Friday, May 30, 2008

Thumb-sucking, kimonos and more...

Thankfully, Sophie has actually taken a liking to one of her many, many baby items - the baby papasan. I can actually put her down sometimes now for stretches of anywhere from 5-30 mins without her getting upset. When she is asleep in it, she doesn't slide down but when she is awake, all of her moving and kicking cause her to slide down if I haven't strapped her in. (Note to Grandmas - please don't worry... I will be strapping her in more now that she gets so wiggly.)

I was bouncing her on the new excercise ball and looked down and she was sucking away on her thumb!! Of course, when I took the camera out and snapped a photo, she stoped. Sorry, Sophie!

You may recall that Jim and I bought her some fun clothes back in January from a store called Lucky Wang in NYC. Well, here she is sporting her kimono!! Look at those thighs!

Kimono, jeans and a smile - what a great look!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stinking cute, 2 month well-baby, first vaccines

Jim took some really wonderful photos of Sophie over the weekend. Here's a sampling of them above.

Today we had Sophie's 2 month check-up. She got her first vaccines today - DTaP and Rotavirus. I was very nervous about it. I really would prefer to not give her any vaccines because they contain so many chemicals and other ingredients that we just don't know the long-term effects of fully yet but it seems somehow not fair to not vaccinate her and increase risks to her and other babies because of it. We have decided to follow Dr. Robert Sears' alternate vaccination schedule as opposed to the AAP schedule to at least minimize possible risks and side-efects. She did great and screamed when the shot went in her leg but then was fine after I held her. She did much better than I did with it! She weighed in at 11 lbs, 11 ounces and 23 inches long. Her bigness is astonishing!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day and 2 Month Birthday

Sophie smiles

Happy 2 Month Birthday, Sophie!!

DeeRee and PopPop love you!

Happy 2 Month Birthday, Sophie! We celebrated very informally by having Pop Pop and Dee Ree over for dinner. Together we all sang to Sophie (while she was sleeping) and then took some photos of her with her strawberry shortcake out on the deck (though she was sort of in night-time meltdown mode by then).

Sophie had a good weekend with a whole extra day with Daddy! We all enjoyed the extra time together. Sophie is doing really well and had many milestone moments this weekend. She went to the Lansdowne Farmers Market for the first time and mostly slept in her stroller. She also went in the Baby Bjorn several times and even fell asleep in in a few times! I wish I had her in this for our zoo trip on Friday but at least we know we can bring it for our next zoo trip this coming weekend. We also got an excercise ball from Target on Sunday (while Dee Ree watched Sophie so Jim and I could run several errands) and Sophie loves being bounced by someone sitting on it. This is a nice break from the standing up bouncing we've been doing for the last two months since previously you could never sit down and bounce her. Finally, she is really spending more time in her Baby Papasan (vibrating chair) and even has slept in it a few times! This is great progress! She is still um, shall we say "challenged" when it comes to taking naps during the day but her night sleeping is going really well so we really can't complain. She is definitely crying less than before though she still has tough patches. She is so huge and I can't wait to see how much weight and length she has gained in the past month when we take her in to the pediatrician for her two month check-up tomorrow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

1st Trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

Sophie and I had our first trip to the wonderful Philadelphia Zoo on Friday. We went with three other moms and their kids so there was quite a big group of us there. Sophie did ok. She started to cry as soon as I got us in line to buy tickets. I basically had to hold her the entire three hours there and she refused to go back in the stoller. I think she was pretty overwhelemd by all the sights and sounds because the Zoo was incredibly packed with field trips and families (being a holiday weekend and all). Still, we did it and had a nice time overall. We're actually going back to the Zoo next weekend with Jim's cousins Chris and Judi and their kids CJ and newborn baby Madeline Rose. So, we joined as members! It's official - we're part of the "people who have kids and take them to the zoo as members club" - woohoo!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Many May Faces of Sophia

Here are some photos from May 4th.

Here are some from last weekend.

Sophie is talking up a storm these days. She is really learning to vocalize in new and exciting ways every day. She changes her pitch and changes the intensity of her coos and sounds and is doing things with her mouth that I can't even replicate. Sometimes I "mirror" her and say back what she is saying to me. This is supposed to reinforce her sense of self-awareness but it's also incredibly fun trying to keep up with her.

Sunday she had a tough day and was very fussy and had a hard time going to sleep all day. Yesterday, she slept all day (to make up for the tough day on Sunday) and today Dee Ree is here so she is enjoying her time with her DeeRee (and mommy gets to blog!).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Holding her rattle, 11 lbs of love

On Thursday, I took Sophie to the Bryn Mawr Breast Feeding support group (as opposed to the West Philly one) because the group was throwing a baby shower for Patty's (a nurse from the Birth Center who teaches the breast-feeding classes and runs the breast-feeding support groups) daughter Kara who is expecting in July. There were tons of babies and mommies and pregnant ladies there and it was a big success. Sophie did really well the whole time at the meeting and the party but had a big freak out on the way home about half way through the car ride. It was a really hot day and the room in the party was really hot, too so I think she may have overheated a bit. When we got home, I put a cool cloth on her head and neck and nursed her and she eventually calmed down. But, man - was she upset. While there, I got to weigh her (Patty always brings a baby scale) and she is 11 lbs! I know I sound like a broken record already but wow, is she getting big. Every day she looks a little different to me as new parts of her are growing and changing. She seems really long, her feet seem bigger and her face seems to change by the moment. We noticed yesterday that were the top of her hairline was falling out before, it seems to be coming back in again. We shall see what new hair (or lack thereof) emerges next!

Yesterday, I got Sophie a new rattle at Target and she held it in her hands. I think this is the first toy she has been able to hold on her own. How exciting!!

Sophie has been doing really, really well lately. She cries so much less than before and just seems like a happier, more content baby overall. This is such a wonderful development and we thank you all for your love and support as we tried to help her through the "dark times" of her initial inconsolable crying.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do You Like My Hair?

Daddy does it! Or, so my onesie says... This onesie was given to me by my brothers' friend, Monty Q, and his family. They just had their own little girl, the beautiful Violette Noelle. Congrats to the whole family!

This is a fun week for me because Dee Ree is off all week long and is spending every day over here with me and Mommy. Tomorrow we will take a road trip over to New Jersey to see Great Grandmom Coll - four generations all together!! What a great week!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to - ME!

Today was my very first Mother's Day and it was glorious! I am so grateful and so happy to be able to celebrate this day as the proud mom of our beautiful Sophia. Jim, Sophie and the boys showered me with beautiful cards and really wonderful gifts and lots and lots of love. Then we went over to Great Auntie Dee's house for celebrating with the rest of the family. Sophie did really well all day until the very end when she was just "done". She screamed bloody murder in the car on the way home but by the time we got over the Walt Whitman Bridge she was asleep, holding my hand.

The other BIG BIG news is that she sucked her thumb for real today! She had her whole thumb in her mouth - twice - over at Aunt Dee's. This is great (even though we'll probably be trying to wean her from this in a few years) because it means she has a nice way to self-soothe when needed.

Alsp, we've made some interesting discoveries regarding her taking bottles. Ever since she took her first two bottles, she hasn't taken them again since. Yesterday, Jim tried to feed her a bottle again and the first thing we discovered was that the milk was streaming out of the nipple really fast. This, we have finally figured out, is because the nipple expands when heated so the milk comes out quicker. The other thing we discovered is that our fridge was too warm and the milk I was pumping was going bad too fast. Poor kid was being fed sour milk from bottles that were streaming it down her throat - no wonder she didn't want it!! This is good (because it's likely to be eventually solved) and we have dumped all the old milk, turned the temp on the fridge up and cleaned and sterlizied all the the bottles and nipples. We'll try again today with fresh milk and clean bottles whose nipples haven't been heated up too much. It's all a big learning process... Thankfully - Sophia is extremely patient with us when it comes to all this stuff.

Thank you to everyone for your calls and texts and cards wishing me a Happy Mother's Day! And Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there! We are so blessed to have you all in our lives and love you very much!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sleepy Saturday

Sucking her hand - almost got the thumb in

Super Sophie!

Sweet Sophie

Today we had a sleepy Saturday where Sophie just wanted to sleep and sleep all day. Around 1pm, I took her upstairs to bed and we took a nap together. She slept from 1-4:30 or so and I slept until about 2pm or so and then finished my book. She is probably making up for two days of not having very long naps. We've also had a bit of a set-back in the bottle feeding in that she won't take the bottles now ever since last Saturday when she took those first two. She also scratched her nose right after I trimmed her nails with the clippers so of course I feel horrible. I trimmed them again so hopefully, she won't scratch herself again. Finally she is really sucking her hand a lot lately. Tonight, I even thought she had finally managed to get her thumb in her mouth but she psyched me out and had her thumb bent so it just *looked* like she was sucking the whole thumb. Otherwise, all is well here in Sophie's world - for now...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Six Weeks Old Today

Well, now that we're into counting Sophie's life by months and not mere weeks, I will stop labeling weekly "Happy Birthday" posts but yet today is still a big day as it marks Sophie's sixth week of life!

In these past few days I feel I have really learned a lot about my girlie and what she needs. I have come to believe that much of her "fussing" has absolutely nothing to do with gas or indigestion but simply overstimulation. And, the more I can get her to nap well throughout the day and to not disturb her when she actually is asleep, the happier she is. I've also had a bit of an epiphany in that if she needs to fall asleep in my arms and be held for 2-4 hours, then so be it. That's my job right now. It's not worth it at this young tender age to try and get her to sleep in her bassinet during the day if it means she wakes up screaming 5 minutes after I put her down in there. Sophie's challenges are not in sleeping at night but rather sleeping (or napping) in the day and also falling asleep at night. We are working on it and to me, with allowing her the time she needs in the day to be held and sleep, she seems like a much happier little baby overall. To my mind, whatever it takes for her to be happy and not screaming is the right way to go at this young age of six weeks old.

She is also smiling and cooing so much more now. She even made what Jim thought sounded like "pre-laugh" sounds recently. Her repertoire of noises is growing larger every day.

Over the weekend, she had a very nice visit with her Uncles Mike and Bob.

Uncle Mike

Uncle Bob feeding Sophia her second bottle ever

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Big Milestones Saturday

Today is a BIG BIG day as Daddy was able to feed Sophie her first bottle! I have been pumping for a few days now and earlier attempts to get her to take the bottle were unsuccessful (turns out I had the Born Free (look Ma, no BPA!) bottle put together wrong - oops!). So, Jim got to enjoy feeding his daughter for the first time and the peace and happiness that comes from feeding your baby into a lulled happy sleep. As I type he is in the rocking chair with her over his shoulder and she has a full belly and is happy with the world.

Last night we also had a big outing - Sophie's first dinner party at Grandpa Greg's house. It went OK. Could have been better - could have been worse. Unfortunately, it was right at her bed time so she really just wanted to eat and and go to sleep. But, we managed to hang out until pretty late (about 10:30) and she ate and dozed some while I ate some (with one hand) and got to visit with our friend and colleague, Jean Francois, Greg, Judy and their son Matthew and his wife, Erin. Sophie looked incredibly cute in her party outfit (unfortunately we did not get a photo of her in it this time) and overall it was a nice visit. Not sure when we will attempt that again soon but when we do it will be much easier now that we can feed her from a bottle.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Recent Visits and Highs and Lows

Well, it's been another exciting couple of days for Sophia and Mommy. Tuesday was very tough. I mean, VERY tough. Sophie just would not sleep. She would not settle. In the afternoon, I finally took her out for a car ride to see if that would help and we got lost and she was screaming and didn't sleep in the car at all. And, then she was fussy until we got her to sleep finally. It was a tough day. Yesterday however was much better. We went down to the West Philly breastfeeding support group and she was great on the drive down and also all through the two hour meeting. It was really good for me to get out and hear the advice of these other veteran moms about colic and "high-needs" babies. Before we left for the meeting, I also had my first successful pump. I had tried a few other times without much success so was starting to get worried but this time it worked like a charm! So, now Daddy or even a babysitter, can feed Sophie if needed - hurrah! Another big milestone yesterday was that Sophie seemed to really take comfort in her pacifer. She used it alot though all the car rides we had yesterday and it seemed to calm her greatly. (I have even begun to master the back/arm twist action of reaching in the back seat to find and re-insert the pacifier when it falls out.) Yesterday, she also slept for what seemed like forever. She napped at the meeting in the morning. She napped when we were out driving in the afternoon (yes, I just took her out for drives because she was sleeping happily in the carseat) and then when we got home, she ate and napped all night until 8:30pm!! In fact, we were getting worried about her she was sleeping so much. Lately, during the days of not sleeping during the day, she has been so fussy that we go up to bed around 7pm or so and nurse or rock her for hours to get her to calm down enough to sleep. Today she woke up earlier than usual (around 5:30 am) - probably because she slept so much yesterday. We will see what today brings!! Right now she is sleeping in my left arm as I one-hand type with the right.

In recent days Sophia has had some more nice visits...

Meeting Aunt Lisa (finally)

Sophie's boyfriend, Max

Hanging out with Dee Ree

Visit with Heather