Monday, December 19, 2011

A Letter To Elaine

Wow. One year. This year went by faster than any before. The three of us have experienced incredible highs and have been grateful for every moment. Sometimes things were hard, but any trials were absolutely worth it to have you in our lives. From your first smiles to your first steps you have brought a whole new level of joy and love to us.

On this, your first birthday, I want to tell you about the things that make you uniquely you.

- You are a dance machine! Gloria Estefan sang "The rhythm is going to get you" and that describes you exactly. Whenever you hear music - on a commercial, tv show, cell phone ring tone, etc. - you stop everything you are doing and dance. The other morning you were slowly waking up when dad's alarm clock rang. You sat up right away and swayed along. We don't know where you learned to dance, but we love it.

- You have to taste test all the clean laundry before we can put it away. You always want to be buried in the warm clothes and then you put each piece in your mouth one at a time. There is always a wet spot on the clothes as we put them away.

- You are very funny with your tongue. Ever since you were born, you (perhaps unknowingly?) stick your tongue out. Lately you have been sticking it out to the side. The funny thing is, dad does the same thing. When he's concentrating, he pokes his tongue in and out without knowing it. It's just something you two have in common.

- You love books. They are your favorite toy. This makes your mom very proud.

- We taught you the fun of horseback rides. If we are sitting on the floor you walk up behind us, push us forward and pat our backs. Then when you are up on our back and we stop, you pat us again to say "go horsey."

- You took your first steps at 11 months. Right now you take 9 or 10 Frankenstein steps then fall down and crawl the rest of the way.

- You are silly and giggly with us but serious with everyone else.

- Everyone always comments on what a good baby you are.

-You are learning the motions of The Itsy Bitsy Spider song. You love "washing the spider out" and are starting to raise yours arms when the sun comes out.

- You recognize that certain words have actions. If someone says "bye-bye" you wave. If we say "yay" you clap. But our favorite of all is when we say "give me love" you lay your head on us. You will do it to other things as well, like, "give the doll a love" or "give the book a love" or "give the spaghetti a love" (that one actually isn't so great). It makes us melt to see you being so sweet.

- You have a real laugh and a very funny fake laugh.

- You like to play rough. You love when we throw you in air, help you do back flips or pull you around on a blanket.

We could go on and on. You are so special and unique. We love you through and through.

Happy Birthday. Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pete and Repeat are in a Boat...

I decided Lainey and I needed some socialization so I signed us up for classes at the Little Gym. Our first class was Monday and as soon as we got there Lainey was super excited. She wasn't shy with the other kids, moms or the teacher. She loved exploring all the different things to climb on (and put in her mouth). So much so that she wasn't fully interested in paying attention to the little exercise activities we were supposed to be doing. She wanted to be free. But she hung in there with me for a little while until she just couldn't anymore.

We started an exercise where we all sat in a circle and held on to a long elastic jump rope. Then we were to sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat and move the string to our feet and back up, like rowing a boat (get it?). Well, Lainey decided she absolutely had to go exploring and so she crawled away. There I was, a lone adult in a circle with kids and parents while my girl was off tasting another gym apparatus. I wasn't sure what I should do. Should I go get her? Should I stay here and finish the exercise? What do you think I did?

I kept rowing.

And after the second round of singing and rowing our boats I looked around and saw that Lainey was watching me and laughing. Oh really, Lainey? You think that's funny? Fine, you win this one. But I've got the perfect dress to wear as a chaperone to your first middle school dance. Oh yes I do.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby's First Vacation


Lainey took her first vacation last weekend. And where better to go than the happiest place on earth?

We had a blast and were so lucky to go with Grammy and Umpa and stay at the beautiful Grand California hotel which is in the California Adventure park. Which afforded us the convenience to go back to the room in the middle of the day to recharge and then head out again. It also gave us the privilege to enter the park an hour before all the "regular" folk.

Lainey was a real trooper. Her first rides were the train, which she thought was really cool, and It's A Small World, which was a little bit of sensory overload for her. Surprisingly, the new Toy Story ride and Winnie the Pooh scared the hell out of her but she loved the Haunted Mansion and Snow White's Scary Adventure. That's my little weirdo.

To make her more comfortable we would wave at the characters on rides. On the second day I rode Splash Mountain solo and actually waved at the Brer Rabbit.

Oh yes I did.

Thank goodness I was in the back of the log and I don't think anyone saw me. I guess that's one way Disneyland changes when you go with a baby - you get to lose yourself in the magic. Here are some other ways it changes:

- You spend more time searching for the right pair of mouse ears than you do waiting in line for rides

- In the middle of screaming your guts out on Space Mountain you wonder what your baby is doing

- You constantly ask "do they really need to have the sound turned up so loud?"

- Strangers ask if they can take a picture of your baby (okay, I'm bragging here - 2 different people asked to take a picture of Lainey because she's so cute! Can you blame them? Did you see the picture at the top of the blog?)

Lainey had a great time. She loved playing in the hotel and crawling between our room and Grammy and Umpa's. She also loved people watching, shopping and eating everything we ate. Here are some more pictures showing how much fun she had.

Only a few hours into Disneyland and she's exhausted already.




Oh goodie! She's awake and ready to play.

Oh, asleep again.

That was a really great trip you guys.

Monday, August 1, 2011

All Hail The Great Lainey Godzilla!

Okay, yes, this blog is all about my daughter now. But I must say, in her short 7 months on this planet, her life has been infinitely more exciting than mine. She learns something new every day. Today, for example, she learned to stand on her own for a short while (holding on to something, of course). And I was there with my camera:

Oh the destruction she will bring upon this house.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why My 4 Month Old is Smarter Than Me

Being a mom kind of rocks. There is nothing better than having my little girl look at me and give me that giant pez-dispenser smile. Even though she just looked at me a few seconds ago, it's like she forgot I was there and is delighted to find that I'm back. And while I love when she is sweet to other people, my heart warms when she cries and no one can soothe her but me. It's as if she needs me almost as much as I need her.

Anyway, on to my reasons why I think my baby is smarter than me (I can only assume this will be a recurring theme).

1. She eats when she's hungry. She doesn't try to finish one last project before her next meal, which would just make her hunger worse. She also doesn't eat just because she's bored or there's food there. Girl knows how to manage her body!

2. She figured out how to lock my cell phone screen so the buttons don't work. Now if she could just undo this....

3. She finds joy in simple things. If given the choice between a fancy, multi-colored, musical toy and the stick of deodorant, she picks the deodorant every time.

4. She can re-read the same book over and over and still be enthralled.

5. She greets her dad with pure excitement when he gets home from work. That's much better for him than someone asking him to make dinner and take out the trash. Oh, and put your socks in the hamper, not next to it!

I could go on and on, but I'll leave it there for now. I don't want her knowing all the ways she's smarter than me yet. I'm sure the day will come soon enough when she goes "really, these are my parents? How have they survived for so long?" but for now she is blissfully ignorant.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not Funny

Lainey is 3 and a half months old. She changes everyday. She goes to bed a newborn and wakes up the next day as an infant. Overnight she learns how to grab toys, push up on her arms or blow bubbles with her mouth. She's amazing.

But lately she is refusing to sleep. She wakes up every hour. We have tried everything to get her back to sleep - rocking, pacifier, crying, co-sleeping, noise, quiet, light, dark. You name it, we've tried it. And nothing is working.

After we put her to bed Mike and I will be up talking or doing something and as soon as we hear a peep on the monitor we freeze. Like, no words and no movement. Apparently, we think she is like some kind of T-Rex and if we hold real still, she won't know we're awake and she'll go back to bed. And apparently, we think she has these powers through walls and doors. When she is in her own room with the door closed, we still whisper and tip-toe around like burglars.

Anyway, last night when I got up for the 4th (or was it 5th?) time, I started thinking about this blog. And I had such funny things to say. I would make jokes about (gently) kicking Mike when it's his turn to get her. I would write hilarious musings on googling tips to help baby sleep. As I am rocking Lainey I am giggling to myself thinking this is going to be the best blog since telling my lent stories. I crawl back in bed after I get Lainey back to sleep and am excited to blog in the morning.

But this morning, turns out? Not funny.

I started to jot down all my night time ideas here and realized I must have been delirious last night. How is researching noise machines funny? How is groaning, "dad, it's your turn" worth writing about? I have no idea what I was thinking.

