Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Magnitude of Multiples...And Identity Crisis

Last night was twice as bad since she woke up twice instead of once, but bedtime was good again...Asleep by 7:45. No screaming.  I guess you can't have it all.....If I have to choose though, I think I'd rather take the hour of screaming than the waking up at night, especially if she's going to wake up more than once.  No, no, I guess I'll take the waking up because at least then I get a little me time at the end of the day, and really, I don't usually stay up too long in the middle of the night. No, wait--interrupted sleep stinks, especially if you get woken up out of a deep sleep, so I'd rather have the screaming.  Sigh. Six in one hand, half a dozen scattered somewhere else...I guess I'll take what I can get and complain about the rest.

I'm loving this book Expectations: 30 Women Talk About Becoming a Mother that I'm reading before bed. All the essays are kinda short so   So far there are two essays that are me all over and totally put words to some of my crazy thoughts much more eloquently than I've been able to do here (I'm saving excerpts from those for later). I've also flagged the heck out of a number of other passages I like and plan on boring you all with said passages, but in small doses, I promise.  I'm starting with the one below because it fits the occasion.  It's by a mother (Debbie Isaacman) of triplets who spent her whole pregnancy worrying about the health of her multiple births and just hoping that all would be alive and healthy at birth, which they were.  I can't imagine life with multiples. When I pass people with twins, and there are a ton in Hampden right now, I want to bow down in front of their double stroller and ask them to bless me with their breastmilk.  Isaacman puts my constant complaining in perspective and confirms my biggest fear: I am a total weenie.

"So I don't get frazzled when they all need their diapers changed at once, or when they've all decided to throw their soup bowls down at the same time, or when one of them has discovered the cat food and has dumped it all over the kitchen floor, because I feel so grateful to have three healthy children. I don't care if they all cry at once, either. I feel lucky because I have three children who can cry at once.

"I hear about women who only have one child but who are frazzled, and sometimes I want to say, "You know, it's not that bad.  Be thankful you have the day to get through." You have to feel fortunate if you have healthy children because there are so many people who have children with disabilities and for who getting through their day is a major accomplishment. A multiple isn't as challenging as that."

That's a little more heartfelt than my usual dose of sarcasm, and I'm getting all itchy and uncomfortable as a result so don't expect more where that came from.  And just to wash it all down and end on a more me-ish note, here's a passage from an essay by Vivien Dai that I relate to a little more (well, I can relate to the second paragraph, less so the first but it seems a necessary intro to the second):

"One of the most vivid memories I have is about a week after he was born. Jay was finally leaving the house for work after staying home and taking care of us all week.  We'd had this wonderful water birth and the whole house felt just like a big, warm womb.  I hadn't even stepped out of the house all week.  So there I was, standing at the door with Brandon in my arms, waving goodbye to Jay.  The screen door was between me and the outside world, and all of a sudden I had a nervous breakdown. I felt like I was waving goodbye to my old self.  I mean, I was a dancer, an artist. I'm supposed to be out there in the world, and all of a sudden I'm here with this little being who'd totally dependent on me, and I didn't know who I was or what I was supposed to do next.

"I guess I never imagined the logistics of motherhood. I didn't think about identity crisis. I didn't think about the crying or the sleepless nights. I thought, 'I'm going to be a great mom. I'm going to love my kid and I'm going to be able to handle it all. And if I can't, I'm going to push myself to the limit to be able to.'"

That's definitely how I went into it. I've pushed myself to the limit to accomplish whatever else I wanted to accomplish and didn't see how motherhood would be any different or how the limits here would feel so unattainable, like trying to bike ride to Mars....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No "I" in Team

Ugh. I'm freakin exhausted.  It's either because of the rain or because I was awake from 2:20 to 4:00 last night....It's possible that pushing her bedtime back by an entire hour was a little extreme.  Fortunately, instead of napping from 1:00ish to 2:30ish yesterday afternoon (the scheduled naptime), she walked around her crib until 2:30 and then slept until 4:00 so if ever we were going to move her bedtime back like that, doing so on a day when she napped late was a fortunate coicidence.  Regardless of sleeping late, she was exhausted before she made it to the bath and screamed the screamiest screams during her super quick scrub down.  That wasn't fun, but it was over and she was quietly nursing within a few minutes.  (He decided that completely turning the routine on its head was a bad idea and that first we should move back her bedtime and then maybe think about moving the nursing.  I agree.) So I had to be very diligent about keeping her awake while nursing which was not easy.  After about 15 minutes on the second side, I pulled her off (which ticked her off but by then she was too tired to scream too much) and handed her to Eric who put her down Eric style.  It was a short ritual given her exhaustion and the fact that she was nearly asleep while nursing so no hour of insanity last night.  Bathtime started at 7:30 and she was asleep by 8:30. Really what that means is that she is back on her pre-Daylight Savings Time schedule.  I don't know how that beditme is going to work though on the days when she only naps until 2:00 in the afternoon.  That seems like a long time for her to be awake.  Either way, I think that keeping her from snoozing while nursing had a huge positive impact. 

To make up for bedtime's easiness, Hannah woke up screaming at 2:20 a.m.....I looked at her in the monitor to see if she'd put herself back to sleep but considering she was halfway to standing and the screams were pretty loud, my guess was no. I went in and picked her up. Once calm I laid her down, and the screaming immediately resumed.  I tried to soothe her Eric style by patting her butt and leaning over the crib but the position hurt my back and made my arm fall asleep so after a few minutes, I gave up and went back to bed.  Eric was awake so I told him that although I could not draw any correlation between his bedtime ritual and the fact that she was awake in the middle of the night (a.k.a: I'm not blaming him for her waking up), I could blame him for the fact that in order to get to sleep, she requires someone being hunched over the crib.  That's not a comfortable sleep crutch and not one I intend to provide. So he went in with her for a while and after 20 minutes or so, he gave up and came back to bed, and we just laid there and listened to her scream and argued until everyone fell asleep.

The thing is, although my way wasn't working, I was at least working toward a worthy goal: for her to be able to put herself to sleep on her own without crying when we lay her down.  Tons of babies I've read about do that.  I was attempting to coach her into being an independent sleeper using a number of methods I had researched, but mostly the Sleep Lady's in the hopes that our future is less stressful than our present.  I'm willing to make sacrifices now to ensure that the problem is remedied sooner than later.  I think Eric's goal is more just to get through the day.  I'm not saying his way is wrong; alcoholics everywhere are taking it one day at a time and that works for them. What I'm saying is that we need to come to come to some compromise and raise her AS A TEAM because nobody benefits from us operating like we're living on an island, least of all Hannah.

Dear Pregnant Readers: My number one recommendation is that you read at least one baby how-to type book prior to giving birth (I recommend the Baby Whisperer since it's pretty comprehensive, but I've heard good things about The Happiest Baby on the Block too) and get your hubby to read it too and then TALK ABOUT IT and come up with a game plan for raising your children as a TEAM.  I wish we'd done that....We're 7 1/2 months in and working less and less like a team (when it comes to parenting) every day.  Once we finally find a way to compromise and get on the same side, how long will it take from there to instill good habits in Hannah??  We have a LONG uphill road before anyone is getting any respite from the screaming.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Precious Insecurity

First the fun stuff: Hannah blew her first bubbles at swim class today! We were floating around in the 2-foot section and she was sorta standing, sorta bobbing/treading water which meant her mouth kept going under, and on one bob, she blew a bunch of bubbles.  Even more fun than that: NO LOCKER ROOM BREAKDOWN!  Craziness...I'm wondering if it had anything to do with the fact that the locker room was totally empty today.  Who knows. I don't have time to analyze the awesomeness--hands are full trying to figure out the non-awesomeness....sleep.  Same ole' story. Cue the non-fun stuff.........

I kirked out again last night.  I've been keeping track of my angry outbursts on my calendar and they happen every other week and are accompanied with extreme fatigue and followed closely by--EARMUFFS BOYS--my period.  Yes, it's coming every 2 weeks as well.  Isn't life grand??  I specifically chose the ParaGard IUD because I didn't want hormones, but I'm thinking now that that was a huge mistake and that hormones are probably my only chance at sanity.  The pill is the only thing that fixed me the first time around, when I was 15 and had been dealing with 2 periods a month accompanied by exhaustion, insanity, and severe cramps for the 2 years prior.

Although I don't think there is ever a good excuse for losing your temper, if there were one, I'm pretty sure I am in possession of that excuse and also its runner-ups.  Trying to get Hannah to sleep at night has become the bane of my existence.  By that time of the day, I'm tired. I want to punch my time card, find a comfy spot on the couch, and veg out to another episode of America's Best Dance Crew (don't judge--I gain coordination just by WATCHING).

Hannah's extended screaming makes me feel completely inadequate as a mom, and then when I get impatient and frustrated, it makes me feel like a complete a**hole.  I mean, she's a BABY! Hello!! Why can't I generate unending sympathy????  I try to remind myself that sometimes it's really hard to fall asleep, and that life is miserable when you're super exhausted but can't fall asleep and probably even more so when you're a BABY and have no clue what's going other than how you feel which is beyond exhausted, so I should be like, "oh, my poor little schmoopy baby sweetie it's okay sugar bunkin lovey..."  I guess I'd be more sympathetic if she would at least LAY DOWN AND TRY TO GO TO SLEEP.  I don't know anyone else who stands upright and screams for all their worth as a way of winding down and getting to sleep.

I had resumed the Sleep Lady shuffle last Saturday but was seeing NO results a week later (yeah, yeah, she says to give it 2 weeks, but COME ON!!) and my sanity was thinning so I decided to try the dreaded Ferber approach.  At various points throughout the weekend I attempted to engage Eric in a discussion about various sleep plans, asking for his input, suggestions, and buy in and trying to come up with a new plan that we could BOTH  stick to (since he refuses to follow my lead).   His only comment was a question of why we couldn't pick her up.  I pointed to Pavlov's dogs (not literally of course). Her crying is like when the dogs push the button, and us picking her up is like when the food comes out as a result of the dogs pushing the button.  If she continues to associate crying with getting picked up, SHE WILL KEEP PUSHING THE STUPID BUTTON. Yes that may be a crude analogy for explaining training by association, but I'm pretty sure the Sleep Lady uses the same one...The point is, this is for her own good because we are not picking her up with any consistency anyway (he picks her up, I usually don't) so she's just constantly confused trying to figure out how to work the stupid button, cry louder? Harder?  Throw in some shrieks??  Beat on chest, swing from vines, and launch into song "George, George, George of the Jungle..."??  I keep stressing that our only way of communicating with her right now is through consistency so that she can anticipate first this, then this. If there's no consistency, she's confused, and if she's confused, she screams, and if she screams, I scream.

Back to Ferber: I suggested that after nursing her, I tuck her in, leave, then go up in 7 minutes, and then add 3-5 minutes each time after that, so 7, then 10 minutes later, then 15ish minutes later until she's asleep....I didn't get any feedback from him so I started the plan last night. I laid her down around 7:45 then returned 7 minutes later, laid her back down, covered her up, patted her rump, and then came downstairs to make some food.  5 minutes later, Eric went up....As he was going I politely (ha!) reminded him of the plan and asked him to wait another 5 minutes, but he ignored me.  He immediately PICKED HER UP (though she was not even crying that hard) and then after laying her back down, hovered over the side of the crib patting her butt and cooing at her for about 5 minutes before coming downstairs.  The second he left her room she was screaming louder and harder than before, and I was seething.  So I kirked out and yelled "WE HAVE GOT TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE" among other less nice things.  It's a small house so I'm pretty sure my yelling didn't help Hannah's stress level at all.  More jerk points for me.  As soon as I stopped yelling, I went upstairs, picked Hannah up, walked her downstairs, and handed her to Eric, then walked back to the kitchen to finish chopping veggies for my salad. I suppose that was my way of throwing in the towel.  He'd mentioned something about thinking her bedtime was too early: here ya go! Put her to bed whenever you want.

That thought seemed like a good idea so I kept going with it. I told him he was in charge now.  At first I was still a little angry and trying to punish him because I feel like his refusal to get on a parenting page with me is punishing me.  But the more I talked, the better the idea sounded, not just as a punishment but like, hey, maybe this'll actually work. If nothing else, it at least gets me out of the dreaded bedtime duty.

I said, from now on, aside from her last nursing of the day, you are completely in charge of the bedtime routine and can do whatever you see fit, and I won't argue or question your decisions as long as I don't have to suffer the consequences. He thinks her bedtime should be later, like 8:30 since she screams until then anyway. I reminded him that we tried moving her bedtime back when she was about 4 months old; we pushed it back to like 10:00 (at that time she was screaming until 10:00), and then she started screaming till like 12:00 which totally sucked. I'd rather she scream from 7:30-8:30 then from 8:30-9:30, but as long as I'm not the one who has to sit with her while she screams, he could put her to bed at midnight for all I care (that's not true, I do care but I'm trying REALLY hard not to).  My non-emergency mothering hours are between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.  I am not a night owl and refuse to become one.  If he wants a night owl for a baby, fine, but don't include me in those owl-ing activities.  He seemed okay with that.

So I ate my salad and watched ABDC and Eric and Hannah sat next to me on the catch and just hung out, and then at 8:45, he took Hannah up to her room, and I went to brush my teeth and get ready for bed.  She screamed till about 9:20, and then he came to bed.  I felt guilty then so I apologized and snuggled him for a bit while he finished reading his homework.

There is a teeny, tiny, insecure part rooted deep in my mothering self-esteem that does not want him to succeed, but the bigger, better part of me hopes that he does have the answer because I sure as hell don't, and I can't spend another week doing this, let alone another couple years.  I did make what I think is a pretty good suggestion while snuggling last night:  She has taken to snoozing/suckling for about 30 minutes on whichever boob I give her first after her bath, then she wakes up, eats for about 4 minutes on the other boob and is ready to play. I'm thinking this catnap is the problem for our recent issues (though it hasn't always been a factor and therefore hasn't always been the problem).  I'd have gotten into the habit of waking her up sooner but I always have my fingers crossed that she'll stay asleep when I lay her down (totally against the Sleep Lady's rules but SO MUCH EASIER), and every once in a while (on a day when naps were disastrous) she does.  So I suggested that we just turn the whole routine on its head and nurse her before her bath so that she can go right from bath to story time and then bed.  That gives her chance to play a little more after relaxing on the boob and also a chance to digest her food first which will probably make her more comfortable.  He liked my suggestion, which means that if  having Eric put her down works, I don't have to feel like a total failure since I thought of part of the solution. Oh precious insecurity!! How you plague me...

We'll start tonight.....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Business As Usual

Anyone reading Mamarazzi from the Blogger site (as opposed to those who read from Buzz or Google Reader) will by now have noticed the swirligig things on the left side of the screen from Amazon.  Those are not random--I put them there.  I was on this blog the other day and saw that mr. lady's reading list (on the right side and down a bit) looked WAY cooler than my reading list so I clicked on it to figure out how I could do the same thing.  As it turns out, Amazon has a thing called Amazon Associates that provides a bunch of different widgets for you to recommend stuff to your readers.  So I deleted my old reading list and put those books into a a carousel widget.  PLUS, there was a widget for music so now I have a place to recommend kid songs I like, and THEN I created another carousel widget with various products that we use and like so if you are getting ready to have a baby (and a TON of my friends are) and you're wondering what baby body wash/shampoo you should use, I recommend the Jason brand because it smells great and doesn't have any weird crap in it.  So I put that along with our favorite sippy cup, my favorite nursing tanks, and a couple of other things we love into another carousel.    My main objective is to be able to share the stuff I like with those who might be interested, but an added perk to those carousels is that if anyone clicks on one of the things in the carousel and then buys it, I get a small percentage kickback (like 4% or something).  It's not much and I'm not really expecting to wield that much influence, but I figure what the heck!

That said, I am also contemplating allowing ads on my blog....I'm leaning toward it, but keep hesitating to actually do it because I don't want it to get in the way and make the blog look ugly.  Plus I don't know how much control I'd have over them, but I imagine not much. With the Amazon thing, I can recommend stuff I actually use and like so I don't feel like a sell out.

Okay, sorry for the boring non-cute non-baby post! Just wanted to explain....

ALSO, after years of coaxing from everyone, I finally decided to sign up for Facebook.  If I haven't found you yet, come find me!  My wall is not activated because I'm trying to EASE into this....But you can send messages!  I put a "badge" (an obnoxiously large one, but I can't figure out how to shrink it) beneath my profile on the left so it should be easy to find me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bubble Town

I bought Hannah some bubbles and a fun little bubble blower thingy last weekend to commemorate spring.  Since the rusted metal porch out back is days away from collapsing with everything on it, and since the sun won't really hit the back of the house too hard till summer is underway, we took the bubbles out front for some traditional Baltimore stoop sitting.  I took the camera to document the occasion but two things happened that prevented me from getting good pics: 1.) the wind blew bubble town away faster than I could build it, 2.) Hannah wasn't really too into the few bubbles that did hang around.  While bubble fest 1 went bust, bubble fest 2--which Eric threw spontaneously during breakfast one rainy morning a couple days ago--was more of a hit.

Later we needed to go outside and Eric likes to do this thing where he puts outfits over top of her footed sleeper things....It's weird. I've explained to him that those things are not like long johns, but he doesn't see why not, and in his defense, I guess there's no good reason really why they can't be used to layer, except for the fact that it looks ridiculous....I made him hold her up so I could take a pic.  It's obviously not a good pic, but it illustrates how silly it looks.

You'll notice lots of blurs in these photos....that's because Laura taught me how to adjust the white balance on my camera so that I can FINALLY take indoor photos without the flash.  I've been trying to figure that out for over a year now.  So now that I know how to do it, I'm obsessed.

AH! I almost forgot!!! Teeth 4 and 5 have come in.  Tooth 4 came in late last Sunday. It's the front one next to the fang.  Tooth 5 is on the right side top. I think it's her other fang.  It came in a few days ago.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sharing Our Story

Last night I got to be the "been there done that" mama which was every bit as fun as I thought it would be when I first received the invitation from Chinyere (our previous childbirth instructor) on Monday.  Her current group of beautifully preggo mamas and proud papas had it's last class last night and Eric and I were invited (along with another couple) to share our childbirth experiences (Eric couldn't go though).  Since I've been living and breathing everything baby related for the past 7 1/2 months, I jumped at the opportunity to be surrounded by a group of people who might actually be interested in topics like magenta baby poo and pureed peas.  Not that my current group of friends doesn't--everyone has been amazing while I spew all things baby 24/7--but I guess it was just nice to be somewhat of a guru in the way that Libby was for me and as such, to tell those who are getting ready to head down that path, hey, your birth might not go exactly as you planned it, but it doesn't make you a failure (might sound extreme, but I battled that feeling for a while because of that stupid pitocin stuff I had to have which completely threw off MY PLAN), and also, you might be ridiculoulsy angry post childbirth and that's normal too. Side note to the husbands: don't fuel the fire.  My advice is similar to what all mother's say: take care of yourself when you can, sleep during every opportunity that presents itself, let people feed you and clean for you, and ENJOY as much as humanly possible.  In all, motherhood has been an amazing journey in which I've had the opportunity to learn things about myself that I never would have learned otherwise, and the opportunity to get to know a new person from the very second that they entered the world is crazy and amazing.  I bitch and moan a lot about my bundle of joy being a screaming, anti-sleeping, hyper-active, daddy-obsessed little terror, but that's just because that's my style. I'm a bitcher and a moaner because I think it's funny.  But the majority of the time, the little screamer is screaming with delight because I'm rolling my eyes around my head (she LOVES that for some reason and is always trying to catch my eyes--note to self, keep a safe distance from clawing baby fingers) or because I make the best fart noises with my lips or because my karate-kung-fu-I'm-gonna-get-you dance is pretty much worthy of an Oscar (or whatever award would apply....). And being able to make her laugh is more rewarding than any career kudos I can think of.  She is, afterall, a much more demanding boss.

Nothing about the birth or motherhood was what I'd expected and planned for, and I'm not gonna lie and say it was all better than that, because sometimes it's not. The high points are higher than I could have expected, and the low points are lower than I ever anticipated.  I suppose that's life in a nutshell.

So yeah, it was a really fun night.  Thanks to Chinyere for inviting me and for the expecting parents for accepting me!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pretty New Blogger Templates!!

Blogger finally got some new templates and made the site WAY more customizable!!! I played with it a bit tonight, hence the new look, and will probably keep playing with it because it's FUN.  I'm also actively trying to think of a new blog name....again.  I feel like Mamarazzi isn't me because the paparazzi are photographers so it would imply that photography is my bag, but it's not, soooooo....I've got a couple ideas I'm tossing around.  Don't be surprised if you log in one day in the next couple of weeks and the name is different!  More on Hannah Banana later; Eric just put in a movie in that I want to watch.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Yin and Yang of Swim Class

As Grannah pointed out in a comment on a previous post, I haven't mentioned swim class since the first one so an update is in order.  Swimming is hands down my favorite Hannah activity in the universe.  She very obviously loves the water and has taken to frog kicking around while on her belly.  She doesn't love floating on her back as much and will only do so for a couple of seconds before wiggling herself back to her belly and resuming her happy little frog kick. While the other kids hang on to their moms (and one grandmother) with their legs on either side of the hips (like the normal way you'd hold a kid out of the water), Hannah refuses the cuddle hold preferring instead to be floating and kicking around on her stomach.  When the instructor has us blow bubbles, she licks the water.  When he has us do 1, 2, 3 blast off! which ends with an underwater dunk, she comes up looking slightly confused and then quickly resumes her happy frog kick.  When he has the kids sit on the side and kick, she watches the other kids intently (her feet don't reach the water), and when he has them jump in, she happily falls into my arms back into the water. If there's a ball  nearby, she'll push it all over the pool. If there's another kid smiling and splashing, she smiles and splashes back.  Today, I forget what the instructor was having her do, but he said to her, "You're fearless! You're going to be dangerous in the water!"  And for some reason, I took great pride in that.  I think he's right. We're going to have to make sure she's a good swimmer and that we watch her like a hawk.  This is reminding me of this little boy in the preschool swim classes I helped to teach during my summers as a lifeguard in high school.  This kid was super cute with a head of hair the color of Strawberry Shortcake's and a round little face full of freckles.  He never talked, but he was always smiling really big.  This kid had NO fear whatsoever.  He would just run and jump into the water and go down like a brick if you weren't watching.  Fortunately, we figured him out early on and we were always watching so even when he made it into the water, somebody dove in right after him to bring him up.  And it never scared him to go plummeting below the water like that. I'm not exaggerating when I say he sunk like a brick--he had one of those bodies  that just doesn't float.  He even went off the diving board with just as much enthusiasm.  I feel like that's how Hannah will be (minus the part about not talking--she is, after all, a child of mine and will therefore probably have the gift of gab).

Since Hannah is super freakin cute and also the youngest in the class, she gets a lot of attention from the older ladies doing their water aerobics nearby.  Today one of them asked me, "Does she ever cry?"  I thought she meant in the water so I said, "Yeah, she cried during the first class."  And she said, "No, I mean ever. Does she ever cry?"  I was like, "Ummm, YEAH. A LOT." I told her that swim class was our safe little happy place.  Later, in the locker room, Hannah screamed like she'd been abandoned in the middle of a buzzing L.A. freeway. It was so loud that I'm pretty sure the whole gym heard, and probably even the customers at the Target a mile down the road so that probably answered that lady's question.

Swim class: love.  Locker room: hate.  I put my suit on before we go but I don't change her till we get there.  I thought about changing her at home, but I don't want her swim diaper to be full before we even arrive.  So I find us a nice little spot in the locker room, lay her on a towel on the floor, change her as quickly as possible, and then slip out of my slide-on Merrill's and yoga pants lickety split.  But no matter how fast I am, she screams. Loudly. The post-swim class change, is way worse.  I have to get both of us out of our wet suits and into dry clothes AND since we just got out of a nice warm pool (it's heated to bathtub temperatures), the air outside the water feels cold.  I put it in super speedracer gear, wrap Hannah in her towel and lay her on top of another towel on the floor and then put my towel over her as more warmth before getting her from wet to dry but she's screaming the whole time like I'm pinching her while I'm doing it or something (I'm not, I promise).  Then, when she's nice and warm, I sit her up on the floor beside me, hand her my keys or some other toy, take back my towel, and strip from wet suit to dry clothes as fast as anyone is able to peel a soaking wet suit from themselves.  The whole time I'm doing this she's screaming and screaming and screaming at the very tip top of her lungs and women are glancing over as if to see what I could possibly be doing to her to make her scream like that and they're probably also wondering what kind of a nut job brings a baby swimming, but she's screaming so loud that when it's happening, I don't care about them, I just keep saying "I'm hurrying Hannah, I promise. It's okay. Everything's okay. I promise."  I dunno why I feel the need to continuously promise her this, but I do.

When this 6 week course is over, I'm not going to sign her up again, at least not right away.  The locker room fiasco is too much to do alone. If we were going to do it again, I'd have to do it at a time when Eric could be there to help.  By help, I mean hold her while I'm getting dressed because for some reason, she refuses to not be held in a number of situations.  Here's another one: while I'm making dinner.  Breakfast, yes. Lunch, sometimes. Dinner, never.  Today I was starving and she'd done well at lunch so I decided to give it a try but she refused to sit in her Jeep, her highchair, or on a blanket I had laid on the floor and piled high with toys as a last ditch effort. She screamed the whole time. I was thinking that it's kind of like what she does at night, and since I sit close by at night while she does this (I've started the Sleep Lady Shuffle again) and attempt to soothe her with my voice, that maybe I should treat other points in the day similarly where instead of always giving in and just picking her up, I stay close and talk reassuringly until she calms down. Please note, this takes me an hour at bedtime so if I were to start doing this throughout the day, that would be 4+ hours of standing by patiently while my daughter kirks out at top decibels.  I'm not saint or anything close so I'm pretty sure this would send me over the top and straight into the padded room. Regardless, I tried it anyway because I really wanted to just get dinner prepped, but I couldn't deal. I don't know why, but the screaming grated my nerves even more than usual and I must confess that I yelled at her at one point screaming "what do you want from me??? I'm HUNGRY and I want to make dinner and I need you to stop YELLING at me!!"  As you might have guessed, that did not help the situation.....So I picked her up and resumed one-handed cooking (difficult to do when attempting to stir up potatoes that are roasting in the oven and toss raw hamburger meat into a very heavy cast iron skillet).  You know how the cliche post-partum thing to say is "I just wanted to throw the baby out the window"? Well, I can honestly say that I have never had any of those feelings toward Hannah, even in a "but I wouldn't really do it" way, but I have had them for myself.  When super stressed like that, I want to throw MYSELF out of a window.  But in a "I wouldn't really do that way," so don't go getting all worried on me. I'm not suicidal--just dramatic.

