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."
- Adrienne Rich



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the portable baby


recent posts
Oozy baby

Dan turns 32!

Crawling yoga and first word

Dog attack...and night-time pees

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« September 2004 | Main | November 2004 »

October 23, 2004

Oozy baby

Julian has two new teeth. He started coming down with a cold on Wednesday night (his *fifth* one so far), and in addition to the runny nose he has been massively drooly. This baby is pretty much just oozing fluids from every possible facial outlet. His eyes water too.

October 17, 2004

Dan turns 32!

Today was Dan's 32nd birthday, his first as a Daddy. Last night at midnight Julian, Bugs and me congratulated him on his birthday and presented him with his present, a new Camelbak backpack/water carrier. Then we played with Julian for a while and filmed videos of his cute behavior (squealing, hand clapping, playing with his ball) until everyone got tired and went to bed.

Julian has been so tired from playing in school and not napping that he just sleeps all the time at home. He took a bunch of naps yesterday and then went to bed at 6:00pm and didn't wake up until shortly before midnight. Since it was so close to Dan's birthday we let him stay up and play with us for an hour or so, then back to bed. He went to bed at 6:00pm on Friday too, and didn't wake up until the next morning at 7:00pm. I'm just so glad he's catching up on his sleep. He must be incredibly tired on school days, but it's too exciting for him to go to sleep easily there.

So this morning we got up and played, then took an hour nap from 8-9:00. We drove to Woodside and had lunch at the Woodside Bakery, then went for a hike in the hills above Woodside. It was a beautiful cloudy day, nice hiking in the redwoods. Then to Menlo Park to visit Dan's chef friend Mike Jewell at his restaurant there. Home for a quick shower and another nap for Julian, then birthday dinner at House of Genji (Benihana-style) with 10 friends. What a day! It was a lot of fun, and Little Man made it through breakfast, lunch and dinner out in restaurants without behaving badly. He was so good. The only thing that happened was that I took my eye off him to arrange the high chair and he grabbed my beer and tipped it into my lap. Oh well, no big deal.

Julian is crawling backwards. He hasn't figured out forwards yet, but it's not far off. It's fun to put him down and watch him go. He's having such a good time with his newfound mobility, limited as it is.

So this week I'm apparently going to lose my job. Resumix is being sold off from Yahoo! I'm either going to

1) get a severance package

2) get offered a job with the new company under the new ownership

3) get offered a new job with Yahoo! Hot Jobs

I just want to stay within Yahoo! if at all possible, because I love Yahoo!, my benefits are great, and I am currently working internally to try to sell *this* very photojournal web page as a prototype. I think the Yahoo! PhotoJournal is a great idea. If you could easily set up a page just like this one with an updatable journal on top and photos on bottom, wouldn't that be great? I ended up having to make this page myself with HTML (note: this refers to my old format), but I'd be the first customer for some easy-to-use interface for creating and updating a site like mine. So far I've met with a few people and they really like the idea and want to move forward. It's very exciting. Our next meeting is tomorrow. I don't know where it will lead, but I'm going after it full-bore.

If I get laid off or offered a new position in the new company, I'm not sure what I'll do. It's all very hairy. I want to work part-time. I refuse to work full-time. That makes things very tricky indeed. I also need good benefits and salary, because childcare is expensive and eats up a lot of my take-home pay. I'm really working for the great benefits, not so much the money. Free health insurance plan, for example. 401K. Stock options.

If I get laid off, I won't be able to keep Julian in childcare, so he'll lose his place there, and they are currently filled up. It's all too much to think about. There are too many possibilities and little to no control over the outcome, so I'm just doing all I can and hoping for the best. I should know the final outcome by Wednesday of next week.

October 14, 2004

Crawling yoga and first word

Julian is developing so fast right now, I can barely keep up.

We're in a major just-about-to-crawl phase right now. Julian can move in a 3-5 foot radius around wherever you set him down to play. He's not really crawling, it's more scooting around, but he definitely gets around. It's all very mysterious. One second you look at him and he's sitting playing with a toy. A minute later you look at him again and he's a few feet away, on his stomach this time. Look again and he's back where he started, sitting up. If you watch him continuously he doesn't seem to go anywhere, but if you just look at him in intervals he really gets around.

He's *really* good at climbing. Give him anything to pull himself up on and he will grab it and try to climb. He is also a big fan of yoga. His favorite pose is Pigeon, which he does at least twenty times a day, although he is also venturing into Downward Dog a bit these days.

Tuesday morning Julian peed in the toilet, then clapped his hands afterwards. When did he learn to clap his hands? He does it on cue now. If you say, "Clap your hands!" and do a few claps, he gets a big smile on his face and starts clapping his little hands together. He's sooooooo cute.

Little Man is also talking up a storm. He emits a steady stream of baby talk non-stop lately to all his friends and family, and you would really swear that he's holding a conversation most of the time. There aren't actual English words forming...but otherwise it's all there.

He has been saying "Dada" for several weeks. "Mama" just came along fairly recently, about 1-2 weeks ago. But there's no comprehension that these words actually refer to those people around the house, at least I don't *think* so anyway....

JULIAN: Mamamamama. Mama. Mama. Mamamamamamama.

MAMA: You said Mama! Yay! WHO is your mama??


Uh, yeah ;-)

Last night Bugs came into the room and Julian looked at him, looked at us and said, "Daw daw daw daw". It was *very* close to "dog", and he was clearly looking at Bugs. It's just hard to tell. Is he really saying "dog", or is it just a coincidence? John was over and he totally thought that Julian said "dog", so it wasn't just parental pride making us hallucinate words coming out of J's mouth.

I'm inclined to believe that he was really trying to say "dog", because every time Bugs comes into the room I tell Julian, "Look! There's our DOG!" I mean, it's obvious. If he hasn't gotten that one by now, he must really be a baby or something. Duh! ;-)

I just came back from visiting Julian for lunch and he was having such a ball at school today. He has three little girls in his class besides him. Two of them are just a little bit older...both 8.5 months, and the third is almost a year old and walking. Julian was playing with a little girl named Laura, they were both grabbing at each other and toys and giggling, and Julian was really cracking up over something every now and then. Then the older girl Anna came over and tried to get in on the fun. She crawled over and plunked herself down next to Laura and Julian. Julian patted her and laughed, but she was tired and it made her cry. I guess she didn't want to be touched. Oh well. It's hard to be a tired baby.

Last week Julian did the same thing. We had playgroup at our house, and three other babies and their moms came over. Julian's friend Gabriella sat down next to him and grabbed his shirt, and he didn't take to that at ALL, he immediately started crying. it was really funny because he had his hair pulled and fell over on his face and all kinds of other stuff in the midst of the problem! Didn't even faze him. But don't touch the shirt, man! Hands off! When you get to be a tired baby, it's the little things that count.

I switched Julian's classroom 3 weeks ago. He loved his teacher Leela, but she only works part-time and goes home every day at 3:30pm. I don't get there until 5:00, so that meant an hour and a half of being cared for by a non-Leela person right at the crankiest/clingiest time of the day. I would come and get him and he would be crying every afternoon, it was awful. Or else just bored, because the babies in that class are almost all younger than him.

I swtiched him to Madi's class, because he likes her, she likes him, and she's there full-time. Plus the babies are older, and his girlfriend Zoe is in that class as well. It was a little bit rough at first, but he quickly adjusted and now I think he is much happier. Leela still comes to visit him every day, so he's not missing anything. The only problem is that he is not napping. Leela would bust her butt to get him to sleep, but Madi doesn't try too hard. If he doesn't sleep after a little bit of trying, she just lets him play.

If I didn't come at lunch this would be a disaster, but now when I come at lunch I play with him a little bit, then I nurse him to sleep in the rocking chair and put him in his crib. It all works out. He still doesn't sleep very long, but at least he sleeps. Normally he naps at around 10:00am and again at 2:30pm, and sometimes a third nap at 5:30pm. Now he's getting his first nap at 12:30pm! Ugh. Then he passes out in the car on the way home, and lately he's been too wired to go to bed at 8:30pm, so it's kind of a pain-in-the-ass transition time lately.

I'm paying the price, of course. Lately I just go to bed with Julian around 9:30pm and I pass out with him. Good for *my* sleep schedule, but then I get no after-baby-hours time with Dan. I don't know, we'll figure out a solution eventually. It's hard, everything is changing all the time in BabyLand. Just as soon as you think you have an issue solved, it changes dramatically and you're back at square one. What I need to do is have Dan put Julian to sleep while I'm cooking dinner, but he's slacking in that department. He thinks he can't get him to sleep, but he does fine when he tries. And of course, more practice with Daddy putting Baby to sleep would be good for both of them.

Ooops, gotta run...I have an important meeting. More on that later!

October 13, 2004

Dog attack...and night-time pees

Julian had his first traumatic experience a few weeks ago. I was walking Bugs with Julian on my back in his Ergo, and just as we were almost home I saw a large dog coming in our direction. A LOOSE dog, with no leash on. Dammit! The owner was walking about 25 feet behind the dog, but I just wanted to avoid the whole situation, so I started to cross the street with Bugs. The dog saw us, raced over, and *instantly* attacked Bugs. It was awful. He has gotten into scuffles before, but always just growling and tussling and posturing, nothing serious.

This time though, the other dog was biting and tearing at him! I saw the dog's teeth go into Bugs and rip out a chunk from his side. I was already trying to split them up, but when I realized that the other dog was actually *biting* Bugs, I started screaming and tackled it. As I was going down, I heard Julian scream too, and at that point I remembered that he was on my back! Luckily I just went down on my knees, which hurt like hell. I still have a sore bruised knee two weeks later. Grrrrr.

Anyway, I finally had the other dog, so I yelled at the owner to come and get it. She was standing around doing NOTHING while I was trying to tackle her dog. She came over afterwards, pulled her dog away, then petted it while telling it in the nicest cooing "good dog" voice imaginable that it was a bad dog. Mmmmmkay? Meanwhile poor Bugsy is bleeding, crying loudly, all hunched up in pain. When I saw the chunk out of his side, I yelled at the woman to give me her name and phone number. She pretended not to understand me (she's Asian) and then started to walk away!

Luckily a Good Samaritan bicyclist was passing by. He had seen what happened and he kept this woman from walking off. I was fairly furious by that point. She motioned to us to follow her back to her house. I dropped off Bugs with Dan on the way down the street. At the house, her husband answered the door and turned out to be an older white guy. He got an earful from me about how his wife had her dog off-leash, then tried to walk away after it attacked my dog. He turned to her and asked her, "Why did you have the dog off-leash?" and she responded, "Oh, I can not *control* Haley!"

The husband was pleasant enough. He wouldn't let us into the house, made me and the Good Sam Biker wait outside for him to write down his contact info, but he offered to pay the vet bill right away. Michael was his name.

Dan took Bugs to the emergency pet hospital, and the poor dog had to have general anesthesia, with lots of stitches and a large drain put in. The next day, Dan called Michael to get the $500 vet bill reimbursed. No answer. So he went to his house. No answer. Finally he called him up from the neighbors house and he answered...but refused to pay any bills without seeing Bugs first to see if he was really hurt. So he came over to the house. He saw Bugs' wounds, but upon seeing the $500 bill, he said that we would have to sue him to get the money! He made a big stink about it, then finally he took out his checkbook and paid. What a jerk. He got really ugly about the whole thing, even denied that his dog had been off-leash!

The next day I called up Animal Control and resported the incident. Officer Talatala came out to our house and took a report, then promised swift action. No kidding! The next day he left a message that Michael's dog was no longer allowed outside, and if we saw it out we should give him a call.

Michael got off lucky. Campbell has a one-strike dog attack law. If a dog is off-leash and bites another dog or a human, that dog is normally confiscated and destroyed. No second chances. But Haley got one. I'm OK with that. Never going outside in your own neighborhood is already a bad punishment for a dog. As long as that nasty beast is kept away from us.

Before I forget, I need to tell the latest Amazing Julian potty training story....WARNING: pee and poop talk ahead. If you are squeamish about such stuff, um...well, you should probably just skip this site entirely. With a baby and a dog, my life pretty much revolves around bodily fluids of all kinds: pee, poop, breastmilk, drool. So get over it, already. It's fascinating stuff!

OK, so Julian just turned 8 months old a few days ago. I've had him in disposable diapers at night. I try taking him to pee in the middle of the night every once in a while, but typically it doesn't work so well. He hates waking up to get his diaper on and off. If he can stay half-asleep, he'll pee on the potty just fine, but the velcro ripping sound of the diapers coming off and the gyrations involved in getting a new diaper on just piss him off.

