Chester

Chester
Chester at 5:30 am on his 3 month birthday!

The Chester Diaries: Celebrating the feast and famine known as new motherhood.

Welcome to my blog! My name is Lara and I gave birth in April, 2010 to a baby boy. I've been calling him "Chester" since he was a little chestnut in my tummy. To commemorate his three month birthday, I wanted to write about the crazy, joyous and exhausting ride I've been having as a first-time mom. If you're interested in reading about the highs and lows of uncharted mommy territory as well as my unhealthy obsession with shopping, (particularly baby gear), reviews, and pop culture observations, then you've come to the right place. Be warned: This cute kid has a mommy who can be a bit of a potty mouth.

Note: This blog is no longer active but please enjoy Chester's journey from 3 months to 2+ years.


Sunday, October 31

From Grinch to Scrooge

As of now Halloween is on hold. Tim and I have been going back and forth about going out tonight for the last few days but it all came to a head last night.

A dress rehearsal for the monkey costume a few days ago.



Possibly its only debut.  At least he can keep the monkey toy.


Whenever I want Tim to do something he's not interested in, he'll pull out any excuse to try to make it go away. He's actually impressively resourceful, like the time my friend Barb threw us a co-ed baby shower.  The excuses rained down for months and kept on coming even on the drive over to the shower.  Of course he had an amazing time as I knew he would. You'd think after being wrong so often he'd concede the point and just allow me to plan things for us. Sheesh!  But I gotta hand it to him.  Last night, Tim really dazzled with his ability to come up with impressive excuses. Here's the topper:

"Do we have to do this? I'm not really interested in taking candy away from children."
"WHAAAAAAAAAAAT???? How do you figure?"
 "Well, he can't eat candy. And the only reason to go trick or treating is to get candy. So we're taking candy away from little kids. To be honest, I don't even know why you want to do this. You hate people and this would involve you having to talk to them."

Wow! First of all, I don't hate people. I just hate stupid people. And ya, there's certainly a LOT of them.  Hmm...ok, maybe he's got me there, but my personal proclivities shouldn't impact on my son right?  I gotta do things I normally wouldn't do now.  PTA meetings, idiotic teachers.  I'm sure there's going to be a LOT of things I'm not going to like doing in the many years to come.  I can deal with that.  What I can't deal with, more than being called out as a no-holds-barred misanthrope, is that I've been deemed this Halloween Scrooge, swindling candy from sweet innocent children with my greedy scabbering claws.  Sigh.  Tim's suggestion is to take Chester out for a "nice walk around the neighborhood" in costume.  What's the freakin' point of that?  We live in an area full of junkies, crazies and ne'er do wells.  All we're inviting into that scenario is the strong possibility of getting shanked.  No thanks. It's also freezing cold today.  Like, almost zero degrees.  I think we're going to have to settle for a nice (very expensive) photo-op and leave it at that.

Saturday, October 30

The Grinch who stole Halloween

I was excited to try out Chester's TWO Halloween costumes today.  The runner up is a little dragon costume I got him from Old Navy.  It was a backup just in case my monkey costume didn't arrive from the States.  The thing is pretty warm considering it's all fleece.  He seemed kinda interested at first.





His interest lasted about a minute before he started to fuss...











I tried to get a really solid picture of him - one that we would appreciate for a lifetime, but he wouldn't stop crying.  I would have tried a little longer seeing how it was less than five minutes in total but Tim shriveled up any desire to continue by saying, "He's a little young for this, don't you think?"  Hmm...the costume says ZERO TO SIX MONTHS, so no I don't.  Considering how Tim isn't thrilled at all about the idea of going trick or treating tomorrow, he's trying to use every trick in the book to get out of going.  First there was humiliation in the form of, 'we're going to look like assholes mooching candy if we do this.'  Then ignorance.  'We don't know anywhere to go around here.'  But now he's really breaking out the heavy artillery with this whole mother abusing child line of thinking.  Sorry.  Being half-Jewish, I'm immune to white guilt.  No previews of his monkey costume tonight either as when I asked if Tim wanted to help me take pictures (well, begged really) he said he'd rather sit on the couch and watch a shitty movie.  Nice.  Grinch - 1, Lara - 0.

6 Months!!!

Happy birthday to our little boy Chester who turns 6 months old today! In some ways, it feels like YEARS since I went into the hospital the morning of April 30th, excited and terrified. I was told many times that it gets easier after the first 6 weeks, then three months. Not sure if this happens again at 6 months but with teething, feeding and crawling coming up, I think we have our work cut out for us! It also happens to be the three month anniversary of this blog, which has definitely flown by. Since taking shots of him in his monkey costume for his three month birthday, I've made it a tradition to take pics of him first thing when he wakes up in his crib.

