Monday, November 1, 2010

Month 9 recap

First Halloween costumes:
1) Our family costume was Ichabod Crane (me), the Headless Horseman (Ross) and the pumpkin head (Nora)
2) Nora dressed as a dragon for most of the rest of the festivities, including a walk around the neighborhood (though no trick-or-treating)

Nora bean has a new favorite food--refried beans with enchilada sauce. In related news, my girl eats SO MUCH FOOD. She ate half of the beans that came with my big ass combo plate. And her milk intake ain't shabby either. Now if only she'd nap every once in a while...

We went to the science museum today and played. So much fun! The columbus scienceuseum has a huge play area with water tables. I'm thinking we may have to find something similar in Pittsburgh.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Month 8 recap

Tonight is date night! First one since Nora was born, nearly 8 months ago!

Date night last night was a fantastic success. And of course, we missed Baby Girl by the end of the evening. Also, RED is a really fun, easy movie. 

Nora made a friend today! Shannon (our nanny) took her to a storytime at the local Borders and she met a little boy who is almost exactly her age. They are going to meet up again at the library tomorrow. Yay!

Nora has a tooth! My little girl is all grown up! 
Watch out apples! Watch out pickles! She's totally gonna eat you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Month 6 recap

My baby is babbling. This is new in the past few days. She's also growing hair. And can grab nearly anything. Who told her she could grow up? Also, I wish I had two days every day--one to spend on work, and one to spend with her.

Nora's 6 months old, as of yesterday. At her 6 month visit, she was 21 pounds, and 95th percentile in height and weight.
 Today is her first full day with the nanny. I was a weepy mess this morning, but working helps. 

Nora (age, 6 months) has outgrown all of the 6 month clothes, and most of the 6-9 month clothes. The 9 month clothes fit snugly, and her new 12 month clothes (from granny OConnell) are the right size to start wearing. We have 6 months of baby in a 12 month package! I don't see many other babies, but it creeps me out when I do. The ones her age look so small. And the ones her size are all walking already. Compared with them, our baby is a giant! 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Month 5 recap

Note: Again, I'm just reposting what I wrote in another forum at this time in Nora's life.


It appears that Nora is also an aspiring rock climber--she's always headed for the high ground. She's especially good at climbing her dad--she pushes off his belly with her feet and uses his beard as a rope.

Nora doesn't sleep more than a few hours at a time. During the day, she will sleep at most 45 minutes on her own. She cries without waking up, and if I am there to comfort her, she'll sleep for several hours. At night, she will occasionally sleep for 3 or 4 hours, but most nights she is crying every 1-2 hours. She seldom opens her eyes all the way during those times, but she cries and cries, until I feed her. Is that really a learned thing? She really seems hungry.

 I just caught Nora trying to pull herself up on the windowsill from the back of the couch. Home girl is STRONG!

Wow. I am more exhausted than I've been...maybe ever. Last night was my fourth in a row of 5 hours of (heavily interrupted, narcoleptic) sleep, followed by stressful days of teaching, moving related shenanigans, and taking care of Nora. Yesterday we sent Nora off to her Aunt/Uncle/cousin for a few hours, and while we did get about 1000x more done without her, it was almost worse to not have her around to keep us company. I guess that's true love for you. Yesterday the packers came, and magically transformed our house full of stuff into a house full of boxes. Today the movers come and put it all in a truck. Tonight is last dinner with the Detroit family. Tomorrow we try to take care of the quintillion things that have to be done before we leave. Saturday we load the baby, cats, and a weeks worth of stuff into our car and a rented van and drive down to Pittsburgh. My feelings on that vary depending on how recently I've woken up. 

One really cool thing to balance out the above: we had to inventory all of the items in our house that are worth more than $100/pound. It turns out that there aren't many things that fit into that category, because many things are expensive but heavy. The exception in our case was artwork. As we cataloged our unframed artwork, it became clear what our main indulgence is. We have over 100 major works on paper (not counting my own artwork). Going through it all was lovely, and renewed our resolve to get more of it framed for the new house. We've been working on it slowly over time, but it's time to step it up.

Also, the most valuable item in our home? A library book from the University of Michigan from the 1880s. It is one of two books that first promoted posters as an art form. Ross got it from the vault, which the place where they put books that don't get used very often--a kind of storage facility. We've had it for 5 years now. It's never been reissued and currently goes for about $5000. I feel like it should be in special collections, rather than in a storage facility, badly bound and falling apart. Perhaps we'll contact special collections before we return it.


Our younger cat, Roxy, puts up with no shit from anyone. Except the baby, who can pull her ears and suck on her tail. Just when I think I have that cat figured out...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Month 4 recap

Note: I stopped blogging right around the time we moved from Ann Arbor to Pittsburgh. Moving to a new city, starting a new job, and taking care of a 4 month old baby proved to be enough to handle, without blogging. But I continued to write in a more private forum. I'm reposting them here more for my own benefit than anything.


Baby girl is so unhappy. Teething pain? Earache? Just a bad day? It's hard to tell. She's ordinarily so happy that we figure minor fussiness = problems. But maybe it's not? She's holding her ear, but I've read that teething pain can be redirected to feel like ear pain. And she tugs her ear when she's tired too. I'm anticipating a call to the doctor in the morning. I'm also anticipating that they'll act like we're nuts.

Baby girl has been unusually fussy all day, and particularly unhappy to be put down. I finally took off the shirt she's been wearing all afternoon, and discovered that it had one of those plastic hanger tags on the inside shoulder. Super scratchy. She is SO HAPPY now. I feel bad because it was clearly really irritating her, and kept her from sleeping. But I'm also glad that there was a reason. 

Ross took Nora out for a walk. She's been "asking" to face outwards for a while now--twisting herself around in the Moby or Bjorn in an attempt to see out front.  So he let her face outwards for the first time. She loved it! He said that she squealed the whole time, and met so many more people than usual. It must have been tiring though, because she was asleep by the time they got back, and took a solid nap this afternoon for the first time in days!

Also, Nora is having a growth spurt again. I am STARVING.

A friend is having us over to use his complex's pool on Saturday. I've been planning to take Nora swimming in Pittsburgh once she reaches 6 months, but I'm starting to wonder if there's any reason for that magic age? Especially after reading [|this article] about taking a 6 week old to swim lessons. So when is it ok for a baby to go swimming? Nora probably won't be going on Saturday regardless, because of the sun. But do I need to wait if I can find a pool that would let me take her? What equipment (beyond a swim diaper) would I need?

Middle of the night update: I'm sitting with baby girl in my lap, post-feed. She looks asleep, but then, in rapid succession, she
1) throws her arms in the air
2) screws up her face
3) relaxes her face and sticks out her tongue as far as it will go
4) darts the tongue back in and arches one eyebrow

Baby girl's first tooth is slowly working it's way to the surface. Yesterday, I felt a little bitty point. She's 3-1/2 months old tomorrow.

Nora is crazy strong! She's been supporting her own weight standing for a while. Just today, I stood her up, and she grabbed onto the couch. I figured I'd try letting go to see what would happen. She stood there, by herself, holding onto the couch for at least 10 minutes. She even tried to reach for a soda bottle on the back of the couch. Home girl is only 3-1/2 months old! Super baby! 
But she can't roll over--to each baby, her own, I suppose.

Baby girl was very very fussy today, her fussing increasing in urgency until total melt down by this evening. The only thing that seemed to make it better was eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping. I thought it was the teeth finally breaking though (they are SO CLOSE). But she didn't want to chew. I thought she might be plugged up, but evidence indicated otherwise. I was about ready to call the doctor, when I noticed her bum was BRIGHT red. So we had a little soak in the tub, and we've been avoiding pressure on the diaper area. SO MUCH BETTER. My baby's happy again. Too bad moms are stupid sometimes.

Baby girl is NOT HAPPY. I don't think that the diaper rash was the whole story. 

Hmmm...all signs point to a super gassy little girl. Her life is sucking a little less today, but I'm keeping a fart count. 
I had no idea that motherhood would be so glamourous. 

We went swimming at a friend's complex yesterday. This was Nora's third time in the pool, and she *loved* it. None of the trepidation of the previous two outings. Just pure, unbridled joy. 

Miss Nora is almost 4 months old! She is celebrating by making huge progress in all things physical--she is standing like a pro (by herself if we prop her against something solid), starting to sit up (she totally rocks the bumbo), picking up things large and small (favorites include soda bottles, tall glasses, rings, her sproingy toy, and Sophie the giraffe), baby cobra position while on her tummy, and as of last week, she started rolling over (front-to-back). She'll be jimmying windows in no time!

