Thursday, September 15, 2016


Last week I started yoga again.

I'd last been in a class something like five days before I went into labor with Ivy, so it'd been almost fifteen months since I crossed my legs on my little blue mat. Once Ivy grew up enough to not need to nurse as often, the next thing I had to get out of the way was the feelings of guilt for being selfish, and figure out how I'd possibly get my evening chores done AND be gone for two hours on a weeknight. But my body, especially my back, had really been letting me know it needed to go back, so I made the decision to just DO it.

On yoga day, work ran a few minutes long, and when we went to pick Ivy up from daycare they wanted to chat with us, so I felt super rushed. The plan was to leave work at 4, pick up the baby and get home by 4:45, change clothes, grab a bite, nurse, and then run to yoga. But we didn't get home until 5, and I had to skip nursing in favor of scarfing down a couple of bites of something, and cursing my way through rush hour traffic on the way back to downtown.

But then I walked in the door of the studio, and stepped into a large airy space, was welcomed by the same teacher and the same two classmates who I'd said goodbye to a year and a half ago (they were in the "normal" yoga class and I'd spent a few of my last months before Ivy taking prenatal classes), and all of the stress of cramming too much stuff into an hour and a half melted away as I sat down on my little blue mat.

I came away from class with a few surprises. One was that I was more limber than I thought, after so long. Muscle memory took over and I was able to drop into some poses pretty easily. And downward dog was way easier than I thought - I credit that to a certain toddler who insists on being carried a lot. But I think the biggest one was that I was overwhelmed by emotion when we were meditating. All of these yoga memories just kept coming up - stopping in with a tiny Ivy to say hello to my teacher, sitting in the window seat watching people go by while waiting for class to start - and the biggest one that I'd forgotten until then was the night before I took my pregnancy test after our last round of IVF. I couldn't concentrate on anything and was so worried about the outcome that I was crying as I went through the poses. That memory kinda hit me in the face and made me a little bit teary, as I navigated past it and through other infertility memories and fragments of feelings that I hadn't felt in awhile. It never totally goes away, I guess.

I went home and an exhausted Cory immediately handed a very upset Ivy off to me and promptly went to sleep. Luckily, so did Ivy, so I was able to sneak away and finish my chores, still on my yoga high.

I think it'll still take a bit of time before I feel totally in control of Thursday evenings, and able to handle chores with an hour and a half less in the evenings. But being able to move my body, and center myself, and work through old emotions - totally worth it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Beach Day

For a very long time, our beach trips have looked like this: drive over with the dog, go down to the beach and walk a little, maybe pick up a few shells and rocks, throw the ball for the dog, pack up the dog, go to Rogue Brewery for lunch, and go home. The only messy bit was the dog and we'd just hose him off if he was really bad.

Now, of course, things are very different! Yesterday I took Ivy to the beach for the "first time." (She has been before, but she was young enough that she didn't even touch the sand, I just carried her - and it looked a lot like our old-normal trips.) I was going to take Linus, but in the end I realized it'd probably be a lot of extra work so I left him home.

It was supposed to be 95 in the valley yesterday, so an escape to the beach was really nice. It was still foggy when we got there at 10am, and when my friend and her kids arrived we loaded ourselves up and made the short trek down to the beach from the parking area at Cape Lookout State Park.

Ocean-blue Eyes

We set up our little shade tent cabana things, managed to figure out how to eat some lunch without getting too much sand everywhere, and it turns out Ivy's favorite pastime at the beach is playing in the surf. I held both of her hands and we'd walk out towards the water, and then when a wave came I'd run backwards with her to a spot where the water would only reach to her ankles. We did this over and over, until my back would get too upset with me and then we'd go back to the little cabana for a break.

In the meantime, we practiced together how and when and where to put on sunscreen, how to keep a hat on, and how not to eat sand. Sorta. Not really the last one. As Ivy started getting tired and punchy, she started to eat more and more sand, and we played the really not that enjoyable game of "try to keep the sand out of my mouth and fail, mama." So as my friend and her older kids (who do not eat sand) played more, I packed up our stuff and got as much sand as I could out from between toes, and Ivy slept in the car as we made the hour trek to Lincoln City to meet some relatives for a couple of hours. And when we got home I was happy to see I succeeded in my attempts to keep sunburn at bay!

I think it's still going to take some practice, but for a first try it was a pretty successful little trip.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Two Things

Two random things that happened in the last few days:

Cory said he was watching Ivy play alone the other day, and she was talking to herself, and suddenly started laughing. She must have told herself a joke. I wonder what it was.

Also, yesterday I was trying to read to her before a nap, and I pulled a book off of the shelf and showed it to her and she shook her head and said "no." (It sounded like "nah" though.) I ended up going through all of her books, showing her each one and her shaking her head and saying no, until she settled on one. It happened again in the evening, but she was much more amenable to books than she was in the afternoon; I think she was just learning that she could say no to something so she was practicing. If it keeps happening, though, we're gonna have to start hitting the library for some new material!

Bonus thing: this weekend was the pits for poor Miss I, but she was such a trooper. On Friday we went for a little drive up to Mount St. Helens, and partway through the day I noticed her eye was a little swollen and gunky. Turns out it was the beginning of conjunctivitis! It spread to the other eye over the weekend, and on Monday first thing I called the doc and they called in a prescription just based on my description over the phone. Then on Sunday she reached for one of her little walkers and lost her balance and hit her mouth on the handle, and either split her lip on the handle or bit it with her new teethies. I think it was the first bloody injury she's had to deal with. It's still swollen today, but it hasn't seemed to bother her since the initial shock and pain. Poor thing. And her eyes look much better now that she's had a day of antibiotic ointment, but I'll be spending most of the next couple of days checking my own eyes in the mirror to see if she shared her germs with me.

Cory's been making little videos of our travels this summer; here's the one from St. Helens.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

13 Months

I didn't mean to sit down and write a post on Ivy's 13-month birthday, but here we are. (Edit: sometimes we forget to hit the publish button. Whoops.) She is currently taking one bite of chicken and throwing the rest of the handful on the floor. Both the dog and cat will love her today.

This weekend we visited my mom, three hours away. Ivy got a convertible car seat that was delivered on Thursday, so we switched out the baby seat (a friend sent me a link to Consumer Reports, who said it was dangerous for kids over 1 to stay in an infant seat, and I also got a really really good deal on this one - a Graco Size4me 65, for $45!) and headed over the mountains. Turns out Grandma's house is magic: last time we were there (Memorial Day weekend I think), Ivy popped her first tooth. And this weekend she popped her second tooth (on top, same side as the bottom one) AND took her first few steps unassisted! I need to go there more often, I think, so she can get caught up on her teeth. She didn't fuss, either, which was great - I just happened to see that it was there. I'm praying for my poor nipples now, haha.

We also THINK we are hearing more words. She said "hoo hoo hoo!" along with us when we were playing with her little stuffed owl. I'm pretty sure she says doggie and kitty. She says "uh oh" when she drops things, of course.

We are at that point now where she is almost not interested at all in baby food anymore. I'm not sure if it's that she likes feeding herself, or if she just prefers "real" food, but I have been wasting squeeze pouches left and right. She is doing a really good job swallowing everything, and when she does get something stuck in her esophagus a little bit of water gets it the rest of the way down. And I can tell she's eating some pretty big chunks of food sometimes. Chew, silly!

She's also learning body parts. She did a good job with "nose" until we taught her "ears," and now when we ask her where her nose is she points to her ear. We're also practicing "toes" and "tummy." Sometimes she gets it.

There's also a lot of new personality developing, which is so great to watch. The other day she crawled all the way across the park from where we were sitting in the grass, across two cement paths, and into the wood-chipped play area. She "sings" a lot. And she likes making people laugh - she's getting pretty goofy. I love it.

Ah, dinner was short-lived. Someone is tearing her bib off.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Comes Next

Thought I'd pop in really quickly with a little anecdote from last night.

Our bath time routine is what everyone else's is, I'm sure: get in, play, wash, put the toys away, open the drain in the tub, get out. At the end of Ivy's bath last night, I had her hand me her toys one by one. When the toys were cleaned up, she turned and pointed at the drain plug. Yes, baby, that's what comes next! Good job!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

One Year Checkups

Ivy had back-to-back doctor appointments a few days ago, one with the surgeon and one with the pediatrician.

The surgeon appointment was super quick, as usual. Ivy got to get weighed on the big-kid scale, standing up with all of her clothes on, which was pretty neat. The surgeon looked at her scar and at her chest, and said that everything looked great and he would see her again in six months or so. He also told us to start weaning her off of the omeprazole, which is super exciting - it's no fun to have daily medicine, especially when you have to keep it refrigerated. So we're doing every other day for a week and then every two days, and then we'll be done. He also mentioned that he'd want to see her for a few years just to keep an eye on her development, especially her chest wall - I'm not sure what that meant, but so far it all looks good.

The surgeon also asked if we were planning on having more kids. He said "don't let the fact that Ivy had TEF keep you from trying for another baby; the odds of having a second TEF baby are very low." I wish it were as simple as being worried about TEF, doc! I said "well, we had to do IVF for this one, so chances are we just won't be able to do it again." It gave me a little short-lived twinge of sadness to say it out loud again.

And then the next morning we checked in with the pediatrician. Ivy got three shots, and everything else looks fine. She weighs 18 pounds 4 ounces, which is way down towards the bottom of the scale; her head circumference is even lower, but she's 75% percentile for height (29.75"). So she's still a pinhead beanpole. We'll see the pediatrician again in three months.

After the surgeon visit especially, it felt almost like we'd graduated. No more medicine, less frequent visits - it's a great feeling. It's especially sweet because a year ago at this time we had just completed Ivy's swallow test and were preparing to get her chest drainage tube removed; and my social media posts from then bring back a lot of emotions.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ivy is ONE!

Bad things come in threes, they say. It was that way for us this past week, and the repercussions affected Ivy's birthday.
Last Monday, the dishwasher stopped working. Minor thing, really, just an inconvenience.
Then on Friday, the power steering went out on our brand new car. (Our old car broke about 60 miles from home over Memorial Weekend, and we had to be towed into town, where the car was pronounced dead and we sold it to a car tinkerer friend.) That was also an inconvenience except also a safety concern.
And then Friday night, Cory was roughhousing with Ivy and she tore his glasses off his face and broke them in half, right across the bridge.


I woke up on Ivy's birthday at first light and laid in bed as she slept, stroking her little face and thinking about the past year. A clap of thunder got me out of bed to look out the window: no rain, but I had fruit skewers to make, so off i went.

Ivy woke up shortly thereafter, and I gave her her birthday present: a pair of silver shoes, which are too big for her now but she's also not walking yet so it's OK. We also made plans for the morning - Cory wanted to go to the eyeglasses shop and see if they could repair his glasses, because the tape I put on them wasn't working at all.

I did maybe 40 skewers, and decided that if people ran out of those they could make their own, and dumped the rest of the fruit into a bowl as we ran out the door to the eyeglass shop.

After striking out at the shop (the frames aren't solder-able, and it's against the rules for them to drop an old lens into a new frame apparently), we decided that now that we had a bit of time we could go to the grand opening of the Burgerville in our town. So we drove towards some very dark clouds, and as we were getting out of the car in the parking lot, the heavens opened up. We ordered some food and in-between managers coming through asking how we were doing I checked the weather app on my phone and fretted about the deluge. We were supposed to have an outdoor party in two hours!

Home we went again, and Cory started calling the dealer to ask about our car, while I started getting party stuff packed up and ready to go. The rain had stopped, but it was still looking threatening out there. Some family arrived, and we took one load of things to the park, where it started raining again. And then it was ten minutes until the party, and I started panicking a little, because we hadn't set anything up. I ran another load to the park in our car, even though Cory had said the dealer told us to stop driving it, and that the tow truck driver was going to be at our house between 1:30 and 2, right during Ivy's party.

When we finally brought the last load over, there were several people there already and my mom (who had stayed at the park with the first load) had enlisted some of them to help set things up. I handed Ivy off to Cory's dad, and finished setting up, and the tow truck driver called to say he'd be late so Cory ran over to the park, and then it was time to party!

Ivy's Birthday Cake

Ivy ate probably 3/4 of her cupcake. It didn't take her long to figure out what to do, and actually most of it got in her mouth, which was pretty impressive. (She also kept sticking her fingers in other people's cupcake frosting for the rest of the party.) I cleaned her up while Cory ran home to meet the tow truck, and he came back when we were almost finished opening presents.

It looks like Ivy's favorite gifts (so far) were this little chair which she has not stopped climbing all over and sitting in, and a dolly. She's really starting to like dolls, she puts them to bed (puts a cloth over them) and gives them little kisses and cuddles. She got a lot of great stuff that we will definitely be enjoying for awhile.

And then it was over! My family (which was the majority of the guests) helped pack everything up and deliver it back to our house, and then it was NAPTIME. For everyone. Ivy didn't have more than 20 minutes of a morning nap, but she didn't fuss at all, even towards the end of the party - she's such a good girl.

And then the rest of the evening, and so far today, we have just been hanging out at home as a family. Cory has been super busy with work lately, preparing for his trip, and now that he's home we're decompressing and being quiet and together.


Some new things Ivy does:
Cuddles and pets dollies
Sticks her finger up her nose (uh oh)
When I say "ni-ni, dolly!" she puts a blanket on her doll
Eating lots of solid foods with no trouble swallowing for the most part
Starting to walk with help
Kisses us when we pucker up. With her tongue out.
Climbing - up the stairs, onto laps, onto her new chair
Standing by herself here and there, and catching herself when she falls
Babbling with more variety, including whispering
Imitating sounds and actions more often
More adventurous - will cross a room or go down the stairs or go into the other room in order to do something or get a closer look at something

Proud Parents

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ivy Eve

This morning I texted Cory to say "a year ago this morning I was awakened by a contraction!"

Cory is in Washington, DC on business; he left early Tuesday morning and comes home tonight. Before he left, I was worried I wasn't going to be able to get all of the prep for Ivy's first birthday party done, on top of normal making-dinner and doing-chores stuff all alone. But that part has worked out just fine; I just miss him. I've been melancholy for the past couple of days, partly because of all of the terrible things that have been happening in the news lately, and partly because of this crazy milestone that's imminent and bringing up all kinds of memories and feelings.

I actually have been left with pretty decent memories of the NICU. I'm grateful for that, because I've been reading back in my blog posts and of course it's bringing back memories of how overwhelmed I was, and how scared for Ivy and her future; and I'm glad that most of the icky feelings associated with the NICU have faded a bit. I think the most powerful memory that I have of last year around this time is the moment I finally made it to Ivy's room after being stuck in the hospital where I gave birth, waiting for blood transfusions for three days. I dropped all my bags on the floor and ran to her bed and just sobbed. It's a very vivid memory.

Today last year was the culmination of so many things. It was the end of my pregnancy, and going into labor I wasn't nearly as uncertain and worried as I thought I might be. The pain came and I worked through it. And my memory of the days before is peaceful - gentle reflection and gentle anticipation.

It also marked the culmination of the raw, close pain of infertility and the IVF process. It wasn't the end of the total pain of infertility, I think that will always have a little place inside of me that gently reminds me of its existence here and there. I was telling someone the other day that I will be happy to stop marking IVF anniversaries and start marking Ivy's anniversaries. Another reason it will never fully go away is that, whether I like it or not, we are likely done having babies. I sometimes think about how it'd be awesome to be able to do this all again, to feel the excitement and fatigue and closeness-to-another-being of pregnancy, to feel more like I know what I'm doing with a newborn, to have another breastfeeding relationship with a little one, to give Ivy a sibling to play with and fight with, to hopefully be able to fulfill the after-birth part of my birth plan where I get to check out the placenta and enjoy brand-new-baby-bonding-time and take my baby home sooner than 17 days after birth.

But none of it matters right now - Cory will be home tonight, we will get to cuddle in bed as a family, and then tomorrow we get to celebrate our little miracle. <3

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A tooth!

We had quite an eventful Memorial Weekend! On Friday evening I picked Ivy up, ran home to drop Cory off and feed the baby, and then on to pick up Grandma and go over the mountains to Mom's house. Ivy slept almost all the way there, which was fantastic - she started to get a bit punchy when we had about ten minutes to go. It was great.

And then we spent the whole weekend hanging out at Mom's house. We experimented with textures in the garden, we played with a couple of new toys, we took naps, we cuddled. On Sunday evening, Ivy was a little fussy, and then she bonked her face onto my sternum, which lead to an hour of crying. But I could tell it wasn't the bonk that was hurting, it was just the catalyst - teething was the real problem. Ivy's grandpa went out for some Motrin and by the time he got back she was fine again. But I gave her a dose before bed anyway, which I think helped; she woke up whimpering a few times and nursed quite a bit. And then in the morning she had a tiny point of a tooth! Hooray!

I was also able to see my cousin and her boyfriend and his 10-year-old daughter who is nonverbal autistic. She was enamored with Ivy and wanted to hold her, and we have a great picture of them together.

Monday was a beautiful day, and it was a good thing too, because the car broke down just as we were getting back into cell phone range as we came over the mountain pass. We waited outside for an hour until a tow truck arrived, and he took us the 60 miles home. (Or rather, to our mechanic.) My aunt and uncle met us there and drove us home, and Cory is now on a bus into the city so he can get a rental and talk to the mechanic.

And now we wait for daddy to come home so we can get to day care and then to work. Ivy was kind enough to wake up at 6, and is already taking a nap on me. She's pooped too, I guess!

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I consider myself a pretty laid-back mom overall. We haven't had any big bloody injuries yet, but those medical issues she has had I've been able to take in stride. I let her get dirty, I let her try things, I let her fail at things. The one exception to my laid-back trend is milk production.

I work in the membership department of an association, and I'm elbow deep in data every day, and I enjoy being obsessive about keeping member records up to date. When I was trying to get pregnant, before my infertility diagnosis, I used FertilityFriend for a few years, faithfully entering the date each cycle began, my symptoms throughout the month, and my temperature every single morning.

When Ivy was born, I downloaded an app that compiled data on which side I nursed last, what time we started and stopped, and the duration of each session. Ivy was not a good nurser at the beginning, and it was a struggle to juggle latching and hitting the button on the phone - and then hitting the button again when she'd fall asleep or unlatch or fuss. In the end, I realized that I didn't need the app, I could just switch a little ring from hand to hand to remember which side came last, and I could just listen to my baby tell me she was hungry. It was liberating.

But the game changed again when I went back to work. I set up a Google spreadsheet of how much Ivy drinks at daycare every day, how much I pump at work, how many times I pumped (so I can see my average ounces-per-session), the difference between her intake and my output, how much milk I have in my freezer, how much frozen milk is at daycare, and then a graph of total inventory by day. It was fun to keep up with at the beginning, but then she grew and started drinking more, and it started getting stressful. When I get below 100 ounces in my inventory, I get concerned. When Ivy drinks more than I pump in a day, I get concerned. I add pumping sessions during the weekend just to catch up when she's "beat" me more than a few ounces in a week. A couple of weeks ago when I started sending food with her to daycare, I felt like a failure, even though she was ten months old and perfectly ready to eat food during the day. Nursing is SO important to me; and that, combined with my freakish propensity to obsess over spreadsheets and graphs, have made me a data monster, I fear. But unlike the app, I think this spreadsheet will stay with me until she's no longer getting most of her calories from milk.

What's your parenting neurosis?

11 Months

We have a very busy baby on our hands! 11 months is not marking the start, but we are well underway with having a little one who is crawling over to off-limits things, pulling up on everything, and cruising around the furniture. Everything is a toy or a musical instrument or a science experiment. She is learning to stop what she's doing when we say "no!" but then tries to do the thing again a few seconds later. Her strawberry-blonde hair is long enough for spiking up in the bath, and the continued lack of teeth doesn't keep her from stuffing her little face with broccoli florets. We also have a first word: "hi!" I heard a very intentional "mama" this morning too. She may have said "dada" intentionally long ago, but it's hard to tell when it's babbles and when it's intentional. When you start singing pattycake, she claps. (She also claps when you tell her to, or say "yay!" She waves at people tons. She likes grabbing Dexter's tail and poking Linus in the eye. And she is growing like a weed - a couple of weeks ago she stepped up her milk consumption at daycare and I couldn't keep up, so now I send her with three ounces of pureed food too. It has helped me not worry so much about running out. She also gets dinner, which is usually more puree and a bit of whatever we are eating. She also likes those teething biscuits. (They're so messy though!) Her sleep has been disrupted the last few nights too; lots of waking up and flailing around. And lots of nursing. But not much fussing, and I'm thankful for that!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ten Months

I'm writing this in tiny pieces, taking breaks quite often to chase after a newly-mobile and slightly-punchy-because-it's-almost-bedtime baby as she chases the cat, grabs handfuls of fur off the dog, tries to stick her fingers in the back of the fan (it sounds more dangerous than it is), pulls herself up on the coffee table to grab hard drives, and crawls down the hall in search of the vacuum cleaner cord. 

Yep, our lives have changed pretty drastically in the last couple of months! When I think back on parenting in general, so far, I think about phases like this:

1. Leaving the baby on the couch to do things in the other room, many hours to do my own thing while she sleeps
2. Leaving the baby lying on the floor to do things in the other room ('cause she'd roll off the couch if she could), some time to do my own thing
3. Leaving the baby sitting on the floor playing, not as much time to do my own thing as she's clingy
4. Chase after a mischievous crawler

I'm sure #5 will be RUN AFTER A MISCHIEVOUS TODDLER! We have a little time before that happens though.

We had quite the week last week. I was terribly sick the weekend after we got home from Florida, and Ivy followed suit pretty quickly. I felt like I was racing against time, because right before I got sick I'd called her surgeon for a checkup, which was scheduled for that Thursday. I wanted to ask about a couple of episodes Ivy'd had, where she'd swallowed a bit of food and had thrown it back up a few minutes later. I was concerned she might have a stricture and need a dilation. 

Luckily, she was mostly better by Tuesday, so on Thursday we made the trek up to the hospital and had a quick meeting with the surgeon. She recommended an esophagram, which they scheduled for the following day, to see if there was a stricture. (They also doubled her omeprazole dose - it's an anti-reflux medication that protects the surgery site against developing too much scar tissue.) And then on Thursday night, her fever came back, so on the way up to the esophagram appointment I made an appointment with her pediatrician for the afternoon.


This was her third esophagram. The first two times she did really well, but this time she was hungry and did NOT want to stay still and drink the barium. I don't blame her. Luckily, the technician got the x-rays he wanted, and the doctor said everything looks great - in fact it looks better than last time! So that made me feel better. It still didn't tell me why she's getting food stuck, but now I think it probably has more to do with the motility of the esophageal muscles - they stop and start up again at the stricture site, rather than move the food down in one fluid motion. So we continue to watch and stay careful when we feed her pieces of food.

After the esophagram, we stopped in at the pediatrician. I had mentioned that she had those episodes of food being stuck, and then the nurse tried to get a blood oxygen level and ended up with a measurement of 75. So the resident came flying in, thinking she had aspiration pneumonia, but once they saw that I wasn't worried about her they did another O2 check and it was normal. Sorry for the heart attack, doctor. Turned out she had croup! I feel awful, because now I realize I can't tell the difference between her floppy trachea barky cough and croup. Anyway, she got some steroids and felt better the next day. Boy, it's amazing the difference in her demeanor when she's not feeling well - she's always such a happy girl that when she's not feeling well it's super obvious.

Let's see, what else... she is waving like crazy, to everything. It takes her a little bit of time to warm up when she's in a new place or around new people, but she's not afraid of being held by people she doesn't know. She's starting to do the "I'm shy" head-on-mama's-shoulder thing sometimes when new people (or people she doesn't remember) say hello to her. She's definitely teething; I can feel her left lower front tooth right under the surface, and she's been biting my nipple quite often the last week or so. I was going to say that she's sleeping great - all the way through the night, like 9 hours - but that was short-lived, heh. Last week it started taking her upwards of an hour to fall asleep, and she was pretty bitey. It's probably a combination of teething and going through another mental leap (and learning how to crawl and stuff changing her brain). She's constantly babbling, but no "mama" yet. She can't stand hats; they come off within seconds of being put on. This is unfortunate because it means I can't take her out in the sun for very long - but it's OK 'cause I don't like being in the sun either; we can stick to the shade together.

Lettuce Head
My lettuce wrap worked well as a hat too, but I couldn't get a photo of it before she started ripping it off her head!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

To Orlando and Back

We are back from Florida!

A week ago Friday, we flew over five hours to Orlando. We had a short layover in Kansas City, but our first flight was slightly late so we walked off one plane and onto the next, leaving no time for Ivy to play before having to get back into a cramped little seat. Mom, Cory and I took up a row, and it worked pretty well; Ivy could switch back and forth among us. I'm always a little antsy about getting through security and making it to the gate on time, and having to figure out how to do it with a baby made me that much more worried, but we did it. The last half hour of the last flight, she got a little punchy, but the rest of the time she was great.

And then we spent the next week running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Ivy's nap schedule was shot, and we were working such long hours that it was hard to stop for a few minutes. Burt in the ballroom I was working, they left a little room open for me to nurse, and it was awesome. Mom walked all through the hotel dozens of times, and brought Ivy to me when she was hungry, and it all worked out really well. Ivy met so many people and did so well - lots of our members knew she was coming, and they all gave her lots of attention. I thought she would have a hard time with all those strangers, but she really was so good. It wasn't until the last day that she was done and needed her mama a ton. She learned to wave, and would reach her arm towards the third-floor balcony and when we would go out there she would wave at the people down below. She also started standing on her hands and feet and almost figured out how to pull up on the furniture. (She has since figured it out!) I can't remember if I mentioned that she learned to crawl about a week before we went, but she had a blast in those big empty ballrooms at the hotel as we started to unpack, and she also spent lots of time searching out little crumbs and pieces of dirt and pebbles and trying to eat them.

And then it was time to come home! She was not excited about being in the plane on the first leg, and we ended up being so late (a plastic clip from an oxygen tank had broken and they had to do paperwork) that they held our connection in Denver and we were the very last people on that plane. One very nice lady moved so that Cory and I could sit together, but mom was out of luck and had to sit with strangers. Ivy slept almost the whole of that flight, and as we we waiting to deplane she flirted with the lady next to us who said she looked exactly like her son at that age.

And then we were home! I feel so lucky that my mom agreed to come; she was such a lifesaver. We couldn't have done it without her.

Now cross your fingers with me that Ivy and Cory don't get this sickness that I brought back with me. I had a 24-hour fever that finally broke in the wee hours this morning, and I still feel like I was run over by a truck. And I had such grand plans to clean and mow and stuff this weekend. :(

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ivy at Nine Months

We have been taking photos of Ivy on her month-birthdays, like most parents do, but I haven't posted any of them yet. However, this weekend when we snapped a few for Ivy's ninth month-birthday, I also grabbed my phone to take a few.


At my baby shower, our friends Mike and Danielle gave me a cute little onesie. It was big for a three-month size, and it was grey with little line-drawings of tents and trees on it. We decided to use it for her monthly photos, so that we could see her grow out of it, and I figured after four or five months she would be out of it.

1 Month Old
Ivy at one month old, in her camping onesie

Well, here we are nine months later, and that onesie finally won't snap around her diaper anymore. So this month I went another route.

When we first started thinking about trying to conceive back in the mid-2000s, I spent hours and hours online, watching homebirth videos on YouTube, researching exactly what supplies I needed for a baby, and reading discussion posts about anything and everything baby-related. One of the big fads back then was Goodmama diapers. They were spendy to begin with, but everyone wanted them - they were like the Beanie Babies of the diaper world. So I gave into the pressure and bought just one - one little ($30) item to start off this new chapter in our lives. But life, of course, had other plans, and that diaper languished in the back of a drawer for years and years, being shoved further and further into the shadows every time I saw it, because it ended up being a very effective reminder of our infertility.

This weekend the diaper finally, finally went to its proper place - on my kid's bottom. :) It was a sweet moment. So we photographed it.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Nine months!

Technically, Ivy has been in the world longer than she was inside of me, since some of her very early time was in a Petri dish. It's strange to think that such a life-changing time in my life has been overshadowed, not only by her mere presence, but also by the length of time she has been with us.

Today Miss Ivy is nine months old. She had her checkup today: she is 16 pounds, 3 ounces, only 10th percentile. Her head is only in the 8th! But we don't pay too much attention to the comparatives. The doctor said she is a bit behind (though not alarmingly so) on her gross motor skills, but I don't care about that either. She will do it when she's ready, and I get a little extra time for snuggles and for not child proofing the house.

Ivy is starting to become much more interactive! She:

  • Claps
  • Turns pages of her books
  • Tries to mimic sounds (she says "mmmm!" when I moo, and smacks her lips like I do when we read about puppies chewing)
  • Loves knocking stacks of toys over
  • Doesn't care about stuffed or soft toys, much prefers plastic ones
  • Moves from sitting on her bottom to hands and knees (or one knee and one foot) and back
  • Screeches in higher pitches than before
  • Pulls herself up using our fingers, and today she pulled herself up on daddy's leg as he lied on his side on the floor
  • Sorta kinda fed daddy peas tonight for the first time, when we asked
  • Gets happy and  excited when we clap and cheer for her
  • Stands up when holding onto something
  • Talks back to us when we talk to her
  • Loves being thrown around and swinging and being held upside down

In two weeks, we are flying across the country, and I think she is going to do great, even though I'm a little nervous about the trip. Cory and I work at the same place, so we both have to work our annual conference in Florida. My mom is coming too. I'm so happy that our company is open to us bringing Ivy; I definitely wouldn't be able to go without her!

