Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Noah is 11 months and two weeks old! AAAAAAAAH! Thanksgiving is just around the corner…I remember being big and pregnant with him last Thanksgiving. I can’t believe we’re here again. I already have his Turkey Day PJ’s packed and ready to go (you better believe you’ll see pictures!) and his cute little sweaters for the weekend. We’re packing up and going to Grand Maman and Poppy’s house. Noah LOVES eating whatever we eat now, so he will enjoy the Thanksgiving feast!! I’m really looking forward to sharing the day with him!

Noah’s two teeth have turned into four (possibly five, I think). He’s been chewing solid food up without any problems, regardless! I didn’t get teeth until I was a year old, which may be why he is taking longer. My how he’s changed! His little personality is just blossoming…he tends to be really laid back like his daddy—not at all high strung. He likes to observe the action, if there are lots of other kids around. If it is just he and I, or he and one or two other people, he does get more vocal and more goofy. He is easily excited by seeing people he knows and loves. When Grand-maman, Poppy, and Daddy come into the room, it’s as though everything is right with the world, and his heart couldn’t be more content!

He loves to play with toys. His favorites are his touch-and-feel books, his push toys, and anything that plays music that he can dance to. He had his first fever about 3 weeks ago…had a virus. He was as sick as a dog, and even then, he danced while I held him. He had zero energy or spunk, but couldn’t resist the urge. His favorite game of late has been the “let’s crawl around on the floor together” game. He just laughs hysterically and squeals when you manage to catch up to him and make your most ferocious monster sounds!

Mimicking us has become more frequent, lately. He used to shake his head “no” as a dance move, but now he has correlated it with the word “no”…and also with the word “yes” because when he shakes his head, I’ve also tried to teach him to nod. When I cuddle with him, I hum to him and tell him I love him. He’s started to make the same humming noise whenever we hold him close, and also one occasion while he was enjoying a cookie which was apparently really good. He has mimicked words like “uh oh”, “da da”, and “woof”. He hasn’t caught on to waving yet. I’ve tried to hold his hand up to show him but he can’t be bothered. He loves to clap, but doesn’t try it himself…only when I’m clapping with him, holding his hands. We sing while we clap, so he realizes it’s a musical instrument.

We’re getting to the stage where he tests me. If he touches something he shouldn’t, I say “don’t touch that” or “touché pa” (French) and he usually draws back. But sometimes he only hesitates, looks at me to see if I’m serious, and then reaches again. At this point, he has his hand slapped, and yet another “touché pa”. If he tries for a third, he gets another slap, and is removed from the situation. His Aunt Dawn has been supportive of the bilingual instructions, and has been enforcing them with him, as well. She definitely loves him, that’s for sure!

Almost a year and he’s not quite walking. He totally could….he just seems to be content with his current modes of transportation! I’m sure one day his curiosity will get the best o him and he’ll take the leap. I’m not in any hurry. Either way he will be mobile, and when he walks, he’ll be taller and slightly more wreckless!

We’re FINALLY using the stinking sippie cup! I’ve had to train him in it. He loves his bottles but wanted nothing to do with the cup. Since we will be weaning at the one year mark, except for night bottles, I’ve been giving him his daytime bottles in the cup, and his night bottle in a bottle. So far, so good!

We’ve gone from hating baths in infancy to LOVING baths now. If I turn on the water, he will hold to the edge of the tub and help me to undress him….lift his legs for sock and pant removal, and pull out his arms from his sleeves. He then jumps up and down and eagerly hums until I finally put him in. He then plays with the water coming from the spout, tries to pull off the tub grips, plays with toys, and chases the bar of soap under water.

Oh, my time is up—Noah is awake. I will write more later. Prob. Much later. Quickly in summary, though, with the changing economy, Keith still has a job, and God has been faithfully providing for our needs. We are grateful and very, very blessed!
Pictures to follow!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Way behind!

Our 8th month flew and Noah is still growing and changing by leaps and bounds! The little crawler has now improved his speed and skill-- he's pulling himself up and using furniture to traverse the room. He is usually fixated on the electronics (tv, vcr, dvd)...but when he gets bored with them, will go to his toy box and attempt to pull it from the table. We have a new addition to the toy collection: Mr. Lion. He is a push-behind toy that gives Noah even MORE mobility! The lion's nose (in front of toy) plays music when pushed. Noah quickly discovered this, and will occasionally stop walking to go push the nose, so that it plays music again. He then proceeds upon his journey.

