Wednesday, March 31

All Is Well in Doodleville

I don't have much to say about Doodles this week, because things have been going pretty smoothly. A quick trip to the doctor proved that nothing more than waxy ears was wrong with Doodles (they're so waxy, in fact, that we have to put drops in twice a day for ten days and go back to have the ears cleaned out; that's Adam's child!). The doc said that perhaps Doodles doesn't need as much sleep as we thought, and sure enough, we've been keeping him up a little later and he's been sleeping better (read: longer). I think there's some definite teething going on because there has been intermittent fussiness, and he's back to chewing on everything in sight. We have mostly easy days, but there have been a few monster days as well (sometimes the monster at the end of the entry is Doodles. If you haven't read the previous entries, that statement will mean nothing to you, but you'll understand by the end of today's blog).

Now, I promised I wouldn't call Doodles the you-know-what baby ever. However, I will say that on Monday we were at the annual HBS Dean's party for kids, and unsolicited, a guy came up to us (a first year volunteering to help out at the party) in this room filled with babies and kids, and gushed, "He is the cutest baby I have ever seen!" He went on and on about how wonderful Doodles is, and of course, Doodles was happy to comply and be happy and smiley and just gosh darn adorable. So, I no longer have to make proclamations of my child's beauty. Others will do it for me!

Cleanliness Is Next to Marthaness

I love cleaning supplies. In my fantasy world, we live in a clean home. There's no gunk on the stove hood, no dust bunnies beneath the sofa, no dried pureed peas on the dining room. The house would smell fresh and there would be no crunching sensation beneath my feet. So in my quest for this Martha-approved house, I buy cleaning products. I'm a sucker for cleaning products. I see the ads on TV, and I buy. Swiffer dusters? Got 'em. Clorox wipes? Check. Kitchen soaps, fabric refreshers, shower sprays, you name it. I can't wait to buy the new disposable toilet cleaners.

So the problem? The problem is they are all sitting unopened underneath our kitchen sink. I never, ever use them. I buy them, and they sit. Because the truth is, I love cleaning supplies, but I hate cleaning. Every single week I think, "Wow, I should really vacuum the carpet upstairs, because I know the dust and crap that gets in there is really bad for Doodles." And every single week, I think, "I'll have time to do it tomorrow." You know what? I have the time. I just have better ways to fill that time. If we didn't have house cleaners that came every other week, we'd be in a certified sty. Believe me, you don't want to be in our house at one week, six days.

Sunny Days

Speaking of Sesame Street, this year is the show's 35th anniversary. I watched this show from the start. My father likes to say that the root of my woes is Sesame Street. He says that my mother went out one day in 1969 and heard about this fabulous new kids show called Sesame Street on PBS. My mom made sure I watched it the next day. However, the show was already on the letter B and the number 2, and my father says I never quite caught up. (I just discovered that SS was originally developed to "educate poor children who didn't go to preschool." What a way to find out my family was poor!) Anyway, if you started watching the show when I did, try your hand a the trivia game. I did fine on the old stuff, but didn't know the answers to most of the new things. So much has changed on the Street; I watched just a bit the other day and I barely recognized the old neighborhood! You know, if they put old episodes of SS (and Zoom and Electric Company) on DVD, I bet it would become an instant kids' bestseller as all us parents who grew up on the show buy the real episodes for our children to enjoy (and one of these days I'm going to splurge and get Doodles Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music [side note: Ursula 1000 does a remix on this album. I went to high school with him! How cool! I wonder if he actually got to hang out with Big Bird and the gang]). In the meantime, I already have the Replay set to record the show's 35th anniversary special so Doodles and I can watch it together. Mr. Hooper lives on in all of us.

The Monster at the End of this Entry

Something comes over me when I enter a Costco. I. Must. Have. Everything! There's something innately satisfying about having a house of full of food and paper things. If a major blizzard hits, we'll be fine, eating our canned tomatoes and pooping into our size 3 Cruiser diapers. Of course, if I limited my purchases to food and paper goods, we'd be in much better financial shape. But I get caught in the aisles. Swayed by the gleaming quanties. Seduced by the per item prices. So, I also purchased over 100 bulbs that I really will plant (no, really!) as soon as the rain stops. I bought a raft of wrapping paper that will come in handy, as we know a zillion babies who all have birthdays coming up. I have enough deodorant and laundry detergent to keep me smelling fresh into the next decade.

