Friday, December 14, 2007

Butterfly Emerges

Monkey's first few months were a bit like the very hungry caterpillar. Eat eat eat and, once sated, pass out briefly before waking to eat eat eat again. But sometime in her third month she woke up into a very active and alert little girl. She became a champion sleeper and easy smiler. Lots of cooing that sounded more like singing - maybe because I found it easier to sing to her than ramble on about nothing? She rolled over for the first time at about four months old - on our last day visiting everyone in Pawley's Island - and from there she's been unstoppable. You could almost see her realize what mobility would mean... and she wanted it! Rolling over became pushing up on all fours, rocking back and forth, and ultimately crawling at around five and a half months. She always seems to master one thing and push immediately onto the next.

She's an enthusiatic eater, especially of fruit, vegetables, and yogurt. She doesn't particularly like grains or pasta, and when I put cheese on noodles she's quite pleased to suck off the cheese before spitting the rest over the side of her high chair. Lovely. She adores cheerios and is batting around .500 in actually getting them into her mouth. Yes, I've been counting. It's easy when the other half end up on the floor. But she occassionally refuses baby food, so I'm on the hunt for new things to keep her interested. She likes juice and does much better with a juice box and straw than a sippy cup - as long as she doesn't squeeze the juice box!

She is now firmly in charge of her movements. She's a speedy (and often mischeivious) little crawler. She began pulling up to standing in November, and now often pushes herself away from whatever she's holding to wobble for a bit before landing, unfazed, on her diaper. She's recently tackled the stairs, and can get up about 5 before giving in. She has lots of sounds now - "nenenene," "dadadada," and "hi!" She imitates words and seems to understand some of their meanings - so far we've gotten "duck," "eat," and "kit-cat." And she really does seem to say "Hi Dada" when he comes home at night. Needless to say, Dada is completely obsessed and devoted. I'm almost thankful she doesn't have more words yet, since he would certainly give her anything she asks for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Fourth Trimester

Monkey spent her first few months doing what I guess most new babies do - eating, sleeping, and, well, you know. And being held - LOTS of being held. She wouldn't sleep except on my lap or in my arms (or Daddy's) for quite some time. I know you're supposed to sleep when they do, but I couldn't. So I watched a lot of movies on very low volume with a sleeping baby in my arms. I was so thankful for the day we could start using the Baby Bjorn and I could at least move around while she slept! She was an enthusiastic cuddler and eater from the beginning.

Fabulous Aunt LC spent her spring break with us and finally showed me it could be fun to get out of the house. Grammy came up from South Carolina for a week and did most of the holding while I struggle to get the hang of a medieval torture device called a pump. And Uncle Jamie visited from Kansas and took some of these amazing pictures - I see no need to tell you which - it's obvious.

The 2nd bath didn't go as well as the 1st...

Easter is exhausting!

Madness reigns

As I'm writing this, I'm recalling the madness just before Monkey was born. Fallulah was her wonderful pre-natal name - thanks to Aunt E for that - and now that we know her we're calling her Monkey.  I had blocked it out, but it's all come flooded back. Since I neglected to post, here's a recap.

My nesting instinct kicked in just as we sent the contractors packing - unfinished - six weeks over schedule and one week before Fallulah was due to arrive. Many thanks for the HAS gang for email "talking" me through my multiple house-related panics. For your enjoyment, I've attached some pictures of the chaos that was left behind for us to resolve in a week. And not exactly a high mobility or high energy week, either.

Dining Room


Living Room

The stork arrives...

The first week was mostly spent in the hospital recovering from the scheduled c-section. Miss Fallulah was breech, so it was the safer option. As we learned in the delivery room, the cord was wrapped around her neck three times, probably explaining why she never turned head down. But everything was routine and smooth, thankfully. Fallulah turned up 18.5 inches and a little peanut at an even six pounds.

We had lots of regular visitors and Uncle P devoted most of his spring break to his new niece. After a few run-ins with overzealous nurses and air conditioning failures, we headed home. The new Daddy ignored work for the first two weeks (in a first testament to his devotion) and dubbed himself the "Diaper Master." I think by the end he was timing himself and regularly breaking diaper-changing speed records.

Week 1

I'm Brand New!

Going home...

Not sure what to think of my first bath....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ummm.... posting regularly.

I promised to post regularly. At the time, I was about eight months pregnant. Little Miss is here, and she's eight months old. So either I broke my first blog promise, or you're willing to accept an amazingly flexible definition of "regularly." Either way, I apologize. And to reward you for your patience, I offer up a recap of the first few months (at least what I remember through the sleep deprivation) and some of my favorite pics so far.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Getting Ready...

It's harder than I thought to get into the habit of posting here.

We're about a month and counting now. The books tell me Fallu should be around 5 lbs and be entirely capable of surviving on her own. Thanks in large part to the two amazing showers we had, I think we're pretty well-equipped. Good thing, too, since the house can't hold any more baby stuff. Craig swears we have at least one of everything. The nursery furniture should be arriving in the next week or so, and the contractors should be out of the baby's room today or tomorrow. I'm so ready to get that room ready... plus it means regaining exclusive domain over our second floor! I'll post a picture of her room and playroom when things are done. They've built the closet door so it looks like a dollhouse, complete with cedar shake roof! I think Fallulah's roof is in better shape than the real roof. Of course, that isn't a very high bar to set.

We have a few key appointments left - interviewing the presumptive pediatrician tomorrow, the last baby store run this weekend, car seat inspections next Wednesday, and a BabyCare Skills class next Saturday. The rest is simply getting things done at home. Since I still have over 50 percent good days, I'm eager to get things done - I'm mostly functional yet very aware of what the nonfunctional days feel like! I'm working from home on Thursdays now, which is a big help in terms of keeping energy levels high.

The next entry should have some house pictures. Can't wait!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Adventures in Pregnancy

My first attempt at blogging - reflections on how I could have my perfect personal life and career - was quickly derailed by the discovery that my personal life had asserted control. We were going to be parents. Fallulah was on her way. Since it drives me crazy that I ended up marrying, living, and working in my own hometown while so many of the people that MADE it home left, I'm hoping this blog lets me share a little more of Fallulah with everyone (we'll call her that until we actually meet her). I grew up seeing Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins frequently, and it makes me pretty sad to know that Fallulah will have a less-than full complement of those people around for her childhood. So for those of you still here - stay put! Maybe she'll have cousins in town someday, but it doesn't look promising so far.

As of today, Fallulah is approximately negative twelve weeks old and counting. We're told she's around 15 inches long and weighs about 2lbs. She likes to wait until I'm still and start to kick. It's still such an amazing feeling, even when she gets moving just as I'm falling asleep. I may feel differently in the next few weeks as sleep becomes an increasingly precious commodity. For now, my diet is fine and energy levels are good. I have frequent heartburn and occassional all-body swelling (what a joy), and sitting down and standing up are getting difficult. The last two weeks have brought small doses of nausea and backpain - hopefully they won't get much worse.

So here's the deal: I promise to update this as often as possible, especially once she arrives and we have actual adventures to report. In return, you have to promise to keep in touch and be a part of her life, whether you live here or not.