Monday, November 30, 2009

Ten Year Reunion

Saturday night was my ten year high school reunion, so for anyone who wasn't sure before you can probably guesstimate my age. It was odd to think we'd been out of high school for ten years, but looking back a lot has happened and we have a lot to be thankful for. So, here's to ten more years.

1999: Start College at Shippensburg University. Start working at the GAP - Holiday.
2000: 1st Coaching Job - Summer. Kept working at the GAP. Change from DA (desk assistant) to RA (resident assistant) halfway through 2000-2001.
2001: Still going to college and working at the GAP and coaching in the summer and RA'ing.
2002: Ditto plus Pro-Sem and Student Teaching.
2003: Graduate from Ship (in four years!). Start working as an assistant at Simmons. Continue working at the GAP.
2004: Spring - start working as interim director at Goddard. Fall - Start teaching kindergarten at Lower Moreland. Kept working at the GAP.
2005: Start teaching 1st grade (contracted) at Lower Moreland. Move into condo. Got engaged!
2006: Get married. Jeff got GBS. Jeff got better.
2007: Got Masters +
2008: Went to Africa. Got pregnant. Not because I went to Africa...
2009: Have a baby!

A lot can happen in ten years.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Her Hips Don't Lie

Well, they might lie. Let me explain. Cecelia had an appointment at CHOP last Wednesday to follow up from her hip X-Ray two Fridays ago. According to our pediatricians, her left hip was subjugated (Jeff's interpretation of the word) which we found out was probably really subluxated (he was really tired when he answered the phone). Regardless, we took our appointment at CHOP being that they're the best and we were able to get an appointment before Thanksgiving. So, we waited...and waited. Our appointment was at 2:00, but we were in the waiting room for about an hour and a half and then in the exam room for another half hour to an hour. But we were not disappointed. The doctor we met with was very knowledgeable and kind. As it turns out, he heard the click in her right hip and x-rays aren't normally done on infants so young because their hips are still mostly cartilage, so you can guess at what you're seeing in an x-ray, but the hips themselves are mostly blurry. Normally, an ultrasound would be done to determine if a baby has hip dysplasia. Also, due to Cecelia's abnormal strength and determination, Dr. S. advised me that a pavlik harness probably wouldn't be in her best interests at this point. He told us that we had two option - 1: wait 3 months and get an x-ray when her hip bones have solidified or 2: in 1-2 weeks get an ultrasound and have a follow up appointment. Dr. S. felt confident that her click was/is a minor one and probably won't necessitate further interventions (great news) and that we could wait for the x-ray. However, after my internet reading (always dangerous) I felt that IF there is something to find, I'd rather find it sooner rather than later and intervene as best we can (probably a plastic night time leg brace if the ultrasound warrants that). So, we'll be back at CHOP in two weeks for an ultrasound and an appointment, and an appointment for mommy too...just in case. But it's probably fine - which is great news!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy (day after) Thanksgiving! Yesterday, Cece, Jeff, Nana, and I all participated in the Gobble Wobble in Abington - Baby's First 5K. We went for Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Cathy and Uncle Bob's house and ate far too much good food. Something didn't sit quite right with me and I paid for that all night long. Good news is that I'm feeling better already, but I'm a little scared to put any new food in my stomach - time to bite the bullet. While I wasn't planning to go shopping, that wasn't in the cards for me anyhow with this bug, but I hope everyone who did partake in Black Friday had a fabulous (and safe) time. I can't believe that all of these firsts (as far as Holidays) are happening so quickly. Before you know it, Baby's 1st Christmas will be here!

picture coming soon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Age: 19 Weeks

Well, today I am 19 weeks old! I've had a bit of excitement this week with my first x-ray and tomorrow will be my first trip to the city for an appointment with an orthopedist at CHOP. I'll keep you posted as to any news on that front. Check out this link to learn more about what we think we'll be hearing tomorrow : Enjoy! And...Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Ask 95% of people who have met Cecelia and they will tell you about the calmest, mellowest, sweetest baby they've ever met. That select few in the minority may tell of a slightly different story. For example, anyone who's had the pleasure to babysit her while I'm at diving practice, rode in the car with her, spent time with us at the beach, x-rayed her leg on Friday, or was in the LLLI conference this past weekend will tell you of a baby who's happy most of the time (and that certainly counts for something, don't get me wrong) but has an intense cry when it rears its ugly head. Jeff's grandmother said it best when she said, when Cecelia cries she doesn't sound sad, she sounds mad. Early on, some people remarked that she had a temper. I decided that this would be a self-fulfilling prophecy and that no one should tell her of these moments when she was older. I decided "spirited" and "full of personality" were better descriptors. Now I know it just is a part of her personality and I love my feisty little girl. She knows what she wants (or doesn't it sometimes seems) and she's going to get it. It's funny too to think of what she wants - what does she want? Early on, any inexplicable crying was blamed on gas. Now that she's a little older any inexplicable crying gets blamed on teething. And we still don't know that that's really to blame - just seems like a likely culprit. I've referred to Cecelia's car cry before and early days she would get herself worked up into such a frenzy that her eyes looked a little posessed, like she was looking past you and couldn't see you and her face turned four shades of red and her mouth was as wide as could be - scary! The good thing about screaming is that it's the only time we can really see those gums to check for budding teeth. So, there are a few things that work for us to calm the rage. One is called the elevator and a lactation consultant at a La Leche League meeting taught this to me when I was at the end of my rope. I fed her, crying, burped her, crying, still crying, and I said - what now? She showed me this move and it's been our go-to move much to the chagrin of some with aching thighs. You hold the baby facing out in a pretzel legged position with her butt sagging down, squat, then go up and pat her butt twice. It was amazing, like flipping an off switch on the crying. And it's quite a work out. The sling will often calm her and the newest in our bag of tricks - running water. Not the Frank Lloyd Wright House. Turn on the water and she stops and stares. Turn it off and she cries. So, she's not quite the conservationist that her mom is, but it works for now. As I stated initially, only a select few people have ever seen this side of my daughter and I'd prefer that everyone think that she's angelic all the time, so...she is...all the time. Except for when she's intense. Which she is. Sometimes.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

X Ray Vision

So, Cecelia did NOT like being held still for the first pictures of her bones. But, she got through it and so did we. We got a message from one of our doctors the very same day (5 minutes before closing time, but I digress) to call the following day, even on Saturday. This threw me for a loop, because customarily if there is nothing to report, that's what they'll say - "everything looked great on that x-ray, no need to worry" but...that's not what they said. So, we called in the morning and played a little more phone tag. But, the gist of the matter is that Cecelia's hip is 'subjugated' and out of socket. Often this goes undiagnosed and presents when a person is in their 30s as severe arthritis of the hip. So, good news is we caught it early and it's easily treated with an orthopedic harness. Now, don't go thinking "Forrest Gump." Evidently, this harness is a soft fabric piece with velcro that goes across the hips that would be worn all the time except during bath time. Since this is hereditary, it was NOT caused by her sling, or being held over the potty for EC, or anything that we've done. So, we have calls in to three orthopedists and whoever gets back to us first gets our appointment! Now, on to me - as this is hereditary and she got it from somewhere and every now and then, my hip seems to go "out" and I have to knock it back into place...I too will be going to see an orthopedist. Especially since I'm much closer to 30...but I don't think they have a harness for 28 years of wear and tear. So, all that gymnastic movement may have its effects...soon. And...BOTH my parents have decided that they too have hip problems. Let's trace this back a few more generations. We'll keep you posted after we see the orthopedist.

Friday, November 20, 2009

4 Month Doctor's Visit

Yesterday (Thursday) was Cecelia's 4 month well check up. She was a champ! She weighs 13 lb. 9 oz.. she's 24 1/2 inches tall and her head is 16 1/4 in. around. She is all around average - 50th percentile in all areas. We heard the P word again (perfect) and you just can't hear that too often. She got one vaccine drink for Rotavirus and one shot for DTaP and she didn't cry at ALL! One thing to check in on, the doctor heard a click in her hips and noted how bendy she was. She doesn't get her flexibility from anywhere strange though. He recommended a hip x-ray just to be safe so we're headed to CHOP's Chalfont Radiology center this morning. We'll keep you posted on baby's first x-ray.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Age: 18 Weeks and Two Days...because the internet wouldn't let me post...

I am starting to scooch backwards, but don't expect to see it any time soon. A time lapse camera would probably catch this action best. You know - the kind that document clouds moving across the sky or flowers opening. Mom or dad will put me down at Point A and when they look again, I'm at Point B. And, not that I've ever been shy, but lots of people have been commenting on my expressive eyebrows. Maybe one of these days, you'll get a hubba hubba eyebrow double raise, but a lot of the time I look very concerned.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Best of Both Worlds

Cecelia has taken to trying to jam her pacifier...and both thumbs into her mouth. You can't have it all, kid.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cat Naps

I have to write this and a few other blog posts that have been brewing in my mind quickly over the next few days before Cecelia changes the rules and ...changes. So, long story short she's a bit of a cat-napper. After 20 minutes or so, she's all refreshed and ready to go. Yesterday another mom told me that her son takes short naps - an hour or so. I chuckled to myself. Cecelia naps mostly in the sling and mostly for brief periods of time. If put down, instant alarm clock. At a family function in August, a family member let me know that I could put the baby down upstairs to nap after she fell asleep in the sling. I looked askance and thought, uh huh. Sure. But, they wanted to try it. Down she went, and awake she was. She generally stays asleep for as long as she's in the sling, so if I need (want) her to sleep longer than 20 minutes, I can continue to cart her around in the sling.

The reason I stated that I need to get these things down in writing now is that Cecelia's changing so quickly and changing these habits as well. I never know what's fleeting and what's here to stay, but yesterday she napped for a substantial period of time. She fell asleep in the car on the way home in the morning, stayed asleep as I brought her inside, got showered and ready...and since she was still asleep, I decided now (then) was as good a time as any to hit the road again to meet up with Nana to shop for fabric. And she stayed asleep that whole time until I was back home again! Now, last night she also decided it was time to play until close to midnight so these extended naps are not without implications, mind you. But then she did it again today...not exactly the same, but she snoozed right through the diving meet, while my stomach knotted the whole time thinking that she was going to burst out crying while a diver was on the board. Good news - I was the official referee, so if that had happened, I could have excused the disturbance and allowed him/her to dive again. But it was such a non-issue that we made it back home and into the house before she woke up again.

I could get used to this (but I won't expect to...and I'm knocking on all things wooden).

Friday, November 13, 2009


All babies fall asleep in the car. All babies love their swings. All babies love vibration. The problem is, we don't have all babies, we have ours - and we love her and her quirky preferences. Cecelia's a big fan of the real deal. She does not enjoy spending time in her carseat. She's getting better, but for the most part being strapped down in a safe manner to ride in a moving vehicle is not on her top ten list. If she's already asleep, then she'll generally stay asleep. Same goes for the swing, or swing frame to be more accurate. Up until very recently, Cecelia's car cry was enough to ALWAYS get me to pull over (safely and in a safe location) go to the backseat, unstrap her and hold her and make it all better. I've gotten better (or worse depending on your perspective) about coping with her car cry and calming her without having to fully un-restrain her. One of the 5 S's from Dr. Karp was shushing. Very loud shushing, directly into baby's ear reminds them of the same sound they heard when they were in the womb. This seems to work pretty well to calm Cecelia. Please note that I have no illusions that this will work on ALL babies. What works for us may not work for you, and I won't pretend that it will. Back to the main stream of consciousness. So, shushing is pretty good, but you still have to stop the vehicle and sit next to her to accomplish this, or at least to do so effectively. Or, if there are two people in the car, one can sit in the back. Her pacifier is sometimes helpful in calming her down, but not always. Recently a mom referred to the "car cheat." When I asked her what exactly she meant (I had an inkling, but wanted to hear it for myself), she explained that in order to get her child to sleep, she straps them in their carseat and drive around for a while. I explained that this would NOT work with our little darling. Others assume that swinging will help to calm her and on that note, I'm glad that we didn't purchase a full sized swing. We got a swing frame that the carseat (remember she doesn't love it) fits into. It has a vibrating function. These items are also not in Cecelia's top ten. If she's already asleep in her carseat, she may be put in her swing frame to help lengthen her nap. And the thank you. Again, if she's already asleep, we can continue on our way like this. As in all things, Cecelia is growing up (tear) and humoring us and tolerating these things for a short while. Above I stated that Cecelia likes the real deal. All of these devices, useful as they may seem, are designed to help imitate being held and rocked, and jiggled, and moved. And Cecelia knows the difference. And that's the way I like it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Age: 17 Weeks

Hello Everybody! Can you believe it's already November!! Well, now that I'm "really" half rolling from back to front, not just leaning to one side and falling over, I'll be moving and shaking pretty soon. Look out world, here I come! I can't be put down anywhere on my back without automatically flipping, or trying to. Changing table, crib, floor, I'm on my tummy in no time. I've even woken myself up doing so. Phew, all this activity is hard work!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I'm a big fan of babywearing. Babywearing is the one piece of attachment parenting where you're actually attached physically. I have carriers and slings and a baby that doesn't much like the carseat or stroller. At least not yet. Now, to justify the 5 carriers/slings that I now own. The Jelly Bean sling, found at Target and other retailers is easy, compact, and beloved by my child. I now have two because I found that for a while she was spitting up in puddles within the sling and it needed to be washed, but she still wanted to be in it. So, I have a brown and pink one and a black and white one. They're also reversible! You've gotta love just about anything that's reversible, right? Next up is the Balboa Baby Ring Sling. My mom wanted to wear the baby in a sling when she was watching her but felt the baby was too squishy in the Jelly Bean sling for her, the Ring Sling is adjustable and has a little more give. I originally got it in my quest to find the sling I would nurse in (that quest is done...I now prefer to sit to nurse anyway. When I was nursing twelve or more times a day, it felt like I'd never get up again. That is no longer the case and so, taking the time to sit down and relax while Cecelia eats is much more enjoyable. So, three down, two to go. We have two pretty similar carriers - the Baby Bjorn and the Ergo Baby Carrier. At first, we got both because Jeff didn't plan to use the Ergo, and thought the guy on the Bjorn box looked "cool." While these are good reasons, I still had guilt that we had two things that did the same job. However, I more recently realized the importance of having both. The Bjorn is a front carrier only, but baby can face in or out. The Ergo is a front carrier and a back carrier and...a hip carrier, but baby always faces in, not out. So - justification.

