October 31, 2008

Hallo....Weenie??

So it's Audia's first holiday! And she is quite fed up with me putting her in her costume to take pictures. But she's so dang CUTE in it! I can't help myself. I'll admit that a full body-suit costume isn't really appropriate in Arizona, especially when the temps are above average as they are this year. So, she won't be spending the day in it, and I'm sure she's more than grateful for that. Below are a few pics of her in her darling costume; more can be found on my website.
Happy Halloween, everyone!





"This is getting old, mom...."

"Enough! Get me outta this thing!!"

October 29, 2008

Magical PJs

So, Audia slept through the night last night! I finally got her down around 12:30 (I always start trying to get ready for bed/get her in her basinette around 11 or 11:30, but she always wakes up once or twice after I put her down before she really settles in) and she didn't wake me up until 7:20!! That's almost 7 hours! Normally she'll sleep a good 2.5 to 3 hours, then wake up to eat, then sleep another 2.5 to 3 hours and so on. But last night she slept like a rockstar, and I sure hope this becomes the new trend :-)

My mom sent us some new PJs for Audia that she wore for the first time last night, so the first thing Chris said when I told him that she slept through the night was "Magical PJ's?" Pretty funny. But hopefully it won't matter what PJ's she's wearing....

October 27, 2008

Weekend Update

So, this weekend was a good one. I actually got to leave the house by myself for the first time since I gave birth. I wasn't allowed to drive until this past week and I took advantage on Saturday morning by running to Babies R Us and Walgreens solo. It is crazy how liberating it felt; I in no way resent being attached at the hip to my adorable little love bug for the past 7 weeks, but it was nice to get out by myself for a couple of hours.

Saturday night we went to a Housewarming/Halloween party at our friend H and E's new house out in Queen Creek. And when I say out in Queen Creek, I mean waaaaaaaaaaaayyyy out there. Audia was the hit of the party in her Giraffe Costume :-) I can't get over how cute she is in it; I am tempted to make it her uniform for the week. (I'll post pics when I take some.....) She did pretty well on the car ride out there, but she spent most of the hour-long car ride back screaming. I think it was a combination of being overstimulated with all the people and commotion at the party and not wanting to be strapped into the damn carseat per usual. Poor baby :-(

I spent a good hour on Sunday just photographing her. I hope that she doesn't grow to hate cameras; I always seem to have one in her face. I just can't stop taking pics of her! I guess I'd rather have way more pics of her than I'll ever print than not have enough. Even if it does mean I'll be asking for another external hard drive for xmas, just to store photos on. Below are a few of the photos I took; the rest can be found at http://www.ericacarlson.com/.



We've discovered that she doesn't mind being in the stoller, probably because there's more room for her to move around. So we've taken advantage and have started taking daily walks with her and Coop. Now that it's finally cooling down, it's been awesome to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Kiwanis park is so close, one of these days I'm hoping we can pack up a lunch and walk over there.

Unfortunately, Audia's been refusing to drink from a bottle for about the past week now. But she's also been more fussy than usual and has been eating a lot more frequently; I think perhaps she's been going through a growth spurt. Hopefully that's the only reason she's not taking a bottle. My parents are coming for a couple of weeks in November and we were hoping they could baby sit for us a couple of nights so we could go on a date or two....if she's not taking a bottle though I don't see how that would be possible. They seriously need to invent a bottle that's shaped like and feels like a boob. They could have different cup sizes to chose from. Any entrepreneurs out there wanna get started on that? The sooner, the better. I'll be your guinea pig.

So she's 7 weeks old today. It's really bizarre to me because I feel like I've been a mother all my life at this point. It is crazy how having a baby warps your sense of time; it is difficult for me to remember what life was like before her. My world revolves around every cry, every smile, every diaper, and every feeding. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

October 21, 2008

Cutie Pie

So I got some video of Audia smiling. She's a bit distracted/confused by the presence of the camera but smiling (and even babbling a tiny bit) nonetheless. video

On a different note, I had my 6 week post-ceserean check up today and everything is looking great. I can drive again! Yay! And as an added bonus, I found out that I've lost 40 lbs in the past 6 weeks! Breastfeeding is the best weight loss plan EVER!

October 20, 2008

Monday's Musings

So Audia is definitely coming into some sort of more regular "schedule" (if you can call it that). For the past few days she's been spending the majority of the day awake, and has only been waking up at night to feed. This is fantastic, as a week or two ago she was waking up in the middle of the night ready to play and it was getting pretty old.

She's also been smiling a TON; last night she actually greeted me with a huge smile when Chris handed her to me after a diaper change, and this morning when I went to pick her up out of her bassinette, there was that big grin again :-) YAY! It is amazing how validating it can feel to have your baby greet you with a grin; "she likes me, she really likes me!" has gone through my head a few times and I'm sure it will continue to.

To add to the fun, she's also started babbling a bit, and I swear she's said "Hi" to me twice. LOL. Ok, I know that's pushing it but her babbles sometimes sound like she's saying "hi", which is too fricking cute. I'll try to get some of these smiles and babbles on video one of these days, but usually when I bring the camera out, she's so fascinated by it that she forgets about me and thus the smiles and babbles cease.

Last but not least on the Audia updates, she held a rattle today! For about 2 minutes, she held and shook (by shook I mean that she was flailing her arms around per usual and thus the rattle was being shaken) a rattle. Very cool.


On a side note, I went to the dentist today to have a filling replaced cause it came out this weekend and learned a whole bunch of stuff about babies and dental care that I never knew that I thought I'd share with those of you that care.

1) if you have cavities, gingivitis, or tooth decay as a parent (mom OR dad), your baby can (and will) get the bad bacteria from you when you kiss your baby on the cheek or lips. This increases babies risk for tooth decay and gingivitis a ton. (you pass these bacteria on to your spouse/significant other when you kiss them as well) So take care of your teeth/mouth!

2) Mothers that get yearly flouride treatments have kids with less cavities

3) You should wipe baby's gums with spiffies (if you don't want to buy spiffies, a wet washcloth is better than nothing) after EVERY FEEDING!!! (I had no idea!) Baby's gums have tiny holes in them where the teeth will come through; the teeth are developing under there and the milk can seep into these holes and weaken the teeth as they are developing. Spiffies are wipes that have xylitol on them. Xylitol is a naturally occuring sweetener (found in raspberries and plums) that actually destroys the bacteria that causes cavities.

**Chewing gum that has xylitol is great for after-lunch tooth cleaning!


Just to leave you with a chuckle, I think Jaxon's feeling a bit jealous these days.....

October 16, 2008

The birth of a psychotic worry wort

Growing up, I always thought of my mom as a severe worry wart. She was always overprotective in my opinion, reiterating thousands of times common sense safety reminders which she herself had drilled into my head at a ridiculously young age; 'don't talk to strangers', 'look both ways before you cross the street', 'always have a buddy with you', etc etc etc. I always thought she worried far more than was logical. But becoming a mother myself, I realize that logic has nothing to do with it. What I thought should be easily controlled by logical thinking (i.e. "she knows I know to look both ways before I cross the street, so she shouldn't feel the need to tell me this every time I go out to play") is, in reality, not controlled by anything. Worrying is not just a mother's job; it is a mother's inherent compulsion.

The second Audia was born, a psychotic worry wort was born in my head. I went from what I thought was a fairly logical, realistic woman to a paranoid worrying maniac. It's not something I talk about very often, as the logical part of me still exists; I do realize that some of my worries are totally over the top, and I do manage, for the most part, to shut up the psychotic worry wort, but it doesn't change the fact that these worries pop up. For example, we have ceramic tile floors in our bedroom and throughout part of our dining room and kitchen area. When we got home from the hospital, I was overcome by the paranoia of dropping her on the tile floor to the point that I was being ridiculously careful when walking on the tile with her. I managed to reason with myself and get out of this state of hyper-caution after a couple of days, thankfully, but the fact that I have to reason with myself at all bothers me. Then there's the every day little things; is she eating enough? why does her poop seem extra watery today? why is she abnormally fussy this evening? Of course each question is answered, by this psychotic worry wort, with the worst case scenario. I have to psychologically lock the psychotic worry wort up every time she rears her ugly head, but she keeps getting out. Lately the ridiculous worry has been about, of all things, eye contact. Audia makes eye contact with me on a regular basis, but I find myself worrying that she's not making eye contact enough. How many times has she looked me in the eye today? Is she looking at my eyebrow or my eyes? Does she seem to find the fan more interesting than my face? Is this a precursor to Autism? Is there something I should be doing that I'm not? RIDICULOUS WORRYING.

How do I get the psychotic worry wort to go back where she came from? I have a feeling that the answer is that I don't. This is motherhood. The psychotic worry wort comes as part of the territory.

October 14, 2008

Oh Oh Ohhhh....The Right Stuff!

So my good friend Emily came to visit the past few days. It was so great to see her (haven't seen her since Christmas) and so cool to have Audia meet her Auntie Em! We didn't do a whole lot this weekend; mostly hung out and relaxed, though we did manage to get out to Kiwanis park and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather!!


The heat seems to finally have broken; it was in the 70s and sunny for Emi's entire visit, which is beyond wonderful. Weather.com is predicting upper 90's for this coming weekend, but then it looks like 80's after that. I have my fingers crossed that the triple-digit weather is over until next spring.

Audia spent quite a bit of time in her carseat while Emily was here, and I think she's gradually getting used to it. I've determined that she hates it because she hates being strapped in; she wants to be able to move around and the straps do not offer her much freedom. But, rather than screaming the entire time, she is now starting to fuss for a while, then relax, then fuss a bit more, then relax again....hopefully someday soon the relaxing will trump the fussing.

I had my first night out without the babe last night; Emily and I bought tickets months ago for the NKOTB concert and let me tell you, there is no better way to spend your first night out!! It was such a blast!! And WE TOUCHED JOEY!!! Ridiculously wonderful. It was the best concert; nothing in the world compares to an entire arena full of people waving their hands in the air to Hangin' Tough. Seriously. You just can't beat it. And Audia did wonderfully; Chris had to drive us to and from the concert since I still am not allowed to drive (hopefully next week!) and Audia slept most of the time she was in the car, plus she ate from a bottle with no problem :-) YAY! So happy about this. I was a bit worried because the last two times Chris has tried with the bottle, she would have none of it. But this could have been because I was nearby. Either way, it is nice to know that I don't have to be attached at the boob to my daughter forever :-)

In other news, Audia is totally starting to smile socially; there have been a few times now when she's alert and not fussing that I've gotten her to smile at me and it is just soooo much fun. I so look forward to the day that she smiles and coos when I come to pick her up out of her bassinette; I have a feeling this day is just around the corner :-) It is just so cool to see her maturing already; I can't seem to get enough of my little snuggle bug. She is just the best!

October 9, 2008

One Month Visit

Well we had our 1 month visit with Dr. W. today, and Audia didn't cry at all on the car ride over there! (She has been hating her car seat, so this is a great relief; a sign that maybe, just maybe, she won't hate it forever...) And, she even smiled at me in the car! At least, I think she was smiling at me. I suppose it could have been a coincidence and she just happened to pass gas right when I smiled at her, and she smiled cause of the gas, but I am going to pretend that she was smiling at me. It was pretty cool :-)

Audia's now 10 lbs, 13 oz and 22.75" long. She's in the 97th percentile for weight and the 95th percentile for height! It is CRAZY how much she's grown just in the last three weeks; she's gained 2 lbs and 7 oz and has grown 1.75 inches. "They grow up fast" is not an exaggeration in the least. We went to visit S and B and their new little one, E, yesterday and it is CRAZY how small she looks compared to Audia. And they're only 3 weeks apart!

Dr. W. was very impressed with Audia's neck control, as we have been for weeks now. She said everything is looking great; her baby acne should clear up in the next month or so and her constant grunting is normal. (We continue to call her our Zombie baby.) She was behaving so well the whole time; awake, alert, and very happy. Then they had to go and ruin it by giving her her Hepatitis B Vaccination. :-( Poor girl didn't know what hit her. I don't think I've ever heard her scream like that. Mean old nurse practitioner and her 2 inch long needle! No wonder so many kids have such a fear of the Doctor's office; that fear starts getting engrained right off the bat!

But we're home now, and she's over it. Had a good nap, some play time with mommy, and just finished lunch, which means....of course.....nap time again! After my only getting 3 hours of sleep last night because she thinks nighttime is playtime, I am thinking I will need to start waking her up more during the day. I hate to do this because she looks so peaceful when she sleeps, but I am thinking it is the only way we are going to get any consistent sleep at night. Wish me luck!

October 8, 2008

Breastfeeding

I made the decision very early on in my pregnancy, possibly even prior to getting pregnant, to breastfeed. It seemed (and still does) like the only option to me; in my opinion, it is by far the most natural way to feed an infant, and the benefits to both baby and mother blow formula feeding out of the water. I simply never saw formula feeding as an option unless there was some medical reason to do so. This isn't badmouthing mothers who decide to formula feed; some women have a difficult time with breastfeeding, some women don't have the time or the stamina or the desire to breastfeed. That's fine. As I said, I am not judging other mothers' choices in how to feed their children. It is a personal choice.

What I don't understand, and what this blog is about, is people who are uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding in general. This seems, to me, to be an entirely American problem. In most other cultures, formula feeding is the oddity. You see breastfeeding women out in public all the time in most countries in Europe and no one bats an eye. But here, I am finding it is more common than not that people are uncomfortable if I breastfeed in front of them. I have a newsflash for these people. It's a boob. It's sole purpose is not for decoration and/or to attract a mate, contrary to what American pop culture would like you to believe. It's sole purpose, the REASON that women HAVE boobs is to FEED BABIES!!!! It is a totally natural phenomenon. Look at all other mammals on the planet. They are not feeding their young formula from a bottle. You don't mind watching a puppy or kitten eating from it's mother, so why does it make you so uncomfortable when I start feeding my child in the way that nature intended?? This drives me crazy. Loosen up, people! You don't have to watch when I am feeding my child. I have eyes too. You can look at those.

In other, but related, news, we started trying to teach Audia to eat from a bottle this week. I've been pumping and freezing milk on and off for a while to build up a 'stash' so that eventually we can leave her with a babysitter for an evening and, more importantly, so that Chris can feed her when Emily and I are at the NKOTB concert next Monday :-). So far, so good! There is definitely some practice needed, but she is getting the hang of it and is even eating from the bottle when I'm in the room (some babies will never eat from a bottle if their mom's nearby), which I am hoping means I can eventually feed her from a bottle if she gets hungry in the car or if I decide to have a glass of wine. So, this is very exciting! Our little girl is growing up :-)

New blog

So here it is. The stereotypical 'Mom's Blog'. This is being written not so much for all you readers out there in cyberspace as it is for myself and eventually Audia to be able to look back on someday to reminisce and laugh at. Feel free to tag along for the ride; it's bound to be a bumpy one!

October 3, 2008

Parenthood

I wrote this for my other blog but figured it belonged here....

"They" say that nothing can prepare you for parenthood. That no one can explain to you the feeling of holding your baby for the first time. That you can never know how becoming a parent will change your life.

"They" are other parents. And "they" are absolutely right. There is nothing on this earth that can even begin to explain to the childless how a child will rock their world. Nothing can prepare you for the surprise of falling in love with your husband all over again, but in a different way; this time as the father of the best thing that ever happened to you. There are no words that could ever accurately explain how much your heart grows, how drastically your perspective shifts, and how much you, yourself, will change the second you see your newborn for the first time.

"Your life, as you know it, is over." This sounded so foreboding to me prior to Audia's arrival; it sounded like such a negative thing. I hated hearing it. But you know what? I don't think I could be any more grateful for the death of my life 'pre-child'. Things I cared about just a mere three and a half weeks ago I couldn't care any less about now. My life, the second I met my daughter, immediately revolved around her. She is the center of my universe and I couldn't be happier for it. My world now revolves around breastfeeding, changing diapers, and making sure that she is as comfortable and happy as possible. And this sounds dreadful to the childless. To me, it is pure bliss. They say that parents and those without children feel sorry for one-another and it's true. I know because I've now experienced both sides of the coin.

This isn't to say there aren't struggles. There are times when she is fussy to no end; various changes in position and scenery only comforting her for a few minutes at a time. And there are nights she is in a total feeding frenzy, where I am getting up every hour to hour and a half to feed her. But the point is that these struggles are nothing compared to the joy that she brings. I never in a million years would have thought that I would not care one bit about how tired I was. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep was ridiculously important to me prior to her birth. Now it seems like an unnecessary luxury. Sure, I'm tired during the day. But so what? If I were sleeping I might miss that fleeting smile, that steady gaze, watching her play with her daddy, or the chance to rock her to sleep for the fifty millionth time. And I wouldn't give up any of these things for the world.

But enough already. If you have a child, you know all this already. If you don't, you won't get it till you do. The point is that having a child, if you're ready for it, is the most wonderful thing you could ever do. I decided.