msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
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Baby Mullet and Ted Koppel

Phantom poops and my job as Penis Caretaker

I just have to write about it to make it disappear

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I think there's a real resistance in this culture to caring for children

It's not such a hard job, it's just 24/7

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« February 2004 | Main | April 2004 »

March 30, 2004

Baby Mullet and Ted Koppel

I trimmed the back of Julian's hair today. He has lost most of his newborn hair and just has peach fuzz all over now, except for a rim of hair at the back of his neck that mysteriously remained long. It was a total Baby Mullet. He was like a little hockey player baby, or a cholo baby, and it looked silly, so I trimmed it off today. Aw, his first haircut...a mullet trim.

Ted KoppelBaby hair is ridiculous. So many babies have hair that would make Don King proud. It stands straight up in the air about 3 inches long. I have seen a bunch of babies with that hair. There was a baby with a mohawk at my new mom group. All the hair had worn off except for a strip along the top ridge of his head. Ha, my baby has a head like a bowling ball, no ridge, so therefore he got the mullet instead of the mohawk. But the BEST baby hair that I've seen is a baby at my new mom group who has the thickest hair I've ever seen on anyone. And it's long and it even looks like it's been styled. It took me a few days, but I finally realized that this baby has hair just like Ted Koppel, except this baby's hair is twice as thick. Ted Koppel hair on a 4 week old baby! It's too much. I brought my Palm Pilot in (it has a little camera in the back) so as to take a surreptitious pic of the Ted-Koppel-on-Rogaine baby, but he and his mom didn't come last week. Dang.

My friend Lisa came by for a visit. Julian loves Auntie Lisa....she knows all the baby positioning moves! Sitting up in front, cuddled over the shoulder, cradled in arms, draped across body while standing up, and so on! She even tried the new "baby standing up" position (a current fave), but the baby was tired and fighting sleep at that point, so he just slumped down and didn't stand up like he normally does. He's finally sleeping now. It was so exciting with Auntie Lisa here that he didn't want to close his eyes, but now that she's gone he's passed out cold. Yesssss! I especially love Lisa because she's a friend who hasn't abandoned me now that I'm a mom...which apparently makes you really uncool and not fun to hang out with. I basically only have two friends who want to hang with me anymore. I figured that would happen, it's just weird that it did. I think babies make many people uncomfortable.

It's cold again today. It was hot as hell yesterday. The weather is just completely different every day, you never know what you'll get. I know just how hot it was yesterday because Julian and I were out on the Los Gatos Creek Trail *running* from 9:30-11:00am. Well, not running the whole time. We were running/walking. I started Baby Boot Camp last Friday, but it was easy that day. It was me and two other moms with older babies, but they hadn't exercised in a few years and were quite overweight.

Yesterday was another story. It was me and four other moms, and they were all ridiculously fit and slim. The next youngest baby was 14 months old, so none of the moms had Baby Bodies either, they all looked like triathletes. We did drills where we power-walked down the trail in a line and the last person in line had to jog up past the others to the front of the line. At certain points we would stop momentarily to do strength training on triceps, biceps, shoulders, lunges, etc. At the end we did 15 minutes of abs. It was a serious workout for me, but hey, that's what I'm paying money for. It wasn't *too* hard where I thought I was going to die or anything (except for at the end when I had jogged/power-walked two miles), it was just about right.

Ugh, I can't wait to get back into my regular clothes. I can't stand wearing these elastic-waist maternity pants and skirts anymore. It's funny, I look in the mirror and I think I look semi-normal except for the postpartum tummy bulge, but then I put on my old pants and I can't even pull them up over my thighs! Was I really EVER that small? And I thought I had ten pounds to lose back *then*! My God, those pants seem miniscule now.

