Friday, February 26, 2010

Ok, well I'm impressed. We missed a night waking. Hooray!

With Carolina not feeling quite herself this week, her sleep "schedule" is all off. So I've been following her lead by noting her tired signs and then making it naptime. Even if it was only an hour an a half ago when she woke up.

Last night she missed the 4am wakeup time she had re-started this week and went from 10.30pm until 2.30am and then straight through to 6am. 7am would have been better but I'm not in a position to complain about the nearly 4 hour stretch!

Earlier in the week, I had to let her cry for about 25-30 minutes when she refused to take an afternoon nap but was CLEARLY exhausted and desperate for a rest. After that, she slept for only 45 minutes but it must have been a learning experience.

I've done my best to leave her room when she's either mostly asleep, or this week, more interested in playing with me than sleeping. So I leave, she'll cry out as if to say "But I'm not ready! Come back!", and then gets quiet. She may talk to herself or Baby for a few minutes or many minutes, but it's just her and her crib. And then she falls asleep. Maybe for a quickie 45 minute nap or a monster 90-120 minute nap.

Either way, she knows I'm serious when I leave her and I don't get as stressed out that she's not falling asleep while I'm there. I let her figure it out on her own.

I'd still prefer that all the time she nod off while feeding and then fall asleep soundly once she hits the crib, like this morning's nap. But, again, I'm not in the position to negotiate for this. It's just a boon when it happens.

She's in there now, cooing and talking to Baby. Lord knows what they're talking about. Yesterday I imagined this scenario is what happened in Carolina's head:
Carolina to Baby: I'm not tired. Are you?
Baby: Yes.
C: Well, since you're tired I can show you how to take a nap. But I'm not tired.
B: Okay
C: So we close our eyes
C: Then we stop talking
C: And then we fall asleep
C: And then...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

But since she woke up from that nap super chatty again, but had done a super poop. The conversation was probably more like:
Carolina to Baby: My tummy hurts. Does yours?
Baby: No. But maybe you have to poop.
C: Probably. I should call mommy so she can make it better.
B: We can call her once the poop is out. She cleaned it up last time after you did it.
C: Oh, yeah. Okay, after.
C: I'm tired. This poop will have to wait until... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I don't know what's going on in there now, but there's clearly some debate about something.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

snow, in all day, boogers and poop

I'd like to give another shout out to the strangers in new york who continually entertain and engage with Carolina on the bus and subway. Really. I find out some of the most interesting things from total strangers because I'm traveling with Carolina. She's quite the social butterfly.

We've been inside all day. She's just about to get up from her 3rd nap. I can hear her moving around and rattling her 'baby' doll.

With this stuffy/runny nose this week (glad the fever is gone) and uber-teething with 4 upper teeth threatening to come down, she's been up 3x a night and takes 3 naps a day. So after a month of solid effort to get her to wake up less frequently during the night, we're right back where we started.

We had a glimmer of hope this morning when she missed her 4am wakeup, but then she started crying at 5.30am When I went in at a little after 6am, and YES it was still dark out, she hadn't even pooped. Lord knows why she thought she needed to be up that early. The full-on poop came hours later. Which required a complete change of clothes, bed and baby's hair needing to be washed. Oh yeah...

Anyway, after these teeth come in, like last time, I'm hoping for a reprieve. And back to waking up just once a night.

You know what's going to happen. She'll be back to it for like 2 days and then we leave for a week in Mexico with a lot of travel while we're there and she'll be up every 2 hours since we'll be sleeping in the same room. Actually, it'll probably be a surprise whatever happens.

I'm looking forward to going to a friend's house after Carolina is asleep one night soon. See how she responds to daddy bringing her a bottle when she wakes up, and she's expecting the boob. She normally isn't receptive to it AT ALL. So should be interesting for daddy. Good man!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The first cold

Sunday, Carolina woke up with a fever of 103 degrees and all night long had a totally stuffy and runny nose. We went in to her cries for a few hours, every 30-60 minutes until about 3.30am Poor thing couldn't breathe! I never thought I'd be able to shove those bulb things up her nose to get out snot, but I did -- again and again. She hates it but it's got to be done. Anyway, after some Tyenol and a lukewarm bath (per her doctor) but no soaps... her fever went down to 98 and then back down to her normal 97-ish. We kept her pants off all day and she was able to nap a little. By about 4.30pm she was EXHAUSTED. So we did a quick dinner, quick bath and bottle then bed.

Anyway, during the day and mostly during eating she started to make this fish face. The last time she made faces anything like this was about 3-4 weeks before her bottom two teeth came in. We can see, definitely, both her upper front teeth and at least one others on the top. I'm certain there must be more the way she shoves things in the middle and back of her mouth. So I guess we'll be seeing more teeth shortly.

