Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Four months of Avery

Four months is going to be a delight!  We are now a week past Avery's four month birthday, and this month is so far the best one yet.  Yesterday I was reminiscing about Avery's birth and how tiny she was; when we put her in her carseat to take her home from the hospital, it just swallowed her up.  She looked like a little doll.  And the newborn clothes didn't even fit her!  The sleeper I brought to the hospital was way too long in the arms and legs and the extra fabric was flopping off her tiny flailing arms.  She was so precious!  I could not believe she came from my body!  Just thinking about it makes my heart feel like it's going to melt out of my chest.  But now!  Now she is all baby.  She's growing and developing and changing by the minute and it's such a trip to experience.
Just look at her!  Oh my goodness, do you not see the little girl in this picture?  Sometimes I just see the little girl in her and it stops me in my tracks.
At four months old, Avery is very close to sitting up.  However, she still hasn't figured out how to roll over yet.  She can roll from back to side and side to back, but not tummy to back or vice versa.  She's now becoming interested in toys, too.  She reaches out for toys and grabs them, then promptly shoves them in her mouth.  So far her favorite toys by far are Sophie the Giraffe and this round teether ring with different colored stripes on it.
She belly laughs at the weirdest things.  A funny sound or bouncing her up and down can elicit the biggest laughs from her.  Then when everyone starts laughing in response, she gets quiet and a bewildered look passes over her face.  What?!  It's like she doesn't realize she was laughing.  She still loves to be carried around everywhere and is in arms much of the time, although she is now content to spend longer stretches of time laying on her play gym, sitting in the bumbo seat or high chair, or just lolling on the floor.
She will even tolerate her carseat for longer stretches.  This only happened once, so we documented it in photo, but one day she actually fell asleep in there!  AND took her pacifier!  I about fainted.  She still won't really take a pacifier, but sometimes she'll chew on it if you hold it for her.  She still needs walking and humming to go down for a nap, but about half the time now she will go down quickly and stay down for a solid 30-45 minutes.  This happens 3-4 times a day.
Baby sleep is the most precious!

We took her in for her four month pediatrician visit last week and the nurse who weighed and measured her pronounced her a "perfect baby" because all her measurements were exactly in the 50th percentile.   I just said, thanks for confirming what we already know! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby's first trip to the beach

Avery's been to the beach once before, but she slept in the sling the whole time, so this is her first *real* trip to the beach.  I mentioned a couple posts ago that we spent a couple days over at Bellow's Beach while my aunt was visiting.  It was fun to put Avery's feet in the sand for the first time!
She seemed to like it ok at first.  I put her feet in the water and in the sand at the edge of the water, and she just stared at her feet like what in the world is THIS?!
She is no doubt going to be a beach baby... I'm sure as soon as she is walking and playing on her own she will love going to the beach and playing in the sand and water.  I keep thinking she will be two and a half by the time we leave here.  That's plenty old enough for her to have some good times at the beach.  She won't remember it, of course, but it will be fun for mom and dad.
This picture kind of cracks me up (and makes me go "awww") because if you look closely you can see she's sticking her bottom lip out!  We were trying to get a picture of her footprints in the sand, but I think she'd had enough.
Baby feets.
This was the view from our cabin at Bellow's.

More fun in the bumbo seat!

Avery still loves sitting up and she's getting better and better at it.  If she's laying on her back she does this mini-crunch like she's trying to sit up on her own.  I predict it will only be a few more weeks before she's sitting unsupported.

At one of our prenatal ultrasounds, the technician asked us, "Who has the long toes?!"  Of course it's her daddy she inherited those from, as well as the habit of curling them up when she's concentrating really hard!  It's pretty cute.  She does everything with her entire body and soul - I guess that's how babies are - when she's trying to grab a toy and get it in her mouth, you can just hear the wheels turning in her brain, and her little toes curl up and her arms bat out ... oooh, got it! ... and immediately into the mouth.  Sometimes part of the toy gets in her eyes or she gags herself with it and gets mad at the toy.  "Mreeh!" she says and throws it away.  It's amazing to watch her develop different skills.  It's like from one minute to the next all of a sudden she figures something out.  Just a couple days ago I noticed her actually reaching out with both hands to get a toy, when just the day before you had to put it in her hand or on her chest for her to get it.
Little Elf.  She's pretty cute... but I might be biased!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Two cute videos - 4 months gets cuter every day!

Sorry these are kind of hard to see! But you can still get some cute facial expressions!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yay feet!

Today is Avery's four month birthday.  Her Great Auntie Barbara (my aunt) is here visiting and we've been having lots of fun.  We spent the night in a cabin at Bellows beach on Sunday night and even though we had ants crawling all over us in the bed at night, it was a good time.  We also visited the Doris Duke estate and spent the day at the Made in Hawaii Expo downtown. 

Avery is becoming more interactive and more adept at navigating her world every day.  Yesterday she got a hold of her feet!

