Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas trip

Well, the Christmas trip was a huge success. Claire did really well in the car sleeping most of the way there and off and on the way home. She entertained her grandparents, great aunt and uncle, cousins and greatgrandma in various ways. She had a ready laugh and smile and interacted enthusiastically with her family members.
Moby Santa
We took lots of pictures and will post some soon.

Claire got many nice gifts including a handfull of cloth books and board books, cloth and wooden toys, Christmas tree ornaments, CD's and a pink velour outfit.

It was great to get to spend some time with my cousin Heather and her son Kyle who were visiting from Boston. We got to pass on a tradition of playing a Pensylvanie Dutch card game called Dutch Blitz. Vaughn, Heather and I spent hours playing this when we were growing up, it was great to see Kyle getting into it. (Grandma gave him and Andrew their own Blitz decks.)

The day after Christmas Mark and I had a day out on the town while my parents babysat. I got a much needed haircut and we got to browse a few shops and take my grandma out for coffee.

Mark brought a box full of games and was able to play a handfull of them with various relatives. Andrew was very interested in learning new games and was quick to catch on.

It was great having lost of people around to help take care of Claire. My mom was great too, she took care of Claire in the early mornings so that Mark and I could sleep in. Claire had a couple of rough nights and one really good night. And amazingly enough last night she only woke up one time! So why was I so groggy all morning?! I got to nap around noon for about a half hour.

Monday, December 25, 2006

little Claire laughs big

big laughsCousin Heather got big laughs out of Claire by lifting her up and jiggling her, then kissing her arms.

Link to video: (click on the link to see the video.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

we're off

I just slept a 4 hour stint and it feels great. I can't remember the last time I did so. Claire ate at 2:15 and was asleep again around 2:40 (then I pumped) and didn't wake up again till nearly 7am!

We're off on our road trip to see my folks today. Geisler is going to cat-sit. Claire's bag is packed but ours isn't. We'll see how quickly we can get packed up and on the road.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

better napping

Since I last blogged, Claire has been napping much better. She will sometimes fall asleep in her crib with no coaxing and has slept for an hour on several occasions, and on one occasion two hours. She has still had a few 30 minute naps but they haven't been the norm the past several days. This has meant naps for me tooand time to do a few chores.

New foods lately are carrots and avocado. She seems to like them ok but not as much as banana or cereal. I let her hold onto a tiny spoon and she tried to get it to her mouth a couple times and opened wide. Her aim wasn't very good, but it was an admirable attempt and shows that she wants to put the spoon in her mouth.

I laughed and laughed earlier today when I was giving her rice cereal. She recently learned to make the razz sound and to blow and was trying both these out while eating which resulted in her blowing tiny bits of cereal all over my face. Oh the adventures of feeding a babe!

Last night Claire was asleep when Mark got home so we got to have dinner together sitting at the table. It was a nice change. We have decided to work on adjusting our schedule so that Mark leaves for work and comes home earlier.

I think the herbs and additional sleep are starting to make a difference in milk production. I've only had to give formula once a day the past two days (instead of twice).

I've come to the conclusion that Claire's recent outbursts in the afternoon and evening have been hunger related. The timing has been a bit confusing because it also coincides with usual going down for a nap time, but then aften much soothing and pulling out all the going to sleep tricks she still can't get to sleep I try the bottle and she chugs it all down and wants more! Incidentally she was swaddles for the two hour nap the other day. I think that helped her to sleep longer. She was wrapped in the Miracle blanket which will still sometimes keep her contained. She is quite the escape artist when it comes to gwtting out of being swaddles in regular blankets or the kidopotamus or other swaddling wrap we have.

I got a couple more sleep sacs at the thrift store on Sunday afternoon. By the way. There is a new thrift store within walking distance (near the Rite Aid). They have lots of baby stuff and good prices.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This week

Claire is back to half-hour naps and waking every two hours or two and a half hours at night. She also seems much more touchy the past two weeks. She will have sudden outbursts when something isn't going her way. Or in the late afternoon she gets upset a lot. I think she's tired and having difficulty falling asleep... she gets very cranky. She seems to really want to be held in the late afternoon and evening and gets mad if I put her down. She will also cry if I take away something that she wants. She seemed like she was having a hard time falling asleep the other day and had her book on her lap (in the swing)and her hat in her hands. She had been chewing on her hat after taking it off. She was fussing and I thouoght maybe the hat was distracting her from being able to sleep, so I took it away. You would've though it was the end of the world the way she screamed and turned red in the face.

The highlight of our week was visiting Jen and her new baby Katherine on Thursday. Since this involved a longish car ride, Claire got two long naps on the way to and from Irvine. We took a nice walk around UCI campus while we were there and I listened to Jeeves and Wooster on CD on the car ride. It was great meeting the baby; she is adorable and seemed very content.

Milk supply is still not meeting demand so we've been giving her two bottles of formula each day. Claire takes 8 bottles on most days. Her biggest meal ever was Thursday and she took 5.5 ounces of breaskmilk. When I pump I usually get about 3-4 ounces... more in the morning and less in the late afternoon and evening. (this is pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock with one 4.5 hour break during the night.) I had one longer break this afternoon because I went to Whole Foods and Trader Joes and hadn't pumped immediately before I left. Sadly, this did not yield a larger volume of milk.

I seem to be finally losing a little bit of weight. I've been trying to walk regulary although some days it's just a trip around the block. Other than that I haven't made much of an effort. We have a bunch of fruit in the house now, thanks to the Joneses who came over last Sunday and brought us a bag full of fruit and other healthy food.

Tummy time is going really well lately. At the suggestion of her physical therapist, I have been doing it several times per day and she is tolerating it for longer periods and even enjoying it sometimes. She especially likes to suck or gnaw on her hands in this position. The therapist was impressed with Claire's improvement since last week with the more rigorous schedule. Claire is also looking like she is just about ready to be able to roll herslef from her back onto her side. She has also been scooting around in her crib lately. I think she is enjoying boeing a little bit mobile.

I am enjoying reading about the Life of St Paisius Velichokovsky, a Russian Monk who became a revered Elder insrtucting the monks using the writings of the Fathers of the curch.

We look forward to our trip to Prescott, Arizona to visit my family and celebrate the Nativity with them. Our friend G is house-sitting and cat-sitting.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Something new everyday

Today Claire held onto her pacifier for the first time. We gave it to her during church because she was restless and she grabbed onto it and moved it back and forth on her mouth and vigorously chewed on it. She was also much more ready with her smiles today and smiled at lots of people at church.

I only have about 6 ounces of breastmilk left in the freezer and production has been low lately...maybe due to the meds I'm taking for the infection. I am not ready to resign myself to supplementing with formula yet. We did get a bunch of free formula samples from the Doctor. I finish my course of meds Tues Morning. Hopefully production will pick up.

I find it so hard finding any ballance in my life. I can't seem to do things on any kind of regular schedule (With the exception of pumping milk.) Maybe I'm trying to do to much although in my mind, it's just the bare minimum. Well. It's time for bed. More on this later.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Copy Cat

I think Claire learned a new facial expression from Sophia, Mark's friend Damien's daughter who is 12 months old. She just started pursing and sticking out her lips yesterday after seeing Sophia. She also has been sticking her tongue out a lot the past several days.

Green Clean gals came today and cleaned!!! Hurray! The house looks much better. We also had deliveries from the organic produce people and Friends also helped with dishes and laundry folding and raking the front yard.

I have a bunch of nice produce to cook up. I didn't do much today because I was pumping every 2 hours and trying to get extra rest because I had two more plugged ducts in the past 24 hours. I've quit eating foods with saturated fat for the time being. Claire was the key to unplugging the ducts on both occasions. The second problem lsted more than 12 hours and I was relieved that I was able to get Claire interested in helping me out. Once the floodgates opened she wasn't interested in nursing though. I hope she decides to nurse for full meals soon because I think this would solve the problems I've been having. I don't know how much more of this I can take and I don't know how to prevent it. It's not like I tank up on greasey burgers or other foods high in saturated fat. I have a little cheese everyday, a little Earth Balance buttery spread a little lean meat and an occasional whole fat yogurt or baked item or icecream. Claire still is uninterested in nursing most of the time and only for a minute at a time when she does.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I got a true belly laugh from Claire this afternoon for the first time. I was holding her on my lap and smiling at her and repeating "Oh Yeah!" she thought this was hilarious. I got another laugh later in the day too. Quite fun. By the way She has really been exercizing her lungs with the squeals lately. Sometimes they are squeals of delight and other times she just seems to want to make noise.

She has graduated from random scratching to intentional itching. Her nails are still super sharp unless I keep them trimmed so that none is visible beyond where it connects to the finger.

Claire has found her ears as evidenced in part by scratching them. She gave herself abig gash inside one ear testerday before her manicure. She has a rash behind her ears and on her neck.I tried various creams and ointments on them today...hopefully we'll see improvement tomorrow. Speaking of improvement. I've been using the free sample of Baby Aveeno creme and it is working wonders. Her skin hasn't felt this smooth in weeks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Mark Hudson Voted Best Dad
It's no wonder...
The past two nights Mark fed Claire all night long every 1.5 to 2.5 hours since I was dealing with my infection and needed to pump on a more rigid schedule. And all this without any complaints. He also taught me something last night, or rather in the wee hours of the morning. Claire wouldn't settle down and go back to sleep but was fussing. Mark sang her a lullaby (using his own words to a familiar tune) and was able to quickly soothe her and he persisted singing until she fell asleep. I've used the same tune several times today and it worked like a charm. Way to go superdad!


Thanks be to God, Claire and I are both feeling better today. The Dr. gave us some more samples of cremes for her dry skin. I told him about all the concerns from yesterday and he checked her out and said she seems fine today. She is napping a lot better today. I think my meds are kicking in. I feel much perkier and no more feever. The breast is still pink but the soreness is just about gone.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More prayers

Thank God Nina from church was able to take care of Claire today so I could rest. I got a prescription to deal with the infection by calling my OB. Now it seems Claire is under the weather. She had a tummy ache, gas, vomiting, loose stool and swollen lymph gland. We have an appointment to see her doctor at 1:00 pm tomorrow. The nurse advised us to give her Pedialyte in the meantime. I feel bad that she is sick but at the same time, grateful that she has stayed well up till now.

prayer request

I'm trying to ward off a case of mastitis. My breast is sore and red and I was feeling slightly feeverish so I went to bed at 7:00pm. I got up at 9 and 12 to pump and Mark is taking care of feeding Claire. Please pray that this clears up quickly.

Other news: Claire seems to come up with a new trick practifcally every day. Saturday she grabbed the spoon from me and tried to move it towards her mouth- she hit her cheek. She is definitely getting the idea. She recently discovered her knees. She ocasionally puts her hands on her knees as she lies on her back. She tried cooked carrot for the first time and seemed to enjoy it. She enjoyes riding in the snuggli carrier facing out now. Her neck control is really good and she enjoys being suported to sit up. It is fun and exciting to watch her grow and develop.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Hurray we have someone coming to clean tomorrow. I am confident that this won't be another false start. We really need it to cut down on the accumulated dust and aleaviate my alergy symptoms.

No more progress on the nursing. She wasn't interested at all Thurs or Friday. This morning she sucked for a few seconds and pulled away.