Also, she was tired and not her usual active self but she still crawled around and tried to climb up on things. She was just less aggressive about going back to places we said 'no' to. I swear, she'll be walking any day at this rate!

By today her top two teeth are poking through the gums, ever so slightly. I'm pretty sure this cold is more about teething than a real cold. She's pretty congested but it's only a stuffy nose, it hasn't (thankfully) moved into her chest. She's only this afternoon getting her interest in eating back. She downed 1/2 baby bowl of rice & carrots and then killed 5oz of formula before bed.

She's actually in bed now. She's totally awake but she's there. It's early even for her, but she was crying and rubbing her eyes. The only thing missing was hiccups and it was all her 'tells' she's ready for bed. But just like last night and the night before, I go in there with her bottle. She's relaxing and when I put her into the bed, she's UP!

I'm ready to roll, Mommy.

Good lord she's exhausting. The moment I expect to get a break, no way!

I was hoping to get a break to visit Sang yesterday but he's sick. Got a wicked cold from his brother who was sick last week.

I'm really sick of Queens most of the time, at least this part of it. It's like the subburbs of the city. It's architecturally boring, the 7 train trellis makes it noisy and dirty, there's plenty of ethnic food but there's a TON of crappy food. The supermarkets are overpriced, it's a righteous pain to get around the bus and subway with a stroller, and we're inside a lot of the time now.

I'm equally sick of having an apartment with a dark living room and dishes to clean ALL THE TIME. At least we have a newly refinished bathtub and newly painted walls. I still think the bathroom is icky but at least it looks less so. Really, my problem is not living near anyone to visit... except Sang... Who is actually a great friend to visit during the day since he still hasn't found a full-time job and is also at home. Of course, once he gets a job (and I hope he does soon) he, too, will be too busy for a daytime visit. Good thing Carolina likes Sang.

Once I get some more sleep and she's over this cold, I'm sure my anti-Queens rants will stop. But this week I'm really frustrated and stressed.

So I'm looking into other classes for Carolina. She should really be around other babies. It's just surprisingly hard to get playdates sometimes. Also, I'm at a loss for how to tire her out. There are "movement" classes but most of them are in Manhattan and the one that other moms recommend in Jackson Heights is on Saturdays, and she already has swim class on Saturday morning.

Once she's older, like 12-18 months, there are more classes. Actually for the 18-24 month set there are a ton of things to do, so I'm told.

End rant here.

Oh good lord. It's nearly 6.30pm and I haven't even begun to think about what to make for dinner. shite!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No particular day...

Last night Carolina did something fantastic (according to me): she went to bed at 6pm, woke up at 1.30am hungry, I fed her, she fell asleep until 5.55am

She's like an alarm clock. Gets up at about 6am every morning. No. Matter. What.

But it's the second time in the last week she didn't cry out or wake up hungry more than once. I guess her gums weren't hurting her, her belly was full and she didn't need to poop or fart. She just slept.

I'm finding that the more she sleeps, the more I get to sleep. And the more tired I find myself. Strange as it may seem.

I also, if I dream at all, have a constant barrage of nightmares.

I'm sure in some way this is completely normal. I probably haven't dreamt this much since before she was born, which was almost 9 months ago. So I'm sure there's a lot my unconscious has to work out :)

In any event. I'm really tired today while Carolina seems raring to go.

I was going to take her swimming at the Y, but I'm too beat.

Last week, we went to the Y twice and to my parents place twice. The landlord was painting our bathroom (such a strong odor that I got a headache so I took her out of there immediately) and then we had the bathtub refinished. Everything in the bathroom looks really great but we needed to be out of the apartment for those days.

In less than a month we'll be heading to Mexico for a cousin's wedding and then drive 8 hours to spend a few days in Vallarta. The wedding is at 7pm outside of Celaya. That means that I nor Ismael will be able to put Carolina to bed for the night. That means she'll be sleeping at Bisabuela's house in a crib there. I have no idea how that'll go. Of course I want to control the variables as much as possible to make it resemble her room and her 'going to bed' experience every night so that she sleeps well and doesn't cry. But I can't do anything about it. I just have to trust that Great Grandma, who has taken care of countless babies, can get my munchkin to bed, not have her climb out of the crib, and we get back to pick her up during the wee hours and bring her back to Abuela's house with us. Hopefully not waking her up too much. (It's a 1/2 block walk between Bisabuela and Abuela's houses.)

She's still NOT taken a bottle during the night. Once she's asleep, it's only boob. So I really wonder, if we don't get back from the wedding before she wakes, if she'll take the bottle (because she will be hungry) or if she'll just cry and protest and fall asleep. And then keep doing that until I get back.

