Saturday, September 29, 2012

Looking Back...

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give her him to the LORD. For his whole life she he will be given over to the LORD.” 
 I Samuel 1:27-28
Lord forgive me for changing the pronouns to fit our situation :) 

It's so hard to believe that a year ago we were preparing for this journey just HOPING and PRAYING that it would result in a precious baby.  I never would have imagined that we would be blessed with the sweetest angel!  I wanted to take a look back over the past year just to remind myself of what we went through to bring us to where we are here goes....

October 2, 2011 I received an expensive box FULL of needles, hormones, medications, gauze pads, alcohol swabs, etc., etc., etc., that would forever change our lives.

More than $2,000 worth of medications, needles and supplies
October 9, 2011 our IVF protocol begins: injections, injections and more injections!

October 19, 2011 our Egg Retrieval is scheduled.  The mommy's part is pretty invasive and includes doping me up with Propofol to sedate me prior to the procedure followed by inserting an 8" needle inside of me in order to retrieve as many eggs as they possibly could.  Many prayers were said for enough healthy eggs which would then be injected to form embryos.  

October 24, 2011, we sat (well I laid) in a little waiting room at REACH staring at this picture wondering if one or both of these little embryos might be "sticky" enough to latch on and become our son or daughter.

Our sweet little Embryos ready for 5 day transfer - I wonder which one is Nicolette!
We are "patiently" waiting for our transfer!
October 31, 2011 - while at our annual neighborhood Halloween get together I mentioned to the Italian that I really was not feeling well.  Feeling nauseous and not wanting to eat anything - not the pizza at the party and not even a bite of Halloween candy (for those who don't know me well, that is not like me at all...I don't turn down pizza OR candy).  Looking back I now see that this was a sign of the morning sickness to come.  

November 4, 2011 - I waited and waited for a phone call from REACH to confirm whether or not we were in fact "pregnant".  I received the call while at lunch with co-workers so they were the first to know...even before daddy!  I called the Italian from the restaurant and I went home that night and bought a test just so that I could finally see the POSITIVE results for myself!  After years of seeing Negative, Not Pregnant, Frowny Faces, Minus Signs, this was like a sweet victory!  

We were thrilled and excited however the waiting was not over as Dr. Katz and team wanted to ensure that my HcG levels continued to rise at the correct rate and we were blessed to have rates that TRIPLED!  Our baby was here to stay!!!

November 23, 2011 - Our first ultrasound at REACH when we saw our little hummingbird for the first time with her heart rate of 150 beats per minute.  Still continuing daily progesterone injections.  

December 7, 2011 - Graduation Day - we had our second ultrasound at REACH and sweet little girl's heartbeat was racing at 170 beats per minute.  I even got to see her dance on the screen!  Daddy unfortunately had to miss it due to his own Dr's appointment.  We got our "graduation present" from REACH ~ a "Made in Charlotte" Onesie and orders to stop my progesterone injections and were placed back in the capable hands of Dr. Bale - my OB.  I'm down 14 lbs from my pre-IVF weight and Dr. Katz writes a prescription for Zofran and threatens to put me in the hospital for IVs if I don't take it. I oblige :) (and it helps - not cures, but helps).  Finally given the ok to discontinue progesterone made me super nervous to stop (just because everything was going so well with them, what if that was the "glue" holding everything together?) thankfully everything went perfectly!  

December 19, 2011 - Our first appointment with Dr. Bale...sad not to have an ultrasound (as I had gotten so used to having one every time I went to REACH).  But we were able to hear the sweet baby's heart beat!  Still taking Zofran and never would have made it through our drive to Connecticut for Christmas with the Randazzo's without it.  Still not much of an appetite, but finally finished losing weight for a while.  

January 17, 2012 - We have a "bump sighting" - makes me giggle now that I thought that I was getting HUGE when this photo was taken at 15 weeks :) 

15 weeks
February 14th, 2012 - We have our Anatomy Scan and the tech and doctor both agree that everything looks GOOD!  Praise the Lord.  At this point only our ultrasound tech, doctor and the oh so talented Cake Lady Jill know if the little hummingbird is a boy or girl....

February 22th 2012 - 20 weeks and the Bump is GROWING
20 weeks 
February 24th, 2012 - Nicolette's first party - her Gender Reveal Party!  We were so happy to be surrounded by friends and family as we found out that we were welcoming a sweet little GIRL into our lives!!!!

