Saturday, December 30, 2006

Morning Routine

Since we've been visiting family over Christmas, we've established a bit of a morning routine. Around 8 or 8:30 in the morning, Charlotte wakes up. I can tell she's up for good this time because she's happy and well-rested. She'll often lay in her bed and coo, scoot around, and laugh, until I come to pick her up. Then she comes into bed with Jeff and I and we hang out for a while.
The picture above is from Jeff's parents' house. The head of the bed is right up against a window, and Charlotte loved to look outside in the morning.
These few minutes together as a family are by far my favorite of the day. It makes morning time that much easier, and all the late-night wakings and feedings are forgotten.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

End of the year wrap-up
1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? Had a baby! That's a big one.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Hmm. I don't usually do resolutions. I think my resolution was probably to not have morning sickness anymore (check) and to have my baby (check). So, success!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Uh, I did! So, yes! Also all our new friends in our prenatal classes, some friends from church, my good friend Carrie...loads of babies around here.
4. Did anyone close to you die? My friend Leslie O'Bannon, who grew up next door to me, died in a tragic plane crash in November. My college advisor, Dr. Michael Vander Weele, lost his wife Albertena after a decade-long struggle with cancer.
5. What places did you visit? Iowa and Michigan, mostly. Jeff and I made a road-trip to Pittsburgh in February which was surprisingly fun. Lots of visiting of the Hocking Hills, which are remarkable.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A graduate degree, please!

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Well, the obvious one is June 23, when Charlotte was born. Also January 18, the first time I felt her move. November 23, Jeff's 30th birthday. September 16, our 6th anniversary.
8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? Having a kid. Keeping it together through my fall quarter. Learning eine bisschen Deutsch.
9. What was your biggest failure? Hmm. Not getting Charlotte to sleep well?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Ha, only birth.
11. What was the best thing you bought? My digital camera, a Nikon D70s. I love you, D70s.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband's. What a spectacular father.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? No one! Hooray!

14. Where did most of your money go? Housing. And diapers.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Being a mom. Going to school.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. Gracie by Ben Folds. King of Carrot Flowers by Neutral Milk Hotel.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? Definitely happier, particularly since I'm not constantly nauseated.

b) thinner or fatter? Argh. Fatter. Much fatter.
c) richer or poorer? About the same, surprisingly.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Read and slept before Charlotte arrived.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Worrying. Watching television.
20. How did you spend Christmas last year? On the road between Iowa and Michigan.
21. Did you fall in love in 2006? Oh, did I ever!

22. What was your favorite TV program? Scrubs.
23. What did you do for your birthday in 2006? I had class, but they celebrated with cake in my class!
24. What was the best book you read? I read a lot of books for school, none of which particularly won me over. Probably Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. Also Giving Birth by OU's own Catherine Taylor.

25. Who was the best new person you met? Charlotte!
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Neutral Milk Hotel.
27. What did you want and get? A healthy baby.

28. What did you want and not get? Nothing. Awesome!
29. What was your favorite film of this year? I didn't see a lot of movies. I probably would have liked Prairie Home Companion had I seen it.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Yes.
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Massages. More massages.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Maternity and post-maternity.
33. What kept you sane? Reading and writing. Looking at my daughter's face.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Urgh. No one.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? The war.
36. Who did you miss? My family.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. Trust your gut.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

That means you, too, Charlotte.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Six Months

600: approximate number of diapers Jeff has changed in the last six months

1400: approximate number of times Charlotte's nursed in the last six months

4: average number of hours per night Jana has slept in the last six months

2: number of teeth Charlotte has sprouted

4: number of proud grandparents

4: number of proud great-grandparents

3: number of proud uncles

3: number of proud uncles competing for the "best uncle" title

1000: approximate number of photos that have been taken of Charlotte in the last six months

12: number of people who receive these photos every week or so (sorry!)

5: number of times Charlotte has rolled over from back to front

10: decibel levels of parental encouragement resulting from said rollovers

3: length in inches of Charlotte's little hair curl at the crown of her head

19: Charlotte's current weight in pounds

26: Charlotte's current height in inches

uncountable: number of times Jeff and Jana have laughed at Charlotte's noises; number of kisses from Jeff and Jana to Charlotte; ounces of drool emitted by Charlotte
183: number of days we've had Charlotte in our lives
183: number of days we've realized we couldn't live without her

Happy half-birthday, baby girl.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I've been thinking quite a bit this holiday season about what things were like a year ago. This week we've been visiting Jeff's family, celebrating Christmas with them before the younger brothers jet off to warmer climes to hang out with their girlfriends. When we visited last year, I was 13 weeks pregnant, sick as a dog (I hate that expression, but it seems to fit), and incredibly tired all the time. The night we arrived we told Jeff's brothers they were going to be uncles by showing them ultrasound pictures with talk bubbles saying "Hi Uncle Steve" and "Hi Uncle Mark!"

I think if I could have fast-forwarded to this time, seeing this chubby little person grabbing her own fat rolls, chuckling and cooing, while her daddy changes her diaper, I would have felt a lot better about the weeks of nausea and exhaustion I had endured. Totally, totally worth it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gratuitous Charlotte

Charlotte: Just chillin' in my diap. How you doin'?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Seven Years

Seven years ago today, Jeff asked me to marry him.

I've heard about the seven-year itch...but the only itch I'm feeling is to see what the next seven will be like. And the seven after that, and after that...

Thanks for asking. Love you.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's 8:46 p.m. Do you know where your children are?
I know where mine is. IN BED, ASLEEP!
It's a Christmas miracle!

Friday, December 15, 2006

One thing I didn't know before becoming a parent is how widely differing the parenting advice is out there. Not only widely differing--some is actually directly contradictory! I have two books in my possession that have "plans" for getting children to sleep. They are completely opposite theories, and both take opportunities to throw a few punches at the other's method. Both books are written by doctors; both are published by real, reputable publishing houses; both have been recommended to me by various people.

What's a mother to do? Do I go against my gut and try method A, which boasts X number of happy subscribers? Or do I go slightly more with my gut and try method B, which (surprise!) also has a large number of devotees? Or do I really listen to my gut and have a book burning?
The above photo has nothing to do with this post...I just couldn't resist posting it. See, she's happy! That's what really matters, right?
There's nothing to compare to the terror in my heart when I hear Charlotte stirring over the baby monitor after only a half-hour of sleep.

Why doesn't this child like to sleep? I LOVE to sleep! If I was an infant and had permission to sleep 14 hours a day, I'd be all over that...and probably asking for more. In fact, I think there was a time that I slept about that much: last December, when I was deep into the "nausea and vomiting" portion of my pregnancy. This was accompanied by extreme fatigue, compounded by the medication I was taking for the pregnancy. There were days I only got out of bed to crawl to the bathroom.

Now, if we could train Charlotte to do that, I'd be impressed.

This was the time period, you might recall, when Jeff got me a little bell to put next to the bed. I'd ring it if I needed anything from downstairs, since I was too weak to go up and down the stairs that frequently.

I guess the baby monitor is our new version of the summons bell. And it's ringing now, so I'd better go.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Charlotte's first Christmas

We celebrated our little family's first Christmas tonight. Charlotte received a copy of the classic Christmas story by Dickens; however, she appeared more interested in the ribbon on the package. Delicious.

I don't know about you, but I think that if I woke up lying in a pool of my own vomit, urine and oh, probably some mucus thrown in there for good measure, and had to suffer through a 1 a.m. bath and wardrobe and bedding change, I'd be a little less smiley and cheerful than Charlotte was this morning.

So, I'm in the running for the worst parent of the year, leading in the category of "Most Likely To Let Her Child 'Cry It Out' Until She Gets Physically Sick." I'd like to thank my agent.

Crying it out sucks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I created this blog a while back, and have considered resurrecting it now that Charlotte is around. But this couldn't have really happened until now, when Charlotte has begun sleeping (almost) through the night. Going to bed before 9 p.m. and sleeping until sometimes 8 a.m. with only one wake-up seems miraculous. It almost makes the half-hour of crying she needs to fall asleep worthwhile. Almost. I find my evenings following Charlotte's crying-it-out are very unproductive; I mostly sit around feeling like a horrible parent, wishing my water bottle was full of whiskey.

So, here goes. Hopefully this blog will help keep fam and friends in touch with Miss Charlotte's happenings, and perhaps those of Jeff and myself, too, if they're interested. Being several states away from most of you makes it difficult to feel like you're part of Charlotte's life, but you are...and an important part of mine, too.

The pic of the day is Charlotte's first visit with Santa. Mr. Claus was informed that "clean diapers a'plenty, never-ending boobies, and peace on earth" was all the little miss required for Christmas. Two out of three ain't bad.