Friday, October 30, 2009

Dear Edie,

Today you are 2 months old. We haven't yet had your 2 month appointment, but I think you weigh about 11 pounds these days and you certainly seem to be gaining in length as well. I feel like this month you've woken up to the world around you and you can't get enough of it. You've started smiling and you hold your head up most of the time (with only the occasional whiplash inducing head-flop).
You love to be carried around facing out to see the world, to stretch vigorously upon being released from your swaddle in the morning, and when Dad makes funny faces at you. You also enjoy bath time (although you hate being taken out of the bath), naked time, and long walks in the Ergo. You hate the car seat, falling asleep at night, and when we don't give you 100% of our attention, 100% of the time.
One major discovery this week is your hands. Instead of just flailing around, you can swat at things and latch on to my finger if I hold it out a few inches from your hand. This also means that you can stick your entire fist into your mouth, which for some reason you love to do. The other day you even stuck your fingers down your throat and gagged yourself. Hopefully that lesson was learned the first time.

Your primary nickname these days is Shorts after the enthusiastic manner in which you fill your shorts. But we also like to refer to you as the Tiny Dictator or the Little General because that's what you look like when we carry you around facing out in a seated position. And because we basically do whatever you want, whenever you ask.
You have a particularly adorable cry, or so I've been told by all the other Moms in my group. I had no idea this was possible until I started hearing the other babies cry and boy, were those cries NOT cute. Your cry is high and almost musical in its ability to go up and down in pitch (clearly not inherited from me). About 30 minutes into a fuss-fest, your cry fails to be so adorable, but I do sometimes catch myself giggling so hard at your whimpery cry that I can't shush you.

You get tired around 9pm most nights but fight sleep and don't end up going to bed until the 11 o'clock hour. That said, once you finally zonk out, you tend to sleep straight through until 7am so we can't complain much. Almost every night before bed, I lie on the floor with you and we read Goodnight Moon together and I swear that even though you don't understand it, you enjoy reading already.

I'd still describe you as a strong willed baby and I can't wait to see how that manifests itself as you grow. The pediatric nurse that leads my Wednesday Mom group asked me this week how old you were. You were sitting on my lap, facing out (the only way you tolerate being held these days) and surveying the room. When I told her that you were 8 weeks she was surprised because she said you seemed much more alert than the average 8 week old baby. She said she would have guessed you were 12 weeks! I was ridiculously proud of this comment. It's true that you are very alert these days and don't miss much.

Your "friends" this month are Evan, who was due the same week as you but born 9 weeks early and Mae who is only 3 days younger than you. The three of you rocked out to the Michael Jackson movie this week and then we all went to lunch together. Evan and Mae slept through lunch, kindly allowing their Moms to eat and you looked at them like, "Fools, this is the most exciting part!!" and demanded to be bopped while facing out at the restaurant the entire time.

In many ways it feels like time is flying by and while I know I'll miss these days soon enough, I also can't wait for your first holiday season. Thanksgiving will be on Orcas this year, so we get to show you the island very soon. And Christmas is just around the corner, when you might even be sitting up on your own and playing with toys. So many things to look forward to Eeds! You've brought so much to our lives already; but I get the impression you've got even more tricks up your sleeve.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This one's for you Amy

Um, can I get some more time on my test?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Edie is currently taking a nap in her crib!!!! This has NEVER happened and is very exciting. I don't know how to work the baby monitor and Jeff isn't here so I'm hopping in there every 5 minutes (despite the fact that our house is tiny and I could hear her cry from any room AND there's nothing in the crib with her - paranoid much?) and every time I pop in I'm newly impressed that she's still sleeping.

I started going to a PEPS moms group last week. PEPS stands for something like Program for Early Parents Support and is run by an organization that pairs you with other new Moms in your neighborhood; you meet weekly for 2 hours and rotate hosting in your home. The group is led by an experienced Mom without a newborn and despite my initial reaction to the first meeting, I've decided to keep going. Truthfully, I was hesitant to commit when the leader told us we'd have to sing as a group every week. For serious? Singing in front of others is my worst nightmare. But it's only one song each week and I got the distinct impression that our leader kind of sort of hates singing as a group too, but is forced to by the organization. This made me feel a bit better. And in the end, it was nice to meet new people and have a group that meets in the neighb weekly. Plus I still haven't paid the membership fee and no one seems to notice. Every meeting has a specific topic and today's topic was sleep. I've been wanting to try breaking Edie into her crib for ages, but the sleep convo today motivated me to try it just now when she passed out in my arms. This is probably the first nap she's ever had where she wasn't either sleeping on a person or during a car ride.

Just a second, must pop back in to make sure child is still breathing.......

STILL SLEEPING! So pumped. I figure if she gets used to having positive sleep experiences in the crib during the day, the transition to sleeping in her own room during the night will be easier.

And PS to those who kindly commented on my sad sack posts of late - Edie didn't freak out last night AND fell asleep unaided AND slept 7 hours straight. Light at the end of the tunnel, I see you...

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Show Must Go On

Life continues here at the Culver abode. Edie is continuing on her nightly scream fests, but at least her sleeping is getting better (for now). She slept 7 or so hours straight last night which was a nice treat. We've deduced that the evening crying doesn't seem to be related to pain or discomfort so much as boredom. We're wondering if 8 weeks is too early to diagnose ADHD? Joking.

Kind of.

We basically need to mix up what we're doing with her in 5-10 minute intervals to keep the crying from escalating. So where we used to be able to watch some tv together in the evenings while I bounced our happy baby on the yoga ball, now that only works for 5 minutes or so before she's raging pissed. Then we can set her on the floor and dangle toys in her face while she stares raptly for 5 minutes before she gets angry again. Then we'll walk around the house carrying her in her new favorite seated position, facing out and she's happy as a clam. But if I stay in the same room for too long like that, she lets us know by wailing like a banshee - but the banshee imitation stops immediately if I start the house tour again. Pretty sure if it was pain, leaving the living room for the kitchen wouldn't cure it. To be fair to Edie, she is pretty effing cute during the day. She likes sleeping in with me and then she nurses in the bed all cute and snuggly. Once she's full, we dink around in the bed, giggling together until she loses patience and we get ready for the day. During the day, we go to Mom's groups (We now have a second Mom's Group that's neighborhood specific on Tuesdays in addition to First Weeks on Wednesdays), matinees, meet friends for walks or sometimes we just stroll around the neighborhood the two of us. We're hoping that this nightly "chaos" predicts that Edie will finally start holding her head up more easily. She seems a bit slow to hold her head up compared to a lot of the other babies in my groups, and she's fighting really hard to do it without wobbling so much, so maybe that's what all this is about...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Even my fingernails are tired

I guess these things must come in cycles? I was so UP earlier this week, but we must be in a down one today. Weather dashed our plans to walk around the lake this morning and Edie has just been grumped up these last few days off and on. Very unpredictable. Half the day she'll be an angel and then some magical time that's different every day will hit and watch out. The only thing we can find that stops the chaos is carrying her waist height, facing out so that she's in a sitting position with her legs dangling and her back pressed up against your chest. We have to walk around with her like this and she just stares and stares, but the second we stop walking or try to change positions? Oh the crying. And the back arching. And the yelling.

I'm currently sitting at the computer taking a mental health break with the head phones on as loud as they come, listening to old skool emo songs by the Indigo Girls so that I can't hear what's going on in the nursery with Jeff and Edie. I'm pretty sure it involves radio static, but that's all I can handle knowing at this moment. Oh, and the lovely stretches of 7 hour sleeps we were getting for a while there? Out the window. We are back to 3-5 hour sleeps and the cut back is cutting into my ability to laugh it off when she's wailing.

Maurice has the right idea:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Photos

You may recall that two weeks ago, we tried to take a family outing to the Sunday Ballard Market on a Saturday? You may also recall that my inability to determine what day it was wasn't the only barrier to a successful outing. Well, Jeff was apparently feeling brave because he suggested a "take two" of sorts last Sunday and we tried again. This time with much more success. She fussed for a few minutes when being strapped into the Ergo, but settled down long enough for us to walk the stalls, mill around the shops and purchase a loaf of bread from Great Harvest. A pic of Edie and me at the market:
Hilarious photo shoot in which Jeff propped Edie up in our bed like a grown up:
She looks SO much like baby pictures of Jeff in this picture:
Big yawn:
No comment.
Bopping slash sleeping on the yoga ball with Gramma C:Sleeping on her changing table (for some reason this space has good juju and she always relaxes here):
Smiles on her changing table:

Hanging out with Dad (seriously, kills me):

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Camera is Surgically Attached to Jeff's Hand

I'm pretty sure all new parents take this many pictures of their kids, right? It seems a little excessive, but we can't stop ourselves. At least 20 times a day, I yell to Jeff, "Can you bring the camera in here real quick? She's being super cute!" And at least once a day I catch Jeff having an elaborate photo shoot with Edie that wasn't motivated by me.

