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The Paternity Leave Beard (& Other Recent Phenomena)

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Paternity Leave Beard (& Other Recent Phenomena)

Well, Zelie is now 2.5 weeks old and things are going really well. Like, too well. It will all surely devolve into chaos, right? Surely.

The adjustment from 1 to 2 so far has been much easier than 0 to 1. It's mostly because Will is still home on paternity leave (and not TDY across the country for two months), which has been a game changer. He goes back to work next week, but I only have to survive two work days in between his parents' visit and my mom's visit. All said and done, I have helpers for Zelie's entire first month. We expect his days will be pretty long once he goes back, so I'm just trying to brace myself for it. 

This little guy has one more month of being a one-year-old, so let me tell you all about it . . . 

We've been trying to teach him the lyrics to Happy Birthday in anticipation. Not going great. He's gotten plenty of practice blowing out candles thanks to our Advent wreath.

God bless him. I was promised by other moms that he would have a language boom when his sibling arrived. I'd say for him that proved to be about 80% true. When you talk to him, he will mostly just repeat the last two words of whatever you say, but then much later he will sometimes spontaneously say something that will show he was actually comprehending what you were telling him. E.g.:

Me: We are gonna go to Esther's house to play after night night today.
Will: Nigh nigh today!
Me: Yeah…. Wanna go see Esther?
Will: See . . . Esther!
An hour later, sitting at the table eating brunch . . . 
Will: Esther house after nigh nigh?
Raised eyebrows, tears of joy, and relentless applause from overly proud parents.

He still has hilariously odd pronunciations for words we use every single day. Water = Mah-woo.  As many times as I shout "WA-TERRRR" at the kid, I just can't break him. Charlie = Bye-ee (House - he always tacks on "house" after he says Charlie. He really likes visiting Charlie's house). Zelie = Wuh-ee. Even when we have him make the Z sound, he'll say "Zzzzz Wuh-ee!!!"

He also does cute stuff, like when we ask him, "Hey do you want to go for a ride with Daddy?" He'll say, "Otay!" as if it's a given. "Do you want a banana?" "Otay!" But mostly he'll again repeat the last word of your question.

He can count . . . to 2. "One. Two. One. Two." as he points to whatever's he's counting. We're working on it.

He's been an gloriously awesome sleeper lately. His schedule has shifted since Big Will has been home on paternity leave, since we've all been able to stay up later and sleep in later, but it's definitely been for the best. Bedtime is typically closer to 8pm, wake ups between 7:30 and 8, naps around 12:30 (lasting 2-3+ hours, hooray!). I'm hoping it keeps up because I'd like to wake Zelie for her first feeding at 7am and be done before Little Will wakes for the day. So far, so good. Just trying to prepare myself for juggling two.

He's beginning to take more interest in Zelie, in an aggressively affectionate way, like climbing on her rock n play and/or violently rubbing her head and/or going in for the head-butt kiss.

Anything and everything is a telephone. He will hold lunch meat up to his ear and pretend it's a phone. I've encouraged him to pretend the person on the other end is a woman named Denise. We don't know anyone named Denise and I just think it would be hilarious for him to put a toy horse up to his ear and say, "HELLO DENISE!!!" In time it will happen. With repetition. In time.

Of course, he's pretty temperamental, as is typical. Terrible twos or whatever. Meh.

He is constantly begging to go outside, like in these photos (from Sunday), when it was freezing outside. Constantly whining and begging to watch Mickey Mouse (which is just code for cartoons, in general). Constantly begging to drive the car (sometimes we let him sit in the driver's seat, which he just think is the best thing ever). Sometimes he just whines and we don't know what he's asking for, thanks to his odd pronunciations of things discussed above. When he doesn't get his way he makes these faces. 

But, again, he's pretty easily distracted by his existential pain, if you so much as make a fart sound in his direction . . . 

He is still utterly obsessed with the mailman. He shouts MAILMAN! whenever a UPS, USPS, or FedEx truck goes by. He has a sixth sense for mailmen, I'm telling ya. On Sundays or holidays we have to tell him that the mailman is at church, so won't be coming by. 

