Friday, June 30, 2006
The car is packed nearly to the top, and we still haven't put the Pack n Play in there yet. It's mind-boggling how much stuff it takes to travel with a baby. I mean, he's so small, and yet he requires this huge mountain of just stuff. Onesies, sleepers, extra clothes, socks, hats, diapers, wipes, changing mats, blankets, toys, bottles, binkies, and what have I left out? Oh yeah, that doesn't include things like diaper bags, strollers, slings, Baby Bjorns, car seats and Pack n Plays!
And here I am, debating with myself over whether to bring along the bouncy seat. Because you know, heaven forbid we not have enough stuff with us for three nights. Insanity.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Unfortunately, those people don't seem to include me in their ranks. (We all remember the disgraceful Three Little Pigs episode, right?) As a writer, I'm supposed to be the creative one in the family, right? Ha ha. Turns out that the resident scientist here at Chez Larson-Wyckoff has a creative side that neither one of us knew about.
While I'm struggling to remember all the words to "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"--and yeah, those are the whole lyrics right there--David's managed to outdo himself (and me). Of course, everyone knows how he turned the Fatboy Slim song "Rockefeller Skank" into a William-themed version. But he also has turned the Hokey Pokey into a long-playing version that is set to the tune of "Tequila," and I have to say, not only is it very catchy but William really likes it. David also has adapted little games that his own mother taught him when he was a baby, like the "Bicycle, bicycle" game. And there have been several mornings when I'm lying in bed, only to hear David singing his own version of the Hallelujah chorus: "Will-ia-iam Wy-y-y-y-y-y-ckoff, William Wyckoff! William Wyckoff!" Lather, rinse, repeat. Literally.
David's latest opus is "William Wyckoff, Superstar." David cautions that he is still working on the lyrics, trying to get them right, so I won't post the snippets here yet. But I will say that they're pretty funny. And I caught myself singing "WILL-iam Wyckoff, SUUUUUUP-erstar, DO do do DO do do Do do do" in the shower last night. Try it. As earworms go, it surpasses even "Come on, Eileen."
So now that David's expressing his inner creative genuis, does this mean that I have to teach William math?
By the way, here's a smile generated by David's enthusiastic version of "Rubber Ducky, You're the One."
Monday, June 26, 2006
So William is growing just fine and looks "gorgeous." He even smiled a little bit during his visit. And oh, if you think those smiles are cute in photos, you should see them in person. After checking out all his vitals, the nurse practitioner spent some time counseling me about helping him sleep better, which is really our biggest challenge. And as I suspected, she confirmed that she thinks he tends to be happier on his tummy. Of course. I've been a tummy sleeper my whole life, and I've long suspected that William would be, too, based on how he likes to curl up and nap on my shoulder and chest (or anyone's--he's not picky). Of course, the current SIDS prevention guidelines advise parents to put babies on their backs to sleep, and we'll continue to do that. But I may try soothing him to supervised sleep on his tummy sometimes, then carefully turning him over, and seeing how that works. He may hate that. He and I may just have to suck it up and wait 'til he can successfully roll himself over. We'll see.
Right now, William is napping in his car seat. That's about the only place he'll reliably nap, and even that is not always a given. But I guess all the excitment at the hospital wore him out. Hopefully, he'll sleep better tonight than he has the last few nights. I keep reminding myself that he's sleeping at night better now than he did the first month of his life. But it's still not enough for Mommy--I need longer periods of consecutive sleep to get by. The cumulative sleep debt is wearing me out. I probably should be napping right now, in fact, but it's hard for me sometimes to wind down mid-day and then ramp back up at the sound of his crying. So everyone out there who doesn't have a new baby: the next time you go to bed at, say, 11 p.m. and wake up again at, say, 7 or 8, count your blessings. If sleep were an actual substance, I'd be mainlining it, trying to get caught up!
Saturday, June 24, 2006
This is just my posting gratuitous pictures of my boys on the blog. It's a good thing that I have a digital camera. Otherwise, I would go broke buying film. As it is, David's already worried that I'm going to use up all the hard drive space, taking so many digital pictures.
William can't sit up on his own yet, but with a little help from David, he can sit up just fine.
Who is that masked man, William wonders.
How true that is. (Of course, in our world, usually it rains when you actually have time to watch your favorite baseball team play their fiercest rival, and you stare in dismay at the little "rain delay" icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the television screen.)
But since this is a blog about life with a new baby, let's get a little scatalogical, shall we? Here's the life-with-baby version of that quote. "Sometimes, you change the baby after a messy diaper. Sometimes, you change the baby right before he creates a messy diaper. And sometimes...well, sometimes you're right smack dab in the middle of changing the baby's diaper when all hell breaks loose."
Let's just say that David was pretty nimble (and lucky) to avoid the geyser of poop that erupted from his son this morning during the middle of a diaper change. It was a mess of rather epic proportions when you consider the source. Thank goodness for baby wipes. William,wriggling his arms and legs, looked extremely pleased with himself for causing such an incident. I swear, he smiled. He didn't seem upset in the least to be partially lying in a puddle. Yuck. Did I mention that I'm thankful for baby wipes? William pulled a similar stunt in the ladies' restroom at the outlet mall a couple of weeks ago, but he must have been saving up for this one.
What did the good Dr. Wyckoff have to say about this?
"It shot out like a fountain or something," he said, a trace of amazement still in his voice three hours later.
But he was not deterred from his task at hand, even though it had just unexpectedly increased in urgency. Two diapers later, William was all clean and dry.
See, these are the things that they need to teach you about in those pre-birth classes that everyone takes. No one ever mentions those things. You learn about using tennis balls to massage your back when you're in labor (note: we never did this, nor even thought about it) and where they insert the needle for the epidural (note: you're better off just not knowing). And in the hospital, you have doctors and nurses and people to take care of you, but when it comes to volcanic messes, well, you're kinda on your own. Luckily for us, David has the natural agility that cannot be taught. No extra laundry for him!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
You make bathtime lots of fun...
Rubber Ducky, William's awfully fond of you!
Is there anything cuter than a little naked baby in the bathtub with his rubber ducky? (A little naked baby modestly covered up by his washcloth, of course.) This was William's first completely tear-free bath. That's because I didn't do the unspeakable deed (wash his head!). It also, glory of glories, calmed him down enough to get dressed for bed and go to sleep early. We'll see how long he lasts. In the meantime, I'm just humming the song...
I'm having a little success on getting him to sleep more at night. Evenings were always hard on me. Often, William would cry and fuss and nurse most of the evening away anyway. So I'm trying to put him down for the night much earlier. I managed to get him down at 7:30 two nights ago and at 8 p.m. last night. I'm going to shoot for 7:30 tonight. I may move the bedtime even earlier, if I think it might help. I'm working on creating a little bedtime routine to get him settled. It's not as elaborate as one you might use with an older child, but it goes like this: maybe a bath (preferably one that does not involve washing his hair), a diaper change, put him in a soft sleeper, close the curtains in the room and just leave one lamp on, nurse him in a quiet room, burp him, put him in his bassinette and turn the music on low and let him lie there. If he's asleep then, great, and if not, he often bats at the little toys we have hanging from the bassinette and falls asleep later. Either way is great. David and I get some time together in the evening to hang out, and William gets more sleep. Now, if we could only convince him that he only needs to wake up once in the night to nurse, we'd be golden. I mean, yes, I wish he'd sleep through the night and into the morning, but I also know it's not realistic to expect that from him at this stage of his development.
Daytime is a different story. William does. not. want. to nap. Not anywhere. Not anytime. Never. I've tried putting him in the crib. Nope. I've tried putting him in the Pack n Play. Nope. The bouncy seat. He likes that if he's awake but not for a nap, usually. I've tried the swing. Nope. Nothing seems to work. He will only sleep if I am holding him. I put him in his car seat and took him for a ride this afternoon because he often falls asleep in the car. He did, and I brought him inside, still in the car seat, and left him alone. He stayed asleep maybe 10 or 15 minutes. He just started crying a second ago. Sigh. There was a time when he'd sleep in his car seat for an hour or longer. I guess he's decided that's not going to happen anymore. Now granted, I've read that babies his age often don't nap reliably, so it's not that weird. But still! He needs more sleep than he's getting, and I know he's tired. He acts tired. So why won't he just nap? It's like he won't let himself nap. Can you imagine a lifestyle where someone kept saying to you, "no, no, you go sleep. take it easy. have a nice nap." Wouldn't that be amazing? Wouldn't you love to have that lifestyle? Apparently it's not such a sexy option when you're an eight-week old baby. Sigh.
Wait. He stopped crying. Oh no! Maybe he's not breathing! I'll be right back.
Okay. He's alive. He's still in his car seat and he's breathing. Actually, he's rolling his eyes a bit in his sleep and snoring. Ah, the golden sound of your baby snoring like a trucker!
Great. I spoke too soon. I hear him tuning up. The prelude to a full scale symphony of crying is now wafting not-so-gently through the hallway. Gotta go.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Who cried harder, me or William?
Tough to say. I took William to the navy hospital today to have his first set of vaccinations--or, as David and I like to say, S-H-O-T-S. David volunteered to be the one who stood right by him and kept his hand on him while the nurse gave him the S-H-O-T-S, one in each little chubby thigh. These were your standard two-month vaccinations. I am, of course, very pro-vaccination, so this is definitely something I wanted to have done on time. But of course, I still got all teary-eyed and a little hiccupy off to the side while the nurse was giving William his vaccinations and covering the little marks with crayon bandages ( a blue one his left thigh and a yellow one on his right thigh). Luckily, it didn't take long. And he snuggled up against my chest and snoozed for awhile afterward. I guess he was exhausted from the shock. David gave him a small dose of infant Tylenol, and he woke up long enough to lick his lips experimentally--"hmmm, this is a new flavor"--then fell asleep again. David then gave him a Tigger sticker as a reward for being such a good boy. You can see it on the picture. It didn't seem to make him feel better, but it sure looked cute on his romper.
Still, I'm glad that's over. For the next two months anyway. Somehow it doesn't seem fair that the people who have to get shots the most often are the littlest people who don't have a say in the matter. Plus, they can't really appreciate the stickers afterward.
Plus, look how happy he seemed to be a few hours later, playing in his crib!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
But I think the biggest Happy Father's Day has to go to my own husband, David. I can't imagine doing this parenting thing without him.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
As my own smile slowly returns, it is a joy to be able to finally pose for some pictures with William. Of course, it is a process. I know that I don't look completely normal yet, and it will take some more time for that to happehn. But even so, it is so wonderful to be able to smile (in some fashion) at him and with him.
We did take some early pictures of me with him, so that we would have some record of our first days together, but they're mostly just for us. I just didn't feel or look like me. I'm still not 100 percent yet, but I'm working on it.
Luckily, he doesn't seem to mind that Mommy's smile isn't as big and wide yet as it could be. He seems to smile at me just the same.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Your cat, who was previously contented to hang out in the bedroom next to the cradle, stares up at the writhing, screaming, purple-faced infant in dismay, and then he jumps up on his hind legs to push the bedroom door nearly closed. Then the cat scoots around the two-inch crack left by the nearly-closed door to get the hell out of Dodge and into the relative quiet of the hallway.
I didn't know Smokey was that smart, honestly.
If anyone ever forms a professional crying circuit, I'm signing William up and buying him the uniform. He could break glass with some of his screams when he really gets wound up. It's a miracle that we still have all our wedding crystal.
But to be fair, he's also amazingly good at eating. He is gaining weight daily, as I've mentioned. I know he'll have broken the 12 pound mark by Monday. Of course, he turns 8 weeks old tomorrow, so he's not that young anymore. (Listen to me, you'd think that he was ready to go off to college or something.) But the boy loves to eat. He'd eat his Uncle Mark's chess pie if he could get his hands on it.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Okay, pictures of Smiling William as promised!
William is so hungry at night that David and I worried he wasn't getting enough milk from me. So my lactation consultant and doctor agreed to try me on a medication to boost my prolactin levels. Let's just say it was Not For Me. The med, called Reglan, made me seem to be a person with mania. David said this morning after it had worn off that it was a relief that I'm not bipolar because he didn't know if he could handle me being so manic the way I was last night. Granted, they have meds for that, too, but I knew what he was getting at.
