Friday, June 26, 2009

Several Pics From TODAY videos later

Look at the corn in our garden, sweet baby girl!

Not quite the lip up smile, but... fiendish, yes?

Now look at the "sweet baby girl" baby tomatoes, sweet baby girl! They're growing just like you! But don't worry, we won't eat you!

Happy in daddy's arms!

Just gorgeous, sweet baby girl!

And to demonstrate the "all fours"...

29 weeks

Our girl is AMAZING! A full three, nearly four, days before that 3 week mark post-fall at which she should be healed, she started putting full weight on BOTH legs again and showing an eagerness to stand more frequently again! Now, one day shy of three weeks, she shows no signs of favoring the leg at all.

She has also made GREAT strides this week on the crawling front. No, she's not crawling yet, but in this week she officially figured out how to get onto all fours and has done a lot of rocking in that position. She finds ways to propel herself forward, and is practicing moving knees separately, reaching with arms. She is SO close. And her frustration has been high at times as she WANTS this, badly. She gets where she wants to go, but she knows, we can tell, that there would be more efficient ways than that which she has already figured out.

The past few days she seems to be trying to pull herself up from lying on her back to a sitting position. As far as I know she hasn't succeeded yet, but she's getting closer all the time. She continues to sit beautifully on her own for longer and longer stretches, or to roll forward from a seated position to all fours for her crawling efforts!

What do I know, but it sure seems to me (and to Kev) like her bottom two teeth are now just below the surface of the gums. Her gum line feels sharp and looks different. She's had a few very rough nights and we think mouth pain is a major culprit. We're using lots of homeopathic teething gel and homemade apple juice popsicles these days. Sometimes she'll go from screaming to content very quickly after some vigorous sucking on a popsicle.

Frozen apple juice? She loves! Apple sauce, her second solid? Not so much. Well, it has gone better than sweet potatoes, and we've tried more frequently as Silent shared that she read somewhere it takes babies 10 tastes of something new before they adjust. It still seems like her issue is texture more than taste, but she has definitely swallowed some apple sauce. I guess we'll go to rice/breastmilk next- I know, we should have started there. Oh well. Cousin Jenny sent along a WONDERFUL cookbook that has all sorts of homemade baby food recipes. We'll be having fun with that!

Caroline has added a new smile to her repertoire. I'm not sure whether or not we have yet caught it on film. It is a lip up, exposing the gum line smile, and it is usually accompanied by sniffing or snorting. It is HILARIOUS. She does it A LOT these days. And we're not sure where it came from.

She's also babbling far more regularly and extensively. "Ba" seems to have been the preferred syllable of the week. But many other syllables were thrown in for good measure.

Caroline once again has the blessing of having two parents around most of the time. What a lucky girl! For now anyhow... I'm sure there will be times in the future when the blessing will be having NO parents around!

We had hoped to go for walks every morning this week, but those rough nights meant we only made it out to the new (to us) park Monday and Tuesday. But Caroline was GREAT on both walks. She even let me nurse her to sleep in the sling on one of them! What progress in nearly seven months!

She's a sweaty girl; her daddy's baby for sure! But then, who can blame her, it is CRAZY hot here!!

Well, that's all the news I can think of for now! I'll be sorting through pics and videos tonight and hopefully will have some good ones to share- assuming blogger cooperates and lets me share them!

Friday, June 19, 2009

28 weeks! But first- Oh my... how we spent this first day of Caroline's 29th week

25 years ago I had my first ice skating lesson. I am not now and have never been a well-coordinated, athletic human being. I think I was seduced by the pretty outfits and pretty ladies who were so graceful on t.v., seduced into thinking I could be coordinated and athletic enough... So I had a lesson. And the first lesson went pretty well. I didn't fall even once! I was so proud. After the lesson, a friend from church who was a much more experienced skater caught sight of me and gleefully slid across the ice to me. She squealed as she reached out a hand to me. I was overwhelmed and lost my balance as she took my hand. My arm, the one attached to the hand she was holding, twisted underneath me and got pinned there. I think that was a Saturday morning. I complained about my arm hurting all day. I think, maybe, we had seen the pediatrician and they thought there was nothing to be concerned about so I got the distinct impression my mom wanted me to stop complaining. Or at least that my complaining wasn't going to be heard. So I stopped. Sometime late-ish on Sunday night my mom said "You must be feeling MUCH better. I haven't heard you complain in quite awhile." I looked up at her, tears welled up, "Because you weren't listening." And then I really started to cry. "It really hurts!" She looked crushed. We went to the E.R.. I had x-rays. My right wrist was broken.

Two weeks ago tomorrow, as you all know, Caroline and I had a scary fall. She cried for about four straight hours. But by the time my more obvious injuries had been checked out, she was calm. And starting the e.r. process all over again at the children's e.r. just didn't make a lot of sense. We noticed the next day that she wasn't putting weight on her right leg, but didn't react to pressure on the leg, was moving her leg well, and save for a few scratches and this favoring of the leg- seemed fine. She wasn't complaining. She had rough times last week- remember that I characterized it as swingy- but... there were SO many possible reasons for hard moments (as we reviewed last week). Well, this Wednesday my mom's best friend, Debbie, a nurse, stopped by. And in playing with Caroline noticed she was really not putting weight on her right leg at all- 10 days later... She recommended that we call the pediatrician again and have Caroline seen. So shortly after she left I called the pediatrician and made an appointment for this morning, the day on which I knew I would have the car, and needed to be on that side of town for several appointments anyhow. We dropped Kev at work (his last morning of the temp work he's been doing) and then made our way to the pediatrician. We got there an hour early and Caroline fell asleep on the drive so we stayed in the cool car (on one of the hottest days of the year thus far) so she could sleep and I could get some sermon organizing done. And then into the appointment... and Caroline did put weight on her right leg while in the pediatrician's office, but was favoring it in other ways so she thought it best to have some x-rays done. She ordered hip x-rays (in case there was a pre-existent hip issue that we hadn't perceived) and x-rays of the right leg. We made our way to the Children's Hospital at my university, eventually got x-rays- she was in great spirits until the x-rays. Our active baby (who had appts through her big morning nap time and thus was getting very sleepy) did NOT appreciate being held still. 15 or so minutes after the x-rays we were called to front desk to talk to the pediatrician on the phone after she had received the results... the results? Her hips are fine. The leg is broken. BROKEN. The femur. The x-ray showed it is already starting to heal, and that's a good thing, but as that is a major bone she wants Caroline to be seen by an Orthopedist. So we were sent to the Orthopedic group in the hospital. At this moment I was feeling LOUSY. My baby's bone had been broken for TWO weeks because I fell. And I hadn't had her seen until now. Now, I'm the mom. Now, I was the one who wasn't listening. She cried for four hours the day of the fall not just because she was scared, but because she was in pain. But... we weren't listening. Or we were... but... she can't talk. And she was happy for a lot of the last two weeks... and we loved her through it all. Anyhow. Kev's work day ended at noon and he got a ride to the hospital and joined us just as we were checking in at the ortho's office. Perfect timing really. When we were taken in the exam room the nurse said "So why are you here?" "Because our daughter has a broken leg." Shortly thereafter we were ushered to the CAST ROOM. Gulp. And there we waited for quite awhile for the doctor. I was thanking God that if it turned out she needed a cast, which in that moment it seemed it would, it would be when Kev would be home to help. But I was also terrified that they were going to need to rebreak her leg or something. When the ortho. came in he said "So tell me the story. How did this happen?" And so I did. And he examined her briefly and then said "Well, yes, that is exactly how breaks like this happen, when there is a fall with a baby in a front carrier." And then he went on to say that she was healing well, that most breaks like this in babies this age take three weeks to heal so there wasn't really much point in casting her now. If this had been caught much earlier it would have been casted, but now a cast wouldn't add much. He doesn't anticipate needing to even see us again. He imagines that she'll be back to normal in about a week, but, of course, if we have any concerns we can bring her in at any time. If she still is favoring the leg or not putting weight on it in two weeks he wants to see us again, but he doesn't imagine that will be the case. So with that, and some xerox copies of her x-rays, we were dismissed.

Phew. I thought I might be posting pics of a cast tonight (a purple one- that seemed the best option to Kev and I, and we think Caroline agreed- though she seemed rather drawn to the neon ones we found abhorrent, well, the camo was abhorrent, the neon just- blech!) But thanks be to God, all the visual evidence I have of our day and of her break (other than the x-rays which I haven't scanned yet, but may... we'll see) is the arm band which she delighted in sucking on. So... for your viewing pleasure...

We have a TOUGH and a SMART little girl. We are so glad that she's going to be o.k.. And ultimately, I think it is a good thing this wasn't discovered sooner. Don't get me wrong. I still feel badly about the whole incident, but... it is hot, hot, hot now and will be all weekend. If she were going on her second week in a cast... oh my, what misery... And the last two weeks would have been SO hard. Instead, we've had pretty good weeks. This week in particular was pretty darn good. Our girl, even with a broken leg, mastered sitting independently this week. And is LOVING this skill. She still topples occasionally, but is capable of sitting for good long stretches without even using her arms for support, and capable of catching herself before toppling a good deal of the time. Some photographic evidence of her sitting:

Early in the week, pillows ready should she topple on the hardwood. I think she was watching Sesame Street at this particular moment.

And just today. Supporting herself with hands...

and again...

and who needs hands???

She's actually able to sit more upright than these pictures suggest. Ah well. Just haven't caught it on film yet!

We did sweet potatoes once more, but... yeah... she's not so into it. We'll try something else soon, but this week mostly I nursed A LOT. And Caroline has a new habit of pinching my breasts while she eats, which REALLY hurts. I hope this passes. Soon! Fortunately, she has really taken to the teether necklace Great Aunt Sherry sent along. Sometimes she'll squeeze that and play with that and spare my breast tissue.

Caroline is working like mad to get up on all fours. Perhaps she has been delayed by the break, but it has not delayed her efforts at all. And especially when playing on our bed she gets REALLY close. In the meantime she's moving in a worm like fashion, stretching her front half out and then picking up her butt and scooting forward. She can make her way diagonally across our king sized bed, especially if my cell phone is in the opposite corner, or something else it would be better for her not to play with! For the most part, her movement has not been hindered by her injury- looking back we can see that she has been far less interested in standing than she was before (she used to practically pull herself up and preferred standing to sitting), but otherwise... she's been rolling, scooting, picking up both legs and chewing on her feet. She's still a VERY mobile and active little girl. I can't even imagine what she would be doing now should she have not had this injury!

One very exciting piece of news from the doctor's appointments today, as of today Caroline has EXACTLY doubled her birthweight! Woohoo! We had thought we might take a family hike in celebration of every weight doubling, but... not this weekend. Blech. Too hot.

Here are a few more pics from the past week, all in her eating/playing chair. She spends lots of good play time in this chair when we're eating or cooking or whatever... One day I heard her playing the piano and came out to see Kev had placed the chair in a position where she could reach the key board. I hoped to get a picture of her playing, but by the time I got to her she was more interested in eating the padding behind her... ah well... cute enough.

And these, just cause. Caroline loves the piglet teether that Mamie picked up at a dollar store when she was here. More than once this week I have heard her squeaking away on it.

Caroline Grace, I'm so sorry we had such a scary fall. I'm so sorry you have a major injury. I'm so grateful you are so resilient and are healing so well and finding so much joy in life. And I am SO glad you don't have an icky cast! We love you SO much baby!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Caroline Meets Sweet Potatoes

Video of the earliest experiences... Does Caroline's sweet potato face mirror mommy's beer face? College friends, what say ye?

And some still shots of us letting her play with her food!

And ah.. back to just toys...

Pics from visit with the Godfamily and a new comic

A little blurry, but too cute, no? Already to go meet Godmama Katie and Godsistah Abby on a lovely Saturday morn!

Getting further acquainted with Abby...

In the arms of her Godmama at brunch...

More getting acquainted with Abby...

And on Sunday at Las Paletas just before saying goodbye (see comic for more!)...

And just in case you haven't seen Kev's latest handywork on Abby's blog. Enjoy! (These pics and narrative are by Kev, save for one pic, obviously!) Click on the image below to bring up the comic book!

We love you, G-K's! So good to have you here. And thanks again for all the help for the moments we did not photograph!

27 weeks!

So, how would I characterize this 27th week for Caroline? Swingy! Dramatic swings from high to low in record breaking time, and low to high for that matter. I'm not just talking about the fall, but whole week following. Most every day she has been REALLY happy for awhile and then REALLY not. Yesterday seemed to be the worst of this pattern, the swings happening closer and closer together, and interfering with napping. It seemed for a bit early this week like she was having some separation issues with me. If I would leave her sight for longer than 2 seconds she'd melt down, but that has faded as the week has progressed. I don't know if the forced separation at the E.R. had something to do with this and if we had some trust to re-build. (Thank you all for your love and support!)

It is especially hard to know to what to attribute the intensity of her emotions this week (other than her personality!), because there are SO MANY possible factors. The fall, yes, but so much more.

Her frustration is HIGH because she is on the edge of some major motor skill developments. We've been practicing having her sit independently in cushiony places and she is DOING GREAT!!! Sometimes she only needs one arm to balance and she stays upright for a good while, usually. She doesn't get upset when she tips, but I do sense that she's eager for more control over her body. She continues to work hard towards the goal of getting on all fours and has gotten very close this week. We met a momma of a 6 month old at the Farmer's Market on Wednesday. Her baby is about 5 days older than Caroline and had just gotten up onto all fours the day before. I know it is silly to compare babies, and I'm not, but as Caroline had just gotten the closest she's come that morning it felt like this encounter was preparing us for what is just around the corner! We'll see. As I wrote on the other blog, and think I wrote foreshadowing of here last week, she has taken to some impressive gymnastics during nursing sessions. When she's getting full, and energetic, she rolls away now, but not with the intention of stopping her meal. She picks a spot from which she engages in target practice, attempting to latch on from further and further away, and from all sorts of odd angles. She has also taken to pinching and positioning my breast in these moments- that is less endearing, but really, I wish you could see what she does. It is hilarious- and impressive.

And then, of course, there's the teething thing. No teeth yet, but sometimes it seems like we can see them coming. And some of her crying DEFINITELY seems related to gum pain. She eagerly accepts cold on her gums (especially Las Paletas- another comic coming this evening, I promise! Along with pics! I just wanted to get the narrative written while I had some time this morning.) and will gnaw, hard, on just about anything. She likes the homeopathic teething gel we have, but we think that might be a taste thing rather than a relief thing. And of course, she continues to drool, drool, drool. Hard work this teething stuff! But they're coming, and as her pediatrician said, they push down... and stop... push down... and stop... for months! And so bursts of teething pain are unpredictable.

And about the fall- she really did sustain remarkably few injuries, but has seemed to be hesitant to put much weight on her right leg in the week since. She will put weight on it, just not as equally with her left has before. We're keeping an eye on it. She seems to be increasing her use of the leg as the week goes along and doesn't react negatively to any touching or pressure on the leg. Perhaps it is as simple as that scrape on her big toe irritating her!

And you've all be waiting for word on... SWEET POTATOES! Hopefully blogger will cooperate this evening and I'll get a video up, but a written report for now. On Monday night we finally made the introduction. We fed her at first with our fingers and let her play a bit with sweet potatoes on her tray. At first she seemed cool with it, but was less and less pleased as the experience went along. She made some champion faces! She liked playing in the mush, but couldn't help but bring it to her mouth which was NOT what she wanted to do. It was pretty funny. It seemed like less a taste issue and more a texture issue, but we'll see. It seems this addition (as small an amount as she consumed) may be gumming up her digestion a bit (her bowels are so fussy!) so we haven't done it every day. We did try on one other day- Wednesday- with a spoon. Just a few bites. And more came out than went down, we think. But that's fine. When you consider her gut has been working at digesting solids for the first time on top of everything else, this too could account for some mood swings. Maybe we'll try another food next week, or we may try mixing sweet potatoes with expressed milk to thin them out a bit more, maybe a bit of apple juice to sweeten them a bit and thin them. We'll see.

I've been please to see that Caroline does not seem to be afraid of the bjorn now, though she's happier in it on daddy than on mommy. Even with that variation, she was near giddy in it as we walked about the Farmer's Market on Wednesday. So long as I kept moving she was EXTREMELY happy. (Swing, swing, swing...)

Yesterday I was trying to make tabouli all day, and it did take all day. It was hard to work with her in the bjorn. She has a knack for putting her head in between me and the recipe, or me and the vegetable I'm chopping, or whatever. In the afternoon, I tried the sling again for the first time in a long time. And she was quite content! I carried her on my hip in the sling and this worked quite well- except that I left her arms free and she grabbed a handful of tabouli as I was tossing it! I even nursed her a bit in the sling. I wouldn't say we have totally figured out sling use, but yesterday suggests it is worth continuing to try.

Mostly, this week, I've lowered my expectations of myself dramatically. I took a nap with Caroline almost every day. And just let things go when she was melting down. She does seem to be in a phase (again) of being very attuned to when we're paying attention to anything but her and not being willing to tolerate that for very long. So, with less demanding things on my plate, I just tried to give her MUCH more attention, and the swings somewhat demanded this. I'm glad I could oblige. But wow. Tiring. I'm a little hungry for adult contact- looking forward to my meeting with the prof this afternoon. We tried going to a story hour at the great children's book store on our side of town, in the hopes I might meet another young mom or two, but we missed the story. Nonetheless I met a young mom with an adorable nearly 3 year old son and a daughter on the way next month. I don't know that we'll be friends, but she lives nearby and... maybe. It sounds like they go to story time a few times a week, and the farmer's market too. She has a masters in Christian Church History from NYU. Perhaps we'll bump into each other again.

Oh, a few more random things- it really does seem like she'll sing along with us sometimes. Early on she did this with her Abuelita, but not with us. More recently she's seemed to sing along with daddy. But this week, with me! And yesterday Kev was spending some quality time with her, clipping her nails (MUCH NEEDED) which she doesn't mind all that much (we have such a strange baby!), and he came out to where I was sitting and said "I just saw her do something I have never seen her do before!" "Really, what?" He stuck out his tongue at me and then said "This. Sticking out her tongue intentionally, and leaving it out!" And I have seen it since. She actually licked me at one point last night!

I wish you could hear her laugh. It is the best!

Katie and Haddon and Abby, Caroline REALLY wants her Godfamily to come back sometime. She promises there will be no gas shortage or major accidents!!! And Abby, she wants to share a popsicle with you, so in a few months, when you have sore gums, come on over!

Pics, Video, Comic- tonight! Blogger willing.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


First, we're o.k.. We're gonna be just fine. I'm very sore and very shaken, nasty abrasions and bruises, but nothing broken. Caroline has a few small scrapes and was very scared and upset, but seems o.k. now.

We were having a nice day, mostly relaxing with Katie and Abby in their hotel room. I did some sermon practice for my preaching tomorrow. We talked and nursed and yeah, it was good. I lost track of time and ended up behind schedule for meeting up with another good friend. I thought our meeting point was closer than it was and knew I'd have to move quickly in order to not be insultingly late. I opted for putting Caroline in the Bjorn because she LOVES walks in the bjorn. I slathered her with sun screen, then me too, put her adorable hat on her, gathered up her diaper bag, the camera, my purse, and off we went. Moving as fast as we could. I tried to take a short cut through campus, but ended up not where I thought I would- not shortening things much at all. But moved, moved, moved. We were getting closer to our destination when it happened. I wasn't running or being especially careless, but the edge of my sandal hooked on a piece of uneven sidewalk and I started to lose my balance, I thought I could fix it, but no... we went crashing down. I guess I nobly protected my girl, bearing the brunt of the fall on my elbows and knees, but she started screaming immediately and I started weeping. We were a mess heaped on the sidewalk. And I saw blood. And I didn't know if it was hers or mine. If I had been thinking straight I would have taken her right out of the bjorn and checked her from head to toe, then put her on the breast right away, but I was beside myself with fear. I called Katie and she assured me she was getting in a cab and coming to me. And then a few minutes later some strangers pulled over. Apparently they had passed me once and the woman in the vehicle realized there was a woman and baby on the ground and insisted they return. She checked out Caroline and assured me she was fine. She said something like "What she needs is for you to calm down. Everything is going to be fine." I took her out of the bjorn and handed her to her, and then they showed me that the blood on Caroline was mine and indicated that I had some nastiness on my elbows and I could see my knees. Later she said "This may sound awful, but you need I didn't especially hurt then. I was too afraid. She was crying, hard. And nothing seemed to soothe her. I put her on the breast and that sort of helped, I calmed down a bit. But when Katie arrived I fell apart again. She indicated that the friend I was on the way to meet was also on her way. And in the meantime I had called Kevin and he was on the way. I nursed Caroline a fair bit, right there on the side of the road- so much for modesty! And when Melissa got there she tried walking with her. But I could hear her crying hard, and asked for her back. When Kev arrived I lost it again. I felt so foolish, and embarrassed, and by now I was hurting... pretty badly. My elbow appeared to be swelling. At first I thought I wouldn't need the hospital, but... we were within walking distance of the hospital at my school. So, we walked. I carried Caroline. Kevin, Katie, and Abby went back to the hotel for some necessary things. And then they all met us at the hospital.

