Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloweeeeeen!!!

How cute is her little skeleton outfit!! I'll get more pics later today/tonight when we dress her up for tonight's parties.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Laura's Pics

Laura put some cute pics of Hannah up on her blog for all you picture fans! She has some really, really cute ones! Just thought I'd share that tidbit.

Little Pumpkin

The lighting is terrible in this first one so I'll try to get another of her in her "little pumpkin" onesie before the day is over. The rest were taken earlier this week. The sequence in the chair would be best on video--every day I say I'm going to take the point and shoot with me when I go to the bathroom so I can get video of her staring intently (and often with cross eyes) at the thumb part of her closed fist as if willing it to unclose so she can pop it in her mouth and suck on it, but every day I forget. (For those of you who don't know, that's her bathroom chair. It sits there so I can plop her down when I shower or pee. It's also her favorite chair in the house.)

The last one is her right now, as I type this. We went down to Mill Valley Market to order our turkey and pick up some eggs. It was a usual trip: the way there and the first part of the way back is spent screaming, then shortly into the way back trip, she passed out. I tried keeping her awake so she wouldn't screw up her next nap, but she completely ignored me. Normally she won't stay asleep in this car seat if the car or stroller isn't moving, but Eric said she stayed asleep for him for an hour last Friday so rather than wake her up to put her in her crib (which would only result in screaming and a definite skipped nap), I decided to leave her in there and see if she'd stay asleep. So far, so good! Since Eric is at the gym and I've finished my hours for work this week, I'm enjoying some quiet Terri time!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Working for the Weekend

(First: a picture of Hannah attempting to sit up using her Boppy as support.)
Day 1 of work went like this:

7:30 a.m. Drag self from comfy bed and adorably snuggly baby (Eric happily took over snuggling with Hannah). Head downstairs for stretches and abs.

7:40 Hannah wakes up earlier than usual. Scratch the abs and feed her

8:30 She's still eating....I'm starving

9:00 She's asleep on the boob. Stealthily I creep upstairs and put her in her crib, then rush downstairs to make some oatmeal.

9:15 Attempt to log on to work computer. Spend half hour on the phone with IT downloading the new work-from-home software and updating all my outdated passwords. Begin sorting through 290 emails.

10:30 Still sorting emails....

11:30 Hannah wakes up. I feed her and then we play (play means making googly eyes and each other and walking around the house and listening to music and other misc activities)

1:00 She's asleep again, back to the basement to the work computer.

2:00 Still sorting emails....

2:45 She's awake. Log off and go back to mommy self. Feed her and play (this time we walk around looking at all the photos we have up and I tell her stories about the people in the photos and where they were taken. When we run out of photos, we stand on the back porch and watch the rain for a looooong time). She gets fussy around 4:00 so I attempt to lay her down for her evening nap.

4:30 Still attempting to get her to nap.

4:45 Give up on the nap and bring her downstairs to feed her again (the only way I know how to get her to stop screaming). Log onto work computer and continue reading emails while feeding her.

5:00 She falls asleep on the boob and Eric comes home. I motion for him to take her to her crib which he does. I hear her cry a few more times. He emerges 15 minutes later unscathed.

5:30 Give up on working for the day and snuggle the hubby for a bit.

6:15 Say goodbye to the hubby (he has volleyball on Tuesday nights) and make some dinner to scarf while I have the use of both hands.

I was planning on going to the gym, but everyone I know is sick. Auntie Laura happily agreed to hang out with Hannah on Tuesdays so I could go to my favorite class, but she is sick again. This dang weather!! My neighbor Amy is also sick, my other neighbor has her first broomball game, and Shannon, who agreed to hang with Hannah on Thursdays, is also sick. Whew!! That's natures way of telling me to stay in tonight. I'm kinda tired anyway and enjoying some "me" time (something I am going to get even less of now that I'm working while she naps) so it's for the best.

Oh yeah, I wanted to respond to Libby's commment on the last post about the working from home thing: I agree that getting out of the house would be awesome! But then I'd have to pay someone to watch Hannah. This way I get to keep all the money I'm making rather than turn around and give it to someone else. If I had to have a sitter, I'd clear very little so it wouldn't be worth it to work. Anyway, I don't mind too much because I'm a total homebody hermit anyway, but ever since having Hannah I do find myself going a little stir crazy more often than usual...The gym will have to satisfy my "get out of the house" need.

