Friday, August 24, 2012

Oh, and did I mention the hand? How could that have escaped mention here?

 I don't want to jinx it, so I won't give you the details of our sleep schedule last night. All I'll say is that it was much, much better than it has been for the past two weeks. And I'm hoping for more of the same.

I was intrigued by Stephanie's mention of milk sensitivity. Someone else mentioned that too, but in relation to the acne on his face. This lady called it "milk rash". The thought of my baby being allergic or sensitive to milk makes my head spin. I hate soy formula. HATE. We are also huge fans of the dairy industry and their products in this household. I suppose I will have to research options and talk to the doctor. *Sigh*

It is the end of a rather stressful week...the first full week back to babysitting with my sleep schedule all screwed up. Interestingly, adding an infant to the mix has not been hard at all...except for the fact that I'm sleep-deprived, everything else is basically the same. I think it gets easier as the other kids get older.

Babyhood this time around is less hectic, but maybe that's because I'm taking it day-by-day and not getting overly concerned about his milestones. I couldn't wait for Olivia to (fill-in-the-blank). With Marty, I'm kind of just taking it as it comes. It's nice.

I'm also not putting nearly as much pressure on myself to get things done. So the baby thank-you notes are several weeks in the making. So we have eaten soup out of a can more than once this week. So Olivia's bathtub is so dirty that she has had a "stand-up-bath" every day for the last week. We are all still alive and relatively clean and well-fed. It is OK.

Speaking of Olivia's stand-up-bath...there's another reason that she's doing that instead of, say, showering (which would be an even easier way to avoid bathing in a dirty tub). She managed to fracture a finger and jam another one at Local Theme Park last Saturday. It is in a splint until next Tuesday, when they will put a cast on it for a couple of weeks. (Luckily, she injured her left hand, the non-dominant one, or we'd be in big trouble.)

I have a feeling that if she were, say, twenty years old, they would just tape her fingers together and tell her to keep them dry. Instead, they are giving her a full cast, likely because if they don't she will continue to use it and damage it further. Because there's no stopping this kid.

Example: Olivia does this Spiderman hanging trick off of the rope that hangs from our playset. She holds the rope and hangs upside down with her feet touching above her on the rope. Her playmate learned how to do it and was showing her the other day. Not to be outdone, she did the trick too...with one hand.

Kid is going to have a freakishly strong right hand when this whole thing is over.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

That is IT! Sleep training starts TONIGHT!!

This is getting a little ridiculous. I am so tired. SO tired. I even got a nap yesterday! Still so tired.

So. Marty has decided that he must be held while awake. He will let you put him down, but only if you stay close and make faces at him. And if I put him in the carrier, he falls asleep. Thus thwarting my attempts to be all baby-wise and manipulate his schedule so that he sleeps at night. AS IF HE WILL EVER SLEEP AT NIGHT, OMG!

I know the sleep training basics. Eat, awake, sleep, repeat. OK. He has no problem with the pattern as long as he is fed every three hours on the nose, is then held for awake time, and is laid down on his tummy.* Unless he has to poop. And then he will squirm and fuss until it happens and after the fact until you clean him up because seriously...boy hates sitting in his own filth. I think I'd be with him there.

Because I have other children demanding attention here, I often have to sit him down and let him *gasp* cry it out. I am ok with that. Unfortunately, we haven't been comfortable doing this at night. He sleeps in a room next door to his sister. And we can't afford to let him wake up his sister. Sleep-deprived Olivia spells disaster for all of us.

Last night, I was at the end of my rope. The very end, friends. He fell asleep around 10 p.m. We put him down. At 12:45 a.m., he was up crying for his meal. I fed him. He produced a very full poopy diaper. I cleaned him up. His belly was full. He was clean and dry. Time to go back to bed.

Oh, no. He wasn't having that. He's not really one to "play", but he did want to look around and coo for awhile. That would be fine if he'd do it alone. But no. You, the mommy-person, must sit around and watch me stare at the ceiling fan for at least 45 minutes or I will scream my head off. Oh, yes, I will.

So yes, he did. In the bassinet, in the (air-conditioned and ventilated) closet. And then I turned the monitor down. And we all slept happily ever after until 5:45 a.m. Except for Marty. He probably screamed for 15 minutes, passed out until 3:45, woke up hungry, screamed until he was exhausted, and then repeated the cycle an indefinite number of times until I woke up on my own and checked the monitor.

And you know what? I felt really bad about it when I woke up. And then I went to pick him up and he stopped crying immediately and looked at me like, "oh, there you are. I'm good now." Stinker.

Good thing he's so darned cute.

And also, one month old today. He looks ready to take on anyone who challenges his right to dominate the household schedule. OK, buddy. Let's go.

