Sunday, October 29, 2006

All About Anna

Dear ones living “away,” it has been a while since I gave you updates about Anna -- really, most of you don't know much about her except that she was born. Mostly, she does baby stuff -- eating, sleeping, growing, fussing, pooping, staring at walls -- but she does it all very well and very cutely. The verdict from her grandmothers is that she is perfect. It's a lot to live up to, but she's trying her best.

Anna only wakes once per night most nights, a boon to her parents who are exhausted anyway. Stephen does the late-night shift most nights, to let me recover more swiftly from my surgery. I get up early in the morning if Anna wakes early, and I let Stephen sleep in. He's still working part-time, afternoons only, and may only return to work full-time if it’s absolutely necessary.

Anna is very bright-eyed and curious. She loves to look around, enjoying contrast and colour and people's faces. She even responds more to paintings with faces in them than she does to paintings of flowers or landscapes. (Maybe this is just because the ones with faces are mostly her dad's paintings!)

So far, her favourite music is Rose Cousins' s new CD -- especially "Dance If You Want To" and other songs in 3/4 time, perfect for waltzing. She enjoyed her introduction to her uncle Danny and In-Flight Safety, too, though it was perhaps more sophisticated. The big singles made the biggest impression, since Anna is a melodically minded one-month-old. Stephen says she likes the hip-hop beats, but he's kind of kidding. She certainly seems to want to dance.

She tries very hard at everything she tries and obviously wants to have a grown-up body that will do what she tells it. She tries to move her head and stretch her legs in rhythm with songs. It does not always go well for her and sometimes results in her head bashing into one of her parents' collarbones or chins. A few times, I've caught her trying to sing. It's hilarious. She just tries out her voice on a steady pitch and makes a sound that is different from her other vocalizations. She can only change the pitch on inhalations so far.

Perhaps only a parent would call it "singing." We ascribe a lot of developmental successes to her when, really, she's happy just to stare at walls. Yesterday, she was a little closer to the wall of her crib, though, and she discovered that she could not only see it, she could also touch it and feel the texture and scratch it and make a sound. This delighted her for an hour or more.

She is often very happy to sit somewhere or lie somewhere and amuse herself. At the end of the hour, she's usually fussy for a bit, and we try to guess why. The tricky part is determining where the line is between being tired and needing to lie down and being awake long enough to be hungry again. She doesn't like to sleep during the day. She hates to miss anything. She usually stays awake either all morning or all afternoon. Evenings, she cranks unmercilessly for a couple of hours before bed, no matter how good a day she has had.

We try to take her on adventures every day; otherwise her mother is cranky at the end of the day, too. Yesterday, she had baby yoga with her mom and then her parents carted her off in her stroller to see the sights around Charlottetown. She fell asleep and we stopped for hot chocolate and to read the Globe and Mail at Mavor's (good stroller parking, close proximity to art galleries, changing tables in both the men’s and women’s washrooms, and many escape routes). Other days, the adventure is usually just a walk in the stroller. She screams blue murder at the prospect of wearing a hat (having inherited her father's and her Ledwell uncles' enormous noggin), but after that, she settles in the stroller and struggles to stay awake to look around as long as she can. She usually falls asleep by the time we get to the Tech Centre on University, lulled by the ka-thunk ka-thunk of the sidewalks on Prince Street.

Today's adventure will be a visit with Grandma Marjorie and then a visit with Grandma Carolyn and Granddad Frank. Given the end of daylight savings time, we expect this to mean she'll be awake and happy for Marjorie and awake and cranky for the Loyalist crowd.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Home at Last

Today, we brought home our new daughter, Anna Sophia. Stephen and I could not be happier or more excited. She was born, healthy and happy, on September 28. We can’t wait to get to know her.

I am recovering from the surgery required to separate the baby from me. Stephen is mostly going back and forth to the drug store. No matter how well we were cared for at the hospital, there’s no place like home.