Now, the one thing I won't buy at Costco is books. I'm morally opposed to buying books at Costco. However, when passing the book aisle, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a board book version of The Monster at the End of This Book. I had completely forgotten about this book! But my sister and I certainly read it, and of course, I had to buy it for Doodles. It was sealed in the store, but once we got home and I pulled off the plastic, I had an incredible sense of deja vu. How could I have forgotten this book? I hadn't realized how great Grover is until I re-heard "Monster in the Mirror" and then re-read this book. What a powerful lesson Grover has for all of us. The metafictional way Grover so cleverly breaks the fourth wall and so clearly refers back to the text is obviously Sesame Street's way of introducing literary theory to the tot set. "Wubba wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo. That monster at the end of this entry, he just might be you!"

One Two Buckle My Shoe

In one area, I'm completely deficient as a female: I don't get shoes. Never have. It was the one element of Sex in the City that never made sense to me. Shoes are the things I'm required to wear when I go out in public to keep the bottoms of my feet from getting dirty. I hate heels. I don't long for strappy little sandals. I think spending ridiculous amounts of money (meaning more than, say $30) on something that clomps along the ground is ludicrous. In December 2001, I bought an ugly pair of gray Merrells that were the most comfortable shoes I had ever put on to wear in the Fernely warehouse while working the holiday rush. (And apparently I'm in the minority in thinking they're ugly.) I love those shoes. I wear those shoes nonstop. When I was working at BU, I had to wear actual shoes. I have no shame in the fact that I shopped for said shoes at Payless (although, truth be told, I had a couple of good pairs from Nordstrom that I bought before interviewing for jobs in Boston). Then, toward the end of pregnancy, none of my shoes fit. I could only wear open backed shoes because my feet had swollen to elephantine proportions. On the weekends, I could happily wear my comfy Merrells. And then once Doodles was born, it was Merrells every day. As you can imagine, shoes that have been worn that much are probably in need of replacement. Actually, they needed to be replaced a couple of years ago, but I haven't been able to find the exact pair again, so I stick with the same pair. But they are definitely on their last legs (so to speak). So this past weekend when I was at the outlet malls in Kittery, Maine, looking for clothing for Doodles, I bought, on a whim, a pair of comfy red mules at the Hanna Anderson outlet. So now I own a second pair of comfy shoes. But when I got home, it occurred to me, I have no idea what--besides white and black--I can wear red shoes with. I asked Adam what to wear him with--he has more fashion credentials than I do--and he said, "Yeah, I don't know what you do with red." So I have a lovely pair of comfy shoes that are going to sit at the bottom of my closet. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

Wednesday, March 24

Breaking News

We haven't actually seen it happen, but when I checked a half hour ago, Doodles was fast asleep on his stomach. When Adam just checked on him, Doodles was on his back. Which means that either someone has been sneaking into our house and rolling our child over or he's learned how to roll from his front to his back. Which is exciting. And scary. Because a child who can roll from his back to his front and his front to his back is officially mobile. Also, when Adam went to get Doodles this morning, he was on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth, a precursor to crawling. Luckily, it takes Doodles a very long time to get from one stage to the next, so I'm don't think he'll be scooting around anytime soon. The downside to all of this is that Doodles is waking during the night--twice on average, once at midnight, once at three a.m.--and screaming for about an hour at a time. We're not sure if he's teething (we read that the two upper teeth come in three to four weeks after the two lower, and, hey, it's been about four weeks since those lowers poked through) or if these new developments on Doodles's part is interrupting his sleep. And speaking of interrupted sleep, there goes the little squawk on the baby monitor. At least I know I won't have to roll him over.


