Tuesday, April 28, 2009

She sighs a contented sigh...

... over 20 weeks have passed and I am still enchanted with my daughter's hands.

Friday, April 24, 2009

20 weeks!





This week we made great use of the blanket Knittin Preacher made for Caroline. Every time Kev tucks her into her carseat with it, he says "I LOVE this blanket." And we do. It is just the right size and weight for the car seat. And not bad for playing on either. The colors are wonderful. KP said they were inspired by "Oh the places you'll go"... which just happens to be the theme of Caroline's nursery. Thank you, KP. Let us know if you want a better pic. We have a video we can send to you, but I didn't want to out your name in the blogosphere and I say it on the video.

This week was also all about the feet. Caroline discovered she can bring her feet to her mouth and that they make a great snack and toy! And as I mentioned yesterday, her new friend thought they were tasty too! I have tried all day to get a shot of her munching on her feet. But in true Caroline form, every time the camera comes out, she stops doing whatever it is we're trying to catch. These two were taken today and they're the best I could get. I'll keep trying.




Tish was over today. We were reflecting a bit on the birth. 20 weeks ago today. Wow. Just wow.

I'm not quite as tired today as I was 20 week ago, but... almost. (The second day after a no-sleep day is always harder than the day of for me. Now I remember. Whoa.)

Caroline had a better night last night, but not a great one. She is very sleep deprived. VERY. And... us too.

Road trip this weekend to see a play and some family and friends. And then some other friends are taking a road trip to see us! Woohoo!

And I think I've decided I can take my German exam when planned. If he's willing to move it to the second full week of May that will be much preferred, but I think I can swing it either way.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

gratitude

For a day that started off terribly... it was a really good one.

I'm not sure how I functioned on three hours of sleep (guess the insomnia of years best trained me well), but I did. I kept trying to get Caroline to lie down with me and nap/nurse... finally an hour or so before we needed to get ready to go she did. So we got another hour of rest. I wouldn't call it sleep exactly, but rest. And then... the day began. Well, really the day began before that. She was so awake that she played while I started my translation task for the day. I got just a bit of that done before we crashed together. But I did get a bit done.

And while getting ready to go I straightened up the living room substantially (just one of the household things I really wanted to get accomplished) and repacked the diaper bag and changed the babe and gathered my supplies for my appointment at school and ordered thai food for lunch with a new friend. I felt very proud of myself for having accomplished a bit of German translation, lots of baby care, and all of that, on three hours of sleep, by 10:30 a.m.

Caroline was very cooperative in the transition out of the house. She was a bit cranky on the drive to pick up lunch, but fell asleep on the short jaunt to the friend's house.

This friend... we had never met in person before. She is a nurse midwife who teaches midwifery at my university. A friend of an acquaintance of mine is her student and this friend of the acquaintance connected me to her last summer when I was seeking a home birth midwife. She too was pregnant last summer, due in late October. And she too was planning a home birth. A VBAC even, and she had a midwife willing to work with her on that. We had a good talk one summer afternoon while I was buried in a difficult French translation, anxiously anticipating my rapidly approaching French exam (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose! um... that wasn't the difficult translation, that is just a thought in French related to the fact that I am now buried in a difficult German translation, rapidly approaching my German exam!) She gave me several names and I began my search. I made LOTS of calls and received more referrals before finally finding a midwife team that was available, but she got me started. She too was in the midst of a move when we talked. We had a lot in common. But she has a toddler. And she was more pregnant when she moved. She deserves greater sympathy. Anyhow, out of the blue several weeks ago she left me a voice mail saying she'd been going through old e-mails and realized she never followed up with me and wondered how things turned out for me. It was an incredibly sweet voice mail. I was very touched that this virtual stranger would follow-up like that. Before I got a chance to call her back she friended me on facebook. And I believe I followed up with her there. We've chatted a lot on facebook in the past few weeks. And it was she who really calmed me down when Caroline was so distressed the other night. She helped me make a plan of action. And we made a plan to get together. And today was the day. It was supposed to be for tea, but my schedule got shifted, I went later and brought lunch. She recommended the place. FINALLY, A GOOD THAI PLACE HERE! HOORAY! Our time together was wonderful. We shared bits and pieces of our birth stories, and she shared very helpful parenting wisdom. And our girls... they only had a bit of time together as hers was sleeping most of the time, but they LOVED each other. They are just over a month apart in age. I don't think Caroline has ever been around a baby so close to her age before. They munched on each others hands and feet and just grinned, grinned, grinned at each other. We have a standing invitation to their place and they to ours. A NEW FRIEND! Alleluia! And she isn't in my program... which is great, really! She feels like just the fellow mom friend, nearby, that I've been needing!

Caroline was very cranky when we left there, but fell asleep on the short drive to school. She woke up shortly after I got into my appointment, but nursed quietly and fell back asleep. She woke up exactly as we were wrapping up.

And then we picked up the sitter at school and she took Caroline for a walk on which Caroline slept a bit more and I got a blissfully quiet house in which to focus on my German.

She kept Caroline busy for the better part of 2 hours while I translated.

And bedtime was SMOOTH tonight. She was asleep by 6:15. Stayed asleep until nearly 8:45. Nursed peacefully on and off for about half an hour, and is back asleep now... has been for over an hour. She cried out shortly after going back down, but I waited to see if she'd make any more noise. And no! She settled herself back down.

And perhaps the best news of all is that I kept chipping away at my translating tonight and I accomplished my goal for the day- a goal that seemed impossibly large given my exhaustion and the busyness of the day! Hooray!

So, now bed. And may all three of us sleep long and well tonight. Amen.

well...

better bedtime, maybe, but horrible sleep. she woke up just when we were ready for bed and didn't fall asleep until 4 hours later and then only slept for 2 more. i brought her into bed with us and she would sleep only if she had perpetual access to the breast. which meant i wasn't sleeping. kev got her back to sleep in her crib after showering and getting ready to leave for work. she woke up a few minutes later.

and OF COURSE this is the one day this week i have commitments outside the house.

on 3 hours of sleep.

lord, have mercy.

sorry to whine, loved ones. i'm truly grateful for my baby.

i just really need sleep.

thank goodness the previous few nights were better at least.

one step forward, two steps back.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

much better bedtime

She only woke up once shortly after initially being put down. She is still sleeping over two hours later. This is so much better than the past two nights. And the screaming tonight... was minimal and short lived.

Could it be the wheat?

I don't know.

But still no wheat or oatmeal for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a better day so far

I don't attribute it to the lack of wheat and oatmeal just yet, but I have managed to avoid both. Eggs for breakfast, tuna (without bread) for lunch. And I didn't have any wheat after midday yesterday either... so, it has been over 24 hours since there was any wheat in the system.

In any case... our girl has filled her diaper twice today, without pain or discomfort. The second time I didn't even know it happened. I was on the phone. She was playing on her mat. She was just starting to get a little fussy so I decided to pick her up and play with her, but before doing so decided to check the diaper... and my goodness.

Our day started quite early, but after a decent night. The going to bed was AWFUL (I blogged in the midst of that... when I was feeling desperate), but once she finally settled around 8, she slept till about midnight. She woke up twice between going back to bed at 1 and final start to the day just before 6, but the first time she put herself back to sleep before Kev even got to her, the second it took him, he estimates, 30 minutes to get her back to sleep. So, compared to the night before with every 1-2 hour wake ups, it was a good night. Not the best she's had... but decent.

I managed to pump a decent amount this morning so Kev will be better able to handle solo bedtime tonight. We ended up tag teaming it yesterday because she was so distressed. And... being wiped out... for some reason... I opted for lying down with Caroline at quarter of ten and there we stayed until quarter of 12. She nursed and slept on and off. I slept a bit too, I think. In any case, two hours passed with both of us lying down. That was nice.

She is asleep on my lap at the moment. I could go try to put her down, but I am opting for letting her sleep without disruption (she really needs it) and letting me get some work done. I gave myself a blog break after translating a paragraph. But, must get back to it. I can't believe how soon I'm supposed to take the exam. Depending how the rest of these week goes, I might be negotiating a later exam date. The prof administering the exam urged me to wait until fall. And I could, but... I REALLY want to accomplish one academic goal this semester. My guided reading is stretching into the summer. I'll be writing a paper for that over the summer. My exam reading has not progressed in a few months. I really want to make a dent in that this summer. I have enough on my plate this summer. And next fall... I don't even want to think about it. So, it would feel very good to get one thing DONE. (Can you tell I'm a "J" on the Meyers-Brigg? If you saw the chaos of our house, you wouldn't guess that, but my need to finish things... totally "J".) But I'm trying to be gentle with myself. I DON'T want to sit for an exam that I know I'm not ready for. And today, I'm not ready. Unless I'm MUCH closer to ready by Friday... I think I'll delay the exam... if I still can. The prof administering the exam seems really laid back... so I think I can.

In any case, when my girl has been awake today, so long as I've kept her entertained and comfortable (which requires frequent changing of activities, plenty of movement... so glad you're sending that jumper, Wendy!) she's been pretty content. Just a few brief crying jags which I've responded to with nursing and encouraging sleep.

Well... must get back to it. Thanks for your support all.

Monday, April 20, 2009

so...

i've talked with a friend i've not yet met in person. she's a nursing prof at my university. we're getting together for tea on thursday.

i'm giving up wheat for a week.

i'm giving up oatmeal, too.

sigh.

and we'll see.

the baby is sleeping soundly now and has been for over an hour. may it continue.

it helps having a mom, a husband, and a "friend" to talk to.

a lot.

so hard

Our little girl, still, more often than not, screams, really screams when she needs to poop.

She is not constipated, when she poops her stools are usually quite normal, also very liquidy.

And it is normal for breastfed babies to go days without pooping. But our girl... when she needs to poop... if it has been days, or even just many hours... she SCREAMS.

Some days are worse than others. This has been one of those 24 hour stretches that has just been ridiculous.

I really think something I'm eating MUST be bothering her.

And my hunch is that it is gluten.

And that sucks.

She was fine most of the day, but... now... argh.

So, I'm guessing I should give up the gluten.

And see...

But... oh my goodness... I will have to totally change my diet. i just read on-line that you can't have oatmeal on a gluten free diet. What do I have EVERY MORNING? A large serving of oatmeal. With soymilk because I have reduced dairy because I thought that might be an issue.

It is a lousy feeling when you fear that something you're eating is causing your child pain.

Our doc was sure she'd grow out of it.

She doesn't seem to be growing out of it.

Sigh.

and so the second solo week begins...

Yesterday was a really good day for Caroline.

Last night... the worst one in awhile.

So... we're getting a late start to this second solo week.

Caroline was all worked up EARLY this morning after only sleeping for an hour to two at a time all night long. She and I both needed more sleep. So instead of starting the day, I brought her into bed with me and nursed her. It took awhile, but eventually she settled down. And now, at nearly 9:30 a.m. she seems to be sleeping soundly. I got a bit of sleep in the last several hours. I dreamed, so I must have. But I continue to find sleeping with her to be difficult.

Today was the day I was going to chart naps and then nighttime sleep... I guess I'll still try. We'll just officially start her day when she wakes up the next time around.

Now, let me see if I can sneak out of this bed and get a few things accomplished before she does wake up.

Thank goodness Kev and I have a new deal to allow me to a get a few hours of studying in later in the day. He will be on solo duty for bedtime. My German exam is so soon...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Caroline's 19th week in pictures

So on Saturday we planted our first garden. We tried having Caroline in the pack and play with a towel draped over it for shade, but she wasn't much interested in this. She was briefly more interested in sitting in her bumbo and pulling at the grass. She had a great seat for viewing the action (mostly daddy because mommy was busy with her, but I did pick rocks and plant some seeds...)




Here are a few shots from Caroline's first Easter. No bonnet, unfortunately, but a cute outfit I found at the resale shop. Somebody at church said she looked like an Easter egg and, actually, that is what I was going for!






And the most notable development in Caroline this week was her mobility. I shared the news of her new back to tummy rolling ability, and of her very exciting back to tummy to back roll in the wee hours of Easter morning. Well, all week she's been putting these skills to work. At some point I'll have to get a video, or at least a full sequence of shots, but first, get a load of this. I put her down in the center of the play mat, on her back, her head under the orange and green hangy things. And this is how she ended up!




And today, I put her down on her back in the center of her crib, her head facing the end with the ball in the corner, and here are a series of shots that demonstrate just how mobile our girl is.








So.... any recommendations for entertaining toys for such a mobile baby?

19 Weeks!

Well, as you know from the unusual mid-week postings... this was the first week of daytime solo caregiving for me... and... it was exhausting.

Thanks be to God, Kev got to come home midday yesterday. I got some translating done and got a nap as a result.

