Work Crap

Allie had been waking up and staying up on her own between 5am and 5:30am for the past month, and we don’t know why. She did well with the time change, however, and was still getting up between 5-5:30am, occasionally as late as 5:45a, but it was the “new” 5:30a or whenever. Over the weekend, we finally turned on the central heater, and she slept in to her old time of past 6am, and yesterday on Veteran’s Day, as late as a few minutes past 7am. So it could be that even though I’d been double-bagging her with a onesie inside her fleece zip-up footsie sleep-n-plays, it has simply been so much colder in the mornings that when she wakes up in the morning, she has been unable to go back to sleep. She doesn’t make noise or demand anything, just playing on her own in her crib until we go in to get her, be it half an hour, an hour or more.

We attended a birthday party over the weekend, thrown by a coworker for her grandson’s first birthday. She went all-out and turned her large backyard into an old-fashioned carnival, complete with game booths, prizes, props, popcorn machine, hot dog “vendor” booth, game tickets, photo booth, cotton candy cart, face painters. And the details! Little goldfish in round bowls, cupcakes that look exactly like little buckets of popcorn (“popcorn” made with twisted mini marshmallows lightly sprayed with yellow food coloring), everything was bright red and blue. I would’ve taken photos, except Allie threw my cell phone into some crevice in the car and Mr. W said I didn’t need it so we were rushed inside. There went my primary mode of photodocumentation. Given the many many kids and babies at the party (we’re talking 100+ guests), everyone seemed to be an expert in parenting. We got lots of unsolicited commentary on Allie. They were mostly kind comments, such as how cute she is and how well she walks given her age, but more and more she’s receiving comments of how tall she is. People assume she’s 14-15 months and are surprised when they learn she’s 11. She towered over the 1-year-old birthday boy. I can see that she’ll be expected to act like a young adult when she’s just a small child and wants to come up to me to be held when she’s my height. =P

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day and a holiday. We used the day off to bring Allie to the doctor for her 2nd dose of the flu shot. She did well, crying in protest when we forced her to lie back on the table, having the same fit she gives us when we make her lie back for a diaper change. She was so busy fussing about that, that she didn’t know the shot had come and gone already, so she stopped crying as soon as we let her sit up again. I asked how many shots Allie will get for her 1-year appointment, and the nurse said six. SIX! Two on each thigh, and one under each upper arm. That would be the most shots she’d received at once, and the first shots on her arms. I’m not looking forward to that appointment in a couple of weeks. I asked when the next series of vaccinations after that would be, and was told 18 months. That would be a nice break from all the shooting up every time she’s gone to the doctor, and after that, her booster shots would come at age 2. And then even bigger gaps after that. So her only regular shots after that would be her annual flu shots, which would still be a child-sized half-dose, but only 1 shot. I was told she got the double-shot this year only because it’s her first time.

I asked Mr. W if he had any pre-scanned photos of himself in uniform that I could post to do a Veteran’s Day blog entry. He thought a long time and said no. All his photos are hard copies only, nothing digital. I figured as much, it was a long time ago. When we had been at the Toyota dealership last month buying the new Prius V, I’d noted that the fleet saleswoman had a framed portrait on her desk of a young man in a Marine Corps uniform. I asked her about it, and she said it’s her 23-year-old son currently stationed in Afghanistan. That’s Mr. W’s son’s age. Later, we were sent to finalize documents with a finance person and I noticed a similar shot behind him. The finance guy said that’s his 21-year-old son, currently a Marine in Iraq. I told him I hoped his son would be home soon, and he said the military had said he’d be home on Thanksgiving. I brightened and said that’s great. The finance guy chortled and said, “Oh, you know our military. They SAY Thanksgiving, and then when that comes and goes, they say, ‘Oh, did we say Thanksgiving? We meant Christmas.’ And then, ‘We meant Christmas NEXT year.'” The finance guy came from a military family of Marines, altho he himself had been Army because he got almost lethally seasick. He was good-natured about his son, who is Mr. W’s daughter’s age, being away from home this long with an indefinite end in sight. It’s amazing the characters of our military, also amazing how life has to go on for their family members at home, even though I’m sure they don’t sleep easily at night.
“If the Marine motto is The few, the proud, how come it seems like almost every military or ex-military person we know of is a Marine?” I asked Mr. W, the former Marine, whose father was also a Marine.
He was too busy trying to figure out Windows8 to give me much of a response.

Win8. Yeah, still not loving it. It’s turned our PC much, much less user-friendly. Being on the PC now feels like I’m back in Italy in the rain and hostile environment without a guidebook or map or a translator. (Italy will forever now be the place I compare negativity to.)

Ugh. It makes me nervous when a bajillion prospective jurors are given access to the jury room to use the restrooms during jury selection, like now, cuz my pump parts are disassembled, washed and drying in there and I’d kill someone if I saw a curious juror handling them. Yay, a 2-week criminal trial for a doctor (ex-doctor, I should say) for filing false tax returns (2 counts) and for failing to file a tax return (1 count). Yes, people, they really do prosecute for that. This guy faces up to 4 years in state prison.

Now that I have a toddler (almost-toddler; I counted 17 independent steps last night before she somehow got confused which foot was supposed to lift next, lifted the same foot twice in a row, and then flew forward almost face-planting), I get to have more of those endearing “If I knew then what I know now” moments.

* Now: This week, Allie learned to wave and say “bye-bye” and then POINT to the door, basically throwing people out. She did this on Sunday to my parents as they got ready to leave, then she did it Monday evening to throw Jayne out after we got home, and Tuesday morning, she did it to us pointing to the garage door through which we leave after saying our morning goodbyes. She does it in the evenings as she says goodnight to daddy in her bedroom and then tries to close the door on Mr. W even tho his face is sometimes still in the room. Allie has also, just in the last day or two, started pointing upstairs to indicate that she’s tired and wants to take a nap or go down for the night.
* Then (cutting and pasting from an old e-mail between me and a former supervisor that I just stumbled upon, much to my amusement now. I’ve reversed the order so that it reads top to bottom):

>>> [SUPERVISOR] 7/1/2011 8:09 AM >>>
Good morning,
The $40 criminal security fee was originally scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2011, and return to $30, however SB78 extended the sunset date to July 1, 2013. So this fee will remain at $40 until that date.
If you have any questions please let me know.
Thank you.

>>> [CINDY] 7/5/2011 8:07 AM >>>
*raising hand*
I have a question. Is “sunset” the official legal term for expiration of temporary fee increases, or is that your own romantic euphemism?

>>> [SUPERVISOR] 7/5/2011 8:14 AM >>>
No, can’t take credit for “sunset”. It’s a political term of art approximating the terms “rational contraction” and “downsizing” to describe laying someone off of their job. Always remember, “never say what you mean or mean what you say”. Obfuscate the truth for political or personal gain. This is the way of the Representative Republic wherein the representatives sole responsibility is re-election.
Hope you had a happy Independence Day! God Save the King!

>>> [CINDY] 7/5/2011 8:16 AM >>>
*eyes glazing over*
Thanks! Thanks to you, I’ve learned that I’ve been doing things wrong. I thought I was supposed to be impeccable with my word, but apparently, that’s why I don’t have a yacht or a helicopter like a lot of politicians have. YOU, on the other hand, have a giant beautiful house with a gorgeous backyard… hmmmmmm…

>>> [SUPERVISOR] 7/5/2011 8:26 AM >>>
When someone, especially someone intelligent, raises their hand I feel obligated to give them the undiluted answer.
Oh, and the “gorgeous backyard” requires eight hours of yard work per week. It’s a Yin and Yang thing, or a communing with Nature thing, or something.
How’s the Kid kicking?!

>>> [CINDY] 7/5/2011 8:33 AM >>>
Good Lord, 8 hours a week! I’ve never said life wasn’t fair. Altho I’ve complained about it not being unfair in MY favor.
The kid’s been noticeably kicking since 15 weeks. We had a full-screen diagnostic ultrasound with radiology last Wednesday (at 20 weeks), and I laid there a LONG time while they took close to 100 ultrasound photos of organs, spinal columns, heart valves, etc. The radiologist said then that it looks like a girl. At one point, I watched the fetus barely raise her knee in a small jerk motion and I felt a now-familiar corresponding tap on the side of my abdomen. This must mean that future REAL movements, like actual kicks, are gonna be unignorable. I should just take maternity leave now. =P

>>> [SUPERVISOR] 7/5/2011 8:39 AM >>>
Even with all of the trials and tribulations of their growing up children are the only perfect things in the world (with the notable exceptions of ages 2 1/2-3 1/2 and 15). It’s like a roller coaster, scary, but well worth the ride.

>>> [CINDY] 7/5/2011 8:45 AM >>>
I’ll agree with you, altho I’d like to add my cat to the list of perfection (as I’m sure you’d add yours, heh) and I will let you know about what Allison does at 2.5 – 3.5 (aside from teaching her father how to properly use adverbs in his everyday speech and how to play the piano expressively), and at 15 (when I’m not too busy driving her to her academic decathlon award ceremonies and volunteer events). I should print out this email so she can laugh at me in 16 years.

>>> [SUPERVISOR] 7/5/2011 8:54 AM >>>
Spoken like a true first time parent-to-be! If Alison is anything like her Mother then the World gets another kind enlightened soul. Which we desperately need.
There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that goes “beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy”. l think that the existence of cats is the inverse of that thought. My good wife strenuously disagrees with my view hence “our” four cats.

>>> [CINDY] 7/5/2011 9:00 AM >>>
Thank you for the compliment somewhere in that email. 🙂 I don’t actually expect to be able to dictate another human’s path in life, of course, altho I hope I can be influential enough so that whatever she does, she does well and with integrity and intention. Unless she’s a stripper. I hope she’d suck at that and be fired.
Re your thoughts on cats… =O! How rude.

>>> [SUPERVISOR] 7/5/2011 9:08 AM >>>
TIME is the most valuable thing a parent can give to their child. That’s what makes them grow to be honest, honorable, hard-working adults. At least that is what we have found to be true. Knowing you I’m sure Allison will be fine, without a doubt. Some people “have” children and others actually “raise” their children. I’m certain you will do the latter.
Cats are the spawn of black holes, anti-matter, and the “dark side”. That’s not rude, just a fact.
And, strippers are people too!

A bailiff in the building told me that when he brought a young defendant out of lock-up into the courtroom to have the defendant’s case heard, on sight the judge told him to bring the defendant back into lock-up immediately. Not knowing why, the bailiff did as he was told and then re-entered the courtroom in time to hear the judge say that he was going to recuse himself from this case. The case was then transferred to a different courtroom in the building. So the bailiff went to the defendant to give him this information.
“What does that mean?” the defendant asked him.
“It means the judge may personally know something about your case, or maybe know someone in your family, that may cause him to appear biased, so he is removing himself from your case and giving it to another judge to hear.” In a civil case, judges recuse themselves all the time because they may own stock in the corporation that is involved in a lawsuit, or because they had formerly worked for a company that is named in the lawsuit. In a criminal case, recusal is much more rare.
“Well, I live in [local city], and I know that some judges live there, and one of them used to give see me walking to school and he’d always pull over to give me a ride. Maybe this judge knows that judge or something.”
The bailiff later told the judge what the defendant had said.
The judge responded, “That was ME. I used to see him walking all the time around our neighborhood walking to and from school when he was younger, so I used to give him rides.” But when the kid was about 18, the judge continued, he’d gotten into trouble with the law, and at the same time the neighborhood suffered a few residential burglaries. All the neighbors figured it was this kid. The judge’s own house at the time also acquired some evidence of tampering, as if someone had attempted to break in, and he’d always suspected it was this kid, too.
“I can’t be fair on this case because the DA’s offer is 36 months [in state prison] and I’d want to put him away for longer than that just to keep him out of my neighborhood.” Good man. So he passed the case to someone who didn’t have a personal interest in the outcome.
That someone is another judge who ended up allowing the defendant, on the same day, to get probation. =P So no state prison time for him. Guess he’ll be back in the first judge’s neighborhood soon.

Hubby and I still haven’t reached any resolution on the near future regarding his imminent retirement. He knows he’s going to retire in about 5 years (he can’t wait, he talks about it almost DAILY, especially when traffic’s bad on the freeways commuting to work), and he still wants me to quit when he retires, so we can be a family unit all together, but I’m still not ready to give up the financial security of having my own money, and own work life. Maybe things will change in 5 years. Maybe Oregon, Hawaii or Florida (yes, Mr. W put FLORIDA on the potential retirement location list) won’t seem so far away by then. Who knows.

Mr. W took me to lunch today at a Chinese food restaurant. When the fortune cookies came at the end, he cracked his open, read it to himself, and then commented with a big smile, “Hey, I’m gonna get to retire this year!” Huh? He handed me the fortune. It says, “The current year will bring you much happiness.
He told me to open mine. I did, and read it silently. “Hey, I’m NOT going to be quitting this year!” I said in delight.
“Your fortune is ‘The current year will NOT bring you any happiness’?” he predicted.
I handed him my fortune, which says, “Depart not from the path which fate has you assigned.

I used to get little trash-talking post-it notes on my desk at work when UCLA played rival colleges, from my coworkers who’d attended those rival colleges, and I used to get some crap from judges in elevators when the stakes got high. But that hasn’t happened in years. This is probably why people at work from rival colleges have stopped picking on me about sports…
My judge (Cal grad), this morning: Hey, UCLA’s 3-0!
Me: Yeah, I heard we’re doing pretty well.
[Meaning, I’ve seen social network posts from fellow Bruins cheering.]
Judge: [something about the new coach]
Me: What sport are we talking about again?
Judge: [an amused laugh] This IS football season.
Me: Oh.

I’m documenting this in hopes that I never forget the acts of kindness shown to me.

My judge is visiting his brother in Northern California all this week, as the brother undergoes a medical procedure. This means the courtroom is dark, so I’m available to float anywhere. I’ve been nervous about this because my pumping schedule at work (9:30am, 1pm, 3:30pm) makes it very difficult for me to properly man a busy courtroom. In my own court, if we’re in trial, my courtroom assistant takes notes of the exhibits introduced and the witnesses sworn so that I could log them when I return, and my judge will swear in the witnesses for me. In someone else’s court, especially if it were a criminal calendar court, I may miss 5 or more cases when I’m gone for half an hour.

My immediate supervisor has been kind and if there are no major clerk shortages, she’ll keep me in locations that will allow me to pump. The last 2 days, I’ve been helping clear the Family Law backlog by entering tons of documents at my desk. Altho I’m doing that again today, my supervisor said she had no choice but to put me to cover a Family Law courtroom this afternoon at 3:00pm because that clerk is scheduled to leave early, and she says they may be in trial all day. I mentioned that I’d have to pump at 3:30, and she said helplessly that she had no one else available to cover that court, and gave a quick rundown of where the regular relief clerks are assigned today.

Hearing a friend’s name in another courtroom, I suggested seeing if we can work something out, and she was agreeable. The coworker had no problems since he had a light calendar in the morning and nothing scheduled for the afternoon; he agreed to relieve me at 3:30p so that I could leave to pump. I was grateful for that solution, but wanted to check the judge I’d be working with to make sure that it’d be okay with him as well.

The judge is one of my favorite judges in the building, and one of my family law resource judges that I often go to with questions on procedure and such. Upon hearing my pumping schedule issue, he immediately said that he will then adjourn any trial that may start this afternoon at 3:30p so that I could pump, and no relief is needed to relieve me. He asked how long pumping takes, I said half an hour. He looked thoughtful, and then said, “I’ll just adjourn for the day at 3:30, then. I have no problem with that. I’ll tell them upfront that no matter what, we are finished today at 3:30.” WOW. I did not expect that! That means I could even leave to go home on time!

I feel a little like dancing.

From research online and from talking to my pumping expert pal, college roommie Diana, I think my problem with milk supply isn’t a lack of milk; it’s a lack of let-downs. Diana taught me how to fiddle with the dials and buttons on my Medela double electric breast pumps to induce subsequent let-downs beyond the first one, and I took tips from other moms’ experiences on online discussion boards such as watching videos of their baby, relaxing, rearranging the pump flange to get suction on a different part of the milk ducts. I have also been drinking homemade pork hock stew (thanks to my mom) for the past 3 lunches hoping the old Chinese folk wisdom for increasing milk production has some merit to it.

The first time I tried all these things in conjunction, the yield was nearly double what it had been (the first time, almost 5oz instead of the 3oz I’m now aiming for, and hitting 4 a couple of times after). I’m also pumping longer (about 20 minutes instead of giving up after 10). I even got a let-down on the hand-pump yesterday morning, the first in 3 mornings. I was optimistic and excited. Yesterday afternoon and today, however, other factors seeped in making my work pump situation no longer ideal. We were assigned an attempted murder trial, which before maternity leave would’ve made me happy. However, with my pumping, a trial means I miss out on portions of the proceedings while I’m pumping, and that I no longer have our jury room to pump in. Thanks to the generous offer by my coworker Erin, I get to stay on the floor and use her semi-private restroom, but that still means I have to run down the hall and pump in a room colder than I’m used to (which I’ve read does affect let-down reflex) with time constraints on my mind, which adds more pressure and stress which of course all help block the Baby La-La-Land mentality that is apparently required for my brain to produce oxytocin on demand. I also feel bad interrupting that courtroom’s personnel to burst in there a few times a day, and for taking up a chunk of their small fridge to store my milk and other pump stuff. I had hoped to establish better, more productive pumping sessions by doing all this new stuff until my body got used to it, so the timing of this trial sucks.

For those people who are blissfully unfamiliar with the processes of breastfeeding, the danger is that if I can’t drain the milk out of my breasts on a very regular basis, my body will think that there is not a great demand for milk. It will then make LESS milk. And if I still can’t empty the breasts then, it will think it’s still making more than is needed, and it will in turn make even less. This is the miraculous responsiveness of a mother’s body to the needs of her child. It’s perfect in theory, unless you’re a modern-society mom who works outside of the home. (Not that I’m not immensely grateful for the abundance of clean running hot water to clean pump parts, federal laws protecting my right to pump at the workplace without risking my job, and reliable electricity to operate my breast pumps, all free of charge, thanks to my living in a non-third-world country. Altho…if I lived in a third-world country, I probably would be nursing my child all the time instead of going to a job elsewhere.)

In any case, I suppose even if I dry up prior to a year and have to introduce Allie to dairy earlier than recommended by pediatricians, or have to supplement with some formula against pediatric advice, I’m still in a better position than the tatted-up guy sitting about 20 feet from me on trial for beating his girlfriend into pulp with a flashlight.

My email inbox opened today on really old stuff from 2006. Seeing some interesting subject lines, I opened a few old emails and smiled, frowned, and mused in reading some of my history with friends from over half a decade ago. I even re-sent some to the friends on the email, just for kicks. “Hey, remember his? How things have changed.” I’ve always thought I had a more-than-decent memory, but there were some teaser emails I have no impression of, like one between me and college roommie Diana where we were about to get into something juicy and instead of writing it, she wrote, “Call me and I’ll tell you,” and then there were 3-4 follow-up emails arranging for the call, making sure we were both available, what numbers to call on, and then…nothing. WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT DID SHE TELL ME? WAS IT ABOUT A BOY? I DON’T REMEMBER AND I WANNA KNOW! It was most likely about a boy.

And then I saw an email from a guy who was my boss for something like a few months before he’d decided to leave the County and go into private industry. He was nice to me, and had defended me against some workplace unfairness he’d perceived and fought a battle that I really wasn’t even planning to fight myself. He made me feel a little weird, a little uncomfortable sometimes. Anyway, the email from him was just one line, which appeared to be in Latin. It looked like nonsensical spam or the remnants of a virus, when someone’s email gets hacked. But the sign-off with his first name made me think maybe it wasn’t spam. Spam doesn’t sign off. I *think* that back in ’06, I may have thought it was spam and not responded, because there’s no indication on that email that it was ever replied to. Anyhow, the one line is:

Is eram meus vicis ut leave.Hope totus est puteus vobis.

