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Sunday, July 17, 2011

10 Months


It has, again, been so long since I have updated here…primarily because of time constraints.  Here is a little update on things in our corner of the world.  

Congratulations to Christy for the arrival of her beautiful daughter, Olivia!  

June was a busy month and we did quite a bit of weekend traveling.  We went to Washington D.C. to visit my cousin and his wife.  Their daughter was due about 3 weeks before Jenna, and was born just 17 short hours after Jenna was born.  It was our first visit since the girls were born, and it was pretty awesome.  It was so fun to see the girls interact with each other.  Jenna, being every bit her father’s daughter, immediately tried to tackle her cousin.  Our big outing was a trip to the zoo.  The girls looked at a few things, but for the most part, it was pretty much still beyond them.  It was pretty hot, so we didn’t stay more than a couple hours.  We’re hoping to try again next fall for their second birthdays, at which point they should be completely wrapped up in everything going on there, and it should be much cooler than it was in June. 
 








The following weekend we went to Queens (and spend more time on waiting to cross the G.W. Bridge than I have ever spent waiting to cross the bridge) for a first birthday party.  Jenna got to meet a few new friends and was re-introduced to a couple friends that she had already met.




Outside of these two trips, life is life.  Things are busy, and Jenna makes herself even busier.  She has been pulling to stand at the couch for about a month and at all of her floor toys for a couple weeks longer than that, and she finally started crawling about 3 weeks ago.  Now she crawls everywhere and chases the dogs and cats, and she is starting to stand in front of her tall floor toys without support for 5-10 seconds while she manipulates a toy in her hand.  With her new mobility, we had to set up super fun baby jail in the living room.  We leave it open when we can directly supervise her and she moves in and out of it at will.  She cruises along the edge and stands at the gate when she’s had enough time in lock-down.  I’m sure it will only be another week or two before she manages to open the gate (that it took me about 20 minutes to figure out and manage to open).

We still only have 2 teeth, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of more coming any time soon.  We finally put her baby tub away and are doing baths in the regular tub, which she loves.  We go swimming a couple times a week, and she loves it!  She’s even put her face in the water (by herself) a few times and didn’t seem to mind it (nor did she seem to inhale any water!)  We’ve added a few more foods, and have started to add a few ounces of regular whole milk (mixed with breast milk) each day.  I had a pump issue, as well as a clogged duct, that led to a decrease in my supply a few weeks ago.  I am keeping up a little better now, but I’m still not producing enough on a daily basis to keep up with her.  Our freezer stash is dwindling fast, and she won’t take formula at all, so going with a little bit of whole milk mixed into the breast milk was pretty much our last option without finding a milk donor.  Luckily, we haven’t had any issues doing this. She's making the cutest noises these days; she has a specific noise that indicates that she sees an animal, and she has started cooing when she sees the birth announcements hanging on the fridge. 

All in all, things are great, and it’s so hard to believe that she will be a year old in just two months.  Some days it feels like she has been here forever, and some days it feels like she was just born yesterday.  Hoping that all is well with all of you.  As always, here are a few more pictures of my happy girl.  






Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Long Overdue Update

I've been relatively neglectful of Miss Jenna's space, so it's time for an update.


Before I update on anything else, I would like to give loving and congratulatory shout outs to a few BLMs who have welcomed their rainbows in recent months.  Congratulations to Maggie, Ann, Mama G, Lori, Big Love, Jamie, Maria, Katie, Lisette, Amber, Michelle, and Laura on the arrival of Joshua, Adrian, Kaede, Luke, Allie, Landon, Astraea, Zaylie, Emma, Cailyn, Brisa and Carter.  As I type this, Michelle's rainbow, Carter, is hopefully getting very close to making his appearance. 

I would also like to give a shout out to Lori and her husband, John, for sharing their story with the world via television.  They also did a follow up interview, but I can't find the link for that now.  :-(
 

Moving on to Miss Jenna, she is growing so fast.  She will be 9 months in a couple weeks.  I am amazed on a daily basis, and consequently a little more in love with her (if that's even possible!) each day.  She's now weighing in right around 20 pounds and she has her two lower front teeth.  She is also veeerry slowly getting a little more hair.  Each day she explores new toys with absolute fascination.  She's been babbling away at/with her toys, the dogs, the cats...basically anything she can talk at.  She's sitting up and maintaining her balance for very extended periods.  She's pulling to stand at some of her toys and in her crib, and she has finally mastered pushing up into a sitting position from laying down on the floor.  No crawling yet, but she's rocking on her hands and knees like someone's paying her to do it!!  We occasionally get little bunny hops, so I am sure the crawling isn't far off.  For now, she rolls, scoots and pivots from toy to toy.  As a result of all the new mobility, we also had to drop the mattress in her crib over the weekend.  With standing up in the crib also comes chewing on the crib rails.  I'll be honest, I never even gave this a thought before she had teeth; now I'm considering splitting open a pool noodle and putting it over the crib rail to preserve the finish - and to keep scraped off flakes of the finish out of her mouth.  

She is loving her solid foods...especially avocado, blueberries and mango!  Much to our surprise, she is not at all digging bananas, though.  We have tried everything...freshly mashed, from a jar, masking them with other foods, and everything in between, but she just does not like them.  Otherwise, she gets so excited to be in her booster seat and eat!!  

She continues to have the most pleasant and even disposition, but she does occasionally have her moments.  Not too long ago we had about a solid week of horrid bedtimes.  We tried everything (bed time bath, no bedtime bath, tylenol, gripe water, etc.) to solve the problem, but for the most part we were unsuccessful in our quest and had to just ride the phase out.

We will be heading to the D.C. area in a couple weeks to visit with my cousin, his wife, and their daughter Lila.  Lila's estimated due date was 2.5 weeks ahead of Jenna's, but as it turns out, Jenna was born a mere 18 hours before Lila was born.  If Jenna had held out for induction (I am sooo glad that she didn't!), they very likely would have been born on the same day.  We haven't seen my cousin and his wife in a couple years, so that means that Jenna and Lila have not yet been properly introduced.  I am excited to see how they react to and with each other, and I am so excited to take them to the zoo! 


Here are a few pictures to close out the update...

Fighting bedtime...like it's her job


Just hangin' out

Loving bath time!

8 months today!

March for Babies!

All tuckered out from her first Easter dinner at Grammy's

Loves swimming - even more than bath time!!




Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

For those who are not FB friends and also do not follow my 'mothering' blog...... please, please, please take a moment to check out this post and the article linked from it if you are a parent to a living child or a care provider for children.  It could be the best two minutes you ever spend...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love,Time, Silence and Stillness

I am so in love with this little girl.  I mean, how can you not be in love with this face???



Sometimes I just stare at her.  For a long time.  Over and over again it strikes me that she is becoming a little person....I mean, she is a person....but she is really becoming a little person.  Sometimes I cannot believe that I successfully grew her from scratch.  Sometimes it's so hard to believe that anything so intricate could have grown and developed in my belly.

She has had the sweetest disposition since the day she was born, but now she is really beginning to develop personality.  Her smile is nothing but contagious and her giggle is hilarious (only because it's so subdued).  She is beginning to develop preferences, but more importantly, she is making them known.  :-)    She's been eating solids for a little over a month now, and she looks forward to (and gets excited about) eating.  She knows where she wants to be and she makes every effort she can to get her little body there. 

I look at her and wonder where she is going.  I look at her and wonder who and what she will be.  Part of me wants to fast forward to find the answers.  Part of me wants to freeze time and keep her little forever.  And part of me (the smallest part) is happy to know that time will just continue to march on - one day at a time - whether I want it to or not, with each day presenting pieces of the who/what/where/when puzzle.  I just hope that I'm around to see the completed picture many years down the road. 

I am slowly learning to find some solace and peace in stillness and silence.  For many reading here, silence and stillness are not always what they seem to be; our experiences with silence and stillness have brought unimaginable pain and broken hearts.  I am specifically finding peace and solace in the silence and stillness that come with nap time and bed time.  There is no experience that compares to loving your baby to sleep.  Nothing in the world rivals the feeling I get when I cuddle her to sleep, and then just soak in all the baby love that just oozes from her.  I treasure each of these moments in the silence and stillness, especially now, since she has reached the point that there is no rest in her little body when she is awake (which means absolutely no waking cuddle time right now).  While there will certainly be lots of cuddles in our future, I know that these particular moments will never come again. 

But there are times that I can't help but expect that the amazing silence and stillness of bedtime will roll right back into the silence and stillness that I first knew.  Sometimes I am afraid to love her so much - I think primarily because I am still waiting for the other shoe to fall.  So many nights I sit in the midst of that silence and stillness and just rock her until my legs can't rock anymore, just wanting those moments to never end.  There are more nights than I would like to admit that, as I rock her, the top of her little head is watered by the tears that fall freely from my face.  To be honest, some nights I don't know whether the tears are for the baby who came before her or because of the fears that are always just beneath the surface.  I suppose it's also possible that they are just a general release mechanism. 

So frequently when I check on her as she sleeps, I actually expect to find her breathless and cool to the touch...  I know that as long as I have the Ang.el C.are monitor turned on while she sleeps, it will not let me down if something were to happen, but still, I am occasionally surprised to find her breathing.  I know that it's normal for parents to worry, and that the worry will never end, even when my 'babies' are all grown...but I just sometimes I just feel like there is an unreasonable amount of worry that comes with being a BLM (plus that ridiculous waiting for the other shoe to fall stuff...). 

Like it or not, I am learning to live with the ups and downs of having both a living child and an angel.  I am learning to say angel instead of dead baby (primarily so Jenna doesn't go to preschool in a few years talking about the dead baby...)  I am learning to live with the memories, the 'what ifs' and the unending shoulda/woulda/coulda beens.  I am enjoying every moment of mothering my little live-wire child, and looking forward to a lifetime with her...and the sibling(s) yet to come...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SIX MONTHS

I can't tell you all how happy I am to be writing this particular six month post, as opposed to the six month post that I wrote just over a year ago on Gracie's blog. 

Jenna turned six months last week.  She had her six month well child visit today.  She now weighs 17 lbs, 12 oz (78%) and is 25.5" long (37%).  The doctor summed it up by saying "She's wonderful!"  She is now rolling all over the living room if we let her, and she will sit unsupported for 4-6 minutes when she's playing on the floor.  She's pushing backwards on her belly, but not yet crawling. 

We had her six month photos session a little early, simply because of scheduling with the photographer.  Here are a few samples from her photo shoot. 
















Monday, March 14, 2011

An Inspiring Story

It's not really a rainbow story, but I thought that it was a little better suited on this blog....it's an amazing story about a BLM's experience as part of the Human Milk for Human Babies Global Network.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cereal!!

We gave Jenna her first serving of cereal last night.  Here's a little video that we took - pretty boring to everyone but us!!!  :-P

Monday, February 21, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new

It seems that I skipped over a few thoughts when I did yesterday's post....just blame the mommy brain!!!

3-6 month clothing out....6-9 and 6-12 month clothing in, about one month 'ahead of schedule'. 

Baltic Amber necklace in.  Jenna has been wearing an infant-sized amber necklace for a few weeks now, and I am sold.  Prior to wearing the necklace, Jenna constantly had her hands in her mouth so she could chew on her fingers, which I assumed was for soothing of her gums.  Since putting the necklace on her, her hands are in her mouth much less.  She's still drooling like crazy and chewing on other things as she sees fit, but the hands are spending much less time in her mouth.  This means less chapped cheeks and hands!! 

Boobs out.  Sadly, I think my boobs are old news for Jenna.  Over the last week and a half, she's been sleeping later in the morning, and consequently sleeping through the window that I have to do our morning cuddle/nursing session.  Bed time has been going so well that I decided that it wasn't worth disrupting the routine to replace the lost morning nursing session with an evening session.  I am now rethinking that decision.  Jenna has refused to nurse every time it has been offered to her each of the last 3 days, and has instead screamed until given a bottle of mamma's milk.  She's still getting my milk, which I guess is the bottom line, but there's something just a little disconcerting about the fact that she doesn't want it from me anymore...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Game Face Growl

The last couple weeks have been pretty uneventful around here, but the end of this week brought a little bit of excitement and a few noteworthy events.

Jenna can now put each foot in her mouth!  This is big time stuff!!  She's been grabbing both feet during diaper changes for a little while now (it sure is nice to have some help with that!), but the mouthing is new in the last few days!!

Jenna has figured out how to growl.  For a couple of months Jeff has been doing "game face" with her, which ends with a growl...so he is thrilled with this development.  The only thing left is for him to figure out how to get her to do it on command.  (The video is more or less just for the sound effects)
video


We attended the local March for Babies kick-off event last Thursday.  It was a neat little event.  We were introduced as this year's Ambassador family, and we presented our story to those in attendance.  At the end of the night we found out that we were one of the top 5 fund raising teams for last year's local walk.  I thought that was kind of neat, but also thought that it was just a little bit sad, since our team raised just over $1500.  Hopefully this year's fund raising will go a bit better.

The last, but certainly not least, item really has nothing to do with Jenna...but it was the most exciting event of the week around here.  As I was about 4' from walking out the door to go to work on Thursday morning, a car hit our house.  Another 20-30 seconds and I would have watched it happen as I was opening the door.  The driver blacked out, drifted across the street, and BAM!  He sustained a broken wrist and a likely totaled car.  DH, Jenna and I were not hurt, but our house needs a big band-aid.  It doesn't look terribly bad from the outside, but the impact pushed the front part of our house about 2" across the foundation, and we have 3 damaged foundation walls...it's going to be a major repair project.  :-(




Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's All Over

I believe the match point goes to my daughter...for the next 18-22 years, at least.  She has really discovered her voice, and she's not afraid to use it.  She has realized that she can squeal, shriek and yell to get our attention in a hurry.  And....she is also becoming mobile.  She's been rolling over in the crib, and occasionally on her floor gym, but now she's really moving.  When I went into the kitchen to get a drink yesterday, she was in the middle of the floor gym on her back; when I came back about 2 minutes later, I found her here...  Getting here from where she was when I left the room required at least two rolls and a spin.  


Aside from this, there isn't much new in our world.  Here are a few new pics taken over the last month or so...









Morgan loves the floor gym!!

And, for size comparison....
 
                               take on 9/21 (6 days old)                      taken 1/31/11 (4.5 months)