He has us both wrapped around his little finger, but it's most evident with Keith when Noah makes him be the horsey. Keith will hold Noah in his arms, and Noah will take hold of his thumb, and lift it high in the air. This makes the horsey "go". Keith then 'gallops' across the room (sound effects and everything), with an elated Noah in tow. He thinks it's the greatest thing ever, and tries to play horse whenever Keith will allow.

I absolutely love my Noah kisses. Every so often, Noah will grab my face, pull me close, and pull my face to his. Open mouth, drool, the whole nine yards. But it's so affectionate and precious! I hope he doesn't realize what he's doing too soon, and then want to stop. Nothing uplifts the heart like that does.

Standing in his crib is a regular occurrence now. And his poor mobile (which can be reached when he's standing) is getting the brunt of it. It's heartwarming when I go to get him in his room and he's standing in his crib waiting for me.

Solid foods are becoming more regular now-- bits of this and that. Bread, pasta, soft fruit...whatever we may be eating at the time. It's not the basis of his meals. More like a snack.

Noah was dedicated Sunday Sept 28th, at Calvary Chapel of Central Bucks. We had quite the crowd at church-- there were at least 20 of us! Pastor Hessler prayed over Noah, mentioning that God would use the meaning of Noah's name (comfort) in his life and in the lives of others. I was afraid Noah wouldn't go to him, so we had a trial run in the lobby. Everything went fine, despite the facial hair. He was fine on stage too, until I put my hand on his arm to pray over him, and he realized I was behind him. I had him for the end of the prayer. The party was at Dad and Mom's. It was supposed to be outside, but the sky opened up....bummer. But we made due and improvised ('crisis management', my dad called it). Everyone was indoors- all 50 of us. It was fun! The cleanup...not so much. We managed to snag some family pictures prior to the service at Dad and Mom's, outside. We knew rain was coming and wanted to do it while we could.

This ninth month is flying! It just keeps getting faster and faster...already October is approaching! Still, life is good. God continues to provide for our every need, and just in time! We have a lot of love under this roof, and for that I will always be thankful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Month 8

Months 6 and 7 flew by...and so much changed! Sitting up independently came at the end of month 6! This is when we took some of these pictures.

Noah got his first tooth on August 3rd: The bottom right center. He stopped eating and sleeping for the day it took to break through but once it was over, he was his normal, happy self. Once the teeth started coming, we started weaning. It was getting to be time when he needed more than I could give him, and the timing was great-- I'd been thinking I was going to wean when he started getting teeth. I don't think I could handle the biting! Since he took bottles from the beginning, weaning was no biggie. It took about 2.5 weeks and now he is weaned fully! I think he's still in the process, though, because he seldom will take a bottle from anyone else. I hope he grows out of that soon.

7 months:
About a week and a half ago I was on the phone with a friend, watching Noah and Keith play on the floor when Noah started crawling!!! I was so excited I started screaming in her ear, poor thing. The crawling started slowly...just two steps the first day, and then five the next, and full speed ahead the next! Now Noah is fully mobile and loving the freedom. He's already discovered the dog's bowl, the VCR, and the albums under our coffee table.

Now that he can crawl, he doesn't want to be put into his exer-saucer anymore. He's figured out how to put his feet on the outside of the seat so I can't get him in. He's perfectly content to stand beside it and hold on to it, though. Since we've reached 8 months, he's figured out how to pull himself up on things, and is starting to figure out the whole furniture/people traveling thing. And what was really shocking to me....today he stood on his own! For a good minute! He didn't stand UP on his own, but he was holding me, and when Keith came toward him, he let go of me and balanced on his feet with his arms outstretched! I'm just amazed at all these new developments!

Every day is something new! Since he bumped his head falling off the bed last month, I've been trying to be extra cautious. I asked Keith to lower his mattress last night, so that he wouldn't pull himself up and topple over the edge.

Solids are the main course now...we've worked the schedule out for his three meals, and he still gets bottles in between. I'm supposed to give him bottles right after he eats, and I've tried, but he doesn't take them right after his meal. He can't handle all that at once. He's become a very picky eater! If he doesn't like it, he refuses to open his mouth! At first i thought he wasn't hungry, then I just tried feeding him other things, and realized he was hungry, just didn't favor his first option!

Noah's dedication and party are coming up at the end of September. Mom and Dad were kind enough to offer their backyard, so that should be nice. Mainly family- simple and casual. We're excited! I made photo invitations because I've been meaning to make prints for Keith's family (HUGE picture people) and just haven't gotten around to it. This way was cheaper and easier. They got the invite and the pictures at the same time.

Noah is still such a joy to us. He's just a happy kid. His smile comes so easily, and can light up a room. I'm enjoying him so much. It's bittersweet how quickly he's growing and changing but I'm so thankful I can be here to witness it firsthand, and I'm not hearing it from some daycare babysitter. God has been faithful to provide for our every need!

As for Keith and I, we're doing well. Keith still loves work-- he's diving headlong into the new position and is really good at it! I've been working hard to build my photography business. I have a new website now-- one that I can maintain myself. Check it out! : www.collierimages.com OR www.suzanneocllierphotography.com. My dad has been shooting weddings with me, which has been a lot more fun! My cousin, Ashley, has been assisting us. It's unbelievable the difference it makes to have help! I don' t know how I was doing it alone before! I'm working on rebuilding my corporate identity and branding. So far so good! Now if I could just get a few more referrals and find an effective way to advertise that wouldn't cost me an arm and leg.....

This summer is just flying by! To think that in 4 months Noah will be a year old! We're trying our best to enjoy the warmth while we can. We've been going to the shore a lot, and trying to spend time with friends. Most of my free weeknights have gone to editing wedding pictures, so breaking away to write the blog is rare. Mom has been great, coming over to watch Noah so I can work. It's such a big help! He likes attention, so I can't really bring him in the room with me and expect to work longer than 5 minutes. Before he was crawling, he was spinning and rolling to get where he wanted to go. During one of my editing sessions, I had him on the floor. He started to cry, and I looked up from my work to find him under the bed with only his head peeking out, and not very happy about it. :) Now that he's mobile, I can kiss the whole idea goodbye!

Well it's midnight, so I'm going to go kiss my sweeties and call it a night. Swee
t dreams!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Are you and What Have You Done with my Son?

I didn’t write a five month entry. There were really no changes in Noah, except in his size- still growing like a weed! But as the sixth month approached, all these changeshave taken place and it’s like Noah
is a different baby! A week and a half of transition has brought my six-month-old’s personality out.

The biggest ‘milestone’ change has been Noah’s sitting up. He’s pretty good at sitting independently now, after many trial runs on mommy and daddy’s bed. His favorite part of the trial runs was getting himself balanced and sitting, and then throwing himself backward into the mound of cushy blankets, arms outstretched, beaming from ear-to-ear. Another move he practiced was getting himself from a sitting position to his belly; this involved launching himself sideways and catching himself on his belly. I was hoping he wouldn’t try these moves on a less friendly surface and hurt himself. Wouldn’t you know, he did. He tried the belly move on my aunt’s love seat patio chair, with iron armrests. I was standing right there beside him, and next thing I know, he launched and smacked his eyebrow on the armrest, getting his first boo boo. He was hysterical, and I was almost as bad…especially when I saw the blood! Now I understand why my dad used to say the infamous “this hurts me worse than it hurts you”. My heart just ached when I saw those little tears! Luckly, Keith was not there—I would’ve had my rear end handed to me. I did call and warn him so that he wouldn’t lose it when he saw Noah’s eye….which is now good-as-new, thank heavens!

Noah laughs all the time now! The more ridiculous you can be, the harder he laughs! I devote hours to the task, and then try to capture it on a cell phone video, which hardly does it justice. I need to buy a video camera. The next day, I can hardly move from all the jumping around I did, but it’s worth it! Speaking of which, I’m now 2 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight, which is drawing me near to my pre-accident weight! 3 pounds to go to reach that mark.

Another milestone is that we have finally started- and stayed on- solid foods. I tried to give him cereal at 4 months, but he just couldn’t be bothered, so I paused things and we’re back into it at 5.5 months. About a week into it, he started opening his mouth voluntarily in anticipation of the food, whereas before I had to coax him. He also kindof ‘chews’…to the extent that one can chew without teeth. I guess he just takes his time and tastes the food. His favorites are sweet potatoes and apples. He eats just about everything else, but hates string beans. He eats meat with a grimace on his face. He is nursing a little less because solids fill him up more. Two weeks ago he went on a nursing strike! After researching and racking my brain over why he just quit one day I concluded that it was after he nursed when I had the hiccoughs. Each hiccough would startle him. He would pull away, look up at me, and then start again. I guess it scared him because he stopped. So I had to pump to keep up the supply…all is back to normal now.

We have moved to only one feeding at night:4:00 AM! Nap times are more regular now: one at 9:30, and one at 3:00, each for about 1.5-2 hours. Not bad! It’s been a bit easier to get things done now. Since he is supporting his weight on his legs and has full head and neck support, I’ve been putting him into his exer-saucer a lot. He loves it, and he’s learning a lot from it. When he stands on my lap he rehearses turning his torso, and expects his waist/ legs/feet to automatically turn, like they do in the exer-saucer. I do my best to accommodate. He also rocks back and forth and jumps, but receives much different results from me. As an aside, saying “exer-saucer” always gets a laugh out of the Ciocis (Kristi, Lindsay, and Ash).

Memorial day weekend was a great time! The Ciocis came to the shore with us, and one morning after coffee and sticky buns, we ventured out to the store to find a baby pool and pool toys. We managed to find a really cute one, and they inflated it for us. Noah went for his first swim, all decked out in his sun gear. He loved it! Water is becoming more familiar…now he splashes in the bathtub, and really enjoys it! The next step was taking him in the Evitts’ pool. He wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, because it was cooler than he was used to, but once I eased him into the water, he seemed really relaxed. Relaxed enough to take a nap on Aunt Jos. J I still have to get the pictures from Lindsay of that day.

We just returned home from Noah’s first road trip. We went to Canada to see Dan & Meigan and their new baby, Liam. Noah did really well on the 7.5 hour car rides (both there and back). Slept quite a bit, and during his wakeful times, wasn’t hysterical. He did take 2 days to adjust to the new surroundings. He was a bit cranky and had a hard time napping. Unfortunately by the time he was adjusted, our vacation was half over! Next time we’ll have to make it longer. He thought Liam was the greatest! Tried to play with him once, making the poor boy bleed on his lip. That was the end of that- now we just admire from afar. We had a great time- Liam is a little cutie pie!

So that’s about all! If the rest of the month is anything like the past two weeks, with all the twists and surprises, I’m sure I’ll be writing more. Noah’s personality is coming out more and more- it’s so fun to see!

Monday, May 5, 2008

On the way to Cape May....

Noah went on his first trip to Ocean City this past weekend! We're so excited to be starting these traditions with him- we hope it's a place he grows to love. Saturday we went to dinner with a friend for his birthday, and my parents babysat Noah. My dad put him to sleep for the night-- a first! He is getting used to handling Noah. At first he was freaked out by Noah's crying or fussiness, but he seems to be getting past it, and tries to meet the need so he will stop, instead of passing him back. :) Noah's getting tons of nicknames from Grand-maman and Pop Pop: No-Jo, little Joe, medicine, dessert, treasure, and Ishcabibbles. Anyway, back to the shore story...It's not beach weather yet, but on Sunday we took a nice long walk in the pleasant 70 degree weather, to the marina where Pop Pop docks his boat (Noah wore his fisherman's hat for the occasion). Later that day we went to the boardwalk to have Mac n' Manco's, and just like that the weekend was over. They fly by anymore.

Noah is 4 months and two weeks old now. Unbelievable! He weighs in at 17.5 lbs, and 27 inches long! I asked the doctor if it's ok that he's so big. His response: "it's not only ok, it's great! I'll bet you never said you wanted to marry someone who is short, dark, and handsome!". We must be doing something right! He's in the 75th percentile for weight and height.

While his daddy has hopes of him being a linebacker, he's showing signs of being musically inclined. Whenever music plays, or someone sings or whistles to him, he is instantly soothed, and becomes very attentive! We're trying to feed him music as much as possible. He thinks it's hilarious when I attempt to beat box for him and make him dance.

Speaking of hilarious, HE GIGGLED the other day! Oh my goodness...it was the most precious sound I've ever heard! It was so much fun hearing him express his joy! I was singing "the wheels on the bus" and bouncing him around, and his squeals turned into giggles. He hasn't done it since, but I'm so looking forward to when it becomes regular. His laughter shoots straight to my heart!

Sitting up has been the goal of late. He makes quite the effort to raise himself into a seated position (but can't do it unassisted yet). He sits up when I prop him against pillows just fine, and I'm trying to teach him to balance himself by holding him loosely while he sits. He's also taken to 'standing' (while I hold him, of course). Loves it! He smiles so proudly when he stands.

We have CONQUERED bath time!!!! We no longer have to bathe with him. We have a new bathtub that he sits in by himself. It seems like he's enjoying his baths now! Instead of sitting, frozen, he will kick his feet and splash around a bit. It's definitely easier for us this way. Keith has also brings Noah in the shower with him when we're short on time. At first, the water in his face startled him, but he's warming up to the idea.

Noah loves playing with toys now. Everything goes straight to the mouth! I was able to shower the other day without Keith being home-- I put him in the door jumper and he entertained himself for a while. Towards the end he was fussy but he gave me just enough time to get ready. We're making progress!

