Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thirty One

My birthday was great. We had at least 30 people and 8 kids to the house for a waffle bar brunch. Per usual, we started out with such great intentions of taking photos to document the affair, but got distracted with Edie, socializing, drinking mimosas and making lots and lots of waffles. It wasn't until the next day that I realized I didn't get a single photo of myself just smiling for the camera. Oh well.

Dave and Matt doing sign language. Thanks for working waffle duty Dave!

Baby party USA.

Jessie holding Danny.

Edie tried so hard to stay awake the entire party but finally dozed off in Todd's arms.

Christy, Jessie and Shmitty.

I die laughing every time I look at this photo. This is Edie with her future Aunt Emily. It's like she knows exactly how degrading it is to wear those ears.

My Dad.

Christy with E.


Waffle making station. FYI that is a giant vat of yeasted waffle batter that I made te night before. It was a new recipe and I thought it was great. I'll post the recipe later if you want to try it. We used every last drop of that giant jar and at the end of the day there was literally one sad little waffle uneaten.

Surprise hit of the waffle station was not the Nutella but the orange butter - just whip a stick of butter in the Kitchen Aid with a table spoon of OJ and some orange zest. SO good.

Waffle topping station.



One of the only pictures of me on my birthday and I look like I'm pissed. But I wasn't! It was great fun and I was so happy to see everyone.

Dear Edie,

You are 7 months old today. You hardly seem like a baby any more and while I often get nostalgic looking back at old videos when I see how TINY you were when we first brought you home, I will say that you are more fun than ever these days. This has been a big month for you in many ways.
In the last few weeks you've started babbling with consonants. The most common sounds are "babababa" and "dadada". Your favorite move is to listen carefully to me say "Mamamama" and repeat back "Dadadada". BURN. While driving, you sit in your car seat babbling babababa and then transition seamlessly into a giant raspberry blow. It's pretty funny.

After a three month hiatus from rolling you suddenly cannot be contained. I will leave you laying face up on your quilt to go brush my teeth across the hall and when I come back you will be 2 feet from where I left you, facing in the opposite direction and on your belly. We were starting to think that maybe you'd just skip rolling and move right to crawling so it's fun for us to be proven wrong and get to see you rolling around. As of this week, you can scooch yourself backwards when on your belly, but there hasn't been any forward movement yet, mostly you like to pivot yourself in a full circle looking at everything around you. Sitting used to be your favorite position, but now when we put you down to sit, you immediately bend over to the side and roll onto your belly so that you can move around more. You also love grabbing my pointer fingers and pulling yourself up to stand with them. I fear it won't be long before we have to lower the crib mattress.

Another major development this month has been the beginning of sleep training. I don't want to hurt your feelings but WOW were you the worst sleeper ever. Seriously Edie. Worst ever. Your Dad and I just couldn't keep up with you anymore so we had to make a change. We also instituted a more regimented bedtime routine that starts around 7:15 or 7:30 with naked-roll around-time, pajamas, bottle, book and then bed by 8pm. All of this happens to the tune of our Radiohead Rockabye CD. The first week of sleep training was hard but you now consistently sleep much better than you have in ages. Most nights these days you go down in your crib awake but tired and either don't cry at all or cry for a few minutes and then drop abruptly off to sleep. We've had some wonderful nights in which you then sleep soundly until 6:30am but sometimes you will wake once or twice in the night and cry for a few minutes before falling back asleep.
You seem much happier in the mornings now that we're all getting better sleep. In fact, a few mornings I've come in to find you awake and playing happily (and silently) with your little Taggies lovie that we let you sleep with. Which reminds me - this is the month we started letting you sleep unswaddled. We went cold turkey with the Velcro swaddle blanket and replaced it with your tiny Taggie square and every time I peek in your crib at night, you are soundly asleep and clutching your Taggie with one or both hands. It's ridiculously adorable.

You had your first cold this month. The cold manifested itself in a runny nose that lasted about a week. You seemed completely unaffected by it with no other symptoms, so this was a great relief to us.

You went through a funny phase this month where holding toys (or anything really) over your head was just about the coolest thing ever. Every time we'd hand you something you would very seriously hold it above your head and look at us like, "BEHOLD, I am now dangling this toy over my head."

Another big step this month was that we started feeding you solid foods. Sadly you hated them all. Apples, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, bananas, quinoa, yogurt, peas, mangoes - hated them all. I haven't wanted to wrestle with you over the issue, so I try three bites and after being rejected most of those times, I give up for the night. You did recently take to avocados, so we're hoping that's a new trend. I should point out that by "take to" I mean that you ate 3-4 bites two nights in a row without me having to trick you into opening your mouth. All in good time I suppose. Your Dad keeps reminding me that I won't have to send you off to college with a box of bottles and I suppose he's right.

