Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fever

Aliza has her first fever.

I knew something was off with her yesterday. We had travelled to the beach house to be with Grams and Gramps, Auntie Beth and Uncle Scott. Aliza was fussy and crying in a very un-Aliza way. In my head I was thinking that something wasn't right, but I chalked up her behavior to a long car ride (stupid I-95 traffic), a change of scenery and a baby that naps inconsistently.

Well, today she seemed off again. Not crying as much, but sleeping during the day way more than she normally does and then not eating as much as she normally does. Aliza does many things well, and one of them is eating. We brought her home and she slept in the car, then continued to sleep once we got home. Unusual, but she had a busy weekend. Then when she woke up I tried to feed her and she felt HOT. And she fell asleep instead of eating and continued to sleep in my arms for a solid hour and a half. Finally, convinced her heat wasn't from being in the car, or being outside, we took her temperature and discovered she did, in fact, have a fever of 100.3. I gave her some Children's Tylenol and snuggled her close. Then I started doing that thing that all moms do--especially new moms...second guessing. Maybe I should have taken a rectal temperature, maybe I shouldn't have given her the Tylenol, maybe I should do something to cool her down, maybe the fact that she's not eating and sleeping a lot is an indication of something more serious.....so I called my sister who reassured me that I had done everything right and told me to call the pediatrician, if only for my own peace of mind.

So, we called the pediatrician, as well as our respective Moms to gather some advice. Everyone said the same thing- keep an eye on her, keep the Tylenol in her system, don't worry. Call again if the fever gets really high but keep in mind it might spike during the night.....OK.....

She finally ate (much to my relief--on many levels) and we got her ready for bed. While on her changing table (I swear it is one of her favorite places) she was "normal" Aliza, smiling and talking, kicking her feet and waving her arms, just like she does every night. This was reassuring to both of us, we were assuming that if something were really wrong, her behavior would be an indication. And now she is resting in her crib. I suspect she will be sleeping very well tonight, and I will not be sleeping well at all.....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Schedules

There are a few things that I now know for certain. Things I knew before but, now, having a baby around, I really Know.

My newest life lesson is one of these--one that I knew but am now experiencing. Schedules. Or lack thereof.

Aliza introduced me to that lesson early on--arriving three weeks early and completely eliminating any prospect of resting before giving birth. Now she is teaching me all over again. At three months she is not on any sort of schedule. Actually, I shouldn't say that--she does sleep VERY well at night time, but even that is not consistent. One night she'll wake up at 3, the next at 5, the next at 6:30. It's all over the map really. Her days are much the same--one day she'll take a nap in the morning, another one in the afternoon.....the next she won't nap all day long.

At our last doctor's appointment I had asked about this, wondering if I should become one of those moms who tries to force a schedule on a baby. This seemed counter to every maternal instinct I have, but I'm new at this so I figured I'd ask a professional. To me, it make sense to follow Aliza's schedule--if she takes a nap in the morning, obviously I let her. If she doesn't, well, I don't force her into one. The doctor agreed with me; telling me that it's OK for her to not have a schedule quite yet and as long as she's eating and sleeping well then I shouldn't worry (not that I was).

So, Aliza is, as I suspected she would be, the boss. I let her lead, and, for now at least, I follow.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Three and thirty-two

Aliza is three months old today.....and I am 32 years old today. We spent yesterday afternoon exactly the way I wanted, eating yummy food, surrounded by family, outside in our yard. It was an absolutely perfect day....And here is Aliza at the end of the day, sharing her thoughts with us!

video

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Wicked good

On Wednesday my sister, Mom and I made the trek to NYC to see Wicked. This was a tradition we started a few years back with my Dad initially--no, not seeing random musicals, but giving the gift of time. Time with us, that is. We started it with a Father's Day canoe trip down a river in MA, and then the year after did a kayaking trip on the Sound and have since gone on quite a few adventures together. Then we started it with my Mom with trips to the city to see the ballet, or massages--more girly things.


Anywho, the day ended up being far longer than I had originally thought. My longest away from Aliza, but her daddy handled it like a champ. Of course, it helped that she slept for over three hours. Why in the world does she sleep for over three hours for him, and nothing close to that for me is beyond me, but they had a wonderful day together, and for that I am glad.


We got an early train and headed into the city for a light lunch, before catching the 2:00 show. If you've read the book then you know that the premise is the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West--before she became the Wicked Witch of the West and chased after poor, innocent Dorothy and Toto. I was struck by a few things while in the theatre-- the first being that there are people out there who think it is appropriate to wear shorts, t-shirts and flip flops to see a show. Call me old-fashioned but I believe that you get dressed up to go to the theatre. Church too, for that matter, but that's a post for a different day. The second is that I really really really love being at a musical, or any show really. I have my parents to thank for that. They started bringing us to shows at a young age, exposing us to the arts not only through dance lessons and music lessons, but by bringing us to see shows too. I forgot how much I love the theatre experience. Everything about it feels a little bit special and a little bit magical.

Of course, the best part of the day was spending time with my Mom and sister. As we get older, these moments, these memories, are more and more special and more and more cherished.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friendship

Yesterday I hosted my first ever jewelry party. I had invited about 25 people and only seven were able to make it so we had a small crowd for a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were a few people that were coming to my house for the first time and meeting Aliza for the first time. So I found myself running around making sure that the house was very clean. Russ even caught the fever and went outside to mow and sweep. He even cut back the rose bush that has been encroaching on our little patio area AND picked up a garbage bin full of crab apples. (What is the point of a crab apple tree? Seriously. You can't eat them or cook with them.....they don't flower nicely or smell pretty....all they do is make apples that fall all over your lawn thus making it difficult to mow or walk.)

For some reason, I was particularly anxious about the opinion of one person. I have no idea why because she isn't necessarily one of my favorite people (I know that sounds mean but when someone talks about you behind your back to people who are bound to tell you what is said....well, that person is no longer on my favorite people list). I anticipated her walking into my house and instantly judging. She has one of those cookie cutter houses, decorated beautifully, with a pool and a hot tub and a perfectly manicured lawn that she loves to show off.....whereas my house has character. It is old and cozy and just perfect for our little family of three. However, when I thought about it from her eyes, and when I thought about what she potentially would say to colleagues of mine about my cozy little house....well, it made me a little anxious and threw me into a bit of a cleaning frenzy. It was a new feeling for me honestly. I've never felt the need to impress someone that I know is going to judge-and judge negatively- no matter what I do. And I, even in the midst of the cleaning frenzy, knew that what I was doing was absolutely ridiculous. I have nothing to prove, I love our house and I'm proud of the work we've done to it, and I stopped caring what this person thought about me awhile ago; realizing instead that we are different people with very different priorities and goals and work ethics. I realized yesterday that I felt like I was in high school all over again. I wasn't cool in high school and really had no desire to be. I had my close friends and that was enough for me. But, of course, deep down, don't we all want to sit at the cool kids table just once?

When everyone had left and I thought about the afternoon, all of my frantic energy seemed even more silly. There were people there that are my true friends....people who told me they loved my house and they thought Aliza was adorable--and they meant it. I was reminded of what I learned in high school: friendship is about being able to be yourself, and having people that love you just for that.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Nonnie

I have been missing her a lot lately. Maybe it is because of Aliza's baptism. In fact, it probably is because of that.....but lately, I feel her absence deeply. My Mom cried in church during Aliza's baptism. I turned around and saw her and knew, instantly, why she was crying. I was having a hard time holding it together myself, and, in fact, spent some time crying later that night. I wished she was there with us. I wished she could see what a beautiful little angel Aliza looked like. How proud Russ looked. How happy we all were. I wish I could have just one picture of my Nonnie holding my daughter....

Maybe this is blasphemous but I believe, deep in my soul, that my Nonnie helped Aliza to come into this world. See, we had been trying for awhile. Thirteen months to be exact. And I prayed and I cried and I hoped and I wished. And finally, I started talking to Nonnie about the whole thing. I talk to Nonnie still. Is that odd? Somehow it doesn't feel odd to me. Anyway, it was when I started talking to Nonnie--asking her to bless me with a baby-- that I became pregnant. Not right away, but only a month or two after. One of my regrets, when Nonnie lay sick and dying, was that I couldn't tell her I was pregnant. I had some cousins that got pregnant during those last months of her life and they were able to share that news with her and I remember feeling envious. Wishing I could give that gift to her because I knew it would make her heart happy. However, I have no doubt that she is watching over me, and Aliza.

Aliza is sleeping in her crib for the first time tonight. We had been talking about doing this for awhile, wanting her to be comfortable with her crib before the alarm has to be set for that early morning wake up call. I knew it was coming....I wanted things to be set though; I wanted a fan for her room (she's used to the air conditioner after all) and I wanted something that played music and flashed lights for her crib (she's used to that too, although I think she'd do just fine without it). I think that maybe I was stalling the transition a little. Tonight we visited some neighbors and Aliza, after not napping all day, fell asleep in my arms while we were there. So we decided, rather spontaneously, to put her in her crib for the night. I did it. I put her in her sleep sack and lay her down in her crib.

And then I got a little sad. I'll admit, I love having her right next to me at night. I love waking up and leaning over her bassinet to be greeted by her happy baby smile in the morning. I love that I can check to make sure she is breathing in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed. I love that she is the last thing I see when I close my eyes and the first thing I look at in the morning. I know she is fine in her crib. In fact, I suspect, once I'm used to it, I will sleep much better with her in the next room rather than breathing and sighing and cooing and coughing right next to me. But I miss her being in her bassinet already. And somehow, this too, makes me think of my Nonnie. I just know that she'd have something to say that would be wise, and maybe just a bit funny, and would somehow make me feel better. Because she was, after all, my Nonnie.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Baptism pictures

I'm sure I'll have more once my photographer brother sends me the amazing shots he took....but here are just a few pictures from Aliza's big day!
Proud godparents: Uncle Scott and Aunt Tina

Even prouder grandparents: Grospapa, Nonna, Grams and Gramps


Very proud Mommy and Daddy, with their beautiful little angel.....