Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm caught up!

Here are some pics just cuz it's Tuesday and I am caught up for the week already! YAY for naptime and for baby girls who sleep for 12 hours (woot!) through the night!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Irony of Amelia

Though I am sure there will be many, Amelia's current irony is the inability to put a cheerio in her mouth. (To be honest, we use Trader Joe Oh's.) Considering the baby child puts damn near everything conceivable (and many things not so conceivable) in her mouth, it's a cruel twist of fate that won't allow her to get actual food in there. Well maybe not so much a twist of fate as much as a developing Pincer Grasp (the ability to pick something up between thumb and forefinger).

It goes like this: Amelia picks up an Oh between her thumb and finger. It rolls into the "o" formed by said fingers. She brings the whole thing to her mouth. Opens mouth. Shoves fingers in mouth. Oh sticks to fingers. Begins chewing. Removes hand. Drops Oh. OH! Dogs run over. Dogs eat Ohs.


She is getting better and lands her Ohs about 50% of the time. Ohs are really just a hop, skip, and a row of teeth away from table foods. I can't believe we are here already. . .

Speaking of teeth, do you think Amelia is teething?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A momentous day for the books

This post was originally written on 1/20 but I didn't have time to load pics and all. . . and well, you know what time does to a person. Remember me talking about missing the little things once work kicked in? I guess we can count the blog as the first official collateral damage. bah.

You know what I'm talking about--Amelia turns 8 months old today! (And you thought I was talking about our new president! He deserves a shout out--the Inauguration was amazing and I feel so fortunate that my baby was here to witness the event.)

Today, Amelia is around 19 pounds (yowza!), still blue eyed (I think they'll stay!), and getting a thick mane of soft, light brown hair with golden and auburn hues that sweeps across her forehead in the perfect bang swoosh. She has two bottom teeth that she loves to show as she wrinkles her nose. She sits up and digs through her toy bucket, quietly entertaining herself for long periods. She can get from Point A to Point B without batting an eye and without any one particular mode of transportation. She's beginning to realize that her body offers freedom when manipulated properly. She can pull her knees under her and push up on her arms, but not yet at the same time. It's only a matter of days before it all comes together and everything in our world changes. She loves smiling at strangers and blowing raspberries at anyone who talks to her, but has developed separation sadness and reached out for me from a friend's hold this weekend for the first time. She babbles constantly, moving through her constinents, gagas, nanas, babas, mamas, and dadas. It all sounds like practice and unintentional, until I realized that whenever she's whining, all she says is, "maaaaaaaamaaaaaa." Today, I passed her on to Justin and she started whining and saying, "mamamamama." (To be fair, I'd been at work, so she was missing me and hungry more than not wanting Justin.) I think she's making the connection there. All told, she's exactly as she should be now that she's been out of my body for as long as she was in it and only 4 short months before turning one. ONE!

Now that it's been 4 months since she began feeling better, I suppose I'll have to come to grips with our experience and put pen to paper (fingertips to keyboard?) about it all. Someday. Soon. I suppose.

In any case, here's to 2/3 of a year!

Photo disclaimer: I usually try to get pics each month that demonstrate her at that moment, whether it's holding something or sitting or smiling, her newest skills are front and center. This month, I tried and tried to get a great pic, but to no avail. Not only was I trying to take pics between getting home after one class and leaving for another, but the child does not sit still! Does. Not. Sit. Still! In the end, I realize that her running away from half the shots
is her newest skill. Doesn't make for great pics, but that never stopped me before!

And one, two, feeeeel the burn!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Double-Dog Dare You

Not to smile when you see this. The clicking you hear is Miss Mollie jumping for her toy. It gets Amelia every time. There is something about those dogs. She loves them to no end. And remember, smiling is strictly forbidden here on the Amelia blog. Violators will be subjected to many a wet-noodle lashing. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wouldn't you know it?

I came home from school Tuesday feeling an exhiliration and confidence not experienced recently. I drove home thinking to myself, "I can do this!" It was nice to be back in the classroom and on the campus I love, complete with the guitar-playing circle in the quad--just where I left it. The morning went great and Justin and I made the switch as soon as I got home. It was a good day, though I was exhausted. . . and wouldn't you know it? Our kid, the precious, sweet girl who has slept through the night beuatifully since, well, I complained about her sleep on this very blog. . . she woke up at 11:15. And stayed up until 2! I managed to about an hour and a half of sleep in that 22 hour period and woke up yesterday with much to do for my online classes. My "I can do it" cries faded into whisper, a wimper, and finally into a mockery of my first-day confidence. I believe the wicked ways of the teeth are upon us again, but only time will tell.

Onto the child. . .

We saw our friends Megan and Molly this week! Amelia, having had her shots the day before and losing her mommy to a group of students as well as missing a nap, was a little out of sorts. She pretty much looked at Molly like this the whole time they were together:

I wonder if she's an introvert? This is a common face when she's around new friends--and this after Molly ran over, said "hello!" and gave Amelia a toy!

Hm. What do you see in this picture?

Look closer

In all truthfulness, she's been an escape artist since the first time a nurse *tried* to swaddle her in the hospital, so we can't exactly color ourselves surprised or anything. Although it does make her crib look like a cell when she does that. She thinks she's soooo funny.

Is it possible that a baby can be too close to her puppies?

Yes. She picks things up with her mouth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The World's Biggest Understatement . . .

Working Mom.
So it begins.
School starts tomorrow and this is no soft transition! I will be teaching a full load by next week and by the end of the semester, will have classes on three campuses, online, in the morning, evening, and on Saturday. I thought for sure I'd be the mom who'd feel relief at heading back to the real world and the career I worked so hard for . . . but I'd be lying if I said that I feel ready. I'm not ready! It's true that I love my job very much and feel lucky to be me on most days. However, I have found a happiness at home, in family, and in my soul of which I never dreamt before. There's something settling about going back to basics and focusing on loving those near you, on giving hugs and kisses, and laughing at all things silly. I know I'll pull it off and reclaim my passion for the classroom, but I've so enjoyed getting to know the mother in me before everything else gets in the way. Someone reading this may misinterpret: I am not worried about being away from Amelia. Of course I'll miss her dearly. She's my little shadow, my appendage (in more ways than one), but I know she'll be fine and I'll enjoy a little space too. It's not that I can't leave her. I just don't look forward to the pace that scoops us all up and throws us about until we forget the important things. We stress about getting the laundry done and grading papers and making meetings until we resent the simple pleasures as additional tasks on the never-ending list of to-dos. I don't mind the extra work (and it IS extra work when a mom has to hold down a paying job), but I just don't want the distraction away from what's most important to me.

In other news, the Punkin had shots today. We pitied her all day in anticipation and then she didn't shed a tear! Such a big, strong girl! We were so very proud of her and quite impressed with her nonchalant attitude about the whole incident. I am pretty sure it was harder on Justin and I than she--who laughed and kicked as soon as they were done. Oh and it's important to note that I am very pleased that we split her 6-month shots into two segments. She's appeared to have much better reactions to them than with the 4-month round (in case anyone out there is thinking about splitting them--I wish I'd done it sooner!).

Another highlight of worthiness is that we had a big day last week! We went to Trader Joes and Miss A rode shotgun in the cart! Hallelujah! I can't even describe how this tiny milestone is going to improve my life. I have pics, but please read first paragraph for an explanation of why they are not with this post. In any case, she loved being able to look around and charm many a smile out of every passerby and I loved (loved, LOVED) being able to purchase more than I could carry with my two hands.

Oh and the mister and I had our first night out this weekend as well. It was fun, exhausting, and necessary. It was time. I could barely stay awake and spent most of the night covering my post-Amelia "assets" so as to not offend anyone, but it felt nice to step away too. I guess we will actually have to leave her at some point, so it's all in good practice. Although the little sassy pants gave my mom a run for her money with bedtime.

At least it's not just us!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Now Introducing . . .The One-Baby Show

I fear this may be one of those clips that is only entertaining to Amelia's parents. It's ridiculously redundant--and if you wait for something to get exciting, you'll be disappointed--but it cracks me up every time. Notice how serious she is. . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tales from the crib

Everyone talks endlessly about exhaustion and sleep when you are pregnant. It's annoying really, "Get your sleep NOW while you can." There's an air of condescencion in the statement and really, a sense of glee that miserable, tired parents are about to gain new members. (I vowed while pregnant never to give advice/comments/otherwise to new or about-to-be-new parents. They really will just have to wait and see anyway.) Anyway, everyone says these things and you know it's coming, but you assume that it will be for the first few months. Of course newborns don't sleep long--their little bellies empty quickly and need refilling. It makes sense, even if it does just about kill the nursing mommy who never gets more than an hour of sleep for the first 4 weeks. oof. Nobody really talks about what happens after those first few months, with exception to those parents who say things like, "We've just been really lucky. Little Johnny is just a great sleeper." It's so annoying really, but those are the only ones who really speak of the sleep "issue." We've let others make us believe most recently that we are crazy sleep enforcers in our house and too protective of bed times and nap times. That sleep really isn't that big of a deal. No matter that these things come from non-parents or those with Johnny-sleeps-a-lot kinds of kids. Just when we were starting to question ourselves for never going anywhere past 6 pm and planning our days around naps, I began talking to my friends with babies. Guess what I found? They don't go anywhere either. Their kids sleep even less than ours! That exhaustion is so complete a physical ailment that it also becomes a psychological one too . . . and most importantly, nobody cares more about baby's sleep than mommy. Mommy, for whatever reason, is the one who loses sleep 95% of the time, exhausted 100% of the time, and worry-free about baby's sleep 0% of the time. (This is true for nursing, nonnursing, working, and stay-at-home mommies.)

But I digress.

Amelia was an amazing sleeper for a couple months. She got up only once a night from the time she was a couple weeks old and even that was at the same time every night. She took 3 hours naps, fell asleep on my chest (or anywhere) and, preferred her crib over anything else (every parent's dream!). Even when things were really bad and she'd scream for 7 hours, she'd sleep through the night. Then she went on Prevacid. It erased all of her sleep associations and habits. Since going off the med., we have done just about everything to regulate her sleep. Ritualized bedtime routine? Check! Scheduled naps? Check! Solid foods? Check. Sleep training? Check! Good sleep associations? Check! Sleep? Sleep? SLEEP?!

It's taken me a long time to get over the lucky baby we had at the beginning and come to the realization that we have an officially tough-to-sleep baby. A crap-napper for sure and still struggling at night.

After several weeks of going to bed without incident, she's been screaming bloody murder for the past couple of nights. We tend to her only to find that she's fine. She's been sleeping more consistently through the night (dare I even utter the words?), but not napping at all. NO NAPS. Babies need naps. They do. Mommy's need babies to nap too. The REALLY do. And she gets tired. You can see it all over her face and she becomes whiny like a puppy (seriously, you should hear it), but sleep? Noooooooooooo. *sigh* I guess I should take it for what it's worth. She's been sleeping until about 430 am or so for a while, (stay away you blog curse of mine) but honestly, is that where I am? Thankful to "sleep in" until 4 in the MORNING?! And then those around us think we're being paranoid about sleep? If your best case scenario was 4-5 hours and only that came inconsistently at best, how 'sane' would you be?!

In the end of it all, it is and always has been the exhaustion that is the worst part of the package. It's not just something to laugh at, but something that every mother feels for what I am coming to realize is for years (decades?)--never really being asleep and never really being awake. . . and still trudging through their lives. It makes us forgetful, weepy, sick, and impatient. How do they/we do it? Still trying to figure it all out for myself.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Shiny, Happy Baby

I try not to post nekkid pics of Amelia for fear that they might dampen her presidential campaign with some embroiled scandal. . . but I just can't resist. She's in a chunkalicious stage right now that is too scrumptious to ignore.

WARNING: Pinching the screen is strictly prohibited.

Holiday Wrap Up

Amelia's first Christmas has come and gone and here we sit in the year that she'll turn one, learn to walk, and begin to speak. The New Year served as a perfect reminder of how different our lives are compared to this time last year. In bed by 11:30, hoping that the baby would sleep through the night (she didn't. of course.), and anxiously awaiting disturbances caused by any neighborhood hooligans. It's all so weird, how we turn into our parents without even noticing.

Christmas, despite my excitement, was clouded by a nasty cold for Justin and I, and a healthy dose of drama to boot. All told, we still managed a decent day, just not what I would call "magical" by any means. The good news is that Amelia didn't know the otherwise. . .

Good morning Punkin!

Look at all my new stuff! Must do mouth check.

Ninja baby! (aka--what Daddy does with a headband)
Mommy's fave pic of the whole day: All the babies enjoying their toys. . . by chewing on them. . .

This is the good stuff.