Mama Duck
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Motherhood

Monday, July 26, 2004
I swear that at some point today I thought of two or three things I could write about here.

Now I'm here, and I got nothin'.


posted by Mama Duck8:21 PM

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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Fun for the entire family


At 4:15 p.m. yesterday, the baby poked me in the eye. Hard. Hard enough that the soft contact lens that had been sitting on my eyeball suddenly wasn't in the front anymore and felt like it had been shoved back into my brain somewhere. As soon as my husband got home, we bundled our little family into the car and made the trip to Urgent Care. I waited twenty minutes to get signed in, another forty five to be seen. The doctor came in and assured me that I probably had a scratch on my eye and that the contact was on the floor somewhere. I told him we were prepared not to find it, so we were all surprised when he peeled back my eyelid and found the lens. I got the satisfaction of knowing that my contact HAD actually been shoved way around the eyeball and we hadn't just wasted two hours of a Friday night and a co-pay.

As the doctor complimented me on handling the pain as he maneuvered cotton swabs in and around my eye, he said that my husband should take me out to a nice dinner as consolation for such a terrible night, and I had one of my first moments of awareness on how life is much different since I'm staying at home with the baby and not at work. Going out to dinner is a nice idea, but it costs. Instead we came home and I made a very nice salad for dinner: arugula with apple, goat cheese, and toasted pecans in a red-wine vinaigrette.

Then today we finally put an offer down on a house after having looked for three months. Again, I wanted to go out to celebrate. Again we stayed home and made ourselves a very nice dinner: salmon with creamed spinach and grits.

After two months, I have no question that resigning to stay at home has been the best decision for both me and the baby. Till now, though, the financial ramifications haven't been obvious, and these are just two small examples. We've got some adjusting yet to do.


posted by Mama Duck8:58 PM

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Rats


I knew it had to happen, and now it has.

I got my period again.

I'd gone twenty months without it. What a glorious benefit of pregnancy and breastfeeding that was.

I suppose I could take drugs to suppress it. My husband kindly offered to knock me up again. But I think I'll pass on both counts, at least for now.



posted by Mama Duck8:19 AM

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Monday, July 19, 2004

Whatever


For a while, I was careful about what the duck ate, introducing foods, keeping track of them, watching for signs of distress (corn and blueberries seemed to give him some trouble.) Then when it was past time to be be giving him people food (our doc said it was OK at his 9 month appointment), I wondered what I was doing wrong. He refused all the things that books and other people said he should be eating: sliced lunch meat, canned peas and green beans, baby meat dinners, little bits of banana. Still, I continued to try to limit his diet, keeping out things like berries and dairy and wheat for after a year. Until the other night, when we went out to dinner with my parents and he began to fuss up a storm. My dad held up a bread crust and asked me if it was OK. Weary, defeated, I waved him on. And the duck tore into the bread with gusto and kept a crust clutched in his little fist for the rest of the meal. We fed him sliced tomato, asparagus, and salmon and he did great.

Since then, I've decided to be diligent about avoiding the biggies till the usual dates: cow's milk, peanuts and shellfish. Most anything else is fair game. Today he had baguette, whole wheat crackers, cottage cheese, half an apricot, some bratwurst and sauerkraut. One realization is that he doesn't like things cut up into small, baby-sized, non-chokable pieces. Instead, he prefers big hunks of things that he can tear off bits of as it pleases him. He especially likes round slices of tomato, since their holes provide a sort of handle for easy holding.


posted by Mama Duck7:55 PM

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Update


It's been nearly two months since I resigned to stay at home with the duck. He was getting sick about twice a month, and had three ear infections in five months. Since I sprung him, he's been great.

He took his first steps last Tuesday in my parents' living room. He's wobbly, but he's made a good beginning.


posted by Mama Duck7:55 PM

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I'm back, and I'm tired


So I got back to MN on Friday, and I miss Ohio. I miss that the duck had a room of his own to sleep in, that he had this great big house to be a free-range baby in, that he had all these other babies and kids and parents to play with. I deeply miss how we both slept better while we were there. Since returning to our small one bedroom condo, neither of us is sleeping as well. My husband and I tried putting him in our bathroom/closet/laundry room (I'm not joking, people. There are only 4 discrete spaces in the condo: half bath, living room, bedroom and b/c/l. It was the only option other than the bedroom.) Now he's back in the bedroom. We'll see how tonight goes. I can't believe we're still living here. There are a slew of boring details why, but being out of the tiny one bedroom made me see that while yes, it can be done, we have been making things like sleep much harder than they had to be.

On a bad mommy note, I forgot his favorite sleep buddy. I packed the backup but forgot his mouton blankie. (It came from France, so I feel it's cute, rather than pretentious, to call it the mouton. For further lack of pretension, I pronounce it AMericanized, so it rhymes with "crouton.") He dropped it while I nursed him and I forgot to pick it up and pack it and then I got back and was thankful that I'd introduced a second sleep buddy a while back or I woulda been up a creek. The mouton arrived safely today, and the duck has both his sleep buddies, so perhaps that will make for a better night's sleep.


posted by Mama Duck7:55 PM

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Not a good call on the naps


I’m beginning to have the uneasy suspicion that I can’t have a life if I want the duck to sleep.

Here’s how the reasoning goes: babies who nap well, sleep well. In order for the duck to nap well, I must attend to his sleep signals and create soothing, similar rituals--don’t let him get overtired, don’t put him in bed if not tired enough, and for goddess’ sake, don’t let him fall asleep in the stroller or car. And all the variables change from day to day—when he wakes, when he’s sleepy. So planning things—like going out or seeing friends—becomes a huge gamble, with the cost being lost nap time and later crankiness and possibly even night wakings.

Argh.

Maybe I _should_ read Babywise.



posted by Mama Duck2:51 PM

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Sometimes they’ll surprise you


I’ve been trying to introduce people food to the duck. He’s become a world class expert at O’s and rice checks, but other items are not flying: banana pieces, peach pieces, canned peas and green beans, sliced turkey and chicken. In other words, all the things that are recommended. Then we go to a picnic the other night, and on a whim I hold a fork of sauerkraut up to his mouth. He gobbles it up, and looks quite cute with little strings of it hanging out of his mouth. I give him more, he eats more. I cut up little pieces of bratwurst, and he goes to town. Today, I cut up little pieces of peach on his tray. He ignored them, and reached for the hunk (half of the peach) in my hand. I gave it to him and he consumed it all, tearing off his own little hunks. I tell you, this baby stuff is baffling.


posted by Mama Duck2:50 PM

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Nap transition


The duck’s afternoon nap has been getting shorter and shorter while we’ve been visiting in Ohio. At most it’s been 40 minutes, and has been as short as 20, and yesterday he pretty much skipped it entirely. (We were at Buckeye Lake with friends, though, so I think he may have just been too excited to nap.) So after the advice of a friend and some research on the internet, I decided to try to transition him to one afternoon nap. He was quite cranky this morning as I kept him moving and doing through his usual nap time, but we made it to lunch, then some light activity after. He took about fifteen minutes to settle down, though he was not fussing with gusto, and has been asleep now for almost 2 hours, so I think this time is right to make the change.


posted by Mama Duck1:13 PM

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Tooth 5, and maybe even 6


After a stellar sleep performance during our visit to my parents in Ohio, the duck had some trouble the other night—he woke at 1:40 a.m., and screamed and squirmed no matter how I walked, sang or jiggled him. My dad got up to help me, and managed to get him quiet, though the duck was then wide awake. I finally nursed him, which calmed him, then put him back to bed at 3 a.m. and was myself up till 4:15. Now that he’s been sleeping through the night so well, I think I’m well rested enough that I can’t just fall back into sleep. The periodic night wakings (like this morning at 2:52 a.m.) keep me up for a while.

The next day I spied that tooth #5 had finally broken through on the top left, and after repeated attempts to view, # 6 is at least close if not through. Funny, he doesn’t like me poking fingers in his mouth. He’s been drooling and chewing on everything for months. Yes, there seems to have been a slight increase lately, but overall, I’ve just assumed that’s how he is. We’ll see if there’s a respite after I confirm #6.


posted by Mama Duck1:09 PM

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Where was I?


Or, more actually, where am I?

The duck and I are in central Ohio, staying with my parents. My husband and I put our condo on sale at the end of last month, and I thought it prudent for me and the duck to be gone, so I wouldn't have to juggle feedings and naps with showings.

Interesting things have happened here at my parents' house. The duck is now definitely sleeping through the night--no more 1 a.m. or 3 a.m. wakings--he goes to sleep between 8 and 9 p.m. Eastern time, and wakes between 6:30 and 8 a.m. He is eating lots of baby food. While I know that means it's time for him to be eating people food, he tends to choke on anything other than O's, so we're taking it slow. He's babbling more than ever, and continues to be on the verge of walking. I found out that he likes to climb stairs--something I never knew when we spent all our time in our one bedroom condo. He's getting more activity being in a house that has multiple places to go. We got him a backpack--the Evenflo Snugli Cross Country--and he seems to like it a lot. We spent a weekend at Lake Erie, and he took his first boat ride, during which he slept and fussed. He did not like the life jacket. He also had a tough time with his first fourth of July parade. We finally got him asleep in his stroller despite the heat and after a bare thirty minutes he got woken by the fire engines.

I am out of my writing habit, and working on a borrowed computer, but will try not to be so silent.

I wonder if the change in sleeping is from being in a different place, finally having a room of his own to sleep in, or just that he hit the next stage of development? Whatever, the cause, I am quite grateful for it.


posted by Mama Duck6:59 AM

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