Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Back to Work

I went back to work full time a week and a half ago, and things are going more smoothly than I expected. Caleb has been staying at home with his Aunt Traci during the day. The first day I left him, he refused to take the bottle for about five hours before he gave in. I felt so bad for him, but I was glad that he acquiesed in only five hours, because some babies will hold out a lot longer. Since the second day, he has taken a bottle from Traci with little protest.

I thought it would be totally agonizing to leave him for a whole day, but a couple of things made it easier than I expected. I'm very at ease leaving him with Traci, because I know that she loves him and has his best interest at heart, so I don't have the concerns that I would with some other sitters. (Like that he would be left in the bouncy seat most of the day, not talked to and loved on) It's also much easier because I know I'm only going to be working for a couple of weeks, and then I have the summer off to be with him all day long :)

In some ways, I've enjoyed getting out of the house and using the more intellectual part of my brain at work. I also enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel from getting things done, which rarely happens at home these days! It looks like my principal is going to work it out where I can come back for three hours a day next year, which I think I will really enjoy, and the income definitely won't hurt :)

The hardest thing about the past two weeks has been the sleep deprivation. I don't get the afternoon naps with Caleb that I could take when I was home all day, so I'm pretty much tired, well, exhausted, all the time. But work's almost over, and the day after I finish, I get to fly to Arkansas and take Caleb to see his Grandma and Grandpa for the first time!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Caleb is sleeping a lot better at night. To date, he has had three nights that he slept a 7-hour stretch, and three nights that he slept an 8-hour stretch. Unfortunately, those nights are peppered throughout the past three weeks, with little consistency. They do seem to come on the weekends more than during the week, though he slept eight hours last night. I'm hoping that he will soon make the 8-hour night a habit instead of a pleasant surprise :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

First Shots

We took Caleb to get his 2-month shots today. I say "we" because I warned Marcus that if he didn't come with me, I was liable to have a meltdown right there in the doctor's office. Marcus held him and the nurse was quick and he only cried for a few minutes, so it wasn't as bad as I was expecting... least at first. Marcus and I parted ways right after the shots--him back to work and me to Subway to reward myself with some cookies for being so strong during the shots :) Caleb was a little fussy in the car seat on the way home, which is unusual for him, but I just attributed it to the fact that I had taken the head support out of his car seat that morning and he didn't like the new feel of the seat. When we got home, Caleb went down for his afternoon nap, only he woke up after 30 minutes and had to be nursed back to sleep again, but that's not too unusual. After I got him back to sleep, I was feeling quite complacent, silently scoffing at the horror stories I'd heard about immunization day. Little did I know...

I was laying on our bed beside Caleb after he'd been sleeping for almost two hours, and I watched in dismay as he opened his mouth and started SCREAMING before he even opened his eyes. Caleb is a very easy-going baby and I've only heard him scream a couple of times. Once when a toddler threw a toy in his face, and once when his skin was accidently pinched in the stroller snaps. Both of those times, he screamed for a minute or two, and was easily consoled by nursing when he'd calmed. Not true this time. He screamed incessantly for 45 minutes, only taking breaks to draw in deep, raggedy breaths. He wouldn't nurse at all, and holding him actually seemed to make him scream louder (if that was possible??), so I just laid him on the bed and sat over him, aching for how much he must be hurting. I called Marcus, who told me to give him Tylenol, but neither of us knew the correct dose. Then I called my friend who has two kids, but I couldn't get a hold of her. Then I called his pediatrician's office, and the receptionist said someone would call back. By now it had been thirty minutes. I decided that Caleb had to have some Tylenol, so I looked and looked and finally found the sheet from the doctor's office that explained the dosage and then gave him the recommended dose of Infant Tylenol Drops. About fifteen minutes later, the pediatric office called back, telling me to give him Infant Tylenol Drops every four hours, so I was glad that I went ahead with it. The nurse also said that he was probably having a reaction to the Dtp vaccination, based on my description of his quivering, highly-sensitive left leg, and cautioned me to sleep close to him and monitor his breathing for the next 24 hours. (That was wonderful news for an already frazzled and paranoid mommy.)

Caleb was beginning to calm down at this point, though he was still screaming periodically--just taking longer breaks to breathe. He finally complied with my efforts to get him to nurse, though he would come off and let out a wail every minute or so. I was so relieved when his little eyes started to close and the shudders in his tiny body started to subside. I laid motionless beside him for about 45 minutes after he fell asleep, paranoid that my movement might be the end of his respite from pain.

He's been sleeping for an hour now, and I don't think there are enough cookies in all the Subway's in Gainesville to erase this experience from my mind. Goodbye smug complacency--shots suck!

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


Caleb said "Ah-goo" today!!! It was so incredibly sweet! He was laying on the changing table, smiling up at me. I said "I love you" in my crooning baby voice, and he opened his little mouth and let out a perfectly clear "Ahhhhhh--ghooooo".

For those of you who don't know, "Ah-goo" actually is a word. It has multiple meanings in Webster's Baby Language Dictionary. It functions, not as a noun or a verb, but as a complete statement, and actually changes its meaning with the context, much like a chameleon. In this case, Caleb obviously meant "I love you, too." Other times, he has said "Thank you for getting up to feed me in the middle of the night, Mommy." I've heard a few "I love looking at you!" "ah-goo's" and one or two that clearly meant "You're my favorite person." But that first one will always be my favorite :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2006


Caleb will be six-weeks-old tomorrow. Marcus commented the other day that the last six weeks have flown by, but it seems to me that I have been a mother forever. I can't really even remember NOT having Caleb.

Anyway, Caleb seems to have settled into a semblance of a routine. He wakes up for the day around 7:00 am. He nurses for about 30 minutes right after he wakes up, and then its play time. Mostly, we talk and sing together, and occasionally get out one of his books, though his attention span is only about ten seconds for the book. He is happiest in the morning, full of smiles and coos. The morning is also the only time when he is content to lay alone on his Baby Einstein playmat for 10-15 minutes, which works out very well for Mommy's morning shower :)

He starts getting tired and hungry again about an hour and a half after he woke up, so he nurses again for about 30 minutes and falls asleep. His morning nap ranges from 1-2 hours, and he's usually up again by 11:00 am. Again, he nurses, plays for an hour or so, and then nurses again, going down for an afternoon nap around 1:00 pm. He's up again around 3:00, and the routine repeats himself. He usually takes a little catnap, 30-45 minutes around 5:00 pm. His longest wakeful period is in the evening, and it ranges from two to four hours. He also tends to fuss the most in the evenings, though some nights he's perfectly happy.

We try to start his bedtime routine around 8:00 pm, though he may not actually go to sleep until as late as 10:00 pm. Bedtime starts with a bath, which Caleb loves. Daddy like to take part in the bath-giving, because Caleb enjoys it so much. After his bath, Caleb wails in protest while Mommy puts on his diaper and his pajamas. He usually doesn't mind being changed or getting dressed, but somehow, the combination of fatigue and being deprived of the warm water makes pajama time a battle. The final step in the bedtime routine is a long nursing session with the I Can Only Imagine Lullaby CD playing in the background. Caleb falls asleep when he's full and I lay him ever-so-carefully in his little bouncer seat and tip-toe out of the room.

I'd like to pretend like that is the end of the day, but of course it is not :) He usually sleeps for about four hours that first stretch, gets up to nurse for about 15 minutes, sleeps another three hours, nurses again, and then sleeps about two more hours; then he's up again for the day. If I'm lucky, I get seven cumulative (though definitely not consecutive) hours of sleep.
I have described here an ideal day for Caleb. Some days, he wakes up after 30 minutes when he should have slept for a couple hours, and then he is fussy until he catches up on his sleep. Some days he won't go to sleep at all and skips a nap entirely, which also results in grumpiness. Appointments, mommies' groups, church, shopping and other outings sometimes disrupt his schedule. In the two weeks since this general pattern has developed, probably only half of the days have unfolded as neatly as described here.