Friday, February 29, 2008
Crippled mommy! Pock marked dad! Let the fun times begin!
- Will has started "talking", which is mostly a lot of ah-goo sounds held together with some adorable cooing. He has also started practicing his laugh which kills me. The other day he was even doing it in his sleep. The heart, she melted.
- Although tummy time massively sucks, he's great at holding his head up in sitting and standing positions. Speaking of standing, the boy looooooves it. Unfortunately he loves it most when I'm trying to burp him. There he'll be, slung over my shoulder, pushing with all his might against my belly to try and stand. It's cute, albeit really damned uncomfortable.
- We haven't had immunizations yet, due to Matt's pox. We're taking him to a new pediatrician on Tuesday and I'm pretty psyched to meet her. She trained under Dr. Andrew Weil (the Santa Claus-looking guy who's always on Oprah touting natural aging and nutrition) so I'm hoping she'll be gentle. Hopefully she can also shed some light on Will's sleeping issues. (They have a pediatric homeopathy wing! How... something is that?!)
- He definitely has his mama's hair. If his temperament (and nap schedule, she says hopefully) allows, we've talked about getting him into baby modeling. Between the red hair and blue eyes, Matt's taken to calling him "Cash Cow". (College doesn't pay for itself.)
- Fists are apparently delicious.
South Beach Skin Solutions Lightening Gel
Van Morrison wrote the song “Brown Eyed Girl” as an endearing ode to a former love.
And while some will always argue that brown eyes are classic, others are looking for a change.
It has come to our attention that it is no longer acceptable for your bunghole to be, well, brown. (Yeah, we said bunghole.) And South Beach Skin Solutions has developed a lightening gel that is safe for that sensitive area (no, we have not tried it).
The natural product claims to give your poopshooter “a fresher, more youthful look” by making it blend in with your natural skin tone. (Seriously?) Here’s how it works: The gentle formula first exfoliates then naturally depigments and whitens the backdoor by reducing the activity of tyrosinase (an enzyme responsible for darkening) in the skin.
They claim you’ll see results in just a few weeks, or else you get your money back.
Consider it your ace in the hole.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I do have a birthday coming up...
Luxury confections brand MarieBelle New York was launched in Spring 2000, and immediately earned a reputation for magnificent chocolates and confections. The Chocolate Picnic Steamer Trunk, part of the MarieBelle Luxury Creation, is their most deliciously decadent and elegant chocolate creation ever.
The grand leather trunk contains the perfect ingredients for a luscious chocolate picnic. Inside, the ten drawers and three interior shelves are filled with five hundred pieces of creamy MarieBelle chocolate ganache, five pounds of dark and milk chocolate bark and croquettes, four 20 ounce tins of Aztec Hot Chocolate, one 20 ounce tin of Aztec Iced Chocolate, eight Aztec Hot Chocolate Bars, one Freiling stainless steel teapot with tea infuser, two elegant Rosenthal china tea cups, and one leather journal, hand-bound with linen paper to fill with memories of your luscious chocolate consumption.
If you wish to indulge in this chocolate fantasy, you can't just order it off the internet like any commoner; you must come to the MarieBelle flagship store where the steamer trunk is on display in all its decadent glory.
Matt went back to work today for the first time in over a week. The pox are finally starting to wane, thank God. Which is a good thing because guess who threw her back out trying to sneak out to the couch to get some much needed shut eye at 5:54 am?
Yep. Flat on the floor, down for the count. I'm starting to think we're paying back a karmic debt.
Amanda is here taking over baby duty so I can "rest", which means I'm doing pretty much everything but. You'd think being forced to spend a day in bed would be a dream come true but between the pain and the constant fussing it's hard to relax. Still, having Amanda here is fantastic. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. I'm not sure she believed me about what it takes to get Will to sleep but after a couple of hours of ineffectual sleep-nursing (at some point - usually around the time the baby starts to look like a tick - it's time to admit defeat) there she was, bouncing and shushing like a champ. Capital s-i-g-h...
