Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's Here!

We have our first tooth! It's the lower right-hand one, just as the Doc suspected. I felt it for the first time this morning, but it has a long way to go. So I'll get my gummy grins for a little while longer!

I also think the second one is close behind. When I felt the tooth today, I felt a bump on the other side, so who knows! It's so much fun to see Emma go through these milestones -- she is getting so big!

She is moving around pretty easily now, but is still frustrated that she can't crawl. She tries, but actually puts more energy into trying to stand. I am eager to see which will come first.

Well, "eager" isn't really the best word choice...maybe curious is better. As much as I love seeing her grow, it still takes some getting used to. She now greets me sitting up when she wakes from her nap and is starting to play with her sippy cup. Thankfully she still thinks it's a toy. I don't think I"m ready to see her drinking like a big girl yet. The mere thought makes me well up!

We're also happy that Spring is here! Now that the weather is nicer, we've been trying to take daily walks. Emma loves watching the birds and seeing the neighborhood kids play. I can't wait until it is warm enough to go to the park. We're going to have so much fun. I can't explain how thankful I am that I get to spend these days with her. I am so blessed!

Here are some pix of our lil' spring chicken!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Reality Check

Okay, so apparently Emma is truly psyhic. The night, and I mean the night, I wrote my "mountaintop" entry, the sleeping stopped. Just stopped competely and was replaced with constant night wakings -- as in EVERY HOUR. It has taken me this long to come to terms with this fact and share it will all of you. Which reminds me, this is officially my last "sleep habit" entry. Not that I believe in superstition or anything, but I swear the second I let myself get comfortable with this mommy thing, I get humbled. Plus I'm sick of hearing my own whining. On that note, I might as well mention that naps are gone too. Oh yeah, we don't do anything in moderation around here. It's all or nothing. I'm lucky if I get 45 minutes out of her again.

So why the waking? That question swims thru my head every nanosecond of the day. What did I do? Maybe her matress should be on a 33-degree angle instead of 35? Maybe the new organic rice cereal we put in her bottle upsets her stomach? Or maybe it's the carrots she reacted to a week ago? Maybe she's teething? An earache perhaps? Or maybe, just maybe, this is the life of a mom -- no sleep. Accept it.

But I can't. My brain tells me there is a reason for everything, which is why I am literally driving myself insane...

But I digress. The good news is that we can rule out the earache thanks to the absolutely unnecessary doctor appointment I made on Thursday. I did find out, however, that she is most likely getting her first tooth as indicated by the bump on her lower gum. "Oh, so that's it!!" I think as a rush of peace washes over me. That is, until the doctor gives me a reality check with the dreaded word "but"... and I quote: "BUT those bumps can appear and reappear several times before the actual tooth appears, so it could be a while still." Great.

Thank goodness MIss Emma is the cutest baby ever or I might have to sell her to the highest bidder... (hopefully ya'll know I'm kidding).

But I really do think she's teething. She's chomping on things more than usual and the drool faucet is on overflow. Thanks to her cold (yes, ANOTHER cold!), it's thick, stringy drool, which is oh so fun to clean up. But then I get that gummy grin and can't help but kiss on her. I think she literally gets kissed a thousand times a day from me alone. Isn't that why God gave her cheeks?

Our princess is also having a grand old time moving around these days. She's not crawling, but she is constantly on all fours. I see that little turtle head peeking up at me over her crib rail every time she wakes up -- totally adorable! She also keeps rocking forward and pushing her butt up in the air as if ready to get a running start. And as of yesterday, she can officially get herself from a laying position to sitting up, which was totally random. One minute she was complaining that she was on her back, but by the time I got to get her, she was sitting back up. I quickly looked around to see if Jeff decided to take a half-day, but then she did it again. This time I got to see her stategy... she rolls over from her back to her belly, gets up on all fours and scoots herself back onto her butt and sits straight up. So grown up, my little one. It's so weird how much they can teach themselves. I'd love to take credit, but this was all her!

Oh, and "dadadadada" is her word of choice, especially when she's happy. Of course, she only makes "M" noises when she's sad or hungry. But I guess Dada deserves it. You should see how happy it makes him!

So that's where we are at. I'm convinced she'll be crawling soon, so stay tuned. I'm hoping to figure out some of the programs out there that allow me to post video footage for ya'll. We'll see if I can get it up and running. If anyone has any pointers or suggestions, let me know!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Fun Visit

Uncle Johnny and "Auntie" Stefanie came home from college this past weekend and paid Miss Emma a visit. She had lots of fun playing with them and showing off all her new tricks -- sitting up, attempting to crawl and stand up, saying "dadadadada," and blowing raspberries (well, kind of...). She can't wait until they're home for good!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Where's the Mountaintop???

I have been waiting 7 loooong months to say these words, so here goes...

