Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January, 7 Month Update

Our baby girl turned 8 months on January 26th, so for the majority of the month she was 7 months old.

We rang in the new year at Nathan's parent's home which is situated just feet from a small lake in Oregon. And by "rang in," I mean we were in bed by 10pm. With a flight home to catch on New Year's day, I wanted to be packed and rested.
First sunset of 2016

With the year ending, I couldn't help but reflect on how amazing life has become since she entered our world. I looked back on some photos of her when she was just days, weeks and months old. Surprisingly, I didn't feel that twinge of sadness I thought I would as she started to grow. Do I miss that tiny infant? Yes. But in her place is a baby who smiles at us, is crawling throughout the house, puts her fingers in my mouth, blows raspberries, tries to pick up shadows with her hands, giggles at her dog and sometimes wakes up babbling "Momommamamamam."

The flight home was really easy, and the couple in front of us commented that they could not believe how good she was. We flew home with an additional suitcase filled with her Christmas presents! It was so neat to return home and see her playing with toys in different ways than before we left. Before Christmas, she was not able to sit up without assistance. Now, she can sit for a long time on her own. She was also able to push a button to activate her elephant ball popper, and sat there for quite awhile playing while I finished taking down the Christmas decorations. There is never a right time to leave her in daycare....but, this had me thinking that if there had to be a time, this was a pretty good one. At least she is not a helpless slug, can entertain herself, and is starting to help hold her bottle, though she doesn't quite understand gravity just yet.

I started working on decorations and vendors for her first birthday. I won't reveal too much until the big day, but I am very happy to report that I made these flower balls from supplies purchased at the Dollar Tree for only $4.50! I also continued crocheting the favors, which I will also incorporate into the decorations. If you can't tell, I'm very excited! It will be on May 22nd.

January 4th was my first day back to work. I adore my job as a school counselor and was eager to return, even though I was dreading being apart from her. As it turns out, the anticipation of leaving her was much worse than the reality. I didn't even cry! By the middle of the week she was seemingly adjusted...not even crying when dropped off, or after my lunch visits.

Her new thing this month is dancing, while sitting. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever. It started out with her copying me, but then she started doing it on her own, to music. In this 15 second video, you can see her doing the head bob until she notices me, claps, and goes back to dancing.
I've probably watched this video at least 50 times in two days. Am I the only one who does that? When I'm not with her, or she's asleep, I look at photos or videos of her. I cannot get enough of her!

Her first week at daycare went so much better than expected. You can read about it in excruciating detail here. By Wednesday of the first week she was no longer crying after drop off, or when I left after our lunch visits. That first weekend was wonderful, with her sleeping in and cuddling until 9:15 am on Sunday (after a 6:45 am feeding). We don't co-sleep at night, but always cuddle in the guest room after her morning feeding, and I often fall back to sleep with her. 

I was worried about how she would do that second Monday back at daycare, but Nathan said she was smiling and waiving as he left. She is truly remarkable, and has so much of my Mom's content, easy-going, happy spirit.

After that second week of daycare, we had a three-day weekend. I cherish my time off with her more than ever, and love staying home and playing with her. Actually, I no longer want to do anything, unless it includes her. On our Monday off, January 18th, we attended a swim class with her so that she wouldn't get out of practice. It was the first time Nathan was able to go with us, and he got into the pool with us and was there to "catch" her as she was released under water.

This was also the day that she crawled for the first time! She had previously taken a few crawling "steps" but never too far. But I left her playing in her nursery while I started the coffee (after she slept in until 9:30!) and before I knew it, she was at the nursery door! So I waited and watched, and she crawled herself right out of the nursery!  

By the end of the week, she was already more competent in her crawling, and starting to pull herself up on things. By far, this has been my favorite month with her. Her emotions and sense of humor are starting to develop and it seems like she learns something new every day! She started trying to put things in my mouth, like a toy she was holding, and laughed and laughed when I bit it.

The last week of February was finals week at the school where I work; officially the half-way point to school the year! We had some minimum days and a non-student day, and I was able to pick her up early from daycare. We attended a baby art class one day, and enjoyed extra time at home. We were able to wait out front for Daddy again, only this time she sat in the grass, picking it and then examining the individual blades of grass. Huge smiles when she saw Daddy.

On the last Saturday of the month, we drove out to Ontario for an amazing deal on a new car. My husband is a great negotiator, and has actually enjoyed haggling over deals ever since he found an ad car for his family at only 13 years of age! I'm the opposite, and would pay more before I would do the back and forth. We were able to meet my friend Krista, her daughters who were my flower girls, and my brother for lunch.

I've only ever owned black cars, and am loving this red!
Then on Sunday, we went to the annual open house of the Catholic school where we plan to send our baby when she's 4 and starts pre-K. A good friend of mine started teaching science there, and we were able to visit with her and see her classroom.

  • Beginning of the month: get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth
  • End of the month: crawling!
  • Can sit without assistance. This just happened while we were in Oregon for Christmas. Before that, she could sit for quite awhile, but would slowly fall over after 5-10 minutes if not watched.
  • Pulling herself up to standing and staying for awhile 
  • Independent play
  • Developed object permanence
  • Had to adjust and lower crib mattress
  • More babbling, especially when she wakes up
  • Second tooth! Bottom left
  • Holding her bottle 
  • Waving! Grandma taught her this
  • "Dancing" while sitting
  • Banging two objects, like blocks, together
  • Patting my arm
  • Clapping!
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
  • The clicking noises she makes with her tongue on the roof og her mouth.
  • "Dancing" with me. 1/2/2016. We were sitting, facing each other and I started moving my upper body. She copied me and then laughed and laughed. Then, it was my turn, then hers again. This went on for a few minutes. I Love seeing her personality develop.
  • How grandma taught her to wave. My Mom Cathy waved to her multiple times each day while we were in Oregon, and she started to try and wave back. Once we were home, my husband waved at her and she clearly waved back. It is so exciting to see her learn new things!
  • How she crawled from the living-room into the bathroom while I was getting ready for work. 1/28/2016.  
  • How she loves shredding paper and playing with dresser handles
Routines we're continuing:
  • Singing to her: You Are My Sunshine, Amazing Grace (bedtime)
  • Reading children's books to her. She has started to look at the pictures
  • Evening walks
  • Crocheting
  • Nightly prayers
  • Morning snuggle time
  • Lunch visits - every day!
Routines we're establishing:
  • Playing with food. Not every time, but some days when she's due for a bath, I will dump out some of her carrots or butternut squash on her tray so she can feel the texture and paint with it. 
  • Peak-a-boo
  • Asking "Where's Daddy?" or "Where's Trevi?" and cheering when she looks
  • After her morning feeding she's starting to sleep beside me instead of on top of me. This is a sign she's getting bigger, and makes me sad, but she's still cuddling.
  • Listening to the same record at every feeding. I have it on the floor, by her high chair, and she loves watching it spin. Its an old Disney record, "Mother Goose."
New Foods This Month:
  • chicken
  • beats
  • kale
  • lentils - I boil these for 45 minutes, then put in blender
  • turkey

