Babies who lunch

Have I mentioned that about there are 3 other Moms who live within our neighborhood from my group?? We finally got together for lunch hosted by Kristen and Allie and had some nice chat, delish lunch, and baby play time!

We even took the obligatory baby photo of the kids on the couch - take a look at the cuties in the picasa link - If we remain in CT these kids are all going to be in the same class together =)

We had fun at lunch and then realized that we missed a month of potential exersaucer usage so we busted that out last night and SHE LOVED IT --- check out those photos too also on picasa...

All packed and ready for our road trip north. Caroline is so excited to go swimming that she can't stand it anymore! She must swim with her Papa asap!!!!

packing on the lbs

Caroline weighed 12lbs 8.5 ounces at her appointment today and got up to 12 lbs 11 ounces after a meal. The doctor was very pleased, even asking what happened. She gained an astounding pound in just three weeks!!!

Today was also our last official Moms group. We are hoping to have the opportunity to pop in every now and again. Thanks to Jen for introducing us to the program, it really made all the difference!!! Who knows if we would still be nursing without Lisa and Robin and company... We miss flirty boy Ryan!!!!

Caroline is all packed for daycare!

She is sort of packed for the beach. I had packed for a week like this one and it appears that it is going to be much more mild next week. So currently I have two piles which I am attempting to consolidate.

The routine thing is going great too!!! She takes a morning nap at 9 and eats at around the same times daily. I would like to pat myself on the back for that, but really it is that she is no longer hungry every hour. yay!!! We are excited for our trip home and a much needed rest for Steve...

a celebratory vacation for the end if his sole providership and the beginning of a whole new chapter for our family.

Hotter than Hades?

Is it just super sweater Kerri or is it hotter than Hades out there today??? I am keeping to our schedule despite the inferno like temps and brought my appropriately scantily clad but covered by stroller shade babe out for our regular walk this morning. We increased the walk to almost an hour!!! She was STARVING when we got back here, but she made it!!!

I was such a disgusting sweating through my shirt face wiping stroller pushing Mom that I had to make her wait an extra two minutes so I could take the flash shower (you know the ice cold dash in dash out variety) as not to stick to her during her meal.

We caught up with a Mom from our group on our way home which I normally would relish except that I was trying to keep my foul sweaty self at a safe distance from her because I was oh so gross. She and her daughter Ellen, who just turned 3 months today walk everyday about the same time as we do with their dog Sadie. Sadie takes Doggie Xanax and can be a bit anxious, but is a very obedient puppy.

Never have I been so thankful to be married to a hottie like Stevie (and I mean that in both senses of the word babe). I may curse and complain and shiver all through summer, but I am keeping my mouth shut from now on and plan on just sucking it up with a sweatshirt. GOD BLESS Central Air!!! Visions of both Caro and myself dashing in the sprinkler for relief pass through my nice cool head... Steve you win... I cannot live without central air...

On our way out into the heat for a trip to the post office.

Snort, Snort

Caroline accompanied me to Angela's baby shower in Western MA yesterday and was quite a well-behaved little charmer for most of her visit. It was fun to introduce her to everyone. Nana quite enjoyed having her there and even sat with her on a swing for a nice little nap. I thought that nap had the potential to screw me on the ride home, but Missy was in a pleasant and forgiving mood and blissfully slept the ride home. She didn't get to sleep until almost 10, but then slept until 4:30 and then again until EIGHT!!!!????!!!! THANK YOU CARO!!!

Steve and I think that Caroline is getting plumper and that the Fenugreek and our new nursing methods are working splendidly. She feels more solid and is filling out her pjs more than she was last week. Via the bathroom scale, which is not the most accurate and doesn't measure ounces she is 12.5 pounds. I am very impressed with the gain and we have found that since starting our new plan she is happier, sleeping better, and even enjoying some rest time/nap time occasionally. I still need to mad dash for the shower, but whatever.

Caroline wolfed down her cereal this morning, which was great! She sometimes gets through the bowl and sometimes not, but this time she was even in a good mood after eating and didn't want to nurse right off... another marker for success??

We are busily preparing for our vacation next week in HUM!!! YAY!!!!

Off to dress Miss Caro in a fun summer outfit for an outing to Daddy's office, the grocery store, and perhaps a walk by the pond...

It's Official...

The McFamily spent the greater part of Friday afternoon at the DMV getting new licenses and registration thus making our move 100% official. While it was a gigantic pain in the rear we are glad to have it done. It was tough to take off those Red and White MA plates, both literally and figuratively. Steve appears confused as he has our new plate on the front and our old plate on the back. The back plate bolts refuse to budge and he is currently en route for WD40 which we cross our fingers will work. I doubt it is legal to drive the way it is now...

Back to the DMV. I can't fault this state for efficiency nor organization. The lines moved smoothly, people were helpful, even showed a little courtesy and personality in some cases. In order to get this all done we each needed 3 checks, had to wait in 6 lines, and collectively spent over 500 buckeroos. I actually had to run home before we even started because I needed a piece of postmarked mail with my name on it and anyone who knows me knows that I toss the envelopes first chance I get. So I raced home and then raced back with the ONE piece of unopened mail in the house. We waited in line to get numbers, in line to get our licenses, in line to take the vision test, in line to get the actual card, in line to get another number, in line to get our VIN verified, in line to get the registration and just when we thought the end was in sight we needed the address of the finance companies for our cars and had to make frantic calls which thankfully were successful.

Caroline slept for 85% of the 100 hours we spent there - GOD BLESS HER!!!!

Then to treat ourselves we went to the Bridgeport Bluefish game last night- paid 14 bucks for third row home plate seats and had an absolute blast!!! If not for the crazy rain delay Caro would have made most of the game, but we ended up having to leave in the 5th inning. She was standing up on our laps and cooing the whole time. Good practice for her first official baseball game in a couple weeks in Beantown!!!!

Relaxing today as a fam and then Angela's shower on Sunday...

Daycare...

I called our daycare provider yesterday to get the 411 on exactly what I need to pack up for Caroline's first day on July 10th. I need a shoebox sized plastic container that will hold all her supplies and I can basically pack it full of whatever we think she will need - not including bottles. So that means diapers, wipes, diaper cream, onesies, outfit changes and the like. After writing that down and thinking - wow - I need to get more onesies - I took my little fussbudget outside for some hammock time to chill her out (works like a charm - do they have hammocks at daycare?).

Quickly doing the math in my head and realizing that our time at home 24/7 is coming to an end I became a little sad. Caroline was sitting on my lap (almost holding herself up I might add) and just gazing up at the trees and feeling the wind in that baby way that makes you think that seeing those trees and feeling that breeze is just about the best thing they have ever experienced. I love that. She looked so peaceful and adorable and sweet and I became a little teary-eyed, which is bound to happen during these last days at home, but I was entirely not expecting. Then the most magical thing happened. Caroline looked at me with those baby blues made her inquisitive investigative face and reached out her hands to touch my face wiping each tear away with such precision and care that it made my heart leap. Caroline is an old soul afterall and a caring one at that...

Who's the baby and who's the mommy....

So word from the hubby is that the masses (Auntie C) are hollering for a post - even if just a paragraph - to give them something to read at work errr home =)

Regarding weight

OK, so without getting into numbers because they aren't all that important anyway, Caroline is demonstrating once again her ability to pack on the pounds when she needs to. We went for a session at Breastfeeding Resources earlier this week to discuss my milk supply and ways I can increase what I am giving her. Recently I have been having to feed her nearly every hour of the day (thankfully not at night) and it was getting a bit crazy. With me returning to work, even part-time, I wanted to nip this in the bud and get it all figured out even more. SO - I am taking an herbal supplement (used in Indian cuisine and a flavoring for maple syrup) called Fenugreek.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenugreek
http://breastfeeding.com/all_about/all_about_fenugreek.html

I saw an almost overnight change in my supply and we are happily eating every 2 or more hours since yesterday =) I am noticing some balance issues and have been feeling a bit like my blood sugar is low, which I discussed with the group facilitator yesterday. Given my PCOS history, I am likely feeling the low blood sugars a bit more than a typical nursing mom and I am already beginning a taper on the herb - down from 2 pills 4 times a day to 1 pill 4 times a day.

So besides the less frequent nursing, what else is different? Caroline seems happier! She is happier more often than sad and is NAPPING more spontaneously and more frequently during the day =) which I think is a direct result of being more satiated when she does eat. This makes her mother very very happy.

I am not all that concerned with her weight - she is happy and is thriving, meeting all her milestones. I will continue to try to pack on the ounces, but I refuse to freak out about her dip in weight gain. She had a rough month with the move and her fever and clearly as I am now producing less milk I did too, so we will just push forward and get through this.

Some Fun Stuff

My parents came down for a visit yesterday after work and Caroline entertained everyone with her cute noises and interest in books. Granda read her a story and I finished up with Green Eggs and Ham for bedtime. They couldn't get over what a little girl she is becoming and they cannot wait to share her with the rest of my mother's fam at Angela's baby shower this weekend. (Another little girl!!! Due in September!)

Baby Einstein is just about the cutest thing ever, besides our Caro of course. We are getting into Baby Sign, a new DVD out recently, to introduce her to sign language (as I type that I realize that Steve has not yet seen the video! whoops!!!) and she will watch it for a bit before she gets distracted by her favorite toys - her feet. I am trying to emphasize the signs for mealtime especially (cereal, more, all done, milk). We'll see how that goes...

Someone at babies r' us told me that my son was flirting with them... General rule of thumb for the masses - if the baby is in yellow or green (she was in yellow at the time) ask the baby's name before making these statements. I spent some time later that day looking at her in her adorable CLEARLY girl yellow outfit wondering if she did look like a boy. Steve's solution to this is to have her ears pierced. =)

I hope this post pacifies the outcry for a post =) She seems to be getting better about giving me 15 minutes so I hope to be able to post more frequently soon...

Time?

James Taylor may think that time isn't really real, but I beg to differ because I seem to find myself with none (hence the non-updated blog) and it also appears to be absolutely flying by. It is difficult to imagine that Caroline is already 4 months old and that she is doing all sorts of new and seemingly grown-up things. She begins daycare in less than a month three days a week and I have been trying to explain to her that it is going to a very rude awakening for her (and me too), but more on that later...

I thought I was busy before, but as she gets older things keep getting more and more crazy. Our scheduled naptime makes me laugh now because since the move and her fever there has been very little in the shape of a normal naptime. She napped like a champ when she was sick, but since then (and during my subsequent cold) she has taken up a position against all things nap related. This is typical four month old behavior though... she wants to be playing all the time now and sleep will take away from all that fun.

That is not to say that I have zero downtime, but that time is now devoted to household tasks like dinner prep, unpacking boxes, organizing things and an endless to do list. She is more of a catnapper anyways - so those 15-30 minutes are priceless and one of them is spent showering. So I have neglected the blog, I won't make excuses, my lack of updates are actually pretty appropriate given the crazy-town life I seem to be living right now.

Caroline is into everything. You can put a snack wrapper in front of her and she is reaching and grabbing and interested. She found her feet officially because everytime she is on her back she is holding them or her knees, it's very cute. She is interested in every toy, every book, everything around her. including Reese whom she pet with close supervision of course. She uses her own left thumb or any number of fingers to soothe herself and can often soothe herself to sleep at night. Speaking of bedtime... When she was sick we were back to getting up at midnight or two and then four again... ohhhhh it was rough. She is tough to get to sleep again despite my best efforts to keep her awake from 4 pm on. She'll get back to her old self soon we're sure (or at least we hope and pray to GOD!)

Caroline is SO much fun right now and it is hard to even remember what it was like to have a newborn in the house. She looks over at you while you are doing other things and when she gets your attention and you smile at her she breaks into a huge gummy grin and often a giggle or squeal. It is absolutely priceless. That gummy grin may soon be sporting one or two bottom teeth. The buds are there and there is a small pointy little something trying to make its big debut. She is babbling all the time too, at least when she is happy. It is mostly ahhh or variations of ahhh with an occasion goo thrown in for good measure, but I swear she occasionally says hi.

She is doing pretty well with the cereal, though I am not too sure she is actually swallowing a great deal because I end up cleaning most of it off her chin and bib. She does enjoy mealtime though, which is fun. She gets all excited when the bowl and spoon (thanks Erin and Courtney!) make their morning appearance.

Yesterday she spent some time in the Bjorn (her FAV) while Steve did some pruning of these monsterous hedges that we have and though the girls could not help that much, she was so behaved and excited the whole time; kicking her legs and squealing. When we took her inside to get ready for dinner, I took her out of the Bjorn and set her down on the couch nestled safely (or at least I thought so) in the corner of the sofa. I did not walk away or turn my back (thank god) because in the time it took my to unsnap the Bjorn and take it off she leaned FORWARD and toppled onto her side and if I had not have been standing right there she may have landed right on the new carpet. While this was very scary to see it was a good reminder to us NEVER to turn our backs on her ever. She is getting so so close to sitting up and now more than ever we have to be vigilant in making sure she is safe. Sitting up... wow...what a big girl

She has been sitting in the Bjorn while I type this update. That leads me back to some of the opening mumbo jumbo... her rude awakening... Here at home I am at her disposal 24/7 and trust me when I say that she utlizes most of those hours. There are no free rollover hours here in McMomtown, so she knows that you either use em or lose em and use em she does. While she is at times very much able to be on her own for a few minutes of playtime on the activity mat or in the swing, she wants constant attention from one of us almost all the time and I don't blame her or fault her in anyway for that, she is only four months old. I do know that the ratio at her daycare is not quite like at home where she has at least one person always at the ready to hold, play, feed or console her. I am concerned about what those first couple days are going to be like for her and it makes me very nervous. I am working still on building that 10 am nap back into her schedule and trying to get another one in around 1:30. I know she will be ok, they will take great care of her, but she is in for a big surprise...

Speaking of daycare, I got a job.

Job stats....

20 flexible hours (some work from home time)
in the same town in which we live, mere minutes door to door
working with caregivers and families
running a bereavement support group
planning educational opps for caregivers
providing limited counseling services to families one on one

I am psyched!!!!

I can even bring Caroline with me and I might in the beginning until her daycare starts. My new supervisor even went so far as to tell me to start slowly a few hours a day with her in tow to ease us into it. What a DREAM!!!!!

So there is the update. I now have a sleeping baby on my chest in her Bjorn after a little fussing.

We officially started the Fifth Month photos... she wasn't all that excited about photos last week, but we managed to get a few in with her and the bear... Look at all the interest in toys and books!

Four Months...

Caroline is FOUR months today!!!

We coincidentally had her 4 month check-up this afternoon as well. She is 50% for head circumference, 24 3/4 inches tall which is over 75%, and 11 lbs 3 oz which is only in the 5th%. Our doctor is not terribly concerned with her weight because she is so tall and also because she was just sick. We have to return to his office in about a month for a weight check, but at this time he does not see a reason to supplement with anything additional. He suggests that we continue cereal, but limit it to once a day and a small amount to ease her into solids slowly. He was also careful to remind us that cereal is not the same as a meal and should be given in addition to her other meals. Though we could tell he was not in total agreement with our cereal decision, he did not in anyway disuade us from giving her cereal, which I think speaks volumes for him. I don't think I would function well with a dictator doctor type, in fact even if he said no to cereal without a valid reason I would continue to do as I please anyway... maybe he knows this already?

Caroline also had FOUR shots to commemorate her FOURTH month. It never gets easier to see them gets shots does it??? It was more of a purple faced scream this time than a silent screech, which I suppose is an improvement. She'll be enjoying grape flavored tylenol later on.

Kiki is on her way down to CT to spend some time with us while Poppa heads across the pond on business. Kiki, Caroline, and I have business to attend to as well, likely in New Haven at a European furniture and doo dad emporium which doubles as a human sized rat maze... I think you know the one I am referring to? =) We are in the market for a matching coffee table and end table for our formal living room. The sideboard we put together looks great in there, but we need a place for snacks and glasses for guests that we won't likely have very many of =) At least we can pretend right... Besides - Kiki has NEVER been and I had difficulty understanding why she has not ventured here on her own yet. I hope it is a kind and pleasant introduction. Before we even get that far though I would like to unpack my clothes. Yes, my clothes. I am living on a limited amount of t shirts and shorts right now and it would be nice to have some other options. So that is priority UNO when she arrives, not to mention completing Caro's room and getting her things more organized too. It is challenging to do this because when I have time to be in there doing things the room is usually occupado by a sleeping babe, NOT THAT I WOULD EVVVVEEERRR complain about that. We got her curtain up and her lamp situated (Thanks Linda) and I consider that monumental movement in her unpacking. =)

Alli, Mom to Abbi in video below, sent along an excellent article from the Washington Post about motherhood and what it is that us Moms do all day, whether we are working or not... It is worth a read and for those feeling neglected by us new moms out there, perhaps you will understand that it is less of a choice than you might believe it to be?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/22/AR2007052201554.html

Also - stay tuned for the 4 month photo shoot scheduled for later today or tomorrow, the lighting is not so much down here for photo taking. A whole new month of photos to begin an album for!!!!

Updates...

Some big goings on...

Caroline went back to the beach and this time not only did she enjoy the scenery, but she experienced it too, frigid water and all. I put her toesies into the water and the sand and her Poppa took her out a bit further and got her feet wet some more. It was such a hot day that it must have felt good - Poppa declared that he liked her. She must be a beach loving McM afterall =)

Mc Mom and Dad were given quite a scare on Wednesday when our baby girl developed a fever. After Moms group I took Caroline out of her carseat and she felt warm. She had been kind of fussing all day and eating what felt to me to be non-stop. It was a hot day though and she had been through the move just a few days before that, so I thought she might be eating for comfort... So I checked her temp just for ha has... the fever started at 100.1, went up to 101 and by the time we arrived at the pediatrician's office it was 103!!! A little baby Tylenol and she was on her way to recovery, but not until after we kept checking to be sure she was breathing several times. Caro was lethargic, pale faced, and glassy eyed... it was really truly scary. We thought we were in for a long long night, but she went right to sleep and by morning her fever had vanished. I took her back to the doctor for precautionary reasons. They took blood and did urinalysis (which meant I had to witness them catheterizing her!) which both came back normal. The tests were as usual tougher on Mom than baby who sucked on her pacifier and enjoyed looking at her Mom upside down from the exam table. We were thankful that the fever left as quickly as it arrived, but what a scary scary moment for us.

To top off our eventful week here, Caroline has ceased sleeping through the night. She woke us at midnight on Friday and 2am last night. Maybe related to her fever? She continues to visit "boot ville" about 45 minutes after meals. Perhaps the fever is gone but the bug remains??? Who knows... We took our uninterrupted sleep for granted!!! We hope she'll be sleeping through again soon!!!

We have our 4 month check-up on Monday afternoon. Last scale check I did last week she was 11 pounds with all her clothes and a semi full belly/diaper. She is a peanut... This of course raises more silly self doubt - Is she eating enough? Do I have enough food for her? Is her weight ok? What if she isn't getting enough? I am actually anticipating that we might need to supplement her meals, but that wouldn't be the end of the world right? I just want my baby girl to be healthy.

We kept busy all weekend doing things around the house... We have THREE trips to Home Depot alone - thankfully it is just down the street. There is something about being here in our house that makes us feel like more of a family. Sitting with her on the hammock in the backyard, looking at the house, listening to the birds, feeling the quiet breeze --- we are content... this is the happiest time in our lives! It won't be long until miss Caro is running all over the yard doing cartwheels and playing in the sand box...but I won't wish this time away... this time is just as exciting...