Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

For his birthday, Uncle Dave and Aunt Kara gave Owen a Peanuts DVD which includes, among other holiday specials, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It's become Owen's go-to DVD whenever he tires of watching The Sound of Music (because occasionally Owen does tire of it), and so it was clear that for Halloween we needed to find a sincere pumpkin patch to pick out our jack-0-lantarns.


Unfortunately the weather and a fairly packed weekends schedule had conspired to keep us away from Butler's Orchard until this past Sunday when none of our friends could join us. Owen, apparently inspired by the Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown special, picked out a particularly sickly looking specimen (Allen eventually nixed in favor of some more robust gourds --clearly he needs a few more viewings of said Christmas special) and carried it around with him while Nora slept the morning away. After some caramel apples, we headed home for the carving and obligatory "You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!" outburst. It was pretty good day and Nora even woke up for a brief photo-op.

(click here to see all the pictures)


Friday, October 09, 2009

And so it goes...

Owen's interest in his baby sister has been fairly limited -- specifically to when someone asks how he likes being a big brother or when a present is involved. This hasn't been an altogether bad thing as it's limited the number of times Nora's life has been in immediate peril to one (it involved our leaving her in the high chair while fixing breakfast and Owen almost tipping said chair over trying to get a better view). We feel particularly fortunate in that Owen's latest past-time involves acting out various scenes from "The Sound of Music." We're less concerned with his spinning on a pretend mountain top and singing "So Long, Farewell" than searching for the children in the abbey and saying he's going to kill them (somehow the message our son took from this classic is, "Pretending to be a Nazis is fun!" Fortunately, he's now moved on to telling us that Rolf made bad choices and that we don't like Nazis).

But lately, Owen's been a bit more protective of Nora -- making sure his daycare friends don't touch her, letting us know if she's asleep in her carseat while we're driving somewhere, giving the odd kiss. On Saturday he even helped give her a bath before the neighborhood block party so she would look extra pretty while meeting our neighbors.

The brotherly love was short lived, however. After a well-meaning but horribly misguided neighbor gave all the small children on the street nerf guns, Owen and his friend Jalen decided to use Nora for target practice (thankfully they both have very poor aim). I found myself uttering a phrase I never thought I'd have to say to my son, "Please don't shoot the baby."

The gun has mysteriously vanished (thanks to Daddy), but given the Supreme Court's overturning of the DC handgun ban, we're now practicing constant vigilance in our household.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

One Month of Sleepy Nights

Nora is one month old, so it's time for an incredibly wonky post without any pictures, but with lots of data and charts! When Owen was one month old we did a post titled, "One Month of Sleepless Nights." Well we're still using the trixie tracker, and we're both still economists, so there really is no better way to show what a dramatically different baby Nora is than to delve into the data and examine how Nora has slept away her first month. Without further ado, here is Nora's first month of sleepy nights:

Nora's Sleep Telemetry - Birth to 1 Month

All the blue areas represent naps, the yellow areas show when she was awake, and the light blue is transition. Nora averaged a little over 15 hours of sleep a day for her first month, and slept completely through the night for the first time when she was four weeks old!

For comparison, below is Owen's sleep chart for his first month. Owen averaged about 13 hours of sleep a day and never came close to sleeping through the night in his first month (he didn't accomplish that feat until he was almost four months old).

Owen's Sleep Telemetry - Birth to 1 Month

We have all the data, so let's break this down a bit more. The chart below shows each of Nora and Owens naps with the start time on the X-axis and the length on the Y-axis. Let's focus on two areas, first the green ovals in the upper right of each chart: Nora fell asleep between roughly 10 pm and midnight and slept for over four hours 17 times in her first month with the longest being over 7 hours (note some of the dots are overlapping); Owen, on the other hand, did the same four times with the longest still well under 5 hours. In a related area of the chart, the red ovals in the bottom left show that Nora put us through the frustration of falling asleep in the middle of the night and waking up again in less than an hour only five times. Owen on the other hand treated us to these middle of the night cat naps 17 times in the first month.

Owen & Nora - Birth to 1 Month Sleep Scatter Plots

One more way the trixie tracker lets us look at this data is a comparison to all the other trixie tracker users. The chart below shows Nora and Owen's average hours of sleep per week, along with the average for all trixie tracker babies, and the 95% confidence interval. Owen started out well below average and then ended up tracking close to but a hair under the average. Nora on the other hand has always been well above average for sleep time, and by her fourth week is near the top of the range!

Nora & Owen Sleep Averages

What does all this mean? Probably not much in the long run, but for now we are all blissfully sleeping through the night, and my fears of feeling like a zombie from long and sleepless nights have proved completely unfounded.