Edie, sporting some PJs purchased by Aunt Katherine in LA. They're a little too big still- when I woke up in the morning and took her swaddle off, her pants were around her ankles, but the tiny bear on each foot were too cute to wait any longer:

My Mom came down last Thursday afternoon to give me a break and let me run some errands:

Is there anything better than a sleepy, mouth breathing baby snoozing on your chest?
Eeds sleeping her Baby Balboa:
Lounging it up this weekend in her sleep suit (I can't figure out how to rotate the last two pictures, but I bet Jeff will look at this later tonight and be outraged at my lack of skills - in fact if you come back, I bet he'll have logged in and reposted them correctly) :

This hat was so over priced it was retarded, but every time I put it on her I feel a swell of joy so great that I would have paid twice as much if I had to:
I have SO many more pictures to post, but will divide it up and post some tomorrow so as not to overwhelm you. Stay tuned for pictures of our trip to the Ballard Farmers Market, our visit from both(!) Grandmas yesterday and two adorable Jeff-style photo shoots.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

7 Weeks

I had my 6 week post partum check-up on Friday and was reminded of how much I love my OB. She asked me how I was doing and I told her I was actually doing really well. I said, "I think I'm better at being a Mom than I was at being pregnant." She knows better than most how crappy I was at being pregnant. She laughed and responded by telling me that was a good thing, because I was going to spend a hell of a lot more time being a Mom in this life than being pregnant.

I really have come to a peaceful place with Edie lately. She still fusses and it seems like she's just going to be one of those babies that likes to be held and entertained 90% of the time, but we're falling into a routine around here that works for us. Jeff is great and allows me to get out of the house sans baby at least once a week to spend time doing adult activities. Last night, Heidi and I went for sushi (my first taste of raw fish in many moons), walked around UVillage while eating cupcakes and then came home to find Jeff managing just fine with The Grumpster (as I've taken to calling her in the evenings). I feel lucky to be able to be a full time Mom right now AND still enjoy my friends and personal time. It feels like I'm still me, but a me with more responsibilities. And more joy. And strength. Because boy is it corny, but I really have found my strength through this experience. I still look at her sometimes and marvel at the fact that I MADE her. I remind her regularly that I pushed for quite some time to bring her into this world and every time I say it I will confess that I'm newly impressed by my accomplishment.

Today, Edie is 7 weeks old. The time really has flown by; I can't believe that I'll probably be headed back to work in 9 more weeks - my leave is almost half over already! Edie celebrated her 7 week birthday by sleeping 7 and a half hours straight last night. It was pretty awesome. I have no expectation that it's a pattern, but a Mom can hope, right? In the last week, she's slept at least 5 hours solid before waking for her night time feed, but last night was a new record. Right now she's having a relaxing music session with Dad in the nursery. Is it creepy that we're using Leonard Cohen for lullaby music?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Slide Show

Lately, Edie has been making frequent, valiant attempts to hold her own noggin up:

I borrowed a "Hot Sling" from another Mom at First Weeks to see if I liked slings. I loved how low profile this one was, but without any adjustable features, it was just too long for me. After wearing it for 15 minutes, Edie was drooping around my knees and the shoulder would be slipping off. Instead, I bought a ring sling at the suggestion of my sling expert friend, Erianna (hi E!). Here's my little koala bear snoozing in the Hot Sling (I may have pulled her head out a bit for the photo, she wasn't really this smushed up in there, but it was so cute to have her little monkey arm dangling out!):

It's hard to get a photo of us doing her favorite thing without it being a bit blurry. I can't stop bouncing long enough to get a picture without her losing it:
Edie often passes out after hanging out on the The Boob. Her food coma face cracks me up. My little mouth breather:I love the dramatic stretch routine that she does when waking from a nap:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hippo on the loose

And to think Maurice was the one we always worried about leaving unsupervised around the baby.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Into the Sling of Things

I had planned to pair this post with a few pictures of me wearing Edie in a sling, but Jeff hasn't uploaded them, so that will just have to wait.

At the risk of turning into one of those happy, sappy mom-bloggers, might I just say that life this very moment is pretty nice? Edie is snug in the bed next to me and Maurice is snoozing on my lap. Both are snoring gently in our cozy bedroom and it's rainy and windy outside.

