Friday, August 31, 2012


I'm feeling pretty anxious today.

For one, I should've gotten way more childcare this week. It's pretty close to impossible to get anything done while Calliope is awake, and her naps are pretty short, averaging about 40 minutes each (she takes two). And the only thing more frustrating than not getting anything done while she is awake is... watching her undo work I've done. Like emptying out a bag of clothes I organized to donate. So that suddenly the front hall is strewn with baby clothes. I start laughing out of sheer frustration and inability to understand the impulses of an almost toddler... and of course Calliope catches sight of me laughing and starts cackling. The girl loves to feel like she's in on a joke.

So I'm anxious because although the boxes are gone, there's so much that needs to be tidied and organized and arranged.

I really like things to be organized. I think better and have more energy when everything is neat.

But I know that I won't have energy to come up and organize after work... and I go back to work in three days. Ugh.

Which brings me to the next item on my list. Returning to work.

I'm sad about returning to work and leaving Calliope. I'm also anxious about feeling tired -- I hated feeling so very tired, so much of last year. Not so much at work as in the evenings after I put her to bed.

I'm also anxious about doing a craptastic job at work. I felt like I really wasn't engaged last year. Everyone seems to think it is a normal way for a new mother to feel, but it wasn't enjoyable. I want to care about my work, I want to have energy to welcome and not dread the next patient, I want to have motivation to do additional outreach to boost enrollment and increase foot traffic.

I'm also worried about money. I crunched some numbers and looked at some IRS calculators and I reckoned that after tax breaks, I could afford my new place. But now I've worried that I've made a grievous mistake, and that I am going to burn through all my savings.

There, I think I've got it all out on the table. I feel a little bit better now.

On the plus side, I love my new place, and it continues to look better as I get (a little bit) more done. My mom is coming to help this weekend and although she will only be here less than two full days, I am hoping to get a lot done. The trip to Ikea this afternoon kind of sucked (took way longer than it should've because my friend had never been before... I'm more of a "surgical strike" type of shopper there, but it takes repeated exposures to the store), but on the plus side... I got a bed! I've wanted a bed, as opposed to a slightly broken futon frame, for years! And some new curtains because the ones here are Godawful Ugly. And a few other things.

Of course, I also felt guilty because my daughter became completely besotted with the stuffed dog that my friend bought for her own daughter, and I wished that I had run up to grab one for her, but didn't because I didn't think I had time. I also felt guilty because we were there way too long and Calliope was melting down on the way home.

On the plus side, when I asked her if she wanted water, she made the sign for food! I've been working on signs for a while but this is the first time she has spontaneously signed for something other than nursing. Very exciting!

She also went more than 12 hours without nursing last night! She was crying at 11 pm but I refuse to nurse that early. I went in and rocked her and sang to her once. Then she went back to sleep until 5 am. I was going to nurse her then but by the time I got to her door, she was more talking to herself than crying. So I went back to bed... and she slept another three hours! Grand total: 13.5 hours. You go, girl!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rip 60

Okay, it's a totally ridiculous name, but I'm starting this new exercise program and I'm excited about it.

I have gradually tried to ramp things up a bit over the summer, but was feeling like I needed a new challenge. Running is out for the moment because of plantar fasciitis.

When I was visiting my cousin, I tried a couple of her workout DVDs, one from a program called Insanity and another called P90X.

They were hard! But I noticed that I felt stronger afterwards.

And then last week, in Rhode Island, I tried my brother's Rip 60 program -- it's an 8 week program and includes a pulley system so you can use your own body weight for resistance. I like the concept, and I liked the workout. There were a couple parts that were ridiculously hard, like these things called Burpees, but the total time committment isn't too great -- the first week is 50 minutes, I think the longest week is 60 minutes -- and my brother looks pretty amazing.

So I'm going to give it a shot. My brother generously ordered it for me as a gift, and I did my first official workout yesterday.

I'm not planning to do it every day (at least to start, I plan to alternate with elliptical or biking, now that I finally have my bike, complete with baby seat, in the city), so my first "week" will probably be at least two weeks.

Still, I'm really excited. I am hoping that a new fitness challenge will help me do better with getting enough sleep and also with feeling more energized and focused when I return to work.

Moving In

Today is the third day we've been in my new apartment.

I love it!

