Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Adventures in Breastfeeding and Sleep Conundrums

A little while ago, I decided to try an experiment with regards to pumping. Gaz only nurses on one side at a time, and drinks little of the expressed breastmilk (EBM for short) I leave for her while I'm at work. This, after six months and a freezer full of milk, led me to think maybe I was going about this pumping thing all wrong. I decided that instead of double pumping, I would pump on my usual schedule, but only one breast at a time, alternating. Long story short, the experiment has taken a serious toll on my milk supply and Gaz has taken a similar toll on me. I'm chafed and sore (still!) and not going to try to out-logic my body ever again. I'll just have to throw out the surplus milk. I've already thrown out close to 200 ounces of milk that's been in the freezer long enough to be considered past its prime. It's not been easy to let go of all that milk, but Gaz won't drink it and I'm apparently not a good candidate for donation. Oh, well. I tried. The important thing is that Gaz is still getting all the milk she needs and is thriving.

Sleep. It's been difficult lately. As I mentioned, the night terrors are mostly a thing of the past, but we have other problems that need constant attention. Things like Gaz resisting naps and being difficult at bedtime. Last night it took both me and Mark together working for a total of two hours to get her to sleep. There are many contributing factors to all this, one being that the bedroom CD player finally kicked. Gaz has always liked music, and there are a handful of CDs that soothe her to the point of easy bedtimes. For about a week now we've had no music and just the humidifier to send her off to dreamland and she's not having it at all. Tonight we're making time to go shopping for a replacement, and then hopefully everything else will fall into place.

We're still also trying to figure out a bedtime routine that works for all of us. Now that we don't have laundry facilities in the basement Mark has to run to the laundromat down the street. It's not far away, but it does take more time than we're used to and he can't go there until I get home from work, which is anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30, depending on when I got to work and how many hours I was supposed to log on that day. There are a billion little things that make sorting out when to do what tricky. This was all so much easier when she was not mobile and farther from asserting her will upon the world. Not that I'd go back, of course. We've just got more things to suss out now.

The good news is that today I got Gaz to nap for a solid hour before I went to work. She woke up just as Lisa was hanging up her coat. We heard her on the monitor and when I went in to check on her, the little minx was sitting on my pillow, trying to get the tap light attached to the headboard and smiling away at me. This would be the bad news, that now she a) doesn't fuss when she's fully awakened and b) goes right to crawling all over the bed to search out things to entertain herself with.

Yep. Lots of shopping tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

sleeping better, cat worse, jumping fun (for a while)

Nap time
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
We're all sleeping better these days. Frequent or long-duration naps during the day have been the magic bullet for Miss Gaz, so the night-screaming-that-cannot-be-countered is at a minimum. Now that the settling is feeling more settled, we're all a lot less stressed. Which leaves only the usual stresses of work, trying to keep the dishes/laundry/etc. from taking over, and trying to keep the cat from breaking/ruining everything in sight.

As far as Gaz is concerned, he's a wonderful cat. He lets her grab big fistfulls of his face or back or tail or belly, sometimes even an ear, and only complains a little when she pulls with all her baby might (which is not an insignificant level of might, I must say). No, he's only a bad cat with the adults. Like today, when I finally get Gaz down for what I hoped would be a longer than average nap (average nap this weekend: 15 minutes) and he just can't stop screaming at the bedroom door or the hall door, which is right next to the bedroom door. I spray the alleged pet deterrant on both doors, and he looks at me, screams, and goes right back to screaming at the doors. So I confine him to the back bedroom and what does he do? He uses the playpen for a litter box, and Gaz's toys and a blanket as litter to cover his business. Then no sooner had Mark cleaned up that mess, Gaz had a little explosion in her pants. The poop bucket is full tonight.

So the cat is driving the adults insane. He still gets attention, just like we've been trying to do since Gaz was born. He was just fine for the longest time, but the older she gets, the worse he acts out. I don't know what we're going to do about that. Is there cat prozac?

But enough whining about the cat.

Right now Gaz is wearing some jammies that Grandma Cel brought up last weekend. Just a week ago she was routinely crawling out of the legs because while the top half of her is definitely 18 mo. size, her legs tend to be a bit shorter and her feet are definitely on the stumpy side so far. I'm sure that'll change once she starts walking and her little hams will become perfectly serviceable strolling apendages. But for now, ham feet. Ham feet that don't fill out jammy feet all that well. She's filling out the jammies so well, I can't believe it's only been one week of growing. Right now she's bouncing in her doorway jumper, but we've almost exhausted the fun of that. She's jumping wildly, which is soon to turn to jumpin maniacally, which then becomes jumping and crying hysterically. It's interesting to watch the progression. And she's still got a cat toy in her hand, so if anyone was wondering how long cat toys are fun for, the answer is "at least a month."

So we're okay, but now I definitely have to move her to another entertainment device.

Sorry this is so fractured and random. It's hard to be coherent while keeping an eye on her. More later, perhaps when sleep happens.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Night terrors

Bah. I've been reading about night terrors and that's what the little girl has, alright. And there's nothing I can do but pat her little head and make reassuring noises just in case she fully wakes up in the course of thrashing around. Which she never does, but it at least makes me feel like I'm doing something. She's been crying hard enough lately that even Mark wakes up. Then we've got a bed full of upset people and not much to do but hang in there and hope it passes quickly.

It's my punishment for not being able to maintain a normal bedtime with my goofy work hours. Okay, not really. But it feels like that now, when I'm awake-but-exhausted following a very sleepless night.

Think soothing sleepy baby thoughts for us. I hope with our continued settling in that all our rhythms will sync up and mellow out.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

New home, new tricks

Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
We're fully moved. Expect an email with our new address and phone number (yes, new phone number) to appear in your inbox soon. Well, soonish.

We're chock full of crawling now, especially now that we've got the rug down in the living room. Last night she was even able to traverse a small section of hardwood flooring, too. At first she was stymied by her pajamaed knees' inability to find purchase on the shiny floors, but now so long as her feet are bare (now that we've got the heat figured out we can do that sometimes) she can propel herself fairly well. She can also drag around toys as she crawls hither and yon by "kneeing" things that get in her way. I'm sure it's more accidental than anything, but it's always a hoot to see what was in her way when she was en route.

Another fun new trick is that she's figured out that she can stick her fingers in her mouth to pull out any food I've just given her that she doesn't really want to eat. Problem is that she's doing that every time I've fed her since the move. I'm hoping that this is just her little protest over being uprooted, and that she'll settle down over the next week or so. Anyway, it's amusing even if it is somewhat frustrating. She's clearly in no danger of wasting away from lack of smushed sweet potatoes.

We're still settling back into our usual schedule of life. I expect the occassional fuss-fest, but Gaz has really been a champ during the madness, much better than the cat, so I don't anticipate too much additional baby-generated insanity.