Friday, April 28, 2006

It's still nice to hear...

So Malka and I went over to my job yesterday, for a bit of show and tell, (and to help my temp fix my computer...) and to be in the neighborhood of Trader Joe's. (Insert BIG grin here)! Malka was a charming superstar, of course, and everyone was smitten. She was kind of tired of being Eemah's little show and tell object after about an hour or so, however, and promptly let me know about it. So we retreated to my office for a bottle and stroller placement, where she promptly got her "mellow" on.

But the REALLY great thing that happened? We were walking down the hall to go to the bathrooms for a diper change, and passed by a classroom where the first years were having their year end wrap-up meeting with the Chair. One of the students caught sight of Malka and I, and waved us in. Once a few students saw, more waved us in. I thought it would be a quick-Simba-sytle-moment, but even the Chair was asking questions, and everyone was interested in Malka. If THAT wasn't enough, as we were leaving the room, I said "Miss you guys!" And they ALL chimed in "miss you too," "You have NO idea how much," etc. All infering (private note for Estelle there on my word usage...) that I am faboo, and my temp, well, not so much.

It may be small, and slightly petty, but it felt good. Really good.

On a side note, Malka had a small fever last night, and a bit of extra fussiness at night due to her shots on Tuesday, but she woke up all giggles and grins and normal temps this am. For once, I was the calm one about her fever, and Narda was the freaked out one. She called the doctor, who reassured us (her) that she was fine, but it was a nice switch. Maybe I'm starting to get the hang of this motherhood thing afterall...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Well, baby!

So Malka had her 4 month well baby visit yesterday. Actually, she'll be 19 weeks on Saturday, or 4 and one half months - I guess since I don't walk around saying that I am 432 weeks old, that after 12 weeks, you just kind of go by the "month" thing...

Anyhoo - Our "VERY healthy" baby (koff koff) is 25 inches, and 20 pounds! Head circ. is 42.5 centimeter = 16.732 283 465 inch, and her doctor thinks she's doing great! She was WONDERFUL about reassuring us about all of the things that floated through my head at night, keeping me up - ie: her poop is FINE, her skin has a little exzema, but it's not too bad, and it's not too serious, she's eating enough, gaining appropriately, and is in great health.

PHEW. I worry too much as it is, so it's great to have reassurances.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

in search of a logo

in search of a logo, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

Inspired by karen from The naked ovary

I have come up with a logo that those of us that have adopted can wear to "silently" recognize one another and feel free to communicate with one another - like a secret handshake.

Now I whipped this up in Microsoft word, kinda quickly, but it's from the poem we tell our adopted children about how you didn't grow under mommie's heart, but IN it.

What do you think?

I think we should make lapel pins and start a club!

Glad he took it off...

Juno's biopsy came back, and it was cancer.

He's glad they got it, as well. He said to keep an eye on her tail, watch for any new growths, and we'll keep an eye on her lymph nodes during her regular visits.

She's 16 years old, and has had a wonderful life, but we'd love to keep her around for a bit longer, if possible.

She's doing great after the surgery - it took a few days, but she's back to hissing at the boys and swatting at them when they get out of hand. She gets her bandage off in about 2 weeks.

Think good thoughts for our little June-Bug.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

4 months and counting...

On April 17th, 2006 Malka Velma Angel (Malka-Palka-Pooka-Palka or Giggle Girl) turned 4 months old.

It REALLY does go by SO amazingly fast and slow at the same time. I wish for her to be walking and talking already, yet at the same time, to remain so sweet and (relatively) small.

She has her April Well-baby appt. next week, but we are guestimating about 19 pounds and 26 inches. I'll let you know if we win any betting pools on that one.

So far, she's not too interested in rolling over, but is so enamoured with our encouragement that she really does give it the old college try - she's not aware, however, that she has to tuck her arm under herself in order to do so, so she just kind of swims in place and sometimes can make a full clockwise circle when on her tummy. She's OK with tummy time, and is thrilled when she's pushing herself up, and annoyed when her muscles fatigue and she has to lie down. She also LOVES standing up with our help - she'll keep bouncing up, all gummy grins until you can actually feel her little leg muscles quiver, whereby she just sits down on you. Yesterday, we went to the playground and she went on the baby swing for the first time, and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Giggles and gummy grins for all to see for miles around. She was looking at the big kids playing with SUCH interest, that I told her that she'd be a big girl soon and running around with them, too.

