October 27, 2005

quick photo update

Gary and I need to sit down at the computer soon and go through the latest crop of photos. But until then, here are a few to keep you amused.

Elliot at 2 months
2 months

Elliot at 11 weeks
11 weeks

Elliot at 12 weeks
12 weeks

Posted by Jen at 10:38 AM | Comments (5)

October 26, 2005


Elliot has been sleeping really well for the past couple of days. The night before last he stayed in his crib withouth fussing from 9 to 6 the next morning. And last night he woke up at 4 to eat, went back to sleep until 7 (to eat again), and finally woke up for the day a bit after 9. We couldn't be happier!

We've been experimenting with different conditions to help him sleep better at night. Well, actually, we made a bunch of changes all at once and one or more of them worked. We now have a set bedtime and bedtime routine that we try to follow, which includes washing his face, rubbing lotion on his face and chest, changing into pajamas, and sometimes reading a book. He eats a few times in there, also. We bought a small oil space heater for his room to keep it warmer, and a fleece crib sheet so his bed isn't so cold when he's first put down. And we've been keeping the radio on all night (on a classical music station).

I am putting my money on the fleece crib sheet for the best change, since it's now possible to put him down in his crib most of the time without him instantly crying. And I have to say, I don't like getting into a cold bed myself, why should a baby be any different?

Last night he had trouble falling asleep, so we put him in his swing for about 10-15 minutes, then moved him to his crib. Eventually he'll learn to fall asleep in his crib (and he sometimes does), but Gary and I decided that when he's obviously really tired and we've tried for over half an hour to get him to fall asleep, the swing is fine.

Posted by Jen at 11:49 AM | Comments (6)

October 16, 2005

Sleeping and turning over

It's been a great weekend for Elliot! Last night he slept for over 7 hours straight! In his crib! And this afternoon, while no one was watching, he turned over on to his stomach for the first time.

We're not sure exactly why he slept for so long, but we were amazed when we woke up at 4.30 this morning and realized that Elliot hadn't cried all night. Gary went and brought him to bed so I could feed him (waking him up in the process), but otherwise I think he might have slept another hour at least. And what also amazed us was that when we put him to bed around 8.30 last night, he didn't fuss that much. At least not so much that we felt compelled to go and see if he was okay. Neither of us is expecting this to happen every night, but when it does we'll be happy.

As for turning over, neither of us witnessed it happen. Gary set Elliot on his back in his playpen and went upstairs, and when I came in from the garage a few minutes later, he was on his stomach. He wasn't too happy about it, either.

Posted by Jen at 05:43 PM | Comments (2)

October 11, 2005

my first day of daycare

I dropped Elliot off at his daycare today at noon. He was asleep when we got there, but woke up when I put him in his bassinet. He smiled at S (the daycare provider), which I hope is a good sign. I left him with a bunch of diapers, several changes of clothes, 12 oz of breastmilk, and a blanket that we slept with last night (so he could smell something familiar). I pick him up at 6.

In the meantime, what's a mom to do? I went to the mall and bought a couple of pairs of jeans which I desperately needed, ate lunch in the food court (yuck), and got my car washed. Now I am back home, pumping breastmilk while I type this. I'm not sure what I'll do for the rest of the afternoon. It's not that I don't have things to do, but I'm having a hard time concentrating on anything. And I didn't get a chance to make a to-do list yesterday, so now I'm trying to remember all the things I've wanted to do for the past few weeks but haven't been able to.

At least I'm proving that I won't be one of those mothers who has never left her kids out of her sight, even when taking a shower. I'm hoping to read this in a month and laugh at myself.

Posted by Jen at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

October 07, 2005

Good help is hard to find

I've been spending the last couple of weeks looking for daycare for Elliot. I am not really looking forward to going back to work and leaving him with someone else all day, but it has to be done. Gary and I already decided we were more interested in home care, which is a smaller scale daycare (usually no more than 6 kids) run in someone's home. They are usually cheaper than daycare centers, and can provide a lot more flexibility in terms of hours and activities. The downside is that if the daycare provider is sick, there often isn't anyone to back her up. A friend recommended Craig's List as a good place to find daycares, so this is where I started.

My first searches were on the Peninsula; the idea was that we would send him someplace in between Gary's office (in Menlo Park) and my office (in South SF). Most daycares have pretty strict pick-up times (and often bill as much as a dollar a minute after hours), so finding a place close to work seemed ideal. Several friends recommended instead we look for a place closer to home. After all, they said, you never know where you'll be working in a year or two (true enough, since my company is moving to San Francisco in December). I looked at two places over there, one in Redwood City, the other in Foster City.

