Over 40 mama — Adventures in poop, patience, and first-time parenthood

Hand-eye coordination
June 27, 2008, 4:55 am
Filed under: milestones, photos, video

Or actually, “foot-eye” coordination is a little more accurate.


With favorite fuzzy triangle

Until yesterday, she was not interested in picture books. Way more intriguing were the prints on the wall, or the plant, or the pile of yarn atop my shelf. But no, yesterday she was digging the picture books. Her favorite was Baby Animals Black and White, especially the otter. It is a pretty cute otter.


Parental guilt episode #1: First in a series
June 27, 2008, 3:59 am
Filed under: guilt

I am not naive enough to think I’ll get through this parenting thing without guilt. So with that said, here’s my first foray into that treacherous land:

Last night was my good friend L’s birthday party. She had invited me to DJ the opening set, which was low key and a lot of fun! It’d been a while since I’d spun out in public (or privately for that matter) and it turned out to be a pretty good set.

We brought the bean to the party, put heavy earplugs designed for wee ones in her ears and kept her in the back, away from the speakers. She slept most of the time. Still, I found myself totally nervous. During my set, either C or other good friends held her. And after I finished playing, I held her in the sling, close, and made sure my hands covered her ears. Still, I felt nervous having her there. Even with these precautions, it seemed premature and god I will KILL myself if we’re endangering her hearing by going to these events.

C and I are signed up to go to a weekend campout (they do have running water and a full kitchen so it’s hardly “camping”) and we plan to sleep in his van, but I am honestly thinking twice about going. Or if I do go, I’ll see that we get a room in a hotel nearby so we have a place to duck out and have quiet/be alone etc. It’s just too stressful.

She seems okay now but I’ll talk to the pediatrician next week about this. It’s a huge issue for me.

Week 8 Milestones
June 19, 2008, 4:59 pm
Filed under: milestones

This bean is on fire.

Earlier this week, as I was shooting a photo of her on her changing table, she reached out her hand and grabbed the cord of the camera. Hmm, I thought as I snapped the shot, I wonder if that was her really reaching out, or if it was just a coincidence.

Today, just now, I was playing with her on her changing table. I had this cool trangle pillow/block thing with patterns on it. I heldit in front of her and let it sway slowly. It grazed the edge of her wrist, and she seemed to notice something different…she bopped her hand a little higher and it hit the pillow a little further, sending it into more motion. she looked at her hand for the first time and got big wide open eyes, bopping the pillow a few more times before losing interest and on to the next thing.
Seeing kids grow this way is such an incredible miracle. God what a gift.

WordPress otoh is giving me nothing but grief. I have written now two long posts, which is nearly impossible with an infant, thank you, and both times WP crashed and the posts were lost.


She holds her head up!
June 17, 2008, 4:52 pm
Filed under: milestones, recommendations

Today, Beano held her head up for real, for the first time! Go Beano!

We’re going to the Baby Brigade to see Iron Man. Yeah, we’re leaving the house! Woo hoo! Two huge milestones today!

The Fussy Baby Mysteries: Today’s installment
June 16, 2008, 6:54 pm
Filed under: parenthood | Tags:

Reposted from Monday, June 2nd, 2008

The bean started to get really fussy this afternoon. Behold, the saga of our evening:

Try to put laundry away – baby wails.

Pick her up.

Bounce her.

Sing to her.

Think: Holy crap, when was the last we changed her diaper?

Change her diaper.

Bounce her again.

Sing to her again.

Put her in bouncy chair.

Feed her.

Burp her.

Put her in the comfy sling she fell asleep in yesterday

Success! For not very long.

Show her pictures that transfixed her yesterday.

Put those down after she swats you in the face.

Put her in stroller.

Walk around the block.

Return home. She’s quieting down…

Take her upstairs to see what’s going on there.

Note she may be finally sleeping – try to put her down.

Regret trying to put her down. Pick her up again.

Walk back downstairs.