He also had baby cereal for the first time last month (pictures to come). He spits out more than he swallows, though, so I decided to put it off for a bit. I'm going to try it again tomorrow, and if it goes well, make it a part of the routine. I have pictures of his first solid meal, but will have to post them later.

That's about all the updates I can think of for now. Time is flying by and Noah is getting big so quickly! Life is rich. I can't express how fulfilled I am when I wake up to that little boy's smile. I'm so blessed.

Oh PS, only 2 more lbs to go to hit pre-pregnancy weight!!!! YAY!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Three months and three weeks

My my my how the time is passing! Noah is now three months and three weeks old, weighing in at a whopping 15 lbs 13 oz, and 24.5 inches long! He's a solid little boy! Some chub, but not as much as he could have for how big he is. This is the first month we have gone to the doctor's without him putting on 3 pounds. It was only 1.5 pound this month, so I guess he's slowing down. The doctor said he eventually would. He's as cute as ever, as you can see. So let's recap all the new things he's been doing:
Smiling. I noted that on an earlier post, but he can't get enough of the smiles now!
Talking. Last weekend (Easter- his first), Noah found his voice. He started cooing and squealing, and has been doing it more and more ever since. He makes quite the effort to express himself, lifting his legs into the air and straining with each sound he makes. Quite often he surprises himself with the noises he makes! It's been so much fun to hear his little voice! Along with his voice developing, his once little cry is now powerful!
Reaching for toys. The other day I was out to lunch with Rachel and her son Elijah, when I heard a rattle sound. I looked over to find Noah both holding and chewing on Stanley's (beloved stuffed giraffe/rattle) head.
Ever since the three month mark, Noah has been sleeping in his crib. He's doing really well with it! He gets up once or twice at night, which has been pretty good! It's far more bearable than before. No more bassinett for us!
He also rolled over! Last weekend (again, Easter weekend), he rolled over like 6/7 times in a row, from his tummy to his back. I've tried to get him to do it again but he doesn't have much interest. He's also more fond of tummy time, now that he can control his head well. He used to cry immediately. Now I can get 10/15 minutes out of him before he makes a peep. He's already starting to bring up his knees. All we need now is arm strength and he'll be crawling in no time!
Another thing he's been doing a lot of is trying to sit up! I'll have him in a reclined or semi reclined position, and he will strain to lift his head/torso into a more upright position. He's become very attentive too. He listens to my voice and watches me when I talk. His gaze follows me if I'm moving around the room. I think he's starting to recognize people, too. He's very comfortable with Grandmaman and Pop pop, and is melting down less and less when we are in big crowds. We went to Harrisburg last weekend for Ethan and Aaron's 5th birthday party, and he had shots the day before, so he was in a horrible mood Friday, poor kid. But Saturday we kept the people-passing to a minimum and he did far better than he has any other time he's been around a lot of people. We stayed at Aunt Glenda and Uncle Barry's while we were there, and he did fine with the new surroundings. He also took a bath in a baby tub without screaming, for the first time!! We're getting there!
So many things are changing with him...I have to start keeping a list, as I haven't been able to get to the computer to post as often as I'd like. I hate to see the infant go, but watching him change and learn is so cool! Keith and I are absolutely loving being parents.
Here are some pictures for you to enjoy-- he's a beautiful boy! I'm so proud he's mine!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Growing UP!

I just got my cell phone out to count how many weeks old Noah is now- 10! 2.5 months old already! He's smiling on a regular basis now. He loves playing on his changing table in the morning when we are getting him ready for the day. He just kicks and coos and smiles away. It's so fun! I'm trying to teach him what a conversation is. If he makes a noise, I'll say something, and then wait for him to make another noise and say something again. I think he's getting the hang of it. He's getting bigger by the day! He looks so long to me now! Keith had to adjust the straps on his car seat and put them one rung higher to adjust to his height. I don't know how much he weighs for sure, but I'd guess at 12 or 13 pounds! I'm hoping it's not more than that because if it's 14, I only have a few weeks before his 86 or so diapers in size 1 don't fit! He's still nursing...and still has an allergy to dairy or something therein. I read that if babies show sensitivity to cow's milk it's because of the protien in it. If this is the case, they're prob. also sensitive to the protein in soy products. Which has also proven true. Even if I eat a bit of something, he throws up all of the next 2 feedings. Which stinks for him...he gets so uncomfortable. So I'm quitting all dairy and chocolate and spices, etc, cold turkey.
He's getting closer to sleeping through the night now! He only woke up twice the past two nights: 1:00 AM and 5:30 AM. Soon I'm confident he'll sleep right through! Yet another discovery we made in the past couple of weeks is that Noah LOVES to be in the water if we are in there with him. I took a bath with him and he was as calm and content as can be! I hope a few more times of doing this will help him to adjust to water altogether and like taking baths on his own. For right now, though, it's fun to play with him in the tub.
Also a new discovery: breaking from routine is not a good thing. Twice this month I've taken Keith to work and gone to friends' houses to visit, and both times it was a huge no-no. I think waking him up in the morning was my first mistake (taking him w/ me to drop Keith off) because he would normally sleep longer. My second mistake is taking him places...if he's in the car he's fine-- he sleeps. But if he's in new surroundings, he doesn't take his normal naps, and instead gets cranky and stays that way for the rest of the day. I feel so bad-- my usually content, happy baby is only fussy when we go somewhere. :( I guess it's a good thing I won't have the option to take him out next month-- Keith will have to drive to work when Lincon Financial relocates.
Motherhood is still wonderful. I've graduated from college, and am not trying to balance class work any longer. Working out has taken the place of school work though-- trying to shed a few before summertime comes! Above are some pictures my dad took this weekend with his fabulous new camera! One of him crying...which breaks my heart every time- that face! There's also one with his Grandmom/Mom-mom. Too cute!

Monday, February 4, 2008

6 Weeks and 6 Days old...but who's counting?

It's nearly 1 AM and I promised myself I'd be in bed early tonight b/c I have to take Keith to the train tomorrow...but I HAD to post tonight because Noah LAUGHED AND SMILED today!!! He laughed twice, and now smiles whenever we coo and smile at him. It was the most beautiful sight in the whole world! It's so cool to know that he's choosing to react to us. Who ever said being a parent isn't rewarding!? It's such a high honor...I can't wait for the rest of his firsts!! Here are some pictures of Noah at one month old. He's getting so big so quickly! At the last doctor's appointment he was 21 inches long-- he's already grown 2 inches! It's so sad to see that he's not teeny tiny anymore, but seeing these neat little changes takes the sadness away. We are just loving him to pieces!

Friday, January 25, 2008

One Month Old Already!

Here I am- I got a chance to pull away from the new mommy routine and make note of my amazement at how Noah is already 5.5 weeks old- over a month!!! How on earth did that happen so quickly?? I suppose all the days are blending together. Our nighttime routines have gotten smoother- Noah gets up every three to four hours for night feedings, and sleeps in between each feeding. He's been doing that since he was two weeks old. I'm so blessed! I'm told that soon he will forgo one or two night feedings and sleep longer. I love waking up to that precious face-- it makes all the fatigue worthwhile. Fortunately, I nap when he does, during the day. He really is a good baby. He only cries for a reason, which isn't very often. I'm a lucky mom!
The picture collage is from the day Noah came home from the hospital. The picture above it was from this past weekend (5 weeks old).

I want to make sure I make note of milestones Noah reaches. He's beginning to become aware that his hands are, in fact, his. If he is fussy, I can calm him by holding his hand. He's still very expressive with his hands...whenever he begins a feeding he clenches them into fists right beside his cheeks. As he begins to relax, the fists loosen and his arms go limp. It's cute how relaxing nursing is to him! Oh, and speaking of milestones...we took him to the doctor last week, and he weighed in at 11lbs, 4 oz!! He gained 4 pounds in one month! At least I know he's getting enough to eat. A common fear of nursing mothers is that they might not be...since you can't exactly measure what the baby consumes. Anyway, he no longer fits into his newborn outfits. He can only wear 0-3 month clothing now!

At the same doctor's appointment, they tried to take a rectal temp...which ended in him pooping once on the nurse, once on the floor, and three times in my hand haha! Poor kid...he was obviously traumatized. The nurse insisted on changing the table paper before I put his diaper back on, which is why it happened so many times. It was quite the adventure. I think it's in his chart now: no more rectal temps!

Another milestone is that he had his first vacation last Friday! We went to Grandmom and Pop-pop's on Friday, and were only supposed to stay until Sunday, but one thing led to another, and we ended up staying until Thursday!! It was fun...mom took him in the morning after his 5 AM feedings, so I could sleep a little bit. And we made occasional visits, through the day, to Pop pop's office (on the first floor) to give him a dose of "his medicine" as he calls him. They both love being around Noah- it's so satisfying to me to see that he's so loved by them! I'm glad he gets to grow up around a loving family.

Noah is also becoming more 'vocal'. He used to make no noise outside of crying when he needed to be changed, or when he was hungry. Now he's making grunts and all kids of noises- one of which we've coined his 'alien talk'. It's hard to describe, but he does it when he's stretching or waking up. It's too cute!

All in all, we're starting to establish a routine. Between housework, cooking, my homework, and Keith getting his licenses for work, we're busy. I wish I could get more done in a day, but want to wait until my 6 week checkup (monday) to make sure everything is healing alright. After a day where I try to do things, I notice that I'm still sore. I hope this passes soon! I'm anxious to start exercising, vacumming, and taking the stairs whenever I need to.

Hahahaha! I'm reading back over this post and starting to see that it's just as scattered as I feel right now. I'm sorry-- it's nearly midnight, and I'm tired from the day, but figured I may as well stay up until the midnight feeding, then go to bed. Hopefully my next post will be a bit more organized. :) I just wanted to make sure I got a post in before his second month arrived! My sweet little baby...growing so quickly!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

More Pictures of Noah

The Best Christmas Gift I've Ever Received

Hi Friends and family! It has been two weeks and 3 days since God sent us Noah Joseph; our little treasure. I never would've thought, on the day I last posted, that I would be in labor only two short days later. In conclusion of my pregnancy, I must say it was a magnificent one-- I'm truly blessed! Even though pregnancy is an amazing and fascinating thing, birth and little infants more than triple the wonder!

Now for the details. It was Sunday the 16th when labor started. Keith, my mom, Nick and I were sitting around the living room chatting before settling in for the night, at which point Ezekiel, my dog, started behaving strangely. He jumped up and put his front paws on my lap, and then followed me around and just stared at me. He doesn't do this unless I have food for him. He did this for the rest of the night and followed us up to bed. It was about 3:30 when my contractions started. They were on the mild side at first; just felt like bad menstural cramps. They weren't coming at regular intervals, so I thought they were just Braxton Hicks and would subside soon. Around about 3:45 they had intensified and I couldn't get comfortable in bed. I went downstairs so as not to wake Keith, drank some water, and tried to distract myself with TV. The contractions started to come 5 minutes apart, so I waited 45 minutes (they should be 5 min apart for an hour before you go to the hospital) then went upstairs to my mom's room. I woke her and told her what was going on, and she told me to wake Keith and to get dressed-- that it was time to go to the hospital. I wasn't convinced that it was labor...the contractions weren't intense enough! But I'd rather err on the side of caution, so I called the doctor, who told me to go to the hospital. We got there by 6 AM, at which point they checked my cervix and I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced-- I was staying and the baby was coming that day!! They got me set up in the delivery room, and I got my epidural as soon as I was able to. Side note: epidurals are WELL worth it!!! The epidural wasn't much pain at all-- more discomfort than anything, and over in a heartbeat. After I got the epi, I was able to sleep and wait for my body to get ready.
Around 12:30 they told me it was time to start pushing. So I pushed.....for 3.5 hours!!! Keith was counting and both he and my mom were holding my legs. The baby had progressed downward but once he hit a certain point, he would not progress any further. They thought maybe the epidural was inhibiting my ability to push, so they turned it down and changed my position...a ton of needless pain...but still the baby wouldn't budge. It was then that my doctor came into the room and said that there was a reason that the baby wasn't coming down, and it would be safest for him if we did a c-section. That was the LAST thing I wanted to hear...I wanted so much to experience childbirth the way it was meant to be! And at my hospital the policy is once you have one c-section, you always have to have c-sections because of the risks posed by VBAC's. I couldn't keep myself from crying...Keith cried with me...the doctor agreed to let me have another half hour to push, and then if no progress was made, we would move to a c-section. I pushed with everything in me for that half hour, and nothing. So my worst nightmare had come true. I had to have a c-section.
They brought the anestesiologist (sp?) back into the room to adjust my epi for the c-section, told Keith to change into scrubs, and shortly after, the doctor rushed in stating that the baby's heart rate was dropping and we had to go in "right now". This panicked poor Keith, who was left in the empty room alone while they wisked me away to get ready for the operation. He thought the situation was serious and they forgot about him! Meanwhile, they were prepping me in the OR-- strapping me down, rigging the little curtain that goes in front of your face...I was living out my biggest fear. I was terrified...the whole idea of being awake during a procedure, and knowing what they were doing behind the curtain was more than I thought my mind could handle! I was shaking uncontrollably-- my arms looked like fish flopping around on dry ground! Next thing I knew, Keith was brought into the room. I was so happy to see him- he held my hand and I told him "you just have to help me breathe; I can't get my breathing under control,". So he breathed with me and held my hand...I don't know what I would've done without him! I was still shaking really badly and I thought my shaking would inhibit the doctor's work, or create some kind of 'oops'- so that only added to my fear. my right hand was held by keith but my left hand was flopping about freely, so I asked the anestesiologist if I could hold his hand. *lol poor guy*...but he said yes and I felt better- maybe I wouldn't botch the surgery after all! The anes. was great. He wasn't telling me what they were doing, but he was telling me what sensations to expect throughout the surgery. Everything felt exactly as he said.
After what seemed like forever (but was actually 5 minutes), I heard the doctor say to Keith "do you want to see the baby being born?" Keith said yes, so they told him to stand up. Later, Keith told me that he saw them pull the baby out, and he was blue-- dark blue. Keith thought something was wrong, and apparently the look on his face gave him away because the nurses immediately reassured him that's how he was supposed to look. The doctor unwrapped the umbilical cord from around the baby's neck- it was wound three times! Then his skin started to fill with color, and he started to cry. The doctor held the baby up over the curtain for me to see. I can't even begin to describe how deeply seeing his little face for the first time affected me! I was awestruck that I was actually seeing the precious little life that my body protected for nine whole months! The tears just flowed, and in an instant, everything about my life changed. I was captivated! I knew Keith was too-- I could hear him over by the nurses, after he cut the cord, watching as they cleaned him off and swaddled him. He was shouting to me, through sobs and laughter "he looks good babe! you should see him!"Keith brought the baby over by my head where I got to study him a little longer. Amazing. He was so beautiful! And a spitting image of a Strenk, I must say. He looked like his mommy on that first day. Even if he grows to look like his daddy, that's fine with me- as long as I had that first day. And that is the story about how Noah Joseph Collier entered the world. It was on December 17th at 5:03 PM. He weighed 7lbs, 9 oz, and was 19.5 inches long.
Yes, Noah was a name that Keith and I had talked about using since before we got pregnant, ironically. :) When we told my dad what the baby's name was, he started to cry. :)
My mom, Nick, my dad, Dawn, and Keith's dad all awaited the news. Keith went out to where they were and just started sobbing- he couldn't talk. They were all waiting for him to say something-anything! He was overjoyed. My dad cried, Keith's dad cried...they all went to meet Noah while I was finishing up in the O.R.
All in all, it was a very scary, very emotional day. But in the end, I'm just thankful that my baby was delivered safely, and that they didn't try to force him out. It could've been so harmful to him! Whenever I get discouraged about having to have another c-section and not being able to deliver vaginally, I just remind myself of the happy, healthy little treasure I have, and it humbles me.
Having Noah around has been amazing! For the first few days all I wanted to do was hold him and look at him! Even getting up at night isn't bad. It feels bad when I first hear his cry, but then when I go to pick him up, and I see his sweet little face, and his eyes are searching for me eagerly, my heart mealts and I'm so thankful I am given the blessing of taking care of him! We're getting used to the routine...the diaper changing, the outfit changing..nursing...it's coming together. :) Nursing is SO HARD and trying at first, but I'm thankful that I've stuck it out- it's getting easier and less painful. It was best described as "toe-curling pain". That couldn't be further from the truth! I've had tons of help at home from mom- bless her heart! She was here for the past two weeks, cooking and cleaning and helping with Noah at night. It's been such a blessing to have her around! I'm so glad she wants to be involved in his life. Nick was also hanging out for the past couple weeks, and my dad came and went as he could. It was a great Christmas! I remember having such a feeling of contentment as we sat around the tree sipping coffee and opening gifts. I held the greatest gift in my arms, and I was able to share the day with my family. It was perfect!
As for getting things done around the house goes...today was my first day "on my own". Keith was at work and mom and Nick left yesterday. Everything I do revolves around Noah, now. In the morning, I wake up, get Noah ready for the day, and nurse him, hoping that he'll be content long enough for me to get dressed. This morning after nursing he sat content in his boppy for an hour while I got myself ready for the day and started a load of laundry. He really is a good baby- only cries for a reason, and is otherwise very content! He's good at night too. The first night, he was up all night. He wouldn't sleep unless I held him, so I guess the better way to say it is that I was up all night. The second night was a bit better, and after that night, I decided keeping him in the bassinett (instead of crib) would be easier. Getting up a lot at night and walking around was getting to be painful for me- I'd wake up really sore the next day. For the most part, he'll be up for a few hours but then sleeps between feedings (of which there are three). I'm hoping we continue with that pattern and he starts to sleep for longer stretches at night.
So this is the beginning!!! I'm LOVING motherhood and I adore my son! Keith is loving fatherhood and is just as in love with him as I am! I look forward to recording all the exciting stages of his life in this blog for you to read, and for us to look back on together, one day.
Amazed. I'm so amazed.