Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 12: Snowed in

This week was my last week of "maternity leave" (it's in quotes because I've been working part-time all month and full-time this week, just mostly remotely). This week was also Paul's first business trip since Scarlett was born. It went okay except that the first night he was gone, Scarlett did not want to go to sleep, which is fairly unusual for her. I started trying to get her down at 8 PM but she didn't fall asleep until 10:45 (then woke up at 11:10). In any event, being a single parent is not much fun -- late nights and early mornings and just an overall hectic feeling. I was also stressed out about getting to daycare to pick her up on time. It just didn't feel good not to have a back up plan in case I hit traffic or something. Everything worked out okay, but I definitely don't look forward to business trips for either of us!

This weekend we planned to get a lot done before I returned to work. We wanted to go see Flossy (Scarlett's great grandmother or "g-g"), Bonnie, and get my office ready for my return to work. Mother nature had other plans -- we got our third big snow storm since Scarlett was born. As a result, we've been stuck inside all weekend. Maybe next weekend, although they are calling for snow again. The upside is that Scarlett and I both have a cold so this gives us a chance to shake it. She has been very good despite the cold. She is still very happy, just not eating quite as much and sleeping a little more. Tylenol is a wonder drug! I still haven't taken anything since I'm still pumping but Scarlett had a low grade fever, prompting us to give her a small dose. She definitely slept better and her fever dropped immediately.

Keep your fingers crossed for decent weather for us next weekend! Scarlett hasn't seen Flossy since she was 2 weeks old!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 11: First Road Trip & Sleepover!

This week we finally got to drive down to Savannah to see Jacy, Joel, and Liam. We also stopped in Fayetteville, NC on the way there and back to (a) break up the trip and (b) see Nicole. We had been pretty nervous about the trip. Our biggest concerns were how Scarlett would do in a carseat for that long and how badly it would hurt her routine. She really did great on all counts! We left on Thursday night. We spent virtually all day getting ready for the trip but still didn't get out of the house until 10 or so at night! Scarlett slept most of the way down to Fayetteville but didn't like when the care stopped. We finally got to Fayetteville around 3 AM (poor Nicole!) but Nicole was kind enough to get out of bed to let us crash anyway. Scarlett managed to sleep until her normal 7 AM wake up the next morning and was more or less back on schedule, even after having to sleep between Paul and I on the guest bed at Nicole's. We got back on the road around noon after having lunch and getting some work done. Scarlett was again very good in the car for the rest of the trip down to Jacy's.

We finally arrived in Savannah/Port Wentworth around 4 PM. Liam was sleeping when we arrived but we got to hear his little sounds while he was sleeping. I went in to see him and it was almost like a dream! It seems so strange that these little creatures didn't exist last time we saw each other! We went from a party of four to six in no time at all! Once Liam woke up we put them together. Scarlett was definitely interested in Liam and looked at him quite a bit. Liam wasn't quite interested in Scarlett yet, but maybe by the next time they see each other (he might be playing hard to get). We put them down on the couch next to each other and they held hands! We tried to get pictures of it but they were pretty quick.

Friday night, Paul and I were pooped. We hadn't gotten very much sleep on Thursday night because of the long drive so we fell asleep pretty early while trying to watch a movie. Scarlett went down pretty easily that night after her bath and story -- all-in-all she seemed fairly unaffected by the travel.

The next day we went to downtown Savannah (it took two cars to get us all there!) to walk around and have lunch. It was funny to walk with two strollers! It was very cool to see Jacy and Joel as parents... Liam looks like a miniature old man version of Jacy -- just adorable! He makes lots of little noises but they are pretty quiet. Scarlett doesn't make noise as often as Liam, but when she does, she is LOUD! Liam almost whispers! :) Overall he seems like a pretty mellow baby though and he is very snuggly and sweet. We love him already!

We had to take off on Saturday night to start the two day road trip again. It was great to get don there but sad that out of our 4 day trip, we only got to spend a little over a day with the Moriartys. We left their house at 9 PM and Scarlett slept all the way to Nicole's. We arrived there at 1:30 AM and she stayed asleep when Paul took her out of the car seat! She slept through the night again until 715 AM and was right back on schedule after her morning nap. She woke us up again at 10:30 AM. It really is amazing how resilient she is in terms of getting back on schedule. We had brunch with Nicole before packing up again and getting back on the road.