As my friend Aimee says: "Soon the present will be the past and you'll say, 'Oh God, remember that'..."
Saturday, February 23, 2008
So Britney will be allowed to see her kids again. I know I've beaten this horse 'til the cows have come home but WHAT DOES THIS WOMAN HAVE TO DO TO LOSE CUSTODY?
In other celebrity "news", Christina Aguliera said that she decided to have a c-section because she was afraid of tearing during delivery. As someone who required a full 45 minutes of reconstructive surgery due to 4th degree ripping (I'm never finishing that birth story) I can understand, but I'm not sure that sporting a gigantic scar across your oh-so-famous belly (not to mention dealing with some serious recovery time) is a better deal. If I were a betting woman I'd guess that her decision had less to do with tearing and more to do with a post-op tummy tuck, but that's just me.
Not much new on this end. Baby's in the Bjorn, hubby feels like a leper. (Poor guy.) I'm getting my hair cut this afternoon for the first time since Will was a zygote. (I think I was 6 weeks pregnant or some such nonsense.) Of course they're calling for a huge winter storm but if you think that'll come between me and a 5 minute scalp massage (and a $25 cut) you're sadly mistaken. I might even hit this place while I'm out for one of their fine-ass chocolate croissants. (A full bar of organic Venezuelan chocolate in each one!) If I'm gonna do it, I might as well do it up right, right? I've decided my new mantra (although I'm still partial to Hatchet's "It's only temporary") is "Things are getting better and bound to improve." Will's definitely getting cuter and much more interactive, and soon he'll be better able to self-soothe so we can start sleep training. (Although I think I'm going to adopt Val's technique and call it sleep "learning". It'll help me stay kinder.)
By the way, if we've got any Obama supporters in the hizzouse (Clintonites, McCainers, Huckabeans, please don't abandon me. I don't care who you're voting for, as long as you vote) check this out.
Friday, February 22, 2008
WILL'S RULES FOR PROPER NAPPING
- The room must be completely dark. If there is a speck of light anywhere, I will stare at it and stare at it and stare at it and refuse to close my eyes and I will not sleep.
- The room must be completely dark and the white noise machine must be on or I will not sleep.
- The room must be completely dark, the white noise machine must be on and I must be held in some way, preferably in the Baby Bjorn. However I cannot be held too close to the boobs, otherwise all I want is milk and I will rub my head back and forth and chicken peck and cry until you give it to me. And then I will fall asleep, but only for five minutes. And then I will wake up and will not go to sleep.
- The room must be completely dark, the white noise machine must be on, I must be held in some way, and I must be bounced vigorously or I will not go to sleep.
- The room must be completely dark, the white noise machine must be on, I must be held in some way, and I must be bounced vigorously, but my feet cannot touch anything - not the ball or your lap - or I will not go to sleep. I don't care if this is difficult.
- The room must be completely dark, the white noise machine must be on, I must be held in some way, I must be bounced vigorously but my feet cannot touch anything, and you must pat my back rhythmically like a heart beat. If you get distracted and get off beat, I will not go to sleep.
- The room must be completely dark, the white noise machine must be on, I must be held in some way, and I must be bounced vigorously but my feet cannot touch anything, you must pat my back rhythmically like a heart beat, and you must make loud shuuuushing noises in my ear in time to the rhythmic back patting. If you stop or get off beat, I will not go to sleep.
- The room must be completely dark, the white noise machine must be on, I must be held in some way, and I must be bounced vigorously but my feet cannot touch anything, you must pat my back rhythmically like a heart beat, you must make loud shuuuushing noises in my ear in time to the rhythmic back patting, and you must not think of doing anything else for the time that I am asleep. Or I will not sleep.
If you follow this routine I might sleep for an hour. If not, I will only sleep for 20 minutes and once I'm awake, no amount of darkness or white noise or bouncing or back patting or shuuuushing will get me back to sleep. Got it? All right then. Back to the bouncing, woman!
Matt has been trying to get Will down for about an hour now. He was finally starting to nod off but then he jolted awake. What egregious noise woke him?
The sound of me peeling hard boiled eggs in the kitchen.
Mind you, he was in the bedroom with the white noise machine going and the door closed. And he still heard me peeling eggs.
This is what we're dealing with, peeps.
In the immortal words of Bret Michaels, "Wassagoinon"?
Yes, my 30-something husband has been nailed with kindergartener's disease. He teaches ESL and must've gotten it from one of his students. Unfortunately, being a freelancer, he doesn't get sick days which means we're losing our only source of income for at least a week. (Damn you, The Man!) Chicken pox hits hard when you're an adult (Matt's seriously sick... but he looks hilarious) and since we live in an apartment the size of a postage stamp, we both know it's only a matter of time before Possum gets it too. And that's going to be big-ass barrel of suck. We're hoping that the fact that I'm breastfeeding (and immune) will help protect him, and so far he seems fine, but the gestation period is 10-21 days so we're just holding our breath.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
This is my life, friends. Feed the kid. (Moo.) Try to get the kid to sleep. (Boo.) It's so funny - you know, in a sad clown way - that so much attention is paid to birth but once the baby's here it's like, "Great! Good luck with that!" You go from seeing a doctor every single week to being isolated in your apartment, butting heads with a creature who can't walk, sleep or talk. It's interesting, there are all these support groups for breastfeeding mothers but nothing to teach you how to get your kid to sleep - which, frankly, is the bigger battle. If you can't breastfeed there are several other options, but if your kid won't sleep you're screwed. Take it from one who knows.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Napping. Sleeping. Ugh. Any of you find this scenario familiar?
7:30 am: Wake up. T-shirt askew, baby semi-attached, nipple literally hanging out of his mouth. Panicked because I can't find glasses and am practically blind without them. Remember that glasses are tucked underneath pillow because I couldn't figure out how to reach the night stand while breastfeeding without losing a nipple. Frustrated that I allowed Will to sleep with us entire night but emotion quickly quelled by the fact that he slept for hours.
7:30 - 8:15 am: Park Will in bouncy seat. Take world's fastest shower, empty diaper bin, scoop cat litter, make coffee for husband, tea for me. (Will the caffeine keep the kid awake? Decide for forgo tea.) Try to ignore the fact that Matt won't be home for almost 10 hours. Realize I might need caffeine to survive day.
8:30 am: Orange alert! Fussing begins. Grab Will's swaddling blanket. Arms wiggle free immediately. Re-swaddle amidst cries. Arms wiggle free. Get increasingly frustrated with blanket that claims to be "one size fits all". Break out the duct tape as a last resort. Momentarily consider taping baby's arms down but maintain sanity and use tape in place of velcro. Will cries in frustration. Within seconds, arms wiggle free.
9:01 am: Turn on white noise, gently place Will on shoulder and begin back patting.
9:02 am: Fussing and wiggling.
9:03 am: Kid begins banging head on shoulder and rubbing face across my chest. (Is this rooting?) Crying increases.
9:04 am: Chicken peck, chicken peck, chicken peck...
9:05 am: Could he be hungry? Because I was asleep, I have no idea when he last ate...
9:06 am: Baby on the boob.
9:20 am: Will is passed out on the boob. Guess it wasn't hunger.
9:20-9:40 am: The waffling begins. Do I let him sleep on me so he'll get a good nap (But I have to pee!) or do I move him to the crib, knowing full-well he'll wake up in 20 minutes (His nap will be shot!)
9:40 am: Hoist 20 lb. car seat into the crib, hoping for a happy medium. Manage not to wake Will during process. Gently ease baby into car seat. Hold breath.
9:40-10 am: Read "No Cry Sleep Solutions" while waiting for Will's inevitable 20 minute jolt. Realize I'm doing everything wrong. Start to panic.
10 am: Stirring... (20 minutes on the dot.)
10:00 am: Hold breath... (Maybe he'll go back to sleep...)
10:01 am: Will's eyes open.
