Sunday, March 30, 2008

four wakes

I can do four wakes in the night and be pretty cheerful in the morning, I discovered today. My nights have become a numbers game - how long has she slept? What time is it? How grouchy am I going to be tomorrow as a result? Last night's numbers were not too bad. I put her to bed at 8:30 - she woke again at 10, but I was just going to bed then, so that was OK. She then woke again at 10:30, which was a bummer, because I was just falling asleep, but then there wasn't another alarm until 2, which was great, (I found I can sleep very well sitting up nursing a 15-pound squiggling mass - I think I even kept rocking in my sleep.) She woke again at 3:30, which was annoying (1.5 hours???? Kmon, I know you can do better than that, Thea. The next wake-up call was at 5, when Matt brought her to me in bed. 5 is the earliest I will give in and let her come to the bed for a snuggle. You gotta have boundaries, right? Then she wanted to get up at 6:30ish. And believe it or not, that was OK.

I am starting to get a little worried about this working business, though. The other day I got a call from my boss last fall and indeed she is fine with me working from home this summer doing PR stuff for the borough and state on preventing wildfire damage to your home. Which is great, except now I have to fit 20-25 hours a week of work to my days (I'll make about $400 more than I do on unemployment, mind you.) On top of that, I am trying to get this WordWorks business off the ground, and then there's the freelance writing I do. So the past two days, I spent every free minute working. The house spiralled out of control and Liam looked like he wanted to disown me.

And of course, there was Thea, who hasn't been in a very good mood for several days. Are they connected? Can she tell my mind is elsewhere? Is this what she will be on the couch about later in life? Nah, it'll probably be about this crazy blog her mother wrote all about how she was a screaming peradactyl.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wanted: sleep

It is a week today since I put Thea in her crib, and a week since I've slept more than 2 or 3 hours in a row. Hopefully it's a growth spurt. Hopefully I will someday return to the land of the rested. For now, I have to make do with what I get, which isn't feeling like a whole lot right now. Earllier this week, she was up literally every hour all night. At around 4 a.m. I started banging my head into the pillow in frustration.
Actually, I'm kinda impressed with how well I can do on minimal sleep. Some days, I wake from that insanity and actually feel relatively human. But on the days when Thea has a bad DAY as well as night - like yesterday and last night - my humor is the first to go. Then I forget random stuff. And I don't do well with the 10,000 "hey, Mom's."
Thea's accomplishment of the week has been getting her hand to her mouth. She's very happy about it, but wow, does she drool now. I'm starting to wonder if she is teething a bit (Liam got his first tooth around 4 months). She's also started making tons of cooing noises, and some days she "talks" so much it is sort of like having a parrot in the house. I doubt she's going to turn into the strong, silent type any time soon.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter madness

At 12 weeks (last Friday) I put Thea in her crib for the night for the second time in her life. I hadn't been sleeping very well with her next to me, and more often than not, she was spending half the night nursing, which was a tad hard on the neck (mine, not hers.) So in honor of Liam's wellbaby nurse, Betty Eneboe, who helped most of Homer's population make it through their early years, we put her in the crib. At Liam's three-month check-up, Betty told us sternly that it was "time to put that baby in a crib." She was absolutely right. Liam woke only twice that first night, and soon was sleeping through the night.
Thea didn't do too badly the first night or the second, waking two or three times in the night. But last night she woke at 11, 12, 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30. Gaaahhhh. Must have been all those chocolate easter eggs I ate yesterday.
Today, as we ventured out on the town to take Liam to Raspberry Lane, I got that feeling that I should not be driving. My face had been twitching for the past couple days, something I always attribute to being on the edge of some sort of cliff. Today, it was like someone was pinning a vodoo doll of me - my eyes were going off like crazy. At the coffee shop, I kept losing my train of thought half way through a sentence, and it didn't get better as the day went on - not aided by the fact that the dog's anal gland got plugged and not only did she stink after a trip to the vet but I got the honor of applying some medicine to her butt (in, not on) for the next three days while Matt is in Soldotna for more training. It is possible that my nerves were a tad frayed.

So I tried to get a little nap, though Thea was still restless. I settled down for a bit, then heard a rustling sound behind me. The (stinky) dogs were outside, so I realized it had to be Liam. I looked around the corner and saw him with a stool trying to get into his easter basket not 10 feet away from where I was sleeping. BUSTED.
It was not the day to pull something like that with me. I gave him ten minutes on the seat, then told him he couldn't have candy or movies for two days. Then I sat him down and gave him this rambling lecture about trust and lying and a bunch of other stuff that I don't even remember. I'm pretty sure I made no impression whatsoever, until he found a jelly bean and I made him put it in his basket instead of eat it. That made an impression.
But I'm focusing on small victories - I put Thea down in her crib at 9 p.m. and she cried for maybe five minutes before nocking off. Yahoo. That's almost like a schedule sorta thing.
Here's to hoping she doesn't make me pay for that optimistic thought.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Daddy's girl

Thea and Matt are doing much better these days - as you can see from this picture. She tolerates his doting attention quite nicely on occasion. Perhaps these girls know what they are doing from the very beginning - make their dads earn every smile and keep them working at it. Whatever it is, it is lovely to see the two of them getting on so well, and not just because it means some day I might actually be able to escape for a few minutes to myself.
Well, I have survived spring break, which is an oxymoron when you have kids because having them home all day all week is NOT a break. I survived play dates, colds, a dishwasher that tried to quit and serious fits of grouchiness, and I'm happy to say that the house is only partly destroyed. That said, I cannot wait for Monday morning when I drop my dear son off at Raspberry Lane again. It is truly worth every penny to have four hours free of "Hey, Mom, do you know whhhaat?"
I talked to my grandmother today after whom Thea is named. Hopie said she heard I had a colicky baby, and to tell you the truth I didn't know how to reply. Either she's getting easier or I'm getting used to it or both. But if someone had asked me at 5:30 in the morning when she woke for the zillionth time this week, I would have replied differently, I believe. At that time of day she seems very colicky. But the old rule of thumb of a baby being colicky if they cry three hours a day three days a week- she doesn't do that. She just has a really hard time with farts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

toes, dreams and smiles

Thea has been on an early morning kick (literally) for the past week, waking around 5 a.m. with gas and kicking and grunting around in bed until one of us gets up with her. Once up, of course, she is all smiles and charm, then crashes after about a half-hour in her beloved swingy chair. So this morning I got up with her in a daze, and went into the laundry room to change her diaper. I promptly walked into the tool box and banged my toe up pretty bad - realized later in the day that my toe nail is cracked about half-way down. Ugg. What a way to wake up.
I was looking at some early days picks of Thea today, and she really has changed so much. She's got so much personality these days. Tonight I went out with a couple friends to try and flesh out our business plan for the WordWorks idea. We went to Fat Olives and had apps and a bottle of wine, and while I managed to forget our postcards at home, the night went very well on Thea's end. She nursed through the meeting, then accompanied Jackie and I to Cups for dessert, where she made goo-goo noises for everyone and doled out big smiles like jelly beans on Easter morning. She didn't even holler once the whole evening - not getting in and out of the car seat or getting carted through the nasty snow. Pretty awesome.
I may soon have to stop complaining about life with a newborn - she's really not any more. Lots of work, for sure, but not really a newborn. Today I had Oskar, Liam's preschool friend, over for the day. We picked him up this morning and walked the beach (Thea napped in the Snugglie), then went to the library for story hour, where Thea blew her diaper in the middle of the art project, and I was very greatful I'm not the mother of twins. Back at home, the boys had a lot of fun and Thea managed to nap at the crucial points - lunch, bathroom situations, etc - and be mellow enough to handle the rest of the time.
All in all, it was a looong day. But I have a lot to be thankful for as the mother of an almost 3-month-old who is gradually moving back into life as most of us know it. I know I'm jinxing myself, but...
Pictures later.
Oh, tonight I fit back into the jeans I bought last April when I went to Anchorage totally unaware that I was preggo and went shopping. By the end of that month, I couldn't get into them. I've been looking at them ever since, wondering if they would ever fit again. Small victories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I feel great. You know that feeling after you have been sick when you aren't anymore and you just want to run around doing everything you didn't do while you were sick? It's like you are superwoman. Sorta.
Night before last, I started feeling queasy. Then, I got a splitting headache, which I never get and it moved into my shoulders, too. Then I started getting dizzy when I stood up. Gah. And the next day was the first day of spring break. Translation: both kids home all day.
Thea's had a cold for about a week now, and so she wakes up a lot at night. Monday was no exception, and by 5:30 a.m. I was so tired of nursing nursing and nursing that I asked Matt to take her. Sure, he said, put her right here next to me. Not exactly what I had in mind. He finally woke up and took her downstairs so I could sleep for a bit.
The day was a blur of tv for Liam and the couch for me. The only decent thing I did was plant a coin in the Leprechaun trap we set outside earlier in the week. (that's a shell with a little honey in it, for those who don't know, since Leprechauns love honey.)
What was funny was with all that nothingness, Thea was happy as could be. I guess it was one of the few times she got to work it entirely on her schedule - she napped when she needed to, played when she wanted to, and got all the face time she could possibly imagine. We had some great laughing sessions yesterday, and Liam pulled out a whole bunch of new toys for her, several of which she thinks are pretty cool since she can reach for things now, although not with much accuracy. But she's working on it.
She was truly in heaven. Until about 8 p.m. when the belly bubbles caught up with her and she hollered for about an hour before passing out until 3 a.m.
So I got some decent sleep and don't feel queasy or achey or any of it. Only problem is now there are all the things I didn't get to yesterday waiting for me.
Oh, the other milestone yesterday was that I hit the 150s. I know I shouldn't be concerned with my weight right now, but I'm interested to see how far this will go thanks to nursing madness. So now I am officially below my prepregnancy weight. You wouldn't know it from a glance at the ol' belly, but luckily, I live in a non-belly-baring area.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


While we were in Hawaii, one of my molars started to hurt. I figured I would take care of it when we got back and chewed on the other side of my mouth. Then, several days ago, the molar on the other side started to hurt. Bad. I couldn't even chew there at all without getting zingers that made my eyes water. So, I made an appointment to have my mouth inspected. That appointment was on Thursday morning, but we had to go to Soldotna Wednesday night so I could interview a firefighter for a little story I am doing for a magazine. Matt was in Soldotna all week for training, so we took advantage of his hotel room and went for a road trip, despite colds and total lack of sleep for several nights. Then, we booked it back to Homer in the morning.
As we crested Baycrest Hill, Thea woke and started to cry. No biggie, Thea always cries. So I dropped Liam off at preschool and then went to the beach to let the dogs run around and pee before my dentist appointment. When I went to pull Thea out of her car seat for a snack, I knew something was wrong as soon as I reached in. Wet. Not just Wet. Really Wet. She had blown out her diaper with a huge poo all up her back and down her leg. Her carseat cover was soaked, she was wiped out, and screaming, and we're in a parking lot. So, with the door open to the nearly-freezing weather, I pulled off her clothes, wrapped her in a blanket, used about 100 wipes to clean her up, rediapered and dressed her and lined her carseat with a blanket to keep her seperate from the mess. Then we nursed, went to our friend Andrea's house, where I dropped her off, and headed to the dentist office.
They took 1,000 xrays and inspected my mouth. What did they find? Nothing. A couple tiny cavities, but nothing that should be really bothering me.
"So what's causing all this pain," I asked.
"Well, is it possible you are clenching your jaw," she responded.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, it was sure to happen one of these days. Thea got sick yesterday. And of course it was right after the first time I left her with someone - my sister - and went to the gym. She hadn't been doing very well sleep-wise and I was at the end of my rope, and Matt was in Soldotna all week, so I needed a break. And of course it was awesome. I ran and ran and ran. I ran for every time I got woken up during the night and I ran for every moment I didn't think I could make it through another day. It felt sooo good.

So I picked her up and she was crying of course, but Samantha swore she did very well. And when we got home, she started snifffing. And by dinner time, she was sniveling like a soap opera star. Last night was crazy. I'm not sure how often I nursed her, but it felt like it was pretty much the whole night. Sleeping sideways like that is getting old.
So today, I had to take the cat to the vet in the morning. I put her in a box and tied the lid on with a scarf. Good, I thought. Hah. I had to carry a ton of stuff out to the car because it was "pajama day" at preschool, so he needed blankets, pillows, etc. And I put the cat in the car, then left the door open for Liam to get in the car. And We finally all piled in the car and were backing out when I happened to touch the box and realize there was no cat in it. So back into the house to find the cat, then drove down the hill holding the box top on while the cat tried to make a break for it. Then when we got to Raspberry Lane, Liam had a meltdown over the idea of turing out the lights and pretending to sleep, so by the time I got back to the car, the cat had escaped. So I'm driving around town with this cat bouncing around the car. And of course, Thea was protesting the whole time.

Finally, I grabbed control of the situation, borrowing a cat carrier before my cat made a break for it and calling my in-town friend in desperate search of a couch for my snotty-nosed infant to nurse on. Sometimes I feel like the stereotypical frazzled soccer mom in the Halmark afternoon movies. You know the one that starts babbling to herself and swaying back and forth?
On a cool note, however, we had Thea and her buddy Kayah on their tummies and she did really well holding up her head for the first time.
Here's to hoping we get a little sleep tonight.

Friday, March 7, 2008

6.5 hours sleep

Thea went in for her 2-month visit yesterday, and was inspected all over and found to be alarmingly healthy, as expected. I told myself I would never again fall in the world of crowing about your baby's percentiles, but when I got her stats, I was thrown right back in. She was close to 14 pounds and more than 25 inches long. That puts her into the 95th percentile for weight and 100th percentile for length. Wow. Does that mean that statistically no kids are longer than her at this age? Odd stuff, statistics.
Then, after all that good news, Thea got her first round of shots. She hollered a bit and then fell asleep in shock. The doc said she might be crabby and sleepy for the next couple days. He wasn't kidding. She slept and slept and slept and last night, she went to sleep around 9 and didn't wake until 4:30. I was in shock when she woke me up and it wasn't midnight. Today, she has essentially slept all day, which only a few wake periods. Pretty mellow, actually.
They also gave us a perscription for some medicine for acid reflux, which they think she may have since she likes to sleep sitting up (thus her love of the swinging chair and the car seat.) I haven't filled it yet. I'm going to do some research to see if there is a drug-free way to combat it.
Regardless, it feels like she is mellowing quite a bit, and not just since we knocked her out with immunizations. She only seems to let 'er rip when she is forced into a situation she doens't want to be in - like grocery stores. As crazy as it seems, a baby who cries about something rather than nothing that I can identify is a huge improvement.
So my new dream is that three weeks from now, this craziness will fade into distant memories and I'll get to enjoy more of this interesting little smiley girl I've seen from time to time.
And for now, I'm just happy to have gotten 6.5 hours of sleep.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Poopy lip

Every time I talk to someone about Thea and her howling, they ask me, "But she's getting better now, isn't she." Ummm. Yah, the last 15 minutes were OK, so it must be getting better, right? I can't keep track, really. I think she's getting better. I seem to be getting things done, and most of the time, it's not while she's howling. But I still haven't stopped thinking of her as a grenade about to explode. She serenaded the Homer Safeway store the other day, and proved that grandmothers everywhere want to fix your baby for you when she's turning purple and choking.
I took her to Liam's preschool the other day to pick him up and she hollered her head off. We were outside, and the school dog, Curtis, joined in, howling along with her. What a crack-up.

One fun thing happened a couple days ago when Liam discovered he could push Thea in her swingy chair. She smiled up at him like he was a god. Honestly, he has a big fan in her. He's been giving her more hugs and smiles lately.
Nights haven't been great lately. She woke up every two hours the last two nights, and won't let me move her to the cosleeper. I woke up this morning at 6 and gave up after several hours of pretend sleep.
Liam has been hot and cold. Definately more attention-getting stuff going on. Yikes. Double Yikes. Right now he's marching around the living room playing his guitar and singing. Loudly. Lots of sharps and flats. Can you say future metalhead? I gotta get him in violin lessons, quick.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

14 pounds

I just climbed on the scale, and while I haven't lost much in Hawaii thanks to brie and beer, neither of which I should be consuming, Thea has exploded. She now weighs 14 pounds, according to my scale, at 2 months of age, and is around 25 inches long, though that's tricky to measure. So she gained a pound a week while we were gone.
In comparison, Liam was 13.25 pounds at 6 weeks, 16 pounds at 3 months and 26 inches long at 6 weeks, so the two are running neck and neck, despite Thea's early low birth weight, which makes me believe even more that she was really losing weight in the womb prior to birth.
Healthy babies are the best.


Well, this picture says it all. We are glad to be home, but tired from the trip. Today is sunny and just below freezing here in Homer, and it is quite a shock to go from sitting on your balcony sipping coffee in the morning to sitting on the couch looking at snow. The trip home was long, especially sitting in those airplane seats for 6-plus hours, which we decided was just short of torture. But Thea and Liam did pretty well, sleeping the whole time. We rested at our friends' house in Anchorage for a few hours, then headed out for the five-hour trip home. Thea slept most of the way, but gave us an hour or so of serenading at top notes when she wanted to hang out and we wanted to drive on.
When we got home, the house was in surprisingly good shape, except for some snow in the driveway and our water heater being off. But a magic fairy had come in and left lasagna and cookies - so nice to come home to.
And Thea is absolutely glad to be home (not to mention Liam, who is still rediscovering all his long-lost toys.) Thea played happily on her activity mat for a good half-hour last night, and seems quite happy to fall asleep in her swinging chair. She also slept happily in her cosleeper, much to my joy, since she's been snuggling next to me for a month and I was worried she would be hard to move. I just sleep so much better when I'm not being punched and kicked all night long. I'm going to try the crib out pretty soon, once things get settled, and see how that goes. We moved Liam at 3 months, and it was awesome - just two feedings a night. We'll see if Thea follows suit.
I went through her drawers this morning and took out all the 0-3 month clothes that won't fit her long body any more. Putting the new ones in was kind of fun - like Christmas all over again. So many cute little clothes, it's hard to choose what to wear. Then again, I'm still in my jammies, so who knows if we will even get out of those today.
All in all, it is good to be home.