Feb 28 2010

guppy

we took josephine swimming for the first time today at the bellevue aquatic center.  we were in the “warm springs” pool and the water felt like tepid bathwater.  perfect for a little chunker.  we were in the pool for almost an hour,  getting her feet all pruney.  she cracked a few smiles but mainly took in the action with wide eyes and her hands in her mouth.  and hilarious long strands of hair floating in the water.

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Feb 27 2010

sleep, interrupted

we had a bad parenting moment hour in the middle of the night last night.   just a few weeks ago, we were patting ourselves smugly on our backs for doing such a good job at the parenting thing.  but then, we haven’t really had to face any tough parenting decisions.  we’ve kept josephine alive and happy, but we haven’t had to compromise on anything (when do we let her pierce her ears?) or deal with any parental biggies (do we let her hang out with friends we don’t think are a good influence?  is it ok for her to pee in the bushes?).  we’ve had it pretty easy so far.  the biggest debate has been about whether she should wear non-matching stripes (ned: pro, me: con).

so, last night.  i had a vague thought as i went to bed that i wouldn’t nurse her if she’d only slept for two hours since the last feed.  she’s been sleeping four hours, nursing, then waking up every two or so hours for the rest of the night and i’ve been nursing her each time she wakes up.  there have been a few nights when i’ve been able to get her to fall back to sleep pretty quickly without nursing her and it buys me another hour or two of sleep.  i have this (again, vague) notion that if i consistently don’t nurse her after only two hours of sleep, she’ll eventually just stop waking up after two hours.  i think that’s known as fuzzy math.

last night, she had slept for four hours, i had nursed her, and she had woken up again, like clockwork, two hours later.  i trudged over and comforted her, hoping that would do the trick and she would drift back to sleep.  but she didn’t.  i stayed by the side of her crib, stroking her head, holding her flailing hand and making a “shhhhhh”ing sound.  she wasn’t getting more upset, wasn’t full-on crying, but she wasn’t calming down, either.  she seemed to be yelling.  i would interpret her yells thusly: “hey!  i’m right here!  pick me up!  feed me!  it’s time!  hey!  you!  i see you standing right there! what the heck!?”  poor thing.  and then, after about 20 minutes, things deteriorated.  she really woke up and she started crying.  full-on crying: red scrunched-up face,  tears running down her face into her ears, huge sobs, the whole thing.  now she was saying, “you hate meeeee!  i hate yooooooou! why are you starving meeeeee?  i’m the most neglected baby on earrrrrth!”

what’s an exhausted mom to do?  i was stuck.  i had let her get too worked up and she wasn’t going to fall back to sleep without a lot more crying.  was that how i wanted her to fall asleep?  to feel?  if i nursed her, was i just teaching her that she will get what she wants if she cries hard enough, even at 4am?  but shouldn’t she get what she wants?  is she old enough to understand consequences?  waiting for food? cause and effect?   i lay down, defeated, next to ned and he said, “let’s just give it 10 minutes and see what happens.”  you know, just to throw another vague idea of what might work into the mix.  after five minutes, i was starting to cry, too, and i whispered loudly, “this is so stupid!”  although i think i might have used a curse word, too.  i picked up my poor, sobbing girl and, just to tie a big fat bow around the whole package of this parental fail, i put her next to me in bed and nursed her to sleep.

trying to figure out how to deal with infant sleep leads parents into a maze of conflicting advice and strident believers. there are countless theories about what works; as many theories as there are babies, probably.  how do we know which one is best for us?  for josephine?  do we even need a method?  a technique? maybe, if we trust that this little munchkin knows what she needs, we’ll end up where we should be.

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Feb 26 2010

babies on a couch

the last official meeting of our parent group was this week and we celebrated by putting all the babies on a couch and torturing them.

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that’s our girl on the left.  the screaming one.  she wasn’t hating us the entire time, though.

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josephine, emilee, charlotte, cordelia, vanessa

at one point, she was even enjoying herself.

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this was the gang two-and-a-half months ago.  they’ve grown a bit.  and become less happy about being squished on a couch together.

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luca, josephine, cordelia, charlotte, emilee, vanessa

the babies seemed to enjoy each others’ company.  here are the ladies, chatting during tummy time.

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josephine’s made some pals.  emilee seems to be an especially big fan of hers.  she likes to grab and chew on josephine.  in a very nice way.

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Feb 25 2010

in her jammies

the sun was back for the day.  as were copious amounts of drool.

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Feb 24 2010

gray is the new blue

all of seattle heaved a collective sigh yesterday when the blue skies and sunshine that had brightened february for a week moved on to other, luckier places and the usual gray and rain settled over the city.  we took full advantage of those warm, sunny days, though, and i try to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if we get a bit damp on outings now.

here are a few ways we celebrated the sun (that, ironically, josephine hates to have on her face).

josephine lay in the sun on the bed and grabbed her feet:

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ned, josephine and i walked to the farmers market on saturday and bought something special (to be revealed in a future post):

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we went for a picnic and a lovely long walk with dave, wendy and anna out in carnation.

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anya, desmond, josephine and i went on a “picnic” at gasworks park.  it was only a “picnic” because we had a blanket and some clementines.  we had to make a sun-blocking wall with the strollers for the sensitive little baby faces:

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also with anya and desmond, we walked in carkeek park and spent a little time at the beach:

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Feb 20 2010

good morning, josephine (and a bit about the night)

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she’s so darn happy and cheerful when she wakes up.  it’s a true pleasure to be the one, most mornings, who wakes up next to her and gets to receive these luscious smiles.

at the other end of the night, we’ve been working on the going-to-bed routine.  namely, creating one.  until a couple weeks ago, our going-to-bed routine consisted of me nursing her until she fell asleep, carefully swaddling her, laying her down and tip-toeing out of the room.  but apparently it’s good for babies to be able to fall asleep without the breast.  so we’re trying new things.  now, when she starts to show signs of sleepiness, we get her in her pjs (maeta, she just outgrew the monkey feet!) and sleep sack (no more swaddle) and i nurse her until she’s getting bleary-eyed and dozy.

next, we lie down together and read the same three sleep-themed books.  the classic goodnight moon, the going to bed book and chicky chicky chook chook.  this last one is one of our favorites to read to her and one that always keeps her attention.  it’s full of fun words and rhymes and vibrant pictures.  it ends with all the animals, after being drenched in the rain and dried by the sun, drifting off to sleep.

after the books are read, it’s into the crib she goes.  she had not been interested in a pacifier until we started the new bedtime routine; now she takes it and sucks away while watching us carefully to make sure we’re not going to leave her.  one of us sits quietly by the crib, watching her wiggle and squirm out the remaining energy of the day, until she turns her head to the side and falls asleep.

this new (long-winded!) routine is getting easier for all of us.  she was reduced to frantic, heart-breaking tears the first few nights but now stays calm and seems to understand her role in the whole bedtime dance.  eventually i suppose we’ll have to leave her to fall asleep alone, but we’re taking baby steps here.  our next challenge is to help her regain the skill she used to have of sleeping 6, 7, 8 hours in a row…


Feb 19 2010

why we love seattle

on our walk home from lunch yesterday, i fell in love with seattle all over again. the mountains were out, the sky was blue and it looked quite a lot like spring.  we saw this:

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and this:

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well, i was the one who saw all of that.  josephine was busy doing this:

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Feb 18 2010

sugar buzz

this morning we joined polly, unity, brixton, anya, desmond, tarah and hiram at cupcake royale for some politicking.  the cupcake shop invited kids to decorate cupcakes to send to legislators to advocate for early education funding.  the deal was you decorate one cupcake and get one to eat.  how could we resist?  unity and hiram were pretty darn happy.

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and then they got hyper.

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brixton and desmond were more subdued.

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as was josephine.

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Feb 15 2010

changing table

i would not want to calculate how much time we’ve spent standing over josephine while she’s on her changing table.  luckily, much of it is pretty darn enjoyable (poopy diapers notwithstanding).

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Feb 13 2010

a return to snotville

you know those parents whose kids always seem to be sick?  i do not want to be one of those parents.  and yet.  josephine is sick with a cold.  again.  less than a month after her first one.  isn’t breastfeeding supposed to protect against this?  i also don’t want to be one of those parents who has to sanitize every surface before my kid touches it, but i’m considering it (and have to confess that when she dropped her rattle on the floor of a cafe the other day, i didn’t give it back to her).  we need to get out and about for my mental health, but it’s frustrating to know that it’s probably on our outings that she’s picking up germs.  sigh.  builds immunity, right?  and gives me a new motto: spare the bulb syringe, spoil the child.

at least she’s had her papa’s visit to distract her:

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(papa's teething, too)

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and story time with dad:

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and those cute little teeth:

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in conclusion: when you’re out in the world and see a cute baby (or even a not-very-cute baby) do not touch its hands or face.  seriously.  just don’t.  thank you.