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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wonder Weeks: Was That a Leap or Just Gas?

First I want to say that I'm mad at all y'all for letting me post about how well our daughter was
sleeping.  Come on guys.  I think we all knew what was going to happen.  And it did.  For the past 4 nights the Bean has decided that her true bedtime shall be between 11-1am.  But she's going to tease you with the occasional 20-40 minute naps between 7pm and bedtime.  "Go ahead mom.  Go try to start watching tv.  Or be productive.  Will I stay asleep for the rest of the night or yell for you like I'm hailing a cab?  Of course you don't know so you should probably not go lay down in that soft, warm bed of yours because being shocked from sleep would suck so much more.  Welcome to the jungle mommy dearest.  Are you ready to play Sleeping Baby Russian Roulette?"

We, as parents, really want to label things.  Not just the lovingly, but OCD-ish way my wife has organized Ella's clothes, by size (not just 6 month, but holding them up to each other as we all know baby clothes sizes are not created equal) and season.  When Ella went from a good span of days sleeping through the night to refusing to fall asleep until late, fussing a lot, refusing the pacifier (which used to help soothe and knock her out), waking up more often and (mostly at night) refusing to eat unless you were holding her standing we were shell-shocked.

WTH happened?!  So here's what we noticed.  Ella was having trouble pooping- constipation.  She
also got another cold- hard to breathe when eating and coughing in the crib waking herself up, epic diaper rash- it looked like someone dropped napalm in there.  There's also 4 month sleep regression.  And then there's a thing called Leaps.  I was introduced to this by some fellow moms.  The app/book is called The Wonder Weeks and it is an infant development resource.

Ella's Current Leap
So what is a Leap?  They describe it as: a leap in the mental development of your baby means that suddenly there are many changes in his head. Suddenly, her brain perceives things it wasn’t capable of perceiving before. This change is so great that her entire world suddenly looks different.

Mental Leap 4 is all about events- learning that their actions affect others and they have a bit more control.

Signs of Leap 4 According to Wonder Weeks:
Trouble Sleeping
Becoming shy with strangers
Demanding more attention
Head may need more support than before
May be clingy
May lose appetite
May be moody
May be less vocal
May be less lively and sucks his thumb or fingers more often than before.

20 Days Left.  Shit.
I have the app so it alerts me when she goes to the next leap.  Apparently, Leap 4 is one of the hardest as she starting to process more around her.  You will see on the update to the left that there is a big ole storm cloud.  That means an increase in the 3 C's: Cranky, Crying and Clingy.  Super.  Oh, and did I mention this Leap last, supposedly, 40 days.  Lovely.  There's also a chart showing Leaps and predictions of mood changes.  When you see a storm cloud approaching it puts the fear of God in you.

But is this legit?  What if her general behavior change was due to not pooping?  What if it really was the cough keeping her up?  Anyone swear by the Wonder Weeks?  All I'm gonna say is if I fall asleep during a conversation with you lately it's because princess is learning how to hold a ball and party til dawn.

When I finally get Ella down to sleep and she stays asleep.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Where Did This Angelic Baby Come From?: The 3 Month Turnaround

By Kate

Another mother told us that, if at any point in the first 3 months you don't think "I wanna throw this child out the window," that you're a liar.  We've mentioned here that no one ever tells you how hard parenting is (Screw You Folgers and Other Things That Make Me Cry & One Month In), but we want to say that IT. GETS. BETTER.  (Thanks gays for giving us this phrase)
The first months of being a parent + winter in Boston
When the baby knows
you're about to eat
The first three months really are a cyclical process of scream, eat, scream, poop, scream, sleep, scream. With the occasional "aww" moment when she falls asleep on you, open mouth breathing and delicately snoring.  That saved you, child.  Also, having a baby in the winter (more importantly the Winter of our Discontent in New England) is like a form of torture. Not to be over-dramatic, but there was a point that I would have given up government secrets to eat a hot meal in peace.  You're more tired than you ever
imagined you could possibly be and still have to be the most responsible person you will ever need to be.  You hear baby cries in in the sounds of a running dishwasher.  You have no idea what time it is except for when you are recording a diaper, a feeding or how long she slept.  Seriously. You will record more details about her movements that Jane Goodall did with her gorillas.  Sleep seems like a dream and you will feel like you're going a little crazy.  It. Gets. Better.

