Monday, May 30, 2011

Long weekend

It's been a great weekend. The weather is nice and hot, I got some time to myself, and we're headed to the pool once Julia wakes up from her nap!

Of course the day after I post about her awesome seven-month sleep habits, she pulls a 180 on us. Literally that night, she was up six or seven times, and it's been a struggle since then to figure out how to handle her when she's screaming in the middle of the night. I don't feel teeth, although they could be moving around in there, and there's no other obvious culprit for this shake-up, so I'm totally at a loss.

And we've been staying up late lately to work on the bathroom so I seriously need my sleep - you hear me baby? So work this one out soon please.

Enjoying the weather with Sophie on our back porch this weekend.

"This is such an awesome hat!"

Feeling her chompers.

Are we having trust issues? Looks like it.
Oh and the highlight of my weekend - Julia, Robert and I were having dinner at Bread Co. Sunday evening, and a stranger came up and asked how old Julia was and said she was cute. No big deal. Then he came back later and said that her concentration and the way she was interacting with R and I was way advanced for her age and she must be really smart. :) Of course I agree (smartest baby ever even from the ultrasounds, right?), and R was all like, "Well he didn't say he was a doctor or anything so what does he know?" and I know it was just a random thought from a stranger, but it made me grin all evening. Even when she doesn't sleep well and she's crankypants for no reason, she's still pretty cool.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seven months!

I know! Seven months already? But it's true. The tiny tiny baby has gotten so big, and this past month has seen a lot of changes, so here's the update.

First and foremost, she's sleeping all through the night! She goes down about 7:30 and wakes up about 6:30, with ZERO middle of the night feedings. This is awesome. She still wakes up and cries or moans a little about once a night, but I don't even have to get out of bed for that. I just lay there with the monitor and hope and pray that she goes back to sleep, and she does. *grin* (Or I fall back asleep and just don't hear her moaning any longer.) She also naps 2-3 times a day on a fairly regular schedule. It's amazing how freeing it feels to me, to have her on a schedule. Of course it's flexible and it changes a little every day depending on circumstances, but it's so nice to be able to schedule outings and plan out my day and feel like I have a little bit of control over life again.

She's getting much better at eating solid foods. She eats about 4-5 ounces of solids a day, spread out over 3 or 4 feedings. We're still nursing, and while I'd like her to consolidate nursing sessions a little better (she's nursing 6-7 times a day when I think she really could be more efficient and get down to 4-5), we're both still enjoying it and I see no reason to rock the boat. I'm slowly but steadily going through our freezer stash though, so we might try to introduce a formula bottle sometime in the next month. We'll see - as she takes in more solids, I might be able to meet her nutritional needs with my current supply.

As far as personality changes, she's been all over the map this past month. At first she was Ms Crankypants, but that ended after her two bottom teeth broke through and we got through the sleep training. She's been downright delightful lately, laughing and smiling and wiggling and giving us the occasional high-five. She has separation and stranger anxiety, which is a little frustrating but totally normal for this age so I'm rolling with it. She babbles a little, mostly "ma ma," "ba ba," and "fa fa," and mostly when she feels like complaining. She loves investigating everything she can get her hands on, and although she can manipulate small objects pretty well, she's still clumsy with larger things, and I can tell it frustrates her. She's definitely trying to walk; if I hold her steady, she'll take steps across the carpet, but she doesn't have any idea how to pull herself up to sitting or standing. And just in the last few days have I seen her make any progress towards crawling: she is just starting to push up on her hands and knees. But either way, I think the babyproofing needs to happen this next month!

Once in awhile, when she's tired and I'm carrying her around, she'll lay her head on my shoulder for a few seconds and it's the second sweetest thing ever. Because, she always nurses right before she goes down for her morning nap, and she curls up in my lap and shuts her eyes and I stroke her hair and she gets so mellow and relaxed, and it's so lovely that it makes my heart hurt - that's the sweetest thing ever.

She loves:
  • horsey rides on Daddy's shoulders
  • peek-a-boo
  • when Mommy or Daddy crawls around on the floor
  • Home Depot
  • riding in grocery carts
  • dancing with Mommy
  • cell phones
  • yogurt
  • banana flavor
  • the music buttons on her exersaucer
  • new toys
  • Scrappy
  • wiggling 
  • the contractor who's doing our bathroom
  • playing with the baby in the mirror
  • having her tummy kissed
  • remote controls

She dislikes:
  • putting her arms through sleeves
  • having her diaper put on
  • being cold
  • sitting when she can stand
  • laying down when she can sit
  • that third nap of the day
  • any toy that she's played with for five minutes already
  • strangers
  • cuddling

A few days ago, my awesome friend Sara met Julia and I in a park to take some photos. Although Julia was surly and I'm not sure we got a single smile out of her the entire time, Sara did a fabulous job of capturing the babe - way better than I do with my camera! I love how she caught Julia's bright blue/green starburst eyes in so many of the pictures. Here are a few of my favorites:

So I just noticed I'm wearing the same shirt here as I was in the penguin exhibit, even though these photos were taken exactly one day later. Here's the story: I bought a tank top at J. Crew and it was so exciting because I never get to go to grown-up stores at the mall any more, and I never buy anything for myself at any grown-up stores anymore, so I was pumped about it (plus it was $9.99!). I wore the tank top to the zoo the day after I bought it, and then I washed it that night and figured, "Oh what the heck - who's going to know?" and wore it again the next day. And probably no one would have noticed except I've gone and drawn attention to it and so now the entire internet knows. Don't judge me.

We've been getting this expression a lot lately.

Robert says it looks like she's trying to break the camera with her mind.

Look at the little chompers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our first trip to the zoo!

A friend of ours was going to the zoo yesterday morning, and since our contractor was out sick, we didn't have anything else to do, so Julia and I packed up and headed to the park. Even though there was a 50% chance of storms, our city has an awesome zoo - and best of all, it's free - so I thought worst-case scenario, we get to see some animals and then have to head home. But again, it's free, so no big deal.

We get there, meet up with our friend and her son, and head to the penguin house. Julia couldn't have cared less about the penguins, was mildly amused by the puffins, but was really fascinated by the light-up displays scattered throughout the exhibit. We start to leave and realize it's started to rain. No big deal; we put up the stroller covers and pull out the umbrellas, and we're about to head out when a zoo official comes by and tells us there's a thunderstorm warning (or something) and we all need to stay inside.

So.... we're packed into the gift shop of the penguin exhibit, since the exhibit itself is pretty chilly.

For. An. Hour.

I've never been so proud of myself for packing an extra blanket, sweater and pair of socks for Julia, since it meant we could go hang out in the exhibit a bit to keep her from getting desperately bored. I also never thought I'd be able to say I nursed my baby in the penguin exhibit at the zoo, but now I can.

They finally let us out, and while it was still raining at that point, we were able to run to the car, do a quick diaper change (times like those make me looove my SUV with the hatchback!), and head home with no more collateral damage than a wet stroller.

So we'll have to head back there sometime soon, but next time I'm going to respect the weather forecast.

Fortunately, we had plenty of time to get a few photos.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bathroom Remodel - Part 1 (Destruction)

So, as I've mentioned a few times, we're remodeling our master bathroom. We're in the middle of it now, but I thought I'd do a few posts covering this whole process, so here's part 1. 

Our bathroom, pre-destruction. It's about as small as a bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower could be, including an inexplicably dropped ceiling.

I think they dropped the ceiling in this room so they could recess these lights. The rest of our house has 8-foot ceilings, and this bathroom's were 7 feet. So they could put... these... up there.

Love that tile up on the walls, huh?

The real reason I got R behind this project - I was terrified of what was happening behind that tile. A few squares at the bottom were starting to pull away. Plus, think how icky it was to get into this thing every morning to get clean.

We also hadn't noticed the crack in our shower pan, which ended up being the bigger issue once we got everything torn out.

And then tear-down started...

The floor of our bedroom mid-way through tear-down.

Hey look at that. No reason at all for that dropped ceiling. Huh. Oh, and our bathroom fan was just venting into that space between the studs right about it. How strange is that. All the time we were running the fan to clear the air of moisture, it was just getting sucked into the wall space. Thanks, Previous Homeowners!

Forgot to mention to our contractor that the insulation up in the attic was loose and not on rolls. Whoops.

Starting to feel nervous about this project...

Changed my mind... Let's just close things up. Oh, we can't?

Remember those recessed lights? Here they are.

Almost everything's out now...

That floor's not looking so hot, huh?

Finally we start to make positive progress. First thing on the list: electrical.

No more random naked lightbulbs!

But good thing we still have natural light...

At this point, this is what our bedroom looked like. Awesome, huh? Does the photo capture the quarter-inch thick layer of dust on everything? Glad I was warned to cover all our furniture!

And.... two weeks later we finally have a ceiling! It was a great day when the bathroom was no longer open to the attic. That square in the middle of the ceiling is our new fan/light combo, with an actual vent hose to the attic.

Floor's looking better too, huh? That's a new shower pan and a layer of floor-leveler over the crumbling concrete. And a new toilet drain. Inside that new shower pan is a new shower drain too.

The electrical looks real now too, doesn't it?

Keep an eye on that square framed out above the light switches. I have big plans for it.

More photos to come as more progress is made, but there's a sampling of what's been going on here lately. And keep your fingers crossed for a smooth week of tiling ahead of us!

Friday, May 20, 2011

As I promised my mom...

Here is the video of Julia playing with the baby in the mirror!


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Well, I hate making this comparison, but apparently blogging is like going to the gym... Once you stop going, it gets harder and harder each day to get back into it. Add in a pulled back muscle, two colds, and a bathroom remodel project, and you get zero motivation on my part lately.

But, things are looking up here so I'm going to try to get back into the swing of things. The bathroom remodel is going at a snail's pace, but at least it's moving forward, and I think R and I are both finally somewhat healthy.

But the big news is: Julia is on a daily schedule and sleeping through the night! I hate to even write this because I'm afraid of jinxing things, but this past week I've made a real effort to track her daily pattern and try to mold it into something that we can all live with. And I realized that she was never ever going to get weaned if I didn't start to step things up in the solid foods department. AND I bought Ferber's sleep book and decided it was time for her to sleep all night without needing to eat or be comforted back to sleep. Then I read the entire internet for every single person's opinion on how much sleep a 6.5-month old needs, which drove me crazy until I called my pediatrician and they told me 14 hours a day.

So: She now has a morning nap and an afternoon nap - both at least an hour long and at approximately the same time every day- and an evening catnap, although we still struggle getting that last catnap in. She eats about an ounce of solid food three times a day, with me feeding her with a spoon, although I'm still trying to let her self-feed and play around at dinnertime.

And.... she goes to bed around 7:30 and gets up around 6:30. Sunday night she cried twice in the early morning for a total of about 15 minutes. Monday night she cried once for about 10 minutes, although it was the "OMG I'M DYING" cry and not her usual lazy moaning. Tuesday night she moaned a little and really cried for 5 minutes (I'm not making this up - seriously - I was checking my clock like a maniac during all this crying time and no joke, the time decreased by five minutes every night). And Wednesday night - angels sang and unicorns danced and she slept all night.

I was a wreck Sunday and Monday nights, totally convinced that I was ruining my child, but standing firm turned out to be worth it, and to be honest, I'm still kind of shocked it worked.

I've been SuperMom in a few other areas lately also, but this is plenty long enough for my "jumping back into the water" blog post so I'll wrap up with a few photos.

I wish I weren't stuck up here on the countertop with my toy just out of reach.
I wish Mom would do a better job of getting my food in my mouth.

I wish I had arms.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Park, Part two

Good thing I wore that necklace, huh?

Managed to distract her with leaves. They're pretty cool too.

Especially when they're just out of reach.

Uh oh... are we getting sick of modeling?

Complainy face because Mom took the necklace off.

Ah finally, Mom puts her down.

Big girls don't need to be held all the time by their mom. (*sigh*)

"How does this magical thing work?"

"Wait where's it going?!"

And... heading out... Being an adorable model gets pretty tiring.