Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

We had a lovely holiday weekend with my family.  We went to my cousin's graduation party Saturday night and left Sylvia there with my mom so we could go to the Red's game!  Mom and Jay watched Sylvia AND Charlie Saturday night at their house.  Everyone survived and it appears that the grandparents may have even enjoyed watching two babies at once (weirdos). 

We spent Sunday afternoon and evening at my dad's house, hanging out with grandparents and great grandparents.  The highlight of the day (other than the wonderful food), was watching Sylvia hang out with her Grandpa in the garage.  She loved the music and even held a wrench for a while.  They'll turn her into a mechanic before we know it.  Yipes!

Today we went to my Aunt Dar's house to go swimming, and to plop Sylvia in the pool for a few minutes to see how she would fare.  At first, when Sylvain dangled her feet in the water, she wailed like a banshee, but once she was in and became accustomed to the water, she was really digging it.  Here are a couple more shots of her first trip to the pool.

Cruising with Daddy in her gigatic, yet completely useful, sun hat.

Relaxing in the shade of Mama's body. 
(I was a tiny bit neurotic about her and the sun, but my mom was even more so.  Poor little Sylvia did not inherit the most sun-friendly skin tone.)

The girl just loves to be outside.  Grandpa says that means she'll be a good camper!  Overall it was a wonderful long weekend and the girl is pooped.  Let's hope she sleeps for quite a while tonight so Mom and Dad can get some rest.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Night Out, His Night In

Last night I drove an hour and half to see Sex in the City 2 with my dear freinds, then drove an hour and half back to my baby.  It was a whirlwind trip and I was a whirlwind of emotions on the way there and back!  Here's how my first night out went down.

Sylvia woke up yesterday morning with crazy gunk in her eye.  I've already called the doctor's triage nurse once this week about the rash on her face (which is somehow related to her cradle cap, and apparently once we treat her head, her face should clear up.  Weird), so I decided to wait and see how she was acting before I called again.  I washed her eye with a warm washcloth and she was acting like her usual self all morning, until I tried to put her down for her nap.  She was extra fussy and seemed to want to do nothing but nurse, which had me a little worried.  I swaddled her snugly and tried again, and that really seemed to help.  When she woke up, though, her eye was leaking all kinds of green pussy grossness but she didn't have a fever.  (I've learned that whenever something is wrong with your baby, you have to take their temperature.  If they don't have a fever and they're behaving normally, then whatever is wrong with them is probably bothering you more than the baby.)  I went ahead and called the doctor, thinking the next call would be to my friends to tell them I wouldn't be able to go to the movie.  I was convinced that she needed me and that leaving her would be a huge mistake, even though Sylvain was planning to watch her. 

The triage nurse asked me to describe her eye and she asked me a lot of questions, then determined that she probably has a blocked tear duct, which apparently is pretty common in newborn babies.  She prescribed some ointment for her eye and told me that it should be fine in a few days.  I felt much better after talking to her, so I didn't call to cancel on the movie just yet.  I went to the pharmacy to pick up Sylvia's medicine, then took her home to give it to her and feed her and see how she was acting.  By the time Sylvain came home, she was fine.  I explained how to give her the ointment before bedtime and how to use the velcro swaddle blanket (note to self - buy ten more of these, they're awesome!), and I put out some milk to thaw from my secret stash in the freezer.  I was really nervous about leaving, but he was very confident that he could take just as good care of our baby as I could.  I threw on my new little black dress, and headed out the door.

The drive was really hard.  For the first half, I was working really hard to talk myself out of turning around and going home.  Part of me thought it was crazy to leave a pussy-eyed baby at home and part of me knew that she would be fine and I would have a good time.  I cried.  I missed her already and I wondered what she was doing.  I wondered if Sylvain was happy or frustrated.  If they were having fun or having a terrible time.  I was kind of a mess.  But then, when I passed the halfway point between here and there, I started to relax a little bit.  I started getting really excied about seeing my friends.  I started looking forward to the fancy drink I would get at the movie theater.  I turned my music up and started singing and realized that even though I felt guilty, it felt really good to be out in the real world without a baby.

I called Sylvain before and after the movie.  Both times he was in good spirits and said they were having a wonderful time together.  When I called him on the way home, he said she got a little fussy from 8 - 9, but once he gave her the medicine and fed her, she was fine.  Then he said something so amazing to me.  In the middle of his summary of their evening he said, "....and then we read a little bit..."  Gasp!  Melt. My. Heart.  He hasn't read a book to her yet, and I've only done it a few times, but the thought of daddy and daughter reading together put me right over the edge and I got all choked up.  That's when I knew that he can totally do this and he even enjoys it.  Not only did he read to her, he read her a French baby book!  What a wonderful Daddy.

