Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Can it be summer yet?

Thanks to the blooming cherry trees in these here parts, my brain thinks summer is just around the corner even though it's February. And we all know that summer means lobster rolls. Watch out, lobster baby.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coupon lady

I had two big thrills this weekend. One was when I used my faithful Neti Pot to clear out my poor, gunked up sinuses. If you've ever had a cold, you probably need one. And, if you're like me and revel in things like falling-off toenails, huge bruises, and big gobs of booger that get flushed out of your noggin, go get one NOW. I think you get the picture.

The second was at the grocery store. (I hesitated before writing this post; I mean, I don't want to alienate my readers (Hi, you two!) by making you all insanely jealous of my thrilling stay-at-home-mom life--what with the snot and the grocery store and all--but I just had to share.) You know how when you swipe your grocery store card, all the stuff on sale gets deducted from your bill, and it's almost like someone's handing you 8 or 11 or 3 bucks? Well, this weekend, I saved... wait for it... wait for it... $57 dollars! It was about 50% of the whole bill, and I may have said "I win" out loud to the clerk. And she may have not cared at all, and given me a look that said, "Nothing is worse than being a supermarket checker, and I hate my life, and I hate YOU for not hating being in this store." To all ZERO of you who are still reading this impossibly lame post, I did it by clipping coupons and reading the circular to plan meals that were made out of sale stuff. Feel free to call me for more detailed questions. I'm thinking about writing a book. Or maybe a screenplay...

And that's what I did this past weekend. Had boogers, and went grocery shopping. When did this become my life, and when did I get this excited by it?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

To sleep, perchance to dream

(An oldie from when the little bean was about a week old, and we couldn't keep her awake for more than half an hour at a time. Kim took this photo.)

I've been sick for the last couple of days, so of course Evelyn decided to get up at 5:45 today. I nursed her, and because I'm a terrible neglectful mother and was in no mood to play with her before dawn, I just re-swaddled her and put her back in her crib. Alex was out with the dog (who was also being a horrible wretch and conspiring with the baby to make sure that nobody could get any more sleep) and I figured that she could look at her mobile until he got back in a few minutes. She was wide awake, and happy (read: quiet) enough so that I fell back asleep. When I finally woke up at 8:30, Alex said that she was asleep by the time he got back with the dog.

Excuse me?

The baby went to sleep on her own, when she was WIDE awake??

She's NEVER done this at night, despite our best efforts. So today, realizing that she's perfectly capable of falling asleep on her own in the morning and for naps, and most importantly, that our efforts in getting her to to bed apparently totally suck, we decided to take the plunge, and sleep train Evelyn. I know this is a subject that everyone has an opinion on, and I have a few conflicting ones myself. The thing is, the sort of natural approach we'd been taking hasn't been working that well for her. Ideally, she should be going to bed at about the same time every night. As it is, she goes to sleep anywhere from 7:30 to 10:00, which is not good for her or for us.

So we're doing a kind of middle of the road approach, where we set up a bedtime routine (pajamas, rocking chair, stories, swaddle, crib) and have her fall asleep in her crib rather than in our arms. For the first few days, we'll put her in her crib and if need be, let her cry until she falls asleep while we sit right next to her patting and soothing her. Next, we move the chair a few feet away and talk to her while she goes to sleep, then move to the door, and then hopefully leave the room as soon as we put her down as she goes to sleep on her own.

Doesn't that sound nice? Putting the kid down after a nice story, and she drifts off to sleep... I guess we just have to keep that end goal in mind for the week and half this will supposedly take. Tonight was the first night, and I hated it. She was a bit fussy for a while, then settled down and was quiet for a good five minutes. I thought she was going to drift off, and she WAS, but she does this thing where she'll basically catch herself falling asleep and start to wail just as she's about to go down. Awesome, yes. So she started crying harder than ever, and I went into the living room to tell Alex that I was ready to pick the poor thing up, and he took over. He got her to settle down again by having her nurse on his finger until she fell asleep, and there you have it.

We got her to fall asleep in her crib at bedtime for the first time EVER.

It took 45 minutes, but still, the goal is in sight, and I think this is going to be so good for all of us. I'll tell y'all how it goes. New pictures soon, I swear.

