Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FOUR months old!

I know people say this all of the time, but seriously, where does the time go?? Maybe it's because I haven't slept in well over four months, but it just doesn't seem possible that she's already this big. She had her doctor's appointment this morning and is 14 lbs, 10 ozs (73%), 25 1/4 inches (85%), and her head circumference is 41.8 (74%). Although her weight it still in the high percentiles, it has really slowed down (remember, she was over 9 lbs at birth). Her doctor isn't concerned at all though and thinks maybe this is just her metabolism. I like to think she will be tall and thin like a VZ, instead of average height and, ahem, 'busty' like a G. Either way, she's doing great.

She continues to change every single day. She finally rolled over from her front to her back, although she's only done it a few times so I still make her practice. She grabs at things with great gusto now (mostly to put them in her mouth), but is showing preference for different toys at different times. She loves looking in the mirror, even though she hasn't figured out it is herself that she's looking at. She looooooves all the other babies at our weekly parent group and will stare at them for hours (she is more than happy to stick her hands in their little mouthes, but I usually catch her in time). She talks to us all the time and has started full on laughing. She cracks herself up and when we laugh at her laughing, it makes her hysterical. It might be the greatest sound on the planet.

She still loves bath time and kicks her feet throughout the whole thing. We may have to move bath time to the grown up tub soon because by the end of it, the kitchen and I are both soaking wet. She has started responding really well to reading books with mom. She gets very quiet and snuggly. I think 'Runaway Bunny', 'The Grouchy Ladybug', and the story about the mouse and the strawberry (I forget its title) are her current favorites. She doesn't care too much for 'Goodnight Moon', but I think it's just because she prefers to be a little more unconventional. She still won't sleep in her crib, but will hang out in there for about 15 minutes as long as her aquarium is on. She loves music and hates wearing socks. She likes to lay on a blanket in the backyard and look at the trees. Her bunny Beatrice is her current lovey of choice and I think she has finally out grown the fear of the car seat. Car trips have become almost pleasant.

She loves spending the mornings with her dad and sleeps much better when he is home (I am convinced she tries to wait up for him). She looks at pictures of her grammy, grandma, grandpa, and all the aunties, uncles, and cousins every day. Her thick dark hair is falling out and is being replaced by finer, lighter hair. It looks almost strawberry blonde, so she might be our little red head after all. I swear she knows her name and looks at me when I call for her. She is absolute joy to be around and if only she would sleep she would be the world's most perfect baby. They would even try to clone her.

The Taste Tester

Like all babies this age, Norah spends most of her day with her hands shoved in her mouth. This would be fine, except she then likes to stick her gummy hands in my nose, my mouth, wrap my hair around them.... you get the picture. Over the past few weeks, she has expanded her slobbering to include all her toys, my clothes, the bedsheets, the cat's tail... Basically, anything Norah touches must immediately go in her mouth. I got her a few new toys the other day and instead of playing with them, she thought about eating them.

Going in for the kill...


Apparently, plastic (even non-BPA plastic!) doesn't taste so good...

Brokedown Parents

Both BVZ and I are currently suffering from bad backs and crooked necks. The culprit? A 14 and a half pound monster who takes up over half the bed. The two of us end up on the very edge of our respective sides since we have to keep pillows and blankets away from her (to protect her from the sids and all...). Plus, she has a mean right hook. Pretty soon we're going to be sleeping on the floor. The room just isn't big enough for a king sized bed, so princess here is getting the boot. And soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Big Girl Clothes

I have noticed lately that Norah spends most of her time in pj's....either footed sleepers or onesies. Being that she is almost 4 months old, I figured it was time she started wearing actual clothes during our adventures out of the house. Here she is showing off one of her big girl outfits.

Being cute is so very tiring...

I tried my best to stay upright...

But it was awfully hard....

A Girl and Her Dad

It is no secret that Norah is Dad's girl. BVZ adores her and the feeling is mutual. One of her favorite things to do is hang out propped up on the bed and 'talk' to him while he gets ready for work in the morning.

