Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Violet: 1 Month Old

My little nugget has turned one month old! I seriously feel like we just brought her home - has it really been a whole month? I think my brain is slowly starting to reemerge now that she is sleeping a little bit better at night and all of the sudden my newborn is a real baby.I stole this idea from my friend Melissa who did it with her son. Each month, I will take a photo of Violet in this same chair with the same toy so that we can see how much she grows! She looks tiny and I felt bad leaving her in that chair alone while I took the photo (we are back to using the video camera for photos since someone broke the brand new camera).

Here are her 1 month stats from the doctor:
Weight: 10 pounds, 6 ounces - 90%
Height: 21 and 1/4 inches - 75%
Head: 14 inches - 25% (apparently she has not inherited the Hopper head)
He basically said she was perfect and that breastfed babies weigh more at first, so her weight is good even though she is a chubster. He was very impressed and so was I - she did not cry at all! So different from her brother!

At one month, she is holding her head up fairly well, she likes to go on walks outside, likes the bath, and calms down best with daddy. She tracks things with her eyes pretty well, and Jeremy is an especially favorite thing for her to stare at. She does stare a lot, and makes pretty good eye contact. She sleeps usually in 3 to 4 hour increments, though we did have one 5 hour stint that sent me over the moon with joy. She sleeps in her crib now in the kids' room, though she prefers the car seat in the crib still to being flat on her back. She is a good eater and doesn't spit up too much, though we have experienced a few pretty good drenchings when I let her eat too much. Oops.

Overall, she is doing an excellent job and I think we'll keep her! Here are some photos from the month that I managed to salvage from the now defunct camera:

Friday, June 24, 2011

At First

At first, having a new baby is painful. It is gross, expensive, exhausting, confusing, scary, and guilt-ridden. You love that baby more than anything in the world, but your brain keeps jumping to worst case scenarios, your eyes keep tearing up, your body is in literal pain, and you just want to sleep, for the love of God, please let me sleep.

At first, that precious baby who you could not wait to meet is all squished and funny looking. She does not recognize you, she does not smile unless she has gas, and she cries all the time. She vomits in your hair, thinks day is night and night is day, and screams on the rocker, the swing, the chair, the car, your lap, your chest, on walks, everywhere. And then there's the projectile poop.

At first, you feel like you just cannot do it. There is no possible way you can balance two children, two daycare tuition payments, two baths at night, two screaming kids at the same time. You just want to give up, and for the love of God, please let me sleep.

At first, you are up until 4am with a wide awake newborn, finally get her to sleep and are awoken at 6am by a 3 year-old ready for breakfast. You want to snap at them, hide under the covers, and sleep, for the love of God, please let me sleep.

At first, every molehill looks like a mountain. Your sanity is gone, your hands shake all day, your house is a frightful mess, and you look like a zombie. Simple things like taking a shower and doing the dishes seem to be just too much to handle. A tree falls on your car during a storm and you react as if your home has just blown up. Your toddler breaks your new camera and all you can do is sit on the floor and sob like a baby, not a mommy. Perspective is not on your side.

At first, you think it is all too much. You question everything and analyze even more. You drive yourself insane with worry, stress, and exhaustion.

But, it is only at first.

Any day now, at first will pass and life will resume. I can see glimmers of it on the horizon - distant, but there. We'll get there in one piece. It may not be pretty, but we will get there. At last.

In the meantime, I am going to stare at this precious face and pretend the gas smiles are for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Mine Daddy:" An Interview with Jeremy Hopper

I realize Father's Day was a few days ago, but really, isn't every day Father's Day when you have a great dad? I know it is for me, as my dad continues to bring tears to my eyes with his kindness and concern for me - even as an adult. I got a bit behind this year and did not get this posted in time, but this is a little interview I did with Jeremy about his daddy:Mommy: Hello. Can you tell me your name for the record?

Jeremy Hopper: I'ms Jeremy (sounds like there are a few extra syllables, but I can't figure out how to spell what he said)

M: Who is the best daddy in the world?

JH: Mine Daddy!

M: Really? Why is that?

JH: Mine daddy is the best daddy of ever.

M: What types of things do you do with your daddy?

JH: I ride on real Thomas with mine Daddy! (he then went on for ages about Thomas)

M: Does your daddy like trains?