  • Doodles is now seven months old. Which is not good. Because in the scheme of "nine months on/nine months off" for weight loss, it means I only have two months left to go. Granted, I'm within four pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, but given the way my new body is shaped, I have more than four pounds to go.
  • Speaking of "nine months off," I did a little weight lifting at the gym. I used only a five-pound weight and did lots of reps. Simple, right? Right. I can't lift my right arm now. I couldn't figure out why my right arm hurt so much more than my left arm, and then I realized I carry an eighteen-pound weight everyday in my left hand (so I can have my right arm free to do stuff).
  • The O.C. still rocks even if Paris Hilton did guest star. Everyone's allowed a mistake occasionally.
  • I just want to take a second to rave about the "thinking moms" out there. For starters, there's the DotMoms blog, which is a great collection of mothers (of kids of all ages) writing about their experiences, good and bad. It represents quite a diverse range of moms and views and backgrounds, and I find reading it to be refreshing. Then there's Brain, Child, which I've just started my subscription to. It's a fabulous literary journal about motherhood (concentrating on mothers, not the kids). Mothers of daughters especially should run out and get the latest copy just to read the essay "The Vagina Dialogues" by Shaunna Harrington, which is hilarious and on the money (mothers of sons will like it too but won't be able to relate in quite the same way). Parents, check out these two things! Okay, advertisement over.
  • Is anyone else as upset as I am that Bob Edwards is being forced off of Morning Edition (the CNN version of the story)? Bob Edwards is Morning Edition. I've been a supporter of NPR for a while now, but all I ever listen to is Morning Edition. It may be time to reconsider that support.
  • He's cracking. Adam actually said this morning, "I'm not sure how I feel about Bush these days." Heh heh. Before I'm done with him he'll be reading The Nation and wearing Birkenstocks (not that I actually read The Nation or wear Birkenstocks, but you know what I mean).
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm is such an incredible show. The season finale was one of the best episodes I've ever seen on TV. I thought I knew where it was going. I was cringing with the mishap that Larry David was getting himself into, that he always gets himself into. And, as happens in 99 percent of those episodes, the show totally took my by surprise. It was hysterical! They use their guest stars so well (in this case, Mel Brooks and David Schwimmer). (If you don't know who Larry David is, he's one of the co-creators of Seinfeld and the character of George Costanza was based on him. The interview he did a decade ago with Laugh Factory is one of the funniest I've ever read.) Watch this show! (End of second paid placement.)
  • Doodles is now thoroughly enjoying his baths. I, however, am not. Because Doodles is obsessed with the plastic duck thermometer. It floats so nicely. It's made of a very light plastic, which means it's easy for little hands to pick it up. But my child doesn't want to pick it up. My child, lazy little guy that he is, would rather lean precariously over in the water and stick his face on the floating duck to get it into his mouth. Picture bobbing for apples but with a duck instead. Which means I'm constantly on edge, trying to clean crevices and keep Doodles from submerging his face. No matter how many times I hand him that stupid duck, he drops it and leans over, with his mouth wide open. Water on his face doesn't bother him, but it bothers me. So basically instead of him learning to pick the duck up, I'm learning that I need to check the bath water temp before Doodles gets in and then hide the stupid duck.

Doodlebug, Flu Bug

I hadn't had a workday in a while, because last Monday we were coming back from New Hampshire and the Friday before that I was preparing for the trip. In years past, preparing for a trip meant spending five minutes tossing clothes into a duffel bag. Now it's an hours long process involving sorting out which toys will keep Doodles occupied the longest, guessing how many outfits he'll poop on, and trips to the grocery store to make sure we have adequate amounts of organic baby food. We seem to have had a lot of visitors lately, which is great, but it means that my days for work tend to get shuttled into getting-things-done-around-the-house days.

So I was psyched for last Friday because I have a number of projects I'm working on and I had a deadline this week. Besides, my e-mail backlog was getting out of hand. So I spent the morning attempting to take care of the most pressing e-mails, starting my challah (which I bake every Friday we're home--nothing makes the house smell as good as fresh baked bread), and figuring out what needed to be done first. I just had everything organized and I started to get into the business of writing, when my cell phone rang. It was the day care. Doodles was being recalled. Apparently the flu bug hit again. He had diarrhea (and now that I have a baby, I guess I need to learn how to finally spell "diarrhea") twice and I had to come pick him up. I think that child is conspiring with the fates to keep me from getting any writing done. Funny thing is, I took him home, and he was in high spirits. I didn't see any diarrhea and he was in a bouncy, happy mood. Made me suspicious of the day care. My child was doing wonderfully.

