Delaney awoke to a delightful first Christmas. Last night, we put her to bed in her playpen at my parents' house around 6:30. We transported her home at 9:30 and put her directly into her crib. She didn't make a peep until 7:30 this morning at which point we put her in bed with us and I nursed her and played with her for about an hour. Then, we had coffee and opened our gifts. Gifts from us and her Grandma in Indiana included tons of great books, a few toys, clothes, shoes and an adorable stuffed lion. Her aunt and uncle in Indiana sent her a gorgeous, monogrammed silver bracelet. But, her favorite gift by far was one that her Daddy received...a set of measuring spoons. Between the spoons, some fancy gift bows and a pretty silver bell ornament (given to her by one of my oldest and dearest friends), she had plenty to play with (chew on) throughout the morning. She had a blast!
In addition to the various books and CDs that we gave each other, R. gave me an iPod (I love it!) and I gave him a Foodsaver (Yes, in addition to being a computer nerd, he's also a kitchen nerd and a late-night-informercial nerd...he's got it all going on and I love him so.). Delaney received lots more toys, books and clothes at my parents' house this afternoon and R. and I also received many generous gifts from my family and his. We had a wonderful Christmas and the only thing that would've made it better would have been if R.'s kids, his mom and family from Indiana could have been with us too. We missed them very much!
Delaney turned nine months old today and it feels as if I'm experiencing Christmas for the first time. It's amazing that we have this beautiful child and we're starting holiday traditions with her and for her, both with our extended families and within our small family unit. We spent a nice evening at my parents' house having an Italian dinner and opening one present apiece. Tomorrow morning, the three of us will get up, open presents and have a wonderful, leisurely breakfast together. In the afternoon, we'll go to my parents' house again where we'll open more presents and have Christmas dinner. My aunt is visiting and my sister and her family will be there too. It's been three years since I've been home for Christmas so I'm really looking forward to it. Merry Christmas!
This evening, while playing with her Incrediblock, Delaney stood on her own for several seconds! And, she did it multiple times so it wasn't just a fluke. She was standing up, holding a little block in one hand and holding on to the Incrediblock with the other. Suddenly, she let go of the Incrediblock and held the small block with both hands and stood still for about five seconds. I'm not sure what this means, but it sure was exciting! Will she skip crawling? Will she cruise or walk soon? Or, will she still crawl and eventually walk? Who knows. But, I can't wait to find out.
On another note, Delaney and I had a lovely day with my Mom, sister and niece. We went shopping and to lunch. My sister's a teacher and gets two weeks off for the holidays so we get a chance to spend more time together and so do our girls. My niece is exactly 9 months older than Delaney and the two of them are forging a friendship. They sat across the table from each other in their highchairs and my niece clamored to do everything Delaney was doing (namely, eating babyfood and veggie puff stars even though my niece has been eating table food for six months or so). They were adorable and I can't wait to watch them grow up together.
Gym, grocery shopping, work, Christmas shopping (starting to get in the spirit).
Delaney's first professional portraits. My Mom was supposed to go with us, but had to cancel at the last minute because she was sick. I knew it was a long shot, but I asked R. if he'd go with us (he rarely, if ever, misses work). To my surprise and delight, he said yes. It was a cold, rainy day and I piled Delaney and her outfits into the car. R. followed in his car so he could head to work afterward.
I knew we were in trouble when we arrived 15 minutes early and there was a woman with a baby waiting ahead of us, the photographer was in with another family and she was the only employee there. We waited an hour before finally getting called in (The poor photographer was also the receptionist and the salesperson and she was six months pregnant and desperately needed a bathroom break.). When the photo shoot finally commenced, Delaney stared at us and photographer in bewilderment as we jumped, made funny faces, shouted and made idiots of ourselves trying to get her to smile. She gave in occasionally and most of the photos turned out beautifully.
R. had to leave for work before the photo shoot was over so I was left to decide which photos to purchase. Those studios know exactly what they're doing when they corner a new mother after a successful photo shoot. I wanted all of the photos in all of the sizes, but since that would have cost me the equivalent of a trip to the Caribbean, I had to pare it down. I still spent a pretty penny, but I just couldn't leave any of the really good photos behind.
Because we were there so long, I ended up nursing Delaney during the photo selection process. The photographer, a timid mother-to-be, asked if it hurt when Delaney breastfeeds because she has so many teeth. We had a nice conversation about breastfeeding (she's not sure if she'll do it or not). I encouraged her to give it a try but told her that ultimately, only she can decide if it's right for her and her baby and that she shouldn't feel pressured by anyone on either side of the issue.
All in all, our portrait experience was pleasant and although we had to take out a loan to pay for it, R. and I were very pleased with the results.
Gym, work, haircut, more Christmas shopping (feeling a bit frustrated, but the spirit's still with me)
Gym, work, Delaney's first Christmas party. Our employer (R. and I work for the same company) throws not only a Christmas party for the employees each year, but also a separate party for the children of employees. Santa comes by, the kids take turns sitting on his lap and he gives each child a present (bought by the company but suggested by the parents). It's a fun, generous event that our president hosts at her home each year. There've been six babies born to employees or employees' wives at this company over the last year. Delaney is the second to the youngest of them and it was neat to see all of the 2005 babes together in one place. Delaney sat on Santa's lap and was the only baby who didn't cry. Instead, she just looked up at Santa intently and then yanked on his beard. She's been loving her Incrediblock ever since.
One of the other mothers, whose son is only one month older than Delaney, is pregnant with her second child. Her son will only be 15 months old when his new sibling joins the family. Of course I knew such a thing was possible, but it kind of freaked me out. I can't imagine having a second baby so close to my first. Two under two? I know it's doable and some people are perfectly thrilled for things to work out that way, but it's definitely not for our family. I told R. I should stop Christmas shopping for him. I'd already given him the perfect gift: my period arrived this week.
