Friday, August 18, 2006


So I'm working at home today. Most of the rest of the staff is off for the day. The only emails in my inbox are from the editor (my boss), one of the two other people on staff who are working today. My phone is not ringing.

Until a few minutes ago, that is.

It's the editor, and this is what he says: "C. just left for the day. I'm thinking I'm going to call it a day pretty soon here, too. And you? I don't know what you're doing."

So there you have it: tacit permission to bail out of work on a gorgeous Friday in August. Yeehaw.

This would seem to be stroke number two of good luck in the last 24 hours. I know I'm risking ye olde blogging jinx by writing about this, but Ess has made some strides in her sleeping patterns this week. We got really aggressive about instituting a bedtime routine on Monday or Tuesday -- starting with either a bath or a massage (the girl now smells permanently of apricot baby oil), then a walk upstairs to the bedroom where we pull the shades, turn on the sound machine and then nurse in the rocking chair, followed by a smooch and a pat when I place her in the co-sleeper -- and it seems to be paying off. We haven't had a night of shrieking prior to bedtime, and each night this week she's increased her sleeping time, to the extent that last night we got TWO four-hour stints out of her. This is unprecedented.

The other thing that I think is helping is the fact that I'm making sure that at the midnight-ish feeding she is eating a lot. This was our pediatrician's suggestion; two nights ago, Ess nursed, then I burped her and changed her diaper and D gave her a big bottle of formula. She drank it all and conked out for three hours. I wasn't thrilled about the formula solution, and had a little middle-of-the-night meltdown about not being able to provide for my baby (I swear, it was the smell of the formula alone -- the first time I've smelled it on her formerly sweet little breath -- that created this trauma). So last night at midnight I nursed her, poked her until she woke up and nursed some more, then changed her diaper and woke her up again for more nursing. And that really seemed to do the trick.

And the third thing that's helping is the strict attention we're paying to her nap schedule during the day. It's meant that whoever's in charge of her doesn't stray from the house for long, but we've been rewarded with some longer naps and a happier baby.

Or, of course, perhaps none of that has caused the improved sleep and it's just some mental or physical milestone that she's reached. Whatever it is, it's giving us at least a few days of better rest. And that is nothing to sneeze at.