Friday, April 24, 2009

Stella Miscellany



I've had a hodge-podge of different ideas floating around in my head about Stella lately, so this post is going to be a bit stream of consciousness. With fun pictures, of course.


Here, here! I call this blog entry to order!

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I had my first "mama bear" moment. Thursday morning, I set Stella down on her activity mat before running to get a new cup of tea. Fortunately, I looked down for a moment and saw an ant. Then I noticed an alarming number of ants swarming on her mat, very near her. I snatched her up and made some kind of noise that got Tyler's attention. Even though having some ants on a baby wouldn't be that big of a deal, it made me realize just how fiercely protective I feel of her and I can only imagine how I'd react in a really serious situation.


I look calm, cool and collected here, but ants beware my wrath!

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One of the great things about babies is how of the moment they are. In some ways, it seems like being a baby must be a a very intense experience, taking so much in while having so little control and ability to communicate. Occasionally I get a little frustrated when Stella's unhappy about something and immediately launches into a "the world is ending" kind of reaction, but I have to remember that it might feel like the end of the world, and that's the best way she can communicate these days.

On the other hand, we also get lots of joy and laughter and smiles. I love that almost every time she sneezes, Stella follows up with a smile and a satisfied sounding sigh. I think we all generally feel good after a sneeze, but with Stella we really know it.


Another thing that makes Stella smile? Going for a walk with Daddy in the hiking carrier. (Thanks, Leah!)

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But you know what's less cute? Neck lint. Now that Stella's more drool-y and urp-y and on her tummy, she gets crud and lint and cat hair in her neck folds. She doesn't have much of a neck to speak of yet, and she really doesn't like to let us get at it for a good clean without a lot of effort. The other night she had gotten stinky enough around the neck that we had to have an emergency bath night to remedy the situation. Nobody tells you about gross baby neck lint.


You'd never suspect the sweet sleeping baby throwing gang signs can have such a stinky neck....

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I'd been worrying about what we would do when Stella outgrew her Moses basket. It's been so handy to be able to have her close at hand and moveable. I wasn't that excited about something like a playpen, and our kitchen floor just seems too hard and cold to have her on a blanket or something. And frankly I think she was just getting bored of laying on her back all the time. But it seems that she's growing up enough to start enjoying things that have her upright, like her jumper (see the video below) or a "car" she can sit in with lights and toys and such. The first time or two she got overwhelmed by all the excitement pretty quickly, but now she loves it. And we can still move it around for something for Stella to do while I cook or while we eat dinner.


Stella, the driver (thanks, again, Leah!)


Good times!

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Not often, but occasionally someone will ask me if Stella is a "good baby." This always strikes me as a slightly odd question. Can any baby not be good? She's just a baby. And Tyler and I seem to agree that while she's not a difficult baby, she's also not an easy baby. Sometimes in groups with other parents, we see the babies resting quietly and comfortably on their parents lap. Stella? Usually not so much. She wants to see what's going on, usually from our standing level, be jostled, look around, be part of the action. She also already seems to have a flair for the dramatic, flopping her head down on her arms out of frustration during tummy time when she can't roll onto her back. But she's also alert, curious about the world around her, very smile-y and happy, lively and a lot of fun. She's our girl, and while it might be nice if occasionally she was a bit more shy and retiring, we'll have good arm muscles in the long run.


Note the blurry arms and legs--almost always on the move!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bouncy Stella



Stella's gotten old enough that she's getting bored with laying on her back all the time. Fortunately, she's gotten big enough to use her bouncer!

video
Our little bouncer!

Impressively, she bounced happily for 15-20 minutes. I think this is a new family favorite!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Congested



While having a baby daughter has been probably the most wonderful experience of my life, it is important to let you all know that Stella isn't always raspberries and sunshine (to steal from Sarah's last title). In fact, sometimes, babies can be pretty gross.*

For example, over the last couple weeks, Stella has been sort of congested. We aren't sure if its early allergies, the drier Spring air or maybe just some sort of cold that refuses to give up. But, regardless of what it is, its helped earn Stella the new nickname "Snuffles."

"Just how congested is she?" you ask.

This congested.

Poor, congested Snuffles!

(I think its telling that I still find that photo a little cute.)

Luckily, that was last weekend, and at this point most of her congestion has cleared up. So, we might even have to retire the nickname "Snuffles" soon. But, that's probably for the best.

Also, I'm sure most of the regular readers of this blog already know this, but even though I can't post as often as I would like, I'm still trying to do my best to upload as many pictures as I can of Stella to my Flickr stream. So, if there is ever a dry patch where Sarah and I fail to post here, be sure to still check in there.

Finally, with the arrival of Spring, Sarah and I have found ourselves more and more interested in working around the house and yard. This includes taking photos of the various plants in our yard as they bloom, and repainting our bedroom (the last couple photos here.

Happy Spring, everyone!

* As a side note: There was a two day period where the phrase "so gross" replaced "PJ Hat" as the Funniest Word Ever!™

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Raspberries, Sunshine, Easter and More



So last week we got to start the post with us cracking Stella up. We thought we'd mix things up this week and start with how Stella's cracking us up.

Apparently today Tyler came into her room after Stella woke up from her nap to find this:


Stella clowning around with her Soothie

And Stella's decided to imitate the noise I make giving her raspberries on her belly:

video
Stella's new noise--she was cracking me up!

Remember the post about missing Stella's 100th day and our intention to have her feet touch the earth? Well, last week the weather was beautiful and our PEPS group decided to meet at a local park and we had the chance to get Stella out into some grass. It was fun and is making us really eager for summer!


Stella's little feet touch the earth for the first time!


Stella and me at the park. (As you may notice in this post, Tyler took my previous comment about not having mom/baby pictures seriously)

We also had a chance to dress her up for Easter. Unfortunately, unlike the week before we did not have beautiful outdoor weather (it was pouring rain), so her Easter dress knit by Nana was accessorized with a sweater and baby legs.


Stella in her Easter dress


Another view of the dress...and Stella's gi-normous diaper


Stella and her bunny pals

Stella's still rolling like crazy, and she's starting to make some more promising moves that could mean rolling from her tummy to her back, scrunching up her butt and hiking her knee closer to her body. She's also hanging out on her tummy for longer, though we still have plenty of "roll over" duty.


Getting closer to the full 360...

The other fun thing lately is doing a little pre-bedtime reading. For awhile I was a little disappointed that Stella wasn't interested in sitting in my lap to read books yet. But I've found that if I lay on the floor with her, she seems at least moderately interested (or will tolerate) the whole book reading experience. Mostly I still have to keep the book out of arm's reach so she doesn't immediately shove it into her mouth.



Now if I can just get her to start waking up fewer than three times a night......

Friday, April 3, 2009

The PJ Hat



The other night after bath time, Tyler started singing Stella a silly song about her pajamas on his head ("The PJ Hat...and that is that," repeat ad nauseum). We were amused because it was cracking Stella up:

video
Laughing Stella

But that day was't the end of it. I can sing the song and make her laugh. In fact, it seems to only take the phrase "PJ Hat" to make her giggle. Who knew?

It hasn't all been fun and giggles since my last post. In fact, if I'd been writing this a week ago, you would have heard the Sarah of two months ago, lacking sleep and wondering why everyone else seemed to be having so much more fun at this parenting thing than me. I've always known that a hungry Sarah is an unhappy Sarah, but a few days of sleep deprivation is almost worse. We don't know if it was her 4-month shots, a growth spurt, a cold or just an unfortunate phase, but she went back to waking up 3-4 times a night, one night waking up on the hour nearly every hour. Fortunately for my health and sanity, she's back to the more reasonable schedule of waking up once between 12 and 2 and between 5 and 6.

Otherwise, things are much the same. She continues rolling like a grounded whirling dervish--she can even roll to her right and her left these days. (We're still waiting for the full 360 when she'll go from her stomach to her back.) Somewhat unfortunately for us, she's been in a phase of getting easily overwhelmed when we're out or with friends, which has meant a lot less fun experiences at a few parties and get togethers. She went from being a really social baby to crying whenever anyone looked at her the other day. But since then we've had a couple better moments at restaurants and with smaller groups, so we'll just assume her ability to handle more stimulation will catch up with her ability to take in so much more of the world.

A few other recent photos....

Like her daddy, she likes some hats!


Yippy-ki-ay! Oddly, the size of this hat is 0-3 months, but it just now fits...though the outfit it went with is a thing of the past


Babies always look cuter in things with animal ears on them.


A side effect of the rolling obsession: Stella's spending much of her time this way these days


I couldn't resist this cute smile-y photo

Is it just me, or is there a bit of a lack of mom/baby photos???

I've also decided that someday this blog will get turned into some kind of baby book for Stella, so I'll be trying to add in a few things that might be of interest later:

Favorites: The Royal Duke of York (fun for baby, good/hard for our arms!), her Easter bunny from Great-Grandma Geri, still likes Stretch the Giraffe
Hates: the sound of the vacuum cleaner