Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It's Justin's first birthday as a father today! He's 26. We're not sure how much we can really celebrate, given we are broke and have a 4 week old child ;), but I'm hoping we can find some way to make it special for him. Happy Birthday Justin!

Our little goth baby has some red speckles to go with her purple tongue now, courtesy of baby acne. More importantly, though, she's starting to smile! It's not very frequent, but the last two mornings that she has woken, she's grinned when I picked her up. I've seen lots of babies smile in my day, but I have never had my heart so completely taken from me with such a simple gesture. All the frustration and lack of sleep in the world is gone in a moment when she flashes that toothless grin!

We are slowly but surely falling into a routine and schedule, especially at night. We get her ready for bed and then read her a story before laying her down around 9:00. It takes her a while to fall asleep, she just kind of squirms for a while, but she's getting better and more used to going to bed at that hour. For a while, she would want to eat until around 11:00, but now that she's a bit older she can go longer and is more satisfied after each feeding, so it's becoming easier to let her be independent for longer periods of time.

She is getting much better about staring at things! The mobile above her swing is finally interesting; I caught her staring at it for a long time yesterday! It has a concave mirror and stuffed birds around it, which she finds almost as fascinating at her own hands. ;)

Well, it's time to do what cleaning I can while Ariana is napping! :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ariana's Onemonthaday

Well, our baby girl is one month old tomorrow if you go by month old on Friday if you go by months. ;) She was born four weeks ago tomorrow, and she's already changed so much! She can watch you with her eyes now, and she does, relentlessly. One of her favorite games is staring at things. ;) At her last appointment, which was yesterday, she weighed in at 9 pounds 4 ounces, which keeps her perfectly "status quo." When she was born, she was in the 95th percentile on height and then 50th percentile on weight. She is still in the 95th percentile on height and the 50th percentile on weight! She seems to be keeping her balance very well.

Right now she's a little goth baby! She was diagnosed with thrush at her last appointment, which is just a minor yeast infection that's very common with newborns, and the medicine stains her mouth a very deep purple. So my four week old little girl looks like she's got dark purple lipstick on! She looks like she's been sucking on a marker.

She loves talking, too. Her favorite words so far are "Oouf" and "Boop." Her eyes have turned into a pretty slate blue color and she still has more hair than both of her parents. ;)

Justin is loving his new semester. His major iTeach assignments (the program he has to complete to become a certified teacher) are almost done! Only two more to go and life will be getting a lot easier for him. There was a bit of excitement at his school this past week when a student was caught with a gun. He said half the kids didn't show up the next day, despite the hallways teeming with police officers.

His teaching style is rapidly evolving to be very effective. I, for one, am incredibly proud of him. His iTeach instructor bragged on him and how much improvement he's made over the last semester, even finishing her comments by saying that he's on his way to becoming an exemplary Spanish teacher in his district.

Not much has changed with me. I'm still sick off and on but I think it's getting better. I'm really enjoying taking everything one day at a time. My favorite part of the day is when she's just eaten and isn't fussy, and we sit on the couch and read. My favorite is "Thumpity Thump Gets Dressed," a book my great-grandmother gave me when I was four. My mom brought a bunch of my old books down and I'm really enjoying reading them to Ariana and I can tell she enjoys the time too, though she has no idea what a book is. ;)

She's getting along well with the dogs. They know they aren't allowed to go near her. Once I even laid her on the floor and stepped just out of site, but close enough that I could get to her in a split second, and just watched. Toby and Talsi wouldn't go anywhere near her. In fact, once I was sitting on the floor holding her when Justin called Toby. I was in his way, so Toby went up to me and just laid down until I moved - he wasn't about to go around me when I was holding Ariana. Toby and Talsi are both doing very well with her and I have no doubt that they will be excellent playmates when she is older.

Let's see, a quick review of favorites and least favorites before I go:
Favorite place: Mommy or Daddy's lap
Favorite sound: Daddy singing in a low voice
Least favorite flavor: Mylicon drops
Favorite thing to stare at: Faces and mini-blinds
Favorite body part to eat: Left pointer finger
Favorite place to nap: Lying on Mom or Dad
Least favorite activity: Bath time

And at the rate she's going, my next blog will be talking about how she can hold her head up for a whole minute! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Thriving :)

Well, I've been a bit sick for a few days. I had a high fever and quite a hard time finding the energy just to walk. No new pictures, either, I've been just working on taking care of myself and Ariana. Justin has been a tremendous help, getting very little sleep to help take care of all of us. I was never contagious, and Ariana managed through it completely unscathed. I'm still a bit ill, but getting better and better every day. :)

Ariana had her second checkup today. Great news! Usually a baby loses weight after the birth, and is back up to their birth weight by the two week mark. Ariana was weighed, and has gained 12 ounces off her birth weight, from 7 pounds 9 ounces to 8 pounds 5 ounces! My midwife was thrilled. She is thriving!

She grows more coherent every day. She maintains eye contact and though she has no idea what anything is, you can tell she can focus on things better than before.