She's napping right now and has been asleep for almost 15 minutes. That means I don't have much longer. So let me leave you with some pictures we took of her this weekend. This pretty much makes up for all the sleepless nights.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Baby Story

A few things have changed around here. We have a new family member! Elaine May was born January 3rd at 2:38 am. She has blond hair and gray eyes like her dad and a double chin and a passion for napping like her mom. She is just perfect. But boy, is she a lot of work. I thought not much would change at first because babies don't do much. I thought we would just have to scoot over on the couch a little to make room for her and life would go on as normal. How wrong I was. But I will save the stories of waking up every hour at night, dropping her in the tub and colic for another day. This is the story of her birthday.

January 2nd started out as normal as any other day. It was Sunday and I was 3 days over my due date and thought I was going to be the first woman to be pregnant forever. I spent most of the day napping and went to dinner with the family for my mom's birthday. Soon after we got home from dinner, around 8:00 p.m. I started getting contractions. They came on really fast and really strong but there was no pattern. I would get a contraction and less than one minute later I would get another. But then another wouldn't come for 9 minutes and then 6 minutes, etc. Looking back now, I think Lainey was definitely controlling things even then, since she doesn't like patterns or predictability.

So around 10:00 pm Mike's shoulder hurt from me punching it and he called the hospital. Since the contractions weren't the standard "5 minutes apart" they told me to wait another hour and get in the tub. I don't know why they tell you to get in the tub, maybe it's so you're clean when you go in? Joke's on them though, I didn't use soap or anything. I pretty much spent the whole time clawing Mike's leg and begging him to make it stop.

After what felt like an eternity, I got out of the tub. Which was pretty easy, since I was half hanging out of it grasping at Mike who was desperately trying to get away. I got dressed and decided enough was enough. I told Mike "I don't care what the hospital says, we are going." And as soon as I said that my water broke. Even though I was now in more pain I was happy because I now had the golden ticket. No matter what, the hospital couldn't turn me away.

I have never seen Mike move so fast as he finished packing our bags and threw them in the car along with me and the carseat. Then at 11:40 at night we raced to the hospital. In what is usually a 30 minute drive, we made it there in about 15. Of course, that was still too long for me and I was convinced I was either going to pass out from the pain or have the baby in the car. Luckily, neither happened and we made it in one piece.

Somehow, we made it up the elevator, down the hall and turned the corner to the labor and delivery wing. About halfway down that corridor was an empty wheelchair. I told Mike that was it, I was done and they would have to come get me. And I dropped to my hands and knees as he ran to get a nurse. I guess I decided I had done enough work already and I didn't need to walk anymore. They came rushing over with the wheelchair, picked me up, and wheeled me into the delivery room.

Mike had to sign a couple papers for me at the front desk. He says it took less than a minute and when he walked back in the room I was completely naked and up on all fours on the bed. This is so out of character for me as I am a modest person, but apparently clothes were making the pain worse. I wouldn't even put on the gown they gave me.

Without asking, they injected me with fentenol; a drug used to calm down crazy women who refuse to lay in the bed the right way. Luckily for them, it worked. I was able to lay on my back and yell at Mike in that position.

They got the anesthesiologist in there pretty quickly. He was a nice guy, but spent forever telling me about the epidural. Dude, I don't need to hear the history of the drug, just give it to me already! Finally, he finished his monologue and gave me the shot. It was wonderful. Best.Drug.Ever. Within 5 minutes the pain was gone and I was happily chatting with everyone. The only thing that was bugging me was that I was hungry and kept asking Mike for an orange. I knew they wouldn't let me eat, but I wanted to see if Mike would try to sneak it to me. He didn't. Rule follower.

The Dr. arrived around 2:00 am and we started the process of bringing Lainey into the world. Once the Dr. had her little head, he paused to style her hair into a mohawk. Very funny for everyone else in the room, but hello, we're in the middle of something here!

Then at 2:38 am she was here. She weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 and a half inches long. Much bigger than any of us thought. They wrapped her up and gave her to Mike. And she just stared at him as intently as he stared at her. It was the best moment I have ever seen.

All of a sudden, this twosome is a threesome. And we couldn't be happier.