Monday, March 31, 2008

Multimedia Gracie

In the last post I mentioned that one of Grace's favorite places was her changing table. Here's the video to prove it. The video does have sound -- you'll hear a few grunts and coos.

I was thinking moving pictures might tide most of you over for a day or so (especially if your name starts with "Grandma" or "Grandpa" : )

I'll write more soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gracie's Crib

Breaking news! On Tuesday night Grace slept six hours in a row! And then, Wednesday night she did the same thing! She is awesome! I'm doing a little happy dance right now. I know that this may not become her regular sleep schedule, but I appreciate her allowing me the continuous hours of sleep.

Gracie's crib is the place to be. At least she tends to think so and that's cool with us. She loves to watch the mobile we have above the matress -- it has music and lights, you know, all the bells and whistles. Then I put her in there for a bit today and she was totally ignoring the mobile and was looking at the images on the bumper. She was totally fixated on the zebra for almost a half hour (see photo).

The other place Grace has a lot of fun is the changing table -- seriously. She looks at the mobile we put above the table and also is a fan of the giraffe stuffed animal we have placed here. It's also her favorite place to do the sprinkler dance that her dad taught her (see photo). If you ask nice he might teach it to you too : ) It's especially fitting that she practices the sprinkler dance on the changing table, because she's sprinkled quite a bit there. I will elaborate on that in a future post.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dressing up

We've learned that people love to buy clothes for Gracie. For example, she had an outfit (well actually she had two) just for Easter. The one in this photo one needed to be worn since it said "Baby's First Easter" on it. (Thanks Aunt Sharon!) Jay and I call the bottoms her MC Hammer pants.

So many cute outfits, so little time. We want to make sure Grace actually gets to wear all this fun stuff, she's growing so dang much. Just got her weighed today and she's now in the double digits -- 10 lbs. 5 oz.

This girl's got a more fashionable wardrobe than I do. (This is especially the case now since I'm not quite sure what fits anymore. While I've been lucky to have my tummy go back to somewhat of its pre-pregnancy appearance, my hips are another story. Let's just say there's a shopping trip in my future.) She has some really cute outfits that are the style of clothes that her mom would wear, including hoodies and cardigans. Then there's all the sports stuff for the teams her dad (and sometimes mom) supports -- Minnesota Wild, Gophers, Twins. No Vikings outfits yet though, thank goodness : )

Friday, March 21, 2008

Looking good

Ah, a nice calm week. No trips to the hosptial, no doctor appointments ... just chillin' with Gracie girl, hanging out around the house. (Although Jay might disagree on the calmness of the night he spent with Gracie this week -- perhaps he'll write about that later.) We've had some exciting moments watching Grace starting to react to her surroundings in ways that show she's thinking. She's also using her hands more purposefuly to grasp things. She's such a smarty, in addition to being alert and beautiful, of course. Those two adjectives -- alert and beautiful -- are the ones we hear most from other people. A few words about them:

"She's such a beautiful girl!" = I've joked that perhaps Jay and I should be offended because this is often said with a hint of surprise, like, "Wow, how did those two create such an attractive baby?" Hee. Both of us were pretty cute babies and toddlers ourselves. That said, we may want to forewarn Grace about the early teens ... not the best time for Jay and I. (And no, we don't plan to post pictures to show you what we mean : )

She even looks cute in the photo above which shows how swollen her eye was the night we took her in to the hospital.

"She's so alert!" = Indeed she is. This little one fights sleep like nobody's business. It's like she's afraid she'll miss something. During the day she only gets maybe four or five hours of sleep. Ella and I are trying to teach Grace about the wonderfulness of naps. Thee dog even demonstrates them for her a number of times a day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Gracie's doing just fine -- back to her fussy, sleepy, hungry self : ) In fact, she recovered quite quickly. Here's a picture of her taken on the second night in the hosptial. (Well, it was actually 1 a.m., so not techincally nightime. )

As I mentioned before, Grace was a trooper through all the medical tests, including the spinal tap. She wimpered a bit, but wasn't relatively calm. We were so proud of our brave little girl. Then last night we took the band-aid off her arm (where her IV had been) and she let us know it was the worst thing she'd ever experienced.

We're going to take it easy this weekend and are hoping for very uneventful days and nights ... and some sleep : )

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Room 4128

If we didn't feel like parents before, we sure do now. This post comes to you from the hosptial. I will start off by saying everything is OK. On Monday, Gracie's eye got really swollen. She's had issues with her tear duct ever since she was born so we'd been putting ointment on it, but it'd cleared up -- until Monday.

After Grace woke up from her afternoon nap her eye was very swollen. When Jay walked in the door that evening I said we needed to call the pediatrician. Since she had a fever they told us to come to the ER at Children's Hospital. I had somewhat expected that we'd be given some new ointment and be sent home. But that wasn't the case. Once we saw the doctor we were told she'd need to have a urine test (via catheter), blood test and spinal tap -- standard protocol for newborns with fevers. They don't want to take the chance that it's something more serious -- little ones don't have the capability to fight off infections like we do. And that wasn't all, because the eye was affected they wanted to put her on 48 hours of IV antibotics, meaning she'd needed to be admitted to the hospital for at least two nights. Jay and I looked at eachother, shocked. That said the staff was great in explaining to us why this needed to be done. They also said the next 45 minutes would suck (when they were doing all the tests) and the next two days would be boring. And they've been right.

We were given the option of leaving the room when they were taking blood, urine and doing the spinal tap, but we couldn't imagine leaving her. It was a lot to watch your child go through, but she was a real trooper through all of it. Probably stronger than we were : )

From that point on I've spent the majority of my hours in room 4128. We've been reading, watching TV and napping in between antibiotic infusions and visits from nurses and doctors. The first night both Jay and I stayed but we realized that it made sense for one of us to go home to get a good night's sleep (the cot and pullout couch/bed weren't the best : ). That person (Jay) would then let the other person (me) take naps throughout the day. Ella's appreciated having one of us home too. I hear she's been wandering around the nursery looking for Grace and I.

We found out Tuesday morning that we'd actually have to stay 'til Thursday morning, so I've been in a hospital more in the last month than I have in my entire life. Grace's fever went down the first night and her eye started looking better the next afternoon. Even though it's not the most fun experience, the staff's here has been great. Gracie's been great through all of this too (even thought she looks kinda pathetic with the IV hooked up to her tiny arm). She's kept us in good spirits by being especially smilely and entertaining with lots of faces and cooing. I hope to post some photos when we get home.

We'll I better get back to our "sleepover" (what I've been calling these nights in the hospital). I need to gaze at little face for a little bit before we go to sleep ... at least I'm hoping "we" go to sleep.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Photo opportunity

So the story of the week is that Grace has grown too big for some of her sleepers. When we brought her home from the hospital everything seemed so big on her, so it's amazing to think that less than four weeks later she's already outgrown some of her clothes. We'll have to do some shopping this weekend : ) Her growth is also apparent in the diapers we use. She's right in between sizes right now which makes diaper blowouts more of a regular occurance that we'd like. The diapers that are a bit too small tend to come undone and allow "leaks" and those that are a bit too big just have too much space around the legs, again allowing for "leaks."

Since she keeps changing so much, we continue to take pictures of Gracie on a daily basis -- although we do realize you can only have so many pictures of her in her different apparatuses (swing, bouncy, Boppy, dad's lap, mom's lap). That said, when I placed her in the Boppy last week I couldn't resist snapping some photos. I captured this action shot of Grace:

It's one of those photos that should be in a "Create a Caption" contest that explains what's going on in the photo, for example. Gracie asks "Alright you guys, what did you do with my hands? I had hands a second ago. Ooh, look ... feet." Feel free to post your own thoughts on what Grace might be thinking.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sleeping Like a Baby?

I've been dealing relatively well with the lack of sleep. This is partially because Gracie's been relatively good at letting me get shut-eye, sometimes even in three or four hours stretches. This weekend that changed and feedings were requested -- with a squawk -- every two (or fewer) hours. Since she'd been so generous with the hours of sleep for three weeks, this was literally a rude awakening. We're assuming she's going through a growth spurt that is making her super hungry and fussy. Hoping it's just a spurt and not a long term thing.

When I get up at 1 a.m., 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., I often stumble down the hallway and into her room a wee bit ornery. But when I look at that little face I usually am reminded that even though we believe she's the smartest 3-week-old in the world, she needs us to soothe her and give her what ever it is she needs, be that a feeding, cuddles, singing or any other type of soothing.

To counter the our frustration with the fussy, non-sleepiness, Gracie's been communicating in more subtle ways lately -- meaning something in between meltdown and sleeping. There's some cooing and babbling which is super cute.

I thought I'd share some of the things we tell Grace when she's screaming. The most common phrase that comes out of our mouths is "You're fine." Either that or we mock her cries. It sounds mean, but those who know Jay and I know that mocking eachother is something we do -- out of affection : ) When we do it to Grace, she gets this look on her face that seems to say, "Really?" Welcome to the family, Gracie.