Atlanta

April 30, 2012

So we’ve been having a lovely time with Auntie! We’re so happy to be here, though I’m still getting to grips with the driving.

The little is loving being with her Auntie, as am I! We’ve been spending too much time (and money) at Target, and we’re planning some vintage-shop excursions for her week off from PT school. Fun girlie times!

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Girlie brunch

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Baby play date

My sister’s birthday was over the weekend, so she had friends round to celebrate and to meet the little.

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Beautiful birthday girl

Lucky little baby got some presents, too — her own little Toms! Gah they’re so freaking cute! Thanks Lauren and Adam!

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Reunited

April 26, 2012

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Cora and I made our way to Atlanta yesterday to be reunited with Daddy. She was so happy to see him!

We’re staying with Auntie Danielle and her boyfriend Michael in their amazing apartment overlooking Piedmont Park. Can’t wait to explore it further (have my eye on that outdoor restaurant/bar — looks baby, dog, and sunshine-friendly!!)

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We took our dog, Piper, to the dog park. She can sometimes be afraid of big dogs, so we’ve started her out with the little ones. Cora had such a blast watching them, saying ‘dog, dog’ and pointing. I even think she said, ‘heyyyyyy dog!’ at one point! So sweet.

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Off to house hunt today. Fingers crossed!

Things are definitely getting easier. I know I referred, in passing, to the fact that we’ve had a difficult year. Our problems were mostly feeding problems. I will detail the whole breastfeeding saga later, but let’s just say that breastfeeding was the most important thing in the world to me, as a new mother, and that we were unable to exclusively breastfeed after the first three weeks.

I spent most of the first six months of Cora’s life trying to get back to exclusive breastfeeding, to no avail. Add to that reflux, meds, and a (poor, sweet, darling) baby who wouldn’t take more than a couple of ounces of a bottle at a time (after nursing) – and basically we’ve spent our entire 10 months feeding.

I know that doesn’t sound too terrible, but for someone so heartbroken about being unable to breastfeed, yet not able to leave the house because of the delicate balance of urging a baby to continue to nurse when she has nipple preference, yet having to give a tiny amount of bottle every two hours… it was an isolating place to be.

I’ve kept track of her feeding on an iPhone app since birth. Here’s an example of a day when she was 6.5-months old:

5:30am – breastfeed 11min
8:30am -bf 6min
9am-10am – bf 9min, 1.5oz formula
12pm-1pm – bf 22min, 3oz breastmilk
1pm – bf 11min
4pm-5pm – bf 24min, 2.5oz formula
5:45pm – 2oz formula
7pm-7:45pm – bf 10min, 5oz formula
8:45pm – bf 6min
9:45- 10:30 – bf14min, 3.5oz formula
11pm-11:30pm – bf 5min, 3oz formula
1:45am – bf7min, 3oz formula
4:45am – bf 5 min
5:30am – 3oz formula

So not ideal.

Things have recently started to get easier. She’s still not sleeping, but she has begun to cut down her bottles since she’s eating more solids. And (since we started side-lying nursing in bed at around 7.5-months), she now loves to breastfeed again. Just writing that makes me tear up. 🙂

Having so much family support since we’ve moved home has definitely helped make it easier, but Cora is also just slowly becoming much happier. She’s such a sweetheart, she breaks my heart! Being freed from the tyranny of non-stop feeding seems to have improved her mood. I think maybe her reflux is finally starting to improve (though she’s been off her meds for a few months, and she still won’t have more than 4oz from a bottle. But I don’t know how much she gets from me beforehand.), which in turn has meant she’s feeling a bit better? It’s such a guessing game.

She’s turned into such a joyful little thing!

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I almost hate to even write about how it was. As if, by writing it, I’m implying that there was something wrong with her or that I’d have her any other way. She’s my darling girl, and of course I wouldn’t. But it was difficult to get my head above water for a while.

I’ve also been trying to roll with the punches a bit more lately. Cora has pretty severe separation anxiety for her Mama. Especially during this huge upheaval in her life, I feel it’s really important to just be there for her any time she needs me. It’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it (aaaaaand repeat). But it’s partially manifested in the fact that she won’t sleep alone. We’ve been co-sleeping since she started waking at night again at around 7 months (she was sleeping 8-9 hours/night in her own bed before that *sniff sniff*). I actually think the waking and not willing to go down in her own bed was the beginning of her separation anxiety.

At any rate, I used to try to eek out a moment for myself when she went to sleep. So I would slip out of bed to have an hour to myself to watch tv (haha and to pump. Always to pump), clean something, spend some time online – anything that felt like a moment of ‘me time.’ Of course, after 45 minutes, she would wake screaming cause Mama was gone forever. This meant that her naps were short and unreliable, and I had to go to bed at 9pm.

Since moving home, I’ve embraced the bed as a place I simply spend a lot of time. We’ve moved from house to house a lot, and the beds in America are very high off the ground! So I’ve just been going to bed when she does and staying in bed during her two naps. I just bring my computer or my Kindle, or, recently, have set up a tv to watch if I feel like it. A huge burden has lifted. She’s napping so much better, and I get some ‘alone time’ without the stressor of worrying about when she’ll wake screaming.

Perhaps this is yet another rod for my back, but at the moment, it’s working for us.

 

Clang clang

April 25, 2012

Oh what sort of mischief has Mimi let you get up to today, Corabelle?

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10 months!

April 23, 2012

Our sweet tiny turned 10 months today. Stop getting bigger, little! You’re my tiny baby!!

Cora and I are still in Birmingham staying with my mom for a few more days. We’ve had a lovely time shopping and spending time with the fams.

Chris started work last week, so he’s already moved to Atlanta. We miss him. He and my sister drove here for the weekend, and Cora went crazy giddy for her daddy.

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We spent time with Chris’s family and Cora’s sweet cousin Charlee. They are very sweet together! Unfortunately Cora was having a serious Mama-need while were there, so I didn’t snap any photos– very unlike me!

We went to see my dad today. Family tour!

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I know I’m going to have to stop calling her Squish at some point, but her little face is so squishable!!

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Rude awakening

April 16, 2012

The little had a bit of a rude awakening this morning. She’s had more than three weeks of constant family attention, feet-never-touching-the-floor style. Let’s just say her 20 minutes in the pack-n-play while I showered and dressed were not sunshine and roses.

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Mama feels the same way, squish!

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Meeting the friendlies

April 15, 2012

We’ve had a wonderful weekend seeing friends and meeting babies. Friday we went to our friend Megan’s mom’s house to see Megan (who was visiting from NYC), her new baby Gerhard, and our friend Sherry.

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Cora loves loves loves other babies. Gerhard is only six months, though, so we had to be careful that Cora wasn’t too enthusiastic!

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With her Aunt Sherry

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Friday night we went out for dinner with our long-lost friendlies and then to Avondale Brewing Company.

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After waking up a little sore in the head (and after a pretty rough evening, sans-Mama, for the little) we made the best of the glorious weather yesterday by meeting for a playdate in Homewood Park. Cora met all of her future playmates, and Mama got a little Vitamin D. Daddy was in rough shape after the night before, so he mostly tried not to vom. Ha.

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Now I’m in bed on my birthday with my sleeping squish. ❤

Easter pic overload

April 12, 2012

Pic spam pic spam

Our little family

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Manic

April 12, 2012

We have been crazy, non-stop family visiting for a week and a half now. It’s been so lovely for Cora to meet everyone! I am seriously seriously sick of living out of suitcases, though. And not really an end in sight on that front.

I would love to just blink my eyes and be magically settled in a house we love in Atlanta, with no more moving admin looming ominously over my head. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen, so I suppose we’ll keep plodding along!

We got back from Mobile the day before yesterday, where Cora met three of her great-grandmothers and a bundle of cousins.

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Baby explosion

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Cora and cousin Xander

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Loving on cousin Kaitlin

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Meeting cousin Avery Kate and Aunt Michelle

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Getting into mischief with Grandma

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Snuggling with Mimi

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Danced herself to sleep on her Honey

Will return with millions of Easter photos!