Monday, January 31, 2011

100th Post!

Wow, this is officially the 100th post on the Gottwoods blog.  Who knew we had 100 posts worth of things to say?

In other exciting news, we are starting to work out the details for a trip out East to visit both our families this spring.  The idea is for Phoebe and I to leave as early as possible in March (probably right after her two month baby check up).  This will give Jeremy at least a week or two to work on final projects/presentations/etc for his classes without baby interruptions.  It has been really hard for him to get enough done with the fuss-budget around so our plan is to try to give him as much time as possible to get caught up and finish the quarter.  We'll head to my parents' house in Michigan where we'll get Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle John to help with baby duty (and maybe I can catch up on some sleep).  Most importantly, we'll take Phoebe to meet my Grandma and the rest of the extended family.  They are all really excited to meet her - but then again they haven't heard her scream yet :)  While Jeremy will definitely miss us (RIGHT JEREMY?!) he is looking forward to the uninterrupted work time.  I am sure the cats will appreciate the baby's absence as well.

Once Jeremy finishes the quarter, he'll fly out to his folks' place in Maryland and a day or so later, Phoebe and I will meet him there.  Hopefully his Grandma will be able to make the trip up from Florida to meet Phoebe as well.  We'll spend the first half of Jeremy's spring break in Maryland and then we'll head back to the west coast around the middle of the week so that Jeremy can have some time to rest and get things organized before the spring quarter starts.  I'll also need a little time to get organized since the next week is when my official maternity leave ends, so we'll be putting Phoebe in day care for a few days a week while I get some work done.  I won't be teaching, but I do have some projects I have to finish and, despite what I thought when I was pregnant, there is no way I will get them done without some day care. 

Anyway, we're pretty sure that flying with Phoebe will be a logistical nightmare - luckily my parents are borrowing as much baby gear as possible from friends so I won't have to lug all of Phoebe's stuff with me.  I am especially not looking forward to the two legs of the trip where I will have to fly with Phoebe by myself.  Don't tell John, but I am hoping to convince him to fly to San Francisco to see his buddy and then fly back to Michigan with me - or maybe we'll just surprise him with plane tickets :)  I'll be sure to let the rest of you all know what flights we're on so you can avoid them - I am not looking forward to being that person - you know the one with the screaming baby that is getting dirty looks from everyone.  We were hoping to delay (or just completely avoid) flying with a baby, but we really want both of our grandmas to get the chance to meet Phoebe and it turns out that spring will work better for Jeremy's schedule than summer, so there you have it.  We'll be flying with a 2 month old!  Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Month!!

Today Phoebe is officially one month old - we survived our first month!  Jeremy says "one down ..."

To celebrate, Jeremy gave me a couple of hours off this afternoon - I almost didn't know what to do with myself.  Actually I really didn't know what to do with myself without having to be constantly on alert for baby fussiness.  I ended up getting a much needed haircut (my last one was in June - yikes!) and then (sadly) the only thing I could think of to do was to go to Target.  I got a giant pretzel and wandered aimlessly through the baby section.  I guess I will have to work my way up to using my time off to do completely non-baby related things :)  Then when I got home, we ordered Chinese take-out for dinner.  I hope Phoebe enjoyed her first month birthday celebration!

We had grand plans to get a cute 1-month picture of Phoebe, but she was particularly fussy today, so we had to scrap those plans.  Instead, here is a picture of me bouncing here in our Piccolo (front carrier thing - HIGHLY recommended if you're in the market for such a thing).  Either Jeremy or I spend some portion of every day bouncing Phoebe around in the Piccolo.  It tends to calm her down and frees up our hands for other things (I am actually typing this post while wearing Phoebe in the Piccolo).  We have to bounce her around, but at least our hands are free!

Sorry you can't see much of the baby in this one :)  You do get a nice shot of my $18 haircut though.  Of course, I am bouncing the baby in the picture, so it isn't the best shot of the haircut.  I was actually pretty impressed.  It isn't the best haircut ever, but I have gotten haircuts that were a whole lot worse that I paid a whole lot more for.  After having tried a fancy place in Carmel, I think I may end up sticking with the Scissor Shack (home of the $18 haircut) - it certainly has some "character" I guess is how I'd put it. 

