Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Family Trip to Asheville

For my birthday, mother's day, and our 7th wedding anniversary, Greg wanted to take me to Asheville.  He actually suggested doing this trip a few weeks after Allie was born, and I told him he was insane.  After three months with our little girl, I am finally comfortable enough to consider traveling with her though.

A while ago (I think before I started blogging), we went to Asheville and stayed at the Grove Park Inn, which is a pretty fancy hotel nestled in the outskirts of Asheville overlooking the city and mountains.

I think this was 2008?  Check out my short hair!

The Grove Park Inn a pretty amazing place.  It's also kind of ridiculously expensive to stay there, eat there, or use their spa, hence it being my present for three separate holidays.

Greg splurged on a room with a view, that was also dog friendly (for a fee) so we could bring Clyde, and included breakfast.  He also got me a massage at their fancy spa and watched Allie and Clyde for me so I could have an hour of bliss.

Our journey started around noon last Wednesday, when we hit the road with a full car of baby, dog, and adult luggage.  Yes, we're crazy.  It takes a little over two hours to get to Asheville from Charlotte, and I we did end up stopping at a rest area once we got close to Asheville so I could nurse and change Allie, which worked out well.

On the way I stalked my friend Jen's blog for ideas of where to go, since I know she frequently visits Asheville and raves about amazing food she has while there.  I noticed that French Broad Chocolate Lounge came up on almost every trip she took there, and she said the carrot cake was a slice of heaven.  We immediately bee-lined for the bakery so that I could get my hands on some of that carrot cake :)  First we decided to walk around Asheville a little though.  When we parked, we noticed it was looking kind of ominous and checked a radar app I have on my phone.  It looked like rain was coming, but we ventured out with the stroller and both the baby and dog anyway.  We found a dog store and ducked in, thinking we'd maybe wait out the rain there, but after it did little more than sprinkle, we decided to head back outside.  This was a mistake.  It definitely unloaded, and we were lucky enough to find a closed restaurant with an awning for us to hide under, but were stuck there for about a half hour while we waited out the downpour, which included hail!

Allie somehow slept through the whole thing (thank god), but Clyde was scared and trembling while huddled on our laps.  Finally the storm let up and we ventured back out.  We had an early dinner at a place called Farm Burger.  I had a chicken burger and Greg got the veggie burger and we split some garlic fries.  I also fed Allie again in the rest room, which was a single female one, perfect for private nursing.  Asheville is probably the one place I could nurse in public without a second glance, but I like our privacy ;)

After dinner we went back to the bakery and I got a slice of that heavenly carrot cake, plus a piece of chocolate layer cake, to go to have at the hotel later that evening.

We got checked in, and then decided to just go for drinks at one of the hotel bars since we weren't really hungry after our burgers.  They had a menu of centennial martinis since it's the hotel's 100th anniversary, and each included a souvenir glass.  Greg and I liked this idea and both ordered martinis.

I can't remember what was in this, but it was kind of dessert-like and came with a piece of pistachio biscotti.

Greg's martini was more like a margarita- kind of citrus flavored.

We enjoyed a great view while drinking our fancy martinis.

Allie did pretty well, but woke up a little fussy at one point, so here I was rocking her a little to get her back to sleep.

Both kid and dog did well in the room, which was a relief.  The next morning we went to our included breakfast, which was amazing, and which I forgot to get any pictures of.  They have a two room buffet with juices, pastries, oatmeal, fruit, cold cuts, an omelet station, and a hot area with eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, eggs, french toast, pretty much everything you could possibly eat for breakfast.  I had fruit, an omelet, potatoes, grapefruit juice, and coffee and it was delicious.

After breakfast, I made sure Greg and Allie were all set and then headed off to the spa for my massage.  The spa at the Grove Park has a couple pools, both indoor and outdoor and I received a tour of all the facilities, which was I welcome to use that day.  Unfortunately, I really didn't have time to do anything but get the massage since Greg had Allie and Clyde, but the massage was really wonderful.  I chose lavender scented massage oil, a focus on my neck and shoulders, and some relaxing music.  My masseuse was wonderful.

Once we checked out of the hotel, we headed back into Asheville one more time to get some lunch before heading back to Charlotte.  We found a place called Carmel's that was dog friendly and sat outside.  It was a gorgeous day.

