Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Two Months

Dylan went to bed at 9:30 last night!!!! And slept until 8:30. My life is complete.

Dylan's two month pediatrician visit is tomorrow. I hear she will be stuck with needles in every limb so it should be a good time.

One thing that I thought was really cool was how she did exactly what the book said a couple weeks ago. I think I've mentioned this before, but this book I have has approximate times when babies go through developmental leaps and says how long they will be cranky and clingy around each leap. Right on cue she had those few days where she didn't want to be put down for any amount of time. Then she snapped out of it completely and has been easygoing again, and even more alert. She is controlling her arms and legs now, although she's not good at it.

She reminds me of Hobbes lately. Except she's a chicken instead of a tiger. When she is in the house with me and Aaron she chats all the time (she's a big gossip) and smiles easily and she is even laughing now, which looks sort of ridiculous. The minute someone else comes over or we take her out she goes limp and gets unresponsive.

I have been taking her to Wegmans in the evenings during cranky time. I stay until she starts crying and then get out of there. It is sort of a leap of faith to take a crying baby out into the night, but once we get out she is much better. It is also convenient since Aaron will only eat bananas that have not even thought about getting brown spots on them, so I get him fresh bananas a lot.

I had to call the vet this morning about getting Snuffy tested for lyme disease because he had a tick. I tried to ask it anonymously because I'm embarrassed about how much we end up there, but I was outed eventually. "Why don't you tell me more about your situation specifically...What's the last name...That's Snuffy, isn't it?"

We may have lost the camera

But since Zach and Aaron took exactly the same pictures, we at least have ample documentation of our visit with Poppy Joe. Here is Dylan with her great-grandfather:

Monday, October 30, 2006

I ♥ Daylight Savings

The Halloween festivities continued yesterday with a visit from Aunt Laura (wait, maybe that's not Halloween-related...unless...she's really a vampire...AND SHE'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU), a trip to a pumpkin farm, and dinner with Melanie and David (also vampires? you decide).

The pumpkin farm did not have a great selection of pumpkins. But it did have these huge straw teepees packed with pumpkins carved in all sorts of cool designs. And cider and donuts, always a plus.

Tommy, it looks like some of your competitors have been lolling about carving pumpkins rather than training. I also saw one of the other teams around here out running on the canal path -- you want I should encourage them to do slightly less than their best this weekend?

It also had some nice sheepies, a goat and some of Dylan's fellow chickens. And an ass, to the delight of my simple husband.

Daylight savings has tricked Dylan into going to bed an hour earlier than usual. Awesome. Although to pay for it we had to endure an hour of Snuffy whining to be fed since he knows his dinnertime to the minute.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dylan's First Bistro

Phew, we dragged that kid all over town yesterday.

Preparing for her big debut

Out for martinis

The chicken in action

And she's done

We later brought her to a friend's house for dinner and then to a costume party, where she was propped up and prodded by all. She will be wearing the costume until Wednesday morning. Aaron suggested that I only wanted a child so I could have one to dress up for Halloween. Little does he know that I will also be dressing her up in costume for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Labor Day...

Not pictured here: the matching mother-daughter chicken costumes (other matching clothing options we're considering here); Aaron dressed as a farmer who owns the chickens; Snuffy after playing for two hours in the mud mud mud; the kitchen floor after Snuffy spent an hour there after playing in the mud; me nursing the chicken and a beer (oh wait, that one's up at Flickr)

Why does this keep happening to me?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Slinging the baby

You know how I was all excited about the sling? Well I haven't been able to get Dylan into it in weeks because she screams so much when I try. I don't think she likes having her legs confined like that. She is already a disappointment to her parents.