Forlorn. "Where mailman go?"

He pretty much loves any and every cartoon on Netflix (which I'm sure will prove helpful, if not make me feel really guilty that I'm neglecting him). Lately it's Special Agent Oso, which if you didn't know, is a show about a stuffed bear who helps children complete important tasks like checking out a library book, setting up a gerbil cage, or preparing pancake batter. Oh, I happen to have some photographs of Little Will helping his father prepare pancake batter. What ARE the odds?

Probably wanted to sit IN the mixer. Or something.

Toddler entertainment haunts me. I have the 3 special steps Oso song stuck in my head during Zelie's late night feeds. Sometimes it's the Little Blue Truck lyrics stuck in my head in the middle of the night. Not annoying at all . . . 

In other news, please enjoy Will's short-lived but impressive paternity leave beard. He has to go in for a meeting this afternoon and had to shave it off. Most upsetting. But now he's rocking a 'stache (curiously within Air Force grooming standards, while a beard is not), so perhaps you have that to look forward to. 

Zelie is easy peasy compared to Mr. Temperamental Toddler. She's gotten much more efficient with her nursing and I haven't had any pain at all in the past few days. I definitely just needed some time to heal from her first few days on the outside. She is a ferocious sucker and we utilize pacis a lot. But y'all, newborns are so much easier the second time around! I'm not sure whether she's just that much easier a baby or whether I'm that much more easy-going. Probably a combination of the two. I'm not obsessing over her diaper output and when and how long she nurses. I'm already aware of the obscene amount of poop and spit up that is normal for this stage. (Will was much more prolific in that regard.) She does have much manlier gassiness (low-pitched and loud, yo). But it's chalked up to funny baby stuff, rather than being cause for concern that I'm doing something terribly wrong with her nursing schedule. 

At her 2 week checkup last Wednesday she was 8lbs, 13oz and 22 inches long. She's 99th percentile for height! No idea who that comes from, but we're not expecting it to last. ;) She's in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month clothes already, since the 2 week mark. At that point we got the green light from her pediatrician to let her sleep at night. That night she went 7.5 straight hours! It was amazing. Ever since, she's typically been waking once per night (in the 11-7ish window) around 3am, sleeping in 3-4 hour chunks, which is just fine by me. The only downside is that she's been taking a REALLY long time to fall back asleep. On the whole, however, I am sleeping much better than I was at the end of my pregnancy, so I'm just trying to get the sleep while the gettin's good. 

She's not really on the typical 3-hour routine during the day that Will fell into so easily. I'm not sure whether I'm going to put the energy into getting her into a predictable routine at this point, since she's sleeping pretty well at night. The past few days, she's been wakeful in the mornings and then sleeps a lot later in the day. Unlike Little Will was, she loves to nurse and suck, so when she's awake, it's basically offering the paci and breast a lot to see what she really wants. We'll just alternate a lot if we're home. We were out and about yesterday morning and early afternoon and she did really well in the Moby, in the car, and nursing while out and about in general. 

Even Zelie knows that's not how that works.

Whatever happens once this glorious paternity leave period is over, I'm enjoying it while I can! Maybe it's the calm before the storm, who knows. I'm sure I'll loyally relay all the minute details when the seedy yellow stools hit the fan. 


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At January 5, 2016 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Amy Salisbury said...

Love every syllabyl! Glad things are going swimingly!!

At January 5, 2016 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Amy Salisbury said...

Love every syllabyl! Glad things are going swimingly!!

At January 5, 2016 at 2:35 PM , Blogger Hannah Gokie said...

I feel like Kate is already at her terrible twos and she's 5 months away from that actually happening sooooo I'm not looking forward to it! She's pretty nonverbal too so I'm glad to hear Will has made a big leap forward in that regard.

Also in our house it's me who's obsessed with the mailman. :) :) :)

At January 5, 2016 at 4:55 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Fellow Air Force wife here...I'm pretty sure paternity leave beards are a thing. It just delights the menfolk so much to be out of regs!

#2 was so much easier than 0-1 and #3 is the best! I think I"m just a lot less neurotic as time goes on.


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