Tuesday, June 29, 2010

still going strong (well, maybe not strong) with one nap a day

I guess it's really one-nap-a-day now. She took only one nap today from 12-1pm. I wish it had been longer, so did Hannah, since Hannah told me that Carolina was so tired she looked like she might sleep for four hours! But, nope, just one.

She was rubbing her eyes by the time 5.30 rolled around. I figured she would, so I got her through dinner and cut short bathtime since bathtime was mostly her sitting turning the pages of her bath book and rubbing her eyes. She was asleep for good by 6.30 after she (barely) finished her bottle.

I got some advice that I'm going to start with this week: I'll keep her busy and go outside during the morning and have her home by around 11/12pm and then get her ready for a nap. Maybe once it's an expected thing that she naps at around the same time each day, like before, that she'll take a longer nap. Lord knows I can't encourage that little one to nap longer if she's not interested.

Tomorrow I am going out again and leaving her with the babysitter. Today she was tired and, I'm pretty sure, teething again. So she was very "mommy mommy" and cried a lot when I left. That bloody molar will just not come through, but it's pushed up the gum/skin as far as it'll go before breaking through. And everything that can be shoved in the back of her mouth to gnaw on, is being employed to do so :)

So I'll start to take Carolina to the farmer's market at Union Square during the week as part of a morning time adventure-adventure! Maybe we'll go part way with daddy to work in the morning. Of course that means we'll be squished in with the commuters and she'll be in the baby carrier instead of the stroller, but I can make it work. Alternatively we could spend an inordinate amount of time on the bus as it snail's pace gets across the Queensboro Bridge during rush hour(s), and more likely get a seat, but that just seems like a waste of time.

Maybe we can start meeting friends for breakfast instead of lunch. This could be the start of a whole new thing. But I'll start easy and keep her around here at first until we both get the hang of what we're doing -- and that means SWINGS AT THE PARK. Man she loves those swings. They've totally trumped the slide and climbing up (and down) the stairs.

Still not much walking. She drags her left leg under her as her right leg is "walking" in a bent position. She's taken, probably, about 8 steps total over the past week. Of course I can't find my camera that takes video -- and I haven't bought the new iPhone that has video capability yet. So it might just be that I miss videotaping, well who uses tape anymore, the first real walking. I guess that's not terrible. It's not like anyone had their first steps videoed before the previous generation anyway. :)

Should be interesting...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Naps in transition

Since the first weekend in June, she's started to perodically take only one nap a day. When it's one, it's never at the same time or for the same amount. And from all the yawning and eye rubbing once she's up, I can assure you it's not restful enough. However she plays and smiles and might need to go to sleep 1/2 hr early.

The only consistent thing about one nap days is that we are doing something she's interested in staying up for, and usually, there are more people around. The last 3 days, the first of which was checkup/shots day, she's only done one nap. Saturday was pool day at grandpa's and then yesterday, I guess, Papa watching world cup matches was it.

This morning I was prepared for another long morning and when she started to whine after Papa left for work, I took her to her room with the bottle and chupon. Figured she'd get full and relax and then maybe more playing. Nope. Fell right asleep.

So I've stopped making plans with Carolina and started to get her a sitter if I need to go somewhere. This way she can nap, or not, and I can still do my stuff. I'm very glad she likes Hannah and let's her put her to nap. When Hannah gets a full time job and/or leaves for grad school, I'll have to get another sitter. We have one now but she's not always available as she is already in grad school.

Anyway. It's nap time and with it being 90 degrees and humid, I should rest up before we head out there for a few errands. And sweat. A lot.

Oh, we finally got a few independent steps on video. Still not walking alone much but the odd one or two steps happen like every other day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

12 month check up, updates

So the poor kid had 2 immunizations and they took 2 vials of blood. Small vials but she still wailed with the most intensity I've heard to date. Both when they took the blood from her hand vein and when she was given both immunizations.

On the upside, she went a whole day with only one nap at about 3.30 until just before 5. I'm being sarcastic about that being her upside.  The upside to mommy was that she didn't scream for an hour afterward like she did when she was much younger. She was in the baby ergo and fell asleep on me, which was nice. And then got to watch 3 episodes of Dora throughout the afternoon and early evening. She enjoyed that unusual pleasure of zombie TV time.

She did, however, grow!

She's now: 30" long, 18.4 lbs and 18" head circumference.


They wanted to give her the chicken pox vaccination. I was surprised that there is one, and then remembered oh yeah there IS one. And then said no. I was thinking about how much pain she was likely to be in today and then to give her chicken pox (low dose or not) on top of that just seemed unnecessary. My mom, an ex-elementary school teacher, tells me that she MUST have the chicken pox vaccination before attending public school. What? I thought that it'd be okay if she just got it like everyone else did before the vaccine. I guess not.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, especially since I don't know anyone who has gotten badly sick or died from chicken pox. But then again, I'm sure there's a reason for this. We have a few years to decide...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First steps

Last night, after we came back from the park, Carolina took her first 2-3 steps. She stood up herself, just outside the kitchen in the hallway and walked! On her 3rd step she quickly got down and started crawling toward the apartment door.

She had taken her first half step last Friday when Ismael had come home from work very early.

For all I know she's been doing this for weeks and we only just noticed. But I think I've seen all the walking she's done.

Oops, gotta run. She's up from her afternoon nap. Time to get to the park for the swings!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A year later, things are good

During the first 11 or so months of Carolina's life, when she had the hiccups it meant that we needed to get her to sleep IMMEDIATELY. That she was over-stimulated and needed a break. Around month 11 that changed to just being a bit overwhelmed, and sometimes just having hiccups. I've been so conditioned to act quickly when she starts that I have to remind myself when she's just gotten up from a nap that if she has hiccups, she just has hiccups.

