Tuesday, July 26, 2011

month six

Dear Chicken,

I know what you think I'm going to say. "I can't believe it's 6 months blah blah." Well, I can't but what I really want to say is that this month has be jam-packed. This letter could take days to write but unfortunately Mama just has a little time this morning. It's been an awfully busy month for everyone.

Since it's Sunday, I'll have to update your stats after Daddy takes you to the pediatrician tomorrow. But you and I were there on Thursday. It was your first legitimately sick baby appointment. I'm not sure how long you are since they don't measure that when you're sick but you were 17 lb 4 oz. My guess at your length? 27 inches. We'll see. Ok, so this was about as far as I got on Sunday... I can now tell you (as I'm late finishing this letter) that you had gained 2 ounces by your Monday appointment and I was only off by 1/4" on your length (26.75"). You're in the 78th percentile for weight and 84th for length.

So why were we at the pedi on Thursday? You had fever off and on (mostly on) all week. On Wednesday night, it was just you and me--Daddy was in Ft. Worth. You woke up around 10:45 and were unhappy and shaking. You seemed a little cold and I tried to warm you up. I took your temperature and confirmed that it was low. I called Daddy and was just scared for you. About 30 minutes later you threw up and then seemed better. I made an appointment for you for the next morning and found out you had a urinary tract infection. I was glad it was something relatively easy to fix, and you're now on the mend. You have been a cranky baby, though. But I can't blame you.

On to happier things. You went to your first July 4th party (held here at our house). You looked very cute and patriotic in a little red, white, and blue floral dress. You had a good time with everyone. You also attended your first family reunion. Now, these reunions are a big deal and this year we hosted it. The next time our branch hosts it, I hope you're old enough to run the show because it is a lot of hard work. Mama was exhausted. But again, everyone was very excited to meet you (or see you again). You hung out with some of your cousins and were exhausted. I'd never seen you so tired. The last big event was your Great Uncle Bob's funeral (actually, that was one day past your 6-month mark and is also the reason I'm writing this late). You again got to meet more family members and you helped make a sad time a little less so. Chicken, I wish you could have known him. He was a great man and whenever I picture him I don't have recent images of him when he was so sick. I see him about 15 years ago, a little younger, and laughing. I think that says a lot about a person. I hope you grow up to be the kind of woman who people think of that way.

Ok, so seriously. On to happier things. In addition to having the UTI this last week, you had another interesting health issue. You cut not only your first but also your second tooth. Crazy! I can't say for sure, but it doesn't seem like they bothered you much. Hopefully tooth number 3 will come without any other illness so we'll know for sure. They're both just barely peeking out so your grin is still gummy. I can't believe it's soon going to include teeth. That makes you seem so grown up.

You also seem grown up because I cut your hair for the first time this month. It's already growing out some so it doesn't look as weird to me anymore. I just couldn't leave you with that mullet any longer. I see pictures of other people's daughters and some of them have hair that looks just awful. I wonder why no one tells them that. And I didn't want to be those people.

Let's see. You're also saying "mamamamama." You don't know what you're doing but I like it. One day when you stop at just two "mas," we may be able to count that as your first word. But feel free to pick whatever first word you'd like. I can't wait to hear it.

You still don't sleep through the night very often. I sure wish that would change. We're working on it. BUT! When you turned 5 months old, we moved you from the co-sleeper upstairs to your crib in your room downstairs. It was hard for me the first few nights but I think we've all adjusted to it now. We had been trying to put you down for the night without a pacifier but since you've gotten sick, we've given in. You're awfully sad in the evenings right now.

Speaking of, you have recently discovered anger and frustration. Sometimes it's actually kind of cute. One of the things we got at your last doctor's visit mentioned that around now we may start seeing dramatic mood swings. I think you're ahead of the curve on that one. The good thing, though, is that you are somewhat easily distracted when mad. And also? Maybe this means you'll end up with red hair afterall.

You got a few new toys this month. You're still enjoying the exersaucer. You sometimes like the high chair and sometimes REALLY DON'T. You got a Johnny Jumper and you like sitting in it and spinning but have only jumped a few times. Since you like kicking so much, I thought you'd like jumping. We'll see if you catch on. And I got you a tummy time mat. You really don't mind tummy time quite so much when on it. We make you roll over from front to back before picking you up. You're getting a little better at that but don't roll back to front hardly ever. You do, however, sit up on your own now. You're a little shaky sometimes but you suddenly just got quite good at it. That makes you feel pretty grown up, too. You just change so quickly. Oh, and you now use your wrist. I think you first started using your shoulder joint, then elbow, then wrist (over the last 6 months). It's funny because you sometimes just sit there and twist it like you're revving a motorcycle.

And eating. Now, you've always been a good eater and I've been grateful for that. We decided a few weeks ago, however, to see what you'd do with rice cereal. It's been challenging. Some days you're almost close to being somewhat good at not spitting too much of it out and some days you're the worst eater ever. Like I think you'll drink nothing but smoothies the rest of your life. Out of a bottle. Given all the craziness lately, we haven't been the best at trying solids everyday. And practice makes perfect so I guess Daddy and I better buckle down. When you take a bottle now, though, you often at least try to hold it. Some days you do better than others at that, too. I'm very much looking forward to that skill. It will make things easier on me since you still seem to eat so frequently. You're also 100% on formula now. I made it 5 1/2 months which was pretty close to my 6 month goal. I think we're both happier for it, and I think it was the best decision. I didn't love breastfeeding like some mothers do but I was glad to do what I could to give you a good start.

Well, that's about all I can think of right now. Oh! Except that we got your passport on Saturday--or the paperwork submitted anyway. In a few weeks you will be free to move about the world. But before then, we have to make it through this next month, which is going to be a toughie. I've really enjoyed our first 6 months together and I know the next 6 are going to be even more exciting. Now, Chicken. Do me a favor and sleep till 7:00 tomorrow morning, will ya?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

besides the baby

I realize that 99% of posts now have to do with the baby. I was thinking about that and wondering what else is going on in my life. Honestly, the baby really is taking up most of it (which is fine and awesome) but there have been a few other things to keep me busy.

Work has gotten much busier. To the point of overwhelm at times. I've been traveling more and August isn't looking much better.

We had our annual July 4th party. Everything turned out really well. I didn't put as much work into it as I usually do. No new craft projects--just used what I already had and bought (gasp) one new decoration. Didn't make as many food items as normal and the pot luck ended up working out perfectly. It's amazing how that happens. For the first time, we had multiple little ones running around (as well as one being held--that would be mine). No fireworks this year since we had the party on the 3rd but I think that was the best option. Good times.

The following weekend we had our family reunion. Good. Grief. It's a lot of work. If you are a descendant of my mother's father's parents, you get an invitation. So my great grandparents. I think the youngest generation adds 2 more "greats" on top of that. Sheesh. I think we invite around 400 people but only (only!) about 150 come. We do this every other year and a different branch is in charge each time. My grandfather's branch hadn't done it in awhile so it was our year. The night before, my brother was talking about how decorating shouldn't take long..."it's not like this is a wedding." But we rent a hall, design and send invitations, plan and buy decorations, hire catering, have a guest book, etc. We also have a pot luck dessert table (yum), silent auction, and raffle. We had lots of great items in the auction (The Brother built a fishing rod holder and Hubby brewed beer) but the raffle item was the best. SIL and I made a quilt. Yep. Made. In a stupidly short period of time. It turned out great, made a pretty good amount of money, and went to a good home. We were, however, sad to part with it. It was fun to make jointly so maybe we'll have to do that again. You know, way down the road.

And my last in the commitment trifecta is a baby shower I'm throwing for my SIL on Saturday. It's for my/The Brother's side of the family, and I'm doing a brunch this time. I enjoy brunch and thought it would be a fun way to mix it up a little. I've done most of the prep work already but just to through in an added level of difficulty, the baby is teething, she had a fever last night, Hubby is out-of-town tomorrow night, and we have tickets to Gary Chapman on Friday night. I'm totally taking the day off on Friday.

So, yeah, pretty busy around these parts. Luckily, all my hosting duties will wrap up before Hubby is gone for lots of August.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


No, I didn't watch any of the trial but I do remember when the incident happened. I must have been traveling more then and watched the morning news programs' coverage. From what little I do know, I can't believe the verdict. I do know that if my daughter were missing for any amount of time, I'd be concerned. I'd be calling everyone I knew and then the police. I would do everything I could to find her. And if I needed a drink during that time? It would not be found at a nightclub.


My husband is going to be out-of-town about half the time for about a month and a half starting in August. I'm going to get a much better taste of life as a single mom. Thank goodness it's temporary. I don't know how people do it (and I saw my mom do it). I had a glimpse of it when he'd work long hours and I was alone with the baby and the dog and the chores but he always came home. Some of my support system won't be around during much of the time he's gone. And some others will be knee-deep in nesting and having a baby. Our awesome daycare will help. And I'll force my work schedule to cooperate. I tell ya what, though. I will be the happiest person in the world on September 16th.


My uncle is dying. He is. That's a hard thing to admit but I'm sure it's even harder for my aunt. He's at home. Hospice is helping. From what I've heard, he's not in pain and is alert. He's had a great, long life and really won't be sick for very long in the scheme of things. I know when you get married (something they did over 53 years ago) this is what you hope for. You hope for a long life together, children, grandchildren. If you're lucky, great-grandchildren, health, happiness. You get all those things and still it ends. When you are fortunate enough to have some warning, what do you talk about? How do you spend those days? It's not like country songs that talk about how you are able to do all these grand activities like bullriding or skydiving before your time is up. (And if you could, would those be the things you'd do?) You just have quiet moments. You have your people. My aunt is awesome and will hold up as well as anyone could be expected to. I've recently realized how similar we are in some ways and I can only hope that my marriage, my life can follow a similar path.