Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today was better

Instead of holding to a rule that says she should be awake between 6 and 7am, and since it'll all change on Sunday with daylight savings, we have been letting her sleep until she is ready. Today she slept from ~5.20am until almost 8.30am. I woke up just after 8 and felt like I had gotten some sleep. It was a much better day.

She still napped for about an hour every other hour. And again refused her last nap of the day and fell asleep for the night around 5.30p. If I can figure out that last nap/awake time balance better, she could probably stay up past 6pm and I'll bet sleep longer at some point. Or at least sleep until 7am more consistently.

These are all guesses. Besides, once I figure it out the etch-A-sketch that is my daughter will reset and I get to start all over again with a new design.

Anyway with the weekend at grandma's and Halloween. I'm excited.

We visited Sang this morning and my friend Andrew came over this afternoon. It's good to visit people. Carolina enjoyed the visits and going to the Turkish store. She (and I) likes the owner. He's a very nice man and has fun food things to look at! She's getting beter at grabbing so I've had to adjust walking down the aisles so she can't touch anything. Or it just may end up on the floor. Funny kid.

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

5 mo checkup

13lbs 6oz, 24", no shots needed. 25% of height and skull size, 10% for weight.

Apparently she's growing well and I'm doing a good job feeding her. That I'm very sleep deprived isn't uncommon. I have a low threshold for "lack of sleep pain". She's finally napping for more than an hour now after being awake for four hours.

Crazy!! traffic into manhattan. Was 45 minutes late for pediatrician. First visit with new dr. She's very nice. I'm too out of sorts to judge either way. So much rain.

She has good motor skills and strength for her age. And she loves her rice cereal.

Onward and upward to get yet another book about babies and sleep. We are also going to bring back the bottle once a night. (Hooray for Ismael!) I'm not sure if I will breastfeed much past six months. Not sure how you decide either way. She's recently started to push away with one arm while sucking hard at the boob. Seems counterproductive but maybe it's normal. Who knows...

Tired. Just tired.

I can not explain how tired and frustrated I am.

She won't sleep more than 3 hrs tops at night. If I leave her to cry. She will. At the top of her lungs. For upwards of an hour or more.

Her naps are sometimes 1.5-2hrs for reasons I can't figure. But mostly 45mins every other hour.

I try to "fill her up" during the day. With mill and cereal and formula. She just throws up anything "extra". And apparently zero change to extending sleep.

It's like she's two months old again. Waking up a lot, eating and being cranky more than usual.

I'm afraid to nap because they are so short. I wake myself up during the night in expectation of her frequent wakings. And she eats. Every time.

I feel lost and frustrated. And tired. Really, really tired.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

it's been tough, but not impossible

I haven't written much in the past week. It's been tiring. We make progress at night with her only waking up twice. That happened happily for 2-3 nights in a row, one night of a lot of waking up, then a few more nights of mostly 2 time waking up. Then last night she gets up four times. She is teething, and she was in a lot of pain yesterday and the day before. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the days when she gets up more frequently or at least has a harder time getting herself back to sleep.

Now, mind you I'm not running in at the first whimper. Last night we let her cry on and off for just under 30 minutes. When she started up again the following hour, I couldn't take it anymore and went in. It was about 2 hours earlier than I would have liked but there's only so much I can take when *I* am tired.

The books say to leave her in her room until 6am. Even if she cries. I folded at 5.45am, and fed her. Then promptly put her back in her crib and left her there until she woke up again at 7.15am. I'm supposed to get her up between 6am and 7am. I was tired. I let it slip. Commence world ending music montage now... :)

But then today, she's gone down for 3 naps already -- completely awake. She didn't need me to feed her and rock her to sleep. In fact, the reason I did it the first time a few days ago was because she wasn't relaxing in my arms and it seemed pointless to continue for both our sakes. So I just put her down on her belly, gingerly wrapped the blanket around her waist and legs. She found her thumb, I rubbed her back and butt for a minute or two, and she nodded off.

It might not work every day but I'm glad she's getting the idea that she can fall asleep on her own.

Am I concerned that I use the sound machine and she goes for her thumb to relax? Yeah, a little. Am I worried that she really doesn't sleep anywhere but in a darkened room, pretty much at home? As in not a stroller nap baby... It's limiting. But I'll deal with her sucking her thumb as a problem when she's 10, if she's still doing it. Just like my mom did with me. And we'll ween her off the white noise machine if we need to when it's time. And I did set up her sleep structure/process like it is. So I've no one to look to about that but me.

The next jackpot will be taking longer naps during the day and fewer of them. This getting up for an hour, then back to sleep for 45-60 minutes makes having a day a little hard for me. For her, it's perfect :) When she's up for an hour or two, down for two, up for one or two, down for two, up for a bit then off to bed. Bingo! (At least that's how I imagine winning Baby Sleep Bingo.)

I know she can stretch it out since she has taken 2 hour naps on her own. I can't figure out how or why on those days it happens. Maybe it's just up to her to work it out.

I like to think I'm having some kind of impact on raising her but, really, I get the sense that she's a little dingy boat on a river and I'm steering with the smallest paddle ever. I get to make some course corrections and change direction a little but, really, it's how and where the river takes us.

As you all know, I am not one that easily 'goes with the flow'. So this part of having a baby has been the most challenging. And that it affects my sleep, well, just the harder. I hold out for the magical 6-month milestone. It may come and go and what I hope for doesn't come to fruition. But something else will.

Every "progress" is met with a new "detractor". It's like a gentle one-two punch every month. It always changes.

Julia was right. When I asked her what she thought about us going to Mexico for two weeks when Carolina is 7 months old, she told me, "Whatever her sleeping and traveling is like now [at 3/4 months] it'll definitely be different by then. It might be better, and it might now, but it'll definitely be different."

Now if we could just sort out finding the perfect apartment for no money, we'd be golden. Hahah!

At least there's a new bakery that opened on Greenpoint Ave. Now we have a new shop as part of our hourly walk repertoire. I like to visit the local shops and sometimes buy something. Keep the local economy going and know who runs the stores. Very neighborhood-y. Plus they all remember me if I'm carrying Carolina. Otherwise, I'm just another person who walked into the store. With her, I'm "that woman with the cute baby". Seriously. It's crazy how many people respond to her like she's got some magic over them or something.

P.S. We finally have the first, basic iteration of our website done:
Have a visit and let us know what you think!

Monday, October 12, 2009

teething and enjoying a little walking around

So it seems that her teeth are coming up some days and then go back down into the gums on others. Today, I can't feel her two bottom teeth as well as a few days ago but she's still making groaning noises and shoving her hand in her mouth as a source of relief.

She's not very interested in the cold/gel/teething ring. I think it's a wee bit too big for her mouth. And she's not interested in her chupon being cold either. She's not interested in the chupon that is a bit more firm. And she pretty much hates, or is confused by, Orajel. It seems that the boob and her green chupon is her favorite, aside from her own hands.

She's spit up a bunch and she's got a bit of the runs. Apparently all very normal for a teething baby.

After 2 hours outside which included going to the park to meet some of the moms and babies in the Sunnyside Moms group at the park, she quickly fell asleep for a much needed nap. She woke herself up after only 30 minutes. So instead of going back outside, which she loves, I kept her indoors. Gave her some infant Tylenol, put some orajel on her gums (I was desperate for her since she was crying so much), and then she rode in her swing. Then we walked around the apartment. And finally ended up in her walker. She loves, loves feeling like she's standing up and able to move around. Of course she can't even sit up on her own, but she's pretty happy thinking she can. I'm alright pretending along with her for periods of time each day, too.

I took a video of it since it was intermittent moaning, gnashing of teeth, smiling and pushing herself forwards and backwards.

PS We're still working on our company's website but in the meantime you can preview some of the products we're going to be selling. We're starting with cafepress until we figure out which designs are more popular than others and make some income. Then we'll be looking to produce them ourselves and brand the designs a little more.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

she slept for 6 hours straight last night and the night before!

we started to use some of the sleep "training" methods in "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and she has now slept until midnight (after going to sleep between 6-6.30pm) two nights in a row! She then doesn't get up until about 4am, and then is up for the day at 7am.

Next week we're going to tackle napping. Because her taking 45 minute naps every other hour or so is really making it hard to get out of the house, and I know she can nap more. For example, this moment, she's been asleep for an hour and a half. She's only just making noises now, but see? she can do it. I just need to set up her schedule and she'll follow it. Probably with a bunch of crying the first day or two, like with the night time scheduling, but she'll do it.

Then we can go visit people and not only take short walks around the neighborhood. I mean Sunnyside is great to walk around but there's only so many times I can walk the 10 block radius before I know all the crazy people who are around during the day hours and see the same moms with strollers. It gets a little boring, even though we say hi to the people we have recognized on the street.

ok, she's up from the nap. Gotta run...