And here's a picture of Phoebe from yesterday (close enough to her one month birthday I suppose)

I was trying to get a shot of her in her overalls and robot hat in honor of her Daddy going to robot club, but she wasn't super cooperative.  I  will just point out that her hat is size 3-6 months and it fits her fairly snugly.  She clearly has the Lockwood giant head.  Or maybe that is a Tomkinson thing?  All I know is I have a hard time finding hats that fit, and it looks like Phoebe will be in the same boat.

I was hoping to write nice monthly posts for Phoebe on each of her one-month birthdays to keep track of how much she changed each month and to summarize what was going on in our lives.  Sadly, I think that tradition is going to stop before it even starts.  I am just a little to tired to try to coherently describe how much our lives have changed in the last month.  Maybe by two months :)  For now, let's just say that our lives are vastly different.   Parenthood sure has been an adventure so far.  Granted, it has been the kind of adventure where there are moments when you contemplate chewing your own arm off to escape.  It has also been pretty amazing.  It is so cool to watch Phoebe start to wake up and notice the world around her. 

Happy One Month Phoebe!  We love you very much!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Four Week Update

Jeremy and I can't believe that Phoebe is almost a month old!  Yesterday we had our one month check-up and have great news to report!  Not only is Phoebe growing, she is gaining weight like a champ!  Her weight has been an issue that we've been really worried about.  At this check up she was up to 9 pounds and 1 ounce!  She also has grown two inches in length since she was born!  She is definitely a long baby - many of her sleepers are starting to get too short, but she can't quite fill out the bigger ones yet.  The doctor said she is doing great.

We're also trying to figure out her digestive issues.  Phoebe is a pretty cranky baby and we're pretty sure it has something to do with her tiny digestive system.  We thought the culprit was gas, but the doctor thinks it could also be baby acid reflux.  We're trying Zantac for the next few weeks to see if that makes a difference.  I've also cut out caffeine and dairy from my diet and we've switched up the formula that we use to supplement what she gets from me.  Now we're using a special formula that is gentle on tummies.  On top of all of that we've tried several other gas remedies recommended by moms in our playgroup.  It turns out there are a couple of other fussy babies in our group (or maybe the moms with fussy babies are just extra motivated to get out of the house) :)

In other exciting news, Phoebe and I have our first official playdate next week!  We're going to go hang out with another mom and baby from our group.  That baby is almost six weeks old, but I think Phoebe can keep up - she is an especially smart baby :)  We've decided that fussy or not, it is time for Phoebe to start meeting some of our friends, so next week is pretty busy for us.  On Tuesday we're going to a get together at a colleague's house where Phoebe will get to meet a lot of our California friends.  On Wednesday we have parents' group and on Thursday we have our playdate.  Then next weekend we're taking a big trip up to Palo Alto to watch the Super Bowl with our friends Geoff and Kristen.  They have an older baby (I think he's probably around 16-18 months right now but I actually don't remember exactly).  Their baby was always extremely well-behaved and calm, so we're hoping he can teach Phoebe all about being a calm baby!

As always, here are a few pictures that we've taken since the last post.  Sorry if they start to get a little repetitive - Phoebe does a limited set of things these days.  Also, we'll spare you the pictures of Phoebe melt-downs :)

It seems like every day, Phoebe gets more aware of her surroundings and tries to interact more with us and things around her.  She loves hanging out on her play mat and spends a chunk of time there every day.  Right now she really only hits the toys by accident, but she is fascinated by them, and we're looking forward to when her play time is a little more intentional.

Here she is contemplating the animals on the mobile on her swing.  She is also demonstrating her mastery of the keeping-pacifier-in-mouth skill.  Actually, she hasn't quite mastered it yet and hiccups typically cause the pacifier to go flying, but she does like the pacifier and it sometimes really works to calm her down.  At first we thought she didn't like the pacifiers we got, so we went back and bought one of every brand sold at Babies R Us (desperate times = desperate measures my friends) only to find that in the end she does prefer the brand we originally bought.  Of course, the pacifier is just a poor substitute for her favorite object to suck - Mom and Dad's fingers!  We think we could make a killing marketing pacifiers with dismembered fingers on them - gruesome, but as we are learning, new parents will buy ANYTHING that promises to calm a fussy baby!

Jeremy's Aunt Gladys sent us this beautiful plate to commemorate Phoebe's birth.  We were excited to get it and think it will look great on the wall in Phoebe's nursery ...

... of course, from Danger's perspective, Aunt Gladys sent him a huge box full of packing peanuts!!  What a great day for the kitty! I bet Aunt Gladys didn't realize she was sending two gifts in one :)

I just thought that this was a cute picture of sleeping Phoebe.  The afghan she is sleeping on was knit by a member of the congregation at our friend Hope's church.  Jeremy and I joked that as the pastor she has a whole sweatshop full of old ladies at her disposal when she needs a blanket knit :)  Anyway, we thought those old ladies might enjoy seeing a picture of their blankie in use (that is, if Hope gives them Internet breaks).  You can also see how Phoebe sleeps - we swaddle her up in a baby straight-jacket.  It looks a little cruel, but it really works and she seems to like it (well, she likes being swaddled, but not the swaddling process).  

Another exciting development in baby-land is the discovery of our fingers and how delicious they are.  I am not sure how deliberate the fingers-to-mouth transition is yet, but Phoebe loves to suck her fingers and sometimes her entire fist.  I must say though that the finger sucking is very loud and slobbery at this point.  

Just another cute finger-sucking picture.  Since she spends a lot of her time fussing, we take lots of pictures when there is a peaceful moment.  Speaking of which, she is just waking up now so I should run.  I typically have about 20 seconds from the first little baby coos indicating "mother, I may be awakening soon and will most likely be interested in some lunch" to all out "WHERE THE BLEEPITY BLEEP IS MY BLEEPING BOTTLE??!!  DID I NOT REQUEST LUNCH A WHOLE 20 SECONDS AGO??!! THE SERVICE IN THIS PLACE SUCKS"or, at least that is what I imagine she would say could she talk.

Monday, January 24, 2011

On Our Own!

Tomorrow is the first day that Phoebe and I will be on our own since Grandma left.  We're pretty lucky that Jeremy gets to work from home on Mondays and Fridays, so we get nice long weekends with him.  Of course, it is sometimes hard to make sure he actually gets time to WORK on those days, but we've been trying to be good about keeping ourselves busy during homework time.  It is always nice to know that backup isn't far away, so wish us luck for the next three days!

In other exciting news, tomorrow we are also having our first non-family visitor stop by.  Given Phoebe's general fussiness (and the state of our living room), I've been reluctant to have visitors, but it will be nice to have some company.  My friend Leslie is stopping by for lunch.  Hopefully Phoebe will be on her best behavior.  Danger already convinced Leslie she never wants to have a cat, we would feel really bad if Phoebe also turned her off of children :) 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Three Weeks Old!

Time flies when you are sleep deprived!  We can't believe Phoebe is already three weeks old (as of yesterday).  At the same time, I don't know if we can really remember what it was like before we had a baby.  This was our first day without Grandma around.  We were really sad to see her go yesterday, but she promised to come back soon.  Today Phoebe and I went to sing-a-long at the parent center.  She slept through the whole thing - even the songs with clapping and instruments - but I guess she had a good time.  And apparently sleeping through sing-a-long is hard work because Phoebe seems worn out :)

Here are a couple of pictures from the last two days:

Today it was a little chilly so we put on a sweater before we went to sing-a-long.  This sweater is extra-special, Grandma Linda knitted it for baby Jeremy and he wore it home from the hospital!   It is a beautiful sweater and Phoebe really liked it - it kept her nice and toasty.

We tried to get a nice picture of Phoebe with Grandma Joyce while she was here, but Phoebe wasn't too cooperative.  We should have planned ahead and taken the photo at a time other than evening cranky-hour.  It might not look like it from the photo, but Phoebe really enjoyed her visit with Grandma!

Here Phoebe is modeling the hat that one of Grandma's grad students knitted for her - thank you Leigh!  The hat is adorable (of course, we think the baby is pretty good looking too) :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Sorry we haven't posted in a while - the first few weeks with Phoebe were ... an adjustment to say the least :)  We had to call in some emergency reinforcements, Grandma Joyce has been here for the last week.  She leaves tomorrow to head back to Michigan but we all wish she could stay longer ... maybe until Phoebe starts Kindergarten.

We have lots of stories about our first few weeks home with Phoebe and I'll eventually get around to posting all of those, but since I only have a few minutes before she is likely to demand her next meal, I'll stick to posting what everyone really wants - PICTURES!

Here is a fairly early picture of Phoebe just hanging out.  She has already changed so much in just three weeks!  It is amazing to watch her grow and change.  She already seems so much more aware of what is going on around her. 