So anyway we got a Baby Bjorn the other day because I really want some way of carrying her with my hands free. I didn't want one initially because the reviews aren't that great and I thought the sling seemed a lot nicer. But the lack of screaming certainly recommends it for the moment. She falls asleep in it almost instantly and her legs are free to keep up the constant kicking. I have gone walking with her and Snuffy and after an hour or so it starts to get fairly uncomfortable but it's fine before that. I also thought it was a little too hard to get her in it, but it turns out I hadn't unfastened a buckle that is for babies 8 - 11 pounds, so I have been squishing her.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Back in Business

Redefining spit up

Dylan had an upchuck the other day so impressive that we have agreed all of her other, well, productions must be called spit up in order to reserve throw up and similar terms for incidents of such magnitude. I didn't know she even had enough room in there for the volume of fluid that came out. Luckily Aaron was holding her. He was annoyed that I stood there exclaiming over how impressed I was rather than running off to fetch a towel. But really, who among us would have sprang into action and missed the rest of the show?

He got me back though because yesterday I glanced at the bed and there, right in my space, was a nice spot of baby puke. I mean spit up.

The camera should get here later today...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I may have used Snuffy to wake the baby up

Dylan is still a viking at sleep, going 8+ hours every night. But I am still struggling with absolutely no success to get her bedtime earlier than midnight to one. I think we've gotten her to sleep at 10 or 11 like twice and that's it. One ugly night was 3:40am but we won't ever speak of that again.

As for the diet, I have no clue. I stopped doing it entirely a few days ago and now her poop is sometimes green and sometimes yellow. I give up and I still think she's sensitive to something but I have no idea what but as she keeps getting bigger the gas and pain is getting better so maybe in a month it won't matter at all. She is about to outgrow the 3 month size. She seems huge to me, but I spend a lot of the day carrying her around. A woman at the grocery store the other day told me her kids had never been that small, then said they had been born at 8 pounds. Ha.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Snuff's back

Yay! We missed him. But it was nice to have a few days without having to pander to his Snoutness.

When we started our Netflix subscription we always said that I would get to use it a lot this fall since I'm off work and feeding the giant headed baby monster all the time. I prefer TV shows on DVD to movies due to my short attention span. We agreed that I would pick shows Aaron would not possibly want to watch so he wouldn't be too jealous when he was slaving away at his schoolwork and I was laughing gleefully at the television machine. I am now on season 4 of Gilmore Girls. I think by the beginning of season 3 Aaron was hooked. Plus he went and read the Wikipedia entry so he knows lots of the stuff that's going to happen and is always saying things like "oh, well he wouldn't say that if he knew that he would later marry her mother's sister after she became pregnant out of wedlock by his best friend." In other recent Aaron antics he announced that he had giggled through this morning's class when they learned about a statistical test called the F test. Which is funny because there are swear words! Beginning with F! Ha!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Dylan's head is ENORMOUS. It's like a giant baby monster head on a little stick body. When she stretches her arms straight up they just barely clear the top of it. And she still tosses it around like a weapon, although I don't know how she is strong enough. She has also cultivated an admirable three chins to rest her head on. I recently realized that I am going to have to make sure to specifically clean her neck folds.

The camera is on its way.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Topic

Wow, even I'm bored of hearing myself talk about food. So here's a change of pace. I was looking at the picture of Dylan when they first weighed her and noticed something very interesting:

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Diet update 10.21.06

I stopped the squash and pears yesterday afternoon because I read that babies can have a hard time with fruits and vegetables. I added cashews and almonds because I wanted a treat and another protein source. And today for the first time in five days Dylan's poop went back to yellow.

just chatting away

We may have made a decision about the camera. One more trip to Best Buy to poke and prod them and then we'll decide.

Snuffy has been at Camp Eisenberg the past few days. He has a brand new haircut which apparently is quite handsome. He also had a tick so lyme disease testing is in the cards.

Dylan had a bath this morning, which she still enjoys a lot. If she is in the right mood she is willing to have extended conversations with us where we take turns talking and she speaks her language and we speak ours.

