This was a blog about my adventures with Joe. Then, along came Nia. Four years later, along came Stage 3 breast cancer. Fast forward two years, and I'm now caring for my dad while he fights his own cancer battle.
Gotta give props to the Julbo baby sunglasses -- these things have totally saved us. Nia is really sensitive to the sun and so we were unable to go for enjoyable walks during the daytime. Till we got these great sunglasses, that is! Now we can be out and about with no troubles at all. Everyone wants to know: Does she pull them off her face. Nope! (Could be, though, that she hasn't mastered her hand control quite well enough, though. We'll see!) Thanks, Rachel for letting us try on Jordan's; those convinced us!
Celebrating 3 months already! Nia's stats as of Friday: 11.6 lbs (30th percentile), 15" head circumference, and 23" long (but I'm going to re-measure her because I know she's longer). She's become more fun each and every day. She's really taking in her surroundings -- both people and objects. She's a studier. And she's all about her hands these days; now that she has control over them they are usually in her mouth. Just in the last week or so she's become very vocal, trying out vowel sounds at different pitches and lengths. When we make certain sounds back to her we get her current version of laughing: Huge smile and full-body wiggle. She loves being propped up so she can sit looking around, rather than lying on her back. This is her favorite position for riding in the sling, too. She also enjoys standing with our help. Every day with her is so joyful as we try different things. This week we had a great time at the park with Baby Naomi, born just two days after Nia. The girls were sort of aware of each other, but mostly enjoyed looking up at the light in the leaves of the trees above us. At one point, Nia grabbed Naomi's sleeve. It is neat seeing Nia become more aware of the people around her. One day soon Nia and her friends will be climbing all over each other. Another fun thing Pam and I did with Nia this week was take her to Hart's, the fabric shop. The first time we went we discovered how much Nia loved looking around at all the colors, shapes and textures. So the next day we went back more specifically for Nia. It'll be so fun to go with her when she's older and can pick out fabrics and ribbons and buttons for clothes and costumes. Today Nia and I walked downtown to go to the Social Security office (to get her #) and it was fun watching Nia taking in the whole downtown scene -- people, cars, construction sounds, store windows, the flower kiosk, etc. She's starting to sort of grab things, but she's not holding toys yet. What else are we doing? Daily massages. I'm a huge fan of infant massage, and I think Nia is too. :) And we are starting on some sign language. So far, we are "using" just two signs (ASL): Light and Milk.
It is midnight. Joe is watching the Olympics, I'm online, and Nia is asleep in the bedroom. This might sound like nothing big, but it is actually huge. For the past 11 weeks, I've gone to bed each night either with Nia, or slightly before her. Now that I'm not feeling so totally exhausted, though, I've been wanting to stay up later than her and enjoy some time feeling like my old (pre-Nia) self. So the last two nights I went to bed with Nia to nurse and read, and then tip-toed out after she was asleep.
I feel so many different emotions about this: Excited to be up with Joe and doing things for me, guilty because she's in another room and that is different for us, a longing to be cuddled up with her...
Mostly, though, I'm excited to get to do some adult things again, like watch movies with my husband, take long baths or showers, check my email for an hour, bake, etc. In short, all the stuff it is next to impossible to do during the day when caring for an infant, even an infant as agreeable as my Nia.
Because this is so new to us, Joe and I are listening so intently to the baby monitor, and running into the bedroom at every little sound she makes. We know she's out for the night because she's always been a great sleeper, but still. Every little moan and sleep chuckle brings us to her side. It is pretty sweet to watch her sleep anyway, so we don't mind all the extra exercise. :)
Last night Nia demonstrated to us her amazing neck strength during massage time/tummy time. She blew us away by lifting her head so high, but then she totally floored us by rolling over -- twice! She did it once soon after this shot was taken, from her belly to her back. And then later she did it from her back to her belly. The first time she seemed a little stunned and the second time she looked super pleased with herself. We were awful proud! Hopefully I can get a video of her rolling over to post soon.
Can she really already be 11 weeks old?! Nia is doing fabulously. She's got lots of smiles for everyone each day, and she's starting to have enough control of her hands to grab things (mostly my hand). She's making lots of sounds now, trying out her voice. And she's very alert -- taking in everything and everyone around her.
What's her average day like? She usually wakes up around 9a and nurses for awhile with her eyes closed while she dozes a bit longer. Around 9:30-ish she usually opens her eyes to smile and coo at the skylight and the mobile above our bed. Around 10:30 she gets sleepy again, so most mornings Nia and I (and sometimes Pam) head out for a walk/nap either to the grocery store or down in the harbor. By 12:30-1p she is usually ready for another nap. This time she either gets bounced by Joe on the yoga ball or she's back in the sling to wander around the house with me. Sometimes her naps are an hour long, and sometimes they are 30 min. And so our afternoon progresses. She's usually awake for a couple of hours between naps for nursing, diaper changing, and playing. In the evening, we often go for another harbor walk between 7 and 8p. And then around 9, Nia's ready to nurse in bed with the lights down low, and off to sleep she goes. Lately she sleeps 6 hours straight and then wakes every 3 hours or so after that to nurse briefly till she's awake around 9a. In the morning she nurses frequently to make up for all the sleeping. And that's our typical day!
A few weeks back, Joe, Nia and I attended a reunion of all the couples who had been in our childbirth education class. Now that all the babies have arrived, it was really awesome to see everyone. There are 10 babies in the group. Here's Nia with some of the cute boys: Jackson S., Jordan, Jackson P., Nia, and Eliott (all born within 2 weeks of each other):