Sunday, November 29, 2009

Banana Slimes Grammy's Water Bottle

I uploaded about 10 Hannah videos from the camera this morning but not one of them is particularly cute or interesting...I just HAD to upload something though, so I picked this one.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Better than the Discovery Channel

Hannah has developed A LOT this past week or two.  She is now able to see an object, reach for it, grab hold of it, and often pull it to her mouth or somewhere in the mouth vicinity.  She was able to hold things a couple weeks ago (remember the pics of her holding the highligher and the soy sauce packet), but only if we put those objects in her hands.  She has also gained a significant amount of core strength and is able to prop herself up on her elbows.  Now when we put her down for naps, she props herself up in her crib and looks around prior to laying her head down and drifting off to sleep (not to insinuate that her "drifting" off to sleep is always a quiet affair as it most often is not), and when I go in to get her after she wakes up, I crack up everytime I open the door and see her all propped up on her elbows watching for me.  It's adorable. 

Another development we can thank Grammy for is communication related.  Although I have every intention of teaching Hannah sign language so that she can communicate prior to learning how to use her vocal chords, I didn't think to have her use her body language this early on to indicate what she wants.  Rather than just take Hannah from my arms, Grammy stands beside me and holds her hands out to Hannah with a big smile on her face and waits for some indication that Hannah wants to go to her.  Hannah isn't developed enough to actually lift her arms or make it super obvious, but she will lean her head forward or reach her hands out toward Grammy's hands.  Grammy said that she started giving my brother and me choices early on by holding up two objects (sippy cup and toy for instance) and just letting us reach for the one we want.  That's a very simple way to let her communicate her wishes with me while also giving her the opportunity to develop her independence and ability to determine for herself what she wants. 

Motherhood has gotten a TON more fun since these developments!  Those first 3 months are a real mess....I mean, they have their joyous amazing moments, but they're also riddled with insanity, exhaustion, raging hormones, insecurity (both as a mom and from a body image standpoint), and a slew of other emotions that make life with a newborn (especially for a first time mom who despite nearly 20 years of babysitting various age groups includeing MANY babies had NO IDEA what she was getting herself into) difficult. 

We're really enjoying this front row seat of how humans develop--it's way more fun than any science class or Discovery channel show.

Along with Hannah wanting to eat everything, we've encouraged her to "kiss" which of course means opening her mouth wide and eating our cheeks leaving them dripping in drool.  It's pretty funny.  Here's a sequence:

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Favorite Kitchen Aid

Today mom and I used the leftover turkey to make turkey pot pie and turkey soup.  I also ended up with a ridiculous amount of broccoli which we used to make broccoli soup.  Hannah woke up from her nap in time to help with the broccoli soup.  Here are some pics of Hannah using her spatula to help me empty the pureed broccoli and veggies from the Cuisinart back into the pot to be combined with broth and milk and then returned to the stove.  We have so much food now...Who wants to come over and help us chow down on the leftovers???


Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am grateful for....

My handsome hubbys (and the pastured 27 pound turkey he carved up for us to eat),

My beautiful, bouncing, banana-rama baby girls,

My family,

My mom,

My brothers and his awesome new family,

Our feast (which would look tastier if Eric had used the flash when photographing),

Our "grown up" house which we miraculously were able to remodel into a super comfy place that offers more than just shelter from the storm (well, from the fog and drizzly rain that we had today)

We hosted our very first Thanksgiving this year--what better way to break in our spanking new "grown up" kitchen than by hosting Thanksgiving???  We ordered a fresh, local, pastured turkey at the end of October and picked it up Wednesday along with a few final ingredients (whipping cream, eggs, apple cider...).  Fortunately for us, although we were the hosts, my mom didn't make us do all the work.  Since Chip and his fam needed to leave by about 4 today, we needed to eat around 1 which meant someone had to get up at 6 to prep and stuff the turkey.  I quickly yelled "not it!" and put my finger on my nose.  Mom ended up being "it". Whew!! Close call.

I'm loving having my mom here--an extra hand with Hannah is fantastic and it's just nice in general.  We don't talk as much since I've had Hannah and expecially not since I went back to work.  I'm having a hard time finding time....Tomorrow she is going to help us make turkey pot pie and broccoli soup (ended up with a lot of broccoli). 

I loved having Chip and his family here too. I've only hung out with my nephew once since he was born (again, lack of time) and also since Hannah screams in the car, driving the whole way to Hagerstown is painful.  I end up stressing out because I can't fix it and before I know it I'm gripping the steering wheel and driving 85 mph.  I catch myself and slow down and take deep breaths, but still, not fun. I'm okay with being housebound if that's the alternative.  Fingers are crossed that she grows out of that before our spring break drive to Tennesse...If not, maybe I can rig a lawn chair to the roof of the car...

Speaking of Hannah, she is trying to finagle her way out of yet another bedtime...She goes from exhausted and screaming at 6:00 to bathtime to eating so much that she passes out on the boob to WIDE AWAKE when we put her in her crib.  I try the tough love thing, but she screams those screams that women in B horror movies would envy; I can't ignore those for long.  So she's intruding on grown up time again.  This is the next bad habit we need to break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!!

Hannah helped us make pies today!!  Two pumpkin and one dutch apple (my favorite and a staple at our Thanksgivings).

Here she is munching on Sophie the giraffe.  Grammy found a way to sit her up straight  with her boppy wrapped around her.  That keeps her happy without breaking my shoulder. Above she's hanging in her stroller, something she wouldn't have done in her infant seat but since we sat the stroller up straight, she was able to sit up in and was happy for quite some time.

And here she is hanging out with Grammy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mmmmm...Banana Fingers are Delicious!

No time to write--STILL--but I figured I'd toss in a few photos.  I love the top one of her and Eric.  The others show Hannah's favorite new past-time: gnawing on as much of her hand as she can fit into her mouth at a time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting Mobile!

Just minutes ago, this itty bitty baby of ours rolled over ALL BY HERSELF!!! I laid her in her bed on her belly (don't tell the pediatrician) and she instantly rolled up (slowly) onto one side. I called for Eric to hurry and get up here because she's been trying to roll over for a week now but is unable to get up on her side--once on her side, the rest is a piece a cake.  Sure enough, just as slowly and deliberately as she rolled onto her side, she rolled over onto her back.  It was crazy and amazing!  So I rolled her back over onto her belly in the hopes that she'd do an encore performance for Eric but no such luck.

She's been moving a lot lately.  I watch her in the video monitor as she inch worms her way from one end of her crib to the other, pausing only to wiggle her butt up high and attempt to throw her weight to one side or the other. And when we put her in her chair she immediately hoists her hips into the air and starts ooching her way down and precariously close to the edge of the chair.  I have to strap her in now during naked time if Eric isn't there to make sure she doesn't ooch right off the end.  AND, when I'm holding her tummy to tummy with her head on one of my shoulders, she digs her toes into my stomach and tries to walk up me.  All this silly moving really cracks me up.  I'll try to get some video.

The first pic is her in her new cute, warm bear hat that Mary bought her--Thanks Mary!  My mom took the second pic this weekend. 


No time to write, just wanted to post an update: Hannah slept for 8 HOURS STRAIGHT last night!!!!!!!  Of course, I woke up at hour 7 freaking out and woke Eric up a half hour later to go check on her....She slept from 9 until 5.  Then I fed her and she went right back to sleep until almost 7.  Not too shabby!!  K, gotta do some work now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Week-In Update

So much for treating blogging like my job this weekend. It's Sunday night, and I'm realizing it's now or never because another week is about to start...The weekend slipped away pretty usual.  Hannah is crying right now so I'm not sure how long I have.  Eric is trying to calm her.  She was asleep on the boob after a good meal but she woke up just before her head hit the mattress and has been crying since. This has happened the past 3 nights.  She's been up till nearly 11:00 for 3 nights running.  It's exhausting.  Prior to that she was doing great. Our crib training routine was awesome for about 4 nights.  She was in bed between 8:00-9:00 every night.  She woke up to eat sometime between 2:30 and 4:00 and then went back to sleep (the first 3 nights she was up for an hour while we were getting her used to going back to sleep in her crib rather than our bed and the fourth night was perfect--she went immediately back to sleep in her crib after eating) until about 7:30 in the morning, 9:00 one crazy morning.  Then it ended...she is still sleeping till between 2:30-4:00, eating, going back to sleep in her crib (though not as easily as that one night--it usually takes us 45 minutes to an hour to get her back down), then waking up at 7:30, but bedtime is a nightmare. I don't know why she fights it so much. It doesn't matter how we adjust her day, bedtime is a complete nightmare. On the bright side, at least the crib thing has gone well! I'm sleeping much better and much deeper now.

I'm wondering if her bedtime freakouts have to do with the fact that she seems to be getting a headstart on some teeth.  All the signs have pointed to that for the past couple weeks--excessive drooling, drawing everything into her mouth to chomp on it (including her fingers and as much of her hand as she can fit--see photos), and crankiness--but I assumed she was too young to cut teeth so I dismissed it.  Grammy came to visit today though and when she saw that drool, she said teething.  We bought some homeopathic teething gel and have been applying it this evening.  I'm not sure it's helping....

Actually, come to think of it, I don't think it's the possible teeth that are keeping her up.  Eric just yelled down that she had a two huge poops and lots of burps in the few minutes that he'd been up there. His immediate thought is that she's having a reaction to the gel but it reminded me that the same thing has happened the past two nights.  She has stopped pooping in the morning and has started pooping at bedtime....Time elapsed; I'm back now and she's asleep (it's 9:04) so at least we're not starting off the week with a late night. It was only an hour of screaming and pooping and burping and soothing.  Poor girl.

In other big news (pertaining to us), I got my IUD implant on Wednesday.  I chose the copper one because it doesn't have hormones.  Hormones are the reason I went off the pill a couple of years ago (and the reason we now have Hannah).  Pros of the IUD is that it's supposed to be more effective than any other method of birth control and it lasts for 10 years once implanted. Plus you don't have to remember to take a pill every day.  The other pro is that you can get pregnant immediately after removing it whereas when you're on the pill, doctors recommend waiting 3 months to get the pill out of your system so as soon as we decide we're ready to give Hannah a sibling to play with, we can get working on that!  Not that I forsee that happening anytime soon....

Photo Recap/Explanation

1.  The first photo was taken by Laura at her house last Tuesday.  She thought it was cute how Hannah was holding her head up with her hand, and although I couldn't see it at the time, I agreed after seeing the photo!

2. and 3. I'm loving how she looks chewing on her hand (which is happening all the time these days) so I had to capture it.

4. hahahahah!!!!

5.  Passed out in daddy's arms late in the evening...After taking the pic we woke her up and started the bedtime routine.

6. and 7. She's really starting to be able to hold onto stuff and I'm having fun putting things like highlighters and soy sauce packets in her hand....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Meaning Behind the Name (A Little Bit of Geneology)

My college gals came to visit tonight and brought presents, one of which was a baby book.  I started flipping through and filling out the first couple of pages and came to one where you can write about the significance of the baby's name which reminded me that I drafted this post a while back, way before Hannah was born, but never posted it because I was waiting for my mom to find more details.  She ran into a brick wall though so who knows if those details will ever come. If you've ever wondered why we named her Hannah Jane, read on!

My grandma (mom's mom) was very big into geneaology and did tons of research while alive. When I was in college, she had an aneurism and spent some time in a hospital in Baltimore. Since the next nearest relative was an hour and a half away, I tried to visit her every day or at least every other day. I'd never spent a lot of time with my grandma when I was growing up because she lived over 4 hours away. After traveling back and forth to Virginia Beach to visit Eric (which took 4 hours on a good day), that distance doesn't seem as big of a deal, but as a kid, 4 hours in a car seemed like forever. We visited pretty regularly when my parents were married, but after the divorce (I was 7), my mom went back to college and worked three different jobs in an effort to keep the electric turned on and tuna casseroles in the fridge. Taking a weekend off to visit her parents was a luxury she couldn't afford so me visiting my grandmother in the hospital was the first opportunity I had to get to know her. In addition to working on crossword puzzles (an addiction I developed as a result of this time spent with her) and listening to her tell me stories about my mom and her sisters and brother, I asked about our family story, specifically, I wanted to know how the Native American blood got into our family.  My pappy (her husband) looked full-blooded Indian with a full head of thick black hair, the prominent nose, and dark coloring.

Grandma told me the story of a grandfather waaaay down the line (5 "greats" to be exact) who was kidnapped by Indians and fell in love with one of the women who he later married (a real life Pocahontas story! What's not to love about that??). Her Americanized name was Hannah. I immediately decided that my future daughter would be named Hannah. If there were any record of her Indian name, I would probably opt for that name instead, but Grandma said she never found a record of any name other than Hannah.

When my grandmother died a few months later, my mom inherited her geneology research, and when I found out I was pregnant, I asked her to dig through that research to try to find the specifics of the story. So far she hasn't had a lot of luck finding anything on Hannah, but here's what she did find.

This great-to-the-5th-power grandfather of mine went by the name of Joseph Pipes, and he was born in 1763 in New Jersey (I have a photo of him but it's a .tif which won't upload and I have no idea how to convert it to a .jpg.  Apparently there was once a photo of Hannah smoking a corn cob pipe--how freakin cool is that!!--but it's missing...). Joseph was in the Revolutionary War (Pennsylvania militia) and was taken prisoner by the Indians after a battle. He was kept prisoner for 4 years and, according to the notes my mom was able to dig up, was treated "with great severity" most of that time. When the Indians treatied with General Butler Clark, Joseph went with them and served as interpreter for 2 years. The only other information she was able to find was a note written by my grandmother that said: "There are several good stories concerning Joseph Pipes, that I will save them for my full history." So that means more digging for my mom and more patience for me. The only other information we have is that grandma "thinks" that Hannah was a Shawnee, which my mom guesses means that grandma found conflicting reports but found the Shawnee story either more often or from more reliable sources.

As for the middle name: Jane is my mom's middle name. Eric and I were brainstorming a name that would sound good with Hannah and still have some meaning, and since my mom is obviously one of my most favorite people in the world, why not have Hannah share a name with her? There's a little more of a backstory there as well, but nothing as exciting as the Pocahontas story: The name Jane came from my great-great-grandmother on my mom's side, Belle Jane (cute, huh?). So my mom, Bonnie Jane, was named for Belle Jane, and now there's Hannah Jane! Oh, and the photo of Belle Jane with her hubby was a .jpg so I was able to upload.

Book Review

Making the decision to have a child--it's momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
--Elizabeth Stone

This is a quote featured in Baby Hearts which I finally finished reading.  If I had to sum it up in a twitterature style I would say....Build secure bond, develop trust. Use signs to communicate ASAP. Create routine, boundaries, but let her lead. Be a role model. Teach guilt not shame.

That twitterature thing is way harder than it sounds. I was aiming for wit, but realize I fell way short.  Oh well.  Yeah, the main theme that kept coming up chapter after chaper (whether it was about fostering healthy relationships or handling anger and defiance) was to focus all efforts on building a secure bond from the get go so that your child trusts you and trusts the world. According to Baby Hearts authors, if you're letting your baby scream it out, the baby learns that you don't care, and if the baby starts life with the unconcious understanding that nobody cares, the baby keeps that understanding and it leads to tons more issues.  Soooooooo....another anti-Ferber point. I'm on board with that though I also sometimes give up and let her scream for a few minutes (never more than about 5).  Often she'll stop after 2 and pass out.

Okay, next post will be all about how our crib training has been going this week--I really want to update on that. I also just uploaded a ton of pictures...but she's fussing in her crib now so I'm going to go grab her. I'll be back at her next nap. (Today I'm treating blogging like my job.)

Hannah Wants This!

Check out this site and click the link to listen to their music.  I'm sold.  Grandmothers take note if you're looking for Christmas presents for the banana....We especially like Miracle...So cute! And I like that they sing in octaves that I can probably keep up with...

P.S. Eric loves it too. We're sitting here at the breakfast table listening to the songs and loving it and wondering if we can even wait until Christmas....


An actual blog post (with words AND pictures) is coming soon--I promise! Hopefully sometime today....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chatter Boxing

I've been trying to get video of Hannah "talking" for weeks now but she is quite camera shy and the few times we did get something, it involved me talking. I really hate hearing my own voice so I've avoided posting those, but I'm giving in now because she makes the cutest noise in this one that it's worth it (please excuse the shirt flap thing--it's a nursing tank which I had pulled up after feeding her but not snapped.  She's most talkative after eating...).

Sleep Update (Great News!)

I hesitate to rejoice so soon lest it all be a freakishly good 24 hours and not a repeat occassion, but I'm going to anyway!

Hannah spent ALL DAY Sunday screaming the kind of screams that make you worry that maybe there's something actually wrong.  It was terrible. Worse than terrible.  I've gained new patience though so I kept my patience and sanity for the most part (except for when I was worrying that she had an ear infection or appendicitis--I mean, how do you know when there's something actually wrong with a baby who screams so much?).  We gave up on the day around 7:00 p.m. and started the bathtime/bedtime routine.  Usually this proves a terrible decision; in the past, it didn't matter when you started the routine, she was going to scream until 10:00 or later anyway.  But we did it anyway and she fell asleep at 8:00....So strange. I fully expected her to wake up after about 45 minutes and want to eat on the other side and yell at me some more but she didn't wake up until 1:45 a.m.!  Awesomeness.  But wait, there's more awesomeness.

Prior to falling asleep, I told Eric I wanted to start crib training her this week since he has a few days of school and can help.  I've been thinking about it for a while but had read something earlier that day about how if you don't intend to co-sleep for a while, around 3 months is a good time to break the habit. It also said that both mom and baby tended to sleep better and deeper separate. I knew I'd sleep deeper without out, but was doing it for her sake (and I'm glad I did--I love that snuggle time--but it's time to make that a less regular habit) so reading that at this age, she'd sleep a bit better on her own too, I was sold. 

So she wakes up at 1:45 and I'm tired and decide that we'll break the habit another night.  I take her into bed with us as usual and nurse her, but this time when she's finished instead of falling asleep as usual, she started squirming and scooching and thrashing about.  Sooooo....back to plan A: crib train.  I took her to her crib and put her to bed then woke Eric up and asked him to comfort her and ensure she got to sleep.  I knew I had a lot of work to do today so I intended to go back to sleep and just let him sleep in, but I couldn't sleep until I knew she was asleep anyway.  And the result?? Drum roll please.....after about 25 minutes, she was fast asleep and she slept until 7:40 this morning.  Wahooo!!!! I slept deep enough to dream and was able to wake up on my own at 7:00 and get out of bed without having to be careful not to wake her. And she woke up in a GREAT mood which was a nice change from the incessant screaming of the day before.

She didn't nap as well this morning as usual (2 catnaps of about 45 minutes each) but she took a 3 hour afternoon nap which I prefer to the long morning naps she used to take.

Tonight we started the routine at 7:00 again, and she was out by'll be interesting to see how the rest of the  night pans out. Fingers crossed that it is equally as smooth as last night.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Playing clue with Laura and Josh and piano with Kim

Trying to fit blogging into life has gotten increasingly more difficult now that I'm working so you're getting a massive upload.  It got so cold this week that I had to put Hannah in a coat.  She has this super cute little teddy bear coat that Grammy sent waaaaay before she was born. 

Then we've got some pictures of Hannah's first game night.  She was helping Josh and clearly she helped because he won that game of Clue.   

We went to Hagerstown yesterday for a number of reasons and Hannah and I hung out at my cousin Kim's house while Eric and Jason (Kim's husband) installed a storm door on my mom's back door.  Kim played Elton John on the piano for Hannah and then showed Hannah how to play.  She loved the piano!

Friday, November 6, 2009

From the Paparazzi

This was the the photo shoot when I dubbed Eric ("papa") the paparazzi.  I have video too, including some of her talking which I've been trying to get FOREVER but I signed up for Bloggers new editing feature and can't figure out how to upload video using it....The picture upload is much easier though.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Changing it Up

I've got pictures and video which I promise to upload....soon?? I hope.  I had a lot of work to do for work this week so every time I put Hannah down for a nap I raced back to my computer. I haven't even been checking my email every day which is CRAZY for me because I'm addicted to my gmail and my blog. 

In the meantime, I decided to change the name of the blog. I obviously can't change the link (and don't care to anyway), but figured the title was old and no longer relevant.  Plus, that little blurb at the top that described the blog...also totally irrelevant.  The other day Eric was taking a bunch of pictures of Hannah and I laughed and called him the paparazzi--get it? Papa-razzi.  Hahahaha! I thought that was very clever and cracked myself up.  So that's where the title to my blog came from.  I imagine that it's not unique and that a million other people have already used it but PLEASE do not tell me about those people.  I'm pretty pleased with myself for coming up with it and want to continue thinking that I am amazingly creative and don't want to read about other morons who also think that they are amazingly creative.

So, more mamarazzi footage is on the camera and will be making its way to theaters as soon as I can get a break from work...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Halloween....

Eric borrowed a great pirate costume from our next door neighbor, and I pulled together some random items in a half-a**ed gypsy look. We drove out to Ellicott City to where our friends Jess, Todd, and Bill live. They totally did it up! I'm envious of the motivation that went into decorating and cooking. Hannah wasn't as impressed...or she was cranky. It was her second night of partying which she wasn't thrilled with. We were the first to arrive and the first to leave, just like the night before, but it was still exhausting for her. On the upside, she slept 6 1/2 hours straight that night from 10:30 to 5:00.
The other pics are from earlier that day. Eric got snap happy with the camera watching Hannah and I make googly eyes at each other. Then there's the pic of her with her face buried in his arm...I came home from the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning to find them like that. He said she woke up from her nap and refused to do anything except go back to sleep in the crook of his arm. Once asleep, he tried to put her back in her crib, but she woke up and insisted on burying her face in daddy's arms.
Enough for today. My child-birth induced hemorrhoids came back with a vengeance today so I'm miserable. I would rather give birth every day of my life than deal with hemorrhoids...I've never been so uncomfortable.