Wednesday, December 30, 2009

X-mas Lives On!!

I finally got to take Hannah to see the lights on 34th Street tonight.  I had overly ambitious notions of making hot chocolate or wassle and walking down there on Christmas Eve or even Christmas night, but it didn't happen. I figure it's this week or never--I don't know when they take the lights down, but I can't see it being much fun after New Years.  Hannah's sleeping is so incredibly screwed up right now that she ended up napping from 5-7 tonight which worked out perfectly for the festivities.  Eric went along begrudgingly but ended up catching my excitement and having fun.  I carried Hannah so she could see all the bright lights and he donned the camera played paparazzi.

Here she is on after being suited up and strapped into her stroller.  We're going to see the lights!!

A nice bystander offered to take a family pic.

Earlier this week....Hannah had to say goodbye (for now) to her grandparents who drove back to Michigan on Monday.

Hanging with the family.

And, as promised in my last blog post, here are some pics from my brother's visit. Here's me and Chip swapping babies.

Hannah's cousin!

This ended up being quite a photo dump! Hannah's insane lack of sleep has prevented me from blogging earlier. Speaking of that...well, I had intended to update you on that as well, but this photo dump took a lot longer than I expected.  Fortunately, tonight was a good night.  Hannah went down pretty easily and quietly by about 10.  Last night was one of the worst--she screamed until 1:00 at which point I took her to bed with me, latched her on, and we both passed out.  I put her in her own crib at 2:30.  I had attempted to "cheat" MUCH earlier by taking her to bed with me but she refused. I was falling asleep at 9:00 while she was nursing and didn't have it in me to battle so I picked her up the secons she started screaming and tried to give her what she wanted, but it seems she just wanted to scream for a couple hours after which, she wanted to snuggle and nurse and sleep....I was hurting this morning.  I had to reschedule my trainer and take a nap this afternoon. Of course, wouldn't you know, 2 minutes after I laid down, Hannah woke up from her nap.  I got lucky though and she fell back asleep in bed with me while nursing. I woke up after a DEEP and dream-ful sleep after about an hour and felt amazing!  I've felt great all day, back to normal, hyper me!  Man, naps are awesome. I should take more of them.

Okay! Off to bed!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry (Late) Christmas!!!

I'm late with my holiday wishes!! I just didn't get around to it yesterday...We were also late getting holiday cards made so I made one on PowerPoint and then emailed it out, but for those of you who didn't get it, here it is:

Here's Hannah watching a cartoon with her Uncle Justin.  He drove in from Michigan late on Monday night.  I was in the kitchen making a birthday cake for Eric (who was at work on his birthday--the 22nd).

This is Hannah on Christmas Eve being smooched by her Uncle Joel.  She has now met all three of her uncles!

Hannah bought Eric a songbook of guitar songs to learn for his birthday so now all he has to do is learn to play 'em!  In the meantime, she's pretty enthralled by any musical instrument and got a kick out of watching Joel strumming.

Check out this 18.5 pound ham we cooked for Christmas Eve dinner!!!  It came from a pig who lived a good life on a farm in Frederick and it was delicious!  Eric and I have now hosted two big holidays and have loved doing it!

And now to Christmas Day!!  This is Hannah when she woke up on Christmas morning (still in her pjs).  She's not quite old enough to jump on everyone and wake them up to open presents, but we simulated that to get an idea of what the future has in store.

She really digs the chipmunk puppet Uncle Joel got for her.

And Uncle Justin bought her her very first teddy bear--a super snuggly one!

 For Grannah, Hannah painted a picture frame at Amazing Glaze and stamped it with her footprints.  This was no easy task!!  We had to settle for slightly smudged on the one footprint after four tries.  We had intended to make these footprint presents for all the grandparents but the first was so difficult and time consuming, that we had picture mugs made for the other three grandparents.

Ho Ho Ho!!!

The scene in our living room...

Grammy got Hannah some very tasty books and a really pretty hand-painted piggy bank that we for some reason didn't photograph...

The Kellogg's

The non-Kellogg side...what do you call them???  My maiden name is not the same as my mom's last name so....anyway, my side (minus my brother and his family).

Hannah and her grandmothers and me (and a prime example of why no more than one person should be taking a picture at a time--this is the only one where we all look good, but we are all looking at the other camera--bummer!!).

The Chipster and his family come today so I should have some more pics to commemorate Hannah's first Christmas!!  I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday as much as we have!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Weekend Update

We've been snowed in since Saturday.  Baltimore is notorious for not taking good care of their roads in bad weather, but my street is especially bad because it is a small, single lane street so I'm guessing a plow couldn't fit up it if it tried, and I've certainly never seen one try.  Eric shoveled my car out of the 2 feet of snow that pounded us all weekend, but since my very steep street is still covered, I'm not sure I could actually get anywhere beyond the parking space. I suppose I'll have to throw it into reverse and just coast backwards down the hill and hope no one is coming up.  Usually when they are calling for snow I move my car to the bottom of the hill but I didn't even think about doing that this time, maybe because I knew I didn't need to go anywhere or maybe because I didn't really take the forecast very seriously.  We never get snow like this in December, do we?? I feel like it's usually February and March when we get our big storms. 

Anyway, it was fun being snowed in.  My next door neighbor's parents were in town and they had this delicious wassle on the stove all day and bean soup and cookies....So we spent the  running in and out of Mary Cate's house.  And lucky for me, MC's mom knits so she was able to help me figure out how to crochet a stocking for Hannah.  I bought a book with a pattern, but that stuff is written in a foreign language.  I know how to crochet scarves and other flat objects but have never attempted anything harder and have never learned to follow a pattern. I bought the pattern thinking "how hard can this be? I'm sure the directions are simple and straightforward"....Yeah, right!  Although there are a lot of differences between crocheting and knitting, she was at least indoctrinated into the yarning culture and was therefore still a TON of help. I don't think I'd have figured it out on my own. So I prioritized the stocking while I had the help. I'm not quite finished yet, but am just about there.  I have no idea what to do when I get to the toe so if anyone has any advice, please pass along. When it's finished, I'll post a picture.

In the meantime, here's a pic of Hannah in her first big snow (she's being cuddled by MC's dad):

And although I'm not a football fan, if I were going to be cheering, it'd be for our home team.  Here's Hannah cheering for the Ravens (this outfit was in the boxes of stuff I bought off Craig's List):

And a couple more miscellaneous pics (I love it when she has her fingers in her mouth and can't resist snapping a couple of shots):

Speaking of sucking on her fingers, I don't think I've mentioned this, but Hannah does not suck a thumb (or forefinger like her mama did as a baby), but she does suck on the heel of her hand when she's trying to sooth herself to sleep.  Weird, huh?? I'll try to capture that sometime but since she's doing it when I'm putting her down for a nap or for bed, the timing is not conducive to mamarazzi tendencies...I'll see what I can do though.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Randomness Times 2

I keep thinking of little tidbits I want to blog so here's the second random post of the week:

Gripe Water 
I finally found this Gripe Water stuff that everyone has been telling me about.  I think Eric's mom was the first to mention it way back when Hannah was less than a week old and just starting to break us into the scream-fest that would become our life...Shannon kept telling me to get it too, but I couldn't find it at Whole Foods the few times I remembered to look.  I found it today! I don't know if it was always there and I was blind or if they just got it, but I now have it, and I went ahead and dosed Hannah up while in the tub, just to pre-empt the screaming that I was pretty sure would follow.  It just might have worked....That and/or the Baby Whisperer is right and it only takes 3 days to break a habit (this is night...5 I think of bedtime training).  Tonight I laid her in her crib around 8:30 after she'd eaten a big ol' dinner and for a couple minutes, she didn't make much noise.  Then she grew steadily fussier, and I could see in the monitor that she'd ooched her head up against the crib bumper so I went up and slid her back to the middle of the bed and patted her butt rhythmically for a minute or two.  She fussed for about 5 more minutes, and I haven't heard a peep since....Weird and AMAZING all at once!!!

Hair Loss
We are both losing our hair.  My runaway strands are all over the bathroom and the trash is full of the various hairballs I pull from the drain, the sink, and the corners of the floor. A couple months ago my neighbor asked me if I'd started losing my  hair yet...Noooo....was my confused reply.  She has a baby girl 2 months older than Hannah and replied that I would because it was part and parcel of the breastfeeding deal. I crossed my fingers that that particular plague would skip this house.  Oh well, I'm not visibly balding so it's no big deal.  Hannah, however, IS visibly balding.  Her hair started falling out a couple weeks ago with the male pattern baldness that Laura first noticed and pointed out.  I don't know why it was rubbing off around that part of her head because she sleeps on her belly so it seems weird that the hair would rub off the back of her head.  In the last week though she has lost most of the hair loss on the sides of her head.  This at least makes sense since she is always lying on one or the other side of her head.

Gyming It....Or Not
I've gotta re-route my attempted gym routine to suit Hannah's needs.  For a while I was going out of my mind not exercising and not having any semblance of a routine so I decided that while I couldn't force her into a routine, I could at least have a teeny bit of a routine myself so I started going back to the 6:00 classes that I liked, and I managed to go between 1 and 3 times a week.  However, since I can't force Hannah to nap until 5:00 which would make my getting to these classes a lot easier, I have decided to be flexible and find another time to fit the gym in that fits Hannah's needs better.  See, she typically wakes up from her nap around 4:00 and eats and then I leave her around 5:45.  When I get back at 7:15, she is usually starving and exhausted so I immediately start the bath and bedtime routine.  Well, she eats for eons before bed (which is good because I'm guessing that's why she's able to sleep as long as she does now--which, by the way, has been less and less but I'll get to that in a minute) so by the time she's finished and I come down to start MAKING dinner, it's 9:00.  Between running up and down the stairs to soothe her and eating, it's nearly 10:00 before I'm finished.  This is not fun for anyone because like Hannah, I am cranky when hungry and tired.  This weekend we experimented with starting her bed/bath routine at 6:30/6:45.  Although we still encountered the 2 hours of screaming, it seems to work better.  And if I'm not at the gym, I have plenty of time to make sure I eat dinner BEFORE I start the bedtime routine so I'm not all antsy and staving while feeding her. I also make sure I keep a fun book in the nursery so I can read fun stuff while she's eating; that helps me to stay patient as well.  Those night time feedings take about an hour so I gotta make 'em as relaxing and comfy as possible.  Wait--I've digressed. So yeah, the gym thing is going to happen...I don't know when yet.  I guess sometime during the days that Eric is home.  But I only like to go to classes so I'm going to have to work around that schedule a little.  And then I guess I gotta shower earlier in the day which is just annoying because I'm a night time shower-er; I like going to bed clean.  So here I go in yet another feeble attempt to be flexible...Wish me luck.

I think I told you the night she slept from 9 to...I think it was 7:00, right?  Anyway, the next night it was 6:30, still not bad.  Then the next night it was 5:30.  Then 4:30.  You see where I'm going with this?  Then it was like 1:50...That night Eric actually heard her before me which is crazy because 1.) I'm a way lighter sleeper, 2.) The monitor is on my side of the bed, and 3.) I've been conditioned to hear her--I usually hear the faintest stirring.  But not that night.  I guess I'd adjusted to getting some good sleep and was sleeping pretty deep.  Then last night she woke up around 2:30 I think...or was it 3:00? Anyway, point is, crying for 2 hours before bed seemed to be a good sleep aid.  Here's hoping she starts working her back in the other direction because the nights where she sleeps even just till 5:30 are pretty dang awesome.

Picture Time!!
Here's Hannah playing with her Laura doll.  (I call it her Laura doll because Laura bought it for her from an artist on Etsy and had it designed to resemble her with a tatoo and everything.)  This doll is perfect for Hannah's age because it's small enough and spindly enough for Hannah to grab easily and because it's not all fluffy--I took the fluffy stuffed animals out of her crib once she started ooching because I was afraid she'd bury her face in them. 

Another fun development: Hannah has started to be content just hanging out in her crib sometimes when she wakes up from her nap.  Today I heard her stirring a bit and when I spied on her through the monitor I saw that she had rolled over and was laying quietly on her back staring up at her mobile. I gave her a couple minutes (and myself a few more minutes to work) then went up with my camera in hand and here's what I saw:

Man is she cute!  I also took a couple videos during dinner tonight in an effort to catch her using her new cup.  I put some breast milk in it and have been giving it to her at least once a day to let her "play" with it.  She really likes it a lot though she doesn't really drink the milk...When she gets some in her mouth, she just looks confused and lets it trickle down her chin.  It's a much more positive response than with the bottles though (I guess we'll be giving up on bottle training--go ahead and pack all those unused bottles away and work on cup training)!  The video didn't turn out too good though because she stopped using the cup as soon as I started recording.  I'll keep trying, but in the meantime, I did get a funny one of her conversing with Eric.  This is just minutes before taking her up for her bath so she fluctuates back and forth from happy to moody.

And now, I'm off to bed! Eric has a double header volleyball game and will not be home until after 10:00. I'm going to use his absence as an excuse to have some terri time and an early bedtime.  I'd like to start getting up earlier (I currently sleep until she wakes up which is anytime between 6:30 and 7:30) in an effort to get a head start on the 4 hours of work I need to average in a day. I'm having trouble getting more than 3 lately....Plus now I need to throw the gym in there too...

Sunday, December 13, 2009


As an update to the last post, Hannah did eventually stop screaming, and the next night, we started bedtime 2 hours earlier so that if she wanted to scream for 2 hours, it didn't keep me up.  Tonight is the third night of staying strict with keeping her in her room at bedtime no matter how much she screams and it was the best night yet--she only screamed for about 40 minutes this time.  On the up-side, she has been sleeping 7 1/2 to 8 hour stretches.

Yesterday Grammy came down and went shopping with me and Hannah while Eric wrote papers.   Hannah picked out a Christmas toy for herself and her cousin Clay.  I had every intention of ordering some nice, wooden, made-in-America toy for both of them (I had my eyes on xylophone from Nova toys...), but didn't get around to it and figured it was easier to just grab a toy while we were out...Sigh.  After picking out her toy, she fell asleep.

While at Target, we picked up some eating tools for Hannah who will be introduced to solids here in the next couple of months.  And a special thanks to Grannah (Eric's mom) for funding that!! (She sent some cute clothes for Hannah that were too small for her so I returned them and had the money put on a gift card to be used for Hannah later.) She now has spoons, 2 cups, and 3 bowls with suction cups on the bottom.

And finally, in this random email, is a picture from Hannah's naked time earlier this evening.  She found her toes a couple weeks ago and I've been meaning to capture it but kept forgetting to take my camera to the bathroom with us. (I forgot it tonight too but grabbed a robe and went back downstairs for it.)  Cute, eh?

Friday, December 11, 2009

4-Month Checkup

Hannah (who is screaming her butt off right now--is there a better way to say "screaming bloody murder"? Something more dramatic? That's what she's doing) had her 4-month checkup today.  I am happy to report that she is healthy!  Here are her stats:

Weight: 13 lb 15 oz (she has gained exactly 2 pounds since her 2 month appointment)
Length: 25 inches (can't remember last month's length, I'd have to look it up)
Head circumference: 41. 6 cm

Last night's bedtime was by far the worst bedtime EVER, except that tonight is in the running for that title.  She has taken her screaming to all new levels, the kind of levels that make you alternate between wanting to cry because you are clearly a terrible mother who has no idea how to make your child your happy and making you want to scream  louder and shake your head around and run down the street waving your hands above your head until someone puts you in a nice, quiet loony bin.  I don't know what her deal is.  I started to worry that something was legitimately wrong with her last night because I'd never heard her scream so loud and for so long and even forfeitting and bringing her into the light of our bedroom didn't calm her down.  Eventually she fell asleep (it was after 11:00 when this happened and I was completely drained in every way possible).  She did, fortunately, sleep until 7:00 this morning though so that was nice.

I analyzed this today and attempted to come up with an answer and solution. My guess is that she was incredibly over exhausted. I mentioned the screaming fit to the pediatrician and her first response was the same so tonight, early bedtime.  Hannah woke up from her nap at 4:00 this afternoon.  By 6:00 she was rubbing her eyes and yawning.  Since evening naps are never successful, we started bathime at 6:30.  She finished eating and had some good burps and I laid her down for bed around 7:15.  She screamed like someone was pulling her toenails out one by one for 10 minutes at which point, I went up and attempted to comfort her (I hate myself for resorting to Ferberizing techniques which I find cruel and terrible, but I'm at a loss for what to do).  She could not be calmed despite my soothing "It's gonna be alrights" and my soft back patting so after about 5 minutes (which in screaming baby time equates to 5 hours), I put her down and came back downstairs to blog.  I decided to turn off the baby monitor and turn it back on in 10 minutes to save my sanity.  It didn't work though--she's screaming so loud that I do not need a monitor.  I could walk around the block and still hear her.  Eric offered to "go get her" next.  I said thanks but insisted that he not bring her down--we are not giving in tonight!! This battle has got to end TONIGHT!! So he's back and we're going to eat dinner and she's still crying but she's not screaming as loud so maybe she's losing steam....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So Much to Say, So Little Time

I've started at least 20 different blog posts in my head over the past few days.  This is not unique; I am often blogging in my head.  The problem is finding time to sit down and put the blog on "paper."  Typically by the time I get around to blogging, I've forgotten everything I wanted to write.  Even tonight, just as I clicked "new blog" Hannah started crying.  She went to sleep at 9:00 after a fun evening with Laura and Josh, a nice bath, and a hearty meal.  I crossed my fingers for another night like last night which was by far the best night EVER.  She slept from 9:30 to 6:00 a.m.  Amazing!!!!  And since I went to a spinning class earlier that night, I was so exhausted that I actually slept straight through too.  [Side note: the crying has ceased, as I suspected, she had gigantic burp which Eric helped her get out.]  Earlier blog posts started in my head were going to complain about how insane night time had become because for a while there it was taking us 3 hours to get her down again.  Sunday night (and many of the nights leading up to Sunday) she was up until 10:30.  She would eat heartily on both sides, burp, maybe eat some more; we did everything, still she screamed.  Untillllll....we took her into the hallway.  As long as she wasn't in her room, the screaming stopped.  We performed experiments where we would step back and forth over the threshold of her room and it was just like that scene in Ace Venture where he's standing on the balcony demonstrating that the sliding glass balcony doors are scream proof.  So having deduced that her problem is not physical, we needed to rule out emotional (hatred of room, fear of dark, etc.).  We never did manage to rule those out, but she went down okay last night and she's down now (and Eric didn't rock her back to sleep or anything, just burped her and laid her down) so I assume it's neither of those things.  Could it be that she just doesn't want to miss anything? How soon do children acquire the "I don't want to go to sleep" habit???  Weird.

On a completely separate note (I told you I'd been brewing a number of posts over the past few days--in spite of them being unrelated, I'm going to try to catch up), she has definitely gotten the hang of rolling over.  Yesterday, my internal dialogue/blog post went  like this "She has rolled over a total of 6 times, 3 of which were in the last 24 hours."  She has since rolled over a few more time so I lost count.  She had rolled over 3 seemingly random times (the first of which I saw live, the other 2 I caught on the video monitor) all separated by a few days or more.  Then on Sunday night, I went in to get her around 3 in the morning and she was on her back.  That morning when I started hearing her through the monitor, I clicked the video on and sure enough, she was on her back already waiting for someone to come get her.  Then later that day after waking from a nap she was on her back.  So, like I said, she seems to have figured it out, at least the stomach to back rollover--I haven't seen the back to stomach one yet.

I just uploaded the pics on the camera to include in this post and remembered another topic I wanted to blog up: my Dad and Sondra (his girlfriend) braved the snowstorm on Saturday and drove to Baltimore for a visit and brought with them a highchair for Hannah.  Prior to Hannah being born, I had decided that we didn't need a highchair.  I figured she could just sit in a booster seat at the table with us.  After all, I'm not into accumulating stuff and I'm definitely not into having a cluttered house--although there's plenty of room, it is a city row home so it's not like there's a lot of free space.  Anyway, when my mom was here for Thanksgiving she kept propping Hannah up in a seated position and lo and behold, Hannah liked it! Which freed up my arms to DO things with TWO hands.  Amazing.  But since she can't sit up on her own (only a matter of time I'm sure), she has to recline slightly so we were putting her in her stroller and just rolling her around, and honestly, that would have worked fine in spite of it being a bit low to the ground, but I gotta admit, this high chair is AWESOME!  The seat adjusts from almost completely laying down to sitting up super straight.  It also adjusts from a height that fits our pub style dining room table to so low that we could sit on the floor and feed her.  The wheels are great because I just drag her around the house in it so she's always close to me.  The other day I dragged her into the living room and let her watch Baby Einstein in her high chair.  And it folds up so it can be stowed.  She looks so cute sitting in her high chair that I had to snap a bunch of pics.

If you're wondering, that's a frozen wash cloth she is holding in the last two.  I keep hearing people say it's great to numb the gums of teething babies and since it's free and since she loves eating her wash cloth while she's in the bath tub, I figured I'd give it a try. It's not as much of a hit as a bath tub wash cloth, but she likes it okay.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy 4 Month Birthday Banana!!

Hannah's grandmother's have been kind enough to scan in some baby pics of her parents so I'm gonna start a new tradition where at certain milestones (like Hannah's 4 month birthday), I post the usual pics of her with pics of her parents at the same age.  Get ready for some fun!!!

So here is a pic of Hannah from this week playing with a toy that Amy brought back from Africa for her:

And here is yours truly, her dear sweet mama at about the same age:

And dear ol' daddy:

We took a ton of pics this week for some reason (I uploaded 46 last night!!) so I'm going to digress from the original point of this post now and pull a Mamarazzi on you...Here's Hannah in a week of photos:

Here she is playing with that African rattle again (yes those are beer caps on the wire part--you shake it and it and they clink together):

Here's us being a city family:

Banana loves daddy!

Here's that rattle again:

She loves this Baby Einstein ball:

Not quite big enough to ride on daddy's shoulders...but getting there

Hannah likes to help daddy with his homework

Mmmmmmm....fuzzy wrist rattles

When finished eating, she's into ooching herself off the boppy so that she can view the world (or room) from a different angle...