Saturday, August 28, 2010

Losing it (a little bit)

Yesterday was a rough, rough day.

Generally, when Cecilia doesn't want to sleep and wakes up really quickly after going down, I can get get her back down with some snuggles and back pats and shushes. If she doesn't go back down, she's still in a good mood and within an hour is ready to try again. Yesterday, not so much.

She napped for a grand total of 20 minutes three different times. Each time, she cried and cried, and nothing I did could get her to go back to sleep. So, she'd be awake, and a little while later would try napping again with the same result. Finally she gave up herself and just cried. And cried. And cried. I couldn't find anything to do that would help. I snuggled her, I danced with her, I made sure she didn't have burps or gas, I tried to nurse her again and again, I tried to play with her with toys...nothing worked. Finally, I just held her in front of me and sobbed, "I don't know what you want!" We cried together. Around 3:30 she finally wanted to nurse back to sleep, and I just held her there on my lap while she napped, too afraid to move her. She sleep nursed for two hours that way.

This is the first time I've ever really lost my cool as a mom. I know that it was bound to happen sometime, and I am thankful that I didn't do anything more than cry with my daughter. But I felt like utter crap. How could I not figure out what my baby needed? How could I not be what she needed; she's always needed me before! It seemed like yesterday I was part of the problem rather than part of the solution. I felt huge amounts of guilt at being frustrated. I know she wasn't trying to frustrate me on purpose or even testing her boundaries. That's why I got so angry at myself for losing my cool.

Ugh. Here's to hoping today is a better day. So far, she's doing the nap thing again; she went down at 6 am and is awake again now at 6:45.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Days 28-29

I've been so bad about blogging lately, I'm sorry! Truth is, I am in a bit of a funk. Some days I feel like there is so much I have to get done every second of the day that I can't think straight. When I do get a spare moment to myself I don't want to do anything but sit and veg. I guess this is probably pretty normal for first time moms trying to get used to it all, eh?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Days 26-27 - Bad Mama

I didn't blog yesterday I'M SORRY! :) It was one of those days where there was so much to do at every nap that I didn't get a spare moment to sit at the computer. Not that have much to say anyway. I don't have much to talk about now that hasn't already been discussed!

I'm delivering 3 headbands today and got an order for a new type of accessory-- a big flower on a ponytail holder. That should be fun and will let me expand my repertoire a bit!

My mom is excited about the idea of making felt balls, so at some point we'll go to Grandma's Spinning Wheel and take a look at the selection. I'm excited! I am also interested in trying the washer and dryer method. Most of my Googling seems to indicate that you start the ball by hand, then tie it into a stocking, and put it through the washer. Dryer is optional, apparently, if you want an even tighter, smaller ball.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 25 - Ch-ch-ch-changes

Cecilia is definitely changing her awake and sleep times. She was very consistent until recently, going exactly two hours between awake times, napping 2-3 hours, sleeping through the night for 8 hours with one or two sleepy nursings. A lot of that is now right out the window.

She still can't go more than two hours without a nap unless we're out somewhere exciting (but we usually pay the price for that later with crankiness). But now she's got a weird nap pattern. She will typically sleep for one huge nap, like 4 hours, and then one or two short naps. I wonder, at 4.5 month is she trying to get herself to 2 naps instead of 3? I would be fine with that if she was able to stay awake for more than two hours at a time, but as is, there's no way she can do just two naps unless they're both 4 hours long.

As for the night sleeping, that's totally erratic too. Last night she slept from 9-ish to 5, with one sleepy nursie at 1-ish. That's the first time she has done that in weeks. All the other nights she'd get up between 1 and 3 ready to be wide awake and playing. My only consolation is that she's a happy kid and not miserable during those middle of the night 2 hours awake sessions!

So...I guess the easy infant sleep time is officially over. :(

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 24 - Felt Balls

Today we had a special crafting playdate where we made felt balls. It was really cool! You use felting wool, hot soapy water and a lot of squeezing and rolling. Such a cool idea, and very fun to gather with mamas to make the balls.

Of course now I've been bitten by the felt ball bug and I want to go buy felting wool and make a bunch more. You can do all sorts of fun stuff if you learn how to use a felting needle and decorate the ball. Theresa told me about some local resources for getting my hands on the materials, so who knows, I might have to take a trip to Grandma's Spinning Wheel soon! While I'm there, I bet they have some yarns I'd be interested in....oh to have unlimited funds for all the fun stuff I want to do!