JH: Daddy loves trains, just like Jeremy. We play actual trains in mine room. (more monologuing about trains...)

M: What else do you do with your daddy?

JH: Umm, daddy drives a car and goes to work.

M: Interesting. Did he take you anywhere special in his car last week?

JH: We climbed a mountain! (Incoherent excited sentences followed this statement)

M: Did you have fun with daddy on the mountain?

JH: Yeah! I like mountains.

M: Sounds like your daddy is very nice. Does he read you any good books?

JH: Umm, yeah. 1001 Pirate Things to Spot, umm, Alligator at Saw Grass Road, umm, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss.

M: Do you know what special day is coming up for Daddy?

JH: Happy Birthday to Daddy!

M: No, but close. It is almost Father's Day. What do you think about that?

JH: Father's Day.

M: That's what I said. It is a special day for Daddy.

JH: I love mine daddy. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to daddy. Happy birthday to you.

M: Well sung. Anything else you want to say about daddy?

JH: Umm, nope!

And there you have it! To the "best daddy of ever", we LOVE you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boy Face

Anyone even remotely familiar with Jeremy will know that he does not have the personality to simply roll over and let someone else steal the spotlight in the family. My little man has done is darndest to remain top dog around here despite the new addition.

First of all, one day before our scheduled delivery, Jeremy got a black eye at school thanks to some heated playing in the wooden block area. So, every single photo of him meeting his sister and our new 4-person family is with Jeremy and a black eye. Kinda perfect, actually.He loves Violet. I was hoping for this, but was not really expecting it. He asks to hold her, he tries to pick her up, he gives her trains to play with, and he sings her songs. The other day, I left them alone in the same room for a few minutes and came back to see Violet's bouncy chair (which she was in) filled with trains, and Jeremy singing one of his Thomas songs to her.Shortly after we brought Violet home from the hospital, my potty-terrified boy peed in the potty ON HIS OWN two days in a row! This is huge since he has stalwartly refused to go near the potty for months.

He got a new haircut and looks way older and more like a kid than my baby. Sad day.He got a special treat from his daddy and climbed to the top of the highest point in Tennessee - Clingman's Dome. It is paved and not really a hike, but still, he did it and had a blast. They also stopped off at the exact spot by the Chimney Tops where Brian proposed to me. Aren't these photos of my boy gorgeous?Needless to say, despite our home being overrun by a certain precious Girl Face, our rambunctious Boy Face continues to preside over the household. This change in his life has brought out a new sense of wonder in him, and it is so lovely to see him staring at her and wanting to spend time with her.

Now, we will be moving her into his (their) room this weekend, so all this loveliness will most likely go up in flames. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Girl Face

I have finally decided to come out of hiding and share my baby girl with the world!Violet Cordelia Hopper was born at 6:02pm on Friday, May 27th. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 20 1/2 inches long. She has blue eyes and brown hair. Brian and I think she looks like my mom, which is excellent news!We did have a c-section again this time, since she was breech and my previous c-section put me in a bit of danger for another emergency one, which we really wanted to avoid. Other than some blood pressure issues on my end, everything was wonderful and Miss Violet has been a great baby.

Jeremy has LOVED having her around. He still goes about his regular day, but talks to her, offers her toys, and holds her when he can spare time from his busy train-playing schedule. He insisted on pushing her during this entire walk even though he could not see above the stroller.I have taken to calling her "Girl Face" for no reason whatsoever. But, there you go. She does have the best face: when she is trying to wake up, she raises her eyebrows as far as they will go to help pull up her sleepy eyelids. It is super cute. She also has a precious little mouth that is constantly making little contented smiles.

At two weeks old, she weighed in at 8 pounds, 13 ounces having gained a a whole pound in a week. She is an overachiever already. She is on a 3 hour feeding schedule and takes after her brother in preferring to sleep in her carseat or on someone rather than lying flat in her bed.

So far, she is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. My sister Cheri and my mom spent a lot of time here helping us for the first two weeks, and they are AMAZING! I am very lucky to have them take time off work to move to Knoxville for weeks at a time to put up with my crazy.Here are the photos from the birth/hospital/early days (HUGE thanks to my parents for the new camera):