Monday, May 31, 2010

Hammy Lambies

We were at a gathering for church and I mentioned how chunky Sarah Graves' thighs are and one of the ladies jumped in and said that they were not at all chunky, those were beautiful hammy lambies!  Well, it sounded so cute to call them hammy lambies and the name has stuck.  I think she thought that I felt they were too big, but actually I take great pride in these hammy lambies because I've fed her every ounce!  Those feet are pretty sweet too and I can't stop kissing them!

Beauty Day

I will be the first to admit that Lucy at times is overlooked.  She gets fed and talked to, but her grooming is definitely not the same as it was before baby.  On Sunday Aaron got her into the shower (something she was not at all pleased to do) and later I took some time with her.  I used the furminator to remove a lot of shedding fur, trimmed her nails, and brushed her teeth (something she definitely hated).  If you have a furry pet and don't have a furminator, I highly recommend it because seeing that pile of fur come off is so gratifying!  The result is a puppy who smells good and looks beautiful!  She hates the process, but I know she enjoys the attention she gets when she is all spiffed up. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sheer Delight

Tonight I stood in the laundry room taking diapers out of the washer while Aaron held Sarah Graves.  He started teaching her about the alphabet (it's never too early to start, right?).  He would say a letter, make the sound, and we would pick a word that started with that letter.  I have no idea what was so funny about that game to her, but she would giggle a deep belly laugh.  At first she giggled so long that Aaron thought she must be crying.  Once he realized it was laughter, neither of us could get enough of that intoxicating sound.  Oh it is sheer delight to hear that baby giggle!  I wish I could bottle it and keep it forever!

Check-Up

Friday we went for Sarah Graves' four month well-baby check-up.  Here are her new stats: she is 26 3/4 " tall (94th percentile), her weight is 16 lbs. 6 oz. (74th percentile), and her head circumference is 16 1/2 " (355h percentile).  Her head circumference didn't surprise me too much because most hats are too big for her and my Dad and I both have a small head.  Pops told her not to worry that those little heads have big ideas!  So happy that she is growing well!
Dr. Strauss asked about different milestones and she is doing all of them.  We knew she was just perfect! 
I was half hoping that maybe he would have some great advice on the spitting up and the sleeping, but he didn't have any mind blowing information either.  I did ask about how much she should be eating at a feeding and he said that many babies her age are eating about 6 ounces at a feeding, but they are having fewer feedings.  Sarah Graves eats about 4 ounces at a feeding during the day from the bottle, but she eats about 8 times a day.  Dr. Strauss mentioned that because she spits up regularly her stomach may not be very large and she may be limiting herself as a way to control the amount she spits up.  It's amazing to me how babies sometimes do things to help themselves without us even being aware of it!  So, we'll continue on with our habit of eating every 3 hours and only eating about 4 ounces at a time (she won't take more than that anyway, so glad not to have the struggle). 
She also received another round of the DTAP vaccine and the Rotavirus.  She handled the shot much better than she did the first time!  She cried, but not nearly as long as the first time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Looking for the Answer

For about the past three months I have struggled with reading books and websites to learn about babies and scheduling them.  All of this reading has really only made me feel FRUSTRATED and it has taken me a while to figure out why.  Finally it hit me on Sunday as I was double stepping it up from the basement to Sarah Graves' nursery trying to get there in time to put the pacifier back in before she really woke up and would not go back to napping, there is no book to offer the directions on how to do it.  I somewhat knew this all along, but I kept hoping that a book on how to get your baby to sleep or a website on how to schedule your baby would offer some glimpse of wisdom that would tell me exactly what to do.  You see, I am trained to research things and believe in there being a way to fix things.  What I realized during what felt like my 45th trip up the stairs to the nursery that day, is that there is no book that will tell me how to "fix" it and every baby is so different that you have to just feel your way.  Sure, reading things gives me ideas of what to try and websites sometimes offer insight from other parents, but no one can give me a step-by-step guide to help my baby sleep when she needs to, eat just the right amount, and be gloriously happy the rest of the time.  I think that those children live in a place called STEPFORD.  This doesn't mean that I won't keep looking for any insight to help us out! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baby Shot!

I just love these little hats!  Grancy found the hat and Mom found the flower! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Letter Month Four


Dear Sarah Graves,
My goodness, four months sure has passed in a hurry.  Some days it feels like I can't even remember what my life was like before you came along.  I know it was not nearly as full of joy as it is with you in it. 
This past month has been full of physical activity for you.  You really want to sit up and use many opportunities to try and do so.  Gone are the days of simply sitting you in a bouncy seat; now you must be buckled in because you are so strong you might wiggle yourself out. 
The bathtub is another place where you like to practice your skills at sitting up.  No reclining and enjoying the experience for you!  You do little crunches while you are in the tub and have worked on some strong abdominal muscles.
You have grown tall enough for your feet to reach the floor while in your Jump-A-Roo.  You can also hold yourself up in it much better than you could a month or so ago.  The package says it's for four months and up, but we started propping you up in it a while back and you enjoyed looking at the toys.  Now that you are so much more coordinated with your hands, you can really grab the toys and enjoy playing much more.  I think your favorite thing is the musical part that lights up. 
Speaking of your hands, you have really learned to grab things and are perfecting putting them in your mouth.  You really enjoy sucking on your fingers or your fist.  You also put many of your toys into your mouth to chew on them.  You make us laugh when you pull a piece of fabric close to your mouth and begin to lick it with your tongue. 
You have also discovered that you can grab your toes and what cute toes they are.  You really enjoy lying on your back staring up at your toys and holding your toes.  This is the position you are in when we have some of our best conversations!  You aren't talking yet, but you definitely understand the rhythm of conversation and seem to have lots that you want to share with us.  Oh the stories you could probably tell about your adventures with Mom and Pops and your Maw-Maws! 
All that time lying on your back has also led to you being able to roll over.  Sometimes you forget to tuck your arm down so that you can get over, but your are perfecting it.  You can even do it while swaddled.  You don't seem able to go from your tummy to your back when you are swaddled, but we usually help you out with that! 
You have started to notice Lucy a lot more.  I am very glad because she has been so excited about you from the start and I hope you will lover her just as much.  I have actually seen you reach out your hand and pet her nose.  I'm sure the bigger you grow, the more interested in Lucy you will become! 
You have become much more generous with your smile.  Whereas used to you only gave your smile to the people closest to you, now you will smile at other people and your favorite toys.  Your new trick is to laugh out loud.  It takes something really good to make you laugh, but when you do it it simply lights up my world.  When I hit on something that makes you laught, like me trying to gobble up your tummy, I will do it for as long as you will keep laughing.  What a joy!
Having a schedule is still something that we struggle with.  You eat on a pretty regular schedule, but sleep is a whole other story.  Some days you take naps regularly throughout the day and others you just will not take a nap.  Your nighttime sleep is very confusing to me.  Some nights you only need to eat once during the night and other nights you wake up almost hourly and need your pacifier to go back to sleep.  You slept for nine and a half hours straight the other night, so I know it can be done and one day you will do it regularly.  For now, I will just enjoy rocking you during the night and feeling the weight of your sleepy body in my arms.  Every moment with you is pretty special.
Love,
Momma  

Friday, May 21, 2010

4 Months Old!

I can't believe that it has already been 4 months since my sweet girl arrived in this world.  Her letter is coming sometime soon. 
Maybe after I get some sleep.  Yes, we are back to being up all during the night.  I think she had a tummy ache contributing to some of the crying during the night.  Even when you're only up for a couple of minutes every hour to put the pacifier back in, it feels like you were up all night.  Maybe this would have been easier in my twneties when I was used to pulling all nighters...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sleep, Precious Sleep

I heard on the news this morning that a recent study showed that infants actually learn while they are asleep.  They said this is not the case for adults, what a shame. 
I am not sure how much learning my little wonder is doing because sleep does not seem to be her top priority all the time.  Before I came back to work we were getting up once and sometimes twice during the night.  Since I have come back to work, we are up multiple times each night.  We went through a phase for a week or two where she woke up about every hour during the night.  Not always to eat, sometimes just needing the pacifier put back in.  I started nudging Aaron and telling him it was his turn because I would feel so sleepy that I just couldn't move and I knew that she ate an hour before, so my presence was not required (Aaron now has a new respect for how hard it is to function on broken sleep).  Thank goodness that seems to have calmed down (knock on wood).  We are back to getting up two and sometimes three times a night to eat.  My only complaint (aside from the fact that I haven't slept for more than three hours at a stretch) is that her last time to wake up seems to be around 5 AM and I get up anyway at 5:30 AM.  So by the time I feed her and stumble back to bed, I have about 10 or 15 minutes before the alarm goes off.  I'm sure like all the other phases, this one will pass all too quickly.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Shot!