Since we brought Phoebe home, Danger has been very concerned about her.  I think he is unsure of our fitness to properly parent the baby.  Here he is critiquing Jeremy's cuddling technique.  

In this picture, Danger continues his vigilance, this time making sure the feeding is done to his satisfaction.

These two shots show Phoebe and Daddy in their Bears gear for the playoff game.  Jeremy wore his Walter Payton jersey and Phoebe has a tiny bears outfit that says "Daddy's Rookie of the Year".  The two of them looked super-cute together hanging out on the couch watching the game.  

Here Phoebe is signaling one of the Bears touchdowns.  There were so many, she wore herself out. 

Speaking of worn out babies, here is a full, sleepy Phoebe all cuddled up to Daddy.  


It isn't all sleeping and cuddling around here.  In this picture Phoebe and Daddy enjoy some floor time.  I think here they are learning about their hands.

Phoebe also really enjoys the tummy time mat that Uncle Adam and Aunt Laura sent her.  I'm not sure if she can actually see anything in the mirror yet, but she does like staring at it!

Phoebe spends most of her time looking like a hobo baby because Jeremy and I just grab whatever combination of onesie, sleeper, socks and hat we can from her dresser and usually we're too sleep deprived to really care if things match.  Today was our first day of baby playgroup though, so we went all out and dressed in a matching outfit.  We decided to capture the event on film (or digital memory card actually) to preserve the moment.  Thank you to Jeremy's family friends the Klems who sent the cute hat - it was the perfect "topper" for the outfit!

Baby playgroup was a great outing for both Phoebe and myself!  I was a little skeptical, especially when I got there and the topic was "when our babies talk to us" and we had to refer to our babies "talking" rather than SCREAMING or CRYING (which are both much more descriptive of Phoebe's favored modes of communication).  It was great to get to talk to other moms going through the same sorts of things I am and it was fun to see all of the other babies too.  Phoebe is the youngest member of playgroup, but she can totally hang with the five week olds :)

 We will try to update more regularly, and at some point we'll fill in everything that happened over the last few weeks - it was pretty crazy.  Let's just say that at multiple points, Jeremy threatened to smear Phoebe with peanut butter and leave her in the woods.  With Grandma's help things have been getting a little less nuts - it has been almost 24 hours since Dad has referred to Phoebe as "Dingo Bait" so things must be looking up.   

Sunday, January 2, 2011

#1 Dad

While we were in the hospital pretty much every nurse that came in would make a comment about how baby girls always end up with their Daddies wrapped around their little fingers.  Jeremy would usually say something along the lines of how that wasn't going to happen with Phoebe - but I'm not so sure.  Both in the hospital, and since we got home, Jeremy has been great with Phoebe.  He spends a lot of time snuggling her, talking to her, and figuring out what she wants.  He also volunteers for most of the thankless jobs.  I think Phoebe was almost three days old before I changed my first diaper :)  Jeremy also takes on cranky Phoebe much of the time when she doesn't need to eat so that I can get some rest.  He figured out that the bathroom fan will calm her down when nothing else does, so he spends at least an hour each day walking back and forth in front of the bathroom with a fussy baby.  Jeremy has to start back to school tomorrow and we'll definitely miss having him around during the day!  This afternoon we did a bit of a practice run where Jeremy took a long nap and then went and ran errands while I did solo Phoebe-duty.  It went pretty well, but I think we were both pretty happy to see Dad when he got home. 

Here is a picture of Phoebe and Dad hanging out in the La-Z-Boy watching hockey:

And here are Dad, Phoebe and Danger enjoying naptime all snuggled up

Don't let Danger's sad expression fool you - he'd be sleeping in that exact same spot even if there was no baby :)  So far he is the kitty that has been the most interested in Phoebe and he follows her around during the day.

One more picture because everyone likes a picture of a cute baby!  Today was Phoebe's first Sunday of football with Daddy.  She doesn't quite understand the rules yet though, because she kept signaling touchdowns:

We'll try to update as often as we can with pictures.  The first couple of days were a little rough as we tried to figure out this whole "baby in our house" situation :)  Tomorrow is Phoebe's first doctor's appointment, so we'll be taking our first trip out with the baby.  Wish us luck.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

This is a test movie of Phoebe taken with our computer's web cam while we let Mama get some sleep. It is in quicktime format, which can be downloaded from