Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We've Got a Roller!

My big girl rolled over from tummy to back today!  Now she can roll both ways.  It was so cute, she was trying sooo hard to do it, and then she just did it!  I got it on video, but I still can't figure out how to upload videos to my blog with the new publisher - it's so annoying!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been busy with my sweeties and time really flies when you're having fun!  Plus, the weather has been beautiful here lately, so we've been getting out and about with friends during the week, doing a lot of walking and playing outside.

More to come!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fathers


Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.   -Joseph Addison



Let me tell you about these two.
These two are best friends.
A perfect fit.
Like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, bees and honey.

Father and daughter.
Perfect Love.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blogger Question

Help!  Does anyone out there know how to post a video using the new Blogger publishing format?  I switched recently and I don't see the option to upload a video, and when I try to upload a video using the 'Insert Image' link, it doesn't work.

Thanks!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Walking, Rolling & Bedtime


We went walking today in the skyways near hubby's office after meeting him for lunch.  Daddy definitely enjoyed seeing his girls in the middle of the day, and his co-workers were all smitten with our little Elizabean.  My mom came with us, and we had a great afternoon - we ended up meeting my SIL for coffee, too.  She enjoyed getting a little midday Eliza-time.  Grandma bought Eliza a new teether, which she was very excited about... though she was equally excited about the packaging, so...


Eliza is getting used to her "big girl" stroller (above :) - she's still not a huge fan, I think it is a bit reminiscent of her car seat... but at least she gets to look at mama (the seat can face either direction), so it's not ALL bad.  I usually wear her in the Moby or the Ergo (or Daddy wears her in the Bjorn) wherever we go, but the stroller is nice to have because it gives me somewhere to store my purse and water bottle and things.  She liked the stroller for a while today, but eventually I put her in the Ergo and just pushed the empty stroller around ;-P  Then she took a nice little nap.

Eliza is practicing rolling over more and more.  She's still only rolling from back to tummy, no signs of going the other way yet.  I caught her in mid-roll one night... and then my camera ran out of batteries, so you'll have to imagine what she looks like on her tummy...!


We've started doing a bedtime ritual/routine with Eliza this week.  I can see that it's going to be really nice to have that time as a family each night.  We start by singing a couple of songs - Hubby plays the guitar while I sing.  Eliza loves watching her Daddy play the guitar, it is so cute.  We're learning all kinds of new songs.  So far, we've sung "Down by the Bay" (for our obligatory kid-song number), and "January Wedding" by the Avett Brothers (one of Mama and Daddy's favs).  I'm hoping we'll learn some Mason Jennings and perhaps some Tegan and Sara next.  After our nightly family sing-a-long, we read books and then Eliza nurses.  Then Hubby usually rocks her to sleep and we get a couple of hours to ourselves before we join Eliza (well, she starts out the night in her co-sleeper, so we definitely don't try to join her in there :).  I think we might eventually add in a bath to the routine, too...

Well, that was kind of a drive-by, boring, everyday post... but I thought I'd start posting more about what we do each day (sometimes - not every day)!

Shameless Post Full of Photos











Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's a BOY!

I am so thrilled for our good friends, who welcomed a son into their lives yesterday morning!  Now that she's announced it on her blog, I wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to them here.  Welcome to the world, Baby Edward, we're so glad you've come!

I can't WAIT to meet him!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Four Months

My Eliza-bean is four months old!  And I can hardly believe it.  Well, mostly, I can't believe I haven't eaten her to little pieces by now - she has the most delicious little fingers and toes.  And her THIGHS, let's just talk about those thighs for a minute.  SCRUMPTIOUS.

Okay, let's get to the details:

DRUMROLL, please.........  our girl, who weighed 8 lbs 5 ozs on the beautiful day she was born, now weighs 17 pounds!  And she is 25 inches long (up from 20 inches when she was born).  So, she's a very proportionate girl.  She is healthy in every way, and our wonderful PNP (LOVE her!) told us that she is doing great developmentally, as well.  "Perfect" is the word she used, I believe :)  Goodness, I feel so lucky to have a healthy baby, I count my blessings each and every day I wake up to her smiling face.


