Category Archives: mommyblogging

Dear Coraline: Month 6

Dear Coraline,

As of 1AM this morning, you turned six months old. I can’t believe you’re already half a year old (and yes, I’m already thinking about your first birthday party). You weigh about 16 pounds and fit well in clothes sized six months, although there are some three month outfits you can still wear. You’re also now in size 3 diapers (as of day 170), which look a bit big on you but fit well, which is what matters.

You now sleep through the night pretty much every night — and for that your poppa and I thank you — sleeping anywhere from 8 1/2 to 11 hours straight depending on how your day went and how tired you are. Your bedtime averages right around 8 o’clock, but some nights you’ll go to bed as early as 7:30 or as late as 9. You primarily sleep on your stomach and still enjoy sucking on your thumb when drowsy. And you always flash us the most awesome smile first thing in the morning — you’re such a happy morning baby that if you didn’t look just like your poppa and have my eyes, we wouldn’t believe you were ours. (Mommy and Poppa don’t do mornings.) You’re happy every morning, even when you have a bad night, like night 156 when we suspect you had teething pain.

And, yes, I’m still counting by the day. On day 154, you laughed spontaneously for the first time. What made you laugh? Our dog Caleb walking toward you. You held out your arms for him and he walked right into them. That’s another thing — you’re already an animal lover. You giggle and smile at all our cats and dogs and enjoy petting them all, but Caleb seems to be your favorite. Maybe because he not only loves being petted by you but because he smiles back at you, too. (You’re even good at scratching his funny spot that makes his hind leg kick.) He also loves to kiss you, especially on the face. You don’t mind it, but your poppa and I do.

You now definitely seem to have favorite toys. At the top of that short list is your pink glow seahorse, which lives in your crib. You love it so much you even figured out how to press its belly to make the music play (night 158); you now turn it on whenever you need comforting and love to sleep snuggled up against it. You’re also now excited when you see your bottle — you know it’s time to eat and eagerly reach out to grab it. On night 163, while your poppa was giving you your bedtime bottle, you reached out and held it on your own. He was so proud of you and couldn’t wait to tell me what you’d done.

This has turned out to be your worst month health-wise since you were less than a month old. On day 161, you were sniffly and fussy; that’s the first time I remember you truly reaching out for me to pick you up from your exersaucer. You got over that little cold in about a day. On a recent Saturday, you developed the sniffles again. By the next day (day 171), you were full-on miserable, coughing so much you threw up a whole bottle’s worth on me. That was also the day your poppa assembled the high chair we bought you, which you enjoyed sitting in despite feeling so awful. We monitored your symptoms closely until that Wednesday morning (day 174) when you woke up with a noticeable rasp and wheezing. We whisked you to the doctor, where you were diagnosed with RSV and croup and prescribed a nebulizer for breathing treatments. Proving once again that you have a very sweet personality, the doctors called you a “happy wheezer” at your recheck that Friday since you were all smiles for the whole staff. You’re finally feeling better and yesterday (day 180) at your recheck the doctor said your lungs were clear as a bell and that we could stop with the nebulizer treatments.

First St. Patrick’s Day (day 175)

You’re so close to sitting up by yourself. You do really well with a bit of support from me or your poppa. During a bath (day 177), you managed to hold on to the sides of your tub and sit up on your own for the first time, which was awesome to see. You are also close to crawling. You do what we call “inchworming,” where you’ll basically shimmy on your tummy until you get to where you want to be. Between you rolling over and inchworming, you can move very quickly in the blink of an eye. As of yesterday you developed a fondness for gravitating to my work laptop, which you like to smack on the keyboard, proving you are indeed your father’s daughter.

I absolutely love how happy you are all the time (even when sick), how quick you are to smile, and the sweet way you’ve started cupping my cheek with your little hands when I’m feeding you or holding you close. Sometimes you even reach out to grab my nose while you’re eating. You also now stroke and pull on your poppa’s beard, which he loves. It’s the little things like that that make my love for you grow stronger every day — the increasing ways in which you interact with and respond to us. Soon you’ll be hugging us back, something I can’t wait to experience. Not that I’m in a rush for you to grow up. You’re still my sweet little baby and I intend to cherish every little moment with you that I can, and I am so proud to be your mommy. Here’s to a fun month seven. 



Filed under baby, coraline, dear coraline, mommyblogging, personal

Baby on the Hookah

Song Lyric of the Day:
Be my friend / Hold me, wrap me up / Unfold me / I am small / I’m needy / Warm me up / And breathe me

Sia / “Breathe Me

What a day. What a weekend. Having a sick baby is no fun. At least now I think Coraline is finally starting to feel better. Today is the best she’s sounded since last Tuesday, before she woke with that rasping/wheezing in her chest Wednesday morning. I’ve been working from home every day since then to administer her nebulizer treatments (Rich worked from home Thursday and Friday to help). I’m actually taking tomorrow off to take her back to the doctor for a second recheck, deal with a few things that need to be taken care of, and get some of my shit together — well, in between her napping, that is.

As for the nebulizer, since I can’t help but inhale the mist when I’m holding it for Coraline to breathe in, it’s actually cleared up some of my sinus problems. Pretty nice side effect. Of course, from certain angles, you’d think Coraline was puffing on some sort of baby hookah pipe. But maybe that’s just me.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Yeah, it’s probably just me.

I could tell she was starting to feel better today not only by how she sounded but by the fact that whenever she was awake, she’d inchworm her way over to my work laptop and either try to hit the keyboard with her hands or try to eat it with her two teeth.


Here’s hoping tomorrow the doctor says her lungs are nice and clear.

I’m helping.


Filed under baby, coraline, illness, mommyblogging, personal

Back to the Doctor (Updated)

Song Lyric of the Day:

I told the witch doctor I was in love with you / And then the witch doctor, he told me what to do / He said that / Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla wall bing bang /  Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla wall bing bang

Ross Bagdasarian / “Witch Doctor

We’re taking Coraline back to the doctor for her RSV/croup recheck this morning. She definitely seemed to be worse yesterday than she was on Wednesday when we first took her in. Good thing the doc gave us a heads up about that. I’ll update later (probably around lunchtime) with what the doc says.

While her ears are still OK, the doctor heard wheezing this morning. After a breathing treatment, via a nebulizer, he noticed some improvement but still went ahead and prescribed breathing treatments every 4-6 hours while Coraline’s awake. We were given a nebulizer to bring home and a prescription for the inhaling solution to be used with it. Coraline now has to have this breathing treatment through Tuesday, when we’ll have another checkup. The doctor (and the doc who will see her for followup) called her a “happy wheezer” since she was still all smiles today. If only we were all so happy when sick, right?

I’ll be doing my best to keep working from home throughout Coraline’s recovery and treatments. If it gets to be too much, I will switch to taking PTO. This weekend will give me a better idea of how it’s going to go.

Here’s hoping the nebulizer treatments will finally help Coraline kick this RSV to the curb.


Filed under baby, coraline, illness, mommyblogging, RSV

St. Patrick’s Day 2011 — Coraline’s First

She spent it being a brave little trouper, smiling even though she was worse today than she was yesterday. And, yes, she was the only one in our family who wore green today.
“This is my lucky shirt.”
“My 1st St. Patrick’s Day” bib.


Filed under baby, coraline, mommyblogging, photography

Learning to Trust My Mothering Instincts

Song Lyric of the Day:

The devil ain’t lazy, no siree / The devil ain’t lazy, no siree / He likes to see us fight and fuss / Makes us mean enough to cuss / And then he blames it all on us / He works 24 hours a day

As I wrote the other day, Coraline’s been sick. We thought she had a cold, like she’s had — and kicked — before. She seemed to be getting better yesterday, but this morning when I got her up not only was she still coughing, but I noticed a raspy/wheezy sound to her breathing that wasn’t there before. As soon as I heard her, my gut told me I needed to call the doctor ASAP. I got her in for an afternoon appointment, fully prepared to be diagnosed with Newmommyitis. After all, the other day I almost convinced myself that she was developing pneumonia. To say that I’m paranoid about her being/getting sick is an understatement, one I imagine I share with most new parents.

