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Because I am insane October 27, 2008

Filed under: Getting my Martha On — booksunread @ 12:55 pm

I told myself that I wasn’t going to spend money on an elaborate Halloween costume for Squidgy this year.  He’s too little, doesn’t care and it’s a waste of 20-30 bucks. Instead I got him a cute little halloween romper and pumpkin booties from Target and called it good.  But then! Also at Target, I spotted a chicken costume for the dog-for only ten Bawks! I mean c’mon, humiliating the dog once again this year? Totally worth ten smackeroos.

And then, since the dog had a costume, I thought, hey, it would be totally cute if Squidgy had one that went with it, like a theme.  And so, I decided that he would be an egg.  How hard would it be to make and oval shaped sack?  Cheap and easy-no problem!

And then, I was cohosting a baby shower this weekend. And I thought, “hmm, I have these baby-themed planters we got when squidgy was born that I would love to find a way to recycle (and get out of my house).  I suck at flower arrangements, what else can I do?  I know, I will make a cookie bouquet!”  How hard can it be to buy some already made sugar cookie dough, make some cutouts of baby feets and flowers and what not and bake them with sticks in them?  Quick and easy-no problem!

Last week at lunch, I merrily took myself off to the local Michaels and picked up some packages of felt, some sticky back felt, an oval plaque to use as a pattern, and some treat bags for bagging cookies.  And as I watched my purchases being rung up and tried to calculate when I would find time to make this costume and these cookie treats, I thought, “I have lost my damn mind!”

As usual, I overestimated my own craftiness.  I love to get my Martha on and have some stellar ideas, but do not have the patience or skill for successful execution, even when I don’t have to be at the beck and call of a needy 3-month old (pesky kid, always wanting SOMETHING-I’m wet, I’m dirty, I might deign to eat now-no never mind!, wahhh, etc.!).

However, Squidgy’s new earlier to bed routine has allowed me a couple more hours or so each evening so I gamely attacked the costume first.  if you’ll look closely you’ll see that only the seams are sewn (crookedly), and I left the top and bottom edges raw; I didn’t have that much free time.  Plus, it made pesky details like sizing easier that I could just take the scissors to it.

Also in the short cut department…after trying to squeeze the finished sack onto a teddy bear and finding that I would probably have to relocate a couple of squidgy’s limbs to maneuver him into the sack, I got smart and decide to make one whole side open and close with velcro.  Except of course, another trip to Michaels was not in the plans so on a trip to Kroger, I located some sticky backed velcro.  Close enough! I figured, hey, I can just sew this into place.  Which worked like a charm, except that every time the needle went through the velcro, it picked up some adhesive which is not such a good thing. The thread started sticking and I barely got it to finish the cap.  The needle is certainly hosed and I hope I haven’t gummed up the internal works of the machine.

Here is Squidge modeling Saturday night. 

It was pretty much his bedtime and we were popping over to a neighbor’s party for a bit, so that explains his less than excited expression…yeah, that’s it. It totally wasn’t because his mom made him a hoopty costume.

Friday night, I put Squidge to bed, poured a glass of wine and got out the cookie dough.  Guess what? Premade sugar cookie dough? Not made to be cut out.  After painstainkingly rolling, cutting out hearts, stars, flowers and feet, inserting sticks and baking, I got shapeless blobs on sticks. Yay. FAIL

Luckily, I went into this prepared with a Plan B.  Well, sort of prepared, I had an idea, but no supplies, so off I jetted to Michaels and Target again.  (Also, people, what are you doing at Target at 8:30 with your wee kiddies? They should be in bed!)  This time, to pick up melting chocolate in pastel colors and oreos.  Dipped cookies on sticks.  Except when I stuck the skewers into the oreos, the cream center wasn’t thick enough to hold and they were sliding off as I dipped.  FAIL! Poured some more wine.  Started dipping the sticks in the chocolate, insterting them into the cookie and letting them harden before proceeding with the full dip.  Which worked, praise god. Because I did not have a Plan C. 

