Friday, February 25, 2011

2 Month Check-Up

Just a quick update on the 2 month check up.

Phoebe is:
11 pounds, 1 ounce
23.5 inches long (or 24.5 depending on whether the nurse or the doctor measured)
This puts her in the 90th percentile for height and the 50th percentile for weight - the doctor said that's where she's been pretty much since the beginning, so she is right on track. 

We also got the dreaded shots.  She screamed horribly right after she got them, but has spent much of the rest of the day sleeping.  I think that the whole thing was more traumatic for me than for her!  The doctor said she is doing great!

After the shots, Phoebe was hungry so we stayed in the waiting room to feed her for a bit.  We talked to a dad there who was waiting for his wife and daughter - his daughter was seeing the doctor because she has Cystic Fibrosis.  The whole conversation made us all the more grateful for our healthy baby and gave us a bit of perspective.  If the hardest thing we have to deal with during Phoebe's infant years is colic, we'll take it. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I forgot to mention in the last post that the other note worthy thing that happened to Phoebe this week is that she got an eye infection.  We were so excited that it looked like we were going to make it the entire month between the one and two month check-ups without a trip to the pediatrician and then the eye goop struck.  Oh well, we were just a week short.  Phoebe's longest doctor-free streak is currently three weeks. 

To clear up the infection, the doctor gave us a prescription for ointment that we had to put in Phoebe's eye three times a day.  I think that they could make an entire candid camera episode out of us trying to get that ointment into our wiggly, screaming baby's eye.  Luckily, the infection looks like it has cleared up and we're done with the medicine. 

But, the exciting news that came out of our unexpected trip to the doctor is that Phoebe is still growing well!  She's already up to 10 pounds and 10 ounces!  Given her early struggles with weight gain and feeding, we're super relieved to see her doing so well.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

7.5 Weeks

Phoebe is about 7 and a half weeks old now.  This past week has been pretty eventful.  We had about a week of really great, calm baby followed by three or four days of very grumpy fussy baby.  Needless to say, we've been busy trying to get back that nice calm baby as quickly as possible.  We may be on our way - this evening Phoebe had two gigantic back-to-back poops, and has been feeling much better about life ever since.  [Sorry, this is a blog primarily about the baby - you had to figure we'd get around to poo eventually - at least there aren't pictures]

Other things that happened this week were: Phoebe went to a work meeting with me, Phoebe had her first baby sitter, we had a dinner guest, Phoebe met her first Chicago friend and Jeremy [finally] got his girl scout cookie order.  On Wednesday there was a meeting I wanted to go to at school, so Phoebe came with me.  She was definitely a hit and my colleagues enjoyed meeting her.  I stood in the back and bounced her in the carrier for most of the talk, and she was really well behaved for about an hour and a half.  Once she started fussing I just slipped out the back.  This was actually an interesting meeting, but it does strike me that a baby might be the perfect meeting accessory - "wow, I'd love to stay and talk about this more, but I think the baby needs ... a diaper change ... yeah, a diaper change".

As soon as people here knew I was pregnant we started getting lots of offers of babysitting.  I thought people were just being polite, but Jeremy was willing to call their bluff.  Since Phoebe and I are leaving for a while, Jeremy and I decided to go out for a meal together.  We rarely get a chance to talk uninterrupted by Phoebe and we almost never get to eat at the same time.  So, this Sunday, our friend Rachel came over to watch the Fusser and Jeremy and I went out for a really nice lunch at a local fish place.  Phoebe was pretty good for Rachel and only started to melt down right as we were getting home.  Rachel even offered to come over to watch her again!

Now that we're officially out of food that other people made us, we're having to fend for ourselves around dinner time.  When Phoebe was being relatively calm, we got bold and decided to try to cook something that required more than just opening a package from Trader Joe's and microwaving/heating in the oven.  On Tuesday we made crock pot chicken and dumplings and had Leslie over to eat with us and to watch the big human vs. computer Jeopardy match.  It is always lots of fun to hang out with Leslie and she's always happy to take a turn with Phoebe - even when she's crying (Phoebe, not Leslie). 

