Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Play


Buddha Baby says: "Entertain me!"


She is reaching for her toys now. We got her this sweet play mat this week. She still doesn't know how to manipulate them (push the frog to make a song play and lights flash, rattle eyore) but at least she is showing some interest. Before she showed no indication of realizing that toys even existed when we would show them to her.

When she sits contentedly in the tub, I wonder if she remembers the womb.


Most flattering face ever:

I just noticed that she doesn't look very happy in any of these. I promise, she smiles some times. But when the camera comes out, she stares off with a concerned look. This week, the closest I got to capturing her looking happy is this picture where she is just coming out of a smile...


I got more diapers this week. Even though she could still fit into newborn sized diapers, her weight puts her at a size 1. She was 11lbs 4 oz on Wednesday last week. As she gets bigger, it's getting a little harder for her to use the weight of her head as the main leverage to roll over. She'll have to learn to use her arms more!

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Using the principles of The Happiest Baby on the Block, Natalie sleeps way better. She has gone from 3-4 hours of sleep at night to 6. Woohoo! I feed her and carry her a lot more during the day and it is helping a lot. Even when she is fussy, it isn't as stressful because I understand a little bit better what I can do to help her. I really encourage anyone who is going to have a baby to read this book!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ants!

I expected when we didn't have problems with bugs in the fall when the weather turned cool that I wouldn't have any issues.

Since early January, I have been seeing ants in the upstairs bathroom. Some days I would see 5 ants in the evening in different places- the shower, the wall, the sink. So, I got some spray (eco-friendly plant oil-based that doesn't harm petsor people) and didn't see any more ants. Yay!

Last night after dinner, Micah noticed a handful of ants in our kitchen by Sammy's food. He cleaned out the area and sprayed. Fortunately they hadn't gotten into the big bag of food yet.

Then this morning, he woke me up to tell me that when he went downstairs, he saw 15 ants on the kitchen floor with one making its way to the counter. I tried to go back to sleep after Micah left for school, but I was too scared of ants. So I went down and killed 5 more ants and started cleaning the floors and baseboards. I sprayed all around the kitchen floor with the bug spray and then carefully cleaned all of the counter surfaces. Then, I saw 4 more ants in the upstairs bathroom this afternoon. I'll spray the bathroom again, but I'm planning my strategy now if the problem occurs again. I think I need borax poison baits. I also need to check our back porch for an anthill. But it would be nice if they decide to give up and we don't see them again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Government Sucks

Finally! We're getting some chubby little leg rolls!



Micah's computer has been super slow so he deleted some files. It was pretty stressful because it was so bogged down even deleting things took forever. This window warned of a pretty long wait to move some files...
It reads "About 47166 Days and 13 hours remaining"


Sammy working hard to make sure Natalie doesn't roll off the couch and keeping her Pooh seat warm for her: Hanging out with Daddy, pushing off the legs and holding up the neck until she's pooped!








My mom popped down for a visit on Saturday so we left Natalie with her while we visited some friends. They have a baby 3 weeks older than Natalie who seems very easy. The wife lent me a book called The Happiest Baby on the Block and even though I have barely started reading it, the suggestions in the very first chapter have already helped. It basically had a list of steps to trigger the baby's calming reflex and it worked. Though Natalie fussed a bit last night, each time she really started to scream I followed the steps and she would totally relax and drift off to sleep. Yay! I learned a new swaddling technique that she can't get out of nearly as easily and it has been helping a lot with staying asleep.




I had a fun experience on Friday. While I was at the county government complex (taking care of some other buisiness that went badly beause of rude, lazy state employees), I stopped in at the tax commissioner's to ask about our property taxes. We recieved a FIFA notice in November that we would be delinquent on our city taxes if we didn't pay them. I was confused because I thought that would be paid directly from our escrow account, but I went ahead and sent in a check so we would stay out of trouble. When we got our tax documents from the mortgage company at the end of the year, it showed the transactions of our escrow and an amount was taken out in September for city taxes. The amount on the FIFA and the escrow account was slightly different, but I figured I would ask any way, just in case I was charged twice accidentally. I finally got to speak to an employee at the office and she looked it up and said that indeed I had been charged twice and the amount that I paid in response to the FIFA had been a positive charge to the account that was refunded. The refund check? Sent to REO Solutions-the company we purchased our place from. It had already been cashed and so the tax commissioner lady basically said well, that's too bad, there's nothing we can do. She printed off the record showing the check with the company's address and told me I could try contacting them. I was aghast with rage. I wanted to yell at the lady, demanding why I had been erroneously issued a FIFA and threatened with a tax lein in November when we had paid our city tax in September. It was their fault that I paid twice and they did not offer to do ANYTHING to help me get back the money that they owed me? Again, it was THEIR fault that they sent the refund to some company in Minnesota rather than to the individuals who paid it. I had Natalie with me and she was on the verge of freaking out so I was in a rush to get out of the office and just left. I was so furious. Micah finally found a way to contact the company (after a long and difficult search; the address was to the 3rd largest building in Minneapolis and the company name was actually different, REO Solutions was just a venture or account of the buisiness) and we are waiting for them to call us back. So, we may get the money or we may not. It's not a huge amount, but I don't care about te money nearly so much as how awful the tax commissioner office was. I mean, how many people do they hose over and just say that there is nothing that they can do. Government sucks. They have absolutely no responsibility to anyone because if they mess up and screw you, it's not like you can just quit shopping there. They made the mistake in the first place overcharging, then in sending the refund to the wrong place and did not so much as offer an apology or explanation.




This experience almost made me want to support Ron Paul.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

She doesn´t smile consistently, but once in a while she will grin a little. She is definitely better at looking into your eyes and being alert and responsive during play time.



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At the request of my Dadio, here is a bit of her crying. This was about 30 minutes into a crying session that lasted over an hour and a half.



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And here is a random moment...



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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

For Valentine's Day, I would like to share with you some things I love. First of all, I love sleep:

Secondly, I love chocolate:



And, more importantly, I love my husband and baby:




Cute moment of the week: I propped her up so she could get some neck exercise. She never stays on her stomach long enough because she flips back over! So, I fold some laundry, look over, and she was OUT-



Here is a cute funny face-


And here we show off her strong legs and her rolling skills.



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No Natalies were harmed in the filming of this video.

Looks like she bumped her head, bu she was fine. She likes to be close to the mirror and stare into it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

PURPLE

Most new moms have told me that after the first 6 weeks, it gets easier. I feel like it started easier, has gotten harder and will only be tougher in coming weeks.

Natalie likes to cry. Not just a little fuss, like screaming until she sounds like she's gonna die. For a really long time. For at least the past 2 weeks she has had crying fits over an hour long in the evening. Then, this week, she started also crying for at least an hour in the late morning. When she cries, no amount of rocking, shushing, diaper changing, feeding or holding seems to help. Singing to her or putting on really loud white noise helps a little, but only after she has already been crying for a long time. My mom said that babies cry to release energy, so I thought it ould just be that. When Darlene suggested "purple crying", we looked it up and think it fits.

PURPLE is an acronym:



There is a PEAK to the crying. The baby cries more and more each week, until it reaches a peak at around 2 months of age, and then it decreases over the following months.
The crying is UNEXPECTED. You don’t know when or where it will start or stop.
The child tends to RESIST soothing. No matter what you do, the baby doesn’t stop crying.
The child may have a PAIN-LIKE face while crying. The baby may look like it is in pain, although it is not.
The crying may be very LONG LASTING. It can last as much as five hours a day or more
The crying increases in the EVENING or late afternoon.


It is perfectly normal and healthy. This does not mean that it isn't frustrating and irritating.

Micah and I plan to go out to eat tomorrow for Valentine's Day, so we might have to wait until 8 or so when she has alrady cried for a while and passed out. Having her cry this much at a restaurant would make me feel really bad for the other guests. Also, I want to attend Releif Society Temple night on Tuesday and Enrichment on Thursday but I feel sorry for Micah having to deal with her alone. Her crying periods are pretty tough to handle.

Let us hope we make it through the week with minimal trauma!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bath Time


I've been asked to share some pictures of the baby in the bath, so here you go:




What? Wrong baby? Oh, well you'll just have to wait until I give Natalie a bath while Micah's home so someone can manage the camera and the other can manage the slippery child.

Here she is in her carrier after a walk. I guess it was pretty tiring.

Her first officially grown-out-of outfit: The newborn size ducky jumper! I can't believe how much she has grown already. It makes me laugh when people mention how small she is because to me she's huge!

Just compare! One 5 wees ago and one from this week.

Soon enough, she will be TAKING OVER THE WORLD! Um... I mean....learning to roll over and... stuff..



In other news, I have become a sissy. I just got the mail and felt like it was super cold out. So I got on to weather.com to check and it said that it is 50 degrees in Atlanta. This warm winter has made me so thin-skinned.

I have been on the search for a place to live in Boston while Micah is doing his internship and it's really frustrating because the rates advertised never seem to be the actual rate they want. One place said it started from 1600, I emailed and they told me it would be 1800. Another place advertised a special of 1500, with normal monthly rates at 1700-1800 and when they responded, they told me it would be 2700. Another was listed at a firm 895, then when they responded to my inquiry, they said it would be 1450. And that one was for a studio in a way old, poorly-rated complex.

So, I've been feeling really frustrated but may have found a good lead. This company rents furnished apartments in a town called Woburn 5-10 miles east of Lexington. They had a few properties listed on Craigslist for 260-375/week, which seems much better than anything else
I've tried. But those properties are available now, so it's possible that they are lowered rates. My only worry is that the manager told me to wait until early May to see about available units for our time frame. If the rates are much higher usually, we will have left ourselves until the last minute without many other options. We might just have to wait and cross our fingers that the market opens up even more. With all of the universities around Boston, we ought to have no trouble finding a summer sublet. It's just hard for me to wait and see how it turns out rather than having it all planned out and ready months in advance!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eeeew.