She should be waking up any second now for round 3 of play time....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wanted: Baby Manicurist

I don't know if I admitted this in an earlier blog or not, probably not because I was too ashamed and embarrassed, but about a month ago while attempting to trim Hannah's nails, I caught some skin. I was horrified and immediately put the clippers down. She wasn't even moving (I did it while she was in a milk comma), and I certainly wasn't rushing; I was being super careful! Since then I've had an aversion to this grooming routine so when her nails start getting really long I start begging Eric to do the dirty deed, but yesterday, he clipped her skin too! This makes me feel a teeny bit better (his doing it proves how difficult it is, even if nobody else in the world does it). But now we are left with a dilemma: who will cut Hannah's nails??? Clearly her parents are incompetent....

On another note, maternity leave is over. I start back at work tomorrow. They're letting me work part-time from home so it shouldn't be too bad, but I have no idea how I'll manage to get anything done.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recapping Friday

I was too tired last night to write anything to go with the pictures from yesterday so here's the monologue:

Spa day is an amazing thing that should be a regular part of every mother's life on a monthly or at least bimonthly basis. It's too bad it costs so much and is just not a reality. We went to Tranquility in Hagerstown. I absolutely loved the masseuse and the esthetician who did the facial; they were both really sweet and friendly and educational. The masseuse taught me about the muscles that bothered me and taught me exercise and stretches I can do to keep them loose. She even wrote down the names of the muscles so I could google them later if I forgot (which I did). The esthetician was an older lady (66) who told me to love all the moments of motherhood because they grow up fast and she wishes she hadn't yelled at her kids so much and also that she hadn't worried about whether or not the house is clean. She said I have the rest of my life to clean house if that's what I want to do with it but forget about it for now (this sounds like advice my mom lived out while we were growing up :) She also recommended a good skin product (it was not one that was sold there so she doesn't get anything for me buying it) that is available on Home Shopping Network. The main thing I liked about her is that she was very thorough and careful to leave any of the mask on me. I love the esthetician I used to go to in Baltimore when I had more money, but she was always leaving the mask on me so I'd walk out of there and notice clumps of it on my face. Not cool. This woman was very detail-oriented and that's a trait I like in a person!

We also got manicures and pedicures, and I picked this crazy bright red color because it seemed like the fun thing to do for someone who never paints her nails (not because I don't like it, but because I'm too lazy to maintain it--this stuff will start chipping in a matter of hours and look like crap in no time at all and I don't even own nail polish remover so it'll drive me nuts).

The day took longer than I expected because they weren't so savvy at coordinating us as a group, so we didn't make it over to Chip's until about 5:00. My dad was there when we walked in--that afternoon Eric had taken Hannah to the park where my dad works so he knew our plan--he took a picture of the two families (ours and Chip's) which I need to get because at that point, I didn't have my camera out so I don't have one of those...

Chip's baby is so strange in comparison to Hannah! He's tiny and frail and looks like a little ol' man, and mom was right: he doesn't cry at all, just makes this cute but odd like squeaking sounds. It's a really cute noise that I wish I would have capture on video but I didn't bring that camera with me. Hannah came out screaming bloody murder...that gal has her daddy's lungs!!

I'm also loving seeing my little bro so happy. He's so sentimental and sweet and keeps saying things like "I don't know how I ever lived without him," which makes me want to laugh and barf and burst his bubble by telling him he'll remember the pre-baby days quite fondly in a couple of weeks when he's gone days without sleep, his wife is alternating between crying and angrily threatening to leave him, and the baby is just crying and crying for no known reason. But instead I smiled, gave him a hug, and told him I was happy for him. And I am, because although I meant all those bubble-bursting things, I love my screaming little monster and wouldn't trade her for all the sleep in the world....but throw in a monthly spa day on top of all the sleep in the world and you just might have a deal....

Anyway, Chip has always been much sweeter and more patient than me, and there's also always the chance that he'll end up with an easy angle baby; I've heard they exist....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Introducing Hannah to Her Cousin

1. Hannah in her cow hoodie

2. My little bro: a proud new daddy

3. Uncle Chip with his niece (who is quite the big girl when compared to his itty bitty baby)

4. Uncle Eric with his teeny tiny nephew

5. The proud fathers/uncles doing a baby swap

Cute Pics From This Week

How cute is she in the hat that her friend Esther gave her!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2 Cute But Unexciting Videos

She's just sleeping in the one video. It was really more of a photo op, but I was afraid the flash and the camera click would wake her up. That's her after right before bedtime, after bath and her nighttime meal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Nephew!!!!!!

Clay was born yesterday at 7:22 p.m. He was a full pound lighter than Hannah, weighing in at 7.2 (she was 8.2), but he's much longer! I think Mom said he was 21 3/4 inches or something....Hannah was 19. So he's long and lean! I can't wait to meet him! I want to go today but...traveling with Hannah alone is just not fun, and we're heading back that way on Friday anyway because Amy's dad has graciously invited me spa day! Wahooooo!!! I'm joining the Richmond ladies at Tranquility in Hagerstown for facials, massages, and mani/pedis!! I've never been to spa day or had a massage so I'm super psyched!!! Plus it will be good QT with some of my favorite ladies, one of whom (Amy) is heading to Iraq in less than a week. Since I'm on maternity leave, she's been able to spend a good amount of time getting to know Hannah.

So Friday is spa-day and meet-my-nephew-day! What an awesome day.

We've been telling Hannah she has a cousin on the way. She's looking forward to being older than someone for a change.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Flexible Rant

I was pooped on this morning, sort of. While standing at the stove waiting for my tea kettle to whistle, an explosion rumbled my forearm which was propping Hannah up. I giggled a little (yes, I still find it funny that farts of that decibel emit from her teeny little hiney) and began pouring water over my Get Maternal tea bag (a yummy red tea) and just as I was doing so, I felt something plop onto my foot. I looked down at the yellowish blob that had dropped onto my foot and wondered if this renegade poo had comrades who would be following shortly....I put the tea down and walked slowly back to her bedroom to remove the outfit I had just put on her and wipe the poo that was running from her diaper down her leg. Outfit number 2 is shown here. It's a strange but soft dress that makes her look like a character from a Tim Burton movie or a Roald Dahl book. I'm not sure what the point of a long sleeve dress is though. I mean, if it's cold enough for long sleeves, it's probably also cold enough for pants. I guess I could put a pair of pants under it because it's no big deal if she looks silly and clashes at her age, but pants kind of annoy me. You gotta take 'em on and off every time you change her diaper and that's an added step that I just can't be bothered with (Eric either: I put pants on her yeserday, just to give it another try, and she came down from her first diaper change sans the pants). That's where the Baby Legs come in really handy. I love those things and used 'em a ton toward the end of summer, but both pairs would look really ridiculous with this dress (I know I just said I wasn't trying to make a fashion statement with a baby but seriously, the baby legs we have are Jelly Bean and Rye....look 'em up, they'd look ridiculous), and also, now that it's cold enough for her to wear socks, I'm finding leg warmers to be a bit of pain too. Really the only thing I can be bothered with dressing her in is those 1-piece footed sleeper things. They look so warm and comfy! If I were a baby, that's what I'd want to wear. Of course, this is coming from the person who spends a little extra on "nice" sweat pants so that I can leave the house in my lounge clothes and maintain a teeny tiny bit of dignity (just ordered these yesterday and this to go with--yes, pricey, but I assure you I will wear it every day and anyone who's seen me in what Eric and I have dubbed "my uniform" will attest to this). I must also admit that it's my own laziness that dresses her in those. Why deal with three articles of clothing when I can choose just one? My only dilemma with the footed sleeper thingys is: zipper or snaps? I can't decide. See, the thing about a zipper is that the leg on the non-zipper side can be hard to scrunch up and direct into the leg hole. Also, you have to unzip the whole thing to change the diaper which, in cold weather, is not nice because it exposes her whole chest and belly (not that I plan on changing her outside or anything, but still). Of course the advantage to the zipper is the speediness with which it zips. Snaps are time consuming and can be tedious expecially when the average baby outfit has 63 (minor exaggeration). But you only have to unsnap the ones around the legs when you want to change the diaper so her chest stays covered and there's no difficult directing of the leg into the leg hole.

