Friday, August 22, 2008


This last week has been okay. We started giving Grace baths every night to see if they would help her sleep longer. We've started to get into a routine where she gets a bath at 10 pm, nurses around 10:30 or 10:45, and (like clockwork) is sound asleep in her crib at 11 pm. She sleeps through until 5:30 or 6 am. I pick her up, change her diaper, nurse her, and back to sleep she goes until 10. She also is pretty reliable about having a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. I've been trying to keep her awake longer between them. I think we are up to almost 2 hours.
Yesterday she napped from 2p to 6:30p. I even got a nap in!
It's been nice, I've been able to start catching up on chores. My mom will be here next week for Grace's blessing (christening), so she can keep Grace entertained while I get even more stuff done around the house.
The only time I am not amused is when she decides to pull her catnap trick, where she'll doze for 20 mins - 1 hour, then be up for several. By the time bathtime rolls around, she is in baby meltdown, full blown crying and all. I don't know why she does this, but she seems to do it at least once a week, and there's little we can do to soothe her enough so she'll go to sleep.

We picked up some special Johnson's lavender bedtime bath stuff last night to see if it would help Grace sleep even longer. We got her down at 11 last night, and she slept till almost 7a. Apparently the stuff is "clinically proven" to help babies sleep longer. I will keep trying it over the weekend. If it's consistent, I may move her bedtime back an hour or so, so Andy & I can get to bed even earlier.

I get about as much sleep as Andy does now. I'm up shortly after he leaves. Who would ever have thought that a woman's clock is set by her child's needs? Indeed, the sun rises and falls on my daughter's poopy behind.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday's Lesson

It is my belief that we lived with God before we came to earth. The reason we come to earth is to receive a body and learn all we need to in order to return & live with Him again.
With that understanding, I am also coming to believe that babies are a facilitator in our lessons. Why else would the Lord cause us to bear children if it were not to learn the sweet and divine lessons of pure, unadulterated, Christ-like love, sacrifice, and patience?

Grace officially turned 1 month old yesterday. In the last 30 days, I have gone from "Where the #%*@ is the return policy on this thing?" and being terrified of her waking up, to feeling a physical love and joy for this new person in my life. Sure she's got pipes & can scream for 4 hours straight if she wants to, but she's also very sweet and just as much a ham outside the womb as she was inside.
She's starting to make more coos and random noises now. Last night she peeled out a squeal that was pretty funny, and this morning she sounded like she said "Ah-kay!", like "Oh, good, diaper's changed. Okay, let's go".

She cracks me up sometimes. Her gas grin is still the best.

Thank you, Grace, for beginning to help me learn true love-- the kind of perfect love where, for the first time in my life, I expect nothing in return.
Thank you for testing my patience... it would not learn to stretch otherwise.
Thank you for helping me begin to understand sacrifice-- a few hours of sleep deprivation here, want of a shower after a good sliming there-- I've learned to put off things I want right now until I know you're happy and safe for the moment.
And thank you especially for you. Because of you, I love your father more. It is so profound knowing we created something so beautiful together.

Now if only I could find a good alternative to wearing a nursing bra 24/7... this thing is driving me nuts!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's the Little Things...

I have a confession.
Some days when my baby is inconsolably fussy, and I can't figure out what's wrong, I get so frustrated that I wonder where the heck the return policy is. You were so much less complicated to deal with in my belly, I think. How much happier was I before all of this!
But then there are moments when she's laying on my chest, snuggled close to my heart and sleeping soundly... the light from the window grazing softly across her face... the little things like that, that make it worth it at the end of the day.
I am eternally grateful for family & friends who keep teaching us little tricks that help save our sanity. One of the major ones has been learning that babies DO have an off button! Thanks to The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. Such a life saver. I cannot thank Mike & Kathy enough for loaning us that DVD as well as their swing.
Then last night a friend came over & showed us some other tricks to help Grace get rid of some major gas problems. She had been so fussy the last few nights... we were actually up till 4:30 in the morning on Saturday night, and she had been keeping us up till 1 & 2a nights before that. We didn't know what to do for her, but I was pretty sure it was gas. Mylicon/simethicone doesn't do anything (at least it didn't seem to). She also hadn't had a poopy diaper since Tuesday. I know it's okay for breastfed babies to go for a week without a poop, but Grace was not a happy camper. So it was such a relief when our friend showed us some tricks to help get that gas out of Grace's belly-- mainly knee/leg crunches, and belly massage. A backwards football hold & spank (as kinky as that sounds) worked very well, too. Within an hour of our friend leaving, Grace had a full diaper. I hosed her off in the tub with glee.
After a nice warm bath, and massage with baby oil, she conked out for 7 hours. It was wonderful to see her at peace again, and to get ourselves to bed at a reasonable hour as well.

The next time we are at our wits end, I want to remember the little things:
How her breath smelled so sweet, like fresh baked custard, when I first started breastfeeding her. I love custard.
I love to get lost in her eyes.
I love the soft little tufts of hair that stick out on the edge of her ear. I know it won't be there forever, but it's so funny & cute.
I love how she grins when she's falling to sleep. I know it's just gas, but again... it's so cute & funny
I'm amused at how vocal she is while breastfeeding. It's like a cat possessively feeding. I try to carry on a conversation with her when she "talks" like this. She also seems to enjoy stroking her face, and often me at the same time.
I love the soft little sigh she sometimes makes: "Ah-woo".
I love when she's asleep, it means she's happy and comfortable enough to find peace.