I had a spinach salad with grilled chicken and pears that was delish.

Allie slept through lunch.

We took a quick walk around after eating and then decided it would be wise to hit the road before sooner than later to make sure we didn't spend two hours in the car with a screaming baby.

It was a quick, but memorable getaway and it's nice to know that we can do this kind of thing with the baby and the dog with a little team work and planning.  We had a good time!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Curve

I've gotten behind on my weekly Allie updates, but I've been thinking about doing them either every two weeks or once a month instead of weekly anyway.  Allie is now about fourteen and a half weeks old.  She moved up to size two diapers, can really hold her head up well now, and is quick to smile and laugh.  I made the mistake of singing "Don't Worry Be Happy" to her one day when putting her in the car seat and she loves it.  Now I have to sing it to her constantly just to see the cute look on her face she gets when her goofball mom is singing it (I also had to look up the lyrics since I only know like two lines).  I am that mom.  She's a lot of fun.

We kind of had some scary stuff happen this week.  About a week ago Greg and I kind of noticed that Allie's spine appeared to be a little bit curved looking (like a C shaped curve), but we didn't get alarmed right away.  I think we weren't sure if it was just the position she seemed to be in when we first noticed or not.  He left for a trip, then came home a few days later, and we were giving Allie a bath and when I leaned her forward to wash her back.  We both felt like the curve looked pretty prominent and decided it was worth calling our pediatrician to have her take a look.  We were able to get in right away and our pediatrician said that she could also see the curve in Allie's spine too and wanted to refer us to a pediatric orthopedic doctor to have him look at it.  Cue me crying hysterically the entire way home in the car and basically for the next two-three hours, while I thought of the worst case scenario and our daughter having major structural skeletal issues.  I was so worried about Allie.

I worried that we had caused Allie's spine to be crooked because I hold her on one side too much or set her in the Boppy lounger where she slouches to one side too much.  Our pediatrician assured me we had done nothing wrong and if she had a curved spine it was something she was born with, but I wasn't sure and started really blaming myself.

The next morning, we got up early and headed to see the pediatric orthopedic doctor.  The funny thing was that once we got there, I swear that Allie's spine did not look as curved. The doctor couldn't really even see it when he examined her.  She had to have an x-ray taken, much to Greg's dismay (he hates x-rays and thinks they cause cancer in the long run), but it was necessary in order to determine whether there was anything structurally wrong with Allie's spine- like vertebrae fused together or anything like that.  The good news is that he didn't see anything wrong on Allie's x-ray, he doesn't think she has scoliosis, and thinks she's just a little asymmetrical in growth right now but believes that she will grow to be straighter once she continues to develop more.

We left the office with a weird mix of emotions over the whole thing.  Of course we're thrilled nothing appears to be wrong, after foreseeing braces and physical therapy in Allie's future, but at the same time we still feel like there is a slight curve and are now really paranoid about making it worse.  We have put away the Boppy pillow and are now over analyzing all of our baby devices and wondering if they are causing her to slouch and encourage the curve in her spine.  The thing is I KNOW that I don't set her in baby holding devices anymore than anyone else.  We are out a lot during the day so she's in a car seat sometimes, but at home, I'm holding her a lot, doing tummy time, playing on the floor, or she's alternating between many different "baby holding devices" if I do have to set her down.  It's not like she's spending hours in any one place.  Still, I can't help but blame myself and wonder if I should have done something different to encourage a straighter spine.

We have a strategy for helping Allie develop straighter.
One, we will try and have her on the floor more.  In the past, this has not been an ideal location because of Clyde being able to get to her.  We don't worry about him hurting her, but he sometimes gets in her face and licks her a lot, which can be scary for her.  I have realized though that Clyde doesn't usually care that much that Allie is on the floor unless we are on the floor too, so I don't think this is as big of a problem as I once did.  Also, we may put a fence around her if we want to have her on the floor for longer stretches to keep Clyde out.
Two, we will try and have her sleep in the crib.  It's time, I know.  I have been hesitant to put her in it because she sleeps SO WELL in the bassinet, but I have finally accepted it's time.  We think the flatter surface of the crib mattress will help her to not slouch to the side.  Another bonus of using Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit, is that it basically puts her body into a straight formation.  We have actually had her sleep in the crib in the sleep suit two nights this past week and so far it's going pretty good.  Her sleep seems about the same as it was in the bassinet.  Really it's me more than Allie that has trouble with her not sleeping in our room, but now that we have a couple nights of her sleeping well in the nursery in her crib, I'm getting more comfortable and sleeping better knowing she does okay.

Three, we'll just try to be conscious of her spine by having her look different ways when she is on the floor, positioning her in different ways, and use baby holding devices that seem to keep her straighter if we have to put her down.

I am really hoping that she develops normally and we don't notice any further curve.  Hopefully, like the doctor suggested, she will grow out of it and become more symmetrical.  In any case, this was a scary couple of days and I really feel for anyone experiencing any sort of medical issues with their little ones.  I was a complete mess.  Hold your babies tight and appreciate their health!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reality Sets In

So we've been (or more specifically I) kind of stressed out about our daycare situation.  You may recall that back in SEPTEMBER we put down our deposit and got our name on the waiting list at our daycare after visiting a few different ones and deciding this one was the one.  They told us to give them a call when Allie was born to check in and that was pretty much it.

Well, after Allie was born called twice and stopped in once and they were unable to tell us whether we were officially in or not, which had me pretty freaked out.  We basically have no back up plan because we didn't know we needed one when we signed up with them.  I was never given any impression that it would be a problem when I was only 16 weeks pregnant when we chose them.

Luckily Greg kind of took control and suggested we stop in together to get a real answer of whether we were in or not so we could start looking into other options if necessary, since I go back to work in July and that's coming up.

Turns out the way they do their waiting list is to basically match up a baby with a time slot the parents asked for when it opens up.  So say you tell them you want June 15th?  Well they will get you in then if there is a spot open then, but if one opens up like June 1st and there is someone after you on the waiting list that wanted June 1st, they would actually call them to put them in that spot without even checking with you first to see if you wanted it even though you were before them on the list.  Weird right?  So I'm glad we went in and figured that out, because they had a spot open July 1st, and even though I don't go back to work til later in July, we decided to take that spot, otherwise we might not have one.

Reality sets in.  My daughter is going to daycare.

So, Allie can start daycare on July 1st.  I'm not sure how we're going to handle that yet.  I could go back to work early.  Hmm, not sure about that.  I would have the leave I would have used those weeks for later if I did that, which would be nice, but that means I'm cutting my maternity leave almost three weeks short.  I think what I will probably do is slowly transition Allie into daycare.  I can either drop her off half days or whole days, but only part of the week instead of all of it so we can both get used to the idea.  I don't think they really care as long as we pay for a full week.

July 1st is only like 7-8 weeks away.  Yikes.  Time to start thinking about life when I go back to work.  How will it be to be away from Allie all day knowing someone else is holding her, seeing her progress, catching her smiles, watching her sleep, and enjoying her?  Ugh.  That does kind of kill me.  Will I feel like life is more balanced with work and a baby?  I don't know yet.

I do know that I never felt like someone who always wanted to be a stay at home mom.  Don't kill me for saying that, because it doesn't mean I didn't really really want to have kids and be a mother.  I think it's great for people who have always wanted to stay home with kids, and totally admire that, I just don't know that I am completely cut out to do it the way I feel like some people are.  Some people exude that awesome stay at home mom confidence and are naturals with kids, and I don't think I'm one of them.  I wanted to be a  mom, yes, but not necessarily a mom without a career too.  I love being home with Allie more than maybe I thought I would and I think I'm doing a good job with her, but I don't know that I'm a complete natural with babies either.  I don't always know what to do with Allie to stimulate her (thanks for teaching me some things Gymboree!).  Sometimes I think daycare will be good for her because the people there are professionally trained to handle children, where as I am just figuring it out as I go along.  Maybe it's good for her to have that some of the day.

Part of me feels unfulfilled with our days at home.  I kind of hate myself for saying that, because I love being with Allie.  I just don't feel like I accomplish much besides loads of laundry, walks, and maybe lunches out with friends.  I know that's stupid to say though because the time I am spending with my baby is worth more than gold, and it's not about accomplishing tasks, it's about building a relationship with my baby.  Still, I think because I'm older, have been working so long, and am so established in my job and with my co-workers, it feels like it would be too weird to give up the work part of my life.  I'm not curing cancer, but I do get a certain satisfaction from my job.  I kind of feel like I wouldn't be me anymore if I didn't have that.  I am in a good place with my job would miss it if I were not to have that anymore.  And it is a lot to be a mom for hours and days in a row without Allie's dad coming home to give me some relief at night and share in the care.

Still, we have the special mother/daughter bond, and it scares me to interrupt that.  Especially with a husband that is away so much, I feel like I'm the only person on the planet that knows my daughter.  I filled out the daycare paperwork and there was a lot about Allie and her likes and dislikes.  How can I possibly explain every little detail of her personality?  I feel like we just have this special sync where I can look at her and can tell what she needs or she can tell me, all with out words.  How can I explain that to a daycare caregiver?  I know they will probably figure it out like they have with all the other babies, but right now is a special time because only she and I have that.

Being a mother is weird because on one hand you are overwhelmed by how much the baby NEEDS you, but on the other hand you get sort of a secret satisfaction from the fact that they need YOU.  At least I do.  I like that she doesn't have that with anyone else, and it scares me that she will bond with daycare people the way we have a bond.  I want it to only be with me.

I also worry that on days that I work I won't feel like I have enough time with her.  I'll only have a few hours in the evening after work before she goes to bed and I'll miss most of her day.  Ugh.

I don't know, it's such a confusing mix of emotions.  I totally get the debate of staying home vs. working and why it's so hard to know what to do or how to "have it all".  I think I'm just trying to figure out what is best for me and my family considering all aspects.

While my husband's job is going a lot better, his merger is still shaking out, and I still worry about furlough or something happening and me not having a job for us to rely on, even though right now we don't necessarily need my income.  I also have good benefits and retirement, which is something to think about, that we'd lose if I wasn't working.

I think I'm doing the right thing to at least try going back to work and see how life is at work with Allie at daycare.  I can't say that I'm sure it's the right decision and that I might change my mind and decide to go back to being home with her, but I think it's worth trying life with me back at work to see if that works for us.

I also need to start figuring out things like breastfeeding while working.  I've frozen a bunch of milk, but I need to start coming up with a game plan on how I'm going to really do pumping and working.  Or am I going to start giving her formula too?  I don't know yet.  I have to figure that out.  I've taken for granted that I can just offer a boob anytime.  She's never had formula, so if I might want to give her some, I have to introduce it at some point.  I actually have to plan for 9-10 hours away from her every day and how she's going to be fed, and I kind of don't know where to begin.  Yike.

I want to do more visits to Hilton Head before going back to work too.

It's time to think about what I want to do with Allie before life changes to a totally different schedule.  Thinking about life after maternity leave is kind of overwhelming.  For now I will just snuggle my baby  and enjoy my time with her while she's completely available to me.

Allie rocking tummy time.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Three Month Favorites

Now that we're three months in I figured I would do a new baby favorites post.  Here are some things we've found to be really useful in the past 3 months.

Swaddle Me sleep sacks.  We have been using these for a while now and they work great to get Allie to sleep long stretches at night.  The only drawback is that they don't work that well in the crib for us, but with the Pack N Play bassinet, they are awesome.  I recently bought the Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit, after hearing about them on Megan's blog, to try for crib sleeping and she does nap well in it, but I haven't bitten the bullet yet and used it during nighttime in the crib.

Pottery Barn lamb rattle.  Allie loves this thing.  It's almost a sure way to get her to crack a smile.  I use it on the changing table and have started even bringing it with us places because she loves it when you touch her cheek with it and rattle it in front of her.

Advent 0-6 pacifiers.  She really doesn't seem to like any other ones but these, which surprised me since my brother, my niece, and I were all diehard Nuk users.  I have at least two with me at all times.

Bibs.  I recently added some of these Tommee Tippee ones to our collection after seeing them in Target.  We don't have as many issues with spit up as we used to, but I still usually put a bib on Allie after she eats just in case (hence why she has one on in many pictures).  I like these ones though because they have a thick neck rim so spit up doesn't get between her and the bib.  I am now that person whose baby has a bib on in every picture.  You don't get it til you have a baby and they start spitting up on everything.  Necessary!

Graco strollers.  We now have both the Graco Fast Action Fold Sport Click Connect and the Fast Action Fold Jogger.  Which go with our car seat (the Graco Click Connect 40).  I had wanted to get the BOB Revolution for my jogging stroller, but as far as I know, it still isn't compatible with my car seat (Click Connect 40 can only be used with other Click Connect 40 products).  I am very pleased with this jogging stroller so far though- it's really smooth and it's so easy to click the car seat into.  It can also be used without the car seat.  I usually keep the jogger at our house in the garage to use for walks or runs from the house and the other stroller in my car for when I need one when I'm out.

Baby sunglasses.  Nuf said!  (These are from the Carter's Outlet).

Lullaby CDs.  We have the Jim Brickman piano lullabies CD and the Coldplay Rockabye Baby CD.  Both are in constant rotation in my car and are great for getting Allie to go to sleep or calming her down if she's fussy in the car.  I will say I'm a little sick of both of them right now though because I play them so much!

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker.  This is a new favorite.  Even though we have a swing, a bouncer, a Rock N Play, and seemingly a million different devices that seem similar to this, Allie really seems to like this thing.  I actually just took it out of the box and assembled it recently, after it had been sitting in my dining room unopened, because I had debated trying to return it somewhere since we have so many similar devices.  I decided I should keep it though because it was a gift from several co-workers.  Glad I kept it because she loves the vibration and the animals hanging from the bar above.  The turtle plays a song when you pull on it and she loves it!  Also, apparently it can be used til she's a toddler as a chair, so hopefully it'll be used for a while.

Our changing table area.  I know a lot of people don't end up using their changing tables, but I ALWAYS use mine.  I think it's great and Allie LOVES being on it and looking at her mirror and lanterns.  I even take her there to calm her down if she's upset, because it's her happy place.  I definitely suggest putting stuff above your changing table for the baby to look at!

I just took a look at my newborn list and most of the stuff on there is still really useful to us.

We definitely use a million burp clothes a day.
Still prefer Pampers (although we usually buy whatever is on sale).
Still use and love the Mustela shampoo.
We use the Aden and Anais blankets more than the heavier blankets now that it's warm out.  I always have one draped over my stroller to protect Allie from the sun when we go for walks.  The heavy blankets are great for playing on the floor though.

As for the not useful stuff-
Baby socks became useful once we actually started dressing her in something other than sleepers.  Lately she's been in a lot of summery clothing so she's been going barefoot a lot, but we had a phase when she was in lots of onesies, pants, and socks, so they were great for that period of time.  They are definitely hard to keep on though!
Still not using the Itzbeen timer.
We occasionally use the swing, but she doesn't love it.
As I mentioned, we eventually did start using the Swaddle Me's and those are great.  I have a Miracle Blanket and it's too much work to try and fold all that fabric under her arms and around her, so I prefer the ease of the velcro since I'm usually swaddling her when she's half asleep and trying not to wake her up.

That's about it for now!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thoughts on My First Mother's Day

Yesterday was my first Mother's Day.  Greg was away so it didn't involve a fancy breakfast, a big gift, or day spent all together (we are taking a family trip soon and I am getting a spa treatment, so he did give me something, in case you are wondering).  In fact it was the opposite- a pretty anti-climactic day consisting of a morning run, watching CBS this morning, a BLT for lunch, a trip to Wal-Mart, and many diapers changed.

But the enormity of the day didn't escape me.  I have wanted to be a mother all my life and here I am, finally living that dream.  I snuggled my baby a little more and a little longer yesterday.  I played a little longer on the floor with her.  I stared at her adorable face a little longer.  I smelled her baby head more than I usually do (which who knew was even possible).  I talked to her a lot, and told her how much I had wanted her and how much I loved her.  I sang stupid songs to her to make her smile even more.  I missed her while she was napping in the next room.

I just really basked in the knowledge that I have a daughter now, something I have wanted for so long.  I'm so happy that my struggles in trying to conceive ended with this specific baby.  I couldn't imagine loving a baby more.  She is amazing.  I wish that anyone still struggling will someday have this dream come true and know this happiness, and share with the rest of the mothers out there that know this amazing joy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Twelve Weeks

Wow, I can't believe Allie is already three months old!  Well twelve weeks.  Greg tells me she won't be three months til 5/13 since she was born on 2/13.  Confusing.  I'm just going with it being about 3 months now.

She gets more fun every day and I feel like I'm falling more and more in love with her.  I can't get enough of her cute face and sweet disposition.  I constantly sit and stare at all her cute little baby parts.  She is an awesome baby!  I feel really lucky.

At three months she is:

-Wearing mostly 0-3 or 3M clothes.
-In size 1 diapers
-About 12 lbs (by my scale- holding her)

She can grasp things pretty well now, like rattles, my hair, her pacifier (she pulls it out of her mouth and holds it).

Allie slept through the night twice this week!  The first night she went down around 9pm, but we watched her flail around some on the monitor so she really went to sleep closer to 9:45pm.  She slept til 6:30am.  She slept about the same amount the second night.  We'll see if this continues  I'm pretty amazed!  Greg set up our air purifier in the bedroom the night she first slept through, and I think maybe it's because of the "white noise" coming from it.  It's different from her usual white noise we use on the baby monitor and I think it's more soothing to her.  All I know is that we'll be using that where she is sleeping if this trend continues.

We're still not doing crib sleeping except for some naps.  Naps are still all over the place.  I don't notice much of a pattern in terms of when she naps except that she usually takes at least one nap in the morning, then maybe a longish one in the middle of the day, and then probably another one in the afternoon, but she also has a couple others in there that are shorter.  They are no where near regular or at certain times though, and the length of them varies wildly.  I admit that I'm not doing a great job at enforcing or tracking them.  Sometimes Allie falls asleep on me and I make zero attempt to put her in the crib or a more appropriate location, because I just love holding her, watching her, and kissing her while she's sleeping.  I also don't plan my day around her potential naps, so when she has long ones it's still usually when I take her out in the middle of the day.

Passed out on the boppy lounger.

Allie likes:  diaper changes, the changing table (she loves being on it, looking around, kicking, smiling, playing with rattles), her play mat, staring at me, listening to me sing and talk to her, staring at other babies, the squeeker on her firefly toy, eating, taking her Vitamin D

Allie dislikes:  having a dirty diaper, being hungry, being under or over stimulated, being in the car seat when she's not sleeping in it.

Allie is pretty happy these days.  She has the occasional angry-cry meltdown, but they are less frequent now and I feel like she rarely cries in general, she mainly cries if she's just really upset and that's what I refer to as the mad/angry cry.  It usually kind of comes out of nowhere.

Gymboree is still going pretty well.  She did two classes this week and did pretty good.  She fell asleep at the end of the first one and had a meltdown at the end of the second, but overall she seems to like it.  I think she mainly likes seeing the other babies.  Most of the time I have trouble getting her to look at me because she's staring at the baby next to her.

We got out the jogging stroller yesterday and decided to take it for a test walk.  I have decided that running on flat even pavement is no more jarring (probably less) than walking on the uneven sidewalk, so I think I am going to do some careful, slow running with Allie in the jogging stroller (in her car seat).  I know it's a subject of a lot of debate but my gut says that will be ok and I'll be really careful.  Heck, I took her into Target with her car seat in a shopping cart the other day and she was bouncing all over the place in their parking lot, so I feel like as long as the pavement is smooth, this should not be a problem.

I feel like I've gotten the hang of being a mom for the most part.  This past week I struggled some with the idea that I am doing it all,  in terms of Allie, and it caused me to melt down a little.  Greg is gone a lot and the past couple weeks he has had a nasty cold and not wanted to get to close to Allie, so other than being at my parents and having them help me, I haven't had a ton of help or relief in taking care of Allie.  She is a fairly easy baby, but still, it's hard to always be "on".  It's weird because I want to do it all, but at the same time, it's a lot.  We are hoping Greg is better soon so that he can participate more because aside from wanting more help with Allie, I really think they are missing out on bonding.

Anyway, it's been a great three months, and I look forward to the next three!  I love this girl so much!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eleven Weeks

Hey there!  I've said before and I'll say it again, I have a hard time finding time to blog these days!  I really have to look for time to do it and when I do, I grab my IPhone and look to see what pictures I have on there that I can use.  Gone are the days of me being really conscious of taking pictures specifically for posts.  I've used the DSLR for pictures of Allie occasionally, but it's rare.  I can't remember the last time I actually used it for food or anything else.

Anyway, we passed eleven weeks yesterday and Allie is doing well!

Knock on wood, but she seems to have a great immune system like I do, and managed to not get Greg's horrendous cold that caused him to call in sick, come home, and pollute the house with his germs.  I think in the future we may have him stay at his Houston apartment if he gets that sick again because I was really worried Allie and I were going to get it.  Hopefully my breast milk is giving her great anti-bodies.

After some successful napping in the crib, we decided to give putting Allie in the crib at night a try this week and it didn't go that well.  The first night wasn't too terrible for the first half of the night, but after she woke up for her night feeding, I had a really hard time getting her back to sleep and I was really cranky about my disrupted sleep the next day.  The second night neither Allie or I slept much for the first three hours, so I gave up and put her back in the bassinet for the rest of the night, not wanting a repeat of the first night.  The third night I decided I wasn't ready for crib training yet and put her back in her bassinet.  As if to confirm that she isn't ready yet, she slept her longest stretch ever- from about 9pm til 5am in the bassinet.  So I think we are still a little ways out on crib sleeping.

We did our second Gymboree class on Monday and Allie did SO WELL!  She managed to stay awake, alert, and happy the entire class and impressed all the rest of the five month olds and their parents that were in our class.  I think she's really curious about sensory stuff, and seems to love music, physical touch, and all the interaction she gets in the class, so I'm glad we are doing it.

Allie is getting more and more funny and interactive with her smiles.  I think she's laughing sometimes, but it's hard to tell.  She definitely makes tons of cute sounds and coos and some sound like a laugh.  It's so cute.  It's also become obvious to me that she knows ME, and smiles specifically for me.  She's been doing that a lot while my parents are holding her and I walk over.  Heart melting :)

Greg has seven days in a row of work from going from April in to May, so we decided to head back down to Hilton Head and hang out with the grandparents for a couple days this week so I wouldn't be flying solo the whole time.

It was also my birthday on Tuesday, so it was great to celebrate with my family.  My mom made me steamed lobster and a huge strawberry shortcake.  It was awesome!!

We have been going for walks around the plantation, my favorite place for walks!

The weather hasn't been as good as it could be- kinda cooler and rainy at times, but we're still having a good time with my parents.

We went to the outlets (they have Janie and Jack, Gymboree, Carters, and Children's Place = dangerous!) and got Allie her first pair of sunglasses yesterday.

Too cute!  She also got a bathing suit and cover up to use later in the summer.  Couldn't resist!

Allie has been sleeping well in the Rock N Play while we're here, maintaining her up once a night schedule.  I'm also getting a lot of use out of our monitor, putting her to bed in the guest room and using it to track her from the living room on my IPad.  A lot of people have asked how I like our baby monitor (made by Withings), which was one of the items Greg picked out because it can be used remotely from the internet to view the baby.  The catch is that you have to use a computer, IPad, or IPhone, it doesn't have a separate handheld viewing device like say the Summer Infant one or others that many people use.  I wasn't sure how I'd like this, but after using it a bunch this week, I actually like it fine.  My only gripe is that it's hard to hear Allie because if you use the white noise on it, which we do, you can't hear much else besides the white noise.  For viewing it works really good though, and we really like that the white noise goes as long as you want.

We've been enjoying some lunches out and dinners in while here.  I always eat well when I'm down here!  Today we tried a new wine bar and I got a Cuban sandwich and black bean soup combo and split and Allagash White beer with my mom.  Delish!

Wow, a food picture!

Working out is going ok.  I didn't run or go to yoga while Greg was home sick last week because he didn't want me to leave Allie alone with him, so that was a bummer, but I did get in walks most days as usual.  I did go for a run here the other day (about 2-3 miles), but am primarily walking this week as well.  It's occurred to me that it is probably going to be a long time til I can race again.  I really can't count on consistent training and further more, I would have to line up someone to watch Allie during the actual race because I can't count on Greg being home on a race day, so it's hard to plan anything.  I'm a little bummed to be so far out of the running/racing loop, but it's worth it to be with Allie.  I've been lucky enough to loose pretty much all my baby weight walking and doing minimal running and yoga, so I really can't complain.  I mainly just miss the fun of training and running the race.  I hope eventually I'll be able to get back to it at a more intense level.

Anyway, it's been another fun week.  I can't believe Allie will be three months old in a matter of days!

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