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