Extracurricular AJ

It’s been a busy week of baby related activities. As a result Amelia is more entertained but more worn out at the end of each day. More worn out means more hours of crying in the evenings before she final settles for a night of baby dreams (I wonder what babies dream of? Do they dream of chasing rabbits? Can they tell the difference between dreams and reality?). This crying is the purple-in-the-face, screaming-while-trying-to-gain-comfort-from-sucking-thumb type crying which is extremely stressful for us parents who hover in the hallway outside her room watching her flailing limbs. We go in for a comforting pat every four minutes and a cuddle every 15 and eventually she lets go of all the stress and drops into a deep sleep. Activities this week have included our first Mother-baby yoga session (stretch those chubby little legs!) and our last formal, council run, mother’s group session. Starting from next week we will meet informally in each others houses to discuss poo and sleeping patterns (what am I going to do about our embarrassing couch? Its cushions are completely split, oozing stuffing and causing major back traumas). Last night Big-P and I also attended an infant/child first aid session where we learnt how to do CPR, recognise serious signs of illness, wrap burns and so on. After practicing mouth to mouth on a weird plastic baby and an even weirder plastic half toddler I came home feeling slightly more confident but massively more paranoid. Other exciting events this week; a trip to the library, a trip to grandma’s, I booked tickets for a super duper family holiday, Amelia J turned 4 months and I taught her how to blow a raspberry.

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24 Responses

  1. Love that Amelia J portrait!
    She’s probably having information overload and needs to destress! You’ve figured it out and that’s half the battle! She’ll get used to it in time and all the info she’s drawing in each day, which you already know is quite a bit much for a little one, won’t overstimulate her as much as it is doing now!

  2. Our Molly is a month younger than Amelia J., so I always enjoy keeping up with your milestones. We’re in Palo Alto, come over for a barbecue when you’re in the Bay Area!

  3. looloop@hotmail.com says:

    About the couch: I too used to stress about the state of our furniture when it was my turn to host baby-group type people. It really helped me to go to somebody else’s house & realise that we were all in the same situation re furniture etc. I hosted the first such gathering for one of my kids & 17 mothers & babies turned up with their car-seats, bunny rugs, nappy bags, bouncers, strollers etc. We had a tiny wee house, there were people on the floor, down the hallway, in the kitchen, utter chaos. I don’t think you could even see the couch! Following that we split into 2 groups, much better.

  4. There are indeed so many silly books out there which say ‘do this’ and ‘do that’ in all manner of confidence and arrogance. And one walks away from a screaming baby wondering if the authors of such journals of modern lies ever actually gave birth to a baby at all. Bless your heart. 🙂 I remember those nights well. I have 2 girls- each of whom lived thry that period and have become quite lovely little ladies. They didnt kill me- and neither did I kill them. So… take a deep breath and know all will be well. This too shall pass. My mantra. 🙂

  5. A huge piece of fabric that looks nice with your couch can be wrapped around the cushions and simply safety-pinned underneath for the time being. Add some nice pillows and a soft blanket, and nobody will notice. 🙂
    Frisco and Toronto! What a big vacation…I imagine a flight that long with an infant must be interesting!

  6. smellebelle@yahoo.com says:

    Oh dear, the hot weather finally breaks, but you still can’t get sleep! You need cool changes and happy babies simultaneously…pipe dreams?

  7. i don’t know how parents stay sane! so much information. but sounds like you’re going great guns 🙂

  8. Unfortunately Anna – Nothing is going to go with our couch! It’s one we got from my Grandma when she moved into a retirement home. When I was little I loved this couch – I thought all the black and gold fabrics were really exotic and that it was a thing of great style and beauty… for some reason this impression stayed with me into adulthood until one day P mentioned that it was kind of ugly. I looked at it with new eyes and had to agree that yes, it is amazingly awful! But we’re stuck with it for the time being so we’ve draped fabrics all over it and that helps. But over time it has started to sag and become really very uncomfortable to the point where even polite guests rush into the room and jump on the newer, much nicer couch before anyone else can.
    And yes – A long plane ride with the wee kiddie in tow is going to be very interesting indeed. It’s actually a secret and surprise trip to turn up in Toronto in time for Big-p’s parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party. As they occasionally read this site I am going to have to take out the links to our destination and these comments asap so that they remain in the dark. I can’t wait to see their faces at the party 🙂

  9. ephall@hotmail.com says:

    I think back to Eliot at 4 months and regret not planning an OS trip back then – everything would have been SO much easier. Am heading off to Qld tomorrow to see the family and am dreading the mere 2 hour flight. Even bought a megasketcher, which I plan to unveil just when things start to go pear-shaped … I am sure Amelia J will be a pleasure to travel with in comparison and you will need no such props.

  10. s.alexander@sagetechnology.com.au says:

    But when babies dream – what language do they dream in ?I have only just put our Sophie to bed after an evening of running, grandparents, ice-cream, horses (real ones), trampoline and finally swings and yet going to bed still caused tears and stress. Just remember that when the morning comes, they remember little of the stress from the night before and are simply happy to see you.

  11. hmm, although babies won’t insistently ask you “are we there yet? are we there yet?”, they aren’t able to hold their noses and blow to unblock their heads from the pressure. and unfortunately they don’t like it!
    the point about babies dreams is interesting!
    as for language, i remember a friend of mine had a little sister (2) and brother (1? not sure) and the sister was translating his baby-talk for us! though, i don’t know how accurate her translations were!

    ps. *sigh* i lurrrrrve your illustrations claire!

  12. Yay! A visit to SF in the works – you will love it 🙂

  13. m_locks@hotmail.com says:

    You can purchase a whole lounge cover at places like Dimmey’s. Just measure the size of your lounge and go in and choose the new colour. If you don’t like that idea, there are some pretty inexpensive double bed futons which fold up into a lounge. They are supportive and last for atleast 8 years or longer (well maybe not if you have babies:) Oh and another thing….although this might be more relevant for older children and toddlers…but there is eucalyptus or pine smelling oil which if waved under the nose opens up your sinis and your ears clear straight away. This was very handy when I was young, sometimes the stewardess would fetch some from their medicine cabinet on board.Cheerio, good luck

  14. That is a great image of your lil Amelia blowing a raspberry. I can’t believe she’s four months old already!!

  15. Aww.. you’re such a fun mom lol.

  16. You guys are holding up great! Kiss Amelia J for all of us, and have a wonderful trip.
    Post more photos of the lil’ one!

  17. hellokitty_31155@yahoo.com says:

    First of all, big congratulations on letting Amelia fall asleep on her own – it’s the best thing I ever did for my son, and for myself.I took my son on a long plane trip at 6 months. During take off and landing, feeding (be it by breast or bottle) helps babies ear’s pop – so let ’em get good and humgry so they’ll nurse at those times! Second, bring lots of distractions for the wee one – stuffed animals, books, new stuff. Third, take her for lots of ‘walks’ where you hold her hands and let her ‘walk’. Amused my son to no end.
    Good Luck!

  18. I’m not actually commenting on the post (I’m sorry to utilize this forum for something else) but I’m rallying for help.
    Yesterday a stray 6-12 year old Pomeranian found his way to my doorstep. He’s in desperate need of medical attention and supplies. My boyfriend and I were not prepared for the financial undertaking but feel it’s necessary to help Baron Munchausen (or “Munchee”). I’ve contacted every vet in my area (you can read, in detail, about it at my site) and no one is willing to donate medical supplies or help to this poor little misfit — which is why I’m left to rely on the assistance of fellow bloggers and blog readers…

    Please, please visit my site for more information on how you can help save this pup. Every vet I’ve contacted has suggested I send him to animal control where he would most likely be put to sleep — I believe there is another way, though… And as an older dog who seems to have weathered through a lot, I believe he deserves a better option than death.

    Presently he is severely malnourished, been asleep for 26 hours, refuses to eat or drink water, and is anemic due to the incredible flea population in his matted fur.

    If you can help in any way, again, please visit http://www.line-noise.com for more information.

    If you have a website, but not the funds to contribute, a link to the website would be appreciated. I amass maybe 30 unique visitors a day, which is enough for me, but not enough people to earn the donations necessary to save Munchee.

    Thanks so much for your help and this space… Again, sorry for interupting the looby talk (which I love so much) — but we are desperate for help so I’m looking to my favorite fellow bloggers as a last option.

    Thanks again,
    Jacqueline Carlson

  19. Hehe, just the thought of mother/baby yoga is so adorable! 🙂

  20. The only advice is to take all the advice you’ve been given, write it all on a piece of paper, sleep with it under your pillow then throw it out in the morning!
    You’ll find your own way, my daughter’s 6 months now and she’s started going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 8am, phew!

  21. maryduan@hotmail.com says:

    Give me a shout if you’re driving down the coast from San Francisco at all (say to Monterey). I can probably hook you up with tickets to the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium. Or, at the very least, feed you some lunch.

  22. aclifford@nuw.org.au says:

    Mother and Baby Yoga sounds excellent – where are the classes held?

  23. yowskippy@aol.com says:

    Purple-faced crying before bedtime means that baby is fighting sleep. My nephew does it all the time. Though tired and cranky by the end of the day, he still has way too much fun to go to sleep at bedtime and he lets us all know about it.

  24. I’ll be the dissenting voice here and say that, although I’m sure you’re a wonderful mom, I disagree with the “let the baby cry until she falls asleep” school of parenting. FWIW, I practiced (and still practice) “attachment parenting” with my son Jamie, who is now 19 months old, and although we never let him cry it out like that, he did eventually learn to fall asleep on his own and now we are able to put him down awake at night and he falls asleep peacefully. I think sometimes we, as parents, are too quick to want our children to grow up and be independent, but sometimes I think they really do need us to help them with things like sleeping.
    Take my advice for what it’s worth, and just follow your heart. If you really believe you’re doing the best thing for your daughter, then I wish you well with it, but if your heart is telling your that you should be doing something else, go with that, and don’t worry about what the “experts” have to say about it. *All* kids eventually learn to fall asleep on their own, regardless of what their parents do. 🙂