Well, it turned out to be a good thing that we took her in (Rich left work to meet us there). The doctor examined her, finding that her lungs were clear and that she did not have an ear infection. Her RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) test, however, came back positive and the doctor diagnosed her cough as croup, to boot. The poor kid is miserable, with a runny nose, horrible congestion, and a hacking cough. She is now on Prednisolone to clear up the inflammation around her vocal cords (which is what causes croup — news to me). Her doctor said with RSV you usually get worse before you get better, and he suspects that Coraline is in that downswing right now. We have a recheck on Friday to see how she’s doing. She’s under orders to not go anywhere for the next couple of days, so I’ll be working from home tomorrow and Friday to take care of her; Rich also arranged to work from home the next couple of days so I don’t have to manage Sick Baby Duty by myself. We’re very fortunate that our jobs can accommodate this type of situation (not to mention our bosses’ support). Now to get Miss Baby back to 100 percent …

As for me, I’m not only happy and relieved to know that Coraline will be okay, but that I wasn’t being overly paranoid (Rich was also very concerned, just not as paranoid as I was). In this case my paranoia/concern turned out to be legit. I was validated for being worried, so I’m really glad that I trusted my instincts and got her in before she got even worse. Seems I’ll get the hang of this whole motherhood thing yet. Now to get to bed. It’s been a long day.

“I’m sick?! You’re joking!” (173 days old, 3/15/11)

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Filed under baby, coraline, illness, mommyblogging, personal, RSV

Sick Baby

Song Lyric of the Day:

Hospital food / It’s gonna help the medicine go down / Want some hospital food

Heads up: This post is going to contain lots of references to baby vomit, enough to make up a drinking game. Consider yourselves warned.

Having a sick baby is no fun: They’re too little to medicate without a doctor’s input and they can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong. The past couple of days were bad ones for Coraline. She started out with the sniffles on Saturday and by Sunday was really congested with a runny nose, a hacking cough, and absolutely miserable. A saving grace: She did not have a fever. Sunday was a lonnng day of trying to keep her as comfortable as possible — she was whiny and cried inconsolably most of the day, she felt so bad. No sooner had I given her a six-ounce bottle than bleeecccccccchhhhhhhhhh I was wearing it. All of it — she didn’t keep any of that bottle down. (Being on the receiving end made me think of that vomiting scene in Family Guy.) That’s when I started to panic. After changing her and getting out of my now-soggy clothes, I hopped online to look up symptoms of pneumonia in infants. Thankfully, she didn’t have the big symptoms: lethargy, fever, and weakness. She was still active, had a normal temperature, and was as strong as she always is. Coraline even got to feeling better after vomiting, albeit temporarily, it turned out. The vomiting was definitely a flag, though, so Rich and I agreed we’d take her to Children’s Hospital if she vomited like that again; we couldn’t risk her getting dehydrated. She managed to keep her next bottle down in its entirety. She only spit up a little during her overnight feeding (which I handled; I’m lucky that way), but nowhere near the amount she did that afternoon. I did have to change shirts again, though.

She looked better yesterday morning when we woke her up. When I called my mom, who keeps Coraline while we’re at work, to check up on her, the news was good: Coraline had a normal temperature, hadn’t vomited, was playing with her toys, and was trying to watch TV (she is my daughter, after all). Last night at home went pretty well, with her even feeling up to doing her best jumping bean impression in her exersaucer. Here’s hoping she finishes kicking this bug to the curb soon.

Not feeling too shabby on Saturday.
Not feeling so great on Sunday.
On her way to feeling a bit better on Monday.


Filed under baby, coraline, mommyblogging, personal

The Beauty of Sleep

Song Lyric of the Day:

And now It’s always good / I fell asleep from day / And all the promises

Chemical Brothers featuring Hope Sandoval / “Asleep From Day

When Coraline was first born, she didn’t sleep well. It seemed like she actively tried to sleep as little as possible overnight. Of course, newborns can’t tell night from day, but still. No sooner had I finished nursing her than she’d wake up again in 20 minutes wanting to be fed again. And 20 minutes after that. And so on. Needless to say, this did not sit well with my former insomniac self. Bad late-night TV only got me so far.

Snug as a bug in the hospital.

A few months in (three, I think), she finally started sleeping for four-hour stretches. Me being me, this first time this happened I woke up in a panic thinking something was wrong. By then I was so used to being woken up by her that when she didn’t wake me up, I still woke up. So I still wasn’t sleeping well, keeping my bat-like hearing on high alert for even the smallest peep from her. Seriously — I used to wake up in our ranch house in Virginia from the cats walking on the carpet. In the living room. Bat. Like. Hearing.

Swaddle Pod!

And on she slept. She could finally tell night from day and soon started sleeping up to six hours at a time. But she did her best to average four.

No Swaddle Pod can hold my arm in!

Coraline really started sleeping well once she graduated from her bassinet to her crib at the start of this year. I think the combination of more space and a firm mattress made the difference. Or else Rich and I were snoring while she was in the bassinet in our room and she relished the peace and quiet her very own room afforded her. (I admit: I tend to shout/chirp/mumble in my sleep. The spouse loves that habit of mine. LOVES it. I’ll bet Coraline loved it, too.)

All this room, this firm mattress — so luxurious!

No more swaddling, no more bassinet. Just a sleep sack and a big crib. Soon, even longer stretches of sleep followed. And finally, a couple of days before she turned five months old, the magical proverbial switch flipped: She now sleeps through the night, going to bed for the night between 8 and 8:30.

Sucking her thumb while she sleeps on her tummy.

And yet her mommy still sleeps with both her ears open.


Filed under baby, coraline, mommyblogging, personal, sleep

Now With More Coraline!

Song Lyric of the Day:

Cause I have other things to fill my time / You take what is yours and I’ll take mine / Now let me at the truth / Which will refresh my broken mind

Mumford & Sons / “The Cave

Turns out people like reading about babies. Turns out some people even like reading about my baby. So from now on I’m going to try to blog a bit more about what it’s like to be a first-time mom to an awesome baby (if I say so myself). I’ve held back a bit (okay, a lot) because, well, I’ve been busy doing my best just to parent her. That’s pretty time-consuming, you know. (I have no idea how professional mommybloggers find the time. No. Idea.) But now that we’re settling into a good evening routine, I have more time to blog. And by good evening routine, I mean the magical switch has finally been flipped and Miss Baby now sleeps through the night. We’ve now got eight magical nights under our belts. Funny, you adapt to getting up however many times a night your baby needs you so you forget how incredibly AWESOME it is to sleep through the night. Although if you have bat-like hearing like I do, you still wake up more than you need to. But I digress.

I’ve also finally, FINALLY started uploading some of the hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of photos I’ve taken of Coraline to my Flickr account. In addition to all the random, candid shots I take of her playing and discovering things, I have been taking at least one photo of her every day since she was born to document how her face has changed. I’ve managed to miss maybe six or seven days, but considering she’s now 159 days old, that’s not too shabby.

So until I write more in depth about Coraline, I leave you with the cuteness that is the center of my life now. This kid rocks my world.


Filed under mommyblogging, personal

Dear Coraline: Month 5

Dear Coraline,

As of 1AM this morning, you turned five months old. You continue to gain weight (approximately 16 1/2 lbs. as of today) and grow bigger by the day, coming very close to filling out clothes sized six months. This past month has been really great in that your personality is starting to shine through. You smile readily whenever you see any of your family, particularly when your cousins perform like circus monkeys for your entertainment. And you are such a happy baby. Everyone comments on that (and your luxurious mane of fine baby hair) — how you have such a sweet, wonderful personality already.

You’ve slept through the night four times this month (nights 137 and 142), including two nights in a row as of last night (nights 151-152). And, yes, Mommy is still counting your age by the day (your first Valentine’s Day was day 144). You’re quite the stomach sleeper, often rolling over from your back before we’ve even finished turning off your light. Your big discovery this month: your thumb. You don’t suck your thumb for very long when you do, but as soon as it makes its way to your mouth we know you’re getting sleepy. You also do it sometimes when you’re getting hungry, but you usually indulge when you’re getting drowsy, your right hand making its way to your mouth, index finger pointing straight up along your nose. 

We bought you an exersaucer for our house after seeing you just about projectile launch yourself out of the one at your abuelo and abuela’s house. You LOVE bouncing around in it like a little nut. You still really enjoy your gym, particularly all the loose toys and rattles we put out for you to play with. Basically, they all end up in your mouth. Your silver Nambe rattle and Henrietta the Hippo rattle seem to be favorites, as well as your star teething ring. 

By far my favorite development this month has been your giggle. You first giggled on day 132, after I’d tickled your belly for a bit. Your giggle is quite possibly the most magical sound I’ve ever heard and it never fails to make me happy. We still have to work a bit to get you to giggle; you don’t just spontaneously laugh at anything, but it’s worth the effort we put in to hear you giggle and see you smile. As of right now, you respond the most to zerberts on your belly and me pretending to eat your cheeks while saying “nom nom nom nom” in an exaggerated manner (like there’s any other way to do it). You also giggle when we tickle your sides and say “coochie coochie coo.” It’s awesome.

The biggest development this month? One we didn’t expect this early: your first tooth. And then your second tooth. I first noticed your bottom left incisor last Tuesday, day 145. I noticed a flash of white along your bottom gum, called your poppa to come see, and sure enough, we felt the razor-like edge of your first tooth. Which we realized probably explained your Sunday night meltdown (night 143) — you were probably experiencing severe teething pains. You almost never cry for no reason, like you seemingly did that night, so for that we apologize and now have Baby Orajel on hand to soothe you when you do. You can imagine our surprise when we noticed you had a second tooth coming in just days after your first one (day 148), your lower right incisor. You’re quite the little overachiever, teething on the early end of the scale.

You’re also thisclose to sitting up. Which is but one of the countless reasons I can’t wait to see what month six brings.




Filed under baby, dear coraline, mommyblogging, personal

Dear Coraline: Month 4

Dear Coraline,
As of 1AM this morning, you turned four months old. You’ve grown leaps and bounds this month, weighing in at just over 14 pounds and fitting into clothes sized three to six months (closer to the three still) and size 2 diapers (albeit closed very tightly). Your poppa and I think you’re more interactive than ever. You smile very easily and have a quasi-giggle when something amuses (or tickles) you; a real giggle is just around the corner, I’m sure. You seem to know who family is, smiling readily whenever you see your grandparents, aunts, uncle, and your cousins. You love to observe everything happening around you, from the cats walking by to the dogs wrestling to us cooking in the kitchen.
You celebrated your first Christmas when you were 93 days old. Of course, being as little as you are, you didn’t really notice much except the Christmas tree lights and star. Oh, how you loved the star on top of the tree. Your poppa and I (along with the rest of your family) really enjoyed shopping for Christmas gifts for you, even though you didn’t really notice what you got. Still, just having you around this year made it our best Christmas ever (having the first white Christmas in recent memory only added to how special the day was). Just think how much more fun this year’s Christmas will be, though, since you’ll be able to help unwrap your presents.

For some reason, I find myself keeping track of how old you are not by weeks but by days. Although at the rate you’re changing and discovering new things, it’s getting harder to keep track of the days. Still, on day 99 you celebrated your first New Year’s Eve with us and a handful of friends, all of whom enjoyed meeting you for the first time. The first day of the new year, day 100, you napped in your crib for the first time ever. You took to it like a fish takes to water, probably because you’d outgrown your bassinet and a real mattress made a big difference in the quality of your sleep. On day 108, you spent your first full night in your very own room, a milestone that was bittersweet for me. I was happy to see you take to your crib and your room, but I missed (and still miss) having you only a few feet away from me in our bedroom. Lucky me, our walls are thin enough that we can hear whenever you need us even without the baby monitor.

You enjoy being read to these days. This month we’ve read through all your board books as well as some classics, like Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who and The Cat in the Hat (you much preferred the latter). You’ve started rubbing your eyes when you get sleepy. You reach out to touch my and your poppa’s faces when we hold you or feed you. You grasp one of our fingers and move it up and down while you eat. You love eating rice cereal in your milk even though you slap the spoon away when we try to give it to you out of a bowl (you first tried it on day 104). You love sitting on your poppa’s or my lap when we’re on our computers (although we try not to do that too often). You love kicking around on your little gym and grabbing at the toys hanging from it, especially the panda and the blue igloo teething ring.

You even hit a couple of major milestones this week. This past Tuesday night (day 117-118) marked the first time you slept through the whole night. That Wednesday afternoon, you rolled over from your back onto your stomach during an afternoon nap. I went in to calm you down when you started hollering; I think you startled yourself that first time and didn’t quite know what to do once you were on your tummy. Now, just a few days later, you roll over in the blink of an eye and have turned into quite the stomach sleeper. This afternoon your poppa and I got a huge kick out of watching you roll onto your tummy then back onto your back within a matter of minutes. It’s the little moments like that, with all of us hanging out on our bed, that make everything we do for you worthwhile. That, and your million-dollar smile. I can’t wait to see what month five brings.



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