Wednesday, January 28, 2009

She's Just So Happy!

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I believe I have one of the happiest babies in the world, and boy that does make a mommy feel good! Since learning to smile, it is one of the main things Riley does. She seems to consistently wake up around 7:30am each morning. This is nice because it is just before Kevin walks out the door for work, so he can go in and get her out of her crib. Each morning we walk in, her big blue eyes look at us and this huge smile breaks out across her face. Ahhhhh.

She will be 8-weeks old this Friday - crazy! We have her 2-month peds appointment next Friday, February 6th. We'll see how much more weight she has gained! The good news is that her demand for feedings every 1-to-2 hours has subsided and she is back to every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day. She has had a consistent 5-hour stretch for the past few nights after initially putting her down as well ... now we just have to work on the rest of the night feedings! I am happy that at night I can now lie her down in her crib while she is still awake and she can put herself to sleep. I rub her back for a few minutes within her sight, then move out of sight and continue to rub her back, then leave the room altogether. It works like a charm!
We went shopping with Auntie Heather and little Hailey yesterday and celebrated our finds with a fashion show afterwards!

Other than that, nothing much more going on. I am battling a horrible cold and sore throat and go to the doctor tomorrow morning at 9am ... as long as I can make it through all this snow we've received! Don't worry - Riley will be babysat and will not be on the snowy, icy roads with me!

Friday, January 23, 2009

6-Week Growth Spurt

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I noticed at the beginning of this week that Riley was eating so much more frequently than she had before. Up until that point she would eat about every 2-3 hours during the day, and every 4 hours or so at night. Now she is eating nearly every 1-2 hours during the day and every 2-3 hours at night.

On Monday I picked up my "Your Baby's First Year, Week by Week" book and sure enough, right under 'Week 6' it stated that your baby would be going through a growth spurt around this time and would need to eat more often. Dr. K even reassured me at our appointment on Tuesday that if she needs to eat this often, let her eat this often ... it will subside.

Riley is actually 7-weeks old today, so I wonder how soon these additional feedings will end. I don't mind them at all and I am not complaining, but I am just hoping that she isn't eating more frequently through the night out of 'habit' rather than 'hunger'. We'll see what the next week brings! As long as she is getting enough to eat and is healthy and growing, I am a happy mama!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Riley's Milestones

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I am creating this post to capture the dates of Riley's milestones as she reaches them. As new milestones occur, I will come back to edit this post. This will come in very handy when I get around to filling out her baby book!

* Monday, January 4, 2008: First smile (a morning smile to daddy!)

* Tuesday, January 20, 2008 : First Laugh (an afternoon laugh to mommy and grandma!)

* Wednesday, January 28, 2008: First time I could pull Riley up by her hands while she is lying down and she holds her head up the whole time(

* Friday, April 3, 2009: First roll from tummy to back

* Thursday, April 9, 2009: First time eating rice cereal

* Monday, April 13, 2009: First time eating carrots

* Sunday, April 19, 2009: First roll from back to tummy

Doctor Appointment ... and a surprise!!

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I am happy to report that the 'rash' on Riley's face is nothing to be concerned about. It is actually baby acne and is very common. Dr. K said that it comes from the hormones being passed from me to her. Funny - my skin is clear and now Riley is the one with breakouts! He said it will go away with time, most likely in a couple of weeks. The big shock of the appointment came when we went to weigh Riley. I had guessed 9lb 11oz. Mom and Kevin guessed 9lb 8oz. Well, she tipped the scales at 10lb 7oz. WOW!

I did ask Dr. K about her recent increase in eating. Apparently babies go through a growth spurt during week 6 and she isn't holding back! During the day she is eating nearly every 2 hours - sometimes sooner. She used to eat every 3 to 4 hours. Dr. K said as long as she is keeping it all down, feed her when she is hungry - it is certainly a growth spurt. I just hope I can keep up with her demands!

