Saturday, May 30, 2009

7 months old!!!!

Sweet Bella is 7 months old (uhm, i'm a couple of days late in posting this). We have all been sick so i'm thankful to have our happy, smiley, expressive shugah back in town! And, because she is so stinkin' cute I couldn't decide on what pictures to post for 7 months. So, I posted 6 of them. I know some of you in blog world don't mind this...(uh hum, grandparents, sisters, Gayla). Even thought some of the pictures are VERY similar her expressions are ALWAYS changing and keep us laughing. She'll go from sweet to sassy to diva to cutie-pie to attitude to melt-your-heart to funny to laughing to crying in 5 seconds FLAT! Hmmmm, wonder where she gets the excitement from...

Here are the "firsts" for this week:
1. She is cutting a top tooth! That will make three.
2. I had her in the kitchen with me and before I knew it she had unraveled all the paper towels and dumped out all the plastic silverware. This is tribute to the "first" of many of these instances. Hence, I felt it was blogworthy.
3. She wants to lick everything! Not necessarily suck on everything but lick everything - daddy's forehead, the paper towels, the bumper on her crib, the giraffes, her feet...
4. She is pulling the bumper on her crib off! So, Mike double tied it but we'll usually find her pulling at it when we get her up from her nap. Little stinker!
5. Her hair is getting long! It's not really a first...well, yes it is. It's the first time it's been this long (is that over-documentation-of-firsts...i'm a first time mommy - can you blame me for documenting everything!).
6. She had her first dance lesson with mommy and daddy. She was fussy in her bumbo chair in the kitchen one evening so Mike danced in front of her and started singing this made up, what was a mommy to do? Yes, I totally joined in. Just imagine the Spartan Cheerleaders from SNL in our kitchen for, oh, about 5 minutes making up a fantabulouso dance and singing routine!!! And, she just stared. She didn't even laugh. Poor kid. She probably knows whats to come when her friends come over.

Check out her toes in this pic!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ode to carrots!

We finally started Miss B on solids. And, what I mean by "starting" is letting her taste it. We are starting on veggies first hoping she'll acquire a liking to those before she tastes the sweetness of fruit. Maybe I can rub off my LOVE of cucumbers and lima beans (that my mom used to make - yummo) and brussel sprouts and edamame and carrots...uhm, so they probably don't have brussel sprout or edamame baby food. But, since i'm hoping to make my own I guess I could try. (Poor kid!) It took a little while for her to taste something different but then she was lunging for the spoon. Woohoo!!! Go for healthy kiddo! I know this is just another phase in her (and our) life but i'm going to miss the dependency she has on me for food. One of my main prayers for her is to be independent and true to herself. But, does the independence have to come so quick. You mommies in blog world (uh hum, Ashley) have empathized with this too - glad to know we all go through it!

"I'm not sure about this you guys!" "What? This isn't milk?" "Ok, yummy! Or, I think daddy's really funny trying to take pictures and do the video camera."Lunging for the carrots. woohoo!
Love this one! Looks like she's trying to jump out!
Daddy decided to give it a try
Look at that sweet face!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A smattering of pictures and things

I thought i'd post a random assortment of pictures that I haven't put on the blog yet. Also, here are the "first" of this week:
1. She started crawling...backwards. She does this military-style of pulling herself by her elbows. Ready or she comes!
2. She had her first bite of solids...carrots! So far so good. I"ll save a separate blog for those pictures. Too cute!
3. She had her first sickness associated with a not-fun fever and a tummy virus. Thankfully, it looks like we're getting better. Mommy got it too so that's why I said "we".
4. She is getting more and more independent. She knows what she wants and will usually grunt at us when she doesn't get it. Drama queen?
5. She now has her second tooth! That makes two bottom teeth.

Happy bathtime girl!
She continues to love sucking on her feet...even in the bathtub!Splashing water!

Sticking my tongue out at daddy!Cute little baby bottom! I'm sure she'll love this when she's older!
"Hmmmm, I wonder if I could lick that!"
Watching the birds with daddy
Listening to daddy sing

Monday, May 18, 2009

Planes, Prayers, and Projectile Vomit

My child (this is Mike) has learned to scream. Not the I'm-unhappy-and-think-you're-a-bad-parent scream. She's had that one down all along. No, this is the I'm-so-happy-I-can't-contain-it-and-will-therefore-scream-for-no-reason scream (Emily gets so excited sometimes about life she has to laugh...I guess it's genetic). It's actually pretty cute in the privacy of a home or in wide open spaces. It's not nearly so cute when sounded in the confines of an American Airlines flight from South Carolina to Texas. In that environment, her father breaks into hives as he worries about annoying other passengers. And he goes through a painful and retrospectively funny chain of events.

It all began when we boarded the plane. Bella was tired, and we actually got her to sleep during the take off. Emily told me at this point in no nonsense tones that I was not to move. Me being me, though, I decided that I should indeed move when I realized that my right arm was going numb just ten minutes into a three hour flight. So I shuffled Bella onto my chest. That worked for a while, but I was having to support her weight with my arms because airline chairs aren't exactly the best when it comes to reclining. Now, I don't consider myself a weak guy, so we're going to estimate that my arms got tired at the same point that any strong and strapping young man's arms would have done the same. So I shuffled her again. Her eyes popped open. I tried frantically to get her back to sleep, but it was too late. We were in for a long flight with an alert and happy baby who felt like screaming.

We played for a few minutes, but Bella was loud. It was at this point that I asked Emily to feed the child some Benadryl. Yes, drugging my child makes me a horrible father, but I figured that this would be the best course of action for us all. Bella could sleep, Emily and I could relax, and the rest of the passengers wouldn't even need to know we were there. So, as we fed Bella the second bottle after the flight began (we gave her the first during take off), we gave her some Benadryl that was then to be washed down by milk.

Bendaryl takes a while to take effect. Bella finished bottle number 2 and then proceeded to get loud again. So I did what any sensible father would do. I asked Emily for bottle number 3. I had a bad feeling as I did - a child's stomach can only hold so much - but I decided to gamble. If I could just get her to sleep, the tummy would digest everything fine, right? Everything seemed to be working as planned. Bella finished bottle 3, and I began to bounce her gently. Through all of this I had been praying fervently. In fact, I thought that God might be teaching me a lesson, as I had just told a friend that I sometimes struggle to understand fervent prayer. Maybe God was using my child to help me understand this area of the spiritual life. My spirit soared as I saw that the combination of my prayers, Benadryl, and extra milk were working. Bella's eyes were heavy and pink rimmed. She was about to drop off to dream land! Then, in an ever so cute gesture, she gently lifted her head and proceeded to throw up the entire contents of her too full stomach. Maybe God wasn't teaching me about prayer after all...maybe the real lesson came with understanding that one should never overfeed a baby, no matter how loud they are.

The vomit was not a one step process. No, Bella spit up three consecutive times. In the first, the milky white liquid rushed over her small body, soaking most of the front side of her onesy. In the second, yet more of the stuff sought every piece of cloth that had been left dry and then moved to my shirt and jeans. In the third, with nothing left to absorb it, the gastric-smelling liquid rolled over the already wet areas like the ocean at high tide and proceeded to leap off of Bella's body to cover cabin wall beside us. O yes...I got more soaked in the process.

I sat there stunned for a moment. Bella had spit up before (not much though...she doesn't really spit up much at all), but nothing like this. This smelled like full fledged vomit, and she and I were both covered with the stuff. Well, I might have to stay in my vomit soaked clothes (I didn't have a change on the plane...even if I did, I shudder to think of the harrowing process of a 6'4" man trying to change clothes in an airplane bathroom!), but Bella didn't have to stay in hers. Emily and I proceeded to strip her of her onesy and then wrapped her in a blanket and began to bounce again. This, of course, was after I used a baby wipe to wipe down the cabin wall that had so graciously received Bella's vomitous gift. There I sat, gently bouncing a diaper clad child. I may have been soaked and smelled like vomit, but I still had a child to keep quiet! (In the meantime, Emily sat there stunned at her little baby! "What to do?!")

As I bounced Bella, Emily blotted me with baby wipes to soak up some of the vomit. There was actually a lot of liquid on the seat between my legs that she was able to clean. Unfortunately, a good bit of that liquid had already soaked into my jeans. So, I finished the ENTIRE flight bouncing Bella and painfully aware that it would look like I had wet my pants when the plane finally landed and I got up to deboard. Emily took Bella (cute little Bella in her diaper) off the plane. And, not one or two but THREE people said, "Oh, I didn't know there was a baby on board. She did so good". ha! Then, Bella proceeded to play with everyone and smile and laugh to those on the plane.

When we finally landed, I was in no mood to take our connecting 50 minute flight to Austin. No - me, planes, and babies don't mix. We were going to rent a car, and I was going to stop somewhere so that I could by some new clothes to replace the vomit-smelling ones I was wearing. So Emily and I proceeded to take the shuttle to the rental car center. This insured that we would miss our flight, but it would be worth it. After the few hours that it would take to drive from Dallas to Temple, I would be in my own bed in clean clothes and relaxed. No more planes for Mike.

However, there were NO rental cars when we got to the rental car center. Apparently, DFW does a lot of business (who knew), and it's hard to get a one way car to Austin. I asked every counter. No one could help me. I called my dad for advice. He was stumped. Finally, things were looking up when dad called back to say that Orbitz was reporting an available van. I could look it up and then take my computer to the counter and argue that they help me. As I was discovering this, though, Emily took sleeping Bella (yes, she finally fell asleep) to the Hertz counter to ask for help. (It's 11pm by now) I had already been there, but wonder of wonders, the clerk decided to help her. He was a nicer guy than the person who helped me. More than that, though, I don't think that being a good looking woman who looked frustrated and frazzled who also happened to be holding a sweet sleeping baby hurt Emily's chances of getting help. So, we finally ended up in a Mazda 5, a very nice car, driving home, and we made it without further incident (at 1:30am). The next morning, I drove the rest of the way to Austin to pick up our luggage and the car we had left at the airport just a few days earlier. And, Bella woke up happy and laughing!

Here ends the saga of Planes, Prayers, and Projectile vomit.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This little piggy went to the Partin's.....

Last weekend we made a fantastic trip to South Carolina to see our "family" there!!! The preceding week I was singing a song during bath time that went "this little piggy went to Aunt Gayla's...this little piggy went to Uncle Mark's...this little piggy went to the Partin's....". So, i'm certain Miss B was ready to meet her Aunt Gayla and Uncle Mark. And, I had a hard time not running through the airport to get to them! If you know the Partin's you will agree with me that they are truly special people. And, they are family and best friends to Mike and I. We had a wonderful time spending time with them. It was one of those trips where it felt like you were there for a week but really it was only a couple of days. It was filled with reconnecting with some precious friends of ours and showing Bella South Carolina. And, I thoroughly enjoyed running again at Swan Lake too! We were able to see the majority of our friends at church on Sunday and at Tonya's house on Monday. I also went to Columbia to see Sara, one of my best friends, and Swann, my friend, mentor, and role model, on Monday. Even though we've been gone for nearly two years, South Carolina holds a special place in our heart. Stay tuned for the plane-poopy-diaper-spit-up-ALL-over-daddy-miss-our-flight-get-stuck-in DFW-and-all-rental cars-are-sold-out-at-11pm-saga!!! Mike will post that blog later.

First night with Mark and Gayla
Fun times with Gayla!
Bella loved Mark!
Bella would throw herself back on us and laugh! Obviously, so would we!
Happy girl!
Bella is saying, "Look at me...I'm with mommy and Aunt Gayla!"

