Friday, December 21, 2012

Pictures, finally!

Thanks to my amazing cousin Julie, I can now add photos!  Thanks for stalking help boards so I don't have to :)

So here are the pictures I've been promising you for 2 blog posts now!

This is Gabby "helping" me fold laundry.  It would have been quicker if she hadn't helped.

Here's Gabby's first time in the swing

She loved it!
And now for Halloween!

First, Grandma and Grandpa Pechenino and Auntie Amy's visit, in which we went to the World's Largest Corn Maze in Dixon:
Dr. Gabby, at your service!

With the extended family

Gabby was way confused about all the corn.

But she finally just fell asleep.

Then, Auntie Amy and Daddy had a corn fight.

Yay--we survived the maze!
And now for the "real" Halloween:
It's Pooh!

She was so happy in the costume.
And here is Thanksgiving with the Romos (and Wards)

With the ubiquitous Nubby

Thanksgiving dress without Nubby.  And without Brian telling me I'm in the picture too.

Close-up baby (with drool)

Grandma and Grandpa Romo

Supporting her team

OK, so supporting Daddy's team.
Grandma and her girls

Down the slide

She wouldn't stop licking the turf at the playground.

Then she'd give me a look.

I think she decided she liked the sand.

Piggyback ride to the Romos'
We did go to the LA Arboretum while we were there, but I don't have the photos from that.  It was fun to spend time as a little family!

And now for Christmas so far.  Intel has a Santa that comes in and sees the employee's kids for free.  Added bonus--we got there towards the end and didn't have a line!

They also had some fun cutouts.

Gabby had fun in them.

So did I.

Mommy and Gabby

Daddy and Gabby
 And here's what I like to call "The Anatomy of a Santa Clause Visit"

"Oh, who's that?  Well, Mommy's pointing me at him, so he must be OK"

"OH HELL NO!  Mommy, get back over here!!!"

"OK, Mommy's back.  I'm good."

As compensation, I gave her the candy cane that we got.  I didn't realize until we got home that she'd managed to rip a hole in the plastic and was sucking on peppermint.  She seemed to like it.
More pictures to come after Christmas in St. Louis!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

10 months

So blogger and I are still having some differences in opinion about posting pictures--it tells me my account is full, but I have no idea how to empty it.  Can anyone else who's on blogger give me some advice on this?

Anyway, until I figure this out, it's going to be another wall of text for you guys.  So Gabby has now reached the double digits in her months.  I can't get over how much bigger she is now than when she was born.  I know that's a good thing, since we did the opposite for a while, and it was no fun at all!

She's still crawling everywhere, which kind of surprises Brian and me since we figured she'd be walking by now.  I think she can get around just fine by crawling, so she isn't going to learn to walk until she's convinced it is better.  I'm pretty sure that's going to take a while!  She is super fast when she crawls, and the cats really have to pay attention to make sure she doesn't catch them.  She still pulls to standing and takes the stairs like a pro.  Otherwise, I feel like her gross motor skills have stalled out for now.

She seems to be making up for that by improving her fine motor skills.  She now picks up puffs and Cheerios like nothing, and has graduated to apples and bananas.  She's still eating a ton of formula and baby food, since as first timers, we're very hesitant to try solid food with her.  This is compounded by the fact that when we tried solids a few months ago, she kept gagging and bringing them up.  We thought that trying the stage 3 baby food that has chunks in it would ease the transition, but she's conditioned to think that anything she receives on a spoon she can just swallow.  The results of trying stage 3 foods have been disgusting (sorry again to our friends Christina and Floyd!!), so we decided to just start giving her table food instead.  She's doing much better now than she was previously, which makes me think she just wasn't ready before.  I'm trying to expand what we give her, but it's hard sometimes, since I really don't make meat, veggie, starch separately for dinner.  What I mean is that we eat a lot of pasta (I'm hesitant to give her tomato sauce since it's so acidic), stroganoff (she doesn't need that much fat), or similar mixes of the basic food groups that are not very easy to pick apart and give to her.  I guess I'm going to have to just start making meals that I can easily cut apart and give to her.  This really sucks, since I just got a good set of meals down that I'm comfortable making, and I hate cooking!!

