Monday, November 4, 2013

Our First Halloween

OOOOOO. First Halloween has come and gone. And the pictures are tooooo cute for words!

We had two Halloween experiences.
First, with the Mommy Group!

Look at all those cute babies!

And then on Halloween. Amber came over with her little Monkey. So cute.

Can you stand the cutesness?!?!?!?!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

7 Months

Month 6

Weight: 16 lbs. 14 oz.          70 percentile
Height: 27.75 inches            97 percentile       Weight to Height - 15 percentile
Head: 44 cm.                       85 percentile

Month 7

Weight: 19 lbs. 


  • Oh I don't even know.
  • Eliana talks all the time. 
  • Eliana eats everything. 
  • And really? It's all about the pictures. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!?

At Eliana's 4 month appointment, everything was going well, or so I thought...

I love our pediatric practice. As a WHOLE they are wonderful. They can calm me down quickly and answer my questions. When the person I am talking to doesn't know the answer, she goes and finds it. I like them. Matt came with us to the first few appointments and picked out a Dr. that he felt comfortable with. She is nice, and very young. Not like Doogie Howser level young, but sometimes she feels like that.

Anyway. Back to our little story. Something wasn't right. Doc wasn't talking. She was just kinda doing the same thing over and over again. And then she said she would be right back with another Doc. She has done this before, and I am okay with it. She wants to make sure the information she is giving us is correct. I appreciate it. Doc #2 came in and did the same things Doogie Howser did. Then they both left. Eliana and I started to make fun of them. And have fun - like we do.

Doc came back in and said that Doc #2 confirmed her suspisicions. There is a SMALL chance that Eliana might have Down Syndrome.



JK. I didn't actually freak out. I was more shocked than anything else. I mean, we had the test when I was pregnant to check for Downs, even though I didn't care at all about the outcome, just wanted to see my baby again. I never in a million years would have terminated the pregnancy if she had Down Syndrome. I just wanted another fancy sonogram. I wanted to see her beautiful face.

So I started asking questions. Doc told me that it was because of a few things.
1 - Eliana wasn't standing up assisted. When you hold her up she doesn't put her feet down.
2 - Her tongue is always sticking out.
3 - Her muscle definition is loose.

So then I responded.
1 - Of course she isn't standing up, no one told me she was supposed to. SO why would I make her.
2 - I am the runt of my family when it comes to tongue length, and I can touch my nose. My brother's tongue was out until he was much older.
3 - SHE IS 4 MONTHS OLD! Of course her muscle definition is loose. She doesn't go to the GYM! what was I thinking!!!

Doc explained that had our positions been switched, she would want to know that there is a small chance that her child might be on the MOSAIC for Down Syndrome. Mosaic? Is that like the spectrum for Autism? Nope, its a mosaic. IDK.

She told me that there was a number I could call and they would come to the house and do a full physical, emotional, and mental exam to confirm. Or I could do blood work. On a FOUR month old. Right. So I asked the Doc, "Does she look like she has Downs?" "No."

The whole reason Doc told me this was "in case" she does have Downs. She didn't want me to be shocked or surprised if it showed up on her blood work later on.

So I went home. And told Matt. He wanted to call and make appointments and get her checked out, etc. I said sure. I will make the call. And the next day, Eliana started putting her feet down and standing up. And we never did anything about it.

Fast forward 2 months. To her 6 month appointment. I took her alone again, and we purposely saw the same Doc as before. We went through the motions and all the regular stuff. Then at the end of the appointment Doc said "You remember all that stuff about the possibility of Down Syndrome? Yea, I don't think there is any chance she has it." My response? "I know."

Every friend and family member I told this story to was appalled by Doc's behavior. And rightfully so. Had this been any other parent, especially a FIRST TIME PARENT, everything about how they raise that child would have changed. Most parents would start looking at this child as special or disabled. Doc was lucky it was me in the room that day. And she is lucky I don't have an interest in suing her. She could have completely derailed our relationship and damaged our family. Just in case.

Never once did I suspect that Doc knew what she was talking about. Never once did I suspect that my daughter might have Down Syndrome. It was not in the realm of possibility. So no.

In fact, I was more upset this past week by how much her butt her because of her diarrhea. Which was MY FAULT because I fed her carrots - and she is clearly still allergic.

Moral of this story? I am going to see Doc once more at 9 months. And I am going to talk to her about her decision to say "might" and "possibility" because any other parent would have freaked out. And then, I think we are going to switch Docs in the practice. No worries, there are 8 others to pick from and I have liked almost all of them.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

L'Shana Tova

I have to confess, in my family I am the most secular Jew. They might not know it, but it is how I feel. I do not actively seek out my Judaism on a regular basis, nor do I participate in being Jewish. We do not light the Shabbat candles every Friday night. We do not attend services. We are not members of a congregation or the JCC. I am Jewish, it is just part of me. Like saying I have brown hair. It is just factual information.

As I was sitting in temple last month for Rosh Hashanah services I was struck by the amount of community I am missing by not being more involved. I was sitting in services, by myself, when a couple sat down next to me. She introduced herself and started talking to me about the synagogue. She engaged me in her community. She could have left me alone, but she didn't. Then, the president spoke about how the synagogue as a community needs to be looking out for the new people and the people who are not yet involved in their community. And I felt like she was talking to me. She said L'Shana Tova means Happy New Year, and I knew that, we say it every year. Then she said that L'Shana comes from the same root as  L'Shanot, change. Let Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serve as a moment of decisive change in your life. 

It resonated with me. 

It happened again at Kol Nidrei services. Kol Nidrei is a prayer for those who cannot pray. It is the community asking forgiveness for those who cannot ask for themselves. A different couple sat down next to me and we began to talk about the Rabbis and Cantors. A former student sat down with her family behind me and engaged me for fifteen minutes before the service and again afterwards. They asked if I was a member, and when I said I wasn't, they asked if I had enjoyed myself. No pressure to join. Just make sure you still get involved in the yearly programs. 

It resonated with me again. Like listening to the shofar sound. The universe is talking to me. I miss prayer. I miss being involved in the temple. I miss being an active participant in my Judaism.

And in the last month, I have thought about it a lot. And I have started looking into the Temple. I have started doing the research. I have started making plans for us and for our household. My hope for this New Year is that the "little" change Eliana has been (little in size, not the change) will continue until we can fill the void. Let me take these feelings seriously and act on them. Let me make changes that last. May this year be a Happy New Year and a Year filled with Happy Changes.

On a similar and different note. My goal this year is to forgive those who hurt me. I want to not take offense as quickly or as deeply. I want to learn how to let it go better and faster. There was a prayer in the Kol Nidrei service that really stuck with me - even now a month later.

Give us the grace to show forbearance to those who offend against us. When the wrongs and injustices of others wound us, may our hearts not despair of human good. May no trial, however severe, embitter our souls and destroy our trust. When beset by trouble and sorrow, our mothers and fathers put on the armor of faith and fortitude. May we too find strength to meet adversity with quiet courage and unshaken will. Help us to understand that injustice and hate will not forever afflict the human race; that righteousness and mercy with triumph in the end. 

There are people we live with, work with, are friends by association with, who drive us up the wall. In a high school, I work with bullies on a regular basis, whether student or adult. I am tired of it. I am looking for my armor of faith and fortitude as well as the quiet courage and unshaken will to stand up for what I believe is right. More importantly, I want to stop focusing on the wrongs done to me. I want to be able to focus on all the positive things that happen during the day. I want to change my focus. I want to focus on the change. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

6 Months

Month 5

Weight: 16 lbs. 4 oz.

Month 6

Weight: 16 lbs. 14 oz.          70 percentile
Height: 27.75 inches            97 percentile       Weight to Height - 15 percentile
Head: 44 cm.                       85 percentile


  • Eliana can sit. All by herself. CRAZY. She started the month wobbling, but can now stabilize herself while sitting. She sat for an hour on the floor this afternoon unassisted. And while she is down there she reaches and plays with toys. Anything she can get her hands on and then into her mouth. I can sit her on the floor and wash dishes and she stays put. It's crazy how fast she is growing.
  • Solids. They are AMAZING! Eliana loves to eat (not surprising). She loves green beans, squash, and sweet potatoes. Carrots were iffy at best. She ate apples too many days in a row and the acid did a number on her tush. Bananas, pears, and peaches have been hits as well. She tolerates oatmeal, and more if I add fruits to it. She has also started eating a little meat in her purees. She will eat almost anything it seems. Good.  
  • Eliana loves daycare. She loves sitting with the other babies and talking to them. She also loves all the noisy toys she doesn't have at all. I felt bad, and bought her two for at home... When I pick her up in the afternoon she gives Marilyn a hug and then reaches for me. It makes the whole day worth it. I think once of my favorite parts is when other children come and say goodbye to her when we leave. 
  • WORDS. They have started! Dada happened this morning!!! Not directed at Matt, but still said out loud. Da da da da da da da da. And sticking her tongue out to spit.
  • Eliana has been chewing on our fingers for weeks. Then two weeks ago, she was chewing on my finger, and it hurt. There was something sharp in there. She wouldn't let me look at it for a few days. But once I did, there were TWO TEETH hanging out right there in front! Just waiting to say hello. She never complained about them coming in or had a fever. It was more of a surprise to me than anything else. 
  • We have been trying to get her to nap in her crib. Last weekend, I fought her for two hours and then I finally won. It has been lovely to have her nap in her own room, away from the noise. In fact, it is that skill that is allowing me to write right now. 
Long and short of it is. these first six months have gone by so very quickly. I miss my itty bitty baby girl. But I adore the big girl who smiles, giggles, and plays with me. I cannot remember what my life was like without her. And I don't really want to. She has been the best gift ever. (I hope I remember this moment in 14 years....)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5 Months

Another month has come and gone. And our baby girl has gotten much bigger and smarter! 

Month 4

Weight: 13 lbs. 14 oz.

Month 5

Weight: 16 lbs. 4 oz.


  • Eliana can sit. She is still wobbling and needs to be propped a little bit. But she has always preferred sitting up to laying in your arms like a baby. Now she will only lay down in your arms if you are feeding her; and even then, maybe not. Sit me up! 
  • Solids. They are AMAZING! Eliana loves to eat. (not surprising) She loves green beans, squash, and sweet potatoes. I can't figure out how much I should be feeding her, because she wants to eat the entire container, every time!
  • Eliana laughed for the first time this month. She was watching her cousins jump up and down and she thought it was hysterical. She has also laughed at Misty and Bones barking. 
  • Rolling still happens. In both directions. Any time she wants. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Colorado - a Stone vacation

Oh I'm sorry. This is over a month old. What's worse, is that I started it so long ago, and thought I finished it, and never looked sad. So where the beginning and then where I left off...

Like we do, we were home for two days between the Reese family vacation and leaving for the Stone family vacation. We were home long enough to unpack, do laundry, and pack again.

This trip was Eliana's first trip on an airplane. And she was such a champ! We were more nervous. We had a second diaper bag packed with us in case we were stuck on the airplane, but we didn't need it. Our flight out to Colorado was about 4 hours and left at 11 so we kept her up all morning and she fell asleep as the plane was boarding. She slept right through take off. At dinner point she woke up and played with us, ate, then fell back asleep. We fed her again during landing. In case you're curious, yes the front bathroom had a fold down thing to change her diaper. However, if she was any longer she would have been touching both walls.
So Colorado. Matt wanted to drive over Independence Pass. It is beautiful but scary. It is a two lane road, most of the way, that hugs the side of the mountain. And our ears popped a few times on the way up, which made it hell for Eliana. She was fussy the whole way. But it was a beautiful drive, and less scary than I remember it from my childhood. 

Ashcroft - a ghost town
While we were in Aspen we had a wonderful time. The whole family was there. We went to the music a few times, took some nice walks and hikes, went out for Sarah's birthday dinner. (see this is where having done this a month ago would have been helpful - good thing I have pictures!!!!)

We went hot air ballooning for Sarah's birthday

And we listened to music on top of Ajax Mountain. 

And we went on the swing for the first time. It was a hit!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

4 Months

I can't believe how fast this goes. How fast she grows. It is crazy. Crazy fast. 

Month 4

Weight: 13 lbs. 14 oz.          70 percentile
Height: 25.5 inches              90 percentile       Weight to Height - 20 percentile
Head: 42 cm.

The nurse measured her head twice because she didn't believe she measured it right the first time. Yea, that's right. She is definitely a Reese - head and all. And look at those percentiles - she is long and skinny. 


  • Eliana makes a lot of cute faces. 
  • She shows a lot of interest in holding books and looking at the pictures. 
  • She can roll over. She has done it a few times from her tummy to her back. But now she is rolling from her back to her tummy. All the time. She does it in her sleep. And then screams. Its cute. 
  • Eliana loves looking at the baby in the mirror. Or in the phone. Or videos of the baby. I don't think she knows she is looking at herself. But she loves the baby. Always. 
  • She unswaddled herself. She fell asleep before we could swaddle her and she slept like a champ. We haven't looked back!

We are starting to think about solids. Wish us luck!

Friday, July 19, 2013

West Virginia - a Reese vacation

Another summer of travel and family. Our first trip this summer was new for everyone. For the first time we were able to travel with the Reeses.

We spent just under a week out in the hills of West Virginia. We were able to explore the surrounding towns and eat wonderful food. We saw some beautiful waterfalls and spent a lot of time playing games together.

But my favorite outing was in memory of Gerry. It wasn't entirely apparent at the time, but it was in retrospect. We spent an afternoon riding the train. It was a two hour trip and we spent it playing with Eliana and taking lots of pictures.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. And we are looking forward to our trip again next summer. Who knows where we will go next year?!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cloth Diapers... revisited

Okay. Things have changed... not by a lot. But enough. So I thought I would share it with you. And I thought I would give you more information.

So. We changed our minds on the all-in-one diapers before Eliana was born. We switched from the Bum Genius Freetime (it was the all-in-one diaper) to the Bum Genius 4.0. They are still a one size fits all (from 8-35 pounds) kind of diaper. But they are pocket diapers instead of the all-in-ones. 

After a few more conversations with friends and some more time watching videos on YouTube, I realized why pocket diapers make more sense. 

  1. You can manage the amount of stuffing each diaper has. If she is a serious pee-er, then we can add extra layers of absorbency.
  2. Don't get all judgey and stuff yet, because we haven't done this and don't know if we WILL do this, but we COULD do this. If she pees, you can change the WHOLE diaper, but only put the liner into the wet bag. The outside will take about 5-15 minutes to dry off and then it COULD be reused with a clean liner. Just saying. It is an OPTION. Not necessarily a reality.
  3. Pocket diapers have an extra step when they come out of the wash. But so do socks. You have to find the match and fold them over. Pocket diapers need to be stuffed when they come out of the wash. The all-in-one diapers we were looking at before had two interiors flaps (instead of liners) that had to be manipulated at the time of diapering. You know, when our baby is sitting there squirming or screaming. Of the two options, I pick stuffing ahead of time rather than manipulating at the time of squirming.
And since we have been using the diapers for the last few weeks here is what we think. We love cloth diapers. In response to the numbers above
  1. Eliana is a pee-er and we have already started managing it with more stuffing. It makes everything easier. 
  2. We have not tried this. I don't know if we ever will. I am a little afraid of a UTI in an infant. How would she tell me what was wrong? So I don't know if it will happen.
  3. Stuffing ahead of time is easy. It is just like folding socks. You make time for it. And it is easy.
  4. For the cost. We have loved not having to run out and buy diapers. We have loved not buying diapers at all. 
  5. In 3.5 months we have only had diaper rash once. And just barely. The diapers wick away moisture so she isn't sitting in it. Because of this, we have had very few diaper related problems. 
So we have about 24 diapers. And Matt washes them maybe every other day. We put them through the washer on the white cycle then we air dry them. 

Cloth diapering is easy. It is not the cloth diapering nightmare of even 30 years ago. Even Matt enjoys it, as much as anyone can enjoy anything related to diapering. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our favorite things 0-3 months

Newborns. Infants. Babies. Each one is different. Each one requires a whole lot of crap. Here are the things we couldn't live without. 

Favorite things we couldn't have lived without during the first three months:

  1. Swaddling blankets. We used them all the time. Sleeping. Napping. Sometimes in the bouncy seat.  Eliana loved being swaddled and they made our lives so much easier. I wish she didn't love them as much because now we are trying to unswaddle her as she starts rolling over.
  2. Bouncy seat. Saved our lives. This one has a vibrator in the seat. And Eliana loves it. It has an activity bridge that she is finally getting into playing with; she is taking to and reaching for the animals.
  3. Swing but only temporarily. There are times when she loves the swing and talks to the animals in the mobile; and there are other times when she can't stand the swing at all. The one we have can rotate and either swing front to back or side to side. Eliana normally swings front to back.
  4. Pacifier. She loves this paci. But only the 0-3 month ones. We tried to introduce the 3-6 month-ers, but they feel different (because they are for teething). And she isn't ready for them. So we backed off - for now.
  5. O-Ball.  Oh man this ball is the cat's meow. It was the first toy she really started playing with. She could grab it easily and has been trying to get it in her mouth.  This ball is a must have!
  6. Boppy for sitting. Maybe.
  7. Mobile on her crib. She loves looking at it always.
  8. Lawn for drying bottle paraphernalia. It's amazing how helpful this little piece of plastic has become. And how nice it is to keep the bottle paraphernalia separate from our dishes. 
  9. Washcloth to hold onto. She loves holding onto them.
  10. Sunscreen. This stick is so much easier to use than spread. I love it. 

Things we didn't need at all...

  1. Swing. If we didn't have it, we wouldn't really miss it. It just takes up space.
  2. Boppy for breast feeding. Boppy in general. I think it was a waste of money... 

Monday, June 17, 2013

3 months

I can't believe it's been three months since this cutie joined our family.

Month 3

Weight: 12 lbs. 13 oz.


  • Eliana has started grabbing at objects and holding onto them. She reaches for her ball and tries to get the whole thing in her mouth. She also loves her elephant lovie. 
  • Her scream is drastically different than when she was first born. It used to be a high pitch wail, but now it sounds more purposeful. She used to be a dinosaur. Now she sounds like a baby. 
  • She absolutely recognizes Matt and I. She looks at us when we talk to her. And she follows us around the room. And my mother's voice. She was asleep until we started a video chat with my mom, then she was awake and looking around. 
  • Eliana has started kicking forcefully enough to move quickly. She has almost kicked herself off Matt's lap and the changing table. 
  • She can get herself out of the swaddling blankets...the ones with the Velcro tabs. 
  • She eats like a champ. Duh. She's a Reese. She is switching from the little 4 ounce bottles to the larger ones to accommodate eating more in a single sitting. She now eats between 28 & 33 ounces a day. She also started reaching up to hold onto the bottle.
  • Eliana chatters all the time. About.... who knows what.... but all day long.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shift change

Dear Eliana,

Next week you are in for a shock. On Tuesday I am going back to work. We have spent the last 9 weeks together almost exclusively. As crazy as it sounds, we do in fact speak the same language. The problem is that your Dad, who is picking up the shift for the next three weeks, speaks a slightly different language. Especially overnight. He has been trying really hard this week on the overnight shift. But you are killing him! That man loves you a lot but hates it when you trick him into sleeping on the couch. You know that you don't have to sleep in either the bouncy chair or the swing. So stop screwing with him. That's not nice. And honestly it will come back to bite you when you bring home a boy for the first time. I'm just saying. Seriously that man needs a good, no a great night's sleep. Cut him some slack. He knows what he is doing. I trust him with my life, so I promise that you can trust him with yours.

And seriously it's just mean that I can feed you, burp you, and get you back sleep in 20 minutes. You shouldn't make him work for 45. That's just mean spirited.

I mean it. Cut it out. Be nice to him. He is the best father you will ever have. EVER. And he is working very hard.

And even I make mistakes. Like right now. We are using a diaper insert for a burp cloth. It is super absorbent! Don't mock me.

So to recap. I'm going back to work on Tuesday. You are staying home with Daddy. He is capable and awesome. I will get to play with you all afternoon. You are going to let him get a great night's sleep. Every night. Okay at least twice during the week. And don't haze him, it's just not nice.

