the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peas, Baby

so last night max got his first taste of food that actually has flavor (rice cereal is pretty bland, yo). i decided to go for peas first, since i never liked them when i was a kid. allow me to explain that logic, in case it escapes you.

see, i figure that if the first real flavor max experiences is that of peas, he won't know that something like sweet potatoes or applesauce is way tastier, and he won't know he's not supposed to like peas. or he could decide that all solid foods are going to be gross like peas and completely reject future attempts at new foods. i guess i didn't think about that.

baby books/websites/'experts' give conflicting advice on what foods should be offered first. some say yellow veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, etc) since they're more palatable than green veggies. others say the opposite, following my reasoning. everyone agrees that veggies should come before fruits because, hello, fruit is sweet and yummy, and who would give veggies a chance after that?

actually, that might not be a problem for max. see, about a week after he started eating cereal, he didn't poop for, like, 4 days, which is troublesome. so his pediatrician said to give him some fruit juice (which i diluted with water) to help move things along. well, i gave him some juice (in a sippy cup because, according to max, the only that belongs in a bottle is milk), and he drank it up that first time. so i decided i'd give him a couple of ounces after his cereal every night. only he won't drink it now. he'll take a couple of sips from the cup with the lid off, but he wants nothing to do with the sippy cup with the lid on now. the doc says it not a big deal. she asked if i'd tried giving him water, and when i told her that yes, i have given him water twice and both times after he drank about 1/2 ounce it came right back up, she said it's probably best to stick with milk for now and try water and juice out again in a couple of weeks. if he still rejects them, it's no biggie, at least for a while. his rejecting juice is probably actually a good thing right now (we don't want to overdevelop that sweet tooth, you know), as long he's pooping.

anyway, i don't think max will reject all solids after tasting peas. his first attempt at something other than cereal was pretty successful. he gobbled a few spoonfuls of peas just fine. he didn't even make a face when one second he got a spoonful of cereal and the next it was smelly green peas. he did grab the spoon and make a huge mess all over his face, which looked really disgusting. but he was happy about it.

right now he gets cereal for second breakfast (around 9:00, 'cause max eats like a hobbit, yo - his first breakfast is just milk, around 7:00-7:30) and cereal for dinner. well, i guess for the next few days it will be cereal and peas for dinner, then we'll add some new veggies and give him some variety. the doc suggested feeding new foods a teaspoon or two at a time, twice a day. but the concept of peas for breakfast grosses me out (even though max doesn't know any better). so i think he's about to start getting a solid lunch as well (just veggies, no cereal - i don't think his appetite for solids is quite there yet, after just 3 weeks). three meals a day already. whew.

we'll see how this lunch thing works out this weekend. i didn't want max's first experience with that to be at daycare.

Monday, July 28, 2008

On the Road Again

this past weekend marked the first time i have had to leave max overnight. it was tough. i had to make a trip to port st. joe to collect some sweet seagrass and some sea urchins for my last set of experiments (woo!). but since PSJ is ~5 hours away (leaving from DISL, it's only about 4-4.5 hours from mobile) it requires an overnight stay. without the max. again, it was tough. i barely slept at all saturday night. probably because chad had called me while i was on the road saying something like, "i need suggestions. he won't stop crying. he knows you're not here. he keeps looking at your chair." and that call came around max's usual bedtime. that was not at all what i wanted to hear. but chad did call back around 9:45 to tell me that he'd finally managed to get max to sleep. but it was apparently a rough ride.

actually, we all had a pretty rough ride saturday night. see, i had planned on loading up the truck at DISL with our lab's sweet summer intern, marissa, at 3:00 saturday afternoon and heading to the motel in mexico beach around 3:30. well, marissa and i got the truck loaded up, no problem, and we left the island at 3:30-ish as planned. but shortly after we left dauphin island we hit the rain. hard rain. but it was manageable (i.e., i could see the road and the cars in front of me, and i was in a massive ford f250 super duty, so the risk of hydroplaning was negligible).

and then came the traffic problems. first, the wallace tunnel heading out of mobile was beyond congested. traffic was at a near stand-still a couple of miles before the tunnel, probably a mile or so before you get to the sign warning of congestion ahead. but that's no big deal. i know the area, so i decided to drive around (through downtown mobile) and go through the bankhead tunnel and hit I-10 from the causeway. so that's what we did, no problem.

and then we got to pensacola. and interstate traffic was once again at a stand-still. it took us 40 minutes to get from the pine forest road exit to the hwy 29 exit, where there had been a monster of a head-on collision between two SUVs. all the while, the rain was pouring and the lightning was popping all around. it was not good times. and there was no easy way to drive around that one, especially since we couldn't tell where the problem was when we got stuck in traffic, and traffic lights were out on pine forest road.

but we finally got through, and once we were moving again it was ok. but we couldn't go very fast because of the pounding rain. the pounding rain that we were stuck in THE ENTIRE WAY. that's about 250 miles, people. we passed three accidents, complete with gawkers who prevented traffic from flowing smoothly even when the accidents were in the final phases of cleanup and were no longer blocking the road. this made a 4.5 hour trip turn into a 6 hour trip. oy.

but sunday was fine. we had great weather for our field work, and things went smoothly. the drive from the park in port st. joe (about 45 minutes farther than the motel in mexico beach) to dauphin island took the expected 5 hours despite off and on rain along the way. then i got home around 8:15 sunday night, and max was all snug in his bed asleep. but he woke up, like, 3 times in the middle of the night. it's pretty easy to get him back to sleep, though, so it really wasn't too bad.

today, i'm back at home, hanging out with max. tomorrow, marissa and i are heading over to perdido key for the morning then it's back to DISL to process some seagrass. that means a long day in day care for max, but it'll be ok, even if it does mean that we have to wake up at 5 a.m.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Looking Forward

so, most of you know that the ice pilots are no more, which is very sad. boo. so what the hell are chad and i going to do to get out of the house this fall? and how are we going to get our hockey fix? well, our original plan was to visit atlanta when the flyers are in town. we will still do this for the game sunday feb 8. but the first flyers game @ atlanta is october 28. which is VERY close to what is going to be our Big Hockey Trip. this trip was, at first, designed to allow me to attend my friend kelly's wedding in durham, nc.

see, chad's parents go to tennessee every year and stay in a cabin at some park in pigeon forge. and they always want us to go with them. but we are so not mountain people. chad told them the only way we'd go is if they stop over in nashville first so we can see an nhl game there. but this year, i wanted to go so that we could make the drive over to durham so i can go to kelly's wedding. chad only wants to go to the wedding if we can catch a game in raleigh, which as it turns out, we can. ottawa is playing at carolina the night before the wedding. convenient, right?

so now we just had to see if nashville had a home game earlier in the week so that we could plan our trip. well, nashville has one home game exactly one week before the wedding (they're playing florida, whom we've already seen but it will be a new nhl arena for us), which makes for quite an epic road trip (9 days) with the in-laws and what will then be a 9 month old baby. that game is our only opportunity to catch a predators game during the trip, since they head out west after that for two weeks. but i think we're going to go to the game anyway.

thus, our Big Hockey Trip. we'll stay a couple of nights in nashville, catch a game and do some sight seeing, head over to the cabin in pigeon forge for 4 or 5 days, stay in durham for two nights, catch a game in raleigh one of those nights and go to the wedding the other, then head home. it should be quite a trip. and bonus - i don't have to leave max for a long period of time, but i also don't have to worry about taking him to the games because he can stay with chad's parents while chad and i get our nhl fix and check out some new arenas. woo!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Max Loves His Exer-saucer

can you guess which toy is his favorite?
i'll give you a hint - it makes lots of noise with little effort.

as you can probably tell from the end of the clip, it's almost time for max's morning nap.

Monday, July 14, 2008

So Many Firsts

max has been experiencing so many firsts lately. he had two big ones this weekend - his first taste of solid food (well, not solid exactly, but he ate it from a spoon) and his first teething experience. the tooth (his lower left central incisor, or his lower left front tooth if you want to be less technical) is just beginning to poke through, and he won't open his mouth and move his tongue out of the way so i can see it really well. when it comes in a little bit more, i'll post a photo of his sweet new chomper.

here are some pictures of max slurping his very soupy baby cereal (his pediatrician advised us to mix 1 tbsp of cereal with 3 tbsp of milk so it would be very runny and gradually make it thicker at each feeding). this took place friday evening around 7:30, max's new dinnertime. with 3 cereal dinners under his belt, max is now eating rice cereal that has the consistency of applesauce.

Friday, July 11, 2008

He's Sick, But He's Still Cute

max does this new thing where he sucks on his lips and tongue when there's nothing in his mouth. it makes a pretty sweet smacking sound. i tell myself that this is his attempt to reciprocate the kissing sounds i frequently make at him.

it takes a minute for him to start doing the super cute lip sucking thing in this video, but he does it, i swear.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


this past week has been a week of firsts for max:
  • his first 4th of july, spent chillin' in gulf shores, where chad's parents were camping in the state park.
  • his first trip to the beach, which happened on the 4th of july.

  • and a few days later, his first illness - a tummy bug that's been going around (we're pretty sure). but he might have gotten some poo in his mouth on sunday when we had a major diaper blowout requiring an emergency mid-afternoon bath (instead of the normal bedtime bath). that is most foul. max's pediatrician said if he's still running a fever tomorrow, bring him back and they'll have to do some lab work to make sure nothing else is wrong. it's not an ear or throat infection, and he's not teething (i'm kind of bummed that teething could cause his symptoms). he's been running a fever and spewing from everywhere, which is not fun for anyone. the doc recommended pedialyte between feedings and tylenol every 4 hours.
  • which led to another first - max's first use of the sippy cup.

  • first, i tried giving him the pedialyte in a bottle. he would have none of that.
  • so i diluted the pedialyte with water, thinking that perhaps the fruity orange flavor was too strong for his tiny taste buds.
  • he still wouldn't have it.
  • so we resorted to the sippy cup, which i was planning to introduce when i start giving him juice (which will also be diluted with water).
  • max required a lesson in sippy cup usage - at first he just chewed on the spout and handles, thinking it was a new toy.
  • so i gave him a couple of sips from the cup without the lid.
  • then i took out the valve that keeps liquid from spilling out when babies sling the cup around. this valve also requires active sucking for anything to come out. max did not understand this. liquid flows freely without the valve, so max started sucking on the spout.
  • so i replaced the valve and let him have free reign with the sippy cup. this resulted in the pedialyte drinking success pictured above. i think max looks quite sick and pitiful in that picture, but he is drinking his pedialyte like a champ.