Archive for January, 2008

baby week 11: who’s a big girl?

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

last week we upgraded her footed sleepers, but left the rest of her wardrobe largely in place. friday afternoon i struggled getting a onezie over her head, pulled some pants on her that struggled to cover her diaper, went through a few pairs of socks before finding some that weren’t ridiculously small, and realized it was probably time for a full upgrade. this evening i swapped out the rest of her clothes. she has more “real person” outfits to wear now. i look forward to playing dress up with her :)

also today, instead of opening up the package of “size 1″ diapers, i picked up one of the “size 2″ that we’d received as part of a diaper cake. the 1’s still fit well enough, but elastic lines were clearly visible on her behind. the 2’s seem to be a bit better and perhaps more capable of containing her next poop-quake.

we’ll be picking up new diapers and probably a few undershirt-like onezies the next time we’re at the store. they seem to be the only thing that baby showers and gifts didn’t provide for the next 3 “months”.

baby week 10.5: good nap

Monday, January 21st, 2008

they say that babies grow and “learn” while they sleep. well, if not learning while they sleep, internalizing and hard-wiring the things they learned throughout the day. charlotte must have had some good naps this weekend, because she’s a different baby today.

for starters, i noticed that the 0-3 month sleepers were getting a bit short. when i examined the 3-6 month ones, they looked a little long. better a little long than too short, so i washed them up and put them in the dresser. thanks to this week’s poop-quake, we’ve already gone through two of them today, and i must say, they fit much better. she also *looks* like she grew another inch or so overnight, but i’m sure that’s a trick of the eye. she’s a skinny little mini, so they’re a bit wide on her. we’re still keeping the smaller onezies, tops, and foot-less pants out, since they’re not as affected by the length issue.

we also bumped the straps in the car carrier up a notch. she’s much more comfortable now, sitting more upright and much less hunched. i feel kind of bad that we hadn’t done it sooner.

one of charlotte’s favorite toys is a leapfrog seat with a bar across it. the bar has 3 shapes that dangle from it and when you hit them, music plays for about 5 minutes or so. when it stops, you need to hit one of the shapes again to make it go. after a weekend of daddy showing her how it works, today she started triggering it on her own. i don’t think she’s quite figured out that it’s the hand and the shape making the music, but she knows if she bounces around and flails her arms in their general direction, more often than not, she’ll get what she wants.

after the poop-quake rendered the seat inoperable until it gets laundered, i dropped her in her swing to finish cleaning up. normally she looks up at the mobile and track the animals. today, she greeted the with a spontaneous smile and some cooing, as if the were old friends. she has done that before, with the mobile in her crib, but never the swing. she was much more engaged than she’s ever been, and for much longer.

all this added mobility and sight means she’s better entertained by the world around her. this makes her a much happier baby than she was a month ago, and has made it much easier to care for her while doing other things like laundry and blog writing :)

CTotD: rocking baby

Friday, January 18th, 2008

she’s strong enough now that (with help) she can sit on my lap in the previously mentioned bouncy/rocking chair. when you’re bouncing, she can bounce along with you, keeping her body and head upright. when you stop, she slows down, the starts rocking even harder as if to say “what happened to my ride?”

it is the cute thing of the day.

baby week 10: doctor’s visit

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

today we had a mini-checkup at the doctor’s office and learned the following:

  • charlotte weighs 10lbs, 6oz
  • with a weight gain of 10oz over the past 2 weeks, she’s just fine
  • that’s she’s probably not teething, but those little bumps “sure are weird”
  • that she spends a bit too much time on her right side, so now she needs to spend a bit too much time on her left to even things out
  • that all formulas are mostly created equal – just stick to the normal non-fancy milk replacement ones

and that’s about it until her 4 month checkup in 6 weeks!

baby week 9: digestion “issues”

Monday, January 14th, 2008

the internet tells me that babies that are breast-fed exclusively may not poop for days at a time. this is because breast milk is so “perfect” that most of it is used up, leaving little for waste, aka poop. while the expert articles suggest that 5-7 days is normal, the anecdotal evidence in the articles’ comments mention 10+ days to more than 2 weeks as being perfectly healthy.

since about new year’s day, charlotte’s pooping habits changed. instead of almost always going (every diaper change was both wet and dirty), it was like someone fixed the leaky faucet. she’d go once, maybe twice a day, sometimes 36 hours between poops and the rest of her diapers would be wet but clean. then the big break happened. charlotte pooped last saturday night (1/5) and again the next morning. then she went on a poop strike. on thursday i called the pediatrician. i wanted some verbal confirmation that the internet and its experts weren’t lying to me. the nurse said that it was perfectly normal since she was happy and eating regularly. she told me to call back on monday (today) if she still hadn’t gone, but that they would likely just tell me to keep watching her if she was still happy and healthy.

so we waited and she farted (super-stinky farts) with increasing regularity. saturday night (day 6ish of the poop-strike), she demonstrated that everything was still working by dropping a dime-sized amount. then nothing. had the nurse not told me she wasn’t going to be concerned and if we didn’t have an appt. on thursday already, i might have called today. as it was, i didn’t have to.

there we were, minding our own business, playing “how strong is my neck” (pulling her into a sitting position slowly by her arms) and the poop-strike was over. she of course gave no indication that anything different was going on, and would have been content to keep playing, regardless of how leaky she’d become. one very dirty diaper, several wipes, an impromptu second bath, and a new onesie later and she was happy as a clam. i also changed clothes.

as if we weren’t having enough fun, we’re fairly certain she’s on the cusp of teething as well. she has two bumps in her mouth where her lower canines might grow. when you rub them, she clamps down on your finger and is content. when she’s cranky at night (a different sort of cranky than colic), she’s content about 10 minutes after you give her a shot of tylenol.

we have a doctor’s appointment on thursday to verify that she’s gaining weight steadily enough. i’m glad she pooped today instead of closer to the appointment. it’ll give us time to fill her back up ;)

picture post!

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

i added a bunch of new pictures to the flickr account, today. it no longer “stops” at thanksgiving. my favorite is this one, although some others come close

oh, and it turns out that breast-fed babies sometimes go a week or more without pooping. how weird is that? charlotte’s record is 4 days and counting.  i’m kind of hoping she “breaks her streak” when she’s being babysat by grandpa tonight or grandma tomorrow, but for their sake, i kinda hope ryan and i are the ones that have to deal with the next “poop-quake”.  

two months in: stuff i use and stuff i don’t

Monday, January 7th, 2008

things i love:

  • the boppy: every time i try to feed her without it, i remember why i love it.
  • all things medela: i listened to the internet and the crazy-jolly lactation consultant who said that people try others to save a buck or two, but usually end up with the pump in style, so i started with it. i pump about once a day, more if i miss a feeding, and it’s wonderful. the bags are awkward to pump into, so i pump into a bottle and then package into the bags. their microsteam bags make for easy cleanup. i also pump one breast at a time. it takes longer, but uses less stuff and allows me to do something more than hold the pumps in place ;)
  • receiving blankets by amy coe: the only ones we could find that were the right material, and large enough for swaddling. they must be popular, since i can rarely find them at target, and they’re not online, either.
  • old-school cloth diapers: we received a stack embellished with cute ribbons as a shower gift. more absorbent, better protecting, and softer than any burp cloth you can buy.
  • t-shirts: we use the gerber ones under sleepers and when we swaddle.
  • fuzzy sleepers: fleece, i suppose is what you’d call them. anyway, they’re great for keeping her toasty enough to nap in, or head out in this weather.
  • lavender lab: is it a coincidence that she started sleeping 6+ hours at night once santa delivered one? i don’t think so.
  • waterproof pads: one in the bed, one on the changing table…a few more waiting to be used at a moment’s notice
  • the ikea chair: just the right amount of “bounce” for a rocker. (we don’t use the ottoman, though)
  • schick intuition: it counts. it came in my “breast is best, but here’s some formula” bag of samples and coupons. it cuts leg-shaving down to about 3 minutes, which means i actually get to do it every once in a while ;)
  • bundle me: sits in the baby carrier and is perfect for outings in less than ideal weather. plus, the “top” zips right off so there’s no issue on weirdly-warm days.

things i’m not using

  • hats: oh, she hates them.
  • gowns: one part onesie, one part blanket sleeper. not warm enough to use alone for napping.
  • swaddlers: the material is waaaay too forgiving for a fussy baby who likes to kick, which is kind of the whole reason to swaddle.
  • misc blankets: again, nothing made of a material that stretches in the least will do any good for swaddling, and most other blankety needs are met by other things.
  • almost everything in the room/bedding kit: there are no windows in her room, so the valance was out. the blanket is too …stiff and pretty to be of any use. the bumper looks good, but “they” say that you shouldn’t use them when the baby actually sleeps in the bed. that leaves a diaper storage container (cute, but impractical. and the hanger broke under the weight of a “full” load of diapers), the crib ruffle (likeable, but mostly hidden by the crib we purchased), and a fitted sheet (buyable on its own)
  • pants: since she doesn’t spend a lot of time with her legs straight, they look kind of silly. they get in the way of diaper changes, without being easily movable like a zippered or snapped sleeper or onesie.

…that’s all i can think of at the moment, but i know i’ve thought of more things while i’ve been composing this in my head.

baby checkup: 2 months

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

okay, so she’s not 2 months until tuesday, but she had her two-month checkup today, so it still counts.

charlotte continues to be healthy. we chatted about various things like developmental milestones, cradle cap, dry skin, and the fact that she kicks like a fiend. the doctor assured us that she was perfectly normal. she also doesn’t have pink eye. which makes one of us ;)

she’s of average length (22.25 inches), but a bit small (9lbs 12 oz). we’re hitting all the numbers (feedings, dirty/wet diapers), but since she hasn’t gained weight as rapidly since the last appointment as she had for the two before this one, there’s some slight concern. it’s likely that the last week’s bought of sickness on my part has caused some of this. turns out dehydrated mommies don’t make all that much milk. we’ll be going back in a couple of weeks to make sure that she’s still growing at a decent clip.

in the mean time, we’re going to make some slight adjustments to her feedings. she’s been averaging about 6 – 8 feedings a day, but when she gets fussy between feedings, we distract her with other things instead of giving her a boob (which *always* works, at least while she’s attached). we’re going to stop doing that from now on, at least when i’m around. i’m also going to always offer both boobs at each feeding, no matter how sated she looks after draining the first one. i stopped writing down all the ins and outs early last month, but i’m going to start it up again, just to prove to me that we’re still on track.

then it came time for the vaccines. one by mouth (with a bit of tylenol to start us off), went very smoothly. i wasn’t too surprised. she’s easily distractible by new/different sensations, especially in her mouth (vitamins, gas drops, etc). then there were shots. two in each thigh in very rapid succession. while it was happening, charlotte and i had a good talk about how they hurt, but it was okay, and they were good for her, so it needed to be done. i’m not sure how much she understood, but it certainly made me feel better. she let out a few cries after the shock of all 4 shots was over that hit completely new pitches and volume levels, but that was about it. she fell asleep before we had made it back to the waiting room to schedule her new appointments. perhaps the colic has taught us how to soothe her quickly, and taught her that pain is temporary and she’ll be fine soon. she slept until we got home and cried a bit more when she woke up. once she had food, however, she stopped caring again.

she’s not any more fussy than she normally is as far as duration or tone, but the intensity of the wails is a bit sharper this evening. it’s like she’s maximizing the capacity of her newfound range. her legs seem a wee bit swollen, but i think that’s largely my imagination.

it’s odd, really, and a bit anticlimactic after all the “just you wait” warnings we’ve received from all of our baby-having friends. i expected all of us to be much more upset over the whole thing.

maybe at her 4-month set?

baby week 7: you mean they’re not all like this?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

charlotte and i are almost through our first bout of mommy-sickness. unfortunately, i got a head cold and a flu/bug thing overlapping. also complicating the mix was some daddy-sickness with the same bug. two weak, vomitting people does not a parent make. my mom came over for quite a while on saturday so that ryan and i could rest and charlotte could get the attention neither of us were capable of giving. now all that’s left is the residual cold-related coughing and cranky throat/lungs. i’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a lung infection like so many colds of mine do. we ran into some dehydration-related supply issues with breastfeeding, but i think we’ll be back on track by tomorrow.

the forced down time allowed me to catch up in my what to expect: the first year book, and reading between the lines has taught me a few things. specifically, that we have a “challenging” baby. it’s not just the colic (which, don’t get me wrong, is quite challenging), but apparently she’s extra-active. i hadn’t really thought about it. when we get together with other babies near-enough her age it’s either at over-stimulated holiday events or outings where all babies stay tightly bundled away in their carriers. so i haven’t had much to compare with, and know better than to take such a small amount of anecdotal evidence as any indication.

i’m not really complaining, mind you. for us it’s normal babyness. i know that extra-active has some “perks”, that she’s not alone, or too far from a “norm”, and that some of the active/colic-related habits we’ve gotten into are partially due to choices towards the path of least resistance we’ve made over the few short weeks we’ve been parents. some of that’s going to have to change in the next few weeks as she approaches 3 months and needs some better habits, especially around “nap-time”.

it’s just sort of weird to realize that not all babies kick and squirm and wiggle around as much as charlotte does. that people can put them down for naps without being swaddled, with possibly being slightly awake and the baby doesn’t scream her head off.

if anything, this realization has stopped the almost constant “and some people have two?” monologue that’s been going on in my head. :)