Don’t call us, we’ll call you

March 31, 2010

6 weeks, 10 1/2 hours, 4 colds, 2 cute babes

Filed under: Family, Personal — llcall @ 8:21 pm

Yesterday marked six weeks since the arrival of our darling girl.  Six weeks?!  Really??  I am quickly learning what The Happiness Project writer Gretchen Rubin (I love her!) discovered on her bus ride with her daughter: “The days are long, but the years are short.”

To celebrate the occasion, Addison slept a whopping 10 1/2 hours on Monday night.  11:30 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.  This girl loves to sleep, and Neal never fails to remind me that she gets it from him.  Thank goodness!!

Also on Monday night, I triumphantly told Neal that I was over my cough, a horrid, phlegmy cough that had held on for more than two weeks.  Then yesterday, I awoke to body aches and more congestion.  I think I have a new bug. 😦  I’m wearing a face mask to avoid infecting Neal and Addison; hopefully we can keep the cold/flu count at four.

My two babes, doing what they do best:


March 30, 2010

Dental hygiene FAIL

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , — llcall @ 3:16 am

Today was a sad day in my world.  I went to the dentist and had my first cavity.  It was sort of a borderline one — the hygienist didn’t actually think it was a cavity — but nonetheless the dentist thinks it’s better to take care of it sooner rather than later.  So on Wednesday I get my first filling.  Whatever that means.

Although they tell me this is not surprising because pregnancy can cause dental problems, especially if there was a lot of vomiting involved, it is still depressing for someone who takes dental hygiene as seriously as I do.  Flossing is like the fourth most important thing in the world to me.

Should I drown my sorrows in soda pop and ice cream since my cavity-free streak is over anyway?

March 25, 2010

Wednesday miscellany

(Because I wrote this yesterday but never got a chance to post it.)

I think of things I’d like to blog about pretty much every 3 or 4 minutes.  I blame it on my old roommates Rach, Em, and Meg who turned me into a hyper-communicator almost overnight back in 1998.  Since I can’t find the time or willpower to bring you all my uncensored thoughts, I’m just going to send out a scattering of thoughts I’ve had lately.

While the health care bill is no doubt at the forefront right now, last week the Senate passed a less-emphasized bill to ease the penalty for crack cocaine use.  To some people that may sound like a bad idea, but believe me, it is a very good idea.  For decades now, crack cocaine possession has carried an approximately 100 times harsher penalty than possession of the exact same amount of powder cocaine.  Because crack has been predominantly used in minority communities, while powder has been the “white” version, this has amounted to one of the most racist policies in our criminal justice system.  While I favor a 1-to-1 ratio of punishment (same drug = same penalty, makes sense, right?), which the House already passed, the 18-to-1 proposed in this Senate bill is certainly a step in the right direction.

Speaking of health care, put me in the camp of those with intensely mixed feelings.  I don’t like the manner in which the deals got done (what happened to the promised transparency?); I think the President and Congressional supporters are either disingenuous or seriously out-to-lunch if they think this is not going to increase deficits and the debt (which of our national entitlement programs is fiscally sound and sustainable?); and I don’t think the safeguards against federal funding of elective abortions are strong enough.  On the other hand, health insurance and medical bills have been the absolute bane of my adult life.  I’ve spent a long time on this crazy merry-go-round of working full-time to get health insurance, my health failing so I must quit, getting denied individual insurance, getting well enough to find another job . . . repeat.  A world in which I cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions and I don’t have to lose sleep over whether Addison will have some uninsurable chronic condition like her mom, that’s a pretty hopeful world.

I’ve been in the middle of writing my birth story since the week after Addison was born.  I’ve received a few threatening emails from friends who only check my blog to find out whether my birth plan panned out. 🙂  It’s coming, I promise . . .

Addison has slept for at least 8 hours at a time for the past three nights.  What could be more loveable?!

Last night was my night to stay up with her since Neal had to work the next day.  At nights, when I’m looking at her, waiting to see if she’ll stay asleep, it feels surreal that she is my daughter.  I used to be a nanny/babysitter for two different newborns and sometimes I still have the feeling that I’m just waiting for the real parents to come home and take her.

As it gets later and later in the night, I also start to think Addison has a ginormous head.  She doesn’t — this girl is strictly 50th percentile in all her measurements — but it starts to seem distorted and huge and like it’s growing every minute.  Creeps me out.

I am also creeped out by Addison’s toenails and a weird-bony-thing in her chest that wiggles around.  I won’t touch either of those parts of her body.  It’s okay to admit these things, right?  A mother doesn’t have to embrace every little thing about her child.

Here’s your token cute picture, which I do embrace wholeheartedly:

Who's such a reverent baby?

