Owen sleeping in PJs
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Life With Owen

Every Friday Maren thinks back on the week with Owen and updates this weblog. Articles are presented in reverse chronological order, as they were received.

May

Week 21: May 2003

"Owen rolls non-stop now. I can't lay him down and leave the room anymore. He rolls and rolls and rolls and can make it across the room in seconds, usually aiming for the TV and stereo cords. It's time to babyproof!

He's been sleeping pretty well. I usually feed him before I go to bed around 11:00, and he sleeps until 5:30 or 6am. Sometimes he falls asleep after this feeding, and sometimes he's ready to play. He hasn't woken up between midnight and 5am in 2 weeks!"

-- Maren

Week 20: May 2003

"Owen has been such a happy baby lately. He loves it when daddy holds him upside down. It's very easy to make him laugh, especially when he's tired. His favorite toys are things that play music, and stuffed toys that he can chew on. EVERYTHING goes into his mouth. I think he's teething, although I haven't seen any teeth poking through yet.

He has rolled from front to back a few times now, but it takes a lot of effort. He hasn't been rolling as much this week, because he discovered that he can get his toes into his mouth. It's very funny to watch. If he's wearing socks, he pulls them off, and if he's wearing clothes with built-in feet, he sticks one foot between the snaps on his other leg and moves around until he unsnaps himself."

-- Maren

Week 19: May 2003

"Owen had his 4 month Dr. appointment this week. He weighs 18lb, 14 oz and is 27 inches long.
Although he's the size of an average 8 month old, the Doctor assured me that his growth is right on track, and he'll eventually even out with the other babies. We got the OK to start solid foods, but we are going to wait a few weeks to see if his eczema clears up. Owen can easily roll from back to stomach now. He usually does it as soon as you set him down. Unfortunately, he also does it when he's half asleep in his crib, then he cries because he doesn't like to be on his stomach. "

-- Maren

Week 18: May 2003

"Owen rolled over for the first time! He can roll from his back to his stomach. It takes a little effort for him to flip, but he can do it pretty consistently. He seems very proud of himself for this accomplishment. We're proud of him too! It's so much fun to see him gain these new skills. It won't be long before he's crawling."

-- Maren

April

Week 17: April 2003

"What an adventure we had this week. One night, we were woken at 2am to the sound of a screeching bat. Kirby caught it in our apartment. The Animal Control officer had it tested, and it had rabies, SO, the whole family got to start a course of rabies vaccines. Apparently, a bat could bite you while you're sleeping and you wouldn't know it. Rabies is always fatal, so the CDC recommended we get the vaccines. Owen will get 5 shots over the course of a month. I get 9, and Mike gets 12. Kirby got 1 booster shot. Owen was pretty good with his first shots. He cried for a second, but then started to smile at the nurse again."

-- Maren

Week 16: April 2003

"Owen started sleeping through the night this week. We put him down around 8:30, wake him for one last feeding before I go to bed, then he sleeps until 5 or 6am. I'm not sure if this will last, but it's great to have some consecutive hours of sleep. His naps are very inconsistent. Some days, he'll take 2 or 3 naps of 2-3 hours each, other days he'll only take a few 10 minute snoozes.

We had a birthday dinner for Mike this week. Owen was happy to sit in the kitchen in his bouncy seat while I cooked. He enjoyed chewing on the measuring cups. He loved being the center of attention at the party."

-- Maren

Week 15: April 2003

"Owen discovered his feet this week. They're now his favorite toy. The second he lays down on his back, his legs go up in the air and he grabs his feet. It adds a whole new challenge to diaper changes. He's still trying to roll over. But now, once he gets on his side, he stops trying, because he gets distracted by his feet. He tried to get them in his mouth once, but his legs are much too chubby."

-- Maren

Week 14: April 2003

"We moved Owen from his bassinet in our bedroom to the crib in his room this week. I thought it might be a difficult transition, but he didn't have any problems. I think it was more difficult for me! I keep the nursery monitor nearby.

