:: PT- Physical Therapy or Poopy Time?! ::

Turns out my daughter is developing shtick already! We had PT again on Thursday. She farted soooo loud in the waiting room-twice. Then we got into the room and she:

A. pooped her pants. loudly. and copiously.
B. peed all over after I got the above poopy diaper off and before I got the new one under her (for those of you tempted to give me diapering hints-please refrain!)
C. threw up on the physical therapist.

I laughed when she did each thing. That kid is cracking me up already! And she is doing so well with looking all over the place and developing her sideways glances to BOTH sides....

:: tummy time ::

She needs extra tummy time to develop her neck girdle or some such crap. So we've both been making extra special efforts to plop her on her gut. She isn't too fond of it, much prefers to be ferried about on someone's chest but who wouldn't?! Tonight I played with her for and hour and a half straight. Tummy time then roll over on her back and play with the rattles/crinkly bugs/tissue paper/ 'things' that we play with. She was all keyed up, shaking her fists in the air and kicking her feet.

Bear had the dogs on the couch because he's concerned about them jumping on her and poking her eye out. That is for real what he fears. Glad to know I'm not the only one who is a freak....so the dogs were on the couch with him but whining to get down. We let them come down to play. They both licked Rio on her head, hands, feet and legs and that was about it.

Is there a point here? None whatsoever. We can now lay on the floor all night long on a Saturday night and when we bathe Rio and put her down to sleep at 8:30 we can both feel perfectly content to check email and then head to bed ourselves. How things change....

I've hit my first motherhood 'bump'. Rio has torticollis. I've been reading and researching so I have a list of questions for the pediatrician who should be returning my call shortly. I'll bet they hate the internet.

I wasn't worried initially because everyone involved said it wasn't a big deal. Well, it isn't unless it persists or there is a bony anomoly or her head starts to warp. THEN there is cause for concern. I'm all wound up and waiting for a phonecall.
Bear is a Silly Rabbit

Today he made the highly unpopular choice to go to Long Island for the day to meet with a tattoo artist. I don't care if he becomes the Illustrated Man, but I would prefer that he wait until our child can sit up. So...my friend Leigh called and asked what she could do to help. Come on over! She has vaccuumed, laid a rug and cut the underneath pad to fit, folded laundry, fed Rio a bottle and helped me sort out my shoe closet. I dumped at least 20 pair so now I have just few open spots.....

Life is good. Rio is doing incredibly well now that we have her on a sleep schedule. She is much more well rested and night time sleeping has been between 6 and 9 hours all week! Once this groove gets going, I hope to be able to relax and sleep a bit more, as well. One thing at a time.

So, Bear is on the ferry in an absolute rainstorm and I hope his cellphone works from the deserted island he's headed for :)
you've got to believe it's getting better, it's getting better all the time

Bear makes 3 extra house payments a year. That means our house will be paid off in 17 years. THAT means that if Rio decides to attend college on Mars, we'll be able to afford a ticket :) I said to Bear, " I need that extra money for the next few months. If I don't get some help, I'm going to go right out of my mind." He said, "Done!". Gotta love that guy. He really gets it.

So, Lauren comes in Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 til 7. I have a trainer on Monday mornings and Thursday mornings. Bear gets home early on Fridays so now Wednesday is the only super long day alone with Rio. After Lauren came, Bear and I went out for a hotdog and ice cream cone and then we went to the top of East Rock Park and sat on a wall and looked out over New Haven. We still talked about her and I still thought about her the whole time, but it was really good to get away for a couple hours. I can so clearly picture her, being held against her daddy's chest, with that oversized head bobbing around and she searches for me. Things are getting much better. That feeling of relief is still with me. I can do this. Gracefully and happily.


One thing that came out of her 2 month checkup is she favors her right side. She doesn't like to turn her head to the left so the doc recommended physical therapy. We went yesterday. The physical therapist said that parents don't usually notice the favoritism until the fourth month or later. I said we're not usual parents.

So...I have to do some stretches with her and we will be going twice a week for the next three weeks. We hope to be released at that time.

Well, the princess is waking up from her morning nap so I have to go now. I know that some of you were worried about me, with good cause. Never a good thing to cry three days in a row. We are all doing much better. Rio is getting plenty of sleep and dropping off at the appointed times, which is good for all of us. I'm much more rested and feeling a bit more like myself. Gotta run!
Rio's first night

After she was wisked out of my delivery room Bear went to take a picture of her so I could see what she looked like. I was so amazed that I had actually had a baby I was in more than mild shock. I assumed that I would have a C section at the last minute and I almost did but natural delivery hopped up on drugs was definitely the way to go.

Bear ambled back into the room where the doctor was still sewing me up. He showed me her little face on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. "Wow" was all I could say. "How much does she weigh? How long is she?" I was concerned with her being 3 weeks early and all. Bear just gave me a blank stare and ambled back out to go find out some pertinent facts.


After they cleaned me up I was transferred to my room. They came to see if I wanted to go to the NICU to see my baby. Of course. Could I walk? Of course! So I careened to the NICU on numb legs, carried by sheer anxiety. Was she alright? Did I really see a big purple bump on her head? Did the nurses respect my wish to soley breast feed or had they started undermining my decisions?

I got there and she was so tiny. She was pink, which was great because she was gray/blue the last time I had seen her. Her hair was cleaned up a bit but she was still bloody in a lot of places with vernix in all of her folds. She grabbed my finger and all the fears I had about whether she would know me disappeared. I stood, my finger in hers, tears streaming, for about half an hour. When I felt faint I asked to go back to my room. She had to stay. Precautionary, they explained.


People kept arriving and grandparents were allowed to see her so when each set arrived, Bear escorted them to the NICU and they all came back to say what a good job I had done with such a beautiful baby. I was still in shock.

We had planned to 'room in'. That means that Rio stays in my room with me and I feed her and change her for the 2 days until we are discharged. Change in plans. By dinner time it was apparent that she would be spending the night in the NICU. It was just down the hall so I could see her whenever I felt like it so that was good. I sent Bear home because the flipout in my room was crazy small for him. With no baby there was no reason for him to stay with me. I sent everyone home and paced back and forth to the NICU in my pink pajamas.


By 4 am I had attempted to breast feed Rio 8 times. Every 2 hours. There was absolutely nothing to be had and she was starting to show it. A kindly nurse said, "Honey, you're going to have to consider formula."

That simple. We were so sure breastfeeding was going to work that we hadn't even bought bottles. So, standing in a dimly lit hall at 4:30 in the morning with fear, guilt, disappointment and shame all vying for top bidding, I made the decision. "Give her a bottle."
the things 'they' don't tell you

'They' don't tell you that whatever you were expecting-this ain't it.

'They' didn't mention that I would have no idea what to do with a ten week old. I mean, do I prop her up on the couch and make funny voices to match her scowl, cuz that's what I've been doing....

'They' don't tell you how it feels to be so tired you can't sleep and how it feels to be staring another month of this in the face.

'They' have loads of sympathy and good tidings for the first two weeks and then 'they' don't call for months. I am sorely disappointed in someone who I have a lot invested in. And I don't have the energy to call and say 'I need you'.

'They' didn't think it prudent to share how goddamned scary motherhood is. I look at that child and know I'm responsible for her life today, tomorrow, the day after that and so on. She can't feed herself, hell, she can't sit up yet. I'm all she's got day after day and I'm freaked out of my head.

'They' forgot to tell me that I would feel a little lost inside. I realized tonight that my very existance is changed. I will never be just 'Nita' again. Forever we are attached and bound and tangled up as a unit. She grew inside me and now that she's out I worry about this mean world and how we'll handle her disappointments. I suspect I won't handle them well and I have to raise her to be able to weather what may come. Talk about an oxymoron.

'They' never mentioned all the fears that come with being a mother. Walking down the street watching every approaching car like a hawk, prepared to pick up the carriage and run up the hill to escape a careening drunk driver. Every car. On a three mile walk. I'm exhausted! Or scrubbing the top of the formula can so no single fatal microbe can slip into the mix and kill her. Or never answering Fedex or UPS anymore because it could be an imposter. I'm exhausted and my mind races with bizarre and disturbing thoughts of all the things that could go wrong. Did our tough start kick me this way? I don't know but something's gotta give.

'They' don't tell you that you just might cry all the time and NOT be depressed. 'They' don't tell you there's no reason for it, it just happens.

Sometimes I sort of wish this is all a dream and I am going to wake up. You know those waitress dreams where you wait on 3 stations and the kitchen is across a five lane highway and you are so exhausted when you wake up? But if this is a dream and I wake up still pregnant, I'm going to have some serious reservations about this whole shooting match.


Believe it or not, everything is great. I love her so much it twists my heart into a pretzel. We're getting her on a sleeping schedule and she's more rested and there is more opportunity for me to shut my eyes. I really don't know what to do with her, but I think she's amused most of the time. I had to stop holding her all the time, which seemed natural, because all of the sudden she refused to be put down. Ever. For a second. She would scream her little head off and that actually makes me sweat...Sooooo, we worked through that and now I really am propping her up and making little shows for her with age appropriate stimuli. Really, we're fine.
'accidental parenting'

Evidently there is a name for our style of parenting. Yippee. Basically, my fear left over from the NICU days made me an 'on demand' parent. That is okay for the first few weeks until we all figure out how much Rio needs to eat and when she needs to sleep and for how often, etc. When one maintains that helter-skelter non-schedule, one winds up with a baby who really can't decide what to do and when to do it because, hey, she's a baby!

Last night we reached our wits end. Rio has been crying for the better part of this week and it's mostly due to exhaustion. You can see it in her little face and her eyes have a little red mask and we're all so beat it almost seems impossible. We made the decision to get her out of our room entirely and put her in her lovely crib with the best mattress money can buy that she has barely been in these 10 weeks. So, while she screamed in our faces (for, you see, she didn't know what she wanted at that point and she was crazy cranky from being overtired so really, all a baby can do is scream!) we reviewed the mess we have made of things. We let her sleep:

on the guest bed
on our chests
in our bed
in a bassinet in the living room
in her swing
in a pack and play in our room

Yeah, when you take a minute to think about it the insanity is obvious. So we put her in her crib last night and followed the Baby Whisperer's advice which runs somewhere between hold her all the time and let her cry it out. In other words, this woman put into words our feelings after reading all the recommended baby books.

It sounds insane but we have to teach her to soothe herself into sleep. Because we've trained her to fall asleep in all the above places with the following 'props':

my finger in her mouth
bear's finger in her mouth
bear walking her back and forth

she can't get to sleep by herself. What BW says to do now is to put her down and then you have to pick her up...every time she starts to cry. The thinking is we're telling her 'Hey, we're right here, you're ok, you can go to sleep' and then we have to be consistent about it. Ugh. I only had to pick her up 11 times before she fell asleep. The book talked about times in the hundreds so I am hopeful we've nipped this in the bud a bit. And today we embarked on a schedule:

walk begining around 8 or 9
nap after that
playtime (today Bear danced out the Nutcracker with a piece of pink tissue. She was highly amused)

I just got her to sleep and it only took 15 minutes. We watched her for yawning and fading and I put her in her crib. She didn't cry at all. When she did start to fuss I helped her find her mouth with her fingers and she soothed herself.to.sleep.


I never wanted to have children. That's not saying I'm not thrilled we have Rio, that's just saying that it has never been a driving force or even a given for how I pictured my life. Having her is so beautiful that words don't suffice for encapsulating the feelings that wash all over the place when I even think about her. I am unprepared for this epic journey but I'm reading and learning so much and figuring most of it out by feel and I think I'm doing a pretty good job. My heart is in the right place at least.

I think back on the months preceding her arrival and how they were jammed with finishing school and being sick all the time. I don't know how I should have prepared differently, but I would have slept one HELL of a lot more.

I'm going to look in on the sleeping princess and then spend some time with Bear. It has been a wonderful day, today.
no sleep til brooklyn

I'm tired. Not just tired, bone crushingly borderline exhausted tired. I feel like crying a lot tired. Prisoner of war tired.

Yesterday Maidpro came for 2.5 hours. I'm not so impressed but glad the vaccuum was run. The house is getting a bit out of control so until Mare gets here, this will suffice.

Bear decided to stay at work really late last night. He may have told me, but I suspect not. I cried. See first section.

Mother called and when I told her I needed some help she said, "Don't tell me. I've been there. I did it with 2 of you, all by myself."

I said, "Did you want something or did you just call to make me feel inept?". She hung up. I say, 'Bravo'.

The reality is....she ran back and forth between Wisconsin and my father and Cape Cod and her mother. She used to leave me with her mother and sister to go torture my father and, oops, get pregnant with my brother. We were both conceived in Wisconsin and born on the east coast. Huh? She lived with her mother and sister and continued to do so after my brother was born. So that is at least 2 people to help her, not to mention no one had jobs and my grandmother had staff. So when she calls instead of stopping by with a casserole or perhaps HOLDING RIO FOR A FRIGGING SECOND SO I CAN SHOWER WITHOUT WORRYING...she calls and makes me feel bad. And then I feel even worse for snapping at her. BUT...she ostensibly moved down here to 'be near her grandbaby' and she's been to my house twice since Rio's birth and she left a mess both times. Ugh.

On a happy and not bitching note....Rio's 2 month checkup was great. She had her shots which killed me and Bear. We learned that she really CAN scream. But she didn't have any real reaction except she's been a bit fussy which is okay because in general-she's perfect.

She is 10 pounds 10 ounces and 24 inches long. Bear is all proud because she's in the 95th percentile for length so he's all convinced she'll be tall like her dad. He's so cute :)

Alrighty then. My friend is here so I'm going to shower and go to my 6 week checkup 4 weeks late....hope the doc doesn't notice :)
she's gone. oh i, i'd pay the devil to replace her she's goooooooooooooone, oh i....

or something a lot like that....

Yup. Got an email and then a call from a really funny 50 year old lady who offered me a bunch of 100's for my bike so she's moving out Saturday. I'll take pictures. I'll be the one crying....