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.
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.