We're pretty sure she's said her first word!  One day she started waving and saying "bah bye", and she seems to understand that when we say bye bye to her she's supposed to wave.  So we're counting bye as her first word.  She also waves when we say hi to someone, but that's way more sporadic.  She's not perfect with saying bye--when we leave daycare, I'll tell her to say bye bye, and she usually doesn't start waving until she gets to the car!  It's so cute.  She very clearly knows a lot of other words (including Mommy, Daddy, Zoe, Dubby, sock, Christmas tree, eat, O's, nap, bottle, and probably some others I'm forgetting right now) but doesn't say them.  I think she's going to really surprise us one day and just say a bunch of words.

She and I survived Brian's first business trip earlier this week.  He went to VA to attend some meetings about the opening of a new fab there, and Gabby and I were on our own from Sunday to Wednesday.  It was so nice to be able to take her to daycare on Monday and Tuesday, since it made it much easier to be alone with her all evening.  She didn't seem to notice that he was gone, but she went right to him at the airport when we picked him up and stayed there for a long time very happily--normally she'll go to him but then immediately reach back for me to take her.  It was very sweet. 

Gabby's been waking up quite a bit more during the night than is usual.  She was definitely hungry the first few nights (making up for being sick a few weeks ago and not gaining weight, plus probably a growth spurt thrown in for good measure), but last night she was completely soaked (and cold).  I think we're going to have to go up a diaper size at night again!

We're off to St. Louis for Christmas, and I'm a little anxious about her on the plane.  She was an angel during the flights to and from LA for Thanksgiving, but those were only an hour each.  This time we have a short-ish one to Vegas, then the longer one to St. Louis.  I just hope we aren't those people--although with the holidays you have to expect a certain amount of crying babies on the plane.

I'm almost done with my classes.  We had one final last week and one today.  It's nice to have a bit of a break, although mine will be filled with (unpaid) prep work for the upcoming semester.

Hopefully blogger and I can come to terms and I can get some pictures up next time!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8 and 9 months

I haven't posted in a long while now!  I was busy with a University of Phoenix class during October that took up all of my free time, and then I kept putting posting off because it seemed so daunting to document 2 whole months of stuff!  But it seems like putting it off only makes me more stressed that I'm putting it off, so I'm going to give it a go!  I will warn you that there are no pictures--that's just too much for 1 post.

Gabby had her 9 month appointment on Nov. 12, and she is now 28.25 in long (that's the 73rd percentile), and 20 lbs (although our scale at home says 18.5)!  At any rate, she's no longer the tiny little peanut of a girl that she was when she was born.  She really looks like a baby now, and you can start to really see what she's going to look like when she gets older.  It's very interesting--at first glance, she really looks like me.  She has my general face shape, and even some red in her hair.  But was you look more closely, it's obvious that she really looks like Brian.  All of the details are his--eyes, ears, etc.  She does have the Pechenino smile though!

She's also quite the mover, and loves nothing more than to be crawling around, pulling herself to standing, and taking the stairs like a pro.  Here's a video of literally the second time we let her on the stairs--I would have recorded the first time, but I was too shocked to get the camera!

As you can see, her gross motor skills are awesome.  She can now let go and stand without support for a few seconds, and it's really only a matter of time until she starts walking.  She's also getting better with the fine motor skills.  Her socks never stay on for longer than half an hour, and she is ripping her bibs off as well.  She can use her thumb and finger to pick up puffs and get them to her mouth at least 50% of the time.  She can also clap her hands together, and loves to grab mine and clap them together as well.  I'm working on teaching her high five--she'll slap my hand but then grab it and try to chew on it.  We're also working on waving, but I already know I won't be able to do what the pediatrician suggested and wave as I leave the room!

She also showing signs of separation anxiety--she still loves daycare, and gets super excited when we walk in the door, but when we're at home, I have to be in the room with her, or she starts to cry and crawl around to look for me.  She's really good at playing by herself, but I can't leave her alone even for a minute anymore.  She's fine if Brian is there, and she can see him, but if one of us leaves the room (even if the other one is still there), she gets really upset.  She's also more shy around strangers--she used to smile at them after a couple of seconds of them talking to her, but now she keeps a very serious face, and keeps looking at me like "is it OK that these people are talking to me?".  Although kids seem to be another matter entirely.  There was a 2 year old sitting behind us on the plane flying back from LA, and she and Gabby were completely fascinated with one another.  Gabby gave her some of the biggest smiles I've ever seen!  She also loved seeing her cousins Audrey and Olivia at Thanksgiving

She also has 5 teeth now.  Both lower middle ones, a top front one, and the ones on either side of the front teeth.  The last 3 are just poking through, but they are super sharp!

Her personality is starting to come through as well.  I watched her at daycare one day, and she crawled right up to another baby, yanked the pacifier out of his mouth, and started to put it in her own.  The daycare worker caught her and took it away, but then she tried to take another baby's socks!  She's also really stubborn (mine and Brian's baby stubborn?  Who would have thought?), and will fight tooth and nail anything that she doesn't want to happen.  She had to have a blood draw after her doctor's appointment to check her white cells, Fe and Pb levels, and she fought like we were skinning her.  This after the nurse assured me that she would hate the shots more, and blood draw would be no problem.  And then we got a call to repeat the blood draw.  I'm so not ready for that!

Gabby is quite an eater!  She gets 5 bottles a day still (6 oz each), and 3 meals of baby food.  We've recently started giving her finger foods, and she seems to have a really good time trying to get them to her mouth.  She loves Saltines, and will spend a meal eating just 1, which makes eating much easier for me!  As first timers, I think we are very hesitant to give her things (particularly after a few episodes in which we gave her something that was a little too big and suffered some very unfortunate consequences), but we're getting the hang of just handing her something and trusting that she'll figure out if it needs to be in smaller pieces.

Gabby had 3 costumes for Halloween this year.  She had a cat costume that for some reason I bought in a 3-6 month size, so it was super short on her, and I didn't take any pictures.  She wore her doctor scrubs to daycare, and her Winnie the Pooh costume from cousin Olivia to trick or treat.

Hmm, I seem to be having some trouble getting pictures to upload--I'm just going to publish and try again later!

Thanksgiving details to come, along with pictures!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

7 months, and a baptism

Well, I fully intended to update after Gabby's 6 month doctor's visit, but she decided to hit another milestone and get her very first illness.  We spent the week with massive, um, GI issues that caused her to not want to eat and to lose over a pound, which she clearly could not afford to lose.  I ended up taking her to the pediatrician 2 days before her appointment because I was so worried about the weight loss.  He told me that she would start eating when she was good and ready, and to continue to keep her hydrated (which we were doing pretty well anyway).  Turns out he was right!  She went from 14 lbs, 12 oz before she got sick to 13 lbs, 9 oz at the height of not eating to lbs, oz a week and a half later!  She was taking 6 oz bottles, but now insists on 8 ozers, and even wakes up at night a couple times a week for an extra bottle.  It's been crazy, but I'm glad she's clearly feeling better!  She handled being sick pretty well, just a little whinier and more clingy than usual.  Brian and I managed to survive as well, with me home on Monday and Friday all day, and him getting to work most of the day Wednesday.  He did have to come home way early on Tuesday and Thursday so that I could get to my class, but he got to work while she slept and after I got home.  It was a huge hassle not being able to drop her at daycare (and on my first week of classes too!), but we got through it.

The weekend before she got sick, Gabby got baptized by Brian's childhood Presbyterian church in LA.  Brian's parents still attend, and they baptized Gabby's cousins Audrey and Olivia, so now it was Gabby's turn.  It was a very sweet little service, and Gabby couldn't have handled it better.  She went right to the pastor, didn't cry when she had the water on her head, and even let Pastor Cathy carry her all around the sanctuary without me having to follow!  I really didn't think I was going to get Gabby back for a minute!  We had a strong Romo turnout--Brian's parents, of course, and the Wards, but also his uncle Ron and Del, and his cousin Steve, Raquel and Justine.  We all went to Brian's parents' house afterwards to have lunch and cake and just to visit and chat.  This was pretty much when I knew Gabby didn't feel well--she took unusually long naps, and was more listless than usual, but she seemed to enjoy all of the attention.  Here are some pictures from the weekend:
At the altar
Our family outside the church
With Grandma and Grandpa Romo

With Grandma and Grandpa and the Wards

Cousins with a smile from the youngest
Fun on the floor

Smiling for the camera

Playing with mommy

 So now we have a 7 month old!  At her 6 month appointment, she was 26.5 in, with a 43 cm head.  She's basically 50th percentile on height, and still in the 10th for weight (I expect that to go up when they re-weigh her on Oct. 1 and give her the rotavirus vaccine that we held off on this time because of her GI issues).  However, the big news was her mental development.  Her doctor commented on how advanced she is in her interactions with the world--looks people in the eye, is very interested in anything and everything going on in the room, and just very alert in general.  And he was very surprised when I told him she was out-and-out crawling (he even asked "with her butt off the ground, right?").  He said that he expects to see these skills in a 9 month old, not a 6 (or 6.5 at that point) month old.  I joked that she seems to be using all the calories she eats for mental development and none for weight gain, and he told me that they used to say when he worked in New Mexico that the pediatricians' kids were always the skinniest for that reason!

Gabby continues to develop well ahead of what I'm ready for too--she's started to pull herself up to standing already!  She would only do it at first while holding onto someone's hands, but just yesterday did it while holding onto the furniture.  I told her she could slow down--she just mastered crawling, and she doesn't need to walk yet!  Oddly, she doesn't actually sit unsupported yet.  She does the tripod, or leans against something.  She seems to have just skipped it for some reason.  But here's a video of her standing.  I did give her a hand, but she can absolutely do it on her own!

She's also now switched to 2 naps/day.  I think she's been trying to do that for a while now, but refused to move her second nap later in the afternoon, meaning she wanted to sleep from 9-10, again from noon-1, and then stay up until bedtime.  Yeah, wasn't happening.  So we and daycare finally got her to go down later in the afternoon and stay asleep longer as well.  She seems really happy with this schedule, and so am I--it's easier to get things done when she's sleeping longer stretches!

She continues to eat solids really well.  She gets oatmeal in the morning, then a fruit or veggie at noon, and a fruit and veggie at night.  We've introduced peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, bananas, prunes and peaches.  Everything but the green veggies has been a hit.  We can trick her into eating the peas and green beans by mixing them with something she likes.  We have pears and apples still to go.  Then we can start with the fun combos and the meats (even though the thought of pureed meat makes me want to gag).  She's in Stage 2 foods now, and they look like a lot more fun than the Stage 1's were!

Vocally, she's making a ton of sounds.  She has b's, d's, m's, p's, f's, g's, h's, l's and all vowels down pat.  I've heard some v's, n's, and s's, but she's very sparing with those right not.  She does the "ma ma" cry when she's upset, which is just not fair.  Brian tries to use this out of getting up to get her at night.  I let him get away with it during the week, but we split the weekends! She'll also say da and ba a lot, but hasn't quite connected any sounds to specific people or things.

I have now almost completely stopped breastfeeding.  I still give her some in the morning, but it's mostly just to tide her over until I can make her bottle.  I was only getting 3 oz, at most, per pumping session Tues-Thurs, and it just wasn't worth the time and effort to get so little.  I tried doing morning and evening, but she was getting too frustrated with the evening one.  I'm a little bummed, but we made it 7 months with at least a little everyday, so I'm happy overall.

My classes are going pretty well.  The Wednesday class is easy, since I've taught it before.  The Tues/Thurs one is more challenging.  I got really far behind when she was sick, and I'm playing catch-up now to get my lectures done.  That class also has a test every week, which makes for a ton of grading!  I'm pretty happy overall, though, and I leave class with a big smile on my face so I know I made the right decision to get back and teach.

As far as our wine goes, we bottled the tempranillo over Labor Day weekend while Gabby slept.  It's hard to tell at this early stage how the wine tastes, but neither one of us spit it out, so I take that as a good sign!  The zinfandel from last year actually turned out really well.  It started out a bit acidic and chemically, but it has matured in the bottle to a nice big, fruity zin.  I'm very pleased, and hope the temp turns out as well!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another video

I thought this video was just too cute to wait until the end of  the month.  I'm sorry for the length--my video editor is being stupid.  You can just fast-forward to 1:00 for the cutest part :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

6 months

I can't believe it's been 6 months since Gabby made her appearance!  She is such a joy to have around, and makes our lives so full and complete.  It's amazing how such a small person has such a huge impact on us!

Gabby has again grown by leaps and bounds this month.  She's 14 lbs 6 oz, but that's really only part of the story.  She's also starting to give us glimpses of the person she's going to become.  She is so alert and curious all the time (which is definitely from her parents), but also very bubbly and talkative (which is most certainly not).  She hasn't hit the stranger danger stage yet, so any grownup who pays attention to her is rewarded with a huge grin and some baby babble.  She is also quite stubborn, and very vocal when something is happening that she doesn't like.  On the flip side, we've figured out how to make her laugh, and she's very free with her smiles.

She seems to have skipped sitting somehow.  She'll sit upright when on my lap, and really protests if you try to make her lean back too much, but on the floor, she'll sit for a few seconds, but then see something interesting and topple over to get it.  But what she lacks in sitting she's starting to make up in other ways.  See below:

Yes, you saw that right, she is crawling!  I am so amazed--she went from rolling around to rocking on her hands and knees to out-and-out crawling within a week.  Even since I shot this video on Monday, she has improved greatly.  Now, nothing is safe--particularly the cats!  The most motion seems to happen when Zoe and/or Snowball are in view--Gabby is desperate to get her hands on them, and they, understandably, want absolutely nothing to do with her!  Zoe in particular holds a great fascination for Gabby--it may be the black color against our white carpet, or maybe because Zoe is more likely to be around. I actually give daycare a lot of credit for this.  I think she saw the other babies crawling and thought, "hey, I can do that!"  I'm so not prepared for this!  Tomorrow will be my first day home with a fully mobile baby.  Should be interesting!

We've also started solids.  She gets cereal in the morning and at noon, and a fruit or veggie at night. 

First bite

She seemed to like it--minimal tongue thrusting, anyway!  She did go on to eat about 1/4 of what I made.

First taste of prunes was weird!

Hmm, maybe they aren't so bad!

OK, maybe they are!

I've discovered this is actually her "I'm full" signal.  Her next few experiences went much better.

We started with prunes, which she thought were pretty good (after 2 days), and then tried peas, which made her gag immediately.  So I just mixed the peas with the prunes, and she ate everything!  I can't believe I already have to outsmart my daughter.  We've moved on to squash and sweet potatoes, which were both huge hits, and we'll try green beans and carrots next.  I want to hold off on other fruits until after we get some veggies in her.  This is going to be a long process--the new wisdom says to wait 4-7 days in between trying new things to make sure there are no allergies.  She may be a year old before we know exactly what she can eat!

Gabby went on her first camping trip this month to Yosemite.  We went with a bunch of friends (10 adults and 4 children ranging from 3 years to 4 months), and we had a blast.  The lows dipped down in to the 30s at night, but we managed to keep Gabby warm with many, many layers of sleepers and blankets.  Sharing a tent was not so fun, since we heard every little noise she made, and I ended up not getting that much sleep.  During the day, we went to the valley and did some very easy walks with the kids.  It was hot, and I was feeling it, but Gabby seemed to be OK.  I think she really enjoyed herself--Brian and I certainly did!

Samantha, ready for hiking in her awesome hat

Us with Charlotte

Who promptly showed us a proper handstand

Gabby checking out Karen.  She decided Karen was cool.

The girls

Our friend Justin's uvula.  It's a very nice one.

Half Dome.  I've been up there.  I'm not going again.

Hiking, baby-friendly style.

I love this jacket, and I'm so happy she got to wear it!

Family photo with our gorgeous view of the meadow
I bought this hat when she was a newborn, and she just now fits into it.  Hello, Yoda!  I picked this shot because she looks like she's dispensing some Yoda-like wisdom in it :)
I just realized I don't have any pictures of Phoebe, Charlotte's sister, but I do have a funny story.  We put a blanket on the ground and laid Phoebe on it, while I was holding Gabby up facing her.  Gabby and Phoebe immediately started looking at each other, and seemed perfectly happy until Gabby burst into tears!  I think it was because she couldn't see Brian or me, but it looked for all the world like Phoebe won the staring contest and Gabby was really upset about it!  Phoebe even had a "that's right, I won" look on her face.  It was so cute.  Other than that, the babies seemed to get along all right, and Samantha and Charlotte loved playing together.

I started my first class this week, and it was so much fun.  It made me realize what a great decision it was for me to go back to work.  I definitely love teaching, and I think I have a great class this semester.  It's going to be challenging, since it's a night class and I have a ton of information to give them just once a week, but I'm hoping my students enjoy the class as much as I do!  My other class starts on the 28th, and I have so much work to do before then! 

Gabby loves daycare!  She's always in such a good mood when I pick her, and gets very excited to see the room when I'm dropping her off.  There was 1 day when it got very loud (lots of babies), and the provider said she got a little stressed, but calmed down once someone held her for awhile.  She gets cereal twice a day there, and eats it all up.  I'm so glad we have a place I can take her and feel confident that she's getting good care.

I'll update with her 6 month stats when she goes to the pediatrician on the 31st, and post her official 6 month photo then as well.