Yep, you read right, but just in case, let me write it again: EMMA IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT! As in 11 hours straight. No bottle. Maybe one pacifier moment at the most, but that's it. 7pm she's down; 6am, she's up. And no papasan. Life is so good!

It all started last Wednesday night when Jeff was supposed to give her the late-night bottle. (Yes, the day I complained about our lack of sleep!) Of course, she decided to give her Dada a break (cough, cough...) and never woke up for the bottle until 5am. This continued until Saturday and got later and later: 5:30am, 5:45am, 6am, and this morning, 6:15am. I hesitated to share this news for fear that it was a fluke, but after 5 days, I figure it's official.

And the papasan thing happened on its own. Apparently, Geneva is the place to make major adjustments to your child's life. We spent the weekend there with the B clan, and Miss Emma had to sleep in her Pack and Play. This was a challenge since it isn't on an angle, but we figured this was the time to do it. We were on vacation, so who cares if we don't sleep. Plus, not bringing the papasan with forced us to stick to our guns. Friday night went okay once she was sleeping, but getting her to sleep took me almost 2 hours. She feel asleep immediately, but the second she was on a flat surface, the eyes opened and the thrashing began. Finally, she decided she was tired enough to tough it out, and I didn't hear from her the rest of the night.

I have to say that these moments make me so proud. You would have thought she won a Pulitzer the way my heart felt -- so full of love and pride. Such a small thing, I know, yet I know how hard it is for her (and painful), but she figured it out on her own and made it work. I can only imagine how my heart will feel when she accomplishes even bigger things.

We also started carrots last night, and she loved them. I kinda think she's going to like anything we put in her mouth, but I guess peas will be the real test. Thankfully, that won't be happending for a while. Our doc wants us to do squash next and then some fruit. The green stuff will follow. I can't wait for all the beautiful artwork I'll find in her diaper! :o)

Back to the weekend: We had a great time. The weather was so nice (when it wasn't raining that is), so we were able to walk around in Downtown Geneva. Emma took it all in and loved being in her stroller without her carrier. We're going to put her in an upright carseat as soon aS the weather gets a little warmer. The carrier bunting is nice for the winter, but hopefully spring will come early -- that thing is heavy!

We also stopped at an outlet mall, where we totally blew our new budget. But who could pass up that cute little Nike outfit that was obviously made for Emma, not to mention the absolutely gorgeous Easter dress and shrug from Gymboree? My justification for the latter was that she needed an Easter dress snf it was from an outlet store (although I won't reveal the ridiculous amount I still spent. I'm still having anxiety attacks over it...) Anyway, I am probably supposed to wait for the big day to reveal its cutenss, but I can't contain myself. So scroll down for a preview of the world's most adorable Easter dress, but keep in mind that it will look a billion times cuter on!! :o)

But first some family photos:
Emma and Papa

Mr. Evan

Jeff: The Life of the Party...

Gammie and her babies

The Outfit:

Friday, March 10, 2006

We love playtime!!!

...I have the neglected toliets to prove it!! :o)

Up on all fours, but no movement just yet...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Sparkle Is Back

Wanted to let you all know that our little peanut is feeling much better these days. The nose is still runny and the cough and raspy voice are still there, but they are quickly fading. That was quite a cold! I am not looking forward to the next one let me tell ya. In fact, I might be a little obsessive about germs these next few weeks. I've really tried to be casual about that whole issue since I think so many parents go overboard, but man, now I understand why. Once you experience one of these killer colds, it's enough to make you bathe your child in antibacterial hand sanitizer!

So I am happy to have the twinkle back in my little girl's blue eyes -- not to mention the kick in her, uh, step? -- yet, I am sorry to say that her lovely sleeping habits are back as well. Why does this child nap for over an hour some days and others she basically closes her eyes for a long blink. I mean, I am pretty good about routine, etc., so why does it vary? Yes, because she's human, but it's enough to drive me insane. I know she needs more sleep because she yawns like crazy after her "snaps," so why doesn't she just sleep longer? Don't get it AT ALL. Yes, I know I never will, but I can't help but think, "Well, maybe if I try this..." When will I get it through my head that I have no control?????

Perhaps this little outburst is all stemming from the night wakings that have also crept back into our lives, making me a tad (just a tad!!) irritable. Why is she waking again? Well, I usually get annoyed when people say this, but I admit that my theory is that she's hungry. Let me explain: I stopped solids after she got sick because 1. She could barely swallow her own flem let alone oatmeal mush; 2. How was I going to recognize an allergic reaction in the midst of mucous mania?; and 3. I might as well have spoon-fed her boogers with the constant runny nose. Anyway, so I stopped and only gave her bottles, which she seemed okay with.

But then she started to get better, and I noticed she was hungry earlier than usual, and she was waking up at 11pm and 4am instead of 12:30am and 6am. So we started cereal again this week for breakfast and dinner. And she is loving it! Okay, sure, maybe that's because of the spoonful of pears I put in there, but hey, it's working so I'm going with it. So I guess I'm doing a mini pear trial. Yes, I know that it's sweet and I'm risking the chance of this child never eating a vegetable, but I'm willing to take the chance. After this week, we'll do carrots and on we go to the less fun stuff like peas, etc.

