Monday, December 28, 2009

Penelope Steals Cookies, Plays with a Polar Bear



Monday, December 14, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Birthday Uke

More birthday pics and vids as I manage to organize them, but this had to go right up.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Okay, Grandpa! New Videos!

My Dinner with Eli:


We could have edited this, but here's some of her first crawling:


A very odd habit she has:


Turning off the light:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knocking things over with Eli

P's been laughing about stuff lately -- but how cruel a world is it when the child of two standup comics won't laugh at her parents? Instead it's Max, Eli and Harry who induce the most hilarity. Last weekend she let loose a cascading peal of laughter at a little whirling-dervish move from Harry, but usually it's a chortle, like so:



Hm. This won't play for me at work. Let me know if the Flickr videos aren't working and I'll switch them all over to YouTube -- so nobody misses a minute!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thanks, Eric Carle!

Oy, these six teeth have been coming in for-EV-er! The middle two have busted through, though, and the other four are in various stages of swelling so they can't be far behind. Her congestion is much better -- just a few little snot bubbles here and there (lovely, LOVELY). She is waving (the "right way" and then the "wrong way," as Max and Eli pointed out, just to see both sides). She's babbling and shrieking, especially when she sees Harry. (This scares the crap out of Harry, who handles it very well despite his obvious terror.) And she is really, really laughing. Chortling most of the time, but last night she let out a huge long belly-laugh at cousin Harry's antics. It was the greatest sound you EVER heard!

But her latest trick is giving kisses. Big, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses. The recipient? Well, Randy and I get a lot of them, but most of her affection is reserved for Brown Bear and Panda Bear. Here she is getting romantical with Brown Bear.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Man, That's A Cute Baby!



Sorry for the graininess, but I think it's still worth posting. Penelope is VERY into the baby in the mirror -- and the mommy in the mirror, too. Every time I go past one, she practically vaults out of my arms in an effort to get eye-to-eye with that mirror-baby. At the supermarket the other day, there were mylar balloons, and she loved seeing the baby in them floating back up to their post in the sky. Hours of fun. Well, minutes.

Penelope has at least 4 teeth coming in at once -- the middle top two are poking thru, and the gums on each side are bruised and tender. But she rarely complains. She seems to take it all in stride. Very tough, this one. Not like her mother, who called the nurses "heartless bitches" because her Fentanyl was late...

She makes this adorable little popping sound with her lips, but I cannot catch it on camera. What I have is a lot of footage of Penelope grinning widely at the camera while *I* make the adorable popping sound, which is considerably less adorable. Go figure. She's also cruising, or attempting to. She stands, and steps forward and back while holding onto an object, and then falls. Getting her to sit is like trying to fold a deck chair in a windstorm.

She's kissing. That is, she's mashing her open mouth onto my cheek after I kiss her, and I am pretty sure the ensuing mush of spit and hot breath is an expression of affection. It certainly feels like one.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

She's a nose-getter!

the latest stats on penelope: she's 2 ounces shy of 17 lbs, 25 inches long, and her gross motor skills are perfect for a 6.5 month old. Fine motor skills, and things like attention and focus, are more in line with her birth age -- now about 9 months, jeez!

She's sitting up, imitating noises, and most disturbingly has developed a taste for... well, I'll let you see for yourselves.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Penelope as Minnie Riperton

I could fill up my hard drive with footage of me singing to penelope, getting to her cue, and then... silence. OR I could take advantage of the magic of editing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New York, and a New Development

Well, I just don't know how to make captions appear under each photo. Forget it. I can't be bothered. You'll have to read an actual paragraph of text and figure out which photo I'm referencing where.

So! We went to NYC, and I showed Emily [PLEASE NOTE TYPO. Emily is my younger sister. I meant Penelope. Holy crap.] my old college campus (NO PRESSURE!). She also met about one billion people, including beloved pals from high school AND college, and was VERY good-natured through it all, only melting down occasionally. Which puts her one step ahead of her mother, who turns meltdowns into a hobby. Anywho. She met Sam, whom we're referring to as Beshert. She met Pamela, among others, but she was the one who was handy on the phone.

And then we came home and she bit her dad's nose in our favorite sushi restaurant, which is notable because the bite HURT. WHY? Because it turns out she has a TOOTH. So all that drooling, all that hollering had a purpose! Because MILKTOOF IS IN THE HOUSE!

There are no pictures because she doesn't hold still for gum photos. Odd, right? Most babies are delighted to sit still for gum photos.

Also in the past few weeks: Goodbye swaddle, hello solid food, and slightly longer hair. I know!!





Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Roll over! Roll over!


and bonus: mother's day t-shirts (matching!!) and Eli's sculpture of Penelope, complete with hemangioma and entire fist stuck in her mouth! hilarious and excellent!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Well, I earned this one. And my reward was some awesome dosh: fantastic slippers, the best mug ever, and a new glider to replace the squeaky monstrosity I'd been suffering.

Best of all, Penelope joined me in reenacting a mother-daughter classic.




Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Day With Harry




Penelope wakes up so happily these days. I don't know how she came to be this way -- I'm certainly not a morning person -- but it's really something to roll over and see her open her eyes, see me, and grin like waking up next to each other was a fantastic idea we cooked up.

She's so enthusiastic about everything she's learning: she doesn't just sit up, she kicks and wiggles because it's just so damn fun. She doesn't just play with her books, she shoves them in her mouth and stares at them intently, shapes and colors coming together in her mind as I watch. She is one cool character. And man, she loves her cousin.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Big Doctor News
















So we had a doctor's appointment this week. First of all: 11.6 pounds! We knew from her chubby pulkes that she'd gained. That means she's just about tripled her weight since her birth, right? I never know how to triple pounds. I think I have to turn everything into ounces to calculate it and I am not doing that. Suffice it to say she is "so fat, but good fat," as the kids say.

The really amazing thing is that -- we've been calculating her development from her due date. So when people ask me her age, I say "three months," so that people don't think "that is one seriously underdeveloped five month old."

Except the doctor went over what P is doing lately -- imitating sounds (including raspberries), grabbing things and stuffing them in her mouth, standing up with our help, following objects with her eyes and turning toward sounds, lifting her head to try to sit up, good head control, flying (ok not that last one) -- anyway, she's at about 4.5 months developmentally, catching up to her birth age already.

And really, no pressure. I'm perfectly happy to have her be developing from her due date, but it's just so exciting and cool that she's catching up, getting ahead. She's such a fabulous, groovy baby, completely charming and engaging, smiley and kicky, with great taste in music and clothes (I mean, she doesn't object, so -- that means she likes skull legwarmers and the Kinks, right?).

Fabulous child. Yay!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back To Work

I've heard you people clamoring for more episodes of The Penelope Show. We have not been inspired, but here are some photos:


Look at that head control!

















Penelope and some bubbes at synagogue

















Penelope and Ella, a pal from the NICU. If you'd seen them in their little isolettes, you would not believe it either...


















Penn-Ella, Redux

















My badass babe! (yes, those are legwarmers!)



















Audie, a toddler pal (and Judy, from back east!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

big smile!


Sorry we haven't updated, but Grandma and Grandpa were here and we had sooooo much fun... apparently too much fun to take any decent pictures. Ha-whoops. I'll have to check the actual camera, because the cameraphone, she is not helping.

Of course, sometimes she decides it's time to have fun at 5am, like today. Waah! I'm awake! Change me! Oh, lookit this, smile smile kick kick. Why so baggy, mommy's eyes?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Penelope Club



There has been a meeting of The Penelope Club, which is very exclusive. We could not show all the shenanigans, but rumor has it there was giraffe-foot boxing. (Penelope is grabbing at objects, by the way. I know. GENIUS.)

Nothing new to report healthwise. We go back to her blood pressure doctor tomorrow, but i have no reason to suspect she'll be anything but healthy. She spends the entire night in the cosleeper, except when she's eating; last night that made for 8 hours of sleep, the night before -- 12! Yeah, I said it! Her naps are also becoming more discernible.

Monkey'd better start behaving himself if he wants to stay in the club.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Penelope Show



I think this is going to look a lot better than the YouTube embeds.

Anywho: Tons to tell, no time to tell it. So rather than kicky prose, you'll get a list:

- We got bags and bags of clothes from the beautiful Sasha! Pics of Penn in her gorgeous new outfits forthcoming. Also from the amazing Bess!

- We have started night-nursing. It is a wonder! Everyone gets a lot more sleep! I just have to be very assiduous about sitting up and burping afterwards, or else we all get drenched in spitup.

- We're spending a lot more hours in the co-sleeper. By "we" I mean Penelope. We're not THAT attachment-parenty...

- We went to WonderCon and Penelope got Princess Leia's autograph!

- We went to mom and baby yoga! And penelope had to nurse the whole time. But we WENT!
And the woman next to me is a nurse in the UCSF NICU, and knows all our nurse-friends! And the woman across from me was in the NICU at the same time as we were! Small town, healthy babies, WIN

Monday, February 23, 2009

Play(mat) Pals!



Penelope has really been getting better at spending time out of the apartment without freaking out -- so much so that we had a playdate with Julie and Colin's baby, Ronin! Julie was 10 weeks ahead of me, pregnancy-wise, but I am extremely competitive and had my baby FIRST FIRST FIRST. Nonetheless, Ronin is ten times bigger than Penelope. Also: he loves her. Right after I took this first photo, he looked at her adoringly, reached over, and grabbed her hand. She just stared up at his playmat. "I love you." "Nice car."

The minute we got home, I hopped on the local parents' network and found a playmat of our own, which Penelope's been loving for the past two days. I wouldn't have even put her down on the mat with Ronin if Max hadn't insisted I try it out, and now we have a whole new world of fun!

In addition, she was so exhausted after her outing that she (a) slept for six hours straight and (b) hung out in the bassinet for a couple hours the next day. w00t

Penelope is now SEVEN weeks from term! I am so happy to see her developing out of being a total newborn after some three-plus months of, you know, NEWBORNOSITY.

Oops. I hear screaming. But, you know -- progress!

Pics of that coming soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Grand Day Out


We're finally meeting up with a new mommies group! Last night we went to Wine and Whiners at the local wine-bar, and Penelope did a great job of hanging out quietly and interestedly! She did get overstimulated toward the end, but so did all the other babies (so reassuring!) and really, we had been there a while. I was so proud of her!

We had a chat with Fritzie yesterday -- remember, the lactation consultant from the NICU? -- and she had many reassuring things to say. One of them was just to keep putting P in the bassinette, keep putting her in the chair, keep letting her have a few minutes to herself, and eventually the amount of minutes will increase. I mean, I knew this, I'd been told this, but it's good to have it reinforced. And it's true: today she was in her chair for a good long time, kicking her legs the way I remember Harry doing. She's really developing, all of a sudden, all at once (no wonder she gets fussy! it's so much work!)

Here's Penelope with her new BFF Lauren. They are discussing lightbulbs and ceiling fans.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Smiles, Part le Deux

You can hear the classic "kitchen sink" drama A Taste of Honey in the background. That's what I'm quoting to P -- she's a huge fan of early 60s British working class melodrama. the proof is in the smiling!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What The Hail

You guys, it is HAILING like crazy right now! I am pretending it is snow. We haven't had a walk in a few days because there's been weather -- this is the craziest.

We seem to continue the pattern from the hospital: one quiet day, one crazy day. Sunday was so quiet that I was just bathed in the light of happiness, snuggling up with Penelope as the rain raged outside... and then boom, she decides to spend 4 hours crying at 4am. Oh, crazy child!

Of course, I totally deserve it. On Saturday, Randy was in the other room and I decided it was time to try giving the child a raspberry. This is what Randy heard:

*ptth ptth ppppPPHPHPHTHTHHHHHHHHH*
(shocked silence)
WAAAAAHHH!


so, you know, I get what I deserve for being such an abusive parent (and for almost falling off the couch laughing while Randy rescued Penelope from me).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Afternoon Delight


Behold the amazing Margaret, who offered herself for a few hours today to hold Penelope and entertain her while Randy and I went on an honest-to-God date! We had sushi and cuddled. Penelope was wailing when we left, but by the time we got to the sushi bar, she had settled down and was fast asleep. We came home a few hours later to the idyllic scene you see here: Margaret telling Penelope all about boys and burningman. Then Penelope caught a whiff of me and started wailing! "Wait, I forgot I missed you!" Silly girl. I'm so relieved to know she can survive in my big, bad living room without me. Briefly.

Thank you, Margaret!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Drivin' and Cryin'

Hokay. I never thought I'd be one of those people, but... today, after the doctor confirmed that, in fact, my daughter was crying till she was purple in the face for no discernible reason, Randy and I headed North to Mill Valley, which I'd never seen. What the heck, if we have to drive around, we might as well have a destination.

It's very cute. Looks like Larchmont, and there's a place that sells Indian burritos. When I went in, while Randy tootled Penelope around the block in the stroller, I asked, "Do you have kids?" "I have tweens. But now they are beeg." "Did you ever have to drive them around to make them stop crying?" "I deed it, honey. Now you do it too."

Now we're home. She settled down somewhat, and spent some time in the bassinet staring at the cool mobile that Grandpa Harry told us to get -- but now she's sad again.

Facebook friends recommended gripe water, Mycilon, and changing my diet. I'm trying ALL OF IT.

Here's us on the road, and then back home during a brief respite. And bonus Eli and Penny having a mini-sleepover!



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Smiles, everyone! Smiles!



We have started getting smiles. They are fleeting, flitting creatures, lighting up Penelope's face for a few seconds, but they are definitely smiles. How do I know? She only makes them at certain times of the day -- during her quiet wakefulness. All other times of the day -- when she's fussy, when she's sleepy, when she's hungry, whatever -- she makes all sorts of faces, but not that funny little crooked smile. I'm telling you, we're really getting there...

As you can see, her Chuck Mangione ... er, her hemangioma is really getting big. On Friday, her ped said yes, it's time for us to have it looked at by a derm, and arranged for us to have an appointment toot sweet, on Monday. Which is great, because I had called the same doctor and was told there were no appointments till April. Gotta love the power of the back-channel direct orders.

Another thing he confirmed is that Penelope is at a developmental phase where she's just a lot more fussy. It stands to reason: she's developed enough to know when she's uncomfortable, and strong enough to be vocal about it, and may be frustrated that she can't do a damn thing but lay there looking goofy while I ask stupid questions about her emotional state. He counseled us to wait, give it 2 weeks, and we'll have a radically different baby. Well, for the past bunch of months, every two weeks has definitely brought us a radically different baby, so I see no reason to doubt him. And I'm reading Weissbluth, who says the same thing.

They both also say that she won't sleep on me forever. Again, the six-week mark is a magic time -- at that point she'll almost certainly be able to spend longer and longer times in her crib. We'll see. Just today, she spent a good bunch of time in her swing, listening to her Rockabye Baby Beatles albums. Honestly, I did not believe these could be bearable, but I got the Radiohead one for my sister for her birthday (i know, SO LAME to buy her something for her kid for her bday) and was compelled to buy the first Beatle one... and it's totally great. I hope this isn't the start of a slippery slope toward Raffi.

I am thinking back to the early days in the NICU. I visited today with another mom who went into labor at exactly 29 weeks and 6 days, like me, exactly four weeks after I did -- and she told me she'd heard my story from a mutual friend, and said to her husband, "can you imagine?" and then, you know, she DID. I'm amazed how similar our babies are -- even their habits of grunting while eating, grabbing on as if to force more milk out of the boob, their fussy periods. Amazing. The whole thing made me remember how scary those first days were -- how unreal. How did we get here? Amazing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

another quick update


Sorry, old photo today -- from penelope hanging out with cousin harry, last week. This was such a great moment -- mere seconds after I took this shot, Harry looked at Penelope, nursing, and then laid down on Emily's lap and put his face on her breast. He remembers! Amazing and adorable!

