Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Life with Lauren: Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday, big girl!
Our beautiful girl is one year old. ONE! It's so crazy to me that a year has already passed, and yet so normal and beautiful that I'm having trouble finding words to describe the day, as well as the past month.

I'll start out with stats, because facts are easy to state. Her weight is 23 lbs, her height is 30.5", and according to the doctor, her head measures 17 cm (yes, cm). Obviously that last reading isn't right, but I didn't really care to measure her noggin. She's a plump girl, and I think she's just perfect. I feel great joy when we go to the doctor's office and there are no problems with weight gain. After watching how much this girl eats, there is no surprise that she is at a healthy weight! She eats pretty much everything, including salmon, which I didn't expect to share with her. She waved her arms, fussed and pointed at my plate (and I was the only adult at home) so I had to be the bigger person and give her some of the delicious, wild-caught salmon, straight from Alaska.   

This is the same basket Lauren was in as a baby for newborn pics. How she has grown!

Lauren is walking all of the time and is into everything. Every drawer and cupboard is her territory, which makes our kitchen look like a wreck. I keep saying we need to install more kid locks, but we haven't yet. Her favorite place to get into is my bathroom drawer (contact solution, deodorant, makeup, etc. are all gleefully pulled out and dropped on the floor) and the baking cupboard (those little bottles of extract are the perfect size for her to cart around). We've just started playing outside as the weather has gotten cooler, and she'll happily walk around the backyard for 30 minutes to an hour, climbing up and down the stairs to the deck, and playing with rocks. We both love the vitamin D and I love how it wears her out. 

Her routine still consists of two naps, three meals plus one snack, and nursing before sleeping and when she wakes up in the morning . She isn't a talker, although I think she says dog. Not quite sure about that. Reading books is still a challenge because of her boundless energy, but we certainly read AT her as she goes about her business. Getting bruises is practically a hobby, with new and creative ways for bumping into things occurring each and every day. Her favorite toys vary from day to day, but consistently she loves Ross (the cabbage patch kid) and a wipes box full of scarves, which she never tires of pulling out and then wrapping around her shoulders. 

As for her actual birthday, we had visitors. Uncle Andrew, Aunt Shelley, Ben and Caleb all came to visit, and we celebrated by eating apple crisp and vanilla ice cream both the day before and the day of. Her father and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary (same day) by going on a breakfast date without Lauren -- woo hoo! (Thanks for watching her, visitors!) She got a few sweet presents -- a slide, a bike, and musical instruments -- and I'm already wondering what possibly she could need for Christmas and where will we store it. (Why bother to store it? They just get torn out of their baskets and strewn about the house.) Our house is going to be overtaken by toys, but they make her happy and our house fun.

Happy birthday, dear Lauren! We can't wait to see how you grow over this next year. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life with Lauren: 11 months

Hanging out at the beach.
In 26 days I will be writing a one year update. One year! Too crazy to be true, but it is. So I'm savoring the moment of 11 months while a certain 11 month old is sleeping. I don't actually know her stats for height, weight and head circumference, but she continues to be pleasantly plump. She still has a few inches to go and a few pounds to gain before she officially grows out of her car seat, but it is so heavy with her in it that we are about to switch her over to a big girl seat! 

On our way to Camp of the Woods, Lauren took her first steps. We were at Dan's sister's house, and Lauren was playing on the floor with Dan while we stood around and chatted. She stood up and then, as she started to walk using Dan's leg for support, he quickly moved back and she took three or four unsteady steps. I was shocked and so thrilled that we were both able to see it! I didn't think she was that close to walking alone, since her balance wasn't that great. Just goes to show you that effort counts for more than skill. Now she practices walking whenever she can and will walk across the room if she has a toy in her hand that she doesn't want to set down. Crawling is still her most reliable form of transportation, but we are seeing more and more walking every day.

Enjoying the lake. 
Lauren is starting to communicate more with us. She waves her arms or claps when she wants more to eat. (She has not yet grasped the sign language for more.) She points to interesting things that she wants to see. She knows who Ross is -- Dan's old cabbage patch kid -- and loves to play with him. It is amazing how much she understands (where her books are, where Ross is, if she wants to dance). Speaking of dancing, Lauren is a bop-per just like her mom. If we put music on, she bends her little legs while holding on to the coffee table and looks all around while she moves to the music.

A new game: grab the sunglasses. It's soooo much fun.
Granddad and Lauren like to stick their tongues out. Lauren does it just about every time she sees him.
Sleeping has become more challenging in this past month. Morning naps are hit or miss, but as long as she is happy, I try to take it in stride. In general, she is still on a similar schedule as before. As long as she can get a longer nap in the afternoon, I'll be okay with dropping to one nap. We'll have more of a window for fun! As for eating, she loves it but will hardly tolerate being fed with a spoon. She likes to do it herself, just like her mom used to. Like mother, like daughter.

This has been a great summer -- our first with baby Lauren. But our baby is soon becoming a toddler. Watch out world!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Life with Lauren, 10 months

Swings almost always get a smile. (Not this time, of course.)
I'm two weeks late for the 10 month post, and it is hard to sort out what was has happened since then. (One major thing: she took her first steps!) But I'd hate to skip a month, so I'll do the best that I can.

Weight: 20 lbs, exactly (63%)
Length: 29" (according to the doctor, 79%)
Head Circumference: 18 7/8", which put her at the 100% (an impossible percentile, but still... big noggin!)

July was a fun month for us. After camping, we went to Fredonia to hang out with my parents, brother and sister-in-law + kiddos, and my sister, when she wasn't in Ithaca or traveling. We celebrated my birthday and Lauren blessed us with sleeping again, after giving us a rough few days while camping. Dan and I escaped to the fireworks while Lauren snoozed peacefully in bed, while Dad kept an ear out for her. We saw the great grandmas and Lauren permitted them to hold her. Lauren went through a phase of separation anxiety that last most of the month, but seemed to wear off by the time we went on vacation in early August. Phew! Tears every time someone else held her was exhausting.

Learning new tricks from her buddy and future husband Micah. 
Following that, we had a couple of normal weeks in Dayton, and then a visit from my college friends and their families! Lauren learned some new things from some of the bigger kids, and tolerated everyone else in her space quite well. She tried out the splash park with the gang, and although the water was cold, she decided it was quite interesting.

Splash park!
Dislikes: the feeling of grass (which is convenient for the times we put her on a blanket outside), being rocked/held/made to sit still, getting her diaper changed (see previous)
Likes: Peekaboo books, pulling hair, her cup, her bottle, FOOD, crawling, pulling up

Stay tuned for another update in a few weeks about what Lauren is getting into at 11 months!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Life With Lauren, 9 months

Loving her avacado.
One of the most wonderful parts about being a parent is that each new milestone Lauren reaches brings a different joy to our relationship. Each stage is a little different and it is amazing to watch her grow! Friends and family who are a little bit further along in their parenting journey will say things like, "Now he's able to play with us... He's really getting to be a lot of fun!" I've heard that from them at various times, so I'm confident that this sentiment will continue as Lauren develops. Right now, though, we are having a lot of fun with our 9 month old.
I love her expression here. 
 Lauren is crawling and pulling up on objects and taking steps while holding on to hands. Pulling up is her favorite thing to do. She has a few bruises to show for her increased mobility too. Currently she's sporting a bruise in the middle of her forehead from taking a fall into the corner of a crate. Ouch! These bumps don't slow her down too much and sometimes particularly spectacular falls merit no response whatsoever. She is an extremely active baby. She is not a snuggler and only likes to be held if she can see what is going on.

The look on her face says it all.

One delightful change this month was sleep. Praise the Lord, Lauren has started sleeping through the night. Prior to a few weeks ago, I was fairly certain that I was not going to let her "cry-it-out." It felt too mean to let her wail in her crib. But after several awful nights of sleep torture, I was at my wits end. All of the old tricks that would help Lauren sleep suddenly stopped working. So with Dan's support -- I put him in charge, actually -- we let her put herself to sleep in her crib. It was rough the first night, but I knew in my heart that it was time for Lauren to learn how to go to sleep by herself. And it worked. Now she gets onto her tummy and snoozes peacefully for nights and naps, with a few off times here and there. Lauren sleeping has made me feel like a real person again. I am so, so thankful that she has learned how to fall asleep without the very strict conditions that would lull her to sleep before. And for all of the moms out there who are struggling with their baby's sleeping, I'm sorry. I feel your pain. Someday you will feel like yourself again.