It takes a lot of concentration, you see.  It's very complicated, being a baby.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Humming down to her nap

Here's a video of the adorable humming I was telling you about, and Yaya demonstrating the bounce/pat/walk technique to get Avery to nap!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recent Developments

On Saturday we had our friends over who have a two month old baby.  (Yes, I know!  Friends with a baby, it excites me too!)  We were all sitting around the living room talking and Adam was playing with the Little and holding her up over his head for this game he calls Airplane, and you guys, SHE LAUGHED!!!!  It was so incredible and amazing and wonderful to hear her laugh!  I was so glad that I got to hear that, and glad that it was her sweet daddy who made her do it, and glad all over again that I'm not working and missing out on this stuff.  I had gotten her to giggle a few times before that, just little ones, and I knew a real laugh was coming soon.  I'm sure we'll have video of it to post before too long.

She's also discovered her bottom lip.  It's the funniest thing, she sucks on her bottom lip and makes this little turtle face.
It's especially hilarious when she wants to smile or get frustrated while she's doing it because she can't stop sucking long enough to make a mad/happy face.  Here she was getting mad while sucking on her lip!

Speaking of sucking on things, we've noticed her sucking on her thumb a few times now.  I am really hoping she doesn't become a thumb sucker, but I'm not about to discourage some self-soothing.

Usually when she needs a nap, I wrap her up like a little burrito in a blanket and put her up on my shoulder and pace around the house bouncing and patting and humming to her to get her to fall asleep.  Yeah, that means I'm usually spending between 1 and 2 hours pacing around the house with her like that just for nap time (MY BACK IS GOING TO BREAK!).  I have a short repertoire of songs that I hum to her starting with Lullabye, then Amazing Grace, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Silent Night (and sometimes Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - what?!), and that's about all the songs I know, so I cycle through those and hum them over and over until she's out.  She usually mashes her mouth onto my shoulder and peers around until she can't keep her eyes open anymore.  Well, she's started this little moaning/humming thing like she's trying to hum along with me and it's the darn cutest thing!  As I'm walking around humming, she's going "mmmmm-ooohhh-uhhhnnnn-mmmmm".  I will have to try to get that on video too.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Way better

I feel like I need to follow up yesterday's post with the things that are way better than I imagined. No, having a baby is not all unicorns and rainbows. It's a lot of work and sometimes I wish I could just sit on the couch and drink a martini without 90% of my brain being consumed with babybabybaby. But then I get a baby smile and oh, my heart! So here are some of the awesome things about having a baby around.

1. Adorable baby sleep poses!  Look at her.  The hands in the air.  The little mouth.  The gurgles and coos she makes in her sleep.  Ahhh, I could watch her sleep for hours.  You can't tell me that doesn't make your ovaries do somersaults!

2. Baby smiles!  They are kind of hard to catch on camera especially now that she's noticing the camera and stares intently at it whenever it's in her face.  But she smiles all the time and it's The Awesome.

3. Naked baby! How adorable is a naked baby. Seriously, I defy you not to melt from cute overload.

4. Smooshy baby cheeks!  Soft and snuggly!

5. Baby smiles!  Wait, I did that one already.  Oh well, it is worth mentioning again :)

6. Tiny baby hands!  'Nuff said.

7. Hilarious poopsplosions!  This was one of the worst... note how it's on her hand... she promptly smeared that on the side of her head.  I almost woke Adam up because I wasn't sure how I was going to get her onesie off without getting poop all over her face.  LOL.  Yes, this makes the list of great things because it's just so damn funny.

8. The cuteness!  Let me show it to you.

9. Nursing!  I don't have a pic for that one, sorry.  Yeah, it was tough at first, but now it's great.  I love nursing.  There's nothing more precious than a nursing baby.  Especially now that sometimes she notices me up here when she's nursing, and she pops off and flashes me a huge grin.  Plus it's lots of snuggling time.

10.  Waking up to this:

Waking up from her nap from Michelle Seiler on Vimeo.

11. Baby feet!  I don't need to elaborate on this one, the video speaks for itself.

Baby feet from Michelle Seiler on Vimeo.

12.  The cuteness!  Again!  It's RELENTLESS!

Baby cuteness from Michelle Seiler on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great Mis-spectations

Before the Little was born I spent a lot of time imagining what motherhood would be like.  Yes, I am probably guilty of idyllic fantasizing reality could never possibly live up to, but I am surprised at how many things I was off the mark in imagining.  Particularly because I thought that's how babies are, and expected my baby to be like "babies" in general.  Those of you who already have babies are probably snorting smugly to yourselves.  Those of you who don't have babies are probably thinking (like I did), yes, but not MY baby!  Here are just a few things that are nowhere near how I imagined they would be:

1. The Dream: taking long walks around the neighborhood with the baby in the stroller.  Regardless of what else I have accomplished during the day, at least I have gotten out of the house for some sunshine, fresh air and exercise. 

The Reality: my baby doesn't like her stroller very much.  Ten or fifteen minutes max and then she wants out.  We rarely go on walks.

2. The Dream: heading over to the mall downtown, or to Whole Foods, or to browse in a bookstore with the baby.  Carrying her in the sling or the Ergo as we mosey around taking in the sights and checking things out.

The Reality: my baby screams her head off whenever she's in the car seat for more than 10 minutes, so solo car trips are out.  Even if I'm in the back entertaining her while someone else drives, we can only tack on an extra five minutes to that.  My baby will ride in the Ergo... sometimes.  And you have to keep moving unless she is asleep, so no browsing, only walking!  If she is asleep and you stop moving, she will awaken and demand to get out of her confinement.

3. The Dream: cradling my baby and rocking her in the rocking chair.

The Reality: my baby doesn't like to be cradled, she likes to be up on the shoulder.  And rocking?  In the chair?!  Where you can sit down and rest your weary, sleep-deprived bones?  Hahaha.  Ha.  No, you have to be up walking around, and bouncing, and patting.  And if you deign to sit down after she falls asleep, your rest will be short my friend.

4. The Dream: my baby will take lots of naps and will fall asleep easily when she's tired.  While she's napping I will have time to read, blog, shower or make a sandwich.

The Reality: after the initial couple weeks of newborn sleep, my baby takes cat naps lasting 20 minutes to 1 hour several times a day.  In order for this to happen, you have to walk, bounce, pat and hum.  Sometimes even if you do that for 30 minutes, she will wake 10 minutes after you lay her down.  If you try to do anything productive, it will virtually guarantee she will sleep for only 10 minutes.

5. The Dream: my baby will sleep longer and longer stretches at night, and by 3 months she will be sleeping at least 5 or 6 hours.  I will get up once or twice a night to nurse her.

The Reality: my baby has slept 5 hours fewer than 5 times in her life.  Usually she sleeps 3, 2 or 1 hour stretches throughout the night.  I nurse 4-6 times in a 12 hour stretch.  Not counting the first session or the last.  Baby sleep does not progress in a linear fashion, but changes all the time (like everything else).

6. The Dream: my baby will sit in her bouncy seat, or on her play mat and bat at toys and coo and amuse herself for stretches of time.

The Reality: my baby doesn't particularly like her bouncy seat (see also: stroller, car seat) and she gets overstimulated easily.  She wants to be held constantly and amused by humans.

7. The Dream: my baby will sleep in her crib in her own room (and nap there too).

The Reality: my baby wants to be held constantly and even in her sleep.  Plus, I worry too much if she's not nearby and I can see what she's up to and that she's still breathing.

8. The Dream: my husband will give the baby a bottle once in a while so I can get some extra sleep, or go somewhere without her.

The Reality: my baby doesn't take a bottle, and most likely wouldn't accept not nursing at night even if she did.

But just look at the Little Elf... it's also way better in so many ways than I imagined!!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

15 Weeks Today!

15 weeks!!
The Little is 15 weeks old today!  You can blame the dearth of blog postings around here on the fact that I only have two remaining brain cells as a result of months of sleep deprivation, and both of them are focused on keeping the baby alive.  Plus my mom has been back on the mainland leaving the Little and I to fend for ourselves, and A has been working almost every day this week on the night shift again which means very little time for blogging.  Well... it's not that I don't have TIME per se... I'm on the internet a lot while I'm nursing, but that is one-handed and not conducive to typing!  And then there is nap time, when I get it, I don't want to wake her up with my tap-tap-tapping.  I still don't let her nap on her own because I'm putting her on her tummy for naps and don't want to leave her alone. 

Night times have been kind of rough because she's been up every 1-2 hours (down from 3-4) to nurse.  Must be a spurt of some kind.  Leaves me feeling pretty strung out during the day.  I go to bed when she does sometime between 7 and 8 usually, and stay in bed as long as she keeps sleeping.  We're still co-sleeping, and I'm on the fence about whether to end it now(ish) or just keep doing it.  On the one hand, I wonder if we both wouldn't get better sleep in our own spaces.  On the other, I can't imagine how exhausted I would be if I had to keep getting up and down with her.

She gets cuter every day, if that's even possible.  She's on the verge of laughing and sometimes does a little giggle.  She is also becoming an expert bubble blower and drooler, and loves chomping on her hands.  She is still not very interested in toys, but can amuse herself with a burp cloth for quite some time. She still hates her car seat and is either ambivalent or disliking of her stroller, which makes me feel like somewhat of a shut-in because I don't feel like I can go anywhere with her.  Life as a stay at home mommy has its ups and downs and in betweens, but mostly I am enjoying it in spite of being rather lonely at times.  My mom and my aunt are coming to visit in a little over a week, and I'm super excited to see them both!

Sunday, August 01, 2010