And on to Babywearing. For such an ancient art, lots of people look at you kind of funny when you're walking around with a little baby's head peeking out of a papoose. Once most people realize there's a baby in there and it's not a purse, or a dog, or a bag of ropes (only when you're married to a climber and hiking in New Paltz, NY), they get awfully excited and want to see and ask if it's comfortable, and comment on how comfortable she looks (or squished) and how it's just like being back inside and close to mom. People wonder if her back is hurt or her neck...thousands of years. I don't question things that I do that people have done for thousands of years. I also hear from moms whose babies didn't like being in a sling and for the most part, I'm glad that Cecelia does and that we found something that works for us. I can get SO much done while she's in the sling and she stays close to my heart. She can nap (and actually seems to only nap/fall asleep) in there. When she's awake and alert in there, she's happy and she can see things at my eye level, so she's learning how things work. She's learning about balance as her equilibrium adjusts to being upright in the sling. And, most importantly - she's happy. And, if that changes, we'll find something else that works for her and us, but I don't see that happening.

A lot of people worry about holding their baby too much. Put her down, let her cry - nonsense! Why would you want to do that? When you've unlocked the keys to what makes your baby happy, trust it. It might be a different shaped key for everyone, but trust that instinct.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Cecelia has been, for a week now, eating at full (consistent!) four hour intervals. This indicates that she's getting better and eating much more efficiently too. It's funny looking back on these last three to four months. When she was first born, she ate every hour and a half or so and each feeding took as much as 45 minutes. So, it certainly felt like I was glued to the couch and would never get to go anywhere outside the house again. Then we made it to two hours in between (and when I say in between, that's from start to start, not finish to start) and that was exciting! There was a point when I felt like her latch was inefficient, but didn't care anymore as long as she was getting the nourishment she needed to grow. For a while, there seemed to be a routine, then that went out the window and even as recently as two weeks ago, she was going two hours, three hours, or four hours in between eating with no rhyme or reason that I could discern. Then, seemingly overnight, she became both efficient (I could see those flanged lips I've heard so much about) and predictable. Again, I know this will change and that she'll go through a growth spurt where I'll be glued to the couch and that's ok. For one day, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Why do I try to do this? I don't know. I decided that if she could make it four hours, I should try every three hours and then she'll never have to cry to eat, and maybe she'll "tank up" during the day and be less hungry at night. This hypothesis lasted one day where she spit up more and didn't seem sleepy at night at all. I remembered that she knows better than I when she's hungry and to be happy for the predictability even if it may be short lived. So, that's where we are now - four hours! She's getting so big!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Cecelia now can roll from back to front, pause and then continue from front to back again. Once she's pirouetting up a storm, I'll take another video of her progress. Right now it's a bit hit or miss. Last night was the first time I saw a complete, albeit hesitant 360, but Jeff said she did this last week already. Sheesh, I take one shower and I miss all the good stuff! (I've taken more than one shower, you get my point, right?)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Game 6

Tonight the Phillies return to NY to play an unprecedented game 6. Now, it'll be really unprecedented if they go to 7 games and actually win! What an exciting series it's been!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Age: 16 Weeks

Today I had my first Library Storytime class. I loved seeing all the other kids and I can't wait until I'm cruising like them. The Phillies are still my phavorites and I hope they win the World Series, but I'm proud of them for making it this year. I've rolled from my front to back and back to front now. So...I just have to put them both together. Saturday was my first Halloween and I actually vomited from all the excitement. Not spit up, no no - much more than that. And I didn't even have any candy. Just wait for next year!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Keep the Phaith

The Phillies have one more chance to hold on for dear life. We'll see how the game plays out tonight. We'll be phaithful phans no matter what. Plus, we definitely have the cutest team in Major League Baseball.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Blinded by the Light

We've decided that the umps are having a little trouble seeing things straight. Perhaps, they should adjust their caps, like Cecelia. Good luck tonight Phillies! We'll still be phans no matter what.