Saturday, January 16, 2010

All Michaela, all the time!

Today is about Michaela. Why? Because exactly 6 months ago from this moment (about 9:30 Alaska time), my interthecal block was wearing off, the nurse had pushed pitocin against my wishes, and I wanted to die from the horrific pain in my back as I tried to bring this wonderful little girl into the world. HA! About an hour after that, I was reluctantly signing the consent form for my c-section. And about an hour and a half after that, Michaela made her appearance!

The last six months have absolutely flown by and neither one of us can imagine life without her in it. Ok, well, there would be more traveling, and better nights out at the movies (where we both get to stay in our seats the whole time without having to visit the crying room to calm down a baby who should be asleep), and definitely a LOT more sleeping, but our lives wouldn't be nearly as rich as they are now. And I really mean that.

So other than saying that the last six months have been great (almost) all the time and that I never could've imagined the depth of love you could have for a single little person, I don't have that much to say. I'll give you captions on the pictures, but we'll just let everyone soak in the Michaela-goodness!

NOT a fan of peas. We'll try again some other time...

We busted out the Kelty backpack this week. We had a day that was warm enough to skip the extra blankets, and the potholes are too much even for the Bob (thanks to 3 weeks of rain), so we figured we'd try a new ride. She didn't like it until we started moving. Then she enjoyed being up so high!

Yeah, she can sleep anywhere. She fell asleep at some point on the walk and we managed to get her off Jason's back and moved around the living room before she eventually woke up. No, this is not the only picture of this. Silly girl.

Today we tried green beans. I think more got in her mouth than everywhere else, but I can't be sure. Like her handiwork on the tray?

We switched back to the old standby of rice cereal and sweet potatoes later today, but mixed it up with a few bites of green bean as well. This would be the end result of that. She likes to "help" get the spoon in her mouth... yeah, not so much a help as painting on her face!

The big girl hanging out in her highchair! Jason made a comment about how different she was in just six months... from a helpless, tiny(ish... I don't think 8lb, 13oz counts as tiny) little baby to this baby who can sit up in a high chair (or on the floor by herself) and eat real food and make faces and crack us up!

And, finally, a 6-month portrait. We're having real ones done by my friend Amy later this week (she's just starting a photography business here in Kodiak and we already had some pictures done with her... check out her blog - Simply b photos), but I had to get at least one on the actual day. This took many tries because my goober of a daughter keeps trying to look around the camera to find me. So between her being all crooked and leaning over to the side, and me just laughing at her, it took a while to get a good shot! See, she cracks us up!

Someone asked us the other day if we now wished we'd had a baby sooner than we did. I mean, really, 10 years after getting married we FINALLY got around to it. But I told him that I think Michaela arrived at just the right time. There will never be any "what-if's" or "I wish I woulda's" for us in terms of the other goals and things we wanted to achieve (at least for me... I think Jason would agree). For that, I'm so thankful because it means I can really just enjoy my daughter and appreciate the blessing she is to us!

Happy Half Birthday, Sweet Girl. Mommy and Daddy love you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stop Growing Up!!!

Not only are there teeth in the baby's mouth, but she's just picking up on all other new skills, too. She's still only rolling from her belly to her back - mostly because she HATES being on her belly and that's her way off of it - but today she decided sitting up might be fun, too. What the heck?! She has GOT to stop growing up. I mean, seriously.

Yesterday, we sat her up and she lasted about five seconds. We were pretty impressed, but it only happened once and we couldn't get her to do it again. Then today when I went to feed her at lunchtime at daycare, I tried again and she lasted a little longer, even managing to keep herself upright when she started to wobble.

And then, the next thing you know, I sat her up tonight to show her new skill to Jason, and she just stayed there! Eventually she toppled over (yay for soft carpet!), but we kept sitting her back up again and she was hanging out. She even did really well balancing and catching herself when she needed to. I can't believe she's old enough to be sitting already! I have no idea how the last (almost) six months have gone by so quickly!

I mean, LOOK at that! She's just sitting there, waving... well, maybe flailing, but whatever. The point is, she's SITTING with nothing around her. How did this happen?!

Of course, she's only so good at it.... what goes up, must come down, right?

Is it me, or does it look like she's saying, "Enough with the camera, Ma. Just get me off my belly!"

Add to all of this the fact that she's turning into a major chowhound on the solid food front, and it's like we have an actual little person on our hands! Crazy!!!

I have two great videos to upload, but I tried to get both of them up tonight and even though they weren't that long, they were taking forEVER to process, so I'm going to have to try again when I'm not trying to finally get to bed at a decent hour. Technology is fabulous, isn't it?

Sigh. Why do they grow so fast?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Playing catch up

I was happy to see that it hadn't been that long since I'd last blogged when I logged in, but it's probably been longer than some of our family would like to see. I'm going to try to do better, I swear. If I have a reason (blogging), I'll probably also be better about taking pictures of Michaela. We've managed to catch all the highlights with her, but I thought I'd be much better about catching everyday moments, too. I think working full time and trying to be the best mom I can is a little harder than I ever thought it would be! I'm still trying to find the right balance without neglecting any specific area. I'll probably get it all figured out just in time to change it all up again.

That change will come this summer when my employment status changes. Right after going back to work from maternity leave, I submitted my request for a temporary separation from the Coast Guard. The approval of that request showed up in my email inbox on Christmas Eve, so, as of 01Sep (or sometime around then), I'll transition to the civilian world for at least two years. I'll have those two years to decide if I want to come back in or not. It's a great program the CG offers to allow career-minded members the chance to take care of whatever personal issues they might have... in my case it's being home with the baby for a little while, but it could also be to explore other employment, go to school, whatever. I'm VERY much looking forward to the time away from work, but it's also very odd to think of myself as something other than a CG officer. Luckily, Jason will keep me close to it, so I won't have to say goodbye completely!

Anyway, obviously, the other big doings around here have been the holidays. Somehow we managed to actually get everything done that we wanted to do before Christmas. The tree went up, the cookies were baked, gifts were bought, wrapped and shipped as necessary, and we even managed to breathe a little bit. Sadly, even with all that being done in plenty of time, we weren't able to enjoy our Christmas very much.... because we got sick, both of us (luckily, the baby didn't get it). We're still not sure exactly what it was, but it's probably safe to say it was just some kind of 24-hour bug. For Jason it lasted a little more than 24 hours... for me, it was more like 3 days. With nursing the baby, I think I just had a hard time getting rehydrated so it kept me down longer. So, the only real pictures we have of Christmas were some I took on Christmas Eve, before we were hit. Here are Michaela and Jason checking out the tree....

I took one picture of Jason and one picture of Michaela on Christmas morning, but neither one of them is worth showing. It's just a good thing Michaela didn't understand Christmas this year! We would've had one very sad girl on our hands!

Kodiak has proven fruitful in the picture taking world again these days. I think it was a couple weeks before Christmas that we woke up one morning to a white wonderland... minus the snow. Everything was coated and sparkly with hoar frost. I grabbed the camera with my macro lens and tried to get a few pictures. It was really cool! This is our front evergreen bush.

Then, just the other day, while finally out on a walk (we had a rough 10-ish days of rain, so walks have been few and far between), we saw what had to have been the biggest eagle we've ever seen. Of course, I didn't have my camera that day, so I brought it the next day, hoping to see the eagle again. Unfortunatley, that one wasn't around, but a juvenile watched us from the top of a tree until it decided to move on. I was super excited to catch him in flight!

More exciting is the fact that the sky is actually blue-ish behind him. We haven't seen much blue sky or sun lately, so we took full advantage of them the couple days they poked out this past week and got Fred out for walks. He's definitely been moping around the house a little bit, which might have something to do with the weather, or with the fact that Michaela has discovered him and decided she likes him. So, anytime he walks by her, she smiles, giggles and reaches for handful of hair. I hope he eventually likes her as much as she likes him!

And, finally, in Michaela news... it's been a big couple of weeks. First, she had her first non-routine visit to the doctor a couple weeks ago. She ran a low-grade fever for a few days, was tugging at her ear, and was pretty stuffy. My untrained diagnosis was teething, but we were worried that it was lingering, so off to the doctor we went. Lo and behold, it was just teething. The fever went away the next day and she was back to herself for a couple weeks. Then, in the past week or so, the drooling started again in earnest, along with an increased level of crankiness and more ear pulling. We figured it was a matter of time until the tooth poked through, but we were very surprised to look at her bottom gum on Thursday (New Year's Eve) and see TWO teeth had made their way through. Since then, we're still experiencing really bad sleep and some crankiness, but we're hoping that'll taper a little now that the teeth have come through. Then we'll just get to gear up for the next round! Mom asked me for pictures of the teeth, but that's going to have to wait until they're a little more visible so that, when we wrestle her down to try to get the picture, it's easier to see them!

In other Michaela news, we had planned to wait until she was 6 months old to start any solid foods, but we caved a little early this week. She literally dove at my pizza the other night, so we thought she might be more ready for food than we thought. She was showing all the rest of the necessary developmental signs as well, so we went for it. We tried rice cereal a couple times, which she ate, but didn't seem to enjoy. I can't blame her on that - it smells and looks terrible! So, since the cereal isn't really necessary, we decided to move onto sweet potatoes. We just tried those tonight, and they were definitely a hit. We had the same mess as the cereal, but the sweet potatoes definitely made more of an impact! She reached for the spoon from the first bite and then proceeded to dive toward it with every bite. That could explain the mess on her face...

We're still not in too big a hurry to pump her full of solid foods, but she's definitely a fan of eating, so we'll be putting the high chair together this week and we might start eating at the table a little more often.

I took a great video tonight of her jumping in her jumperoo, but I've already spent way too long on this post, so I'll save it for tomorrow. Needless to say, she had us cracking up with her crazy jumping! She's also been trying out all kinds of new sounds, the latest of which is something that sounds like she's choking. I could live without that one. But, we'll give it a couple days and she'll move onto something else anyway. Never a dull moment....

So that's it from here. Like I said, I'm going to try really hard to get to this more often, hopefully keeping the posts shorter so it won't take me as long. It's definitely hard finding any "spare" time, though, so I don't make any promises!