Aunt Gayla gave me a measuring cup and it kept me occupied for a while!! I loved to chew on every part of it!
I had my first taste of cantaloupe with Aunt Gayla and loved it! I kept going back for more!
Bella wanted some water...and she was quick and nearly got some!
One of the most precious captured moments of the trip - Mark was having to tell Bella goodbye before he went back to work and she just laid her head on his shoulder. And, if you know Bella you know that is big deal as she likes to be on-the-go and wiggling all the time. Yes, tear-jerker then and tear-jerker even as I write this.I went to see my girlies on Sunday night at Tonya's house. We were having a such a great time, which entailed LOTS of LOUD laughter and talking, that we completely missed the huge thunderstorm that came through (lightning, thunder, and hail!). Mike called me and left a message saying that I should stay at Tonya's until the storm passed. What? There was a storm?!? We all missed that memo! Love love love you girlies!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

6 month update

We had our 6 month checkup last week. And, Miss B did great! She smiled at her doctor which made it hard to get through the visit...Dr. Saenz kept smiling back and playing. Bella is now 26 inches long and 16 pounds 9 ounces, putting her at 80% height and 50-60% weight. Right on track and tall...wonder where she gets that from. Dr. Saenz went to lay her down to assess her and Bella kept raising up her feet and head like she wanted to sit up! She might be a yoga girl when she gets older!
This week has been full of "firsts".

1. She said "da da" along with babbles of all other sorts. She keeps findings syllables and I think it surprises her, shown by her facial expressions after she says them. Hearing her say "da da" is precious!! It also sounds like she's saying "hi" when we first go get her up. And, last night I heard her say "I love Mommy"...ok, just kidding. This momma's tryin' to get some love!

2. She has her first tooth! Say What! It broke through this morning. Mike noticed when Bella wanted to suck on his thumb, not her own.

3. When she's fussy, we can usually pat her mouth and she'll sound like an indian. Lately she thinks it's something to suck on. She'll get so excited and stick out her tongue as FAR as it will go and pant like a dog. Hysterical! We'll have to get that on video soon and upload it.

4. We made a quick Sunday visit to Grammy and PawPaw in Houston and had a great time playing with them.

Dancing with daddy!!!!
And, a cute "Bella" expression!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Since this blog will become Bella's baby book I want to capture everything! Obviously...hence, the 65 posts I have on here so far. It's going to be a big baby book! Here's a sweet moment I don't want to forget. I just got through holding sweet Bella while she was sleeping. We absolutely love it when she does that. Sometimes during her last feeding she'll want to play but other times she'll fall fast asleep when we put her up on our shoulder. She'll put her sweet little hands on our neck and burrow her face there too while she's getting comfy. Then, she's out! And, I love it! During the day, we put her in her crib while she's still awake to teach her to go to sleep on her own. And, it's worked really well once we started trying that method of scheduling her feedings, playtime, and bedtime (i.e. Babywise method - which I love by the way). She'll fuss a little bit but she'll go down pretty good. But, nights like tonight that method goes out the window. I let her sleep. Ten minutes goes by and I keep thinking, "I should put her in her crib". Then, I close my eyes and try to capture how she feels since I know she'll keep growing up and give myself some more time. I can't bring myself to do it. Ten more minutes goes by and I tell myself the same thing. Then, she'll take a deep breath and i'll rub her back and give myself more time. I still can't bring myself to do it. Ten more minutes goes by and I think I should put her in the bed. Then, I smell her sweet baby-lotioned self and give myself even more time. Tonight this went on for forty-five minutes. And, I loved every breath and rub and kiss and "I love you" and moment of it. The dishes needed to be loaded, toys needed to be picked up, laundry needed to be folded...all that can wait. I had a sweet, lotion-smelling, little-finger-twitching, deep breathing, not moving, little girl on me. Awwww, bliss!