Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy 9 months, little one!


It's official! You've now been on the "outside" for longer than you were on the "inside!" In the last month, your hair has started to really sprout. And you can walk and take some steps when you hang on to stuff. And perhaps the most adorable talent is your babbling and newfound excitement for trying out the English language. Or whatever language it is that you speak. I love the words that are interrupted by a quick raspberry or the ones with no vowels at all.

I love you and I love the incredible little person that you become more each day. You are going to make a great big sister!



For the rest of you...here are some pictures from our first-ever Christmas portrait photo shoot. You'll see a few of these on our Christmas card, but here's a sneak peek. Thanks Uncle Chris, Auntie Masha and everybody else that helped Abby to smile!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Halloween in November. Well, December.

Here are some VERY belated pictures of lil' Abby's first Halloween! We had a great time--Granny Nanny came over and we passed out candy to the local kids and she wore TWO different costumes. They were both hand-me-downs, but still almost brand new and really cute!

Sorry for the delay, these were trapped in my mom's camera.

Also, Grandpa Bob stopped by for a minute too! Or, Grandbob and I like to call him:)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A More Personal Post

Abby turned eight months old on Sunday. And it just got me thinking about how much things have changed over the last year and what a journey it’s been for our little family. From pretty early on in my pregnancy with Abby, I had serious complications. In fact, at one point in the beginning, a doctor told me to just go home, stay in bed, relax (yeah, right) and wait for the inevitable miscarriage. In her true-grit style, Abby fought her way into this world, and into my heart.

According to the “Church of Orpah,” as Rob calls it, every experince we have here on earth is meant to teach us something. And I could write volumes on what I’ve learned from this little 19 (yes, 19) pound meatloaf in the last eight months, and the nine months before that. But I’ll keep it short:

1. No matter how hard I try, I am not in control of ANYTHING. And it really is much easier if you can let go and trust in God.

2. Germs are inevitable. There just simply isn’t enough Purell in theworld…

3. I never thought I was capable of such deep and unselfsish love.

4. I really do wonder what I did with all of my time before I had her. And who knew that I celebrate going to bed at 9 pm?

5. I respect my parents and love them in an entirely new way. I am my mom’s Abby! (That didn’t make much sense, but you know what I mean)

6. Who’d have ever thought that I would be so interested in poop??!!??

Abby has really opened my eyes and deepened my connection to my job at CHOC. And I kiss her everyday when I pick her up from daycare and tell her how grateful I am that she is in my life—and that she’s healthy and thriving. Talk about perspective.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rob's Big 3-0!

We had a party for Rob's big milestone a few weeks ago. My brother was our pro-bono photographer and we just got some of the pics back.
I know it's funny to see Abby in a frilly dress--but when else are we going to use them? She has a whole closet full!

PS It's Abby 8 month "birthday" today! I can't believe how fast it's gone! I'll post more on that later...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Pictures

I realize I totally skipped Abby's First Halloween, but the pics are on my mom's camera, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Uncle Chris took some really cute pics of Abby (and the other kids) when he and Auntie Masha babysat last weekend.

A quick update--Abby just pulled herself up to standing all by herself the other night! She's really a little whirlwind of developmental milestones lately. I am so proud:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phony Balogna

After all this time of Abby "pretending" that she didn't know how to hold her own bottle, she finally realized that the gig is up. Her sitter let me in on the secret. Here she is showing off and doing it with one hand!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cirque de Baby

All of the baby books say that each child is an individual, and to remember that each child develops at his/her own pace. In Abby's case, she has done some pretty strange things since she's become more mobile. It all started with the Super Abby (see previous post). Then, even before she could pull herself up on all fours, she did the "downward facing dog" yoga pose, where she did a headstand in the front, while standing on her legs. She still does that for at least 10 minutes each night as I put her in the crib. I like to think of it as her "cool down" exercises since she's so active all day. (Note: that's the one I really wanted to capture on film, but she gets VERY excited when she sees the camera so I can't risk whipping it out at bedtime. She'd never go down.) Now, she can sit up if she supports herself with one hand. But sometimes she only gets halfway there and ends up in this swimsuit model pose:
It is so GREAT that she's become more self entertaining. Her babysitter says that she can even hold her own bottle on a regular basis, although she won't do it around me. What a phony bologna.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Day with the De Jongs

Our nephew Mason was baptized this weekend--so Abby got to see the De Jong clan in action. It was really fun to see Abby's Great Grandma Bernice, since it had been since mother's day that they last saw each other. I have really special memories of visiting my Great Grandmother Grace when I was little, so I think it's important for Abby to know where she's from. In fact, that's why Abby's middle name is Grace.

When we were in Big Bear, Abby got these reddish/pink circles on her cheeks. My mom exclaimed, "She looks like a little Dutch baby!" to which I replied "She is a little Dutch baby!" I think us Brashears forget sometimes, so it's nice for her to see the other side:)

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Halloween Nightmare

Although I have a few hand-me-down options, I have been on the hunt for a cute Halloween costume for Abby. I recognize that it is ridiculous, since she won’t even remember this one, but it’s still fun to have my very own dress-up doll that isn’t our pug Gordie.