On Monday night Edie slept 5 and a half hours consecutively! It was very exciting. Not only that, but she also fell back asleep after that and dozed off and on until 11am. It was pretty great. Then we had a snuggly day of walks in the rain (with my giant golf umbrella) and bouncing on the yoga ball while watching Oprah. At 7, the girls came over and bopped Edie for me while my arms got a rest and my brain got some adult stimulation (the best kind I might add - gossiping about vacation make-outs, dating, pregnancy talk - which reminds me!! Have I mentioned that Darrah is almost 15 weeks pregnant?! SO exciting.).

THEN, last night Edie slept for 6 and half hours straight! I instinctively woke at the usual feeding time of 3:30am, but she was still sleeping soundly. At 5am, when she was still asleep, I gently poked her to make sure she was still alive. She wiggled so I went back to sleep. She didn't wake until 6:30am and then as an added bonus nodded back off after eating and is still sleeping as I type. It's amazing what a difference some extra sleep does to your outlook.

Oh and also, I weighed Edie in at First Weeks today and she's a whopping 10.5 pounds! Chunky monkey alert.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear A-Hole That Vandalized my Car this Weekend,

Seriously?? You broke my back seat window just to steal the Nordstroms bag in the back seat? That's IT? I can't believe you had the nerve to do that RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. Probably while I was up in the middle of the night feeding my brand new baby. Did you know that 3 months ago someone stole my car stereo while I was at work (perhaps you noticed the big gaping hole in the console where a stereo normally goes)? And did you also know that 6 weeks ago someone stole my car and the car seat in it? And then YOU had to come along and shatter my faith in humanity by bashing my window in and stealing the lovely baby shower gift I'd just purchased my friend for her shower today.

I hate you,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chaos before Progress

The nurse that runs my Moms group on Wednesdays is named Ann and she's this super calm, grandmotherly type. This week I mentioned at the group that Edie has started this new, odd habit of flailing around while breastfeeding. She even does it with the bottle now too. It's only been for the last week or so, but while she's eating, she's thrashing around and making noises. She's also been wide awake more often during the day and a little more unpredictable during the evening hours before bed. A few other Mothers with kids the same age as Edie said they've actually been having the same issues, one of them has also been struggling with suddenly unpredictable sleep patterns. Ann reminded us that before babies reach a developmental milestone, there is often chaos in the home. She called it the "chaos before progress theory". She said the week before a baby will roll over or learn to crawl, their sleep schedules, eating, and general fussiness levels can go haywire. Then the following week, they'll do something amazing like roll over for the first time and things will return to normal.

Well, Edie gave us her first "social smile" yesterday! They say babies usually give you their first real smile around week 6, and we're just about there, so this makes sense. Previously we were just getting accidental and gas smiles. But this smile was in response to me smiling big at her and saying her name over and over. She watched me smile and clearly imitated it right back at me. Her smile made me smile big and laugh out loud, which made her smile again. We did this three or four times in a row before it dawned on me to try and get a video. Of course by then she was over it.

Now if only the chaos could fade.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Belated Thank You

I can't thank our friends enough for all the lasagnas, enchiladas, casseroles, soups, salads, muffins, take-out deliveries, and banana breads that have been delivered to our house this last month. In the last 5+ weeks, I've only had to make 2 grocery store trips, and even then just for milk and cereal. I haven't cooked anything more complicated than a bowl of oatmeal since Edie was born and honestly, I don't know how we could have made it without all of your help.

I feel so grateful to have the best of friends and supportive family. It's corny, but Edie has come into this world with the best built-in community ever. Yesterday was a rough day with the Eedster. By the time the girls came over at 7, I was pooped. But the second they swooped in, Edie was taken from my hands and bopped and cooed at until 10pm by her surrogate aunts and I was able to do things like pee, drink a glass of water and eat dinner (granted dinner was a piece (okay 2 pieces) of pie, but whatevs!). Because of them, I was able to recharge and felt myself again by the time they left.

Thankfully, we had a good night last night and today has been great. Edie went down at 11:30 last night and didn't wake up again until 3:45am. She's taken to waking around 3:30 most nights but only for a groggy meal at the boob and at the risk of an overshare, can I tell you how much I love that she has taken to breastfeeding in the side-lying position? This means that I can nod off a bit while she eats and my sleep is only mildly interrupted. After her midnight snack she has taken to falling right back to sleep and not waking again until around 7am. I don't even have to get out of bed! I just plop her into the bed with me for the 3:30 feeding and then plop her back into the cosleeper afterwards. Or, if I'm totally honest, sometimes I keep her snugged up in bed with me for her second snooze. And yes, I'm fully aware that I'm tempting fate by bragging here. In fact, Edie has been napping since 5pm and it's now 8pm, so tonight could very well be a doozy. Hopefully not, because we're aiming for another 10am mom matinee tomorrow.... wish us luck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today was H to the ARD

Edie is just now falling asleep for her first nap of the day and it's 5pm. I thought newborns were supposed to sleep at least 16 hours per day? She has been hyper alert all day, super fussy and needed to be in my arms at all times. I didn't get lunch until 2:30 and I'd only had a piece of toast for breakfast. Thankfully, "girls night" is being resurrected tonight and I'm hosting. This should mean plenty of Aunts to bop Edie so that I can ... I don't know... maybe go to the bathroom? I don't think I've peed yet today.

and PS: how is it that I'm barely able to get a bite in all day, spend all day lifting a 9 and half pound lump of baby over and over, and yet this baby weight is still clinging to my ass like a life raft in rough seas?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Car (and photo catch up)

Edie runs hot and cold with the car. Most of the time she loves the car and falls asleep quickly and easily with the motion and noise, but one out of every 5 trips or so she totally loses it. Sometimes it's because she's hungry and doesn't want to wait the five minutes it will take us to get to our destination and be fed. I'm always telling her that I won't starve her, but it's funny how babies don't seem to really get that, right? My Mom group is in Madison Park and I have to drive through the Arboretum to get there and back. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pull over into one of the many parking lots sprinkled throughout the park and feed the E before we can go on our way. Other times, her car flip outs seem to be totally unexplained; she's recently fed, changed and napped and rejects food and pacifier when offered. Those car trips are SUPER fun.

On Saturday I got a bee in my bonnet about having a "family outing" and convinced Jeff we should go to the Ballard Market and stroll the shops and stands with Edie in the Ergo. Well. We got about five minutes from the house and Edie royally wigged out. We pulled over and I got her out of the car seat and walked the block with her to calm her down. I finally soothed her, frantically hooked her back up into the car seat and Jeff put the peddle to the metal. The calm only lasted a few more minutes and then we repeated the whole scenario. Finally, we looked at each other and decided to throw in the towel and u-turn it for home. Of course as soon as we made the turn, she totally fell asleep. Jeff u-turned it again back in the direction of Ballard. We finally got there and.... guess what? I'm totally retarded because the Ballard Market is on SUNDAYS!!! At that point we were both spent and just turned around and went home with our sleeping baby.

So you can imagine our trepidation while strapping her in the next morning (yesterday) for our first big car trip to Bellingham. But this time we planned ahead a little better. We gave Edie a bath right before we left. She loooves bath time, but usually exhausts herself with a few minutes of hard crying when we pull her out and then falls asleep hard. And it worked! She slept like an angel the first hour and sucked on her pacifier the last 30 minutes. We left her at Grandma and Grandpa B's house (my parents) for some bonding time and hit up the Bagelry for lunch just the two of us. An hour or two later, we swooped back in, picked up Edie (who we were told behaved swimmingly) and then met up with the Culver clan (aunt and uncle, great Aunt and Grandparents) for a visit. Again, Edie continued her angelic behavior and - gasp - even slept the whole way back to Seattle! So I would deem our first big day trip a total success.

And now that you've read my super boring story, I will reward you with many photos.

Can you tell what I'm doing in this picture? I'm using my Hooter Hider! The Hooter Hider is an excellent invention - it's a privacy blanket for breastfeeding in public! I used it at my parents and at my sister-in-laws yesterday. It has a great adjustable strap that goes around the neck and then there's a hoop-like thing at the top that allows you to peek down at your babe and make sure you've got a good latch (and to check if she's just napping instead of eating, as Edie has a tendency to do). Anyways, it worked beautifully and fits easily in the diaper bag (very light weight material). So while this looks like it's just a picture of me, Edie is actually hiding under there enjoying a snack.

Aunt Kathleen with Edie and her cat Sage, who like Maurice, refused to give up his lap spot.

Grandma and Grandpa Culver:Great Aunt Wendy
And since we were apparently a little eager to have lunch by ourselves yesterday, we didn't take any pictures of Edie with Grandma and Grandpa Bruton (although I have no doubt that they documented the visit themselves with about 1000 photos). In fairness, I'm posting this picture of them from their first meeting with Edie:

Jeff likes to come up with creative ways for Edie to spend her "tummy time". The other day I came upstairs to find this:
Some pictures of her marathon nap on Friday night (notice it starts out light and gets dark):

And one more from another nap. I love this outfit but every time I put her in it, she pees all over it, so maybe I'm not getting the hint.