Gone.

Two things happened today.

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First, my grandmother died. When people die in movies or on TV, people always say “I can’t believe they’re gone.” And I thought it was just a thing you say. I’m not new to death. Between the ages of 8 and 20, I’ve had 4 other grandparents and 2 uncles die. I was close to all of them.

But this is different. I don’t know if it is because I’m older? I’ve lived more and grown to appreciate my family more. Maybe it is because I got married and learned to really appreciate how wonderful my grandparents’ marriage was. Maybe it is because I had a baby and all of my emotions have been amplified. Maybe it is because I moved away from home and my relationship with my grandma went from seeing her regularly at (crowded) family events to mostly phone calls. That might seem not as good, but I think it was actually better. All that one-on-one chatting we’ve done in the last decade. I certainly knew her better than any other person I’ve lost.

Regardless of why, I’m struggling. Not just with grief, but with belief. I knew it was coming. We’d said our goodbyes. We were all ready, at the end, for her to be done suffering. I understand that she is gone, but I don’t believe it. I feel like I could pick up my phone and call her and ask her about some project I was sewing or recipe I was making. I feel like I could text her a picture of Fiona and she’d see it. I can’t picture her house without her in it. I don’t believe that Fiona won’t remember her–won’t ever get to know her, really.

I thought given her slow decline that when she passed it would seem…. better. Better than what she’d been fighting. And it is. But suddenly with her gone I’m not comparing her death to the last few months of her life. I’m comparing it to her life before. Before hospice. Before cancer. All of a sudden I seem to forget all about the last 7 months and feel like if I called her right now she’d be sitting in her living room reading a murder mystery (she always stayed up late. Coolest Grandma ever).

I’m sure belief is a thing that comes with time. With the daily action of not talking to her. Not seeing her. Maybe the funeral will give me some closure. I don’t really have a conclusion here… just feelings.

The second thing that happened was another grandma refused to let me take her photograph with her granddaughter. I had two newborn shoots scheduled for today. It was weird timing, but actually good to stay busy all day. At the second shoot, the baby’s grandma was staying with the parents for a month to help care for the couple’s two children.

We were wrapping things up and the I asked if the grandma would like to step in to do a photo with her daughter and granddaughter– three generations. She immediately said no. Actually I think she said “abso-freaking-lutely not.” She didn’t have makeup on, and her hair wasn’t done. (For what it is worth, I thought she looked fine!). She didn’t want to be in a photo. So we didn’t do one.

On the drive home I kept thinking about that. About all the photos I’ve dug up of my grandmother, and me with my grandmother, and her with Fiona, these last few days. I don’t think she was ever wearing makeup. In a lot of them she probably would’ve said her hair “looked like hell” (she said that a lot). But she never in my entire life refused to be in a photo, and I’m so grateful. I don’t care what she looked like in the photos, I care how she was looking at me. How she always looked at Fiona. Love is beautiful, lipstick or not. Women are so critical of themselves (myself included) and we’re far too eager to step aside so that we don’t end up in a photo where we don’t look perfect.

I vote we all get over it. Get in the damn picture. If not for yourself, for your loved ones.

Fiona : 11 months

Soo… time got away from me and now Fiona is almost a year old! But before she gets there, here are her 11 month stats!

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Stats: Fiona didn’t have a doctor’s appointment for this month, but she did have one a few weeks ago and she was about 19.5 lbs. I measured her at home and I think she is about 30 inches tall.

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Clothing Size: Fiona has definitely had a bit of a growth spurt. She can still wear some 9 month tops, but in everything else she needs 12 month clothes. Some of her 12 mo sleepers are even too short for her now! We’ve been putting her in some 18 month pants if they are stretchy, otherwise they are too big in the waist.

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Sleep: Night sleep has gotten pretty great in the last two weeks. She’s sleeping from around 8:15 until 7:30 in the morning– most mornings we have to wake her at that time! And usually she is only waking once or twice now, sometimes she doesn’t wake at all overnight. She is still on two naps but seems to be stretching her awake times a bit. That combined with the having to wake her in the morning make me wonder if she might be ready to move to one nap, but I don’t know if I’M ready for that! I think I’m going to try to hold her off on the one nap transition until after a year, then give that a try.

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Eating: Not a ton of change here. She is still on 4 bottles (9 oz, 8 oz, 8 oz, 9 oz) and still finishing them great most of the time (teething sometimes affects her, but mostly she is excited about them). As for solids she is on three solid meals per day. She has been doing great in terms of variety of food she will eat, she even likes asparagus! Still working on getting her to eat more protein, and we’re still keeping her on the MSPI diet for now. She still isn’t eating much in the way of quantity though. But, she still doesn’t have any teeth full descended (she has now 4 ridges of teeth but they aren’t really up yet) and I think she really struggles with chewing a lot. I think she may just be a bit on the later side with the transition to solid foods, but I”m hoping that it still happens somewhat naturally in the next few months.
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Milestones: Fiona has completely mastered walking now. She even sort of runs, although a lot of times she gets going faster than her feet can carry her and ends up face planting! She is doing pretty well at following some commands, including “come here”, “clap/play patty cake”, and “Can I have that?”. She babbles all the time and says a good handful of words but I’m still not completely sure she always knows what they mean. I *think* she knows mama, dada, dog, kitty, and up… but she doesn’t always use them correctly (and dog sounds like “daahhhhhhhh” which is similar to dada, she says “kihhhhhhkih” for kitty… i think?). Thing are still pretty inconsistent but it’s exciting when she uses a word correctly!

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Things I Want to Remember: The last bits of baby-ness. More and more lately I feel like she is all toddler. Physically… she acts like a toddler! But she is still a baby in terms of communicating and (lack of) tantruming and general sweetness. I’m excited to hear what she has to say, but also want to cherish this last little bit of baby before she gets there.

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Outings/Adventures: We didn’t go on any trips this month, but we did start exploring some of the local parks. Fiona loooooves swinging! She is such a little daredevil. She loves to lean forward and put her arms out like she is flying. Adorable. Plus we got a stroller so we have been doing tons of walks, it has been really nice out!

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Favorites: Fiona loves everything right now. Pets are still a favorite, but she gets super excited over anything and everything randomly. Sometimes it is a dvd, sometimes a toy she has seen a thousand times, sometimes it is a random piece of thread or a button. She is mostly in a good mood (except for when her teeth are hurting her!) and she sort of reminds me of Elf lately in terms of general excited-ness. My favorite is that she learned to “share.” I think it is SO adorable that she tries to share her toys and food with us and the pets and her stuffed animals, she has such a sweet heart. B’s favorite is how excited she is when he gets home from work. She runs over to him with her arms up and it is just so cute.

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What I’ve Learned: This has been the longest slowest year of my life. And it is almost over. And even more than ever I am trying to just soak in every second with her. And take every single opportunity to snuggle her and love on her, because I know she won’t let me do it forever! 
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Fiona : 10 months

Holy cow is my baby 10 months old….??

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Stats: I’m not sure! She hasn’t been weighed since 9 mo and won’t be weighed again until 12. I am almost sure she has grown another inch or two taller. She still has no chub but has probably put on a little weight.

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Clothing Size: Same. She’s all in 9 and 12 months clothes at this point, mostly for length. For pants 12 mo jegging/stretchy pants fit best because pants that are not stretchy in 9 mo are too short and in 12 mo are too big in the waist. I bought her a bunch of 18 mo clothes for summer so I’m hoping she fits into them! (This top she is wearing is actually a 12 mo dress…. tall baby hah)

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Sleep: Pretty good. Nights are about the same. She generally sleeps from 8 or 8:15 until about 7 these days, and usually still has 1-3 wake ups for her paci overnight. She’s had a few nights where she slept straight through, and a few nights where she has had some random freak outs and I’ve had to rock her. We had our first bout of teething this month and I think that was responsible for some of the drama. Naps are the big news– we are down to 2! It seems to be going really well. She now naps from around 9:30-11 and 2:30-4 each day.

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Eating: She is continuing to do great with her bottles. She even took some bottles from my mom and let B and I have a date night this past month! I feel like we’re making good progress on solids too. She still isn’t (may never be) that kid that is a human vacuum and eats everything in sight… but she is really starting to expand what she will eat and is doing a better job at doing more eating and less playing with her food. She still has a really hard time chewing and hasn’t quite gotten the pick up/chew/swallow/THEN get more food thing yet… so she tends to put too much in her mouth and then gag. But I think that is a skill that will come with practice. Right now she gets breakfast of pureed prunes every day, and then for lunch and dinner I usually give her 2 things– generally a protein and something else. For proteins she is currently doing well with black beans, eggs, and chicken sausage. She does the best with black beans. The only veggie she seems to really like right now are cooked yellow peppers, but she is doing a little better with trying other things (even ate some broccoli this week!). I’ve also tried some bread products with her this week for the first time… I made some healthy banana bread (trial for her smash cake!) that she seemed to really like, and I gave her a whole wheat blueberry waffle yesterday and she loved it. I definitely need to give her tiny pieces of everything because otherwise she bites off way too much and gags… babyled weaning was basically a complete fail for us!