So is all this helping her sleeping? Um, no, but I'm still hopeful (a.k.a. in denial). Her waking issues also have to do with the fact that she is sleeping without her papasan... well some of the time. The first 2 hours are fine, but after that she starts choking and coughing and fussing and crying, so I keep caving in and back she goes into the papasan. I don't know how to solve this problem. Which is the worst of the two evils -- a papasan that is a little too small for a growing baby to sleep in or acid bouncing up and down my baby's throat, causing her pain. Okay, so obviously those were biased descriptions, but that is how my mind works at 2am when my baby is unhappy. So how do I get past this and let her wiggle around enough to find a comfy spot that doesn't bother her reflux? Not sure I have it in me, but I guess we'll figure it out one of these nights.

Another issue I am totally perplexed about is her meds. We were giving her 2 ml of Prevacid twice a day, but the pediatrician suggested going to 2.5 ml once a day and the new medication 3 times a day. Well, during the cold from hell, Emma was on Tylenol, Motrin, and then a decongestant (I only did that for a day), so I didn't want to give her more medicine, plus everything I put in her mouth made her choke like crazy, so I stopped. Once I stopped the fever and cold meds, I gave her one dose of Prevacid a day with the intention of giving the new med, but somehow never remembered to do it. Plus, the one time I did give it to her, her cheeks broke out. A coincidence, perhaps, but I did find a Web site that said the new med had lactose in it. My doctor (and the 3 pharmacists she checked with) swear there isn't any in there, but I am a little hesitant.

So, here is my plan (which I am totally unsure about): I am giving her the Prevacid twice a day again, and I will only give her the new med if next week's anti-papasan bootcamp causes major issues. Until then, I want to see if the increase in solid food and the Prevacid are enough to make life bearable. It would be so much easier if this stupid reflux would just go away already. This child deserves a normal tummy after almost 7 months of misery. Keep praying!!

The upside is that my bunny's smile and giggles are back in full effect and make all of the above seem like minor setbacks. We have been playing a lot lately, and I just love watching her figure stuff out. She really investigates her toys and is starting to get annoyed that she isn't mobile. Slowly but surely she is reaching a little farther to grasp things out of her reach, and she is wiggling around, propping herself up on her knees and trying to figure out how she can move forward. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I'll be chasing around this one.

Oh, a final note: hair is finally coming. It's light and thin, but it's there and growing every day. It's still too short to confirm curls, but between me and Jeff, I'm pretty much banking that Miss Emma will have at least waves. It is just so much fun to think about!

I guess that's enough for now. Hopefully I'll get some new pix up this week. Stay posted!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Are we ever good enough?

I usually try to keep this blog pretty upbeat because, hey, it's all about Miss Emma. But once in a while a mama needs to vent, right? So here it is: I miss breastfeeding. A LOT. I mean, I know what's done is done, but I truly miss that connection with my little wiggle worm. No, we weren't perfect at it, but it was still a bond no bottle can duplicate.

I was putting away all of my nursing gear the other day and got really depressed. It's offically over. (Trust me, I have the training bra boobs to prove it!) It was on my terms, I know, but it kinda wasn't. I hope I can do it longer with our next child. I miss the closeness, the convenience, and well, the unexplainable feeling you get from knowing your body is providing nurishment to your child.

And then there's the guilt. Yes, I know I shouldn't feel guilty, blah blah blah, but I do. Emma has been really sick since last Saturday with the most awful cold. I mean HORRIBLE. Temp of 102 that finally went away YESTERDAY (yes, as in 4 days later!), a nose that is chapped from the constant flow of mucous, and the hacking cough. Oh, the cough -- it scares the crap out of us. She chokes and chokes to the point that Jeff and I fear she'll stop breathing. Jeff even took to the couch for 2 nights so she could sleep with me and I could ensure adequate airflow.

So what does this have to do with breastfeeding? Well, maybe a lot, maybe nothing. You see, this certainly isn't Emma's first cold, but it is her first without the boob juice. And it is the worst BY FAR!! It required two trips to the doctor and constant "check in" calls to him. I can't help but wonder if this cold would be milder if I was still breastfeeding. I always thought breastfeeding prevented sickness in general, but maybe in a crazy cold season it just helps keep the symptoms to a minimum...

Yes, I am a little nutty. Why did I stop breastfeeding? To relieve myself of the pressure of possibly eating something that caused her pain. And why do I now wish I could? To relieve myself of the pressure of possibly causing her sickness. Does this constant blaming ever end? Probably not.

I guess in the end, no one -- including me -- is good enough for Emma. Just wait until someone else hurts her in some way. Mama Bear will be ready to rumble!