Apparently a side effect of Reglan is nervousness and anxiety. Well, let's see. Who's the biggest worrier I know who is already prone to anxiety? Ding ding ding! I took the first pill on Tuesday, and then took two yesterday. Bad idea. I was driving myself nuts. I couldn't sit still, and I had to pace around and do something. I couldn't hold William for two minutes, much less feed him. He was crying for food, and I was unable to do anything about it because I was having what could have passed for a panic attack. David said some of the tremors and shakes I had resembled those of some Parkinson's patients---because the medication affects the dopamine system in your brain.
It was a really scary evening. David even called one of my doctors to consult with her. Unfortunately there wasn't much that she could tell me to do, other than to have a glass of wine and wait for the Reglan to metabolize. David gave William some formula before bed, too, and took care of all bedtime duties and just consoled me to hang on. Thank God for him. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had been all alone.
I cleaned dishes, did laundry, and even alphabetized the mountain of books in our office, all in an effort to spend time so the medication would wear off. The boys slept in our room, while I finally was able to lie down and be somewhat calm around 2 a.m. I dozed off and on until I heard William cry around 5, and then I was able to actually hold him and feed him. That was a huge relief. We napped in my bed this morning, and now he's sitting in his bouncy seat next to me. He says hi and that he hopes his mom will feel better today--and take some more pictures of him smiling. I'm so glad that it's today and not yesterday!
And needless to say: no more Reglan for me!
Monday, June 12, 2006
The neurologist ordered an MRI and a chest x-ray and some bloodwork. I'll have the blood drawn this week, and then I wait to see if my insurance approves the other tests. Those are mostly to rule out other factors, such as sarcoidosis or (I suppose) a brain tumor. However, he said my symptoms are that of Bell's Palsy. So I have no reason to really suspect anything else, and the tests are mostly just to confirm that it's not something else.
William is sort of bored by doctors, having already been around them so much. Yawn. So unimpressed. I mean, a typical experience with a doctor for him is hanging out on the sofa with his daddy while David moans and cheers the performance of the Red Sox. So jaded at such a young age! So William began to object to being strapped into his car seat while his mother chatted with the neurologist. But there wasn't anything I could do about having him with me; I didn't have anyone he could stay with. The neurologist was an extremely good sport about having a seven-week-old cut into his examination of me. He suggested that I hold William in one arm while he tested my reflexes, etc, then switch him to the other arm at the appropriate time. So there I was, perched on an exam table trying to balance a fidgety baby on one shoulder, while having the doctor tap my knees, arms and jaw to see how I reacted and then peer into my left eye with an extremely bright light. (Oh, and stick me lightly in my throat and neck and forehead with a tiny needle to see if I had the same level of sensation on both sides of my head.) Things you never thought you'd do, right? Sort of like sniffing your baby's bottom to determine if he is stinky enough to have his diaper changed. (Moms, don't say you've never done this!) Only less scatalogical. To his credit, William stayed pretty quiet the whole time. Good thing that excessive drooling doesn't make any noise.
It's strange to think that I've had Bell's Palsy longer than I've known William. I developed it weeks before he was born. When I saw the doctor in the emergency room at the hospital in Los Angeles, William was still sort of a concept, rather than a person. Okay, a large round concept that regularly kicked me in the liver and got hiccups around 10:30 p.m. each night. Today, as I consulted with the doctor, William was a squirmy seven-week-old wearing Winnie the Pooh overalls, a Sesame Street diaper, and tiny white socks that wouldn't stay on his feet. Hopefully, it will all become memory very soon--except for the Winnie the Pooh overalls, because I really love them and want him to wear them for a good long time.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
David is cheering for the Ivory Coast. William is rooting for Argentina (or so his daddy says).
They're watching the World Cup. Argentina just scored, and allegedly William just smiled. David is trying to attribute it to a big diaper explosion, but who knows what goes on inside the head (if not the diapers) of a seven-week old baby?
Argentina just scored again. Goooooooal! Go, William's team! He's cheering for all the teams that wear blue. Blue is his favorite color, of course.
Meanwhile, well aware of William's affinity for all shades of blue, I am surfing the 'Net for Hanna Andersson baby clothes. Which I do not need to do, but seem somehow powerless to resist. Make me stop.
Friday, June 09, 2006
The good news is...After more than 12 weeks, I started to feel a little twitch in the lower jaw on the left side of my face a couple of days ago. Now the left side of my face looks less droopy, too. And if I try hard, I can make a nice little Mona Lisa smile, because I can just barely curl the left side of my mouth upward. It's really small, but it's still a big improvement in my book. I am hoping that it's a good sign that things are starting to improve and heal. I have an appointment with a neurologist on Monday, too.
So I guess William and I are learning how to smile at the same time! He's been giving us flashes of little smiles for a week or two now, but we're never sure if they're just gas or really smiles. I think we've seen some real smiles, in fleeting glimpses, over the last couple of days, though. I am a glutton for them, too. I'd stand on my head (well, if I could) if I thought that it would generate some more smiles. A week or so ago, I was in Toys R Us, and I held up a couple of baby toys to show William. When he smiled at one (or so I thought), I bought it for him. I tell you, this has got to be some sort of very successful evolutionary trait designed to perpetuate the survival of our species: the baby smiles his gummy little toothless grin, the adults go nuts, and the baby gets cuddled and nurtured and held--until he grows up and wrecks the family car.
Here's a preview of what I hope is many more William smiles to come! This is from a Tummy Time session this morning. And when I get my smile back, prepare for an onslaught of photos of me with him, too.
Is it spamming my own blog to post so many pictures of William? Am I being gratuitous? Am I acting like--gasp!--a besotted new mother?
Too bad. Here's a cute shot of William and David, hanging out on the sofa last night, ostensibly watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees on television. William was pretty beat himself, having survived a grueling trip to the outlet mall with his mother and grandmother. Luckily for him, he is still too small to try clothes on (well, at a store, anyway).
Thursday, June 08, 2006
William seems to be twice the size that he was when Mom arrived last Thursday. Every time I pick him up, I marvel at how much he has grown. He seems to be like a real baby now, not just a tiny little newborn. His head is bigger (maybe he knows Barry Bonds' supplier?) and his little legs have meat on them now, too. He's getting all round and luscious, like a ripe peach.
Mom and I gave him a bath a little while ago (always an adventure--see earlier posts), and I dressed him in the newborn ducky sleeper that he wore home from the hospital. I think it's the last time he'll be able to wear it. It's already straining a bit. I should put it away someplace safe, so I can look at it later and say, "How on earth was he ever small enough to wear this?" I know that day is coming, too. I already look at some of his newborn onesies and think, "These were loose on him just five weeks ago." In fact, I folded almost all of them up, and put them in a drawer yesterday. William is pretty much solidly wearing 3 month baby clothes now, and I'm swearing off the purchase of any baby clothes smaller than 3-6 month size, preferably in favor of 6 month and up. I nearly broke and bought him a 3 month outfit today at the Carter's store at the outlet mall in Cabazon, but he has lots of 3 month clothes, and I just wonder how long he'll even be able to wear them! I'll have to take lots of pictures so I can prove that he did wear them. Of course, he does manage to go through a lot of wardrobe changes in a typical day (I think the record is three onesies before even leaving home), so I think we'll get a decent amount of wear out of them.
From where I'm sitting and typing, I can hear "Take me out to the ballgame." Mom has taken William and put him in his crib and cranked up the mobile. He's quiet. I don't know if he's fallen asleep, exhausted from the excitement of his bath, or if she's just worked some kind of grandma magic on him. You can't help but smile when you see how sweet he is when he's sleeping on his grandma's shoulder!
Monday, June 05, 2006
Yep, that really is a statue of Sonny Bono, the late beloved mayor of Palm Springs---and half of the duo Sonny and Cher. Would you expect anything less in a state that elected Ah-nold to be our Governator?
And yes, that's my mom and her new grandson hanging out next to Sonny Bono in the middle of downtown Palm Springs. We drove down there from our wild west little town to have lunch this afternoon. Note that William is fast asleep, having graced us with a lovely long nap that allowed me to eat my hamburger and drink my long-awaited Oreo milkshake in peace.
William is thoroughly enjoying having his grandma here to hold him and talk to him so that Mom can sneak off to work on her blog.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Here are some things that are acceptable to say to the mother of a six-week old baby who has been crying all day:
"You look great!"
"Oh, your baby is darling."
"I'd love to clean your house for you/run some dinner over for you and your husband/pick up a few things at the grocery store for you/have you over for coffee so you can get out of the house."
"Don't worry. He'll sleep better as he gets older."
"Here's your large Oreo cookie milkshake with whipped cream on top."
Here are things that are, in the words of my lovely friend Loretta, Not Acceptable, to ever say to the mother of a six-week old baby who has been crying all day, especially if said mother wrangled said infant into her car at 8 p.m. after listening to him cry:
"Wow, he's so tiny. He must be brand new. Is he supposed to be so small?" (Or substitute "big" for babies who are a little more weighty)
"Wow, that's some set of lungs on that baby. Listen to him cry! He's so loud. He must be very very upset."
"Are you sure you should be taking him out when he's so little?"
"Have you tried changing him/feeding him/changing his clothes/giving him a pacifier/driving him around in the car?" (the implication being that wow, I never thought of doing those things! you're a genius! Maybe he's wet or hungry!)
"Ma'am, our ice cream machine is broken, and we don't have any milkshakes or ice cream tonight."
Can you imagine what I heard TWICE last night after dragging myself through TWO different drive-through fast food joints last night, all in pursuit of the apparently rare and elusive Oreo cookie milkshake?
And yes, I, too, began to cry in the McDonald's drive-through lane after Victor apologized for not having any ice cream. I knew that I lived in a town where the lone grocery store tends to run out of meat and where the KFC regularly runs out of chicken--and no, I am not exaggerating--and now I also live in a town where some mass convergence of evil caused all the fast food places to run out of ice cream at the same time, thereby preventing me from having the treat that I so desired.
Man, and William thinks that he has stuff to cry over.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Here's your up-close look at what the real William is like! He goes from Prince William to Willasaurus Rex in about two seconds flat when he's not happy.
So this is the photo that I emailed to David on Thursday. David left early that morning to fly to Princeton for his ten-year college reunion. William had a little, er, meltdown, as he is often wont to do, and I, sicko that I am, decided it would be funny to photograph it for his daddy. For those of you who are not intimately acquainted with the minutiae of the Boston Red Sox, the team's Designated Hitter is a player from the Dominican Republic named David Ortiz, who goes by the nickname Big Papi (sort of like Big Daddy). Big Papi is David's favorite player, so he ordered a hat with the name on it. (This is not nearly as funny when I sit down to explain it all out, I'm realizing, but I'm already this far in, so I'll continue.) Anyway, the picture is supposed to signify William crying and wailing in baby despair because his own big papi is out of town. Sort of along the lines of "where oh where are you tonight, why did you leave me here all alone?" Or more likely, "why did you leave me here with this woman who insists on taking my picture when I am clearly experiencing extreme existential angst?"
I promise that I picked him up immediately after I took the picture and tried to make up for being such a mean mommy.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
(We decided that we'd have to be insane (okay, more insane than usual) to try to fly cross-country to New Jersey with a six-week old baby who insists on eating just about every hour. I can just imagine how much all the other people on the plane would have loved to have had us seated near them! Well, I guess we'll find out what it's like sooner or later anyway, given that we're scheduled to fly to North Carolina for the annual beach trip at the end of July. Ha, ha, all those innocent people thinking that they'll have a nice quiet flight! Wait til they meet...Willasaurus Rex!)
And Mom, a.k.a. Mama Judi, is en route as I type. I'm guessing she's somewhere over west Texas, maybe New Mexico by now. (Hey, New Meixico is the one next to Texas, right? All those square states. Geography has never been my forte. Oh, wait, yes it is NM. Arizona is next to us. Carry on.) William just woke up from a regrettably short nap, and he's crying for me in the other room, so I guess I"ll go in there and entertain (read: feed) him for awhile before I pack him into the car and we hit the road for the airport. I can't wait for Mom to meet her very first grandchild! And for William to meet his other grandmother. He's about twice as big as when Diane (Mama Dee) met him the week after he was born. He's about to outgrow his newborn clothes (sniff, sniff). My baby's growing up!