Gym and another Santa photo, office Christmas party. Our gym was offering free photos with Santa so after we worked out I took Delaney over for a quick visit. This Santa had a real beard, so she opted not to tug on it, but she still looked up at him as if she wasn't sure about the whole red suit, white hair business. The little Polaroid photo turned out to be very cute.
I spent the rest of the afternoon gussying myself up for an adult outing...the annual office Christmas party. Imagine: drinks, dinner, games, prizes, adult conversation. I'd been looking forward to it for ages. This annual party (my tenth to attend) is a pretty predictable one. It's usually the same people, the same food, the same games (although with different, high-dollar prizes each year) but this year it was different--for me anyway. This was the year that I could drink like a fish, but chose not to. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I didn't drink. It's that I didn't drink to excess as I had in the past. The empty bottom of a champagne glass has a whole other meaning when you're a mother to an infant who delights in waking at 6:00 a.m. That empty glass signals that it's time for a Diet Coke rather than, "Fill 'er up!" So, I was moderate in my consumption and I still enjoyed the evening out. Although, with babysitters as far and few between as they are for us, I would have rather enjoyed a quiet night out with my husband over a crowded, rowdy party. Or maybe what I should say is I would have rather enjoyed a rowdy night with my quiet husband! Que sera sera.
A long, lazy morning followed by afternoon Christmas shopping (I'm starting to feel the Bah).
Met with my trainer, dropped Delaney off at her Nana's house, tended to yet more Christmas shopping (By then the Humbug was in full force but thankfully I was able to complete all of my shopping. I no longer have to fight for parking spaces or watch people drive like think they own the road. Why does such a lovely holiday season bring out the nastiness and selfishness in people? I'll never understand it.).
Now, we look forward to a (hopefully) more relaxed week filled with family, friends and the celebration of the holidays. Merry Christmas!
1. Delaney's trying to quack like a duck after hearing me say, "What does a duck say? Quack, quack, quack!" And, she's actually pretty good at it. I was on the phone with my mom today and Delaney starting quacking away. My mom and I couldn't stop laughing.
2. She can identify her toes when we ask her where they are.
3. She can point out my nose, eyes and lips.
4. Tooth #6 has arrived! (second tooth on top from the right)
5. She's also trying to say, "Kiss," after watching me kiss her hand while saying, "Kiss, kiss!" When she says it, it sounds like a cute little, "Ki, Ki, Ki."
6. Two nights ago R. had to lower her crib for the first time because she was pulling up onto her knees while in it. She hadn't stood up on her own in it yet, but we didn't want her to decide to do that and go ass over teakettle in the middle of the night.
7. She crawled a teeny bit yesterday...about two feet...trying to get to my laptop table so she could pull up.
Delaney's fifth tooth popped up today! It's the top middle left tooth. That's three teeth that have appeared within two weeks--two of those less than 24 hours apart. And, she has not been fussy at all. I guess her fussiness, drool and snotiness last week was enough prepartion for the bountiful eruptions to come. She keeps running her tongue over her new teeth and she's also been sticking her tongue out. Not sure why she keeps sticking it out. I can understand using it to feel the new teeth, but sticking it out and slightly downward? It's as if she just discovered her tongue. It's pretty cute.
Although Delaney's fast asleep right now, her dad and I are about to decorate the Christmas tree. I can't wait to see her face tomorrow when she looks at it for the first time. I'm having fun pulling out all of our ornaments and remembering where and when we got them or who gave them to us. This will be the sixth Christmas R. and I have been together so we're starting to collect quite a nice little assortment of ornaments. I want to buy Delaney a personalized ornament for the tree this year and I still need to get her a stocking (slacker mom!). I tried to order both from a catalogue the other day and they were backordered until February. I'm sorry, but that just won't do. Christmas is now...not two months from now, thankyouverymuch. So, I guess I'll hunt these keepsake items down next week when I'm out shopping. I'm so excited for Delaney's first Christmas!
Ahhhh, shopping. That's the other thing I've been a slacker about lately. I've bought a some gifts for Delaney, R.'s family and my family, but there is still so much more I need to do. After tonight's tree-trimming, I'm sure I'll be filled with the Christmas spirit and ready to get down to business.
The gym. I've gone to the gym every day for the last ten days. Let me repeat that. I've gone to the gym every day for the last ten days. I don't think I've ever gone to any gym for ten days period, let alone ten days in a row. OK, today when I went all I did was sit in the steam room and then take a shower, but I worked my butt off the other nine days I was there. I'm meeting with my trainer twice a week, taking yoga, pilates and stretching classes and doing cardio several days each week. Something's changed in me. I like exercise. I look forward to it. It excites me. This is one of the weirdest things I've ever experienced. I never, in a million years, would have predicted that I would come to like exercise. During middle and high school, it was my nemesis. I didn't just hate it, I loathed it. I avoided it at all costs. But now? I'm lacing up my tennies every chance I get. Even R.'s noticed the change in me and I know he wonders what kind of mommy crack their dispensing over there. He just started going to the gym with me so maybe he's hoping to find out.
In a way, they are pushing something at the gym--the gym itself. The temporary gym closed on Wednesday and the new one opened on Thursday. It's a brand-new, shiny, pretty, modern gym. It's plush. It's sleek. It's gorgeous. I can't get enough of it. I want to marry it.
But, it's not just the sexy gym that's made me turn over a new leaf. I think it's got more to do with the little darling in my life. I grew up hating exercise and loving fattening food. I want to give Delaney a better start in life than that. I want to instill in her an enjoyment of exercise. I want to teach her to eat healthy meals. The best way to do that is to lead by example. And that's my great motivation.