It was a VERY late start this morning. I woke up at 9 am and Chester was still asleep. I think the last time I slept until 9 was when I was still pregnant! The room is pretty dark now with the curtains, but he had just woken up and was on his tummy. When we flicked on the lights he squinted and bonked his head on the side of the crib. This is how he looked when we walked into his room this morning.

For a minute I thought we could avoid the big cry...


Nope.


It didn't last long though.

Look at the tear on our tough little guy!


Smiley kid.

Hmm is it time for boobies yet?  Enuff pictures already!


I really wish we could have bumper pads on his crib seeing as he acts like a drunk with his head lolling all over the place when he's on his tummy. I think we have to wait it out another six months which sucks. The crib bars are HARD.

Halloween tomorrow. I have two costumes for him. Pics incoming!

Friday, October 29

East LA here we come...

Wutchoo lookin' at ese? Do u think I'm loco?!?


Don't make me cut a bitch...


Blue steel, baby...


Last day of being a 5 month old.  Being a grownup sux.

Stompin' Tom

Ok, there could have been more stomping, less giggling. I thought the giggling was cuter.

video

Thursday, October 28

Ok Dustin...

This is Chester's reaction today to water in a sippy cup.

video
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I tried giving this to him about a month ago and it was too big for his mouth. Now it's almost the right size but he really hates the taste. Going to fill it up more next time. Hope he wasn't sucking up too much air. He had a terrible two hour screaming fit right after this when it was time to feed him. He wouldn't take a boob which is only the second time I've seen this happened. A very stressful, nerve jangling day.

Monday, October 25

Chester - 1, Lara - 0

Day 1 of Nap Training:

After crying in the bouncer and looking visibly tired, I thought it was high time to try him out in his crib for a daytime nap, especially since he got his beautiful curtains put up.  This is what happened this afternoon:
 
2:43 - put him in his crib and left the room
2:44 - screaming
2:46 - quiet but thrashing wildly, intermittent screaming
2:47 - screaming escalates (hoping no one is calling the police for child abuse), blanket is now over his head...sigh
2:49 - screaming is frenzied now.  the worst type of screaming.  omfg.
2:50 - rolled over, screaming on his face now.
2:51 - flipped onto back again.  screaming sounds a little bored now.  more like i'm crying because i should.  back on tummy.  very angry.  i think he's bumped his noggin twice on the rails.
2:53 - crying inconsolably on his tummy/side
it's been more than 10 minutes of screaming.  now the mailman is coming up.  he'll probably report me to child services.
2:57 - he's still crying.  i give up.  at least my monkey costume finally arrived tho.  LOL.  FML.

No picture as he's crying too much to have stopped for a photo op.

Good morning sunshine!

This is how Chester looked when I went into his room this morning.

All smiles after screaming himself to sleep the night before.


Being goofy.  An upside down pretzel.
Note the long Charlie Brown hairs on the top of his head.

Our favourite sleeper given to him by his Nana.  Pure snuggliness!

Sunday, October 24

It's getting hairy.



This new bouncer has been such a Godsend. I'm finding it very helpful when I need two free hands. Chester still demands that I stay close by but at least I can tidy up and every once in awhile, even update my blog!  This new bouncer also tires him out quite a bit so I'm chalking up the two naps he had during the entire week to our new device. He seems particularly fascinated with a little dinosaur in a bubble that spins around, accompanied with little colorful beads. He seems very agile with his hands now too.

Note the stylish yoga pants his nana got him.  Shades of Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, no?


Another one of his favourite things is the new Haba blocks that came in the mail this week. They say  for 1 year and up, or maybe 6 months (i'm not sure what 1/2 means on the side of the box.) but I've been letting him play with them in his crib as they seem to keep him occupied after a diaper change when I put him down to go wash my hands. An amazing thing he did today:  He put a smaller block into a bigger one!  No big deal you'd think, but c'mon!!!  He's not even 6 months old yet.  Here is exactly what I found when I came back from washing my hands. A block within a block. 

No big deal mum.  Gimme something challenging like a Rubik's Cube!

In other news, I've been waiting patiently for Chester's Tom Arma monkey costume to arrive but no luck yet.


Every day I wait with bated breath for this darn costume, and every day my heart sinks when it doesn't come. It's been a month already!!! I'm scared to not have anything for him so I ordered him a little dragon costume from Old Navy on Friday as a backup.




Can't have Chester without a costume for his first Halloween!

Speaking of furry little creatures, the most noticeable thing about Chester appearance-wise is he seems to finally be growing hair!



I've taken to calling him Charlie Brown thanks to the three little long hairs on the top of his round, ginormous head.  Finally!  Those long hairs have some company.




It's really difficult to take a photo of, but there's a bunch of new growth coming in all over his head. It also looks a lot lighter than the dark, coarse hair he had when he was first born.

Can you see the 3 long Charlie Brown hairs swaying in the breeze above the baby haired Astroturf?

