Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Four Months

It seems like just yesterday I was typing up your three month post, baby girl!  You are officially another month older. 

Yesterday you had your 4 month check up and clocked in at 15lbs 9oz and 25.75 inches long.  Yeah, you're a big solid baby. 

Your month four milestones included increased neck strength (although your grandmother was convinced for like a week that you definitely had tortecollis), being able to stalk things with your eyes, reaching & grabbing and rolling from your front to your back.  And I'm not 100% sure, but I think you hit the 1 million mark for smiles as well.

Mostly, you are just becoming more and more of a person.  Sometimes it's like we can literally see you thinking as you look at a toy or something else that you want to stuff in your mouth grasp. 

"You're like hands... but bigger... I'd like to put you in my mouth."

People ask us all the time what stands out most being first time parents.  I always answer without hesitation, how much fun we're having.  We can seriously just sit and laugh at you for hours. 

You mean you're not laughing with me?

You're also an excellent drooler.

You love that baby in the mirror.

My favorite time of day is your bedtime.  Unfortunately I don't get to spend a ton of time with you when I get home from work, because you're pretty ready for bed soon after, but I love getting to put you to bed every night.  I nurse you and then give you a bottle (because, ummm, you're eating like 8oz at a time and Mommy can't quite keep up!) and then I put you in your pajamas and your swaddle blanket and we rock and read a book and say your prayers.  I rock you until you are drowsy and then put you in your crib with the mobile on.  It's the best part of my day, hands down.

The doctor did give us a little bit of disconcerting news.  You still have that heart murmur, and after the other doctor in the practice listened to it, we'll be going to the pediatric cardiologist on Friday.  We know that everything will be fine, as you're not exhibiting any alarming symptoms and your growth is at the top of the charts, but your dad and I will definitely be glad when the visit is over and done.

It's a privilege to be your mom and dad.  Love you times a million dillion.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm Boycotting Christmas...

At least until December.

You see, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down.  It's an entire holiday based around hanging out with the people you love, eating delicious food, and watching football.  There are no presents to stress over.  It's always on a weekday, so you are guaranteed a day off (umm, unless your not, sorry, in which case let me know next year and I'll bring you a plate!). 

This year we have so much to be thankful for, that it just seemed wrong to jump into all things Christmas the very next day.  Seriously, I tried to listen to Christmas music, and it just didn't work.  So, for the next 3 days I'll be basking in the buttery glow of a heightened sense of gratitude, leftovers and fall colors. 

Our Thanksgiving day was fantastic.  We started out at my parents' house with tons of relatives and food and ended up at Sam's parents' house where Avery got to meet her Aunt Linda, Uncle Doyle, and Greatgrandpa Forbes for the first time.  Magic.  Well, almost magic. 

We had such a cute little "I'm Stuffed" Thanksgiving outfit for Avery to wear.  She managed to have a blowout in it approximately 5 minutes after getting to my parents' house, so no pictures in that. 

In case you weren't keeping track, that now makes the count:
Avery - 139 Alison's attempts to dress her daughter in adorable outfits for special occasions - 0. 

Luckily, there was enough cuteness going around to overcome the lack of fall themed fashion.

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  Have you succumbed to the Christmas craziness yet? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Three Months

Oh, Avery.  How did you ever get so big that we are counting your age in months and not weeks?  You are three months old now, and looking at you I no longer see a squishy faced newborn.  Instead, I see an actual almost-person human being!  Magic.

You didn't have a doctor's appointment this month, but we're guessing you're around 14lbs and 24.5inches. 

This month your personality exploded, and it turns out you are super smiley, laid back, curious, with a little dash of diva thrown in (you have perfected the "seriously-move-faster-you-guessed-wrong-on-what-I-want-dance-faster-monkey" scream cry). 

You are also super duper into grabbing at things in your activity jungle.

And looking at yourself in the mirror.

 "Does this onesie make me look fat?"

And stuffing your hands as far into your mouth as possible.

"Wanna see me shove this all the way in ma mouth?"

You have so much to say.  We hear a running stream of babble when you are awake.  Someday it will make sense.  I'm afraid you will be saying, "Why did you force me to watch the Twilight movies?  Those were awful."

I never knew it was possible for someone to smile with their entire body.  But when you do, it absolutely makes my day. 

You're a morning person.  Where the crap did you get that?

Mostly, you sleep through the nights, but lately you've been waking up around 4:30am for a quick snack.  I treasure the alone time with you, but wouldn't mind if you wanted to make it say, 10:00pm instead, k?

We finally put away all of your 0-3 month clothing.  Sometimes I get so sad knowing that you will never fit into them again, and I want you to just slow down and stay a cuddly little baby.  But it's so amazing to watch you learn to do new things.  One day you couldn't grab the monkey off of your jungle, and the next day we had to put it back up every few minutes.  I know these next few months will bring rapid growth and development, and we are just going to try and soak it all in.

You are still the best thing we have ever done.  Love you to the moon and back.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Catch Up

Things have been nuts lately.  But mostly nuts in a good way, so yay for that.

Here's what we've been up to:

Avery took her first road trip in October when we went down to Austin for a wedding.  She was great in the car, as usual.  I was also nervous about her sleeping in a strange crib without her mobile, but she did great with that as well and slept soundly through the night. 

On Saturday Avery had her first trip to Zilker Park.  This is where I hung out a lot as a baby, so it's kind of awesome that we got to continue this tradition with her.  We had a quick picnic and then just laid around soaking in the perfect day for awhile.

On of my college roommates and her husband kept Avery while Sam and I were at the wedding.  The wedding was a blast.  We got to see two of my all time favorite people get married, and celebrate with friends we had not seen in far too long.  We laughed, we cried, we had a beer chugging contest in the photo booth.  Pretty perfect.  Except that we took like zero pictures.  Fail.  Oh well, congratulations to Sarah & Aaron!

As mentioned before, we also swung by the pumpkin patch.  Avery was in no mood for pictures, or maybe she's just finally able to express her displeasure when her parents make her do stupid crap like this:
It was super cute when the parents of a very tiny baby did it.  Swears.

Most exciting, though, is that Sam's grandparents have been in town this week to meet Avery.  Love love love these three:

Sam and I really look up to Milton & Miriam and the way they have lived their life and marriage.  Watching them with Avery has been such a huge blessing and we are so glad they could come.

I'm also challenging myself to blog twice a week for the rest of November.  There is so much happening right now, and I know that I will totally kick myself if I don't get at least some of it down.  So until next time, know that we love you all! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sorry I've been MIA this week.  There's been a LOT happening around here, and all of it needs to make it's way over here to be documented at some point. 

Unfortunately, I went back to work this week, so that has ummm... sucked. 

Also, the Rangers are in the WORLD SERIES, so clearly we've been busy mentally willing this thing to happen!

We did make it over to the pumpkin patch before church one morning as well.  Here's a picture during the 5 minutes Avery tolerated it:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sweet Baby Jesus (or Why Mary is My Homegirl)

Seeing as I am not, in fact, a Catholic I have never really paid too much attention to Mary outside of the Christmas season.  However, since becoming a mother myself, I have been thinking a lot more about Jesus's mom, and the baby Jesus, and I have so. many. questions.

For example, did baby Jesus:
  • spit up down the back of Mary's 30 billionth fresh tunic right before they were about to leave for the market?
  • wait until Mary's cart was full and then decide to go into freak out mode for no apparent reason?
  • have dirty diapers so massive they made Mary say, "Oh, Jesus!" and call Joseph over to look?
  • sleep through the night from birth?
  • be all sweet and nursing and then grab Mary's breast with his baby razor claws?
  • cry for so long Mary made Joseph strap him on the donkey and take a ride around the block?
They wrapped him swaddling clothes, though, so I'm guessing there was some screaming. 

Then the shepherds show up to check out her baby and discuss what the angels told them.  And "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)  Well, I'll bet so. 

See, this new mom thing is stressful.  (And I'm only basing this on my own personal experience, maybe the rest of you paid more attention in the how not to kill your baby prenatal classes.)  Those first few days with your new baby are unreal.  You are constantly worried you will somehow break them, or immediately scar them for life.  I never imagined there would be so many decisions to make in just the first few days, and no one will tell you what to do, they just keep giving you options and being all "It's your decision, mom!" while you frantically look around trying to figure out whose mom they are talking to.  Then they send you home and you Google like you have never Googled before.  And your baby is a normal human.

Then, there's Mary.  Whose baby is most decidedly not just a normal human.  But she does not freak out.  Instead, she treasures it all up and she ponders it. 

So, thank you, Mary, for reminding me to not freak out. Our situations are incredibly different for sure, but I can try to focus less on the unknown and spend more time treasuring moments with my daughter and trusting in your son.   Blessed are you among women, homegirl.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2 Months

Today Avery is 2 months old!  This month seemed to go a little slower than last, which I was so grateful for.  She did a ton of growing and changing this month.  Here are the stats from the doctor's appointment today:
Height: 23.25 inches
Weight: 12lbs 13oz
Head: 16 inches

Basically, she is one big ole healthy baby.  She's currently wearing anything from size 3 months to 6 months, and all of the newborn clothes have been officially retired.  Tear. 

Today was the first round of vaccinations as well, and little bit handled it like a champ.  Sam and I got our flu vaccines at the same time, you know, for solidarity.  Avery definitely screamed her giant little head off, but calmed right down once I was able to hold her again, and she hasn't really been fussy at all today.  We love love love her pediatrician's office, by the way.

Overall, this month has been all about awareness.  Following us with her eyes, smiling, and "talking" have all popped up over the last few weeks.  She zeroes in on us as soon as she hears our voices, and can follow us across the room.  I am also loving the megawatt smiles I get in the morning when I go in to nurse her.  The changing table is still her favorite place in the house and after she's changed we spend a few minutes just reveling in the coos and squeals. 

And then, there's the sleep.  So. Amazing.  We are now getting at least one 5-8 hour stretch per night, and it is fabulous.  Now, I just need to train myself to go to sleep when you do, so I can get the full benefit!

She's still loving the swaddle, "showers", her swing, ceiling fans and nursing.  A new development this month was tolerating the carrier.  Alas, Avery is proving to be kind of a yuppie baby.  She still will have nothing to do with the Moby, but loves her some Baby Bjorn.  (And yes, I have watched every tutorial there is for the Moby wrap, homegirl is just not having it!)  I think she likes that she can see out the sides of the Baby Bjorn better.  Now, instead of hauling the car seat in and out of stores, we just use the carrier.  Avery gets to see what's happening, and I get a little bit of a workout.  Win-win!

We seriously could not love this little girl more.  She brings joy to our hearts and purpose to our days.  Love you to the moon and back, Avery!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Swing Swing Swing

Avery loves her swing.  Mommy loves being able to shower without Avery doing the ugly cry. 

In short, thanks for the swing Aunt Lauren & Uncle Steve!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Plans

I had big plans for today.  A list of chores to accomplish and errands to run.  Things like bedroom organization and menu planning and, well, showering.
But every time I put little bit down in her swing or under her activity mat to hang out for a minute while I got things done, she would express her displeasure.  So finally, I got the message.  I sat and held my baby for the better part of the afternoon.  We read stories and made faces at each other and had a good long heart to heart.

Then the hubs came home and he felt awful.  So I sent him to bed, grabbed Avery and we made a quick trip to the store for supplies.  When we got home I unloaded and made Sam soup and toast and tea, and took it to him on a tray.

Then I nursed Avery and we read some more.  (Side Note: in addition to actual children's books, we're currently reading Her Fearful Symmetry, because, well, she can listen to me read for really extended periods of time, and you can only do so much Cat in the Hat.)

Now, the day is over, and my kitchen and the nursery are still the only clean rooms in my house.  The errands did not get run.  And, um, I never did get a shower.  But I got to see every new smile that crossed tat sweet girls face, and my husband feels well loved (if not actually well), and that makes today a pretty productive day in my book.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend Sam was off Friday and Saturday, which is a not-so-minor miracle in this household.  Now I know how all you normal families feel :)

Friday night I put on actual lady clothes for the first time in months (as opposed to maternity clothes and / or sweatpants) and Sam and I went out for sushi and Starbucks.  I made Sam take a picture of Avery and I when we got home because there are 3,496 photos of Sam and Avery and 2 of her and I. 

I just have a few comments regarding this photo. 

a) Thanks to Ain't No Mom Jeans for convincing me to try skinny jeans.  I'm not 100% sold, but for $17 (thank you sale at Old Navy!) it was a worthy experiment.  Also, I'm hoping that wearing something with the word "skinny" in it will send a message to my muffin top (or really, let's just call it what it is... mom top) to get it in gear. b) I totally signed up for Weight Watchers again after I saw this photo.  c)Why is my child looking at me like, "Who the crud are you??" Sigh.

"I'm sorry... Do I know you?

Whatever, we had fun and the sushi was delicious!  It was a much needed date night, so thanks to my mom and dad for babysitting. 

Saturday Avery got to experience her first Rangers game!

Avery got too nervous to watch when they were down 2-1.  Man up, Avery.

We were bummed that we weren't there last night when they clinched the division, but it was a happy festive day today knowing that they were in the playoffs for sure.  Naturally, Avery attracted tons of attention for being completely tiny and adorable. 

Unfortunately, we didn't make it all the way through the game because we live on the face of the sun it is still ridiculously hot here, and our seats crept out of the shade.  We didn't think giving her heat stroke would make Avery a fan for life, so we headed out early.   We did, however, stop by the gift shop on our way out and purchase Avery's post-season outfit as all of her other Rangers gear is still too big for her.  Matching Mommy/Daughter shirts aren't lame if they are sports related, right? 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Month Update

So, where has the time gone?  I cannot believe that it has been more than a month since Avery arrived.  I'm not going to lie, the days kind of blur together from one feeding and diaper change to the next, with very little sleep and some dishes and laundry thrown in for good measure.  For instance, I started this post the day before she turned one month... and that was 8 days ago!! 

I'll be completely honest, I wasn't sure how I would feel about being a mom.  As an only child I got pretty used to alone time, and now there would be this little person there... all the time... with constant needs.  However, it is amazing how much joy the simple tasks of feeding and diaper changes and tummy time bring me.  It catches me off guard on a regular basis, and I treasure this time that we have together.

Avery is changing so quickly!  She has lost her newborn scrunch face, and has turned into a baby.  A big baby!  At her doctor's appointment last Monday she weighed in at 10lbs 11oz and was 22.5 inches long. 

She is also meeting all of her developmental milestones.  She can hold her head up (although it's still a little wobbly!), follow things across the midline, and we have seen a few starter smiles that will absolutely melt your heart. 
As a very discerning baby, here are a list of Avery's likes & dislikes at 1 month old:

  • Being swaddled
    • Sam is an excellent swaddler.  I, however, am really good at using the special swaddle blankets and making sure one of the two that we own is always clean enough to use.
  • Feeding
    • She is definitely our kid in this regard, and loves loves loves to eat!  We had a rough start with the breastfeeding due to the jaundice and my IV situation, but our pediatrician recommended a fabulous lactation consultant who did an in-home visit that straightened us out.  Now, she's pretty much a champ.  We haven't mastered public situations, but hopefully will soon so that we can be completely formula free (mostly because I hate washing bottles...)
  • The Swing
    • Loves it.  I love getting things done while she's in it.
  • Showers
    • Avery is not a huge fan of baths.  However, when we spray her down with the sink attachment she goes into baby bliss mode. 
  • Not being fed immediately when she's hungry
  • Dirty diapers
  • Being strapped in the car seat and not moving
  • Sleeping for longer than 3 hours
    • Side Note: Avery is also the. noisiest. sleeper. ever.  Grunts, squeaks, throat clearing, she's like a 90 year old man.  This earned her graduation to her crib much sooner than anticipated.  But seriously, her room is 5 feet away from ours and we don't have to use the monitor because she is that loud. 

So, that's where we are at one month (or, almost 6 weeks at this point).  We love this little girl with all of our hearts and can't wait to see what two months will bring!

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Heading Home

    On day 6, we finally got to head home! 

    See ya hospital!

    Avery gripped my finger and slept through her first car ride. 

    Fun in the Hospital

    Due to several factors (jaundice for Avery, a fever that wouldn't quit for me) we were in the hospital for almost a week.  Luckily we had tons of visitors to keep us occupied while we were there. 

    A huge thank you to everyone that came to visit, and especially Uncle Steve & Aunt Lauren who spent a large part of their last days in town from Honduras hanging out with us at the hospital.  I think we would have lost our minds without all of you!

    Great Grandparents

    All dressed up and nowhere to go.

    Uncle Steve & Aunt Lauren

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Avery Ann's Birth Story

    Avery Ann
    August 12, 2011
    8lbs 14oz
    21 inches

    Avery's entrance into the world was nothing like we expected, to say the least.  The outcome was fantastic, obviously, but the ride was wild.

    I'm not sure that there was much else that I wanted or looked forward to more than going into labor.  Every twinge I felt I willed to turn into a real contraction.  Unfortunately, I had about 2 contractions on my own, total.  Every week we'd go to the OB and I would cross my fingers and toes when he checked me out, only to hear, "Nope, no progress."  At my 39 week appointment I was thrilled to hear that I was finally at 1cm, and at my 40 week appointment, just days before our scheduled induction, I was super bummed to hear I was still at 1cm.

    So, on the evening of August 11th, Sam and I had our last dinner as just a couple at Chili's and headed to the hospital.  As we were walking into the hospital the outer part of the wheel on our suitcase flew off.  We laughed that this labor and delivery was clearly going to be "wheels off".  If only we knew!

    Things did not start off well.  It took 4 people and 8 sticks for them to finally start an IV.  Miserable.  It was nearly midnight by the time they were able to insert the Cervadil and we were able to get some sleep.  The next morning we started the Pitocin bright and early.  At this point I was so hungry I literally begged the nurse for a cracker.  It was not my finest moment, but she consented, and there has never been a more delicious saltine on the face of the planet. 

    So, the Pit started up and they increased it slowly.  I handled the contractions pretty well until around 2:00pm.  At that point they were coming every minute, and I felt like I could not get a break. The nurse checked me, and I was at a 5 so I told her I wanted to hold out for another 30 minutes to see if I would progress.  15 minutes later, I was all, errr, how about we just give her a buzz now.  Sweet relief!!

    The next few hours are a complete blur.  I literally could not tell you what we were up to.  The Rangers were on, and Sam felt strongly that this baby would be born before the game was over.  The nurse checked me again a couple of hours later, and I was still at a 5, so we decided to change positions to see if we could get things moving.  I rolled over to my left side, and all I could hear was the heart rate monitor dropping like a rock.  My mother and monther-in-law (both nurses) chose that moment to re-enter the room.  Cue the scariest few minutes ever.  Luckily a bit of shifting brought her heart rate right back up, but we had to turn off the Pitocin for an hour.  Lame.

    At 7:00pm the nurses changed shift, and our new nurse was rockstar.  We changed position every 15 minutes, but by this time it was 9:20pm... and I was still at a 5.  I was starting to panic a little, and Brandy says, "Look, the doctor is not hear yet, and until he shows up we're not giving up."  Literally 2 minutes later, in walks the doctor.  Brandy, the nurse, and I looked at each other, and I knew the jig was up, but I so did not want to hear it.

    The doctor checked me, and confirmed what we all knew.  He broke the news that it was time for a C-Section as gently, but firmly as possible.  And I lost it.  My poor doctor.  He knew that I was terrified of having a C-Section, and that was, I think, the last news he wanted to give me, but it was the right thing to do.  I respect him so much for that.  Sam was fantastic as well and remained completely calm and collected, which was the only way I made it through.

    After that everything happened really quickly, and we were in the OR.  Sam and I said a quick prayer together, and I kept mumbling the lyrics to "Great is Your Love" to stay calm, and the next thing I knew I heard Avery's first cry from across the curtain.  Then I'm pretty sure I said something to the effect of, "Holy crap, Sam, that's our kid."  Because I'm classy like that. 

    So, while this was not the birth story I had hoped for, and there are definitely things I would have done differently, I can now honestly say that I'm okay with what happened.  Avery brings such joy to us every day that I'm able to let go of it a little more every day.