Sunday, April 29, 2012

When you're having fun

Five Months ago today, at this moment, I was lying in a hospital bed, with my newborn baby snuggled up against me, in complete awe at this little lady, and the fact that this was my new life. That she was ours, and life was forever changed.

And now, I'm still in awe of her every day. And of us. Our resiliency. Our adaptability. Our capacity to love more than one could ever think possible. Our ability to survive on such little sleep... Ok ok, I had to get that in there.

And now, she's five months old... she's babbling, and playing, taking (backwards) steps in her walker, sitting up, and getting ready to start solids. And, after a rough start to this whole 'sleep' thing that life apparently requires, she's is currently fast asleep in her crib, and has been for over two hours, without mama having to go back into the room even once. And that's -after- putting herself to sleep, quietly and calmly. It is entirely impossible to describe how proud I am of her, so I'll just leave you with today.

Five whole months. Tenley Harper, I love you!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I'm reminded this morning that life stays in balance. We had a hard day yesterday, baby girl wouldn't (couldn't) nap, was fussy, irritable and all around unpleasant.

Then she slept last night for over six. hours. straight.

That never happens. Like she's 5 months old, and that's only maybe the third time. How ironic that it happens when she's sick. I think the lack of naps yesterday meant her body was just too tired to wake up to eat.

And this morning, she's a smiling, (albeit bleary eyed and still sick), little angel. We decided it was a pj's day (which also never happens- she has so much clothing that I make a point to get her 'dressed' every single day), so we went and had a nice long hot shower to clear out her nose, and then we both got dressed into our jammies again and have been cuddling on the couch. Sometimes the joy in life is the simple things.

That, and I prepared dinner for tonight last night, so I only have to put it in the oven, and we're good to go. Knowing I'll have a full belly later on makes mama a happy girl.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

sick bay one.

Today. was. rough.

Tenley has her first official real cold, and it's wearing us all down. Daddy is sick, Tenley is sick, and mommy just wants to sit in a corner and rock back and forth! Really, she's handling it well. From her perspective, I can't imagine how scary it must be to be so stuffed up and congested, with your body parts leaking, and not understand what's going on. It's hard enough to be sick as an adult when you have the ability to complain and try to fix yourself.

I digress. First sick day. Very trying on our nerves. Baby girl wants nothing to do with... anything. I keep remembering that the best thing for her is just to let her nurse nurse nurse. And so we tried. Nope. I figured I'd curl up on the couch with all my essentials in reach, and let her nurse and nap all day. Best laid plans. She refused to gift us with a nap longer than 20 minutes or so today. Which makes sense... you know, the whole not being able to breathe thing probably doesn't help one to feel secure and relaxed. But, it doesn't make it any easier when you're the parent who is tired and whose head just wants a little bit of peace and quiet.

But, we made it. Rob and I spent the day handing off back and forth, singing songs, doing crazy dances, reading books, nursing, chasing Hurley around the house (this one is good for several laughs), whatever it took to make her smile for a few seconds at a time.

It was trying, and yet, now that she's asleep, I have nothing but oodles of patience and love for her again. It's funny how we're designed to so quickly forget. Wish me luck and calmness to meet tomorrow with the same head space I have now. Because she deserves it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Summertime in the City

Every year I forget how much I love summer until I get to spend my first really warm day outside. It may have only been 20 degrees, but today felt like that day.

I've spent the last three days in a row taking an afternoon walk with Tenley in the stroller, and it's definitely good for both of us. We both benefit from the fresh air and the change in scenery. Tenley gets to explore her neighborhood, and I get a tiny bit of exercise. I'm up to just over 2 miles a day, but I'd like to double that by the end of summer. Easy peasy. Especially in this weather, when you want so badly to be outside.

It's so nice to take the walk, and then come back to the house, spread a blanket on the grass and be able to watch Tenley explore grass and leaves, and the sun(!) for the first time. She loves the feeling of the grass on her hands, and will pat it tentatively for 5-10 minutes before tiring.

We even had our first outside nursing today! What an accomplishment. It only gets harder as she gets older, and more wiggly, but lying outside in the gorgeous sunshine, nursing your smiley baby is a pretty good feeling. Multi-tasking-- feeding the little one, AND getting a sun tan!

Cross your fingers the weather holds out for us. I'm hoping to keep up with 5 days a week all summer long. I suspect we'll have to change to morning walks later on when the days heat up even more, but we'll supplement with some pool time in the afternoon. I can't wait!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Long time, no Blog

Alright, so I suppose that fact that it's been months since my last post, and well... that no-one-knows-about baby that this thing is centered around is now almost five months old and sleeping peacefully on my lap, and I never even shared this blog with anyone, would mean that I am teh suck at this blogging thing. Best of intentions people, best of intentions.

Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone, but our little monster, tagged Tenley Harper, was born November 29, 2011 at 3:22pm. She took after daddy in her length and was 22" long and... 8lb 8oz, bigger than any babies in my family, and certainly bigger than we were expecting! She had a head full of dark hair (though not quite as much as myself when I was born) and crystal blue eyes that have mercifully stayed blue thus far (Please cross your fingers for me!)

Tenley was born naturally after 14.5 hours of labor, no meds, and to mama's excitement, not even an IV. I wholeheartedly credit Rob and my doula Danielle with keeping me positive and pushing through it. I could not have done it without their constant support and love. I've written a full birth story (only took me four months...) that is much too long to be posted here, but suffice to say, I would do it again. Early labor was no big deal at all, and the later stuff... well, although it may have been hard, it flew by. And the cliche is so true- the moment she's in your arms, none of it matters.

The days, weeks and months that have followed have surprised and delighted us like we could not have imagined. We nicknamed Tenley "princess" in utero, and claimed that she was already making it known to us that it would be her way or the highway, and she has been proving that true since the very first hours. After a brief calm before the storm settle in period, Tenley spent her first few weeks protesting loudly anytime we even thought about putting her down. Bedtimes and naptimes became mommy and daddy cuddle times, with us passing her off every time she awoke, so the other could grab a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. By about three weeks old, I was actually quite a pro at falling asleep sitting up, or in the weirdest positions imaginable, all in the name of peace and quiet.

But, when they say 'this too shall pass', they mean it, and finally, little girl was sleeping in her bassinet for night time sleep (while still enjoying cuddles during daytime sleep) and waking every few hours to eat and snuggle. Ahhh, sleep again! We've since 'settled' into a completely unpredictable pattern of starting sleep in her crib, and then coming into the bassinet or bed with us sometime during the night. Twice, she has slept the whole night through in her crib (other than feeding), and though the sleep was glorious, I will quietly admit that it's lonely without her in the room!

In addition to very picky sleep needs, we also found out Tenley had infant reflux around six weeks old, and several things fell into place. Suddenly there was a reason for our little one's fussiness, need to eat -all- the time, and the random high pitched shrieking fits, often coming in the middle of what seemed like a deep sleep. We've spent the time since trying to find the best balance of treatment for the reflux, and have finally settled on a combination of parenting behaviors, as well as her Hazelwood necklace (and Daddy will let you know it keeps Tigers away too!), probiotics every day, and finally, a course of Zantac. We are slowly weaning her off the Zantac now after two months on it, and -knock on wood-, we've been able to decrease the dose from 2ml a day down to .7 a day with no return in symptoms yet. We will keep decreasing until the symptoms return, and hopefully should be off the meds entirely by the end of May.

And that, my friends, should leave you pretty much caught up to the story as it stands. It's a wild ride, but I wouldn't trade this life for anything.