Baby update

I’m going to do this post I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks instead of work on my NanoWrimo project. Yay procrastination!

So, what’s been going on with Abigail? This girl is growing, that’s what. Since I last updated, the biggest thing is she started walking. She was taking a few steps for a week or so, then one morning I set her on the floor and she just decided to she was going to walk across the living room. She’s getting better and better at it too, though she is not a big fan of performing on command.

She’s got four teeth, so is now biting through her solid foods, which is pretty neat.

She’s still a happy baby, still an adventurous baby. She loves racing up the stairs if you give her an opening.

She had a real persistent cold a week ago, and that was miserable. She was constantly congested and full of snot. Nights were the worst. All the sleep training we done went out the window when she would wake up and be completely unable to fall asleep again unless being held upright. Eventually one of us would take her downstairs and fall asleep propped up on the couch while she drips snot on us.

She also stopped nursing at this time. We suspect because she couldn’t nurse and breath, but it was just another thing to cause stress. She takes a bottle fine, so it wasn’t like she wasn’t getting enough food, but I know Ashes wasn’t quite ready to stop.

Eventually she got over her cold, and is sleeping through the night again at least.

Next, Ashes is taking the kids up to Wisconsin for a week for Thanksgiving. I won’t be going because of work, and I’m having a lot of thoughts about that.

Sleep Training

So, the Chicago trip was a success. No children got lost or kidnapped. But after spending most of a three day weekend in the car, Baby Abigail is having some anger issues about her car seat. I’m sure she’ll get over it.

When our vacation in the rear view mirror, Ashes and I decided to focus on a few things. One of them is getting Abigail to sleep through the night. She would sleep 3-4 hours when first going to bed, then wake up every couple hours after that. After a few nights when she would only wake up once or so, I thought she might figure it out on her own, but that didn’t happen. So training it is.

Unfortunately, we are both wusses, and there was no way we were just going to let her cry in her crib alone they way some recommend. Instead, there’s a procedure of more gentle sleep training where you hang out with the baby in the crib, moving further away every few days.

I had my doubts, especially the first night. We both hung by her crib, but Abigail was not having it, being used to nursing and snuggling to sleep every night. Abigail is not a screamer, but she screamed that night, and cried, for an intolerable amount of time. It was terrible, and by the time she cried herself to sleep we both weren’t sure we were doing the right thing.

Ashes and I balance each other out. When one of us has a dumb idea, the other one is there to keep us on track. When we agree on something, it’s usually a sure sign that it’s the right thing to do. And we both agreed that sleep training was terrible, which just made me doubt more that we were doing the right thing.

But we kept to it, following the procedure. We didn’t really have a lot of choice. Ashes couldn’t keep getting up two or three times a night to nurse Abigail back to sleep, eventually bringing her to bed with us at four in the morning and not being able to comfortably sleep. It was not a sustainable solution.

And Abigail went to sleep easier the second night. She would still wake up in the middle of the night, and getting her back to sleep without the usual crutches was not fun, but it got better each night. Last night she slept completely through the night, or completely enough that she didn’t wake us up. I am loathe to claim victory after one night, but it’s a real good start.

Baby Vacation

This weekend, we are taking the kids to Chicago. Primarily because there is a wrestling show I wanted to go to, but also because Miles has wanted to go to the museums there for years. And it’s kind of nerve wracking.

I’ve been to Chicago twice. The first time I was 17 or 18, and with my friend’s family. The second time was in my mid 20’s with my girlfriend. The first time, there were parental figures to be responsible for everything. The second time, we were just responsible for ourselves, and let’s face it, young, free, and not very responsible anyways. This time though, there are kids involved. And one of them is very very tiny.

There are lots of worries my small-town self has about taking the kids to the third biggest city in the country. Mostly about them getting separated or lost. This is compounded because for most of Friday and Saturday I’ll be doing stuff alone, and Ashes will have both of them. I’m considering leashes, or some sort of GPS implant chip.

I am excited to be going. Very excited actually. But also nervous. If anything goes wrong, it’s on us to fix. No adults to turn to and fix something. That’s a lot of responsibility. Frankly, when you throw the baby in the mix, it might be the biggest responsibility thing I’ve ever done.

I expect everything to go fine and for the weekend to be a great one. But the worry that something/everything goes wrong is never far away.

This baby got big

Here’s a list of things Abigail has outgrown sinceĀ  my last blog post.

All her 3 month clothes
All her 3-6 month clothes
Unsupervised living room time
Unsupervised dining room time
Unsupervised kitchen time
Nomming on other people

She got the ability to crawl, two teeth, and an insatiable urge to find ways into places you didn’t think she could get into. More updates to come now that summer is over. We go on vacation next week, and I want to talk about that, and about her inability to sleep through the night yet, and a bunch of other stuff too

This Baby is toooo Big

A few weeks ago, Ashes and I went through Abigail’s baby clothes to separate out the stuff she had outgrown. It reminded me of the first time I got actually excited about having this baby.