Today one of our Chicago friends, Damon, was in town for work, so we took Phoebe into Monterey to meet him.  Damon has a really cool job at a car magazine and was here to test drive a fancy new Mustang but I'm sure meeting Phoebe was just as exciting :)  We took some pictures of Phoebe getting some Damon-snuggles but they are on Jeremy's phone, so I'll have to stick them in a separate post after I get a chance to upload them.  Until then, here are a few other pictures from the last week and a half.

Here is Phoebe playing in her bouncy seat.  Here I think she is actually also helping me make dinner.  If she's happy in her bouncy, I can usually get a little bit of work done as long as I narrate what I am doing to keep her entertained.

Same picture from a different angle.  You can see that Danger was keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings from the safety of the hamper.

Last weekend we went for a big family walk around the neighborhood park.  Phoebe loves the outside!  She gets snuggled into the carrier and then she tries to get as high up as possible, throws her head back, and spends the walk sticking out her tongue to taste the air (kind of like a puppy sticking its head out the car window).  It is pretty funny to watch.

This picture is just here to show off Phoebe's cute bunny hat.

Here Phoebe and Dad are rocking their matching optimist shirts (both say "Half Full").  Since you can't see Phoebe's shirt too well, here is a close up:

Phoebe looks a little crazy in this picture because I am dangling a toy to try to get her look at the camera - apparently not a winning strategy at this point :)

Here she is mid-yawn - the baby is clearly over this photo-shoot.

Here Jeremy poses with the two most misunderstood mammals in the world - at least to hear them tell it.  Danger and Phoebe often joust for whiniest creature in the house.  Danger felt pretty neglected before Phoebe came along - now the only thing that keeps him from calling the ASPCA is his lack of opposable thumbs. 

I love this next sequence of shots:

First, Jeremy soothes Phoebe to sleep

Next, Danger arrives.  Here he shows how neglected he is.  Stupid baby gets the snuggles that used to be HIS.

Finally, Rocky shows up for some belly rubs.  Everybody wants some attention from Daddy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

We really really don't want to jinx anything, but it looks like we may be turning a corner with Phoebe.  The last few days have been much better in terms of the amount of screaming she does. She still gets fussy - especially at night or when she is put in the car seat - but she is getting a bit easier to soothe and sometimes we can even calm her down before she gets into full-on melt down mode.  We have no idea which of the interventions that we have tried is responsible for this turn around, so we're going to just keep doing all of them.  Eventually we'll probably try to phase out things like the baby Zantac and the probiotics, but for now, we don't want to risk a back slide. 

On day 2 of reasonable baby behavior I said "who are you?  and what have you done with our Phoebe?".  Jeremy overheard me and without missing a beat he responded "I don't care, let's keep this one."  I don't think that anyone will miss the old Phoebe - especially not our neighbors.  Last week our next door neighbor (who we get along great with) complemented Phoebe on her lung strength.  These people have two little boys so they are familiar with baby noise.  The mom said "usually little babies sound like little kittens when they cry, but Phoebe ...".  Yeah, Phoebe definitely skipped the kitten phase.   I would classify her crying more as fire alarm-esque.  The neighbors' little boy covers his ears whenever he sees Phoebe.  I am sure it has not been easy to be our neighbor for the last six weeks!

Now we need to work on night time sleep.  I was excited to read that some babies start sleeping through the night around 10 weeks.  Then I learned that the clinical definition of sleeping through the night was one uninterrupted five hour stretch.  What?!?  Who came up with that?!  Five hours does not a night of sleep make.  At this point however, we would definitely take five hours on a regular basis.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  Love from Jeremy, Kate and Phoebe.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

6 Weeks!

Today is Phoebe's six week birthday.  We've heard from a lot of folks that at six weeks things start to get a little better.  We're a little skeptical given that right now Jeremy is in the bathroom bouncing the baby on the yoga ball (in the bathroom because she likes the noise of the fan).  Anyway, it would be great if there was an improvement in the screaming situation, but we're not holding our breath!