The initial care at the hospital was so-so. The good news was that using my student insurance there was no immediate expense incurred. When I finally got a bed in the E.R. it was in a hallway. And Kev tried to come in with me, but they said he couldn't. Actually, Caroline couldn't. But they didn't make that clear to him and I had no way of communicating with him after they made that clear to me. So I sat, alone, on a gurney, for what felt like too long. Somebody took an inventory of my property right away, but then nothing. No nurses or doctors said anything to me. Finally a nurse walked by and I said "Could you please find out when I will be seen? And could someone please explain to my husband that he is allowed in here, but my daughter is not, and please ask him to leave her with someone for just a moment and come in here?" So she indicated that I should be seen soon, after the person in the room across from me was discharged. And she or someone went to the family waiting room for Kev and he came in shortly thereafter. It was a terrible feeling- sitting alone on that gurney- no way to communicate with people- knowing my distressed baby was outside. She had calmed a bit- someone gave her a popsicle- our girl loves popsicles. But still... all my people were out there, and I was stuck in there, not even receiving care. It sucked.

Kev came in and I suggested someone he might call to help with Caroline and sent him out with my phone and her number. It turned out there was someone in the waiting room for whom a nurse could vouch who was willing to help. And Katie would be right there. So he came to be with me, right about the time I was finally seen. When I was seen the care was thorough and efficient and compassionate. I eventually asked a nurse if there was anyway my baby could come in to nurse. I could periodically hear a baby screaming and it was breaking my heart.

A little while later they got me into a room, a more comfortable bed, and they let Kev bring Caroline in, just to nurse. She laid down with me and nursed and fell asleep quickly. And then just as the x-ray guy came in (in-room x-rays? wow. i didn't know that was possible) he was on his way out with her. They x-rayed the elbow and knee that hurt the most internally. They gave me some ibuprofen. They gave me a tetanus shot (I think they did that when Caroline was still there! See Caroline, mommy gets shots too. Unfortunately.) And then I waited for the results. At this point Kev was out with Katie, Abby, and Caroline. The friend he had called was out of town and I didn't want Katie to be on her own. I felt better in the room, and under the care of folks. Katie offered to nurse Caroline when she woke up again, which was a huge relief to me. Haddon arrived and made arrangements to get Katie, Abby, Caroline, and him back to the hotel by cab.

But I was discharged with the word that nothing was broken, abrasions were the worst of it, and that was that, before they even got into the cab.

So, we're home now. And I have to preach tomorrow. And writing it out has strangely calmed me. It felt very, very lonely and scary. It didn't feel like there were a lot of people we could call for help. So many of our friends are away at the moment. Though I am TREMENDOUSLY grateful for Katie's presence and fast response and all she offered. And Melissa's presence through some of the worst of it too. Thank you! And of course Kevin was wonderful.

But... crap. I tripped and fell on concrete while wearing my baby. This is WAY worse than dropping her out of the rocking chair. WAY WORSE. I feel awful about it.

Sure I protected her, but... wow. This is just lousy.

And I hurt to boot.

And I have to preach tomorrow.

And preside at communion.

For a bunch of people I don't know.

And yes, I'll stop whining now. I am grateful that she is o.k., and that I basically am too. I'm just still shaken up. And feel badly about putting a blemish on several people's day.

It was terrifying. Just awful.

Thanks for your prayers in advance.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lots of Pics from this 26th week!

A few shots from Caroline's first Pentecost

Making music with daddy on Pentecost

Just after graduating from bumbo (be sure to check out the comic book below for more of these great shots! two posts down!)

Saying grace before dinner (taking a book break!)

In the arms of the middle child from next door and her cousin (just after they stopped over to help with the garden)

Meeting Abby, her godsister, for the first time!

And here's Abby in the chair that once was Owen's, then was Caroline's, and now may be Abby's.

And a few joyful jumps on her six month birthday...

