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Archive for September, 2008

Who needs sleep?

“Well, you’re never gonna get it! Who needs sleep– tell me what is that for?”  BNL

Boy, oh boy do I understand that. I never realized that I could (more or less) function on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I’m hoping that this gets better before I have to return to work…

Here’s the scenario: all is well, family goes upstairs to watch Law & Order at 9 PM. Grace sleeps like a champ. 10 PM, show’s over and it’s time to change her diaper and put in her into PJs. All goes well with the cooing and wide eyed wonder that we’ve come to love and appreciate in her. I take her into our bedroom to sleep and she goes down easily. She wakes up at 12:30 or so to eat and again, things go well– she eats and then goes right back to sleep. Then 2:30 or 3 AM rolls around and she wakes up hungry again.

This time, there is no easy answer. She’s fussy as she eats, but changing her diaper doesn’t help, rocking doesn’t help, singing doesn’t help (even the Hostile Baby Rocking song), a story doesn’t help, burping doesn’t help and even more nursing doesn’t really help (I can safely say this after 45 minutes of trying something then trying to nurse, trying something new, coming back to nursing). So I try the nasal aspirator– it sucks, but not literally. I end up using a bunched up Kleenex to try to clear her nasal passage, but all this does is end some of the snuffling and make her cry more clear.

By this time, we have moved from the fussy “I’m unhappy” cries into full fledged three six time cries (Uh – Waa – Uh – Waaa) with a very red face indicating that she is no longer just unhappy but wants to report me to Child Protective Services. At this point, I’ve tried everything and it’s 5 AM. I grab a blanket and swaddle her so tightly that I’m impressed that she can still breathe (but she can, as her crying attests) and I put a pacifier in her mouth and hold it there as if I am plugging a dam with my finger. We go downstairs to the jiggly chair and I sit in front of it, holding the pacifier in for dear life and watching as her eyes finally grow droopy and she quiets. I don’t trust picking her up at that point in case we start all over, so I begin looking online for short hair cuts (she has started grabbing my hair when we nurse, and she’s really strong!) and at Locks of Love. I quit in disgust after I measure my hair and realize that I only have 7 of the required 10 inches, even if I go for super short cuts.

By now, she’s been quiet for 20 minutes continuously, so I take my chances and carry her back upstairs to bed (it’s 5:30 AM). She wakes up again about 45 minutes later, hungry (sigh). Fortunately for me, she goes back to sleep pretty readily, but I don’t trust it, so I doze until 7:30 AM fitfully checking in on her periodically. At that point we feed again, and I give up on getting a good night’s sleep. Ah, the rewards of motherhood.

Fortunately, during the day, she naps some, so I am hoping that after lunch I’ll be able to catch a few Z’s while the laundry washes and she’s sleeping. So who needs sleep anyway?

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Today is Boat Day!

Heading out with Grandpa and Uncle Mike on Grandpa’s motorboat.  Erin’s dad got Grace a bright yellow lifejacket.  We’ve got Sunblock of infinite strength available.  I’ll let Erin post the best photographs as documentation for our trip.

Baby in a lifejacket

Baby in a lifejacket

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Temperament: (noun): the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.

Personality: (noun): a person as an embodiment of a collection of qualities.  Existence as a self-conscious human being; personal identity.

I figure that each of these words reflects a person’s nature.  Organizational patterns of behaviors; cognitive transparencies; social constructs; and even interpersonal dynamics.  Which definition is more appropriate now that Grace is nearly three weeks old? She’s pretty much a well tempered baby.  She cries when she’s hungry, she needs new diapers, or she needs to burp.  Otherwise, she’s sleeping or generally chilling.  Gurgling and stuff.

She won’t always be just like this.  We all continue to be hungry, and most of us need to burp now and again.  Gradually each of us forms our our own personality.  What color toothbrush will she want, what kind of pizza will she prefer, or would she rather play freeze tag, Simon says, or kick the can?  Will she pull for Davidson, Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, or Carolina?  I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

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Shoes

So today Grace is wearing her first pair of shoes.  This is a milestone in an odd way because at our baby shower my godmother Wanda gave her several pairs of shoes, saying that no grandchild of Vicki Peterson’s could start life without at least 12 pairs of shoes.  So while Grace is still quite a ways from walking, she is taking today as an opportunity to wear her first pair of shoes– something that I am sure is making her grandmother quite happy from whichever corner of Heaven she’s watching from.

Here is the array of shoes provided by Wanda:

Wanda is showing off Grace's cowboy boots

Wanda is showing off Grace's cowgirl boots

The array of shoes

The array of shoes

In order to get a clear shot of Grace wearing her shoes, I had to wait for a nap, because she likes to move her arms and legs around when she’s not sleeping.  Here is a shot of her wearing her first pair of shoes– a practical pair that will match most anything (particularly today’s outfit, which I’ll try to get a shot of before she spits up on it & post that too).

She's such a cutie pie! (OK, we're nerds)

She's such a cutie pie! (OK, we're nerds)

First Shoes

First Shoes

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Not sure if we’ve mentioned this, but Grace has a bunch of hiccups.  They come and go, as hiccups tend to do.  At first, we were either surprised or concerned, but now it seems like it’s part of the breastfeeding ball game.  Personally, I hate hiccups – since they’re involuntary and disruptive spasms.  I suppose nobody likes them.  If you’re around 23 inches tall, it pretty much rocks your world.  Are there cures?  Maybe.  Not for a 3.5 week old though.  I now understand at the smallest scale how parents want to prevent problems for their kids and absorb their suffering.

If we’re talking about hiccups this way, wait until I teach her how to ride a bike.  Skinned knees are pretty much unavoidable.  — and Bactine is usually NOT welcomed by kids.

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Quoting a Parenting magazine, Erin explains that a baby puts her hands close to her face when she’s hungry.  I think I’ve noticed that, but it’s not easy to confirm, especially difficult of late.  Why?  The slighly colder weather has prompted Grace to wear pajamas for much of the day.  (oh, how lucky she is)  I say pajamas, but that includes the “one-sies” and ambiguously formed outfits usually worn by babies.

Anyway, these garments have folds over the hands, so essentially, she wears mittens.  Erin tells me that this prevents her from scratching her face.  When I think of it, I’ll take a picture as documentation.

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Bye-bye Aunt Jenny

We have been so very fortunate to have lots of support from Erin’s family, specifically in the persons of Erin’s grandma, aunt and brother Mike over the past few weeks.  Today Aunt Jenny had to return home to her family and Grace will very much miss her jiggly Aunt Jenny who can make all bubbles come out and who never tired of rocking her.  Fortunately for us, Aunt Jenny is willing to come again soon, but for now, Grace is trying to nap with Daddy and finding him a reasonable but not perfect substitute.

Snuggling with Aunt Jenny

Snuggling with Aunt Jenny

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