Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ellie got warmed-up for Halloween yesterday when her school had a costume parade. She's such a scary devil! (Even though she's really an angel.)

She was very happy to get a visit from mom and dad in the middle of her afternoon.And mom carried her along the "parade route" (i.e. the hallways) while her friends rode in a very impressive stroller.

Tonight we're going trick-or-treating if the weather is nice enough, otherwise our little devil will help pass out candy. Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stay on the sunny side

I'm afraid that I've been negative in my postings lately. Yes, life as a parent is hard sometimes. But the truth is, when I go to bed at night I ask myself how Brian and I got so lucky. And I say a prayer of thanks for everything. I wouldn't trade life with Ellie for anything in the world.

I'm feeling a lot better than I did at first about her going to day care — or "school," as we call it. The teachers in her room send home a sheet each day that keeps track of her activities for every hour she's there. I love it because it makes me feel like I still know what she's doing and am a part of her day, even when I can't be with her. It also helps us keep track of how much she's eating and getting diaper changes. Yesterday she came home in a different outfit than she went to school in and the explanation was right on the sheet: 4:30 p.m. BM (bowel movement) Blow-out!
And it's nice to see they doing some activities with her — as much as anyone can do with a 12-week-old baby. She spends time in the bouncy seat, swinging, rocking with the teachers, playing on the floor and, my favorite, "watching her friends play." Ellie seems to love the mobile that hangs above her crib at school. I got some pics of her enjoying watching it!
Oh, and one of the workers likes to paint with the babies. This involves dipping their feet into paint and then setting the feet on a piece of paper. Ellie already has two pieces of artwork on the wall! And Brian and I decided they were the best in class. She's so gifted!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lazy morning... for one of us

While Ellie is doing much better on the sleeping front, sleep is still a precious commodity to me these days.
I'm back at work full-time, trying to exercise as many days as I can, fitting in Ellie's feedings or pumping during the day and attempting to keep up with stuff at home. I'm exhausted most of the time — and still have to limit my caffeine intake! Though my one cup of coffee each day is still better than the decaf I had during pregnancy.
Brian has been trying to simply talk me out of being tired... which is humorous. When I complain about being tired in the morning, he says something like, "You were only up with her for an hour last night." But even if I add together the 5 hours of sleep I get leading up to Ellie's nighttime feeding with the two-ish hours I get afterward, it equals sleepy.
And my time up with Ellie isn't the only time I'm awake at night. I have a really tough time falling back asleep after I feed Ellie. I've tried lots of different things to make it easier. I don't put my glasses on when I get up with her because keeping things foggy wakes me up a little less — though the diaper changes are a little interesting. So far I haven't actually put a diaper on Ellie backwards, but I've come close :)
Once I get back into bed I end up just laying there awake, usually listening to Ellie and worrying that she's spitting up or about to cry again. Or if I'm not hearing Ellie, I'm doing the calculations in my head of "if I fall asleep right now, I'll get another 1:45 of sleep.... if I fall asleep in the next 15 minutes, I'll still get an hour and a half of sleep..." You know how that goes.
The experts consider a baby to "sleep through the night" once they go for 5 or 6 hours in a stretch. And don't get me wrong, I don't miss the nights of waking up every 2 or 3 hours. But I guess I'm getting greedy now, hoping for some longer nights of sleep in my not-too-distant future.
One of the biggest changes I've found with parenthood is that sleeping-in is no longer an option. If I run up a sleep deficit during the week, I'm not going to be making up for it on the weekends because Ellie is still going to be up and ready to start her day when that clock hits 6 a.m. (or 5:45 a.m. or 6:15 a.m. or even the rare 7 a.m. ... but you get the point).
This past Saturday, Ellie came into bed with us and I nursed her for a few minutes while attempting to continue dozing. But Ellie woke up long enough to wake me, and then the dogs (who are always very ready to get up and get breakfast in the mornings) made sure Brian didn't go back to sleep. By 6:45 a.m., Brian was downstairs feeding the dogs, I was up getting dressed ... but Ellie was full and dozing away again! I had to laugh (and grab the camera). I guess she doesn't have any trouble falling back asleep.

Super fan

On Sunday we drove up to watch the Packers game with Maggie and Chris.
Chris only lives a little over an hour north of us, he recently bought a huge, flat-screen TV and has the NFL ticket package. Any one of those are good reasons to make the trip for a game or two this season. Put them all together and there was no way we could say "no" to an afternoon of catching up, eating super nachos and cheering our team.
We get almost no Green Bay games on here — though we're getting the Packers-Vikings game this upcoming Sunday. I hope it goes better than the last match-up!
I think the Packers outfit Maggie bought for Ellie is bringing some luck to the team. Sunday's game certainly went well!! Here she is all packed into her car seat for the trip. (I put a bib on her for two reasons: to get the "Baby's first Halloween" bib some use before it's over and to avoid her spitting up all over her cute outfit before the game :)

Aunt Maggie was very excited to get a visit with Ellie. And look how great our family looks in green and gold!

Ellie was good at signaling "Touchdown!" And she got to do it lots during the game!

Isaac and Ellie

Here are some super-cute pics of Ellie hanging out with Isaac, Ben and Janet's 13-month-old son. Janet helped us out the week before last by babysitting Ellie while I was at work and Brian was in Austin on his business trip. It sounds like Isaac and Ellie had a pretty good time together, though you can tell from the first picture that Isaac wasn't too sure of Ellie at first. I think he's saying: "You don't even know how to stand up yet?! Sheesh." And then maybe in the second one, "Here, maybe if I give you a hand..."
Ellie isn't walking around like Isaac yet, but she loves standing up with the help of mom or dad. She's much less wobbly than she was even a few weeks ago. Her legs are getting strong!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Crisis" averted

Ellie's stuffy nose seemed a lot better by last night. And today she's in good shape. Good thing I was on top of it, otherwise it might not have cleared up on its own... ;)

And Ellie had a good time, albeit a little pukey and fussy, last night hanging out with "the boys" — Brian and his friend, Nick. I went out with my friend Abby (conveniently Nick's wife) to see Mamma Mia over at Purdue. We had so much fun!
Now we're looking forward to some quality family time this weekend. We sure love our little pumpkin!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stuffy baby

Ellie has a stuffy nose right now. She's been sounding more and more congested over the past few days. I tried our rubber bulb syringe on her last night, trying to suck out whatever I could from her nose. I didn't get much and she got pretty mad... so it wasn't the best experience. But we may try it again tonight.
I feel so sad when I hear her snuffling during her feedings. She has to breathe through her nose during those times, so I'd imagine it's pretty uncomfortable not being able to get as much air. Poor baby :(
I'm also being a total nervous mother right now about the H1N1 flu and other germs over at her new daycare. I know that she's going to get sick once or twice in her lifetime, but I'd like to delay it as long as possible. It doesn't seem likely now that she's in daycare, though. Walking in the first day we saw signs everywhere notifying parents that the daycare center "has been exposed to the H1N1 flu." I'm not surprised given how hard the flu is hitting children. I just don't want Ellie to get it!
She can't get a flu shot because she's too young. Brian and I got our seasonal flu shots at the beginning of the month and hope to get the H1N1 vaccine when more of it gets to Lafayette. In the meantime, I'm using lots of hand sanitizer on my way in and out of the daycare center, at work and when I get home at night. I'm worried about germs Brian might pick up over at Purdue, too, especially since it's spreading like wildfire among the students. At a certain point, I know we as parents have to just hope for the best.... But I don't think I can be that Zen-like with Ellie's health and general well-being yet.
I'm keeping a close watch on this congestion she has right now. I hope it doesn't get any worse. But I make no promises about not freaking out a little at the first signs of fever or other serious symptoms...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ellie sucks ;)

