Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mantras and giggles

EG has been stuck in her 3 month growth spurt for over a week.  It began on the heels of our return from visiting family and has been making life harder for all of us.  She started getting up during the night to eat, has not been her usual smiley self and cried her mantra cry frequently.  She's finally settling back into her old routines a bit...napping regularly and waking up happier.  Today she truly giggled for the first time.  She has figured out how to suck in a big gulp of air and we think it naturally led to a giggle which she then repeated several times for our listening pleasure.  Sweet!  It's a great giggle.

I was repeating a mantra of my own today.  I used to be a pretty good softball player, but E had never seen me play.  My sister-in-law asked me to play in a tournament this weekend to raise money for cancer research.  E and I both thought it was a good chance for her to see me play and for me to get to see a bunch of old friends.  Sure enough I saw tons of people from the good old softball days who all teased me about being too old for this.  My mantra:  I just don't want to get hurt.  Being the old softball player I am, I dove for a ball, twisted my hand wrong and now have three broken bones in it.  So much for mantras.  I will have to experiment with new ways of picking up and playing with EG.  The good news is that it's my right hand and I'm a lefty.  And, nothing out of place.  And, no cast.    

And,  I have a wonderful partner who wanted to know more of me.  And, EG giggled today.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


When EG was first born, I had no idea what to do with her. I didn't do nearly enough reading on how manage a day with a newborn. At her two week appointment we asked the doctor, "Should we be doing anything with her?" Our fabulous doctor said, "Just talk to her. Talk to her all the time. She needs language." Now, that didn't help with how to manage her day, but it did give us some direction.

We had two baby books that we relied on when we started: The Baby Book by Dr. Sears and What to expect the 1st year. We also googled everything. Now, around 6 weeks I decided I needed to know more and I went to the bookstore almost everyday to buy another book to read. Here is what I learned:

There are two ends of a very wide spectrum on how to manage newborns/babies:

1. Dr. Sears: Attachment Parenting: feed on demand, co-sleep, wear the baby in a sling, breastfeed, no set schedule or routine, and let the baby show you the way.

2. BabyWise: Ezzo's bestseller that puts a baby on a schedule from day one. The baby eats, has play time, and sleeps in that order every 3 hours no matter what. Very, very structured including "adult time, play pen time, and car seat sitting time."

I want to add that for a long time we had no idea what the hell we were doing. EG is not an angel baby. She is very, very active and has been since she was born. I also struggled with postpartum issues. However, we have come to a great place where she is just wonderful and we found our way by reading, researching, watching EG like a hawk, calling M's sister daily for advice (she has three great kids and mothers with great ease -- she's our idol) and trying new things that were developmentally appropriate.

The book we liked the best was The Baby Whisperer. It gave us very practical ideas and strategies to use. The main thing we use is a running log of her days. This helped us see her natural nap pattern and build her day to encourage her natural rhythm. The author is also very in tune with the huge differences between a newborn and a 3 month old. We also use a few Attachment Parenting practices. We did co-sleep for the first month, we breastfed for awhile, I "wear" EG in a sling at least once a day, M takes her for daily walks in the Bjorn, and we let her guide us through what she needs.

I have huge issues with Babywise. I know many awesome parents who swear by the book, but I read it (it was a gift - I refused to buy it) and it made me crazy. One part says something like: "do you ever wonder why you don't have that happy perfect little child you see out in the stores..." OHMYGOD. EG is ALWAYS perfect in stores. She is captivated by the lights, smells, and sights, but that doesn't mean she is perfect or that some other child isn't because they are hungry or tired and upset to be in the store. The other reason I have issues with BabyWise is because I saw a young mother swear by it and almost starve her child. The baby was screaming with hunger and the mother just said, "No you have to wait. It isn't time." Now I encourage EG to wait until feeding time by distracting her, but as soon as she fusses (not crying) I will feed her and each time she is hungry.

In summary -- I have learned that every kid is different. Every parent is different. No one guru has all the answers -- or there would be just one book. (I stole that last line from some random blog, but it is so true.)


Thursday, August 14, 2008

We made it

We made it through our trip. We actually had a nice time seeing my entire family and watching everyone ooh and ahh over EG. She did great during the trip. She had a few meltdowns after she had been passed around too much (my grandmother calls this "being fingered to death"). Each night we were there she started waking up more and more. By the last night she had gotten up 3 times and eaten each time. This is 6 week old behavior -- not 3 month old. I told EG that numerous times. It was just hard for her to be away from home. Thankfully, she slept in her Ninna's room and we didn't have to get up with her.

We took 4 planes to get there since you can't fly anywhere out of our airport directly -- you ALWAYS have to change planes -- makes me nuts. Our child is also the only child that doesn't like to sleep in cars or airplanes. She was awake for most of each flight. We entertained the hell out of her, but the last flight was hell. She cried and cried and cried. It was horrible. Thankfully, it was a short flight, but in the moment of her screaming was horrible. I totally understand why she was upset -- it is hard to be on the move that much. I wanted to cry too. I just wanted to get home.

When we did get home and I laid her in her crib and she just smiled and smiled. I truly believe she was relieved to be home. She slept the entire next day. Seriously, her naps usually total about 3-4 hours. Her nap total for our first day back was almost 7 hours. Poor thing was exhausted and probably going through her 3-month growth spurt all at once.

She has been waking up in the night again. The trip + growth spurt has had her waking up 2-4 times per night. Last night it was only twice. We hope she is adjusting back to sleeping through the night. We'll see.

Funny moment from the trip: It is 6 a.m. in the morning. I wander upstairs to check on EG who sleeps in my mother's room. I walk into my mother's room and all I see is her back facing me as she sits on the bed. She turns her head to see me and looks back at EG who must have been laying on the bed in front of her, but I couldn't see EG because my mother's body was blocking her and my mother says, "Oh no, we have been caught. Oh no, mamma caught us." In the five steps it takes me to see around my mother my mind was racing. I had no idea what my mother had done to our girl...given her solid food???....let her play with a unsafe toy??.....put make-up on the girl? When I finally saw EG I saw this........

My mother was playing dress up with EG. The bonnet was mine when I was a little girl. Now, the funny thing is it is the only hat that EG will wear willing. We have other hats for our little white girl, but she hates them. So, we have been using the bonnet from the 1970's. It works GREAT! It keeps the sun out of her eyes and she chews on the ribbon. She wore it yesterday on her walk and fell asleep for the first time on a walk. The magic bonnet. I asked M to make some more for EG. I know it isn't very modern, but it works!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I have to change it

I had to post something so I wouldn't have to see that horrible title on our page anymore. The entire bunny slaughter has been horrible. The poor dog is heartbroken that she can't play in her yard unsupervised. However, she will recover because she is going to her favorite place soon....the kennel. Yup, we are taking our first real trip with EG. We will be attempting to fly with a 3 month old.

My mother and sisters are hosting a great party to celebrate the arrival EG and have her dedication. Neither of my sisters have even met EG yet. We are very excited about seeing everyone, but nervous about getting there. We have thought it through about 100 times. We are taking our sling and baby bjorn to use in the airport and on the plane. My mother has a car seat so we don't have to take that which rocks.

So, we will see how it goes...send positive vibes that we remembered everything and that EG (and us) have a good time!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Tales from the Bunny Morgue

Disclaimer: This is not a bedtime story for children. It may not even be suitable for some adults.

E and I live in a fairly new neighborhood. Since I grew up mostly in the country, I had concerns that this new city community would not have much wildlife. I just wanted some birds...maybe a squirrel or rabbit now and then. Watch what you wish for...

We came home from a walk a couple nights ago and I saw a tiny baby bunny by our fence. We oohed and ahhed. Fast forward to later in the night when our dog (Golden Retriever) went outside for her usual nightly duty. We had already let her out a couple times since the bunny sighting. I was upstairs feeding EG when E burst in saying that the dog had found the baby rabbits out in the yard. (Before you call PETA on me, please know that I didn't know there was more than one, nor did I know the nest was in our yard.) E described it as the dog tossing the bunnies like bean bags. If you have dog, you know this is fairly normal play. Our dog is not a killer.

I went outside to find one bunny hurt, one dead inside our fence and one dead outside our fence. No momma bunny has ever been seen. I picked up the dead ones and got rid of them, but I was in a quandry about the hurt bunny. Horrible thoughts of hit him with a shovel went through my head, but I couldn't do it. I walked around the yard in a crying frenzy. Finally, I set the bunny upright and tapped him in the butt to get him to move and he hopped. So, I put him under a bush and hoped beyond hope that his momma would come and he would be okay.

Yesterday morning he was under the bush dead. I did find three live bunnies. The dog doesn't understand why she's not allowed in the yard. E and I had conversations about how we hate when the rabbits eat our garden. I told her the dog can chase them away when they're grown.

E sprayed some bug killer in the garage yesterday that smelled, so we left the garage open for a while. This morning when I went out to walk the dog, there was a baby bunny in our garage outside our back door dead. I cannot find any of the other bunnies in our yard and I took the dog out for a supervised visit hoping she'd help me find them. No luck.

So, I am in bunny hell. I must have been Elmer Fudd ("kill the wabbit") in a former life and this is karma. Circle of life...whatever. It's worse now that I'm a mom. Poor things.