She is just so scrumptious! 

Whenever I see that smiling face, I have to smile myself...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Adventures with Pops

A couple of weeks ago my Mom had a doctor's appointment, so Pops stayed home with Sarah Graves.  When Mom came home she found Sarah Graves happy in her swing, then she noticed that she was wrapped in a towel.  She asked Pops what was with the towel and he started laughing.  It seems that Sarah Graves had a very messy diaper and when Pops took it off, he couldn't find where Mom keeps the diapers.  He looked and looked and finally decided that he would place a few washcloths between her legs.  Then he realized that they weren't going to stay, so he put his swaddling skills to use and swaddled her in a bath towel.  She was happy enough with it!  Sarah Graves will soon learn that staying with Pops is definitely an adventure.  Let's just hope she doesn't ask him to give her a perm...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Recap

We have had a laid back weekend.  Friday night we made fajitas for dinner at home and enjoyed it with my sister and my grandmothers.  It was so nice to have the time to visit with my grandmothers and I really enjoyed them being here.  Plus, they were expert babysitters for Sarah Graves and I know she enjoyed all the attention (she doesn't usually get held and played with ;) )
My grandmothers left early Saturday morning before Sarah Graves was even awake!  We enjoyed lounging in bed with her and playing with her during that early morning oh-so-cute time.  
We try to arrange time to skype with Aaron's family, but sometimes it is hard because Sarah Graves has no patience for sitting still on your lap.  Saturday morning we were able to come up with a great setup for Sarah Graves.  Aaron added an extender to the camera so that it will reach all the way to the bed.  That way she can happily lay down and play, and family can catch a glimpse of our cutie. 
After her morning nap we ran a few errands and had a grown up meal in a restaraunt.  Okay, so it was Chili's, but we did have an entree and dessert and neither one of us had to get up and walk her or swing her in the carrier.  She played and talked to us for a bit and then she fell asleep in the carrier.  The next time we eat out it may go horribly, but at least I now know that we will be able to enjoy meals out in peace.
Today we went to church and our girl was "moved by the spirit".  She wasn't crying most of the time, just wanting to "talk" while the priest gave his sermon.  Not sure I will ever experience a full service again! 
After church we all took a nap for a little while and Aaron was very kind to me and let me sleep for a while longer and he got up with Sarah Graves.  Sleep is such a luxury when you have a baby who does not sleep through the night. 
I do so enjoy having time to be at home and enjoy this sweet girl!  She gives a whole new meaning to "working for the weekend".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

My two grandmothers came to Atlanta on Monday to be Sarah Graves' babysitters this week.  Mom showed them the ropes on Tuesday and Wednesday was their first day on their own.  Sarah Graves cut them some slack on Wednesday, but today she put them through the full challenge!  Lucky for her they think she's pretty cute and they were up for it.  I think they'll sleep well tonight!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why do things have to change?

If you are around me for very long, you come to realize that I don't exactly embrace change.  Change that I initiate is usually okay, but changes that are put upon me are not accepted with great ease.  I mention this because today I was reminded of how even small changes really throw me off. 
When I started my current job, I quickly fell in love with the grilled chicken sandwich in the cafeteria.  It was flavorful, juicy, served on this great multi grain bun, and you get very tasty seasoned waffle fries with it.  I don't buy my lunch very often, so it's a treat when I need to go downstairs and buy and this chicken sandwich was my go to.  Yesterday, I happily went down to buy my lunch and was a little disturbed when the guy who usually takes my order at the grill line by making a sweeping gesture with his hand and saying, "lady" with a lovely European accent was not there.  I started to ask about him, but decided it was crowded and he was probably just on vacation.  I ordered my sandwich from new guy and noticed that he did not make it the same way.  I thought long and hard about pointing this out to him, but decided that nobody likes to be told how they are doing it all wrong.  I was extremely disappointed when I bit into my sandwich and realized that it just didn't taste as good and definitely was not as juicy as it normally is.  
So today I needed to buy my lunch again (we had a shortage of leftovers at home) and when I saw my guy was not at the grill line I knew it had to be something other than my sandwich.  I decided on pizza and was so surprised when my guy smiled and said, "lady" as he took my order.  I couldn't help but point out to him that he was no longer at the grill.  He acknowledged this and then like a small child I had to tell him that the other guy doesn't know how to make the sandwich like he does.  He politely smiled and told me that he is now at the Italian station.  Part of me wanted to point out to him just how much I love the sandwich he makes and how I need that to look forward to, but held back when I noticed all the people waiting in line behind me wanting me to shut up and take my food. 
So now I have this feeling of loss because I know that my beloved chicken sandwich has changed. and not for the better.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Today was my first mother's day and what a joy!  To think that just a year ago I was a little worried that we weren't pregnant (or so I thought) after trying for a few months.  What a difference a year makes because today I woke up to my sweet girl "talking" and went to get her with that smile on her face! 
Aaron, Sarah Graves, and Lucy picked out this wonderful perfume for me and how Lucy snuck off to pose for this card for Hallmark, I will never know!  Aaron started my day with my favorite breakfast, french toast.  Scrumptious! 
This evening we had Mom, Dad, and Jeanne' over for a meal that was heavenly.  Aaron made his fabulous steaks, Jeanne' did some yummy potatoes, I made this salad that I absolutely love, and we finished it off with my chocolate bread pudding with white chocolate sauce.  I am going to have to keep breastfeeding until she's at least 10 just so I can continue to consume this many calories!
My Mom and Dad gave me an adorable outfit for Sarah Graves-
Her shirt says, "My Mom's Totally Awesome"!
I think the best gift of all is having that sweet little one to hold in my arms, smile a sweet smile for me, and drift off in my arms while I rock her.  Life is good.
I hope everyone who mothers had a wonderful day and knows how much they are appreciated.

Renaissance Festival

Saturday we headed out to the Georgia Renaissance Festival.  The weather was gorgeous and I was so glad that we were able to be outside!  Baby girl had a great time being with her family and enjoyed all the people to watch!  We aren't the costume wearing attendees, but it does make for some good people watching!
We did all the cheesy stuff like take pictures of ourselves as these He-Man and Shera type characters.  Mona Lisa even made an appearance! 
Sarah Graves had a chance to visit with Mother Goose and her goose, Maggie.  I'm not sure that Sarah Graves is going to be an animal lover because she was quite hesitant about Maggie.  I'm not sure I blame her!
Of course, one of the highlights of any festival is tasting all the food.  I'm always amazed by all the things that can be served on a stick.  I enjoyed steak on a stake!  I also had what had to be the greatest concoction, bread pudding made out of glazed doughnuts.  I've heard that Paula Deen has a recipe and if it is nearly as good as what I had on Saturday, it is heavenly.
Sarah Graves rode in her stroller most of the day, but I brought out Moby wrap when she started to get bored in the stroller.  She is such a sweetie in that wrap! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Treasure

We ordered this at the Big Shanty Festival and it arrived in the mail today.  It is even better than I thought it would be!  I love the fact that you can see the creases in her palm and on the bottom of her foot.  This will be a treasured keepsake for sure!

Thursday Night Delight

Tonight was one of those nights where Sarah Graves is in a delightful mood!  I was tickled pink when I heard her laugh out loud for the first time.  That sound combined with her broad smile made my heart feel like it might burst with love for her.  The first time she did it I was blowing raspberries on her tummy while Aaron held her, then she did it several other times while we were playing with her activity gym. 
Here she is outside on the patio playing in her bouncy seat.  She has definitely learned to reach for things and can grab objects she wants.  Simply amazing to watch her grow each day!

Woombie

Our woombie came in the mail on Monday and we washed it immediately and started using it that night.  I am happy to say that we have not had any rodeo arm since we started using it!  I think Sarah Graves enjoys being able to move her arms and likes to keep them at her chest.   I don't know if it was just a fluke, but last night she slept for 7 and a half hours before she got up and yesterday she took a nap for 2 hours and 45 minutes!  The big baby size seems just right for our 14 pounder!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baby Shot!

A little late, but here is our baby shot for the week.

