Monday, March 26, 2012

First Foods and Family Time

March has proven to be the most difficult month we have encountered for Rob's schedule. It seems like he is living at the hospital, coming home just in time to sleep for a few hours here and there! Most of the time I am solo parenting which can be challenging on "fussy baby" days but is nothing compared to the work Rob is putting in. Still, having been through medical school we know "this too shall pass" and it will be April before we know it. Annabelle and I have been taking advantage of this unbelievable weather and go for walks or a run almost every single day. What a huge blessing for me as otherwise Bella and I would be spending the majority of our time alone in the house. 

One of Rob's co-workers sent him home an hour early one day during the week after Daylight Saving Time. Because of the time change and him being off early we caught the last hour or so of sunlight. We had no plan in place but wanted to enjoy the sun so we ordered a pizza and headed to Lakewood Park which overlooks lake Erie. This park is just about a mile and a half from our house and has beautiful view of the lake and the Cleveland skyline. The lake was a pale blue and completely matched the sky. You have to look really closely at the picture to see the line of the lake, but it is there in the background.

I am never one to miss a photo-op so I made Rob take a few pictures of me and Annabelle. I realized I spend so much time taking photos that I don't have one with her since she was 6 weeks old.

We also asked someone to take a family photo (much to Rob's dismay!).

Rob had one of his scheduled days off on March 7th. He started the day off by trying to make an uncooperative Bella cuddle in the morning.

 She didn't like it very much...

 We had decided the next time Robbie had a day off we would feed Annabelle her first meal. We started with rice cereal.

Daddy and Annabelle getting ready for the first bite

First bite


Annabelle loves reading books as long as we don't hold her while we are reading them. We lay on the floor and she "turns" the pages. By that I mean she hits them all until we manage to grab one away from her. When we pull out a book - especially one of her favorites like the animal sounds book - she starts to wiggle her whole body and gets very excited. It is so, so cute!

One of Annabelle's favorite things now is bath time. She kicks the water as hard as she can and splashes everywhere. We end up getting soaked in the process but it's just too darn cute!

St. Patrick's day ended up being the day Robbie transitioned from working days to working nights so he was off during the day and went to work at 5 p.m. We dressed Annabelle in a lime green onesie and spent the day listening to Irish music and spending time together. We have one lone daffodil in our backyard that Bella loves to touch so after we finished a walk we took her to see it.

In honor of the day, I made some Irish soda bread. Rob and I were enjoying eating a slice of it when I looked over and saw Bella literally drooling while watching us eat. She can't wait to try her mommy's cooking!

Drooling over the soda bread

Rob's arm is covered - yuck!!
Here's to hoping we get to see each other more in April. We are surviving the month and enjoying each precious minute we get together!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rolling right along...

Wish I could keep up with this a bit better since there are so many funny stories that I already can't remember. I'm sure it will only get worse with age and more kids!

We've gone through ups and downs the past few months but it seems like every day now she has a new "trick" and is now growing up before our eyes. For the moment it is somewhat like having a really funny (and high maintenance) pet. In the past few months Annabelle has:
  • Gotten her first (and second) immunization shots
  • Learned to blow spit bubbles
  • Started giggling
  • Slept through the night, then didn't, and now does again! (can't figure her out!)
  • Rolled, rolled, and then rolled some more
  • Had some killer melt-downs
  • Had her first (non-family) "babysitter"
  • Found her toes
  • Started sleeping without her swaddle for naps
  • Imitated sounds we make and noises she hears
  • Grabs and hold objects
  • Grown some of her hair back - lots of peach fuzz :)
Look at my hair!!

January was a busy month. We tried to get settled down again after all the holiday visitors. Annabelle started sleeping 9-11 hours straight during the night which definitely helped her mom and dad feel more energetic.

The weekend following her 3 month birthday we took a trip back to Chicago to introduce her to more family and friends. We had planned to come out a few weeks earlier but one of the only snowstorms of the year stopped us from making the trip (which ended up being ok because Robbie got terribly sick that weekend). The second attempt went better although we did hit some scary lake-effect snow near Sandusky! The Tanzers had a little gathering and we got to see quite a few people (although I didn't manage to get many pictures). Since our first trip back was really short (this one was too) we were excited to be able to spend a little more time with family and friends. My sister and best friend, Katie, who live in Chicago also came out for an evening/morning. Here are the very few photos I did manage to get from the weekend:

Bella took a nap during the party and woke up to see Aunt Marie's face. She promptly burst into tears. Poor thing (and poor Aunt Marie!). Luckily it wasn't personal - she was much happier after she woke up a bit!

Annabelle also got to meet a very important member of the Tanzer family, Cali! They both did great and I think Bella is going to be a dog person (which made her dad very happy). 

Bella did great in the car - we left super early in the morning so she slept in the car most of the way out but still cried whenever we would slow down or stop to pay tolls, etc. On the way back she did great most of the way but cried for about 45 minutes near her bedtime before falling asleep. We stopped along the road and I hopped in the backseat hoping to soothe her but promptly fell asleep once she stopped crying leaving a tired Robbie at the helm. If you know me at all, you know the level of exhaustion I must have been feeling. I simply do not sleep anywhere except my bed and (try as I may) cannot nap. Coincidentally, we think Annabelle got my sleeping difficulties (yikes!). 

We got home and again tried to get back into a routine. On the 30th I laid Bella down on the floor in the living room on her back and went into the kitchen to get my lunch ready. I heard a few whimpers and then silence so I popped my head in to check on her and found her calmly hanging out on her tummy! She figured that one out more quickly than we thought she would...I got a video of her second back to tummy roll a few minutes later. You can see it by clicking on the link to the Bella videos on the right-hand side of the blog page. 

She quickly figured out how to put together rolling "sequences" to roll to a different location. I found this out the hard way by putting her down in the middle of the floor (in just her diaper) while I ran upstairs to grab the sheets off our bed for the laundry. When I came back downstairs I found her under the table! Somehow she had rolled and rotated herself halfway across the room. I picked her up and had to brush the dust bunnies off her little bare tummy!

The beginning of February was fairly calm. We stayed home as much as we could and tried to enjoy some time together as a family. Bella regressed a bit sleeping-wise for a few weeks but bounced back and started sleeping up to 10 hours a night again. Here's a few photos of our family time:
Robbie reads a woodworking magazine to Bella
This is a game we play with Bella called "Super Baby!"
Crime fighting face

Diaper rash is something that constantly flares up for the poor little girl and when it does, she gets to roll around on the living room floor pants-less (don't worry, we put down towels!). She absolutely loves it! There is a video showing exactly how much she loves it and here are a few photos. Scroll down quickly if you are opposed to seeing Bella sans diaper...

One night when Robbie was playing with Bella, he held her up to his face and said, "Tell daddy you love him." Bella instantly looked horrified and screamed in his face. Not the answer he was expecting I think. I just looked at him and said, "Well, you asked..."

Bella started giggling in the middle of February. There is another video of Robbie playing with her when she first started giggling (February 19th). 

Within the span of a week, Bella had two major meltdowns that terrified me to death! The first happened when we went out for a walk. Typically she enjoyed these, even cat napping for 15-20 minutes during most walks. For some reason on this walk I got as far out as I wanted to go with her (25 minutes), turned around to head back to the car and she began to cry. She didn't stop crying until l..o...n...g after the walk. I felt terrible. She cried and cried until finally she ate and collapsed about an hour after we got home. I still have no idea what brought that on. Six days later we had Annabelle's 4 month check up at the pediatrician. I took her by myself since Robbie was working. She was her usual, content little self as we drove there and waited in the lobby. As soon as we stepped into the exam room she started high pitched squealing! Robbie happened to get off work early and gave me a call. I begged him to come meet us before she had to get her shots and he made it there halfway through the appointment. Bella continued squealing so loudly I couldn't hear half of what the pediatrician was saying...she actually calmed down a bit during the shots and stopped crying almost the instant we left the exam room. Our doctor said something about stranger/danger phase but she seems to have no fear of anyone I hand her off to and has never reacted that way before. We both are a little scared she just has a really good memory and remembered her shots a few months ago! She is still a growing girl. Here are her stats from the 4 month appointment: 15 lbs. 4 oz. (97th percentile); 26 inches (97th); and 41.5 cm for head circumference (75th). 

My parents came to visit from February 23rd - February 27th. They were also celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary (congratulations to them!). We mostly just hung out around the house playing with Annabelle. She was fascinated watching my dad play Angry Birds and my mom got to help out with bath time one day. They also graciously offered to watch her for a few hours so Robbie and I could sneak away for a lunch date for the first time in four months. We vowed not to talk about the baby but halfway through lunch the conversation inevitably turned to her. Oh well, we just have to try to get out more!! Here are a few pictures of my parents and Annabelle:

Grampy tries to entice Annabelle with more exciting toys

On February 29th my friend Joslyn invited me to go to her salon to be a demo person while they had a hair coloring class. I took her up on that and left Bella with my friend Sara who lives across the street with her husband, Kyle, and twin girls. Bella did surprisingly well although she wouldn't take a bottle or nap until I got home. I came back to an exhausted but happy little girl who quickly ate and passed out.

We also got to see our friends Jenay, Chris, and their little girl Lucy a few times over the past month. Lucy was born January 4th. We snapped this picture of both of them sporting "winter" attire one day when Jenay and Lucy came over to visit!

That brings us pretty close to the first week of March. Nothing too exciting has happened to us so far this month. On March 3rd Bella found her toes during a diaper change. She was a little obsessed for awhile but alternates between that,  putting things in her mouth (especially her fingers),

 chewing on her tongue,

blowing spit bubbles, rolling, kicking the floor,

Yes, that is my foot in your camera!

doing mini-crunches (trying to sit up), grabbing her toes,

and touching/grabbing onto anything she can get her hands on!

Every day she has a new "trick" which cracks Robbie up when he gets home. 

Her new obsession is watching us eat and trying to grab whatever we are eating or drinking.  The other night Robbie had a beer with his dinner and, after she unsuccessfully tried swiping it from him, I asked her, "Is daddy teaching you bad things?" to which she looked at me and replied, "yeah". Robbie and I both paused and then busted up laughing. It was clear as day (even if she didn't know it!).

She is starting to really love her baths, kicking and splashing everywhere! She grabs the washcloth to suck on and in general seems to want to make a big commotion. Pretty soon we will need to get a tub that can hold a bit more water :) I'm going to try and get a video of her next bath because it is just too cute!

We got a new BOB jogging stroller this week and it is amazing! The sidewalks in our neighborhood are so bumpy but this stroller makes walks a lot smoother. Rob and I took her out the day we got it and I went out with her today when it was in the mid 60s. She seems to like it and will actually take a nap in it (hallelujah!).

All bundled up for a walk!
On our walk today at Metro Park
As usual, here are some random photos from the last few weeks:

Swinging with her favorite blankie

Love sitting in my boppy (for a few minutes)

So good at tummy time now - she does it on her own

This is how I found her after her nap!

Annabelle loves her sock monkey :)

This series was just too funny not to put on here in full...(she was biting on her tongue)...