Nora's 4 month appointment was yesterday. She's in the 90+ percentile for weight and and the 70th percentile for length. This, from a baby who started out WAY too skinny (35th percentile weight and 80th height after one week). What a chubber!  

We also filled out that "ages and stages" worksheet, but we were stumped on the very first question. "Does your child chuckle softly to herself?" Does my child chuckle? I have no idea. What does that even mean?  After hilarious minutes spent speculating what a baby chuckle would sound like, we decided that no, she doesn't chuckle. In fact, given her personality, she may never chuckle. Home girl is on or off--quiet, or squealing madly. There is no room for anything so half-assed as chuckling. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A week's worth of mini blog entries

Sproingy toy IN MY MOWF!!!


New favorite toy: fortune cookie, in wrapper.
New favorite person: Tim
New favorite flavor: General Tao's chicken sauce


According to the lady at TK WU, Nora is huge. Also, she's that big because I've been eating at TK WU.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Three Months!

So Nora just turned three months old last week (June 20th). She's changed so much! She is a standing machine these days. She loves being hoisted in the air. She flirts with everyone, dishing out huge, toothless smiles. She is the happiest baby anyone has ever met, even when she's fussy. She's teething, so we go through 2-3 outfits a day. She doesn't seem to mind. I worry that she has bad dreams, because sometimes she cries out in her sleep, and is upset when she wakes up. When she sleeps, she looks like a little girl instead of a baby. She's getting better at grabbing things. She can intentionally go for a particular object. Though she will occasionally manage a one-handed grab, she mostly employs the "mine, all mine!" approach, gathering everything together. She can often get things into her mouth, though her angle is sometimes off, which makes it difficult to fit things in there. She will hold onto a burp cloth like a blankie. She prefers to suck on her first two finger, just like her daddy did when he was little. She makes a huge variety of noises. Sometimes, she'll get on a talking streak and squeal away for an hour or more. She seems to get the basics of conversation, and will usually wait until it's her turn to talk. Her noises have gotten increasingly elaborate, and she'll string them together into long statements. Best of all, she knows who we are, and we get smiles intended just for us.

*Mom (aka: food lady)
*Dad (aka: fuzzy man)
*Standing up
*Sitting up (though standing is better)
*Being lifted high in the air
*Baby weight lifting (shoulder presses with the baby)
*Timber! (a game involving standing, tipping over like a tree, and kisses)
*Space invaders (a game with dad involving sound effects)
*The baby in the mirror
*The macbook
*The iphone
*The video camera
*Sproingy baby toy
*Wood teething ring
*Singing frog and spinning turtle
*Ice cream
*General Tao's sauce
*Chewing on things

*Spicy Thai sauce
*Blue cheese dressing
*Diaper blowouts
*Waking up

Indifferent to:

*Sunny buns
*Drool-a-don: the scourge of tiny Tokyo

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Baby nightmares

Is it possible for babies to have bad dreams? Nora sounds like she's having a rough time of it. What would baby nightmares be like? Your dreaming of boobs, and then suddenly the boobs go away? Your parents vanish and you can't see them and they don't come back? Whatever it is, I wish I could chase it away.

Happy Father's Day Ross!

To the best daddy a girl could ever have!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The circle of life

They say that you need 500 extra calories a day while breastfeeding. My experience has been that I need *way* more than that. I was a bit overweight when I got pregnant, and ended up gaining only about 15 pounds. Two weeks post-partum, I was down to my biking-season weight: about 20 pounds lighter than I was pre-pregnancy. I am also hungry ALL THE TIME.

Here's what I've eaten today:
  *A bowl of cereal with raisins, dates, and walnuts
  *Half a bowl of udon noodles with beef and broccoli
  *Half a rice crispie bar
  *A BLT sub with mayo and cucumbers
  *A large chocolate chip cookie
  *An extravagant handful of cheezits
  *A full fat blackberry yogurt
  *Half a salad with walnuts, blue cheese, cranberries, and apples
  *Half a slice of cheesecake
  *Six perogies with cheese, bacon, and sour cream

Granted, I've also been hauling box after box out of the basement, so this is a bit more than I'd usually eat. But not much!

