Monday, December 31, 2007

I love singing to Mia. It seems like a miracle to me, but my daughter loves to hear me sing. I probably would not ever let anyone else hear me because I know my family has a reputation for being more than a little off key. Every time I start to sing, she looks at me and smiles. It calms her when she's upset. So I sing, but not for anyone but Mia. Not even Troy . . .

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mia's First Christmas

Mia's first Christmas was a long one, but overall a very fun time. We started out with a trip to Pismo that I very carefully planned around Mia's feeding schedule. We left WAY later than we expected to, but it actually worked out better that way. Mia fell asleep for the first part of the trip while we listened to talk radio (Troy's new thing). They were playing some of Reagan's old speeches from when he was president and it was really interesting. I was fairly young when he was president so it was interesting to hear that some of the issues that were dealt with back then still have not been resolved.

We stopped along the freeway at a gas station to feed Mia. She was so funny! She started to eat and then would look up and smile at me. Then she would eat again. Then smile. She went on like this for the entire feeding. She just couldn't concentrate. She thought everything was funny! I had heard that at 4 months, babies start to look around while eating and are less interested, but this was just too funny! It didn't seem like she ate much, but we strapped her back into her carseat and took off again. She fell asleep shortly and slept until we reached Arroyo Grande. We arrived at the Vasquezes house at about 11pm, so I knew that I would feed Mia and put her right to bed. Troy started setting up the Pack N' Play and I sat down on the couch. Mia had woken up and was looking all around at the lights. She LOVED all the Christmas lights and I was thinking, "Great, now she'll never sleep." But she ate well and then I put her in her bed. She looked at me and smiled like she thought this was the best place in the world. I really didn't think she'd sleep, but she was out about 20 minutes later.

The next day, we woke up to a room full of presents. Linda had stockings for both of the girls. There was a Little People nativity set and a dancing snowman. It was very magical. Todd and Lisa showed up at about 9am, but we hadn't heard from Travis and Vanessa. Lisa called them and they said they had just woken up and were on their way. They were supposed to leave at 6am, but Troy and I had already bet on what time they would arrive (I said 10:30 and Troy said 10am). Todd got in on the bet and said 11am, which left Lisa with 11:30. Well, none of us were right. They arrived at 12:30! Needless to say, the schedule was a bit off, Trinity hadn't had a nap and we needed lunch, so we went to Splash Cafe and had clam chowder leaving Trinity behind with Grandma and Grandpa to take a nap. When we arrived back at the house, we opened presents, did our traditional present "hunt", and ate steak and potatoes for dinner. Troy and I cried when we got Mia's carseat because it means more time for me to stay home with my little girl because we won't have to spend the money. We, of course, watched videos on UTube and shared computer knowledge. Then we all settled in to watch the Ocean video on the new plasma tv.

We left for Fresno the next morning so that we could get back in time for Grandpa Jim to read the Christmas Story that evening.

The next day was Christmas Eve. We arrived at the Spaulding's for our traditional Christmas lunch (a little late so that Matt could work a few hours and get paid for a full day). We popped our poppers and told silly jokes and wore our paper hats. Mia received some really cute clothes and a musical ornament that she loved AND another carseat! With two, we have one for each car and no worries about buying one.

That night, we put Mia in her "princess" dress for Aunt Joanne's Christmas party. Mia hadn't napped well during the day and was a little bit grumpy. (I was probably more worried than she was grumpy). We ate, took family pictures, and sang (off key, but whatever). Mia loved the singing. She was tired but pushed through it. We tried to put her down for a nap, but there was too much excitement. By the time we got into the car, she was so tired, she cried half of the way home until she just conked out in the carseat.

The next morning was Christmas. We had a small celebration at home. Mia had her Christmas breakfast (Momma's milk) and opened her presents (a beanie and some socks). We took a few pictures and then it was off to Grandma's house.

Grandma's was the same as always, except that Grandpa didn't look as good as he usually does. We took the famous "kids" picture in front of the tree. We're all so tall and there are so many of us that you can't even see that we're standing in front of the tree anymore. Jaime played the part of Santa's elf and handed presents to Grandpa who said, "Now hear this!" to get out attention. We conspired and threw many paper wads at Uncle Greg and others. Grandma said her usual, "If you don't like it you can exchange it" bit and the kids left the room the minute all the gifts had been unwrapped. Mia had a good time. She loved the rattle from Grandma and slurped on it for a long time. We had the usual food; bread, turkey, ham, and other sandwich fixings, green and red jello, onion dip and chips, and Christmas cookies. This Christmas, I felt more than ever that every moment needed to be captured on camera or video because I wonder how long we will be able to continue having Christmases this way. I'm sure I annoyed people with my camera, but I don't want to miss any opportunities to capture our traditions.

That night, we went to my mom's for dinner, which is becoming a tradition of its own. Mia got her first doll (and it looks just like her). This was the first year that Matt, Mike, Heather, Troy, and I didn't exchange gifts. We chose to sponsor a family instead and I was really glad that we did. The gift exchange didn't feel any less full than before. I just kept thinking about the girls that we bought gifts for and wondering if they liked what we chose for them.

So, that's it in a nutshell (a really big nutshell), our neverending Christmas. We do it every year. This time Mia was just along for the ride. Next year, she'll be running the show!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

These last 4 months

Mia is four months old now and I am absolutely loving every minute with her. I am astounded daily by what she can do and how much she understands. I watch every movement she makes with amazement. How can something so small learn so much so fast?

She's a good baby, so everyone tells me that if I have another one, it will be terrible. We'll see. Right now, I'm thankful that Mia is so scheduled. That makes her easy to read most of the time. I used to have to wake her up each morning at 7:30am, but not she wakes up on her own. You would think that she would cry or something to tell me that she is awake, but she doesn't. She just looks around the room and does this adorable thing where she puts her two chubby little hands together and kind of wrings her hands. When Troy or I get up and she sees us looking at her, she just smiles! Then she coos and babbles while I change her diaper and get her dressed. I love it!

For naptime, she's just as good. She wimpers once or twice. I change her diaper, wrap her in a blanket and sing a song. She chews on her hands and sucks her thumb while I sing. Sometimes she evens sings along with me! Then I put her in her crib awake and kiss her on the forehead. I tell her goodnight and she goes back to chewing on her hands. I can't imagine a better baby. Most days are like that. Of course she does fuss in the evening sometimes, but it is the exception more than the rule. Now I know why Troy's grandma called him Troy Joy. He must have been as pleasant as my Mia.

The pediatrician seems concerned that Mia has not rolled over yet, but I'm not worried. As a teacher, I know that all kids develop at different rates. She'll do it sooner or later. Right now she's just really enjoying grabbing things with her hands. It's fun to watch her concentrate. She can grab just about anything, so we have to be careful. Of course, everything goes in her mouth.

She's also a good eater. She has learned that when she gets up from her nap, the next event is a diaper change and then she eats. Sometimes, while I am changing her diaper, she opens her mouth (and keeps it open for quite some time) to let me know she is ready to eat. When she and I sit down in the chair where I feed her, she will often open her mouth too, as if to say, "Okay momma, I'm ready!"

I'm just really enjoying being a mommy!