Moments Here and There

What I will remember from these days is the Sunday morning cuddling, all three of us in bed together, awake but rubbing sleep from our eyes. All of us taking turns smiling and stretching and Laurel cooing in response to our good mornings.

I will remember her fast asleep in the Moby Wrap, fingers in her mouth, warm and snug against my chest. Strolling through the park or the grocery store, no matter where I am, I take my time and go slowly. I will remember her waking up suddenly when there is a loud noise, only momentarily frightened until she catches my eye, breathes in my scent, and she remembers where she is and drifts off again.

I will remember the way that she kicks her skinny naked legs when I change her diaper. Strong legs, she is constantly pushing against anything that brushes her feet, pushing herself up my body when I hold her. Stiff as a board when I try to prop her on my knee to burp her.

I will remember both of us falling asleep in the big chair in her room at 3 am, the way her body melts into a deeply relaxed state when I nurse her, except for her hands, which she balls into tight little fists and holds against her face. I will remember looking down at the fuzzy softness of her baby hair, the way her ears are exactly like mine. Reading Good Night, Moon every single night, and whispering hush when I turn out the lights.

Will I remember my meals always getting cold before I can eat them? Too fast showers, and spit up on the shoulder of my last clean shirt? Numbing fatigue and fuzzy thoughts. I doubt it...the second she flashes one of her ear to ear grins, I think only of how much I love her, that's she's the most beautiful thing in the world, and that I can't wait to see what she does next.


Daddy Time


Laurel at almost 12 weeks

She'll be 12 weeks on Friday and is changing so much. She can hold on to rattles and shake them around. She loves sucking on her hand. She has graduated to the "facing out" position in the Baby Bjorn, and she's so curious about the world, she always wants to be someplace where she can look around. She smiles a lot, and recently learned to yell, which sounds very different from her cries. We are having so much fun with her.


Laurel's First Yoga Class

Outside the womb, that is. I went to yoga all the time when I was pregnant. Yesterday we hit up the "Mommy and Me" yoga class at Schoolhouse Yoga.

This was like no other yoga class I have ever been to. Usually I go to yoga for the quiet. But introduce a few newborns, a couple of crawling infants and a crew of toddlers, and "quiet" is the least descriptive word possible.

The class is two parts. The first part is for the "mommies" and theoretically, your little one is supposed to lay next to you on the mat, while you do Sun Salutations over her. This was only moderately successful, as Laurel preferred to be in my arms nursing for at least half of that part. She did seem to get a brief kick out of me doing a series of planks over her. The second part of the class had positions for moms and babies to do together. This involved holding Laurel and doing a lot of squatting, which she liked a lot, and I think it was a good workout for me, which I am in desperate need of.

The funniest part was at the end, when all the moms chanted a brief "om". Every single child in that room was lulled into peaceful silence...except Laurel. Her lip quivered and then she went into a full-on wail. It was kind of hilarious.



Laurel's been sleeping well for a week now. She seems to stay asleep between 3 and 6 hour stretches from 8pm to 8am. I've been bringing her into my bed early in the morning, but for the most part, she sleeps in her crib.

Now the thing about baby sleep is that people get very superstitious about it. When your kid starts sleeping after a particularly rough patch of not sleeping, you begin to over analyze every little thing you might have done differently to evoke this magical new trance that has fallen over your little one. I did a bunch of things on purpose, like cut back on dairy and work really hard on getting her to take long, daytime naps. I started a bedtime routine where we just hang out in dim lights for about an hour before I want her to fall asleep. I still play with her, but do everything quietly. We read books and nurse and listen to quiet music, and I make sure that she's really warm. Mark still swears by the swaddle, but she likes to suck on her fingers now, so I tried putting her in her sleep sack. We also introduced a "lovey" which is basically a little stuffed animal that is supposed to comfort your child in your absence. We use this little stuffed mushroom that Matt and Loren gave Laurel, basically because it's small and has no buttons or anything that could smother or choke her. I hold the mushroom when I feed her and tuck it in my shirt so it smells like me. When I checked on her last night, she was holding onto the mushroom with one hand and sucking on her other hand.

But who knows what triggered Laurel's sudden change in attitude about sleep, it could be any one of those things, or it could be all of them.

Or it could be none of them, and this is just a new developmental stage. Who knows? But the superstitions come into play and I'm afraid to stop doing any of the above things!


What will they think of next?

Laurel usually rides around in a baby wrap or carrier when we go out. Up until now, I've been tucking her inside my coat, and she stays nice and toasty warm. However, she's getting a little bigger now, so I've been thinking about either buying a bigger coat, or inventing some kind of cover to zip her into. Right now I rig up a cover with blankets, but that's kind of cumbersome. I don't like to dress her in a coat inside the wrap, because she gets too hot. I discovered that somebody already had this problem and invented a solution! The picture is of the Peekaru, which is basically a fleece vest designed to fit right over the baby carrier. How cool is that? Now, I'm trying to decide if it's worth the price tag.


I'm going to totally jinx myself, but...

I can't help it. I have to tell you that Laurel has slept the last two nights, just like the babies in the books. Of course, she doesn't sleep the whole night long, but I have no problem getting up to feed her, if she agrees to go back to sleep when she's done. Anyway, I have been really working hard to make sure she gets good, long, restful naps during the day, which is what my book, The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, said would improve night-time sleep. And so it has, thus far.

Already 10 weeks old, Laurel is very much alert and into looking around the world when she is awake. She likes to be held upright and peer over our shoulders to look at cars going by. She's getting very vocal, and seems to be learning to control her voice a little bit...sounds besides "cry" come out. She also can kind of use her hands to knock her favorite toy around, although she can't really grab it. She has mastered the art of sucking on them though, so there's always slobber all over the place!

My absolute favorite thing is when she wakes up and sees me and a big smile rolls across her face, as if she is genuinely surprised and glad to see me. She does it practically every single time. I also think it's funny how she covers her eyes with her hands when she nurses. I love that she really looks at the pictures when I read her a book, and how she smiles and kicks her legs when I turn on the monkey mobile. Happy 10 week birthday, Laurel!


Two Month Check Up

Parents, you know the two month check up means shots. The first time you hold your little baby down as she smiles lovingly up at your face...until she is stabbed in the thigh with a needle. And then there are two more. This is one more way that parenting has surprised me...I totally cried when Laurel got her shots, although, admittedly, not as hard as Laurel did. I have never seen Laurel howl like this. Well, maybe the night before we discovered the soothing powers of the hair dryer. But it was pretty bad. Beet red, and gasping for air, she made the loudest yell she could. Props to the nurse, who did the whole thing quickly.

Laurel has an outgoing personality. She lets us know when she needs a diaper change - which is usually about 3 seconds after she peed. She wails when she has gas. She weeps when she is tired. And then of course there are the happy noises - something that sounds almost like laughing when she looks at her monkeys or lion toys, coos when she is smiling at one of us.

A long walk home in the snow helped us both feel better, and we have successfully crossed another milestone.




Nuff Said


Christmases Present and Past

While I was messing around on Flickr today, I discovered some photos from Christmas 2005. I know some of you will especially appreciate this picture of the original Norine.

Phipps Flower Show

Is there some family resemblance in our Laurel Norine? I think so....

I like to smile


You asked for it...baby's first Christmas


Happy New Year!

The New York Times featured Tucson, AZ in their 36 Hours In...series, which brought back some vivid memories of driving back to Phoenix, AZ on the (I)10, in the middle of the night. It's a smooth, straight, flat road, and we spent many a night driving back home from a show at the Rialto or Hotel Congress. We saw some really great acts while we lived out there, Tucson gets a lot of shows. I remember special occasions at Cafe Poca Cosa, which had the best chocolate mousse, and $30 sangria, which we ordered every time Lance was with us, and always complained about when we got the check.

I'm up just as late these days sometimes...but not with a beer in my hand, listening to live music. Instead I'm staring at Laurel, as I down glass after glass of water (breastfeeding makes you really thirsty), wondering if she will ever stop eating. I feed her whenever she seems hungry, for as long as she wants. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I think this baby-led eating is the right choice for us. But every now and again, I just want to go to sleep. Or be by myself for a while. Then I start googling dangerous topics like "how to get your baby on a schedule". While I am a firm believer that children take some comfort in predictability, trying to bend the will of a babe to fit your desired schedule results only in frustration on both your parts.

Laurel is very, very awake right now. I would love for her to go to sleep, but as M pointed out, that will only end in tears for all involved parties. He is sending me to bed, and I will drift off in a few minutes, listening to the sound of him playing with Laurel and Rosie downstairs.