Monday, June 30, 2008

Smiling videos

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008


Over the last week or two I've been researching about babies and sleep. I read the book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" and parts of "The Baby Book" by Dr. Sears and I read forum postings by moms on the Berkeley Parents Network website. I learned that many babies will only take a long nap during the day if they are held. And I remembered by reading from the Dr. Sears book that the Attachment Parenting style recommends holding or wearing your baby as much as possible during the day. This week it has been working out well for Juni and I both when I wear her in the Moby Wrap sling for her naps during the day. It keeps her calm and I think it helps to make it easier for her to go to sleep at bedtime. Luckily at night she sleeps for long stretches independently in her bassinet.

What all the different philosophies on sleep seem to have in common is that they recommend a consistent routine to do every night for 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. I know it is a little early for that since Juni is only 2 months old and she doesn't have a consistent schedule to her eat/play/sleep patterns yet. However, I think it is good for me and Bob to get in the habit of having a routine, and to have one already in place by the time that Juniper is old enough to have a consistent bedtime.

I already talked to one friend about her children's bedtime routine, and that was very helpful! I'd like to hear from other parents of young children/babies, too. If you would like to post a comment here or email me personally, my questions are what time does your child go to sleep, and what is the getting-ready-for-bed routine?


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Monday, June 23, 2008


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday 6/22/08

Dunstan Baby Language

When Juniper was about a week old my friend Kristin told me that she saw Priscilla Dunstan on the Oprah show, a woman who figured out the language of newborns and could teach it to other moms. I thought it was an interesting idea, but didn't investigate it. Last week Kristin was visiting again and she showed me Priscilla Dunstan's website, and we learned that there is a DVD/booklet that you can buy at Target. The next day I was looking at the videos at a parenting lending library that I belong to, and I found the Dunstan DVD! So I brought it home and watched it and I think it will be helpful. Right away I recognized 2 of the 5 sounds or baby words that she teaches. The sound "Neh" for hunger is one that I remember Juni saying from her first day of life. When she wakes up after a nap, she usually cries "ahhh, Neh!" and to me it sounded like she was saying "oh, no!". It totally makes sense that the "neh" sound means hunger, because after that cry is the time when she would take the breast. The other sound I recognize is the "eh" sound, which to me sounds like a grunt, like the sound you would make in exertion while lifting weights, or to grunt as an expression of disgust. The "eh" sound by babies means that they have "upper wind" as Ms. Dunstan puts it, and the baby needs to be burped. That makes sense, too, because it is often during or after feeding that Juni will say "eh". I think it is great that someone took the time (8 years of research) to notice the correlation of these sounds to the baby's needs. Each sound is made because of the baby's instinctual reaction to a physical need. For example, the "neh" sound is made because the baby is touching her tongue to the roof of her mouth in an effort to suck. That tongue movement in combination with a cry makes the sound.

Ultimate Baby Wrap

Here's a picture of me wearing a sleeping Juni in our Parents of Invention Ultimate Baby Wrap. Similar to the Baby Bjorn, this carrier is more comfortable than the Kangaroo Korner pouch-sling now that she weighs over 10 lbs, because the baby's weight is more evenly distributed. I still love the Kangaroo pouch for short distance outings, or to keep her covered, warm and snug while out at a restaurant. But the ones we have are fleece and since the weather got warmer this week I was motivated to try out other carriers. Funny thing is that we have yet to push her in a stroller! So that will be a first for her whenever it happens. She's sleeping now in the Ultimate Baby Wrap (which is pretty much the same thing as the popular Moby Wrap), and I'm able to do some chores and fun tasks like these photos and this blog entry!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Several "firsts" today for Juni. First time on a walk in the Baby Bjorn. Yes, she was able to be in this carrier for the first time without crying, and she stayed in it for about 3 hours! My strategy was to rock her to sleep in my arms in a belly-to-belly position, and then I put the carrier on around her while holding her, so that her position wasn't terribly disrupted and she stayed asleep. Then Bob and I (and Juni in the Bjorn) took a short train ride on the N Judah to the beach. We walked a bit on the beach, and it was Juni's first visit to the ocean! I wrapped a blanket around the Bjorn to keep her warm and shielded from the sun and wind. You can see in the picture the white blanket wrapped around Juni in the carrier. Bob wrote her name in the sand. Then the 3 of us went to Park Chalet restaurant/bar and we ate lunch. Juniper slept soundly through the meal and the walk. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Another first is that Juniper was taken care of by a babysitter tonight while Mommy AND Daddy went out! We were gone for a little less than 3 hours, and Aunt Squishy and Uncle Gimme took great care of Juni. Sounds like she behaved very well for them, too. I was very nervous to leave the apartment. I was mostly afraid that she would cry and be hard to soothe. But she was calm when we left and I was reassured by Squishy's peaceful and nurturing way with Juniper. Once we were out I was enjoying myself and I didn't feel worried. It was nice to have a little break and to give Juniper the experience of being away from us for a bit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Look at this little sweetheart! These two pictures look like she's dancing if you look at them back and forth quickly. That was Juniper this afternoon having some play time.

This morning Juniper had a nice bath and then I put her in the co-sleeper to take a picture of her in this giraffe shirt, and I caught her yawning. That was my clue to help her get to sleep, and so I swaddled her and held her while bouncing/walking.

She then was able to sleep alone in the co-sleeper for about 45 minutes.

And in this last picture, you can see on the floor our Baby Bjorn carrier. So far, Juni doesn't like to be in it. She seemed to be in a good mood today, and so I tried wearing her in the Bjorn around the house. If it went well I was going to go on a walk outside, but she cried pretty much the whole time, even with the white noise on. So I took her out of it and then rocked her in my arms and she fell into a deep sleep.

I'm getting better at noticing the clues she gives us when she's tired. Since I've noticed that she likes to be asleep by 8:30 pm every night, I started creating a calm and comforting situation for her at 7:45 tonight. She was more peaceful in her transition toward sleep. It really is a wonderful feeling to see this tiny beauty sleeping peacefully.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mommyhood is hard sometimes

I've felt challenged lately with soothing Juniper at times. It is hard for me to adjust to how different she is already from the first month of her life. When she was a newborn (defined as the first 30 days of life) she slept and ate more easily, and we could generally soothe her more quickly. Now it sometimes takes longer to make her happy (to stop crying, that is), and it breaks my heart to hear her cry. Also, she is a lighter sleeper now during the day. I am very grateful that she continues to sleep well during the night.

Most of the times when she's been crying, we have figured out that what she wanted was to sleep and she was overtired and so it took longer to help her get to sleep. She cries the most when it is her nightly bedtime. What works best at helping her fall asleep has been to swaddle her, hold her in cradle position while bouncing/swaying/walking, and playing white noise and specifically the radio static through our living room speakers (our bedroom stereo's radio static is not up to her standards when she's in that hard-to-soothe mood). Though there isn't any one solution that always works and that is the challenging part for me. It is a guessing game and she is often a mystery to us.

Here is a photo of her while Bob was holding her today when he got home from work. Most of the day today she was happy, it was just when she got close to bedtime that it became challenging. We love her so much and she is so cute!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Uncle Gimme

Uncle Gimme and Aunt Squishy visited today.


On Saturday I really wanted to go out somewhere, so the W family took public transportation to the Castro district to run an errand. While there, Juni was in need of a feeding and a change, so we took a short bus ride up the hill to Duboce Park where we could sit down and take care of her. Here's a picture of me with Juni eating under my Bebe Au Lait apron.

From there, we took the N Judah light rail train home. Here's a picture of Bob on the N Judah with Juni in the sling.

Friday, June 13, 2008


After an easy day on Wednesday, it was more challenging to soothe Juni on Thursday and Friday. On both days she was more awake in the early part of the day, but then seemed to be over-tired in the late afternoon. It took a longer time to fall asleep and then she didn't stay asleep as long. So she was taking only short naps until her bedtime, which is 8 or 8:30. It is interesting to me that her daytime schedule changes. Luckily, her night time schedule has been pretty consistent. She is sleeping soundly now at this moment, and I plan to follow her lead and go to bed myself soon. I'm tired!

Another thing to note is that Juni and I went to a Mom and Baby Support Group today for the first time. There were 7 other new moms and babies there. It was nice to be with others going through a similar transition. Juniper was quiet during the group--she ate and had a mini-nap and then was happily awake for a while. However after the group meeting while I was chatting with some other new moms, she became upset and I was unable to soothe her in my arms and she didn't want to eat. So I took her for a walk in the sling and she quickly quieted once I was walking.

I'm glad it is Friday because Bob will be home for the weekend. It is nice to all be together as a family, and it is nice to have Bob around who can play with Juni while I rest or do chores.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Easy sleeper today

Here she is passed out on the living room floor after a feeding, some
burping, and some white noise. I only meant to put her down for a
moment to clean something, but she fell asleep in a minute!
She has been sleeping well today, and I was able to cross off several
tasks on my list of things to do.

Out to dinner

Yesterday my big event was to drive across the Bay Bridge with Juni to Oakland. We picked up Bob from work so that we could meet his Market Hall friends for dinner in Berkeley. Our friend Helen is in town from Virginia, and last night was the only chance for her to meet Juniper, so we decided to try having me and Juni join in on their traditional dinner gathering. We changed her diaper in the restaurant bathroom, I fed her at the table while keeping her hidden under my Bebe Au Lait apron, and Bob and I took turns holding her in the sling and bouncing her up and down to keep her content. Bob did most of the bouncing during the meal, which allowed me to relax and enjoy.

Here are some photos from last night taken on Helen's camera.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Here's Juni self-soothing in the sling today.

And here's some pictures of her hanging out on the floor while Mommy gets a few chores done:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Field trip!

The 3 of us went on a 40 minute drive to Grammy and Grandpa's house today. We had a nice lunch on the back deck in 85 degrees sunny weather. Juni enjoyed all of the new things to observe at her grandparents' house. She seemed to be having a great time, and it was a relaxing visit for us all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Kristin and Juniper

Juniper grows

Here is Juniper hanging out happily as I make some breakfast for myself this morning. She is growing up physically as well as beginning to develop her independence. Now she has her moments when she does not want to be held, but she wants to lay on the floor undisturbed. It baffled me at first, but now I get it. She wants to do her own thing. However she does want me in the room while she does it. As far as her physical growth, she is in between the clothing sizes of "newborn" and "0 to 3 months." In this photo she's wearing the larger size, which she'll grow into soon enough.

Last night I went out with a couple of girlfriends to see the movie "Sex and the City". Bob was alone with Juniper for 4 hours and he fed her with bottles of breast milk. When I got home he told me "your job is hard". He took great care of Juni, and I look forward to more nights out. I say that now, but really the entire time I was gone, part of me was missing little June.

Monday, June 2, 2008

5 weeks post partum

Yesterday I packed away all of my maternity clothes, and unpacked my pre-pregnancy clothes. I also gathered 3 bags worth of clothes to donate to Good Will. It felt like a great accomplishment to get my closet in working order again. I was tired of looking at all the maternity clothes in there and coming up with nothing good to wear. Those pants just don't fit anymore! So today for the first time I wore an outfit from my former life -- my pre-pregnant life. Wow, what a lifetime ago that was. Yet here I am wearing the same old clothes again. It is a nice comfort.

Bob fed Juniper a bottle again last night, though we tried a different type of bottle and nipple this time, because the Adiri bottle we had for her first feeding was leaky. The hole in the nipple is too big and it dripped easily and gave too much milk at once. I heard that those Adiri bottles can sometimes do that if it is defective, but I don't want to chance buying another one or exchanging it. Seems to me that they should inspect them before sending them out to new parents who purposely buy that bottle because they want something similar to breastfeeding so as not to disrupt the baby's experience. If the flow is too fast, the baby could prefer a bottle and become less interested in the breast. That's the reason you can buy "slow flow" nipples, and the Adiri says it is slow flow but ours is way fast. What a disappointment! Anyway, I want to make sure I let you all know incase you noticed the type of bottle in the picture from the other day. I do not recommend that bottle.

Now we are using the medela bottle (a safe plastic) with a Comfi slow flow silicone nipple made by Evenflo. Bob said that Juniper has to work hard to get the milk out with the Evenflo nipple. And that is a good thing, so that she doesn't become "lazy". We want her to maintain her ability to latch on and eat well.

It has been almost 5 weeks since I gave birth, and my body has taken a longer time to heal than I'd hoped. I think I'm finally starting to stop bleeding, though. I hope. I've been trying to take it easy. A couple weeks ago I thought I was pretty close to healed, but then I did a lot of walking and soon started bleeding more again. Bummer! So I've been more careful about taking it easy and getting other people to lift things when they can for me, and resisting my desire to go on long walks. I've been sitting or laying down when I can. And I hope that it has been enough and I will be healed soon. I am eager to exercise. Movement is very therapeutic for me.

Juniper continues to bring me joy every day. This morning for the first time she smiled while looking at me. I couldn't get her to repeat the performance, but I know it won't be long before we exchange smiles on a regular basis.

Juni loves Aunt Squishy

Aunt Squishy came over for a visit today, and her calming presence soothed Juniper into a peaceful sleep.