Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two Month Ventures


Our dear girl had her two-month birthday yesterday. In celebration, we traveled down Waterloo to the pediatrician's office. Meg had her first vaccination in the hospital at birth, so at two-months-old, she was scheduled for her first BIG round of vaccines. Again, I was impressed by our girl's effervescent personality; even though the appointment was during her mid-morning nap, she giggled, wiggled, and grinned at me, the nurse, and Dr. Reed up until the moment when she was stuck. Even though Dr. Reed informed me prior to the shots that "these would be the most painful for me as the parent," I was in agony as I watched Meggie's face transform from delight to surprise and hurt. Her cry took a minute to rev up, and when she erupted, we had a true sense of her pain - her cry reminded us too much of her stay in the hospital; a mixture of betrayal and terror. As with all the trails she's faced in her small life, though, she soon settled and proceeded to sleep for four hours. We were, and continue to be, very proud of her. Also of note were her two-month measurements. Meggie weighed 13 pounds 15 ounces and was 24.5 inches long! The nurse informed us that these measurements were not even on their little girl growth chart. In other words, Meg's measurements for both height and weight are in the 100th percentile. At least my incredibly huge size as a 10-month pregnant lady was justified by my baby who continues to grow in astronomical proportions. How comforting it is, as a new parent, to be affirmed by growth statistics and doctor's visits that your child is healthy and thriving!

As Meggie continues to become more aware of her surroundings, we are able to engage her in new adventures. Some of our latest doings from her 2nd month of life include:

1. reaching for, grasping, and holding onto various objects. On the day of her doctor's appointment, she initiated the hold on her bumble bee rattle. She also surprised me by grabbing a handful of my hair as I was changing her diaper. One personality quirk that we've noticed about our girl is that she is an ardent observer of the world's workings. So far, she's not a big talker, but she studies the order of events and situations and will act suddenly, as if she's finally worked everything out in her mind. For example, she stuck out her hand and grabbed a fistful of my hair with a smile that I imagined meant that she's been trying to figure out a way to do so since delivery and had finally put all of the pieces of motion in the correct order.





2. listening to story books. We've only recently attempted attending church services again, but until we felt comfortable with taking Meg, we did our own version of "home church." Home church means a Sunday School lesson for Meg during awake time and a downloaded version of the sermon for us during her first nap. These pictures demonstrate Meg's uncanny ability to focus on words and pictures while spending precious time with her daddy.



doug listens in, too!

3. halloween and pumpkin patch time! Anyone who knows me knows Fall is my fav-o-rite season! our trip to the pumpkin patch in arcadia was an outing after my own heart. Kyle and I were filled with visions of a one-year old Meggie girl toddling around this country haven...can't wait for next year!

our 2009 punkin

this beautiful little spot offered 10 minutes of refuge where Meggie girl slept and let her parents cuddle on the country swing

pumpkin patch with hayride, corn maze, petting zoo, and PUMPKINS!

a daddy and his girl posing with the tractor

my favorite...piggies in the pig pen!

so proud of my wrangler!


Meggie slept...mostly



4. a visit from her boyfriend, Isaac. Our friends, Shannon and Caleb, initiated a swap-date night with us where we pick a week to swap nights with the kids. On Monday, we watched Isaac so that Shannon and Caleb could have a date...and they let us paint the town on Thursday. Little did we know that Isaac and Meg would take our match-making seriously! :)

holding hands

two lovebirds on their first date after baby...we had a delectable dinner at Mimi's Cafe - a place which brought back memories of our early dating years in Fort Worth...the challenge = find something OTHER than the baby to talk about...hmmm...what did we talk about before Meggie entered our lives???

5. a visit from Grandaddy O and Auntie Becca. Meg got to meet her first extended relative when Becca came on a college tour of OSU. Even though Meg was either sleeping or screaming when they were here, I'm sure she was thrilled to frolic with new family members. While Dad and Becca were here, Kyle built an inaugural fire in Meggie's fire pit - the project that he and his dad, Grampa Van Heest, completed when they were down following Meg's arrival. We enjoyed a weekend of fantastic fall weather, turkey chili, and tales over a blazing fire.


a beautiful girl ready to tour OSU

6. wearing Mama's dresses. My mom, Grandmama, sent a package full of my old dresses to Meg with Grandaddy O and Auntie Becca. Meg looked darling in this pink sailor dress. We tried our hardest to capture a smile, but the only success we had was when both of us were singing the Veggie Tales theme song as fast as we could! :) Tough customer!


The days pass quickly and our hearts are full!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Play Ball?

It's been a while since we've regaled you with tails of our other child, Douglass the dog. People, after inquiring about the baby, always ask: so how's Douglass adjusting? Douglass, I have to say, is adjusting extremely well to having a little sister - except for the occasional freak-out barking episode when somebody comes to the door, Douglass' whole demeanor has mellowed. He's become a go-with-the-flow, laidback, children-adoring little schnauzer boy. Don't believe me? :) I was able to catch this sweet clip of something Douglass spontaneously began the other day. I think after 8 weeks he's figured out that this baby business holds some rewards for him - a full-time, built-in playmate. Too bad he'll have to wait a couple months. Soon enough, dear Douglass, she'll be chasing you around this old house!
video

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Love Affair with a Butterfly

Fascinating Meggie on an hourly basis is this butterfly...developmentally, babies her age are supposed to be recognizing brighter hues - I wonder if the red wings as they swing are what catches her eye. Wanted to share with all the Meggie fans out there...
video

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday

Today has been a day, weather-wise, that I love. The Oklahoma winds blowing winter our way, leaves in our neighborhood turning overnight, that pumpkin feel of Fall that assails your senses when you step out the door...which I did twice today. There has been rain off and on today, casting shadows over the sun - a day good for napping. Our house is filled with the anticipation of Kyle coming home and my own thoughts of the way life has changed for us.

Meggie is on a good schedule that fluctuates a little each day. Today has gone like this:

4:30 am - feeding
7:30 am - wake up and feeding
7:30-8:30 am - awake time...played with the mirror and read stories (look below for pictures)
8:30 - 11:00 am - naptime
11:00 am - feeding
11:00 - 12:15 pm awake time...sang songs and read stories
1:30 pm - feeding
1:30 - 2:15 pm awake time...fussy
2:15 - 5:00 pm - naptime
5:00 pm - feeding
5:00 - 6:30 pm - awake time...floor mat and bouncy chair time
6:30 pm - naptime (strangely)
7:00 pm bathtime
7:30 pm - feeding
8:00 pm - stories and prayers

Her bedtime is somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 pm - tonight is a bathnight - yay!

At the end of the day, I find myself exhausted. I've considered this fact a lot as many days I feel like I've not accomplished anything. Today, Wednesday, I've decided that this exhaustion comes from thinking about another little someone every moment, asking myself questions and evaluations like: will she sleep through the night tonight? why did I oversleep again? will this be a good nursing session or will she reject the right side again? is she eating enough? why is she crying on this side? is she tired? why is she not smiling? does not smiling mean she's not happy? am I misreading her cues? should I put her down yet? is she sleeping enough? why is she not sleeping? should I swaddle? should I not swaddle? should I let her cry-it-out? should I go in there now? what does this cry MEAN? is she meeting developmental milestones? why does she have this rash and where did she get it? is it heat? is it the detergent? is it her clothes? what am I going to do between the dreaded 4-5:00 feeding and bedtime? will she/does she/can she love me? WHO IS SHE?

