Author Archives: Speck

More Firsts

Lady Jr’s first solids – avocado!




Lady Jr’s first Easter.

DITL April 2017


Lady Jr’s first microbiology book.

DITL April 2017


Lady Jr’s first time sitting on a picnic blanket in the backyard.


And Lady Jr’s first sweet potato, which she seems to like a whole lot more than avocado.


Filed under gaybies, happy things

Six Months!


Six months?? Six months!! She’s no longer a squish, that’s for sure. She is a ham and a delight and I know I’ve been saying that since January, but omgosh every week she’s so much hammier.

She had her 6 month check-up this week. We have a 13# 4oz baby, which is somewhere around the 5th percentile (they marked 13# 14oz on her sheet and said 15%, but like, I watched them weigh her and that was not 14oz – also she’d been 13# 2.5oz the week before when she went in for fever/cold/rash). I think they also marked her height wrong, because she dropped from 70% to 50%. Oh well. It doesn’t matter in the long run, but she is a looong skinny baby and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.

Otherwise: ear infection cleared up on it’s own, cough is almost completely gone, basically in one of her rare, non-cold instances and feeling 99% healthy – so perfect time for shots! Yaay… boo. Our happy baby quickly became unhappy, but I think we’re through the worst of it.



Well. She’s doing a few 2 hour chunks each night, but she’s refusing to go back to sleep unless nursed, which I have only been reinforcing because a) she was sick and had an ear infection for a week or so and b) my wife was sick and needed as much sleep as she could get. But now we’re on the other side of both of those, so we’re committed to soothing and letting her cry and *not* feeding her back to sleep every 60-120min. She’s six months old. She absolutely does not need to eat 6+ times a night.

But even with just getting those 2 hour chunks most nights, I feel 100% better. More like my usual self. I’ve been able to start organizing the house and even think about cutting down on some of the clutter we’ve accumulated since we moved and some of the clutter we brought with us and really shouldn’t have. Time is still scarce, so we’ll see how much I can actually get done.

So. Sleep currently looks like this:
7pm bedtime
9pm wake up, feed
11pm wake up, feed
1am wake up, feed
2am wake up, try to soothe back to sleep, feed
3am wake up, try to soothe back to sleep, feed
4.30am wake up, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Feeding does nothing. Usually goes back to sleep after 30-45min
6.30-7am wake up for the day

Blrgh. Not ideal, but still so much better than it was. I’ve mostly accepted our lot. Problem is, there’s no room for a backslide. If she does any worse than that, my day is ruined. So we really need to work on this, I just… listening to her cry at 12am is difficult.

Anyway. Enough about sleep.



The doctor encouraged us to start solids, even though Lady Jr isn’t really showing any signs of readiness – she can’t sit up unassisted, she’s not very good at the pincer grasp, she’s uninterested in what we’re eating, etc. I thought that was weird, so we’re compromising by making food available, but not forcing baby to eat it. We’ve put avocado in front of her twice now and she mostly mushed it around, but once she stuck her avocado-covered fingers in her mouth, so… progress?

Idk, I think I need to do more research on baby-led weaning, since that’s the approach I want to take. Just… how much mashing, how much purees, how much gnawing? Idk.



But my favorite part about six months is we’ve been cleared to go running together! I ordered a running stroller off of Amazon last week (the week before?) and we’ve been… getting used to it while just walking. Man, strollers are such a different experience from baby-wearing. For one, she’s so far away. For another, I can’t feel her falling asleep or getting upset. There’s a little flap on top of the stroller cover to peer in, but I can’t see her face, so I still have to stop and go around to check on her.

She’s been… less than thrilled so far. She’s gotten upset both times I’ve taken her out in it. I assume all I can really do is keep taking her out on short walks, but I miss having her snuggled up next to me. But, alas, can’t run with a baby carrier. And I want to run with her…

Any tips on how to make the stroller less of a scary experience for a baby? It might just be that both she and I need to adjust.

What else, what else…



She grabs for anything and everything and can almost always get it. She’s started reaching, too – reaching for cups and faces and cats. She wants to touch the cats, which is new. She seems interested in them.

She can turn the pages of a board book. We’re 99% sure daycare taught her this neat trick.

She just started rolling belly to back (again), at least at night, while she’s half asleep. I don’t think she knows she can do this, yet.

High-pitched shrieking. Yeah. Not enjoyable.

Can occasionally sit unassisted for a few seconds before toppling over, vs immediately toppling.

Has started rolling over and sleeping on her belly at night. Usually this turns into a longer stretch of sleep than usual.


And now that you’ve made it through all of that, have some pics:




Daycare wanted a family pic, so…


Filed under gaybies, Lady Jr

TBH Things are Pretty Good

I feel like I’ve been focusing on the negative a lot lately. Between the ongoing sleep issues and the fever and the perpetual colds and then the ear infection, it was just a lot. But that’s not a very good reflection of the actual day to day to day, which is overall pretty good.

Sure, I wish Lady Jr wouldn’t wake up before 7am and I wish she’d nap more consistently at daycare and sometimes all she wants is to be held for hours and hours, but damn. She’s cute. She’s adorable. She’s strong and persistent and stubborn. And her laughs. She has been laughing up a storm lately. She started by laughing a little whenever she saw us at the end of a work day, but now it’s all the time and I would do just about anything for that laugh.

So here, on the cusp of having a six month old, have a list of my favorite things from this past week:

– Lady Jr rolling onto her stomach and crying because she’s on her stomach, but as soon as we help her roll to her back, she just rolls right back onto her stomach.
– Rolling onto her stomach at night but then falling asleep that way.
– Falling asleep with her arms around her elephant lovey.
– The laughing, omg the laughing
– Laughing when we do kettlebell swings
– Confused laughter when we do push ups
– That laugh when Dr Lady hands her to me after bringing her home
– Laughing after she’s woken up from a nap
– Cackling together on the floor
– Laughing when I squat with her
– Laughing when we play peekaboo
– Grabbing my nose and trying to eat it
– Having the time of her life playing with my hair
– Creaking. Oh god, the creaking.
– Reaching for the cats
– All the times she fussed and fussed while I tried to put her down for a nap, only to roll over and fall asleep as soon as I left the room (*rolls eyes*)
– Opening the door to get her from her nap and the room smells like farts
– Cold-induced snores
– Raspberries
– Smiling until her pacifier falls out
– The wide-eyed stare of fascination in new places
– Basically, everything.


Filed under gaybies

Baby’s First

We’ve had a lot of firsts this week.

Baby’s first fever. Baby’s first herpes virus. Baby’s first ear infection.

But my favorite so far has been: baby’s first being the reason daycare put up an illness warning!

I’m sure every daycare does this, but whenever daycare knows something’s going around (i.e. highly contagious, wot), they put up a sign on the infant’s door. Last time it was upper respiratory virus. Now it’s roseola. Woo! Lady Jr gets to be patient zero!

I’m just going to ignore the fact that there’s no way she could have gotten that virus from anywhere but daycare for now. I’m not going to take that away from her. You don’t get to be patient zero very often.

The rash is already fading, of course. Under pressure from my mother and daycare, we ended up taking Lady Jr to the doctor yesterday morning. They confirmed that it was roseola and also diagnosed a very mild ear infection. We have an Rx for antibiotics, but we’re taking a wait-and-see approach and treating the pain with religious doses of tylenol.

Knowing that the reason for her screaming for an hour or two at night is because of the ear infection, though, is reassuring. Now we know (or at least have a culprit for) why she’s gone through these screaming bouts before during colds. I’m willing to bet this isn’t actually her first ear infection. Thankfully, most ear infections clear up on their own and antibiotics don’t really help with the pain. It just sucks in the meantime.

In conclusion, I would be okay if we took a short break from firsts for a few days.



Filed under gaybies

Not a Cold

It’s roseola! Woooooo.

I noticed baby had a funky rash all over her torso this morning, but her fever was gone and she seemed more like her usual self, so I sent her to daycare. Daycare called about an hour later and to say the rash was up under her chin and down on her legs, too. I mentioned that she’d had a fever and they said those two things seem to go together a lot and then said they’d keep an eye on it.

A quick google later and I have an exact match: roseola. So it’s *not* a cold. I was right. I mean, yes, it can be considered a respiratory virus, so maybe it falls under the cold umbrella, but it is not “just” a cold.

Anyway, apparently the tell-tale signage is that a mild rash will break out as soon as the fever goes away, which is what has happened. She should have stopped being contagious once her fever went away, so at least I don’t feel too guilty about leaving her at daycare. I just… there’s really nothing you can do for a virus except rest, and they’re doing a better job of getting her naps in today than all of last week, so. And after taking part of Monday and all of yesterday off, I’m kind of swamped with work.

And tired, but that’s a given. Aside from a 2 hour screamfest last night, Lady Jr (mostly) slept all right. I still don’t know what to do when she gets going like that. We cuddle, we nurse, we give her tylenol, gas drops, change her diaper, hold her, put her down, check her temp, repeat, repeat, repeat – but she’s inconsolable until either the tylenol kicks in or she wears herself out. This seems to happen with every cold and I suspect it’s a sore throat but she screams like she’s dying and it’s just so intense. But then she falls asleep and morning comes and everything is fine.