The first place, in RC, was awful. The house was dark, and the area for the kids to play in was small. There were 4 or 5 kids there; some were watching a movie on tv, others were running around. The primary caregiver wasn't there (she had to go to the doctor with her son for an emergency), but her helper was. The scene was overall pretty chaotic, and I would be worried if I left Elliot there that he would get lost in the shuffle. The helper was big on formula, and didn't seem too thrilled with having to deal with breastmilk. The place also smelled too perfumey, which wasn't a huge deal, but I just didn't feel comfortable there.

I was pretty upset when I got home. I worried that all the daycares would be like this, and that I would never find one I felt comfortable in. I quit searching for a few days, thinking I would leave my job and stay home with Elliot for a year, or at least until he was ready to stand up for himself a bit. Gary convinced me that even if I didn't go back to work, it was still a good idea to send him to a daycare at least part time, so he could meet other kids and have a change of scenery. I agreed, and started looking again.

Daycare #2 was in Foster City, and was a huge relief. The area for the kids was spacious and airy, and the two kids I saw there were well behaved and calm. Immediately I felt better about sending Elliot to daycare. The biggest problem was location. While Foster City is on the way to work for me, it's not particularly close to Gary's work (and not on the way home for him). And I wasn't thrilled with the TV playing in the corner, although I could see that this wasn't the main activity most of the time.

I started doing a lot more research into daycares at this point. I contacted the 4Cs in San Mateo and Alameda counties (4Cs stands for Child Care Coordinating Council; they are public organizations that help parents find daycare) to get daycare referrals. Most of the places I called didn't have openings, and those that did weren't accepting children as young as Elliot. I went back to Craig's List, this time looking for places near Fremont.

Daycare #3 is run by a friendly Hispanic woman, S. Although her home wasn't as nice as the place in Foster City, S had more space dedicated to the daycare. Instead of a TV she had music playing, and she was completely fine with breastmilk instead of formula. Of the 5 kids currently in her daycare, 3 of them had been there for over 2 years, and their parents really like how S runs the daycare. Of all the places I looked at, this was the cheapest, too, so I know S isn't just doing this for the money.

Daycare #4 was a bit too sterile for me, although nothing compared to #5. The woman who runs the place was friendly and held Elliot while I asked her questions, so I could see she was comfortable with babies. The daycare space, although clean, was just not very interesting.

Daycare #5 was probably the creepiest one of all. My first hint that it was not the place for Elliot was when I was welcomed by the woman in charge (I'll call her K). She was wearing a nice black sweater, with rhinestone star-shaped buttons. The buttons looked sharp, and I doubt any kid would want to be close to her. The feeling was probably mutual, as she never offered to hold Elliot the entire time we were there, even though he was awake, alert, and quite happy. While touring her home we walked past the eating area, where an assistant was feeding the current daycare kids. A little Chinese girl was sitting on a regular chair, her eyes just barely above the top of the table. I felt really bad for her, and surprised that there were no high chairs or booster seats. K has a big backyard, paved with special tiles that don't heat up when the sun shines on them. But, no toys for the kids to play on (not a big deal since she only has 30 minutes of playtime scheduled each day anyway). She just got her daycare license a few months ago, so she doesn't have many kids, yet. But she's hoping to have up to 14 kids, and eventually expand the business to multiple locations. So, although it's home care, it had the feeling of a commercial daycare center. The $25 application fee gave me that feeling, too. One of the things I worry about is that Elliot will just be left in his carseat or playpen all day, with no one paying attention to him. Of all the daycares I saw, this one struck me as that sort of place.

This morning I called up daycare #3 and asked if we could leave Elliot there for 2 half-days next week, as a sort of trial run. S agreed. I get 12 hours away from Elliot, and Elliot gets 12 hours of a new environment. I am nervous (really nervous), but I think it's a good decision.

Posted by Jen at 12:10 PM | Comments (4)

October 02, 2005

2 months!

Elliot is 2 months old today. He's bigger, longer, and more vocal than ever. We are going to the doctor tomorrow for an official measurement (and a load of shots), but here at home he weighed in at 10 pounds 7 ounces.

Tricks he can do now include:
-holding his head up for a very long time
-hitting small objects with this hands
-holding his head up briefly while on his stomach
-sleeping for more than 4 hours at a time (rarely)
-smiling while awake
-supporting his weight while standing

He can hold a straw and a camera memory card, but hasn't seemed interested in holding anything else.

Pictures from the past month are here. And you can go here for the master index. Go here for the main baby picture page. I have some short video clips, too, but we're still figuring out the best way to put them on the web.

Posted by Jen at 01:32 PM | Comments (8)