Monday, December 28, 2009

A Shot In The Leg

Dear Hazel,
Today was a big day for you. You had your first Healthy Child doctor's visit... where you got your first round of immunizations. I must say that you took the shots much better than I took you getting them. In fact, within 10 minutes of getting the shots, you were fast asleep in your carseat. That's not to say that you didn't scream bloody murder when you got them, but all in all... not too bad.

We gave you a dose of Infant Tylenol before the shots were administered and I think that may have helped with the pain. Because 20 minutes into your afternoon nap... which was just about four hours post-shots... you woke up screaming in pain. I gave you another dose and after about 30 minutes of crying, you went back down and are still swinging away peacefully. Let's hope that lasts.

So, it turns out that even though you have days where it looks like you've made spitting up an Olympic sport, it has not impeded your growth. You are over 25 inches long and are 13 pounds, 7 oz. Which puts you in the 96th percentile in weight (up from the 50th percentile when you were one month old) and in the 100th percentile in height (up from the 95th percentile). You, my dear... you're a happy, healthy baby. In fact, the doctor that examined you said that you looked and acted like a 4-month-old, rather than a 2-month-old.

So, you're tall AND smart? WORD.

You know... we gave you the name Hazel Reese because it sounded to us like a strong name. A name for a woman who could be... well, anything! Perhaps a Supreme Court Justice? Maybe the world's leading orthopedic surgeon? How about a classically trained opera singer? Anything you want, baby girl. And it looks like you've got the brains to make those dreams of ours come true.

With the obvious exception of pole dancing, there's nothing out there that a woman with the name Hazel Reese can't be.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two Months

Dear Hazel,
Well, your first Christmas has come and gone. You had a wonderful Christmas with my side of the family and cleaned up with gifts from all of your Auntie's and Uncles that you'll get to know in the coming years. Lucky girl.

With all of the extra help around this week - your aunts and grandparents came down to celebrate with us and give your daddy and I a much needed Date Night - it has given me time to reflect on what the last two months have meant to me.

I know that some of my previous posts may have led you and others who ultimately read the blog to believe that you're a "hard baby". This... this is not the case. In fact, I truly believe that you may just be the easiest baby in the world, and it's simply your parent's lack of knowledge about anything baby-related that has caused so much drama in our lives. And your mother's need to vent through the medium of the internet through dramatic humor have possibly made people think that you are not a good baby. When the truth of the matter is that you are. You ARE. And if people out there actually knew how good and easy you were, they'd probably slap me across the face, tell me that I should be so lucky... and then steal you for their own. FOR REAL.

When I think about the first two months, and in particular, the first five weeks of your life, I'm reminded of a line in a movie that was popular when I was growing up: Parenthood. Really, it wasn't that great of a movie and wasn't really that memorable... but for some reason, a line in that movie always stuck with me and it came roaring back at me all these years later when you came into our lives:
"You need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any a$$hole be a parent."

(insert finger pointing at myself here) ME. I'm the a$$hole, Hazel. The first five weeks of your life, your father and I were completely clueless and the only thing we knew FOR SURE, is that even with all of the excitement we had for you coming into our lives, even with all of the reading we did, even with everyone telling us that having a baby will change your life FOREVAH... seriously, we should never have been allowed to a) have a baby and b) if in the event we did have a baby, we shouldn't have been allowed to bring you home because WE. KNEW. NOTHING.

Can you imagine that? Two college educated people in their 30's... brought to their knees by a teeny-tiny baby and realizing that not only was that baby helpless, so were they?

Yea... those first five weeks were no bueno. Not from anything you did... rather from what your parents did and did not do. Based on what they did and did not know. And how they did and did not handle this new stress in their lives. Luckily, you made it out of those first five weeks relatively unscathed and I'm truly grateful that you'll never be able to remember all of those missteps in your handling and the mistakes we made as new parents.

The last few weeks of your life, Hazel, have been pure bliss. We feel like we're finally starting to figure you out (until the next curveball you throw at us, that is... and I suppose then, we'll eventually figure that out, as well), and have been enjoying you as a beautiful, sweet and easy baby. You really don't ask for much, you know? I'm starting to figure out the signs that you are hungry, wet and tired. We've stopped trying to get you on a schedule... we figure that when your brain gets a little more developed we'll try again... and until then we'll just do what you want and let you set your own schedule. Like the other night when you decided to take a nap from 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m., and we just decided that the Christmas party we were supposed to go to was not as important (or for that matter, adorable) as a baby sleeping soundly in a swing by the Christmas tree.

The only thing we know for sure now is that nothing is set in stone. You might wake up at 1:30 to feed, or you might wake up at 4 a.m. The last three days, you've woken up at 6:15 a.m. for a feeding and have gone back to sleep two out of those three days right after eating. The Daddy Special did not work AT ALL last week, but the last two days it's been gold. We just never know with you. But you know what? You don't cry a whole lot anymore. I've never had to put you in the car at 4 a.m. to get you to stop crying and go to sleep. I've never had to do anything more than feed you for that to happen. And when you do wake up for a feeding in the middle of the night, you just might be the happiest baby on the planet when you see me. The only thing you really demand from us is that during the days, your naps take place in your swing in the living room or while you're riding in the car with me when I just HAVE to get out of the house. But that doesn't bother me like it once did because you have no problem going to sleep at night in your crib. You're a GREAT traveler. You have really taken to our lifestyle of being out and about and we can take you just about anywhere without too much complaining on your end. Really, as long as you're not hungry, it only takes 10 minutes or so in the car before you pass out thanks to the vibration of the ride. You sleep when you're tired and we've given up trying to force you to go to sleep... because you usually only have a couple of hours of awake time in you before you exhaust yourself, and you usually go down after only 90 minutes of being awake. Which is good and bad. Good because a well-rested baby is a very. happy. baby. And bad because sometimes you sleep so long that your father and I actually miss you and wish you would wake up so we can see your smiling face and hear your coo's, oo's, ah's and yes... even your adorable hiney burps.

You've been resting comfortably when you nap for days now. Possibly because you know that your parents aren't going crazy anymore and that while it took a little longer than we expected, this is now our new "normal" and we love it. Your father and I love you more than anything and are so glad you came into our lives. And we love each other all the more for you... you are something that we made together and were able to give each other. How many Christmas gifts can you say that about?

You have to go to the doctor on Monday for your first round of immunizations. Thanks to advice from a friend, we postponed the appointment until after Christmas, so as to avoid a fevered and cranky baby. Can I just tell you how much I'm dreading your shots? First off... I hate needles going into MY body, I cannot handle the thought of one going into yours. I also don't want you to have any discomfort as a side-effect of the shots... which I know will likely occur. It scares me to think of you not feeling well and knowing that I was the cause of it. I know, I know... I'm doing this for your own good and for the good of those around you as you go to day care... but that doesn't mean it doesn't break my heart.


Friday, December 25, 2009

In Her Defense, She's Not Into Winter Fashion

Guess who's not a fan of the new hat Aunt Lindsey knitted her for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Early To Bed... Early To Rise????

Dear Hazel,
Today was a banner day for us. Last night, you slept for six hours again, and then after your 4 a.m. feeding, went down for another 4 hours. Amazing! Even more amazing? You didn't have a big feeding at 8:30, so you fed again at 10:30 and actually took an hour-long nap after that! In your crib! YOUR CRIB!!! With no crying when I put you down. No needing me to sing you a folk song while walking circles around the living room and kitchen.

When you woke up, I took you to Costco and the bank... and you promptly fell asleep after only 15 minutes of crying in the car seat. And then you slept for 4.5 hours. UNHEARD OF, Hazel. When you finally woke up, you were ravenous. And I couldn't blame you. I mean, it had been almost 6 hours since your last feeding.

Daddy got home and played with you for a bit and around 6:45, you started to get a little fussy. We couldn't really figure out what was wrong other than your general evening fussiness, so Daddy put you in the swing, covered you with a blanket and stuck the binkie in your mouth, securing it against the blanket.

And. You. Were. OOOOOOT!!!

Here it is, almost three hours later, and we don't know what to do. I mean, we haven't had an evening like this since before you came into our lives. Usually at this time, we're either feeding you, consoling you for the fact that IT'S NIGHTTIME AND YOU MUST. CRY., or giving you a bath.

As it is now, I got all of our Christmas cards addressed and stamped... cleaned the kitchen, visited with a neighbor who brought over a gift for you and made fun of your Daddy for being obsessed with his new cell phone. And don't let him ever tell you he's not. And, keep in mind that being "gadgety" is just a fancy name for DORKY.


So.... we are sitting here wondering what to do with you. It's clear that there's no bathtime in your future tonight. I'm wondering if you're ever going to wake up, or if you're going to spend the night in the swing. Surely you'll wake up soon. It's been four hours since your last feeding and Mommy's breasts are ready for you to wake up. FOR REAL.

I don't feel comfortable leaving you out in the living room overnight, so I may end up sleeping on the couch until you wake up. It's beginning to look like you're going to power through... maybe until midnight?

I guess the good part about this is that you've jumped face-first into an earlier bedtime? Could it have been that easy? Are you seriously just the easiest baby on the face of the planet and your father and I don't realize how good we have it? COULD IT BE THAT SIMPLE???


Sunday, December 20, 2009


Dear Hazel,
You're currently fast, FAST asleep while your Daddy and I watch the Packers game. You (we) had a big day today. We got you up at 7:20 this morning (a time carefully calibrated by your dad and I to make sure we could get you dressed in your Sunday best and into the car with as little wake-time and crying as possible) so that we could drive up to Grammy and Pappy's for a visit. Since you're their only grandchild right now, you are particularly spoiled by them and we thought that it would be nice to show you off to their home ward, as everyone knows that Grammy has been bragging about you for the last two months. Oh, and by the way... your dad and I were rockstars getting you out of the house this morning. ROCK. STARS. You were changed and in the seat without so much as a wimper.... not too bad for breaking the cardinal rule for NEVER WAKING A SLEEPING BABY.

Anyhoo, this weekend our little family did not stay home much. We had dinner at a friends on Friday, a neighborhood party Saturday afternoon, before we went shopping - and did you know that shopping the week before Christmas just may be THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD? I knew that, of course... I just forgot that Christmas is coming up next week! Anyway, we followed that with a trip to go see Gavin, Ryan and Kaylene and then finally back home for dinner with some more friends. And you were an absolute champ, sweetie girl! You slept for most of that... which made us a bit nervous for what the bedtime routine would bring.

You've been going through some interesting changes these last couple of weeks with your sleep patterns... and it has been particularly prevalent these last few days. You're taking your usual morning nap... and that lasts about an hour. Then, you take a loooonnnggg afternoon nap that could last anywhere from 3-4 hours. And then... well, it's getting harder to put you down at night... I won't lie. You get a teeny-tiny bit fussy, but you seem to be sleeping for just a little bit longer each night.

Last night, for example, we started your bath at about 9:30... and by 11 p.m., after you were bathed and fed, you were still fussy and nothing we could do could calm you down enough to get you to close your eyes. Finally, after the Daddy Special didn't work and the Mommy Secret Recipe didn't work either... I put you down and went to the bedroom to scream into a pillow.

And GUESS. WHAT? Once we put you down, your screams and crying seemed to lessen just a bit. And within 4 minutes (because 5 minutes was when I was going to come in and soothe you again by explaining that your cries were completely breaking my heart and please, take pity on your mommy, mkay?) you. were. OUT.

Um... WHAT?

And then? Then you slept until 5 a.m.. For a total of 6 hours. And 6 hours, Hazel? The most hours in a row in WEEKS!

And, and, AND!!!!.... You pretty much fed every 3.5-4 hours the last two days instead of every two hours. Which helps us be more mobile and helps Mommy not feel like a zombie. This is a new phase of your development that I can get on board with, baby girl.

The only problem now is that even if you don't wake up at 3 or 4 a.m., I STILL DO. And then I lay in bed and start wondering if you're okay and if you're still alive. And should I go pump? Because I'm about to burst right now and it's a tiny bit painful.. cuz it's been 7 hours! And I wonder if you're okay, again... should I go check and run the risk of waking you up?

So, that's where we are right now with you. You've been asleep now for three hours, and I'm hoping that you've got another 6 hour shift tonight in you. Maybe I can re-train myself to sleep through the night again.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Amazing Hazel Baby

Yesterday, Hazel, Benny and I went to my office Christmas party. Having been out of the office since mid-October, it was great to see everyone again. And Hazel was absolutely the Belle of the Ball. I couldn't keep her asleep and all of the women at the party had to hold her and play with her.

This, of course... made me a little nervous as I knew that a missed nap could cause a huge bomb to go off in our house later that night when we tried to put an overtired baby down to sleep. I was also worried that she would get all sorts of fussy as she normally does in the evening and ruin a perfectly good Christmas party. But my baby girl.... my sweet, curveball of a baby girl... was absolutely amazing. The only time she acted up was when it was time to eat. And she took four whole ounces of formula from Benny... not even choking on the bottle one time!!!

And then she fell asleep on my shoulder... perfectly content to be in the moment, in the middle of a party with lots of laughing and talking. My little girl... turns out she's a bit of a social butterfly... even at 2 months!

We came home last night at about 9:30, fully expecting a meltdown from Hazel. None came. Even after her bath, when Benny took her out of the tub... which is also the moment that Hazel loses her ever-loving mind. I think she just loves the water so much that she abhors leaving it. But last night? Not one scream. Not even one peep. For a minute, I worried that she might be a little sick. I fed her while Benny (who had been working outside all day and was exhausted) hit the sack.

Here's the thing... Hazel loves her Daddy. And apparently, when it's time to go to bed, the only one who is worthy of putting her down is Daddy. Even if Daddy is dead to the world... Mommy just won't do. So, after 45 minutes of trying and getting NOWHERE, I woke Benny up and ordered the Daddy Special for Hazel.

The result? 5 minutes later, she was out and Benny was back in bed... again, dead to the world.

We've noticed that if we can get Hazel to bed before 11 p.m., she will usually sleep for 4.5-5.5 hours. But if we get her down anytime after 11 p.m., she only sleeps for 2.5-3.5 hours. So... you can see where WE REALLY WANT HER IN BED BEFORE 11. Last night, she went down at 11:05, but took mercy on me and slept for 4.5 hours. I'm looking forward to the first time she sleeps through the night. Also, I'm looking forward to her bedtime being earlier than 9. I know that's a few months from now, but a girl can still dream.

I'm having mixed emotions right now about the future. A month ago, if you had asked me how I felt about taking her to day care, I would have told you that while I love my baby girl... DAY CARE NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Because I have got to have some adult interaction and I just don't do the stay-at-home with the baby thing well. And I'm kinda bored. And I'm getting nothing back from this child!!!

But now? Well... at almost two months, Hazel's starting to be fun! She smiles, she coo's, she loves to look at me and loves to look at the shapes book that we have for her. She's downright enjoyable! And I can't believe that I have to miss that... that I have to miss her growing up right before my eyes. Because now that things are settling down and I'm settling into my new role as Mommy, I can appreciate how much she changes from day-to-day. It's SCARY fast and I have been relishing watching it happen before my eyes. SO. COOL.

Luckily for me, the day care facility we're taking her to is A) Top of the line; and B) Close to my office... so if I need to run out there for some time to love on her, it shouldn't be too hard. But still... it breaks my heart to think about what's coming.

Speaking of what's coming... Hazel's got a doctor's appointment on Dec. 23. I think she'll get some immunization shots at that time, which scares the hell out of me. Seriously. Benny may just have to jump on the grenade again since I know I can't be in the room with her when she gets the shots, as it will KILL ME DEAD to hear her cry in pain.

And now I'm all stressed about THAT. Way to go, Mommy. Freaking out a full week before you need to.

Benny and Hazel at Rooster's... catching some zzzz's.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Dear Hazel,
Well... your mother did it AGAIN. I messed up your schedule today. Well... I and two back-to-back poorly timed poopy's (PTP's) that woke you from your naps.

We had to go pick up Aunt Lindsey from the airport this morning... and after you woke up at 7:15 a.m., instead of putting you back down to sleep as is our norm, I got you dressed and ready for our excursion to SLC. Once we got down to the airport, you woke from your car-driving induced coma, proceeded to wet yourself (yea... it leaked) and demand to be fed. Since it was too damn cold to change you, the only option I had of helping you keep some semblance of sanity was to feed you. In the parking lot. IN FRONT OF GOD, THE TSA AND EVERYBODY. We can only hope and pray that the tint on the windows was tinted enough. I'm just sayin'... I had no time for modesty at that point.

Anyway... long story short: By 6 p.m. tonight, you had only slept 7 hours of the day... and that was from 4 a.m. on. NO BUENO, baby girl. One thing we have noticed in the last couple of weeks is that if you get the rest you need during the day, you aren't nearly as fussy and your night times are down right pleasant. That... THAT DID NOT HAPPEN TODAY. And we are currently rueing the PTP's. RUEING THEM TO HELL.

