. Their poops both smell the same
4. It’s really hard not to take a cute photo of an infant.