Archive for July 2012

You’ve gone from this:

To this:

Over the course of this month you’ve flipped from front to back seven times, and back to front twice. “Tummy time” has you raising yourself up on your hands; elbows are so passé.

You’ll clamour for us to help you sit up and stand.

You’re totally curious about big people food. You’ve insisted on being held in our laps during mealtimes so that you can watch us eat. Sorry, bei, I’m totally not ready to deal with big people poop.

One evening the other week daddy was out late, so I called his cell phone and you left him an epically adorable voice message. The words were gibberish, of course, but the tones and inflections sounded eerily conversational. You deserve to be subtitled.

You play with your tongue, poking it out of your mouth for expressions that are extra squee.

You delight me.

drama queen

Posted on: 26 July 2012

Ashelyn treats us (me) to the occasional meltdown, usually when she’s overtired. Yesterday afternoon was one of those occasions.

We could probably avoid meltdowns altogether if she’d just quietly succumb to sleep when she’s tired, instead of RESISTING. (I briefly mentioned this tendency here.)

So, yesterday. Meltdown. After half an hour of screaming, I realized it didn’t make any difference whether I was holding Ashelyn or not.

So I lay her in the crib and let her cry it out.


If I’m not mistaken, “crying it out” falls within the realm of the Mommy Wars. Admittedly, I may not be using the term correctly. I pulled the crib up against the bed and stayed put until Ashelyn calmed down, which didn’t take too long.

Then, when she’d settled to half-fussing, half-falling asleep, I stuck my finger in her mouth to finish the job.

Look, I even caught the tail end of a smile (something she does often while breastfeeding).

It’s a trick the midwife taught us, that touching the roof of a baby’s mouth triggers her sucking reflex. I keep it in my back pocket as a last resort.

I guess our true last resort would be an actual pacifier. So far we’ve held off on using one. I want that option to be available if I decide to “sleep train” in earnest. (I like to see how far I can go without conveniences and interventions, because then I feel that there are options. Which is, come to think of it, why Ashelyn was born in our bathroom.)

She napped in the crib! By herself! Not for terribly long, but at least half an hour.

Long enough for me to clip the nails on all her appendages, and then all of mine.

And she woke up in much better spirits.

Can we play now?

In the first week of motherhood, I ventured to say that Ashelyn wasn’t a difficult baby. (Of course, prior to her birth I’d scared myself by reading about “high criers” who screamed for eight hours every day.)

I still can’t say that she’s a difficult baby. Ashelyn is sweet and supremely happy. However, she doesn’t sleep independently.

She sleeps on me. At night, when she’s not hugging my torso, she’s in bed beside me, because I’ve managed to flip her there without her waking.

We sleep okay. The pattern is one big chunk of sleep, then one or two smaller chunks. (Our best night was 8 hours, followed by another 2.5 hours.) I’m pro now at sleeping with a sleeping baby on my chest.

It’s not that Ashelyn dislikes her crib. She rolls around like a tumbleweed and kicks up a storm and delivers orations in there. What she doesnt do is sleep.

During the day, she naps best while being held. Sometimes I’ll use a sling. Sometimes I set her down, with mixed results. She’s napped fairly successfully in her pillow, swing, even highchair. But more often than not she’ll magically open her eyes as soon as she hits a foreign surface.

Yes, I’ve heard all about “putting her down drowsy but awake” so she can “self soothe.” Great concept. Sounds good. Makes sense.

Except … once I put her down, she is no longer drowsy.

I don’t want to stress over something that may not be all that important. Maybe Ashelyn isn’t ready to self soothe, but she will be, in time. Until then, we’ll carry on with what works for us. It’s at most an inconvenience to me, but hey, never once have I felt like crying when the baby cries. That’s how (relatively) well rested I’ve been.

It’s been weeks since I’ve needed to change your diaper in the middle of the night! This has cut down our use of disposables to 1-3 a day, depending on whether we go out.

You’ve introduced us to the “tantrum cry.” I don’t believe you’re old enough to actually throw tantrums, but you do arch your back and flail your limbs to impressive effect.

Speaking of flailing, you can kick so hard it shakes the whole crib.

You get SO EXCITED at your reflection in a mirror.

You’re singing. When I sing to you, you chime in with a kind of half-hum, your brow crinkled in earnest concentration.

Sometimes in the middle of breastfeeding, you’ll stop, look up at me, grin and coo. You’re welcome.

You’re grabbing at soft, easy-to-grasp things like fabric. You’ve gone from sucking on your fists to grabbing the front of your clothes with both hands and trying to cram everything in your mouth.

Clasping your hands together is your new favourite thing. Coupled with your ever-increasing library of facial expressions, it looks like you’re delighted at something, pleading for something, or praying.

Not yet four months, and you’re outgrowing some of your 3-6 month sleepers and onesies. To quote a friend: “How can such a skinny person grow such a fat baby?” (Hey, I was a fat baby too.)

You never did attempt to repeat the front-to-back flip after those two successes. However, you’re now rolling from back to front three-quarters of the way, with just an elbow in the way of a full flip.

W: “Do you sing Ashelyn lullabies?”
D: “No, she sings her, like, jazz and stuff.”

(True story. Because I have a bit of musical ADD. By the way, has it ever occured to anyone that “Rock-a-Bye Baby” is about a BABY FALLING OUT OF A TREE?)

On Tuesday morning Ashelyn woke up with the snufflies and a bit of a cough. She was also sneezing gunk out of her nose. Her first cold! Poor baby.

It confirmed my suspicions, because over the long weekend she’d been fussier than usual. Which is still not very fussy. But enough for us to wonder if she was teething. (As she’s already biting on occasion, I sincerely HOPE NOT.)

Once the cold symptoms set in I expected increased crankiness, but instead Ashelyn mellowed down and was extra quiet all day. And extra sleepy, and extra hungry. Luckily, though her nose was stuffed up, it wasn’t so bad that it interfered with her feeding. So she ate voraciously and napped, and in between became very “attachment child” on us, not wanting to be put down at all.

I called our doctor’s office, but they weren’t open until the following day. We went in on Wednesday just to confirm whether it was a cold (it was).

We had a conference last weekend at church, so Ashelyn was around a ton of people. She’s popular and gets passed around a lot. Combine that with her newfound love of sucking on her fists and, well, hmmm.

We’re doing well, though. The coughing and sneezing subsided in no time. All that’s left is some snufflies. I never thought I’d be picking gunk out of my child’s nose, but here I am. And it’s oddly satisfying.

Because of her cold, I’ve postponed transitioning Ashelyn into the crib. Of course she would catch a virus just as I was meaning to do that. Sneaky little koala.

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Did I say Ashelyn wasn’t rolling over yet? She must’ve heard me and thought, Oh yeah? I’ll show you, mama! because this morning, she flipped from tummy to back in her crib.

I missed it, actually. I was getting dressed. All I heard was a bump as her shoulder (lightly!) hit the side rails, and when I turned, she was pressed up against them on her back.

Naturally I was all, “HEY!”

“What?” Kevin inquired from the office, probably thinking something was wrong. Probably thinking I’d found a silverfish under the bed. (Those things are gross, and they show up in our house from time to time.)

“She flipped over!”

He came in, and when he scooped Ashelyn back onto her tummy she rolled over again right away – flop – just like that, effortless.

Of course, when we broke out the camera and tried to film it (yes, we’re lame that way) she wouldn’t repeat the performance.