On the way back from Fayetteville, Scarlett again slept most of the way. She was really good with minimal fussing. We only had one snag -- a major diaper blow out! Daddy suspected something so he stopped at a Starbucks and took her in to change her. After a big mess, a new diaper, and a new outfit, we were ready to hit the road again and the rest of the trip was uneventful. We got back to Arlington around 8 PM. After a bath and stories, Scarlett was back to sleep almost on time. We are feeling very lucky to have such an adaptable little girl!

We are very happy that we made the trip. We got to see four of our favorite people, get some great pictures, and have our first night away from home since long before Scarlett was born. We can't wait until next month when Jacy, Joel, Liam, and maybe even Nicole come up here to visit!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Week 10: The 2 month checkup

Scarlett is now 10 weeks old! It seems hard to believe (it sounds much older than 2 months for some reason!).

She had her 2 month check up on Monday where she also had her first real set of shots. I wasn't sure about vaccinations while I was pregnant. I did a TON of research on the issue and ultimately decided that the CDC vaccine schedule was the right choice for us. I think it should be a decision left up to each family but it scares me that there is so much information out there that isn't based on research. There is a lot of anecdotal stuff on the Internet and the scientific literature is sparse and tough to access. One of the sources I thought was helpful was the Vaccine Book (Sears). He does a nice job of summarizing information from research studies and the manufacturers and making his personal opinion less obvious when discussing the facts. He actually recommends a modified schedule of the CDC vaccine schedule and I did ask about that the pediatrician, but Arlington County schools require the vaccines pretty much on the CDC schedule and we plan to send Scarlett to public school, so it seemed like a lost cause. In addition, ultimately I decided that the risk of infection (especially now that more parents are choosing not to vaccinate) was greater than the risk of negative side effects from the vaccines.

That being said, I think Scarlett felt like I made the wrong decision. The rest of her appointment went very well. She met a different doctor from the practice who was very nice (although not as warm as Dr. Fox or Dr. Jasani) and clearly competent. All signs point to a healthy baby. She was in the 75th percentile for height, 74th for head, and 30th for weight. She was 10 lbs on the dot, but apparently that is still a little small for her age, but she was 22 15/16th inches long. She has chubby cheeks and a big belly now though so it is hard to imagine what she would look like in the 50th percentile! After they took all of her stats, the nurse came in to do her shots. Daddy held her because I was a big chicken and left the room to make her next appointment. I was down at the front desk when I heard my baby... SCREAMING. I started walking back to the room (feeling very flushed but knowing full well that she was fine) when the nurse came out shaking her head and saying "Your baby is MAD." I went into the room and Paul was trying to calm her with a pacifier as she donned three new band aids (2 tazmanian devils and 1 bugs bunny) on her thighs. She was wet with sweat from all of the screaming. Apparently she liked the oral vaccine but she couldn't handle the second and third shots. It does seem like a lot to give a 2 month old! All-in-all, I'm glad we did it. I feel a little more at ease in crowds, especially since it is winter. The rotovirus (the one she had orally) is typically prevalent in February, so we got them just in time. I just hate to think of the possibility of her getting a virus that I could have prevented for her, particularly when she is this small and would have more serious consequences. There are risks with any choice, I just hope we made the right one! She did have a low fever, but otherwise she hasn't had any side effects from the vaccines.

Scarlett was supposed to have 2 month pictures done by her Uncle Dave this week, but he found out on Tuesday that he has Leukemia. The good news is that he has the type that is curable and he expects to make a full recovery. The bad news is that this means chemo and being in the hospital for weeks at a time. Paul and I can visit but Scarlett isn't allowed in, so she won't get to see him for a few weeks. Dave is in good spirits and so far is still feeling normal. We love you, Dave!

This week we plan to head down south to see Nicole, Jacy, Joel, and Liam. Liam and Scarlett should finally get to meet on Friday after we break up the long drive by stopping at Nicole's Thursday night. We're a little nervous about the drive, but can't wait to see everyone and finally meet Master Liam!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My baby can dance

Shonna has detailed many of Scarlett's (and our) physical and emotional changes over the past couple of months but what she has yet to mention is... whats up with the crazy dreams new parents have? I can only assume this is the norm and not isolated to our household. For example, last night Scarlett was in a baby class. Her instructor was able to make the infant students perform tricks on command. For instance, she would bark out a command, and all of the babies would swaddle themselves and curl up in the fetal position for a nap (how great would that be?). Another command, and the babies would unswaddle and move in a seated position. Unlike the rest of the class however, Scarlett was able to jump up on her feet, spin around 2 or 3 times, and sit back down. Of course she was stumbling through this sequence like you'd imagine a baby would, but she did not lose her balance and stayed upright while spinning. WAY better then the other kids. Isn't she something? At least that's how I felt when I was asleep. When I woke, she was her normal beautiful self who, while way ahead of the learning curve, isn't performing pirouettes just yet. She is well on her way though!

