Friday, July 29, 2005 (TAYLOR IS 11 WEEKS OLD)..

Last Sunday I spent my first real time away from Taylor (through an entire feeding) while I went to my friend Bernice’s. I’m going back to work on Monday and it was sort of a trial run to see how she’ll do while I’m gone all day. She and Zach spent the evening together and they had a great time. Hopefully she’ll do just as well when I’m working. I’m lucky enough to be able to go back to work part time (two and a half days per week). I know that it’s still going to be tough to leave her, but I think it will be good for all of us. I feel so thankful that I’ve been able to spend the first 11 weeks with T.J. to bond and get to know her. I can see her little personality developing more and more every day.

Zach and Taylor hanging out:
Zach TJ3 Zach TJ4

We have a chair that has now become Taylor’s throne. It’s a big soft cushy scoop of a chair that she can sit in and watch us while we work in the kitchen or eat dinner. It seems to be her new favorite spot to hang out. She was in the chair yesterday when she made a new discovery – her feet! What a thrilling sight for her…she seemed pretty amazed at those little toes and how they wiggled around. She’s also discovered that her hands are VERY fun to suck on. We’ll be out and about and I’ll hear “slurp, slurp, slurp” and there’s little Taylor trying to fit her fist into her mouth! It can be a bit embarrassing because it is SO loud, but it still makes me laugh every time.

Taylor on her “throne”:
TJ chair TJ chair2 TJ chair3

Taylor marveling at her feet:
TJ feet TJ feet2

Taylor with Grandma Laura:

Friday, July 22, 2005 (TAYLOR IS 10 WEEKS OLD)..

This past week we’ve had a complete turnaround with our sleep. Someone loaned me a copy of the DVD “The Happiest Baby on the Block”. It’s put together by Dr. Harvey Karp who describes some really effective ways of calming a baby. The man deserves a Nobel peace prize because it has definitely restored the peace in our house!! The first night that I tried his techniques, Taylor slept through the night and it’s worked every night for a week now. We’re trying not to keep our expectations too high, but we’ll enjoy it while it lasts…

T.J. is growing so quickly. She now weighs over 12 pounds (almost double her birth weight). I was reading that babies are supposed to gain approximately 4-7 oz. per week and she’s gained almost 10 oz. per week and 2-1/2″ in length since she was born! I called the doctor to make sure that she’s not overeating but they seem to think that she’s just fine so I’m not going to worry about it. Sometimes I look at her and I marvel at how different one baby can look from moment to moment. She can go from happy to sad to fussy and then out like a light within minutes. It really keeps us on our toes! I think these pictures really capture Taylor’s many moods:
Face1 Face3 Face6 Face4 Face2 Face5 Face7

When Zach and I found out that we were having a baby, we put a card together for our families to let them know. We had taken a picture of Zach and a picture of me and then we morphed the two pictures together to make an image of what our baby might look like. I just came across those pictures and I thought I’d post for all to enjoy. (I’m letting out a big sigh with relief that Taylor looks nothing like the morphed image!)

babycard1 babycard2

Friday, July 15, 2005 (TAYLOR IS 9 WEEKS OLD).

Taylor went on her first plane ride last weekend to San Diego. As challenging as it is to travel with a small child, we learned that there are certain perks. We got to pre-board the plane, so we were first on and first off. Also, travelling with a baby means that no one wants to sit next to you, so you’re more likely to have a row all to yourself! She was a trooper…she only cried a little bit on the flight home, but that passed quickly and so the flights were pretty uneventful overall.

In San Diego, we went to visit Taylor’s great-grandfather. It was the first time that Taylor Jules got to meet her namesake, Grandpa Jules as well as some of her great-aunts and -uncles on the Radding side of the family. While we were there, we took some pictures.

Three generations of Raddings:
3Gens Jules TJ8

Here’s Taylor Jules with her great-grandpa Jules:
Jules TJ3 Jules TJ2 Jules TJ1 Jules TJ4 Jules TJ5 Jules TJ7

Some pics with Linda:
Linda TJ3 Linda TJ5

Some shots of Taylor, Zach and I:

Grin NumeroUno Zach TJ Zach TJ2 liz TJ 2

Last but not least, we’ve had two wonderful, blissful nights IN A ROW of 8 hours+ of sleep. I don’t want to jinx it, we’re just enjoying it while it lasts!

Friday, July 8, 2005 (TAYLOR IS 8 WEEKS OLD)

Taylor has had a busy week! She went miniature golfing for the first time on Friday, to the county fair on Sunday and on Monday she went to the Independence Day parade in Danville. Monday night we had some friends over and watched the fireworks. While the fireworks were great, Taylor isn’t easily impressed…she cried through most of it. Maybe in a few years, she’ll appreciate the festivities a little more.

On Wednesday, I took Taylor down to Fresno to visit grandma C.R., great-uncle Steve and great-aunt Dot. I was a little worried that Taylor would keep everyone up all night with her crying…I warned them ahead of time that she’s been pretty fussy during the evenings, but they assured me that they were prepared to attend to her in the wee hours of the morning. Well, it turns out that my fears were unfounded because she slept through almost the entire visit and didn’t make a peep. I think that she was showing off for her grandma because when I got home, all bets were off and she was back to her fussy self on Thursday night.
Here’s some pictures that C.R. took of Taylor while in Fresno (what an angel!):
Angel1 Angel2 Angel3

…and here’s a picture that I took after we got home (just so no one thinks that we’re “crying wolf”!):

Friday, July 1, 2005 (TAYLOR IS 7 WEEKS OLD)

We’re noticing that Taylor seems to be joining the world a little bit more each day. She’s been a lot more engaged lately, and she occasionally makes eye contact with us. She also smiles a lot more (and not just when she has gas!). It’s such a thrill when she gives us even a slight acknowledgement that she knows we exist.

At last we’ve been able to coax T.J. into her carrier. We took her for her first hike in Joaquin Miller Park last weekend. Zach carried her in her Snugli and she just slept the entire time.
Here’s a picture of dad and daughter out on the trail:

We’ve also finally conquered the swing. Taylor was very resistant to sitting in the swing at all – she would cry and cry. Then someone gave me the advice to put her in the swing and turn it up as high as it would go…and sure enough it worked! She’ll sit in the swing long enough for me to take a shower or do the dishes. (The smallest victories are hard fought around here!)
Pictures of Taylor in the swing:
TJ swing2 TJ swing

Picture of me and Taylor: