Tuesday, June 30, 2009

...as a mule

I'm realizing lately that I'm pretty frickin' stubborn. And, I love lists. Here's some evidence:

  • I refuse to go without a shower. Sonia will be 7 weeks old tomorrow, and I haven't gone one day without showering (nor do I plan to do so in the future). I operate on the theory that "if you look good, you feel good"; hence, I have to shower every morning-- I can't wait until Andrew gets home. Plus, I sweat a lot at night, so if I haven't had a shower by noon, I don't feel like I should be allowed near another human being. I'm obviously not going to post a picture of myself either in need of a shower or whilst showering, so here's a picture of Sosi getting a bath:
  • I refuse to buy a bigger car. This isn't just for financial reasons-- I LOVE my Mini Cooper (and its gas mileage) and I don't want to give it up! If Sonia and I are ever in need of more room for a day or so (when more than one guest is in town or we have to transport something larger than a load of groceries), we simply temporarily switch cars with Andrew, who drives a Honda Accord. Her car seat fits just fine in the Mini-- yes, the person sitting in front of her is probably a bit closer to the dashboard than he/she would normally sit, but it looks safe enough to me. These pictures are from Sonia's very first trip in the Mini (going to a lactation consultant appointment) when she was 2 weeks old:
  • I refuse to give up breastfeeding even though I constantly worry that she's not getting enough. I am close to finally forcing myself to accept that input = output, and the way that kid fills diapers, she has to be getting enough! Plus, she has started to pack on the ounces-- she is now 7 lbs 14 oz, and the pediatrician is perfectly happy with her rate of weight gain. I'm not going to lie and say that I feel entirely comfortable that I can't see exactly how many ounces The Great Sosini drinks during each feeding, but the benefits of breastmilk and the aforementioned evidence that she is drinking enough FAR outweigh (pun intended) my insecurities! Just look at this chubby baby....
  • I refuse to keep the cats away from Sonia. Yes, I'll cover her cradle, crib, and playmat with blankets to keep Margie & Bobo's kitty litter-y feet from contaminating everything, but I do believe the theory that if you shield babies from 100% of germs, they will have trouble fighting off minor infections/sicknesses in the future. We love our cats (who live indoors only, by the way) and there is nothing cuter than seeing Sonia interact with those two ornery kitties. Not to worry-- I definitely have allowed myself to be a hysterical mom and kept Sosi away from some possible sources of germs (for instance, when I took her downtown her to meet my co-workers at 4 weeks old, I didn't let anyone hold her, but I promised to bring her back in a few weeks and we could play "pass the potato" then). I also refuse to go without washing my hands after diaper changes. But she has had several playdates with older children, and I have taken her to Target, Jewel, Michael's, and the post office.

How ornery does Margie look in this picture?!?

There is no way I can keep Sonia away from two of her potential future boyfriends, the handsome Cieslak boys (pictured below with their mum, Sosi, and Charbaby), or the Murray kids (her best buddies).
Yikes. I AM stubborn. How does Andrew put up with me?!?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Grandma JoJo and her little pork chop

Sonia (who has been nicknamed "Pork Chop" by Grandma Jo), Andrew, and I had the most wonderful week with my mom! I honestly cannot possibly put into words how wonderful JoAnn Evans is. She spent her entire week in Lisle cooking, cleaning, wrangling Sosi, and worst of all, putting up with a sleep-deprived and slightly wacky daughter (for those of you from Rio Linda, that daughter is ME). Here's a list (most likely incomplete) of our activities during the week:

  • My mom babysat for Sonia 4 times while I took care of some business (2 separate dentist appointments and 2 separate veterinarian appointments-- one for each kitty). This may have depleted my stores of frozen expressed breastmilk, but it was well worth it.
  • She also babysat for Sonia while Andrew and I went on a date!! It was the first time we had been alone in over 6 weeks. We went to the movies and saw Terminator Salvation (which we both loved even though it was far from perfect). Nothing can take your mind off of leaving your infant daughter at home like large explosions, Christian Bale, and good old fashioned violence.
  • As I mentioned in my last blog post, we met my friend, Jeanine, for a nice lunch at the Morton Arboretum.
  • Sonia's Great-Great Uncle Leo and Great-Great Aunt Bev drove from Nappanee, Indiana to visit us. Uncle Leo remarked that he had now held 3 generations of his older sister's decendants. His sister is my maternal grandmother, Peggy ("Meem"). Uncle Leo was 14 years old when my mom was born, and she was a flower girl in his wedding. He held Niki and me when my mom brought us to visit Indiana as infants. And on Friday, he held little miss Sosi. So cool! I love Uncle Leo and Aunt Bev. I hope his sister isn't too jealous that he got to meet Sonia before she did....
  • We sent out all of Sonia's birth announcements (thank you so much for helping stuff and lick envelopes, Mom!!).
  • General baby care-- several baths, countless diapers and feedings, lots of schnuggling, and soothing the savage Sonia.
  • Tons of housework.... it may not have been as fun as wrangling the baby, but it was necessary!
  • We took positively ridiculous amounts of pictures of Sonia. The paparazzi followed her everywhere. Luckily, she doesn't seem to mind much.
  • Sonia is now fitting in to her 0-3 month clothes, so we tried out some of those outfits (including the hilarious "Tax Deduction" onesie!).

I love you so much, Mom!! The bonding time you had with Sonia this week was amazing. You deserve that silly, toothless grin that she bestowed on you the day before you left (one of her first conscious smiles ever!). Your son-in-law loves you, too-- I think he would be happy if you stayed all summer. How many sons-in-law feel like that about their mothers-in-law? You are a fabulous mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, and friend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hook 'em

As you can see, Sonia has already given her verbal commitment.

At least it's not USC.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Abbey & JoAnn's visit

Sonia was a bit bored talking to me and the kitties all day, so she asked her CousAunt Abbey and her Grandma JoJo (my mom) to come entertain her. Hilarity ensued! Or, rather, some sleeping, eating, pooping, and occasional crying ensued....

We visited the Morton Arboretum and took Sonia to see her big brother's tree.

Abbey, who is 15 1/2 (I mention her age because she just got her CA driver's permit-- woot!), is a natural with babies. Apparently, she was a big hit with Charbaby as well (Grandma JoJo and Abbey were in Nashville visiting the Stringers before they came to Lisle).

Grandma JoJo took some very, very cute bathtime pictures:

We have been feeding Sosi a bottle of expressed breastmilk once a day to keep her accustomed to taking a bottle (just in case I can't be around to breastfeed). Grandma JoJo has enjoyed helping feed the kid! I love this picture-- I think Sonia (who is wearing an adorable onesie that was a gift from Abbers) looks like she's a bit suspicious of this whole bottle thing....

This morning, Abbey flew back home (we miss you!), but my mom is going to stay until Saturday. I am so happy to have the company and the help! Mom rules. Today, Mom, Sosi, and I met my good buddy, Jeanine, at the Morton Arboretum (yes, we go there a lot!) for lunch at the Gingko room. It was so great to see you, Jeanine!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sonia & the cats: a status report

  • Margie stole another bottle nipple, but it was recovered when I heard her playing with it in the living room. She was meowing at it, as if to say, "Go ahead-- make my day!" That darn cat....
  • I caught Bobo and Margie sleeping together on the changing table. Goofballs.

  • The cats continue to be very respectful when it comes to Sosi's personal space. There has been only one incident: Sonia was sleeping in the bassinet in the basement and Margie jumped in to take a look-see, but then realized her mistake and jumped right back out. I don't think Margie realized that Sonia was in the bassinet (or she thought there was more room in the there). Sonia didn't even wake up!
  • Margie sometimes comes over to sit on the table by the glider (in the nursery) to keep us company while I feed Sonia. Last night, she climbed on my lap for a snooze while I was rocking Sonia to sleep! I know it's not great quality because it was taken on my cell phone camera in somewhat low light, but Andrew was able to take this picture:

  • At night, Bobo likes to lay next to me on the edge of the bed and stare into the cradle, keeping an eye on Sonia as she sleeps. It's very cute! I think he's still trying to figure out what in the heck that little swaddled burrito-looking thing is.
So, the cats are still not 100% sure if they like Sonia, but they are certain about one thing-- she came with great furniture and accessories!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sonia at one month

No fun pictures, but good news to report.... Sonia had her one month appointment with the doctor on Monday, and she's doing great! She's 7 pounds, 2 ounces, and the doctor measured her at 21 inches long. I think the doctor was a bit generous in the length measurement, because just 4 weeks ago, the same doctor measured Sonia at 18 1/2 inches. 2 1/2 inches in 4 weeks while gaining less than a pound? I'm not so sure about that! But the newborn clothes do seem to be fitting better and better on our little pork chop.

The only slightly less-than-perfect news is that Sonia still has a bit of jaundice, and at this point, it's probably being caused by the breast milk. That's okay, though-- her biliruben levels are way within the acceptable limits and the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the slight yellow tinge Sonia has! So, the doc told me to keep on breastfeeding and that everything will sort itself out.

Also, poor Sosi has a diaper rash that is also a yeast infection. Doh!! It's from the constant pooping-- this baby is pooping all day long, and her skin doesn't have a chance to rest! So, we got a prescription diaper rash cream that is already starting to work magic.

Other than that, Sonia is doing great and the doctor gave her two thumbs up!

Time to go feed the kid....

Monday, June 15, 2009

More fabulous pictures taken by a friend

Our friend, Heather Babiar (with whom Andrew marched on the drumline in their high school marching band-- they have been friends ever since), came over to our house on Saturday to meet little Sonia. Heather is an incredibly good photographer-- check out these amazing pictures she took! I think when it comes time to take formal pictures of Baby Sonia, I'm just going to hire Heather and Carol.... They truly have mad photography skills.

And finally, here's the ever-fabulous Heather, holding an ever-squirmy Sosi:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Week 5 is going well!

Sonia's doing great! She is really enjoying her play times (she'll lay there and wiggle for a half an hour at a time), tummy time is a big hit (especially when she catches sight of the pretty baby in the mirror), and she eats/sleeps/poops like a champ. Sosi is starting to spit up more frequently (4-5 times a day as opposed to once a day like she had been doing), but it's not too bad. She's still fitting into newborn clothing-- in fact, NB size is still pretty big on her in all brands except for Gerber. I'm loving her "sleep grins" and other silly noises that she's beginning to make. Her one month "birthday" is tomorrow! Here are some photos that the paparazzi managed to snag of her 5th week so far....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Testing 1-2-3

I just received a fabulous birthday gift from my parents-- a Flip Mino camcorder! It's the size of an iPod, and it takes awesome little videos. Here is my first attempt at taking a video of Sosi during wiggle time:

No, you're not going deaf-- there really isn't any sound (unless you have the volume on your speakers turned way up and you can hear Sonia breathing). More videos to come in the future!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sonia's 4th week - more pictures

Sonia met the pretty baby in the mirror!

Margie's new nipple-related obsession: Soothies pacifiers (which Sonia doesn't like anyway, so at least they're being used by someone!)

Dick & Jenni Malahowski (Andrew's parents) came to visit this past weekend.

Sonia enjoyed snoozing with her daddy.

Sonia got to meet Molly (Nichol) Neuman, another ND Band friend of ours who married an ND Band guy and now has three adorable kids (that's Bridget there in the corner of the picture, and Bridget's older sister and brother are named Maggie and Charlie). It was so good to see you, Molly!!!

Gettin' chubby!

No, not me-- Sonia! She's up to 6 lbs 14 oz. Good girl!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Portraits of a snoozing baby - by Carol

One of my personal "mom heroes" (concept stolen from Joslyne) is Carol Murray, my friend of almost 14 years and mother of 3 of the cutest children on the planet. She and I took our kids (who will hopefully one day be ND Band members like we were!) to the Morton Arbortum on Friday for a fun picnic lunch. While we were there, Carol took these extremely sweet pictures of my little Sonia. Isn't Carol a great baby photographer?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Squirmy Jones

Look how much I squirm!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What's mine is yours

The cats are convinced that all of this baby gear that is now spread throughout the house must be meant for them.... In addition to the instances shown below, I have also caught Margie in the crib and Bobo in the bassinet, but I haven't had a chance to snap a picture. Luckily, as I have said before, the cats are very respectful of Sosi and when she's using these items, they won't go near them. But when she's not using these items, I have to cover them with blankets so the cats won't contaminate them with their kitty litter-y feet!

Marge in the Zanzibar bouncy seat

Bobo in the pack & play

Marge snoozing on the changing table
(I'm a bit worried about Margie getting contaminated from this one!)
Bobo stimulating his mind on the Baby Einstein play mat

Bobo & Margie trying to convince us that the cradle is really theirs