Saturday, February 10, 2007

2/10/07 Dancin' all night long...

Another all-nighter. Katrina awake every hour or so last night, at times every half hour, then 20 minutes, then 10, then the pacifier just wouldn't get her back to sleep. Twice I caved and nursed her, and both times she just nibbled and putzed, though did settle down to sleep afterward. For a little while, anyway. At 4:45am, it was an exuberation fest, for which she was all grins and giggles and kicks. I resolved that tonight we're going to have to let her cry through some of these wakeups.

Until we took her to the pediatrician today, that is. We made an appointment for Gabriel and Katrina; Gabriel for his ongoing temperature/stuffy-head/slight-cough/tummy-complaint, and Katrina for a goopy eye. Dr. Babcock found a slight ear infection in both of them, which rules out a first night of crying to sleep. At least, for her. I'll be the one crying to sleep again. Assuming I even get to sleep.

This afternoon, Gabriel helped me write a huge stack of thank-you notes. I wrote them, and he "signed" his name, though got silly and tried to connect the letters -- writing script, if you will. His writing is a far cry from his friend Erin's, who wrote a letter to Santa asking for a pink bike, and who is nearly a year younger than he is. Then he helped me seal the envelopes, put stamps on, and finish off the envelope with a flower sticker. This made the whole project a lot more fun for me, too, since he's so enthusiastic and cooperative. It was a nice way to turn a chore into some good time together. Maybe I'm more of a little-kid mom than a baby mom. Though it's hard to say that when Katrina gurgles, sticks her tongue out, and flashes her irresistable smile at me. That tiny baby knows how to light up a room!

We went to Vesuvio's in Santa Clara tonight for dinner. I wouldn't recommend it. Painfully outdated operations (ordering, charging, etc), overly dim interior, so-so food. It's on a par with Pizza and Pipes, though with a broader menu, but P&P is closer, is better suited to kids, has much better pizza, and you don't have to order and pay for drinks separately. (Dave just reminded me that Pizza & Pipes changed their name recently, but we don't know to what.)

Not a good car day. First, someone backed right into Dave as he was parking at Bobbi's, despite the fact that Dave wasn't moving, and was honking at the guy to stop. Then, Dave spun out on a highway ramp, partly because of the wet conditions, doing a full 360, but fortunately hit nothing, got hit by nothing, ended up facing mostly forward and was able to drive away from it. It makes chills run down my spine to think how easily an incident like that could have become a serious accident. He could have rolled down an embankment, or been hit by another car. As longtime motorcyclists, Dave and I are no strangers to simple incidents being one stroke of luck away from a major catastrophe, but it just seems a lot different when my tiny 5-year-old boy is in the car. Who, of course, wasn't fazed at all.

Today I had a nice time chatting with other 2006-baby moms at Tonya's, for a sort of open house she did for her new place. Well, they chatted, and I complained about being up so darned much with baby! I've needed commiseration with other baby moms.

While yakking, I knew I had to leave for an 11:40 pediatrician appointment, but somehow thought that 11:40 meant the big hand was on the 10, not the 8. This is the sort of thing sleep deprivation does to you. It's very insidious. What if it'd been me driving and spinning out on a wet highway ramp? I lack Dave's driving skill, and am so fuzzy on life's basics like reading clocks, there's no telling what'd have happened. Do I have any business driving my children around when my mind is constantly skipping frames?

And here I am, photoless for the day. It wasn't one worth commemorating anyway, though I did have a lot of nice time with my funny firstborn.


Friday, February 09, 2007

2/9/07 Where's the OFF switch?

Katrina....arrrghh! No naps today! OK, two short snoozes after falling asleep in the carseat, only to wake up the moment we got home, and of course, not going back to sleep.

Then there was one half-hour nap...I think. I heard a sound, went into the room, and was greeted by a huge grin, all four limbs flailing, and a tongue sticking out. Some nap!

Gabriel seemed OK enough today that I cancelled a pediatrician appointment and took him and Katrina to the Y. I got a good, deep workout -- ahhh. That felt great, so overdue.

But the Y's Childwatch lady told me Gabriel was coughing. Then at home, he went to sleep on the couch and woke up all sweaty again. (I suggested he change his clothes, and he did -- putting his sweat-soaked shirt, jeans and underpants *back* into his dresser!) Every time I checked him today, his temp was fine, and he acted OK, if a little congested.

I wasn't sure about Tonya's sleepover tonight, but asked Gabriel if he wanted to go, and he eagerly said yes. He's been so isolated this week, with no one to play with. So I took him to Tonya's, and told him to tell Tonya if he wasn't feeling well, and she'd call us. Tonya's in her new house now, a little farther than her old one, but it's a really nice one, with a big area for the kids to play and a huge backyard.

Two down, one to if only Katrina would take a nap, I could have a teeny bit of grownup time to myself...nope, nothing doing.

So I took Katrina to Target to get items too large for the stroller -- answer: backpack. I figured she'd like it, being up and seeing everything. And she did like it, though got tired of it. And no wonder, she was tired. ALL DAY LONG. But did that mean she slept? No!

When I got home, there was a message from Tonya: Gabriel wanted to come home. He was acting fine, but we had to take him at his word, so Dave picked him up, brought him home, and put him straight to bed. No matter; Katrina wasn't about to let us have an evening anyway. She finally caved at around 9:30pm. For now.

At least last night I got one 2-1/2 hour stretch of sleep. I was downright refreshed today as a result.

Kind of a weird spring. Our scraggly remnant of an almond tree is starting to flower.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

2/8/07 Sleep troubles

I'm really getting discouraged. Not only do I not have nights anymore, but no evenings either. Katrina was up until about 11pm last night, when finally enough time had passed that it made sense to nurse her and she finally went to sleep. I had almost no baby-free time yesterday, and certainly none at night.

Last night, she woke up every 2-3 hours, usually going back to sleep with the pacifier, but sometimes it took several iterations of giving her back the pacifier across 10-15 minutes. At 3am, she absolutely would not go back to sleep, so, too tired to argue, I nursed her. But she didn't nurse well; she wasn't hungry, though she did go back to sleep after nursing (and no wonder, it's like a nice warm pacifier that doesn't fall out and dribbles sweet tasty milk into her mouth). She had me awake countless times again until 7:30, when I nursed her again. Then she fell into a good deep sleep.

How different our lives would be if we had one of those babies that miraculously sleeps 12 hours a night! I'd be rested, optimistic, cheerful, energetic. Instead, I'm irritable, snappy, struggling to make it from one thing to the next in the day. I resent not being able to completely enjoy my baby, or my two little boys.

I absolutely dread what is clearly our only choice: a learning-to-sleep cycle that involves crying. And I can already tell that powerful little Katrina will stick out serious crying for a long, long time. I'd really hoped to avoid that, by teaching her early on how to fall asleep with help only from the pacifier, but that clearly hasn't worked. I don't want to start the crying-to-sleep until she's used to the crib upstairs, and that will take some time to get her room ready, but I'm making that a priority now.

Meantime, during the moments I have when I'm not completely dragging, Katrina continues to be a most delightful baby. She likes being thrown up into the air, and actually laughs right afterward, sort of a guttural baby guffaw. When she wakes up after a good nap (which fortunately she still has), she's charming and smiley and sticks her tongue out a lot and is downright exuberant.

Today I took all three kids to music class. Between me and Betsy, we had over half the children in the class! I couldn't help but be envious of sweet, sleepy baby Dylan. Why don't I have sleepy babies?! Ah well...I was astounded that Gabriel was very, very well-behaved, and concentrated on the class, followed the teacher and seemed genuinely interested. I expected disaster with his rambunctious and very creative pal Gina in the class. Katrina also enjoyed the whole class, and did great sitting on the floor with my legs supporting her, almost sitting up by herself for short periods. Ah, baby sitting up will mean a huge injection of freedom into my life!

So she practiced sitting again today with the help of two boppies, while I did a little exercising in the living room to try to rustle up some energy.

Argh. I thought we were clear, but Gabriel had 102 temperature again this afternoon. So now we have a pediatrician appointment tomorrow. He was acting and feeling a lot better after the temp broke, but that's been true all week.

Though I feel terrible for Gabriel being sick all week, selfishly I have to say I've enjoyed having him home, and having him be so...well, good. He needs me a little more now, but isn't clingy or whiny, and doesn't have the energy to antagonize Julian as much. He responds well to my fussing over him, and seems to be genuinely comforted when I do little things like offer to get him another blanket, or just hold him. He's really been delightful. I hope that keeps up when he's healthy!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Another temperature day for Gabriel, he was at 102 this morning. Right after 12 noon, he curled up on the couch with a blanket, saying he felt cold, and his forehead was hot. He was much better tonight, finding the energy to aggravate Julian again, but I think the 24-hour fever-clear rule means no school for him again tomorrow.

Katrina practiced sitting up today, with the help of some boppies.

This activity suits her well, she really really wants to look around and see everything. I remember telling Steph that I surmised that Remi didn't like the limitations of being a baby. To some extent, I see that in Katrina too -- she just wants to be up and about and in everything. Though she does enjoy all the eye contact and just smiling at people, something you only ever do with a baby.

I got Julian his own scissors with plastic blades. They're hard to use, but still, handing him a piece of paper to cut to ribbons will keep him busy for a long, long time.

One paper I picked for him was a scrap, on which I'd been testing fonts for a scrapbook page. The text included the words: "...started a new tradition: a special Happy Birthday cup, just for the birthday kid." I was amazed when I heard Gabriel reciting "special Happy Birthday cup," and looked over to see that he was "reading" it from the scrap paper. He recognizes an awful lot of words now. I test him sometimes on sounding out words, and while he seems to understand the concept, he has trouble executing. For instance, he sounded out "sky" to be "sss---kkk---suck!"

Gabriel practicing odds and evens. He gets it right about 80% of the time, but to me, the interesting thing is not his correctness (and he gets one wrong), but rather, his enthusiasm.

Sleep report: Katrina woke up every 1-2 hours, and wouldn't go back to sleep at 2am, then 6am, both times of which I nursed her. Then she slept until about 9am and woke up in a gorgeous mood, all smiley and wiggly and cooey and sticking her tongue out. The extra morning sleep helped me a lot, but still, I'd rather do my sleeping at night. All night.

Oh great, as I type, I can hear Katrina yakking away, cooing happily. Wide awake at 9:30pm. She's a bad Eddie Murphy song: " all the time, party all the time, party alll the ti--iiime....."


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

2/6/07 Park attempt

I really wanted to make it to a park playdate with my mom friends today, but a long late baby nap got us there just as everyone was leaving. Kristi and Lisa were going to a Burger King with a play area, so I thought I'd join them. But as we were driving there, I had a strong pang: these kids haven't been to a park in ages, and Katrina has hardly ever been to one. It was a lovely day, what were we doing going to a Burger King in a mall? And Burger King -- if Dave took the boys to Burger King, I'd kill him!

So I took a detour and took them to a park after all. Right away, I was torn. I was there alone, and it made me realize how isolated I've been lately. A morning-napping baby and an afternoon-napping toddler is limiting enough, on top of injury, illness, travel and visits. I miss my activities as a full-time mom. In fact, I'm finding that I want to commiserate with moms of all three generations: my longtime friends from the 2002 group, my acquaintances from the 2004 group, and now I'm even feeling the urge to talk to moms of other 2006 babies. Raising children is funny that way: you're never alone, but it's very easy to feel alone. Everyone needs peers, I guess, and moms are no different.

The park was a bust anyway. Katrina was fussy and unappreciative, and Gabriel was listless and sullen. Julian had a good time playing with a ball, but was uncooperative about getting in the car when it was time to go. He's been a pest lately, and certainly falls into the category of those toddlers for whom 3 is worse than 2.

I took the kids on a stock-up trip to Trader Joe's after the park, another mistake. Gabriel was getting hit with another temperature, and got worse and worse as we were walking around shopping. He is such a good sick kid, doesn't whine or complain, but instead looked at me with watery eyes and said in a tiny voice, "Mom....I really don't feel well!" I rushed through it, stopping often to give him hugs, and as soon as we got home, I settled him down on the couch. He woke up hours later, sweating, but feeling much better. Still, no school for him again tomorrow. He seems to have no other symptoms other than a recurring temperature...hmm, sound familiar?

Another lousy night, with Katrina waking up and needing the pacifier to get back to sleep numerous times. Twice, that didn't work and I had to nurse her. I really hope this improves soon, because the alternative is very painful.

Katrina is getting much more accurate about coordinating her hands and eyes, reaching for something she's looking at and actually contacting and grabbing it. Naturally, being a 4-month-old baby, the next stop is her mouth. She's had very little tummy time, but does a decent job pushing up when I do put her on her tummy, and doesn't cry right away on her tummy. She hasn't rolled over yet, though she hasn't had much chance to try, since lying on the ground isn't a big part of her life with her brothers running around.