I pulled in the driveway and braced myself to hear a crying, hungry baby when I walked through the door.  I missed her and I wanted to hold her, so I think a tiny part of me wanted her to be crying for her mama when I got home.  I stood on the porch and held my breath.  I turned the knob and slowly, gently, opened the door.   No crying baby.  Husband sprawled on the couch watching basketball.  He took one look at me and said, "She went to sleep at ten o'clock on the dot."  I let out a sigh of relief and sat on the couch next to him.  "Did she give you any trouble?" I asked.  "Nope.  She went right down and stayed alseep."  Oh, praise Jesus.  They did it.  I did it.  Everyone was a roaring success around here!

I couldn't remember the last time I was awake enough to enjoy some cuddle time on the couch with the hubs.  We talked and laughed and I felt all the love in this house just wash right over me.  It was fantastic!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Many Past Due Updates

I have a feeling I'm going to look back at this post in a few years and realize that it's completely ridiculous to document every moment of Sylvia's life like this, but I totally can't help it.  I have a ton of adorable pictures that I just saved to my computer and I picked the best ones to post here to update everyone on the goings-on of a six week old!  Enjoy.

Since she started throwing up all over the place, I bought one of those inclines that keep babies propped up while they sleep.  She hasn't thrown up at night since she started sleeping on it, but she HAS started doing this:
This is how I find her most mornings and after most naps.  I think it's absolutely hilarious.

My dad and stepmom gave Sylvia a rosebush when she was born and Sylvain planted it in the backyard along the fence where I can see it from the kitchen window.  On Mother's Day, one of the sweet blooms found it's way to my breakfast table.  My husband is the best.

This is where she sits when we eat dinner, and every once in a while she even lets us eat our entire meal without holding her.

A couple weeks ago, Laura came over to watch the Nugget while I ran some errands.  I was very excited about going out on my own without carting a baby around.  So excited, in fact, that I came home after less than an hour out and about, doing things that would have normally taken at least a couple of hours.  My timing was way off.  I think Laura enjoyed her short time with the baby anyway. 


I put a cute outfit on her and took a picture.

 Some of her friends came over to play...

But this is about as exciting as three new babies get:
Those babies belong to two of the couples from our childbirth class.  It was so nice to get together and talk about being new parents.  Turns out I'm not crazy and my baby is normal.  Phew!

We walked to church for the first time yesterday.  She smiles intentionally now, so I tried to catch a picture of an elusive smile while she was in her super pretty dress.

Oh, she's also been practicing her flying karate kicks.  Not bad for a novice. 

After church we took her outside while we did yard work.  She spent some tummy time on the blanket and Sylvain tried to teach her how to crawl.  She would be totally mobile if it weren't for that darn gigantic head weighing her down!


And as long as the weather stays nice all week, this is what we'll be doing every day:

Somewhere in the middle of all this "work" we managed to make a trip up North to see my family.  She spent some much needed time with the Grandparents and I got to relax a little bit while other people took care of her for a while.  Ahhhh.  We're going back this weekend for a graduation party, a Red's game, and a cookout.  Sylvain has one week of school left and then we'll be home free for the summer. 

Hip Hip Hooray!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Awesome Birth Story

We had the pleasure of spending the weekend with some friends who recently had babies!  It was one baby's first birthday party, and the other sweet baby was nine months old.  They are both super sweet baby girls and it was wonderful to spend time with them, their mothers, and our friends.  I really needed that time to unwind and chit chat and enjoy the wonderful weather.  It was so nice.

I have tons of pictures of Sylvia doing the cutest things that I should post (including our first trip to church today!), but instead I'll just post a link to this amazing birth story.  It reminded me that there are a million different ways to bring a child into this world, and no matter which way you do it, they all end just about the same way - a beautiful baby, a new mama, a sweet little life taking over a home, nothing but joy and love all around!  It's not a long story, so take a few minutes and read it.  You'll be amazed, and if you're anything like me, a little teary.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Total Bliss

Sylvia has started doing the sweetest things lately.  She can smile back when I smile at her.  She has sort of figured out that she can hit the rattle that hangs above her from her play mat.  And she prefers listening to real people music instead of the super annoying Baby Einstein jibberish that comes out of every toy she has (thank goodness).  But the sweetest thing she does now...