Week 9: Two months old and sleeping through the night?!

Scarlett hit the two month mark on Friday! She had some big landmarks this week. The biggest was that she started daycare. We started paying on January 4th so she went in for 1/2 days on the 5th and 7th. Cheryl was in town to distract me while she was gone, so it was much easier than I feared it would be. The whole night before I got teary every time I thought about dropping my little girl off at someone else's house, but once I got there, she was asleep and I remember why we selected Betsie in the first place. She is friendly and warm and I felt very at ease with her. Her home is beautiful and in a great neighborhood only .7 miles from our house. She was great with me and didn't seem at all annoyed by the new mom nerves. She sent me a text message to let me know when she was up and eating and when we picked her up, another little girl (about 2 years old), Claire, was running around happily saying "Bye, Bye, Baby!" to Scarlett. I have no doubt that she is in the best situation we could find for her.

With my time away from her, Cheryl and I went to the gym each day, got our nails done, and went to lunch Tuesday and high tea at the Ritz on Thursday. With all of that pampering, I only obsessed about Scarlett a few times per minute rather than constantly. :)

Scarlett has been continuing to do well on her routine. She doesn't always want to go down for her naps during the day, but she is really pretty easy at night. She loves baths and stories and those two events really prime her for bed. She is a lot of fun now... She smiles and coos and does a lot of kicking and punching. She tries to imitate us now too (opening her mouth after we do and is starting to try to use her hands). She keeps getting bigger too! By our scale, she hit the 10 pound mark today (January 10th). She goes in for her 2 month well visit tomorrow, so we will see what the official weigh in is.

It is fun to watch Scarlett figure out her world. She seems to be taking more notice of Paul and I and who we are. She starts looking around when she hears Paul's voice and smiles a lot when we pick her up out of her crib. She also seems to understand her routine a bit more now. She starts to settle down when I read her "Goodnight Moon" (I read it every night after her other story, right before bed) and starts to wake up right before her feeding times.

Scarlett hit one other very important landmark this week... she slept straight through from 8 pm to 6 am last night!! Technically, on our schedule 7 am would be sleeping through the night, but we think 6 is pretty darn good for a 2 month old.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week 8: Feeling more in control

It is so hard to believe that Scarlett will be 2 months old on Friday! I almost can't remember life without her but 2 months sounds like she is getting too old too fast. Although she will always be the boss, Paul and I are definitely feeling more in control now that we're on a schedule (er, I mean a routine!). The first two days she fussed in the mornings when going down for her naps (or fought it tooth and nail) but now she seems to understand what is coming and goes right down 95% of the time. We miss all of our snuggle time, but the routine seems to be MUCH better for us and we think a lot better for her too. She hardly cries (not that she cried a ton before) and her system seems to be more regular. All three of us definitely get more sleep and it seems to be better quality, at least from our perspective. It has been a little less than a week, but I feel like a whole new woman! We've been able to work out regularly, clean the house, spend a little quality time together, and give the pets a little more attention. A big part of it is that we aren't as tired all of the time. We also look forward to her daily bath and story time and I think she does as well. She seems so happy!

Breastfeeding has been a little more of a struggle because she seems to prefer the faster flow of the bottle, but she still humors me at least once or twice per day. I'm still pumping every three hours or so, but that is going much better so I don't hate it as much as I did before. Things seem to be getting easier all around. We're still trying to master going out of the house while staying on the routine. On Saturday we went out to run errands and tried to time it so that we would be in the car during the times she was supposed to be sleeping (the car usually puts her to sleep). It worked pretty well, but she definitely wasn't 100% on schedule. On Sunday we went to brunch with Claire and Kyle (Scarlett's first brunch!) at Liberty Tavern. She was awake for most of the time this time, so again, she got a little off schedule. The good thing is that it hasn't seemed to phase her. She was right back in the groove once we got home. Amazing.

My dear friend Cheryl from L.A. got here last night and will be staying with us until Friday. I'm very happy about that because tomorrow will be Scarlett's first day at daycare, although probably only for part of the day. I will likely need someone to help distract me! Paul will be at work so I am very thankful to have Cheryl here to help keep my mind off of my baby being in someone else's care, even though I know she will be in great hands.