30 August 2005

stuff we love, volume 5

Pampers Swaddlers really are the shit. Pun most definitely intended. Tried the BabyDry version of Pampers and they are icky. Nothing icky may touch the backside of my bunny. Swaddlers are soft and smell good. Usually.

I swear the first diaper of morning always weighs more than Oliver. How does it do that and not ooze pee all over the place? 24 out of 25 poops are nicely contained. I assumed poo bombs went off all over the place just about every day. This is no doubt the consequence of reading far too many baby blogs. Pampers keep the poo where it is supposed to be. Who knew?!

I do have one teensy issue with Pampers. They don't make a giant box of Swaddlers in size 2. How hard is this???? They make the giant box in size 1 and size 1-2, but not size 2, which Oliver has been wearing for at least a month, and which he will likely continue to wear for a good while longer. It's like they lured me in with the 1s and 1-2s in the giant box, then just when I was hooked, we're sent back to buying the smaller packages and paying more. Hoodwinked, I say....we've been HOODWINKED!

And what's up with size 1-2 anyway? I have heard stories of Pampers customer care reps trying to convince people who need size 2 to buy 1-2 because they are the same. THEY ARE SMALLER! THEY DO NOT FIT! So put the size 2s in the giant box already. Sheesh.

I haven't even checked if Cruisers are available in size 3, in the giant box. I couldn't bear the disappointment, at least not until I get more sleep.

28 August 2005

the long hello

It's probably just a case of bad timing but I've been struggling with Oliver's transition to the on-campus childcare center. On the face of it, the Welcoming Process, or Inserimento, part of the Reggio Emilia approach, appears to be designed for people who don't have jobs. And if I didn't have a job, I wouldn't need childcare, right? It also fails to take into consideration that the last two weeks of August are by far the most frantic for staff at a university. I have trusted my friends who have lived through it that the process is worthwhile and one I will come to value. I hope to soon believe they are right.

Part of my problem is that Oliver has been at another center since mid-June. For many of the other children and parents, the Welcoming Process is their first experience with a childcare center and a gentle transition is needed in order for everyone to get comfortable. However, since they don't accept new children at any other time of the year, it is clear many of us had to find other solutions because, as I previously mentioned, we have jobs. We also dropped Oliver off the first day at his other center and fetched him 8 hours later without any ill effects. He didn't notice our departure, and while he was happy to see us later in the day, it was clear he would have happily stayed there a while longer.

Last week Oliver was permitted to be at his new center a maximum of 4 hours per day, with Mum, Dad, or both present. Surprisingly, at least to me, there were few instances where I felt parents were tripping over each other. The rest of the day he was at his other center. Five days of bouncing back and forth does not seem to have been good for him. He had difficulty settling in both places. Nothing catastrophic, just some fussiness associated with a schedule change (not that he was on much of a schedule anyway).

This week he can be at the new center up to 6 hours per day, without parents. Our contract with the other center expires on Tuesday. Since he's bonded so well with the caregivers and other children, we are going to continue the half days in each place so that he can spend a little more time with people he's very comfortable with, while hopefully getting more comfortable at the new place too.

For the remainder of the week he will be spending as much time as possible at the new center, and the rest of the day with me, in my office, during the most hectic time of the year. To their credit, the educators at the new center noticed we were having an issue with nursing associated with the transition and told me Oliver can spend full days if we need to do that, in order to help him get established on the new schedule, one which will include my being able to visit and nurse, probably once a day at lunchtime. This feature alone should probably make me willing to put up with just about anything, but why have a blog if I can't whine a little?

I am trying to learn more about the Reggio approach and have even joined an internet discussion list on the topic. I won't post, of course, but I hope to gain greater insight by viewing it from the perspective of the educators. So far, it has been interesting reading.

I know I have made the right choice, if only from looking around the rooms where Oliver will be spending his time. The most striking contrast is that so many things (mirrors, baskets of toys and books, windows) are down at his level instead of up high at adult eye level. The proximity to our offices and the reduced amount of traffic we will be dealing with on our commute is a nice bonus. I'll also be walking at least two round trips from my office to the center per day, which should help my waistline.

