A Hard Day’s Night

Just a quick note:  I have made some changes to the configurations on this blog server.  If you are seeing this, then everything went as planned, otherwise you would be seeing nothing.   Seeing that I am able to access this page from work now, then I think I can safely assume that things went well.  Up until now, I wasn’t able to access my blog from work because they (my company) had blocked out port 81 (an alternate http port), which I use for this blog server -as opposed to the usual port 80.  So I would have to do all my updating from my home PC or a nearby internet cafe.  This is also in preparation for installing a live web camera in the future, which I am testing now.  After using port sniffers and other what nots, I have discovered that they don’t block port 8080 (another alternate http port),  so I have changed this blog server over to port 8080.  An easy task in theory, but with all of the search engines still pointing to 81, I had to create a few redirects, and change the DNS redirect ..blah blah blah.  The bottom line is, now I can access my blog from work now, and no one should have any problems accessing my blog unless you have port 8080 blocked (which is unlikely).  Access should be still be transparent to everyone. 🙂

Enough with the tech talk.  Haruka’s uproars are still happening, but less frequently.  She gets very fussy between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, which seems to be quite common for babies with colic.  Nothing can really explain why colicky babies tend to get the most fussiest between these hours, but in a way it’s good, because we can now predict approximately when she will have her tantrums.  Up until last night, her crying would be small little whimpers, as if she were complaining that she was sleepy, and all we would have to do is just rock her to sleep.  But last night was a bit different.

I got home from work a bit earlier than usual, and Haruka was wide awake.  She wasn’t crying, but I could tell that the 7 o’clock show was just about begin, and I had front row seats.  The usual routine would be to prepare her formula and feed her before she started the real blood curddling crying.  And as usual, she took to the milk and looked to be falling asleep as she sipped down the last few drops that were left in the bottle. After her feeding, I waited about 30 minutes until her mouth opened and she started snoring (the usual sign that she is fast asleep -deep sleep).  This was about when the usual routine de-railed.

After I placed her in her cradle (as I usually do) her eyes opened widely and she stared right at me, as if she were potesting, where are you going?  I’m still awake!  No worries, this happens sometimes, and the usual solution would be to turn on the rocker so that the cradle swayed automatically.  But for some reason, this didn’t work.  She started to whimper, which escalated into crying.  There was about another 2 hours to go before her bath.  Bathing her too ealier would screw up her schedule.  And although I am not the one for sticking to monotonous routines,  this is one routine that you did not want to change.  Two hours could  be the difference between having to wake up once at 4 AM or waking up serveral times and feeding her.  And although I am no longer in charge of her midnight feedings, we try to make things as convenient as possible for my wife and Haruka. 

So the chore was to keep her fed, changed, and entertained until her bath time.  Easier said than done!  When she’s asleep, there is usually a grace period between the time she soils her diapers and the time she starts to let us know about it.  But when she’s awake, there is no grace period.  It’s an almost instantanious reaction which can happen several times in a period of 30 minutes.  There were times when I had just changed her, only to find out that she needed changing again less than a minute later. 

Feeding is less of a hassle, but still a hassle none-the-less.  Haruka likes having a full stomach.  A trait she undoubtedly inherited from her mother.  When she’s asleep, she doesn’t complain about being hungry until her tank is low.  But when she stays awake, and burning calories from her constant wiggling around, she tends to start complaining when the needle is pointing to 3/4 tank.  That means that she has to almost constantly have a bottle in her mouth.  And god forbid if that bottle ever when empty, all hell would break loose.

Finally the REALLY challenging part: keeping her entertained.  We could have a three ring circus in the living room and it still would not be enough to keep this girl’s attention.  Haruka’s latest phase is her fondness for sitting, as opposed to being cradled or laying on her back.  I take the blame on this one, because I am the one who introduced her to the glorious world of sitting on the sofa.  And of course she can’t do this by herself yet, so we have to monitor her constantly as she sits on the sofa and takes in the sights of the vast space we foundly refer to as the living room.

After a while, sitting on the sofa also becomes a bore for her,  so she demands to do her second favorite fun activity.  Yes, I have take the blame for this one as well.  Haruka adores standing on my lap or anyone’s lap (with support of course).   I guess this allows her to exercise her leg muscles, so it maybe helpful.  But since she finds this so entertaining, she would have not have any problems with standing for hours.  If only I could somehow communicate to her that later in life she will have more than PLENTY of oppotunities to stand ( in lines, buses, trains, etc.) so she shouldn’t be in such a rush to do it. 

So after 2+ hours of keeping her fed, changed, and entertained while trying to get her to sleep all at the same time non-stop all in an effort to prevent her from bursting into an uncontrollable tanrum, she finally got tired and dozed off.  Unfortunately, she fell asleep at bath time.  I was more than willing to skip one night of bathing her in exchange for a moment of peace and quiet, but the wife insisted that after all of the crying and spit-ups, among other unsanitary human functions, she really needed a bath.  Luckily, Haruka rarely cries while bathing, and she usually falls right to sleep after a bath.  But last night Haruka was not going to make things easy for us.

The bath was uneventful.  The near hot water seems to soothe her to the point where she nearly falls asleep in the bath.  I usually have my own set of games for her while bathing her.  One of favorites, which I call the waterbed, is holding her flat on her back and moving her back and forth in the water.  She seems to enjoy this as well.

After her bath, the usual routine would be to give her A LOT of milk that is almost hot to the touch.  Hot milk also soothes her.  Usually we give her mildly warm milk, but at bedtime, Haruka seems to prefer hotter milk.  At first, she will complain that it’s too hot, but then she would happily slurp it down as if there’s no tomorrow.  We also give her about 20 to 40ml more than the usual amount, just short of making her spit up.  This took many tries to find just the right amount. I think the feelingof being stuffed with hot milk not only makes her sleep better, but longer as well.

However, last night, since I was continuously giving her milk prior to her bath, the hot milk trick didn’t work because she was already full.  This made her very fussy because she didn’t have the hot milk to aid her into sleep.  So it was the same pre-bath  ritual all over again.  This time, minus the feeding.  The intention here was to make her hungry so that she would take enough of the hot milk to make her sleep.  This was very difficult, because we continuosly had to give her attention or she would throw an absolutely insane tantrum.  My wife and I took turns for another 2+ hours trying to tire her out.  It was two thirty-somethings versus a 7 week old.  When you factor in energy and stamina at 11pm at night, especially after a day of work, I can’t help to think that a 7 week old will win everytime in this type of situation. 

In the end, Haruka finally finished the bottle of milk I had made for her ealier, and eventually she did fall asleep.  But last night was pretty tough.  I think I will have to rest up while I am at work so I can face the challenges that await me at home.

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