Thursday, May 28, 2009

Family Games

I think my sister-in-law is funny, and I laughed out loud while reading her post today.  These two posts are about games she & Spiff play with their family.  The games are definitely more entertaining than the Alphabet Game my family played on long car trips.  Check them out.  I think you'll laugh, too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why Didn't I Think Of This Sooner?

We have a musical mobile hanging on Gunner's crib.  It's cute, jungle-themed, and it has little animals that rotate with the music.  I received this excellent item from a friend while I was pregnant.  I remember thinking how cool it would be to be able to lullaby the baby to sleep with Classical music playing right from the baby's crib.  In fact, I was quite taken by the picture on the box that had two parents lovingly gazing at their sleeping baby from the door of the nursery.  Gunner loves the animals, and he likes to play with the music box.  Occasionally, he has successfully pushed the buttons that turn the music on.  It hasn't really ever worked to lull him to sleep.

This music maker is battery operated.  And just like most battery operated toys, the music gets slower and more artificial sounding as the batteries run down.  I don't like buying batteries.  I feel like it is a huge waste of money, and so the batteries in the music box haven't been replaced in a while.  Spiff often asks me if we should turn on Gunner's "Bongy Music" if he's having a difficult time settling down for sleep.

The other day, while the baby was crying in his bed, furious at me for having laid him down for a nap, I thought about turning on his "Bongy Music".  But as his cries got more and more hysterical, I decided to try to overpower his loudness with my own.  I started playing the piano.  And as I played a Bach prelude, the strangest thing happened.  He fell asleep!  Today, it happened again, this time settling down to my favorite Poulenc Improvisation.

I am baffled as to why I didn't try this before!  If the manufacturer of the music box mobile realized that babies might fall asleep to fake Classical music, why wouldn't he fall asleep to the real thing?

The fact is, I have been afraid that it would be too loud for him.  The piano is situated directly opposite Gunner's bedroom, with only a hallway separating them.  Maybe the music is overpoweringly loud, and it's lulling him into submission.  Whatever the case, it has worked twice now, and I'm completely surprised!  Don't get me wrong.  He still only naps for about 30 minutes at a time.  But at least I have a sufficiently loud lullaby to get him to sleep in the first place.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Preoccupation

Sick 7-month old.

Spiff and I needed something to take our minds off of the boards and sleep training. This oughta do it.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Apparently the unanswered question is "why an armadillo?  "The long answer is " I don't know."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An odd sort of notoriety

So I got a peculiar email on Facebook today. A classmate of mine directed my attention to a website called and said she thought she'd found a picture of me on there. I cruised through the site, found some truly terrible photos like this on the site, but didn't see any of my own family pictures. I emailed her for clarification, and she provided a link which proved definitively that someone out there furnished a copy of our family photo. It's pretty weird to see my family photo on a site that mocks bizarre family photos. I'm just curious who put it out there, since there are a limited number of people who have this photo and even fewer with the technical savvy to put it online. So, dear readers, if any of you have direct knowledge of this, shoot me an email and let me know. I'm not irritated, more bemused. Since I know you're dying of curiosity, here is the link in question.

Eating My Words, and My Crutches, Too

Approximately one hour after I posted the previous post, Gunner woke up crying.  I fed him, we  rocked him, we rubbed his gums with Orejel, and he wouldn't calm down and go back to sleep.  So, in a desperate attempt to get us all back to bed, I reached for the binkie.  Spiff eventually got him back to sleep, and I assume that Gunner was still sucking on his binkie, since it was in his crib when we got up this morning.

This is what happens when daytime aspirations meet night time desperation.  Apparently, we should actually throw the binkies away if we really want this to work.  On the other hand, if he still needs them, and they still serve their purpose, I guess we might not be ready to give them up after all.  We'll see.  I'm still going to give it a shot, and we will see if we actually can give up this crutch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


My dad had surgery on his knee a couple weeks ago.  He had a "Knee Resurfacing", in which the orthopod was able to replace the parts of the knee that were worn out.  He used a walker at home during recovery in order to steady himself, just for a few days.  As far as I know, he is able to walk around without aid now, and without too much of a fear of falling.

Spiff's grandmother recently fractured both of her ankles stumbling down the last step of a flight of stairs.  She is in a wheelchair and staying at a skilled nursing facility until she recovers.  She despises being in that chair, and wants desperately to be her mobile, independent little self again.  She has broken some of her rules about moving herself around her room, and has spent some time putting weight on her fragile and broken legs, much to our chagrin.

We are also experimenting with throwing out a crutch.  Gunner just turned 7 months old, and as I have been watching his behavior over the past couple weeks, I realized that he hasn't been very interested in his binkie.  If I give it to him while we're in the car, he will take it, but then almost immediately pull it out and play with it.  If I give it to him to help him go to sleep, he sucks on it for a while, and then promptly spits it out when he is in dreamland.  If we try to give it to him while he's crying and really upset, it only makes him more angry.  I usually find it clutched in one of his little hands, or hidden underneath his crib.

A friend of mine, and mother of a toddler, told me last year that there was a phase when her baby didn't really care for his binkie.  She wished that she would have taken it away then, so that she didn't have to try to take it from him when he was older and more attached to it.  She also mentioned that she kept it because she was attached to it at the time.  I have thought about this quite a bit, and since Gunner doesn't seem to care much for his binkie at this point in his little life, we're testing it out and seeing how we all do without his binkie.

I admit that I have loved his binkie!  I loved how it used to turn him off like a switch when he was tiny.  He has used the MAM brand, which I think look so cute plastered onto his tiny face.  I also love it when he falls asleep sucking on it, and I can hear him sort of snoring as he breathes around it.  We haven't used the binkie for a couple days now, and I can't say that I think he misses it at all.  I miss it, though.  Not so much for its soothing purposes anymore, but because taking it away only reminds me of how quickly my little baby is growing up.

His binkies are still around.  I haven't thrown them out.  If this is too hard on all of us, I'll just get them right back out of the drawer.  But if he never misses them, then I'll just figure this as one battle we won't have to fight later on.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Current Preoccupations

Spiff has finished his second year of medical school! It hardly seems possible that he is halfway through his medical school training! And now, he and his friends are in the thick of studying for Step 1 of the Board Exam. They are all putting in even more hours studying for this test than they did studying for any of the other classes they have taken over the last two years. When Spiff informed me of his plan to study from 7:30-6:00 six days a week for this five weeks, I had a minor emotional meltdown, and I'll admit to having a bit of a pity party as well. I have accepted it now, and we're safely in a new routine, which includes a picnic lunch with the family on the medical school's beautiful grounds, in order to break up the monotony of Spiff's 11-hour study days.

While Spiff is busy studying at school, Gunner and I are preoccupied with Sleep Training. I constantly worry and brainstorm about how to teach my baby to sleep. I know that I posted about "Crying It Out" a couple months ago, and we did try it at that time. But we weren't all that dedicated, and it really didn't take. Now, however, something has to be done with our sweet little baby because he refuses to sleep! He won't let us cuddle him and rock him to sleep anymore, and he cries and cries when we put him down to sleep in his bed. We are using the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child as a guideline, and it has given us some ideas about how to have a well-rested child. So far, some of the ideas have been very helpful, and some of the ideas have just frustrated me. The author gives many patients' testimonials on how his ideas have caused miracles, and those same ideas have come close to giving our little family all ulcers. I'm pretty frustrated with the whole thing. My friends keep telling me that it will get better if we just power through and do our best to teach him to comfort himself. It has actually helped to me to think of it as "sleep training", with a plan and an agenda, instead of just "crying-it-out". Like potty training, I know that sleep training will take a while and not happen over night. But I sure do feel like it's going to last forever.

Update (Sunday May 17):  We have been doing this for almost a week, and I'm happy to say that we have seen some glimmers of hope. Gunner has gone down to bed like a dream for three nights in a row! I know we're not done, and I don't expect this to happen every night, but it helps us get through the sleepless moments when we know he has his great moments, too.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Gunner's 6-month Stats

We went to the doctor yesterday, and G.A. was a champ. He was in such a great mood that the doctor couldn't help but tell me what a beautiful, perfect little baby I have. I like his doctor, not only because she always tells me how perfect my child is, but because she is very kind and supportive. Plus, she always asks me how my family is doing with a husband and father in medical school. She said yesterday that she feels for any medical student with a child because their hearts are so much in two different places.

Gunner's 6-Month Stats:
Weight: 18 lbs. 14 oz. (70th percentile)
Length: 27 1/2 inches (70th percentile)
Head Circumference: 46 1/2 cm.

If you're curious about his growth and development over the past six months, check here and here.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Scheduling update

So, I decided not to go for the anesthesia elective. There were too many people competing and the scheduling lady said it was pretty unlikely I would get it. I have 2 alternatives now, however, so all is not lost. I can take my schedule as it currently stands, and do an anesthesia elective right after third year. Alternatively, I can still postpone family medicine and do a "self-designed" elective, which is essentially the same thing as doing the original anesthesia elective. The advantage to not postponing family med is that I can complete my third year which frees up which electives I can do, since some of them require that the entire third year be completed.