Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Two months old!

Miss Natalie is two months old today! We had a great day yesterday--we took our first subway ride, being careful to use only stations with elevators so we wouldn't have to rely upon the kindness of strangers to help lift the stroller, and enjoyed our first movie out at Reel Moms. "Black Dahlia" was showing--not that great, but worth it to get out and see all the other New York babies, and not feel guilty about the crying, feeding, or diapering in the middle of the theater. We even got to have lunch in the park with our friend Linda who hadn't met Natalie yet.
As of this week, she has established a new pattern of sleeping 4-6 hours at night, which is unbelievable. Yes, I woke up several times during the night to check on her, as many of you have admitted to doing the first time your little one slept through all or most of the night. (If anyone has any recommendations for a really absorbent overnight diaper, I'd greatly appreciate it--we had a big mess this morning!)

She now weighs a little over 11 pounds, which seems huge to us, but is apparently still on the petite side (50th percentile for weight, 25th percentile for height). For her two month old birthday, she got [GASP] three vaccination shots and three little Hello Kitty bandages. The doctor said that nervous laughter was a common parental response to the shrieking and shades of red their little babies turn and that its the dads who are the ones who often have a hard time watching. Well, Robert went out to feed the meter, so I stayed and bravely held Natalie has I watched three HUGE needles jab her chubby little baby legs, and I cried right along with her. Her hysterical crying was followed by an immense calm, which I read as shock, and she has slept for most of the day so far, when she isn't eating or crying. Still, the day to day drama of life with a newborn is nothing compared to the trauma of losing one, and I'm glad for the necessary change of focus. Off to get some baby Tylenol...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Social phobia

Natalie and I had our first Music Together class today. The princess missed her morning nap, so she slept during half the class, even with the older kids banging on drums and running around screaming. I hope these classes don't continue to be expensive naps! Well, at least it's confirmed that this child will sleep through anything.

I'm trying really hard to get over my social phobia so that we can meet more mothers with babies in the neighborhood. I guess I feel fine around parents of young children these days, but I cringe every time I'm introduced to someone new with Natalie in tow, outside of the context of babies/kids, because I'm anticipating the variations on the questions I hate being asked ("Is this your first?" or "What number is this?"). I comfortably talk about Julian often with those who are in touch enough with their own emotions to engage in such subjects, but even after nearly two years, a stranger asking if this is my first pretty much always gets me all twitchy and teary. I've lied and said yes a few times lately, which I hate, but it's so much easier if it's someone I know I will never see again. I know it's a seemingly innocent question, but I wish I could just tell people who ask that some questions are not as innocent as one might think, or to mind their own business, or ask them why they want to know. There are lots of questions I would never ask a stranger and that is one of them.

On an unrelated note, a really irksome question I have been asked often lately is whether or not Natalie is mine. In a city with so many dark skinned nannies of light skinned children, some people can't help making assumptions. It's not like she looks nothing like me, and unlike in my mom's day, I doubt anyone would ask me that question if I were a white woman with a brown daughter. Grr.... I just hope Natalie tans easily.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A smile for Granny

Natalie wishes her Granny in England a Happy 75th birthday!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Another growth spurt!

Natalie seems to have gained another pound overnight. I wouldn't be surprised if she weighs over 11 lbs. at her check-up next week (when she will be getting her first shot, which I am not looking forward to!). She has been busy trying to hold her head up and spending more time awake and alert each day. She smiled at her daddy when he came home from work last night and is also becoming more vocal. This is the last time she will be wearing this outfit because she officially outgrew it today!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Could it be?

I don't want to get my hopes up here, but for the third night a row, Natalie has slept for 4-5 straight hours at a time, so I've only needed to get up once in the middle of the night! I hope this is a trend!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Settling into this gig

Natalie is 7 weeks old tomorrow and seems to be going on 2 already. She has decided to change her routine over the past few days and although she spends more time being awake, alert, smiling and cooing, she is also spending more time crying inconsolably. I think she is overtired from trying to stay up so she doesn't miss out on anything. I used to do that. When I was in college. Trying to meet boys.

Someone noticed today, as I have before, that Natalie tends to focus her gaze upward, at nothing in particular, smiling in the direction of the ceiling or the sky. He commented that babies her age are said to be able to see angels. That kind of freaked me out because I have had similar thoughts even though I am not a religious person and am not really into the whole angels thing, and also because I wondered if it was his way of acknowledging Julian, which he never had before. It seems that some people in my life are more comfortable acknowledging or referring to Julian now that Natalie has safely arrived, even if it's just to comment on how much she resembles him (she really does).

We have been going out more lately during the day, which seems to keep her a little happier, and makes things easier on me. Just the other day we tried out a Music Together class, which she was totally and surprisingly into, so we signed up for a 10-week class on Monday afternoons. It was really cool to see all the other babies at their various stages of development, and I'm glad I'll still be able to take her once I go back to work part time on October 23. Other things that have made my life easier include the new Enfamil travel packets and the Putumayo Kids Presents: Folk Playground CD, which Natalie and I both love (but I suspect daddy secretly hates).

I have discovered that I am far from the earth mother attachment parent that I thought I'd be after reading the Sears' book and before bringing home a live baby. We're all still making our way with it, but I'm actually a much more relaxed mother than many of my friends apparently expected me to be since I can be pretty neurotic about certain things. And while being cheerful and talking in a high pitched voice doesn't come naturally to me since I have been known to go an entire day without speaking to anyone, the hard work is obviously worth it for the smiles and recognition I am starting to get from the little Miss.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Future couch potato?

Perhaps we should take better care to feed Natalie in her room during prime time. I feel a little guilty that she already seems far too interested in the moving pictures on the television!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?

I swore to myself that I would never post any unflattering photos of my little girl, but I just had to share this one. The little bruiser weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs., 7 ounces yesterday--nearly 2 lbs. over her birth weight! She is now on 100% formula, and I have come to a place where I am fine with that. Tomorrow we're busting out the size 1 diapers...