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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All Hail the Power of Cereal

So I woke up at 11pm.  Then again at 1am.  2:30am.  3:30am.  4am.  At 5am I finally heard what I had been expecting all night...

unh, unh....UNNNNNNNHHHH!


Kate was awake but wait...it's 5am!  OMG.  Did I sleep through her cries?  Did Len get up?  She's didn't smother since I can hear her...

Len:  Did she wake up last night??

Lisa: Not on my watch. Did you feed her late last night before you came to bed?

Len: No.  Do you think....could it be?

It was true. She had finally done it. Len went in to get her and she was just the happiest, smiliest baby you could ever hope to wake up to.

And the cherry on top? By 6:30 she was clamoring for food and another nap. By 7am she was down for the count and stayed down for 2 hours, only to awaken with yet another beaming smile and gurgling laugh.

Life is good with rice cereal in it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This tastes like crap!

Hmmm...methinks she's not a fan of rice cereal. 
As you can tell, impatient Lisa could not wait until holiday to try the solid food.  I think it's more a lack of sleep than lack of patience.  These 2 hour middle of the night feedings are wearing thin.

Of course I video'd it since Len was at work.  It's a long one--almost 4 minutes, although it's the fastest meal she's ever eaten.  Even though she wasn't a fan, I did pour the rest into her bottle of mixed formula/bmilk and she lapped it right up and promptly took a nap.  Hah!  Mama 1, Hungry baby belly 0.

Raspberries are better during the day

As you can see from the start of the video, Kate is getting a bit gritchy.  This is my cue that it's time to begin the nap routine.  Her raspberry blowing becomes a lot more earnest as she gets more tired and is way cuter in this video than it is at 3am.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sporadic July posting

Happy almost July!  We are gearing up for holiday in a short while.  Kate and I will be spending the month of July in FL, mostly in Daytona with my mom but also in Ocala and Crescent Beach with family and friends.  Len will join us for some of the trip but will be home more than not for work (major bummer work is--good thing he likes what he does...).  All this to say that blogging will be rather sporadic next month as I will have limited access to the internet and probably even less time to try to compose something entertaining.

In the meantime, I am trying not to panic about packing up our house for a month.  The guest room is becoming increasingly piled high with things we must have to retain some semblance of normalcy while gone.  I fear it will look like we're moving by the time I'm done.

While I'm looking forward to a change of scenery and REALLY looking forward to spending time with good friends and family, I'm a little trepidatious about what this will do to Kate's already shaky hold on sleep.  Her newest trick is to wake up sometime at night (it's always a moving target so no set pattern) and then stay up for 2-4 hours.  Yes, you read that correctly.  TWO to FOUR HOURS people!  Yesterday it was from 11:30pm-2am.  This morning it was from 1am-4:45am.  Nothing in our arsenal seems to be able to combat the amazing will of Kate to stay awake and blow raspberries (she does this even more when tired).  Needless to say, the raspberry blowing loses its charm after 3 hours...

So our next solution is to try solids.  The one key that makes me think she's ready (besides starting to really watch me when I eat) is that when she wakes up, she ends up eating quite a bit over the course of those 2-4 hours.  So we're going to introduce rice cereal once we're on holiday and hope for the best.

We had a fairly low-key weekend but we did manage to see some of the huge Gay Pride Parade here in Chicago yesterday.
As you can see from the picture, Kate's head is looking suspiciously like a cue-ball.  Her hair is getting thinner and thinner (or maybe her head is just getting larger so the hair is more spread out).  Either way, I may have to resort to those giant flower headbands on a regular basis so people can stop asking how "he" is.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Feed me or I will suck your face off

Kate has a none-too-subtle way of letting me know it is time to eat now.  She grabs both sides of my face and sucks my chin.  It's actually so sweet that I look forward to her "telling" me she's hungry.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Chill-axin'

Madame would like a drink after her rousing game of tennis with the ladies.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thing

Remember Thing from The Addams Family?  I think Kate does too...(the camera discreetly hides her source of nourishment so no worries Mom...)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our First Happy Father's Day weekend!

Sunday dawned bright and early here as Kate apparently wanted to be the FIRST to wish her daddy a Happy Father's Day.  That is the downside of an earlier bedtime it seems...she doesn't do the 12 hours that all the books say most infants do overnight.  She's more of a 10-11 hour girl (in 4 hour chunks though...not sleeping through the night).  When you hear the Hallelujah! chorus resounding out of Chicago, then you'll know when she has met that milestone.

Kate put on a cute outfit so we could take Daddy for breakfast at Ann Sather.
Kate was exhausted after the 5 block walk for breakfast so we came home for a nap.  In the meantime, Len opened his first Father's Day gift: a digital frame for his desk so he can have hundreds of photos of his two girls on shuffle to distract him during the day.
Once Kate was refreshed and ready, we packed up a picnic and headed to the lake for the afternoon. 
Kate is enjoying her tummy time a lot more now that she is pretty much sleeping on her belly these days.  She had a great view of the lake.
She loves to hold the bottle now...she's just not very good at it yet as it falls out quite frequently.  Fortunately she again displays more of Len's temperament of patience and waits for it to be reinserted.
She topped off her lunch with a bit of whole-fist chewing while gazing at the leaves overhead.
It was great to finally be able to celebrate a Father's day with Len and Kate!
____________________________________
On the Nepal news front:
My Chicago friend who traveled to Nepal last month has returned from Nepal with her little girl.  Kate and I are planning to go visit them tomorrow. 

And another of my Chicago friends just accepted a referral last week for a one year old girl and hopes to travel over to Nepal soon!  Such exciting times for all the Nepali PAPs.  There has been a lot of movement (finally) with all of the 2009 dossiers.  Looks like Kate will have some girlfriends soon!

On the China news front:
CCAA has matched families with dossiers logged in through April 26, 2006.  Our LID is April 27, 2007.  Still more than a year out...heavy sigh.

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Morning Videos

I can tell that I have less and less time to actually compose something in writing and am relying on videos to keep you entertained.  I think this will only worsen as Kate gets older...




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Morning videos

Kate was up bright and early this morning (5:15am--grrr).  So we had a bit of playtime which of course I video'd.  The good thing is she is on her 2nd nap of the morning and we're back on track with our routine!  Enjoy.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How do you slow down time?

While we were waiting for the adoptions to come through I was always in a state of impatience.  Even the title of this blog tips its hat to my constant anticipation of what is coming next.  Seems from birth I’ve always been asking 

What is next? When will school start? When will summer begin?  When are we leaving for Disney? When are we getting a pool? When can I date? Is it soon??

I do think that lately the Universe has been toying with me.  Like a Greek play I picture the gods thinking up new ways to torture me, to turn everything I’ve held true or said I would never, ever, no, not in a million years say or do, confessing online that not only am I now doing it but I’m evangelizing about it.

Kate is 5 months old.  How did we get there already?  I know, it’s only 5 months, it’s not like she’s going to college.  But she is now sleeping in her own room at night and for me, well, that’s the equivalent it seems. 
It was time.  Kate was waking more often at night and staying awake for a couple of hours, which was a new occurrence.  We made the shift Sunday night and I spent most of the night lying in bed listening to the monitor. 

Len did not.  He blissfully slept beside me.  Apparently, he had greater faith that we would find her still alive and breathing the next morning.  She still woke up and stayed awake (grrr) but we kept her in her crib, taking the 3 hours in shifts.  One night down.

Last night was much smoother.  She woke up for her usual night feeding but went right back down and stayed there from 7pm-6:15am.
We have also started her bathtime in her own tub.  Up to now she has still been taking a bath with me in the Jacuzzi.  As her bedtime has needed to move forward though this became a logistical challenge.  It would take both of us since I couldn’t get out of the tub and get dried off with a wet, squirmy baby.  So I do the bath now between 5 or 5:30pm followed by nursing at 6.  By the time I’m finished Len is home to tuck her into bed.  This earlier bedtime has made getting her to sleep so much easier it’s amazing.
All of these changes leave me feeling torn.  I am thrilled that she is progressing so well as technically, even though she’s 5 months old, she is gestationally still barely 4 months along.  I can see that in some of her developmental milestones that she is not fully caught up to her birth age.  On the other hand I want to just hold onto her and keep her as that tiny bundle of loveliness that was so dependent on me for…well, everything.
Kate is teaching me to live in the moment.  What a wonderful gift.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Love Letter, Month 5

Dear Kate,

You are five months old today. And oh the screaming. Not by me mind you (well, not always). By you, my feisty little one. They started out as cute little squeaks, followed by adorable porpoise calls. They have graduated into sounds that I fear will shatter our windows and make me dread your teenage years. You started practicing your octave levels and they seem to escalate when you are bored, tired or generally discomfited in some way.
You are becoming increasingly bored with just laying around on your play mat. You don’t seem interested in learning to crawl, in fact your screeches rise in pitch the longer you are on your tummy (unless you are sleeping--more on that later). You are happiest when I pull you to sitting (your head now in line with your body—major milestone achieved!) and then to standing (check off another benchmark my above-average cutie). Although in the past week or two you go straight from laying down to standing, bypassing the boring sitting stage altogether. And once you are in the standing position you flash a huge smile and look around as if to say, THIS is more like it!
I live my life in two hour increments. Once you wake in the morning or from a nap I have to come up with distracting activities to fill the two hours until you go down for your next nap, otherwise you bleat, not out of discomfort or pain, but out of anger and disappointment at being left all alone in the room, except not really all alone because I'm sitting there RIGHT BESIDE YOU. If we aren't engaged in a new activity with new toys you haven't seen before, you assault me with the most annoying noise ever uttered in the universe. So we go on walk after walk after walk, and then we go to the coffee shop, and then to the park, and then we read books and sing songs and play with rattles and loveys and blocks, and that's just the first fifteen minutes. After two hours of non-stop Project Distraction, I'm ready to collapse from exhaustion, and you seem only slightly amused as if you're thinking, "Is this the best that you can do?"
 You have learned to reach for things with both hands and to pass them from one hand to the other. You readily accept whatever is handed to you and then pop it right into your gaping maw. This amuses you for approximately 2.5 seconds at which point you drop the drool-drenched toy and look around for something better. I can so tell that you have discovered that there is a whole world out there that is only just now coming into focus and you are eager to explore all of it NOW.
You have taught me to never-say-never (and to truly understand what that entails). Case in point: I said that I would not do anything special to get you to sleep (ie, sound machines, room darkening blinds, protecting your nap time like like someone who has just found religion). I figured you need to be able to sleep anywhere at anytime. Problem is, you will sleep in the carseat, in the stroller, in the carrier. These things, while great when we’re on the go, do not provide you with the restorative sleep that you need, the sleep that makes you the naturally happy girl you are and not the grouchy, gritchy screamer you can become on too little sleep.
 So your father and I have developed what we call the Kate-To-Sleep Plan. We lower the room darkening shades, turn on the Sleep Sheep (to the rain setting), and nestle you in to the rocking chair for a feeding. This is followed by about 5 minutes of staring at the digital clock before you realize you are getting verrwy verrwy sweepy so you start with the mewling and the kicking and the thrashing about. We begin the shushing, the rocking and the bouncing. You mewl and kick harder. We shush and bounce in response. This dance between us only lasts 5-10 minutes (but boy does it feel like HOURS) in total before you slump in defeat, your head buried in my shoulder, your little fists still twitching , the last part of your body to wave the white flag.
Our latest addition to the plan was discovered by accident.  You had missed a nap and were not going down without a class-A battle.  I was on my third shirt of the day, you were in your fourth change of clothes and both of us were tired and exhausted.  I needed a break so I lay you down in your crib on your belly since you were already facing that way in my arms.  Amazingly, you gave one bleat of surprise, turned your head first one way, then the other, then back, lay down and fell asleep for two hours.  I kept creeping back in to be sure you hadn't smothered you were so quiet.  You have now been taking all of your naps happily on your tummy.

YOUR latest addition to the Kate-To-Sleep plan is the corpse pose. You don’t just reserve it for nap and sleep times though. You choose to practice this when you are being held, fed or most effectively, when I am trying to get you to sit somewhere. I always thought it was funny when I would see a parent struggling to wedge a two-year old who had gone perfectly rigid into a high chair. I would laugh and laugh. Oh karma is a bitch sometimes isn’t it? Thing is, you aren’t two yet, you are just barely scraping 5 months old and you have already mastered the amazing ability to throw your head and shoulders back while simultaneously stiffening your legs down to your ankles. Do you know how many times I have almost dropped you when you pull this stunt?
 You are quite the contemplative one though and in that way you take after your father. I am, ahem, the more impulsive one in this family, prone to leaping ahead without looking or jumping in thither and yon, consequences-be-damned. You, on the other hand, will sit and study. Not toys mind you. People. Whenever we have our mommy’s group the other little ones will basically do what babies do: drool and fidget. You will sit quietly, staring intently at whoever is talking or at the baby closest to you. You make no motion to be nearer or to engage in any way, toys abandoned beside you. One of the women in my group remarked that you seem to have a lot going on behind your eyes, lost in your studies.
 One of our favorite times with you now are weekend mornings. We all lie in bed together and blow raspberries at each other. Don’t you wish all mornings were weekends?
Love,
Mama

Thursday, June 10, 2010

21 years (and a lifetime) ago...

We walked down the aisle and promised to love each other forever.  I remember that we wanted a lot of kids and thought we would stay in FL forever.  My how life has thrown us a few curveballs.
Little did we know as we were shimmying the night away in the train led by Terry and Wheez that we would end up, 21 years later, in Chicago (as far from FL as I ever thought I would be!) with one new baby.
That is my nephew Ryan, for the record.  But we did think it would be funny (if a bit white-trashy) to have this particular photo edit.
One year ago we had just found out we were pregnant with our Kate.  I've learned one thing these 21 years:  just hang on and enjoy the ride.
Happy Anniversary my love.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spiff and Paul visit Chi-town

Kate's uncles from DC stayed with us this weekend to help celebrate my birthday and our friend Greg's birthday.  After arriving Friday morning and meeting up with Len downtown, we all spent the afternoon in Andersonville shopping.  Saturday was rained out so we headed to the Art Institute for a little culture (Kate's first museum tour!) and then to the south side of Chicago for some Belizian food at Garifuna Flava. 

Saturday night Len stayed home with Kate while the boys and I headed over to Mary's Attic for Greg's 40th birthday fete.
Sunday dawned much brighter so we started out the day with some pho soup at Pho Xe Tang, traditional breakfast fare in Vietnam (from where Spiff and Paul had just vacationed), then headed over to the Do-Division Street Festival.
The storms held off until just as we needed to get them to O'Hare.  A fabulous weekend as always when they are in town!

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