It's just strange how relative everything is. I feel small now compared to when I was pregnant, but when I put my old pants on I can tell just how large I am compared to pre-pregnancy. And I thought I was big *then* because I would see pics of myself next to very slender friends. It all reminds me of those stories in Shape and Fitness magazines where there's some 150 pound woman who all of a sudden steps on the scale one day and weighs 280 pounds, or she sees a photo of herself, but she never really noticed gaining weight along the way. It takes seeing the scale or seeing a photo to make it sink in. And then she's horrified and starts having chicken breast and veggies for every meal and working out 5x a week. I always wondered how that happens, how do you gain all that weight and not realize it?

How can you look in a mirror and see one thing, but then someone takes a picture of you and it's like a whole new view of yourself? Why is a photograph so much different from a mirror? Your eyes will lie to you in a mirror, but not in a photograph. I don't know why that is.

OK, time to fold laundry and finish making hummus. So many tasks to complete while the baby is sleeping...and I never know how long he'll be napping for, so it's like a race every time to get as much as possible done before I hear those little cry/whimpers that let me know he's up and doesn't see me sitting there next to his bouncy seat.

March 29, 2004

Phantom poops and my job as Penis Caretaker

I hate it when I sit down at the computer, latch Julian onto my boob, and then realize that I've just put him on the RIGHT boob, whch means that now I have to cradle him in my right arm, and I will have to do all typing/mousing with my LEFT hand. My left hand is hopelessly slow and stupid and incompetent. It's this useless piece of meat, for the most part. It may take me several hours to finish this paragraph one-handed.

I have noticed though, that I can hold the baby remarkably well with my left arm/hand. With that one arm I can prop him against my shoulder and secure him pretty well while I walk around. I can carry him on my hip easily with my left arm too. When I try to do this with my right arm it feels weird. I think it's because I am always having to do some task while I am carrying him around, and so I do the tasks with my good right arm/hand while using the stupid left arm to carry the baby. It looks like the left arm has finally gotten good at something!

Julian just psyched me out with another series of Phantom Poops. While I was typing and he was nursing, he let out what sounded like Poop Tsunamis inside his diaper. For non-baby-caretakers out there, a pooping baby makes a sound like an incredibly long, loud fart, but with an equally loud squirting liquid sound (because breastfed babies have liquid poop). I don't know, it's incredibly gross if you don't have a baby, but once you have one, the sound is pretty funny. If you have that kind of humor, that is, which I do.

So Julian just did these Poop Tsunamis like ten times in succession within a few minutes, and when I got up to change his diaper I had THREE wipes all wet and ready to clean up the expected torrent of poop from his butt. But then there was just a little *smear* of poop in his diaper! All that was just gas? But I *swear* I heard massive amounts of liquid being expelled. Weird and inexplicable. I can't believe his little belly didn't look like the Goodyear blimp! Can a baby this small possibly HOLD that much gas?

Julian gets cuter and cuter every day. Well, he does have a little bit of baby acne, and the aforementioned Baby Pattern Baldness, but being his mom, I don't focus on those little things. I mean his heart-melting laughs and smiles and coos, and the way he opens up his big blue eyes really wide to look at something that fascinates him and makes an "O" with his little cupid's bow mouth. So so cute. I don't know how we ended up with the World's Cutest Baby, but we did.

We have two new games to invoke the smiles and coos. One is the "Ready...Jump!" game. I hold him under his arms and say "Ready..." then on "Jump!" I stand him up on my lap and he actually stands, I just support him a little bit. He LOVES to work his legs, he is always kicking, kicking, kicking, and so if I give him the opportunity to actually support his weight with his legs, he loves it. He loves to stand! He holds himself up for abut 30 seconds or so and then his legs give way and I make a melting noise while he melts down to a sitting position. We take a little break of a few seconds for him to rest, then I say "Ready...." and he gets all excited. Then I stand him up on the couch and different places all around me, like he's jumping all over with each repetition. He gets so fired up and practically smiles his face off. I jump him on to the dog's back and let him stand there, he "jumps" onto Daddy's shoulder, just everywhere! Good old-fashioned fun.

We sang "Old MacBaby had a Farm" this morning, with all kinds of weird animals and noises, while I made him dance around to the beat, and THAT was a good time too, let me tell you.