She's talking more, and by talking I mean making more noises. There are some new ones and I can definitely tell when she means her father [dah dah or bah bah] and Dora [doh-dah]. She says "yum yum" when she's hungry and when she just feels like having that sound roll around her mouth. She still loves blueberries more than anything else, and has learned how to push food out of her mouth with her tongue so that I know when she's done eating because the last spoonful in is being shoved out. Sometimes she will get the food out of her mouth with her fingers and then give it to me. Fun stuff.

Her handprints are all over our computer monitor, I'm not sure her father has noticed since they have been there for a good few days and he's used it every night.

She's gotten used to having a babysitter come at least once a week, which is nice for me so that I feel less guilty. She's not crying when I leave. In fact, she pretty much ignored me this last time because she knows Hannah so well and was glad to see her. Phew!

Naps are still twice a day but sometimes the morning one gets pushed 30-40 minutes later or is only about 45 minutes. I'm beginning to look forward to the day there is only one nap. It's kind of a bummer since right now we can go out during "lunch time" to see people, and when it's one-nap-a-day that's when the nap will be. So mornings and late afternoon will be the new outing times.  I'm still wondering when her bedtime will be more like 8pm.

I realize that to someone without a baby, the following probably doesn't make much sense but for Carolina it's tried and true: If she is on a "late schedule", which means she either got up later or her morning nap is later than usual (and/or she slept over 2 hours), and then her afternoon is later (and/or she sleeps for over 1.5 hours), she still needs to be in bed around 7pm; no later than 7.30pm. One might think that because she's slept a lot and is on the 'late shift' that she could stay up later. But no, she really can't.

I was looking at photos from 2007 and noticed one where we are all at dinner in Vallarta with the families and our then-one-month-old niece is in her stroller napping at the dinner table. Mind you, dinner in Mexico is like 8pm or 9pm. My sister-in-law looks a bit stressed in the photos but mostly really good. It wasn't like that for us, meaning for me and Carolina. There is no way in hell I could have taken her out like that, even though in the beginning I was expecting I could. She just doesn't roll that way.

But I got to say, my kid is totally awesome when she's well rested. She's funny, happy, relaxed, and sweet.

She's even a bit clever, having figured out that if she cries -- especially in public -- I'm more likely to give her back whatever it is I just took away. I'm trying my best to be flexible about giving in, but there are some things that I just won't. Crocodile tears in public or not.

When Brasil was playing North Korea the other day in the World Cup, when North Korea scored Carolina was watching with me. She heard them say "Gooooooal!" and the voices got excited. She started to clap. It was really funny and cute. She was clapping that North Korea got a goal.  While walking down the street today with her in her stroller, there were two teenage boys in front of us listening to music. One of them started to clap a bit and slapping his hand on his leg. She started to clap with them. Again, super cute and made me laugh.

She still hasn't started to walk on her own yet, but she's getting close. She is a quick walker if we hold her hands and she sometimes "crawls" upright with one leg under her and the other going like she's going to stand up but then doesn't. I call it her 'crab walk'. ha!

Next week is her 12 month checkup, even though she'll be nearly 13 months. So update on her weight and length to come!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Being humbled by my child

I was talking with another mom of a boy a little older than Carolina. We found out, quickly, that we had exceptionally similar experiences of becoming a new mother and how our influence (or not) seemed to bear little affect to our newborns. We discovered we both had "not a good sleeper". Upon this realization, sometime around 9 months, we both gave up. And then realized that was around the time things started to change.

In a sense, we gave up trying to control the baby and listening to EVERYONE's opinions about what magic trick they used to get their child to sleep well. Yeah, we both had the same verbally aggressive reaction to that time of our lives, and laughed about it pretty heartily.

It was summed up (politely) as: That's wonderful your child is accommodating and will sleep for you. I'm certain you feel proud and superior for it. Now, on yer bike...

Really, what we realized was that our children have their own personalities and that has WAY more to do with what the baby is going to be like than anything we could have done (or not done). It was only when we stopped trying to DO something, that we got any peace.

It still stings and we both find ourselves offering advice to mothers of younger babies, but it's mostly in the frame of "I tried this, and this and this. Nothing worked. Then he/she turned X months and boom. So just hang in there, good luck, and feel free to cry if it makes you feel better. Just trust that it'll pass, and know it'll probably take longer than you want. Something else taxing will take its place, and something new unexpected will bloom, but the peace or satisfaction in your mind will eventually happen."

What's humbling about it is that, as a mother, I wasn't as influential as I had once thought I'd be. Or rather, I'm not influential in the ways and means I thought I'd be.

Perhaps, that's going to prove to be even more influential later. That I know I have to trust this baby to lead the way.

PS Stroller nap training is like the sleep problem. She's decided that she'll sleep for a bit, if she's able to relax, in the baby carrier. By the time she's great at sleeping anywhere, it'll be time for a true umbrella stroller or she'll be walking everywhere with me. Either way, I've given up on trying to 'train' her. I just do what I have to do during the day(s) and if she naps - great, but if she's a pain - ok *sigh* and we move on.

PS I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but on a return trip from Toronto, while working at Organic, I sat next to a mother with her newborn. She was very "mother earth" type and was telling me about breastfeeding and how once she learned to give in to the baby's schedule and stop fighting and trying to make the baby fit into her schedule, everything was much more peaceful. I knew during that flight that this kind of kooky woman was telling me something I'd remember forever. It's a conversation I run through my head sometimes daily. I thought at the time it was very insightful and that she was right. I just didn't really understand it in the way I do now.