Thursday, May 31, 2012

Five Weeks!

Today was our 5 week pediatrician visit!  I can't believe little Baby O has been around 5 weeks... in a lot of ways it seems a lot shorter but in a lot of ways a lot longer too!  Anyway, Pediatrician went well.  No major concerns and we got our 2nd Heb B vaccination.  Baby O is now 10 lbs 5.4 oz... trending right along the 65th/70th percentile weight for age.  All is well!

Took this one yesterday:

Love from Boston!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Four Weeks Today!

Baby O is 4 weeks old today!  She's definitely awake more often... at least an hour or two at a time, several times per day.  Thus far, she's only doing the "hour of awake" thing at night every once in a while.  We'll see what happens over the next few days/weeks.  After she's been awake for an hour or two, O is usually quite grumpy and ready to eat again and then be rocked to sleep.  She prefers resting tummy to tummy with mommy or swaddled while rocking in the chair while we sing to her.  Fav tunes include By-lo Baby and You Are My Sunshine.

This weekend we get to see Aunt H and cousin M... and next week we see the Pedi again and will be weighed and measured... looking forward to a growth update soon!

Love from Boston!

Beyond the Sling, by Mayim Bialik

Today I finished reading Mayim Bialik's new book called Beyond the Sling: a real-life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way.  That's right.  You heard me.  A guide to parenting written by Blossom.  Deal with it.

I only learned of this book about a week ago.  And honestly, in my current post-partum brain status, I have no idea how I heard about it.  Another mommy blog?  A parenting website?  I'm totally clueless.  But I told Ben that I wanted to read it.  And in perfect Ben form, just a few days later, it showed up in my mailbox from Amazon.  

I think Mayim's (Dr. Bialik's???) writing style is really easy to read.  It's conversational.  I can sorta hear her (or what I presume is her) in my head, making jokes, using sarcasm, and being alternately very serious about a variety of topics which are both important and fascinating to me.

If the term "attachment parenting" is new to you, it was coined by researchers decades ago to describe what others have sometimes referred to as "instinctual parenting," the type of parenting that humans have used in indigenous cultures for centuries to raise their children.  There are, as Attachment Parenting International describes them, 8 main principles:

1. Preparing for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting - most 'attachment parents' have a goal of natural childbirth due to the benefits for baby and mom.
2. Feeding as more than just intake of nutrients - most 'attachment parents' have a goal of breast feeding and gentle/delayed weaning
3. Sensitivity - this feels hard to define, but usually ends up being pertinent with regard to discipline.
4. Nurturing Touch - aka, babywearing, but also breastfeeding, massage, and other types of physical closeness.
5. Safe sleep (physical and emotional) - the idea of parenting both during the day and at night, often leading parents to co-sleeping and/or bed-sharing.
6. Consistent loving care - the idea that parents are the primary (and often sole) caregivers without frequent use of babysitters, day cares, etc.
7. Positive Discipline - or gentle discipline.  Relates a lot to #3.
8. Balance - balancing the parents' needs with the child's needs.

What I like about Mayim's book is that she addresses all of these principles without taking a hard stance that you must do all 8 or you're a bad parent.  In fact, her book almost contains too many statements of "now I know not everyone does this, and there are other ways to parent, but...."  She basically describes what she and her family do without making you feel like following her ideas and principles are the only way to parent.  It was gentle.  Sensitive.  Probably just like her parenting is!  

And other than chapter 7 on "elimination communication" (the idea that your baby is potty trained from birth and doesn't need diapers), I agree with the vast majority of what she has to say.  Now I just have to figure out how to functionally make it all make sense in my life with my family's needs, which are (of course) different than her family's needs.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three Weeks!

Today Baby O is 3 weeks old.  I wouldn't say that the other shoe has dropped YET... but she definitely is getting old enough to show us some personality.  She's having more fussiness in the last week or so than she did in the first couple weeks.  It's still pretty clear what's hunger.  And wet/dirty diapers are fairly obvious too.  But then there's another fussiness that's hard to figure out.  Sometimes it's instantly solved by swaddling and rocking, but other times it waxes/wanes for about an hour before she finally falls asleep.  I'm also trying to be more conscious about her sleep schedule... not that we're on a "schedule" at all.  But in the first couple weeks, her long burst of sleep (4 hours) was definitely at night.  And now I'm noticing that she'll go 3.5-4 hours during the day... but we're really only doing 2.5-3 hours over night.  Not a good habit to be forming!

Anyway, Love from Boston!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Early thoughts on our Pediatrician

So I've taken Baby O to the pediatrician's office twice now.  We went just the two of us on day of life 5... it was quite the outting, getting us both ready, into the car, to the hospital, out of the car, into the office, managing during the appointment, nursing afterwards, and successfully getting back home.  But I liked the office over all.  The front desk staff was courteous.  The salt water fish tank was pretty in the waiting room.  The nursing assistant didn't mind when Baby O peed on the scale the second I took her diaper off. And the NP who saw us was sweet.  She even allowed me to stay in the exam room for 20 minutes after the appointment and nurse before we got back in the car to go home!

Second visit was for the two week appointment, also with the NP.  This time I brought my mom with me. I really like the NP, almost sad that I won't see her at the 5 week visit (which will be with the pediatrician herself).  But the front desk staff was a little more irritating this time around, asking me multiple times about which pharmacy I use (I don't understand why they need to have the exact name and location now if I don't need any prescriptions!) and being stunned that I couldn't even tell them what street it's on.  I don't know the name of the street!  I always walk there!  Clearly suburbanites. :-)

At our next visit, we'll hear more about the immunization schedule.  They took it in stride when we showed up at the 5 day appointment without our first Hep B shot.  But I agreed to getting it that day, so I didn't raise too much of a red flag.  I still need to learn more about immunizations - both from the pedi and from independent sources.  I believe strongly in immunizing my child, but I'm not sure I agree with the "typical" schedule.  I don't know enough yet to ask for anything different though.  And, to be really honest, I was surprised how good I felt after Baby O got her first Hep B shot.  I felt like I was protecting her.  It actually made me happy, not worried about whether it was safe or frustrated by the system.  So maybe I'll go with a more typical schedule than I'd imagined!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two weeks old!

Today Baby O is two weeks old.  She weighs 8 lbs 10 oz, putting her in the 68%ile for weight for her age!  She's still the sweetest baby I've ever known-- rarely crying, sleeping well, eating well... We really are waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And as we joke with our friends, we're sure it will, whether it be next week or when she's 16. :-)

Love from Boston!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dinner Delivery

One of the most amazing gifts that a post-partum mom can receive is support from her community in the weeks following the birth.  For some, that means coming over and loading the dishwasher or folding the laundry.  But for many, it's food delivery.  My church community has been amazing, circling around those of us who are having babies this spring (and there are many!) by putting together online sign up sheets for people to bring meals for several weeks after the birth.  These meal deliveries are a God-send, truly, as I just don't have to think about what to make for that meal.  I mean, I have ingredients at my house to cook, and I enjoy cooking... but it's nice to literally just have something mindless (and tasty) to eat.

That having been said... and without disrespecting my local friends and loved ones in my church community, I was both stunned and THRILLED when I answered the doorbell on Tuesday evening to find this box:

That's right, one of my BFFs from college (in Chicago, IL) sent me a Giordano's spinach pizza.  They cook it most of the way, put it on dry ice, and then ship it all over the US.  AMAZING!  It was one of the sweetest, most thoughtful things I could think of.  First of all, I love Giordano's pizza.  Secondly, free, pre-prepared food is so wonderful right now.  But third, the gift was something that my friend had put a lot of thought into-- buying something that brought back great memories of the two of us hanging out over the years.

I guess I tell the story mostly to document the memory for myself.  But I also tell it to advise you all that you don't have to be near your loved one to show them love during the post-partum phase.  It's possible to think of something truly wonderful from afar that is just as useful as those gifts we receive from people who are geographically close to us.

Love and Pizza from Boston...

One Week Old Today!

Hey Friends!

My baby is one week old today!  At 4/25/12 @ 6:55am little Olivia came screaming into the world after a VERY long night. 

 Everyone is doing awesomely.  I'm working on getting my life organized and getting some updates here on the blog both about baby Olivia and also about parenting, green living, etc.  If there's anything that's time specific (e.g., her birth story), I'll probably back-date it, so if you're someone who's looking for every single detail, don't forget to scroll back through the archives...  Non-date specific stuff will come when it comes. :-)

Love to all from Boston!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby Laughs

I know that my 5 day old infant didn't just laugh. I get it that it's not possible... that a) it's months too early (first laugh is usually around 3-4 months) and b) my child is not developed enough to comprehend humor by any means. But I swear that during tonight's middle-of-the-night feed, she laughed. I sat her up to burp her and she had a combination of breathing, vocalizing, and maybe burping that might as well have been a laugh. In fact-- TWO laughs. One facing toward the left and then one facing toward the right. They just fell out of her mouth and tumbled over her shoulders and belly. They were so adorable, I could practically see them! Which then, of course, made me think of Peter Pan:

"You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the very first time, the laugh broke up into a thousand pieces of light, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. So now every time a new baby is born, its first laugh becomes a fairy." - Peter Pan

I might be a bit obsessed with Peter Pan, for those of you who don't know. Any permutation there of, actually, makes me giddy. Like Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp? Two amazing things in the same place-- Johnny Depp and JM Barrie. Amazing!