Saturday, September 26, 2009

oh yes, the day after immunization shots and my ideal apartment

Last night she slept pretty much like she normally does. Napping yesterday was all day on me, but by nightfall she was feeling more secure and dozed off around 6.30pm. She was up a few more times than usual, but nothing extraordinary. I got at least one session of 3.5 hours, so I can't complain.

When she got up this morning at 6.20am we woke up daddy (sorry, daddy!), did her swim lesson in the bathtub, and dressed. Then cleaned her new ear piercings and removed the one that was off center. I debated this in my mind all day yesterday, all night, and this morning. Looking at it this morning I realized it is just TOO close to the part of her ear where she hears from and not enough on the lobe. It'll always be off and if I was her, I'd be annoyed.

I'm annoyed with my piercings since one was done badly. Had I known it would close up, even when I was 14 and had them first pierced, I would have let it close and did it again.

So we're going to let the one heal and close and keep the other pierced. When we go to Mexico in December we'll take her to a baby medical center kind of place where all they do is treat babies and they pierce all the baby girls' ears. They will do it correctly and (god willing/ojala) without all the unnecessary trauma like we had yesterday.

I will be the most angry I have ever been if they mess up her ear for a second time. So hopefully for everyone's sake, it goes well and peacefully :)

She still is warm but no high temperature/fever. She has noticed that the baby Tylenol taste shows up when we go to the doctor's. I'm guessing that's why she looks at me a little panicked and strangely when I put it in her mouth again this morning. The other months she didn't mind the taste, it is last month and this one when she started to make the connection. I'm guessing. I don't know how aware she is/can be, but she seems pretty whip-smart so I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Right now she's napping. I think it's time for me to nap, too.

I've started to think about burgers again. I should get back on that 'horse' and start up my burger trials.

In the meantime, I'll pose this to you all... we are going to wait to see how much our landlord raises our rent for next year's lease. If he won't lower it to $1700 or leave it at $1800 and do some repairs that we've been wanting, we're very likely going to move. Below are our criteria. Anyone know of a place that fits? (No sarcastic comments, please. I know I'm asking for the nearly impossible.)

The first 5 are requirements, the others are nice to haves...
  1. Two-bedrooms. One of the bedrooms must be at least 8' x 10'. The other bedroom similar but larger. Not a half room suitable only for a little office. We'll need to fit two kids in there one day.
  2. Has a washer and dryer in the building. In the apartment is fine, too.
  3. $1600 a month or less. $1700 max if it's totally awesome.
  4. 45-minute commute or less for Ismael to Rockefeller Plaza area, and doesn't require buying Express Bus passes. (Those are an extra $100 a month!) Although $1500 + express bus is, you know, ok.
  5. 45-minute or less car ride from my parents' place in Fort Lee, NJ. They come to visit often enough that moving to the a**-end of Brooklyn or Queens where it's a hour plus ride, would just be obnoxious.
  6. Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, maybe western part of Queens or Hoboken. We don't have a car and don't want to buy one. These are the places where you can get around fairly easily and do weekly food and baby stuff shopping without having a car. Hoboken may require the occasional ZipCar rental -- which is fine since then we'd stop paying NYC taxes and get to save 4%+ of our annual income.
  7. Has a park within a 10-15 minute walk
  8. Is not within 10 blocks of a major highway.
  9. Within 25 minute walk to a friend's apartment. Preferably a friend who likes Carolina and wouldn't mind her coming over to visit and possibly nap on their bed if necessary :)
  10. Does not have a "roach problem"
  11. Does not have "plumbing issues"
  12. Has a decent landlord and super
  13. Does not have neighbors who think playing music at Volume 11 is okay.
  14. Does not have mold actively growing on the bathroom walls
  15. Does not have creaky, wooden floors that wake up the baby after I JUST got her to sleep (again)
  16. Is within 10 minute walk of a decent grocery store, butcher shop, cheese shop, fish shop, and some Italian, Polish, Greek, Latino, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Korean food. Oh and some good Jewish-run bagel and knish store could be handy, too!

Friday, September 25, 2009

4 month check up and ear piercing

We're about to go to the pediatrician... get her 4 month checkup, immunizations (4 shots like at the 2 month visit) and her ears pierced.

I'm having a minor anxiety attack about subjecting her to all this pain.

Let's see how it goes...

