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.