Day 23 - This blog brought to you by the number 2

As in, 2 am. As in, the time Cecilia woke up all happy and excited to start her day. I'm so bleary eyed I can hardly focus, but at least she's in a good mood.

I guess there's no use denying it anymore, we seem to be in a sleep "regression." I feel very thankful that she does still sleep a decent block of 4-6 hours before getting up. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't get at least some solid sleep like that.

In tomorrow's (which is really today's) blog, I'm going to talk about this article by Moxie about "regressions." But right now my brain is so not ready to focus on intellectual pursuits.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 22 - Cecilia's Quirks

At nearly 4.5 months old, Cecilia already has some adorable quirks to her personality, and they make her even more irresistibly adorable to me!

When she gets excited, her legs pump like crazy. We refer to her right leg as her piston, because she especially likes to pump that one.

If she has her hand in her mouth, it's basically a sure thing that the other one is cupping her ear. This is true with either hand; she hasn't shown any hand preference for either activity.

She loves cooking shows, just like her mama.

Her sweet little mouth curves up so adorably at the corners when she smiles. It also curls down so adorably when she's sad. She's like a little adorable cartoon.

Squeaky toys are cause for great concern.

When she's playing on the floor, she prefers to be on her side rather than her back or tummy. I often wonder if that is because she sleeps on her side at night.

She sighs in her sleep, rather than snoring (my sister does this too).

Her left ear is still pointy, though her right one is less so.

Kisses are literally the best thing ever. This is good, since I kiss her nonstop.

There are more, I know, so I will add them as I think of them. I adore you more than anything, my Cecilia!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 21 - Almost Forgot blog today. It's been a fun day for me. We bought a baby monitor the other day so I can do stuff in the office while Cecilia is napping in the swing and listen for her (the office is off limits to the cats, so the door stays closed). I want to be able to reorganize in there, but one of the other motivations for the monitor is purely selfish: I miss playing computer games! I wanted to play Civ again (Civilization IV in this case), and I can't do it on this laptop in the living room. So today I started reinstalling it; hopefully I will get to play soon!

Last night was incredibly rough sleep wise. I was exhausted by 8, so I was thrilled when Cece went down easily. Well, that lasted all of 30 minutes. She was then up until after 10, finally going to sleep and letting me do the same! But then she slept very fitfully, waking up pretty much every hour. Finally we got up around 3, stayed awake until 5, and went back to bed until 6:30 when she was ready to start her day (I wasn't, that's for sure). She's napping well today to make up for it, but if I do the same I will be up all night, so no naps for me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 20 - Television

When I was still pregnant, I was adamant that Cecilia wouldn't watch much TV. I just wanted to be positive she was engaged in activities away from the TV.

Well, what I didn't count on was a baby who is utterly fascinated by the "magic box." She doesn't have a huge preference on what is on, but she seems to enjoy cooking shows (which is good, since I do too). I think it's because the host is pretty much always on the screen and engaged with the camera-- she loves staring at and interacting with real-life people too. I still don't want her watching much TV and I keep it to a minimum, but she really likes to sit on my lap and watch whatever's on!

Isn't it funny how things we thought we were sure of change when the baby is actually here?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 19 - Bloggin'

Keeping up with blogging hasn't been as hard as I thought it was going to be. I still feel like what I write is mostly useless information and that nobody really wants to read it, but I made a deal with myself, so I will keep blogging for at least the next 11 days. We'll see after that!

Today Cecilia actually let me wear her inward facing for the first time since she was a tiny infant-- for a few minutes. She had been very fussy (tired fussy) in the car, and when I got her out of the carseat, she just relaxed against my chest, so I strapped the Pikkolo on with her facing in. It was fine for a while but by halfway through the Safeway run she was pretty whiny, and by the checkout line completely crying. Poor tired girl. She's sleeping right now, having migrated from her carseat to the swing, with milkies in between.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 18 - Baby Fair

There was a free to the public baby fair at the local convention center today. We headed down there in time to be there soon after it opened.

It was ridiculously crowded. Just tons and tons of people there and very slow passage through the "aisles" of booths and tables set up. My claustrophobia started kicking in, and then Cecilia started to become overwhelmed. Poor girl.

It was good to enter all sorts of giveaways and get freebies, but I felt so badly for my poor baby. She's usually so receptive to new people and being out in public, but it was loud and crowded in there, and I'm thinking the combination of both was more than she could handle. Maybe we'll win a giveaway to make up for it. :)

But damned if she isn't the cutest thing ever. One of the booths gave away bucket hats:

edit to add: We actually won, of all things, a diaper cake. ELL OH ELL. But hey, it's cool, I imagine we can find someone who can use the diapers, or if they happen to be size 1, maybe we'll use them at night or something.

Also meant to add that a lot of people, especially the photographers running their booths, were excited about Cecilia's headband and asked me if I would make some for them! So hopefully I'll get some emails for more business. Sweet!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 17 - This is where I want to be

I had a nice conversation with an old college friend yesterday. Well, nice until it got awkward.

We were talking about what we were doing with our lives these days, and of course I got all exited telling her about leaving my job to stay home with Cecilia. There was a long, long pause, and then finally, she said, "Aren't you bored to tears staying home with a baby?"

That got me thinking. Is this how most people without kids feel, or is it just part of her personality? I am thinking it's probably the latter, but I would love to hear all of your experiences with similar trains of thought.

The bottom line answer for me, of course, is "NO." No, I am not at all bored being a stay-at-home-mom. It's not like we sit around in the house all day doing absolutely nothing. That would have both of us stir-crazy in no time. Cecilia's a social baby; she really likes being around other kids and adults. We go to playgroups, we go shopping (or browsing when we don't need to shop), we go to the library. When the weather is nice we go to the park. We do tons of stuff outside the house.

I believe that this is truly where I was meant to be. All the years prior to having Cecilia where I worked countless jobs, some better than others, in all of that time, I never felt passionate about what I was doing. And trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I "grew up" was a fruitless endeavor, because being a mom was the only thing I could ever think of that really resonated with me.

I am thankful every single day that we are making this work. It's certainly not easy and we're totally broke, but I feel like the benefits for all three of us greatly outweigh the loss of income.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 16 - Giggles and Homecoming

Yesterday marked a very sweet milestone that I was really waiting for: Cecilia giggled for the first time. I was bouncing her on my legs singing a nonsense song and there it was! I was able to recreate it and turn my phone's video recorder on. I didn't actually get her face, but I got the giggle!

Cecilia giggles

Tonight is wonderful for us as well, as Chris comes home from his business trip to San Diego. It seems like he had a fabulous time, and really learned a lot, as well as networked. But his family missed him; Cece and I both didn't sleep all that well the past couple of nights. It will be good to have Papa in the family bed once again.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 15 - BFP

Today is a very, very, very special anniversary. One year ago today, we got our BFP, as it is called on the various mama message boards. BFP=Big Fat Positive. As in,

Yep, we learned exactly one year ago on this day that we were pregnant with our dream come true. It's an interesting story.

I have never had regular cycles. There were times that I would go an entire year without bleeding. Most often, I bled around 3-4 times a year. I went off birth control in January of '09, with the assumption that it would take a while for the BC to get out of my system completely and for me to even begin to be fertile again, if at all.

In late June, I had begun using ovulation strips to test for an LH surge, which generally you get a day or so before you ovulate. To my surprise, just two weeks later in early July, I detected a surge. I wasn't sure it was accurate given my history, but we went for it anyway.

Three weeks after that, which would have been about a week after a missed period had I been regular, I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. I was pretty disappointed, but reminded myself that it's very rare to get pregnant on the first try.

Two weeks later, Chris was coming home from work (I worked from home at that point) and decided to stop at Jack in the Box for some dinner. He texted me asking me if I wanted anything, but for one reason or another, I missed that text. When he got home and I saw he had Jack in the Box, I was infuriated that he hadn't gotten me anything. He protested that he had texted me, but I shot back, "You've known me for three years now! When have I not wanted the cheddar potato wedges??" Man, was I angry! Chris went and hid in the office (I don't blame him).

A little while later, I was calming down in the living room when I realized that my breasts really, really hurt. I was never one to have PMS symptoms, or any symptoms really, when I did get a period, so this was new territory for me. But some little light bulb must have gone off in my head, and I put irrational anger and boob pain together and came up with a shocking conclusion.

I went into the bathroom and took the top pregnancy test you see in the picture. It's a little cheapy one that came with my ovulation strips. Sure enough, it came back positive very quickly.

I ran into the office, and Chris was on the phone with his mom. I waved the test in front of his face, and he got really quiet, then said something along the lines of "Mom, I'll call you back later." He looked at me and asked me if that meant what he thought it meant. I told him it did, and we got in the car and ran to Walgreen's to get the bottom test in the picture. It came back instantly positive as well. We had an entire bevy of emotions running through us, but the strongest one was pure joy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 14 Amended - Birth Story Part II

OK, so I left off with Cecilia having been born after a very harrowing and in many ways disappointing labor. Here's how postpartum went.

We staying in the L&D room for a couple of hours. I was all sewn up and Cecilia was clean and wrapped up and latching on, even if she wasn't getting anything yet. Clearly I underestimated how exhausting childbirth is, because I don't even remember thinking about sleep, and the next thing I knew, an hour had passed with me conked out and Chris cuddling Cecilia.

I had asked the nurses if we could transition into recovery with Cecilia, which means skipping the "mandatory" hour in the nursery and having the usual procedures done there in the room. Since we were declining so many of the usual procedures, it didn't seem like it would be a big deal. I didn't want to be separated from Cecilia for an instant longer than necessary. We got our wish and Cecilia was wheeled to our room in her little bassinet, with me riding alongside in my wheelchair.

The first thing I did was demand food, after having been without for 24 hours by that point. I devoured the sandwich they brought me in approximated 1.3 seconds, and demanded more food. We had brought a bunch of snacks with us so I just kept munching.

Those first few hours in our room are a blur to me. I don't really remember much except staring at Cecilia like I had never seen anything so phenomenal in my life-- and I hadn't. I kept saying to Chris over and over again, "How is it possible that we made this tiny, perfect little thing?" We had a lot of visitors coming in and out and by 8 I was ready for more sleep.

Cecilia wasn't supposed to sleep in bed with me, but I refused to let her go. Luckily, I slept lightly enough that when the nurse would open our door to check my stats or Cecilia's, I could pretend I'd been awake the whole time. There's no way that baby was going to be out of my arms!

Lucky Chris got to change all of her early diapers because I was forced to stay in bed for 24 hours after the mag was given to me. There was one awesome meconium incident where she had pooped, Chris started to change her and, like a baby animal, she was stimulated to poop more by her butt being wiped. So three or four times she pooped before she finally stopped and could be diapered again.

The one hardship of postpartum came that first night. Around 1 am, the nurse took Cecilia's temperature and said that it was too low. They had to take her to the nursery for 1 hour under the warming lights. That hour was the hardest thing for me. I cried, and I got the laptop out to update Facebook, the forums, etc, because I needed something to do to distract me from the very physical ache of missing my girl. When she got back, the nurses told me she was wonderful, slept the whole time even with other babies crying. I nursed her again and we both went to sleep.

There were a couple more little things that happened while there, but most aren't noteworthy. I had my IV line and catheter removed early the next morning (less than 24 hours after the mag, but I was clearly feeling fine and chomping at the bit to get up), and then early the following day, Thursday, we were okayed to go home. Finally, our life with our perfect little girl was beginning!

Day 14 Might Be Late

I'm just exhausted. I generally blog while Cecilia is napping, but I think I need to nap myself...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 13 - Birth Story, Part I

WARNING: Long post ahead! I had a few people ask me to tell my birth story, and I figured I'd go ahead and do so. I am still working through all of my feelings from how my birth went, so this story is sort of a work in progress.

Monday, April 5 was my first day of maternity leave. I was 37w6d. In the early afternoon, I started feeling contractions that felt different from the Braxton-Hicks ones I had been having. They were super irregular, though, so I didn't really think much of them. I told Cecilia, "You need to wait, baby, Dr Dean is out of town until Wednesday!" Like so many other things with my girlie, she had her own ideas on the subject!

When Chris got home from work around 5:30, we went for a walk. During that walk, the contractions definitely got stronger, sometimes strong enough that I had to stop for a second, or strong enough that I could keep walking but didn't want to talk while they were happening. Still, though, they were very irregular in length. I thought to myself, "There's no way you're in labor, you're a first time mom and you're two weeks before your due date." So I kept on carrying on like normal when we got home.

By 11 pm the contractions were much more regular, around 4 minutes apart, and lasting from 30-90 seconds. We finally decided that we should go to the hospital and see if I was truly in labor.

Let me back up for a minute here. Early on, when I first learned that I was pregnant at around 5 weeks post conception or 7 weeks pregnant, I had my first great disappointment: I risked out of the birth center because of my diabetes. So I knew all along that I was going to have a hospital birth. I wasn't thrilled about it, but I had an OB who was very natural-friendly and supportive of my efforts to have a natural childbirth, and who agreed with my "crunchy" birth plan.

Of course, the best laid plans...

OK, so we went to the hospital (TMC) and I was checked into a little triage room. By the time we got our crap together at home and got there, it was around 1 am. The nurse hooked me up to the monitor and very quickly determined that I was indeed having REAL contractions and was in active labor. OH THE EXCITEMENT! We hadn't told anyone yet, because we didn't want to get everyone out of bed for a false alarm. But here we were, with the real thing happening!

I went to the labor/delivery room with Chris and got settled on the bed there. We called my sister and my parents and Chris' parents, and let them all know what was happening. The pain from the contractions was getting intense, but was still very manageable with my breathing exercises from Bradley class. We were so excited, so happy, so thrilled to be there and finally be meeting our little girl. In the midst of all of our happiness, the first unhappy moment came to us.

The nurse came in to take my blood pressure, and I saw the look on her face and knew we had a problem. My blood pressure was very high, to the point that they were worried about pre-eclampsia or me having a stroke right then and there. The OB from my OB's practice who was on call came in and talked to me frankly. She said that I needed to get an epidural even though I wasn't planning on one, because a spike in blood pressure is often the body's reaction to pain, and getting an epidural would lower my blood pressure. Chris and I talked about it for a minute and agreed to get the epidural, even though I felt like I was managing my pain. Still, we were scared with blood pressure so high, so we agreed.

I got the epidural, and it went really well. It wasn't so strong that I couldn't feel my legs or anything; mostly it felt very much like pins-and-needles when your foot falls asleep. The pain from the contractions was totally gone. Unfortunately, this didn't bring my blood pressure down quite enough.

I was given a couple of blood pressure medications, one of which was magnesium sulfate. Mag sulfate is a heavy duty medication. When a woman has that, she has to stay in bed for 24 hours after the mag is delivered, because it makes you very weak. It also makes you nauseous.

Speaking of nausea: By this point it's around 3 or 4 am, my sister and parents are there with us, and I am starving. I hadn't had anything to eat since dinner the night before. But I was a big C-section risk because of the blood pressure and so I wasn't allowed to eat. OH MAN was it hard. I was getting so lightheaded and nauseous, although it was hard to tell if that was from the lack of food, the mag, or both.

Anyway, time goes by fairly quickly. My in-laws came as well. I could still feel all the contractions even though I couldn't feel the pain. By 10 am I was 7 cm dilated and 100% effaced. My bag of waters was still intact, and so Cecilia was still a bit high up, like -2 station. By this point the OB on call was a different one than the first one, but still from the same practice as my OB. She came in and asked me if I was ready to have my water broken, so that I could finish dilating and get things moving. Her big concern was still avoiding the emergency C-section that might result if my blood pressure went up again. We agreed, and once she broke my water, I dilated the remaining 3 cm in about an hour and a half.

Around 12 or 12:30 I was ready to push. I asked for a mirror, and it was brought over for me. I had my mom supporting my neck, and my husband and sister each supporting a leg. I pushed and pushed and pushed. Over the course of two hours, I pushed and got Cecilia almost completely crowned. It was crazy; I was so tired and hungry and lightheaded that I slept between pushes. I remember hearing the nurse say, "Hey, if she can get some rest, leave her alone, guys. She needs it."

Then, all of a sudden, something happened that I had never even considered. My contractions started disappearing, with Cecilia still in the birth canal. They just...dissipated, there is no other word for it. By this point most of my epidural had worn off and I could feel them slowing down and going away altogether. What I learned later on angered me a lot: mag sulfate is often given to women going into premature labor. It is used to stop contractions as well as lower blood pressure. I told the OB that my contractions were gone, and she confirmed it on the monitor. She came to my head and told me that I had two options: She could cut an episiotomy and use the vacuum hand pump to bring Cecilia's head out of the birth canal and finish delivering her that way, or I could have a C-section. I went with door number one, of course.

With one snip and a very quick application of the vacuum, since Cecilia was already mostly crowned, my sweet girl was born at 3:18 pm exactly two weeks before her due date. Because she had been in the canal for a couple of hours, the NICU doctor wanted to check her out and make sure everything was okay, so her cord was cut very quickly (I was pretty sad over this). While she was being checked out and weighed and measured, my episiotomy was sewn up. It was very quick on both accounts; within minutes, I had Cecilia in my arms. Chris and I both cried and cried, and I think just about everyone else in the room did too!

The most amazing part was how phenomenally alert Cecilia was. I was afraid I was going to have a lethargic, drugged baby from all of the medication I was given, but it didn't turn out that way at all. She looked up curiously at Chris and I crying, and made eye contact with both of us almost immediately. She seemed to be drinking in everything around her, just looking from person to person and at all of the stuff she saw. This, by the way, has never changed-- Cecilia's favorite pastime outside of the house is to watch everything.

Tiny miss' birth stats: 6 lbs 3 oz, 18.25" long. A petite little one!

I will continue my story of our postpartum time later. I think this is enough of a story for now, don't you??

Chris and I both crying over the joy of our sweet girl being with us finally.

First bath (all natural soap free wash, naturally!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 12 - Another Weekend Draws to a Close...

Weekends used to mean a lot to me, as a M-F employee. I always looked forward to them, as I'm sure did everyone else! Now, they mean a lot to me in a totally different way. Weekends are when Chris is home and we get to do things as a family. Whether it's just staying home and cleaning or going somewhere, it's the three of us doing it instead of the two of us (Cece and I), and I love it!

Chris gets to spend a lot more time with Cecilia on the weekends than he does during the week, which is wonderful. It's great for them to spend that time together, and it's great for me. I know I've said before that I have no urge to be without Cecilia, and it's true. Papa and Cece time at home is the perfect break for me. I know she's still here and I can be there in half a second if she needs me, but I also get a chance to do something small like relax on the couch or paint my toenails or mess around with makeup or whatever while they hang out.

Chris assembled a beautiful toy chest he got at IKEA. I love it, I just have no idea where to put it! Cece's room has a crib that we never use, a changing table/dresser/cabinet combo, and a couch. The closet takes up the last wall. Ideally the toy box should be on a wall because it doubles as a bench. I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to move the crib to another room since we don't use it now but maybe might down the line, like into our bedroom. But that room is just as cramped with furniture.

The toy chest with bonus Rowan shot (also known as Mocha-kitty)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 11 - IKEA, Sleep (or lack thereof) and Photos

Today my husband and my mother-in-law are on their way to Phoenix to get a relative from the airport. Along the way they are going to stop at IKEA for lunch and some shopping. I'm pretty jealous! I love IKEA and I wish that there was one closer to Tucson. Maybe they will build one down here after seeing how big of a success the one in Phoenix is, even in a recession. I gave him a little shopping list of things to look for (mostly for Cecilia)! :)

Cecilia had a rough night last night. This happens mainly when we switch milk donors, and in the past few days she's had a couple of different milks. She was up every half hour to hour with gas pains. For the most part we were able to stay in bed, but it meant a pretty sleepless night for her and I. Chris probably didn't get the best sleep either. Poor sweet girl, I hate so much seeing her in pain. We've tried gripe water (store bought and homemade) and gas drops with little success. Thankfully this isn't an all the time thing.

We did the usual Cecilia monthiversary photoshoot yesterday. The new photos are up at

My favorite one of the two of us:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Check Out This Blog

All Things Mothering has recipes, stories, advice and more, all from an AP parent viewpoint.

Day 10 - Four Months Old

At 3:18 pm exactly 4 months ago today, my dream come true came into this world.

It was not the entrance I had hoped for or expected, but immediately she overwhelmed my senses, and she continues to do so now. I didn't realize this depth of emotion was possible. You hear how different the feelings you have for your child are from feelings you have about anyone else, but nothing had prepared me for just how deep, and how instantaneous, those feelings were for me. Within minutes of being born, Cecilia was latched onto my breast and gazing up at me. That was the most primal, most earth mother, most joyous moment of my life. Chris and I were both crying, and she was looking at us curiously, as though she wondered what those tears were. ***warning, boob shot ahead***

That first day, neither of us could stop staring at her. She was so alert, so curious from the moment she came out. She hardly cried (which is true to this day as well); she just wanted to take in everything around her (also true to this day). I remember Chris and I realizing several hours after she was born that we hadn't done the typical new parent thing of counting fingers and toes; we were just so overwhelmed with being with her.

Four months ago today, my little one was enjoying her first bath (with all natural chemical free soap):

Now she is a big girl (relatively speaking) who loves to jump in her jolly jumper (the doorway hanging kind) SO much. She rolls from front to back and back to front. She is still phenomenally curious about everything, and when we're out, she isn't as talkative as she is at home, because she's just taking it all in. She's so happy and smiley and goofy, my girl.

I love you more than life itself, Cecilia. Always and forever.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 9 - Elimination Communication

By popular request (OK, only one person asked for it. BUT THAT'S POPULAR REQUEST DAMMIT).

In a nutshell, elimination communication (henceforth known as "EC") is the practice of using your baby's cues to determine when she is eliminating, and then taking action based on those cues. Action for most people is to hold the baby over the toilet or sink, or to put them on a baby potty. Picking up on cues is easy for some kids and not at all easy for others. It's totally dependent on the baby. When you catch the baby in the act, you make a sound for them to associate with it. Most of the ones I know who EC do a "Ssssss" sound for peeing, and a raspberry sound for pooping. Then, as time goes on, you make the sound while holding them over the appropriate receptacle, and they eliminate. As far as undergarments go, there seem to be two categories. Many don't use diapers at all; they use cotton training pants or underwear, sometimes with a wool cover just in case of an accident. Others still use diapers, but use one diaper the whole day unless there's an accident.

I had thought about doing EC with Cecilia, but after researching it and talking with a few local parents who EC, I decided it was too much work for us. But, as I have discovered with many things, Cecilia had a different idea.

First, I noticed that Cecilia was only pooping when she was sitting up. She never poops overnight; I think in the hospital with meconium was the last time she did that. She also very, very rarely poops when nursing. Mostly it happens in a sitting position on my lap. She has been like this from the start, and has also been a once or twice a day pooper from the start.

So I picked up a little potty on Amazon. The first time I tried to put Cece on it, I thought she'd poop on it, and I'd have one less poopy diaper to wash. Instead, she peed in the potty. "Well, that's cool," I thought, and went about wiping and diapering her. The same thing happened the next three times I tried. No poop, but yes pee.

About a month ago, she began waking up from naps with a dry diaper. That surprised me. I didn't think that babies could naturally (as in, without EC training) hold their pee until they were way older. But Cecilia was doing it, every nap, without fail.

So I can only surmise that she actually prefers to pee on the potty and holds it during her naps. Even overnight she has a barely wet, if at all, diaper. If I put her on the potty right after she wakes up, she always pees. If I wait, she generally goes in her diaper, but she still will pee some if I put her on the potty. So I guess she has sort of EC'ed herself!

Addendum: On her 4th monthday, Cece pooped in her potty for the first time! Big girl! Man, is it easy to clean off the tush of a baby who hasn't been sitting in her poop!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 8 - Busy Day!

Wednesdays are often our busiest days, because we have playgroup in the afternoon and a lot of times something in the morning too.

Today my friend J and her little girl K came up for a while. It was so nice to see them! K is adorable and sweet and SO well behaved! There aren't that many toys out yet here since Cecilia's still young enough not to care too much, but K loved the baby toys that were out! Cecilia loves kids so much, so she was thrilled to grin and coo at K at every turn, and she gave great big smiles to J as well! It was so nice to have time with J too; we don't get to see each other as often as we should!

One of the topics that came up throughout our discussion on parenting was leaving the baby with someone else. I asked J how old K was the first time she left her with her husband or with someone else, and she was very frank in saying that she didn't want to do it at all, and waited until K was able to go longer than a couple of hours without nursing, and ate some solids, probably around 9 months. That was just to leave K with her husband; it was even longer for leaving her with someone else. The relief I felt must have been really apparent on my face!

I know that a lot of moms go back to work and don't have a choice but to leave their babies. I also know that a lot of moms want a break and take one when they can. I am not knocking either case!! But for me personally, I do not want a break from Cecilia, I do not want to spend time away from her, I do not want to go out on my own. For one thing, she still nurses every couple of hours, so at most I would have an hour out by myself if I did want to go somewhere. She doesn't like bottles and I don't like pushing them on her. But it's more than that. It's simply that I do not want to spend time apart! She is my little tiny baby, and my biggest responsibility right now. It's hard for me to put it into words. I just feel like this is part of my mama bond with her, this very strong desire to have her near me at all times. I feel like the chances of me wanting to go anywhere without Cecilia for at least the first year of her life are very, very slim. It would probably only happen if I didn't have a choice.

In other Cecilia news, she's getting really good at balancing in a bent over sitting position. She can sit like that for over a minute, although it makes her burp (pretty cute). I am amazed every single day at how much she's growing and how quickly she learns new skills. She grabs toys herself now, and brings them to her mouth. She pees on the potty all the time (I'll do an EC post sometime soon). Just waiting for that giggle, that elusive laugh...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 7 - I Have No Idea What to Blog About

Yeah, it's one of those days. My thoughts are all muddled and jumbled, so I have no idea what to type about.

Last night Cecilia woke up around 3 with bad gas pains. Poor love was in a lot of pain, it seemed. By 4 she was in way less pain, but was also ready to PLAY! So we were up until about 5:30, at which point she was finally out again and we were able to go back to bed (we cosleep). We slept until 8:30, when I woke up with a start, realizing that we had somewhere to be at 9.

We didn't really get to Stay n' Play at the Miller-Golf Links Library until closer to 9:30, and Cecilia was definitely not her usual hyper self. She did well, though. When SnP ended at 10:30, we got back in the car, and in the 5 minutes it took to get from the library to home, she was sacked out.

Just as I finished typing this, she startled awake, held up one hand, and then slooooooowly lowered the hand as her eyes drifted shut again. Oh Cecilia, you're breaking my heart...with your cuteness.

Yes, she always holds onto her toy when she falls asleep in the carseat. It's super adorable.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 6 - Last Day of Work

Last Day of Work (LDW) is an independent game studio based in San Francisco, California, which creates and develops casual games for the Windows and Macintosh platforms.

But that's not what this post is about.

Today was my official last day of my job. I worked at Intuit for 5 years, and while it was hard to make this decision for more than one reason, I can't help but feel like a tremendous weight was lifted off my shoulders. Every time I thought about going back to work, I got nauseous. The very idea of leaving Cece for half an hour makes me feel sick; how would I deal with leaving her for a whole work day, five days a week?

A lot of people said, "Oh, you'll get over it." A lot of people also said, "You'll get bored not working," and "You'll miss having disposable income." Of the three statements, the last one is the only one I believe. I don't get bored with Cecilia at all. We do a lot of stuff! We go to mommy group, we go to the library, we go grocery shopping, we go wander around the mall, we go see friends...what is there to get bored of? We cook and clean, we do laundry (I do all of these things with a running narrative for Cecilia), we play with toys and each other. In reality, this is exactly what I have wanted forever, and I have never been happier. We may be poor as dirt, but Cecilia gets a parent to be with her all the time.

Still, I will miss you, Intuit, or more accurately, I will miss you, co-workers of mine!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 4-5 : Ooops

I totally skipped a day. Here I thought I was going to be able to do this 30 day thing with no problem, and look at me, skipping Saturday. :blush:

Cecilia's currently sleeping on me, which is generally how things go around here, and is making the cutest little sighing snores. Love this baby!! Even when she fights sleep, like the last two nights... ;-)

This weekend we took care of stuff around the house, which was very awesome. On Saturday afternoon, we went and visited a mama from one of my DDCs (due date clubs) and spent time with her kiddos. It was really cool to be around a baby the same age as Cecilia and see what they had in common and what they did differently, developmentally. R, the other baby, is totally chill when he's lying on his back, just observing the world. Cece, on the other hand, is as hyper as she is the rest of the time. R stands really well with just his mom supporting his torso. Cecilia is reaching for and grabbing toys-- thankfully, she didn't grab any of R's from him! But that was definitely a blast, and we will have to do it more often!

I've also started a little side project this weekend. I am making baby hair accessories. I have made a few headbands for Cecilia and feel like with a little more practice, I will feel comfortable making them for other people, and possibly for selling! Wouldn't that be something else! I crochet the headbands and then separately crochet a little five petaled flower and attach it to the headband. Down the line I want to start attaching the flowers to clippies instead so they can be switched out with ease.

Well, since Cecilia is sleeping, I should be too! Off for now! More blogging tomorrow, I promise. :)