Monday, July 30, 2007

Love and Logic

I'm reading a book that my mom highly recommends. It's called Parenting With Love and Logic. In a nutshell, it speaks of raising children who make their own decisions and learn from their own experiences. Overall, I agree with most of the concepts presented in the book. Not all, but most.

However, there have been a few times when the book just upsets me. The best example would be the following:

"Responsible parents want to bring their children up with established spiritual values. They want their kids to have faith, understand the Christian message, and know God intimately."

Excuse me? Does that mean if you are not a spiritual person, then you are not a responsible parent? And even better yet, if you're not Christian then you're not a responsible parent? Ugh. What a sad, closed-minded opinion that is.

I guess it goes to show that with any self-help book, you have to keep the information that you find to be useful and throw the other information away.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Not one of my smarter moments

Last night our little girl gave my poor husband a really hard time while I was out with friends. In the end, she went to bed having only 3 oz of milk (usually she does 6ish) so when Michael called to tell me to pump I thought "I shouldn't pump now just in case she wakes up soon". It wasn't until I was driving the 30 minute trip home with rock hard breasts that I realized I wouldn't have been able to help even if she did wake up.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sleep Training

Michael and I have been coming to the conclusion that we are doing something wrong. We have decided that Ellie may need sleep training. What? Sleep training? But I thought she had a decent, if not good, sleeping pattern.

Here's the deal... yes, she has a good sleeping pattern, and stays asleep for 6-8 hours (a little less now that we have larger swaddles), however we still swaddle her for any sleeping (naps included) and we still put her to sleep holding her and gently lie her down in hopes of her staying asleep.

That part I don't mind. Honestly, I'm thankful for a baby that sleeps well.

So, what's the motivation behind the decision for needing sleep training? The car seat. She hates it. Absolutely hates it with a passion. I've tried everything. Maybe she's too hot. Maybe she's too cold. Maybe the sun is in her face. Maybe she needs toys. Maybe she needs to be swaddled. Maybe she needs to be in a cave. Maybe she needs to be in someone else's car*. In the end, almost without fail, she ends up screaming.

And her screaming has a horrible effect on me. It always makes me feel like I am failing her and am a horrible mother. I do not want my little baby to cry and I hate it when she does, but what am I supposed to do? I can't pull the car over every 5 minutes to calm her down! So I have no choice but to sit through it and suffer along with her. Doing so, though, has made me decide the source of road rage. Those jerky drivers out there? Yep, they once had a screaming car seat baby and just weren't ever able to get over it. Poor, poor souls.

You might still be confused. What does the car seat have to do with sleeping at night? Our latest theory is that by us putting her to sleep all the time, she has not yet learned how to calm herself down. We think that the reason she hates her seat is that she hates being left alone. And by swaddling her at night, we're preventing her from finding her thumb to soothe herself down. Things like that.

So I think that sleep training will be happening in the near future. Not this weekend because we have company and I'm sure that another term for "sleep training" is "torture for the whole family and all". Maybe next weekend. We're not sure on the details, but we are sure that something needs to change.

* On a slightly different note, I have recently noticed that my neighbor has moved her infant car seat up front, in the middle seat of her suburban and I wonder two things: 1. Isn't that illegal? and 2. I wonder if her baby hates the car seat too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Trip to the Movies

The local movie theater has free showings of children's movies every Wednesday morning. It is a nice way of getting a lot of kids into the theaters to buy lots of candy. I'm telling you, you've never seen so many kids in one place!

A bunch of mommy friends and I have started to go to the movies as a way of getting out of the house. The first time it went well. Ellie watched the previews and was fascinated with them, but as soon as the movie started, she ate and fell asleep.

The second movie... not so good. She has recently decided that instead of taking naps, she'd rather stay awake so that she doesn't miss out on anything. However, she doesn't seem to understand that infants her age just about break down if they stay awake for more than two hours or so. The result? A break down of course.

I ended up walking the halls of the movie theater, trying desperately to get her to calm down and fall asleep, but with no apparent results.

It was then that I was reminded of how kids say exactly what they're thinking. I overheard all sorts of comments from kids watching the scene:
"Mommy, what's wrong with that baby?"
"Why doesn't that mommy calm her baby down?"
"That baby needs a good pacifier, mommy!"
"Mommy, what's she doing to that baby?"

Ugh! I swear I was trying my best!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Everyone has their strengths

Ellie certainly confuses us.

She loves the changing table, but only if I'm changing her diaper. If Michael does it, she screams from the moment he lays her down.

She loves playing with her toys, but only if I'm playing with her. If Michael does it, she cries to be picked up.

In the end, though, I think Michael makes up for it in calming her down. If putting Ellie to the breast doesn't work, I have little hope. However, I can hand her over to him and she settles right down. The same is true for Miss I'm Too Cranky To Fall Asleep. He has the ability to put her to sleep within minutes. Amazing.

I believe I'm starting to see Daddy's Little Girl emerging from this little soul.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Worth the Wait

I know that I have been promising a picture of Ellie's great smile, but it's nearly impossible to do! The problem lies in two facts: You never know when she will smile (what she finds entertaining one day can piss her off the next) and she likes the camera too much (the little red light on the camera distracts her from whatever might be entertaining). However, after much effort, Michael somehow managed to get a great picture from her! If this picture doesn't make you love life, then I don't know what would.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why the rush, baby?

My little girl is growing up so quickly! What's the rush, Ellie???

In the last couple of days, she has 1. Started talking A LOT, 2. Started grabbing her toys on her own and 3. rolled over from her stomach onto her back.

Now, I'm all for progress, but I have decided that I'm ok with only one item a week. Give me time to celebrate and encourage and be proud of each improvement, that's all I ask. If growth always happens in chunks like this, then this whole parenthood thing will be over before I know it!

Let's compromise... one growth item per week, but items that make parenting easier can be obtained without counting against your tally. For example, if you wish to learn that you will not actually die any time you are placed into your car seat, that does not need to count towards your weekly growth quota. This leaves open the opportunity to still learn how to roll over onto your stomach, or what ever single item of growth you choose for that week. Deal?

I think compromise is a good lesson to learn early.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Baby sleeps from 8:00pm to 4:00am

I know you can do the math, but that's 8 freakin' hours! Incredible, huh? You'd think that I would be well-rested after such a sleeping period, but you'd be wrong.**

I woke up about 2:45am, which started a thought process similar to the following:

- Wow, what time is it? The baby should be waking up soon.
- Holly milking cow, it's almost 3:00! That's 2-3 hours longer than usual!
- Yep, definitely longer than usual. My boobs are huge.
- Actually, quite huge.
- Painfully huge.
- The baby must be dead.
- Nope, I heard a moan. Good, she'll be waking up soon.
- Or not.
- Damn boobs. Whose idea was it to have breasts store milk? Why not have them make milk when milk is demanded?
- No one ever told me that breasts could get rock hard AND lumpy! Gross.
- Why isn't she awake yet?
- I wonder how painful it is for a milk cow to not get milked.
- Poor cows.
- Damn this hurts.
- Ugh... and now I've done it. Just thinking about milking has opened the dams.
- I can't believe it's 3:15 and she's still sleeping!
- And look at my sweet husband, sleeping peacefully as well.
- Damn him and his breastless chest.
- He can even sleep on his stomach, but does he? No. What a waste.
- I wonder if I'll ever be able to sleep on my stomach again.
- OH MY GOD!!! I must have milk stored all the way around to my backside!!!
- I bet I could pump a gallon.
- Hmm... pumping. That sounds so nice.
- 3:30... MUST GET MILK OUT OF ME!!!
- Ok, let's compromise? Maybe pump just one side? There's plenty for the baby from the other side, I swear.
- 3:45... Wow. What a relief. I love my pump.
- 5 oz from a single breast? Have I said MOO lately?
- 4:00... It's about time! Of course, you're hungry, little girl... I could have told you that!

** Update: After a couple more similarly painful nights, my breasts and Ellie have finally agreed on a schedule. For the most part, she now sleeps from 7:30/8:00 to 3:00/4:00. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thomas and Ellie sitting in a tree

Ellie has a boyfriend. His name is Thomas. Yesterday we stood the babies in front of each other and they seemed to like each other. In fact, Ellie reached for something for the very first time... Thomas' hand! They actually reached for each other and held hands for a good 30 seconds. They did it a second time, but Ellie decided to play hard to get and pulled away relatively quickly. Later, Thomas showed her that two can play that game because he shied away from her (by digging his head into his mommie's chest) when he saw Ellie again. They make such a cute couple.

Let's add that to the list of cute things I wish I had a picture of.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

@$$ Whopping

Not too long ago, I got my ass kicked. "By whom?" you might ask. By my baby's crib. I'm not proud of it, but I decided I would not hide behind the truth. The truth of the matter is that even though Ellie is now almost 3 months old, we have had maybe a total of 3 weekends alone, with no family visiting to see the new grandchild. I think it's because of this that it took me 2.5 months to actually change the sheets on the crib myself. Until then, other family members would do it as a way of being helpful.

I have to say... I don't know how they did it so gracefully. Those sheets are tight, man! It took me a good half an hour to change the sheets, and I ended up coming out of the nursery all sweaty and totally exhausted.

So, to those who were so kind to change the crib sheets for me, thank you. You made it look too easy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy 3 Months Birthday!

Today Ellie turned 3 months. Isn't she adorable? I really can not believe how big she has gotten! This little girl is nearly 13 lbs!!! Her eyes are still blue, but her hair has almost a red-ish tint to it. She hasn't grabbed for toys yet, but she can hold a good rattle quite well. She can lift her head quite high, and has recently liked to stand on her feet. She does quite well and holds up her own weight. She just needs help with the balancing. For a while she was smiling a lot, though you wouldn't know it based off of the pictures because it's nearly impossible to get a good picture of her great toothless smile. However, when you see it, it just warms your heart.

So, how is Mommy doing after 3 months? Rumor has it that these precious little ones get significantly easier after 3 months, and I certainly hope that people aren't lying to me! I love Ellie so much and I'd do anything for her, don't get me wrong. However, I never expected her to be so draining - both physically and emotionally. And that says a lot since I did expect it to be really hard. Luckily I see incredible growth just about every day and I am certainly looking forward to the time when she can really interact with us.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Baby Dreams

For the last three months I have wondered what my baby dreams about. I love the times when she smiles a huge toothless grin in her sleep, as she has been doing that almost since she was born. On the other hand, there are also times when she cries in her sleep and that is heartbreaking.

I hate to think that she's already having nightmares. What sort of dreams does a baby have anyway? If a baby is only a couple months old, what are her nightmares like? Are they images of the breast going dry? Or visions of Mommy never coming to the rescue? Maybe it's just thoughts of having horribly painful gas?

And the good dreams? What are they of? Does she smile when she dreams about a breast approaching her face? Or maybe visions of Mommy smiling down on her? What about the possibility of just thoughts of having relieving gas?

I guess we'll never really know, will we?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Productive Day

Productivity is such a relative term, isn't it?

Yesterday I bought the little one her first chew toy. No, wait. Chew toys are for dogs. What are they called for babies? And is there a difference? I wonder which is more expensive.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And the winner is...

It has begun. You know, the constant comparison of babies. At my support group, the babies have finally reached the point where things start to happen and it is nearly impossible to not compare the progress of one baby to another, as unfair as that is. Yesterday one of the mommies sent an email with a video of her little one rolling over. As exciting as that is I found myself looking up the 3 month section of our baby book to confirm that indeed, my baby is not behind just because this boy , who happens to be a day older than her, can do something she can not.

I always thought it was silly for parents to compare the successes of their children, especially little babies but I'm telling you, it's impossible NOT to. Anyway, it doesn't matter because though Ellie may be behind other kids on the grabbing for toys arena, she's ahead of the class in standing and lifting her head. So yay! It's all about finding what you're good at and excelling at it.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Apology to the Car Seat Guys

It is not easy for mt to admit it when I'm wrong, but I do owe you guys an apology. It was wrong of me to accuse you of producing a low-quality product. At the time, I had not realized that it requires some level of intelligence to properly use the car seat. Once I had my mistakes pointed out to me, I now understand that I was just an idiot. Indeed, the seat works just as it should and keeps my baby happy and/or sleeping for t majority of the time. I appreciate your understanding, as I'm sure you've encountered other sleep-deprived mothers such as myself who have falsely accused you as well.

I would, however, like to make a couple of suggestions to improve your product. Consider it a sign of my sincereness. First, if you could build a swinging car seat, I believe that it would help the baby stay asleep even if the car is not moving. Second, it would be great if you could have a built in snuggle wrap such that all I would have to do would be to put my already-swaddled baby directly into the car seat, without having to risk waking her. These two suggestions would significantly improve your almost-perfect product. Please feel free to keep any earnings for yourself, as all I would request for my ideas is one of the new and improved car seats.

Friday, July 06, 2007


The craziest thing just happened and if it weren't for the fact that my mother-in-law witnessed it, herself, I would think I imagined the whole thing.

I had the best conversation with my baby just now. We were putting her to sleep, and going through our bedtime routine where I put her onto the changing table and play with her a little. We go through our Counting Kisses and I do a couple This Little Piggies. Then we usually have our deep conversation full of coos and uhs.

This time... I said "HI!" much like I usually do...
In response, my baby said "HI."

I kid you not. I swear to god. It was a very clear, very distinct, "HI".

And it freaked me out. I'm not claiming that it was her first word (though I did joke about how HI would most likely be her first word just because for the longest time, that was all I could think of to say to her). I know that it was just her imitating me, but not only was it the first time she's ever imitated me, but it just so happened to be a grown-up word! Can you imagine my shock? It was the last thing I expected to hear from her.

Not to worry, though, I think it will be a while before she says HI again because I think my shocked reaction scared her. Poor thing might have thought she did something wrong because I gasped so loud. Sigh. Oh well, maybe next time I'll have the grace and self control to keep a smile on my face to encourage her... then do my gasps later when I'm telling Michael about what happened.

You have no idea how bizarre it was to hear a 2 month old baby say "HI." It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Back by popular demand, here are the latest pictures. As always, let me know if you want the larger, original file for making prints.

These pictures are from the month of June, and so begins a monthly tradition of posting updated pictures. I may be a couple days late, but be assured the pictures will come eventually. I know how much everyone wants to see how she's grown, and man has she grown!

Anyway... enjoy.


What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night to feed your baby?

I fantasize about when I get to go back to bed, of course.

Ok, so it's now 1:35 AM, that means:

1:40 AM five strong minutes on the left
1:45 AM five additional, weak minutes on the left.
1:50 AM diaper change for a now-awake baby.
1:55 AM five minutes on the right.

Add 5 minutes of possible down-time, and both the baby and I should be happily passed out by 2:00 and the baby's stomach will be full enough to sleep for another five-six hours.

Without fail, things do not turn out exactly like the plan. Maybe the baby did not receive the memo, or something. Regardless, it doesn't seem fair to me that the baby can be too asleep to eat and yet at the same time too hungry to let you do the same.

Monday, July 02, 2007

... Clap your hands

Because it's been a week since crying, I have diagnosed myself anti-depressed.

Well, in all honesty, I did cry... 1.5 times. Neither of which count. the first time was because I was with a bunch of friends and telling them about my week, which as you know mainly consisted of my crying episodes at the doctor's office and really? Who can avoid crying when they're talking about how they were crying? Especially when it's concerning the baby... the same feelings that caused the tears in the first place are bound to return when retelling the story. So, that doesn't count.

The other 0.5 times was because I was sick and my sweet husband offered to take himself to work and let me sleep. My eyes teared up because I knew that I had to still get up, regardless, to go to the store and buy myself some medicine. Luckily my husband cme to the rescue and said that he would go to the store for me. Before a tear was shed, I was back to sleep. I think we would all agree to ignore that close call.

So there you have it - one nondepressed Niffer. Woo hoo!