Love you always

Friday, May 17, 2013

2 Months Old!

I couldn't believe it when she turned 1 month old. But now she is 2 months old!?!?!?! What the hell?!?!?! Soon she won't even be a baby! Wait, I am getting ahead of myself. 

But you didn't see the pictures of her from her first month birthday. So let's start with those. 

So let's see here... how about some information? What should we include?


Height: 20.5 inches 
Weight: 6 lbs. 15 oz.
Head: 31 cm

Month 1

Height: 21.5 inches 
Weight: 7 lbs. 5 oz.
Head: I don't remember...

Look how adorable she is!!

Sleeping with Daddy!

Month 2

Height: 23 inches - 75%
Weight: 9 lbs. 13 oz. - 25%
Head: 38.5 cm - 50%

She went in for her well check up this afternoon. So she is still light for her age, but remember we didn't start feeding her until a few weeks ago (that's a funny despite all the problems we had). So she is growing, and fast!!! She also had her first round of vaccines. Unfortunately, she did have a reaction. She was drinking her last bottle of the day. She screamed the entire time she was drinking it. Once she got to the bottom, she vomited, in an arc over my lap. It was pretty impressive. Then she felt much better and promptly fell asleep. Gotta love that.

New skills

  • Smiles at me, and sometimes Matt
  • Loves having her diaper changed
  • Is becoming a big eater
  • Sleeps better in my arms and bouncy chair
  • Sleeps about 5-6 hours at night (from 8 or 9 until 1 or 2am)
  • Grabs onto clothing, burp cloths, wash rags, and anything else thin
  • Loves to look at lights
  • Loves to look over my right shoulder - normally at Gerry's picture of a train
  • Enjoys the moving animals on her swing and mobile
  • Enjoys listening to music and talking

A quick comparison for you

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meeting the Families

Over the last few weeks, Eliana has met most of her family. She has met her Reese family, and she has met her Stamford family. She has not met her extended Stone family - that is happening this summer.

So a few weekends ago Eliana met her Reese family. We went to Grandma Linda's for Linner or was it Dunch? Anyway. We were there for a late lunch. Eliana was able to meet so many of her extended family members. It was a wonderful afternoon!

Eliana met her Great-Uncles & Aunts. She met 4 of her second cousins, or maybe they are once removed... who knows. And she was a little angel throughout the afternoon. She let everyone hold her. She wants to apologize for spitting up on Carrie. Her Great Uncles were thrilled to feed her. It was a lovely afternoon!

The following weekend she traveled to CT to meet the Stamford family. Her Nana & Grandpa's friends. It was also her time for her Baby Naming. It is a ceremony introducing her to the Jewish people. It was her turn to enter into the covenant.

It was a huge event. There were about 50 people there... overwhelming much? But it was lovely to see so many friends and "family" (you know the family that you don't share any blood with). It was lovely.

Over the summer, we are traveling for Eliana to meet her Great-Grandparents! We can't wait!!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!!

I have always loved Mother's Day. Just because of how lucky I am to have the mother I do. My mother is intelligent, caring, supportive, strong, and loving. She has welcomed every one of my friends into her home as if they were family; even the ones who didn't deserve it. She has shown me all the ways I can be successful in my life and then let me figure out how to do it my way. She held my hand when I needed it and left it available to me even after I rejected it. My mother is a truly remarkable woman.

And now that I am a mother also, the pressure is on. I want to be as great a mother to my daughter as my mother was (and still is) to my siblings and me. I want to be there for her and still allow her to find her own way. I want to teach her how to be a strong woman, to stand up for what she believes in, to look out for the people around her in addition to the people she cares about. I want my daughter to grow up curious and inquisitive. I want her to explore.

And I want to have the relationship that I have with my mom when we are older. I want to be her best friend. I want to love the person she grows up to be.

I love my mother to the moon and back. I wouldn't be anything worthwhile without her love. I wouldn't be competent without the lessons she helped me teach myself. She is a truly incredible woman. And I am lucky to have known her. But more so, I am lucky to be her daughter.