Friday, September 28, 2007

Back by Popular Demand

Thanks to Aunt Jan for the "Popular Demand..."

Whew, it has been a busy week! I have been remiss in updating Bronwen's blog, despite her constant nagging to do so. We have just been running around ragged. She is a great helper, first in directing me in making fondue, and then in how to properly separate the laundry. Thanks to a super baby for making household chores fun and exciting! I never knew I could balance a baby, basket of clothes, and laundry detergent all at once.

Now, to current developments--my day begins not with a bang but with a whimper. Okay, sometimes with a "bang" as well. Bronwen has been inconsistent in her sleeping habits. Right when I think we have the routine down pat, bang! She is awake at midnight and ready to play. Of course, it doesn't help that her daddy thought it was 6 am and actually changed her diaper, thereby ensuring her complete "awakeness." Poor TJ--I have been enlisting his help in the wee hours and each time I poke him to tend to the baby, he seems to think it is 6 am. It could be 12am, 2am, 4am, doesn't matter. To TJ it is eternally 6am. This tells you something: Up until this point, I was nice enough to always let him sleep until 6. My mistake. His level of deep slumber is amazing--I even caught him trying to turn off his alarm at 4:30 when in actuality it was Bronwen's crying from the monitor. I think it has something to do with his inadvertently putting the radio on a country music station. It does indeed resemble a baby's wailing on occasion.

Bronwen has been busily learning how to use her "Johnny Jump-up" that Uncle Scott and Aunt Kadee let us borrow. It took her about 5 minutes before she figured it out, and she is now a pro!
Back View:

Front View:

Drool View:

Finally, Pepper's Coaching View:

It is nice to have something new to add to our activity options. She has perfecting the rolling over technique--always rolling to the right. (That's my girl!) That pesky right arm gets in the way, but she manages to work past the obstacle and get to the tummy in 2.3 seconds flat. I am now waiting for her to figure out that if she rolls from her tummy to her back, she will possess the ability to travel. Luckily, she doesn't seem to want to move to her back once she is in the tummy position, so for now I am still able to control her location.

The weather has been so beautiful, we have been taking walks again. I have finally put her in the stroller facing outward--instead of in her car seat facing me--and she is loving the feel of the wind in her toes. I shall take a picture on our next outing, but it won't be today, as it is raining.

This weekend will be a busy one, so I should have much more to share Sunday!

Monday, September 24, 2007

4-Month Growth Spurt

To make a better comparison, I should have taken the photo from the same perspective, but you get the idea. Look at those legs!

The first picture is from the day she came home from the hospital; the second is from this morning.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Feeling Better

It started with the sniffles--and then they seemingly went away. Then they came back, not happy at being thwarted. Yes, poor Bronwen was pretty miserable for a couple of days, her nose alternating between stuffed and running. It was miserable for her--especially when she was trying to eat; which meant it was almost as miserable for me, not being able to fix things straight away.

Luckily she didn't have a fever and was in decently good spirits, so we didn't feel like medical intervention was necessary. We did get some great advice (thanks again, Veronica), but I just couldn't use the bulb suction thing in her nose. It just gave me the creeps. Maybe because of 5th grade when I learned that the nasal passages were the pathway for brain removal. I realize it would take some massive suction, but's psychological.

Friday was the worst day, and over the weekend everything dried up on its own. She can now breathe and eat comfortably. Hurrah!

She can also sleep!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rockin' and a Rollin'

Bronwen did it! She rolled over from back to front yesterday for the first time. She hasn't gone from front to back, but it's probably because she loves tummy time so much. See pictorial evidence below.

Picture 1: Bronwen St. Romain is placed on her back. She lies still for a moment, pondering her options. She decides, after a moment or two, that this is not a position she enjoys. She is a girl of action; therefore it is action she must take.

Picture 2: With her momma kneeling in front, documenting every move with the camera (in her green monkey PJs, obviously), Bronwen begins to roll over to the right. She wobbles here for a bit, seemingly caught on the lump that is her right arm. Despite overwhelming urges to give her a nudge, her momma remains in the background, a silent cheerleader for her baby girl.