10:02 am: Jiggle car seat while shushing. Supposedly this works.
10:03 am: Eyes now wide open.
10:03 am: Jiggle harder.
10:04 am: Yawns. Blinks at me. Grins. (Jiggling frantically...)
10:05 am: Wide fucking awake.
10:06 am: Pick up, resettle in rocker, and resume back patting. Chicken pecking begins. Again.
10:07 am: He's really rooting. Maybe he's hungry for reals this time?
10:08 am: Back on the boob.
10:30 am: Will is passed out on the boob.
10:40 am: Try to ease back into car seat. Unfortunately he's not falling for it this time. Eyes open immediately.
10:41 - 11:00 am: Bounce on exercise ball. Kid not having it.
11:00 am: Decide to call it a day. Plop Will into bouncy seat and fix some breakfast.
11:05 am: Fussing. Plop him into swing. Continue fixing breakfast.
11:10 am: Fussing escalates into crying. Remove him from swing and move to bouncy ball. Bounce vigorously. Crying increases. Move to rocker. Crying turns frantic.
11:15 - 11:40 am: Grab Baby Bjorn and strap him in. Bounce in Bjorn until finally asleep. Realize that I've been trying to get this kid to sleep for almost 3 hours and I still haven't eaten, had tea, or brushed teeth.
Things I vowed I'd never do: 5 (co-sleep, bounce to sleep, rock to sleep, breastfeed to sleep, have a child who couldn't sleep)
Years I fear I'll be sleeping with my child: 3
Level of frustration: 10
Level of love (He laughed!): 100
Maybe 3 months is the magic age...
*Please note: When we tried "drowsy but awake" approach he cried for 8 hours the first night, 9 the second. In the immortal words of Pepe Le Pew: Le sigh...
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Happy Valentine's Day, lovebugs! Anybody have plans? I'm planning a big sexy trip to Trader Joe's followed by approximately four hours of laundry. Oh yeah, I knows how to do it up right!
After weeks of dark cloudiness, things finally seem a bit brighter. Could be that the sun is shining for the first time in days or that Will broke into a huge grin when he saw me this morning or it could be the fact that he slept in his car seat for TWO WHOLE HOURS last night. (Thanks to the wisdom of Good Woman Hatchet.) Two hours may not sound like much but compared to 45 minutes it was Manna. He still won't nap independently (if at all) and he has to fall deeply asleep in our arms before we can make the transfer to the car seat but he actually slept. Which means I actually slept. And that, my friends, is what we call progress.
You know, I think that one of the hardest things to come to terms with as a parent is learning to love the child you have versus the child you thought you were going to have. Maybe because the boy I nannied for was such an angel as a baby (napping every 2-3 hours, never crying. Granted he was 7 months old when I started) but I totally expected my child to follow suit. Will is funny and loving (like his pop) and very, very sensitive (like, ahem). He is not, however, a breeze. It's embarrassing to admit that you don't have the child you expected... and that you are not the parent you thought you would be. When I was pregnant I swore I would never become one of those mothers. You know, the ones who always look like they just got done changing the cat litter. Sloppy, anxious, smelling vaguely of vomit and desperation... I promised myself that I wouldn't succumb to the awfulness. I would put my contacts in every day! I would socialize! I would wear makeup, goddammit!
As I sit here, kid attached to my teat (I know I shouldn't nurse him to sleep but he won't nod off and I'm desperate), hair in the same bedraggled ponytail I've worn for months now, I understand how women lose it. Hell, my OB practically threw a prescription for Zoloft at me at my postpartum checkup yesterday. I remember when I was trying to get pregnant I'd listen to women bitch about their babies and I'd want to kill them. I was so desperate to get pregnant, I wanted a child so much, I was sure I'd love every single awful moment of it. And yet I don't. And the guilt? Oh man, the guilt...