I don't know where this silly clothing rant came from, but I'm not going to apologize because you should be quite grateful this is what spewed out of me given the fact that I've been crying for what seems like days now. I think the 5 days of cold dreary rain coupled with sleep deprivation and a screaming child (yes, sleep deprivation--the sleep training is going terribly which is what I thought this post would be about) and what I've always thought might be a smallish case of seasonal affective disorder have short-circuited the neurons that link sanity to sanity in my head and left me a blithering idiot who cries almost as much as her soon-to-be 11-week-old daughter. See, I always thought that my ability to create structure and routine would be a positive asset in motherhood because I think children thrive under structure and routine, and while I still think that, I'm finding that there is a big difference between children and infants, and I'm also find that a successful mother of an infant is one who is flexible and able to adjust her schedule around her baby's until that baby can start to adjust to the one set up by the mother.

Flexible is not an adjective that I would ever in a million years use to describe myself.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hip, Hip, Hippie!!

Our neighbor is turning 40 and since it's also the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, his wife chose that as a theme and asked everyone to show up in costume. Fortunately, it's a style that's pretty easy for me to pull off; I grabbed these items from my closet and was ready in seconds. Eric had a harder time...and so did Hannah. She's pretty cute though, eh?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Teaching Hannah to Stop and Smell the Flowers (and to Take a Nap While She's at it!!)

Auntie Laura came over on Tuesday and brought Hannah a flower to smell and An Awesome Book to read.

Bedtime that night was insane. Hannah, as usual, didn't nap much that afternoon so I decided to try to put her down a little earlier (like 9ish instead of 10ish). This bedtime would also make tonight easier (Grammy is babysitting so we can go see our favorite band in the world play at Ramshead Live). I was hoping to have Hannah asleep before we left the house but I'm realizing now that that is not likely.

Back to Tuesday: we bathed her at 8:15 instead of 9:00 and instead of showering first and then bathing with her, I just bathed her. I don't know if it was going to bed early or the difference in routine or what, but she lost it and refused to eat her usual amount after her bath. Maybe she wasn't that hungry because of the time difference or maybe she didn't like it that I didn't smell freshly bathed like I normally do during our night time routine. Who knows??? This kid is SENSITIVE! Did I tell you she flipped out the other day when Eric sneezed?? She did. I was standing with her when he let loose a big ol' sneeze and her face scrunched up and she let out this ear pitching wail. It took me a while to talk her off that ledge. So yeah, I have no clue what the issue was on Tuesday but she lost it and just got more and more hysterical despite my snuggling and cooing and loving. Eric finally got home from his double-header volleyball game around 10:30 and rushed into the shower right about the moment that I was losing it with Hannah. I grabbed my iPod and headphones, put on The Avett Brothers, cranked up the volume to block out her screams, and paced the upstairs hallway patting Hannah on the back and singing. Eric showered quickly and relieved me. I switched over to some peaceful meditation music 9thanks Jess!) but kept it loud and then went into our room to journal my insane I-suck-as-a-mommy thoughts. I felt bad because I knew Eric was tired from a long day, a long commute, a long night of volleyball, and from fighting a cold. It was late and he has to wake up at 5:15. I really don't know how single moms do it. I really thought I'd be much better at it.

Hannah fell asleep in his arms in the bed in the nursery and he nearly fell asleep with her. She woke up screaming when we tried to move her to the bassinet in our room, and by this point I felt guilty and worried that she knew I'd gotten mad at her so I insisted that Eric give her to me for a snuggle and a feeding and that he get some sleep. This time she didn't refuse my boob, she latched right on and ate hurriedly before calming down and finally dropping off to sleep. Guilt assuaged. Whew.

I was exhausted and mentally drained the next day, but a good thing happened: Hannah napped all day! Maybe it's because we didn't leave the house so she didn't catnap, maybe it's because I was sitting around just hanging out with Amy so I was quick to notice her "I'm tired" signs and put her down when I saw them. Whatever the reason, after being awake for about an hour and a half, I'd put her in her crib and she'd sleep for about 2 hours. She took her normal 3-hour morning nap plus an afternoon nap and an evening nap. It was awesome. And she still went to bed by about 10ish and slept for 5 hours in her crib before waking up to eat. I'm considering Wednesday our most successful sleep day yet and am hoping I can repeat it today.

