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.

Milestones:
  • 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

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