Saturday, December 20, 2008

parenting Zoralee: reflections at two weeks

We love our Zoralee! She is wonderful. She is lovely.

She looks nothing like either one of us (to our own eyes), so I'll admit we occasionally feel robbed, but a hospital switch-up is impossible. She needn't be anybody's spitten image, though a couple of obvious genetic links to us would be nice. Maybe with time. Ironically, we do see extended family members in her sometimes.

with Grandma Barbara, visiting from MarylandUncle Dave and the girls

A new baby sleeps an inordinate amount of time, so how are we far, far behind on housework, laundry, and communication with friends and family?! We're in some kind of a productivity-sucking vortex. I think it's because yes, the baby is sleeping a lot, but also yes, she wakes up a lot too and doesn't hop up to fix herself a sandwich.

at Lula's for lunch

Speaking of laundry, there is suddenly a lot of it, on account of the wide variety of bodily fluids that end up on every article of clothing and linen. Truly, between a new mom and baby, there are like 10 different fluids that pass down, around, through, and between. If you get a little squirt of poo on, say, a bed sheet, after about 30 seconds of trying to wash it in the sink while keeping the water localized to the dirty spot, you realize it's way easier to throw the whole darn thing into the laundry basket.

observing a sheet: a good 20 minutes of entertainment

Zoralee spent most of week 1 naked, just swaddled up tight in a blanket, other than one or two of her short social engagements. We thought this was the smartest thing to do, because a) putting clothes on a baby is a waste of precious energy, and b) why not let her be free from such shackles as long as possible? Both of her grandmothers, independently, thought this was just awful, so we succumbed to peer pressures and started clothing her. At first, Jason and I hated it! She didn't look like the same person AT ALL. In fact, the next picture is her in her baby shower dress, and it took awhile for us to get cool with it. Now we're coming around. She does seem a little better regulated as far as temperature, because blankets are often opening up and falling off during the passing of a baby back and forth among family members.

The baby is pretty fussy. She is a good baby, and our love for her is not diminished by this, but she is definitely a fusser. Her worst fits are followed by gaseous explosions from one end or the other, so we know there is reason for some of it. But other times she seems to fuss just to fuss. We give her gripe water and make sure all of her needs are met. We experiment with freely-available coping mechanisms like walking, talking, singing, and rocking. We are using a gifted rocking seat that looks like a car seat, with good initial results (the baby falls asleep) but mixed long-term results (she wakes up pretty soon). But what we're uber excited about is even now on its way in the mail: namely, an old school, mechanical wind-up swing. We searched high and low for this joker, and today we won it on ebay for 99 cents. Ahem, shipping was 17 dollars, but I absolutely couldn't care less. It's the click-click-click variety from when all of us were babies. We're stoked.

yawning during a chiropractic adjustment

We are trying quite hard to limit the baby paraphenalia that comes into the house, because gezzads! There is no end to the possibilities! Walk through the baby department at any store, and you'll agree. For example, there are about 14 different spongy pads available - one for keeping the baby asleep on her back, one for the tub, one for changing diapers, one for laying in the living room, one for every variety of crib and cradle. So anyway, we were planning on bathing the child in a mixing bowl or the kitchen sink, like our mothers did it. We had three traumatic bath/shower experiences, whereby there was much screaming, flailing, and pooing, and then Zoralee received a plastic baby bath at her baby shower. Skeptical we were, but we tried it, and would you believe she has reclined in it peacefully and contentedly for two baths now?! As Jason said, it's a little frustrating when modern gadgetry actually works.

    This could be the result of sleep deprivation, but we have the heartiest laughing fits these days. Some of the hilarity is at Zoralee's expense, what with her random arm movements and facial expressions, but hopefully she's not grasping that. Occasionaly they'll even happen during her fits, just because she's being so unreasonable. But the most notable one came late one night while we were up browsing craigslist ads. I don't know if every location would have as riotous ads as in Montana, but check out the Free section sometime. People are giving away and advertising the darndest things, like a pair of pants that wouldn't work as pants anymore but could be cut up for fabric. Hang tight, lady, while we drive five hours to Helena to get those. Or this one guy who was begging people to come and make use of a miniature golf course that he'd made. Dang. Now that's funny AND sad. Jason's new motto is "Craigslist - we laughed, we cried."

    Grandma Rena reading Zoralee's first post card from great Aunt Melody


    Elaine said...

    J.R. has to take acid reflux medicine...and I am pretty sure our firstborn should have been on it as well, but they didn't do that back then. Might be something to check into for the fussiness. She sure is adorable.

    Autumn and Dan's family said...

    She is unbelievably adorable! Keep the pictures coming! The fussing, cries, whines, and fits are here to stay for a of the many joys of children.

    melissa said...

    have you heard of the purple crying? latest medical fad wrt babies, but there just may be something to it. main premise: babies cry sometimes for no reason. it's pretty well universal. google purple crying in your spare time ;P lol!
    LOVE the pix. zora's perfect. way to go momma!

    Scott, Amanda, and Gauge McClure said...


    Well guys, she's absolutely beautiful! And wonderfully enough, it sounds like everything went well during labor. Did you have a tub birth? Was it at home? How was the mid-wife? Still waiting on that birth story, so get to it! lol

    Some advice:

    As far as who's features she has, you may want to view your *baby* pictures instead of comparing her to what you look like now.

    Swaddle her as tight as you can without stopping her breath. The best thing that kept Gauge comfortable and secure was a super-tight burrito style swaddle.


    I feel so blessed to have known you both before and after parenthood. For how incredibly wise you are now, it'll be nothing compared to who you're about to be.

    PS New phone numbers:
    907 440 9699 Scott
    907 440 2611 Amanda
    907 344 5578 Home