Other good news: Eric got Hannah to take a bottle twice! She took one on Monday while I was at the gym and another yesterday again while I was at the gym. I'm not sure what his trick is; when I asked, he just said that he fiddled a lot with the temperature (did I mention that she was SENSITIVE??? apparently she is like Goldilocks and will only eat if it is JUST RIGHT) and also snuggled her in really close to his chest.

Oh yeah, and I started going back to the gym last week. I went 3 days in a row (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) and ended up super sore and lethargic by Wednesday so I took a 5 day break and started back again on Monday of this week. My new goal is to go every other day. That seems doable time wise and physically. I am feeling a lot better now that I'm moving and sweating and getting a little me time, and I think Eric is enjoying his QT with Hannah. Although I usually leave while she is asleep, she wakes up about a half hour before I get home which is enough time for him to give her a bottle and snuggle her a bit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hannah's Favorite Snack

Maybe the video just has to be 30 seconds to upload??? Anyway, this is Hannah enjoying her favorite snack: daddy's arm hair. When he's got her in the daddy hold (belly across his fore arm), she slimes him completely. He's taken to washing that area when he washes his hands...

Hannah is Entertained

This Blogger video upload thing really stinks; they should work on that feature. I spend at least an hour trying to "upload" every time and it never does work.

And why can't I "paste" things into the new blog window?? Are my settings screwed up? See, I already typed the blog that goes with the video for this post, but trying to upload the video screwed up the browser and it wouldn't save so I carefully copied the post prior to saving it, but now I can't paste it in. Ugh! You know, that's the same reason that I can't "embed" a YouTube video--because Blogger will not let me paste anything in. Does anybody know why that is? Plenty of other people do it (Libby has a kabillion YouTube videos embedded on her blog!) so it's clearly possible. There must be something wrong with my settings...but what??? When I click "edit HTML", the YouTube link is there...I googled the question "why can't I paste into Blogger" and it seems a ton of other bloggers are having the same problem (lots of posts fromt his month) but nobody had an answer. I also googled "why can't I upload video on Blogger." Again, lots of people have the problem, but nobody has the answer.

So I can't upload the video, and I can't embed it from YouTube, but I can copy and paste in the link. You'll just have to visit another website to view the video described in the next paragraph.

Here's a summary: Shannon brought us this mat with the gym thing that goes over top of it the week Hannah was born (another hand-me-down from her boss). I used to lay Hannah there while I brushed my teeth (this is when we were living in the basement while the rest of the house was being rebuilt). She didn't express much interest at that point and since we don't live down here anymore, I hadn't put her back on it until yesterday. Well, a lot has changed! She stared up at herself in the mirror and kicked and smiled. It was pretty cute so I video-ed it.

Hannah also watched her first baby einstein video from start to finish yesterday. She's watched bits and pieces of the sign language one but gets bored easily. Yesterday I popped in Baby Van Gogh and held her on my hip facing the TV. She was mesmerized! She spent the whole time kicking and leaning forward in my arms. I wanted video of that but I only have so many arms.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cross Dresser, I mean, er, Tom Boy

hehehe! Kidding, kidding. I told Eric I was going to take a pic of her in her "boy" outfit and post it on the blog with the title "cross dresser" and he cringed a little and said he preferred "tom boy." I know, I'm bad with a weird sense of humor.

When I was pregnant, I insisted that I didn't want Hannah wearing all pink and being dressed super girly because I didn't want to force her into a gender stereotype. Why is blue considered a boy color? And why are cars and baseballs considered boy designs??? So my mom heeded my preferences and bought a mix of items from the sale racks at Carter's (this piece being one of those items) which she sent me in care packages. And when friends of friends were handing down little boy clothes, I insisted on looking through them, after all, free clothes are free clothes. One of the friends of friends (Shannon's boss) told Shannon that I'd sing a different song once Hannah was born, that I wouldn't want her in "boy" clothes.