I'm certain, whatever happens, I'll be surprised and it won't happen like I thought it would. For better or worse. It's always different than I expect.

I also have to make sure to eat before the wedding since I think dinner is going to be at like 10pm. Those Mexicans are as bad as the Italians. Dinner in the middle of the night ;) HA ha!

Also, recently, Carolina has been eating paper. Everything goes in her mouth if we let it (or aren't paying attention). Just last week she was gnawing on a black piece of thick paper. I noticed but didn't think much of it while getting her bath ready. When I finally went to pick her up about a minute later she was missing some of the black paper. I stick my finger in her mouth to find a small wad of it in the back of her gums on one side, like she was chewing tobacco. It was funny and not funny.

She got upset that I took it away, it must have felt nice since she's still teething. (I can't tell you how much Orajel we give her some days. I'm always glad there are days we don't have to give her any. Sometimes it just seems endless.) I couldn't leave it, even if she wasn't going to swallow it. It was making her mouth black. Lord knows what kind of ink she was swallowing.

And just try to stop her from crawling everywhere and climbing up everything she can.

As soon as she starts to walk, I'm going to be even more exhausted than before I'm sure!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a little bit of thanks

In my pursuit to keep a level-headed view of this with-baby life, I thought I'd put down a few things that I've become grateful for:

1. Strangers on the bus (and subway), who take an immediate liking to Carolina and spend a few minutes making funny faces and sounds. So she smiles. Gives me a few minutes to tune out.
2. Swim class with other babies. She loves other babies, and loves water. Now if I could only get her to stop trying to drink up the pool, she'd be a bit happier by the end of each class.
3. Dinner and a movie with my husband. After Carolina goes to sleep. In our living room. We get at least 3-4 hours after she's asleep. And is usually the first meal of the day I can actually finish.
4. Naps. They are now longer than before. I can actually get some sleep, too.
5. Sleep. Still a bit hit or miss, but she's moving towards (with a lot of constant enforcement by mom and dad) longer sleep periods at night. Longer being 4 hours. I'll take it!!!
6. Something of a schedule. For the first time in her little life, she's got something of a schedule. She made it all by herself. So now we can go out and plan to meet up with people. Sometimes. Sometimes the schedule thing doesn't work.
7. Adventure-adventure. It's what I call anything that involves Carolina and I going outside to: visit someone, buy something, or see something where we'll be out of the house for at least 2 hours. 2 hours is her max before needing another nap. sometimes that can be stretched to 3 hours. So adventure-adventure is fun to see how long we can stay out, and just to get out of the apartment.
8. Stoller naps. I haven't been as diligent as I wanted to encourage these on a weekly basis, she's only had a smattering of them since early January. Sometimes she sleeps for 45 minutes, sometimes 10. 10 minutes is bad. Mostly for her. But I'm grateful she can do it.
9. Grandparents. Holy moly, I don't think I've ever appreciated my parents so much. And Abuelos in Mexico are just as awesome.
10. Smiles. It's true that when your baby smiles at you, it makes everything better. And trying to get her to smile, means I have to smile at her a lot. So that keeps us both on the happy side.
11. Spongebob Squarepants (and Dora the Explorer). Two things on TV that will get Carolina smiling in a second. And sometimes buys me 10-60 seconds to leave the room while she's engrossed and doesn't notice I'm gone.
12. Crawling. I'm getting some really great reaction-time/sprint training. Especially when she's about to go off the bed. So I leave her on the floor. And then I have to keep her away from trying to climb up on the TV table and up our dresser drawers. Faster, mommy, faster! Keep up!
13. More bottles, less breastfeeding (and sleep). Now that she's back to taking bottles like a champ, and onward to formula and solid food. She needs me less. I'm completely split on how I feel about this. I'm very proud of her for moving into new food territory and accepting change. Even not needing me to feed her before she goes to bed at night and willing to take a bottle -- WITH FORMULA. But I also miss that time of day's blissful moment when she's had enough to eat, keeps her eyes closed, and moves her head to rest it on my chest while pursing her lips together for a second. She is so calm, I can put her down into the crib and she doesn't wake herself up. It's a necessary trade off to lose that moment to the bottle. It's similar with a bottle but less, well, satisfying for me.

In the upcoming months, we'll be saving our pennies to get some friends to babysit on rare ocassions. Going out takes on a whole new level of expense and planning. BUT! She's sleeping enough during the first part of the night where I can leave her for 4-5 hours, and not feel like I'm burdening someone.

We are looking forward to taking her to the beach next month. Let's see if she likes it more than when she was 4 months old and I thought it was okay to put her feet into cold ocean water. Yeah, memories...