On Saturday morning, Adam, Doodles, and I got in the car for the hour drive up to my in-law's house. We were going to hang for the morning and Adam was going to help his dad install some software on his computer. We made it just over halfway there--just outside Newburyport--when Adam looked in the backseat just in time to see copious amounts of vomit erupt from our child. I pulled off and got into the backseat, and Doodles kept coming up with more and more vomit. I couldn't believe he had that much in him. We debated whether or not to keep going, but ultimately decided to turnaround because I knew I'd have to feed him again and that I'd have to do it in small amounts (which meant I'd have to pump and feed him, and I didn't have my pump with us). A quick call to the doctor confirmed this. She said we need to get some Pedialyte into him and monitor him carefully to make sure he had three wet diapers. I was to feed him a teaspoon of liquid (Pedialyte, breastmilk) every five or ten minutes. Yeah, like Doodles was going to like that. At first, he'd bat away any bottle with Pedialyte in it. We bought numerous flavors and kept trying them. After a bit, we tried the first one again (Gerber's version), and he finally took it. We have three nearly full bottles of Pedialyte in our fridge if anyone needs some (and it kills me that they say you should throw them out after three days).

We got home and we maniacally checked his diaper. I'd grill Adam: "Was it wet? How wet?" He did fine the rest of the day, but then it was bedtime, which sent me into a minor tizzy. Doodles sleeps on his stomach now. Exclusively. If we roll him over, he rolls right back. He might spend a minute on his side, but his position of choice is facedown, on his tummy, with his face in the mattress. It's a little freaky. I had visions of him puking in the night and then sleeping facedown in it. Yuck! And, to my mind, dangerous. So every time he made a peep, I ran in there (or sent Adam in) to check on him. He made it through the night with no puking, and I'm happy to report that it was not only the end of the stomach flu, but it ended in time to have the 24-hour symptom freeness that the daycare required for him to return. He's back to his old self, with a huge appetite and plenty of giggles.

It Happens Occasionally

Thought I had a few nice things to say about being a Hah-vahd spouse in my essay for the HBS Survival Guide. Turns out I was wrong.

Wednesday, March 17

Music to Make You Crazy

We have a Sara Hickman album called Toddler. It's a good album (although I think I like Newborn better). However, there's this one song on it that I can't stop singing and it's making me insane. The main lyrics are:
I know a wienie man
He owns a wienie stand
He owns everything from hot dogs on down
Someday I'll be his wife
His little wienie wife
Oh how I love that hot dog man
The lyrics don't do it justice--you have to hear it. I keep playing it over and over and over and when I'm not playing it, I'm singing it to Doodles. I may be causing great emotional damage, but I just can't stop myself! It's so catchy!

Roll Over, Roll Over

Doodles can roll from his front to his back. I've seen him do it a couple of times. Yet, he seems to have forgotten how to do it. Because now he rolls from his back to his front--obviously forgetting that he detests tummy time--and then gets stuck. I've been summoned into his room more times lately to roll him, in his crib, back to his back. The routine is this: he gets on his stomach and starts to cry; I roll him back; he smiles and then within seconds rolls right back to his stomach and starts to cry again; lather, rinse, repeat. I just hope I can teach him soon that if he doesn't like being on his stomach, he shouldn't get on his stomach.

Bretton Woods

To celebrate my parents' 40th wedding anniversary--which happens later this month--the family went up to Bretton Woods for the weekend. We stayed in the townhomes there, which were surprisingly nice given that they were chosen randomly off the Web. Having the townhouse was key, because in enabled everyone to do his or her own thing. The Tweedle Twins (the Tweedle Twirp and her boyfriend) could sleep in late while the rest of us went for breakfast. The folks with the wee baby could go to sleep early while the others stayed up finishing off their game of Trivial Pursuit. We could all indulge in hot chocolate and cookies right in our room. We had one fancy-shmancy dinner at the Mt. Washington Hotel and it was really fabulous. My only regret is I ordered poorly for dessert (I had the oysters, frisee, and lamb, and they were all superb).

