Thursday, August 17, 2017

Anna's 2nd Month

It's already been two months!

Well, not really...since I did her one-month update two weeks past her actual's really only been a couple of weeks.
But man!  In just that couple of weeks, look how much better she's sitting up!
She's finding her fist more consistently, too!
In other news, white balance.

 I'll tell you what's changed that really helped me get this post out on time this time - sleep!
Anna, it turns out you're a sleep-in-the-swing baby!
When you start to get fussy (usually after about an hour of being awake)...'s time to take a break, so I swaddle you up (you hate this), give you your pacifier, set you in the swing with the white noise blasting, and walk away.
You'll sleep like this for an hour or three at a time.
 This has been so successful, I moved the swing into our bedroom.
Or, rather, into my closet in our bedroom.  This way all the little (and big) noises I make moving around this creaky house and doing stuff don't wake you up, and we can continue using the swing overnight. One night, she did a whole 6 and a half hour stretch!  It was magical.
Oh, white balance <shakes her head>
 She's learning to soothe herself back to sleep, too.  Sometimes I have to retrieve and reinsert the pacifier, but occasionally she'll go back to sleep without that help.  (Oh!  She's holding onto a pacifier much more securely now than she was even two weeks ago, too.)
I know those eyes are a touch out of focus, but you just don't get cuter than this!  Even if it's fuzzy.
Anna noticed the mobile on the swing the other day.
In fact, while my sister Ginnie and her husband Erek were in town last week...
...Anna's eyesight made a big developmental leap forward as she started making eye contact from across the room.
Eye contact alone is enough to make her smile big and wide.
She's turning out to be a super smiley little girl! 
And it makes me squeal inside every time she grins at us!
She just loves being talked to, sung to, held up in the air to fly, and having her arms stretched up and her legs "run" by Dave and me.  Blowing raspberries, on the other hand, causes her deep concern.
Monkey still isn't too sure what to make of her.
And you can tell that Mindy's thought is, "That is such a bad cat, that is a loud and squirmy cat, I am a far superior cat to that loud and squirmy cat."
Anna, you are the brightest little star in our world.  We love your coos, your cries, your adorable smile, your look of concentration as you learn new things, and your heartbreaking sad face. We are completely delighted that you're here, that you're our daughter, and that we get to be your parents.  I can't wait to see what your next month brings!  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A New Age, Anna's 1st Month

Lest you think this blog url has been hijacked by some random woman with a baby...

 Check it out!  We had a baby!
A month ago!
Maybe at some point I'll get around to doing Anna's birth story, but for now I'm just going to introduce her royal cuteness.
*A couple disclaimers:
1. Anna was born June 17, so she's well over a month old now.  These photos were really more practice for me than true one-month-old photos.  Two photo sessions later, and I'm still not super happy with them.
2.  You'll see here two different photo sessions of the skirted bodysuit (dark pink), she's 1 month and 1 week old.  In the black pants (and light pink top), she's 1 month and 2 weeks old.  The better quality, fabulous photos (see below) are a gift from my sister Kimie and are true 1 month photos, and I couldn't possibly improve on them, anyway!  Thanks, Kimie!
(From Kimie)
This first month has been challenging, of course, but not because of the sleep deprivation (at least not for me).  Who knew breastfeeding could be SO difficult?  I mean.  It felt like hornets.  Every time.  A whole hive of them.  Every.  Time.
It doesn't anymore, thank God.  But really.  How did we survive as a species for this long if our Mother's Milk process was this awful at the beginning?  Can you imagine if cows?  The whole dairy industry simply wouldn't exist, not to mention the beef and pork industries.  Chickens, though...chickens would make it, I guess.
Little stinker.  The responsive smiling actually belongs in the two-month post...she really just started doing that this week.
 Still not quite in command of her head yet.
But look at this head lift!  She had an impressive head lift even back at two weeks old.
At one month (which, again, was two weeks ago), Anna was making pretty good eye contact.  She was trying, but not usually succeeding, to suck on her fists.  She can't really hold onto a pacifier yet, so we usually give her a finger to calm her down.
Three weeks old.
Over the course of the month, she slowly lost more and more of the dark hair she was born with.
And by the end of the month, she was becoming a real champ at breastfeeding.
Thanks to one lactation consultant, one breastfeeding doctor, a roomful of mommies, my midwife, my other midwife, my doula, my own mommy, my sister Kimie, the whole internet, and a stack of books.
And the undying, unendingly patient man who I am blessed to call husband and who is lucky enough to be this angel's daddy.
Happy one-month, Anna!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Benchwork Week At the Woodwright School!

Y'all.  I have not posted in over a year.  Like, maybe almost two years?  And there's so much to catch up on...I may not (probably won't) cover everything in whatever posts I post next, but this was just too awesome not to post.
Anyone here watch PBS?  This school was founded and is run by Roy Underhill, the Mr. Rogers/Julia Child of ye olde woodworking tools and methods.  He uses a foot-powered lathe and a hand-powered just-about-everything-else.
And for five days, he and his co-teacher Bill Anderson taught us ten students to do the same!  I used hand saws, hand planes, chisels, and hide glue (the same stuff that's been around for 6,000 years) to do everything from squaring a board to ripping it to size, cutting dovetails and shaping decorative molding.  And I came home with this.

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