Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the first halloween

Making a Halloween costume is super easy when the subject is barely 12 pounds. And I also discovered I am a hoarder, except with felt.

Monday, October 29, 2012

three months

Dear Linnea,

You are three months old today, and oh, all the places you've come.

three months

You have found that your right fist and your mouth go together like rama lama lama
ke ding a de dinga a dong.

You are making some amazing noises. Most of them are super sweet (cooing, raspberries), but you've also been working on this high pitched squeal that either means "I'm happy" or "I'm about to turn it up to 11 on the rage-face scale" (I can't tell yet). The books say to repeat back what you do, and I always feel a little dumb doing it at first, but you always start laughing so that erases all the self-consciousness.

Before you turned three months old, there was very little pressure on how we got you to sleep, how we interacted with you, whether or not we stuck with routines. Now that you're three months, I feel this enormous pressure to start transitioning you to independence or else you will be RUINT 4 LYFE. I think we're supposed to be doing this gradually, but we tried to do a lot of things all of a sudden, some of which has worked and some of which hasn't. We tested out weaning you out of the swaddle by keeping one of your arms out, but that didn't seem to work super well yet. Your dad decided to double down and swaddle you with both arms out for a nap (which you woke up from 30 minutes later). Your dad is a born optimist.

We have four more weeks together before I go back to work, and that sort of took me by surprise when I realized it. For some reason, it feels like we've been together forever. I'm wondering how we'll both feel when I am at work, and you are at daycare. You seem like a much more resilient and adaptable person than me, so I suspect you'll be fine and I'll be a mess. I am imagining how this relationship will play out over the next 18 years.

[History notes]
  1. Your Aunt Brooke, Uncle Lorenzo, and cousin Isabella are currently experiencing the effects of Hurricane Sandy over on the East Coast. We are hoping that they (along with our other loved ones) are safe and sound.
  2. The San Francisco Giants just won the World Series last night. I sort of feel like I should take you up to the city to experience the celebration, but let's be honest: you'll scream for most of the car ride, and I don't really like baseball anyway.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

11 week growth spurt

Linnea has hit her 3 month growth spurt a little early, and has been nursing like mad for the last few days. At times, her desire to eat is overriding her desire for sleep, and so, for the first time in weeks, she has started falling asleep nursing again.

She has also started getting clingy, which means I may try to break out the Moby wrap again and see if she takes to it now. And for the first time, she has expressed a preference for me instead of Whit, screaming bloody murder when he tried to bounce her to sleep last night but falling asleep within a few minutes of my trying. I feel both apprehensive (how long is this going to last?) and bad for Whit (since this is the part of her care with which he's probably the most experienced).

However, Linnea is also moving her arms and legs a lot more vigorously, and can almost put her hands in her mouth. Small things. This will pass.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Frasier celebrity call-in listeners

In honor of my having finished the entire series of Frasier on Netflix, here's a supercut of some of the celebrities that played callers on his radio show.

[via Laughing Squid]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

daddy | daughter time

Whit has been working a lot of hours lately, and has been struggling to achieve this whole "work-life balance" utopia that's been so in vogue as of late, and that I'll be dealing with in about 6 weeks. To be honest, it's been nice to see some recognition that men also struggle with being involved with their families.

[There are probably many arguments to be made that involve this position detracting from mothers' struggles to raise a family; women still being seen as the primary caretakers of children (and thus the ones to blame for any issues); and men being the beneficiary of low expectations in child-rearing. My perspective is that there are lots of dudes who should be and want to be present in their children's lives, and workplaces should support ALL parents in raising children without suffering professionally. End soapbox.]

I've been trying to be patient and understanding, but I do want Whit to enjoy his time with Linnea while she's still so little. As he said last week, "she'll never be 9 weeks old again." I also want to ensure that she develops a good relationship with her father.

So far, I think we don't have much to worry about.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

on the love rush

Well, like the famous philosopher Paula Abdul says, two steps forward, two steps back.

Things have been improving with my emotional relationship with Linnea. I still don't feel that love rush that everyone talks about (I am currently attributing this to my personality trait of being slow to warm to strangers), but I feel somewhat bonded to her, and very protective. One of the turning points occurred at her 2-month vaccination visit. After weeks of not being certain that Linnea could distinguish me from any other person besides as a food source, it felt really nice to be able to comfort her after her shots. As if I was the only one who could do it. [This was probably not true, but I'm going to live in the land of fantasy here.] This day did a lot in building my confidence in our bond.


My sister-in-law Brooke, who was 10 weeks behind me in pregnancy, gave birth the same day as Linnea's vaccinations. And her birth went well, and the baby is beautiful and sweet and calm and I am so, so happy for her because this is something that she has been wanting for years.


Brooke, unlike me, was completely blissed out over the experience. She has been over the moon in love with her daughter, as is her fiance. And while I am so relieved and happy for them, an unexpected side effect was that it totally reinvigorated my initial doubts and struggles that came to bear during my postpartum period, and some of the issues with which I am *still* struggling.

I still am not completely blissed out over motherhood. When Linnea is awake, I enjoy my time with her. I am excited that she is smiling and cooing at me; I like tickling her feet and belly; I cheer her on as she starts batting at her overhead toys on her activity mat; I find myself staring at her face as she sleeps. But I still don't feel like I know who Linnea is, and it's made me nervous about what kind of relationship I have with her. There are times when I wish I could just have some space for myself, where I don't have to be ON all the time. I am worried that my going back to work and having Linnea in daycare will exacerbate these feelings.

I do not want to give the impression that I begrudge Brooke her babymoon, nor am I wishing anything negative to occur EVER EVER. I am super excited and proud of her, so thrilled at the newest addition to the family. But the juxtaposition of her experience and mine is making me question if I've been doing things all wrong, if I'm too rigid to fully give myself to my child, if I am in fact missing the mommy gene.

I am being reassured that these feelings are normal, and that over time, my love for her will grow as we get to know each other better. And it's entirely possible that things will happen gradually, and one day I'll wake up and find I'm already there. Or maybe I am already there, and I am totally overthinking things. It's so hard to know, and at after 10 weeks, I'm still finding myself questioning.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

tummy time progress

Linnea's tummy time this week has gone from this... this.

She is now lifting her head (occasionally with her chest), turning it from side to side, and actually looking at things WITHOUT a ton of yelling and tears. She also will sometimes roll over, but that's mostly due to circumstantial chance than any advanced motor development (although she seems pretty damn pleased with herself when she does it). Every time I think things are going to be one way forever, she always manages to give a punch to my expectations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

vaccination day (2 month)

Linnea received her 2 month vaccinations last week. She did relatively well...

vaccination day

...until she woke up from her afternoon nap. Then she was PISSED (I haven't heard her cry that hysterically since she was a newborn, except now she can cry much, much louder). I got her back down to sleep, and when she woke again, she was absolutely fine. Crossing my fingers that the rest of her vaccinations go as well.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Stanford School of Medicine "flipped" classroom presentation

Sal Khan, faculty, students, and staff discuss the use of the "flipped" classroom at Stanford SoM.

[via Scope blog, Stanford School of Medicine]

Thursday, October 4, 2012

first lecture at Stanford

After a big fat fail at running errands last Friday (Linnea did not stay asleep in the car seat, started wailing 20 minutes after leaving the house, and had a huge diaper blowout), I decided that I needed to feel slightly normal for a little while, and took her to Stanford for the first-year POM orientation.

[photo by Laura Mendoza]

It's amazing how much babies perk up a low energy medical student crowd. And now Linnea can say that she has already given a lecture at Stanford University at 7 weeks old.

[screenshots from video capture, c/o Stanford University]

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

two months

Dear Linnea,

Today you are two months old. You've started to smile and coo at your dad and me (and also random people, because you are such a charmer). You have also discovered your left hand.

The lesson that you've been teaching me this month is to not over-anticipate things. I find myself worrying about things that could occur, instead of letting you show me how you'll deal with it. We left for a walk last week with you asleep, and when you woke up a few minutes later, I almost abandoned the outing because I was afraid you would be too tired and miserable. In the end, I decided to continue. A few minutes later, you fell back asleep. Even when you woke up 20 minutes later, you stayed calm and alert. After an initial period of being anxious about your waking up, I just let you lead us, and you did great.

[However, your dad and I took you on two outings yesterday, and you were not happy about having missed two naps.]

You have started sleeping for 4-6 hour stretches. You squeal in your sleep, and have started twisted around in your bassinet, so even though we put you down lengthwise, you squirm around until your face is pressed up against the side netting. You still occasionally fight sleep; when you are drifting off, you'll suddenly slam your face into our chests and rub it against our shirts until you wake yourself up. You have just started staying awake a little longer between sleep sessions, and we let you kick and flail your arms on the floor. You smile and giggle when I tickle your stomach, or after you're done feeding (and even sometimes in anticipation of feeding). You now stay calm for your bath, and tolerate us washing your hair. Sometimes you try to sneeze, and the sound you make after the frustration of failure melts my heart.

You still hate pacifiers.

You hardly ever cry now, which is a relief to your dad and me. I hope it means that you're mostly content. We are taking an infant massage class together, and I'm hoping that this will help us bond and will allow me to help you adjust through some of the rougher transitions upcoming.

  • Number of times your dad and I have forgotten to strap you into your car seat before driving off: 1
  • Number of people who have held you outside of the family: 3
  • Number of Frasier episodes we've gone through on Netflix as of today: 109
  • Number of times I kiss your face after you've fallen asleep in my arms: 5-10