December 25, 2008

Christmas and Other Things

Christmas has been lovely this year. It's been quite a bit different with the new addition; planning meals and opening of gifts around nap schedules and bedtime rituals. But overall, it's been very nice. Spending time relaxing (for the most part) with my parents, Chris, and Audia has been enjoyable.

It's also been a bit stressful (as I know it is for many). Not the holiday itself so much as the time spent out here in MN. Mostly because I find myself being stretched a bit thin; my desire to please everyone is, quite simply put, completely impossible to achieve this year. And I find myself having to explain over and over to various people that it is difficult for me to guarantee I'll be able to do anything, or to go out, or to hang out for more than a couple hours at a time. My daughter's schedule is first and foremost in my life, and I am completely devoted to making sure that she is as happy and healthy and well rested and well fed as humanly possible. I in no way mean to suggest that other people are less important to me than they once were; they are not. However, my daughter's needs come first. They have since she was conceived, and they will forever more. This means that if she happens to need a nap when a social event is scheduled, I will either be late or skip entirely that social event. If she needs to be changed when I'm in the middle of a conversation with someone, I will abruptly put that conversation on hold to tend to her needs. No person is less important to me than they were prior to her birth, but she is the most important person in my life. I do my best to be gracious if guests are over and I do need to get up and go in the other room to feed her or change her or rock her to sleep, but I still feel guilty and I do get tired of having to explain myself. I am getting to the point where I am feeling as though being socially active at this stage in Audia's life is more trouble than it is worth. I am confident that my real friends will be there when I come out of my social hibernation. I only hope I'm right.<

December 20, 2008

Word to the Wise

Most mothers, especially new mothers (in the under 3 yr old range), are generally a pretty tired group overall. Well, all mothers of children that live with them are tired to a certain degree, but it is my belief that new mothers are a bit moretired than the rest of mothers. At the very least, they can still remember what life was like before children a little bit more clearly. In addition to this, most mothers are pretty protective of their children and their parenting choices. Think mama lion protective.
This combination makes for a pretty defensive group of women.
So my word to the wise? Never, ever, ever tell a mother (unless they are actually abusing their child) that choices they've made or how they are raising their child is incorrect. It's one thing if you have suggestions, and they are politely and discretely made (ex. "I read in the newspaper that one way to do such and such is this..."). I don't have a problem with that. But flat out telling a mother that something she's doing shouldn't be done the way that it is is asking for trouble.
Just a suggestion to those of you without young children......

December 18, 2008

Brrrrrrr!!

Well, Audia and I got to frigid Minnesnowta on Monday. What an adventure that was! Audia fared much better than I at the end of the day; She did pretty well over all with the traveling, and I was surprised to find that even after a whole day of travel, with her eating and sleeping considerably less than normal, she was still smiley and happy.
Chris helped us to security, at which point we were on our own. And of course Audia didn't want to be in her stroller for more than 10 minutes, so I had to carry her, my purse, my backpack, and push the stroller through the airport. Go figure that we set off the alarm going through security so we had to stand there and wait to be wanded....which is quite an interesting experience when you're holding a BABY. "Ok, put the baby in your right arm and hold out your left arm. Ok, now switch. Now, hold the baby out so I can wand your chest and the baby." Are you friggin kidding me??? And, of course Audia wouldn't eat for more than two minutes because she HATES being covered up while she eats. And napping? In an airport? Where there are so many new people and things to see?? Hah! But she wasn't exceptionally fussy, thank goodness, and she did sleep for about a half hour on the plane, which was good. Thankfully I'm still her favorite toy. As I said, I think she did much better than I with the whole experience; I was much more fussy at the end of the day than she :-)

So Tuesday was spent recovering. We relaxed with my mom at the house. My friend, J, came to the house for a little while to meet the little one. It was great to spend time with her, as always. Yesterday we met my friend N and her daughter, A, who is just one week older than Audia, at the mall and had their photo taken together with Santa. That was pretty funny :-) Luckily it didn't seem like too traumatic an experience for either girl; They both sat on Santa's lap without issue, as you can see :-)

The ride to the mall was a bit traumatic however, I think, for Audia. She shreiked the whole way there; The combination of the restrictive bunting and the restrictive carseat proved to be a bit too much for my little move and shaker. She certainly is proving to be a very ACTIVE baby; she's always kicking and swinging her arms, looking around and trying to wiggle her way to whatever she is interested in at the moment. My mom says she's a very determined baby and I agree; she is definitely not docile, that's for sure!

We are both enjoying my parents company; Audia loves to sit with grandma and laugh at grandpa. But we miss Chris a ton. :-( Thankfully he'll be out here in just 4 days! Then the real wintertime fun can start :-)

December 11, 2008

3 Months

So, Audia doesn't have a well check this month, but we weighed and measured her anyways, to keep up with her growth chart.

Drumroll, please!

She's 15 lbs, 13 oz and 25.5 inches long! Still in the 97th percentile for both :-)

December 9, 2008

Rolling Over

Audia started rolling over today! It was pretty funny; I set her on her back on her play mat and sat down to put on my makeup, looked over at her not even a minute after I set her down, and she was on her belly! I thought maybe I had accidentally put her on her tummy, so I got up, put her on her back, and sure enough, she promptly rolled right onto her belly again! So we played this game for a while so I could get some video of it. The funny thing is I was talking to my good friend, J, today and she mentioned that most babies roll from tummy to back first, not back to tummy. So I did some research online and sure enough, most babies roll from tummy to back around 3 months and from back to tummy around 5 months. Leave it to my child to do it backwards :-) I couldn't be more proud!
video

December 8, 2008

Life as a single parent

Chris has been in Chicago since Saturday. His grandfather, who was 96 years old, wasn't doing well and he joined his brother in going out there to say his goodbyes and to help his parents with arrangements and such. It's a sad thing; Grandpa Joe was well loved by many people, both within and outside of his family, and he and his spirit will be greatly missed (he passed this morning).

With Chris out of town, I've gotten a taste of what life as a single parent is like. Now, granted, if I really were flying solo on this whole parenting gig, things would be much different. I would be back in MN, possibly living with my parents, because the only way I would be doing this on my own would be (god forbid!) if A) Chris died or B) Chris ditched me. If either of these things happened, I would be devestated and I know my parents would take me in to help me out in a heartbeat. So, really, my experience these past few days is something that would never otherwise happen.

But I'm getting off topic. Point is that being the sole care giver for a three month old is hard work!! Those of you without kids might be thinking "how much work can it be? What does a three month old even do during the day?"

I laugh at you.

A three month old spends her day sleeping, pooping, eating, and playing. Thing is that none of these things are done alone yet. Sure, she'll entertain herself for a good 10-15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day, but beyond that, she's entirely dependent on me to change her, feed her, entertain her, and help her sleep. Add to that all of the daily household responsibilities and my day is overloaded.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am in no way complaining about my child. I have never been so utterly in love with anyone, and parenthood is a truly rewarding experience. She really is a good baby, and I feel extremely lucky to have a child that is so happy so much of the time, doesn't have colic, etc etc. However she can be extremely fussy if she's overly tired (what baby isn't?) and she is so curious and alert that she doesn't ever seem to want to take a nap. This means I have to bounce and shush her until she's fallen asleep or she won't nap. So I am either 1) dealing with a fussy baby for the second half of the day because she hasn't napped or 2) spending what I have estimated is two hours plus a day bouncing and shushing her to sleep. Either one is exhausting when you're the only one dealing with it. Now, thankfully I have actually found a book that addresses this exact issue (thanks, Jan!) and I am comforted in knowing I should only have to deal with this napping problem for another month or so. But it just so happens that this taste of single parenthood is happening now, not a month from now.

On the upside, I am happy to say that I can do it. I would never choose to, but if I absolutely had to, I could. That being said, I am more than ready for Chris' return tomorrow evening. And I think that he is too. :-)

December 4, 2008

Growth Spurt

I am 99.9% certain that Audia is going through another growth spurt. For the past two days, she's been wanting to eat once every hour to hour-and-a-half during the day, waking up every three hours to eat at night, napping every other hour, and has been way more fussy than usual, waking multiple times in her sleep to fuss and whimper. I feel bad because she is obviously uncomfortable, and for both of our sakes I hope it doesn't last too much longer. We are both exhausted! To those of you I said I'd call this week, I'm sorry! Hopefully Ill get a chance soon.

On a more positive note, her big Christmas present from Chris and I arrived yesterday and she loves it :-)It's so neat to see her explore all the toys on it; she has begun reaching for and grabbing at things, and it's fun to watch her activate the different lights and music. It's also pretty funny because the thing has three height adjustments, and we have to put it on the middle one so that she's not flat-footed, but she's too skinny to sit in the seat without needing a folded up blanket in the seat with her to lean back on. It's the same problem we have with all her clothes; anything that is long enough for her is too big in the belly.
She finally locked into her thumb yesterday, and has been sucking it regularly since.
She had been sucking primarily on her left fist, but her right thumb is the one she sucks. Perhaps she'll be ambidextrous :-)

I ordered some sneakers for her online this weekend and they arrived today. So cute! I don't know what it is about baby shoes....I just think they are the cutest things ever! They make her look like much more of a "mini person" and less of a baby to me for some reason. Not that I am trying to get her to grow up any faster! I just think they're cute.

In non-baby news, I made fondant for the first time on Monday. It was messy but not at all difficult. I look forward to using it for snow on the gingerbread house we'll be making this weekend. (and if it works out, I look forward to trying it on a cake or two in the future!)
I'll be missing the annual Gingerbread house making party that my sister-in-law throws this year, but we are going to make a house anyway. Every year we get a little more elaborate, and this year we're going to make a victorian farmhouse. I am hoping to make the gingerbread today, if I can get an hour or two to myself to do it (hardy har har....I have a feeling with this growth spurt, this is a pipe dream). Then we can bake the pieces tomorrow or Saturday, and decorate it this weekend. Of course we'll have our standard butterscotch glass windows and nightlight inside to illuminate :-) I'll post pics once we're finished. I do love Christmastime. Below freezing weather or not, I have no problem getting in the spirit!