Yep, when he's not fussing, he's a whole lot of fun. And when I'm not feeling like I'm going to lose my mind because it's been two days since I peed without holding a baby in my left arm while trying to get my pants off, then I'm having a great time too. In spite of feeling frustrated at times, I'm still having fun for the most part. All I have to do is think about July, when I have to go back to work...it sends cold shivers up and down my spine. ALL DAY without my baby? I might as well just lose my mind right now, because I can't imagine being OK with that in July when he's even cuter and more able to do stuff. Yikes. I can work myself into a hard cry if I think about it for more than a minute or so. Well, maybe we'll win the lottery. Maybe I should actually play the lottery.

There goes the Poop Tsunami again. I SWEAR that was poop and not just gas. But I could be wrong. Hey, that last one was Slo-Mo. Instead of "PFFFFFFFFFTTTTT", it was like "pop..pop..pop..pop..pop". Crazy.

Oh, in other recent baby news...who knew that penises required so much care? We had him circumcised, and it broke my heart at the time to think of him having his little foreskin cut off. I mean, coming at my DAY-OLD baby's GENITALS with a SCALPEL! And cutting part of his penis off! Ugh. I couldn't watch. I made Dan go and watch because he insisted on doing it. My only comfort was that it would make cleaning his penis easier, and also that there might be some girls who would think he was icky if he had his foreskin later on. Those girls are stupid, but I don't know, maybe he'll fall in love with some stupid girl and be heartbroken because she is grossed out by his foreskin, and then he'd curse me for not having him circumcised. Then again, he could be one of those guys who feels like he was violated by being circumcised as a baby and wants his foreskin back. Those guys do exist in fairly large numbers, believe me.

So the cleanliness aspect...I figured that his penis would be low-maintenance, but I stil have to pull back the little rim of foreskin remaining and clean under there all the time. And I didn't know to pull it *way* back to clean underneath at the beginning when I was in the hospital and was letting the nurses handle most of the diaper changes (and just trying not to lose my mind from the C-section post-traumatic stress disorder), so some chunk of smegma got lodged in a little crevice or something, and I guess since he's so new, some skin started to grow over it. Talk about crazy! I mean, I didn't get a Penis Care Handbook with him when he was born, and I certainly don't own a penis, so who knew? I saw these two white litte Funky Chunks when I would give him a bath and pull his little rim of foreskin back to wash under there, but I couldn't dislodge them with a normal washcloth scrubbing, even a fairly hard scrubbing with soap, and I didn't want to like, scrub his little penis to death, so I just left them. Maybe it was just skin?

Finally I decided that it wasn't just skin, I should get rid of those Funky Chunks somehow, so one day during his bath I pulled his foreskin way, way, WAY back and, no joke, had to use *tweezers* to remove those white specks/chunks from a crevice in there. They were embedded! And there was some irritation around them, of course. Not a lot, but some. I was so relieved to get them out, I had nightmares of him having a weird-looking penis and being single and celibate for the rest of his life.

So what's the deal though? I agreed to the circumcision only so that he would have an easy-to-clean penis, but now I have to do all this daily maintenance to prevent a repeat of the Funky Chunk episode. And if he *wasn't* circumcised, supposedly you can't even retract the foreskin for the first year anyways (because it's attached), so does that mean that in fact an uncut penis would be easier to clean on a baby? What's going on here?

There is an acronym commonly used on mothering websites and mailing lists... NAK. Guess what it means? Nursing at Keyboard. That's right, right now there is a small army of women with pillows on their laps (or not), babies latched on, typing one or two-handed while they feed the baby AND get online at the same time. If you get your pillows arranged right so as to nurse hands-free, it works out fine.

Little Man is asleep on my lap as we speak, worn out from several games of "Ready...Jump!" and a hearty lunch NAK. I won't be making any necklaces today, for sure. Propane torch operation and babies on laps do not mix well. Maybe someday I'll have some free time to do something creative.

In the meantime, maybe I'll order one of these t-shirts for Julian...heehee

I just have to write about it to make it disappear

Now that I've written about Julian's recent fussiness, he has been a perfect angel all day. Naturally. He has been smiling or sleeping nonstop, with nary a cry to be heard. To celebrate, we're going to take Bugs for a hike in the hills. Yay!

Baby Pattern Baldness

I forgot to mention that Julian is losing his fuzzy newborn hair. I saw it happening, but when I look at his newborn pics he has SO much hair and now he mostly has peach fuzz, with longer hairs left only at the crown of his head and a funny little rim of hair above the back of his neck. He has Baby Pattern Baldness ;-) I wonder what color his real hair will be? His newborn hair was kind of a light brown/dark blonde. He still has dark blonde eyelashes and eyebrows.

His eyes are still dark blue. No idea if they'll stay that way or not, although there's a good chance they will. Three of his four grandparents have blue eyes. He's still the Mystery Baby though.

I was just about to write how I am so thrilled that Baby J has been sleeping for almost 20 minutes now but Bugs just started *barking* at some invisible something somewhere and woke him up. Aaargh! I am going to kill that dog! I was going to get out my jewelry stuff to try to make myself a necklace...oh, except it's lunchtime, so I guess I would have spent my free time making lunch instead. Damn. Oh thank goodness, he went back to sleep.

I don't know what the deal is...I must be having some new mom burnout or something. I love my precious baby more than absolutely anything else on earth, but I am also desperate to have a few minutes to myself the last few days, just a few minutes to do anything at all besides chore around the house. I think it's a combination of the baby being fussier and napping less than he has been, plus hormones on my part, plus Dan being busy with work most of the last week. Taking care of a baby is so CONSTANT, and every time I get a spare second I need to go wash my hair or do laundry or make another friggin' meal. Our microwave stopped working, so now it takes even longer to get a meal prepared, and more forethought (defrosting meat takes ALL day long!), plus it's a huge ordeal to heat up leftovers, and it uses many more dishes. Bad timing all around.

Dammit, now the phone is ringing! That's it, I am going to toss out that loud kitchen phone that doesn't work worth a damn anyways and get a phone that has a soothing hum to it when it rings. Why isn't Dan answering it? Now his office phone is ringing. OK, feel my blood pressure rising...better go make lunch. Grrrr. Well, I know one thing for sure. I am definitely not the first woman in history to feel this way. More like the 5,376,577,239th, I'm sure.

March 28, 2004

6 weeks after

Dan and Julian are having a little daddy/son bonding time, so I finally have a few minutes to write a journal entry. Whew. Well, lately it seems like if Julian is not asleep, he is fussing. I don't know, it just seems a bit more difficult lately. If we are out doing things, then he sleeps. But if we are home, he seems to be fussing a lot if he's not nursing. I think he might be going through a growth spurt. He turned 6 weeks old yesterday, which is when the second growth spurt typically hits (first is around 3 weeks), and I have heard from other moms that growth spurts can mean nonstop eating, sleeping and fussing.

Not like he doesn't have any calm moments...he does. He still smiles and laughs and plays. It's just that it only seems to last a little while before he fusses. We have been out doing a lot of things...going to new mom and breastfeeding support groups, going on walks, going to Baby Boot Camp, going grocery shopping, going on a hike, having lunch at a restaurant. Maybe he is just so used to motion and seeing different stuff all the time that he's bored at home, it's the same old-same old. I don't know. I just know that I'm tired and I pass out on the couch at 9:00pm every night. Well, one thing's for sure, it won't last forever.

I'm sure glad that I'm not a single parent, although, Dan isn't as available to help me lately because he has been working hard trying to close a deal for work. When he can take the baby for a little while it is wonderful. I definitely feel burnout coming on strong when I don't get any breaks. Even 30 minutes helps me SO much. Those long naps were great while they lasted, but lately Baby J has been taking short litle naps every few hours instead of one big long nap in the middle of the day. He gets the same amount of sleep, but it sure makes an impact on my ability to get anything done. I was loving those long naps. Wow, baby is asleep now...go Daddy!

So I'm ramping up my efforts at getting back in shape, now that it has been 6 weeks I'm cleared for takeoff and I can start exercising again. My belly is getting flatter, finally. I went to a Baby Boot Camp yesterday (strength training, cardio, Pilates outside with your baby) and then went for a lovely hike with Elisabeth in Woodside in the redwoods. It was hard at first going uphill with Julian on front of me in the Moby Wrap, but it got easier with time. He started to pass out (see pic below) so I took him out and turned him around so that he could snuggle against me and pass out for real without his head bobbling.

Gotta run, we have to go do some errands, take tiles back (we are getting rid of splintery wood deck on patio and putting in tiles...Julian can't sit or crawl around on the patio the way it is now), get Bugs' nails clipped, etc. Maybe I will get a shower today! I took a bath with Julian last night. Very fun for both of us, but it's impossible to wash your hair when there is a baby in the tub with you. I got it wet, that's about it. OK, time to go.

March 17, 2004

Happy Ho

FINALLY got the new version of this site up. I have been so busy with it that I haven't had time to write in the journal! Well, I'll have to make up for it soon. The new news is that Julian is talking up a storm...we have a special love word that we use between the two of us....it's "ho". Isn't that precious? He says it to Daddy sometimes too. More on that soon...

March 15, 2004

Baby Buddha

I put my favorite baby photo of Julian in a frame that I had...I ordered an 8x10 print from Snapfish, and the frame was 8x10, so why not? I came downstairs to show Dan and he said, "Oh my God, it looks like he's the Baby Buddha with that giant photo in the gold frame. We should be making offerings to that photo on a little altar or something. The Shrine of Julian." We cracked up. Later on, I found a Buddha shrine-type picture that I just *happened* to have around the house and we put them together...Big Buddha and Baby Buddha. Notice how they both are wearing the one-arm garment, and both have those beatific smiles.

Everything is going fine and dandy. Julian is a sweet baby. I am a little tired but not exhausted or anything. If I can get a nap in the afternoon then life is beautiful, but otherwise I still do OK, I just end up passing out fairly early in the evening. Ideally I like to nap somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00pm, then go to bed with Julian around 11:00pm. Yesterday I didn't nap and I was tired, so I fell asleep on the couch sitting up wearing Julian in his sling around 9:30. It was a real drag, too, because I rented BaadAssss Cinema from Netflix and I only made it through the first 30 minutes or so.

Everyone says that life with a newborn is horrible, but it's really not bad...especially now. He was a month old as of last Friday, and we kind of have a routine down. I know how to calm him down and soothe him when he gets fussy (most of the time it's either food or movement that he wants, not too difficult). I have recovered from the C-section to the point that I actually feel capable of exercising again. My back doesn't hurt as horribly as it did before. I did crunches on my exercise ball yesterday and it felt good.

I don't feel trapped at home or limited in my mobility. I have already been out to eat with the baby three times (thanks to my excellent friend Lisa, who came with me to a nice restaurant for my first dining venture out with a new baby...brave soul!) and it went fine each time. We go for a walk every afternoon with Dan and Bugs. We go out and do stuff. I just pop him in his Cotton Pouch and we're fully mobile in stores and restaurants and on hiking trails, no bulky stroller required. I like the stroller for walking around the neighborhood on sidewalks though. I also use the Pouch for calming Julian down when nothing else will. It works like a charm. When he's tired and cranky I pop him into the pouch, put on Wild, Cool & Swingin' Too or something equally bouncy and dance around and belt out songs. That works really well in the evenings when he's fussy sometimes and nothing else calms him down. Make sure he's well-fed and changed, then dance and sing with him in the pouch. So far it's failsafe. Yikes, I hate to even say that for fear I'll jinx it. ;-) He only really good though, he's an easy baby. He naps for several hours during the middle of the day now, so I can take that time to get things done...take a shower, cook something, etc. I don't feel as tied down 24/7 as I was the first few weeks. I actually got time to paint my toenails and shave my legs yesterday! Today I read an entire issue of Vanity Fair (well, almost) and made a big batch of bran/flax muffins. No, they're not icky, they're really, really good. Like carrot cake.

Well, there must be a downside, right? Ok, let me think...well, we got thrush, which is basically a yeast infection in the baby's mouth that can also infect mama's nipples. It's very common. It's not so terrible, I just noticed that my nipples were a bit itchy and rashy all of a sudden, and Julian had little tiny white patches in his mouth. A woman in my New Moms group was complaining about it last week, otherwise I may not have known what it was right away.

Stupid C-section. I got a huge yeast infection in the folds of my groin, of all places. It's finally going away, but it was a nightmare while I had it, gave me a horrible nasty rash. I was in pain from all the other C-section stuff for a while and didn't even really notice it until that stuff started to feel better and then I was like, "Ouch, what the hell's this rash?" I never imagined that it could be a yeast infection of my skin, but apparently they give you a whopping huge dose of antibiotic in the hospital when you have a C-section and that kills off all your natural bacteria and leaves you wide open for yeast infestation. Damn it. So I got a cream for that from my doctor and am just getting that under control but now Julian and I *both* have this new outbreak of yeast. Hateful.

Oh, Julian weighs 11 pounds, 9 ounces already! And his head is 29 inches around and he is 22.5 inches long. He's in the 90th percentile for growth in his age group, which means that he's bigger than 90% of the other babies his age.

New events of the past few days...he can hold his head up on his own now, although he's still a little wobbly and he can't do it for very long. Also a whole range of new little sounds have crept into his repertoire, including a very cute cooing noise, a little squawk, and many others. He will sit in his bouncy seat and kick his legs and talk up a storm. The coo comes when he is gazing into your face and gives you his big fat blue-eyed happy smile. It's the cutest thing ever, I assure you.

March 10, 2004

I think there's a real resistance in this culture to caring for children

Went to the New Mom Support Group today at Good Sam Hospital. It was really good, I am going to start going every week. They had a guest speaker come in and give a little workshop on teaching babies and toddlers about music and foreign languages together. We sang songs in different languages, used sticks and simple instruments to keep the beat, etc. I learned quite a bit of Spanish by listening to music, without even trying, so I think that is a great way to learn, and I was wondering how to introduce languages to Julian.

Dan is going away overnight. How am I going to take a shower? I have a shower sling, tried to use it the other day but gave up. I went about it all wrong. Got in the shower and THEN tried to put a fussy baby into it for the first time. Bad, bad, bad.

So I am trying to figure out a pattern or signal to Julian's poops so that I can start Infant Potty Training (aka Elimination Communication), but so far they are random. Sometimes he grunts or gets red in the face, other times nothing, he doesn't even blink. Peeing is even more random. It's still hot out, so today we are going to chill on the patio where he can go diaperless. It's good for his skin to air him out, anyways. Then when I think he might have to pee I take him over to the grass and make a "ssss" sound. It's just like dog training.

Comedy yesterday...Julian was sleeping in his bouncy seat al fresco and I had his diaper off. He was sitting on top of a cloth diaper to catch anything that might leak out, if you know what I mean. I was sitting next to him drinking a glass of water, taking a break from cleaning up the backyard, and I was playing with Bugs at the same time. All of a sudden the Baby Fountain turned on, and let loose a perfect arc of pee right onto Bugs' head. That was pretty funny already, but Bugs just stayed there, getting peed on. This is a dog that tiptoes through wet grass, mind you, so it was extra funny that he didn't care about the Baby Fountain piddling right on his head. I had to pull him away...oh man, it was comedy.

For those of you that get a kick out of poo/pee/fart jokes (i.e. so-called Low Humor ;-), you will like having a baby around because it's nonstop comedy of that sort. The most humongously fake-sounding farts come out of these sweet innocent babies. They're like those squeezed-armpit fake farts, or a really powerful whoopee cushion. And usually it happens while he is making some cherubic expression. It's ALWAYS funny. Dan and I never tire of laughing at baby farts. The Baby Fountain is always funny too, even when it's tinkling on you from the changing table. I've even witnessed the Baby Butt Explosion on the changing table. You are about to put a clean diaper on and PFFFFFTTTTTT, here comes POOP! It's funnier and not as gross as it sounds, because it's just this odorless liquid mustard, and not a ton of it either. OK, well it has an odor, but it's not bad. It's like curried yogurt, if anything. It doesn't smell like poo at all. Just another reason why breastmilk rocks.

And here's a good article from the Harvard University Gazette about how you shouldn't let your baby just cry it out by themselves, or sleep far away from your baby in a separate room, and you should touch them a lot and be very loving, as opposed to the "Babies need discipline!" school of thought.

<snip>Besides fears of dependence, the pair said other factors have helped form our childrearing practices, including fears that children would interfere with sex if they shared their parents' room and doctors' concerns that a baby would be injured by a parent rolling on it if the parent and baby shared the bed. Additionally, the nation's growing wealth has helped the trend toward separation by giving families the means to buy larger homes with separate rooms for children.

The result, Commons and Miller said, is a nation that doesn't like caring for its own children, a violent nation marked by loose, nonphysical relationships.

"I think there's a real resistance in this culture to caring for children," Commons said. But "punishment and abandonment has never been a good way to get warm, caring, independent people."</snip>

I am sleeping with Julian right now, he's not even getting a chance to cry, he just whimpers a little bit and I feed him and then we go back to sleep. If he gets to a full-blown cry it's not nearly as easy. Anyways, sleeping with your baby has a lot of advantages...with the hot weather lately a lot of moms in the Support Group this morning were wondering how to dress their babies. When you go to bed it's hot, but then in the middle of the night it gets cool and you need more covers. So if your baby is in a crib he/she is either going to start out hot or end up cold. What do you put on them?

For us, it's not an issue...he sleeps in a diaper and we have just the sheet over us. Then when it gets cooler in the middle of the night, I wake up and pull the blanket over us as well. I only pull it up to under his arms, so that he doesn't accidentally get it over his nose or mouth or anything. I don't move and neither does he, so it's not like he's going to crawl into a corner and suffocate himself with a pillow, and I'm not likely to roll over on him in my sleep.

Not like Julian never cries...I mean, all babies cry. But even if we can't make him stop, we are still there holding him or patting him and sympathizing with his tummyache or whatever. We can at least not let him cry by himself. That's my thinking.

March 08, 2004

It's not such a hard job, it's just 24/7

Julian was 3 weeks old last Friday...amazing! The time has just flown by. I swear I just brought him home from the hospital yesterday.

He changes every single day. Gets bigger, does more than he did the previous day. He was giving us little smiles before, but now he has these big smiles/laughs. He's just too cute, I almost can't stand it. I get all teary-eyed sometimes when he gives me one of those full-face smiles. The first one I get is in the morning when I cuddle up with him face to face in the light and coo to him. It's like, "Yay, Mama! I haven't seen you all night long!"

He is getting really strong now too. He likes to pat us with his hands and put his feet on us. He can hold his head up for a minute or two and does little baby pushups. Plus he kicks his legs and swings his arms pretty hard. He likes to get a little workout in every few hours. I put him on his tummy over my thighs so that he looks over the tops of my knees and he lifts his head and does his baby pushups and poops/farts. Which is extremely important, as those of you who have experienced the incredible stabbing pain of trapped gas know already...but anyways, baby farts are hysterical. They are just so LOUD. And we already have a farting dog, so sometimes they do a duet. It's hours of entertainment for Dan and me. ;-)