Oh! And your two bottom teeth came in this month! They both appeared on the same day and can be seen when you giggle now. It didn't seem to bother you much when they broke through so we're really hoping that bodes well for future teeth. Speaking of giggling - you do it ALL the time. You are such a funny baby and you think Dad and I are HILARIOUS (I am documenting this here so that I can remind myself that there was a time when you thought so). Today I had you laughing so hard in Target that strangers walking by had to laugh with us. And you pretty much always give yourself the hiccups when you giggle.

Your Grandma Culver had an astrologer read your chart for us this week and we learned many things about your possible future. Your chart indicates that you will have a strong connection with nature and animals and that you may end up in a healing profession such as counseling or medicine. She also indicated that you would show a passion for the classics - probably in literature, dance or music. More than just about any other chart she'd seen, she saw that the planets had aligned at the exact moment of your birth to indicate that you have luck on your side; guardians are watching over you she said. She also said that you might end up the lead singer of a progressive rock band that repurposes classical instruments, so who knows! The sky is the limit Eedster.

Love,
Mom

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Date Night Woot Woot

Jeff and I are going out to dinner tonight - alone! Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Javi are coming to baby sit Edie tonight so that we can get out for an early birthday dinner. Because did I mention that tomorrow is my birthday? Well it is.

Us in Belize, Sept '08. Dinner tonight may not be as relaxing as an exotic vacation, but it's as close as we'll get for a while:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Cheerio Incident

I love food. And eating. I especially like eating the food (as opposed to just admiring it from a distance). I even sought out a career that allowed me to spend time getting paid to pick out food for other people. So you can imagine my disappointment when the time came to feed Edie food other than formula or breastmilk and she didn't like it.

When I tell people that Edie doesn't like food, they often ask, "How can you tell?" To which I respond, "Because she makes a horrid face and after one bite (which she always spits out) she typically won't open her mouth again and turns her face away when she sees the spoon coming". Not subtle my child, not subtle. Since starting her on solids about a month ago, she has rejected sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, mango, yogurt, bananas, and homemade quinoa rice cereal. The most popular item was bananas, but even that she seemed to accept as more of a concession to make me feel better. She certainly didn't enjoy them. Here she is eating said bananas:
SO serious.

On Monday we went out to dinner with another family . They have a daughter that is 6 days older than Edie. When we sat down to dinner, the Mom pulled out a bag of Cheerios and starting feeding them to her daughter who happily accepted them like a baby bird. I was shocked. Edie won't even let me put a spoonful of watered down bananas in her mouth and this kid is munching on Cheerios?! The Mom suggested that maybe Edie just didn't want soupy food, maybe she wanted something with a little more texture. Something in me knew it was a bad idea, but I was buoyed by the look of glee on this other baby's face while happily eating solids. So I gave Edie a Cheerio. She mulled it over while it slimed around in her mouth, looking mostly grossed out. Then she must have tried to swallow it. And it made her vomit. Like, a lot. I caught it all in my hand. Did I mention we were out to dinner with another family? In public? Thankfully these other people also have a child (two in fact) and so their reaction was to grab handfuls of napkins and throw them at me rather than be totally grossed out.

So the point of this story is not just to tell you that Edie hates food. Or to gross you out by telling you about barf. It is to tell you that after The Cheerio Incident I stopped trying to feed Edie for a few days. But tonight, family came to Seattle and made us dinner. Avocado was in the dinner, so on a whim I asked if we could save a piece to try and feed Edie. I pureed it with a spoon and added a bunch of formula to water it down. And Edie not only ate it, but actually opened her mouth for it. MULTIPLE TIMES. Could it be that this Ghandi-style food strike is coming to an end?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Memory Lane

I can't remember how long ago (4 years? 3?) I took a weekend trip with The Girls to Eliza Island in the San Juans. About 2 months ago Amy emailed us all asking if we still had the photos from this trip. I didn't reply. But it wasn't because I didn't care! It was because I couldn't find them. But I found them tonight! While looking for something else, I came upon the photos from our weekend on the island. And they made me feel all nostalgic. One day, maybe not this summer, but one day, we'll do it again - possibly even with babies in tow. Can't wait.







this sock= inside joke that's still funny to me today.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

I know I said

That the last Ferber sleep post was The Last, but I guess I lied. Because I feel the need to tell you that Edie has gone to bed two nights running WITHOUT CRYING. I repeat (but in low caps) - no crying. We are stunned. Not only that, but last night she went down without a peep and then slept all night without crying (until 6am this morning when she decided she'd had enough of the whole sleeping peacefully business).

I think we are currently crossing every single finger in the hopes that she doesn't wake up in the night tonight either. Probably too much to ask, but who knows.

On a non-sleep note, Edie has started the most adorable habit this week of babbling with consonants. By this I mean that instead of just making random noises, she now sounds like she's saying something. In particular, she really loves saying Dadadadada. I keep saying, "NO - Mamamama" but she always just looks at me and repeats "Dadadadada". Jeff thinks it's hilarious. I think it's the first of many major burns that Edie plans to send my way in the next 18 years. Karma for the time I yelled, "You don't know ANYTHING about me!!" to my Mom when I was 14.

UPDATE: It is now Sunday morning and Edie slept from 7:50pm until 6:15am without a peep. I will note that at 4:15am I checked on her and she was all smashed up in the corner and on her belly, but I just pulled her out of the corner a bit and twisted her head further to the side for easy breathing and left her. At 6:15 she woke up and couldn't get off her belly. I went in and found her doing push ups trying to get onto her back. I flipped her over, she moaned for about 3 minutes and fell back asleep until 7:00am. AND she woke up super happy. Best sleep weekend ever.

Funny or mean?

Edie drops her favorite toys while sitting in her highchair about 345536456 times while we try to eat dinner. She then stares longingly at them from above. Funny or mean that instead of giving them back to her, sometimes we take pictures?


Funny or mean to dress your baby in a weird French fortune teller type outfit made out of napkins?

What if we add a crystal ball?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flip Friday Returns!

So Flip Friday took a brief hiatus, but we're trying to get it back together. Here is a video of me playing a new game with Edie that Jeff taught her. The only disadvantage to this game? She can now pull her hat off with lightening speed and expects applause for it.

video

Ferber sleep update #last

Two nights ago was a bit of a crap shoot. Edie took more like 10 minutes to cry herself to sleep and it bummed me out after only 3 minutes the night before. She also cried a lot in the night. Never long enough to warrant checking in on her, but enough to be upsetting and feel like we'd taken a step back. I also woke up a few times to wonder whether she'd rolled onto her belly again... basically not a very fun night.

But last night Edie slept from 8pm until 5:50am without crying once. I mean, she cried when we put her to bed for 10 minutes, but after that she slept soundly until basically 6am. Definitely back on track and hopeful. I'm realizing that my dream of instant, unwavering results is not going to happen, but we are definitely on the course to better sleep.

Also, today was SO BEAUTIFUL. So sunny and warm. Everyone in the whole world was at Greenlake today when I met up with Lauren and her son Danny as well as Sarah and her daughter Chloe to take a walk. We took a stroller parade around the lake and then hit up Starbucks for a post walk treat (as well as to change and feed babies). While there, a brigade of young toothpick thin girls walked up with fancy pants strollers and kids in tow. They looked about 22 and were wearing Juicy Couture and sporting the latest in (blond) hair and makeup. Clearly nannies. Lauren was curious what they charged and so approached them, "Hi, are you guys nannies?" Response: "Um, no?" (pretend that was said like Alicia Silverstone from Clueless). Lauren's response - "Oh... WOW."

DUDE - those girls were MOMS! I was waiting on the corner for Lauren and she came barreling towards me saying, "HURRY, we have to get out of here!" We laughed all the way to our cars.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thank you

Thank you Wendy for the plant money! Wendy read my sad sack post last week about wanting to spend money on things for my pots and sent me an early birthday present. I dragged Jeff to Swanson's nursery and he refused to take Edie out of her carseat. Point of contention, but I took the path of least resistance and let her stay. As you can tell, she was obviously really upset.

Me in the background picking out plants. Edie in the foreground, chilling.

End results: Ranunculus and anemone flowers, succulents, purple sage, dwarf curry (smells just like Indian food!), and chives:



And some strawberries:

Swansons may be my favorite place in Seattle. At least top 5. It's like being in a candy store - I get so overwhelmed by things I want that I sometimes leave with nothing at all. If I can't have them all, I'd rather have nothing. I still have a few more pots to fill but these make me happy every time I walk by them on my way to the front door. I can't wait to pick these strawberries (maybe even feed them to Edie!) and snip chives this summer.

Ferber sleep update #4 - Hmmm

Well, things went a little... weird last night.

We put Edie to bed a little earlier last night in an attempt to slowly get her back to her old bedtime, pre-daylight savings time. We were supposed to wait 12 minutes before going in to check on her the first time. 12 minutes is a long time and I was nervous. But she cried for 3 minutes. I repeat. Only 3 minutes of crying before falling asleep. I can still hardly believe it.

But the middle of the night was a little different. She cried for a few seconds at 1:30am, but the 3:30 wake-up was a bit of a debacle. She cried off and on for a long time. She'd stop for like 3 whole minutes, which would make me think she was done. Then she'd ramp right back up. Finally she stopped at 11 minutes and 30 seconds; right before I was going in to check. But then my curiosity got the better of me and I went in to see if she had fallen asleep okay. And I found her laying in the corner of the crib, facing the wrong way and face down. She was sleeping soundly, but she's never rolled onto her belly in her sleep before. She's slept on her side pretty regularly, but this was the first time she'd rolled all the way over at night. I realized that this was probably why she'd been crying for so long. It had startled her to roll over and she probably was having a hard time getting back onto her back. Eventually she'd given up and gone back to sleep. I was torn about whether to roll her back over or not at that point. She was soundly back asleep. But it looked sketchy, like she could suffocate like that - her face seemed kind of mashed into the mattress. I made Jeff come and look and he decided to flip her over. So that woke her up, pissed her off and started her crying all over again. She cried on and off for 12 more minutes. Then I think she even cried for a while after that. It was REALLY hard not to go to her more than the once. Then I think she cried for a while again at 5am, but she either fell back asleep in less than 12 minutes or I fell asleep first - which I find hard to believe, but who knows.

So the question is - what do we do if this happens again? I've heard that eventually babies will roll themselves to their bellies to sleep and at this point you don't have to worry about the whole sleeping on their backs thing. As long as you put them down in the first place on their backs, that's all that matters. I think Ann also said that the first few times they do this, it might freak them out, but they'll figure it out soon. So in the meantime, what should we do when she rolls to her belly and cries? We aren't supposed to go in before the allotted time check, so how will we even know if this has happened? Should we have left her sleeping on her belly all smushed up like that? Ugh.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Perks

Um, yes Amy that robe is from the Fairmont Olympic - good catch. But we didn't steal it! One of the perks of being an event planner is that sales reps from fancy hotels send you free stuff all the time. When my hotel contacts found out I was pregnant, I got tons of baby stuff - including this robe.

Ferber sleep update #3 - Third time is the charm

Dear Dr. Ferber,

THANK YOU.

Love,
Jill

Edie cried for two minutes last night and then fell silent. Jeff and I both stared at each other, totally baffled. Then she started crying again. Jeff and I both made faces as if to say, "Okay, that's my girl." Because Edie doesn't give up that easily. It was almost more confusing than exciting when she went quiet after only 2 minutes. She cried for 10 minutes at which point Jeff checked on her. After he left the room she literally cried for 30 seconds before falling completely asleep for the night. AND SHE DID NOT GET UP UNTIL 6:30AM. She cried quietly for a minute around 3am, but it never escalated and didn't require us to check on her. It's working peoples, it's working!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ferber sleep update #2

Totally unrelated but adorable photo

Things are still going pretty well with this whole sleep training business. I won't pretend it's fun to hear Edie crying in her room and at one point I had the thought that it should really be called Screaming It Out (SIO) instead of Crying It Out, but all in all, I'm still encouraged.

We put Edie down a bit later than normal last night due to daylight savings time. I kissed her goodnight, turned out the light and left the room. The crying began immediately. And escalated. It lasted 5 minutes at which point Jeff went in to check on her (ie enrage her further - "That's nice that you're here to comfort me, so PICK ME THE EFF UP!!!!) but then she only cried for 7 more minutes before falling silent. We didn't even have to do the 10 minute check, let alone the 12 minute one. I waited through about 12 minutes of silence before tip toeing into her room to find her sleeping like Jesus on the cross. Apparently crying for 12 minutes makes babies sleep, not die. She slept soundly until about 3:10am at which point she cried long enough for one check, but not two. Ditto for 5am, then we were up for the day at 6:15am. Not as much total sleep as I'd like, and she tried to take a monster nap at 8:15 to compensate, but still, SO much better than most nights over the last few months.

We haven't been letting her cry for naps yet, too many midday activities this week, including my Mom babysitting most of the day today so that I could work my last day in the office(!) but perhaps next week once she's mastered the nighttime business? We shall see.

The beast needs feeding, signing off...

Have I mentioned

That Edie's two bottom teeth broke through on Friday night? Well, they did. Two tiny little daggers that now make hand gumming a rather painful exercise.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ferber sleep update #1

Well, things went less horrible than I'd expected last night. In fact I'd say they went pretty well.

