Friday, July 31, 2009

The nanny diaries

So I got to the point, with E's sleep, that I needed help in the form of chemical substances or a person. I chose the person. We've hired a night nanny to help out for 2 weeks (the time she says it will take to get him used to sleeping through the night in the crib). And I was so relieved. I was getting so anxious before bedtime, my stomach tied in knots, wondering what I was going to get that night (and knowing it wasn't going to be good).

Then I got stressed after the nanny came, even though she seemed perfectly nice, competent, firm and kind (in short, everything you would want in a night nanny). I felt like a horrible person leaving E with someone else for the night (even though D and I would be there, and I know E needs to learn to sleep in the crib). So I chickened out and went to my in-laws' apartment (they're away for the summer) and D stayed at our place.

It felt so unusual to go to sleep without a baby in the apartment. A few times, I even thought I heard a baby crying, but it was probably my imagination. I drifted off around 11:16 pm and woke up around 6:30 am (not bad, especially since we had to relieve the night nanny at 7 am and I wanted to talk with her before she left). So I stuffed my clothes in a plastic bag and headed out to the elevator. It all felt very walk-of-shame, especially since I ran into a guy in the elevator. I can only imagine what he thought.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A small miracle

So I'm having quite the struggle at night these days. E is teething, with a fifth tooth struggling to come through; I can see the bud in his gum, and he felt like he was burning up. (As I learned when I once rushed him to the doctor, thinking he was sick, teething can cause a fever.) It can also cause a little diarrhea! Fun! And it occurred at 5:30 am! (I'm not at the miracle part yet, but hang in there.)

After changing the sheet and his diaper, I lay him down and he slept. This was momentous. It was the first time ever that he has fallen asleep without motion (car or stroller) or nursing. I hope it means good things are to come.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New words

I'm pretty sure E said "no" and "hi" today. I was giving him his bottle of whole milk and I said, "Do you want any more?" and he said, "No." I asked again and he said, "No." I asked a third time, to see if he would say it again, but he just laughed. Then I told the babysitter about it when she came, and she asked, and he said, "No no." It was really cute. I can't wait till he shakes his head like my friend's kid.

We took him to a Chinese restaurant where one of the waiters loves him. He brought E a fortune cookie and the fortune was, "You are the center of attention in every group." I'd say that's true. Anyway, as the waiter passed by, E said, "Hi."

In the trenches

So last night was the first night of sleep training. It didn't go too well, but I guess you have to keep plugging. I used to be able to nurse him and he would go through the night, but it doesn't work anymore. It feels like he's outgrown it or something. I mean, he still feeds, but it's not as effective. Anyway, we finally ended up letting him cry it out a bit -- okay, an hour -- then I nursed him again, and he fell asleep. In the bed. But I'm going to try at the beginning of the night to put him in the crib and keep trying each night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sleep mishegoss

I've co-slept myself into a corner. For a while, it worked. But if I don't fall asleep at the same time E does, he tends to wake during the night. After a long spell of sleeping through the night, he's been restless. So I got a copy of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and I'm going to try one of the strategies she recommends. There is a gradual solution (where you put the crib mattress on the floor, surrounded with pillows, etc.) and after the baby falls asleep, or when he's drowsy, you put him on the crib mattress. After about a week of this, the baby supposedly gets used to sleeping by himself, and then you move the crib mattress into the crib.

There's also a "sneaky solution" where you put the baby to sleep using the usual method, then put him into the crib. I tried this once and he only lasted a couple of hours in there.

There is also the cute solution (for toddlers) of making a "go-to-sleep" book. Hopefully, his problems will be solved before that age.

He has always been a delightful baby during the day, but tricky at night.

We took him to a dinner in Princeton, NJ yesterday. It was hosted by someone D works with (who sends a lot of business his way). She cooked enough for an army, but only 6 people attended. I think I made up for my consumption with lots of biking and walking today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

E and shawl





Some pics of E and the shawl I made, for those who are not on Facebook. (Judy, it's time!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stress

So I got a letter from the doctor's office saying that E needs more iron, and to call him. D tried this morning (because I would be a nervous wreck) and he's going to call us back, because he wasn't in yet. In the meantime, I'm trying to give him lots of iron. Unfortunately, he digs the foods that are fairly low in iron (watermelon, broccoli) more than foods that have a lot of it (spinach, oatmeal).

D thinks he already might have more iron than when he was tested, because I was still exclusively breastfeeding him then, and now a lot of his nursing sessions have been replaced with soy milk. I'm trying to cook a lot of quinoa and tofu. I'm probably freaking out too much (though inwardly). This is the first thing that has been "wrong" with him; he's only been sick once.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cribophobia

People often tell me how easy E is. "He must not give you any trouble at all!" said a woman in the elevator. His babysitter said, "He's so easy. I've never seen him cry yet. If he starts to fuss, I can just distract him." So I told her how he hates the crib. I've started putting him in it again without a lot of success. He slept there 2 hours last night, then started screaming. I took him into bed and he slept for 8 hours straight. So you can see I have a real disincentive to crib him. But I don't want to co-sleep forever.

My babysitter said, "Yeah, my brother hated the crib too. He was climbing into bed with my parents until he was, like, eight."

Oy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It feels like no one is blogging anymore, but I will valiantly soldier on.

Weaning is underway (sort of). For the past few days, I've been feeding him early in the morning, then giving him soy milk instead of a feeding until he insists on it (usually 8-9 hours after the first feeding). Then I nurse him to sleep. Though he doesn't fall asleep during nursing anymore. He finishes nursing, then rolls around or stretches and then he falls asleep.

We went to the park today and he met a plump, adorable 13-month-old named Johanna. She was with a babysitter, whom she resembled, but the babysitter said it was just a fluke. She hopes her actual kids look like Johanna.

On the train ride back from MA, I took E to the cafe car because he was fussing (teeth #3 and 4 were breaking through). As usual, he was revived by flirting with the cafe lady and enjoying a professional photographer's attentions. He was doing a profile of the cafe lady and snapped a few pics of me and E. He said he would email them to me, but who knows; I haven't gotten them yet.

D and I saw Bruno. I felt a little polluted by the experience, but I did laugh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

So D and I went to Massachusetts today for a wedding and family visit. I thought E was a little fussy on the train, so I strapped him into the Ergo and went for a walk. One woman tapped me on the back and said, "The baby was awesome. He really was." So that made me feel good.

When Mom picked us up, she was a little anxious from being in traffic. The tall ships came into Boston today and everyone went to see them, so the car situation was a bit snarly. So we took a break before driving back to the 'burbs. We found an upscale hotel with a beautiful view of the water and a casual bar/restaurant that was reasonably baby friendly. Our couch and chairs were right next to the window. I had a lentil burger on an onion roll with a bit of salad and Indian sauces. It was quite yummy. Then D got a brownie sundae, and you know, we just had to help him out with that. You can't expect someone to eat one of those on his own :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

The zoo



Here are a couple of pics from the zoo. They were taken with D's cell phone, since I forgot to take my camera. E pressed his hand right up against the polar bear's paw (although they were separated by glass, of course). D and I saw that polar bear before E was born. The bear is an enthusiastic swimmer. He uses his paws to press off the glass and propel him to the other end of the tank.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th, everybody. I'm just relieved it stopped raining. We might have a chickpea burger for lunch, and tomorrow we're going to the children's zoo with friends who have two kids. They are our only friends with more than one child. I'm a little stressed right now because I have to wean E at some point (I probably shouldn't nurse him forever), but it's bound to be difficult. I also need to get him in his crib for good - I read that you really shouldn't co-sleep after weaning.