June 29, 2004

Oooooh, look! Hands!

Dorothy is discovering her hands. The last few days, she's been "clasping" them a lot, as if she's just found that she can feel one hand when she holds it with the other. And last night, when I was changing her and she was squirming madly, she suddenly became perfectly still. I looked to see what was up, and she was staring with intense concentration at her fist, which she was holding in the air in front of her face. She stared for maybe 5-10 seconds, and then went back to squirming. :-)

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2004

Alone with Mommy

Today was my first time getting Dorothy up and off to daycare by myself, while Tom is away at his conference. At first, she was remarkably cooperative. She woke up this morning about five minutes before my alarm was due to go off, and then went back to sleep for over an hour, giving me time to shower and get my stuff and her stuff ready to go. Then I woke her up, changed her, and got her dressed for daycare. I decided to wait until we got there to nurse her, since she wasn't fussing yet.

Well, I sat down with her and started to feed her, and she cut loose with a major poop. Right up the back. All over her clothes and my pants. So I changed her diaper, and handed her to a daycare teacher while I washed my hands. Urrrrp! She spit up all over the teacher. All the way through, she was smiling and giggling like she'd come up with the best joke in the world.

Fortunately, the daycare center has us keep extra clothes there for just this sort of situation (for Dorothy. Unfortunately, not for me). We got her changed, and I went home to change my pants, and took a later train.

So I guess the Mommy daycare drop-off was a qualified success. We'll have to see what tomorrow brings for Grandma Chris babysitting!

Posted by Elizabeth Nugent at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2004

A Special Gift

For Elizabeth's birthday, my parents gave her a "night of sleep" wherein they would take Dorothy for an entire night, letting Elizabeth sleep without being interrupted by a little baby girl. Last night was when she claimed the gift, and I of course also benefited from it.

We had dinner at a new Asian restaurant in town, then went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. It didn't end until midnight, so we both wound up going to sleep much later than normal ("normal" being 9 or 10pm these days), almost like we were young grad students again. ;-)

We got up just after 9am this morning, and then took our time getting ready to go pick up Dorothy. It was nice not having to rush around. Dorothy had a very good night, sleeping very well (which means she woke up at midnight, and 3am, and 6am) and not being fussy much at all, according to Mom and Dad.

It was a bit hard last night to send her off with Mom and Dad. We'd never spent the night without Dorothy! And we wondered a few times through the evening how she was doing, but we were strong and didn't call to check on how she was doing. :-) (Of course, since we didn't know when they were asleep and when they were awake, there was a disincentive to calling them and potentially waking up our benefactors.) We were definitely relieved this morning, though, to find out how well she'd done.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

Leaving My Baby!!

I'm going to the 3rd annual Space Elevator Conference in Washington, D.C. next week. But that means I'll be away from Dorothy for FOUR whole days! :-( I don't think I've ever been away from her for more than half a day before.

Luckily, my Mom and Dad will still be in town, and will be able to help Elizabeth with getting Dorothy from daycare, watching her on the non-daycare day, etc. But I'm still going to miss her a whole bunch!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

Super Tots?

This story at CNN mentions a genetic mutation that has created a baby boy who is amazingly strong. Apparently scientists have created this mutation in mice to create "super-mice" but this boy supposedly got the genes through natural processes. The story discusses using research based on this gene to help people with wasting diseases, but you have to wonder what will happen to this baby as he grows up. Will his life be drastically shortened due to heart problems? There's almost no mention of that question in the story.

Also what about when athletes start abusing related drugs? Will this cause problems like steroids do now?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:34 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2004

Maybe It's Just a Cold?

A few days ago we mentioned giving Dorothy the dairy challenge to see if she was, in fact, allergic to cow's milk proteins. She got all congested a couple of days later, so we thought dairy was the culprit. It turns out we may have been wrong.

Elizabeth had a runny nose a few days ago. I developed a scratchy throat, and woke up this morning with a very runny nose myself. So we're wondering if maybe Dorothy had a cold (again) and passed it along to us. Maybe we'll do another dairy challenge near the end of next week, and hope that we don't have colds messing up our test results again.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

Sleep Patterns

Last night, when Dorothy slept six and a half hours straight, I got nearly 7.5 hours of sleep, only getting up once in the night. That should be a decent enough amount of sleep to tide me over. So why was I yawning like mad at 10am?! Are the stories about "sleep deficits" true? I'd thought sleep deficits were a myth, and you didn't have to "make up" for "lost" sleep. If the stories are true, then in a few years Elizabeth and I are going to have a deeper debt than the U.S. government...

Thanks to my mom, I was able to take a 25 minute nap around 5:30pm today. I'm hoping that Dorothy will be napping for longer, more predictable periods as soon as possible so that, on days when I'm watching her, I can get in a nap when I don't have the grandparents around for support.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:23 PM | Comments (2)

Photo count

As of today (June 22), including some photos taken by grandparents and some photos not of Dorothy (eg. ones of the cats, or random other stuff), we've taken roughly 1,900 photos since Elizabeth went into the hospital for delivery at the beginning of March. Yes, you read that right -- nineteen hundred photos. What can I say? Dorothy's such a cute baby! (Note that there are "only" 542 photos posted online.)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

Tons of Photos!

I've just added a bunch of photos covering June 12-22. After having fewer photos in the previous two weeks, this past week-plus has had a ton of photos, which is why I'm uploading them before the weekend. Enjoy!

(For those who didn't notice, the last batch of photos was from two weeks instead of one week, because I was hoping to slow down the number of photos we take, and to only post some online every other week. We'll see if I can try doing it again next time.)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

Extra long sleep!

Last night Dorothy managed to give us a belated Father's Day gift along the lines of her earlier Mother's Day gift -- she slept for six and a half hours straight! That might be the longest she's ever slept. Elizabeth put her to bed around 7:30pm or so. Normally Dorothy wakes up around midnight, plus or minus an hour. Last night she didn't get up until 2am. And then she went back to sleep for 3 straight hours, and then, instead of being fussy for the next couple of hours, she went back to sleep again! We were both very happy this morning. Let's hope she continues with this kind of night-sleeping!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

Something About Dorothy

Caroline would probably give me a hard time for making three posts about space today and none about my beautiful daughter or her gorgeous smiles. ;-) So here's a little Something About Dorothy (and no, I'm not referring to the similarly-titled movie).

This morning, right after I'd strapped Dorothy into her car seat to take her to daycare, she decided to spit up on her outfit. Of course, we didn't have time to go change her, since we needed to get Elizabeth to the train. So I took a spare outfit with us and changed her (Dorothy, not Elizabeth) at daycare. She really does seem to have a habit of making some sort of mess just when we don't have time to deal with it...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

Space Tourism study

Space Adventures released the results of a survey of people who've already put down at least $10,000 as a deposit for a sub-orbital tourist flight.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

SS1 was a success!

SpaceShipOne's first flight to space was a success! They've now made history by sending the first privately funded and developed vehicle into space. Let the floodgates open!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

Prelude to space tourism?

Jeff Foust has written a great article titled "Prelude to History?" about Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne and what they might be doing in the near future. It's exciting to contemplate.

Does anyone have a spare $100,000 they'd like to give me so I can buy a seat on one of those flights?

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004

Dorothy's Weight Profile

Today Elizabeth created this chart, which shows not only Dorothy's weight history, but also some of the percentile ranges. As you can see, after dropping weight right after birth (which is very common), Dorothy's mostly been around the 70-75% range.

At some point it will probably become, um, un-tactful to comment on my daughter's weight. But for now she's too small to care. :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:43 PM | Comments (2)

From my MIL

Elizabeth's parents arrived in town last night. They're staying here for a few days before they head over to France for the wedding of Elizabeth's "other" brother, Michael. So now, on the strict orders of Caroline (my mother-in-law), here is an entry about Dorothy's smiles (apparently she thinks I haven't been posting enough about how pretty and frequent Dorothy's smiles are).

Dorothy smiles quite a lot lately. It's very hard to capture with the camera, because they usually don't last very long. She'll maybe have a low level grin for a longer period of time, but the full-blown, ear-to-ear, isn't-life-just-amazing smiles she lets loose from time to time are short-lived. They are the most enchanting thing, though. Her eyes get so bright, and she'll grin really big with her mouth wide open, and then the mouth will close and she'll get this sort of coy, head-turned-down smile. It's so cute, and hard to describe. I think the next batch of pictures that I'll be posting might have one or two smiles in them.

Oh, and I need to tattle on Caroline a bit. Tonight during dinner, we were mentioning that we'd forgotten to bathe Dorothy the last couple of nights until it was too late and that it was already getting late tonight but it had been a week so we really needed to give her a bath. Caroline suggested we just wait another week before bathing Dorothy. Can you imagine, suggesting that her own grand-daughter be left dirty for a whole week!? ;-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:38 PM | Comments (2)

My First Father's Day

Today was my first Father's Day, and it was a pretty good one. Elizabeth tried to let me sleep in a little, then we met both sets of grandparents for brunch, and then came back to our place and hung out for the day. I had various thoughts pop into my head throughout the day that would have made good blog entries; we'll see if I can remember many of them.

Experiencing my first Father's Day wasn't as weird a feeling as it was 6 months ago when Elizabeth pointed out to me that this year would mark such an event. I guess I've become used to being a father over the last 15 weeks, whereas back in January, it was still a pretty foreign concept.

Dorothy was pretty well behaved today. In fact, she's been pretty happy and cooing for most of the past week, even with the congestion (which we think is due to dairy allergies) she's had. She's such a cutie, I may have to post more pictures tonight.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2004

Blog Preferences

For those of you who read this blog regularly (all 3 of you?), I'm wondering how you prefer the front page to be laid out. I used to have the entirety of each story included on the main page, but then I thought that approach wound up making the main page too long when I had long stories, and so people might not scroll down far enough to see older stories. So I've changed things so that only the first paragraph or two is shown on the front page, and if you want to read the rest of the entry, you can click through to see it.

Which layout do you prefer? Either post in the comments to this entry, or email me if you'd like to remain anonymous to the world.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:46 AM | Comments (4)

Allergic to Milk Proteins

Back in April, at some point Dorothy developed what seemed (to us) to be a bit of diarrhea. In all other respects she seemed fine, and the doctor didn't seem too worried about it. She said that Elizabeth could try taking all dairy products out of her diet, because Dorothy might be allergic to milk proteins. (Some babies are allergic to cow's milk proteins. Almost no babies are lactose-intolerant, otherwise they wouldn't be able to drink their own mother's milk. But the cow's milk proteins can be in cheese, butter, etc.) Elizabeth did cut down on dairy, but we didn't notice a huge change in Dorothy's poop. Of course, it can be hard to remember what things were like weeks prior, so we could have been a bit wrong.

A month or so later, while seeing the nurse for something else, we asked about the poop, and after taking a look, the nurse said that it was within the normal range for babies. Given that the diarrhea had started right after Elizabeth had switched her granola cereals to one that had nuts in it, we thought maybe it had been the nuts (which are also common allergens). Clearing dairy out of one's system can take weeks, so Elizabeth stayed non-dairy (eventually coming as close to 100% non-dairy as she could) for quite some time.

Then a week or so ago, thinking that perhaps dairy hadn't been the cause at all, Elizabeth used a tiny bit of butter in grilling some foods. We didn't see any change in Dorothy. We decided to try putting more dairy products into Elizabeth's diet. She stopped worrying about breads that had been made with butter. But rather than slowly add in dairy products, and wonder whether or not any given change in Dorothy was due to the dairy change or just a random fluctuation, Elizabeth suggested doing a food "challenge." This is where you suddenly add in a bunch of the suspect food, and see what the reaction is in the baby. If problems develop, then you can be reasonably certain that food was the problem.

So on Wednesday, we ordered pizza (because it has lots of cheese on it). Dorothy seemed fine that night. The next day, Elizabeth had some ice cream after lunch, and in general tried to consume lots of dairy.

As far as we can tell, Dorothy's poop hasn't changed, but she's been sounding extremely congested at night. She'd been like this back in May, too, and congestion can be another symptom of an allergy. After all of us having gotten multiple good nights' sleep earlier in the week, Elizabeth woke me up at 5:30am today to take Dorothy, because Dorothy hadn't been able to sleep since 2am unless she was being held vertical by Elizabeth (which means Elizabeth wasn't able to really sleep much at all).

For the moment, now, Elizabeth is going to go back to a non-dairy diet. I'm wondering if some low levels of dairy (eg. frying with butter) would be OK. In any case, we hopefully (knock on wood) won't have to worry about it for too long. Most babies are supposed to outgrow this type of dairy allergy by around 6 months of age. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004

Some Funny Stuff

Over at this blog that Elizabeth pointed me to, they link to some very interesting items.

First is How NOT to check a diaper. You'll have to click through to the image, but it's amusing.

The other one that caught my attention was the
Giant Microbe Plush Toys. :-) Now you too can let your child play with Ebola! Actually, the toys do look very cute...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 07:40 PM | Comments (0)

Eerily Familiar

This article in the May 7 St. Petersburg Times Floridian Online sounds familiar to my situation. I didn't have that man's problems soothing Dorothy when she was first born, and Dorothy doesn't seem to want to sleep as much as his daughter did, but the sense of "when will I get some respite?" almost from the moment Mommy walks out the door is one I completely sympathize with. It's not so much that I don't feel I can handle caring for Dorothy. It's more that I'm often feeling the lack of sleep, and by mid-afternoon I'm bored silly! There's only so much silly faces games and sit-up practice I can do before I'm trying to think of other possibilities, like teaching her to handle email...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 06:09 PM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2004

SpaceX + Bigelow = space hotel?

From a Wall Street Journal / Barron's article (subscription required) about SpaceX is an interesting tidbit about one of their future customers:

Sometime this fall, Musk reports, the company will launch its first Falcon I rocket from Vandenberg Air Force base in California, carrying with it a U.S. Department of Defense communications satellite. Assuming that flight goes without a hitch, the second one will come in 2005, with the launch of a natural-disaster-monitoring satellite for the government of Malaysia. And Musk says a company called Bigelow Aerospace has booked passage on the first flight of the second generation SpaceX rocket, known as the Falcon V. That one, also expected in 2005, will carry a one-third scale model of Bigelow's planned inflatable space station. Really.

Bigelow Aerospace, if memory serves, is a company owned by hotel magnate Robert T. Bigelow, who owns the "Budget Suites of America Hotel Chain" that's looking to get into the space tourism business in a big way. All very interesting.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

Going to the movies

Today, Dorothy and I went to Baby Pictures at the Showcase Cinemas movie theatre in Randolph. It's a neat idea -- every other Tuesday, they show a recent movie but change the environment so that parents can bring their babies. The lights are not dimmed completely, and they have some diaper changing pads in the front, plus refreshments for sale down front throughout the movie, the volume is turned down a bit, etc. Plus, if your baby makes noise, you don't feel too guilty, because there's others doing the same thing. :-)

We had fun. I fed Dorothy some expressed breast milk before we left for the theatre. I had to change her partway through the movie, but that wasn't a problem. And afterwards, I went to the concession stand, and they were kind enough to give me a bucket of very hot water so that I could heat another bottle. I fed Dorothy in the theatre lobby, then we went off to Costco to do a bit of shopping. She was very well-behaved throughout the trip, and even slept through the second half of the movie. To any other new parents in the Boston area, I can definitely recommend going to the Randolph Showcase Cinemas for their parent movies (Baby Pictures?).

Today's movie was "The Stepford Wives." Overall it was a decent movie, especially as long as you suspend all sense of disbelief and overlook some minor inconsistencies. I'd seen some bad reviews, so my expectations weren't too high, but there were definitely some funny moments, and though the movie certainly wasn't very deep, it did at least raise some issues about gender roles.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

Growing Too Fast, Part 2 of 1 Zillion

A little factoid that Elizabeth just mentioned to me (and which I'll provide a citation for if I can find it), posted actually by "hedra" at StorkNet (registration required):

"...infants and young children (up to 3 years, I think), can grow up to 3/4 of an inch in length IN ONE NIGHT!"

Maybe that's the reason why Dorothy suddenly seemed to not fit her 0-3 month clothes anymore... :-O

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

Photo gallery upgraded

FYI, I've upgraded the photo gallery to a new version of Gallery software. The new version also comes with "skins" which means I've changed the look of the gallery.

Oh, and the new version also has a "slideshow" on the main page which will present a slide show of some number (currently I've set it to 50) of photos selected at random from within all of the albums.


Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2004

Growing Too Fast (Part 1 of 1 Zillion)

Dorothy is growing too fast! Today Elizabetha and I went through her clothes, clearing out the ones she's too big for (basically, all the "0-3 months" / "up to 12 pounds" clothes) and sorting the next batch ("3-6 months" / "up to 18 pounds" in baby clothing size parlance). It's slightly depressing to think that she only got to wear some of those "old" outfits once or twice, and I don't think she ever wore anything more than a dozen times. :-O If I threw out clothes after I'd used them 5-10 times, I'd always be out shopping for new clothes. Or else I'd be a teenage girl. (Just teasing!)

And yes, I'm sure this theme and the feeling of an always-growing daughter is going to be very familiar for the next, oh, 18 years. I'm not dumb. Just dumbstruck. :-)

Posted by Tom Nugent at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

Missing Ray Charles

For those who haven't heard, Ray Charles passed away last Thursday, June 10th. He was a giant musical figure (read the CNN obit for some details of his life and accomplishments). There's not much I can add to what people have been saying about him. I'm just saddened that the world has lost such an amazing musical force.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2004

Sitting up

I think I forgot to mention earlier, but Dorothy's been learning to sit up!


She can grab onto my fingers with each hand, and then if I start pulling her up, she'll pull herself the rest of the way up. She's still wobbly and needs support, but she loves looking around and just being in a sitting up position. When I lay her back down, she'll often quickly start curling her head and legs up, trying to get back into the same position she was in while sitting. So then I pull her back up. Hopefully she'll get the balance thing worked out soon, and then we won't have to let her hang on to us in order to stay sitting.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

Uploading Photos


Dorothy was "helping" me to upload the latest batch of photos, covering two entire weeks.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

Extended Acid Trip of Life

Sometimes it seems that the first few months of life must be sort of like an acid trip (not that I'd really know, but I can imagine, right?). This thought occurred to me after reading a book and experiencing some of Dorothy's behavior.

The book What's Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot, a neurobiologist, is a wonderful summary of what we know about brain development in the early formative years. You learn things like the fact that babies form roughly 2 million synapse connections every second for the first two years of life! (After that, the connections get pared back as the baby learns skills etc.)

Dorothy sometimes gets some really funny facial expressions, including one we call the Stoner look: "Duuuude, that's like, toooootally cool!" :-) In general, you can only imagine what it must be like to develop your senses (such as binocular vision) from the beginning. Imagine suddenly being able to sense magnetic fields with your hair -- that's the best (crude) analogy I can come up with for what it must be like to suddenly realize you have hands and you can sometimes get them near your mouth, or that you can move your head to track something you're looking at, or that you can now see in 3-D, etc. The acid trip must certainly be exciting, though, because Dorothy sure smiles a lot when she experiences new stuff!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2004

The Woodstock of Space

June 21st, 2004, might just be the day that the world’s first commercial manned space vehicle might reach space. And the flight that day just might simultaneously be the first of the two flights needed to win the Ansari X-Prize.

I really wish I could go. Really really really. There is an extreme amount of excitement in the space enthusiast community about the X-Prize (recently renamed the "Ansari X-Prize") in general, and Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne in particular. There are a couple dozen entries in the X-Prize competition, but it's looking like Scaled Composites could be the winner. And it may happen within the next couple of weeks! I've heard that all the hotels around the launch site are booked; the public viewing area is going to be packed.

If the Ansari X-Prize is won this year, it could perhaps mean commercial sub-orbital flights open to anyone with enough money by the end of the decade. Here's to hoping for the best!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

Just something quick

I really want to post items in this blog more frequently, but even with lame stream-of-consciousness writing (instead of the more regular and well-written postings I've wanted to write) I've been doing lately, I just don't get around to posting as much as I'd like. Perhaps this is because it feels too lame to post something less than two paragraphs long.

Anyway, Dorothy has been doing much better since Tuesday. She's been mostly happy, and I took care of her almost all by myself on Thursday. My Mom came over to help with paperwork, but except when I had her watch Dorothy for a couple of 10 minute periods while I did stuff, it was just her and me. And it's great playing face games with her, making smiles, and seeing her smile back. We're even getting an occasional picture of her big, beautiful smiles; I'll be posting the photos this weekend, probably.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2004

Magic Elixir

Baby Tylenol liquid drops are the magic elixir to cure baby's problems! Well, that's how I feel after getting my happy Dorothy back after 2+ days of screaming and sleeplessness.

We saw the doctor (who I really like, BTW - she's great with Dorothy) this morning. There's nothing wrong with Dorothy's ears, throat, chest, etc. The doctor agreed that the mouth must be the problem. She discovered another sore that we hadn't caught, and said it looks like it might be caused by some virus. She wasn't sure what the bumps we thought looked like teeth were; she agreed they sort of look like teeth, but it would be extremely unusual for a baby to get her molars in before the incisors, and to do it at 3 months of age. But she thinks that teething might be starting (because of the increase in drool), which would also cause discomfort for a baby.

In any case, the best we can do is help relieve the pain on her gums and keep an eye on her. So when I got home, I gave Dorothy a shot of Tylenol around 11am and some expressed milk. Bam! Within a half hour, I had a happy, smiling, cooing little girl. It's amazing how much the change in her demeanor made me feel so much better. (Of course, she'd been screaming for long periods in the car on the way to the doctor's office, so any let-up was bound to take a weight off my shoulders.)

The funny thing is, we didn't give her anything else the rest of the afternoon. Tylenol supposedly wears off after about 4 hours. I'd been planning on putting some Orajel on her gums around 3pm, once the Tylenol wore off. But she was happy to sleep in Grandma's arms until a little after 4pm. Then we gave her some milk, and she was pretty good for the next few hours! We finally did give her another dose of Tylenol before bedtime, so help her sleep better. But it looks like we've turned the corner (for now), and it looks like I didn't even lose too much of my sanity...

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:59 PM | Comments (2)

Don't Stop Moving

Imagine you're female (if you aren't already). Furthermore, imagine you're only 3 months old. Now imagine you've gone to the doctor's office, and they've taken a special medical bag with adhesive around its mouth, then glued the thing around your crotch (after first performing the necessary cleansing indignations) in order to collect a urine sample. Once you've finally peed, then they rip the bag off your crotch and send it to the lab.

Now you have an idea what Dorothy's day was like yesterday. :-(

Starting sometime early Sunday night, Dorothy got extremely fussy. Elizabeth didn't get great sleep that night, and woke me around 4:15am to take Dorothy, so that Eliz could get a bit of sleep before work. Around 7:30am, we decided to call the doctor's office, because we measured Dorothy's temperature at 100.4 and 100.6 (at different times). Plus she was screaming and fussing in a very uncharacteristic manner.

We got in to see the nurse-practitioner around 10am (BTW, her weight was 13 pounds, 2.6 ounces). They measured Dorothy's temperature at 100.8, but otherwise couldn't find anything wrong with her. I'd been concerned about poop getting where it shouldn't, so they decided to check on the possibility of a UTI by taking the urine sample described above. Between waiting for her to urinate, and for the results to come back from the lab (the urine was clean -- no UTI!), we didn't wind up leaving until almost noon. Oh, and the screaming she did during all of the poking and prodding was a lot worse than what she did when she got her 2-month innoculations, mostly because she didn't stop after 30 seconds. Heck, one time she tried yelling so much (after she didn't have enough breath left) that her chin turned purple for a minute.

In the afternoon, I was looking in Dorothy's mouth more closely, and saw some slightly disturbing bumps. At first I thought it might be teeth, but the front incisors are supposed to be the first teeth to come in, not the back molars. Plus, molars aren't supposed to come in until age 10-14 months. We're going back to the doctor's office today to see Dorothy's doctor herself, since the inside of her mouth is looking like she might have thrush.

For most of yesterday morning and last night, the only way to calm Dorothy was to dance with her. And not just anything, mind you; we had to keep our motion nearly random. No repeating of dance steps allowed! This can get tiring fast. Luckily, after a good enough amount of dancing, she would often drift off to sleep, allowing us to make our movement smaller and more repetitive (i.e., easier to do). She might wake up again in 10 minutes, but at least we got a bit of respite. Last night she again was fussy and awake a lot. I got put on baby duty around 4am, and went half-insane trying to dance around unpredictably for 45 minutes (until she started falling asleep).

Anyway, Dorothy's been extremely unhappy the last couple of days, and if it weren't for some relief provided by my Mom (and Dad) taking Dorothy for a while and calming her, I'd probably have lost my mind by now. Hopefully we can find out ASAP what the problem is so that we can do something about it. To be fair, she has had an hour last night and a half hour this morning where she was actually happy. In the meantime, though, whenever she's awake she's mostly been very fussy, and moving around has been just about the only way to calm (distract?) her. So we'll keep on moving as long as it takes for her to get better.

Posted by Tom Nugent at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Our First Day Alone

Today was Elizabeth's first official day back at work (she'd gone in a few times over the last two weeks to get back into things). Which means it was the first day that I had Dorothy all by myself for a really long period of time. We survived, but I didn't do it all alone.

Elizabeth woke me around 5am to take Dorothy for a while, so that Eliz could get more sleep before work. (Dorothy "normally" gets up around 4am and is fussy until 7 or 8am.) Elizabeth took the 8am train into Boston, and I curled up with Dorothy on the couch. In retrospect, I should have put her in the sling and tried to get her to sleep in the crib, or somewhere I would have felt more secure. As it was, she slept for 45 minutes, and I lay next to her, maybe sleeping for a minute or two at a time before waking, worried that she might roll or wake or something.

Dorothy did let me get some of my own work done, although not a ton. We did play some games (like making faces at each other), and I fed her a couple of bottles. But every time she seemed to be dozing off and I put her in the crib in the hopes of getting a bit of shut-eye myself, her eyes would pop right back open.

We did play some more of her newest "game" -- sitting up! I'll lay her down on the boppy pillow, then let her grab my fingers with her fists. I'll grab her fists back, then pull her up to a sitting position. She's still pretty wobbly, but with me holding her arms out for support, she can mostly hold her head up and look around. She obviously loves sitting up, because when I lay her back down, she'll quickly start leaning her head forward and pulling her legs up, trying to get back into sitting position. :-)

Anyway, I was getting pretty zonked by mid-afternoon. Luckily, my parents were able to come by around 3pm and relieve me. I got a 45-minute nap, and (finally) took a shower. Boy, did that all feel so good! I went and got a bit more work done, and then my parents headed out after Elizabeth got home. Elizabeth certainly missed her little sweetie-pie after having been gone all day!

We all survived the day. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll see if I can manage to survive an entire day by myself with Dorothy without going crazy or comatose. This week, though, I won't have to worry. She's got two days in daycare, and the other day I'll be taking her to a party mid-afternoon, which will "break up" the day enough, I think. Next week, though, we'll see how we all do!

Posted by Tom Nugent at 08:26 PM | Comments (2)