Monday, September 30, 2013

Rock-A-Bye Baby

Today's amazing discovery: the I'll-magically-make-your-baby-stop-crying swing.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Sound of Heaven

She laughed in her sleep. 

Laughed! And I almost cried it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. 
It was only for a second, but it was clearly a laugh accompanied by a big grin. 
How I wish I knew what made my little girl giggle in her dreams.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Oh, Martha

I kind of fell in love with your website today.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Oh, Yes!

Our friends' daughter is 2, and she likes to say, "No way," when she doesn't want to do something.
But when she is excited about something, she says, "Oh, yes." 
Her passion is contagious.
It makes me wonder when I should be saying, "No way," and "Oh, yes."  

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Right On Schedule

According to the books, we can expect more smiles and more fussiness in the next few weeks. I'm loving the first. Can't say I'm really looking forward to the second.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Perfect 10

We're one month into this great adventure, and Gianna is a perfect 10. Literally, the girl weighs exactly 10 pounds. This also means I haven't slept through the night for a month, but I don't care. We can't thank God enough for the blessing of our little girl.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Talk

Like most infants, Gianna gets swaddled before bed. John advised her tonight, "Someday you're going to date. And if we don't approve, we're going to wrap you up like this again. Don't say I didn't warn you."

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Day-Night Confusion

I'm not sure exactly how it works. But babies eventually learn that day is day and night is night, and we as a people sleep at night and stay awake during the day.
It's all opposite land in the world of the womb.
The thing is Gianna is influencing me as much as I'm influencing her.
After an hour or so of nursing and diaper changing and hushing back to sleep in the middle of the night, she's out and I'm wide awake.
It's like having a newborn plus insomnia.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Side by Side

She changes every single day.
I took the first photo on August 28th. It was the morning after our first night home from the hospital.
I took the second photo today, which marks four weeks since her birth.

Gianna at 3 days and 4 weeks.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Super Mom

I saw Super Mom yesterday.
She was headed into Buy Buy Baby dressed like an urban chic goddess (skinny jeans, flip flops, black nursing tank, fashionable half coat, hair swept back in a ponytail).
She did not have a stroller or diaper bag or even an infant carrier.
Her only baby accessory was an Aden and Anais muslin blanket draped over her shoulder and across her chest, underneath which she breastfed her 8-week-old son while walking across the parking lot and into the store. (It's her fourth child.)
She was a sight to be seen. 
But even this Super Mom could not escape her child's spit up, which covered her shoulder and back.
She wasn't bothered by this at all and just said, "You know all your clothes are ruined."
I admired her, and today I felt a little bit like her.
Gianna and I went to a lovely party for our dear Erin.
It was our first time driving anywhere without John and we were only 40 minutes late. (It's a 10 minute drive.)
We got all kinds of nice compliments.
"She's such a perfect baby. She's so beautiful."
"I can't believe you are out of the house. You look so together."
Gianna slept through most of the party, but after a couple of hours, she woke up and needed to be changed and fed.
No problem. I excused myself to another room.
That's when it happened. 
While changing Gianna's diaper, projectile baby poop spewed all over me ~ my black blouse, my white skirt and Erin's couch.
A month into motherhood, I know this for sure: No matter how super you feel, a mom is always a moment away from being bathed in someone else's bodily fluid.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Father-Daughter Talk

Gianna was a bit fussy tonight when John decided to have the following chat with her:
"Listen, we're going to get this straight right now. We already have a complainer in the family. It's your mother. That position is taken. You're the cute one."

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

All Clean

We successfully bathed our daughter today.
(Yes, it's been almost four weeks since she entered the world.)
I was a bit hesitant because she has not been a huge fan of sponge baths.
Turns out sitting in lukewarm water is much more pleasant than having a lukewarm washcloth wiped across your body. Makes sense. Who wants to be chilly?
The only time she cried was when I pulled her out of the cozy little kitchen sink.

Gianna's First Bath

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kindness Matters

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato

I stumbled upon these amazing ideas for kindness missions. Someday, when Gianna and I are able to shower regularly, we will hit the streets with love bombs. In the meantime, I'm admiring the creativity and thoughtfulness of others.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bath Time

I swear the adults showered yesterday.
But today, John looks like he has been camping, and I'm wearing a shirt stained with and stinking of breast milk.
The baby is the cleanest of us three, but we could all use a good soak in the tub.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Are You A Princess?

"Whose crown is this?" Josie asked after discovering it inside the picnic basket where I keep crayons and other treasures.

