Meet the grandparents!

coppia cerca uomo Milano After meeting her grandparents quite a few times over Skype, it’s finally time for Juliette to meet her grandparents in person. She’s on her best behavior, sleeping quietly in her cot, playing quietly in her playpen, or doing her best to look cute. Her strategy will pay dividends at Christmas, I suspect. 🙂

A proud grandmother

donna cerca uomo Marsala A proud grandmother

"Coo coo coo!"

uomo cerca donna Scandicci “Coo coo coo!”

Laundry day

uomo cerca donna Massa Laundry day. That used to be a once-a-week occasion, sometimes less frequently if there wasn’t much in the basket. It stands to reason that unless Mom and Dad have been partying very hard, we don’t often vomit on ourselves or soil our trousers.

Not so much, Juliette. It’s like Rush Week at a frat house. It would be impolite to go into detail, but let’s just say that Juliette’s cute little outfits get treated to all manner of substances. And she has more wardrobe malfunctions than Janet Jackson. Around here, ‘laundry day’ is ‘everyday’. Here’s a stock tip for anyone reading: buy shares in whoever makes ‘Vanish’ — we go through industrial-sized tubs here.

But Dad enjoys doing the baby’s laundry. It plays nicely into his OCD streak, little white onesies returned back to their immaculate state, spit-up clothes folded just so. And airing racks full of teeny, tiny little outfits.

It's like a Lilliputian laundry!

It’s like a Lilliputian laundry!

Hide and seek

Each day after he gets home, one of Dad’s first tasks is to play a game of hide-and-seek. Not with Juliette — she’s still too young for that and it wouldn’t do much for her self-esteem, losing every time. (“3… 2… 1… Ready-or-not, here I come….oh, you’re still in your crib. I guess I win again.”)

No, this is hide-and-seek for Juliette’s pacifiers. Each evening, we try to round them up, sterilize them, and put them all in one place. It’s tougher than it sounds.

First, you’ve got to remember where you put them in. These are usually moments of panic, when the baby is fussing and you’re reaching for the nearest pacifier around. You pop it into Juliette’s mouth. But you never quite know where she’s going to pop it out.

So you’ve got to start sleuthing. Maybe it’s on the floor, or on her play mat. Maybe it’s in her cot, or her swing chair. Or the stroller.

The crib usually ends up collecting a couple, because in the dark you’ll simply pop in a second pacifier rather than hunt around for the first one, which as no doubt worked its way down into some corner or crevice, sometimes disappearing for days on end. It’s like the Bermuda triangle.

Mission accomplished.  All pacifiers present and accounted for.

Mission accomplished. All pacifiers present and accounted for.

6:30!

Before leaving the house, I crept into the bedroom to say goodbye to Mom.

“How was last night?” I asked.

“6:30,” she mumbled, half-asleep.

“Oh, I’m sorry you had a tough night,” I replied. I assumed that Mom had done her normal feeding at 4am, and then had been awakened ahead-of-schedule for an impromptu snack at 6:30.

“No,” Mom replied, “Juliette slept from midnight until 6:30.”

Midnight until 6:30. I turned it over in my mind. Midnight until 6:30. By anyone’s reckoning, that qualifies as a full night’s sleep.

One swallow does not a summer make, of course, so it’s too early to claim victory yet. But we do have a glimmer of hope, a small glimpse of what might be in store in the future, a tiny promise of a full night of uninterrupted sleep for everyone.

Three months ago, we’d both have grumbled about having to get up at 6:30. Now it seems almost like ‘sleeping in’.

6:30am.  Does that qualify as early or late?  It's all a matter of perspective

6:30am. Does that qualify as early or late? It’s all a matter of perspective

Bathtime

We had a good bath tonight. Water was just the right temperature, and at one point Juliette was considering curling up in the tub with a good book and a mug of cocoa.

The midwife originally told us to put quite a lot of water into the (baby) tub, but tonight we tried an experiment. It seems that Juliette doesn’t like the feeling of floating. It sends her little arms flailing for support and she works herself into a panic. So tonight we put less water in, allowing her to touch the bottom of the tub. Net result? Happy, comfortable, secure-feeling baby. Bath-time was tear-free.

Happy as can be after bathtime

Happy as can be after bathtime

Gesundheit!

For everyone who commented yesterday, I just thought I would clarify that no babies were harmed during the filming of the segment. 🙂

Today, I’ve finally managed to capture the elusive sneeze on video. Achoo!

Unhappy baby

Just in case anyone has any doubts of the reality of having a new baby around the house, I thought a little reminder might be in order. I recommend turning your speakers up to maximum volume for the most realistic effect. 🙂

To get a sense of what life is really like, watch this video back-to-back about 40 times. That’s about 20 minutes’ worth.

A new rhythm

It took us a while, but we finally seems to have found our rhythm and it’s done wonders for the amount of sleep we’re getting. Like a Swiss clock, Juliette is on a strict schedule in the evenings. As soon as Dad’s home from work, the first chore is to get Juliette into the bath. Once she’s had her bath, it’s time for a feed at about 7pm, then into bed. She’s usually in bed and asleep by about 7:30, meaning Mom & Dad can sit down to an adult dinner together around 8:00.

Another feed just before Mom goes to bed, between 11-12pm, then a further feed at 4am, and she usually let’s everyone sleep until about 8am. Then it’s up and playing for most the day, with a few small naps to recharge.

It’s a great schedule except that it means that Dad doesn’t get to see much of the baby. He’s gone in the morning before Juliette’s awake, and the midnight and 4am feedings are ‘quiet’, where we don’t want the baby to wake up any more than possible. So it’s a quick 45-minutes each day at bathtime/bedtime and that’s it.

Luckily, Juliette’s always interested in making this quality time, and finding out how Dad’s day was….

"Hey Dad!  Tough day?"

“Hey Dad! Tough day?”