Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

On January 1, 2011 I took the pregnancy test that told us we were having what would turn out to be an Alice. It has been a wild, wild year from the earliest moment. Here's hoping 2012 is just as beautiful and awe-some as 2011!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

16 weeks

16 weeks:

Alice had her first cold this week. It has been pretty mild, but she is full of snot and of course the only way to get it out of her little head is to suck it out with the nasal aspirator. For those of you that are not familiar with a nasal aspirator, it is a bulb looking thing that you compress with a flute on the other end that goes into her nose and literally sucks snot out when you let go of the bulb part. Oh my god Alice hates that thing with the fire of a thousand suns. The mere presence of the aspirator inspires wails of extreme discontent whether or not it is even in active use. But I will say the new and improved Alice recovers so quickly from emotional explosions. It seems that even at her tender age of 16 weeks, she is able to put things in the proper perspective. I am certain she is thinking, 'Well, damn. I do hate this snot sucker, but I sure am glad that I am not writhing in agony with days and days of pent up digestive issues!' The nickname I gave her (toot-sweet) is pretty obsolete now, which is a glorious, glorious thing! Her natural merriment has finally had the opportunity to take over and our whole household (cats included) are benefiting. Tim is home from work this week and she has seriously fallen IN LOVE with him. From across the room, she will catch his eye and just beam with happiness. But, that could be because I am the one that is sucking the snot out of her head and she is attempting to appeal to the one potential person who can rescue her from the clutches of her evil, torturous mother...

Monday, December 19, 2011

15 Weeks

15 Weeks:

We got a visit this week from our friends Charlie and Yvonne (of St. John vacationship fame) and their 9 month old daughter Emmy. We have always planned having a life-long vacation-relationship (vacationship) with them, but the deal is much sweeter now that we both have these darling littles that are so close in age. I love the idea of them getting as excited as we are to see each other every summer when we get together! If their first meeting is any indicator of how much they will love each other in the future, we are all in for some really great times. Emmy is an absolute sweetheart. You can tell already that she is just a kind, gentle soul and it warmed my heart to see her and Alice hanging out. Alice could not take her eyes off of her! Everything Emmy was doing, Alice was astounded by: army crawling, playing with toys, eating, etc. You could tell that Alice's little baby mind was blown seeing someone so close to her age doing things she would soon be doing. And Emmy was so delicate with Alice! She would reach out and sweetly pat her head or pet her hand and smile, smile, smile. I can't wait to watch them together the next time.

Alice's digestive issues continue to improve so those of you out there that have little ones with super-traumatizing gas or irregular BM's try putting them on probiotics. We are using BioGaia probiotic drops that you can get behind the pharmacy counter (it has to be refrigerated) at Walgreens, but I am sure there are other brands out there. I just can't get over how easy and completely hidden this solution was for us. In 3 months of research, not a hint on the internet radar (articles, forums, and otherwise) or a bone thrown from our doc or PA. We have a freaking arsenal of over-the-counter gripe waters, colic calms, and simethicone drops. With all the time I have spent looking at the infant gas relief section at the drug store it would have been nice if they had put out a sign or something that mentioned they had other options behind the pharmacy counter. But no, it's all super secret for whatever ridiculous reason. Secret no more, I am telling everyone I know about it so there. With Alice, my only complaint is that she is regular now. So regular that she is pooping every 24 hours, which would be great but she just happens to be going between 4-6 am- a time I would rather be sleeping than changing my daughters diaper and occasionally having to bathe her. Diapering is such a flawed system. I love her cloth diapers, but overnight she gets occasional pee leaks from being on her side and the last thing I want to do is really wake her up by having to change her outfit completely. So, I have been putting her in a disposable diaper overnight because it absorbs more liquid. However, it does not contain #2 nearly as well as the cloth diapers do. Seriously, disposable diapers just wave at that shit as it shoots by...and up and out and all over everything else. Perhaps I need to put a disposable on and then layer it with a cloth diaper? Apparently there are people that don't use diapers at all. There is something called Elimination Communication and you should just respond accordingly to your child's elimination needs. Far be it from me to judge something that works for someone else (after all, we should all be doing whatever it is that works for us and our families), so all I am going to say about that is more power to ya. I have great reflexes, but I don't think that I am nearly fast enough for that um, shit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

14 weeks

14 Weeks:

There have been some seriously good things about this week. We started Alice on Probiotic drops for babies to help regulate her digestive system and there has been a huge improvement already. I would say 60% and it hasn't even been a full week. It kills me that it took us this long to find a product that helped her poor little body work properly, but I am really enjoying this happy new baby of mine. Alice and I had one of the loveliest days ever yesterday and after the past few weeks, I don't know which of us needed it more. We got up early and smiley, charmed Tim awake with trial giggles (she is soooo close to laughing!) and then ran some neighborhood errands in the sunshine. It was chilly, but gorgeous out yesterday and Alice couldn't get enough of people watching. She was handing out smiles left and right, watching cars pass and looking at the trees and buildings as we walked. Then, just as I was thinking that perhaps I was pushing it too far with nap time, she just laid her sweet little head down on my chest as we walked home and zonked right out. When we got home, she had a big poo without screaming and thrashing, we took a bath and big long nap. The whole day she was just happy and sweet, smiling and cooing contentedly. Goodness it was nice.

In other news, Alice really gets excited when she sees videos of babies. Sometimes when she is upset I will show her a video of herself and she stops crying instantly and mimics the noises she is making on screen or reacts to whatever it is I am saying. I'm sure it is a bit confusing for her, but hey whatever keeps this baby girl from feeling sad is something I am down with!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alice with her clothes on

Beautiful hand knit sweater from my cousin Kerry

A day at the park

Alice's first Thanksgiving

Hanging out with Colin, her senior by 10 days.

Sweet bear hat

Alice yelling at Pablo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

13 Weeks

13 Weeks

It has become apparent that by sleep training I will be referring to myself, not Alice. It has always been blatantly obvious from the moment she was born that no one can make this child do anything she does not want to do. When she took so long coming out when I was pushing, when she wouldn't stretch out her legs when Ellen wanted to measure her, and now when she just won't go to sleep whenever she doesn't want to, Alice has her own ideas about when and what she will be doing. I am totally cool with that as long as I get adequate sleep and last week that really wasn't happening. She had gotten her first vaccination on Monday and somewhere between the after-effects from that and her outrageous digestive failures by Thursday she wouldn't stay asleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time and I had begun to hallucinate spiders on the bed whenever I would get woken up. At bedtime I would feel like I was still trying to get her to down for her morning nap and my entire day had been spent doing squats in our semi-dark bedroom and singing my 10,000th verse of 'you are my sunshine'. She would go to sleep, stay down for 30-45 minutes and then wake back up in increasing furies to pass gas. Seriously, I don't know what the hell is wrong with her system, but towards the end of the week I was consulting Dr. Google if there was such a thing as being born without the proper organs to digest things. Missing organs and hallucinating spiders. Last week was no good.

The good news is that amongst all that unrest Alice and I found what I will call a 'sweet spot' where she likes to be held. It is pretty much the position I described last week, I'll hold her to my chest sitting in my left arm and put my right pinkie in her mouth but now she has started to sneak her left hand up to find my hand. Her sweet little fingers will search independently of each other all around until they find one of mine to hold onto and she will audibly sigh with contentment when everything is in place, close her eyes and begin to drift off. It is just about the sweetest thing ever. I have a memory of when I was around 3 or so and I would wake up with some sort of nighttime emergency, nightmare or otherwise and I would go to my parents room to wake my mom up. She would get up and come back to my room to lie down with me in my lower bunk until I went back to sleep. I was old enough to know that she would slip away as soon as I fell asleep so I would fight it as long as I could and put my hand on her arm or side, touching her somehow and fully convinced that I would wake up this time when she moved to go back to her own bed, but the warm, secure presence of a mother would put me back to sleep almost instantly. It is like looking into two mirrors at the same time, this mothering thing, seeing where you came from and imagining where you will go. I am sure that I will have to break Alice of the habit of being bounced to sleep in my arms but for now I am so honored with the privilege of having her trust and comfort that it makes my burning thighs and aching knees totally worth it.