Monday, November 30, 2009

This weekend we gave Abbi her first solid foods. It was exciting and messy for sure. When we visited the doctor for Abbi's 4 month visit we were told we could start her on solid foods. To start with rice cereal and then move onto other one food items like carrots or peas.

So Saturday afternoon we gave the rice cereal a go with her. She doesn't hate it, but she wasn't immediately gobbling it up either. She does seem to have a pretty good idea though about the spoon, so hopefully that will help in the adoption of eating the food and not spitting so much out. Yesterday was better than Saturday, so lets just hope that we continue to get better each day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yesterday was a big day for us. We had the pleasure of taking Abbi to see Santa for the first time! We took her to see Santa at Arundel Mills because we heard that we would be able to take our own pictures. The cheapest package that they offered was $20, but when I asked if I could make a donation and use my own camera, I was told that was $5 and I could take as many as I would like, and of course I did!

Abbi seemed to enjoy herself, at least as much as a 4 month old can. She didn't get upset, which we were of course worried that she might do. She was very intrigued by Santa's beard as you can obviously see here in this picture. Jenn was thrilled to be able to take Abbi to see Santa, and I enjoyed it as well.

While I know she'll never really remember yesterday, it will live on in pictures. She looked cute and Santa played his part well. I look forward to the coming years when Abbi will get excited about seeing Santa, and then eventually of course, that fascination will go away and be replaced by who knows what.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Here's a short video of Abbi laughing. We took this about a week and half ago. Jenn is holding Abbi on her legs and tickling her to get her to laugh.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tonight will be a first. I will be picking Abbi up from daycare because today is the one day a year Jenn has to work late. Its conference day which means she's working a 12+ hour workday to see all of the parents of her kids for individual conferences. So...I'll be picking up Abbi and probably giving her a bottle. I'm a bit nervous about it, but hopefully she'll do ok with just me and won't scream herself to death while we have our first alone DD time (that's Daddy Daughter btw).

And as for this picture - its a shot of just Abbi while she was playing with Jenn, same night/time as the picture I posted the other day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

After we took pictures of Abbi for being 4 months old, we of course played with her some more. Jenn was laying on the floor getting her to laugh and smile when I took this picture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

She's a growing little girl! Yesterday Jenn and I took Abbi to the doctor for her 4 month visit. She got a few shots which knocked her out pretty good for most of the day unfortunately, but she seemed to do ok. Abbi is strong and healthy according to the doctor. Doctor said Abbi has a strong core which is helping her to situp and so forth. Abbi seems to be developing just as she should, which is awesome.

We were told that we can start her on solid foods if we'd like. So I think the next week or so we will probably start giving Abbi some rice cereal, and I'll be sure to post pictures and info on that.

Finally - Abbi got weighed of course and measured. She now weighs 15 pounds 7 ounces and she's 25 inches long! The weight gain has slowed down a little bit, thankfully, we were thinking she'd be in a 20 lb car seat by January, but now maybe not!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last week Abbi wore this outfit and Jenn thought she looked really cute, so of course there were a few pictures taken. It was some neat clothes, sleeveless vest and all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last week when it was really cold outside we had to make sure to bundle Abbi up to keep her warm. So Jenn put this little hat on her, and she seemed to happy to be headed out for the day. Had to take a picture.

Friday, November 13, 2009

So today Abbi is four months old! Every month she gets older, I still can't believe it. Like I've done the past few months, today I wanted to reflect on Abbi and how's she doing.

I suppose I should start with the newest development, and that is the result of Abbi's first laser treatment yesterday. Things went very well for Abbi, and Jenn and I were able to deal with it. Jenn definitely had some anxiety over putting Abbi in pain when she didn't consent to it, but as her parents we felt it was the right decision.

The whole process only took about 30 seconds. The doctor used a little laser pen to treat the birthmarks on Abbi's face. So that we would know the level of pain involved, the doctor also lasered our forearms. I would equate the pain to that of a needle or pin prick. It was uncomfortable, but wasn't to bad. And, it only hurt for the split second while it happened.

So Abbi has a little bit of bruising from the laser yesterday and it will take her about 7-10 to heal back up. We've scheduled our next appointment for February. The doctor said we should expect to go 8-15 times in order to significantly reduce the visibility.

In other Abbi developments, she is strong! That little girl has got some crazy strong legs. I like to help her get up on her legs and then help her stand, and she loves it. The other night she stood barely assisted for like 30 seconds or more, it was incredible. Just like last month, she loves to sit up and isn't to much a fan of laying down these days. She's also go incredible control over her neck!

As for Jenn and I, I think the pains of a new baby in the house are taking their toll. I don't think either of us ever get enough sleep, and Jenn is pretty much non-stop busy with school work that needs to be graded and otherwise taken care of. There just doesn't seem to be much time these days.

