baby blues

We here at the Cranky household have been…well, cranky, and by “we” I mean “the baby.” He so clearly needs a nap, but does he want to nap? No he does not. He fights against the idea of a nap with every fiber of his wee being, balling up his fists and scrunching up his face and demanding unreasonable things of his parents. Figuring out what he wants is somewhat akin to a game of Russian roulette. Does the baby want to be bounced? Rocked? Snuggled? Swaddled? Put down? Beware: one false move and you will anger Happy Fun Baby.

Currently we are in the bedroom, where the internet is inexplicably spotty. Why is the internet spotty? The important thing is that the baby has abruptly grown bored with his routine of screaming and turning purple and is now cooing adorably and grinning at me. Nothing has changed, of course – this is the prerogative of Happy Fun Baby, who is at the moment both happy and fun. Is anything cuter than my baby’s smile? Notice I say “my baby” – he is so much cuter than other babies, and conveniently located just to my left.

He outgrew his first outfit this week. When we first brought him home all of his clothes were ridiculously big; only one pair of jammies and a couple of little snap-front tee shirts fit him. I realized the other day that not only do all his other jammies fit now, they’re a bit too short. We busted out the 3-6 month stuff yesterday, thinking it would be nice and roomy, given that he’s only 2 1/2 months (and thus clearly not big enough for 3 month clothes). And then this morning Matt brought him downstairs dressed not only in three month clothes but in big boy three month clothes – cords and a polo shirt – and he looked so grown up I could barely stand it.

so grown up!

Right now he doesn’t look grown up at all. He’s so small next to me, with his cranky face and kicking legs (Happy Fun Baby has decided he hates everything again). He’s wearing these striped footie pajamas with a little bear on them and, even though they are size 3 months, are so adorable I just died.

the hive mind

My hives are finally getting better. It’s about time. I’ve had them for just over a week and I have complained about them, vociferously, every single day. I don’t know if it was the Benadryl, the Aveeno, or the constant threats of suicide that finally did them in, but I’m not sorry to see them go.

I don’t like that I get hives, but in a way it’s almost gratifying to have such a palatable physical reaction to something. There’s no arguing with hives. It’s not psychosomatic or exaggerated for attention. As the child of a hypochondriac, I think about these things. Maybe my migraines aren’t really migraines, I think. Maybe when I say my back hurts it’s just the normal aches and pains everyone has and I’m just blowing it out of proportion. But when my body erupts in bright pink welts and tiny fluid-filled blisters, well – that’s just that. It might not be bad enough to cause my throat to swell and require a shot of epinephrine – which, to be honest, I would not like at all – but they’re still quite obviously unpleasant, and not a figment of my imagination.

(Yes, thank you, I am aware that I should be telling this to a therapist.)

I’m glad the kid doesn’t seem to have inherited this particular droplet from mama’s gene pool. His skin marks really easily, just like mine, but thus far he doesn’t seem to have allergies. I know, two and a half months is a little too early to say for sure, but hopefully he’ll be the kind of kid who can frolic through clouds of pollen and not get so much as a sniffle. When I was a kid I was allergic to all sorts of things. Cats, dust, Strawberry Shortcake dolls – all made me sneeze and wheeze, but since my dad wasn’t the sort of person who liked doctors I never had any of it diagnosed or treated. When I was in high school (and living with my mom) I had a pretty serious breathing problem and was diagnosed with asthma, but since the emergency room doctor phrased it oddly (“allergy-induced asthma symptoms”) I didn’t think I had actual asthma until a few years later. And it wasn’t until several years later that I realized I was horribly allergic to the mold on the trees where we lived when I was in high school – which explained why I’d get so dizzy and out of breath when we had to go running in the woods for P.E. class. They’d make me run anyway, of course – they thought I was faking. Oh how I wish I could make my high school P.E. teacher feel bad about this now.

Matt was a really allergic kid, too – tubes in his ears and everything. Part of me is sort of jealous that he actually got treated for his allergies. No one was telling him he was faking it. Then again, I feel that way about a lot of things.

So, so glad the hives are going away. I would be very happy if I never had to deal with this again.

lookin’ for clues

We’re watching Blue’s Clues this morning, since we have the posh Digital Cable and can finally appreciate the brain-expanding goodness that is Noggin. Only it isn’t the real Blue’s Clues. There is no stripey-shirted Steve. There is only “Joe.” I do not believe in “Joe.” When Steve talks to the screen, he seems sincere, if unnaturally childlike. “Joe” comes across as rather smarmy, like the uncle who insists he’s really good with kids because he took three ECD classes when he was in college. “Joe” says “You’ll help us, won’t you?” and instead of sounding engaging and friendly he sounds like he’s trying to convince the kids that scrubbing the kitchen floor would be really fun. I do not like “Joe.”

