Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 23, 2014 - More About Aya

Aya went to the doctor today for her one month check up.  Other than getting the second dose of her Hepatitis B immunization, it went well!

Our girl's stats are as follows:

21 inches long = 10-25 percentile
9 lbs = 25 percentile
36 cm (14.2 in) head circumference = 5 percentile

She still has symptoms of acid reflux and/or milk protein sensitivity and/or colic.  I am continuing to limit my dairy consumption, she will keep taking medicine for the reflux and gas, and we will pray that she doesn't have colic or that if she does that it is of the more mild variety (is there such a thing?).  The doctor said that with the colic it will get worse before it gets, fingers crossed that our sweet girl doesn't have to suffer.

We think she is starting to smile a bit more for real, as opposed to only because of gas, and when she does it is just about the sweetest thing you've ever seen.  She completely prefers to sleep on someone and to be held-rocked-moved whenever possible.  She also sleeps much better if I fall asleep after feeding her during the night and forget to move her back to her own little bed/rocker.  She has started to have baby acne so has little pimples everywhere.  She has bumped up to a size 1 diaper from the newborn size, only because her thighs are so chunky that the diaper is a bit too tight.  

There is no way to tell for sure, but I think she misses her siblings and her Far (or maybe that is just me).  Not too much longer before we are reunited.  One week from right now we'll be sleeping (or wide awake at 3 am!) in Tanzania again.

And here is a tease...our good friend Omar took some pictures of Aya and us a few weekends ago.  I don't want to share all of them until our birth announcements are mailed, but here is preview of the lovely pictures he took...

(ha ha - just to prove that she isn't quiet and sweet ALL of the time...) 

She's definitely a little bit bigger now, but beautiful with a very LOUD set of lungs!  Thank you again, Omar and more to come!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 21, 2014 - One Month

I am too tired to write very much about Aya today, but I think the pictures below are a good indication that she is cute as a button.  I like every about her except her habit of being awake every night from 2-4 am (for real).  She has a doctor's appointment on Friday so I'll follow up with her stats then.  Better get to bed while she is actually asleep!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 19, 2014 - Four Weeks

It is hard to imagine that Aya is both already four weeks old because WOW THAT WENT FAST, and also that she is only four weeks old because she has done a lot and met so many people in these first four weeks, and of course we can't really imagine life without her.

Earlier in the week Jean (aka Bibi) and Jen visited us from New York City.  Some highlights of their visit were: a trip to the New England Aquarium (always great, but a bit of a disappointment in the shark department since they have removed the big sharks from the big tank since it was redone), a swim in their hotel pool that had a big, fun slide, and the discovery of a cool playground in Plymouth that we hadn't been to before.  I am sorry that I didn't take more pictures, which will be my mantra for this whole blog, because damn it if what everyone says about your third child isn't true?!?! 

The next big event of the week was the arrival of Uncle Mark, Aunt Carrie, Matthew and Nathan for Aya's baptism.  On Saturday we hosted a little party at my sister Meghan's house - desserts and drinks only! - for some family and friends to meet and celebrate her.  The pictures below are misleading - she was passed around and held by very many people and I just didn't get the chance to take very many pictures. But I promise that a lot of people met and loved her :) And the weather was so beautiful and it was truly wonderful to be around so many people we love here.  A really great day!

Thanks to Mark for sharing the following four pictures of his family meeting Aya...
(Aya's selfie with her Godfather)
 (Rock On, Aya & Matthew!)
 (Nathan was the baby whisperer...she was like that with him for a long time!)
 (Aunt Carrie and the girls!)
And later at the party, one of the two dessert tables...

 A very pretty Auntie Meghan...
 The guys (husband, brother, bro-in-law, cousins, nephew...) playing the just-about-annual basketball game.
 My cousin Jonathan held Aya for a LONG time.  He was a natural :)

After a great Saturday, we had a big Sunday driving up to St. Augustine's church in Andover for Aya's Baptism.  This was special for us because this is the church where I made my First Communion and Confirmation, and where Kristoffer and I were married, and where Grace and Noah were also baptized.  It is not convenient, but it is lovely and I think worth the trip up there for it.  The same priest who baptized Noah performed the sacrament (along with two other babies) and Aya was a pure angel throughout.  She didn't wake up during the ceremony at all, and she actually looked so, so sweet when she was being baptized.  I felt it was emotional - our last baby! - and special and I am so grateful to my family for making such a lovely weekend happen.  It was really lovely that Mark and Carrie, Aya's Godparents, made the trip for the weekend.  Despite having not taken very many pictures of the weekend, it is one I will never forget.
Just before getting into her Christening gown...

During the ceremony...
 Sleeping beauty being baptized...
 Aya and her Godparents...
 Fr. Rich with our family...
 Everybody together...we missed Christine, Kevin and Zoe but were so glad we got to see them the weekend before.  We are so blessed for all everyone making this happen.

 My cousin Kelly meeting Aya :)
 Cozy girl...
 My cousin Patsy, who hosted us all at her house for lunch after the baptism, got to hold Aya after waiting very patiently for everyone else to have a turn!

And today - phew.  Aya has been resting after her big weekend.  She is four weeks old today!  And we had to say goodbye to Kristoffer, Grace and Noah who have gone on to have a vacation in Denmark for the next 10 days.  It's always hard to be separated from them, but 10 days doesn't seem so long after our 40-day separation before Aya was born.  And all three of them were incredibly excited for the Danish leg of their trip - I hope they have a great time and that I can try to catch up on some sleep before Aya and I head to Tanzania.  We have a few more doctor's appointments to get through, and I hope to get her a little bit on a schedule before we travel (although with the upcoming jet-lag, should I even bother?!).  I feel that the last few days she has been a bit less fussy - maybe her gas is getting better - and has definitely been increasingly awake and alert.  Kristoffer noted yesterday, "She's getting really cute!"  She seems to do a few more 3 hour stretches between feeds...although mostly during the day ;)  Classic Welsien baby!

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Aya this weekend.  We feel very blessed!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 12, 2014 - Three Weeks

Aya Karen is three weeks old today.  At her doctor's appointment this morning she weighed 7 lbs 15.8 oz, which means she gained a full pound (about a half kilo) in the last two weeks since her last appointment and she is well above her birth weight now.  Yay for Aya and how well she is doing feeding!  She seems to have all the symptoms of acid reflux/indigestion so we got a prescription for baby Zantac (antacid) and I will now be cutting dairy, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic out of my diet to try to help with painful gas.  But the pediatrician we've been seeing thinks Aya is otherwise doing great, and we really like this doctor who is following all three kiddos from now on and is happy to correspond with us in Tanzania whenever we need her advice.  

In the last week Aya has changed quite a bit.  In addition to being fussier because of the reflux and gas, she is more awake and alert, and more stretched out.  Even at the doctor's today she measured 1.5 inches longer than she did at birth - which is mostly due to her just being more stretched out rather than being having a super growth spurt.  She has given us a few longer stretches of sleep at night - like last night almost 4 hours - which is HIGHLY appreciated :)  A few nights she has been really uncomfortable with the gas though which has made sleeping tough for both of us (and Kristoffer).  I've said it before and I'll say it again - having a baby is just like having jet lag, because in both cases your body's clock is just on a totally different schedule than everybody else's!

She remains sweet and pretty and still has that dark hair :) She seems to really enjoy motion - be it in the car (although not a fan of the car seat if the car is not moving) or dancing, rocking, swaying, lightly bouncing - and listening to her big sister's voice.   She enjoys a warm bath and also being naked - gets a little antsy when the clothes come back on.  She still enjoys being swaddled tightly, although increasingly wants to be hands-free and also likes being on her tummy.

That's actually quite a lot for a three week old.  She got to meet her Auntie Tine, Uncle Kevin and cousin Zoe this weekend, along with Aunt Heidi and Uncle David.  In the coming week she will meet Bibi and Jen from NYC and Uncle Mark, Aunt Carrie, Matthew and Nathan who are coming from Ohio for her Baptism.  Busy busy social calendar for such a peanut!
Here's our girl - growing everyday - and her siblings too!

 Aya tried her first bottle of pumped milk.  She was not impressed - but drank 2 oz in a heartbeat.  Then promptly threw it up all over Nene.  Good try though!

Meeting new family!

(Zoe, Noah, Grace, Nora)

Visit to a small spring "festival"/petting zoo...which included Noah in lots of trucks, and both big sibs petting a snake!

First fishing trip at Pops' pond...

Tummy time outside on the nicest day we've seen in Plymouth.
Spending Mother's Day with Nene was nice for all of us!
Since blogging more often than weekly does not seem likely for me these days, I'll just plan to see you here next week after we send Kristoffer, Grace and Noah off to Denmark for the final leg of their vacation. Have a good week!