Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Little Baby Einstein.

Wait, you thought this was going to be a post where I bragged about how smart Ava is? Ha! No. I'm making every attempt not to be that type of mommy, since those are the mommies that nobody talks to on the playground. This is the polar opposite type of post - the one where I confess what a terrible mommy I am when, at just days past three months, I plopped Ava in front of a Baby Einstein video to save my sanity.

I'm not sure what it is lately. I *think* it's that she has been skimping big time when it comes to naps during the week, leaving her exhausted and cranky come 3:30. At least, I'm praying it's that, since that's fixable. I'm planning to take one of our swings - the travel swing - over to the D's so that she'll have a nice place to sleep during our time there, seeing as how she's recently decided she's not a huge fan of the carseat unless in the car (and who can blame her on that one?) Anyhow, she's been making me cuckoo with the constant wanting to be held and the overtired fussypants behavior she exhibits during the late afternoon, and with the whole clogged duct issue, I threw my reservations out the window and popped in Baby Mozart.

She LOVED it. She sat entranced, and I popped a roast chicken into the oven. I washed my face. I even managed to get her clothes set out for tomorrow morning, all with both hands and without any fussing for ambiance. Amazing.

I still hold that these DVDs will be used as an exception, not a rule, but wow. I needed that.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In The Meantime...

Here are some pics for you to peruse while I'm recuperating :)

I'm still feeling terrible, with the pain increasing by the hour, and am starting to think it's heading toward mastitis despite my best effort to rest, nurse frequently, pump and apply heat/massage. Any suggestions welcome!

Clogged Duct = Major Ouch.

I am about 99% sure that I have a clogged milk duct, and let me tell you friends, it hurts!

It all started just a few short hours ago, when I rolled over onto my right side and woke up wondering why someone had punched me in the boob! My right breast was so unbelievably sore, as well as extremely hard and engorged considering A had eaten last only 5 hours before. One particular spot seemed to be the root of the problem, with the pain centralized right around a tender nodule. I tried to massage the spot, but it was far too painful. Instead, I popped a couple tylenol and went back to sleep. Or at least attempted to, with minimal success. For the first time in recent memory, I said a little prayer that Ava would wake up and eat at 2AM.

Flash forward two and a half hours, with little miss still going strong in the sleeping department. Yay for seven hours straight, but could you kindly get up now little lady? My breast may explode! She obliged this time, mainly because I was making all sorts of noise to help her along, and while I followed the advice I found online of nursing with her chin towards the clog, it still seems to be as painful as ever despite our marathon middle-of-the-night nursing session.

Next up to try? A hot shower and round two of massage, though it'll have to wait until morning because I'm flat exhausted at this point. If that doesn't work, I've heard nursing on all fours can work wonders for getting the breast to empty completely, though the logistics seem both awkward and hilarious. Hopefully it won't come to that!

Please, please don't let me get mastitis!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Do your babies display any odd/adorable/somewhat obnoxious nursing behaviors? I can't be the only one, right?

I had mentioned before that Ava likes to pound her fists on my chest sometimes while eating. It's not painful, but still she's pretty forceful with those little fists for a wee little baby! I'm not sure if it's just her newfound love of her hands, or if she's needing more milk or what, but it's strange just the same.

Nowadays Ava is also popping on and off frequently while nursing. From what I know, this is because she's just more interested in the world around her than she was when she was younger, but makes for much longer feeding times. I really don't want to have to feed her in seclusion so that she'll focus, because that means I'll be stuck in a room alone at each feeding, but I'm not sure what else to do. Is anyone else having this experience? I haven't nursed in public, but I can imagine that this would make it much more revealing if I absolutely needed to!

Ava still wraps her little arm around my waist and strokes my back as she eats - I love love love this and hope she never stops. It's so adorable!

She also likes to take the other hand and grip the top of my shirt. Love it!

I think my favorite little mannerism, though, is her recently emerged excitement at nursing. Just about two weeks ago, whenever I position A in my arms to nurse and start to unlatch, she starts getting so excited! Shell kick her little legs and/or move her little arms like crazy, all the while cooing and making the most adorable little shrieks. So cute!

I love nursing and all the cute little things that go along with it. Pumping, not so much. But nursing - I love it!

Update: Today she started doing something else I find adorable - twirling my hair through her fingers as she nurses. I love my little A!

Three-Month Photo Shoot!

First off - Ava weighs 12.6 lbs. Not what I was expecting, but still within normal-ish range. She's just a bit on the small side, which makes sense, since D and I are both a tad small, and he was always in the smallest percentages as a child. Whew. You have no idea what a horrible mommy I felt like thinking I hadn't noticed her complete lack of weight gain.

Ok, on to the good stuff. Ava and I had a very impropmtu photo shoot on the futon yesterday (In case you're wondering, no, we're not overgrown college students, and yes, we do have a couch. It's actually a huge sectional downstairs, The thing is, though, with Ava pooing through outfits and spitting up and just generally being an adorable little roly-poly baby, we prefer to sacrifice our futon instead. Oh, and the big screen is upstairs :))

Here's the pics:

Hmm...I may have to try later. I'm not sure if it's a blogger issue or a me issue, but I can only get these two pics to upload?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Three Month Birthday, Ava!

Can you believe it's already been three months? I sure can't! Little miss is growing like a weed - now at 24.5 inches long! Holy moly! Not that I needed it, but even further proof that she was 21 inches and not 19 inches at birth! I'm going to weigh her in a bit to see what she's weighing in at, but I'm guessing nearly 13 pounds, if not more. I haven't had a chance yet because lazy bones is still in bed!!! I, however, opted to forgo extra sleep in favor of some time to myself, and am 100% satisfied with my decision. It's so nice to get up, have time to myself to pump and watch the news and do a bit of painting before her and D get up. I even had a chance to shower and wash my hair without putting A in her bouncy chair - I'm sure she appreciates that just as much as I do!

Speaking of painting, this morning I finished something I've been working on for a few days now, and that I'm very excited about having made: Ava's stepstool. Yeah, yeah, it'll be a while before she can use it, but I love having a good craft project lately, so I channeled my energy here:

I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out, I think? At least, it's not too bad for a first attempt :) Don't let me fool you with my recent craft-obsession. I'm not artistic whatsoever. The three-year-old I watch is a better artist than I am, and surely can draw a better person!

What else is new? Ava is sleeping consistent 6-7 hour stretches, with some 8 hours. I'll take it. I am still pretty jealous of those of you getting 9-12 hours at a time, though! One thing I definitely appreciate is her ability to sleep in, though. I think I'd rather her sleep 9-9 (or even later, like this morning) than 7-7 or so, if only because I'm all too happy to sleep past 7AM! So thank you for that, darling A!

Ava is still being exclusively breastfed, with a bottle or two thrown in each week. I'm happy to report she's never had formula, which is something I'm proud of, especially with the challenges we encountered with breastfeeding initially.

She's also laughing these days! It's the most adorable sound I've ever heard, and it's hilarious to me the shocking lengths D and I will go to in order to make her laugh. Unfortunately, her favorite thing is farting noises. If you make little farting noises with your lips or by blowing raspberries on her skin, she'll laugh. Secretly I'm OK with the toilet humor though ;)

She also grabs on to everything, and has gotten pretty proficient with her little hands!

Here are some pics of my lovely lady. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

This outfit makes her look so chunky! And the hat is a bit too big - but still cute!

This is actually my outfit from 25 years ago!

Ava & Daddy

Update: I weighed Ava when she woke up, and she weighs 11.8 lbs. I thought it was a mistake since at her 2-month visit she weighed 11.5 lbs, but after repeating it with me holding her, then D holding her, then just her, and each time it was the same. D has a ridiculous metabolism, and I suppose mine is no slouch either, but still, even with a high metabolism she needs to be gaining weight, so I think ill be calling the doc in the morning. Anyone with any insight?

Friday, March 26, 2010


Ava's doing much better today - thanks for the kind words, everyone! I talked to the doc this morning and he said that as long as she is behaving normally and her soft spot isn't bulging - which it's not - she's fine. He was very sweet, though, and gave me his home number to call next time something like this happens so I'm not up worrying all night. I love our pediatrician!

D's gotten over it as well, thankfully. I know that I reacted the exact way I shouldn't have - as if he was unfit and like I cared about her more than the way I was making him feel. To be honest, with my baby hysterically crying for the first time in her life, I did care more about how she felt than how he did. I think I wouldve been less furious had it not been the remote. Nothing says 'I'm paying attention to the TV as opposed to my sweet, cuddly little daughter' quite like that. Oh well - all's well that ends well!

On a side note, Ava slept 8.5 hours last night! Unfortunately mommy hardly slept a wink, thanks to the hourly alarm I set so that I could check on her and her poor little head. He drops the remote on her soft spot, and I wake up every hour to check on her while he sleeps soundly - how does that make sense? Ok, seriously done venting this time!

The post I had originally been meaning to write yesterday was on the topic of motherhood. More specifically, it was about how very much I enjoy it. Despite the sleepless nights, the ability to relate to dairy cows, the still-obvious linea negra on my belly - I LOVE being a mommy. I love everything about it. I love shopping for toys that she'll soon be starting to play with. I love her little baby voice and the plethora of sounds that come out of it. I love imagining what she'll be like as she gets older, what her first word will be, what subjects she'll excel in. I just love it. I have never felt more fulfilled and important than I do now.

Being a nanny, I frequently encounter parents that don't enjoy their role as parents. They don't take the time out to play with their children, and don't enjoy what amazing little playmates and learners we're gifted with when we become parents. I'm writing this now so that when I'm feeling overwhelmed, or harassed, or just plain tired, I can look back on this and remind myself just how lucky I really am to have a child, and how despite some of the challenges that are unique to parenthood, the overwhelming majority of the time is absolute perfection :)

Enough rambling - A's awake and wants to read her new books, and in a mere few hours, the weekend awaits us!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So remember how the other day I was extremely sad about cutting Ava's finger? Yeah - that was clearly in preparation for today, just about an hour ago, when D dropped the remote (have you ever heard of something more assinine and ridiculously upsetting?!?) on her head. Directly next to her soft spot.

Maybe I'm just super cautious because my job tends to depend on it, but in my six years as a full-time nanny, I have never once encountered this situation, and was in no way prepared for how awful it would feel. I also couldn't have guessed how furious I would feel. I couldve killed him. Seriously??? The remote??? Who. Does. That????

She screamed for a good fifteen minutes, just inconsolably crying. And to add insult to injury, I ran over to take her and nurse/comfort/protect her (I couldn't help it - maternal instinct?!) and severely offended D, which helps nothing of course and made everything that much worse. Some infant tylenol and a cold compress later she finally calmed down enough to nurse, while I talked to my mom about whether or not I should take her to the hospital or not. She said as long as she calms down within 30 minutes, isn't vomiting and is breathing fine without any major swelling or any pupil changes, she should be fine, but we'll be waking up every two hours to check on her and calling her pediatrician first thing in the morning.

What an absolutely horrible feeling.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Infant Sling Recall/Infant Needs for Vitamin D!!! PLEASE READ.

Here's a link to the MSNBC article - please take heed. While the recall involved only Infantino and Wendy Bellissimo slings, I feel that the basic principle cculd easily be applied to all slings due to their design, and will be refraining from using ours until A is a little older. We haven't used it much due to this very concern.

Also noteworthy today - babies who do not get enough Vitamin D are at increased risk for cancers later in life. Since breastmilk does not tend to transfer Vitamin D well, breastfed babies are more affected than formula-fed babies, but both should receive supplementation if taking in less than 200 UI per day (this is the equivalent of less than a quart of fortified formula). I highly recommend D-Vi-Sol. A's a champ with taking it since she likes the flavor. She's not a big fan of the Poly-Vi-Sol that we bought on accident once, and after smelling it, I can't blame her. Plus, she should be receiving enough of the other components due to exclusive breastfeeding. See full article here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Please Tell Me..

...that I'm not the only sucker whose baby sleeps in their room still??

I swore I wouldn't do it, but I did. Ava has slept in her super deluxe bassinet next to our bed since day one. I'd love to say it was my first and/or last sucker moment as a mommy so far, but that would be a flat out lie. In my defense, she doesn't ever sleep in our bed, so that's something, right? Right?!?!

Does anyone else still have a teeny-tiny roommate? If you have older kids that once slept in your room, how did you break the habit? Should I expect a big fight?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Poor Baby.

Nothing has ever made me feel worse than just a little bit ago, when I was cutting Ava's nails and cut her thumb :(

I feel like it's a pretty bad cut for a little baby, too. Definitely not just a nick in her cuticle, but a full-on cut in the skin right above the top of her thumb nail. There was blood and everything on her little hand and outfit from touching it with her hand :(

I feel simply awful.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sleep Talking.

Not much going on here. Oh, except this hot air balloon made a random crash-landing behind our house Thursday morning. What the heck???

We heard our dog barking and when D got up to check it out and told me he was barking at a hot air balloon landing in the field, I thought he was delirious. He does have a tendency to talk in his sleep, after all. When I got out of bed to find the above sight, though, I believed him. Kind of. Anyways, our dog went totally ape! He clearly has a fear of extraterrestrial life, because he just cowered in our backyard staring out at the place where the balloon had been well after it was already gone. It made for a good laugh.

What else is new? Nothing. Seriously, nothing. D's been at SXSW the past three days, and while we had initially planned to switch off days, I'm just not that into it. That's definitely not to say that I'm enjoying being home all day by myself. Ava's adorable, but she's not the best conversationalist once you get past the oohs and aahs.

Ooh...that reminds me. There is one thing that's new. One thing I HATE. She's rolling again. Despite never again rolling from her tummy to back after that one freak incident at seven weeks, she's decided now that she wants to roll the other way. Several times a day. Yep - that's right. Homegirl rolled from her back to her tummy. It started yesterday morning, while she was in bed with us playing. I assumed it was due to the balance of body weight in our bed, and dismissed it. Now, however, she's done it twice more, once on the floor and once again in our bed. Son of a! I was not prepared for this for another several weeks, if not months. How am I ever going to sleep at night again? I'm currently coaching her on rolling the other way again, since at least that is protective.

Alright, I leave you with this cute image:

Believe it or not, that's a newborn outfit! I was shocked it fit still, although she's mainly just long and skinny, and they're capris, so that's why :)

Have a great Saturday everyone! And if you haven't checked out her three-month pics yet, click here. Can you tell I'm super thrilled with them?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kitty Bear.

Yep, you read that right. What, you've never heard of a kitty bear? Maybe that's because I made it up.

You see, Ava received a little stuffed thing on a blankie after she was born. I swore up and down I wouldn't indulge this little lovie, since S's has been a major source of tantrum throwing when misplaced, and is a dirty, gross, raggedy little thing. I just didn't want to deal with that.

The other night, however, while A cried for no obvious reason, I caved. Her little lovie is adorable, and has a nice, distracting rattle inside, but we cannot seem to agree on what it is. D thinks it's a kitty. I think it's a bear. Both of us can see why the other feels the way they do. Hence: Kitty Bear.

Anyhow, Ava has really taken a very quick liking to it:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ava's Letters - Done :)

The flash really makes the wall look white, rather than light pink. Hmm...

I also added some pics to her bulletin board, since she absolutely loves looking at it while having her diaper changed. That makes me super happy, since I made it, too :)

Ava's Three-Month Pics!

We had these taken yesterday at 11.5 weeks, and I absolutely LOVE them! She was in such a good mood, especially considering she hadn't had much nap!

How's she's changed:



Sorry you lost your tan, kid!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patty's everyone! Today we went to meet a friend for lunch at NXNW - delicious! We also had Ava's three-month pics taken, and will post them as soon as the prints are posted :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A's Letters!

OK, ladies. I need some help here!

Should I leave them like this?

Or paint them? If so, which color? I was originally going to do the A's light pink and the light brown for the V, but now I'm thinking single-color only if I paint them. Which color do you think? I'm leaning towards a light color, I think.

Either way, I planned to attach these appliques, one to each letter - what do you think?

D isn't too interested in this type of stuff, plus he's at work, so I need some opinions!

She Has Daddy Issues.

So far, we've been having a great time just hanging out all day! Yesterday, perhaps due to the time change (???), Ava felt exceptionally lazy and stayed in bed until 11:20AM. What a little sleepyhead. Fortunately for me, I had some sleep to catch up on, so I napped next to her on and off while she slept in :)

After we finally got our lazy buns outta bed, we went to meet daddy at EZ's for a delicious meal. You may recognize EZ's from Friday Night Lights - it's the diner they're always hanging out in. And with good reason - it's amazing. Best onion rings and milkshakes around!

Afterwards, strangely enough, we found ourselves at the D's at the exact time we'd normally head there for work. Weird. We were just going to lock up since the housekeeper frequently forgets, and of course I took full advantage of the opportunity to nurse Ava so we could finish running our errands! We made some pit stops at Old Navy (I was shopping for me, but ended up buying things for Ava instead - isn't that how it always goes these days?), Target for some new baby toys and little sunglasses, and Michael's to finally get the letters for Ava's room.

This brings me to last night. Ava had a great day and slept pretty much ALL DAY LONG. She was so sleepy yesterday, that I assumed she was growing? Anyhow, when D got home last night, mommy decided to set out to get a pedicure, since I wanted a little pampering myself! Unfortunately I got there only to find that they closed earlier on weekdays, and ended up just turning around and heading back home. When I got here, Ava was screaming bloody murder. I could actually hear her when I was unlocking our door. I went running upstairs, convinced something was very wrong since she's never cried like that, only to find a very stressed out D bouncing and rocking her all over. Apparently, she'd been like that since I left. I took her, wondering if she was just wanting to eat again as she's been eating pretty frequently at night, and she immediately calmed wayyyyyy down. This has become a bit of a sore spot for us around here. Ava, for whatever reason, probably due to the fact that she's with me constantly and has only been left with D without me twice now, gives him a bit of a hard time. Don't get me wrong - she loves her daddy. She smiles at him and falls asleep in his lap all the time. BUT - she does tend to cry a lot more with him, and stares at me when he holds her, leading him to tell me last night, "She doesn't like me." And unfortunately, despite it not being the least bit true, he truly believes that.

Does anyone else have a baby that clings to mommy? Gives daddy a hard time? Vice versa? What do you do to discourage this? Do I just need to leave them alone more often?

While I find it flattering secretly, I want to discourage this seeming favoritism at all costs, since it, a.) hurts his feelings in a big way, and b.) makes for lonnnnnnng days for mommy when she wants me all the time!

Any advice? Suggestions?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cute Things...(Updated with Pics!)

*Is this not the cutest picture you've ever seen?!*

What cute things is Ava doing these days? I'm so glad you asked - lots and lots!

Here's the scoop:

*Ava discovered her hands about 3-4 weeks ago, and LOVES them. She constantly has them in her mouth, tugging on her toes, rubbing her eyes, and (my personal fave!) playing with what little hair she has. I have a tendency to play with my hair also, so I think it's super cute!

*She also likes to pound her fists on mommy's chest while nursing. Anyone elses kiddo do this? I think it may just have to do with her hand-discovery, since it started happening around the same time, but it's still kind of disturbing.

*Miss A talks and chats and chatters with anyone and everyone all day long. She loves making little "oohs" and "aahhs". She has the cutest little baby voice! She also likes to squeal, grunt and make a half laugh/half coo noise. Does this count as laughing?

(Talking to her Nana in California on the phone)

*A has started to grunt while nursing, which is appropriate since she's become quite the little piggy! She also tends to cluster feed at night, which I credit for her longer sleep periods, and thus am 100% ok with!

*She's very cuddly, even more so than when she was itty-bitty, and likes to put her hands on my face, shoulder, around my waist/back when nursing, and most of all, LOVES to grab my hair and squeal. Cute, but painful!

*She's started to like her lovies. I tried to keep this from happening, since S's "bunny" is such a major pain in my butt, but I caved last night, and she is already pretty attached believe it or not:

Heart Attack.

The scariest thing that has ever happened to me happened last night.

Ava has taken to sleeping 7-7.5 hours. This is doing wonders for mommy's mood and ability to function. It has led, though, to some renewed worrying about whether or not she's breathing/alive/okay, which translates into nightly terrifying dreams where things happen to her. More on that later.

Anyhow, last night Ava's monitor went off, something that has never, ever happened unless we accidentally forgot to switch it off before taking her out of her bassinet. I immediately went flying out of bed from a deep, deep sleep mid-dream, convinced that this was it: my baby girl would no longer be breathing. Thankfully - oh so very, very thankfully God - she was fine, and had just squirmed to a corner where the sensor couldn't pick up her movements. I would be lying if I said I didn't reposition her, reset her monitor and then climb back into bed to cry big, heaving sobs of both fear and relief.

I am so thankful for every day, every hour, every second with her. I am thankful for her monitor and to know beyond doubt that it works, and could potentially save her life if she happened to stop breathing. I just pray that this is the closest we ever have to come to using it in that way.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Zilker Park Kite Festival!

It was a GORGEOUS day for Kite Festival, with Austin topping out at 87 degrees!!! Combine that with some beautiful sunshine and a nice, cool occasional breeze, and you've got the makings of a perfect day at Zilker Park!

Check it out:

With mommy (and getting a very rare bottle of precious breastmilk!):

Loungin' with dad:

That bottle was entirely worth using, since at brunch at Z Tejas I had two (yes, I said TWO!) drinks - a mimosa and a screwdriver. That's the first time I've had two drinks since this time last year!!! Delicious :)
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