*Yes, he now sleeps on his tummy. I think it's ok because last Saturday, he rolled himself over for the first time. Just shy of four weeks old. I put him on his tummy while I did the dishes. He screamed (of course) because I dared to put him down at all. All of a sudden, he stopped screaming. I looked over and he was there, lying on his back with a stunned look on his face, like he couldn't figure out how he ended up on his back. It was hilarious. And then I put him back on his tummy to see if he'd do it again. He did! Little guy has some strong arms!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The boss

I was going to post today about the new boss in town, who has me so sleep deprived that I feel perpetually slap-happy and on the verge of tears. He's a sweet little boss who likes to snuggle but becomes fearsome if you dare to put him down at all, ever, if he is not totally asleep.

But I don't have time to post such a thing because he just fell totally asleep. While the other kids are also napping. This should probably be investigated as a genuine miracle. But I'm too tired to research it. I'm going to go take a nap myself while the boss isn't looking.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I was awakened only twice by the prince last night, which is less than normal. But at the second feeding, Marty cried and struggled over a bowel movement and delayed my getting back to bed by about half an hour. Which was unfortunate, since the babysitting kids started back today, forcing me to actually get up at a scheduled time.

But I feel OK. Strangely, somewhat well rested.

This babyhood is so different than the first. Part of it is due to the differences in personality. Part of it is due to the fact that Martin figured out the difference between day and night a lot earlier than Olivia did. Part of it is due to the fact that we have experience and know better what to expect.

But most of it, I think, is timing.

Having a new baby in July is a lot different from having a new baby in November, y'all. Way different.

The sun is out a lot. That goes a long way toward reducing anxiety. We are not trapped inside for weeks at a time. There was that awful heat wave, but even then we could tolerate some evening outdoor time. And at this time of year we are at a MUCH lower risk of baby contracting a billion types of cold and flu viruses. That helps a lot.

Marty has decided that four ounces is just not enough for his tiny tummy, so we are moving to six for some feedings, especially before bed. I'm sure that's why I was only awakened twice last night. But, friends, he's less than four weeks old! Is it normal for a not-quite-4-week-old to be taking 6 oz per feeding?

I think we may have a linebacker on our hands. An awfully cute one.
 With big eyes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New normal starts tomorrow

Everything around here is moving at a snail's pace lately. That, of course, is life with an infant. You just get started on something and he wakes up and demands to eat. NOW.

The challenge this time around isn't really with the baby. He is so laid back, except when he wants to eat. He can sleep through noise and movement and everything. He just can't sleep through that gnawing hunger. Which is manageable.

The challenge is keeping the very excited and very excitable 4-year-old from doing bodily harm to her baby brother. Not on purpose of course. But she is just so rough! I am spending more time and energy supervising her interactions with Marty than I'm spending on actually caring for Marty.

So. School starts tomorrow. I start babysitting on Thursday. I had been dreading both of these things because they mean a schedule and getting up at an early hour (not easy when you are up at night with baby).

But after three weeks of desperately trying to explain to Olivia (unsuccessfully) that she cannot flop Martin around like one of her dolls, I am MORE THAN READY for school and other kids. School means she is productively occupied in a place other than home for three days a week. Babysitting means that she has other kids to distract her while she's home the other two days. Who cares if they are all going to destroy my well-ordered house in about 3.5 minutes? At least the baby will be left alone! I hope.

So, on with the next phase of our year. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Behind the name

Last night was rough. Rain finally came to our drought-ridden area, but it came in a loud and flashy way. Olivia has developed a severe phobia of lightning. Also, she was terrorized in the car last night by a flesh-eating moth (actually, a normal moth, but try convincing Olivia of that), so she had residual nightmares from that. So between the storm, the nightmares and Marty's need to eat, I got about four hours of sleep in fits and starts. I am functioning on coffee and the hope that we will all get to nap today since Olivia will need one after her horrendous night of sleep. It will happen, right?

Today's topic: the baby's name.

From the beginning (like, before Olivia), we had chosen Roderick for a boy's middle name. It is Joe's grampa's name. Grampa just turned 96 and no one in the family has yet honored him with a namesake, so we decided to do it.

For the first name, we wanted a name that was traditional but uncommon. I was hoping he would have a name that was unique among his peers. The very last thing I wanted was for him to be identified by his color... as in, "Which Jacob? Oh, the black one." Plus, I like unique names. Olivia notwithstanding.

And we also thought it would be neat to name him after a black saint. After coming up with a list of names, "Martin" was Joe's favorite, after Martin de Porres. I wasn't yet sold on the name, so I researched his story.

I learned that Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru and was mixed race. He was a close friend of St. Rose of Lima (who is Olivia's patron saint...Olivia Rose). He is listed as the patron saint of people of mixed race and those seeking interracial harmony, among other things.

Something about the story just struck a cord with me. After a few days of testing it out in my mind, "Martin" grew on me. So, "Martin Roderick" he became. I most often call him Marty. Olivia insists "his name is MARTIN." Either way, it works.

Here is a picture of Olivia singing her brother to sleep after his bottle this morning. And now I am going to go wash bottles. And nap. If I'm lucky.