Monday, December 29, 2008

She cut her first tooth!

Ladies and Gents...

Please let it be known that Jenna has officially cut her first tooth on December 26th. Although we were all placing bets on her upper right center tooth, she decided to fool us all and cut the lower right center tooth first. That thing is razor sharp and since it poked through, I've decided to stop letting her use my fingers as her favorite teething toy.

We've had a bad week of sleep and I'm putting the blame squarely on teething. She was up every 45 minutes to an hour and a half for 4 out of the last 7 nights. To say I'm running on empty is a bit of an understatement. We'll see how long this lasts. (1 year, 15 years?)

I'd love to share a picture of it with you but she doesn't let us peek at her lower chompers, hence why we didn't see it coming.

Christmas updates coming as soon as I have a minute to connect my camera(s) to my computer.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

6 month Photos

I have a confession. Ever since I found out I was having a girl, I've wanted to put her in a tutu for pictures. I knew that it wouldn't be appropriate until she was sitting up independently, so I *hoped* that would happen by her 6 month 'birthday' so her 6 month shots could include said tutu. I got my wish...

But first, the 'official' 6 month picture. I'm going to have to start taking this shot vertically, as she doesn't fit in the frame anymore! She's getting so, so big... *sniff*

And I just can't get enough of her little chubby hands and feet. You might remember the sweater she is wearing from this post. This is the first time I've put her in it and she continues to prove she has my long torso by wearing this sweater. The sleeves are long enough but it's a little short on her torso. I think in the future she'll wear it as a cardigan as opposed to just as a sweater.

And, the tutu. Originally, I had planned on her only wearing the tutu. But, thanks to the weather, it's cold outside and I thought the debut of the sweater would be perfect in this application. I'm overly pleased with how these pictures came out.

I've been working on my 'craft' (photography in this case) and when I posted a couple of pictures on facebook, I had more than a few requests to photograph some of my friends children. Although I'm still blushing from the comments, it's the little boost in ego I needed to keep picking up the camera to learn and grow as an amateur photographer.

I think she liked her tutu, do you agree? Tulle is a great backdrop and I might be tempted to go pick up a bolt of it for future shoots. Notice the drool... we're in full fledged teething mode... Nick and I keep singing to her "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth!" Those are the two coming in and she's been fussy due to them. So, although I cringe at the thought of her breastfeeding with teeth, I'd welcome them if they made her feel better.

This shot is the one I pictured in my mind just about a year ago. My little girl, sitting, smiling with frill galore...

This might be my favorite shot. So cute, curious and those eyes!

Ah, another picture of the drool...

Again, the chubby little toes... peeking out from the tulle. Oh, on the blanket I knit for her. Yes, these pictures were planned out well in advance, dripping with sentiment. Now, if only I could pick one or two to frame... any suggestions? Which is your favorite?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

6 Month Letter

Dear Jenna,

It's been quite a month. You're growing by leaps and bounds and I'm counting the days until you become mobile. Your personality is really shining through and we know we've got a happy baby on our hands. You love to giggle. Love to read (well, love books and paper in general), enjoy music and 'dancing'. You're like your mama in that you can't really sit still without getting bored and, in turn, you're keeping us on our toes. Your Pop mentioned this past weekend that you were born on the longest day of the year, and here we are celebrating your 1/2 birthday on the shortest day of the year.

We introduced solids this month... You've done pretty well with it. We weren't very good at being consistent at it up until the past week, but you're now getting better and better at eating and you seem to be enjoying the food. So far, your favorite is pears (what a shock, huh?) and your least favorite is rice cereal. I can't say I blame you.

Since it's December, you also got to meet Santa! You smiled for the camera and everything. Of course, seconds after this picture you told Santa what you really thought of him and spit up on him. Next year we'll see if we're this lucky (to have you *like* him).
This month also brought our first ER trip. Now whether the trip to the ER was necessary or not, I don't know but, in true "New Parent Fashion" we took you in, had everyone look at us like we were nuts, got a shot and some tylenol and were sent on our merry way. You did great, your Dad and I were beyond exhausted.

In terms of developmental milestones, you're hitting a good number of them. You can sit unsupported (and you love to sit!), you can stand and hold yourself up (as is apparent here), you're passing objects from one hand to the other with intent and you babble. Still no recognizable words yet (unless you count 'hi' or 'what' as we pretend to hear... but that just reminds me of when I was pregnant and 'trying' to feel movement and it ended up just being gas)
Your doe-like eyes makes your Dad and I melt. We would bend over backwards three times if you asked us to when you give us a look like below. Everything goes in your mouth now. EVERYTHING. Drool comes along with it. We've been blaming 'teething' on your fussy behavior for the last couple weeks and although we can see the teeth just below your gum line (both above and below) they haven't come through yet. So, we wait... and give you something to chew on at all times.

As for current events, I'm sick of hearing the word 'economy'. Everyone has tightened their belts, is trying to watch spending and increase savings. We're just trying to get by with the new expense of day care. We're doing fine, but with everyone freaking out about the economy and how terrible things are, it's just a bit scary. Gas prices have fallen to $1.65 this month. Quite a shock considering we were spending about $4.50 per gallon when you were born. What a difference 6 months will make, huh? We'll see where it goes from here.

This is obviously your first Christmas. We're so excited to have you here this time of year. I've been playing nothing but Christmas Music for you (who am I kidding, it's for me, too) and playing with you in front of the tree. This year's tree is as tall as the ceiling will allow as next year, you'll be mobile and anxious to grab at the lights, branches and ornaments. So, I hope you've enjoyed the 'big tree' this year.

Grandma and Pop came down this past weekend to celebrate an early Christmas. It was good to see Pop as he ended up in the hospital due to some chest pain. It was good to hug him and see the two of you together because life is so fragile and sometimes we need a bit of a scare to really appreciate that. Pop is the one that got me excited about photography. So, you can blame him for me always shoving that snappy thing in your face and trying to get you to smile.
He took the picture below. It's the first time I've really "seen" myself as a Mom. I continue to think I haven't changed all that much, but when I look at the picture (and the other one or two that go with it), I see "Janessa, the Mom". I'm so proud to be your Mom. To work my way through all that's going on and to do the best I can for you.

This month has been a doozy of emotions. A few highs, a good number of lows, but you being here makes everything better. Merry (early) Christmas and happy 6 months!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I've Learned...

I often do a series of these posts as they come to me. Unfortunately, this one comes to me for negative reasons. I made a big mistake. If you know of it, great, if you don't, here's what I've taken from the situations. I hope to teach Jenna some of these lessons to ensure she doesn't hurt others.

- I've always said to live life with no regrets. Though I don't regret what happened, I regret the way it happened.

-If you know me, at all, you know I say "everything happens for a reason". I really believe that. This is why I don't regret the situation. Though it's hard to imagine right now, something good will come of this, even if it's only to remind me to teach Jenna to be a good person.

- My grandmother used to say "Pretty is as pretty does" Though I hated that phrase as a child, it means so much to me now. One of the things I'd like to instill in Jenna is a positive self image. I have and had so many friends with poor self esteem throughout my lifetime and if there is one thing besides happiness that I want to give to my daughter, it's a positive self image and outlook. The most beautiful people are the kind people, the ones that will bend over backward for others without any expectation for something in return. And, I can tell you, in this world, that's a rarity.

- Beware of your Gemini twin. I'm a Gemini. I have a twin, I know her well. She's my most emotional side. My "knock down, drag out balling and gasping for breath" emotional side. She went on hiatus during my pregnancy and came out as snark most often. She's essentially the devil that sits on my other shoulder. I can most often ignore her, but there are times she speaks. It's not meant as an excuse, it's how I see it. Since Jenna is a Gemini (something I wanted for her) on the Cancer cusp, she has the potential for the emotions getting the best of her and leading her down paths that will hurt people. Which leads me to another 'rule' of mine:

- When you're emotional, or have had an emotional week (last week was a doozy, this week isn't much better), please, please, please wait 24 hours before acting out anything. It's just not worth it.

- When you do something wrong, take responsibility. Own your mistakes. It's the only way to learn from them.

- Watch who you rally with as once you're lumped 'together' doesn't matter what kind of person you are, you'll be associated with the behaviors of others.

- Learn who your true friends are. Sometimes adversity teaches us (very quickly) who is willing to see past your mistakes and who isn't. We all screw up. We all make mistakes, some bigger than others. If your friend kicks you when you're down, they were never your friend at all. If they say "Dude, you went too far" but give you a hug because they know you need it, hold on to them forever as they'll be there for you through good times and bad. If they just say "I still love you" (as two did for me yesterday) Thank them for understanding and still being there for you.

No comments are allowed in this post. Should anyone have anything to say, please email me at the address to the right. And, please keep in mind that I'm having a tough time. If that doesn't matter to you, I'm sorry.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's been a long week

My Dad's ok. His electrolytes were off resulting in him having the irregular heart beat and the low potassium levels. He's good. 

Jenna's doing much better and I *think* I've managed to dodge a cold. 

I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks, plenty of holiday parties and meeting up with friends and family. YAY! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So, she's sick. ER trip.

It's the first time she's really, truly been sick. And it stinks. It started with a cold, so we thought. A runny nose that we kept trying to pin on her teething (yep, still workin on those teeth, at this point, the top two and the bottom two are racing to break through we're not sure which tooth will succeed first, but they're all visible through her gum line) but the nose just kept running and running. Then came a bit of a cough. We decided to keep her home from Day Care because she was officially sick with a cold. 

Then, in the middle of the night, it got worse. She kept wailing in this screechy cry and threw these terrible sounding coughs in there, too. My poor baby. We called the advice line on Monday AM knowing they would tell us how to treat it (humidifier, steamy bathroom, plenty of fluids). 

She did better during the day and after talking to my Mom in the evening she asked if she had a fever. She didn't earlier in the day but as I was talking to my Mom I remembered her being on the toasty side last time I fed her. So I went and took her temp. 101.3. Crap. She continued her barky cry as I, again called the advice line. 

The woman was good, she asked me if it was a 'seal bark' cry and cough. She hit the nail on the head with that description. So, she set us up with a 'phone appointment' within minutes of the initial call to the advice line. 

The doctor called. He said it sounded like 'croup', something I had yet to hear of. So, he said to bundle her up and crack her window so she's breathing cold air as that can help with the symptoms (swelling of her lungs). Also, to continue with the humidifier, the saline spray and when it gets bad the steamy bathroom. *If it gets worse, give us a call back. 

So, it got worse. She woke up and we just couldn't help her go back to sleep, the steam didn't help, nothing did. I got back on the phone with the advice line (This is where it gets good)

I told the woman that it's gotten worse. She asked me "Well you saw the doctor, what did he do?" I told her we didn't see the doctor, we had a phone conference with him. "Oh, a PTE" I told her I didn't know what that was. She said "That means you met with him on the phone". Great. Thanks lady. I told her the doc said to call back should it get worse and if it didn't we had an appointment for 8:45 AM. "Can I hear her now?" I took her to Jenna. The woman FLIPPED OUT. She told me that the doctor should've sent us to the emergency room and, well she wasn't going to say much more because she wanted to keep her job. "That baby's lungs are too tight. You need to go to the Emergency Room right now. She's not going to last until 8:45"

Needless to say, I flipped. I started crying. This woman said my baby wasn't going to *last* until 8:45. OK, we're on the move. I put my shoes on and the phone rang. I picked it up it was the infamous woman from the advice line "Miss you're being recorded, how long will it take you to get to Walnut Creek?" I told her that after my husband puts on his shoes, 10 minutes. She proceeded to tell me "OK, I was going to tell you if it was going to take longer than that you need to call an ambulance." Ugh. 

We get there and of course Jenna stopped coughing and crying. She was just there, awake. I was grateful she was feeling better but felt stupid checking in with this calm baby to the ER at 11:30 at night. They took her in, weighted her (lol, as we were walking her naked from the scale to the initial room to take her temp and get her the super snazzy bands on her ankles, she farted with every step I took... it gave Nick and I a much needed laugh) took her temp (still high) and gave us a room. And we waited.... and waited. 

The nurse we had was weird. Just a bit odd. They said her lungs sounded great and after 2 hours, the doctor came in. Of course, before that Jenna did fall asleep once, but only for about 10 minutes before my favorite male nurse threw a sharp in our sharps container and woke her up... why he picked ours to drop it into, I have no clue. The doctor said she has croup but is on the mild end of the spectrum. When we told her the advice line woman advised an ambulance, she looked at us, and said "You didn't call the ambulance, did you?" No, no we didn't. 

Jenna got a shot of steroids and some tylenol. The nimrods that administered the tylenol and shot were trying to figure out the dosage of tylenol and both broke out their cell phones to use as a calculator. AND they checked their work between the two of them to see if they came up with the final result. I was too tired to question this behavior... but I was ticked. Then, when they gave it to her she SHOT 1.5 ml's into Jenna's mouth and of course she freaked out... then when we had calmed her down enough I asked her to give it to her slowly for the next 1.5ml... before I could finish my sentence she had squirted the rest in her mouth (so much that some shot back out of her mouth) and I yelled hang on! I tried to put my finger in her mouth so she could suck it and get the medicine down but the woman said "BLOW on her face!" 

Dude, lady... back off. I should've asked to give her the meds. Then, with the shot. She was standing there with Tweedle Dee and is reading from the screen "Left lateral thigh" and she pats her left lateral thigh (as if to show off this knowledge). I asked if it was possible to give it in her right thigh as it was already exposed... She had to do some searching in the computer but found it and promptly patted her right lateral thigh (seriously, this killed me). She went to give the shot and she announced "STICK!" when she got the needle in. She was slow and fumbling. Poor Jenna. Amateur night at the ER her first visit. It took a bit to calm her down. 
Of course, the minute we hit the car, she was out. Slept a good 3 hour block, woke to feed, down again. 

Her cough sounds a bit better this morning. Of course, when I went to my phone to call Irma, there was a serious message from my Mom saying "Call right away." I called. Last night, my Dad had some chest pains and *drove himself to the hospital*. He's currently being tested. A few skipped heartbeats and low potassium levels. He may have had a heart attack  but they can't tell yet. He's currently admitted in the heart ward of the hospital. It's been one emotional day, lemme tell you. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

one helluva giveaway!

Here! A custom clutch? REALLY?!?!? Go, enter... but I'll give you plenty of warning. I'm gonna win, I am, I am, I am!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

She can sit independently!

OK, it's Thanksgiving weekend and Jenna decided she's thankful for a new view of the world, from a seated position. That's all. I'm proud and excited.

When they say all the sudden they 'just do it' in regards to milestones, it's so right!

Today we're off to shop for a super comfy carpet so she can continue to 'test her balance' in the living room (with a bit of padding for the miscalculations).

5 months, 1 week

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Picture with Santa!

Every year when I was a kid, I looked forward to putting 3 things out at Christmas time. 1) my stocking (for obvious reasons) 2) my 'Baby's First Christmas' ornament (I still look forward to this) and 3) My Mom packed away and put out pictures my brother and I took with Santa for 2 years. It was so fun to look back at them as a kid.

This year, we got to take Jenna to see the man with the beard. She enjoyed herself so much after this picture, she spit up on his glove. When Nick said "Sorry Santa!" His reply "Eh, occupational hazard. We're used to it with babies"

So, looks as though she's not on the naughty list... at least not yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jenna loves to Party

So, I had the pleasure of attending Meg's baby shower. Jenna came along and did fantastic!

Above is a picture of her eyeing the cupcake. Apparently, she thinks now that she's had avocado suddenly ALL solids can be on her radar. The shower was beyond beautiful and we had a great time.

Thanks to Jennifer Kloss for the picture.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Introduction of Solids!

OK, so we officially started on solids! How exciting. First... start with a happy, slightly hungry baby: CHECK! 

Second, give her a little food on the high chair tray to play with and experiment with. CHECK! (we started with avocados) 
Third: offer the baby food on a spoon. Play this up, smile, make MMMM noises and open your mouth. 
See if baby accepts the food: CHECK! (mmmmmm) 

Continue even if the baby spits some out (she didn't spit much out, actually! This was a bit that she did) CHECK! 

Continue the feeding if she seems up for it: OK... 
End when they show the smallest sign of dissatisfaction or fuss (remember this is only for practice!) Then feed the baby the 'real' way: CHECK!

All in all, a pretty good experience. She did make a few 'yuck' faces which were pretty cute. Nick said it's because we started her on avocado and he thinks they're gross (too bad, babe!) Sweet potatoes are next week. In the meantime, I picked up one of these and I'm so excited about it! YAY for fresh baby food :)

5 months 1 day

Picture post!!

These are some extra shots I took after her official 5 month picture :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

5 month letter

Dear Jenna,

Where oh where has the time gone? You're now 5 months old. This month your personality continues to shine through. You're a happy baby, you smile for most, giggle for a select few and tears are fewer and farther between. 

Here's your official 5 month photo. I love taking these pictures each month as I can see the drastic difference in you since 2 months. As you can see in this picture, you're starting to sit (a little bit) on your own. It doesn't last long, but you're able to teeter between sitting upright and leaning against something. Sometimes when I try to get you to sit up and tall, you flop forward or backward. This picture, you decided you wanted to sit forward and show off for the camera. 

I love you more and more each day. We're starting to figure out the naps, when you're hungry, when you're tired, when you're angry and when you're bored. We're getting better at being parents. Though I still haven't totally come to realize I am, in fact, a Mom. I'm getting better at answering to that title but I think I'll really come around when you start saying "Mama"... there, I can repeat it for you if you'd like "Mama".  

Another sign you're growing up... we took this last picture in your bassinet prior to swapping out for the stroller frame. We still carry you in the infant seat at times, but you're much happier sitting up in the stroller instead. You're able to see more and interact with others. 

You continuously put a smile on our faces. I can have the worst day and the minute I pick you up from Irma's my day is better. I'm able to forget that the economy is terrible right now, forget that I have a to do list a mile long and I'm just able to be with you and I feel so accomplished, loved. 
You're getting a bit more consistent in the sleep department. Well, at least at night. We still have to guess during the day whether or not to put you down for a 4pm nap in hopes of getting you to stay up until 7pm without being cranky pants. It's always a roll of the dice. But at night, you're getting better. More consistent. You wake up twice a night (we're talking 6pm until 6am) and you only wake for a dream feed. So, they tend to happen at ~ 10 pm and 3:30 am. Of course, on the nights I want to get the most sleep, you decide to throw me for a loop and wake up every 2 hours. But, you do love your sleep. That brings me to sleepy cues. You've started a whole new slew of them lately. They include: thumb sucking (#1 cue!), burying your head in my chest (instantly makes me snuggle with you), blowing raspberries (yeah, not a fan of this one, spit goes everywhere!), becoming more 'talkative' (strangers think you want to play and I want them to leave you alone!) and lately, grunting. 

Your laughter. Your giggles. I've deemed them the cutest thing on the planet. So cute, so fun, so innocent. I'll do pretty much anything to make you laugh. I'll sing to you in a crowded target, dance like a goon and drop everything to come nibble on your cheeks just for a hint of that laughter. But, that being said, no one makes you laugh like Dad. No one. Just one glimpse of him puts you in a great mood, smile ready. Then, he makes a sound (doesn't have to sing or dance or anything!) and you're laughing. Of course, although I'm a bit jealous, nothing makes me happier. I love watching the two of you together. 

So, this month you've also discovered your tongue. And your feet. And your feet meeting your tongue. You're drooling all over the place, I keep thinking you're teething but lately I've given up on the tooth hunt because I'm convinced that you'll be pre-teething for at least a couple more months. Is it that or am I just fearful of your teeth coming in as a breastfeeding mother. Who knows. Either way, I'd like to keep the teeth tucked away in your gums for a bit longer and I'd like you to hold off on crawling. A mobile baby means Mama needs to baby proof. And I'm not ready for that. I like to control what goes in your mouth and ensure that Vinnie's (our chinchilla) poop stays far away from your mouth. 

My dear, I love you more and more each day. I love having you in my life, I love us as a family. You make my day complete and I'm still in complete denial you're as old as you are. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things I've learned...

I hope to keep this series up, but since this is only the second installment... well, we'll just see if I'm able to keep it up...

Things I've learned thus far about being a Working Mom.

- There will be days that I sleep past the alarm, have no recollection of the alarm going off and I am able to get ready to leave in 30 minutes including feeding, changing and giving J her medicine, putting makeup on, turn the dryer on (as to avoid wrinkled clothing) getting dressed, packing food for lunch and packing my pump parts. However, that 30 minutes doesn't include a shower (um, and I forgot the deodorant... but I have a spare at work). Today was one of those days.

- "Doing the best I can" is a lot of freakin work.

- Every minute of every day is scheduled. If you ask me what I'm doing at 6:20 am, it's changing J's diaper. At 8:30pm, I'm washing bottles and pump paraphernalia. 3:40 (my favorite) picking Jenna up from Day Care. 5:40 am until 10:15 pm is scheduled... (hell, even the night is scheduled with her wake ups...)

- I'm sick of using the word 'tired'. I don't think I'm really tired anymore as much as I'm just used to not being rested.

- I actually still enjoy the night time feedings. She's so beautiful and peaceful. It's so quiet and un-rushed (unlike the rest of my time).

- Nick is so supportive. Having a husband that's super supportive is *so* key. I don't know what I'd do without him.

- There is no such thing as a clean house. Unless, of course, you're able to hire a housekeeper, which we're not. But, my Mom comes to visit and while Jenna's napping she cleans for us. (I could never figure out how to make that work). Thanks to her, the house gets a deep scrubbing once a month.

- I'm dreading Jenna crawling just because I'll have to vacuum much more frequently. And baby-proof.

- A pony tail is a cop-out and one I use quite frequently.

- Wearing my glasses serves 4 functions: 1) um, I can see at a distance better 2) hides the dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep 3) If I don't have time to wear makeup, you can't tell as much with glasses on. 4) Any outfit automatically looks more professional when I put my glasses on.

- Decaf coffee doesn't wake me up, but it tastes good and aids in digestion. ;)

- I don't love work like I used to. My mind wanders easily, I get distracted with my ever growing to do list (work related) I can't focus on a single task. I'm still happy I'm working, but I'm wondering if the lack of focus is due to the lack of sleep or just a new "life". Work used to be my life... (there's an old blog post about it, but I can't find it... ) Now, work is merely a part of my life. It's a weird dynamic for a Type A, self proclaimed work-aholic...

Monday, November 17, 2008

DIY exchange!

OMG! How lucky was I!?!?! Heather from Angel Face Designs picked me and sent Jenna and I all this super cute garb! I've been wearing my bracelet and necklace non-stop since it hit my mailbox on Friday.
I participated in a "DIY exchange" with a group of local Mom's. I'm making something for someone (um, not completed yet... pics after they receive it and guess who I am) and someone gets me... Heather got me! How cute and personalized, too! The 49er girl necklace is credited for the 9ers winning their game this past weekend (woot!), we have matching bracelets (hers isn't in the pic, she was wearing it) it's the pink one. I'm currently wearing the necklaces stacked as shown in the picture... all in all, I'm so in love with my new jewelry, thanks Heather!
Now... I've got to finish my end of the bargain! Goal is to get it done by Wednesday! Keep me honest! (I still have a bit of work to do on it!!!!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can I keep her like this forever?

My heart melts daily. She laughs and giggles, a *real* genuine laugh. She has the best toothless grin. She's interactive, loving, snuggly, fun. Long gone are the days with endless crying fits. Now, even if she's tired, she tends to bury her head in my shoulder and rub her face there as if to ask me "Mom, please put me to sleep. I want to rest so I can wake up and play with you again". 

We haven't started solids. She's shown plenty of signs she's ready, but I'm not. I feel like the minute I start the whole world will change. It's an extra 'thing' to tend to and prepare while traveling. It's something else to remember. That being said, I can't wait to have the pictures of food everywhere. But, for now. I wanna keep her as is. Freeze time. 

Oh, this video was taken when we went to the pumpkin patch.! 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Historic Election

So, as I noted in this post, the election has come and gone. We were super excited to bring Jenna along with us to vote. Nick and I have always gone together to vote. I *like* going to the polls. I feel like I'm participating. So, this year she came along. I threw her in the Moby and we walked into our polling place.

She did relatively well. I was boucing a bit to keep her quiet when she started to squak but, for the most part, she did well. However, while in the booth, I was going to flip my page and I felt something wet... Jenna spit up on my 'reciept', a little on the folder my ballot was in (oops!). Apparently that's what she thinks of politics. Normally, I feel the same way. But this election is so exciting.

For two reasons (for me). 1) the first African American President has been elected to office. It's amazing that it'staken our country this long to get someone else in the oval office besides some old white guy. Reason #2 is a little disappointing. Californians voted to change our state constition to dictate that marriage only be allowed between one woman and one man. I'm so disappointed (the nicest word I can come up with right now) that our state has taken two steps back in terms of being "progressive" while our country has taken a giant leap forward by electing Barack Obama.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Jersey!

We had a great trip to New Jersey. I have a couple of pictures taken at the airport, but I'll update those later (on the iphone, not on the little point and shoot).

In any case, Jenna traveled really well to New Jersey. She wasn't too fussy and when she arrived at Nana and Tot's house, she was happy, giggly and excited to *not* be sitting on Mom or Dad's lap anymore. We had a good time. The trip was short, but meaningful.

Wednesday we arrived. Let the eating begin! I was super excited as normally I get a stomach ache each day I'm there from the amount of food being "offered" (read: forced) to us. This time, due to the nursing, I was hungry!

As usual, pictures are out of order (this time they loaded in reverse order) so I'll talk about the trip and caption in reverse chronological order.

Here's Jenna as squirt at the wedding! Nick's cousin Larissa got married on Halloween. We happened to be there (and were invited, we didn't invite ourselves!) so we went. We put her in her costume for the first part of the reception, but it was too warm for her, so it only lasted a short while.
Here's Jenna, Nick's Mom, Me and Nana (Nick's Grandma) at the wedding (in her dress, she had many outfit changes on Halloween).
This picture is the primary reason for wanting to head to New Jersey. Nick's grandfather (Tot) had a quadruple bypass and a valve replacement (along with stints galore) this past summer, shortly after Jenna was born. We wanted to make it out to New Jersey so Nana and Tot could meet their first Great Grandchild. I have pictures of when I was a baby and I got to meet my Great Grandmother shortly before her passing. I still cherish those pictures. So, we took this one (along with many others) of Jenna and Nana and Tot.

Thursday morning (we arrived Wednesday) I was holding Jenna in a recliner and Nana came out to grab her from the bassinet. When she looked in the bassinet she seemed a little panicked then looked over at us. She told me to go back to sleep and she'd care for Jenna since she was awake. When I came into the kitchen, this is what I found:

Nana got Jenna a little 'First Halloween' outfit and put it on her. What you can't see is that she just put it right over the PJ's she was wearing from the night before. Needless to say, she got a little warm and we had to pull those off.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Tot and Nana are known for encouraging eating of all kind. If we lived in New Jersey, I'm sure Jenna would've already started on solids unintentionally because Tot would've fed her while we weren't looking. Luckily, we had Nick's parents watching her the entire time and the only time she ate was when I fed her. However, if you look at this picture, Jenna's going for the little 'witch' shoe which happens to be filled with peanut m&m's. And, who's encouraging!? Tot. This was within 20 minutes of our arrival to New Jersey.

So, all in all, the trip was good. Here's the list of what we did in order:
Wednesday: flight, we arrived. Jenna was social and happy then went to bed. We ate a ton.
Thursday: Up in the morning, Jenna got her special 'first Halloween' outfit from Nana. A big breakfast, shopping with Nana and Nanny. Nick and Poppie went to McDonald's with Tot for his daily gathering with other people to 'talk about the medical treatment' they're getting (read: daily gossip hour). We went out to a late lunch, then went to Aunt Ginette and Uncle Jerry's to visit. We ate a ton throughout the day.
Friday: Wedding day! (for Larissa). We got up, ate a huge breakfast, and all got ready. We drove down to the shore for the wedding, risking our lives in Nana's car with Nana driving. An example, we pull up to pay the toll and she rolls down the back window. Nanny had to pay the toll because Nana was confused (ugh). I ended up driving us home. Oh, and we ate a ton today. (Are you detecting a theme?)
Saturday: We were slow to wake up, ate a huge breakfast then waited for Tot to get back from McDonald's. We went to lunch at a diner and Jenna was a little fussy from minimal naps the two previous days. Then, we went to the craft fair. Oh, did I mention she hadn't pooped since the plane ride? Well, while at the craft fair with Nana and Nanny (have I confused you yet?) she started grunting away while in the Moby. Poor thing. She eventually had a little poop but was so tired. Finally, we went home, put her down and we ate a ton. Nina (Nick's Aunt) and cousins came over for a visit along with Olga and John (Nanny's cousins). It was good to visit with everyone and to be surrounded by family.
Sunday: Up early and flight back. Today, we did not eat a ton, thank goodness!
We decided it's a good thing we don't live in New Jersey. If we did, Nick and I would be at least 10-20 lbs. heavier. However, that being said, it was nice to be surrounded by family for 4 days. It's hard to imagine living in such close proximity to all the family as we just don't have that as an option. With Nanny and Poppie living ~ 2 hours away and Grandma and Pop living in Arizona (and Reno, but that's another post entirely) we just live spread out. It's good because when we get to visit it's all very exciting and we have every minute planned but I'm bummed that we can't have a longstanding "Sunday Dinner" with extended family. In any case, the trip went well. I'm so excited she got to meet her Great Grandparents, second and third cousins and many, many others.

4 months

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween costume(s)

OK, this year Jenna has 2 costumes. Yes, she's spoiled. But it's for a good reason. With me being out on maternity leave, I haven't been to the offices I "market" (i.e. schmooze) to in a long time. So what better way to come back and say hi than with my baby wearing a ridiculous costume while bearing candy? So, because of that, I had work pick her up a costume... she's a really cute flower: 
Now, her "real" costume (as in the one that we bought for her and she can't spit up on it until Halloween) was Squirt, the baby sea turtle from the movie Finding Nemo

How adorable is this:

Now, when we first placed her on her belly for some pictures, this is what we were greeted with. She didn't move for a few seconds and Nick said "You've got to move her! She's going to suffocate!" Needless to say, she moved for the above pictures, but this one makes me laugh...