crazy legs: the blog

Monday, January 31, 2005

Full disclosure

Baby blogging hits the big time - or in this case, The New York Times [reg. req'd]. So, I don't feel so bad about talking about diaper changes or how tired we are or how expensive formula is or the other petty things about child-rearin' for a mostly unseen audience.

Then again, if the New York Times is just getting wind of it, this baby blogging thing has got to be yesterday's news. I'll have to stay on top of the next wave of technology necessary for passing along stories of tantrums and skinned knees.

In the NYT article, there are several links to real artistes of the child-oriented blog including Dooce, Trixie Update, Zero Boss and Mimi Smartypants. They have all taken the concept to a new level, almost to the point of writing as therapeutic release. Many of them are written for an audience of peers -- young parents or would-be parents -- and are far from family-oriented. Dooce in particular is so raw with emotional content that, although Heidi and I both read it regularly, we choose not to link to it here, simply because at times it's so adult-oriented. And our parents are reading this, for crying out loud! (But, by all means, if interested, Google them and you'll see what I mean.)

This particularly caught my eye:
How will the bloggee feel, say, 16 years from now, when her prom date Googles her entire existence?

"Fundamentally children resent being placed at the heart of their parents' expression, and yet I still do it," said Ayelet Waldman, whose blog, Bad Mother (, describes life at home with her four young children and her husband, Michael Chabon, the novelist. Ms. Waldman, a novelist herself, has blogged about her baby Abie's recessive chin and gimpy hip and the thrill of the children's going back to school after winter break.

"A blog like this is narcissism in its most obscene flowering," she said. "But it's necessary. As a parent your days are consumed by other people's needs. This is payback for driving back and forth to gymnastics all week long."

At some point, however, parents may find themselves at a crossroads. Molly Jong-Fast, who has been a frequent subject for her mother, Erica Jong, said, "There comes that inevitable moment when parents who write about their children need to choose between their writing and their children's privacy and honor." Ms. Jong based a children's book on her daughter as well as a pilot for a Fox sitcom. "There's no compassionate way to do both, so either the parent or the child will end up feeling resentful."

I don't want to turn Colin into Erica Jong's daughter, but I feel there is something to be gained by sharing this experience via the Internet.

  • It allows us a venue to share our stories in a public way for familial support.

  • It allows us a venue to post all our fears and concerns for later scrutiny.

  • It allows us a venue to look back at and think how silly we were to worry.

  • It allows us to pinpoint the exact moment at which we irretrievably messed up Colin for good.

  • It allows Colin an opportunity to realize just how much we cared for him, even when he didn't know quite who we were, or how he came to be.

  • It gives us a chance to stack Colin up against all the other babies of the Internet, and prove that we too can breed.

  • It allows us to share him with those not lucky enough to be with him as often as we are.

So, this blogging thing can be good and bad. But hopefully, Colin will enjoy reading it someday, as much as we enjoy writing it. Or if he doesn't, we can use the excuse that his grandparents MADE us do it.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Do me a favor, and put down any food before you read ahead. There's some talk of diarrhea.

Illness has hit us all in one form or another, and we're struggling to get through it.

It started with Colin on Wednesday, unleashing some bodily fluids so rank that they threatened to peel paint off the walls, as well as trigger the rebirth of the undead. Plus, he was unleashing them at an astonishing rate. And let's just say, they were also...voluminous.

We've almost got him straightened out with the help of some Pedialyte and lots of diapers.

Then, on Thursday, Heidi got violently ill with stomach flu, as intense as her bout with Montezuma's Revenge during our honeymoon. Ah, memories. She's been to the doctor and has started feeling better, mostly because she can keep food down.

Now, I'm fighting off some upper-respiratory thing. Kinda sniffly, and a little phlegmy. However, I'm trying my darndest not to start the sickie cycle all over again.

Hopefully, we'll all be healthy soon, but brother, it's been tough. Not to mention, a bit icky.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hey, Whatever Works

There are times when Colin is sort of like rabbit ears on an old TV set. The picture will only come in clear when you have one thumb on the antenna, your right leg held at a 47 degree angle from the floor and it's a Tuesday. There are only certain things that will soothe/amuse Colin for brief periods of time.

Yesterday, I was subject to a crying fit for about an hour. After trying virtually everything I learned in Baby Rearin' class and in practical hands on experience for the last 3+ months, I figured out that what he really wanted was to be plopped down in his bouncy chair facing the TV to watch "I Love the 90's" on VH1. (Remember cell phones?! And the Internet?!) Thank God for VH1 programming execs - I know that "I Love the 90's" will be shown pretty much non-stop for the next couple of weeks. So, the next time Colin is in some kind of snit, I'm hoping I can sit him down and we can reminisce with Hal Sparks about The Spice Girls and Crystal Pepsi.

Colin also enjoys the kitchen. Nothing in particular about the kitchen. He just seems to prefer to be in there more than any other room in the house.