Anyway. Just thought I’d update, since cold+fever was actually not a cold. Oh doctors.


Filed under Uncategorized

First Fever

We’ve had several colds already, but this is Lady Jr’s first fever. I have to admit, it was a little scary at first. She developed it on Saturday, although she seemed pretty peaky on Friday, and I freaked out a little.

We monitored it hourly and gave her tylenol. The tylenol did wonders – brought down the fever and she almost seemed like her usual happy self. But the fever was still there Sunday and Sunday night so we called the doctor first thing Monday morning and took her in.

Official verdict: no ear infection, no bronchitis, “just” a cold.

I was floored. I honestly didn’t believe the doctor at first. I’ve never heard of a cold with a fever and Lady Jr didn’t really have another other cold symptoms… except that she had (re)developed her cough and seemed ever-so-slightly congested. I graciously took the doctor’s word for that moment, and then googled when I got home and lo and behold – colds don’t usually include a fever except in children. Huh. Okay.

This baby has had more colds in the past two months than I can remember having my entire life. So I guess she doesn’t get that from me. On the plus side, maybe she’ll dodge the bullet with flu? As a kid, I had the flu (with excessive fever and vomiting! joy!) all. the. time.

Anyway. Just like with her first cold, I feel a whole lot more chill now that she’s had her first fever. It wasn’t pleasant – for her or us – but we handled it and we kept an eye on it and it went away (yaaay).

The best part? She slept the best she has in weeks this weekend, poor tired pumpkin. Every chunk was 2 hours and there might have even been a 3 hours in there somewhere and yes, she woke up screaming and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless nursed (sore throat, probably), but hot damn I’ll take that over the 30-90min nonsense we’d been getting.

Anyway. In case anyone else out there didn’t know – colds apparently can have fevers. There you go.


Filed under gaybies

Light… Somewhere in the Tunnel

We tried something new for the last few nights and it seems to be working for us. I sleep in the office until 12 or 1am and Dr Lady handles the baby during that time, including feeding. Then I get up, pump, and go to bed on baby’s side and am on baby duty until 5-6am, when I get up, pump again, and try to work.

This would work even better if I actually fell asleep when I go to bed. x.x Baby can go 4-5 hours without eating in the first stretch of the night now (or at least for the last five or six days), which means I only miss one feed during that first window. But for some reason, despite being exhausted all day, I wake up right when it’s time to go to bed and then I just lie there for an hour, two, wishing I could fall asleep. I’ve tried a little beer. I’ve tried benadryl. I didn’t even have a second (or third) cup of coffee yesterday. I expect it’s anxiety. :/

Dr Lady’s having the same problem. She *could* go to sleep during that first watch and catch a few hours, but that would require actually falling asleep. Sleep deprivation is stupid and cruel and I want to punch it in the face. :<

The other fun part is I can only sleep for an hour at a time before waking up. So even with this opportunity to (easily!) get a stretch of 3 or 4 hours, I can’t. I imagine this is one of those things that will get better with more practice, but right now it’s frustrating to know I have the time and space to get sleep, to know Dr Lady is handling the fussing, crying baby on her own so I can sleep, but I just. can’t.

Anyway. That will get better if we keep doing this, I’m sure. I’m just not sure how long I want to do this. On the one hand, it’s helping. On the other, it means sleeping on the floor in the office and an extra pumping session. On the other (oh god why do I have three hands??), it’s less time spent cuddling. But, well, sleep first. All things second.

At least Lady Jr’s sleep has stabilized a little. She’s still waking up fussing every 60-75min but she’s going down a little easier and there’ve been a few times where we just waited a minute or two and she put herself back to sleep. Not every time, but sometimes. So we’re playing a sort of wait-and-see game of CIO – if she’s just fussing, we wait. If she starts really crying, we give it a minute or two and then go in and soothe her. I don’t know if this is helping her learn good sleep habits, but it’s helping us, and until we both are in a better place, that’s the important bit.

So. Deep breath. Hopefully this strategy continues to improve the situation. I would love to start working on other pieces of life that need attention (weight, health, exercise, work, general feeling of malaise, friends, cleaning, literally everything else). One thing at a time, though.

Here, you made it this far. Have a picture of a baby who likes to roll onto her stomach, only to cry because now she’s on her stomach. God, I love this baby so much.



Filed under gaybies