The 'surprise' I mention in the title of this blog isn't Riley's weight. It is the LAUGH that she gave Mom and I when we got home from mall walking today (yes, I mall walk - we did FOUR miles!). Riley had just overflowed her diaper and we were in her room changing her on the changing table. She just broke out in smiles all of a sudden and then with one of them came this loud baby laugh! It was adorable! She gave us a couple more and, of course, by the time I grabbed the video camera, she froze and didn't grace us with any others. I hope to get it on camera soon!

Now I have to break the news to Kevin that he missed her first laugh. I guess it's fair - he got her first smile and I missed that ... =)

A Week with Grandma ... and a rash (the two are NOT related!)

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My mom is in town this week, which is such a great treat for Riley and I. She came this week so that I could schedule various doctor appointments and wouldn't have to worry about taking Riley along with me. She came up on Sunday and we went to my friend Katie's baby shower for the little boy she is expecting mid-February, Jonathan Charles. It was a lot of fun taking Riley along with me - her first baby shower! She even dressed up for the event:
Yesterday I had my 6-week postpartum checkup with Dr. B. Everything went very well and I don't need to see him again for anything related to this pregnancy/delivery. Today I have an eye appointment. After that we'll be taking Riley to see her pediatrician, Dr. K.

On Sunday morning I noticed a lot of red bumps on her left cheek and up into her hairline and behind her ear. I consulted a few websites that I trust, but was disappointed to find descriptions such as "itchy rash", etc. I have no idea if it is itchy and Riley obviously cannot tell me. The rash is on the side of her face that she sleeps on, so I assumed it could be from spitting up in the night, lying on the moisture, and then the pores getting clogged. My sister-in-law confirmed this assumption and I felt much better. However the bumps/rash have now spread to the other cheek, up into that hairline, and on the back of her neck. I called the pediatrician's office late last night and thankfully they were able to get us in for an 11:50am appointment today. As always, I look forward to getting Riley weighed. My guess is 9lb 11oz ... we shall see!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Six weeks ... wow.

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As I sit here to write this post, Riley is napping on my chest. I've found myself just staring at her this afternoon. This is something very common that I do, but moreso today. She is just so peaceful - and beautiful - and perfect. Her little hands are curled in front of her face right now and every so often she makes beautiful baby sounds.

As I was picking out her clothes to wear today, I picked out a particular onesie and pant outfit. Sure, changing diapers are easier in the recent one-piece outfits I've purchased ... but they are size 0-3 months. Today's outfit is size 'newborn' ... and I know that it won't be much longer that she is able to wear this tiny size. On one hand that makes me very sad - my little baby is already growing. But growing is good and it means she is healthy ... so on the other hand I am happy. Plus, these next stages in her life will be just as exciting as these first 6 weeks have been, just in different ways.

Six weeks. Wow. Yesterday marked 6 weeks for Riley. I have never had a month and a half pass by so quickly. This also means that my maternity leave is half over (I believe I've mentioned this in previous posts - can you tell it is on my mind?). However I am so thankful that when I do return work, I will do so on a part-time basis. I'll have to be away from my angel three days a week - which will hurt more than any pain I've ever endured, I am sure, but Kevin and I are so blessed to have our parents who want to provide childcare for those three days! I am sure leaving her in her grandparent's hands will make it somewhat easier.

Riley has begun smiling, as I wrote about a few posts ago. She seems to be the most 'smiley' in the mornings. She responds to me asking her "Are you a big baby? Or a LITTLE baby?" (in this ridiculously high-pitched voice) with a huge grin - it just melts my heart. Her smiles are so big and open-mouthed that you expect to hear a hearty laugh along with it ... but it is just this huge, gummy smile ... the most beautiful smile in the world!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Babies Have Arrived!

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As you knew from my earlier post, Kelly and Frank met their precious baby girl, Addison Jeanne, earlier today. Well, I have just received a text message from Carrie that Mallory Sloane Booth has arrived!

She is 7lb, 6oz! I am dying to talk to Carrie and to hear all about her experience. I am sure it was a wonderful and that she did beautifully.

I am just so happy for my two friends who are so amazingly blessed this evening ... both of them holding their brand new baby daughters in their arms, realizing that they are the luckiest women alive.

A Visit to Progressive

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Today Riley and I braved the elements (more like the bitter, bitter cold) and went to Progressive to see Kevin. I don't think I've ever seen a more proud papa. Kevin met us as we entered the building and immediately moved to take Riley out of her carseat. He couldn't wait to hold her! When we made it up to his floor, we were swarmed with co-workers and friends - it was very endearing to have this many people interested in our baby!

I even said to Kevin that it was nice to be there ... but only because I had Riley with me ... and I knew I could leave whenever I wanted. I walked past my desk and forced away the yucky thoughts of having to return to it in just six weeks. For now I was with Riley ... and that was all that mattered.

Now we're back home, all warm inside and ready to take a nap together ... just me and my baby girl.

What a Blessed Day!

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Today is an amazing day - two of my good friends, Kelly and Carrie, are both having babies today! What makes this even more of a nailbiter is that neither of them know the sex of their babies!

Kevin just called me to let me know that Kelly delivered a healthy 8 pound 8 ounce baby GIRL! Addison Jeanne Pitchler. Kevin and Kelly's husband, Frank, are close friends and Kevin said Frank sounded full of adrenaline. This is so exciting because I envision our little girls growing up together as friends and spending time playing with one another - how exciting. Congratulations, Kelly and Frank!!

Carrie is getting closer to meeting her baby. She and I have been in close contact via text messages all day (thank goodness for technology!). This friendship is very interesting because Carrie and I have never actually met one another, yet we both feel as though we're such close friends. When we were both trying to get pregnant, fate would have it that we both joined the same message board on a baby website. Our similarities were/are uncanny - I couldn't believe there was someone out there this similar to me! We text and email one another daily and have spoken on the phone several times. She and her husband, Travis, live in Maryland and this is their first baby as well. The four of us has planned to meet for a weekend last summer, but our plans didn't pan out. Kevin and I hope that we can drive to Maryland this spring to meet them ... and their new bundle of joy!

So all is well with the world - two dear friends having two precious babies. Nothing could be sweeter.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A smile ... on camera!

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Wow - so much for thinking I'd be blogging every single day! That is my intention, but the days certainly do pass by very quickly (how sad) and blogging is normally at the lower end of my to-do list each day. I hate spending any time that Riley is awake doing anything but interacting with her, and time that she is asleep is either spent on household things, a nap for myself, or sitting still because Riley is asleep on ME!

Regardless, today is worthy of a post - it is the first day that I was able to catch one of Riley's beautiful smiles on camera! She was handing them out like crazy after she ate this morning and I was lucky to have my cell phone nearby.

She is just growing and changing daily - I couldn't love being at home with her any more than I do! I could stare at her and talk to her all day long - she just amazes me each day. Her neck muscles are getting stronger and stronger and I am definitely figuring out what her different sounds and cries mean. We're really starting to "get" one another.

Here is today's smile picture:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Smiles, cold, baths ... lots of stuff

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First things first - the most important update of all ...

Yesterday morning I went into Riley's room to get her out of her crib and I received my very first Riley smile!! It melted my heart and I am not even going to attempt to describe how it made me feel, but I couldn't feel more loved! Kevin had received his first smile on Monday morning, so I was definitely hoping mine would come soon. I haven't received one since, so I know that these are going to have to be earned!!

I am battling a yucky cold right now that just came on all of a sudden. I feel like I've hit a brick wall. Today Riley and I spent all day on the couch in our pajamas together. We watched Steel Magnolias (okay, she slept through it) and just hung out like two girls should. =) Yesterday we hit up Beachwood mall for our mall walking. On our way there we made a pitstop at Progressive to surprise daddy. He loved it. We didn't go inside, as we didn't want her around everyone just yet, but Kevin did come out to the car and we took a quick drive to the bank so he could have some Riley time.

It's hard to believe it is almost Friday again. So funny how I used to wish away the week for the weekend to come ... and now I pray everyday that time would just stand still. Riley will be 5 weeks told tomorrow. Wow. I seem to be amazed every week at this time. I just smile thinking of where I was and what was going through my mind, five weeks ago today.

Tonight was bath night for Riley. She actually seems to really enjoy her baths now, up until the point you have to shampoo her hair, which she doesn't care for. She smells so yummy now that I just want to keep smelling her - however, due to this cold, I am trying to keep my face away from hers. That kills me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Voice Recognition

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Riley is sound asleep in her crib. Tonight was bath night and I feel that she sleeps much more sound after her baths. I should be using this valuable time while she is asleep to get to bed early myself, but I wanted to make note of one thing before I head that way.

This evening Kevin was holding Riley on his lap on the couch. I walked over behind the couch and said something to her and she quickly whipped that little, adorable head around and looked straight at me. Kevin and I both smiled so big - did she recognize my voice?! All the books I've read talk about how the baby can recognize its mother's voice at the time of birth, even, but it wasn't until tonight that she really made me think that was true!! Ahh, I am so in love!

Okay - bed time!

Mom's Retirement

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My mom hit a huge milestone in her life this past Friday - she retired. It had to have been such an exciting day for her, filled with mixed emotions. She has worked for the Social Security Administration for almost 40 years. I have never seen anyone love the work they do more than my mom did - or have such a passion for it - or such an incredible work ethic. Even on her very last day she was working on several cases, trying to get them closed out so claimants could receive their money. Most of us would take that day to our advantage and spend it cleaning out our desk, shredding papers, and saying our goodbyes. Not my mom - she's incredible.

Riley has to be pumped about this milestone - I sure am. This is allowing my mom and dad to do what they really want to do, which is babysit Riley. Most of you know that my parents live right outside of Marietta and that is about 3 1/2 hours away from here. Well, those are the type of people my parents are. Who cares about the drive or the cost of gas - they want to see their granddaughter! They do the same thing for my brother's triplets. He lives in Dayton - 3 1/2 hours away from them in the opposite direction - and I don't know how many times my parents have driven there in the wee hours of a morning, just to babysit for the day and return home that night. They're amazing.
Since I'll be returning to work part-time and only working three days a week (woo hoo!!), my parents will be coming to babysit on Thursdays and Fridays. I am pretty sure the plan will be for them to arrive on Wednesday evening, and then stay with us through Friday evening when we get home from work. Of course this thrills me, because this will be the first time in over 10 years that I get to see my parents on a weekly basis - I cannot wait!

Since it is still too early on in Riley's little life to take a road trip to Marietta, we didn't get to drive down there on Friday to celebrate my mom as I wish we could have. However, in place of the being there in person, Riley gave a tribute to her grandma:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome, 2009!

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Happy New Year! I had no plans of staying up until midnight to watch the ball drop last night, but Miss Riley must have - she was wide awake to ring in 2009! Around 9pm she must have started to think that with the end of 2008 also came the end of milk, because the little stinker nursed for THIRTY-FOUR minutes! That is very unlike her - she is typically an 8 to 10 minute eater, so 34 minutes took me by surprise. After that meal she was wide awake and ready to party! Luckily, she slept very well through the night and Kevin and I are rested this morning.

Another thing that took me by surprise yesterday was how I found Riley in her crib. I put her down for a nap in the afternoon in her crib. As always, I put her into her sleep positioner on her side. When I came back into her room later to check on her, she was sound asleep on her STOMACH! She had turned herself from her side to her stomach, even with the positioner! I chalk it up to chance and don't think that my 3-week old is able to turn over yet, but I was very surprised!

As I write this, she is sound asleep in her swing. She is so beautiful and so precious and I couldn't love her any more. 2009 is going to be an incredible year.