Friday, February 23, 2007

the huge payoff of dissociated eating and sleeping

This morning, I nursed her before going to work. Set the alarm for 6 and 6:30 AM (to nurse her on each side). By the time she was nursing on the second side, though I was very sleepy, she was wide awake. Thought I might be doomed to another day like Wednesday, when I left home with her getting fussy. When I put her in the Pack 'n Play next to our bed, she was still quite active. I put her on her belly. She flipped over on her back, was kicking around, and moving quite a bit. By the time I had washed my face, brushed my hair, and had breakfast, she was fast asleep. Isabella was able to soothe herself back to sleep. Woo hoo! Left home for work with two sleeping people. Mission accomplished.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cooking dinner for new parents

Isabella and I went over to a former student and his wife's home. Their newborn is five or six weeks old. Nathan bought all the ingredients I e-mailed Maribel: frozen vegetables, chicken breast, soy sauce, garlic, rice. When I got there, Isabella decided she wanted Mommy to hold her. Nathan tried to hold her, and she wasn't having any of that. So, I strapped her in the Baby Bjorn. Didn't quite feel comfortable chopping raw chicken breast with her strapped to me.

Maribel was cutting the chicken. She looked exhausted. I asked Nathan if he'd mind chopping the chicken while I whisked Maribel and baby Elizabeth away to do baby stuff and talk about breastfeeding. I hardly qualify as a breastfeeding expert, but I showed and passed on the little I know. When we were done nursing our respective little ones, I made my way back downstairs and started cooking. I cooked an Asian vegetable with chicken stirfry. My intention was to make a huge amount, so they would have food ready-made, at their disposal. I brought one of my big frying pans/skillets and also used one of their pots. Filled both vessels with vegetables and chicken. Steamed rice in their rice cooker.

The food turned out well. The new mommy was famished. So, I suggested that the Daddy help get the Mommy fed while she was nursing little baby.

Left the family pretty content. Yay!

oh, come on, you know you want to laugh; it's okay, i did, in the end

I went out to lunch with a friend today, at Sweet Temptations. We had a lovely lunch. Isabella was good when we had our soups. But, once our entrees arrived, she decided she had had enough of the car seat. My friend offered to hold her while I ate. But, seeing how she was still eating herself, I first took Isabella in my lap. I sat her on my right leg. All seemed well.

Then I heard a noise. We both heard it. She had laid one in her diaper. That was alright. I'd go change her diaper pretty soon. Apparently I had no clue just what had happened, until . . .

Some warm, wet stuff went trickling down my right leg. It was a warm day today, so I was wearing shorts and T-shirt. Get this, Isabella managed to poop through her onesie, the jeans she was wearing, on to my right leg, all the way down on to the carpet at the restaurant. We checked the weight of the diaper to make sure she didn't have diarrhea. Nope, just a runny breast-fed poopy diaper. Luckily I was wearing flip flops, and not sneakers. Wiping the poop off my flip flops was easier than sneakers would have been. She laid a super huge poop. My company and I laughed it off. That's the life of a mom!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

great (sigh), avoid having a feeding be a part of the night-time routine

I think I'm already doing pretty well with this. There is a separation between when she eats and when she sleeps at night. But, according to an e-mail I got from babycenter.com/, when the baby is five months old, I should be decreasing the amount I feed her around bedtime:

Avoid having a feeding be part of your baby's bedtime routine. This is so your baby doesn't equate food with sleep. If he awakens in the middle of the night, as humans normally do for a brief moment or two, he may expect a bottle or breast to lull him back to bed. If feeding already is part of your pre-bed plan, start feeding him earlier in the routine and do other things, like a giving him a bath, before bed. Gradually decrease the amount offered at bedtime and eventually discontinue the feeding altogether.


This is a project to work on gradually, I suppose. Gradually, I can try to nurse her earlier and give her less to eat. We'll see.

progress report on nap training

Isabella doesn't have any problems sleeping through the night. In fact, she's been sleeping through the night since I went to D.C. for an interview, December 27, 2006. When I get her ready for bed-time at night, however, I no longer spend long periods of time comforting her and staying with her. Her night-time bed-time routine is: get a feeding, walk her and burp her, read her a story, put on some classical music, and down she goes. She usually falls asleep between ten and twenty minutes of putting her down. Sometimes she'll fuss a little bit.

The day-time napping has required more work. Efforts to sleep train her started a little over a week ago. How is it going? Well, the first time I tried this, she cried for an hour but slept for 45 minutes. Sounds heartless and it hurt me to hear her cry so much and so long. But, since then, getting her to sleep has been easier. I haven't been successful everyday in getting her to nap several times a day. But, sometimes she'll take two short naps for me. Today, this afternoon, she took an hour and a half nap, only fussing ten to twenty minutes after putting her down, before falling asleep.

Believe it or not, I think I am beginning to discern the initial pre-sleeping cry from the I-don't-want-to-nap but want-Mommy-to-play-with-me cries.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

some belly to belly, mommy-daughter quality time

2007-2-16

2007-2-16

We love our belly to belly mommy-daughter time.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Isabella is 5 months old today!

