all through the night

You’re all chomping at the bit for a sleep update, aren’t you? I know. It’s keeping you up at night (ha!). Well, you’re just going to have to wait a little longer, because sleep training got derailed by the introduction of molars into my child’s previously molar-free mouth area. Can I take this opportunity to say how much I loathe molars? The molar, it is pure calcified evil. How much does he need stupid molars, anyway? There’s plenty of food out there that does not require intensive chewing. Take the humble banana, for instance. The banana demands nothing of the teeth. We love the banana.

But the molars seem determined to make their appearance all at once, and the emergence of three new teeth has reduced my usually cheerful and accomodating baby to a series of shrieking, back-arching tantrums and marathon nursing sessions which leave me feeling utterly sucked dry, which, if you are wondering, is not a particulalry pleasant way to feel, especially at almost fifteen months post-partum when the idea of weaning had, up to a few weeks ago, seemed like such an attainable goal.

Sleeping through the night also seemed attainable, but like so many other things, it’s being put on hold until the tooth situation is under control. Currently the monkey is waking up between four and six times a night, and the only thing that will get him to go back to sleep is nursing. If I don’t nurse, the crying quickly – very quickly – escalates to screaming, and at that point he’s too upset to nurse so one of us has to get up with him, walk him around, calm him down…and then I have to nurse him. So I prefer to cut out the middle-man, as it were, and just go straight to the boob. I will worry about bad night-nursing habits later.

As proof, I just got Sleep Solutions for your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler from, and as soon as I can wake up enough to actually read it I will enthusiastically implement any and all sleep ideas.

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my kind of fairy

At 11 months (well, almost), Happy Fun Baby’s vocabulary is at a whopping four words: “ghee” for “kitty,” “luh” for “love,” “ba” for “ball” and “da” for “yeah.” “Do you want to go downstairs?” I ask. “Da,” says the baby. It’s like living with a little Russian diplomat.

I’m pretty sure yesterday (and today)’s crying jags are tooth-related. A couple of times today the baby has, apropos of nothing, put his hands to his mouth and wailed. I feel so bad for him, but I don’t know what I can do aside from offering snuggles and the occasional dose of Tylenol, which he sucks down like a little addict. Do you remember when medicine tasted bad? This cherry-flavored baby crack is not exactly off-putting. On the other hand, do I want to wrestle with my child before he will take his painkillers? No I do not.

The Code Fairy (aka my inimitable husband, who loves it when I call him a fairy) performed some sort of magic on my Buzzverb site and now it works gorgeously. I’ve posted the second of my 30 Days of Writing Links: if you’re doing NaNoWriMo (or even if you’re not) you should check it out. I’m not collecting all these links for my health, people.

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year (seriously, where would I find the time?) but I am all enamoured of a new manuscripting application. I downloaded the Scrivener beta yesterday, and it is, in fact, all that and a bag of chips. If you write novels, you know that Word is somewhat lacking in its outlining capabilities; I’ve always needed to either print out my notes and ideas so that I can refer to them while writing or have lots of windows open, neither of which is an optimal solution. And changing the order of chapters? Not exactly painless. Scrivener addresses these concerns and more. I’m digging the hell out of it. I may even do some work on the novel I started a couple of years ago and then abandoned in favor of sleep deprivation and mood swings. Er, I mean, parenthood. Stranger things have happened, you know.

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the teething chronicles

Happy Fun Baby’s mouth continues to be invaded by what can only be described as teeth. Don’t get me wrong: they’re cute. There’s something inherently endearing about a big, wide-mouthed, three-toothed grin.

But the teething process is obviously painful, and my usually cheerful and pleasant baby has been replaced by a cranky, temperamental, wailing creature who doesn’t want to be put down, ever. I can only assume this is a temporary change.

Today is incrementally better. Ellison is playing “catch that tail” with the cat, who apparently was not consulted beforehand and has serious reservations about the suitability of this game.

We actually got somee sleep last night, which was a novel change. I don’t do well with fractured sleep. Pre-baby, I used to require 8-10 hours a night in order to feel rested; now I’m lucky if I get 6 or 7, and those are broken into bite-sized sections. It’s bad enough when everything is going well and he only wakes up once to nurse. When he’s sick or teething or having a growth spurt or conspiring against me or whatever, it’s hell. But a nice sort of hell! Not the sort that means I need to get a job! ::paranoid::

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My neck is jacked. I blame two things: the umbrella stroller, which is just short enough to make me hunch, and my terrible posture, which…makes me hunch. As it turns out, there are nerves in my neck. Nerves which do not like to be pinched. My understanding is that a nerve is quite small. However, the pain. The pain is big.

Happy Fun Baby sounds about how I feel right now. He’s cutting a top tooth and apparently it’s somewhat uncomfortable because he’s been wailing for the past hour or so. Thing is, he’s really cute when he cries. The lip comes out, and the face crumples, and the chin – oh, the chin. There are different degrees of infant misery, of course, but the chin-trembling is just irresistible.

We were at Meier and Frank (soon to be Macy’s) the other day, Ellison and I. (Come to think of it, this was the day I fucked up my back – see how I tie this all together? You’d think I did this on purpose.) Upstairs in the juniors section (what, you don’t think I’m a junior? You want a piece of me?) Ellison charmed the pants off the checkout girls – one of them actually got off the phone (gasp!) to make goo goo eyes at him, and he rewarded them with several full-face grins (“Oh, he has two teeth! You’re just the cutest thing in the world, aren’t you? Aren’t you?”)

Then we went downstairs, where the exact same thing happened – only with a gray-haired, frazzled saleslady in an ill-fitting dress. She got all up in his face while I was checking out, and Ellison took one look at her and burst into tears. This is the funny part: as we were leaving the store we had to go through this maze of construction corridors, and every single person we passed remarked on how cute he was. While he was wailing his heart out.

The Sad!Baby face: gets them every time.

Note: he is older now, and the sad face gets more potent with age.

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