Friday, April 30, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time to debrief

I loved the idea in the Happiest Baby on the Block that later in life there will be time for teaching and scheduling your baby, but the first 3 months (the 4th trimester) are the time for cuddling. He calls his technique for calming crying the "cuddle cure," and gives advice for helping your freaked out baby get through the first part of life with minimal upset. It helps me feel that even when I am "not getting anything done" during the day, I am still accomplishing something huge--loving my baby.

Ella and I are not exactly on a schedule and frankly I am all mixed up about whether and how to get on one. I do like the Babywise idea of scheduling your baby loosely--definitely the part about sleeping through the night. But here's the thing, even the scheduling proponents like the authors of Babywise say if your baby is hungry, feed her, if she needs something, help her out regardless of the schedule. We are doing that, but if I think too much about the schedule, I find myself just frustrated that we are an hour off. But that doesn't really matter!

The best thing I have taken from Babywise is the feed-wake-sleep cycle. I like that, and I especially like having an idea of what we should be trying next during the day. I think the main issue is sleeping vs. crying. If baby is crying when she is scheduled for sleeping, what do you do? Let her cry it out or cuddle her? That question becomes very important and urgent at 3 am. But also during the day cuddling Ella means not doing other things, sometimes as basic as laundry, other times as fulfilling as sewing.

Now, should I treasure a few months to just cuddle with my precious baby, or should I set an early pattern for her of learning to accomodate others and learning to sleep when the world sleeps? I have been sort of trying to balance in between and do both. But even so, I am profoundly less productive in life in terms of what I used to do before Ella was born. Unless you consider I am nurturing a whole new person and I get to take credit for some of what she will accomplish later on. It's very different. I'm still working out how to think about what to "do" with a day. The fact that Ella likes to be outside means I am definitely taking more time to smell the roses.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dollhouse time?

When I was a little girl, I loved miniatures and rearranging my dollhouse. And now I love rearranging and decorating my real house. The e-mail I got from Etsy today had all of these really cool miniatures--for grown-up girls, I guess, because they are so modern and trendy looking. How great are these? And how soon can I buy Ella a dollhouse?

Bonus picture of Spotty Dottie with her pink bow. I bet she would have smiled if she had a dollhouse.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Smelling the roses

When I was pregnant with Ella I thought of her arrival in terms of the seasons, I had to get through fall and winter and then she would come in the spring. So obviously I was really looking forward to spring even more than I normally do. And of course it was the coldest, snowiest, grayest and most never-ending winter we have had since we've been in North Carolina. But it seemed like about the same week Ella was born, spring came fluttering in and it has been just beautiful since then. Could that be psychosomatic? Maybe.

But anyway look at our beautiful roses!

They have just exploded. I counted 14 buds on this bush. We tried to let Ella smell them. She wasn't impressed.

I'm sure it's hard to appreciate things like that when you are only 6 weeks old and gassy and being held away from Daddy's chest instead of against it. It's so exciting to think of all the things we can show her as she gets bigger, even as we lose the tiniest baby stuff.


Is it sick that when Ella has a big blowout I can't help but think, Yay! New outfit! ?

Friday, April 23, 2010


What a difference a day makes! We've been singing the hallelujah chorus this morning. First of all, miss Ellie slept from, get ready, 10:45 til 3:45 last night and then went right back to sleep with no fussing from 4 to 7:30 and then again from 7:50 to 10:30. It was wonderful. And when she woke up she was feeling like this:

Maybe she just needed some sleep too! : ) And now we are having tummy time, which we really need to do more often because it is more like face-plant time for poor Ella.

We'll keep working on it.

The other exciting thing that happened this morning is that while Ella was sleeping in luxuriously, I took all the 3-6 month clothes that I washed for the first time yesterday out of the dryer, and they fit! It's a whole new world for Ella (ok for me). Amazingly her newborn things are really getting too small already, especially with her huge cloth-diaper bottom. But all we really had for that stage was pink onesies. We are now looking forward to incorporating green, blue, more brown and some very exciting patterns into the works. Today we did stick to pink, but I love the elephant pattern. Today she is my little Ella-phant. Sorry, couldn't resist! Check out the spread:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who's that pretty baby in the mirror?

Another cranky day for Ella. But she does really seem to perk up when she has something interesting to look at. I told you how she likes to look at the fabric on the walls in her room. She also loves to look out the window, and to go outside and look around. The mirror is fun too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The many faces of Ella McCall

Still waiting on a smile picture. She has done a few that I am pretty sure were genuine. But not reliable yet. Wait 'til you see it--it's really cute. I do like the surprised face too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tiny hands

"Lucie the woman dog"

Today was Ella's one month checkup. She is doing great and in the 97% percentile for weight at 11 lbs 3 oz. Wow! She has also grown 2 inches since she was born for a new length of 23.75. Incredible. It almost seems like if we just laid her down we could watch her grow!

Other than that it was kind of one of those days. It started out with projectile poopie and Lucie having torn up the diaper pail. Then Ella was just grumpy all day, which made me grumpy. Also, I had to call and negotiate with the insurance company which was as enjoyable as you would expect.

However, there were a few bright spots. I got an e-mail from the veterinarian which made me laugh out loud. Paul put it in a pdf so I could show you:

Can you see that? They called her Lucie the Woman dog. Hahahaha! I don't think that's what it was supposed to say. But it gave me a whole new way to think about Lucie. : )

Finally, here is a picture of Ella's wonderful Daddy, who helped me out by soothing our little sweetheart when he came home, looking at her. I think he's in love.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Super swaddler!

Behold, adorable Ella-burrito. Five minutes before, she was a flailing, upset little wild lady. The swaddler is magic! Have you read the Happiest Baby on the Block? Dr. Karp is a smart man with his five S's for calming crying. Swaddling is the first S. So far, it is frequently all she needs. We are thankful for the wisdom and the swaddler-outfit thingy.

Sibling rivalry

Lucie has done very well with Ella after a brief adjustment period. At this point she is very interested, concerned when she cries but quiet and tolerant of the noise. She likes to sniff Ella when at the right level--in the swing or on our laps. But sometimes she gets a little jealous, like any big sister would, over all the fuss about Ella.

Tonight we were taking some very cute pictures. I'll put them in a sequence for you:

Lucie is very cute TOO, don't you think?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strawberry shortcake

How cute is she? I wanted a picture of me holding her looking so cute too, so we did that.

Then Paul kept snapping away as I noticed our artistic pursuits would have to wait . . .


Don't worry, it turned out ok. Even the garlic bread survived.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Moby Wrap

So today we got used to the Moby a little. I still love my Ergo carrier for walks and extended baby-wearing sessions. It has great support for Ella's poor little floppy neck and is very comfortable for both of us as Ella evidences by instantly becoming unconscious until she is removed. But it is a little hard to get into and out of and pretty bulky. Also a little hot with the infant insert in place. Here is Ella in the Ergo (note the cute booties--thanks Robyn!):

So here is Ella's initial take on the Moby:

But we kept practicing and I figured out a way to sneak her into it while she was peacefully sleeping on my shoulder, and I think it's going to work out:

I like this for several reasons. 1. There would be no way to sneak Ella into the Ergo while she was peacefully sleeping. It is way easier to get her in and out. 2. You can keep wearing the wrap when not in use and it looks kind of cool, or at least ok. So you don have to commit to long periods of wearing baby or not wearing. 3. Not so hot. (But still a little hot.)

In conclusion, I am thankful for both Ergo and Moby and see plenty of use for both in our lives. : )

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Birthday-Tax Day

Today was Ella's one month birthday! And tax day! At first I couldn't decide whether to give her a pretty birthday outfit or have her wear this onesie which can really only be worn today without making poor Ella feel like she's being used. But then I thought, this beautiful baby can totally rock the tax deduction onesie and have it be a pretty birthday outfit all at the same time. Results below:Not the best smile, but hey maybe at 2 months. We had a nice birthday out on the town. We picked up Ella's birth certificate, a nice birthday activity I think. Then we went down to a store in Morrisville called the Diapering Doula. Very cool place with ALL KINDS of cloth diapering stuff and Moby wraps. I got a Moby wrap. And when Ella sizes up on diaps we will definitely head down there to check out all the options. There will be more about the Moby wrap in a future post perhaps. But the final activity was another trip to the library to return baby care books and pick up more baby care books. My life has definitely taken on a theme lately!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Ella!

Yesterday baby Ella was 4 weeks old and tomorrow she will be one month. What a month! The time has flown!--except certain occasions in the middle of the night where we did the paci plug q2min for hours on end. But she is getting bigger and bigger and more and more human.

Last night we had one of those pacifier marathons while poor Ellie struggled with her ferocious tummy. We were all a bit irritated with the tummy by this morning, especially when it threatened to disrupt her breakfast too. But sweet Ella gave me such a special treat--while we were trying to re latch for the 12th time or so she looked up and took notice of the wreath-framed fabric I decorated her room with. She stared at it calmly for a few minutes, looking intently from one pattern to the next. Not quite a smile, but I think she really liked it! I was so happy that she wanted to look at something pretty I put up for her. Maybe we can be friends along with Mommy-Baby!

And, here she is sucking her thumb for the first time (I admit, I helped her find it--we've got to solve the nighttime paci problem). Isn't she cute?