I mean that in the best possible way, really.
When I went to feed Ellie at lunch, I learned from the daycare workers that she happily took a pacifier for about 20 minutes this morning in her crib. It might not seem like big news, but Brian and I were pretty surprised.
Like most babies, Ellie has wanted to "suck" to soothe herself almost since she was born. But except for a one-day fluke, she has never wanted to take a pacifier. In fact, we've made her pretty mad at times when we've offered it to her.
Now I don't want to force a pacifier on Ellie, because I know there are both pros and cons to having babies use them. But in lieu of taking a pacifier, one of the only ways Ellie has been soothed during the evening hours (when she's often fussy) is by nursing... even when she's not really eating. Basically, I've been a human pacifier for her. I love the bonding time and being able to calm her down, but it might be nice to have another alternative to keep her happy in between feedings.
Ellie has also been sucking on her hand recently. And I saw her thumb find its way into her mouth for about a minute this morning. So I guess she's finding more independent ways to calm herself down, whether it's with a binky or her own appendage :)
Our little girl is growing up!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

first day

Ellie started daycare yesterday and she did better with it than Brian and I did! We were both pretty sad about taking her there, even though we feel good about the center and have heard great things from other parents we know here. It's just hard to miss all that time with her and give her over to people we barely know.
Brian dropped her off in the morning because I had to work an early shift at the paper (which meant getting very little sleep between Ellie's feeding and getting out the door...) But I was glad Brian took Ellie in. Even he admitted to having a few tears well up when he left that first time. I'm sure I would have been a basket case. I was happy to get to visit Ellie at lunchtime (for her, not me) and then get out of work at 3 p.m. and pick her up. Today she gets another short day to ease her into daycare. I'm working a late shift, so she's not going in until noon-ish. The infant room workers said she had a good first day. She didn't sleep much because of all the new and louder noises there. But I'm sure she'll get used to it. I was happy to see that they did a lot of activities with her during the day -- swinging, bouncy seat and even pumpkin painting.
When Brian got home from work, the three of us went out for a short run. The weather was gorgeous! I talked Brian into the plan by promising that we could stop at some trees along the way and pick walnuts. Everyone had a great time... though I wasn't too happy when the stroller was weighed down with 20 lbs of nuts for the ride home. I guess it was an extra-good workout.

Sleepy baby is happy to be home after daycare!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Girls weekend

Ellie and I had a great girls weekend while Brian was away on business. We both missed him, of course, but we kept ourselves plenty busy and had some quality time. We baked apple muffins and made applesauce on Saturday, did some yoga, went for a run to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and had lots of playtime.
I love that Ellie shows recognition and excitement now when I go to pick her up or play with her. She has tons of fun if I put her in the crib, play one of her silly songs CDs and lean over her to sing. I'm sure I look like a nut, but I don't care because I'd do almost anything to make her smile and laugh.
Speaking of smiling, I took her in for her first professional photos on Saturday. We got a coupon from Sears to get 36 prints for only $4.99 and I couldn't pass it up. Then once I got to the portrait studio, the photographer started telling me about all these great packages I could order... but I decided to forgo (at least for now) the poster-sized print of Ellie. I did end up buying into the store's Super Smilers program. It will give us free photo sessions for the next year (no $14.99 session fees) and a free print with each sitting. Plus, it was only $5.
Saturday's photo shoot went OK. I wasn't sure how Ellie would do because the earliest I could get in was 11 a.m. She's happiest in the early morning hours, but the store isn't open then. The photographer was a saint, making crazy noises and faces to elicit some smiles from Ellie. But she spent most of the time looking at me and the photographer like we were crazy. We got one or two smiles, but I think she was getting sleepy and a little cranky. Here are my favorites of the shots they got of her. Even when Ellie isn't fully smiling, I love seeing the playfulness in her eyes like in the first shot. I ended up ordering copies of the second one, since it shows her whole cute outfit. But I still might add to our order to get some copies of the cute, naked baby seen in the third pose!

P.S. Brian pointed out that a lot of other naked babies laid on this pillow before Ellie... I guess that's a little gross. I spent the whole time during this shot hoping that Ellie wouldn't pee on "the set." She did great, but now I'm wondering how many babies didn't hold their bladders during the photo sessions and how often that pillow gets washed. Maybe we'll provide out own bedding for any future naked pictures. Or maybe we'll just keep her clothes on :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Week with dad

Ellie and dad had a full week. Here's them in their jammies when mom left for work Monday. During the week, dad tried a new hairstyle for Ellie. Can she rock the mohawk or what?

She had lots of tummy time and play time. Ellie is such a big girl!
Ellie is pooped after too much fun with her daddy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time together and away

Brian and Ellie have had a fun daddy-daughter week so far. They've been doing a lot of playing and cuddling. I think Brian has been trying to get his "Ellie fix" before he heads out of town tomorrow. He's going to Austin, Texas, for a business trip this weekend and will be gone until Sunday evening. That means Brian is going to be missing Ellie... and she and I will be flying solo! After this emotional first week back at work, I'm looking forward to holding her non-stop this weekend. Though Brian is guessing that sentiment will only last until mid-Saturday or so and then I'll miss having the extra set of hands around to help out.
I'm sure it will be a tiring weekend, but I really am looking forward to reconnecting with my little girl. As tough as this week has been, I know next week will be even harder (emotionally and logistically) because Ellie is starting daycare. It's going to take a lot more time to get Ellie and all her stuff to and from the daycare center each day. Plus, it will be hard to leave her with virtual strangers instead of at home with her dad.
So we're going to have a reprise of Ellie-palooza this weekend. Bring on more baby fun!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A full day

Yesterday was a little insane, thanks to me fitting in most of the things I wanted to accomplish in a 24-hour span.
Here's a snapshot:
6:30 a.m. — Wake-up and nurse Ellie.
7:30-7:55 a.m. — Get dressed (showered the night before), ready for work, pack snacks and out the door.
8 a.m. — Arrive at work and head out to a 3+ hour county council meeting. Exciting stuff.
11:30 a.m. — Home for lunch and to nurse Ellie... unfortunately she was sleepy, so it didn't work too well.
12 p.m. — Back at work and pump because of failed lunchtime feeding.
1:30 p.m. — Brian brings a hungry Ellie to the office and I nurse her in the upstairs bathroom where there's a chair. Am rejuvenated from seeing my baby (and hubby) again mid-day!
5 p.m. — Home!
5:45 p.m. — After nursing, Ellie and I head out for a run. Did two miles and was pretty tired.
7 -9 p.m. — After showering, sit down to feed Ellie some more and get some dinner. Watch a show with Brian, with plenty of pauses (thank you, Tivo) because Ellie was pretty fussy.
9 p.m. — Another bottle and bedtime for Ellie. She was a sweet girl and feel asleep mostly on her own with the help of the her Pooh mobile.
9:45 p.m. — After posting to the blog, lights out for me...

Not sure if I'll be able to squeeze all of this in every day. I'd like to think I can get a run in at the end of most workdays, but it's going to be tough especially as it gets darker even earlier at night. I'm really hoping we can get Ellie on a more consistent eating schedule in the next couple weeks. That would be a big stress relief, but we'll see how she does.
Now back to the grind for me...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Working mom

I've run through just about the whole spectrum of emotions over the past few days as I made my return to work. In the days leading up to it, I built it up a whole bunch. I was so sad, nervous and frustrated. But in a weird way I suppose it was good that I did that because by the time I actually had to go into the office Monday morning, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm sure my boss would be thrilled to read that. But at least I'm sure he was glad I spared him the waterworks. Somehow I made it through all of Monday without crying... of course I then felt guilty and like a bad mom because of that, so I'm not sure I can win.

Seriously though, I assumed through most of my pregnancy that I would be more than ready to return to work after my maternity leave was over. I enjoy being a reporter and never pictured staying at home. But I didn't realize how addicting it would be to stay at home with Ellie for those couple months. In my ideal world, I would stay at home with Ellie, still get paid my full-time salary, and write articles when I had time and felt like it... is that unrealistic?

Being back at work is going as well as I can expect for now. I may have more on the subject by the end of the week. But for now I'm trying to get rid of the pit in my stomach when I think about Ellie and realize she's not right in front of me to hold. I miss her tons during my days, but am glad to have some fun time with her at night.

One of her most favorite activities in the world is taking a bath. She had a little too much fun the other night, though. I got her into the warm baby tub and she promptly peed. I saw the yellow water and looked up to see a big smile on her face. I couldn't help but laugh... and call for Brian to bring the camera. What a stinker!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mr. Mom

Brian is home with Ellie this week while I return to work. Ellie will start daycare next week.
When I left this morning, dad and baby were both in pajamas and they looked pretty happy. I think this week will be a great bonding experience for Brian.
I, however, am having a tough time returning to work. Brian is being very supportive... and also injecting some silliness. He called me a few minutes after I arrived at work to let me know that Ellie had just sneezed.
"What should I do?" he joked.
I'm sure he and Ellie will be fine this week. Now I'm just wondering how I'll make it through to lunch when I'm going home to visit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apple orchard

Yesterday was the perfect fall day. And we did one of my favorite fall activities -- a trip to the apple orchard. I love getting to pick the apples, eat apple treats and buy cider. And while I'm sure Ellie will enjoy the trips more when she's old enough to know what's going on, it was great to take her for this first orchard adventure. I made Brian take a family photo with me and Ellie in front of the corn husks :) We made the orchard trip with our neighbors (and friends) Ben and Janet and their 1-year-old son, Isaac. It was so fun to watch him walking around in the orchard and even pick an apple! And Isaac was thrilled by the wagon ride out to pick a pumpkin from the patch. Brian and I are excited to see Ellie do all of those things when she's a little older.
Ellie was a good sport and let mom take her picture in one of the bins of pumpkins.

...Then in one of the bins of gourds. I didn't feel bad when I saw all the other moms around me take the same photo op after I was done!We had to keep a shade up for Ellie while we were picking apples because it was such a beautiful, sunny day. Her feet kept sticking out, and Ben and I agreed that they looked like the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East (from the Wizard of Oz) after Dorothy's house lands on her. Ellie's definitely a good witch, though, if she's a witch at all!

Brian picked most of the apples... getting into the trees at times.

Then we decided to put some of the apples on Ellie, so it looked like she did the hard work.
...Then Brian decided to keep putting apples on Ellie. She didn't mind. All in all, a great first trip the apple orchard for Ellie!

Friday, October 9, 2009


I spent a lot of time today trying to catch Ellie's smile on camera... I took tons of pictures and this was the closest I got. I also caught this one of Muzzy investigating Ellie's photo shoot. Enjoy :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scheduling Ellie

Over the past couple weeks I've been looking for a "routine" in Ellie's days. Many people have asked expectantly me if Ellie has a routine yet. Others tell me it's crazy to expect a baby to be on any sort of schedule at this point.
I'm definitely a planner at heart. Plus, with all of my stress over returning to work it would help to feel like I can take care of the things I need to with Ellie before leaving her. So I've been hoping to find a routine for Ellie. And I've seen some promising signs.
She is developing a pattern of taking a longish nap in the morning and another in the afternoon. These usually hit anywhere between 9:30-11 a.m. and between 1-3:30 p.m. (Then again, yesterday she didn't fall asleep until after 3 p.m. and then woke up at 4:45 p.m.) But there seems to be more method to madness of her days now :)
Brian and I have been enjoying her better nighttime sleep patterns. For several weeks now Ellie has slept for a solid 4-4.5 hours from when we get her down and then for another 3-ish hours after a mid-night feeding. This week she started sleeping for 6 hours on that first stretch! And I think Brian and I got too excited about it.
But last night crazy mom decided to try and shake things up a bit. I realized that Ellie had been waking up after 7 a.m. for a few days. It sounds great in theory, but won't work if I'm going to spend almost an hour nursing her in the morning before going to work. My schedule is fairly flexible, but many days I will need to be in between 8-8:30 a.m. So I tried an experiment of putting her to bed an hour earlier than usual... closer to 8 p.m., instead of between 9:30-10 p.m.
The result was a fair amount of crying from Ellie at the outset. I did get her to sleep at 8:45 p.m.... and then again at 9:15 p.m. (after a bit more crying). But she only stayed asleep until 1 a.m. Then she woke up again at 5 a.m. Not the outcome I was hoping for. She only went to sleep an hour early, but she woke up 2.5-3 hours before she usually does at night.
Throughout this experiment Brian was looking at me like I'm crazy for messing with a baby who'd slept, well, like a baby the previous couple nights. But I need to get Ellie into a routine of waking up around 6/6:15 a.m., if that's possible. If she wakes up at 5 a.m., I will be very tired for work.... but if she sleeps until 7 a.m., I will be late!
I really want to continue breastfeeding after I return to work. But I'm definitely stressed about how it will fit into my days. Being home with Ellie has allowed us to spend hours each day on the process. Ellie is used to nursing 3-4 hours during the time that I will soon be away from her each day. I'm going to try to visit the daycare center most of my lunch hours to nurse her, but I'll have to find time to pump at other times of the day. I just hope Ellie will help me out by nursing well at the times I need her to.
Maybe if I explain the whole process to her again... Any other suggestions out there?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Greasy Ellie

Here are a couple pics of Ellie's head all lubed up last night to get rid of her cradle cap. I know, we're mean parents taking pictures! The baby oil seems to be doing the trick, though. Her scalp looks a lot better. Did discover that it's going to take a couple shampoos to get all the oil out of her hair. She's still looking a bit greasy today :)

And here's a pic of Ellie bundled up before we left for a morning run. It is so beautiful here today. I just love fall weather! I was so motivated while we were out that I went almost four miles, running most of it. I may be sore tomorrow, but it's supposed to rain the rest of the week so I wanted to get in plenty of outdoors time today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


For the big Monday Night Football game yesterday, Ellie sported a new outfit from her Aunt Maggie! I think she didn't smile for the pictures because she had a feeling the game wouldn't have a good outcome...
As Brian and I watched most of the game in bed last night, I couldn't help thinking how much our lives have changed from just a year ago. We spent most football Sundays last fall and winter at a local sports bar, wherever we could get the Packers games on TV. We had a great time drinking beer and cheering on the Packers (and, in the case of Brian, a whole host of other teams...) These football days usually were completely unproductive. Something about having a beer buzz by mid-afternoon. But we always had a great time and I really enjoyed that time we got together.
This year we would make an interesting trio if the family visited a bar to catch the Packers games. Luckily we get a couple of them on regular cable this season. But last night we couldn't even stay awake for the whole game! And I know the money we would've spent in the past on beer and bar food is already getting eaten up by diapers and other baby costs. I don't foresee a lot of going out of any kind in our future. I guess we're officially parents first and football fans second (or maybe third?) these days. But I didn't mind that I missed some of the Packers drives while changing Ellie's diaper and putting on her pajamas. Sports bars are fun, but nothing compared to watching my baby girl smile -- which she does SO much right now but never when I have the camera ready!
My priorities are so different these days. And, at least in this case, change is wonderful.

Sleepy baby = well-rested parents (by Brian)

So, I may be jinxing it, but I'll say it anyway. Ellie has been sleeping better every night.
Lately, Dorothy and I have been able to put Ellie under her mobile after 9 p.m. and let her fall asleep on her own. She's quite cute. She kicks and flails for a while, but after a while, her hands go up above her head and she passes out.
Last night, Ellie put herself to sleep again under the dancing Classic Pooh characters. That was about 9:30. Somehow, some way, Ellie slept until 3:45 a.m. It was AWESOME.
I got her down at 4:15 and expected she would be up in a couple hours. Her second leg of sleep is usually much shorter than the first. But she slept until I was leaving for work about 7:45.
I know we can't expect this all the time, but it seems like Ellie is getting more self-sufficient (as much as you can expect from a 2-month-old). And it's nice to know we can put her down and she can play or entertain herself, even if it's just for a few minutes.
She's growing like a weed, and I know the days when her parents aren't cool to her are going to be here sooner than we want, but it's nice to see her find ways to comfort herself and learn.
We love her so much.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nice doctor, mean nurse

Ellie got another glowing report at her doctor's appointment today. But she also had to get her first shots :( She was a trooper, but definitely let out some "in pain" cries when the nurse stuck her with three different needles! I was able to comfort her after a few minutes... however, I already let Brian know he's in charge of the next appointment where she needs shots. (He couldn't make it to today's appointment because of work.) It was so sad to watch.
On a brighter note, Ellie is growing and healthy. She is 12 lbs, 8 oz! And she grew another inch in the last month. She's now 23.5 inches long. Ellie is in the 88th percentile for weight and length. Her weight gain is exciting for me to see because we haven't increased her bottle volume much at all in the past month, so she's clearly getting more milk from nursing than she once was. I can sort of tell, because she's nursing better. Of course, now that we've got this good rhythm going... I'll start work next week and have to pump more and nurse less. Hopefully my supply with stay up and Ellie will adjust to added daytime bottles OK.
Doctor said she is doing great, just a couple minor issues. Ellie has an umbilical hernia, which basically means her bellybutton is a major outie right now -- because her intestines are poking through a little, ew. But it doesn't cause her any pain and it should self-correct in the next year or so. Brian and I noticed it a few weeks ago when Ellie started having major nighttime fussiness. When she cries hard the bellybutton sticks out even further.
The other diagnosis from today's appointment was cradle cap. It's basically severely dry skin on Ellie's scalp. The treatment should be interesting. We're supposed use her baby brush to get the flaking skin off and then rub olive oil (or baby oil) on her head a few hours before bath time. I anticipate getting some pics of this, so stay tuned! Poor baby.
Oh, and here are some pics from our weekend. Dad and baby were all decked out in Illini gear. (Brian went to a tailgate with Rob before Saturday's Illini game and Ellie had to show her team spirit on the trip to C-U.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

2 months!

Ellie celebrated her two-month birthday yesterday! I can't believe how fast this time has gone, especially when I look back at pictures of her in the hospital and right after we brought her home. She goes to the doctor for her two-month appointment tomorrow morning and I'm excited to see how much she weighs and how much she's grown.
Brian and I are so proud of the progress she's showing in holding her head up, tolerating tummy time and entertaining herself for short bursts of time. I'd say her favorite thing these days (besides being held by mom or dad) is watching the Pooh mobile above her crib. She smiles even when she hears me winding it up! I love that she's infatuated with it because it gives me a few minutes in the morning to put my contacts in, make coffee and get dressed. I've even been able to get a race-speed shower in during one wind-up of the mobile. Impressive, I know.
And Ellie has fallen asleep on her own a few nights after watching the mobile go round and round. Great progress!
Mom, dad and Ellie had a great weekend. We went to Champaign on Saturday for Rob and Mary's baby shower. Ellie was very excited to help celebrate her future friend, who's due to arrive on Jan. 2, 2010. Mary's 6-year-old niece was very cute during the party. She kept showing Ellie the framed picture of Mary's ultrasound and saying "Look, Ellie, this is going to be your friend!"
We were going to head to St. Louis to see family after the trip into Champaign, but we decided the family needed a little down time the rest of the weekend. So we're going to see family and friends there later this month.
Today we took Ellie to church and got some stuff done around the house. And Brian watched Ellie for a couple hours while I went shopping. I have only three pairs of non-maternity pants that fit me these days... not the best-stocked wardrobe. I don't want to buy a bunch of bigger pants because I'm hoping I'll slim back down at some point. But I do need a few outfits that don't rely on elastic. Plus, it was nice to have a little retail therapy to get myself calmed down about the prospect of returning to work.
We've only got one week of Ellie-palooza left. We're going to make it fun!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My turn to be a baby?

What was supposed to be a quick trip to pick up paperwork today over at the daycare we've chosen for Ellie turned into a bit of a train wreck for me. I got another tour of the infant room while I was there. But it seems louder, brighter, more cluttered and cramped than I remember it being. I'm not sure what I was expected. Maybe a pristine, comforting space complete with several caregivers ready to devote all their time to my Ellie. I know, I'm a little nuts sometimes. But I can't help wanting the best for her.

Long story short, I was in tears by the time I reached the parking lot. And I didn't even have to leave her behind this time! I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to be able to leave her without having a total meltdown. But who can blame me? Look at this little angel...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Soggy mom, damp baby

Ellie-palooza continued today with a trip to a free "new mom" class on incorporating music into the baby's development. Ellie and I decided to walk over to the class, since it was in one of the hospital office buildings just a little over a half mile from our house.
The class was fun and I got some new ideas for songs to sing to entertain Ellie with. But when we went to leave, we discovered it had started to rain. With no other options, I put the blanket over Ellie and changed the walk home into a run. I made pretty good time, but was still soaked by the time we got home. Thankfully Ellie was only a little damp. And she didn't seem bothered by the rain since she slept the whole way home! I'm glad she wasn't screaming or something because I was already feeling like a bad mom. Or is it recommended to take 2-month-olds out when it's raining and 50 degrees? Tomorrow we'll aim for an activity that's a little drier and warmer.