Monday, October 31, 2011

Only Monday?

I keep thinking today is Tuesday...

1. Basement progress is slow. It's taken us forever to deal with the baseboards, but I think we're finally ready to paint them. Fingers crossed we get this done before Thursday. I also bought new ceiling tiles today, so we're pretty committed to redoing the ceiling too. I'm hoping it's not going to be a big deal like I think it's not, but who would have thought we'd spend three nights on baseboards? This has been a frustrating project because we've done SO much work on it so far, but there's still so much to still be done. 

2. After another good night from Julia Saturday night, we had a TERRIBLE one last night. Up every hour, terrible naps today. I was sure to put her down by 7:30 today so hopefully things turn around. Or go back to normal. Or whatever. Just hoping we have a good night. I could use a few hours in a row. I think R and I are going to start sleeping in the guest room in shifts again. 

3. Julia now sleeps with a stuffed bunny and her soft blanket. When we go in to get her in the mornings or after a nap, she hands us the bunny, then the blanket, then she lifts her arms up to get picked up herself. It's adorable.

4. I have friends coming in to visit this weekend and I'm really excited! I need to plan some stuff for us to do. I think I'm not even sure what grown-ups do anymore because the first things that come to mind are visiting the zoo or a pumpkin patch. 

Antics from Julia this past weekend:

Inside the dog bed.

Dog Bed Skateboarding.

What's the plan here, dear?

Out of the dog bed and onto the fireplace. That makes Mommy feel good.

Oh... INTO the fireplace. Even better. Why don't you just chew on one of those wires while you're in there?

Oh, no. We have another plan.

"Ah! Your flash! You're illuminating my secret evil plan!"

"Bye Mom."

Dog bed in the bedroom, Julia looking for Daddy in the bathroom. THIS was the plan. Duh.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Six Things Saturday

I'm liking the numbered/bullet point blog posts.

1. We went to not one, but TWO costume parties today with Julia. Fortunately they were both after the afternoon nap, so we had to leave one early and arrive at the other late, but it worked out and we were all social troopers. It was also probably Julia's only chance this weekend to wear her Halloween costume since I don't think we'll be doing any trick-or-treating. (And we need to buy some candy for our own trick-or-treaters, since I ate the designated bag not once, but twice. Yep.) Julia is doing great with other kids, and it's neat to see how her approach to other children is changing. But, let's be honest, her favorite part is playing with someone else's toys. I have a few more ideas for her Christmas list now!

2. The reason we could do all that is because her sleep has gotten much better these past two days. She woke up at 6:30 this morning (!!!!!) and took two nice, normal naps without protest. Now her naps aren't long - 45 min in the morning and 90 min in the afternoon, but that seems to be her rhythm. It's nice when we're all in sync. The bad news is, she went to bed at 7:55 - later than the past two nights - tonight due to our social butterflyness today, so I don't know how well tomorrow morning is going to go. The good news is, it's my turn to sleep in so I won't be bearing the brunt of it if it goes terribly.

3. Our basement progress has stalled. We worked so hard to get the walls and floors finished before Julia's birthday party, and ever since then, we've totally forgotten about it. But, we have rugs and stairs-carpet coming on Thursday, so our my goal is to have the baseboards caulked and painted, along with all the rest of the trim, by then. If I'm awesome, I'll have the stairs walls painted too. Once we do that and get the rugs/carpet in, we might be able to start moving furniture down there. Unless, of course, we decide to fix up the ceilings. We'll see. For now it's just kind of a dumping ground for Julia's toys. She loves it, at least. Living in a house that's out of sorts kind of stresses me out.

4. Julia has 8/16 of her molar points in - we're making progress! Her nose is also doing a lot better and her bum is good enough that we're finally back into cloth diapers. Fingers crossed we don't regress, or if we do, it's not by too much.

5. Are leggings pants? I've always maintained that they're not, but I might be changing my mind. I have awesome black boots that look great with leggings, but I don't have tons of great-for-leggings tops. I tried a shorter shirt earlier this week, and it was weird. I felt all exposed but it was also pretty comfy and I'm really not sure how much I care. Hopefully everyone's looking at my awesome boots and not my butt.

6. And lately, I've been having enough trouble coming up with a decent-looking, comfortable outfit. I guess because this time last year, I had just had a baby and all I was wearing was sweats, and before that I was working. I guess I just don't have many SAHM-suited fall and winter clothing. Anyways, the end result is, I now wear the same outfit two days in a row. Isn't that gross? It takes me enough effort to put together a cute outfit that it's only worthwhile if I get two days' worth of wear out of it. I know. I know! It totally weirds me out too but I'm still doing it.

And I'll leave you with a few thoughts from Julia:

What she thought of the football performance today.
Touchdown? Oh. No. Not a touchdown.
Later in the day...
Not feeling the costume change.

Unsure about this whole puffy-ladybug thing.

"At least I'm not actively crying, alright?"

"Alright Dad. I've had enough. I'm going back to the car."

Mom steps in for a pep talk.
Doesn't my hair look good here? I blow-dried it today for the first time in probably four months.

And like the outfit? Good, because you'll be seeing it again tomorrow.

Finally happy, playing with someone else's todays.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Things Friday

I'm stealing this "Five Things Friday" from another blog I follow. I like the idea!

1. The princess slept until 5:59 this morning! I put her down last night at 7:30 instead of her usual 8 or 8:15. Didn't hear a peep out of her until this morning. I actually went to check on her around 4 AM just to make sure she was still breathing - haven't done that in awhile! I'm crossing my fingers for a repeat performance tonight. R slept in the guest room so he could get a good night's sleep in case everything went to hell in the early morning hours, so I think tonight it's my turn. Either way, I should sleep well tonight. Amazing how different that makes the day - we're BOTH happier! Thanks Marc!

2. We still haven't put our house back together from Julia's party. Basically, I shoved everything that could be classified as "clutter" into Robert's study, and shut the door. And I kind of like our house the way it is right now so I've been totally unmotivated to put anything back. We also have a garage full of basement overflow, since we've been making progress on the basement remodel. It's starting to stress me out, but it's a solid day's work, if not more, and I just don't know when I'm going to have a whole day without the little one "helping" me.

3. When Julia and I read her animal book, she can point out "mouse" to me now. Then she immediately puts her hands up to her lips every time. For "mouth" - get it? It cracks me up.

4. We're probably reaching the end of our nursing journey. She's still nursing once a day in the mornings, but this morning she was definitely still hungry when she was done. I think I'm going to try to merge our morning nursing session and our sit-down breakfast, and I can totally see her dropping this final nursing in the next week or two. It makes me sad. I thought I'd be happier about it. I'm glad we did what we could for as long as we did, but I also feel disappointed that I didn't do a "better" job (no or less formula, extended nursing, whatever else the hippies are advocating right now, etc.). Which I know is irrational, but I hear the end of nursing causes a bunch of hormonal changes so I'm just going to call "Hormones!" and leave it at that.

5. There's like a baseball game on or something lately. I ought to care more, but I just don't. I watched the early part of the game last night - the error-ridden innings - got pretty disgusted with everyone all around, and went to bed. Robert, on the other hand, watched every second of the game and ran around our family room at the end going, "Raaaaaah" like a crowd-cheer. Then people in our neighborhood set off fireworks. Awesome. I'm glad tonight's the last game.

And, since I enjoyed Photographic Memory Lane so much earlier this week, and I have no current photos for you, here's the little cupcake last November:

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I love her, I do, and I meant everything I wrote in my last post. But she is right now, to put it politely.

So, she's teething, which I've been talking about for the past six weeks or so. Her four molars are coming in, and I'm counting each molar as four, since there are four different points that break through the gums. Of the sixteen points we need, seven are through. So we've made significant progress, but they're obviously still bothering her. She also has a cold - or her nose is running like crazy because of the teething - and a subsequent diaper rash that is yeast-based and just won't go away (because of the teething, the cold, the ibuprofen we've been giving her for the teeth, or just for another unknown reason altogether).

None of these things are terrible - she seems pretty used to the teething and the diaper rash is persistent but under control - but she's waking up at 5:00 every morning. And not going back to sleep. She's tired and cranky, and she'll calm down in my arms when I walk her, but she howls when I put her back down in her crib, when I sit down in the rocker, or when I take her back to my bed. She wants to nurse, which I refuse to do until at least 6:00 in the morning. Then, lately, she'll often fall back asleep for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half, in my arms in my bed. This little taste of co-sleeping is adorable and lovely, but I don't want it to continue. We both sleep better when she's in her crib. And I don't want to be getting up at 5, fighting with her until 6, then nursing her and dozing off and on again until 7:30. I know it doesn't sound too terrible, especially to someone with a newborn, but her napping is all off too and I'm exhausted. She is too.

She's also been unusually clingy and whiney and needy lately. One day she was toddling around Target like she owned the place, tearing down displays and dragging five Halloween buckets around the aisles, and the next she totally lost it when I put her down in our back yard. She's not eating as well as she used to either. It's like an emotional regression over here.

This popped up about a day before her sleep all went to hell. Thankfully, someone recommended this book to me - The Wonder Weeks. The theory is that all babies go through somewhat predictable mental growth spurts, just as they do physical spurts, when they start to comprehend another level of complexity regarding the world around them. And, these mental leaps forward are preceded by or coincide with behavioral disturbances, as the babies' worlds suddenly become bigger, newer, and more overwhelming. It's written on a fairly simple level but I have noticed Julia's behavioral issues do seem to pop up right about when the book says they should. Basically, I keep it on my shelf, and when she's a bear for a few days in a row, I open it up and sure enough, it's time for the next freaking "Wonder Week."

Anyways, this is my long way of saying, she's been a pain in the butt lately. Fortunately, I'm finally a seasoned enough momma that I know - and can internalize - that it's just a temporary phase. But, we all need some sleep and I'll be really really happy when she comes out of this. I'm trying to be understanding and just roll with this - I busted out my sling for the first time in months - but I'm ready for my big girl to get back here.

Tonight, I followed Weissbluth's suggestions and put her to bed 45 minutes before her usual bedtime. She went right down without a fuss, so we'll see if it helps tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Julia is ONE

My dear, dear, sweet baby girl:

You are one year old today! You have changed and grown SO much in the last twelve months; it’s amazing. This time last year, your father and I were afraid to unswaddle you in the hospital because we didn’t want you to be cold. Now, we hang you upside down (you LOVE upsidedown-baby), swing you around, run around the backyard with you on our shoulders (well, that’s mostly Daddy – and when he stops, you wiggle to let him know you want him to keep moving), and watch in awe as you tear around our house on your own two feet!

I am so incredibly lucky and blessed to be your mother. When you play, you like me to be sitting on the floor next to you - preferably doing nothing else – and you periodically come over to me to sit in my lap and get a hug and a snuggle before running off to the next thing. Which I love – it gives me a chance to close my eyes and stop for a minute and think about how lucky we all are. Your dad works hard so I can stay home with you and get to watch how much you grow every day. Yesterday you started pointing out a doggie on a page of a book we were reading. Today, you pointed out three different doggies on three different pages AND a snake!

You’re walking and running all over the place. No crawling for you – it’s so much faster to just get up and walk! You can say, “Da!” when you’re looking for your dad. Sometimes you even say it when you’re looking for me or the doggie. When you see someone you like, you’ll often make the cutest little cooing nonsense noises. You call everything with wheels a “brmm brmm” and you know a lion goes “raaar!” and a doggie goes “oof oof!” You have twelve teeth – those front eight and your first four molars are cutting through right now (and still bothering you!). You’ll try almost any food at least once, although your favorites right now are french fries and salt & vinegar potato chips (fortunately, you also love things like fruits – especially pears right now, hot dogs, ham, and cheesy eggs). If you’re hungry or thirsty, you’ll go over to the cupboard where we keep your cups or the food, find what you want, and bring it to me to open or fill with water.

You seem to like to read with me; we read before your two naps and bedtime. You don’t really like me to read all the words and go through the book slowly; you prefer to turn the pages yourself and point to things right now. I also try to brush your teeth when we read, and you do not like that part one bit. I pretend to brush my teeth to show you how it’s done, and so then you decide that you would like to take the toothbrush and brush my teeth too. But never yours! You like to imitate things I do, like carry a purse or blow my nose (which is the most adorable thing ever), and then you also do some things that baffle me, like wearing headbands and crowns and hats – you love that! You also love to dance. Any time any music comes on, whether it’s a toy, a clock chiming, or a truck beeping as it backs up, you get a big grin and you start to bob and sway.

You have learned so much this past year, and done so much. Of course you have your days – you seem to get out of sorts when you’re going through a growth spurt – but you are cheerful, incredibly inquisitive, determined, a little bossy, smiley, and generally a joy to be around. You break into a big grin whenever you see me, Scrappy, your dad, or another relative (and sometimes a random stranger) and that smile just melts my heart. Your hugs when I get you up in the morning or from a nap are pretty much the best part of my day. And you’re so calm by bedtime; we walk around your room, and you rest your head on my shoulder, and you talk to me a little and I talk to you a little, and I can’t imagine my night any other way.

I can’t wait to see what you do this next year. I love you more than words can say, forever.

And I got a little picture-post-happy going through all these photos I have of you this past year:

Oct 2010

Oct 2010

Oct 2010

Oct 2010

Jan 2011 (after I got my new camera for Christmas!)

Jan 2011

Feb 2011

March 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011 (Right about now I have fewer and fewer photos of you - probably because I was chasing you around more and more!)

Aug 2011

Aug 2011

Sept 2011

Oct 2011 (How you look to me most of the time...)

Oct 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Julia's Birthday Party

We had Julia's birthday party this past Sunday. I drove myself about insane trying to plan for it. We don't have people over very often so I had some issues figuring out an appropriate level of preparedness for guests. (Like, are they going to be upset that the candles on the wall are red when the rest of the decorations are pink?! Must go find matching pink candles! What about that dent in the wall in the hallway - should we spackle and paint that before anyone gets here?! And what if a kid wants ketchup with his chicken nuggets? We have ketchup but other peoples' condiments freak me out so maybe it freaks out other people too and maybe I need to go buy individual ketchup packets in case someone wants one! Ahhh! And that's how you end up with a shopping list of pink candles, spackle, and ketchup packets.)

Anyways. I put up some decorations (not gonna lie - the ones that haven't fallen down on their own are still up), made chili and some child-appropriate food, and sent Robert running all over town for cupcakes. Everyone seemed to at least not hate the party, and no one mentioned the dent in the wall or the candles or anything else I was obsessing over, so I'm calling it a success!

Here are the few photos that were taken of the event, for all those who couldn't make it:

My favorite part of the decorations - our front door.

The party room.

The party girl.

Doesn't this just melt your heart? Daddy singing Happy Birthday to J.

"No no no don't touch the candle!"


Trying it out a little.

There we go!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just a few randoms...

Random facts about Julia right now:

  • She loves pressing buttons. She loves putting our garage door up and down, and pressing elevator buttons. It makes me smile for now but I know we're in for like, ten more years of "Mommy let me press it let me press it!"
  • We read together three times a day - before her two naps and before bedtime. She doesn't let me actually read, but she turns the pages very authoritatively and lifts flaps and sticks her fingers through the holes that the Very Hungry Caterpillar made in his three plums and four strawberries. She sits in my lap so calmly while we do this. It's such a lovely routine.
  • She's still teething. That stray bottom incisor is in, and both her top two molars have come through a little, although not all the way (they're bigger than I thought they'd be!). I'm ready to sleep a whole night through.
  • We're also weaning. This makes me sad but I seem to be losing my milk supply and she seems to be losing interest. We're still going strong on the first morning feeding but that's it. We're upping her whole milk and dropping a little bit of formula. It's going smoothly so far, after a few freak-outs on my end because I don't know what I'm doing or how to go about this process. 
  • She got her very first pair of "real" shoes! They're adorable. Her favorite part was the Nordstrom balloon she got with them.
  • She's putting things into things. I know that sounds lame, but it's so cool to see her trying to put things together instead of just destroydestroydestroy. Her attention span isn't great though, so mostly she just picks things up and puts them down elsewhere in our house. We have so. much. stuff. on the floor everywhere all the time now.
  • She loves making noises. She likes the lion - "Raarrr," things that move or steer - "Brmm brmm," and doggies - "Oof oof!" She also yells, "DA!" when she's in a room with me, and looks over to the doorway, presumably hoping that R will come over. She yells "DA!" at the dog too though, so maybe it's all the same to her. 
And some random photos to go with the random facts:

Reading on her chair. This chair is a total hit with her!

Hangin' out in the backyard.

"Please Scrappy I would like to play with that too."

Caught this one at just the right moment! "No don't eat the stick!"

Mrs. Potato-Head eyes. She's totally got that concept.

Anything cuter than a baby in pajamas and Uggs?

A preview of photos to come... We did a photoshoot this weekend, and this is the one pic I was able to snap before this sticky mess crawled out of the picture.

And for me, today. A hot cup of tea and a thunderstorm.