Now, BVZ has been working a ton (as evident from my non-stop complaining about it), which has severely cut into his Norah hanging out time. Even worse, he has been hit with the insomnia bug (you know how it is, when you work so much and never decompress and then try to go to's a lost cause). Anyway, the other night at about 2 am, Norah woke up soaking wet and so BVZ jumped up and offered to change her. I dozed off and awoke with a start about 45 minutes later because they were both still gone. I ran into the nursery to find them having a grand 'ole time. He was then sufficiently tired, but she was WIDE AWAKE for the next 2 hours. I could have killed him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Brokedown Baby

I thought about titling this post 'Hot Mess' but then I thought that might be inappropriate.... Things kind of suck over at the GVZ house these days. Norah has apparently forgotten how to sleep, either during the day or at night. According to Dr. Google, at her age she should be sleeping 16 hours a day--about 11 to 12 during the night, and 4 to 5 during the day. I have been keeping track the past few days and she is getting about 11 total. She refuses to nap during the day--I can only get her to doze off in the swing or in the car for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Forget about even trying the crib and even laying her down in our bed (which used to work like a charm), gets us 10 minutes tops. She goes down for the night at about 8 (this is after an hour of bath, rocking, stories, eating, etc) and then is up every 15 minutes or so until we go to bed at about 11:30. Then she is up at least every 2 hours, either to eat or scream about it. I feel like we have a newborn again.

I won't bore you with our sleep training details (it even bores me). We are trying very hard to break some bad habits and instill some new ones, but in the meantime we are all very, very tired. Did I mention that BVZ has been working until 11 pm or later every night? Oh yes. That's been great. It has gotten so frustrating at times that I have taken to singing 'You are an asshole' to the tune of 'You are my sunshine'. I figure it isn't the words that matter, rather my tone. And saying asshole makes me feel better.

In other news, our girl had blood in her diaper several times yesterday. I was certain that it was a reaction to dairy in my diet, but we (and by we, I mean I) took her to urgent care just to be on the safe side. She checked out fine and the pediatrician on call agreed with my diagnosis. She said there are two schools of thought on the matter, one being that as long as the baby shows no other signs of distress and it doesn't happen all the time, a little blood isn't a big deal. The second school of thought is that blood in the intestinal tract of someone less than 120 days old is always a big deal and everyone needs to do whatever they can to make it stop. I tend to side with the latter and so no more dairy for me. She doesn't seem to have an out-right allergy to dairy, but rather a sensitivity. It will be tough, but I look it as the only thing preventing me from eating ice cream all night, every night, so I am embracing it. I also hope it will improve her general disposition (although she's still pretty happy), and/or help her SLEEP.

This update has now officially taken me 4 hours to write.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lady N

Just a few pretty pics of my favorite girl....

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival 2008

Last year BVZ and I went to the Half Moon Bay Festival for the first time and had a fabulous experience. We went late on Sunday afternoon, and even though the traffic sucked, the festival itself wasn't terribly crowded and we wandered around stuffing ourselves with meat on a stick, multiple kinds of pie, and pumpkin beer. Norah was actually there too, we just didn't know it at the time (hmmm, maybe all the pumpkin beer is why she hasn't rolled over yet... kidding!) Anyway, we looked forward for months to introducing her to the festival. We decided to go on Saturday morning because that's when it's at its most exciting. Here is Norah in the car before she realized she would be in that damn seat for over an hour.

Being pissed about the car seat sure tires a baby out, and by the time we parked and got out of the car, she was down for the count.

Not to be deterred by her apparent lack of interest, we set out in search of pumpkin flavored food, and of course, the aforementioned beer.

It was so freaking crowded. Wall to wall people. You couldn't walk without being shoulder to shoulder with someone else and I can't tell you the number of heels I nailed with the stroller. It. Was. Misearble. I was pretty much a huge baby about the whole thing, as I thought at any moment my head could possibly explode. BVZ parked the baby in the shade and made me stand in line for beer. My beer experience is indicative of how I felt about the first half of this adventure: they were selling 3 kinds of beer, pumpkin ale, 'Obama' ale, and 'McCain' ale (I think the latter two were actually the same but they were doing a silly contest to see which candidate would 'win' the election). I ordered a pumpkin and obama ale and when the lady handed them to me I said, 'which one is which?' She replied, 'one is dark and one is light.' I said, 'I can see that. Which is which?' To which she replied, 'Just look at them! You can clearly see one is dark and one is light.' I was really tempted to punch her in the face, but instead I said, 'I CAN SEE THAT. IS THE PUMPKIN ALE THE DARK OR THE LIGHT ONE?' She said, 'Oh. Sorry. I am not sure. Let me ask someone.'
The crowds didn't get better, but BVZ told me to lighten up and bought me some pie. My disposition improved and we found a few places to walk around that didn't make me feel like killing myself or someone else. Our favorite treat was the mac and cheese sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin spice. Mmmmmm.

There was an annoying parade with lots of fire trucks.

Norah slept until we roused her so we could get a family picture taken with a 1,500 lb. pumpkin (it's awesome, if I ever figure out how to work our scanner I will post it). Once she was up she wanted to be up high (ie, carried by BVZ) so she could check everything out. We were stopped by about 300 little old ladies who couldn't get over how cute she was. BVZ said he always knew she was a chick magnet.

It ended up being a great day, but I think from now on we will stick to going on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I got my baby back, baby back, baby back, baby back....

Last night Norah the Wonder Baby slept from 9 pm, to 7:30 am, with just a quick rousing at 4 am for some grub. I don't want to jinx ourselves, but I think the dreaded 'Four Month Wakeful Period' might be over. She isn't quite 4 months yet, but I like to think she is rather advanced. I, on the other hand, did not fare as well last night. I went to bed at around 10 pm, only to be awakened by BVZ crawling in at 2 am. Sadly, he wasn't even doing anything fun, but was at work. I then proceeded to be WIDE AWAKE from 2 am to about 5:30 am, part of me just waiting for Norah to wake up and wail. I feel as though I could have been a lyric in an Alanis Morrissette song...

Anyway, in brighter news, we got a 'crib soother' yesterday which plays music, lights up, and has a plastic fish swimming around in it. Norah will actually stay in her baby jail for more than 30 seconds while it is on. We tried it out at nap time yesterday and she actually slept in the crib for 17 minutes. At bed time she lasted 42 minutes. Baby steps people, baby steps.

And here is a picture of Loretta stalking Norah's room. Loretta has been driving me bonkers lately. She can't stay out of the crib, off of the playmat, or out of Norah's face. She scratches everything that she senses the baby has anything to do with and has her hair everywhere. For anyone who has had to change a crib sheet, you know what a nightmare cat in the crib is. I am trying to be patient with her, but my tolerance is wearing thin. BVZ warns her every morning to behave and that he fears when he gets home I will be wearing a Loretta-skin hat. It isn't outside the realm of possibility.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Showers and Sophie the $24 Giraffe

Norah has always been fairly tolerant of my daily shower. She likes the sound of running water, so I stick her in the bouncey chair, give her a rattle or two, and let her chill out for a bit. Up until a few weeks ago if she should happen to drop her toy she was unfazed and would instead sit there and stare at the wall, or the light switch, or the toilet, or whatever. Well, now she is so smart and observant that when she drops (or throws) her toy she gets pissed. And yells until I lean out of the shower and pick it up for her. This happens on average 17 times during my 6 minute shower. Her latest toy of choice is Sophie the Giraffe. Sophie has quite the backstory.

I go to a weekly new parent group at a store/resource center that is, at its most simplistic, a yuppie heaven on earth. It is full of designer nursing bras, expensive toys, and $48 onesies. I am of the school of thought that onesies get peed on, puked on, and poo'ed on, and the kid will outgrow it in about a week. A onesie should cost no more than $1.99. But this place has $48 onesies. So, it's that kind of place. Anyway, a month or so ago, several of the women were raving about this baby toy called Sophie the Giraffe. Apparently it is as non-toxic as it gets, and the top award winner in the baby toy olympics. It looked like a puppy chew toy to me, but I figured there had to be something great about it if every single one of them thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. The print on the packaging is in French as well as English and lists all of the 9,000 awards this toy has won. It is also $24. A $24 puppy chew toy! I resolved to never take part in the Sophie the Giraffe craze then and there. But, a few days later Norah's sucking on her hands started to get annoying and out of control, so I figured she needed something non-toxic to chew on. I was also feeling sorry for us with BVZ being out of town, so I bought Sophie for Norah and a new lipgloss for me (I live on the edge, I know). We took it home, I washed it off and Norah promptly stuck the leg in her mouth, gagged herself, and puked all over the couch. I was so pissed I actually tried to take it back. But, apparently the yuppie heaven on earth doesn't take back chew toys that have been slobbered and puked on. Sophie got thrown on a bookshelf until yesterday when I decided we should try it out again. Success and I think Norah has a new favorite thing to throw on the floor when I shower.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sleep? I don't need no stinkin' sleep.

So, Norah and I went to a sleep seminar today. No one gave us the magic solution like I was hoping they would, but we did get some good tips. I figured I would share what we learned because someone else might be in the same boat (plus, if I don't write it out now I will so forget by tomorrow):

1. One can't even begin to think about sleep 'training' until baby is 3 months old AND 14 lbs. Norah is 3.5 months and 14.5 lbs, so we just make it.

2. Sleep begets sleep. We knew this one. Basically it just means baby needs a nap. Multiple naps. While some of the books say she should sleep after 2 hours of being awake (yeah, right), she should be getting a decent (as in 1 to 2 hour) nap in the morning and again in the afternoon. I have been pretty much letting her sleep if she wants to, but I instead need to be making a concerted effort to put her down.

3. Baby should have an active half of the day and a quiet half of the day, and it should be as consistent as possible. This means we should do our activities and errands either in the morning every day or in the afternoon every day. That is supposed to help her expect what will happen during her day and sleep accordingly. We will do this as much as possible, but I am not going to be tied to the house. If we need to get out or I am going stir-crazy, it's gonna happen.

