Infrequent Update #2

Yikes. Last night was kinda bad. Jamie wouldn’t sleep for more than maybe an hour at a stretch, and he was restless and “murfing” the whole time. Doc valiantly tried to soothe him back to sleep, multiple times, but he kept waking up. He full-on woke up at 3:30, after I’d fed him at 2:15 (and this was after drinking 8 ounces from a bottle at 1:00… seriously, kid?!); I fed him again in hopes that he’d drift off back to sleep, but no luck. He was wide awake and crying. I couldn’t calm him. Doc, who had just come to bed, took him so I could get a little more sleep before work. I’m sure he is completely exhausted today. I just don’t know what to do in situations like that; I have to work and he has to care for the baby the whole day. Both of those are very tiring, so who takes the hit? It’s always Doc. I don’t think that’s fair, but I don’t have a better answer.

Yesterday we gave Jamie his first solid food: rice cereal. He wasn’t really going for it in the morning, so we tried again before his last feeding before bedtime. He seemed to really like it, and got the hang of eating off the spoon fairly quickly.

So maybe his little system just isn’t ready for that yet, and maybe that’s what was keeping him up all night. Who knows. We’re going to stop with the cereal for a while and see if he goes back to his normal patterns.

More random updates:

Yvonne told me that a friend of hers worked her butt off to pump milk when her baby was little, and eventually built up something like a 2- or 3-month supply of frozen breastmilk in a freezer in their garage. One day, a breaker tripped and the garage power went off. They didn’t notice until all the milk had thawed and spoiled. That story makes me feel sick inside. The time investment alone that a supply that big represents… unbelievable. All that work gone to waste. I think I would have cried for days.

Doc and I took an infant CPR class last Saturday, taught by the same woman who taught our baby care and breastfeeding classes. Now we are certified for infant, child, and adult CPR. Hopefully, should the need ever arise, I will remember what I was taught. 30 compressions, 2 breaths, repeat.

My new nickname for Neko is “Helper Kitty.” She’s so sweet — whenever the baby cries, she comes running and hangs out, purring and looking concerned. It’s like she wants to help! Actually, it reduces my stress level to have her with me, rubbing her furry head on my ankles.

Jamie had his first taste of apple juice last Wednesday. Both Debbie and our pediatrician recommended it to help move things through his system. Jamie has really only pooped maybe twice a week for most of his life. I know this is not too unusual, but he gets progressively more uncomfortable and unhappy in the days leading up to each Poop Event. He’s gone by himself on three of the four days he’s been having juice. So… I’m not quite ready to definitively say that it’s solved the issue, but it is a good start. We are also now giving him probiotics (acidophilus bacteria) in an attempt to get his system regulated.

He loves his exersaucer and jolly-jumper bouncer. He plays with all the toys, and especially loves the spinning frog above the mirror, and the three wheels that click when he spins them. We have the exersaucer in the bathroom, and we can usually put him in it to play while we shower, brush our teeth, dress, etc.

Last week he participated in the Infant Research Project at UTD. They had him sit on our laps and look at different women speaking on a video screen in either comforting tones or happy approving tones. They were testing his attention span, and measuring how well he could tell the difference between the two tones. He also looked at faces of different races, to test how well he could differentiate. For his participation, he earned a certificate proclaiming him an official Infant Scientist. This made me both giggle and tear up a little. My baby’s first degree!

Work is going fine. It’s surprisingly hard for me to work from home on Thursdays, mostly because I can hear Doc and Jamie all day and can’t help when Jamie’s unhappy and can’t join in when he’s playful. I’m really busy being an Associate Director now (ooh, how fancy!) Basically, that means that I do the work I was doing before, plus manage two people, and have about three times more meetings than before, and spend so much of my time managing projects and delegating and putting out fires that I don’t actually have tons of time to do design work anymore. Sigh.

I had a really good annual review this year. My workplace insists that we fill out a form where we measure ourselves (and our supervisors rate us) on ten different dimensions, most of which don’t relate to how well you do your job. So my boss likes to perfunctorily go over the form but then just have a conversation about how the year went and about the year to come. It’s a great way to conduct a review. I used that as a model for how I then conducted the annual review for the designer that works for me. That went well too, largely because he’s a good guy with a strong work ethic, and he makes my job easy. My other employee is too new to the company to have an annual review, but I will be doing her 90-day review in a few weeks.

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