Friday, October 31, 2003

And now! The Event you've all been waiting for!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we proudly present to you, all the way from New York City:

She Who Quacks!

Bubbie and Popsie came up from Sawyer's bucolic Bucks County country home (yes, I will always refer to her grandparents' home that way, solely because it amuses me -- how often does a girl get to use the word bucolic??), and a lovely time was had by all. We basically spent the afternoon strolling around Central Park and Fifth Avenue letting the world coo admiringly at our little ducklet. Which is a lovely way to spend Halloween, don't you think?

And what would Halloween be without the baby swings? Here she is, swinging away in Central Park, along with other similarly situated swinging babies dressed as frogs, tigers, mermaids, and leopards:

Thursday, October 30, 2003

While you all wait for tomorrow's duckography, here, in the meantime, is Sawyer coming in for an attack on the telephone:

And the inevitable outcome:

All of a sudden, Sawyer's got herself a schedule! I'm not sure how it happened, but along with the Ferberization came an honest-to-God schedule:

Up at 5:30 am to eat, then back to sleep until 7:30ish. Bottle at 9:30. Half hour nap 10:30-11ish. Bottle at 1. Nap from 1:30-2:45ish. Bottle at 4:30. Nap 4:30-5ish. Bottle at 7:30. Sleep 7:30 pm-5:30 am. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's like she's a normal baby!

Meanwhile, Susan the Wondernanny reports that Sawyer has become a gleeful aficionado of the baby swings. She apparently has taken to doing that "so big she could eat the world" smile as she swings back and forth. We're looking forward to swinging her tomorrow in her duck costume.

That's right -- tomorrow she's a duck.


Sunday, October 26, 2003

Add to the list of accomplishments for the weekend Sawyer's first foray into the world of baby swings!

Paul and I took her to one of the playgrounds around our apartment this afternoon and plopped her into a baby swing. (You know, the kind that's basically a bucket with leg holes.) And off she went! There actually wasn't much of a reaction in either direction -- she wasn't whooping with delight, but she didn't look terrified, either. She pretty much just took it in stride. (To the other parents hanging out at the playground, Paul and I must have looked pretty dorky, what with the camcorder AND the still camera. But that's another matter entirely.)

Here she is at the beginning of her swinging adventure:

And after she got rolling:

And here she is, passed out in her stroller on the way home from the exciting afternoon at the playground! (Just look at that sweet little face. Just look at it!)

Saturday, October 25, 2003

It's very busy tonight over here in Sawyer's World, so not much time to write.

But I did want to note that there's been a flurry of activity here for the last couple of days -- a sudden surgence of rolling over in both directions, spontaneously napping on her tummy, sitting up (quite straight!) unsupported, and my favorite, out-of-the-blue giggling!

She's a hoot. A deeply adorable mercurial smiley little hoot of a girl.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the bunny sleeps tonight

I've been going back and forth over whether writing about our adventures in trying to improve Sawyer's sleep habits would somehow jinx the entire process. Though I may regret the decision, I have decided to brave it.

If you google "ferberization" or "ferberizing," you'll get all sorts of manifestos decrying the Evil of letting a baby cry for any amount of time. Basically, the theory seems to be that any sort of parentally sanctioned crying will result in a deeply troubled child who will be unable to free herself from the shackles of this parental cruelty for the rest of her days. Our pediatrician, not sharing this view, gave us the go-ahead to "let her cry" when Sawyer turned four months old -- feeling that was a little premature, we decided to wait until now, when we felt that she was ready for some self-comforting.

And guess what? This might actually work!

(As soon as I finished typing that sentence, she woke up! See? I'm jinxed already.)

The basic idea is that, rather than zooming to Sawyer's side the minute she starts crying in her crib, we give her a predetermined period of time to settle herself before we go into the room. If she's still crying by the end of that time, we go into her room and pat her and smile at her for a couple of minutes, then leave again. If she's still crying by the time the next predetermined interval elapses, we go back in again. And so on.

Everyone seems to handle this process a little differently. I have one friend who basically adopted the "put the baby in the crib and go take a long shower" approach, which strikes me as a little, well, excessive. Some people cut all nighttime feedings before starting the process, others don't; some people cut out use of the pacifier beforehand, others don't. The variations are unlimited.

