Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Reunion

Today was an exciting day for Noelle; we had a reunion with our Bradley Method baby class. It was Noelle's first time seeing other babies and it was so cute to see all of the babies check each other out! Alex and I really enjoyed catching up with the other parents too. There was the usual swapping of birth stories and stacking up of baby milestones. The best part, though, was seeing everyone show off their new little bundles of joy.


The two babies on the left are twins... good for their parents! The little guy with the cute boots in the middle was the first born of the group, coming two weeks before Noelle (4 weeks before his due date). The guy next to Noelle (far right) gets the prize for being the biggest. He beat her by almost two pounds, despite being almost a month younger and being born at about the same weight =) The part I liked best, though, was seeing the cute heads of hair some of these babies have! I'm jealous of the little girl next to Noelle, who can already wear cute little bows!

Here's Noelle getting a little social with some new friends. The first of many play dates in her future.

Making Friends

It was a fun outing for Alex and I, having the opportunity to socialize with other new parents who are going through roughly the same things we are right now. Every baby has their own little quirks. Some (like Noelle) only sleep in their own crib while others won't sleep unless lying next to or on a parent. Some are sleeping through the night, others wake 2-3 times still (Noelle, again).  It's funny how much they all have their own little personalities already, too!

The Whole Group

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Go Pack!

Hurray, the Packers are in the Super Bowl! This is the time of year when I become a football fan =) This past Sunday was only the third Packer game I've watched all season. Now, of course, I'm proudly telling anyone who'll listen that yes, I'm from WI and yes I'm a Packer fan.

The last Packer game I saw was at my sister's apartment. We noticed that, curiously, Noelle seemed to be 'watching' the TV. Simply distracted by the 'pretty lights', or a Packer fan in the making? Below is a picture of her watching the Packer game last Sunday. She certainly does seem to be enthralled. It's a biased sample, though, since this is the only time we've had the TV on when she's awake =)

Noelle Cheering on the Pack

In other baby news, Noelle is now big enough to ride in the jogging stroller without the car seat! Not only am I thrilled that my 'load' is now considerably lighter, but she seemed to really enjoy riding in the seat. She was wide awake for our 30 min run today and I didn't hear a sound from her. She just relaxed and took in the scenery.
Riding Like a Big Girl

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Starting Solids

By popular request, here is a video of Noelle practicing with rice cereal. This is her 4th time trying, and she really seems to be catching on to the idea quickly. Already, she's eating a full tablespoon of cereal, mixed with breastmilk. Well, I prepare a full tablespoon, and most of it makes it into her mouth =)

Learning How to Eat Solids

It has been a very busy week for Noelle. In addition to learning to roll over and starting solid foods, she had two visitors from MIT Lincoln Labs. Dave, Alex's mentor at MIT LL, came to visit on Tuesday night. Erin, a friend of ours from Cornell (shout out to A&EP!) and MIT LL stopped by on Wednesday night. To top off Noelle's social week, we went out to lunch with some of my friends on Saturday. Today, she's taking an extra nap to recover from all of the excitement =)

MIT LL Visitors, Dave & Erin

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

4 Months Old

I Learned How to Put Things In My Mouth!
The picture above shows how Noelle likes to spend most of her days now. We have hit the "everything goes in the mouth" stage. Once her dexterity improves and she can really pick things up we'll have to be very diligent watching her!
Yesterday was her 4 month Dr.s appointment. Drum roll for the numbers...

16.5 lbs, 27 inches

Our little chunky monkey has gained 8 lbs and grown 5 inches in the last 4 months! I'm impressed. One more half pound (roughly 1 more week) and she will have doubled her birth weight already! In fact, I was a little afraid the Dr. would tell us she's too fat =) Fears unfounded... we were assured she needs that fat now 'cause she'll start to burn calories like crazy when she's crawling.

The other surprise in the visit was we were given the go-ahead to start offering solids. Most of the literature I've looked at still recommends waiting until 6 months, but my Dr. said that research has shown, in the last year, that waiting until 6 months may actually increase the risk of food allergies (the very thing waiting for solids was meant to prevent). Anyway, right now it's just offering a little (tablespoon or less) once a day, until she gets the hang of it. The goal, we were told, is to have her eating two solid 'meals' a day by the time she's 6 months old.