Once Daddy got home (woo-hoo!) he was was able to get you down for a 3.5 hour nappy-poo on his chest... which was good and bad. Good because you desperately needed the rest. Bad because you woke up at 9:45-ish, ate, had a bath and are now fighting sleep at 11 p.m.. Why? BECAUSE YOU JUST SLEPT FOR 3.5 HOURS AND CANNOT BELIEVE WE EXPECT YOU TO GO TO BED SO SOON ALREADY!!!

So, we expect it to be a looonngggg night. But, I'm convinced this is just a blip on the radar as tomorrow you will be right back on your schedule and I will not make you stay awake after the 7 a.m. feeding. Because I don't plan on being awake. And trust me... that's how you and I are going to roll from now on!


Thursday, December 10, 2009


Dear Hazel,
As I write this, you are sound asleep on Daddy's chest. It seems that you have decided that if an evening nap is to take place, it WILL take place on Daddy's chest. No if, and's or but's about it. It's strange, I know... but at 7-weeks-old, you don't respond so much to logic. Who knew?

This week you've started to change your nap habits a bit. You are taking a 2.5-3 hour nap in the mid-morning. Which is working out pretty well for me since I had to start working part-time from home this week. It's almost like you knew!

That, of course, also means that your nighttime schedule is FUBAR'd. Big time. And the last week that you've been relatively calm at night when your Daddy walks in the door went ooooottttt the windooooowwwwww.

However, we may be on to something with your new routine. Last night, after a skipped evening nap and a LOT of crying that could not be calmed by myself or Daddy, we decided to start your bedtime routine an hour earlier. I gave you a bath, Daddy gave you a massage and I nursed you to sleep. The result? You were asleep by 9:30! A full two hours earlier than normal! Of course, this meant you were up two hours later for a feeding and then three hours after that... but if it means that Mommy and Daddy get to go to bed before midnight-ish? GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!

Last night was stressful for a plethora of reasons, Hazel. Mommy was tired. Daddy got rear-ended just before he got home. And by the time he got home, the pizza's that he'd picked up (that's right... PLURAL) were cold, and you were well on your way to Fussyville... on the Express Train, actually.

What followed were tears from you. Tears from me. And one very frustrated Daddy who didn't get to see you smile once yesterday.

Tonight, we think we may have figured out your issue... in that we're trying to force you to take a nap when you're not ready and you just want to hang out with us. Which is what led to you falling asleep on Daddy's chest, with your nose secured in his armpit, while we watched The Office.

We're looking forward to figuring out what you have in store for us tonight, baby girl. Please take it easy on us.

Your Mama

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Good Things

Dear Hazel,
Today, you turned 6. As in 6 weeks. And your father and I cannot believe that A) You're 6 weeks already and B) YOU'RE ONLY 6 WEEKS?

It's been the longest, and also the shortest 6 weeks of our lives. Really... it must be said that you coming into our life has been like a bomb going off in The House That Daddy Built and Your Mama's Cat Soiled. A Hazel Bomb... heretofore referred to as "The H-Bomb of 2009."

Really... it doesn't matter how many people tell you that having a baby will change your life completely. Until you go through it... until your entire world begins to revolve around dirty diapers and Please, God... Let her sleep!, you have NO IDEA what new world awaits you when you finally get the baby out of your body and into your lives. It's madness, I tell you. MADNESS!

I realize that the majority of my letters to you so far have been complaining about your crying. And, again... keep in mind as you read this that your father and I were total rookies with you when we brought you home and our baby knowledge-base is expanding every day. Every minute of every day, actually. And, again... please forgive us our mistakes in handling you these first few weeks... just know that all of our mistakes were mistakes born out of love and a lack of aptitude for parenting. But we're learning. We're growing. And we're getting by on less and less sleep.

Anyway, to prevent you from thinking you brought nothing to our lives besides screaming, crying and boogies, I thought I would let you know other things about yourself at 6-weeks of life.

  • You LOVE light. Are fascinated by it, actually. We know if we need to distract you, we can just turn on a light or walk you past a room with a light and voila! You're entranced. Your Daddy is even considering leaving the Christmas Tree up year-round just to have that distraction on hand.
  • You adore your Daddy's beard. When he holds you while you sleep on his chest during Movie Night, you like to rub your face against it. And then you get a cute little beard burn.
  • You love your shapes book that our friend/coach Debbie gave us. Your favorite are the black and white polka-dots and the black and white squares.
  • You are fascinated by the Santa statue I have next to the Christmas tree and spend quite a bit of your day in your bouncy chair staring at it.
  • You love walks. You do, however, hate getting in the car seat for the walk... but once you're in, you usually pass out and enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, it finally snowed here today so it looks like our walks in the stroller are going to be few and far between for the rest of winter. However, you do love to sleep in the Bjorn when your Daddy puts it on and takes you for a walk. Actually... we've been cheating on getting you to go to sleep in the last couple of days by using the walk (stroller or Bjorn) to lull you to sleep.
  • You're starting to have more social smiles and make a TON of different faces... all of which your Daddy has captured on camera. Your Daddy... he's a bit obsessed with taking pictures of you.
  • You sleep well when you're sleeping on me or Daddy. And your favorite position appears to be The Frog.
  • When you sleep in your crib, you sleep most peacefully when your arms are waaaayyyy up above your head.
  • The only hat you will let us put on you is a hat that Aunt Lindsey knitted you. If we try to put on the hat that your Daddy bought you, your screams will melt steal.
  • For some reason, you can go 4 hours without feeding if your Daddy is holding you while you sleep. But if I'm holding you, or you're in your crib asleep, you will insist on being fed every hour or 90 minutes. Thus... Daddy does a lot of holding in the evenings. Which he loves... as do you.
  • You are capable of producing the biggest boogers known to man.
  • You're a tad gassy right now... but the good news is that you're finally able to start pushing them and they come out without a whole lot of screaming anymore. The result are huge farts that would embarrass me if we were out in public and you let one of them rip. And I would totally blame it on your Daddy were you to do this in the future. To protect you. And me.
  • You currently fit in 3-month-old baby clothes. We have to roll the legs and sleeves up on a few of the outfits, but trust me... in a few days, we won't have to bother. You're a long one, baby girl.
  • You get the hiccups after almost every single meal.
  • You sleep more soundly when there's a ton of noise (like Daddy listening to a football game, or going to dinner with friends) than if it's silent.
  • You quack like a duck to let us know you're ready to get up. No. Really. Exactly like a duck.
That's really all I've got for now. I just put you down for the night and I fully expect you to be up in 20 minutes or so, so I'm going to go take a quick nappy-poo.

Your Mama

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boogie Monster

Dear Hazel,
You've always been a happy morning baby... as I've alluded to in past letters, it's only when the clock hits 5 p.m. (and Daddy walks through the door) that you lose your mind.

This morning, however, you freaked out at 8:45 a.m.... for no known reason. Well, known to you but since you were unable to communicate it to me... well, let's just say there was a LOT of screaming and crying.

Can I just tell you how much it hurts me when I can tell your cry is a mix of fear and pain? It absolutely breaks my heart... moreso when I have absolutely no clue what is wrong and how to make it better.

After 30 minutes of out-and-out screaming/sobbing/tearing my heart in two, I discovered that you had a booger in your nose that was bothering you. REALLY? That's all it is? A boogie?

So, I took the ball syringe and attempted to dislodge said mucous from your nostril... but nothing doing. And you were screaming louder than ever. The nurses had told us when you were born to be conservative with the syringe as it could irritate the nostril so your father and I have been careful with it in the past, making sure we didn't use it to much or go up to high in the nose.

But, desperate times call for desperate measures... and after three attempts to dislodge the booger, I got it close enough to the opening of your nostril to pull it out by hand. And it was the largest man-sized booger I have ever seen in my life. I don't know that your father pulls those types of boogers, Hazel. It was THAT big. I thought that having that discomfort taken care of would relieve you... but you were sooooo far gone at that point, we had to coax you back down to a peaceful calm that we're used to with you in the mornings. That took a while. And it caused you to miss your morning nap and you haven't been napping well all day since the routine was broken. We could be in for a long night, you and I. And your father. No way is he getting out of this!

I was at the doctor later that morning and explained the situation to them... and was informed that babies breathe exclusively through their noses, and with a booger that big, you probably had the sensation that you were suffocating.

And now... well, now I feel like a perfect arse for not knowing this and getting frustrated when you wouldn't stop crying!! I'm so sorry, baby girl! Had I known, I would have stuck that syringe up your nose the second you started crying.

I never thought I'd say this... much less post it for all to see and judge me for thinking, but I cannot wait for you to be able to pick your own nose. Won't even care if you eat it... just as long as you can breathe, baby girl. Just as long as you can breathe.