There's just so much more space. I feel like I can breathe, even when things aren't entirely neat. And Calliope having her own room is a game changer. Having her toys corralled in one place... wow. And she already understands that the toys are there, and will crawl in there to play. Once I figure out how to install the baby gate in front of her door, I will try to relax into letting her play unsupervised.

The light is great. The in-wall (instead of in-window) air conditioners are so much quieter and they actually cool the apartment very effectively -- what a concept! (Although they seem really dusty, despite my attempts to clean them, and being in a small room with one gives me a headache sometimes.)

Still, the mess and chaos of moving is hard for me. I can't think straight when things are a mess. Not a helpful trait, especially when living with an inquisitive crawling baby.

Luckily I had a day and a half of paid help, including a few hours of childcare. Plus various friends pitched in to help, which was incredible. I'm so grateful and so lucky.

The boxes were all gone by the end of the second day, except for one I forgot about in my bathroom. Of course, I have almost zero storage in both bathrooms (can you believe I have two bathrooms???) so that one box has been consolidated and moved to my bedroom for the time being.

I asked my helpers to just put things away wherever they saw fit, so now I'm working on the slow process of organizing everything. Today's project was sorting through bags of baby clothes -- some too small, some too big, some to donate, some to save, some to turn into rags. That was it for today, given that I had no childcare and used Calliope's morning nap to work out and her afternoon (all 30 minutes of it) to relax in front of the computer.

I know I'm doing really well in how quickly I've gotten a lot done, but it's also easy to get a little discouraged about how much I have left to do to get things the way I want them... and how soon I go back to work (five days). I'm starting to get sad about that, being away from Calliope five days a week again. But I also suspect I may enjoy it more than I anticipate.

In addition to unpacking, Calliope and I went to see the midwife today for my one year postpartum visit. I was a little worried about the state of things "down there," a la The Old Grey Mare She Ain't What She Used To Be.

But she assured me that, despite my infrequent Kegeling, that everything looked fine. And should I decide at some point in the future to have sex again, she doesn't forsee me having to anxiously ask, "Is it in yet?"

So that was reassuring.

Having a pelvic exam with Calliope's participation was amusing. She couldn't play on the floor unsupervised, given her penchant for climbing and exploring, so she sat on my chest. She didn't seem to notice what was going on while I was having the Pap Smear, but she was completely fascinated by what she could see of the bimanual exam (not all that much) -- mouth agape, staring wide eyed.

I'm so glad she can't talk and that her long term memory isn't fully functional yet.

And of course she thoroughly enjoyed watching the breast exam.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Facebook Post and First Photo of Calliope's Own Room!

Facebook post from 9 pm: Sitting in the pitch dark in the baby's room, in the only chair in the house. I'm dog tired, and due to a mix up with the date of the move, at 9 pm the movers still have a giant load of stuff to bring up from the truck. And Calliope will be up early, regardless. On the plus side, my baby has her own room!

Monday, August 27, 2012


... because I got the news this morning that my movers thought I was moving tomorrow and I thought I was moving today. And I freaked out for a few minutes, sure, but mostly... I was okay.

Lately I've found that when something upsetting happens, I think, "well, however bad this is, the situation won't be helped by me getting really stressed out... so I reckon I'll stay calm."

This is a change for me. Not that I was the world's worst stress case before, but still, I'm a lot more zen than I used to be. I'm not sure what caused the change, but I welcome it nonetheless.

Here's a photo my brother just sent from our Rhode Island vacation. Much more flattering than the last one.

And now, time to pack up the modem! (The movers agreed to send two guys over at mid-day with a van and two dollies... the rest of the crew should be here by early evening, fingers crossed. Two moves ago, I didn't finish until 2 am, so I'm sure hoping we do better this time. But the baby's room is, at least, nearly ready for her. If only they remembered to bring her rug, as promised.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Count Down to the Move

From my brother's phone: out for a celebratory family lobster dinner
in Rhode Island.  Calliope liked lobster. 
Newsflash: feeding yourself a lobster while feeding a baby who avoids
dirtying her hands means you take twice as long to eat as everyone
else at the table

Calliope and I returned from our Rhode Island vacation today. She was a total rock star in the car and we only stopped for one bathroom break the entire time -- four and a half hours in the car, including that one fifteen minute break.

