Saturday, July 31, 2010

Update

Aaron decided to get an iPhone.  He does a lot of sitting and waiting for me and baby girl, so this will give him something to entertain himself and Sarah Graves with. 
I decided I realy want the iPad, but just don't want to spend that much.  I think that I would love it, but will wait a while. 

iPhone

Trying the iPhone Now. This is not as easy to use.

At the apple store

Aaron and I have been wanting to get iPhones, but I am playing with an iPad and thinking it is pretty awesome. I really like the larger screen and the possibility of updating facebook and the blog more easily. We'll see!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sit'n Scoot


Here you can see just how quick she is getting with her scooting/crawling. I love her determination (I may regret it when she is really mobile :) )!

Taking It on the Road

Yesterday I made a day trip to Pittsburg for work. I was thankful that we were not gone overnight,but it made for a long day.
I hated the idea of not seeing Sarah Graves in the evening, but pumping was my biggest concern. I traveled with my boss and a colleague and we met up with 3 HR leaders for that area. Needless to say, my.time was not my own. We left for the airport at 5:45 and by the time we made it to their office around 10, I was longing for my pump. I quickly escaped to the restroom for a few minutes and ezpressed a bit to give me some comfort, but I didn't want anyone to get concerned about me (i.e., think I died in there). On the way to lunch I told my people my plan to order quickly and go pump while everyone waited for the food. This worked well, but I was occupying the only restroom for the whole place and I didn't want to be gone too too long.  I wanted to pump at the airport, but we got there not long before our flight was scheduled to depart and then we were delayed with no information on how long that might be, so I waited. By the time I made it home after 10, I was in pain. I finally pumped and it never felt so good! I pumped 14 ounces, then turned it over to SG to finish and she nursed for almost 20 minutes. Sweet relief!
I was nervous about bringing my milk through airport security, but it wasn't a problem.  I put it in the tray thing with my shoes and it went through the scanner in the insulated bag.  The breast pump got a little attention, but the TSA agent knew what it was and just checked it out to be sure. 
The trip was a good opportunity to get some exposure to areas outside of our headquarters and get to know my new boss a bit.  All in all, I'm glad I had the chance to go, but I wish it were easier to combine my Mommy duties with work.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tickled


I feel that I should explain that I am not really that bad of an aim with the camera.  She won't smile and giggle when I am behind the camera, so I try to get it focused on her and then hold it out to the side while I let her see my face.  Maybe that's one of the reasons they invented tripods...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby Shot!

Sarah Graves can sit for several minutes without any support.  She can't get herself into a sitting position, but if desire has anything to do with it, she is going to do it soon!  I could just eat those hammy lammies up!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tutu Much Fun!

Aunt Nay made this cute tutu for Sarah Graves and did a little photo shoot! 
I think these pictures are just precious!  I especially like how they show off the rolls of sweetness on her arms!  I love her baby chub!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Letter Month Six

Dear Sarah Graves,

First, I cannot tell you how hard it is to believe that you have been in this world for six months already!  The time is simply flying by.  As much as your Daddy and I try to soak up every minute with you, sometimes it feels like it will never be enough.  Fortunately, we are just enjoying you more and more with each new day.  You smile and laugh so often it's hard to believe there was a time when I worried that you were going to be an unhappy person.  Yes, those first few months were rough and I didn't have the wisdom to know that you were just adjusting to being in this world and that there would be days filled with much laughter from you.  So glad that your warm and friendly personality is shining through!
One exciting thing this month is that you have started eating solid foods.  We have started slowly with rice cereal, avocado, sweet potatoes, and squash.  You have been willing to eat all of them, but so far the sweet potatoes are your favorites.  You actually smiled when you had a bite of that.  You still lunge at anything on my plate and I think you are beginning to think that what I am eating is still a lot more exciting than what you're being offered.  One good thing about starting solids is that Daddy has been able to get more involved with your eating.  He has been the one to prepare most of these new foods for you and he feeds you some.  You smile for the funny noises he makes when he wants you to open your mouth for a bite! 
You are very busy trying to learn to crawl.  You are now able to push up on your hands and knees and rock, and you even have the idea to move them, but you can't get the hang of moving them all together to actually crawl forward.  I know you want to do it very bad because you work and work at it and sometimes you end up pushing forward on your face and other times you end up rolling to the side.  Your determination is something that makes me proud.  Don't be misled, just because you aren't crawling doesn't mean you don't get where you want to go.  You are able to roll to objects and have learned how to pivot on your tummy in order to adjust your direct.  You have also learned that you can lay on your back and push yourself with your feet.  So my sweet baby although you aren't crawling on hands and knees, you definitely are mobile. 
Another big experience for you has been going swimming.  We started off with a tiny bit of water in a small baby pool and you had a great time.  Then, we moved to a bit more water in that little pool and you still loved it.  Finally, we took you to a big pool and oh did you enjoy that!  I got in with you and we moved all over and you even went under water.  You moved your legs all around and had such a good time.  We took you to the aquarium to see lots of fish and maybe you were able to identify with them enjoying swimming all around.  I love the water and I really hope that you will too.  Who knows, maybe one day you will be on swim team and your Daddy and I will cheer for you.
You are such a joy to be with.  And you seem to bring so much happiness to other people.  Your family can't get enough of you and when we go out people will come up and talk to you.  You are so friendly and you begin to ham it up having an audience!  You light up our world and make it all so worthwhile.  I hope you know that we will always love you. 
Love,
Momma

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lowering the Volume

I recently had the idea that I might sleep better if I wasn't constantly being awakened by every noise that Sarah Graves makes in her sleep.  I know, it took me almost 6 months to think of this.  So, I turned down the volume on the monitor so that the sounds of her moving and making little noises in her sleep are very soft and I am only awakened by her intentional noises.  This has really helped me sleep a bit better.  I'm still having to get up with her, but for those 3 or so hours in between feedings, I am able to sleep more deeply.
There is such a big learning curve with the first baby!

Sweet Book

This book is one of my favorites.  It was a gift for Sarah Graves' baptism from Aunt Lexie.  The title of the book is "This Little Light of Mine" and it tells a very simple story of each person receiving a special light from God before they are sent here to earth and how you can never lose your special light.  We enjoy it at bedtime and I hope that it will help Sarah Graves remember always that God made her special and nothing can change that. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy 6 month Birthday!

How did that newborn in my arms so quickly grow into this spirited baby?  The past 6 months have just flown by.  Well you know they say that time flies when you're having fun.  I'm having the time of my life!
Happy half year birthday to you my sweet angel!

New Toy!

Aunt Lexie sent a new toy in honor of Sarah Graves' 6 month Birthday.  It is a really cute Noah's Ark toy with animals 2 x 2.  The ark is soft will little openings for the animals and a door for them to enter the ark. 
It even passed Sarah Graves' taste test!  Yep you picked a winner, Aunt Lexie!


I am so delinquent on thank you notes that this is probably the best we will do.  Thank you very much, Aunt Lexie!

Eating Avocado

Avocado was the second food that we tried after rice cereal.  We couldn't resist showing off this green smile!  No Mom, we don't let her face stay dirty like that (I feed her with a wash cloth at hand). 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wanting to Scoot

Sarah Graves wants to be able to move and she hasn't figured out how to crawl yet.  The other day I caught her scooting on her back when she was frustrated that she couldn't crawl on her tummy.  Here is a little bit of her scooting and you can hear her frustration.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lucy Feeling Pretty

We have been wanting a new collar for Lucy and I was really disappointed when I found out that Vera Bradley no longer makes dog collars.  Then, while on our way out to dinner we came upon some doggie boutique that had a great selection of collars and we found this one.  It is really bright with the light pink background, hot pink and orange flowers, and bits of yellow.  I think she feels pretty in it because she has had an extra swagger in her step since we put it on her.  Lucy has lots of personality and this just compliments it.   

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chiropractic for Babies

I mentioned in a post a while back that we started taking Sarah Graves to a chiropractor.  The chiropractor was recommended because they have had success in helping babies with their alignment for better sleep and spitting up.  Mom helped me find one who is certified for pediatrics and she knows our midwives, which made me feel comfortable having her work with Sarah Graves.  I have been amazed at how many babies come in to see her.  Parents with newborns, infants, and toddlers are always there. 
She has been working with Sarah Graves for a few weeks and keeps suggesting other ideas to help her.  She thinks the spit up may be because her diaphragm muscle is tight and putting pressure on her esophagus causing her to spit up.  To help relax this, she has recommended that we put pressure on that spot when we hold her facing out and she recently recommended that we start probiotics and doing baby inversion.  The baby inversion is just what you would think and Sarah Graves really likes it!  We took a video of her doing it so that you could see: 
It has taken several weeks of patience on our part, but I am finally starting to see a difference in the spit up.  It has really started to decrease and I know longer burp her and brace myself for the flood that would ensue. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Shot!

Here's our baby shot!  I could just eat her up on a constant basis!

Trip to the Aquarium

On Sunday we went to the Georgia Aquarium with my parents, Jeanne', Maw Maw Yvonne, and Ryan.  We had such a good time looking at all the fish and the people.  Sarah Graves was a model baby and was such a joy to be with.  Ryan really enjoyed all the interactive things for kids and it makes me look forward to enjoying those things with Sarah Graves.  We saw the 4-D movie and she was totally into watching it.  She even left the glasses on!
Here she is relaxing in the stroller watching some fish.
Ryan is great entertainment for her and likes to make funny faces for her.
Aunt Nay showed Ryan lots of cool things.
We stopped to nurse in the darkened room with the whale sharks!  Sarah Graves does enjoy a little entertainment during her dining experience!
Aaron took this shot of a beluga whale swimming around.
Here she is enjoying watching the fish with Daddy.
Jeanne' and Maw Maw
Yvonne take a break to sit down and watch.
Mom and Pops posed with Sarah Graves in front of a mountain of Deepos.  When we decided to have a child, I never took into consideration how much my parents would delight in her and how much fun it would be for me to watch!
Aaron and I bought annual passes to the aquarium so that we could come back periodically to let her look at the fish, so we will have many more adventures at the aquarium.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Swimming in the Big Pool

Saturday night we took Sarah Graves swimming in a big pool.  She really enjoyed herself!  We had a lot of fun in the water and Daddy took lots of pictures. Sarah Graves liked her float and she liked being held.  We tried going under and she didn't really mind, but she prefered not to have water in her eyes.  I don't blame her!  Jeanne' and my cousin Ryan came too.  Ryan is working on learning to swim with his head in the water.  Not an easy thing for a 4 year old.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Problems with Pampers?

I was checking out my cloth diaper site and I came across mention of problems with the new Pampers Dry Max diapers causing burns. I was intrigued so I did a google search and came across an article on MSNBC that you can read here and a video on You tube here.  It sounded pretty bad, so I decided to mention it in case other parents may experience something like what these parents describe.  It seems that Pampers claims that it is just a case of diaper rash and parents are saying that it is a severe rash or a chemical burn.  I think that if these diapers are causing this rash/burn, it is sad that Pampers would try to undermine a parent's intuition about what is wrong with their child.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Aunt Came to Visit

My Aunt Linda came to visit last week.  Sarah Graves had fun showing off her big 5 month old tricks!  I really hope that Sarah Graves can get to know all of her family even though we live far from some of them.

Just Playing Around

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swinging

Swinging was so much fun that we had to take a little video to show it! 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baby Food

If you have read my blog at all, you know by now that I try to read up on things and be aware of potential safety issues.  I try not to be paranoid, but when you have a young child, it's hard not to be.  My most recent discovery is that not all baby food may be safe.  A couple of weeks ago I saw a link to an article about lead in baby foods.  I expected it to be some off the wall brand of baby food that I would never consider buying and therefore I wouldn't feel the need to worry.  When I checked it out, I was quite shocked to see that some of these baby foods that tested high with lead were popular brands that I would expect to be safe, like Gerber, Beech Nut, and Our 365 from Whole Foods.  If you want to see a list of the foods and brands that had high lead content, you can look here.  A lot of the foods on the list were fruit juices, which I plan to wait as long as possible before giving her. 
Aaron and I had thought about making our own baby food, so this just pushed us to be certain about it.  I didn't know it, but you can even make your own rice cereal!  A co-worker told me how she does it by grinding the uncooked rice in a cofee grinder, putting 1/8 cup of the ground rice into about 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water, and whisking until the water is absorbed.  This sounded simple enough so we started with some organic, whole grain, white rice.  You could probably use any rice that you want, but the white seemed like the most basic to start with.  You can do a google search for baby rice cereal and find lots of different recipes to try out.
We also bought an appliance for making baby food.  It's called the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker.  It steams and grinds baby food in one unit.  We picked ours up at Williams-Sonoma, but I saw that Babies R Us has them online.  Mom and Jeanne' saw it in the store and then I found out that my cousin and his wife use it to make food for their two daughters and really like it.  We haven't used it yet, but I think it will make it convenient for us to make some vegetable and fruit purees for her now and maybe even some complete meals for her once she is a bit older. 
Some people complain that by the time you buy all the stuff to make your own baby food you don't really save any money.  That may be true, but I feel a lot better knowing that when she eats rice cereal it is really just rice and some breastmilk in it. 

We Started Solids

Last night we tried her first taste of solids. We made some baby rice cereal using a recipe that a girl I work with shared. I think she liked it, but she wasn't exactly smiling about it! As you can see in this video she was actually eating most of it! I think she wanted something that tasted a little more like cheeseburger or pizza. Can't say that I would blame her!
Here are some stills that Aaron took of some of her funny faces:

Our Fabulous 4th!

That's right! It was a fabulous 4th! We had a relaxing day full of adventure for a 5 month old. We went to Mom and Pops' house where they had a regular amusement park lined up for Sarah Graves.
First, we tried out a walker. She doesn't quite understand that it will literally let her move herself anywhere, but she does love to chew on the bear toy attached to it!  In case you thought that walkers were no longer allowed, they do come with a big safety warning because so many kids have fallen down stairs in them.  Mom and Dad keep the door to their basement closed all the time and she will only use the walker on the main floor, so I think it's fine at their house.


 
 Then we tried out our outside swing!  I think she was as tickled by it as they were! 


Next up was time spent lounging in the baby pool!  This kid completely understands how to kick back. 


Even Lucy enjoyed hanging out on the deck sporting her All American bandana.
After all that fun we had to put on our jammies and get ready for some sleep!

For those of us grownups, Mom and Dad put together a super tasty meal.  They made burgers that had chopped up chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  The burgers were made as two thin patties with a slice of cheese between them, then they were put on the grill.  The melty cheese with the smoky peppers was delicious!  They also did fresh corn on the cob that I didn't know you could put some oil on the husk and put it right on the grill!  The husk and the silk came away so easy, it was fabulous.  We finished it off with a brownie cupcake that had toasted pecans and frosting.  So yummy!

That was our very relaxed and very fun 4th of July.  As we were driving home with a sleepy baby we could see the fireworks over Atlanta.  A nice way to top off a lovely day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

More Pool Time

We had so much fun in our pool the first time that we decided to enjoy it again.  Aaron and I decided to break out our bathing suits and get in with her.  I think she liked having us in with her, but the plastic spoon I gave her to play with was by far the hit! 
Although she didn't want to get in the water, Lucy did come out to enjoy some family fun with us.  She thought the cool grass was plenty good for her.

Friday, July 2, 2010

N.A.P.s Plan

Mom and I have been on a constant quest to help Sarah Graves become a good sleeper.  I wouldn't say that we are completely there yet, but Mom came across this book several weeks ago and I do think that it has helped us along the way.  The book is called the 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program by Polly Moore.  I know what you're thinking, another book?  Seriously!  But each book seems to offer some extra tidbit of information.
This one is written by a neuroscientist who had a chance to put her knowledge to use when her first child was born and she was not a great sleeper.  The book's program is built on the theory of the Basic Rest and Activity Cycle (BRAC), which is present in all humans.  BRAC means that every 90 minutes we go through a period of time where we are most ready to fall asleep and then we cycle into a period of alertness again.  In babies, this cycle is felt very strongly every 90 minutes.  As babies get older, they begin to go through multiple 90 minute cycles before they need to sleep again.  As adults, we go through a number of these cycles every day before we go to sleep at night or lay down to take a nap.  When you are aware of this BRAC you can time a baby and have an idea of when they will most likely be ready to sleep again.  So when baby wakes up from a nap, you begin timing 90 minutes and make sure to have her in her crib or a place where she can comfortably sleep again at the end of that 90 minutes. 
So when Sarah Graves wakes up at 6 AM, I know that she is likely to be ready to nap again at 7:30.  When I lay her down at 7:30, she may sleep for any amount of time that she wants, usually between 45 minutes and 2 hours.  Whatever time she wakes up from her nap, I begin timing 90 minutes to know when she is likely to want to nap again.  Having this information along with watching her cues of rubbing her eyes, has really helped us make sure she gets the opportunity to sleep.  If she misses the opportunity at the end of 90 minutes, I usually wait for the end of the next 90 minute cycle and try again. 
It's not exactly a set schedule, but it does seem to help her go down easily for a nap and I can at least predict when she is likely to sleep next.  Now if only there were a way to keep that pacifier in her mouth while she sleeps...elastic, maybe?  I AM JUST KIDDING