Staying alive, staying alive...

11 weeks have come and gone.  It's really hard to believe.  Sometimes it seemed like it was dragging by and we would never make it. Looking back on it now, it seems like it flew by!  I have been trying to figure out a way to keep up with my blogging for a number of reasons, but mostly I want to keep stories and memories for me, D and Layla.  I know I can't possibly remember them all so writing them will help.  We also have a lot of followers across the big waters (HI!) and I know how much they enjoy reading about and seeing pics of Layla.  I have been slacking, but now that we are starting to get a handle on things I am excited to get going again.

So a little recap of her first 11 weeks.  She got her first disease (Hand, Foot and Mouth), she grew 4.5 inches, gained 6 pounds, learned to smile and ALMOST laugh, she talks all the time, she knows her Mommy and Papa, she is starting to like bath time, and she is pretty much the best thing EVER.  She LOVES to listen to her Papa speak German to her, and she tries to talk back.  Oh, and she sticks her tongue out.  Hilarious.  So far her favorite bedtime songs come from Ray Lamontagne (but then again, that's all I sing to her). She is starting to figure out how to use her hands, although mostly she just likes to eat them.  She eats like a Grammatikos.  At 4-5 ounces per feeding I am barely keeping up with her.  I had three shelves in the freezer PACKED with extra milk, and we are down to five bottles left.  I panicked and bought a can of formula just in case.  Little oinker.  She hates tummy time, but is way ahead in holding her head up and sitting up like a big girl.  She loves to watch soccer with Papa unless he yells too loud.  And her favorite toys are her crinkly cow and her guitars.  Obviously.

We are figuring out this staying at home thing...slowly making progress on sleeping at night and figuring out a routine. Last night she slept for eight hours.  I thought five hours was good.  I thought six hours was GREAT.  Eight hours is glorious.  Simply glorious.  She hates napping (although she is right now), and loves to watch everything all time.  Heaven forbid, she might miss something.  Nights were rough for a long time.  She was eating so often, I was only getting four hours or less a night broken up in weird chunks.  I hope that's behind us, for the most part.  I am not getting my hopes up just yet.

This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done. I have to say I have surprised myself.  I more patient than I thought I would be.  I know myself when I am tired, and I am NOT a treat.  But sleep deprived is a whole new level, and it certainly isn't pretty.  Since D has to get up and go to work I can't bring myself to wake him up for help during the night.  Somehow he manages to sleep through all of it. It's hard not to be resentful when I can hear him snoring through the night while I can barely keep my eyes open and try not to launch the little one out the window.  You really learn a lot about yourself when it's 3am and you haven't slept in who knows how long.  There is a lot of crying.  A LOT of crying.  I am SO grateful for friends who constantly offer support and encouragement.  Knowing everyone else has been in the EXACT same place somehow really helps.  You feel like less of a failing mommy and more like a human being.  You learn a lot about your spouse.  It's no lie when people say, "If you can make it through the first three months of having a kid, you will be ok."  We have had some tough, frustrating times.  But we have made it a point to talk about all of it, reassure each other that we can do it together, and always give each other a break.  Grace is our biggest friend right now.  One of our catch phrases has been, "Good thing she is so cute."  She always manages to give you a drooly smile just when you are ready to lose your mind.

There are some days I am counting the seconds until D gets home.  When Layla and I have both had enough of each other, and we need a fresh face.  That being said, I am still endlessly grateful for the chance to be home.  With the twelfth week around the corner, I cannot imagine having to go back to work.  (Side note: To all you working moms, my hat is off to you. I am giving you a long, loud slow clap. Keep on keeping on.)

I love watching D be a papa.  He LOVES his little girl.  It probably helps that she looks exactly like him.  :) Our bedtime routine includes him feeding her her nighttime bottle.  They lay in bed, watch TV, and stare at each other.  It's pretty freaking precious.  We Skype with his parents a lot so they can see her.  He loves to show off his little one.

D left for ATL this morning.  The travel moratorium has been lifted, so he is back to traveling there about once a month.  I was really nervous yesterday thinking about single parenting for the next week.  But I am LUCKY.  We have family and friends so close.  We will stay busy, and I can get help if I need it.  Once again, grateful for the assistance I know many don't have.

So there we are...we are alive and kicking. I am excited for the next few months as she starts sitting up on her own more, and really starting to play with her toys.  I have already started doing a few signs while we change diapers or eat.  We will just keep adding more and more so she can get the hang of it.  My German is certainly getting better as I make sure I use the English AND German words for things as much as possible.  I can't wait for her to start will be entertaining.

Here she is - taking a rare nap.  I will take advantage of this and go to Target...because Target helps everything.


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