Thursday, December 31, 2009

You know you're a mom when...

I'm sitting at my desk, watching the snow fall and sipping my coffee, trying to figure out what I can twist into one more blog post before 2009 comes to an close.  It suddenly occurs to me that I've had so many of these "mom" moments in the last few days, I figured why not end the year on that note? 

Earlier this week I was standing in line at the bank, I put my hand in my coat pocket.  I can only imagine my face when I encountered something foreign, and uncertain of what it was, produced one of these:

I had to laugh, especially since Kayla hasn't used a Soothie in months.  I guess I don't wear that coat very often. 

Yesterday I got home and saw a box of Amazon on my porch.  I instantly got irrationally excited knowing that inside was one of these:

So I am back on the baby food making train!  Last night I steamed, pureed and froze the remaining carrots and peas from the previous tries.  She's doing really well with fruit though - last night we had pears - so I will keep up with those until they're gone.  But seriously - who gets excited over a baby food mill?  Only a mom. 

Then there are the more general moments.  When you manage to get out of the house with only a little spitup on your shirt and you call it a victory.  When you no longer cringe when you notice "that smell."  When an uninterrupted bubble bath and a glass of wine start to look like a tropical vacation.  When you think you want to send your husband and the baby to the moon just so you can have a break, but you know you'll miss them as soon as they're gone. 

When you notice that she's creeping a little bit, or you get your first pictures of her sitting up all by herself; and you can not wait to tell someone about it.  When the highlight of the day is coming home to someone who is fussy and hungry because you know she needs you.  It's during moments like those- noticing a first or even just coming through the door after work - that the stress just melts away and I feel more like myself than I ever have in my whole life. 

2009 has been an amazing year for Shaun and I, and one I know we will never forget.  Here's wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little

It's hard to believe our first Christmas as a family has come and gone already.  We had a fantastic time, with minimal stress.  I'm glad Shaun convinced me to not go anywhere on Christmas day.  I feel bad that not everyone got to see us, but this is life with a (nearly) 6 month old.

We started our festivities on Christmas eve with my dad's family.  I look forward to this gathering every year; nothing signals the start of Christmas like cheese fondue and COOKIES.  Kayla was completely spoiled; Shaun and I were as well.  When we got home, it was into our PJ's and we read "The Night Before Christmas" before saying goodnight. 

Christmas morning found us up and unwrapping gifts early.  Kayla pulled each item from her stocking and eyed it before casting it aside for the next one.  She's a great gift unwrapper too, pulling on the paper and putting it straight into her mouth over and over again.  Too sweet.  After all the gifts from Santa were unwrapped, we had breakfast with Shaun's parents.  After the rest of his family came for a visit, we relaxed for a bit and waited for my mom and sister to arrive.  They spent a few hours with us, and my mom got to give Kayla her cereal and a few bites of applesauce. 

**I feel as though I must digress here to tell the applesauce stories.  I can tell that Kayla is loving her solids, although I put veggies on hold while I wait for my baby food mill to arrive.  I picked up some all natural applesauce at the store to try in the mean time.  I tried giving her a few bites but she didn't seem crazy about it.  And by not crazy, I mean she swallowed it and proceeded to have one of those full body shudders accompanied by her best bitter beer face.  She didn't refuse it, but each bite got the same reaction.  So I stopped feeding it to her rather than continue to torture her.  My mom tried it as well, since she still seemed to want more after her cereal, but it got the same reaction, so once again we stopped feeding it to her.  That's the applesauce saga in a nutshell.**

The day after Christmas we went up to visit with Shaun's grandmother at the nursing home.  It was nice to see her and I'm glad she got to meet Kayla.  It was nice to see her smile and be smiled at in return.  We had coffee and cookies and chatted with family we don't see often for a while.  That evening we hosted my dad, stepmom and sister for dinner.  We had munchies and chatted while Kayla napped, and then she woke up and stole the show.  :-)  After checking out her new rocking horse, we strapped her in her high chair so everyone could get a shot at giving her a few spoonfuls of cereal.  After that, I broke out the bannanas for her to try.  Thank Gerber, those got the same initial reaction as applesauce.  I don't think she dislikes the taste though becasue she never once spit any out or refused the spoon.  Eventually she seemed to get used to the texture and the shudders went away. 

Sunday we went to Shaun's parents' house for lunch and a little football watching.  I even caught a short nap on the couch while Kayla played with Grandma. 

I've put a few things away, but somehow our living room still looks like Christmas exploded in it.  We need to find/order a toybox for all of Kayla's stuff.  Or perhaps we'll set the Pack N Play back up and just toss it all in there; we could easily fill it I think.  I'm pleased to report that all of her gifts are a hit though; consider this my preliminary thank you until I can get thank you notes in the mail. 

All in all, we had a wonderful holiday filled with fun, family and love.  Who could ask for more than that?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow day!

Although they aren't quite as fun now as they were when I had nothing
to do but play outside, I still love snow days. Today was a great one.
There is just something awesome about being able to shower, put your
PJ's back on and just stay warm and dry. We spent a lot of time on the
floor today; Kayla is really close to pushing up on all fours. Awesome
yet terrifying.

I didn't venture out into the wind and snow today, but I hope to
tomorrow. I want to get some pictures, hopefully of Kayla too since we
didn't get any of what was technically her first snowfall two weeks ago.

For now, I'm going to put her to bed and go downstairs for a mug of
hot buttered rum. Then I plan to get some sleep myself. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Food Pictures

First taste of carrots

First taste of peas:

Hooray for veggies!

Looks like we have a good eater on our hands

So look at me, the girl who was having fits about not wanting to start her baby on solids too early.  Yeah, I did a 180 on that pretty quick.  Cereal time in the evening has been a fun and entertaining addition to our routine.  Every evening we put Kayla in her high chair and give her a sippy cup of water to play with while I get her food ready (she is able to get it in the general vicinity of her mouth now, but I still have to lift it for her to be able to suck any water out of it).  We're up to 1/4 cup of cereal mixed with 2 ounces of breast milk for her evening meal.  Most of the time she happily chows that down without protest.  Rice cereal was a hit, and we transitioned to oatmeal without so much as a funny face. 

So last week I got to thinking about adding a little bit more into her evening feeding, just to see how it would go.  I did a little reading and thinking about what I wanted to try next.  Friday I stopped at the grocery store and grabbed some frozen carrots and peas.  We steamed a few carrot slices and pureed them for her.  As with the first bit of cereal, the initial reaction wasn't very good.  Within a few bites though, we had a smile!  She seems to enjoy carrots so far.  She's gotten a tablespoon or so of them each of the last 4 nights.  Since we didn't have any adverse reactions, I'm thinking of trying the peas starting tonight.  I don't know how that's going to go since they're not quite as sweet as everything else she's been fed so far.  If that goes well, maybe we'll try our first fruit this weekend. 

Hopefully I'll have a little time and energy after the small one goes to bed tonight and I will be able to add some pictures to this post.  If I don't get to it then, this weekend for sure! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy 5 Months!!

Dear Kayla,

Here we are celebrating another month of watching you grow.  I got a little teary eyed this morning looking at you and thinking about how much you've changed.  I hope I can find a way to put it into words. 

This month, we hit a real milestone - starting you on cereal.  That continues to go well every evening, and I can't wait until we can start adding more yummy things into the mix for you.  For the time being, Oatmeal is next.  After that, we will probably introduce a puree to see how you do.  I love feeding you though.  Every time you open your mouth and "ask" for another bite I want to laugh out loud.  It's so cute. 

We also survived your first real illness.  It was so hard to watch you be sick, but I'm glad we got through it since that was the first of many winter bugs to come. 

Now we're in the midst of your first Holiday season.  Thanksgiving was a hit, although a bit of a long day for you.  On Saturday, daddy and I took you up to Elizabeth Farm to cut down your first Christmas tree.  We rode the horse drawn wagon out to the field and walked around in search of the perfect tree.  Most of the time you slept soundly snuggled against my chest in the Bjorn.  you did wake up to look around a bit, seemingly confused as to why 1) it was so cold and 2) there was nothing but trees as far as the eye could see.  You were quiet and calm the entire trip though, and slept a bit more on the way home.  Once we got everything set up in the house, the tree was a new point of interest for you.  Grabbing the branches is so much fun.  The lights make for great staring too!  When you first saw the tree all decorated, you wanted to take it all in, but your eyes kept being drawn up by the bright star on top.  It's really difficult not to get excited about everything while watching you take it all in for the very first time.  I can hardly wait to watch you open your presents Christmas morning. 

You've had a few physical developments too.  You discovered (with a little assistance from daddy) that you are able to grab your feet and roll from side to side while you're on your back.  Now you're twice as squirmy during diaper changes as you used to be.  I think it won't be long before you're able to sit up on your own.  You do great with support - either in the Bumbo or sitting with me on the floor or in my lap.  I've let you go and you teeter there for a moment before slumping over to one side.  We'll keep working on that.  In the last few days, I've noticed you trying much harder to crawl than you have been in the past.  You get your knees up under you and move your legs, but keep your face to the floor.  Then you drop you legs and push your upper body up to look around as if to see if you've gone anywhere.  Although you keep getting closer all the time, I wonder if you might walk before you crawl.  Your legs are really strong, and you are able to balance on them pretty well while holding on to my hands.  I'm excited yet scared for this next phase of your development.

In any case, you are happy and healthy which is all we could ever ask for.  You're growing and learning every day and I love seeing your sweet smile each morning and listening to you breathe softly when I put your into your crib at night.  I always want to remember what it feels like to nuzzle your fuzzy head and breathe in the scent that is my baby girl.  You're my everything sweet angel.  Happy birthday. 

Love Always -