I have enjoyed the smallness of his other center, with just six babies (compared with 20 at the new center) and three caregivers, and I worry a bit about Oliver getting "lost" in the crowd, but change is inevitable. I should probably just get used to it.

23 August 2005

practically famous

Check out this post on DaddyTypes. Greg is referring to our Dutch pediatrician, thank you very much. Okay, so he's a G.P., not a pediatrician, but close enough! We're honored to be mentioned. And no, we haven't left Oliver and gone out for coffee. We haven't even put him one of the dog crates yet, unlike Duncan.

22 August 2005

the growth spurt continues

Oliver continues to grow at an amazing rate. He is now about 25" long (one more inch and he's outgrown his carseat) and very nearly 16 pounds. That's a gain of 2 pounds in about 25 days.

What I am finding frustrating is the knowledge I am making enough milk, as we learned while on vacation, yet I am starting to need to add formula to bottles we take to day care because I cannot pump enough. While I feel strongly that day care is a good thing for Oliver and for me, I am growing ever-resentful, knowing I could meet his nutritional needs, but my job prevents it. I have viewed the need to supplement as something of a personal defeat, which is no doubt very silly, but it has helped to stay determined to keep going on this BFAR journey. I suppose this is one tangle I'm not going to extricate myself from for a few more months and I should just get used to this feeling.

And about those carseats....just when I thought I was settled on the Britax Marathon, they go and introduce the Decathlon, which appears to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. The available patterns are not nearly as cool as the Marathon but it is allegedly a nice upgrade. Alas, I can't get it in the design I like best of the meager offerings (Onyx) until later in September. I'm not sure Oliver can hold off growing that long but the design I saw at BRU is hideous. Good thing Oliver isn't yet a slave to fashion. I will hold out hope for Britax to offer covers as they do for the Marathon.

19 August 2005

not sleeping - let me count the ways

Sleeping on vacation? HA! Oliver found MANY different ways to not sleep while on vacation. The first complication was my not being able to move him to a pack 'n play without waking him up. My arms are not long enough put him in without dropping him the last few inches. (That's my theory anyway....I didn't actually drop him.) I can do it in a PnP with a bassinet but he exceeds the weight limit these days. So the solution was to remove the mattress and put it on the floor. Worked reasonably well, though I had trouble not jostling him too much there as well. And I had to worry about him moving around too much. He didn't move far, but the fear remained that I would go into the room and not be able to find him.

Then there was the night he got so upset he hyperventilated, as I did as a child pretty much at the drop of a hat. That's one apple that could have fallen a tad further from the tree. What set him off remains a mystery but it took over an hour of lying on the floor with him, nursing, patting, anything I thought he would find comforting before he was even breathing normally. He "celebrated" that night by pooping in the middle of the night (a first!) and continuing to poop five more times that day (definitely a record).

His newest trick in the realm of "not sleeping" is to wake up exactly one hour after being put down. This started on vacation and persists now that we are back home. Sometimes the problem is a burp he couldn't get out before I put him down. Sometimes not. I may never figure that one out. I've decided that's okay. Yeah. Right.

He did manage to sleep in the car a bit. Sometimes. It seemed like when the other occupants of the vehicle were relaxed, he was too. He picks up on tension a little too well, I think, especially given how tightly wound his mum can be.

Just to prove he does sleep peacefully, sometimes, here's a pic taken by the aforementioned visiting Daboo during our visit to the ridiculously cool Eric Carle Museum. Even if it is in AmHerst, MA, we liked it anyway.

18 August 2005

first fever

We got the first "your baby has a fever" call from daycare yesterday. Not nearly as horrible as I expected our first sick kid call to be. Likely the result of shots the day before, the fever was coming down on its own before we got Oliver home and we never saw him acting at all sick.

He absolutely loves Tylenol so that part was easy. We're still not entirely sure how the temporal artery scanner works, but CD and I got basically the same readings so we're either doing it right, or doing it wrong in exactly the same way.

After an all-too-normal night of sleeping for intervals of between 90 and 150 minutes, his temp is back where it should be today.

16 August 2005

4 month checkup - growing like a weed

I will get to posting about last week's trip (promise!) but I wanted to give a quick update. Oliver had his 4 month well-baby checkup today, and three more shots. The doc's scale has him at 16 pounds, but our scale tonight said 15 pounds, 9 ounces. That's 4 ounces more than yesterday (so we may see a dip tomorrow) and just about a pound in the last 10 days. Since he started gaining weight on day 4 of life, he is still averaging one ounce per day. As for length, he's just about 25 inches long.