Of course, the candy coatings didn’t melt that smoothly,  and so coated the cookies rather gloppily, but oh well; done!  Here are the hoopty centerpieces:

And then, because I had to bring a treat to the neighbors party Saturday night, I added red food coloring to the leftover yellow chocolate and coated the rest of the cookies orange.  A little decorator gel from a tube and voila: hoopty pumpkin cookies:

Hoopty Halloween Everybody!


You are my Destiny, Ooops I mean Destyni October 24, 2008

Filed under: Daily Grind — booksunread @ 12:18 pm

So this morning I was in the drive thru lane and in front of me was an SUV with the cutesy high school letters with their kids names on them.  They had two-one for Devon (not so bad) and one for Destyni (WTF?!?). That is not a typo.  Somebody thought it would be a good idea to not only name their kid something as cheesy as Destiny, but then they spelled it all jacked up. 

When I was teaching college, I had a “Chastidy” on my class roster. Unfortunately, she never showed up for class.

And while I’m at it, I really think those little car sports name stickers are kind of a bad idea.  I saw a little gymnast sticker one time and all I could think was that it was like advertising to pedophiles.  “My daughter’s name is Olivia. She’s very bendy! Come and get her!”


File Under: Things That Should Have Been Obvious October 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — booksunread @ 5:41 pm

McDonald’s pumpkin pie? Not so good.


Letting Go October 22, 2008

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 5:25 pm

Last night, I finally gave in and let Miguel take the night shift.  I’ve been resisting because I’ve assumed that Squidgy would be unhappy to see him instead of me, leading to crying, which Miguel would deal with by letting him cry more than I think he should and not making as concerted an effort as I would to get all of his bottle down.

But, I’m exhausted from not sleeping a solid night in 3 months and now sick with a cold, probably because I am exhausted and I can’t keep up this pace until Squidge decides he’s ready to sleep through the night.  They are just going to have to figure it out.

So last night, after I got him through fussy time (not as bad yesterday-knock wood) and to sleep at 8, I relocated myself to our bedroom instead of the guest room across the jack n jill bath from squidge.  Miguel took the monitor out, I closed the doors, turned the fan on high for maximum crying drowning-out power and promised not to get up unless Miguel came and got me.  Oh, and I also took a couple of Tylenol PMs to help me resist any urges I might have had to get up.

Like so many other things, I created this worrisome potential scenario in my head for naught.  Squidge could not have cared less that it was daddy in there in the middle of the night; the only fussing he did was when Miguel tried to get him to take more of the bottle than he apparently wanted.  When that stopped, he was quickly back to sleep. 

I’m not really happy that he only took two oz at his 11:30 feeding; usually I can get him to take all four, but what are you going to do?  His eating is still a problem in terms of him getting as much per day as he should be because he’s not always taking full feedings.  For a while after he finally accepted the formula, if he didn’t want any more, he would do so very good naturedly.  A “no thanks, I’m full” pushing of the nipple out with a sly grin up at you.  Now, he’s back to arching away and screaming after the first couple ounces.

At this point though, I have to stop making us both crazy over it. If he doesn’t want to eat, you can’t really make him. I don’t want feeding to become something contentious and cause him to reject feeding altogether.  When he stops mid-bottle and won’t start up again after burping, I’ll try changing his diaper, playing for a bit, or soothing to almost sleep and trying again.  But if he starts fussing, I stop. 

He had a visit with his pediatrician Monday and has gained a pound and a half in the last month, so that is very good.  But still, it’s worrisome that he did well for a while on the formula and then started trending back down.  We should be seeing him starting to take more as he gets older, and him still not hitting what he needed a month ago is not so good and means we could have another stutter in his weight gain and development.  Which is really what I’m worried about-not his weight, but that he has the nutrition needed to develop well mentally and physically. 

