Tuesday, July 31, 2007

oh hey

We're alive. Better than that even, getting by pretty well. We've got a big software rollout at work this week that has us going a little crazy, so sorry I haven't written. It's times like these - you're going to think I'm nuts - that I thank my lucky stars I work with my husband, who might just be the brightest guy I know. It doesn't always happen, but it's usually the case, that when the chips are down we really come together as a team. It is so nice to be working on this incredibly challenging and sometimes infuriating project and have Arwen for my partner in crime. After a long, hard day at "the office" he knows just what kind of day I've had. And there's this reassuring feeling that like all things in our life, we're in this together.

Ok enough mushy talk. Honestly that should be illegal after 14 1/2 years together.

So Roan's doing a little better this week, starting to return to her normal self. She still has some turbo cranky moments, and she's not terribly predictable but the beginnings of a pattern are starting to emerge. She's transitioning from napping every 3 hours or so to just one nap in the morning and one in the afternoon, followed by a long (10 + hour) sleep at night. I'm not complaining!

We do have a couple of wrinkles to iron out though. Somehow she mysteriously "unlearned" how to fall asleep at naptime. She had been so good, to the point where she would yawn, I'd lay her down still wide eyed, and she'd happily relax, coo to herself and gradually drift off to sleep. Now it's practically a wrestling match getting her down. But we'll get back on track, one step at a time.

The other minor issue I'm working on with her is the fact that she keeps wanting to nurse forever and ever and ever. I talked to the pediatrician's nurse and we both think that what was a growth spurt has degenerated into nursing for comfort. The child is quite clearly not starving. So I've instituted a tough love policy (not that tough actually). I'll only nurse her for 10-15 minutes after she appears to have fallen asleep at the breast, rather than letting her go on for 45 to an hour.

So today was a very exciting day. Our new nanny came for a trial run, along with my friend Molly's daughter Audrey, who is nanny sharing with us. I was a little nervous how it would go. There are times I feel so drained after just watching Roan all day I was wondering how she'd manage with two. But I guess for me I'm watching her and trying to work. If I was just focused on her it would be a smidge easier. But still. I was very impressed with how Lindsay handled herself. There were only a couple of spells where both girls were screaming at the top of their lungs, and she seemed totally upbeat even by the end of the day. And I found that even after a relatively stressful day of working I was so glad to have little Roan back to myself by day's end.

Tomorrow's another big day. We'll be dropping Roan off at Molly's house. It'll be hard going all day without seeing her. It actually seems a little cruel to us both, but I think it's another important milestone.

More pictures soon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Clean bill of health

The checkup went as expected. Roan's not sick. And when we went to the doctor's office she wasn't even cranky. In fact she was in rare form, cooing and smiling at the nurses and doctor. She had them all charmed, and probably thinking I was making things up.

So we're not sure what's going on, but at least there's nothing medically wrong with her. I've just accepted that I can expect the unexpected for now. She may not eat when she normally eats, she may do things out of order, she may skip naps... but as long as she's not screaming bloody murder there's not much to worry about.

Yesterday overall she did pretty well except for one episode in the morning when she had trouble eating and did this alternating laughing and crying thing, ending up nestled on my chest whimpering before *finally* drifting off to sleep. She skipped all her afternoon naps and was up for 5 hours straight which is unprecedented. But she was in a good mood, at least until Arwen and I tried to slip off for a nice evening walk to the grocery store to pick up a few minor essentials. Jen called us shortly before we were going to make our way to the checkout line, saying Roan was unconsolable and to come home immediately.

I knew it had to be bad for Jen to call. She's handled plenty of crying fits in the past without a problem. I left Arwen to pay at the grocery store and headed home as quickly as I could walk. When I got to our block I could hear Roan screaming from 5 houses away. I broke out into an all-out run. I don't think I've ever heard her like that. Not even after she got her first vaccines - and that was pretty pitiful. She was crying so loud and seemed so distressed it was actually scary. Had we not been to the doctor's office a few hours beforehand I would've been a little freaked out. And she had apparently started screaming like that out of nowhere and nothing Jen tried consoled her.

