Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The wall's not as far as you think

I was rocking Jack to sleep a few hours ago and noticed some dried poop particles on the window blinds. The windows are a good 4.5 to 5 feet away from the changing table. Unfortunately, this means that the mysterious little stains I recently saw on the quilt hanging on his wall are also poop.

I wasn't kidding about the distance.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

If I’m awake, everyone should be awake

We are extremely fortunate in that Jack usually wakes up twice a night. Once around 1:00 or 2:00 am, and once around 4:00 or 5:00 am. And he also usually goes back to sleep with minimal difficulty, although not always. But the other night, he woke up at 1:30 or so, and then again at 3:00. At 1:30, I fed him after The Husband changed him. When he was done, The Husband, who had just woken back up, saw me swaddling and starting to soothe Jack back to sleep, and he said, “Uh, it’s been almost four hours.” Apparently, he was under the impression that I had sent The Husband to change Jack and then decided to skip the feeding all together and just put him back to sleep.

“Yeah, I already fed him,” I told The Husband.

The Husband was doubtful. “Are you sure?” He really, truly thought that I was just too lazy and tired to feed our hungry baby.

“Yes, I’m sure!” I said. The Husband very reluctantly decided to accept this, and went back to sleep. Which means he was asleep when Jack woke up again a scant ninety minutes later, looking for more food. Asleep The Husband was and asleep he stayed while I had to wake up, stay awake while Jack ate, and then put him back to sleep.

The entire time Jack was eating, I shot dangerous looks at The Husband. It was all I could do not to poke him and say, “Hey! I’m awake! Jack’s eating! Hey!” but I heroically restrained myself.

However. After I got Jack to go back to bed and started to get myself settled, I noticed that about 90% of our blankets and sheets were on The Husband’s side of the bed. In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that this was purely accidental; The Husband does not routinely steal the covers. But on this particular night I was still pretty mad at him for sleeping through the last feeding, so when I lay down and tried to pull the blankets up over myself only to find that they barely covered me, I resorted to yanking them quite viciously from The Husband. I also incorporated a violent roll-over-and-pull-the-blankets move in the secret hope that The Husband’s sleep would be at least a little disturbed.

No such luck.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

How do you spell relief?

Every once in a while, it strikes me that I am currently not experiencing acid reflux, and it’s all I can do to keep from audibly sighing in relief. Aside from snuggling the snuggly baby, the lack of acid reflux may very well be the absolute best part of not being pregnant anymore. I had it almost constantly for the last month or two of my pregnancy, and, as hard as it may be to believe, acid reflux was the worst part of my pushing experience. I’m sure that the contractions would have been the worst part had I not elected to have the epidural, but as it stood, that damn reflux was unbelievably distracting. It kept drawing my focus to my throat, which was exactly the wrong place to focus. I believe that acid reflux was at least 25% responsible for slowing down my progress.

The good news is that you are allowed to have Maalox while in labor. The bad news is that Maalox does not do anything to lessen the actual labor pain.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Not crazy

So I felt the need to reassure the legions of 20 or so people who read my blog on a regular basis that The Husband and I have not gone off the deep end, what with the data-taking and threat of bar graphs. Big Sister #1 got all worried and emailed me because she thought I’d gone off the deep end.

First of all, I am pretty much done with The Baby Whisperer. I found her E.A.S.Y. routine helpful in that I am better able to interpret Jack’s cries and give him what he wants based on his eating/hangin’ out with his peeps/sleeping cycles. For example, Jack cannot stand being tired, and often thinks he’s hungry when he’s actually tired. So when he’s crying but has eaten less than two hours ago and is not rooting, I swaddle the bejeezus out of him, bring him to a dark room, and quiet him down. The Baby Whisperer’s soothing techniques also work pretty well for Jack, and she has a secret tip for burping that also helps.

However. I had to stop reading the books because she’s a little bit nuts. Jack is only four weeks old, so if he wants to be held, I’m damn well going to hold him. I will also rock him if he so desires. And because, as a new mom, I have been stricken with self-doubt and insecurity, I couldn’t keep reading a book which kept telling me that I shouldn’t let my baby sleep on my or my husband’s chests because he’ll get used to it and be unable to sleep without us. Four weeks old, people!

I’d also like to comment on the whole Excel thing. As Big Sister #4 put it yesterday, the fact that The Husband and I were inputting data into Excel is not actually a sign that we have gone overboard. Although using Excel to track their baby’s behavior would be a warning signal for, say, an English major, The Husband and I are engineers. That’s just how we think.

That said, I’m pretty much done not only with the Excel tracking thing, but also with the whole “writing every single thing Jack does down” thing, because I am feeling a bit more comfortable now, and no longer need the crutch to figure out what he wants when he wants it.

But also because I need to chill the heck out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

His mother's child

Jack is pretty much a tiny clone of The Husband, so I was pleased to find something he has picked up from me. Yesterday during his naps, I left the radio on for company. Tuned, naturally, to NPR. After he fell asleep in his second nap, I turned off the radio.