There have also been two separate occasions where he's been soothed by Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" and my soulful rendition thereof.

There's also the changing table. This child hates being placed flat on his back on nearly every single surface, except the changing table. Maybe it's because we have the radio right there and he's hoping to catch some more Clapton? He seems to dig Clapton in a way that sometimes makes me doubt he's my son. At any rate, no matter his mood, he's instantly smiling and playing when we lay him down and start the dance of trying to change a diaper around his crazy, crazy legs.

Hopefully we're smart enough to realize that some of these tactics have a very short shelf life and are definitely subject to overkill. Nah. I have a feeling we're not that smart and soon we'll be dragging the changing table into the kitchen while singing "Solsbury Hill" like a couple of maniacs. At least until we stumble upon the next great, random way to make the boy happy!

Breaking news

MILESTONE (1/20/05, 5:15 am): Colin has successfully slept through the night. He slept from around 9:00 pm Wednesday until 5:15 am Thursday, much to the surprise and delight of his mother and father.

There's probably some sort of corrolation between sleeping and Inauguration Day, but I'll leave it alone.

Also, my friend Terri C. had a lovely daughter, Emily Ryan, on January 13th. Everyone's doing fine.

More updates to come, as news happens!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Daycares of thunder

Sorry for the lack of updates, or rather, for the lack of Colin-face-time.

The big reason is we're all trying to piece our fragile lives back together after the shock of the Jen and Brad breakup.

But, seriously, we're trying to get back into the swing of things back at work, and help Colin settle in at day care. Which has almost certainly been much harder on Heidi and me.

Colin spends 3 days a week (M,T,TH) with a woman who watches about 5-6 other youngsters during the day. Her name is Lisa, and she's very sweet and has been helpful in helping us make the transition from stay-at-homers to working folk. Every day Colin comes home with a report of when he ate, when he napped, and when he was changed, as well as a nice description of how his day went. Most days, he comes home very happy, and loaded down with art projects that Lisa and the other children made for him. Someday soon, we look forward to posting up lots of his work on the Williamson fridge.

The other 2 weekdays (W,F) Heidi stays home and does the best she can to work and keep Colin happy and occupied. It's going to be a juggling act for sure, but we are certainly gracious to Heidi's employers who have allowed her to pursue this option.

In the meantime, Colin breezed past his 3-month birthday -- holy mackerel! -- and continues to grow and learn.

Right now, he:
  • Laughs

  • Smiles

  • Drools a bunch

  • Blows raspberries with his lips

  • Holds his head steady

  • Lifts and turns his head with regularity

  • Usually sleeps through the night with only one feeding

  • Grasps and holds items

  • Listens and responds to voices and sounds

  • Loooooooves bathtime

Next thing you know, he'll be:
  • turning over

  • crawling

  • growing teeth

  • knocking over lamps and our precious crystal

  • throwing temper tantrums

  • referring to us by our first names because "only babies call their parents Mommy and Daddy"

His blonde hair is coming in, and his eyes are turning bluer each day. He's generally a happy soul, and it's amazing how we rush back to our little townhouse to see him. It feels more and more like our home, simply because he's in our lives.

Sappy, I know, but hey, age'll do that to you. Heidi can tell you, as she's now a nearly decrepit 30.

Friday, January 07, 2005

This would be wonderful

Reported recently in JAMA (or the Journal of the American Medical Association) for those of us not in the "biz"....

A simple urine test may be able to detect preeclampsia. (Link via Blogging Baby.) It affects 5 to 8 percent of all pregnant women (including Heidi), and as we know, causes high blood pressure, swelling, sudden weight gain, and many other symptoms. It is also the leading cause of maternal and fetal death in the U.S.

While I'd like to be selfish and say that we could have used this a year ago, I know there are several other new parents out there struggling with the condition.

The mother of extremely premature twins, including the smallest baby ever to survive (at 8.6 ozs!), suffered from severe preeclampsia which endangered all of their lives.

Also, my vendor and bud Terri C. is currently on bedrest because of Pre-E. She is scheduled for a Caesarean-section delivery of her first child next Thursday, about a week before her due date. Our thoughts are with her.

Anywho, 5 to 8 percent of all moms-to-be is still pretty significant, and I'm crossing my fingers for testing to continue, and eventually to be put into practice. It would prepare expecting parents for what lies ahead. And if doctors can detect preeclampsia, steps can be taken to further treat it, or ultimately prevent it.

Which would be A-number-one cool.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

First Christmas

More photos of Colin in December.

I took video of him at the Williamson household, so no photos there.

[UPDATE (1/5/05, 9:34 pm): Grandma W. has supplied me with pics from A Very Williamson Christmas, thus saving my neck. I've added them onto the end of the very same photoset mentioned above.]

I can't wait until next year, when Colin will really be into the season (i.e., eagerly anticipating toys.)