Monday, April 25, 2011

Glorious Day

Resting on Daddy while waiting for communion

Happy Easter! And what a beautiful Easter it was!  We had gorgeous weather, a wonderful church service complete with the baptism of a friend's baby, and great food and fellowship with family and friends.  And all of this was still possible with Kate taking a 30 minute nap in the morning, an hour-long nap in her carseat, and an hour and a half long nap in the afternoon.  What a resilient little girl!  She also looked super cute in her smocked bunny dress courtesy of her God-mommy.

Kate and her Easter basket

Look Mommy!  A new book!

Ahhhh....Easter grass!

Oh yeah, the Easter Bunny also paid a visit to our house!  Kate got lots of new books and a bunny who sings "You are my Sunshine" with a real voice and bobs his head.  All in all, it WAS a glorious day!

Kate at church in front of the Easter lillies

My new friend!

Apparently all she wanted was Easter grass

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My New Ride

Look out!  Woman driver!

We bought Kate one of those Cozy Coupe cars the on Thursday and Blake spent yesterday putting it together (and teaching Kate some new word combos).  Of course our purchase was ill-timed as it was rainy, cold, and just plain nasty outside yesterday.  We're hoping the weather breaks today like it's supposed to and we can take this thing out on the road.  Oh yeah and, like a typical girl, she spent her time just chatting away when she was in the car!

Chatting away...obviously Kate has bluetooth in her car!

Getting ready to start my car!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Year Old

April 15, 2011 @ 1 year old, 22 lb, 10 oz (75%ile) & 28 7/8 in (50%ile)

While I think we've told people the general story of how Kate came early, how many days she spent in the NICU, and what she had to do to break free, Blake and I largely kept to ourselves during the time that Kate was in the hospital.  Between running back and forth for all the feedings we could and Blake navigating his return to work after paternity leave, it just didn't leave us a lot of time for others.  That being said, I'll share one of my memories of Kate's time in the NICU that a simple tube of toothpaste triggered.

The other day we ran out of toothpaste.  That's normally no big deal around here considering we're regulars at Costco.  However, in the midst of the chaos that has been my returning to work, I didn't check to see what household staples we needed before I dived back into the working world (let's just say those Costco trips have become non-existent since my return to work).  So, I dug into my toiletries stash and the only tube I could find was Sensodyne. Yuck.

However, that yucky tube of Sensodyne toothpaste has felt like an old friend every time I use it.  How is that, you say?  Here's my story...

The last 7 nights that Kate was in the NICU I spent almost 24 hrs there, staying in one of the Ronald McDonald suites the hospital provides for parents of NICU babies.  I can still see that tube of Sensodyne toothpaste perched on the bathroom ledge in my make-shift hospital room.  The smell of the toothpaste sends me right back to those days and nights.  Those last 7 nights felt like the longest of my life as a went, bleary-eyed, back and forth between Kate's pod in the NICU and my home away from home.  Towards the end, I showered in the hospital, ate all my meals there, watched tv, slept, read, and prayed that I was doing the right thing for Kate and that she would soon be strong enough to see the house she will grow up in and the nursery we so lovingly prepared for her.  All my prayers were answered on Mother's Day 2010 when we got to bring Kate home.  This last year she has filled my heart with more love than I could ever imagine and I can't wait to see what's in store for us this year to come!

So happy to hear the cries which means she was breathing on her own!

Born April 15, 2010 @ 33 weeks. 5 lb, 1.6 oz, 17.3 in

Sweet baby girl with her "nose hose" as Blake called it

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Soaking Up the Sun

The wind in Kate's hair!

Sunday was a day of "firsts" for us: first Sunday in April (Kate's birth-month!), first time Daddy dressed Kate all by himself, and the first Sunday where I had to get both Blake and I ready for work the next day.   Needless to say, we were thrilled when the weather finally turned warm again and we were able to spend the afternoon outside.  As you can see, Daddy makes the best jungle-gym!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Well, it's supposed to be spring around here but it sure hasn't felt like it these last several days.  In fact, it snowed pretty steadily on Tuesday and the kids have had a cold, rainy, windy Spring Break.  As a result of all of this winter-like weather, Kate's cute 12-18mo spring/summer clothing is still hanging in her closet waiting to be worn.  Fortunately, we have good friends who let us borrow some clothing that their daughter has outgrown.  Hence Kate's cute blue overalls she's sported today!

Grandma & Grandpa Long also came to visit and eat dinner with me today!

Friday, April 1, 2011

How We Sleep

Now the great debate has begun: one nap or two? Since I'm returning to work Monday (gasp!), I've been very anxious to get a grasp on Kate's napping/sleeping schedule so my mom will be prepared to take over baby duty.  Well, we thought we had everything figured out....until this week.

The past few months Kate has been sleeping from 7:30-8pm until around 7 or 7:30am, napping at 9:30 or so until 11am, and again at 2pm until 3:30 or 4pm.  This schedule has been very good and predictable for us and a great schedule for my mom to follow.  However, several times this week Kate has woken up very early in the morning (4-5am) and seems ready to play.  Believe me, her mommy and daddy are so not ready to play at 4am!

Despite all the rocking, snuggling, feeding, cuddling we do at that time, it takes Kate forever to fall back asleep. In fact, there are times when she will stay awake for an hour or two before falling back to sleep.  This is not typical almost-one-year-old behavior!  The other day (after waking at 4am and going back to sleep at 7am), we decided to keep her up and skip her morning nap.  Unfortunately, the weather has been pretty yucky this week so we didn't get any outdoor stimulation, but we got the next best thing...mall stimulation!

As you can imagine, we got lots of "your baby looks tired" comments and our normally happy, playful, and precious baby was somewhat fussy and required her paci in the morning (we try to reserve it for sleep only).  Well, after we finished our mall excursion, we headed for home to eat lunch.  Kate ate, played for about 20 minutes, and then we headed upstairs for some pre-nap soothing time.  Despite my fear that Kate would be extra fussy from being over-tired, she went to sleep fairly quickly and slept for about 2 1/2 hours. She woke up happy and refreshed and we enjoyed the rest of our night falling back into our old routine.  Oh yeah, did I mention she slept through the night that night?!?!

So....I'm still a little unclear as to when I should drop the morning nap completely.  Things I've read say most babies keep the morning nap until about 15-18 months. However, a quick poll of my facebook mommy friends seems to suggest that most people dropped their child's morning nap around a year.  Well, since I'm relinquishing care to my mom in a couple of days I've decided that the best thing is not for me to worry about it, but her! :)

A little rainy day fun in the car (disclaimer: the car was not moving)