It's a little weird when you think about it. She eats stuff that I produce. Which means that my body basically is an elaborate mechanism for turning cheezits into baby thighs. Delicious delicious baby thighs.

I made those cheeks. And those hands. NOM!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A week's worth of mini blog entries

Mmmmm... carrier.

Did you ever get so mad you farted? Nora has.


Baby bean just spit up a huge volume of milk as I was carrying her across the room. Most of it went directly into the basket of clean laundry. Sometimes, there's nothing to do but laugh.


She has started to say something that sounds eerily like "Hi!". Our enthusiastic reaction (or perhaps just a developmental advance) seems to have prompted a whole torrent of other sounds: GAH!, GaYAH, AhYAH, yeh-ah (sounds a bit like yeah), eeeee. They are mostly vowel sounds and modified squeals, but there are a few consonants mixed in--I've heard mostly Gs and Hs.


New toy! Nanna and Grandpa visited and brought a thing that hangs on her vibrating chair. It has lots of new! things! to look at! Her mind may officially be blown. 

Like the other one, this one has a frog in the center, who plays music. I've decided to call him Beebop. There's also a turtle who rattles. I think I'll call him Bones.


Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night to a not-crying baby sound. Nora had wiggled out of her swaddler and was babbling to her hands.

Tonight, I woke up because she was farting repeatedly in her sleep.


She's working on standing. She's pretty good at it.


So many noises! She's working on a whole range of sounds. I think I heard a w tonight. Ross thinks he heard an m earlier.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Sometimes, the littlest things make me feel like an awesome mom--like just now, when I got the baby to go to sleep. She was so tired, and I was able to give her what she really needed, but didn't know she wanted.

This makes up for the (many) times I feel totally incompetent.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We're going to be so sorry we taught her to do this.

For the past week or so, we've been encouraging Nora to grab things. We basically started with it when we made our trip out to Pittsburgh (around the 20th of May). By the time we got back, she'd gotten considerably better at grabbing for an elephant rattle we hang from her car seat.

This past week, we've been actively teaching her to grab the frog that dangles from her vibrating chair (see above). When you pull the loop on the frog, it plays a little tinny tune, and the first time we got her hand around it, she seemed thrilled. She affected her environment! How exciting! When we put her hand on it, she'll hold on and try to get the frog to play over and over again. Today, she started reaching for the frog all by herself. She still can't quite get to it. But I think that we're about a week away from wanting to murder that freaking frog.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A week's worth of mini blog entries

Totally awesome hat



She grabbed the elephant! On purpose! She tried to bring him to her mouth, but he was too wily.


She loves the water. I can't wait to take her swimming...


Did this baby always have so much hair? It doesn't look like it, but the hair now covers her entire head. When did that happen? Also, it appears to be three different colors: blond, brown, and red. Crazy.


New nicknames:
*Sunny Buns
*Beanie Weenie


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Baby Races

ZOMG! Our friends Tim and Ali just had a baby! Her name is Elinor, though they will be calling her Nora. Since both of our babies are named Nora, I figure we should have some baby races.

Race 1: Weight
Our baby is clearly smashing Tim and Ali's in this category. Our Nora weighed over 11 pounds at her last pediatrician visit. She probably weighs almost 12 pounds by now. Tim and Ali's Nora weighs only 6 pounds 5 oz. Yes, she may be at a slight disadvantage--being just born and all. But our baby could eat their baby. Crush her. No contest!
Winner: Our Nora

Race 2: Hair
Ok, so our baby is a bit lacking in the hair department.
Exhibit A
And from the picture I have, the new Nora is rocking a really awesome faux hawk. Our child will not have that much hair for years. Sorry my dear--you'll have to earn your hipster cred with ironic onesies instead.
Winner: Other Nora

Race 3: Cuteness
I happen to think that our baby is pretty cute. I mean...look at this face:
Exhibit B
But I am willing to concede that Tim and Ali have also produced a fine looking baby. One might even say adorable. One might even go so far as "super adorable". So we'll call this one a draw.
Winner: Nora

So that leaves us at a tie
Nora: 2
Nora: 2

I guess we'll have to wait until they're older for the cage match tie breaker.


I turned 30 last month. Crazy, eh? With all the changes around here, I almost missed it.