SIX WHOLE MONTHS- oh, and 26 weeks, too!

Please forgive me. Images will be posted tomorrow. Taking too long to load tonight and just. too tired.

Last night, Caroline's Godparents arrived. They brought with them Caroline's Godsister who was born exactly two months before. I held Abby in my arms, a babe who seems impossibly small now... though Caroline was that size... not long ago... and said "2 months ago tonight your momma was so relieved that you were here and healthy and 6 months ago tonight I was" and then Katie said with me "pushing and pushing and pushing..."

Six months ago tonight I was in teary awe. The waves of "Oh my God, I have a BABY." crashed frequently and closely together then. They still crash occasionally, but they are fewer and farther between now.

I am in love with our baby. I have been in love with our baby. But as she flashed a stunning grin at Katie this afternoon and Katie said "I can see that you are an EASY baby to love." Right now... at 6 months... oh my goodness, absolutely.

We had the BEST day today- and it involved three shots! More shots than she's had in any one day before! We had a decent night. Both Kev and I felt we got some good sleep. And Caroline woke up later than she's been waking up, and woke up pretty happy. But she woke up early enough for us to be able to decide that I'd give Kev a ride to work. Which I did. And she was quite content for the ride. We came back and I changed and nursed her and she proceeded to take a two hour nap. I had to wake her up to get her ready to go to the doctor, well, I didn't have to try that hard... And she woke up happy again.

She was awake when we arrived at the pediatrician's office and so I took her out of the car seat and put her in the baby bjorn. (I realized at that moment that I did NOT have the backpack that I had packed for my appointment on campus- packed with my COMPUTER- that was the one glitch in the day- pretty scary. Did I leave it in the driveway?! Did I leave it inside- packed it, grabbed the diaper bag and the carseat and left that? This was annoying because I left the house with ample time to get to my appointment, with a beautifully packed diaper bag, feeling remarkably together! Of course... not completely! Turns out that it was sitting in the chair where I packed it, this added some extra miles and adrenaline to the day, but still, a great day!) She, for awhile now, has gotten visibly excited when the bjorn comes into view. She LOVES the bjorn. She rode into the doctor's office on me and I guess she was exuding sheer baby joy because all the employees were smitten. These are employees who have seen her before without much response, but today... they all felt blessed because she was smiling hugely at them! So, so happy was she!

She has only gained .6 pounds since her appointment a month ago, but she has grown an inch and a quarter in the past two months. She is now in the 40th percentile for weight, but her doctor is FINE with this. She attributes it to her increased activity- and goodness knows that has happened! And as she's still 75th percentile for height and head circumference, she's not worried. We got the go ahead to start her on solids with sweet potatoes (our preference), and fully planned to do that tonight, but as we were visiting with Katie and Abby we lost track of time and didn't get around to it until too late! So, no precious first solids on her six month birthday pictures or videos. She did have a few licks of sweet potato, but was really too tired for us to record the experience. Anyhow... she continues to impress the doctor. She's healthy. She's developing well. And I actually didn't have any questions this time around! She did have three shots this time... and was none too pleased. I nursed her for a bit, but she wasn't really settling well and I needed to get going, so decided to gather our things and head out. By the time we got to the check out desk she was grinning again and everyone was remarking "You're still happy after shots?!" "At the moment," said I, anticipating grumpiness when we returned to the car. But... she wasn't really grumpy in the car. She fell asleep on the drive home to look for the backpack. Stayed asleep on the drive back to campus for my appointment. Stayed asleep as I put her in her stroller and took her into the Div School and upstairs and into a small bathroom before my appointment. She woke up just as I wheeled her into my prof's office. And again, she woke up happy. I got her out and nursed her as we met. She nursed well and played with my necklace a lot (thanks Aunt Sherry for the fabulous "teething bling"! I am getting more compliments on it! And our pediatrician wishes she'd thought of it! And, most importantly, in the last two weeks Caroline has become a HUGE fan of it. Which pleases me because if she's tugging on that, she's NOT tugging on my hair!) She made all sorts of faces at my professor and was just generally delightful all through. She remained calm and quiet as I packed her up to leave.

We then went to see Katie and Abby at their hotel and Caroline was happy basically the whole time we were there. Rolling around and playing a bit, entertaining herself and then nursing and resting on me, and checking out Abby across the way. I'm sorry to say that in my pseudo-togetherness I didn't pack the camera. But we did get a few shots of their first meeting last night. (I have a feeling this is going to be a text post. To be followed by an image post.)

Katie and Abby met Caroline and me (and Kev) at our house and we had dinner and just connected all night. Good stuff.

Caroline is just happier so much more of the time now. And my goodness... it is easy to love a happy baby! And as we spend time with a 2 month old, I'm remembering how hard it is when the feedback is so minimal, the communication is all crying, the smiles are rare... oh my. But soon and very soon, Katie and Haddon will know the joy of a three month old, and then a four month old, and then five (oh wow), and then six (oh rapture!) Abby reminds me a lot Caroline, though perhaps less intense, yes... less intense... but in other ways... so similar. So I keep saying to Katie... "Things change, quickly, hang in there! She's wonderful now and will just get more and more so! Just look at Caroline... She used to be that small and communicated in all the same ways!") Not that we wish away the early days, at all... they are precious, every one. But... I do want to celebrate the particular gift that this age is proving to be (just as I celebrated earlier ages before!)

Yesterday there was a specially called presbytery meeting and Caroline was amazing through the meeting. So cooperative, so delightful... folks were fighting for the opportunity to hold her. And lay folks at the church's where I'll be preaching in coming weeks were begging me to bring her with and let them care for her! Even though they have nursery care and I have a husband! She really is different, so much more content, so much more of the time. She often rides in the car now and self-entertains. We now have a mirror up so I can see her back there and she's busy playing with a toy or the car seat strap or just chillin' out, quiet as a mouse. Wow... it is like a switch was flipped. Gone is the baby who would frequently have meltdowns in the car. She sometimes gets worked up now, but reaching around so she can either suck a finger or just feel a hand on her head usually calms her right down. It might not be the safest thing to do, but... she is so much easier to soothe now!

You already heard the big news of the week- she graduated from her bumbo! We'll be passing that on to Abby for a spell- among plenty of other things. She is LOVING her high chair, happy to play in it for good long stretches.

In the past few days she's been doing her darndest to get up on all fours. She especially likes working on this during morning feedings- while trying to stay latched on- no joke! I think Dr. Sears names one of the common nursing personalities "the gymnast" and that's our girl in the mornings at least. She shoves her butt high in the air, then wiggles her front half trying to lift it too. Then she flops down and quickly pushes her top half up in a dramatic push-up and wiggles her bottom around hoping to get it up too. This is so cute to watch! I'd prefer she save it for not nursing times, but it is cute nonetheless!

We'll try again with the sweet potatoes tomorrow... and hopefully will have a video to post!

Happy birthday, baby! I'm SO glad you were born.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Big Ol' Day

We've gotten very good use out of the bumbo, that handy blue seat that has helped our girl to sit up for months now. I remember asking early on "How long can she use this?" To which Kev replied "Until she can get out of it herself."

Well, she's been working on it for weeks now, working at propelling herself up and out of her bumbo.

And today was no different. Late this afternoon she was sitting in the bumbo in the middle of the livingroom floor, playing with a stuffed animal. I was pouring myself a glass of suntea I'd been looking forward to all day. I looked over to see her rising up, up, up higher and then OUT. SHE SUCCEEDED! I quickly moved in her direction thinking that she was going to end up head first on the hardwood, but somehow she landed on her nicely padded, cloth-diapered behind (her diaper and wrap being her only clothing on this hot summer afternoon!) I called daddy to see and he scooped up our rather astonished looking little girl and celebrated her graduation from the bumbo! Her eyes remained widened for some time, but she never cried and she soon smiled. We were giving her big smiles at this accomplishment! Kev strapped her into her feeding chair and attached the tray; he gave her a teething toy on which to munch. She immediately started banging and squawking, apparently appreciating her elevation! She was making such a racket that Kev did something he's been wanting to do for awhile. He pulled out the Tao Te Ching, from which he thinks she should begin reading now to foster greater calmness in our ACTIVE girl. He didn't have time to do a reading as he was prepping dinner so he just handed her the book. TO HER DELIGHT!

Click on the image below to see a series of images from Caroline's first encounter with the Tao. She was most thorough in her approach. And daddy had a LOT of fun with the pictures mommy took!

She's growing up. She really is.