We've enjoyed a wonderful Christmas holiday so far with Mike, Rein and Christa. With Erik at home, I've felt more like I am also on vacation instead of maternity leave. I think this will help me prepare for feeling ready to go back to work on the 4th.
We were invited for some delicious holiday drinks at Dave and Simone's on Christmas Eve. It was adorable to see Ellis and Roman together again. We spent Christmas in Greenpoint, visited the Museum of Arts and Design yesterday, and braved the crowds at Rockefeller Plaza today for a little sightseeing and lunch. I highly recommend a visit to MAD. It's a beautifully designed space with interesting exhibits and nice open galleries.
Ellis received some really cute clothes for Christmas and seemed pretty amused by the whole day. I imagine Christmas will be very different in a year or two when Santa and the Toy-R-Us giant toy catalogue get involved!
Ellis currently suffers from what I like to call GBS (Giant Baby Syndrome). She already weighs 16.8 lbs and is 25.5 inches tall. No wonder my shoulders and arms are sore at the end of the day! Her Dr. told us not to worry, that she's proportional and very healthy. We weren't worried at all though, just excited to see our little lady grow. Here are a few photos from this week. I love the look on her face in the last one.
Had a nice parents' day out the other week with Aaron. We met at the MoMa, did a little xmas shopping and ran through the exhibits. I really hope Ellis will love visiting museums as much as I do when she grows up, even though she slept through the entire visit this time.
This sunlight is very nice in the front of our apartment this time of year. Ellis was enjoying making a few shadow puppets the other afternoon. We have some bamboo shades hanging in her room, but I think we'll need to get some heavier curtains or blinds to block out the light so Ellis spends a little less time making puppets and a little more time taking naps.
For the past two days, Erik and I have spent the mornings with Ellis at her future daycare. It's probably more of a transition for us than for her. I am so happy she'll be really close to our offices and it will be great to pop over there once or twice a day to nurse her and spend some quality time together. The daycare seems nice and clean. The teachers follow a pretty set routine with naps and feedings. Since Ellis will be part of a new infant room opening in January, we spent our transition days in their other infant room. While it did give us a feel for the place and a typical day at the daycare, I am a little disappointed we weren't able to meet the two women she'll be spending the most time with. Fingers crossed that they will be as nice as the two teachers we met!
I've met a lot of great neighborhood moms during my maternity leave. We usually meet twice a week at the local YMCA, a restaurant or the park for a little conversation and fun with our babies. It's been fascinating to see what the babies a few months older than Ellis are doing and what's coming soon for us (teething, solids, grabbing hair, rolling over!) I don't make it to every meet-up, but when I do it's been great to get out of the house and take the nice long walk over to Williamsburg. I am sad I won't get to see these families as often now that my leave is almost over, but I am looking forward to running into them around the neighborhood and seeing how much their little ones have grown.
In addition to the meet-ups, Ellis and I have been taking a music class with a lot of the other Moms and babies. Today was the last class. Seven weeks ago (during the first class) Ellis cried half the time and nursed the other half, but I kept on singing. Today she was smiling and cooing along with the songs and even holding a little rattle.
The music class was on the same day as the meet-up, so a lot of us would walk over from Williamsburg to the space in Greenpoint. Sometimes there would be eight of us walking together. The stares were pretty funny and we'd get comments like “Look at the baby parade” and “Is there a baby party?”. The whole experience has really transformed this neighborhood into more of a community.
Here are a few photos from the meet-ups and a little video from today's class. Ignore the off pitch singing...we sound a lot better in person!
We're excited to be spending our first Christmas as a family in NYC. Rein, Christa and Mike will be here to celebrate with us. I really wanted a Christmas tree, but with such a small apartment and all of the baby stuff, I really wasn't sure where one would fit. With our living room freshly painted and the walls bare, I realized this would be a good time to have a little fun. Today we put up our 2D Christmas tree. I found this great photo of a bare tree and then we decorated it with real lights and ornaments. It looks surprisingly real head on! Now I just need to find the right star or angel for the top.
Ellis is almost 3 months old! I can't believe it. Three months at every other point in my life flew by with very little change, but these three months have been full of so many exciting changes and developments. We're really getting to know our daughter and it's hard to imagine what our lives were like without her. She's growing like crazy and is already wearing clothing that supposedly fits a 6-9 month old baby. I'm excited that she's growing so fast, but a little sad to fold away so many adorable outfits she barely had a chance to wear.
She's been a great sleeper at night, but will usually fuss for an hour or two before bed. I am just starting to read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" which seems to have some great tips to help avoid this fussy period. For the past week or so, she'll go down between 8-10 pm and sleep until 7-9am with one feeding around 3-5am. The book recommends putting your baby to bed much earlier, before they really show any signs of fatigue. I am curious to try this, but it will mean that Ellis will almost be asleep by the time Erik comes home from work.
Ellis discovered she has hands this week and cannot stop staring. She has yet to grab any of her toys, unless we put them right into her hands, but she is grabbing onto my hair (seeing many future pony tail hairstyles in my future) and my bra while nursing. I can't wait to see what she discovers next week!
I am so happy my Mom and brother Mike were finally able to meet Ellis. It was such a special Thanksgiving. Mike surprised us by cooking the entire turkey feast and it was delicious. Since my Mom has never really cooked, we thought we'd end up at a restaurant again. That would have been fine of course, but it's so much nicer to be at home with just the ones you love, not stressed out waitresses and crowds of people.
2009 has been an incredible year and we are so thankful to have such wonderful family and friends in our lives.
Erik took these modern day Norman Rockwell photos.
We survived our first flight as a family! Ellis was a little cranky on the way down, but slept like a champ on the flight home. We were worried her ears would hurt, but she seemed fine after being fed during take off. My ears were another story. They would not pop on the flight down and it got pretty uncomfortable. Things slowly improved after landing though. Packing was a real challenge and this trip was a great first lesson. We can definitely leave a few things at home next time!
I finally managed to capture a smile in that last photo. She's smiling and cooing a lot these days but always seems to stop as soon as I pull out the camera. I was lucky this time!