Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Midnight Mishaps

I awoke with a start to a gurgling, choking sound.

Leaping out of bed, I stumbled to the crib and thrust my hands out to lift the silently heaving baby out of her crib.

But her body felt strange as I lifted her, so I set her back down.

Peering through the darkness, I realized that she was facing the "wrong" end of the crib, and I had lifted my poor vomiting child upside down.


I scooped her up correctly and hurried to the bathroom. I leaned over the sink and tried to aim her face over the basin but realized that despite her heaves, nothing was coming up.

So I sat down on the toilet seat lid and rested her face against my chest and stroked her silky head and murmured to her.

She was strangely quiet, perhaps startled awake herself, and didn't really cry. This surprised me greatly because I am completely phobic about vomiting. Troubling that my child can take it in better stride than I can... though to be fair, I think I'm okay once I am in the middle of it, also.

When she was done, I carried her to the changing table to check her diaper and take her temperature.

As I inserted the thermometer, I started to feel nauseous myself. When the thermometer hit 101, I couldn't wait any longer, pulled it out, and fastened the adhesive on her diaper as fast as I could before lifting her sleepy body into my arms. My heart was pounding, my stomach was gurgling, and my stomach roiling.

I headed into the kitchen to go to the bathroom but couldn't make it without fear of falling and dropping her, so I lay down on the nice, cool kitchen floor instead, resting the baby safely between my legs.

I lay there a minute or two and suddenly the feeling was gone.

I lifted the frightened baby up again, comforting her, then scurried back to the bedroom to lie down in bed together before the feeling returned.

A half an hour later, neither of us were sleeping well, and she was asking to nurse. I figured it had been long enough since the vomiting to risk it, so I nursed her, then left her wailing self on the bed while I changed her sheets before depositing her gratefully back into her crib.

We both woke up feeling much better this morning.

I have no idea what ailed me last night. At first I thought that I was disgusted by taking a rectal temperature, because usually I prefer axillary, but seriously? I'm a nurse, for god's sake. Granted I don't do many, okay, any rectal temps anymore, but still.

So what was it?

I'm guessing it was the shot of adrenaline was just a little too much for, straight out of a sound sleep.

I sure felt guilty, though. Poor baby is woken up vomiting and with a fever, and now she's got to deal with Mommy trying to steal the spotlight back? Seriously?

Update: her fever went up as high as 104 today but she's mostly lacking other symptoms, and seems pretty well otherwise, apart from some nasal congestion. I'm suspecting it's roseola, but I won't know until after the fever breaks and the rash comes out if, indeed, my suspicion is confirmed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Back in Brooklyn, Being a Cool Aunt, and Sick Again

I forgot to do a little bit of bragging in the last post.

My sister and I had promised to do a cookout with my niece while Calliope and I were in Vermont. See, Eliana's older sister is at sleepaway camp, and Eliana misses her terribly. But she's not quite ready to be away from home overnight. So we were going to do all the things, supposedly, that big sister Talia is doing at camp.

But then the sky turned grey and thunder boomed.

Poor Eliana, missing her sister and her father, looked desolate.

So I seized an opportunity, and said, "that's okay! Let's have a campout inside!"

I pulled a big quilt off a high shelf and helped Eliana push chairs together to make an indoor tent/fort. We arranged pillows artfully inside, and folded towels just so to make beds. My sister put the kibosh on building a fire and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over an indoor fire -- she clearly lacks imagination unlike, say, moi -- and settled on dinner at the table but toaster-made s'mores eaten in the tent.

I felt like a pretty fun aunt. Calliope participated by sleeping soundly and not ruining the fun.

The next morning we ventured to Buttermilk Falls, also on Eliana's to do list, and Eliana got to swim in the frigid water with my sister while Calliope and I played in the mud on the sidelines.

Yesterday afternoon we drove back to Brooklyn, and my word, I am proud of my girl!

She has totally turned the corner on the car thing. Hooray! She plays quietly, and claps, and talks to herself, and "reads" books, and plays with things that I hand her. In a pinch, I can also pass a puff over the back of the car seat and tuck it neatly into her mouth. (I tried handing her a puff in her hand, or giving her a cup with a few puffs, or using a snack trap... all epic fails that resulted in puffs everywhere but in her mouth.) Oh, and if you're thinking, "puffs??? aren't you against that sort of thing?"

Well, yes, I am, except when they are really convenient. Then I'm not.

We survived the long drive and epic parking adventure and collapsed in bed... well, Calliope collapsed in bed while I decompressed at the computer and stayed up too late.

This morning she felt warm, so I took her temperature, not really expecting a fever because she seemed so happy and playful. But it was 100.4 in her armpit, a degree lower than her true temperature. Hmm.

She felt downright hot after a two and a half hour nap. I decided to do a rectal temp... 103.2.