Since it has been six weeks since Phoebe was born, I also had my post-baby visit with my doctor this week.  The good news is I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I am calling my new weight loss regime the "You scream, I scream, but nobody eats ice cream" diet.  You just need to cut out all dairy and simultaneously have a ridiculously fussy baby who requires you to constantly be bouncing/rocking/etc.  Sadly, my pre-pregnancy weight was a little higher than I'd like due to the crazy four-class semester, so I still have about 5-10 or 15 pounds that I'd like to lose, but I'll take what I can get!

In other news, Phoebe took her first road trip this weekend.  We went up to Palo Alto to watch the Superbowl with our friends Geoff and Kristen (and Leslie who drove up with us from Monterey).  Phoebe was on her best behavior during the game and actually was pretty well behaved in the car as well.  I guess she was just really excited about the game (although she slept through most of it).   Geoff and Kristen have a 16 month old little boy, so it was really cool to see him walking and talking - babies change so much so quickly!  Here is a picture of their little guy being grabbed as he was running towards a sleeping Phoebe with a spoon full of guacamole.  While we applaud his generous spirit, we had to explain that babies can't really eat guacamole at six weeks :)

Probably the most exciting thing that happened at the Superbowl is that we ran out of gas on the way home.  In retrospect it is a little funny because we were actually in the middle of a conversation about how Jeremy is absent-minded when the engine skipped and he realized the car was out of gas.  I'll skip over the details, but I'll just say that Progressive insurance is great!  Their roadside assistance guy showed up within an hour, and all we had to pay for was the gas.  We also owe a huge thanks to our local friends that drove 20 minutes each way to come pick up Leslie, Phoebe and me while Jeremy waited for roadside assistance.  It was cold and dark, so we were very grateful for the rescue.  When I told my brother this story he said "How could Jeremy run out of gas?  Doesn't he have a wife to nag him abut filling up the tank?".  I guess I've been slacking :)

Phoebe has been a bit of a stinker this week.  On Tuesday I took an infant massage class.  During the class, there was soft music playing and all of the other babies were peacefully enjoying their rub-downs ... not Phoebe.  Phoebe spent most of the two hour class screaming at the top of her lungs.  I finally took her outside so that the other babies could get some peace and quiet.  I just have to say that if I was getting a two hour massage, my reaction would not be to scream at the top of my lungs.  Next time we'll have to take the class where the babies learn to massage the parents. 

Wednesday, during our regular baby playgroup, the same thing happened.  Non-stop screaming.  I figure that I provide a type of public service: all of the other moms go home feeling waaaaaay better about their babies after spending two hours with Phoebe. 

Here is a picture of Jeremy soothing the savage beast:

He is bouncing her on the yoga ball - we spend many many hours on the yoga ball.  Here Jeremy attempts to feed the baby without taking her out of the carrier:

I am pretty sure this is not an American Academy of Pediatrics approved feeding position, but I'm certainly not going to argue with someone else taking care of the baby for a while :) 

I know we complain a lot, but Phoebe really does have her adorable moments.  She is getting more alert by the day and she has started to smile more frequently.  She has regular awake periods during the day where she is not actively fussy (this is a new development).  Here is a picture of Phoebe helping me with the laundry:

It is never to early for chores!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What a week!

Phoebe (or McFusserstein as she is known around these parts) had quite the week!  On Tuesday in the morning we went to a new mom's support group at the Parent's Place.  That evening we went to a party at my friend Sathya's house.  It was supposed to be (among other things) a chance for a group of our California friends to meet Phoebe.  Sadly, she was in rare form on Tuesday night and managed to scream for pretty much the whole two hours we were there.   Proof that our friends are awesome is that they all offered to take turns trying to calm the baby.  Nobody was able to succeed, but we sure appreciated the break!  (And the wine).  We are the only couple among our friends with a baby, and I think that after this particular get together, it will stay that way for quite a while :) Needless to say, there are no pictures of Phoebe's first party.