The rest of the visit was not so fun for Noelle, two vaccinations. We know our baby, and she's a drama queen =) Noelle was so happy when the nurse came in that she commented the shots would probably go over really well. We warned her, not with this baby. Sure enough, first shot and Noelle went from 0 to 60 mph screaming almost instantly - BMW should be jealous. Her reaction to the little prick was so extreme, in fact, that the three of us started laughing, poor thing! The nurse was a little hesitant to give the second shot after that performance, but she powered through and Noelle was safe in mom's arms immediately thereafter; where she insisted on remaining for the rest of the day. Thank goodness for the Ergo baby carrier!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Are you a dog person?

Here in sunny LA, one of our (Noelle and my) favorite activities is a daily walk with the dogs. Very early on I noticed an unexpected theme while walking the baby and the dogs; many compliments on how cute/adorable/beautiful the dogs are... few comments on the baby.

Yesterday, we were sitting on a bench; I had Noelle out of the stroller and was horsing around with her, showing her the tree above us, etc. A man came up and oohed and aahed... over the dogs. "Oh, how beautiful they are... oh, cute kid too. Huh? I mean, I love my dogs... but really, the dogs are what is cute here? Umm, thanks.

I had been thinking that it's just because they are greyhounds... a little of an unusual sight. I realized tonight, however, that some people are just 'dog' people... to the extreme. Here was the situation:

I was at the vet with Suka (getting a retest for a skin condition... a test that takes two weeks to get back... and they lost the first one! Anyway...) We're checking out and there is one other woman in the waiting area. She has a border collie with her and is holding what looks (to me) like a 6 month old baby girl. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Oh, she's so adorable. How old is she?
Lady: Just over a year.
Me: Really? I'm sorry, she just looks a little small to me. I have a 4 month old at home and she's almost the same size.
Lady: Yeah, she is one of the smaller ones we've had... though, their growing really slows down after 6 months.
Me: Huh, I've never hear that.

At this point, she got called into the Dr.'s office and we said our polite good-byes. Only then, slow one that I am, did it occur to me that she had been talking about her dog while I was talking about her baby! I couldn't believe it, a woman holding her baby assumes that the compliment she just received is about her dog. I guess, even with how much I love my dogs, I just don't qualify as a 'dog' person.

Here's a fun baby pic to tide you over (from our usual onslaught). This shows just how much (or little, depending on your perspective) Noelle has changed in the last 3 months. Cheers =)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Baby's Second Christmas

The last few days have been a second Christmas of sorts for Noelle.

First, Noelle got a very special present from a very special person... Lina, the first Avery House baby! In addition to two resident advisor apartments, Avery House has three apartments for faculty residents. ~10 years ago, Lina's parents, Vilia and Jonas, were the very first faculty residents at Avery and were living here when Lina was born. Now, they're doing another rotation at Avery with Lina and were here for the second Avery baby, Noelle. Lina made Noelle an adorable piece of wall art; perfect for above Noelle's crib.

Vilia & Lina with Noelle

Noelle is just getting old enough for some of the 'fun' baby gear. A few days ago we received an Ergo baby carrier from our friends Arvind and Laura (expecting their baby girl in two weeks!). This little contraption has already been a lifesaver. As my family learned during our visit in December, Noelle rarely settles for anything other then being held in the upright position. She's still a little young to sit upright in the Maya and Moby wraps we have... so this Ergo carrier is a huge weight off our shoulders, literally! The last few evenings, during Noelle's fussy time, I've carried her around in this and she has really enjoyed it.

Noelle relaxing in the Ergo

Our friends Jason and Denise (who are busy busy with their 2 1/2 month old twin daughters) found a spare moment to send us this adorable rain forest booster seat. Noelle is maybe a month or so away from being able to use it - we tired it, she still plops over right now =) but we can tell how handy it will become. Certainly useful in travel situations, we'll also be using it a ton at home, since we don't have room for a highchair right now and Noelle can start solids soon!

Handy booster seat (Noelle will model soon!)

Finally, as if this baby didn't just get enough swag, I got her a bebePod chair. This little contraption helps baby's between 4 months and 1 year sit up. Noelle loved sitting propped up on the furniture at my parent's house. Since our furniture is a little too squishy, this pod is her new upright home. 

I think she likes it!