Ellison, however, is not picky (at least where the Joe/Steve continuum is concerned). He’s in his bouncer, kick-kick-kicking his little legs. He has the cutest, fattest little legs. There are fat folds where there aren’t even folds. I just want to eat them up. Ditto his arms, his cheeks, his scrunched-up neck…basically I want to eat the kid. Is that so wrong?

Last night I was talking to Matt about the baby. “I just want to keep him forever,” I said.

“You get to,” Matt said. “He’s always going to be your baby.”

“No. I get to keep you forever. Ellison I only get for a little while. Then he’s going to belong to himself.”

It’s not that I want to infantilize him…but I’m going to miss all this when he’s big enough to be on his own. I waited so long for a baby and I love watching him grow, but a pause button would be really, really nice.

seizure? I barely even know her!


I finally broke down yesterday and decided to start with the Benadryl. Anecdotal evidence from other breastfeeding mothers outnumbered alarmist internet information like this:

Diphenhydramine is secreted in breast milk. Because of the risk of stimulation and seizures in infants — especially newborns and prematures — antihistamines should not be used by nursing mothers.

Seizures – seriously? Yet here I am, taking Benadryl anyway. I am the world’s worst mother. I did bottle feed him all last night, and is there anything sadder than standing over the bathroom sink at 4am, wobbling from sleepiness while pumping drugged milk into a bottle to be poured down the drain? I decided hesitantly to breastfeed today…and Cranky Baby doesn’t seem to be affected at all. Unlike me, of course. I’m a walking zombie today. Benadryl is like a fluffy pillow wrapped around my head. A nice, warm, fluffy pillow. Wouldn’t it be nice to lie on a fluffy pillow right now? Yes, yes it would.

The itching is slightly better but more importantly the hives finally seem to be healing. They’ve gone from huge, spreading welts back down to small, dark pink dots. There are still some areas that are all one big itching welt of doom, but my arms look like arms again. I am very much looking forward to the time when I don’t want to scrape my skin off with a bit of steel wool, but I’ll take what I can get for now.

Cranky Baby is all snuggled on his Boppy right now. I haven’t been playing with him as much as I should – the pillow around my head makes it hard to be really interactive – but he seems pretty happy. Maybe he will want to take a nap with mama. What do you say, kid?

pacifying the baby

Baby Einstein - Baby Neptune - Discovering Water

I’ve got to say, the Baby Einstein stuff is sort of oddly addictive. We’ve got Baby Neptune, which is all about water. Ellison loves it. Loves. The bits where water bubbles? He laughs and bounces and coos. Does he laugh or bounce or coo for mom? No he does not. Apparently bubbles are far, far more exciting than his mother.

I don’t want to be one of those parents who plop their kid in front of the TV so they can get things done…but then I find myself saying things like “Baby Einstein let me eat breakfast today!” and I wonder if I’m already one of those parents.


One reason I’m so cranky? I have hives.

The good news is that I think we’ve managed to steam clean all the evil Arm & Hammer pet odor stuff (to which I am, um, somewhat allergic) out of the carpet. All hail the Bissell SpotBot. Last time this happened (because there was a last time) I just sort of had to wait until the offending allergin made its leisurely way out of the air and settled deep into the base of my spine. No, wait – that’s LSD. Anyway, steam cleaning definitely beats an elderly vacuum. (I dig the SpotBot. I sort of want to run around the house spot-cleaning random areas like some sort of demented carpet fairy. Perhaps an outfit will be involved.)

Of course, last time I got hives I also had the option of a nice Benadryl and a long nap, which (if I recall correctly) eventually ended my purgatory of itch. This time, all I can do is sit merrily on my hands and think fond thoughts about those halcyon days when my entire body did not feel as though it was covered in flea bites. Breastfeeding mamas do not get to take Benadryl. Breastfeeding mamas can do nothing but refrain from scratching. Scratching = bad, according to the Internet (which does not lie). I’m unclear on exactly why it’s bad. Maybe the Internet is like the mean older sibling who derives sick pleasure from making her younger, more gullible sister squirm with misery. In that case, I think I’m karmically screwed. (Remind me to tell you about the time I told my sister that normal-sized zits were just the introductory version and that the real ones would take up her whole forehead…)