Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Forget the stress and give as many hugs, kisses, and cuddles as you can this year. They make us feel rich and young and loved. The outside world seems so silly when you have real love at home.


Oh and enjoy the pics below of some of our holiday shenanigans and the impossibility of taking a good photo with a 7-month old as the model . . . Although I have to admit that a 7-month old model makes even the outtakes look pretty dadgum cute.

MXMB Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's 5 days before Christmas

And 7 months since Amelia was born. I've never felt so alive or joyful during the holidays as this year. The stats: Miss A is measuring in the 75th percentile for both height and weight. Sitting up. Talking. Teething. Eating. Sleeping. . .? Well, there is always room for improvement right? She is still on medication for reflux and still allergic to dairy, but all are being managed much better than before. We are over the hump for the first year and, quite frankly, that makes me a little sad. I can't wait to see her grow and look forward to the future, but am so enjoying her now. She smiles and laughs easily, sits up and entertains herself, sits on my hip, and loves her mommy and daddy. . . She's old enough to distract easily, but young enough to keep in one place. She's amazing.

Dear Santa

As you know Santa, I have been a good baby this year. I have caused much alarm for Mommy and Daddy since about mid-May, but never because I was being naughty--I promise. I know that you've probably noticed my new fake cry and temper tantrums, but those are for fun and never used to hurt anyone. Yet. I am a baby with simple needs, Santa and I can't help it if I get upset when my toys are taken away. . . and by toys, well, you know that I am not picky as long as it fits into my mouth. I prefer the most dangerous 'toys' because they make my parents flail and yell. If I can't get anything scary to put in my mouth, I will take a really big and loud toy. I can sit up now and bang on things with other things (please make sure that the banging things can also fit in my mouth, friend.) I could also really use a smaller water bottle, Santa. They think I can drink out of this huge thing and well, they just don't know any better.

I think Mommy could also use some photography lessons this year. She tries and tries, but just isn't very good at getting my best face sometimes.
Speaking of Mommy, she wants for me to be off my meds soon, Santa. I like my medicine because it tastes so yummy, but sometimes my parents forget to give it to me and I have to scream at them, so maybe it would just be better if I didn't need it at all. You know, for their sake. Oh and Mommy also asked me to tell you that she really needs more regular sleep at night, but I honestly don't understand why that is so important to her. I do just fine without much sleep sometimes, so maybe we should just get her a haircut? Heaven knows she could use it, Santa.
Love, Amelia

Friday, December 19, 2008

When bad outifts happen to good babies

This is what we call a "Daddy Special" in our house.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Behind the scenes of a photo shoot

It's not all glitz and glamour, you know. Models are just like everyone else--they drool, talk to themselves, and snort every once in a while.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One way ticket to hell, please!

I am pretty sure there is a special room for mommies like me . . .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings

It's a complete zoo in our house and to reflect the chaos that is our home, this blog will have no reason or structure.
Why the zoo, you ask?
Well, in addition to the spastic energy brought on by the holidays and the semester's end (synonymous in my world), Brother Luke had surgery the day after Thanksgiving. With lots of stitches, he can't be left alone without this:

Poor, sad Luke.
When we are home, we leave the nasty cone aside and prefer to keep him in a T-shirt:

Justin cut the neck and sleeves, so Luke looks more like the Hulk than the poor, sad puppy that he is.
Well, when you put a shirt on Luke, Sister Mollie, comes over, sits down, and looks at you like this:

So then you're left with only one choice:

Add in the baby-who-is-still-learning-to-sleep-without-restraints, and you've got yourself a nice cocktail of getmethehellouttathisjoint. Although, I do have to say that Miss A is some kind of mini genius or something because she has picked up on the sleeping adjustment quite well. We now catch her on her tummy, back, and most often, on her side sleeping. That left thumb is quite the life saver! The worst is over with that scenario, though I am sure we will start over when she learns to sit up on her own or stand in the crib. Oh and while I am thinking about it, did I mention previously that reflux babies need/prefer swaddling more than 'normal' babies? Add that to the Maniac Baby Syndrome with which Amelia is also afflicted and cast your judgments aside! lol.
And speaking of mini geniuses, did you know that our little maniac can do this?
Yes, she's been drinking out of a cup for over a month. She's pretty clever, that one. Maybe she spent all those months screaming for countless hours because she was smart enough to realize to whom she'd been born and the home she'd have to live with?
Her sitting up is coming right along. In fact, you can put it in the books: Sitting Up? Check!

If you know me one iota, you are thinking that this is an unusually pink outfit. You're right. It is. But if you see the whole thing, you'll know why I couldn't resist the ensemble when I saw it in *gasp* Costco.

Tell me she doesn't look like a forty-something crafty shopper in Michaels on coupon day with her baggy sweatshirt and leggings!
Oh and she did this today for the first time:

If you're going to put your foot in your mouth, you might as well go full gusto and do it half naked. Seriously, you could learn something from this kid.

Maybe we should put the mini genius thing on hold for a bit . . .

And lastly, just because she woke up like this and had a fabulous Sunday, I had to share.

What monkey on my back?
There really is no such thing as getting enough of that smile. It comes on in waves, and just when you think it won't get any bigger, her mouth opens, tongue goes out, nose wrinkles, and eyes close. It's the cutest farking thing I've ever seen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

When you're buying a puppy

They tell you to find the most active of the litter and make the excited ball of fur your next family member. In 'selecting' (er growing?) a child, the same is not true. While nobody wants a dud of a kid ('Do something already!'), one should really be careful in wishing for an active baby. When we had our first ultrasound to determine that indeed a baby was responsible for my various flu-like ailments, Amelia was but an embryo, a tiny peanut-looking image on the grainy screen. Not quite a person yet, but enough to let us breathe a sigh of relief and immediately send out holiday cards with our announcement. Something else happened that day during the ultrasound. Something very prophetic. As we all looked at the screen, the peanut thing began vibrating across the page. We all jumped. It's Aliiiive! Justin and I laughed because it was the coolest thing we'd ever seen and because we were still nervous from the wondering. The OB on the other hand, raised her eyebrows in warning. "WOW! That's a VERY active 9-week embryo." Ha, ha, we laughed. And then she repeated it a few more times, "VERY active." It began to sound a bit solemn. "It's VERY rare to see a 9-week embryo move like that. . . That's a VERY active embryo." hm.
Then, throughout my pregnancy, we laughed at the maniacal kicks and disco-ing taking place under my tummy. We felt the baby move from the outside months before most moms feel it from the inside. Cool, we thought. We get the active pup from the litter!
So naive were we. See, the maniac embryo becomes a maniac fetus, and a maniac baby. I can't speak for childhood yet, but I'm guessing the maniac-ness does not dilute over time. In any case, as you all well know, we have struggled with Amelia's sleep and needing to be restrained, errrrr, swaddled in order to rest. Nobody believed us when we told them how she just would NOT sleep unless bound tighter than the Thanksgiving Day paper. All babies grow out of this, we were told. And again, (as with everything else), our baby child does not fit in with the group, "all babies." Now that she knows how to roll over, it's impossible to do the simplest things such as change her or go to the bathroom for a couple seconds. As soon as you set her down, she is gone. We were initially able to deal with this by swaddling her legs and keeping her in a sleep positioner. Yeah, until she managed to flip herself over in the positioner and then proceed to scream because she was stuck on her tummy. Some babies can just fall asleep wherever, on their tummies or in any which way, but not ours. . . Once she learned to roll within the positioner, the contraption became completely useless to us and we again found ourselves realizing that we no option but to go cold turkey.
Needless to say, it was a looong night. So long in fact, that it still feels like yesterday to me. This is one battle through which I can't help her. I tried rescuing her every time she got stuck, to only have her continue to roll as soon as I left. There is no rescuing to be done as this is something she has to figure out. I've tried everything. So today has been a battle because her busy little body will not her rest. I nurse her, read to her, sing to her and set her in her crib. Two seconds later, I see legs abound over the top of the rails, her lovey flying through the air. She's yelling and rolling and struggling. There aren't tears, just frustration and exhaustion--of which I feel too.
I foresee a continued struggle with this change, but am confident that she will be better off for her accomplishment. Finally this afternoon, I found her like this

It will not last but a few minutes, but it is progress. Up since 3 this morning, I am holding out hope in this tiny step forward. . . and already hearing the future, "what a climber!" "boy she can run!" "wow, you can't take your eyes off that one!" . . . all the while remembering the foreshadow of a skilled doctor on our innocent new parenting selves.

Apple Hill

Not much time/energy to post a long update, but wanted to get this pic up. It's from Apple Hill a couple weekends ago and a new mommy favorite.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Amelia

Thanksgiving blinkie Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The quality of this vidoe is not the greatest. It was taken on my digital rather than video camera. I still need some firewire-thingamajig to get the video camera deal to meet and hook up with my computer. They are currently not speaking. Oh and I don't know how to edit and don't want to take the time to learn when I have to relearn with the video anyway, so that's that. Introducing the jumping, laughing baby. For extra giggles, watch her feet!

Thanks for the early xmas gift grandpa!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Operation Un-Swaddle: Part Two--Total Freedom

The first stage of OUS went much better than expected. After the first night of 45 minutes of sleep and then a long day of painful 'napping,' the little bugga figured it all out--and slept through the night thereafter (or until teeth as the case may be). We still wrapped a blanket (or two) around her legs because of her constant kicking and stomping, to keep her warm, and to keep her safe as she hadn't yet mastered the whole roll over thing. She's also been in a sleep positioner this whole time as well. I know it's shameful, but it's safe and keeps her snug and well, Justin is as paranoid as possible about her sleeping as it is. Once she started rolling one way consistently, I knew the time was near, but kept her bound. I could just see the nights of having to go rescue her from her tummy every time she rolled over and got herself stuck.
Well now that she can roll all the way, it's time. IT'S TIME for the child to be free to get into a position of her own choosing to sleep. . . much to her father's dismay. This morning he found her, in her sleep positioner, wrapped from the waist down, and with half her body on the tummy and the bottom half still on her back. IT'S TIME.
So here I sit. . . listening to her struggle in her crib. She doesn't need me, but needs to work it out. She's not used to the freedom and though it's a good thing for her and she fights the snugness, now she's at a loss without it. She's wrestling around in there and grunting and everything that is not sleeping. I figure she hasn't napped a wink in the last few days anyway, so may as well go for it. If we don't do it now, I am going to go in there someday and find her standing up in her crib, wrapped from the waist down. Or better yet, find her on the floor of her bedroom after fastening her swaddle blankets together and climbing out of her cell like a felon. . . and just as we applaud all of the amazing changes babies make so quickly, they are exactly what make being a mommy so hard. Nothing ever just settles in or gets easy. You never get a chance to get comfortable in your own knowledge, experience, schedule, or rest. In fact, as each stage becomes more fun and doable, so too they become more complicated and difficult.

The Baby and the Mommy

Prof. M.O.M.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Life and Times of a Six-Month Old

It's a special some one's half-birthday today! It's ridiculous how quickly the last two months have flown by. We have hit a really cool stage with Amelia--she is stable and sturdy to carry and set down, she can sleep much better (usually), she smiles and laughs, interacting all the time, and yet can't run away yet. She's still a baby but without so many of the stresses of newborns. It's so fun, being her mommy.
Now that she's 6 months old, it's time for Amelia to get down to this learning business. Not one for incremental learning, she rolled from back to front for a few days and then went straight to steam rolling. Three days after the first tooth appeared, it was followed by its twin. It also appears that at least one other tooth is sounding the horn and about to dock. (I say this because we were up last night for several hours again and miss half-birthday-girl has had a heck of a day.) She went from toppling in a second to sitting as a tripod overnight. Nothing gradual in this house! Might be time to baby proof. . .
As for my thoughts on this time. . . The teething cycle is really the stuff of legends. They cause misery long before they arrive and by the time you know what was causing the pain, it's gone, leaving mom and dad in a puddle of guilt for not knowing earlier and being more sympathetic. . . and then as soon as it's gone, the first symptoms are back and you find yourself wondering, "Is that another tooth? Or is it something else?" Just like with everything else, it's a constant guessing game and the answers are only revealed after the exam. . .
Life and Times. . .

Family Times (here with my beloved Aunt Sharon and Uncle Ray)

It's a Toof Life

The Sophisticated 1/2 year old

New Tricks

This is how we roll

Chairs are for punks!

Okay, so we're still working on this one
Friendly Tales

It's that time again!

Seriously Mom, this is totally for babies!