Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 16: Life is getting funnier

We didn't have too much excitement this week, but Scarlett is starting to laugh more frequently and we love it! Dave came over on Friday night and got her laughing again by playing peek-a-boo (from behind Guinness) and we actually got it on tape! Today she was laughing again at me while I was making noises and saying "boo." I could listen to her laugh all day! We also went out to dinner this week with my friend Cindy one day, ran a bunch of errands, and had lunch with Bonnie, Mike, and Caroline. Caroline was fascinated by Scarlett. She is going to be a great big sister one day! She was even sharing her toys with her (not that Scarlett did much with the toys once she had them...)! As usual, Scarlett was really well behaved through all of it. Paul and I usually get home and talk about how amazed we are that she is such a little trooper. She is just very adaptable. I may have to work next weekend, so I've been trying to enjoy every second with her while I can!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

One of those moments in time

Throughout life, there are points in time where an event sparks so much emotion that people know exactly where they were when they witnessed it or heard the news. Older generations talk about where they were when the US put a man on the moon, or when Kennedy was shot. I remember exactly where I was when the US hockey team beat The USSR (can you tell who is writing this? Shonna wasn't born yet), when Reagan was shot (my initial reaction after walking home from school was "why isn't Woody Woodpeker on? Then it was "OMG") , and when the first plane hit the World Trade Center (actually, the 2nd plane caused more of an emotional response).

Things change when you have a baby. Important events are scaled down a bit from USA/World tragedies or accomplishments to... I know exactly where I was when Scarlett giggled for the first time (Shonna imitating the Scarlett dance- ask her to perform it for you!). And I know exactly where and when she giggled the next time (during her photo shoot). Both had me fighting back tears of joy. Of course these events add to a list that includes birth, first grin, first appearance of the tongue, and first poop after a 3 day dry spell (and boy does she have a way of making up for it). Sorry Scarlett. I'm sure you will read this some day and yes I did mean to embarrass you :)

Shonna and I can't wait for more of these events to happen, and sometimes we try to force the issue (partially because we are selfish and don't want these events happening while she is at daycare!) Why can't we get Scarlett to giggle on command? When will she say her first word? When will she yank Shonna's necklace and break it? We pay A LOT of attention to her during every waking moment because we so excited when we see new skills appear as she develops. We also give her as much attention as possible because we absolutely enjoy it and feel that it has already helped her social skills. She doesn't fuss, she is great around strangers, and is comfortable in any setting... so far. I'm sure we will have our challenges down the road but things couldn't be better right now! (knock on wood).

Thanks Scarlett for a great 15 weeks!

Week 15: Do we need to find Scarlett an agent?

This week we finally had a full week without a snow storm! That meant that it was back to business as usual... Monday was a holiday, but otherwise Scarlett had a full week of daycare and I had a full week of work. On Friday, Scarlett was home with her daddy, so they decided to come visit at the end of the day so she could meet some ( her HumRRO family. We made sure to get a picture by the sign on the 7th floor in case she ever ends up working there! :) Despite being VERY tired, she did very well. She wasn't her normal talkative and smiley self but she barely fussed at all as we took her on a tour of the office. Since it was the very end of the day on a Friday, a lot of people were gone already but she probably met about 20 of my coworkers. Not bad for a first trip! Once we got home, she was exhausted (she missed her nap by about 2 hours) so we started her night time routine and it was off to bed. While she slept, Dave came by and we watched some Olympics.

On Saturday, we went to my coworker's house, Jessica, for brunch. This began another day of terrorizing Scarlett's schedule. Right about the time she should have been napping, we headed over there. Jessica introduced us to her brother and sister-in-law who live in our neighborhood and have a 2-year old son. We may look into using their daycare provider because she is available on Fridays and quite a bit less expensive than Betsie. This was set up as a meet and greet just in case. Scarlett started getting a little cranky at the tail end (around 12:45 pm) so we headed out to give her a quick nap before her 3 month photo shoot at the Picture People.

By the time we got to the photo studio, Scarlett had a total of about 1 hour of naps the whole day when she should have had about 4 hours. We really weren't sure what to expect. We figured there was a very good chance that smiling pictures were out and we would be lucky if we got any where she wasn't crying. Our photographer, Ariel, checked us in and we discovered that his sister is named Scarlett and she was having a baby that day! Ariel immediately hit it off with our Scarlett. As soon as we put her down on the blanket, she started smiling. Next, he had us put her on a boppy on her stomach. Then the real fun began! A lot of babies hate tummy time. Scarlett never seems to mind it, but this time, she started cracking up! She was laughing more than we'd ever heard her laugh before! It seemed like anything Ariel did was the funniest thing she had ever seen. Paul and I just kept looking at each other in amazement. After a few more shots, Paul and I realized that her shirt was on backwards. We had just had a bunch of pictures taken of her with her shirt on backwards and unbuttoned. Well, it is hard to button a mock turtle neck when it is on the wrong side of her body. We had to stop the shoot and put her clothes on correctly. Scarlett wasn't crazy about that idea but quickly started smiling again once she saw the camera. The whole thing was hilarious. It was like she was really hamming it up for the camera.

Three outfit changes later, the shoot was over and Scarlett was again tired. She was now in the process of missing yet another nap. We had to wait about 20 minutes for the pictures to be ready to view and we already felt like we were torturing her by keeping her awake, but we had to feed her anyway. Once we saw the pictures, the real torture began! There were so many cute pictures that it took us another hour to choose some and decide on a package. During that time, Scarlett gave up on us and fell asleep on her daddy's chest for a quick nap. Paul and I kept remarking how good she was being -- she really didn't cry at all the whole time we were there unless we were changing her clothes. Our appointment was at 2:30 PM and we didn't leave until close to 6! We figured she would make us suffer for it later. In fact, when we finally got home close to 7 PM, we fed her and she went right to sleep. We kept expecting her to wake up and refuse to go back to sleep but she slept through the whole night! She even slept in a little bit -- 7:45 am. We've really pressed our luck over the last few days by messing up her schedule. Unfortunately (and fortunately), she is so adaptable that she almost encourages us to just do what we want! We're cutting her a break today and staying home and keeping her on schedule. Besides, we have some fabulous new pictures to hang!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Paul & I met 7 years ago today! It has been a long road and we have been through a lot together but it somehow seems like just yesterday. Having a baby can be stressful for a marriage but I think it has shown us how strong our relationship is. I love watching Paul with Scarlett and seeing the little pieces of him in her. Today, like every other day, I am feeling very lucky to have my little family.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week 14: New Discoveries

All of this snow has given us a lot of extra time with Scarlett and we've really been enjoying it. She seems to be learning something new every day now. She can roll over in her crib, she giggles, grasps things and brings them to her mouth, and now she has learned to stick her tongue out. The giggling started last Sunday. Paul was helping her stand up (one of her favorite things to do) and we were laughing at the way her hips were swinging around unsteadily. I started mimicking her in an exaggerated way and she thought it was funny enough to elicit her first giggles. She does it somewhat regularly now for things she thinks are particularly entertaining. I also noticed that she was grasping more at objects and trying to bring them closer to her mouth, so we pulled out the Bumbo and gave it a try. The Bumbo is a foam seat that helps babies sit up. It has a tray that you can put toys on. We put her in there and put three toys on the tray. She immediately started reaching for one of the toys -- a caterpillar rattle that my mom got her -- and held it in her lap, occasionally bringing it to her mouth. Her aim isn't all that great yet but it seems to be getting better every day. The tongue thing is actually really funny. When my friend Maggie was here a few weeks ago, she told me that babies are fascinated by tongues and she tried sticking her tongue out slowly and pulling it back in really quickly. It took Scarlett a while to be interested in it but then one day it seemed to click. She would very slowly try to imitate me but it was pretty rough. A few days ago I decided to try it again and it was like a light went on. She started giggling and sticking her tongue out back at me. Her WHOLE tongue. It was so funny! So then we started laughing, which encouraged her more and now she sticks her tongue out all of the time. We are still trying to get a good picture of it because it usually goes from sticking her tongue out to smiling or giggling and she turns her head. We're getting a lot of pictures with just the tip out.

Since we got another 13 inches of snow on Tuesday/Wednesday, we were stuck in the house again all week this week. Yesterday we finally broke out. After 3 weeks of trying, we finally made it up to Flossy's house. We also hit Dave's house on the way back. It was nice to see Flossy and Scarlett was really good on the trip. She slept the whole way up and didn't fuss at all except for a little peep at lunch. We went to Dave's afterwards and got to see his new hairdo. We got to meet his parents too and introduce them to Scarlett. As usual, she seemed to love all of the attention. It's almost as if she performs for people -- she starts moving around a lot and "talking."

It is amazing how much she has grown. We put her in her carrier to take a walk around the snowy neighborhood the other day. Before she used to sink down into it and you could barely see that there was a baby in there. It was usually just a little foot poking out. Now her head comes up above the top of the carrier, her feet come out of the side, and she likes to have her arms out. No doubt that there is a baby in there now! She is about 12 pounds now and over 2 feet long. All I can say is that I'm glad she didn't come out that big!

We've starting moving her from a 3-hour schedule to a 4-hour schedule. She eats at 7, 11, 3, and 7 now, stays up for about 2 hours and then sleeps for about 2 hours. After 7 pm she should be down for the night except for her sleep feed. Her daytime schedule is almost completely converted but she is still waking up in the evening; although it may be more out of habit than need. She did make it through the night last night but didn't get to bed until 8:30 or 9 pm. She seemed to be pretty wound up from her big day. The four hour schedule makes it much easier to do things, so we're hoping it sticks. She is a little ahead of schedule on it (it is usually at about 4 months) but since she started eating a lot more we thought we'd give it a try.

Now that Scarlett's "fourth trimester" is over, she is really starting to seem more like a little person. She has a ton of personality and we are having so much fun with her! She has a really good temperament and is generally happy. We might be just a bit biased, but Paul and I think she is pretty special.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

week 13: Snowed in... again!

We have decided that Scarlett is our little snow angel because ever since she was born, DC has been getting record breaking snow falls! This one has topped them all and it is still coming down... So again, we're going to be stuck in the house for a few days. It isn't too bad because it gives us time to clean up, hang out, and get some exercise (i.e., shoveling) in. The down side is that our errands and visiting (sorry, Flossy!) doesn't happen. Scarlett will hit the 3 month mark on Monday and she is about 24 inches long and just about 11 pounds (11 lbs 4 ounces this morning). The snow is probably also about 24 inches tall right now!

I officially went back to work on Monday. I have mixed feelings about it, but overall, I know it is the best thing for all of us. I love getting out of the house and having adult interaction. My ability to form sentences is coming back slowly and even a little bit of my vocabulary, although I still have to pause to think of the word I want to say sometimes. I find that I really am happiest when I'm being challenged at work and learning new things. I'm already pretty busy there again and getting to work with some people I haven't worked with in a while so I'm having fun. The days go by very quickly though. They are busy with work, punctuated by pumping and thinking about Scarlett. I do fine during the day but get pretty anxious to see her by the afternoon. I know that she really likes daycare though and I think she learns a lot from the other kids there. Maybe both of our minds are better exercised when I am at work!

Other than the snow, things went pretty smoothly this week. I forgot my pump parts one day so I ended up going 10 hours without pumping until Paul delivered them to me. It was really painful and I'm in constant fear of what little supply I have disappearing. So far I think going back to work has only affected it a little bit though, so I'm optimistic that I can keep it up for a while longer. I really want to make it to at least six months. I always wanted to shoot for a year, but the whole supply thing has taught me that sometimes your body and your mind don't share the same plans.