Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving - the recap

Thanksgiving was awesome this year. Fun times with family and friends and more yummy food than I'd like to talk about.

Riding the airplane alone with Annabella? Not so much fun it turns out. Lots of struggling to handle all the stuff (even though I packed very light and Jason had taken most of our stuff up already). Lots of screaming (Annabella's, not mine). Lots of running around like a maniac (well, this was both of us...she ran, I followed.) There was even a diaper incident or 2. Oh, and a possible flashing of an old college friend while trying to discreetly nurse Annabella in the airport. So pretty much everything I could have imagined going wrong kinda did go wrong. But then she slept like a rock on the second flight, and everything was good.

Still though, we're taking the car from now on. Or at least I'm not flying alone with her. No thanks. Especially when we figured out that driving through the night is really not so bad and that she'll actually mainly sleep in the car. And especially now that I remember that I can take 5 unpaid days off a year...and that our 2 plane tickets made my extra days at work close to even. :(

But yay family, friends, and food!

On Thursday we went to Jason's Aunt Jo's. There were close to 30 people there, and outside of an incident with an over-excited teenager and a yippy little dog when we first arrived, everything went great! Annabella played and ate and didn't scream at all. Then we went to Jason's Aunt Linda's. And again, she was great! Jason's cousin Koral was there and chased after Annabella and played with her, which gave us a break and Annabella thought was great fun. Then Annabella actually slept well Thursday night even after going to bed late and being all out of her routine. So all sorts of awesome.

Friday I spent the day with Corrie. Which was SO NICE. Spending time with Corrie minus baby makes me feel like I'm slipping into my old skin a little bit. And it's nice to feel like me. Of course I missed my baby like mad, but getting quality girl time is pretty much the awesome.

Then we went to Grandma G's for dinner. Where Annabella ate an entire piece of pumpkin pie, much to Jason's dismay. But it was Grandma G's made from scratch real pumpkin pie! And when Grandma G saw Annabella loved the little tiny sliver of a piece I gave her, she cut a big ole piece for her. I didn't let Annabella eat much of the crust...so there's that at least. But Annabella already understands that there are just some foods that are just sooo good, and that Mommy and Daddy barely let her have them. So when she gets something with sugar she doesn't mess around.

Saturday we spent the morning and early afternoon at my Mom's. We saw Grandpa M and Millie, and my old next door neighbors. I'd told Mom in advance that we did NOT want a big Thanksgiving dinner, that salad sounded about right. Well, we didn't have turkey. There's that I guess. But the amount of food that was served certainly rivaled a Thanksgiving feast. My tummy felt like bursting, but so yummy. And seeing everybody was great. Annabella at this point was starting to get a little bit tired of the nonstop new-ish people though. But she still did pretty great.

We spent Saturday evening with Grandma B and Ray. Annabella got some down time, which was nice. Then after she went to bed I got to see an old friend from high school. (Ashley, if you're reading this, you totally forgot your hat at my Gma's.)

Sunday we say Aunt Katy. Always fun. And we went out to see some property Gma and Ray own. My grandma's grandparents actually originally owned it. Walking on land your great great grandparents walked is quite a feeling. It made me all nostalgic for where I grew up.

But Sunday was a little more somber. I said goodbye to somebody I never really knew, but somebody who'd impacted my life anyway. Because that somebody, in May of 1982, poked a baby girl to keep her awake after a terrible car accident. And that somebody in all likelihood kept that baby girl alive. So standing there, looking over his coffin, telling my baby girl that this man had saved her Mama's life when I was a baby girl...well it certainly made me catch my breath. And made me so very grateful to this man on this Thanksgiving weekend.

Sunday was capped off though with a parade through my hometown which Annabella loved, even if she doesn't quite understand candy yet. And then it was bedtime routine time and then time for driving home through the night and back to work the next morning.

Overall, it was a pretty amazing Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving

I'm so excited for turkey day this year, which is a bit unusual for me. I like Thanksgiving, but it's not usually a holiday I look forward to. This year though, I have Annabella. And I'm so excited for her. She'll get to see a bunch of family that loves her to pieces. She'll get to try all sorts of yummy new foods. And I'll get to spend 4 days with her where hopefully she'll be healthy the whole time (quick, knock on wood).

I haven't posted much over the past month or 2, and honestly, it's been a tough time. Annabella has been sick continuously since about October 14th. Even though she's got a rash covering her tiny little body, I think she's finally getting past it. I know the rash is counter-indicative of getting better...but I still think she's getting better. Why you ask? Well, we've had 2 nights in a row of sleep that was not terrible. Granted, it still wasn't great, but I'll take not terrible, especially 2 nights in a row of it. And last night, my little baby floored me with the amount of food she shoved in her face. I think that what I thought was her normal appetite was actually her not having much of an appetite. So when the docs would ask how her eating was, I would say that it was about normal. But when she's been sick for so long with so few breaks (even before Oct 14th she's had so many colds and ear infections), I just didn't know. And then this morning she ate way more than normal again.

So yeah, I'm pretty much stoked that my baby might actually get to enjoy spending time with family and eating new foods without feeling like crap.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween

We dressed Annabella as a bumblebee for Halloween and took her to a couple of neighbor's houses.

Pictures of the Birthday Cupcake





Friday, October 30, 2009

And she's off!

Annabella figured out the walking thing tonight!

Jas and I were sitting a few feet apart, farther than ever before, and I had the video camera out (we'll post it later). So of course we urge her to walk back and forth. She stands up and takes 12 steps to me! Then she goes back and forth and back and forth. And then, she just up and walks past Daddy. And she just walks and walks. Her record without touching her hands to the ground was 17 steps. Before tonight I think it was 8. She just kept going.

My heart is bursting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A good day

We had Annabella's ENT follow-up this morning, and she can hear! Really, the difference was night and day. She was yammering on through the test and was still looking for the really quiet sounds. I could barely hear some of the sounds over top of her talking, but she was still looking for them. So that was pretty much awesome.

I almost missed it, but I got to be with my baby at 12:21pm. I held her in my arms and told her how much I love her.

We made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Jas and I sang happy birthday and gave Annabella her cupcake. She played with it for what seemed like minutes before finally putting a morsel in her mouth. One bite was all it took. The feeding frenzy began. She had this goofy smile that seemed to say "What is this and where has it been my whole life?" She just kept ramming more in.

Then we got her hand print in a clay mold we have. One of Annabella's Grandmas got us a set of molds for ages 1-5. It took several (okay, maybe a couple dozen) tries, but we got the hand print. And I will cherish it forever.

Then we played games on the floor in the kitchen. Annabella was a couple feet away from me, and Jas and I were cheering her to take a step. After a few minutes, she stood up and walked the 7 steps it took to get to me. My heart, already swollen with pride, swelled up even more. I held my baby and told her how proud I was, and that she would always be my baby.

I really can't ask for a better day.

Pix of Annabella with cake coming soon.

One year ago today

One year ago today, at 12:21pm, I was introduced to my favorite person on the planet. I looked at her and kissed her head and fell in love. Everything she did was magic, and we treated her like our perfect little china doll.

I had no idea how fully she would change my life, and I had no idea my heart could hold so much love. Now our precious little baby isn't so little anymore. And she's not a china doll anymore either. She's our adventurous, curious, smiley, happy, determined, little toddler. And we couldn't love her more.Annabella, I hope the next year brings you lots of fun, lots of mischief, lots of laughs. I can't wait to see how you grow. No matter what though, you'll always me mommy's little girl.

Friday, September 25, 2009

First Steps

Annabella took her first steps for Dada yesterday. Mama wasn't there. Mama was home 5 minutes later. To say Mama is bummed that she missed the big moment is an understatement. To say Mama is beaming with pride is also an understatement.

Way to go baby.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mistake

On Wednesday, September 9, Dr Raymond D Cook put tubes in my baby's ears.

On Friday, September 11, Dr Raymond D Cook drove drunk on a road, not far from my house, 40mph over the speed limit. He crashed his Mercedes into a 20 year old ballerina's Hyundai, killing her. (Article)

I'm not certain how to process this.

But I am sad. I am sad for the victim, and I'm sad for Dr Cook. Her life is gone. His isn't far from it, at least not the life he knew.

And I'm scared. Because Dr Cook seemed like a genuinely good guy, and he was very reassuring, and I trusted him. And now I don't know if that trust was misplaced. I have no reason to believe that he's been anything but a great doctor in all of our dealings with him. But really, how would I know? Did we luck out that my baby is fine? Did this man, who I liked, who put others at risk by getting behind the wheel after drinking do the same with the knife? I just don't know. And my baby is fine. So I'm not worried that he screwed something up with her, because I don't think he did. But it's my job to protect her, and once again, I should have done better.

And I'm confused. Because I have other friends who drink and drive when they shouldn't. Who can't seem to control the drink. Who are one bad night away from throwing their lives away. They are good people. Good people with a problem. Not unlike Dr Cook.

And I don't know why, maybe it's just because I met him and liked him, but anger isn't what I'm feeling. I see a man who made a tragic mistake, and he and his family are paying dearly for it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Date night!

Jas and I went on an actual date Sunday night. A date where we put on nice clothes. And ate a fancy meal with each other. And didn't worry about being home for the bedtime ritual.

And Annabella did great! This for me is the most exciting part, because it means that maybe, just maybe, we can do this again in the future.

For our date night, we hired one of her daycare teachers to come over and watch her, which was great because we trust Miss Kim and we figured Annabella wouldn't be freaked out with Miss Kim being the one putting her to bed since she sees her all the time. The not-so-great part of hiring Miss Kim was the price tag: $12/hour! Sure she's a professional and all, but I remember getting paid like $3/hour when I would babysit. So even though having her over gave us peace of mind, I don't think we'll be using her sitting services on a regular basis. But now that we've seen that Annabella can handle the bedtime routing with somebody else, hopefully we can try it again with a cheaper option :)

Ears

Warning: Some of what I talk about below is just gross. Read at your own risk.

I think we might be finally beating this last round of ear infections. Finally. The tubes and antibiotic ear drops weren't enough. Annabella's now on an oral antibiotic called Vantin in addition to the ear drops.

For those of you keeping track, she's already been on Augmentin and Omnicef for these infections, and neither of them kept the infection away. After she got the tubes, there was a bunch of gross drainage that was supposed to go away after 36 hours. We called the ENT on Friday when they were still gross, and we were told that it was ok to still be draining. Sunday was supposed to be the last day on the ear drops, and there was still a TON of gross drainage. So much in fact that we had to use the nose bulb to suction her ear before we put the drops in. Yum. Annabella would stick her fingers in her ears and it would make a juicy sound and come out covered in puss/mucous. Double yum.

So we went to the pediatrician, and she said that she thought there was probably so much drainage that we were unable to get the drops to where they needed to be and put us on the Vantin, which she said was an older but good antibiotic. Apparently it's not prescribed that often anymore, as we had to call 30 pharmacies before we found one that was open on Sunday and carried it. Fun times.

As of today, there's still some caked on grossness on her ears, but no wet puss/mucous. So we might be over the hump. I can't tell you how happy this makes me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The great Facebook experiment.

So I'm trying my hand at Facebook, and I honestly don't think I care for it. Sure, I found a few friends from my past. And yes, it was kind of neat to find out what's happened with them.

But it feels kind of icky. I feel like Facebook is an internet stalker's dream come true. And I felt like a stalker friending some of these people. And I feel like a stalker leaving messages on their walls or IMing them. Rationally I know that if any of these people left me messages I'd be super pumped, but doing it the other way feels wrong.

So we'll see.

Plus, I accidentally friended someone from high school who I thought was somebody else. The guy I actually friended was a guy who made me super unconfortable in high school. I have some memory of him totally invading my personal space in a way that was uninvited and uncomfortable. So I unfriended him. Which made me feel like a tool.

Clearly I have a few things to learn if I'm to continue my journey into the land of Facebook.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

They promised a long nap.

Apparently they don't know my child.

After Annabella woke up from the anesthesia she was quite unhappy, and she let us all know it. The nurses told us that she would be groggy and sleepy for awhile, but that she'd take a long nap and wake up and be better. And by this evening it would be like nothing had happened.

Annabella took a whopping 45 minute nap, and I'm being generous. She woke up, still a little groggy, but within a couple more minutes she was fine, crawling around and playing like normal. She had her surgery at 7:30 this morning, and the only lasting telltales 4.5 hours later are her blood-tinged ears, her slightly enhanced clumsiness (apparently she'll be a little dizzy for a bit), and she keeps grabbing at her ears. So all in all, she's doing fabulous.

I wish I could say that it was time to get the tubes, but I think we missed the time to get tubes a couple months ago and waited longer than we should. It's all a balancing act, and we were hoping she'd grow out of the need for them. But after ending up getting them, I wish we'd have spared her the months of continued ear infections. Oh well. Hindsight and all.

I can say that I feel like we made the right decision in finally getting them though. With the latest ear infection, she went through a 10-day course of Augmentin and then another 10 days of Omnicef. She's been off the antibiotics since Sunday...and the ear infection was already back. The doc said that when he opened her eardrums puss came out on both sides. Yum. Omnicef and Augmentin are the 2 stronger antibiotics they prescribe for ear infections, and neither of them had worked...so the only other option besides getting tubes was getting antibiotic shots...and besides being painful, I really don't like the idea of already being forced to go with the super heavy-duty antibiotics for my not-even-one-year-old. We didn't know ahead of time that her infection would be back of course, but it certainly helps me feel like tubes were ultimately the right decision.

Now I just hope that they do the job and she doesn't get so many infections. Or at least if she continues to get the infections that she won't be in so much pain from them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tubes

With this latest ear infection, Jason and I decided to take Annabella to the ENT (ear, nose, and throat doc). Our pediatrician told us that he thought it was time, especially since the summer months hadn't brought about the break we were hoping for. And with cold season rapidly approaching, we needed to do something.

The ENT we met with was very patient and answered all of our questions. At the end of the appointment, he asked if Annabella had had a hearing test since that first one they do at the hospital. We said she hadn't. As we were waiting for the hearing test, Jas and I basically decided to go forward with getting Annabella the tubes. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Then we had the hearing test...and if we weren't 100% convinced before, the hearing test would have certainly put us over the edge. At first they put these tube thingies in Annabella's ears, and they somehow measure the reverberations off of her eardrums. The measurement is supposed to look like a big peak. Annabella's looked like little hills, which indicates fluid behind both ear drums. This wasn't surprising.

Then we're taken into this little room. I hold Annabella on my lap, and Jason sits in front of us. His job is to get her to look forward, but not to overly distract her. Then noises come out of a speaker up and over Annabella's right shoulder. If she looks at the speaker, a box with toys lights up and the toys move around and clap and such. Once it stops, Jason gets her to look forward.

Easy enough, no? Well, Annabella responded to the very loud noises. And it could be that she was too distracted by how awesome Daddy is or that she didn't much care for the magic toys in the box, but she didn't look for the medium sound noises at all. Jas and I both had a hard time not looking over at the box ourselves.

So apparently Annabella is deaf. Ok, not really. But the testing indicates a possible 20-30% hearing loss, most likely because the fluid on her ears are blocking the sounds.

Jas and I got back to the office to wait for the ENT, and we bust out laughing. Because sometimes you have to laugh so that you don't cry.

So Annabella's getting tubes on Wednesday. It's supposed to be an incredibly simple procedure. She wears a gas mask to sedate her, they make little slits in her eardrums, and insert the tubes. As she grows, her eardrums will grow more skin and eventually push the tubes out. Until then, there is another avenue for fluid to drain, and if she gets another ear infection, we can give her antibiotic ear drops rather than oral antibiotics. Simple enough, but we're still scared silly.

On the upside, until Wednesday you can say just about anything you want in our house without worrying about little ears as long as you speak quietly. Stub your tie? Just be sure to whisper the bad words.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Drained

I can't even believe I'm typing this. Annabella has yet another ear infection. She hasn't even been off antibiotics for a week yet, and the ear infections are back on both sides. We're trying an antibiotic that didn't work the last time she was on it, and if it doesn't work this time, she'll have to get antibiotic shots.

To say I'm depleted would be an understatement. I feel that in the war against the ear infections, we've clearly lost. We might have won a battle here and there, but the ear infections, they have clearly beaten us to a pulp. And my daughter is once again in pain.

I feel powerless. I wish I could trade places with her. I wish I could better advocate for her. I wish I could make all her pain go away. But I can't take her pain away. I don't know the right path to take for treatment. And while I hear about how Mom always knows, and to never doubt a Mom when she says her child is sick, I fear that I lack this intuition. And I'm ashamed when I miss the signs because it means my baby has been hurting for longer than necessary. Afterall, I'm her Mom. I'm the one that's supposed to know. And I just don't.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Proud Momma


This week's been a big week for us. Annabella shows us what a big girl she's becoming every day. She plays more, and she's learning new skills. Yesterday, she stood up in the middle of the room without pulling up on anything for the first time. And then she did it over and over again. And today was the first time we saw her put food in her mouth and eat. She ate puff after puff, crunching away. And my heart just swells.


We're also breaking Annabella of her paci this week. We just had the 2 pacifiers; we couldn't find anymore like them. And those 2 have started to degrade. The rubber on the sides are pulling loose, and I'm afraid she might be able to pull some rubber off and swallow or choke on it. I can't say the transition has been smooth, but it's getting better. Last week, before we yanked the paci, Annabella went to sleep 3 times at night without crying at all. I just put her in her crib and she rolled over to her stomache, pulled her legs under her butt, and settled down to sleep. With how much of a struggle we've had getting her to sleep, I can't tell you what an accomplishment it is for her to learn to go to sleep on her own. I'm hoping we get back to that place soon without the paci.

How can anyone not just love that face?

At daycare today

Little Girl: I like your baby.
Me: Thank you!
LG: How old is he?
Me: She's almost 11 months.
LG: Is that 1?
Me: Almost.
LG: So she's zero?
Me: Yes. I guess so.
LG: Daddy! That baby is zero!

Kids are so cute.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ear infections and teething and swine flu. Oh my!

Annabella has infections in both ears. Again. We've lost count of how many this makes. At this rate, we're headed for tubes.

In other news, the H1N1 is overtaking Annabella's daycare. So we have that possibility to look forward to. Her pediatrician says it's really no big deal. I'm still a little terrified. Especially after they told us today that her teacher, the one who cared for her most of the day yesterday, left early and was diagnosed with the flu. So yeah, exposure has pretty much been guaranteed.

All 3 of us have been fighting off some sort of cold off and on for awhile. I think we're all looking forward to feeling better at some point.

But it's not all bad news. The ear infections seem to be clearing up. We do not have the flu (at least not yet). Annabella's crawling around like a mad-woman, working on getting teeth, and generally being a happy baby. And life is still pretty good.

Oh, and I'm working on getting more Annabella pix.

Friday, August 7, 2009

You know you're a mommy when...

  • You have snotty tissues in your pocket, but the snot isn't yours.
  • Getting open-mouthed, slobbery kisses on your chin is the highlight of your day.
  • "No touch" is the number 1 phrase in your vocabulary.
  • If butt-smelling (poop-detecting) were an Olympic sport, you'd have a gold medal.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Apparently I have a lot to say

I could just add to the previous post, but that would be more work. Plus that post was about Annabella. This post is about me. So yeah, 3 posts, 1 day...

I had no idea what being a mom would be like before I had a baby. And really I don't think there's anybody who could have prepared me for it.

There's the good stuff, which is better than pretty much anything else. Like coming home at the end of the day to a baby that just can't contain her excitement to see you. And watching your baby experience new things. And getting slobbery open mouth kisses on your cheek (or sometimes your nose). And holding your baby close and smelling her baby skin. Really, there's nothing better.

But then there's the bad stuff. Like never getting 8 hours of sleep, ever. Like leaving your baby at daycare when all you want to do is hold her. Like needing a break from being Mommy so bad that you just can't take it, but then having a hard time taking that break when it's offered, knowing you're leaving your baby behind. Like missing your baby all day long and feeling like you don't get to spend enough time with her.

Some days I have a really hard time being a working mom. A really hard time. If Annabella looks at me with puppy dog eyes as I leave the daycare I almost can't take it. Today has been one of those days. And she's pretty much taken center-stage of my brain all day long.

I know that me working is good for my family for a number of reasons. Annabella likes daycare and gets a lot of good things from being there, a lot of things I couldn't really offer at home. We can more easily afford the things we need and want. And I'm a sane person (something that would probably not be true if I were a stay at home mom).

But all those things I know in my head. And today my heart hurts.

2 Posts in 1 day!

Can it be? Am I posting twice in one day? Why yes, I am. After a month of neglecting the blog, there is Annabella news.

Besides the crawling, she has a tooth! I think all it took for her tooth to come in was for me to announce to the world that she was, in fact, not teething. I think it was about a week after that that her lower right tooth poked through her gums. And now she's working on getting her lower right one. I wish it would hurry up and break through her gums already. She's not been too terribly happy with the teething, and we've had lots of extra night wakings the past few days. I'd be pretty unhappy too if I had a giant bump in my gums where a tooth should be.

Also exciting Annabella news: she can pull to standing on her own. She needs something to hold onto, but she can pull up. And once she's up, she can stay up for a couple seconds without holding onto anything.

And maybe the most exciting on of all: Annabella first word is "Mama". Or not. My child, the one I carried around in my body for 9 months, the one who I've lovingly woken up to feed pretty much every night of the last 10 months, the one who I would give my life for...her first word is "Dada". The injustice of it all is pretty appalling. And it gets worse. Dada is "dada", but so am I. So when I stumble into her room at the ridiculously early hour that she wakes up, she looks up at me and says "Dada".

This past month has been pretty big for us with all the big milestones people ask us about, but I feel like I'm seeing her personality come out more and more all the time. In particular, watching her learn all these new skills has made me realize how cautious she is. For example, she wouldn't attempt crawling until she was sure she could get back to a sitting position, lest she be stuck lying on the ground. And she's very tentative about what she uses to pull up on. She doesn't just go after something...she thinks about it first. Not an altogether bad trait to possess.

Crawling

Annabella has started to crawl. She's still very tentative about it, but if you watch her for long enough, she might just go for it.

I was at daycare today, and I was trying to get her to crawl toward me. I scooted back 3 or 4 feet, grabbed a toy xylophone, and urged, "Come on Annabella. Crawl to Mommy. You can get the toy..."

In typical Annabella fashion, she looked at the toy, was mildly interested, but chose instead to go for something much closer to in reach.

So I sat there for several minutes, trying to make the xylophone look like the best toy in the room. And it worked, over crawled Emma to grab the xylophone. Not quite what I was going for.

Well, Annabella took one look at Emma playing with her Mommy and her Mommy's toy and booked it over to steal it right out of Emma's clutches.

So all I really need to get Annabella moving is a little friend to be jealous of. Anybody volunteering their baby?

Friday, June 19, 2009

We're still here

I know I haven't posted in awhile. OK...a long while. But I'm here now.

Annabella is almost 9 months old, and I can't believe how big she's getting. I think she's hit a growth spurt because she looks bigger to me every single day. And not too long ago I thought she'd be in her 6 month clothes for quite awhile longer, and now some of the 9 month clothes are pretty snug. Some of the 12 month clothes even appear to fit.

So besides all the growing, what else is new?

Annabella wore her first pair of overalls yesterday. A very proud moment for Momma. We didn't get a pic, but we'll make sure to snap one of her in them soon.

Annabella is SUPER ticklish, something she gets from me. Maybe the only thing she gets from me. Her personality and sleep patterns are all Jason. Anyway, she makes it a habit to fling herself backwards to get a view of the world whenever I'm feeding her and she thinks she's missing out on something important. One of these days she's going to fling herself off my lap. This morning, after she'd flung herself backwards, I was stroking her upper arm to get her attention. Apparently I'd hit a ticklish spot. I hate tickling her too much because it was and is torture for me to be tickled, but her laugh is just so awesome. So sometimes I can't help myself :) She breaks out into giggles pretty much every day from inadvertent tickling though...so much fun!

Annabella scoots. She shows virtually no interest in crawling and doesn't like her knees to be under her, but she can move towards what she wants with this funny scoot. It involves stretching her arms way in front of her, lifting her but up in the air, and somehow pulling her feet slightly towards her arms. The motion she makes doesn't appear conducive to movement, at least not in the right direction, but it works for her.

Annabella still has no teeth. People are all the time saying to me (and have been for a long time), "oh, it looks like she's teething!". But nope. Still no teeth. The pediatrician told us many weeks ago that she'd started the teething process and that you can visually see a tooth beneath her gums if you shine a light on them. But that's as far as the teeth have made it. No bumpy gums, no sharp points, nothing. Lots and lots of drool though.

Annabella finally has semi-official nicknames. I call her "Bullfrog" all the time. This started because we were singing "Annabella was a bullfrog, bum bum, was a good friend of mine..." and she LOVED it. And now she sits in a way that makes her look like a bullfrog; so the name really fits. And whenever Jas and I are reading a book to her with the word frog, we substitute it for "Annabella". We read her "I Love You, Good Night" every night, which says "I love you like frogs love flies". So I say "I love you like Annabellas love flies" and tell her that's what she looks like :)

Ms Kim at daycare calls her BellaBoo. Also too cute.

Jason's nickname for Annabella: "Slobbering Poop Machine". To be fair, he's not exactly wrong. He's even got a little jingle he sings with it.

Annabella is terrified of strangers. For a long time she loved everybody...now it takes awhile for her to warm up. She's especially terrified of Mr John, her music teacher. It might be the guitar, but whenever she sees him she totally flips out. He teachers her every Friday morning, and the past several Friday's I've spent a big portion of music class with her. I think this is going to just be the way it is for awhile.

Annabella sometimes gets really slap-happy when she's tired. She starts laughing at everything. And she's got this awesome belly-laugh (the best sound in the world). And she's just so much fun then. I know she's sleepy, but it's hard to put her to bed when she's like that. I just want to make her laugh.

Annabella LOVES food. Pears are her favorite, but she digs yogurt, apples and blueberries, bananas and mangos, sweet potatoes, and many more. Her food intake has gone way up in the last couple of weeks (another sign of the growth spurt). And even when she's really fussy, she calms down and sits there happily for a couple minutes when you put her in her high chair because she knows that food's on the way.

I'm sure I could go on all day long (cuz I think she's awesome), but I think that's it enough for now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Pictures and Update

New picture are up at http://annabellag.shutterfly.com/

We haven't been writing as much lately, sorry about that, hopefully we'll do some more posting soon. Here are a few quick updates:
  • Annabella, despite fighting thrush, has been going to sleep much better now.
  • At a recent doctor's appointment she weighed in at 15 lbs 6.5 oz which was at the 12th percentile.
  • She plays peek-a-boo but doesn't quite understand that she needs to cover her eyes. She just lifts something above her head, and then pulls it down and waits for someone to say peek-a-boo.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Whisperer

I reached my breaking point Tuesday night. Annabella was sleeping in my bed and was up at 2:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep, instead playing and crying/screaming when I'd try to get her to go back to sleep. We finally got her back down, just to have her wake up at 5am and not go back to sleep for the day. The sleeping in my bed option was great when it was the no-cry method. Now that she was screaming even when I was holding her just right and snuggling with her and doing everything I knew how, I just couldn't take it anymore!

Annabella just couldn't fall asleep on her own, at least not if she wasn't in her carseat in the moving car. And the surest way to make her scream bloody murder would be to set her in her crib.

I know my lovely daughter is teething, and that can hurt. And I know that if I gave her baby Motrin and tried one more night with me that it might have been different, but I just couldn't take the chance. If I'd given her the Motrin and still had another night of her kicking and arching her back to get out of my arms while screaming as I'm trying to get her the precious sleep she needs, I don't know that I could've taken it.

So last night we tried something different (besides the Baby Motrin). We found Tracy Hogg's Baby Whisperer sleep method, and it sounded like something we could handle. Here's the gist of it: We do our nighttime routine, then put Annabella in her crib. If she cries, we immediately pick her up and comfort her. As soon as she is calm, we put her back in her crib. Repeat until Annabella realizes that crying will not mean that she gets to sleep in Mommy's arms and that she needs to sleep in her crib.

At first it was ridiculous. Annabella would be crying before I even set her down. As soon as her body was hanging over her crib there'd be screams. And the book didn't really make it clear what to do if that happened. So I made a rule that I put her down, then exit the room, touch the stair railing and take a breath, turn around and pick her up. Because really, she wouldn't have ever left my arms.

By the end it was taking much longer to console her, but she was staying consoled much longer. Jas and I also found that we no longer had to actually pick her up to console her, which was good as my neck was starting to kill me from repeatedly throwing her weight around to get her in the right sleepy time positions. We could just lean over the crib and rock her or rub her forehead. Sometimes just standing be the crib was enough. That right there was progress.

And after about 2 hours, she was done really crying. She'd half-cry/whimper a little, but was calming herself and didn't need us. And soon she was asleep!

Then in the middle of the night she put herself back to sleep with almost no effort from me after I'd fed her.

And at daycare today she took a 55-minute nap, which is huge! HUGE! I think 55 minutes of sleep might be a daycare record for her, let alone in one nap!

So right now I'm pretty much on top of the world, hoping that we've found our answer. Now we'll just see how tonight goes.

My subconscious might not agree with how great this was though. Last night I dreamed I was locked in my Mom's house and that she'd put a poisonous snake in there that was hungry and was chasing me around. In my dream I even though, "Mom's trying to kill me!" I'm not Freud expert or anything, but if I had to guess...I think maybe my subconscious thinks I spent last night torturing my child. Oh well, my subconscious can just suck it. This sleeping thing rocks!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Round 2

An 8 out of 10 bulging ear infection.

Sounds lovely, doesn't it? The doc said that if you or I had Annabella's latest ear infection, that we'd be on Vicodin. But kids are resilient he tells me, as Annabella sits there stoically.

Right about now I feel like the world's worst mother. You see, Annabella and I both got sick Sunday night. We were both stuffy and altogether miserable. And Annabella had a miserable night, waking at least one point in the night and screaming inconsolably for a minute or 2. Had I not been sick as well, or had she not calmed down and went back to sleep after just a couple minutes, I might have had the foresight to take her to the doctor Monday. But instead I was just consumed by my own sickness and Annabella was in a sour mood, but I mostly thought she was just bored by Mommy who was too tired to entertain.

Then Monday night came. And she was up every 45 minutes whimpering. And she had such a hard time sleeping. And I gave her Tylenol, but only grudgingly. And I saw her pulling at her ear and being unhappy, but I thought maybe it was just the pressure from her congestion. To my credit, the words ear infection did come to mind as well. But the last time we had her checked for an ear infection, she had a sore throat. And I felt dumb.

So Tuesday we make her an appointment at the doctor, partly because I think her ears should be checked, but hugely because we had to get her medically cleared for daycare due to all the swine flu scariness. And at this appointment is where we hear the phrases "bulging ear infection", "an 8 out of 10", and "an adult with this infection would be on Vicodin".

So thank you swine flu. Thanks for making us take our sick little baby to the doctor so that we could learn that she's in pretty bad pain with an ear infection. Mommy was a little too self-absorbed with her own sickness to see it :(

The good news is that the pediatrician went straight to Augmentin this time for her antibiotic, which is what worked last time, and Annabella slept much much much better last night. So hopefully our cheerful bundle of joy will be cheerier soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

7 Months

How can my baby be 7 months old?

This seems like yesterday:

3 days old, just home from the hospital.

Now she looks closer to this:
Yes. I know this picture is old. We're getting more taken tomorrow though!

She used to sleep with her head buried in my chest. Now she's way too big for that. She won't even fit!

She used to need me to hold her head up for her. Now she cranes her head every which way to see what's going on.

She used to stare up at her mobile, excited by its movement. Now she doesn't just stare. She bats at whatever's in reach. And if she can get it, it goes straight to her mouth!

She used to need Mommy to hold her to put her to sleep. OK... Some things haven't changed!

For the curious, here's her new developments:
  • She's teething! It's official. The doctor saw a little nubbin of a tooth well below the surface, but it's on its way! And if I look just right, I can sometimes see the tiny nubbin as well.
  • She loves loves loves fruit, especially pears, pineapple, and strawberries And sweet potatoes. Squash, not so much. Carrots are more touch and go. Regardless though, the first bite she still makes that "I don't know what you're giving me but I'm prepared to hate it!" face.
  • She's had her first fever. Mommy and Daddy (ok, really just Mommy) panicked because we couldn't figure out what was wrong. No stuffy nose. No vomiting. Didn't seem to be the ears so much. So we took her to the doctor, and she had a sore throat. She seems to be over it and happy now though.
  • She's still not crawling, but she's moving around a whole lot more. If I just hold her on the couch, she's wiggling all around, pushing off whatever part of me is convenient. If she sees something she wants she dives for it, and really quickly. She has a new mark today from where she dove towards me while I was holding my laptop and she smacked her face into it. No tears over that one, but it left its mark.
  • She's saying "baa baa baa" now. I was getting worried because I hadn't really heard a lot of consonant sounds out of her mouth yet. I don't know when she started this, but now it seems like she's always been doing it. I really do think this is a new accomplishment though. She's also very interested and watches my mouth whenever I make repetitive consonants at her. So I look at her and say "ma ma ma ma ma ma" and "da da da da da" a lot. She digs it though.
  • She's finally sleeping better at daycare! She still doesn't sleep for longer than 45 minutes at a time, and one 45 minute stretch is still really good for her, but it's progress.
  • She loves daycare. She's happy almost every time I go over there to see her, and I'm still over there a lot. The only times she's unhappy are when she's tired or when she's hungry and I'm running late. Other than that, she's smiley and talkative and loves playing with the other babies and teachers.
  • She's screaching at the top of her lungs a lot now. This is her happy screach. She's screached for awhile, but it seemed to hit new levels today on the car ride into daycare. Healthy lungs? Yup.
  • She loves being read to. We read Dinosaur's Binkit a lot. I don't know if it's her favorite or ours, but we all seem to dig all the Sandra Boynton books so far.
  • She fights sleep still. Bedtime is and has always been the hardest part of our day with her. She's such a happy baby, but starting around 7pm she gets cranky, and it's downhill from there.
OK. That's enough for now. Although it's easy to go on and on about how wonderful I think my little baby is because I think every thing she does is perfect. I totally thought I would be the disciplinarian before we had her, and now it's so totally going to be Jason.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The really awesome pix of Annabella

I can't take credit for most of the pretty pix of Annabella I've been posting. I thought I mentioned it at one point, and I tried to give credit where credit was due on http://annabellag.shutterfly.com, but on closer inspection, it seems that you have to click the "view album" button to see my comments, which are that our friend Justin took the professional looking shots. (We took the ones labeled "Annabella - first 2 months". The rest are all his.)

I've received enough comments/questions now from friends that I realized I needed to make this more clear.

I was hoping to keep this blog a little more anonymous than this, because I'm all worried about the crazies coming to find us... But our friend's website is here: http://justinbelcherphotography.com/ Not that you could figure out who we are just based on a friend's website, but you never know.

Jason and I are starting to get a little bit more into photography. But we are really lacking Justin's mad skills. He's teaching us though, and the photos from the very last post I put up were taken by either Jason or I, and Jason touched them up with Lightroom. I put all the ones Justin took up at the shutterfly site (URL above). Justin was kind enough to give us all rights to the pictures he's taking for us; so if you are not one of the crazies and would like to print pictures of my child (hi Grandma!), you should be able to do so from that site.

Monday, April 6, 2009

6 months and counting

Annabella is already 6 months old! I can't believe how fast she's growing and changing.

My little girl can now sit up all by herself. She laughs and growls and makes raspberries with her mouth, covering everything in site with spittle. She kisses your cheek (with her mouth wide open, again covering you in spit). She loves to grab onto Daddy's hair with both her hands and shove his entire nose into her mouth.


She sits across from her friend, Emma, at daycare, and they chit chat and share toys. Each of them finds the toy the other one has to be the best toy, reaching for it as best they can. I'm pretty sure they're gossiping about the boys.

She is learning to eat solid foods (and has been since 24 weeks and 1 day). Applesauce and rice cereal are big hits. Bananas and carrots are touch and go. Some days solid food in general just isn't going to happen. Some days she just loves it. Most days she reaches out as if she wants to try whatever it is Mommy and Daddy are eating.


She's going through a Mommy's phase, which is both nice and hard. Nice because it makes me feel like she loves me when she puts her arms up for me to pick her up and smiles when she sees me. Hard because she cries when I have to walk away without picking her up. Hard because she looks for me even when Daddy is playing with her and keeping her company. Hard because she wants me to hold her to help her fall asleep. Hard because she cries for other people just because they aren't me.


Everything that she can get her fingers on goes straight into her mouth. Fingers, hair, blankets, toys, anything really.

She loves exploring new textures with her fingertips.


Daddy's already working to make her a Browns fan. It looks like she's well on her way.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rest in peace, my Cookie Monster

My last remaining childhood pet died this past week. He was a good kitty, and I'll miss him.

My family insisted on naming him Gabby, but I named him Cookie Monster. Eventually I gave in and started calling him Gabby too. But really, I think his true name was and will always be Cookie Monster. After all, he showed a definite preference for me :) Granted, it could have been that I always fed him tuna and always petted him just the way he likes and never touched his ears, nose, or feet, which he abhors. And we got him just after I grew out of that "Let's dress the kitty up!" phase. So he never had to wear dollbaby dresses or bonnets.

Gabby was very sweet, but easily crossed and very stubborn. He went to battle over the whole not being allowed on the counter rule, and I do believe he won. He had a loud purr and loved to sit on your lap. He was also a skilled hunter, bringing us many special furry gifts from his nights out.

We got him on Christmas Eve. We'd just lost another family pet, Snuggles, and there was a hole in our hearts. While no kitty could ever replace Snuggles, Gabby quickly eased our pain with his crazy kitten antics. He loved to play, and played so hard that we thought our sweet little kitten must be sick when he finally crashed. We soon learned that this was just Gabby: pure energy until he was just too tired to move.

Gabby, you'll always have a special place in my heart, and I miss you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A rough couple of weeks

Our house has been the house of perpetual sickness.

Annabella's ear infection has turned into a war, with the ear infection winning the first couple of battles. She's now on her 3rd different antibiotic, which seems to be doing the trick finally.


We've also all had some wretched stomach virus. Jason and I were zombies last Friday, barely able to take turns taking care of our fussy baby. We thought she was fussy because we had no energy to play with her and she was bored. After her 6th round of nasty diapers for the day, we finally figured out that she was sick too. You'd think we would have figured it out after the first 3 or 4, but really, that's not a day out of the ordinary when she's on antibiotics.


Neither Jason or I feel especially great still and are guarding our tummies from anything too upsetting. I think Annabella's got it worse though because her new antibiotic actually makes her tummy upset. So she's been throwing up a little here and there, which isn't really like her.

I think we're almost out of the woods though. Annabella was in a much better mood this morning than she's been in for days, which is an indication that this round of antibiotics is actually working.

So yay for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

5 months

My sweet little baby isn't so little anymore.  She turned 5 months old last Saturday.  And I can't believe how fast the time is flying by!

Here's an update on what she's doing these days:

Annabella loves loves loves shoving things in her mouth.  She still doesn't quite understand size very well though.  So she'll reach out for this cow that's almost as big as her head and try to get it in her mouth.  Her favorite toys right now are the ones that she can easily hold onto and suck on.  She's almost always got a fistful of my hair in her mouth.  "Leggo Mommy's hair!" is coming out of my mouth about 1000 times a day.  Oh, and she's learning how to put her paci back in her mouth.  She'll flip it around until it's right.  Her biggest hurdle with this one is that she can't get her hand off the paci while keeping it in her mouth.  So she'll get it in there the right way just to accidentally yank it out.  It's super cute though.

She's showing almost no interest in rolling over, but we're fairly convinced she can just do it whenever she wants.  She's able to get herself up onto her side without even trying much from her back, and we've seen her roll from her stomach to her back.  She's more interested in trying to get her legs up under her and pushing up on her arms.  I don't expect to see her crawling anytime soon, but that seems to be what she's working towards.  I doubt we'll see much more rolling until she realizes it's a way to reach toys that are out of her reach.  Mostly though she doesn't care about the toys on her sides, just the ones in front of her, but she does try to reach out for those and has scooted a little towards them.  So that's exciting stuff (for us at least).

Her personality is starting to come out more and more.  She often times goes straight to screaming now when she's not happy, which means that she's learning how to communicate her feelings with us more.  Thankfully she's a pretty happy baby and doesn't scream all that much.  She loves watching people, especially new people.  We really don't have to worry much about how she'll be in a store or a restaurant right now because she's just so entertained by all the new surroundings, and that keeps her happy.  She's also started reacting to our laughs.  She's realized they're good things and has smiled and laughed back at us.  I could just see the wheels spinning in her head the first time our laughs sunk in.  She stopped for a second, looked at us, and then laughed back at us, absolutely thrilled.  For me it was a pretty special moment.  

Stranger anxiety is slowly starting up now.  When somebody comes up and talks directly to her she buries her head in my shoulder.  I think it must just make her feel safer.  Yesterday was the first time I've seen her react negatively to being held by a stranger.  She gave a big pout and turned to look for me.  Also, I took her to a meeting with me this week, and a bunch of people in the room started cheering for something, and she really did not like that.  She was startled by the suddeness, and I think it actually scared her a little bit.  She buried her head in my shoulder and pouted.  The last one could have more to do with her ear infection than her shyness.

OK.  That is it for now.  The baby who was sleeping in my arms as I typed is now awake and trying to help me type.  More later!




Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ear Infection

Annabella has her first ear infection.

Before I became a parent I had no idea that an ear infection was such a big deal. At this point Annabella's had a couple colds and RSV (which is really just like a bad cold for most infants, but can be a big deal...for her it wasn't.) After all that, how bad could an ear infection be?

The answer is that the ear infection trumps everything she's had before. She'll be asleep and crying out in pain. And there's not a whole lot we can do to make the pain go away. The doctors don't even want us to give her Tylenol because she doesn't have a fever. Not that we've listened to them.

She's finally feeling better today. And she slept really well last night. The antibiotics (which she hates!) must be kicking in now.

So for all the non-parents reading this blog, pay attention to this: Once you have a kid, if you notice a change in behavior and an increase in fussiness during the night, think ear infection and get them checked. Kids don't always tug at their ears or carry fevers with ear infections, and they can still be distracted and smiley through the day. I really wish we would have checked her out a little earlier. It pains me to think she might have had this thing for longer than we realized, and that it took a really grueling night to convince me she needed to see the doctor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snowy Morning

This is what it looks like outside right now:


It's below freezing and the snow is still coming down. Both of our work places were still open for business today, so we bundled Annabella up and Amber took her to day care.


That hat used to be so big on Annabella, and now it looks like a skullcap.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Annabella finally rolled over again!

She rolled over 4 times over a month ago, and then nothing. Last night she finally did it again!
Also, we have new pix of Annabella up here: http://annabellag.shutterfly.com/

I'll probably end up posting some of them on the blog too. Posts are more fun with pictures. But I don't want to not share them just to save them for posts...so you might see them twice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My boring life, my awesome daughter

Not much has changed since I last posted. Here's the Annabella rundown though.

Annabella is still working through that pesky cold/RSV (I think she's actually had 2 things, back-to-back now). But she's happy and basically healthy.

She's sleeping better in general, but still not much at all at daycare. The past 3 nights she's gone to bed before 9pm, which is unheard of in our household. It's almost like she wants us to be able to sleep too.

She loves going on outside walks, and she puts her hands out to swipe at the wind.

She laughs when you make funny noises at her. I like to put my lips out and flick my lower lip to make a "buh buh buh" sound at her. Then I flick her lower lip and say "buh buh buh" to her. She eats that up. Right now she still thinks Mommy is a comic genius with my buh-buh-buh-ing.

She's showing no interest in rolling over, and hasn't since we posted the video of her doing it. I think she's forgotten how. So we'll see when she starts that up again.

She's putting everything she can reach into her mouth. Including other peoples' fingers, hair, and clothes. If you let her play with any part of your clothing, it will be soaked in slobber when you get it back (a lesson our friend Allie learned the hard way).

Most of her hair has not fallen out, but she's got a cute little bald spot on the back of her head from where she lays in the crib.

At her last doctors appointment, she weighed 13 lbs 2oz. She was 23 1/4 inches long. That puts her in the 30th percentile for weight and 10th for height. The doctor says this is perfect for her because that's what she's been from super early on.

She gives you the biggest smile when you go to get her out of her crib after she's slept. She just seems so excited to see you.

She still loves to cuddle and sleep being held. I know some babies aren't cuddle-bunnies, and I'm really glad mine is. Feeling her snuggle up on your shoulder is just about the best feeling in the world.

She loves her jumparoo. It lights up and makes noises when she moves it enough, and boy does she dig that. She'll go nuts, and then it will start up, and she'll stop and look at it or look up to you for praise. It's too cute.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's all about the sleep

The "it" in question being my life.

The days Annabella gives us a good night, I wake up feeling good about the world. Like I can handle the challenges in front of me. That I'll make it though the day. That gasp, I might even want another child someday! (News my husband is always happy to hear.)

And then there are the days when I feel like a walking zombie. I'm unable to handle even the simplest stress, and I find myself telling people that things wouldn't normally upset me so much, and telling myself this too.

Annabella is finally giving us enough good nights a week that I will survive motherhood.

I know my life is boring, and that the sleeping habits of my child isn't really newsworthy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Annabella is 4 months old today

Time really flies. When I look at her newborn pictures, I can't believe how tiny she was. Or how different she is now. The past 4 months have been tough. Having a new baby at home is not so easy. But when I'm thinking back over this time, I'm just so sad that it's going by so quickly.

I'm sad that I'll never see the silly exaggerated grin that lit up her face when she was first learning to smile. She'd look up at me when I first got her in the mornings, and I think it must have taken every muscle in her face to make that smile. And she'd hold that goofy grin for 2 or 3 seconds before losing it. I didn't realize that within a few days she'd have this smiling thing down and it wouldn't look the same again.

I'm sad that I'll never hear those first few squeals of excitement, when she was just learning how to make those noises. I think those squeals were what pure bliss must sound like. I didn't realize that as she gained more control over her voice, that her squeals wouldn't quite be the same.

I'm sad that she'll never sleep with her head buried in my chest again, with her little feet pulled up under her. It was the only way she'd sleep for weeks. And it was so frustrating because we were so tired and just so in need of sleep, and we'd have to stay awake holding her so she could sleep. And now I miss my tiny baby that could fit on just my chest, and loved being there. My baby still loves to cuddle while she sleeps, but she's just too big to sleep that way now. And she stopped liking it when she started to discover the world more. She wanted to be able to see what was going on around her, and sleeping on Mommy's chest went out the window.

I'm sad that my little baby isn't so little anymore. She needs Mommy less and less. And while it's pretty darn awesome to see her becoming this little person with her own personality and ideas, I'd like to hold onto her just the way she is now, for just a little while longer. Before she changes on me again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Annabella is learning to play

She reaches out and grabs ahold of her toys now, and sometimes even jams them in her mouth. She kicks her butterfly that hangs on her crib and it plays music. She wiggles around in her jumparoo and stops to notice the noises it makes. She bats her hands at toys hanging above her.

I can't even tell you how cool all this is.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Annabella is sick, and now I am too.

This is actually her second cold, but this one is much worse than the first one.  She sounds all hoarse and is super fussy and just seems miserable overall.  Of course she was all smiley when I took her to the doctor though.  Gotta make Mommy look crazy and overworried.

And now my nose is drippy and I'm starting to get miserable too.  

Fun times at our house these days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My daughter has discovered boys.

Today I learned that Annabella is quite the flirt.

Ms Jacki, Annabella's daycare teacher, told me that she'd put Annabella and Cooper together in this play area. Apparently Annabella and Cooper spent their time together stroking each other's faces, holding hands, and linking arms.

And when Cooper would look away at something else, my darling daughter would scream.

If this is what she's like at 3.5 months, I can't imagine what her teenage years are gonna bring.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rollover Video

Here's a video of her 2nd or third roll. It didn't happen this way the first time, but we found that she's more likely to turn if she's imitating me. We think that makes it extra cute.


video

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Guess who just rolled over?

My beautiful baby girl, that's who.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My baby is 3 months old (plus some)

And she's huge. I think she went through a growth spurt over Christmas break, because she was waking me up every 3 hours to eat and she suddenly doesn't fit into a bunch of her clothes.

She squeals with delight.

She reaches out and grabs ahold of things. She especially likes grabbing onto her feet. She only does this though if she's not being entertained by anything else and is happy.

She fights sleep like a madwoman. We are so happy we figured out that swaddling was key to our success early on. Now her new Swaddle-Me's and her paci are the only way to get her down for the night.

She's super moody. Some days she smiles up at me from her crib as I get her in the morning and is just so excited for the day. Some days she wants her food now and doesn't understand why she has to wait the 10 seconds it takes to get everything set up, and lets me know by shrieking. Some days she's just still soooo tired.

She loves to suck on her fingers. She's a noisy sucker though, and we've been rudely awakened by her finger sucking in the middle of the night more than once. Thankfully we finally recognize that particular noise and go immediately back to sleep instead of sneaking up quietly to check on her.

She's super fussy when she's sleepy. And she cries even louder when you give her the paci even though it will be the golden ticket towards finding that sleep. But if you hold her just so, and play with the paci in her mouth just so, and rock just so, for just a minute or 2, she'll often slip happily into sleep in your arms. Unless of course it's bedtime. Then you can rock and shush and dance and sing and feed and burp and console her off and on for an hour before the sleep she so desparately needs will come.

She's my favorite thing in the world, and I love her like crazy.

A post for the grandparents

I shared some of the pictures from my Shutterfly account so that you can easily order prints of Annabella yourself. This is the site: http://annabellag.shutterfly.com/

Please let me know if you find my email address off of that site. I'm still trying to keep this site at least a little bit anonymous so that crazy strangers can't track me down, at least not easily.

I've added all the professional pix we had taken up there, but only a few of the others. Let me know if there are specific pix you would like me to add.

I will periodically add pictures up there. I think you can request to automatically receive emails when pictures are added, but I might have to do some work to get that working.

Call me if you need help setting up an account or figuring out how the site works.