He cried.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

How many engineers does it take to raise a baby?

I’ve been reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg, and have therefore been keeping track of what time Jack eats, how long he does an “activity” (such as staring at the black and white picture thingy), when and for how long he sleeps, etc. But I am having trouble actually seeing a pattern to his schedule, and so I decided to input all of my data into Excel so that I can better visualize his behavioral trends.

“What’s the best way to enter the data?” I asked The Husband. “I think I should probably make a column for the time of day in fifteen-minute increments and then have daily columns for ‘Eat,’ ‘Activity,’ and ‘Sleep.’ What do you think?”

“Yeah, that will work,” replied The Husband. “And just put for how many minutes he does each thing at the start time and it will be easy to make a bar graph.”

I’d say the two of us are pretty well matched, wouldn’t you?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ill-fitting pants

Internet, today I tried on a pair of my pre-pregnancy pants, and THEY FIT! MOSTLY! (I think that at the end of the day they'd be tight, but I will take what I can get.) In a frenzy of excitement, I then re-tried on some pre-pregnancy jeans, but they are still way too tight. As are the rest of my pre-pregnancy pants. After trying them all on, I remembered that the pants that currently fit (mostly) were actually kind of too big before I got pregnant, but STILL! Wooooooo!

This is doubly exciting, because all of my maternity pants are pretty much too big (except for the magical Mimi Maternity jeans which were SO WORTH the $70 as they are by now at a per-wear cost of less than $1), and my transition one-size-larger jeans are a little too big, so I look pretty schlumpy all the time. Yesterday, Emily and I had an email conversation about our current problem of ill-fitting pants, and I told her that I can't wait till I get the doctor's all-clear to work out again. Not for my health. Not for my vanity. No, my sole motivation for working out and getting back to my pre-pregnancy size is my white-hot hatred of having to buy new pants. Finding pants that fit is just second only to finding a bathing suit that fits in terms of painful shopping ordeals.

In unrelated news, yesterday The Husband and I got DirectTV because they were offering a phenomenal deal in combination with Verizon DSL. So today we called Comcast to cancel, and Comcast got very concerned and asked why. We ended up in a bidding war between Comcast and DirectTV but decided to stay with Comcast because they agreed to give us the three-for-$99 deal that they've been advertising.

The interesting thing is that I called to ask for that deal a few weeks ago, and was told that we were not eligible because it's only for new subscribers. I said, "Well, what if I told you that in that case, we're going to cancel our internet and switch to DSL?" The Comcast rep was sorry to hear that, but the offer was only for new subscribers. The Husband told the new Comcast rep this story, and he could practically hear the guy's eyes roll.

Long story short, the DirectTV installer wasted a lot of time yesterday drilling a completely unnecessary hole into our wall, because we've decided to stay with Comcast, whom I now really wish we had called to cancel service before setting up DirectTV.

Friday, November 17, 2006


FYI: Clay Aiken is not a good substitute for Regis Philbin. He also needs a haircut in a bad, bad way.

Speaking of haircuts, Curt Schilling was on Celebrity Jeaopardy! last week, and he appears to be sporting a mini-mullet. THAT'S got to go.

There's a lot of time for TV when you breastfeed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Jack’s rules for diapers

  1. Try to poop only when the diaper is not on. The best case scenario is pooping when there is no protective diaper under or over the bottom, but Mom and Dad quickly get too smart for that particular gambit.
  2. It helps to poop loudly while diapered and pretend to be done, but save the bulk of it for the time between diapers.
  3. Put some force behind that poop. Aim for the wall. It may seem far, but trust me, you can hit it!
  4. If you miss your chance at the naked poop, make sure you poop in the new diaper before it has been on longer than 30 seconds.
  5. Just for fun, see if you can dip both feet.
  6. Remember, boys, poop is not the only thing that you can aim at the wall!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Future high jumper

Jack has strong legs. He can push himself up to a standing position when we hold him under his arms. People, notably The Husband, keep expressing surprise at how strong his legs are. I, however, am not surprised.

“What, you think my saying ‘Oof!’ every time he kicked me was just for my own amusement?” I say to The Husband. “Trust me, I already knew he had strong legs.”

Baby mysteries

How is it that one tiny person can manage to strew so much stuff around the house? He doesn’t even play with toys yet, but somehow, his stuff is EVERYWHERE. Particularly the selection of places for him to lie down. Places he doesn’t actually use that often because he really likes to be held, and, let’s face it, we really like to hold him.

At least we haven’t had to set up the Pack ‘N’ Play which is fairly huge and would take up the remaining six square feet of space in our living room not yet occupied by the bouncy seat, the swing, and the Moses basket. (I’ve been leaving the bassinet in the bedroom.)