4. Babies love routines. So, bedtime should consist of the exact same routine every night. It doesn't have to happen at the same time every night, but it should be in the same order. We have started doing this and it seems to help. Starting at 7:30 or so, she gets a bath, new diaper and pj's, a story, a song, a boob, and a rocking. We are supposed to do a modified version of this during the day before a nap. Since she currently naps wherever she falls (swing, floor, on me, etc), we will have to make an effort for this one.

5. We need to decide if we are going to embrace the co-sleeping or commit to getting her in the crib. This is the one I am most torn about. I believe in so much of the attachment parenting concepts and both BVZ and I actually really like co-sleeping. It's good for her right now and I truly believe she needs it. Plus, it has made her way more attached to BVZ even though he hasn't gotten to spend very much time with her lately. I just don't want to have a baby who a) sleeps in my bed at 5 years old, and/or b) can never learn to go to sleep on her own. I want to read a few more books on the subject before we decide for sure.

6. Don't change the diaper in the middle of the night. She should get a diaper in a larger size for nighttime and it should last her until the morning. Changing her diaper wakes her up and she is ready to play. This has been especially harsh since BVZ has been working until the wee hours of the night and when he gets home he changes her and then gives in to her wish to play. No diaper change, no talking, no eye contact, etc when she wakes up during the night. Harsh, but considering the fact that she has been waking up and staying up at all hours of the night, I am ready to try this one.

I think that was it. We won't consider crying it out anytime soon or any kind of Ferberizing, ever. I don't want her to end up on 'Intervention' some day because she believes we abandoned her.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Out Takes

I wanted to take some pictures of Norah to send out for her first Halloween. We had a photo shoot today with a LOT of out takes. She is a much better model than I am photographer...

The Last Unicorn

Remember that awesome, yet slightly creepy animated film from the early '80's called 'The Last Unicorn?' There was a character in it, a butterfly if I remember correctly, that sang everything he said. They weren't traditional songs necessarily, but all of his speech was set to melody. I have become that butterfly around Norah. She responds really well to my singing (scary as it might be), so I find myself singing just about all my words to her. For some reason my go-to melodies seem to be Donny Osmond's 'I think I love you' and Salt n Pepa's 'Push It.' There's no accounting for taste, I suppose.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Sleep Monster

Once Norah learned the difference between night and day (at about 3 weeks), she has been a really good sleeper. She is up once during the night to eat, but otherwise is down for the count. That is, as long as she is sleeping in mom and dad's bed. When she was first born she was so restless that the only way we could get her to sleep was to cuddle with her and let her sleep between us (that whole babies react to your heartbeat thing). We thought we would let her get to three months and then transition her to the crib. The transition started Sunday night and to say it isn't going well is an understatement. Both Sunday and Monday night she was up every hour from midnight to about 5 am, when I relented and let her back in the bed. Tuesday night we tried putting her in her pack and play in our room, with the same results. Last night we were all so exhausted I just put her to sleep in the bed thinking we all needed a night off. She slept so well that she was up at 2 am ready to play. Seriously, Norah? I think she finally drifted off about 5 am and now is napping one off (see above).

We're going to a sleep training seminar next week. Wish us all luck. We're going to need it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Can You Hear It?

How can a sweet little baby snore SO loud???

Poor Little Match Girl

One morning in Austin, I had to take a shower, so I plopped Norah in the swing. She didn't cry, but whimpered in the most pathetic way I had ever heard.

Trevor and Norah

Norah loved her cousins and her cousins loved her. One evening in Austin we were at Steph's house making dinner and Norah was hanging out in her car seat on the counter. I turned away for a split second and when I turned back, Trevor had pulled up a chair and announced he would be in charge of entertaining Norah while we were busy. Priceless.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Norah Does Texas

BVZ abandoned us for a trial in Washington DC, so we high tailed it out of California and spent about 10 days in Austin. It was hot, but amazing to be around our awesome family and friends who showed Norah all kinds of love. It was hard to leave and we are consoling ourselves by the fact that we plan to go back for Christmas.

We got to go to Trevor's 5th birthday party at the batting cages, which was loads of fun. Grammy got in some good Norah cuddling...

Later on Trevor showed off his 'Terrific T' mask and cape.

And Norah showed off her very own cowgirl boots, courtesy of Aunt Amy.

Norah in her party dress...

And hanging out with one of her favorite two cousins.

Rolling hoodie style...

Showing off with Auntie Sarah,

And lovin' her Aunt Kristin.

Aunt Amy and Uncle Mark decked her out in a Texas Longhorn outfit...

Some cousin love...