Sunday, January 27, 2008

Home Again

We're home from our adventure to Rochester. Molly was super happy to get to meet a whole bunch of her relatives, including her great grandparents. She got to experience the sights and sounds of the Lima Diner, Tom Wahl's, two family parties filled with relatives, and her cousin gave her some pointers on getting around on all fours. Below are a few pictures from the trip. We'll add the rest to our pictures link soon.

Great Grandparents


Molly's Cousin Lucy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Traveling baby

We're getting ready to hit the road for our first trip to Rochester -- Yay!!!

Molly's had a little practice. We took her to Vermont Saturday to visit her "kinda cousins," Lex and Eve, and she slept through the entire 2-hour drive each way.

We also had our first Mommy-daughter adventure out of the house without Daddy Sunday, a trip to the grocery store. Molly did pretty well. She didn't want to be in her car seat, so I carried her in my arms around the store (while pushing a top-heavy cart with one hand). She has recently started noticing things around her, and she was mesmerized by everything, which was nice because so many strangers wanted to get a look at her. I had to put her back in the car seat to check out and she protested. I settled her down and all was well until the very end, when she started shrieking. It was the kind of crying that makes people squirm and offer suggestions, like "why don't you try rolling the cart back and forth?" Thanks, yes, I tried that. We booked it out of there and made it home without incident.

This week has also been a good one for Daddy-daughter bonding. Molly took a bottle of pumped milk from him last night, with much less fuss than the first time. He's also gotten good at soothing her with pacifiers.

Here they are listening to Bach and enjoying some great literature. I believe it was Christopher Moore's latest novel ... something about vampires that sounded vaguely inappropriate. :)

This is them waltzing to some new music Daddy downloaded, Tin Hat Trio.

And here's Molly telling Daddy what she thinks of Mommy's idea to put her in a carrier.

We'll see everybody soon!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One month!

We had Molly's one month doctor check-up this afternoon and she's doing great. She weighed in at 10 pounds, 15 ounces and her head is a full two inches bigger around than it was when she was born. So it wasn't just my imagination that she's getting bigger.

Yesterday we took her to Nashua for a little shopping. I nursed and changed her in the car, which was actually much more comfortable than I expected it to be. And we took her to On the Border, our favorite Mexican chain restaurant where we eat so often that the hostess and some of the waitresses recognize us. Molly was a perfect angel.

The lack of sleep is really starting to catch up to me. Jim stayed up late last night, trying for hours to soothe the baby to sleep. He got her to take the pacifier and finally did get her to drift off. It was such a gift for me! I woke up at 1 a.m. and realized that I had been asleep for hours. I found the two of them asleep in the living room, Molly in her bucket and Daddy looking very uncomfortable on the couch. We shuffled beds and Molly slept until almost 5 a.m.! It was the closest thing I've had to a full night's sleep in a month. It was beautiful.

In other news, I tried the breast pump for the first time yesterday. What a freaky contraption!!! I can't look at it while it's working because it's so absurd, it grosses me out. I pumped just a couple ounces, and a little more today to start slowly. We haven't tried feeding Molly the bottle yet, but there's no rush. We plan to use the bottle only occasionally, and there's a good chance she won't take it anyway. We'll see. It's worth a try.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

4 Weeks

Happy 4-week birthday to Molly!

We celebrated with a good night's sleep -- she slept for her first 5-hour stretch last night -- and by taking our first trip to a sit-down restaurant (thanks to my mom, who helped us out this weekend). Molly was a peach and slept through the whole thing!

Here she is at the table:

And here's the goat cheese salad I've been craving since I found out I was pregnant. Yum!!! (Goat cheese is forbidden for pregnant women because of the risk that it could cause listeria infection, which can cause birth defects)

The restaurant trip is just one of many new developments this week.

Molly switched from newborn size diapers to size 1. We've also had some hilarious moments on the changing table -- and lots of clean-up.

We had a leisurely shopping trip to Target Thursday and it went so well that we hit another store and then stopped for ice cream before going home. It was fantastic! I felt a little bit like my old self again.

Yesterday morning we took an infant massage class put on by a local hospital, and it was lots of fun. We were in a little room with seven other tiny babies and their parents. Molly was the youngest, but not by much. She really enjoyed the massage ... for the first few minutes. Then she got fussy, as did most of the other babies at one point or another, so we nursed her and she got through just fine. The instructor was wonderful and repeated all the things we missed so everybody could practice everything. It was so reassuring to be in a room with other babies who were crying and nursing, and other parents who looked just as tired as we do. Plus we learned some great belly rubs to help Molly when she's fussy.

Also, we gave Molly her first taste of a pacifier last night. (Four weeks is the point at which it's OK to introduce pacifiers and bottles without the risk of messing up breastfeeding). She didn't quite get what it was for and spit it out over and over again. We'll keep trying, but maybe she's just not a pacifier baby. Either way is fine with me.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. Isn't she getting huge?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Photos

Below are a few photos from today's floor shoot. Note that Molly has already started working on her shoken (one knuckle punch)! We've also added a date to the Pictures link to the right so that you can tell when we've added more photos to the shutterfly site.


Shock the Monkey



Lastly, we're trying out this video thing, so here's a link to a short clip of Molly doing not much on the floor.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Getting bolder

Yesterday we took a half-hour drive to my office to drop off some paperwork and introduce Molly to my coworkers. We kept the visit brief and she slept the entire time, including the drive both ways. Yay! It's the farthest she's traveled from home yet.

When we got back the weather was so beautiful -- 64 degrees and sunny -- that Molly and I went for a walk around our neighborhood with the stroller.

That was the only long quiet stretch in an otherwise active day. Molly was awake most of the morning and then from about 3:30 p.m. until around 10, mostly eating and filling diapers and fussing! (What else do babies do, right?) Must be another growth spurt. The crying just makes
her little smiles all the more fantastic. (We've been trying very hard to get a picture but the camera's never fast enough).

Here's Molly this morning "playing with" a stuffed elephant given to her by a coworker. She's not really interested in toys yet, so it was pretty exciting that this caught her eye.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Nursing in public

Today we took an expedition to the grocery store. We almost made it home without the baby waking, but I had to pick up a prescription and the pharmacist took a long time. After several trips up and down the aisles, Molly's little face turned red and her patience ran out. I pushed her stroller over to Jim and asked him, "What do we do?"

Jim suggested the car, but the store's restroom was right there and it seemed easier. I ducked in there and unstrapped her from her car seat. Holding her didn't settle her down -- she was screaming and it felt like the whole store could hear her -- so I sat on the toilet fully clothed (yuck!) and nursed her. That didn't soothe her for long, so I changed her diaper on the handy diaper changing station. She screamed all the way through the diaper change, which she never does at home. I don't know what got into her! It was scary that Jim couldn't come in and help soothe her because it was a lady's room.

Once she was in a clean diaper and snapped up she settled down a little, but she was still fussy. I went back into the handicap stall with the stroller and sat down for a longer feeding. Three women came in and used the stall next to us as we were sitting there. It was really awkward and yucky, not to mention uncomfortable -- but we did it!
Afterward she was calm, but she screamed bloody murder when I tried to put her back in the car seat. So I just carried her in my arms. I'm especially proud that rather than bolt out of the store, I went to the pharmacy and picked up my prescription, which was finally ready. Molly fussed a little in my arms, but I just "sssshhhhed" in her ear to keep her somewhat calm -- no big deal.

The other exciting news is that Oma and Grandpa came to visit this weekend. Molly got lots of snuggle time, and her mommy got lots of sleep. What a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Changing patterns

Just when it seems like Molly's settled in to a pattern, it all changes. I guess that's just the way babies are, right?
The latest change is she's eating in little 10-minute bursts. This is a baby who, just a few days ago, had a marathon feeding where she stayed latched on for an hour at one stretch. She's always been a slow eater and it was pretty common for her to eat for a half hour or 40 minutes at a time.
Needless to say, this change to short feedings had me a little worried. I was afraid she was unhappy because I ate spicy rice noodles for lunch Sunday, and she wasn't eating enough because I had contaminated the milk supply. Sleep deprivation has a way of making little worries into big irrational fears. As I read the baby books about how much a newborn should eat, I suddenly worried that she sleeps for too long at a stretch, especially if she's not eating much in between. We had one night where we all went to sleep at 11:30 and woke up around 7:30 the next morning, with just one little waking in the middle of the night for a short snack. It felt like heaven at the time, but now I worried that she wasn't eating enough and I shouldn't let her sleep for 4 hours at a time.
Meanwhile, when she's awake during the day she's staying awake longer, looking around and wanting to be held. I got into a cycle where I was worried when she stayed asleep too long and then worried and exhausted when she was awake too long (our book on baby sleep says babies this age shouldn't stay awake for more than an hour or two at a stretch, or they get overtired and resist sleeping).
I finally started keeping notes again on when she eats, when she sleeps, and the number of dirty diapers, just to make sure she wasn't in danger. And of course once I looked at it all written out for 24 hours, I realized what my instincts were telling me all along was true -- she's fine. This new schedule is rough on us, but Molly's getting plenty to eat and plenty of sleep.

On a lighter note, we went out to dinner with the baby again tonight. Wendy's is the new taste of freedom!
Jim has been cooking delicious meals and keeping up with the laundry and the rabbits. I don't know what I would do if he had to go back to work right away.
We signed up for an infant massage class today, and I'm looking forward to meeting other new moms. I'm also looking forward to Molly's 3-week birthday Sunday because that's when I'm cleared to pick up heavy objects again, including Molly in her car seat. That'll be a little bit of freedom, too. Yay!

P.S. Thanks for all the nursing mom stories. I love reading the comments. It makes me so happy!!