Monday, July 27, 2009

Punk rock girl

Because, you know, she's got that stripe of hair down the middle of her head that kind of looks like a mohawk. Don't you wish you had a theme song at 6 months old? I do.

We are in the midst of some impromptu sleep training and I'm a little zombie-like at the moment, so you'll pardon me if I can't put more than a few words together today. More soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Even Stephen

This is Margot watching a (DVRed) Daily Show segment with Kristen Schaal. No, we are not evil for allowing our baby to acknowledge the existence of the television. We almost never have the TV on when she's awake or in the room, but on the few occasions when she's seen the TV she thinks it's the most amazing thing ever. Particularly if the Colbert Report is on. Stephen Colbert is her secret TV boyfriend.

Speaking of television, I have recently become addicted to baby and birth-related shows, especially the ones on Discovery Health. Deliver Me is actually a good show. It's neat to see the different pregnancy and birth experiences that women go through, and the doctors seem so connected to and invested in their patients. They do appear to do a lot of c-sections and call me weird but I find watching what they show of the surgery to be very illuminating in a deeply personal way. I am extremely pro-Western medicine when it comes to having babies and while I have zero regrets about my birth experience with Margot (though, you know, fewer hours of labor would have been nice), one of the few things I felt frustrated with at the time was that I never saw how my daughter entered the world. I felt her leave my body, a sensation I will never forget, but I never saw how it happened. Watching women give birth via c-section on Deliver Me is kind of gross but also beautiful in an "Oh, that's how it went" kind of way.

"I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," on the other hand? That's just me sitting on the couch shrieking "HOW COULD THEY NOT KNOW THEY WERE PREGNANT???" over and over again.

It's all an adventure

While we were on vacation, we introduced Margot to the toddler pool at our hotel. It was a big hit. At first she was completely nonplussed but then she proceeded to watch the water and explore how it felt in her own quiet, observant way. Though to be honest I couldn't tell how much of it was her being fascinated with the water and how much of it was her wanting to get the water in her mouth. Either way, she had a good time in the pool and seemed completely into the swimming/wading thing. I can't wait until she's old enough for swimming lessons!

For my part, I've been a little too well acquainted with getting drenched these days. I think nursing is a challenge for every mom in their own way, but I'm finding that pumping and sleep deprivation make for an adventurous combination. The generation and transportation of milk from work to home is a learning process. I'm gradually figuring out what my version of best practices is, but it hasn't been without some trial and error.

On the innocuous end of the spectrum, there was the day that my little milk cooler somehow got upended in my bag on the commute home and I ended up with a few ounces of spilled milk pooled in my bag and a big, embarrassing stain on my pants. Now I am militant about making sure the cooler stays upright, not only because I'm mess-averse but because every ounce counts. Trite but true.

Then there was the day that I forgot to put on nursing pads before I went to work. The error went unnoticed until I made the mistake of looking at the small forest of baby pictures that has sprouted next to my desk and suddenly WHOOSH, my milk came in. Still clueless, I reached for my water bottle and my arm brushed something wet. Did I spill something without realizing it? I look down and realize that what was wet was my ENTIRE SHIRT. The telltale circular pattern wasn't very subtle. I had no backup shirt, no backup bra, and no ability to go buy either until things dried out. So I slunk off my to my lactation closet, stuffed my shirt with paper towels, and spent two hours hunched at my desk, arms crossed over my chest, praying that no one would come by my cube. Thankfully, no one did and I got through until lunch with my office sweater wrapped around me.

I'll save the rest of the stupidity for tomorrow. Oh yes, there's more.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy baby!

This could be the best excuse EVER for getting a fake bearskin rug.

Margot is all smiles these days and it makes life SO GOOD. She still isn't sleeping through the night but I don't care--her smiles, which start first thing in the morning when I go in to get her from her crib and go until we put her down for the night and she thinks bedtime is a big joke, are better than sleep. Though, to be fair, last night I passed out in the glider while nursing her at 1am and had a crazy dream about buying orange and sky blue crib bedding. Still totally comfortable (but completely confused), I opened my eyes and found Margot sleeping happily in my arms. I debated staying put but decided she'd do better in her crib, though I was so tempted to just hold her all night. When she is awake and not smiling, she is starting to blow raspberries left and right. We go back and forth with the "pphhhttt!" and we both think it's the funniest thing ever.

Could I be more in love with this kid?

