Friday, February 29, 2008

Doctor visit

Can you believe this happy little girl had a terrible diaper rash yesterday? It didn't look that bad and it didn't seem to be bothering her, but there was a little blood in her diaper, so I called the doctor just to be safe. (It was my first symptom-related call to the doc -- not bad for 10 weeks of new-momhood).

The doctor hooked us up with some ointment and told me to switch diaper creams.

In the meantime, I did some reading and began to wonder if the diaper issues might be connected to her tummy troubles and shrieking spells. These can all be symptoms of a sensitivity to some food I'm eating. They could also be related to an oversupply of breast milk (which would also explain her super-baby size).

I realize Internet/book self-diagnosis is a bad idea, but I ran this by the doctor and he said it wouldn't hurt to try eliminating some foods just to see. And it's easy enough to work on the oversupply nursing issue -- switch sides less frequently for feedings -- and that could at least spare Molly the occasional coughing and gagging. Poor baby.

So I started working on both fronts immediately. Maybe it was just coincidence or maybe it was the ointment on her bottom, but she fell asleep at 9:30 p.m. last night and slept until almost 7 a.m. I'm in such a good mood this morning I could do cartwheels. Mommy needed her sleep!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Molly still doesn't quite seem to understand she has hands, but she's getting there.

Daddy was cuddling her after work yesterday when she grabbed his finger and pulled it right into her mouth. She sucked on it with big smacking noises. Then she chewed on it with her gums.

That's the first time I'm aware of that she intentionally grabbed anything and put it in her mouth. Sometimes when she's nursing she pulls on my shirt or whacks me in the face, but that seems like random flailing and fiddling with whatever happens to be under her hand. This is entirely new. I'm so glad she saves some of her tricks for Daddy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank you, Grandma

Molly had a visit from Grandma D last week.

They had long conversations. They played on the floor. Grandma changed diapers and she took turns in the endless process of soothing Molly to sleep.

She also pointed out that Molly's clothes are too small again. Molly's 3-month sleepers don't quite allow her to fully stretch her legs anymore. Yikes! And of course we realized this at the worst possible moment -- Molly had just thrown up all over herself (for no apparent reason) and when we stripped off her wet clothes and couldn't find anything clean that fit.

Fortunately, Grandma likes to shop for baby clothes. We hit Target and Molly came home with a whole new rotation of sleepers. Yay! I can't believe she's in 6-month clothes already, though. She's growing so fast!

In other developments, Molly has recently started drooling. She also can blow bubbles on her lips and we think she might have blown her first raspberry this weekend.

Also, she's been spitting up a little more than usual. For the first time I had to get out some bibs to put on over her clothes to cut down on wardrobe changes.

Molly's doctor told me we need to focus on tummy time now so we've been doing more of that, too. She doesn't mind being on her belly, at least for the first few minutes, and she's pretty good at pushing up on her arms.

We should be at our Monday morning play group right now, but Molly's doctor strongly encouraged me to skip it for a little while, at least until she's older and flu season is over. His own baby is a week older than Molly and just had to be hospitalized for an RSV infection that he caught at a play group. So we're sad, but secretly I don't mind staying home this morning. Last week was super busy. This week we have nothing scheduled and it feels nice. Maybe we'll both catch up on some sleep.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big baby!

Molly had her 2-month doctor visit today. She weighed in at 14 pounds, 3 ounces. She looks normal to me, but apparently that's ABOVE the 95th percentile -- if you look where it falls on a growth chart it's kind of scary! Her length was closer to average, 23.5 inches, and her head circumference was 15 inches.

She also got three vaccine shots today, two on the left leg and one on the right. She was pretty unhappy with the nurse by the end and let everybody in the office know it. She fell asleep immediately in the car and didn't even stir when I carried her into the house, loosened her car seat straps and unzipped her jacket.

I tip-toed around getting ready for a full-on comfort response the moment she opened her eyes: Tylenol, swaddle blanket, soft sweater for hugs. Fortunately, it wasn't necessary. She woke up smiling. We'll see how long that lasts. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I quit!

I finally went to see my boss today to tell her I'm not coming back to work. She's a very cool boss, which is one of the reasons it was so hard to quit. She was surprised (I think she may have even used the f-word, and with a baby sleeping nearby!), but she recovered quickly and was more than open to my request to write from home on a freelance basis. She even gave me two assignments before I left. Hurray!!!! Plus I get to keep writing my Yard Dirt column and the blog that goes along with it. I'm not sure how much of a budget she actually has to pay me for such things, but she doesn't seem to think it's a problem.

I was nervous about bringing Molly along for such an important meeting but she was great. We had an excellent night last night (Molly slept for 8 hours!!! -- 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.), and then she took her morning nap right on schedule. She woke up just as it was time to leave and hardly cried at all in the car. She was wide awake and alert when we got to the office and happy to let everybody pass her around and cuddle her. Then she sat quietly in my arms as I cleaned up my desk and indulged in office gossip for way too long. It felt so much like the pre-baby days that it was surreal to nurse her on the couch in the ladies room and change her diaper there. It was strange to be in my work clothes and surrounded by people who know me in that context and to be wiping my baby's bottom ... especially strange because I realized I have no problem with my new job description.

And now we're home and Molly's back to being her silly self, after a few days of unexplained fussiness. I've been telling her all about how I just broke up with my job for her so we can play together every day. I think she's pretty happy about that -- or maybe it's just the clean diaper. It's so hard to tell.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Favorite game

Molly is nine weeks old today. In the brief moments when she's not eating, sleeping or screaming she is full of smiles. She babbles and makes flirty faces.