She's figured out the perfect position for burping after she eats.  I can now throw her on my shoulder and she lays her head down and wraps her tiny arm around my neck while I pat her back.  Until yesterday she would just wiggle and squirm and freak out when I tried to burp her like this, which meant I had to sit her in my lap and burp her there while trying to keep her head from flopping all over the place.  But yesterday she finally laid her head down and snuggled up in the crook of my neck and it was so wonderful.  She was so cuddly and warm!  I rocked back and forth for an extra half hour after she burped just because she was being so sweet.  There was something so instinctual about it, something chemical.  It made me feel really, really good.  I looked around her room and thought about all the planning and anticipation that went into it.  I thought about Sylvain and our decision to make a baby.  I thought about my pregnancy and all the time that I spent waiting and worrying.  And now she's here.  And I get to rock this sweet baby to sleep every night.  It was such an amazing feeling, like all was right with the world; like I had a little slice of balance and peace.  It's absolutely blissful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Thanks to lots of encouragement from my own mother, I finally got the nerve to nurse in public.  I never thought I'd be "that Mom," but here I am.  I believe her exact words were, "Rach, you've got to get used to just whipping it out!"  So, during a minor league baseball game, I found a corner where I could be very discreet about the whole thing and...I whipped it out - then promptly covered it up with a blanket and prayed that the little girl could do what she needed to do without a whole lot of help from me.  And she did!  It felt really good to know that I can now go where ever I want and my child won't starve to death. 

Mom invaded our little corner long enough to snap a photo - check out those adorable baby socks!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Month

Dear Sylvia,

One month ago today, you entered the world with all of the gusto and brilliance befitting a new baby girl. It was rainy and stormy and scary outside, but Daddy got us to the hospital safe and sound, and by the time you arrived, we could all snuggle up together as one, happy family. The first thing I noticed about you were your eyes. They were bright and beautiful; wide-awake and full of life. You pulled your tiny head off my chest and looked up at me as if to say, “Hi, Mommy. Here I am! So that’s what you look like?” You stared at me for a good long time, studying my face, taking in every ounce of information it could offer you, and I studied you, too. I couldn’t believe that the little one who grew for so long inside of me was finally out in the world. It was a strange and beautiful feeling. There you were, in my arms and ready to start your story. Within seconds Daddy and I were overcome with love for you and for each other. It was truly a miraculous night!

We brought you home on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon. As we drove though the neighborhood, I noticed that the dogwood trees had finally bloomed, like God had lined the streets with bright pink and white streamers to welcome you home. Grammy stayed at our house for a while to help us, but as it turns out, you are one easy baby! You started your days with resilience. You know what you want and you know how to get it. You can eat well, you can sleep well, and you love to sit on our laps and play in the early morning or in the evening. You can keep yourself busy in your swing or on your play mat, but what you love most is to be held and to hear our voices. When Daddy holds you close to his big, safe chest, you usually fall right to sleep. And when you fall asleep, you put on quite a show! First, your eyes start to droop, and then your lips start to pucker. Once your eyes are closed and you’re in a deep sleep, the corners of your mouth start to turn up, one at a time for a while, then finally you raise both at the same time and flash the most beautiful, sleepy smile we’ve ever seen. Daddy and I love watching you fall asleep.

My favorite time to hold you is feeding time. You’re very good at nursing and it is an unexpected treat for me as well. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I do, but when you and I are together in our rocker, the whole world melts away and I get to spend some treasured moments with the little girl I love. I stare at your little ears and watch your sweet face. Sometimes you’ll move your head or your feet just a tiny bit and that movement is so familiar to me as I realize that I’ve felt you move that way before, when you were on the inside. You like to close your eyes and ball your hands up into itty-bitty fists, and you clutch them around my breast as if to say, “You are mine and I’m going to hold on to you forever.” And that’s how we do it, you hold me and I hold you. When you finish, we tend to sit there for a while and stare at each other. I usually tell you how much I love you and we sing songs or read books. Your eyes travel all over my face, just like the day you were born, and I can tell you are still studying me. These are the moments I will always remember – me and you, locking eyes, learning all about each other.

Now that we’ve been home for a while, I can tell that you are growing at a remarkable rate! The doctor says you’re very healthy and I can already see my baby getting bigger and bigger each day. You have no idea how happy and how sad this makes me. I cannot wait to see what kind of person you grow into. I can’t wait to hear your voice and see you play. I look forward to your first tooth and your first steps and your first day of school. But all of these moments will take you one step away from my sweet little baby, who fits perfectly in my arms and who smiles when she sleeps.

Sylvia, I have accomplished many things in my life. I've checked off plenty of proud moments on my To-Do list before I decided to have children. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any regrets about the places I’ve been or the people I’ve met. I wanted my life to be very meaningful before it was time to settle down and start a family. But you, my dear, are my greatest accomplishment. The moment you arrived was the single greatest moment of my life. All of my other moments have faded into the background of my black and white past on the day you appeared in bright color. The first day of your life marks the day I became a mother and of all the things I’ve wanted to be, a mother is the one I’ve wanted the most. Your story is the most important story and I feel so blessed that I get to share your story with you. I promise to let you live your story and write your story with your own voice and your own pencil. I promise to guide you through the tricky parts and celebrate your own accomplishments as you try to figure out how to live in this wonderful world. Thank you for making me a part of your story. Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for coming into our lives and thank you for being you.