The shots were well, shots. Oliver handles them better than his mum. He was smiling again by the time I had him dressed. If you've met Oliver I'm sure you don't find that surprising.

Oliver celebrated all this by rolling over from his tummy to his back when we got home. He's very close to rolling from back to tummy. He gets about 80% then rolls back. Soon. Very soon.

14 August 2005

Home Again

Oliver and I are just back from a little vacation to New England. First plane ride, first long car ride, more relatives than we can count including a special guest star from the Daboo side of the family, the works. And finally, lots of photos! We even broke down and let the professionals at PicturePeople work their magic, with frighteningly good results.

We'll be doing some retro-blogging about the trip over the next few days. Needless to say, there will be a post about sleep. For those of you keeping score at home, I'll end the suspense over Oliver's weight....he gained 10.5 ounces during the 8 day trip and is over 15 pounds now. Say goodbye to the bassinet in the Pack 'n Play (and hello to the exersaucer now that he's 4 months old and holding his head up perfectly).

Here's my favorite photo from the trip, of those I have seen thus far. Various friends and relatives took photos and will be sharing. This one was taken by my niece Jami. The person holding Oliver is my brother Jinx. Oliver is doing a much better job of keeping track of his thumb lately. He still misplaces it occasionally, but not like a few weeks ago. Ah, progress.

05 August 2005

Better be a growth spurt

Oliver continues to be the baby who will not sleep. I was ready to sell him to the circus last night. He was up every 90 minutes or so. At 6am he conked out until I woke him up at 8:30. At least he had the good sense to greet me with that goofy toothless grin that turns me to mush.

Once again we're taking larger bottles to daycare, and he's gaining weight well, leading me to conclude we're in a growth spurt. I hope last night was just a case of Oliver placing his order for more milk.

I hope that being outdoors a bit more over the next few days will lead to better naps and better nighttime sleep. It is abundantly clear to me why sleep deprivation is considered a form of torture. A friend suggested a little rubber mallet therapy. That sounds surprisingly appealing right now.

Rats die after 14-16 days without sleep. If this isn't a growth spurt, and one that's over soon, this could be my last post....

Stuff we love, volume 4

I really can't say enough good things about Hanna Andersson clothes. They wear like iron and fit so well. My only gripe, other than the prices, is they seem to have more clothes for girls than for boys but that's probably just my perception. I don't have the brain power (see next post) to count the items and know for sure.

Finding good deals on Hannas on ebay is my new obsession, though I hope not to go the route of the woman obsessed with Gymboree clothes. I get giddy just thinking about a trip to the Hanna outlet next week. For anyone planning a bunch of kids, buy Hannas.

Adult Hannas are pretty cool too. I could not have lived without my black maternity skirt. And at last, Hanna makes clothes for the vertically challenged. She finally realized we're not all tall Scandinavians.

01 August 2005

WBW 2005

Welcome to World Breastfeeding Week 2005. I know you've all been waiting for this.... For me it is probably coming just in time. I need some encouragement after we had some BF trauma last night. For the first time, Oliver refused to nurse. He was hungry and screaming, yet refused to latch. Both of us were crying. It was absolutely horrible. CD to the rescue though, remaining calm as wife and baby melted down simultaneously. We collaborated on giving him a couple of bottles and finally got him to sleep.

I'm sure my nerves were raw from having spent two and a half hours getting him down for a nap earlier in the day, only to have him sleep 10 minutes. I don't know that we will ever solve the weekend napping problem. Oliver did nap while I was off doing the Chicken Run, so it seems to only be a problem when I am around. I'd best not think on that too long, or I'll surely be back to thoughts of what a terrible mommy I am.

The good news is he nursed just fine at midnight, 3:45am, and 6:30am. And though he lost two ounces from Saturday to Sunday, the net weight gain for the week was 7.5 ounces (up from 4.5 ounces last week and 5 ounces the week before).

I will celebrate WBW by testing out a hands-free pumping device made from hair elastics. No film at 11, I promise.