So off to the doctor we went. By then the Motrin had kicked in and she was her normal cheerful, smiling, waving self. Apart from occasional mouth breathing as a remnant of her last cold, she's been totally without symptoms, so the doctor wanted to rule out a urinary tract infection. The nurse cleaned Calliope's "area" with Betadine then carefully taped a collection bag to her labia. Calliope most definitely did not approve of this project. Naturally she would not pee on command. We waited in the exam room for about an hour until she finally peed, just a tiny bit.

There wasn't enough there to do a dipstick so the nurse sent a urineanalysis to the lab. Results will be back tomorrow. I'm not too worried but I am discouraged that my girl is sick again.

Also, for the record, she still hasn't gained weight. Seventeen pounds, four ounces at 11.5 months old. This was the fourth doctor in the practice I saw today, who hadn't seen her since her newborn visit in the hospital, and he didn't even glance at her weight.

Oh well. She has her ONE YEAR well baby visit in two and a half weeks. We can discuss it then.

I'm just hoping that this fever passes quickly and we can leave town again soon.

Real estate drama continues.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Greetings from Vermont

Calliope and I finally seized a moment of perpetual inactivity from the bank and snuck away from Brooklyn to Vermont, where my sister is renting a house for two weeks. As much as you can "sneak" with an older baby and the enormous amount of crap that comes along with her... especially when her mother leaves less than twenty four hours after formulating the plan to leave in the first place.

It's wonderful to be here. I've spent eleven summers up here at my old summer camp, as both camper and staff, and this is more my "home," in some ways, than anywhere else on earth. Certainly it's sacred to me. My last summer sucked horribly, and I'm still trying to figure out how to process that. Regardless, it's wonderful to be here, but fifteen miles from camp, and just around as a alumni and aunty (because my younger niece is going to the day camp at my old camp... which is technically a collection of six camps).

It's just so quiet and green and clean and airy here. A person can feel herself breathe. I feel like I'm finally on vacation. And yesterday, I got to go on a run all by myself. Heavenly. It's crazy to believe that coupled parents get to have these sorts of experiences all the time. A shower without audience participation? Shocking!

It's also surprisingly wonderful being with family. It's just my older sister and younger niece -- her husband is in Florida, holding down the home base and going to work every day, and her older daughter is at sleepaway camp at the same group of camps. My younger niece, Eliana, is seven years old and adores Calliope. They have a wonderful time together. Yesterday Eliana was playing Follow The Leader with Calliope, and it was so sweet to see her crawling after Calliope and to hear them jabbering away in baby talk together.

It's times like these that I question my SMC life just a little, and even the American model of family life. It seems clear to me that Calliope would be happier if we lived in a big house with lots of extended family (or friends!) around, the more people to love on her.

Oh well.

Unfortunately, I got the news that I have to scurry back to Brooklyn tomorrow to deal with some emergency real estate paperwork. It's too boring (and stressful) to describe the situation I am in. Suffice it to say: I hope we never move because I can't bear the thought of ever enduring this again.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Few Quick Photos & Eating Together as a Family

At the beach with Catherine and  Jack. I couldn't get both babies to look at 
the camera simultaneously because they were too busy emptying each 
other's water vessels onto the picnic blanket. You can see the puddle under 
Calliope's green cup and Calliope hard at work with Jack's bottle.

Doesn't she look like she's steering one of those 
Venetian boats?

Not a great photo but it documents Calliope feeding herself broccoli for 
the first time!

Today we went to Robert Moses State Park with our friend Catherine and newly one year old Jack. We had a great time and left with all four of us exhausted. Just in time for Calliope to wail most of the ride home.

How I wish that she didn't hate the car so much! But I am exceedingly grateful that we live in a place where we can easily avoid them most of the time.

We had some exciting eating developments lately.

I just finished reading Bringing Up Bebe, which I highly recommend! The American-living-in-Paris author and mother discusses differences in parenting styles between the two countries. One thing that she talks about is how French children develop their palates. 

As a result, I've been inspired to try to work on our routines. My goal is to eat more meals together. And also to start dinner with a vegetable course, as they do in France (per the book) for their main meal of the day. 

So tonight we sat down to dinner together... at the table, no less! Luckily it wasn't too hot today, because the kitchen lacks air conditioning.

We started with broccoli as our "vegetable course." And yeah, it was frozen-then-microwaved broccoli, but so what??? I dressed it with a little butter from our local farmer and voila, Calliope wolfed it down! And even fed it to herself some of the time, a huge development for her!

She also just started to sometimes feed herself yellow plums and blueberry halves.

After broccoli, we shared a homemade grassfed burger topped with local mozzarella. Delicious! Mine was over a bed of local lettuces but she had hers plain.  

