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Last night was a non-sleeping extravaganza. A festival of insomnia. A treasure-trove of wakefulness. Happy Fun Baby apparently has a stuffy nose. I say apparently  because he doesn’t actually seem to have a stuffy nose, but since the only way he would sleep last night was propped up to a practically seated position, I’m forced to assume. The kid’s a restless sleeper, so the relief of being comfortable only lasted as long as it took him to drift off and roll over, at which point the cycle began again. Fun for me! Also fun for Not So, since the baby, apparently declaring me a lost cause, flung himself at Not So and demanded comfort in the middle of the night. Is it wrong that I found this amusing?

I did pass out for long enough to have a strange, vivid dream that there was a war and Not So was a soldier, and he was trying to explain that he’d called for someone to come and extricate me and the baby from the battle (which was going on right outside our house). I was trying to explain to him that I wasn’t leaving and that if we went down, we were going down together. Metaphor, or too much Battlestar Galactica? You be the judge.

Either way, when morning rolled around, the kid had had enough of the bed and decided that we needed to greet the day head-on. Happy Fun Baby got to wave goodbye to daddy (first time - the kid’s usually sawing logs at 7:30am) and then settled in on the couch, where he promptly fell fast asleep. Hrmph.

I tried napping with him, but the futon? Not cosy under the best of circumstances, and even less so when it’s being taken over by a sleeping toddler. I amused myself by checking my e-mail and RSS feeds in relative peace, which was somewhat satisfying despite that fact that I could barely keep my eyes open.

A little after 9am FedEx came with my jogging stroller. Happy Fun Baby woke up while I was putting it together and promptly decided it was a present for him, which in a way it is so hey, kid, go nuts. Check him out:

We’re going for a walk in a bit. Just as soon as mama gets her nap…

technorati tags:combi, jogging stroller, baby, sleep, cold, awake, morning

Blogged with Flock

Happy Fun Baby’s mouth continues to be invaded by what can only be described as teeth. Don’t get me wrong: they’re cute. There’s something inherently endearing about a big, wide-mouthed, three-toothed grin.

But the teething process is obviously painful, and my usually cheerful and pleasant baby has been replaced by a cranky, temperamental, wailing creature who doesn’t want to be put down, ever. I can only assume this is a temporary change.

Today is incrementally better. Ellison is playing “catch that tail” with the cat, who apparently was not consulted beforehand and has serious reservations about the suitability of this game.

We actually got somee sleep last night, which was a novel change. I don’t do well with fractured sleep. Pre-baby, I used to require 8-10 hours a night in order to feel rested; now I’m lucky if I get 6 or 7, and those are broken into bite-sized sections. It’s bad enough when everything is going well and he only wakes up once to nurse. When he’s sick or teething or having a growth spurt or conspiring against me or whatever, it’s hell. But a nice sort of hell! Not the sort that means I need to get a job! ::paranoid::

Blogged with Flock

It’s beastly hot here today. The high is 99, and already it’s dangerously warm in our little condo. Our house is reasonably well insulated so it’s never unbearable like it was at the old place, but it’s still quite toasty on days when the temperature approaches 100.

My sister (who doesn’t have a fun nickname - perhaps Auntie Pep? She was a cheerleader in high school, after all) is flying in for the weekend. She is a pale, blonde health nut; I suspect the sheer amount of solar energy in the air will cause her to burst into flames the minute she steps outside. And stepping outside is inevitable - we will go on walks, and play at the park, and generally do things that healthy people do. Also, she eats things like flax. I am mildly terrified.

The combination of beastly heat, cranky baby and brain-scrambling math homework made it all but impossible for me to get much housework done yesterday. You try scrubbing countertops while trying to wrangle a grabby baby. Forget about putting him down: if I’m not in the same room he is, Happy Fun Baby assumes I’ve left him for the gypsies and reacts accordingly. I’ve tried explaining that the kitchen is right there and he can see me if he looks, but he’s not buying it. Yesterday I had to put him in the sling just so I could finish making my lunch. It’s a good thing he’s so cute:

Anyway, I am cleanliness-challenged at the moment. The timing couldn’t be worse, since I have what practically amounts to a phobia about a messy house and guests. I want to foster the illusion that I am a competent housekeeper. Is that so wrong?

Not So said he’d take care of cleaning up downstairs last night, but apparently we have different definitions of “downstairs.” When I think of the downstairs area, it includes areas like the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. Considering that’s pretty much all that comprises our first floor, I feel pretty justified. Not So swept the hallway and started the dishwasher, and this morning he took out the trash, which just leaves me with…the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. Oh and the downstairs bathroom. In addition to the upstairs, which isn’t too bad but still involves bathroom-scrubbing, carpet-vacuuming and laundry-doing. In the sweltering heat, with a cranky baby. But at least today I don’t have math homework! (Not much, anyway.)

I’m very excited about seeing my sister, though. Happy Fun Baby is going to be in baby heaven. Auntie Pep is a party, even if she does have funny ideas about what food is made of.

Blogged with Flock

Just so y’all know, one of my pictures was picked as “Image of the Day”
over at Blogging Baby. This month’s theme is kids and pets, and they
liked one of the Ellison and Savannah pictures I posted:

technorati tags:cats, baby, blogging baby, image of the day

Blogged with Flock

technorati tags:cat, baby, sun

Blogged with Flock

In honor of upcoming Father’s Day, Ellison has started saying “dada.” This pleases Not So to no end, even though the “dada” is entirely non-specific. He’s dada, I’m dada, the toys are dada…modifiers, descriptions, conjugations, all are da da. It is a veritable dada party over here.

It’s all very dada.

Of course, Happy Fun Baby also says mama. Or, more specifically: he wails “mama.” It’s his default noise when he’s upset (has been since he was born). Any time there’s something wrong he lets loose with a miserable “Maaaaaaaaa!”

So, to recap: dada = happy, mama = tragic. Sigh.

Good thing they’re so cute…

technorati tags:baby, dada, preverbal, wail, father

Blogged with Flock

I’m posting this from Flock, a new browser that’s purportedly part of this whole “Web 2.0″ thing that everyone’s been buzzing about. I don’t understand what’s 2.0 about the web, but that’s because I’ve spent the last year afflicted with mama brain. (Apparently it’s all O’Reilly’s fault. The Web 2.0 thing, not the mama brain. That’s all Not So’s fault.)

Flock is a little buggy, but has a gorgeous interface and lots of features which have the potential to be really handy, like an integrated blog editor and photo management. I’ll let you know what I think of it once I’ve had a chance to play around with it some more. Beta testing with a baby isn’t exactly efficient.

Day One: 4:00 am
Four hours of sleep. Mexico, here we come!

12:00 pm
My feet are so swollen, oh my god. When did I become the type of person whose feet swell? This never happened before I was pregnant. Never.

3:00 pm
I’m so glad my baby isn’t one of the poor kids wailing about the pressure change. So glad he likes his pacifier. Aren’t babies supposed to be hard to travel with? He’s a breeze.

4:00 pm
Dear lord it’s hot. Like breathing under a blanket. I need a nap and some water. And…that’s the line for customs? But it’s so hot! And I need a nap! Oh my god, this is hell.

On that illustrious note, our vacation began. We were spending five days at an all-inclusive resort about an hour out of Cancun, but first we had to, you know, get there.

Day Two: 10:30 am
The baby screamed all. night. long. And then I overslept - stupid time change - and the breakfast buffet is closed. I must eat or I will die. This vacation sucks.

11:00 am
Oh, the grill is open all day. That’s not so bad. And mmm, quesadillas. Who’d have thought of quesadillas for breakfast?

12:00 pm
The pool is divine. And have you seen the ocean?

5:00 pm
This vacation is awesome.

Once we got into the swing of things, the resort rocked. Happy Fun Baby took to the water like a duck to…water. Except without the feathers. And with slightly less quacking. As the days passed, my pasty white skin slowly tanned to a less pasty shade of white. I saw a shimmer in my hair that I originally thought was gray, but as it turned out was simply a blonde strand. Sun! Bleaches hair! Who’d have thunk? Not So and I got to take romantic walks along white sand beaches, listening to the crash of the surf and the wailing of the baby, and then hurried back to the air-conditioned room to drink bottles of water and try to decipher Mexican TV. And at some point I managed to finish not one but two books. Grown-up books. Books with no pictures. I am a party animal.

The ocean was so beautiful it was unreal. I’d never been to the Caribbean before, and the clear turquoise water was amazing. And warm! Oceans should always be warm. I was telling Not So, if the ocean in Santa Cruz had been warm I might have been tempted to take up surfing. And not, for example, have become a pale, moody goth. Just as an example.

So batteries = recharged, and life = good. Cranky Mama’s cranky meter is at an all-time low. Let that be a lesson to you, universe: when the going gets tough, the tough sends me to an all-inclusive resort.