I thought I’d share some of the hilarious, but mostly inappropriate, baby Halloween costumes I’ve come across on the web. I’ve organized them in descending order, from cute to totally absurd. Truth be told, the Star Wars one is the only one that seems acceptable (for safety, among other reasons) to me:

Love the felt wig!

I can't imagine this is comfy!

This is supposed to be a chick--looks more like a pinata to me!

Hey, baby! Your buns are showing!

Can you say suffocation hazard?

This is just mean.

Someone get CPS on the horn.

And the prize for the WORST baby Halloween costume goes to the PIMP! I mean, really? That is so bad that it’s funny!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Big Times in Big Bear

So the fam went up to Big Bear this weekend for a lil' R&R. It was a blast. Grandpa Bob, Grandpa Pat and Rob rode dirtbikes and relived Grandpa Pat's childhood. And us womenfolk just hung out and took it easy. Rob and I even had a date! We went to dinner and a movie and Abby stayed with the Grandparents. And two big things happened while we were up there:

1. Abby crawled! Only a little bit, but it was still really fantastic!

2. On the way down the mountain today, she held her own bottle! For anyone who doesn't have kids, it is seriously a miracle and a time-freer-upper that she can feed herself (sorta.)

But here comes the shocker--out of the WHOLE group, nobody had a camera. Alas, the event wasn't documented with film. But I did have this cute pic of Abby from a chilly night at the OC Fair. Nobody has to know it wasn't from this weekend (it will be our little secret.)

P.S. Don't worry, our little one wasn't out in the cold. And she's feeling MUCH better:)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Abby on the Mend

I had planned a whole happy-six-months-Abby post last week, since her mini-milestone was on Tuesday, September 16. But we ended up spending most of the day (and night) in the emergency room.

She had a VERY high fever (105.5) and we ended up having to go twice in a 24-hour period to figure out she has a kidney infection. I know, it wasn’t even on my radar of things that could go wrong! But she’s on some heavy-duty antibiotics, and her fever is now under control. Thanks to the oopy-goopy meds, most of her outfits from the last week have been stained HOT pink around the neck. (By the way, if any of you moms out there know how to get that out, please let me know.)

Being the germ freak that I am, I was really worried about all of the junk she could be exposed to in the ER since we spent so much time there last week. Then my worst fear realized when, starting yesterday, she developed a little cough. And because I work at CHOC, I have deduced that whatever made it past the shots and spoonfuls of antibiotics must be the plague. And now her little cough is a big cough. It’s seriously so sad to hear her barking like a baby seal—she sounds like a little old man who has been smoking all his life.

I suppose before I really start to freak out, I’ll see what the actual doctor has to say. So we’re off to the pediatrician yet again. Once this week is over, it will have been three times! Stay tuned and I’ll re-post later when we know more. UPDATE: We saw the doc and turns out Abby just has a cold. But we can't give her anything since she's so small.

And a special thanks to Auntie Kelly for coming ALL the way out from the desert this week to help us out in our time of need! And for coming back tonight:)

If you don't vote...

Ahhh, my favorite FAVORITE time of year, well every four years. It’s presidential election season! It’s like Christmas, my birthday and the superbowl rolled into one! I can’t wait for November when we have a chance to exercise one of the most precious rights we Americans have: to place a vote and maybe affect some change around here.

Anway, I just wanted to remind everyone to get out and vote this year. And I mean it when I say that I don’t care who you vote for—it’s just important that you vote. You know my motto, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” So make your voice heard!

Here’s a link to site that can get you registered, verify your registration, or help you find a polling place. So for Pete’s (and George Washington’s) sake get registered and VOTE!

P.S. So what if I am exploiting my baby blog for unabashed political promotion. Next post will be Abby-related, I promise!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jazz Hands

When I was in show choir, yes, I said show choir, I went to a lot of competitions. I was also a songleader, so I spent a lot of time at dance competitions too. I would see so many crazed dancers making really intense faces, especially really scary big smiles. Clearly, Abby is getting an early start down the right path. Look at those gums:)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Abby Goes Bananas

Since Abby's daycare provider said that she's now eating 6-7 bottles a day, I decided to start her on solid foods. She's still learning, and I would estimate that 40% of it ends up on her bib, her outfit and the floor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's a bird, it's a plane...

It's SUPER ABBY! Since Abby can't really crawl yet, but she has found a way to improvise. She lifts all of her limbs and gets in the super baby pose and tips herself over until she gets where she needs to go. We just bought some big area rugs now that she's more mobile--and it looks like not a moment too soon.

I know she'll be crawling the "regular" way any minute. She can push herself up on all fours, but can't do much more than rock back and forth.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Jonquil Blizzard of 08

This picture wasn’t taken in the winter, or even somewhere that it snows. It was taken tonight in our living room. Our little house was built in the early 50’s, we still have the original AC unit that came with the house. It’s far more powerful than anything eco-friendly that you could buy today. And there are only two settings: freezing and blizzard. So when it’s time to put Abby in her jumper (which she LOVES by the way) she had to get bundled up, since it hangs directly in front of the arctic ice storm. And Granny Nanny thought she wouldn’t be able to use this hat until we go to Big Bear…

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Look at that smile...

Auntie Kelly and Abby were having fun in the car this morning. Abby hates being alone in the back seat, so Kelly sits in the back with her and makes her laugh. I'm tired of everyone thinking she's a boy (still a hairless wonder at almost 6 months) so the bow helps a little.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm ready for my close up...

Movie over Jolie-Pitt clan. Never in the history of the world has then been a more well-documented baby than Abby. Her Grandpa Pat, and her Uncle Chris, have stalked her like paparazzi since the moment she was born. But I shouldn't complain, I'm glad to have a team of professionals available to use at my every whim. And they love the excuse to buy a new flash or camera-related expense.
When it came time to send out Abby's birth announcement, I called Chris to come over to take some shots. Chris had heard from someone that Anne Geddes makes her famous newborns sleep by having her studio cranked up to 90 degrees. That way, they are naked, warm and comfortable. (On a side note, I got to spend some time with Anne Geddes at a photo shoot at CHOC, and she NEVER mentioned this crazy idea. But I trust Chris, so I went with it.)

So I cranked up the heat. But if you know me at all, you know that I hate the heat. Anyway, we were only shooting for a few minutes, and Abby started crying. And I started sweating. This was in the heyday of her famous 3-hour inconsolable crying binges. I thought I'd share some of the photos that didn't make it onto the announcement:

At first, Abby was apprehensive. "I mean, what's all the naked business about anyway?"

Chris had only been clicking away for a few minutes when she started making this face and grunting. We all know what that means. Abby's famous scowl mean poops and toots.

"I'm so over this."

Luckily, we got a few pretty cute ones. Let me know if you didn't get an announcement for all it's fridge-displaying glory. I have extra.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Abby Speaks!

So far Abby hasn’t said any real words other than goo, aaah, and making raspberry noises. On Friday, while at Granny Nanny’s, Abby looked over at my parent’s dog Savannah. And then, in a very clear and expressive voice, said “Hi!”

My mom and I were shocked. She said it one more time, then nothing. And she hasn’t said another “word” since then.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Abby's First Kiss

Abby loves our dogs, Gordie and Scout. Most babies get startled or cry when dogs run their way, but Abby just laughs and laughs. She grunts and coos to get their attention. She can’t get enough. She thinks Gordie is especially hilarious. Laughing wildly every time he comes near. And Gordie loves it too, since most people push him away when he gets too close. She laughs hysterically when his little tongue licks her hands. And that’s as far as I ever let it go, being the germaphobe that I am. And Gordie sure loves to lick. I let him get one or two licks in, then immediately wash her hands with soap.

Then the unthinkable happened. I put Abby on her playmat on the floor, and went into the kitchen to make a bottle. For the most part, Gordie leaves Abby alone when she’s on her mat—he knows her toys and playthings are off limits to him. From the kitchen, I hear a BURST of hysterical laughter from Abby. She was laughing so hard that I actually thought she was crying at first. I ran into the family room and screamed. To my horror, Gordie was standing over Abby (who was on her back) tenderly licking her face, including the INSIDE OF HER MOUTH as she was laughing and screaming with delight. I haven’t seen either of them happier. Ever.

I scooped Abby up, and immediately called my mom (Granny Nanny) in a panic to find out if Listerine and/or toothpaste were safe for babies in an emergency such as this. She suggested that I wipe Abby down with a warm washcloth and be sure to get the inside of her mouth. I ended up just giving her a real, full-blown bath. But no matter how much I lathered her up, it couldn’t get rid of the picture in my head of Abby’s first kiss. Blagh.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Better Late than Never

I know this is SO three months ago, but in a frenzy of I-can't-believe-I-have-to-go-back-to-work energy and guilt, my mom and I took Abby and went to Disneyland THREE times in the same week. Did I mention it was the week before I went back to work? Now that I look back on it, it was pretty much the worst idea ever.

The first trip was a wash. Literally. It was pouring rain and freezing. And clearly, it was all worth it, since Abby had a memorable and exciting time. And if the thunder and lightning weren't enough, try getting on and off the freaking DL tram with a baby seat, stroller, diaper bag, baby bjorn and two purses. What a mess. By the time we got home, my hair looked like Top Ramen. But at least it got washed that day, well, sort of.

Into the Fire

I hate to admit it, being that I am a writer and all, that I've been pretty resistant to this whole blogging business. But now, out of sheer desperation for more time in each day, I've decided to give it a try.

This way, I don't have to deal with sending too-slow slideshows on Shutterfly, and ya'll can stay in the loop. And because the only time I have to work on this puppy is late at night, I can't promise anything witty.

But I will do my best. Now comes the hard part, taking enough pictures on a regular basis that I have recent stuff to post.

More to come.