I read somewhere that a good way to develop a baby's language skills at this age is to repeat her sounds back to her. Most of the things I read like this don't get much of a reaction out of Molly. She doesn't have much interest in toys and she doesn't react to raspberries on her belly and other silliness.

The first time I mimicked her sounds, though, she got all worked up and happy. She started breathing fast and made this cute half smile as if she was thinking, "hey, maybe you're not such an idiot after all."

Jim plays this game with her, too. The more you mimic her sounds, the more she chatters. So cute!

Monday, February 11, 2008

New pictures

I forgot to mention, I did get one thing done today -- photos!

Check out the two new albums at

So far, so good...

Today was a big day for me ... not because I was worried about taking care of the baby on my own, but because it was my first real day on the job as a stay-at-home mom. What if I don't like it? It's a little too late to make a different career choice.

Fortunately it wasn't so bad. We missed play group this morning because there were no cars outside the house that was hosting this week, and I didn't unpack the baby to find out why. Maybe it was canceled, or maybe nobody wanted to bring their babies out in the cold. I certainly didn't. Instead Molly and I got back into bed under the warm flannel sheets and snuggled. That sure beats driving to an office!

As a total coincidence one of my old coworkers called just as Jim was getting home, so I had some office stories to swap over dinner, in addition to the overly detailed account of Molly's naps and moods. But the highlight of the day was when Molly woke up from one of her naps, saw me looking at her and burst out a gigantic smile! Sometimes you just want to hug a baby til you squish her. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Little monkey

Sometimes Molly wakes up from a nap and it's as though she's grown into a bigger person in a matter of hours. This morning she woke up with super baby strength. She's been holding herself up even more when I carry her, and today for the first time she kind of gripped me with her arm like a little monkey. She's been doing it all day and it's the cutest feeling. It's kind of like a hug!

The last couple nights have been rough, but I have a new addiction that makes it tolerable: It's a Web community for knitters. You post photos of all your projects, then look at photos of other people's projects, including projects you'd like to knit. There are zillions of discussion groups and profiles of people, information about yarn shops. I've spent hours and hours clicking around and knitting vicariously through other people. I set up my computer right next to my big nursing chair, so once I sit down I can stay there for hours, perhaps days without ever moving ... as long as Jim's still around to bring me water and snacks. He starts back to work Monday and I don't know how we're going to survive without him. It's hard enough for me to sneak a shower in now. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bath Fun

Here is a short clip of Molly enjoying a bath.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Good stuff

The mini era of baby insomnia seems to have ended. Last night was our best sleep ever. I think by any definition it counts as sleeping through the night. Around 10:30 p.m. I handed her to Jim in frustration because my efforts to nurse her to sleep in bed weren't working. Daddy magic finally got her to sleep and I zonked out. She started making noises around 4 a.m., but didn't really wake up until 6 a.m.! That's basically the hours I used to sleep before the baby came. Sweet, sweet sleep. So wonderful.

Also, a couple new developments:

Molly is growing so quickly that the clothes I packed for her for Rochester didn't seem to fit her once we got there. I tried putting some 3 month clothes on her and they were only a little big. Now they fit her perfectly. Some almost seem a little snug. When we got home I packed away a bunch of newborn size clothes. That happened so fast, I thought maybe I shrunk everything in the wash. Our little girl is growing up!

She's also getting slightly better at using her hands. She still doesn't seem to have much control, or even awareness that she has hands, but she's suddenly able to get them to her face more often and to pull things toward her mouth. She also has grown fond of sucking her fist, with big slurping sounds. It may be only a matter of time before she finds her thumb.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ups and downs

It's been a rough week for Molly. She crashed pretty hard after our trip to Rochester. She slept in my arms through our first neighborhood play group Monday morning, oblivious to the chaos of so many little babies toddling around.

Then she slept most of the afternoon away, including a trip to the midwives for my 6-week follow-up visit.

Then on Tuesday she woke up -- seriously woke up. She's been screaming, on and off, ever since. She came out of her bath with crazy hair that won't go away, and it's been a perfect reflection of her mood. She stayed up until about 11 p.m. Tuesday, requiring constant rocking and shushing and cuddling to keep the screams under control, and sometimes even that didn't work.

The book I've been reading on baby sleep predicted all this. It says the sixth week is the fussiest for all babies and by 12 weeks the fussiness usually goes away. The guys says nobody knows exactly why babies fuss at six weeks. It seems to have something to do with their brain development.

Anyway, Wednesday was a little better. She took a couple naps and somehow I got her soothed early in the evening before the serious fussing started. I had her in bed by 5:30 p.m. and she slept five hours solid, woke up for a quick feed and change, and then slept another five hours. Bliss!!!

Then yesterday she wasn't happy anywhere but in Mommy or Daddy's arms all day -- literally all day. She'd fall deeply asleep but as soon as you tried to put her in her bed she was wide awake, and ready to scream. It's nice to snuggle, but it's exhausting when you can't do anything else. I'm so glad both of us are home right now so we can take turns.

She didn't sleep much last night and I have a cold, which is a rough combination. All things considered, though, I think we're handling it OK. It makes me glad that she doesn't have colic -- I don't think I could handle screaming like this day after day for weeks.

Also, it helps that in between the screams she's smiling and laughing more than ever. The little dragonfly mirror over her changing table still cracks her up -- why, I have no idea, but it's adorable. She smiles at the sight of our faces, and you can kind of get her going by making silly faces at her. Plus she's very soft and she smells good and it's incredibly satisfying when something you do, like singing or talking to her or squeezing her feet, calms her down. She's such a snuggle bug!