I read several things about how father’s experience the excitement of a new baby different than the mothers, because we are more removed from the process. The first ultrasound didn’t do much for me, because it looked like a bean, or a gummy bear. The second ultrasound didn’t do much for me either. Was kind of just like, “yep, that’s definitely a baby and not a bean or a gummy bear.” Ashes was buying baby stuff left and right, and I knew I was supposed to be excited at some point, but it just wasn’t happening.

Then we went clothes shopping. I think. I’m don’t really remember why we went into Target, but it was probably to get one thing for the baby. Looking around at all the cute clothes, cute clothes that some day my baby would be super cute in, it all became very, very real. Everything was so small, there was no way my baby could be that small. But wouldn’t she look so cute in this onesie with an adorable narwhal on it? I bet she would…

She’s too big for that initial clothing line now. I knew, rationally, that would happen someday. But I didn’t expect it to be this soon. I figured around six months or so she’d stop being a newborn and start being a baby. Not three to four months.

Now she’s rolling around on the floor, scooting in different directions. She’s grabbing things and chomping on them. She went wild the first time she got some finely ground oatmeal mush. She likes standing up, with some help. She is soooo eager to figure out this crawling thing and get moving.

At some point, this baby got big. She started controlling her face and her limbs. Soon she’ll be even bigger, and even more like a real person. And one day, she will be a real person, who does real person stuff. When I figure out how I feel about that, I’ll let you know.

The Baby Games

At some point in the past couple weeks, Abigail stopped being a newborn and became a baby.

I don’t know what the official difference between the two are, but the most important one is she seems to have a sense of fun now. There are things she likes doing, and is capable of doing now that she can hold her head up for longer than five seconds.

She likes being on the floor and rolling to her belly. She likes making loud noises with her mouth. She likes standing, with some support. She likes Baby Blastoff (3…2…1… Bbbbbbbbbaby Blastoff!!!! *whoosh noises*). She likes playing with her frog ball and her monster rattle and her caterpillar. She likes sitting up and looking around. She interacts with people.

All in all, she’s becoming a little human, and that’s weird. Somehow I expected the newborn phase, where she just kind of ate, slept, and pooped to last longer. There’s so much time prepping for this baby to come into the world, time and money, and she grows out of everything in three months? That doesn’t seem right.

She’s grown out of her newborn clothes. We had to take her diapers out a notch. She can’t be swaddled anymore because she rolls. All the money and mental energy we spent preparing to have a newborn, and now someone replaced our newborn with a real baby.

Anyways, time for more Baby Blastoff. *whooshes away*

First Bath

Since I don’t have a ton to say about things happening at the moment, I thought it would be nice to go back a few months before this blog existed and record a few things that happened in the early months of Baby Abigail’s existence. For posterity. So this story is about her first bath, at the hospital, a few hours after she was born.

I don’t remember if I held her or not right away. Things were kind of a blur. I remember Abigail being pretty angry at first, but she calmed down quickly and remained relatively calm until bath time. When the nurse asked me if I wanted to give her the first bath, well, you can’t say no to that, can you?

The nurse asked a lot of “do you want to…” questions that first couple hours. Do I want to cut the umbilical cord? Do I want to take a picture of her while she’s covered in goop? No. Do I want a picture of her nursing for the first time? No. But I couldn’t say no to baby’s first bath, no matter how scared I was that I would trip accidently throw my newborn out the window. So we took this baby, just an hour or so old, out of her comfortable blanket, away from her comfortable mother, and put her on this pad under a heat lamp. Needless to say, Abigail was not happy.

The nurse is giving instructions, the baby is squirming and crying, and I’m just trying to not do irreparable damage. This little thing is so fragile, she’s smaller than my hands, and I feel like one wrong move would break her. Wipe away the gunk from her eyes, then her face, while reminding myself that this is necessary and that it’s not personal that she’s crying, she doesn’t hate me for taking her away from the only things she has ever known and I haven’t given her a complex that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

I get her clean-ish, about as much as I can, and I’m handed a little finger comb. Abigail was born with a head full of hair, and all the birth gunk needed to be combed out. You hear all the time about how soft baby’s heads are, and not to poke them or whatever, so, sure, no pressure or anything. I start to stroke the brush through her hair, as firmly as I possible can, which is not very firm at all.

