Wednesday, June 24, 2009

4 months!

Dear Zoe,

Well, baby girl, you're 4 months old! (4.5 months actually, but who's counting? You're going to shake your head in amusement at all these late entries when I turn this blog into a keepsake book for you. What can I say? I'm just busy enjoying you!) I'm still amazed at how fast time is flying. I guess it's true that time flies when you're having fun, because we're having a blast with you! You're such a sweet girl, and you're developing such a cute and sweet personality.

In the last month you've become a drool and slobber machine. Sometimes I call you my little bubble girl because you often have tons of little bubbles collecting on your lips. I used to think slobber and drool were gross, but now that I'm a mommy, I think it's the cutest thing ever.

You discovered your feet this month. Boy do you love your feet! It's cute to watch you grab for them while you talk to us. When you're talking, I think you might be challenging us to see if we can grab our feet, too. LOL. Too bad we can' least not like you do. In addition to grabbing your feet, you've started reaching out for objects, including Mommy's face. I love this, especially while you're nursing.

You're laughing more and more these days. One of the things you enjoy and that makes you laugh is to be startled. You also enjoy it when we play a little game where we thrust you in front of Daddy's face as we say "BOOM"! This cracks you up! But you don't find it as amusing when we thrust you in front of Mommy's face and do the same thing. What's really unfair about this is that Mommy thought of the game. Hmmmm???

You moved to your crib this month. This was very sad for Mommy, and it continues to sadden me. I miss having you next to me in your bassinet. I loved having you so close, but I'm glad you have extra room to stretch out in your crib. You still wake up in the morning to nurse (more on this later), so I still bring you to our bed around 5am and let you lay next to me. Mommy nurses you lying down, and we sleep in together until about 9am; I love this special time with you. I'll miss this when I return to work. :- (

Thanks to Gym.boree classes, which you love, you have started to actually semi-enjoy tummy time. You definitely tolerate it more than before, but you'll only remain on your tummy for about 5 minutes at a time. Speaking of Gym.boree, you've been enrolled in classes since about 3.5 months. Mommy and Daddy enjoy taking you to class and interacting with you in developmental play; this is the best money we've spent on you thus far. You seem to enjoy the distraction of the other babies and the fun activities we play. Mommy has also benefited from it as well because I've met some nice women with babies your age.

Oh, you discovered a new household "friend"....air conditioning vents. When you wake up in the morning, in addition to marveling at the ceiling fan, you also love to look at the A/C vent and smile and talk to it. You're so adorable! You still love watching the TV. I don't know what attracts you the most about it, but you love to sit and stare at it. Mommy and Daddy are really trying to discourage this though because we don't want you hooked on TV.

Now to the not-so-neat things about this month. Girl, you want to be held ALL THE TIME! While we enjoy holding and snuggling you (hence the cause of this "problem"), it's tough when we need to get things done around the house like cooking or cleaning (or blogging--lol), and it's especially tough for Mommy on the days when Daddy is traveling and it's just you and me at home. You've grown accustomed to sitting in your bouncer while we shower, so that's great, but other than that one allowance of the day, your favorite place to be is in Mommy's or Daddy's arms. I hope with time you'll learn to enjoy your swing or longer periods of time in your bouncer so we can get more done.

Also, this month you've regressed with sleeping through the night. This issue developed as you approached your 4 month growth spurt. You went from sleeping from 9:30pm-6:00am to waking up around 1:30am and then again between 4:45-6:00am depending on the night. All I can say is "whew!" I hope you outgrow this SOON!

Lastly, a few additional behavior and developmental notes: you are developing a pretty sensitive disposition because you will cry at the drop of a hat. Sometimes you cry if we're out of your view too long (even if it's only been seconds), sometimes you cry because the ceiling fan hurt your feelings, and sometimes you cry for no reason at all. But you're easy to comfort, so the crying isn't bad at all. You are also so adult-like in some of the things you do. For example, you make the cutest exasperated sound when you yawn, you sleep with your arm over your eyes sometimes when it's too bright, you even rub your eyes now when you're sleepy, and you rest your arm on objects when you're just chillin'. This month is also all about tactile development as you love discovering new textures with your hands....and your mouth! You really are an adorable little girl!

Zoe, thank you for bringing Mommy and Daddy such happiness and for giving us a renewed sense of purpose for our lives. We love you so very much!

Love always,
4 month stats:
Weight: 12lb. 4oz. (21st percentile)
Height: 24 1/4 inches (51st percentile)
Head: 41 cm (51st percentile)
Your 4 month photo

Enjoying a few minutes in your Bu.mbo

You LOVED this root beer bottle! I think you enjoyed the bumpy letters and the cold, wet feel of the bottle.

Busted! You recently discovered the decorative grapes Mommy is trying out on the kitchen table. You can play with them....just don't try to eat them.


Real men Gym.boree! This was Daddy enjoying playtime with you during a weekday class. (The daddies usually attend on Saturdays)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Today we celebrated Trevor's first Father's Day; it was a great day! Actually, the celebration began yesterday with a surprise daddy/daughter photo session I planned for Trevor and Zoe. Last year Trevor found out he was going to be a daddy; this year he was able to spend this special day with his precious baby girl. He was such a proud daddy today. When we woke up, Zoe and I gave him his cards and gifts. I made him a photo card from Zoe with images of various daddy/daughter memories we've captured; he loved it! I also painted a coffee mug for Trevor from Zoe complete with her footprints and some longhorn attachments. The mug said "Hooked on Daddy" to go with the UT "Hook 'Em" theme; again, he loved it! My gift to Trevor was a variety of accessories for his grill. After our morning at home, we headed out to church. Trevor enjoyed holding Zoe for most of the service. It is so special to see him praising the Lord with his daughter, our gift from God, in his arms. I'm glad she can watch us worshipping together as a family. I want to give her a rich legacy of faith in Jesus Christ.

We ended our Father's Day celebration with a nice dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse (yum!)....and a family nap after filling our bellies. :- )

Happy Father's Day once again, Trevor. You are an amazing daddy to Zoe. She's so blessed! We're so blessed! We love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Promise to my Daughter

As my return date to work draws closer (six more weeks), my heart is saddened to think of leaving my baby girl while I'm at work. I never pegged myself as the "stay at home mom" type. I've worked hard to get to where I'm at professionally, and I always assumed (and intended) to return to work. After all, wouldn't it be foolish to spend so many years in school to eventually stay home? That was my rationale until I held my beautiful daughter in my arms for the first time. Even then I didn't give staying home much thought, but as I spend more and more time with Zoe, my heart (and my thought process) has changed. Being home with Zoe is now incredibly important to me. This is my calling. She is my calling. And I don't think anyone will care for her as well as I can. But....there's always a pesky "but" lurking in the background. BUT....staying home isn't an option right now. Trevor and I are praying for the Lord's direction on how to get me home. We are confident that unexpected doors will open and the opportunity will present itself. In the meantime, I'm beginning the process of preparing myself, both mentally and emotionally, to return to work in early August. My law firm has undergone a lot of changes during my maternity leave, so I stand to be incredibly busy when I return. (I've even been asked twice to consider returning early; I declined) The practice of law at a large firm is demanding enough as it is, but when you factor in being understaffed, it's a much more daunting scenario. I don't know what to expect, but I'm fearing the worst. As a new mom, the prospect of very long workdays concerns me.

All of this brings me to the promise I made my daughter. Last night as I nursed Zoe during her bedtime routine, which is one of my favorite parts of the day with her, by the way, I gently rubbed her head, and through tears, I had a heart-to-heart with her. And I made a plea.

I promised Zoe that Daddy and I WILL work (and are working) on getting Mommy home with her full-time as soon as possible. I promised her that we would not give up until this becomes a reality. I told her how very much I love her, and that nothing, other than her Daddy and my relationship with Jesus, is more important to me than her. I told her how much happiness she's brought me. And I told her that sadly, in August, Mommy has to return to work, but Daddy will be home with her for three months to love on her and keep her safe. And I assured her that I will miss her terribly every day.

I also made a plea to Zoe. I asked her to forgive me for the time we'll spend apart when I return to work. And I asked her not to forget me. I also asked her not to love me less. I know that sounds silly because I'll still see her every morning and evening, but after spending every waking hour with her for six months, I can't help but worry that she'll feel the difference. As I figure it, I'll get about four hours or so with Zoe on workdays. Four hours! That is unacceptable!!! Zoe and I have developed an incredible bond. There's something special about the way she looks at me. Sometimes when she looks at me while I'm nursing her and at other random times, I truly feel like she's communicating with me through her eyes; the look is so tender, loving and trusting. I don't want that tender look from her to ever change. I never want her to look at me with disappointment, sadness or rejection in her eyes because I'm not there for her enough.

Staying home with Zoe will require sacrifices on our part. We'll have to eat out less, actually work on the budget we've been threatening to start for the past three years, stop shopping on a whim without worrying about our bills being covered, take more conservative vacations, live in a less expensive home, postpone buying a new car, and the list goes on. But it's only temporary. And I think it's worth it. And more importantly, I know that the Lord will honor our sacrifice. He will be well pleased. And Zoe will receive tender loving care daily from a mommy who thinks the world of her.

I pray that I can keep my promise to Zoe. In the meantime, I desperately hope that Zoe will grant me my plea.

For my readers....I covet your prayers as I prepare for this difficult transition.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Leaving the Nest

The past two nights have been pretty sad for me. Zoe is now sleeping in her crib. I knew this time would come, and I know it's best for her to be in her own room (plus she can really stretch out!), but it doesn't make it any easier. I can't help but feel like she's getting farther and farther away from me. The first separation experience for me was after I gave birth to Zoe. Boy did I miss being pregnant; I still do sometimes. While I know a lot of women don't enjoy pregnancy, I loved it! Sure I had aches and pains, but I really did have a great pregnancy. After having Zoe, I loved holding her, but I missed feeling her inside of me.

Now I'm dealing with my second separation experience. Moving Zoe into her own room felt like I was betraying her or rejecting her in some way. And, oddly enough, I'm afraid that she feels that way, too. I don't know how to make sure she doesn't feel that way because I never want her to feel any form of rejection from me. I want her to always know with every fiber of her being that her mommy loves her deeply. Zoe's first night went smoothly in terms of getting her down, but tonight was rough. She cried so much. I was heartbroken and wondered what she was thinking or feeling about me. I feel like I need to make this up to her.

Having Zoe in her bassinet on my side of the bed made me feel like I was protecting her in some way. After all, isn't that my job as her mom? To protect my precious daughter. I hope this feeling of letting her down soon passes.

I haven't made it through an entire second night of Zoe being in her crib yet, but I can say that the first night consisted of a lot of checking on Zoe, lots of baby monitor adjustments, tons of lighting adjustments, etc. Zoe was completely unaware, and she was probably just fine. We'll see how night #2 goes for me. I just know that I desperately miss having her close to me on my side of the bed.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First Fever

Zoe had her first fever today. She had her 4 month shots yesterday; I hate those things! When she woke up this morning, I picked her up and noticed she was pretty hot to the touch. I took her temperature, and it was 102.8. This freaked me out! I took off her gown and gave her some Ty.lenol. I also called her pediatrician's office for further instructions. After 45 minutes her fever broke and went down to 99.8. As the day progressed, it continued to drop. Thank God! My poor baby girl. I hope her fever doesn't return. On the upside, Zoe was a perfectly happy baby through it all. If it weren't for her feeling warm, I never would've known she had a fever.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sweet Giggles

We discovered a new game to play with Zoe that cracks her up. She loves it when we thrust her in front of Daddy's face, and he goes "boom" kinda loud. The things that entertain We played this game with her two nights ago and she CRACKED up! There's nothing like the sound of a baby giggling.

She LOVES Her Feet!

Zoe discovered her feet about a week ago, and she LOVES them! I know all babies go through this stage, but it's extra cute with Zoe since she's our baby. :- ) Here's a cute video of her kicking like a Roc.kette.

Zoe Driving

A few pictures from a recent road trip....just for fun. These were taken while we were at a rest area.