Justin took off work today to help out because I was sick, and got a sub. That's been a tremendous help, and he goes back to work tomorrow. He says it's weird to think that his Spanish class is happening and he doesn't even know who's in it! We'll see tomorrow what his classes are going to be like this semester!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Second Grandparent Visit

Today was the day for Ari to meet the grandparents and uncle on the crazy side of her family. ;) My mom, dad, and brother came down to see their 3 day old granddaughter/niece. She was a big hit. My dad kept talking about the "teeny baby feet!" and sardonically constantly reminded everyone to "Hold the baby's head!" which is a phrase my great grandmother apparently used incessantly. She got passed around all day and I even got to take a nap! (Yay for sleeping!)

Her gaze is getting so much better. She's stopped doing her ultra cute "What am I staring at?" blinking, but she can maintain eye contact with me for several seconds at a time which is really just replacing one ultra cute thing with another. We're also doing great with breastfeeding thanks to my midwife (I sooooo wouldn't have been able to figure any of that out on my own!) She's also SMILING! I have yet to catch a picture. And you know, I don't really care that it's probably "just gas." Those tiny fleeting dimples make me the happiest person alive. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

First Checkup and Errand

Ariana's first checkup was today. She is a happy, healthy little girl! Besides a bit of trouble breastfeeding (nothing my midwife said a pump won't fix) she's doing wonderfully. Heart tones good, lung function good (tell me about it!), everything exactly the way it should be. :)

She also made her first trip to Target today! Though she had plenty of warm clothes, Justin and I realized as we were dressing her for the doctor that all of her 0-3 month old warm clothes swallowed her alive, so we went to pick her up some newborn sized items of coziness. :) Putting her in the car was a task; first of all, I was nervous because I've never put a two day old child in a carseat before. We finally (after about 20 minutes) got everyone in perfect place and situation when - yep - our car was dead. So we had to switch cars and then - yep - out of gas. Then we got stuck behind a funeral procession, which wasn't that big of a deal because I couldn't have been PAID to drive faster than about 35 anyway. We stuck to the side roads and avoided potholes like little green monsters were going to jump out of them and run us off the road. ;)

She slept the whole time we were at Target and got ogled over by just about every woman in the building. I enjoyed that more than she did. ;)

Ari discovered that she loves her daddy's chest. Laying on it while he talks and sings to her is probably her favorite activity in the whole world. Besides eating. Eating is good. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First Grandparent Visit

Justin's parents visited yesterday and today. Ariana is not only the first grandbaby on either side of the family, she's the first girl on Justin's side. It was just Justin and his brother growing up, and Grandma Linda has been REALLY looking forward to finally having a little girl to spoil! So far she's doing a bang up job. ;)

They got to hold her and coo over her. She's a big hit and, by her grandfather's confession, "Much cuter than Justin when he was a baby." ;) They agree with the midwife that she has my lips but Justin's dimples.

Grandparents brought with them Christmas presents for everyone (including a present for our computer...don't ask ;), especially Ariana, who now officially has something to wear at every stage of life until she's 3 years old. :) It was a good visit and I'm glad they were able to come down, as both grandparents start back to work tomorrow and wouldn't have otherwise been able to see her until she was several weeks old.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, New Life

Our daughter was born today.

Around 9:30 I started having contractions and called my midwife an hour later. She was at my apartment around 10:45. I progressed rapidly; so quickly, in fact, that Justin barely had time to call one person to tell them I was in labor. He was really great the whole time, helping me through contractions and reminding me that, no matter how strongly I insisted, I was not going to die. ;)

After 30 minutes of pushing, Ariana was born in our bathtub at 3:49 pm. I'll never forget that moment. All of a sudden everyone just started moving around, no one was concentrating on me anymore. I didn't even know what was going on and I asked what was happening. Justin almost whispered, "That's our baby's head..."

The midwife had to suction her fully, which took a couple of minutes. Before I went into labor I promised myself I wouldn't ask if she was okay. ("If she's not okay, they'll tell me, I'm not going to ask!") All I could say, though, was, "Is she okay?" The midwife had the suction in her mouth and couldn't answer. Finally she turned to me, dropped the suction and said, "She'd better be okay, she's BITING me!" ;)

It took a couple of minutes for them to fully suction her, then with one last push Justin caught her and put her on my chest. She was slimy and gray and had a ridge on the top of her head that made her look like a gorilla and I swear to you she was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. She stayed on my chest for several minutes before they wrapped her up and gave her to Justin so everyone could get cleaned up. I fed her for the first time - she figured it out really fast! - and then, after a checkup confirming a good heartbeat, good lung function, a weight of 7 pounds 9 ounces and a length of 21 inches, Justin and I dressed our newborn baby and went to relax on the couch.

The midwife and assistant left around 6:00. I was in the living room with Justin holding Ariana when I realized how incredibly grateful I was that we were able to do a home birth. Not only did my baby never have to be separated from her mother or father for more than a few seconds at a time, but here I was, with a 2 hour old healthy child, sitting comfortably in my living room. I am so grateful.