Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wren is a level 70 Sleep Mage

Wren has finally achieved Good Sleeper status to the great joy of all who sleep near him. Last night that included Joshua, Shannon and Frost (Take note ye family bedders - he is 5 and still camps out in our room 3 nights a week!)

Wren went to sleep at 9.30pm and woke at 5am for a nurse. I got up at 7.30am and he was still asleep. At 8am (after breakfast for Frost and his school lunch were made) I checked on Wren to find him awake and happy. Yippee!

We are now working on "good going to sleeper" status as he is very hard for me to get started on nap or bed in any way other than nursing or wearing. He lets Josh rock him to sleep in his arms but anything else is full of noisy complaint.

Oh, I should add: Wren is starting to look squished in the hospital provided wedge which is his sleeping place. I am wondering what happens next. We have stopped Zantac and he isn't showing any discomfit so I am not sure that he still needs elevated sleep but it is really all he has known so I am a bit trepiditious about changing things. Perhaps its time for some horizontal naps as practice.

His only meds now are baby aspirin and poly-vi-sol which are both easy to administer. Now, if I can find the 1/2" drill bit I can drill the hole for the water filter faucet before Josh comes home and prohibts me from risking the kitchen counter.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Slightly disturbing

Today I came across a few slightly disturbing pieces of information:

1) Numerous household plastics including my plastic water bottle is probably leaching toxic chemicals into my drinking water. The big water tank is made from the same polycarbonate and is probably doing the same thing. As a result I called the plumber and asked him to come and install the water filter I got for my 40th birthday. I feel such a dunce but I can't understand what to do by reading the manual. Its about 40 pages long and full of references to different kind of valves and tubes.

2) Some babies are born with teeth - 1 in 2000 to be (imprecisely) exact. I know it sounds improbabe but I was reading up on when teeth normally appear and while 4-7 months is average they can appear in a newborn. Ouch. I am convinced Wren will cut a tooth soon. He is gnawing on everything and cries when he can't find something to chew. Still, he won't take a proper teething ring or toy. He doesn't like to chew plastic which probably shows good judgement considering point 1).

Fat baby yoga cookie

I went to yoga at the Seattle Holistic Center today. Its fun doing normal baby things and reconnecting with that happy tribe of women who took their babies home and talk about sleep and milestones and well-baby checkups. All those months preparing for bad news left me feeling like an outsider to normal babyworld and I still felt a bit odd being there.

But it was fun.

Wren had a nap in the sling during dance circle and was happy to sit in the bouncy chair during the yoga segment. We stayed a bit late to chat to some of the other mothers and I met Vanessa and Orlando, and Wendy and her baby as well as others whose names now escape me. We drank tea and ate chocolate dipped cookies at lunchtime.

It was very civilized considering there were 20+ moms and babies in the room (including 3 sets of twins!)

Of course nothing could be entirely normal. I noticed that one of the babies had an odd coloring. Her legs were purple looking instead of pale or pink. I started to panic thinking she had an undiagnosed heart condition and spent quite a while contemplating suggesting she had a cardiologist examine her. I didn't.

In a different light she wasn't as startlingly plum and I couldn't tell whether I have an alarmist perspective on the world. She must be seeing a pediatrician, right?

Wren weighs 16 lbs 12 oz today putting him at the 90 %tile for weight.

He is now sitting in the sun in his diaper to get some Vitamin D (thanks to Julie's education campaign).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chewy gooey bitey

Wren is all drooly and chewy lately. He gnaws on everything he can lay his hands on (and thats a lot). He particularly likes to suck his fingers and blankets and when I have him in the sling he sucks on the edge near his mouth until it is very wet.

Its causing some problems for me because unless he is sucking he has a hard time falling asleep for naps. His nursing has changed too. He used to nurse like a sprinter - 10 minutes later he was looking up at me all smiley and interested in the sky. Thesedays he will suck and nibble for an hour if I let him. I don't often let him.

In the last few days he has also tried biting me. Yes, very sharp little nip can be delivered without teeth. I can't remember what the appropriate response is but a loud "NO!" and prompt removal from my breast seemed to convey my message. I suspect it happens after he has eaten and is just noodling away there but I will have to watch him more carefully now.

Right now he is in his swing chewing a blanket. Frost suggested he give his blanket (mimi) to Wren. Its kind of funny that Frost has given up his blanket (mimi) just as Wren heads into the sucky phase.

Oh, in case you ask. No tooth yet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Stolen Sick-Baby Blog

Since Dina mentioned it in a comment I think it is time for me to bring up the story of the Stolen Sick-Baby Blog.

I do not know if it is true or not, but there is a rumour out there that you must be careful posting images of your sick baby - especially pictures of surgical recovery with lots of tubes and things - because there are people out there who will copy them and use your photos to embroider an identity as a sick kid's mother.

I have heard this many times and it seems to be a lurking anxiety on message boards. On every parenting board I have been on there has been an incident where a poster is accused of being a "troll" faking being a valid part of the group. It creates a huge panic and masses of analysis and banning and threatening before it fades away.

Recently, on our Heart Kids online message board we were warned by the board community leader not to post pictures because:

There have been several incidences of people stealing pictures off the internet and passing children off as their own. In the CHD community there was one woman who was busted last year who not only had pictures, but I think faked a carepage too? And it happens over and over again on Babycenter - people who steal pictures and create stories to go along with them. It just happened over on October '07. Most of the time when this happens, it's babies who are "special" for some reason - preemies, twins/multiples, or babies who have health issues. I imagine this is because people get more attention this way.

Now, I haven't seen this myself so I don't know whether it is an urban legend. Thing is, its very convincing. I can imagine crazy attention starved individuals taking great pleasure in garnering support for a fake ill child. I think it could involve financial requests too to take the scam into fraud.

So, if it happens its a form of identity theft and it would be very disturbing to see your kid virtually kidnapped but I unless it spills over into real life, is there anything you can do about it? Plus, there's more chance of being hit by a bus, right?

And by the way, where is the CHD (congenital heart defects) community? Does it hang out somewhere? Is there a secret handshake I haven't figured out yet?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mouthing it

Today has been cleaning day because we are trying to hire a cleaner. Its a paradox but when you think you are interviewing a cleaner it seems they are really interviewing you. You have to have the right mix of flexible schedule and organization to even qualify for an interview. Of the 3 cleaners I have phoned, only one has replied. This was the tail end of our phone interview:

Her: Okay, well, I will see you Monday.
Me: Great.
Her: Oh, I guess I should, uh, tell you.. I am not planning on continuing with this business indefinitely.
Me: [surprised] Oh, how much longer do you plan on doing it?
Her: Ummm, till summer at the latest. I really need another job.
Me: Um, okay.
Her: Cleaning is such physically demanding work. Its not good for my body. I need to move on, you understand.
Me: Well, are you sure you want to take on new clients now?
Her: [pause] I need the money but I guess I should think about that.
Me: Okay, think about it and get back to me.
Her: I've told my other clients that I can find someone to take over from me when I stop. Her name is Shannon and I could put her in touch with you directly instead.
Me: I really don't mind. I could see her...
Her: I will see if she can come on Monday with me and we can talk.
Me: Okay.
Her: And you need to supply all the cleaning supplies.

Now, beside the irony of me (Shannon) having a person named Shannon clean for me does anyone else think its weird that she is telling me about how tough the job is she really wants to stop? Way to go tapping into my bourgois guilt. Of course I should have told her not to bother coming over but my mind and tongue are not well synchronized these days and I ended up saying something else.

Oh, when I said "we are cleaning" I meant I am. Here, Wren and Josh are hanging out on the couch:

We had a little break today going to U-Village for sushi, candy, bookshopping and being in the sun. We all sneezed when we first saw it.

Wren is now napping and we are going to watch Eragon (the Movie) on DVD. Frost has been waiting for it to arrive and it finally has. It is family movie afternoon.

Should we be out in the sun still, should I be doing more laundry instead of adding to the family laundry mountain, should I be lying in the bath or napping. Sure. But its fun.

I should just add that I am really enjoying Wren's current stage. He is becoming increasingly social and babbles to himself as he gropes his toys. He likes to mouth everything he can grasp. A number of people commented on the picture of him 'reading" Goodnight Moon which I posted yesterday. Here it is again with the sequel:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Photo journal

My expecting club board is all about fun baby stuff. One section is called SCRAPBOOKING and gave me the idea of doing a photo journal of one day. I find it very reassuring to see other photo journals in which moms go through the same Wake, Eat, Diaper change routines as I do.

So, here is my homage to the photo journal. Unfortunately I gave up around 3pm when Frost came home from school:

Half of Friday in the Life of Wren
Wren wakes up around 7am but is really still sleepy. I put him in the swinging chair while I make Frost's breakfast, school lunch and my coffee. He is pretty happy in the swing and sometimes goes to sleep again. He likes to watch Frost who gets to watch TV.

Here he is in the swing. After I have made breakfast and all that jazz we do diaper change.

The Diaper change area is actually a bed but the changing table sits next to it, unused. Before Wren was born we didn't know if and when he would come home from hospital so we prepared a guest room for my mother rather than a nursery. As you can see the nursery is still in process:

Wren on the diaper change bed.

After diaper change we went outside to pick some flowers for Big Brother Frost. He wanted to take them to school to give to his kindergarten teacher who was leaving. Friday was her last day of school. It was pretty cold so I had my boots on. Wren had barefeet. Bad baby mother.

Then it was tummy time. Wren doesn't much like tummy time on the floor but this couch has a bit of an angle to it so he can look out and enjoy the view.

When Frost went to school with the carpool Wren had his first nap. He sleeps in a wedge supplied by the hospital for babies with reflux. We are not sure he has reflux anymore but he is so used to sleeping in the wedge that we are not messing with it just now. He loves that mobile too but I only turn it on at playtime.

After nap and getting another diaper change we head off to the library. Its around 11am already and I have done nothing except eat, dress and clean teeth. Oh, and check the boards.

Wren has another diaper change and some playtime on the diaper-change bed. Much of our best interaction happens on the bed because he is looking at my from the wedge and is always happy there. Here he is reading Goodnight Moon.

There was another nap somewhere then it was time to go and fetch Frost from school. He was quite excited to be fetched instead of riding in the carpool.

Creepy shadows and dawn too soon

Saturday again (my weeks spin like a dervish) and its cold and rainy outside. I tried to explain to Frost (at 6.45am) that now that its spring he doesn't need to get up when daylight begins.

He said "my legs feel weak in the morning"
I said it was because he was tired and only fell asleep at 10pm and it was not enough sleep.

For the past 3 days Frost has gone to bed without "mimi" his silky blanket. The weird thing is that he seems to have forgotten that he needed it. Last night, at 9.30pm he called out for me and said we must make up a list of what to do at bedtime because "something is missing, it doesn't feel right but I can't remember what it is."

I showed him that he was sleeping on two pillows instead of one and suggested that I could fix that.

Then he was scared of the strange "creepy" silhoettes on his darkened blinds. We explored that and found it was the silhoette of a tree projected onto his blinds by a street light. That seemed to reassure him.

Meanwhile, Wren has been sleeping very well recently - at least 5 hours in a stretch every night and then another 3 to follow. Last night was different. He kept waking up and crying in his sleep and trying to gnaw his hands. I think I can feel a bump under his gum (front left) which is probably a tooth. I don't know whether the potential tooth is bothering him or whether he has something else sore but I hope he works it out (or we do) today.

Actually, I may take him to the pediatrician today to check his ears and listen to his chest since he still coughs when he goes out in the cold and in the morning when he wakes up and it sounds gunky.

Yesterday I took some photos of us all for a "photo diary". The idea is that you photograph all the major activities of the day. I think I made it to 3pm before giving up. Firstly, there were very few major activities and those that occured were cyclical - diaper change and nap - and I am almost always too busy to reflect on life after 3pm when Frost gets home.

Still, I will post a half-day photo diary for posterity.