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!