Friday, April 25, 2008

They all rolled over, and none fell out

Attention: If you are afraid of co-sleeping, this is not the post for you.

For some reason, the hospital where we ended up bringing Gianna into the world was practically shaking and trembling in fear over co-sleeping. They had a parenting channel that would broadcast several times a day and night about how babies do best on their backs in a crib with nothing but a mattress, in a room far far away. Anything else would immediately cause them to stop breathing and die on the spot.

Granted, SIDS is no joke, and there are proper and improper ways to share a bed with a baby, just like there are proper and improper ways to have a baby sleep in a crib. No water beds, of course, and no drugs, alcohol, saggy mattresses, animals, or other booby traps. There are lots more, but somehow, Cave Clara managed to sleep with her whole family and not kill any of them. Could you imagine if they had to find another little cave for Cave Gianna?

Being as contrary and defiant as I am, I repeatedly told the hospital staff that we would use a "Co-sleeper." Confused, they just clarified to make sure that it would be not in our bed. "Not yet, No," I would answer.

Blink, blink.

So, there was no way that I was going to drag my post-surgery body all over the upstairs of the house to breastfeed this kid. In our room she stayed, and now spends half the night in her own bed, and half the night in ours. Usually Mr. Clarateaches curls up on his side with 95% of the blankets and sheets, I cling to my side, and Gianna does jumping jacks in her sleep in the middle 65% of the bed all night long. We are slowly phasing her to her own bed, but this arrangement makes it easiest for all of us to get sleep, and for me to nurse her through the night.

Here are a few things we will miss, when she is in her own bed:

- One night we accidentally left Lola outside. At 1 AM, Gianna started whining and growling and acting pretty demented. She didn't want to nurse, she didn't want to snuggle, and she for sure didn't want to open her eyes. Suddenly, I heard a muffled, "Whoof... whoof." Lola was whisper-barking outside the kitchen door. I prodded Mr. Clarateaches awake, and he went to fetch the grateful pooch. Once the dog was safely inside, Gianna fell back to sleep.

- (This is sort of immature, and teenage boy humor, but oh well) She toots in her sleep with all the forces of a grown man. One in particular, but he will remain nameless. Let's just say her other X chromosome came with some extra exhaust. The hilarious part is that she has to point both feet into the air before she can let it rip. So, she will be sleeping very adorably, with all of the adorable-ness of a cute, tiny innocent being, and then whammo- feet point to the sky, and trumpets blare. Resume cute, innocent little lamb, sound asleep.

And what I won't miss:

- Sleeping in the letter "K" position. I have to sleep so that she can have access to the chuck wagon, and also so that she doesn't accidentally go anywhere at night. In the meantime, I'm giving myself scoliosis of the spine, crunched hips, and arms that randomly go on strike or try to pop out of their sockets.

On that note, I'm going to go review "No Cry Sleep Solution" and remind myself that she will be in her own bed, and eventually in her own room soon enough. In the meantime, I will enjoy my very attached, somewhat hippie-style baby. She won't be a baby for much longer!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She's a Contendah

My little bambina is a total ruffian in her quickly mastered mobility. She moves very quickly now, and climbs anything just for a chance to stand. When she's not playing with the "No-no's," (the cable outlets for who-knows-what, but we're the proud owners of a wall full of them) she's trying to reconstruct my face.

Today we went on a trip to Lowe's for Mr. Clarateaches, to return what looked like the arms of a robot. On the way into the store, we passed the garden center, which deposited a snoot-full of pollen my way, causing my eyes to well with tears. Just before we entered, Gianna Ali reared back her very hard head and smashed my lower lip into my teeth. The combined effect of a quickly swelling lip, teary eyes, and hair that hasn't seen a stylist in a good solid nine months (and is rapidly looking more and more like it is styled by The Polygamy Ranch Salon each day) was one hell of a doozy to the Customer Service people inside. They rapidly ushered through my return of the robot arms, and gladly accepted my reason for return as "entirely too wimpy."

We've been teaching her facial parts- eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Mr. Clarateaches gets a little carried away ("Cheekbones... upper left incisor... frenulum...") but that's fine. My girl's a genius, and she can handle it. Only now Gianna gets the urge to show me that she knows "Eye" in the middle of a grocery store by poking her little chubby finger all the way into my optic nerve. Or sometimes, after giving the dog a few healthy grabs on the undercoat, she then feels the need to inspect my teeth.

Quite on her own, she's discovered Mommy's freckles. These vex the hell out of her, and whenever she's bored with her toys, she tries to pick them off. I try to dissuade her, as it makes me look like a meth addict. Thank goodness for Mr. Tea Strainer- the tea strainer that came on the top of a Tazo Chai canister- it's her favorite toy!

Onward and ever upward, we teach, "nicely..."

Thursday, April 10, 2008


"Nnndah!" Little hazel eyes narrow, and a chubby little finger points down at Lola, the Dogasus supreme. "NDAH!" Lola obediently sits. Triumphant, Bambina kicks her feet from her hip-side perch and screeches like a monkey, which causes the dog to leap to her feet and bark.

Dog and baby have been diligently training one another of late, and they've got their own unique patois working. It's amusing to watch for now, even though I realize that eventually, the duo will pull off capers that I can't even begin to imagine.

Lola was an only child for just ten months when Gianna arrived, and while she probably doesn't remember the pre-baby days, I do sometimes feel sorry for her status as low man on the totem pole. Only sometimes. Then she will be the Tom Green of dogs and nose the business end of a diaper that I hadn't had a chance to rinse off, or do a celebratory Snoopy dance over bird droppings on her brick walkway, and the sorriness vanishes.