Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pomp and Circumstance

I'm all finished! As of about 3PM today, I am officially Dr. Drescher-Burke! Bill, Molly, and I went and PHileD my dissertation. It was pretty anticlimactic, actually. I took my multiple copies of the actual dissertation and the additional paperwork, and the woman in the office checked it all and said, "I'll be right back with your receipt." She left us for a few minutes and returned with a little certificate and a lollipop (really!). I can get my actual diploma in a few months. I went with my friend last May to file, and there was a long line of people. For me, there was not even a line, probably because it is not quite the end of the semester and also because it is December, and most people finish in May. I will be posting my dissertation for everyone to read (Ha ha, just kidding. You don't even have to pretend like you want to read it.) I was pretty nervous that I had forgotten something, a signature or some form. There is a 35-page booklet with instructions on how to file!

Earlier this morning we took Molly in for her second Synagis shot. She did fine, though she screamed when the needle went in her chubby little leg.

Just a few more days until our big trip home. I am so, so excited! Molly and I are really going to miss Bill, though, for that time at the beginning of the trip when he's not going to be there with us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Molly + Food = Sleep!

Since Molly Z has been eating solid food, she has been sleeping so well, usually about 9 or so hours per night. It's wonderful! Last night she slept more than 10 hours, but I think it is probably because she did not feel well from all the shots she got yesterday at the doctor. She is now weighing in at a healthy 18 pounds, 4 ounces. The last time she was weighed, about a month ago, she was 16 lbs., 3 oz. She is 26 inches long, and that puts her right at about the 50th percentile for height. Her weight is somewhere between the 75th and 90th percentile! Unbelievable, really, that that little preemie runt is so big now.

I think I may have found a food that Molly does not like: lentils. I cooked some for her today because they are really high in iron. I mixed them in with the carrots, but she wasn't fooled. I tasted it, and it tasted mostly like carrots, so maybe she is just still not feeling well. She slept for a really long time this morning, falling asleep on her own, without her usual feeding before naptime, making me think she is still not feeling 100%. I will try to give her more lentils in a day or two, after she is feeling a little better. I made quite a bit to freeze so I hope she likes them eventually.

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Crafty!

Bill and I had a craft night tonight, and we taught ourselves the art of crochet. Right before Molly went to bed we started. Molly sat on my lap for a little while, trying to grab the crochet hook. I don't think it makes a very good baby toy. We put her to bed soon, though, and I was able to work on my masterpiece more easily. A friend of ours showed Bill the basic stitches a year or so ago, and we picked it up tonight. Bill refreshed himself, and then showed me. I made the beginnings of what is shaping up to be a very nice, um, maybe triangular bookmark. Or washcloth maybe. For some reason my edges are decreasing in size, and what was supposed to be rectangular is becoming triangular. It is, believe me, beautiful, though! :) Bill is a little better than I am. That engineering brain is much better at crafts. Last night I finished the quilt I have been working on for a year and a half or so, for Kelly, so I needed another project.

Yesterday, we went to our friends' house and made gingerbread houses. They baked the gingerbread into the pieces of houses, and then it all got glued together with frosting. It was so fun! They had a lot of candy and things to put on the house. Bill did all the building and most of the decorating. Molly had a great time watching all the fun. There were lots of colorful pieces of candy to look at.

Molly still has not turned over anymore since she turned over three times in a row the other day. She really likes lying on her belly on our bed. She just laughs a lot and looks around. I guess she has a better view of the world from there than she does from the blanket on the floor.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we go back to the doctor. Molly will be 6 months old tomorrow! It is really hard to believe. She will get some more vaccines and her first flu shot--babies apparently get 2 flu shots. She will get the second one when we get back from Louisville. On Thursday we go back for Molly's Synagis shot. I leave a week from tomorrow for KY, and I am very, very excited!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas...

Last night we went to my department's holiday party. It was very fun! Molly got to meet lots of my fellow students and the professors in the department. I even wore a skirt. There were a lot of little kids there running around. I made hashbrown casserole, which is always a hit with California crowds.

Yesterday Molly turned over three times in a row by herself! On Tuesday she turned over for Bill, and then on Wednesday she turned over for me, but both of those times it seemed like an accident. Yesterday, though, she seemed pretty satisfied with herself. She has not done it since then, though.

Right now, Bill is changing MZ's diaper, and they are in there CRACKING UP! Bill has her going--he can get her laughing better than anyone. In the mornings, she has started waking me up with giggles and squeals instead of hunger cries. What a sweet little alarm clock! She has also developed this new move (which she started when we were in Santa Barbara, and which I thought was a book falling on the floor) where she puts both her legs in the air and then just lets them fall like dead weight. She amuses herself like that for a little while.

Oh! And I took a bath with Molly on Thursday night. I thought it would be really fun because she also likes to do her new leg trick in her baby bath, successfully drenching her Momma. I think she is still a little too small for the regular bath because she cannot sit up on her own yet. I put a wash cloth under her bottom to keep her from slipping. That helped some, but she is just so slippery when she is wet that it was difficult, especially when we were getting out of the tub. I'll definitely do that again in a few weeks, though, after she can sit up on her own. I put some bubbles in the water so she couldn't see her feet. I think she was a litte confused by that, but she'll get used to it and start playing in the bath in no time.

Time to feed the baby!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Molly + Sweet Potatoes also = LOVE

I fixed some sweet potatoes today for Molly, and, as expected, she gobbled them up. I made a bigger batch and divided it into three portions. I put two portions in an ice cube tray to freeze them, and I fed her the third portion. This time, no more dainty eating. She had it in her eyes and nose and all over her hands. Auntie Kim told me that it was bound to get messier, so we will just watch, and I will try to avoid getting completely dirty myself.

Molly turned over once on Tuesday, while I was gone. I'm away from the kid for three hours a week, and she does something momentous. :) Bill said he is pretty sure it was a complete accident, though, because she didn't react at all, and she hasn't done it since then.

She has been sleeping really well this week, usually about nine-hour stretches. Bill and I usually get an hour or two at night after she goes to bed to be together.

We have a big weekend coming up. Tomorrow night is a party for school, the following night we are going to our friends' house for dinner and to help decorate their Christmas tree, and on Sunday we are getting together with some other friends to make eggnog! YUUUUMMM-EEEE. I LOVE eggnog. I think it will really put me in the Christmas spirit.

I will be home in less than two weeks! I am so excited to see my family and to introduce Molly Zelda to lots of folks.

Molly is taking a nap right now so I am going to kick back and read a novel for a little while.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Great Thanksgiving and exciting Molly progress

We had a wonderful time in Santa Barbara this weekend. Molly was pretty happy all weekend, and she got lots of attention. She did not have a lot of down time, which might have interfered with her sleeping somewhat, but overall she was great. Bill and I definitely had a great time. We had a wonderful meal cooked by our friends. We went on a long walk, including to a butterfly sanctuary and to the beach where we saw some dolphins and a beautiful sunset. (They live that close to the beach!) After our walk, we came back for the best pumpkin pie we've ever had--no joke. It was delicious. We played poker a couple of nights, too. I am looking forward to playing more poker when we are in Louisville for Christmas.

Molly is still loving her fists. Now she is not only trying to eat them, but she is also staring at them quite a bit, opening and closing her hands. She is mesmerized! She is so so close to turning over! I think it will happen in the next few days. Last night after we got home we put her on the bed and tried to get her to turn from her belly to back, and she almost had it. She got a little frustrated, though, and we finally gave her a break. She will try again today.

She has been doing really well with the solid food. She has been eating bananas and carrots. Lola got us a baby food maker, which is AWESOME! I used it today to make carrots. It is basically a small steamer and food processor in one, which means much less mess to clean up.

Sorry for the choppy post. MZ just woke up from her nap.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anniversary and Thanksgiving

Yesterday Bill and I celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss. I was kind of stressed out earlier in the day because Tuesdays are my day to work so I was trying to cram lots of work in before we went out to celebrate. The three of us went to one of our favorite restaurants, the German place in Alameda. Bill held Molly in the Moby throughout dinner, and she slept the whole time! I did not have to feed her as soon as my hot food arrived at the table, as I usually do. I got to eat my whole meal with two hands, leaning over the table, rather than eating with one hand, trying not to drop food on my baby as she was trying to enjoy her own meal.

We are on our way to Santa Barbara right now to see some friends for Thanksgiving. You read that correctly: We are on our way right now! My brilliant husband somehow managed to get internet access in our car! He also rigged it up so that my computer will charge in the car. I don't know how he did it, and I don't really care. I know that I am extremely impressed, though.

Molly is sound asleep in the backseat, and Daisy is snoozing next to her. It's pretty cute--our kids sleeping in the backseat. We brought some carrots so that Molly can have a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. I really miss my family, but I will see them all in just a few short weeks. Here is a brief list of what I'm thankful for this year:
1. Bill and I have a wonderful, healthy, happy baby
2. Bill and I are still in love after 8 years of marriage
3. I have the best family (including Bill's family who is, of course, also my family) and friends in the whole world

Friday, November 21, 2008

Molly + Carrots = LOVE

This was toward the end of the feeding. Carrots everywhere!
This was after about two bites.

Molly did a great job eating her carrots! She did not hesitate at all and just opened wide and swallowed (sort of swallowed). She did not seem put off by the new flavor or texture at all. I really think she would have eaten more, but I cut her off because I did not want her to get a belly ache.

We topped the meal off with a refreshing beverage (a.k.a., breast milk, straight from the source).


I'm taking a few minutes to write a quick update while Molly Z is taking a nap. We are starting to get into a little bit of a routine with naps: one around 11AM and another around 3:30 or 4PM. She seems to be doing pretty well with the schedule, and it gives me a little bit of a break. I have some veggies cooking on the stove right now for lunch, some for me and some for Molly. That's right. I am going to attempt to give her some carrots today. She has done really well this week with the rice cereal so I figured I would give the carrots a try. I was going to do bananas, but I don't have any of those in the house, and I do have carrots. She will be six months old in a couple of weeks (can you believe it?!?) so I think it is alright to start slowly on some other foods. We are not in any rush so if she doesn't seem ready, we can back off and stick with the cereal one time a day and try again in a week or so with some fruits or vegetables. The move to foods has meant I have to pump a little bit every day (bleh) to have some milk to mix with the cereal. I will probably mix some with the carrots, too, just to thin them out a little bit. I have no idea how much she will eat or if she will even like them, but I will be sure to give an update on the blog.

I definitely think she is starting to be ready for food, though. For the past couple of nights, I think she has wanted more milk than I had. She wasn't really fussy or anything, but she is draining me, which she has not done before. She is a pretty enthusiastic eater so I feel confident that it will go well.

Bill took some pictures of her eating cereal so we will get those posted soon.

I am so excited about coming to Louisville! I will be there is just about three and a half weeks. I really hope my dissertation is finished before I leave. I got some comments back two days ago from both of my other committee members. One said it looked good, and the other had some things she wanted me to revise. Bill generously took the whole day off yesterday so I could work on it, and I worked for many, many hours yesterday on it, and I think I made some good progress. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

no beach, but sleep

Yesterday we did not quite make it to the beach. Molly ate, napped, ate again, we ate, etc. By the time we were ready to leave, it was about 2:30, and we decided the drive to the beach would not be worth it because it starts getting dark around 5, and is usually pretty dark by 5:30. So we walked around the lake and the surrounding areas instead. It was a great way to spend the day.

Poppa Bill had the brilliant idea to try to get a Papa John's pizza, which is a Louisville institution that is simply unavailable to us here in Oakland. Except!!! that we could drive 15 miles to Hayward to pick it up. We ordered it on-line (not something we ever did when we were in KY) and drove down to pick it up. Brilliant! We haven't had a Papa John's pizza here in California. It was a good treat.

We left here around 6:45, and Molly fell asleep in the car. When we got home, she woke up for me to change her diaper, and I figured she would want to eat. I put her down in her crib in the office/baby room so I could go wash my hands, and by the time I came back she was asleep again. I figured she would wake up soon to eat, probably just about the time I was taking my first slice of pizza to my mouth, or taking my first drink of the necessary-with-pizza beer. She never did wake up throughout dinner. I thought she would surely wake up before we went to bed, but she never did. Bill picked her up to take her to bed when we went to bed around 10:15, and she never woke up. She did not wake up until almost 6AM. I, on the other hand, woke up at our previously-agreed-upon meeting time of 3:30, but Molly was a no-show. I of course checked on her about 4 times, but she seemed fine. This morning she was in a great mood, after about 11 straight hours of sleep, not to mention two great naps yesterday (one before our walk and another during out walk, in the stroller). Right now she is napping again.

I hope she is not sick. I don't think she is, though, because she seems really happy. I doubt it's the rice cereal either. We never gave it to her yesterday because we were planning on giving it to her whenever she woke up, but she never did. We gave her some more this morning before Bill left for campus, and she ate quite a bit more than she did on Saturday. We plan on giving a little bit to her every day. We also decided it would be a good idea to start giving her a bottle of pumped breast milk every day to get her used to it. We hope to take advantage of some babysitting over Christmas (if we can get one, which is probably iffy) so we want her to be really comfortable with the bottle.

She is waking up now, so I gotta go!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

big baby week

We had a big week this week, in terms of baby-hood. We made our first attempt yesterday to give Molly Z "solid" food. That is in quotes because it was really just a bowl of breastmilk with a tiny bit of rice cereal mixed in. The pediatrician told us it was a good idea to just get her used to the idea of eating with a spoon. It went alright. She spit out a lot of it, but ya gotta start somewhere, right? Dr. Spock says that if the baby pushes out a lot with her tongue, she is not completely ready to start eating with a spoon yet. We have to remember that developmentally she is a couple of months behind. We're really not in any hurry to wean, but we do want to try to get her eating at least some things soon (even though I still plan on breastfeeding her until she is at least a year old). I might try some mashed bananas or some stewed apples in a week or so, if she doesn't take to the cereal. We'll keep trying a little bit every day, though.

We also stopped swaddling Molly over night. I got a really cute sleeper that goes over her pajamas that is like a blanket that she wears. She was starting to wake up trying to break out of her swaddle so we decided to give it a try without the swaddle. It seems to be fine. She still is swaddled for her daytime naps, though.

The last week or so she has not been sleeping through the night. She has gone back to getting up one time around 3:30 to eat, and then sleeping another few hours. No big deal, but it sure was nice to sleep all the way through the night. I'm not concerned, though. We'll get back there eventually.

We have had a heat wave here. There have been records set all over the place so today we are going to go to the beach and enjoy the hot weather, probably for the last time until next spring.

Molly just woke up and needs to eat!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Baby

Molly is trying to eat my wrist. You can see she is losing quite a bit of her hair. She has developed a bit of an affinity for sucking on her parents' hands, in addition to her own fingers. It is pretty dang cute.
Yesterday was a really good day. Because it was Tuesday, Bill stayed with Molly all day so I could get some work done. I am sooooo close to finishing my dissertation! My chair has approved it, and the other committee members are reviewing it. I worked all day on getting the last revisions finished to send it out. I have a couple of tiny little things I need to talk to someone at my fellowship about, but that (I hope) should just about do it, after I make revisions wanted by the other two committee members.

Bill made us a very nice dinner last night, and the pictures are of Molly and me in the kitchen while Bill was cooking.

We had a very nice visit with Grandma Kristine and Aunt Andrea. Andrea was only here for 38 hours or so, but we made the most of the visit. On Saturday, we did our usual routine of going to Arizmendi and to the farmers market. I got some vegan soul food (thanks Aunt Cathy for trying this and then getting me hooked), which everyone shunned, except for Kris who tried a little bite. I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but, I tell ya, it's delicious. Anyway, later we did a little shopping and then went out to dinner. Sunday morning we had to take Andrea to the airport. Because we were already in SF, we went to the Ferry Building to just wander around. We came home and had supper. Kris had to leave really early Monday morning. Molly smiled and giggled a lot. We got some good pictures (check out Bill's blog--he posted more pictures). It was a wonderful visit, but, as all family visits, just ended way too quickly. It is really sad to be so far away.

Molly has been sleeping really well through the night, generally. She usually goes to bed some time between about 9 and 10, then she usually sleeps until 6:30 or so. About three times a week, though, she will wake up around 3:30 to eat. The last two nights she has woken up then to eat, but the general trend is certainly sleeping through the night, which is just wonderful. She smiles so easily these days. She will also just let out squeals of pure delight, and she giggles and laughs a lot. It is extremely contagious--you just can't help but laugh with her.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Weight Gain

Yesterday we took Molly to Children's Hospital for her first monthly shot against the nasty virus, RSV. She will have to get the shot once a month until the season for this virus is over, which I think is April. The nurse was wonderful! She will be the same one we see every month. She knitted a bunch of hats for all her patients, so Molly came home with a new, handmade hat. Isn't that just so sweet? She also gave her a very cool touch and feel book of farm animals, which Bill loved. It was rather emotional for me to go to the hospital. It wasn't the same hospital Molly was born in, but there were a lot of sick kids there, and it was kind of sad. But, as Bill said, thank God there are these hospitals around. We ran into a mom and dad there who had a baby in the NICU at the same time we did. Their baby is doing well, too, though she is about half the size of Molly.

Speaking of size, Molly now weighs, are you ready for this?...7.35 kilograms. That is 16 pounds, 3.2 ounces! DANG!!! As soon as we walked in, the nice nurse said, Wow, she's big! My regular diaper covers were all dirty yesterday so I put on one that we have for when she gets bigger. Well, at least we thought she couldn't wear it until she is 21 pounds. Can you predict where this is going? Not only does that diaper fit her, it is actually slightly snug. There are two reasons this could be so: 1. the diaper tags are incorrect, or 2. she is so short that her butt is actually the size of a 21 pound baby.

We had a really fun day on Bill's birthday Sunday. We went to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, which is a nerd paradise. Needless to say, Bill was in paradise. :) It is a very interactive science museum. Visitors can participate in all kinds of little science projects. We got there about three hours before it closed. We closed the place down, baby! We didn't quite make it to all the exhibits, but we got through most of them. Later we went to eat German food. It was a wonderful day!

I am making progress on the dissertation. My chair has approved the first 5 chapters (there are 6 total) so I sent those chapters to my other 2 committee members for their comments. My chair also has the final chapter, and she is reviewing it now. It is hopefully about finished, then I can send that out to the other two. When all three approve it and sign off on it, I just file it, and I'm all finished! It's getting close.

Tomorrow, Grandma Kristine and Aunt Andrea will be here. We are really looking forward to their visit! Kris hasn't seen Molly for three months, and Andrea hasn't been here since Molly was in the NICU. She was there with me in the hospital when the doctor told us Molly has NEC, and Andrea was a great comfort. I can't wait for her to see her now!

Molly is just so full of life. She is such a happy little girl, and she just cracks herself up. She will just start giggling and squealing for no apparent reason. This morning, she was eating, and she would pull herself off every few seconds just to let out a little squeal of delight. It was hilarious! She can sit and chew on her hands for a long time, just looking around the room. She is still loving her hands, both watching them and sucking on them. She also seems to be losing her hair. It is still red, but seems to be getting lighter. It is difficult to tell if this is because it is actually getting lighter or just because it is getting thinner. She is getting the bald spot on the back of her head that most babies get just from lying on her back, but it is turning into a ring of baldness, and she is losing it on the top of her head, too. I seem to remember my mom saying Kelly lost all her hair--is that right?

We watched the election results on Tuesday night. What a momentous occassion, huh? A black man as the U.S. president! I think it is really cool that Molly will live her whole life with knowing that a minority can be president.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Poppa's Birthday

Today is Bill's birthday, and Molly and I are very excited--we love birthdays! Molly tried to make it to mine this year, but she was about 13 hours late. :) We are going to go to the Exploratorium in San Francisco and out to dinner tonight. It should be a very fun day, with the three of us inseparable. Bill is still in bed now, but he will be getting up soon. I ordered him a cake from the bakery around the corner, which I can pick up in a couple of hours. When he wakes up we'll open all the cards he has received in the mail and have a nice breakfast and probably watch Meet the Press.

I have been sick with a fever since Friday, but today I am feeling pretty good. We thought it might be a reaction to the pertussis shot I got on Thursday, but I called the nurse at the campus health center on Friday, and she said it was very rare for someone as old as I am (sigh...) to have the side effects I was having. The headache and body aches, in addition to the fever, meant I was most likely just suffering from a virus. I had to wait it out and drink lots of fluids. Half the day on Friday Bill took care of Molly and let me sleep, then he had to go to work. All day yesterday he waited on me and let me sleep a lot. Molly took two long naps with me, too, which was wonderful. She doesn't seem to be sick. She has been more sleepy than usual the past couple of days, but if that is the worst she would experience this illness, I'm really happy with that. She hasn't been any less smiley or giggly, just a little sleepier.

I'll write another post a little later--Bill just got up!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost Halloween

It's been way too long since I've posted--sorry! It seems to have been a busy week, but I can't say exactly why it's seemed that way. I just haven't found the time to give an update on Molly. On Saturday we went to see some friends and carved pumpkins. The couple who hosted us and the other couple who came over used to live in our neighborhood, but they moved out recently. It's sad--we miss them all. We had a great time, and Bill took some pictures today of Molly and me with our very scary jack-o-lanterns.

On Saturday Molly and I went to a prenatal yoga reunion. We went to one a couple months ago, so it has been fun to see how the babies are growing.

Molly is continuing her fascination with her hands. She loves shoving them in her mouth and sucking. She recently decided she could get a better taste of those slimy things by using one hand to push the other one in further. It is pretty cute. She has also been sucking just her thumb, which is just adorable! Her giggling is much louder these days, and it comes with hardly any effort on our part. She will easily smile and coo when you make faces at her. She will also just laugh sometimes for no reason. It's such a pleasant sound, and it makes me smile when I hear her laughing at something she just sees while we're walking around.

She is still not quite ready to turn over, I don't think. She doesn't particularly like tummy time, but we keep at it to build her arm muscles. She is getting closer to sitting up, though (I think).

We finally got a new crib this week. Bill will be putting that together soon, and she will be out of the cradle. I can't believe Molly Z is so big! A week from Sunday she will be five months old!

Tuesday I got a whole lot of work done on my dissertation. It is really close to being complete. I know I keep saying that, but it is! I hope to send it out to my whole committee for comments within the week, and then it should just be a matter of final editing (knock on wood). Tuesday night I went to the movies with a friend. It was really strange being away from Molly for most of the day. Bill had her all day on Tuesday, as usual. I was here to feed her for most of the day, but he took her out a lot, and then I left for a couple hours in the evening. It was actually a little sad (though I know it's important for me to get out and do some things without Molly) to be away from Molly and Bill for so much of the day.

Bill and I got our pertussis shots today (thanks for the reminders, Aunt Cathy) so we will hopefully not contract whooping cough, which could be really hard on Molly if she were to catch it from us.

We have a pumpkin costume for Molly, but she is too big for it. She probably would have fit into it if she were less than three months, rather than her real age of almost five months--she is just too big! We could probably put some orange clothes on her and that would be enough to dress her as a pumpkin. (Okay, no more jokes about my chubby baby.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Aunt Kelly and Grandpa Joe D. left today. :( We had a wonderful visit with them while Poppa Bill was out of town. I will get back to the visit in a bit.

On Friday we went to the doctor for more vaccines. Molly is officially a very huge baby, weighing in at 15 pounds, 7 ounces (and that was almost a week ago now!). She is HUGE! She is in the 75th percentile in weight now, but only the 25th percentile in height. Pretty amazing that that tiny baby born just over four months ago now weighs more than 75% of the other babies born that week. Crazy! We went up a size in diapers, and they fit her much better. She got some vaccines, too, so she was very unhappy for about a day and a half. We did not give her iron Friday because we knew it would be traumatic for her to get her vaccines, and we did not do it on Saturday or Sunday either to let her get over it a little longer. I also did not give it to her while her auntie and grandpa were here because she would have been vomiting all over them.

Speaking on vomiting...yesterday we all went to the Jelly Belly factory. Aunt Kelly LOVES Jelly Bellies so we were overdue for a visit to the factory. We all had to wear hats because it was a factory. That includes Molly. Molly Z had to wear a little paper hat, too. It was very cute. We got some pictures, which will be posted soon. Grandpa Joe finally came around to the wonders of the Moby yesterday, too. He had been carrying her around all week, swearing she was not heavy. Neither Aunt Kelly nor I believed him. She gets heavy pretty quickly. Anyway, he finally agreed yesterday to wear the Moby while we were on the factory tour, saying he would do it because he thought Molly would be more comfortable. After we were finished, he agreed that it was more comfortable for him, too.

I haven't forgotten about the vomit. At the end of the tour we could sample all the flavors of jelly beans we wanted. They actually had vomit flavor. I know. They also had booger flavor, rotten egg flavor, moldy cheese (which Aunt Kelly tried), ear wax flavor, pencil shavings flavor, baby wipes flavor, and black pepper flavor. I tried the vomit flavor. It did taste like vomit. I had to spit it out--it was absolutley disgusting! I figured it would taste fruity or something, and they just called it vomit flavor to be funny. I won't fall for that again.

On Monday, we kind of got a slow start after we had our morning walk down to Arizmendi. We ended up going for pizza for lunch and to do sake tasting. There is a sake factory in Berkeley, and they have a little museum and tasting room. Molly was very happy the entire time until we were on our way out the door. As we were leaving, she threw up all over the pristine floor. We yelled that there was a little mess on the floor and promptly split.

Today we walked to Arizmendi and then took our breakfast down to the lake to eat. It was a beautiful morning, and we just talked and solved all the problems of the world.

Molly loves her aunt and grandpa so much! She had plenty of smiles, giggles, and squeals for them. Grandpa Joe was impressed by how well she can hold up her head and stand on her legs with a bit of support.

She didn't sleep very well while we had visitors. I don't know if it was the excitement, or that she is just too big for the cradle.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coutdown to the Weekend

We have had a good week this week. We have been more diligent about giving Molly her iron, but she just throws it all up that it is difficult to continue giving it to her every day. The doctor said we don't have to give it to her every day, but we have been trying to on most days. Today she threw it all up and just was not happy in general after she got it. Now she is sleeping peacefully on my chest in the Moby.

On Monday we went again to yoga. I had a wonderful time--it's such a nice class. Molly also had a great time, just lying on her blanket looking all around. There is so much for a baby to look at: pictures on the wall, other babies, other mommas, lots of decorations and plants and statues. She just would make a little squeal of happiness every once in a while, and she even fell asleep for a little bit after I fed her (while I was doing some light yoga so I didn't have to miss anything).

Bill and I have tried to put MZ in our other carrier, the Ergo, but she is still a little short for that. The Moby is fine for a while longer, but I think the Ergo will be easier on my back, which is starting to hurt a little from carrying around this chubby baby.

Molly and I have been going on lots of walks in the stroller. She really loves to do that, too. She falls asleep a lot in there, too, but not as much as when she is being carried. She likes to look around from the stroller. She also has still been valiantly attempting to eat her entire fist. It is really cute when she tries to stuff that little "handhock" in her whole mouth. Sometimes she even tries to eat it while she is actually nursing so I have to pull her little arm away so she will really eat.

Earlier this week we ran into an acquaintance from the neighborhood who has not met Molly yet. She said, "She looks so...healthy." I said, "Is that code for 'fat?'" She laughed and said that when she was a baby she was so fat that her grandfather was worried she "wouldn't be married off." Bill and I got quite a kick out of that. So I suppose we don't need to worry that Molly will not be marriage material. :)

I just took a break, so now it is almost 12 hours later. We did a little shopping today because Bill needs a couple of new things to wear for the conference he's going to Sunday through Wednesday. The three of us had a great time together! We went to a few vintage clothing stores, which was a fun way to spend a few hours. I am really looking forward to Sunday when Grandpa Joe D. and Aunt Kelly will be here to visit. Grandpa Joe D. will be meeting Molly Z for the very first time! I'm sure he will get lots of smiles and probably a few giggles.

Bill posted some new pictures so if you haven't already, check them out!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Week

We've had a bit of an eventful week, at least compared with our usual, fairly uneventful weeks. Tuesday was our usual Tuesday, where I worked all day, and Bill took care of Molly. I worked more on my dissertation on Tuesday and throughout the week. I was able to turn in another draft to my chair on Friday (yay!). Hopefully it is really close to being finished. I will need her approval, and then I will need to get approval from my other two committee members.

On Wednesday we went to a wedding, Molly's first wedding. Our neighbors, who are gay, got legally married, and Bill and I were their witnesses. Why get married on a Wednesday? Well, they had a big wedding two years ago, and that was their anniversary. They did not want to have two different dates to celebrate, one their actual wedding, and the other the legally binding ceremony. Molly wore a very cute dress (Bill promised to post pictures soon). Bill and I also were dressed up a bit so we got some good pictures of the three of us.

On Friday, Molly started throwing up in the morning after I gave her her iron. We are supposed to give it to her every day, but it makes her throw up so we don't give it to her every day. Well, yesterday she was just throwing up all morning, much more than usual. I called the doctor, and because it was Friday and she would not be around on the weekend, she said we should take her in. She is absolutely fine, but the doctor checked her iron level, thinking maybe she does not need it anymore. Her iron is still low, though, so we have to keep giving it to her. The pediatrician explained that babies usually get a lot of iron in utero during the third trimester. Because Molly Z missed that third trimester, her iron is low. I hope she will be able to get off the supplement when she begins eating some regular food. In the meantime, though, we will continue giving her the iron, and I am also going to try to increase my iron intake via food (which I just feel like is better absorbed than supplements) so that it will pass to her through my milk, and she will hopefully actually get more of it than she does with her supplement, which is usually all regurgitated. I don't know if my eating more iron will make too much of a difference, but the pediatrician said it probably would. I figure it can't hurt, either way. We go back to the doctor next week for more vaccinations, but I doubt she will have her iron checked then--I don't know when she will have it checked again, maybe in a couple of months.

Today my friend, Trudi, brought her daughter for a visit, and the four of us went to the farmers market while Bill went to watch the UK football game. We had a great time! Molly slept in the Moby while we shopped. Tomorrow we are meeting a woman I work with and her husband and baby, who was born in January.

Molly has been sleeping wonderfully! This morning and yesterday morning she slept until 7:15!!!! One day she had a poor night's sleep, waking up a couple times, but the rest of the week she slept until about 6. We are starting to look on Craigslist for a crib now because Molly is starting to outgrow the cradle she has been sleeping in. MZ has also been holding her head up really well--we don't have to support it much at all these days. She is still enjoying attempting to fit her fists in her mouth, sometimes both at the same time. Molly has been smiling so much, and her little giggles are adorable! She is also really good at making and holding eye contact.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Tonight Molly and I went to a postnatal yoga class where I went for prenatal yoga. It was the first time they had held a postnatal yoga class. It was really great. Molly had a wonderful time, as did I. I took a thick blanket for her to lie on during the class so that we could see each other and make eye contact. There were three other new moms there with their babies. It was really comfortable. At some point during the class, we all had to nurse our babies and comfort them. It was really relaxed, but my legs are still sore. I held Molly Z during part of it, which added a bit of extra weight and made the poses and stretches a bit more challenging. I'm so glad I went, though. I considered not going because I had to load Molly and all our gear in the car. It was great seeing some of the women I was in the prenatal class with, and their babies. The babies were all so cute!

Molly has been sleeping really well at night lately, with the exception of last night. We have been keeping her up until about 10 when we go to bed. I usually feed her right before we go to sleep (I think that was why she didn't sleep so well last night--she was asleep so I didn't feed her), and then she sleeps until about 5 or sometimes a little later. It is really wonderful to be getting good amounts of sleep.

Tomorrow is Tuesday, which means Molly and Bill will spend all day together, with my providing meals when necessary, while I work. I am so close to being finished with that dissertation!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's been so long since I posted! We have had a really nice week. Early in the week Molly was feeling a little under the weather, sniffling a lot and being pretty fussy. She seems to be feeling much better today. She has discovered her hands recently, and she thoroughly enjoys sucking on those little ham hocks. Lola and Bill both suggested that she might be teething--all the sucking on her fingers and the fussiness may indicate that. I looked it up, and babies don't usually start teething until between 4 and 7 months. Molly will be 4 months old in a few days, but developmentally she is only about 2 months old. I would be surprised if she were teething this early, but I guess we'll see. Any of you new parents reading remember when your little ones started to get teeth? right now Molly is lying next to me, and my computer is right at the same level as her face. She started licking the side of my computer. Maybe I should pull it away since she is putting her lips and tongue in the usb (is that what they're called?) ports. Okay, now she is licking my jeans. Now she just spit up all over my jeans. Okay, now she seems to feel better. So, I don't know if she is teething or just going through that oral developmental stage.

Since she has been chewing on her hands so much, Molly's smell has changed. Previously, she smelled discinctly like milk, which is very lovely. Now, she smells like a combination of milk and baby slobber. That sounds really disgusting, but baby slobber doesn't stink like grown-up slobber does. I don't know--maybe it would stink on someone else's kid, but I like that I know Molly's distinct smell.

We have been taking lots of walks this week. Walking with her seems to make her fall right asleep, and she was a little bit fussy this week so that helped. We have been using the stroller for our long walks, and it works just as well as the Moby. We also tried to use our Ergo carrier this week, but she is still a little short for that. She definitely still loves riding around in the Moby, and it is still really comfortable for us, but I think the Ergo will be more comfortable for us when she is bigger.

We have not done too much exciting things this week. Wednesday Molly and I walked over to the library and checked out a book and some CDs. Yesterday we went to the farmers market and then to watch the UK game at Zeke's. Bill ran the Bridge to Bridge race this mornong in SF. He is still gone, but I'm sure he has finished running by now. Oh--he just walked in the door.

We ran into two people this week who work in the NICU. We saw the dietitian at Arizmendi (the bakery by our apartment). We saw her again at the farmers market yesterday. She lives in our neighborhood. She was happy to see Molly so healthy and getting so big (I didn't tell her our pediatrician told us we didn't need the milk fortifier). We also ran into one of the resident doctors who took care of Molly the first two weeks she was there. (they rotate every few weeks so we had a few different residents). It took her a second to remember us, but then she said, "Oh! This is Molly! Last time I saw her her stomach was exploding." That was the NEC Molly had to deal with. Needless to say, she too was thrilled with how big Molly has gotten. She was there the day Molly was born and was on the team who saved Molly's life by keeping her breathing. She asked us if the memory has faded yet. It IS fading, but it is not gone completely yet, especially those first few days. I'm sure it will eventually, though.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Advice for the NICU

The woman who was my prenatal yoga teacher has another student who is about to have a baby, and they know that their baby will be going to the NICU for a heart condition. Jessica gave her my contact information in case I could offer her any words of advice. I don't think there is really any advice anyone can give in a situation like that, but I listed a few things. I think if I had been in her situation, I would not have appreciated any advice so I tried to keep it pretty general and not too preachy. I decided to put it on the blog in case I have to go through this again (please God, no, no, no!), or in case anyone stumbles across it from a google search. If anyone wants to add anything, please let me know.

1. Don't let the downs completely take you out. They are to be expected. The nurses and doctors were WONDERFUL, but I would get a little frustrated with them when they did not take the "downs" seriously. I thought when Molly was having a bad day, it was a huge deal, but sometimes they didn't make a big deal out of it. I slowly began to realize that was not because they didn't care; it was because it was all part of the recovery period, and they knew Molly was on the path to being a healthy baby. I have said numerous times that if there really are angels on earth, the NICU nurses are certainly true angels.

2. I'm not sure how it works at UCSF, but at Alta Bates and at Children's Hospital Oakland, parents are encouraged to pick primary nurses who will care for their baby whenever they are working. Take advantage of this. All the nurses are absolutely competent and take good care of the baby, but pick a nurse who will take care of YOU and your partner. It was a huge help for us to have primary nurses who were very communicative with us and who also talked to us like regular people (i.e., talked about their own kids and what they were doing over the weekend, etc.). You will be spending a lot of time with them so you want to have someone you are comfortable with.

3. Ask any questions you can of the nurses. They were a wonderful help with breastfeeding, bathing, changing diapers, teaching us how to take Molly's temperature, baby massage, anything! I would feel like I was bothering them at first (especially with the breastfeeding because that took some time, and we had a lot of trouble getting that going because Molly was so early), but they are happy to help and they are full of useful advice. It was sort of like we had our own private parenting class and were able to ease into baby care.

4. Go home at night and sleep. I felt horrible guilt about leaving Molly at the hospital, not to mention utter sadness at being away from her when we would go home at night. I admit I didn't do well on taking my own advice here, but sleeping and eating well are absolutely imperative for keeping up your spirits, energy, and milk supply.

5. And, yes, get caught up on all the novels you have been wanting to read. There will be (hopefully) a lot of down time where your baby will be sleeping peacefully so you can just relax close by your baby's bed and read and rest.

Monday, September 29, 2008

What a Week

We had a WONDERFUL visit with Mom, Fred, and Aunt Cathy. It was very, very sad saying good bye last night. Molly took to all three of them very quickly, giving them lots of smiles and even a giggle or two (at least it sort of sounded like giggles). They got here on Wednesday afternoon, and Molly Z and I met them at the airport. We went to dinner at our favorite German restaurant that evening. On Thursday, Bill worked, but the rest of us rode the ferry over to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. It was a great way to spend the day, pretty low key and relaxing. The weather was absolutely perfect. After we rode the ferry back, we went back to the house where they were staying, and Mom fixed us a delicious meal. Bill met us over there after he was finished working. On Friday, Bill had to work again, and the rest of us drove up to Muir Woods. We came home over the Golden Gate Bridge and took a detour/driving tour through San Francisco. We picked up pizzas to take back to their house so we could watch the presidential debate. Bill made it over just before the debate started.

On Saturday, we all went to the farmers market and decided to spend the rest of the day playing poker, which was a really great idea. Bill and Aunt Cathy were the big winners, with winning totaling around $9 between the two of them. Sunday we celebrated Aunt Cathy's birthday. We started the day with brunch, and then we went to Berkeley for the How Berkeley Can You Be festival. It started with a parade of art cars (which we missed), but the cars were all parked at the festival so we got to check them all out. We took lots of pictures so Bill will get ours posted soon, and I'm sure Mom and Fred will share theirs. After looking at the cars and watching many, many Berkeley hippies dancing (again, it was a beautiful day and great barefoot dancing weather), we went back to their house for more poker. Aunt Cathy won so much money she couldn't hold it all. My two-day losses totaled about $3, but as Grandpa Joe D. would say, I had $30 worth of fun.

It was a wonderful visit, and I'm so happy Molly got to spend so much time with her extended family. She was so happy all weekend, held by everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Today was the usual Tuesday where poppa Bill stayed with Molly all day while I went to my seminar and did other work. I worked for a long time today on my dissertation. It is so close to being finished! I just have some fairly minor (but still requiring a bit of time) edits to do. Before and after my seminar, I was home working, and I just fed Molly when she got hungry.

Tomorrow Lola, Lopa, and Great Aunt Cathy will be here. We are really looking forward to the visit! I am not sure what all we will do, but I'm sure we will spend a lot of time playing with Molly Z. We might go to the How Berkeley Can You Be parade (you can google it). Bill and I have never been, but it always seems like it would be fun. I'm sure we will eat German food, too.

Molly is starting to get some muscles! You can hold her up, and she will keep her legs rigid on your lap, like she's standing. She also likes to look around at things. You can just tell her little brain is trying to absorb everything.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

posting comments

I think some people have had trouble posting comments, but I have changed the setting so that now anyone should be able post if you want to.

Day at the Beach

Today was the last day Jason and Abby were here. We had a breakfast consisting of the rest of the smoked salmon, bagels, and eggs. After that, we went to Alameda to go to the beach. It was beautiful!! Bill had run there when he was training for the marathon, but I had never been. What a wonderful idea. Next summer we will definitely be spending some time there, when Molly is a little bigger and more likely to like the water. We walked along the beach for a while, and then we stopped at a very good Italian deli for sandwiches. Molly stayed, can you believe it, in the Moby for the whole time, and she was was very content. Her first trip to the beach and she couldn't care less.

Molly's hair is getting very red. It really is cute. She has also been sucking on her hands a lot. Her smiles are getting more frequent every day. She is such a joy! Bill and I are so lucky and happy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Meeting Lots of People

Yesterday our friends Jason and Abby came up to see us and to meet Molly. They brought their dog, Chester, who promptly gave Molly Z a nice, big lick on her head upon meeting her. Last night we did not do a whole lot. Abby was nice enough to bring a wonderful dinner of homemade black bean soup, and she made quesadillas with smoked salmon (that they smoked themselves), cream cheese, and capers. It was delicious! Today we all went to the farmers market. Bill and Jason went shopping in SF, and Abby and I went to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, had lunch, and tried lots of samples. Friends of Bill's parents were in SF on vacation, and we met them this afternoon also so that they could see us and meet Molly Z. She has been asleep in the Moby pretty much all day, but when she came out to meet Rhonda and Steve she had lots of smiles to share. I have had to change Molly's clothes already three times today (spit up, spit up, pee), and I am about to do it again (more stinky spit up).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Good Night of Sleep

Here is a picture of Molly after a good night's sleep. She is smiling more, but they are still infrequent and pretty fleeting.

Molly had another wonderful night of sleep last night! We put her to bed around 10, but we stayed up until almost 11. Her last feeding had been around 9, and she woke up when we went to bed so I fed her at 11. She slept until 5:30 so we got 6 and a half hours of sleep! Yay!

Today we are going to a little get together for a woman I know who is having a baby in a few weeks. Later today, Jason and Abby will be here. We are looking forward to introducing Molly Z to more friends.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, It Was a Fluke

As the title of this post suggests, Molly's sleeping through the night was, sigh, a fluke. Last night we kept her up until we went to bed again, but she woke up at 3:45, and then again at 6. It's okay, though! She is making progress, and we don't mind getting up with her. (She is, after all, a little baby.) She ate at 3:45 for a little while and then went back to sleep. She got up at 6 to eat again. I was so tired, though, that I convinced her to sleep a little more on my chest while Bill went for a run. (He is running five days a week now, and I am really proud of him!) We got to sleep until about 8 or so. Now it's only 9:30, and she is asleep again, lying on me while I am typing. She was fussing a lot while I was making my breakfast so I figured she was just hungry. When I tried to feed her, she ate a little, but kept crying. I cuddled her a little more, and she settled right down. I think she might have been cold. Regardless, she seems to be happy now.

The weather is certainly getting cooler, as fall-like as it gets in the Bay Area. Molly has been wearing pants with her onesies.

Well, my chubby little baby is waking up now so I suppose it is time to eat again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Through the Night!

Our alarm went off at 6AM, and Molly had not woken up all night! Amazing! We put her to bed a little after 10, when we went to bed, and she was not ready to get up until about 6:30. I feel good today because I got such a long stretch of sleep!

Yesterday we took Molly to a bookstore. Today, Molly and I are having lunch with my friend, Kristen. She is also going to get a bath today. In two days, Jason and Abby will be here visiting us, and they will get to meet Molly Z. They are friends from Lexington who now live near Santa Barbara. Jason used to be Bill's office mate at Lexmark.

In one week from today, Lola, Lopa, and Great-Aunt Cathy will be here to see us!

Molly is feeling better since Monday, when she got some more vaccines. She was not feeling well at all on Monday, but she was starting to feel better yesterday, though she was still a little fussy. This morning she seems to feel really good. She is lying here next to me right now, just stretching and grinning now and then at me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some Things I Forgot

I forgot to put some things in my post from earlier today. Molly has started sucking on her hands, which is very cute. She is also getting very good at following faces and voices. Just now she was facing to her right so I shook her rattle on her left. She favors her right side, so the doctor told us to put interesting things on her left side. It was so neat! With a little bit of effort, she turned her head to the other side to look at the rattle.

Molly was definitely not feeling well today since her visit to the doctor. She got some more vaccines so, like last time, she was very fussy. It was quite obvious she did not feel well. She was crying real tears and just being generally unhappy. (Kelly and James picked the right day to go home.) She seems to be feeling a quite a bit better now. I have given her two doses of baby Tylenol and have just spent a lot of time cuddling her today to try to comfort her. When she got her shots this time, she really screamed and cried a lot. It brought a few tears to my eyes, to see her so unhappy. Bill and I think she is just maturing a bit, and now she can feel discomfort more than she could a few weeks ago, at her last visit.

We go back to the doctor in a month!

Visit to the Doctor

We just got home from the doctor, and Molly has certainly grown! She is up to exactly 13 pounds, and she is 22 inches long. Wow! She has almost tripled her weight since she was born. She is now in the 50th percentile for weight. So amazing! She is exactly average weight for a baby born June 9th. We are so happy with her progress, and so is the doctor.

Kelly and James left this morning. It was really sad. We had a wonderful weekend with them. You can read Kelly's post to see her perspective of the weekend. Molly was crazy about both of them. Coincidentally, her smiling frequency has greatly increased over the last few days, just in time for Auntie Kelly and Uncle Jimmy's visit, so they got lots of smiles from their little niece.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Girls Gone Wild

WHAT A WEEKEND...blessed and beautiful!! This is Aunt Kelly...only the proudest aunt in the whole world, or atleast one of the two, to include Aunt Andrea! Yes, Uncle Jimmy and I are visiting beautiful Molly and proud Momma and Poppa here in beautiful Oakland. It's been a wonderful weekend full of walks, blockus, and Molly, Molly, Molly. Krista and Bill have been so great, giving Uncle Jimmy and me all the holding time we can steal for the short visit. I got to carry her everywhere in the Moby. Carried her in the Castro, where Krista, Molly and I got some alone time Fri to shop, at the farmer's market on saturday, and at the bar where we watched the bucs game today for Uncle Jimmy. I held her the whole time and Molly was SOOO GOOD. She never fussed at all! Really!! Unbelievable! She's the best, most beautiful baby ever! I have to say, there is just not enough holding and staring time for the little cutie. Really, I could stare at beautiful Molly poop, sleep, and spit up ALL DAY!! How can she look so adorable doing it?

Krista let me burp Molly Saturday morning (after her first of about 50 feedings that day). Observative Momma noticed while I was burping her that there was something on the new onesie that dad had just put on Molly. Bill was waiting Molly's whole life for a day to dress her in this special, purple robot onesie, when he could be home all day to admire her cuteness. Well, with a little closer look, Krista says, "IT'S POOP!" Yes, Molly blew out another diaper all over her new, clean onesie. And you know what...I didn't even care. It was even a little cute. Who knew I ever thought poop could be cute... AND, I got to help my big sister give her daughter a bath. Molly likes baths. It's fun learning from my big sister! It's incredible how natural it is for her to be the great mom she is. I hope one day I will be even half as good.

This weekend is Uncle Jimmy's first meeting of Molly. SHE LOVES HIM!! Man, I'm going to have to spoil her big time! Molly smiles so big at him. He loves her too! They are very sweet! James and I even got to watch her this morning while Bill ran and Krista tried to catch up on some rest. (It was a good thought, but mom was needed again shortly after.) It was so fun! We just laid with her and made faces. It's fun to see Molly developing her personality and smile. She's the best!

Okay, well Bill and James are staring at me waiting for me to finish this blog so they can try to beat me at Blockus....Bill said yesterday his goal is no longer to win, but to make me lose. I love getting to them so passionately :) ....and for my disclaimer, yes, Bill beat me 2 of 3. And Uncle Jimmy wants to be sure I acknowledge his two 2 silvers and an honorable mention for coming in LAST! :)

I can't wait to come back next month....I love her so much!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Future

I had a meeting yesterday with my adviser. I took Molly with me, and Lorraine held her the entire meeting. She also bought Molly an adorable little dress, onesie, and some tights. So cute! It was a very good meeting. My dissertation is coming along, and I plan to be finished in a couple of months. The big news is that I will probably be staying home with Molly after I file my dissertation. Bill and I have been talking about it for a few weeks, and I discussed it with Lorraine. Bill and I think that the best thing for the three of us will be for me to be a stay at home mom for a little while. Lorraine told me she thinks it is a great idea, and it should not hurt my chances of getting a faculty job down the road. She is the dean, and she has been around for a long time so I certainly trust her advice. I am so excited about this! I never thought I would want to do this, but now that I have Molly, I know this is the best thing for our family. And like Grandpa Joe D. said, if it doesn't work out, I can find a job.

Aunt Kelly and Uncle Jimmy are coming in today! We are really looking forward to seeing them. Kelly gets in to Oakland in a little over an hour, and James gets in around 6:30 our time. Bill is working, so the three girls will get to spend the whole day together. I'm not sure what we are going to do. I was thinking we might go to the Castro in San Francisco and do a little shopping.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Three Months Old

Yesterday Molly Zelda turned three months old! It's so hard to believe! She is so big and healthy, such a change from three months ago. It's really amazing. We are so fortunate. I have started the process of changing her clothes in her dresser from 0-3 months to the 3-6 months clothes we have. It is actually a little sad, but very sweet. I'm happy to say that she is starting to grow out of the little clothes, even though she is on the smaller end of her true age (three months, as opposed to her adjusted age, which is just over a month).

Yesterday I had my second seminar so Bill was home alone with Molly. They had a great time again, though the weather was much cooler than it was last week so they did not spend as much time outside.

My milk is absolutely crazy! (You can skip this paragraph if you don't want to hear more about breastfeeding). Last week, I pumped right before I left so that Bill could feed Molly fresh milk. My supply was out of control for two days! It was like it was a few weeks ago, when I had way too much milk. I was leaking, and Molly was getting all foremilk (and hence bad gas and diarrhea). Yesterday, I decided not to pump, but just to have Bill use frozen breastmilk. It was better, but it still kind of messed me up not to have that feeding. She never completely emptied one breast yesterday, which means she was getting primarily foremilk. I usually just continue multiple feedings on one breast until it is emptied, but yesterday and overnight I had to switch because she just never emptied it, and the other one was getting really, really full and hurting. I manually expressed some milk because when that happens, Molly has a really difficult time swallowing it all. Last week, right after she started eating, she pulled herself off to catch her breath, and I literally sprayed her all over her face. It was like a hose! It was kind of funny, but I felt bad for MZ. With my maually expressing some, I tried to avoid more of the firehose. Hopefully, today it will balance out to normal again, and it will not take as long as it did last week.

Yesterday I pulled an ultra supermom move. I was cooking dinner and simultaneously nursing Molly. How's that? I doubt that will be able to happen much more--she's getting pretty heavy to hold with one arm while standing up. I was pretty proud of myself, though. :)

Tomorrow I am taking Molly with me for a meeting with my dissertation advisor, Lorraine (many of you met her when you came to my graduation). We will discuss my dissertation, which I think is very nearly complete, and what my life will be like after I file that thing. I will keep you posted. Lorraine came to visit us in the hospital right after Molly was born, before I was discharged from the hospital. I am looking forward to her seeing how big Molly has gotten since then!

Bill and I have decided to keep Molly up a little later at night so that we can get a little bit of a longer stretch of sleep. When we put her down at night, she usually sleeps for 5 or 6 hours. But because we were going to bed an hour or two after that, we were getting a much shorter stretch of sleep. A couple of nights ago, we put her down at 10 when we went to bed, and she slept until 3:30 (or was it 4?). I can't remember. One night she slept until 3:30, and one night she slept until 4. It has worked out well, but the down side is that we don't have any time with just the two of us. That's fine with us, though. Bill has been working away from home so he gets a little extra time with her at night, which is really nice. When she starts sleeping for longer stretches, we can start putting her down earlier again. This whole parenting thing is all experimentation, isn't it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Earthquake and So Much Love

Two nights ago there was a 4.0-magnitude earthquake that we felt here. It was pretty big, and it lasted a number of seconds; I think the newspaper said 7 seconds. It happened at 9PM, a little while after we had put Molly to sleep for the night. I ran in to check on her right away, but the little girl had not even stirred. We kind of knew that because we did not hear her on the monitor, but I wanted to check on her nonetheless.

Yesterday we took her to watch the UK game at the UK sports bar in San Francisco. Today was a great day for us! It was a beautiful day, and we spent a lot of time outside. I am so happy right now in my life. Bill and I are just crazy about that little girl, and we are having a great time as a family.

Molly's hair is starting to turn red! She has been grinning quite a lot--she is so cute and sweet!

Aunt Kelly and Uncle Jimmy will be here in five days! We are so excited to see them.

I have mentioned our neighbors whose little boy is in the NICU after having some heart problems. He has taken a turn for the worse so please send your prayers and good thoughts out to the family, that they will be able to handle whatever happens and that little Simon will be comfortable, whether he gets better or he gets worse. It really makes me so appreciate how precious life is, and just how important the people around me are.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

another day of motherhood

Yesterday was a great day. Molly and I went with Trudi and Audrey to lunch and to do a little shopping for work clothes for Trudi, who starts back to work full time next week. We had a wonderful time, and Molly did really well. She hung out in the Moby the whole time, and hardly fussed at all. I fed her right before we left, at a little bakery where we got dessert. Oh, and I got a parking ticket in a parking lot! I was really excited to have a parking lot to park in. It seems like everywhere I go (with the notable exception of the grocery store) I have to find street parking, which can be a total pain. But...this parking lot had a 2-hour limit, which I didn't take seriously. Well, I saw the guy putting the ticket on my window, and he said don't worry about it. It's just letting you know that this is a 2-hour lot so I just thought it was a flyer or something. When I got back, though, I saw that it was indeed a ticket. However, the twist is that there was no actual fine, just a warning that I might get towed. Interesting, huh? So I don't really know who employs that guy if he isn't really bringing in money. I digress.

The weather here has been really hot. It's the only time of year when an air conditioner would be even remotely useful. We have a fan, though, so it's not bad when we are sleeping. During the day it actually isn't too bad either, just much warmer than any other time of year. Molly has been just in her diaper most of the time, with the addition of a swaddling blanket when she is sleeping, which she is doing very nicely right now. She was being pretty fussy when I tried to put her down so I took her to visit Amelia across the hall. Amelia held her for a little while, and Molly eventually fell asleep. I brought her back a few minutes ago to take a nap in her pack n play.

I am really enjoying spending all this time with Molly. I am so lucky! I was a little worried I would feel a little lonely without much adult interaction, but that has not happened yet. For one thing, Molly does keep me pretty busy. I also have a lot of stuff that I can just walk to in the neighborhood if I get bored. Finally, I know a lot of people who I can visit with, including both new moms and non-mom friends. I also talk to Bill a lot during the day. I do not really feel too overwhelmed either. I am trying not to stress out about getting everything done around the house. I try to keep on top of laundry, but I am letting other things go if I can.

We are having a number of visitors this month. Aunt Kelly and Uncle Jimmy are coming a week from tomorrow; our friends from Lexington (who now live in Santa Barbara) will be coming the following weekend; and Lola, Fred, and Great-Aunt Cathy will be coming a few days after that! We are looking forward to it all. Of that group, just Lola and Aunt Kelly have met Molly, and she has changed a lot since they saw her. Lola has not seen MZ since the beginning of July when we were still in the NICU, and Kelly came right after we got home from the hospital. Especially for Lola, MZ is much less fragile (not to mention that she does not have any wires or tubes connected to her).

I started playing with Molly today with some toys. She seemed to follow the sound of a rattle, which was pretty neat. Later, I was just playing with her after I changed her diaper, and I got her smiling a lot. I took a picture of her with my computer, holding her up to the camera. It is pretty cute--she is smiling a little bit, and you can see how big she is getting.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to School

I had to leave Molly Zelda today for the first time (well, for longer than 20 minutes or so) to go to the weekly seminar for my fellowship. It was kind of sad when I left her, and I only teared up a tiny bit, but it was not too bad. It was only for a little more than four hours, and I left her with Bill. I know I can't complain--most people are back to work full time by the time their babies are 12 weeks old and have to leave them all day. I only have to leave her for a few hours a week, and it's with her poppa. So I won't complain anymore. I'm very, very lucky to have this fellowship that allows me to work from home when I want to, rather than having set hours, so I can be with Molly most of the time.

Yesterday we took a family walk (Bill, Molly, Daisy, and me) around the lake. It was a beautiful Labor Day! I strapped Molly in the Moby, and she slept the whole three mile walk. I was a little tired, and a lot sweaty, from having a baby strapped to me, but it was really a great way to spend a couple of hours. Yes, it took a couple of hours because I was walking pretty slowly. My friend Amy came by to visit Molly in the afternoon. She came to visit Molly in the NICU, and she also made us a chocolate cake and a cheesecake while Molly was in the hospital, just because she is nice, and she knows that baked goods are very comforting in times of stress.

Tomorrow we are going with Trudi and Audrey to lunch and to buy work clothes (for Trudi, not me) because she starts back to work full-time next week. (She just had a daughter--Audrey--in July.) It will be nice to get out of the house for a little while.

Molly is doing really well, although she did not want to take a nap today for anything! She has been doing really well with the napping, but not today. I have a feeling it has to do with eating from a bottle rather than the breast today while I was gone. I pumped this morning right before I left so that Bill could feed her fresh milk (even though we still have a freezer full of frozen breast milk). She ate from the bottle yesterday so Bill and Molly could practice for today while I was gone, but that was the first time since we got home from the hospital so we are not really sure how much she actually eats. She was still hungry when I got home, but she hadn't wanted to eat anymore from the bottle. So I fed her again when I got home. Maybe her schedule got messed up a little bit or something. I'm so glad she likes to breastfeed, but that she will also eat from the bottle!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

C-A-T-S Cats! Cats! Cats

Well, the wildcats pulled through. We took Molly Z to our San Francisco UK alumni sports bar to watch the game. She was great, in spite of all the yelling and cheering. She hung out in the Moby until halftime (after an initial passing around among a few people; one of our friends, "Uncle Tommy" said he wanted to hold her before he drank too much beer), and then she started to get a little fussy. We took her out to the car to change her diaper in the back of the station wagon (interesting that there is no changing table in a sports bar), and then brought her back in to eat under the hooter hider. Then she was set until the end of the game. Bill put the Moby on for the second half. It's great that she is still little enough that we can cart her around just about anywhere. I know these days are numbered, though.

I am pooped out today! Usually Bill will take Molly in the mornings so I can sleep an extra hour or two. She is still getting up twice during the night to eat, and I am generally up with her for anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, usually right around an hour. Bill will get up to change her diaper and then bring her in to me to eat. Today he wanted to make sure to squeeze his run in before we left for the game so I didn't get that extra sleep this morning. I did come home after the game and get a short nap, but I think I'll be going to bed pretty early tonight. We are finishing up Season 1 of The Wire. That is a really good show, but it is intense!

What am I thankful for today?
1. I have a healthy, sweet baby girl who is safe at home with us. (We know the two families with babies in the NICU, and it just makes me all the more thankful.)
2. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and our daughter and takes good care of us.
3. All my loved ones are safely out of Gustav's path.

Friday, August 29, 2008


This is today's second post. Molly has learned to smile when she means it (i.e., not just involuntarily or when she is doing something like pooping). This morning, Bill and I were looking over her while she was lying on the bed, and she was grinning at us! It was so amazing! So she was super-happy baby, and then a little while later she was super-upset baby because she had a lot of spit up and clearly did not feel well. She is now happily sound asleep in her pack n play, all swaddled up. I guess it's pretty tiring spitting up so much (it was A LOT--I had to change my shirt twice and throw the Moby in the wash).

Big football game this weekend--go Cats! We'll be taking Molly to the UK bar in SF, Zeke's, to introduce her to the gang from the UK alumni association.

Health Care

Bill and I listened to most of Bill Clinton's speech two days ago at the Democratic convention, and there is one thing that really jumped out at me. In one little line he mentioned that people have told him that in order to pay for medical costs they had to either quit a job or get a divorce in order to qualify for Medicaid. What kind of country do we live in where there is actually a disincentive for work? How does it make sense that a family has to actually quit work or get a divorce (two very un-American things) in order to get health coverage? Many of you know that Bill and I had to drastically reduce our income in order to get coverage for Molly. I had to leave my fellowship (temporarily, but it was a very significant chunk of our monthly income) because I was still getting a couple of paychecks from the university where I was teaching last semester, and Bill had to reduce his workload from 40 hours/week down to 10. We had insurance for Molly through my student coverage, but it was only for 30 days, and it had a $25,000 cap. That was approximately 3 days in the NICU, and our share would have been more than $450,000 (yes, that is 45 with four zeros). We also talked about the possibility of getting a divorce. Our situation is far from unique, and we are in a very temporary place because Molly (hopefully) only had acute medical problems, so after she left the hospital, she was a healthy girl with no long-term health concerns. We will eventually be able to buy insurance for her or include her in group coverage through employers. Of course, when she was born, she was absolutely uninsurable so we had to get Medicaid.

There are 45 million people in the U.S. without health coverage. 45 MILLION! That is crazy to me. I have done a lot of reading about this (it was the topic of one of the papers I wrote for my qualifying exam to advance to candidacy for my phd), and I am not hopeful that we will get this situation corrected any time soon. There are so many competing interests, and our system is an absolute mess!

There is the fairly common misperception that universal health care is the equivalent of socialized medicine. Socialized medicine would mean that the government employs doctors and other health care providers. Universal health care is a much more broad term that just implies a plan where everyone in the country has insurance or some other form of regular access to medical care. Ideally, employers in the U.S. provide insurance, and there are Medicaid and Medicare for the indigent and elderly, respectively, who are out of the work force. However, the number of part-time workers is increasing (they usually do not get insurance), and the number of employers who are providing any coverage or adequate coverage is decreasing so more and more American workers and their families are without adequate insurance. Thus, the incentive to NOT work becomes even more strong, and essentially becomes a mandate. Otherwise, how could they get health coverage? I really hope that our next president makes this a priority and at least gets the process moving forward.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not much to report today, really. We are trying to establish a napping schedule. Any helpful hints from anyone would be appreciated. Molly sleeps a lot in the Moby, but we try to put her down for at least one nap a day in her pack and play. She doesn't really seem to like to nap, though. I don't know if she is still so little that she likes to be cuddled (i.e., in the moby) to fall asleep or if she just doesn't really need that much sleep. I was reading in my handy dandy Dr. Spock book that some babies just don't need as much sleep as other babies. I know I certainly need a lot of sleep, so it seems strange that my daughter would not need that much. Bill can get by with less than I can, and I know Aunt Kelly can get by on (what seems to me) next to no sleep. So maybe Molly Zelda just doesn't need as much. Regardless, I am still trying every day to get her to take a nap outside of the Moby. She will sleep only a little while, usually less than an hour, before she wakes up and starts crying. If she is not crying, we usually just leave her alone to see if she will go back to sleep. We figure she is at least getting some rest even if she is not actually falling asleep. Today I tried to put her on the couch next to me, resting on the nursing pillow. She is there right now, and I am looking at her dosing. That seems to work so maybe I will try that again tomorrow. She is really cute. It has been pretty hot so she is just in her diaper. I took a couple of pictures so those will be in the next group Bill posts. You can see how chubby she is getting, with the rolls on her fat belly.

I have been trying to get out of the house with her a little while every day. It can sometimes be difficult, though, because she eats a lot. I try to leave after a feeding and spend an hour or so out. Luckily, there are tons of things to wander around through in our neighborhood, little shops, coffee shops, a bookstore, etc. so I don't have to drive anywhere. I just strap her on and we take aimless walks. It's pretty nice, actually.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Day of Staying Home

Yesterday Bill started back to "work" full-time. He was gone all day, from 8:30 until 5:30, so Molly and I were on our own. Today is the same thing. She has been sleeping now in the Moby for about 45 minutes, but she was pretty fussy before that. She has been kind of fussy for the last two days or so. On Saturday night she slept until 3:30!!! But, alas, Sunday night and last night were not nearly as good, and she woke up quite frequently. Her trend, though, seems to be to sleep for longer stretches. Yesterday she didn't want to take a nap, but she finally fell asleep for two hours when I put her on my chest. I was exhausted, too, and I was planning on taking a nap when she was, but I just had to modify my plans a wee bit so that I had an infant sleeping on me. Which makes it impossible to sleep in any alternative positions, but oh so sweet! Hopefully today she will sleep a little longer by herself so I can finish doing the dishes in the kitchen that I started doing yesterday before we took our together-nap.

It's so strange to think how different my life is now than it was a few months ago and certainly than it was a year ago! It is difficult to remember the time before Molly. The time in the NICU is also slowly losing its sting from my consciousness (though I doubt the memories and emotional ups and downs of that time will ever fully disappear). That was so recent so the time before that seems like a REALLY long time ago.

We know two other families with babies in the NICU. One we met while Molly was there, and they are still there with their twins born at 25 weeks. The other family are our neighbors whose little boy (four months old) had to be admitted to the NICU at a different hospital in Oakland for heart problems. So I am so grateful that that time is behind us (hopefully, oh, please God let it be behind us forever!), and we have our healthy, chubby baby girl home with us. I don't care if she keeps me up all night because she wants to be cuddled!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reunion Today

Today we went to a reunion for my prenatal yoga class. Most of the women had had their babies so it was fun to see all the mommas and babies (and some of the women who were getting really big bellies). I had not seen any of them since May because after I went into preterm labor in May I was on bedrest so I couldn't go to yoga anymore. It was pretty neat because we all met in a park, and there were a bunch of new mommas sitting around talking about our babies, nursing, and just having a great time! There were also lots of dads there, too, so Bill got to chat with some men who are also new dads. He doesn't meet a lot of parents really because his program does not have a lot of parents or even students who are married or partnered. Molly mostly just slept in the Moby, oblivious to her surroundings. She got hungry after a couple hours so she ate and then went right back to sleep.

She has been a little fussy, probably because of her vaccines from Thursday. She has also had diarrhea, which was almost certainly caused by the vaccines. Hopefully she will be feeling all better in a couple of days. Bill gave her a dose of baby Tylenol today before we left for the park, and that seemed to really work to make her feel better. She calmed down pretty quickly after that.

I learned that Molly is developing good taste in music. Yesterday I gave her a bath (the second time by myself, and the first time when Bill was not home), and I cranked up some Waylon Jennings and sang to Molly Z. She enjoyed it!

Also, last night Molly slept for five straight hours. I put her to bed around 9:20, and she slept until about 2:20! I hope she is back to sleeping until around 2AM again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

More Eating

First, Bill finally posted more pictures on Flickr so check out how big Molly Z is getting!

So, the breast milk situation had pretty much corrected itself, and my milk supply went down, which in turn was much easier on Molly's digestion. I was also a bit more comfortable because I wasn't so engorged (sorry to anyone who is uncomfortable with the discussion of bodily functions). I went back to feeding her one time per breast. This worked well for a while, but now we are back to where we started. My milk supply seems to have really increased again, and Molly is having digestion troubles again--she is having some diarrhea. She doesn't seem to be spitting up as much as she was, though. That might be because she is just getting a little older. I'm not sure why she would not have a corresponding increase in spit up with the other problems, but I am not going to wait to see if that eventually happens before I switch back to going two feedings per breast for a little while to decrease the supply again.

Today Bill left us for campus so I am on my own today with MZ. We will decide what to make for dinner and go to the grocery. How domestic of me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My New Blog

Wow! I now have my own blog, and I created all by myself, without the help of my IT guy (many of you know him as Bill or Billstron). As the name suggests, this blog is meant to keep all of Molly's admirers informed of her development and my feelings and experiences with being a mom.

Today we took Molly Z to the doctor, and she is up to 10 pounds, 14 ounces! She is up to almost 2 and a half times her birth weight. The pediatrician is so happy with her weight gain! She is now in the 25th percentile for her real age, not her adjusted age. (That is, for a 10 week old baby, not a 2 week old baby). It is very exciting. She is really getting chunky. Her little thighs are just so fat! She is also getting quite the double chin.

We got some more of her immunizations at this visit. She got one orally and two shots (with BIG needles). The nurse had me breastfeed her while she was given the two shots. It was pretty incredible. She wailed for about one second and went right back to eating. What a distraction! While she was in the NICU, we got the first in the series for Hepatitis B vaccination, but that was all she had. We will get more when we go back on September 15th. The pediatrician said we should not be alarmed if she develops a low fever and generally does not feel so well for a couple of days because of the vaccines. Poor baby! We can give her baby Tylenol if she starts feeling bad. I think she may not be feeling well now because she was a little fussy in the car (and she usually sleeps the whole time she is in the car). I hate the thought of her not feeling well. I think she has put in all the time for the whole year for not being well while she was in the NICU so I am keeping my fingers crossed that she stays feeling okay.

I am still really tired. Like I said in my last post on bill's blog (which some of you may not have read because Bill posted something on the same day so you might have just read his post and not scrolled down to read mine), I knew I would be tired, but jeez! It's okay, though. I don't mind missing some sleep. It's going to start getting a little more difficult, though. The semester has officially started, and now I have to finish my dissertation. I think it is nearly finished, but it is just going to take some time to do the final edits. I will also start back on Tuesdays to the seminar I am required for my fellowship to attend. That is really not bad, though. It is usually pretty interesting and mostly requires just reading a couple of research articles a week. I am hoping that soon Molly will be sleeping for longer periods. We had about four nights where she slept for about five straight hours, but, alas, she is back to two or three hour stretches at a time. I'm sure that will improve soon, though.