Penelope is 7 lbs 12 oz -- that's almost 1 oz/day, which is what she should be gaining. That's only on breastmilk, so despite my worries that she sometimes still seems hungry after eating for an hour, she's getting something.

We had our first playdate! The marvelous Susan of Noe Knit had the same due date as I did, so it was fun to go over there and compare babies. They weigh the same but hers seems so much more substantial! on the other hand, penelope is doing some things amelia is not, like her pushups. But they really do seem the same, mostly. And I really loved getting OUT of the house and seeing her after nothing but emails for so long. How funny, that I should be 3 weeks postpartum and just starting my maternity leave! sigh.

Speaking of, I've stretched my leave -- paid and unpaid -- as long as I can, and must go back to my day job on March 6. This is so hard. Penelope will developmentally be 8 weeks old then, far too little to be away from me, but in this economy I am lucky to have this steady job. So we'll soldier on and hope for the best. I'm trying to make my peace with it.

We've definitely been a little more ... challenged by Miss P lately. She has fussy periods that we can't figure out -- she'll stop eating to scream about something, or will fall asleep after one boob during her night feed and wake up in 2 hours instead of 4. The past four or five days, she hasn't gone back to sleep after the 3am feed so that by the time Randy gets up, I have to take a nap, and lose hours of precious daylight -- it's the worst feeling! But if I try to stay awake, I do awesome things like set myself on fire or jaywalk without realizing it. It might be because we started her vaccinations -- she doesn't have a fever, but maybe she is in pain? Poor muffin, it's hard to see her like this! And it's frustrating when I do all five S's, she falls asleep, and then starts awake for (seemingly) no reason!

The ped says this is normal -- at 3 weeks, she's just more vocal and opinionated. I don't mind that, but she seems unhappy! waah.

though last night she stayed in her bassinette for like an hour! of course I was sitting next to her holdign the binkie in her mouth, but um -- at least she was in the bassinette!

ha HA!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Penelope Pushup



Yes, that's right. Miss person-lady is pushing up. It's spooky! Like she's levitating. Maybe she was an awkward helicopter in a previous life. Or a mayfly.

So yesterday we had a very excellent day. Randy and the kids went off to a museum and had the car, and I knew there was a 1pm meeting for nursing moms at the local organimommy emporium. So I plopped her in the Moby and marched up, over the hill, down the other side, and up Valencia. (The central irony being, of course, that I put off feeding her till I could get to the breastfeeding party -- ha-whoops.) It took about 45 minutes, which was 15 minutes longer than I thought it would, and it turned out that I was the first to show for the meeting -- it was MLK day, so I guess people were out being festive and/or thoughtful and/or performing their National Day of Service activities.

I nursed there anyway and chatted with a groovy tiny mommy who had a home birth. Badass! Not for me! She was from Long Island.

On our way home we stopped in at a new barbecue restaurant for lunch, and everyone kvelled. Then we walked back up the hill, running into Ed and Harry on the way (Harry was hoping to hurtle himself headlong down the steep side of the hill, and Ed was attempting to dissuade him). I was worried that after sleeping so much and not eating when she wanted would freak her out, but she had a great night. And our friend Haili came to visit -- it was a very exciting day!

Then, today, we got up just in time to watch the inauguration. After the festivities, Randy took over and I got some work done -- not enough, never enough, but some. Then we watched the presidential balls. haha. balls.

She's doing this odd thing tonight -- about once a week, she needs more to eat in the evening than I can provide. Thank goodness we had some of my milk in the freezer, because we're out of formula. I had her on one boob or the other for 3 1/2 hours and she was still shrieking whenever I took her off. Why does that happen?! And when the heck do I pump more milk? I swear to you people, my mom nursed four of us and never had such problems. Nurr.

Anyway, Randy gave her the extra milk and calmed her down whie I hid behind my laptop, flinching in terror every time she gave a peep. I'm traumatized! We were watching one of the balls (heh heh, balls) and the screen in the back had an electric-lightning show and I told Randy that's why my breasts felt like. OWWW. and I'm tired. ZZZZZ.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

photographic evidence abounds




there. we have proof that i actually carried this child. of course, we don't have the benefit of randy's baby pictures, but when I look at her I just see Randy, Randy, Randy. At least now I can also see a glimmer of my freaking SELF, which is nice, considering I built her out of peanut butter and sinew.