I'm excited that she is suddenly interested in eating "real" food! Moving beyond plain yogurt is wonderful! 

I think eating together is definitely helping -- she wants to try everything that I eat. And I think it's also a wonderful habit to develop to keep the lines of communication open as she grows older.

Again Again Again

I hate to even tell you guys this... but I have to face sleep training again tonight.

We were doing great until sinusitis came along, and the fever kept waking her up, miserable and of course, uncomprehending as to why she felt so awful.

So of course I comforted her in the only way I knew how.

But she's long since recovered, and now has a worsening habit of waking at night.

And if I thought it would work to co-sleep, I would.

But I don't think either of us would sleep well. She's too active, and I would be too worried about her falling off the bed. Plus nowadays, what she wants to do in my bed is sleep on top of me.

And I am most certainly not a cuddler in my sleep. So I wouldn't sleep well.

And some folks would say that it's not about me. But I don't agree. If it doesn't work for me, it doesn't work for my family, which by definition, includes me. 

And I know from past experience that it is quickly over, and then we are both so much happier.

I've been trying to wait until we move. This would be so much easier if we weren't sharing a room!

But last night she was up three times, a record since she's been healthy. So I can't wait any longer.

But oh, how I hate this! I hate hearing her scream. It makes my heart seize up.

But I know it's better for both of us, not just me. She is a happier girl when she's well rested.

But it sucks.

And I feel ridiculous, bringing this to all of you, once again.

Question: should I leave the monitor on so I can hear her crying from the living room? Or is there no point to that?

I feel super guilty not suffering through her crying with her, even if it's from a different room. On the other hand, it's hard for me to think there's anything particularly helpful about it, either. And if there was something wrong, how would that sound different from angry crying?

Have I mentioned how much I hate this???

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's In Her Cup? Eleven Months

Just before she snatched the sticker and commenced crumpling it.. that grin is the mirth of
commencing destruction

Eating a strawberry is serious business

Jen, our SMC dentist friend, innocently asked what was in Calliope's sippy cup (the one she threw in the video)... no doubt wondering if I was exposing my girl's budding teeth to juice and processed sugar.

It was actually unsweetened herbal iced tea... She always wants whatever I'm drinking, and this is what I drink, so she gets raspberry zinger and rooibos chai in her sippy cup. Of course, now she refuses to drink from a silicone spout, but only from Mommy's cup, hence the throwing, but I digress.

Jen's question made me smile, because I worry sometimes that I err too far in the opposite direction.

I have strong negative feelings about the diets of most American children, and of course I want Calliope to be as healthy as she can be... but at the same time, I worry about somehow making too big a deal out of what she eats. As a baby, it's not so hard to control everything that goes in her mouth -- unless the nanny decides to feed her conventional strawberries without checking with me first, or I think I have lost her insulated food bag and have no food to give her at dinner save a dinner roll (the bag was later found under her highchair) -- but as she gets older, I worry that she's going to be upset that she doesn't get to have the juice boxes and prepared snacks that seem to be de rigeour in today's society.

It's also hard to explain to well meaning friends and family that want to share their treats and I fear offending someone but also lack the energy to explain my position.

One SMC member sent me a thought provoking article from the New York Times, Should You Raise A Sugar Free Baby? which I enjoyed and recommend to anyone who is interested. Not as a lecture, but as something interesting to consider.

I even take it to a further extreme than she does. Calliope has never had fruit purees, though now that we are in the glorious midst of summer fruit season, I can't refuse to share local strawberries, blueberries, plums, and raspberries. Calliope never had rice cereal, or even oatmeal. She's had bread twice in her eleven months, and has eaten a cracker once. She's never had rice, and has refused Cheerios the couple of times they have been offered to her. She devours plain yogurt. Well, to the extent that she "devours" anything. My girl is easily distracted and not all that interested in food on her best day. Apart from nursing, to which she is increasingly devoted.

However, I don't want to give Calliope "issues." I don't want to worry about sending her to a play date and wondering if she will be exposed to processed foods. I don't want her to go begging for sugary treats from other mothers.

I don't have the answers. For now, I try to give her the best "diet" that I can, and resolve to take the rest day by day.

In other news, Calliope has another cold. I'm frustrated about it. She doesn't have a fever, thank goodness, but she's been a bit irritable and is having trouble sleeping. Last night she cried for two hours, from 9:15-11:15. That was even with me going in to comfort her, to rock her, to nurse her. Tonight, it took an hour for her to fall asleep (normally it ranges from instantaneous to, at most, 30 minutes of playing), with crying, despite rocking and nursing from me after appropriate opportunities to attempt to self soothe. She slept an hour, then was up, screaming, again.


Thankfully, it's not like last time. She's not feverish, she's not limp and unineterested in the world. But of course, having experienced that once, now I am worrying that it will return.

But so far, she's still very active. For the first thirty minutes after her unusually long afternoon nap, she wailed without provocation, taking breaks only to nurse before wailing again. And then suddenly she reverted back to her typical, sunny disposition.

This evening, she pushed up to standing using only one hand. Yesterday, I let go of her hand while she was standing and she stayed upright for almost ten seconds.

After dinner tonight... she sure doesn't look sick to me!

On the prowl for mischief
She typically goes from sitting to crawling by doing a split and then rolling forwards
Froggy is so funny!

Mommy, I'm ready for my workout

She's learned to feed herself a whole strawberry. This is especially momentous because she mostly refuses to feed herself. She loves blueberries, for example, and will happily pick one up... only to squish it between her fingers. Sometimes she even puts her fingers into her mouth... but then takes them out again, taking the blueberry out also.

Trying to take her eleven month photos felt fairly exasperating and didn't yield any pleasing results. She moves so quickly these days and is completely uninterested in smiling for the camera. Oh well.

It's dizzying to think that next month she will have been with me for a year. I don't know how to wrap my head around that.

We are tantalizingly close to finding out when the closing date will be... but still not there yet. But I have made peace with the ordeal. Whatever it is, it's beyond my control.

Ending the day with dinner and a bath with Eleanor... which was anything but relaxing, now that Calliope insists on
pulling up in the bathtub. That means I have to hold onto her every second that she is in the tub.
 I was exhausted by the time she was ready for bed. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My First Attempts at Discipline Are Clearly Very Effective

I've been working diligently with Calliope, trying to teach her not to throw her cup off the highchair tray.

As you can see, it's going very well. She definitely knows who's boss.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby Free Friday

Or at least, Baby Free Friday Afternoon.

The nanny came over after the morning nap to see the girls (Calliope and our nanny share baby, Eleanor), who hadn't seen her in two whole weeks. Calliope was clearly a little confused at first, but once she was safely hoisted up on my hip, began waving joyously at Nastya. She didn't cry when we left, and seemed fine, though after my return, completely lost her sh*t when I went into a different room. Oops.

Calliope also waved cheerfully at every single passerbye while we were out for coffee way too early this morning. Mommy, meanwhile, was staring, dull eyed, into space. Yeah, it was a rough night.

Mysteriously, while we were out, Calliope ate more for lunch with Nastya than she has been eating with me in an entire day. So now I'm left wondering what I am doing wrong?

I really don't want to make food a battleground, as I know those early battles can plague someone, especially a girl, throughout her entire life. So when she shakes her head emphatically "no," to a food, I don't force the issue. I might offer it again later in the meal, but I respect her answer and never force food on her.

But maybe I am doing something wrong? Calliope ate a half a jar of tomato/carrot mixture for lunch today, something that lately with me, she will only take mixed with yogurt... with Nastya, she gobbled it up by itself. With me, she's been taking much less yogurt, rarely more than 2 ounces and sometimes, like this morning, only a few bites. With Nastya, she took at least 4 ounces!

Nastya didn't even try to give her a bottle after such a big lunch, which I was a little disappointed about because I was curious if she would take it after all this time. Of course, that meant she was very eager to nurse when I got home. And since I hadn't pumped while I was out, I had lots of milk. I also drank Mother's Milk Tea yesterday, which always bumps up my supply the following day, and have been drinking herbal iced tea by the gallon in an effort to boost my hydration and thus my milk supply, because it's been feeling like it's been dwindling in the later part of the day.

Last night and the previous night, Calliope was up three times during the night, all in quick succession. I attempted to mollify her with a quick mini nursing session the first time, then to just rock and snuggle her the second time, and finally gave up and gave a full nursing with the third wake up. Because she would go back to sleep after the earlier attempts, but then wake up again a few minutes later. So I felt like she was just hungry.

And I know I could once again teach her to sleep through the night with some cry it out training, but her cry has suddenly gotten a lot louder and a lot more persistent. And I just don't have the psychic energy right now. I have mentioned that I cannot wait to move into "my" (hopefully) new two bedroom apartment!

I had my co-op board interview last week, and was supposed to hear back early this week, but a full week has passed with no official word, though unofficially, everything is fine. Once I get the official word, I can work on scheduling the closing... but I can't get through to the bank to find out what we need to do to close.

Have I mentioned that this process sucks???

Anyway, during my baby free time, I visited my chiropractor. I started seeing him at the end of my pregnancy, on my midwife's recommendation to help turn the baby so she wasn't sunny side up, and just fell in love. I had been so deeply suspicious of chiropractors, after hearing stories of rogue neck-crackers, but he is great. It's more like a massage and a friendly chat with some weird contortions towards the end. I love it. And it's covered by my insurance, save a $10 co-pay, so better than a massage in that sense!

After that, I went to one of my favorite lunch restaurants with my nanny-share partner, Amy, for lunch. We managed to not talk about our kids for at least a few minutes, which felt like an accomplishment! And after that, we went to see a movie, Moonlight Kingdom, which was silly and sweet and totally entertaining. It was perfect summertime decadence. I recommend it!

And then it was lovely to come home and see my girl again. I'm very, very grateful for this time off this summer to be with her every day... though it was wonderful to get a break as well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turned a Corner Today

Finding my groove.

The apartment is clean... having a cleaning lady come yesterday really motivated me. Somehow, actually being here while she was here had a much bigger impact on me than just coming home from work to a clean apartment.

I did lots of organizing while she was here, and mainly got my head screwed on straight. I printed out month-long calendars, and am going to start assigning tasks, even menial ones, to each day. Tomorrow's task is going to the post office to drop off some packages and also using the rest of the raw milk to make yogurt while the milk is still good. We also have an adventure planned, to go to the new water Terrace at the Museum of Natural History. It sounds like a it's a big and majestic sprinkler in a beautiful location. And then we will meet a friend for dinner afterwards.

Also on deck, an early morning run and stop at the playground. And maybe a playdate as well.

In other news, Calliope almost fed herself today! Girl has been oddly reluctant, especially since her mother had hoped to do Baby Led Weaning. But at almost 11 months old, Calliope will play with food, and she will eat food that is fed to her, but she will not feed herself.

But today, she twice brought a half a blueberry (also a big new accomplishment -- she's willing to try textures more varied than purees!) to her mouth from the high chair tray. Once she just licked it, and other time she actually put it partway in her mouth before taking it out. Oddly, she will eat them if I put them in her mouth.

I mean, she ate a total of three or four blueberries, halved, so she's still not a big eater, but this is major progress. And despite not eating a lot, she looks like she's chunking up again -- her thighs look a little meatier -- so that's good.

And yesterday, she was standing up and holding on to me when she let go... and stayed standing! It only lasted a couple of seconds, but that was a first for sure, independent standing!

It's wonderful to have her normal sunny disposition back. She is a waving fiend lately and waves at everything -- bathwater, yogurt, traffic -- and everyone... except sometimes she's prompted to do so. Naturally.

Her language skills are blossoming, picking up speed each day. When I say "hooray!" she starts clapping, and sometimes says, "heyyy!" (baby version of "hooray" I think). She might be saying "hi", sometimes, but I'm not sure if that counts because it's pretty garbled and not entirely consistent. And when I ask, "do you want to nurse?" she starts to whimper, so I know she understands that as well.

Tangent: I never imagined myself saying to anyone, "Calliope, I'm going to go take a shower. Do you want to watch?" But so far, the answer is always yes. Who knew that showering could be a spectator sport?

She crawled off the potty last night, and then pooped in the tub just a few minutes later, which I was definitely not happy about, but other than that, life is grand.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today Was a Better Day

Joyfully clapping for Sweet Honey in the Rock

watching the show with my girl (dressed appropriately for
Celebrate Brooklyn in her Brooklyn onesie)

We went out for a run shortly after 7 am. We jogged slowly (well, one of us jogged, the other rode) but without pain to the playground, which was entirely deserted, save a cleaning staff, and Calliope enjoyed climbing the play structure steps without fear of being trampled by a preschooler. Then she went back into the Bob (stroller) and we ran (jogged) through the parade grounds and over to Ditmas Park, the funky little neighborhood adjacent to mine. There we stopped at Qathra, the cool cafe there, for a mother:daughter breakfast. She wanted to try my breakfast sandwich, but didn't do more than touch her lips to it before pulling away. She guzzled a fair amount of my Peach Rooibos herbal iced tea, though! Girlfriend always wants to drink what Mommy is drinking, and from the same receptacle, too. Sippy cups are just so boring in comparison. She also had a few bites of yogurt, and licked the edge of a croissant.

After that, we headed to the farmer's market across the street to stock up on berries and cherry tomatoes -- god, I love summer produce -- and then stopped at the health food store briefly. Then we headed back home where Calliope went down for a nap and I showered, pumped, and ate breakfast.

It makes such a difference to my sanity to get out, especially when it's early. And with clouds that didn't burn off until mid-morning, it wasn't too hot, either.

If only I could run every day. That jolt of endorphins is like nothing else for my mental health and energy levels.

Unfortunately, I know I have to take it slow and gradual if I don't want the plantar fasciitis to flare up again.

Still, I'm everlastingly grateful for this morning. I will try to do another form of exercise tomorrow -- even a pale imitation of running is better than nothing.

After her nap, I gradually organized and cleaned the kitchen, taking frequent breaks to tend to Calliope and also to just stop and enjoy her.

After her second nap, we headed to Prospect Park for one of their free summer concerts, the Celebrate Brooklyn series. Usually they are in the evening, so we can never go, because they interfere with bedtime, but this one was early. So Calliope and I hung out with another mom and baby (from our moms' group) as we half listened to a legendary African American a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. It was great to be out and experiencing life.

Of course, I still haven't caught up on the massive pile of stuff and responsibilities in the living room. I will be so grateful to move to an apartment with a dishwasher -- tackling the dishes each day takes way too much of my time! Maybe tomorrow. I have a temporary cleaning woman coming, since my regular person is on vacation. I may have an extra baby hanging out with us for a few hours so her mother can recover from a red eye, which will likely hinder things, but hoping for the best.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Calliope is Better and Mommy is A Little Worse

Okay, Calliope is absolutely better. She's still coughing up (and sneezing out) some thick mucus now and then, but she only took two naps today (unfortunately, one was cut short by an ill timed dirty diaper... girl, I offered you the potty, why didn't  you use it before your nap???) and still did great until she fell apart only fifteen minutes before bedtime. She is gradually eating more. She was active and cheerful and even entertained herself while I exercised on the elliptical, with only one interruption to my workout -- I build a wall of couch cushions plus an ottoman to keep her from getting too close to the elliptical. She only scaled it once, and was easily redirected.

She learned how to open the cube with all the different shapes inside. Before, she could only slam it shut... and then be disappointed that she couldn't play with the shapes inside. But if I opened it again, she couldn't resist closing it back again. But now, she can open and shut it independently. So that kept her occupied for the second half of my workout.

We've been doing a lot of "gravity work" lately. She drops things, over and over, and will pick them up herself, if she can reach, or else look at me expectantly, as if to say, "Um, are you paying attention? That thing? It's on the floor. And I need it. (So I can drop it again, as soon as you return it to me.)"

She has started nodding and shaking her head decidedly these last few days, and most of the time, she uses them correctly. I can't imagine where she picked them up, since I don't think I would use them around her, given that we are usually by ourselves. It's hilarious to see her so opionated. Another step closer to the infininite destination of getting to truly know her.

We have a new game where she presses a button on a toy cube to make a sound, and each time she does it, I "startle" and act surprised while she chuckles delightedly.

When she stretches out her hand to me, I reach my hand out to her and we flutter our fingers at each other, prompting gales of laughter.

And when I leave her in one room and go to another, I hear her making slow progress through the apartment, palms slapping noisily against the floor as she crawls to find me. I call out, "Calliope? Where are you? Where's my girl?"

And then she pokes her head around the corner and I say, "Oh, there you are!" and she chortles delightedly.

It's beautiful to be the sun around which one little planet orbits.

So I don't know why I feel squirrely. Because I have no idea when we will close on the apartment, I haven't been able to make any real travel plans for the summer. And since I don't know my travel plans yet, I haven't made much in the way of plans to be here, either.

So on July 4th, we had nothing planned. Calliope took three long naps, sleeping the entire day away, it felt like. When your baby is only awake for an hour between naps, sometimes less, it's hard to get out. Finally, when she woke up from her final nap at around 4 pm, I slung her into the Beco carrier and set out determinedly for the bus to Prospect Park.

Although we were only there for thirty minutes, being out and engaged with the world saved my sanity. Still, I was a little saddened to see all the families and friends, filling every corner of that huge and beautiful park, celebrating together over barbeque grills and picnic baskets. It was hard to not have Fourth plans of our own, to not be part of a group, even if we might not have been able to participate much, given how tired Calliope was from her illness.

Today, once again, we had no plans. Well, we had tentative plans to go to the playground with a neighborhood mom and baby, but they fell through due to nap schedules and tired babies. Calliope and I went to the playground anyway, by ourselves, after her nap. We actually had a great time. I met a lovely lesbian couple we chatted for quite a while as we sat in damp puddles by the toddler water play area, nursing our babies. That was great.

Then we came back home and Calliope's nap, when I was planning to work out, was quickly derailed by the aforementioned dirty diaper. I kept sitting around, waiting for her to go back to sleep, but finally retrieved her from the crib and worked out anyway.

Later in the afternoon, once temperatures had cooled off a bit, we went to a different playground. This one is closer, but without a toddler area, and let's just say it draws a different crowd, less like me than the other playground, so it has fewer possibilities for conversation, and today, I didn't even speak to another adult. Then Calliope threw her hat out of the stroller on our way home, forcing me to retrace our steps nearly the entire way back to the playground, and making both of us cranky and tired.

I'm so everlastingly grateful to not be working right now. I don't know what the problem is. I think it's the lack of plans and especially, the continued lack of information about when I will be moving, that is making me crazy. The hot weather isn't helping. I feel isolated and lonely and at the same time, amazed my lack of productivity. And I know that getting things done -- the tidying, the opening of mail, the filing, the completion of errands -- would help my anxious brain feel better. But it's still not happening. Instead, my apartment is cluttered, which drives me crazy. But I lack the motivation to fix the problem.

Friday, July 6, 2012

After Four Days of Antibiotics

With our nanny-share baby. She looks pretty good, right? (Even if she
refused to eat anything at lunch, despite the fact that she's reaching
for my food.)

This is an excerpt from an email to a friend.

luckily she is better, but still not quite right. today was day 4 of antibiotics. she took a 90 minute nap, starting at 7:45 am. then we went to the beach. she had fun at the beach and LOVED being dipped in the water, but she kept lying down with her face in the sand (under the umbrella). 

she slept a bit on the way there and on the way back, maybe 20 minutes each, plus 40 minutes in the carrier as we were packing up (i had to wake her each time). when we got home at about 3:30, she became hysterical as i brought her in the bathroom to clean us both off. it was horrible. i haven't seen her like that since she was an overtired newborn. after I bathed her, I put her on the bathmat to sit but she stood up and draped her chest and head across the ledge of the tub and alternatively wailed and sucked her thumb pitifully. finally we were both clean [enough] and i took her to the bedroom to nurse. she seemed cheerful after that but i decided to try putting her down anyway. this was a little after 4.

i put her in the crib and she collapsed gratefully (she loves her crib!). and it appears she is sleeping through the night. on the advice of my mom, i went in after two hours, at 6 pm, and gave her the amoxicillin and nursed again. it's amazing that babies can swallow things without waking up! she took the meds well and nursed (only one side) without waking up and i put her back in the crib.

so i guess she's sleeping straight through the night!? (i'm going to be very unhappy if she's ready to party at 11 pm... hopefully not.)

my mom wants me to bring her back to the pediatrician if she's not better by monday.

the thing is, she IS better, just still not herself. she's eating solids at SOME meals, but not all. i don't think she's gained any weight back yet, and probably still losing, though slowly. her clothes are pretty baggy on her. she's sleeping 3-4 hours a day plus 10-12 hours at night. her congestion is vastly improved but she still has a deep productive cough, but it's not frequent. she's playful but sometimes is ready for a nap after only 45 minutes awake.


Ten month photos... which I only just remembered to take, at nearly ten
months and three weeks. Oops. I like this one because you can really see
the ?gray color of her eyes (I still don't know what to call the color). Still,
look at the bags under her eyes. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Second Trip to the Doctor

What happens when I put Calliope down to "play"

Finally, yesterday, I just got fed up and also worried. I couldn't put Calliope down to play at all. She just wanted to be held. All. The. Time.

Rocking in the glider was just perfect for her. And I didn't mind. For a while. But then I would get kind of lonely and claustrophobic. But all trips outside the apartment quickly led to misery for her. Silent crying, because she'd lost her voice.

I had been planning to hold out for Wednesday, but when I realized that Wednesday was July 4th, I decided to make an appointment to see the pediatrician on Tuesday  (we'd seen one, not our regular person, last Friday, after she's had the fever for 36 hours). I waffled for quite a while over this decision, not wanting to waste our time with another fruitless visit, but ultimately decided that with the holiday, I definitely didn't want to wait until Thursday.

But then, after her third nap of the day yesterday, she seemed a bit better! She was able to play on her own for fifteen minutes! She's always been very independent, so this wouldn't ordinarily be impressive, but after days of being glued to my (hot and sweaty) body, it was real progress. I almost called the doctor to cancel, but decided to hold off for this morning.

When I went to Calliope at 4:30 this morning, I was surprised to feel that her body was radiating heat, given that she looked more like herself yesterday than she had in a week. I nursed her and put her back to bed. An hour later, she was up again, feeling very toasty indeed. This time I took her temperature... 101.6 axillary, which is equivalent to 102.6 oral. No wonder she felt warm. I gave her some Motrin and she slept until nearly 9 am... the latest she's slept since she was a newborn!

We saw a different pediatrician today, one who remembered who I am and that I work in school health. She was lovely, and asked very collaboratively, "so I'm thinking it's a sinus infection. Is that what you are thinking?"

I agreed that it made perfect sense, though I'm embarrassed to admit to all of you that I didn't even think of that until she suggested it. But OF COURSE she has a sinus infection. This is why I bring her to someone else, and don't treat her myself!

Another dose of Motrin plus her first dose of amoxicillin plus two naps and my girl is more like herself than she has been in a week.

She's still not any eating solid foods, and was down to 17 pounds, 2 ounces, which is 7% for her age. I keep offering lots of different foods, and to be fair, she has tasted a very few things, so that's progress. I have decided, as I've said previously, that I am not going to make food a battleground. But neither am I going to offer junk food to entice her to eat. But I've offered all sorts of berries, and yogurt (her favorite), and cheese, and a cracker and buttered bread (neither of which I would normally give her), and occasionally she's let the tip of her tongue touch one of these, and other than that, she has refused to open to her mouth. Exceptions: she enjoyed a piece of freeze dried seaweed last night, and exactly one tiny egg of salmon roe tonight. But she's nursing tons, and I assume my supply has picked up as a result, since she's nursing on only one side at a time (if she was still hungry, she would want both sides). Since she's only lost two ounces since last week, I figure she's not starving.

Still, I'm feeling a bit burned out and exhausted. I feel like I can barely remember my happy, adventurous baby... though I got a hint of her tonight when we met a friend for dinner. By the end, confident that Mommy wasn't going anywhere, she was flirting across the table with him, and even snuggled into his chest with a smile for a goodbye hug. Now I have to wonder if I was too quick to start the antibiotics (the doctor suggested I could wait 24 hours to see if Calliope got better on her own... she did seem to be acting more like herself... but on the other hand... her fever was going up.)

In other exciting news... i FINALLY have a mortgage committment letter AND the co-op board is ready to meet with me! I've very excited. Unfortunately, my mother has to meet with them also, since she's on the application (because she's helping with the down payment) and she's leaving the country on Friday to take my niece to the Galapagos for her (my niece's) bat mitzvah gift. So we begged, via my broker, for them to let  her do the co-op interview via skype. My broker said they are considering it. Fingers crossed!

I really want to get this done because once we close, the current owners need two weeks to give notice to his employer and move out, and then I need at least a few days to get the floors re-done. And I'm absolutely desperate to get moved in over the summer, while I'm off from work. The sooner the better.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sick Little Girl (Not That Sick)

Calliope's been sick for four days now. I took her to the pediatrician after 36 hours of fever because I figured that's what you are supposed to do with a febrile infant?

I don't know. It was pretty clear to me that it wasn't anything serious, but it's hard to see her feeling pretty miserable, and so I wanted someone else to take responsibility for her, too.

She got weighed at the doctor's and she was 17 pounds, 4 ounces, which is four ounces less than she was at her nine month well baby visit, six weeks ago. She hadn't been sick long at that point yesterday, so I think she was still down from the last time she was sick, earlier this month.

I think the fever may finally be gone, but she's just so damn fragile right now. Even when she's playing happily enough, the smallest hiccup can set her off again. Poor baby. She just can't handle any little frustration, including me wiping her nose, lying her down to change her diaper, a toy that she pushes up on tipping over, or most especially, someone other than me picking her up. God forbid.

If any of the above occur, she breaks down into nearly silent sobs, because her little voice is so hoarse. But huge tears immediately roll down her pale little face. It's all very tragic.

Even the beloved bathtub elicited tears when she went in, and again after about 15 minutes of playing. Everything just seems to wear her out.

She barely ate any solids on Thursday, and hasn't eaten any at all the last three days. She's nursing more often, including at least three times last night. Ugh! I just don't know what else to do for her when she wakes up miserable, but I really don't want to re-start a night feeding habit.

She's happiest when I'm sitting on the floor with her (or even better, lying down with a breast exposed -- she just discovered this awesome one tonight... I was lying there idly, hadn't tucked things away and she was playing and suddenly, there she was, latched on and sucking away... again...) and there's no one else here. No one to interfere with her plans, no one to pick her up (besides me), no one to overstimulate her. Attempts to go out are met with more tears.

Meanwhile, selfish Mommy is feeling a bit claustrophobic. I had friends crashing with me this weekend so they could attend a wedding in Manhattan. I was so grateful for their company! We went out for dinner on Friday night and out for early breakfasts on both Saturday and Sunday (today). While it was probably hard for Calliope to be out, it was great for me.

It's only the second day of my summer vacation and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. A sick baby plus really hot weather plus not much in the way of plans, since I had originally hoped to be traveling right now... Of course, things would be so much worse if we were traveling. And plans might well make things worse right now. It's just that staying home with her is hard. And I did go out for breakfast yesterday, and to breakfast and to a one year old's birthday party today (Calliope was the only other baby there), so I can't even say that I haven't been out. But still. All the nursing is a little wearing also. For the first time, I'm understanding that feeling new moms express about feeling "touched out."

This actually all reminds me of new motherhood quite a lot -- the frequent nursing, the constant need to be touch or be held, the unpredictable moods. Minus the offers of help that I had when Calliope was brand new. And plus the identity, this time as a full time mom (again)... or rather, a mom who is home full time. We are all full time moms!

Still, I'm feeling very, very aware of my single mother status right now. I rarely feel this way, but today I'm really wishing there was someone else I could pass her to. Usually I love being her favorite, but today it's overwhelming.