On the 9th we had a playdate with Austin (and mom Allison), Riley (and mom Lauren), and Addie (and mom Hillary). Austin is 5 weeks older than Hannah; Riley is 3 weeks older; and Addie is 2 weeks older. What is Austin to do with all these girls?!? SLEEP! Haha. :)
Austin, Riley, Hannah, and Addison
On the 15th, we went out to dinner to celebrate Joe's birthday at one of his favorite places, Carrabba's!
Joe is in Kentucky working on his doctorate at Asbury Seminary. He left on Sunday and won't be back until next Friday, the 29th. AH!
It has been an exciting couple of days for Mommy and baby. Hannah had her first babysitter (other than grandparents, of course)! She did great but I was a nervous wreck. I had a chiropractor appointment and couldn't take her, so Mrs. Ida across the street watched her for a couple hours. She was smiling as soon as I gave her to "I I" (as her grandchildren call her) and was still smiling when I picked her up. I worried for nothing obviously. Ida's husband had a severe stroke soon after we moved to Jesup and is home-bound. It MADE HIS DAY when Ida put Hannah in his arms. He was grinning ear to ear when I came to pick her up. Ever since, I've felt a strong calling to take Hannah to visit more elderly home-bound people. To see the joy in their eyes just warms my heart.
What else? Hannah somehow cut her finger. Have you ever tried to put a band-aid on an infant's tiny finger? As soon as you touch their hands, they form tight fists. The cut wouldn't stop bleeding, it kept getting on her other fingers and she's crying because she's hungry. Oh, it was a ball. Nothing serious though...
Yesterday we went to Vidalia to visit William and Lauren Greene (and Mom Kate). William is 2 1/2 and Lauren is 11 weeks. Precious, both of them. We think William already has a crush on Hannah. He was so sweet with her...and a little bit of a flirt if I do say so myself. I think Kate and I are both ok with that match-up.............in 20 years!
We came home and after what I consider a very quick feeding, Hannah threw-up. OH. MY. GOSH. Joe and I've wondered what "projectile vomiting" looks like. Well, we don't need to wonder anymore. I really don't understand how there is ANY way THAT much milk could've been inside of her. It was like a fire hose. All over her, me, and the carpet. Of course, I called Joe immediately wondering what I should do, and then we both called our moms! (What would we do without moms?) No surprise, they said the same thing: just watch her, and try not to feed her until her next nursing. No big deal. Hannah was smiling right afterward anyway. I'm a mom. I worry. She had a good last feeding and slept peacefully for 10 hours.
Today we are enjoying this beautiful weather. Hannah, Chloe, and I just got back from a long walk. Life is good, but we miss Daddy.
On Saturday, Hannah was 4 months old. What's new? She smiles all the time. She likes to chew on her fingers (three or four at a time). She is much better with tummy time (hated it before) and can hold her head up 90 degrees for long lengths of time. She can now roll over both ways, but only on her own time. She can now recognize us from across the room (and will give us a big grin!). She shows more interest in her toys, but mainly watches and talks to them. She loves the bath tub and would probably want to stay and soak in the warm water for an hour. She gives me the cutest sigh when I set her down in the water. She LOVES to play peek-a-boo and even has her own version while breastfeeding. So sweet... We go for her 4-month check-up this week. Hopefully Dr. Jones will tell us she's doing great!
It has been way too long. I never intended for Hannah to be 4 months old when I posted next. And here we are. 2010.
There are many things to write about, but I'll start by letting you know some observations and lessons we've learned over the past few months...
A baby changes EVERYTHING. Ok, that one is a given.
There are no words to express the love you feel from the moment you meet your baby. Nursing her, rocking her...just holding her is the most special thing ever. Another aspect of this love is that it is completely unconditional.
Joe is my best friend. Ok, I knew that one already. But having your spouse willing to help and encourage you is unbelievably important. Joe has supported me through all of my breastfeeding nightmares and has held me through many breakdowns.
What you think is a busy life can actually get busier.
Help is good. The first couple weeks our parents helped out a lot by being here to do whatever we needed, whether it was to make delicious meals (thank you, Mama Buck) or hold Hannah through the night so we could sleep (thank you, Mama). Hannah is blessed to have wonderful grandparents who love her SOOOO much.
I appreciate my mom more.
Hannah started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks. We are not "lucky" as people suggest. We trained her to do this. We were diligent, without being anal, in organizing her daytime routine.
When it comes to laundry, cleaning the house, or going through mail and inboxes...you just have to L.I.G. (as Mama Buck says) - Let It Go - sometimes. I like to think that I'm capable of taking care of a baby, two dogs, and keeping the house spotless and laundry baskets empty...but many days, that's just NOT the case.
The Happiest Baby on the Block is a God-send. We also refer to On Becoming Baby Wise a lot. That being said...
It is not the end of the world if we move off schedule for a day - or even two! It's also not the end of the world if thank you notes don't get delivered within a week. (I have about 30 that need to be written, like, yesterday.)
Coffee is a sleep-deprived mom's best friend.
Yoga can make me feel like a new person.
Sometimes it's 4pm before I get out of my pajamas.
There is nothing like having other moms to talk to. I have a group of girls on a Facebook thread that seriously have helped me keep my sanity (or helped me get it back, rather). I also have two awesome new moms right here in Jesup that I love being with - Allison (aka Austin's mom) and Hillary (aka Addie's mom).
Tears are ok. This parenting thing is hard work.
Breast feeding is the hardest thing I've ever done. Period. Joe and I are amazed that nobody ever told us this and we vow to never let one of our friends have a baby and not shed some light on this topic. I've overcome hurdles from latching, to engorgement, to supply issues, to cracked nipples and clogged ducts. However, I know that I'm doing what's best for Hannah and it's worth it. I heard "It gets easier." and "Once you get through the first 2-3 weeks it's great." a million times. It DOES get easier, however the time it takes to get to this point is not so predictable. It has taken Hannah almost 4 months to fully "get" the whole nursing thing.
Hands-free breast pumps are life-savers. I know this because I used a regular electric one for 2 months when I was pumping several times a day - not accomplishing anything and being helpless to re-insert the pacifier to a volatile baby.
You really do go through that many diapers.
Hand sanitizer is wonderful. Though after lots of hand and bottle washing, lotion is critical too! Joe's finger tips are permanently raw.
The BOB stroller is awesome. I love to take Hannah for walks. She likes it too.
There are several things that we consider absolute must-haves. Among them: swaddle blankets, side-snap t-shirts (We put her in one of those every single night before we swaddle her. They don't have to go over her head which is nice.), Diaper Genie, pacifier clip, Dr. Brown's bottle brush, pads to put on top of the changing table (or you'll change the cover every other day)...and a good swing (ours is the Fisher Price cradle swing) and infant seat.
The past 4 months have been crazy. It's been full of challenges, no doubt, but it's been so fun. The most important lesson I learned came in the form a car accident. I learned how precious life is. How everything can change in an instant. Joe and I are so blessed that we were ok, but even more blessed that Hannah was ok. It was so scary for those few seconds to not know... We are still praising God.
I have made a new year's resolution to write more. I journal almost every day, but I'd like to do a better job of updating our blog. Stay posted!
A friend of mine posted on her blog this a.m. lessons learned, observations and notes from her last three months as a mommy. It's amazing how similar our lives are, isn't it? Just this morning I was close to crying, when Hannah wouldn't stop crying, when she spit up all over herself...when I found not one, not two...but three piles of dog throw-up...when Hannah projectile vomited all over herself (again) after I had just changed her clothes...when I found dog poop next to my side of the bed, when I put Hannah down for a nap only to have her screaming at the top of her lungs not 30 minutes later (continuing for almost an hour)...When I found pile #2 of dog poop (now looking more like diarrhea) - this one behind the Christmas tree...
Am I crazy to have a baby and two dogs? I guess. Am I even crazier to think I'll be ready for another baby in the next year or so?
Just last night as I was nursing Hannah, I was overcome with emotion. I love her so much. The screaming and crying are tough. I don't understand all the spitting-up and the skin rash all over body. I'm tired of covering her (hairy) head with lotion to help with the cradle cap, or whatever it is. I'm tired of covering her body with hydrocortizon cream (she hates it). I don't know why she has stopped taking her long morning naps that I cherished (or any long naps for that matter). I don't know why she cries incessantly sometimes when she doesn't need to be changed or fed...
But I know that I love her more than anything in the world (next to Joe). I know that I would do anything for her. And I know that all those frustrations and moments when I want to scream (or run away) are worth it. One hundred percent worth it. She smiles at me and it all disappears. I watch her sleep peacefully and I'm overcome with love. I hold her in my arms and know that this feeling is the greatest feeling in the world. My life is enriched because she's in it. I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined because I have her.