Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And counting...

I'm nearing the end of my workday, and that means that I have five (yes, five) work days left until I retire to be a SAHM. OK, maybe six, but next Thursday is more of a luncheon-attending, wrap-up day than anything else.

Today was exhausting. And I didn't technically do anything that could be classified as "work". At least not anything that moved a program forward or cleared up details on an upcoming event. I spent the entire day explaining what I do, program by program, to my very capable and well-chosen replacement as she took notes and asked questions. And it completely drained me.

I don't know if it was the constant mental activity that was so taxing or if it was the fact that I was basically trying to recount eight years of planning and programming (we got through about half of it today). But it was a hard day, and it has left me with a bit of anxiety.

It's not that I don't think she'll do a good job. In fact, she is probably better for the job than me at this stage because she represents a fresh pair of eyes with new ideas and a new perspective. But now that we've reached the eleventh hour, I'm starting to wonder if I can just drop everything and leave at the end of next week. It's going to be a challenge, to be sure.

In other news, Olivia is sleeping better (thank God!). She still wakes at night, but the last couple of nights I could tell that she was just talking to herself (not crying or hungry), so I didn't go in there and she just fell back to sleep on her own after about 10 minutes. I think she may be over the major part of her growth spurt. Now, though, she appears to have some sort of stomach bug or something because she is spitting up half of what she eats. No fever, no crying...just this fountain of recycled formula everywhere with no warning. *Sigh* The joys of parenting. Soon to be a 24/7 adventure for this aspiring SAHM.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sleep, please...

Remember the previously mentioned growth spurt? The one that caused Olivia to start waking after six hours of nighttime sleep, then five, then four? Well, she now rarely sleeps more than three hours at a time before waking. Even at night. And I am beside myself.

I honestly think it is affecting us both. I know it is affecting my ability to concentrate and focus (which is extremely inconvenient when I have just 8 working days left to train my replacement before SAHM...and I kind of need to be awake for those days). But I'm more concerned that sleeping short stretches might affect Olivia's neural development. I think she's been grumpier lately, too, which isn't helping either of us.

So, here's my question, internet. When is it OK to start adding rice cereal to baby's diet? Does this help them sleep longer? I am convinced that her sleep interruption is due to being hungry because of the growth spurt, and not because she's startled or anything. She's just SO hungry. She'll be 15 weeks old on Monday, and I'd love some advice from some moms who have been there.

Sorry about the complaint session. I know I've been extremely blessed thus far to have a baby who sleeps. But this 3-hours-to-waking has been going on for four straight days, and I'd just like to find a way that we can both get a few more consecutive hours. Any recommendations?

On another note, some of Olivia's three-month photos have been posted at our photo blog. Here's one to tide you over until you get there.

If you think I look sleepy, you should see Mom! This photo shoot thing wore me out!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Growth spurt

Remember that amazing sleeping baby I was, um, bragging about a couple of weeks ago. She has been replaced by the waking-after-six-hours baby. I think she's going through a growth spurt, but the 4:45 a.m. bottle is getting old. I KNOW. I should stop complaining...but seriously, after two-plus weeks of sleeping 8 hours straight, I got spoiled.

The upside of this growing is that she can finally fit into the hat that Jen made for her. So, as a housewarming gift to Jen, who just moved cross country, I thought I'd post a photo of her in that hat.

Look at me! Many thanks to my internet friend, Jen!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow Day

I am home from work today because my office is closed due to the nasty mess of sleet and snow that fell last night. So Olivia and I are enjoying a leisurely day at home.

Miracle of miracles, Olivia has decided to take a normal-length nap today (as opposed to those 30-minute snoozes). Since I have some time on my hands, I thought I would delight you with a couple of photos of our sweet girl, who is THREE MONTHS OLD today. Both photos were taken this morning.

If you are ever really bored, go to my profile and check out our other blog...the one that's just for photos. I'll try to get a few new ones up there as well, if the princess doesn't wake up right away.

I'm totally jazzed about the snow day!

Dressed for Valentine's Day (a little early)

Monday, February 11, 2008

All I ever wanted...

Last week was interesting, what with the baby's nasty head cold and the return of the middle-of-the-night feeding. Now that she's (mostly) over her cold, though, she's back to her 9+ hour sleeping cycle at night, and we're relieved.

To celebrate her newly-returned health, Olivia decided to roll over for me. I'm completely not kidding. On Saturday morning, I decided to try some "tummy time" even though she usually hates it because I was tired and wanted to lie on the floor. I was lying right next to her, and before I knew it she was on top of me because she had rolled over. I was so excited that I rolled her right back and let her fuss until she rolled over again (which she did)! She's so accomplished!

Did I mention that I think she's starting the teething process? She is drooling and chewing on everything and fussing for no reason. I think it's just some soreness and may take awhile for the pearly whites to start appearing, but she's definitely starting to feel it.

Yesterday, we took Olivia for her 3-month photos. We had the most talented photographer ever, because Olivia was SO tired and fussy and had a meltdown at one point, and we still got the most adorable smile photos ever. We did some family photos and several different backgrounds and positions with Olivia by herself. By then end of the session, Olivia was so worn out that she actually fell asleep on the pillow prop while we were trying to get some final photos. Poor thing.

We got the most amazing family photo...she has this huge smile and is looking right at the camera. As I think back on that photo (which will hang on our wall as soon as it comes in), I realize that I am so amazingly blessed. I have everything I ever wanted...a brilliant and loving husband, and the most beautiful baby girl in the world. Yes, we want to have more kids someday, but right now I can't help but feel that I am right where I have always dreamed of being. I am a wife, and I am a Mom. Life is good.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lenten preparations

Olivia is still fighting the nasty head cold, and she's getting increasingly frustrated with the constant supply of mucus that is interfering with her breathing. She keeps giving me these exasperated looks and then babbling on about how frustrated she is. (I assume that's what she's babbling about...I can't actually translate what she is saying. Oh, did I mention that she's vocalizing now...pretty much constantly?)

Maggie got me thinking about Lenten resolutions, and I must admit that I've not been terribly good about coming up with anything substantial. For my own discipline, I'll probably quit actively seeking out dessert (my guilty pleasure when I bring my own lunch to work). But surely I can come up with a more meaningful Lenten discipline than that.

Lent isn't about punishment or "penance", I think. I believe that the Lenten "fast" is about removing those distractions that keep you from a closer relationship with Christ. That can be accomplished by "giving up" something, or you can resolve to actively do something...improve your prayer life, do some spiritual reading, get involved in social justice, volunteer.

My biggest distraction is TV. It eats away more of my time than I care to admit. So I'll probably incorporate some sort of TV limit if my husband concurs. Perhaps I should seek out some good reading material too. Or spend more time reading to the baby? She's not so much into the books right now...she's more into shiny bright objects and ceiling fans. She's all about the ceiling fans. They are the only things that consistently make her laugh. I never really thought of ceiling fans as funny, but whatever.

What do you consider to be a good Lenten practice?

(Please comment so I can prove to my husband that I have more than two readers!)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I finally have a use for that big blue bulb...

The aspirator, that is. The baby has a big nasty cold, which currently means a teeny little baby cough and a lot of congestion. Yuck.

We set up a humidifier in her room yesterday and put her to sleep in her carseat so she'd be somewhat upright-reclined. And you know what? She slept like a dream! Ten hours last night. And she woke up smiling and went down easily today for long naps (in the carseat). I know...moms everywhere are jealous of my amazing sleeping baby. But don't be too jealous...just a couple of days ago she decided that 40 minutes would be the maximum nap duration, and then she woke up at 3:30 a.m. for the first time in weeks. I think the sleep disturbance (and extreme fussiness that day) was just the first symptom of the onset of her nasty cold, and now that she's into full-on-congestion, she'd just rather sleep lots and let her immune system tackle that evil virus. That's my girl! Go sleep!

I'm glad she's able to sleep and is feeling relatively well, despite her snotty head. I've heard all the horror stories about babies and winter and viruses and RSV. We are watching her closely for signs of things like that. But for now, my biggest concern is her frustration with all the snottiness. She'll be snorting and coughing and looking at me like, "Mom, what is this stuff in my head? Because it's not any fun and I want you to take it away so we can get back to the fun!" Poor little thing.