"It's mine," I replied. 
"Are you a princess?" the 3-year-old questioned a bit surprised. 
"Yes. Yes, I am."
As it turns out, Josie is a princess, too. 
Princess Josie

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Eternity

It's been three weeks since Gianna was born, but it feels like forever in the best possible way. Like I have always been her mother and John has always been her father and she has always been our daughter.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Good Read

The god of journalism at San Jose State, Mack Lundstrom, always emphasized the value of a well-written obit.

I think he would approve of the one written for Mary A. "Pink" Mullaney, which I highly recommend reading. 
As we are trying to figure out the best way to live, perhaps we should think about what people might say once we are dead. 

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Different Each Day

I've been told every day with a newborn is different and unpredictable and not to get too attached or concerned about any one thing.
Today's thing was nursing and cuddling all day. And the girl is smart because if I set her down, she would wake from her slumber and protest.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Children's Books ...

Should come with a warning that they may make mama cry.
Although, in all honesty, children's books sometimes made me cry long before Gianna was here.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Day

Today's news from mama-baby land:
1. I've never been so excited about weight gain.

Gianna weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces when she was born. (She was down to 7 pounds 11 ounces when we left the hospital.) 
Today at her two-week appointment, she was 8 pounds 13.5 ounces.
Yay breastfeeding!
2. I discovered two products to help my achy perineum.
(Why didn't anyone tell me how extensive after-labor recovery is?) 
New or soon-to-be mamas may want to check these out:
Sitz Bath Spray by Motherlove
Mama Bottom Balm by Earth Mama Angel Baby

PS: If you have a mama or baby product you love, I would love to know about it. 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eight

We've done romantic dinners, days at the beach, the chocolate festival in San Francisco and weekend getaways with wine tasting in Carmel. 

But we've never celebrated like this before. 
The Market at San Pedro Square in San Jose
Happy 8th Anniversary, My Love! I'm hoping for 80 more.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Leaky

Drops on the floor.

Puddles on my blanket. 
Rings on my shirt. 
Milk everywhere. 

But she's worth it. 

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dear John ...

My Love,

I say the same thing every year. I'm so grateful you were born. I'm so grateful you are in my life.
But this year is different. I've never been more in love with you. 
Thank you for being my partner in crime.
Thank you for loving me through the good and the hard.
Thank you for coaching me through 29 hours of labor.
Thank you for pacing the house and hushing Gianna to sleep at midnight and 3 a.m.
Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father.

Happy Birthday, My Love! I love you!
~ Christina 

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Skeletons in the Kitchen

As everyone knows, my mom is an amazing cook and baker.
She used these skills (along with her good looks) to snag my dad.
He often reminisces about the homemade tortillas she made him the first week they dated. Last night, he mentioned a homemade cheesecake as well.

"Cheesecake?" I questioned. "Mama doesn't make cheesecake." 
"What if it was from a box?" my brother Jimmy speculated. 
"It was," my mom confirmed. "And it wasn't a cheesecake. It was a cheesecake pie." 
This made my brother laugh so hard. 
"The last 40 years have been based on a lie," he told my dad.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Opposite of Stir Crazy

Gianna and I haven't left the house since Tuesday. We don't mind one bit. But it does occur to me that we will need to rejoin the world at some point.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Night Shift

I used to have pregnancy insomnia.

Now, I have a newborn.
It's almost the same thing, except staring at my baby is way better than checking to see if anyone has updated their Facebook status in the middle of the night. 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Toothache

I swear my toothache was somehow caused by labor, and I think I'm going to have to call the dentist.
Typically, I would be less than enthusiastic about this.
But right now, the thought of squeezing dental work into Gianna's constantly changing feeding schedule seems almost impossible.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bigger Already

We noticed Monday night that Gianna already looks different from when she was first born.
I almost cried over her growing up too fast.
Then I went to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital and realized how absolutely lucky I am that my baby is a little milk monster.

Gianna asleep on the job.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Love Begins at Home

I have a perpetual calendar with quotes from Mother Teresa. I haven't been able to flip the page off the day Gianna was born. It says:
"Love begins at home. Everything depends on how we love each other. Do not be afraid to love until it hurts, for this is how Jesus loved."

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week One

Since the second labor began (which was at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 24th), time hasn't existed.

It's Gianna and John and me and a stream of family and friends bringing us food and coming by for visits.
But somehow we are outside of time. Day and night hardly matter, and the only reason to look at a clock is to track feedings.
In a blink, a whole week has passed in what felt like one breathtaking moment. 

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