Tuesday, June 27, 2006

4 month update

Naomi had her four month checkup yesterday (see below for details on the immunizations), and the doctor was pleased with her progress. She is now 13 pounds 6 ounces and 24 inches long!

The doctor laughed when she heard Naomi can roll from her back to her tummy but not the other way around - apparently it's standard for babies to first learn to roll from the tummy to their back. She said it's nothing to worry about though. Babies pick and choose what they want to learn and when, so there aren't any developmental problems with it.

I did get reprimanded for not doing enough tummy time with Naomi. When she is laying on her tummy, she can't prop herself up on her arms as high as the doctor would like. DRAT. We'll have to do lots more tummy time each day, but I gave Naomi yesterday off since she had just gotten immunizations.

Hard day

Naomi had a tough day yesterday. It was her second round of immunizations. She had a rocky day, being somewhat cranky and tired, and much more passive than usual. She also spit up quite a bit more than usual, which resulted in some clothes changes for Mommy.

Since Naomi didn't react well to the first round of immunizations, I gave her Tylenol throughout the day yesterday as a preventative measure. She did sleep through the night, which we thought she might not since that's what happened last time she got immunizations.

This morning I discovered one of the shot sites was raised, emanating heat, and had a rash spreading out from it. The doctor's office assured me this can be a normal reaction to vaccinations and gave me a few pointers on things to do to help reduce the symptoms. They will call back this afternoon to check on her status and will have her come in if it's not satisfactory.

Friday, June 23, 2006

HAHAHA - sleeping cuties

HAHAHA! I just read my sister's comment under the "Sheer Brilliance" post about Naomi sleeping. Here it is:

"Sleep is such a wonderful thing. I swear my kids get 10% cuter just by being asleep."

Having seen my sister's kids in action, over the phone hearing her try to convince Dahlia not to put fry sauce in her hair, knowing she has to constantly hide the permanent markers from Dahlia, knowing she had to paint the walls in her last apartment due to Dahlia's artistic ventures...I don't doubt she really means it!

I would have agree. It's a more peaceful type of cuteness than when Naomi smiles or giggles, but I love it all!

(Disclaimer: I might be erroneously blaming Dahlia for the apartment walls having to be painted. I can't remember, but it doesn't really matter. I'm sure if it had occurred to Dahlia to draw on the walls, she would have done it thoroughly.)

Standing and dancing

Naomi likes for us to put her feet on a surface and help support her while she is in a standing position. Since she's so wobbly, it looks like she's a-dancin' and a-swayin'. Matt puts her on the bathroom counter to do this. She loves looking at the bottles and such on the countertop, but she also checks out the mirror once in awhile. She sees her reflection, watches it for a second, and then grins. She looks away for a minute and then repeats that pattern over and over. And when she gets tired of that, looking at Mommy's face or Daddy's face in the mirror gets more smiles and sometimes giggles.

I do this in Naomi's bedroom, too. I stand her up in the crib with her back facing me and help her stand while she checks out her sea-life mobile from a different angle. She gets especially excited when the octopus spins around and dances all over. (I guess I just need a spinning octopus to put near her doorway jumper to get her excited and jumping.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sitting up!

From the title of the post, you might think Naomi is now sitting up. That is most definitely NOT the case!

My friend Jessica sent me this picture of her little girl Carolyn, sitting up with a boppy helping to support her. I thought it was a brilliant idea to try that out. Every time I have Naomi laying down or in a semi-reclined position, she lifts her head and upper body up and strains to sit up.

So I put Naomi inside the boppy, thinking it would give her lots of support and help her sit up, just like Carolyn. Once again, my plans are foiled and I am completely off the mark! I thought you might get a chuckle out of the difference in the pictures.

Sheer brilliance

PSHAH - My sister tried to feed me some line about not being an expert on babies. I was suspicious that she knew more than she was letting on. After all, she's survived two kids, and from the background noise I can hear when we talk on the phone, they are healthy, thriving, and active.

I asked some questions, got some advice, and as a result my child went from waking up every 3-4 hours at night to sleeping a 9 hour stretch last night. In case you weren't impressed enough, let me repeat: NINE HOURS. For those who haven't recently had the experience of getting up at 1:30 AM for an hour and again at 4:30 AM for an hour, let me assure you that 9 hours is heaven-sent!

This picture is worth enlarging. It's such a peaceful moment! Once you've enlarged it, you may notice that Naomi has found her thumb!


We are having a great time playing with Naomi. In the first picture, Matthew is helping Naomi to hold a toy in her hand. We get more giggles all the time, and we love it!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

To the men who have been influential in our lives, most specifically our fathers and grandfathers: today we pay tribute to you. With all our love, we thank you for the time and love you have given us and continue to give us, for the years you have invested in us, for the guidance you have rendered us.

My favorite memories of childhood are moments my father and grandfather probably do not remember, brief snippets of time they spent with me which spoke love more strongly than could words. For those memories and your love, I do not have sufficient command of language to thank you.

Today we may say the words, but we honor you every day. Thank you.


We were given a few headbands for Naomi, but I had set them aside and completely forgotten about them. I saw them the other day and decided to put one on Naomi. I wasn't quite sure how to position it, though; she looked silly with it clear up on top of her head. So I pulled it low over her eyebrows. Matt thought she looked like the Karate Kid; I thought it made her look like a rapper or a basketball player from the 'hood with a sweatband.

The first picture shows Naomi's reaction to our playtime right after I put the headband on her. Inspired by her new look, I tried to do some personalized rap for her. I was absolutely terrible, and I wasn't too quick thinking of lyrics that made sense and rhymed. I did get some smiles, though, and that was the whole point. I also realized that I have no secret rap talents just waiting to be tapped.

The second picture shows one of Naomi's latest habits. She interlocks her fingers and waves them around, often trying to shove both of them in her mouth at once. I have read that is a precursor to watching her hands and realizing they are at her command.

Naomi the non-jumping bug

Remember the post below where I talked about the doorway jumping device we got? We put Naomi in it and thought she'd catch right on. My friend Erin told me it took a couple times for her daughter to catch on, so the first two times, I expected her to just hang in it. The third time I put Naomi in it, I thought she'd be jumping all over. Silly me. As you can see from the title of this post, it didn't exactly work that way.

I took this picture the fourth time we stuck her in it, and as you can see, she is much more interested in slurping on the seat cover than jumping. If you look closely, you'll see the wet spots by her cheek, meaning she slurped up and down the side of it. Hmmm.....this might take a few more times for her to catch on, I guess!!

Reading with Daddy

We have reading time almost every day, but usually Daddy's gone when it happens. Here was one fun day when he was home for reading time!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We love uncles!

Naomi has a new outfit, compliments of Uncle Edward! She didn't want to spread her arms out so all the words could be in the picture, but it says:

"If you think I'M cute, you should see my UNCLE".

I was trying to get her to smile for the camera, and she's not always so cooperative, as the second picture demonstrates!! (If you think of a good caption for this picture, we'd love to hear it! Click on "Comments" at the bottom of the post and type it in there.)

From Naomi: Thanks, Uncle Edward! We love the outfit, and it was very exciting to get a package!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Naomi the jumping bug

We put Naomi in this doorway jumper on Saturday for the first time. She did a little twisting and bouncing, and she also stuck her left arm through the left leg hole and hung out like that for a bit (you can see a glimpse of this in the 2nd picture). Her torso did some circles in the seat area since she's too little to be held snugly. All in all, we think she liked it and will learn to love it!


We took a great walk Sunday evening, and Naomi seemed to enjoy seeing the cacti, the trees, more cacti, bouncing a bit in the chest carrier, and seeing more cacti. There was a beautiful sunset and it was actually cool enough to be outside. We think Naomi tried to eat a bug but ended up coughing it up.

I haven't figured out yet how to get the sun hat to stay on without tipping over the front of her face, but I'll catch on sooner or later. (Yes, I know the ties aren't tied in the picture.) Matt liked the rakish tilt of the hat - I think he thought it made her look like a woman of mystery.

Notice Naomi's top lip hanging out over the chin support. She slurps away on that thing like crazy. It's pretty disgusting, but she's happy doing it.

Daddy time

One reason we have a hard time understanding Naomi is because we love naps. Why in the heck wouldn't you want to take a nap? She does not seem to be of the same opinion.

Naomi does do much better with sleeping these days, both with naps and with sleeping longer stretches at night. She struggles when we try to put her to bed around 7 or 8, though we know she's tired. We've tried several different approaches, and nothing has worked great yet.

At one of her fussy times, Matt decided they could take a nap together, and it was a picture-worthy moment. Naomi slept GREAT on Daddy's chest!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We welcome your comments

Previously our blog was set to only accept comments from other blogger.com members, but we have changed that so anyone can make a comment. Let us know what you like, what you want more of, what you think needs to go (although since it's our blog, we'll pretty much keep doing whatever we want with it!!).

16 week update

Naomi will be 16 weeks tomorrow, and here's what's going on in her world:

1. Naomi still LOVES hair, mostly watching it, but she doesn't mind munching on it, either.
2. She enjoys watching ceiling fans.
3. Since she can roll over, changing diapers and clothes is now much more of a challenge!
4. She has stopped screaming and crying if we are in the car longer than 5 minutes. (It's amazing how, when you have a screaming child in the car, your body tenses up like crazy and you start going much faster than the speed limit without realizing it!)
5.We got a GIGGLE out of her today!! Just one, but it was absolutely adorable and much anticipated!
6. She likes seeing the world, so she enjoys facing forward in the chest carrier. This has shown me that I am naturally a more graceful walker than Matt (or perhaps just slower?), because her head bops around quite a bit more when he is carrying her.
7. She loves the song "Old McDonald". My throat is getting sore from trying to make cool animal sounds.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Naomi's styling 'do

Check out the back of Naomi's styling hairdo. As much as I try to convince you, you're probably not going to believe me, but here goes: WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO IT TO GET THIS HAIRSTYLE! It just happened this way naturally! How cool is that - a bald spot with some serious fringe around the bottom. She's a trend setter, that one!

Rolling over

Yes, the rumors are true - Naomi has rolled over! Three times to be exact, and all this morning. I lay her on her back for reading time every day, and then I lay beside her and we read books that I hold above us. Today during "Barnyard Dance" (a highly recommendable book by Sandra Boynton), she decided the pictures weren't so interesting, and she rolled over! I turned her over on her back and she rolled over again. So then I grabbed the video camera, and of course she showed absolutely no signs of turning over, not even turning to her side. I guess the video camera is an interesting object, so she was content to check it out. I eventually tricked her into not watching it, though, and over she rolled!

What brilliance, what ingenuity, what....oh, wait - all babies do that? Anyway, it was an exciting moment in the Merrell household, caught on videotape and to be played for Daddy as soon as he gets home (or even better, Naomi could give a repeat performance!).

Monday, June 05, 2006


Just in the last week, Naomi has started turning onto her side, and it can only be a little time until she rolls all the way over! However, she has done pretty well at preventing us from getting a picture of it. This morning I heard her waking up, so I went into her room (yes, she has confiscated an entire room of our 2-bedroom apartment) and unwrapped her from her blanket burrito. I usually let her lounge there for a minute or so while I talk to her and get some smiles. I turned around for a second, and when I looked back, she had rolled over to her side and was hanging out there. I let her know she was doing something cool (translation: high-pitched, excited Mommy-talk), and then I dove for the camera. By the time I turned it on, took the lens cap off, and pointed it at her, she had decided to return to her back-lying position and had assumed this victory pose. "Victory once again, Mommy! You didn't get the picture you wanted!"