I am ready to start tweaking my diet to figure out exactly what she is sensitive to. I am sure that it has helped with the amount of time she is writhing in pain, but since her poop has been consistently green since I started this diet I think there is still something that is bothering her.

Friday, October 20, 2006

it's been too long since I complained about the paperwork

Hang on to your hats, this is going to be a fun one. I think it's time to revisit all the fun I have been having dealing with the forms needed to get Dylan insurance. To recap: after a suspenseful wait and many phone calls, we successfully got her birth certificate and social security number in time to apply for the (very expensive) family insurance plan that neither of our jobs will pay for but will cover the hospital and pediatrician costs retroactively, but only if we applied within 30 days of the birth. Meanwhile we have applied for the insurance that Dylan will be on longterm (on the last day possible to have it be effective in October), which is separate from our insurance and could not be applied for before she was born and would not cover any of the costs of the first month. She may well get this insurance effective October 1st, but the paperwork has not been processed yet so we still don't know if it will all go through and must meanwhile keep paying for the (very expensive) family insurance. We have called many times to see if it has processed yet and been told several time frames and also that our application didn't exist. We decided to ignore that one and called them back an hour later so they would tell us something different, which they did (it could exist, but because we dropped it off in person--necessary because of the deadline--it wouldn't be in the system until it's processed). Meanwhile the insurance company's regional headquarters is in Buffalo and has been incapacitated for a week because of all the snow, which, you know, Buffalo has NO experience with.

I am sort of tired this morning and can't remember if I have mentioned this before, but we have this fancy baby monitor that monitors the baby's movements and beeps if she doesn't move for 30 seconds. It may be a total gimmick, but it does make us feel better. If you pick the baby up and don't turn off the monitor, it astutely detects that she is not moving and 20 seconds later, when you have already carried the baby downstairs, it beeps loudly to alert you. I would say that happens about once a day.

Still working on the camera...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

my first post about baby poop

I never thought it would take me this long to discussing poop, but everyone says you never know what to expect once you have a baby. I actually think the new diet may possibly be helping. Dylan is having many fewer episodes of turning bright red out of the blue, so to speak. She is still straining to poop and wakes up from naps contorting in pain and her poop has been green for several days. But I think the overall amount of time that she is uncomfortable is down. She is really chatting away with us now and doing big stupid baby smiles that take up her whole mouth and have yet to be captured on film. I took a video yesterday where she did a little cooing, then saw the camera and turned into a zombie AND ATE OUR BRAINS!!!

We had an episode a couple of days ago in which a highly anticipated Netflix disc arrived snapped in half and I have not fully recovered.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How to Lose the Baby Weight (and a camera)

Step 1: Have the baby

Step 2: Breastfeed the baby

Step 3: Decide the baby has a food sensitivity and stop eating lots of things

Step 4: Decide it's not working and stop eating even more things until your diet consists of only potatoes, rice, squash, pears, and turkey; note sadly non-vegetarian nature of turkey

Step 5: Only eat when you're hungry because your diet is boring and involves no chocolate and turkey makes you feel sort of sick but you think you were getting cramps from not getting enough protein

Step 6: Try to figure out if it's working after two days; maybe. maybe not.

Step 7 (hypothetical): Start reintroducing foods after two weeks; perhaps regain the baby weight

ps. No pictures until we locate our camera or are regrettably forced to buy a brand new shiny one with many more megapixels. We had a lot of great ones from seeing great-grandpa Poppy and from dinner with Melanie and David last Friday, so we hope to find it even if we have to get a new one.

pps. I want those huge stuffed hands! Totally necessary!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

brief hiatus

I may need to take a few days off from posting since Aaron isn't feeling well and I'm trying to take care of all of us. I'll be back in a few days when he's better.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Six weeks

Oh man. Dylan has been pretty much clinging to me nonstop for the past two days. And eating all the time. Usually I can put her down in the bouncy seat and she is happy for quite a while. I have a book that talks about how babies go through fussy periods before they have big developmental leaps, and it says how old they will be when each one happens. I'm not sure I believe it completely, but it is a nice thing to read when she is a lot crankier than usual.

She has been getting more and more interactive lately. She seems to actually get bored, but mobiles and talking do the trick most of the time. I have tried reading to her a couple of times, which seemed silly at first but she likes listening to us talk so much, it is easier to do that than to just babble on and try to remember the words to the three poems I had to memorize in middle school.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Dylan's first real on purpose smile was last Friday. Since then she has been quite stingy with them and will make us work really hard to please her, only to tease us with half smiles or spit up. Yesterday MummyP happened upon a technique of wrenching Dylan's fat little drumsticks around while singing, which makes her smile much more consistently and seem really happy. I tried to video her doing it and her expression went blank as she sat mesmerized by the camera. So in this clip I have the camera set up to the side at a strange angle. She is bouncing around because I am moving her legs the whole time.

Last night I answered the phone. There was that fateful pause, then someone mispronouncing Aaron's name and calling him mister, so I said he wasn't home. Then it turned out to be an Indian classmate of his who wanted help with the homework, but I was stuck in my lie and had to say he would call her back when he got home. Heh heh.

In the same category of dumb things I did yesterday, I woke the baby up in the morning and had her all fed and ready to leave the house to go to a doctor's appointment, went to the appointment, and found out it was actually scheduled for today.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Aaron just took Snuffy jogging. What does it mean?!

Three Ring Circus

Phew, traveling with a dog and a little baby turns out to be some work. Who knew?

Sorry if you live in NYC or nearby and we didn't get to see you this trip. I am still running on a limited amount of energy and I couldn't handle more than one or two excursions a day, and it's hard to plan visits ahead of time since I don't know when we'll be eating or sleeping.

Thursday we stayed in Ithaca to cut the trip down the next day. The cast of characters, at one point crowded into one room, included me and Aaron, my parents, Tommy and his minions Thing 1 and Thing 2, Dylan, Snuffy, and Cousin Kay, a temporary boarder at my parents' house who Snuffy barked at the whole time and whose deodorant he later ate.

Friday with some creative packing we managed to fit six of us and Snuffy and associated gear into a minivan. We took out one of the seats and put in Snuffy's bed so he lurked in the middle of the van for the whole trip. We went via Hackensack NJ to load up on some delicious delicious burgers (technically I did not eat the burgers due to the not meat eating thing, but I enjoyed the others' enjoyment). Dylan was good in the car for the first two hours and then broke down into a weeping ball of screaming weepiness for the rest of the trip. We had a relaxing room service dinner in my parents' hotel room. I couldn't resist the pretty shower in the hotel and managed to flood the bathroom.

The peanut gallery attempts to elicit an elusive smile

Much of the trip was dominated by Snuffy's absolute refusal to do his business of any kind on a non-grass surface. He usually poops two or three times a day, but managed to hold out for only one both Saturday and Sunday. We had to take him to Central Park five times during the trip, which isn't that far from Dan and Ben's apartment, but walking him there and back takes a good hour. Then there were so many exciting smells and other dogs in the park that it was still hard to get him to focus enough to perform. Plus we all spent countless hours walking him around closer to the apartment in the hopes that just this one time he would take pity on us and pee on the damn curb.

Saturday we took it easy in the morning. Dylan took her first subway ride. I wasn't there, but apparently the sight of a bunch of men with a crying baby elicited much kindness and sympathy from innocent subway bystanders. Dylan made out like a bandit with new clothes from Lucky Wang and Dylan's Candy Bar. Ben and I got to stay home while Aaron and Dan made a very important trip to procure cupcakes.

Dylan helps Aaron read the subway map

We spent the evening hanging around the apartment, which was really nice.

Aaron suggests that Grandpa D take a page from Grandpa T's book with regards to the burp cloth

Sunday morning Aaron stayed in the city for brunch while my family and Dylan and Snuffy headed out to Long Island to visit Aunt Susan, Jill, David, and Dana.

Dylan meets her Great Aunt Susan

Then she was again good in the car for about two hours before losing it completely. For hours. What a baby. We spent Sunday night in Ithaca and drove back Monday, but not before watching a Flip That House marathon. Good lord people, how can your budgets be off by $30,000 so consistently?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Road Trip

We're in New York City right now, baby, dog, and everything. It's been fun so far -- I'll post a full trip report tomorrow or Monday. So far highlights have included Baby's First Neverending Screamfest in the carseat and much working around a very neurotic Snuffy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

8.5 hours...

...and counting.

That's how long Dylan has been sleeping. It almost makes up for her changing her bedtime to 1am for the past couple nights.

I am not that good at burping her, so I often hand her off to Aaron, who walks around the house with her draped over his arm like a Maitre D's napkin.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Oh man, I have just been swamped with work today. I thought I would have a nice 6 weeks of no work, but much of it has tracked me down...administrative paperwork from med school to maintain my student status (not even related to maternity leave), the database from the free clinic, insurance stuff, my dissertation project. I have pretty much been either working or feeding the baby all day. At one point I was listening to a CDC conference call with vital implications for my research project while feeding the baby. Plus we just got a new cell phone ($150 value! Free! with two-year activation) that I was using for the call and didn't know how to work the mute function at first so that the other 15 people on the call couldn't hear the barking dog or crying baby or whining husband (just kidding sweetie, you were whining very quietly).

I managed to pump earlier today, but the baby has more or less been hungry since then because I took all her food. I am still trying to figure out when I am supposed to pump since I am feeding her all the time. She still is having painful gas, but I would say it has been better the past few nights. I don't know if it's from my diet or because I have been giving her gas drops. But there is definitely a huge difference between general cranky baby and baby in pain from gas.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Our schedule

I was all planning to write about the relatively regular schedule we've had for the past couple of weeks, so of course today has been completely different. I'm sure you'd love to hear it anyway.

The cornerstone of each day is a six hour bout of cluster feeding and crankiness starting at 6pm. I am okay for the first few hours, but then I start to get antsy. But it's not too bad with tv shows, magazines, and one-handed typing. There is no point in even trying to put Dylan to sleep before midnight, but after that it's been pretty easy, especially with the help of the cradle swing of sleep and happiness. Then we both sleep until 5:30 or 6am, get up for a feeding, then go back to sleep for another few hours. During the day she is generally cheerful and naps whenever she feels like it. She naps long enough that if Aaron is around I have been able to get in some nice long walks with Snuffy. Then when evening hits I get strapped down to the feeding chair again. Actually, when I was out with Snuffy today Aaron successfully gave Dylan a bottle, so there is some hope for that. Except it didn't have enough so she was still hungry afterwards.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Maybe it's time to say goodbye to Nemo and the Speedy Recovery Turtle from the hospital.

Since it's October I can now post more pictures to Flickr, so there are lots of new ones up. I still have plenty of space, so I should be able to add more all month.

More Feeding

I am still not eating dairy. For me that is a sad way to live. It also effectively makes me a vegan, which I am not prepared for. Also, I'm not sure it is helping. Dylan and I usually spend the morning napping, and she woke up with gas crying a few times this morning. She also seemed pretty uncomfortable last night. I feel like there must be some way I could change what I'm eating that would help at least a little, but I'm not sure how. Today I will try to be better about tomatoes and onions and see if that makes a difference.

Apologies to everyone who tried to call and chat with us yesterday, we were a cranky and sleepy bunch. And then we watched The Constant Gardener, which is not a feel-good kind of movie. It requires concentration for a longer time than I am capable of.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I tried to give Dylan a bottle yesterday and she was not pleased. I feel the same way about pumping, so we agree for the moment. I think I will spend this week trying again.