Turn on Hawaiian music.


Vaccinations, Hallucinations and Bears (Oh my!) –
June 16, 2008, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Armed with a notebook full of questions, I brought the bean to her one-month visit to the pediatrician on Thursday.

I love this pediatrician. She’s got crazy curly gray hair, and wears a stethescope around her neck adorned with a gaggle of stuffed bears. She is positively encyclopedic in her knowledge of pediatrics, and believes that no question is too stupid. I have already called her 3 times in 6 weeks – each time, she calls me back right away – and this despite the fact that she is the most sought-after ped in the East Bay. (She was also an art major in college, which tells me she’s got a lot more soul than your standard-issue by-the-numbers doc.)

Once we get the insurance info sorted, an assistant named Mary comes in and takes her vitals – the bean has grown an inch and a half and has put on two and a half pounds. (C notes that she now has a “regional manager” chin.)

Mary feels her back and scrunchs her legs to determine if her spine and hips are growing correctly (they are).

Dr P comes in and tells me that, yes, 5-6 weeks is a period of accelerated development, which explains the increase in fussiness. The mylan sheaths are forming around the neurons in her brain, her vision is crisping up, and she is learning how to track voices with her eyes. Her neck is still insanely vulnerable, as is her immune system. The gunk in her eye is normal – as her tear ducts get online – even though her left eye is clouded with filmy goop. All of these developments in her perception creates stressful and unpleasant conditions for a brand new bean. The remedy? Soothe her, play with her, give her neato stuff to look at.

After a gazillion hours of research and talking to myriad parents, doctors and alternative health practitioners, we opted to start vaccinating this week, too. (NB: This is a long and very charged topic so all I’ll say here is that I am more comfortable with the odds of side-effects than I am with the odds of contracting one of these diseases.)

Note to self: Be sure to get a lot of sleep the night before you vaccinate her again – she’ll be up all night fussing afterwards.

Speaking of sleep deprivation, C and I were driving somewhere the other day – he was driving – and I saw a parked truck start rolling backwards. I did a double take, thinking the truck was going to smack into the car behind it, and realized I had hallucinated the whole thing. The truck wasn’t rolling backwards. My brain was. Sleep deprivation has finally gotten to the point of hallucinations. So whee! No driving when I’m this tired, but at least there’s something fun about all this lack of sleep.

Tips for dealing with mastitis (reposted from May 20)
June 16, 2008, 5:01 pm
Filed under: breastfeeding, Uncategorized | Tags:

Grr. This is now the second time that I’ve gotten mastitis. Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue. It affects the fatty tissues, so there is no danger to the baby or your milk. It just hurts a lot and can lead to infection, which REALLY sucks.

Symptoms of mastitis

  • Breast soreness
  • Redness in the skin
  • Hard lumps in your breast
  • A fever
  • Flu-like symptoms, feeling like total crap

Treatment –

  1. Give yourself breast massages to loosen any clogged milk ducts (which cause the mastitis in the first place)
  2. Soak affected breast in warm water and epsom salts 2x a day
  3. Wear a good bra – I cannot believe the difference a good bra makes!!
  4. Okay, so some people think it’s better to wear no bra at all. Do whatever you need to reduce the pain.
  5. Don’t sleep on your breasts or smoosh them in any other way
  6. Try this homeopathic remedy: Take a dose of phytolacca. Three hours later, take a dose of Hepar sulphuris. Three hours later, take another of phytolacca and continue alternating on three hour cycles. I’m trying this for the first time and will report back.
  7. Of course if you get really sick, or you don’t feel like dealing with all this other stuff, you can go to a doc and get some antibiotics. I did that 2 weeks ago, though, so I’m trying the homeopathic way instead.

My friend S who has a 5 year old son says she got mastitis a gazillion times. So it’s not one of those infections that leaves you alone once you kick it, alas.

Okay not the most glamorous of topics, but the one thing you learn early is that motherhood is all about managing effluvia.