Monday, October 5, 2009

I miss food

I miss the Indian restaurant in Brighton where I was friendly with the people who owned the place and they made my favorite Chicken Madras and pilau rice. Yummy and just spicy enough to make my nose run but not burn my mouth and lips!

Another red letter day for miss carolina

Yesterday we rode in a car to Bay Ridge and spent about 4 hours there. At Paul and Maura's apartment quickly, then walking around a park by the river front, then Kimesha and Ben's (where Carolina took a quick 45 minute nap), and then out for a walk through the town's street party day thing -- and then to a restaurant.

This was the 3rd time Carolina has been to a restaurant. It is the first 'fancy' restaurant and the longest she's been in one.

She was already overtired (more on that later) so Ismael and I took turns leaving the table and walking outside with her. It was very loud outside with all the music and people mulling about, so at one time I took her into the bathroom where it was actually quiet. I fed her, even though she really didn't NEED it. And that bought us another half hour or so.

She then fell asleep in the car on the way home. Woke up shortly after we got into the apartment. Quick bath, PJs, then off to bed.

Overall, as much of a handful that she is, it went relatively well. It could have gone a LOT worse. Thank you, Bay Ridge Lobbyists for the lovely day.

About the being overtired... This kid has reverted into earlier months sleeping pattern of being up every 2-3 hours and nursing almost hourly during the day. So mommy is exhausted, to say the least. And I did what I do when I need to figure something out, I start reading. I read the baby sleep book that we have and it has a lot of great information but really it has too much. I spend a lot of time reading through it to find an example that best matches Carolina and then see what the 'solutions' are that I can use.

While reading, she wakes herself up at about 8.30pm. A mere 2 hours after initially going to sleep. She sounds like she's either terrified or hungry or something. She wasn't warming up to our friends as quickly as I thought, and we were in all new places that day -- so maybe it was a nightmare about stranger anxiety or who knows what.

But Ismael went in to calm her down, and then I went in to feed her. That did the trick. And I continued to worry that I've encouraged a bad trend. Booby time = feel better time, and not encouraging more self-soothing time.

She then wakes up at 11.21pm. I know it was 11.21pm because of the following... Ismael stops me from getting out of bed and says 'Let's try to see if she'll fall back to sleep on her own. Like the book says.'

I agree but I'm also completely stressed out. I'm sitting on the edge of the bed, desperate to calm her down and also desperate for her to just fall asleep. I'm tired. She's tired. He's tired. There's a lot of tired in our house. My anxiety swells and I start to get mad at Ismael for even suggesting such a thing and then angry at myself for allowing her to sound so sad.

It took about 45 minutes of crying with some stopping cycle, that eventually was more stop than cry. She fell asleep at 12.05am. She didn't wake up until just before 3am, and then at 6am. Fell asleep for another 45 minutes when I woke her up at 7am (like the book said). Gave her a bath, dressed her, played for a bit. She was very tired, and went back to sleep at 8.30am for another TWO HOURS.

I actually had to wake her so that we could go to a mommy's group by 10.30am. She's been napping like usual (30-45 minutes) every other hour since then.

We're going to try it again tonight. The first time she cries after we put her down to sleep, we're going to leave her there and let her cry for up to an hour. See how it goes.

If she gets the idea that we're not going to get her, she might start to sleep for longer. That's the plan. Lord knows if that's what is going to be reality...

What's more, she's rolling over. I put her to sleep on her side, when she wakes up she's usually on her belly. This afternoon, twice, I put her on her belly and she wakes up on her back. We almost have a complete roll!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We have a real laugh!

Yesterday, Carolina went with me to ismael's office. We took the train and at the last minute I decided that she was doing well enough to try to go in to manhattan to visit Ismael. So we transferred to the N train and went into the tunnel. She started to cry a little since she could no longer see the trees outside. :) so I gave her the chupon and she was relaxed enough to continue.

Once we got there she met all of his coworkers. And while Ismael was holding her and I was talking to his coworker, Andrew, Carolina let out her first laugh. It reminded me of Diana's first laughs. Diana's were little but very hearty and expressed a real joy and were full of life. Carolina's sounded a lot like my 'hah hah' laugh but was distinctly her own. She did it twice. We were floored and impressed. We can't wait for her to do it again soon!

Of course there isn't a photo or recording of it but we heard it :)