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!