Kinda annoying how he had so much hair to start with only to lose it all. Mommy suffered with terrible heartburn every night for a good six months because of that damn hair. Never heard that? My friend Cleo told me when I had heartburn during my pregnancy that my baby was going to be born with hair. And she was right.  Maybe it's an old wives tale, but it's one I totally agree with!

Today Tony came over to help Tim put up blackout drapes in Chester's room.  Yay!  Nap training can finally begin!  He also brought over Volume 1 & 2 of Baby Signing Time.  I watched a little bit with him today and while he's a little too young to be needing to use words like "cracker" and "banana" he's going to be soon!  His birthday is this week which will make him six months old.  And that means it's time for food like a big boy!

Tuesday, October 19

What ya laughing about little man?


Chester was doing something VERY strange during his last feeding of the evening tonight.  After he gorged himself on his first boob he was feeling pretty sated so Daddy took some time to burp and cuddle him.  I try to discourage excessive horseplay right before bed as it just winds Chester up and he'll roll around in his crib and wail for half an hour before tuckering himself out.  Anyway, my two boys were having quite the little giggle and when Chester got down to business for his second boob, he was all smiles and giggles.  Kinda weird when you look down and your son is laughing.  On your boob.  I caught him trying to stifle a laugh a few times too but he kept chuckling to himself.  Never had a guy laughing on my boob before.  That's a first!  It reminds me of something I said to Tim a few weeks ago when he came stumbling out of the bedroom on a Saturday afternoon during my feeding with Chester.  I said to him, "Did you ever think that one day you'd walk out of the bedroom, only to find a guy sucking on my boob and you're only comment would be, 'Do we have any Mini-Wheats left?'"  LOL.  Amazing how one little human can change everything!

Monday, October 18

UH OH.

Separated at Birth? We bought this Seahorse to help him sleep. Like that worked.

Ugh.  Sometimes I wake up very early in the morning.  Most of the time it's for no reason.  Other times I chalk it up to plain old fashioned motherly instinct.  Case in point, this morning I woke up super early and decided to sneak a peek at Chester.  Looking at the night-visioney greeney gray monitor, it's hard to tell what I'm looking at sometimes.  But I was pretty sure he was asleep on his stomach.  Lying on his face.  I shook Tim awake and he confirmed my suspicions.  We went in and flipped him onto his back, but of course he woke up.  Sigh.  He rolls over onto his stomach very regularly nowadays.  Tim has to go in at night and flip him back, but never have I seen this in the morning.  Why is he flipping himself over in the middle of the night?  Is he asleep when he does it?  What is the solution to this?  VERY SCARY!  I don't think I'll have a restful night until the doctor gives the ok for tummy sleeping.  When is that?  Like, a year?  Sigh.

Sunday, October 17

Week at a glance.

Daddy's fave new exercise - Chester Lifts.
Chester is definitely getting close to being ready for real food.  While taking a break from nursing between sides, I ate a granola bar.  He was totally mesmerized.  He's been doing this for a few weeks now but something about that granola bar really caught his imagination.  In other news Chester took two naps this week.  That really may not seem like news to most people but for the bionic child who never closes his eyes during the day, that's saying a lot!  I was told that things get easier at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months.  Could this mean better sleep patterns in the near future?  He's actually been less willing to sleep at night nowadays.  He always wants to play and gets very upset when we switch off the light and leave his room.  He never did this before.  Would this be considered separation anxiety?  Manipulation?  Maybe a bit of both?

I think the naps might come at the hands of his new bouncer.  Plain and simple, it wears him out.  My mom also made the keen observation that he expresses his delight when he sticks his tongue out.  And he does this a lot!

Whispering "Boo Boo Bear" in low breathy tones = peals of laughter.

Besides chirping like a little parakeet to the birds in the background of one of the songs on his mobile, there hasn't been much squawking as of late.  This changed when he was sitting on my lap watching Datarock on Yo Gabba Gabba.  For some reason, this catchy little ditty by a bunch of hipster dudes had him singing along.  For the record, singing = squealing as loud as humanly possible.  Ouch my poor ears!  At least the kid has good taste!  If he subjected me to The Wiggles I might have to /wrists.


Tuesday, October 12

Trading up.

Kinda sad.  We put our first size 3 diaper on Chester tonight.  I remember Tim's sister saying it's sad when they go up a size and she's totally right.  He's going to be six months old on October 30th.  5 months and wearing size 3 diapers = a BIG baby apparently.  Our pediatrician said he is as big as a six month old when we went in for his four month checkup, and when we went to the naturopath on the weekend, she was shocked at how big he was and said he is thriving!  So yes, it's official.  Forget bags.  We're into diaper BOXES now.  Maybe we can start taking advantage of those deals that seem targeted to the higher number diapers finally?

Monday, October 11

Jumping for joy!