What a change from my car-hating newborn! Who continued to hate the car until about a month ago. What a relief. Thank you Calliope Sage!

Now she's a lets-get-this-over-with-as-quickly-as-possible traveler, just like her mother. Phew.

In other news, she's been chowing down at meals a lot more often, ever since a couple days before her birthday. Her whole frame has filled out a bit and her face is looking rounder. I wonder if it just took her body longer than other babies to realize that solids are the way to go, long term? Or just too many illnesses, too close together?

She continues to be much more likely to eat if I am eating with her. But if I leave her at the table with food on her tray, she throws it (even if I'm gone only a minute or two, or if I leave her with her grandmother, also eating). She is also more likely to try anything on my plate after she sees me taste it, and especially if I offer it to her on my silverware and not on a baby spoon. She clearly gets the memo about growing up -- she wants to do what all the big people are doing.

I make a big point of not commenting that a food is yummy, or praising her for eating. My mom does this whole, "Mmmm, this food is YUMMY!!!" thing that kind of drives me crazy. I think that putting that kind of pressure on food only increases the odds of issues. If she "gets it" that I care if she eats, she can use that to manipulate me.

Naturally, since I had to say no when the pediatrician asked if she has any words on her birthday... she started talking more the day after her birthday. She now says "yeh" delightedly when I ask her if she wants to come with me, has said "no" to food (she also shakes her head vehemently... but then often her opens her mouth to taste the offered food a moment later). She also says "mama," mainly when she wants to nurse or cuddle. My mom and brother swore they heard her say "doggy" a few times, since she is obsessed with my brother's dog, who we shared a house with for the vacation week. She may also say "up" at times.

She's suddenly doing much better with sign language as well! She definitely has "more" and "all done" down, as well as "doggy," and is figuring out "water" and "food" as well. The hardest thing about it is that her signs are a little vague and I'm usually not thinking about sign language when she uses them. So someone else has to point out that she's trying to sign. Doh.

And she loves to climb stairs. Since we don't have them in our NYC apartment, she makes a beeline for them in people's houses. And since the ones in the vacation home were carpeted, I wouldn't hear her climbing, would just look around and realize she was missing. Ooops. Calliope would laugh maniacally when I came running to pluck her body off the stairs. Girlfriend definitely knew what she was doing!

The beach we frequented in Rhode Island had a shallow "crab pond" that was mostly just a few inches deep. Calliope loved it and would go plowing right in, on all fours, giggling and squealing to herself.

I was mostly too nervous to take her in the surf, especially after hearing a story about a two year old that went missing at a Massachusetts beach after her mother went a few steps to retrieve a lost ball. It makes me sick to even think about it.

We got home in time for Eleanor's birthday party, just barely, going straight there. After her nap, we went and visited our new apartment, with brand new re-finished floors. It looks great!

We also dropped a load of hand me down toys and my bike with baby seat at my friend and neighbor's house. One less thing to move! My friend lives just one floor down from my new apartment, and since she is also a SMC, we are both excited to trade babysitting.

Tomorrow I hope to do the final bits of packing, and maybe squeeze in a trip to Ik.ea as well as a trip to the farmer's market.

Monday morning the movers show up at 9 am. I have one week to get settled before I return to work. I sincerely wish I had more time... but I am also grateful that at least the move isn't after I return to work.

Just two more nights of sharing a bedroom with my night feeder! (Sharing a house with others is NOT good for this.... "anything to keep the baby quiet" does nothing good for mama.)

Photos to follow... though I didn't take a single photo while we were on vacation!

One year old!

Hilarious failed attempt to re-create birth photo of her
lying on my chest. She was obviously not enthusiastic.

A few of the many attempted "one year" shots

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Year!

Reading up on vaccine literature. 
This photo was obviously taken before the torture began

She grew two inches, up to 28.5 inches, and technically gained nothing. Still 17 pounds, 8 ounces, the same as at her nine month well baby visit.

However, since she was down to 16 pounds, 14 ounces when she was sick, and I can tell her face is filling out, rapidly too, so I think she is finally getting into really eating solids. Sometimes.

I tried a new and incredibly easy way to cook boneless chicken breast tonight, and I added a little wine to the pan after they were done, and then a glug of heavy cream after the wine had reduced and wow... Calliope gobbled it up! She's pretty much avoided meat thus far, though she finally consented to have a few tiny bites (with a similar wine and cream sauce) a few days ago.

She also had corn on the cob (slathered and butter, and normally with salt as well, but I must've packed it away accidentally) and cheese and peaches and, as a special birthday treat, special Junior's cheesecake, brought by Auntie Salt Lick!

She really, really, really didn't want to taste it, and I basically forced her to try it... well, I got very insistent and then she finally opened her mouth willingly. And naturally, completely loved it... and even after she was full, enjoying squishing it through her fingers.

Who knew cheesecake could be so good???

The doctor wants me to give her lots of rich foods, not surprisingly -- pasta and mashed potatoes and oatmeal, all with lots of butter, or nut butter, stirred in. I'm game to give her butter, but I'm not too keen on processed carbohydrates. I may compromise with quinoa and brown rice and mashed or baked sweet potatoes. All with butter added! And salt. I'm definitely not a believer in a low salt diet for healthy folks like us.

We have to go back for a weight check in a month or two.

She received three vaccines and they took five vials of blood. That was not my favorite part of the day. Poor girl. Sort of a rotten way to celebrate one's birthday! Luckily she had a great time celebrating with Auntie Salt Lick (and me) this evening after a restorative nap on the way home from the pediatrician's office.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Life here is a flurry of boxes and logistics phone calls and trying to keep track of a million details.

But the cable internet and the electric have been arranged to be shut off in one place and turned on in another. The nanny was here today and took Calliope for an early birthday present at the toy store while I saw the chiropractor. When I returned, we packed up the two hall closets together. The substitute cleaning lady is coming on Friday to help me finish packing the kitchen and the rest of the non-essentials. Calliope and I leave the next day for a week's vacation in Rhode Island with my mother and brother (hooray!). The floor guy is coming while we are on vacation -- he will get the keys from my friend who lives on the floor below my new apartment -- and we've even got one day's grace period before the substitute cleaning lady (my regular one isn't available) comes in to clean the new apartment.

The moving trucks arrive at my current apartment the next morning (giving me maybe 36 hours at home between returning from vacation and the movers arriving). Nastya will show up at 7 am on moving day and help with the final packing as well as Calliope wrangling for two hours before bringing herself and Calliope to Eleanor's apartment for the day. She will keep her there until 5 pm, at which time I plan to have Calliope's room fully set up and operational. Luckily, setting up the crib, moving the dresser with all the clothes still in it into her new room, replacing the changing pad on top, and setting up the bins of toys should be quick. I haven't decided yet if I will put up a baby gate in the doorway of her room (her room! her own room!), but I have two baby gates at the ready, in case I want them.

(In case that was too boring to read: I just summarized my packing efforts and other moving logistics. Not to worry, it wasn't very interesting.)

It's all falling into place rather amazingly thus far.

Have I mentioned that I can't wait to never move again???

But seriously, this is all going far more smoothly than I dared imagine, so I can't complain.

Plus, Calliope has been a huge help.

So where did you want me to move this box?

Not to worry, I'm just doing a quick rifle
through the contents of this box

Ooh, now what have we here??? This looks very
interesting, indeed.

Mommy, while you were on the phone with the electric
company, I found my nail clippers and wrapped the 
breast pump power cord around my neck! Such fun!

The nail clippers are actually even more fun when they
are in my mouth. Not to worry, yes, I did rotate the
handle so they are ready to cut my lip.

I made the power cord slightly more noose-like before settling down to 
examine this intriguing Hypnobabies CD. (Mommy says to ignore
the embarrassing "Shelters of" cover in the background... she
found the book free on the sidewalk.)

Either Singing or Reading Aloud on the Potty

I was trying to capture how unbelievably high pitched her voice can be when she warbles to herself. I'm not sure if she thinks she is "reading" the back cover the book or singing to herself.

Singing or Reading Aloud?

(That's a video link, in case it's not obvious. And it's a little bit of a slow start.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nursing a Very Flexible Almost Toddler

I never usually share breastfeeding photos but this one looked so damn
funny... hopefully the photo captures that. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I'm Sure if I Tell You This, I Will Jinx Myself

But yesterday?

Calliope slept until 9 am.

Today I woke her at 8 am, out of a dead sleep, in the vain attempt to try and make it to our brunch date with a friend.

I felt crazy waking her up! I got so much done yesterday morning.