She calmed down after I got her swaddled and snuggled up in front of the AC vent. Even after she drifted off to sleep, she continued to whimper piteously. But I guess she eventually found some peace. She slept through the night and woke up happy as a clam this morning. And so the adventure continues.
I am hoping things return to some semblance of normal here soon though because Arwen leaves tonight to go out of town on business till Friday night. Hopefully I won't have pulled out all my hair by the time he gets back. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Time for a checkup

Well Roan was kind enough to let me get a decent night's sleep after my last post, but unfortunately she had another tough day yesterday. She just isn't herself. She is usually such an easy baby - an enthusiastic eater and a peaceful sleeper on a schedule you could set your watch to - but the last couple days everything seems hard for her. She's struggled at some of her feedings, and every nap time is a fight to get her to go down. And she's thrown the schedule out the window.

Last night I was completely spent by the end of the day. I struggled with her for an hour and a half trying to get her to go down and to take a full feeding. Once she finally nodded off to dreamland, I collapsed on our bed in tears. Arwen came in and consoled me. I didn't know it but he had a little mommy relaxation time planned for me. He'd drawn me a bath with all kinds of aromatic oils and salts and lit a bunch of candles. He even dragged the massive swamp cooler we normally keep in the living room in there to keep in cool enough so I could enjoy a hot bath. It was just what I needed - I realized I couldn't even recall when the last time was I had managed to wash my hair. By the time I got out of the bath I felt like a whole new woman. Jen called in an order for pizza, so dinner was taken care of, and Arwen finished up the evening with a wonderful back massage. It made me stop and marvel how many people it takes to care for a baby, and how many more to care for the caregivers.

This morning I called our pediatrician's nurse just to ask what I can do for teething and to my surprise she said they'd like me to go ahead and bring her in to get looked at. I figured that as easy as I've had it the past few weeks, this latest tough spell is just a dose of cranky baby that inevitably gets meted out to every parent, but the nurse was of a mind that unexplained behavior out of the norm calls for a checkup. She doesn't have a fever, so that's good. And she's up to date on her shots. I'm betting they'll come to the same conclusion that I have, that it's pre-teething, but the nurse said the main thing they need to check is her ears. The good thing is that at least she's past the 3 month marker, so no spinal tap! Anybody tries to come near my baby with a needle, they're going to have to go through me first. But a checkup probably couldn't hurt.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just one of those days

Things have been going along so smoothly that I've gotten spoiled. When a day like today happens I get all out of sorts. Roan woke up about 4 times last night/ this morning so I was incredibly tired when I finally got out of bed. Even though she'd slept badly (and me as an unfortunate consequence as well), she woke up at 8 am, big sunshiney smiling eyes, ready to tackle the world. I was so exhausted I just parked her in her barnyard (a playmat thingy with lots of fun things to do) and crashed out next to her on the couch. Around 9 I finally gave up and got up for the day. Haven't been this tired in a long time. Until I got some coffee in me it felt like an out of body experience.

Once I did get going my big task for the day was to make the trek across town to hit Bosom Buddies (cute huh), a local merchant specializing in all things breastfeeding. It looks like we have indeed found a nanny, and unfortunately our stocks of milk are totally depleted. The pump I've been using developed a crack so I haven't been able to harvest much milk for the past few weeks. I needed to buy a new pump so I can replenish our stocks before Roan's first day with the nanny. It will probably take me over a week to pump enough for a single day - she is eating so much now.

The trip out to the store was all rush-rush-rush because I was trying to hurry back before Roan woke up and needed to eat again (of course little did I know she woke up the second I stepped out the door). As I was hurrying home I was thinking to myself how interesting it is how much of my day, my brain and my life revolves around her. Even though she kept me up all night and I was so sleep deprived I could hardly see straight, my whole day was about getting that pump, and my spare time for the next weeks will be all about building up her milk bank.

It didn't help that it was really really hot today. Really hot. Not only is that a drag for us big people, but it especially seems to tax Roan. She just gets crankier when it's hot. Thank goodness for the AC in her bedroom. While I was on the hunt for a pump, Arwen went to our storage unit and loaded up some things we need for our office. We spent the hot afternoon unpacking books into our bookcases and moving desks into the new office. We now have *almost* all the clutter out of our living room, and Roan has her room to herself now.

I had intended to catch a nap this afternoon, but somehow before I knew it it was already 5, and that's when my busy time starts. From 5 to 11 I nurse every 2 hours, which means there's not time for much else, certainly not a nap. Oh well.

Then this evening Roan suddenly went into turbo cranky mood out of nowhere. She was acting hungry, but then when she tried to nurse it seemed like she couldn't. She arched her back and screamed. Nothing I did calmed her down - none of the stuff that usually works. It's just not like her to get cranky for no reason. And I mean she was sqawling her head off, all red faced, head thrown back. It's upsetting to see your baby in such discomfort and not have a clue what's going on.

Eventually I figured out (I think) that her gums are bothering her. We pulled out all our baby books and Arwen did an emergency search on teething. It sounds like she may be "pre-teething," starting to feel discomfort as her teeth begin to think about coming in. Once we got her a cold washrag to suck on she cheered up. But nursing her was tricky. I had to ice down her gums and stand in front of an oscillating fan before she would latch on. And the thing is if I have even a shred of hope at a reasonable night's sleep, she *has* to eat.

Then she got tired and was ready for a nap. I've gotten so spoiled lately because normally she goes down so easily. I don't have to rock her to sleep anymore normally; I just swaddle her up, lay her down still awake, give her a paci if she wants it, and she takes care of the rest. But not tonight of course. She just needed a little extra help getting off to dreamland, but by then I was feeling so taxed. We worked through it together. Some nights are just harder than others. Now I have a whole 20 minutes to myself (which actually I've already used up writing this blog entry) before it's time to feed her again.

So here's hoping tonight will be nice and uneventful, and tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What's new this week

This has been a fruitful week. We're just about ready to move into our newly converted office, thanks to one final push this past weekend by Arwen. I "helped" too, although he may've been better off without me. I swear, every time I pick up a paintbrush or a hammer lately - always with the noblest of intentions - I somehow create disaster in my wake. Case in point, I was doing some final paint touchup while he took the car into the shop saturday morning. I was hopeful that if I was quick about it I might have it all done before he got home, as a pleasant surprise. Instead I had a mishap with the can of spray wall texture and it practically exploded all over our nice new stained concrete floors. I mean all over. As it turns out the stuff is oil based so I spent the next two hours scrubbing a million bright white spots off our dark brown floors. Harumph! But that proved to be a minor setback, and tonight we plan to start moving furniture in. Yippie!

Also I've started a nanny search, hoping to find someone to come in a couple days a week to help out with Roan so I can attempt to rub two brain cells together for more than 15 minutes at a time. It seems like every mom in my neighborhood is looking for a nanny at the moment, and there aren't enough to go around. I don't want to jinx it, but I met a very promising candidate in person today and it may even work out to where we can "nanny share" with our friends Molly & Scott. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

As far as new Roan developments go, I'm still mildly embarrased by my nonstop gushing in the last post, but what can I say. New parents. This past week was funny because after all that fussing over her rollovers, she didn't roll over again for a week. And she's only done it once since then! I think she's making it clear to us that she's no one's circus monkey. Anyway she's been very wiggly this week, raising her legs up and swinging them to one side or the other, or grabbing at hanging toys with her feet. She seems to always do things on the left side first. Maybe she'll be a lefty. Last night was the first time she grabbed both feet at the same time, one in each hand. (See top photo) It was so cute - she looked up at me with this expression that seemed to say "Are you seeing this Mom? Isn't this cool?!" She was so proud of herself.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Holy cow! and Happy July 4th

We had an exciting development today: Roan rolled over from her tummy to her back! We had no inkling she was about to do it. It was just a regular old "tummy time" session like any other. Except that Aunt Jen was supervising instead of me. And also she was playing with a new very special rattle from her Uncle Jim in San Francisco; maybe she likes it so much it literally made her "flip!"

We got some video of (most of) her second, third and fourth rolls. It looks like we're torturing the poor child in them because she's crying and crying and we're going "Come on Roan, do it again!" What mean mean grownups she has.

I did not actually see her first roll, even though I was sitting about 5 feet away, working on my laptop. Jen was so surprised Roan rolled over that she jumped up. Neither of us could believe our eyes, but there she was on her back. I figured it was a freak accident, something she had done unintentionally and would be trying to figure out "Now how did I do that?" for weeks to come. But wouldn't you know, she kept doing it. We'd put her back on her tummy, she would start to cry (she really does hate tummy time, I'm not kidding), then she'd stretch out one arm, cock her head back for leverage and bingo! go right over. It was amazing.

We were all so excited about today's developments we thought we should check in with the "experts" on Roan's progress so far. She just turned 3 months on July 2nd, and to our surprise she can do all of the activities they list. According to What to Expect the First Year, they say "Your baby..."

Should be able to:

  • lift her head 45* while on her stomach

Will probably be able to:

  • laugh out loud
  • lift her head 90* while on her stomach
  • squeal in delight
  • bring both hands together
  • smile spontaneously
  • track an object 180* when held 6" from her face

May possibly be able to:

  • hold head steady when upright
  • raise chest, supported by arms, when on stomach
  • roll over (one way)
  • grasp a rattle
  • pay attention to an object as small as a raisin

May even be able to:

  • bear some weight on legs when held upright (she's been doing that practically since she was newborn)
  • reach for an object
  • keep head level with body when pulled to sitting
  • turn in the direction of a voice
  • say "ah-goo" or similar vowel-consonant combinations
  • razz (make a wet razzing sound)

That last one, the razzing, is pretty cute. We call it making motorboat sounds (with her top end, as opposed to the usual bottom end). She starts out by getting a good supply of spit bubbles perched on her bottom lip and then just sort of blows sound through her lips. It always makes her smile. Anyway, that's the latest on what Roan is up to.

I also thought I'd mention that for 4th of July we went over to our friends Molly & Scott's house, who have an adorable little girl Audrey who is 5 months old. They cooked up some delicious ribs chicken, and brats with all the fixins. Jen made a wonderful pasta salad which was a big hit and she and I made star-shaped cupcakes, iced white with red and blue sprinkles. Roan had a great time making new friends. She is a very sociable little girl. So far she's not met anyone she doesn't like. And she wore her newest little party dress from her Uncle Brian and Aunt Hali.

True to form, she partied till she dropped - literally - and crashed out on a blanket under a tree in the backyard, oblivious to the toddlers and other babies running around her shrieking.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New photos are up

Email me if you forgot the username & password. Enjoy!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Regarding the aforementioned "adorable cooing sounds"

Um yeah. We have had some interesting developments over the weekend. And by "interesting" I mean holy crap I hope she doesn't keep this up. Roan has started making the weirdest noises. They fall somewhere between the mating cry of a bobcat (or perhaps hyena?) and nails on a chalkboard. We've begun to wonder if in fact I actually gave birth to baby pterodactyl who was only disguising herself as a baby human up to this point. It would not surprise me if she suddenly unfolded leathery wings and took flight, striking fear into the hearts of all small mammals in her vicinity.

It is the weirdest thing. It's not like she does it all the time; she has to sort of get into the mood. But the mood seems to strike her about twelve times a day. And when she gets going, look out! We are talking glass-shattering, brain-bending, ear-splitting shrieks that go on and on. She pauses every once in a while to break into a huge grin, she's so pleased with herself. If my eardrums weren't bleeding it would really be quite adorable. Arwen is fond of saying, "It doesn't bother me at all" right as I'm mentally to the point of ripping a fistful of hair off my head to use as earplugs.

How are you supposed to help your child "find her voice" when you're really hoping she will just shut the heck up? Ah, good times...