Us? If you think we were going to make this kid go cold turkey on her pacifier -- her favorite item in the universe -- and make her cry herself to sleep, you clearly don't know Sawyer's parents terribly well. We decided to find every pacifier in the apartment (about 10 of them) and strew them throughout her crib, so that when she wakes up, she won't be able to avoid finding a pacifier to pop into her mouth. Of course, the problem with this approach has been that half the time, the thing causing her to wake up has been a pacifier lodged under her armpit or something, but we can live with that.

As for the feedings, we're using the Ferber sanctioned approach of gradually cutting down the amount of milk in her late-night bottle. Last night was 2 1/2 ounces, and tonight will be 2. So far, we've alternated between good nights and mediocre nights. Last night was pretty darned fabulous: she went to sleep around 7:30, didn't wake up once until 2:30 am, when she had her dinky little bottle, and went back to sleep until 5:30, when she woke briefly but went right back to sleep until 6:45. This from the baby who the prior week woke up every 45 minutes or so all night!

We did decrease the intervals that the Ferber book suggests: we started out waiting three minutes before going into her room, then upped it to five, then seven, rather than the five/ten/fifteen that the book recommends. But even the book says that the length of the wait doesn't really matter, so long as you continually increase it. Tonight, we're starting with twelve minutes. (And, by the way, twelve minutes have elapsed since Sawyer started crying -- I haven't heard a peep in about eight minutes.)

And while it's not terribly fun to listen to one's baby cry, we feel pretty comfortable that she'll end up sleeping better ultimately as a result. Besides, how miserable could she possibly be, given that she was doing this the next morning?

I think it'll take a little while to get all the kinks out, but I'm feeling good about where this is all going.

Oh, and one quick other note: I haven't seen a raspberry in days. The speed with which she picks up and then drops new quirks is mindboggling. It's like she has a mental checklist: "Raspberries? Check. Ok, enough of that. Rolling from tummy to back? Check. No more of that. Grabbing the diaper wipes container, which is as big as I am, while Mommy is trying to change my diaper? Ok, let's work on that one for the next 48-72 hours, then move on." The attention span of a gnat, that baby. Actually, that's not true -- she has a very impressive attention span on a moment-by-moment basis. It's like an infatuation: all-encompassing for a while, then entirely forgotten.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Out of curiosity . . .

How much cuter does this baby need to be for you people out there to comment?

We've got pouts. We've got bananas. We've got raspberries. We've got froggy towels. How cynical and jaded have you all become??


(10/17 clarification -- I don't need reassurance that she's cute, but just that people are out there reading!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

To Pout the Impossible Pout

Quite some time ago (see June 10, 2003), I promised to continue the quest for the Perfect Pout.

We are no longer tilting at windmills. We have achieved pouting perfection! Voila!

Just look at that lip! Those cheeks! Those big grey eyes filled with tears!

Because I am a rotten person, I sent that picture to Paul at work last night with the subject line: "Daddy come home to meeeeeeeee!" Daddy was not pleased with Mommy. Hee hee.

Oh -- and by the way -- bananas? Wow. Sawyer digs the bananas in a big way. In a spoon-grabbing, lip-licking, mouth-opening-wide-like-a-baby-bird kind of way. I don't know what kind of bananas Earth's Best uses (other than, apparently, the best ones on Earth), but even by my own standards, these are some seriously delicious bananas.

Way yummilicious.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

On Raspberries and Bubbles

So the raspberry blowing continues, and boy is it hilarious.

About half the time, she sticks her tongue out the right side of her mouth when she blows, which is just the cutest, dopiest looking thing ever. The rest of the time, there's no tongue involved -- just a lot of bubble blowing. She's started doing it as a crying predecessor, also. She starts getting squirmy and fussy, and then starts blowing bubbles. Which is rather counterproductive, because we all start laughing rather than attending to her fussiness.

We haven't managed to get a picture of her with the tongue going, but here's a general raspberry picture:

She also had some rice cereal yesterday for the first time in a week, and did much better with it than she had been. We'll see if that sticks. I think we'll take a crack at some bananas or something this week.

And Sawyer has been having a magnificent time with her Grandma and Grandpa this weekend. Here she is right after her bath last night:

Friday, October 10, 2003

Signs of the Apocalypse?

This is strange.

After a series of weird crying fits over the course of the evening, Sawyer slept uninterrupted from 11:30 pm to 5:30 am. Not a squirm. Not a sob. Just sleep -- like the proverbial baby who doesn't actually exist -- for six straight hours. Go figure.

