Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alexandra is 5 months old! May 20th, 2010!

Alexandra is 5 months today, May 20th, 2010!

Dear Alexandra-
My sweet little girl! You are growing and discovering so much in the past month! I love watching you as you grow! You just become sweeter with every passing day. Describing how much I love you still just isn't possible-you are my heart and soul and my sun, moon, and stars-you give me direction and purpose. While I love each new discovery and can't wait for the next, the words of a song that we listen to while making dinner sometimes ring so true-

I hope that maybe
You'll stay a baby
If only for just
One more day

Time marches on and brings wonderful things, but sometimes I just wish we could freeze it for awhile, so I could enjoy your wonderful-ness a little longer!

You are really rolling now, in both directions, left and right, from your back to your stomach! And recently you figured out how to get back to your back when you get tired of being on your stomach! It's so cute to see you rolling one way, then rolling back the other way-you are really moving! When you are on your tummy, you kick your feet and move your legs like you want to crawl. You haven't figured it out yet, but I can see it coming! It won't be long before you are truly mobile! I've started baby-proofing, starting with our bedroom in anticipation!

You had your first full day at daycare on the May 18th. I dropped you off at around 9am and you stayed until 5:30pm. Daddy went with me to pick you up and we took a photo with Leticia! You did so well! You are taking the bottle without a fight, and see to do better and better each day! You were more needy that night and nurse more than usual, but you only woke up once in the middle of the night which is not unusual! I was worried that you might wake up many times, but you didn't! I'm so glad that you feel comfortable with Leticia and the three other kids at daycare. I'm very glad that we've taken the time to ease into it, even if I would have rather had you all that time, I think it was important to make it an easier transition for us both! I'm also very happy that your friend from our mom's group, Amelia, will be going to daycare with you! I hope that you and Amelia will become great friends, and that her mom and I will grow our friendship too!

We've been growing our friendships with all the other moms and babies from our moms group this month as well! We've had several events, one get together at Portia's house, 2 park afternoons that I planned, and just today, a scrapbooking day at Jamie's house! We've had a lot of fun getting to know other mommy's and babies! I enjoy their company, especially since they understand the joys and challenges of being a new mommy, and you like watching and playing with the other babies!

I've definitely enjoyed our park afternoons! We've done two with the other mommy's, and one with Grandma DiDi. It's so nice to just enjoy the warm air and the cool breeze in the late afternoon, and you like watching the leaves and the shadows above!

Another fun event was our trip to Scripps to see your "aunties" Jung, Helen, and Lilybeth! We had fun seeing Julie from CP&R, hanging out on the lawn, and seeing Prof. Boucquey! It was nice to show you around Scripps and it was such a beautiful, perfect day! Hanging out on the lawn like the old days was wonderful to do with you too! It was such a reminder of where I've come from and how far I've come!

We've started giving you more baths in the last week or so. Between spitting up and being a messy bottle eater, you get all messy and smelly and sticky by the end of the day! You see to really like the tummy tub, and it's a nice routine at the end of the day! Also, I've cleaned of my big chair in our bedroom and we've been reading a book there in the evening! You like to snuggle in on my lap and I love this time! You seem fascinated by books and words and text (I often find you "reading" the warning label on your car seat right after I put you in!!) and I hope this continues and you develop a love for reading!

We've started introducing more toys to you, though still not a lot. Grandma DiDi gave you your Sophie that she and Grandpa JohnJohn gave you awhile back. You LOVE the squeak sound it makes and just smiled for miles when we first gave it to you. You try to chew on here, but are not quite successful yet, as it takes a little more coordination than you have to get the other end to your mouth, but you are working on it! You also enjoy your little Winnie-the-Pooh toys (you've only seen Tigger and Eeyore so far) as well as your Paddywackers! But mostly you just enjoy "chatting" and playing with us and don't need too many extra toys yet. You have lots to play with at Leticia's anyway! Grandma DiDi also enjoyed giving you a bottle while I made dinner! You did very well and took almost 2 oz! I love that other people can feed you now and that you don't have to rely on me, although I'm not about to give up any feedings I don't have to! Breastfeeding still remains very enjoyable for both of us. I wanted to breastfeed for a year, but now I plan on continuing until you want to stop. I'm hoping that pumping at work doesn't prove to be too difficult!

You rent through a little development growth spurt last week. You had a hard time when you got tired and cried and got very fussy. You were didn't want anyone else to hold you other than your Daddy and I, and you even got upset at daycare when Sydney brought Amelia! At first I thought it was stranger anxiety, but then Adeline at our mom's group said that she could see that you were learning so much and were very busy and that it was probably that. Sure enough, you did great when we visited you KQ aunties and others at Scripps on Tuesday, 5/11 and have been fine since, even letting a man who sat next to us in restaurant that we talked with hold you!

Other interesting things:
You don't seem to be growing rapidly anymore-you are eating as much as ever, but your growth has leveled off. Whereas you were once one of the bigger babies for your age, you are now looking a little small! I love it because I just want you to stay cute and small forever!
At 5 months, you are wearing some 3 month outfits still! You are also wearing some 3-6 month outfits as well.

Well, my sweet one, stay sweet and lovely as you are!
I love you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alexandra is 4 months old! April 20th, 2010!

My Dear, Sweet, Wonderful Alexandra-

Have I told you how much I love you? I don't think you can comprehend just how much I love you! I am just overflowing with love for you and I am constantly overwhelmed by your wonderful-ness! You Daddy thinks so too! The other day we were marveling at the fact that just 4 short months ago, you didn't exist in this world. Just a year ago, we were in an entirely different place (emotionally especially) and we were longing and wishing for you. How utterly and profoundly amazing it is that just a year later, you are here, now, right in from of us and we can touch you and hear your coos and giggles, and see your smiles You are a lifetime wishes and dreams manifest. You are everything that we wished for and SO SO much more! You have far surpassed our expectations of what parenthood would be like! We both agree that it has been the most amazing ride of our lives!

This month has brought so many wonderful things!

You are so much more aware and in possession of yourself and your body! You smile at us all the time and your beginning to giggle! We went out walking one evening and stopped by our neighbors front yard to talk to meet them and chat. Our neighbor was swinging her little girl in a swing in their porch. You watched intently and then startled giggling and squealing with delight! You thought it was so funny! You kept this up for a good 5 minutes! It's so much fun to see you discovering the world and having your own thoughts and opinions about it! No doubt, you wanted to jump right in that swing yourself by your reaction! A good way to make you laugh now is to say the word "giggle" in a high pitched voice. You find it hilarious and it always produces a smile and often a laugh!! Your belly laughs are the best!

At the beginning of April, you started daycare. It was so hard to leave you, but I'm so glad that we are easing you into this-both for you and for me! We started with an hour on the first day (I cried once I left you!) and have been working our way up. You are getting better with the bottle, but mainly just fuss when you get tired, take a little milk with the bottle, and then fall asleep. This seems to be how you deal with being apart and not being able to nurse. Its making me very nervous for when I go back to work next month, but it's definitely an improvement as you screamed the first time we tried to give you a bottle! I am so happy that we found the daycare provider that we did-Leticia is very sweet and you seem to like her and being there. You've never cried when I've left-you are all smiles when I drop you off and all smiles when I pick you up! I would much rather you stay with me, of course, but since you have to go to daycare, I'm so happy that it's in a good environment! I hope that you grow to love Leticia and that you like going to daycare. I'm also happy that the group that she has is all girls! Hopefully you'll make some good friends!

You are enjoying your baths in the Tummy Tub! I hesitated getting it because it just looks like a bucket, but it's perfect for you! You like being in the warm water and splashing. It's a nice winddown at the end of the day, and you go right to sleep after nursing on the days you take a bath!

In your Tummy Tub (see video HERE)

You've definitely found your fingers and your thumb! Your hands go to your mouth more and more often and you use your thumb to self soothe sometimes! I'm very happy that you've found a way to soothe ourself-you don't need to often as I always respond quickly (I won't let you "cry it out" ever and I'm not planning on it) but there are times in the car when I can't get there right away and it's good that you can call on your thumb! With sucking on your fingers comes lots of drool! It gets everywhere and sometimes I have you wear a bib to keep you from soaking the front of your outfit! I was wondering if you were teething, but you don't seem to have any teeth coming in yet-(I hope they wait awhile! I'm not ready for that!) You have also started taking a pacifier-you don't take it all the time, but seems to soothe you if you get tired and can't seem to find your thumb. Rocking you in the glider with the pacifier seems to help you relax and go to sleep in the later afternoon.

You are a good sleeper so far at night! I nurse you around 9pm and you go right to sleep. If the lights are off and it's quiet, you often sleep right through til 6:30am. If you've been at Leticia's for a few hours and didn't get to nurse (and wouldn't take the bottle) then you are a bit clingy-er and wake up to eat once or twice in the night. Sometimes also you just wake up around midnight to eat again. I dont' mind though-it's just another chance for us to have our special time together. For the most part, I feel very lucky with your sleep habits and hope you keep it up!

Sleeping Beauty!

While you are a great nighttime sleeper, you don't sleep well during the day unless I'm holding you. Once I put you down, you wake up after a few minutes. I've been trying to read your patterns though and several times I've put you down in your crib for 2 or 3 minutes to use the bathroom or do something and I comeback and find that you are sleepy and are sucking your thumb or fingers and pretty soon have fallen asleep! These naps only last about 45 minutes, but I'm glad you are learning to put yourself to sleep! I'm not complaining though about your lack of daytime naps-if it leads to you sleeping well at night, I don't want to change anything!

You are very vocal and you love "talking." Sometimes you squeal or yell to get our attention, and sometimes you just like to exercise your vocal cords! I love it and we like to have "conversations back and forth. You are a much more active participant now in these conversations than you used to be, using your voice at full volume, instead of just cooing! You usually only talk when we are at home, though-when we are out, you are usually just quietly taking it all in. See a video of you talking HERE

You had your first big trip in early April. We went to Santa Barbara to see Grandma Didi, Grandpa JohnJohn, and Auntie Gretchen (who hasn't seen you since you were 7 days old!). They all loved seeing you! It was a bit of a tough trip for you as it was your first time in such a new environment, away from home for so long. We also went to Auntie Gretchen's bridal shower, so you met lots of people and all the excitement was hard for you! You were great though, and were still smily by the end of the trip. It was clear that you were so glad to be home, though because you fell asleep into the most peaceful sleep immediately with Daddy when we got home that night!

With Auntie Gretchen

You love to watch other babies and we always have fun at our Mom's group! I pull you close to the other babies and you stare at them and look and stare some more! You are very attentive when you are interested in something and you can hold your attention for a long time! We don't have any toys for you other than your baby gym which we use several times a week for tummy time. Other than that, you seem very content with just us and we try to make lots of eye contact and talk to you all the time!

With Nathan at Mom's Group

You love looking at the picture of Eeyore on the wipes box. There are other Winnie-The-Pooh characters on the box, but you only have eyes for Eeyore. You smile at him, stare at him, and reach for him! I sometimes say "where's Eeyore? Find your Eeyore" (yes, he is your Eeyore) and you smile and look over in his direction! When I say his name, you know what I'm talking about! You are so smart!

With "Your Eeyore"

Towards the end of the month, you found your feet one day! Now when you are on your back, you often reach for your feet. You aren't pulling them to your mouth, just reaching for them (Happy baby yoga pose!). Shortly after that, you started rolling from your back to your tummy! Without warning one day your just rolled! I was, of course, surprised, but you acted like you'd been doing it forever! Now, when we put you on your back, you immediate put your legs up and start rolling! It's pretty funny! It also makes for a challenging changing time because you always want to roll over to your Eeyore! See the video HERE

Alexandra finds her feet!

Your 4 month appt went well. You got more shots, which you didn't like, but you were very good and only cried for about 10 seconds until it was over and I picked you up! Then you were your old happy self again! Your growth has slowed down and you are about average on the growth charts, which the Dr said is normal for breast fed babies.
Your weight: 14lbs 1.5oz (55th %ile)
Your length:
Your head:
I really like your pediatrician, Dr Ball. He's very laid back and easy going and gives great advice. He gave us the go ahead to start you on solid food if we want, but said it would be better to wait until you are 6 months since I'm breastfeeding you. This made me happy, because I'm not ready to give up any of our feedings yet! We'll start you on solids after your 6 month appt in June.

At your 4 month appointment

Everyone always comments on what a beautiful baby you are (in fact Dr Ball even said that you could be a baby model!) People are alway saying how cute babies are, but people say you are beautiful! I have to agree! You are the most beautiful being, inside and out!

I love watching your grow and discover new things-each discovery is so amazing! You are amazing! I can't believe how far you've come in just 4 short months!

I love you baby girl! You are the light of my life!

Love forever,