Friday, November 14, 2008

Whine whine baby baby blah blah blah

My resolution to write more notes and keep up with favorites couldn't have been made at a worse time. Curse you, NoJoMo! No mo, NoJoMo! No mo!

I'm so clever.

I apologize for the loopiness of this entry. I put Grace to bed at 11:00 last night. She slept like a rock until 5:30 this morning. I, however, was up until midnight. Then I read in bed for half an hour and took another half hour to fall asleep. So it's really my fault that I'm so exhausted today.

But curses, child, couldn't you have napped for a couple hours after your early morning feeding? She's asleep now, but only because I put her in her bouncy seat. My left foot is developing enormous bouncy-chair-shaped callouses. Oh, I love to hold her and smush her and rock her, but she loves her bouncy seat more than her mom. If the bouncy seat could lactate, there'd be no need for me. Sometimes I'll be unable to resist the cuteness, and I'll pick her up out of that contraption to cuddle her for a bit. She'll look up at me with a WTF? look on her face, then a look of terror, and then she'll scream.

When it's bedtime, though, I am magic. And "You Are My Sunshine" is, too. That song is a powerful narcotic for her. I don't know why. I didn't sing it that much while I was pregnant. The one song I did sing all the time, she appears to not care at all. But "You Are My Sunshine" will calm her down and make her sleepy almost every night. I need to learn more verses because I'm getting really sick of it.

She had a bath last night. She's gotten a lot better about baths. She even seems to enjoy them a little bit. Until we get to the head and neck area. Then you'd think we were decapitating her with a wooden spoon. Oh, the shrieks and the wails!

The nice thing about bath night is that she completely exhausts herself with all that screaming and often passes out mid-wail as we're drying her and lotioning her. It's pretty funny to see. Last night she didn't do that, but she did face-plant on James's chest after it was all over and slept like that, nose smooshed against his sternum, for a long time. I don't know how babies do it. I can barely fall asleep in a warm, comfy bed.

Sometimes I think the reason she prefers her bouncy seat to me is that I'm her primary torturer. When we bathe her, James sits behind her and holds her, so she can't see him. I'm the one who changes most of her diapers, the one who is constantly coming at her with nose suckers and saline drops and new clothes to put on. I mean, if you found yourself in Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, would it really matter if he cradled you to his bosoms and fed you every few hours? No. You'd still hate and fear the guy. My daughter things I'm a sadistic tyrant.

But now she has that clean baby smell (by tomorrow it will once again be that sour milk smell, no matter how vigilant I am) and fluffy hair and arms so soft I can barely feel them when I touch them. You ever smell Burt's Bees baby lotion? It is everything good in this world thrown into a blender and smeared on a baby. I have to sometimes wear a muzzle to keep from eating her whole.

The other night I almost did eat her whole, and not because she was so cute. Now, I realize that bad sleep nights are typical for most newborns, but she's been such a good sleeper from about two weeks on that I'm spoiled and weak.

Every once in a while she becomes hyper-alert after her late evening feeding. I don't know what causes it; I drink only one cup of coffee very early in the morning, I try not to overstimulate her as the day wears on, and I make sure she's swaddled and cozy-feeling. But her eyes will dart around like she's got ADD--focusing on things, but only for milliseconds at a time before moving on to the next thing, and it kind of freaks me out. It's almost like REM sleep, except with the eyelids open.

So she was doing that the other night, AND she had gas (despite liberal use of the gas drops). She was hyper and in pain, and there was absolutely nothing I could do for her. She wailed and wailed and wailed until 1:00 in the morning. I normally handle her screaming really well. The Crazy Hormones are no longer surging wildly through my brain, and I'm getting more sleep; if I know nothing is really wrong with her, I can even laugh sometimes--not because I'm sadistic, but because I think she's cute even when she's crying. But Wednesday night there was no laughing. I don't know if it was because I hadn't slept well the last few nights or if it was because I knew she was in pain and not just grumpy, but I finally put her down in her crib, still screaming, and went in the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet and sobbed and then yelled, "Just SHUT UP! Why won't you just SLEEP?" I would have yelled more, but I didn't want James to wake up.

Of course I knew why she wouldn't just sleep, but the very tired, selfish part of me had taken over and was thisclose to shoving my head through a plate glass window in an effort to avoid shaken baby syndrome (I feel absolutely horrible admitting this, but I suspect most mothers and fathers have been there). Which is why I left the room and screamed at the baby. It felt really good. And then I cried and snotted all over myself.

James heard me and came out to rock her for a little bit (poor guy has to get up in the morning and go to work, which is why I try never to wake him at night). She wouldn't calm down for him either, so he came into the bathroom and coddled his mess of a wife. And wouldn't you know it, while he was talking me down, the baby suddenly went quiet, and we didn't hear a peep from her until 7:00 in the morning. I fed her then, and she went right back to sleep for another three hours.

Yesterday was a really good day. I got so much done around the house, and I started my new exercise regimen. Don't laugh, okay? I'm still pretty flabby from lying in bed for a week and a half straight. I walk up and down the stairs (12 of them) five times in a row every day through Saturday. Then next week it will be six, the next seven, and so on. It's a lot harder than it used to be. I meant to start doing sit-ups, too, but I never got around to it. I'm a little afraid to. Not because I still hurt (well, I do, but I can handle that), but because it's going to be depressing. Good stomach muscles are one of the few things I still had from my swimming days. Now they're more like used-up rubber bands. And they're still sore from being stretched apart during my surgery.

I really want to get some breakfast, but my foot must keep bouncing the child, or she will wake up and loudly demand more bouncing. We need to install a small kitchen next to the couch. Then I'd never have a reason to get up.

Another good thing about Bones? Finding new music that I like. The latest is Katie Gray. I suggest you check it out.

Baby hungry. Must go.

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