And Abigail stopped crying. Her eyes widened, and she’s just looking up at me as I comb her hair, like this is the most novel thing in the world. And for her, I guess it was. She was quiet the entire time I combed the gunk out of hair. It was the first time since she was born that I was able to relax for a minute and collect my thoughts, and I figured, yeah, this will probably be okay.

The moment was not diminished at all when another nurse came in later and started scrubbing my baby’s head like a cast iron stove, complaining what a poor job the other nurse must have done in combing her hair because it was still so dirty while I stood there meekly and muttered, “oh, that was me.”

Baby shots

On Monday, Baby Abigail had a doctor’s appointment.

Everyone’s like, “oh, when they give your baby a shot, it’s going to be so sad, you’re going to want to punch the nurse, yada yada yada.” And, well, not really? It took 5 seconds, she cried for about 30 seconds, then chilled out again. Nothing really punch worthy going on here.

I sometimes worry that I don’t feel the right things, but in this case, I think I’m pretty justified in not getting upset. It was a fast, beneficial thing that she got over quick. Keep the violent urges for when you need them, people.

Anyways, yesterday was a weird day. Abigail is very expressive most the time. She wakes up most mornings with a smile and some chatter, and only stops when she gets tired. But yesterday she was just under a malaise all day. Maybe it was a reaction to the shots (I had a similar day after I got the flu shot last year). It probably was. She wasn’t upset, she didn’t cry more than usual, she just hung out. All my usual tricks couldn’t get her to pick up and smile.

I’m happy to report that today is more normal. As I unswaddled her and sang her the Baby Abigail Song, her mouth opened up into the cutest damn grin in existence. And that’s great. I missed my happy baby, and am glad she’s back.

Cranky Baby

I know myself fairly well. I know that, if I don’t get myself on a routine, I will waste away these days by cruising mindlessly through the internet and watching whatever bland show is on TV. I don’t want to do that though. I have plans on what my routine should be, what I want to accomplish each day. They are minor things, like doing the laundry and the dishes, reading, doing something creative, things like that.

Who know who doesn’t care about their daddy’s haphazard plans? Cranky Baby Abigail, that’s who.

Yesterday was not a great day to be a baby in this home. Abigail decided that sleep was for other babies, and she was going to wiggle and squirm every time her eyes closed. Today has been better, but her most comfortable position isn’t laying down, or hanging out in her swing. No, her most comfortable position is laying face down on my chest. After yesterday, I’ll take whatever sleep she’ll getting.

Faceplanted baby is much more preferable than cranky baby though. She was fine yesterday morning, but as the day went on and she fell further behind her sleep debt, it became a vicious cycle. Sleep for 20 minutes, wake up angry, cry and scream, eat a small amount, go back to sleep. Such a schedule makes it hard to do, well, anything except the basic necessities.

I knew that going in. It was tempting to think of being at home as being essentially “free” time, even though I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. It was tempting to think that keeping a routine would be easy. That she was going to sleep at certain times, eat at certain times, get a diaper change at certain times.

For that most part that’s not too off base. Looking at the past few weeks, Abigail usually eats at about the same time, and sleeps for a decent chunk afterwards. But then a day like yesterday happens, when, for whatever reason, she is Cranky Baby. And working with that to do some of what I want is going to take some practice.

Poop is Gross

Baby Abigail has decided that she will only poop for daddy.

At first it was like, ha ha, it’s kind of funny that she only soils herself when mom is out writing, or in the bath, or otherwise occupied. Surely it was just a coincidence that Abigail waited until I got home from work to start scrunching her face up, cheeks turning red as she tries to get her little baby bowels to work. She only defecates once every other day or so, and usually in the evenings, which just so happened to be when I was home. Now that I am home during the day and work the evenings, it will be mother’s time to change dirty diapers, surely.

I no longer believe it is a coincidence. But rather, a poop conspiracy.

Yesterday, just as Ashes was leaving for work, at 7:45 in the morning, Abigail looked me dead in the eye and started grunting an all too familiar grunt. I watched in disbelief as her little baby body shook just as I heard Ashes starting her car. One long shudder later, she did her adorably dumb baby grin that says, “Dad, it’s time to clean up my shit.”

Ashes is big on data collection. We have records of feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes going back weeks. Baby Abigail hasĀ never pooped that early in the day. This was a clear signal that crap cleaning time was still going to be daddy time.

I blame myself. This started because when I would hold her while sitting on the couch, I bring my legs up and let her lean back against them. This mostly vertical position is apparently an easier position for fecal formalities, and one that Ashes, with her shorter legs, is unable to hold. I believe the baby got used to pooping with me, and now my long legs have doomed me to several years of cleaning up shit.

I will spare you the details of the contents of these diapers. Just know that, when a baby only poops every two days, it creates as big a mess as you think it does. A goopy, stinky, mess. One that is my burden to clean.