Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012 and updates!

This Christmas has been an exciting one, that's for sure. Of course, Annelise still doesn't really get Christmas, but she's understanding that opening boxes means fun things come out of them! Since I haven't updated in awhile, I'm going to try and recap a lot of what she's up to lately.

She's almost 15 months old. Has her doctor's appointment on January 4th for the 15 month visit. I won't be able to go, since I'll be in Ames at my new external office! That's a whole other story, but I'm sad that this will be the first doctor's visit I have to miss. Ever. Mark had better take good notes of what goes on in that appointment!

For Christmas this year, we went to Mark's side of the family, and got to hang out with the whole gang! It was a really great time, and I'm so glad we got to see everyone. Annelise especially enjoyed all the hubbub, but occasionally needed her downtime after being with so many people. The first night we were in town, we went to a local west-Mex restaurant, as Mark likes to call it, and Annelise didn't really like anything but the cheese chips or cheese quesadilla. She really likes to eat independently, so me and Grandma helped give her little bites of each to choose from. Any time we tried to give her beans or rice, she'd make a face and push them out of her mouth with her tongue. I tend to get annoyed when it happens because I want her to like lots of food! But it's really pretty hilarious when it happens. For breakfast, Grandma makes a feast of foods, pancakes, french toast, bacon, eggs cooked how you like, fruit, juice, coffee, milk, chocolate milk... Anyway, Annelise loves fruit, and is randomly picky about eggs. She likes pancakes pretty well, and sometimes likes french toast. She hasn't had a lot of bacon yet, but I think she likes that, too. She loves drinking out of her straw for juice or milk! She got to have lots of egg nog this Christmas! When eating meals, she's decided that's she wants to be independent. So, we have to give her a little fork and break up her food in pieces small enough that she can stab and get to her mouth. She's pretty good at it already. She's really not great with a spoon, though. Doesn't quite understand the scooping concept nor does she have the coordination to keep the food on the spoon if she happens to get it on there. But oh well. The fork works well most of the time! She does get really frustrated if she can't get the food on the fork in the first couple of tries. It takes some calming down or helping (if she lets me!) to get her going again.

Speaking of food, we're trying to get her to eat more different kinds of foods. She really likes most breakfast foods, oatmeal, cheerios, pancakes and such, but sometimes doesn't like eggs. She's randomly picky about veggies, but usually likes carrots. At Christmas Eve dinner, she was being really cranky, and wouldn't eat much but the dinner roll, a little sweet potato and some cranberry sauce. She might have just been tired, though... it was approaching 8 which is her early end of her bedtime. She's usually getting ready from 8-9pm, and usually earlier than that if she's had a busy day. She does have a pretty good nap and sleeping routine. I'm kind of surprised it's so regular it is, but she generally gets up around 8, naps at 12 until 3 or so, then is up till 8 or so.

During our time at the grandparent's house, Annelise practiced her walking a lot. In the living room, she'd walk between people sitting on the couch, to the chair, to the rocking chair, to the rocking chair her size, and to whoever else was around. Maybe 5 feet walking distances each way. It seemed to really build up her confidence, especially when she'd make it all the way to one side without plopping down or tripping on anything and we'd cheer for her! Yaaaaay!!! She gets so excited when we cheer and clap for her. Sometimes she'll try to do things she knows we've clapped and cheered for in the past again, just because she loves it so much. Like taking a toy in and out of her toy box over and over because we cheered the first time for her putting it away! Or when she puts on her gold or pink bead necklace, we cheered the first time because it was so cool watching her figure that out... then she does it over and over! If we don't cheer for her, sometimes she cheers for herself. It's so funny. Anyway, throughout the course of the Christmas time, she eventually decided she likes walking! Now that we're home again, she's walking everywhere, falls every once in awhile, but usually just when something's in the way. (It's still a mess in here with her little toys and things around the living room...) She's not my little baby anymore! She's a big girl who can walk all by herself!

Other new things... Annelise has a few more words she sort of says. In the mornings when I get her out of bed, I bring her into our bedroom and say, "Hi Daddy!" And usually she copies me and says, "Hi Deh-deh!" It's adorable! She also pretty clearly says "dah" when she wants down on the floor. One time a long time ago she tried to say "Pooh Bear", that came out "puh-buh" really cute sounding... but she hasn't tried to say it since that day. Sadness, especially since I was out of town. But at least it's on a Voxer I can listen to over and over again! Mark and I think she sometimes says "all done", but it's little too garbled and inconsistent at this point to really know that's what she's saying. Her latest word that she says really consistently is "uh-oh!" She started saying it in the car ride on the way home from the grandparent's house. It was just me with her, so Mark didn't get to hear it right away (he was driving the other car home). But she said it right after I heard her drop her pacifier down the the car floor beside her car seat. I copied her, and she copied me back. We probably spent a whole 10 minutes on that drive saying "uh-oh" back and forth. And now she says it for whenever she drops something out of her high chair, or loses her pacifier out of her crib, or knocks something over while walking... it's really cute!

Annelise also has enough hair to hold little hair clips with bows in her hair! She looks like the cutest little girl ever. But she usually takes the bow back out within in five minutes of putting it in. I'd love for her to wear them all the time, but alas, bows would be all over the house. The first time I put one in, I also put one in my hair to show her. She got jealous of course, and wanted me to help her put one in her hair, then we looked in the mirror, and I told her, "So pretty!" She thought she was cool stuff, you could tell. But then, she tried to grab the bow out of my hair, then grabbed the one in hers and pulled it out. So... it's not long lasting. But I'm still excited her hair is long and thick enough to hold a tiny bow clip!

Very first coloring all by herself happened today! I opened her brand new Toy Story coloring book that was in her stocking, with some included crayons, (the basic red, yellow, blue, and green) opened to the first page for her, and she colored it up! Red is her favorite... wonder why? ;) Check out her masterpiece...

We also colored this one a few weeks ago, but I helped a bit with the coloring of Pooh, Tigger, and the purple tea cups. She did a lovely job of coloring the picnic setting...

Anyway, those are the latest updates. I'll end it here. This was long. Hopefully I'll post again soon! But I likely won't. Unless my facebook fills up with too many posts about Annelise and I need a better and slightly more permanent outlet for all this. Or I get inspired. You better hope I get inspired.... :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Handedness, Standing/Walking, and More!

I think Annelise is a lefty. She tried eating her pasta today with a spoon, and got 3 spoonfuls in with her left, and none with the right. And she seemed far more frustrated with her right hand, and kept wanting to just pick the pasta pieces up with her left hand. Also, she's always favored her left hand for everything. 

Annelise has stood up on her own and stayed standing several times in the last week. She still plops down anywhere from immediately to about 15 seconds from when she got up, but it's progress! She likes to use her walker, but is so good at crawling now, she'd much rather just crawl places. I think the main reasons she likes the walker is because it makes cool sounds and I get really excited when she uses it. 

For the past week or so, I think one of her molars has been trying to come through. I can kind of see the front and back of a top left tooth in the back, but not the middle part yet. She's been really cranky, waking up at all hours of the night whining and whimpering. It's so sad, and also so grating on Mark and my nerves, because it's almost nonstop for hours when it starts. We try just about everything to make her feel better, food, cold foods, stuff to chew on, Orajel, Tylenol when a slight fever hits, distractions with games or toys... I think molars are just the worst. 

She has become attached to her toothbrush lately. I don't exactly know if it's related to the teething, but I'm pretty sure she loves the toothbrush because it's got both the bristled part the feels fun on her gums, and the soft rubbery part on the other end and that also feels nice to massage her gums with! She grips that thing like a mad woman, though. It's intense!

Annelise loves the rocking chair she got to use at her grandparent's house a couple weekends back. I think it was her Uncle Scott's? She was so funny getting in and then rocking for a bit, sticking her legs straight out as usual, of course, for any chair she sits in. Then she'll hop back out of it, play with something else for a second, and then get back in the chair and rock again! Repeat about 10-15 times. She was having such a good time!

It's been unusually warm for this time of year in Iowa. But it's great because the best way to cheer up Annelise when she's grumpy is to head outside and let her crawl in the grass! She likes to look at the rocks in the rock garden at her grandparent's house! She's so funny, because she knows she's not supposed to eat them, since we've told her as much, but she thinks she's being sneaky. She'll grab a rock, kinda lick it really fast, and then throw it over the edge. It's like she's rebelling against us telling her not to put the rock in her mouth! What a little stinker!! At her other grandparent's, she likes to crawl around in the grass, pick up leaves, and try to put those in her mouth when I'm not looking. But I'm always looking! Joke's on her!

At our place, Annelise and I like hang out on our patio, and she pulls herself up on the railing bars, and looks down to the driveway below. In our tiny little lawn, she likes to crawl back and forth, then test me on whether or not she can climb down the curb to the parking lot area, but that's a no-no! She also likes to look at the weather beacon towers. They blink red and white bright lights! I can't wait until next weekend when we put up Christmas lights to see what Annelise thinks of them this year!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crawling and sickness...

[Okay, so I wrote this waaaay back on July 9, 2012 and now it's Nov 1, 2012 and I realize I totally forgot to post it. I've been slacking on writing blog posts. So here's that post from way back then...]

First of all, Annelise had her 9 month doctor's visit! She weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces, was 29.3 inches tall, and had a head circumference of 44.5 cm. That puts her in the 43 percentile for weight, 95 percentile for height, and 65 percentile for head circumference. Basically that means she's gonna be tall like her daddy.

Next up, sickness. Annelise first started getting sick the evening of the 4th of July, might have even begun earlier that day since she wasn't letting herself take her usual naps. Regardless, by the morning of the 5th, at 5am, she was miserable. I got up and changed her diaper, prepared her usual bottle, and she drank it up mostly as usual. But.. she had a stuffy nose, coughing, sweating like she had a fever. I checked her axillary temp right after the bottle, and it was right around 97.2, which was fine. We played for a bit, then it was time for her nap. She would not go at all. The nose clogged up, and I think her throat must have been hurting... I took her temperature again and it was 99.2. Just barely below what it would be to take her to the doctor. So because she wouldn't go to sleep, I ended up just letting her fall asleep on me, which was nice because she's never done that before and I enjoyed the snuggles, but I really wish she had been feeling good. She woke up after about half an hour sounding worse than before. By that time, Daddy came and was helping out, and he eventually got her to actually nap in her crib while I went back to work. The rest of the day was spent trying to make her feel better, but even today she's still got a runny nose. :( The rest of us around here ended up getting sick throughout the weekend. First starting as a sore throat, the next day being extremely tired and feverish, and a continuing stuffy nose after that. So Annelise must have had a sore throat on the 4th, and then the full symptoms started the 5th. Basically, sad girl for the holiday.. no wonder she didn't want to stay up for the fireworks!

Even though she's been sick, she's been amazingly resilient. With the exception of that first morning, she's tried so hard to be happy. It's amazing! If she felt anything like Mark and I felt while we were sick, it was an amazing feat that she was so chipper most of the time. And to top it off, she's figuring out how to crawl on her hands and knees more! She now takes up to 4 little steps. She's also a pro at sitting up all by herself, which she's been perfecting over the last week and a half or so. And, she also pulls herself up to standing on the couch now, pretty consistently. Last night, we put the crib down to the lowest position since she's getting so strong now!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fun weekend day!

Annelise had a long day today!

I woke her up at a leisurely 8:30 or so for her breakfast. She had a nice big 8 oz bottle, and most of a puree jar of apple/blueberry mixed with oatmeal.

Then Grandma came over and we were off to the Ankeny Farmer's Market! Annelise got to be in the carrier on me facing outwards this time, so she was checking out everything and smiling at everyone. She wore her super cute pink flowery sunhat that her Uncle Don, Aunt Joanna, and Cousin Wesley got her. :) It was super hot out, though, so her head got all sweaty! We only stayed for maybe 30 minutes or so, and then were off to the next place.

We went to Kohl's and Annelise got to sit in the stroller for this adventure. She was a bit apprehensive of things at first, and then we gave her Pooh bear. Then she starting jabbering away to Pooh! It was like she was telling him all the stuff she was seeing, and what she had done this morning. It was hilarious. She ate a bottle in her stroller while Mommy and Grandma continued their shopping. After that trip, we stopped at Quizno's. Annelise had some banana flavored puffs, and did really well at sitting in the high chair! Then we went back home and she took a nice, long nap.

After the nap, it was time to go out again! We were going to hang out with Don, Joanna, and Wesley for Wesley's 11th birthday party! Annelise was totally awesome sitting in her high chair at the pizza restaurant. She was smiley, chatty, and played with her sippy cup most of the time. Didn't actually drink anything, but chewed on the top for awhile. (She had some more puffs while we ate pizza.) Then we went to bowl and Annelise thought that was pretty cool. But after a while, she got noticeably irritable and would only put up with being in my arms. Which is flattering, but mommy gets tired! And other people want to hold her, too! So we fed her another bottle, and then pushed her around the bowling place in her stroller to try and calm her down. But she never really got drowsy and fell asleep. Too much noise and stuff going on! 

We had planned to go get ice cream cake with Wesley after bowling for his birthday, but we ended up coming straight home because of Miss Cranky Face. We put Annelise to bed right after coming home, and she's enjoying hanging out in the peace and quiet of her room. She's not quite sleeping yet, and keeps making little squeally noises, but she'll fall asleep soon, I'm sure.

She definitely had a fun day, though! Hopefully she sleeps nice and soundly through the night! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Words, Mobility, Foods, Separation Anxiety, and Teeth!

Annelise has been amazing lately. Details follow...

Today she most distinctly said "buh-buh!" as she waved her hand to me. Mark taught her to wave bye-bye to her room whenever they leave it, and I think that's the first time she put the words with the action. Then a bit later, she did the same thing when leaving my office after a quick visit during the day. We also think she said "up" when she got up from her changing table. That's a word we've been using every time we pick her up from anywhere, so maybe she's getting familiar with it? She also is definitely using the sound "mamamama" to request my presence. She uses that noise a lot when she's cranky. In general, I'm noticing a more deliberate attempt to copy our sounds of the more commonly used words in her day.

