Saturday, May 31, 2003

Today's new trick was specifically designed to melt the heart of Dad. Although we have previously seen pseudo-smile gas grimaces, today, for the first time, we got a bona fide in-response-to-my-facial-expression smile! At the same time, I realized that she may be looking a little like me. Especially from the eyes up, and especially when she smiles, there's a pretty solid resemblance. Comparison pictures as soon as (a) Grandma Marlo gets here with Dad's baby pictures, and (b) we can capture Sawyer in the act.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

7 pounds, 8 ounces! My daughter is a moose!

That's right, at her pediatrician's appointment today, Sawyer weighed in at 8 ounces -- an entire half pound! -- more than last week. In fact, she gained as much in one week as she had during the prior two weeks combined! More importantly, her percentiles are moving in the right direction: she's now 14th percentile as compared to 11th percentile last week.
Yes, she's a peanut, but she's a MOOSE of a peanut!

Here's our moosey daughter as photographed this morning:

WE'RE COMING, PHIL!: Tonight has been a great night. Why? Because The Amazing Race is back! Sawyer graciously completed her dining five minutes before the premiere of the fourth season of the Other Greatest Show on TV (see here for the other one), and equally graciously took a nice long nap on the couch, thereby permitting her parents to thoroughly enjoy dinner and 90 minutes of spectacular television. I suspect that this may be the highlight of our social life for the next eighteen years.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Paul is taking the rest of the week off for a little quality time with Sawyer, so the napping photos now are not limited to Sawyer and Mommy:

Meanwhile, from what I can tell, both the sleeping and the eating situations seem to be improving somewhat. Or perhaps I'm just growing used to the whole thing. The new issue is a sudden increase in Sawyer's spitting up. Not in any kind of ooky projectile sort of way, but a sort of generalized "I just ate, therefore the next step is spitting up" kind of thing. So Sawyer's daily attire now includes a bib about 75% of the time. And please, no advice about burping. I know she's supposed to burp. She just doesn't like to do it all that much. She's kinda feisty on some of these issues, in case you hadn't noticed.

Sawyer has also recently discovered her tongue. All of a sudden, her repetoire includes sticking out this little teeny tongue. Pretty cute. Her face and features are also getting bigger, which I'm hoping will be paralleled by an increase in her height and weight at her doctor's appointment tomorrow! We still don't think she looks much like either one of us, though there's a growing consensus that, at least currently, she looks more Ziev than Niehaus.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Having just returned from my first foray into wheeling Sawyer around in the pouring rain, I have a few observations.

First: Has anyone invented an umbrella that attaches to the handle(s) of a stroller so that one can push a stroller with two hands without getting soaked? If not, this would be an excellent idea for some budding young entrepreneur.

Second: I never realized until I had a baby in a stroller that there are quite a few Manhattan street corners where the curb doesn't slope. Setting aside the whole handicapped accessibility thing, it's very challenging to cross a street with a stroller with no sloped curb.

Third: All of this makes me wonder how one gets baby and stroller onto a bus. Or down the steps into a subway station. Hm. More reasons why I'm glad that most things I need on a regular basis are within walking distance.

Our next topic for the day is sleep. Last week was Feeding Week, this week is apparently Sleeping Week. Here's the issue:

Sawyer is a lovely little girl during the day. She eats, she sleeps, she coos, she squeaks. Starting around midnight, however, she develops some sort of major aversion to her crib. No sleeping in the crib. No hanging out in the crib. No Cribs. Period. This lasts until about 9 in the morning, at which point she is once again perfectly happy to hang out in her crib.

You see the problem.

So, for the last few nights, Paul has snoozed on the couch with Sawyer alternately napping and fussing on his chest from 11 pm until 3 am. I then wake up, feed her, and snooze on the couch with Sawyer alternative napping and fussing on my chest from 3 am until 6 am. She then eats again and naps/fusses on said chest until 7 am, at which point Paul once again takes over. No crib. At night, this baby will only sleep on someone's chest.

Last night my mom stayed over. Bubbie Carole had every intention of solving this day/night crib/chest confusion thing. Paul and I had some degree of confidence (or perhaps hope?) that a woman who'd gotten two children of her own -- including one who was generally regarded as the worst sleeper in the world (um, that would be me) -- to observe proper sleep etiquette would be able to work miracles on our little bunny.


