Monday, August 30, 2010

Visit from the Rocks Clan

Brianna, Ashlyn, Katy and Marcia came up to visit us on Saturday. They met us at our house and spent some time hanging out with Jeremy, Scarlett and me for a while. Ashlyn was too cute with the baby, handing her toys and talking to her. She did a really good job of bouncing Scarlett in the bouncy seat, too. Ashlyn is going to be a good big sister.

We ran out of time to go to the farmers market in Boulder, so we just went straight to lunch at the Huckleberry. They were excited to check it out since I seem to mention it in my blog about once a week. LOL. The food was, as always, deeeelicious.

There was a little farmers market going on in Louisville that day, too, so we walked over and checked it out. It was less than a quarter of the size of the Boulder one, but they still had some pretty decent produce and products. Hopefully next time they come up we can go to the one in Boulder so they can see what a really good farmers market is like. :)

Scarlett is now sleeping in her own room. I gotta say, it's nice having my bedroom back! She actually seems to sleep better in her crib than she was in her bassinet, too. Of course, I could be mistaken -- it could just be that I am not hearing her squiggling and grunting throughout the night anymore because she's farther away now. But you'd think I'd hear it in the monitor. I dunno. All I know is we're all pretty happy with the situation.

Jeremy took the baby down to the Springs and stayed Sunday night with his parents while I was in California. I'm glad he got the opportunity to spend that kind of time with his family, and they seemed to be really happy to have that much time with their granddaughter too.

I can't believe this is my last week of maternity leave. I got a new laptop for work, so I think I'm going to try to set it up this week so I'm not messing with it while I'm trying to get back into the groove of my job next week. We'll see if the baby cooperates with that idea.

Peg's Memorial

I left the house at 3:45am on Sunday morning to head to the airport. After a layover in Phoenix, I arrived in San Jose at about 9:40am. My parents picked me up, we went to my grandmother's house, I changed, and we took off for Peg's memorial (NOT wake, I was corrected) in Sausalito.

Sausalito is just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. The drive is pretty amazing, and it always brings back a lot of memories for me. A lot of those memories involve the woman we were going to honor -- so the emotions set in early.

We arrived in Sausalito early enough to grab some lunch from Molly Stone's. The day was beautiful, warm and fog-less. We ate at a picnic table next to the marina (the picture in my last post was taken while I was sitting there). It wasn't long before people started approaching us and asking how we were related to Peg. Everyone wanted to hear stories about her. Her friends, colleagues and acquaintances were all very expressive of their grief. I saw a lot of strangers crying. My family held it together pretty well until the memorial started and the speeches began. It took everything I had to hold myself together, and I couldn't look at anyone else the whole time or I would lose it. My cousin Chris, Peg's oldest son, sat right next to me. I was terrified he'd start sobbing because I knew I wouldn't be able to stop myself from joining him. Thankfully I also had my cousin Robbie on the other side of me. His light spirit helped me keep my head above the fog of sadness in the air.

Several people got up to talk about Peg. All of the speeches and stories were wonderful. I loved hearing from Paul, Peg's longtime partner, about all the adventures they had together over the last year. Peg has always lived an amazing life, but she really took it to another level once she was diagnosed. She put aside her workaholic nature and did all the things she had been putting off, traveling to some pretty cool places. I am so happy Paul was there by her side, making sure she got to do what she wanted to do.

We were all worried that Peg's youngest son, my cousin Brooks, was going to cause a scene. Let's just say the guy can be a bit dramatic. But when he got up to speak, he honored his mother well.

Peg brought people together during her life, and she did the same in death. I saw a lot of people at her memorial that I hadn't seen in a long time. It was quite the party with nearly 400 people, amazing food, and an open bar (Peg wouldn't have accepted anything less!) -- it certainly didn't leave me much room to obsess about missing my daughter. Scarlett was constantly on my mind, of course, and both my parents and I showed pictures of her just about everyone there. I hope to be able to bring Scarlett out to meet everyone in person at the end of the year. That has been my plan all along... but I thought she'd be able to meet Peg at that time, too. I am really, really bummed about that. At least I feel good that I sent Peg lots of pictures of Scarlett.

I think that's the weirdest -- and hardest -- part about all of this. I was emailing with Peg just a few days ago. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that I was talking to her just a few days ago, and she sounded great, and now she's just gone.

Okay, I have other things to blog about, but I am going to wrap this entry up here. I'll write more about the non-Peg stuff in a bit. Here is a link to Peg's obituary if you're interested in learning more about this fabulous person:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Visits and Wake

Scarlett has gotten a lot of love this week. My friend/piano teacher Heather came to visit on Tuesday. I haven't seen her in almost 2 months and I really enjoyed her company. Scarlett slept for about an hour and a half in Heather's arms. Too cute.

Wednesday Scarlett and I went to Castle Rock to visit my dad at work. She got to meet his staff, and then we went to lunch at Toss Asian. The baby was having a fussy day, and I think it was my fault. She went down for her morning nap at 9am, as usual, but I couldn't get her to sleep in her carrier. She insisted on napping in her crib, so when I moved her to her carrier around 9:45, she woke up. I think that threw her whole day off. She made it through lunch without hollering, but I had to rock her carrier and keep giving her her pacifier to keep her calm. We stopped by and visited my mom (she works from home) afterward, and Scarlett was still being fussy. At least my mom got to give her a bottle, and Scarlett played with us a little before she started hollering for a nap. On the way home she slept until we reached the Speer exit... then she cried bloody murder allll the way home. Thank goodness for my husband -- when I got home he immediately took her off my hands, gave her a bottle and put her down for a real nap so I could rest. I got to sleep for a whole two hours and the baby slept like the dead for over 3 hours!

Today I went down to Colorado Springs and spent the day with my mother-in-law, Janet. Pretty much every time Janet has been around Scarlett, there have been a lot of other people around -- so she hasn't had much of an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with her granddaughter. So I promised her I'd bring the baby down for a day. Emily was there with the 11-month-old twins, so the house was a-rockin' -- those boys are like little elephants. Really cute little elephants. LOL. And they have such huge feet next to Scarlett! We put a pair of their shoes next to Scarlett's feet and took a picture. I'll have to post that pic when I get a copy. Jennifer also came by with the three nieces, so Scarlett got to see all kinds of people today. But Janet still got lots of time with her, so it all worked out rather nicely.

In more somber news, I'm flying out for my aunt's wake on Sunday and flying back home on Monday. The baby is staying here with Jeremy because she's too young to fly (doctors recommend you wait until the baby is 2-3 months old because of the risk of germ exposure). It's the first time I'll be away from Scarlett overnight. I'm kind of anxious about it, even though I know Jeremy will have absolutely no trouble managing her without me. I really lucked out in the husband department, I know. But I wouldn't miss this wake for anything. Peg meant a lot to me. It's going to be a pretty huge event, I think -- they're renting out one of the large waterfront tents that the Sausalito Art Fair is held in.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Honor of a Great Woman

My aunt Peg passed away this afternoon. She has been battling pancreatic cancer. It finally took her. I don't even know where to begin expressing my sorrow. It happened so quickly, I'm still in shock. I was planning on bringing the baby out to meet her at the end of this year, and my heart is broken with the knowledge that Scarlett will never get to meet this special person.

I have so many amazing memories of Peg. For several years I flew out to California for Labor Day weekend to volunteer with her at the Sausalito Art Festival and the opening night gala. She was deeply involved in this world famous event, and I enjoyed helping her bring it all together. She knew many of the artists intimately, so I got to meet some of the creative talents that will be in art history books in the decades to come. And the opening night gala was the party of the year -- I ate caviar, drank wine, and danced with politicians, writers, and some of the richest people in the Bay Area. The days I spent in Sausalito with Peg were some of the highlights of my 20's.

The picture of her I will always have etched in my memory is dancing at the gala, glass of white wine in hand. So tonight I honor my aunt with a glass of white wine. Cheers, Peg.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Notes on Scarlett's Development

The first week I was still high from the birth. Nothing phased me, and Scarlett mostly slept. The second week I started getting the baby blues (though I'd been warned, I was definitely not prepared for how strong the hormonal shift was) and Scarlett started getting "colic" -- so weeks 2 and 3 were REALLY tough and I lost my marbles a few times. Starting at week 4, though, we figured out the food situation which solved the "colic", my baby blues were gone and Scarlett started sleeping better. By the end of week 4, so just at a month old, Scarlett's development boomed. She started being able to really see people, she started making new noises, her sleeping and eating patterns changed, and for the first time she was really able to interact. Tomorrow she will be 5 weeks old and she is such a different baby than she was when she was born. It is just amazing to me how quickly babies grow. Given how rough the first few weeks were, I'm actually very thankful for that right now. Though I'm sure I'll be screaming "stop growing!" soon enough.

I've started putting her down for naps in her crib rather than the bassinet. I think in a couple of weeks we can transition her into her bedroom at night as well. Really the only thing I'm waiting on is for her to go down to one feeding a night. Right now she's doing two, so it's just easier to have her in our bedroom.

Scarlett is smiling now. Kind of. LOL. Not the big genuine smiles yet, but the corners of her mouth definitely turn up into little smiles when you're interacting with her.

Here is a pic of her with her new bow:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Babysitting Service

Just to follow up on that last post, I found something that alleviated all my stress about working at home with the baby. A local babysitting service called SeekingSitters does on-call babysitting requests and is pretty reasonably priced for what they offer. I can use this on days where I have lots of calls or have to give a presentation. Whew! What a load off.

Running Out of Time!

My maternity leave is running out so quickly. I only have 2 weeks left! I'm kinda freaking out. I know I'll figure out how to manage it, but I am a worrywart. I hear people's kids screaming on conference calls all the time -- but the thought of it being MY kid gives me heart palpitations. Not so much because of the perception of other people, but more because it is so distracting! I don't know why I worry as much as I do, really. Scarlett gets fussy, sure, but I know how to soothe her. There are very few times she cries and I can't calm her pretty quickly.

Janet (Jeremy's mom) came to visit on Friday. She was bringing some of Kelsey's stuff to her up in Greeley, so she swung by on her way back south. (Kelsey is now attending the University of Northern Colorado. I'm so proud of her!) We all went to lunch at the Huckleberry, then Janet and I took the baby in my new off-road stroller to the lake for a walk.

Saturday my parents came up and they went to the Lafayette Peach Festival with Scarlett and I. The festival was huge! It ran the length of Public Road, and had tents with food, arts and crafts, and local businesses and organizations. There was also live music and demonstrations. My parents bought a big bag of local organic peaches that they shared with me, and an adorable little bow with an "S" on it for Scarlett's head from the Sugar Plum Fairy Bowtique booth. I'll post pictures of her new bow when I take some. Anyway, we walked up and down the strip, then went to Tutti for lunch out on the patio. Scarlett needed a diaper change, and this was the first time I had had to change her in a public place. Talk about trial by fire -- there was no changing table in the restroom. So I put the toilet seat down and put a burp rag on it, then changed the baby on the toilet. Hahaha. That's called momgenuity.

When we got home from the festival, I saw that Jeremy had mowed and weed-whacked the yard, changed out the cat litter, and shaved off his mountain-man beard. What a treat to come home to!

Last night Jeremy took the night shift with the baby for the first time. Of course, even though I knew I could sleep, my body still insisted on waking me up when the baby woke up. And I stayed awake until she went back down. And I got up with her at 8am this morning because Jeremy couldn't get her to stop fussing (she just needed some attention and cuddles for about 30 min before she went back down for her morning nap). So while it was still nice to not have to get up and feed her, I still didn't get any more sleep than usual! Oh well. I can't complain. It was nice to just be able to lie down for 8 hours!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Colic My Butt!

I previously mentioned that we're experimenting with Scarlett's food, since she had such a hard time with breastmilk. The doctors insisted her behavior and spitting up/vomiting was due to acid reflux and colic -- no one we talked to would give us any further input than that. So we took it upon ourselves to figure out what was wrong with our little girl. We started her on a gentle milk formula on Saturday; one of the ones that has the milk proteins broken down very small. And after a few days on it, Scarlett is a new baby!

Last night Scarlett had her best night's sleep in a week (and thus I had my best night's sleep too!). This morning when she awoke she was like a different person. Her development boomed overnight, she's been happy playing by herself, she's tracking voices with her eyes, and she's even showing interest in toys. Her digestion today is the healthiest it's ever been, and she had two really deep, long naps. But the biggest thing is she's happy. COLIC MY ASS!

I'm sorry, but the term "colic" is absolute crap to me. It's what doctors tell you your child has when the child isn't feeling good. They tell you "Oh, just deal with it. They'll outgrow it." Well how about we figure out what is wrong with the child and FIX IT??? Isn't that what parents and medical professionals are supposed to do for little children?

UGH. Off my soapbox.

Jeremy and I went to Colorado Springs on Saturday. The Mehrings threw a going away party for Kelsey (she's going to college), and I also took advantage of being down there and went in to my awesome stylist Eric to get my hair done. There were about 50 people at Jeremy's parents' house, so I didn't even get to see my daughter for the length of our stay there. LOL. One great thing about Jeremy's family is no one hesitates to take care of the little ones. They are a baby-crazy family, in the best sense of the term. And Scarlett behaved so well! The only time she got fussy was once when she was really tired and fighting a nap. She also came home with a whole new wardrobe. Jeremy's maternal grandmother gave us a huge bag of brand new baby clothes. One of my favorite outfits is a little black onesie with picture of a pearl necklace and the words "This is my little black dress." I will have to post pics of that when she's big enough to wear it.

Scarlett and I went to Castle Rock today and met Josey and baby Connor for lunch at IHOP. Scarlett slept through the whole thing. Connor is so BIG! And such a handsome little future husband for my baby girl.

Afterward we went and visited my mom for a few hours. Scarlett got some Gramz love.

Jeremy and I got a pizza and watched Furry Vengeance tonight. Cute movie, but the musical number at the end was the funniest part.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Little Catch-Up

I can't believe how hard it is to do a simple thing like write a blog these days.

Well it looks like Scarlett has a milk protein intolerance. We switched her over to soy formula just to see if it made any difference, and sure enough it solved more than half of her health problems. It sucks, but the doc says she will probably outgrow it in 6-12 months. We're going to keep going with the soy for a few more days before we decide for sure she's not going to nurse anymore. I really don't know how I feel about that yet -- but the truth is if formula is better for Scarlett's health, it really doesn't matter how I feel.

The baby has already started to lose the hair she was born with. Now she looks even more like Jeremy. LOL

My mom came to stay with me for the day yesterday. It was SO nice. Scarlett does better with other people than she does with just me. Apparently I bore my daughter. So just my mom's mere presence was enough to make Scarlett have a really good day.

I am starting to stress about going back to work. I'm going to try to keep Scarlett here at home with me, in the hope that her "colic" has improved by the time I start work. But if I have too much trouble doing my job with her here... daycare here we come. I'm really hoping to not have to do that. But I'm going in to check out Della's daughter's daycare on Monday just in case.

The baby finally went down for her nap. Maybe now I can finish the magazine I've been trying to read for the last week...

Enjoying her second bath much more than her first

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Life 2.0

Holy cow. I have been trying to write this blog for a week. I think at least a dozen times a day, "I need to blog about this!"

Life with a newborn. Wow. Just wow. No one ever could have prepared me for this. And I don't even get the luxury of stopping to think about how life has changed -- I just function moment to moment. Autopilot.

It's not bad, though. When you're a mom, you don't get the chance to think "this is too much for me". You just do it. And in those moments when your baby is calm and happy, you know why you do it all.

Anyway, enough blah blah blahing.

Scarlett went to the doctor last Wednesday. Only 8 days old and already at the doc, poor kid. She had all the signs of acid reflux, and the doc agreed. He put her on Zantac, which seemed to make her a little happier (though still really spitty) for a few days, but then she went downhill again on Sunday. You can tell she just doesn't feel good. She's only happy when she's being snuggled, which is cute and all, but Jeremy and I firmly believe she needs to learn how to soothe herself in addition to us soothing her. So we're trying to balance being there for our uncomfortable daughter and also teaching her that life outside of someone's arms is okay too. It's a tough tightrope to walk.

I bought the book On Becoming Baby Wise, and I started employing those methods yesterday. The theory behind it really coincides with our values, so I hope in practice it works well for us. There are a lot of misconceptions about this method, because it is designed to help parents set up routines for babies (and these days attachment parenting is so popular). The biggest misconception is that it tells you to let your child go hungry until the designated time to eat. This is just not true! If you actually read the book, it tells you to consider your child's cues before you consider the clock. If your baby is hungry, feed her! Anyway, we're on day 2 and so far so good. Nights are still pretty rough, but tonight is better than last night already.

In other news, Jeremy started his new tire salvage business yesterday. He's exhausted, but happy to be back at work. I am handling being alone with Scarlett a lot better than I thought I would after two weeks of having Jeremy home with me. In fact, not only did I take her to the doc by myself today for her well baby checkup (she's already 7lbs 9oz!), but I also took her to the nursing store with me -- and we both did great! Well, she got fussy in the waiting room at the doc's office, but I was able to soothe her.

I won't lie, though, I'm exhausted. The first week after having the baby, I think I was still on high from the birth. Plus Scarlett slept a lot more. Now the sleep deprivation and being constantly "on" is catching up with me. Everyone says "sleep when the baby sleeps" -- well, easier said than done!

We all went over to my parents' house on Saturday to visit and barbecue. Scarlett does so well with other people, she just charmed the pants off of everyone. Even Chad, my very reluctant youngest brother, held her and loved her. I can't wait until she starts really smiling in a few weeks.

We've had a lot of visitors in the last week. I loooove having visitors! Jeremy's mom, 2 sisters and one of his nieces and nephews came last Weds, then my parents and one brother came on thursday, and Emily stopped in on Sunday. Any friends reading this blog, just let me know if you want to come see us!

Wow. It's been a whole 40 minutes and Scarlett is still sleeping soundly in her bassinet. I am going to end this blog and pay attention to the movie that Jeremy brought home for us to watch. Hoping to write again later...