Not to detract from the niftyness (when you create nouns of your own, you don't need to abide by spelling rules that change "y"s to "i"s) of the whole thing, but boy, was she nuts during the evening prior to the Six Hours of Sleep! She had zero desire to go to sleep at her normal bedtime -- all she wanted to do was sit on my lap and blow raspberries in my face. For an hour. It was pretty cute. She finally went to sleep around 8, and after a bunch of random awakenings, woke up screaming around 10:50. I gave her a toy to munch on, and went to go warm her bottle. Paul went to check on her a few minutes later and discovered that she'd rolled onto her tummy and was hanging out there. She rolls over pretty frequently these days (although only for Susan, as best I can tell), but this was the first time she'd done it unsolicitedly in her crib. We were amused. She was amused, too, for a couple of minutes, then decided that she'd had enough of all this amusement and it was now time to scream for her bottle. Loudly. And with gusto.

And then she slept for six straight hours!

Grandma Marlo and Grandpa Bob arrive this afternoon for their first visit since early August -- although they've obviously been following Sawyer's progress here on Sawyer's World, I think they're going to be blown out of the water by the changes in her over the last couple of months! (The addition of five pounds being the most obvious one.) It should be an entertaining weekend.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Oh Baby Please Give a Little Respect to Me

Yaaaaaawn. I am very very tired, so will post in list format instead of crafting finely executed transitions.

1. Sawyer's growth chart has been updated with new photo and stats for her five-month birthday -- take a look! (I know, it's not the greatest picture of her ever taken, but give me a break -- it was early in the morning before we trundled off to Sawyer's bucolic Bucks County country home -- read on.)

2. We spent our second weekend in a row in Philadelphia -- this time for my cousin's commitment ceremony. Definitely the best wedding I've attended in a long time. (And the wedding cake was made of Tastykake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes -- what could be better?) Sawyer was extremely popular with the Philadelphia lesbian population. Although, now that I think about it: who doesn't love a pink ruffled baby in a Bjorn bopping around to Erasure's Respect?

3. No more travelling on the weekends for a while. It's hard to spend the week getting up at 5:30 in the morning for work and then to spend the weekend schlepping a baby and her ancillary paraphernalia off to someone else's house, trying to get the schlepped baby to conform to some skeletal form of her normal schedule (such as it is), all while trying to work in a little quality time with baby and husband. We are just wiped out.

4. I think we may also put the food thing on hold for a while. After a fantastic start, Sawyer's become far more interested in blowing bubbles in the sweet potatoes/oatmeal/rice cereal than in actually eating any of it. Of course, she's also been blowing raspberries on her pacifier, my thumb, and anything else she can get her mouth on -- this seems to be a standard five-month-old-baby kind of thing to do. (By the way, when she blows raspberries on the pacifier, she tends to accidentally launch it across the room. Frustrating for her -- not to mention for her poor hapless parents who need to chase down the pacifier and reload it into the catapault that is her mouth -- but funny as hell to watch.) Anyway, we may put solid food into a holding pattern for a week or two and then give it another shot. Or maybe I'll just give her some bananas tomorrow and see if they manage to capture her imagination sufficiently to warrant some actual munching rather than bubble blowing.

5. We here at Sawyer's World have gotten a lot of hits this weekend courtesy of a very nice shoutout from a fellow U of C Law School blogger, JCA of Sua Sponte. It's always nice to know that people who aren't related to us occasionally get a kick out of reading my ruminations.

6. And finally, here's this weekend's photo -- posted partially because I know that you all like to see pictures and partially because I know it'll send Paul through the roof . . .

Friday, October 03, 2003

For the last couple of days, Sawyer has been underwhelmed with her cereal. Whereas she had been slurping it down like mad, she's been nibbling a couple of spoonfuls and then turning her head away -- that classic "get that spoon out of my face" gesture. So we called the pediatrician just to check in, and she suggested that perhaps Sawyer was bored with the cereal.

Gee, you think that my daughter might be easily bored?

So she suggested that we try something in the fruit/veggies family. And Susan-the-nanny suggested that we try out her highchair, as she's been increasingly dissatisfied with her bouncy seat lately.

Thus we proudly present to the world Miss Sawyer "Sweet Potato Face" Niehaus!