Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm knocking on the nearest wood, but ...

Olivia's sleeping habits have been so great lately! I hope I'm not cursing myself, but it's been happening for about a week now, so I feel sort of safe saying something here. She goes to bed early-ish, usually between 7:30 (rare) and 9:30 (more typical), and she's only getting up a couple of times in the night. Prior to this new schedule, she was resisting going to bed until 11:30 or later and would be up every hour or two and guzzle down five or six bottles. I feel almost ... dare I say rested? now. She's also started stretching out her naps a little bit and getting away from the nap-90-minutes-after-getting-up/5 naps a day thing. On one banner day last week, she took two 1.5 hour naps and a 45-minute nap. I can deal with this sort of schedule. ;) Tonight she went down at 8 p.m. and I actually got to sit and watch an ENTIRE movie with my husband!

I still haven't picked her Halloween costume, mainly because it seems so wrong to fork over $45 for something she'll wear for an hour if that. I might hit one of those resale shops this week and see if they have anything good there.

She's starting to finally get into the solid foods thing. She opens her mouth and pulls the spoon toward her now, and she squawks if I don't feed her fast enough. I fear she might have inherited my love of carbs, though -- she can't get enough oatmeal, but gags and winces her way through stuff like sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas. I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thinking about Halloween costumes already.

It's not even September, but of course all the Halloween displays are out in the stores, and we've already purchased (and quickly consumed) a bag of Brach's mellowcreme pumpkins. Yum.

Halloween this year is absolutely more for me than it is for her. Ok, it's totally for me. She won't know what the holiday is, and definitely won't be able to eat any candy. We'll probably only take her over to my parents' house for trick or treating. But how can I pass up an opportunity for a cute photo shoot?

I've got a poll going to the left -- vote for your favorite, or feel free to suggest a different costume in the comments section here.



Princess Leia (I'm not a big Star Wars person, but something about this costume cracks me up):

Monday, August 25, 2008

from ba ba ba to blah blah blah

Olivia continues to babble away. This weekend she started sticking her tongue out while doing so, which turned her "ba ba ba" into more of a "blah blah blah" sound. I need to get it on video, because it's pretty hysterical. She's really exercising her voice a lot, taking every opportunity to yell, "AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" over and over and over at top volume. Last week while lunching at the Nordstrom cafe with a friend, the hostess came over and mentioned that she could hear Olivia all the way across the restaurant. I think she does it to get people to look at her, because she'll just grin when someone looks her way after she does her fake cough or the loud yell. Tonight she was yelling as we took a walk through the neighborhood -- it was like she was trying to get people to come out of their houses or something. What a riot.

I think I'm going to refrain from writing anything about her sleeping habits, because every time we make a little progress and I say something about it, things end up going downhill fast. For now, I'll just say that things could be worse, but they've also been a little better. ;)

We're having her 6-month pro photos taken tomorrow at the same place that did the 3-month pics. Depending on whether I can pull myself together enough to be presentable, I might try to overlook my hatred of being photographed and duck into a few shots. I have almost no photos of me with Olivia because Dan never takes pictures, and it bums me out. I guess I can at least let the photog take some pictures of us, and then just not order them if I look too hideous. I'm like Chandler on that episode of Friends when he goes for his engagement pictures: he looks normal until the photo is taken, and then he ends up with this forced, fakey smile or bizarre expression every time. See: my driver's license, my Costco membership card, my YMCA membership card ...

Here she is playing with one of her favorite things, a swim diaper with Dora the Explorer on it. Who needs toys?!

And modeling her new tutu:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Olivia said ba ba ba today! This probably isn't big news, but I was excited to hear it. My "What to Expect: The First Year" (subtitle: a million expert ways to worry about your baby) book said that she should be doing that last month. She's very verbal, shrieking and yelling and talking most of the day, but she hadn't strung together any consonants yet.

The new skill must have worn her out, because she's in the middle of a 1.5-hour (so far) nap. It's a good day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First good night in a long time

She went to bed at 9 p.m., woke up around 10 and had a small bottle, woke up again at 10:30 and was able to go back to sleep without being picked up ... and then slept in her crib until 3 a.m.! I'm kicking myself now for not going to bed at 10:30, but I was convinced she'd be awake at any time. She had a bottle at 3 a.m. and then slept in her pack n' play until 6, had another bottle and snoozed with me in bed until 8. I feel somewhat human and well rested right now, which is an odd feeling. Out of the five bottles I took upstairs in the cooler, we had three left this morning. I think that's a new record. If this keeps up, I'll be a really happy woman. Knock on wood. ;)

Monday, August 18, 2008


Olivia really makes us work for laughs. It usually takes us acting our silliest, or accidentally stumbling across something random that she finds amusing (such as me saying "baby! baby! baby!" while bouncing her up and down) to get her to laugh. I think she's a happy baby in general, though she seems to lean more toward being studious/observant rather than happy go lucky.

So today, while wandering around Babies R Us just to get out of the house for a bit, it was amazing to me to hear her laugh in practically every aisle. A picture of a baby on a sign on the endcap? So funny! A Cookie Monster stuffed animal? Uproarious! A three-eyed plush trick-or-treating bucket for Halloween? Total hilarity! It took all the restraint I could muster not to buy everything that she found funny (though I could always go back tomorrow). ;)

She really likes oatmeal these days, and swallows most of what we put in her mouth. Please note that she's managed to get some onto her eyelashes here. She's quite talented at making fabulous messes!

Friday, August 15, 2008

5:39 a.m. Feels like the old days again.

I don't know what's going on, but she's wide awake. I tried the usual feeding her back to sleep trick that has worked every time for months, but she was having none of it: craning her neck to look at daddy, cooing, trying to flip over in my arms, and squirming so much that I finally just gave up and got out of bed. The annoying thing is that at some point in the night I lost my glasses (I sleep with them on most of the time because she wakes up so much - a poor girl's form of LASIK, I guess), so I had to get up and put in my contacts to be able to see.

She's playing on her playmat right now, happy as can be. I'm hoping she gets sleepy soon, because I know at least one person in this house who would like a little more shut-eye.

UPDATE: she went back to sleep at 6:30 and slept in her pack n' play until 8:00. We got up, I ingested a large amount of diet coke, and she was back asleep by 9:30. Woke up at 10:00, I gave her some oatmeal and bananas, and then she got fussy at 11:30. Put her down, and she's been sleeping ever since -- it's almost 1:30 p.m. Unreal. I'm hoping this is just an uncharacteristically long nap and that she's not getting sick.

UPDATE #2: I found my glasses later in her pack n' play. Apparently when I bent over to pick her up, they fell off my face and I didn't even notice. Now that is exhaustion!

Monday, August 11, 2008

6-month ped appointment today

The pediatrician said she had a really good growth spurt between her 4- and 6-month appointments. She weighs 15 pounds, 10 ounces (approx. 45th percentile for weight) and is 28 inches long (98th percentile for height). An online calculator also informed me that her noggin, at 43 cm, is in the 95th percentile. Big girl! He didn't give me a hard time about her sleeping habits or lack thereof, and suggested I try to stretch her feedings out to every 3 hours so that her stomach is really empty and she'll eat more at a time. He'd like to see her eat 6 ounces per feeding at this age, so we'll work on that. Thankfully, he didn't tell me I needed to make her cry it out (not that I would) -- he said she's probably waking up so much because she's hungry.

She demonstrated her feisty side for Dr. Jim, going into total freakout mode when he dared try to look into her ears and nose. She also did her trademark crocodile flip when he attempted to get her on her back so he could listen to her heart and check her diaper area. Good times were had by all! :p She got three shots and her last rotavirus oral vaccine, none of which she enjoyed. Dr. Jim said he predicts she'll be an early crawler based on how well she's sitting up and getting around. It wouldn't surprise me -- she's really trying hard to crawl. Time to start thinking about childproofing, and fast!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

six months old today!

I can't believe she's a half year old. By far, it's been the fastest six months of my life. And probably also the most fun, hardest, exhausting, and rewarding. What a whirlwind!

She's a happy girl ...

sometimes serious ...

very inquisitive ...
and very mischievous!

Happy half birthday to Miss Olivia, a.k.a. baby bundles/bundler/bungles/livvie lumpkin/livvie loo-bear. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

won't be giving her peas again any time soon ...

Oh my. Tonight she gobbled down some oatmeal, a little rice cereal (she seems to like it now; I think the trick is to mix it with water instead of formula), and pears. She still seemed hungry, so I thought it would be a fine time to give her a taste of peas. WRONG-O. She gagged at the first bite but then opened her mouth when I held the spoon up, so I gave her another blob. Big mistake. She gagged again, then yet again, and I knew she was going to blow. Chunks, that is. She promptly barfed all over herself and her high chair, though sort of unceremoniously, and she didn't cry or even act like she knew what happened. If you know me at all, you probably know how emetophobic I am. I was proud that I didn't freak out or get sick myself. I must confess that I did stand up and back away a bit while watching the second gag, though.

The incident sort of reminded me of the time I "helped" my parents by force feeding my sister a bunch of lima beans, which she subsequently spewed all over the coffee table in a technicolor rainbow of foods in various states of digestion (if I'm remembering correctly). Sal? ;)

feeling incompetent today

Sleep, sleep, sleep. I feel like it's all I talk about lately. It probably is! My brain feels mushy from lack of it, and lately I seem to have the uncanny ability to repeat myself without remembering that I've already had that particular discussion with that particular person. Pre-kids, I used to wonder why my mom friends and coworkers talked about their kids' sleeping habits so much. Now I know.

Tonight I picked up
The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program again. My mom bought it for me a few months ago and I barely was able to skim it then. After reading a bit in more detail, I feel like a really incompetent mom and like all of Olivia's sleep issues are all my fault. Apparently you shouldn't feed a drowsy baby because they'll associate food with sleep. There was a study done in Pediatrics where one group of moms was told to feed their babies every time they woke in the middle of the night; the other group could feed the babies once between 10 and midnight, but then tried to stretch out the feeding intervals by alternate soothing techniques (rocking, swinging, etc.). At 8 weeks, all of the babies in the alternate soothing group were sleeping at least 5-hour stretches. The group whose babies were fed every time? Fewer than 25% of those babies had accomplished the same thing. Oh, this sounds so familiar. Gah. Can you guess which group we'd fall into? The other night she was up at least every 2 hours, if not more frequently.

The chapter in the book dedicated to 6 months to 1 year recommends letting a child self-soothe to sleep, i.e., crying it out/CIO. *sigh* I just don't think I have the mental/emotional fortitude to do it. Plus I was just reading on the Dr. Sears website last night, and he says that CIO is damaging to babies because they lose trust that their caregiver will come to them when they're upset. I don't know -- it's all so hard.

So, here are some things I've already screwed up:

* babies 3+ months should be going to bed between 6-8 p.m. [She won't even entertain the idea of sleep until 10 p.m.-midnight.]

* babies her age should be taking 2 or 3 long (2-3 hour) naps per day. [She does 30-min. catnaps every 90 minutes from when she wakes up.]

* She's not on any sort of schedule. [I really need to start making her get up at around the same time every day. Some days she wakes up at 7 a.m.; other days, like today, it's 9:30 a.m.]

* See above re: feeding her during her night wakings. She shouldn't be eating more frequently than about every 4 hours at this age, and I shouldn't be feeding her to help her fall asleep.

At least I keep her fed and bathed and diapered and somewhat happy, right?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hatred slowly changing to acceptance

Olivia seems to be ok with oatmeal now -- she ate the entire portion I made for her this morning (which wasn't more than a tablespoon, but still! This is big news.). I think the trick was mixing it with water instead of formula. The formula made it smell not so appealing and not at all like oatmeal, but with water it smells like something I might eat in a pinch. Sweet potatoes? I think she sort of likes them just a tad. Avocado is making her shudder less, so that's also progress. Tomorrow we start peas. I thought maybe I should try giving her a non-sweet-type veggie and see how that goes. I predict lots of shuddering and gagging, and you know there will be video.

Her second bottom tooth is poking through the surface, and I think she's pretty miserable. She was up every 2 hours the other night, just like a newborn. Last night she wouldn't go to bed until 12:45 a.m. Tonight she cried and fought me and finally fell asleep in my arms, but as soon as I put her in her crib or PNP she'd start wailing. Dan was finally able to get her into her PNP after I gave up. Poor girl. I gave her some Tylenol tonight, so hopefully she'll sleep better.

This weekend, with inspiration/advice from some friends and the Wholesome Baby Food website, I made a few things: avocado, sweet potatoes, peaches, and plums. I steamed or baked or mashed everything, then pureed using my handy stick blender, then froze it all in single portions in ice cube trays. I made a mess of the kitchen, but it was fun! I may have to leave making plums to the baby food experts in the future, though. The juice is super staining and got everywhere, and I got splattered when pureeing.

Off to bed -- I think she'll probably be waking up any minute.