Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Paisley's New Nickname

We have a new nickname for Paisley.  We (affectionately) call her “Boo-Hoo Baby”.  Here’s how it came about:

I ordered a bunch of bilingual (Chinese/English) kids’ books for Paisley.  We thought it would be a good idea to have them around so that the Chinese babysitter would have some inspiration, and so that we could read them to Paisley to reinforce the language (even though we don’t speak Chinese). 

One of the books that we got was the Mantra Lingua version of a book called What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby?  For our linguistic purposes, it isn’t great, because the Chinese is only in traditional characters, and this one didn’t come with a CD, so only the babysitter will actually be able to read it to Paisley in Chinese.  Aside from that, though, the book is fantastic!  The pictures are really good, and the story is great.  Basically, it’s a story of a baby that just keeps crying, while a cow, a duck, a cat, and a dog try to make the baby happy.  The animals keep trying different things, and nothing works until at the end something finally does work.  I read the book to Jeff when it first arrived, and we both really enjoyed it.

Here’s why: Our baby is fussy.  She cries about everything.  I like her a lot, but man, oh, man, she sure is needy!  She cries when she is hungry, when she needs to go to the bathroom, if she wets a diaper, if she wants to be with us and isn’t, if she is tired, if she wakes up, if I am holding her but she wants to also be bounced, if I set her down, if I stop patting her back, etc.  Jeff is a very loud sneezer; he can’t help it.  Almost every time Jeff sneezes (which is a few times every day) it startles Paisley, and she starts to cry.  (I think this ought to be a “you break it you buy it” type thing—if I finally have Paisley happy and Jeff sneezes, I think he should have to be the one to make her happy again.  He doesn’t think so.)

Sometimes Jeff tells me he thinks our baby cries a lot.  I usually tell him I think maybe she is in the 60th percentile for crying—meaning, she cries more than 60% of all of the babies.  Because all babies cry sometimes, I think.  I don’t know, some days I feel like she’s in the 85th percentile.  Anyway, we still like Paisley, but I really hope this is just a long phase, or something she grows out of.  And next time (if there is a next time), I think I want to put in a request for a baby that is a little more easy-going.

Paisley doesn’t cry all day long…she just cries kind of a lot, pretty much about everything, and she usually wants 100% of my attention in order to calm down, and I often have to keep giving her my full attention and effort for her to stay calm.  For instance, I carry her in the sling most of every day, but a lot of times being carried isn’t enough; she also wants to be bounced or for me to walk in really exaggerated, bouncy steps.  (That gets tiring, but she doesn’t care.) 

So, for now, the nickname seems really appropriate.  This will go by quickly, though.  She’ll only be little for a short time, so I just need to keep enjoying the fact that she wants me.  

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Two months!

Paisley is just over two months old.  (Actually, today she is 11 weeks old, so she's about two and a half months old.) 

I am finally totally in love with her.  For the first while, I felt like she was a little stranger that I was very interested in, and inexplicably compelled to respond to, and I liked her…but…when I saw people talk online about being “in love” with their new babies, I didn’t totally relate to that.

I do now.

I am so sweetly, deliciously in love with this little girl!  She is the most wonderful, most beautiful, amazing creature, and she is the smartest, best baby in the world.  (I must be her mother.)

We’re so lucky to have her in our family, and to have this great opportunity to be the ones to help her figure things out as she orients herself on this planet.  We’re her mom and dad

I feel like I could just stare at her for days, because it’s so amazing that she is a real person—a whole person—that we made.  And she has her own thoughts, and her own little personality, which we’re helping her discover.  That’s incredible.

Anyhow, she’s two months old and she’s lovely.

We went for Paisley’s two month pediatrician visit precisely on the day that she turned two months old.  We found out she’s a lightweight (I think she is 10 lbs 2 oz now?), and she is very long, and she has a big head. 

Paisley is a champion sleeper.  Not long after my last blog post, she started sleeping about 10 hours straight every night.  At first I was a little worried…are babies younger than 2 months old supposed to sleep for that long?  Didn’t she need to eat or something?  But mostly I just enjoyed finally getting enough rest!  And, her pediatrician said I don’t need to wake her up to eat; she’ll make up for it by eating more during the day.  Good baby!

She is also starting to be a lot more smiley!  We play this game where—this will be hard to describe without it sounding weird—I say “doo doo doo” in increasingly elevated pitches as I tap her from her belly button up her chest, and then when I get to her face I tickle her cheeks.  She loves it!  And, not only that, it’s obvious she’s figured the game out, because now I only have to start tapping her belly while I make the “doo” noises, and long before I tickle her cheeks she starts to get excited.  It’s adorable.

Another pattern she’s figured out is “being swaddled.”  At night I take Paisley to the bathroom, and then I swaddle her, and I nurse her, and then I pat and bounce her until she is most of the way asleep, and I put her to bed.  The way the swaddle wrap works is, I lay the wrap out, and I set her in the middle of it.  I tuck her legs into a leg pocket, and I hold her arms at her sides.  Then I wrap and Velcro the left side closed, so that her left arm is snugly in place.  Then I wrap and Velcro the right side so her right arm is snugly in place, and she is totally wrapped like a baby-burrito.  WELL, a few days ago, Paisley figured out the swaddling routine.  Now, as soon as I tuck her legs into the leg pocket, she gets this big smile on her face, and she straightens both of her arms and plunks both of them down along her sides so that I can just wrap her right up.  It’s kind of fun that she’s figured out what’s going on some of the time.
At church for Paisley's baby blessing.

She “chats” with us a lot, too.  That’s really cute.  And she likes to watch us.

Jeff blessed Paisley in church last Sunday.  That was nice.  A bunch of our family members were able to attend.

A week and a half ago we started to have big successes with Paisley’s potty training.  I think I’ll post about that separately, though.

We hired a Chinese lady to babysit Paisley for a few hours at a time, twice each week.  Our goal is for Paisley to grow up speaking English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.  We don’t speak any Chinese, but in order for her to have a native accent herself, Paisley needs face-to-face interaction with someone who is speaking Chinese to her before she is six months old.  We thought hiring a Chinese babysitter would be a good way to do that.  So, finding a native Chinese babysitter in Utah was no easy task, but I’ve found someone, and so far I like her a lot!  Yesterday was her first day.

Those are the main things that have been going on here!