Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baptized!

Eliza was baptized today!  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful ceremony.  We opted for "full immersion", so she went into the font in her birthday suit!  Daddy put her in, and I helped her sit down in the water.  She didn't mind the water one bit:



It was a very nice ceremony, and Eliza did a great job throughout the whole thing - she crawled around the pews, and pointed and waved to people around her.  She talked and "sang" a few times, but there were a few babies there and they were all adding to the chorus - it wasn't a quiet service!  She also played with her best baby friend:


After she was baptized, we put on her baptismal gown.  It was the gown that my mom made for me when I was baptized.  My mom and I had to alter it slightly to make it fit Eliza (because I was baptized at 6 weeks old, so Eliza is A LOT bigger than I was!) - but we managed to do it and it looked beautiful on her.


With Mama and Dada after the ceremony:


Eliza and her grandparents:


Godparents (two out of three that were able to be there!):


Afterwards, my parents hosted a luncheon for everyone at their house.  It was wonderful - so many people who love my girl, all in one place.  I was a proud mama, and she was happy as a clam (even when she missed her afternoon nap!).  We had a fantastic lunch, and had cake for dessert.  Eliza even got a few presents, too! 




It was a great day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The End...

Finally, it's the end...


...of a long week :O)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rare.

These days, with Eliza always on-the-go, I've found it increasingly difficult to get a photo of her face.  Well, actually, I should clarify: a non-blurry photo of her face.  You know, when it's NOT moving to catch up with the rest of her body.  By some miracle, I got these two this weekend...

"yes ma?  oh, the camera again..."

"okay, I'll smile, but I won't take that finger out of my mouth!"

And then she was gone.  She left me and her daddy in the dust to go explore a more interesting corner of the house.

Only 10 months old and she's already trying to get away from us!

Sigh.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scattered thoughts...on sleep, but not really...

Hi.


I read this great, honest post this evening written by another mama.  It's not long, but it spoke volumes to me.  I soooo relate to the content of this particular post (ah, the all-night-latched-babe, I know it ohsowell), and the author writes so beautifully about her baby and about being a mama.  Her words are so gentle and sweet...  she writes about doubt - and oh boy can I relate.  There are so many doubts we have as mothers.  Is this okay?  Is this the right decision?  Am I doing the right thing by... oh, there are sooo many things I could write here.  And so, we do what we can; we try out best.  I try my best.


And she writes of balance.  Of taking care of mama, not just baby.  Her words say it better than I can: "Motherhood is all about the careful balance between nurturing my children with my whole self and maintaining that whole self so I can nurture."  



I just really liked reading her words.  And, I think part of it was because this paragraph reminded me so very much of my girl.  This is SO her:

"Last night I really paid attention to Ruby while she nursed. Bright eyes, porcelain cheeks, big ol’ smile while gulping. She kicks her outside leg straight up and then bicycles her jammied foot up and down. She reaches up and feels my chin and collar bone. Sometimes she grabs a fistful of skin . She bounces around, pauses to flirt and giggle and then dives back in. Alive, breathing, hungry, growing, inquisitive, hopeful."

She is so right... to nurse a babe so alive, so happy, so excited... it is a joy.

More to the point of her post... the sleeping.  We were there, too: the hourly-waking, constant nursing overnight.  It was hard, but I knew it was only temporary, and it was what she needed.  But I questioned: "am I doing the right thing?"... by letting her nurse so often overnight? ...by responding to every cry?  Though, I'm quite certain, if we were doing the opposite and not allowing her to nurse on demand overnight, the same question would plague us - is this a curse of parenthood?  

Anyway, it's getting better.  We're working on it... the sleeping, the having patience, the second-guessing ourselves.  We'll get there.  She will get there.  Gently.  Slowly.  And we're okay with that.  

But it's true about balance.  It's important.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Videos!

I'm usually not great at remembering to take videos of Eliza, but I took two short ones recently and I want you all to experience the pure joy and cuteness that is my child.  Haha - what?  It's true!  So here you go:

The first is Eliza climbing the stairs at her Aunt and Uncle's house.  They have nice carpeted stairs, and she loved climbing them.  We don't have any stairs at our house, but clearly she knows just how to handle them!  The second video is from this evening.  We were playing with Maxx, our kitty-cat (who Eliza ADORES).  She was waving a straw at Maxx, which he would bite and paw at, and she thought it was soooo funny!

video


video

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Months!

Eliza, you are TEN months old!

  • You are SO SMART.  I say this all the time, but only because it is so true.  I can tell that you understand us when we talk to you, and it surprises me every time -- the other day we were at the grocery store and you were sitting in the cart.  I gave you a tub of cottage cheese and I said "Eliza can you beat on the drum?" and YOU DID!  You've had lots of practice drumming at home on the drum that Kim gave you, but it still surprised me when you did it on cue!  You also understand lots of other words and phrases.
  • You have lots of tricks and skills now - you've been waving since you were about 6 months old, so of course you still do that, and you can do "so big!", and play peek-a-boo with us.  And of course you LOVE to clap.  Whenever you hear someone say "yay!" or "good job!", you start to clap.  It's so cute. You know signs for "all done", "more" (although this one often looks like clapping) and "milk".  You have also invented your own sign that means "kitty".  No one is quite sure where you came up with it, but you do it every time you see one of your kitties (or Grandma and Grandpa's kitty).  You point at things now, and can easily spot birds in the sky or squirrels on the ground.  You love pointing things out to us.  Oh, and dancing!  You "butt dance", and OMG it is adorable.  I have to get a video of it.  You rock your little bum on the floor when you hear music - are you going to be a dancer??
  • You are very verbal.  Although, when lots of people are around, sometimes you get very quiet.  But at home you are a talker!  You say lots of sounds - "da", "ba", "ma", "ga", and recently you've added "va".  "Dada" is still your favorite word.  You say it when you see yourself in the mirror and when you see a picture of yourself - and you also say it when you see your dada, or a picture of someone in your family... so we think it has many meanings!  
  • You have gotten very fast at crawling this month, so you are a busy busy girl!  This means that mama is also busy ;o)  You pull yourself up on everything now, and are just starting to walk around the furniture.  This morning you side-stepped around the coffee table to get to the coasters (one of your favorite toys).  You are so curious, you want to know about everything in the house -- what's in that room?  what's that on the floor?  where did the kitty go?  can I pull myself up on this? 
  • You've learned some new "mouth tricks" - you like to move your tongue around in your mouth to make different sounds.  It's so cute.  You still blow raspberries of course, that's been an Eliza classic since you were about 5 months old!
  • You are learning to give hugs, which is oh so sweet!  When I say "Eliza, can I have a hug?", you (usually) put your head down on my shoulder.  It melts my heart.  Your Grandma and dada taught you that one.  I've been working on teaching you to blow kisses.
  • Eliza, you are my big girl!  You are starting to really look like a toddler now.  We all think you are cuter than ever, of course.  You are wearing primarily 12-18 month clothing now, though a few 9 month outfits still fit.  Your one-size diapers are as big as they can go, so we're wondering how long they will fit you!  I think your little buddha belly and your thighs will shrink somewhat once you start to walk, so I bet they will fit for a while.
  • What else?  You are still napping twice a day, but you will NOT nap for your Grandma and Grandpa when they watch you while mama goes to school.  You refuse - too much playing to be done I guess!  But, you have such a happy temperament that even without a nap, you are a sweet pleasant little girl.  

We are so lucky to have you in our lives, Eliza.  You make every day brighter and happier.  I love you so very much.  I still catch myself looking at you in absolute wonder some days -- how did I get so lucky?  After so much heartache, here you are.  It's amazing.

Happy 10 months, baby girl!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Busy Day!

It's a busy Sunday in our household today.  There's lots going on, and it's only mid-afternoon.

Hubby and my dad are brewing beer in the kitchen (oy, that's a messy project!), and this afternoon my mom and I started working on making what was once a wee baptismal gown into an Eliza-sized baptismal gown so she can wear it at her baptism in a couple of weeks (more on that later!).  It involves cutting my baptismal gown (that my mama made for me when I was baptized 29 years ago!) up the back so we'll be able to get it on her (think hospital-gown-style):


And, with awesome (NOT) timing, my teeny-tiny but very carefully packed "hall" closet (that's located, strangely, in my dining room since our house doesn't have any halls) decided to totally crash down upon itself this week, which I discovered when I went to get the vacuum out of it, but then decided I didn't want to deal with it so I just shoved the door shut like someone in a sitcom - seriously, it was just like that joke where someone opens a closet door and a mountain of stuff piles out of it on top of the person.


All of THAT stuff (above), fits (quite neatly, I might add!) into this tiny space:

(and what you can see is the entire closet - you'd think that "they" would have made the closet go the length of that (albeit short) wall to the right, but no.  It's just about as wide as the little door and not even as deep as a standard hanger!!!  But, I make it work.

And finally, Eliza is a busy busy girl, just like any other day.  She had a good time playing in her crib this morning, it was so cute.  She was playing a game of peek-a-boo with me: she would peek her head down below the rails, and the pop it back up and laugh.  It was so cute!  She is so smart :o)


And, she did some of this, too:


Ah, Sundays!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feeling the Love

Thanks to all of you who have commented on my posts lately, I've really felt the love!  Getting comments is such a great part of blogging.  They're like little virtual hugs.

I don't know exactly what I'll do yet in terms of blogging... start another or keep this one and expand it.  But I'm touched to hear that you lovely people out there are interested in reading about my girl.  Warms my heart!

Thursday went fine, by the way.  It was hard to be away from my babe for that long, but of course I knew it would be.  Pumping at school was no problem (though it was slightly weird that my officemate didn't leave while I pumped!  Oh well, she's a female and seemed cool with it - so I guess to that I should say: way to be!).  I managed to focus during class, and was, quite honestly, better able to act like an adult and string coherent, somewhat intelligent sentences together than I thought I would.  Although, every so often I did get flashes of feeling like a huge phony:  What am I doing here?  I'm a mom, not an academic!  They can all see it, I'm a big faker - I should be at a playdate or nursing or singing goofy songs, not talking about research methods!

But, it passed.

And then I got home and saw my girl's huge smile; that was the best feeling in the world.  My little stinker had a good day, too, even though she REFUSED to nap or take a bottle (!!!).  Yeah, apparently she just wanted to playplayplay and gogogo all day long with Grandma and Grandpa.  No time to drink milk or sleep.  But she was tired by the end of the day, because as soon as she nursed when I got home, she conked right out.

One week down, 14 weeks to go until winter break!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Some Recent Pics

It's been a while (okay not really) since I posted photos of my dear, sweet, smart, beautiful, charming, lovely, happy, smiley, lovely little/big girl!  What a travesty, I know.  I must fix this!  Here are a few recent selections from the 1,400,397,000 photos in my library (thanks to my new HUGE hard drive - thanks papa!!):

Enjoying a pickle-on-a-stick at the state fair

Grandma helps Eliza with one last swim of the summer in her pool.

Happy girl hanging with Grandpa in the backyard

Dining al naturale outside - and our last picnic of the summer!
Learning to drive the boat.  We start 'em young around here.

Playing at the cabin in her fuzzy jammies.  It was chilly there!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Great Post

Pioneer woman wrote a great post yesterday with some advice about blogging (here).  She is so right.  I especially love the first one - be yourself.  That is so important to a blog.  PW does a great job being herself on her blog.  She's imperfect and she loves to tell her readers about her imperfections in ways that aren't overly self-deprecating, but simply honest -- and always humorous.  She also advises blogging regularly.  That's been hard for me to do lately, but I'm going to keep trying because I really think it's important.  Keeps those fingers moving and the brain engaged.

The one that stuck out for me was #3: Be Varied.  Hm.  That's a tough one for me and this here blog.  I usually stick to Eliza-only content because this is meant to be a (somewhat loose, sometimes sloppy, often kinda-boring) record of her young life... but I've been thinking about that lately and I might end up going rogue and starting another blog somewhere else... I mean, really, the only people who are truly interested in all-Eliza-all-the-time info are either related to me or my husband.  And I'm okay with that.  For this blog... but maybe I need another blog to stretch and grow a bit.  Anyway, this idea is still forming and I'm not quite ready to do it yet, but when I do... you'll know.  Well, maybe you'll know.  Okay fine, I'll tell you (maybe).

Heheh.

Now go forth and blog!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back

Time has been flying by, as usual.  I blinked and a week went by since my last post.

School started yesterday, which marked the official end to my almost-ten-month maternity leave.  I know.  That's a really long time.  I was really really lucky.  I am really really lucky.

Even though that I'm technically "back to school/work", I still don't have to be physically away from Eliza for many hours a week.  Yesterday I was gone about 3 hours.  My parents watched her and, even though she wouldn't take an afternoon nap for them, she did great.  She was happy as can be and didn't even notice I was gone.  Tomorrow I'll be at school for about 6 hours.  This will officially be the longest I've ever been away from her.  Again, I know, I shouldn't complain, right?  That's nothing compared to some moms.  But still, it's all relative and for me it's going to be hard.  But I know I will get used to it, and so will she.

I'm sad to be back in some ways -- and it's not just because I have to be physically away from her -- my mind is also elsewhere now... thinking, worrying, planning, etc.  Focusing on classes, writing papers, teaching, managing the course website... my mind is always 'on' now and I'm constantly thinking of things I need to do.  It's a little different than what I've been used to.  But, again, I know I will get used to it.

Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing.  Even though it's challenging, there are many benefits to having  a baby in grad school (never thought you'd hear that, I bet)  My schedule is great, and I've been able to spend almost ten whole months focused on my daughter without worrying about losing my job.

My mom says she is who she is because of me; she is a happy, contented baby and that it's because of me and the time we've spent together.  I hope so.  I hope this time we've had together has shaped her for the better.  It has been wonderful to be able to be there for her 24/7 - to allow her to nurse on-demand, to nap with her, to lay on the floor and play with her all morning, to take her to play dates, out to lunch, to see friends, go shopping... she's been my constant companion.  She will still be my nearly-constant companion, but still... I'm going to miss having her around all day every day!

We will all adjust to the new way of things, and then, we will adjust again when the next set of changes comes along down the road.  That's part of life, and although I will be the first to admit that it's not my favorite part of life -- I never have been a fan of change -- it's a whole lot easier when I have such a wonderful, happy, beautiful, smart baby and a loving husband by my side.

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