Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008, Savannah

I have so many awesome pictures, I don't even know where to start...
Or rather, I'm not sure when I'll be able to stop! But here are a few to start with:

Thanksgiving Day preparations at Anita and David's house:
Enjoying the sunshine and 65-degree weather at the local playground:
Bonding with Uncle David:
"No, you can't be in charge of the stuffing. Maybe next year."

"Bye-bye! See you soon!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Last night at about 11:00 we were trying to get Valerie to go to sleep (again... she WAS asleep at about 10:30, for all of like 20 minutes...) I put my knuckle in her mouth and I felt a sharp little prick! We got out the flashlight and sure enough! One sharp little tooth emerging from the lower left gum...
Aw... I felt all teary-eyed... my little baby growing up so fast :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Mama


Monday, November 03, 2008

Anthropology of Sleep

You know, the sleep schedule would be perfect if:

1) I didn't have to get up at 7 a.m. to teach two mornings a week. Because Val goes to sleep late, this means I am very short on sleep those mornings.

2) We didn't have department colloquium from 3:30-5:00 on Fridays. Because this is prime naptime, I have't been to colloquium in months. It's not a huge deal, but socializing at department events is just good professional practice.

3) She was SURE to go to sleep by 11. Lately she's been pretty consistent. But the nights when she won't go to sleep until after midnight are killers.

Other than that, the only issue I have is that it doesn't seem "normal!" For a baby to go to bed that LATE! And I wonder if we're being bad parents!!!!!

I used to think it was hilarious that there exists a society for the anthropology of sleep, but now I totally get it. Sleep is a natural human need, but there is so much about how we do it that is culturally contingent. Just think about it. T. came back from four years in Africa with the habit of taking naps under his desk or on the grass outside (when warm) whenever he felt like it and people thought it was really weird, but for him it had become normal.

My Granda Beth told me once, "don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty for needing a lot of sleep." She needed more sleep than Grandpa, but he liked her to get up and retire for the night at the same times he did. So she got into the habit of taking a mid-day nap. People would give her a hard time for it, like she was being lazy. But when left to my own devices, I tend to feel best with 9-10 hours a night. I am perfectly capable of sleeping for 11 hours straight. Once I slept for 14 hours straight. I think there is a genetic component at work.

Well, I'm certainly not getting 9 hours a night now; 8 at best, and always interrupted. But it's not so bad. It's doable. Less than that, however, is pretty rough.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile; I had a major deadline yesterday that had me nose to the proverbial grindstone with not much extra energy or extra computer time.

Today we went to brunch with our long-neglected playgroup; they tend to meet right during Val's afternoon naptime. The good thing about playgroup is socializing with other new parents, seeing the development of babies a few months older than V, getting ideas about things to try with her and learning new information.

The downside of playgroup is that I start second-guessing myself about everything. Feeding, sleeping, diapering... We finally bought two diaper covers yesterday to test-drive with the cloth diapers; she's outgrown the ones we have and we've only been using the disposables for a long time. Not that there's been consensus in the household about that anyway... it's hard to cloth diaper if only one parent is into the idea. Anyway, there seems to be more interest in it now. But the sheer variety of diapering options out there is mind-numbing... paralyzing... sometimes it's easier just to do what you've been doing.

Val seems so thin compared to some of the other babies. She definitely likes her rice cereal and is into eating from a spoon. We want to get a food grinder to mush up stuff for her but haven't been able to find out yet. I hear you can get them at Greenstar though - one thing we learned at playgroup today :-) I worry that I'm not feeding her enough.
And then there's SLEEP - the big one. She's kind of on our night-owl schedule. It seems like all the other babies go to sleep between 6 or 7 p.m., but V. goes to sleep between 10 and 11. Then she sleeps until about 9 a.m. Of course, she nurses up to 4 times during the night. Now that she's back in bed with us, I don't really wake up all the way and I actually feel more rested in the morning than when she was sleeping in the crib and I'd get up twice in the night to feed her. But anyway, I wonder if we're messing up her circadean rhythm by keeping this weird schedule? Can we really shift her schedule earlier? She takes a long nap between 4-8. Sometimes she falls asleep at 6 or so, and can sleep until 9, but then she wakes up for at least 2 hours, sometimes more. There have been nights when she wouldn't go to sleep again until 1 or 2 a.m. Which is crazy-making. But we'd definitely have to do some things differently if we wanted to change her schedule.