Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cruising was, in a previous time of my life, something done by bored young people down the main drag of the town where I went to college. Hook a TV up to your car's battery, pile five or six friends in the back of your truck, and circle the block at a slow speed for an evening.

Three days ago, cruising took on a whole new meaning, as Frannie learned to pull herself up on the sofa, and to follow its track to whatever goodies we forgot (this time of year, we pile a lot on the sofas).

Once the tree comes down, she'll be able to cruise around and around the table, but for now, she's limited to the corner of our living room, and the piano bench.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Now that school is on winter break, we are strongly contemplating some form of sleep training, since the regression that set in back in October has never improved. I think we've gotten about two hours of time in our bed without Frannie over the last month...it's wearing on everyone, and I don't know that she's eating enough to justify keeping the night nursing constantly available.
To "hi!" "uh-oh!" and "up!" we have added "elf" and "mama," which you might think refers to me, or perhaps to Sarah, but which in fact means any object that is edible or contains something edible. That is, it includes me (mama! mama! mama!), but it also includes the bag of yogurt melts (mama! mama!), the bowl of macaroni and cheese (mama!!), and the highly recognizable applesauce pouches (cue hysterical wailing of mama!mama!mama!mama!!!!)

We have been working on signing "more" since she started eating solids five months ago, but it doesn't seem to have "taken." The only sign Frannie has any interest in using is "milk," and that only when it is noticeably not available. The sign for more has never been seen, and all our attempts are only resulting in a marginally more recognizable version of the spoken word. I'm okay with increasingly understandable speech, but I like the idea of signing just so she can express more ideas that she will be able to verbalize, as time goes on. We'll keep at it, but I think she may be genetically (and socially) doomed to a verbal life - neither one of her moms ever shuts up!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In addition to exclaiming, "hi!" to every man, woman, child, and inanimate object in our midst, Frannie has now added an enthusiastic wave to her greeting. Dinner tonight was a constant chorus of "hi!" followed by Sarah and I adding "hi, lamp! hi, pig wall hanging! hi, teapot!", with much vigorous waving, as if all of our long-lost, dear family members were pouring out of the woodwork. Here's hoping the neighbors don't watch our kitchen table.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Based on Frannie's actions while crawling around the house, you would think that Sarah and I never walk or move without chatting at top volume in a constant stream of randomness. Bah-doh-ah-doh-ah-doh-ah-doh, indeed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

video
Frannie has taken to exploring our house, her daycare, and any other location we visit. Her daycare provider reports that she is thrilled to entertain herself on the floor, chasing toys and crawling around, for most of the day - and considering how pleased she is to use her latest skills at home, I'm surprised the kid gets any eating done at daycare at all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crazy month, October was. Frannie had an absolutely awful bout of croup, and sleep fell way apart. So, we're back to having a baby co-sleeping with us full-time, and if we're lucky, she spends an hour or two in her crib in the evening. If we're not lucky, she's nursing all evening and I get no work done. Those evenings do not lead to fabulous teaching, so I don't so much root for those.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

video
It may be cruel to taunt an infant like this, but this type of activity consumes much of our evenings these days. This, and handing her colorful train pieces while we try to quickly use the bathroom without company.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A second cold for Frances - or is it?

This giraffe is ready for her close-up
Upon returning to work, I once again forgot to have the children clean their hands every time they enter, and promptly came down with a cold. It's a common enough occurrence around small children, but I worry for Frannie every time I cough or sneeze at home. On Monday, she coughed a few times after swimming, and I worried she was coming down with my cold, so we stayed home together on Tuesday. Of course, there were no coughs or sneezes (from her) on Tuesday, so we enjoyed a day at home together.

We went to the zoo with cousin Abe and his Grammy Ruth, and then rested in the afternoon. Since everything seemed fine, she was back at daycare and I was back at work on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just a note to myself as we continue with daycare and getting Frannie to sleep enough:
Frannie is currently waking up four-six times each night, sleeping in our bed after the first wake-up until morning. After she wakes up in the morning, she takes a nap 1-2 hours later, and usually takes three naps each day (morning, afternoon, and before dinner).

Daycare for Frances

Well, work started this week, and Frannie headed to her first time at daycare. Previous experiences (Momma returning to work, Momma taking a class over the summer, etc.) have taught us that our girl is stubborn to a fault, and will hold out on drinking milk from a bottle for days, so we warned her daycare provider and sent her with extra solid foods so she wouldn't starve. After four days, Frannie still hasn't taken any milk, but she is eating massive quantities of applesauce every day. I, of course, am still pumping, so hopefully she starts accepting the bottle soon...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

According to Dr. Sears, the acquisition of new skills is often preceded by an increase in nighttime waking. If that is true for Frances, we are in for a doozy of new skills. She has gone from waking once or twice to waking five times or more, and refusing to go back down in her crib. She is so sensitive to having us near, even petting her head in the crib doesn't settle her - nothing but full-body contact with Momma or Mommy will do.
Two nights ago, Sarah woke up at 4:30, noticed Frannie was asleep, and moved her into her crib. Immediately, Frannie's eyes flew open, and she started babbling and cooing happily. Clearly, this was an opportunity for some prime Frannie-Mommy quality time! 30 minutes later, I finally managed to nurse her down, but she stayed in our bed for the rest of the night.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It has been a crazy couple of weeks for "Fry-Fry" (her new nickname from cousin Abe). The top teeth have all broken through, so now she has 6(!) teeth. She had her first dentist appointment on the 25th, and the dentist was very sweet, and made a cast of her foot in plaster - the material was cold, so her toes are curled up tight under her foot, and she was wiggling to get away, so the heel is a little lumpy, but I know we are going to love having that proof of how tiny she was!
Standing up at the dentist
Frannie has also figured out how to pull herself up, as evidenced above - although she hasn't done this at home, she loves to be helped up and allowed to hold herself on the sofa, or a table, or a laundry basket.
Because September is rapidly approaching, we have all been going into school this past week, getting classrooms cleaned, organized, and set up. Part of this requires Frannie to be much more self-sufficient than in the past - you can see she doesn't care for being left with blocks, even if I am staying in her sight, only a few feet away. Momma should play, not clean sinks!
I can hardly believe she is already seven months old.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Frannie went to bed last night with two teeth. Tonight, she goes to bed with four (and one more on the way). I never knew teeth came in so fast, but I'm grateful that these seemed less bothersome than her first two. I noticed this morning that something seemed to be pinching me when she nursed, but assumed her bottom teeth were the culprits. Perhaps I was wrong!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We've been preparing for Frannie's first solid food (she's got a little over a week to go) by reading Food Adventures and planning our produce order. Since it's summer, we have all kinds of choices - fresh fruit, veggies, or fish all sound good to me!
For the last few nights, we've been putting Frances down in her own room, in her crib, for her long stretch of sleep. When she wakes up after we're in bed, one of us brings her back, and from then on she's in the cosleeper or in our bed for the rest of the night. The first couple of nights, I was surprised by how much I missed having her right next to me, but gradually I've become more used to the idea. I know she eventually has to sleep on her own in her room, I just hadn't realized it was going to happen so soon.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Last night was hard. When we got Frances ready for bed, she didn't seem interested in eating, and kept struggling to get out of her swaddle. I unwrapped her and set her down to chill on her "mat of neglect," but after half an hour, she still didn't want to eat. She did want to bite, however, and clamped down while she was nursing, then grinned at me. Not a way to make friends and influence people, kiddo.
After another 30 minutes of this, we realized the last time she acted like this, she was teething. After some infant Tylenol, she took a ting-ting and finally fell asleep. She didn't sleep well, though - lots of waking up in the night to nurse, and a great deal of cranky in the morning.

Today we kept her drugged up, and she seemed happier - still prone to chomping down on fingers, though.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

We took Frances to her first Pride Parade last Sunday - as usual, we marched walked with the Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus.
Sarah took charge of the pram decorations - note the sparkly rainbow leis. We had matching ones to wear, so we looked like we belonged together. Frannie had rainbow rings to keep track of her toys, and rainbow striped babylegs until the weather warmed up. She was game for all of it, although she wasn't much of a fan of the booming music from the truck. Once we were well ahead of the truck, though, she was happy. We handed out candy and business cards, and smiled and waved to the crowds.

Frannie slept.

Thankfully.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The latest installment in our cheap-entertainment-for-babies series?

Toes and Thumbs. Seriously, why do we have all of these brightly colored, light-up, noise-making plastic things? The kid thinks her toes are the coolest thing since light bulbs (those haven't held her attention in weeks), and would rather chew on her thumb than on any ting-ting or teething ring.

Clearly, baby toys are sold for the parents.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Make that two teeth, now.

At least we seem to be through the worst of it - no Tylenol in two days.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Tooth for Frances

When Frannie went in for her last check-up, we were told her first teeth were visible below her gums, but weren't given any solid time line for when they might arrive. After three days of fussing (and the purchase of our first bottle of infant Tylenol), we have the beginnings of a tooth. So far, enough is poking through to scratch a toy, or scrape against my fingernail (her favorite chew toy), but her less-than-bubbly demeanor has made it very difficult to get photos.
No, Momma, I will NOT open my mouth!
This morning, we decided to beat the Seattle heat (they predicted 80 - horrors!) by heading to Seward Park to walk the loop with Olive. We had to laugh at the set-up we gave Frannie - she had the life of luxury in her pram!
Note the sun umbrella, so not a ray of sunshine will get in Princess Frannie's sensitive eyes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This weekend, Frannie has had many encounters with new people, friends and family, and we have discovered that she shows a distinct preference for people who entertain her, and engage her with smiles and games. No real surprise there, but a definite change from just a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

4 month Dr. appointment today:
13 lbs, 4 oz
24 inches long
So, slightly down in length/weight ratio (45th percentile instead of 50th), but not a big deal. Still a big-headed kid (16 inches!), but very healthy. And still pronounced "perfect."

Dr. was pleased that Frannie is putting toys in her mouth, babbling, and trying to stand when held up. We're pretty pleased, too, but it's nice to hear it from the expert. As a teacher, it's crazy to realize how proud comments and compliments on your own child from someone in authority make you feel. I may drastically revisit my own interactions with parents.
Pensively chewing on her ting-ting. This may be the dust jacket photo for her novel.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Frances rolled over from front to back today. She managed it three times, throughout the day, so while it's not exactly a fluke, it's also not a skill she's mastered. I liken it to learning to juggle, and while you can occasionally throw and catch all three balls with the appropriate hands, more often one of them flies into the ether, or hits the cat on the head. She'll get there.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Frances has an impeccable sense of comedic timing. After I fed her yesterday, she was sitting in my lap and produced a very ominous gurgling. I scrambled for a burp cloth, only to look down and see her smiling happily, no spit-up in sight. I sighed with relief, set down the burp cloth, and turned her back around to face Sarah. Just as I lifted her, Frances let out an arc of spit-up that landed on my lap, my arm, the boppy pillow, and her own dress.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We've started an informal routine at bedtime: diaper, story, feed, down to co-sleeper. If the ting-ting is needed, it usually comes in between feeding and down.
After tonight's bath, we gave Frances some naked tummy time. According to our baby class leader, rolling over and sitting up can be impeded by the giant cloth diapers babies wear, and since she's so good at sitting and standing on her changing table, we thought we'd give it a shot. She loved it, and showed off, kicking her hanging toys on the tummy time mat, and trying to army crawl to the bright colors.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Since Frances was 3 weeks old, we've been swaddling her at naptime and at night. Usually we use the double swaddle, but on warm nights (or when we're out of clean blankets) we pull out the Miracle Blanket, which works the same way. Either way, she's bundled up around her arms, around her feet, and snuggled toasty and tight*. And although we've had a couple of escape attempts featuring the lower extremities...
...the swaddle has always stuck. Until this morning...
Yup, that's Frannie's hand in her mouth. Note that it had to come up through the neck hole of the sleep sack, since the armhole is blocked by the tightly wrapped swaddling blanket. Note also the look of joy and pride on her face. That hand was totally worth all of the work it took to get it in her mouth.

*Despite the warnings, we do put a blanket on her in the co-sleeper. It's just too cold in our house, and we get miserable if we have a heater on all night. She lays on top of half of it, and the other half comes up about to her armpits - it's really just there to add another layer for her toes, which always seem to be chilly in the morning. It helps her sleep better, and I value my sleep and hers. When she wakes up in the morning, her leg thrashing now moves the blanket even further off of her, so I don't worry about her ability to keep a blanket off of her face. I'm more concerned that she'll throw all of her covers to outer Mongolia once she's not hampered by the sleep sack.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

So great is my fear of missing a diaper blowout, I have now started to imagine that I smell baby poop. Not a huge problem when I'm at home with Frannie, since more frequent diaper changes are a good way to avoid diaper rash. However, when I'm at work or in the car without Frances, the imaginary poop smell is bewildering. And unhelpful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frances has taken to laughing predictably at me humming on her cheek like a kazoo, and will usually laugh when I blow raspberries on her belly. Progress!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pumping at work last week was okay on Monday, but got worse as the week went on. Today, I got 6 oz before 11 (and 4 more in the rest of the day), so pumping early and often is going to be my plan for the rest of the week. I'd really like to be able to pump more each day than she is eating, but I'll settle for breaking even.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

After Mother's Day dinner, we flipped through a couple of reels of old slides of Sarah's cousin. From the few slides that included Sarah as a baby, it looks as if Frances not only takes after me, but also her Mommy! Phew.

Mother's Day for Frances

While I look forward to the day when Frances can choose her own gifts for us at Mother's Day, Sarah and I had fun preparing for today ourselves. Sarah made a delicious berry french toast casserole, and Emily, Neil, and Abe came over for breakfast. After a delicious feast, we spent a relaxing morning (Frannie snacked regularly), then visited Sarah's Grandma and Grampa before having Mother's Day dinner with the family.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Frannie sitting in the Bumbo

That's a pretty baby in the mirror.  Can we have her over? She looks nice!

Olive is the most entertaining creature in the house, especially when she's running after sunbeams.

Tummy time? Eh, okay.
As a music teacher, I have a larger-than-usual interest in how Frances' language and vocal abilities develop. From her first squeaky vocalized sounds, I've been keeping track of her sounds, and recording her voice every few weeks. This week, she acquired another new skill: repeating the same sound over and over. When it develops into words (why? why? why? why?) I'm sure to find it less thrilling, but for now, her 30-odd repetitions of "eah, eah, eah, eah" was a highlight of my week. Next up: imitating?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Cold for Frances

As often happens when you're an elementary school teacher, I picked up a cold my first week back. I tried very hard to keep my microorganisms to myself all weekend, but Frannie woke up on Tuesday with a sniffle, developing a cough and her first cold as the day went on. Last night was a rapid return to the early days, with 3 wake-ups during the night. She seemed confused by waking up, though - she wasn't hungry enough to eat a meal, so she'd nurse for a few seconds and then drift off, and I'd put her back in the co-sleeper. I'm feeling better today, with just a lingering sinus headache.

On a related note, decongestants are not recommended when you are breastfeeding, as they will decrease your milk supply. This makes perfect sense (dry up one bodily fluid, dry up all of them), but is not something that occurs to the cold-addled brain. Also, if your sinus pain goes on long enough, you start considering taking the decongestants anyway, just to get your brain back.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Frances has been working on getting her hands into her mouth for the last two weeks or so, with steady improvement and accuracy. Tonight, she was grabbing at my fingers, so I brought a pig toy within reach - and she grabbed it, held it in two hands, and brought the ear to her mouth. We enjoy our bacon, she munches on a pig-shaped rattle. It's all about teaching her early.
Dining out for Life with Grandma Paula
Thursdays this year were good already - I only work the afternoon, after all - but now that they are also a large chunk of time-with-Frances-and-Sarah, Thursdays rock! Today I made pancakes and bacon for breakfast, then Frannie and I went to Costco and Starbucks while Sarah had her work evaluation. She came back glowing (she's brilliant and perfect, no surprise), and then we had lunch and they took me to work.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We like to do our holidays as many times as possible (practice makes perfect, don't you know?), so we had Easter yesterday and today. Yesterday, we took Frances, some deviled eggs, and two pounds of bacon to a neighborhood egg hunt and brunch. I nearly typed "egg hint" there, which really would be a better description of the egg hunt for the 1- and 2-year-olds there. While the bigger kids ran down the block, grabbing eggs off of trees and from under tulips, the little ones toddled down the hill, mostly catching onto the idea of an egg hunt, if not yet perfecting its execution. Frannie, of course, did not partake of the searching; she slept through the entire hunt.
Easter with Mommy's family is exhausting!

Today, we started our morning with an egg hunt in our house (12 dyed eggs, hidden more at an adult level of difficulty than that of a 3-month-old), and enjoyed the Baby Beluga songbook Frannie got in her basket. Then, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house, enjoyed a giant breakfast, and opened more Easter basket goodness. Frances got a Bunnies by the Bay ting-ting holder, two more books, and some new clothes. No candy, of course - the Easter Bunny is trying to cut back.

Then, it was off to the big Easter celebration with Sarah's family. Those of us who eat solid foods ate way too much, as we generally do. Frannie showed more restraint, but was wiped out by the evening. She slept most of the way home, and went down for the night after one more snack.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Frannie is becoming a tummy-time champ, looking around the floor, watching Olive, and smiling at the pretty baby in the mirror :) Unfortunately, she still meets her limit for concentration quickly, so she goes from grinning wildly to pounding her fists in frustration in about as long as it takes to grab the camera. In other words, no cute pictures of tummy-time yet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Since were on spring break, we went to Costco this morning. Frances slept for the first 40 minutes or so, but then began to have trouble keeping her "ting-ting" in her mouth as she slept. Consequently, the rest of the shopping trip consisted of trying to hold her hood over her head (so she was in the dark), at the same time holding the ting-ting in her mouth and bouncing her back to sleep. It was less than successful, so she was near hysterics when we got into the car. I decided to try making really silly, smiley faces at her, and she was pretty easily distracted from her tears.

I worry sometimes that she won't actually learn to soothe herself if I don't allow her to cam down on her own, but I also worry that I will go batshit crazy if I have to listen to her scream and cry on the drive home. Hopefully there's time to learn self-soothing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We had brunch with some friends of our who have 2.75-year-old twins, and a daughter who just turned one year.  I got to spend a good chunk of time playing with the little girl, and was thrilled to realize some of the things that Frannie will be able to in a mere 9 months: crawl, put things in her own mouth, eat food that we eat, and make her wishes (demands) known. As tired as my legs got playing bouncing games with that girl, the fact that she could request it again and again meant I was more than willing to bounce her for many, many repeats of "Pop! Goes the Weasel"

Friday, April 15, 2011

And I spoke too soon.
Last night, she was up three separate times to eat. I don't know if it's related to my going to work, or just a fluke, but it was hard to be back in the newborn style of sleeping! I was drifting off while trying to get her out of the cosleeper - I haven't done that since the first week she was home.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frances has been sleeping ~8 hours all this week. I know better than to think it will continue, especially since sleep often falls apart around 3 months, but we're enjoying it for now.
I started back at work yesterday, and so far, Frances seems to be taking the change well. Grandma Ellen was super kind, and sent pictures of her day:
Happy Frances smiling at Grandma

Sleeping Beauty
The biggest challenge for me is that, instead of feeding her when she's hungry, I'm trying to fit pumping into my already busy school day. Luckily, what I've been able to pump the last two days has been more than she's eaten on each day. As long as that keeps up, I'll be happy. Ish.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Frances slept 8.5 hours last night. 10:00-6:30. I awoke in shock. Not holding my breath she'll repeat that tonight, but...wow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I go back to work in two days, and I'm planning (hoping?) to pump during the day. I got some nursing/pumping shirts a couple of months ago, and while I like the expensive special shirts, it seems to me that I could get the same result from some nursing tank tops (which I wear anyway, for coverage) and v-neck t-shirts. So we went to the mall this weekend to get a t-shirt for me to try, and perhaps I'll get some more if they do turn out to work as well as I hope.

How can you stand to leave something this cute to go to work?
 Frannie continues to love tummy time, which makes her relatively unusual, but I suspect it helps that I have her on the Boppy most of the time, and place her on the sofa, so she can look around at me and the rest of the room. This week, "the rest of the room" was only interesting if Olive was around. That pug comes over, and Frances is transfixed.
Frannie has discovered Olive. She makes Frannie smile.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Operation Early Bedtime update:
Last night Frannie didn't want to go down early, and I stayed up late working on Take One!, so I wasn't terribly inspired to rise early. So she napped a little after eating at 8:00, and really got up for the day around 9. We'll see how the weekend goes.

Blowout Preventer needed

I took my car to get an emissions check this morning, at the emissions center by Costco. This is just a few blocks from the Franz Bakery, so the area often smells like what ever is being baked - cinnamon bread, dinner rolls, etc. As we pulled out of the emissions center, I noticed the bakery smell, and thought to myself, "How funny, bread baking smells rather like baby poop." Now you see where this is going. I wish I had.

Since Frances was still napping, and we were near to Starbucks,  I thought we would stop in to read the paper and have a cup of coffee. Of course, Frannie woke up on the way into the parking lot, but she usually goes down again easily. When I  pulled the blanket off of her, I noticed that the bread/baby poop smell was a lot stronger. Not really a surprise, since she hadn't pooped in the last four days, and we have been waiting for a big diaper change. "It's too bad this Starbucks doesn't have a changing table," I thought, and pulled the diaper bag and Frances to the front seat for a quick change. It was then that I noticed the yellow stain on her right leg. And down to her ankle. And around her back. Uh-oh.

With the changing pad set up on the driver's seat, I started stripping Frances down. The gussets in her diaper had been totally overwhelmed, and her entire upper leg was covered in poop, leaving me to wonder, "if the leg of the playsuit is full of poop, is there anyway to get the foot out without getting the foot covered in poop?" I can now answer, "No." More's the pity.

Cleaning Frannie up would have been enough of a challenge had there been plenty of wipes, but of course we only had two left in the diaper bag. So, the extra onesie was pressed into service as a clean-up rag. Also the extra cloth diaper, while I put her into a disposable. I was putting the dirty clothes into the wet bag, and the wipes into a plastic bag, when Frances gave me a big grin and started peeing. She peed all over herself, the changing pad, and my seat (poor choice for a changing location). Luckily, I had placed the clean outfit on the back of the seat, so it stayed clean and dry. I put her into the clean outfit and dragged both of us into Starbucks, where I washed my hands, bought a coffee, and then headed home for a bath.

Thankfully, Frances respected my request to not spit up all over her clean outfit (or mine), so we avoided the full trifecta, at least for now.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Frances fell asleep around 7 at craft night last night, so the first night of Operation Early Bedtime appears to be working. One data point does not a trend make, however, so we will be continuing to follow any changes in the sleep department.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Up earlier - check!
Longer naps - check!
Jury is still out on the earlier bedtime.

Frannie was a trooper this morning as I kept her up after the alarm went off, but by the time 9 am rolled around,* she was super tired. So tired, all I had to do was put the pacifier in her mouth while I got dressed, and she was sound asleep in her bouncy seat. Unheard of.

*She usually sleeps until 10, so being up 'til 9 was quite the challenge - go Frannie!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

According to Ann at baby class, the best way to get Frannie going to sleep earlier is to wake her up earlier. So we're looking at the end of "me time" in the morning, in exchange for "me time" at night. Unfortunately, tonight it looks like we're not going to get either, as she adjusts to this new plan. Perhaps this explains my raging headache.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Despite my best efforts, Frances has so far resisted any kind of napping routine. She usually wakes up when the alarm goes off, around 6:45, and then goes back down after Sarah leaves and sleeps until 10 or so. After that, her schedule is totally dictated by her, and different every day. Naps may last 20 minutes, or 3 hours. She may eat every hour, or take a 4-hour break between feedings. Result? I have no idea what to plan during the day, as I may have huge chunks of time in which to get work done, or I may not have to hit the bathroom until Sarah comes home.

She napped really well in the stroller yesterday, and the dog would love it if I would take them both on a long walk every afternoon, but such practices are not exactly conducive to getting work done.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

We took Frannie to the Seattle Men's Chorus concert last night.  She slept right through the Women's Chorus concert when she was three weeks old, so we had high hopes for a similar performance from her with the men, but no such luck.  About two minutes into the first song, she started fussing, and Sarah spent the entire first half of the concert out in the lobby with her. I took over for the second half, and we agreed afterwards: no more big choir concerts until she's about 4. She can learn her concert behavior at school concerts, instead.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In the never-ending quest to keep both myself and Frances happy, we have acquired a number of baby carriers. Sarah's cousin lent us their Baby Bjorn (picture a much happier face on me than on the model, and "ours" is green), which Sarah really likes and I really don't enjoy. I've been putting Frances in our Moby wrap since she was a tiny newborn, and while we both love how she rides in that, it's really only a good carrier if you put it on before leaving the house. Somehow, wrangling 6 yards of fabric in the middle of a wet Seattle parking lot doesn't top my "must do" list most days.

Speaking of Seattle, owning an Ergo appears to be mandatory here for all parents of small children, judging by the customers at Costco. So, of course, we acquired one of those, too (and a matching pouch for the phone and keys). I love the Ergo for how easily and comfortably I can carry Frances in it, and how well she sleeps while I wear her. I also love that she will be able to ride in it long into the future, which I don't see happening with the Moby. That said, I have been wanting something easily portable, that I could toss on when we're leaving and I might be wearing Frances later in the day, or that I could pack on trips. I've had my eye on a sling worn by another mother at the baby class we attend each week, and after checking in with her that she is still liking her sling, I bought one for myself. With carriers now in mossy green, light blue, and purple and brown polka dots, I should be able to coordinate Frances' carrier with my outfits (within a certain color range, that is)!

Monday, March 28, 2011

At this morning's two-month checkup, Frances was 11 lbs, 0.4 oz.  That's a pretty big Bean!  She handled the vaccines like a champ - only cried a little after the second shot, and was back to her happy self just a minute or two later.  She was most confused by the rotavirus oral vaccine, which was squeezed into her mouth a drop at a time by a very patient nurse.  Having never eaten anything but breastmilk, the looks Frances gave as she swallowed the vaccine were priceless!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Growing with Great-Grandpa Stuart
Newborn Frances

4 weeks old

8 weeks old
Last night, just after Sarah put Frances to bed, we heard Olive prance into the bedroom.  I tried calling her back, but she ignored me, and shortly thereafter Frances started wailing.  We assumed Olive had been licking her face (which she loves to do - must be the breastmilk), and hoped she'd go back to sleep.  When she kept on crying, I went in to get her, and noticed a bunch of scratches on her face!  Needless to say, the pug was banned from the bedroom last night.  Frances looks much better this morning, thankfully.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today we took Frances to her first birthday party, for the daughter of some friends, who is now 1 year old.  While we tried to impress upon her the importance of good manners when visiting someone's house (greeting them when you arrive, not crying when the birthday gifts aren't for you, and saying what a lovely time you had when you leave), she didn't seem too phased by our demands, and ignored most of them.  She did, however, charm the pants off of everyone there with her smiles, and then took the briefest of naps while being held. 

After the party, we took cake over to Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa's house, to celebrate her two-month birthday.  She was rather less successful as hostess than she had been as a guest, but I suspect this was mostly due to her lack of a good nap.  She naps best in the carriers that we wear, and although she's getting bigger every day, we just need to "buck up" and wear her at nap times.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Frances is two months old today

The past three days, Frances has had terrible napping habits. Every time I set her down, even swaddled, she wakes up within five minutes.  This has really cut into my Facebook time.  And, she's getting cranky.  Today I held her for over an hour while she napped, which solved the second problem, and allowed me to address the first with my phone...but I really need to be working on my Take One!  

