Thursday, March 31, 2011

Congratulations Jeremy!

I know that everyone comes here for Phoebe pictures, but I have to take a minute to congratulate my awesome husband on:
(1) Earning all A's last semester
(2) Getting picked for a really great (local) summer internship program

I am really impressed with how much he has accomplished since starting school this fall - especially with Phoebe added to the mix.  On top of doing great in school, Jeremy is amazing with Phoebe - he takes on the pre-bedtime fussies every night and manages to get the baby to sleep.  That might be his most impressive accomplishment :)


Everyone told us that as soon as Phoebe started daycare, she'd get sick.  We just weren't expecting her to get sick after only a day and a half.  About half way through the night yesterday it became apparent that our little peanut had come down with a pretty bad cold.  All day Phoebe has been really stuffy and congested.  The only thing that makes her grumpier than being congested is our efforts to de-congest her.  We've been using the bulb syringe to suck boogers out of the baby and saline spray to ... whatever it is that saline spray does for you when you have a cold.  Baby cold medicine isn't recommended anymore and the Lockwood homemade whiskey remedy includes honey and everyone knows you're not allowed to give babies honey.  I will say that while the Lockwood remedy might not be doing anything for the baby, it does seem to make the cold easier to handle if the parents drink it :)  All joking aside, it is hard to have a sick baby.  If she were older I could make her soup and let her watch cartoons all day.  At this age, there isn't a lot you can do, which is frustrating. 

During a grumpy period this afternoon, we all went on a little walk around the neighborhood.  Since it was really warm and sunny here today, Phoebe got a chance to try out her new sunhat:

It's a little big, but it does the job.  Of course today the never-ending mixture of boogers and drool covering the baby probably would have acted as a sunscreen, but you can never be too careful.  Just to give you an idea of how bad the baby-booger-drool situation is - Jeremy is on his third shirt of the day (that doesn't even count the long sleeve shirt he had on earlier). 

In other news, Phoebe is on a bit of a pacifier strike.  The situation is a little unfortunate because you can see her frantically try to suck on something (like your collar bone) during a fit, but then she absolutely refuses to take a pacifier - an object specifically made for sucking!  We're not sure what has caused this sudden change, all we can say is that Phoebe is trying to keep us guessing.  While she won't take a pacifier anymore, she will try to shove just about anything else she can find into her mouth.  One of her favorite toys is the giraffe that Aunt Laura sent:

As you can see, Phoebe is getting pretty good at shoving things in her mouth.  They do have to be aligned properly when she grabs them - she hasn't mastered turning things around to get a good angle.  Sometimes she tries to shove the giraffe in sideways and then gets VERY angry when she can't get it into her mouth.  It is so hard to be the baby.

Speaking of which:

In this picture, Phoebe shows us just how UNamused she is by our attempts to entertain her.  She can be a tough customer!  Especially when she's sick.  Here's hoping this cold is short-lived!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3 Months Old!

Today is Phoebe's 3 month birthday!  On one hand I can't believe our baby is already 3 months old.  On the other hand, it sure seems like December was a long time ago.  I remember at the beginning when Phoebe was really colicky - everyone told us that things would get better when she was three months old.  At the time, that was really discouraging to hear because it felt like we would never make it to three months.  Now we get to wake up to this:

Happy birthday little fuss-budget!  Mommy and Daddy love you very much!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I left out the best part!

I forgot to mention in the previous post that yesterday, after her first day of daycare, Phoebe slept for eight hours in a stretch for the first time ever!!!  Granted those eight hours were from 8PM to 4AM, but EIGHT HOURS is EIGHT HOURS!!!  We know this was probably a fluke and we're not holding out for another eight hours tonight but after last night Jeremy was sold on the positive power of daycare.  I think he said something along the lines of "I missed her and everything, but EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP!".  (I may be paraphrasing there).

Phoebe doesn't really have much of a schedule right now.  Pretty much the only real constant is that bed time is between 7 and 8 every night.  There is a pretty big range because we don't put her down if she isn't tired and after she starts getting tired, it sometimes takes up to a half hour of songs and walking and cuddling to get her to sleep.  She'll eat one or two times in the middle of the night and recently she has started getting up at 5:30 for another snack.  After the 5:30 snack, it's sort of a crap-shoot whether she will go back to sleep for any measurable amount of time.  Sometimes she is up for good at 5:30 and other times she'll snooze until almost 7 (guess which baby we prefer?).  Naps are all over the place.  We never really know how many she'll take, when they'll be, or how long they'll last.  We're looking forward to a more stable Phoebe schedule, but we're not going to force the issue for now.  The real issue with naps is length.  Phoebe is clearly a happier baby when she gets in some quality nap time, but she often wakes up after only 15 or 20 minutes.  Once she's up she doesn't want to go back to sleep - she doesn't like to miss anything and you know how exciting Jeremy and I are :)


To ease Phoebe into daycare, we're starting with part-time for now.  This means that Jeremy and I were both home with her today.  Since we both just started back, we have a little less work than usual, so we spent most of today hanging out and enjoying a little family time before things get hectic (which will probably happen tomorrow).  We ran errands, got lunch, took a walk by the ocean, and did some chores around the house.  It is really nice to spend time together as a little family. 

One of the chores we did today was to put together some bookshelves.  Both Jeremy and I have a horrible book addiction - we are total suckers for the buy two get one free table at Barnes and Noble - and we recently outgrew our existing book storage.  While Phoebe and I were in Michigan, Jeremy went to IKEA and got another set of shelves for our living room.  This afternoon, Jeremy assembled the shelves while Phoebe supervised from her swing:

Because we know nobody comes here for pictures of Jeremy, here is a close up of the project manager:

After dinner and Phoebe's early evening nap, we all went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Then it was home for bath time.  After her bath, we always put Phoebe in her PJs and a hat.  Tonight she ended up in her cow outfit:

She was pretty tired and not really in the mood for a photo session, but I thought we needed a picture of our little cow.  As he was giving Phoebe a post-bath bottle, Jeremy pointed out that there was something funny about giving people-milk to a cow :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

We Survived! (the baby is fine too)

Phoebe's first day of daycare seems to have gone ok.  As anticipated, drop off was way harder on Jeremy and I than on Phoebe.  Phoebe happily went to Ms. Green (the daycare center director).  Jeremy and I took a long time to leave and after that we had to sit in the car for 10 minutes before we could bring ourselves to drive away.  We emailed back and forth all day about how sad we were - Jeremy even listened to Phoebe's Peter Paul and Mary CD at school.  I thought I was holding it together until someone at work asked if this was the longest I'd ever been away from Phoebe.  I hadn't thought of it before but until today the longest I'd been away from Phoebe was maybe three hours.  Today was a full day of daycare.

When I picked Phoebe up, the first thing Ms. Green said was "is Phoebe a colicky baby?".  Oops, I guess we forgot to mention that on our application.  I also guess that Phoebe demonstrated the vigor and stamina of her crying for all the other kids at daycare.   Despite the crying (on all our parts) we really think this will be a good daycare situation for the Fussers.  The staff clearly is very caring and took very good care of Phoebe during the day.  Ms Green even pointed out that they noticed the velcro on Phoebe's bib was irritating her skin, so I should make sure to buy bibs that snap in the future.    I never even noticed that  - but I guess we're going to have to get some new bibs!

Phoebe fell asleep in the car on the way home, so Jeremy and I took her out to dinner to celebrate all of us surviving the first day of daycare.  The local deli that we like just recently started staying open for dinner, so we stopped by there (the dinner specials all include the cookie of your choice for dessert so we are big fans).  We had a nice celebratory dinner then we came home and did our nighttime bath, stories and songs and put the Fuss-budget down to sleep.  I think Jeremy and I will be following close behind - today was pretty exhausting for all of us. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Day of Maternity Leave

Tomorrow I am officially back to work full time which means tomorrow is Phoebe's first day of daycare.  I don't have any classes to teach, so luckily my schedule will be flexible enough that we're going to be able to ease Phoebe into daycare by starting part-time.  Jeremy has class M-W-F so we'll put Phoebe in daycare for full days on Monday and Friday and a half-day on Wednesday.  Wednesdays I'll pick her up at lunch time and take her to our parent group and then watch her for the rest of the afternoon.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jeremy and I will both be home so we'll try to share baby duties so we can both get some work done.  We know that eventually we will have to add one of (and then probably both) Tuesday and Thursday to the daycare schedule but I think it will be easier on everyone involved if we start with part time.

This weekend has been a whirlwind of getting unpacked from our trip out East and getting ready for daycare.  We stopped by to fill out paperwork on Thursday and got a huge supply list.  We have to send a bunch of stuff for Phoebe as well as general supplies which all of the parents pitch in for twice a year (Kleenex, disinfectant, etc).  Everything had to be bought, washed and labeled so that kept us pretty busy.  Not to mention I'm still sick, and there is a baby to wrangle!  Speaking of the baby, here is a picture from today:

There are a couple of things to note about this picture:
(1) You can see why Phoebe's new nickname is Slobba the Hut - she is constantly drooling.  I think this picture shows some bonus spit up along with all the drool.  Jeremy and I almost always have big wet patches on our shoulders - maybe we can start a new fashion trend!
(2) The outfit Phoebe has on is her third of the day (which she was changed into by 10 AM).  It was just that kind of morning.  One of those wardrobe changes resulted in the declaration that we are officially done with size 1 diapers - they can no longer contain Phoebe's ... output.  Size 2 here we come.  [other things that were laundered today included several toys and the bouncy seat cover].
(3) All of a sudden, Phoebe is desperate to sit up.  She has started flinging her upper body forward to try to sit on her own.  Of course, she won't actually be able to do this for several months, so she is often frustrated.  It also makes things like the bouncy seat and baths a tad more perilous than before.  Phoebe is definitely keeping us on our toes.
(4) This is for my dad: see, not all of her outfits are pink :)

In other Phoebe news, she also discovered a great new toy: Daddy's glasses.  They are perfect for the new game she learned: Keep Away:

Jeremy did eventually get his glasses back, but they were pretty smudged.

Anyway, back to daycare.  I can't remember if I posted about our daycare troubles or not.  We had a place all picked out for Phoebe and we put her on the waitlist back in August (keep in mind we are starting care at the end of March so we thought we'd be fine).  When we called to check up, there were still 11 kids in front of her (they took two off the list the month before).  Needless to say, there was some last minute scrambling.  We found another center that we liked but that cost twice as much as the first one.  They demurred when we asked about the waitlist, and after we paid our application fee guess what - NO ROOM.  Awesome.  At that point, I had to leave to go to Michigan, so in addition to studying for finals, Jeremy had to visit other daycare centers to try to get a spot for the munchkin.  There was ONE place that had an opening for an infant and it turned out to actually be a really nice place so we got our deposit in and Phoebe will be starting tomorrow.  It was a little harrowing to have to find a place in a hurry, and for me to sign on without seeing it first, but I think it will all work out.  We're still on the waitlist for the first place (it is much closer and cheaper than where we are now) so hopefully we'll get in there by the end of the summer, but we're not holding our breath.  For now we're just glad to have a loving, nurturing daycare for Phoebe to go to.  [Even though Jeremy is going to have to get over the fact that one of the teachers is named Ms. Precious]. 

Of course, there is still a lot of guilt about the fact that we have to put our baby in daycare at all, but really I think it is best for everyone if Mom goes back to work.  First of all, there's the practicality that we're all rather fond of eating and what-not.  But beyond that, I am not sure if I'd make a very good stay-at-home mom.  I like my job (most of the time) and I think that having the intellectual challenge of work will help me stay sane and to be a more present and involved parent when I do have time with Phoebe.  We'll see.  I have enjoyed (parts of) my maternity leave (those first six weeks of colic were ROUGH - I would have paid to go back to work then) and I am grateful to have had so much time with the baby and to have had the chance to take her to visit family.  However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also excited to get back to work.  I have some projects that I started before I left that I want to get back to and I am really looking forward to seeing my students again.  Not to mention, after all of those years of school, it would be nice to get in more than a year and a half of work :)

I'll update tomorrow to let everyone know how the first day of daycare went.  I am guessing it will be rougher on me than on Phoebe!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day (a little late)

While we were gone, Phoebe celebrated her first St. Patrick's Day complete with a special onesie from Grandma Joyce:

She wasn't very smiley during this particular photo shoot, so I think she must have had a milk-hangover from her bender the night before:

Who hasn't felt like that after hitting the bottle a little too hard the night before? :)

Actually, it was a pretty tame St. Patrick's Day for all involved.  I had one Guinness, Phoebe had a bottle, and I think we both hit the sack by about 9:30.  My dad did point out that I should have just sent Phoebe to the bar with her Uncle John.  He observed that Phoebe's schedule fit pretty well with a bar fly's: one bottle could come right before the party got started, another bottle at last call, and the final bottle at Denny's while everyone is eating pancakes and sobering up.  I guess that is something to keep in mind next time we can't find a babysitter - we'll just hit up the local pub!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Jeremy's 36th birthday!  It has been quite a year!  Sadly our celebration consisted of me getting sick which left Jeremy with a day full of grumpy baby wrangling quality Phoebe time.  To thank her daddy for the great day, Phoebe wore a special onesie:

(If you can't read the onesie, it says "Ha Ha! You're Old").  Happy birthday Jeremy!

Home Sweet Home!

For those of you following our travels ... oh wait ... nobody was following our travels because I haven't updated the blog in a month.  Anyway, we're back home from our trip(s) and we have a lot to catch everyone up on.  We'll try to post much more regularly now that we're back in California.  
Before he left, Jeremy cleaned the apartment.  He said it took him two days.  Of course it took less than two minutes for us to turn it back into a disaster area when we got home.  Here are Danger and Phoebe helping with all of the post-travel laundry.  I think Danger was happy to see Jeremy and I, but the jury is still out on whether he is happy to see Phoebe.