Today is Thanksgiving here and Tim has the day off.  To celebrate truly being thankful, we thought we'd present Chester with a new toy:  his Fisher Price Jungle Jumparoo. What a perfect toy for him.  It gives him an outlet for all that unused energy, and he has a lot of little activities that can keep him busy on the little circle surrounding him.  He seemed to really enjoy using his legs.  Usually the only opportunity he has is when he stands on mommy or daddy.  For the first time he could really go to town!

Forget about turkey.  How about some ham???

Sunday, October 10

Happy Turkey Day!

Chester's new sock monkey hat. A reason to look forward to winter!

Today is Thanksgiving here - it's warm (21 degrees Celcius) sunny and it just happens to be 10/10/10! Kinda cool!  My favourite number is 11 though so I'm looking forward to 11/11/11. Hopefully we'll be doing something special on that day next year! ;)  I'm sooooo thankful for my family and our new addition!  Mommy and daddy love you so much little boy.  Just think, this time next year you'll be eating turkey!  Time to learn to cook one of those suckers.  haha!

Chester has been a very active baby this week. Now that he's rolling onto his tummy like it's old hat, he's determined to do so every chance he gets. It's totally scary as I can't leave him alone in his crib at all now. Even at night when we put him to sleep he usually rolls onto his stomach, which means we have to go in and move him, which makes him think it's playtime. (Sigh. What a little stinker!) Actually, three nights this week have been difficult at bedtime. Usually we put him in his crib, he'll take a few minutes to settle and go right to sleep. In the past there have been a few occasions where he'll cry a little or howl, but only once or twice.  Not sure why he had so much trouble in the last few days.  Maybe he's trying to figure out if crying works at night since mum and dad run to take care of him when he does it at every other occasion?  Not looking forward to him testing us to see how far he can take it, although he's probably been doing it for the last few months already!

He's been making little squeaks and squawks over the last few weeks or so as you recall from his imitation of a little parakeet in his crib.  But he seems to have found his voice and is enjoying practicing his newfound skills.of breaking the sound barrier.  Sometimes it's so high it's almost within range for dogs only.  Almost...until then we'll have to deal with the ear-splitting decibels he's pumping out.

Saturday, October 9

A nice sleepy weekend for my boys.




Aren't they adorable?  I don't know how Tim got Chester to sleep, but I want me some of that!  I know that a sleepy little boy's cute snufflings gives me the vicious nods.  I think Tim's not-so-cute snoring has the same effect!

Teething time?

Chester has had his hands in his mouth for MONTHS now and the drool has always been outta control.  People tell me that when he is teething, "YOU'LL KNOW!"  Really?  I don't know how he could get any more drooly then he is now.  He's been pretty fussy too and there have been times when he is inconsolable - even on my boob, which freaks me out.  I'm starting to think the time is near though so I'm starting to shop for options.  I found a cool site that offers all natural options.  They even have a giveaway right now so sign up if you're up for it!

Friday, October 1

Roll over Beethoven...

Chester has been rolling over here and there for a few weeks now.  It's been a slow progression of steps.  A gradual connect the dots. Today was different though.  Instead of the usual saga of arching back, getting on side and finally lumbering onto his tummy, the pieces suddenly fell into place.  It happened when I changed him and put him down in his crib to go wash my hands.  A minute later I returned to see him staring up at me, pleased as punch with himself.  He's so quick now I couldn't even turn my camera on quick enough to get the full series.  The video shows him on his side, which happened in a blink. 
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The roll happened so fast I almost didn't catch it.  I'm happy I caught that little self satisfied smirk he displays albeit briefly.  He's one step closer to conquering those three hanging animals on his mobile that have eluded him up until now.  I rue the day he is able to stand up and grasp one of those poor unsuspecting dudes in his clutches.  Yikes!

This new roll accomplishment has been giving me tons of problems this last week on the change table.  Chester has decided he really enjoys practicing his rolling technique while I'm in the middle of a diaper change - the messier the better!  He grabs onto the hutch behind him for purchase and uses it to leverage himself up onto his side, arching his back and holding on for dear life!  It's become a battle of wills between the two of us.  I'm embarrassed to say I usually lose.  Diapering now takes about five times as long as normal.  Unfortunately, that's not the only thing he's been playing with.  Yep!  Chester has found his boy parts.  The minute I remove the tabs from a pungent diaper his hands automatically fuse onto his junk.  This is especially problematic if a messy poo has taken place.  Baby poo hands = not good!  He's quicker than those old Chinese ladies waiting by the hot station at the China Buffet for the crab legs to come out.  What is truly horrifying is when he grabs his bits and SQUEEZES.  Being on the painful receiving end of this squeeze (purple nurple anyone?) I know his grip is similar to Lindsay Wagner crushing an orange on the Bionic Woman.  Hopefully this too shall pass.