The morning after she slept through the night
3 months.  Just make it to three months.  I swear it felt like it happened overnight.  All of a sudden she sleeps more than 2 hours at a time.  She interacts and plays.  SHE SMILES AND COOS and you think, "Child, you better thank the Baby Jesus you learned how to smile because you were one tantrum away from me having a bald-headed Britney Spears breakdown."  She doesn't wake up screaming bloody murder and when she does you can solve it (95% of the time).  You start to feel like
you've done this for years and start balancing better with your spouse.  Don't forget your relationship matters too.  You will call in your spouse to look at a diaper chock full of poo and celebrate since it had been "longer than usual" since she pooped. But you should also make time to go have dinner. 

Meg's birthday is in March and I'm giving her/us a night in a hotel 5 miles from our house.  People ask if we will go out to see a show?  Hit up the Boston bars?  HELL NO.  We will have dinner at a sensible hour, go back to the hotel, watch HGTV and crash in a bed we don't have to make and a room we don't have to clean. And maybe not talk about poop for 12 hours.  Maybe.
Be strong y'all

Monday, March 2, 2015

"I'm squishing up a baby bumblebee" and other cruel children's songs

(Words by Meg & gifs by Kate)

Ella has recently shown a real interest in music. Kate's dad, Opa Chuck, sang German lullabies to Baby Girl when he was here and it got Kate thinking about songs from her childhood. One day she started singing a song that started off all sweet and innocent and ended in animal cruelty. 

80s Kate

Those of you born in the '80s might remember this little diddy:

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
(Cup hands together as if holding bee)

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee
Ouch, it stung me
(Shake one hand as if just stung you)

I'm squishing up a baby bumblebee
Won't my Mommy be so proud of me
('Squish' bee between palms of hands)

I'm squishing up a baby bumblebee
Squish, squish, squish
('Squish' bee between palms of hands)

Well, I for one did not remember this song and at least this Mommy would not be particularly proud of Ella for taking so much pleasure in killing a living thing, even if it is just a bee!
Anyway, we pulled out a CD of kid's songs produced sometime in the last few years and Kate was pleased to see "Baby Bumblebee" listed on the back. Turns out, I'm not the only Mommy who thought encouraging cruelty to animals (bugs?) was a little questionable for a children's song. The new, updated, politically correct version goes like this:

Who knew Girl Scouts would teach hate songs!
I'm picking up a baby bumblebee; Won't my mommy be so proud of me?
I'm picking up a baby bumblebee; Oh! It stung me!
I'm setting free my baby bumblebee; Won't my mommy be so proud of me?

(Yes, this Mommy would be so proud of you!)

Another example of updating a fairly offensive children's song is the revamp of "10 Little Indians." You know the one...
One little, two little, three little Indians
Four little, five little, six little Indians
Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
Ten little Indian boys.
The lyrics to this song are apparently completely passé in the year 2015, and have been replaced with these new, completely innocuous lyrics, sung to the same tune:
Where, oh where, oh where is Susie?
Where, oh where, oh where is Susie?
Where, oh where, of where is Susie?
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

For those of you who don't know, the paw-paw is a fruit indigenous to the United States. Singing about people indigenous to the US, not cool. Fruit, just fine.

Side note: It's come to our attention recently that one can't  say "sitting Indian style" anymore. Sometime in the last 28 years it apparently changed to sitting "criss cross apple sauce." How will we sit when the apple sauce industry gets offended?
My, how things have changed.