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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

October, 4 Month Update

Autumn turned 5 months on October 26th, so for the majority of the month she was 4 months old.

The word fall is now banned in our home and must be replaced with Autumn. Sometimes, I'll slip and Nathan will catch me and correct me, or vice versa. Obviously our favorite season, it was filled with many Autumn-esq activities but unfortunately not much cooler weather. It was still above 80 degrees by Halloween.

We started the month with two zoo visits: the local, small Santa Ana zoo with my brother (uncle Glen!) and San Diego, with a friend. I was tempted to buy Autumn a pass to zoo that's just a few miles from us, but decided to wait when I realized she was just as interested in the trees as she was in the monkeys.


We set up our Halloween decorations and walked to a local fall fair, Tustin Tiller Days. It was the first time she went forward-facing in her stroller. Unexpectedly, it made me a little sad because she seemed so grown up! But by the end of the month, we were regularly going for 3 mile runs and were both used to it. I say run, but it is more accurately described a very slow jog with walking mixed it. Running while pushing that beast is tough, but I'm getting used to it.

On Tuesday evenings, we started walking to story-time at the library. I continued taking her to the 11:15 am one on Mondays too, but it was nice to be able to walk there in the evening with Nathan so he can watch her observe all the older kids. She continues to be mesmerized and fascinated by them.

We went to the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch with some friends on October 11th. Autumn loved taking in all the sights and as usual, didn't cry at all.

I had her Halloween photos done by Juls Megill and am in love with her work! She has a really cute studio in Huntington Beach and will be out new family photographer. In part, because she was beyond reasonable. Guess how much I paid for five images? Twenty dollars. Total. That was the sitting fee, the price for pictures... everything. It was very important for me to have professional infant photos done in our home and they were not cheap. It was also very important to invest in a really good camera. Now that we have those two things, I am willing to go the reasonable route, especially since I am still off work.. We already have Christmas booked!


Mid-October, Autumn started her first swim lesson at Blue Buoy in Tustin. Nathan took swim lessons there when he was a kid! She absolutely loved it, and didn't cry once. She even went under water on her first day. At first, I wasn't sure that she would benefit from going because she might be too young. But after just one trial lesson, I saw the benefit which at this age, is mainly helping her be comfortable in the water. On day one, she was passed off to several different instructors and her face was dipped in a few times. She didn't cry at all. The pool is filled with toys, and she had fun reaching for them and putting them in her mouth.


On the second lesson, there was a kid twice her age screaming the entire time. Thankfully, he's in the class after ours, but I could still hear him as we packed up in the car. This reaffirmed to me me that it's a good thing I'm starting her young. The instructor comes around to each parent/child pair in the group and demonstrates something new for them to learn. That week, there were only three other kids and he was training a new instructor using Autumn as an example, so she had a lot of attention. Then, when he goes around to others in the group, I practice with her what he has just shown us. This last week, I had her feet braced against my stomach and my hands under her arms, holding them out as I spun her left and then right so she could feel the resistance of the water on her. I also put my arms loosely under her arms and would move her forward and backward, her body tipping slightly in which ever direction I leaned her. On the last lesson of the month, she went completely under water (before, it was just above her eyes) and stayed under for a few seconds longer.

It must be a good workout for her, because she sleeps so well on swim days! Two hours, solid, instead of her usual 45 min.

We visited the Irvine Regional Park Railroad and Pumpkin Patch by ourselves on October 22nd. It was packed and I know my husband, who dislikes crowds, was even more thankful that I didn't make him go on the weekend when the lines would have been even longer. It was fun to do something on a whim, just the two of us. I wore her in the Ergo 360 and she liked taking in the sights, mainly watching the other kids. I was able to take some really cute pictures of her in with all the pumpkins and love the idea of returning there every year. As usually is the case when I'm alone with her, my Mom was ever-present in my mind.




Autumn had her first train ride while we were there, and I just thought it would take us around the pumpkin patch. Instead, we went around Irvine Regional Park and passed all the places where we had our engagement pictures taken. As I sat holding her on the train looking out and remembering that day, I felt so blessed. I remember Nathan wanted certain outtakes or awkward photos of us taken too, and how much he made me laugh. I remembered how much I had to look forward to and now here one of those things I longed for was sitting in my lap.

On October 23rd we met one of Nathan's high school friends at Durty Nelly's an Irish bar and restaurant where Nathan and I first really talked at a work function, and I noticed him. Just like the train ride had done the day before, it was a pause for reflection on all that has happened since then, and how much our lives have changed for the better. 

On October 24th I put her in her baby carrier (love the Ergo 360!) and we walked to Starbucks for my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. I've been holding off because of the calories. Unfortunately, we still didn't have cooler weather, so I ordered it iced. As we walked the two miles round trip, I talked to her periodically. I try to talk to her as much as possible.

We have been doing a little tummy time every day since she was born, but until that Saturday I had not left her on the ground for more than about 15 minutes.  I realized I was probably holding her too much, and made it a point to give her more floor time. She's usually in my lap, in the stroller, on my hip, or I'm wearing her. As soon as I left her for on a blanket on the floor for a bit longer, she started rolling over. I made a mental note to myself to leave her on her own a bit more. All of her waking time does not need to be filled with...my face. I have to remind myself that if she's not fussing, it's okay for her to spend some time independently playing or babbling. I don't need to interpret this as her being bored or neglected.


If she is crying, of course that's another story, I do not subscribe to the "cry it out" idea. Infants cry for a reason, and there is zero risk or spoiling them or ending up with a demanding child if their needs aren't met, In fact, the reverse is true: a child who is neglected or not loved as much will become more needy, not less.

All month long, she continued to be a good sleeper. She woke up only once up during the night for the whole month and always slept 8-10 hours. The one time she did wake up at 12:30 am was Halloween, and she drank 7 (!!!) ounces, much more than her usual 4. I chalked it up to her not getting enough to eat during the day with the excitement and guests. She is such a good sleeper that the one night she was up past 9:30 pm, we were so concerned that we took her temperature which showed a normal reading before she promptly fell asleep 10 minutes later.

I'm not sure if she is teething, or just using that sense to learn about her environment, but everything goes in her mouth and she loves her teething rings that we freeze for walks and her Sophie the giraffe.

The month ended with Halloween, and trick-or-treating on our street with family. Her friend Olivia who lives on our street was coincidentally also a unicorn! 

Olivia is 3 1/2 months older than Autumn, and not a small baby.

She continues to be an absolute delight; the happiest baby I have ever encountered. When she smiles, she opens her mouth so wide that her eyes and face seem smile too. I actually miss her when she sleeps, and look forward to her first feeding of the day even though its usually before 6 am because she always falls back asleep on my chest. It is the best feeling in the world.

Milestones:
  • Started sleeping in her crib
  • Making "Mmmm" sounds in addition to "ooh and ahh" Also, learned to squeal
  • Better use of her hands, more intentional
  • Rolling over more than once or twice
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
  • When she falls back asleep on my chest after her first feeding, she now explores my mouth with her hand and looks up at me
  • The sounds she makes when she yawns
  • That huge, mouth-wide-open smile
  • How she idly scratches the top of her head when she's sleepy
  • How she wakes up with happy babbling
Routines we're continuing:
  • Listening to Pray as You Go most mornings
  • Listening to songs: Love Me Do (Beatles), What a Wonderful World (Louie Armstrong), Gold Digger (Kanye)
  • Singing: You Are My Sunshine, Que Serra, Amazing Grace
  • Story-time at the library
  • Reading daily, usually the book from my book club
  • Watering with Daddy when he gets home from work
  • Morning and evening walks
  • Crocheting
  • Skype calls with Uncle Glen and Grandpa- the only time she gets screen  time!
  • Nightly prayers
Routines we're establishing:
  • Sensory bags with shaving cream or ice
  • Singing "Happy Together" by The Turtles every morning
  • Longer play time in the bath
  • The made-up "Poop Dance" song. Poop, poop, poop. Shake it out, shake it out.
  • Waiting for Daddy on the bench by the front door
  • Swim lessons
  • Walking with her in the ergo 360 - training for Eastern Europe next summer!

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