March 4th, 2012 - Nicolette gets to meet the First Lady.  While working on a very high profile fundraising event for the upcoming Democratic National Convention being hosted in Charlotte the Secret Service and White House Advance teams were nice enough to schedule in a few moments for us to chat with the First Lady and have a photo taken.  She asked several questions about Nicolette and my pregnancy.   
Nicolette meets the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS)
March 28th - 25 weeks
25 weeks

April 2012 - what a difference 2 weeks makes!!!!
29 weeks
31 weeks
April 22nd - Baby Shower with my work family

May 16th - 35 weeks and our 4d ultrasound.  We're In Love!

June, 2012 - funny to see how it changes depending on how and where she's curled up from week to week!
35 weeks
36 weeks
37 weeks
June 3rd - Baby Shower with my TopCat Sisters

June 23rd - Baby Shower hosted by one of my dearest friends, Laura

July 4th - my last HDBD - we went to a cookout at our friends'/neighbors' house.  I had been feeling a little tired but still pretty good.  Little did I know that I would be in LABOR shortly afterwards.  
39 weeks
July 5th, 2012 - you can read the full birth story here  but to make a long story short, my contractions began shortly after midnight on July 5th and I labored at home until nearly 8:00pm that evening.  Less than an hour after arriving at the hospital, sweet Nicolette was in my arms!  
I was still in awe at this point - I couldn't believe that less than an hour
after arriving at the hospital I had this sweet little person in my arms!
Gosh, she's beautiful!!!!!
July 7, 2012 - Welcome Home Nicolette...
Welcome Home Nicolette!

...and they all lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER!


*which is actually its own new beginning...

Friday, September 28, 2012

12 Weeks Today

Today is Nicolette's 12 week birthday!  We celebrated at a baby shower for yet another one of Nicolette's future boyfriends :)

Mommy & Nicolette all ready for the party
I just have to brag some more about what a wonderful baby Nicolette is.  She really is a dream come true.  We had a very difficult and emotional week with the passing of our sweet, precious dog-child Chance and Nicolette was so sweet, loving and not a bit fussy.  She cheered us up by flashing her beautiful smile exactly when we needed it most.  This week has been hard, harder than I could have imagined but having Nicolette here with us has made us both feel so much better.  She really is my dream baby.

Playtime with Daddy...
"What's that you say Daddy?"
"Oh Daddy, you're so silly..."
"Hi Mommy!"
Watching some TV with Daddy...

Nicolette is really going to town on her hands...sometimes she'll get both hands in her mouth at the same time.  I miss the days when hands in mouth automatically meant that she was hungry.  Now it could mean she's hungry, or that she's tired, or that she just wants to have her hands in her mouth (she still won't take a paci so for now I guess the hands are the pacifier).

Our nursing sessions are much shorter now.  It used to take 30-45 minutes to nurse and now sometimes sessions are as short as five minutes but more often are 10-15 minutes.  I guess Nicolette and I are both getting more efficient.  She feeds every 2-2 1/2 hours during the day and every 5-6 hours at night.  I'm still pumping but only once a day and I get about 8 ounces each day.  I gave up on trying the bottle with Nicolette so I currently have about 800 ounces of breastmilk in my freezer.  I was lucky to find some mommies who are in desperate need of breastmilk donations for various reasons so will be getting rid of most of the "stash" over the next couple of weeks.  I plan to still keep a smaller stash and still pump once a day.  If I start to accumulate too much I'll donate again otherwise we'll save it for when Nicolette starts on solids and we'll mix it in with that.  I've been reading about introducing solids and I think I'm going to skip cereal since it has little to no nutritional value.  One of my favorite pediatricians, Dr. Alan Greene, has resolved to get rice cereal out of babies’ diets for good!  His campaign is called “WhiteOut Now” and you can learn much more about it here.  You can also follow Dr. Greene’s efforts to get the WhiteOut of babies’ diets on Facebook here.

Here's an interesting section from Dr. Greene's website:  

Let every child’s first food be a real food

It’s no wonder kids are hooked on junk food. For the past 50 years the majority of babies in the United States have been given white rice cereal for their very first bite of solid food. We call it cereal, but it’s processed white flour with added iron. It’s a refined carb babies don’t need, and there are better ways for baby to get iron than by adding it to junk food

White rice cereal is the number one source of food calories for most babies until about 11 months old.

Let’s reverse a half century of habit. Let Kids’ first bite be real food – such as mashed avocado, banana, sweet potato, or whole grains (like whole oats or brown rice). There’s no good reason not to. They won’t mind at all. They’ll thank you.

Next week is a BIG week...Nicolette's 3 Month Birthday - the official end of the "fourth trimester".  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

11 Weeks...

Where has the time gone?  I cannot believe that our little angel is 11 weeks old.  Sometimes it seems like she's been with us much longer because I really can't remember life "pre-Nicolette" and sometimes it seems like she was just born.

What's even harder to believe is that if we had made some different decisions I would be reporting back to work this week.  I honestly cannot fathom what it would be like to have to be separated from Nicolette for a few hours a day much less the 9-12 hours a day, 5-6 (and sometimes 7) days a week that my former job required.  I would rather live in my car than miss that much time with her.  Every moment is so precious and things are changing SO quickly!

I feel like every few days she discovers something new or I notice a change in her face, or growing body.  For the past couple of weeks Nicolette has been very focused on her hands.  It's really cute how she'll sometimes sit in her bouncy seat and play with her hands - she almost looks like she's wringing her hands like some crafty evil genius (in a cute way).

I splurged and bought a Fisher Price Kick & Play Piano Gym...this thing is awesome!!!  Previously I would put Nicolette on the floor on a blanket and I'd move rattles and toys around overhead to try and get her to look different directions, start to roll, etc.  It hardly ever worked.  She would pretty much lay still on the floor with a couple of kicks here and there.  After the piano gym was introduced we were looking at a whole new ballgame.  The mat has an upright keyboard on one end and when she kicks her legs and presses the keys different tones and tunes are played.  There is an arched bar overhead with a mirror as well as several toys all along the arch.  Within 15 minutes of being on the mat she had rolled over onto her right side and by the next play session she had rolled onto her left side!  She also reaches out to grab the toys on the sides and has a strong grip.  She'll also wiggle herself around in different directions and wind up diagonally or even a full 90 degrees from where she started.  We love this toy and the smiles and coos that we see and hear make the $45 investment totally worth it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

My heart is literally hurting...

Today has been a rough day.  Last night we had to say farewell to our beloved dog-child Chance.  I feel sick to my stomach, don't want to eat and can't stop crying and just when I think I'm ok I'll see something totally random that reminds me of him and I start crying again.  I was up all night, not with a crying baby, she was sleeping like...well, a baby.  But I could not sleep as I kept wondering if we did the right thing, swearing and secretly wishing that every creak and bump that I heard in the night was him fidgeting at our bedside.

See we've had Chance for nearly 10 1/2 years so he's officially a founding member of the Randazzo family.  The Italian adopted Chance one day and we went on our first date the very next and the 3 of us have been pretty much inseparable ever since.  Chance was a rescue pup at the age of 1 and boy the family who gave him up sure are suckers.  Their loss was definitely our gain!  He's our first child and will always hold a special place in our hearts.  It makes me so sad that Nicolette will never know how great Chance was.  He will always be our most special puppy.

We love you Chance.  

"This is really what the "quality of life" issue is all about.  By usurping nature's role throughout the life of our pets, we must sometimes also accept its role in determining (and bringing about) the death of a pet.  To accept this, we may also have to accept that, in some cases, the quality of life we're really trying to protect is our own:  That we're allowing our pet to suffer out of a desire to avoid the anguish we know that we will experience when it dies.  
And that, ultimately, is the most unselfish act of love we can offer:  To end a pet's suffering, we must choose to accept our own"
~Moira Allen
The Pet Loss Support Page

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My girls' got some lungs on her!

Nicolette's 2 month check up was today which coincided perfectly with what should have been her nap time.  I managed to hold off the screaming through the 15 minute wait in the waiting room, through the measuring, weighing and all that jazz until it was time to lay her down for the actual exam with the doctor.  As soon as she was laid on the table the wailing started.  Have I managed that Nicolette screams to high Heavens now when it is time for her to go to sleep?  It's loads of fun.  So the first words out of the doc's mouth were, "Well, she's got healthy lungs!".  Yes, indeed she does.  Nicolette doesn't cry often but when she does, there's no missing it!  We had a play date at a friends house last week and her son is 2 weeks younger than Nicolette.  He started to cry and I was amazed...he was SO quiet compared to Nicolette.

Other than the trauma of missing nap time, we escaped unscathed.  Nicolette now weighs 10lbs, 13.5oz and is 23 1/4" tall.  She's long and lean at 29th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height.  The doc feels that she's gaining weight appropriately and I now have permission to let her start sleeping through the night...Praise the Lord!  I've felt so guilty for waking her up every night when she looks like she's sleeping so peacefully!

Speaking of sleeping - she was definitely ready for a nap when we got home at the end of the day and daddy was more than happy to walk her to sleep (we call it walk her to sleep because she doesn't really care for rocking or anything that involves us sitting down at all when she's sleepy...she wants to walk).  Then they enjoyed a nice little cat nap!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Co-sleeping = Co-ntroversial

So I'm not ashamed to admit it...we're a bed sharing family.  That's right, my name is Kelly and my baby sleeps in our bed with me.  I feel the need to confess because whenever I share that tidbit of info with folks I receive a plethora of facial expressions, opinions, scolding and advice.  I can hardly blame people, before we had Nicolette I totally didn't think that we would bed share or co-sleep...I thought that was for hippy-ish families, that it might set up  a childhood of bad habits, that it would increase her risk of SIDS or that my husband (or I) would roll over and crush her.  I know now that that could not be further from the truth.  

I tiptoed into this the hospital when Nicolette was in the bassinet next to me.  I would hear her fidget and fuss at night so I would pick her up and go through all the checks to make sure that her needs were met i.e. check her diaper, try to nurse her, etc.  If those were ok I would hold her until she quieted down and then lay her back in the bassinet.  It normally took all of 5-10 minutes before I would hear her rustling again.  Repeat check sequence, calm her down and lay her back in the bassinet.  After 4 or 5 go rounds of this I would hold her on my chest and we would inevitably fall asleep together.  She wouldn't budge until it was time for me to wake her up and feed her.  It was instinctual for me to want to have her with me, not in her little plastic bin beside my bed.  If you look at most of the animal kingdom nearly all animals co-sleep with their young.  It's really just us humans in our highly evolved "civilized" society who have chosen to forego this practice.    

Still, when we got home I would carefully place her in her bassinet by our bed to sleep each night and without fail she would wake up fidgety and restless several times but I was too scared to put her in bed with us so I just had many nights of little to no sleep which I thought was just typical of parents of newborns.  

During this time I had started reading one of Dr. Sears's books (yes, he is the Attachment Parenting guru that was featured in "THE" infamous Time Magazine article - the one that was totally overshadowed by the photo of the gorgeous mother breastfeeding her 4 year old on the cover).  He had a chapter that covered co-sleeping, sleepsharing, bed sharing or the family bed (whatever you want to call it).  I mentioned it to the Italian figuring that he would think that it's just another one of my kooky, hippy-granola ideas.  (I may not look "crunchy" but I'm definitely a stiletto hippy...I'm into as much holistic all natural stuff as I can get, but still wear makeup (organic kind), designer clothes and heels :))  He immediately was all for it.  I asked him if he was afraid that either he or I might squish her and he said absolutely not.  He knew that she would sleep closer to me than him and he pointed out that although it is different our cat-child, Sasha has slept in our bed at my feet for the past 3 years.  He's noted over and over again that he would be awake and watch me in my sleep ever so gently move my feet around Sasha so as not to disrupt her in any way.  He said he knew that it would be even more heightened with Nicolette and he was right.  Nicolette sleeps nestled right beside me in the crook of my arm and I literally do not move at all throughout the night and she doesn't really move much either.  

I've included the 7 Benefits of co-sleeping from Dr. Sears's book below (my comments are noted in italics and highlighted):    

There is no right or wrong place for baby to sleep. Wherever all family members sleep the best is the right arrangement for you. Remember, over half the world's population sleeps with their baby, and more and more parents in the U.S. are sharing sleep with their little one. Here's why:
1. Babies sleep better
Sleepsharing babies usually go to sleep and stay asleep better. Being parented to sleep at the breast of mother or in the arms of father creates a healthy go-to-sleep attitude. Baby learns that going to sleep is a pleasant state to enter (one of our goals of nighttime parenting).
Babies stay asleep better. Put yourself in the sleep pattern of baby. As baby passes from deep sleep into light sleep, he enters a vulnerable period for nightwaking, a transition state that may occur as often as every hour and from which it is difficult for baby to resettle on his own into a deep sleep. You are a familiar attachment person whom baby can touch, smell, and hear. Your presence conveys an "It's OK to go back to sleep" message. Feeling no worry, baby peacefully drifts through this vulnerable period of nightwaking and reenters deep sleep. If baby does awaken, she is sometimes able to resettle herself because you are right there. A familiar touch, perhaps a few minutes' feed, and you comfort baby back into deep sleep without either member of the sleep-sharing pair fully awakening.
I can fully attest to this!  Since Nicolette and I have been sleepsharing we've both been sleeping MUCH better.  Nicolette almost NEVER wakes up during the night.  I actually have to wake her up to feed her throughout the night so she is sleeping much more soundly than when I had her in her bassinet alone...this obviously translates to better sleep for mommy too!!!!
Many babies need help going back to sleep because of a developmental quirk called object or person permanence. When something or someone is out of sight, it is out of mind. Most babies less than a year old do not have the ability to think of mother as existing somewhere else. When babies awaken alone in a crib, they become frightened and often unable to resettle back into deep sleep. Because of this separation anxiety, they learn that sleep is a fearful state to remain in (not one of our goals of nighttime parenting).
This alone made me so sad...after this I remember looking into the bassinet and seeing Nicolette's WIDE eyes with that fearful look in them.  Now I never see that look on her sweet little face anymore.  Just a sleepy little smirk every now and then (she smiles in her sleep).  
2. Mothers sleep better
Many mothers and infants are able to achieve nighttime harmony: babies and mothers get their sleep cycles in sync with one another.
 Martha (Dr. Sears' wife) notes: "I would automatically awaken seconds before my baby would. When the baby started to squirm, I would lay on a comforting hand and she would drift back to sleep. Sometimes I did this automatically and I didn't even wake up."
Contrast sleepsharing with the crib and nursery scene. The separate sleeper awakens – alone and behind bars. He is out of touch. He first squirms and whimpers. Still out of touch. Separation anxiety sets in, baby becomes scared, and the cry escalates into an all-out wail or plea for help. This piercing cry awakens even the most long distance mother, who jumps up (sometimes out of the state of deep sleep, which is what leads to most nighttime exhaustion), and staggers reluctantly down the hall. By the time mother reaches the baby, baby is wide awake and upset, mother is wide awake and upset, and the comforting that follows becomes a reluctant duty rather than an automatic nurturant response. It takes longer to resettle an upset solo sleeper than it does a half-asleep baby who is sleeping within arm's reach of mother. Once baby does fall asleep, mother is still wide-awake and too upset to resettle easily. If, however, the baby is sleeping next to mother and they have their sleep cycles in sync, most mothers and babies can quickly resettle without either member of the sleepsharing pair fully awakening. Being awakened suddenly and completely from a state of deep sleep to attend to a hungry or frightened baby is what leads to sleep-deprived parents and fearful babies.
True - since we started sleepsharing we have not had one single cry our outburst at night.  So no traumatic awakenings here.  
3. Breastfeeding is easier
Most veteran breastfeeding mothers have, for survival, learned that sharing sleep makes breastfeeding easier. Breastfeeding mothers find it easier than bottlefeeding mothers to get their sleep cycles in sync with their babies. They often wake up just before the babies awaken for a feeding. By being there and anticipating the feeding, mother can breastfeed baby back to a deep sleep before baby (and often mother) fully awakens.
A mother who had achieved nighttime-nursing harmony with her baby shared the following story with us:
"About thirty seconds before my baby wakes up for a feeding, my sleep seems to lighten and I almost wake up. By being able to anticipate his feeding, I usually can start breastfeeding him just as he begins to squirm and reach for the nipple. Getting him to suck immediately keeps him from fully waking up, and then we both drift back into a deep sleep right after feeding."
Mothers who experience daytime breastfeeding difficulties report that breastfeeding becomes easier when they sleep next to their babies at night and lie down with baby and nap nurse during the day. We believe baby senses that mother is more relaxed, and her milk-producing hormones work better when she is relaxed or sleeping.
True - sometimes we practice the sidelying nursing position but most of the time I still get up and feed her in the glider.  
Sleepsharing is even more relevant in today's busy lifestyles. As more and more mothers, out of necessity, are separated from their baby during the day, sleeping with their baby at night allows them to reconnect and make up for missed touch time during the day. As a nighttime perk, the relaxing hormones that are produced in response to baby nursing relax a mother and help her wind down from the tension of a busy day's work. 
5. Babies thrive better
Over the past thirty years of observing sleepsharing families in our pediatric practice, we have noticed one medical benefit that stands out; these babies thrive . "Thriving" means not only getting bigger, but also growing to your full potential, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Perhaps it's the extra touch that stimulates development, or perhaps the extra feedings (yes, sleepsharing infants breastfeed more often than solo sleepers).
We'll see about this...Nicolette has her 2 month check up tomorrow.  
6. Parents and infants become more connected
Remember that becoming connected is the basis of parenting, and one of your early goals of parenting. In our office, we keep a file entitled "Kids Who Turned Out Well, What Their Parents Did." We have noticed that infants who sleep with their parents (some or all of the time during those early formative years) not only thrive better, but infants and parents are more connected.
Time will tell, but I do feel very "in tune" with little Nicolette now.  
7. Reduces the risk of SIDS
New research is showing what parents the world over have long suspected: infants who sleep safely nestled next to parents are less likely to succumb to the tragedy of SIDS. Yet, because SIDS is so rare (.5 to 1 case per 1,000 infants), this worry should not be a reason to sleep with your baby. (For in depth information on the science of sleepsharing and the experiments showing how sleep benefits a baby's nighttime physiology. (See SIDS)
Co-sleeping does not always work and some parents simply do not want to sleep with their baby. Sleepsharing is an optional attachment tool. You are not bad parents if you don't sleep with your baby. Try it. If it's working and you enjoy it, continue. If not, try other sleeping arrangements (an alternative is the sidecar arrangement: place a crib or co-sleeper adjacent to your bed).
New parents often worry that their child will get so used to sleeping with them that he may never want to leave their bed. Yes, if you're used to sleeping first-class, you are reluctant to be downgraded. Like weaning from the breast, infants do wean from your bed (usually sometime around two years of age). Keep in mind that sleepsharing may be the arrangement that is designed for the safety and security of babies. The time in your arms, at your breast, and in your bed is a very short time in the total life of your child, yet the memories of love and availability last a lifetime.
So I understand that this is not the perfect arrangement for every family but I will say that it is working perfectly for us and it just feels "right" to me.  Mommy, Daddy and Baby are all sleeping MUCH better and we feel so much closer as a family.  Daddy loves to wake up in the morning and kiss Nicolette's little forehead.  There's something so sweet and special about all falling asleep and waking up together .  This is a precious time that I know won't last forever so I want to take advantage of it as long as we both feel comfortable.  We joke around that she's never going to sleep in that beautiful nursery we created for her...we're too selfish and like having her with us!   Good night everyone!  Sweet dreams, I'm off to cuddle with my little one!   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2 Months Old Today!!!!

