kaden's first blog. our first kid. it's an entreprenurial adventure.

Saturday, April 30

What animal do you want to be when you grow up?

Week six was simultaneously the week that I nicknamed him Cujo, the week he began to see things across the room, and looking at the chart below, the week Kaden took a break from growing.

Concidence that all these events happend in the same week?

Let's review, using illustrative animals as examples of the newborn stages (just trying to get into the parenting groove):

week 1 - Panda - serene and either sleeping or nursing, which is autopilot every two hours

week 2-5 - Ostrich - still sleepy, but now seems to realize every now and then that he's awake and in this world, and he's usually not happy about it. Not really comfortable in his skin and sometimes just needs to cry. Nursing for him is a recongizable, and comforting event.

week six - Cujo - Suddenly able to track things across the room, Kaden starts to really get interested in the world around him. Unfortunately this led to many partial feedings where he got interested in other things. Kaden would pop open his eyes mid-feeding and scream, batting his hands and shaking his head wildly trying to intimidate the boob in front of him so it would move.

Thankfully this largely subsided in weeks 7-8, and he started sleeping more and acting like a normally fussy baby again. However, his alter-ego Cujo does rear its ugly head every now and then. We've found we now need to force him to take naps, and if we do, we get a slightly less ferocious baby come the witching hour of 6-8pm.

Welcome new start-up dad!

Welcome Alisha Sophia Gandhi into the world. Her father, Pritesh, who works at the same start-up as I do, can swap stories on the joy of having two endevours in their formative stages simultaneously. He plans to keep a blog, which I'm sure will be updated just as soon as he actually takes an eye off his daughter for a moment (that could be a week or so).

One last check up on the kid's major developmental task for the first 8 weeks - fattening up. I've never been particularly nervous, after all as an American, I'm certain he can outpace his cousin Adam in Paris. According to some of the nurses we spoke to even birth weights are higher in the U.S. I think along with floride they've started adding calaries to the water over here.

This will be the last weight chart for a while. Mostly because he is actually beginning to do things that are far more interesting than getting pudgy, which, lets face it, isn't all that interesting. Despite all of my far more compelling models, Kaden is adhering to growth matching a competitive analysis of peers (what normal humans call "average growth"). Although he did have a short pause in week 6 (also known as the week of weeping), more on that later.

Over at Daddy Types, there is a great link to Rob Cockerham's documentary photography of their recent birth. No, it's not all blood and gore.. it's much better than that, it's largely wacky commentary on the scientific equipment.

It was funny recognizing so much of it all, especially the birthday hat (which we still have). I've always thought it interesting the conflict between how unique childbirth is to the participants, combined with how often (and similarly) it occurs. It's simultaneously a great big deal, and par for the course.

Thursday, April 28

Kaden has passed the two month mark, what's he been up to? Well, you may have a decent idea in prose, but there's a new set of photos for your multimedia pleasure.

Just click for a photo montage (it may take a minute or two to load).

also.. added post-facto, a little playtime video

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Saturday, April 23

  • There is an interesting psychological-biological link between parent a child that shows up immediately. If Kaden is crying, megan's boobs hurt. If Kaden is laying on my stomach, my body temperature rises. I imagine that my body is protectively trying to warm him. Although sometimes I wonder if my body doesn't mistake him for a parasitic attachment and tries to sweat so much he slides off.
  • Managing a volatile start-up company and a volatile newborn certainly does not leave one with a lot of rhythm in life. But somehow karma-wise it seems to work, when I have a off day at work Kaden tends to have a good day. (no, I'm not going to chart it)
  • Kaden got his social security card, so he's officially on the grid and no longer below Uncle Sam's radar. Although this does make a life of computer hacking somewhat more difficult, I suppose it will help him when he's old. I wonder if the odds of social security actually being around when he is old enough are as high as the odds of someone using his SS# in an identify theft?

Like a fine wine

A quick biology lesson (without getting too graphic), despite him still being on an exclusively milk diet, let's just be clear that it is obvious that the smell of poops and farts is directly proportional to the period allowed for fermentation.

Part of the fussiness recently is that his digestive system is going through yet another transformation. Roughly two months ago his system switched from taking nutrients in utero from mom to having to actually digest food. Now he's decided that he wants to suck every last nutrient out of his food. So instead of his digestive system working through every two hours it is....well, we weren't really sure what digestive schedule he had moved to. Once a day? nope... every other day? nope... by the third day we gave up worrying. We just kept changing diapers for days, the tension building (figuratively.. or perhaps literally, I'm not sure exactly how it works in there).

We were happy to find out finally today that he did indeed not forget how to digest milk. We are unhappy that this generated a new record in terms of laundry.

Lest recent posts about smiling and sleeping make you think that hitting six weeks made everything smooth out, Kaden wanted to ensure that we understood who was still in charge. The last two nights his sleeping patterns have gotten erratic again, lots of crying, and apparently we were not appreciative enough of his smiles for they have not returned. The sound of the shower and the dryer are about the only things calming him down.

This was not helped today when I got him completely drenched trying to take him to the UPS store during a rainstorm. Apparently the rain guard attachment for the Bugaboo is not intuitive to put on.

Wet stroller, wet blankets, wet child... if only our dryer was big enough to fit us all in.

Thursday, April 21

One small step for Kaden, one giant step for his parents disposition

I got a call from Megan while I was at work yesterday. I could immediately hear the bubbly, giggly, sound of her voice. Kaden was smiling at her for the very first time, and she was appropriately incredibly happy about it.

After a particularly troublesome Tuesday where he was a frustrating mess of upset crying, bored crying, and frowning all day, it was definitely something we needed. This fits into my friend Ben's hypothesis that smiling is the babies evolutionary way of ensuring that you don't just get sick of it and give it back. Just as you are at a height of frustration, he develops the facial movements that make you fall in love all over again.

Tuesday, April 19

This here's a jam for all the fellas

Metrodad reminded me to discuss music. Without further ado, the songs currently being sung to our child:
- sweet child of mine
- bust a move
- she talks to angels
- blister in the sun
- itsy bitsy spider

I have also tried Superfreak several times, but for some reason Kaden is not down with the funk just yet.

These are the songs I sing mostly because I can't remember the lyrics to any baby songs, and those happen to be the (incredibly cheesy) songs I can remember the lyrics to. Kaden doesn't mind that he doesn't get proper baby songs, he likes pretty much any singing as long as it uses high notes. That means Axel Rose tunes are perfect, and for songs like She Talks to Angels I need to move things up an octave or two. Based on last week's music listening, I'm pretty sure next weeks featured acapella is going to be Fiona Apple's Not About Love.

Monday, April 18

Sleeping babies aren't a conspiracy? Honestly, I'm a little dissapointed.

I've always heard other parents tell fantastical tales of how babies sleep all the time once they are past 8-10 weeks old. Even as I kept repeating these stories of babies sleeping 10 (no 11!!) hours to Megan, I began to suspect they were all just a ruse. That, in fact, all babies are horrificly awake all the time.

I began to believe that perhaps these other bright and shiny parents knew that we had such a murderous journey ahead of us, and had staged the release of information. The only way to make it through was to create some false hope that it would all be done in a few weeks. We would hit our eighth week, hope getting us to what we believed was the edge of relief, and we would be brought into some dark room with yuppies wearing matching black logo'ed jumpsuits with hoods who would then tell us that, yes indeed, newborns never sleep more than a few hours. Ever. (or at least until preschool)

But, thankfully, it seems that Kaden has turned a corner. He's asleep on my stomach now, and was asleep most of this afternoon as we tooled around Brookline getting ice scream and watching the Boston Marathon go by. (Kaden did get angry at the cheering people who were being incredibly rude during his nap time)

We've gone out the last three nights and he behaved wonderfully. He has actually slept more than four hours in a row for three consecutive nights (I can't believe I'm saying four hours like it's a trip to Sardegna). Coming back this afternoon Megan remarked that she was just beginning to feel human again.

It feels a little like we just got out of boot camp.

Mom's, present your boob. Now start the show.

Went to a Mom & Baby movie night last night (Ocean's Twelve). A real key is to NOT feed your baby before you arrive. Because if he's hungry, then you've got at least a half hour of the movie where you can actually hear the dialog (over the sucking sounds of course).

It was my first time getting to see other dad's struggle to seem all under control as their baby wails in their face and everyone looks. Very satisfying. Especially since Kaden and I struck a deal earlier that I'd let him poop all he wanted that night if he would behave. We came out like champs.

Sunday, April 17

You lasted five straight hours!?

Kaden has a newfound stamina.

Friday night we had dinner at a friend's house, and some combination of events led to Kaden sleeping for a full five hours that night. I mean dead asleep.. He was out and not a peep. My body was so accustomed to waking in 2-3 hour segments I still kept waking up. I would lean over, ensure that Kaden had not stopped breathing (or snuck out of the house with his stroller to go crusin' for chicks) and then I'd happily go right back to bed.

It was incredible. But, much like in business, what actually caused this glorious event is open to interpretation. So, I attempted to capture the basic set of parameters (click to zoom) for analysis and later reflection.

I'm convinced should we enact the same evening we will again speak to Kaden's subconscious "wavelength 'o peace" and he will be in a slumber for most of the evening. But, how many of these elements are critical?

Was it:
a) The ride there and back in the Volvo SUV, which he seemed to quite enjoy
b) The several hours of stimulation by friends carrying him, showing him a new home, and listening to lively banter just before bed?
c) That his parents were so relaxed at bed time, having had a fine dinner and a couple glasses of wine. Note: before I get a call from the feds on the chart below, the "Milk intake" is Kaden, and "Wine intake" is my own.

Perhaps we will figure out the reasons in the next couple of days. I think the charts prove the key to his happiness is that I need a glass a wine after dinner. Megan (aka Start-up Mom) says it clearly states that we need a Volvo.

Thursday, April 14

This baby is seriously threatening to break out in a smile. I swear I caught two this very morning that were distinctly not "I have gas" face contortions. From the sly look in this photo it is clear that Kaden figured out to smile about a week ago and has just decided to taunt his parents.

Today's Madison is tomorrow's Britney

Interesting article on the migration of baby names from the afluent to the poor. Levitt has been getting a lot of press the last year or so for his counter-intuitive econometric insights. Personally having not seen the rigorous data it seems just as much the kind of empirical-based, cute but never really bordering on truth, information as Malcolm Gladwell. Here's a great rant about how the data is sound, but the conclusions are not.

We of course avoided this debate altogether by choosing a name that is neither afluent nor poor, as we don't know a soul who uses it.

Kaden draws company

Megan's mother Leesie was visiting the last few days, which meant the faint smell of old milk was replaced by the wonder of sparkling cleanliness that I vagually remember from, oh, two months ago.

I haven't checked with the wife, but I'd say at this point if absolutely anyone wants to come visit for a few days and help out come on by. No need to email first, we'll just hand you the vacuum cleaner on the way in.

(sorry about the blurry kaden, but this should be the hint that he does, in fact, generally not stay still for more than several seconds at a time)

Sunday, April 10

It's finally spring in Boston! Not coincidentally, we received our first Red Sox-related baby gift yesterday (thx Andy & Allison).

And just when I was getting all excited about my boys new cognitive abilities, according to the NY Times chances are it will go to academic waste compared to girls. Well I say forget a PHD, right now I'd be happy if he would smile.

Little smell machine

Kaden's spitting up has reached a whole new level. Interestingly, his spit-up smells remarkably like his poop. I guess when all you got is milk going in and out, it's not a big surprise. It's not a strong smell (I think that comes as soon as we introduce food), but it is the slightly unpleasant odor of rotten milk.

Unfortunately his exploding poops alongside this new spitting up means his wonderful "new baby smell" has been replaced by the faint yet pervasive smell of old milk. This smell has also spread to his clothes, my shirt, the bed, the changing table and virtually everything else. Yes, perhaps we should bathe him or wash the clothes more often, and we will as soon as he learns to do so. In the meantime my neural synapses are quickly ascribing foul odor to "my boy" and therefore replacing the scent with thoughts of goodness.

The telling signs of a surprise awaiting inside. Kaden goes through roughly four outfits a day at this age. We're hoping either a) this slows down b) he learns to do laundry rather quickly c) he has a future in fashion.

Saturday, April 9

Anyone figured how to track brain weight?

Kaden gained 10 ounces last week, which is a better than the ridiculous weight gain we were seeing previously. The story lately has shifted from his fast weight gain to his leaps in cognitive ability.

A quick caveat though. Generally first-time parents are teased for making a big deal out of the little things ("he can put his thumb in his mouth! he's likes to look at windows! He blinks twice as often!"). Previous to Kaden I thought this was because deranged parents had become so mipoically obsessed with their children's advancement that every little bit needed to be recorded and heralded.

However I am excited to see wonderful new behaviors because, by and large, the baby is pretty boring at this age. It's all worth it and I love him, but in general I wouldn't suggest to others having a child under six weeks of age if it could be a conviently avoided part of having kids.

So forgive me if in the midst of the 120th diaper change, he starts to cry and I get excited because the cry is different. I can tell he's not really upset. He's learned the behavior that crying elicits, he's actually trying to fake cry, and that's the most interesting thing the baby has done in days! Cool! (Well, it's cool up until the second time he fake cries then you're just annoyed he's figured out another way to make loud noises)

But for that afternoon, anyway, it's a great little leap.

Other great tiny things his brain has figured out in the last week or so:
  • An adorable, purposeful frown to show he's dissatisfied. He juts his bottom lip out incredibly far trying hard to get me to fix whatever I've done. So far it just causes me to laugh. (I'm trying to catch a photo of this because you've got to see it)
  • He's tracking objects across a room, instead of just in front of his face. He loves our ceiling fans, and will watch Megan walk away after handing him off to me.
  • He also gets what a pacifier is. His first few weeks he didn't really know the difference between a nipple and a pacifier. Then he realized that it was a faux nipple and hated it. Now he's beginning to understand that it is a faux nipple, but it can be great fun on it's own. He uses it to soothe himself when he's upset, which is a good early indicator that we are a few weeks away from beginning to try the crib.

Saturday, April 2

Congrats to UNC on making the final four, we'll be watching tonight of course. What a great service the NCAA tournament has done for our home. I'm convinced Megan planned the whole pregnancy knowing she would be stuck at home this first month and might as well have something to watch. Thankfully the tournament has delivered some excellent games to keep her entertained, and even a few I got into as well. Yes, resistance was futile and a couple years into our marriage I have officially been colonized with basketball. We were even trying to adjust Kaden's sleep slightly this last week to catch some late games.

At this point, the squeaking of sneakers on the court is probably as familiar a sound to Kaden as his parents voices.

Oh, I also added a little feature on the left column that generates how old Kaden currently is.

Doesn't our little 9 pounder already look older than a few weeks ago?

Actually, it seems that pants make people look older than unitards, who knew. This was Kaden's first adventure in pantalones, and I'm thinking with pants he looks old enough to get assigned some chores around the house. Time to start pulling his weight and all.

The results are in, Kaden gained -another- pound in the last week and now weighs in at 9lb 12oz. We've officially retired about a dozen outfits already, and have moved him up to size 1 diapers. Three weeks ago he was in just the 12th percentile of weight, last week jumped to 24th per, and he now is pushing the 50th percentile. Currently, somewhat illogically, the organic growth model is holding up and he is pushing past his peers.

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