Eliza also wanted to be RIGHT on track with things, so she decided that TODAY, on the day of her 4 month check-up, she would roll over for the first time!  Strangely, she rolled from her back to her tummy - I'm told they usually roll the opposite way first...?  Apparently, she had other plans!  GO E!  

Between months 3 and 4, Eliza really started to engage her outside world a LOT more.  The development has been amazing to watch - she learns things so fast.  She is really good at grabbing things and bringing them - of course - straight to her mouth.  She recognizes me and her daddy now, too, and smiles when she sees one of us.  Oh.  Oh, how that just melts my heart.  She vocalizes a lot, too, and just screeches in delight when she is happy.  She laughs, too, though she prefers to screech and squeal when she's excited.  

Eliza, I just can't say enough about you and how wonderful you are!  I wish I were a brilliant poet so I could express to you just how deep my love and complete adoration runs for you, my shining star.  You are our little bunny rabbit.  Thank you for choosing us to be your parents, we are honored to have been given such a wonderful gift.



Sunday, March 14, 2010

Answers - Part Two

Today my baby girl is 4 months old!  And I just can't believe it.  I mean... there are no words.  Seriously.  It's unbelievable to me that she is 4 whole months old.  I'll have to write a separate post about Eliza and her fabulousness at 4 months old... for now, I have a few last questions to answer!

Ash asks:
1) What has most surprised you about motherhood?
Hm.  I think what has most surprised me about motherhood is how easy it has been.  Don't get me wrong, it's been hard at times, too.  We've had ups and downs (and then, sometimes, even more downs...), but really, it's been a surprisingly smooth journey so far and I have just loved every minute of it.  This little being is my life; I shift and reframe and mold my life to fit hers right now, and there is so much beauty in that... she has brought me so much peace.  So yeah, that surprised me.  Maybe what I'm saying is my reaction to motherhood surprised me.  I feel very at ease, and more calm than I have felt in a long time.


2) How has your husband most surprised you?
Oh.  Oh my dear, sweet, strong, supportive, loving, caring, amazing husband.  He has not stopped surprising me since the day Eliza was born.  I hope this doesn't come off sounding like I had low expectations for him, because my expectations were actually quite high for him as we entered parenthood together... but oh how he has exceeded any and all expectations.  The way he loves on his baby girl, the gentle way he cares for her as he changes diapers, bathes her, dresses her, reads her books... and I love the way he totes her around the kitchen teaching her about the different types of fruit in the fruit bowl ... oh the completely overwhelming, fierce love and protection he feels.  I feel so lucky to be able to watch him father Eliza.  He teaches me so much.  I knew he would be a great dad, but I never imagined he would be this great!


Suzie asks: What are your "must have" item recommendations for a new mama?
Fun question, Suzie!  There actually have been a few products that have come in handy as a new mom...

  • This Camelback water bottle - as a nursing mama, it's hard to reach down to my coffee table to pick up a glass of water and then put it back down without spilling it... but it's important to drink a TON of water while nursing... so this water bottle is the perfect tool.  The "bite valve" is the key - there's no top to unscrew, so you only need one hand to drink from it, which is perfect to use while nursing, and it doesn't spill when you have to quickly throw it down on the couch cushion next to you because you have to help your baby who just came off your nip.ple and is now trying to find it and suck it back into her mouth with the force of a hoover, but she keeps missing it and so she's just sucking the skin right next to the nip.ple and OMIGOD PLEASE STOP IT HURTS SO MUCH.
  • Baby-wearing devices! - these have been a godsend for me.  Fortunately, Eliza loves them, so we use them a ton.  They have allowed me to wash the dishes, do the laundry, cook dinner, and - yes - pee, all while "holding" Eliza - handsfree!  Once, I even shoveled snow and cleared my car off while wearing her!  My favorite one for when babies are itty-bitty is the Kangaroo Korner Pouch. I'm still using it now, it has a hip carry and a "kangaroo carry" for bigger babies, and Eliza loves it because she can really look around and see things when I wear her in it now. Also, it's a cinch to get on and off, which makes it perfect for quick trips into stores and such.  My other favorite is the Moby Wrap.  She falls right asleep when I put her in that thing!  It's great.  And it provides the best back support for me out of all my carriers, I think.  I've probably blogged about this before, but yeah, baby-wearing is one of my most favorite things! :)  
  • A nursing tank top + some sort of zip-up sweatshirt/hoodie.  This is my standard nursing mama uniform.  I wear one of my two nursing tanks under a zip up hoodie or sweater.  Like, all day.  Every day.  It's perfect, especially for the wintertime.  I can just unzip and nurse easily, without exposing my belly.  It's perfect for at night, too; it makes side-nursing easier because I don't have to hike up a shirt in order for her to nurse, which would get in Eliza's face and prevent me from seeing her.  I'm actually curious - what do you nursing mamas out there prefer as your every day attire to provide easy access?  
  • Bottle warmer - I asked my husband which item is most essential as a daddy, and he said the bottle warmer, hands down.  For those (albeit RARE) occasions when Eliza takes a bottle from daddy, the bottle warmer is handy because SPEED is key.  It heats up bottles really fast, which is important when you have a hungry baby screeching for mama's milk!  I know my parents have appreciated having this around when they babysit, too.  
  • Lastly, I have to make sure my beloved i.Pod Touch makes the list.  As a nursing mama - and especially in the early days when we pretty much nursed ALL. DAY. LONG. - this is always by my side.  I'm kinda-sorta addicted to Teh Internets, and this allows me to be connected to my email, face.book, etc... at the touch of a finger, and I only need one hand to use it.  Also, the games you can download are great, and it doubles as a nightlight in the middle of the night, and it makes a great clock/alarm clock/timer, too.  I swear, I don't work for Apple...I just volunteer ;)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Answers - Part One!

Wow, you guys, I didn't think I'd get so many questions!  Thanks!  Oh this is fun!  Here are the first few I managed to finish while Eliza napped today (please feel free to leave more questions in the comments of the original post if you want to!):


Jen asks: What is something you know now that you wish you would've known right away when you got home from the hospital to make your daily lives run more smoothly???  This might not be the kind of answer you were hoping for..... but here ye be: That everything is going to be OKAY, and to relax a little bit with the feelings of OMIGODWHATIFIDOITALLWRONG???  What I mean is... I wish I could go back and tell myself that - hey - if it WORKS for you, and you feel good about it, just do it, and don't feel guilty.  Don't worry about what some book says you should be doing.  Don't worry about what your mother/step-grandmother/friend's mother-in-law/whathaveyou says.  There is absolutely - hands-down - more than one way to do something, and there is NO right way to do it - just one right way for your family.  So, if it WORKS for you to have your baby sleep in his crib - GREAT!  If it works for you to have your baby sleep in your bed with you - PERFECT!  If it works for you to have your baby sleep in a tree fort in the BACKYARD - well... that's weird, but OKAY.  I wish I would have - right from the beginning - followed my instinct and not questioned it or second guessed it.  It would've helped me feel better about things and I think the first few weeks would have gone a little more smoothly.


Alyssa asks: 


1) Do you feel like your roll of "mommy" has completely taken over, or do you still feel like Ella?  Good question.  I hear many women say that the role of "mommy" takes over and their own sense of self goes away... I can honestly say that I still feel like myself.  I definitely take this seriously; in order to be a good mom to Eliza, I know that it's important to keep my sense of self, of who *I* am, and to get "me" time.  So, yes, I feel like I still am Ella, but I know that it would be easy to slip into being only Eliza's Mommy if I didn't make sure to carve out some time to keep me ME: Eliza's Mommy, and Ella.


2) How has your relationship changed with your husband (if at all)?  I really don't think our relationship itself has changed, per se, but it is definitely true that we have had to change how we "do" us... hm... that sounded weird.  I mean, we've had to re-negotiate how to be a happy married couple and happy parents at the same time, and to do both of those things well.  My husband and I have always believed that our marital relationship is priority #1 (okay, it's mostly been ME telling HIM why this is true and HIM believing me) - that it should come before kids, because if we don't work on our relationship, it might not be there in the future.  And so, we take time.  We have always done this, but now it's a little more challenging to find time.  But we look for it, and we take it when we see it.  We take the time after Eliza goes to sleep (and before we do) - some nights it's 2 hours, some nights it's 5 minutes.  We leave Eliza with my parents for an hour and go to the great little Thai place in our neighborhood for dinner once in a while.  Or we run errands together on Sundays and chat as we grocery shop or buy cat litter.  So yeah, in that way, our relationship has had to change - there aren't as many overtly romantic, easy opportunities to work on us.


Wendy asks:


1) How have your parents and IL been as grandparents? Grandparents are THE BEST.  My parents live nearby, so they have been able to help us out with Eliza, which has been soooooo wonderful.  They love watching her and are just great with her, it is really amazingly cool to see my parents in their new roles.  My ILs live about 3 hours away so we haven't been able to see them as often, and my MIL broke her foot so it's been hard for her to travel recently, and with Eliza's declaration of WWIII on her car seat, a drive that long hasn't been very realistic... (though we are hoping to drive there for Easter now that now Eliza has started to - OMG YOU WON'T EVEN BELIEVE THIS - sleep in her car seat once in a while (but only if we put her in it around nap time)).  But we send them photos and I'm sure she'll see them more often this Summer.  Eliza is so very very loved by her grandparents, she is a lucky girl.

2) Have there been any IL issues?  No, and in fact there haven't been many family issues in general - on either side!  People really seem to think we're doing a good job as parents (imagine THAT!), so we haven't gotten many you're-doing-it-wrong comments from anyone.



Dawn asks: How has breastfeeding been going?  Oh I'm so glad someone asked this.  I haven't had any issues BFing, it has been going really really well.  I love love LOVE it.  I know some women struggle with BFing so I consider myself very lucky.  I had a cracked nip.ple really early on, but once that went away, we've been great!  It is a very special part of our day.  Eliza loves it, too :)  She's a great nurser.  She's still nursing about 10 times a day or so.  Honestly, I can't say enough about it... it's just... the most perfect experience.  I have always wanted to do extended BFing (my mom did with both me and my brother), so hopefully Eliza will want that too!


(omg the spacing in this post is driving me crazy!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PregĂșntame

A couple weeks ago, Wendy (who is PREGNANT!!!) had an idea for a blog post, since it's been a wee bit boring around here lately and I haven't had as much time to blog.  She said:

"Since you haven't found much time to blog lately - why don't you ask your followers what we want to know since you've been a Mommy?"


Great idea, Wendy!  So, my brilliant, beautiful blog-o-sphere friends... ask away!  While I DO reserve the right to not answer a question, chances are I'll probably answer whatever you ask - I'm pretty open :-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Birthday Recap

I celebrated my birthday this weekend:


It was - by far - the best one yet, thanks to this lovely little person:


Oh!  And her daddy made it pretty special, too:


We had a lovely day as a family of three.  Went to the winter farmer's market downtown and got lots of nummy winter market treats like chocolate, smoked trout, cheese and coffee, while Eliza happily slept in the Bjorn for daddy:


My cousin was in town from the west coast (which was a rare treat!) for my birthday and she finally got to meet Eliza!  All the ladies in the family (except my SIL, who couldn't make it) went out for lunch at a fun little restaurant to help me celebrate my birthday.  It was so wonderful - three generations of women sat around that table.  How lucky we are to be happy and healthy and together.

This picture isn't the greatest - I had my small camera with me.

Eliza was busy studying the stripes on my cousin's sweater.

It was a wonderful weekend.  My husband made me dinner and bought us a fantastic bottle of wine on Saturday night, and on Sunday we took a *spectacular* nap as a family, which might actually have been my favorite part of the weekend - what can I say?  I love sleep.  This weekend the birthday celebration continues (we celebrate the birthday WEEK in this family ;) with another hubby-made meal on Saturday and a massage for mama at the spa.

What more could a girl ask for?

Answer --> Not a thing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Mexico

Home!  Home is good.  We're home from our trip, we went to New Mexico and it was A-MAZING.  They need to advertise that state a bit more, seriously!  I had no idea the beauty and interesting history the state has.

We had a great time with my parents.  Eliza and I met them down there; daddy had to stay home and work.  :(  We missed him, but still managed to have SOME fun ;)  I wanted to write a brief overview of our trip here; I could say so much more... but I'm tired and need to sleep!

First, we spent a night in Santa Fe, where - of course - I had to take the obligatory photo with the dried red chiles that hang everywhere.


I bought a pair of adorable handmade moccasins for Eliza in this crazy little leather/silversmith/taxidermy/cowboy boot shop (no, seriously!); the woman who made them was so sweet, she put them on Eliza's feet and said she was so happy to see her work being worn by such a cute baby. :)


We made our way north, on our way to our final destination, but had to stop a few times on the side of the road to do this:


We were on our way to Ojo Caliente, a mineral hot springs spa and resort.  O.M.G.  You all must stop what you're doing and go. there. now.  It's just beautiful, and for this northern girl, it was heaven.  The waters (that come out of the EARTH!  Srsly, I've lived in the midwest way too long) range in temp from 90 to about 108 degrees, and they are pumped into 6 different pools around the resort.  It was a bit cool there (35-40 degrees), but you couldn't even tell once you were in the water.  And the scenery around the pools is so cool, we were right against the cliffs:  

 (that's my dad)

We also had our own private tub (that fit 4 adults) on the patio of our room that could be filled with the same water, which we did at least twice daily.  We would make the water a little bit cooler when we took Eliza in.  She LOVED it!  At first I put a hat on her because I thought her head would be cold, but later I took it off because I was getting HOT in there, and realized she was probably overheating with a stocking cap on!

First time in the water!

One day we took a short road trip to Taos, NM.  We stopped and toured this beautiful old church, San Francisco de Asis Church.  It is a very iconic building - it's made of adobe and has been standing since 1815.  It is seen in many Georgia O'Keefe paintings, and it is (so they say) the most photographed church in the U.S.  It really was beautiful in a very simplistic, organic way.


We stopped at the Taos visitor center to get a map, and do more of this:


We also visited Taos Pueblo.  It's a community that has been inhabited for over 1000 years and the buildings are made completely of adobe.  The homes have no electricity or plumbing.  About 100 families live in Taos Pueblo today.  It has a very interesting history, I'd highly recommend stopping by if you're ever near Taos!



We stopped at the stunningly gorgeous Rio Grande Gorge State Park on our way out of Taos.  This picture was taken on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  I have never seen anything like this in my life (again, lived up here WAY too long).  It's a spectacular view from this bridge, where I tightly clung to my little baby (who is screaming in this picture because I made her go in the sling when she didn't want to!!) - the drop below us looked to be a mile down!  It's the fifth highest bridge in the U.S.


Eliza was a trooper, and it was so much fun to travel with her.  I think we definitely need to travel with her more, especially while she still flies for free!  She's a great traveler overall, with, of course, the exception of the baby torture device car seat.  In fact, I think I would prefer to just FLY wherever we go.  Can we arrange that?  She was so great on the plane... and so screamy in the car... Yeah, next time I need to go to Target, I'm hiring a private jet.


P.S. Just so I don't forget... Eliza laughed for the first time today, it was so cute!  She is also getting really skilled at grabbing things and putting them in her mouth (especially Sophie, though the photo above may say otherwise...!)

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz