Monday, August 31, 2009

I have insomnia, so hello! Plus it's getting a little dusty here. E has been sleeping well - last night he did a 10-hour stretch, then took a bottle and went back down for 2 hours. Yeah, really. And on his "bad" nights he's doing 8-hour stretches, then a bottle and back down for 2.

I'm reading Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn and liking it. She went to high school with my husband and I met her at one of his reunions. I thought she was an interesting person. I got the feeling, from her book, that she now has a child. I went to her website and after poking around a bit, found that she does. (I'm really good at ferreting out information. I would be a private investigator, except that I've read how you mostly look at people's tax records. Yawn.)

In fact, she wrote an article about the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother. She talked about how she was able to wake up in the night without feeling anger and frustration, how the nursing calmed her. I can relate to that. When I was co-sleeping and E woke up to nurse, it wasn't a jarring experience. Sometimes I still second-guess my decision to wean E and put him in the crib.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Human nature in the playground

So I brought E to the playground today, which he loves. At some point he noticed two little boys (I found out later that they were both 4) in a kind of hollow in the middle of some playground equipment. He advanced on the hollow and the boys chanted, "No, no baby!" and "Baby can't come in!" I asked them, "Why don't you like babies?" and they just looked at me blankly. E tried to get in again and they chanted some more. Then he laughed his big, hearty, infectious laugh and they said, "Baby's laughing! Baby can come in now." (I swear, it was that easy.) But by then E had lost all interest in them and was playing with a blue Polaris Road Ripper.

I got the name of that toy in hopes of getting one for E. He loved it. It belonged to a little boy whose mother was very nice. She has 4 kids and the toy was a gift for her 9-year-old. He said, "It's lame; it doesn't go." But it makes a nifty noise and her 2-year-old and 1-year-old love it. I asked her how it was having 4 kids and she said (laughing), "I can't handle it half the time." Then she said, "They're all boys." Personally, I am pro-boy. Interestingly, her kids prefer soy milk too!

Cautiously optimistic

So E's sleep seems to be working out okay, even without the night nanny. I have to say, though, this has been a real struggle. I know there are people out there whose kids slept through the night at seven weeks "and we didn't really do anything." Right. That's great - but don't talk about it to me too much. Because I might have to kill you :)

And I do believe that at least one thing has to go wrong in a situation. So I'm not sure I want another kid. Because I got off easy with breastfeeding - no mastitis, bleeding, etc. And I'm pretty sure if we had another one, one of two things would happen:

1) s/he would be a sleeper like E, which I could not go through another time.
2) s/he would be a better sleeper, but I would be plagued by breastfeeding problems.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For all you kale lovers out there

I made this for the first time today, and I really enjoyed it. E likes kale, though it takes him a while to chew it.

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens

1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale, chopped (you could use Swiss chard instead, but why would you want to?)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large onion, chopped (preferably Vidalia)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a wok, and saute the onions over medium heat until they are golden. Add the kale, toss and cover. The cookbook says to steam for 10-12 minutes, but I thought it was more like 5-7. Then add the vinegar, black-eyed peas, salt and pepper, and cook just until heated through.

(from 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet)
I'm convinced that most parents have a list of things they never thought they'd say or do. I just added one to the roster: I never thought I'd fish a plastic duck out of a jar of peanut butter. But I did.

Another note: E really likes peanut butter. I'd mentally categorized it as a satanic food, in this age of helicopter parenting. But my brother's wife said off-handedly, "You could give him some." It should be noted here that my SIL is an unimpeachable authority on such matters - anything mechanical or vaguely medical, or even practical, she knows. So I offered E some peanut butter as I was eating it out of the jar this morning. (Yes, I do that.) And he LOVED IT.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We went to a wedding on the Jersey shore today. I drove in Manhattan and tackled the Lincoln Tunnel for the first time. It was freakishly narrow, but I survived. Then we sat in traffic on the Garden State Parkway (so called because it's a parking lot - get it?) We were 15 minutes late for the wedding, but it didn't matter because the bride didn't walk down the aisle till 11:22.

There was a Wizard of Oz theme at the tables. We got The Yellow Brick Road. My college roommate's husband was there, though my roommate didn't come. The food was interesting - a brunch buffet. So the offerings included French toast and herbed red potatoes, which E loved. It was his first wedding and he handled it like a champion. At one point, I noticed he was practically falling off my lap with fatigue, so I bundled him into the stroller and we walked along the beach behind the building. The sun beat down on us and the boardwalk thumped beneath the wheels, but E didn't seem to notice. He was conked out for a solid hour.

I liked the adventure and change in routine of going to the wedding. Next weekend I am going to Providence for the traditional post-weaning trip. And after that, my mother is coming.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sigh of relief

So tonight I put E to bed all on my own (the night nanny came, but she stayed in the living room) and he only cried 5 minutes before he drifted off. I'm feeling so much better about the whole thing. He still will only nap in the stroller during the day, but the nanny said that is not a big deal - sleeping in the crib is only important at night.

In other quality-of-life improvements, we got a teeny-weensy, itty-bitty, light-weight Maclaren stroller. Every other parent in Manhattan has a Maclaren...because they're easy to take on the subway. I prefer our Peg Perego (cute, smooth ride, has a detachable harness so E can sit forward, which he loves), but it means that I can only take the subway with D (I'm not strong enough to carry both E and the Peg down the subway stairs). This Maclaren is practically lighter than a diaper bag. So I'll use Peg for everyday excursions, and the Maclaren if I want to take the subway to Central Park, Brooklyn or the pediatrician. Because frankly, 26 pounds is too heavy for the Ergo.
I went for lunch with a friend and her son yesterday. Here are some pictures:

On the way back, a man approached us urgently and said, "Watch out for the chicken." I said to my friend, "I bet you weren't expecting to hear that today." Then we saw a woman kneel down on the sidewalk and take a picture of the chicken.

Monday, August 10, 2009

And now, for something completely different.

This blog entry is *not* about E's sleep habits!

I like to keep track of my favorite authors. They fluctuate over time. My algorithm = writers whose next books I would read. So authors who are no longer writing are not included here. Feel free to leave a comment about your own favorites...I'm curious.

Also - I read a book recently called Shelf Discovery: A Reading Memoir. The author writes about all the teen classics (plus some I've never heard of) and re-examines them from an adult perspective. It was very interesting, even though I'm usually a fiction person. Then again, it was nonfiction about fiction.

Without further ado:

Paul Auster
Elizabeth Berg
Maeve Binchy
Hester Browne
Katherine Center
Jennifer Chiaverini
Sarah Dessen
Emily Giffin
Jane Green
Sophie Kinsella
Elinor Lipman
Mameve Medwed
Jane Porter
Richard Russo
Anita Shreve
Alexander McCall Smith
Sarah Strohmeyer
Adriana Trigiani
Jonathan Tropper
Anne Tyler
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Jennifer Weiner

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Well, after last night's craziness, E fell asleep while I was changing his diaper, and then I transitioned him painlessly into the crib. Hopefully this is the dawn of a new era.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

So I'm at my in-laws' in the Poconos. I used to not be nuts about the place, and this time I'm enjoying it. I think when I came here in my 20s, I was looking for excitement. But now I'm just looking for relaxation. And the Poconos has spades. D and I rented a Mazda and I enjoyed driving it on the rolling hills (until a Sunday driver got in front of us). Earlier in the day we lounged by the pool while D's parents looked after E. They took him in the sandbox, and then we all went out for Chinese food. And I was able to finish a book.

Of course, we haven't tried to put him to bed yet. The gruesome truth: he never really had an aversion to the crib. He had an aversion to me leaving the room. We found this out last night when I tried to put him down multiple times, and he screamed every time I left, without stopping. Then the night nanny put him down. He was still awake when she left the room, and was quiet as a mouse. So it looks like it's best for someone else to put him down. The problem? The night nanny's not free and we can't keep her forever. So hopefully he'll get used to me putting him down.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sunday, August 02, 2009

It's getting better all the time

Last night E slept from 8:15 to 4:30, drank an ounce or two of soy milk mixed with breast milk, and fell asleep again till 7:15. The night nanny is still coming each night. She says he'll phase out the 4:30 feeding soon enough.

Meanwhile, I am weaning. I haven't nursed him since 7 pm on July 31st. The problem is, the supply doesn't stop when he does. I gave in and pumped a little last night. I'm wondering how much or how little to pump.