Monday, April 28, 2008

Thankfully infants have short memories

I did it again...while clipping Leah's nails this morning...I clipped her finger. This was the 4th time I've cut her nails and the 2nd time I've drawn blood. After 2 pain-free sessions of squirming nervous nail-clipping I thought I had gotten the hang of this...but no...apparently not. I'd like to blame it on Leah...but that doesn't seem like the right doting mother attitude. She did move her hand just as I went to clip the nail of her right middle finger. But I'm the one who should be more careful. She doesn't know better than to move her hand...she's 11 and a half weeks old.

Anyway, she let out this piercing yelp, followed by the huge-open-mouth-silent-I'm-drawing-breath-so-that-I-can-let-out-an-enormous-loud-cry-and-make-you-feel-like-the-worst-mother-in-the-world-cry. She continued to cry a little for a minute or so while I put pressure on her finger to stop the bleeding. And then I put her to the breast. Of course a couple minutes of nursing and she had forgotten all about the fact that I sliced into the pad of her right middle finger with sharp nail clippers. I put a little baby aquaphor on it to help it heal...but it's already closed up...and I'm sure she'll have no permanent damage.

Unfortunately I feel this may be a common occurrence. I've read that you should clip a baby's nails while she sleeps. But Leah only sleeps that's not going to be possible. I try to clip her nails after a morning feeding while listening to music so that she is sitting fairly calmly, rather than wanting to be moving and playing or crying. But there's no stopping those squirmy movements. I could really use a 3rd hand, but it would have to be mine. I don't think 2 of us clipping nails would be any better...too hard to coordinate movements I think.

On a much more exciting note, Leah's 2 best friends are on the way. Erica Ruth Weinstein was born last Tuesday to my friends Jamie & Brian. And baby-girl-name-to-be-announced Reid should be arriving today or tommorrow, as my friend Eilisa called me a few hours ago to say that she's in labor with contractions 6-8 minutes apart and will likely be heading to the hospital relatively soon. She was due on Saturday, so I'm very excited for her that her labor started on its own and she won't have to wait it out any longer.

It'll be awhile before Leah gets to meet her new BFFs but we're sure that they'll all get along great - and soon enough the 3 month age difference will be unnoticable.

Here's Erica and her happy parents:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Leah's Musical Journey

I've started playing music for Leah more and more now that the stereo is back. I had bought a small Philips stereo system for her room that has AM/FM, CD player, USB plug and an iPod dock. But after about 3 weeks it stopped working - and it took about 6 weeks to get the replacement. So now that we have it set up again I use the iPod to play the white noise that helps her sleep and put various CDs in to introduce her to music and see what she likes.

Early on we played classical and jazz for her...not sure that she was real aware of any of it though. But then I found a few weeks ago that she likes Peter Paul & Mary - I had been playing their kids songs for her. So I figured if she likes the slower sweeter guitar stuff then I've got lots of other stuff in my collection that she might like.

I played Jack Johnson for her...she definitely likes that. Although she was less into his soundtrack for the movie Curious George than she was songs like Better Together and Banana Pancakes. That's fine with me - I prefer those too. But I'm sure later she'll like the peppier kids music.

Then since we had Duncan Sheik playing in the room when she was born, I thought I'd see how she likes that. She definitely likes some of it - the more arranged melodic ones versus the almost a capella with a little guitar songs. Again, I'm in agreement with her choices.

And yesterday we listened to Paul Simon's Graceland album. Definitely a favorite for both of us. So then I continued on through the S's - I'll have to return to the A's after I get through the end of the alphabet - but might as well continue where I started from for now. Today we listed to Cat Stevens. She seemed to like that too. Maybe I'll venture into some heavier stuff or some country music at some point, but for now I'll go with this style since she seems to like it, and she is actually easier to get to sleep after we've been listening to fairly soft music for awhile.

I've been debating whether something I'm doing is influencing her music taste. It's possible that she prefers the songs that I sing along to, since she watches me sing and smiles a lot. But that isn't the only factor, as she didn't like some of the peppier PP&M that I sang along to. Good to know she's got a mind of her own. Although I may not quite feel that way when she can vocalize it. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take your Leah to work day

Apparently today was take your daughter to work day. So I brought Leah in to Shafi's office midday so that he could show her off. And then the 3 of us went out to lunch.

I think she enjoyed it...she fell asleep after about 10 minutes of being shown around.

I didn't get any pics at Shafi's office, but I did get some cute ones this morning playing with rattles.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Leah's first trip to Texas

We went to Fort Worth, Texas for a long weekend to visit my parents and have a naming for Leah. We were a bit nervous about traveling with a 10 week old - but she was a pro. She slept almost the entire 4 hour flight both directions. We did not buy her a seat, so we took turns holding her. We swaddled her to help her sleep soundly. And I fed her a couple of times when she woke up.

The trip was nice. We got in Thursday night and went out to dinner for my mother's birthday. Leah was a bit fussy since she'd slept so much already and didn't want to sleep more or sit still. But Shafi eventually got her to sleep in the BabyBjorn and was able to sit and eat with us for some of the meal. Friday night was Leah's naming. She was very good for the actual naming and blessing - she seemed to be quite interested in looking around the sanctuary and at the 150 or so people who were there. But after that I took her and fed her on and off in my dad's office until services were over. I figured if I got her to sleep we'd bring her in - but she did not want to sleep. We then brought her out for the oneg after services and she was really good. Again she was very interested in looking around. She kept her face half buried in my shoulder but eyes looking over it. And as long as I kept jiggling her on occasion she stayed pretty happy. After an hour or so she had enough and just fell asleep there on my shoulder. Everyone thought she was really adorable.

Saturday night we went to friends of my parents for seder. And Leah slept through the whole thing. We brought the pack n play along and put her down in a bedroom. So while I'm not sure we could really call it Leah's first seder, it was nice that we were able to participate and eat without a baby in our arms.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Uncle Alan and Aunt Rachel's visit

My brother and his wife came to visit for the weekend to meet their neice. After having her shots on Friday she was a bit sleepy on Saturday, but she was nice and quiet for them. Sunday she was much more awake and they got to play with her a bit.

And we lucked out and ended up with nice weather, so they came along to a Brooklyn Heights Parents Meetup at Peirrepont Playground on Saturday. We met a few families from the neighborhood and it was nice to be out in the beautiful weather.

Leah's 2 month check-up

We took Leah to the pediatrician on Friday for her 2 month check-up. I asked Shafi to join, as I thought I'd be a bit traumatized by her getting her first set of shots. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But I was still happy to have him along for the occasion.

Leah is a healthy strong little lady. She's now 11 pounds, which is 50th percentile for weight. She is 23.5 inches long, which is 86th percentile for height. And her head circumfrence is in the 75th percentile. (Whew!)

We asked our many questions - some stupid - some not quite so stupid. Yes we should use sunscreen when taking her out on sunny days, but first we should test a little on the back of her leg. I already bought the Aveeno baby sunscreen, so we'll try it out one of these days. Yes, she does indeed have big feet. That one wasn't so much a question as just wanting confirmation because I have an odd fascination with my daughter's huge feet - obviously one of the unlucky traits she has received from me. Those were really among the most interesting of our questions, so I won't bore you with the rest.

The doctor pointed out that when Leah was fussing and I talked to her she recognized my voice and it did calm her down some. That was very nice to hear and see. I hadn't really noticed that myself, but now that she pointed it out, it is quite obvious. And of course I love that she knows my voice.

She had 3 shots - one in the left thigh and 2 in the right. I held her in my lap and Dr. O'Connor was super quick with the shots. One two three and then slapped on band-aids (Looney Tunes of course). All over in seconds. Leah was already fussing from having been woken up and undressed and poked and prodded and re-dressed. But she definitely let out a bit of a shreik when the needles went in. It was sad to hear and see that, but as soon as it started it was over and seemingly forgotten. I then put her to the breast and fed her and she immediately calmed down. And in case you're wondering, I did not cry (nor pass out).

She was a bit fussy Friday afternoon, so I gave her some infant Tylenol. Then she was extra sleepy on Saturday. Her naps still weren't very long, but she wasn't awake for long in between. And by Sunday she was back to normal. Her legs don't seem to be bothering her at all, as far as we can tell anyway.

This was actually before the doctor's appointment. Maybe she knew what was coming?

And this was after. Obviously no memory of her earlier trauma.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Have we crossed a longer sleep threshold?

I don't want to assume it's going to be a pattern, or jinx it or anything...but last night Leah slept a 7 hour stretch. She had been really fussy the last couple of days. Not sleeping enough, eating very frequently, and having less happy awake time and more crying time. I wasn't sure what was causing it or how to break the cycle, but I followed her cues and fed her when she wanted to eat and helped her get to sleep when she yawned. But she wasn't staying asleep very long, and that seemed to be perpetuating the cranky cycle.

But then I got her down about 5:00 yesterday evening. She did wake up at 5:45, but I picked her up and calmed her pretty quickly and she was back asleep in the crib within 10 minutes. Then she slept until midnight! I changed her and fed her and had her back to sleep by about 12:40. She woke up about 3:30 and I fed her and had her back to sleep by 4. And then she woke up a little before 7 this morning. I could hear her smacking her lips and making some little sounds, but she wasn't crying for quite awhile. She started to whimper a bit around 7:05, so I got her up. Shafi hadn't gotten to spend time with her yesterday since she went to sleep so early, so he took a break from getting ready for work to play with her for a couple minutes and change her. Then I fed her.

And we played for awhile this morning and I got her down for a nap about 8:20. She was up around 9 to eat again and then we played some more. And then down for a nap about 10:10. So I'm hoping this is the new pattern - more sleeping and easier to get to sleep. Maybe if we can keep it up she won't get cranky and overtired or overstimulated.

It would be nice if her long stretch of sleep started a bit later so that I was asleep for all of it instead of only half of it. But I was afraid to wake her for a feeding before I went to bed. Maybe I'll see if this continues for a few days and then try that and see what happens.

And as always, she's very cute. I had her all preppied up yesterday and took lots of pictures.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Leah is 2 months old!

I can't believe it's been 2 months! I guess I say that at every milestone - but it's true every time. She's become much more interactive this month, which makes her lots of fun for Shafi and I. She's become a very smiley baby, which is so rewarding for us. This morning she woke up at 7:30, which seems to be her usual morning wake-up. As soon as I unswaddled her, she started stretching and smiling. I love that. It makes having had to drag myself out of bed with too little sleep almost forgotten.

Her 2 month check-up isn't until Friday. But I'm sure she's grown lots since last month. And no doubt it will be traumatic for the whole family for her to get her shots. But I'm glad that she'll be immunized against so many scary diseases and that we can start going out and about more and being less concerned about being around other babies and kids.

We had a very busy weekend, but all went well. Saturday my friend Jess and I hosted a baby shower for our friend Jamie. It was at my place, but I took the easy way out and had it catered, so it really wasn't that much work. Shafi helped out a lot. Friday night we cleaned up the living room and moved all the baby stuff into Leah's room. And Saturday morning he helped clean up while I fed Leah and grabbed a quick shower and got dressed. Then he took care of her while I set up. And then he and Jess went and picked up the food while I did a quick feeding just before the shower started. I decorated a bit and thought it looked pretty are the pics I took before everyone arrived.

The shower went off without a hitch and I think the 12 ladies in attendance had a nice time. Jamie got some great gifts including lots of very cute clothes for her soon to be born daughter.

Yesterday my friend Dan got married in Philadelphia to a great girl named Becca. The wedding was at 2, and they asked me to be a witness for the Ketubah signing, so we had to be there at 1:30. We had everything packed up and ready to go Saturday night. Shafi went and picked up the rental car while I did a last feeding. And we hit the road about 9 a.m. Sunday morning. We took Leah to Shafi's cousin Shanta's apartment, which is only about 6 blocks from the Crystal Tea Room, where the wedding was. We hung out with Shanta and her friend Ray for a bit and showed her all the stuff we brought for taking care of Leah. We did a diaper change and swaddling with her and got the 2 feedings of expressed milk ready to go. And then we headed out around 1:15.

Shanta called around 3, which was just when the ceremony was ending. Apparently Leah was crying - a lot. She had been changed and fed and Shanta was having trouble getting her to sleep. She didn't sound too worried, but she wanted to make sure there wasn't something else she should be doing. We suggested swaddling Leah and then pacing with her while shushing and rubbing her back. Of course we offered to come help. We figured since we were so close by we could always run over there and then go back to the wedding. But Shanta said she'd give it another half hour and if she hadn't calmed her she would call us back. I waited 15 minutes and called to check on her. She had fallen asleep. Whew! We were quite relieved.

We did check in a few more times, but we still had a nice time at the wedding. It was definitely weird being away from Leah for the whole afternoon, and we both missed her. We left after dinner, around 6:30, as we didn't want Shanta to have to deal with Leah for too long, and we still had about a 2 hour drive back to NY. Shanta said she had no problems the rest of the afternoon. Leah took both bottles (2 feedings) and was sleeping soundly on Shanta's bed when we got there. We got her up and fed her and hit the road about 7:30. And we were home and unpacked and in bed by 10:30.

All in all a very nice, although very busy and tiring, weekend!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our 5th anniversary

Yesterday was the anniversary of our NYC courthouse wedding - 5 blissful years. This year's celebration was a bit different than in years past - due to our almost 2 month old daughter. But we had a nice dinner. Shafi picked up a fancy meal at Duane Park. We shared a frisee and pear salad with blue cheese dressing and a crab cake appetizer. And he had a bacon wrapped trout entree while I had a pork chop with spatzle. All very good.
Shafi brought me roses, which I put on the table, and he got out candles. But Leah wasn't into the idea of us having a romantic candlelit dinner. She wanted to eat - and eat again - and eat again. So I had my appetizer while Shafi kept her somewhat happy - and then he had his while I fed her. Then we traded off again for our entrees. At least while I'm feeding her she's quiet, and we were able to talk and pretend to be dining together.

No new present for me - I did get diamond earrings just a few weeks ago. But I got Shafi a few things. First, an assortment of hot sauces, some hot peanuts, habanero jelly beans, habanero stuffed olives, and very spicy bloody mary mix. And also a gift card for the men's getaway at Oasis Day Spa. He was definitely happy with his gifts. And amused at the presentation:

In case you can't read the note in the picture, it says "Something to spice things bed." Haha - I'm so clever. :)