Little Acorn

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

a stimulating conversation

A funny thing happened a while back. A friend asked me what I thought about staying at home and I gave her the most absurd answer that haunts me to this day. I told her I don't know if I would be the best person to stimulate her. Wait. What? That's the reason you gave? I was mortified by my Freudian slip and it made me really dig into this whole concept a bit deeper. 

Yes, I was nervous at the beginning. Yes, I didn't know how to stimulate her. I mean, I had to Google "this little piggie went to the market" for Pete's sake! I didn't think I could do it and didn't know if I would tire of it. But weeks later when I was writing all the things I do for the grandmas while they're babysitting I realized just how much I interact with Acorn and how much I really enjoy doing it. I just had to practice at it. I read to her, take walks with her, tell her funny stories, make up absurd songs, let her study her reflection, let her study my monkey-faced reflection, have her play on her mat or do tummy time, let her chill out and entertain herself, etc. You know, the typical stuff.

The wheels are turning...

The wheels are parked...

Tickle Time

And while yes, I envision [a really good] daycare as a stimulating atmosphere where she can interact with children and learn things I can't teach her (i.e., Spanish, sign language, etc.), I think I can be just as effective, just as creative, just as entertaining and engaging, if not more so. Because I'm not someone who's paid to do this. I want to do this. With all my heart and soul. I live for her smiles and a grasp of hand. I live for those head rests on my chest. I'm starting to remember my inner, creative child and getting pretty good at this stuff. And no one trumps a mom!
Kiki Lu & Nina Lu

So now I'm even more confused because I think I could stay home with her and be happy. Could I sustain this long term though? Do I have it in me? Can we afford it? How long can we last in our tiny house? I have the greatest respect for stay-at-home moms because I don't know if I have what it takes. Yet. But one thing I do know: her being sufficiently engaged by her mama should not be in the equation. Period.

Friday, February 22, 2013

a debate of part-time proportions

I'm going back to work next Monday and have been having some serious anxiety about (a) leaving little acorn, and (b) what to do in terms of working full-time, part-time, or being a stay-at-home mom. I've got it set up to work part time for three months, where my mother and mother-in-law will switch weeks to babysit while I work a full day on Mondays and Tuesdays and a half day on Wednesdays. This is so unbelievably generous of the grandmothers and I feel so lucky to be able to extend Acorn's time with family and her mom  until 6 months old.

But after June 3rd, the work debate in my head makes me dizzy. While I would love to stay with her at home full-time, I am also quick to notice that I'm not that productive and can be a bit lazy at home at times. So to me, part-time seems like the best of both worlds--a chance to challenge my brain, keep up my career, interact with adults, know that she's at home with her loving grandmothers, and spend the rest of the long weekend with my smiling daughter. 

For now, I hope this additional 3-month transition will make the difference in determining what to do. My job is not exactly "part-time material" so that may answer it for me. But whatever decision we make, I must remain cognizant that it will be the best one for our little family.

Until then, I can't bear to think about leaving her. It's pure torture.

This is what I think she's thinking all day:
"Why did you leave me, mama?"

This is the reality:
 "Hi ya, Grandma!"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

my funny valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!

This kid is always smiling!

Really, mom?

Auntie GiGi made this amazing onesie for me! Love her!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2-month stats

Acorn had her 2-month pedi appointment on last Tuesday and had her first round of vaccinations. She wailed of course, but was quickly soothed by the nurse patting her bootie. The second the nurse would stop though, the wailing commenced. It was quite comical, actually. Pat. Silence. Stop. Wail. She's wonderfully healthy otherwise.

I don't think I jotted down stats from her 2-week and 1-month visits, so here they all are (for my records!):

Height: 20.5 inches (60%)
Weight: 7 lbs, 4 oz (25%)
Head: 34 cm (25%)

Height: 21.5 inches (75%)
Weight: 8 lbs, 11 oz (50%)
Head: 35.5 cm (25%)

Height: 22.5 (50%)
Weight: 10 lbs, 7 oz (30%)
Head: 37.5 cm (25%)

She's kinda all over the map in height and weight, so hopefully we'll start to see consistent trending at her 4-month check-up. Luckily, she's consistently a sweet little pinhead! Ha!

As for Acorn, she's becoming a lot more alert. She can hold her head up for long periods of time before having to drop it (I'm there to catch it, of course!). She also follows my hand or a toy around with her eyes, but doesn't yet have an interest to grab for it yet. 

She freely gives up smiles in the mornings, but it's it's hard work to get her to crack her up after that! When I am successful, it's unbelievably rewarding. I tried the "This little piggie went to the market" thing with her toes and as I was tickling her with the wee-wee-wee-all-the-way-home bit, she didn't know what to make of it and she got a bit scared. She looked at me intently with her lip pouted out waiting to see my reaction. I started cracking up and she realized this whole charade was a good thing and started grinning! It's so funny that she's now looking to me to determine what's good or bad. Hopefully, I can manage to consistently give her a carefree, fun response to prolong the inevitable learned behavior to easily stress out...

Grandma Birdie's lovely Mexican dress

Hard-earned grin.

 So rewarding!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

comparing months 1 and 2

Look how much acorn has chunked up! Finally getting some meat on those petite little bones! ;D

Friday, February 1, 2013

two months and counting

I have been in serious hiatus mode since little acorn, uhhh, sprouted??? I thought it would be so easy to update the blog, but I can't tell you how quickly the days go by. Days are measured in feedings and diapers now. Days are a success if I can get just one task done (and it's likely not blogging!). The days go by so quickly. I cannot believe it. I cannot stand it. I cannot bear that she's already TWO MONTHS OLD today! What.

The past two months have been full of emotion, full of joyous experiences and exhaustion-induced breakdowns, full of ground-breaking smiles and howling cries I cannot yet bear, full of nights watching her fall into a deep and innocent sleep, full of dreading the next feeding because I am raw and bruised, full of awe that we finally have her with us, and full of overwhelming gratitude and breathtaking disbelief that this flesh and blood, these eyes, these perfect rose-bud lips, these softly plumped cheeks are mine to finally kiss.

These months have been worth every second. I have gobbled every moment up with Nina, inhaled her sweet baby scent and have become intoxicated by her mere presence. She is an incredible child. I say this because of course I'm biased. What parent isn't? Of course I think she's the cutest baby ev-uur. Of course I think she's a relaxed and easy baby. Of course I think she's  advanced for her age. Every parent does and I am no exception. I have fallen into that parental tunnel vision that only lets me see stars and I love how the asterisms have aligned.

But then again, I haven't been around many babies, so there's nothing else to compare her to. All I know is that she sleeps hard at night, now up to 6-7 hours, she doesn't cry very much (mainly when hungry or gassy), she has these beautifully big, doe-eyes and a grin that won't quit. All I know is that I am a truly lucky person in this world. She was worth the wait.

Of course, she's a diva at times. Who isn't? Ryan calls it her "pistola" mode in the evenings. But for the most part, we see this sweet child already starting to find herself in this big world. We see her growing every day and becoming comfortable with us as we are with her.

As for blogging, I thought about back-dating a bunch of posts from events over the last two months, but that seems like a ton of work and I don't seem to have that kind of time or energy any more. So I'm just going to post the highlights and move on from here. Keeping it short and sweet from here on out. Keeping it realistic. Keeping it real.

My sweet cousin Jeanann came over not even a week after she was born to take photos. Here are a few from the shoot captured with an iPhone.

Her mini-ski's with claws...just like her papa!

Acorn shows her true colors.

Ryan's first day back to work after Nina was born. He was so sad to leave her.

Grandma Linda a.k.a. "Mimi"

Grandma Sally a.k.a. "Birdie"

Auntie Loretta

Sleeping Beauty

Uncle Collin a.k.a. "Uncle CaCa"

 Christmas with the Joneses 

 Uncle Kale and Aunt Oma 

Christmas Girls

 "This is just how I woke up!"
Hello, blue eyes!

Christmas with the Greuters 

Aunt Amanda a.k.a. "Aunt GiGi"
Uncle Lee a.k.a. "Uncle Bob"

Grandpa Tom a.k.a. "Pops"

Her new mantra: "Good Lord, I'm surrounded by idiots."

Auntie Kelly
Auntie Erika

Auntie Lisa

Auntie Beth

Our favorite Spanish line...Catimini!

One month old!

First walk around the neighborhood

"My parents are a bit overprotective..."

Ryan is so proud of his outfit ensemble!

Mama and me.


Deep, stoic thoughts..about cupcakes.

Hanging out at Auntie Carrie and Uncle Stephen's house with Ella and Zack.

Nina's new bestie, Ella.

I couldn't get her to pose like this if I tried.
She's a natural ham.


Ham-cubed...on a stick.

Grandpa Ken a.k.a. "Peepaw"

 She's so happy and smiley in the mornings! I love these moments!

Hands down, my favorite. Takes my breath away.

Getting used to this so-called "jogging" thing.

Babbling and carrying on.

"Why are you always taking photos, mom?"

The special occasion is that she was about to out-grow her Spanish dress...

Dad loves experimenting with my outfit choices.

Two months old today!

More blog posts to come in a more frequent manner...