All Clogged Up

On Monday I started noticing that I was having a hard time pumping on the left side.  When I got home I wasn't feeling too hot, my left side sure was.  Sarah Graves was irritable all evening and I thought I just wasn't enjoying the time with her because she wasn't enjoying it.  By the time I sat down to nurse her before bed, I was having chills like I had the flu and it was painful for her to nurse.  I asked Aaron to check my book on breastfeeding to see about symptoms for breast infections.  As he read the symptoms for a clogged milk duct, I knew that was the problem.  I had the flu like symptoms; my boob was tender, it was hot, I could feel little marble like places in one area, and it was hard for Sarah Graves to nurse on it.  One of the suggestions for how to remedy this situation is to apply moist heat to the area.  As soon as I put her in the crib I made my way to the heating pad and got setup.  I kept putting the heating pad and warm wash cloth on it on and off for about 2 hours and finally I felt like I should try to pump to see if that would help some more.  I was able to pump and that made it feel tremendously better.  I took some Motrin and my fever and chills subsided so that I could get some good sleep. 

My new boss started on Monday and sits right across from me.  I haven't been sure whether I should mention that I am continuing to breastfeed and therefore go to pump during the day or not, so I haven't brought it up.  Some men are kind of weird about the whole breastfeeding thing and I haven't gotten a feel for how he might handle that conversation.  So, it felt especially awkward when every 2 hours I got up to go and pump because that is the recommended way to make sure the duct stays empty and has a chance to heal.  Great, now he probably thinks I'm a smoker, but that wouldn't explain why I take a large black tote bag looking thing with me.  I'm not thin enough to be viewed as a candidate for compulsive exerciser.  He might think I go to get something to eat all the time, but the cafeteria closes between breakfast and lunch and I sit at my desk and eat fruit and almonds all day.  Maybe I should mention it at some point, just so he doesn't spend his day pondering where I go all the time…

Anyway, the problem does not seem to be totally fixed as the left side is feeling a bit warm and a little swollen today, so I have put in a call to the midwife to see what else I can try.  If anybody has been through this and has something else that worked for them, please comment.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fun Weekend

We had a great weekend!  We didn't necessarily do anything ground breaking, it was just very pleasant.  Friday night was a trip to Wal-Mart, which might sound like a horrible night to some, but when you're with the cutest baby and she's in an awesome mood, it's the greatest  We had a chance to catch up on some sleep, which feels so delicious!  We accomplished some things around the house, Sarah Graves had a 4 hour nap on Saturday, and we went to a cookout with a fat-cheeked, cooing baby girl.   
Pops came over to help Aaron install an electrical outlet and connect the cable for the TV in the bathroom.  I am so excited to have a TV in there so that I can catch up on the news while I get ready for work.  If I don't catch the news in the morning, people are talking about the horrific oil spill and I'm like, "ummm, what oil spill would that be?"  
Here's a picture of Sarah Graves with Mom at the cookout. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two Weeks Back at Work

I have been at wrk for 2 full weeks now.  Some days I still get a little teary when I say goodbye, but not the sobbing like the first day.  A co-worker whose son is almost 2 said that he still has mornings where he tears up before leaving for work, too so, I guess I may always feel sad to leave her. 
I have made some adjustments to my routine and I seem to be able to get out the door on time.  The biggest help has been that I have been taking a shower at night so that I can get up at the same time I did before Sarah Graves was born and still have time to nurse her and get her ready to go.  We have tried some different things to give us as much time with her in the evenings as possible, but it's never enough.  I have cooked several meals while she naps on Sunday so that we just warm things up for dinner rather than taking time to cook and clean up the kitchen each night.  That seems to help some. 
As far as my actual job goes, it has not been as hard coming back as I feared.  I pretty quickly had some projects put on my plate, so I have gotten busy.  I was concerned that it may take some time before I had a larger project of my own to manage again, but that has not been the case.  One of my big projects sat idle while I was out, so it was waiting for me when I returned and I was given another larger scope project.  That's good because in my opinion it's better to be busy working than to be sitting there and missing her all day. 
I think the part that I find the hardest is that by the time she gets home to me, the happiest parts of her day are over.  She is getting tired and starting to get cranky before bed.  I miss having that morning time every day when she is all smiles and fresh for the day.