Camping was an adventure. 
Lauren finally got a tooth this month, followed a few weeks later by her second tooth. She has continued to chow down on food without any major issues. She is plump and sweet and active. She is starting to be somewhat clingy to me. We've been traveling (camping with Dan's family and now we're hanging out with my family), so the changes in location and people might have thrown her off. I'm hoping the mommy-only stage doesn't last for too long. (That said, she still managed to hold it together during nursery at church, so she's not having a terrible case of separation anxiety.)

With Aunt Joanna.
Lauren's next doctor's appointment is in a few weeks, but her unofficial weight is 20 lbs and length is 28" (which I think is 1/2" shorter than last month, so something wasn't very accurate!).  Growing like a weed -- growing out of 9 month clothes and into 12 month outfits. As she gets more plump, her resemblance to me as a baby grows. We will just see who she ends up looking like!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Life With Lauren: 8 months

At church two weeks ago, we sang "I Need Thee Every Hour," and while introducing it, our worship leader noted that a stay at home mom wrote the hymn. His implication was that even a stay-at-home mom needed Jesus every hour. Of course! I thought. Nothing has pointed out my own need for God's grace than staying at home with my daughter each day. It was much easier for me to ignore my need for Jesus when I was busy at work, dealing with other people's children. Raising up my own child highlights my own sin and need to become more like Him. 

That's the musings for life with Lauren at 8 months. Despite my own struggles at times, I can say that I am truly happy to be at home with Lauren. I am so thankful that I am able to! Every day there seems to be something a little more delightful about her than the previous day. I hear from friends with older kiddos that this trajectory stops around five, so I am soaking up the sweetness while it lasts.  

Weight: 18.2 lbs (between 25 & 50%)

Height: 28.5 inches (between 75 & 90%)

Skills: Sitting up by herself! Occasionally she gets really into a toy and forgets that she has to hold herself up. In those cases, she thumps back and hits her head. Fortunately, this has only happened on the carpet and a quick snuggle stops the tears. Also, she started inch worming her way around early this month and capped it off by doing a real crawl! Watch out world, here she comes.

Eating: Three meals a day. Breakfast is oatmeal + fruit, lunch is a veggie, fruit + yogurt, and dinner is a veggie  and fruit. There are copious amounts of puffs and cheerios eaten/scattered at all of these meals, as well as a bottle after each of them. Lander has taken care of the vacuuming for us. She goes bonkers when we eat apples, and occasionally I'll let her chew on one while suppervised. 

Teeth: Still none!

Sleeping: Two steps forward, one step back, and sometimes five steps back. Overall, she is getting better at sleeping, although she had quite the set back when we visited Dan's parents last weekend. Ugh!
She has slept  through the night a handful of times in this past month, so I hope the trend continues. I also hope that she is able to sleep when we go on vacation this summer, since we have at least 2 weeks where she'll need to sleep in her pack-n-play. 

Routine: Up around 7, breakfast and play, nap around 9, usually a walk, then lunch, play, nap around 1 or 2, and bed around 7:00 or 7:30. It feels pretty amazing to be able to write a routine with times attached to the different parts. She isn't very regimented, but this is the general framework of our day when we are at home. 

Fun Times: We had a great time seeing Dan's family last weekend. Lauren had lots of snuggles from everyone. One of the sweetest moments was when Tyler, Kristy, Dan and I were in the hot tub at his parents' house. Lauren had gone to bed an hour or so before, so I thought I had time to sneak in the hot tub without an issue. But, to be safe, I asked Kylie (Dan's niece) to keep an ear out for the baby monitor. After a while, she came out to tell me that Lauren was crying. By the time I got inside, little Caleb (6 years old) had gone down to the pack-n-play and was twirling his glow bracelets for her and saying, "It's okay Lauren. You don't have to cry." So stinkin' sweet. She is loved, by cousins, aunts and uncles, and her grandparents, not to mention her father and me. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Life With Lauren: Seven Months

After Lauren's seven month appointment, the stats are in.

Length: 28" (50-75%)
Weight: 16 lbs, 5 oz (5-10%)
Head: 16" 
Skills: Rolling like crazy, front to back, back to front and across the room! She's starting to get up on her hands and knees for crawling. Her fingers are often in her mouth, especially when she is quietly observing the world. She looks around to find where our voices are coming from and usually breaks into a big grin when she spots one of us.
Sleeping: There are good days and bad days! Daytime sleeping has generally normalized into two and sometimes three naps per day, of a duration varying from 20 mins to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Night sleeping consists generally of going down between 7:30 and 8 and up 2-3+ times before her morning Daddy time at 6:45/7:00. She did well last night so I'm feeling optimistic, but there have been many days this past month when I have been extremely grumpy about her sleep. (I've had to call my sister-in-law from some pep talks about how she will eventually sleep.) We did have to resort back to swaddling one arm to help her sleep a bit more soundly.
Eating: This is one area where Lauren excels. In addition to nursing plus 12 oz of formula a day, Lauren is eating at least two meals a day. She eats fruit at lunch (2 tbsp) and veggies at dinner (1/4 cup). Everything has seemed equally pleasing to her, from spinach to sweet potatoes, prunes to pears.
Other: No teeth! I keep expecting them but not yet. She'll get really drooling and start biting on everything for a few days, and then it stops. She had a little red blood blister on her gum a couple of weeks ago, but then it went away and no tooth followed. As I know that nursing will be a little more dangerous after she gets a few, I have to admit that I am not that sad that she hasn't had any pop through.
Lauren Loves: Her stroller. She's now comfortable enough to fall asleep during walks.
Her dog, Lander. He makes her laugh oh-so-hard.
People. She smiles at everyone!
Bathtime. Splashing water on her face? She thinks it is the best thing ever. (That's must be a trait from Dan, not me!)
Being tickled. Her chuckle makes the world a better place.
Visits! We were blessed with two sets of visitors this month. Joanna, Shelley and the boys came for a few days in early April, and my parents just left yesterday after spending a few days here. Lauren loved the extra people to watch and play with, and we loved having them. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Life With Lauren: Six Months

Once a month blogging... not impressive, but at least I've been consistent for the past half a year. Half a year! Pretty incredible that we've had our little girl for six whole months. I was holding her at 2:41 a.m. on March 29 and realized that was the exact time of her birth. It was special, but to be honest, I don't want to be holding her at 2:41 on her one year birthday. I'd prefer her to be having a nice long night snooze by then. So as you can tell, we've reached the point in parenting when sleep is our obsession, especially on the bad days. Read on for the details!

Weight: 14.2 lbs, according to our bathroom scale. She hasn't quite doubled in weight yet, but we're getting there. Also, our doctors appointment is at 7 months because of scheduling issues.
Length: 27 inches
Eyes: Hazel
Hair: It's still growing in, getting longer and longer! It is still super fine and the color is hard to determine. Sometimes it looks blonde but other times I think it might be a light brown. It is still far too short to do anything with and I don't even really have to comb it.
Skills: Rolling both ways, as of two days before her six month birthday! She plays with her toes, looks for us when she hears our voices, and knows what she wants -- usually a bottle or Mom.
Sleeping: This has been a rough month, for reasons unknown. Many many nights she has been up 3+ times. Blamed it on travel, rice cereal and temperature fluctuations, but who knows? We quit the rice cereal which helped for a night, started turning on the ceiling fan and play some white noise. Nothing has seemed to be the magic solution. It has been quite a mystery to us. On the plus side, she has started to nap during the day at somewhat consistent intervals. That has been awesome.
Events: A trip to NY -- she was a rock star in the car. Being dedicated -- Gramma and Pap visited to see that. Attending Bible study with me on Tuesday mornings -- the other ladies love her.
Clothes: A few 3-6 month items still, all of her 6 month clothes, and a few 9 month outfits and onesies. Diapers finally fit pretty well -- we're doing fewer outfit changes during the day.
Loves: To sit up (not by herself, yet, but in our laps or the bumbo)! Pop up toys. Putting things in her mouth. Her birdie mobile. To touch our faces. To be tickled under the chin.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life with Lauren: 5 Months

This is Dan's favorite sleeper for Lauren. 

Five months outside of the womb have passed so much ore quickly than the first five months of pregnancy. Lauren seems more like a little person each day, and I can only imagine that this impression will grow stronger as she asserts more of her own opinions about things. She has always been alert -- baby big eyes! -- but even more so now. She captivated the ladies sitting behind us at church, and calmly accepted their praise and clutched proffered fingers. Immediately after she stuck her index finger in her mouth to chew on, so I sincerely hope all of those people were part of the clean hands club. (Oh yes, she has mastered the sucking of the index finger.)

Big moments from the month include the first unenthusiastic spoonful of food, and I use the word food loosely here. When our doctor said we could start her on rice cereal any time after four months, I was surprised, then sad (my baby is growing up!), then excited (real food!), then started to plan (baby food cookbooks? an immersion blender? storage containers?), all of which was tempered by at least three parents confessing that their babies despised rice cereal. We waited until she was pretty steady sitting up and very observant of our mealtime actions. (Sitting on our lap, she cranes her neck to follow the path of our glasses from the table to our mouths.) And, so at about 4 months, 3 weeks, we gave her a spoonful, which was pushed around and pushed back out. Dan tried a couple more spoonfuls and gave it a break for the night. We've only tried twice since then, every couple of days, with similar results. So, maybe as we get closer to six months we'll try a little bit more. I'm not in a hurry. Our combination of nursing and supplementing with formula continues to work for us.
Funniest look on her face. 
Lauren currently weighs 12 lbs, 14 oz, so she's continuing to gain weight at a slow and steady pace. Her length is __________*. She's our string bean and I love her to pieces! She's in her 3-6 month and 6 month clothes. It's so funny how different brands fit -- in her Gerber onesies she's in the 6-9 months because of her length, yet the Gap 3-6 month sleepers are still too long. Things still have a habit of sliding off her narrow frame, especially pants and socks. But her cheeks are getting chubbier and chubbier, as you can see from the pictures!

Another beautiful milestone of this month has been increasingly regular morning naps. After two hours of being up in the morning, she wants to go back to sleep, and I am happy to oblige by swaddling her up and being able to do whatever I want around the house for 45 minutes or so. The actual time of these naps vary quite a bit, anywhere from about 7:45 in the morning to 10:15. More often than not, Lauren's internal alarm clock goes off at 5:40, and sometimes that's it! She's up for the day! (Although my internal alarm clock doesn't love it, at least Dan occasionally gets baked oatmeal out of the deal, fresh from the oven.) Night time sleeping is getting better, with the occasional agonizing setback of multiple times up in the night. I'm realizing that when she goes to bed, usually between 8:30 and 9:00, I need to go to bed.

Playtime is more and more fun. She loves grabbing on tight and putting things in her mouth, especially blankets. Weird? Maybe. We read a few books every day and sometimes her hand happens to turn a page. I know it's a coincidence, but I like to pretend she knows what's going on.

As I said before, Lauren is very observant. One of the cutest moments of this month was when she was sitting on Dan's lap during dinner. He was telling me about his day, and Lauren was leaning back, head turned up at him, staring at him adoringly. I broke the spell by grabbing the camera, but it was the sweetest expression of total fascination with her dad. My favorite moments from the month have been the belly-laughs when I kiss her round cheeks and soft neck. I can't get enough of it! The other special memory for this month, for me, is during some of the early morning nursing times. Lauren has fallen asleep in my arms, and before I've put her back in her crib, I've spent a few minutes just looking at my baby girl. She's had the most beautiful, peaceful look on her face.

Just so you know, it's a fact she's cute. So cute, in fact, that at the doctor's office yesterday, a little boy said, "Your baby's cute! Is it a boy or a girl?" I told him that she was a girl and he said, again, "She's so cute." Then he reached into the car seat, patted her foot and then patted her head. (His mother told his to stop, but he was only touching her clothes.) I followed him and his mother out to the elevator, and he turns to her and says, "That baby is really cute, right mom?" Melt my heart, funny little boy who can't say your "r" sounds.

This week, Lauren and I are off to visit family while Dan is stuck here with work, so we are hoping for an uneventful car ride there and a wonderful week of memories!

*Baby is currently sleeping. I will update with this information at a convenient time... aka never. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life With Lauren, 4 months

Here she is at four months old. About a week ago, Dan and I were eating our dinner while Lauren played in her stim gym on the floor. She managed to grasp two of the toys in her hands and was earnestly pulling them towards her mouth. We laughed to see the look of determination in her eyes, and asked each other if she could get any cuter. Apparently, she will, but oh my. I can hardly imagine.

At her four month doctor's visit, Lauren weighed in at 11 lbs 9.5 oz. We were thrilled. It was nearly a two pound weight gain this month, which puts her back on the chart at the 8th percentile. We've settled into a rhythm for her feeding cycles for now at least. After every time she nurses during the day, she gets 2 oz of formula. The last feeding of the night normally knocks her out and no bottles in the middle of the night. I finally came to peace about using formula during the middle of the month. For a while there I was still obsessing about milk supply, but seeing how she was growing and blossoming, I realized that this is what we needed to do. Fortunately, Lauren didn't have any major reactions to adding formula in to our routine. (From certain books, I picked up the belief that she was going to be fussy, sick, and miserable the second the formula touched her lips.) So to any moms out there who are struggling with their baby's failure to thrive and yet are hesitant to follow the doctor's advice by adding formula, take heart. It'll be okay.

Apparently, Lauren shrank between visits to the doctor, but I think her most accurate length is 24.25", although I think that is even on the short side of her actual length (I might just have to measure her myself). I'm not sure what the percentile is on that, and her head circumference is 15". She's outgrowing her 3 month clothes and is transitioning to her 3-6 and 6 month outfits. A whole new wardrobe, already!

Sleeping continues to have its up and down moments for our girl. After Christmas, she transitioned to her crib (yippee!) and she's been pretty happy there. For almost two weeks, she would sleep for really long chunks of time, sleeping either the entire night through or waking up once in the early morning. She fooled us for a while because halfway through the month, I was so disappointed when she started waking up every two to three hours. Darn growth spurt! Then she slept through the night for a couple of night when my parents were here, probably because she did not sleep a minute during the day, afraid to miss something fun. Now we're settling in on waking up twice per night. She's loved being swaddled up until now, but she's starting to break free from it, so we might be in for another not so fun transition from being swaddled to being free. (She's so jumpy when I lay her down without being swaddled that she will almost immediately wake herself up.) As for day time naps -- as unpredictable as the emotions of a pregnant lady.

Fun moments from this month:
  • Lauren will mimic Dan when she is feeling talkative. If he says "hello," she'll do her best to sing the vowels back to him, even with the same intonation. 
  • A visit from my parents and my aunt and uncle. Lauren loved the commotion, except for being fussy because she was exhausted. 
  • A little giggle! She did this early in the month, but has only repeated it a couple of times following. I was so tickled that I teared up while smiling oh-so-big. 
  • Play time is more exciting now that Lauren grabs things to stick in her mouth. At first I thought it was just a coincidence that she managed to grab on to the toys, but it has happened too many times. 
  • Lauren looooves the Moby wrap a friend loaned me. Thank goodness for some extra mobility. She likes to snooze in it as opposed to taking a nap in her crib.
  • About half way through the month, Lauren also decided that she does NOT like being carried like a baby. She wants to sit UP, thank you very much, and will do these little crunches to attempt to pull herself up to sitting in your arms. She likes facing out in the Moby wrap, too, so she can see the great wide world, both in our house and outside. 
  • A dimple! My dad noticed it when they were visiting and has christened it the granddad dimple.

Each new day has something different, from sleep to new discoveries to emerging mannerisms, and we are doing our best to enjoy each day as it comes. I wonder what will show up this month!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life With Lauren, 3 Months

Lauren Elizabeth has been growing and changing all month! She is blossoming into a smiley, happy baby, which is a wonderful development from the fussiness of the first few months.

First, her stats, as we know them:

Weight: 9 lbs, 10 oz, as of a week before she hit three months
Length: 23.25"
Cuteness: Off the charts

When I last posted, Lauren was scheduled to see a GI specialist because of her slow weight gain. We visited him in December, and after lots of questions, he suggested supplementing with formula. (He also ordered some tests, the results of which we'll hear about next week.) I was really upset about needing to supplement. Everything I've read about breastfeeding has said that your body should respond to the demand, but for some reason, Lauren was not getting enough milk from me. So we started her on a couple ounces of formula after nursing, and she has been thrilled. She gobbles it down and is finally filling out. In fact, her 3 month clothes now (mostly!) fit. Her pants still have a tendency to fall off, but we're working on that. (Also, her acid reflux seems to have vanished. Praise the Lord for that!)

We had a great time visiting family at Christmas, traveling all around, smiling at cousins and enjoying life to the full. She was blessed with tons of cute gifts and was thrilled to be held by her grandmas. She started being very interested in everything going on around her, and held many coo-ing conversations with her family members. She also mastered the transition to the regular old pack-n-play -- no snuggly insert! It was a bit of a trial for all of us, but it worked.

Since this post is almost 2 weeks late, I'm going to leave it at that info, plus this picture of our Christmas elf.