Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays

Our first Christmas as a threesome has come and gone. Could have been better...I was sick as a dog...again. Twice in one week--no fair! And I think this is the third Christmas I've been ill for out of the last five or so. I don't know what it is. I don't feel like I get particularly stressed around the holidays. I love Christmas. Just a germy time of year, I guess. This has definitely motivated me to get a flu shot though. It's not too late, is it? Last year I was able to get one for free because I worked at the hospital. That was the first time I ever had one. Where do normal people go? Your PCP?
So we missed out on our holiday dinner plans with our friends. It's fun to go to their house because their dog, Sadie, plays with Chewy; and their two kids were excited to spend some time with the Papoose. But we did get to spend a little time with them on the 23rd when we all went to Winterhaven to see the lights festival. This is a neighborhood in Tucson that puts on the most fantastic Christmas lights display you've ever seen. It's free to enter, though you can pay to take a hay ride or trolley ride if you don't want to walk. All the houses participate and the results are over the top in the best possible way. I took some pictures, but they didn't turn out well, as pictures of holiday lights rarely do. I don't even think a verbal description would do it justice, but I'll try: one house had a fountain set to music (think Bellagio); one featured a giant open mailbox with a ski slope diarama inside; one was western-themed complete with a cowboy lassoing the moon; one did an original take on the 12 Days of Christmas (Maids-a-Milking were represented by breastfeeding mamas, French Hens were wearing berets and sipping red wine); far too many to list... It was impressive. The residents must just plan to stay in every night for the 10 days leading up to Christmas. There is just no driving up and down those streets what with the throngs of people on foot, horses, and trolleys.
Chewy accompanied us, sporting his new haircut. He had to get shaved, despite the winter temps. When the Papoose was born and we were in the hospital, Chewy spent a few days at the kennel. He came back with mats in his fur that only got worse over the next two months as we didn't have the time, energy, or knowledge with which to deal with them. Finally, on advice from the Husband's cousin, who's a dog trainer, we learned that mats are actually painful for dogs and we immediately made him an appointment for grooming. So he had a doggie spa day for Christmas this year. He's been much more energetic since returning (just what we needed!), but he also seems a little cold...not wanting to lay on the linoleum anymore, looking for anything he can make a bed out of. So I think I'm going to get him a doggie coat (a nice sporty one, nothing frou-frou), put a blanket outside, and maybe look into some kind of dog house.
This is the Papoose with her new BFF, Fredericka, a gift from her Aunt R. Maybe some of you have heard of this, but apparently there's a company that has taken children's drawings of monsters and made them into real toys. A portion of the proceeds go to charity, and your monster comes with the child's own description. For instance, Fredericka is a girl who apparently likes caramel ice cream, roast beast, and "bisketti." She also loves to dance. So cute.
Happy holidays, everyone! I, for one, will be focusing on health this new year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

24-Hour Cure

So, apparently, being sick can affect the supply of nursing moms. Could be something to do with my inability to keep down fluids for almost 24 hours...or my complete lack of appetite for three days... Anyway, there also, apparently, is a cure. A "24-Hour Cure," to be exact. This consists of Mom staying in bed with Baby for, you guessed it, 24 hours, nursing whenever Baby shows the slightest interest, and not getting out of bed for anything but bathroom breaks. The frequent feeding and lots of rest is supposed to get things up and running well again. So guess where I'll be for the next 24 hours shortly after I post this? Pray for my sanity.
The sleepy girl pictured above is my new angel and best friend. She can do no wrong in my eyes at the moment. Why? Because for the last two nights she's only woken up once in the middle of the night. Yay!!! Of course, last night, I still only got 3 hours total of sleep because of how long it took me to get her back down, but I don't care! She's on the right track. I also hear her waking up, making noises, fighting her swaddle, working on digestive issues, and other baby pastimes for a good hour before actually fussing herself up into a full-fledged cry. This must mean she's beginning to learn a little self-soothing, self-sufficiency. Also good news for our dessicrated sleep stock.

And the best part of all? I got my first smile of recognition on my 30th birthday, when she was five and a half weeks old, last Wednesday. This morning, at seven weeks minus one day, I got a full five minutes of smiles and eye contact. So, so awesome.

