Dash - The Early Months.... (okay, the earlier months)
12/27/05 brief. Three days at home with Leigh and the boy was awesome. Those research boys at the baby supply manufacturers are pretty smart. Things that dangle can keep a nine-week old occupied for hours. Dash is learning that those hands of his are actually his. I was able to watch over the three day weekend and after work today (Tuesday) how he's getting control of his hands. No real dexterity yet, but he can put his fist on things. He's pretty focused. Hope he studies like that when he gets to college. He rolled on his side for the first time yesterday and a second time. He rolled all the way over onto his stomach before he realized that the Martin boys aren't so good at pushups. Let's assume I didn't find him completely adorable, I still stop and watch the spiders do their thing, so I find watching Dash develop absolutely fascinating. I better read up on developmental topics so that I can help. Right now I'm taking my lead from him. Much other than Dash is being neglected, but it's a privilege to be in the moment with him.
Say Hello to Dash!
Free time? hahahahah! So, I'm really behind on keeping this up to date, but I do have something to console ya: I have a few DVD's of Dash from birth through January 1. If you want one email us. I'll need to know which format your DVD player supports, specifically DVD+R or DVD-R (or simply + or -). The following webpage can be used to help if you've lost your manual: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers.php. We also can get you either higher resolution photo files. Holler!
And, yes, the non-Dash commentary will continue to dwindle equally with the non-Dash parts of our lives. Worth it.
Very Briefly: I don't really know the metrics of what a good baby is and what sort of things he should be doing to be "on track". Here's my impressions. He's a good boy, smiles a lot, I mean a LOT. He seems really happy. He has his moments of apparent pain (gas) where he cries sometime urgently. These bouts occur maybe once a week and can last up to forty minutes. And, of course, he has the universal cranky cry when he's tired at night. Other than that it takes no effort to make him smile and happy seems to be his default state. I like how he entertains himself with various toys and his own hands and fingers. We have heard about angelic first children who trick parents into having another. We think this is what Dash is up to
Some recent pictures:
Back by popular demand (Jill!)
Went to the beach Saturday. Didn't stay long as it was cold and windy. Dash didn't seem to care. Dang, that boy smiles a lot.
2/27/6: (Jeff writes) I am in Nevada doing some training. First business trip in a year, first since Dash obviously. While Leigh got a decent sleep last night and I am not miserable, I really don't want to be away and will decide not to.
At first, Dash's dimples didn't impress me a whole lot, but lately I've become increasingly fond of them. They kind of precede the smile and when he's got the pacifier in sometimes that is all you can see. That and the glint in his eye. I have lost all objectivity and emotional reserve. I am so in love with my baby. It's so much like those early days of a romance where all things are noble and transcendent (and, of course, from the outside, completely ordinary).
Not knowing how well the romance analogue holds true, I asked some co-workers with older kids if it becomes routine and complacency sets in (after all there are always less pictures of the younger siblings, right (my cube at work is essentially a shrine to Dash (it makes going in easier)). "Does the joy of your baby's smile wear off like the long lover's kiss?" "Yes, but it's replaced by better and better things." Yay! I so look forward to taking Dash to the zoo and sitting with him on the top floor of the parking garage right at the end of the San Diego airport's runway. "Wow, Dash, Wow!" Of course, Leigh is too.
Leigh thinks that the last for months has flown by. I personally think it ranks up there as some of the longest periods in my life. Hard, but SO worth it. Blessed and so joyous. But hard. Sign me up for more anyway. I expect that we'll miss "Little" Dash, but I would never want to go back to the time before he could smile. He was just a (loved) little lump. He is a little boy now. One who is aware of everything in a 10 foot sphere. He finds so much of it amusing. I'll notice one of the cats nearby and see Dash looking with a big smile on his face.
Dash's hair has started filling back in with a soft down. It begs for a carpet of kisses. Impossible not to when carrying him on a hip. Baby cheeks are amazingly soft.
We have to videotape a diaper changing session (hidden camera or he gets distracted). I didn't know diaper changing could be such a fun time. Just putting him on the changing table makes him start dimpling. Except at night, then he cries the whole time.
Okay, I gotta do some prep. Hasta!
3/24/06: Dash is doing well and is his happy self. He got a tooth yesterday. Bottom left central incisor. Not all that much of a fuss.
4/2/06: Dash was up at 11:00p, 2:30a and 3:30a, the 2:30a and 3:30a conjunction unusual. He was fussy and restless. This morning we noticed a new bottom right central incisor. He's currently (9:21p) upset. Seems like the teeth hurt worse after they erupt. Will have pictures posted with Gramma and Grandpa Stokes soon. Bed for us all now.
Request for Assurance
Tonight is the first night we let him cry, and he's weaving a tapestry unlike anything I've ever heard from him before. Very dramatic. We go in every handful of minutes and he calms down. Supposedly he'll get to sleep tonight and in a couple of nights, if we're consistent, he'll deal with it and go to sleep. I've heard this enough from enough sources to believe it's true, but it's heart-rending to hear him cry with such intensity (I mean he just doesn't cry much other than to indicate minor discomfort or needs).
Tell me it will be alright and that we're not being cruel and that THIS will not be that which TURNS HIM TO THE DARK SIDE (If you email Dash@LeighandJeff.com, we both receive it).
In other news the past six weeks have been very stressful. We did have two good weeks visited by Grandpa and Grandma Stokes. Leigh is shutting down "Leaf it To Us" and going back into a Sales job and her stress level seems to be dropping back to a more normal level.
Dash is not yet crawling (but manages a little forward wiggling accompanied by much grunting) he is rolling around a lot. Dash has been enjoying strained peas for the past two days (Visualize Whirled Peas!). He had his first visit to the zoo today. Enjoyed the ducks the best (slept through just about everything else. Annual Pass makes that guilt-free).
He is very expressive without using sounds (other than laughs, raspberries (new), and coos). We love him oh so much.
I am very far behind on both narrative and pictures, I apologize for it and am trying to get some more content up as soon as I can. To my friends whom I have lost touch with and owe a return call or a follow-up, know that I miss you and look forward to talking again, but 8:00p is bedtime and I haven't figured out how to do much more than work and parent in the short days (although I seem to be fattening up rather nicely).
I guess all parents figure things out and make the adjustments and we will, too. Now frozen dinner and bed. Dash seems to have passed out or something (will he be bitter when he wakes up?).