Luckily, the time we do have is made better and more enjoyable by Abbi and her smiles. She smiles pretty much all the time now. Yesterday we were in Target and Jenn was goofing off with Abbi, walking weird and singing to her in the car seat and Abbi loved it. She laughed and laughed over and over. She doesn't laugh a whole lot, its almost as if she hasn't quite figured out exactly how to do it.

The final awesome thing Abbi is doing these days - she is starting to get some great control with her hands. If you put something in front of her she will reach out to you/it and grasp it. She got a strong grip too! She still loves bathtime, changing time, diaper changing and all that. Something she's not to fond of though, a new development, is being left alone. We used to be able to walk away from her while she was in the bouncer or bumbo or whatever and she'd be fine, not anymore. These days she wants more and more attention. So Jenn and I are working hard to try and give that to her and make sure she feels all the love we have for her!

This picture by the way, was taken last week before all the leaves got soaked. I wanted to get a "fall" picture of Abbi and I love how this turned out. Her sticking her tounge out pretty much epitomizes her personality these days.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today is a pretty big day for us. Today we are taking Abbi to get her first laser treatment for her port wine stain birthmarks. As I'm sure everyone has noticed throughout the multitude of photographer I've put online, Abbi has two birthmarks on her face, on her forehead and one on her right cheek.

Back a few months ago we took her to see a specialist at Johns Hopkins to have the birthmarks looked at and verify that they were in fact port wine stains, and they are. So one of the options that we have is to attempt to have them removed using lasers.

Jenn and I have gone over and over the idea of having something done to Abbi without her knowledge and consent to do so. So as her parents, we are doing what we believe to be the best thing for her. Today, at 3pm Abbi has her first of what will be many laser appointments at Johns Hopkins. Today starts a process that will likely take more than 3 years to "complete". I put that in quotes because there is no guarantee that the birthmarks will go away completely and even with the laser treatment they may not stay gone forever.

However, the doctors told us before that we should expect a 50-90% reduction is visibility with the treatments so we're hopeful that by treating them at a young age she won't really remember, and it will be a non-issue for her as she grows up!

All that being said, if you're reading this please keep Abbi and us in your thoughts and prayers today as we take this first big step.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I really hope that as Abbi gets older and Max gets calmer, they can get along. Right now Max doesn't really seem to care at all about Abbi. He does make some attempt not to step on her when shes in his way, but thats the extent of his efforts. He was however ok with me holding Abbi on top of him while Jenn took this picture.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

She wasn't really stuck, but its kinda funny to think she might have been. Somehow she twisted herself around the other day when Jenn stepped away and BAM, she had put her legs through the poles. She loves to grab onto the sides while we change her in there to. Always an adventure!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yesterday Abbi took a nap with us in the afternoon and Jenn commented to me afterwards that she thinks its might have been the longest nap Abbi has had since Jenn went back to work. These days Abbi takes short little cat naps for 15-30 minutes, usually short ones and then wakes up happy and ready to be engaged again. But yesterday like us she was beat and took a nice long nap. Looked kinda like this picture.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I took this late last week of Jenn and Abbi taking a nap together up in the office. Jenn and I have been so exhausted pretty much constantly for the last 2/3 weeks. She's still struggling to adjust to working and then coming home to Abbi. The burden of grading papers and other miscellaneous work tasks needing to be done at home just seems to pile up and takes Jenn away from Abbi. So I know moments like this, where she can just sit and enjoy her daughter, and very precious to her.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Last weekend we gave Abbi her first "toy". Its not so much a toy as a "blanket buddy" as its called. Its part blanket material/thickness part toy. She loves it. She puts it in her mouth and slobbers all over it and smiles while she's doing it. We keep checking her gums for teeth because this baby is drooling like crazy and can't keep her hands out of her mouth. Its nuts!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When I was showing Jenn the pictures that I was posting online she commented that this was Abbi's GQ pose. Completely random moment in time caught as if it were perfectly posed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

While i was getting the backgrounds set up to take Abbi's Halloween pictures the other day, we sat her in the bumbo chair and Jenn talked to her. As you can see here, Abbi was having quite a good time talking with her mom and was smiling while doing it!

In other Abbi news, a recent "issue" for the Harrah family is that we've needed to get flu shots but haven't been able to. The worthless doctors office kept telling Jenn to call back the next day or later that afternoon. After about 2 weeks of this, Jenn lucked out and was able to get a flu shot last Friday given out by the county department of health.

So that left me still vulnerable. Today on a quick trip to Target to try and get some Redskins pumpkin patterns on clearance (no luck btw), I saw a sign for flu shots. I was able to get one thankfully and now I don't have to worry about Abbi catching the flu from Jenn or I. Since Abbi is under 6 months we had to get vaccinated instead of her, in case you were wondering.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Halloween we dressed Abbi us as a pea pod. We got the costume from Tina who graciously let us borrow it. She bought it last year, even though Julianna never wore it! Abbi didn't seem to mind being in the costume, but she appeared to loath putting it on!