Sep 29, 2009

At Last

Sorry it's been a while since my last update. I haven't been taking as many pictures recently, and the work/baby combination takes up quite a bit of time. My schedule's only going to be more packed during the next few weeks, so lower your expectations on posting volume a bit. We've done lots of fun things in the last couple of weeks, but lack of sleep is making them blur together in my brain. A few highlights were a wedding and related activities, visitors with and without other babies, and some quick trips to local restaurants/stores.

Kate's gone from sleeping constantly to having more periods of awake and alert time. Unfortunately, the first of these each day usually comes around 7am. We start putting her to sleep sometime between 8 and 10 each night. She then sleeps for 3-4 hours, and D feeds her before we go to bed (around 1am). Another few hours of sleep is followed by a 4am feeding, then she's back to sleep until 7am. For the last five or six days, she has then woken up and won't go back to sleep. Both of us are completely wiped out by that point (D because of the late-night feedings, me because of the early hour). It results in some half-asleep conversations with the baby, in which we probably make as much sense as she does.

During the day, Kate has been staying awake and interacting much more than before, and sleeping pretty well when it's convenient - like when she's in her car seat while we're out and about. She usually takes a good nap after each feeding, so we can head out as soon as she's done eating and have 3-4 hours of time to work with.

Developmentally, there have been a few advancements, though they're hard to quantify. Her neck muscles are getting a lot stronger, so she can lift her head off our shoulders, turn from side to side, and look around. She's definitely paying more attention to people and making eye contact, and seems to follow us with her eyes when we get up and walk around the room. She still doesn't love tummy time, but she tolerates it, and when we sit her up she gets a lot less grumpy than she used to. We think she's starting to smile, but it's hard to tell the difference between that and the very genuine-looking pseudo-smiles she's given since birth. The pacifier has continued to do wonders, and overall she's a very mellow baby.

There are 17 more pictures on the photo site, and a few below.

Here's the outfit Kate wore to Auntie JJ's wedding. I think her headband looks like a bridal garter, but I don't think the bride minded that she was also wearing white.

When I took this picture, the music was blaring and everyone was dancing up a storm....Kate didn't seem to mind.

This is an odd view, but you can see Kate holding up her head on her own. She looks totally different (mostly skinnier) when we're not holding her up....she actually has a neck!

Kate's trying out her new bows (and loving that pacifier!).

She enjoyed her last bath much more than she had previously. No crying, no fussing....though the pacifier probably helped.

Sep 22, 2009


It's funny how infant milestones are measured in so many different units. When you're our age, the only thing that really matters is years....I'm thirty years old, but I might let someone know when I turn thirty-one. Once you hit forty or fifty (or sixty, depending on your self-confidence), you start counting milestones in decades. Of course, once you get past a hundred, then you start counting by years again....just ask Al Roker and Willard Scott on The Today Show. But when you're an infant, it starts at hours and goes up from there.

On August 18, we were counting up the hours to twenty-four. Then we started counting days, up to about two weeks. I think weeks will stick around for about two months. For instance, Kate turned four weeks old last Monday, and five weeks old today. And though four weeks sounds like a month, we also counted last Thursday as her one-month birthday. One month also means that we went to the pediatrician for her one month check-up.

Kate's check-up went really well. She got a clean bill of health, plus her second was a shot in her thigh, and she only cried for about five seconds. She also had the all-important (though I'm not sure why) weigh-in. We knew she had been growing, but it was cool to get an official reading. She's now 22 and 3/4 inches long, which puts her in the 95th percentile for height. She weighs 11 pounds, 12 ounces, which puts her in the 98th percentile for weight. She was also in the 93rd percentile for head circumference, but again I'm not sure why that's important.

There are some more pictures up at the photo are a few:

A fun outfit and a not-so-fun face.

Yes, she looks like a monkey. Big cheeks, big ears...

Sweet close-up.

She looks entirely different when she sits up.

More to come soon, including wedding stories, more pictures, and the "People Holding Kate" blog entry.

Sep 16, 2009

Catching Up

I've been working a lot more, and we've continued to have visitors staying with us, so I haven't gotten around to much blogging. I haven't taken many pictures either, but I've got at least 12 new ones posted at the photo site. A few of them are below.

Kate's been doing well, eating a ton and gaining weight. We'll get the official measurement from the pediatrician on Thursday, but our unofficial measurement has her over 11 pounds. Let's hope her height is keeping up with her weight.

She's really been impressing me with her neck strength. When she's laying on my chest, she can lift her head off my chest, hold it up, and turn it from side to side to look at me. I can tell that she's getting stronger every day.

She's also paying a lot more attention to specific people and objects while she's awake. I can tell things are starting to click a little more in her brain, and it makes me look forward to the next couple of months.

We've done a lot of reading about sleeping/feeding/etc, and I've read that the technical definition of "sleeping through the night" is five uninterrupted hours of sleep. I'm not sure for whom five hours is a full night, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Given that definition, Kate slept through the night about a week ago. Since then, she's had at least one four- or five-hour-long period of sleep every day, but it hasn't always been at night. Unfortunately, she's sometimes mixed up on her days and nights, so we've had a few sleepless ones. We're working on it.

Here's a shot of Daddy and Kate resting peacefully.

Tummy time quickly turned into nap time.

Still sleeping. Are you sensing a theme here?

Today she slept through an entire trip to the zoo. Check out the other site for a picture of Kate being stalked by a jaguar.

Sep 14, 2009

Sand Art

I try to avoid writing blog entries that are just links to other sites, especially publicly-available web videos that are being forwarded around like wildfire.  However, I wanted to make an exception for this video, because I haven't seen it making the rounds.  Not only did it open my eyes to the entire concept of sand art, it is also an incredibly (and unexpectedly) moving performance.  It's from Ukraine's version of America's Got Talent, and it's a sand-art interpretation of the invasion of Ukraine by Hitler during World War II.  I know it sounds heavy, but it's really cool.  Here it is.


It's funny to me that as soon as you have a baby, you're supposed to go through and replace all your detergents and soaps with mild, hypo-allergenic, fabric-friendly products.  I know this is supposed to protect the baby's skin from chemicals, dyes, and other unnatural ingredients, but I'm pretty sure it's a conspiracy cooked up by the baby clothing industry.  After seeing some of the things that come out of both ends of our baby, what they really need to recommend is extra-strength, heavy-duty, quintuple-concentrated, bleach-filled, stain-fighting super-detergent.....the kind of stuff used in hotels to clean the sheets after a rock band has been through.

Kate had one incident the other day where her diaper leaked out the back.  The blanket she was wrapped in has now been washed once in Dreft (the baby-friendly detergent), once in color-safe bleach, and once in Oxi-Clean, and has also been through a couple of spot treatments.  And yet, there's still a big orange stain that won't go away....what's up with that?

Sep 11, 2009


We've made a wonderful discovery in the last couple of days.  After a few days of trying a pacifier that worked occasionally but still left us with an occasionally very cranky baby, D tried a different brand.  It seems to have done the trick, and Kate's non-sleeping, non-eating moments have become much more calm.  Pacifier to the rescue!

Other than that, I don't have much to share, as I haven't taken many pictures in the last few days.  I was out all day yesterday at work (in LA and SD) and I've been doing a lot more from home as well.  We had a fun, productive weekend, and now we have more visitors staying at the house (with two more kids!).  It's fun seeing where Kate will be (developmentally) in five months and twenty months, and great to catch up with our friends.  We're looking forward to Kate's first formal event (a wedding!) in just over a week, and a pediatrician's appointment on Thursday for a length/weight update.

Sorry for the lack of excitement....I'll try to take some more pictures this weekend.

Sep 9, 2009

Big Baby

We went to a lactation consultant today for a potential solution to some discomfort D's been having.  She tracked down the problem and there's a pretty simple fix, so we're hoping that will save some pain.

While we were there, they weighed Kate to see how much she had been gaining over the last two weeks.  She weighed eight pounds, eight ounces exactly two weeks ago.  As of today, she weighs about ten pounds, two ounces (six ounces with clothes).  That means she's gained almost two ounces a day....we were shocked!  I'm not sure where she puts it, but I'm assuming she's also gotten longer....she definitely doesn't look 20% fatter.

On the way back home, we stopped by the NICU to show off our take-home baby.  Some of our favorite nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists were there, so they all got to see Kate.  It was a one-way viewing, however, as Kate slept the entire time we were there.  It was nice to visit, and not as sad as I thought it would be.  I felt a little guilty as grieving parents walked by to visit their sick kids while we were enjoying ourselves in the entryway, but we did our time and I'm sure they'll all be better off two years from now.  I thought it was funny that the commentary from the NICU staff mostly revolved around how healthy she looked....a ten-pound three-week-old baby is pretty rare in a ward that cares for preemies and other sick kids.  When Kate explosively dirtied a diaper and we had to change her in the trunk in the parking lot, I was heartened by the fact that she screamed the whole time and never turned blue.

I haven't taken many pictures in the last couple of days, so a photo update might take a little while.  Until then, cross your fingers for a happy (and tired at night) baby.

Sep 8, 2009

Very tired

In the last two days, Kate has decided that she wants to eat every 1.5-2 hours, and that she'll be pretty inconsolable otherwise. Feeding her works to calm her down, but that's it. Did I mention that this also occurs almost entirely at night?

We're both pretty tired and I don't have a whole lot else to say, so let's just jump into the pictures. As always, there are more pictures here.

This is what "tummy time" quickly turned into....she was more comfortable on her side.

Having a little snack.

My busy little bee.

Cuteness, at repose.

Sep 4, 2009

Picture Update

More pictures at the usual site, but not much time for commentary. She's pretty much just being a baby.....eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, crying, etc. She manages to make it all darn cute, butit's hard to really get across unless you see it in person.....h alf of it is inappropriate for pictures anyway. However, more and more friends and family members can testify to her cuteness every day. Next week I'll post a "people holding Kate" entry....until then, she's flying solo.

I thought girls only learned this look as teenagers?

Look how long she is when all stretched out....

I imagine if we took her to a professional photographer, he would try to pose her with her hand on her chin. Fortunately, she did this on her own for free.

Using the word "cute" yet again to describe my daughter would be a cliche, but what else can I say?

Sep 3, 2009


Lots of family/friends in the house, plus a baby that wants to eat every hour or two, plus a bunch of work to do after hours makes for a long night.  I've fallen asleep a few times on the couch while trying to finish emails for work.  Fortunately, I'm now awake enough to finish them and send them off.  Unfortunately, I'm not awake enough to stay up another 20 minutes and put together Kate pictures for the blog.  I'll have some really cute ones tomorrow, stay tuned.