Friday, May 30, 2008


We've been trying to come up with a good way to keep Paisley corralled in a way that she doesn't feel deserted, but still allows Brandi a few moments in each day to focus on her own goals without having to watch where she steps. We thought that our best solution would be some type of Pack 'n Play that would be easy to move from room to room, so we were excited when we found something on sale at REI that we thought would serve our needs. Needless to say, we were a little surprised once we got it all set up.

It really did look smaller in the store. This is actually a result of out growing our little two man tent (which isn't to say that folks of our stature were ever cozy in the two man) and finding a replacement that will afford us room for 3 more little ones. Considering our ages and inability to pack light, it will most likely be 3 person, 6 bag tent. As much as we are looking forward to taking a little weekend trip to test it out, the idea of camping with a baby, who can make even fairly simple things like going to the grocery store a challenge, seems overwhelming. This really speaks well of our parents who managed to take a car full of kids camping several times a year. Maybe the effort was motivated by their strong appreciation for nature, but there's a chance that it may have also included the hope of "thinning the herd" a little.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

P' Standing Up

Paisley continues to grow and develop in ways that are just impossibly cute and at times, equally hilarious. After much anticipation, Paisley's 4 months of "teething" concluded a few weeks ago with the near simultaneous emergence of her two middle teeth on the bottom. She has since been a little squirrel with these things and chewing on whatever she can get her hands on. One of her books now looks like we're raising a puppy. One of the positives that has come from this though is her new appreciation for pacifiers.

Another recent accomplishment for Paisley has been the ability to stand up for significant periods of time without any support. She seems to have started to grasp the concept of balance and manages to improve her training session times on a daily basis. She hasn't managed to take any "official" steps just yet, but has been sneaking in a few stutter steps a few times before we catch her. We don't know if this new skill will directly lead to her running around the house in the next few weeks, but it has seemed to help her develop a few new dance moves, which alarmingly look awkwardly similar to a few of Tim's.

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.