Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yes, all my posts ARE about fingernails!!

I don't just bite Bjorn's fingernails, I bite my own.

They are so bad that I don't even try to get manicures anymore. Not since the last time, when the nail tech called over every other manicurist to show them my nails. ("Oooohh. . . you bite? You bite your nails? You stop! Stop now!" And then talking with each other in another language while wrinkling their noses in disgust. If they weren't so good at foot massages, I would never go back!)

It is a disgusting habit I want very much to quit. I have tried Tabasco sauce, jalapeno juice and gross-tasting nail polish.

But I hadn't yet tried poop.

Yes, you heard me right. Poop.

I think that may be what finally makes me quit.

It is most everyday that I have to change a poopy diaper. I don't begrudge it. Bjorn's just a little baby, so he can't do it himself yet. And I know that when I am old and incontinent, he will pass on the favor and change my diaper.

Payback's a bitch.

But, for now, I am here changing poopy diapers, and sometimes (ok, more often than I care to admit) that poop gets on me. On my hands, on my arms - once even on my face. (Don't ask. Just trust me!) And, yes, it gets under my gross, disgustingly short fingernails.

I know what you're thinking. "Doesn't she wash her hands after changing his diaper?" Well, sure I do. But don't tell me that you haven't washed your hands once or twice only to notice later on in the day that some gardening dirt is still stuck under there.

Now imagine that the dirt is not dirt at all, but poop.

Yup, I think biting my fingernails may be over. . . . .

Monday, September 28, 2009

First (hopefully last) time for everything

All two of my loyal readers (shout out to y'all!) remember when Bjorn was just a few weeks old and I wrote this blog.

There's a reason I did that. A reason I was too scared to cut his nails.

The reason happened Saturday.

I have gotten past the biting of the fingernails stage, and now use the clippers on him. Usually while sleeping, but since he hasn't been napping during the day, that has become harder and harder to do.

So, I tried to cut his nails right after he woke up from his nap.

First mistake.

He was wriggly and happy, wanting to wave his arms around like he just don't care.

I got through one hand without problems. It was during the second hand that I even said to him "If you don't stop wiggling, then you're going to get cut and you're not going to be happy."

I should have stopped there and waited until he calmed down.

Second mistake.

I didn't just cut his fingernails too short - I actually cut his skin. Cut his actual finger with the clippers.

You would think (at least I did) that a baby that size can't bleed that much. You would be wrong. He can. And he did. He bled all over his crib sheets, all over his shirt and all over Daddy's shirt (as Mama was crying too hard to be able to hold him).

This was more than a shaving cut you could put a piece of toilet paper on to clot. I know because we tried.

It also didn't help that he kept sticking his hand in his mouth, so it wouldn't clot.

My poor baby. I know this isn't the last time I will do something and accidentally hurt him; I just hope that the next time it happens, he will be old enough to understand that accidents happen.

Until then, I'm back to biting.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Mommy Circle

When I was pregnant, I was sure that there was a mommy club out there somewhere and it was only a matter of time before I found my group of mommies and settled in for coffee and wine playdates.

At month five, I told myself it hadn't happened yet because I wasn't really showing.

At month six - fully popped now - I knew it was only a matter of time.

Month seven came and went.

By month eight, every time I saw a Preggo, I would sidle up next to her, engage in some witty banter and pray that we were to become Mommy Buddies.

By 40 weeks and 2 days, I realized that the Mommy circle I thought would magically appear was not going to appear at all.

It turns out that just because I met someone and we were both pregnant did not mean that we were going to be best friends. Odd concept, I know, especially for me, as I become friends with everyone I meet. Literally. I've made friends standing in line to get stamps.

But being pregnant was not an automatic pass into the Mommy Club.

I made a few friends here and there, and it's only been recently that I realized something.

I do have a Mommy Club. I do have my Mommy Circle. For most of us, we won't be meeting weekly for playdates, or get-togethers at the local coffee shop. We won't be passing clothes back and forth, lending diapers when one Mommy forgets them.

Most of my Mommy Circle is right here. Through these blogs. Most of the time I read these blogs more often than I talk to my best friend on the phone. Some Mommies I know only through their screen names and some I now regularly exchange emails.

Regardless, these are my Mommies. These are the people I turn to when I need advice, or just an internet hug. These are the women that I was looking for the entire time I was pregnant.

And they were here the whole time. Who knew?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Get a Baby to Sleep

Every new Mama knows that music can soothe the savage beast. Or the little monster, as he is called our house. Bjorn is no different than most.

What is different are the three songs that seem to (90% of the time) calm him down. I don't know how Daddy and I figured out these songs, but they work, so dammit, that is what we are going to use.

The first: 100 bottles of Milk on the Wall. Yes, milk on the wall. He can sing about beer when he is in high school. For now, it's all about the milk. I think it is the repetition of the song that he likes so much, for when I sing this to him, no matter how tired he is, he starts to sing along in his garbled baby speech. Maybe because he can follow along, and knows what will happen next. He will take one down, pass it around, and have 99 bottles of milk on the wall. . . .

The second song is courtesy of Daddy (otherwise known as the Baby Whisperer): Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. Whether it's the calming images of ships sailin' in and sailin' away again, or watchin' the tide roll away, it almost always works. Even when Mama tries to sing it in the proper key. Which is next to impossible for someone who inherited a love for, but not a talent for, music.

The third is quite possibly the oddest song anyone has ever sang to their baby. And I apologize immensely to Bjorn for subjecting him to this song, but for some reason, over the last five years or so, whenever I need a song to sing, this is the only one that ever pops to mind: Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm by the Crash Test Dummies. Yes, that's right. Mmmmm Mmmm Mmmmm. Except I change up the lyrics. My latest is:

"O-n-c-e there was a boy who
Loved his Mama so much
That he never ever left her
And w-h-e-n
She got real old
He let
Her live with him at his house.
He couldn't quite explain it
He wanted to take care . . . of her!"

Just planting the seed early. Albeit with the worst song ever, but still. Planting the seed.

**Just checking, but . . . you can't get the song out of your head either, now, can you??**

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And also. . .

Oh yeah. I almost forgot.

He's weighing in at 15 lbs 2 ounces.

My not-so-little little boy.

I like mine over easy

Yes, you would think that I have moved on from this whole rolling-onto-his-tummy thing, but I haven't and here's why.

Because he hasn't.

He loves being on his tummy (so do his Daddy and I when we are sleeping, so I can understand that) - or at least he MUST love being on his tummy as he immediately flips onto it when placed in his crib - but almost the second he's on his tummy, he starts screaming-crying. Not sorta-crying like I'm used to with him, because he is generally a happy baby. But screaming-crying like he is hurt and needs help.

When all he really needs is to get off his tummy.

I'm not worried about the breathing thing anymore. I went into his room during a nap yesterday and he had his head face down in the mattress. I thought about moving his head to the side, but instead put my hand on his back, felt him breathing and figured I would let him move his own head when he was ready. Ten minutes later I check on him again and he has moved his head out of the mattress. Good boy.

So, I'm not worried that he can't get his head out to breathe. Now I just want him to stop screaming-crying when he rolls onto his tummy. He does it when swaddled (and yes, we have those auto-swaddlers with the velcro. He still flips over.). He does it when not swaddled. He does it during naps and all during the night. I have no idea how to get him to stop.

The only thing I can think to do is to wait it out. And that's not good enough. I need more answers. I need him to take a nap that lasts more than 30 minutes. I need a full night's sleep wtihout him screaming just so I can flip him over. He is not an omelet. I should not have to flip him when done.

When he began screaming-crying during a nap today, I tried to let him cry it out. Like his head in the mattress, maybe he would figure it out himself. Five minutes into it, he started crying so hard he made himself cough. Then, of course, he had worked himself up so much he tried to spit up his last meal. Not a pretty sight, and of course, I felt like the worst Mama ever. The second I picked him up, though, he stopped crying and fell asleep against my shoulder. Maybe I should just never put him down again?!

As of now, Bjorn sleeps in his crib in his room during the day and in his mini-crib in our room at night. Because if he's going to cry and need to be moved during the night, I'm not going to get up and walk across the house to do it. All I have to do it sit up, reach out and flip him over.

Am I the only Mama that has this problem? Did everyone else's babies love their tummies and sleep perfectly fine on them? If not, what did you do to help them sleep????

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sigh. . . . .

I was right. This rolling thing is not as great as its cracked up to be.

Apparently he is an abnomaly, because he can only roll from his back to his tummy. He can't roll tummy to back. Which means that when he rolls over, he's stuck on his tummy - which is fine, because he has good neck control and can pick his head up and look around.

But is not so great when all he wants to do is sleep on his tummy.

I've been in his room half a dozen times in the last half hour, and each time he has rolled over onto his tummy. I gently roll him onto his back, only to immediately have him flip over.

My arch-nemesis, www.babycenter.com (as gloomy and worst case scenario as 'What to Expect' author Heidi), quoted a pediatrician that if your baby can flip over on its own, don't worry about how they sleep. Just make sure the airways are clear and no bedding is loose.

It's not that easy, pediatrician guy. Sure, it's easy to say it. When it's not your child. But when it's your baby, you're gonna be up every five minutes, checking his breathing and trying - in vain - to flip him over so he'll stay on his back.

I can tell it's gonna be another night of not sleeping. Mommyhood is not for the weak.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let me see that tootsie roll!!

Bjorn learned how to roll this weekend.

And now all he does is roll.

This weekend we went to H-town to see friends and family. On the first day there, we had Bjorn on a cute bearskin rug that Daddy and his brothers had laid on when they were babies. It's thick, and a bit raised, so when he immediately rolled off the rug and onto the floor, we chalked it up to merely gravity.

We took him off the bearskin rug, and stood over him, cheering, to see what he would do.

Seconds later he had his first, second and third roll.

And he hasn't stopped since.

Last night I woke up after about two hours asleep to the piercing screech of a three month old. A peek in his crib showed me that he had, like an old woman who had fallen and can't get up, rolled over and couldn't get back. Being that he was swaddled at tight as could be, he had no momentum to turn back over, and was drooling/half sleeping on his stomach.