With sick children, I haven't been able to go to the Y, and I really, really miss exercise! As soon as I had Julian down for a nap this afternoon, I pushed aside all the toys strewn around the family room and tried a new Pilates video. Video exercise in the family room is a far cry from going to a fitness center, but it'll have to do, and I still felt better having done it than not. I hate how out of shape I feel, and how a brief period of good eating habits has gone completely by the wayside. Time for everyone to get healthy! At least yesterday's migraine dissipated, and I was headache-free today. Yay!


Monday, February 05, 2007

2/5/07 K-reg day!

We registered for kindergarten today!

Turns out, there was really no good reason to be there the minute registration opened, but Gabriel and Katrina and I were there anyway.

Katrina got fussy, but luckily some ladies at the school held her for me. Amazing how quickly I handed my baby over to total strangers! The school doesn't let you take the forms home to fill them out, so without this help, I'd have been in a lot of trouble. There were a lot of forms to fill out. But, we got it done! Gabriel was very good during the long process, even though he wasn't feeling well. But, if anyone in the family has to get sick, he's the best one to do so.

Gabriel had a temperature on and off all day today, so aside from registering for kindergarten and picking up Julian, we didn't go anywhere today (including the Y, sniff!). Fortunately, during Julian's nap, Gabriel and Katrina had some nice time together. I completely gave up on keeping them apart due to his temperature; it's impossible in a hundred different ways.

Without Julian around, Katrina got more floor time.

I know now why I was so useless yesterday. I got slammed with a migraine this morning, the first in weeks. It was so strong I had a hard time focusing on all the forms I had to fill out for kindergarten. But later in the afternoon, Katrina was being oddly grumpy and hard to please, so I tried putting music on in the living room and dancing around to entertain her. This worked, and gave me a little tiny workout too. And that made all the difference -- I was energized, in a much better mood, and the physical activity held the headache at bay.

Sleep report: still only 2-3 hour stretches, but that's a far sight better than it had been. At 4am, the pacifier wouldn't pacify her, and she needed to nurse, and went right back to sleep afterward. I could live with that, if it weren't for all the other antics.

This afternoon, I experienced a rare 45-minute stretch during which all three kids were asleep. I actually got some email sent, and worked on a scrapbook page from last September. Heaven! A whole 45 minutes to myself, interruptable at any moment, but still. Hard to believe my life was once all about time to myself. But that was a different life, without three other little lives in mine.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

2/4/07 Lazy Day

I had grand ambitions to make great progress on moving back in upstairs, which gave way to overwhelming sleepiness and laziness today. I'm fearful to admit it, but I almost feel like I'm fighting off some new illness. AGAIN?! I just couldn't get any energy going today.

Not for lack of trying. I did motivate everyone to go out on wheels this warm and inviting afternoon, though even that had its troubles.

Gabriel almost ran into a man and his dog on his bike, then refused to apologize right away. And I was shakier and less confident on rollerblades than I have been in along time, despite my advances in ice skating. It's possible that I'm getting comfortable enough on ice skates that the differences with rollerblades are intimidating now. Wah! But, practice will fix that.

Dave was a great Dad today, and spent a lot of time with the boys, especially Gabriel. Gabriel got a Lego toy for his birthday that required some assembly and following instructions, as well as some fine motor skills beyond him at 5 years old, and Dave spent hours sitting with him and helping him, despite having lots of other things he'd wanted to do today. Plus the time outside bicycling and playing ball with the boys.

Meantime, I was a dud Mom, just looking for ways to nap all day, even though last night wasn't as awful as previous nights have been. Still, 4-5 hours contiguous hours of sleep are not in my cards for a long time. Katrina woke up only once for real, around 4am, when I nursed her, and she went right back to sleep. Aside from that, she had 2-3 hour stretches without stirring. I still want to know where these babies that sleep 12 hours at 4 months old come from.

It was Thomas night, though once again, the boys missed part of their show. To deal with interminable putzing, I tell them that Thomas starts at a particular time -- whether or not they're done cleaning up. I started the show at 8pm, with the TV cabinet doors closed, and it hummed along while they finally finished cleaning up. They missed the first third of it, but were pretty agreeable about that.

Katrina had a rare chance to lie on the ground, and she loved it! She is also very attracted to screens.

Tomorrow is a big day: I'll go register Gabriel for kindergarten!! Looks like he's coming with me, since he had enough of a temperature tonight to keep him out of pre-K tomorrow.