What to do with a baby all day?

So yesterday I basically stayed home all day. Matt took Dylan out a couple times which gave me a chance to relax, sleep, take a shower, all that good stuff. Then later in the day we painted an accent wall in our living room (I say "we" but really matt did all the painting. I did tape things for him first though). Today I've only left the house to run to the post office and drop off some packages. I'm starting to go a little stir crazy now. I think Dylan is too. There's only so much time he can spend in his jumperoo. Right now he's watching the end of Ice Age. I know you aren't supposed to really let babies watch TV, but he loves it so much. So he usually gets to watch a few minutes here and there. But our typical day pretty much goes like this:

Wake up and play with his crib mobile for 15 minutes, while I contemplate the fact that I need to get up. Then he'll play on a blanket with his toys for a few minutes while I check my email. Next we go downstairs and I clean up in the kitchen while he sits in the high chair and either watches me or chews on some teethers. Once the kitchen is clean I move Dylan into his swing and I make myself breakfast. He's usually asleep by the time I'm done eating at which point I transfer him to his crib for nap #1. Depending on how tired I am and how early he woke up I do one of the following during his naps: sleep, watch TV, go on the computer, do laundry, clean the bedroom, take care of the dog, or make phone calls. Once he wakes up we both get dressed for the day. At this point I usually go and run whatever errands I need to do that day. Or if we're staying home I have to figure out ways to entertain him until his next nap. This typical consists of rotating between playing with toys on a blanket, bouncing in the jumperoo, going for a walk, playing with mommy on the bed, and reading some books. Pretty much the whole rest of the day is spent this way: eat, nap, play time. By about 3:00 I'm bored and tired of our typical routines. I try and get books that recommend activities to do with a baby, but until they are about 6 or 9 months, they really dont have anything that we dont already do. So from about 3:00 until I start making dinner, I'm just trying to keep my sanity and keep Dylan from getting too cranky. Then once I start making dinner Dylan goes back in the high chair in the kitchen with me until Daddy gets home. Once Daddy is home Dylan gets all happy and excited. I know it's because he likes spending time with his dad, but I also think part of him is thinking "thank god, someone besides mommy to look at." Dylan always sits with us in his high chair while we eat dinner. Lately I've been giving him a little bit of milk on a spoon while we're eating. I do this for several reasons: 1- he gets used to eating from a spoon since we'll be starting solid foods in a few weeks, 2- he gets to be involved in dinner time, and 3- it gives me something interesting to do with him. After dinner, we play for about another hour or so until he starts getting cranky beyond distraction. That signals that he's ready for bed. So I start his bath and get everything ready for bed. He's usually in the bath for about 5-10 minutes depending on whether or not it's a soap night. Dad usually takes him out of the bath while I clean up. Then we put on PJ's. At this point he's usually getting really cranky (though he's pretty happy in his bath and up until the pjs go on), so we turn out the lights, turn on the night light, and I read him a few books until he starts getting cranky again, at which point I feed him. He falls asleep pretty easily as long as it's close to 8:00 (anything before that and he'll eat and then just cry until 8 anyway). I put him in his crib, close the door, and that's the end of the baby's part of the day. After he's in bed I always have all this ideas of things I can do uniterrupted, like finish putting laundry away, doing the dishes from dinner, cleaning something or other... but I typically just get myself a bowl of mango sorbet and go to bed. Some days if I have enough energy, or if my back hurts a lot I'll take a bath first. But usually I'm in bed by 9 and asleep by 10. It's such a glamorous life.

Most days I try to plan some sort of mid-day outing. Like going to the mall, visiting my parents, going to a playdate, or something along those lines. This helps to keep me from getting bored by 3. We also have some more structured activities like Babygarten at the library, my weekly mommy group/lunch, and in November we're going to take a swimming class. At some point we'll probably also take a Baby Sign class, but I'm already starting to teach him signs at home... when I remember. But these activities, while fun for Dylan, or just as fun for me because it gets me out of the house and I'm able to talk with other moms/adults. Usually when we go out we'll get home around 3, and THEN I start the typical baby activity rotation, which is fine because I only have to do it until about 5, when I start making dinner. Which means only about 2 hours of keeping Dylan entertained, as opposed to a WHOLE day.

And that is a day in the life of Jessica. At least at this moment. I'm sure once Dylan starts crawling and walking things will get much more hectic. So I'm trying to enjoy him in his non-mobile phase. Actually this is a pretty good time as far as baby's are concerned. He's far more interactive than he was a few months ago (when he was in lump mode), but he's not crawling around and getting into trouble yet. Plus he laughs and smiles at pretty much anything we do now, which makes it all worthwhile.


More about music

The other day I was driving home from my parent's house, Dylan was fortunately sleeping in the back of the car, there was nothing good on the radio, and I was sick to death of the CDs in the car, so I decided to play my Classical Music Game. I'm not sure if I've written about this before (it's possible), but I like to turn on the classical stations in the middle of a song and try to guess the composer. So I found a song that was bearable to listen to (the other classical station had a clarinet concerto on... gag me). And after listening to it for a few minutes I had it narrowed down to some kind of Romantic composer from Eastern Europe who took a lot of their material from folk tunes. I guessed Bella Bartok as the composer, but found out when it was over that it was actually Dvorjak. So close. I hate it when I'm wrong. But at least I was able to get the characteristics correct. It would have sucked if it turned out to be a Baroque composer from England. Anyway, it's a fun game for me.

I also like how lots of baby toys now use classical music. You know, to help you have a smart baby. For instance, the crib mobile I got Dylan was designed by developmental psychologists as well as musicologists. Honestly as soon as I saw the musicologists part of the description I stopped reading and just bought it. It plays 3 classical pieces: Sonata in A by Mozart (the Theme and Variations one), Prelude in C by Bach, and some unrecognizable Beethoven piece. How is it possible that I dont know the Beethoven piece?? I'm sure if I had looked it up in the directions that came with the mobile it probably would mention the song, but that's cheating. Anyway, he loves the mobile. It usually gives me enough time to take a shower or sleep in for an extra 15 mins if he wakes up too early, which is my favorite thing about it. He also has a swing that plays TONS of different songs. And several of them are pieces I've played. So whenever they come on I stop and listen to them and compare how I play them differently, or check to see if they've made any alterations to the piece. I'm happy to say that so far I've only noticed one piece that has been slightly altered, and I'm not sure why. But his swing plays Fur Elise, and it even plays the ENTIRE piece (not just the familiar part), and it's true to the music up until the VERY end when it adds an extra descending 1-5-1 in the bass instead of just ending on the A minor chord. No clue why they felt the need to do that, but it kinda irritates me. Oh well, that's just my snobbishness. Otherwise though they do a good job with the music.

One of my college professors, who I also worked with at St Matt's for a while, used to always point out when composers wrote music with lyrics that had a rhythm similar to how you would speak the words. So the accents of the beats fell on the natural accents of the words. Seems like she thought this was a good trait. Lately I've noticed that a lot of the pop music I like follows this as well. For example, I think Ben Folds does this really well. Especially in "Evaporated" which is the last song on "Whatever and Ever Amen." I love how easily and naturally the lyrics flow in that song. Just like you were setting natural speech to a pretty melody. And it's really distracting when lyrics don't follow the natural flow of speech. I've noticed that it can make it hard to understand the words.

Those are my current thoughts on music.



In 2000: The Patriots win their first Super Bowl (technically they won it in 2001, but it was for the 2000 season).
Also in 2000: Matt and I started dating.

In 2004: The Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years, breaking the Curse of the Bambino.
Also in 2004: Matt and I got married.

In 2008: The Celtics win the NBA Championship after being the second worst team in the NBA in 2007.
Also in 2008: Dylan is born.

Coincidence? Or are the milestones between Matt and I the best thing to ever happen to New England sports teams?

We're trying to figure out what we need to do in order to get the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup next.

Welcome Back

I realize it's been a while since I've posted. But I have a good excuse. Dylan keeps me busy most of the day, and once I put him down for the night I am pretty much ready for bed myself. So needless to say, I've let my blog go for a while. But I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to start posting again... though I'm not sure if anyone will read this anymore.