Finally, some gratitude.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Sorry for the long hiatus. I know that Scarlet, in particular, has suffered. Our Internet service has been spotty, at best, for several days now. Know what we found out when we called our provider? The Husband and I are the luckiest people in the world when it comes to cable. We've had free cable for about seven years now, I think. At four different addresses. And never on purpose. No illegal boxes or anything. We just move places and the cable company never turns off the cable from the previous tenants. And this time, we never realized we weren't paying until they couldn't find us in their system. We signed up for cable at this house. They just apparently lost us. I thought we were on autopay or something and never noticed we weren't getting billed. So we're going to try to fix the problem ourselves, if possible, and hope they don't catch on and stick us with a $1000 cable bill for the past two years. But if they do, that's alright because we owe them. And if they don't, well, that's there fault since we just alerted them to the problem. If they continue to never send us a bill, I'll just assume they don't need our money.

I also have had the plague the last couple of days. The same one the Husband had about a month ago. Horrific. Feeling much better today. The Husband had to stay home from work the last couple days because I was too sick to even nurse and couldn't take care of the Papoose. Here's some eye candy to try and make up for the long absence (Sorry the lighting is so bad. I'm still trying to learn the secrets of using the flash without washing the pic out vs getting to dark of a shot).

I guess she still mostly sleeps. But, I swear, she's more alert and active now. I get smiles of recognition once every few days. Her head control is much better. She's learning things, like, when the burp cloth is tucked under her chin while she's sitting in a particular position, she's about to get a bottle. She loves to sleep in the swing. She likes to have her tummy rubbed. Still only sleeps about two hours, three if we're lucky, at a time at night. We're hoping that will improve a little soon, obviously. She still makes the grumpiest faces all the time, and we love them.

Oh, and the Fuzzy Buns verdict is in, as well as that on the Bum Genius diapers: we love pocket diapers. They seem to keep her sleeping longer at night than disposables or prefolds because she wakes up the second she feels wetness. These new pocket diapers wick it away better so she feels dry longer. The Fuzzy Bunz are very trim, too, though not as trim as disposables. But at least her clothes fit! And the Bum Geniuses are a little less trim than the Fuzzies, but much trimmer than the prefolds still. That's for all two of you out there who are interested in the subject. I won't bore the rest of you any longer.

When I can post again will depend on our Internet problem. As I said, it's in and out, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Week 5 in review:
  • We survived our first night without the Husband, who was out of town on business.
  • She must have hit another growth spurt because it seems like all she does is eat.
  • We bought our first Christmas tree. It's up, with lights, but we have to dig the ornaments out of the garage still.
  • Sporadic smiles have been spotted! None that are spontaneous, but occasionally in response to my smiles, and also this morning when reading, "Oink! I'm a pig!" accompanied by a pig that squeeks when you squeeze it. I think that book was the highlight of her day today.
  • She has learned to like the sling, the Baby Bjorn, and the Moby Wrap borrowed from Ouiser, which is the most comfortable of the three by far. We both love it! Thanks, Ouiser!
  • And we learned she looks dang cute in a hoodie.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Story of Stuff

The Husband's aunt shared this short film with us, which I thought I'd pass on to you. The Greenies will like it. Right-wingers will probably want to skip it, FYI.

With a shameful awareness of the irony of saying so after watching that film, I'm feeling very wanty on the Liliputian's behalf for all the great gift ideas listed here.

But in an effort to be less consumptive (not in the TB sense of the word, but in the sense I'm forcing onto the word here; not that we want TB either), I think we'll refrain from buying Christmas presents for our seven-week-old. There's clearly no disputing the fact that she won't know the difference. Plus, she has rattles and other toys she hasn't discovered yet, as well as a supply of brand new Fuzzi Bunz to try out. And we're hoping to get a tree this year, for the first year ever. I'm thinking the tree lights alone will captivate her more than material gifts. Plus she already has one gift waiting for her from her generous Aunt R! So I'll refrain from further shopping for the wee one. This year.

Wish me luck in my attempts to sew over the next few weeks. I don't know if it's in any way possible, but I plan to make a valiant effort towards finishing the wet bag I never completed before the little one arrived. And if this tree thing actually comes to fruition, I'll want a tree skirt and/or tree topper, both of which would have to be made. I'm not even going to worry much about ornaments this year. The main concern will be just keeping the cats and dog from mauling the tree and sending it crashing through the sliding glass door.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Four Weeks Down

The Papoosekin is one month old tomorrow. Part of me feels like it went so fast, and part of me feels like thanking God that we're one month closer to getting more sleep. Speaking of which, last night was the first night that the Husband got to sleep through all the feedings. Which is not to say that he didn't get woken up by the wee one; he did. But he didn't have to get up and do anything and was able to go right back to sleep. This made me feel a bit bitter, to be perfectly honest. I was truly happy that he was able to sleep, but there is a bit of a feeling of "But when do I get to sleep?!?" I know, I know, in good time, Grasshopper.