Owen is trying to roll over. He rocks from side to side, but doesn't make it over yet. He manages to move around in his crib by rocking back and forth. We put him in with his head on one end, and when he wakes up, he's rotated 180 degrees."

-- Maren

March

Week 13: March 2003

"Owen and I took a trip to Minneapolis to visit Grandma. He was great on the airplane. It helped that we had a row to ourselves most of the way. We were met there by his Auntie Kirsten and cousins Zoe (2) and Amelia (1). Zoe spoiled him by bringing žCousin OnanÓ a toy whenever he got fussy. We had beautiful weather there, and spent a lot of time outside. We went to the zoo, the children's museum, and of course, had dinner at Manning's. It got a little chaotic having 3 kids under 3 years old in the house. I can't believe my mom survived raising 3 in this age range."

-- Maren

Week 12: March 2003

"Owen has really developed a good grasp on toys now. Everything he grabs onto immediately goes to his mouth. He tries to chew on EVERYTHING, and gets mad if things are too big to fit in his mouth. This could get dangerous once he can move around. He also loves to look in mirrors now. I don't think he realizes he's looking at himself, but he always has a big smile for the baby he sees in the mirror."

-- Maren

Week 11: March 2003

"Grandma Chiu came back to visit for a few more days. Owen is starting to enjoy being out in the stroller, so we were able to do a little shopping. He's going to go through some serious attention withdraw when Grandma leaves."

-- Maren

Week 10: March 2003

"Owen is starting to be able to hold toys. He has a few rattles that he shakes around, but he eventually hits himself in the head. I don't think he realizes he controls the rattle noise yet. He loves to play with his hands. He now shows a definite preference for sucking on two fingers at once, instead of his thumb. It makes him very drooly and noisy, but it keeps him happy."

-- Maren

February

Week 9: February 2003

"Grandma Almo (Maren's mom) came to visit this week. Owen is really getting spoiled with all of this Grandma attention. I don't think he sat in his swing or bouncy seat the entire time Grandma was here. Grandma loved to hold him.

Owen had his 2 month doctors appointment this week. He weighted 15 pounds, and was 25 inches long. That puts him in the upper 90th percentiles for his size. I can't believe how fast he's growing. He's already wearing 6 month sized baby clothes."

-- Maren

Week 8: February 2003

"Grandma Chiu (Mike's mom) came to visit this week. Owen loved to sit and have conversations with his Grandma. He seems to talk with such a purpose, like he really knows what he's talking about. I wish I knew what he was saying.

We took a trip to New Hampshire to visit Auntie Monica, Uncle Brian, and cousins Ellie and Roland. Ellie and Roland were baptized. Owen slept through the ceremony, but was awake and happy for the party afterwards. He liked seeing all the new faces. He was very good in the car. He slept most of the way. He only cried when we had to stop for gas."

-- Maren

Week 7: February 2003

"Owen is definitely smiling now. He's got a little dimple on his right cheek. It's adorable. He loves to look at peoples faces. He also likes toys that hang in front of him, that he can bat around. He's quite alert when he's awake. I can tell that he's trying to figure things out. It's amazing to watch him develop."

-- Maren

Week 6: February 2003

"Owen is starting to smile. He doesn't seem to have much control over it, but it sure is cute. He is also becoming very talkative, especially when he is on his diaper changing table. He's experimenting with all kinds of sounds."

-- Maren

Week 5: February 2003

"Owen had his one month Doctor appointment this week. He weighted 11 lb, 15 oz and was 24 inches long, although I don't know how accurate the length is. He was very squirmy while they were measuring him. He had his second hepatitis vaccine, and didn't cry until they put the band-aid on him.

Owen is gaining great control over his hands now. He likes to suck on his thumb and index finger knuckle at the same time. He can usually get them in his mouth on the first try, without hitting himself in the head. We don't want him to be a perpetual thumb-sucker, but since he won't take a pacifier, we're glad he has figured out this žself-soothing techniqueÓ.

This weekend, my sister Tenely came to visit from Michigan. Owen was thrilled to meet his Auntie Tenely, and we were thrilled to have someone else change diapers for a while. "

-- Maren

January

Week 4: January 2003

"Owen has decided that he does not like to sleep in his bassinet during the day. He'll sleep in his swing, in the bouncy seat, in the baby carrier, anywhere but in the bassinet. I guess I won't complain. At least he's sleeping!

Owen got a new cousin on January 12th. Mike's sister Monica had a baby boy named Roland. I'm sure they'll have lots of fun growing up together.

This week, Owen has developed an awful outbreak of baby acne and a mild case of cradle cap (baby dandruff). On top of that, he's got a clogged tear duct that leaves his eye goopy. The doctor assured me that he doesn't feel any of it, although it looks awful. He's still beautiful to me."

-- Maren

Week 3: January 2003

"Owen is still sleeping pretty well, although there have been a few nights when he doesn't want to go back to sleep after eating at 3am. He has become much more alert this week. He stays awake for longer periods of time, and likes to stare at some of his toys. His favorite is a book of contrasting black and white patterns. He usually likes to sit in his baby swing, and loves to be carried around in the baby carrier."

-- Maren

Week 2: January 2003

"Our first week home with Owen has actually been easier than we expected. Mike's company was shut down from Christmas until January 6th, so we both got to stay home with the baby. He sleeps 2-3 hours at a time, and is eating well. He doesn't cry too much either. He had a Doctor's appointment the day after he got home, and he had already regained most of his birth weight. He weighed in at 9 lb, 12 oz.

Owen discovered his hands this week, and flails them around all day long, often hitting and scratching himself. It's quite entertaining.

He attended his first party on New Years day. It was a dinner party that he celebrated by having a diaper leak while one of the hosts was holding him."

-- Maren

December 2002

Week 1: December 2002

"Owen had a rough first week. During birth, he inhaled some meconium (baby poop in the amniotic fluid), which caused a heart valve problem. He had to stay in the Level II nursery for 6 days. He received IV antibiotics and supplemental oxygen, which cured the problem.

It was tough to see him hooked up to so many wires and machines. He even had an IV line stuck in his head for a few days!

Fortunately, we knew he was getting great care, and his condition rapidly improved. The hospital was wonderful. They allowed me to stay in an empty hospital room after I had been discharged, so I was able to see and feed him all day and night. He was discharged Sunday, Dec 29th, with a clean bill of health."

-- Maren

Happy Birthday Owen
December 23, 2002

"Owen was due 12/17, but he had other plans. My Doctor scheduled me to be induced 12/24, because he was concerned that the baby was going to be too big to deliver.

I really wanted to avoid being induced.

The baby must have sensed that they were going to go in after him, and he finally decided to cooperate. My water broke 12/23 around 5:30 AM.

We got to the hospital around 7:00 AM, and I still wasn't having contractions. They were concerned because there was meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid, which can cause fetal distress. They wanted to get labor going, so at about 8 AM they gave me Pitocin, a drug to speed up the contractions. It worked. I started having contractions every 2-3 minutes apart almost immediately.

After about an hour, I got some drugs to take the edge off the pain (but no epidural!). After another hour, I wanted more pain relief.

The Doctor came in to examine me and said, žUm, do me a favor and don't push until I change clothesÓ.

Things progressed much faster than they expected. At 11:37 AM, we had a baby boy!"

-- Maren

Got Advice?

You've been around a while, and you've learned some things. What advice can you give Owen to prepare him for what's ahead?

One wise soul wrote:

"If the restaurant doesn't serve lemonade, ask for lemon slices and use the sugar packets on the table to make your own."

Send your advice to:
michael.chiu@alum.mit.edu

Read more advice for Owen…