Archive for February, 2008

Sundry Minutiae

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

[Moby's-eye view of a sleeping Ronin.]

2-19

We’ve reached the point where Ronin is reacting to the world around her. She looks at specific things (before we’d have to place ourselves in the line of fire to get all melty because awwwww she’s looking RIGHT AT ME!!) and appears to show preferences (the ceiling fan, picture frames, and bookcase bindings are big hits around these parts). Joshua is convinced he has made contact with her little monkey brain through the medium of sticking out his tongue because she was responding by sticking out hers. I passed it off as a running coincidence but later on that day I tried it and by golly, she stuck her tongue out at me! I waited a moment and did it again and she did it again too. It’s like communicating with an extra terrestrial although I’m still not entirely convinced that it wasn’t all an elaborate coincidence. She also is getting almost smiley. She “smiles” reflexively when she is falling asleep (as opposed to when she is waking up—Ronin is a not a morning person lets just say) but now she is doing it sometimes when she’s awake. She’s going to be really cute when she does it on purpose.

[Ronin enjoys getting dressed.]

Ronin’s sleep habits at five weeks are still ill-formed, as are her elimination habits (she’s still basically a fish and we go through an environmentally damaging number of diapers per day). At first she was sleeping three hours at a stretch but now we’re down to 2-2.5 hours max and usually 1.5-2 on average. I’m not sure what the reasons behind this travesty are but we’re coping with the situation reasonably well. I try to tank her up before bedtime in hopes that the more food in her, the longer she’ll sleep but she still wakes up all Meltdown Imminent after 2 hours. Every so often she wakes up actually crying with a heartbreaking frowny face and tragic wail but usually it’s a slow process that starts off with lots of squirming and struggling followed by loud and fierce breathing, then as she really gets pissed, she begins the piston-kicks, flails her arms, and finally starts sputtering and yelling. It’s best if you catch her right before the piston kicks—things generally go much more smoothly. Unfortunately that moment is marked by a razor-fine line and is hard to call; pick her up too soon and she falls asleep on you not eating very much and pick her up too late and she is too worked up to eat properly.

[Fuzzy pink Ronin smeared on Joshua's chest.]

2-21

Writing anything long and cohesive is difficult these days. When I finally have a moment to sit down with both hands on the laptop, it generally lasts about 10 minutes. For example, right now. Ronin was fussing on and off most of the morning (nothing major, just the usual requiring constant rocking/jiggling/attention) but then she suddenly and startlingly pooped her diaper and fell immediately into a quiet deep sleep. My dilemma of course was should I change her diaper, risking the initiation of another several-hour long bout of fussiness or let her be, risking possible seepage out the back (seriously, it sounded like a LOT came out of her) and/or evil diaper rash. I decided to let her sleep; I don’t think I would look so peaceful steeping in so much poop like she is but she pulls it off very well and I’ll stick with what works.

We went to the Lactation Clinic down the street yesterday because they do free baby weighing and we were curious. Ronin is up to 11 pounds! We had been guessing somewhere around 10 pounds so both of us were pretty astounded; the lactation nurse gave us an incredulous look when we told her how old she was—I’m hoping this is because she is just used to seeing babies who are having difficulties eating and not because we have hatched some sort of abnormal monster child or anything.

Now that she is 11 pounds, it is clear that she will never again be 9 pounds, or 8 pounds, or the 7-pound 9-ounce little thing she was at birth. I am not planning on doing this again (no, really) so this is IT as far as moments go… Just, gone. Weird.

[Ro & me--this time looking a tad less like I had been awake since 5am.]

2-25

Had my 6-week postpartum doctor’s appointment and was officially declared nearly mended. Soon the carnage of moving a baby-sized object through my nethers will be an artifact of the past.

While waiting in the office, Joshua (who carried the baby for show-and-tell) flipped through some of the waiting literature available, which in this case happened to be a book of Ann Geddes photos (you know, the woman who takes cutesy photos of wee babies in all sorts of twee outfits and photoshops them into daisies and cabbages and stuff). Of course, I find her style of art irritating and nauseatingly corny but my boobs felt differently. They saw a whole field of squinched-up leetle newborns and wanted to NOURISH THEM ALL. Drip drip drip. How freaking embarrassing. My boobs have no taste whatsoever.


First Tears!

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Poor Ronin. Today we were on the way back from the factory outlet mall (a traumatic experience for all parties, I assure you) and Ronin got hungry. Probably the first time when she was hungry and we were not able to meet her demands within minutes. It was rush hour and the freeway was not moving and she was so upset not even the little finger was consoling her. She cried so hard that she got her first tears! MILESTONE! It was rather heartbreaking really. After about a million years, we finally made it home. She promptly drained one boob, barfed half of it down my cleavage, drained the other, and then passed out. She’s sleeping peacefully now.


I’m just sayin’…

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Sort of uncanny, isn’t it?


One Month and Some Change

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

[Ronin Rotten]

Lately, Ronin has been intermittently fussy for large blocks of time and whenever she revs up for a few-hour bout of Snit, we run through the standard checklist: Clean diaper? (Check.) Fed? (Check.) In pain? (No.) Fed some more? (Check.) Bug up her butt? (QUITE POSSIBLY.) After an hour or two of this, both boobs are usually fully drained yet she still desperately roots around, bobbing her head against my chest like a woodpecker and tearing into her own fist with those fearsome gums of hers. At last I’ll put her back on the boob and she’ll typically sit there not being productive and falling asleep. It can be rather annoying. I mean, KID I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO! Like, uh, surf the web and stuff. The baby book we have says that unusual fussiness (of course, is this unusual or usual for a baby?) may be a sign of a “developmental milestone.” Can her sudden increase in lung capacity and yelling volume level be considered a milestone?

["Tummy Time," which happens about three seconds before "Meltdown."]

We finally ran into one of our apartment neighbors the other afternoon; Zack was very surprised to see a baby. “I didn’t know you had a … baby!” his eyes popped out of his head. Joshua explained that we hadn’t had her for very long actually, she was only four weeks old. Of course, Zack didn’t know about her because he lives on the opposite side of the building from our apartment. We have yet to meet any of the folks from our side; the shock might just make their ears pop off their heads. Then our recent little developmental milestone wouldn’t be a problem.

[Ronin succumbs to the power of the Moby. Awesome hat by Vida!]

[Ronin packed in the car seat and ready for action.]

***

Those soft-lighted, fuzzy images you all see in magazines of the breastfeeding couple, mother and child, bliss and contentment, are somewhat exaggerated. Or at least heavily Photoshopped. Breastfeeding is a lot more, shall we say “dynamic” in my experience, limited though it may be. Typically it all starts with a starving-to-death baby who fears for her very survival and wants to be sure the neighborhood is aware of her trauma WAH WAH WAH!!! By the time I get my shirt taken apart, she is fully pissed off and flailing wildly. She of course shuts up once the boob is latched but the look in her eye and sound of her fierce breathing assures you that she is Still. So. Furious. Of course, in her haste, she manages to swallow the entire roomful of air, and the sound of the air bouncing back and forth from her toes to her gulping throat gives me the willies. Therefore, we burp. Naturally, she flips her shit at being taken off the boob prematurely even though she is clearly about to choke, and dare I say that burping Ronin every 30 seconds is seriously cramping my cosmopolitan on-the-go sort of lifestyle here (cough, ahem). And when that burp finally does come out, it is a startling thing. Such a large burp for such a small being. In the end, both of us are covered in breastmilk, at least two burpcloths are soaked through with either milk or spit-up (another reason for the frequent burping–the dreaded spit-up), I’m in desperate need of a double martini with a jar of olives on the side, and she’s exhausted herself enough to pass out for a short rejuvenating nap (on happier occasions).

[Another gratuitous cute baby picture; we have a number of these actually.]

In other breastfeeding news, I am proud to say that despite the drama surrounding the event, I managed to feed Ronin in public for the first time the other day (well, outside in a park, standing, in the rain, in the Moby wrap). Joshua talked me into trying it, oh, and I suppose the desperately fussing and struggling baby strapped to my chest was similarly convincing. I wouldn’t necessarily say this qualifies me for Moby Ninja status, but it’s a fine start.

[I have a lot of work to do on my stealthy ninja gaze.]


Company

Monday, February 18th, 2008

voodoo doughnuts portrait of a bacon maple bar and a blood filled voodoo donut

“Monday morning and there’s one less donut than there should be.”

We continued to maintain the first lines page whenever we come across new gems. However, I thought it would be good to make a category and post them to the main blog since we don’t really have a way to notify readers when pages get updated. This one from Max Barry’s new novel Company.

Having worked for a defense contractor I know what it’s like to work somewhere and have no idea what the products really are. Jones (the protagonist) finds himself in a similar situation. He accepts a job offer straight out of school without questioning a mission statement which reads like some dot com mumbo jumbo that means exactly nothing. Ignoring the advice of his apathetic coworkers he seeks out the CEO. Chaos ensues. Like all his books, the plot progresses in crescendos of absurdity exposing marketing and capitalism run amok.

Honestly, I didn’t like it as much as Syrup or Jennifer Government but it could just be that I’m no longer dazzled by his style. I’ve also read enough to recognize repeated character archetypes and gather some insight into the authors personality, or at least his taste in women. It’s a great read though and I laughed every time the plot touched back on the donut. If you’ve already read Max Barry you don’t need me to recommend him. Otherwise, I suggest starting with Syrup unless you’re currently living the bowels of your own personal corporate hell, in which case Company may resonate more strongly.


Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell