Thursday, May 28, 2009

dr. jekyll, mr. hyde

behold leon's new high-pitched screaming technique. note his new found ability to push back with his legs while arching his back.

two seconds later, when leon realized that i was paying attention to him.

i'd like to think that he's so in love with me that he can't help but express his extreme displeasure when i look away. but in reality, he's probably just sleepy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

week 13

i don't know how it happened, but leon is like a different baby. he's longer, chubbier, and uses his hands and feet in a more coordinated manner. a friend gave leon an octopus soft toy, and i was shocked to see him actually play with it. for the past few weeks i've offered various toys to him, but he didn't quite know how to use his hands. as exciting as the first two months were in terms of development, now i eagerly look forward to his daily discoveries. it certainly ameliorates the screaming fits before naps and bedtime, along with the night feedings (2-3 times).

the same friend who gave leon the toy is also an academic mother with a 2.5 year old. she chose to have a baby after finishing the dissertation but agreed with me that it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. sure, she has a job, but it isn't tenure-track. furthermore, with a wriggly active toddler, it's exceedingly hard for her to write, let alone do research on new projects or attend conferences, which are helpful for getting that tenure-track job. like me, she has an architect husband, so pretty much all of the housekeeping and parenting duties are her job, along with a full-time teaching load. she wasn't able to breastfeed, but this allowed her to get back to teaching quickly. however, once her son started walking, it's been pretty hectic.

i don't know how parents manage it, but i know eventually leon and i will figure things out. i'm trying to be patient, but time is running out for the dissertation. i have three months to complete a draft before going on the job market. i just met with one of my advisers who told me to scrap most of what i have (all 100 pages). i'll be able to salvage quite a bit, but following her advice requires a massive reconceptualization of my topic and theoretical framework. i definitely feel galvanized by her suggestions, but it's nonetheless daunting. leon does not make it easy. but oh how i love to squeeze his chubby thighs and tickle him under his triple chin.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the most important milestone

well, not really. i mean, i think touching his toe was an accident because he hasn't repeated the feat in a few days. but i seriously consider toe-grabbing to be the cutest thing a baby can do. i hope leon isn't too embarrassed that i've posted a photo of him without any pants or underwear on.

still isn't sleeping more than 4 hours at night, still likes to cluster feed once an hour (at least) for four to six hours in a row, still has the startle reflex, and still makes me laugh more than he makes me cry.

happy mother's day.

this little scamp of mine

leon laughed for the first time three days ago while taking his bath. i was washing his chin and neck when all of a sudden he chucked heartily. he has also become very grabby with his clothing, and i've noticed that he prefers his left hand to his right.

also, for a few days he was chewing on his lower lip whenever he felt frustrated or concerned. bath time can be nerve-wracking, especially when we're lifting him out of the tub. i was worried this would become a long-term habit. but, as i'm quickly learning, babies are anything but predictable. last night i was able to photograph his new coping mechanism--the pout.

Monday, May 4, 2009

on food and eating

leon and sophie at 10 weeks

wishing he could have fried clams, too...

some hopelessly optimistic part of me thought that by 2 1/2 months leon's feeding schedule would be less time-consuming. sometimes he'll sleep for 4 hours, once in awhile there's a 3 hour nap, but in general, i'm still feeding at least every 2 hours. the hardest part is that his super quick feeding sessions (4-6 minutes) are now dragging on for 15-20 minutes. it think it's often used as a soothing method because he definitely could stay latched on for an hour while sleeping. as my la lech league leaders like to say, he's moved on to non-nutritive sucking.

at what point am i going to stop obsessively writing down every feeding session and dirty diaper?
here's my day so far:
7.58--8 minutes
10.18--15 minutes, pee, poo
lunch no.1
11.39--7 minutes, pee, poo
12.07--15 minutes
walk to post office
2.09--7 minutes, pee, poo
lunch no.2
3.30--10 minutes
4.36--10 minutes, pee, poo
wait anxiously for matthew to come home so i can get back to my chapter. i managed to write a page yesterday during a particularly long (1 hour) nap.

if you think about it, when i'm feeding him every 2 hours (this is optimistic), 10-15 minutes are spent nursing. another 10 minutes will be used up with diaper changes, burping, etc. as i am typing this, leon is staring at me, whining every time i look away. i have now mastered typing and interacting with him without looking at the keyboard.

every 2 hours means i might have 70-80 minutes to get work done. unfortunately, there's at least a 4-6 hour block every day when he's feeding once an hour. this equals 30-40 minutes to eat, use the restroom, check my email, and write. when he's screaming and flailing about, all i do is soothe him until the next feeding session.

oh dear, there he goes again....