Tag Archives: Lady Jr

More Firsts

Lady Jr’s first solids – avocado!

 

april-27

 

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.

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Six Months!

april-9

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.

Sleep

…ahahah.

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.

 

Solids

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.

 

Stroller

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…

 

Milestones

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:

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Daycare wanted a family pic, so…
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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.

…please?

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Week 20 – Rolling Rolling Rolling

20 Weeks

I was going to wait until 5 months for the next update (so, like, a week), but Lady Jr ROLLED. We have a roller! She went tummy to back a few weeks ago and yesterday she went from back to tummy.

I was changing her diaper and she’s gotten into the habit of rolling onto her side as soon as her diaper’s off, but then she just kept going. She hung out on her tummy for a while, grabbing at the package of wipes, then I rolled her back over to finish diapering, only to have her roll right back to her tummy as soon as I let go. Devious!

Last night was her second night in just a sleep sack – no swaddle, no magic sleep suit – and not only did she do fine, she rolled onto her side and was happy as a clam. Well. Happier than she had been. She even managed a 3 hour chunk of sleep! I feel amazing!

 

That said, she has a doctor’s appointment today because Something Is Up. Her reflux has been off the charts and she’s been throwing up – just stomach juice – 2, 3, 4 times a day and I can hear her swallowing it more often than that. She’s also been randomly arching her back and shrieking the last two days for a few minutes (although last night was much worse) and she started grabbing at her ear. Tylenol doesn’t really help. It’s also (seemingly) random and usually goes away and she’s fine again, which is why we didn’t call the doc sooner. No excess drool, no chomping, so it’s (probably) not teething. Since we’re getting on a plane (!!) this weekend, we want to rule out an ear infection. If nothing else, maybe we can get some reflux meds because it’s just constant, even with me watching my diet like a hawk. šŸ˜¦

 

Yeah. So. First out of state trip this weekend – we’re going to visit her Great Grandmum and some of my family. I’m both excited (getting out of the house!), nervous (how will Lady Jr do on the plane??), and worried (that side of my family all voted for Cheeto McFascist and I can’t not take that personally). I think I’ve got the travel part as much under control as possible, but any pointers about traveling with baby would be welcome. ā¤

 

OKay, more photos, because that’s what’s really important:

20 Weeks

february-69

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19 Weeks

19 Weeks

I think I’m going to move to monthly updates next. Life is speeding up and my free time is becoming increasingly precious. Case in point, I really should be working on this training instead of updating, but I keep getting distracted by photos of Lady Jr, so I figured I might as well distract you, too.

 

I’m also weighing a decision about whether or not to expand daycare to four days a week. To recap, I work three days from home and Lady Jr goes to daycare for those three days. The other two days of the work week I spend with her, trying to get as much writing done as possible during her naps. But that is quickly becoming untenable.

Right now, if the stars align and everything goes right, I write from 6am to 7.30am, then again from 7pm to 8pm every day. On non-daycare days, I also write during her first nap. Unfortunately, the stars very rarely align and not only is my writing time in the morning increasingly interrupted by a baby who wants to get up (way too) early and then needs to be held back to sleep, my attention is divided between my work and the baby monitor. Same in the evening, except my evening sessions have gone out the door with the lack of sleep. The only way for me to function is if I go to sleep when baby does.

Basically, there’s time to be mined, but half the time I can’t properly concentrate and I feel rushed and anxious. :/

But, on the other hand, I don’t know how long Lady Jr’s current not-sleeping-more-than-2-hour-stretches thing is going to last. If she ever settles down, I’ll have two, three extra hours every day. Also, unlike with with my day job, an increase in hours doesn’t mean an increase in money (at least, not obviously), so daycare wouldn’t pay for itself like it does. We’d still come out ahead overall than if I didn’t work, but still… not by much.

Third, another day of daycare means another day pumping and I hate pumping with my entire soul. It’s uncomfortable and time-consuming and lends itself to its own anxieties and worries when I have to pump 4-5 times to keep up with 3 feeds at daycare. Fourth, it would be less time with Lady Jr. Less walks, less giggles, less rolling around together on the floor. Fifth, I can see how, if I wasn’t careful, that extra day at daycare would turn into a Day to Get Errands Run and Other Things Done and Not Writing.

I think I need to just sit and make a list of pros and cons, but also, in my gut, I already know my decision. And I know that having time set aside to write will make it easier for me to spend more quality time with Lady Jr. So really, it’s all about getting past the guilt that comes with an extra day of daycare. It never gets easy, does it?

 

Okay, I promised more pics.

Cats, man. This one is enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we’re getting in Michigan.

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Lady Jr and Dr Lady:
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Lady Jr vs. her nemesis:

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And quite possibly my fave pic yet:

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Giving Myself Some Slack

Holy fuck motherhood is tough. I have to admit, I was once of those asshats who looked at frazzled, exhausted, at wit’s end mothers and honestly couldn’t comprehend how it could be that bad. I was one of those people who rolled their eyes when mothers compared themselves to superheroes. Rolled them all the way ’round when a mother would highjack a conversation about work-life balance or some-such with a “you think that’s hard! try raising kids!”

Granted, most of this was before I really started down the path of TTC and began reading so many others’ experiences. And then I sort of just… shut down and stopped thinking about kids or babies for a while. As you do.

And now, here we are. Here I am. Frazzled. Exhausted. At wit’s end. Yet somehow keeping everything from completely spinning out of control, if only through sheer spite. And any time someone who isn’t a parent mentions how tired they are, how overwhelmed, I have to bite my tongue. Remind myself that, cliche as it is, no one can really understand what it’s like until they, too, Have Been There. But yes, I chuckle, somewhat hysterically, at any recommendation that I get more sleep or I do This One Thing to organize my life!! or that finding the time to exercise isn’t that hard!! hahahahaha

But. Yet. I’m keeping it together. I’m doing okay.

No.

Fuck it.

I’m doing AMAZING.

I haven’t slept more than 1.5 hours at a stretch in almost five weeks and both baby and wife have been constantly afflicted with colds and yet, I’ve:

– Kept up with the dishes
– Made enough food that *something* is available every day
– Acquired food every weekend
– Stuck to my stupidly restricted diet (no dairy, no gluten, no nightshades [see: no pizza, not ever])
– Vacuumed regularly
– Showered… less regularly
– Made it in to work on time every day (granted, I work from home and it’s 3 days a week, but still)
– Pumped 3 times a day for those work days even though I hate pumping with the very core of my being
– Woken up early enough to fit in another pumping session
– Paid the bills. On time.
– Fed & watered cats
– Gone on a walk or for a run or lifted every day most days
– Kept up with doing laundry (folding and putting away, not so much – what do you expect, miracles?)
– Worked 38 hour weeks
– While being the sole caregiver for Lady Jr two days a week
– Kept up with wordcount goals
– Gotten up at 5.30am every day to hit said goals
– Not wholly succumbed to eating just pints of (dairy free) ice cream
– Actually gone to a park or two with the baby

I’m sure there’s some I’m missing. Oh yes:

– Taken care of and played with the best, happiest, most cute 4 month old (evah!!)

The lows are low, but the highs are so high. Her giggles, her laughs, her smiles, her wiggles, her annoyed chirps – she gets me through all of the hard bits. She is worth all of it.

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17 Weeks

february-16

Lady Jr will be officially Four Months Old this coming Saturday. I both can’t even and can even. It is a strange feeling

Let’s see… what’s new this week:

1. She is increasingly fighting any and all sleep. We were able to hold her until her eyes started to flutter, then put her down and leave. Now, if we do that, she immediately starts fussing. I have to hold her for 20min before I can put her down without any crying, but then she’s up again 10min later and we have to do it again.

While I don’t mind holding her for the occasional nap during the day, this has begun happening at night, too. We have had several nights where she wakes, I feed her, I put her down – and then, even with her eyes closed, she starts crying. Pick her up, hold her, quiet her, put her down – same thing. It’s not gas, it’s not hunger, it’s not a diaper, there are no symptoms of teething. If we let her fuss, it just gets worse. So we soothe and settle and cry and repeat until she finally stays down without a peep. Only for her to wake again 20, 30min later.

But it’s sporadic, too. Sometimes she’ll go 3 hours just fine, which is the only reason I haven’t gone mad with sleep dep yet. I can’t figure out what’s different. She gets her naps during the day, we avoid letting her stay awake too long, we have a bedtime routine and time we follow religiously. But her sleep has been shit for over three weeks and now it’s getting worse instead of better.

We’re trying to be stubborn about putting her down drowsy, even when it means constantly having to go in and soothe her, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Everything I read is contradictory, too. She doesn’t seem ready for CIO, and neither am I, so it looks like we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing until one of us breaks. As long as I get the occasional 3 hour chunk of sleep, I can function. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

 

2) She’s gotten so good at grasping things! She now grabs and pulls things to her when they’re within reach, which means we gotta start being more careful about what’s in reach. This includes hair, hats, toys, diapers – anything.

 

3) Tummy time is slowly becoming less excruciating for everyone involved. They must be working on it at daycare because early last week I got her to lay on her tummy for 2min without fussing, but not really lifting her head, but on Friday I put her on her tummy and she immediately pushed to her elbows and lifted her head. She still doesn’t particularly care for it, but there’s progress.

 

4) She’s getting more and more responsive to facial expressions. She has started smiling when we smile at her, which is one of the best feelings.

 

All in all, she’s getting stronger and becoming more and more of her own, tiny person. I love her and her cuddles and her smiles and sometimes it’s still really hard (see: when she won’t sleep more than 20min at a time) but I know this, too, shall pass.

 

As for me, I really need to figure out a way to exercise while exhausted and taking care of a baby. My diet has steadily improved now that my parents are gone (no more pumpkin pie on the counter or daily KFC makes a big difference). I can run or lift weights on Wed/Thurs/Fri when baby is at daycare, but I really need to be doing something every day. I know my body will never be what it was, but I’ll feel better about myself if I’m at least a little stronger, a little healthier, and – yes – able to fit into most of my skirts come summer.

The problem, so far, is that whatever free time I have – i.e. when baby’s sleeping – I spend writing. I have a book due July 1st and knowing my writing process, fourĀ and a half months, while doable, is also not much time at all. I have to hit word count every. single. day. otherwise I risk missing my deadline. It’s a little stressful. And it also means that instead of using my free time to lift or run or otherwise do self care, I’m working. But what else can I do?

This, too, shall pass.

So I’ll just keep looking forward to spring and warmer weather and being able to take baby out to the garage with me or go for a run with her. In the meantime, the aching solitude of being stuck at home alone with a baby will just have to be, and I’ll just have to deal with it by embracing this time devoid of distractions in which I can justĀ beĀ with my baby.

 

More pics because the world is dark and scary and it needs more cute baby photos:

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Edited to add:Ā Lady Jr just rolled from belly to back! Twice!! Woo!

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