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Edible Play-dough

My daughter, who is almost 8 months, puts everything in her mouth. While she has been doing sensory play with cooked spaghetti and playing in the sandbox without eating either the spaghetti or the sand, these seem to be the only two things that don't go in her mouth. I wanted her to be able to play with play-dough and not worry about it being toxic if she puts it in her mouth. Here's a super-simple recipe that I made this morning. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baby cereal - rice or oatmeal
  • 1 baby food jar applesauce (4 oz)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • food coloring, if desired
Mix the cornstarch and baby cereal together and add the liquids. Kneed or blend with a kitchen-aid. I used my hands and it was easy to mix. If it is a bit too dry, wet your hands and continue kneading. A bit too wet or sticky? Sprinkle on some cornstarch. That's it! I'm excited to come home and watch her play with this. Be forewarned if you use your hands to mix in the food coloring. I'm going to work looking like this:

But don't worry, once it's mixed into the dough, it no longer comes off on baby's skin, or yours.

**Update- It's a good thing that it was edible! After playing with it for 10 minutes, we went to visit a neighbor. When I returned, there wasn't any play-dough on the try where I thought I left it. About to look in the refrigerator, I realized that my dog Trevi had eaten it. All of it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Our Daughter's Digital Footprint

My husband is a very private person, and I am (obviously) very open. Our girl may fall somewhere in between, or she could be more like myself or more like her Dad. I have been wondering lately what it would be like for her as she grows up to have all of these photos of herself posted publicly, on this blog. An employer could search and easily find them, as could a potential beau or future classmates. Do I want that for her? Shouldn't she have a say and control over what images of her are posted publicly?

According to this study, 92% of toddlers have an online presence, and 1 in 4 actually have one before they are even born.

As a teenager, I remember being absolutely mortified when I found a picture of myself, dressed for a 5th grade field trip in a completely mismatched outfit. "Mom! Why did you let me wear that out of the house?" I asked. "You wanted to pick out your own clothes that day, and of course I let you. I thought it was sweet; you were so proud." She explained.

Now what if that photo was online, instead of tucked away in a dusty envelope and hidden in a drawer? Of course I wouldn't care right now at this point in time...I actually tried to find the photo just to show you how awful it was! But all teenagers go through "a period in which physical appearance commonly assumes paramount importance." Not most teenagers, all teenagers, according to the American Psychological Association (read more about adolescent development here). I remember going through that phase, and no amount of anyone telling me how I looked wasn't really important would have helped.

I have decided that after her first birthday, I will strictly limit public photographs of her. "Strictly limit" rather than prohibit, because I may occasionally post a family Christmas portrait, or a photo of her holding her sibling, should we have another child. But I do not want there to be photographs of her floating around that may seem cute and silly to me right now, but that future classmates could view on their phones or whatever technology exists at the time with a simple google search and use to tease her.

The only public photos of her "out there" have been in this blog, and I think anyone would be hard pressed to use them against her in a decade or so. Even so, I plan to clean up this blog and change all references to her from her first name to 'A' or 'Baby A' so that she is not as searchable. Doing that has already really helped, as I found a lot of images when I googled her before I went through and changed it in some of my previous posts.

I will continue to post to facebook and instagram, but since those are "friends only" (facebook) and private (instagram), they are not searchable by anyone outside my circle now, or in the future. They would have to be my friend/follower, and her future classmates, her boss or any suitors are not. Even if they were to be at some point, I can easily change the privacy settings on the facebook albums, or exclude them from seeing specific albums. 

The YouTube videos I upload of her on a weekly basis are "invite" only, meaning that a person would have to be sent the link (her Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon, and my Dad in Yucaipa) in order to view it. When you visit my YouTube account, the videos do not appear there, even though I have over 50 of her uploaded that I see when I'm in my account. The same holds true for Shutterfly, which I periodically use to share pictures with family who do not have facebook.

Posting images of her is not inherently evil, as it is one of the only ways that my family in England and Ireland "know" her, and one of the ways I use to back up my photos (in addition to saving them on the memory card and uploading them to Shutterfly). Plus, I love sharing because she's just so gosh-darn cute! But, the main purpose of my blog is sharing the stories and preserving the memories, which can be done without photos of her. 

I am realizing that I want to have control over who sees those images, not for me (because I would share them with the world if I could), but out of respect for her and her privacy. While she will always be my baby, I have to recognize that she is her own little person...who will grown into a big person before I know it.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Learning About Mom

One of the basic tenants of Remembering Practices is that a relationship does not die when a person dies. Remembering practices are a narrative approach to grief psychology that emphasize the ongoing story of relationship. Drawing on practices of story telling, narrative legacy and rituals, these practices aim to keep relationships alive. Using the flexibility of stories, relationships can even develop new qualities and enhanced dimensions following death. From this perspective, grief becomes an evolving and creative opportunity for story development and change, rather than an unpleasant task to be worked through as quickly possible. Remembering practices provide people who are dying and people living with grief hope that the dead will not be forgotten.

In that vein, I love learning more about Mom, and who she was long before I was born. My father wrote to one of Mom's childhood friends in England, who describes Mom's love of music. Her childhood friend married Rick Wakeman of Yes, and she used to go to Heathrow to see bands, including The Beatles, who were returning from their first trip to America. She also describes was how religious Mom was, and that she never missed going to confession, though she doubts she ever had anything to repent for, and the time they climbed the Wellington Monument before the Irish Republican Army blew it up.

