Thursday, April 28, 2011

self-soothing

I bought Evelyn a pacifier today.

We have about a dozen, but I can't find them.

I've tried to give them to her before, but she didn't want them.  And I was fine with that.

But in the past day or so, she's started sucking and chewing on her fist when she's not even hungry.

She has some trouble falling asleep, she has some trouble staying asleep, and things are just a little different right now and she doesn't quite understand why.  But she has noticed that something is different and she needs a way to comfort herself and I just can't quite cut it.

I know six weeks is an okay age to introduce a pacifier and I know she loves eating too much for this to become a problem.  But I'm still antsy and I feel bad that she feels bad.  And even though my dental hygienist--obviously speaking as a mom--told me it's better for her to have a pacifier instead of her thumb (because you can throw away a pacifier), I worry.  Her sweet little face is obscured.  She's dependent on something inanimate.  I'll have to watch the clock a little more closely instead of her cues to make sure she gets enough to eat because she'll be, well, pacified and fussy tends to look a lot like hungry.

But dadgummit, a pacifier.  My baby has been driven to pacifier-use because things are so out of control.

I'll have a little more rest and a shower and the sun will shine tomorrow and I'll feel better.  Even now I know that the most important thing is that something will help her feel better, and we've found it, and I can sterilize it.  It's making her feel better, and that's important for the next week or so.  My baby is happy and secure.

And I have to remind myself that it could be worse.  Her coping mechanism could be a daily dose of chocolate, Mtn. Dew, and Nickelback.

We all have our ways to self-soothe.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Evelyn is six weeks old!

Evelyn is six weeks old!  She's such a big girl!

Are you even classified as a newborn when you're six weeks old?  Or are you just a plain ol' baby then?  Obviously Evelyn's not just any old baby, but she doesn't seem as limp or fragile as she did in those first few weeks.  She seemed to have a pretty strong body and personality then, but now she's a standard baby with noises and faces and actual awake time.

I'm a little hazy on the day-to-day stuff of this past week, but I'll try to hit the high points.

Evelyn has a really strong neck.  She can hold up her giant baby head like a champ.  This is good, because she seems really interested in the world around her and needs to check things out from all angles.  She has better control of her arms and seems to recognize faces.  We know she definitely recognizes voices--I had a dentist appointment last week, and Mom held Evelyn in the waiting room.  When she came back with a sleepy baby, we were both talking to the dental hygienist and Evelyn completely fell asleep when I spoke.  Nice to know I can calm her down like that.

She's plump!  She's still kind of long and slim, but there are dimples where knuckles should be.  And little rings around her wrists and ankles.  And the loveliest double chin I've ever seen.

She really enjoyed going for walks this week and I think she likes bird sounds.

She went to another birthday party!

She had her first Easter!

She had her first overnight stay at a grandparent's house because she had her first home evacuation because a tree branch crashed through the ceiling of her first home!  She only stayed up an extra hour or so, which is impressive given the disrupted night-time routine and unfamiliar surrounding.  Then she slept a full 5 hours because she's a nice girl like that.

She spent her birthday hanging out with her Dicy and having people snuggle on her.   Obviously, Cody and I liked holding her at the end of a long day.  Her uncles have enjoyed seeing her awake.

She makes little baby noises.

She smiles a ton, especially in response to laughter.

She's practically all grown up--six weeks is such a big deal.  I feel like we've had her forever in a way--or at least a lot longer than six weeks.  I love this new life that revolves around her.  She's important and fascinating and lovely.

Here's the proof!







Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A post for April weather in Tornado Alley



We had some storm damage last night.

Actually, a lot of storm damage.

 

As in, I'm typing this in my mother-in-law's den wearing some clothes I pulled out of her laundry basket this morning.  She picked us up last night because our car was blocked in by downed limbs.

Our stuff is crammed into my parents' house, Dicy's house, vehicles for Mom, Dad, and Levi....and a trailer on generous loan from our old church.

And a lot of it's been thrown out.

 

We have to go back tomorrow to pick up the rest of it, but we (mostly other people--I had to make trips back to Dicy's house to nurse Evelyn and I'd take breaks when I did) worked from 8:30 until this afternoon to sort through our possessions, call our insurance agent, and fake calmness.

 

I was in the kitchen, talking to Cody while he made dinner last night when I moved to shut the kitchen door because the wind was picking up and the spray from the rain was cold on my feet.  The wind really seemed to shake the door and I deadbolted it, heard a noise, and ran to the hallway while holding Evelyn.  I also tried to drag Cody with me and I uttered some choice words.  I'm glad we didn't die because I wouldn't want those to be my last words.

 

Sidenote: I like to hope my last words will be ones that are encouraging or an expression of gratitude.  Or at least funny.  I'm pretty sure, though, that my parting message as I leave this mortal coil will be "Oh!  Apostrophe error."


I heard breaking glass in the dining room and then the lights went out.  Cody felt his way into the kitchen and turned off the stove and got shoes for us.  I requested my rubber boots.  I tried to pick up Evelyn's diaper bag, but it was covered in insulation.  Water was dripping through parts of the ceiling and I picked my way through the living room just so I could get my phone.  Cody grabbed a blanket for Evelyn and we stood on our across-the-street neighbors' porch.  The fire department came and someone grabbed Evelyn's diaper bag.  Other than that, they told us we couldn't into the house because of downed power lines.  So we called Cody's mom, and I texted with Alana about storm updates in Romance because I couldn't reach my mom (she was on the phone with Dad).  Cody tried to move our car, but couldn't.  He grabbed Evelyn's carseat, though. 


Several neighbors walked by to survey the damage.  They all exclaimed over how pretty Evelyn was, and how long her hair was, and how we'd tell her this story over and over years from now.

 

Dicy picked us up and we rode home with our crying baby.  Naturally, she was calm through the whole ordeal until she realized it was around 9 and she wasn't being fed.  We'd dropped laundry off at Dicy's earlier in the day, so I wore my own pajama pants to bed that night.  Cody wore Casey's pajamas.  Evelyn had clothes in her diaper bag.  Spencer picked up diapers and toothbrushes and we were set for the evening.

 

Mom called family members to organize helpers for us.  Dicy rescheduled work things.  I nursed Evelyn because that's what I do at night.  Cody made us ham sandwiches and we made plans for the rest of the week or so.  I talked to Sara on the phone.  We went to sleep in Dicy's bed and I nursed Evelyn and held her on my chest while she slept.

 

We couldn't believe how well everything worked out.  This could have been so much worse.

 


Cody's normally at work.
I'm normally in the living room.
We could have been separated.

 

We have renter's insurance.
We have family in the area.
We are safe.
We'll be fine.

I woke up with Evelyn around 6 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep.  So I drank coffee with Dicy and played with my baby.  I woke up Cody and we went to our house.  We could go in, so we did and I called people to come help us.  Dad was already on his way, and Mom and Levi were antsy to get to us.  Spencer helped until he had to go to work, and then Jeff came.  Then Brian, the youth minister from our old church, came with a trailer.

There are still some things in the house, but our important papers and most of our clothes are safe.  The pictures are safe.  The books are out.

I'm grimy and coughing from all of the insulation and dust in the house.  I have laundry to wash and a mother-in-law's washing machine (and a dryer!  Thank God!) to use.  I have to see which of Evelyn's books are the most water-damaged.  Yes, our books were fine and Evelyn's weren't.  I lost it when I realized that all of her books were wet and curling up.  I had two different showers where every single person brought a book for a nameless baby.  I keep telling myself this is only slightly worse than the damage she'll wreak when she chews on books and drops them in the toilet.  Mom is going to salvage my old Easter basket for Evelyn to keep using. 


As gripey and stressed as I've been today, I'm still so grateful. 


Dicy stayed home to watch Evelyn and she gave Cody the day off.  Laine and Sara were good sisters and loaded up our parents with boxes and luggage for us to use.  Levi and Spencer were box-hauling fools.  Dad came home from work early and he and Mom ignored whatever storm damage they may have at home.  Brian brought us a whole stinking trailer that we can store our large furniture in and told Mom the church offered to pay for a month's storage rental for our stuff--and I don't even go there!  Jeff took time off from work and physically exerted himself, and he hates that.


I'm so grateful.  We're fine.  Aside from bumping my head on the branch in the dining room, we're completely and totally untouched.  Most of our stuff, as unimportant as it is, is fine.  Our precious little girl is fine and is physically attaching herself to her Dicy.


We're fine.
We'll find another apartment.
We'll eventually replace the TV and the breadmaker.
We'll find a new place for our flourishing container garden.
We'll adjust, and we'll have plenty of help doing it.
We're having pizza tonight.

As bad as this is, it's absolutely wonderful.

And I'm so grateful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Evelyn's first Easter!

Here a few (trans: a million trillion) pictures from our Easter.
Easter balloon from my parents on Saturday.

Easter decor.

Easter basket!  The stuff is from my parents and me.  That's my old basket, by the way.



Evelyn on Easter morning, wearing a Batman sleeper and a smile.

I'm a good mom.

Evelyn in church.

Evelyn being sleepy after church.

CHURCH SOCKS!  And I'm afraid those cute shoes will only last another month or so.

Sara took this family photo outside the church.
Grandparents at my house.  Evelyn is trying to eat her dress.



I love her expressions.

Complete Easter haul!  The pink bunny is from her Dicy, the cross is from us, and the lamb is from Sara and Chad.

Laine gave her an Easter card!  It has glitter and she bought it before Evelyn was born.  I put in places where Evelyn can see it, like near where we change her diaper.

I have to cover all the bases.  Here's Evelyn in a onesie with a chick on it, holding an Easter egg.

Sara took some pictures of Laine and Evelyn playing.

The jig is up.  Evelyn is really just a doll.  Sorry for fooling you.
I decided to do an Easter photo shoot this morning.



She loves staring at the pink bunny and the multicolored balloon.

I couldn't get pictures of it, but she laughed at the bunny and tried to eat it.


She also tried to eat her dress again.  I thought it was precious enough to eat right up, so whatever.

I hope that was enough Easter pictures for you.  We stretched out the celebrating over the course of a few days, and we'll probably party a little more today.

Especially since she can't eat that Easter candy all by herself.

I hope your Easter was wonderful!