This crazy baby can't figure out her schedule. The night before last, she was angelic: she snoozed for four hours, ate for an hour, and then politely nodded off again for another four-hour snooze. Last night? All bets were off. Randy brought her in at 1am, she ate, and then peered around the room like she had just noticed how interesting it all was. Seriously, it's eggshell walls and flat-white ceiling, kid; what's with the sudden interest in interior design? I thought she could look around while I snoozed, but that resulted in loud objections -- she wanted company, like a coked-up college roommate. Surely after her 4am feed she'd fall asleep? Not really. She kept topping off her fluids, then spitting up, then wanting to wash away the taste with a little more milk, which of course made her spit up... at a certain point I lost all cognitive ability, and I think we both passed out.

Which didn't stop us from taking a great stroll up the hill to see Emily and Harry; photo of that tomorrow. But let it be known that I have the most adorable, sweetest nephew, and Penelope is going to have a great time with her big ol' lug of a cousin.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blood Pressure and Followup

So we went to Penelope's blood-pressure followup on, what, Monday? Anyway, they took her blood pressure via all four extremities, plus a heart ultrasound, and said she looks just fine. We'll go back for one more appointment in two months and there's no reason to suspect she'll be anything but healthy.

Not that you'd know it from the way she bellyached! I'll tell ya, I don't really hear it anymore, but judging from everyone else's reaction, she really can holler. I nursed as long as I could, but that only lasts an hour at the outside. Maybe this'll encourage the doctors to stay on schedule and move us out of there in a timely manner, hmmmm?

I also got a call from the nursery followup program. Any babies born before 32 weeks of gestation or under 1500 grams qualify for the followup; we get to go in every six months, more often if we think there's something we could use extra help with. I bent the nurse's ear for a while, just asking about various things I'd read in the preemie books.

Interesting tidbit #1: Because preemies miss their last couple months in the womb, they don't spend a lot of time curled inward, or flexed, so when they come out, the muscles that let them do that haven't developed. Preemies are often "high toned," meaning they can work in the big house. NO! That's not what it means. It means they arch backward a lot, which is something I've noticed with P -- that she peers backover one shoulder when she's in her little chair. I thought this meant she was interested in something back there, and I'll often turn her around to face whatever that is only to have her seem to decide something else, back where she used to face, is just as interesting. So that's one mystery solved. She's not paranoid, she just has weird muscle tone.

Interesting tidbit #2: Never mind. I forget. Anyway, we get to go in every six months to see how she's developing, which i love.

We've been doing tummy time, on the nurse's recommendation. She is pushing up and moving her head from one side to the other... slowly, wobbily, but surely. It's magic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Martin Balsam Baby

Randy keeps calling Penelope "Little Martin Balsam Hair." You be the judge.



































Uncanny, right?

In other news, we FINALLY saw the elusive blood-pressure doctor. Backstory: Penelope had had some hypertension when she was in the NICU. (Who the hell wouldn't?) So we wanted to make sure it was gone. We went to a very nice doctor in the bowels of a schmantzy hospital (the one where Emily had her baby), and she took her blood pressure on all four extremities and gave her a heart ultrasound.

Everything checked out fine, except the eardrums of the nurses and doctors who saw her; I could only nurse so much, and then she flipped out. This little person does NOT like leaving home -- not yet. She's still verrrry sensitive, which according to the books is normal.

So our little twelve-week-old two-week-old will hang around the homestead a little longer! No skin off my nose. We still had an excellent walk around the top of the hill and saw a kestrel (I think), so too bad so sad, east-coast freezing people!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Teeth Out



The one thing every mom agrees on is that after the baby comes, your priorities shift, and you find your voice. Where before, you might have just put up with a certain amount of crap because, well, you don't like to make a fuss, when the baby comes along, you make the fuss.

