Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cry Me A River

We realize it's now been almost a month since our last post, but we have plenty of good excuses.

1. We burnt out another hard drive. On our other computer. This one didn't have the extended warranty but Brandi is her own Genius Bar and replaced it herself. This really didn't affect our blogging too much but we did lose a couple of months worth of photos, which is sad. If you have an Apple, back your stuff up as soon as your computer is 3 years old!

2. We were all on our death beds for about 2 weeks. Brandi went down first and despite putting up a good fight, Tim and Paisley eventually succumbed. This was the first time since Tim has known Brandi that she got sick first. The colds were annoying in their own right, but they carried severe consequences: our dear sweet baby stopped sleeping through the night. After 8 months of at least 10 hours of solid nightly slumber, Paisley was so congested that she would continually wake herself up from snoring/not being able to breathe. These startling moments always ended up in screams for comfort and eventually it was easier to have Paisley take dad's spot in bed while he slept somewhere else.

3. We have all since recovered fully from our sicknesses and returned to our rightful sleeping assignments but Paisley just hasn't been able to break the habit of waking up at Godless hours and not being able to put herself back to sleep. This has been going on for weeks now and Tim and Brandi are edging ever closer to insanity. On average, Paisley wakes up at least twice a night but can reach four or five times and is always in hysterics. At first we would make the mistake of picking her up and attempt to rock her back to sleep (usually pretty easy) and attempt to put her back in her crib without waking her up again to prevent having to repeat the process (nearly impossible). It was like playing Operation in the dark at 3:30 a.m. with an even more aggravating buzzer. This is the main reasoning of our lack of posting as it has compounded our tendency toward procrastination. We're bordering zombification. We sincerely apologize and we promise to be back online soon - as soon as Paisley promises to give us a break. Until then, since we've been enduring a lot of crying and screaming lately we thought we'd post something that was written a long time ago that we just never got around to posting.

This is a topic that we've been meaning to write about for a few weeks now. Maybe opening up our most recent copy of The New Yorker was just the motivational push we needed. The article is about colic in babies. Since there's likely more than a few childless readers out there, we should explain, especially due to the fact that up until 6 months ago, Tim insisted that he had a colic in his hair.

Colic is one of those mysterious newborn issues that has apparently puzzled doctors and driven parents to the edge. Colic is generally defined as the rules of three: the child cries for at least three hours a day, three days a week, lasting for at least 3 weeks. It seems that most parents that we've talked to insist that their child had colic. The reason for this is the fact that there is something encoded in the throaty cries of a new child that leave a parent feeling completely helpless and frustrated. Here's a section out of the magazine article, "The sound of of a crying just about the most disturbing, demanding, shattering noise we can hear. The United States military has reportedly used the sound of wailing infants as an instrument of psychological stress, piping recordings of their cries into the cells of detainees at Guantanamo Bay." With his love of torture, you'd think that the Cheney's would have had plenty of lil' ones running around the Wyoming ranch. And to think we volunteer for this stuff. Well, WE didn't exactly volunteer.

Before we get too carried away with this article, we need to make it clear that Paisley is a wonderful little girl and neither of us are trying to argue that she suffers from colic. This we will say though, she suffers from crying. And as a result, we've suffered along with her. Brandi was blessed with the motherly instincts and is much more skilled at the calming process but even then, sometimes consolation comes slow. In the last two months, we have discovered several tricks that seem to help calm both the crier and caretaker. The irony is that by themselves, all of the below tend to be annoying beyond measure but measured against the wailing, it's an easy choice.

1. Dinner Sucks. We've pleasantly had plenty of dinners over the roar of the Hoover Windtunnel as the noise quiets her right up.

2. Driving Ms. Paisley. When Paisley gets sick of us flipping through the hits of yesterday and today we have a preset reserved exclusively to the purest frequency of the dial for static.

3. We've recently read this book called "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and one of the five calming techniques recommended is a very loud "SHHHH SHHHHHH SHHHHH SHHHHH." Sure this is a rather innate and universal symbol for librarians, but even with newborns who have yet to learn the finger to lips, this sound is pure biology.

4. Vidal VaVoom. Hair dryers are nice and portable and really pack a lot of decibels in such a small package. Kind of like babies. If you've seen Paisley after a good nap, it looks like she's taken a direct hit from the hair dryer but in reality it's just one of the impracticalities of newborns with hair. It can be challenging.

5. Baby shower. Brandi has realized that having a newborn makes some of life's luxuries, such as showering a few times a week, extremely challenging at times and therefore, requires some adjustment. The adjustments that work best seem to be parking Paisley in her car seat and setting her up in the middle of the bathroom floor with the combined sounds of the shower and the hum of the bathroom fan. On VERY good days, Paisley stays content long enough for the "Repeat."

6. Fan fans. Our favorite white noise machine is the small room fan that sits next to Paisley's crib that not only keeps her from overheating in her mini sack but also creates just enough buzz to keep her sleeping her 8 hour stretches at night.


stace said...

I {heart} white noise and I {heart} even more a child that sleeps long stretches at night. Good luck!

Cheeseboy said...

Been there, done that. Suggestion: Buy one of those white noise machines with a setting called "baby cry". Turn it up so that it is louder than your own baby crying. You will wake up in the middle of the night and think, "oh, it is just the fake worries". Worked for me like a charm.

Rachelle said...

bum luck on the computer. I hate when you put your trust in expensive electronics with high hopes only to be let down. My all time fear is loosing those precious baby pics. I had no idea Paisley is so particular about what she hears. I must admit you have been very creative in meeting her needs!:-)

k8 said...

your kid was sleeping ten hours a night??? that is my fantasy. what a complete bummer that she quit on you!

CaraDee said...

Let's just say that an upflow is supposed to force the air up, like it was in a basement, and vice we have the opposite furnace for our needs, turned upside down to make it work. Cause the monkeys that remodeled were, in fact, monkeys. And I don't have lambs, (tho Lehi is a place where you would have them in your backyard more than other places) but we were helping out a friend for a few days. I was waiting for the questions about it, so I'll be posting about it later, cause I'm cryptic...(tho not like the crypt keeper) Also, they did NOT come with the ticks. Fo Sho...