Jenny, Carol, and Doodles snowshoeingFor the activities, we all split up, with my father and Adam hitting the slopes (Peter to ski; Adam to snowboard), the Tweedle Twins playing Ping Pong at the hotel (the townhomes are part of the resort so we had full access to the hotel and sports center), and me, my mother, and Doodles going snowshoeing. Snowshoeing was wonderful. I wasn't sure Doodles could handle it, but he did quite well. I put him in the Baby Bjorn and stuck a pair of sunglasses on him because it was a bit windy and I didn't want the reflection from the snow to hurt his eyes. Oh man, you've never seen such an adorable snowshoer. We got stopped a bunch of times as people oohed and aahed at how cute he was. I had intended to go out for just an hour, but he was doing so well that we stayed out for two hours. About halfway through I could see Doodles was getting tired so I turned him around in the carrier so he could fall asleep on my chest. I really enjoy snowshoeing and I'm not sure why I haven't done it more. My first experience was at Mt. Rainier and it was obviously much hillier and the snow was plentiful. The weather conditions at Bretton Woods were lovely--the weather was in the mid-30s and the skies were only a tad overcast. The only downside of snowshoeing with Doodles is that by the end of the day, my shoulders were pretty sore from the weight of our chunky monkey in his Baby Bjorn.

The next day, I had a short massage scheduled. I feel a little gypped on the massage, as when comparing notes with Adam--who had the same therapist just before I did--he had a much more aggressive massage. I like a lot of pressure, but I think she was a sexist masseuse and gave Adam a better rub. However before the massage I found my parents who were tubing. I wasn't going to try it, as at the age of three my father had severely traumatized me. We lived at the time in Westchester County in New York and we had a very steep driveway (I'm sure my father will post a comment claiming it wasn't that steep at all, but I was three and dammit, it seemed steep to me!). He stuck me on top with a tobaggan, went to the bottom, and told me to slide down. I didn't want to. It was long and scary and I wanted nothing to do with it. It was a horrible experience and it turned me off of sledding. So when I saw my folks tubing, I initially wanted nothing to do with it. The slope was fairly icy and it looked dangerous. But overcoming my fears, I got into the tube, and gave it a go. Man, do I love tubing! I went on three runs before I had to go get my weak massage.

Overall, the weekend was lovely and Doodles was well behaved the entire time. He charmed folks everywhere and during our fancy-shmancy dinner, he kindly slept through the majority of the meal (babysitting could have been arranged, but if I don't feel comfortable with people babysitting in my own home, there's no way I'd let them babysit in a rented townhome). For anyone looking for a weekend getaway, I highly recommend the resort at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire.

Prime Time

My father has it in his head that he's going to teach Doodles all the math and science he needs to know. So he's starting the lessons. Only he refuses to start at the beginning--too boring, he says. So he's teaching Doodles his prime numbers. Over the course of the weekend, my father would raise his arm and shout, "It's prime time!" And then he'd yell out, "Two! Three! Five!" Of course, when Doodles was feeling sick, he was "not ready for prime time," however, I decided that teaching him to say "Jane, you ignorant slut," wasn't the best thing to teach an almost-seven-month old. When I need to hire a math tutor because Doodles doesn't understand that one and four need to fit in there somewhere when counting, I'm sending the bill to my dad.

Typhoid Doodles

The stomach flu has been going around. The day care sent home a notice a week ago saying that it had hit the majority of the kids in the infant room (eight of ten babies) and that we should be watching out for it. A number of our friends have had it, including one baby friend who sadly had to be hospitalized for dehydration from it (he's fine now). So I shouldn't have been that surprised when, on Saturday night in Bretton Woods, Adam called me into the bedroom to see Doodles. He was fast asleep in more vomit than I have ever seen before in my life. It covered the entire bottom of the Pack N Play. Blech. Interestingly, though, Doodles wasn't at all bothered by it. We woke him up to get him out of the vomit, and he was in fine spirits. I breastfed him to make sure he was hydrated and he threw that right up, but with a gigantic grin on his face. By the next morning, he was fine. However, on Monday night, the flu hit our house and hard. Doodles gave me the flu, Adam the flu, and my mother the flu, and at last count, my father was on his way down with it. Little innocent Doodles is Patient Zero in our house and he's been wanting his playtime even though Adam and I are zombies at death's--or at least the bathroom--door. I would take my being sick any day over Doodles being sick, but it's so hard to keep up with an active, healthy baby when all you want to do is sleep and puke. I'm just hoping we don't give it back to him and start the cycle all over again.

Wednesday, March 10

A Quiet Week

This has actually been a fairly quiet week. No sickness. No disasters. Doodles is--amazingly--sleeping through the night soundly, generally going to bed between 7 and 7:30 p.m. and waking up between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. Of course, I still wake up many times just to go in and check on him to make sure he's still breathing (we're going away for a weekend and I'm worried that it's going to disrupt his schedule). He's taking two naps a day--in his crib--of one to two hours. He's sitting fairly well unassisted, but we still have to pile pillows around him because toward the end of the day, he topples a lot. He's easily distracted, which is a good thing, because when he starts to get riled up, we can just point him toward something else. He's biting a lot, and with that second bottom tooth starting to emerge, it's quite painful. Between that and the pinching, he's become quite the deadly child. He's also become quite the little babble monkey, saying "ba ba ba ba" and "ahgoo" all the time. He wakes up so nicely in the morning--on the monitor we hear, "ba ba ba, oooo, ba ba, ooo, na na na, ahgoo!" But things have been going quite smoothly. Of course, Adam's a different story these days. He's not sleeping through the night (between papers and spring training, there's lots on his mind). He is sitting quite well unassisted (haven't seen him tumble in a while) but he's easily distracted, and that isn't so much a plus for a B-student in his final days of classes. Luckily, Adam's biting and pinching isn't so bad, which is a relief because he already has all his teeth. Adam's babbling has gotten a bit out of hand, especially when I'm trying to get work done (which he's doing right now--he's muttering some nonsense about the conference he's going to tomorrow when he knows I'm trying to hurry to finish blogging). And there's nothing nice about the way Adam wakes up. But he doesn't spit up (much) and he's mastered the bathroom (including putting the seat back down), so I guess I can't complain too much.

The Facts of Life

And I don't mean the TV show that I adored way back when (what girl didn't want to be Jo!). I mean the honest-to-goodness facts of life. Doodles, obviously, has many, many years before he needs this kind of information. But when he does, I'm so happy there are sites like this out there for him.

Why Adam Doesn't Do the Shopping

One of Adam's fraternity buddies' daughters has her first birthday this coming weekend. A few of us got together last weekend to wish her a happy birthday. I told Adam to buy a present for her. Oh, he was so proud of himself. He came back with something he saw at a friend's house a while ago: this book. "Are you serious?" I asked him. "You do know that this is a present for the baby, not his father." "No, no," he said. "It's perfect. They'll love it." Right. Anyway, I let him give her the book. But I also bought her a toy from me and Doodles. Guess which present was more of a hit with the parents? Of course, the baby was happiest chewing on the birthday card. We should have just gotten her a stack of cardboard.

This Little Piggy Is a Piggy

Doodles has gone from hating food to being a bottomless pit. Gerber says that Doodles needs to be eating five servings of fruits and veggies a day, which is the equivalent of two and a half jars of food a day. The doctor said we should just keep feeding Doodles until he doesn't want anymore. "He'll stop opening his mouth, turn his head away, or do something to signal to you that he's done." On Sunday night, I put him in the high chair, and fed him his bowl of cereal with half a jar of bananas mixed in. Then I fed him some sweet potatoes (homemade--the equivalent, probably of about a jar) and a half a jar of peas. That little mouth kept bobbing open for more. So I gave him the other half of the jar. Bob, bob, bob. So I opened some carrots and gave him some. Bob, bob, bob. After three and a half jars of food plus the cereal, his little mouth was still going and I started worrying that either my child was too dumb too know when he's full or he has a thyroid problem. I cut him off for the night and put him on the breast, which he gobbled at as if he hadn't eaten in days. I was hoping to have a quarterback in the family, but it looks like I'm going to have a linebacker. I won't even mention what the solids do to his spit-up and poop. Yuck!

My Turn, at Last

Every year HBS puts out a Survival Guide for incoming students. When I initially read it, I was horrified (see under Married Life here). Well, they're looking for volunteers to write pieces for the next guide (such as Female Partner Perspective, An International Perspective, A Two-Year Career, Choosing a School for your Child, etc.). When the announcement went out, I thought better of it and kept my mouth shut. However, we got a second e-mail this morning saying that most of the essays had been claimed but... a Female Perspective still needed a writer. I figured it was fate, so I claimed it. Now, to tell the world what it's like to be a female partner in 500 to 1000 words. Heh heh. I think I'm up for the challenge.

Wednesday, March 3

A Doodles by Any Other Name

So, while I refer to Doodles as Doodles in this blog, in real life, that name has been pretty much been tossed to the wayside. It still comes out occasionally, but I just as often call him Bugs, Squirmy Wormy, or, my favorite, Monkey. Many of the books I've read said that name recognition starts about now so every so often I call him by his actual name. Zilch. Today, I tried it again and got nothing. But when I called out, "Hey Monkey Man!" he looked up from his toy, right into my eyes. I think I may have to start referring to him by his given name a bit more often.

Random Things

  • Those little teeth! So small. So white. So many tears! God bless grape-flavored Infant Tylenol (and cherry just doesn't do it).
  • Why did they bother making a Scooby Doo 2?
  • Generally I prefer running sans music, however, lately I've found it a necessity. Because the only thing worse than running with a kid's song in your head ("Fuzzy and blue (and orange). We're all fuzzy and blue (and orange)") is running with the music from a toy in your head ("Hello lion in the African sun. Tickling your mane is really fun").
  • The Academy Awards are simply no fun when you've seen only two of all the nominated films.
  • Doodles sits! By himself! For minutes at a time. That's progress.
  • Separation anxiety: flattering for me? Or a new way for my darling child to keep me prisoner in my own home?
  • What's cuter than your child holding on for dear life as he hunches dangerously over on the baby swing in the park as his parents push? Actually, he seemed to like the swing. But not as much as putting the sand from the sandbox in his mouth.
  • For a child who doesn't like to eat solids, he's certainly pooping like he's been eating solids. Oh my, has it turned deadly in the nursery!

Do You Know Who Likes Applesauce?

Yeah, I don't either. Because it's certainly not Doodles. He doesn't like applesauce or cereal or carrots or sweet potatoes. The only way to get him to open his mouth even a smidgen is for me to jump around like an idiot until he cracks a grin, and then Adam shoves the food in. All Doodles really likes is the boob. I think this kid is ready for college.

Sleep, Perchance to Dream

While I'm terrified of invoking the blog jinx, I would like us to hail the great and all-powerful Ferber. On Saturday night, one of the Brown/Medros family got a full night's sleep and it was... Doodles!

We tried Ferberizing for the first time on Tuesday night, with the strong encouragement of our pediatrician. On Monday night the boy had kept me up all night using me as his human pacifier, and I'd reached the end of my sleep-deprivation rope. So Tuesday, he was on his own. It was an ugly night. An hour crying when we put him to bed. An hour at 11 p.m. An hour at 3 a.m. I was pretty near tears myself. Then, on Wednesday, Doodles had a reaction to one of his vaccinations (his highest fever yet: 104.1), so we had him in our bed to facilitate 'round the clock feedings (to keep him hydrated). He didn't seem completely better on Thursday, so again, he stayed with us. So we tried again on Friday, essentially starting over. Oy, it was a hellish night. I hadn't realized that Tuesday night had actually been a good night. Doodles essentially cried from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., with Adam and I alternating going in at five-minute intervals to pat him and tell him he's doing just fine. I was dreading Saturday night. Ferber says it generally takes three nights for the training to start to kick in, and I knew that Friday counted as night one, as we had let Doodles in our bed those two nights, thereby erasing our good work.

We put him down Saturday evening at about 8:30, and with just the tiniest bit of fussing, he fell right to sleep. Normally, he wakes up at 11 and then again at about 3. I waited for the 11 o'clock scream, and sure enough, at 11 there was this little whimper that ended before I even got out of bed (yes, we're lame--Adam and I were in bed at 9:30 on Saturday night). I woke at about 2:30 a.m. and thought, "Okay, the cries are going to start any second now." So I waited. And waited. And then I woke up Adam to go check on Doodles, to make sure he was still breathing (I'm convinced he can smell the breastmilk when I get close, and I didn't want to start him off--at least, that's what I tell Adam). At around 3:15, there was a whimper that again ended quickly. So I waited some more. By this time, I was wide awake, straining to hear every peep from his room. I sent Adam back in a few more times to make sure Doodles was still breathing. At 5 a.m., there were a few more whimpers that petered out back into sleep and he awoke for the day at 6:45. Total sleep Doodles: 10 hours. Total sleep Adam: 7 hours. Total sleep for a very neurotic Jenny: 3 hours. I was more tired on Sunday than I had been on the days that Doodles was sleeping with us and nursing every two hours. But Doodles, Doodles appears to have been successfully Ferberized. And now I need to relearn how to sleep.