Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ring! Ring!

My mom had a series of baby development journals for each month of the first year of life.  They were cutting edge research for 1973 and apparently my mom valued them greatly. My dad found most of them for me and I've been reading them.  Surely there are many things one could not do to a baby these days, but there is actually a lot of interesting information.  They are always quite advanced in terms of what they say a baby can do.  For example, the ten month journal says that your baby is probably racing you to the phone and beating you to it, answering and babbling into the phone.  Now that doesn't seem likely for a ten month old, but besides that, I realized that Neko will have such a different relation to the phone than we did.  For one, it is not in the same place ever, it is much less obvious when we are on the phone and we so rarely talk on it.  She thinks it is just for pressing.  She is much more attracted to blackberries than to iPhones as they have buttons.  Regis had the clever idea to recycle old technology into working baby toys, with different software for babies.  So clever.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nursing past one year

The plan had been to nurse on demand for one year and then just nurse in the morning and evening as long as I can, expecting to about Neko's second birthday.  But, now I'm not sure.  I like never having to worry too much, for example if she doesn't eat much for a day or so or if she only eats O's and maybe doesn't eat vegetables for a few days.  I don't want to give her cow's milk, but don't particularly want to give her too much soy milk or rice milk either.  And nursing is sort of the answer to all of life's problems with a baby, particularly if you need to do something like fly cross country.  So I'm not sure.  There are a lot of people who nurse for two years and I'd like to ask them why, what they found to be the benefit.  I do hate to bare the looks and disgust of everyone as I know I will endure if I'm nursing an 18 month old.  I could always nurse through Christmas, so 15 1/2 months. That would take me through three more flying vacations.


I debated whether to write this as aren't I falling into that reveal too much on the Internet problem?  But sex after having a baby is something people should probably share so other people don't think they are weird.  Unless I'm weird, in which case . . . I don't know.  But, lactation hormones are the opposite physically of sex hormones, so at least in my case I'm not quite as excited or ready as I might normally be.  All of that is not to mention the fact that you are incredibly sleep deprived and have a creature on you touching you and sucking out your liquids 24 hours a day. Being touched by someone else and spilling liquids is like the last thing that appeals to me most of the time.  For me often when my husband proposes it (especially when he was on crutches and I was the family galley slave) my first thought is like, "add it to the list." Just put it on the list of chores that I have to perform to keep the household running.  Things are a bit better now as Neko sleeps a teeny bit more, like 5-6 hours in the first bout and nursing is a bit less wet and dramatic.  So this was more a post based on the lowest points, but I thought it was important to share, so people realize they aren't alone if they are less than thrilled with the prospect of sex at times in the first year of having a baby.

Flying with Baby

Well, traveling with Neko has gotten considerably more difficult.  She is so much more mobile on the plane.  We were flying from New York to Vancouver and spent an hour on the tarmac before takeoff.  Around five hours in I almost screamed, "Are we there yet?" at Regis.  The nice thing is, for her it is a normal day just without naps. But she is so active it isn't like she is couped up so at least I don't feel badly about that.  But for us it is so much harder.  She doesn't let you read or have earplugs in or eat or drink so you are sort of stuck wrestling her the entire trip. She did sleep like 40 minutes.  I watched Date Night though which was funnyish.  Tina Fey had a funny part where she said she didn't want to leave her husband for another man, she just sometimes imagines being alone.  Like being in a hotel room with AC and a sprite and a chance to eat her lunch with no one touching her.  I could totally relate yesterday. I think Morrissey nursed like 55 times yesterday!  I was going to lose it.

Almost One

I can't believe it.  It's a few days shy of her 11 month birthday and I'm already getting sad about her first birthday.  This will be her last "month" birthday.  It has gone so fast.  The first three months seemed long, but since then it has just flown by.  I remember my dog's first birthday and everything has just accelerated since then.  I was sad after July 4th because I realized that that was her last "first" holiday (besides Bastille Day).  The last time we could enjoy the fact that it was her first time.  Not that she cares, nor will she remember until about her 4th time, but still.  I can't believe that this will be the only time in my life I get to spend a year alone with a baby with nothing else to do.  Although that hasn't always sat so well with me, it is such a privilege to have gotten to spend just about every waking (and non) moment with her watching this amazing development.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time Passes

I wish I could freeze this evening.  We had a cookout at Regis's parents house in Baltimore.  Regis's mom, Mimi to Neko, was raising her up in the air and she is such a little baby; soon she won't be.  As Mimi said to Neko's two cute cousins, the next time they see her she may be walking.  This time when she is a cute, crawling, bald baby will be gone.  The two boys, 13 and 11, went up with Mimi to give Neko her bath and get her all ready for bed.  The listened to everything Mimi said about how to change her diaper and get her ready for bed and gave her such attention and love.  She is such a lucky baby to have so much support and love.  In the drawers were some of her newborn things and I just never thought time would pass so quickly.  I hope I can appreciate it enough. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

All-In-One Cloth Diapers

So I found a source on Ebay that sells AIO cloth diapers and they were only about $5 a diaper versus like $18-21 for the more famous brands.  They came from China so may be made for children by children.  They seem to be in usage no different from the paper diapers.  They have yet to leak. She doesn't need to be changed more frequently and when I change her they seem dry on the part that touches her so liquid must soak up in the insert.  I did a wash and dry just regular and everything was easy. I ordered 16 plus the 2 I had and we probably went 4-5 days this way.  I just throw the poopy ones in a bag.  They are a bit bulky, but in summer she can just wear them as pants as they are so cute!

The Hardest Time

Neko met my dad's cousin this past weekend out in Southold.  He asked how old she was and when I said nine months he commented that I was past the worst.  And yet I kind of feel more in the weeds now than ever.  Maybe some of it can be attributed to being sick and having a husband on crutches, but I just feel my day is filled with chores, that I'm failing as a mom since Neko isn't sleeping like she should and is sometimes whiny/clingy all day, and that I will never ever accomplish anything of consequence again. I still haven't been to the dentist or gynecologist, the dogs are months behind on their vet check ups, the baby journal only goes to New Years, other multimedia projects have been forgotten, I haven't done yoga alone since before Neko was born, I can't imagine how I am going to train for this marathon next Fall . . . We haven't even set up a nursery for her and it is going to be really hard to do that all on my own.  I just don't understand why people always say the first few months are the hardest.  Neko sleeps less and needs more interaction than ever.  If I'm not trying to get her to sleep then I'm feeding her in the hopes that she will eat all day and be full all night. Also why is it all me? When Reggie helps with Neko he simply buys me some time by keeping her from crying for an hour.  Granted he is on crutches and so can't do much with her, but at the end of that hour she hasn't learned anything, or eaten or been changed or cleaned or readied for bed.  All that remains to be done when I get her back.  The other day I stayed in bed all day pretty much as I was sick. I thought since she hadn't napped that Neko might fall asleep early at around 6.  I had tried to get her to nap from 4 to 5 and had given up, so tried again 6 to7 and failed. I brought her down to Reggie.  When I went back down a little after 8 to walk the dogs I asked if he had fed her.  He said he didn't know he was supposed to and that she didn't seem hungry.  So no part of feeding her every day for the past 3 1/2 months in the evenings had made any impression on him or created any pattern recognition? And she has to seem hungry, really? Like feeding her so she sleeps more than 2hrs at a time isn't motivation enough? I was just shocked.  Everyone I mentioned it to feels the same way about their husbands.  How can this be evolutionarily viable.  I showed such promise, how have I put myself in this position?

Liquid Gold

A friend gave me some surplus milk she had that she wasn't going to get to before it went bad (3 months in a normal freezer).  It has been such a lifesaver.  Especially this week when I have been sick and have had to take some decongestants that dry you up, it has been great to have an extra bottle to use over the course of a day.  I mix her milk with some vegetable broth that I made from the baby food book that was given to me with the Beaba and just have a big bottle to use as a supplement all day.  It has been such a lifesaver.  And it has helped me to feel free to have a babysitter as I know I won't be depleting my store to zero.  I am so thankful!  I'm not sure why she produces so much.  She has an electric pump but so do a lot of people.  I just use a handheld as my schedule hasn't required much pumping. She started pumping a lot from the beginning so maybe upped it then and it has just kept up.  I'm not sure but I am glad.  She tried to donate it, but said she didn't have much luck. There are some programs that do that, but I think only in some places.

Ferberizing Everyone

Starting on her nine month birthday and because I needed to take some NyQuil in order to stop coughing we decided to try to ignore the 3hr after bed time wake/feeding which is usually around midnight.  The first night she cried for about 15-20 minutes and then didn't wake up again until close to 5am.  In the past these attempts had always failed as she would cry for over an hour and then we would give up and feed her anyway.  Then last night, the second night of our new regime, I don't believe she woke up at midnight at all and didn't wake up for feeding until after 4am.  I say "don't believe" as I have quarantined myself in the guest bedroom with two doors slid shut between me and the family so that I can cough to my heart's content without waking the baby.  At 6am, one of our dogs went downstairs and barked to be let out.  Having seen his digestion from the day before I determined that it wasn't a diarhea issue and decided to ferberize him as well.  He eventually came back up and went to sleep.  What a success!  I did have some leaf throw up to clean up later that morning, but it was well worth not having to get up.

Movement Class

Despair not, just as I had written to Dionne, the dance instructor, about whether Neko should be in the pre-creeping or creeping class, she started crawling.  She isn't like crazy crawling all over but definitely making her way.  She can pull herself up to stand and can go from crawl to sit to crawl.  So just about at her nine month birthday give or take a few days.  She still doesn't babble syllables, but she seems to understand a lot.  It is pretty wild now to see what she can do.  This morning she saw a  toy of hers under the couch and crawled to get it.  She has so much more agency.
The toy she found is kind of funny.  Our babysitter Shirley brought over a "mommy's helper" toy that my friend had decided was too girly for his boy, Carlos.  It is a shopping cart with room for a baby doll and some food stuff and a cell phone.  Shirley said that Carlos was bawling when she left with it because he loves it. Hard to have to learn machismo so early.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rated R Movies

Ok, the previous post was a repeat, but I'm going to chalk that up to mommy brain.  Regis says my memory has been erased since I've been pregnant.  I don't know if it is or not. It is true I don't remember anything he says we did last year.
I am beginning to think Neko might be a little to old for the Rattle and Reel movies at Landmark Sunshine.  The other mothers tend to have young babies. They are probably making the most productive use of their three month maternity leave before they go back to their important jobs rather than just being completely without purpose like myself.  In any case, there was a pretty violent rape scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo today and she was looking up at the screen. I had to forcibly turn her around and try to distract her.  The tend to show some dark stuff.  Last time we went was The Square where the friggin dog got eaten by a friggin shark on screen.  Seriously. BUUUTTT next week is Babies, which I am so excited about.

Development worries

So Neko is a bit behind in a couple of things.  She doesn't babble consonants, like she should be doing bah bah bah, but she only makes vowel, h, and y sounds along with clicks, burbles, and growls.  Also she isn't really crawling.  She should be doing a commando crawl.  She does sometimes cover some distance but it isn't clear how it is done, more like an inchworm with a stretch and rotating action where you can't really see her moving but the next thing you know she is on you.  I wasn't too worried, because I had heard and read that all babies crawl differently and that some never crawl, but then we went to a movement class and were told that all this propping her up to sit has been stunting her development.  Ever since Neko could sit we've been propping her up and letting her play. We thought it was great since then she could play independently, but apparently she should have been on her stomach on bare floors with bare legs developing her coordination and brain function.  Doh!  With the dogs and now we have mice it isn't really an ideal situation, but Dionne the instructor said we could undue our errors in just a few days of bare floor play.  She follows a school of thought that says that babies must go through all the stages of crawling -- commando, creeping, not sure what else -- or they don't develop properly in mind or body.  They even relate crawling to reading.  So we have some catching up to do.  Neko's friend Nick who is five days younger can bah bah and dah dah and scoot and put himself into a sitting position from pre-creeping.  I hope it isn't the lack of sleep stunting her growth.


Well, one plus to having a baby who eats every 1 to 2 to max 3 hours is that my boobs are pretty much never engorged.  I haven't had to wear a bra the whole time, which is good since I hate wearing bras and they can lead to blocked milk ducts.  Also I'm hoping that means I won't have saggy boobs after I stop breastfeeding.  There does have to be a plus.
Three nights ago we had a great night -- 5 hrs then 4 1/2.  But, then back to the normal.  We entertained the good night, but we had people over the next night too and no luck.  Two nights ago we had a night of eating like every two hours, then Regis was up at five am to go to the hospital for knee surgery, then Dominic the dog was up at six am to go out since he has decided not to poop on our walks but on his own schedule and then I heard McNolte the other dog throwing up at seven am.  Can no one cooperate and hold it together in my time of need?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Food Cafe

I read about this restaurant where they serve homemade organic baby food to your table.  Neko and I had to check this out.  They definitely didn't nail it.  First of all, the baby food takes 45 minutes, the adult food comes quickly.  Not quite sure what they are thinking.  We ordered some food to take after my lunch.  They served it in a bowl just as we were ready to go.  Their only size is a large soup bowl so you'd have to go with like 15 babies to eat it all.  We got it to go though and I'm psyched to try it. We got carrot and broccoli.  Neko has gotten a little funny about eating.  She is not that into eating from a spoon anymore, she wants to feed herself, but she isn't quite there.  She can't get a spoon with food into her mouth, just the spoon.  She can pick up small pieces of banana and avacado but she doesn't bring them to her mouth.  She loves to suck on pretzels and toast or hard bread so I try to put hummus on it for a few nutrients.  Today I put a half a banana in her hand and she did seem to gum that and eat quite a bit.  In the restaurant, she was sucking on broccoli and eating little bits at the restaurant so I may try more of that.  She has no teeth though so it is scary to give her stuff. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Diaper Debate

I'm currently debating the cloth diaper thing.  I found an eco-friendly cloth diaper service in NYC but it is a little bit expensive, 30 dollars a week which is about 4x as much as for our somewhat eco-friendly disposable diapers.  It uses the fold-up kind which I've been experimenting as a friend of my mom's gave us some at Neko's shower which are from a service in North Carolina where she lives.  There are a few problems -- they are bulkier and don't seem that comfortable with the cotton the strappy closure thing and the plastic cover, you definitely have a much more face-to-face experience of poop, although that may be because we don't have a disposal bin for them, but most of all you have to change them every time the baby wets, which as it turns out is like every two hours.  With the disposables we only use like 4-5 diapers a day.  So that alone is untenable.  But as a green mom blog pointed out the fact that my disposables are 60 percent biodegradable is a moot point because you'd have to take them apart and separate that part out to get it to biodegrade.  So, I've ordered a couple of the all-in-one organic diapers to see what that is like.  They are super expensive. A pack of 24 of the Bum Genius ones was over 500 dollars but supposedly they are adjustable so you just have to buy them once so over two years (but almost taking that long) you would save money. There is actually a big market for resale of these, surprisingly.  It would be great not to be adding to our ridiculous amounts of garbage as we order in twice a day plus coffees which makes me sick.  And they are pretty cute and comfy looking, the all-in-one diapers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

So tired

Why are we the only people whose baby awakes every three hours all night (that's the good part of the night, the bad part moves to like an hour and a half).  I just don't know what we are doing so wrong and I don't want to do the crying cure as I know she can cry all night, I don't logically know why it would work. I would simply take from that that my parents don't give a s--t about me. 
We went to a really fun movement class yesterday.  Apparently you are not supposed to prop your baby up to sit until they can get into that position themselves.  Whoops, meanwhile we've been letting her sit and play or sit with us on the couch hours every day. Supposedly for proper development the baby should be on the bare floor bare-legged with lots of tummy time most of the time.  Neko is a little behind on both her crawling and babbling, so maybe it is because we retarded her development.  The teacher said she can catch up in no time with three days of practice. Or she could be getting brain damage from lack of sleep. Today she is just waking from her second half hour nap.  What to do?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Onion Cold Cure

We had great success last night with a home remedy suggested by a friend.  Neko has been very stuffed up and we have had desperate nights as she can't get enough to eat and so has been waking frequently. I almost ferberized her the other night. I just didn't have the energy to feed her two hours after she'd just eaten and even after eating she was crying which is very unusual. I dragged the pak-n-play downstairs and was going to just let her cry all night once and for all (more about another friend's experience with The Dream Team and Crying Cure in another post), but when I got back upstairs Regis with his gimpy leg had managed to get her up and quiet her until I could deal again.  So last night, we put the two legs of the co-sleeper on books so that she could sleep at an incline and chopped an onion and put it by the bed.  Was a little gross smelling all night, but we all had a much better sleep than we have had in days. I thought the smell might induce some strange dreams, but not so last night. I highly recommend it. My friend got the idea from her naturapath pediatrician. We also use AYR Saline Nasal Gel which seems to get the nose running and boogers out. I have yet to use the Nosefrida my pediatrician, Dr. John Snyder (until St. Vincent's let him go boo hoo) had me buy. I'm kind of scared.  Check it out and read the reviews, pretty hilarious. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Well, for bad mouthing my husband I was punished.  He is currently immobilized on crutches so now I really am responsible for the whole household.  It's exhausting, but kind of fulfilling to just feel utterly spent physically at the end of a day.  Today in mommy/baby yoga during the relaxation we had our legs up the wall and Neko was nursing and they started playing either James Taylor or Cat Stevens, the song where it goes, "we've got time . . . " and I started crying a little. I just realized how precious the time is with this baby, how quickly it goes.  But we will have a lot of quality time, I just need to appreciate every minute.  Even if I die when my mom did at 54, I'll still have almost 20 years with her.  And if the promise of the vegan diet we've been feeding the boys is true then they should live another 15 years, so we do have time as a family.  But, I really want to just savor every bit and I guess the sadness is that this is impossible.  We are so lucky right now being all together.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Going It Alone

A younger friend without many other mom friends asked me today if I am getting other things done.  I said that no, I can't seem to get anything done.  When I've said that to other people with kids they have replied laughng that they didn't get anything done for a decade.  My friend asked if Regis, who works at home, is much help and I shook my head.  I have to say that having a baby is very uneven.  While breastfeeding I don't know how to change that, and even if I weren't I still do pretty much everything unless I ask specifically.  Then I get an hour or two off, but the other 20 -22 hours a day are pretty much me. We aren't the most modern family, but we both work at home, we both wanted the baby, and I had said I didn't want to do all the work.  The only even division of work I've seen is in families with twins or families where the mom is simply gone, like in medical residency or work travel.  The only way I have found to keep from being constantly frustrated with this situation is to think to myself that I am doing it alone and I give myself a pep talk saying: I can raise this baby, do meaningful work, and keep a household all by myself.  Then I'm pleasantly surprised when I do have help.  I think I don't even realize how good I have it having Regis at home.  If I want to go for a run or have to get to a meeting or simply can't take it anymore I can just go.  I can't imagine waiting and waiting for a husband to get home at 6, 7, or 8  to hand off the baby.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grandfather spoiling

I caught my dad, Bobob to Neko, feeding her cake today at my cousin's engagement lunch.  Not exactly on any of the recommended lists I've read for first foods.  Sugar, wheat and dairy all at once.  Ah well, what can ya do? I asked my dad one day, "Why are you feeding the dogs donuts?"
"Because they love them," he replied.
At least she doesn't have teeth to rot.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rough Day

Could she possibly be hitting another growth spurt at 7 1/2 months? I just fed her for an hour from 6:30 to 7:30 and had to use my finger to pry her off me since I couldn't take it any more. Now she has been in the crib crying for half an hour. The books say there is a 4 and 8 month growth spurt and they describe it as like 2 days when the baby eats every two hours. But, Baby Neko ate every two hours day and night from 3 1/2 months to six months. Today she only napped twice for about 45 minutes each time and with 20 to 30 minutes of extra feeding to get her down. I don't know if I can take an extended period like this again.