On Wednesday, we went to our regular weekly infant group.  When Phoebe started to fuss the woman that runs the group asked if she could try to calm her down.  I said "most definitely", handed over Phoebe, and then I briefly considered how far I could get before they realized I was gone :)  JUST KIDDING!  I really like the infant playgroup get together.  It is really nice to hang out with other moms that have kids around the same age - whenever I go out with the baby anywhere else I always am on edge about her screaming (or anticipating her screaming) so it is nice to be in an environment where everyone just keeps talking over the baby noise.  I was skeptical of the group at first and it was actually Jeremy who signed us up, but I am really glad he convinced me to go.

After playgroup, Phoebe and I went to the local baby consignment shop with some of the other parents and babies.  The first week of every month, they have a dollar sale where everything that has been in the store for three months or longer is only $1.  We got a couple of cute outfits for Phoebe and an outfit for a friend of ours who is having a baby boy in May.  Given the speed at which Phoebe is growing and the disgusting things that she does to clothing, it is nice to be able to get a whole sack full of clothes for less than $20! 

My original intent in this picture was to capture a cute photo of one of Phoebe's new outfits, but she spit up all over the top before I could get a picture.  (Imagine these pants with a cute pink shirt with owls on it).  Anyway, so after the giant spit up, I threw this red shirt on her - it was part of an outfit that some friends of ours got Phoebe after she was born.  So instead of showing her cute new outfit, this picture shows how BIG Phoebe is getting.  Clearly the shirt doesn't really fit any more  - I think we've officially graduated out of newborn sized clothes!  It is amazing that a person can grow this fast!  Of course, when we see the six month olds in the class above ours at playgroup it is clear that Phoebe is still a little shrimp, but compared to where she was just a few weeks ago, she is getting huge!

Phoebe is also getting more expressive - here is a sequence of her in her bouncy seat the other day:

Speaking of the bouncy seat - it is one of Phoebe's favorite places to hang out.  We got our bouncy for $5 at a garage sale, and it is probably one of the best purchases we have ever made!  We found out that at night she'll sleep about an hour longer than usual if she is in there rather than her pack-n-play, so she spends a LOT of time in the bouncy.  It is an old-school bouncy seat from before people worried about things like infant head support, so we've rigged up a makeshift head/neck support, and Phoebe does tend to end up scrunched down after a few hours, but she doesn't seem to mind and we are certainly not going to mess with success!  In this picture, Phoebe is sporting one of my favorite baby outfits.  It is a little tie-died sleeper with an elephant on it.  You can 't see it in these pictures, but the feet are also elephants.  Adorable!  Also, tie die hides any number of baby-related stains - they should really make more tie-died infant clothing!

Let's see, back to our busy week.  Today (Thursday) Phoebe and I had our first play date!  We met one of the moms from our group and her baby for lunch.  It was really nice!  Both babies were on their best behavior for the entire meal!  Both of us moms really enjoyed getting out of the house and having some adult conversation.  Both of us have somewhat fussy babies and are nervous about taking them out in public, so it was nice to have each other for moral support!  Half way through lunch I think we were even able to relax (a little) and worry a little less about if something was going to set off one of the babies. 

This has been a pretty busy week all told.  I am getting a little more confident about taking Phoebe out - although the screaming fit at the party on Tuesday was almost enough to make me want to keep her home for the next six years!  Sunday will be the real test - we're taking her to Palo Alto to watch the Superbowl, so it will be her first long car trip AND the longest we've been gone in any one stretch.  Hopefully it won't be too big of a disaster.

Here are some more cute Phoebe pictures:

This picture is Jeremy playing with Phoebe on her play mat.  I don't think that the company that makes the mat intended it for grown men, but Jeremy sure had a good time :)

Another sleeping baby picture.  From the pictures on this blog you would think that Phoebe sleeps a lot - hahahaha!  Anyway, if you look closely you can see her blowing bubbles in her sleep.  I just thought that was adorable.  Not quite as adorable as if she'd slept for longer than 20 minutes, but adorable none-the-less.