Why does this crazy woman want to take her baby to pee in the middle of the night, you ask? Well, because if he doesn't go, he will hold it and then squirm restlessly in his sleep for a good half an hour each time until he finally pees in his diaper. And then he wakes up in the morning with a huge wet soggy diaper and a clammy, rash-prone butt.

Back to the story...I had just given Julian his bath, laid him down on the bed, and was getting ready to put a diaper on him when he curled up on his side naked and fell asleep. Just like that! I didn't want to wake him up to put a diaper on him, so instead I went and got a towel from the cupboard, folded it in two, and put it underneath the lower half of his body. I figured, what the hell...there's the towel, a felted absorbent wool pad underneath that, and a waterproof mattress pad underneath the sheets, so it's not like it's going to do any harm, even if he pees buckets all night long.

I was tired too, so I crawled in bed with him and went to sleep. The first squirming came at 11:00pm. He was thrashing around, so I woke up and took him into the bathroom. Much easier when I didn't have to take his diaper off first. He didn't even open his eyes as I held him over the bathtub, just took a nice long pee and then fell back into a deep sleep.

Why do I hold him over the bathtub, you ask? Because if I hold him over the toilet sitting up (like I do during the day) he has to support his own body weight, which means he has to be somewhat awake, and remember, the point is to keep the baby half-sleeping so that he conks right back out afterwards and doesn't get mad. So at night I just hold him over the bathtub and rinse the little pee away afterwards.

Anyway, that was really easy! I was amazed! I checked the towel, it was still dry. So we were 100% so far, and J was sleeping soundly with a nice empty bladder.

Next major squirm came at 3:30am. I woke up, which was more difficult this time, and took him into the bathroom. This time I got a little plastic bottle and held it over his penis, so there was no muss, no fuss, and I didn't have to rinse out the bathtub afterwards. Brilliant! However, I could have used an extra pair of arms, as I was nursing him WHILE holding both his legs up in a squat WHILE holding the bottle over his penis. I'm not sure how I managed that, looking back. But it went fine. The towel was still dry when I went back to bed. Yes! I took the bottle with me this time, thinking that I could maybe just sit up in bed with him and have him pee into the bottle, instead of getting up and schlepping into the bathroom.

Next pee squirm was 5:45 or so. I'm not really sure, beause I was tired by this point. I tried to just hold Julian in bed and have him pee in the bottle, but he didn't get it. So to the bathroom, where he peed just fine. Then back into bed, where the towel was STILL dry!

Finally it was 7:00am, when Julian typically coos, chirps, pats me and wakes me up so that I can take his nasty full diaper off and take him for his morning pee. Except this time there was no nasty diaper! The towel was remarkably *still* dry! This time he was fully awake, so we went on the big toilet. Another big pee, and bonus points...the morning poop. Sweet.

I was SOOO impressed with my Little Man, I couldn't wait for Dan to wake up so I could tell him. Julian and I played for a while (still with no diaper), then he was getting tired so I put him down for a nap in bed on the dry towel and went to go read my email. Apparently he had to go and I wasn't around for the pee squirm, because the towel was finally wet when I went in to get him after his nap. But what a great run! My 8-month-old baby staying dry ALL NIGHT LONG and sleeping diaper-free! Yay! No icky diaper, no clammy butt. Just a tired but elated mama.

That was two nights ago, and we haven't done diaper-free since. Two reasons:

1) I keep falling asleep while putting him to bed, so I wake up at 2:00am with my clothes on, teeth unbrushed, and obviously his diaper is still on as well. Bad. At that point I don't care about taking him to pee, I just want to brush my teeth, wash my face, and remove my clothing ASAP.

2) That diaper-free experience was really cool, but it was exhausting hauling my tired carcass out of bed four times in one night. Well, three...I usually get up at 7:00am anyway, so that's nothing extra.
But I'm not used to waking up at night at all, really. I maybe crack one eye open long enough to see if Julian is cold or hot and needs his covers adjusted, and I slip a boob in his mouth, but I do all that several times a night while semi-conscious. Getting OUT of bed is another matter. I really wish that bottle trick had worked. That would be great. Oh well. I'll try it again sometime. I'm just really glad that I did it, it was a very enlightening experiment.

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