Friday, April 28, 2006

Updates and a Reflection

Well, Cecilia's sleeping has been improving. She napped 7 hours yesterday and was ready for bed by 7pm. That is a record for her. She also seems to be sleeping better at night. I am beginning to think scheduling, at least a little in terms of a bedtime routine and when they get up or go to bed, is beneficial to babies. I think it gives them an added sense of security that they know what is coming and what to expect. I've also come to wonder if they might gain weight better if they sleep more. I know I gain more weight if I nap more than if I don't.

I am 2/3 through GWTW and getting more and more excited about finishing it. But I'll wait until I'm done for my full review.

Also, we think Cecilia may be in early teething. I know it is a bit early but she drools like crazy, loves to gum my fingers, wrist, arm, her arm and hand, etc., and her upper gums feel a bit more bumpy than before. We could be wrong, but we'll see. Although the wondering has got me dreaming about her teething now.

Here is a little reflection for you...
I was looking at my daughter the other day and she was looking up at me smiling as she loves to do now. (She is also getting much more vocal.) And it struck me that she doesn't care what vehicle we drive or where we live or if we own any movies or books or what day it is or anything as long as I am there. Think about it. For this little person nothing beyond her basic needs matter except her parents, people. It is so simple. If all people start out like this, when and why does it change? Not that books or cars are bad, but when and why do they come to mean so much to us? I had to admire Cecilia's simplicity at what matters to her. I'm sure eventually she will learn what "my toy" means, emphasis on the "my," but perhaps when we think of the Gospel quote about "unless you become like a child," we might consider not only the simple trust a child has towards his/her parent but also how we began by desiring that which is most important. At 3 months, my daughter never loses focus of what is important to her. If only all of us should be so focused always on what truly matters.

P.S. - for anyone soon to be having their own first child, we have found original Desitin works great, but not the creamy version or Balmex. Balmex didn't do anything for us.

Monday, April 24, 2006

So Sleepy...

I am soooooo exhausted.
Last Wednesday night Cecilia performed her own miracle sleeping 7 straight hours! Unfortunately that was where easiness and good nights of sleep ended. Thursday she got her DTaP and PCV vaccinations. She conked out almost immediately afterwards but only for about 15 minutes. Friday night she woke up half a dozen times. The last 3 days we have been lucky if we could get her to nap for a total of 4 hours a day! Saturday night, with the sole exception of between 12am and 1am, she woke me every single hour. Even yesterday when I tried to nap with her, over the course of a 2 hour nap she woke up, and hence woke me up, three times. Last night improved a bit with no waking between 10pm and 1am and then another nice rest until 3am. Then it was hit and miss until 5:30 when we got up and went to mass.
In an attempt to get some semblence of sanity to all our lives, we are going to try to get her on some schedule as well as start a bedtime routine. So we will get up early every morning, aiming around 5:30 for morning mass, and give her a bath and massage and nursing in time to put her to sleep at 8pm. As far as how naps will work in between, I have no idea yet. She has been all over the map so I hope to see how today will go first. So far she conked out during the consecration and is still asleep an hour later. Can't say as I blame her. If I haven't slept much, you know she hasn't gotten much more.

On a side note, yesterday was the first day since I started I didn't read any of Gone With The Wind. But I am currently halfway through it and considering I've only been reading it about 2 1/2 weeks and take care of a 12 week old and did a thorough cleaning of the apartment today I think I'm doing quite well. I must say I am enjoying the book quite a lot. Scarlett's character is much richer in the book and there is one chapter about the Yankees at Tara that is fantastic and would have been great if they had put it in the movie. For those familiar with the story, Ashley just came back from war and Scarlett just learned of the increase in taxes on Tara. One pleasure the book provides is much more banter back and forth between Rhett and Scarlett. My goal is to finish the book about halfway through May.

Anyway, this week I hope to clean the cabinet in our bathroom and put together a good First Aid Kit. On Thursday Cecilia's bandaids for her shots came off and we actually had to go hunting around the apartment for bandaids. So I figure it is something that should be done.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Modern Sexism?

Okay, I have a question.

In the new Millenium women can wear pants and it isn't rebellious, a woman may soon become president (God willing though a good one), a woman is just as likely to be a doctor as a nurse and almost any and all barriers (maybe even a few unfortunate ones) between men and women are indistinguishable. So why is it that if I dress my daughter in blue people assume she is a boy!!! I have some cute onsies of M&Ms (a solid color with the face of the M&M on the front and the big M near the bottom front) in red, orange and blue (the yellow was too bright for me and the sexy face on the green one just seemed inappropriate to me). A few days ago I was out walking with Cecilia in her carrier and she was wearing the blue one and a man jogging said, "What a beautiful baby. I bet it's a boy." Of course I said, "Nope, a girl." and he said she was still beautiful. But I've also had people at the supermarket and the cathedral ask me how old "HE" was while wearing this blue outfit. But if I have her in a yellow or white outfit, people will ask if my baby is a boy or a girl. Of course if she is in pink, they assume she is a girl. So what is it about the color blue (I also suspect the same of green) that people assume a baby to be a boy? I wear blue all the time - next to purple it is my favorite color. I find it amazing that in a time when society and women's groups are ready to sue and scream over women's rights it is still completely acceptable to stereotype a baby's gender merely by the color he or she is wearing. To me, blue doesn't mean male but Marian! Now I have nothing against pink. Cecilia has some outfits in pink. But if you go shopping for baby girl's clothes, a vast majority of the selection is pink. I would not want to wear the same color all the time. At Macy's a couple weeks ago my husband and I saw such a nice selection of baby clothes for her in lavendar, we had to buy one because it wasn't pink. Certainly baby clothes makers can make clothes feminine without making them all pink, so why the binge on pink and why the assumption in society about the baby colors pink and blue? I certainly believe in the differences between masculinity and femininity, but I find it a bit bazaar that such attributes are attributed to colors. I have a daughter and she is absolutely beautiful. And I see no reason she shouldn't wear blue (or maybe green) simply because society is sheepish enough to assume she is a boy based on the colors of her outfit.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Movie Reviews

Recently my husband and I rented Capote and King Kong (the recent Peter Jackson version).

Regarding Capote I must give it a mixed review. Having read his book In Cold Blood, I was a bit confused and annoyed at the differences between the details the author himself provided in the book and which the film changed. Now if the book was wrong, considering Capote claims everything to be either his own observation or taken from testimony and documents, then the movie should have made such a point. If, on the other hand, Capote really did make a great effort for the book to be so accurate, why alter the details for the movie? I thought the acting quite good and the atmosphere of the movie very illuminating but the screenwriting left me frustrated and confused, especially as pertains to Perry's last line in the film (which I won't go into in detail for those who have not seen the movie or read the book).

As for King Kong, and I realize many may disagree with me, but I thought it was too long, parts far too dragged out (the stampede, for example) and at a few parts I wanted to slap Jackson (i.e., when Karl first says the words "skull island" and the camera does some wierd vertigo thing as Driscoll types). I thought overall the special effects were good and the atmosphere effective. I did eventually get frustrated at Ann's pitiful look at a gigantic fleabag that would have made hurl throwing me around that way. It is, I suppose, possible to view Kong as some sort of giant pet, but I've yet to meet the Cocker Spaniel that required regular human sacrifices to keep peace.

I'm 1/3 of the way through Gone with the Wind. I must say so far I love the book and, minus the music and color of the movie, love it far more than the movie. I'll expand more on it when I'm done.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Baptism!!!

I hope everyone had a most Blessed Easter!!!

My Easter was certainly one I'll never forget. We went to the 11am mass, which was a first for us since we used to always attend the vigil but given how fussy Cecilia was Saturday night it was just as well we didn't. The mass was beautiful with the lilies and candles and sooo many people. At his closing the priest said, "for those of you I won't see, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas" and we had to laugh at his wit. He is British and loves to show off that British humor although in this case hopefully it made a point as well. My only complaint was the temperature of the Church which was quite warm. Now warm for an adult is generally simply an inconvenience, but while holding an infant it becomes real penance. As Cecilia and my bodied were so close together and I was holding her the heat built up fast. I had to take her outside to cool off a few times. So naturally I spent most of mass holding her. She did sleep from the end of the Gospel until the Our Father but my arms were pretty tired by the end of mass. I told another priest after mass how long she had slept and needed to go outside and such and he replied, "oh that's not bad. I know people twice your age who do worse!"
After mass at the apartment, she wanted me to keep moving and continue holding her. Needless to say by now my arms and legs were getting tired. We tried to get her to nap before her Baptism, but she was determined not to. So around 2 we left for the Church and a few minutes into the car ride (without any crying for the 2nd time in her life) Cecilia fell asleep. She was out for almost a solid hour. I held her through all of her Baptism as well. The Church had cooled a bit but still was warm. I guess I had two favorite parts to the Baptism. First when Father (yes, a third priest) said, "I claim you for Christ." Second when the water was poured over her head. She had been asleep the whole time until that part. I don't think the water itself was what woke her so much as the sound of it hitting the font below and echoing up. I think Father smiled at these sudden big eyes looking up wondering what in the world was going on. It was later decided the opening of her eyes was really her opening to the Spirit! But she behaved beautifully until just before we left the Church when she realized her nap had been interrupted and filled the Church with screams. Oh well. Can't keep her quiet all the time.
The reception was a dinner at a nearby Marriott. oh boy was the food good. I ate so fast while Cecilia would let me that my stomach got upset but it was good nonetheless. Cecilia was pretty well behaved for a 2 1/2 month old at a 3 hour reception who had just had her nap interrupted. She slept maybe 45 minutes of the whole thing. James and I took turns holding her by this point. By the time we got home I think I was more tired and ready for bed than Cecilia was.
Hopefully by our next post on Cecilia's website we will get some Baptism pictures up!

Cecilia was Baptized Cecilia Bernadette on Easter, St. Bernadette's Feast Day and Pope Benedict XVI's 79th Birthday! Would be hard to forget this day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We are getting Cecilia a new Doctor

Well, so far Cecilia's only reaction to the Hib and Polio vaccines was a slight fever on Tuesday. I can't say she has been fussier considering she has been pretty fussy the last week and a half. Due to the facts that twice people at her doctor's office have made me feel guilty for not getting the Hep B vaccine, her doctor's office claims to be "unable" to get the PCV vaccine and told me I'd have to get the DTaP vaccine from a pharmacy (which, BTW, neither safeway nor CVS will carry), and after originally telling me I'd have to wait a week for their service to simply photocopy her files and then agreeing to give them to me the same day I called for $20 ($20 for an office to photocopy a file of 5 or 6 pages of information we are entitled to by law!), we have decided to change doctors for Cecilia. It just seems like this previous office consistantly just made things more difficult for us.

So, next Thursday we have an apt. at a new doctor's office, which has 4 pediatricians, where they will give her the DTaP and the PCV and have absolutely no problem that we don't want to get the Hep B! The new office is about as far away as the old one.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Good Weight Week

I just had to post...

Cecilia and I both had a good weight week. She made the 11 pound mark! And I have lost a total of 5 pounds in the last two weeks!

I wish vaccinations came in a liquid form...I'm dreading this afternoon. I keep debating on ways I might be able to distract her and keep hoping she won't notice a couple of needles coming at her.

On the side, here is a thought I had last night.
I have no evidence per se to back me up, it is just a "wondering" but I was thinking last night and I can't help but wonder to what extent excessive watching of television could contribute or set the stage for depression. I know if I spent a whole day reading, I feel like I have accomplished something but if I spend the whole day watching TV, I feel like I've wasted the whole day. I'm not saying watching American Idol or a show or two is bad, but I can't help but wonder to what extent watching TV too much can have a negative impact on the individual.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Musings

Well, today during mass I had a couple of thoughts. I do pay attention as much as possible, but Cecilia refuses to sleep in the car and in order to keep her calm and quiet during Church I often end up standing while swaying or walking, which can put her to sleep as quickly as the Psalm. thoughts...

My first came about because of a woman directly in front of me. She had a four month old son in a carrier. When she came in, which to her credit was on time, she set him in his carrier down on the pew. Although the little boy was awake, he did not utter one sound. But despite this, she stuck a pacifier in his mouth and focused on the mass. I was warm just looking at him. I admit it was cold out today, much too cold for April, but he had on a winter hat, a onsie that was long sleeved and covered him down to his toes and on top of that a heavy woven sweater. He was nestled on a fleece blanket with another fleece blanket covering him up to his chest. The church was not warm, but it wasn't cold. Cecilia had on a long onsie and booties and fell asleep in my arms twice. A few times this little boy spit out the pacifier and every time his mom would just grab it and push it back in even though the boy never made a sound. He eventually fell asleep only for her to wake him up to carry him up to communion. She could have carried him in the carrier and let him sleep.
Personally I found her treatment of her son rather sad. A baby has two needs to suck: for nourishment and to calm him/herself. Now I'm not saying this woman should necessarily allow her son to use her as a human pacifier through the Mass, but there is no need to stuff a pacifier in his mouth if he doesn't need to be pacified. Pacifiers are not artificial babysitters to be used not only to pacify baby but to moniter even possible crying. It makes me wonder to what extent people might, perhaps without even completely realizing it, abuse pacifiers just to try to make their days easier. Imagine if every time something bothered you your parent or spouse or boss just simply pushed a pacifier in your mouth, or handed you a toy or did some equivalent mindless tribute to keep you from voicing your concern or even just seeking a bit of human interaction. I admit sometimes I joke Cecilia is like my detachable tumor because sometimes she just seems glued to me and occassionally I need a few minutes detached, but holding her through mass is not isn't like my arms or hands would be doing much differently. As I told my brother, I do not have weekdays and weekend days. I have Cecilia days. My day revolves around my daughter. If she wants my attention during dinner, I've sat on the floor and eaten while playing with her. If she cries while I'm typing a post, I leave it and come back to it later. I feel bad for the little boy who might (I hope not) be being fairly ignored regularly because it is simply easier to stick a pacifier in his mouth. Pacifiers aren't evil (we are trying to get Cecilia to use one during car rides to calm her when I can't), but they seem to be easily abused.

My second thought was about a little girl, 1-2 years of age, who was excited to be able to walk around the back of the Church and draw on bulletins, play with a stuffed animal blanket, etc. I've seen parents bring sippy cups with punch or juice, Cheerios with Cheerio play books, action figures and, my personal favorite, an electronic Leap Frog gaming system for their children to play with all in the name of keeping them quiet and entertained through Mass. Once again I find this to be the easy way out, and not without its consequences. In order to keep Cecilia happy and calm and quiet without toys, I may have to rock and sway until my back and hips and legs hurt and I hold her until my arms are sore (but they are getting better at it). It isn't always easy, but as I was watching this little girl just play her way through the Mass, I couldn't help but wonder if parents bringing toys and such to, once again, pacify their children through the mass with as little effort as possible, would incline the child to associate Church with play time. If I cam to Church every week with toys and spent the whole time playing, I certainly would. I will find out more definately as Cecilia gets older, but I think if parents taught their children how to be calm and quiet during Mass without toys (be it by being held and walked while younger or praying while older), children in general would be much better behaved at Mass. I can't help but wonder if parents make their own beds with children that behave poorly at Church by teaching them to associate Church with playtime.

Well, that is all my ramblings for today. I'm hoping to finish Part I in Gone with the Wind today (not that that is saying much since it is the shortest part). Cecilia has a Doctor's appointment tomorrow so we will probably update her website after that.

P.S. -My apologies for any typos - my computer was acting up.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I hate thinking of titles here

New Mommy Revelation: People always liked to tell me with a wide grin: "enjoy those stinky diapers" or "get ready for all those poopy diapers." As a mother now of almost 10 weeks, I have to laugh at such comments, or just about any comment involving diapers beyond the expense. Honestly, the diapers are by far and away the EASIEST part of parenting. Why? When your child is screaming and has already been fed, has a clean diaper, just woke from a nap, has no fever, seems either bored or annoyed with toys and cries no matter what position you hold him or her in, your mind becomes frozen trying to figure out what to do next to keep your little one healthy and happy. Your mind, no matter what it used to do before, now becomes obsessed with the bouncy duty of constantly trying to figure out why your baby is crying and it isn't always easy to remember every possibility every time he or she cries. But the stinky, poopy diaper? It is the easy part....YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT! As long as you wipe the bottom well and secure the diaper well, you can't screw it up! In my experience, which granted is limited to 10 weeks but is 24 hours a day, diapers are the easy part, even when the little one does something on still know what to do with it!

On a side note, since I want my children well-educated and very well read, I have begun compiling a list of books I think such a person should read or have read. I haven't finished it yet, although so far it is about 135 titles. I also plan to start a list for speeches, documents, poems and plays, but I'm not there yet. (Cecilia kept me quite busy all morning being very fussy.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Reading and Learning...

Well, I finished In Cold Blood today. It is a good thing too - I was actually having nightmares revolving around it. But it was quite well written and a good read. I must say though, it has to be about the most senseless and mind-boggling crime I've ever read about and I've read several of John Douglas' books!

Well, I am on to my next book, and this one will take me a bit longer to get through since it is about 700 pages longer. That and I need to clean the apartment sometime during this reading. But I've always wanted to read Gone With The Wind since Melanie Hamilton is one of my all-time favorite movie characters. I'm hoping I like her as much after I've read the book.

Cecilia continues to impress as she enjoys standing, with help of course, on my lap and her head control continues to improve. We plan to go shopping for her baptismal gown this week or next.

I may add to this later, but I wanted to start it now while I have been thinking about it...

Things my daughter has taught me...
First, if you have to, you can do just about anything.
Second, just about everything is more fun with children.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Church: "Late" Reflections

When we go to Church, we generally sit in the back pew for two reasons. First, if Cecilia needs to nurse, we are a distraction and disturbance to as few people as possible. Second, if Cecilia needs one of us to get up with her either to walk around or change her diaper, we are closer to the back of the church (and the bathroom) already. In other words, we sit so far back out of consideration for others. This leads me to my train of thought for today...

Why are so many people so inconsiderate of other people at Church? In this case, I am primarily thinking of how many people come late. Since we sit near the back, we hear, see and feel every time the door opens. People wouldn't want to arrive at a movie late and movie theaters are even designed so late patrons disturb those patrons who were on time as little as possible. And yet there are people who perpetually come late. And I don't mean 1-5 minutes late. Sometimes it is 15, 30 or even 45 minutes late. One family came last week just in time to receive communion and then left as though it were a drive through service. Hence I cannot even make excuses using the time change this weekend. I do sometimes sympathize with those with infants just because, based on experience, you can be ready to go out the door and have a sudden diaper change or emergency spitup that will delay you. But most of those that arrive late don't even have children no less infants. It is just plain rude to arrive late. If Church was a job, such people would be fired by now. If Church was a theatrical production, such people would be forced to stand in the back until an appropriate time for them to sit down. And yet when it comes to the celebration of the mass, such people seem not to care. In addition to being rude to their fellow Church-goers and those who take time to be sure everything is prepared for mass (Priests, Sacristans, Ushers, Extraordinary Ministers, Lectors, Musicians and Choir Members), they are being rude to God. Apparently other people as well as God are not as important in their busy lives as they themselves are. Now I realize at some point or another all of us wind up late to Church be it because of a traffic delay or whatever, but there are people for whom this seems to be a perpetual problem. I miss sitting closer to the altar at Church even if solely because, at least when my daughter is calm or asleep, I would be able to focus on what is happening without doors opening, cold air rushing at me, people asking me to move down or let them in and people grabbing bulletins.

It seems to me that such people might just be the ones who most need to slow down and be more conscious of what they are doing and and do things more purposefully and with greater care. If they did, maybe mass would be less of a chore or item on their checklist and more of a fruitful and enjoyable experience.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cecilia's Naps and My New Book

Well, Cecilia and I went for our first outside walk together yesterday. Cecilia rode in her sling. Overall I think she enjoyed it. She was looking around as best she could at everything she could see. Unfortunately she and I started to get warm and she started to get fussy so we had to come inside after a brief time, but at least we got out.

I am also working today based on another theory regarding her afternoons. Yesterday we could not get her back to sleep and staying asleep for 4 1/2 hours. So my new theory is that she wants to cluster feed after her morning nap and not feeding a lot, she is still hungry, and without a fully tummy, she is not staying asleep and waking up hungry. So today we are going to aim for our morning usual and then have a feeding frenzy in early afternoon and see if after that she is able to fall asleep and stay asleep for 2-3 hours. If I am successful I'm going to share this theory with a message board I read where a number of other women are having the same problem with their little ones.

I began reading a new book two days ago. Before I see the film Capote, I wanted to read Capote's book In Cold Blood. I am now about a quarter of the way through it and must say it is quite good. I knew certain things would happen and some things Capote doesn't even pretend to hide. It is the motive I find so baffling and nonexistent at this point for this brutal mass murder. Maybe if we can get Cecilia's naptime down better I can read a little faster.