At the end of the day, I have been figuring out a person...can it be possible that one so intimate to your own existence be, at the same time, mysterious and foreign? And, in the same moments of my attempts to figure out Meg, I am attempting to figure out myself in this new role of motherhood. As she unfolds, so do I into my new person. Somehow, I understand that these questions never go away, they just change and grow as does she, as do I, as do all children and all parents. We are called to this dance of growth and wonder at once glorious and maddening. She is a tiny tentacle of my being in the world...and at the end of the day, when I feel like I've done nothing, I remember that she is here. She is here and, so, I've done everything.

tummy time - look how well she's holding her head up!

okay, getting tired of the tummy time, mama!

much better!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lately...

Lately, my camera has been shy, but our lives have been busy. On Kyle's first trip, we've had a slew of visitors including my dear friend, Jen, from Greenville, and my college roommates. My roomies and I pledged to get together at least once-a-year until we all rake in the dough, in which case we will get together as often as possible. While our visitors were here, Meggie impressed me with her flexibility, which, because of her illness, my infection, and overall first-time parent-itis, had previously been untested. She traveled well, took bottles, and found ways to honor her sleeping schedule even when on-the-go. Meggie "let" us eat lunch out everyday, sleeping right through noisy restaurants, banging car doors, and our own laughter. She was determined to fit in as "one of the girls," I'm sure! We also toured Edmond's downtown farmer's market (my favorite Saturday activity), frequented famous Pop's in Arcadia, and lost ourselves in the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. My heart thrills when thinking of the style and grace with which my seven-week-old Meg adapted to and handled a busy, distracted, and much-needed (for her mama) weekend.

five roomies

Amanda with Meggie

Lauren with Meggie

Sleeping in her carseat


Jillian with Meggie

Approaching the two-month milestone, here are some of Meg's latest developments:

*Though an observer and studier of her surroundings, she smiles most often on her changing table.

*Her favorite songs are: "Five Green Frogs" and "Wheels on the Bus." She seems to listen intently when we sing these songs.

*She smiles and coos when we hold a mirror up for her.

*Meggie now enjoys bathtime! We've started a bedtime routine for her which includes: bathtime, jammies, feeding-time, stories, and prayers. She seems to understand that a warm bath is the start of her wind-down, nighttime routine and she's begun to kick and coo in the water.

*Today, she held onto her rattle for about one minute before letting it go - I can't tell if she's made the connection between the object in her hand and the sound it makes when she shakes it, but today was the first time she actually grasped the rattle.

*Meg still loves her carseat and settles down for a nap when we go for our daily walks around the neighborhood. (She seems to sleep best in her carseat when we put her pink hat on.)

*Ladies now comment on "what a beautiful baby we have" when we're out running errands. The other day, a mom even told us that Meg was so cute, she was giving her baby fever!

*I love how Meg will sit still in my lap when we read stories. During all other times, she's an extremely active baby with hands and feet kicking. When we cuddle, though, she curls right into my side and listens to the words. Though she still looks away from the pages, I'm confident we'll have a book worm on our hands! :)

*Meggie's eyes are still a dark, cobalt blue with light, sky-blue centers. People will exclaim on seeing her, "Look at her blue eyes!"

*We feel like Meg will sleep through the night any night now. Currently, she sleeps fairly consistently from her 11:00 feeding to around 4-5:00 in the morning. If we could just eek out one more hour, I would feel confident that we could start our day around 6:00.

*In terms of features, most people say that Meg looks like a good mix of me and Kyle. We think she does have Kyle's eyes, though, which makes more people say "Kyle" rather than me.

We are thankful for the opportunity we've been given to raise such a glorious, strong, fiesty, determined, and precious little girl! Every new day with her she awes us, challenges us, melts us, and makes us proud.

Also noteworthy: Twice now, I have been labeled by strangers as: "a lady with a baby." I suppose having a child now adds the qualifier of "lady" to my status rather than "girl" - wow, who knew one could perceivably age so much with one life experience?


love this girl!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

One Month Pictures (Kinda) and Smiles

trying to capture one of Meggie's precious smiles. my best attempts:












video

Friday, October 2, 2009

News! Hurrah!

Since becoming a mama, I find myself thinking and speaking in staccato, Bridget-Jones-Diary Style sentences...apparently they've even taken over blog entries. Here's some news I wanted to share...random, joyful, new mom news:

1. I want to brag on my girl (as this may never happen again, but we shall think positively) - she slept in her own big girl crib in her own bedroom all night last night. Now, she did wake me up every three hours to eat, but HALLELUJAH she went down without fussing every time! After sleeping in the chair in her room with the vaporizer running since Saturday, such happenings are a huge blessing!

2. Today, I tried on my engagement ring and...BER BER DER BER...IT FIT! Am so thankful to be a legitimate baby-mama again!

3. Am doing a load of laundry. Hurrah!

4. Actually took a shower this morning that lasted long enough to shave my legs! :) This comes after much humiliation in the hospital when Kyle commented, "wow, your legs are getting really hairy!" "What?!?" I nearly screamed over the bleeping of machinery, "I have a month-old baby in the HOSPITAL and you actually think I have TIME to shave my legs...hairy legs...humph." "Okay, okay," he laughed, "maybe it was just the weird lighting or something?"

Today, discovered that it, sadly, was not mystery lighting.

5. Will attempt an outing today: doctor's visit, library, dry cleaners (could only attempt such visit after successful sleeping last night).

6. Will try to take pictures of our Meggie girl who's cold is nearly kicked and post!

7. Will not be tempted by Snickers bars, ice cream, or chocolate of any kind. Time to say adios oh flabby, flabby, stomach flab (thank you my 9 lbs. 13 ounces girly-girl!) :)

8. Making plans to pick up my dear Jen from the airport tomorrow!

Happy sigh...Life is looking up today!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Growth Stats

Ooops! Forgot to mention how much Meg has been growing. At the hospital, Meg weighed in at 12 lbs and 22.5 inches long...she's one growing girl and we're two proud parents. Hopefully, I'll be able to take her one month picture and post it tomorrow!

Snickers, Sleep, and Dirty Dishes...oh my!

Thursday, October 1, 2009. Day one home from the hospital and day two of Kyle's first deployment since Meg entered the world. Marked by: unbelievable exhaustion, disastrous house, dirty dishes, and snickers bars. Yes, snickers bars. After Meg was born, I swore off of sweets forever. When she was admitted into the hospital, though, my binge of emotional eating matched the number of times I worried for and prayed for her safety. Now, having returned home to an assumable safe-zone, I am assailed by a new enemy. Who left a stockpile of Snickers bars in our refrigerator? My nosy sweet-tooth seeker discovered a pile of snickers bars buried in the back of our refrigerator...I did not put them there, but there they are, tempting me to drown my sorrows in a congealed nightmare of chocolate, peanuts, and caramel. Today, I feed Meg, attempt to put Meg down to bed, sleep myself amidst piles of dirty dishes, pretend the house will be deep-cleaned on its own, miss Kyle, and eat snickers bars.

Snickers aside, Meg is doing much better. Meg was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night with symptoms of respiratory distress. The doctors told us that Meg caught a cold which, overtime, overwhelmed her little body. By the time Kyle and I figured out what was wrong, she couldn't breathe, which meant she couldn't eat. At the hospital, they administered IV fluids to combat dehydration and put her on a schedule of deep suctioning to make sure her airways were clear. Thankfully, we were released on Wednesday morning - the day Kyle left on his first trip and our third wedding anniversary. (I know we will never forget this one!) Currently, Meg and I are working on clearing up lingering cold symptoms, making sure that full feedings and sleep are priorities, staying bundled in the house away from lurking germs, and returning to our goal of getting Meg on a reliable schedule when she's feeling up for it - any work we had done before our hospital stay is totally lost.

Mostly, though, we are thankful that our little girl is home again and on her way to becoming healthy once more. Until then, dirty dishes can wait, papers can litter every surface in our home, the refrigerator can hold moldy food (yes, and I'm not proud of it), and I will eat Snickers bars.