Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
And while I'm trying not to be too dramatic about it, I know there are a million things I'll miss once she's at day care during the days. I can barely keep up with all of her growth and changes right now when I'm around her all the time. In the past few days, I've been documenting the world according to Ellie. Below is her watching her Pooh mobile over her crib. She loves the dang thing and I'm so happy, because it gives me a few minutes in the morning to get my contacts in, get dressed and do other stuff.
Ellie is having more and more fun doing things by herself. Here she is admiring herself in the mirror above her papasan chair. She's also started batting at her caterpillar toy. Such a big girl!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
We had a lot of fun, but perhaps packed too much into two days. Just a quick update: Brian finished his big race and did great! But perhaps even more exciting -- or equally exciting -- Ellie slept for 6.5 hours straight last night!! We couldn't believe it when 5:30 rolled around this morning and she was still snoozing. We hope, hope, hope it happens more than once!
Friday, September 25, 2009
We are going to Springfield, Ill., on Saturday morning to meet up with our former graduate school classmates and celebrate a five-year reunion. We'd hoped to stay out there for a visit with everyone, but the event overlaps with a 30K (18.6-mile) race that Brian has spent months training for. So... after a few hours in Springfield, we're turning around and driving to Indianapolis. We're staying in a hotel there overnight and then getting up early Sunday for Brian's race. I just hope Ellie lets Brian get some sleep Saturday night before his run. It's going to be a tough race for him regardless because her sleep schedule (or lack thereof) has cut into his training... but he and our friend Rob are mostly just hoping to finish. And Ellie and I will be cheering him on! Wish us all luck on this packed weekend :)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Ellie decided to start fussing early in the evening, but did wait until we both got to eat dinner. The radio white noise didn't work its usual magic. So we took her out for a ride in the stroller. She wasn't really happy until Brian took her off-roading in the grass at the park by us. We continued walking with her for about 30 minutes and marvelled at how she would start crying the minute the stroller returned to smooth sidewalk or even a flat section of lawn. I guess Ellie liked being bumped and jostled around... she's such a weirdo sometimes. I never thought I'd be grateful to the city for letting so many sections of sidewalk in our neighborhood get torn up and broken. According to Ellie: the more bumps, the better.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I love Ellie so much that hearing her cry, and knowing there's little to nothing I can do to stop it, just about drives me mad. And I'm not a person known for my patience anyway, so this is doubly frustrating.
A few nights ago, we found out that baths calm her during this period form 8-10 p.m. But we can't keep her 75 percent submerged in water for two hours. I'm pretty sure she's still developing, and I don't want a fish girl for a daughter. The ability to breathe under water would be cool, but I'd be weirded out by the scales.
The next night we found out that Ellie is soothed by the vacuum cleaner. It's like turning on a freaking light switch. In fact, I played with it a bit. It only takes 2 seconds for Ellie to scream once the vacuum is turned off. Less to get her to stop when it's turned on. Unbelievable.
Last night we had the vacuum on for about 20 minutes (and the television to volume setting 54) when we realized that sooner or later the motor would burn out. We needed another option.
With fingers crossed, I turned on the radio to an unoccupied frequency with white noise that, coincidentally, sounded like it had a heartbeat in the background - equal parts of creepy and awesome for us. Then we turned off the vacuum.
Ellie's head perked up for a second, as if to evaluate this substitute noise. But she put her head back down, satisfied that this otherwise annoying sound would do. We were able to save the vacuum, our sanity and lower the television volume to around 46.
All that said, we're feeling much better. Oh, and just in case it's driving them nuts, a quick apology to our neighbors. Sorry, Ben and Janet.
Oh, and here's a shot of a crafty project I did last weekend while Ellie watched some football with her dad. Getting to do something with my hands besides hold the baby was a great stress-reliever. And Ellie loves her new room decoration :)
(Note: I didn't cut out the letters or anything... I'm not that skilled. Just bought them at Michaels and then painted them.)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
And it's the same routine every night. She's not hungry, her diaper is fresh and we can't get any gas bubbles out. She just wants to scream.
From what I've read, the colic thing can last until she is three months old! But we're hoping she gets past this phase before then. I don't know if she's in any real pain or discomfort when she's crying, but the hours of wailing are certainly taking a toll on me and Brian. It's hard not to get cranky with your spouse when you're passing a screaming baby back and forth all night. He's tired from being at work and training for an upcoming race. I'm tired from taking care of Ellie all day and trying to keep the house up. Sometimes I want to join Ellie and try to just wail out my frustrations... But I don't think we need a colicky baby and mom.
I just try to keep reminding myself (and Brian) that this is a phase that Ellie will get past. Hopefully soon. For now, I'm collecting tips on getting through these loud, stressful evenings. Walking around with her and bouncing only helps to a point. Tonight we may try taking her out for a drive, giving her a bath or (as suggested in one book I have) putting her in a baby carrier and running the vacuum around the house. We'll see if anything works.
Monday, September 14, 2009
On that subject, I also got some bad news last week about my maternity leave. My insurance company is only going to approve me for a six-week absence, not the nine weeks my doctor requested. The company has a set policy of six weeks for regular delivery and eight for c-sections, so there's no real leeway. This means I would have to take three weeks unpaid to stretch my leave time out to 12 weeks (including the three weeks of vacation time I've saved and plan to take). Brian and I can't afford to lose that much income... so I will have to return to work earlier than I planned :(
Looks like Ellie and I only have a month together left at home, so I'm trying to make the most of it. I love this little girl! Here are some recent pics.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I've heard her progression of cries. It starts as a whimper (sometimes she enunciates the 'w' in 'whaaaaa.' It's hilarious.) Then she goes into a full cry, and eventually a scream that tears at your heart because you can tell she really is hungry or upset and can't relieve it any other way.
Well, as I was changing her into her PJs, she skipped all the preliminary cries and went straight for the deep scream, louder than I'd heard in a while.
I stopped cold and looked around her. Had I pinched her slightly with a snap? Had I pulled one of her fingers back as I pulled her hand through the sleeve? What had I done to cause this? It was clear that she was hurt because of the intensity of the scream.
It was then that I noticed Ellie had inflicted this wound herself. As the scream got louder, she pulled harder on her own hair. And she it hurt more, she clinched and pulled some more. It took a second or two to get her hand to loosen. The look on her poor face was one of pain and utter disbelief that this could happen.
It's crazy how bad I wanted that scream to stop. Not for my own ears' sake, but because I didn't want to see her hurt and upset.
I guess she's not as thrilled as Dorothy and me that she was born with so much hair.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Ellie weighed in at 10 lbs, 10 oz...! Seems like a lot, but given her length Ellie is right in the 50th percentile at that weight. She's grown almost another inch since her 2 week checkup and is now 22 1/4 inches long.
We can tell Ellie is a generally happy baby. But it's great to hear from a medical professional that we're doing a good job and Ellie is in good shape. And we totally agree with Dr. Miller: Ellie is perfect!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Ellie started her celebration today by spitting up so much that both she and I required new outfits. And I'm talking new pants and shirts on each of us! It was pretty impressive.
Here are a couple of my favorite pics of Ellie from her first month alive:
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
And Aunt Jen, Ellie's godmother, finally got a chance to hold her at the end of the day of the baptism!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Today is a really great day because Ellie slept for almost five hours straight last night! Brian got her down around 10 p.m. and she didn't wake up to eat again until almost 3 a.m. I was so shocked that I woke up at 2 a.m. and had to go check the nursery to make sure she was OK :)
Brian and I are hoping for a repeat... but trying not to get our hopes up too much!
Beyond the nighttime routine, Ellie and I have had some pretty great days together. We're developing a bit of a routine. She's been waking up hungry around 8 a.m. and I get her fed, changed and clothed by around 9:30 a.m. We've discovered the joy of the Baby Bjorn for walks around the park in the morning. Ellie still isn't a huge fan of the stroller, but once I strap her in the bjorn carrier she's good to go for as long as I'm up for walking. Carrying her on my belly makes me feel a little like I'm pregnant again... but now I'm able to take her off at the end of the walk. The weather has been too gorgeous not to get outside each day.
Brian usually comes home for lunch, which is great for visiting and having an extra set of hands for a half hour or so. In the afternoon, Ellie has been taking a nap for a couple hours. We either run errands or I use the time to get something done around the house. Today my activity was sorting through my closet to clear out maternity clothes and figure out what still fits from my old clothes... not much, unfortunately!
So that's a glimpse at the lives of Dorothy and Ellie these days. I'm sure something will pop up to derail me soon enough, but for now I'm feeling pretty good about mommyhood.