Somehow I doubt that Britney grapples with these dilemmas.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Not that I've ever been big on self-censoring, but I guess when you start crying in the middle of a bunch of mommies over the fact that your baby refuses to sleep for more than 20 minutes during the day (45 minutes at night!) and you fear that your kid is going to have to sleep with you (or on you) for the rest of your life and now you completely understand why waking people up just as they're falling asleep is used as a method of torture in prison camps and you're starting to have some rather ungenerous thoughts about your little bundle of joy, perhaps it's time to seek professional help.
I'm not opposed to visiting a pro. What I am opposed to is the price of said pro. Our insurance doesn't cover any form of psychological help so we have to pay out of pocket, which is easier said than done when you're a single income family living in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. Still, I figured if we scrimped (and if the doctors offered a sliding scale) we could probably cough up around $150 a week. So I called the first therapist. And then I hung up. Her hourly rate?
An hour. (Excuse me. 50 minutes.)
Needless to say, I will be staying batshit a bit longer. And I am in the wrong line of work.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Okay, I think I'm finally, FINALLY back, dear readers. It's been a wild and woolly (and weepy) six weeks. Who knew baby raising was this hard? That said, I think I have a minute or three before Boobs McGee decides it's time for lunch. (We can send a man to the moon and accurately recreate John Holmes' schlong but we can't invent a pacifier that tastes like boob?) I've got the kid strapped to my chest, his head covered in toast crumbs, the dishes are only partially done (we won't discuss the state of my flossing routine). Seems like the perfect time to blog.
It's been a busy week. Britney's on the loose again (wait, WHAT?), Heath didn't kill himself, Kirsten Dunst's in rehab. (Seriously, is no child star immune?) It's been a busy week here too, and by "busy" I mean aaarrrrgghhh. I think the hardest part about being a new mother is how easy it is to feel like shit about it. I've learned a valuable lesson this week: I need to stay far, far away from parenting books. See, here's the thing - I tend to be a little neurotic. (The world nods it's head in agreement.) Because I am deeply insecure about my mommying abilities I decided to read a little book called Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It was written by a British woman who became famous for teaching celebrities how to "talk" to their babies. Well you know me, if something's good enough for a Hollywood B-lister it's good enough for me. So I read it. Nay, studied it. The book is all about A) getting your baby to fall asleep independently (no rocking, no singing, no falling asleep in your arms - nothing that will cause a "bad habit"), B) getting your infant on a schedule (it's so easy! Newborns will sleep anywhere!) and C) changing your breastfeeding routine (no switching sides during feeding, lest your baby not get the high fat "hind" milk).
After a week of trying the Baby Whisperer's techniques I can say with certainty that this book is a big bag of bullshit.
Oh I followed her advice. I stopped letting him do his usual two-boob feed. I stopped rocking and cuddling and nursing him to sleep. I simply sat still and patted (5 minutes only, or the child will get used to it and need it to fall asleep!) and put Will in his bassinet (drowsy but awake, so the child learns to self-soothe!) and walked away, pleased that I was instilling independence in my little guy.
Bullshit. BULL. SHIT.
For days my child did not sleep, and I am in no way exaggerating this fact. Instead he cried for hours. Hours and hours and, oh wait, hours. Finally after day two, I looked into my poor baby's exhausted face and let him fall asleep on me. And as I kissed his little soft spot I realized something: I was trying to teach cause and effect to a newborn whose skull hadn't even closed.
Between the breastfeeding and now this, I have spent so many weeks feeling inadequate. I've spent a month feeling like I'm doing irreparable damage to my child by letting him nurse as often as he wants and nap on my chest and (Heaven forbid!) pulling him into bed with us for his 4 am feeding. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of children having routines. It gives them a sense of security and calm in a scary world; I'm hoping to be able to implement these skills as soon as possible. I'd love to have a baby who eats for 45 minutes, plays for 20 and then sleeps for an hour three times a day, but I don't, at least not yet. And all these books and websites that make moms feel like crap because their child doesn't "cooperate" can bite me.
Anybody else have trouble getting their kid to sleep? (If your newborn took three good naps and slept through the night by 6 weeks, please don't tell me. Seriously, my nervous system won't be able to handle it.)