Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Art makes me happy

We received this print from Mark and Dana from DC.  Dana's brother is the artist so we have a signed original!  I got it framed and hung over Kate's changing table yesterday.  It's a very clever take on the English nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cat and the Fiddle...".

Do you remember these lovely crochet pieces from Len's grandmother that we received from his cousins last year? I had them re-matted and framed and here is the result!  I'll just include one photo here since they are matted and framed identically.
Originally we planned to hang them in the nursery but we ran out of wall space so they will be hung in the guest room.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Exceptionally good baby news

This past week has been a great week for some very dear friends of mine.

The first is a friend here in Chicago who received her referral from Nepal.  Her baby girl is beautiful in her photos!  There has still been no movement on TAs (travel approvals) for the referrals given out in September so the match is just one step in a long list of steps that still must be overcome before she can finally bring her daughter home.  Here's hoping the new matches sent out this month mean that something is finally shaking loose over in Kathmandu and we will start to see parents traveling to pick up their children.

The second bit of good news is that a friend of mine who has had some of the same struggles as me is pregnant!  We had the good fortune to meet in DC several years ago and she helped keep me sane through two miscarriages.  I do miss her but we keep in touch via email, phone and visits.

As for Kate baby news, we are rounding the bend on reaching three months.  She has settled into a quasi-predictable routine of naps-eating-playing, rinse and repeat.  Len and I have amassed a collection of friend-recommended books on establishing a sleep routine which we are trying to plow through before we actually need to use the advice gleaned.  Be sure that I will keep you all informed on that adventure.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Daddy's Little Girl

A lot of people say that Kate looks just like Len.  I would have to agree:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big Girl!

Kate is growing...a little too much!  She was 9 lbs., 10 oz. at the doctor today (that's over an 1 1/2 ounce a day weight gain!).  That's the thing about breastfeeding; I have no idea how much is coming out so we  have been supplementing with formula.  Dr. Ettner advised cutting out about an ounce of formula each day (spread over several feedings) for a few days and then cut out another ounce and then we'll re-evaluate.  We have another appointment in 2 weeks to see how that new plan is working.

We had to move the car seat straps up a notch this weekend since her legs were jammed up at a 90 degree angle!
I have also rented a baby scale for the week so I can weigh Kate before and after breastfeeding to see how much she is actually getting from me.

Otherwise, here are her other measurements:
21 1/2" long
36 1/2 cm head circumference

She has finally grown out of the newborn pajamas we have had her in (all those cute pjs Nana brought in February!).  She is in an in-between stage now where the newborn diapers are a bit too small but the size 1 is a little large.  Some of the 0-3 months clothes are finally starting to fit which means her wardrobe will expand quite nicely now since most of what we have so generously received from our friends/family falls in that range.

Our doula, Nancy, met me at the doctor's office today so she could see Kate again and to meet Dr. Ettner (seems lots of her clients recommend him so she wanted to see what all the fuss was about).  Here's a few pics of Kate with Nancy today:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A weekend in pictures

Kate's Papa and Meme left for FL today and we will surely miss them.  Kate had LOTS of attention and Len and I got to go to bed early Friday night and go to the movies Saturday.  Here are some photos from their visit:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Worth fighting for

Overhead this conversation today:

Meme:  Ryan, you know you have to share.

Papa:  I shared this morning.

Meme:  You were asleep, that doesn't count.

Here is what they are fighting over:

Monday, March 15, 2010

A good case of the Mondays

We've had a good morning here in Kateyville.  Life is all smiles and gurgles...be sure to turn up the sound.  I could not have timed her fart to my suggestion of roasted brussels sprouts any better.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dramatic Lemur eyes

Kate and I were having a good time a few days ago with sounds.  Her eyes get very large when I make raspberry sounds.  I tried to capture it on video...here's the best result.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Follow-up to a previous post

I have gotten many responses to this post I wrote last month. It is one of the reasons I share so much on our blog...it really has opened a dialogue with other people on some of life's great questions. This is just one of the many responses (from both friends and people I've never met) to that particular post. If you have the chance, listen to the NPR link below.

Hi there.
This guy was on NPR this morning. It think it follows up nicely with your post about …god killed your other babies, so that kate could be here…

From the article: He says people from a more traditional perspective have asked him whether he thought his son's death was part of God's plan. He says they said that going through the tragedy of a child's loss prompted him to write his first book. But Kushner rejects that idea. "If that were God's plan, it's a bad bargain," Kushner says. "I don't want to have to deal with a God like that." He says that if he had to face the fact that God was either all-powerful but not kind, or thoroughly kind and loving, but not totally powerful, he would rather compromise God's power and affirm his love. "The ... theological conclusion I came to is that God could have been all-powerful at the beginning, but he chose to designate two areas of life off-limits to his power," Kushner says. "He would not arbitrarily interfere with laws of nature. And secondly, God would not take away our freedom to choose between good and evil."
Here’s the link, you can download or listen online

Friday, March 12, 2010

Love Letter--Month 2

Dear Kate,

You turn 2 months old today and I have to say that this month was MUCH harder than last month. Maybe because your daddy is back at work and your Nana is back in FL or maybe lack of sleep has caught up with us…there is a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a torture device. Dick Cheney and George W. would totally approve of your tactics; take one adorable baby that we would do anything for, have baby demand to be fed every hour, have baby fall (what seems like) fast asleep so that parents take baby to crib and ever-so-gently OHYES! lay baby down, have parents climb into bed and find a comfortable position and just as they are drifting off to sleep…


Time for another feeding.  Or not. You just wanted cuddled. They could totally use that torture tactic at GTMO.

If you weren’t so cute…I’m just saying.

Around week 6 I had to call your father to come home from work early because I was in a dark and sad place. You had been screaming on and off for hours (HOURS),

By the way, just how much air can you expel at one time? Because some of your cries are so long and drawn out that I am sure you cannot possibly continue and yet…you do. It takes everything out of you (and me). It is the single most heartbreaking and un-nerving sound I have ever had the misfortune to hear.

I was crying, still dressed in pajamas with spit-up in various locations on my top and in my hair, not having eaten since breakfast at 7am. There was no position that you found acceptable and, just for good measure, you had gone on a bottle strike, insisting only on sucking from my now dry, deflated and very sore breasts, not realizing that all that dry sucking was giving you gas, tricking you into thinking you were full until you burped which made room in your stomach and the crying would begin anew. Of course, once your father had left work and was already on the train home, you suddenly, as if a switch had been turned on, stopped crying, took the bottle and were still eating when your father opened the door to a scene of mother/child tranquility.

So not cool.

You have kept me busy with Dr. Google. Among the items I have googled this month (cluster feeding, not enough breast milk, infant not pooping) was this item: infant hair loss male pattern baldness. You have lost all of the hair on top of your head with the only remaining hair rimming the sides of your head. You look like a tiny old man and if your side hairs were long enough I would SO give you a comb-over.

You are just starting to discover your hands and what pleasures they can provide. You have discovered the hair on Daddy’s chest and you take great pleasure in grabbing great handfuls and pulling. This makes your Daddy scrunch up his face and try not to scream but makes your Mama laugh (because I’m evil that way). Of course, because the Universe is fair, you have also discovered my hair and hang onto it every time I put you on my shoulder for burping or cuddling.

You also have started burping up some of the contents of your just-finished snackbreakfastsnackbrunchsnacklunchsnacksuppersnack… usually into my hair (right after I have finally had a shower) and onto the only portion of my shirt that is not covered by a burp cloth. Before I can clean it up you have inevitably stuck your hand in it and then smeared it across your face. You don’t seem to mind at all but then again you don’t mind holding your poop for 5 days and then blasting it out the sides of your diaper and onto everything within a 10 foot radius forcing me to do YET ANOTHER load of laundry. I can’t wait to teach you how to do laundry.

Speaking of your poops, your father is fond of naming them. We have kept a log of the contents of every one of your diapers since the day you were born (on doctor’s orders…I’m not that anal…hah!). Since then your father likes to describe the size of your poop. For example, if we hear a loud emission from your hind end and upon changing your diaper all he finds is a dime-sized smear of yellowness, he labels it a fart poop. Other names include tiny poop, giant poop, double poop, huge poop, incredible poop, Chernobyl poop, and the now-famous volcanic poop. This last one was so-named because as we were changing your diaper, more came flowing out like molten yellow lava and we thought it would never stop. We went through 3 diapers just to keep it off the changing table. You had not pooped (even so much as a fart poop) in 5 (FIVE!!) days nor had you shown any signs of distress over that fact. You made up for lost time though with that gargantuan emission and later, during our bath in the Jacuzzi. Thank you for that.

Even with all the mewling and gritching like an angry cat when you are hungry, want cuddled or are just bored, it is all worth it when you finally sigh with a contented smile and fall asleep on our chests, your little stomach moving in and out with your tiny little baby breaths, your fingers grasping ours.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Throw me some beads Mister!

For the most part, Kate seems to have gotten the best of both our personalities.  95% of the time she's a happy, good-natured little girl.  HOWEVER.  The other 5% of the time she has my level of patience.  Which is to say that she is not patient.  AT ALL.  Especially where her food is concerned.

Yesterday we had our first really nice day...well, half a day.  The morning and early afternoon were rainy and chilly.  Then the sun came out and the thermometer registered 61 (SIXTY ONE!!) degrees!  I was quick to wrap her in the Moby and head out.  I needed to pick up a prescription at the store anyway so I figured I'd combine the walk there with a walk around the neighborhood. 

Things started out well.  She was awake and alert, looking around as much as her bobble-head would allow.  She stayed awake through the transaction at the pharmacy and for about another block or so.  Then she conked out so I called Len and suggested that we meet up (since he would be leaving the office soon) for dinner in Andersonville.  It would take Len about 30 minutes on the train to get there so I ambled up and down the streets, stopping in the playlot to chat with some moms then up to Clark Street for some window shopping.

Something else you should know about Kate.  She has a 6th sense to know when I am about to settle in for a meal, a phone call, a bathroom run; in essence, anything NOT involving her.

Resist the urge, MOM and KATHERINE K., to point out who else shares this annoying trait...

So we are approximately 1/2 mile from home at this point and Kate wakes up and starts in with the tongue action, the fist chewing, the mewling sounds (it sounds remarkably like "please, please, please...") and I know I am in trouble.  I make a quick call to Len to redirect him home and then pick up the pace, swinging towards home myself. 

The mewling intensifies.  The squirming turns into full-on pushing LET ME OUT OF THIS SLING!  Tiny fists are starting to pummel my full breasts, tiny feet are kicking me in the stomach and a tiny mouth is projecting an increasingly rising screech.  

About 5 blocks from home the cry turns into a red-faced scream complete with tears...oh god not the tears; this is a new development, this ability to shed tears, and it breaks my heart..., flailing limbs, sweating arched back.  I'm sweating now as well, walking as fast as I can, trying to keep her inside the Moby while holding onto my bag of drugs and my purse.  We are a miserable sight and are garnering lots of stares.

I spy a narrow alley between two buildings.  I know that the only thing that will calm her is to feed her and I do not have a bottle with me so...

I duck down the alley, prise her away from my now sticky, sweaty chest while pulling up my wet shirt under the sling while keeping Kate inside the sling, unhook my bra and then try to slide Kate down far enough so that her mouth can reach me (yes, it was as difficult as it sounds).  And I'm really surprised that no one came into the alley from the sidewalk to see what all the ruckus was about...I mean, Kate was LOUD and it sounded quite like I was trying to drown a cat.  One very angry, pissed-off kitty.

I get her latched on and the crying stops immediately.  IMMEDIATELY.  I just plugged up her mouth with milk and the sound stopped...just like that.  But I knew it had been as bad as it gets because she was still trembling, her nervous system still adjusting to the calmness of feeding, her face still wet with tears.

I pulled the sling up over her head, my shirt down over the top of my now exposed breast, and I headed for home. 

I guess the goal now is to find out in how many uncomfortable positions I can breastfeed.  In public.  Too bad it's not Mardi Gras.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It was bound to happen sooner or later...

I mean, all of the elements were perfectly in place.  The water was warm, the lighting was low, the air smelled like flowers, sweet nothings were being murmured lovingly into her ear...then the bubbles started.  Just one.  Then another.  Then a few more in rapid succession.  And finally, a look of pure bliss crossed our daughter's face.   I looked down and saw a long yellow trail coming from my beloved daughter's rear end. 

And that, my friends, is when bathing together in the jacuzzi stopped being fun.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gay's Dress

This is a dress and socks that my grandmother, Gay, made for me after I got married.  (I say on the video that it was before I got married--oops).  She also made blankets (the white one in the video is one of them).

Here is the letter that came with the gifts:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pictures Friday

Kate is learning to smile in response to our smiles now
Some of her faces just crack me up!
Doesn't she look like Dick Cheney here?
I think she looks like Gop in this one (Gop was my grandfather--much beloved and much missed)
And just a couple more for entertainment value:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's video Thursday!

This week has been touch-and-go in the Kate fussiness department.  She is still cluster feeding every hour or so but then sometimes will go for 4 hours so I never know when I will have a window of time.  Right now she is sleeping (which is not normal daytime activity for her unless she's being held...).  We went to a new mom's group this afternoon and I guess it wore her out listening to the 7 other babies in the room.  But that went much better than the mom and baby yoga class that we attended Monday.  I say attended because of the hour and 15 minutes of class, only 20 of it was actually spent doing any yoga and that was the beginning of class where you are really just breathing and doing some small stretches.  The rest of the time I spent reclining (lotus position--does that count?!) on a bolster breastfeeding Kate.  Fortunately, the woman and her 6 month old son next to us also ended up in the same position so we chatted through most of the rest of class.  That is the bonus of going to a yoga studio that is filled with 20 babies--it's not a quiet place so chatting quietly is not frowned upon.

Anyway, I did manage to shoot some video this morning.  Here is Kate dancing to Adam Lambert (sorry Len) and sneezing at the end of it from all the activity.

And here she is rolling over!

And trying to launch over the pillow (she did manage to do it and almost landed on her head).


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