Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Baby

And now for a short video of Hadley smiling. Simple pleasures!

Lessons from Mommyhood

Hadley is eight weeks old today. How did that happen? She's smiling and cooing and squealing with delight when we talk to her; she's sleeping 7-8 hours straight at night; she's getting more control of her (rather large) head; and she's definitely more attentive and curious than she was even a week ago.

She's learning, for sure--and so am I. Here are a few tidbits of my hard-won wisdom:

1. The people who make baby wipes hate parents. Why else would it be so hard to get a wipe out of the box with one hand?

1.a. If you let go of the baby's legs long enough to get a wipe out of the box, the baby will put her foot in the dirty diaper. Or she will pee. And then smile.

2. The people who make diapers are in cahoots with the people who make wipes. I have a whole pile of stained baby clothes to prove this theory. Sure seems to me that if we can orbit the earth and grow organs in petri dishes, someone should be able to design a diaper that prevents leakage.

3. The people who assign sizes to baby clothes are crazy. Hadley--who is no pipsqueak--has worn three outfits today (see #2 for reasons why). One of them is sized 0-3 months. One is sized 3 months. And one is sized 3-6 months. AND THEY'RE ALL THE SAME SIZE.

4. I am not the only mom who calls the pediatrician to ask 1) if green poop is normal and 2) if I should be concerned about all that spit-up. Here's how I know this: the receptionist assured me that it was fine, even before I talked to the doctor, who also reassured me that it was fine.

5. Babies have selective hearing. An ambulance can drive by our house with its sirens blaring while Hadley's sleeping; she won't move. The dogs next door can bark their tails off; she won't move. The UPS delivery guy can bang on the door; she won't move. But if I take one little step out of her room and the floor creaks ever so slightly, she's wide awake.

6. Eights weeks can go by very quickly, but an hour can seem like an eternity. (Go to sleep, baby girl! Go to sleep!)

7. Best of all, I've learned how to focus my attention on the present. For a person who spends a lot of time dreaming about her future--and planning, planning, planning--this lesson has been wonderful. Hadley's needs are SO immediate that it's hard to let my head drift off to next week or next month or next year.

And that's a great lesson, taught by one exceptional eight-week-old girl.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Visit from Grandma and Grandpa (and other firsts)

Jason's parents--Sandy and Al, aka Grandma and Grandpa--just left after a week-long visit with the Hadster (and her parents). Hadley was her typical self--social and snuggly, happy to be held and entertained--and I think it's fair to say that her paternal grandparents fell in love.

Hadley is really fortunate to have four grandparents who adore her: Grandma and Grandpa (Jason's folks) and Mumsie and Granddaddy (my parents). Jason and I were talking just a few nights ago about how much fun it is to see our parents with our daughter. They're all goo-goo over her, and I keep thinking about how great it will be to watch her get to know them and all of their (charming) quirks. For example, it won't take long for her to figure out that both her grandpas are ice cream fiends, and I doubt it will be hard for her to sucker them into buying her ice cream cones.

During Al and Sandy's visit, we had a few firsts: Hadley slept a minimum of six hours straight every night (and EIGHT in a row last night); we went out to lunch with her in tow; and now--victory of all victories!--she's napping in her swing. This is the child who wouldn't nap anywhere unless someone was holding her, and now my baby has grown up to swing-napping. She's so accomplished. Really. (She fell asleep listening to Vivaldi, so I do actually think she's accomplished. She knows good music when she hears it...or she falls asleep to good music when she hears it.) Yes, I realize that some seven-week-old babies sleep in their cribs, but we're working toward that. We celebrate the small victories around here.

So here's to good visits with people who love us, naps on warm summer afternoons and happy babies!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Noisiest Baby on the Block

I was prepared for a lot of things before I had Hadley. I read about newborns and a baby's first year of life; I asked question after question of my mommy friends; I even tried to prepare myself for the off-chance that Hadley needed extra care in the hospital. I knew about the sleeplessness, the fussiness, the poopy diapers. 

I did not know about the grunting.

Apparently, not all babies grunt. (I know this because I've googled "newborns and grunting" several times and read all kinds of articles and parenting chat-room posts about it.) Mine grunts. A lot. Loudly. She also squeals, honks, sighs and makes a host of noises for which there are no verbs. When she wakes up from a nap--a process that takes at least 20 minutes--she stretches and twists and makes so much noise, it's hilarious. After she yawns, she yelps. When she's getting fussy, she neighs like a horse. And when she's totally calm and I'm talking to her, she babbles and coos and...grunts. 

Worst of all, though, she makes this smorgasbord of noises at night while she sleeps. In our room. 

Jason and I have taken turns jumping out of bed, certain that she's waking up, hurting, fussing or choking. Nope. She's just sleeping. The irony is that Hadley has been doing pretty well sleeping at night--waking only about every 3-4 hours to nurse--but Jason and I are up much more often than that, thanks to the grunting.

I called the pediatrician on Monday to ask if such sounds were normal. She asked me a series of questions--including, "Is she turning blue when it happens?" to which I almost replied, "Do you think I'm such a moron of a parent that I would wait until Monday morning to call you if my child were turning blue?" But I did not. I said, "No." So she concluded, "I think it's just normal for your baby. Some babies are grunters."

So we have a beautiful, delicate, lovely Hadley who makes old-man-trucker noises. I just never would have guessed that our biggest issue at five weeks would be a noisy baby.

And really, if that's the worst of our troubles, I guess we're doing all right. I just hope that this phase ends before I get a call from her kindergarten teacher to say that Hadley is interrupting story time with her sound effects.