She's also a little monkey. She hasn't quite learned how to full-on crawl yet, but she can finally stay up on all fours for longer than the time it takes to just fall. I'd say, 5-6 seconds at a time maybe? She can army crawl really well now, but doesn't really like it. She much prefers standing and walking around. If I'm sitting on the floor with her, she'll get super whiny, army crawl and wiggle over, face plant in my lap, and proceed to pull herself up to standing all on her own. Maybe it seems a little unsympathetic, but I like to let her figure out how to pull herself up rather than just take her hands and pull her up to standing. The fact that she's whining the entire time is probably what makes me feel guilty and I do end up pulling her up 8 times out of 10. But she's gotta learn new things! When we were playing peek-a-boo in her crib using her bumpers, she figured out how to get to a sitting position and then pulled up to her knees using the crib rail all by herself! She's been able to get up to a seated position on her own quite a few times since then.

She loves walking around the room, and is getting really good at it. She holds our fingers while we grasp her wrists, and she'll walk pretty much everywhere with only a slight wobble now. She's also starting to figure out stairs, and with our help, she can go up quite a few on her own (with us still holding her hands), and she sort of understands how to put her feet to go down them. Check out her standing skills here at the couch...

I'm trying to help her explore new foods now, as much as I can. Today we had banana slices with peanut butter and some chopped up pealed grapes. She LOVES peanut butter. She first tried it off her daddy's finger when he was having a bagel a while back. She couldn't get enough! So today, I put a bit of peanut butter on each banana slice and after the first slice, she figured out it was peanut butter... so she would take the peanut butter part off each banana and eat that first! She wasn't as fond of the grape slices - a bit sour - and tended to slide them either onto the floor or into the cup spot. Another food she loves (but I'm not really sure if she should have?) is potato salad! My parents and siblings came over for lunch last week and brought subs and potato salad, and of course she wanted to try some of mine. So I gave her a bit of just the saucy stuff in the salad, and her eyes got big and she seemed to really like it! Then we tried some of the softer potatoes in the salad, and she loved those, too! She's been that way with anything I'm eating around her... she'll look longingly at me, and then crawl over and start whimpering at me and pulling up on me (I usually eat on the floor in the living room area, but that might be changing now when I eat around her...). Oh, I also gave her tiny bites of my hot dogs in the crescent roll with cheese thing. She thought that was fun.

She's become extremely clingy to me. Ever since I left for Houston on a business trip a few weeks ago, after I came back, I was her new favoritest person ever. We went up to Mark's parents' house that weekend and that's really when it started. My back was so sore by the end of the weekend because she wouldn't let me give her to anyone else to hold without getting upset! She'll get super upset if I leave the room, and almost seems to not like Mark anymore because she favors me so heavily. :( It's just separation anxiety, and since I'm the one that leaves the most, she's worried about me leaving for too long again!

ALSO! I can't believe I forgot to write about this until now... SHE HAS TWO TEETH!!! They've just barely come in starting last week with the bottom middle right tooth, and the left one followed in a couple days later. I sort of noticed her pulling at her ears a couple of times, and she's been a little more cranky in general during the week or so prior to the appearance of the teeth, but I had attributed that to separation anxiety or something. Anyway, they're still teeny tiny little things, just barely peeking up above the gums. But you can definitely feel them. They're sharp! No more gummy baby mouth!

That's all I've got for today's update. Next week she'll be going in for her 9 month well visit! New doctor and everything! Hopefully all goes well for both me and her... Update will be coming next week with all her new measurements and how the new pediatrician was!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Going to church

Mark, Annelise, and I are currently attending my old church in Urbandale. Much of the community there feels like family, and we're hoping to get involved with some more outreach programs.

The first visit to church we had Annelise in the sanctuary for the main service. She did surprisingly well, Pastor Jeff showed her off right at the beginning, and Pastor Weaver tried to make her dance to his singing like she had done the previous Friday during Kelsey's vocal solos at her senior recital. It was either Pastor's singing or Annelise's fear at being held by somebody she didn't know yet, but she wasn't very dancy that morning. You can make your decision as to which you think caused the non-dancing. :)

So since we're going to New Hope again, we generally hang out with my family for the afternoon until they leave for church orchestra. Actually, to be more accurate, after church is out, we need to get her to a napping spot ASAP, because her regularly scheduled nap time is about 10:30am... right when church is starting. However, she seems to really love going to the nursery. We've been to church 3 times since being back (two weekends we've been out of town with Mark's family), and 2 of those times Annelise has hung out with the cool kids in the nursery. Every time we go to pick her up, she seems really happy! But it's funny, because once she's back in our hands, it seems like the real world has just invaded her brain and she's either hungry or sleepy all of a sudden.

[This is where the draft post ends. I forgot to finish it way back when, and I'm posting it Jan 29, 2013, but marking the date for when this was written, May, 22, 2012.]

Walking already?

Annelise is 34 weeks old, so tells me. I just know she's older than 7.5 months, but not quite 8. But she's getting so big! It's funny, she's still so small, but Mark and I frequently say how we miss our tiny little newborn. :)

We just recently lowered her crib to the second lowest setting because she's becoming way too strong for her own good. It's a bittersweet accomplishment, with more sweet than bitter. After her naps, Annelise would usually be on her tummy pushing her head way up to see what is happening outside the crib world. So whenever Mark or I would come in to get her, she'd hear that door open and immediately push her head up to see who it was! Makes me giggle every time I see that wobbly little head. Sometimes her daddy will go in very quietly, sneak around to open her bathroom door to let in the light, then go over to the main window in her room and slowly pull back the curtain and then open the blinds to let the most light through. The entire time Annelise is kicking and sounding so excited... almost giggling... then Daddy will sneak right up next to her crib, and pop up to surprise her!! She loves it!

So now she's on the next lower setting of the crib. Because she's figured out how to pull herself up! Her most favorite thing to do right now is to grab onto our thumbs or fingers and pull herself up to stand. Doesn't matter if she's laying down or sitting, she pulls herself all the way up! It's amazing, because it seems like just yesterday she was barely able to pull herself up to a seated position (just before we moved she could barely sit up on her own... just over a month ago!), and now she standing up! She's goofy wobbly, though; it's hilarious watching her try to steady herself. She's to the point where if somebody is around to pull her up to stand, that's what she wants to do. Just plain ol' sitting is so boring now, apparently.

Along with her new found love for standing up, she's getting really good at putting one foot in front of the other. She holds onto our hands super tight, and we start walking backwards facing her, slightly pulling her along and she's figuring out how to make steps happen to get her closer to where she wants to go! She's so amazing.

One thing I'm kind of sad about is that if she figures out how to walk, she may bypass the crawling stage altogether. She doesn't particularly enjoy being on her tummy, and would much rather just be sitting while playing. It's cool though, walking seems to be an easier mode of transportation, though the falls might be a little more intense than falling from crawling. But basically, I'm just going to encourage whatever she wants to do to explore her little world! Speaking of which... I really need to get on top of baby-proofing this place!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We Moved!

So it's been quite awhile since I posted here, but I've got a reasonable excuse... the three of us recently moved from Houston, back home to Iowa so we could be closer to family! We really love being back here, but we also really miss our Houston family!

Lately Annelise has been a pro at sitting up. When we were last in Houston, around mid-April, she was just barely able to sit up on her own for a couple seconds before tipping over. But now she's pretty confident on her own, and even I'm okay with letting her sit in the middle of the floor by herself while I go get a quick something from the kitchen or wherever (within eyesight of her!). There have been a couple topples where she landed wrong and bumped her head a little too hard, but she's resilient, and with a quick cuddle from mommy or daddy, she's good to go again!

One funny thing she does all the time, is twirl her feet around. It's most noticeable while she's sitting up, but she's been doing it since she realized she had feet. She'd do it in her bouncy seat, while laying on the floor, and now while sitting up! I don't know if it's a common thing for babies to do or not, but it's funny!

We gave her a bath in her inflatable ducky tab for the first time today! Let me tell you, using that thing is waaaaaay way way way easier than laying her in the regular tub and balancing and juggling, trying to keep her from sliding around and bonking her head. And she had fun in the tub, too! She'd poke at the bubbles the washcloth made as it dripped water into the tub. She also tried to grab at the washcloth a few times, but realized it wasn't really as fun to play with as mommy made it seem. :)

She's been doing really well with eating food. Just yesterday I bought her some sweet potato puff cereal to try out. She had a few of them, but gave me a really confused look when I stuck them in her mouth. I laid a few out for her to try to pick up and eat on her own, too. She would grab one at a time, but then it'd get stuck inside her tightly clamped fist. Her fist would go in her mouth, but the food wouldn't get out! That confused her for a bit until I just took the puff out for her and stuck it in her mouth. She's still super confused by them, though! We'll keep trying those gradually.

She had baby strawberry yogurt for the first time today. She pretty much loved it! We're still introducing solid food sparingly though, about one 3-4oz of food per day to go along with her milk meals. The below picture is a surprisingly good one of Annelise in her high chair in our fancy new kitchen, taken by Daddy!! (It's hard to get non-blurry pictures of her because she's so wiggly!)

Hm, let's see... what else? Her new room in the new house is massive. And so is her closet. Not sure what she needs all that room for, but I guess she can use it to practice rolling around! She's definitely become awesome at rolling. Occasionally her arm will get stuck weirdly beneath her as she rolls, but most of the time she's figured out just how to wiggle and roll to get where her brain wants her to go. She hasn't figured out crawling. I'm not sure she'll learn that before she decides to just up and walk though. We'll see!

That'll round out this edition. :) Hopefully I'll be back to posting more regularly!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The newest things that make me smile

Things I find funny about Annelise right now:

She actually loves her bulb syringe I use for cleaning out her nose from the little boogies. She thinks the noise the syringe makes is funny, and seems to like the feeling of air being sucked out of her nose.

She'll sit in my lap pretty well while I'm doing anything (like typing a blog post), but leans forward to touch or grab whatever is close to in front of her. Yesterday she kept pushing the control button on the keyboard so things kept messing up while I was typing!

Anything she can grab goes in her mouth. So much slobbering!

Toes now reach her mouth. The toe nomming is hilarious.

Whenever she's hungry, she now makes either a "bah-bah-buh-bah-buh-buh..." noise, or a "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma..." noise. I'm guessing she means either "bottle" or "milk"... or maybe "mommy"? Either way, I'm assuming she's brilliant.

Her current favorite songs are the Alphabet, If All the Raindrops..., and Little Bunny Foo Foo. She particularly loves when I open my mouth and make the "ah-ah" noises for the goodies in the "All the Raindrops" song (I don't really know what it's called, but all the raindrops are lemon drops and gum drops.) :)

She loves bouncing on my tummy! She sits on my tummy while I bounce her up and down... she thinks it's absolutely hilarious.

All the jumping in her jumperoo! It's so hilarious how hard she jumps; sometimes I think the whole thing might just collapse in on her!

Her facial expressions. She makes awesome ones right now, and for seemingly no particular reason. Either disgusted, confused, or weirded-out are my favorites.

I'm sure there are a zillion other things that I can't think of right now, but I just thought I'd get these down for now! Life's getting more hectic as we're getting ready to move again. The packing has begun this weekend! There are gonna be so many boxes...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So curious

Lately, I've noticed that Annelise seems even more curious than she's been in her life so far. The way she'll reach her arms out and touch and hold different parts of our faces and hair is so cute. She's also poked us in our eyes several times, pinched noses, pulled hairs out, and grabbed the inside of our mouths at the teeth. I'm hesitant to ever wear dangly earrings again...

She's becoming much more interested in her toys, too. She has those rainbow stacking rings, and has been loving reaching out and knocking them over. With her Jumperoo, in the last couple weeks she is finally actually doing the things she's supposed to do with the toys - spinning the lizard rattle, batting at the soft toys hanging above her, and lifting the little bug up and down with the weird springy green attachment. (I don't get that toy... but I guess it's meant to just throw around and not fall off?) She also has this really cool music table thing that's got 4 piano keys in bright colors, a rattle that sings to you when you spin it, a sliding trombone thing, and so many other cool stuff on it. She's really only interested in the bright piano keys right now, but she likes listening to the alphabet song, and all the other songs that play when she spins the rattle! I'm not sure when she's supposed to figure out cause and effect, but it seems like she's starting understand it a bit with her toys!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Five months!

Annelise is five months old! We don't own a scale, so I'm not sure how much she weighs, and I'd have to get a ruler and paper out to measure her... perhaps an update for that will come later. I dunno. But she's awesome! And that's all you need to know.

Last update I think I said that Annelise just learned how to roll. Well, she's awesome at it now, and hates when she isn't allowed to roll over after eating. She just throws everything up if she's on her tummy too soon! Totally defeats the purpose of having eaten.

Anyway, she's getting super awesome at rolling, but still only likes to roll to her left. The other day while on a web cam chat with Mark's parents, I think she had just eaten and we didn't want her to roll yet. So we were trying to keep her entertained and still, but she was determined to roll through us anyway! She worked up enough momentum that she rolled all the way over from back to back! It was really impressive, and I'm pretty sure she was shocked with herself. She just kinda looked at the ceiling, not trying to roll anymore for a second. I think she quickly realized that she wasn't on her tummy, and then tried to roll again. She's rolled a handful of times to her right, but she doesn't really like to roll that way.

When she's on her tummy, she now knows how to lift herself up with her arms. She used to just body surf with her arms flailing up behind her. Her arms are always wide spread and crazy looking like that. Like she's Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music running through the fields. She also does a lot of kicking, but she hasn't quite figured out how to make her legs help her move effectively yet. Oh, she does know how to rotate herself around with her arms! She's pretty slow, but she's still just getting the hang of using her arms as functional tools rather than random appendages.

She's also gotten much better at sitting and standing. We still have to hold her up while doing either, but there's a lot less holding "up" and more just holding steady. She likes to lean onto her music table toy while standing and press the different noise-making buttons. :)

Oh, and a couple weeks back she started becoming quite interested in holding her feet. She's definitely got ticklish feet. I like to poke or nom-nom at them while she's in her swing, and she always retracts her legs into a crossed legged position, but then puts them back out again while smiling the whole time. She loves it!

Monday, February 20, 2012


We have a small white board on our refrigerator. It used to be for writing small notes or goofy pictures on. Now it is for something entirely more awesome:

The blue is written in wet erase marker so it stays up there all the time but could still be changed if we wanted it to. The greyish/black word is dry erase, and changes almost daily! It's so fun!

Friday, February 17, 2012


(20 weeks old today!)

Annelise is actually a really good sleeper. The only time she struggles is when we've kept her up for too long or there's been too much activity around her.

Usually she'll go to bed between 7-9, usually closer to 7 if we can get her fed and settled down by then. Sometimes it's closer to 9 if we're out somewhere like our small group Bible study. Though she usually falls asleep half way through that on our small group host's bed. Apparently she likes it there and falls asleep really quickly! :) Most days she'll stay asleep until somewhere between 5-6, which is around when I wake up, so it's pretty much perfect. She has her random days where she'll make daddy get up at 11pm or so, but she usually just needs her pacifier or flipped back over to her back. She's pretty consistent in sleeping all night long! I don't know how we got so lucky.  :)

Recently, we've noticed that she likes to sleep on her side cuddled up by her Winnie-the-Pooh doll that's almost the same size as her, just slightly smaller. For awhile after she learned how to roll over, she kept rolling sometime in her sleep and then waking up from it and getting all frustrated. So to combat that issue, we put her Pooh doll on her left side. She still only rolls to the left, and hasn't figured out how to go right yet. I'm sure she will soon, though, she's a smartie. So now when she goes to bed, we'll put Pooh next to her. Then she'll start rolling over, but realize Pooh is there! Then grab onto his paw and lay on her side while she's hugging him. It's completely adorable. I tried to take a picture, but of course, it's in the dark because the light might wake her up!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Annelise has started eating some foods. Or rather, kind of letting them dribble into her mouth and letting some/most of it go down into her throat.

At Annelise's 4 month check up at the doctor, we got the go ahead to start on some solids. The first week would be rice or oatmeal cereal made with formula or breastmilk, the week after that would be orange veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots, and the week after that would be green veggies like peas and broccoli. Once she gets through all of those, then she can have fruits. Because fruits are the best. And if we start on those, she'll never want anything else!

So the next day, I went to Wal-Mart and bought both rice and oatmeal cereal. I wasn't sure which one would be good, and they're pretty cheap, so I just bought both! I also had to buy spoons for her since all of ours are much too big for her cute little baby mouth. I figured I could probably get by without special baby bowls for now, so I didn't get any of those. We had received a pile of bibs from Mark's parents before she was born, which I'm grateful for now! (We go through those like crazy! I need to get some more...) I also bought 2 little jars of sweet potatoes, 3 little jars of carrots, 1 jar of turkey and turkey broth, and 1 jar of beef and beef broth. I actually have no idea when I'm okay to start feeding her meats, but they were in that "Stage 1" category, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. That's everything I got, I think. I still need to go back for the green veggies. Not sure how I missed those...

Next step: I had to figure out how to make up this cereal stuff. 1 tablespoon of cereal to 4 ounces of  milk? Or something like that. I just kinda mixed it up until it was about the consistency of the stuff that's in the "stage 1" jars of food. Then I warmed it just slightly, tested it to make sure it wouldn't be too hot, and got ready to go. We set Annelise in her little bouncy seat, put a bib on her, and began the process. A little bit on the spoon, and took it to her mouth. She stuck out her tongue and opened her mouth. I put the spoon in, and at first, she kinda took some. But of course, she spit it all back out. She made a funny yucky face, or maybe it was confusion? Either way, she was definitely not sure about this mode of eating. We kept at it, though, and actually, she was doing fairly well for her first time. No fingers in her mouth or anything! Probably about half of it dribbled down onto the bib, but half stayed in! Woo!

We did this maybe 2 or 3 more times over the course of a week before Daddy decided it was time for sweet potatoes. Now, I wasn't witness to the first time she had them, so I can't comment on that. But when I did get to feed her sweet potatoes for the first time... it was SO much FUN! I put about a third of what was in the little jar into the bowl (she still gets filled up mostly by milk, the food is just for practice and to get used to new flavors right now), warmed it up, and got Annelise ready again. We started out just like with the rice cereals, but this time, she was much more excited! She opened up her mouth and had almost no problem eating up the food! I had to keep scraping a little bit off her bottom lip, but as long as I didn't put too much on the spoon at a time, she pretty much ate all of it without spitting it out! She even had big giant smiles while she was eating it! She seriously loved the stuff. Ate all of what I had made, and wanted more! I put the last third of the jar into the bowl, warmed it, and she ate the rest! It was pretty amazing.

We've since tried carrots, but she doesn't like those quite as much. She puts her fingers in her mouth a lot more often during the carrot times. We're still working on getting her to try some other foods, but we're pretty content with just every once in awhile trying solids at this point. It's just practice, and she does a good job eating, but it doesn't seem like she really needs to eat them twice a day at this point. It's fun, but also a lot of work getting everything ready. And to get cleaned up after. But it'll only get more fun and time-consuming as she gets older, right? ;)

Sidenote: I'm considering making my own pureed veggies. Anyone out there I know do that? Is it worth it? Although, I'm kinda liking the little jars baby food comes in... so many pinterest projects come to mind that I can make with them...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

4 Months!

Quick update!

Annelise is 4 months old today. We went to the pediatrician this morning for her 4 month well visit. She weighs 14 lbs and 9.5 ounces. That's about 3 more lbs than last time, so she's growing well! She's 24 inches long. She got all her recommended shots and took them awesomely, even though there were a few tears. She also rolled at least 6 times during the visit, all of which happened while we were waiting for doctors or nurses in her patient room. She got too shy around them to show off her talking, rolling, and raspberry making skills! Her doctor did pull her up to seated position, though; Annelise is awesome at sitting up. :)

And our pediatrician said she's been given the go-ahead for starting on cereal! We'll probably get a little of both rice and oatmeal cereal to see which she likes better. And then if she takes that fairly well, we get to try veggies next week! And fruits the week after that! I'm excited to see her face while trying all those new foods. I hope she likes them and actually lets some of the food go inside her instead of all over her face!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kissy Faces?

The same day that Annelise figured out how to roll over, she also started making cute little kissy faces!

She actually makes noises that are more like blowing raspberries or maybe, getting her chops ready for playing a brass instrument, but I like to interpret them more as kissy faces! She looks completely adorable as she purses her lips together and makes funny little noises. She started doing this infrequently maybe...  2 weeks ago or so? But the day she rolled over, she was making those faces the entire time. You can see it on the video on Mark's google+. It was so cute!

Later on that evening, her faces were accompanied more with whimpers than cute noises. Then the cute faces turned into sad faces, and she made her uncomfortable cry. At that point, she had just woken from a nap and finished her bottle, so we were pretty sure we knew what was going on. Her gums or teeth were hurting. We got out the multitude of teething toys that were in the fridge, which she gnawed diligently on for awhile until they warmed up or she got tired of chewing. After that, her gums were hurting, she was arching her back, wiggling, and crying in almost every position. The only one she didn't seem too unhappy with was when I would hold her upright, rocking her back and forth while walking around the apartment. It seemed to distract her just enough that she would start to forget about her pain. But there were still the occasional whimpers. It makes me want to cry to just thinking about those sounds.

After an hour or two of attempts to console her, she finally gave in to her tiredness and slept for awhile. Once she woke up again, she seemed to be feeling better, so that was a relief.

We're going to the doctor next week for Annelise's 4 month well visit, so we'll ask her what she thinks would be the best remedy at that time. I've heard a lot of advice, but I want to get the doctor's thoughts before we try too many different things!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rolling Over!

We've hit yet another big milestone! Annelise was 16 weeks and 6 days old, and it was January 26, 2012. Annelise rolled from her back to her tummy.

The first time it happened for real, was while I was at work. Mark called me shortly after it happened letting me know. That was cool, but I didn't get as excited about it as I thought I'd be. Mostly because we'd been working on helping her figure out how to get up and over that little arm of hers for awhile now, and I wanted to see her amazement when she finally figured it out! Yet another sad point about being at work all day without her...

But anyway, the first time I got to see her do it was after I got home that afternoon. Apparently ever since that first time she's figured it out, she's been doing it all the time! It's actually really fun to watch her face as she arches her back, rolls her head around to look at something that's almost above her, causing her to roll to her side, and then struggle to heave herself over her arm and pull the arm out from underneath. Once she gets there, she doesn't really know what to do. She kinda wiggles around, lifts her head and faceplants a bunch, talks into the floor after faceplanting, and then gets upset because she can't move herself where she wants to go anymore.

Mark and I took a video of her doing all of this, but we're not posting much to Facebook or the blog because we can't control the privacy as well here or there. We're still a bit wary of posting Annelise's face all over everything on the lines. Instead, we've got a Google+ account! Actually, all the videos and pictures are on Mark's account, so if you want to see them, you'll have to be a well-established friend of Mark's, and add him to your Google+ circles so he can add you back.

Back to the subject: Annelise loves rolling over. She's started doing it on the changing table, too, so we have to be extra careful of her now. She'll be crawling, standing, and walking before we know it, I'm sure!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sitting Up!

Annelise is learning how to do baby crunches to get to a sitting up position!

Daddy started out doing this with her by having her grasp onto his thumbs while he'd wrap his hands around hers. Then he'd ever-so-lightly pull her up, and lift her head up slightly off her inclined bouncy seat. At first, we couldn't pull her up very much at all, because her head would stay flopped back against the seat. But then one day, she brought her head along with her body! After that, daddy just kept practicing with her until just a couple days ago, I tried it with her when she was laying on our bed after a nap. I was able to pull her all the way up to a sitting position! And she stayed there without any neck support to hold her head! I didn't actually know that Daddy hadn't brought her all the way up to a fully seated position, but apparently this was the first time she did it! We still have to hold her torso to keep her from just falling right over. But she keeps getting more steady with her neck and body every day. Building that muscle!

We've been practicing doing this with her whenever she's got the energy to expend. She really likes being up in a seated position all by herself because she can see things so much better.  It'll be interesting to see how she figures out how to get up all by herself!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bouncy Seat

Annelise has a super awesome bouncy seat that we use as her mobile chair.

She sits in this quite often, especially when she's hanging out with Daddy during the day. The chair has a vibrating feature, which initially, we thought would be crazy intense for her. But she really liked it from the first time we turned it on! It soothed her and used to put her to sleep, or it would just calm her down from whatever she was crying about. It's not quite as effective now that she's a bit older, but she still likes it.

There's also a toy bar on the seat that can be taken on and off. These were her first toys she played with since we didn't buy a whole lot upfront. (She's got lots more toys now thanks to Christmas and generous relatives!) The toy bar has two butterflies that can be pulled to make a birdy in the middle spin. They both have rattles on them, too. Annelise loves to stare at the little birdy! When we spin the birdy by pulling down the butterfly rattles, Annelise watches in amazement. She started to figure out the correlation between pulling the butterfly and the birdy spinning, but she still doesn't quite have the muscle coordination to actually get it down. She'll grab onto the butterfly and kinda swing her arm around. I have to keep showing her how to pull it, but she doesn't quite get it. It's still fun for her, though!

I'm not sure whether she'll figure out how to pull the butterflies hard enough before she outgrows the seat. When she sits up in it properly, her head almost touches the outer edge. But if she slouches down a little, she's still got a couple inches left! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is the story of the first time I heard Annelise laugh.

It was January 15, 2012. That morning, we watched Annelise wiggle and roll the bottom half of herself over, which is basically the first and most she's rolled over so far. She didn't quite get herself up and over that little baby arm of hers, but it was cool, tummy was on the floor, and that's what counts. Woot for reaching milestones!

Later that day, Jennie and I were doing something (exercising or just chatting maybe), and Mark said that she giggled! Whatever it was, I thought I had only heard some kind of grunt. Annelise makes all kinds of noises. But, Mark had heard her giggle a few times before, they're just still pretty rare right now. So we continued on our day.

That evening, Win and Blaine came over for guys hang out time, chatting, Bible study.... whatever it is they talk about. I retreated into the bedroom while they chatted, and Annelise was hanging out in her swing listening and watching them. Apparently she was getting fussy or bored with their conversation, so Mark brought her into the bedroom. At first, I cuddled next to her, thinking she was sleepy. But her legs were kicking almost nonstop! So I decided she needed a little more entertainment to get her tired out for bed time. We played a bit of peek-a-boo with the blanket, and then I played the "nom-nom" game. I learned it from Mark. It's where you take a big, noisy breath in and make your eyes really big in anticipation, then move down making nom-nom noises all the way down till you reach Annelise's face and then give her a big noisy kiss! She LOVES it. (Alternatively, you can make buzzing lip noises; she likes either kind. :) ) The first couple times I did it, she smiled really big, then all of a sudden, there was a little noise! Now, she chats quite a bit with us, all her little baby coos and whatnot. But this. This was like, a chuckle. Just a teeny tiny one at first. But then as I kept playing, she kept making more consistent chuckles, until she was giggling! It was so hard for me to keep playing because I all wanted to do was giggle back at her, but she didn't think that was as funny as the faces I was making!

I did try to call Mark into the room, but he was in conversation with the guys, and I didn't want to break the giggles by yelling too loudly and scaring her! So she shared her giggles with me for the next minute or so, and then she was tired out. She was still pretty happy, but starting to get a little hungry and tired, so no more giggles for now! But I expect there to be lots more in the future. It was an awesome experience to hear her giggle, and to be the source of that giggle!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best Wake-Up Call Ever

It was Saturday, January 14, 2012 and it was the first one in a long time where the three of us were able to just sleep in, in our own apartment, and get up whenever we felt like it. Since I was hanging out with my friend Jennie last night, I was out a bit later than usual, and when I got home, it was after midnight. I did my nightly routine, and was in bed by 1am. Annelise was already asleep of course, and Mark stayed up for another few hours listening to his new David Crowder*Band album and doing whatever it is he does to relax in those late night hours.

At 5:30am, Mark woke up to hungry cries through the baby monitor from Annelise. He woke me up (for some reason I just don't wake up well to the baby monitor noises, but Mark hears everything Annelise does...) and I went and got her. So I fed her, changed her diaper then put her back to sleep at about 6:15 or so. Then I put myself back to sleep for another 3 hours or so.

Then, the best part of my morning began. The baby monitor was on, I was slightly awake, and I started to hear her voice! She was just chatting up a storm with whatever it was in her crib that was amusing her! There was at least 15 minutes of just her chatting before she started to get frustrated with something. I guessed she was probably stuck up in the corner of her crib, since she's recently learned how to scoot around on her back. She was also probably getting hungry around this time, so I got up to go see what she was up to. Here's what she looked like when I found her:

She was turned completely sideways! I promise I put her in there with her head in that empty spot to her right, with her feet under the blankets. She's so funny.  I think she was talking to the flowers on her mobile above her. Or something. She was still talking up a storm when I was taking this picture. It was basically the best thing to wake up to on our lazy day off from everything.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scoot, scoot!

Annelise had learned something very dangerous. At least, as dangerous as a baby can be who's not walking, crawling, rolling (she's so close on this one, and probably could if she really wanted to), or... what else do babies do? (Seriously, if you've got any warnings about what to look out for in a 3 month old... let me know.)

Anyway, she's always been an active little girl, even before she was born. So many kicks! She seems to have been pretty strong, too, lifting her head during her entire 2 week old photo shoot whenever we'd try to get cute pictures of her laying down on her tummy. And of course, she loves her jumperoo, and jumps like crazy when she's in it (when she's not sleepy, of course!). So now, she's learned a new trick. It's called the Scoot. She kicks her legs, wiggles her body, and scoots around on her back! It's not a very efficient method of transportation, but give her about a half hour to herself, and she can be in a totally different position from where she started. She gave Daddy a scare the other day by starting to scoot off the bed after she had taken a nap! She still napped in our bed sometimes during the day, especially when Daddy would nap with her, but since we realized she was scooting around, that's the end of that! It's crib-city from now on.

So now she's in her crib full-time for naps and overnight stays. A few nights ago I put her down for a nap. No sounds came from the baby monitor for about 30-40 minutes. Then all of a sudden, little whimpers. Her discomfort cry. [As a side note, she only full out wails when she's hungry. At least for right now.] I go in to check on her, and she had scooted herself up into the left hand corner of her crib! She got stuck in the corner and was upset about it. Apparently she's been doing this quite a bit lately, according to Daddy, who's with her all day. My first experience with it was that night, and it made me laugh when I looked into her crib, and I saw feet around where her head was supposed to be! She was perfectly fine, still on her back, and her left side and top of her head snugly up against the crib bumpers. Even though there's reported controversy about crib bumpers, I'm glad we have them, because otherwise her wiggling arms and legs would have been hitting those crib bars and who knows what might have happened after that!

Our baby girl is becoming mobile. And stronger and smarter every day. I'm pretty sure she'll be crawling, standing, walking, and running around before we know it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Working Mommy

I'm a full-time working mommy. I get to come home for lunch, and occasionally work from home in the afternoons (it's rare, though, only when work is particularly slow). I'm also exclusively breastfeeding/pumping.

Has anyone ever told you that being a working, new mommy is tough? Well, in case you haven't heard, I'm here to tell you: It is. I think it is especially so for mommies who still nurse and/or pump, as I do. I get up at least an hour earlier than I used to every morning so I can either feed Annelise when she's awake, or pump to save for later. (I shouldn't really complain too much about this one, though. Annelise is pretty consistently an awesome sleeper! No middle-of-the-night feedings in quite awhile!) But when Annelise's sleep schedule is off from mine, I feel like I'm a slave to the pump. Sitting there pumping for so long each day, and then cleaning all the parts and bottles after that. Now, I know I'm complaining a little bit. It's just human nature. (yeah, that's what I'm going with...) But in reality, I really am glad that I'm able to nurse and provide Annelise with breastmilk. It's the best thing for her!

Another tough part about being a working mommy, is the lack of face time with Annelise. I see her some mornings, some lunch times, and usually for awhile in the evenings. Which is great! More than lots of working mommies get to see their babies! But I still get jealous. Jealous of her daddy who's home all day and sees all of her latest tricks, newest vocal noises, or even just getting to change her dirty diapers. I get jealous of friends who come over while I'm gone and get to experience her while I don't. And maybe that's where more of my apprehension to getting a babysitter comes into play. I'm  jealous of my baby girl's time. Is that normal? Please tell me it is. I don't mean to say that others shouldn't also enjoy how awesome she is, even went I can't. It's just... something I have to deal with and accept. I can't be with her 24/7!

There are some advantages to being a working mommy, though. I get to get out of the house on a consistent basis, hang out with adults, be mentally productive, and make the money! And we're really blessed that I have a job that pays well enough that Mark isn't required to find another job and put Annelise in daycare. So that's awesome. I also like that I get to have a life outside of the home, and my brain continues to be utilized in more technical and engineering related ways than I would be at home with a baby all day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taking to the Car

Annelise had her first big road trip over New Year's weekend. We were visiting Mark's aunt and cousin in San Antonio, which is about a 4 hour drive away for us. Which is just barely longer than the amount of time between her meals during the day. So we anticipated her getting cranky near the end of our trip.

Well, Friday morning I went to work as usual, and then after lunch we got everything ready to go for the big adventure. I fed Annelise while Mark finished up packing the car. We changed her diaper just before heading out, and then we were off!

For the most part, Annelise handled the car ride very well. She slept sometimes, and was awake for others. You could definitely see it in her face that she doesn't like sitting in one spot for extended periods of time. She likes moving and wiggling around! But she tolerated the ride, as you can see... (yay pictures!)

When we got into San Antonio, she was so hungry and needed a changing! The wailing cry began about 15 minutes before we got to the house, but once we were there, we quickly got her fed and she was happy to be with new people, and to see new things.

On the way back, we didn't have the timing worked out quite as perfectly as when we left, so I think it was about an hour or so after she had eaten when we finally hit the road. Of course, she got hungry about half way through, so we fed her what was left from her bottle from earlier. Then, of course, to make our experience as parents more exciting, she had a blow-out diaper. Luckily, we were already stopped at a gas station getting snacks and a bathroom break for us adults. Apparently Annelise needed a potty break, too! So, I took her into the bathroom and changed her outfit, and several sympathetic women walked by and said how cute she was, or how funny it was that babies always seem to make the most mess at the most inopportune times.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, except for the fact that Annelise was more hungry after clearing out her digestive tract... and got cranky about 30 minutes before we got home. Lots of attempts to console her for short periods of time were performed, and eventually we got home, fed her, and everybody was happy. She slept almost all of Monday after that crazy weekend trip experience.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Date Night (or lack thereof)

People are always telling me that I should get a babysitter and go out on a date with Mark, just the two of us.

While I like the idea of getting some time to just hang out with Mark, is it wrong that I would actually rather just hang out with Annelise? I work all day, come home, and sometimes she's sleeping, or I'm exhausted and just want to chill. So sometimes I only get to see her for a few hours a day. I like getting to hang out with my daughter. She needs more time with me! I get jealous that Mark gets to hang out with her all day, even though I know that can be extremely tiring, too. So yeah, I like my daughter and watching her grow. (I also secretly get paranoid that she won't know me as well if I don't spend the maximum amount of time possible with her...)

On the other hand, I do miss the times when Mark and I were completely able to do anything we wanted, without having to worry about Annelise. We can't just head out to Target to check out the videos on sale, or a game store to see if there are any new games we'd like to get. Or just driving out to Denny's or Panera or Jason's Deli... We're not fancy folks. But now we have to plan every outing to anywhere based on Annelise's schedule. No impulse trips anymore. One of us usually ends up going out to get food, order it in, or (gasp!) make something at home, and we just watch movies and play with Annelise at home.

But I'm not complaining, just stating how things are. This is our life as a family, and it's pretty great. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Annelise is finally big enough for her Jumperoo! It's Rainforest themed, and we got it through a neat website called FreeCycle... for free! I had picked it up while I was still about 6 months pregnant from a lady who said her grandson didn't really like it... which didn't make me feel great about my find, but oh well. It was free right? And it was in great condition; just needed a thorough cleaning to make sure Annelise would be safe nomming all over whatever she could get her mouth on.