2007-2-19

2007-2-19

2007-2-19

Little munchkin has been in the world for five months, as of today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Awkward bath stage

2007-2-12

This is probably the last time Isabella is getting a bath in the kitchen sink. Didn't use the hospital tub for this bath, given that she's too big for it. Haven't used the infant tub, yet, because she seems too small for it. But, looks like we'll have to use it anyways. She was slipping and sliding way too easily in the sink. Scared Mommy a bit too much.

Isabella grabbing her foot

2007-2-5

This is the first time I've noticed Isabella grabbing her foot. Fun. Now, I'm waiting for the moment she has enough motor skills to stick a foot into her mouth.

Isabella on the tummy-time-mat

2007-1-31

2007-1-31

Here's our sweet baby, engaging with the stuff on the Baby Einstein mat. I hadn't put her on it for awhile. But, this is the first time on the mat, where she can see the stuff on it and engage with some of it!

Look at how high she can hold her head!

2007-1-30

You all already know that she can hold her head up, while on her belly. But, this is impressive. This was the first time I saw her holding her head up so high. She wanted to look at Mommy!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sleep training begins, could have been worse today

This entry's for my sister. Troy and I have begun sleep training for our little one. As Tenny suggested, I'm starting with sleep training in the night time. Once we've gotten that under our belt, I shall begin day-time sleep-training for naps. Did the night-time bed-time routine: fed her, burped her, read her a story, changed her diaper and clothes. Then, into the Pack 'n Play she went. And I walked away. Troy and I watched whatever episodes of Smallville we could find. Scream she did, but only for fifteen to thirty minutes. Hey, considering the fact that I know someone who had to endure over two hours of crying the first night, we faired pretty well. I felt really bad when I heard her cry. Soon, though, hopefully she'll learn to soothe herself to sleep and fall asleep with relative ease.

I've read and I've heard that picking her up every time she cries, when we're trying to put her down to sleep (after we're sure she's well-fed, she has a clean diaper, and she's properly burped), will teach her that we will always rescue her and comfort her. Another possibility is that if we pick her up every now and again, she won't be able to predict our behavior. In light of that, she may cry more, hoping that that time will be one of the times we'll pick her up and comfort her. I have to pray hard for strength in doing sleep training. I'm a weak mommy and don't want baby to cry. I know the payoff is better for everyone involved, especially the little munchkin.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

what happened after I encouraged a new mommy to breastfeed

Troy and I went to the home of one of my former students. He and his wife had a baby just a few weeks ago. We made them some lunch when we arrived at their place. When I spoke with the new mommy about baby stuff, she told me that she was doing a mixture of breastfeeding and formula feeding. I wanted to do what I could to encourage her in her breastfeeding efforts without sounding like a Nazi about the matter. I affirmed her as a mommy for what she has done so far, and I said she is a great mommy whatever decisions she has and will make. But, I let her know that friends of mine that are pediatricians or lactation consultants have told me that people who start off doing both oftentimes stop the breastfeeding entirely. Then, I told her that breastfeeding will get easier. . . Anyways, got an e-mail from her today, thanking me for encouragements. She is nearly breastfeeding exclusively. Her milk supply has increased as she has been taking baby to the breast more. Success! Yayyyyyyyyy.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Better treatment carrying a baby than when I was pregnant

I don't know if this experience is unique to me or if this is a trademark here in the Valley. But, I feel like, for the most part, people weren't any more accomodating to me when I was pregnant, even when I was gi-normous. For instance, during various parts in my third trimester, when Troy and I were shopping, I was standing in line to go to the bathroom. I had read that being pregnant would result in being ushered to the front of any bathroom lines. Not true, not with me. Anyways, on my walk to the university and at the university, people were super nice to me! The guy driving the shuttle offered me a ride. When I was at school, people held doors open for me or made room for me as I was walking down the hall. I was tickled pink because people thought I was a young student, going to class with a babe in tow. People tell me I look young, but when people respond to me like I am young, makes me feel great. Random people smiled at me, looked at Isabella, and continued smiling at me. Glorious to be treated so well.

falling asleep without her bedtime routine

I forgot to mention, this is the first time that I can remember that Isabella has fallen fast asleep and into deep sleep without any of the bed-time routine (burping/walking, story reading, changing of clothes to pajamas, or listening to music). I've been working hard make sure she doesn't associated eating with sleeping, but I suppose letting her stay asleep after eating, once in a while, isn't too bad, right? My pediatrician friend as well as reading materials recommend separating eating from sleeping with some sort of activity (i.e. reading a story, playing with her, etc.). But, that's more the rule. I'm trying to convince myself that letting her stay asleep tonight is alright.

Uncharted territories, RE: sleeping or not

This morning, as usual, I woke Isabella up at 6 AM to nurse her. She fell asleep after she had had enough to eat. But, before putting her down in her bed, I changed her diaper. During the diaper change, she awoke, fully.

I put her in her Pack 'n Play, so I could get ready for work. Washed my face, brushed my hair, got dressed, had some breakfast. Attempted to convince her to go back to sleep, by talking to her and by putting on classical music. No luck. She seemed wide awake. Had to leave for work.

Was worried she wouldn't let Troy sleep, and, even worse, give him a hard time because she was bored. They were fine.

Turns out she didn't go back to sleep after I left. But, she laid in her Pack 'n Play without too much fuss until about 8:30. Troy gave her a bit of my breastmilk, enough to convince her to go back to sleep for just a bit.



Tonight, at her last feeding, she fell asleep. That's not so unusual. What was unusual is that she stayed asleep. She didn't stir when I moved away from her. And, she didn't fully awaken when I placed her in bed. Must have been totally exhausted. She fell asleep at 9:40 pm. That's relatively early for Isabella. Yay for sleeping babe.



Speaking of sleep, I'm contemplating doing sleep training with Isabella during the day. The only way I got Isabella to fall asleep today, and it did work like a charm, was to walk her in the Baby Bjorn outside. Not long after stepping outdoors, she was asleep. . . She's getting a bit heavy for carrying in the Baby Bjorn for any extended period of time. This afternoon, though, I walked with her strapped to me, from home to the university. Funny thing happened along the way. She was strapped to me and I was carrying a small, black diaper bag. On the way, I heard a shuttle honking. Wasn't sure why the person was honking. Kept walking without giving it much thought. But, as the shuttle pulled out of one of UTPA's parking lots, the guy continued to honk. Oh! He was honking at me. He was motioning for me to get on the shuttle; it was one of those shuttles that transports students to and from campus. I was on the cell phone at the time and he was stopped in a semi-busy street. So, I got on. Well, getting on the shuttle woke Isabella. DARN! Funny thing is that though the guy meant well, he didn't really help. Once we arrived at the univ., dropped by the department to show her off, since people have been dying to see her again. Saw Daddy-o on the way.

On the walk back home, in 80 degree weather (I'm sure those of you in the north are jealous with envy right about now, but I sure wasn't having a good time sweating up a storm carrying that extra heated weight in front of me), Isabella did go back to sleep. She slept until I put her down on the bed. Story of my life.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

7 signs that your child loves you

I got these from Babycenter.com. They're so sweet.

Seven Signs that your child loves you

1. Your newborn stares into your eyes — he's actually working hard to memorize your face. He doesn't understand anything else about the world, but he knows you're important.
2. Your baby thinks about you even when you're not around. Between 8 and 12 months old, he'll start to scrunch his face and look around when you leave the room — and he'll smile when you return.
3. Your toddler throws wicked tantrums. Nope, those screaming fits don't mean he's stopped loving you. He wouldn't be so hurt and angry if he didn't trust you so deeply.
4. Your toddler runs to you for comfort when he falls down or feels sad. Kids this age may not truly understand the meaning of "I love you," but their actions speak louder than words.
5. Your preschooler gives you a flower picked from the garden, a finger-painted heart, a sparkly rock, or another gift.
6. Your preschooler wants your approval. He'll start to be more cooperative around the house, and he'll look for chances to impress. "Look at me!" will become a catchphrase.
7. Your grade-schooler trusts you with secrets, like his first crush or his most embarrassing moment. You're his confidante, even if he shies away from your hugs in public.

oxytocin and dopamine, the chemicals of love

Read an article talking about the chemicals a mother and a father produce, upon interacting with their baby. Interesting that not only the mommies but also the daddies have this chemical influx. Am too tired to write more at the moment, but give the article a read.

How love blossoms between you and your child.

Ran into an amusing article - "A guy's guide to breast-feeding etiquette" - in my search for that 14 pound baby born last week

I was trying to find information on that 14 pound baby born last week, when I found this article:
A guy's guide to breast-feeding etiquette, on msn.com.

I find it quite amusing a read. My sister gave me an awesome nursing cover for Christmas. So, nursing in public is a lot easier. Also, our friend, Richard, came to visit from the U.K. In U.K., breastfeeding in public isn't that big a deal, like it is here. People do it all the time without giving much thought; there isn't much of a debate or controversy on the matter at all. Knowing that has made nursing Isabella in public a bit easier. Anyways . . .

A baby born at 14 pounds, 13 ounces, woahhhhh, 5 days before Isabella was born

Marie Michel and Stephon Hendrix Louis-Jean

Some people at church told me this morning that some baby was born at 14 pounds last week. When I was doing a Google search, I found this one.

On Tuesday, September 14, 2006, Marie Michel gave birth to a 14 pound, 13 ounce baby boy, Stephon Hendrix Louis-Jean! This is her fifth child. Her first born weighed 9 pounds at birth. Then, she had twins, weighing 8.5 pounds, each, at birth. Her third child weighed almost 12 pounds at birth. Can we say ohmygosh?!

Newborn Weighs In At Nearly 15 Pounds