Saturday, December 20, 2008

Three Months!

Thanks to Kimberly for my new blog design, Merry Christmas to me!

Yesterday Evie was 3 months old and also 13 weeks old. She went to the doctor in the morning for the last two "2 month" vaccines: Pc and Hib. She cried at the sticks, but not as hard as she did during her 2 month visit. The nurse didn't charge us a copay for this visit, I suppose thinking of it as an extension of her 2 month appointment. Thus, I had to ask for them to weigh her: 13 lbs. and 1.5 oz. I looked it up on a growth chart and she appears to be staying in the 75th percentile for weight. We didn't get a height, and it's hard to measure her ourselves, but she's definitely grown in the past month. She's now outgrown 3 month clothes when in a disposable diaper and her 3-6 month sleepers are starting to get too short for her huge nighttime cloth diaper.

I thought it was hilarious that the nurse gave Evie cute band-aids, since she's too little to care. Anyhow, I wanted to capture the cuteness, so here are her poor little thighs after her appointment: We put Evie back into her "birthday" diaper and took more pictures, and video! If I can manage it, I'm going to try to start "interviewing" Evie in her milestone diaper each month. Wish me luck keeping up with that. The video follows the pictures.

Two weeks old:

One month old:



Two months old:


Three months old!
And a bonus 3 month photo because I love this one!

Finally, the video. It's pretty long, and she really gets going with the "talking" toward the middle and second half, so you may want to skip the first half if you don't have time for 8 minutes of Evie interview. :)


Here is a cute picture of Evie with our friend Becca's daughter, earlier this month. Becca is the photographer who did Evie's newborn portraits. Her daughter is soooo gorgeous, don't you think? Yes, well she was on the cover of Kansas City Parent magazine a couple of months ago. It was in our hospital room when Evie was born! Click here, it's the September 2008 issue.



Here's a picture of Evie that Becca captured while she was over for dinner. Evie is thinking "Crap, Mama let the paparazzi lady in the house, again."


But Becca also managed to capture a smile, which I find very hard to do:

She also captured this adorable picture of "the smile behind the paci." Evie gives these to me all the time, and I love them.

In case anyone is interested in Evie's birthmark, here's what it looks like these days:

It is still small and located in a place where she can hide it easily, in case it takes a few years to disappear. (If you're disoriented, the green is her shirt and the blue is her pants; the pink with hearts is my pajamas, at 2 in the afternoon.) I took this picture while Evie was sleeping in my arms, so here is the face shot of that, with no flash so that I didn't wake her up:If I ever leave a really short comment on your blog, or haven't commented in awhile, it's because this is what my left hand is occupied with. Look at those eyelashes!

I've already written a lot about this month in this post from Dec 8, but here are a some things that I can add from the past couple of weeks:
  • Evie now turns to look at loud noises (a milestone), and generally reacts more strongly to them than she did as a newborn. When she hears a very low, very high, very sharp, very loud or new sound, she gets a concerned look on her face: pursed lips, knit brow, wide eyes. Super cute.

  • She is now adept at rolling to her right side. When on her back, she frequently brings both legs together, lifts them into the air perpendicular to the floor and then lets them drop to the right, bringing her torso with them. Sometimes she will continue to kick and will end up on her back again. Other times she'll start to fuss, "asking" us to right her. Frequently she'll just bring her hands to her mouth and suck them happily, enjoying the new view. Rolling practice makes changing her a bit more of a wrestling match at times; but nothing compared to what it will be in a few months, I'm sure!

  • She's just generally acting much more like a playful baby. Today she was practicing pulling her wubbanub out of her mouth and then trying to put it back in, and tonight as I was changing her she pulled it out and started sucking on the side of the pacifier, instead of the nipple. It is no longer just a pacifier, it is a toy, too. About a week ago I was holding her on my lap and writing an e-mail and noticed that she was staring, hard, at my fingers as they pushed the keys. Not surprising, really, since I type very quickly (80 wpm) and my students used to look over at me when I was typing too, because I can make such a racket when I really get going. Because she was so fascinated, I saved my e-mail and then pulled the keyboard into her lap. She happily banged on it for over five minutes before she got bored. It was adorable, and I'm thinking we should find an old keyboard that she can have as a toy. In a similar vein, yesterday I had her in my lap as J and I were finishing dinner, and I noticed her looking intently at the table cloth. I scooted forward so that she could reach it, and she spent a few minutes stroking, patting and scratching at it (it is blue and white with a snowflake pattern). I love that a tablecloth can entertain her; for J and I, watching her play was entertainment for us!
  • Occasionally she has smiled at her bottle as we are preparing it or carrying it toward her for a feeding. She's not just smiling, she's smiling at the bottle. :)
  • Amazingly, wonderfully, I can (sometimes) calm her with my voice and/or face, without a touch or cuddle. I discovered this last week when J was away on business and I had come back from aerobics desperately needing a shower. I got Evie asleep in a bouncy seat in the bathroom and hopped into the shower. Toward the end, she woke up and began fussing. All I had to do was pop my head around the curtain and coo at her and she quieted down and let me finish shaving my legs. Yay!
  • Before, she only looked at windows at night, when they act as mirrors. Now she will sometimes look out during the day, and seems interested in what she sees.
  • I've tried a few baby games with her, like peek-a-boo and some songs with hand motions; she doesn't smile at them, yet, but they do hold her attention.
  • She likes to listen to music, whether it is the "seasonal" music station on cable, our church band or the singing star in her play gym. I actually found myself on Amazon the other day, looking up customer reviews of musical toys. This was huge for me, because I swore up and down before Evie was born that we wouldn't be one of those families with loud, annoying toys. I told family and friends that we only wanted "quiet, old-fashioned" toys, nothing with sound, lights and batteries. My intentions were good, but I underestimated the importance of the fact that babies like sound, lights, music and things that need batteries. Oh, well. I'm still holding firm on no TV, videos, baby internet sites, baby video games and absolutely no CDs of kiddie songs with high pitched children's voices singing them. Those are so annoying! I know, I know, but kids like them. Ask me two years from now and I'll probably have "Wee Sing Silly Songs" on repeat in my car.
  • Ways to get Evie to smile/giggle: tickle her tummy, blow raspberries on her tummy, cheeks or feet, play with her feet or legs, grab her hands/wrists and lift her torso gently up and down, grab her feet and lift her lower half gently up and down, do big movements with your body in front of her (she smiles as she watches me at baby aerobics and baby yoga), take her to see Rabbit, turn on her singing star, or simply sit facing her at eye level and smile and talk to her.
  • She also really likes it when I kiss her hands, or pretend to eat them, and a few times when I've been holding her in my arms she has thrust her hand(s) toward my face so that I will kiss them. I believe it's the first game she's made up!
  • She does the cutest flirty smile and I will try to capture it on camera or video sometime, but it's very difficult for me to catch these things. Anyhow, she smiles coyly/sweetly/shyly and bring her hands together and into her chest/under her chin. She's practicing for when it comes time to ask Daddy for something important, like a new cell phone.
  • She and I now have a "key and lock" cuddle position that works 90% of the time to get her to sleep. Our bodies have figured out how they fit together most comfortably for her (see above picture). When she's in this position, she likes to reach her left hand up and put it on my chest, since I'm usually wearing a v-neck or scoop-neck pajama top and she can either grab the edge of it or just lay her palm on my skin. It is very sweet, unless she's fussy and I'm trying to soothe her in this cuddle position. Then that left hand is a weapon and she scratches at my chest with her sharp little nails. No wonder we haven't had to cut her nails at all in the past 3 months...she files them on our skin! Ouch. I try to pull my neckline up to protect my chest from the onslaught, but she is persistent and will grab the fabric and pull down and then reach back up to find my skin. It's hard, at those moments, to remember that she's not actually trying to hurt me!
  • Which reminds me, it amazes me how quickly she can go from being happy to being fussy and then back to happy again. She'll seem 100% content and then a dark shadow of a frown will flash onto her face. At that moment, whoever is with her has to do a dance, sing a song, smile and coo, do something to prevent her from breaking down into full-on fuss. It's about 50/50 whether the situation can be rescued. It always makes me ponder what happened that soured her disposition, but I haven't noticed any patterns yet. In the same vein, sometimes she'll wake up from a nap or in the middle of the night and give one or two loud cries or fusses, but by the time we get up from the bed/couch and go into the nursery, she's happily back asleep. Very strange.
  • We've started putting her play gym on "movement" mode sometimes, instead of continuous play, meaning that her singing star will only sing if she pulls on a toy or kicks one of the cross-bars, instead of just playing all 10 songs in a row. She does well with this, as long as we position her so that her feet can reach one of the crossbars. Now I can lay her down there and go into the bathroom to brush my teeth, etc., and if I hear silence for too long I just have to yell "kick, Evie!" and then I'll hear the toys shake and rattle and the star begins singing again. She likes to kick!
  • Tummy time is going well, she is tolerating it longer and longer, and spitting up less in the process. She can do mini push-ups and bring her head to 90 degrees, but doesn't do it often. This is what tummy time looks like, usually:

  • Sometimes she likes to sit with us holding her waist and reach for her feet. We don't do this too often, because 85% of the time it ends with spit-up on her pants, but she is definitely interested in her feet and it's only a matter of time before she's adept at grabbing them, and eventually, putting them in her mouth.
  • Finally, in addition to blowing bubbles she now adds raspberries and motorboat sounds to her conversational repertoire. She seems to enjoy the sensation on her lips, but when we repeat them back to her she just looks astonished and vaguely annoyed at us.
I recently decided to join Stirrup Queens' Barren B****es Book Brigade, and the current book is An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCracken. I loved McCracken's The Giant's House: A Romance, so I was excited to join in. On Thursday, I picked up the book from the library after aerobics and Evie took a 45-minute nap at about 3 pm so that I could take a bath and start reading. It felt so luxurious to take a bath and read a book. These are things that I did almost every day during the summer, but haven't done during the past 3 months, at least not that I can remember. I've always been an avid reader, but mothering took the book lust out of me for a bit. I've read, though, that children rarely become reading enthusiasts unless they see their parents reading for pleasure as they are growing up; reading to them is not enough. So I am going to begin with this book and try to make a point of reading my own books in front of Evie and not just enjoying them when she is asleep. Wish me luck on that. The first day she only tolerated it for five minutes before fussing for my attention. I think that grown-up books are going to end up on her list of "things Mommy is not allowed to touch," along with phones and forks.

Anyhow, on page 20, McCracken writes "like any mother I can't imagine taking the smallest step from the historical path that led me here, to this one, to such a one" ("one" being her baby). Her context for this statement is different from mine, but this quote resonated strongly with me. I know it sounds weirdly Pollyanna, but my infertility is becoming less of an antagonist and more benign in my imagination. It brought me Evie, indirectly, and now I can't imagine not being her mom. As she has grown in the past month, and enjoys making eye contact with us more and more, we can see her unique self emerging. After all, "the eyes are the window to the soul." It is amazing when she fixes a steady gaze on us and then her face assumes a focused stare, a furrowed brow or a broad smile; at those moments I feel as though I can peer into her future and see the little girl, young lady and beautiful woman she will become. The last five years have brought me here, to this baby girl, and my negative HPTs and unsuccessful IUIs no longer feel like "failures."

13 comments:

  1. Cool new blog look! I like it!

    I agree that the infertility 'broken' feeling fades after awhile. I found it came back with the second baby, but not as strongly. Looks like she's doing great!

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  2. Great post! Evie is adorable.

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  3. I really love that last picture of Evie! It's so adorable! She looks slightly confused, as if she's trying to figure something out... almost like she just said, "hmmm." :o)

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  4. I love the birthday diaper pics...you can really see how much her trunk control has improved!

    Also, try clipping her nails when she is asleep if you are inclined to tame the claws. That is when I trim Grant's fingernails and toenails...otherwise I'd be a bloody streaked mess most of the time!

    I love your last paragraph. In my darkest moments, I try to remember that every moment of my life has led me to being who and what I am at this very moment. I may have a few regrets here and there and may have things I wish to change in my life...but the big and important things I wouldn't want altered for any reason. My husband, my son, my friends... The good parts and the not so good parts of my life have all made this moment possible and for that I am thankful.

    Congrats on surviving the first 3 months! :)

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  5. Congrats hon! You are now in the "Golden Age" of Babyhood. The next three months will be wonderful... and then she'll start moving! lol. But that has wonders of its own. :-)

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  6. I love the new blog design - it looks great! And I am looking forward to reading some of your blogs from your brand-new-mother days since I am there now as well!

    By the way, pretty band-aids make everything feel better! Evie is adorable!

    GreenEggs

    *iclw*

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  7. Such great pictures to remember all those milestones. What a cutie she is!

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  8. Your little Evie is just precious! They grow too fast... my trio just turned 6 months old and I'm still in denial!

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  9. I LOVE the last picture, especially!

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  10. Beautiful pictures of your beautiful baby! Just makes me wanna bite her chubby cheeks!

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  11. I so enjoyed the photos of Evie getting bigger that I went back through your archives to see Evie from birth! Luckily it's only been a few months. What a sweetheart!

    Oh and if your plantar fasciitis symptoms ever resurface, shoot me an email. I used to have terrible PF for years, but after I did exercises prescribed by my physical therapist, it's all better. One thing even with minimal symptoms you might try is putting a water bottle in the freezer and then rolling your foot over it. The ice plus massage is a wonderful combo.

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