Natalie has learned now to puke in earnest. At first, she would just make a little spit up, easy to wipe up. On Sunday morning as she was sitting on my stomach, she threw up, soaking my shirt, dripping onto the pillow beneath me- it was everywhere. Monday night, she was crying so Micah took her upstairs to rock her, I hear a scream and run up to see the problem- vomit all over Micah, the baby, the pillow, the floor, the ottoman... Then this morning she was happily cooing in our bed when she randomly began to erupt all over the place with the volume and force of a fountain. Where did it all come from?! I'm pretty sure she doesn't even eat that much?!

So, I'm wondering if there is a reason that she is throwing up nearly every day? Tummy troubles? Something in my diet? Undying love for the sound of the washing machine causing an urge to create dirty laundry?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blessing Day

Natalie continues to grow. Here she is with the cow pillow pet at 5 weeks. Her face doesn't always look that fat, but when we prop her up, she still isn't quite strong enough to hold her neck so her head slumps down and gives her a double chin.

A couple of nights this week she slept for 5 hours, which is a great accomplishment. She was a little more difficult last night, but hopefully she'll sleep more regularly during the week. Up until now we have had her sleep in her bassinet in our room. Today I am moving it over to her room, so we'll see how she does with that.


She continues to make funny facial expressions which are always fleeting and impossible to catch on camera. She has smiled a couple of times for Micah.

We ate at Macaroni Grille on Friday for Micah's birthday and it was sooooooo good. After 2 appetizers and two entrees, even after we asked for seconds of their delicious bread, there were no leftovers. We devoured it all! I had the roasted chicken canneloni and it was incredible. A tube-like noodles filled with cheesy goodness and joy with chucks of chicken floating around in it. Ahhhhhh, it was amazing. So glad we went there instead of olive garden. It cost twice as much but was a zillion times yummier.

On Sunday, Natalie was blessed and it was lovely. Micah's parents, Grandma and Marty's brother Mike and wife Sarah were all able to make it. LeAnn, Dad and Gabby came down for the weekend and we had some fun Saturday eating at Steak and Shake and playing the cool games that Gabby and LeAnn got Micah for his birthday.

In other news, Micah has finalized the details of his internship. He will be working at Lincoln Labs from May 20 to August 10. I am already freaking out over finding a place to live. Hopefully our tax return will be enough to make a deposit and first month's rent on a place!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thoughts on Cereal

Micah has been driving to Marta lately, so I haven't been able to buy very many groceries. Yesterday he left me the car and I went on a big grocery trip for the first time in 2 weeks. Kroger was having this great sale where you could mix and match any 10 participating sale items and get an additional $5 off your total. After the $5, some of the deals equated to 99c goldfish, $1.99 Post cereals, 49c protein bars etc. One item was Mom's Best Natural Cereal for 99c a box, and I was really torn between the Mom's Best and the Post. I originally had an 18 oz box of Honey Bunches of Oats and a 20 oz box of Raisin Bran in my cart but then as I passed the whole foods aisle and I looked at the varieties of Mom's Best. I got an 11 oz box of (the equivilent of) golden grahams, a 16.5 oz box of frosted mini wheats and a 15 oz box of raisin bran instead, since it was more ounces for less money and it was a healthier choice.

I was lying in bed pondering my great shopping deals when it struck me: Why is cereal measured in ounces when we eat it by volume? I mean, every box of cereal contains a different number of ounces of cereal, which is understandable because different cereals weigh more or less. But they also come in different volumes. Sometimes this is obvious because the boxes are dramatically different dimensions (I noticed this with the natural cereal, which boasted recycled material and low-waste packaging), but even boxes of similair dimensions (I imagine there is a move toward uniformity for the purpose of shipping and stocking ease) have very different volumes (probably just more air in the bag). You can't really tell unless you read the serving size and number of servings in a box, to see how many cups of cereal there are. This is a much more useful number than the ounces. After all, who weighs the amount of cereal they eat? We measure by volume, filling a bowl. It makes bargain shopping very tricky because you must first calculate the volume and then compare prices to volume. I say we should put volume on the front of cereal instead of weight! And then move towards uniform volumes so that prices are an easily comparable indication of value.

That is all.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gas

"Now I know how the kid in A Christmas Story felt."



This way-too-big outfit has been great for taking Natalie out for walks on cold days. It's been in the 60's the past few days though, so we haven't needed to bundle up quite so much. It's been relieving for her.

Watching some Fox News



Both babies score some cuddle time with Daddy on Sunday afternoon.


Natalie has had gas a lot lately. It's pretty much the worst thing she has ever experienced and she lets you know it. She scream and cries so much when she has to burp or toot. Being on her tummy helps they say because it puts pressure on the stomach. When I put her on her tummy this morning she started passing gas a lot. Here is a moment of flatulence caught on video:




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