I must confess, she was a teeny bit right. Not because I get annoyed with people asking if she's a girl or boy (I don't), but just because it isn't as cute. Dang it! I've been brainwashed by society! Sigh. Anyway, we ended up with a lot of hand-me-downs so I passed some of the more boyish items on to my brother, and the ones I kept will probably not get worn on days when we go to the pediatrician or have other social engagements (even though I'm fine with showing up wearing my "uniform" which consists of one of two Glamour Mom nursing tanks--they're pricey so I only bought two but I haven't worn any other top since the day she was born so they seem to be paying for themselves--,a pair of sweats, and sweatshirt if it's cold).

Grannah sent Hannah some super cute fall clothes (clothes that strike the perfect balance of being cute for a little girl without being overly girly), but sadly, the Banana is a bit too large for them! She's a 12 pounder now so she is comfortable in most 3 month outfits except Gerber (their clothes are ridiculously small--she outgrew her Gerber newborn onesies in like a week).

Hannah is looking forward to returning the clothes and picking out basically the same things in a slightly larger size. We'll need her daddy for that trip though because mommy is not much of a shopper.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Hannah slept from 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wahoooooo!!!! I told Eric, "today we do EXACTLY what we did yesterday!" That's really not going to be possible since he has homework so spending the day with Libby and Ben is not a repeat option and also, MC babysat for about an hour last night, and I'm thinking that's not a repeat option either....Maybe Hannah liked all the actitivy yesterday so maybe I should try to emulate that. Actually, the activity exhausted her: she cried nearly the whole time she was with MC (I dropped her off pretty fussy....) which is why it was only for an hour--we were going to leave her for the duration of a movie (the plan for date night: order Chinese food and watch a movie the whole way through while Hannah hangs out next door. It was great!! We did start missing her though about 5 minutes before we got the text message so it was good timing).

Anyway, just thought I'd share the good news. She's napping now (so far, we are the same as yesterday: wake up at 8, nap at 9:30). Time to do something other than blog...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Revolving Around Sleep

My success story about napping jinxed us. Well....not exactly, she isn't a terrible napper, but it isn't going as easily as the Baby Whisperer made it sound. And it's incredibly restrictive: like my mom said, "she's in charge right now." The Baby Whisperer would not agree, insisting, "she's a baby." Anyway, the thing with napping is that there is a very small window and if you miss it, that window closes and you're stuck inside with a screaming child who went from sleepy to over-exhausted in about 60 seconds. I've discovered that Hannah's window of awake seems to last for no more than about an hour and a half, often less in the morning. She woke up a little after 8:00 today and was ready for a nap again around 9:20. I'm good at catching the signs in the morning because I do very little other than focus on her for that period. I put her down and she fussed tiredly for about 5 minutes. I went in at one point because the fussing was kind of loud, but her eyes were closed peacefully and she wasn't moving anything except her mouth so I rubbed her back for a few minutes and then tip toed out. I haven't heard a peep since. Success!! But the morning nap is easy. Sometimes the afternoon nap is equally as easy, but inevitably, at some point during the day, I will want to run a quick errand. So when she wakes up and is finished eating, I make the errand our "activity." Unfortunately, once in the Baby Hawk or car seat, Hannah begins cat napping. The Baby Whisperer did not explain what to do with a cat nap. Do I start the cycle over with feeding and activity time? Maybe an abbreviated version of each? Or do I still count from the last time she woke up and try to put her down an hour and a half later or whenever she is displaying her tired signs? The thing is, I would just ignore advice and go with her signs, but by this point in the day, there is too much going on (maybe daddy is home now or I'm trying to make dinner or...) and I always miss the signs, but never by much so I rush to put her in her crib but, it's too late, she's overtired and screams bloody murder. Thus begins our evenings. Meltdowns begin around 5:00 or 6:00. Usually around 7:00 we decide to bath her and get bedtime started because she is so clearly exhausted, though every time I wonder if it's the right thing because Hannah is not yet a fan of this early bedtime and anyway, as soon as she's sleeping, if I'm not sleeping too, I'm only cheating myself so I have too choose: quiet alone time with the hubby in the evening or sleep? I typically lean toward sleep. Not that we are ever actually given the choice anyway; no matter how early we bathe her and attempt to start bedtime, she will find a way to stay up until at least 9:00. So bedtime for us is at least a 2 hour ritual every night. If I didn't eat dinner before we started, I'm not eating till morning because by the time we get her to sleep, I'm exhausted and drop off pretty immediately. On Thursday she kept me up until almost midnight. This was particularly painful since I was ready for bed by 10:00. Fortunately, once asleep she sleeps between 4 and 6 hours. The night that she was up until almost midnight, she slept till 5:45. So that's nice.

The bottom line there is that my mom is right, she's in charge in the sense that I have to revolve my life and activity around what's best for her because if I don't, we all pay the price. She is not an easy baby who will just sleep wherever and whenever she needs to. She needs me to pay close attention to her messages and put her down in a quiet place at the right moment and to do that, I need to not be distracted. That means that until she is able to stay awake a little longer, I probably need to have a sitter while she sleeps so I can run my errands during nap time.

We've also been trying to introduce her to her crib at night time. Since she is able to fall asleep there for a nap, I figure why not for bedtime? I certainly can't get her to just go to sleep in the bassinet, and often, even after I've rocked her to sleep 6 different times, her eyes still shoot open when I lay her down. She seems to know that mommy and daddy aren't going to sleep yet and if that's the case, then why should she? She did end up falling asleep in the crib last night (for the second night, though not in a row) and then we just ended up missing her. The room felt empty and weird, and I didn't sleep too well anyway because I was watching the baby monitor like a hawk. Once she gets the hang of sleeping in her crib for the first part of the night, we'll work on sleeping there for the second the meantime, I need the sleep so selfishly, it is easier for me to bring her to bed with us when she wakes up and let her nurse and sleep next to me until morning. Anyway, I love the snuggling and so does she. I started the Baby Hearts book and it upset me because it talks about how a long time ago people believed that babies didn't need love to survive, just food and shelter, so babies in orphanages were just given the basics with no snuggling and love and their death rates were enormous as a result. How terrible is that???? I read that part on the second night I was attempting to get her to go to sleep in her crib and although she has already passed out successfully, I ran in and picked her sleeping body up and placed her in her bassinet beside us. In addition to needing love and warmth, they also learn to regulate their breathing by being close to us. I didn't know that. So now I'm more focused on yogic breathing when I'm holding her....

I realize there aren't a lot of paragraph breaks in this post--it ended up being a rambling mess and will remain that way because I feel better having gotten all that out of my head. Catharsis was the name of this game and it's been accomplished.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

QUICK Update

Hannah went to the pediatrician today. Here are her stats:

Weight: 11 lbs 14 oz
Length: 23 3/4 in.
Head circumference: 39.7 cm
Demeanor: ANGRY. They gave her a ton of vaccinations today...things like polio and roto virus and....I don't even know but she got stuck in BOTH of her thighs and she is super upset as a result. She screamed bloody murder and it broke my heart to see her in so much pain. I cursed Eric for making us get all these vaccinations and then not even being there, but that was only in my deepest oh-my-god-my-child-is-suffering-and-it-sucks mommy moment. I emerged a rational being, but the wee one did not. She hasn't really slept all day as a result, just catnaps for a bit and wakes up screaming. We are taking turns cuddling her and watching TV and being total lazy blobs/loving parents.

She is out back with Eric and MC right now--I thought the outdoors might calm her since it usually does but today, no such luck. Anyway, I snuck away to post her stats but I must be getting back to the little love bug now. More later.

This picture is from "later" (about an hour later). Hannah still won't nap unless she is safely snuggled in someone's arms. Here she is snuggled with Eric. We've spent the past hour looking for a movie on On Demand and just watching previews...this is so typical of us. We used to do this all the time and then we'd eventually get tired and go to bed having watched nothing...It's still early tonight so we may just pick something......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2 more from last weekend!

I completely forgot to mention that Hannah reached a bit of a milestone last weekend. Grammy put a rattle in her hand and she actually closed her fingers around it and held on for a few seconds!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Visit to Aunt Pam's

My Aunt and Uncle who live in Pennsylvania were in town (by town I mean Hagerstown area, not Baltimore) last weekend so I drove out to visit and introduce them to Hannah.

I wish there were a way to add captions to the pics...I don't feel like writing too much. I'll number them (in order from top to bottom with the top being 1 and bottom being 4)

1. Hannah's tongue sticking out, as usual. Like my mom said, "It's her thing," and like my bro said the first time he held her in the hospital: "She looks like Gene Simmons."