Picture 3: Bronwen has finally completed "the roll!" She has turned completely over, all on her own. Hurrah!

And no, that is most certainly not a baby toupee that she is wearing--she is having a bit of a "bed head."

What amazing feat will Bronwen achieve next? Stay we must go work on the amazing diaper change.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bad Hair Day

A picture is worth a thousand words. I need to quit letting TJ do her hair. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday Morning 3 a.m.

It was actually 4 a.m.; I was lying in bed, listening to the wonderful sounds of silence, when the murmurs of movement caused me to turn slowly towards the monitor. I fervently hoped it would remain quiet; alas, it was not meant to be. Bronwen was awake.

I went to her room, changed her diaper, and said, "Bye, Bye, Love," hoping she would go back to sleep...actually I changed her diaper because lately it has been leaking in the bed. I thought I could prevent yet another sheet change by putting a fresh diaper on her early--as it turned out, Bronwen got me by peeing all over as the diaper came off. Sometimes babies can be so frustrating, but at least I only had to change the onesie instead of both the onesie and the crib sheets.

5 a.m. I woke TJ, forcing him to say so long to Frank Lloyd Wright, or whom/whatever he was dreaming about, and told him the baby was awake and feelin' groovy. TJ was awesome, opening his eyes, seeing his baby's face smiling at him, and immediately smiling back. Hm. Then again, I don't know who wouldn't be happy waking up to that smile. TJ went ahead and got up to get ready for work--I smelled something emanating from Bronwen's nether regions, and TJ was kind enough to change her before his shower. At this point, I don't know what happened, as I returned into the sweet slumber of overtired moms.

TJ left for work; Bronwen was back in her crib snoozing, and I was back asleep. Then she started making her noises again. I brought her into bed with me for cuddling--around 6:30 or so. I could tell she was trying to wake up, so I started kissing her cheeks and neck. The little faker kept her eyes closed but smiled. It was Punky's dilemma--do I open my eyes, or sleep a little more? She ended up doing the former. I lifted her up and asked, "Bronwen, are you ready for action?" To which she replied "Pfffft." Yes, she passed gas a beat after my question. Apparently she has he dad's bodily functions, and her mom's witty comebacks.

Now that the sun is burning in the sky, we have done tummy time--with Pepper coaching. Bronwen is enjoying tummy time much more now--which is a relief. She really hated it at first, but can now easily go 10 minutes at a time.

Bronwen has also been working on sitting up by herself--with her over-anxious mom propping pillows every which way since she has a bit of Weeble action going on. Unlike Weebles, Bronwen will fall down, so I have to make sure she has ample padding.

Which leads us to now, 10:48 a.m. My baby is sleeping, like a rock and an island, and I am ready for a snack!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bridget Jones

I always feel like I need to start my entries with a slight "homage" to Bridget Jones' Diary, with my own baby-colored viewpoint:

Milk Units: 2
Poopie Diapers before 8 a.m.: 3
Times milk was regurgitated: 7*

*If you haven't read the book or seen the movie--oh well.

I have to keep reminding myself that no one else even cares about Bronwen's bodily functions. It's kind of sad how life with a baby reduces your topics of conversation to various fluids and excretions. An excerpt:

TJ: Hi Honey--how was your day?
Jen: It was great! Bronwen ate like a champ and gakked all over 2 of my shirts.
TJ: Wow, she was busy!
Jen: That isn't anything! She ruined 2 outfits before lunch with explosive poopies.
TJ: Wow, she was busy!
Jen: Yes, she was indeed.
Bronwen: Pooooppppthhhhhhh
Jen: Your turn, my sweet. Welcome home!

It's not just us either--I was volunteering at Petsmart, and I happened to ask the manager about his new son. I was told he was "big for his age," and that he was often constipated. Constipated. Keep in mind I am not buddy-buddy with the manager of Petsmart. The guy volunteered the info. The poor baby would be so humiliated if he knew his dad was going around spreading these vicious rumors. I acted like it was nothing and inquired whether or not the baby is breastfed. Hello?! Like it was any of my business; Yet there I was, asking about the eating habits of this guy's baby. I'm telling you...

Babies make people act in strange ways.

I now have no problem chattering away while shopping with Bronwen. I feel like I am helping her develop essential linguistic skill sets; in reality, I look like a nut. Thankfully the car seat in front of me offers me protection from the padded cell.

I have kiddie songs stuck in my head all day long. I randomly sing "Penguin's Lament" and "Snuggle Puppy" in the shower. In my car. IN MY HEAD.

I randomly smell her behind to see if her diaper is dirty.

I no longer mind spit-up as added fashion embellishment.

I would rather sit and make her laugh than do anything else in the world.

Hey--I know it's strange, but if/when you have kids--you'll understand. Honestly--I've never been happier being odd in all my life.

As an added random thought: I think Bronwen resembles Fozzie the Bear. I think it's the legs.

I'll try to get a better picture of her standing. It's just hard because she can't stand on her own yet, and the batteries in the camera have died. I'll also have to find a red and white polka-dotted scarf...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

4-Month Check-up

Weighing it at 16 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 27 inches, we have Bronwen Marie St. Romain who is a champion heavy-weight; she is off the charts!

Tuesday we had Bronwen's four-month check-up. The doctor confirmed that she has a cold in her nose, but other that, she is as healthy as she can be. TJ wanted me to inquire about her copious amounts of spit-up (sometimes TJ can be such a worry-wort, but it's endearing, really). Despite knowing that she spits up just like every other baby in the world, perhaps a bit less, at times a bit more, I decided to go ahead and ask the medical professionals.

The pediatrician looked at her weight, looked at me with a smirk, and said, "Um, I think she is getting plenty of calories." Understatement.

She also got her second round of vaccinations, which always is hard on her and therefore hard on me too. The first shot went in with a whimper; the other three went in with a bang. Poor Bronwen's face got redder and redder, morphing into a kind of purple, and she screamed at the top of her lungs. I held her close, and within 5 minutes she had stopped crying. Brave girl!

We got home and she slept all morning. I think there is something in the shots that makes her drowsy because she did the same thing last time. This time, however, it extended to the next day as well. Bronwen slept for 3 hours in the morning. Normally she takes two thirty-minute naps, so this was a little alarming for me. She didn't sleep as much in the afternoon and was her usual pleasant self. We even ran a couple of errands, collected a few compliments about her sweet nature, and enjoyed an afternoon of squeals and giggles. Her squeals boarder on high-pitched shrieks...I think I heard a few dogs howling...but I don't think I would ever trade those sounds for anything. Our baby is finding her voice and using it!

(I may regret that statement when the "why" questions start coming, but now I am happy with the gibbering.)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tailgating with TJ

Bronwen went tailgating for the second time today--the first time she went tailgating she was but a zygote, and no one knew she was lurking about in my uterus. Luckily the mimosas haven't done any permanent damage.

She still had fun then, though, and today she enjoyed the experience even more.

We weren't planning on tailgating today--by "we" I mean Bronwen and I. TJ had planned to go all along, and I was still worried about the heat. It never feels like football season to me until it's chilly outside. Blame it on being from NC.

Anyhow, this morning TJ and I got up, and I saw that it was pleasant outside (at 7:30 am) and made the executive decision that we would go with him for a little while.

I found the purple tie-dyed outfit Jessica sent to her, fetched her fancy-schmancy hat, and we were on our way!She spat up all over this outfit about 1.5 minutes later, so we had a back-up, of course. TJ was proud and happy to have her there. He held her for a little bit while I was eating a shrimp burrito. She was working on eating her finger.
Her cousins were helping entertain her, and Anna Kate and I had a long conversation about animals and insects. Sydney, Anna Kate, and Shelby posed along with Uncle Jonathan and TJ for a picture. Take one:

Take two:

It was getting a little toasty out around 10:30, so Bronwen and I decided to head on out. We had a good time while we were there. I know TJ will want Bronwen to watch the game with him tonight--but sadly it will be past her bedtime.

Friday, September 7, 2007


The wart hog snorting was for good reason--Bronwen has her first case of the sniffles. No fever, just a lot of gunk spewing forth from her nostrils.

Fun times.

I will not include a picture.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sleepy Time


Last night was pretty good--Thanks to Veronica for the sleeper PJs--see picture!

I only put her on her tummy for a little while to see if that would calm down the kicking a bit. It seemed to work, but she started sounding a little wheezy and congested (snorting like a wart hog). This got her awake again, so I held her, cuddled her, and she returned to dreamland.

She needed a feeding around midnight, and then didn't wake again until 4am. Aye, but this was the rub...she was up and ready for a fiesta. I brought her to the back and played with her for a bit. She was all smiles and giggles; she practiced her raspberry blowing skills (I got showered with the all her efforts).

5:30 I woke TJ up and tag-teamed him. I could hear her chatting away to him as he shaved and got ready for work. By 6 am she was worn out (imagine that), and we both slept until about 7:30.

She did spend the entire night in her crib though.
Check Spelling

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor Day at the Treehouse

We had an excellent holiday weekend. TJ was home for four days--in a row, no less--and Bronwen was able to spend quality time with her daddy, blowing spit bubbles and learning the ins and outs of college football. She hasn't mastered the Georgia Tech fight song yet, but she's working on it.

Monday we hopped in the car and drove to TJ's family's camp house (for lack of a better term), aka "The Treehouse." The drive was nice, parts of it were tortuous (flat interstate straight and hazy), but other parts were quite scenic. The Global Wildlife Center, which is located about 15 minutes from The Treehouse, is always great fun to drive by, as we like to see what animals are near the fence. Of course this means that TJ is going, "What do you see? What do you see?" in his excited voice, while I'm saying, "Nothing! An emu? Ostrich? I dunno!" It's a fun game, made harder by the fact TJ wants maximum viewing going about 45mph. I think we'd see more if we actually slowed down, but I suspect he wouldn't like it unless the challenge factor was right up there.

Maybe when Bronwen is older, we'll actually go inside.

All of TJ's family was there, and we spent quality time eating, drinking, and being merry, per the usual. I learned how Dee Dee examines eggs in the grocery store (I check each one too, Dee Dee!) and watched all the cousins entertain Bronwen. They did a great job, and she gave them lots of smiles. She is lucky to have 5 sweet cousins!

There was also the photo session where all six girls posed for TJ as he snapped 2,787 pictures. I think only about 20 came out with all girls facing forward, and only 5 where all of them looked at the camera to the best of their abilities. (Bronwen isn't so good at it, but she's only 4 months old!) Cheers to Georgia who is the oldest and held onto Bronwen like a champ.

From the Left: Anna Kate, Shelby, Georgia (Kadee's girls), Bronwen (in the white), Camille, and Sydney (Becky's girls). They are the sweetest girls I know, and we are blessed to have them!

The ride home wasn't so great. I kept asking TJ "Are we almost home?" to which he kept replying, "No." We tried to play Barbara license plate game--got up to 10 Barbara! Then we had to pull over about 20 minutes from home, so I could calm Bronwen down. She had reached her limit of being in the car. I fed her, and we got back home amid torrential rain. Bronwen continued to be fussier than usual, but I'm sure it was from the exciting day we had.

All in all, good times!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bronwen's photo session

Here's the link to Bronwen's professional 3-month photo session:

Click "My Proofs"
Password: stromain

Big Crib Time

For the past three and a half months--or should I say 16 weeks since that's the way we count "baby time"--Bronwen has been sleeping in a small crib, aka "cribette," next to our bed. This has been a great arrangement for her considering our distance apart at nighttime is approximately 24 inches, and I am catapulted out of bed at every whimper, grunt, and movement. This hasn't been so great for me.

With her being so close I have found that I more often than not end up bringing Bronwen into bed with me, so we both can get optimal sleep. I realize that this borders on the "shared sleeping" arrangement...okay, fine, it IS the shared sleeping arrangement, and I have never been a big believer in the "Family bed" notion. That is, until I had a baby and realized how much sleep we both got sleeping 3 inches apart.

The mom in me really treasures the snuggles and the closeness it brings. Still, the idea also brings about some guilt--like it's my dirty little secret that I would be ashamed to share. Part of me feels I am failing somehow as a parent because I am unable to get my baby to sleep through the night in her own bed. I have done reading--the Baby Whisperer calls it "accidental parenting," or mistakes parents make without knowing about it; damage they inflict upon their offspring that will take weeks or months to undo. Then there is Dr. Sears (seen on a whole slew of TV morning and talk shows including Dr. Phil, GMA, and 20/20) who wrote this really great article on shared sleeping (or co-sleeping)

I actually exhaled a bunch of guilt upon reading this article; it felt so good to have some sort of permission to do what felt right! Then I read part of my NFP book that also encouraged the idea of sleeping with your babies for many of the same reasons Dr. Sears observed. Still, I have brought Bronwen to bed each night with me now for the past month or so, and I am worried that I am setting a precedent that will be hard to break when I am ready to have her sleep on her own.

The thing about the shared sleeping idea is I can't find much info on how to transition your child into her own bed. I figure I better work on this myself now, or TJ and I will need a bigger bed in the future!

Starting this past week I have been putting Bronwen to bed in her own crib in her nursery--which has, up until now, been used primarily as her nap time area. Keep in mind that each night I put her in "bed" before I go to sleep, and the first time she cries--usually around midnight--I just move her into bed with me. We don't start up that way, but inevitably that is how we finish. My thinking was if she goes to bed in her "real" crib and is not right next to me, perhaps I will sleep through some of the noises and movement that always cause me to awaken and bring her to me.

This is how it has been working thus far:

Day 1 (Thursday):
8:00pm Bronwen goes to sleep in her crib
9:00pm Cries. I go in and feed her a bit, rock her to sleep.
10:30pm Cries. I go in, pat her, rock her, get her back to sleep. I go to bed.
12:00am Bronwen awakens, I stumble in the nursery, debate on whether or not to feed and try and leave, and end up taking her with me to bed.

Day 2 (Friday):
7:30pm Bronwen goes to sleep in her crib.
8:30pm Cries.
9:30pm Cries.--I suspect the problem is that she is getting cold. I put a blanket around her and tuck into the mattress, but her incessant kicking made me skeptical that it will hold.
10:30pm I give her a dream feed.
12:30am She is awake, blankets kicked off, thrashing about wildly like a beached salmon. Limbs feel cold. I end up caving, bring her to bed in part to make sure she stays warm.

Day 3 (Saturday):
I put Bronwen in a sleeper--long sleeves and feet. (She was so cute! TJ commented that she looked like an astronaut, but I think he thought she was super-cute as well.)
7:30pm She goes to bed.
9:00pm Cries, but goes right back to sleep with just a cuddle.
10:00pm I get her to do a dream feed, and she eats like a champ without waking.
12:30am I hear her crying; I feed her and put her back in the crib.
12:50 am I can still hear her fidgeting, so I go in, soothe her, and she sleeps.
3:00am--She is hungry, so I bring her to bed with me, feed her, and we sleep until 6:30.

Yes! I held out until THREE AM. Woohoo!

Tonight will be Day 4. I am hoping that as she gets used to her crib she will sleep longer and longer and eventually not wake up hungry (or at all). I do put her down for her naps semi-awake, so she does know how to put herself to sleep. As for last night, I think the sleeper helped keep her comfortable, but it has only been one night, so time will tell if my theory about her getting cold is correct.

It's really hard to be a mom. (and a dad!)