Night-time isn't bad at all. It was rough for about a week, but now I nurse him and then we snuggle up together and go to sleep. He makes little noises every few hours and I roll him towards me and pop a nipple in his mouth and that's it. I used to have to sit up and turn on a light to nurse him, but now we don't need to do either. He sleeps really well when he's
cuddled next to me and I love sleeping with him as well. I tried putting him
farther away from me on the bed, about a foot away, but he just wasn't as
happy as when he is snuggling with mama. Once we started sleeping like this
it was so much easier. We go 4-5 hours
between feedings. Of course I still wake up briefly several times a night to check on him and make sure that he's not dead. ;-)


I guess we'll use that cosleeper someday, probably whenever we move back into the big bed with Dan and Bugs. We're still in the guest bedroom for now.

Julian has some fussy periods twice a day for the past two days...late morning and early evening. I think those were because his tummy hurt him. I started drinking the Mother's Milk tea again yesterday (thanks Loulou!) and gave him some anti-gas drops and he has been better today. Either all smiles or else sleeping peacefully. Today was easy, but the last two were kind of challenging. I was constantly having to change his position or jiggle him to keep him from crying during his fussy periods (a few hours). When I got overwhelmed and HAD to go to the bathroom or brush my teeth or whatever, I passed him to Dan, and he cried for him too. But then last night he was just a doll...funny and smiling and engaging Dan and me, and we were totally in love with him. Especially Dan...he has been working pretty hard lately and hasn't had a lot of baby time, except for when I thrust Julian into his arms to go take a shower or brush my teeth, which has coincided with a fussy time lately. So he has gotten no baby or Fussy Baby...but last night he got to hang out with Sweet Adorable Smiling Baby for a few hours of uninterrupted time. So that was good for everyone.

It's funny, if I *have* to hold him every single second, I get a little overwhelmed. But if I can have Dan or someone else take him for just a little while, or if he can nap in his bouncy chair, then I'm so happy to take him again. Even if he's sleeping in his stroller for an hour, I miss holding him by the end of the hour and I want to pick him up and snuggle him. I talked to my dad yesterday and he said it pretty well...that it's not *hard* to take care of a baby, it's just that it's CONSTANT.

I feel like we know each other much better now, after 3 weeks together 24/7. I'm not afraid of breaking him so much anymore, I know positions that he likes to be in, stuff like that. He has a few things figured out too. Today he woke up from his nap outside under the patio umbrella and started crying a little because he was hungry. I took him inside to the rocking chair, put him in my lap in a cradle position, and started opening my top. He knew what was coming and gave me a big fat smile and got all excited, waving his arms, then pounced on me once I was ready for him. It was super-cute.

Everyone says that they would want to be a baby again, but I think it would be terrible. You lack control over the most basic functions, can't see that well or even grab onto things. You are totally dependent on your caregivers for everything...food, shelter, diaper changes. You could be boiling hot or freezing cold and have to depend on someone to notice this and remove blankets or add a sweater. And of course, you can't communicate at all, except by the most rudimentary means...crying when something is wrong and expecting your caregiver to come to you and figure out what needs fixing. I feel so sorry for babies. It's one of the silly things that makes me cry when I'm feeling weepy. I mean, my baby doesn't cry all that much, but all the babies that do cry and no one comes to them....

Don't mind me. I'm just an overly emotional new mom ;-)

I went in for *my* three-week checkup last Thursday and I have lost 40 pounds! It's kind of shocking. The first 25 pounds I lost by the day after I came home from the hospital, it was just water and baby and stuff. Now I weigh 165. Only 25 more pounds to go. But I can't really work out hard or anything, and I can't really diet too much, I still have to eat well and often for the baby. So I'm just going for walks every day. I'm feeling much better and much stronger now. I've healed up quite a bit, at least enough to do most things without feeling like my guts are going to spill out. What I really need to strengthen are my back and abs. Maybe I'll do a little light yoga.

Right now it's time for dog walking, as a matter of fact. I'll be happy when my back is strong enough to take Julian in his sling and walk with him for an hour. Bugs and I miss our walks on the unpaved trail by the creek. But it's too bumpy with the stroller.


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