Your Mama... The Rookie.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Dear Hazel,
I just put you down for your afternoon nap, and thought I should write this before you wake up again in... oh, 10 minutes. That's pretty much been the way you've rolled these last couple of days. I don't know why... I'm still learning the mothering thing. I can tell you that you LURVE the white noise we've got going in your room, courtesy of Uncle Creig. And as a result, I LURVE it too. And possibly your Uncle Creig just a leetle bit more.

Last night, you slept 6.5 hours. IN A ROW. Which, frankly, is unheard of with you. Especially the last two days. I guess that your dad and I are going to have to succumb to a few facts with you.

1 - You will sleep like the dead during your morning naps and will be harder to wake up than a hibernating bear.
2 - As a result, you will not take longer than 20 minute naps anytime after 3 p.m.
3 - You WILL lose your mind every day at 5 p.m. Or, in the case of yesterday, 4:15. Even if you are looking content and happy, once that clock hits 5 p.m., it's every man for himself. You want to fuss and you WILL fuss. No matter what we say or do to calm you down. It just is.
4 - If we take you out at night and you sleep in your car seat until we get back home, we better gird our loins as the rest of the night WILL be pure hell. And honestly, that should teach us. You are soooo not okay with leaving the house after 5 p.m. Because 5 p.m. is the witching hour and you like to Witch in the privacy of your own home, and do NOT like it put off by us tricking you into sleeping.
5 - Bath time will be worked into your evening routine, or there will be hell to pay. It appears that a warm bath is the only way to calm you down once you get going. I can tell when you've finally relaxed because your fists are not as tightly clenched. Oh, they're still clenched, but your knuckles are no longer white.

Tuesday night, I screwed up with you. BIG TIME. Because I'd been cooped up in the house with you all day, and pretty much told your dad that the dinner he was going to which would welcome the new board members of this foundation that he was selected to... well, you and I would be going with him. Unless he wanted a dirty diaper shoved down his throat in the middle of the night.

So, we bundled you up in the car seat at about 5 p.m., and I drove around town to get you sleeping, and then at 6, we hit the dinner.

You slept the entire time, and at about 7:30, I decided that we should probably get you home lest you wake up and ruin the other board member's dinner with one of your bone melting shrieks.

Once we got home and got you fed... well, that's when the fireworks started. Your Daddy spent an hour asleep with you on the chair in the living room and that seemed to work. But after your 10:30 feeding, there was no talking sense to you about crazy things like it BEING MIDNIGHT AND YOU NEEDING TO GO TO SLEEP! Was. Not. Happening.

So, I ended up sleeping in the nursery with you on my chest all night long. And while you seem to thrive with that kind of situation... it's no bueno for mommy. On Wednesday, I was an absolute wreck and was pretty much on the verge of tears all day. Not from anything you did... but just from fatigue and frustration.

Your dad and I have been looking at your sleep patterns and determined that you were getting too much sleep in the mornings, which is why it was hard for you to sleep more than 20 minutes at a time in the evenings... and why mommy was starting to get black circles under her eyes... from punching herself in the face.

So, the plan was that I would try and keep you awake so that you were only sleeping an hour each cycle.

Boy did THAT plan backfire. I don't know if you've ever been more tired in your short life... but by 9:30, you'd only slept 5 hours during the day. You did NOT catch up on sleep in the afternoon... but instead, did your usual catnaps. And, again... the only thing that soothed you was a nice warm bath at 10 p.m.. After that, daddy rocked you for a few minutes and you were OUT. For SIX-AND-A-HALF HOURS!

NEW RULE: You will ALWAYS have a bath at night. And mommy will stop trying to manipulate your natural sleep cycles. Because she's not God and she needs to remember that although you're only 5 weeks old, you're in charge here. And if you want to fall asleep in the bouncer, WHO CARES? You're asleep!!! And a rested baby is - we dearly hope - a happy baby.

If only you were as happy in the evenings are you are during the rest of the day. I keep hoping that what everyone tells me is true: This, too, shall pass. And I'm not ruining you by letting you fall asleep occasionally in the swing or the bouncer or the car seat. That at 5 weeks old, you're way too young for bad habits to form that can't easily be broken.

All I know is that if we could keep you on this kind of cycle, where you're feeding every three hours... starting to work from home part-time next week will be a walk in the park. Of course, as I say that, I'm also knocking on wood because as I'm quickly learning, the only constant with you is that there IS NO CONSTANT.

Other than you being adorable from 6 a.m.-5 p.m..

Alright... I've got some laundry to fold that I couldn't get to yesterday as you were busy trying to bring down the roof with your screams. Better get to it while I can!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Highly Educated.... Completely Screwed

My college basketball coach was fond of telling the team: "You are highly conditioned athletes!"

This was, of course, on Mondays.... shortly before she ran us into the ground and laughed about it. Heaven help us if we'd lost on Saturday. You weren't walking out of the gym alive... but you were walking out a highly conditioned athlete.

Anyhoo.... that has become one of my favorite sayings whenever I feel winded when I shouldn't. Like, say... the 2009 Santa Run 5K that took me a whopping 37 minutes to complete? Yea... highly conditioned. That's. Me. I guess I should start saying: "At ONE TIME, I was a highly conditioned athlete who didn't have to barf after running one block."

But those original words... or variation of them... come to my mind almost every day now that I'm a mom. Quite frankly, Benny and I are highly educated people. Well... I'm educated. Benny brings the "highly" into the mix. The point is, 16-year-old's with babies can figure this out... I saw a woman the other day with twin boys who were born premature with all sorts of health issues and she seems to be doing just fine. What are we missing? IT CANNOT BE THIS HARD.

As I type this, I'm enjoying my first moment of silence all day long. Hazel has stumbled into a new realm of fussiness these last couple of days, and we have been at our wits end trying to figure her needs/wants out. She only falls asleep during the day if she's taking a walk in the stroller or riding in the car. So, today I decided that we should try to take a nap without that stimulation. Lest it become a habit.

I've never been more wrong.

About anything.


Fussy McFusserson was NOT having it and her 2 p.m. nap did not happen. So, we started in on the evening fussiness a bit early today. Her fussy times usually begin at about 5 p.m. and finish at about 9:30. Which is a lot of fun. Really. Last night, the only thing that calmed a crying jag that lasted from 5-9 was a warm bath. Tonight, before she jumped on the Fussy Train To Infinity and Beyond, Benny was able to calm her down and get her to sleep.

And yes... those are earplugs. And yes... we need them with the Lioness. I had to ask someone to repeat something five times today as I think she's damaged my eardrum with her hollering. Not. Even. Joking.

Unfortunately, it knocked him out, too... and I don't dare wake him up for fear that he'll startle like he usually does when he wakes up, and send Hazel flying into the Christmas tree. So, I'm waiting patiently for the next feeding at 10:30 and can only hope that she'll go to bed again after that because while I should have been napping, I've been too worried about the possibility of the startle and the flying of the baby into the Christmas Tree to actually sleep.

These last few days have been hard... mostly because the fussiness as she has been missing her last two naps of the day. But, the flip side of that is that our little girl will eventually (after hours of crying) fall asleep at about 10 p.m. and won't wake up to be fed until 2 or 3 in the morning. Now that Benny was able to get her to sleep at 9 p.m., I can't help but wonder what little Hazel has in store for me tonight. It could be very, very good.... or very, very BAD.

And, by the way, I know that everyone told us how much our lives were going to change and how hard it was going to be when we started our little family. But really.... would it have killed anyone to be a little more specific? I really would have appreciated a little heads up, you know? If someone could have said: "Your child will lose her mind every day at 5 p.m...." I would have at least been able to gird my loins. It just seems to me that other women who have kids and know what's in store for us newbies have a responsibility to make sure we have all the facts in front of us.

And if that stops people from reproducing... well, I heard that the earth was going to melt in the next 50 years anyway, so really... we're doing the responsible thing.

I kid, of course. Despite my sarcastic rants (which right now are my only way to stay sane), my little girl is an angel and I love her dearly. And I love her Daddy for taking care of her tonight so Mommy could get a little quiet time.

We're going to figure this out. Truly... it cannot possibly be as hard as we're making it out to be. I suspect we're guilty of overthinking. And maybe of not trusting our instincts. We just don't want to break her, you know?

Oh, and as a side note.... any moms out there who would be willing to share their experiences with newborns and maybe even share an idea or two about how to set a schedule? I'M ALL EARS. Following BabyWise, we've set up a eat, wake, sleep schedule.. but I'm wondering what other ideas and/or options are out there.

And as a final kick in the front tooth... I was tired of having Hazel's newborn outfits not fit her (they were all getting a little short in the legs and snug in the belly) so I hit Carter's today for their sale. My little 5 week old is now fitting comfortably in 3. Month. Clothes.

And 6. Month. Shoes.

By the time Santa gets here, she'll be wearing his suit!