Outside of the rolling over thing, she's pretty much on track with all of the things 4 month olds are supposed to be doing. Her interactions are increasing, she LOVES the mirror, and the silly songs we sing to her in it - her FAVORITE game is "bounce da baby" - I'll wear her in the "bijornin-nornin" (the baby bjorn, but we call it the bijornin-nornin) and go into our bedroom, and in front of the big mirror, we'll do a song called "bounce da baby, bounce, bounce da baby baby (repeat) then pause for a beat and then "ga doog-a-doog-a." With this silly song is slight bouncing on my part, so that she is slightly jiggling, and in the pause, I lean over and stop. So does she - on the "ga doog-a-doog-a," I shake slightly back and forth - this elicits giggles and grins for DAYS - it's a sure-fire way to cheer a cranky Malka, and to just have a bit of fun. I'll try to catch it on video sometime, as my description doesn't give it justice, but she LOVES it, and it's some fun Malka-and-Eemah time.

When reading the "your baby week by week," we are mostly relieved, but also aware that babies advance and develop when THEY want to - for some things, like her interactions and push-ups on tummy time, she's advanced. For others, like rolling over, she's behind. But we aren't too worried - as long as she eventually does it, it's OK to skip around in the development steps, as long as you touch them all at some point.

She clearly recognizes us as her parents, but is also really great with other people. She LOVES being outside in her stroller, and it's GREAT exercise for me to go on our almost daily 3 hour long walks. She loves going to Shul (Synagogue), and was such a trouper at the two Seders we went to - everyone commented on what a great baby she is. She only really screams if she's over-tired or over-hungry, or has bad gas, and we obviously try to prevent those situations when we can.

On our adventure yesterday, we went to the bookstore with the ampersand in the title, and picked up both the Ferber and the Weisbluth books. Malka will sleep basically from 7:00 or 8:00pm until about 1:00ish am, with slight wake-ups in between where I run in and replace the pacy, or make sure the white nose is loud enough. After 1am, she's up about every hour or so until a feeding and diaper change at 4:00ish am, and then is back down until 6:30 or 7:00am, when she's up for the day. I'm not sure how or when we will sleep train her, but I DO know we have to transition her into her own room VERY soon - in an ideal world, this will all happen before I go back to work on the 15th of May.

I know that in theory, she IS "sleeping through the night" with her 5 or 6 hour stretch. Which rocks. It's just that if she's falling asleep at 7 or 8pm and waking up at 1am, well - that just sucks for us, doens't it... So we know that since she's at the "4 month mark" that some form of sleep training can begin to take place. Now we just have to figure out what kind and when.

She had a lovely moment with Cougar a few days ago, as whenever she's on my lap, Cougie gets jealous, because, well, it was his lap first! So he tries to share, which works sometimes and does not work at other times. So he was trying to figure out how to snuggle on my lap with "the thing" on it already, when the "thing" reaches out and pets him - not once, but 3 times, and VERY gentle like, too! We were thrilled. I hope it wasn't a fluke, as it looked deliberate.

Juno, by the by, is on the mend. She's back to asking me for breakfast and bossing the boys around, which she took a break from for a few days after her surgery. I'm glad the old girl's back to her usual self.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Juno and the tail that is no more...

Juno had her tail amputated today - she was a trouper! The vet said she did EXCEPTIONALLY well, esp. for such a little old lady.

Juno had a cyst on her tail for over a year, and on her last visit to the vet, it kind of exploded, but we all throught it was fine. She kept licking it, and it got worse, and wouldn't heal - we tried antibiotics, we left it alone and I cleaned it daily with hydrogen peroxide, but alack and alas, it wouldn't heal.

The vet thinks it's fine, but he's doing a biopsy regardless. We LOVE our vet. He's the kind of guy that tells me when I'm being silly, and he has told me when NOT to come in. So we tend to trust him implicitly when he tells us that something SHOULD happen.

So sadly, off her tail went - he says she won't miss it, that it will bug us more than her.

I hope so...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mazal Tov!

Welcome to the world Natalie Claire! We can't wait to meet you!

Friday, April 14, 2006

self portrait

self portrait, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

For Photo Friday - "Shadows"

Monday, April 10, 2006

The capacity is SO huge

Malka has turned 16 weeks old (on Saturday), and has randomly picked up some new behaviors - she turns from the nipple when feeding - as if to practice breathing through her mouth, as if it's a fun new game. So when she does it, I take the bottle away, and she's all "OH, I needed that, sorry." and then she's fine for a bit, and then that "baby 7 second short term memory" kicks in, and she does it again... her sleep is changing too. She used to take a big 3 hour nap during the day, but now she's sleeping in smaller spurts. She seems to be MORE gassy and have MORE spit up than before - but we also started adding probiotics to her formula 3 days ago (to counter-balance the anti-biotics she was on), and perhaps that's it.

All I know is that today, I learned a higher meaning of love, because she had some SERIOUS gas pains late in the afternoon, and was crying like I've NEVER heard her cry. Both Fabiola (our 9 hour a week Equadorian Jehovas Witness babysitter who seems to only babysit for Jewish lesbians...) and Narda were there, and Narda fed her, which seemed to quell the crying, so we gave her back to Fabiola, and she started up again, and then Fabiola got the world's BIGGEST BURP out of her - I'm SO serious - it's like she was in competition with a frat boy who was in a beer chugging contest - we all broke out laughing. But AFTER that little episode, I went and shut myself in the bathroom and cried. I was So upset that I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my baby, and that she was in SUCH pain, it killed me. I mean REALLY killed me.

Her toes are still an issue for me, but I'll get over it. It's all healed, but now the dead skin is peeling, and it itches her, so she frantically rubs her feet together, and I feel so bad for her. Now she seems to have another toe nail that looks like it's peeling off. I just slather her toes in neosporin constantly - morning and evening, letting her toes air out at night, and keeping them socked during the day.

This whole motherhood thing is wonderful, awesome, scary, hard, and rewarding, and I TRULY never knew the capacity I had to love another human being until Malka came into our lives. I love her SO much, it's hard to be around her when she's unhappy or ill, because it hurts ME so much...

Friday, April 07, 2006

the face... (IGNORE the eyebrows, which are SO in need of attention!)

For Photo Friday.

Favorite body part - I was thinking the hair, or the eyebrows (except for this week)! But Narda chimed in "Your face!" faster than I could complain about hating my body.

So I share my face with you- it's tired, and friendly, and loving, and annoyed sometimes, but mostly at peace with the world, except when I'm pissed off at it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

To sleep, perchance to dream...

First, I must give public props to my beloved Besheret, Narda - she (9 times out of 10) takes the night shift. Before Malka, I kept sharing that the only thing I was afraid of with a baby was the sleep deprivation. It's INTENSE! Narda functions MUCH better on less sleep than I do, and she has lovingly volunteered to take the night shift. We still have Malka in our bedroom, so I'm only in our bedroom on my nights "on," otherwise, I'm in the guest bedroom. I can't nap during the day, so it's really the only way I can function, otherwise, I tend to wake up EVERY time she shfts her breathing patterns, which is about every 20 minutes. NOT good when you have to be "on" all day with her.

I will put Malka to bed around 8:00pm, and she's asleep for about 5-6 hours, usually 5, and then up for an hour for a feeding and dipe change, and then back asleep until about 5:30 or 6:30, depending on her mood.

She takes a BIG nap from about 12 Noon until 3pm, and LOTS of little 20-45 minute cat naps during the day.

Having added it all up, it's only about 13 hours on a good day, and everything we've read says she should be sleeping about 15 hours per day. ERP. One of the doctors in the Ped's office said she should be sleeping 10 hours at night now - WTF! That SO has yet to happen. I think doctors tell people things, and then they do their own version anyway. Malka is also on a reduced ounces plan, down to 32, from the 40 we were giving her, and she seems to be adjusting OK to it. (She's 18.4 pounds, 25 inches and not yet 4 months old).

Dooce had a BIG ole discussion about sleep, and I'm sure Malka's just too young for any of the sleep training stuff, and we "should be so lucky we get those 5 hours in a row," but I'm just concerned she's not getting enough sleep.

Or maybe I just need to get over myself.

Here's a link to the whole discussion on Dooce - I'm still reading all of the comments, and I'm on 24 of 475... Healthy Sleep Habits, Grumpy Baby

What are you doing, what works for you, how often does your child sleep? Or - How do YOU sleep, how did YOU sleep as a baby? This is a GOOD question to ask your folks - SOON! I asked my mom, and she simply said "You were a good baby; you slept through the night." That was about all of the detail I could get from her.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fun with internet quizes...

What kind of soul are you?

You Are a Warrior Soul

You're a strong person and sometimes seen as intimidating.
You don't give up. You're committed and brave.
Truly adventuresome, you are not afraid of going to battle.
Extremely protective of loved ones, you root for the underdog.

You are picky about details and rigorous in your methods.
You also value honesty and fairness a great deal.
You can be outspoken, intimidating, headstrong, and demanding.
You're a hardliner who demands the best from themselves and others.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul