Thursday, January 31, 2008

Last note for the night

Had a quick doctor appointment today and found that Ava weighs 11lbs 6oz! And people keep saying how little she is! Joe said the "boob juice" seems to be agreeing with her!

Sweet girl

We've been getting lots of cooing and babbling and smiling this week. Ava is awake more and when she's awake (provided she's not starving!) she's always in good spirits (and puts up with my posed pictures among labeled envelopes!) and chats away (of course, until the hunger sets in!). I can't wait for the first giggle!


Ava is most fascinated with the ceiling fan. It wins everytime!

Week of firsts

. . . first playdate - meetup with a group of 6 mothers with infants ranging in age from 4mo - 6mo. Ava was the youngest, but it was fun to see her watching all the other babies and fun to chat with other adults!

. . . first 9-hour sleep! Sadly this did not make it onto the "week of seconds" or "week of thirds" list as it was a one-time only event. And alas, the next night of sleep (eat sleep wake, eat sleep wake, eat sleep wake) foiled the second playdate as both Ava and I were so tired in the morning that we slept till 8am! (Playdate #2 with a different group of moms started at 9:30 and I knew there was no way I was going to make it on time for that one!)

. . . first infant massage. Met up with our doula, Robin, who also teaches infant massage. Ava loved it! She wriggled and coo'd through the whole thing (minus the back massage - she got fussy at the end of the rest of the body and missed out on the body massage. I keep telling her to learn to love the massage now and be sure to ask for it later in a life also - nothing beats a good back rub!)

Here are some pictures of other firsts!

first mass mailing - surrounded by "designed by mommy"
birth announcements - check your mail soon!

first time Indi voluntarily chilled with Ava
- after some obligatory kisses, of course!

first foray into the world of non-disposable diapers - I call this "pumpkin butt" but the jury is still out on whether its something I want to continue. It's more work than regular diapers and where do the used wipes go? Usually they go into the soiled diaper, but with these flushable liners, there's no place for non-flushable wipes.

first time learning that feet can kick and hit things that make noise

first enjoyable tummy time - it helps if there's a boppy under the tummy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our other baby

You may have thought we'd found a new home for Indi, given the lack of photographic attention she has received lately but really that's her own fault. Until the last week or so, she's been sulking for the most part; sitting in the corner looking away from the camera, sitting upstairs away from us. The only time she acts like herself (and wants to play with me) is when I'm nursing Ava. Right smack dab in the middle of the most inopportune time. If she would learn to bring her toy and put it on my lap, I would throw it for her. Alas, she brings her toy but either drops it on the floor (I can't bend down to get it) or she'll hold it just out of my grasp (I can't stretch to reach it). Sigh.

But the other day she went out to pee and found that a neighbor (still not sure who) had thrown a semi-inflated basketball over the fence for her. New ball! Woohoo! She ran over to it and promptly picked it up and carried it inside. She was so proud of her discovery that I took a few pictures before Joe removed the toy from the living room and went out to play with Indi. She loves her toys!

Random pictures

Just a few of the faces I experienced the other day when little miss refused to nap during the day. She wasn't all grumpy but showed she was sleepy when evening came and she wasn't too thrilled to have that documented!

This is how I usually see her - peaceful and content

Big smiles! It looks like she's about to attack my boob, but really she's just smiling!

Grumpy baby - looks very similar to the poopy face, but that is usually associated with a more red glow on her skin as she grunts and grunts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

6 week check

Had my 6-week-post-delivery checkup today. Saw that same doctor that Joe and I saw when I first was pregnant, who was the same doctor who both turned and delivered Ava. While waiting in the waiting room, I saw the nurse who assisted with the version many weeks ago.

I love when things come full circle like that.

I'm happy to report that I am all "cured" from pregnancy and childbirth and can resume normal activities - now, if only the weather would cooperate and warm up just a bit, my walks with Indi would resume. Just so dang cold outside.

Also happy to report that I am now (or was at the time of the appointment - I've since had lunch and a yummy granola bar) half a pound lighter than I was at the start of my pregnancy. Woohoo! In fact, I was down to my regular weight a week after Ava was born; it just took a little longer for my hips to return to their normal state so that I could fit into my regular clothes.

Woohoo! I think I'll pat myself on the back and say that I did pregnancy well - I was also lucky and didn't suffer from many of the pregnancy ailments that can affect any woman during pregnancy. So, a little luck and a little healthy living while pregnant and now I'm all back to normal . . . as normal one can be with an unpredictable six week old!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Future Apple CEO?

Voices in the machine?

So, when I was having some breastfeeding difficulties after Ava was born, I started using a breast pump. For those who have used one, you know the monotonous sound it makes. But did you ever hear it talk to you?

At two different settings (depending on how I had set the speed and vacuum) I could hear words - one sounded like a little Austrian man (well, he sounded European so I just picked Austria) saying "Hell-o, hell-o, hell-o" over and over. On a faster setting, I heard "Thank the Lord, thank the Lord" over and over.

Why am I blogging about my breast pump?

Well, I was watching the View this morning and Elizabeth (one of the hosts) was talking about this exact phenomena (yes, I'm calling it a phenomena now!). She is pumping for her young infant and she heard her machine saying "Right now, right now" over and over.

Creepy . . . but also a testament to the tricks your mind plays when you're stuck in a position for a while and can't do anything but listen to the noises around you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Quite eventful. Trip to Target and Lowes for groceries. Attempted a nap this morning (I did; Ava did not cooperate). Made chicken pot pie for dinner.

Quite eventful for Ava also. More tummy time. Still not a fan. And the first bottle!!! Was a seamless feeding - looking forward to putting our new skills to use when we visit my family in VA. Perhaps Joe and I can have a nice quiet dinner . . . alone and leave Ava with grand and great grandparents!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Many (fleeting) faces

Our chats aren't long - good thing the camera is always nearby (and has a fast shutter)!

6 hours, baby!

So, while we had a 5:30am wake up with fussy baby, it was after a 6 hour sleep stretch! Woohoo! Who knew there would come a day when I would say (after waking at 5:30) "I feel so refreshed!"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Conversation with Ava

On her one month birthday, Ava and I had our first lengthy conversation. The chatter was captured on film by my mother who was in town visiting while Joe was out of town. We babbled for a few minutes before the babble turned to immediate hunger. Lots of smiles and coos. A great one month milestone!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Family shots

Happy 1 month old

Ava is one month old today - and to celebrate, she decided to get her second hepatitis vaccine! Boy, was that rough. The nurse gave her the shot and her face had a look of panic like I've never seen. It was silent for a moment and then she wailed. In a weird way, it was the first time since giving birth that I truly felt like a mother. Seeing your child in such pain (if only for a brief moment, as we know from having shots) and not being able to explain to them what is going on and assure them (and have them understand) that they will be ok was very difficult. All I could do was hold her and hope she knew that she was safe and loved.

On a positive note, the crying didn't last long and Ava does not seem to have suffered much from the incident and has been happily eating and napping during the day. She's also cooing and smiling more (although still random) and tracking more with her eyes. Her neck gets stronger each day (as do her legs as she pushes herself up on my chest during "burping") but she doesn't love tummy-time. I think in a few weeks she'll enjoy that more when she can hold her head up more.

Her stats:

10lbs 7oz (up from 8lbs at birth)
22 inches (up from 20.75 at birth)
cuteness factor - up each day!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

P. S. I went to a movie!!!

This afternoon, I went with mom and Ava to see "P. S. I love you" - figured at 1pm on a Tuesday afternoon the theater would be near deserted. There was the three of us and one other lady, perfect for our first public movie outing. Ava was an angel, sleeping half of the time in her car seat and the other half on my chest. Of course, the drive home was another story, as she decided she was starving and in need of food. Despite the tears on the way home, I think she and I will become regulars at the matinee movie (it's only $5 at this theater) and next time I'll be sure to encourage more nursing during the movie so less tears on the way home!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

How cute am I?

This is what I've been dealing with all morning since wake up at 6am - a fussy baby who won't nap and only wants to nurse. There were even real tears!

How cute is that? And all on my first morning alone while Joe is off to Minnesota. Luckily my mom and grandparents just arrived - reinforcements. Big sigh.

Fortune cookie misfortune?

Joe's fortune from our lunch at PF Changs yesterday - perhaps a belated wish for the journey of fatherhood? Or perhaps a fortune from a foreseer with a wicked sense of humor as Joe leaves today for a week in Minnesota! Seems he's bring balmy weather with him, as reports the weekly highs in the 30s!

Side note re: PF Changs - if you enjoy their food and want a little something sweet to end the meal, try their coconut ice-cream. Yummy!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Trying to capture a smile

Ava has started smiling - real smiles, not ones that precede gassiness. Of course, at this point they're random and and short-lived, and in an effort to capture one, she and I had a photo shoot yesterday. This was the best picture (note absence of smile; the others were all in various stages of fussiness) and also shows off her first real outfit - mostly she wears her pjs all day long. Who wouldn't love that?!

This photo shows how she sleeps - she starts off vertical and at the top of the bassinet and as she sleeps, gradually shimmies her way down till she's all scrunched at the bottom.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's 2008 and other random thoughts

So, it's Friday and just a few days into 2008 and it seems like forever ago that we were ringing in the New Year at Katie and Scott's 1980s-themed New Years Eve party. I like to say that Ava literally slept through the '80s - she woke up shortly after the ball dropped and requested some food. That was our first "public feeding" and it went rather well (lucky for me, all the men on the street were in the kitchen playing "quarters" and getting nice and toasty).

It seemed like a good idea at the time - take Ava to the party, nurse after midnight and head home for sleeptime. Well, in theory it would have been great, except little miss decided when we got home that she was hungry again so she and I settled in for more nursing and neither of us got to bed until 3am (just moments before Joe got home).

Wake up to 2008 and then back to bed for an 11-3pm nap. I was exhausted and sad to admit that this nap was the first real nap I've had since Ava was born. Joe was on baby duty while I slept - Ava was quite mellow and didn't really fuss too much. Of course, waking up to know that you've just slept your day away was no fun, but at least I was well-rested!

Some (early) highlights of the new year:

* we had our first long night sleeping - Ava went down at about 10:30 and didn't wake up until 4 (ok, so she fussed twice but with a little rearranging in her bed, she went right back to sleep - she's sleeping on the inclined wedge these days to help with nighttime stuffiness and during the night, she shimmies down the wedge till she's practically to the other side of the pack-n-play)

* we had to retire her "go home from the hospital" outfit - thought it would make a nice New Year's Eve ensemble (the hot pink pants are the exact color of one of my favorite 80s sweaters, so it tied into the 1980s theme) but when we snapped the snaps, we realized she was squeezed into the outfit and probably wouldn't appreciate her chubby tummy rolls oozing out from the seams. Luckily Joe's friend Simeon and his wife Carrie sent her a 6 month outfit with the exact same print! Patterned pants and a light pink shirt - Ava will love it in a few months!

* some new vocabulary to add to Drunky Monkey: Fussy Mussy (used when fussing before a feeding) and The Spitz (used when she has the spit-ups). I'm sure in time and experience, more words will be added. Perhaps I could get one added to the dictionary like Rachael Ray and "EVOO".

* had our first long family outing (although this happened on New Years Eve day, I think it still counts!). We went to lunch at Firebirds (the same place we had lunch the day I went into labor). I had the yummy salmon and the BEST baked potato anywhere and Joe had a steak. Ava slept through the whole meal. Then we went to Target (in the same mall) and did a little shopping - me with the cart, Joe with the stroller (as unfortunately our car seat does not "fit" into any standard cart as the Graco car seats do). I do love our stroller, so we're being creative with shopping - either we both go, or I do a feed-n-run and leave Ava with Joe. We had a trial run in the house the other day with the Baby Bjorn (Ava didn't seem to mind) and the sling (she minded a bit - I think when she gets a bit older, the sling might be of more use as then she'll be able to see out), so perhaps in the future, one of these contraptions will be useful on shopping trips.

* had our first grocery shopping trip as a family (again, me with the cart, Joe with the stroller and a shortened grocery list of items that would fit at the bottom of the stroller)

* had our first dinner out at the Flipside (we have dined there for lunch with her, but this was her first dinner out) - again, we enjoyed our meals, the folks who work there enjoyed seeing the baby again, and Ava slept through the entire event.

* Ava is exercising her neck and legs - usually when she's resting on my chest. She pushes against my stomach with her legs and cranes her neck away from me. She resembles a little bird when she does this. Her use of her neck has improved over the past few days.

* She is also tracking with her eyes more than she was - though it's funny to see - I'll start on her right and gradually move left and she follows me, but is about a second behind. Like someone hit the time delay button.

* Ava's first (closest in age) friend was born yesterday - Congratulations to Carrie and Allen and their daughter Liadan. Carrie and Allen were married about three weeks before Joe and I were married; we had Ava about three weeks before they had their baby. We hope to introduce the two little girls to each other in early February when we head up to Virginia for a visit.

More firsts to come, I'm sure, but tonight I'd like a repeat . . . of the 10-to-bed, 4-to-wake event. That would be nice.

As heard on NPR

While sitting in the bedroom on the comfy glider nursing Ava, there's not much to do but stare at the walls and sleeping Indi. So, I've taken to listening to NPR since Joe found the UNC station a few weeks ago. I've never been one for public radio but a few days of listening and I find it quite interesting - especially the BBC news segments. I feel quite cultured getting my news from abroad!

I just heard a story about a blog from a soldier from WW1 - actually, his grandson made the blog by transcribing his grandfather's letters. He adds to it 90 years to the day that each letter was written. Seems it goes back over a year - he did refuse to say what happened to his grandfather, that bloggers must read each entry to find out how the story ends.

Here's the blog: WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier