Tuesday, March 31, 2009

cry it out

For those of you who are not familiar with "cry it out," it is a technique used to help babies learn to sleep through the night (or naps).  When they wake up, you don't go get them or feed them, you just let them cry it out.  

Abby started sleeping through the night pretty early on, then she slipped back into one or two wakings a night for a while.  Then, she started doing this really annoying thing where she would wake up and cry every time her paci came out of her mouth.  If we put it back in right away, she would fall right back asleep (for 45 mins or maybe an hour)  This meant that I was up and down all night.  I was exhausted.  So, this week we started letting her CIO at night.  She had already proven to us that she could sleep through and that she didn't NEED to be fed at night.  

The first night we did it, she cried 2 or 3 times, but the longest was only 16 mins.  The next night she slept 12 hours without a peep (yay!).  Last night she cried 3 times again - the longest was 25 mins.  So now we're waiting to see what happens. 

CIO is not for everybody.  It's hard to hear your baby cry - especially when they do that "where are you?" cry.  For us, it's much harder on Kyle than on me.  Kyle has the instinct where he wants to go in and "rescue" her.  I, on the other hand, am fine hearing her cry because I know that 1) she's ok - she's not hurt and that 2) it's for her own good.  I do, however, recognize that we are lucky that she hasn't been one to cry for hours on end.  25 mins is much easier than 60+

Most of the time, when she cries, it's only for about 5 mins, and then she's back asleep.  If we had never let her CIO, we would never have known that she could soothe herself back after just 5 mins. I was always at her cribside 15 seconds after she uttered the slightest noise trying to help.  It took a little time for me to realize that I wasn't actually doing her any good - I was just teaching her to rely on me to get back to sleep instead of letting her do it. 

Oh, and for anybody who is worried that I'm going to create some sort of trust issue - I'm not. :) Abby wakes up every morning with nothing but big grins and giggles when she sees us.  She doesn't remember a thing from the night before - and she's well rested to boot. 

Abigail - you have been a good sleeper all along and we are very thankful for that.  I hope that you will develop good sleep habits that will last you a long time.  I am proud of how well you are doing.  You're such a very good baby. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

rolly polly

The other day, Abby started trying to roll from her back to her tummy.  She made some good efforts, but unfortunately, her head was just a wee bit too heavy.  

However, today is a new day, and she made it over all on her own.  I made her do it five or six times before letting her stop - so in the video she's not exactly happy with me, but we thought it was kinda funny anyway.  It's a short video, I didn't get the first part with her legs up in the air, but you'll get the idea. 

She still hasn't figured out she can go from tummy to back yet, but I'm sure it won't be long.

So good job Abigail, you'll be mobile before we know it.  :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

my blue eyed baby

These eyes are gonna be trouble when she's older, I can tell. 

bits of the week

Before I get too far behind, there were several things from this last week that I wanted to post here.  

We had a great week with Kyle's parents.  We were able to get out and do quite a few things and it was nice to show them around and to enjoy their company.  We did the freedom trail the first weekend they were here and had a relaxing monday after that.  On Tuesday, we all went to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (big thanks to Mary & Karen for babysitting!)  The music was great and it was a nice event.  It did make me miss playing french horn - they're such beautiful instruments. :)  It also made me remember when my parents would take me to concerts and I would sit there and make up stories in my head to match the music.  I still do that. I hope Abby will too one day. 

Here are a few shots from that evening.

the next night we met up with some life-long friends of the shachs.  They treated us to an excellent Italian dinner and we enjoyed their company.  On Thursday, Kyle's parents babysat while Kyle and I went on a date.  It was nice.  Kyle took us to the restaurant on top of the Prudential Center here in Boston (a tall building downtown).  We enjoyed the view, the atmosphere, and our 3 yummy meals with a different wine for each course.  Lobster bisque, lamb, and creme brulee - if you're not careful, one could get used to that kind of food pretty quick.  

After dinner, Kyle and I went and got some coffee - and Kyle got a cookie.  Then we walked around Barnes & Nobel for a little bit before heading home.  As the coffee lady handed him the cookie he ordered, Kyle said "Oh, actually, could you warm that up for me?"  He really just loves warm cookies - but it came across a bit on the snooty side and we both had a good laugh about turning into snobs after one nice dinner out.  As you can see though, he was quite happy.

On Friday, it was time for the Shachmuts to head home (which is a whole other story and it suffices to say that they did not have the easiest time getting back to Arkansas).  We enjoyed a nice lunch at Legal Seafoods before driving them to the airport and saying our so-longs. 

It was great having my in-laws around and I'm lucky to have such great ones.  I KNOW Abby really enjoyed the extra attention and lovin' as well.  

dad's blog

Hey people, 

My dad started a blog - which is pretty much awesome.  Y'know, because people who start blogs are already awesome PLUS the fact that he's my dad and is already like the most awesome dude around.  Totally.  ;-)

So, if you feel so inclined, I invite you to visit his new spot on the web and give him a (virtual) pat on the back.  We all know how lovely it is to get visitors and I'm all about positive reinforcement.  His blog is on the right now, but here's the link as well:

Love you dad - I can't wait to read what you have to say.  


Friday, March 27, 2009

oh my...

In my last post - I went out on a limb to say how chill Abby is.  If you don't believe in jixing- maybe you should.  Our child has gone bonkers the last two mornings.  Basically, she's not sleeping the same and wakes up too early which means she goes down for her nap too early - which means she wakes up from her nap early and when this happens - she is just inconsolable.  
This all usually happens while I'm at work.  But today, Kyle gave me the play by play by sending me pictures.  No matter how much she cries and screams - you can't deny that this is pretty funny: 

Here is a picture of Abigail all ready for her nap.  She is swaddled, strapped down with a blanket and then covered with a quilt.  She has her sleep hat on and she's all ready for bed.

She starts crying and Kyle lets her cry it out for 15 mins before checking on her.  When he walks into the nursery, he finds her just like this:

it cracks me up!  She busted out of her swaddle- which is now wrapped around her neck, wiggled out from under the blanket, kicked off the quilt (and her sock), obviously didn't keep her hat on and is nearly laying on her tummy!  I also love how Kyle thought to take pictures of this before trying to help her out. :)  He said she just had this look on her face like "ugh. This really isn't what I had in mind either"

We don't really know why she goes bazerk sometimes, but I'm pretty sure that today it had something to do with what Kyle dressed her in:

Yes Abby, you are very strong.  Point taken. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

so good.


You are a good baby.  We know this and we appreciate this, but sometimes we forget that not all babies are like you.  Don't get me wrong, you have your moments when you cry and scream and pout and throw hissy fits - but 90% of the time, you are a very good baby.  Very chill. 

Tonight we went out to dinner with your grandparents and some friends.  We went to a nice little italian place - not the kind of place that gets a lot of babies - and we got there about 30 mins before your normal bedtime.  We were all just a little worried that you might not make it through dinner without getting mad at us for keeping you out and (gasp) make a scene.

At 6:30, you spit out your pacifier and look at me.  It was time for dinner.  You knew that, I knew that.  So, I give you a bottle.  Well, give is about all I did - we propped it up on a cloth and you basically fed yourself.  Once you were done with the bottle, I put your paci back in.  Your head band fell around your eyes - but you didn't care.  In fact, the darkness helped lull you to sleep.  You were gone by 7:00 - just like if we had been at home.  

Well, I didn't think much about this - I was happy you were getting some rest.  We finished dinner close to 9pm.  As we were leaving, the waitresses all came up and commented on you.  They were all just blown away by how good you were.  "Not a peep all night, amazing!" they all said.   Of course they said you were a cutie, adorable, a little angel and all too.  Apparently they had been waiting for us to leave before they said anything because they didn't want to jinx us.  It just surprised me by how surprised they were by you.  It reminded that your dad and I are pretty lucky.  You're a good baby.  Thanks for that.  

Anyway.  I just wanted to document it.  Y'know, just in case you turn out to be a really difficult teenager.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

grabby mcdroodle

Abby is officially a grabber and a drooler.  Thus earning her my new favorite nickname, Grabby McDroodle.  

She now must always have her hands holding something.  If there's nothing to hold, she'll just hold her other hand or wrist or onsie.  Usually, we just give her a burp cloth to hug and she is more than happy.  We like it because it serves the grabbing purpose as well as soaking up her constant drool.  

Abby has a little bit to go before she "discovers" her feet - but the other day she grabbed them for the first time.  I think she just forgets how to let go of things sometimes, but she held on long enough for me to grab the camera.  :) 

"what. is. that?"

hey, look what I caught

I look forward to the day she actually discovers her feet and starts chewing and munching on them.  I think that will be funny stuff. 

In other news, we are still enjoying our time with Kyle's parents up here.  We took them along the freedom trail to see the historic sites, walked through the north end where we got pastries, we took them to their first cheesecake factory on Sunday after mass and tonight we're going to the symphony.  I'm excited. 

Here are a few pics of our journey around the city this week.

city birds

lobstah anyone?

North End famer's market 

on the T after a long day

Friday, March 20, 2009

down under

Today Kyle's parents flew into town to visit for the week!  They made it here just fine and we are looking forward to a fun filled week with them.  :)  Abby was quite excited to see her Ouma & her Papa today.


One of the things they brought with them (besides the cookies from maggies! Mmm.) was a gift from Kyle's Auntie Kelsay in Australia.  It was meant to have made it to Arkansas in time for Christmas - but things happen and so we got our package today!  

Abby loves her new down - under look (and so does her mom!)  Thank you Auntie Kelsay!




We look forward to the day when the rest of the outfit fits, too  :)  

Kyle decided that the best way to explain Australia to Abby was to let her see the world upside down.  Needless to say, she loved it. 

More later.  Love to all!


Kyle and I give each other "pat-pats" when we accomplish something good.  Often trivial things.  Sometimes I will actually pat Kyle on the head as to say "good job"  but more often it goes like this: 

Me: "Hey, I didn't stop at starbucks today, pat-pat?"
Kyle: "pat-pat"
Me: *grin*

So, today I'm giving myself some pat-pats.  

1.  I was almost on time for work today.  The closest I've been since coming back.  Maybe one day my child will compromise with me and allow me to leave the house on time for once.  Maybe not, but today was closer.  

2.  I got 70 pictures printed for 3.00

3. I fixed our bed (with real tools even) which had a wobbly leg that was driving me crazy. 

4. I've lost 5 lbs since Feb.   Small gains..er...losses...but it's better than nothing.

5. I put Abby in the moby and did laundry and got other things done around the apt. 

6.  I drank 2 liters of water.

7.  I didn't buy a candybar in the checkout line even though I really really wanted to. 

Of course, my whole day wasn't pat-pat worthy - I did spend several hours watching TV tonight and (hanging head in shame) ordered pizza for dinner.  Maybe I'll make up for it tomorrow somehow. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

not easy being green

Happy St. Paddy's Day people.  I hope your pinches were minimal :)

I figure this is a good day to talk about being "green"

I have a lot of friends who are very good about doing things like recycling and walking to work.  I now know lots of people who use cloth diapers and wipes and do other things that are environmentally admirable.  So this spurred me and Kyle to have a conversation about what we could do.  

We have decided that we will make our own baby food when Abby gets to that stage (it's closer than you think!)  I'm very excited about this.  I love that I can give her healthier foods.  Kyle and I decided that it would be nice if we could "go organic"  with her foods.  I mean, the fewer chemicals and such, the better, right?  

We would like to eat healthier too of course - but it's hard because so many of the organic and natural foods are more expensive.  I mean, I love the idea of grass-fed, hormone free meat, and pesticide free fruits - but is it something we can afford?  I dunno.  It's a catch.  

So, in order to weigh our options and see what's available - we took a family trip to our local Whole Foods store.  This was Kyle's first trip to one and he made me laugh when he said upon entering "So, we have 30 mins to shop for everything we need and we spend the time running around like crazy people, right?"  (that's a Top Chef reference for those of you who don't watch)

Anyway, we had a good trip, got a few things to try.  We even went all out and finally bought some reusable shopping bags (yeah, that's only been on my to-do list for like a year).  I just have a hard time time justifying the costs, y'know?  It's like - is it really worth almost twice the cost to buy organic lunchmeat or cheese?  Will my body actually know a difference if I eat organic carrots or just plain 'ol carrots?  

Of course, Abby is another story.  We'll go organic with her food as long as we can.  I feel that its more important for her.  She's new. :)

I don't know that I'll ever do cloth diapers, although I think it's great of those people who do.  I don't know that I'll realistically ever walk or ride a bike to work everyday.  I'm sure Abby will have plastic toys, I still use a plastic water bottle, and we eat things that have ingredients I can't pronounce.  But - I'll do what I can.  I'll buy Abby organic foods.  I'll take my shopping bags to the store.  I recycle what I can.  I try not to waste food.  I take public transit whenever possible.

every little bit helps, right?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

a beautiful day

Today was not freezing.  It was not raining.  It was not snowing.  Today was sunny and 50!  It was beautiful.  This is probably the main reason today started so well - but the whole day was great. 

Kyle and I have lived up here for about a year and a half now.  We have yet to find a church that we really like.  We typically go to the one that is 2 blocks from our apartment because it's convenient - but it doesn't feel like our church "home"  Today we decided to try a new church.  It's called Our Lady Help of Christians.  Yeah, Catholics like those long names. :)  So maybe it was the church, or maybe it was the day, or our mood or all three - but Kyle and I both enjoyed the service and both "felt" like it was a good fit for us.  It's a large church with a young population - lots of families (and babies)...something I didn't used to notice so much, but do now. We enjoyed the pastor and when Abby threw her paci on the floor as I went up for communion, the deacon swooped it up for me and whispered "5 second rule"  ...which made me laugh.  

So, we're optimistic that this will become our church home while we're up here.  Something that we've been looking for since we got here.  'Bout time, huh?

After church, we met up with Karen and ate lunch at the cheesecake factory (yum).  After lunch, we took advantage of the gorgeous day and walked through the public gardens and then through town.  The gardens are beautiful in the spring.  Today, they still looked like they were recovering from winter - but it was nice all the same. 

view of the city & gardens

walking & talking 

I took lots of pictures of the cool trees

We decided to make our way over to the "Make way for Ducklings" statues.  I actually hadn't been since we moved here, so it was kinda fun to get that checked off my list.  We had fun letting Abby sit on the ducks... although, she didn't always see the fun in it. :)

(notice how Big her belly is! She had just eaten a full bottle)

After the gardens, we walked through town for a while.  We all stopped and enjoyed some starbucks (a nice warm drink on a slightly cool day is perfect).  We eventually made our way to the Apple store.  I had fun letting Abby try on these headphones.  They are noise canceling headphones - and they are amazing.  I seriously was in complete awe over how well they worked.  Of course they're like 350 bucks, so I will never buy them.  But I still wanted to see Abby's reaction to having all the noise in her world taken away.  Here she is right after I put them on for the first time...

"Woah, Dude.  It's really quiet now"

..."and I like it!"

She just grinned and giggled the whole time.  She loved them.  It was great. 

Kyle and I eventually made our way home and put poor Abby to bed a little early - she was tired! I'm really glad we got to enjoy the day.  I love walking around the city - I could walk for hours and hours on a day like today.  Hm, come to think of it, I guess we did. 

Here's to hoping the week starts off well for everyone.  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3 month pictures

Abbykat at 3 months old. :)

I love this onsie.

Friday, March 13, 2009

3 months old

This is a day late - but close enough. :)

So, our Abster has hit the big 3 month milestone.  3 months seems to be a big one.  I was trying to figure out why that is.  I have a few theories.  

At 3 months, you've entered the next clothing size bracket (newborn to 0-3 to 3-6).  Abby's 3 month clothes are so big on her still - but she'll grow into them.  She IS finally growing out of a few of her newborn clothes.

At 3 months, you have now completed a year of pregnancy and childbearing.  From now on, you can't think "well, this time last year, you weren't even a thought in our heads"  Nope.  From now on, "this time last year" includes some sort of baby memory.  

At 3 months, babies are more interactive.  They're smiling and cooing. Some are rolling and laughing.  They're grabbing and chewing.  It's fun.  

At 3 months, a lot of people have to go back to work.  Not everyone is as lucky to have 3 months off, and not everyone has to go back - but 12 weeks seems to be a popular standard. 

So what is Abigail like at 3 months old?

Well, she's still small.  I don't know how much she weighs, but like I mentioned earlier, she still wears 0-3 clothes and some of her newborn stuff.  If I had to guess, I would guess she weighs 10 or 11 pounds, but I really have no clue.  I'd be surprised if she were heavier than that.  
Abby loves her monkey mat still - and more than ever she loves the monkey toy that plays music when you pull it.  She smiles at us every morning and her grins are the best.  She is finding her voice more and more.  Most of the time, when she tries to laugh, she has this kind of Ernie-laugh that just sounds like "KheeKheeKhee" ...but gurglier.  

However, last night, when we brought her to taekwondo with us - she gave us her first Real belly laugh!  She did it over and over.  She was sitting on a counter (with our help of course) and she was staring at the krav guys running laps around the room.  After a few seconds of staring at them, she smirked, then grinned, the smiled, then just closed her eyes and started laughing.  I swear, you would have thought she thought they were the funniest thing on earth.  It was great.  It was also fun because there were so many people there to witness it.  

What else?  Abby still loves bath time.  She has a love-hate relationship with being swaddled.  She's sleeping through the night - with an occasional night with one waking.  She still does not have much hair and is rockin' an awesome bald spot on the back of her head (sorry, sweetie).  She loves flying like an airplane and is getting pretty good with her head control.  When on her play mat (or really anywhere else) - she is constantly kicking her legs.  They. never. stop.  Abby is loving her new ability to grab.  She'll hold on to a cloth or your hair 0r even her own belly skin if nothing else is around. :) Her best friends are Monkey and Zebra.  She flirts with Monkey all day, but Zebra is the lucky one who gets to be chewed on.  

Abby, you are becoming more fun everyday.  Your dad and I love watching you grow and learn things.  We are constantly amazed by watching you.  Every time you smile at us, we can't help but smile back.  You have the ability to make us make funny faces at you and talk in silly voices.  Sometimes, we even have to smile at your pouts - because that bottom lip of yours is as cute as the rest of you.  We are both very proud of you.  Yep, we are proud of you for learning to grab and all the other things you've shown us.  Keep up the good work, bug. We love you!

Here's Abby whispering secrets to Mr. Zebra.
...on second thought, maybe she's just spying her next victim.
(and yes, that is drool soaking her shirt and dripping from her mouth)

and let the gumming begin!  Nom nom nom.

Happy 3 months, Abby!