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Milestones: Fiona is a master of mobility. She took her first steps this month, but as we expected with her she refuses to accept help in the form of holding her hands or cruising along furniture, so mastering walking is a bit slow going. It’s lots of trying and lots of falling! Her record so far is 10 steps. She also learned how to crawl up the steps, and she goes FAST! She continues to babble more and get new sounds. She really tries to parrot back what I am saying, yesterday I was showing her her stuffed Lion and she immediately started saying Li-Li-Li-Li. But I still don’t think that she is connecting many words with their meanings. The only word I think she may use with meaning is “up,” which I say whenever I pick her up. A few times she’s crawled over to me and tried to climb up my legs saying “puh-puh-puh” which I think meant up? I really think she spends way too much time focusing on mobility to focus on communication at all. I suspect she’ll be a bit late to really talking/understanding but once she starts she will probably take off fast like she did with her mobility.

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Things I Want to Remember: What a happy baby Fiona is! Sure she has her cranky moments, but mostly she is super happy all the time. It doesn’t take a lot to make her laugh. Showing her the pets, getting her up close to any photos or pictures we have on our walls, throwing her up in the air, playing peek-a-boo, tickling her, laying her on her back and dropping (light) things on her chest, helping her “shoot hoops”…. any of these thing guarantees a giggle!

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Outings/Adventures: This month we spent almost a week at my parents house, just Fia and me, to spend some time with my grandmother. Mostly she did well, and it was really nice for my parents to get to see her for a longer amount of time. Sleeping was a bit of a nightmare… but I guess that is to be expected with travel. We also did a bit of mall shopping this week (which Fiona did great with!) and we are finally seeing some nice weather so we’ve had lots of walks! Being out in the sunshine is pretty fabulous.

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Favorites: Besides Stew… right now her favorite thing is climbing up the stairs. Over and over and over again. And then again! My favorite right now is taking walks with her. I’ve been able to wrap her on my back for walks outside for the first time since the weather turned, and she just giggles and giggles! She loves looking over my shoulder and is just so happy, and it is so nice to be out! B’s favorite is how she giggles when she watches him shoot baskets, and how much she likes when he helps her shoot baskets.

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What I’ve Learned: That I can’t not watch her for 3 seconds. Seriously… she gets more mischievous with every single month! Just when I think I’ve got her in a safe spot and I can turn my attention to something else for a minute (like say… washing a bottle)… I turn around and she’s climbed 3 stairs she wasn’t even near 10 seconds ago. I swear this kid is going to turn me grey before I’m 35 :)

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Fiona : 9 months

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Stats: 
Baby girl surprised me at her 9 month appointment by weighing in at 18 lbs 2 oz! I was hoping she made it to 17.5 but wasn’t sure she would because she still looks so skinny to me… but she made her way past 18lbs and right back to 50% for weight, yay! She measured 28 inches tall, which is 66% and no surprise because I knew she would come in tall.

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Clothing Size: Nothing in the 6-9 range fits anymore. She can wear 9 month tops or pants but onesies need to be 9-12 or 12 for length. She also moved up to size 3 diapers (finally). We’re thinking about maybe starting to do cloth overnight too– but I’m scared. Hard to mess with a good thing, ya know?

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Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good. With the learning of some new skills (see below) there have been some setbacks in terms of her taking a while to fall asleep sometimes, but MOSTLY she has still been going down happily for both naps and bedtime. Overnight sleep is unchanged. She still falls asleep between 8 and 8:30 and wakes for the day between 6 and 7. She is usually up two or three times overnight but just needs her paci and sometimes she finds it herself (last night she woke up twice but found her paci herself right away and I never had to get out of bed– win). She has seemed somewhat restless in her sleep lately, but I think that is probably related to developmental stuff. In terms of naps….. hit or miss. She still usually goes down for them okay but the last few weeks has had a whole lot of very short naps. Again, I think it is a developmental thing (I’ve heard much of the 9 month regression). Also just a few days ago she started this weird crying thing sometimes. Pretty much ALWAYS if we went into her room for any reason after we put her down it calmed her down. Once during each of the last three days when I went into her room (to either give her her paci back or lay her down if she was standing) she FREAKED THE F OUT and started screaming when I left. But then stopped a few minutes later and fell asleep?! She doesn’t do it always but it’s just so random. I think maybe she is starting to get a little separation anxiety and doesn’t like when I come in and then leave, so I’m probably going to pull back on doing so many ‘checks’ during nap time (when in doubt I generally would go in and check, give her a paci, lay her down, rub her head, etc because usually it helps her fall asleep– but it seems like now it is causing more problems than it solves). Anyways, I know some people wouldn’t consider all this good sleep because she isn’t like, sleeping 12+ hours overnight and naps with no wake ups. But I feel like it seems reasonable for her age and I’m getting enough sleep, so whatever.

