Here is a quick update on Mudpuppy. As the title of this post suggests, he has discovered his hands. He looks at them with fascination, and is beginning to exercise some very basic control over the general direction in which they fly. He can hold onto objects, which we discovered about two weeks ago when Jaybird gave him this wand. If we had it on video, you'd see him waving it wildly, which is pretty hilarious.
He is smiling and laughing quite a bit now. This is the stage that I always hold out for: the smiling, cooing, and laughing stage. They're not big enough to mess up the house, but they're SO DARN CUTE when they do that big smile and laugh. I will try to capture some video of that for the benefit of far-off relatives.
For the most part, this is a pretty laid-back baby. He actually likes his car seat most of the time, and he sleeps for long stretches. We all feel so blessed to have him in our home.
The only downside is that, ever since Starling went back to work, he has had trouble taking a bottle. This is a big problem, since Mom can be gone for as long as nine hours. We're not sure why he stopped taking the bottle: I am hoping that it's just a technical issue, like upgrading to a larger hole size on the nipple. (I ran out to Target and got a new bottle nipple -- the "medium flow" variety -- on Friday.) Most of the time all it takes to set him off is just showing him the bottle when he's hungry: I put the bottle in his line of sight and he sets off screaming his head off, making it perfectly useless to even try feeding him. Sometimes I manage to get him sucking on the bottle for a little bit. He'll be doing fine for about 10 or 20 seconds, and then he'll pull off and just start crying. A lot of times he doesn't even latch on to the bottle correctly, or he'll try sucking and breathing at the same time and start choking. If it's not the nipple, then the other possibility is that he's just mad about not being able to breastfeed, and he's going to cry until he gets what he wants. People say, "Well, he'll eat when he gets hungry," which I suppose is right, but then you've got a fussy, crying, screaming baby on your hands for hours at a time. One day he went the whole day without eating, which can't be good for him -- and of course that means that I am trying to calm him or feed him for most of that time, which means everything and everyone else kind of goes by the wayside.
People have offered a wide range of possible solutions, but I think the bottom line is that eventually he will figure out how to take the bottle or we will just bump along until he's old enough to take a cup.
Anyway, he sure is cute most of the time. Here he is with his Twin Cities grandma; below, he's the first baby in the lineup of baby cousins at my parents' house at Christmas. My sister is the picture, too -- she looks very good for having had a major heart attack just a few weeks earlier.