Which then made me paranoid all night that he would do it again, and this time I wouldn't hear him. After all, we all know that babies aren't supposed to sleep on their tummies.

See, even when not swaddled, Bjorn can turn from back to tummy, but not from tummy to back. Like Zoolander, he's not a "ambi-turner".

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baby Boot Camp

Bjorn is definitely developing a little personality - no longer a newborn "blob" as Angelina Jolie so eloquently put it.

He is as mellow as his Daddy and as much a social butterfly as his Mama. He craves attention.

See, whenever Mama leaves the room, Bjorn cries. Separation anxiety and all that, I guess. Then, whenever Mama is in his viewline again, he is all smiles. (I say Mama because that is my perspective, but he does this with Daddy too.) The kid has a definite need for attention and social communication.

So, in order to get my much-needed exercise and to give him his much-desired attention, I exercise with him.

Well, not really with him(he still doesn't have the hang of baby jumping jacks yet), but close enough.

I'll stand in front of his play mat and do crunches/lunges/squats/push-ups/weights etc. All the time, I lunge while counting out loud to 25 or squat while singing the alphabet. He laughs and watches me the entire time. We do that about 4-5 times a day. Throughout the day, I get about an hour of exercise and he gets the attention he wants.

And (I hope) this is helping him learn his letters and numbers. Learning is only repetition until understanding, so maybe all this repetition will aid to increase his understanding.

And, yes, I do have to make everything educational. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alligator Tears

Newborns don't cry.

Well, they cry, but not like you and I cry. They don't have tears. And the cries of a newborn - at least of Bjorn - are much, much softer than the baby cries I am used to, so sometimes it almost seems fake. Crocodile crying, just without the alligator tears.

But then early last week I heard him crying on the baby monitor, so I went to his room and leaned over his crib.

And there, like a cliche in a bad love story, was a single tear sliding slowly down his cheek.

Just about broke my heart.

His tears still don't flow like yours or mine do, but occasionally, when he's really upset, real tears will well up in his eyes and drip softly down his face. You'd have to have a heart of steel to ignore that sight. I don't know how I'm ever going to be able to let him "cry it out". I'll learn, I'm sure, but not now. Not yet.

Right now I'm going to try and make sure he never has reason to cry again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chapters I probably should have read in baby books. . . .

Besides the few minutes they spent in our preparation classes at the hospital, neither Daddy nor I knew how to bathe a baby.

It can't be that hard, right? Don't leave them alone, pour some soap and water over 'em and voila! You have yourself a clean baby.

Not so much.

It took a few times for me to realize I needed to turn the ceiling fans off in his room. A naked baby may be a clean baby, but is also a c-c-c-c-oold baby. And cold babies scream.

It took me another couple of baths to realize that I couldn't just soak his feet in the water and expect them to be clean. I had to take the washcloth in between all his little piggies. For a baby that can't walk, he sure does get some dirty feet!!

And it was just this past week that I learned another little tidbit.

My no-neck baby linebacker has been saving some of his dinner for later. In the roll between his chin and where is neck would be if he had one.

I was exploring his little baby body one day last week and told Daddy 'Look, he DOES have a neck! I can lift up his chin and for just a minute he has - OH MY GOD WHAT IS UNDER THERE?'

And there, for only those willing to go on an expedition through more chins than a Chinese phone book (that joke never gets old!), were little balls of crud. Or curd. Whatever. Little bits of dried milk and spitup that have been stored under his chins, gotten stuck and haven't been cleaned out well enough when Mama gives him his bath.


I blame his Daddy, who genetically gave him a no-neck. Unfortunately, Mama had a big helping hand in the quadruplicate chins. Guess we're even. And I guess we'll have to add that to the baby-washing routine.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stop, Drop and Roll

Last Sunday Daddy, Bjorn and I headed out ALL the way across town to spend the day with my cousins. Because they have a pool and it is still 113 degrees outside.

Yay for Phoenix.

So, Bjorn got his first dip in the pool and because Mama and Daddy are both very diligent and very prepared frist-time parents, we both forgot our cameras. So, no pics of him in his cute turtle bay swim trunks and matching button up shirt(!!!). He cared about the water about as much as he has cared about anything else - he didn't. What a mellow child we have!

Since it was so hot, Bjorn only swam for about 30 minutes (no need to repeat that sunburn story!) while under the pool umbrella. Then we went inside.

Where we spend the next two hours cheering over him because he was thisclose to rolling over.

Great mom that I am, I have never paid much attention to any developmental milestones and probably wouldn't have cared/noticed much about this one either, except that my cousin was so super excited for us. When her 11 year-old asked what we were doing, she said "This is a major milestone for him. If it happens, this could be a day that you will never forget." To which her 11 year old (whom I ADORE!!) got so excited and started cheering everytime he threw his leg across.

He can get the bottom half of his body turned over, but he hasn't quite figured out what to do with his shoulder and arms, so they stay right where they are. Which is usually anywhere that lets him get his hands in his mouth!!