Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas and Pensacola

The last week of December brought Jessica's first Christmas and her first post-Christmas trip to Pensacola (a tradition with her Mommy and Daddy since the year 2000). Here are some pictures from each:

Excited about her gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas morning:

Enjoying her presents at Granny and Grandad's house Christmas morning:

Admiring herself in the Greenville, Alabama, Comfort Inn, our stop for the night on the way to Pensacola on the day after Christmas:

With Mommy at the The Zoo — Northwest Florida (formerly Gulf Breeze Zoo):

Wearing Daddy's hat at The Zoo:

Walking along the pier at Pensacola Beach:

And walking along the beach adjacent to the pier:

Since it rained some of the time we were in Pensacola, Jessica needed to wear her raincoat:

Jessica and Mommy admiring the sunset from the pier:

And finally, feeding the seagulls on the beach:

On this road trip we learned the value of knowing the locations of every Chick-fil-A along the route — after a few hours in the car, half an hour in the Chick-fil-A playground does wonders for a cranky baby. It doesn't hurt her parents, either.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Long-Overdue Update

We've been so busy with the joys, frustrations, and wonders of being parents that we haven't made the time to update this site in five months now. Here are some of the highlights of what Jessica has been up to in that time:

Sometime over the summer, Jessica mastered the art of sitting up--a significant milestone for babies. She quickly got so good at it that she could simultaneously sit up and chew on a block:

During her brief sitting-up-but-not-yet-truly-mobile stage, the cats were still brave enough to approach her:

(They now give her a wide berth as she races--still on hands and knees--in their direction.)

Jessica got her first teeth at the age of four months; here she shows off two of her six teeth:

In early July, we all went to the Chattanooga area to visit the Eames family and to see some of our favorite Lookout Mountain/Chattanooga sites, such as the Tennessee Aquarium:

In early October, Jessica went to visit her Gramma and Grampa in Minnesota, where she got an early taste of winter:

Jessica has developed a great sense of humor. She thinks her mommy is the funnest, funniest person ever:

In mid-October, Jessica went to the zoo yet again, this time with not only Mommy and Daddy, but also Granny and Graddad:

Jessica has been to Stone Mountain Park many, many times--even more times than she's been to the zoo (but not nearly as many times as she's been to Borders!). Here she is with Daddy:

and exploring nature with Mommy:

Finally, during the last couple of weeks Jessica has become an absolute pro at crawling. We don't have any pictures of that because we can't keep up with her!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

So Many Milestones

A lot has happened in the couple of months since the last Planet Baby Burdett entry. Here are the highlights:

Jessica was baptized at St. Matthew's Episcopal church in Snellville on May 27:

The officiants show above are Rev. P. Douglas Coil and Rev. Dr. Bradford R. Smith of St. Matthew's

That weekend she met her aunts, Molly and Theresa for the first time. Here's a picture of the whole Benoit family (plus Chris, but minus Luke):

And here's a picture of both families:

In early June, Jessica and her Mommy and Daddy went to Madison, GA, to see what has changed in the year since we moved:

(Nothing has changed, except some of the cows are in different positions now.)

In mid June, Jessica went to the zoo for the first time:

On June 24th Jessica turned five months old, and she celebrated by starting on solid foods:

(In the above picture, Jessica is eating rice cereal. Daddy wanted to give her Cap'n Crunch, but Mommy vetoed that idea.)

Finally, though we don't have a picture to represent it, another exciting milestone is that Jessica caught up to other babies her age in weight and length. When she was born she was at or below the second percentile, but is now right at the fiftieth percentile, making her exactly average for babies her age. Her weight has nearly quadrupled since she was born!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More New Pictures; No Discernable Theme

Jessica takes a nap every now and again, sometimes by herself:

And sometimes with her Daddy:

Jessica with her first doll:

Jessica with her Mommy:

Jessica and Mommy working on the Easter Rabbit Hutch (a season-appropriate gingerbread house):

Jessica all prepared to go to Barnes & Noble:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Girl and Her Daddy

Several people have asked why there are no pictures of Jessica with her daddy. Here are a couple:

And here's one of the whole family:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Girl and Her Dragon

Today Jessica turned one month old! In honor of this occasion, here are a few recent pictures:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Two Weeks Old

Today Jessica turned two weeks old.

She came home to live with us a little over a week ago, on Tuesday, January 30, after spending the first six days of her life in the NICU. We were, as you can imagine, overjoyed to finally bring her home.

She is doing very well; in fact, she was up to four pounds at her doctor's visit last Friday. I suspect she'll be up to five pounds before the month is over. Anna and I are doing okay too. We're very tired but quite happy.

Jessica is an alert and interested baby; she studies the faces of new people and the walls of new rooms intently, and the mobile over her crib keeps her happy for...well, we don't know exactly how long, since it shuts off automatically after fifteen minutes, but at least for fifteen minutes. We've read Dr. Seuss's ABC and Are You My Mother? to her several times, and, while I'm not sure how well she's following the plots or if she's getting much out of the pictures, she's intrigued by the sounds of our voices as we read, interested in our hands as we turn pages, and delighted that we're focused solely on her. We're delighted right back.

She's also a real wiggle worm. If we don't put her diapers on tight enough, she can squirm almost all the way out of them. I've taken to calling her the Houdini of Huggies (though she's actually wearing Pampers).

And speaking of Pampers, we may be going to the bank soon to take out a second mortgage on our house to keep her in those diapers. As Veta Simmons says in Harvey, "babies do need changing, you know." She can go through a pack of 20 Pampers Swaddlers in less than 48 hours.

We don't know what caused Jessica to be so small; the doctors call it Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR), and it can result from a number of things, including various viruses and problems with the placenta. None of those things seemed to be a factor in Jessica's case, however; she's just a very small baby. It's likely there will be no long-term problems as a result of her being an IUGR baby, and she will probably catch up to typical-size babies by the time she's two.

Thanks to everyone who has sent us packages and cards and notes; we are buoyed by the knowledge that we have such supportive family and friends. Jessica sends her thanks too.

Here are a handful more pictures from the last couple of weeks:

Only a few hours old, in the NICU:

Daddy feeding Jessica in the NICU when she was two days old:

The proud grandmother holding Jessica:

Home at last, in the arms of Mommy:

Finally sleeping in her own crib:

Mommy feeding Jessica on our own sofa:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility

Today our daughter, Jessica Patrice Burdett, was brought into the world via a surprise (but, thankfully, not really "emergency") C-section. She is very small--3 pounds 13 ounces, 16 1/2 inches--but like so many tiny things, truly precious.

She was three weeks early, but for all intents and purposes she is full term. She is, nonetheless, spending a few days in the NICU (the neonatal intensive care unit) so they can make sure she can maintain her body temperature and keep her blood sugar up. So far she is doing very well. We don't know how long she'll be there, though.

Anna is recovering nicely, and we hope will be able to go see--and hold, and feed--Jessica tomorrow morning.

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Here are some more pictures of Jessica from her first day: