Sunday, October 26, 2008

That Little Ol' Thing Called Sleep

When Cale wasn't quite 24 hours old, he slept 5 hours through the night (between speedy labor and decent sleep, I felt pretty good, considering -- and one of the night nurses who chatted with me in the hall was startled that I was a mom not a support person). During Cale's early months, he slept 4 or 5 hours most nights unless I had eaten one of his allergens (dairy slams his gut into overdrive; soy and eggs keep him, and therefore me, awake). Then came his interest in food. He would follow every little movement of my fork from plate to mouth. He wanted the fork. He wanted what was on the fork. He wanted to nurse all the time, non-stop if he could. So despite our concerns about his allergies, we started baby food. We knew it was time.

So I was merely flipping past the "Signs of Readiness" section in a baby feeding booklet when a passage caught my eye. Turns out, one of the signs of readiness for food is a dramatic change to more frequent night wakings! I'd hate to think how long I've been trapped in the land of poor sleep, but it's been at least a month. And no wonder his best sleep is usually the first round: he gets baby food, then he gets to nurse. Double food and a sacked-out baby. As the night goes on, his sleep cycles get shorter. But it jibes so well with his eating habits: Cale is hungry! He's not very interested in baby food, so he wakes up sooner ...

I need a plan to get Cale back on his original sleeping plan, but I feel more optimistic now. I thought maybe he had a fourth allergy (probably wheat, the tough one to eliminate), and I was going to have to work through an elimination diet (still possible, since it explains the poor sleep), but I think more food is a better fit (it explains why his poor sleep started when it did). So now to have ideas to keep Cale full longer ...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sleep and Food and Baby

I think Daddy hit on something yesterday when he said Cale eats every 2 hours. Cale does that at night too. Well, mostly. His longest sleep is the first round, and that's when we feed him baby food before I nurse him to sleep (two kinds of food, and sometimes he sleeps 4 hours). Then on the better nights, he cries about every 2 hours, and I can nurse him back to sleep in 30 minutes (so I can sleep almost 1:30 out of every 2 hours). On bad nights, it's an hour to get him asleep, and he sometimes wakes the second he touches his crib.

I'm going to ponder better ways to fill his tummy. Although he usually has gas (often enough silent, and I feel it when my hand is on his butt, makes me suspect that he might have gas when my hand isn't there) when he wakes up. Hmm. So I need to reduce his gas and increase how much is in his tummy, and then I can sleep again. Hmm. Hoping for ideas to jump into my sleep-deprived brain.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Well, that was gross. I wanted to have red beans and rice for dinner ... but sometimes dinner doesn't go as planned. The rice had live bugs in it (and some dead bugs too), a drawback to organic. Backup plan was steak on the grill, but the new propane tank (a swap refill) didn't work, so that plan was out the window too. Sheesh!

Steak and potatoes from the oven worked, though, and salad is always tasty!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baby Bumpers

I just about jumped out of my skin at a noise in Cale's room, but he was fine. Then I heard it again! and noticed his arms had moved. (Yes, I tucked him in snugly, but he's strong and outgrowing that nonsense at the usual age.) Based on the sounds I heard, he hit the crib rails with his hand rather hard, so I'm surprised and relieved that he's still asleep. Now I understand crib bumpers!


Aha! I solved a problem I've been wrestling for a while, to merge XML files!

  1. Use cli, not this nifty GUI; follow the example on the source web page, but modified for the java from TestXSLT.
  2. And use CDATA so I don't have to urlencode carriage returns and possibly other nonsense (after noting that urlencoding helped the cli run through its paces).

Still not as user-friendly as what I envision, so I'm not going to be too specific yet ... but since I can pack several of my tricks for work into XML, if you can pick and choose what to merge together, then who needs me to do it for you?

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Bah! I thought Pagehammer sounded so promising with its feature configurable intervals, but I couldn't register. Well, I tried to register again when I ran across a second web page to monitor, and this time I got a useful error message! (Amazing what happens after you complain.) The password can only have letters and numbers, and I had selected a stronger password than that out of habit. An error I can fix, so I did. Well, the intervals are just twice daily, daily, twice weekly, and weekly. I really wanted to have the every-other-month check, and in my imagination, that's what configurable time intervals meant. Ah well. By that logic, FollowThatPage is almost as configurable with its hourly and daily checks.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beach Trip

Family trip to the beach this weekend! My mother, my husband, and both of my sons piled in our station wagon and headed to the coast Thursday morning. I left work a little early on Friday and drove my mother's car down to join them, and then my mother drove her car home Saturday just in time for her to go to work this weekend.

Reflections on this trip ... I didn't leave as early on Friday as I should have, so I hit the interstate parking lot. There I saw one of the saddest secondary accidents (not the accident that caused traffic to slow down, but an accident because of that slowdown) I've ever seen: a 1940s vintage Rolls Royce rear-ended by a much newer vehicle. Since I know that braking distances have improved vastly (3x better just since 1970!), I know who was at fault, who was not paying enough attention in heavy traffic.

My mother noticed that Cale's two meltdowns were at the same time of day. She says Cale expects Mommy to pick him up at 5 PM, and he has a fit if I'm not there. The rest of the time, he was fine playing or cuddling or sleeping with anyone else, but he expects Mommy time at 5 PM. That's pretty perceptive! Other than the 5 to 5:30 window, yelling was probably Karston.

I could not believe how much Cale had changed in 36 hours away from me, and how much he learned over the weekend! He started sitting unsupported (the tripod position, but he didn't need his hands very often). In fact, he put his belly on the floor to reach a toy, and then he pushed himself back up to a sitting position! At one point, he was "swimming" (pre-crawling) to reach a toy, but since he's not crawling, he didn't get there. He could already pass a toy from one hand to the other, but he now rotates the toy for the best chewing angle. It's always about the chewing for him.

Cale had 4 poops on Saturday and 3 on Sunday, which is a sign that I've eaten food to which he is allergic (dairy, soy, and egg known so far). Time to read labels! When I arrived Friday evening, I had to make a quick allergy-safe meal, and since there's very little safe in the freezer section, I had to get creative. I boiled water, added a chicken breast, waited until it was almost done then added sliced squash and noodles. After draining all of that, I added a can of diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers for seasoning. Pretty tasty for something that quick straight from the store! (Finding rice milk at the coast took forever, though.) The basic items were safe, of course, and I read the ingredients on the noodles and the canned tomatoes to make sure those were Cale-safe as well.

We had to make sure we bought some shrimp with the still heads on because Karston is fascinated watching the process of popping heads off of shrimp. (When he goes fishing, he has to touch every fish before release. Not squeamish about that low-tide smell!)

Other than that, what you would expect for boat trips, shells, box turtle in the sand boat (a no-float turned into child's play), and outstanding views.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lessons Learned about Pumping

What I learned this week at work is that how much water I drink during the day greatly affects how much milk I get from the breast pump. I did not expect a striking change, but now I've learned that lesson! Monday, I was "too busy" to refill my water cup, and didn't drink as much as usual; I pumped 2 to 3 ounces less than I expected. Tuesday I drank a normal amount, and pumped a normal amount. Thursday I decided to see if I could increase production by drinking as much water as I could remember to keep drinking, and I got 3 or 4 ounces more than I expected. I'd hazard a wild guess that every 12 to 16 ounces of water in excess of my usual water drinking yields another 1 ounce of breast milk.

Years ago, when I learned that drinking plenty of water reduced the number of afternoon headaches I got, I started drinking even more water. I don't know how this would work for mothers who are not heavy water drinkers, but I think drinking lots of water is a good habit for all working mothers!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Healthy Choice meals for lunch

Argh!!! I've been eating Healthy Choice meals for lunch lately, and I just discovered a problem. I was about to toss the box and decided to read the allergy information after the ingredients. I mean, I don't use milk when I make a copycat fiesta chicken, or veggies, or fruit crisp ... but right there, it said Soy, Wheat, Milk, Eggs. So I just ate three out of the four things Cale can't tolerate. (And that means I will pay the price in sleepless nights.) I think I'm still allowed to eat wheat, although I was wondering since Cale hasn't been sleeping well. Now that I read the label for fiesta chicken, I know the problem: I need to read labels more carefully. Just because I "know" how to make a meal doesn't mean the packaged form is similar. *sigh* So I can eat the Lemon Pepper Fish, and that's it.

Well, I like what I cook better anyway. This was just a time saver. Now I'll look for lunches I can freeze in advance, but that's not a problem.