3 hrs later:
holy effing sh*^ that was awful. Never go to a pediatrician who isn't totally awesome about ear piercing. She was hysterical. Hysterical for almost an hour. It wasn't the actual piercing but the holding her down to do it. And he wasn't as comfortable doing it as he had made it sound. Never again. Only with a baby ear piercing specialist. And one ear is totally off. So I'm taking that one out tomorrow to heal and she can have it repierced in December while in Mexico. We should have done that from the beginning. Waited for Mexico where they do it to newborns all the time. That was traumatic. Now my poor kid is upset all day and will only nap on me. I'm so annoyed. If I didn't know her ear will close up quickly or that an ear piercing specialist said to take out the "wrong one" I would leave it in to avoid more trauma.

She was so thoroughly terrified. I had to hold down her arms and my dad her legs and the doctor her head. Utterly too much. Never again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vacation went surprisingly well, being home however...

One day and night at grandpa's apartment followed by three days and two nights at the beach went surprisingly well. Gratefully the hotel room had very dark curtains so Carolina was able to sleep well. And we were mostly able to keep her nap and sleep schedule. She basically slept all day on Monday at home as she recovered from being tired from the weekend.

I just hope she forgives me for her first experience with ocean water. Which was freezing. And I asked her dad to put her feet in. And she sooner than immediately screamed. Screamed!! And didn't stop for about 10 minutes. See the photo (on the left) I took thinking she'd be smiling. Stupid mommy, really. And then later that day when she's tired but not having a fit. Notice the pink sweatshirt. It's from 1976. It was mommy's. Aunt Diana found it in our old closet and Grandma Carmela brought it to the beach. Hooray! That plus socks made Carolina's cold feet much happier!

The car ride there and back was okay. She wasn't a fan of the car seat, 'natch. She fussed and we made a few, brief stops along the way to stretch, change diaper, feed and walk around outside. But 3+ hours in the car is definitely her max. The whole trip was about 4+ hours with all the stops. and the traffic we hit on the way home took am extra hour that I would have gladly paid to avoid. Let's just say we ran out of milk in a bottle and when going over the GWB, she woke up with 10-20 mins left until Queens without traffic, more traffic on the FDR and I bought us about 10 mins of not crying by giving her a bottle of cold water. This distracted her but she was still crying when we pulled up and I rushed inside to feed her.

All in all it made me VERY hopeful for our two week trip to Mexico at Christmas.

Yesterday, however, was a different matter. She hardly napped. Nursed for a few minutes every hour but it felt like constantly. I was exhausted by 3pm. I had to keep walking outside around 2pm so she would (finally) sleep a little. She slept for only 30 mins but that's better than nothing. I ended up walking for 90 minutes outside. Mostly up and down our block wher the light breeze hit her head just as she likes it. I even had to ask Ismael to come home early since I was worn out by her. She was very clingy too. Maybe just one of her 'crazy' days.

Her poop has been greenish and on the sticky side for nearly a week. I'd be more worried except mine is too. I think it's the lack of fruit and veg while on vacation. Or maybe I'm a bit sick. I ate granola last week. Found a new one without nuts. Very yummy. But sometimes oats tear up my stomach. So that could be a contributing factor.

I'd call her pediatricians office but the doctor that does the callbacks usually is glib and gives me no information I couldn't get online or figure out myself. She really irritates me. Next month we start with a new doctor who is in network. I hope it works out since paying $200-500 per visit is murder on the wallet. Especially since insurance reimburses what amounts to around 30%. So many pediatricians in the city don't take insuranace. Not sure if the Obama plan would make a difference but having a baby is bloody expensive.

I hope today is a better nap day for my shorty.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

in a room of her own

Today is the 2nd morning after she slept in her own room in her new crib, and took all her naps in the new crib. I have to say, it's a nice thing for all of us.

It took me long enough to get the crib sheets and bumper after the crib and mattress were sitting there for a few weeks. I should be honest and say it was a conscious delay. I wasn't ready to move her, even if she was.

I was apprehensive because I get up so often during the night to feed her that I thought it would be a real pain to have to go to the other room. In fact, last week and the week before I remember thinking that we were losing progress and she was starting to get up MORE often. At least it felt like it.

As it turns out, she gets up less often in her own room. In fact, the 2nd time she ever slept 5.5 hours was the first night in the crib. She's gone from waking up 4-5 times a night to 3 times a night. Eating for 4-5 minutes to eating 8-11 minutes during the night.

I feel badly when she cries after 4-5 hours of sleep since she's STARVING! So I try my best to get up as quickly as possible as soon as I hear her. We haven't bought a baby monitor. I'm still not sure we need it, but we may. We open her door when we're going to sleep and leave our door open. If we closed them both, we couldn't hear her unless she was screaming as loud as she possibly could. And no one wants her to have to do that.

There's no sense in trying to force her to eat more before she falls asleep since she eats as much as she needs/wants and won't take more. In fact, she's taken more than she needed recently and only spit it up shortly after.

I'd like to say that this means she's napping better during the day, but it's about the same. More frequently during the morning and then 2-3 hours of being awake towards the end of the day, with a bit of being 'crazy'. It all seems to sort itself out one way or another.

Her naps are now a bit longer, however. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that her new room we have blackout shades AND blackout curtains. So unlike before when she was in our room, and she'd wake US up when morning light was peeking through the curtains. I now have to go in to her room, open the shades and curtain to wake HER up.

It's a nice change.

I'm still waiting for her to be able to travel on the subway and bus more, so we keep trying. And the car...

I've been putting her in the car seat during the day when I walk around the apartment or the room to do something else. Mostly it's to get her to sit in the car seat and not cry.

Tomorrow Carolina and I are going to my parents place in the afternoon, then Ismael is going to join us that evening for dinner. The following morning we are all going to the beach for a mini vacation.

As I've heard from friends of mine with babies, this is not going to be a relaxing vacation for me BUT it'll be interesting.

I'm more curious now than anxious to see how she is during a nearly 3 hour car ride. See how many times we need to stop. How amenable she is to napping in the car. And what she'll be like sleeping somewhere that isn't her room. We're taking her pack n play and she will be, again, sleeping next to our bed.

I'm packing the white noise machine, but since we'll be in a room facing the ocean we may not need it. There will probably be a lot more light in the room, so she may get up more often. I'm willing to put up with that :) It's not terribly unusual.

In fact, when she sleeps more than 3 hours, and I'm awake (or wake myself up), I both miss her and wonder if she's breathing.

I walked in to her room this morning about 5am when she cried out and saw she was on her belly. She wasn't resting, she was struggling. She has started to do this more often. She can roll over on her belly but can't quite roll back. I know where she's landed since the crib sheet is wet where she had her mouth.

Mostly she is squirming and picking her head up and legs. Her arms don't seem to realize they can help out too. I've been trying to help her with this by putting something on the end of a string and having her track it with her eyes. I keep expecting her hands to reach up but they don't. Her arms may start to move around but it's not coordinated by any means and her hands usually stay in a light fist. She might open them but not to reach out and touch.

Her legs, however, do respond. So I guess it's a matter of time for when her hands decide they want "in" on the action.

Friday, September 11, 2009

we have sleep!

I don't think I've been this proud of another human being, ever! Okay, well, maybe pride isn't the most overwhelming feeling. Relief? Gratitude? Ok, some pride... she slept for 5.5 hours at a stretch last night. Was asleep a little before 8pm and then woke up around 1.30am. She was STARVING. Kid hasn't eaten that much, latched on that well, and then promptly went back to sleep. FOR ANOTHER THREE HOURS! Ate like a champ again, and then slept ANOTHER TWO HOURS!

Apparently once you get a five-hour stretch, you have "sleep through the night". I'm not sure whose night amounts to only five hours, but you know, whatever, it's progress!

Seriously, I could get used to this.

I'm not expecting to. I'm actually expecting it to be a cruel joke, whereby she wakes up every 2 hours tonight. But man, it was great to experience it and know it's possible.

I changed her diaper after her swim/bath at about 5.30pm last night, and then again when she woke up FULL OF POOP at about 6.30am this morning. 13 hours, one diaper. Man that diaper never worked so hard!

It wasn't as full of sleep for me as I thought it might be. I kept waking up to check the clock and see if she was still alive. Really, I did. I heard parents say this and thought, not me! I'll be so grateful for sleep and so tired, I'll sleep through it.

No way... I was waking myself up with a bit of panic, feeling like I overslept for exams or something. Then looking at her crib in the darkness to see if I could see her. I couldn't see her breathing but there was something about the way she was lying there that was reassuring she was still alive.

We also started "swimming lessons" in the bathtub last night and again this morning. We'll be doing it every morning until she can hold her breath underwater and is ready for the big pool. I can't wait for her to be a little swimmer! I'll bet she will sleep really well once she can swim and use up all that energy.

Speaking of swimming, we're going to the beach with my parents next weekend. I hope she likes it. She'll basically experience sitting, well laying (since she can't sit yet), on sand, hearing the waves, and watching things at the beach. And maybe a little ocean water drizzled/dripped on her head and belly. But no swimming. Probably just a nap.

Fingers crossed there is minimal meltdown in the car seat on the way there and back.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More words, less sleep

So it's official. We've got ourselves a chatty baby. She's been making word sounds since about 2 weeks old but the past two weeks she's really "talking" a lot. It's cute as hell. It also seems to come with the trade off of not being interested in sleeping. In the morning and early hours of the morning are her chattiest.

It also seems to follow that there is an almost constant stream of word sounds just before, and during, a poop as well as when she has some reflux that is about to start. It's almost as if her most talkative corresponds with discomfort.

I hope I'm wrong.

This morning at about 4.30am, just after eating, she decided that unlike her usual routine of going back to sleep, she would talk to us. From the crib. In our room. For about 15 minutes. I just ignored her. And by ignore I mean listened to everything, trying nit to laugh and resisting the urge to pick her up. She eventually fell asleep. Then at a little after 6am, she decided to regale us with some tale of swashbuckling pirates and fair maidens. This is what I made up in head since I was hoping she would just go back to sleep.


Her dad picked her up and brought her to the living room. I fell asleep for another 2 hours. I didn't even realize it until I woke up! I was enormously grateful. I was also worried she had been up for nearly 3 hours without eating or sleeping. But she hadn't cried so I knew that couldn't be true. she had napped in the living room and he made her a bottle. Hooray!

Needless to say, we are full speed ahead starting to transition her to her own room. We really think that being in our room is keeping her from sleeping more and more often. I realize that now she's gaining awareness of who I am and she likes to be social. So that discourages her from wanting to sleep, too. But her first sleep of he night is usually 3-4 hours. Then once we go to sleep, she's up every 1.5-2 hours.

She's also decided that the brief foray of sleeping longer while on her stomach is over. She only did it three times. It was great. But if I put her on her belly now, to sleep or to see if she pushes up or does any early-stage crawling, she gets really frustrated and cries.

So I very much feel like we are losing some of the progress she had made.

We are also looking for a new pediatrician. One that is in network and one that has a doctor on call on the weekends who isn't a massive butthead. Our pedi I like. But the main, female doctor in the practice gives me answers that make me feel violent towards her. So I'm calling her a butthead in lieu of the nastier name I usually use for her.

And we are still debating a move, and to where.

We had a nice walk this morning and she got hungry while several blocks from home. So I did my first bare breastfeed in public. The street wasn't that busy and she was in the baby Ergo, so no one walking by or in the houses really saw anything. But we made it work. Go team!

Ok time for a nap...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So on friday there wasn't any immunization shot. Just an immunization oral thingy she had to swallow. Poor kid. It's to fend off the flu. Roto virus!

I love, love her pediatrician but I think we'll be looking for a new one that is in network. Every month it's like $300-450 a visit. Shots are bloody expensive.

Speaking of money, I'm beginning to consider moving back to Hoboken. I cringe at the thought of my thinking of it, but it's true. I think it's the only way to avoid the NYC "convenience charge" (aka 4% city tax) and get a lower rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Plus then the little lady's grandparents will visit her more often. I'm still debating if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

The debate is how many people she's exposed to. I'm already realizing that just hanging out with me most of the time means she's only comfortable with me and her dad, and my parents. She's just started, the past two weeks, to really be aware of other people and if she knows them. It's funny how this is developing and I can see it happening.

I mean I know I'm terribly interesting, but she'll be the shyest kid in pre-K if I'm all she knows. So, like, I gotta get some 'mommy friends.' Again, I'm cringing.

I have friends. I like them. That's why they are my friends. They just don't all have kids. Hmmm...

You people reading this blog. Yeah you! You're my friends! Go procreate! Don't make me move back to Jersey and see you once every other month for brunch in Manhattan. With my failed attempts to get you to visit in Jersey. *sigh*

Tell your friends and family. Buy stuff from VivaDM. Maybe we'll get rich. Maybe not. Either way, it'll make my accountant happy. Seriously. He says we need to have income this year or taxes will be a difficult thing. Three years without income. *sigh*

Anyway, enough about my moaning.

She's been talking up a storm. If I could figure out a way to post the audio files, you'd get to hear her. Of course, after I figure out a way to edit them down. Damn they are big from the iPhone m4p file. And she smiles, super smiles, and laughs. She's been smiling since she was about 2 weeks old. But now it's like full on super happy big smiles. often. It's great.

I forget now why I didn't want to have more kids.

Don't tell my husband. He'll have me knocked up again in minutes if he hears this ;)

My sister is coming to visit this weekend. Hooray! Aunt Diana will get to meet Miss Carolina for the second time. Excellent...