My credit card was declined today when I tried to book a spa package for a massage and facial at the local massage therapy school. As it turns out, my credit card company had put a hold on my card due to "suspicious, possibly fraudulent, behavior" that they were investigating.
I'd used the card two days ago to purchase some jewelry online. Normally I don't spend much money on myself for fun things like jewelry or spa packages, but because I'm making a little money now and I thought I deserved a "new mother" treat, I did. My credit card company was thoroughly confused. I imagine their flags went up and they thought a cute, young chick had made off with my card and was having a heyday.
Message to self: remember to treat me to nice things more often!
She's baaaaaaack. And, that's a good thing. A very good thing. I placed Miss Jane in her crib tonight at 8:55 and she was definitely awake. I told her it was bed time, I told her I loved her and I closed the door. It's now 9:35 and we've heard nary a peep (other than those sweet shifting sounds as she moves around in her crib...I keep the monitor turned up HIGH).
Thank goodness our sweet, darling, easy baby is back.
Delaney turned five months old today and decided to celebrate by exercising her newfound will...she WOULD NOT GO TO SLEEP tonight. That has never happened. We had just congratulated ourselves on having such a good, easy baby and then WHAM! She discovered her free will. While that makes her an infinitely more interesting baby, it also makes her a severely unhappy baby (and me an unhappy mother) at bedtime.
Normally, she gets tired and we put her to bed. Over the last month, she's transitioned her bedtime from 10:00 to 9:30 and most recently from 9:30 to 9:00 and finally to 8:30. Tonight I fed her, cleaned her pearly little teeth and changed her diaper. I placed her in her crib awake, but drowsy, and told her that it was bed time and that I loved her. I closed the door and walked away. Minutes later, I heard small cries. They were more like complaints, really.
"Hey. Heeeeey. Hey, you. Hey, you, lady. Lady! Laaaaaady!"
Then the cries escalated into full-blown sobbing. And it didn't stop. It went on. And on. And on. For 12 hours it went on. OK. Not 12 hours. More like 12 minutes, but it FELT that long (aside: I think there's been a study done on how mothers feel time as if it were quadrupled when their children cry, while fathers fall asleep.).
I've read about Julie's and Tertia's experiences with CIO (cry it out -- a popular sleep training method whereby the child cries until they are tired or realize they can't win the battle and go to sleep) and I sympathized with their struggles. I thanked God that Delaney was so easy. She didn't have to CIO and she's slept through the night without waking since she was 5-6 weeks old.
I hate--HATE--to admit it, but if I'm being honest, I was a bit smug about the whole thing. Well, it reared up and bit me in the ass, that smugness did. Tonight, our babe CIO'd and I let her. I stood by and, other than going in every 10 minutes to reassure her that she was OK and that I love her, I didn't do anything. I didn't pick her up (apparently, that is v. bad in the world of CIO sleep training), I didn't rock her, I didn't take her into the living room with us. And, it almost worked. Until I started to fall apart.
As I've done many times in my life, I leaned on my husband and he came through. After having gone into Delaney's room three times to console and recede without any success, I asked R. to do it. I thought that maybe she would react differently to him. I know when my Dad told me to do something when I was a kid, I did it (well, most of the time).
He went in. He consoled (in a firm, fatherly way) and he receded. She sobbed once or twice more, whimpered for a while and then...silence. She fell asleep. And the angels sang and the heavens opened and God smiled down upon us and asked,
"Still smug now, Mama?"
R. and I treated ourselves to a movie today. It was the third time we'd been out of the house together without Delaney since she was born five months ago. We chose, "Wedding Crashers," hoping it would provide mindless fun and a mostly empty theater (seeing as how it's been out for a few weeks and we could sit in the back and make out during the slow parts). Our selection was perfect. The movie was silly with just the right mix of an escape from reality and enough slow parts to make sitting in the back worthwhile. We had a great time remembering what it feels like to be a couple having fun on a (hot) date.
We'd wanted to get out of the house alone for quite some time and yesterday the stars aligned when my Mom said she'd be free to sit for us. I'd been dreaming for weeks about how wonderful it would be to sit quietly in the cool darkness with R., eating mounds of buttery popcorn while watching a story unfold that had nothing to do with spitup or poop. And, aside from the scene where the heroine's jerky boyfriend is holed up in the bathroom with a nasty case of the runs, I got my wish.
But, although I enjoyed going out into the world, I was amazed by how much I missed the little babe, given my desire to be alone with her Dad. My mind kept drifting to her. The movie was just a little bit too long toward the end and I kept looking at my watch and thinking, "When will this thing end? When can we go home? What's she doing now? Is she playing? Crying? Is she hungry? Maybe she doesn't even know we're gone!"
I used to make fun of new parents who don't get out often to go on dates. I thought they were crazy to race to and from a movie without stopping afterward for dinner, or at least a drink, trying to stretch their valuable time alone. But now I understand. Babysteps. It would be easier for me if Delaney would take a bottle, but she won't.
I probably don't have to worry about it too much. R. and I have scheduled our next date around Delaney's 16th birthday and we're hoping to have her weaned by then.
I'm so glad I have this blog to put down every detail I want to remember about Delaney's life. But, I constantly chastise myself for not keeping a journal when I was pregnant with her. I really wish I did, but I didn't. I thought I might feel better if I jot down some of the things I remember most from my pregnancy. Here they are, in no particular order:
I remember vividly the day we found out we were having Delaney. From from the day we found out about her, R. said he knew she was a girl. I wasn't as sure, but he was always believed it, even when the ultrasounds weren't 100% about the sex.
I started getting mildly queasy during the sixth week. I was throwing up and/or nauseated beyond belief nearly all day long by the seventh week. The sickness didn't abate until around week 16-17.
A week after we found out, I had to start my brand-new job with my brand-new morning sickness. It was difficult to meet new people and learn the ropes while wanting to puke my brains out all day long. I lost five pounds in the first trimester.
When the sickness began, I was also blessed with horrid acne...worst I've ever had in my life. It, too, went away around week 17 and my skin was pretty and clear for the rest of the pregnancy (wish I could say the same for right now).
We used to watch The Amazing Race 6 and I recall praying all the way through it for God to let up on the nausea.
Chicken was the main food I abhorred during this time and it didn't matter how it was prepared, I couldn't even look at it. For a few weeks, one of the only dinner I could stomach was mashed potatos with gravy.
I craved sour things with a vengence during those dark, morning sickness-filled weeks. I couldn't get enough of the sour patch kids and I loved lime slushes from Sonic. Later in the pregancy I craved chocolate and ate several hershey's minis each day (I still think that a daily dose of chocolate is one of the reasons why we have such a wonderful, easy baby).
I didn't have much of an appetite throughout my pregnancy, although it started to pick up toward the end. I gained the majority of my weight during the last 2-3 weeks.
I gained 28 pounds during my pregnancy and all of it was lost by two weeks after Delaney was born.
Somewhere around 16 weeks, I thought I felt Delaney move. I knew it was early to be feeling movement for a first-time mom, but I really felt some little tugs and bubbles. I felt it for a few days, and it would happen throughout most of the day. Then, suddenly, it was gone. I freaked out and called the doctor's office. They got me in, but I had to see another doctor because my doctor was not available. He checked me out and assured me that the baby was fine. After learning about my history of abdominal surgeries, he suggested that what I might have felt was scar tissue moving around due to the growth of my uterus. It placated me, but from that point on, I was ultra-aware of when the baby moved and didn't move and she never moved enough to suit me. I had MANY non-stress tests whenever I freaked out and my doctor was very accomodating and told me to come in whenever I was concerned. I remember worrying constantly throughout the pregnancy that the baby had stopped moving. But, she was always healthy...always OK.
The hiccups. I remember that Delaney often had the hiccups (and she still does), especially in the evenings. I would be laying on the couch, feeling my belly move, ever so slightly up and down.
When Delaney did move around, it was mostly in the evenings and up, on the top side of my belly. I always thought I felt her little elbow pushing up against my tummy. It was a horizontal rolling sensation from right to left.
I remember how R. was so kind and loving throughout my pregnancy. Of course, he was that way before and continues to be, so it was no surprise. He would cook whatever I could stomach and he took great care of me in every way.
At 33 weeks, I started listening to my Hypbirth CDs to practice hypnosis for pain management during labor. Most evenings after work I would sit on the couch or the glider in the nursery and listen to my CDs while R. cooked dinner. Once I quit my job, I'd use my free time in the afternoons to practice. Although I didn't get to use what I learned through to the end of labor (due to C-section), I went for 8 hours on pitocin with hardly any pain at all. I believe that practicing the hypnosis prepared me and allowed me to deeply relax, thus releasing endorphins and blocking pain.
There is so much more that I remember, but I'm going to save it for a future post.
Today, Delaney and I went to Christy's house to learn to make baby food. Making homemade baby food for Delaney felt like such a wholesome, granola-mother thing to do and it was. But, honestly, it was also a lot of fun.
Christy, six years my junior, had her baby boy 8 months before I had Delaney and she's been a wonderful sounding board and mentor of sorts over these last four months. When I found out I was pregnant, she took me to Babies R Us to register (I had NO idea what babies needed). When Delaney was born, she answered all of my questions about breastfeeding. Now she's schooling me in the finer points of blending steamed and baked foods. I'm incredibly lucky to have her for a friend and I appreciate all of her guidance and support (and her patience with my never-ending questions!).
As it turns out, it's unbelievably easy to make your own baby food, but being a total kitchen putz, I needed some expert guidance. We baked two kinds of squash and steamed some carrots and then blended each separately with some purified water in a food processor. Once each was blended, we dropped bits into ice cube trays, covered them with foil and froze them. Voila! Baby food to last for weeks and weeks. So simple.
Feeling emboldened by my newly acquired culinary skills, I went home and "made" a batch of avocados to freeze for later use. "Making" avocados was even easier than squash or carrots, as it didn't require me to use the oven thereby providing less of a risk to our home and hearth. I am not known for being much of a chef and my husband handles, quite expertly, all of the cooking in our household. All I had to do was remember how to run the cuisinart and blend the avocados into a smooth paste. I took such joy from producing one ice cube tray of food for Delaney all by myself. I'm still riding that high.
I'm sure we'll use jars of baby food from time to time, but I can't wait to make another homemade batch.
While nursing today, Delaney began to drift off and, in her sleep, she stopped, opened her mouth wide and then laughed out loud. It was a hearty, full belly laugh and it caused me to giggle out loud too. That woke her up and she looked up, saw me laughing and starting laughing even harder. We traded laughs for a few minutes, glowing at each other in that silly way we do. It was one of the most endearing and intimate moments we've shared. It's amazing to me how she's becoming more and more her own little person each day. She smiles and laughs so much. She's such a jovial baby. I just know she has a great sense of humor.
One of the reasons I don't post here as frequently as I should is because I'm always thinking about what to post and how to make it reasonably witty and interesting for someone to read. And, as I am not always witty, nor do I always have the energy to conjure up intellectual fodder for posts, I sit and I wait for THE PERFECT POST to come (and, if you've been reading TDD, you know that it has yet to arrive!). That, of course, defeats my original purpose of what The Delaney Diaries is all about. I want to record and remember the little and big moments of my daughter's life. Of our life with her. Of watching her grow and change. So, from now on, I'm going to post as often as I can, regardless of what I think other people think. Years from now, when I read back on what I wrote, each memory, each little nugget of information about what Delaney was doing, about what R. and I were doing with her--however insignificant it may seem to someone else--will be treasures that we'll cherish.
I recently explained to my employer that it was becoming inconvenient for me and Delaney to go in to the office once per week for a face-to-face meeting. They wanted me to come in at 4:00 p.m and the meetings ususally ran for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, leaving us to fight rush-hour traffic to get home and disrupting Delaney's feeding schedule in the meantime. I told them that I could come in to the office once per month and we could have phone conferences during the other weeks. Happily, they agreed.
Yesterday was our first phone conference and, overall, it went well. But, I have to admit that it reminded me of that music video (was it Van Halen's?) about the phone sex worker. You know, the one where the guy's talking to this chick and he imagines she's this sexy beauty. When they flash over to the other side of the conversation, there's the phone sex chick: looking harried, wearing pajamas, holding a baby on her hip, smoking a cigarette and ironing, all while she talks dirty to the guy on the phone. Just a chick trying to earn a living.
While I wasn't talking sex to my employers, I wasn't smoking and I most certainly wasn't ironing, I fit the bill in every other way. There I was, trying my best to sound like a marketing professional in my pajamas while propping the phone up with my shoulder, holding Delaney with one hand and simultaneously checking my meeting notes and taking new notes with the other. Five minutes into our conversation, Delaney reached up and pressed buttons on the phone, disconnecting our meeting. I hurriedly called back only to discover that my employers were mid-conversation. They didn't even realize I had been disconnected until the receptionist patched me through on the other line. After we got the conversation back on track, we accomplished quite a bit.
I guess you don't necessarily need to be the epitome of a polished-looking professional to do a great job. Aparently, all I need is a telephone, something to write on and an adorable infant dangling from my arm.