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Be forewarned

If the child who asks for a frozen waffle with peanut butter and syrup every single morning suddenly asks for oatmeal, hold off on fixing your own breakfast. I can almost guarantee there will be an untouched bowl of oatmeal in about 15 minutes when said child decides she wants a waffle instead.

As a side note, it’s a good thing Trader Joe’s all natural peanut butter and almond butter are a decent price. I buy four jars (two of each) and blend them together with some walnuts* I pulverize in the food processor and store the lot of it in the fridge so it doesn’t separate. We go through that jug in a little over three weeks. This family eats some nut butter!

*i HATE walnuts, but I know they are really good for me, so this is how I work them in. Honestly, I hate most nuts. Cashews and pistachios are fine, but the rest of them taste like dirt to me.


A battle of wills

I don’t think The Baby has taken a nap for longer than 15 minutes today. She woke up at 7 this morning. It’s now 6pm. I’m worn out and have gotten absolutely nothing done today that I needed to. She’s exhausted and obviously needs to sleep but won’t. We’ve tried everything. I’ve cuddled and rocked. I’ve put her in the bouncy chair. I’ve put her on the floor with her favorite toys to play herself to sleep. I’ve let her cry and fuss all by herself in her crib.

I hate days like this when I count the minutes until The Daddy gets home and I can just hand her off to him. I don’t like feeling like she’s a chore but when she runs me ragged like this it’s hard not to.

A new year


Holidays are over and we can find our routine again. I love the holidays with all the chaos and crazy, but it’s time to return to normal again.

Here’s what you’ve missed:

The Baby can roll from her back to her tummy AND has figured out how to prop herself up on her elbows. She’s just starting to show signs of working on rolling from her tummy to her back.

She can sit up if well propped on her boppy and will sometimes sit in our laps.

She has started showing a distinct preference for things. She’s no longer content to play with anything we hand her. Now, she sees specific things and works to obtain them, reaching for them.

In just the past couple of days, she seems to have realized that The Mommy and The Daddy are putting things in their mouth that she doesn’t get. I’m pretty sure milk isn’t going to satisfy for too much longer. She’s just four months adjusted*, so we aren’t quite ready to start cereal yet. She had issues in the NICU because of her immature digestive system, so I’m not going to rush solid food. I am starting to watch for good sales on high chairs though.

We can almost play Peek-a-boo and she may be starting to learn her name. The Mommy and The Daddy are making a conscious effort to actually USE her name when we talk to her instead of one of her many many nicknames.

She sleeps in her crib in her own room at night and has found a routine for naps. Hooray! Even better, she sleeps from about 11pm to 7 or 7:30am!!

She’s figured out what things make her sleepy and protests doing them in case she misses something. It isn’t really interfering with naps, but bedtime has been a real battle the past few nights. But, once she’s down for the night that’s it. She can put herself back to sleep if she wakes up (usually because her thumb has fallen out of her mouth).

*I can’t remember if I explained this and I’m too lazy to look back. With premature babies, you calculate their age two different ways. There is their actual age…that is how long since they were born. The Baby is a little over six months old. Then, there is their adjusted age….how old they would be if they had reached their due date. For The Baby, that’s a difference of 11 weeks. There are some milestones that preemies won’t hit until their adjusted age is old enough. For example, a digestive system isn’t ready for solid food until a full term baby is about six months old. If we went by The Baby’s birthdate, we’d be giving her cereal now, but her digestive system wasn’t full term when she was born. It was supposed to have another 11 weeks to grow before being used. We have to take that into account. That applies to all sorts of things. You temper your expectations for various milestones by using their adjusted age. By about age 2, everything is usually caught up and actual age is all you need.

Days 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

Whoa, missed the whole week there, didn’t I? Not really the best practice when you’re just getting a blog going. I’m gonna just go ahead and blame the holiday season and the rest of you will smile and nod in agreement.

Honestly, the Grandparents are here for a visit and The Baby and I have been busy little bees getting ready for them to arrive. Plus, there was a pediatrician visit complete with various vaccinations and a 24-hour visit from the sick and cranky Baby afterwards.

There’s a rather nice post bubbling away in the back of my brain that covers everything from doctor’s visits to realizing I’ve become a member of a tribe without even knowing it. As someone who isn’t much of a joiner and who is notoriously shy, it was a real revelation for me!

It’s been quite the week. The Baby learned to roll over AND seems to have found her nap schedule.

Bear with me through the next few days as I’m mostly absent from the online world. I’m sure you all have much better things to do during the holidays that pop in here anyway! Those cookies aren’t going to eat themselves and mine can’t be the only family who celebrates the holidays with massive Scrabble tournaments. Go, play, be merry. I’ll return to being a good mother with much more regularity in 2011.

Warmest wishes for you and your families from The Mama, The Daddy, and The Baby.

Day 5, 6, and 7

It’s been pretty quiet here in Chez Good Mother. We’ve run errands, cleaned the house, put up holiday decorations. We’ve taken lots of naps and burned through loads and loads of cloth diapers. Yesterday, The Baby and I hung out in the bookstore. The day before, we took naps together on the big bed while we watched Labyrinth (“You remind me of the babe.” “What babe?” “The babe with the power.”) and sorted out warm and cold weather clothes.

Our big task right now is trying to get all the “stuff” in the house tidied away because The Grandma has treated The Mommy to some professional house cleaning services. Next week, a maid service is coming to give the house a detailed cleaning. Now, I got pregnant last December. A week after I found out I was pregnant, I got bronchitis and was sick for almost three months. Two weeks after recovering from my cold, I went into the hospital with what turned out to be a scar tissue adhesion in my small intestine. Two days after coming home from three weeks in the hospital, I went back into the hospital for a week to have a cerclage placed. That marked the start of my month of bedrest, then The Baby was born and we started our seven weeks in the NICU. My mother cleaned the house when she visited and The Daddy did an excellent job trying to stay on top of it, but things slip by and add up and it’s been a full year since I last really and truly cleaned my own house. I tried to tackle it a few weeks ago, but it took me three days just to get the oven clean, what with The Baby thinking she needs attention from time to time and that was WITH The Daddy home. I am SO looking forward to having the house scrubbed!! Clean windows! Clean cabinet fronts! No dust on the door frames! No sticky greasy gunk on the oven hood! I can’t wait. It will be a little weird to sit here and watch someone else clean, but I think I can live with that. 😉

So this has been a pretty decent week, all in all. I’m still not a big fan of this whole having to get up early to try to fit in shower/breakfast/pumping/hanging clothes on the line before The Daddy leaves for work. I do like watching them play in the mornings while he tries to get enough giggles to carry him through the day. Nothing is too silly for him to do if it makes her giggle. We’re close to having our routine all worked out.

I’m thinking about attempting taking The Baby to the movies one morning because I REALLY want to see Harry Potter. I can’t find any information about theaters offering specific Mommy and Baby showings. I figure a middle of the week morning movie isn’t going to have a crowd who would be bothered by The Baby if she gets a little chatty. I think, if I time it for right after a bottle, I can have her tucked in her car seat and she’ll sleep through the whole thing. Does anyone have advice? I’m assuming an infant gets in free.

OK, I’m off. Going to try to get in a few minutes of tummy time before we take the car to the car wash. Whee!

Day 4

So, I slept through my alarm, the one that was supposed to wake me up to pump breast milk. The Baby is a breast milk baby, but she gets it in bottles. Nursing was one of the few casualties of our NICU experience. It was more important that she get the breast milk than that she nurse. We tried nursing, but first she was too tiny and tired too easily. By the time she was stronger, her latch was too shallow and she got frustrated. Trying to teach her a new latch was stressful and upsetting to both of us, so I made the decision that I’d rather have fewer nursing moments that were all about comfort, bonding, and love. So, I continue to pump 6-8 times a day and we nurse 1-2 times a day just because we want to. But Monday morning, I overslept. I’d hoped to pump before The Baby woke up. Oh well. The Daddy took baby duty while I hung three loads of laundry on the line, ate, showered, pumped.

I intended for us to have a day of housework. Now that The Daddy is working out of the house, I wanted to reclaim the living room by moving one of the computer desks out. I’m also trying to get things organized to make it easier to keep tidy (my incentive is hiring a cleaning service to do a “spring cleaning” once I have all the stuff put away). I got about two hours in, just to the point in furniture rearranging when you start to wonder what in the hell you were thinking and you wish you could quit but the house looks like a bomb went off, when the headache started. I felt it just behind my right eye and in my jaw. I took two acetaminophen and drank a big glass of water. I ate a sandwich. Four hours later, I took more pills. The headache just kept growing. I managed to get the furniture where it belonged and enough of the mess cleaned up to be able to use the two rooms I’d trashed. I managed to keep The Baby fed, changed, and giggling through most of it. She was sweet enough to take an almost three hour nap in the afternoon which allowed me to cat nap and soak in a hot bath.

The Daddy brought me a coke for the caffeine and fixed dinner. He took a slightly cranky Baby for me and let me eat my dinner while his got cold.

All three of us tumbled into bed, tired but finally headache-free.

Days two and three

Thursday was rough. Thursday was a teething day. A very cranky day. It started out fine; we played, we ate, we ran errands. Then it was afternoon and there was no napping. The bouncy seat was pure torture. The playmat held no appeal. All The Baby wanted was to be held and walked around the house. Failure to do so resulted in the production of the loudest annoying sound she could create with the least expenditure of energy. “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

The Daddy was late getting home.

It was a long day.

Friday was better. The Baby slept almost all night. And she pooped. I’ve learned that makes for an entirely different child. We spent the morning getting our fake christmas tree assembled, which The Baby found incredibly funny. (Side note: I HATE having a fake tree but what I consider to be an acceptable christmas tree costs a small fortune here in Texas, having been trucked in from one far corner of the country or another. The fake tree is our nod to being frugal and environmentally sound since live fir trees can’t live here and have a gigantic carbon footprint.) After that and a bottle, we went and visited the nurses in the NICU who made much of The Baby. Then, I did that most desperate of mother things. When The Baby fell asleep in her car seat, I sat in the car and read a book. When she continued to sleep, I carefully put her seat in the snap and go stroller and walked around my favorite big box store with the bull’s eye logo until I was at risk for being stuck in rush hour traffic. It got her a two hour nap.

That two hour nap gave me a baby content to sit in her bouncy chair and watch me cook dinner. A nice change from Thursday. When The Daddy came home, he found a much happier family than the day before.

Day one

So, we made it through yesterday. The Daddy and I got up about an hour before The Baby was due to eat. We managed to get showered and dressed and I got two loads of laundry hung up on the line before she woke up. The Daddy gave her her breakfast while I pumped and ate. Of course, he didn’t have to leave the house until 9:30, so we had plenty of time to fit it all in.

After The Daddy left, we played on the floor and took a VERY nice hour long nap. I managed to plan out meals for the week and put together a grocery list. Once The Baby woke up, we had a nice bottle for lunch then went to get the groceries.

The Baby rode in her carrier for the first time without fussing. She’s finally big enough and has enough head control to be in it facing out and apparently, that’s all she ever wanted. She didn’t peep the entire time we were in the store. Phew!

Unfortunately, she catnapped in the car just enough to not take an afternoon nap, which she SORELY needed. So, we moved from bouncy chair to floor mat to pack-n-play all afternoon and evening with a steady soundtrack of grumbling and fussing. The Baby is square in the middle of teething but she hasn’t figured out how to put anyting other than her hand in her mouth so she can’t get the relief of a teething ring yet. It makes for a grumpy, slobbery baby.

By the time The Daddy got home at close to 8pm, I was ready for a break. But, I’d managed to get dinner made, the kitchen and living room picked up and I’d put a dent in getting all the laundry put away. The Daddy got to spend the evening with a sweet girl, I got to take a long bath, and it turns out, The Baby slept from 10:30 until 6:00am!!

All in all, I’d say our first day on our own went pretty well. On to Day Two.