Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Excuses

Growth spurts are the ultimate in cranky baby excuses. Is your kid eating a lot? Check. Is she fussier than normal? Check. And then all of a sudden, since there is an excuse, you don't feel so bad about making other people listen to your baby's wailing. After all, she's going through a growth spurt. Wouldn't that make you cry too?

Today, we went on our second bus ride to meet a friend for lunch. Sora once again loved the bus and slept all the way there. Of course, once we got off the bus, she woke up and screamed for almost the entire lunch hour. It wasn't until after we got back on the bus that she finally calmed down (sorry Willa!). I got a lot of those great I'm-pretending-to-feel-sorry-for-you-but-wish-your-kid-would-just-shut-up-or-you'd-leave looks (don't give me that look - I invented that look!) at the sandwich shop, on the sidewalk, at the cupcake shop, at the bus stop, and finally on the bus before it started moving and working it's magic on Sora.

On a side note: Hey lady at the sandwich shop - I don't know you. Please don't touch my baby. You really should know better since you seem old enough to have your own grandkids, who I'm sure, would also have parents who wouldn't want strangers to touch their babies. Also, yes, Sora is starting to develop a little bald spot on the back of her head. It's inevitable, and it comes from all of her curiosity - she just can't keep her head still when she's lying down. Sora knows it, I know it. We don't need you to point it out to us. We don't point out your flaws lady. Oh, and thank you for acknowledging how adorable Sora is. If you must comment, that is the one comment we never mind hearing.

And yes, dealing with Sora's growth spurts is just an excuse for me to be just a teensy bit snippy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Owls for Sora


So, as you may know, Sora has a slight owl theme. There is one on her wall, watching over her crib, and there was one on the hospital roof, watching over her birth. Now that I have my evenings free again while Sora is asleep, I had time to knit her another owl to add to her knit stuffed animal collection. I knit her a different owl and teddy bear while I was pregnant, and my mom bought her the funny knit doll. I'm hoping this little owl will be her favorite, since it's my favorite!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Importance of a Good Nap

Now that Sora is settling into a routine, I am learning how important it is for her to stick to it! On days when she gets all of her power naps in, she's a happy, fun baby. On Saturday, for example, I took her to Baby Story Hour at the library. It was just the two of us with the Children's librarian, so we got a personal story, plus some tips on how to read at home. She loved the story and the attention!

On Sunday, I decided that she should skip her early nap so that she would sleep in the car on our trip to Bellingham. It was our first long trip without Kyle, so I thought I was guaranteeing myself a nice, peaceful drive. Sora was tired and cranky all day, but had a hard time napping. We went up for lunch with her great-grandparents, and my aunt's baby shower. I didn't realize that she's starting to get to the age where she'd rather be observing all the action instead of missing out by sleeping! On the drive home, we had to stop three times because she was so upset, mostly because she was tired but couldn't sleep.

We've been trying to help her get all of her naps in today, and now she is happily reading with daddy! Oh the difference a good nap makes!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fatherhood Rocks Again





Here is a random assortment of photos that will give you all a window into my experience right now as a father. At least the parts we catch on film. Enjoy my perspective on Sora Grey.








Friday, April 24, 2009

Sleeping Through the Night


Now, before I get ahead of myself, I would like to mention that our pediatrician defines sleeping through the night as 5 hours of continuous sleep (and many other experts agree). Although, even in my wildest of days, nights always consisted of more than 5 hours of sleep, now that I'm a parent, 5 hours is a dream. As of Tuesday, Sora is officially sleeping through the night. She has been sleeping a solid 6-7 hours, followed by 2-3 more. Our morning now officially starts at 6:00, which is much better than 5:00, since our mornings pre-baby often started around 6:00.

We've also had a lot of fun adventures this week. Sora and I took the bus to a baby play group on Wednesday, and Sora loved it! She slept on the bus both ways, and it seemed to really calm her down. Now, if only I could find a bus that drove for hours without stopping (maybe we'll venture to South Seattle!). We're planning on taking the bus a little further next week to have lunch with a friend, so hopefully it will be just as enjoyable for Sora. As for the play group, Sora didn't like that quite as much. Maybe it will be more fun when she's older and plays more, rather than just staring at things.

We also went to the YMCA, where Sora played in the baby center while Kyle and I worked out. I haven't worked out in 6 months, so that was a great feeling. Unfortunately, Sora wasn't as much of a fan. She was asleep when we dropped her off, and when she woke up, she was in a strange place without anyone or anything familiar. When I went to check on her after 40 minutes, she had just woken up and she was very upset. The poor daycare attendant handed her over to me, and she went from wailing to calm in seconds. It's nice to know I'm loved, especially when it's hard for Sora to tell me herself!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Team McPherson Product Endorsement #7


Kyle and I were lucky enough to find a surrogate grandmother to watch Sora while we are at work. Mimi lives very close to Kyle's work, is as affordable as a daycare, and only watches one baby at a time! She has a 6 year old granddaughter, so during the summer, Sora can play with both Mimi and her granddaughter! In addition to all of the numerous wonderful qualities that Mimi has, she has also graciously offered to wash Sora's diapers for us while she's there. Our plan had been to bring Sora with enough diapers for the day, then bring them home at the end of each day to wash them. Since Mimi will be washing them for us, we will need to leave enough for 1.5-2 days, and will need a stash at home for the rest of the time. Since I had wanted to buy a few more diapers anyway, this plan worked out perfectly. While we love our BumGenius diapers that will fit from now until she's potty trained, we decided to try out another brand as well, just for fun. We bought 6 FuzziBunz one size diapers that will fit Sora just as long as the BumGenius. They're easier to use (both diapers have to be stuffed with an insert, and these are easier to stuff than our other diapers), and they're super cute! I also hear (but hope this isn't true) that toddlers can easily take off their BumGenius diapers themselves since they are velcro, whereas the FuzziBunz use snaps so would be harder for toddlers to get naked. I hope my kid has the good sense enough not to strip down and pee all over the place, but who knows. They're still a little bulky right now, but will be perfect this summer!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Summer Lovin'

Knowing our beautiful weather is limited in Seattle, we have been taking full advantage of it! We enjoyed a picnic last night, complete with barbequed salmon and asparagus (how very Northwest of us). Sora slept right through it, which I think is an indication that she enjoyed herself.
Yesterday, I also was able to get out and go for a walk around the lake with Sora and some other babies and moms. Sora slept the whole time, and didn't wake up even when other babies were screaming (it's rare for Sora to be the quiet one!). Walking around the lake reminded me of how much I love to run, and I'm itching for Sora to fit into our baby jogger stroller (only 3.5 months left before she does!). The thing I love about the lake is that, because it's so busy, if there are any amazing things to see, there is always a crowd so you don't miss it! Here is one such amazing sight from our walk:

We're off to enjoy the nice weather today before it starts raining again!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hobbies

As an early birthday present, my parents bought me a new hobby. My dad worries about me being too bored alone at home all day with Sora, so he decided it was time for me to start a garden. Kyle and I had been talking about putting one in, ever since we gave up our P-Patch in our old neighborhood last summer, but we haven't gotten around to it. Plus, it's pretty hard to get a load of top soil into a Prius.

As a kid, I hated gardening. At my house, gardening meant me "weeding" the garden along our house, and then later more gardens, in the beginning of summer. The entire garden was weeds, so I had to pull out everything. It took forever, was no fun, and was pretty back breaking for a 10 year old. As an adult, I've dabbled in gardening. We had a very small garden at our first place together back in college. At our last apartment, we had a very shady garden in the back, where not much would grow, and a small garden on our porch. I faithfully weeded, but the neighborhood cat would come and ruin my attempts.

Now that we have a great outdoor space, I'm hoping my gardening skills will finally flourish. We have planted some herbs and vegetables already, and are trying to grow some seedlings inside. I'm also working on the garden that wraps around our house. I'm in the "weeding" stage, as it's been a while since it's been loved. Hopefully I'll be able to plant some beautiful flowers soon, and will be showing off how green my thumb has become.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Team McPherson Product Endorsement #6

So as many of you know our little girl had been feeling rough the last month. Recently our pediatrician prescribed medicine to counteract her acid reflux. This has worked wonders and we again have a happy little girl most of the time. Here are a few of the happy moments we have been fortunate to have. Enjoy.


Kyle

A Day on the Town

This morning, Kyle's family came over to explore Pacific Science Center with us. There are many amazing photo ops at the science center (I'm obviously a little biased, but it's true!).

Here is Sora and Kyle investigating mirrors:
Here is Sora enjoying the butterflies at the Tropical Butterfly House:
We also went out for dinner to celebrate Kyle's mom's birthday, but since Sora was crying most of the time, there weren't any great photos taken. She's been really good during the day and night, but for some reason, she has a very distinct "witching hour" that is from 6-8 pm. Unfortunately, this is right in the middle of dinner.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Balance


Being a mom is actually fun! I was doubting this for the last 9 weeks, with a colicy baby and normal newborn challenges. We've finally settled into a routine, and it includes a little time for me to get things done, even when I'm home alone with Sora. She's finally starting to take good naps during the day that don't involve being in my arms. She's been amazing at going to bed at night. Kyle and I used to spend up to an hour coaxing her to sleep with rocking, singing, story telling, etc. Now, we swaddle her, put her in her crib, turn on the mobile (all while she's awake) and she magically goes to sleep minutes later. Since we don't let her cry without picking her up, I wasn't expecting her to go to sleep like this for a long, long time. Anyway, now she smiles and plays and is just a load of fun. Seriously. If you met her earlier and saw her in her cranky-pants mode, I'd highly encourage you to come visit again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sigh of Relief

Since we started giving Sora her baby reflux medicine on Thursday evening, she has been a much happier baby! The past few days home alone with her have been so much more fun! Of course, there is still a little crying (she is a baby after all), but she is easily distracted and full of smiles.Here she is dancing with daddy at the Gap last night. She is sleeping really well lately, and only waking up twice a night (I now define night as ending at 7:00 am again instead of 5:00 am!). She's slept past 2:00 am (she usually woke up between 12 - 1 am) two times in the past few nights. We've gone back to swaddling (with an anti-Houdini twist) and that seems to have made a big difference!
Okay, I know I'm obsessed with baby carriers, but I swear this is the last one! I bought this for myself as an early Mother's Day present, and I LOVE it! It's also small enough to put into the diaper bag (all of our other carriers have a lot more fabric). When we decide to use another carrier for an outing, we're stuck using it, because they're all so big. This one is small enough that I can pack it away and we can pull it out if needed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Brunch Extravaganza

We had a fun day visiting with family, meeting new cousins, searching for eggs (although I did more searching than Sora did, obviously), eating delicious food, playing with babies of all ages, and feeling generally loved and supported.

Sora seems to be feeling better after using her medicine, but she was also uber-stimulated, which seems to usually put her in a great mood. We'll see what the next couple of days are like!

The Long Way

On our way to visit the family for Easter, we decided to drive the long way and stop at the YMCA camp that Kyle and I worked at in college and as newlyweds. We each spent 3 summers there (2 together) and have some great memories of the place. The director is still there from our camp days, so we stopped by to see him and his family - it was crazy to see his boys - it seemed like we saw him just last summer, but after looking at those boys, we realized it had been almost 4 years! Here are Kyle, Sora, and Tim, the camp director (who would make a great clown!). As you can see, we are learning new holds with our Moby wrap (and are ready for drool).After we left camp, we stopped by Leavenworth to show Sora what it is like to be a tourist in a faux-German town. I'm looking forward to taking Sora to my hometown where I can show Sora what it's like to be a tourist in an authentic Dutch town. We spent a lot of time here when we worked at camp, and some of my favorite things are now gone, which was a little sad (although the hat store is still there!).



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holding Our Breath


So, Kyle and I took Sora in for her 2 month check up today. She is 11 lbs., 4 oz., and is 22.5" long. She is in the 50th percentile in height and weight. A well proportioned baby. Her head was on the smaller side, but we think that it makes her look more like a little adult and therefore more adorable.

After unloading all of our recent issues onto our pediatrician, she decided that Sora is most likely just a colicy baby which means that hopefully in 3-4 weeks, we should see a huge improvement. I'm not sure we can last that long! She thought that Sora might also have reflux and put her on some baby medicine to help (even if she doesn't have reflux, the medicine can't hurt). We should know in a few days if it's making any difference (we're holding our breath that it does).

Sora had her 2 mo. immunization shots, and when we got home we gave her some baby Tylenol and her baby medicine. She hasn't been fussy since, but with that many drugs going through her system, who knows which one is making her happy (I'm guessing it's the Tylenol that kills all pain).

We're having some new sleep issues in addition to our bottle issues. We're going to ignore the sleep issues until Monday and the bottle issues for another week or two. I'm very nervous, because if she doesn't decide to take the bottle on her own, we have to do a nursing strike (meaning no milk directly from me and only from the bottle until Sora can happily take a bottle again). I hate that idea and am worried that it will change our wonderful nursing relationship, but may have no other choice, so I'm pretty stressed out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2 Months

Sora is 2 months old today! She has her 2 month doctor check up later this week (where hopefully we will get some ideas to help with the issues we've been having lately - our sweet girl is NOT happy very often, and I'd love for modern medicine to be able to explain it... it seems like she's actually in pain when she's wailing, and I'm really hoping our doctor can help). So, look for stats on her height and weight soon.

In the meantime, enjoy her two-month pictures!

Left: One month; Right: Today (notice how she's filling out!)
Left: Coming home from the hospital; Right: Today

Here are some of the highlights of the month:
  • Sora moved into her own room and has spent 2.5 nights in her crib in the nursery.
  • She wears 0-3 mo. clothing.
  • She usually wakes up 3 times a night (between 9:00 pm and 7:00 am), but has woken up only 2 times on 2 nights.
  • She smiles often (when not crying).
  • She has laughed at least twice.
  • Sora loves her mobiles and the music they make.
  • She can put herself to sleep every once in a while.
  • She wears a sleep sack to bed.
  • Sora likes to be worn and it helps her calm down when she's upset.
  • Sora loves to eat and nurses to comfort herself.
  • She hates pacifiers and bottles.
  • She loves humming, singing, the whistle-hum, and daddy's swings.
  • She loves showers with mommy, but doesn't like drying off!
  • She has spent two weekends away from home and has been meeting a lot of new people in all of our playgroups.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunny in Seattle

Finally we get some spring weather! We enjoyed a nice walk yesterday afternoon with our friends Nick and Willa, and today we enjoyed a morning at the park. We've been wearing Sora a lot lately since she's been a little cranky, and it's been a sanity-saver (although a little bit of a back-breaker)! Today, though, she has been in a great mood! She even had her first laugh earlier today!






A Mind of Her Own

As Sora is getting a little older, she's beginning to have preferences. Some of these we totally approve of, and others are a big struggle.

So far (after 1 night), she seems to prefer to sleep in her crib rather than in the pack-n-play in our room. This is great - I had been putting this move off, but it seems like there was really no reason to! She slept better, only waking up once during the night to eat (and then again at 5, my "morning"), and was able to put herself to sleep and go back to sleep on her own when she woke up a few times (something she had not been able to do in the pack-n-play).

She currently prefers not to use the bottle. Lately she flat out refuses. This is not okay, since I do have to go back to work soon (on Tuesday I have interviews at work all day for our camps positions, and on Thursday I have a dentist appointment). We keep reading different articles and trying different things, but so far, no luck. Hopefully this is just a nipple preference and she will take a different bottle. This is a huge source of stress for me at the moment, since I have heard of two babies that I know personally who still refuse to bottle feed, and their mothers have had to make arrangements to nurse them during the middle of their workday, which really is not an option for us.

In other news, I mentioned earlier that Sora was having a rough time lately - I definitely think something is wrong digestionaly with the poor kid, and hope that meeting with our pediatrician (who we randomly saw on a walk yesterday) later this week will help.

Due to Sora's new temperment, I have been desperate to connect with other nearby parents. Most of our friends with babies live too far away for us to see very often, unfortunatley, and we don't have any friends in the city with kids. Over the past week, we drug Sora to our new PEPS group (where there are 6 other couples with babies born in February), and two other playdates with meetup groups. It's been nice to socialize with other parents, especially since most of them have babies that are now older and more fun/interactive. It shows us what we have to look forward to!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tough Life

Despite all of our amazing posts, it is not all fun and games here at the Team McPherson training camp. The past couple of days and nights have been a little hard on us. Our pediatrician keeps assuring us that fussiness hits its peak at 6-8 weeks. I'm really hoping this is our peak!

On a more adorable note, Sora is starting to notice the world around her more! She is fascinated by her mobiles which make changing diapers and clothes a lot more fun! We are also full on using the bumGenius diapers and loving them (aren't they adorable?).

After nursing Sora in a glider chair in the breast-feeding tent at Green Festival last weekend (I never thought of nursing as a "green" choice, but I guess it does create less waste than formula... just the ads and coupons I've gotten for formula must be a whole tree already!), I decided my life could not go on without a glider chair. I found a cheap one at our local baby consignment store (only 5 blocks from our house - a little too convenient), and Kyle put it into our car yesterday afternoon. In true Maleah fashion, I recovered it this evening, and now we have a beautiful glider so Sora can nurse to her heart's content (if only she would, and then take a big poo, and then sleep for three hours... hey - a mother can dream, right?)!