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm sleepy, Mama...
...no, I'm not!
After 11.5 hours up, Frances is finally down for the night (we hope). Today was a lousy day to be a stay at home mom - no naps, so, no cheerful baby. Consequently, no work got done here.  Hopefully tomorrow she'll be up for her usual nap/eat/play schedule!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blueberries for Frances

Yesterday, we took advantage of the beautiful spring-like weather and bought four blueberry plants at Costco, then mixed a pile of peat moss into the soil on the side of our house and got them in the ground.  In one afternoon, we went from a bed with daffodils, hyacinths, and an overgrown lemon-mint plant to a bare patch of soil with four green sticks at 3-foot intervals.  Our neighbors are probably horrified!  Frances should have blueberries in, oh, a year or so.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Frances has been having a spit-up fest the last few days, causing me to run through the extra onesies in her diaper bag - and then forget to replenish them before going out to lunch today.  Consequently, when she peed through a cloth diaper, two onesies, and a pair of overalls today, she was left with nothing to wear but the Winnie-the-Pooh jumpsuit we keep in the bag for emergencies.  Poor kiddo's gonna think she was dressed like a shlub her entire babyhood.  I've got to get some pictures of her looking her cutest!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cloth diaper thoughts so far

The GroBaby ones are fine for night (when she doesn't poop anymore), but if she poops in them during the day, the whole diaper needs a wash - not a big deal, but more of a hassle (and laundry) than other diapers.
The Flip diaper we have has a great cover, but I'm not loving the diaper itself, which is too bad - I wanted to like it, since it can be folded sideways and fit a little baby better than the other big honking prefolds we have.
The Gerber super-absorbent prefolds (from Target) are easy to fold, but not very soft.  Although they fit her better than the Bummis, I tend to avoid them until we run out of the other diapers and inserts.
The Bummis are great, very absorbent and soft, but massive on her.  Once I've folded it down in front, back, and on the sides, the poor kid reminds me of the little brother in "A Christmas Story" - 'I can't put my arms down!'
The Gerber birdseye flats are, surprisingly, my favorites for the daytime.  I've been doubling up with them, and they are really absorbent, almost as good as a disposable.  I also like that they can be folded to fit her, and they are very trim - so her clothes fit better, and I don't worry that I'm torturing her by keeping her feet from ever being in the same ZIP code.

Cover-wise, I prefer the Blueberry covers, but don't have any complaints about any of them.  We've only used the Happy Heiny cow-print diaper once, but it felt very luxurious to be putting her in such a cushy, fleecy diaper.  Too bad I don't like pocket diapers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Last night, Frances slept for 6.5 hours straight - I woke up a few times to check that she was still breathing, but overall, I enjoyed a restful, uninterrupted night of sleep!  When she finally woke up at 5:45, she was HUNGRY, and ate every hour for the next three hours, but I was so well-rested, I didn't even mind.

We'll see if she keeps this up into the future.

Monday, March 7, 2011

In the last two days, Frances has developed (discovered?) a social smile.  We smile at her, she smiles back, we smile more, she does, too - it's a fun loop.  Plus, it's one more thing we can check off of our "should we worry about autism?" list.  Hey, with two special ed teachers in the house, you worry about these things.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

As evidence of Frances' exposure to the sounds of our home in the womb, I have often cited the example of Olive barking (at everything) when listing the sounds to which Frances has no response.  This week, I have noticed that although she can sleep through Olive barking at the cat, the garbage truck, or a plane flying overhead, Frances wakes immediately when Olive shakes her head, jingling her tags.  So intriguing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In preparation for tomorrow night's outing to the theatre (my mom and I have season tickets), I've been pumping like crazy the last few days.  Unfortunately, Frances seems to be going through a needy (and extra feedy) phase, and the last three pumpings have only yielded enough for about 1 and a half feedings.  Here's hoping Frances isn't very hungry tomorrow.

Monday, February 28, 2011

One month Dr. visit:

9 lbs 7 oz (52nd percentile)
54 cm (51st percentile)

She impressed everyone with her ability to lift her head while on her front, and her attempts to scoot across the exam table led to the prediction that she will be an early crawler.  Guess we'd better start babyproofing...

Frances did NOT enjoy her 2nd Hepatitis B vaccination - even though she was nursing when the nurse gave it, she immediately wailed her loudest, and refused to be consoled.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, my attempts to explain how this would prevent later disease and suffering did not comfort her.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cupcakes for Frances

We celebrated Frances' one month birthday with cupcakes from Trophy at Great-Grandma and Grampa's house.   Eventually, she'll be able to partake in these celebrations herself, but for now, I'll just have to take it upon myself to eat her treats for her.   Aw, shucks.