Plus, since she's not a great napper (they're rather short, usually 30-40 minutes), I thought, "well, she's finally catching up on months of short naps."

I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of making sure my baby gets enough sleep. I've read so many things about the perils of sleep deprivation in children.

But now I'm worrying about what happens when I go back to work?

At this point, she's still waking up once to nurse, usually around 4-5 am. Since she goes to sleep at 6:30-7 pm, she's been asleep for 10 hours. My cousin has convinced me that given Calliope's weight, this is as long as I can reasonably expect her to sleep.

So if I nurse her at 4:30 am, say, and she goes back to sleep, and then I have to leave at 7:30 am, do I wake her?

Last school year, I always woke her.

But now I'm worrying that she must really need the sleep. So I'm feeling like I should let her sleep.

I know part of why I woke her last year was selfish. I couldn't bear the thought of being away from her all day without a little time together.

But I also worry, at least for the first few days back in our old routine, that she would be really upset to wake up and find me not there.

On the other hand, at least once in the last few months, I had to leave her in the afternoon and she didn't know that the nanny was there until she woke up... and she was totally fine and unperturbed.

The nanny is coming over on Wednesday, mostly so Calliope can spend some time with her -- I don't think it's fair to abruptly take someone so central out of her life for two months... and then thrust her back into the thick of things again come September -- but also to help me pack. And then the final week of August, she will likely see the nanny every day, since Nastya is babysitting for Eleanor (who we share Nastya with) every day while her mom, a teacher, sets up her classroom... I plan to have Nastya watch both girls because Calliope also loves Eleanor. So at that point, she will have seen a lot of Nastya.

Calliope has never shown separation anxiety with Nastya, but on the other hand, it's gotten a lot more marked the last few weeks... when Calliope hasn't seen Nastya. (Oh god! Is it because she hasn't seen Nastya???) So I'm a little nervous about that, too.

Then there's the added issue, for Nastya, of having the girls on different schedules. If Calliope sleeps until 9 am, and Eleanor goes down for a nap (for two hours) at 9:30, and Calliope is ready to nap for her first nap at 11 am... Nastya is stuck in the house until mid-afternoon at least (they usually go down for their afternoon nap regardless of timing of the first nap). Which she, understandably, doesn't like all that much.

On the other hand, it's not necessarily my responsibility to worry about her preferences all that much. On the third hand (if that makes sense), I'm human, and of course I want her to be happy and enjoying working for us!

So what do you think? Should I wake her?

And if you tell me that I am borrowing trouble, especially since this has only happened twice, well, yeah, I know. But I'm kind of hoping she'll keep sleeping late (14.5 hours total) because it's really nice, in the meantime, while I'm on vacation!

PS A friend came over tonight and helped me pack the kitchen. We made good progress. Between tonight's work and what I did already, I'd say the kitchen is 2/3 done. And the kitchen is definitely the hardest and slowest part of packing for a move.

PPS It's possible that there is a little misplaced anxiety going on here. The closing is tomorrow at 2 pm. I still don't have the bank check (still waiting to be told how much the check needs to be) and oops, I realized I also don't have homeowners insurance. So it's possible that tomorrow will be a hectic day. Heh. Plus Calliope is staying with a friend of a friend while I'm at the closing and I'm a little nervous about how she will react to that. Poor girl has literally never been left in this situation before... but I'm frankly, pessimistic, about it going all that well. Luckily the babysitter is a friend of a friend and has a four year old... I'm hoping the distraction provided by the four year old will help. Poor baby. I feel guilty already, imagining her cry. Is this a first baby thing? Do you get over this with your second child?

PPPS I made it to my first baby totin' brunch in the city (Manhattan) today! I'm feeling very, very accomplished. And since my friend (married) is starting her first IVF cycle, we mostly talked about that... affording me the opportunity to not feel like that boring woman who only talks about her child!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Almost One

Being a birthday girl (almost) is no laughing matter

I get very nervous when anyone other than Mommy holds me!

Change seems to be in the air.

We finally got a closing date... and it's two days away!

The mortgage was on again, off again, for weeks now. As of Thursday, it still looked like it was going to fall through. Then my lawyer wrote a letter to Citi, threatening to sue them.

I received the closing date later that day... we close on Monday

Calliope and I returned from six days visiting family in MA, and the boxes I ordered arrived the following day. I've started packing, doing my best to keep the apartment safe for Calliope and also neat for my own sanity -- I do not do well with mess. At all.

It will be a challenge to get everything packed, but my goal is to pack before we leave for vacation, and to move as soon as we return.

In case you're thinking that toddlers (or nearly toddlers) are none too neat, yes, you are right. It's a struggle sometimes.

Case in point: eating.

She's become much more picky about food recently, but often times, she refuses a food, shaking her resolutely, without even tasting the food. If I leave it on her tray, she throws it. Often she has no idea what I'm offering. I physically forced her to taste desert last night, something I've never resorted to before, because my friend and her daughter had brought ice cream to celebrate (early) Calliope's birthday. I felt badly about it, but of course, her face lit up once she actually tasted what I was forcing upon her.

I could just let her be, and not worry about it, but I fear that not eating enough during the day means she will wake up wanting to nurse during the night.

Have I mentioned that I am sooooo excited to move to a two bedroom apartment???

Sleep was an issue on our latest trip... I tried to let her cry and it work everyone up. Which led to me nursing her in the middle of the night just to keep her quiet. It doesn't help matters that she's teething and latching poorly and I got very sore and anxious about nursing all over again. Luckily that seems to be healing. Nursing a teething baby is not for the faint of heart. Every time this happens, I think about weaning. And indeed, I will talk to her pediatrician on her birthday about when to wean.

Calliope's fever never came back after the morning of our trip to the ER. The next day, she had a single bump on her forehead and several on her bottom. My pediatrician said that, for her, two bumps or more equal a rash, which means it's roseola (in light of Calliope's other symptoms -- basically, a high fever and nothing else, plus not having had roseola before). Anyway, in hindsight the whole debacle seems a bit ridiculous. She looked a lot more sick with the sinusitis than she ever did with this virus. I wish we wouldn't have been sent to the ER but it's hard to disagree with your doctor.

We had an early first birthday celebration with family in MA that was lovely. I got choked up during our off key rendition of "happy birthday" and couldn't sing. What a year (almost) it has been!

We also got to see an old childhood friend of mine... we've been friends since I was 9 and she was 8. And now instead of playing with dolls together, we've both got real live babies! Wild!

Both girls got a turn to hold Calliope

With the mommies

Calliope's latest developments:

She's just started to hand me things, which she immediately wants me to hand back. Mainly things from her box of "treasures" that we keep next to the potty in the bathroom. Her favorite is not the empty deodorant but the miniature tube of nipple cream. I don't know why, but as far as she's concerned, it's pure gold. So it's a huge compliment that she "lets" me hold it, even for a moment.

Also, for the first time yesterday, she put a few of these treasures into the box. Until now, she only removed them, generally flinging them as far as her short little arms will allow.

She doesn't have any definite words yet, but she might be saying, "yeah." Sometimes when I ask her a question, like "Calliope, do you want to go for a walk," she looks up at me and answers sweetly, "Uh Yuh!" in the approximately appropriate tone.

And sometimes when I say "Mamama" to her, instead of just answering, "Dada!" with a grin, she sometimes answers, "Nanana" which is progress.... right?

She's still crawling, but climbed to the top of a full flight of stairs at my mother's house while my back was turned for one minute, I swear, calling my sister to ask her to pick up diapers. I almost had a heart attack when I looked up and saw how high up her gleeful self had climbed.

In summary, she's not winning any medals for her physical or intellectual prowess... and I am just fine with that. As long as she's healthy and happy, I'm happy. I think I was far too achievement oriented in my younger years, and it brought me lots of stress and little happiness. I hope I won't pass this trait on to her. Easier said than done in today's achievement oriented world.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Trip to the ER After All

Apart from the arm band, does this climber look like she belongs in the ER waiting area???

Calliope seemed better this morning; her temperature was only 100.2, technically not a fever.

But then she went down for her nap after less than an hour of being awake (and that was spent mostly lolling in bed with me)... but couldn't fall asleep. Her diaper was the issue, but she seemed to be shivering a bit as well, so I re-checked her temperature... 102.2. I gave her some Motrin and put her down to nap again.

So I texted the doctor and she texted back to bring Calliope to the ER.


We finally left the house, and she immediately perked up, thrilled to be riding the subway and waving to lots of new people, even if they were looking the other way and oblivious to her friendly gestures.

The emergency room waiting area was a similarly thrilling, to her, place to be. After a long and dull wait, during which I am ashamed to admit I aimed her stroller at the TV so she could watch a talk show, I tied her into the K'Tan baby carrier and swayed her to sleep for a half an hour.

Finally they called us into the pediatric ER area -- the change of scenery woke Calliope up again. The attending doctor briefly examined her smiling, clapping patient, and said, "She looks fine to me. It's a virus. She doesn't need a urine culture."

During the interminable wait for discharge paperwork, I texted the pediatrician, "Dr. George is declining to do a urine culture. She feels it's viral."

We were still waiting when the phone rang and I could overhear the attending arguing the case with what could only be my doctor. She passed me the phone briefly, then took it back and argued some more, and hung up abruptly. We were getting the urine culture after all. (My only opinion was that I did not want to come back to the ER and do this all over again if her fever continued... so if there was any chance of that, I wanted the culture done now.)

The catheter was no fun and Calliope screamed a scream like I have never heard from her before. The resident wasn't able to get it in, and mercifully the nurse didn't let her try for too long. Then the attending came and did it.

We waited another long while to get the urineanalysis results. I put Calliope into the crib they assigned to us so she could play. It was funny to watch various medical staff walk by and do a double take at the sign of a baby cruising and trilling happily behind industrial steel bars.

The UA was negative for any signs of UTI, though positive for red blood cells (from the trauma of the catheter) and for ketones (because she hasn't been eating). I stole the opportunity to weigh her -- she was down six ounces since three days ago, to 16 pound 14 ounces.

With that, they [finally] sent us on our merry way. I'm very grateful to be finished with having to track her fever so carefully.

Of course, it's only fitting that the fever does seem to be gone now! This is the first time she hasn't needed Motrin in six hours or less since four days ago.

Now if the fever stays away overnight and Sensible Car Rental has some availability and if I can get organized in time... we will head to MA tomorrow for a few days with family before... it looks like... a real estate closing!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

PSA from Tiara

"One thing you mentioned gave me Calliope puffs, it wasn't the puffs that made me cringe but that you were feeding them to Calliope while driving...the reason this made me uncomfortable is because of a woman I knew while I was a nanny, she was driving with her toddler son & he had a little bowl of cheerios to munch on. In the scariest moment of her life, he started choking...she was on a highway in traffic so it took precious moments to stop & pull over before she could get out of the car, race to his side & unbuckle him from his seat to be able to perform the heimlich...thankfully he was okay but it drove home how dangerous it is for small children to eat while in their car seats. Now I know I'm paranoid about choking & I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are an awesome mom so there is no judgement here...I just thought it might be something you hadn't thought of. I know I wouldn't have if I hadn't heard of it 1st hand."

I had never thought of this, and I know many moms give their kids snacks in the car. Not saying I won't do it again, but I think I will not give Calliope a bowl of anything. One puff at a time, as inconvenient as it sounds, is probably safe. Still, a consciousness raiser for all of us. Thanks Tiara!

Fever Breaking?

Calliope's nap put her at just about six hours after her last dose of Motrin, and well more than four hours after her last dose of Tylenol. She lasted another twenty minutes after she got up before getting cranky. I checked her temperature -- only 100.8! I followed that up with some Motrin, given the crankiness, but am cautiously optimistic.

Plus she ate a little yogurt for dinner, her first solids all day.

So I'm hopeful that the tide has turned and that this will be it for this fever (never mind middle of the night adventures with changing sheets and washing sleep sacks!).

Fingers crossed!

Eleven Month Photos

Mommy, there's something wrong with this corn -- no taste at all!
(She has the stalk in her mouth, and refused to try any other area of the
corn until I held it for her.)

You did ask me to empty the recycling bin, right?

Visiting the NYC Aquarium 

My seven year old cousin is hilarious! I can't stop laughing when she 
hops up and down like that.

Mommy, I'm helping with the packing for our trip to Vermont! You wanted
me to take everything back out of the suitcase, right?

Playing follow the leader with my cousin... so much fun to be the leader!
(I'm a terrible follower... except I love to follow Eliana's dog... which the dog

Project Fun Aunt -- eating toaster s'mores in our fort during a

Picnicking in Putney, Vermont on our way back home. Putting her on top of
the picnic table allows both of us to eat and lets me keep a restraining 
hand on her at all times (well, not during photo taking). 
Isn't her hand-me-down dress kind of awesome?

The Fever Went Up

I woke Calliope at 10 pm to give her more Motrin, hoping to avoid an "exciting" night.

I didn't bother bringing the thermometer with me because I figured it didn't really matter what her temperature was, plus, taking her temperature would be guaranteed to wake her all the way up.

She whimpered a bit in her sleep when I went into the room, and I noticed she was sleeping with her arms tucked under her belly -- cold?

I lifted her up gently and she willingly sucked down the Motrin. It's possible I squirted it into her mouth a little too quickly.

A moment later, she vomited, soaking the front of my shirt as well as her sleep sack.

After removing our wet clothes, I ran to get the thermometer. Her temperature was up to 104.5.

Even though I know intellectually that high fevers aren't inherently dangerous, emotionally, I felt rattled.

I called my sister, who encouraged me to call the doctor, despite the fact that it was after 10 pm. Intellectually, I knew I didn't need to be worried, but emotionally, I wanted someone else to be in charge. But I also felt guilty bothering the doctor, especially so late (though grateful it wasn't the middle of the night).

I was immediately connected to the doctor on call -- hooray for small favors! -- and he was very reassuring and told me it was fine to go to the emergency room now if I felt it was warranted. This was reassuring to me because sometimes I need to be told that I am not a hypochondriac on behalf of my baby! (Do all parents worry about this?) Otherwise, I could give another dose of Motrin (either by mouth, if tolerated, or via rectal suppository) or Tylenol, and if she looked better, we could wait until morning and then go to their office first thing.

We got off the phone and I gave the second dose of Motrin very, very slowly. And I only let Calliope have a little sip of water, just to avoid vomiting again. She took it easily and then I lay her on my pillow to observe her while I called my sister back to reassure her.

While we were talking, Calliope suddenly grinned up at me and started clapping.


So after a few minutes, I laid her back into the crib, where she settled down to sleep, and set my alarm for 4 am, and readied a syringe of Motrin to leave on my bedside table. I didn't want to give the fever a chance to come back up during the night.

She slept well and took the Motrin at 4 am and went right back to sleep. At 7 am she nursed briefly and went back to sleep again until I woke her at 8:15 to go to the doctor's.

For once, we actually got to see our own pediatrician, Rita, for a sick visit! Hooray. She checked Calliope over very carefully, hunting hopefully for a sign of the roseola rash, but couldn't find anything. So she sent us back home with the advice to continue the Motrin as needed... but to try to let it wear off in between doses so I can check her temperature to see if it is getting better (it was 101.2 in the office, five hours after the last dose of Motrin, which should last six to eight hours). I gave her another dose of Motrin in the office before we left, which she promptly vomited, so I gave a second, more slowly, which she kept down.

If her fever hasn't improved by tomorrow morning and she hasn't developed a rash, I have to take her to the emergency room for a urinary catheter so they can get a sterile sample to check for a urinary tract infection. Luckily her urineanalysis from Monday came back normal, so the odds are low of a UTI, but given that she is thus far lacking an obvious source of infection despite a high fever, we have to be cautious.

When we got home, her temperature was up to 102.2, despite having received Motrin an hour before, and she was fussy, so I gave her some Tylenol, too, and put her weary, hot little body off to bed. I don't like to alternate Tylenol and Motrin, and in fact the AAP frowns on doing so as a standard practice, which many parents seem to do (it's okay to do only if the fever isn't responding to just one medicine). But in this case, since her fever hadn't come down at all, I gave it anyway. Still, I'm glad that I write everything down in her notebook, because it would be easy to lose track of when I gave which medicine. I'm paranoid about Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdosing!

Fingers crossed she gets a rash!

In more positive news, Rita said she's not worried about Calliope's weight (now at the very bottom of the growth chart), given that she's growing and developing normally and looks so good (and still has nice chunky  thighs). So I'm glad about that, because I have no idea how to make a baby eat more, and don't want to fill her up on chemical soup like Pediasure.

Also, Calliope is getting better and better with her three signs -- more, all done, and nurse! Time to introduce a few more. Finally. I was wondering if she would ever get it.