a rough timeThe inspiring Haley (see link to her page on right, and also the link to her singing her self-written song, "The Dirty Rotten Liver Blues") has suffered a massive brain bleed. All of us liver families are hurting for her so much right now. If you'd like, you can sign her guestbook to leave her a message of encouragement for her and her family. Her page also has an address to send her a card.
withdrawal symptomsAnnika suffers from Grandma Withdrawal every time my mom goes home after a visit. To say that Annika loves and adores her Grandma and Grandpa B. is to understate the case. My mom is a retired grade-school teacher, and it seems reasonable that all those years as a teacher have made her especially attuned to the world of little ones. Annika loves how her Grandma really listens to her, and happily joins in whatever made-up game is currently running through her little brain, even suggesting enhancements that make Anni wiggle with pleasure.
But then every time my parents leave, a little black cloud descends over Annika for several days. It took me quite a while to identify the cause of her foul moods, until I noticed that they occur with unfailing regularity after a grandparents' visit. Now, this is not to say that my mom spoils her. Not at all (well, maybe she does a bit, but that's what grandparents are for). She misses that attention, though. It's more than one person can give, day in and day out. So we'll just wait for her next Grandma fix.
It will be great for her to finally get to hang out with her grandparents on the other side of the family. Annika is so excited about our upcoming trip to Germany that I had to get her a calendar to mark off the days until we leave.
Meanwhile, I am suffering from my own withdrawal. Over the past couple of weeks, I rediscovered the magic of caffeine. How a steady supply throughout the day seems to easily make up for a complete sleep deficit. Since I am still breastfeeding, I started slow. Just one cup of tea in the morning. Then I added one in the afternoon. Then I brewed an entire pot of coffee (but half decaf to soften the blow) that I managed to finish off single-handedly throughout the day. Suddenly, Mysteriously, Unexpectedly...Frankie began to become a total grouch. Hungry? A little scream-fest until the food appears. Tired? A big scream-fest until (and a few minutes after) she's in her crib. Sister taking your toys? A gigantic scream-fest accompanied by throwing yourself on the floor dramatically. I told Joerg, "Wow, it's really difficult during the day when Frankie's a grump. I was so used to her being such an easy-going baby." Joerg took one look at the coffee mug in my hand, and raised his eyebrows. "Hey, you think that caffeine has anything to do with it?" I protested, of course. She's barely nursing anymore--maybe 4 times a day. But a few more days of baby-induced headache convinced me that cutting out the caffeine again was worth a try. One day of looking longingly at the coffee pot, and an afternoon of where's-the-caffeine-headache, and my sweet baby returned to me. I can't decide if this means that it's time to wean her so I can return to my habit, or to be happy that she is forcing me to live a healthier lifestyle.