What a great week it's been.
grahamsleight has been visiting NYC. Kit and I took a walk with him in Prospect Park on Monday. Kit got to wriggle on the grass! That was apparently really excellent. We didn't chat much, mostly just enjoyed the warm weather and the sun. The baby coped very well with taking the subway and dealing with the bustle of Atlantic Center (I can't carry the stroller up stairs and don't like relying on strangers to help, so we had to go to the nearest station with an elevator) and the long walk from Atlantic to the park.
Tuesday I dropped off all our paperwork at the daycare, eeeee. :D
My date with J on Wednesday was dumplings in Chinatown; we went to our favorite Shanghainese place and had soup dumplings and sticky rice siu mai. On the way there I started reading The Plot Whisperer, which I thought was going to be a how-to book on plotting, and I guess it is, but mostly it's a therapy session for struggling writers. Really intense, really good.
On Thursday I went to the Container Store and got a desk organizer to use as a baby-stuff organizer: bibs and burp cloths in the paperwork compartments, pacifiers and cotton swabs and other small things in the smaller front compartments where you're supposed to put things like pens and paper clips. It worked exactly the way I thought it would. I am very pleased. I also got a Moleskine notebook and a set of very nice gel pens, and I started over with The Plot Whisperer, taking notes and writing down my reactions. I almost never write anything by hand but it seemed appropriate in this case.
saraeileen (who is expecting minorfiasco in October!) came over and babysat on Friday, taking advantage of our "come learn about babies from our easy starter baby!" offer. Kit generously gifted her with a spectacularly gross diaper but was otherwise as easy as promised. I went up to Hunter to meet with my mentees for the first time post-baby, and X took a long-awaited nap.
My date with X on Friday was watching the first three episodes of Police Squad, which they had never seen. I described it as "if Amelia Bedelia made a cop show". It remains totally brilliant.
On Saturday J and I took Kit to have lunch with Graham at one of our favorite restaurants near our old apartment. Kit fell asleep in the cab to the restaurant, slept solidly through lunch, and woke up just as we were nearing home. I have no idea why we even bothered to pack the diaper bag. J got ill from lunch, but by evening was well enough for chicken soup and crackers, and I served it to him in Japanese lacquerware because I firmly believe that a little fanciness helps unwell people to feel better. It seems to have worked, going by how chipper he was today. He went to bed early and I got some extra time hanging out with X, which is always lovely. They had a brilliant idea for fixing the one thing that was annoying me about the proposed layout for the main room, and now I'm desperately eager to make it all happen.
And then today! Oh my gosh EVERYTHING made me happy today.
I got to move furniture around in the middle of the night (one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid, I cannot explain this at all but I love it), and now our laundry area looks so much better.
J was all bouncy and energetic, and X was laid-back and quietly happy, and the baby was wriggly and full of smiles--they and I had an entire conversation that was nothing but smiling at each other.
I remembered to eat lunch before I got starving-hungry, and it was really good.
I posted a bunch of random free stuff on Craigslist and a very nice person came by and took it all in one go; suddenly our house is so much less cluttered.
J and I took Kit for their afternoon walk, got some sun, and found a local shop that carries J's preferred brand of soap.
K followed their usual schedule (see below) almost to the minute even though the walk was a little on the late side, so I was able to time adult-dinner to be ready just as K fell asleep after baby-dinner. J and I made a stellar dinner of pork ribs and roasted cruciferous veg that everyone thought was really delicious, and we joked and laughed basically nonstop through dinner.
We did the bare minimum of immediate cleanup, counted on the baby to sleep a solid four hours (which they did, bless them), and got some wonderful uninterrupted grownup snuggles and makeouts.
Even the cats were well-behaved today. Just a fantastic day with the world's best family.
Kit going to daycare means we need some kind of fixed schedule for them, rather than the baby-led everything that we've been doing. So I looked at the daycare drop-off and pick-up times and Kit's usual habits, and drafted a plan that centers around two fixed points:
1) Having a snack and taking a walk around 4 p.m. On daycare days, pickup is at 4, which means we can walk in the park before heading home (or go to the library if it's really nasty out, but Kit doesn't seem to mind wet or cold weather as long as we've got the rain cover on the stroller, and I'm happy to walk in just about any weather). This means that we both get outdoors time--I need the sun; the baby's just happy to be outside--and Kit also gets a nice little afternoon nap in the moving stroller.
2) Kit getting colicky right around 5:45 p.m., which they do almost every day like clockwork. We reframed colic as "cuddle and talk about your day" so we can keep it on the schedule even after Kit no longer needs a daily cry, and it's amazing how much easier it is to cope with when we look at it that way. Kit's colic-yells are also starting to sound a lot more like talking: different sounds, variations in tone. So it really feels like they're explaining exactly what they had to put up with and how taxing and exhausting it was. It is very hard being a baby, you know.
After colic is done, Kit tends to doze for a bit and then wake up and demand food. So we codified that as eating at 7 p.m. and going to bed by 8. Usually we don't need to do a thing to nudge the baby in the direction of that schedule; it just happens.
We're still doing two overnight feeds, at about 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. We let those happen naturally and don't wake the baby or do a "dream feed". If Kit doesn't gradually move toward sleeping more than four hours at a stretch, we'll nudge them in that direction, but there have already been a couple of experimental five-hour sleeps, so I think we don't have anything to worry about there. In the meantime, the four-hour sleeps after 150-ml meals are so reliable that I've started turning my monitor off and going to bed after the 3 a.m. feeding; J wakes up at 5, turns his monitor on, and goes back to sleep until the baby wakes up. Ideally I'd go to bed at 3 and J would wake up at 7, but it'll probably be another few months before that happens.
DST is going to mess with this a bit, but mostly in our favor, I think. The sun will be overhead for our park walks instead of low and shining right into Kit's eyes whenever we face west, and the snack can happen after the walk instead of before. Even if we decide to do late pickup at daycare and Kit stays until 6, the 5:45 colic will become 6:45 colic, so it will happen after we're safely home. Feeding the baby at 8 p.m., midnight, and 4 a.m. isn't ideal, but it's manageable, and as the colic ebbs, we can start moving those earlier (and merging the overnight feedings into a single 2 a.m. mega-meal). And J can move his wakeup time to 6 a.m., which is much better for him and tolerable for me as long as I can go to bed by 5 and sleep 5 to noon.