Today I finally bit the bullet and brought my engagement and wedding rings in to be resized. Pregnancy didn't do anything to my shoe size but my fingers have settled about 1-1.5 ring sizes larger than they used to be, and I'm tired of not being able to wear my rings without chafing my knuckles and making my fingers look like they're being choked.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Margot is at the stage where she wants to put the entire world in her mouth. If she sees it, it goes into the mouth. This includes our faces, arms, and hands, whatever we happen to be holding or wearing at any particular moment, and--drumroll please--the cats. If there is one thing that Margot could put into her mouth that might make her little head explode with joy, it would be Cringer. She is less fascinated with Griffin, but when she sees Cring, she throws herself toward the cat in a way that never fails to surprise us. Cringer has been grabbed often enough now that she sees it coming and flees, but we find it endlessly amusing (and somewhat alarming) how Margot lurches toward the cats with everything she's got. The cats are aware of the impending change in mobility and are starting to understand that their grace period is almost over. The days of sitting quietly while the baby plays on her activity mat, when there is no threat of tiny hands yanking out fistfuls of fur, grabbing and eating ears, pulling on tails? Those times are quickly coming to a close.

I've never seen a child want to crawl so badly before she's got the necessary motor skills and muscle tone. Margot pushes herself up when she's on her belly and squiggles her legs around but can't quite get the movement right. Her frustration and determination are palpable. The look on her face speaks very clearly and it is saying "Come on!! I've got places to go! There are things to check out!! I want to eat that cat!! Let's GO already!" In addition to crawling, she is working on sitting up and is very close, though there is frequently more leaning than technical sitting going on. We'll prop her up in the Boppy and when she's tired, she'll sprawl backwards, drape herself over the cushion, stick her thumb in her mouth and chill out, looking for all the world like the only thing she needs is a beer and a foot massage.

Our pediatrician is encouraging us to start Margot on rice cereal to see if it will help the aforementioned diaper issues, but I am very torn about this. She's got 3 weeks until she hits 6 months and I know she'll be fine no matter what, but I had that 6-month mark stuck in my head and all our books are adamant about it, as if feeding her rice cereal before the 6-month mark might turn her insides to cement or something. But hey--cement might not be a bad thing at the moment. Does it help them sleep better, too? If so, I might be persuaded. I love love love nursing her but I could go for a few nights of one wakeup versus three or four.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I can't think of a good title for this post

I am not sure where all my motivation to blog went. Maybe out with the dirty diapers? Who knows. This working mother thing is a challenge and lots of little things that I used to prioritize are now falling to the wayside. So there you have it. I will try to do better but I can't make any promises.

We went on vacation to Cape Cod last week. The sun shone for most of it--huzzah! Lunchboy worked his charm and got us upgraded from a hotel room to a cottage, which was probably best for everyone involved because I'm sure any people lucky enough to stay on either side of a crying baby at 3am would probably prefer a different arrangement, so hooray for everyone that we had our own space. It was lovely to get out of the city, to get away from chores and all the innumerable things that must be done around the house immediately if not sooner, or so it often feels to little old OCD me.

We did, however, miss our laundry facilities very much because Margot spent the entire week pooing nonstop (and there goes my determination not to be a poo-talker). After not pooing for 10 days straight, during which time I stuffed myself with dairy in an attempt to end her poo strike and we plied her with diluted prune juice per the pediatrician, she finally let loose. While I often feel guilt over our decision to stick with disposable diapers, this past week I was nothing but glad that we were not reliant on piles of cotton that we'd have to lug back home because our child went through an entire large-size package of diapers in the space of 5 days. She also went through every outfit we brought for her. I'd change her, clean her, wash my hands, and turn around to find another stain working its way up her back. Not only did I finally cry uncle, I actually cried and begged her to stop.

On the plus side, the hotel we were staying at did something amazing--they had couches in all the places where they served food. Because Margot is not highchair-ready yet, this meant that we could take her to meals, lie her between us on the couch, and tickle her while we ate our meal together (usually we are tagging off so that one of us is eating while the other is holding the baby). This made meals a lot of fun. Margot is totally fascinated with food and drink. She watches us eat and tries to grab our hands so that she can eat what we're eating. I'm told this is a good sign for when we start her on solid foods. It's particularly amusing when Lunchboy gets his morning coffee because there is nothing in the world that she wants more. He holds it out of her reach and she looks like a greyhound chasing a mechanical bunny on a track.

What with work being crazy, me getting sick multiple times, and the crazy weather, I haven't been to yoga in almost a month. My back is yelling at me quite loudly.