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Eating: She’s doing well! Still taking four bottles per day (two 9 oz, two 8 oz) and doing well with them so long as they are offered warm and in a distraction free zone. We’ve seen a good bit of improvement on solids this month. I started offering her more purees and have found a few she seems to really like. She is doing more eating than throwing these days, so that is good. She definitely has good days and bad days in terms of eating real food and we don’t have a super consistent schedule yet, but right now I’d say most days she eats three “meals.” The first is an hour after her first bottle and I usually offer puffs, dried fruit, or a puree. She usually eats a few mouthfuls and that is about it. Second meal is after her 2nd nap (soon before her 3rd bottle) and she has been doing really well with this one– usually eating about half to a full (4oz) ouch or (3.5oz) container of purees. Dinner we started eating together at the table. Usually I make her a scrambled egg and give her something else– diced fruit or veggie or something– and she spends a lot of time putting things in her mouth but doesn’t consume a ton yet. Still this is all much better than the situation a month ago where getting her to consume ANYTHING was a challenge– so we are happy.

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Milestones: This is a big one this month! So much has changed. The week that she turned 8 months old she started crawling. And once she started, she became a speed racer! She has also completely mastered standing independently. She stands up from the floor without even using her hands (which um, I can’t even do) and can stand pretty much until she gets bored or distracted or reaches for something (so 20-30 seconds… that is about her attention span lol). She is also pulling up on anything and everything. She can take a few steps to get closer to something she is holding onto but hasn’t figured out cruising yet. She also (sorta?) started talking this month. One night out of nowhere she just randomly started saying mama! mama! mama! But she doesn’t know what it means I don’t think. She also now says dada and baba  and I think he is maybe trying to say puppy (which is what we always call Stew) but I feel like she is more just parroting us than really understanding the words so far.

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Things I Want to Remember: How fast things change. I cannot BELIEVE how different Fiona is now than she was a month ago. And looking at her at seven months versus nine is like a lifetime of change it feels like. She’s growing up so incredibly fast! Every day I struggle with wanting to bottle her up and keep her tiny forever, and being so excited to meet the person she is becoming.

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Outings/Adventures: Not too much going on this month. It has been cold and dreary and we’ve been laying low. We did have our first ever real playdate which went… okay? The babies basically ignored each other while the parents chatted lol. I also took her to a mommy and me breakfast thing which was also just okay. A restaurant is a bad place to meet mom/baby groups I think… we were all just too busy tending to our kids to chat much. This next month is bringing a longer trip to my parents’ house so hopefully that will go well!

Favorites: How many months in a row can I say her favorite is Stew? But seriously. Stew. It’s a deep and un-ending love she has for him! My favorite thing is the new “baby jail” we set up downstairs! Now that she is crawling she is into everything SO FAST and I really couldn’t leave her for 20 seconds to do anything without her heading straight for the glass-fronted cabinets or the wobbly end tables. There is only so much baby proofing we could do on a whole-house scale so it is nice to have a safe place to put her when I need to run upstairs, and also to sit and play with her without having to chase her all around and keep her out of things. Brian is having fun just playing with her this month. He’s been putting her up on his shoulders and “jogging” around and she just laughs and laughs. They are awesome together.

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What I’ve Learned: I’m so glad I lost my job. Yes, it sucked how it happened. It has been stressful. The job hunt is stressful. The uncertainty is stressful. But I’m home. I’m getting to spend every day with her and watch her change every day and I won’t get to do that forever. So mostly I’m just glad that everything has worked out like it did so that I’ve gotten to be home for this first 3/4 year with my baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day in the life: 8 months

Note: Today was awesome. Not every day goes as smoothly as today did, but we had a great day :)

2:30am: Baby cries. I run up and put her paci in, she falls back asleep.

4:50am: Baby cries. I run up and put her paci in, she falls back asleep.

6:35am: I hear babbling and see Fiona sitting up playing in her crib. Generally when she is up for the day she is happy and doesn’t cry. B gets up with her and I go back to sleep. He takes care of the pets and does her first (9oz) bottle and they play in the living room.

7:30am: I wake up to Fiona fussing downstairs. She doesn’t seem to be quieting down so I look at my phone and realize it is time to get up anyways. Throw on some clothes and go see what the issue is. B said she was just a bit cranky this morning and she has been fussing on and off while they play. He goes to clean up the kitchen a bit and I sit down to play stacking cups with Fia while she crawls around and knocks things over. She is getting increasingly fussy so it seems it will be an early nap day. Sometimes she is awake until 9 or even 10, but today I put her down for a nap right at 8am.

8:05: she’s asleep. Baby girl was clearly still tired. Probably because she woke up a few times last night, which she doesn’t always do anymore. I go downstairs and get some breakfast and tidy up a little bit. Then I putz around online for a while. This is usually the laziest part of my day so I enjoy it.

9:40: She’s awake but not unhappy. I go throw on some clothes, put my hair up, and head upstairs to grab her. She’s happy post nap, yay! I get her dressed and into her carseat and we head out for running errands.

10:10: We arrive at Walmart. I haven’t been here in over 3 years because I hate it, but I really want a full length mirror for Fia’s new play space and I was told they have ten for $6, how bad can it be? REALLY BAD. Took five minutes to find the mirror. Five minutes to try to find the baby food aisle to see if they have anything interesting (couldn’t find it. Store is too damn big). Twenty minutes to check out because the cashier sucked. Bah. I wore Fiona though and she was perfectly happy throughout.

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10:45: Into the car and head to Trader Joes. We do some quick shopping and check out. Fiona is similarly awesome here, she loves hanging out in her ring sling. Especially since I got a teething necklace.

11:25: Arrive home. Carry in groceries. Start bottle warming and give Fiona a few dried blueberries while we wait for it. Give her a 9 oz bottle and she drinks it all. Then I set her down to play in the living room while I put away the cold groceries. I have to run back in a few times because she keeps trying to crawl into the fireplace or steal the dog’s toy. This new crawling thing is a challenge but I love watching her do it. Then we head downstairs and I put her in her jumper, which she loves. Twenty minutes later I pull her out and we play on the floor downstairs for a bit. Around 12:30 she starts getting tired so I take her upstairs, change her, and put her down for a nap.

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12:45: She’s asleep. I put lunch into the oven for myself and I start cutting and sautéing veggies for some Mexican lasagnas (making one for us for the weekend and one for a friend who had a baby this past weekend). Also wash Fiona’s last bottle and finish putting away groceries. When the veggies are done sautéing I toss them in a bowl and leave them to cool while I go eat lunch.

2:15: She’s up! Happy again. Today is a good day! We head downstairs and I put her in her high chair to try eating. She still is not a big fan of solids, and is especially not a fan of sitting in her high chair or eating purees. But we keep trying various stuff so today I tried a container of pear puree with her and she actually ate almost the whole thing– for the first time EVER!! I gave her some fruit/veggie melts and then she seemed over eating so we went upstairs to change her again and came back down to play.

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3:30: I make her third 9 oz bottle and she drinks the whole thing. Afterwards I put her in her jumper to play (I tend to put her in it after bottles because she has to stay upright after she eats and if she is on the floor she still likes to roll around a bit). Two minutes after I put her in, she has a diaper blowout. We head upstairs to get her cleaned up and play in her room a little bit when we are done. Then we head back downstairs and I let her play in the jumper for ten minutes since she didn’t really get to before. Then I pull her out and we play on the floor some more. She is into everything. Crawling around, trying to climb onto the couch to see Stew, trying to crawl after the cats, and just giggling and giggling. She’s also a big fan of crawling around saying mamamamamama which is hilarious and so sweet. She’s just a ton of fun to play with right now!

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4:45: she’s tired again and I’m almost bummed because play time was super fun this afternoon! But, we head up and I put her down for her third nap. This nap is tricky. About half the time she will fall asleep and stay asleep on her own. The other half of the time she just sits/rolls around in her crib until I go rock her to sleep. For the last 1.5 weeks I’ve had to rock her for this nap every day (we give her 30 min to fall asleep before I go rock her)– but today she actually fell asleep! Which was great because it gave me a chance to finish making my two veggie lasagnas and prep our dinner for tonight (quesadillas. We like mexican food). Then I wash her bottle from her last meal and I clean up her high chair and whatnot. I’m done about 6 but B texted that traffic was bad so I go and hang out on my computer waiting for him to get home.