I plan to ask more of her friends about her, so that Autumn has their account and testimony to how amazing she was, in addition to mine. It also helps me continue to feel close to her, because I'm learning more about her.

Friday, January 8, 2016

First Week at Daycare

Baby A has been home with me exclusively for just over 7 months. We have never left her with a sitter, and I can count on one hand the times I've left her with Daddy. She started daycare full-time after the new year, when I returned to my career as a school counselor. I have to say that the anticipation of dropping her off was much worse than the actual experience of it. For several days leading up to that Monday morning, I imagined myself in tears, sitting in the parking lot outside my office, trying to compose myself. Surprisingly, I stayed strong, and made it throughout the day without crying or even being sad. She was, of course, on my mind constantly, and I had a persistent uneasiness, not knowing if she was hungry, scared, tired etc. Just being apart from her was challenging, but it helped to jump back into a very busy day with just over 3,000 emails. Surprisingly, by the middle of the week she had the hang of it and was no longer crying at drop off or after my lunch visits! I thought this adjustment would take much longer.

Baby A, if you read this someday, thank you for being such an easy-going, happy, well-adjusted baby! I never imagined our first week apart could go so smoothly. It must be a tough change for you, but you handle it with such grace. We fall in love with you more and more every day.

Monday- Baby A woke up for a feeding at 4am, so we were able to get in some cuddle time and both fell back asleep until 5:15am, when I got up and left her sleeping on the bed. My alarm was set to go off at 5:30, but I was afraid of missing it. I ended up ready with almost 45 minutes to spare, and it was nice to not be rushed. She woke up on her own at 6:15, and we left the house by 6:45. As we drove to daycare, the hardest part for me was not being able to explain to her what was going on. Here she was about to experience a complete break in all she has even known, and I was incapable of giving her a heads up. While I had previously thought it would be so much easier if only she were older, a good friend of mine explained that her son was older, and as a result, able to grip her tightly and say "Mommy, please don't leave me!" Surely this would be tougher, I reminded myself. 

I went to see her at 10:30am, dreading what I might see as I walked through the door. Would she be alone in a corner, crying? She was fast asleep, in one of the worker's arms, and I ducked out quickly so that I could go back later and spend time together. I'm thankful that I have a flexible schedule and do not have a set time that I have to take my lunch at. Also, she is very close. I went back just before noon and was able to sneak a look at her before she saw me. She was sitting one-on-one with one of the workers, playing with a bead toy. As soon as she saw me, she started bawling but quickly stopped once I picked her up. As I sat with her, she was still very interested in watching the other children, and leaning with her whole body to play with some of the toys. This was very reassuring. I didn't know what to expect and if she sat there clinging to me the whole time or crying it would have made it that much harder. One of the workers said that she woke up in her crib and sat up, something I have never seen! Also, she was babbling right after waking, which made me feel good, since she does that at home. 

Nathan was able to leave work before me, and picked her up. He said that she was not crying, and that the workers said that although there was some crying, her first day was "better than most." They went straight to the doctor so she could be checked for an ear infection (she has been tugging at it, but no infection) and also a booster for her flu shot. I met them there and savored every second with her that night. 

On our three mile walk, I carried her in her carrier, feeling the need to be close to her after our day apart. We brought the stroller, but didn't use it. She fell asleep a little over half way, and I kept her in there. She went to bed at her normal time, 8pm. I was worried she would fall asleep too early and I would have less time with her.

When we returned from our walk, I made it a point to put my cell phone away and not pick it up again until she was asleep. I quickly realized that I am on it way too much, because there were several times when I was playing with Baby A that I felt the need to go on it and check something: is it really going to rain tomorrow? How much is a Knott's annual pass? And of course, social media. All pointless when compared to giving her my undivided attention. I have resolved to now check my cell phone at the door every day. Now that our quantity of time together is limited, I want to make sure it is of the highest quality.

Tuesday- I had my alarm set for 5:45, but woke up at 4:45 and was trying unsuccessfully to fall back to sleep when Baby A woke me up at 5:15. I am always so excited to pick her up out of her crib, and she almost hugs back, which I love. She had 6 ounces of formula and almost fell back to sleep on me when my alarm went off. I put her in her pack-n-play in our bedroom while I got in the shower, thinking she would fall asleep. But she was laying there calmly, and smiling at me through the mesh, so I picked her up while I finished getting ready. Nathan took her to daycare because I had to be at work earlier than him. He said that she cried for just a few seconds when he handed her off, but quickly stopped and was fine when he left. That helped me get through until my lunch break, when I visited her. 

My heart sank as I walked through the door and saw her sitting, alone, and crying. One worker was feeding a girl, and another was changing a baby. It was a tough thing to walk into and couldn't get to her fast enough. She quickly stopped and we had a good visit. They said she had just woken up from a nap, and I fed her some of her bottle, which she now likes to take while sitting up. She remained curious about the other kids and toys, so I sat with her on the mat while she tried to crawl and reached for things. I didn't have anyone to hand her off to because they were busy with younger babies (remember, the ratio is 4:1), so I kissed her, told her bye and waved to her while I put my shoes back on by the door. She either didn't realize I was leaving, or didn't seem to mind. Either way, leaving was not as difficult as arriving. They also said that she cried less today and seemed to be adjusting. Nathan picked her up and said that she was resting in one of the worker's lap and drinking her bottle. We had a great evening and she went to bed at 8pm.

Wednesday - I woke up again at 4:45, and got out of bed at 5:15. By the time Baby A awoke at 6, I was completely ready, and was able to have a relaxed cuddle session while she had her bottle. Nathan dropped her off at daycare, and I received this text: A was fine today for drop off. She was being held by one of the ladies, watched me wave goodbye and then turned her attention to the other kids.

When I went to visit her at lunch, she was sitting in front of their mirror, looking at herself. She wasn't crying! Until she saw me. We had a lovely visit and she went from sitting to up on her knees, with her thighs vertical and not touching her calves for the first time. It seemed like she wanted to pull herself up and stand, but is not there just yet. I held her and we looked out the window at all of the rain, and listened to the thunder. One of the workers was feeding two of the girls and singing "If You're Happy and You Know it" which delighted Baby A. She was fixated on watching her, and excitedly moved her arms and let out a squeal. She is definitely bonding with them. She was engaged in playing with some soft rings when I kissed her, walked to the door and waved bye. As I put on my shoes she was starting to whimper, but I headed out quickly. 

Cupcake buns!
Nathan had a meeting, and I was so excited to (finally) be the one to pick her up for the first time! I rushed out of work and even slowly jogged from the parking lot to daycare...only to find her crashed out on a playmat. I didn't ask how she did after I left the day before, afraid to know, but Joan volunteered "She was fine after you left! She started to cry, but didn't, and was easily distracted by our singing." This was such a relief to me! 

We had another great evening together, walking, playing and snuggling until she fell asleep at 7:45. 

Thursday - I woke up at 5:15am again (alarm set for 5:45) and was able to get ready before she woke up at 6am. I am really liking this routine. Even though I am not a morning person, getting up earlier allows me to have almost an hour of undistracted time with her, and not be rushed. Daddy dropped her off again, and said it was easy! She smiled at the other kids as her brought her into the room in her car seat, and was passed off to the worker without a peep. I would love to be the one dropping her off, but that would mean she would be at daycare longer since I have to be at work earlier. When I visited her on my lunch break, she was quietly playing. I scooped her up and gave her 100 kisses, as we walked around the room and looked out the window before sitting back down. I also love laying down and lifting her above me, or throwing her up in the air, just a few inches out of my hands.
They said that it was by far her best day. Not only did she not cry after drop off, but she was belly laughing while visiting with an older child from the next room. They said that Baby A was sitting on one of the worker's laps and reached out her hand to the older girl, who is 16 months. The girl came over and held A's hand, and A started belly laughing! When Nathan picked her up, she was dancing! She looked at him, and kept dancing! This made me so happy.

Unfortunately, she either had too much fun, or the early mornings of the week were catching up with her. She fell asleep at 4:45pm and was pretty much down for the night. I woke her up for our 3 mile walk just before 6pm, but she slept on the walk and after we returned. I woke her to feed around 7:30, put her in her crib and she slept until morning.

Friday - Even though she went to bed early, she was still asleep when I left for work at 7:10am. This made me sad, because I have been enjoying our time together before I leave. She did wake up for a feeding at 4:30am, and went right back to sleep on my chest. I was able to lay with her like that (and fall back asleep myself) until 6am. Nathan dropped her off and said she was great, there was no crying and she was looking at the other kids and smiling.

I visited her at lunch for the fifth day and it was the best! She was quietly playing, and I was able to observe her for a bit before she saw me and then continued to play. They said she did not cry when I left the day before or that morning! And, I found out that she crawled for the very first time! She moved her knees/arms three times! Prior to daycare, I worried that missing a "first" would make me sad, but thankfully it doesn't at all. I'm just really excited to see it for myself and, enjoy the weekend with her! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

10 Hacks for New Moms

  1. Cut their nails when they are asleep. You will be terrified the first time you have to cut her nails, and may even ask your doctor to do it, who will tell you that they aren't long enough to be cut just yet. But once you do it a few times without bloodshed, it will become one of your favorite activities, giving you a great sense of pride and accomplishment. 
  2. There will be multiple contraptions you don't have, and you will worry that not having it is depriving your child. But you will quickly realize that most baby items are not necessary. Remember, half of those things weren't even invented when were little, and we turned out alright. Things I didn't use or need: a bumpo, jumper/exersaucer, gates.
  3. Don't bother with a diaper pail! Almost every nursery has a window. Put a trashcan outside, under the window, and throw the diapers outside! Be sure to arrange your changing table under the window so that you do not have to leave them to throw it out. 
  4. If breast feeding doesn't work out, you don't need to heat their formula! There's a risk of burns, and Autumn has never seemed to mind cold milk.
  5. Spring for an expensive newborn photographer, and book them in your first or second trimester. The good ones go fast. Yes, these are expensive, but they are something you cannot ever redo, and you will always cherish. If you don't like their Christmas or Easter photos, you will have a lot of other opportunities. But if all you have done are the ones taken in the hospital, you do not know who you will get, and may not like them. Plus, newborns are at their "best" (read: less red and alien looking) 7-10 days post-birth. Splurge. Then, find a reasonable photographer for their first year. Autumn's infant photos were $650, but I'm making up for it by having a photographer that I LOVE who only charges $20 for mini sessions, which she does for all holidays!
  6. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Plan to be sleep deprived and a ghost of your former self, and you will be overjoyed when your child starts sleeping through the night at only 7 weeks old.
  7. If your baby is crying in the first few days of life, they're starving! A baby's cry means something, and a video we watched prior to her birth had us thinking she needed to be soothed, swaddled and shushed when she was really just trying to tell us she was hungry. Fortunately, we realized this before we were discharged from the hospital and started supplementing with formula. But food is so essential in the first few days for their brain development.
  8. Make sure you keep a newborn nasal aspirator in their crib or co-sleeper, especially if they were delivered via cesarean. On day two of our hospital stay, Autumn turned red, stretched her neck out and wasn't making any noise. Almost frozen with fear, Nathan yelled for me to call the nurse. Afraid it would take too long, he picked her up and ran down the hall. They used a bulb to remove some mucus that was blocking her airflow. We brought the aspirator home and although we never needed it again, it never left her co-sleeper.
  9. Don't be afraid to buy used! Many products your baby will only use for a month or two, or maybe not at all. I purchased an ArmsReach Co-sleeper which retails for $200 for $50 and she outgrew it by 3 months. Then I sold it for $60.
  10. Change her clothes the night before, so she is ready to go in the morning, after just a diaper change. This one seems really obvious, but doesn't fit into our normal routine of doing things, since we get ready in the morning. But it has been especially helpful to me since returning to work. 
What parenting tips do you have for new moms? Comment below to share!

Monday, December 28, 2015

December, 6 Month Update

Autumn turned 7 months the day after Christmas so, for the majority of the month she was six months old.
Photography by Juls Megill

December first started with an early morning doctor's appointment for me. For those of you who don't know, we are TTC number two. I had an IUI which is surprisingly covered by our new insurance. I know, there are as many acronyms in the infertility world as there are in education. TTC stands for trying to conceive, and IUI is intrauterine insemination, or artificial insemination. We're doing these unmedicated, without any fertility drugs, so my doctor says "it won't work." Good to know! That way, we don't get our hopes up, and can start looking into our backup plan: IVF in Prague this summer.
Those of you who have followed my journey know that I announced my pregnancy with Autumn super early, right after I POAS (you can google that one). I hadn't even had a blood test. That won't be happening this time. We will keep it under wraps until we know everything is alright, like most people do. I don't have the data to back it up, but with IVF, you know you have a "good" egg, which is one of the reasons I was so optimistic. Plus, I needed to be since we were loosing Mom at the time and I desperately needed something positive. But my current doctor said that only 1 in 7 of my eggs is normal. Not me personally, but just because of my age.

After the appointment, Autumn and I went to Target and did a small food shop. I bought another turkey and a few ingredients to do another Thanksgiving dinner. Autumn tried avocado (fresh, not from a jar) for the first time and really seemed to like it. No more new foods for a few days, that day alone she had quinoa, apples and avocado. Her full tummy made her sleepy, and we continued our nap-time adventures.

We finished the house lights and started reading a copy of A Christmas Carol that my parents gave me, with a touching inscription on the title page.

We had to have Nathan's beautiful husky, Skippy, put down. He was Nathan's constant companion since he was 22 and together, they went on at least 3,000 walks over the twelve years. He had been declining for awhile and spending a lot of time outside, even when it dipped down to 50 degrees. But that morning, he had trouble walking and was dripping blood from his mouth. He yelped in pain when touched. I went with and took Autumn, and we both were there for the procedure and cried. I thought of Autumn being 10 or 12 and having to do this with Trevi or another dog. My first inclination was to not get another dog - ever. But, going through life not getting attached to and loving just to avoid hurt and loss is no way to live. We both believe that if she does have to go through this, it is good training in developing coping mechanisms for other losses that are sure to come. Plus, a childhood without pets is just no childhood at all, in my biased opinion.

On the 3rd, Autumn and I attended an event called Good Grief at Christ Cathedral about surviving the holidays after the loss of a loved one. I was hopeful that it would help, but it just made me sad. I sat through most of the two hour session alternating between tears streaming down my face and making faces at or rocking Autumn. It really didn't learn anything new or helpful, other than the idea to light a candle for Mom at Christmas dinner this year and every year after. Maybe the reason I was there was not for me. I was the youngest in the room, and about half of the other attendees, some of whom had lost adult children, came up to me at different times and commented on either how cute Autumn was, or how well-behaved she was. She gave her huge gummy smile and flashed her dimple each time, and everyone smiled back, some through the tears in their eyes. I made a mental note to myself to visit nursing homes with her next Christmas. I also was reminded to never persuade friends, family, or students to go into grief counseling if they're not ready.
Friday the 4th was Autumn's very first trip to see Santa Clause! My friend Andrea, her husband Bill and her son Casey drove out here and we went to Irvine Park Railroad. Seeing Santa is free, but you have to take a train to get to him which costs $12. A fair price, since they allow you to take your own photos.

I finished her red infinity scarf just in the (St.) Nick of time!
Autumn  missed a nap and wasn't her smiling, energetic self, but she still had a good time. Originally, I was planning on also visiting Santa at South Coast Plaza, but the one at Irvine Park will be our tradition. Because you can only get to him by train and they limit sales based on space, it was not crowded or rushed at all.

I had Autumn's Christmas photos done and was thrilled with the results! As I mentioned before, Juls Megill Photography is beyond reasonable. Her Christmas photos cost $20! I plan to use her for Autumn's entire childhood!

Can you spot the three ornaments?

I brought three very special ornaments to the shoot: Big Ben (Mom gave me), a pram that we purchased at Buckingham Palace, and her hand-print ornament. I also chose her dress to match the pink leather shoes that Dad bought for her last Christmas. The shoes and the pattern of pink roses on her dress are my way of paying tribute to Mom because they're both something she would choose and love. Plus, I was privy to the set beforehand, and knew that an outfit with traditional red and green colors would not really fit in. I ordered our cards, something I always look forward to, with even more enthusiasm than any other year. Her Grandma said she looks like a little princess, and is much cuter than Princess Charlotte. I'm sure her Nana would concur.

I had a nail in my tire and had to get it repaired, surprisingly for free, on Tuesday morning before a doctor's appointment at my fertility clinic for blood work. Usually, this could be seen as a hassle or a chore, especially so early, but not with Autumn. She was smiling so much, and making eye contact with anyone she could. Eye contact was always followed by a huge, dimple-baring smile, the same at my doctor's office. On the way home, I thought of how she is so much like my Mom in this respect. Mom could have a good time anywhere, under any circumstances. She was never stressed and she never complained. It is so wonderful having Autumn as a reminder to be like that and not sweat the small stuff.

When we got home, we had another nap-time adventure before cleaning up, while she continued to sleep.
Our little bookworm.
Nathan and I went on our daily walk and stopped off at the park to push Autumn in the swing for the very first time. I never bring my phone on our walks, and it was nice for her to do something, a "first" that was not documented. As much as I obviously love pictures and video, it's hard to be in the moment when you're behind the screen. We pushed her gently as some toddlers came over and were pushed on the other swings to Autumn's right. She watched them the entire time, and I am beginning to think and maybe believe that daycare will be good for her.

I introduced spinach with peas and she didn't love it, but she did eat it. We also started having fun at feedings when she's due for a bath. I made a big pot of spaghetti and let her play with it. I was right there, to make sure she didn't put any in her mouth and surprisingly, she didn't.

I met my friend Stella and her daughters at a park in Irvine and Autumn played in the sand for the first time, sitting quietly and touching it. She seemed to like it and didn't even try to eat it. I texted Nathan that we needed to buy some sand for her. The next day, as we were finishing up our morning walk, I noticed a Little Tykes plastic sand box that had a cover and a FREE sign on it. I went home and got my Jeep and couldn't shake the feeling that maybe Mom had something to do with it. It seems like every time she needs something, it's provided. Plus, Mom loved thrift stores and used items.

I had my annual Christmas party with my running/triathlete friends, and really wanted to bring Autumn. But, she had fallen asleep the night before at 6:30pm which is when the dinner started, so I decided to leave her with Nathan. He's great with her, and it's important for her to spend time with him, but I missed her the whole time I was there. I couldn't wait to get home to her, even though she was asleep. I quietly crept into her nursery, and watched her sleep for awhile.

We noticed on Saturday the 12th that her second bottom tooth was coming in. It had already broken through the skin and again, she did not act any different. We took her to church and she didn't even make one sound, just quietly watched the choir and then fell asleep at lunch.

We attended her last consecutive swim lesson for awhile, but will return for a day or two in both January and February so that she doesn't get out of practice.

On December 15th, I took her to what will be her daycare so that she could start to get familiar with it. Our visit was disheartening and I ended up driving home in tears. The plan was to leave her for a bit - under an hour, and I just couldn't do it. They were particularly busy that day, with seven babies and two workers. The workers were busy tending to two other babies, and I imagined her just laying on the ground, crying, and no one to console her. Plus, all of the kids were really sick, with running noses and bad coughs, and Autumn has never been sick. I came home and told Nathan I didn't want to leave her there, and we begun exploring Nanny options, setting up an interview with a nanny of an acquaintance. That night and into the next morning, I felt incredibly guilty about having to leave her every day.

I made myself go back to her daycare the next day as planned, and I'm glad I did because it was a bit reassuring. When I passed through the first locked gate and then the second, all of the toddlers were out in the play-yard with supervision, running around and having a great time. I could  picture her, a little older, out there having fun. There were only four children in the infant room this time, and I learned that some days and parts of the day are busier than others. Christmas music was playing. While I still did not leave Autumn, I enjoyed watching her curiosity with the other babies. She even called out to one girl, with her baby babble. When they cried, she watched them. She smiled at the staff.

I went back a third day, and left her for one hour while I went to my work which is close by, to meet with the counselor who has been subbing for me. She has subbed as a counselor at other schools in our district and told me that there needs to be two at our site because it has been so hectic. There always used to be two, one for 7th grade and one for 8th grade. But now, I am the only one and have a caseload of 650. It made me feel good that someone else recognizes how busy can be. And I hope my first day, week and month are chaotic and busy because I will worry about Autumn less and the time will go by faster. When I returned to pick her up, she was happily sitting and playing, until the worker moved from her side, and she started bawling. I rushed to pick her up, and it as clear to me that she had been crying previously, because her little eyelashes were clumped together with tears. January 4th is going to be tough, to say the least.

I have to remind myself that it's okay for her to have some time when no one is interacting with her. It's actually important for her development. According to the developmental book I'm reading, solitude is good for baby: Continue to allow baby quiet time by herself. It's okay to leave her safely on the floor or in her playpen while you attend to tasks. Don't feel guilty when you leave baby alone; it's an important part of her development. When she's alone, baby can process and internalize various pieces of information. She can observe her surroundings at her own pace. She can also rest physically, which she needs for her well-being.

It's going to be such an adjustment for me to be apart from her, whether it be daycare or in-home, and I know I will cry on the first day. Part of what is tough is that before she was born, I imagined that I would "need a break" by now and be ready for some adult interaction. But I don't feel that way at all. All I want to do is be around her, and I even miss her when she sleeps. I don't even like to leave her with Daddy! 

But, thank God I do love my counseling job, and having it allows me to provide her with things that I didn't have, like travel abroad and private school. While I would stay home until she started school if I could, I would still want to work once she was in school, because I love being a counselor. It's part of my identity and I do miss it. And, I have a career that affords me a lot of time off, much more than the standard two weeks because I only work 196 days per year. Also, I can pick her up some days as early as 3:30. If you can't tell, I'm trying to assuage my guilt here, as these are the things Nathan reminds me of on our walks, and I repeat to myself before l fall asleep at night.
Grandpa & Uncle Glen
We celebrated Christmas with my Dad and brother on the 19th. Dad and Glen were very generous, as usual. Dad gave us a working replica of the Tevi fountain and Glen gave us Stream TV which allows us to watch virtually anything, including TV shows and movies currently in the theaters. It sounds illegal, but the servers are in China so somehow, it's not. Dad also gave us all watches, including a replacement Movado watch that was the same as one Mom picked out for me years ago, which I had lost years ago.

Then we had Nathan's sister, husband and Autumn's cousins over the night before we flew to Oregon. Always last minute, I still had not finished packing for our 10 day trip. Autumn hadn't seen her cousins since Halloween, and it was very cute to see MK sweetly sharing toys with her. I'm excited about the wooden growth chart they gave us, which can be taken with us when we move, and passed on to Autumn.  
We flew to Oregon on the 21st to spend time up there through the first of the year. Autumn and Trevi were both amazing on the flights. We used miles for free tickets, and as a result, had a short layover in Seattle before boarding one of those super tiny planes where you feel everything. No one seemed to mind Trevi on my lap, and several people approached me to ask how much she cost (free) or how I was able to have her there. 

Temperatures fell into the mid to low 30's during the nights and I was very excited to see snow falling on one of my morning walks with Trevi. It didn't stick until Christmas Eve, but still only provided a very light dusting on Christmas morning. It "felt" like Christmas, Mom and I always used to lament the days when it would be 80 degrees and sunny on Christmas, and always hoped for some cloud coverage or cooler temperatures. 
Christmas Eve excitement!

Unfortunately, Nathan and I were both sick on Christmas, and not able to keep anything down for 8 hours. I haven't been sick in years. When you are devoid of energy and the world seems to have twice the amount of gravity, it makes even re-positioning yourself on the ground difficult. Thank God Autumn did not get sick, and with us taking turns caring for her, she still seemed to have a wonderful day. Well, every day is wonderful for her. She loved all of her toys, and right around Christmas, started being able to sit all on her own. She also started playing independently on her own, not noticing or caring that I was out of sight, in the kitchen for over thirty minutes at a time. Both of these things made me feel better about upcoming daycare dilemma.

By the next day, we both felt well enough to put on our amazing pajamagram Santa suits, courtesy of TJ and Rebecca, much to Nathan's dismay. Even Trevi was included!  

We were also able to go out to Red Lobster with Ben to celebrate his birthday, complete with a cake with a picture of him with his newly adopted cat, Terry.

I absolutely love being in Oregon and Nathan's family, and seeing his parents, and Ben, interact with Autumn. This trip was so relaxing. Grandma worked every day to teach Autumn to wave, and she seemed to try and wave back a few times. Most days, the only thing on my agenda was helping prep something for dinner, a walk around some of the property or down the road, feeding the swans, feeding carrots to the horses and pony, playing with Autumn and crocheting or reading. Nathan, on the other hand, remained busy helping plan a remodel or addition for his Mom who cannot make it up stairs anymore. He called contractors and obtained estimates, helped move her downstairs, explored finding someone to dig a well, scheduled doctor's appointments and dealt with the insurance, packed up the Christmas decorations and planted the Christmas tree. 

All of that is not really work to Nathan, who loves helping out family. We still made time for our walks every day, and as always, used them as a time to reconnect and talk about the future. Future trips to Oregon, where we plan to return at least twice a year for the rest of our lives, and passing it on to Autumn. The Autumn Empire. And future Christmases, wondering with excitement when she will be old enough to be too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve, and how we can make them as special as she is, or at least try.

  • Can get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth
  • Can sit without assistance! This just happened while we were in Oregon for Christmas. Before that, she could sit for quite awhile, but would slowly fall over after 5-10 minutes if not watched.
  • More babbling, especially when she wakes up
  • Second tooth! Bottom left
  • Helping hold her bottle
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
  • How she tries to make eye contact with others when we go out and gives them a great, big smile
  • Blowing raspberries
  • How she takes her hand and rotates it in a circle, while watching it, seemingly curious about what it will do next
  • How she moves her arms and legs up and down while bouncing when she gets excited, like when Dad gets home
  • Her loud yawning noises; I'm still enamored with these and have yet to capture them on video
  • Her squeal of excitement when she sees Trevi, the swans, pony
  • How she stretches when I change her
Routines we're continuing:
  • Listening to Pray as You Go most mornings
  • Listening to: Happy together 
  • Singing to her: You Are My Sunshine, Que Serra, Amazing Grace (bedtime)
  • Story-time at the library
  • Reading, usually the book from my book club
  • Morning and evening walks
  • Crocheting
  • Nightly prayers
  • Waiting for Daddy on the bench by the front door
  • Swim lessons
  • Walking with her in the ergo 360
  • Nicknames: Bean, Baby A, Sweet One, Little Buns
  • Fires several times each week
Routines we're establishing:
  • Playing with food. Not every time, but some days when she's due for a bath I will dump out some of her carrots or butternut squash on her tray so she can feel the texture and paint with it. 
  • Peak-a-boo
  • Asking "Where's Daddy?" Or "Where's Trevi?" and cheering when she looks
  • After her morning feeding she's starting to sleep beside me instead of on top of me. This is a sign she's getting bigger, and makes me sad, but she's still cuddling.
Food she has tried:
  • carrots
  • avocado
  • sweet potato
  • peas
  • green beans
  • apple
  • oatmeal
  • quinoa
  • bananas
  • pears
  • blueberries
  • spinach

Monday, December 7, 2015

New: My Etsy Shop

Crocheting is something that I learned from Mom, and when I do it, I feel connected to her. I'm excited to announce that I've opened an Etsy shop! You can view my one lone listing HERE. It's a crocheted crown that I made for my girl. I loved it so much that I wanted to be able to share it with others. I ship worldwide and take custom orders, with sizes from newborn to one year. I also have several different colors to choose from, like baby blue for a little prince, with more to come. I'm not sure if I will be listing other crocheted items in my shop, as that may be a bit ambitious once she's mobile and I'm back to work, but do plan to keep up with making the crowns as they're ordered.

Please visit my listing on Etsy and shares are always much appreciated!

Monday, November 30, 2015

November, 5 Month Update

Autumn turned 6 months old on November 26th, so for the majority of the month she was 5 months old.

The beginning of the month brought some cooler temperatures and a little bit of rain, which us Californians go crazy for. We had a fire even though the evening temperature was still above 60 degrees. We moved the love seat in front of the fire and Autumn was transfixed. I won't let her watch TV yet, but she sure does like watching the fire! And of course, cooler weather = cuter clothes, which I was excited about! The only thing cuter than a baby is a bundled up baby.

We visited what will be her daycare when she starts in January. I say I want her to know the workers and feel comfortable there, but I think its really more for my comfort level. She will probably be just fine, but dropping her off on that first day is going to kill me. They reiterated that they have an open door policy and that I can come by anytime. Because they're across the street from my work, I think I will take them up on this offer. I also hope to leave early enough to be able to spend 15 minutes there with her in the mornings before I leave for work.

One of my favorite times is when she falls asleep on me after her first feeding. Prior to the time change, this was 5:30-6 am but, babies don't know about the time change, so she now wakes up well before 5am. I am making a commitment that when I go back to work after New Year's, I will wake up early enough to get ready before she's up, so that I can feed her and still let her fall back asleep on me. Not really a morning person and notorious for needing a lot of sleep, this will definitely be a challenge for me. I will need to be asleep by 9pm, not after, if I'm going to do this and maintain my sanity. That means I will need to go to bed almost right after she does at 8pm. But here it is in writing, so let's see if I can stick to it.

On Saturday the 7th, Autumn and I participated in the American Lung Association Lung Force Walk with my friend Sara who also lost her Mom to lung cancer. We shared stories of our Moms while we were on the course, and it will hopefully be an annual event for us. Afterward, I stopped by Babies R Us to exchange some size 2 diapers (she now wears size 3) and bought her a small Baby Einstein three key piano. When a button is pressed, it plays about 5 seconds of a song. She has been getting better with her hands, but I thought she was still too young to operate it. I was so excited to hear music coming from it the whole way home, and turned down the radio so I could hear.

I started booking Christmas events and was surprised to learn that the train to see Santa at Irvine Park was already sold out on some dates! We're planning to go to that with my best friend, Andrea, and her son on the first Friday in December. We also booked the zoo lights with my Dad, brother and cousin Linda.

On Monday the 9th we went to Pretend City for the first time. They have a program once a month geared specifically toward infants called Baby Steps. I'm not sure that she got a lot out of it, but it was fun to meet and interact with other Moms. I also continued her nap-time adventures.

Nathan said he was going to nominate me for parent of the year because after we returned home from a small grocery shop, I went to get her out of her car seat and realized she was just laying in there, not buckled in at all! Someone who was sick had touched her pants, and I was so focused on getting them off and sanitizing her hands when we returned to my Jeep. But then, I didn't want her putting her hands with the sanitizer in her mouth, so I searched for some water to rinse them and dried them with some tissues. Well in all of this, I forgot to buckle her in!