Also: my poor laptop finally gave up the ghost awhile back, and I have been posting on my iPad as a result, which is not friendly when it comes to trying to post photos. So here are some links if you're interested in seeing our little bunny:

Ivy's playlist on YouTube

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Now we are Eight

We celebrated eight months with no pomp: Ivy has had a bad cold all week and yesterday was an especially bad day, at least in the evening. Fever of 101.5, nose faucet, phlegm that she would cough up and then choke on. And the cold this week has really showcased the "TEF Cough" that so many of these kids get - floppy trachea equals terrible bark. Poor little thing.

It feels like milestones are slowly growing farther and farther apart. This is not a bad thing at all, for me - I feel like life is sorta-kinda slowing down a teensy bit and that's really nice. A few new things:

* Figured out how to feed herself. She loves the (unhealthy, of course) little puffs that melt in your mouth, and it was fun to watch her figure out how to get a hold of one on her tray and get it to go in her mouth. She still has to use two hands sometimes.
* Has been able to get from sitting to hands and knees, reaching for a toy. She will rock back and forth a tiny bit when I put her down on the floor, but prefers the tummy. Well, really, she prefers to just sit. And then get frustrated when her toys are out of reach.
* The other day she was outside on a windy day and she stuck her tongue out to feel it, and left it there. We were out for ten or fifteen minutes, and that tongue was out the whole time.
* Chews on the nipple of her new sippy cup, but doesn't know how to lean back to get anything out of it.
* Sort of pulls up on me, loves to get up into a (supported) standing position, but doesn't think to pull up on anything else.
* NEEDS mama. Touching mama is not enough. Sitting right next to mama is not enough. Being surrounded by mama's arms but lying on the changing table is not enough. There must be total body contact. Very important.
* Loves being thrown around. That gets the most giggles. But she's not a super giggly baby, on the whole.
* Really enjoys her day care buddies. It's so sweet to see her smile at them when they run by, or play with them on the floor.
* Doesn't care about water. Doesn't hate it, but doesn't get excited for bath time like some babies I know.

I continue to have a hard time leaving her at day care. I like work, and I'm glad she has other kids to interact with, but I miss her a ton when she's there. I visit her for every lunch hour to nurse, and none of the other moms do; it's partly to keep up my milk supply but also because I can't bear the thought of being away from her for almost ten hours every day. But we make do.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seven months

I think the biggest thing going on with this seven month old is that she wants her mama ALL THE TIME. It makes doing much of anything else kinda difficult sometimes, but I have to admit I will be sad when the pendulum swings to wanting daddy all the time.

Other new things:
Still no crawling, but she sometimes gets one knee under her for a second. So it's coming.
Sits up on her own
Still babbles a ton - ba is her favorite - but is starting to make little "pfff" blowing noises too
Finally weighs enough to use the Moby Go carrier!
Loves sucking her toes
Likes it when I flutter my fingers against her lips while she makes noises (so it sounds like "babababababa") - she tries to do it herself too

She's also a foodie. (Heh.) She has liked everything I've put in her mouth, and I've put some interesting things in her mouth. Besides the normal jarred/pouched food, I have made some (apples, sweet potatoes), and she sometimes gets bites of what I'm eating, including mild salsa, pickles, all kinds of sauces, lemon, and yesterday she had a couple of bites of cod. Yum. She's gonna be a good eater.

She also continues to be the happiest baby ever. She frequently babbles and sings herself to sleep, and barely fusses (unless mama leaves the room in the evening).

Love this kid.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Like the first day

It's a sunny day today, relatively unusual for January, and though it's a perfect day for a trip to the coast, my little Bunny has her first fever so we are staying in. It's the best day ever for the cat, who always enjoys company as he sleeps the day away in bed. Ivy has spent a few interrupted hours awake and fussing, or fighting with me as I try to suck out her nose, but the vast majority of the day she has been asleep on me. And though I feel terrible that she is so uncomfortable, I also love these cuddles so much. She is currently lying on my chest, and the sunlight filtered through our north-facing bedroom window is illuminating her face just as it did that first morning. I was fuzzy from four hours of sedated-sleep, tender and sore and floating, stroking her little head with hands studded with IV's. And she was at once peaceful and frenetic, her rapid breathing already concerning to the nurses but her face so serene, as if she hadn't just been thrust into the cold, bright, loud world. Despite the fever and the fussiness, today is so sweet, so full of thankfulness that she is here with me despite all it took to get here, I'd take it over a coast trip any day.