Friday, February 16, 2007

2/16/07 Foreign concepts

Argh. Lousy day. I don't know what Katrina's deal is, but pretty much every waking moment today was spent crying to be held, or being held. This is as much emotionally exhausting as physically.

On top of it, Julian's poor tummy put him into Pull-Ups today. He just couldn't get to the bathroom in time, several times. But he was mortified when I suggested he put pants on over his Pull-Ups. "But Mommy, Pull-Ups are for pajamas!" Foreign Concept #1: Julian doesn't know that Pull-Ups can be worn during the daytime, even though many kids pass through a Pull-Up phase while potty-training. That's because Tonya doesn't potty-train with Pull-Ups, and neither did we. I'm sorry to say that they served their purpose today. Enough said.

After Katrina's morning nap, I was very frustrated that even at her best time of the day, I couldn't set her down without her crying. The exersaucer would buy me a few minutes, but that was it.

Going to the Y was out of the question due to Julian's tummy troubles. Staying at home was no fun, I could already feel my wrists swelling from all the baby carrying. How could I exercise, keep Julian closeby, and entertain baby all at the same time?

Answer: take them out in the double jogging stroller.

One of the few things I hate doing even more than the treadmill is actually running, especially on pavement, especially with ancient non-running sneakers, and especially pushing a stroller. But that's how desperate I was.

I jogged laboriously to Ortega Park, in search of a par course that seems to have been landscaped out with the recent upgrades to the park.

Julian wanted to get out and play in the rotunda, so I did some lunges and other exercises you can do without using the ground or any equipment.

My resentment and frustration gradually gave way to sympathy (baby was just bored, poor thing) and a slightly improved mood. My instinct to get my blood pumping, one way or another, was correct. It always picks me up.

Then we did something radical. I took the stroller straight to Kids Inc and picked up Gabriel from pre-K.

Foreign Concept #2: you can walk home?! Gabriel couldn't understand how we were going to get home, and asked me who took our car. Oh, such a product of the suburbs!! It took less time to walk home than I expected, but it's a very noisy, dangerous and unpleasant walk along busy Homestead Road, so we won't be making a habit of it.

When Katrina saw Gabriel picking him up today, the clouds parted and her face shone. The first big smiles of the day were to greet her big brother. That's not the first time that's happened, either. She really really loves Gabriel. The second she looks at me, it's all pouts and tears. (And who can blame her; I'm an unshowered frumpy mess.)

That was the good part of the day. The rest of it was pretty much spent either getting short breaks during Katrina's micro-naps, or trying to get things done in the few minutes she wouldn't cry as I was holding her, or, getting things done while holding her.

I did get to have some crying-free holding-free lunch for about 10 minutes, thanks to an adorable developmentally correct dog toy. I think that I got this for my niece, Remi, and it came back to us with thousands of other baby clothes and toys.

Tonight during dinner, I showed the boys how I'd make a behavior chart, for which they'd get a gold star for good behavior, and a black circle for not good. I had high hopes for this method. The results were surprising: very effective on Gabriel, and a miserable failure on Julian!! Well, Gabriel's been very good lately anyway. I know full well from years of painful experience that if Gabriel wanted to put his fighting suit on, no chart would stop him.

Before dinner, the boys had a grand time together, dumping out just about every box of toys they had, just to make a big pile and scatter everything. I told them they'd have to clean up everything in the family room after dinner. By now, they'd each earned a few black circles (Julian) or gold stars (Gabriel), and were used to the idea. Gabriel tackled the cleanup task eagerly, but Julian putzed around and pretended to ignore Dave. The promise of a gold star, and even seeing it on Gabriel's chart, had stopped being an incentive. The end was predictable: time ran out, Julian's toys got put into the garage (as warned numerous times), and he cried and cried about this mean "surprise" punishment, vowing to be good and clean up. Supposedly, giving a warning and carrying out the consequence consistently teaches them that you mean business. I'm still waiting.

Sleep Report: Katrina woke up last night at midnight and 4am. I nursed her both times. The first time, she cried for about 20 minutes before going back to sleep. The second time, she just went right back to sleep. I stayed upstairs after the second time nursing and got a good solid 3 hours of sleep. While to most people that would sound awful, to me it's a dream. Three continuous hours! And more than once a night!

Note that since she's upstairs now, to nurse her, I take her out of her room and into our bedroom, nurse, then bring her back. So there's really no chance to nurse to sleep, since transporting her back to her room wakes her up. Heaven forbid she rest her head on my shoulder and doze off as I'm carrying her. Not this baby.

But this afternoon of micro-snoozes was a problem. All her naps are still pacifier-induced, and this afternoon, we were back to the pacifier falling out, putting it back in, falling out, sleeping for a few minutes, crying, put it back in, etc; until I'd give up on the nap and then have to carry around a grouchy baby.

Her morning nap is the most solid and reliable; afternoon naps dicey. So which nap do I start weaning the pacifier with: the solid morning nap, in which she sucks to sleep within a minute? Or the fussy afternoon nap, which surely would result in lots of crying? Bear in mind that naps are essential to good nighttime sleep -- and other naps too!

Bedtime report: nothing short of a miracle. Bedtime routine started late, 8:30: nurse, bath, PJs, cuddle attempts (I have to go through the motions even if she doesn't relax), sing-song, lights low, put in crib, semi-swaddle. Katrina cried immediately. I put the magic blanket in her hands. I hoped for the best, went downstairs and anxiously turned on the monitor.


Check monitor. On, working, set correctly.



OK, there's something. Sucking sounds, some gurgles and noises, But NO CRYING!!!!!!

About 15 minutes later, I heard her start to fuss-cry, then cry hard, a scream or two, but 5 minutes after that, nothing.

Nothing. NOTHING! NO CRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND SHE'S ASLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We're on track! YAY BABY!

My analysis: she catches on fast (unlike her brothers), but resists (very much like one of her brothers), hard (but not as hard as said one brother).

Dollars to donuts I'll be saying that about her for years to come.


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