Every day seemed a little more exhausting than the one before. Caroline did GREAT at my appointment with the faculty. She was happy and cooey and delighted them all. She was crying on most of the drive to school, and started crying again just before we left. But when it mattered... charming, delightful, magnificent. We decided to pick up daddy from work that day to get some more drive time in to allow a bit of a nap. It was a brilliant plan. "Hey, here's a gas station right by his work. I'll fill up this nearly empty tank as we have some time to kill. It is pay at the pump! Great!" So I paid. I pumped. And then got a message I needed to see the cashier for my receipt. So I parked and pulled my sleeping angel out of the car and went inside to find a LONG line of customers. Some of whom graciously let us move up a bit in line. And, of course, with the jostling, she woke up. So much for the nap. For not the first time, and for what surely won't be the last time. I pulled into a parking lot and nursed.

I must celebrate that Caroline was under the care of solo daddy for a good four hours or more last night while I attended a school function and she was sleeping peacefully when I returned. She had taken just a bit of the milk I left for her, and while taking awhile to go down, went down relatively peacefully. And... she stayed asleep until 12:30 or later. Four plus hours! I went in to feed her at that point. She had a good long feeding, but then, just when I was about to give up and ask Kev to spell me for a bit, when she pulled off aggressively for the fifth time, I put her on my shoulder to carry her to him and she didn't squirm. She was sound asleep. So I put her down. And there she stayed for another four plus, nearly five hours! Apparently she started to wake up a bit when Kev was getting ready to go early this morning, but put herself back to sleep. And when she started to make noise shortly after Kev left, they sounded like happy noises so I let her be for a bit while I got up, and gathered supplies to pump while I fed her, etc. When I came in she had worked her way all the way to one corner of the crib, the corner in which a small clutch ball that I used to play with was sitting. And she was making happy noises and playing with the ball!!! She smiled when she saw me. What a wonderful way to start the day!

The rest of the day has been rougher. I had commitments on campus all afternoon and spent a good chunk of this week seeking child care for that time. I finally found a div student who had once said "If you ever need a babysitter..." to be available to watch her on campus for the afternoon. Sweet. We went in early to offer this sitter some orientation. She was pretty content then. I opted to feed her a bit before going. And as she was still hungry when I needed to leave, the sitter took over with the bottle I had prepared. I was occupied for the next two hours, only mildly worried about how things were going. When I passed the room where she was being watched on my way to my 3:00 commitment (at which I had to present- for a much different audience than I was anticipating), I heard her screaming. Apparently it had just started a bit before. We tried getting her into her car seat to allow a walk in the stroller, but she started screaming the bloodiest screams she is capable of. So, pulled her out, and nursed her a bit (she had already taken the whole, very full bottle, this was definitely comfort nursing). She calmed down a bit. I passed her back, went in to do my presentation. Came out right after my presentation and she was screaming even harder. A different student was walking her about. Clearly, it had been an overwhelming hour for the sitter. So, I volunteered to keep her with me for the remaining hour. I started nursing her again. She settled down. I decided to stand up while nursing her and try to walk back to my meeting with her still nursing/draped. I stumbled as I went to stand I didn't fall, but I bumped her leg pretty hard. Blood curdling screams again ensued. So we walked and bounced, walked and bounced... and she calmed right down. We went back into my meeting where the other group was now presenting and I stood in the back patting her back and bouncing. Now the super angry baby was super happy baby, cooing loudly, squealing... so I took her out as her happy noises could have been distracting to the presenters. I brought her back in awhile later and fed her in the back. She ate LOUDLY. But then fell into a deep sleep. For 15 or so minutes. And then we had to leave again. Anyhow... twas an exhausting afternoon.

I need to find a toy that allows her to be very mobile, yet safe. Probably an exersaucer or a jumper of some kind. She is SO mobile now that she rolls over shortly after lying down and gets herself stuck in all sorts of awkward positions, frustrating her and ending her play time. I could just lay her on a big blanket and let her move, and I do, but she misses having stuff overhead. So... the search must begin.

I have to celebrate the mail this week! A BEAUTIFUL blanket from knittin preacher arrived! The colors were inspired by the book "Oh the Places You'll Go", the theme of Caroline's nursery. And... we got a generous refund check from our midwives... the insurance kicked in and reimbursed some. Alleluia! And... the d.v.d. that goes with Brazelton's "Touchpoints" arrived. And... pictures of me as a baby. (She does look much more like Kevin. But I think she has my nose!) And... two of you thoughtful friends who read this blog generously ordered "The No Cry Sleep Solution" for us. The first copy arrived on Tuesday and I started reading it right away. The first step in her process is charting the sleep patterns of your child. I'm going to start that next week. But I was wondering if I should write in the charts in the book or not. What if I want to pass it on someday? Just as I was wondering that, the second copy arrived! So, I will write in one and save the other as a gift. I know I will want to pass it along. THANK YOU for being SUCH thoughtful readers and supportive friends. We are SO grateful.

Hopefully some pics will follow, if I can get them up before crashing tonight. But for now... must. find. dinner. And must get baby to bed.

Thank God it's Friday.

And 19 weeks. Wow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Second Day Solo

Maybe my goals are too modest... but I'm accomplishing them... just.

Baby cared for.

Tertullian's treatise "On Repentance" read and notes taken.

4 sentences of German translated (the goal was 3... when I got into it I wished for three more... close enough.)

One load of laundry folded, another one in the dryer.

Some cleaning done.


I was looking forward to another day of just the two of us to further work at getting into a rhythm. But... life happens. The car needs to be repaired (leak in the fuel line- not a good thing especially given the cost of gas these days!) and it needs to be taken to the mechanic at 11:30. And I just got an e-mail from the head of my department indicating that I am to be on campus for a meeting with all my area faculty at 2:15. (And, no, this isn't an appointment I agreed to before.) So, looks like Caroline is having a sit down with faculty tomorrow. And may be taking her first bus ride ex utero. Kev will be taking the bus to work to leave the car to be repaired which means he'll be leaving an hour earlier- 6 or before! So... we'll be going to be soon. Tomorrow could be an altogether different sort of exhausting.

But this is good. Because this is life. Not every day can be a home day. I actually have school obligations the next three. So... let the juggling adjust.

And I just hope Caroline is in a great mood at 2:15 tomorrow.


Thanks for your words of encouragement and the perspective offered by those of you who have been there. You're right, Desert Mama. This stuff is physically exhausting. And yes, the school work is a good mental balance. I am sore in a way that I usually only get from serious exercise. Wow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Day Solo

So, Kev was provisionally hired (as an alternate) as a reader of exams. His status as an alternate meant that he was to show up first thing this morning for day one of training. Had they need of him he would be there all day. Had they not he would come home midday and be compensated for the morning. This is a temp job- 35-40 hours a week for four to six weeks. This meant that from 7 a.m. on I was on my own with Caroline. He called midday to say that he had indeed been hired, but not as a reader, rather for a different job- and will be working 40 hours a week for the next four to six, and will be at the top of the list for consideration as a reader when the next project comes along.

Now I have to admit that as I was falling asleep last night I wasn't sure for what to pray. I wanted him to get this job... for lots of reasons. But... I have been so dependent on his partnership in caregiving these past three months... I couldn't quite fathom how I would do on my own.

Well... it was exhausting. But it was good. I didn't get a heck of a lot of studying done, but I got lots of quality time with the girl, I baked a cake in celebrating of Kev's employment, which involved taking a walk to the store first! and the stroller was in the car with Kev so the bjorn it was. My back is not so happy with me at the end of this day. I found I had to be VERY flexible. So you need to be held right now? O.K., the bjorn it is, I'll do housework. So you need to nurse right now? O.K., I'll work on vocab building with my flash cards. So you are happy to play on your mat right now? Great! I'll do some translating. So you're napping now? I'll grab a shower, return a call, and do some Ger... oh wait, you've decided to only sleep 30 minutes at a time today. Nevermind. I was already to take the walk to the store when she totally melted down. So nursing and napping it was... for 30 minutes... when we were finally ready to go it was beautiful and sunny out. I briefly considered checking the weather on-line as it was supposed to be rainy all day... but... nah. Twas too beautiful out... so, of course it started raining before we got there. But just lightly. No big deal. On our walk back it was sunny and clear again. As we prepared to walk under a bridge on our way back, I took note of an apparently homeless man. I will admit that the sight of him provoked a bit of anxiety. But he looked up at us, pointed under the bridge, pointed at Caroline and then said "You be careful." "I will, sir, thank you!" Such grace. I blushed at the anxiety that had welled up before. (I don't like the new fears that come with motherhood.)

Caroline astonished me today by turning in full circles on her back and rolling onto her stomach and... just moving, moving, moving... She needed to be close a lot, so... as I said, not as much got done. But... laundry got done, and a cake got baked, and several sentences got translated, and a baby got loved. I'd say it was a good day. I have to admit I had fantasies about playing perfect housewife and having dinner nearly ready when Kev got home and the cake frosted and things clean... but... the cake will be frosted soon. He was happy to pull dinner together. And the house was what it was. The baby is now sleeping, and has been lulled back to sleep by daddy after awakening after her routine. And now it is time for dinner.

Yes, a good day, but boy am I tired.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

THIS JUST IN...

Caroline Grace, who has been rolling from stomach to back for 8 weeks now, successfully rolled from back to stomach two times on the Saturday before her first Easter. She found the results of this new skill far less pleasing than the reverse. "I'm on my stomach! I hate being on my stomach!"

And in the wee hours of her first Easter morn, when she was placed on the ground as her swaddling blanket was prepped for a reswaddle... she rolled from back to stomach to back!!! She then looked up at her adoring mother and grinned. "Ah... that was fun!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

18 weeks! VIDEOS!

It seemed on the first day of Caroline's fourth month that she had changed dramatically. More content. More engaged. Just... oh, I don't know. She seemed more grown up! But still adorable baby all at the same time! We had her four month check up on Tuesday and after Dr. Shull joined us in the examining room she said "Don't you just love this age?" "Yes," we said. And then I said, "It seemed like she totally changed on Sunday." "In a good way, I hope." Dr. Shull replied. "Yes, in a good way."

Well, our girl has had much contentment and engaged time this week, but... she has been pretty fussy too. She's over her cold. Her cough was lingering earlier this week, but it seems totally gone now. So we're not exactly sure where the fussiness is coming from. I wonder sometimes if she's going to have lots of periods of significant frustration until she can talk and walk. She has so much energy and to be limited to sitting with support, lying on the ground, or being held... I think it is not enough for her. She LOVES it when we play bouncy games with her "Trot, trot to Boston...", when we lift her high in the air (great upper body workout, methinks), and she loves being walked and walked and walked... she really seems to like the baby bjorn. She rides around on daddy a lot these days. She likes to move. I was reading through old posts earlier this week and read about how I first really started to feel her moving in utero when we were in the car and how Kev thought we should get her a onesie that read "Keep on truckin'" Maybe...

Growth report- 13.8 pounds, 25 inches (or as a sweet daddy at church said last night- "You're 2'1", Caroline!" Indeed! 2 feet plus!), and her head... oh, I can't remember at the moment, but it is bigger... her weight is still in the 50th percentile, her length in the 75th percentile, and her head in the 75th percentile too. Her doc was pleased the height and head are in sync!

Caroline is super mobile on her back and on her belly. Twice today she rolled right over when I put her down for tummy time. And often, when on her back on her play mat she practically turns in circles. I pulled some big blankets out of her blanket bin so she will have a bigger area on which to move around.

On good nights, these days, Caroline is sleeping 3-4 hours blocks of time, eating for awhile, then sleeping for another solid block, about three of these. Sometimes she even sleeps longer. Sometimes though, she has trouble getting back to sleep. Earlier this week just before going to bed I read that parents should let babies fuss for 5-10 minutes before going to them in the night so that they learn to self-soothe and put themselves back to sleep. So the first time I heard her fuss in the night that night, I waited... and... she put herself back to sleep and slept for a few more hours. It hasn't worked since... but we're waiting now... 5-10 minutes every time. Usually she just wakes up more fully and then it takes longer to get her back to sleep. But we'll keep trying. I've been reading Brazelton's Touchpoints this week, thanks Abuelita! And I'm wondering if I should be concerned that she is so dependent on us to get back to sleep still. I don't know... I wish "The No Cry Sleep Solution" wasn't checked out and on hold at every library in town. I do think her fussiness, often, is about being overtired. So, for now... we'll keep with our full nighttime ritual- massage, stories and rocking with daddy, swaddling, singing/nursing/praying/rocking with me. And we'll keep letting her fuss a bit, but going to her at night. And we'll trust that loving her, loving her, loving her... is enough.

We are so grateful for the love of Kay, an adoptive grandmother to Caroline, if you will, a woman at church who cares for her first grandson (only 10 days or so older than Caroline) nearly every day. She took Caroline into her arms at the Maundy Thursday potluck at church last night and just loved her, loved her, loved her so mommy and daddy could eat before choir practice. She and Lisa, a woman awaiting the birth of her first grandchild, scrutinized her deciding which features were Kevin's and which were mine. They declare her a perfect blend of the two of us. That was nice to hear... the pediatrician declared her completely her daddy's girl, looking NOTHING like me at all. Having seen pics of Kev at four months recently... I think the pediatrician might be right. But Kay and Lisa are sure that she looks like both of us... whatever. She's gorgeous. She's Caroline Grace. She looks like Caroline. But again... we are so thankful for the love of Kay for Caroline. We're going to have to schedule a playdate with her grandson... maybe after mommy finishes her German exam.

It only took eighteen weeks, but... at least... video of our dear! From this very day! We have lots of old videos too, but... let's post timely ones, first, eh? I thought I'd post all three we took today, but... posting two is taking forever. So two it will be.
video video

Monday, April 6, 2009

should have mentioned...

We have been in regular prayer for another new baby (and mommy and daddy and brother). My cousin Richard and his partner Anneta welcomed Emma Rose into the world last Thursday. She's home with them now, but she has a serious genetic disorder and there's no way of knowing how long she'll be with them. We give great thanks that she came into this world crying, that she was able to go home, and for every day she blesses those who love her with her presence. And we pray strength for all her loved ones.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

4 months!





I awoke on this the first day of Caroline's fifth month thinking "Wow. It is awfully light. And my body suggests that several hours have passed. It must be nearly 8 a.m.. I wonder why I haven't heard Caroline in a while." I checked and indeed, it was nearly 8 a.m.

After I had last finished feeding her at nearly 4 a.m. Kev took over and then he ended up falling asleep again in the living room. I came out and asked him where she was and he indicated that she was in her crib and had been since 5. "She isn't awake yet?" I asked. "No," he replied.

In disbelief I quietly opened the door of the nursery and peeked into her crib only to find her wide awake and quietly waiting.

She smiled hugely at me.

Sigh.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Welcome to the world, Abigail Givens-Kime!

We're so glad you're here!!!

come on, baby ciao!

Caroline's godparents, Katie and Haddon, are in labor right now.

You can follow the excitement here.

4 months to the day that I spent in active labor with Caroline, her Godsister or Godbrother is on her or his way!

Friday, April 3, 2009

17 weeks!

Caroline is nearly recovered from her first cold. She still has a lingering cough that is disruptive of her sleep... and ours. But she is smiling more and is much less stuffy. I must say that the process of clearing snot out of a baby's nose is a sisyphusian task... she hates the aspirator so much that she starts crying madly... immediately thereby replacing the snot that was just removed. I was no good at this task so Kev had the joy mostly. Which meant... it seemed... that she was not fond of daddy for a few days, and was very clingy to mommy. But that seems to have faded now that she's feeling better.

Yesterday Kev was out for the morning so it was just the two of us. She was pretty chill, quite content. So I got out her play mat and laid it down on the floor of the nursery and put her on it. My German study stuff was all in the room so I thought I'd rock in the glider and study German, but she was pretty quickly fussy. So I set up on the floor next to her... and when I was looking at her she was cooing and smiling. When I'd look away to look up a word in the dictionary, she'd immediately start to fuss. When I'd look back, she'd smile. Yup. She's in charge.

But I did manage to get most of the chapter done before Kev got home...

Oh... and you know you're tired when... Kev and I scheduled appointments for the same time today- me with the hairstylist and him with the accountant. We decided that I would take the car and take Caroline with me and that he would take the bus. He slept right through his stop.. in fact slept until the bus turned around from its suburban destination and ended up back downtown. Ah well... he needed the sleep. And thank goodness it was him safe on the bus and not me behind the wheel with a babe in the backseat... a babe who was remarkably chill through my hair appointment, btw. She really can put on the charm!

We took lots of pics this week. She's just so cute.

Here she is today, all 17 weeks of her.


And from earlier this week...

Pretty in blue... (thanks cousin wendy and gracie!)






Lots of time with daddy! She wasn't always mad at him!






Fun on Auntie Mieke's blanket