Photo shoot: The boy guitar outfit

What?!?! No Pink?!?! What is this world coming too? We're so not used to seeing her in anything but pink we thought she looked like a little boy! Poor girl, we even called her "he" a few times this morning.

Mama got some big smiles, laughs and even a reach this morning!

Aren't those shoe feet ridiculous?

Island and the sun

Saturday was Maya's first trip off the mainland and off to Bainbridge Island we were! Boasting temperatures of near 70 and bright sun all weekend, the ferry is one of the best spots to view the Seattle area and all its beauty. Plus at 5 weeks old, its time for Maya to get her sea legs.

Maya and Mommy ready to start the day, about to go pick up the Shrader clan. Yup, all six of us are going to pile in there. Its ok, Becky agreed to ride hostage in the way back.

Here are some unapologetic photos of said Seattle beauty.

I love the backdrop of the cascades behind the city.  That hunk of land in front of Mount Rainer is West Seattle.That is where Maya lives. Represent. West SIYEED! Thanks Aunt Becky for the pics!

Of course what does Maya do on this part of the trip? Sleep

Even out in the breezy deck? Sleepins.

That's ok. Maya wasn't the only one sleepins on the boat. (person unknown. We refer to him as "the drifter." Except that makes me think of Rutger Hauer but I'm going way off on a tangent now.)

Luckily Lorelei was there to soak up the views from the ferry and keep us all entertained.

We didn't have much of an agenda. Soak up some sun, check out the main drag on the Island and possibly get some grub. Prolly some beers too. Definitely some beers.

Uncle Shawn found us what is possibly the best BBQ we've ever had and Mommy got to enjoy a few cold ones for the first time in a long time. Yay Mommy! And yes, those are goldfish and cornflakes on mac n cheese. Mac n cheese will never be the same again.

Maya even got to dine Al Fresco!

Best part of the trip? Lorelei and Maya becoming friends. As soon as Maya focused on Lorelei she was hooked. Smiling, cooing and just staring in awe. In return Lorelei held Maya for the first time and started telling her stories about her crazy pets. It was ridiculously cute and precious. I think we witnessed the birth of a lifelong friendship!

She was perfect all day long. It wasn't until the way home when our friend crankiness kicked in.

Luckily her best friend Lorelei was there to help soothe her with song. Again, the cuteness / precious factor was on overload. I forget the exact lyrics but there were something like "Maya o Maya, please don't you cry-a... Everyone loves you. Everyone thinks your precious. You're so beautiful." God love Lorelei. She proves she is such an awesome kid every time we see her.

It was a long day for the little one. She assumed her ferry riding position on the way home.

It was, as they say, a good day.

Photo shoot: Harvard and mobiles. Growing up big.

Maya had a check-up this week and she is growing like mad. Weighing in at 10 lbs, 9 oz and almost 2 feet tall already! She's getting so big! Her TSH levels were significantly down as well! Yea Maya!

Daddy affectionately refers to her as "Maya the Hut." (Seriously, that is a lot of chin for a 5 week old baby)

Here she is modeling her Harvard gear. (Accompanied by Mr. Bunny)

"Hey! What the hell are those things dancing around my crib?" 

Of course just like any Harvard bound brat, fits must be thrown.

How fragile we are...

It's amazing how many things you have to tend to worry about with newborns. It is a reminder of how fragile we all are in this world. Yet, once faced with any hiccup in the road to "healthy" and you get over the initial scare, resilience kicks in and kicks any sign of fragile's ass.

A few weeks ago our Pediatrician called us and told us that Maya's TSH levels were high and we needed to go to Seattle Children's Hospital immediately for blood work. Panic. Of course what do we do? Internet research. Hysteria.

breathe. breathe.

Fast forward 2 weeks. Everything is cool. Without getting into all details, a high TSH level in newborns MAY be symptoms of Congenital Hypothyroidism. Maya measured borderline high with the TSH and doesn't have any of the other symptoms commonly seen. We are now seeing an Endocrinologist regularly and he also agrees. I'd say we are above 90% sure she doesn't have it. With that said, we are treating her for it.  The treatment is easy, simple and does not have any harmful side effects. Its a no brainer. If by slim chance she does have it, it is 100% treatable with exactly what we are doing right now. Again, a no brainer.

So this post isn't meant to be a downer. We just want to capture and share what has been happening. In the grand scheme of things we are truly blessed. This is just one of the million things that will raise our blood pressure and cause a few tears to fall within the next 18 years. (Yes when she's 18 she is expected to be independently wealthy, move out and set us up in a beach house somewhere in the Caribbean. King and Queen style) In the grand scheme of things we are lucky. It could be a lot, lot worse.

What did happen is we found a whole new respect for parents, children and anyone in general going through something like this and in a lot of cases, something worse. It's amazing and humbling to realize how fragile our human frames are and awesome to see the human spirit rise above. Kudos to you all.

Again, we can't itterate enough, we are ok. Everything is cool. This is not a pitty party or a sad festival. Its just something we are dealing with and what might come as a shock to you we've found some funny moments in all of this. Don't they say "What doesn't kill you makes you laugh?" Something like that.

Anywho, here we are going for our regular lab work. Seattle Childrens is an awesome place. Amy and I did some volunteer work there and an associated Ronald McDonald's house last year. They really have a cool thing going there. They make the place seem like an amusement park. We have to park at "Whale 5" and head up to the "Airplane lab" to get blood work done. Although I'm willing to bet these "rides" are scarier than any man made rollercoaster. 

For those that live in Seattle. Seattles Children is open in the evening for lab work. You can actually get from West Seattle to Childrens (past the Univiserity) in under 20 minutes. If we can convince enough people to move out of Seattle to allow for that kind of traffic 24/7 all of our lives will be better. Thanks in advanced.

I'm checking out the Whale mural / art, while Maya waits to check in.

I think she suspects something is up while in the waiting room.

It is pitiful seeing them do a blood draw. On one of our visists they actually did an ultrasound to check to see if her thyroid gland existed and was in the right place. Yes on both accounts! Yay! Through it all, Maya has been a trooper. She slept through the ultrasound and slept through one blood draw.  Huh. That's funny, explain that to me when she can barely sleep through feeding times. Brat. During this particular blood draw she was wide awake for but like I said, she's a trooper! Here she is posing her "ouwie" for us.

I think she actually got more mad because Daddy was farting around taking pictures and taking too long.

I think we finally got a beat on giving her her daily pill.

Pro Tip: Dissolving pills in water and shooting them into a newborn's mouth without them spitting everything out is a team effort. Don't try to be the hero Mom or Dad. It will just end badly for everyone.

So that's that. Nothing more to see here. All is well in the land of Maya. We have a couple new aspects in our routine and that's about it.

Next hurdle on the agenda? Flying 2600 miles with a 2 month old. Good luck Mommy.

One month milestones: Personality

I know, I know, every parent goes through this but wow... it is amazing seeing a little personality develop in just 4 weeks of life on this planet. Sure she has some of the basics down; She can hold her head up (at least for a few moments at a time before it all goes to hell... we get it. It's like balancing an orange on a toothpick afterall.) and she is starting to coo. But it's more than that. We are starting to see her little personality develop. We're starting to figure each other out and how to make this whole thing work together. It's weird. For the first few weeks you could tell how foreign life outside the womb was. She was uncomfortable, awkward and we spent most of our time trying to re-create an environment similar to the womb so she would be cool with it all. She seems comfortable already in this life. We aren't swaddling anymore because it pisses her off to have her arms pinned down. Music is starting to replace the white noise. She is starting to fall asleep on her own. Instead of putting her in her crib already sleeping there have been a few times we put her in when she was just drowsy. Put a little Dead Can Dance, Sigur Ros or Procol Harum in the mix and boom, sleeping baby. Ok, that is definitely not the norm and we've had some really, really long nights recently but still.. it's happening.

What is really getting us is her responsiveness. She has been aware and attentive since minute one of her life on this planet but now she is smiling and reacting to us like crazy. She'll watch this video of Mama's favorite song over and over again. As soon as she hears the opening organ riff, she'll strain her head around to check it out.

It's so damn cute it is sickening. She used to only smile right before falling asleep. You could tell it was only from the involuntary muscle movements.

Now it is obvious she loves her Mama. :-)

Tickle, tickle, tickle!


..and boom. Baby laughter. 

We haven't been able to actually capture the laugh on video yet. Wait for it. We will. Seeing a 4 week old's body crumble and quake from a belly laugh should be on everyone's bucket list. It's got to be the most ridiculous thing ever.