For the last week or so we've been using Ferber's chart to gradually eliminate all midnight feedings from Edie's schedule. It worked well. We went from 2 midnight feedings of about 3 ounces or so each to Friday night only feeding her one, one ounce serving. So last night we felt comfortable letting her go all night without food. Since we've also gone to almost exclusive bottle feeding lately, we can rest easy knowing she's consumed enough food during the day to sleep all night without eating. Yesterday she drank 30 ounces of formula/breastmilk (plus some mashed bananas!) so we knew she was set for the night. This eased my mind and meant I wouldn't worry that she was crying for food.

We put her down last night at 8:30pm (about 30 minutes later than normal). I kissed her goodnight, turned out the light and left the room. We followed the 3-5-10 minute schedule that Ferber recommends for the first night. Jeff checked on her after 3 minutes of crying, then she cried for 5 more minutes - so Jeff checked again. After that second check, she fell asleep after about 5 more minutes of crying. This meant we didn't have to do the 10 minute check. Success! We were expecting so much more crying that it felt like a huge relief. She woke up a few times during the early portion of the night but only cried for a minute or two each time before falling back asleep on her own. At 1:30am or so, she cried for 3 minutes, so Jeff went in to check on her. She fell back asleep after that on her own less than 5 minutes later so no second check was required. The 4:30am check was a little less easy, but I did the 3-5-10 checks and then she fell asleep shortly before I was going to have to do my second 10-minute check. We had to wake her up at 8am (actually 7am pre-daylight savings time) so that we could set her sleep clock properly for tonight.

Tonight we'll do it again with longer breaks between checking. Ferber recommends 5-7-12 for night two, so this is what we'll stick to. I have to say that the relief was not really in the amount of sleep we all got, but rather that we didn't have to go in every single time she cried the second it started. There was no worrying about getting her back to sleep on the yoga ball, making bottles in the dark, or putting her back down in the crib like 5 bajillion times before it stuck. We never once had to pick her up, but we were able to go in enough to make sure she was fine. It was a vast improvement from Friday night, which found us awake and physically putting her back to sleep on the yoga ball 6 different times. Wish us luck that things go as well tonight.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh my god, oh my god you guys

Heidi took me to see Legally Blonde the Musical today. Have I mentioned that I'm a total musical theatre dork? Don't judge me please. I can't help it. This was an early birthday present and two thumbs up Heidi.

Heidi and I took a musical theatre dance class a few years ago put on by the 5th Avenue and it was maybe the best exercise ever. We learned legit dance numbers from real musicals and it was hard. But SO FUN. It basically let me relive my young hopes and dreams of being Maria from West Side Story. Or maybe just her bitchy sister. Or even a chorus girl. Ah well... I guess I'll just have to be content with forcing Edie into becoming a Broadway performer so that I can live out my dreams through her. Kidding! Kind of.

Anyways, the post title is from the musical so don't get too excited that I have something "oh my god-worthy" to report. My only news is that crying to sleep begins tonight. Gulp. Wish us luck. Will report back tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Playgroup+Mimosa=Cheer Up

Sorry the blog has taken a turn in the direction of melancholia lately. Things have been a bit more unpleasant than expected lately, but they're looking up. And thanks to all of you who have expressed concern and/or sent well wishes our way since my sad sack posts.

Jeff got his stitches out yesterday and is looking like a new man - or at least like his former self. For whatever reason Edie slept 7 and a half hours straight last night before waking for a feeding, so that was also pretty great. We've slowly started some Ferberizing, but I plan to write a post about that issue later this weekend.

Thursday, if you recall, is our playgroup day. Last week we had to bail due to our colds, so I was especially looking forward to yesterday and it did not disappoint. I'm not ashamed to tell you that we each sipped one mimosa at the start of group and maybe it was just the idea of a mimosa (one of my favorite beverages of all time) that cheered me up, but suddenly the world wasn't looking quite so tiring. We spent about 4 hours just watching the kids interact, ate lunch together, and spoke rather frankly about post partum and baby issues. It was EXACTLY what I needed and I got the impression that everyone else felt the same.

Unfortunately, we seem to have lost Emme from our playgroup as her Mom is working more these days, but I am happy to announce that we have welcomed two new members into the group. Let me introduce Sarah and her daughter Chloe, who is 4 months old:
And next I'd like you to meet Lauren and her son Danny, who is 6 months old:
And can you also say hello to Danny's knees please?
Don't you just want to gobble them up? I do.

Anyways, since this is our first official playgroup with all members in attendance, I took excessive photos to document the occasion. Because really, can you have too many pictures of a pile of babies?