In other related matters, Naomi is a bubble-making machine. She'll have a massive amount of bubbles hanging off her lips, but when I bring a burp rag close to wipe them off, she sucks them back into her mouth. Retractable bubbles?? Once the burp rag has disappeared from sight, out they come again. What a tease, without even knowing it!

Being a parent

I was going to post some more pictures of Naomi, but the blog is having difficulties with pictures at the moment. I'll post them once the problem is determined, so check back soon for fun pictures. If you have difficulty seeing the pictures, refresh the page and that might do the trick.

For now, here are some rambling thoughts about being a parent.

There have been so many moments over the past 15 weeks that I have marveled at Heavenly Father's generosity in giving this child to us. Matthew tells me I worry about everything, especially in connection with Naomi, but who wouldn't with such a responsibility? (Besides, it's productive worrying because I come up with solutions to problems!) Anyway, this morning as I was making up silly songs to entertain Naomi, I once again was filled with emotion at how beautiful and perfect she is, and amazed at how much I will do to get a smile, to stop her from crying, to keep her entertained or make her more comfortable, etc! As she smiled at the crazy sounds in the song, and as I thought about how sometimes I catch her watching me even when I'm not doing crazy silly things for her, I decided that if you want someone to look at you like you are the most amazing person in the world, you should just spend a little time with a baby. (Of course, the other 80% of the time Naomi is looking at me like I'm absolutely nuts!)

I was talking with a friend the other day about the idea that you either laugh or cry, so you might as well laugh, and that seems especially applicable as a parent. (Sorry, Mom and Dad, for all those tears!) I told my friend that we do a lot of laughing in our house! Naomi is so great, though, that most of those laughing moments aren't because I secretly want to scream. Anything is funnier or cuter when a little baby does them - burp, poop, bop herself in the head, you name it!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rattlesnake vs. Cub Scouts - who would win?

A few miles north of our apartment, there is a park with a paved running path around it. The south edge of the park borders on a wilderness area. As I was running yesterday, I noticed a snake on the edge of the path. I didn't check it out too closely; all that registered was it was a snake with a pattern I didn't recognize, and it wasn't moving (most importantly, it wasn't moving towards me).

On my second lap around the path, a young couple with two dogs had found the snake, decided it was a rattlesnake (I'm not sure I believe them - I may not be familiar with snakes in the vicinity, but I didn't see a rattle on the end, and I do know what those look like, having previous experience with them), and were directing people around it.

(WARNING - TANGENT: I should brush up on my Arizona wildlife: snakes, spiders, scorpions, and such. To take this tangent one step further, I read an article through the University of Arizona when we first came to Tucson which talked about the shortage of antidote for scorpion poison/venom/whatever it's called. What a welcome to Tucson. Fortunately, AZ was working out a deal to get more of the antidote from Mexico.)

Anyway, as a final note on the snake situation, whether or not it was a rattlesnake, I should have evaluated the situation a bit more carefully. It was good that the couple reported it and were keeping people away from it. There was an all-day Cub Scout activity in the park, and those boys were everywhere. My experience with young boys is that they would be a bit too eager to play with or harrass a snake, and that the snake might come off conqueror in a showdown.

Size 2 Diapers

Naomi is still wearing size 1 diapers. As of 12:00 today, she will be wearing size 2 diapers. In my excitement at finding a great price on diapers a couple weeks ago, I got a large pack of size 1 diapers, neglecting to take into account the fact that she was growing quickly and probably wouldn't be needing them for much longer. The last couple days have been a bit sketchy, but I've made those size 1's work.

I literally got hit in the foot this morning with my mistake! Naomi got that concentrated look on her face which means she's pushing something out, and then my foot and the back of my leg (as well as the seat of the glider where we were sitting) got covered. It was bad enough that Matt was called in for stain prevention duty.

I know when to accept defeat. Even now I am sorting through coupons for diapers, and will donate the remaining size 1's to a friend.