So, do your teeth come out in a nice way, or a hysterical way? That's the question. It's great to find your voice, but you really have to hope that it's not a high-pitched screech.

I was never particularly easygoing, but I'm surprised at the amount of buffer there actually was between me and utter meltdown. Now that there's none. And yet. I think a lot of that buffer, such as it was, I built up during some years of strife in a bad relationship, and Penelope's forcing me to slough that off and start over.

Ruh roh. It sounds like the vibratey-chair nap might be over.

Wait, maybe I have a couple minutes. The thing about Penelope right now is: she's definitely more than a newborn (more than a newborn to me! da-nuh, nuh, nah-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh...), but still clearly not twelve weeks old, either. The preemie books say that she'll catch up in spurts, and there's no predicting when or how that will happen. But I feel like such a dummy when people ask me her age. Saying "two weeks, adjusted" just gets me blank stares, but "well, she was a preemie, so she's twelve weeks old but two from her due date" is too much information.

One thing the books said that really rings true is that her senses are going to be way ahead of her physical development. This is absolutely clear. She looks, focuses, even briefly follows things with her eyes. When her stepbrother says "turn your head to me," she does, and I really think it was on purpose -- though wobbly and jerky. (Not that she understands "turn your head to me," but that she hears something she'd like to have in her field of vision, and turns herself toward it the same way she turns toward light.)

It's a little frustrating, when her pal Ronin comes over, and i see him smiling at his mom, even though he was born two weeks later than miss p. i can't wait for her to smile bck. i'm so afraid it won't happen 'til i have to go back to work. and it'll be so strange and wild, after this extended newborn phase, to see that, oh yes! she has even more to say and do.

nap's over, if you couldn't tell from my typing. this exquisite, stupendous creature and i will head up the hill to see the dogs.

Monday, January 5, 2009

That Was Stressful

The naming ceremony was wonderful. We were going back and forth between Shoshanna and Raizl as her Hebrew name, and finally settled on Raizl because my family tends toward Yiddish Hebrew names. Why? I don't know. We're just weird that way. Actually, my mom was entirely unaware that her Hebrew name, Malke Henye, is Yiddish. Mine is Arielle, which is Hebrew, but that's only because i had to pick out a new Hebrew name right before my first wedding because my mother could not remember what my real one was. Oh. Oh, thank you SO much, Universe. Being a middle child is such a joy.

Anyway, the service itself was wonderful, but I was unprepared for how stressed out it would make me. The fact is, Penelope's evenings are a little fussy; she needs her peace and quiet, and an evening out was beyond her. She hated the noise, the cold, the car ride; despite my nursing her almost the entire time, she melted down soon after the service ended, and wailed all the way home and into the night. Me too! I felt so terrible! The books all say she's a term baby now, so treat her like a newborn. Were you dragging your newborn out to services the day she was born? No! Augh!

I was reading today that preemies are more susceptible to overstimulation, even after their due date. Ack ack ack. No more forays to the outside world (other than walks, of course) for at least another month, preferably six weeks. Ack. MAYBE NEVER. Is it possible to develop agoraphobia by proxy?

She is so definitely alert, though. She makes amazing eye contact with me AND her daddy now, and she turns her head toward Uncle Lamp, the multicolored light in the living room. (Oh, how I wish I could take credit for Uncle Lamp. Alas, that was the invention of my friend Cindy's husband, some eleven years ago, when the gentle on-and-off of the torchiere in their living room would fascinate, quiet and soothe Bobo). (Bobo was a baby; now she's a big little girl named Bridget. When the hell did that happen? Sunrise, sunset... sunrise, sunset...)

In my never-ending quest for pop culture Penelopes, I found out that the Kristen Wiig one-upping character on SNL is named Penelope. Spooky: The sketch also features AMY adams, and the Keenan character is named RANDY. woooOWOOWOOOOOWWOOoooooo.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/11931/saturday-night-live-penelope--traffic-school

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Due Date To You!






welcome to the world, baby girl. Tonight's your baby-naming; I really hope we decide on one in the next two hours!