Raines’ First Year

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What a year this has been. Here are a few memorable moments from the year:

First Words

Mum. 
I swear to God.  It was mum.  He was crawling across the floor to me,
upset about something and crying “mum mum mum”.  “Dad” came much later.

Raines’ First Smile

Mike elicited the first smiles by tickling Raines’ little lips with his finger.  Raines was about three months.

Raines’ First Laugh

When
Mike’s mom was visiting, she actually got the first laugh!  She would
blow raspberries on his belly a certain way and he would dissolve into
giggles.  I’m not sure he actually understood what he was doing — the
whole laughing thing was so new.  His emotion was so strong – he wasn’t
sure if laughing was different from crying.  It’s so fun seeing them
experience an emotion for the first time.  

First Temper Tantrum

We
were shopping…and there was a riding toy.  Raines was too little to
use his feet, so Mike was pushing him around the store. Raines was
wearing his bored impassive face.  So Mike, thinking he didn’t like it,
took him off.  Raines pitched the world’s biggest fit – back arching,
screaming, actual tears.  Mike and I were confused:  our perfect son
doesn’t throw temper tantrums…did he hurt himself?  Did his hand get
pinched?  Hungry?  Tired?  Mike tentatively put Raines back on the toy
and started pushing.  Tears instantly stopped.  Oh oh.  Mike pulled
Raines off.  Tears re-started.  We were horrified.  Isn’t 10 months too
early for tantrums?  OMG. 

Funniest Sounds

Raines’
cries have always been slightly comical.  When he first came home from
the hospital, it was the Sesame Street Count , “ONE! Ah Ah Ah
Ah”….but Raines would just cry the “Ah Ah Ah” part.  It was a pretty
quiet cry – the fact that he was turning purple with rage was the only
reason we knew it was a cry. His cries have morphed into real cries,
but sometime when he’s upset but can’t decide if it’s worth crying
about, he’ll give this rather strangled sound, “GAH AAAAAH AAAAH”  –
which sounds exactly like SNL’s Aunt Linda:  “I’ll give this movie 13
GAHs and a pul-leeze!”

Raines laughed hardest when….

My
mom wrapped a piece of pizza in wax paper, held it up to her face and
peeked out at Raines.  I guess, in Raines baby humour, this is great
stuff.  He laughed so hard again and again (as mom repeated the
peeking) that he was literally screaming with laughter.  I was worrying
that he was about to have a seizure.

Time he made me laugh the hardest

When
I was trying to put Raines to bed.  He was going through his crawling
phase, and literally wouldn’t sleep.  Mike and I were both in the bed,
Raines between us, and we were both pretending to sleep, hoping he’d
just conk out.  I felt him moving around between us, trying to get
comfortable. He crawled up to my stomach, pulled up my shirt and
planted his face right over my belly button.  He sat there for a few
seconds, face down, drool pooling in my belly button.  Then, ever so
gently, he blew a raspberry. “pbbft”  I bit back a snort.  He waited. 
Then did it again – louder.  “PBbft”  Clearly delighted by his new
skill he did it again: “PPPPBBBBBBFFFFFFFFFFTTTTT!”  I lost it.  So
much for my playing dead technique.

Worst Bath

I
had been giving him sponge baths for a while – he was just so FLOPPY I
didn’t think he was ready for the baby bathtub.  I finally decided to
try it…so I filled the thing with warm water and put it on the
kitchen counter. I undressed the poor kid (he was FREEZING, this was
Feb) and he started crying.  I placed him in the bath and just as I
removed one of my hands he has the WORST startle reflex I’ve ever seen
him do – arms failing out to the sides – and then he pooped.  Bath
over. 

Fav Toy

Raines
isn’t a big toy guy.  He tends to like toys that aren’t really toys –
remotes, cell phones, DVD players, knives.  You know.  The usual.  He
likes cooking stuff – watching Mike cook is one of his favorite
activities.  He is also fascinated by sweeping and therefore thinks our
cleaning lady is brilliant.  He watches her and tries to mimic with his
toy broom and dustpan.  How funny – cooking and cleaning.  Clearly, I
am raising him well!  He does love toys that help him move — the Radio
Flyer walker wagon, the toy shopping cart etc.

Most Hated Toy

The
100% organic cotton teething dolls in the shape of vegetables.  He
never liked them.  EVER.  Just looks at them in disgust: “You call this
a toy, Mum?  What is the stupid thing?”  I, on the other hand, thought
they were an absolutely perfect toy for baby.  Which is why I bought
four.  Anyone need a baby broccoli?

Raines’ Fav Food

When
we first started feeding Raines, there were some things that he seemed
to like.  Mango was a big hit.  Banana.  But then he stopped eating. 
So following Dr. Sears’ advice, I started giving him large pieces of
whatever we were eating.  He would seriously study them, move them
around, drop on floor, pick up, etc.  But he would NEVER bring it to
his mouth.  Which is why I didn’t think giving him an oreo was a big
deal.  Until I turned back around and saw him EATING it.  My kid who
chokes on anything thicker than yogurt was happily chomping away on an
oreo.  So much for my “no sugar until he’s three” rule.  At least it
was an organic oreo.

Raines’ Most Hated Food

Pretty
much all food.  He especially hates green things.  One bite of any
green vegetable will actually make him vomit from disgust.  Maybe I
should mash it up with an oreo.

Best Night of Sleep

The
kid (randomly) almost slept though the night in Grand Rapids when we
visited in June.  It was humid, the night was cold, and he was happily
sleeping in his car seat – we had come in late from visiting Gramp.  It
was almost morning, Raines was still sleeping and I thought my boobs
were going to explode.  The one time he almost sleeps through the night
and I actually wake him up to feed.  It’s like a joke.  But not funny.

Worst Night of Sleep

This
is a tie between when Raines had croup and when he had stomach flu.
With croup Mike or I pretty much sat in the bathroom with the shower
going for two nights straight.  With the stomach flu, the poor kid was
SO hungry and thirsty (but couldn’t keep anything down) that he
basically cried all night and day for almost 48 hours.  In desperation
(and to get the kid to sleep) Mike and I put him in the car and drove
around for several hours.  We got coffee and cookies, chatted, drove
past our friend’s new house, checked out a few cool neighborhoods,
etc.   

Fav Book

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear…aka the only book he has come close to sitting through.

Fav Poem

I
had gotten a poetry book from the library when we was a newborn.  I
would put him in the bounce chair, turn on music and make breakfast. 
We would then move into the living room.  I’d sit cross legged in front
of his bounce chair while I ate and recite poetry.  His eyes would
light up and he’d coo at his favorites.  His favorite poems were “The
Moon” by Robert Louis Stevenson and “The Owl and the Pussycat”.

Fav Song

Every
day we would do a “baby dance party” and dance around the living room
while I held him.    Raines loves this  jazz version of “You Are My
Sunshine” that I added to his very own playlist.  We also have the
Beatles on his playlist, and songs from two CDs that my brother’s fam
gave Raines, “Duck in New York City” and “Poodle in Paris”.  These two
albums are kid’s music, but in a good way — they spoof other genres: 
folks, blues, jazz, bad lounge music.  We both love it.  We always end
with Sarah McLachlan’s song, “Ordinary Miracle”.  Which makes me cry. 
Every time.  Even today.  I thought I could desensitize myself, but it
is impossible.  I guess that song just makes me happy to be alive.  And
reminds me to slow down, to focus on what’s important.   Happy New
Year, everyone.  There are just no words to describe how amazing 2008
has been.

“The sun comes up and shines so bright

It disappears again at night

It’s just another ordinary miracle today”

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