I ran the line through Google translator. It came back with “It was my time to leave.Hope all is well with you.” I guess it wasn’t spam. Why did he feel the need to write that all cryptically in Latin? It was from his personal email, not work email. Maybe I’d been right to feel uncomfortable about him.

Okay, this is going to be one of those “my misery = your entertainment” posts.

The courthouse doesn’t provide a private area where I can go pump (for breastmilk) during my working hours, so I use my jury deliberation room attached and adjacent to my courtroom when we’re not in trial and we don’t have jurors. I hang a “SORRY, OCCUPIED” sign on the door, close the jury room door and switch on the double electric pump at the far end sitting at a small table toward the back.

This morning, my judge was using the jury room for a mandatory settlement conference on a case, and when he does that during a pump time, he invites me to use his private chambers to pump, telling me to lock his door, so I did. When I came back to the courtroom, my courtroom assistant told me that the building’s maintenance guy just walked right through the courtroom earlier toward the jury room, unresponsive to her calling out, “Excuse me! Excuse me! Can I help you, sir? Excuse me!” and opened the door into the jury room and went right in. You would think someone who works for a courthouse would know better than to just barge into closed rooms, especially during working hours. Lots of confidential stuff goes on around here (as with the settlement conference), and it would be a pretty big problem if there had been a jury in there deliberating. The courtroom assistant said he must’ve been turned away by the judge, because he came back out looked a little bewildered, and she explained to him that there’s a conference taking place in the room. He said he first saw that we weren’t having a trial, and she told him there are other things that happen in a courtroom aside from trials, such as what he’d walked in on. In telling me this story, she added, “What if you were in there pumping and I wasn’t here and he just walked in?” I said well, I would think that he’d have learned from this morning and would now know better than to just barge into a closed room. She offered that, for my lunchtime pumping, if I would wait for her to come back from lunch she’d sit outside the jury room and guard it. I laughed, but can’t wait because I would need to pump in the middle of lunch, not after it.

So after lunch, I put the sign on the door, closed it, settled into my chair, turned on the pumps, and attached myself to it. A minute later, sure enough, the door opened suddenly behind me, no warning, no knock. I turned my head and called out as the maintenance guy’s bearded head appeared, “I’m in here, I need some privacy, please!”
He pointed toward the bathroom, still coming in. “I just need to –”
“No, I need some privacy.”
He pointed again, taking another step in. “I’m just gonna –”
“No, no,” I shook my head emphatically at him. “Please close the door.”
He started in and said, “So I’ll just go ahead?”
“No. No. No. I’m pumping.” As he started in again, I said, “No. No. I’m pumping!”
“So I can’t –” He started saying.
I cut him off again, not believing I’m sitting here still arguing with him. “No. I’m pumping. I need privacy, please. Close the door now, thank you.” He started to say something again, and I said very firmly, “Please. Close the door, please.” OMG. He finally left.

After that disruption, I sat in disbelief, and got more and more upset as I saw that my body was not having a let-down. I’d heard that if interrupted or startled, a mother’s body will not release milk. I did not want to find out that it’s true, but apparently, it is true. All that time wasted sitting there trying to get milk to come out, more time wasted washing and drying pump parts, all for less than 2 ounces of milk. Allie could slurp that up and not even notice she’d swallowed anything (a bottle feeding for her is 7, 7.5 ounces). THAT pissed me off more than anything. I didn’t even waste a milk storage bag on it, just poured it into small storage vial and stuck it in the fridge.

I called the coordinator person who had called for the maintenance guy and told her that I know the guy was just doing his job, and he’s a very effective repair-person and a good guy, but if he’s working in a courthouse, he NEEDS to know certain common sense things about being here during working hours. I explained what happened this morning and when I got to the part about what happened earlier when I was in there, she gave a loud gasp. I said that given that he thinks he’s exempt to closed doors and signs and doesn’t even knock or anything before going into places, what if I’d been in the bathroom PEEING when he went in to fix the faucet drip? I’d have to convince him to leave from the other side of the stall?! I realized I was practically yelling on the phone and realized soon after that I have no control over my volume or tone, so I just told her in the same yelling emphatic voice I’d been using through this entire conversation, “Can you to talk to him, please? I can’t talk to him, I’m too worked up right now. And please be nice, I know he was just doing his job, but he doesn’t get it.” She laughed and said she understood, she’ll talk to him, and nicely.

Allie skipped a nap for the past 2 days in a row. She had been doing pretty well before that, taking her 2 naps for usually over an hour each. Yesterday, she skipped her morning nap and took her afternoon nap an hour early and stayed down for 90 minutes or so. Today, she skipped her afternoon nap altho her morning nap lasted almost 90 minutes. Jayne is totally frazzled because when Allie doesn’t get her sleep, she is crabby. According to Jayne, she’s also been unusually dependent, protesting and wailing if left alone for a bit, or even put down sometimes. Both days, Allie crashed while playing at various times out of sheer exhaustion, and both nights, she had to be put to bed early and knocked out easily. Tonight while I nursed her to sleep, she was the limpest I’d ever seen her. It was like she was drugged. I sat her up to switch sides and she just stayed asleep, sagging against me while I had her in sitting position. I did get her to wake up, whimpering, to eat a little on the second side, but that lasted 3 minutes before she was out cold again. Poor baby.

I love that she’s super-happy to see me when I come in the room and would stop what she’s doing as recognition crosses her face, and she’d break out in a big smile. I open and close my fist in a wave to her from across the room or from the upstairs landing while she’s downstairs, and she locks eyes with me, smiles, reaches her hand toward me, and open and closes her little hand in her greeting back to me.

Jayne was reading The Wonder Weeks when I walked in this evening after getting home from work. She said that Allie seems to be in the middle of a developmental leap so Jayne’s relieved “it’s not [her].” Sure enough, the book says Wonder Week 37, the World of Categories, begins its first phase at approximately 34 weeks (or between 32 and 37 weeks) and the second phase at about 37 seeks. As baby learns to see and associate details with things, baby learns that a cat is an animal like a cow, but it is not a cow. Pea puree is food like water, but it is green and comes from a bowl and tastes different. And then the baby’s working on new physical skills, too. Language, emotions, understanding the two from others. Brain waves show drastic changes at this time. The baby feels overwhelmed by all the new information bombarding its brain, which will cause some or all of the following fussy signs:
* crying more easily than usual
* seeming cranky, whiny, fidgety, grumpy, bad-tempered, discontented, unmanageable, restless, or impatient
* jealous and clingy
* sleeping less
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. All of the above. Also, I learned that they are now old enough to have nightmares. This explains the 2 nights when, about an hour after going to sleep, she suddenly woke up screaming and crying. This didn’t last more than minutes or less until she laid down and konked out again. I had wondered whether she was having night terrors, but she’s too young for those and nightmares make sense. This chapter in “Wonder Weeks” seem to be talking specifically about Allie, even down to the “When you set your baby down to be dressed, undressed, or changed, she may protest, scream wriggle, act impatient, and be unmanageable. Most babies do now.” This is why I start the changing/dressing routine at 6p and finish at 6:20 deaf and sweaty. The books says this fussy period lasts about 4 weeks. =P

But it’s cool. I tell myself, it’s okay if she misses a few naps as she goes through this phase. It’s okay if she’s sweeter than moon pie (which hubby introduced me to a couple years ago and I still gag now thinking about it) one minute, leaning back in my arms and cuddling against my shoulder, then suddenly bounces impatiently and tries to wriggle out while voicing a big loud complaint the next. She’s growing, she’ll get over this, and she’ll live. Unlike the toddler who is the reason for our preliminary hearing the past 2 days. Today, my judge held the defendant (baby’s mother’s boyfriend) to answer to one count of murder and another count of assault of a minor under age 8.

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