Unlike in years past, I'm not going to use my birthday as a time to set goals. We are still learning about what our lives are like now. In a couple of months, we will be moving to a totally new city and I will be starting a totally new job. How could I possibly know what goals will be useful? What will be feasible?

So instead of focusing on what I have not yet achieved I'm going to take a cue from a friend from college, and focus on my accomplishments. In lieu of a To Do list, this birthday will feature a "Done, Bitches!" list.* Feel free to join in aloud after each item in the list.

  • Start swimming again (DONE, BITCHES!)
  • Visit a new country (BELGIUM IS TOTALLY DONE, BITCHES!)
  • Get a job (DONE, BITCHES!)
  • Write a new paper (DONE, BITCHES!)
  • Finish my dissertation (DONE, BITCHES!)
  • Defend my PhD (DONE, BITCHES!)
Not too shabby when I write it that way!

*The main advantage of the DONE, BITCHES list? You don't have to think about the things that didn't make the list! Or things that will be on the next list!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Milk Face

*STRETCH*, originally uploaded by rcoconnell02.
This is a baby full of milk. I love this look. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Huggies: Worst Diaper in America, or Worst Diaper Ever?

A word of warning: this blog post is about poo. If you don't want to read about poo, stop reading now. Perhaps you want to read this post instead. It contains no poo. Unlike this post, which is about poo.

Ok. I warned you. Ready?

So Nora has had some pretty epic poos in her short life. (Did I mention that this post is about poo? Well it is. SAVE YOURSELF NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.) In fact, she had one while we were in Pittsburgh, which prompted her dad to make the following post on facebook:

Ross: When she poops, we change her diaper. When she has a big poop, we change her shirt. And on certain special occasions, we change my shirt too.

Well, it turns out that was minor league stuff. Today, we hit the majors. We were out to lunch with our friend Jack. Nora was hanging out in her stroller, trying to grab her toy elephant firmly enough to put him in her mouth. Given the story arc to follow, a bit of background about Nora's stroller is probably in order: it's convertible, so at the moment it docks with her car seat and the body of the stroller is folded out flat beneath. Basically, it's a transformer.

Anyway, in the 10 minutes she was sitting there, she had what looked like a fairly major diaper blowout. The poo had exited the leg hole of the diaper, and was...well...everywhere. I blame the Huggies we had to use after running out of our usual diapers in Pittsburgh.

I took her to the bathroom and started the process of cleaning her up. It was bad, but so far, no worse than we'd seen already. Cleanup of a typical diaper blowout goes something like this:
1) Shirt off of her, stuffed in ziploc baggie
2) Swab poo off of her behind, legs, arms, back, and feet
3) Clean off the changing pad
4) Rinse cycle for the baby
5) New diaper

But at this point, I turn to the car seat, and discover that in addition to the poo on the removable pad, there is poo on the car seat itself. It looks like a small amount, so I rinse the removable pad and throw it in with the soiled shirt. I go to clean the car seat, and to my horror, discover that the poo is not confined to the surface--there is a little lake of poo, hidden away in the bowels (HA!) of the car seat itself. It was an incredibly lucky shot--straight down the seatbelt--I don't know how she managed it.

I know when I'm beat, so I dress her in her spare clothing and we head back to the house. Halfway home, I have a horrible thought--I hope the bottom of the car seat is a solid piece of plastic.

Nope. No such luck. The poo had continued down the seatbelt, out the back of the car seat, and into the bottom part of the stroller. I have no idea what the probability of that happening is, but it's got to be pretty low. God I hope it's low. I wanted to take pictures, just to document the incredible journey this poo had to take in order to get all the way from her butt, down the seatbelt, through the car seat, and out to the base of the stroller. But as my hands were covered in poo, I decided that it just wasn't worth it. You can thank me later.


A moment I desperately want to remember.

It's a warm summer evening, and the Bean and I are walking home together. The light is golden and comes in at an angle, skimming the tops of the buildings and trees. The Bean is watching the trees go by above our heads, a sparkle in her eye and a conspiratorial half-smile on her face. Her feet are resting on my hands, her toes curling and uncurling on my fingers. She uses her toes just like she uses her tongue--to investigate the world. Every once in a while, she looks up at me and grins, as if she just now remembered I was there. Hi little Bean. I love you too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Nora is having a hard time deciding between smiling at me and chewing on her hand.

In other news, a baby smiling while trying to jam her entire fist in her mouth is pretty darn cute.

This fascination with sucking on her hands is a recent thing. She's been gaining arm control slowly over time (easily measured by the number of times she accidently whacks herself in the face), and she's been finding her hands with her mouth for a week and a half or so. But these last few days in Pittsburgh, this meeting of hand and mouth has developed from an occasional lucky coincidence to a beloved hobby, enjoyed with gusto. As I type this, she is laying in my lap, alternating between sucking on her index finger, thumb, and licking her entire fist, all accompanied by a range of enthusiastic slurping noises.

Other things she likes to suck/lick/chew on include:

*Her carrier
*Her car seat straps (I have to make sure that her chin isn't trapped in the straps when I tighten them)
*Whatever surface she's laying on
*Her arm
*My arm
*Ross's arm
*Ross's t-shirt
*My bra (there's food in there somewhere!)


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Games babies play

Nora has a game she can play with Dad. He calls it "Divebomber". It goes like this:
Dad makes a booping noise, and from a distance away, spirals in towards your nose.
When Dad gets to your nose, he beeps it!
Sometimes he waits a bit longer before beeping your nose. That's pretty funny.

Today, Nora actually added an element of her own to the game.
When Dad gets close to your nose, you turn your head to dodge the beep!
That's REALLY funny.

Local babies say "Pittsburgh Sucks!"

We're out in Pittsburgh, looking for housing. It's been hard--there isn't much available at the moment, and while the houses in Pittsburgh are beautiful, the rental housing is in universally bad repair. It's also been tough on a little Bean. She's gotten into much more of a routine in the past few weeks--she sleeps at night (though not through the night) and takes some naps during the day, with definite periods of wakefulness between--but that all goes out the window while house-hunting. The pediatrician pointed out that her best nap would probably be an hour or two after she woke up, and that's turned out to be true--we just had to know to look for it. Unfortunately, that is right around the time we need to leave in the morning to look for houses.

Cranky baby.

Then, we subject her to a long string of in and out of the and out of the baby and out of the car again. She just manages to fall asleep in the car, and then we take her out. She falls asleep in the carrier, we take her out.

Cranky cranky baby.

But all things considered, she's doing very well. She's added a Pittsburgh chapter to her growing fan club, that's for sure. And she's adjusted pretty well to the hotel room. In fact, she's advocating that we just give up on the house hunting and live in the hotel room instead.

Given the trouble we've been having, I'm tempted.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Conversations with Nora

Week 1:
BOOB BOOB Boob boob boobboobbooboooooo zzzzzzzzzzzzz
boobboobbooboooooo zzzzzzzzz


Week 4:
BOOB! BOOB! Boob Boob Boob!
Boob boob boob boob boooob booooooooooob
whiiiine CRAP! Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap! WAAAAAAAAH!
BOOB! Boob Boob Boob!


Week 8:
BOOB BOOB! Boob boobboob boob boob!
I love boob! Show me the boob!
BOOB! boob boob boob boob boob.
dah, AH!
ah! ah. aHA!
whiiiiiiine Crap! Who crapped my pants? Crap crap crap!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cutest thing ever.

Nora has found the baby in the mirror! It makes her so happy. I'm sure that the fascination will wane, but for the moment, it's almost guaranteed to make her stop crying. I wonder if this means we should find some baby friends for her...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Likes and Dislikes

Nora loves tuvan throat music!

She also loves
  • Boob
  • David Bowie
  • The "Big Tuba" song
  • Beatles rockband
  • The bar
  • Being smiled at
  • Being on her tummy
  • Dancing with us
  • "Dancing" on her own
  • Boob
  • Pooping/peeing/barfing on Dad
  • Being tickled (though it doesn't actually seem to tickle)
  • Having her arms and legs moved around
  • Boob
  • Dad's fuzziness
  • Riding in the car
  • Riding in the stroller
  • Riding in the baby carrier
  • Looking at stuff
  • Being held
  • The magic swing
  • The vibrating chair
  • Boob
  • LaTex
  • 10-d String Theory
She hates
  • Lack of boob
  • Formula
  • Dirty diapers
  • Not looking at stuff
  • Not being held
  • Socks (apparently--she kicks them off)
  • Sleeping (sometimes)
  • Sun in her face
  • Not seeing mom or dad
  • Her hands (the bastards hit her when she's not looking!)
  • Stupid people
I think she's her daddy's girl.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Growth Spurt

A few days ago, Miss Nora Bean went through a rough patch. She was eating way more than usual (8 oz in three hours at one point!) and fussing like crazy. She also refused to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time, and then only while being held. Given how sweet she usually is, my first thought was that someone had kidnapped my child and replaced her with some kind of wolverine/howler monkey hybrid. Fortunately, whatever was bothering her seems to have been temporary. Two days after she started fussing, she abruptly stopped, and now her smile is just as broad and lovely as it was a few days earlier.

As best we can tell, she must have been going through some kind of developmental growth spurt. New neural connection apparently take a lot out of a baby. We've seen some improvement in a couple of areas--things she'd already been doing sometimes that she now does all the time. In particular, her vision seems to have had a big jump. She loves stripes and other bold patterns, even when they're not black and white. She can track objects easily, both with her head and with her eyes alone. She seems to be able to see us from a longer distance than she could before, and she can definitely see when we're smiling at her. Her motor skills are also improving, though not as dramatically. She is still working on keeping her head up. She desperately wants more head control. Head control = baby freedom! All of this is boosted by increasing periods of alert wakefulness. She is now awake long enough that I've started to think of her as napping when she sleeps--before, she just slept all the time.

She's also grown. A lot. She's clearly turning all that milk into more baby. She's long and lean--like a string bean. A string bean with GIGANTIC feet.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nicknames for Nora

Things that we have called our baby in the last 5 weeks:
  • The Bean
  • Baby Bean
  • Baby Girl
  • Nora Bean
  • Jelly Bean
  • Honey Bear
  • Grumpy Bear
  • Baby Bear
  • The Fussy Hussy
  • The Gassy Lassy
  • The Sassy Lassy
  • Dumpy Butterton
  • Baby Burrito
  • Chubbernutter
  • Nora Borealis

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nora's many fine accomplishments

Nora Bean's granny and grandpa and aunt Caitrin visited last week from Oregon, and the presence of 5 adults in her life apparently sparked a huge leap in development. In addition to the social smiles I mentioned earlier (still the best thing ever) she can also, just as of this past week:
  • track an object slowly drawn across her field of vision
  • grab and shake a rattle (see figure A, above)
  • find daddy when he speaks and look at him
She's also continued to improve her head control. She can almost hold it up all on her own! And she is making progress towards creeping. She has started curling her toes under--before, she was just sliding the tops of her feet along the ground. She also rolled over twice in a row, but we have yet to see a repeat performance of that trick, so I'd say that one's in progress.

She's developing so fast! It's pretty awesome to see what she can accomplish in just one week!

The experience of watching her change and develop has been so amazing. It's made us realize that we really want some kind of written record of our experience, both for us, and maybe eventually for her. All of which is to say that there should be more regular posts from here on out. Hopefully with pictures. I will also try to fill in the blanks from the last month or so, as best I can. I'm not sure how that will show up in RSS feeds, so when I'm done I'll probably post once with just the links to the catchup posts.

Dad (aka:Ross) will probably also post occasionally. In particular, the lyrics of his brilliant song, "Pooparatzzi," really need to be recorded for the ages.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First Smiles!

The Bean can smile at us! We smile, and she smiles back!

Best thing ever.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A list of things I'm hooked up to right now...

*IV line (4 bags currently)
*Epidural line
*Automatic blood pressure cuff
*Squeeze-y leg thingies (to prevent blood clots)

That last one's a doozy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not exactly what I expected...

So I'm in the hospital.

However, I am not in labor.

I went in for my regularly scheduled OB appointment this afternoon, and my blood pressure set off some alarm bells. It was really high--especially since I normally have blood pressure on the low end. So they sent me to get some labs done, and the labs came out...poorly.

Turns out, I have preeclampsia.

They categorized it as "severe", meaning that I'm hooked up to "The Mag" (Magnesium) and they are inducing labor. As our OB told us, we aren't leaving the hospital without a baby. Fortunately, the Goober is at term (38-1/2 weeks) so this isn't such a bad thing for her.

I, on the other hand, feel kind of like crap.

Updates as events warrant.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A milestone...

I just had my first stranger ask when I was due. Unambiguously preggers!