Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby's Pretend Upright Bass

Last Friday night, or rather, early last Saturday morning, ohhh, about 4am-ish in the midst of feeding mah hungry baby girlie, something funny happened. She was entirely docile, eyes closed, all relaxed and limp like a ragdoll... but her tiny left hand kept reaching up and slowly taking hold of the gathered elastic neckline of my pajama top, and then she'd pull her little hand back and away from me, to then let go of it with a soft thudding noise. She did this over and over, kind of moving in slow-mo, reaching and plucking the neckline of my top like it was a rubberband or an upright bass. The sound it was making actually woke my honey-man, and as he raised his head from the bed to peer at us in the dark, he began to quietly giggle, seeing and realizing what it was she was doing and taht she was 1/2 asleep while at it, no less.

Can you say, WAY. TOO. CUTE. -?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Parenting Under Pr-Pr-Pr-Pressure

I haven't been able to write about this before now, cuz I've been trying reeealllly hard to keep my s*** together this morning. See, today's my baby's first day at daycare. We went to the open house for her classroom last Friday, which was immensely reassuring, but dang, this is a freakin' hard pill to swallow.

For the next month, before my part-time contract expires come the end of September, we'll be transitioning into this new 'baby-in-daycare' phase of our lives, meaning she'll only spend 1/2 her day at daycare, in the mornings. Her daddy's gunna drop her off around 8am and then I'll be picking her up between 11:30 and noontime. Shouldn't be too bad -right? We only have 5 weeks of this part-time arrangement though. Thereafter, it will be full-time daycare from then on, year round. This last statement makes me wanna bawl.

Arrgghhh... My stomach is in such topsy turvy knots!!! And she's not even there yet!

It feels wrong to have someone other than myself caring for my daughter for the majority of her day. I don't care how common it is or how many people have to do the very same thing and blah, blah, blah, whatever! It feels W-R-O-N-G! I've read countless books and I've read some of the actual research [yes, I've sought out and read some of the research journals written regarding the subject of daycare and how it affects a child's emotional and intellectual development], and I know she'll be technically fine, as will I, but I can't describe this raw and aching pain I feel in my gut and in my heart. It just hurts! Blak.

I'm hoping that come time for me to pick her up four hours fro now, I'll find a happy baby - - somehow though, I'm certain this will throw her for a loop. She'll be all wide-eyed and fascinated for the first couple hours, but by 11am, she'll be fried. We'll see. Details tomorrow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

5 Years Ago...

... mah honey-man and I, we went out on our first date! Can't believe it's been five years since we met!? And our 2nd wedding anniversary is just around the corner. Mmmm... I love him so!

I Love You Too, but PLEASE GO TO SLEEP!

Last Wednesday night amounted to more of the same when compared to this past Tuesday night = NO SLEEP FOR THIS MOMMIE. Thursday morning, I had to present myself as a knowledgeable person-in-charge, speaking at an orientation. It was a miracle I didn't wind up tripping over my own feet that day, I was so dead tired. Sooo last night, after 5 hours in the office and an afternoon juggling zee wee one while working from home, I decided we were going to try for an uber early approach to baby's bedtime. She usually bathes around 7pm, but we had her in the tubby by 6pm, and I fed her at 7pm and topped it off with a 2 oz bottle with extra cereal, which she ate while I rocked and sang to her in her bedroom... and begged her to please sleep through the night. I laid her down in her crib by 7:40pm and she was fast asleep in five minutes' time... AND SHE SLEPT UNTIL FIVE AM!

And so, this morning at work, I was as happy as could be (amazing what some good sleep can do for a person), and I had a spring back in my step for the first time this week. And my baby girlie? She was soooo smiley this morning and has been such a darling all day, today, well rested and happy. A friend's 13 year old was watching her for me this morning while I was at work, and the two were situated together in a room 2 doors down the hall from my office. Throughout the morning, I could clearly hear my darling babe cooing, giggling, and laughing, and occasionally they'd come past my open office door and my baby sweet potato girl was all baby drool n' dimples! And she even took a nap! Bless you, Millie! And thank the creators of baby rice cereal! Or maybe it was just a fluke - - or maybe it was the earnest begging? We'll see if we duplicate the same circumstances tonight and wind up with the same result!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Wrote Too Soon, Part II

The night before last, our sweet potato girl went to bed at 8pm, and she woke up at midnight, 2am, 3am, 4am and 5am. Apparently, once more, I wrote too soon...

And so, yesterday morning, I was a bit of a zombie at work. And after work, after picking up my baby girl, I failed to get a nap, and then I didn't get to bed until 10:30pm last night. She woke up hungry at 11:30pm and again at 3am. And she was up for the day at 6:20-ish am. If she keeps this up, I think I may be dead by Friday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Wrote Too Soon!

Not only is she sleeping in her crib now, I guess she's on her way (I hope, I hope) to sleeping through the night again (all fingers and toes crossed, let it be true! oh let it be true!). After writing this yesterday, she wound up sleeping for SEVEN HOURS straight last night! Oh yes, bless her darling lil' bottom! ~ Yup, seven uninterrupted hours of sleep. *sigh* And what bliss it was! She went down for bed at her usual 8pm and she didn't wake up until a little after 3am, at which point I fed her and then she went back to sleep.

What do I think the difference was? - - I suspect is was the TWO tablespoons of cereal I'd given her in 3 ounces of expressed milk, plus a feeding just before that = Mah girlie had a full, full belly! And so, of course, we tried that again tonight. By the morning, we'll know if it worked again...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So Far, So Fantastic

Well, our baby sweet potato girl has been sleeping in her crib for 3 nights in a row now, and tonight, being her 4th night, she went down for her bedtime and was out like a light in less than a minute! Sooo, I think it's safe to say her transition from the bassinet to the crib has been flawlessly smooth thus far. I know it hasn't even been a week yet, so I realize things could change like night and day without a moment's notice, but I'm pretty pleased so far. The only thing I miss about the bassinet is getting to be right there in the morning to see her little mug when she first wakes up for the day ~ She's ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE when she first wakes up for a new day! Although I now can't see her the very moment her lil' eyes first open, we can still hear her when she wakes up for the day, with her cooing and gurgling and blowing raspberries, making lil' 'aaah-ha' noises and stuff = also very adorable. Yeah, whenever she wakes up, especially in the night, we can hear her from our bedroom well enough to easily determine if she'll either settle herself back down without help or will need one of us to snag her before she becomes hysterical.

I hadn't mentioned any of this before now, but we decided to move her to her crib for several reasons.
1) Thought it might be good to sleep without hearing every lil' sigh that starts me wide awake in a second.
2) I had said she'd only be in our room for couple months (although I did admit later I was so crazy wrong).
3) She was basically gettin' too freakin' big for her bassinet (that's the real short of it).
4) She could actually kick the upper rim of the bassinet with her little feet, waking herself in the process.
5) She would scoot herself up and into the head rim of the bassinet, again, waking herself up.
6) She would bring her blankets up over her face and they'd stay there since there was too little room around her anymore. These following pics were taken last Saturday night. Ever since that night, she's been sleeping in a Halo SleepSack!

This totally freaked me out to find her like this!
Okay, so yeah, she's safely and comfortably sleeping in her crib now and it's going well. However, she's still will not return to those wonderful days we enjoyed when she was sleeping 9 hours straight through the night. She's always waking at least twice now, usually around midnight-ish - 1AM, and then again sometime between 3AM - 5AM. A week ago, when my honey-man went out of town for a conference, I caved the very first night I was alone with the girlie without him = I gave her a tablespoon of rice cereal in a bottle with 1.5 ounces of expressed milk. Yup, total pansy, I am. And it didn't work at all, in that she was still up multiple times throughout that night, hungry almost every time like a ravenous lil' piglet. I tried the cereal one more night while he was away, but no luck then either.

, the last two nights in a row now, we've given her cereal in a bottle with some Pedialyte, and each night, we've enjoyed a 5 hour stretch of sleep between when she's put to bed and when she wakes for the first time. The cereal --and remember too, it's just one little tablespoon as the portion-- has also changed the consistency of her diapers, for sure. Oh boy, yes it has. They're not tooo bad yet, but the days of semi-sweet (comparatively) exclusively breast-fed diapers are over now.

At first I was feeling guilty about giving her some cereal before she's reached 6 months. More so, I've also been nervous about how it will effect my 'production,' but yesterday, we met an 8 month old and a 6 month old, and both of them were her size. Yeah. Not feeling guilty so much anymore; still a bit nervous, but not feeling guilty. She's a big girl and SHE'S HUNGRY, and at night, before her bedtime, I just can't keep up with her hunger! We'll see how the next couple weeks go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Check out Mah Crib"

[drumroll please!] ~

Our baby sweet potato girl slept in her crib last night! Her FIRST time going to bed for the night in her crib. *sniff, sniff* She went down at 8pm, and it took less than 5 minutes for her to fall asleep on her own. She woke up around 1am and again a titch before 5am... not toooo bad. Notice the 4-5 hour spacing? Cyclical 4-hour infant sleep is what that's called. Anyhow, she got up for the day at 7:30am. And did I mention already that she slept in her crib!?! We'll see how well it goes tonight!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 43

Because he should have been preoccupied with having a grand time in New Orleans for a conference, yet he calls me mid-day just to hear my voice. He's been gone since Tuesday and he comes home later tonight, 5:30ish = Yay!

P.S. Yes, I wrote this at 2am... I miss mah sweet honey-man.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

An Angel Boy-O n' Baby-Related Brainstorm

I am sooo behind on all the baby-related blogging I've been wanting to do. As for our private family blog? -I'm TWO MONTHS behind. Blak. Granted, no one's making me do this, but blogging is like journaling for me, to help me work through stuff and to remember. In an attempt to catch up some, I'm gunna rack my brain and write out some tidbits as they come to mind:

The boy-O repeatedly sets himself up for a baby-mauling, for instance, placing his face within the grasp of his sister's reach... he loves it when she grabs his nose and holds on! And solely for the sake of his sister's amusement, he deliberately offers his hair for baby-pulling. He says she has a "death grip," and has tried several times to let her hold a finger of his for long enough that it will turn purple.

Sometimes when the boy-O couldn't find a binky fast enough, he'd instead offer his sister one of his fingers and then he giggle and laugh at how strongly she could gnaw on him and drool all over his hand.

Although he repeatedly expressed enthusiasm to learn how and actually asked to be taught at least twice, I never once had the boy-O even attempt to change one diaper. I realize now this was a mistake, as it would have been easier to teach him now, while not only his enthusiasm for her so strong and new, but while she'll still lay there mid-change, and her breastfeeding-only diapers are pretty inoffensive. Next we see him, I'll be sure to have developed a diapering tutorial for him and to take him up his diaper-change offers.

During the first of the two times the boy-O and I had remembered to watch "So You Think You Can Dance," he'd been told to run get his jammies on during a commercial break. While upstairs, he went into our bedroom to check on his sleeping sister, where he then loudly whispered "HI" into her baby monitor's receiver and scared the crap outta me so badly, I screamed. He thought it was so hysterical, he nearly passed out from laughing so hard.

The angel boy-O became quite popular in our development this summer, with several kids coming by each day, asking if he could play. It was grrreat! One child in particular would come by and be told the same thing as the day before, "He doesn't come home from summer camp until 5:30pm or later." She would always show up again at 5:30pm, sharp.

One night not too long ago, post-Montreal trip, my honey-man was working hard to console and reassure my new-mommie-going-back-to-work insecurities, and the boy-O must have heard enough from his bedroom upstairs to know something was wrong. He'd gotten up and was sitting at the top of the stairs, hidden from view, listening. When the tears began to flow, he revealed himself, quickly coming down the stairs, eager to offer me hugs and kisses. He told me not to cry, and not to worry so much. He also told me to not be so hard on myself, and to know that he thinks I'm doing a wonderful job as a mommie, and told me I'm the best step-mom in the world. And he melted my heart, like he has so many times before.

Although we've been enjoying (bwah-ha-ha!) 3-digit temperatures for weeks now with the freak exception of the past couple of gloriously, blissfully cooler days, the pool's temp never reached high enough for the baby girlie to join the boy-O's swimming excursions. He wanted so badly for her to go swimming with him. Two days after he left, the pool reached 90 degrees, finally baby-friendly. What awfully bad timing! And btw, her swimsuit is so cute, it's criminal.

The day before the angel boy-O was to leave, I took him and his sissy to get their picture taken together. The results are sooo killer cute = WHAT A FREAKIN' UNDERSTATEMENT, and no, I AM CERTAIN I'M NOT BIASED HERE. Since then, I now proudly refer to the two of them together as my darlings. In no particular order of importance, here's a few details from the session: 1) For their first pose together, the boy-O sat on the floor, cross-legged, with his sissy in his lap, ans she was delighted, and he was so proud, and I was so vehclempted at the sight of them captured for print. 2) I had them both barefoot for their pictures. 3) During the baby-girlie's solo shots, the boy-O served as the her spotter, sitting off to the side, waiting at the ready if it be necessary to save her from nose-diving out of the chair in which she'd been placed. There's one proof in which you can see his jean-clad knees to the left of her. 4) At one point during her solo, she was refusing to pull even a grin for us. The boy-O and I were singing and dancing behind the photographer, really working it to illicit a smile, to no avail. For one of the proofs during that time, you can see a bemused look on her face, absolutely unimpressed with our efforts. 5) And for the boy-O's solo pic, the photographer asked him to say 'booger' just before taking what wound up to be my absolute favorite solo shot of him from the session.

I went to see Julie & Julia with my sister and one of her best friends last night. Baby-girlie has been to a good handful of movies now: Disney's Earth, Up, the 3rd Ice Age, and the latest Harry Potter. She's a good lil' movie-goer, really, she is! She usually lies in my lap doing one of three things: 1) watching the movie, 2) watching my face lit by the movie, or 3) sleeping. This time around, for a first, before the wee one conked out, she decided she'd add to the movie dialog, blowing raspberries during the first 15 minutes of the movie. My sister assured me she was not too loud, only too cute. Yes, she began blowing raspberries this week, and the week before that, she began gurgling. She is such a drooly girl - - she can soak through a bib in an hour!

Over the past week, zee baby-girlie has been aggressively reaching after Otis - - I believe I've mentioned already that Otis is the only one of our two cats who ever comes within her reach. More often than not, whenever she's made a move for some kitty contact and she succeeded, she simply places a tiny hand on Otis, slowly patting and brushing him with her fingers. Not too long ago, she did manage a baby-fistfull of tufts from his undercoat, but she hasn't done anything more notable than that one time until today. Yup, not until today... Today, as she was gently patting away at his rump-end, Otis decided to change position. Raising his backside first, about to stretch, her little hand slid down his back and toward his head, and she nabbed his right ear! I'd always been so concerned about watching her with his face and whiskers, I plumb forgot about the ears! Almost as soon as she had deftly closed her little hand about his ear, I'd forced my thumb into her fist to release him. Thankfully, after years of "baby-proofing" the kitties, Otis wasn't too alarmed by the ear grab, although it was more like a scrunch. As he' whipped his head around in response to the sudden crunch of his ear, he seemed more surprised than anything to see it was her. And she squealed with pure baby delight!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Things To Remember for Next Summer

I first began this post last Monday, intending to simply type up a list of the things we must remember for our next summer with the angel boy-O for next year, so that we can hopefully settle into a routine from the start, and not wind up spending/wasting so much of our time with him trying to establish a routine, just to have him leave once we've finally got it all settled. Instead of a list (which I still need to make), I wound up writing this:

This past Saturday, my honey-man had to drive the angel boy-O back to his mom and to his new life, living now in Ogden, UT. This had been his third summer spent with us in Vegas. A few have already asked why he's left already with August only beginning, but he needs time to reacclimate before his new school year at a brand new school begins, and to spend some summertime with his mom n' step-dad too.

Not too unlike the 2 previous summers, just as we all were getting on the same page with a solid routine going, he had to leave. I'm not sure if we'll ever get used to that aspect of his summer stays. This summer was the best effort thus far though, in that the boy-O had matured over the past year, making it an easier go, plus we remembered a bit more of what hadn't worked before, so there was less of a struggle when it came to making things happen. Plus --and this is a big plus-- the reality of having a needy baby sister gave the boy-O a fabulous chance to step out of himself --he's an only child, remember-- and to focus upon her needs and to experience the joy of helping and witnessing the growth of such a tiny person. And take that chance and run with it, he did!!! Ahh, gosh, it totally chokes me up. He was soooo good with his baby sister and he loves, loves, loves her so! And she adores him! Just ADORES him! As I'd shared before, he'd been the only one who could make her laugh (and she's still only laughed once for me). Yup, having the angel boy-O leave us this time around, it has got to be the hardest, most tearful summer's end yet for me. Knowing our time was nearing an end, as soon as we were in Montreal (17th thru the 27th), my honey-man and I, we were both taking turns tearing up on almost a daily basis, anticipating the inevitable separation from him come July's end.

While we were in Montreal, there was one evening the boy-O had made up a darling song and dance for his lil' jellybean sister and she giggled and glowed and squealed with delight as she watched his every move! He performed the lil' number he'd created for her at least 5 times. After he had sweetly held her face between his hands to gently kissed her checks and forehead goodnight, and I'd been given my goodnight kisses as well, I had to leave the house and go cry outside where no one could hear me, so sad the two darlings cannot be together all the time. I'm going to have to finish this later... I need a box of tissues. And it's 2am now.

Resumed writing on Wednesday the 5th: Our first summer in Vegas with the angel boy-O, man, oh man, that was a brutal summer, from start to finish. It wasn't all bad, no, but it was an enormous emotional rollercoaster! My honey-man had just moved to Vegas, and I was wallowing in insecurities, worried it would be a move he would surely regret by the summer's end. We only had the boy-O for 5 weeks, and I'm certain now that the boy-O was dealing with some deep-seated anger directed toward his father for his split life living between divorced parents. Plus, for the first time, my honey-man knew he was about to begin living his life without seeing his son for weeks and weeks at a time.

I cannot stress this enough: the emotional tension was high, high, high that summer of 2007. Unless we really make the effort to think long and hard about it, our minds draw a blank as to what else we did with him that summer... I know he and I painted his bedroom, of course, and we went hiking in Red Rock Canyon a few times and he had a couple horseback riding lessons. He had pirate-themed birthday party in Burbank, which I missed because I was in Europe. Of course, this here is a drastically oversimplified version of that 2007 summer, but overall, the summer is remembered as an awfully frustrating, painful, and tearful time for us.

Our second summer was almost a 100% improvement upon the first in that not only did we have more time together, we used the time more effectively, planning trips and activities and outings, eager to make good memories with him, to last us through the months to follow, during which we would see him so little. It did really stink though when I threw my back out and then wound up in the hospital for a week - - almost the month of July was a bust! Nevertheless, the summer was less stressful and we were better prepared for how painful it would be once it came time for him to leave us.

This summer though? It's easily been the best yet. We'd learned a thing or two from the first two summers, experiencing far less trial and error this time around, definitely. Over the eight weeks' time together though, we still weren't truly able to establish a routine until he was about to leave. That's why I'm hoping a list of pointers may help us next time around, to reduce the adjustment time involved.

Anyhow, the best thing about this summer was watching the angel boy-O with his baby sister... the absolute best! I am so proud of him. He was such a fabulous big brother to his baby sister. He was an excellent binky manager, quick to seek out her binky if she was cranking and in need of such comfort, and he'd retrieve her binky whenever she (or we) had dropped it. In no time, we found him doing what we do: Whenever the binky drops and a sink for a rinse ain't handy, he'd pop her binky intp his own mouth to 'clean it off' before giving it back to her. He was also her backseat traveling companion, always buckling up in the center seat beside her carseat. There was a few times he'd marvel over how startling it was to discover she was quietly staring at him after waking up during a car ride, and always breaking into a smile once he'd notice she was awake. On our car trip to Utah and back, he sang and talked to her, he fed her bottles, and he managed her drooly chinny-chopper, and he always let us know whenever she slept or woke up, or burped, tooted or did a number in her diaper.

In general, he was "our informer," often giving us play by play commentary as to whatever she was doing or whatever he thought she was doing; the two were not always the same thing. For instance, he was always very concerned about her breathing: "Um, I'm not sure she's breathing. She's not breathing! Are you sure she's breathing?" He was also her 'good morning' cuddler, eager to see her first thing after getting up for the day, before he'd even hit the bathroom or get dressed. He was also her director of evening entertainment, and, and, and... Crap -- he was? That's exactly why his leaving Vegas this time around has been so hard: I'm already refering to his presence in his baby sister's life in the past tense -?!? He was this, he was that... because he's gone now. We won't see him again until Labor Day weekend... she won't see him again until Labor Day. It makes me so sad. I had anticipated this would be hard, but I had no idea just how deeply gut-wretching it would be. I think that may be because I really had had no idea how perfectly the two babes were going to connect. By the time he was leaving, if she could hear his voice, she'd bend and twist her little body about to see where he was at. The other night, I was watching a video of the two cuties, and she heard his voice and looked about, trying to find him, and I burst into tears. I hope we find a way to keep the two connected. Right now, I miss him so badly, it's been hard to talk to anyone about it without choking up.

And my honey-man? Ahh, I can't go there. I'll leave it at this: We're both very sad right now.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


So, I can't remember if I've mentioned this already or not, but while we were in Montreal, our baby sweet potato girl decided she doesn't think it's cool anymore to sleep through the night. Half way through our trip, she began waking at least once, if not twice, each night, usually between midnight and four in the morning, and each time she woke up, she was ravenous! And since we got home this past Monday, she's really been throwin' me for a loop...

Last night was the craziest yet, WAY, WAY, WAY worse than when she was a newbie newborn! She went to bed at her usual 8am, and she woke at 10pm (hungry), 11:30pm (bad diaper, which was usual for that time of night), 1:30am (hungry again), 3am (hungry yet again), 5am (hungry again, I kid you not), and then 6am (hungry yet again!) and she stayed up for the rest of the morning and she refused to take more than a 20 minute cat nap before two in the afternoon, at which time, she slept for an hour n' a half, during which time, I had to work. Around 3pm, I fed her and tried to nap with her for a half hour, but it was only enough to really tease me was all.

Both the night and day before were much the same. And this is after coming home from 10 days in Montreal, which was a very lovely and relaxing trip I do hope to write more about later on, but it was also the beginning of this ridiculous sleeplessness... the last 72 hours have been brutal. I am mush. And my honey-man left this morning for a conference in New Orleans and he won't be home until Sunday. And so, I am now signing off to go straight away to bed, no joke. Ga'night!

Cleaning the Drain Daily

So, in case you haven't ever heard about this before, it's apparently quite common to lose a lot of your hair after birthing your baby... Yeah, I had thought I missed that boat, but for the past three weeks now, what's been happening to me can only best be described as shedding. I'm nearly as bad as the cats! And this is all while I'm trying to grow out my short hair, so the hairs are longer than they would have been 5 months ago. I'm quite certain too that I'm nearing the awkward and ugly phase of the grow-out. My hair won't do anything for me anymore unless I utilize a deadly combo of hair products intended to defy gravity. As it is, I hardly ever remember to even look at my hair these days (although my bangs do constantly hang in my eyes now), so the hope that I will 'do' my hair is pretty hopeless.

Not until the afternoon did I get out of the house today, in order to mail off a box of the boy-O's forgotten items and to feed my Popstar's doggie n' her fishes. I had planned to visit the Verizon store as well --my Blackberry won't make a single peep anymore and it's not a mute or profile selection issue!?-- but I finally caught a glance of myself in my drivers door window and realized I hadn't done a thing to my hair since I'd wet it down this morning at 6am.Yeah.