On the 17th, we drove out to Yucaipa to visit with my Dad. That was the day I discovered she had her first tooth, already poking through the bottom, right gum! I was shocked, mainly because she had not been acting any different. She hasn't been fussy, and she was still sleeping 10-12 hours solid every night! My Dad gave her some early Christmas presents: clothes he ordered from Boden, a British company. She's wearing some 6 month sizes now, as well as some 9 month sizes which are still roomy, but he wanted her to be able to start wearing the adorable outfits he picked out, which are size 6-12 months, and to be able to wear them up in Oregon before Christmas. He also got her a very warm Boden coat, and the cutest hat and matching mittens.

At our weekly mommy and me swim, I wore my glasses for the first time since she never splashes. And this was the week she rediscovered splashing. It was so cute, she would splash about 4 times with both hands and then try and "catch" the bubbles the splashing made. Then, she would do it again. My glasses and face were soaked when we got out, but it was worth it. This was also the first week that the instructor let her go under water, and she "swam" a few inches to me before I caught her.

We celebrated our second wedding anniversary (forth as a couple) a few days early on the 21st at Gulliver's in Irvine. One of John Wayne's favorite restaurants and across from the airport, they are known for their prime rib. This is where Nathan took me on our first Valentine's day, when he surprised me with private dance lessons followed by dinner there.

I made reservations for 6pm. Autumn was as quiet as a mouse until she fell asleep at 7pm! Its so nice to be able to go our to a nice dinner and bring her. When we opened our gifts to each other, we let her help and discovered she loves tissue paper! It was so fun to watch her wildly wave her arms with it.

The day before Thanksgiving, she had her 6 month appointment, weighing in at 16.9 pounds, and measuring 27.5 inches long. She had her shots, which I can't watch so Dad helps with, and we were given the go-ahead for feeding.

Thanksgiving day was exciting because she had her first food, rice cereal. We had my Dad and brother Glen over, as well as Nathan's cousin Cassandra and her friend. We put the high chair at the head of the table, and I fed her as we all sat down to eat.

After a few days, I added in quinoa mixed with formula, because I thought rice cereal wouldn't be as nutritious. But to my surprise, I discovered that the Earth's Best Organic whole grain rice cereal has arsenic in it, so I threw the box away. Apparently, it is common in infant rice cereals and yes, something with the term organic in it can still contain carcinogens. 

Feeding your infant rice cereal once a day doesn't put them at risk, but according to federal data, some infants eat up to two to three servings of rice cereal a day. Eating rice cereal at that rate, with the highest level of inorganic arsenic we found in our tests, could result in a risk of cancer twice our acceptable level. 

Thank God I did my research! You can read the Consumer Reports article about it HERE, scroll down to Cereals Cause Concern.  We have also started on apples. My Mom made my baby food, which I was considering doing at least while I'm off, but Beachnut has an organic line that just has one ingredient, no preservatives. I've been using the engraved baby spoon that Mom used with me, and need to get Autumn's name added to it. I'm looking forward to making finger paints using yogurt in a few weeks.

As soon as Thanksgiving was over, it was time for our Christmas tree! Because we're flying to Oregon on the 21st of December, Nathan was under the impression we would not need a tree. On her first Christmas, can you imagine!? That is probably considered child abuse in some states. The day we decorated, I had an impromptu photo shoot and wound up with some of my favorite pictures of her thus far! After a book on baby photography that my friend Delia gave me, I now keep the flash permanently off!

I love that our tree is filled with a lot of random ornaments that hold so much sentimental value. There are ones we each made as children, some that my Mom bought me like the Big Ben with a Santa hat, and now Autumn's ornaments. There's even a pair of reindeer that belonged to Autumn's great, great grandmother on my Dad's side, as well as ornaments from Nathan's grandparent's tree, on his Dad's side. Most of my Christmas decorations belonged to my Mom, and when I would come over and she had the house filled with more every year, I jokingly told her it was a "festive nightmare" and she would giggle, knowing it was really a compliment.   

After decorating the tree, we went to see the lights at the LA Zoo. If you're ever planning to go, make sure to do the first time slot. We thought it was busy when we arrived, but it was nothing compared to when we left just after 7:15pm. Autumn seemed to enjoy looking at the lights and people, and it was a nice official start of the Christmas season.

  • Sitting up, with less assistance, sometimes none for a few seconds. Has to be propped up, can't sit up on her own
  • Transferring an item from one hand to another
  • Standing and bearing weight, with assistance
  • Rolling over, both directions, multiple times
  • Lifting her neck and shoulders off the ground while doing tummy time
  • More babbling, especially when she wakes up
  • First tooth! Bottom right
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
  • How she wraps her whole hand around my thumb
  • The soft sighs she makes in her sleep
  • The "creaking door" noise she makes
  • Her loud yawning noises
  • The time when I was in the recliner and she was almost asleep, but saw her daddy over on the couch and lit up, "talking" to him with the biggest smile.
  • She started sleeping in her crib on her tummy with her little bum up in the air
  • Her being completely still while laying on my chest and watching the fire
Routines we're continuing:
  • Listening to Pray as You Go most mornings
  • Listening to: Happy together 
  • Singing to her: You Are My Sunshine, Que Serra, Amazing Grace (bedtime)
  • Story-time at the library
  • Reading, usually the book from my book club
  • Morning and evening walks
  • Crocheting
  • Nightly prayers
  • Waiting for Daddy on the bench by the front door
  • Swim lessons
  • Walking with her in the ergo 360
  • Nicknames: Little Bean, Baby A, Sweet One, Little Buns
Routines we're establishing:
  • I sometimes started putting her in her crib when she is almost asleep instead of waiting until she is completely out. She babbles a bit, and plays with Peter Rabbit, which is attached to the side of her crib, but doesn't seem to mind.
  • She's wearing my baby bracelet
  • Fires several times per week
  • Song: "I looked high, I looked low, I looked around the corner, I looked around the other corner for a baby that likes to eat bananas. I saw your Mommy and I said 'Excuse me Miss, have you seen a baby that likes to eat bananas??' And she said, 'I've got a baby that LOVES to eat bananas!'"