And also, it’s just not NORMAL that a baby reacts to a bottle like it is liquid fire and I want answers to fix it.  Part of it may be the zantac dose is now too light for his weight (if it is in fact helping-it does seem the two feedings after he gets his twice daily dose are the best), so we’re increasing it to see if it helps.  We go back to the GI specialist next week, and we’ll hopefully have some more encouraging news. 

So, in summary: yay-sleep! now Miguel and I can start splitting the nighttime burden more evenly; boo-feeding! how much longer can this possibly gone on before we get it figured out?


Three Months October 20, 2008

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 12:57 pm

So three months is when babies turn the corner and stop acting all pissed off for no reason and get closer to sleeping through the night. Right? Right? PLEASE?

Friday, as the end of day approached, I was just overcome with a wave of fatigue and dread.  Just so freaking tired and staring down the barrel of a long 48 hours plus at home with squidge, stressing about his eating and sleeping and not sleeping much myself.

And then when I got to the sitters and found that he’d been fussy and not taken full feedings there, I just felt completely hopeless.  All week, she’d been able to get him to take his full 4 oz the two feedings he was there, so that was at least two good feedings I could count on, regardless of what happened with the rest of them.

I knew this was going to be hard. I knew not sleeping was going to suck. I knew there would be times when we’d have a baby screaming at us for no discernable reason.  I knew it would mean not getting out and doing a lot during these first few months.  But I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the reality of just how hard it is.  You just can’t imagine it.  There are times when I can’t believe he is only three months.  It feels like I have been doing this forever.

I had such grand plans before squidgy got here…about breastfeeding: that squidgy would take to it with ease; that if he didn’t I wouldn’t make myself crazy over it; that I’d be able to pump and dump and bottle feed if I wanted to have a few drinks (ha ha ha ha on that one; like I’ve felt remotely like going out and tying one on especially knowing that I have an infant to take care of the next day)…about parenting style: that I wasn’t going to pick him up the second he started squawking; that I wasn’t going to carry him around in a sling 24-7 just to keep him quiet; that he’d learn to self soothe and I’d let him cry it out if necessary; that I’d put him on a schedule and he’d follow it, sleeping through the night by 10-12 weeks; that I wasn’t going to let him watch tv until he was much older…

And as I lay in bed Friday night, after going back in to reinsert his binky for the tenth time, I cataloged all the ways in which I’ve failed to date.

Breastfeeding: FAIL Quit at 3 months instead of my 6 month goal.
Freaking out RE: Breastfeeding: FAIL Freaked out at the beginning, freaked out about stopping. Maybe if I hadn’t tried so hard to get him to do it in the beginning, we could have avoided a lot of the shit in the middle with the 3 weeks of hellish nursing and eventual continuing struggle with the formula.
Being able to flit off and do stuff while someone else gave him a bottle: FAIL With all his feeding issues, I’m having a hard time unclenching and leaving the feeding to Miguel, even though he has offered.
Letting him learn to self soothe: FAIL As evidenced by the humongous dent in the couch where my ass is parked nightly and the repetitive stress injury I’ve developed from patting his butt all evening long.  And the giving in to the binky dance and going back in there like a total sucker 5 or 6 times to reinsert it.
Sleeping through the night: FAIL  Getting there, but because of the feeding thing, still giving him a bottle at 3 or 4 to give him another chance to get his ounces in.
TV watching: FAIL My parents introduced him to some shit on Noggin while they were here and Miguel has started using it to hold squidge off in the mornings as he gets dressed and out the door after I’m gone to work.  Since I know he is going to park him in front of the tv once I go, I broke down and bought a baby Einstein dvd Friday.  And like a total hypocrite, let him watch it to keep him occupied while I was eating dinner.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was one thing I could point to and say: SUCCESS!  I can’t even get my child to eat enough-one of his most basic needs. 

This weekend was about average on the difficulty scale.  Miguel took him Saturday morning so I could go back to bed for a while, but I just dozed off and on, straining to hear what was going on.  As Saturday wore on and squidge hadn’t pooped, he was clearly uncomfortable and very fussy.  However, he did sleep well, only waking up for his 11 and a 4:00 feeding. 

Sunday, I gave him a little help in the poop department (don’t ask), then he napped a lot and appeared to have a caught a bit of a cold (sweet-only took 1 week at the sitter to contaminate him, and also, thanks, all the awesome immunities I supposedly gave him by breastfeeding).  By Sunday night he was extremely fussy and irritable. I just couldn’t get him settled down at all.  It was one of those nights where I’d get him soothed and his eyes would drift closed, but a few minutes later, his little face would scrunch up and he’d scream like his hair was on fire. 

This started about 6:30, I took him up and gave him his bedtime feeding at 7:30 (which he took, thank god), and then the screaming continued on past 8:00.  At that point, I gave up putting him down anytime soon and reclaimed my spot on the couch to watch tv while we rode it out.  He finally passed out at about 8:45 and I gave him another hour while I watched Amazing Race.  Fortunately, he stayed down through me dropping him in his sleep sack and putting him in his crib and stayed down until the 11:30 feeding. 

He didn’t wake up again until 5, skipping that middle of the night time feeding (Yay!), but being very insistent about being up at 5 (Boo!).  He was seriously cranky with Miguel while I showered and got ready and then fussed in the middle of his feeding a bit.  After some more intervention on the poop front, he settled down for a while to play in his bouncy seat but by 6:30 he was done (no surprise-he’d been up since 5), but wouldn’t let Miguel soothe him back to sleep. He pretty much kept up the crank until Miguel dropped him at the sitter.

And through all this, I’ve been telling myself that we should be turning this magical mythical 3 month corner soon where all is sunshine and lollypops (well, okay I know it’s still hard, it’s just supposed to suck LESS).  And then I get to work and read Sundry’s post about her 6 month old and I died just a little bit inside.  Her description of knowing that cry it out was a viable option on paper, but being unable to follow through is DEAD ON.  Especially because when squidgy gets going, his cries are so frantic and gut-wrenching that you would swear someone is squeezing his nuts in a vice and SOMETHING has to be wrong to be causing it.  He also does not give up easily; the few times we’ve let him cry it out, he’s gone AN HOUR.  On one longish car ride back from a doctor’s appointment, he cried so hard and long that he made himself throw up.

So that was my weekend.  Bet I just made everyone double check that they’d taken their birth control.


Sleep Deprivation and Laughter October 17, 2008

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 5:37 pm

I am dead these days and not really feeling like writing.  Being back at work is killing me. I don’t know why; I wasn’t napping at all towards the end when I was home with squidge, so it’s not like it’s all that different that I’m at work all day.  It was definitely work being home taking care of an infant.  I am getting up an hour earlier though, to be ready for work at 6 when squidge (usually) gets up.

Eating is still presenting its challenges and getting all of the daily recommended amount into squidge every day is a constant worry in the back of my mind.  For the most part though, when he refuses to take a full four once bottle, he is not fussing and screaming.  He’s just acting like he’s got better things to do.  He’ll be looking around, checking out the ceiling, the wall, whatever is around.  And then he’ll slyly push the nipple out of his mouth and smile up at you from around the bottle.  So that’s an improvement, but we are not all the way there yet.

Having so much trouble with feeding is kind of screwing us on the other newborn parental bugaboo-sleeping through the night.  Usually that middle of the night feeding is one where he takes his full four ounces, so we really can’t afford to loose it.  At the same time, I wonder if skipping that will encourage him to get the rest in during the day.  We hadn’t been really trying at all to get him to bed on the schedule I’d like him to be on long-term (to bed by 7-7:30, up for a feeding 10:30/11 before I go to bed and then blissfully asleep for a full stretch on until 6), because he still has that inexplicable infant fussy time around 7 or so and it’d be next to useless to try to put him to bed then.  I’d be stuck sitting in his darkened room staring at the wall while I patted his butt for 30 or 45 minutes.

What I had been doing is taking to the couch when he starts up, patting and soothing for however long it took and then basically being tied to the couch until his 9 feeding.  If try to put him down, he usually woke up and it would be too early to feed him, and just not worth it.  (of course, he only wants me during this time, no one else will do-my MIL had to call us home from dinner last week when she couldn’t calm him down.) At least I could watch TV that way. And then he’d go down easily after his 9:00 feeding, sleep until sometime between 1 or 2, eat, then go back to sleep.

However, we should be coming to the end of that fussy time (oh god, please let it be soon), and now that I’m back at work, I can’t afford to spend that time stuck on the couch while he sleeps when he should be in his crib sleeping at that time.  So, I’ve changed up his schedule, moving his 6:00 feeding to 7:00 (since he didn’t appear to be all that hungry at 6) and changing the 9:00 to 11:00 in the hopes that he will be able to go from 11-6 without waking.

So now I take him up and go through the routine we did for his 9:00 bedtime feeding at 7, then crash myself, setting an alarm to get up at 11.  The idea is that once he gets it down (and I’ve caught up on my sleep from him going that whole stretch), I will be able to stay up ‘til 10:30/11 and give him that last feeding before bed. 

The first night, he’d fallen asleep on me a little after six, so it was easy to sneak him upstairs and trick him into thinking it was bedtime, not fussy time, and it went off without a hitch.  Yesterday, he was still awake and fussy at 7:15 so I had to soldier on through fussy time.  It took about half an hour of gritting my teeth and butt patting to get him to sleep at that time, but once he was out, he stayed down.  Both nights, he took a full feeding at 11 and slept right on through the usual middle of the night wake time.  However, he started waking every 15-30 minutes from 3:00 on.  He’d go back to sleep if I stuck his binky back in but drop it and pop back awake shortly thereafter.  And by 5:30, he was awake and insisting to get up, instead of us waking him at 6 as we have been doing. 

The 3AM binky dance had started even before we changed the schedule, although it’s probably slightly worse now-he pops up more often in that time and he no longer sleeps that last stretch of 5-6.  He’s not really getting more total sleep-it’s just all in his crib instead of partially on me.  I’m thinking that he is not quite ready to drop that feeding, so when he starts with that at 3, I will offer him a feeding, in the hopes it stretches him until 6.  And hopefully, he will naturally drop that feeding as all the books promise.

I know, I know, he is a baby and he will sleep through the night when he is ready.  But if I don’t give him the tools to do it (a late night 11 feeding), he will never be ready.  There’s no way he can go from 9 until 6.  So I guess I will keep at it and hope I’m not just beating my head against the wall.

In other news, which is really why I started this post in the first place-to document this-I got my first full real laugh out him last night. Apparently the driver on the bus going “sh, sh, sh!” is a real crowd pleaser-he went nuts!  Every day he is more animated and more fun, which at this point, between the sleeping and the eating, is the only reason I haven’t stuffed him in a padded envelope and sent him off to the grandparents special delivery.


No More Visits to the Big House October 14, 2008

Filed under: 15 Tons — booksunread @ 4:12 pm

Look! A new post! That has nothing to do with babies!

At my office building, we share the floor with a big home health care company, and there is one employee there who must spend 80% of her working hours pacing the halls on her cell phone.  And she is always talking full volume about some gruesomely personal redneck drama of the day.

She reminds me of Kate Jackson, when she starred in a cheesy Lifetime movie called Empty Cradle as a crazy white trash nurse who steals a baby.  The fact that this woman wears scrubs every day only reinforces the image (I still can’t figure out why the employees who seem to be full-time office workers at this company still wear scrubs to work…).

Today, as I left for a doctor’s appointment, I got trapped behind her as she moseyed down the middle of the hallway yapping.  When I returned an hour and half later, she was STILL out there.  As I passed, I heard her say “Well, I don’t care, I’m not going to visit him behind bars anymore…”