Thursday, March 25, 2010

Too much cuteness - it can't be contained!

Avi is just too cute! How can this be fair that one baby has all the cuteness in the whole world wrapped up in her one little body? These pictures were taken in bed the other morning before we even got up. Can you believe it: no make-up, no hair-styling and still she looks beautiful!

I love this one.

The quintessential baby picture.

ezcema - a bad word in our house

Avi has been having some skin issues for the last few months. It has been quite frustrating for both her and us. She itches a lot and is annoyed, and we don't know what is causing her to be rashy, itchy and red! We tried the traditional route: going to the pediatrition, but all he said was to put hydrocortisone cream on it. All that did was heal the symptoms for a day or two, but not heal the cause. We went to a dermatologist. He said that she has ezcema without even looking at her for more than a half second (seriously). He wanted her to take benadryl and hydrocortisone cream - this for an 8 month old! Then we went to see my accupuncturist. He sat down and actually looked at her. He thought it might be a food allergy. So he gave mommy a restricted diet of 4 things: turkey, rice, cooked apples and pears. That's it. That's all. No spices, no drinks, no chocolate, no wine. How did mommy survive? She barely did. She went into a mild depression. What no cream in my morning cup of tea? What no tea at all? What is worth living for if food is reduced to 4 items?

Well, Avi made it worth it! Her skin got way worse around day 2-5 (maybe her system was detoxing?) and then she got progressively better. Around day 15 (today) there is hardly any trace of the redness or the rashes. She feels soft like a warm satin pillow instead of hot and scaly like a desert lizard! Anyways, needless to say this was killer for photography parents who just wanted to photograph their daughter everyday, but weren't inspired because her body was covered in rashes. So, we're trying to make up for all those lost pictures now. Here's one when she was in the midst of the rashes. You can see her red little cheeks... poor baby. (Really, this picture does no justice to the intensity of her rashes.)

Now it is poor mom. Maren is introducing one or two foods back into her diet every 4 days or so to see if Avi reacts. Avi is off solid foods because those were really getting her rashy. We'll see how this goes - it's not fun to "diet" when your breastfeeding!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Avi has lots of good little bits. These bits are fun for chewing on, kissing, or just admiring. Here's some of our favorite facial bits of Avi around month 8.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Okay. I think we have the sleep thing figured out. After 2 weeks of Avi needing a human nipple (only mom's, dad wouldn't try using his) in her mouth to fall asleep, mom went crazy. Her back hurt laying in bed for hours to have Avi take a nap. In fact, her nipple cracked because it was basically immersed in salivia 18 hours a day (okay, a slight exagerration). Mom and Dad realized that Avi needed to sleep better, on her own, and that mom also needed sleep. So, we found a book called Good Night, Sleep Tight. (Maren's brother, when told we were following a book to get Avi to sleep, asked if it was called Go to Sleep, You #*@> Baby! Maren laughed. No, it wasn't called that, but that might make a bestseller!)

After several nights of "training" Avi to sleep, she was sleeping by herself for 5-10 hour stretches! She is an amazing little girl! And she naps better now too, and generally is happier! We are so happy! So, praise must be given to Daddy who put in several long night to help our little one become sleep savvy.

At 8 months old, we put her in her own room for the first time. Mommy cried when Avi left her arms to go sleep in her own room. Up until this point, Avi had been sleeping in parent's room (either in their bed, or on her own mattress on the floor next to their bed). But parents relecutantly realized that when they stirred in the night, Avi would often awaken. She is a light sleeper. So, parents thought putting her in her own room might work better - and it has. Though her little presence is missed at night, everyone is getting better sleep, and first thing when she awakens every morning is she is picked up, brought into parents be, nursed, snuggled, then sung to and then the family does some yoga stretches together. But, back to Dad's sacrifices. Dad would sit up, in Avi's room, until she fell asleep those first few nights. She took about 2 hours to fall asleep the first night, and then awoke 5 more times in the night. Each time she awoke, Dad would run into her room, and sit by her so she wouldn't feel or be alone as she went back to sleep. At first, Avi didn't understand or know to fall asleep, so it was hard for both Dad and her. She would cry - the first night a lot. But by the second night, she barely cried at all, and the third night just had some whines.

This sleep journey has been a very big part of parenting, in fact, maybe the largest part thus far. We still hope that Avi will feel comfortable to climb in bed and sleep with us when she is older, but we have resigned to the fact that where she sleeps best is where she should sleep. I hope our next child is not such a light sleeper! It was so nice sharing a bed with little Avi for those first months when she would just sleep, awaken, eat, then fall back to sleep for another couple of hours...


Ever since Avi has been born, life has been more difficult - I'm not gonna lie. Waking up 2-8 times a night, breastfeeding on demand, lugging around baby stuff (and a limp, helpless little baby), and emotionally caring for and being responsible for another person definitely is a challenge. Having said all that, I, Maren, feel great! I don't know what's to praise: hormones, unmeasurable love for my child, the humans spirit rising to the task set before itself, the Almighty God in Heaven... but, basically, I feel splendid. Granted, most of the time, my mental state has been in a foggy cloud, but physically I am super-woman, nay: SUPERMOM! Who knew that I could survive, let alone, thrive on 4-6 hours of sleep a night? Who knew you could skip meals (because you just don't have time to sit down and eat never mind cook yourself a meal) and feel so energized? Who knew that you could be around sick babies, yet not get their little germs? The human body, the human soul, the mothering instinct is amazing! I love this journey!

If I could bottle this stuff, I would.

postscript: now having said all these wonderful things, I just want to knock on cyber-wood and ward off double-pneumonia, a broken ankle, and leprosy.