For the first 3 months of her life, she didn't quite have the head control to safely put her in there, but she's been getting much better; she's starting to hold her head up on her own while sitting upright for more than just a few minutes at a time. So we put her in the Jumperoo, and her feet touch the floor and she can bounce around like crazy! I'm not sure if she has actually connected the dots yet that when she bounces, she makes the thing make animal noises... but I'm pretty sure she understands that when she kicks, she gets to bounce around! She loves it. And it helps her see the whole room without just laying around in her bouncy seat, the swing, or on the floor. It's also really neat to spin her around inside the little seat, so she can be facing us wherever we are in the living room!

The only problem (or benefit?) with this toy, is that it tires her out pretty quickly, and we can't let her fall asleep in it. But you can tell when she's getting tired: the bouncing is much less frequent and her eyes start drooping. We'll take her out around then and put her into her bouncy seat for a bit or maybe hold her, and then transition back to her crib if she stays in the falling asleep mode.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In The Beginning...

Annelise is 3 months old, or 14 weeks. That's 14 weeks of a brand new life. Crazy, hectic, busy life. I've been back at work for longer than I got to spend time with her at home since she was born.  I'm blaming that for why I'm just now getting around to documenting the highlights of her birth. So here we go!

I was induced. I didn't plan on it happening this way, but after reaching almost 41 weeks, my doctor, Mark and I, decided it was best if we get that little girl out soon! So her birth date was set: September 30, 2011.

The evening before she was born had kind of strange feeling for me. I was excited and scared, and I wasn't sure how I'd handle it all. My brain kept coming up with crazy things that could go wrong... I didn't sleep well. I remember coming out  of my bedroom to the living room where my mom was sleeping and joining her in watching The Twilight Zone to keep my mind preoccupied until I just needed to fall asleep. I think it was probably 1:30 or so by that time. I awoke again before my alarm went off at 4:30. I got showered, dressed, and readied myself to go to the hospital with my bags. I think I had one of my Instant Breakfast milk shakes... and that was all I could stomach with the anticipation of what was going to happen to me on that day. (I wasn't supposed to eat much anyway, but I had thought I'd be eating more to prep up for all the energy I'd be expending...)

[The next paragraph is where the birth details come up... skip if you'd like! It's nothing gory, I actually had a pretty easy delivery compared to the many awful stories I had read. I just want to have all these numbers and stats around for myself to reference for possible future pregnancies!]

I was induced on Friday morning after my doctor's appointment on Thursday showed we hadn't progressed past 3cm and I was 50% effaced - same place I was at the week before. I went in to the hospital at 5:30am, and started pitocin at 6am. I had actually been having mild contractions that morning already without the pitocin, according to the monitor thingy, so that was good news. And the fact that I couldn't yet feel them was also good news! After getting all hooked up, I basically just waited (chatted with Jennie, Josh, Mark, and my mom, hung out Facebook, watched Beauty and the Beast and Enchanted, ate ice chips...) as they slowly increased increased the dosage. Our amazing nurse Judy (I loved her so much!!!) kept telling me that I was impressive for doing so well. Apparently most women start hating her at about 9 or 10am, when the dosage is high and the contractions are really intense. I didn't feel any of the contractions all morning, even though they were definitely getting more intense according to the monitor. I can't exactly remember now, but I think maybe it was just around 12:30 or 1 when I started feeling the contractions a bit.

It was around this point where my friends and family decided they were hungry. They got Panera. I was jealous. ...continuing on....

 By 1:30pm I was at 4cm and 75% effaced, and my doctor came in and broke my water. After that, things got going super fast, at least it felt that way to me. Contractions got closer together and way more painful. I opted for the epidural, and that came at about 2:45. I actually almost missed my chance. There were multiple c-sections happening that day, so the anesthesiologist was incredibly swamped. But she got there just in time when the pain was almost at an unbearable state! The epidural was kinda intense to get, and my back was a little sore in that spot for a few weeks after the birth, but it was totally worth it. For an hour, I had no pain, though I was feeling more and more tired, since my body was working like crazy and I couldn't feel it. Then at 3:45pm my nurse came and checked me again and I was fully effaced, 9cm, and she was in the +1 station. It was time to call my doctor and start some pushing! I remember the entire room changed its look, and all of a sudden it had transformed from labor room to delivery room! There were huge flood lights pointed at me from the ceiling, and tables filled with silvery metal tools wheeled around me everywhere. And faster than I expected, our little girl made her appearance! She was born at 4:54pm, though the whole process felt like just a second passed by as things were moving so fast all around me. She was 20.5 inches long, 8 lbs 4 oz, and a cute little head of dark hair. So perfect.

One of the best parts of the day was that my dad was able to be there for the delivery. He literally drove into the hospital parking lot from his straight, 16-something hour drive down from Iowa and made it there at maybe... 4:30? Close to that. I was about to cry when I saw him walk into the room, but I had to save my energy to keep pushing! It was so great to have family and a few friends there, and the amazing doctors and nurses who kept really good care of us the entire time.

The very first glimpse I got of Annelise was with her eyes wide open. She had the biggest, deepest blue eyes ever! I couldn't believe how beautiful she was! Holding her in my arms felt surreal. I couldn't believe she was mine. Mark and I had a daughter. I had birthed a child. That was one epic day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Time Is Flying

Sometimes I get overly emotional inside about how quickly Annelise is growing. I don't let it get out though, but is this how parenting is? It's crazy how happy I am one minute, seeing her cute little face learning and experience the world around her. And then the next, my heart is hurting for how quickly she's growing and how much she is changing. I just need more time at each of her little stages so I don't forget them!

She's now 3 months and talks to us all the time. Sometimes we think she sounds like a fake baby! Those little noises are too cute to come out of a human being! She seems to be testing out the different noises she can make: raspberries with her lips, blowing little bubbles, squealing really high-pitched adorable little girl noises, and sometimes trying to say words like "haaaiii!" or "heeey" or... I'm not sure. I think she's just trying to figure her voice out though. She's adorable.

Annelise has also just recently moved into her big girl crib in her own room, another milestone that is both exciting and hard for me. I miss her sleeping in our room with us... those are times we'll never get to have again. But on the other hand, I'm glad she is getting old enough that she can handle sleeping through the night on her own, and Daddy sleeps so much better. I'm a heavier sleeper, so I never noticed her dreaming whimpers during the night like he does.

[Update: The following picture is her in the morning after her first night. (I had it on my phone and didn't get it on the computer til now...) Now, I know, I know, she's not supposed to have all those blankets around her. But we were transitioning her into the crib, and they helped immensely. She also didn't move around too much at that time, because she was still used to the limited space of her bassinet. We could never leave her in there with those now because she'd fall in the space and suffocate or something horrible like that. Anyway, here's the happy picture of her peacefully sleeping!]

She just moved into her 1-2 diapers today. They're Pampers Baby Dry, and we've decided we don't like those because they make her too dry. And they're hard to tell when they're full. Surprisingly, the Target diapers are my favorite so far. But we've got 200 Pampers to go through, so that's that for now.

At her most recent weigh-in, she's 13.5 pounds! And she almost doesn't fit to lay her down on the couch cushions any more (but we didn't actually measure her length). Her feet hang off the edge of the couch! She's growing much, much too fast.