2. Snuggling with Uncle Chip after being woken up from the 3-hour nap pictured below. Uncle Chip was preparing for his own little one who is scheduled to arrive in 4 days.

3. The nap thing is working out so well that I got Hannah to sleep on the floor (well, on top of a blanket on top of a pee pad on top of the floor) at my Aunt's house in the midst of a visit. She is the green blob (the green is her blanket) in the middle. We are all sitting around her because by this point, she'd been sleeping for 3 hours and not only was everyone anxious to visit with her, but I wanted to wake her so she didn't sleep through her feeding cycle and screw up her nighttime sleep. (That's Chip's soon-to-be little one underneath the pink shirt of his now wifey--they went to the court house yesterday to seal the deal.)

4. My favorite little strawberry banana sleeping peacefully...

Bath Time!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Whispering

I'm just about finished reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and it is by far my favorite baby book so far. It strikes a balance between what I consider the cruelty of Ferberizing your baby and the burden I felt with attachment parenting (wearing her non-stop really wears on my back and shoulders). At last: a happy medium!! And the result? Hannah is napping regularly and for long stretches (up to 3 hours at a time) and she is still sleeping pretty well at night (we're up to one long 5-hour stretch at the beginning of the night and then she's up sporadically the rest of the night) though every couple of nights she throws a curve ball by screaming for an hour straight sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Here's what I love about this book (and why I recommend it to everyone who is even in remote contact with a baby):

1. Hogg (the author) sets up an easy to follow routine (which is what I was aiming for but unable to construct because I just didn't know how often she should eat and sleep). Hogg, uses the E.A.S.Y. acronym which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You. She doesn't recommend feeding babies right before napping because it gets them in the habit of needing that to fall asleep. She's all about starting good habits from the get go. The exception to eating before sleeping is when you're putting them down for night; then she's okay with topping off the tank and "dream feeding" to keep them down longer. So now Hannah wakes up, eats, has an activity, and after being up for 1-2 hours, is put in her crib for a nap where she will sleep for 2-3 hours usually.

2. I am now able to decipher the "tired" cry!!! Hogg focuses on helping you interpret your baby's crys which equals less screaming for both parent and baby (that way you aren't shoving a nipple in their face when all they want is to go to sleep, which, by the way, is what I was doing--all cries meant "feed me" as far as I was concerned). The "tired cry" clicked in my head the same day I read about it. All of a sudden it was soooo obvious that she was whining because she was sleeeeepy! That cry even sounds like a sleepy cry. Duh. I don't know how I missed it before. So I put her in her crib and within seconds she was out. Wahooo!! I haven't learned to tell the difference between any other cries yet ("I'm hungry" vs. "I'm tired of this stupid bouncy seat" for example), but I have picked up on the body language for "I'm hungry" (back arches and she atttempts to flip herself sideways out of my arms, assumably lunging for the boob that she knows is down there somewhere).

3. Hogg made me feel normal because she has worked with a TON of moms and most all of them have the same freakouts and insecurities that I've had. As I've admitted in many blog posts before, this motherhood thing is extremely humbling.

The lesson I learned: Hannah's lack of sleep and crying fits were my fault because I wasn't putting her down to sleep (I guess I just assumed she'd fall asleep when she was tired???). The result: I was letting her get over-exhausted. With the E.A.S.Y routine, I can keep better track of the last time she ate or the last time she slept so I can better figure out what it is she needs which in turn helps me to learn to differentiate between her cries. So these days, at the onset of sleepiness, I put her in her crib. Sometimes she fusses for a few minutes before dropping off to sleep, other times she's quiet until she passes out. If she ever starts getting worked up, I pick her up and try to figure out what she needs, but if she's just fussing that tired fuss, I leave her alone.

All family members are much happier now that Hannah is napping!! Now if only we could figure out how to get her to take a bottle...Eric has tried to give her one on three different occasions now and using three different bottles but so far, no luck....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hanging with the Girls!

Auntie Amy has visited twice since she's been home from Africa and brought fun African-made gifts with her!! Hannah likes lazy afternoons with the girls.