We here at the Cranky household have been…well, cranky, and by “we” I mean “the baby.” He so clearly needs a nap, but does he want to nap? No he does not. He fights against the idea of a nap with every fiber of his wee being, balling up his fists and scrunching up his face and demanding unreasonable things of his parents. Figuring out what he wants is somewhat akin to a game of Russian roulette. Does the baby want to be bounced? Rocked? Snuggled? Swaddled? Put down? Beware: one false move and you will anger Happy Fun Baby.

Currently we are in the bedroom, where the internet is inexplicably spotty. Why is the internet spotty? The important thing is that the baby has abruptly grown bored with his routine of screaming and turning purple and is now cooing adorably and grinning at me. Nothing has changed, of course - this is the prerogative of Happy Fun Baby, who is at the moment both happy and fun. Is anything cuter than my baby’s smile? Notice I say “my baby” - he is so much cuter than other babies, and conveniently located just to my left.

He outgrew his first outfit this week. When we first brought him home all of his clothes were ridiculously big; only one pair of jammies and a couple of little snap-front tee shirts fit him. I realized the other day that not only do all his other jammies fit now, they’re a bit too short. We busted out the 3-6 month stuff yesterday, thinking it would be nice and roomy, given that he’s only 2 1/2 months (and thus clearly not big enough for 3 month clothes). And then this morning Matt brought him downstairs dressed not only in three month clothes but in big boy three month clothes - cords and a polo shirt - and he looked so grown up I could barely stand it.

Right now he doesn’t look grown up at all. He’s so small next to me, with his cranky face and kicking legs (Happy Fun Baby has decided he hates everything again). He’s wearing these striped footie pajamas with a little bear on them and, even though they are size 3 months, are so adorable I just died.


I finally broke down yesterday and decided to start with the Benadryl. Anecdotal evidence from other breastfeeding mothers outnumbered alarmist internet information like this:

Diphenhydramine is secreted in breast milk. Because of the risk of stimulation and seizures in infants — especially newborns and prematures — antihistamines should not be used by nursing mothers.

Seizures - seriously? Yet here I am, taking Benadryl anyway. I am the world’s worst mother. I did bottle feed him all last night, and is there anything sadder than standing over the bathroom sink at 4am, wobbling from sleepiness while pumping drugged milk into a bottle to be poured down the drain? I decided hesitantly to breastfeed today…and Cranky Baby doesn’t seem to be affected at all. Unlike me, of course. I’m a walking zombie today. Benadryl is like a fluffy pillow wrapped around my head. A nice, warm, fluffy pillow. Wouldn’t it be nice to lie on a fluffy pillow right now? Yes, yes it would.

The itching is slightly better but more importantly the hives finally seem to be healing. They’ve gone from huge, spreading welts back down to small, dark pink dots. There are still some areas that are all one big itching welt of doom, but my arms look like arms again. I am very much looking forward to the time when I don’t want to scrape my skin off with a bit of steel wool, but I’ll take what I can get for now.

Cranky Baby is all snuggled on his Boppy right now. I haven’t been playing with him as much as I should - the pillow around my head makes it hard to be really interactive - but he seems pretty happy. Maybe he will want to take a nap with mama. What do you say, kid?

One reason I’m so cranky? I have hives.

The good news is that I think we’ve managed to steam clean all the evil Arm & Hammer pet odor stuff (to which I am, um, somewhat allergic) out of the carpet. All hail the Bissell SpotBot. Last time this happened (because there was a last time) I just sort of had to wait until the offending allergin made its leisurely way out of the air and settled deep into the base of my spine. No, wait - that’s LSD. Anyway, steam cleaning definitely beats an elderly vacuum. (I dig the SpotBot. I sort of want to run around the house spot-cleaning random areas like some sort of demented carpet fairy. Perhaps an outfit will be involved.)

Of course, last time I got hives I also had the option of a nice Benadryl and a long nap, which (if I recall correctly) eventually ended my purgatory of itch. This time, all I can do is sit merrily on my hands and think fond thoughts about those halcyon days when my entire body did not feel as though it was covered in flea bites. Breastfeeding mamas do not get to take Benadryl. Breastfeeding mamas can do nothing but refrain from scratching. Scratching = bad, according to the Internet (which does not lie). I’m unclear on exactly why it’s bad. Maybe the Internet is like the mean older sibling who derives sick pleasure from making her younger, more gullible sister squirm with misery. In that case, I think I’m karmically screwed. (Remind me to tell you about the time I told my sister that normal-sized zits were just the introductory version and that the real ones would take up her whole forehead…)