Friday, December 19, 2008

Everything but the kitchen sink.

Annabella is working through her first cold. I think she's almost over it, and we all survived. I might be a bad mother for saying this, but she slept many hours at night while she was sick (she hit 9.5 one night!), and it was awesome. Now that we're back to 6-7 hours, my body hurts from exhaustion.

Other Annabella news: She is also going to sleep with much less hassle than before! We just swaddle her and rock her in her dark nursery and she slips off to sleep and usually stays down, and this is all before 11pm! She will fuss some at night still, but not really all that much, and it's usually just an idication of her being tired. She's also not pooping as frequently, which I can't even tell you how exciting that is. A couple poopy diapers a day is much easier to handle than 8. She's also smiling more readily and holding her smile more, and she coos to us a lot now. Oh, and when I first go into her room in the morning to get her from her crib, she smiles up at me. That feeling, the one you get when you see your child smile because they see you, might very well be the best feeling in the world.

In other news, my brain still is not back. I miss it. Working without it just isn't going well.

Did you know the 17th was this past Wednesday and not today? Well, I didn't so much. At least not until 5 minutes after my year-end review was due. So as I'm hastily trying to write my review stuff up, I realize that it's sure been a long time since I pumped. So I quickly put my pump stuff together and started pumping. Then I go back to my panicked mode of MUST GET THIS DONE ASAP and forget about the pumping. A few minutes later, I notice something cold on my leg. I reach down to feel what's up and get splattered with breast milk. I'd forgotten to put the collecting bag on the pump and had been actively pumping milk straight onto my leg FOR SEVERAL MINUTES! Yeah, I don't notice my leg getting wet until the spot is the size of a basketball and the milk has chilled in the air enough to be cold. That right there, is an example of my brain being missing.

Is it ironic that this happened because I was so focused on writing up comments about my work standard that I didn't notice getting soaked and yet couldn't use that as an example of my exemplary focus?

What else has happened in the last 11 days? Hmm. Jason and I have scrambled to write thank-you notes, Christmas cards, and get together a list of addresses for baby announcements.

If you think you should be getting a thank-you and don't get one, then 1 of 2 things happened. Either we totally forgot to write you one and apologize profusely but promise that we totally appreciate your genoristy. Or you've graduated to the list of people we no longer feel expect thank-yous. Again, we apologize if we're wrong about this. Please don't hate us!

If I personally know you and you'd like a baby announcement and you think that I might not have your current address or that I might not have included you on my announcement list, please send me an email with your address.

What else what else? Oh yeah! We decorated for Christmas. I'm usually super tentative about decorating and think I have no taste; so Christmas was a good place to start. And you know, I think we did good. The decorations mostly all match each other and look pretty and make our home feel more homey. If my brain returns for long enough for me to remember to take pictures of our decorations, I'll post them for you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

We are truly blessed

Before Annabella was born, Jason and I would sit on our back porch and just smile and think about how much we loved our lives. We had everything we wanted and needed: good health, a fulfilling marriage to someone we love, good family, good jobs, and a nice place to live, and the exciting prospect of a baby to come. Not that life was perfect, but it was pretty darn good.

I remember being worried about how a baby would change all that. Would we still be happy post-baby?

To say Annabella changed our lives completely would be an understatement. From the time I wake up to the time I fall asleep, thoughts of her aren't far away. Taking care of her is a full-time job plus some, and almost everything I do is impacted by her.

Here's a simple example of one of the changes. My pre-Annabella morning routine:
  • Set the alarm clock for 1 hour before I intend to get up.
  • Hit the snooze button a billion or so times and then finally drag myself out of bed.
  • Run and jump in the shower.
  • Brush my teeth and hair, put deodorant on, throw clothes on, run out the door.
  • Time from when my feet hit the floor to when I'm in my car ~30 minutes.
My with-Annabella morning routine:
  • Alarm clock? Why would I need one of those?
  • Wake up because Annabella is starting to wake up, meaning the baby monitor is picking up her grunts and sighs and clicking on.
  • Lie in bed awake for a few minutes to see if she'll go back to sleep. (Often times she will and I'll get another hour of sleep.)
  • At the first sign of a real cry, go flying out of bed and up the stairs to grab her.
  • Take her downstairs to feed her.
  • Get the breast-pump stuff ready. Put Annabella beside me and pump. (She's normally slept long enough now that I'll be engorged by the time she gets up; so I have to pump even though I've fed her.)
  • Label the milk with the date and put it in the fridge.
  • Make sure all of the bottles are ready and properly labeled for daycare.
  • Change Annabella's diaper.
  • Empty the dishwasher so the bottles and pump parts will be dry for later today. Put the newly used pump stuff in the dishwasher.
  • If it's early enough, spend a few minutes trying to get Annabella to go back to sleep. This will most likely fail.
  • Put Annabella in her bouncy seat outside the shower. Turn on the bouncy part and the music part.
  • Hop in the shower. Sing the songs along with the music to entertain Annabella. Hop out midshower to bounce the seat more than the bouncy mechanism will do and to give her the paci. Try not to drip on her. Hop back in the shower and try to get all the soap off ASAP.
  • Get out of the shower and sing whatever I can to entertain her. Run around during calm times and try to brush my teeth, brush my hair, put deodorant on, etc. Run back over periodically to give her Paci again and to bounce seat some more. Beg for just 3 more minutes.
  • Throw clothes on. Try to remember to check for spit up stains on my pants, but don't really care enough to make this a priority.
  • Grab Annabella. Change her clothes if they're not appropriate for the car-ride. Maybe rechange her diaper.
  • Pack Annabella's bag, the breast-pump, the breast-pump parts, her bottles, and my purse.
  • Put Annabella in the car seat.
  • Run everything but Annabella out to the car.
  • Run Annabella out to the car. Adjust her car seat appropriately, and make sure the sun visor is in proper position.
  • Finally get in the car.
  • Time from when my feet hit the floor to when I'm in my car ~2.5 hours.
But while life is so much more hectic and activity filled than it once was, it's also so much more fulfilling. And while I imagine that I'd be much less sleep deprived if I didn't have a baby, I can't imagine life without my precious girl.

And this past weekend Jason and I sat back and marveled once again about how good life really is.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You think I'm feeding her enough?

Annabella at 7.5 weeks (11/20). My tiny little baby isn't so tiny anymore. Oh, and that size diaper is starting to get pretty snug now. She's growing like a weed.

And because 2 baby pictures are better than 1...
A friend of ours came over to the house to take these pictures. I think he did an awesome job. (Thanks Justin!) I have a few more I'll post over the next few days.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Annabella went to daycare yesterday. Jason and I each spent some time with her there before leaving her there for a few hours. Not that this is a big surprise, but leaving your child in daycare is not easy.

Annabella seemed to handle it well though. She's still young enough that strangers don't scare her, and she's pretty used to being passed off to new people after meeting so many relatives over Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure I handled it quite so well. But the daycare workers were really sweet to me, and they sent me an email of pictures of Annabella to make it easier.

Here she is, smiling away, not missing Mommy at all. Mommy was probably sobbing away in her office when this was taken. (Yes, I now refer to myself in the 3rd person all the time. It just started happening as soon as she was born. Apparently there's a valid reason parents do this though...young kids have problems with pronouns. So it's easier for them to understand "Mommy" than "I" or "me".)

Having her in daycare is actually a little easier for me than having her at home with Jason for the full day because at least the daycare is close by and I know I can visit her over lunch. And while I'd much rather have Jason watching her than some random daycare worker, I just can't stand to be away from her that many hours straight.

The daycare workers all seem to be really nice, and I'm not really too worried about the quality of care she'll be receiving. The daycare is rated really well, I've heard glowing reviews, and my daughter's room is adjacent to another infant room with a half-wall, meaning the workers on the other side can see into Annabella's there's really a lot of eyes around to make sure everything is ok.

I think there will be a bit of a learning curve for them though with Annabella. You see, my sweet darling daughter is not one of those babies who only cry when they're hungry, poopy, wet, or sleepy. Her cry might start because of those reasons, but it quickly escalates into an "I'm very angry with you" cry. And Annabella fights sleep really badly, and when she's overtired she's just altogether cranky. So I think they're confusing her crankiness for hunger cries and feeding her when she's not really that hungry. Feeding her does tend to calm her down most the time; so I can't really blame them. Plus infants don't tend to overeat; so it's not really a problem. Figuring how many bottles to send and how much breastmilk to put in them is a bit of a challenge though...especially since there's not really an endless supply of milk and they have to throw away whatever milk is left in the bottle 1 hour after it's taken from the fridge. And because I'm a neurotic mother, I spend a ridiculous amount of my time thinking about all of this.

One more picture, just for good measure.