With Love,


Friday, May 7, 2010

Keeping Baby Puke At Bay

Sylvia has decided to do this really cool thing lately where she throws up all of the breast milk she just ate!  I told Sylvain the other day, "She gulps it down like a drunk frat boy and pukes it back up like a drunk sorority girl!"  (Sorry to all of my greek friends, but I thought the comparison was fairly accurate, and darn funny.)  The scary part is, she does it when she's sleeping.  When I go to get her after a nap or in the middle of the night, she's sitting in a pool of milk and the back of her head is all crusty and gross, poor thing!  We've had two 2 AM bath sessions this week.  So yesterday morning I called the pediatrician about it and here's what she reccommended:  rice cereal. 

She said that Sylvia probably has reflux and can't keep down what she eats, so if I mix a little rice cereal with some breast milk and give her a couple teaspoons of it after she eats, it will weigh down the milk she already ate and keep it from coming back up.  As disappointed as I was to have to fool with something other than the good stuff I make on my own, I was willing to try anything to keep her from throwing up while she sleeps.  So I bought some rice cereal and one of those nifty sleeping wedges that keep babies inclined as they sleep to help with digestion.  As of yesterday afternoon at 2:00, we are puke free!  She made it through the whole evening and night time feedings without hurling it back up!  And, call me crazy, but she really seems to like the rice cereal.  I don't use much of it, but I feed it to her with a spoon and once she got the hang of it, she was all smiles and bright eyes.  I think it also helps with the gassiness, because she wasn't nearly as fussy yesterday evening as she has been in the past. 

So that was my life this week. I wish I could go back in time about eight years and say to my old self, "Get this!  In 2010, you'll spend an entire week covered in baby puke!" Then I'd stick around to watch myself faint.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Photo Fun!

I recently read on Madonna's website a "photo challenge," if you will.  Here's how it works: you go to your photo files, pick the 8th folder and the 8th picture.  Post it on your blog and tell the story behind it.  How fun is that??  Here it goes...

Oh, hooray!  Derby Party, 2009. 

I  usually glance over this photo when I'm rifling through my derby party pics.  There are so many others that display the fun times had by all at that party.  We ran many races through the back yard including this hula hoop race, the crab walk and our favorite, the dizzy bat race!  Most memorable moment from that party?  When Kent almost died as he fell into the bushes after the dizzy bat race!  I can't remember who won the backyard races or the derby pool, but I do know there were bacon-wrapped hot dogs, mint julep cupcakes, and plenty of bourbon!

However, now that I look at this picture more closely I can tell you - that's my husband rocking the hula hoop race!  I guess it really captures his fun-loving spirit and go-getter attitude!  This picture shows us just one of the many reasons I think he's the greatest person on the planet.  Love you, honey!!

Now, to all of my blogging friends - I dare you to do it, too!  It's super fun, and has the potential to make for a very deep (or silly, or embarrassing, or emotional) blog post if your stuck for material.  Have fun!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Derby Day!

Despite torrential downpours, our Derby Party was a success!  I was really bummed that we couldn't run races in the backyard this year, but the company was so nice and the food was delicious (and plentiful) so everyone was happy to stay inside, watch the coverage of the day at the track, and play with baby Sylvia!  As it turns out, I wasn't able to snap any pictures unless I handed the baby over to someone else, and when I handed her to someone else, well she was just so darn cute that I had to take a picture and...well, you see where this is going.  I only have pictures of my kid.  No pictures of our guests (unless they were holding my kid) and no pictures of the glorious food or the beautiful derby pie or the winner of the Horse Piss Beer (Trip won it for having the last place horse).  I'm sorry, I've learned my lesson.  Here are the few pics I have and unless I told you it was Derby Day, you'd have no idea.

Erin spent lots of time loving on the baby.  And she offered to babysit, which might backfire on her because we will probably take her up on it a bit too often!

Megan and Emily.  These ladies have all the dirt on Me Before Baby.  Can't you see how they're just dying to tell her all about what Mommy did in college?  Yipes!

Sylvia gets awfully cozy with Aunt Emily!

Aaaand, that's it.  I have three good pictures of my baby with three other people.  What you can't see are the fifteen other people who showed up to meet Sylvia and share the greatest two minutes of sports!  Oh, by the way, when we all sang My Old Kentucky Home I got very emotional about Sylvia's first Derby Party.  I looked at her and I looked at all of our friends and I decided it was one life's special moments.  These are the people who get to watch her grow and share in all the joys of childhood with her.  Isn't she lucky?