Monday, February 15, 2010

5 Months

On Valentine's Day, one day before she turned 5 months old, we fed Evelyn solid food for the first time. It was a smashing success--it only took about 20 minutes to get three teaspoons of food down her gullet. (Those of you who have never introduced a baby to eating from a spoon are probably scratching your heads at why I would describe that as a smashing success, but believe me, it was.) "Solid" is a total misnomer in this case. We're not giving her rare steaks (sorry, Dad), but rather rice cereal which is thinned out to the consistency of soup.

Alex and I took turns spooning her cereal into her mouth. When we didn't get her next bite ready quickly enough, she would lunge forward toward the spoon with her mouth wide open like a hungry little baby bird. She dribbled food down her chubby little chin, grabbed at the spoon and cup, and amidst all this adorableness... I cried.

I guess it's because she's growing up so fast, and because I know that my days of nursing my infant are coming to an end. It was a bit of a struggle for the first couple of weeks, but now it's one of the best parts of my day. Having her sweet, warm little belly snuggled up against mine, her tiny soft hand resting on me, and just feeling her breathe is profoundly relaxing. It's a wonderful feeling as her parent to know that I'm providing everything that she needs so naturally and easily. It almost makes me feel like I can do the rest of the whole parenting thing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Valentine's Day present from Evelyn was some well aimed spit-up which dribbled from my knee straight into my slipper. My non-washable slipper. Love you too, Goo Bear.

Alex and I actually got to go out on a date last night, thanks to my sweet sister-in-law. She had offered to babysit for us a few days ago, and the prospect of being on our own just about knocked us flat. Some of the ideas that we tossed around in those first heady moments when we were drunk with the possibilities included: dinner, a movie, dinner and a movie, driving around in circles high-fiving each other, or sitting in a parking lot somewhere in blessed silence. We ended up going to a comedy show, and I'm glad it was a good time, because I think it might be the last time we go out for a long time.

Our little monkey has tricked us into thinking that she's incredibly easy to deal with. And she is, for us. Well, for me. Or to be perfectly precise, for me and my nursing capabilities.

Bedtime usually goes something like this: Evelyn starts to rub her eyes a bit, we get her into her pajamas and start to wind her down. After 15 minutes, she gets pretty tired and fussy and cries a bit. Alex tries to rock her to sleep in a darkened room. This occasionally works, but 75% of the time after another 10 minutes of fussing and crying, he gives up, hands her over to me, and I nurse her to sleep. It takes about 5 minutes, and involves basically no effort.

I should have known that it was dangerous to leave Evelyn when it took Alex, who is well schooled in the art of getting baby to sleep, two hours to get her down when I was out on Thursday. We got home at 9:45 last night, well after her bedtime, and we could hear her crying from the carport. Poor sister-in-law and boyfriend had tried everything--bottles, rocking, darkened room, pacifiers, distraction, quiet--to no avail. Ten minutes with Mama, and she was out cold.

So what do we do? We can go out and let her cry herself to sleep with a sitter, or we can stay home until she gets big enough to get to sleep without nursing. Anyone dealt with this? I have no interest in weaning her anytime soon, but I would like to get her used to going to sleep without me.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrity Doppleganger

In honor of the Facebook meme, here is Evelyn's celebrity doppleganger. Uncanny, no?

Itsy Bitsy NOT AGAIN

Yes, again.

Evelyn loves the Itsy Bitsy Spider beyond all reason. I didn't know her almost-five-month-old brain could PROCESS this much happiness. She squeals with delight when I start, and cries when I stop. (You might think I'm a horrible person, but between reps, I like to pause for a few seconds because I think it's just a little bit hilarious that she get so distraught when it stops.) The only way I get a break is to pick her up and move her to a different room, and that usually makes her forget about the wondrous ecstasy that is me singing off-key and wriggling my fingers.

This is my life.

I'll get Alex to make a video of her exploding with joy when I decide to torture myself again.

Sorry to family and friends about the lack of pictures and updates lately. I just got new batteries for the camera yesterday, but we already have a couple of good ones of the little cuteness monster. I'll try to upload them tonight.