He also generates an enormous amount of laundry. The volume of laundry is particularly impressive given the tininess of his clothes. That’s a lot of tiny clothes. And they are usually strewn about the house.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

At least Sabrina was a girl

A couple of years ago, back when Rosie O’Donnell had a daytime talk show all to herself, I happened to be watching with Big Sister #4. Minnie Driver was the guest, and she and Rosie got to talking about Charlie’s Angels. Minnie said she used to play Charlie’s Angels with her sisters when she was growing up.

“Hey!” I said to Big Sister #4. “That’s just like us and T.!” T. is our cousin who is a year older than me and two years younger than Big Sister #4. The three of us used to play Charlie’s Angels all the time. Big Sister #4 was always the blond Jill (wishful thinking on Big Sister #4’s part; she’s nowhere near blond). T. usually got to be Kelly, and I was left with the uptight Sabrina. I, however, did not realize that Sabrina was the uptight one because we were not actually allowed to watch Charlie’s Angels. Naively, I thought Sabrina was just as cool as Jill and Kelly.

I turned my attention back to the television just in time to hear Minnie Driver say, “But I was the youngest, so my sisters always made me be Sabrina.”

“What a coincidence!” I said. “Minnie Driver was always Sabrina just like I was always Sab – HEY!” For that was when I found out that I didn’t so much get to be Sabrina as I was stuck with being Sabrina.

Still, I got off easy, because on the show, Rosie revealed that she, too, played Charlie’s Angels with her big sisters. She, however, had three older sisters. So Rosie had to be Bosley.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Three years

As I was cleaning up the dinner dishes tonight, The Husband came into the kitchen and gave me a hug. “Happy anniversary,” he said.

“Oh yeah!” I exclaimed. “I forgot!” A lot has been going on lately, so it sort of slipped my mind. “So,” I said. “Three years.”

“And a baby!” replied The Husband.

“So I gave you a son for our anniversary,” I said to The Husband. “What did you get me?”

“Uh…” came the response.

“Nothing?” I cried. “I gave you a baby and you got me nothing at all?”

“Well, I remembered our anniversary,” he protested.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

42 weeks

Although I don’t intend this blog to become 100% baby 100% of the time, there’s not a whole lot else going on in my life right now. Also, I’m only two weeks postpartum, so I think I get to talk about the baby a bit longer.

Two things have surprised me about having a baby. First, I did not expect the recovery to take so long. Naively, I sort of thought that by now, I’d be flitting around town, happily toting the baby with me, taking long walks, and going to visit my mom, my mother-in-law, and my sisters whenever I wanted. Instead, I am feeling pretty damn proud of myself because I managed to clean the bathroom yesterday and today, I went to CVS and I voted. And I walked to the polling center (which is not, as the previous sentence might indicate, located at CVS). It’s, like, an eight-minute walk. Granted, it’s about a four-minute walk for a normal person, but still. Riding high on endorphins here. Now, though, I have to lie down for awhile and rest. All that voting really took it out of me.

The other surprising thing is how very quickly I forgot what it was like to be pregnant. I curl up on the couch just like I used to in the bygone days before Jack and don’t even notice what I’m doing. The feeling of beached whaleness are but a distant, hazy memory.

40 weeks

By some miracle, I am already down one size above my pre-pregnant size, and the jeans that are one size larger are even slightly loose.

42 weeks

Please believe that this drastic drop in size is in no way attributable to my virtuous pregnancy exercise regimen, because my pregnancy exercise regimen consisted of parking sort of far away from the lab, but only until they told me I could have the company space close to the door. I also talked a lot about going for walks. I didn’t go for walks, mind you. I just talked about it.

Apparently, I can thank breastfeeding for shrinking my uterus, and possibly my pre-pregnancy exercise regimen served me well. But mostly, I think I’m just lucky. Arwen is already back in her pre-pregnancy pants, and she thinks maybe it’s God’s way of saying “Sorry about all that nausea you had for the first four months.” Maybe that’s true, and applies to me as well. Whatever the reason, I’m not complaining.

Not about that, anyway.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Today I am wearing non-maternity pants. Granted, they are a size bigger than my pre-pregnancy pants, bought in anticipation of my being sick to death of maternity panels but not yet back to my original size, but it's still an exciting day. Woo!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Rubber suits

Jack just pooped. How do I know? Because he is LOUD when he poops. Not dainty, this kid. The Husband said he hopes he never does get diarrhea, because we'll have to wear rubber suits to change him.

The third night home with him, we were naturally anxious and aware of his every little sound. (Not that we aren't still hyper aware.) He was sort of squirmy and slightly fussy and whimpery, and then there was a loud "PBBTTTHHHH!" and then... silence. The Husband and I leapt out of bed because we both thought that he had vomited and was choking to death, hence the lack of fussing and squirming. Turns out, no. Just poop.

On a completely unrelated note, the guy currently on "1 vs 100" is about to lose $6950 because he thinks that a shrug does not have sleeves. Just thought you'd like to know.