Nicolette is 2 months old today!!!
I'm 2 months old!  And so is my elephant!
This month she grew out of Newborn sized diapers into Size 1's.  She still wears mostly newborn clothes though.  Some of her onesies are getting tight but most of the 0-3 and 3 month clothes are still too big so we have some wardrobe challenges.

Happy to be 2 months old!
This month Nicolette started focusing on things - she loves the bears above her bassinet, the lights and toys on her bouncy seat and ceiling fans.  She also enjoys looking at herself in the mirror.  She doesn't like to laydown and be held much she'd much rather be held upright so that she can look around over my shoulder.

This month Nicolette decided that she would fight sleep (fun).  She has decided that there must be much more exciting things taking place and she struggles so hard to keep her little eyes open.  That girl has some POWERFUL lungs on her but that really is the only time that she cries (when she is sleepy I mean).  Mommy and daddy rock and rock her to get her to fall asleep.  She likes the sound of the exhaust fan on our stove and that sometimes helps.  

Happy girl!
This month Nicolette took a paci/binkie (for 2 minutes).  Still not sure if we want to encourage the binkie usage but that one time it seemed to help her calm down more quickly while trying to fall asleep.  She kicked it out of her mouth before passing out but it still did the trick!

Strong neck!
This month Nicolette spit up for the first time - only 1 spit up so far and that was at 8 weeks.  Wonder how long that will continue???

Strong neck and cute little tushie!  
This month Nicolette has started growing more hair although you can't really see it in pictures because it is still pretty light.  Last night I picked her up after she had been napping with the Italian and the hair on top of her head was all messed up and sticking straight up.  I couldn't believe how much was there!!!  My little girl is growing up so quickly!!!!

Sweet face - I love this baby!!!!!
Nicolette likes to be sung to, but not in the traditional sense.  She could take or leave all of the lullabies and songs that mommy and daddy sing to her.  Instead she likes to make a sound and then mommy will match her pitch and sing random words and sounds on the same note and it makes her smile and smile and smile.  I feel like a total dork but will do pretty much anything to see that smile!  Daddy is so in love with is very sweet to watch them together.  She's definitely going to be a daddy's girl!