Baby Maeve’s Fourth Week: Joe Goes Back to Work

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Maeve, in a somewhat typical  state for this week: kind-of-alert and kind-of-sleepy

Maeve, in a somewhat typical state for this week: kind-of-alert and kind-of-sleepy

I don’t have too much to report this week, in part because last Monday I went back to my work at the Bronx River Alliance. It’s not for long, though, because I gave notice., In a few weeks, will be a stay-at-home dad, at least for a while.

Though I really like the work at the Alliance, the commute really eats up my week. I live in Jersey City, and take two trains to get to the Bronx. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes each way. I guess it could be worse – on the train I get a lot of reading and sketching done – but my wife Carrie and I discussed it and we decided that, for now, it makes sense for me to wrap things up there, and stay home. It wasn’t crazy bad this week (I was tired at work), but it just felt like I had very little time to spend with Maeve and Carrie.

I’ll post a few thoughts, and some photos – so I can keep up my weekly Maeve gallery. It’s easier to post photos here on the interwebs than to try to sort through them all and keep them well-organized on my phone and laptop.

Maeve, who is two days shy of four weeks today (and sleeping! across the room from me on a beautiful sunny cool Jersey City afternoon) seems really inconsistent to me. Sometimes she’s awake and quiet, sometimes completely inconsolable. Sometimes she sleeps what seems like almost all day, sometimes she’s up and alert – at least what passes for alert in a month-old child. Just when I think I’ve found a position she likes to be in, suddenly it’s definitely not what she wants and she’s letting me know. Loudly.

I am pretty sure that this inconsistency is what we should be expecting. Parents want to observe and spot a pattern – such as: she always poops about 10 minutes after feeding, etc. If we can just spot this hidden code, then we can feel accomplished and our situation can feel predictable… but I think that there are just all kinds of things going on for our baby girl right now, and it’s just too soon to expect anything to gel into any kind of routine. It’s difficult to tell, but I supposed that maybe Baby Maeve is doing things in spurts. It’s not a gradual bit by bit always moving forward in the same direction thing – but maybe some days she grows (or exercises or cries or listens or digests) a lot, then the next day she rests.

Carrie and Maeve visiting with Becky and Mazie this week.

Carrie and Maeve visiting with Becky and Mazie this week.

Carrie was a little concerned about being home alone with Maeve, but she did fine, of course. It’s been great having our neighbors Becky and Etan and their daughter Mazie all living just two doors down. Mazie is a couple months older than Maeve, so we get a basic preview of what’s coming, lots of helpful advice, plus great hand-me-downs. This week, based on a recommendation from Becky, Carrie went to a new moms meet-up group here in Jersey City.

Maeve staring out into the world this week. (She's sitting on my lap, with her head resting in the crook of my knee.)

Maeve staring out into the world this week. (She’s sitting on my lap, with her head resting in the crook of my knee.)

I’ve been doing a decent amount of elimination communication (a sort of early potty-training that I mentioned earlier.) I am happy to report that Maeve is pretty comfortable peeing and pooping into the toilet. When we get a sense that she might be about to eliminate (and Carrie is better at spotting this than I), I take her to the toilet and securely hold her bare-bottomed over it. I make sounds “pssst” and “mmmmh.” And, more often than not, she lets stuff rip. I get very excited and happy and proud when she’s successful. And I try to be almost just as supportive when she’s just not having it. Some of the times that we’ve been most successful: after a walk (with her in the Moby sling), when she’s feeding but she’s being fussy, and first thing in the morning. We still use plenty of diapers (at some point – I don’t know – months from now, perhaps this won’t be the case.) This weekend, she was successful 3 times out of 4 tries, so I felt pretty good about it.

Some photos that show you what she looks like this week:

Maeve stretched out on our bed. We're co-sleeping with her and it's going well for now. Easier to get up and nurse and change at night.

Maeve stretched out on our bed. We’re co-sleeping with her and it’s going well for now. Easier to get up and nurse and change at night.

Maeve falling asleep earlier this week.

Maeve falling asleep earlier this week. She can look pretty angelic… but that’s what every parent says, no?

Maeve’s one-month check-up is coming up later this week, so I’ll report on how her weight and measurements all stack up.

Poppy Joe and Baby Maeve - the photo is a a staged "selfie" I took as Maeve was waking up yesterday morning. (I kinda lined up the shot, then closed my eyes.)

Poppy Joe and Baby Maeve – the photo is a a staged “selfie” I took as Maeve was waking up yesterday morning. (I kinda lined up the shot, then closed my eyes.)

For previous week (week 3) go here. For next week (week 5) go here

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3 Responses to “Baby Maeve’s Fourth Week: Joe Goes Back to Work”

  1. candice kim Says:

    Hi Joe! My grandma used this potty training method with me and I’m told I was fully potty trained at 12 months. After raising 6 of her own kids, she sort of had a system down. 😉

  2. Susan Palmer Says:

    Hi Joe & Carrie, Your newsy blog is so great. I am gobbling up
    every word & every picture. Thank you for taking precious time
    to do this. We love you! By the way, happy birthday, new dad.
    What a year for you, Carrie & Maeve.

  3. Joe Linton Says:

    My friend Marcelino posted this comment at Facebook, so I am copying it to here for posterity:

    Hi Joe, thanks for your sharing Poppy. You wrote: “this inconsistency is what we should be expecting” and yeah that is pretty much how it goes. JUST when you figure out how to get a handle on it, it changes because she has grown into another stage.

    One tidbit i can offer, our first two years were really rough with lots of lack of sleep, is that as parents we can create the consistent routine for the child to identify with. For us, the big shift was when i introduced singing our song lullabies to sleep at night and also introduced nursery rhymes in the morning. He LOVED them, and i could see that they were nourishing him in a deep non-verbal place.

    Eventually, he learned that the lullabies were for sleep and what used to take almost an hour became two or three lullabies and he was out! The consistency gave him the security he needed in order to “let go” of the world and fall asleep. In Waldorf tradition it is referred to as “rhythm” and basically it is about connecting with the natural rhythm of the day, week, season, year.

    Because our children are like sponges and are absorbing and learning everything as new, we get to help them orient to the big world. The regularity of a routine helps them to relate to the passing of time and what we do in the world. And the more routinely we do things, that consistency gives the little one security in understanding what is happening/what’s going to happen next. The more consistency we bring to what we do the more calmer and sweeter our child is about experiencing the otherwise over-stimulating world.

    Kudos to you for letting go of your job so you can be home! Wishing you all lots of good rest, play, laughter, and love.

    http://www.amazon.com/…/dp/1607743027
    You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development…
    http://www.amazon.com
    You Are Your Child’s First Teacher was the first book in America to popularize t…See More

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