But the main reason that I will probably not sign her up again is that we do basically the same stuff each week and it's all stuff that we can just do with her on our own. No need to pay to participate in a class. We'll just set a weekly time and have our own private swim class.

To ease your poor, tired eyes from this text heavy post, here's a pic of Hannah eating the cute little tye-dye socks that Jess gave her for Christmas.  And YES, they're clean.  (Sort of.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hannah the Tourist

We drove down to the Harbor yesterday afternoon in search of a Sprint store so Eric could get his phone fixed, and since it was so nice, I packed some water bottles, a sippy cup for Hannah, and of course, a camera to document Hannah's first tourist experience in her home city.  

Eric took a close-up of the above photo that has a better composition and the advantage of being able to see Hannah's face, but it cuts out the baby legs which for some reason, I feel the need to include.  And also, in the other one, my atrocious posture is way more noticeable.  I have GOT to get back into yoga!! I've started doing the neck jut thingy. Ugh.

When Hannah got tired of the Baby Hawk (and when my shoulders couldn't take it anymore), Eric carried her around.  She stole the straw to his lemonade and was happily chewing it in the photo below.  And yes, it looks weird.  The other two I took were extremely shadowed so I flipped on the flash for this one which bleached them out considerably, but even so, it was the least offensive of the three.

And another far away photo...when Eric got tired of carrying her, we put her in her stroller.  This was taken on one of those cool catwalk things. We found the Sprint store at the end of our trip and needed to cross the street and although there are crosswalks on the street, I prefer the experience of the catwalk so I dragged us all up the urine and puke smelling elevator so we could cross the street from up above and then Eric picked up the stroller and carried it down the stairs on the other side.  A waste of effort? Probably. But it was FUN! Anyway, look, I got a fun photo of Hannah with her dad and her Grannah who is visiting from Michigan.

And here's a random photo from before we left the house.  She was dressed so colorfully and sporting her Michigan ball cap that Grannah brought for her so I had to snap a few.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Little Milestones

Lots of little milestones to cover before I forget. First, she's crawling. It's very slow and hardly noticeable, but her knees have definitely started moving in a forward direction. Second, her third tooth came in a couple weeks ago. It's the fang tooth on the left side. I suppose the proper name for that tooth is "canine."  Since my canines came in halfway to my nose, my mom dubbed them fangs so that's what I've always called them.  That canine came in handy tonight because she also got her first little taste into the world of carnivores.  That would be the third milestone: she ate meat today for the first time. We had this amazing Broiled Rosemary Chicken, and I set aside a piece for Hannah.  There's also a lentil mix puree that goes with this dish so I set aside some lentils for her as well.  I pureed the chicken and lentils together with a little carrot, and she scarfed it!  This is the first time that her dinner closely resembled ours.

And finally, some more good news is that she is settling back into a sleep routine again.  She learned how to get down from her standing position, and she stopped screaming while standing, so I can leave her in there to wind herself down quietly and she'll stand up and sit down and roll around and fling her toys around and sing to herself until she gets really tired, then she starts fussing at which point, I head up and move her into a comfortable position if she's not already in one and cover her up.  Today her  naps were closer to their pre-I-can-stand-compounded-by-daylight-savings-time fiasco.  Although she took an hour to wind down before her afternoon nap, she did it quietly.  When I went to get her afterward, she was on her knees facing the headboard part of the crib with her Laura doll in one hand, pulling the bumper out with the other and shoving the doll between the bumper and crib. For some reason that cracked me up.

Here's a little photo sequence. I couldn't pick my favorite of the three so I just uploaded all of them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pretty Poop

Hannah had the prettiest poop today!  I started feeding her beets yesterday and gave them to her twice, so I figured her poops would be pretty. The world would be a much prettier place if all poops were magenta.  If I were president, I would make everyone eat more beets in an effort to beautify the place.  She definitely recognized the pretty color while eating them--I've never seen her stare at or play with her food so much.  The mess was pretty epic.  The highchair is permanently stained....Hopefully outfits are not.  Our dryer is broken so I can't do any emergency laundry....

In less gross news, Hannah is starting to express an eensy teensy bit of interest in books. Yesterday I was reading I Love You Stinky Face before nap and instead of grabbing it and shoving it into her mouth, she stared at the pictures and patted the pages.  Wahooo!!!

And finally, in other "wahooo" news, hubby got a job in this area so we'll be staying around here!!!!!!!!  Wahooooo!!!!! That means we get to raise Hannah around our community, which is something I always wanted for my children since I didn't have much of one growing up.  This combined with the fact that after 3 days of cleaning (inspired by my Mary Magdalen-esque and life-saving neighbor, MC, who cleaned our basement, including the bathroom down there, when I ended up at her house in tears on Monday morning), my house is almost clean.  The only thing I still have to do is the floors which I'll tackle tomorrow morning. WHEW!!!  I love a nice clean house.  So yeah, a good day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Karma Squared

Hannah started babbling on Friday. I was feeding her lunch and instead of her usual squealing and grunting, she started going "mumumumumuh." I interpreted that as "mama" and yelled for Eric to come downstairs and listen.  Lucky for me, she repeated it again (but has not repeated that consonant/vowel combo since). He immediately upped his efforts in the "dadadada" campaign.  I assured him that I haven't won yet since it doesn't really count until she can both control her voice box and understand WHAT she's saying.  So anyway, the weekend has been a constant babbling of fun new baby sounds and zerberts and of course, the usual squeals and grunts and screams.

Sleeping took an interesting turn when I awoke at 2:00 a.m. last night to find her standing in her crib....Sigh. Up until now I was complaining about how nap times were quickly becoming extinct with her new standing power, but I was grateful that she was at least still sleeping through the night. Hopefully last night was a fluke.  As far as naps are concerned, I'm waffling between being a lazy mom and saying, "Whatever, don't nap then. No skin off my back," and being the overachiever mom (more my OCD style) that re-reads the books I've collected on the subject and begins the re-training process complete with Team Kellogg t-shirts and cheerleaders standing by to cheer me on when I start nearing the finish line but am so exhausted that I think I might throw in the towel.  Which side will win out....This morning the lazy side won out but I have a good reason: I had no idea that today was the day we lose an hour.  So I put her in her crib at what I thought was 9:00 and about a half hour later I looked at the cable box and it said 10:40.  I did the classic double-take, wiped my eyes, and then checked my computer.  Then it dawned on me that it was that time of year. Since I don't leave the house often, I didn't overhear anyone talking about this year and I never once thought about it.  So since nap time is supposed to be from about 9ish to 10:30ish and since she was still standing up screaming at 10:45, I decided to call off the morning nap.  Then at noon she fell asleep nursing....Not bad though. Afternoon nap is usually at 1:00 so falling asleep at 12:00 isn't too far off. No skin off my back...

Since she's gotten so big so fast, sometimes I forget that she's actually quite small...So I took this picture of our bathing suits drying together on the back of the bathroom door. I hung them there Monday after swim class and promptly forgot about them until a certain trip to the bathroom left me more in the moment than usual and observing my surroundings.  Crazy thinking about how Hannah will one day fit into a suit my size and be as big as me and having babies and stuff....It trips me out to think about how my mom went through all this a few decades ago, and Hannah will be going through it a few decades from now. Circle of life stuff. Unless, of course, she chooses a different path that does not involve babies which is also fine except that I can see how being a grandma would be a grand role to play, and I would like the opportunity to be one, especially the grandmother of a baby who is every bit as high maintenance as Hannah so I can tell the future mommy Hannah what my mom constantly tells me which is:  "you get what you gave." And I would stifle my chuckles when Hannah came to me complaining about HOW MUCH her daughter screams, but I would put on a sympathetic face and come over to snuggle my screaming grand-baby so that my daughter can take an hour to clean the house (HAH!) or take a nap or go to the gym and the screaming wouldn't stress me out because it wouldn't be MY baby screaming and I wouldn't think that it was ALL MY FAULT and whip myself mercilessly with the bad mommy whip.  And that, my dear readers, is karma squared.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A grueling practice

The initial wahooo of Hannah being capable of pulling herself up to standing in her crib has been replaced do I say it....annoyance.  While I am thrilled with her strength and desire to move and explore, her dedication to this new activity is driving me over the edge.  Instead of just practicing her pull ups AFTER waking up from nap or night, she has started practicing BEFORE going to sleep and sometimes INSTEAD OF SLEEPING.  She practices them over and over again for 45 minutes to an hour every time before she either gives up and goes to sleep or I give up and go get her.  The worst part is that she screams while practicing.

So even though I know she is tired, and even though I'm laying her down at about the same time that I always do, armed with this new control over her body, she is refusing to sleep.  I lay her down, and she immediately ooches over to the slats and pulls herself up.  I lay her back down, she stands back up. Back when I was reading the Sleep Lady book and dealing with her lack-of-sleeping issue the first time, I read a passage that advises the reader not to have a battle of wills with the baby because the baby will always win and instead to let them stand there until they fall asleep on their own.  According to the Sleep Lady, they won't hurt themselves if they fall over....While I'm thinking it'd be quite easy for Hannah to whack her head on some part of the crib on the way down, I remembered this advice from the Sleep Lady and heeded it anyway.   Now, I'm not doing the full Sleep Lady training because I haven't had the time--I have to WORK while she naps--so I've been laying her down, then booking it downstairs to work while keeping one eye on the monitor, and then after about 20 minutes when the screaming has escalated to unbearable decibels, I run back upstairs, quickly but gently lay her down, and start to pat her and soothe her but don't usually get too far because she immediately pulls her knees up under her and starts reaching for the crib bars again. Sometimes I pull her legs out from under her and resume my butt patting and shushing, but she usually has her legs up under her again within seconds and is standing up again before I've even made it downstairs, so I give up and run back downstairs to resume working. I return every 10 to 15 minutes after that depending on the decibel of the screaming.  Sometimes she gives up after 45 minutes or so and stay laying down after the 76th time of me laying her down (she has yet to fall asleep standing up and fall over).  Sometimes I give up after an hour and begrudgingly bestow a get-out-of-nap-free card.

She's practicing at bed time too, except on the days that she doesn't take her afternoon nap. On those days (two this week), she falls asleep nursing and stays asleep when I lay her down.  Tonight is one of those nights which is why I have the opportunity to blog. Yesterday afternoon she practiced for 45 minutes and then slept for 45 minutes which provided her with enough stamina to practice again for a couple of hours before bed.  I was in tears by 8:00.  I need to re-read this section in Sleep Lady, pull a chair next to the crib, and start the training over.  But I'd have to take a couple days off work to do it and just haven't felt like dealing with it. It's a lot to commit to and I was willing to do it before because I thought it'd be a one-time thing where you suck it up for a short bit and then reap the rewards. I didn't expect to have to start the training over a month later because she learned how to stand up. I should just take a couple days off and re-train. It's not like my job needs me.  They really haven't needed me since I returned. I'm not sure why they pay me considering all I do is constantly take online training courses and read leadership and business acumen books.  As much as I like that stuff, I've exceeded boredom and am moving into the territory that I imagine prisoners reach when they'v finished a book for the 76th time and run out of thoughts to think.  My brain is turning into pureed peas.

Pureed peas and insanity are filling up my head.  Hannah's screaming and refusal to sleep cuts into my work time and cuts into my me time, and there's not a lot of either so any kind of a cut poses a problem, but like her mama, nothing Hannah ever does is half ass so these cutbacks have been pretty severe. The result is a moody mama.  I've been in an unshakable funk for the past few days. I'm exhausted but antsy.  I'm bored but overwhelmed. I need a third parallel to make this a better rant but I can't think of a third.  I don't know what I need. More yoga? Probably. I've skipped the past couple weeks. More sleep? Always.  Even though Hannah has been sleeping through the night for about a month now, I feel like I'll never catch up from the first couple months. More gym time?  Some weeks, yes.  I forced myself to go this morning even though I was tired and groggy and just wanted to crawl under the covers and stay there. Usually the gym helps me and since I hadn't been since last Friday, I figured there was a good chance that my lack of blood flow and heart pump was cutting off the veins that supply my head with sanity.  This time the gym didn't help, but it also didn't hurt.

The weather here has been amazing. It's the kind of weather that ALWAYS makes me super happy, but even that isn't helping.  So after returning from the gym this morning and while nursing Hannah, I decided we needed to get outside again, keep the blood and the Vitamin D flowing.  So we put Hannah in the stroller and walked up to Miss Shirley's for lunch (see above pic of Hannah in her stroller, laid back).  I packed Hannah's lunch and a couple of toys.  She sat in a high chair and ate with us and didn't scream once. It was awesome. The walk also provided me and hubby with some much needed quality talk time.  All was well again when I returned home, but then Hannah refused to nap and the sanity started draining out again.  I took a personal day at work today because of how I've been feeling; I decided I need to rest and was very much looking forward to being lazy and taking a nap while she napped instead of racing off to the computer to work.  No such luck. No laziness to be had.  After almost an hour of her screaming and either me or hubby running up and down the stairs every 10 minutes or so, I took her into our bed and nursed her with the hopes that she would fall asleep next to me with her cheek smashed up against my boob like she used to when she was younger. I think it kinda worked because the clock went from 2:13 to 2:39 pretty quickly, but she was suckling the whole time so I know she wasn't too out of it.  But at least we got cat naps.

After cat naps, hubby left to go have guy time, and me and Hannah headed to the kitchen to make her some more quinoa and peas since we'd run out of both.  Hannah played happily in her Jeep for a bit but then started fussing louder and louder until, halfway through pouring the peas into the ice cub trays (quinoa still on the stove), I gave up and picked her up. Noticing the clock said 4:55, I took Hannah out front to get some fresh air and stalk MC.  I knew that if she didn't go to the gym, she'd be arriving home for work within a couple minutes and if we were outside, I thought my chances of intercepting her and talking her into saving me from my baby were pretty good.  Luck was on our side because MC skipped the gym today and pulled up in front of the house a few minutes after we went out.  She got out of her car with a big smile, calling out "Hi Peanut!" and I instantly felt better, but also worse at the same time because I started feeling guilty. Anyway, I ignored the guilt and accepted the help that MC offered and because of her, managed to get the peas in the ice cube trays, the quinoa pureed and also in the trays and in the freezer, and Hannah fed without a breakdown.  I'm so glad that we have such amazing neighbors.

That was an exhausting rant.  If you can still see straight after all that reading, use them to check out these pictures I took yesterday when hubby got home.  Although he usually tries to change his clothes before holding Hannah, she met him at the door and he couldn't resist her insistent cries to be held. That and she was practically launching herself out of my arms in an effort to get to him.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

6-Month Checkup Stats and other Stories

Hannah had her 6-month checkup today.  Yeah, yeah, we're a month late.  I thought I'd made appointments for the 2-, 4-, and 6-month checkups at the same time and didn't realize there was nothing on my calendar for 6 months until the end of the 5th month.  I guess her pediatrician is super busy and popular because they couldn't fit us in until today.  She got the third round of her vaccines and cried way less than the first two rounds which was nice because her appointment was during her afternoon nap (1:30) which means she was exhausted and then to have poked her little legs all up and THEN stick her in a car to head back down I-83....That was a potential disaster for my car-hating loudmouth of a daughter.  But she sat back there playing with the car seat toy that Sondra and my Dad brought up to her this weekend, cooing contently. Whew!! That thing is a big hit. I still don't think it's enough to get us to Tennessee though--I think we need an RV for that kind of a haul--but at least I can get around town now without ear plugs.

This morning Hannah slept late until 7:30 and upon waking, immediately pulled herself into a standing position. I know she did that after her nap on Sunday, but it was somehow more momentous first thing in the I had to grab the camera, again.  Her and that tongue....

She did it again this afternoon when I tried to lay her down for a very late afternoon nap. Instead of sleeping, she was standing. I decided she needed to learn how to get back down by herself, and anyway, it was nap time, so I left her like that for a while. Eventually she was kinda slouched over so I went up, rearranged her, and left, but she immediately pulled back up into standing.  She's got it figured out now and can do it in no time.  I told the pediatrician that and she said that Hannah would be walking in no time....I'm sure it'll still be a while (hopefully), and in the meantime, I have my hands full with her constant squirming.  Today we were sitting on the couch and she started pulling stuff off the end table and shoving it into her mouth.  First the sleep log (which she's tried to eat on many occasions), then Eric's magazine, then my yogi figurine. I just kept taking stuff until there was nothing left on the table and then I put some toys there.  Those weren't nearly as interesting though. Paper products are her favorite.  Today in Whole Foods, she screamed throughout the store because I wouldn't let her eat my grocery list. I had a bag full of toys that she had zero interest in.  If I diverted my gaze for a second to look at an item, she was leaned over and shoveling the list into her mouth before I knew what hit me.  Then I'd take it and the screaming would commence.  Is there any healthy paper out there that babies can eat???? I need a paper food product....Side note: Hannah rode in the cart yesterday for the very first time (at Target) and today for the second time (at Whole Foods).  She likes it for a couple minutes but then insists on being picked up.

That was a tangent. Back to squirmy Hannah.  Changing diapers has become an athletic event requiring dexterity, endurance, and quick thinking.  Here's another area that as a pre-mama, I assumed I would have under control.   I remember the days of acrobatic diaper changing from my years and years of babysitting, and I specifically remember thinking about that when pregnant and deciding that my baby would sit still for the 2 minutes it took to change her diaper.  It would be as easy as remaining calm and gently but firmly asking her to sit still for a moment.  I tried that the other day. The results were less than effective.  So I changed tactics and decided to become an expert at putting on diapers upside down (she likes to flip over onto her belly and get on all fours) and dressing her that way as well.  The only thing I can't do from that position is zip or snap her outfit.  Since I took the camera with me when I went to get her this morning, I paused in my attempts at changing her and snapped a few pics. She should sleep late more often--she was full of energy this morning.

Now that I've got you walking through her morning routine...After I change and nurse her, I make the bed and put her on it with her floor toy thingy and a couple of other toys while I get dressed and do my stretches.

I don't know what she's tripping out on in this one...

Before I forget, her stats:
Length: 27 1/2 inches (I think she said that Hannah was in the 90th percentile here)
Weight: 15 pounds, 4 ounces 
Head circumference: 44.2 cm

Her weight was cause for a teeny bit of concern because the charts show it going in a curve and it should always curve up (weight corresponding with growth), but this time the dot she made, if connected to the one before, would show the curve going down.  Her weight is still toward the top of the chart and well above the average in her age group, but it just hasn't accelerated the way that it was accelerating.  So we talked about that briefly and I explained that sometimes Hannah will only nurse for 3-5 minutes at a time (despite me not allowing her to snack), just enough to tide her over so she can get on with her day.  She's eager to get on with playing and exploring and moving, and more so than that, she's eager to play with Daddy.  We've got a new rule now where when it's time for Hannah to nurse, Eric has to leave the room and remain very quiet because otherwise, Hannah won't eat.  She is such a daddy's girl that she would rather starve in his arms than be away from him for one second that he's home.  Don't worry, my feelings aren't hurt by that--I knew when she was in the belly that she was destined to be a daddy's girl, I mean, look at Eric.  He's a big softy.  And their astrological signs fit together waaaaaaay better.  But aside from me having suspected this, another reason I don't mind is that it means that a lot of the times that Eric is home, my hands are free!! Wahoooo! It's totally worth it.  

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bear Country

Mother Earth eased up on us this weekend and provided some lovely 50+ degree temperatures; that's enough to make me run skipping out of my cave of hibernation.  There is only one thing better than spring and that's summer.  Bring it on!!!  Yesterday was one of the best Saturdays we've had in a long time. After Hannah woke up from her afternoon/after swim class nap, we broke out our new used stroller (found this $190 stroller for $50 on Craig's List) and tried it out on a short walk to the library to pick up my book club book.  Love it!!  This stroller is super light and takes up very little space.  I'm a big fan.  Today was an even nicer day for a walk so we decided to try out another new toy: the baby carrying backpack that Joel bought Eric for Christmas (sort of like this one but black).  Another awesome mode of transportation for her.  Eric said it was super comfortable and Hannah seemed to love the vantage point.  Thanks Joel!

Watch out for bears (in backpacks)!

Ack! Bears that transform into reindeers!

Double ACK!!!! As I was uploading pics, Hannah woke up from her nap.  Since she was squealing with delight, I had no qualms about leaving her in her crib, but after a few more squeals I decided to check the video monitor to see what she was up to.  WELL, it's a good thing we lowered the crib last week because she managed to pull herself into a FULL STANDING position and was standing there squealing at the cat who sleeps at the foot of the big bed that we keep in the nursery.  Full standing! I grabbed the camera and ran upstairs.

Oh yeah, I have a couple of cute ones of her in that outfit too.  I was going to save them for later this week but since this turned into another everything-but-the-kitchen-sink post, I'll just throw 'em up now.

So yeah, it was a pretty fun/relaxing/awesome weekend!

Delusions of Grandeur (That Most Pre-Mamas, Myself Included, Are Guilty Of)

"Of course I wanted to be a mother one day, but I would be so different from any other mother because I WAS A BOOMING METEOR OF A WOMAN WITH A LIFE FOR GOD'S SAKE! I had energy! Ideas! Plans! No child was going to crash-land my party.  You wouldn't find me slaving over laundry or wiping sticky green stuff of refrigerator doors.  I wasn't going to be like those other mothers who whined, "Oh! I cannot get a single thing done all day!" "You wimp," I'd think. Not me, I had it all planned out: I'd birth Ruby, bond with her, and then resume life as I knew it, writing, working, reading, going to movies and restaurants.  Ruby would be nearby, strapped on to me like some exotic appendage, delightful, lovely, and obedient, living my life with me.  "Wow!" people would exclaim, "and you're a mother, too!" "Yep," I'd grin, "Ain't I amazing?"

Laurie Wagner from Expectations: 30 Women Talk About Becoming a Mother

Saturday, March 6, 2010

First Swim Class!

I have been looking forward to Hannah's first swim class since the day she was born. No clue why; I guess just because I've always liked swimming so much.  My mom had me in swim classes at the YMCA when I was 6 months old, and I always knew I'd do the same when I had kids.  Hannah was 7 months yesterday so we were a teeny bit behind that schedule, but not much.  We are taking classes through our gym.  They have a Get Wet program that's for ages 6 months to 3 years.  I registered us for Thursday evenings at 5:00 because Eric is home then and I really wanted him to be able to do this with her too, but we were the only ones who signed up for that unpopular time frame so it was canceled.  The only other time they have that Eric could go to is Saturday mornings at 10:00.  This is not cool since it means Hannah has to skip her morning nap, but I really, really wanted Eric to be there for at least the first class so the administrator for this program, when he called to tell me that Thursdays were getting canceled, allowed us to go to on Saturday for the first class and then switch over to Mondays at 11:30 which aligns perfectly with Hannah's napping.

The other benefit to having her first class be on a Saturday is that Hannah had quite a fan club who was happy to cheer from the sidelines.  Grammy met us at the house this morning and rode there with us, and my dad and his girlfriend got the address and met us there.  I was a little embarrassed at first about the crowd--I mean, it's a parent-accompanied swim class, not her Broadway debut--but then it occurred to me how nice it is that Hannah has such a loving and supportive community eager to share in all her firsts, no matter how trivial, and then I was happy to have everyone there because that's what I always wanted for her, even before there was a "her."  

So Eric donned his swim trunks this morning, and mom and I grabbed our cameras and documented the occasion from the pool deck.  From that station, I also provided hand clapping and encouragement to Hannah who frequently looked my way with a "are-you-sure-about-this-pool-thing-mom?" look on her face.  In spite of her uncertainty, she seemed like she was having fun and was quite amicable for about the first 20 minutes or so (it's a 30 minute class), then part of the class is to start passing your kid in a circle to the next parent until your kid gets the whole way back to you (this class had the maximum people at 6 parent-child couples).  Hannah was surprisingly calm the first time around, but by the time she finished that first circle, she had caught on to what was happening so when the teacher had them do it again, she started crying.  Eric let her get about halfway around the circle before rescuing her.  She was pretty upset by this time so he brought her over to the side and I picked her up and 'nuggled her till she calmed down.

Grammy took this first pic.  It's a bit blurry, but it's also the one where she has the cutest smile so I opted to upload it anyway.

Grammy also took this pic (obviously I didn't).

I also uploaded two videos, both of which will make even the sea-leggiest person nauseas so watch at your own risk.  Both have pretty cute endings though so they might be worth it.

The first one is from Grammy's camera.

When we got home, I nursed Hannah and she stayed there suckling for a long time, just like she does before bed.  I suppose she needed comfort and a chance to rest and decompress from all the excitement. Then after about a half hour of quiet time in playing in her crib, she passed out and slept for 2-1/2 hours.

She only gets a 1-day break because our next class is Monday.  I'll have to go that one alone which will be no easy task given that I didn't see any baby changing tables in either the women's locker room or the family changing rooms (what kind of family changing room doesn't have a changing table??).  I guess they don't expect a lot of babies....Anyway, since I'll be flying solo, there won't be pics.

Oh, and how freakin cute is her suit!!! I love it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baby Dates

Hannah had her first real play date today.  I've taken her to Erin's a couple times, but since her kids are 2 years and 2 months, it's more of a mommy play date.  Hannah likes having new people to watch, but she's mostly a fly on the wall in those situations.  In a couple more months she'll be able to play with baby Addison, but in the mean time, the most interactive it got was when Hannah tried to grab Addison's hand while they were both laying on the blanket (very cute by the way!).  But today, Libby brought Asa over and since he's a year, he was able to share some life secrets that he's picked up along the way with Hannah.

Secret #1 Hugs are good

Secret #2 Sharing is almost always a good idea

Secret #3 When it comes to sunglasses, bigger is better

Secret #4 When freshly picked, boogers are a tasty, low-calorie snack

Secret #5 Pushing all the buttons at once creates a cacophony of noise finer than any professional symphony

Cutie patoots.

I realize the secrets moved away from "awww" and into "ewww," but gimme some credit for even dabbling in the "awws"! You know that's not my style. There was only so much of it I could handle before throwing in a reference to boogers....