Tuesday, July 20, 2004

state of the baby

Current stats:
length: 25" (90th percentile)
weight: 17 lbs 10 oz (just off the chart)
head circ.: 16" (90th percentile)

She's 17 weeks old and right on time (or early) for all of her developmental milestones. She babbles, with consonant-sounds. She tries to sit up. She has just started reaching for and grasping toys. She smiles and laughs and squeals. She's been sitting up with support for the past month. She hasn't rolled over yet; she twists her body a little. The doctor said given the back-to-sleep movement, she may skip rolling over entirely, and just go to sitting up.

She gets a little red under her many chins, and we're to use Cetaphil and corn-starch on that area to try to keep it dry. Other than that, she's entirely healthy. I haven't mentioned it lately, but her little umbilical hernia is healing -- her belly-button lies mostly flat most days.

She had vaccines today, and that went as you'd expect. She's asleep right now, after an extended nursing session and Children's Tylenol.

And that's the state of the baby. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

beach time

The sky today was moody and indecisive; we went from sheetrock grey in the morning to marble grey in the afternoon, to break-through sunshine mixed with the sort of deep blue storm clouds that, if they were reflected in your lover's eyes, would make you shiver. Sadly, my Geoffrey is stuck at home this week.

A baby and I found a new place for lunch. At Lori's Oy Vey Cafe, we enjoyed an egg-salad sandwich with tortilla chips and a bottle of water, and also we enjoyed the company of a man who took great pleasure in talking in a Donald Duck voice for the SqueakyBird. If adults took as much time to make each other happy as they spend trying to make an infant laugh, the world would be a much nicer place. Jacqui was visibly impressed, demonstrating the importance of an appreciative audience; the man redoubled his efforts because he knew she liked it.

After lunch (which admittedly was eaten well past standard lunch hours), we walked and walked. We watched the sky, the people, the ice cream which had a very short half-life*, the traffic, the water ... We walked for about two hours. She was wearing her wonderful stripey hat and her Yellow outfit, and everyone had to smile at my beautiful baby.

*A thousand years ago, I had a job as a receptionist/layout artist/conference staffer, and at one of the first conferences I worked, my boss brought me an ice cream sundae because I hadn't eaten lunch yet, and somehow he knew that's what would be most appreciated. He dropped it off, kept walking, and returned 10 or 15 minutes later to find me and an empty plate. He said, "I just knew that would have a very short half-life around you." Writing that down, it seems like maybe I could have taken insult, but that's obviously not how he meant it. It was just the truth, and it was an amusing way of putting it. I miss joking around with him sometimes, but then I remember that he tried to get me into bed when I was having trouble in my first marriage. And then I still miss joking around with him, but I wish he'd have left it at that.

We walked the length of the boardwalk today, and up and down some of the side-streets. We saw a lot of other babies! I asked a couple of women to please take a photo of me with Jacqui, and they kindly agreed. If I had remembered to bring the cable, I could upload the pictures we've taken so far for you -- but I forgot that, along with the Igloo water-bottle and the coffee travel-mug I should have brought. I also wish I had a hairband - I'll try to remember to buy one of those tomorrow.

My mom's hair used to be longer than mine; I want to think it was only a year ago, but really it's been much longer than that. So when I looked in her cabinet, my expectation was not to find a hairband, and I was not disappointed in that.

Sometimes I say things just because I like the way the words work with and against each other.

Like my walls at home, the walls of my mom's apartment are very bare. I walked through an art shop today and looked at the paintings, but I didn't see any that called out to me. They were all oil-paintings on canvas, and the problem is that they honestly just weren't very striking. I could produce similar pieces with ink and silk, or even with Photoshop and Cafepress. Some people say they don't know art, but they know what they like. I can't even tell you what I like. And this is why the walls of my house will probably remain bare. Maybe once we get around to painting them, replacing some furniture even, Geoff and I can go look for some wonderful paintings that will perfectly complement our abode.

I'd like to live in New Mexico someday so that I can tell people I live in an adobe abode.

There is a wonderful baby asleep over there. I tell you she is wonderful, I tell you about her smiling, laughing self. I don't generally mention that she gets cranky when she's tired, or that she wishes I was 27 times faster at changing her diapers and she doesn't hesitate to make this displeasure known. I'm not trying to paint a hyperbolistic idealistic portrait of her; it's just that those unhappy times aren't the times that make the most lasting impression on me. When I think of her, I think of her smiling and making the "Kisses, mommy!" face. I think of her little feet inside her sleeper, or else pressed up against the tray on her stroller while she blinks up at the world from under her stripedy hat. I think of her grabbing my hand -- reaching out for it *on purpose* lately -- and not letting go. I love that. I love her. I think of how she feels pressed up against me when I pick her up, her chin resting on my shoulder and her feet all the way down at my waist. She's four months old today, you know. She'll never be only four months old again, and I want to hold onto this for much longer than the next four weeks. Her grin breaks my heart, because I know that sooner than I'll be ready, she'll be smiling at me with teeth showing. I want to hold her forever and keep her safe. I want to watch her sit up all by herself and know that she's steady there, on the sofa, watching me with her intense brown eyes. I want to peek over the edge of her bassinett in the morning and see her face light up because it's morning *again*.

Isn't it great how one morning follows the next? There can never be enough mornings.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Last night Jacqui slept in her own room for the first time, and I survived it!

It helped that I was completely exhausted from carrying her around all afternoon at Reba's. If I'm ever invited to a party anywhere again, I'm not going unless Geoff goes. It's just too hard. She can't sit up on her own yet, and she hates being in the car-seat if we're not actually in the car, so she has to be in someone's arms. Reba took her from me for a little while, but I couldn't ask her to keep doing that -- not when she's going through everything she's going through right now, and even if the ending of Allison's story had been a happier one, a woman who's just given birth should NOT be holding a 17-lb baby.

Folks cheerfully helped me with food & beverages when I asked them to, but I didn't want to ask too much, because I wasn't the reason they were there.

Does this sound complaintive? I don't mean it to -- it's just that I've figured out it's harder than it's generally worth to take her to a party on my own. I'm VERY glad we went, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, in this situation. I just wouldn't do it for anyone else. ;)

Then my dad never called all weekend, after telling me last time he was here that we'd see each other today. So at 7:34 (it was after 7:30, at least ;) I decided he's probably awake, and called his cellphone. Heh. He was awake though, and now he & his wife are on their way over here, and then we're going downtown with the tourists for the day.

When Jacqui woke up this morning, she was in the Best Mood Ever. She grinned and smiled and did this happy-excited arms & legs happy dance. We nursed on one side, she fell asleep, and I put her back in her crib ... and as soon as the blanket was on her, she opened her eyes WIDE and just grinned at me! So we played for a while, and then we finished nursing, and then she fell back asleep for real, in her very own crib in her very own room.

And she's just starting to stir again, so I'll go figure out which happy clothes we'll wear today.