What was the outcome? Instead of Paul taking both the 11-3 shift and the 7-9 shift, Bubbie took over the 11-3 shift, and Sawyer got a new chest to sleep on for a few hours. Still no crib. Until 9 am, that is, when she happily acquiesced to taking a little nap in her crib before her 9:30 am feeding.

Ideas and suggestions are welcome.

In other news, an excellent side-effect of my mother's visit is that Paul and I finally got to go see Matrix Reloaded last night! I need to see the last half-hour again. Apparently baby brain has damaged my ability to process ersatz philosophy.

Friday, May 23, 2003

It's been a few days since we've had a new portrait of Princess Sawyer:

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Continuing on the subject of food:

After a mere 18 days, Sawyer has finally seen fit to hit the 7 pound mark. Although we've been trying to explain to her that maintaining one's girlish figure isn't a consideration at least until one has reached the ripe old age of 3, she seems insistent that slim is the way to go. We continue to try to fatten her up, but our finicky little eater continues to resist. Everyone warned us that the 0-3 month clothes would fit for more like 0-3 weeks, but at this rate, Sawyer may be sporting her 0-3s for their full 3 month life span!

In other news, our baby nurse, Sam, leaves tomorrow afternoon. Among other reasons we will miss her: she's been handling the 3 a.m. feeding all week so that I can get a little sleep. That ends after tonight. Sigh. We may soon be seeing a lot more of this during the day:

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Sawyer has email!

After her Bubbie asked for the ability to communicate with her granddaughter privately (so as to avoid those snoopy parents), Sawyer got herself hooked up with her own personal email address. From this day forward, Sawyer may be emailed at sawyer (a) (Please substitute a "@" for the "(a)" when actually sending email.)

Sawyer has asked that the paparazzi be kept to a minimum, and that her fan base respect her privacy and her need for a little personal time upon occasion, but she's ready to begin answering her fanmail. She plans to follow in her mother's tradition of two-finger typing -- however, given the current size of Sawyer's hands, she has thus far been using the revolutionary two-fingers-and-a-foot approach.

Friday, May 16, 2003

So our daughter is apparently too smart to eat.

You think I'm kidding.

Since her birth (lo these many days ago!), Sawyer has had some issues with eating properly. The main issue can be summarized in a single word: "Ouch." Since eating is clearly high on the list of baby priorities, we asked a lactation consultant to come over to the apartment to have a look at the situation. (For those of you who don't know, a lactation consultant is someone who specializes in training recalcitrant babies to perform what should theoretically be that most instinctive of functions -- nursing. ) Our LC tested Sawyer's sucking capabilities, her tongue positioning, her lip positioning, her ability to compress with her jaw while doing all of the above properly, and a bunch of other things, before reaching one big overarching conclusion.

"Although she has some difficulty compressing properly," the LC said, "her main problem is that she's particularly sensitive to change. The bad news is that it will take a lot of patience on your part to get her positioned properly. The good news is that this type of problem is a sign of intelligence."

My daughter is too smart to eat.

After the LC left, I made fun of Sawyer for a while: "Hey, you, I'm less concerned with your SATs right now than I am with a little weight gain. So can you maybe help me out here?" To her credit, Sawyer promptly responded by immediately overcoming her compression problem, leaving the list of Sawyer's Food Issues at just one: the previously mentioned "ouch" issue. I guess that after having the Zippiest Labor in Manhattan, I'm due for a little ouch here and there.

We've also discovered that the Boppy Pillow makes a magnificent tuffet for Miss Sawyer to sit upon for her daily photography sessions:

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Now that everybody knows I'm a girl, it's time for me to be Pretty in Pink!

Monday, May 12, 2003

So this is interesting. From 6 am until midnight, Sawyer is a perfectly lovely and angelic little person. (So far. Knock knock knock.) From midnight until 6 am, she develops what seem to be the Gas Pains from Hell, and screams her little head off intermittently for those six hours. Last night was actually an improvement: the screaming lasted only about four hours, from midnight until four. We haven't identified the source of the problem yet -- although I suspect that there is no problem and that this is just what babies do.

I remember a list in one of the innumerable baby books we read in the weeks prior to Sawyer's arrival. The list was divided into two columns. The first part was captioned something like "Things Your Baby May Be Trying to Tell You by Crying," and listed all sorts of logical things like "I'm hungry," "I'm tired," "I'm cold," "Enough already!," etc. The second part of the list struck Paul and me as extremely funny at the time. It was entitled "Things Your Baby Is NOT Trying to Tell You by Crying" and included such items as "I hate you," "I want to disrupt your life," and "I want new parents." This strikes me as an important list to bear in mind during the midnight-to-6 am stretch.

Paul and I are enraptured by Sawyer's first word. That's right -- only a week old, and already saying her first word. Such a smart baby! The word? Wah. There's a certain cry where you can actually watch her clearly and slowly enunciate the word "wah." We crack up every time she does it. It can't be wrong to laugh at your baby's woes, right?

I have to say that she's really extremely cute.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Sawyer just graciously acquiesced to being fed while her mommy and daddy were watching the Alias season finale. She behaved beautifully! I guess this shouldn't be surprising, given that she's been listening to Alias episodes in utero for months now -- I wonder if she finds the theme song soothing??

Sawyer is adjusting nicely to being home -- and Paul and Kimberly are adjusting nicely to having her here!
The photos-to-text ratio is clearly a little out of whack at this point, but as between sleep and expounding on the Wonders of Sawyer, I'm currently under instructions to sleep.

Sawyer's room, complete with furniture and sleepy bunny guarding her bed. (Sam, Sawyer's baby nurse, is diapering at stage left.)

Daddy diapering Sawyer after her first visit to the pediatrician -- she's gained 2 ounces since we brought her home!

Could Sawyer be related to Kimberly if she didn't enjoy her first bath?

Such a snuggly little bunny after her bath!

Sawyer and Grandpa Bob after her first sponge bath.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

We're home! A day later than expected, due to a little bout with jaundice -- which necessitated an evening in the tanning bed of the hospital's Jaundice Resort and Day Spa -- but home now nevertheless! It's utterly bizarre to think that after all this time and all this planning, we're home with a baby. I don't think I've completely gotten my head around the concept!

Sawyer dolled up in her going home garb -- including a hat that is definitively several sizes too large!

Leaving the hospital amid the tulips.

Sawyer's first nap in her own bedroom.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

We are ecstatic to report that Sawyer Elizabeth Vienna Niehaus was born on May 4, 2003 at 6:08 pm! She clocked in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 20 inches tall.

Here are a few photos of the Newest Niehaus:

Practicing my pout with my jaunty cap on!

Additional photos and commentary forthcoming . . .

Friday, May 02, 2003

So I had my LAST official doctor's appointment today.

The big news is that I am apparently able to be induced, should the rabbit decide it doesn't feel like joining us anytime soon. If nothing happens naturally, we'll go get induced either next Saturday (5/10) around 3 pm or next Sunday (5/11) in the morning. When I called Paul to get his view as to which time he'd prefer, he got a little weirded out: "Shouldn't this be more complicated than making a dinner reservation??"

Apparently not.

I personally was much more weirded out by the fact that it was my last doctor's appointment -- there was simply no need to make another one. If I'm still pregnant next week when I would normally be having an appointment, we'll be meeting Dr. Senor in the hospital the next day anyway, so why bother? In any event, we have an ultrasound and a non-stress test on Monday, to make sure that everyone is still happy and comfortable, and another non-stress test on Thursday. Presumably, if the bunny is feeling stressed out -- what with the weight of the world on its shoulders and all -- I'll get wheeled right up to labor and delivery. Otherwise, it can take its grand old time -- that is, up through next weekend.

It would not surprise me one iota if May 11 ended up being the birthdate of the Niehaus Offspring. My birthday is May 14, which is three days before my mother's. She has always found it to be decidedly unfair that my birthday took all the attention away from both her birthday and Mother's Day. So I've always thought it would be supreme poetic justice for me to have a child on May 11, three days before my own birthday AND right on Mother's Day!

(For those of you keeping score, I am six colors into the paint-by-numbers extravaganza . . .)

Thursday, May 01, 2003

The washer/dryer is installed! I think this means we're officially ready. Or something like that.

And the little countdown clock says 1 day, 4 hours, 21 minutes, and 20 seconds. Go team!