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Eliot second month
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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And finally it was time. Eliot became an expert feeder, and we'd lasted the self-imposed restriction on being pacifier (ciucio) free.

The lives of our sucking-obsessed son and his two parents were forever-for-the-better.
 
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Our little man was getting bigger.
 
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But for the most part, the second month was like the first month.
 
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Before Eliot came out, I was worried I wouldn't know how to learn how best to teach him things, because he was going to need to learn so much so quickly.
 
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But I soon learned that, at least at the beginning, this fathering process is very slow.
 
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The stages come slow enough that you have time to figure out what to do.
 
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Our biggest change of the month was the sanity brought upon us all by the ciuccio
 
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But to give you a feel for how slow the beginning is. The accomplishment of the month was being able somewhat purposely reach out and touch something.
 
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I'm not talking about grabbing something, more of light graze that can take 10-15 minutes of staring at an object to accomplish. And the truth is that in those 10-15 minutes, Eliot might mistakenly bump into the object three or four times out of random reflexes before he purposely grazed it.
 
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There was still a lot of
 
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sleeping.
 
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He was starting to fill out his car seat.
 
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And he loved to stare at this black, white, and red rattle that we received at Ilaria's baby shower.

After 5 weeks, it was time for another big step.
 
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Drinking from a bottle for the first time (technically he drank from a bottle about 60 seconds after he left his mom's stomach because he had hypoglycemia, but this was the first time he was really going to consistently use bottles).
 
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For logistically reasons, I wasn't able to breastfeed Eliot for all of these weeks, so I was the first one to try to feed him with the bottle.

For the most part he just gave me a, 'what in the hell are you doing to me dude?' look the whole time.
 
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And almost zero milk left the bottle. Eventually I got too impatient, Eliot became frustrated with me, and I handed him to
 
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his mom.
 
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Within a few minutes she'd turned our pissed off son
 
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into a bottle drinking
 
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master.
 
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Resting
 
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staring and touching
 
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resting
 
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resting
 
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looking back, the second month was unexciting
 
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but incomparably better than the first one.
 
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Before long
 
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Eliot started to even seem
 
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curious
 
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about us
 
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the people that night and day had been caring for him. Sure he didn't seem to appreciate us, but at least he seemed to be curious to figure out who we were.

In the second month, we started to realize that still images don't sufficiently capture a growing child's development, and we began to use the movie function on our camera.
 
One common feature of Eliot during the first few months was a constant case of hiccups.
 
He could even knock a toy off his boppy pillow if you put the toy sufficiently close that he couldn't miss it.
 
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Before we had Eliot, I always wondered why parents didn't have more pictures of their kids crying, since children spend so much time doing so. I figured it was because they didn't want to capture those moments, because humans (or at least americans) are so big on happiness.

However, now that I'm raising a small human, a more obvious reason for the lack of such photos is that when the little person is screaming, your first desire is to make them be quiet, calm, and comfortable rather than looking for a camera.
 
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Which explains why we have some many,
 
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sleeping photos.
 
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Towards the end of the second month, our old friends from Boston: Ben, Elissa, and Ansel came to visit us.
 
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Ansel was 10 months old, so it was a fantastic glimpse at what we had coming.
 
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Ansel looked like a giant with such a vast set of skills that it was almost imaginable to me how Eliot would learn all of those things
 
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in just eight more months (but as I write this it is 9 months later, and I see it happened slowly, little-by-little, every month one more baby step).
 
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Since our friends were in town,
 
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we decided it would be a good time to get married.
 
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Liz ministered the wedding and let us have a barbecue party at her house (thanks Liz!).
 
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The ladies in my lab made a fantastic cake, there was a chocolate fountain, and a lot of people showed up (even my boss Jeff and Ilaria's boss Barak).
 
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David and Federico ran the grilling operation. It was really a nice day (though I didn't take many photos, as I was busy being the guy that just got married).
 
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It was great to have
 
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Ansel
 
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and his
 
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family
 
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in St. Louis
 
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At the wedding barbecue, Dave refused to let us open the good champagne, so we drank it with Ben and Elissa that night with the rest of the yummy cake.
 
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Eliot was starting to look like he might be fond of us
 
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and his tired parents really needed that.
 
Eliot sneezed a lot. And for the first few months, it was the one complicated thing he did that looked identical to an adult. Sure it was a reflex, but I was glad to capture his complicated reflex on camera one time.
 
Towards the end of the first month, our almost two-month-old son, really became interested in his little lights and music toy (what Eric aptly called "kid-TV").
 
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And by the end of the second month,
 
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our sweet little boy
 
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was starting to smile at us with some consistency.
 
The mobile was no longer something we turned on to make sure it still worked.
 
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And he began looking like he might finally touch a toy that was above/in front of him
 
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rather than just the ones beside him.
 
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Ilaria's sweet little boy
 
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was starting to do funny things (not on purpose)
 
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He predicted LSU's pretty mediocre football season.
 
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And began to appreciate the nice art Ilaria put on the wall by his changing table.
 
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At the end of the month, John and Gabriella (other friends from Boston) came to visit.
 
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John bought me Cardinals tickets for my 30th birthday. They were all inclusive tickets in the Bank of America Club. It was most fun rain out I've ever been to. We got to see few innings and then the rain started pouring. However, the tickets came with unlimited food and beer, so we stood there watching the field get wet and drank a lot of beers. Not too bad (thanks John!).