Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aquarium

Saturday we headed over to the aquarium.  We all had a great time.  Sarah Graves loves watching the people as much as she does the fish! 
Beverly and I had fun taking pictures of all the fish.  Some of these came out pretty good considering there was glass between the camera and the fish!
Grandaddy played with Sarah Graves.  I was a little late in capturing it, but this shows him giving her eskimo kisses.  She was completely in awe. 


Sarah Graves ate her lunch with the belluga whales. 
I think the whales are my favorite thing.  They are so big and so graceful. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Guests

Guess who came to visit this weekend!  We had a good time seeing Grandaddy and Beverly!  Sarah Graves fell in love with the stuffed bear they brought her from London; especially, when Grandaddy made the bear jump up and kiss her. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Partners

We hoped that Lucy and Sarah Graves would become pals.  I think all parents hope that when they bring a new baby into the family all members of the family will love it and I think Lucy does love her.  The affection has been mostly one sided, but Sarah Graves is starting to, well let's just hope that petting Lucy is her intention. 
The other day Aaron was witness to the two of them really teaming up.  I gave Sarah Graves any empty canister with a lid to play with.  I guess she decided it would be fun to take the lid off and look inside.  She wasn't able to get the lid off, so she teamed up with big sister Lucy.  Sarah Graves sat holding the container while Lucy used her mouth to take the lid off! 
Hopefully, this is the start of many adventures for these two!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

InTown Midwifery Celebration

Sunday afternoon we went to Piedmont Park to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the opening of InTown Midwifery.  I am a huge fan of the work that these ladies do and was so excited to be able to celebrate as one of the families that delivered with them. 
It was a warm day, but the humidity wasn't as bad as it had been, which made it pleasant to be outside.  There was food, one person wrote a song in honor of their work, there was a silent auction, and a group photo.  The dessert selection was just amazing!  Clearly these people know that nursing moms can enjoy some extra calories and what a yummy way to take advantage of that!  There were some neat baby things in the auction, including some awesome wet bags for the diaper bag, but I didn't win them.  Maybe I will go online and order some.  Sarah Graves was checking out all the other babies.  It was so noisy with the other babies that we didn't have to worry about keeping her quiet!
After the birth it was so chaotic that we never took a picture with Sarah Graves and the midwife who in Anjli's words "caught" her.  I would describe it more that she tugged and pried her out of my body, but that's just semantics.  Anyway, Sunday was an opportunity to get a picture of all of us with Anjli who I will always be so grateful was there with me when my sweet girl came into the world.   
I just liked this shot showing the pretty day and the skyline.

We hope that InTown Midwifery continues to bring their very special way of caring for women and supportive approach to birth for many more years to come!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Haircut

After much debate we decided to take Sarah Graves for her first haircut.  The debate was over when a baby girl should have her first haircut and we finally decided that the baby mullet was more than we could handle! 
I took her to an adult hair salon to see Ms. Lisa who also cuts kids' hair.  Ms. Lisa oohed and aaahed over Sarah Graves and knew just how to work with a baby girl.  Sarah Graves did great and seemed to enjoy all the attention.  I held her on my lap, Mom entertained her with Sophie, and Daddy was paparazzi.  He took some great pictures of her. 
Here is her before photo. 
She was so good and easy going.  She didn't mind having someone fiddle with her hair at all.  I was proud of her for being such a sweet girl. 
Here is her after photo. 
Ms. Lisa didn't take off much length.  The baby mullet is gone in the back and the sides that were growing uneven are now fixed.  She also gave Sarah Graves a few wispy bangs so the hair in front is now out of her eyes.  Of course, every girl needs a bow to accent her pretty hair!   

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baby Shot!

This is Sarah Graves' LSU sundress.  I think it's more of her sorority girl look than her cheerleader look!  Aunt Ardie sent her this and it is so cute!  It is like a miniature version of an adult dress! 
I just love the way that she props her foot up!  This is her all the time!  She loves to prop her feet on something whether it's the side of her crib, the arm of a chair, or the table. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monkey Feet

Sarah Graves is like a little monkey!  She uses her feet like a second set of hands anytime she wants to reach a toy or steady a toy while she lies on her back.  It really cracks me up to watch her!  I so love those chubby baby feet.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Letter Month Seven

Dear Sarah Graves,
This month has been a time for you to work on your skills and even perfect a few things.  From the time you were a few weeks old you have been working on sitting up.  It seems like just last week you were sitting in your bumbo chair for the first time and now you are able to go from lying down to sitting up all by yourself.  All those crunches you did to strengthen your muscles have paid off and you can sit up any time you please.
 

Eating has been something on our minds this month.  You went on a nursing strike and I was afraid that my heart might break worrying that you were giving it up for good.  Fortunately, you didn't.  Once you got over your cold you decided to nurse again and when you decide you want something, there is no stopping you!  In the last week we have had some of our longest nursing sessions ever.  You continue to enjoy eating solid foods, too.  On your menu you now have apple, avocado, banana, blueberry, carrot, peach, sweet potato, and squash (yellow and butternut).  I think your very favorite thing is carrots mixed with blueberries!  You also love the peaches.  You don't seem to like the textures of rice cereal or the puffed kamut.  We will have to keep working on that.  You enjoy taking sips of water from your cup and from your straw.  You are getting better at reaching your hands out for the cup and working to bring it to your mouth on your own. 

With each passing day we see more of your personality.  You enjoy seeing people and respond to them with a lot of interest.  Sometimes you like to check with us to make sure that we think it's okay before you start to engage with someone new, but you seem to warm up pretty quick.  You are really able to play with your toys and show so much enthusiasm for them.  Sophie the Giraffe is probably your all around favorite.  She is portable and goes pretty much everywhere with you.  You also really like books.  Sometimes you like eating them more than reading them, but you are starting to really focus on the pages and enjoy listening for longer and longer periods.  Seeing your reflection in the mirror is another favorite.  You break into a grin when you see what a cute girl you are!  You are just at such a fun age that I could go on and on describing how you enjoy playing and learning! 

I am having such a hard time believing that our first year with you is more than half over!  It seems like the more fun we have, the faster the time goes.  As much as I want to feel sad that your days as a baby are passing so quickly; I can't help but be excited for each new day to see how you interact with the world around you.  I am constantly reminded that it is such a gift to have such a sweet girl who is so healthy!  I am truly blessed to have you as my baby. 

Love,
Momma

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thirsty Girl

I started letting her put the straw in her mouth as entertainment while we were eating out and before I knew it, she had sucked some up.  Probably accidentally in the beginning and then she liked it!  It has been nice to offer her some water when we are out and about and I am dying of thirst.  I figure that if I'm thirsty and hot, she probably is too!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Comedian

On Monday we got a glimpse of Sarah Graves' sense of humor.  The cold that we had has left us with a cough.  Sarah Graves coughed first, then Mom had to cough, then Sarah Graves coughed on purpose, then Mom coughed again on purpose, then Sarah Graves started to giggle realizing the game that she started.  She was quite eager to show us just how funny this was that evening and would throw her head back and give a deep belly laugh after a couple of times doing it.  
I guess we have worn the game out now because she will do it once, then she looks at you and grins as if to say that was funny yesterday and now I am into something new.  Yesterday that new something was sitting up all by herself!  I'm not sure that she totaly realized how she did it because one minute she was on her side and the next minute she was sitting up, but her expression didn't really change.  She has been so close for a few weeks and I guess she finally figured out how to move her arm and make it happen.  I thought she would have looked more satisfied with herself. I guess when you knew you could do something all along it isn't nearly as exhilarating when you actually do it.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Easy Peasy

When I mention to people that we cloth diaper, I usually get a response to the effect of, "you're a better person than I am."  For me cloth diapering isn't about being a better person compared to others.  I do think that if other people realized how easy it is, they would be more likely to try it.  So, I thought I would show some pictures of the diapers to show how they work. 
In this picture you can see the opening for the pocket.  This particular style of diaper has an opening for the pocket at the front and the back and I think this makes it easier to "stuff" the insert. 
This picture shows the front of the diaper.  Because the diaper is meant to fit a baby from birth to potty training, the snaps go all across the front to adjust the waist and there are 2 sets of 3 snaps up the front to adjust the height.  Sarah Graves is on the middle setting for the height (as shown in the picture) and I usually leave 2 snaps open when I snap it around her waist.  I leave the snaps for height snapped when I wash them and it's one less thing to do each time. 
This picture shows the insert.  They make a variety of different inserts, but this is a microterry insert.  This fabric takes a while to dry, but it is very abosrbent.  I'll take absorbent any day thankyouverymuch.  The great thing about cloth diapers is that you can add an extra insert to the diaper to make it even more absorbent for say over night use.  I think the diaper that I use for nightime can hold 16 ounces of liquid.  That's a lot for a little person!
When I "stuff" the insert in the pocket, the insert is longer than the pocket.  You don't want the insert to hang out of the pocket because this will allow moisture to come out of the diaper.  So, I fold the insert over so that none of it is exposed.  Because little girls wet toward the back, I fold ours over in the back.  Little boys wet toward the front, so you would fold it over in the front.  Now that Sarah Graves sleeps on her belly all the time, I fold her nightime diaper over in the front so that it's more absorbent that way.  
When it's time to take the diaper off, I unsnap it at the waist and put the whole thing in a pail that I keep in the nursery. 
That's all there is to it; easy peasy 
The other reason that I like cloth diapering is how cute they are!  I am really wanting some of these cute patterns from Blueberry Diapers.  We have plenty of diapers, but they are so cute!  Let's see, money for college or the cutest diapered bottom around....hhmmm.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baby Shot!

The toy in her hand is the mallet to her xylaphone.  She likes the xylaphone as much as any other toy, but she loves this mallet.  If we could buy extra mallets, I would keep them hanging around like burp cloths.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Friend's Wedding

Friday kicked off my friend Sarah's wedding weekend.  We had a delicious lunch at Swan Coach House.  After the rehearsal at the Botanical Gardens we went to Carpe Diem for the rehearsal dinner.  The dinner was absolutely delicious.  I am still thinking about the calamari, pork confit, and white chocolate, amaretto cheesecake.  It was simply sinful.  I had my first glass of wine in over year and remembeed how very amusing everyone can be with a wee bit of wine.  Sarah's brother's gave a toast to their big sister that was so sweet and heartfelt that I was a little teary eyed.  
Saturday we all went to Studio Oliver to have our hair done.  It's a small salon, so we were all made over and made to feel very special.  After we felt glamorous with updos, it was time for the bridesmaids to get dressed.  Sarah was extremely disappointed that the bad weather changed her plan for an outdoor ceremony in the garden to an indoor one.  The crew did a fabulous job setting everything up and the windows looking out on the garden still made for a pretty backdrop. 
I watched her Mom trying so hard to make everything wonderful for Sarah and I realized that no matter how old Sarah Graves is, she will always be my baby and I will always want to make her happy.  I also realize now how hard it has to be for parents to let their child grow up and give their heart to someone else; no matter how great that other person is.  
The ceremony went smoothly even with all the last minute adjustments due to the weather.  We had more delicious food at the reception and had so much fun dancing.  Aaron and I haven't been to events where we get to dance together too much lately and we really enjoyed ourselves.  The band played a good variety and the guests were all having a good time.  By the end of the night we were worn out. 
The weekend proved to be an adventure in pumping and gave me a chance to pump in restrooms all over town.  Sarah was super understanding about my need to slip away for a while every few hours and pack a breast pump with me everywhere! 
 
Sarah and Pradeep, the bride and groom
the bridesmaids
me and Ms. Marty, Sarah's Mom
She was so sweet and looked out for me all weekend like I was one of her own.. 

First Cold

Thursday evening Sarah Graves was irritable and had a little runny nose.  My Mom suspected that she was coming down with a cold, but she ate and went to sleep like normal...for a few minutes.  She quickly woke up and was fussy.  She and I spent many hours walking and she would sleep for an hour or two only to wake up crying.  I can only imagine that if you have never had a sore throat and stuffy nose it is hard to believe that this awful thing has happened to you.  How upsetting to find that nursing and sucking on your paci make you feel like you are going to suffocate.  The next morning we gave her a little Tylenol and that helped her sleep for a few hours. 
She didn't feel too good on Saturday, but yesterday she started feeling better.  We bought a humidifier, my Mom gave her a bath with the baby vapor bath stuff, and a saline nasal mist helped us to suction out her little nose.  (Aunt Lexie, we made sure to tell her who to thank for her baby torture device :) )  All of that seemed to help her feel better. 
I know just how rotten she felt because I started with her cold on Friday.  So did Mom.  Maybe it's because we just can't resist kissing on her all the time! 
She seems to be her usual self today, even if she has a little cough and a runny nose.  The cold and the wedding festivities wore me out, but a nap and early bedtime yesterday have left me feeling much better.  Sarah Graves had an early bedtime yesterday too, on Daddy's shoulder.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making Baby Food in the Babycook

I wanted to show just how simple the Beaba babycook is to use. 
The bowl piece has marks showing how much water to add.  The instruction book tells you whether the food you are making requires 1, 2, or 3 measures of water.  Most fruits require 2 and veggies and meats seem to need 3, but I check the book just to be sure.
 
You pour the water into the steam reservoir.
You put the food into the steamer basket, which fits onto the bowl.  We are making peaches!
Put the lid on and turn the dial to the steam setting.  The bowl collects the water from the steam and you can save this water with all the nutrients to use to thin out the puree.
When the light goes off, it is done steaming.  Take the lid off, use the tool provided to lift the steamer basket off and dump the food into the bowl.  You put the lid on, turn the knob to the grind setting, and just let it pulse until you have the consistency you want. 
We have found it convenient to freeze the puree in an ice cube tray.  Sarah Graves will eat about 2 cubes of food at dinnertime.
It takes about 15 minutes total time to make a batch, but most of that time the food is steaming and we can do other things. 
I read on a lot of websites people saying that you don't need any special tools to make baby food and they are definitely right.  You can bake the peaches in the oven and use a food processor or blender to make the puree.  The babycook just makes it so easy to do a batch of food here and there. 

Dreaming of Hotdogs

Over the weekend Aaron and I were looking for something to eat for dinner and he pointed out that we have hotdogs in the freezer. We didn't have any bread and in my mind a hotdog needs some semblance of a bun in order to be enjoyable. We moved on and found something else, but I kept thinking about wanting to eat a hotdog.


The other day I was looking at the menu for the restaurant we are going to for my friend Sarah's bridal luncheon on Friday and while I was looking I kept thinking about hotdogs. The place we are going for lunch is the Swan Coach House in Buckhead. I have never been there, but it is steeped in tradition as the place where ladies go to do lunch. Needless to say, it's the kind of place that doesn't serve anything like a hotdog. I perused their menu checking out the fruit plate and their signature chicken salad, all the while thinking about wanting a hotdog.  I sat there thinking, I can't go to this elegant luncheon drooling for a hotdog!
 
So, I decided to go downstairs to our cafeteria and get a hotdog from the grill.  I walked in and I was greeted by none other than my guy who I posted about here calling out, "Lady!" to me.  When I saw him, I was so excited that without thinking I ordered my favorite chicken sandwich that he makes so well.  He made it perfectly and I was so excited that he came back to the grill.  I thoroughly enjoyed my moist and flavorful sandwich, but I was still thinking of a hotdog. 
 
Yesterday I went back to the grill and I ordered the hotdog.  My guy looked stunned when I didn't ask for the chicken sandwich.  It was that look like I thought I knew you and now you have changed on me.  I have never ordered a hotdog before and I have to say that it was quite tasty.  I think in the future I will stick with my trusty chicken sandwich, but the hotdog was just what I was craving. 
 
Now, I can happily go to the luncheon and order something much more elegant and befitting of a ladies luncheon like fresh fruit and spring greens. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kamut

I have read and heard from a number of sources that keeping babies from wheat gluten can really help them avoid an allergy to it.  The only problem is that wheat gluten is in so many products, even for babies!  At first I thought I would just avoid giving her crackers and cereals, but then I kept reading in the milestone section about babies being able to rake a small object or use a pincer grasp to pick up a small object.  The likely thing to give a baby to practice picking up is something that you don't mind her eating.  Let's face it, if she makes contact with it, it's going in her mouth.  So in an effort to give her a chance to practice these skills, we found this puffed kamut, which has no wheat gluten and it has no added sugar or really anything else.  Puffed kamut comes in a bag because the cardboard is inside the packaging :)
Now baby girl has a gluten free food that she can practice picking up off her tray and Lucy has an opportunity to get some extra fiber in her diet.  Everybody is happy!   
Those pudgy little hands sure are cute!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baby Shot!

This is a typical look from Sarah Graves!  Always excited about something