Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just how she rolls

Elizabeth recently discovered the joys of rolling. She started before Thanksgiving with rolling from her tummy to her back, which she did repeatedly until she had an audience other than Mama and Daddy. We were at Noni and Grandpa's house for a week and not once would she deign to show off her new trick. She did it within five minutes of our arrival home, contrary child.

Then she figured out last week that she could roll from her back to her tummy. Very cool. So cool, in fact, that she promptly forgot she could roll from her tummy to her back. Now, she gets onto her tummy, doesn't know how to get back over, and gets mad and yells about it.

She's managed to roll back to front, then front to back, a couple of times, which proves she can do it, but generally one of us has to roll her back when she yells.

The Flickr site has been updated with some seasonal pictures!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eating from Elizabeth's perspective

Mom? Mooooooooom? MOOOOOOOOOM?!

I'm HUNGRY!

Right now! Where's the food? Why are we walking to the fridge?

I can see the bottle! I can see it right in your hand!

Why isn't it in my mouth yet? Can't you SEE I'm starving?

Bottle...mouth...yum num num...wait...I'm still mad! You took too long!

Oh...food...num num num num...

Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I'm not asleep! My eyes were closed and I was snoring, but I'm not asleep! Get that back here right now!

Num num num num...num...num....

*snore*

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Milestone!

This week Elizabeth has learned a few things.

1) When placed on her stomach, she's great at lifting her head and supporting herself on her arms, at least for a litle bit.

2) She's discovered how to flip herself from her stomach onto her back. She can do this repeatedly. She won't do it all the time because, as a child of mine and Grammar Girl's, she has an opinion on JUST when she will do it. But sometimes she does it four times in a row. It is so neat to watch, and she knows we love it when she does it.

3) Santa is a cool dude! We took her to get pictures taken, and I admit to having been nervous about her behavior. She was as calm as ice! Not mad, not sad, not shy, just cool, buddy. Eventually, she warmed up and started smiling at him. Santa was VERY good. I noticed he talked with them, played with them, was Santa even to the adults, and told all the children "I love you." We ended up with two really good pictures. In one, the two of them are smiling at the camera, and in the other she and Santa are smiling at each other.

So, a big week in our world!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adventures in babywearing

We're babywearers around here. Basically what that means is that instead of schlepping Her Majesty around in an infant seat, we put her into a sling or a pouch and go about our business with her snuggled up to Mama or Daddy's chest and at least one of our hands free to do other things. (At a recent Koala Mommas meeting, Elizabeth and I tried out a mei tai carrier and I think I'm hooked. Baby carriers are addictive things...like Trumpettes socks and Feltman Brothers dresses. But I digress.)

The reactions other people have when I'm out in public wearing Elizabeth in her sling have been very interesting. Many times, people are charmed by the sight of her all snuggled and sleeping. Frequently, if the observer is a mom with older (high school and up) children, she'll comment, "They didn't have anything like that when I was having babies!"

Actually, babywearing is a very, very old practice, but the only people who were doing it in the late 70s/early 80s were the parents who were crunchy before crunchy was cool. The first baby sling I ever saw was a homemade one that my partner for the eleventh-grade baby project brought in. His mom had used it with all three of her kids, and I thought it was really interesting at the time. Interesting enough that I remember it 10+ years later.

If the observer is a mom around my age, nine times out of ten she'll say "I tried a Maya Wrap/Peanut Shell/Hotsling with my baby, and s/he just HATED it!" I'm not really sure how to respond to this one, because most babies actually do like being cradled in a baby carrier as it's pretty close to the womb environment. Most moms, however, have never seen somebody put a baby in a sling or practiced it, and it does take some getting used to on both parts. I was sweating with nerves by the time I got Elizabeth into her sling for the first time when she was about a week old. She slept through the whole thing. Now I can pop her into and out of it with barely a moment's thought, and she smiles when she sees me put the sling on. The first few times, though, it was imperative that both she and I were relaxed and happy.

I feel like I should offer some help; I felt much more comfortable with various carriers and carries when experienced moms showed me how to use them correctly. On the other hand, I don't want to come off as pushy or preachy. I love babywearing and it's a practice with a lot of positive outcomes for both parent and baby and I do feel pretty passionately about it. Plenty of stores have started carrying baby carriers because they're becoming more mainstream; Target carries Hotslings and some Targets have Maya Wraps. What they don't have are people who are knowledgeable about the arcana of babywearing and can help new babywearers feel more comfortable and enjoy it more.

The other response I've gotten is "Nobody can see the baby's outfit when she's all wrapped up in that thing!"

Can't win 'em all. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flickr update...

LB added a couple of new shots to the site.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Meltdown in Reactor E!

Elizabeth is generally such a laid-back, easygoing baby that it's both shocking and distressing when she isn't. We've learned to recognize some of her growth spurt signs -- eating more frequently, fussing because she can't eat fast enough, spitting up for a couple of days before the spurt starts -- but the big sign is the nuclear meltdown crying jags she has. She cries frantically and inconsolably for anywhere from 20-40 minutes at a stretch and it seems like none of our comfort measures work for longer than a minute or two at a time.

According to the books, the next growth spurt won't be till she's about six months old. I hope they're right!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family Update

Dear Elizabeth (or Gloriana as I sometimes call her) has been sick with a head cold which has made her (and her parents) miserable. Last night I came home to find a very tired wife, and a baby who just wanted to be held while she whimpered. I took us all out to IHOP for dinner, and tried to keep watch on them (more or less successfully). I ended up getting Elizabeth to sleep in her car seat. Sitting up was the only way she could sleep and breathe. She was still sleeping this morning when I left, and mother was dozing as well.

The weather is GORGEOUS, and was even cool this morning at 42 degrees. Leaves have started falling, and I'm hoping that perhaps we can go to the Greek Festival this weekend. Gina and I went last year and had a lot of fun doing so. We saw greek dancing, had GREAT greek food, perused arts and crafts, and generally just had a relaxing day. We also made "Big Fat Greek Wedding" jokes. Going this time and taking a baby is sure to get "oohs" and "ahhs".

My hope is to get out this week and take some pictures with my camera, as well as get some tasks finished around the house. A mirror needs to be hung, we need to call a handyman to do some repairs on our deck, and the yard could use some clean-up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sound of Silence

Not something we're hearing much these days!

Elizabeth had her two-month checkup last week. She's tipping the scales at 11 pounds 10 ounces and is now 23 1/2 inches long. All her little newborn clothes have now been packed up. It was a very strange thing to see clothes that were baggy on her to start with become too small in what seems like a week.

We do have more pictures to post -- they're coming soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Elizabeth's Favorite Things (newborn edition)

1. Aden and Anais muslin blankets. My sisters got us a two-pack of these in San Francisco, and I liked them so much that I searched around for a store in Atlanta that sells them and bought four more. They're soft and light and perfect for summers in Georgia, where it's hot outside but air-conditioned to Arctic temperatures inside. Plus, they function as big burp cloths when needed.

2. Trumpettes baby socks. Cutest socks ever! Elizabeth has the Mary Janes, the Rosies, and the Baby Ballerina socks, and she'll probably have a box of Pixies in the next few weeks. They came recommended from a friend who told me that they're the only socks that really stayed on her daughter, and so far I'd have to agree. Besides...did I mention how cute they are?

3. Carter's wiggle-in bodysuits. Because you don't want to pull things over a baby's head.

4. Graco sweetpeace "infant soothing center". Unlike 99% of baby swings on the market, this one plugs in instead of eating batteries. Its color scheme is neutral and not obnoxious. Although Elizabeth doesn't consider it a great substitute for Mama and Daddy, she'll deign to relax in it while we're eating, and that's worth the money right there!

5. Balboa Baby adjustable sling. This makes getting out of the house with a newborn so much easier! As anybody who's schlepped an infant carseat through a grocery store can attest, those carriers are bulky, heavy, and impossible to get into a shopping cart and have room left over for anything other than a zucchini. Elizabeth rides in her sling around stores and around the house and sleeps through everything...even when Daddy wears it while he's vacuuming!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Slept through the night...

TWICE!

Midnight to five a.m. two nights ago and 11:30 to five a.m. last night. As an added bonus for me, she went straight back to sleep after the five a.m. feeding both times and didn't wake up again till 8:30-9 a.m.

Getting five hours of uninterrupted sleep = bliss!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Growing pains

Elizabeth went through a growth spurt this week, and she found it a less than pleasant experience. I gather, from reading baby books and hearing anecdotes from other parents, that babies fuss a lot during growth spurts, and Elizabeth certainly proved that true! We had a couple of days when we just couldn't put her down; she cried inconsolably if we did. Both of us felt so badly for her -- it's rough to see your child sobbing and not be able to comfort her, no matter how hard you try.

It's probably a good lesson about parenting, though. You'll never be able to give your child a perfect world or provide insulation against all painful experiences, but you can always give loving arms and suffer through it with him or her.

We'll update with more pictures soon!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last Saturday, Lori from Shooting Star Photography came out and took newborn pictures of Elizabeth. I can't say enough great things about Lori and her work -- she was so nice and easy to work with, and the pictures she took are gorgeous!

Here are some of the shots she posted to her blog, and here is a slideshow of the proofs (available online through the end of this week).

(By the way, she's moving to Birmingham in January or February, so if you have kids and want some great pictures, her website is www.shootstarphoto.com.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the winner is...

Cara -- guessed the correct due date!

The prize is forthcoming.

About the only prize we're interested in around here is a bit of sleep. Elizabeth still has her nights and days turned around a bit, and she likes to get her dad to herself and party hearty at 4:30 or 5 in the morning. (She parties with her mama at 1 a.m.)

My mom -- Elizabeth's Noni -- is going home tomorrow after more than two weeks. She's been cooking to fill our freezer, doing all the shopping, cuddling her granddaughter, and even waking up to feed her at two in the morning. We're going to miss her a lot!




She does sleep...just not at night!

For more pictures, check out our Flickr page: Elizabeth's album.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Elizabeth's Birth Story

I went to the doctor on Tuesday 7/15 for my regular checkup and had made no progress since my previous appointment, so I felt fairly confident that I wasn't going into labor anytime in the foreseeable future. (And I made plans accordingly. We were going to go see The Dark Knight on Saturday, and I had a whole list of little errands and to-dos around the house before my mom was going to come on the 21st.)

I woke up on Wednesday 7/16 and felt a little bit funny. While LB was in the shower, I was sitting in bed reading, had a couple of sharp-ish contractions, felt a trickle of fluid, and thought Great, I've now developed pregnancy incontinence as I ran to the bathroom. There wasn't a big gush, so I decided to just go about my business and have breakfast, which turned out to be a very good idea.

After LB and I finished breakfast, he was about to grab his lunch bag and head out the door, and I had another trickle of fluid. He reminded me that breaking one's water didn't have to involve a gush and that I needed to go ahead and call the doctor. I called, told the on-call doctor that I thought my water might have broken, although I wasn't having contractions and I wasn't sure, and she said to go ahead and come into the office and they'd check.

We made it all the way to the doctor's office and back to the exam room before the gush happened. The doctor said, "I don't think we need to do the pH swab test -- you need to go to labor and delivery now." En route to L&D, we called both sets of parents. Mine were in Denver, about to head out to Boise for a weekend with my sister, brother-in-law, and his family, so they did a quick change of plans and got tickets for Atlanta. LB's mother was home, but his dad was away on a business trip and couldn't make it back home in time.

In L&D, they did 20 minutes of fetal and contraction monitoring, and they noticed the same thing I had -- mainly, I wasn't having strong or regular contractions. The nurses unhooked the monitors and sent me out to walk the halls for 40 minutes, then come back for 20 minutes of monitoring. LB went walking with me, then went downstairs to get some lunch because it looked like it was going to be a long day at this point. I sat on the birth ball to see if that position could get things started.

When he came back, the doctor had come in for a consultation, and she was concerned that labor wasn't progressing. Once the water breaks, there is an increased risk of infection, and they would really prefer to have the baby delivered within 18 hours of the water breaking. By this time, I was about 6 hours into that 18. She suggested augmenting labor with a Pitocin drip, and it seemed like a better option to me to have a possibly more painful labor than to have to possibly send our baby to the NICU for monitoring and lab work later.

Once they started the Pitocin drip, I had to be on continuous monitoring, so I couldn't get up and walk around. The nurses knew that I was trying for an unmedicated birth, and they were fantastic cheerleaders, suggesting different positions and offering lots of encouragement. LB was a great coach and stayed very calm and relaxed. After 2 hours on the Pitocin, I'd only progressed from 3 to 4 cm dilated, which was slightly discouraging. The nurses told me that things could continue to progress this slowly, or I could be one of those people who "breaks all the rules" and goes very fast.

Upon due consideration, I'll take slow next time, because I went from 4 to 6 cm in 20 minutes flat. LB tells me I spent those 20 minutes gripping an emesis basin like a lifeline and that I told him to leave me alone. (I told him that if that's the worst thing I said in labor, we were in good shape.) At that point, I got a shot of something for the nausea and something to take the edge off the contractions, since they had turned the Pitocin drip up to 10. I was moving around too much for the fetal monitors to get a good pickup, so they had to insert an internal monitor, and that was fairly uncomfortable.

I labored in the rocking chair for a while, and this is the point where things get really fuzzy for me. I remember being in the chair and asking when I could have another shot to take the edge off, and the nurse telling me it would be another hour. At that point, I was starting to get exhausted by the contractions coming right on top of each other, and I knew I couldn't do it for another hour and still have anything left to push, so I opted for the epidural.

About all I remember from that is telling the anesthesiologist that I felt a twinge in my left hipbone and that his cell phone rang twice while he was putting the line in. Once the epidural was in, the nurses checked me, and they said, "Well, you did the hard part on your own; you're fully dilated already." Since the baby's head was still pretty high, though, they decided to let me "labor down" for an hour or so to get her head to come farther down. They turned the Pitocin down and let me rest for a bit.

By this point, my parents and LB's mom had arrived, and since I was resting pretty comfortably then, they all came into the room and sat and chatted about very little for a while. LB was laughing at my need to be a "good hostess" even in the middle of labor. (I say you can't take the South out of the girl.) The doctor came in to do an exam, so everybody stepped out. After the exam, she said, "Let's do a practice push," and LB stepped back in to discover that it was time to go. He sent a quick text to my dad that he wasn't coming back out!

I started pushing around 6:45, and in what seemed like five minutes but was actually 45, Elizabeth came into the world at 7:31 p.m. (20 inches long, 7 pounds 5.6 ounces. So much for the "you're having a big baby" theory.) LB told me the secret he'd kept for 18 weeks and five days -- "It's a girl!" While they were cleaning her up and getting me situated, LB ran out to share the news with the new grandparents. He couldn't decide initially whether to send a text or go out to the waiting room, because he didn't want to leave his family, but I asked him, "Don't you want to see their faces?" That decided him, and he popped out to share the news with them. (The grandparents went and hit up the gift shop immediately for pink things.)

We had time to bond and spend some quiet minutes together as a family once they got everything done, and they were some of the sweetest moments of my life. It felt so amazing to go from a family of two to a family of three!

The grandparents came in with lots of pink things -- a little bear lovey, roses, two beautiful dresses, chocolate chip cookies with a pink bow -- and then we moved on to the postpartum room. While we'd been in labor and delivery, the grandparents had toured the Waters Pavilion at Piedmont, and they decided that we needed to stay there and have the princess treatment. I'd highly recommend it to anybody. It's all two-room suites with a pull-out couch and a full bathroom in the second room, and they serve tea every afternoon.

My left leg was still pretty numb from the epidural, so it took a little while for me to get settled, but I finally got to eat something around 10 p.m. or so (tomato soup and mint chip gelato). LB and my dad ran back to the house to walk the dog and pick up stuff for LB to spend the night, and my mom and I called my two sisters to talk to them. LB came back, my parents left, and we spent the next while just looking at the amazing blessing that had just come into our lives.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home

Elizabeth Anne Grace was born on Wednesday July 16th, 2008 at 7:31 p.m.. In a bit of dovetailing, the car pulled out of the hospital parking lot and officially hit the road home on Friday July 18th at 7:31 p.m. as well. Mother, Father, Baby, and Dog are all doing well. (The dog has been QUITE concerned about this fussy little creature.) The whole story from hospital to home will be posted later this weekend with pictures. Right now, the family is settling in on it's first morning home.

God bless you all.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bets, Round 2!

1. Boy or girl?
2. Boy's name:
3. Girl's name:
4. Date and time of delivery:
5. Weight:
6. Length:

So far, the majority say boy!

No progress!

"No progress" from last week, says the doctor.

Except for feeling like a walking watermelon, I feel great. I'm sleeping 7 or so hours a night, I'm able to walk around (slowly), I can go out and run errands provided it isn't too hot...my only complaint is a severe case of impatience.

Oh well. It looks like we'll get to see The Dark Knight this weekend, which we've both been looking forward to seeing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Possibly Self Evident

Just a bit of trivia while we wait for the baby.

From the Wikitravel article on the North Pole:

"Most visitors to the North Pole head south next. "

Kind of self evident, one would think.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Still pregnant.

Doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back from the doctor

1+ centimeters dilated, 50% effaced, and the baby is head-down at -1 station. Thus saith the doctor. In other words, progress, but nothing's imminent.

Her bet is that I don't make it all the way to 25 July, but that I make it pretty close. I think I'll go ahead and make an appointment for a pedicure on Friday!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Waiting Game

Once that calendar changed from 36 weeks 6 days to 37 weeks, the waiting game started. The one where I, and I'm sure, every other first-time pregnant woman, analyzes every little twinge and twitch with an "is this it?!" feeling.

So far, it isn't "it." I'm still feeling mostly good, just having irregular mild contractions that don't turn into anything interesting. Most of my "must do before baby comes" list is crossed off, as is most of Logic Boy's list. We're just trying to wait and be patient and not get on the emotional roller coaster of "maybe this is it!"

In other news, one of my former students is now officially a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team! The baby and I will be watching her swim for the gold sometime in August.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nursery Photos - Almost Done!

Good afternoon everyone! I thought I'd post a few pictures of the progress we have made with the nursery. At this point, it is almost complete. Drapes are up, the furniture is arranged, clothes and supplies are put away. What is left to complete are to get a lamp shade, mount pictures on the walls, install the phone (ringer off by default), and other minor things.

When it is finally complete, I will post those as well. (I'll also get better at arranging them on here.)


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just Like New!

Conversations like this are completely normal in our household. I love this comic (http://xkcd.com/), as it is odd, and it makes me think. But today's comic was priceless.

Babies

Grammar Girl is 28. I'm 34. We still sit around and think "Kids? No Way! Seriously?" Apparently so, and apparently July 25 is the big day. However, I'm not sure it will go that long. My personal guess is on or about July 15th. I can't participate in the poll officially, but I gotta throw my hat in the ring somehow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Put your guesses here...

Now that Bean's arrival is a little more imminent, we thought we'd collect the guesses of friends and family about things like boy/girl, possible names, actual delivery date, and so on. If you want to play, post your answers in the comments section!

1. Boy or girl?
2. Boy's name:
3. Girl's name:
4. Date and time of delivery:
5. Weight:
6. Length:

(There might be prizes later!)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ultra-Sound and Ultra-Fine

Well, today was a big day. This was the follow-up appointment to the 20 week ultra-sound, and it's been a day long waited for. At the 20 week ultra-sound, I mentioned the problems with Choroid Plexus Cysts. If you don't remember, the link is here. Well, I did talk about how everything seemed okay, but we couldn't be SURE until the follow-up. Today was truly the "life or death" pronouncement, and happily we found out that the CPC's are gone. The baby is perfectly healthy and fine. The tech and doctor also checked the rest of the brain, the heart, and the kidneys, stating that most babies problems are in those areas. The baby is healthy in all locations and perfectly fine. The doctor said he was happy to "fire" us as patients.

While we had kept busy with other things, this had always been in the back of our minds. Scherza (also known as Grammar Girl) and I admitted to each other that we had both been very nervous. A great weight has been lifted, and it's amazing to realize how much it was weighing us down without even realizing it. The subtle pall of pain, the quiet melody of misery, while not loud, echoes like thunder with its absence. The rest of the day has really been a daze, and frankly I simply spent the night reading a book. Scherza/Grammar Girl spent it watching television.

It's nice to have those simple pleasures.

Oh...and the tech reiterated the sex of the baby to me. *wink*

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Busy Saturday!

Another big piece of furniture arrived for the nursery today: the dresser and changing top. Finally, furniture manufacturers figured out that an entire case piece specifically for changing babies' diapers isn't the most practical thing over the long term, so now they're making dressers that have detachable trays on top for changing pads. When the baby outgrows the diaper phase, the tray comes off and you have a normal dresser.

We spent about an hour or so in the nursery this morning putting together a side table and arranging books on the bookcase. I collected all the various baby and parenting books we've bought or received and put them in there. With the crib and the dresser and a few toys we couldn't resist buying in the room, it's starting to look like a real nursery -- which it will be in about four months!

I still have to make the bumper, crib skirt, and window shades, but once those are put together and the glider and ottoman arrive, the big nursery projects will be mostly completed. I'm hoping to have all of that done by late May/early June, but we'll see what happens.

Our other "lazy Saturday" projects involved house tidying, sheet changing and mattress turning, cleaning out files, and taking a carload of stuff down to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. As Logic Boy puts it, "Your idea of 'doing nothing' just means you get a lot of stuff done at a more leisurely pace." Which is probably true.

Friday, March 28, 2008

And So It Begins...

Let this be the first post of this blog. Grammar Girl and I are expecting a baby. This has been a hard road for us, filled with infertility, Clomid (the psycho supplement), prayer, waiting, hope, happiness, nervousness, and expectation. Here is where the family happenings will be. The big day is around July 25.

I cannot wait, and yet, I am scared some days, nervous others, excited on yet others. I guess this is normal.

Bean is what we are calling the baby for now. I know the sex, but I'm not telling anyone. Grammar Girl doesn't want to know. That's fine. It's a challenge to keep my knowledge from her, and I hope that I haven't spilled it yet. She knows that I know, and is about the only one not trying to trick me into revealing the sex.

I can confidently say it's a hoo-mon, err, human.

This blog was Grammar Girl's idea, and I am happy to go along with it. This will be our family blog for our family and friends to find updates. I have other blogs, some more private than others. If I know you well, you know my other blogs. There is so much I could put here, and perhaps I, or Grammar Girl will. But not yet. Right now, it's time for candy with Grammar Girl, the Bowden (our dog), and "Bean".

Take care!

--Logic Boy