6:10: B is home so I start assembling dinner. At 6:30 Fiona is still sleeping and dinner is about done, so I go wake her up (we always wake her at 6:30 because 7:30 is bed time). She is not happy to be woken up. This is a common problem, but really who likes being woken up? I get her changed and put her in her crib so I can get her diapers started washing. She starts crying because I left her while she is cranky, so B runs up to grab her. We get our dinner put together and she goes into the jumper while we eat. As soon as I’m done I pull her out and we all play on the floor together. By this point she is in a much better mood and giggles as she crawls around and B throws a ball to her. Then he pulls out the laser pointer to play with the cat (which Fia always thinks is hilarious) except now that she can crawl.. she starts to chase the laser pointer too! I haven’t laughed so hard in I don’t know when. We’re all having such a good time that we don’t notice the time until Fia starts rubbing her eyes at 7:40.

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7:40: I take Fiona up to get her ready for bed. It isn’t a bath night so I just get her changed and into PJs while B makes a (9oz) bottle for her. Then I do the bedtime routine (bottle, stories, song, bed) while B cleans up from dinner and feeds the pets. He also turns diapers on for their second cycle.

8:10: I put her down and head downstairs. By the time I grab the monitor and get to the kitchen she is standing in her crib saying mamamamama. The standing thing combined with the talking thing is making bedtimes a little more challenging lately but she isn’t really UPSET she’s just…. not sleeping lol. I start making muffins (again, for the friend with a newborn we are visiting tomorrow). B is studying in the living room and we chat while he reads about business stuff and I bake. At 8:30 Fiona falls asleep.

9:00pm: I’m done making muffins and the kitchen is clean again. I head downstairs while B studies and tonight? I blog. Usually if B isn’t studying we watch some TV together. Whenever he is done studying we’ll head to bed and I will hang all the diapers to dry. We usually go to bed sometime between 11 and 12 these days.

Sooo that’s today! Nothing special really, but Fiona was in a great mood for most of it and she is just SO fun now that she is mobile. Absolutely loving life these days <3

Fiona : 8 months

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Stats: 

I’m not sure because she won’t get weighed/measured again until 9 months. I don’t think she has gained much weight but I’m pretty sure she is getting taller! The girl is just solid muscle, she has awesome thigh and cheek/chin chub, but her belly is rock hard. I think I might have a skinny girl on my hands!

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Clothing Size: 

She is still in size 2 diapers because of her skinny waist, but is pretty much out of 6 month clothes due to her height now. Depending on the brand/item she can wear some 6-9, but is mostly in 9, 9-12, or even some 12 month pants (again, for length + cloth diaper booty).

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Sleep: 

She’s been doing really well this month! (knock on wood) She’s going doing easily (and alone) at night and in the last week she has given me several nights where she slept all the way through without making a peep! She does still sometimes wake a few times, but generally she just wants her paci and then she falls back asleep. We had a rough few days when she figured out she could sit up in her crib, but that doesn’t really seem to be hindering sleep anymore. I think we may be in a bit of a transition on naps. She has been fighting her third nap a bit and I’m wondering if she is getting ready to transition to two naps per day.

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Eating: 

She has been doing mostly great eating! The week of Christmas she did randomly get really distracted/fussy about eating and started refusing some bottles, which was pretty concerning. She had been taking four 8 oz bottles per day. We dropped her to two 8 oz bottles and two 7 oz bottles and she immediately started eating much better. But then after a week of doing that she seemed to still be hungry when she was done eating so we moved back to four 8 oz bottles. Yesterday I actually tried two 9 oz bottles and two 8 oz bottles and she still seemed a bit hungry so I may move to all 9 oz bottles. Seems like an awful lot for such a little peanut, but maybe a growth spurt? I’m just thrilled she is eating happily! Not too much news on solids. Her favorite, by far, remains pears. We also introduced puffs this month and she likes those a lot as well. Isn’t really into too many other items, no veggies, and never really wants to eat a lot in the way of solids (half a slice of pear, maybe a whole slice, is about all she’ll eat). Also we discovered she is allergic to avocado, which is a total bummer because she actually seemed to like that and it is such a good source of fat and protein. We’re treading lightly with new foods now watching for new allergies.

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Milestones: 

This has been a HUGE month. At 7 months she had just barely started getting up on all fours and rocking. On Christmas day she figured out how to get into a sitting position by herself, and immediately got super stable sitting. In the two weeks since Christmas she has mastered getting into a sitting position from every angle possible. She has made a lot of attempts at crawling or bear crawling (generally she does hand-hand-foot-face.. hasn’t figured out that second leg yet lol). The craziest thing though is she started trying to stand up… all by herself.. in the middle of the room. I don’t know a ton about babies but I think usually they pull up first and quite a bit later try the independent standing thing. Not my kid, apparently. She has been working really hard this week on getting into an independent standing position from the floor, and she does it with some regularity (albeit she can only stand for maybe 3-5 seconds before toppling, but I remain impressed). I’m so curious about what she will do next! I don’t know if she will ever really crawl because it seems like she might just move right to walking?? I am betting I’ll have some exciting updates at 9 months!

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Things I Want to Remember: 

That I love this age. It is by far my favorite so far. Fiona is just so much fun to hang out with right now. She is working on new skills every day and she gets so excited when she does something for herself. She’s super super into all of her toys and she is loving her new mobility (she can sit/pivot/roll with the best of them) in getting around the room. She’s figuring out independent play and it’s so much fun to spread her toys out on a big quilt and just watch her play with one and then another. She’s super interactive, giving us huge smiles every time we walk into the room or get her up from her crib. She plays peek a boo and is imitating us all the time. She’s so excited about new things and is just over the moon about the pets. I feel like this is really a perfect age because she is so HAPPY most of the time and is awesomely interactive without hitting the toddler tantrum stage yet. She’s also mobile enough that she’s happy getting around by herself but not so mobile that I feel like I can’t run upstairs to start a bottle for her. I’m so grateful that I get to be home with her during this time because I imagine that we might be in a bit of a honeymoon period where things are fun and not too hard yet– although I am SO excited to see her take her first steps and grow and learn, I know that will bring a lot more challenges than we are currently dealing with!

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Outings/Adventures: 

Christmas! Fiona got to have three Christmases this year. One with B’s family (at our house two weekends before Christmas), one with just us before we left for my family’s house, and one with my family on Christmas day. She actually did really great with all the new people, the travel, sleeping in a new place, etc. She didn’t really understand Christmas yet, but she thought tissue paper was super fun!

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Favorites: 

Stew. The Cats. As always! This girl has a deep and committed love to animals. I can’t wait until the spring when we can take her to the zoo! She also really loves jumping in her bouncer and she is starting to really get into interactive songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, and Itsy Bitsy Spider. My favorite is just how happy she is right now! B’s favorite is her new-found love of a blow-up soccer ball is mom got her. She is obsessed with that thing and loves holding it with her arms and legs. She also thinks it is hilarious when B kicks it, or when we help her kick it.

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What I’ve Learned: 

She is growing up fast. SO FAST. I see it happening right in front of my eyes and there is just no way to slow it down! And mostly I don’t want to because I can’t wait to hear what that little girl is thinking. But man am I trying to soak in every single day with her because my baby is becoming a toddler before my eyes and I just can’t believe how fast this year is flying by!

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Fiona : 7 Months

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Stats: Not sure. We haven’t weighed her since her 6 mo doctor’s appointment. She doesn’t seem to have put on much chub though, so I’d guess not that much. Maybe 16.5 pounds.

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Clothing Size: Same! She needs 6-9 and 9 month clothes for length in the smaller brands of onesies and in pretty much all sleepers, but she still easily fits into 6 mo pants and some of the larger 6 mo onesies. Still in size 2 diapers.

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Sleep: Big changes here! Right at 6 months we had a r-o-u-g-h few nights where Fiona decided that since I was rocking her throughout all of her naps, she’d really rather I just rock her all. night. long. too. Seriously every time I’d put her down for bed she’d cry. If I rocked her to sleep and put her down she’d stay asleep for maybe 30 minutes or so then wake up crying. The first night I just sat up all night rocking her and B stayed home from work so I could sleep the next day. The second night I sat up until 4am, and decided to do what I said I’d never do– cosleep with her (in our guest bed that I totally stripped down because I was so paranoid). She slept some, I didn’t. Night 3 we started cosleeping about 2am and I slept a little bit more but still not very well and it still made me nervous. Thats when we decided it was time to do some legit sleep training. I had really REALLY wanted to avoid any sort of “cry it out” sleep training because Fiona crying just breaks my heart, but realistically it was our only option. I could not go on not getting any sleep all night. We waited two more sleepless nights (because I wanted to wait until after Fiona had her 6 month shots) and started Ferber training. The first night was pretty rough at bed time, but after that she slept almost all night long without waking up, holy cow! In the last month, I haven’t rocked her to sleep once. I haven’t rocked her in the middle of the night once (although after 5am all bets are off, and some mornings I do still rock her if she gets up early so that she’ll sleep a little bit more). It has been amazing. At this point she almost always goes to sleep at night within a few minutes and with zero crying, and she wakes at night maybe 1-3 times for her paci (which she finds by herself about half the time). Totally totally worth sleep training! Since that went so well, and since I was still rocking her for all naps, we started nap training at 6.5 months. That was a little bit longer process. It took a full week before things started to get pretty good, but at this point I’m really pleased with how naps are going. She is on three naps per day and almost always she falls asleep super fast and with no crying for naps 1 and 2. Sometimes she has a hard time falling asleep for nap 3 and I do still rock her for that nap if necessary.

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Eating: Fiona is doing AWESOME. The last two weeks we have moved to doing four 8 oz bottles per day and she is actually EXCITED to eat. Like she smiles so big when she sees us shaking up her bottle– it is amazing to see her excited about bottles, and she finishes almost all of them! She’s still doing great eating pretty much anywhere in our house and any time (when she’s hungry) regardless of nap schedule. Also she is doing so well eating from other people! She will eat for B for any meal, and when B’s mom was with us this past week she ate great for her too! She does still need a quiet distraction free room and a warm bottle, but we can totally roll with those requirements! As for solids, things are about the same. We’ve tried more foods in the past month. She’s now had (off the top of my head): Avocado, sweet potato, butternut squash, snow peas, carrots, oatmeal, blueberry, raspberry, pears, apples, bananas, kiwi. She still isn’t really into consuming a ton of food, but she does great at tasting things and is getting better at chewing them up. The only things she seems moderately excited to eat are pears, bananas, and avocado.

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Milestones: She is still working on the sitting up thing. She is certainly capable of sitting up for extended periods of time and balances really well, but doesn’t seem to understand that when she wants to lay down she needs to get down carefully or risk smacking herself in the head. So…. for now we still only let her sit up with help because she doesn’t actually like sitting up all that much and so she still frequently flops over and then gets angry if there isn’t something soft for her to land on. The big news though is that little girl is trying to get on the move! About a week ago I walked into her bedroom after getting her bath ready and she was up on hands and feet with her little booty in the air! The next day she started regularly getting up on hands/knees and rocking. She hasn’t successfully crawled yet but she is practicing her crawling and bear crawling every day and I am betting she’ll do it before my next monthly update!

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Things I Want to Remember: How fun she is! She’s starting to anticipate things and remember games. When we do peekaboo she starts laughing before we even get to “boo” and if she’s close enough to your face she tries to pull your hands away for you. She gets excited when we get a bottle ready. She gives me the biggest smiles every morning when I first get up and say good morning to her (B usually gets up with her and I get up about an hour later) and gives her dad the biggest smiles ever every night when he comes home from work. Also she started doing this thing where she sticks her tongue out when she’s happy and it’s really really cute.

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Outings/Adventures: Nothing too terribly adventurous this month, although we’re doing better and better about getting back to life as usual. Fiona really does great going out to restaurants now (although we still always aim for mid-afternoon to avoid long waits) and we can run errands as needed. I took her out for some Christmas shopping at the mall with a friend and she did great, and we went to see Santa. She didn’t love him, but she didn’t cry either so I consider that a win. We also had a bit of chaos in our house this month with Thanksgiving and my MIL staying with us for 10 days, capped off by “Christmas” with B’s whole family at our house. We had a few missed naps but she was a trooper throughout!

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Favorites: Stew continues to be Fiona’s favorite thing ever. Also anything that she can chew on, of course. She’s also l-o-v-i-n-g her jumper. She’s really gotten the hang of jumping and loves working out some energy a few times per day. My favorite is just her. She’s so fun. I love her smiles and giggles and how hard she works at learning new things. She is just awesome.

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What I’ve Learned: Babies are fun. And babies who eat without drama and nap without a ridiculous amount of work are sort of… (knock on wood?)… easy? Maybe it is just in contrast to what we’ve been dealing with the last several months, but I almost don’t know what to do with myself now that I’m not spending most of my day planning and working towards Fiona eating and sleeping. I’m sure that there are new challenges coming down the line but for right now, life seems comparatively easy and it is pretty great.

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