I’m never going to catch up, not with everyone home from school and work. I’m going to try to finish the draft post I’ve had dragging on for two weeks this afternoon, but we’ll see how successful that is. I just don’t want it dragging over into the new calendar year.
I haven’t had time to tell you that the boy lost his other upper front tooth, so was a gleeful personification of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” or that Christmas was an absolutely lovely day with all the family here, that I cooked a knock-down brilliant turkey, or that this is the Plague House because everyone has the flu or horrible colds and so everything social we’d planned or planned to plan this week has been cancelled. I haven’t been able to sit down long enough to say that both the boy’s goldfish, (known as Goldie One and Goldie Two) died this past week, or that he has discovered Angry Birds, or that he adored the Star Wars Lego advent calendar that Ceri and Scott gave him, or that Owlet’s first solid food was a piece of homemade pancake, snatched off my plate then blissfully sucked and gummed into a soggy mess yesterday morning.
I haven’t been able to sit down and rail at you about how I discovered that my washing machine, my year-old washing machine, “saves energy” by substituting half of the water in a hot wash with cold water and how that was the underlying problem with washing the cloth diapers (that is NOT A HOT WASH and I don’t know in whose mind it possibly could be). I haven’t even mentioned the Christmas recital and how well it went (music-wise, that is; I did mention that Owlet had been prepared for the cello playing, but not the first crash of applause that freaked her out, and so HRH spent the recital in the church basement walking her so she wouldn’t wail after every piece). I haven’t been able to crow that I got my box of author copies of the bird book, and rhapsodize about how gorgeous it is (I knew it would be pretty, having seen the full-colour galleys, but it’s stunningly beautiful and I love holding it).
I have photos to post, too. Maybe I’ll just kind of throw a series of mini-posts up this afternoon while Owlet naps. If she naps for more than twenty minutes, that is.
Look who loved Santa! Thank you, powers that be, for making her one of those instead of one that freaks out. We woke her up in line, and I expected to have to feed her to calm her down because of over-stimulation, but instead she was entranced by the lights and music and the new Christmas carousel the mall has installed with their holiday redesign (long overdue, I must add… although it’s a bit heavy on the red).
Also, who authorised the boy to become a string bean?
We kept the boy out of school and had a family day, seeing Santa and having lunch out, instead of trying to make it all happen on a weekend day when the malls are hellish. It was a great decision; the crowds were pretty much non-existent. I think we’ll do it again next year.
Everyone remember how worried the medical pros were about how slowly Owlet was gaining weight in her first three months? And I’ve been worried lately because my supply seems to have vanished/not be enough any more, too; she does a lot of trying to nurse and crying, whacking my chest with a hand, and my pumping output has dropped drastically as well.
I talked to the doctor Monday at Owlet’s 4-month appointment (which was at 4.5 months) about my concerns with the supply issue. She asked if I wanted to go on a medication like domperidone to increase my milk supply, and I said I didn’t know and wanted her opinion. She said one 3-oz bottle of formula a day to fill her up fast so she can sleep comfortably, like we’ve started doing before a nap, wasn’t a problem, that I was still breastfeeding exclusively otherwise (including feeding a bottle of EBM before the other nap) and all the medical benefits from that would continue just fine, and we’d be starting solids in a few weeks anyway… but she usually let the mums decide, and if I really wanted it she’d write me a scrip no problem.
Then we weighed Owlet.
This four and a half month baby weighs 14 lbs 7 oz. She gained 3.5 lbs in six weeks.
My doctor went to write it down, saw the previous weight notation in the booklet, and said, “Can we weigh her again, please? I’m not sure I caught that number correctly.” So we weighed her again, and the doctor laughed and said, “I’m not prescribing domperidone for you. You’re doing just fine.”
And I just took out all the 3-6 months clothes last week. Guess what? She’s already too long for those sleepers; I have to break into the 6-9 months boxes to find ones that fit. (She’s 63.5 cm; gah. Long baby is long.) The hems of the 0-3 month nightgowns are all around her knees now, so I have to pack them away. Goodnight, sweet baby nightgowns; I love you and will miss you.
There’s a more detailed update coming in the next few days, if naps allow.
(14 Dec: This was sitting as a draft in a folder; I forgot to publish it last Thursday. Better late than never.)
So far, we have:
- A mischevious, tiny dimple on the right side of her face that comes and goes
- An interest in her playmat, and the Tummy Turtle that Sparky also loved
- She has experimented with the exersaucer, which she found tolerable
- She is close to rolling; she can get onto her side from her back
- Almost holding her own bottles, with occasional success
And… singing! She squawks along with great delight to her favourite song, Five Little Ducks, when HRH sings it to her. I worked on some cello recording for study purposes earlier this week and she squawked along with that, too. She loves bouncing on someone’s knee playing horsie (most kids do, of course, but it’s so much fun to see the delight on a baby’s face). HRH has a version of the flying baby where he buzzes her around erratically like a little bee, complete with buzzing noise, which she also adores.
There has been further refinement of reaching for things, picking them up, and bringing them to her mouth. Her “talking” is becoming more sophisticated, too, as she experiments with inflection, syllables, and sounds.
She didn’t attend my fall concert as we’d originally planned. She has to go to bed right after dinner or the entire evening devolves into screaming and flailing, and has been resisting the car seat and the car in general the past month, so we cut our losses, erred on the side of valour (or some such thing) and Owlet stayed home with Daddy while Sparky and I went to the concert. Ceri and Scott generously had him over to play and have supper while I went to the venue for warmup, and Lu brought Sparky and Ceri to the concert with her. It worked out quite well. But she is slated to attend our cello recital this coming weekend, as that happens in the late afternoon and only lasts an hour.
We have begun using one-piece winter gear, which results in what I call the Happy Seal Baby, complete with flipper arms and legs. She likes being bundled into it, which mystifies me, unless it’s because I laugh at her while we do it, and because it means she’s being put in the mei tai to walk to the boy’s bus stop. She always enjoys that because it’s time with her beloved Sparky. We have a lighter and looser one-piece winter suit for the car, because this thick fuzzy one is a just-barely-fit, being a 0-3 mos piece, and also because our car seat is already being pushed to its strap limits with her cloth diapers adding so much bulk.
On the diapering front, she’s still a heavy wetter, which is stressing our light cotton flannelette diapers. My local mama-baby shop is having a moving sale, so I picked up two organic cotton terry diapers and liners to test out; if they work (and I cannot see how they could be less effective than the thin ones we’re currently working with), I have a coupon for 25% off when they reopen after Christmas in their new location, so I can pick up more.
The cosleeper/sidecar crib is working well. I have been delinquent in showing it off!
It’s gotten her out of our bed, thank goodness, and given her her own space. Now we just need to work on her sleeping in it without me there to have an arm around her. As it is, I pretty much go to bed when she does at sevenish, which leaves HRH with handling everything else house-and family-related at night. But one step at a time. Even having her in the mini crib is a huge stride forward from the baby who would only sleep on or curled up next to someone.
Because she’s such a slow and inefficient eater, we’ve figured out that a bottle delivers her the full tummy required for more successful daytime naps on her own, so that’s what we do at her nap times. How long a nap lasts is completely unpredictable, though. They’re mostly about twenty minutes to half an hour, but a good day will yield forty-five minutes or even an hour and a half. Once or twice she’s done three hour stretches, usually on a day when I have no pressing scheduled chores to do at home that could benefit from a sleeping baby, worse luck (although the break has been wonderful, don’t misunderstand me). Because we need these bottles, I’m trying to pump more milk, which depends on those naps too, so that I can actually get time to do it. We’re still relying on formula as a part-time source for those bottles, but I’m hoping to get the pumping output up enough so we can go back to a diet of completely breastmilk. It’s weird, but her smell changes when she has any amount of formula, and I like her natural smell better. (It’s not weird, really, it’s perfectly normal that one’s smell changes as a result of what one eats; it’s probably also not weird that I prefer my baby to smell the way she does when on a diet of my milk alone.)
She’s still eating every two hours around the clock (formula makes no difference as to how long she goes between feeds), which is pretty exhausting overall, especially since she eats so slowly at night and takes a while to be soothed to sleep, so I don’t get much sleep myself before she wakes up for the next feeding, if I fall asleep again at all. I do a lot of repeating, “This isn’t forever, this isn’t forever” to myself. But it would be nice to have more sleep, and more time to myself mentally and physically.