March 22, 2010

Praise the name of nurse Jane!

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: — llcall @ 11:38 pm

The sleep plan she helped us devise got us . . . wait for it . . . a whopping 8 1/2 consecutive hours of sleep!  That’s right, Addison went down at 11:30 p.m. and didn’t peep again until 8:00 a.m.  (This would be even better if Neal and I weren’t both awakened by our coughs and congestion in the middle of the night — but if we got everything we wanted, we would be spoiled indeed).

Of course, after about 2 minutes of the dance of joy, we both had that crazy parent-worry set in.  Did she sleep too long?  Should a one-monther go that long without food?  Was her stomach eating itself during the night??

All bodily functions seem to be a go today, so we’ll gladly take another night of that!


A few of the many faces of Addison, taken in sequence:

March 20, 2010

New sleep plan and musical exploration

On Thursday we talked with a veteran nurse who does well-baby checks in the community to see if she had any bright ideas for Addison’s sleep.  After two weeks and a recent night where she was awake from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. straight, it just didn’t seem that the pediatrician’s suggestions were working.  Luckily, she helped us come up with a new, three-fold plan:

  1. cluster feed every two hours starting at 5:00 p.m. (so 5, 7, 9, and 11)
  2. bug the heck out of her from 5 to 11 so that she can’t get into a deep sleep during that period
  3. put her down for the night at 11:00 p.m. in the same place every night (she suggested a swing to help with her congestion and give her comforting movement)

Nurse Jane said that we have to do the exact same thing every night for 5 nights, and then switch it up if it’s not working.  Night 1 (the 18th) was pretty much the little miracle we’ve been looking forAre you ready for this??!! She slept from 10:30 – 1:00 and 3:45 – 9:00.  Not only that, but she didn’t eat from 1:30 until 9:00!  Neal was getting ready to feed her again when she drifted off to sleep and stayed asleep.  Hallelujah!

Night 2, which we are just wrapping up, she was back to her old shenanigans, not sleeping until 5:30 a.m.  But we’re undeterred.  Now we know she is capable of sleeping during the night, we’ve just got to stay the course.  I hate irritating her when she is so sleepy that she’s dozing off every two or three seconds, so last night I left it up to the men — Neal and Uncle Skylar.  They find this much more palatable as they simulate little baby boxing matchs with uppercuts and kidney punches.  She’s a natural, no?


I’ve been experimenting with music to see what Addison seems to enjoy.  I’ve tried some hymns, but she’s not a fan.  So far this is the hands-down favorite: Wintersong by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.  When I turn it on and sing the lyrics in her ear, she is beyond serene.

I’ve tried a variety of Radiohead, mostly their mellower fare, but it just doesn’t do much for her.  She seems bothered by the obscurity of Thom Yorke’s metaphors (“‘He talks in maths, he buzzes like a fridge?’  What does that even MEAN?”).  The only exception is Neal’s personal anthem.  The first time I sang the words, “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo…,” she did this:

It was a knowing smile.

March 16, 2010

How do YOU wake a sleeping baby?

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 4:30 pm

Addison’s cold is gone now.  My cold, which she passed along, is gone too.  Neal is at the tail-end of his cold, which I graciously passed along.  So things are looking up.

Except that this little baby of ours is on Tokyo standard time.

The general consensus from friends, family, and the pediatrician is that we are going to have to help her get her days and nights straight because she probably won’t do it on her own.  So the pediatrician, for example, said forcibly wake her to feed every 3 or 4 hours during the day.  Sounds simple, right?

Except that this baby either sleeps like the dead or has an iron will because if she’s not ready to wake, she’s not waking.

And believe me, we’ve tried a thing or two.

For example, Neal tries to annoy her out of slumber with facial contortions:

Or rapid foot applause:

Or nose rubbing (which you’d think would work when you’ve got a nose as pointy as Neal’s):

He also holds her up like baby Simba in The Lion King, lets out high-pitched squeals, which startle her only momentarily, and threatens to give her Wet Willies, which I will never allow because of traumatic childhood experiences with my sweet brother.

I was initially more reluctant about trying to wake her, but now I bust out and give her a sponge bath, move from room to room putting her in increasingly uncomfortable positions, and yes, ice her.  The uncanny thing about the ice usage is that for the first 5 seconds or so, she will squirm to get away, but too quickly she decides that it is not worth the effort and just slumbers with ice crammed against her foot, neck, cheek, belly, anywhere.  How any human sleeps through all this I will never know!

So, dear readers, any ideas we haven’t tried?

March 12, 2010

I heart Pink Floyd

This week Pink Floyd won a court battle with their record company over downloads of their music.  They successfully argued that the record company EMI was violating a clause in their contract by selling individual songs from their concept albums.  The band included the clause to “preserve the artistic integrity of the albums.”

Normally I side with the common folk against the high-and-mighty artists in cases like these — give the people what they want, how they want it (yes, I’m talking to you, Steven Spielberg, and your crusade to make sure that no one ever sees an edited version of your R-rated movies because it would violate your almighty vision).  But in this instance I make an exception because this is truly in the best interest of the common folk.  Sure, “Comfortably Numb” is one of the single greatest songs EVER, but if you hear it in isolation from the rest of the album The Wall, you have missed a huge portion of its beauty and meaning.  And that would be tragic.  Truly tragic.

Pink Floyd makes concept albums.  Period.  If you don’t care enough about the concept to explore the entire album, then just steer clear altogether.

March 11, 2010

Avast ye mateys!

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , — llcall @ 4:27 pm

Remember that one time I got water all over my kitchen because I tried to refill a water bottle with the cap on.  Um, yeah . . . I did that again this morning.  BUT I didn’t make 72 attempts this time before realizing what I was doing.  It was no more than 12 or 13.  That’s real progress.


In other news, Addison’s congestion has vastly improved.  She still  has a few little coughing fits every day, but we can tell that she is feeling better because the last two nights she has not done so much inconsolable crying.  Hallelujah!

Unfortunately, this illness has left her nights and days hopelessly confused.  I have to coax her to eat during the day — we’ve even had to bust out some ice cubes to chill her little feet to get her to wake up long enough to feed — and then at night she has a voracious appetite.  We never see the whites of her eyes between 7am and 6pm and then right around midnight, it’s wakey-wakey time and she’s ready to look around, eat, dirty about 17 diapers.  But, hey, I can’t complain since I usually only do the day shift!


They call this look “rooting” — one of the reflexes that prompts a newborn to look for food and helps you know that baby is hungry as opposed to wet/messy, sleepy, just playing mind games with you, etc.

But I prefer to think that she is practicing her pirate talk like so:

“Yarr, me parents be Dirty Jenny Rackham and Calico Sam [our pirate names, derived from a scientific assessment we found online a few years ago].  At night I be a saucy lass t’ drive me pappy crazy.”

Hours of fun for the whole family!

March 8, 2010

Inspiration for a Monday morning

Filed under: Family, Personal — Tags: , , , , , — llcall @ 5:30 pm

Neal came into my room this morning about 6:00 a.m. with our sad, sick, crying baby.  He was at the end of his rope after staying up with her through five straight nights of illness.  Neal at the end of his rope = trouble.  He has been keeping us all afloat here.

Trying to figure out what to do, I turned to this month’s Ensign (the official magazine of the LDS church) for a little inspiration.  I found it in this article, which quoted President Boyd K. Packer:

“If you are helpless, he is not.  If you are lost, he is not.  If you don’t know what to do next, he knows.  It would take a miracle, you say?  Well, if it takes a miracle, why not?”

I think I have this hold-over idea from the angst of my adolescence that life is hard and gritty and torturous.  And it’s supposed to be.  If we try to opt out of that, then somehow we’re not doing it right.

While there’s some truth to that, I think I need to ask for more miracles, more deliverance.  God has done it before and He can do it again.  Why not now?

March 6, 2010

My first really brain-dead-mommy moment

Filed under: Family, Personal — llcall @ 5:25 pm

I refill and drink about 50 water bottles per day.  We’ve got a water dispenser on our fridge and I don’t mind saying that I’m pretty awesome at positioning the water bottle just right without even tilting my head to look for the exact position of the dispenser.  But this morning on my first try, water sprayed out EVERYWHERE — on me, on the fridge, on the floor.  Strange, I’m usually pretty good at this. Instead of glancing down to reposition appropriately, I just moved the bottle slightly and tried again.  Um, same result.  More water pooling at the bottom of the fridge.

After about 4 tries, I give in and tilt my head down to see where the dispenser is and get it set just right (it’s like the refridgerator has won — I hate that!).  And so I try again.  Same result.  Now it’s getting infuriating.  I mean, I’ve ensured proper placement of the bottle — what gives?!  But I won’t be denied; I just keep moving the bottle slightly and trying again.  Now in addition to shirt, fridge, and floor, my pants, feet, and oven are dripping.

72 attempts later, I realize . . . you’ve gotta remove the cap.

Of course, the thing that is most worrisome about this occurrence is that it comes after 8 solid hours of sleep (since Neal did the late-night shift).  Yikes — I’m worried what kind of shenanigans I’ll pull after more sleepless nights!

And also, I’m not cleaning up the water.  Avoiding the fridge area is much easier.  I know because I have a lot of experience with that.

Instead, I’m sitting on the couch doing more important things, like staring at this.

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