While we wait for that blessed day, in the meantime, there are one-month birthday cupcakes to enjoy. These were chocolate with cream cheese/chocolate chip centers. Not so good without frosting. With the frosting, delicious. Although, the Husband really prefers a fluffy cupcake and these were pretty dense. Almost muffin-dense. Sorry no pics of the inside. We got interrupted mid-celebration by some projectile spit-up.

Apparently, reaching one month of age inspires one to try out new sleeping positions...
And allows one to reach the enjoying-the-sling milestone. Yay! So happy to finally get my butt off the couch and be able to do at least some things around the house. The Husband even managed to vacuum yesterday with her in the sling. It put her to sleep.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


  • The great cloth diaper experiment has begun. We've done them during the day for about four days now. Nothing to it. It's way easier than I feared. Upsides: Obviously cost and environmental impact. But I also think they look more comfortable than the disposables. And disposables smell funny to me. Even clean ones. We also started the cloth wipes with the homemade wipes solution. Also startlingly simple. Downsides: so bulky that a lot (most) of her clothes don't fit over them. This is a seriously big booty.Also, she feels the wet immediately, so we're changing diapers much more often. We've ordered some Fuzzi Bunz, which are more expensive (though still thousands less than disposables, in the end), but supposedly much trimmer and more absorbent, to try out. These may eliminate both problems. But the washing factor for the prefolds we're currently usingis a piece of cake. Don't know why cloth seems so scary now. We're still doing disposables at night for now, and when we're out of the house.

  • Weight gain: we're up to 9 lbs 1 oz! Hooray! She's a weight-gaining machine now. Doc says we can cut the supplementing in half and quit the formula altogether. Sooo happy.

  • The Papoose has been gassy as all get out. Poor thing was waking herself up, screaming randomly, and getting mighty squirmy at feeding time, all due to gas pains. The good news is that my support group and the pediatrician gave us all sorts of ideas to improve this, including Mylicon drops, which apparently break down the big gas bubbles into smaller ones. Holy miracle magic elixir of the gods. She's like a whole new baby. So apparently I don't need to cut out dairy (or any other foods), which I was afraid of given Ouiser's and Toddler Tamer's experience with needing to do that. Thank God. I already had to go dairy-free during grad school and I was not a complete person without cheese.

  • Speaking of cheese...anyone familiar with Wallace and Gromit? The Husband and I cannot get over the Papoose's imitation of Wallace in the presence of cheese.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanks, Mom(s)!

We are officially on our own now. Three moms* have come and gone and provided invaluable help as we've adjusted to life with our new Papoose. They provided a constant stream of assistance with cooking, laundry, shopping, diaper changing, back patting (both the baby's and ours), reassurance, advice, chauffering, smiles, and more. We will be forever grateful.

The Husband's mother even cooked us Thanksgiving dinner, which was delicious. We would have been eating out of a box, no doubt, without her.

Even those of us who had no turkey, enjoyed a little post-turkey coma...

...and I was apparently the best spot for that after dinner nap.

*Addendum: There were, of course, actually four moms here, all told. The fourth was Toddler Tamer, who was equally helpful, if not more so, given that she's my age and just recently went through all this and so can relate more readily, perhaps, to my current challenges. I didn't think of her with the aforementioned moms, I think mainly because she's my age and so, though she's a mom, I don't think of her that way...we've shared one too many cocktails and venting sessions for her to sit in that category in my brain. I'm tired. I overcompartmentalize. Forgive me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Heavyweight Champ

First wink? Actually, just caught mid-yawn.

Hooray! Five days, 10.5 oz weight gain. Pretty impressive for someone less than three weeks old, eh? We won't be back to the pediatrician for another week, and the lactation consultant says she's still a little behind in weight, but clearly on the right track now. So we'll keep on truckin' with the supplementing and maybe by this time next week we'll have the okay to start tapering off. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mini Me

My dad sent me some scans of a few of my baby pics for comparison with Liliana's. I was going to leave it for you all to guess which ones were her versus me, but I think it's too obvious which pics are scans and which is the higher res. So I'll go ahead and tell you: the first three are me, the last two are Lily.

Pretty striking resemblance, eh? The Husband thought the pics of me were Lily at first glance. Now I need to get my MIL to send us some pics of the Husband for further analysis. I don't think she looks exactly like me, but I definitely see the similarities. What do you think?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


The husband is sick. Luckily, my mom is here, but I'm really not sure whether I should even sleep in our bed tonight...both of us sick? And not getting more than an hour and a half sleep at a time? With feedings currently being a two-person job (that he now can't participate in)? But if I don't sleep in our bed, will I be able to sleep at all? Time will tell. Pray for me that the Husband is merely sick with exhaustion (he's been getting less sleep than me) and not truly contagious.

In the meantime, I have no energy for creative blogging. What's that they say about the first two weeks being all about survival? We went to a nursing support group yesterday and I was able to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but make no mistake, we're still in the thick of it. Can't think more than three hours ahead at a time, so I hope some more pics of our beautiful girl will keep you interested until I have two thoughts to string together again.

Aunt Toddler Tamer is a great multitasker, wrangling baby and puppy simultaneously.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Quote of the Day

The Husband: "I just made my first mistake as a new father. I looked in the mirror."

Enjoying the swing and feeling a little more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed today.

Learning to suck her thumb. We swore we weren't going to do pacifiers, but hearing her cry unconsolably for hours in the bili bed in the hospital broke our hearts and changed our minds. She is definitely a suckler. Unfortunately, she's too young to hold the pacifier in her mouth by herself, and doesn't quite have the coordination yet to hold her hand in place either, so here she's getting a little help from Papa.

Asleep in the stroller after her first walk. The whole household ventured out: Me (not very far, lots of recovery still ahead of me), Mama Scarlet Lily, The Husband, Lily, and Chewy. Chewy's having a hard night. He's been very gentle with the baby, sniffing, occasional kisses. But he's a bit out of control excited and bored tonight. We're trying to be really careful about giving him lots of attention, but I'm sure he can still tell he's not numero uno anymore. And he definitely hasn't gotten his normal amounts of playtime and exercise. Plus there are two extra people in the house, one of whom makes strange new noises and smells. He's got a lot on his plate. Day camp for him tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

No, it's not a tanning bed. She and I have different blood types that apparently mixed at some point, causing my blood to attack hers, leaving her with a high bilirubin count. High enough that we had to spend two extra days in the hospital with our precious bundle in the bili bed. Luckily, she could still stay in our room, but she had to be naked, in the light bed, with light coming not only from above, but also through the transparent mattress below....

...She also sported a clear diaper, and opaque eye shield...
Her poor feet were turned into pincushions as her blood had to be tested twice a day tracking improvement. We had to feed her every two hours so she could get the stuff out of her system. She could only be out of the bili bed for feedings. Otherwise, we had to leave her under the lights, crying or not, with limited bonding opportunities. It was rough...
...but this morning we got the good news that we could finally go home! I didn't realize how much I needed to get out of that hospital until we were in the car, in the sunshine, returning to normal life (well, not normal as we knew it before, but more more normal than a hospital room).

(No, this is not us in the aforementioned car. I'm not Britney Spears. This is post-first feeding at home in her own nursery!)

We are so happy to be home with a now healthy baby girl. We're making up for the lost hours of contact, introducing her to her fur baby brothers and sisters, and learning to be new parents (changed my first diaper this morning with tutoring from Scarlet Lily's mama!).

You know there are more pics to come! This, I have no doubt, has just morphed into a full on baby blog, at least for a while. Forgive me for the one track mind I have certainly developed with nature's help.

And thank you all so much for all your heartfelt warm wishes! They were much appreciated through those couple of tougher days and nights until we got home. Things are looking much rosier now.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Baby in the House (almost)

Hello all this is the Husband,

At 11:19 pm on November 3rd after many hours of hard work my champion of a wife brought Liliana Jordan Strong into this world. She is a beautiful (of course, she is mine) 8 pound 0 ounces, 18 ¾ inch long baby girl. I wish I could convey to all of you everything that has happened in the last 48 hours, unfortunately I do not have the time or vocabulary. As a poor substitute I will do my best to show you what has been experienced during this time using pictures.